Matthew actually had a sense of humor, Gilbert realized, as he sat there on the Canadian's couch, shivering and wet. His friend was cracking jibs at his expense. Matthew was saying about how Gilbert was the only one who could manage to plan a surprise visit and have one of the decade's harshest blizzards fall down on him.
Gilbert didn't find it funny, himself.
He huffed, and knew his face was flushed from the cold that was still within his bones. The hot chocolate that he had been offered only warmed his hands and his lips, while everything else remained numb. The fluffy, cream-colored blanket that wrapped around his shoulders and his feet only felt good. It wasn't quite thick enough to offer warmth, and Gilbert had the strongest feeling that Matthew was just hiding his bigger blankets just to see him suffer.
Matthew continued to pace back and forth behind him. "I mean, didn't you check my weather before you came here?" After a moment of silence, he laughed. "Oh, you probably only checked your own weather, how like you!"
Gilbert groaned. "Okay, are you done yet?!" He asked irritably. "You should at least be happy that I'm gracing you with my awesome presence!"
"Yes, your awesome, wet, miserable presence," the Canadian replied with a grin. The window behind him showed the snow that was still falling, landing in a great heap below it and gathering a bit on the sill. Darkness surrounded the winter flakes, making them look dirty and gray.
"Shut up," Gilbert said, for a lack of things to say. After a moment, he began to feel the glow from the fireplace across from him. He sighed heavenly, closed his eyes, and leaned his head back. He felt a shift beside him as Matthew sat down.
"Why did you come here in the first place?" asked the blonde politely, resting one elbow on his knee and putting his chin in his hand. He looked curiously at his friend, surveying his posture and tired disposition. The fire played tricks in the lenses of his glasses, making vibrant colors dance and sway in a glint.
Gilbert opened his eyes, and glared at him. He could feel the heat from the mug cooling just moments after he had taken the last few drops. "Do I need a reason, honestly?"
Matthew paused. Quietly, he picked up his own mug from the table and sipped at it. "No… but, it is a while from your house to mine…" His turtle-necked collar began to feel a bit itchy and uncomfortable now that he was closer to the fire. He pulled at the cloth indolently, and rested his glass on the table again.
"While, shwhile," Gilbert dismissed. The subject of their conversation was beginning to feel awkward for the silverette. In his subconscious, he knew the reason he wanted to visit his friend, though his alert thoughts were in a rather severe denial and wouldn't let him believe it at all. He quickly moved the discussion elsewhere, somewhere less personal and more familiar. "How do you manage with all these freak storms? You probably have to walk around in big, fat coats all the time, right?"
The blonde dropped his hand from his shirt and rested both of his hands in his lap, clasping them together for a bit more warmth then the fire could present. He had a wistful smile. "I'm used to it all, really. It's not that bad. Snow's really nice."
Gilbert snorted. "Yeah, it's so nice when it's covering the sidewalks, the roads, and everything."
With a mock glare, Matthew looked to him. "Just because you got covered in snow doesn't mean you have to be so pouty," he mused.
The Prussian frowned. "I'm not pouting."
Matthew couldn't fight a fond grin. "Oh, yes you are, Mister Mopey!"
He discovered that he had feeling in his whole body now. So he moved forward, and put his hollow mug on the table. "I am not! Pouting isn't awesome," he said loudly, turning in his seat to fully face his amused friend. "And I'm not acting mopey, either, I'm just pissed off!"
Matthew made a fake assuring noise, patting his friend on the shoulder. Instantly, he recoiled, and grimaced. "You're still so cold… it must be the clothes." He leaned closer, and began to unbutton his friend's shirt.
Gilbert jerkily grabbed his friend's wrists and forced them away. He felt something hot filling his face, but he didn't know what it was called. "H-Hey! What are you doing there?!"
Looking up, Matthew's countenance expressed innocence, concern, and a lick of regret. "You never changed out of these wet clothes! I'm sorry; I should have offered you something earlier. I'm just trying to get them off..." He bit his bottom lip, and tried to claim his hands again, but the grip around them was extremely tense. Blushing, he said, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have been so rash…"
Gilbert released the offending hands and scoffed, "No; I'm sorry if I'm so attractive you just can't get your hands off. It happens." His cocky grin appeared.
