(I'm sorry for making you guys wait. My imagination fails!)

Hockey

Chapter Three

Matt was nervous. Now, Matt's very existence was basically made up of two modes, Relaxed and Nervous. Most time, he was relaxed. The only times he was nervous was when he was getting chased, when somebody forgot his name, when he met new people, in the dark, by himself, anywhere that isn't his home, without his bear…Well, most times he was nervous. But today, he had good reason to be! It was the very next day after his disastrous game with Russia. Disastrous in his mind, that is. Canada always seemed to make a big deal out of practically nothing. But, all the same, he was cowering in his seat, trying hard not to be noticed. Which was totally unnecessary, since he was Canada, and he could go unnoticed in a bright red leotard.

Well, while Canada was busy cowering, France sneaked up behind up him. It wasn't that hard for Francis to be sneaky and silent, since he was a certified creepster, and frankly, he was used to it.

"Mon Cheri!" France exclaimed, laying a gentle hand on Canada's shoulder. Canada, as a reply, shrieked girlishly and jumped a good foot out of his chair. France stared at the trembling young nation questioningly. This was new.

"What is the matter, Matthew?"

"M-m-matter? Why do you th-think anything's the m-matter?" Matt was trying, failing really, at trying to cover up his over reaction.

"Mon Cheri, it is not wise to try to lie to anyone that raised you. I know you better then the back of my fine, well-manicured hands."

"Y-yeah….you're right, big brother." Matt relaxed considerably, leaning heavily against the back of his chair. The meeting was over, and he hadn't even realized it.

"So?" France started playing with Canada's golden locks, so much like his own. This was normal for the both of them. Canada was used to his amorous older brother.

"……It's nothing, France." Canada had already told his little secret to America. He didn't want any more Nations to know.

France made a disapproving noise in the back of his throat. "Keeping secrets, are we?"

"Not really a secret….I just don't want anyone to know."

"That's what a secret is, my dear."

Canada frowned at the condescending tone in France's voice. Sure, he was the younger brother, but he wasn't a kid anymore. He stood up, and looked at Francis with ice in his eyes.

"Fine. Then yes, I'm keeping a secret from you. Deal." Matthew turned his back to his older brother and walked off, fed up with being forgotten half the time, and being treated like a child when somebody did talk to him.

"Matthew? Mon Cheri??"

But Canada ignored his older brother and walked, no stomped, over to the exit. He wanted some pancakes, dammit! With tons and tons of maple syrup!! More maple syrup than a person, nation or not, should be allowed to consume in one sitting! Enough gooey, gooey syrup to get a full grown African elephant on a sugar high. Tonight, Matthew was going to practically drown himself in maple syrup. And he's gonna love it!!

Lost in his thoughts of syrup madness, Canada missed his other older brother, America, waving at him. In fact, it seemed to Alfred that Matt was straight up ignoring him. But that was preposterous. This is Matty here! People ignore him, not the other way around. So, America jogged up to his little brother, startled by the look of intensity on his young face.

"Hey, Matty! You okay?"

"Don't call me Matty." America was the perfect person to test out Canada's new-found confidence.

"You love being called Matty! I call you that all the time!!--" "I hate it" "--Remember, when we were little, and you used to get so scared by such stupid things like thunder and--" "Are you listening?" "--lightning and bugs and the dark--" "And scary movies?" "--and stuff like that, but I would always come and save you--" "You would be more frightened then me!" "--cause I'm the Hero! And Heroes don't ever let the little people like you down!" "Do you just write out a new version of our childhood in your spare time?" " Oh, and remember I always used to drive France and England away--" "You cried more than I did when ever big brother England left!!" "--cause they were bullying you way, way, too much, and then I would always have to save you--" "You are ridiculous…" "-- and…."

Canada rolled his eyes skyward, and left his brother blabbing on and on about things that never happened. He had some pancakes to make.

Just as he was about to step out of the door and go back to his own place, a voice that didn't belong to either of his elder brothers called to him.

"Hello, Matthew"

He turned around, annoyed by the interruption, only to meet the gaze of a smiling, waving Russia. All the confidence, and good screw-you-france-and-america feelings that had been giving Canada a great new self-assured attitude went straight out the window. They were replaced by very familiar feeling of nervousness, fear, anxiety, fear, apprehension, fear, fear, and a very, very scary Russia-is-going-to-kill-me feeling. He bolted out of the room like a bat out of hell. In fact, he ran all the way to his house, which was totally unnecessary and did nothing but tire Matt out, and he forgot all of his plans about giving himself a syrup overload.

What he actually did when he got to his house was curl up in a ball under his sheets with the red maple leaves on them, a steady mantra of "oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god" running through his head, determined that he was never going to play another game of hockey. Ever.

(GASP! The plot thickens! Sorry for no actual hockey action, but I just wanted the story to twist a lil. Hope you guys liked the chapter! Reviews are love! Ciao~)