~*~

Chapter One: Prelude

~*~

Alfred hated the snow. He thought it was great when it first started, but once maybe two, three hours into a normal snowstorm, he just wanted it to stop. This particular November it was no different. He was pretty sure even after the very first Thanksgiving was over, it hadn't snowed on Plymouth rock. His roommate seemed to enjoy it, though. Arthur Kirkland was lying lazily on his red chair near the roaring fire, his lazy green eyes closed.

"Glad you can enjoy yourself when it looks like hell outside…" Alfred growled, pushing his glasses up his nose as his eyebrows furrowed.

"If you're looking for an argument, don't," the Brit replied, his tone nearing total nirvana. Alfred sighed and went back to his hatred for the snow.

A few minutes later, the kettle whistled in the kitchen, and Arthur was up on his feet and soon in the kitchen. He came back out with two cups of tea. Handing one to his American roommate, he sat back down in his chair and took a sip.

"It does NOT look like hell outside, Alfie," Arthur said, staring out the window. Yes, the snow was coming down in sheets, but it was nice, "After our tea, I think we should take a walk in it."

"You are a nut job," Alfred replied, nearly spitting his tea out from what Arthur said.

"No… I am being sensible. So far this Thanksgiving you've done nothing but sit on your ass and eat left-over turkey. You do know I affectionately call this holiday—" Arthur was cut off.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. You call this holiday Fuck-Off-Puritan day and boycott it by drinking tea and eating your horrible shit-cakes you call scones," Alfred replied, a playful smile on his lips.

Arthur grinned and punched his roommate-and-best-friend-since-forever on his upper arm. "What I'm trying to say, really, is you need some exercise…"

"But it's so cooold~!" Alfred whined playfully.

"Builds character," Arthur replied, quick as a chess-clock thumper.

"Fine… but you owe be a kick-ass Christmas present," Alfred replied, taking another sip of his tea.

"Oh, I have a name for that holiday as well," the Brit replied.

"Is that the holiday you call Drunken-Santa-Day?" Alfred asked.

"How dare you confuse with me Francis Bonnefoy…" Arthur growled.

Alfred gasped, "You said the devil's name!" he said, putting his tea down and getting up quickly, spinning himself around three times and pretending to spit over his right shoulder.

"That's the thing you do for people who say The Scottish Play's full name. When talking about that damned wine bastard, you sing that creepy French-Canadian tune…" Arthur said as he dipped his nose into his mug to take another sip.

"Alouette? I don't want to sing about plucking a bird…" Alfred replied, shuddering. He sat back down, "The French may be creepy, but those French-Canadians are creepier…"

"Hush, Alfred. Not all French-Canadians are creepy. That was just how they passed the time in the colonial times," Arthur replied.

"How many French-Canadians do you know, Arty?" Alfred asked, one eyebrow raising.

Arthur thought for a moment, "Well I know…" he paused once more, "That's not the point. My point is, don't make up assumptions about other people based on the past."

Alfred tucked his lower legs under his upper legs and put his hands together as if praying, "Thank you, honorable master," he said, faking a Japanese accent. Arthur kicked him as he stood, taking Alfred's empty mug and disappearing into the kitchen once more.

Arthur came back into the living room and went to the coat hanger by the door. He began putting on his coat and hat. Alfred got up and followed suit, and soon they were all bundled up and ready to face the storm outside. It wasn't really storming outside, though. The wind had died down, and the snow was coming down gently. Arthur opened the door and Alfred followed him out, shutting the door quietly on his way out.

~*~

Despite it's creepiness, the two English-speaking friends were singing a rousting verse of Alouette as they almost pranced through the snow. The meadows outside their house were wonderful to look at, and as Alfred walked, he found himself liking the snow just a little more.

Arthur laughed as Alfred got the pronunciation of the French so-very-wrong. He wasn't partial to the French language, but he had been an A+ student back in high school, and this new form of French was making his ears bleed slightly. But he laughed it off. Soon, they started a new round of the song, this time talking about plucking out the feathers of the poor bird's tail. Suddenly, Arthur's foot felt something against it, and almost immediately, he stopped the song to take a look. It was a pair of black-rimmed glasses, almost like the ones on his American roommate's face.

"Alfred… do you randomly leave your glasses outside when I'm asleep?" Arthur asked as Alfred came over to him.