The blonde became embarrassed and defensive. "Th-that's not true! I just w-wanted to make sure you were w-warmer, I wasn't –"
"Oh, warmer with your own body, huh?"
Flustered beyond reasonable measure, Matthew actually stood. "N-N-Not true!" He accused, pointing a shaky finger. "That's not t-true, liar!"
Gilbert chuckled, smirking as he grabbed his mug from the table. He thrust it toward the Canadian. "Whatever, you probably get it from your father. Just get me some beer, or something."
"My father isn't –" Matthew was going to protest such an insult at his parental figure, but he saw how completely true it was. He flushed yet again. "O-Okay," he agreed, and scurried like a frightened rabbit into the kitchen.
Gilbert watched him for a moment, before smiling to himself.
The night stretched on in a similar manner, with long conversations and idle questions filling the chilly air. They sat together before the fire without a care, talking about anything and everything, and spent the whole night like that. And after Gilbert had inhaled a few drinks, things stepped up such a level that the blonde had to push him into one of the guest rooms that – once locked – Gilbert was too uncoordinated to unlatch.
"Oh, this was your fault," Matthew grumbled, staring at his friend across the kitchen table. The sunlight's rays made themselves welcome through his windows, casting a pleasant aura over the house. Something about cool, winter mornings always stuck with the Canadian. Whether it is the birds outside his bedroom window every morning or just the feel that Christmas was somewhere near, he usually woke up with a smile on these mornings.
Usually being the key word; for those frequent days when Gilbert would be struck dumb with a hangover in his kitchen were not his favorite.
"It is not," reasoned the Prussian, rubbing his temples tirelessly, "You could have stopped handing them over after a few cans, couldn't you?"
"You kept shouting at me to get you another one!" Matthew yelled, internally snickering at how his loud voice made his irresponsible friend squirm.
"Nuh, kept it down," Gilbert whined, dropping the conversation altogether. It was hurting him too badly to continue with. He pressed his forehead to the cool table, and fisted his fingers together in his tangled hair.
The blonde rose with a mumble. He felt like he had a headache as well, though one that wasn't caused by any drug, only by the lump sitting at his table. Over and over, he had questioned himself as to why he even kept the silver headed man around when most of the time he only received jokes and insensitive comments from him. He had calmly explained to himself before that he was just lonely, and needed a friend – but the more perceptive part of his mind relished in something much more serious, something much more devastating then simple friendship. That part of his mind, though, was rather smart and kept its secret from its owner, for it knew uproars of unpleasant emotions, actions, and words would be stirred up from something so condemning.
Matthew pulled out a box from the cupboard, and opened it silently. The customary scent of pancake mix elicited a smile. "Gilbert –" He was trying again to pull out conversation from his friend. "– How long do your handovers usually last, hm?"
There was a muffled response of, "Since I've had so many… probably not long enough to worry 'bout."
"If it's nothing to worry about, then why are you making such a big deal about it?" he asked through gritted teeth despite himself, placing the box on the counter. He walked over to the kitchen closet and took out a half-empty bottle of syrup. It was maple flavored, common to Matthew's taste.
The only reply Gilbert could muster was a moan.
Matthew cleared his throat. He put the bottle next to the box and began rummaging through a drawer. "Anyway, do you think you'd be up to helping me with groceries this afternoon, since you said your exiting plane doesn't leave until Tuesday, of course?"
"Meh," said the Prussian, rising from his slumped-over position rather slowly, and managing to sit straight. "Sure. You're probably too weak to carry it all, right?"
"No!" Matthew defended, scowling for a moment before sighing. "At least you agreed…"
Gilbert smirked, though the homeowner couldn't see it from his position in front of the stove.
"I'm making pancakes, is that alright?" He didn't wait for a reply before beginning to mix the batter, after adding the other ingredients.