"If I do, then I must be sleepwalking. And I must be very warm-blooded only at night…" the American mused.

They suddenly heard a tiny moan from close to the site. Alfred looked over at the sight of the sound and gasped. There was a tiny form in the snow! Alfred quickly hurried over, Arthur close behind. The boy had yellow hair, the color and texture of Alfred's. The length was slightly longer, but not much. He was wrapped in a coarse white blanket, which is why the other two hadn't noticed him. It looked like the blanket was the only thing the boy was wearing. The boy's eyes fluttered open slightly: a violet-blue blinked up at Alfred. The boy gasped slightly, and suddenly, he kissed Alfred squarely on the mouth before falling back into a frost-bitten sleep.

Alfred was taken aback, and his lips tingled from the other boy's kiss. His cheeks flushed, but he snapped out of his trance as Arthur picked the boy up slowly.

"We have to get him inside, Arthur, he's delirious if he's kissing you…" Arthur managed to quip before hurrying back into the house he shared with the American.

Alfred grinned at Arthur's attempt at humor, "You're just jealous that he kissed me and not you…" he replied loudly as he followed his British friend back into the house.

~*~

Arthur and Alfred were about to call the police when the young boy awoke once more. Looking around him with a panicked expression, the boy suddenly let a stream of fast French, none of which Arthur could translate without making the boy go back and say everything in a slow tone.

"Shit. He's French," Arthur quipped once the boy had stopped, looking over at his American roommate warily.

"Don't look at me… at least ask him if he wants some tea…" Alfred said as the boy looked at him expectantly.

"Uhhh… okay. Garcon… Tu veux un thé?" Arthur asked the boy awkwardly.

"Oui, monsieur!" the boy chirped, his voice cracked from the cold.

Arthur nodded and left Alfred to watch the boy. Alfred had learned very little French in high school, choosing, instead, to goof around and generally wreak havoc. He seemed to remember some stuff that Arthur had taught him.

"Je m'appelle Alfred Jones. Et toi, comment t'appelles tu?" he asked, butchering a few words, but the young boy seemed to understand.

"Je m'appelle… Je m'appelle…" he paused. Arthur came in with the glasses. The young blond finally saw them and nodded, taking them and placing them onto his face.

"Merci beaucoup, monsieur, J'ai pensé que j'étais aveugle…"

Arthur and Alfred stared at each other for a moment before Arthur sucked in some air. "I think I have to call… him."

"Oh no… we're not thinking about the same person who knows French better than either of us put together, were you?" Alfred asked, sharp as a tack.

Arthur couldn't help but inject a little more humor, "No… I thought he spoke Russian as I was just about to call Ivan… of course I have to call Francis…"

Alfred laughed as Arthur went back into the kitchen where the phone was. He once again looked at the blond boy, who was scratching the back of his head. Something silver flashed in the older blond's eye, and he was over at the other boy's side in a moment. The other boy didn't struggle as Alfred glanced at the thing around his wrist. It was a silver bracelet, much like a girl would wear, with the word "Matthew" written in cursive script.

Arthur came in, a tea tray in his hands and the phone crooked in between his head and his shoulder. "Shut up, you damn wine bastard. This is not a booty call. I actually have a boy I found in the snow here. He only speaks French, and you're the only man I know who speaks the language fluently…"

Alfred pointed to the bracelet and Arthur's bushy eyebrows raised, "Well, all we really know, besides the fact that he can only speak French is… he's an amnesiac, you bloody twit. No… we think his name is Matthew…" Arthur winced as Francis obviously shouted something on the other end. "Well… he's… he's wearing a bracelet with the name on it."

He handed the lone cup of tea on the tray to the newly christened Matthew as he listened to the other man at the other end. Finally, Arthur turned off the phone and sighed into his chair as he wearily dropped into it.

"Is the devil coming to take our souls?" Alfred asked.

"To put it into his own language, oui."

~*~

"Alfred~! Arthur~! Mon chers, how nice to see you!" Francis yelled as Alfred opened the door for him. Matthew was at once up (though his lower half was covered still by the white blanket) as the Frenchman spoke in his language to the two English-speaking men.

"Bonjour, monsieur, est-ce que tu peux parler francais?" Matthew asked shyly.

"Bien sur, un petit garcon. Je suis francais~!"