"Oh yeah, that's more than alright, that's awesome!" For Gilbert, pancakes stood a mere third on his favorite-things-list, after beer, and someone that his mind begged him to believe was more that just someone. He turned around in his seat to see the blonde toiling over a bowl, and wearing an apron. That was new. He couldn't suppress a loud laugh as his headache slowly faded into another distant memory. "What's with the frilly apron?" he asked incredulously, his eyes wide with a certain interest.
Matthew stiffened. "It's, uh, it's…" His mind battled in-between his ears: truth or lie, truth or lie, it screamed, the devil and heavenly angel shouting at one another. The angel of his thoughts became victorious with its halo shining. "It was a random gift from France…"
Gilbert choked on air. He covered his mouth with a bit of decency, fighting laughter and the need of oxygen simultaneously. His face flushed with utter amusement and a twinkle appeared in his bloodshot eyes. "Ow, ow, ow!" He cried, his headache coming back. He still smiled as he put his hands against the side of his throbbing skull.
The blonde, meanwhile, was fuming in an abashed manner. He stalked over to his guffawing friend and hit him on the shoulder with his batter-covered spoon. "What's so funny?" He exclaimed, as if he didn't already know.
"Ah, ah! I bet he wanted you to wear that for him, huh?" He interrogated, his breath coming in short gasps. Deviously, he said, "With nothing else underneath, am I right?!"
Matthew gaped, offended, and hit him on the head. The scream that erupted was surprisingly satisfactory. Though it was a correct deduction – he cursed his father for being so pervetedly predictable – he didn't want the silverette knowing so. "Gilbert, that's not funny!"
"You… you… you're not denying it!" He rasped and smirked as laughter overtook him once more.
Matthew flushed, and turned back to the stove. "No pancakes for you, then, since you're so disgusting."
The Prussian visibly settled with a frown resting on his lips. He turned to his friend. "No, no, I'm sorry!" He desperately said, pulling at the lace of Matthew's apron like a child.
The blonde huffed. "You better be."
Gilbert knew, in his heart, that he had been right on the issue of snow. How anyone found it peaceful, how anyone ever wished for a 'White Christmas' or any garbage like that he would never be able to comprehend. He trudged through the sidewalk, knowing that he was probably burning twice as many calories with the effort it took to drag his feet. "Tell me again why I agreed to help you go shopping?" He inquired dubiously. Maybe he had still been drunk…
Rolling his eyes, Matthew said, "You said I was too weak to carry the things myself." He could see the store of his choice right up ahead. They had the best syrup around, and that was saying something. The blonde could already taste it on his lips…
"Ah, oh yeah. And tell me why we couldn't take your car?" The silverette was starting to feel rather flustered. For lack of proper outer attire – and for the fact that he had only brought the clothes on his back, which were swirling in the Canadian's washing machine – everything he had on was Matthew's. It made him feel so uncomfortable. He smelled like his friend and everything. The smell itself was so intoxicating, and the thought that these had been on the blonde's body before blew his mind. Though, being the cool one Gilbert was, he knew this wasn't showing at all on the outside.
Matthew bit down upon his chapped bottom lip. "Well, uh, the roads are closed because of all of the ice on the roads…" He glanced shyly up at the silverette over his glasses, waiting to watch the reaction explode like a bomb.
He felt a growl climb up his throat. "Then why in the world do you think its okay to walk to the place, then, huh?! If cars can't do it, I'm sure we can't either," he protested loudly. His gloved hands fisted in his pockets. The cold weather, the long stroll: everything, it just irritated to no conceivable end.
Matthew mewled, "But I really need food for tomorrow! And more syrup, too, since you finished that off so greedily…" He could recall very clearly watching – in serious horror – as his friend drowned his breakfast with all of the maple syrup that was left, and then eating it merrily while the he, the host, was left with a few disappointing drops.
Gilbert sighed heavily. They stopped in front of a wide and colorfully decorated store. "This it?" he asked incuriously.
"Yep," said Matthew, smiling up at the store's hanging sign before happily walking right in. He knew exactly where everything was, for he had been inside countless times before. And every time, it filled him with the same sense of enjoyment.