Matthew clapped happily and spouted some more French. Francis listened with an intent ear as he spoke, confusion setting in. When the boy was done babbling, Francis put his finger up, "He's speaking Quebecois."

"What does that mean?" Alfred asked, generally confused.

"It means he's French-Canadian, Alfred," Arthur replied, patting his friend's back.

"What? You finally know a French-Canadian?" Alfred asked after a few minutes.

"What is this babble you speak?" Francis asked, crossing his arms over his chest.

"What have you learned from Matthew, Francis?" Arthur spat back.

"That he has no more information about himself other than his name: Mathieu, and the fact that he thinks that both of you are very warm people for bringing him into your home," Francis sighed, making the two others feel like he was telling their secrets, as Francis was wont to make them feel.

"So… he has no other home that we know of?" Alfred asked, thinking. Arthur was getting a bad feeling about where this was going.

"Non,"Francis replied.

"Then… we should keep him here!" Alfred said, posing with his legs slightly apart and his hands on his hips.

Arthur scoffed, "No. He doesn't speak English. He should live with Francis…"

Alfred raised an eyebrow at Arthur, then at Francis. His eyebrows furrowed at the idea, "I'll teach him English…"

"No… we cannot keep him. He has to go somewhere where he'll feel welcome. A French household is the only good place for him," Arthur replied, trying to lay down some ground rules.

"Come on, Arthur. We were the first people he saw… can we please? I'll take really good care of him!" Alfred pushed, a whine gracing his tone.

Francis leaned down to Matthew and whispered, "Je suis désolé que vous soyez soudainement transformé en chien, Mathieu."

"C'est vrai?" Matthew asked, his head crooking to the side.

"Oui… Tiens!" Francis replied, pointing at the two English-speaking men.

"Fine… he can stay here. But promise you'll teach him to speak English?" Arthur was saying.

"I will!" Alfred said, breaking his pose.

Arthur stopped him from hugging him, "AND… you'll make sure he gets everything he needs. Get him a job, get him food… and for God's sake, get him some clothes before you do the former two!"

Alfred had already swept his roommate into a painful hug by that time, but Arthur stood his ground. Francis chuckled and patted the young French-Canadian on the back before walking back to the door. "I'll be leaving now. See you at work on Monday, then?"

"Yes. And thank you, Francis. You've helped us uncover a little more about the little one over there…" Arthur said, being polite and walking to the door to see his coworker off.

Francis biffed Arthur under the chin and grinned seductively before he purred, "See you soon, Arty~" His face and voice changed as he found Matthew once more. He smiled sweetly at the young blond and waved, "A plus tard, Mathieu!"

And with that, the Frenchman was out the door and the three were left alone. Arthur looked at the confused Canadian and said something in French to him. Matthew nodded, thanking him with a nod of his head. Arthur then continued explaining in the best French he could, pointing to Alfred a couple of times.

"All right… I want you to go up to my room, Alfred. Find something for Matthew to wear, and begin his lessons…" Arthur said, turning to his easily excitable friend.

"Do I have to, Arthur?" Alfred whined playfully.

"Do it now, Alfred, or I'm calling Francis back over to take Matthew away!" Arthur replied, a serious undertone to his playful comeback.

Alfred nearly whimpered as he moved to the stairway, biffing Matthew lightly under the chin before he did so, "I'll be right back, Mattie~"

And Matthew simply looked to Arthur and cried, "C'est vrai! C'est vrai! Je me suis soudainement transformé en chien!"

~*~

Translations from French: (in order)

"Boy, do you want some tea?"

"Yes, sir!"

"I'm Alfred Jones. And you, what's your name?"

"I am… I am…"

"Thank you very much, sir, I thought I was blind…"

"Hello, sir, can you speak French?"

"Of course, little boy. I'm French~!"

"I'm sorry you've suddenly turned into a dog…"

"Is that true?"

"Yes, look!"

"See you later, Matthew!"

"It is true! I have turned into a dog all of the sudden!"

~*~

There. Here's to a life after My Junk. I think I really like all the relationships that are going to happen into this one. Some cracky stuff, but before I make everything all happy-happy, there's going to be some: Ludwig/Arthur, Feliciano/Francis (one-sided) and some Lovino/Matthew. Then it's probably going to end in the pairings I mentioned in the summary... and then some. We'll see, non?

Please review, and I'll finish My Junk faster so I can update~

Ciao~

~Ana~