The only thing that the silverette felt, as he walked into that store, was the hot air that assaulted his face and made him feel like panting and pulling off all of his heavy clothing. He was aware from that very moment that it was going to be a long day.
"Just because they were four for a dollar, Matt, doesn't mean you had to get so many!" shouted Gilbert in a manner that resembled barking dog. "Do you seriously need so many bars of soap?! They aren't even the good kind!"
The frigid wind mingled with Matthew's hair the moment they walked from the automatic doors, their hands weighed with heavy, endurable plastic bags. He looked up at his friend. "Not so loud, please!" He heaved a sigh, watching as clouds formed in front of his mouth. So much bargain hunting left him a little exhausted, and his friend's constant jabbering was wearing on his patience and his mental health.
Gilbert clenched his teeth together to resist the onslaught of exclamations and complaints from spilling out of his mouth like a broken water fountain. He was carrying nearly twice as many bags as the Canadian, and he had made sure to tease him earlier on how he was right about his physical capacity. Though Matthew hadn't gotten many things from the store, Gilbert was still tempted to throw each and every bar of cheap soap from the bags and into the windows of neighboring buildings just to ease his load and satisfy his murderous mood.
Suddenly, a shrill sound scattered his thoughts of revenge. He turned his head to see a large red truck skidding across the icy road. It turned this way, then that, and was going entirely too fast. The burning rubber was an atrocious scent. Before his eyes, Gilbert saw it come closer and closer. His reflexes shut down. He only felt the bags slid from his fingertips and his arms rise to cover his eyes and face.
The extraordinary impact that he expected to feel didn't hit him that hard. Instead of a bone-crushing explosion of pain, he felt a rough hit from the side push him away. This was odd to him… hadn't the car been coming straight toward him? Maybe his sense of direction had combusted, or even possibly his body had turned away subconsciously, leading the hit to force itself on his side. But he didn't know.
Gilbert did feel his head suddenly hit something so hard that it drew a shuddered gasp of pain from between his lips. He bit down sharply on nothing against it, and put his hand around to feel the blood trickling from the skin on the back of his head. "Ow," he said quietly, his eyes opening slowly and being greeted with cloudy sunlight. He shifted his position against the wall to be sitting up against it, his hand still clenching his bloodied hair. Blearily, Gilbert looked around.
The car wasn't anywhere near him. This sent sirens of alarm to ring in his head. He saw it many feet away, and he could only see the back of it. The license plate was crooked from the impact, he noticed. The other people who had been outside were all huddled around something in front of the car. He growled to himself, thinking that maybe the thoughtless driver – who drives on iced roads? – had flown through the front window and lay in a crumpled heap in the same icy road. It would serve him right.
Something else, something so sentimental and so important began pulling at his mind. But in such a bleary state, he couldn't process it. His mind screamed at him to realize that something was missing, but it might as well have been speaking another language, because Gilbert just couldn't understand what it was telling him.
With another growl, Gilbert wearily brought himself up upon his feet, placing a hand to the wall in a steadying manner. Pain shot down his spine, and ruptured through his skin and bones, but the only thing he was focusing on was finding out if justice had been served on the driver.
He meandered toward the crowd, pushing his way through when he got there. German words were on his tongue. Finally, he stared down at the idiot who had hit him – him, the amazing Gilbert! His thoughts slurred together in a mangled up mess of perplexing sentences and phrases, but he was ready to feel that sweet sense of compensation when he laid his eyes on the unmoving body before him.
But the only thing he felt at first was confusion. What was Matthew doing, sprawled on the ground, and covered in blood with his skin distorted and many bones twisted and feckless? Despite his drunk-like stupor, Gilbert managed to place the piece of the puzzle together: why he had felt a jab from the side, why he wasn't as hurt as he should be, why the car had been so far away from him, and why Matthew had been missing.
In an immediate response, his body forgot about the pain, about the driver and everything else. Gilbert became physically numb while his mind rode a horrible roller-coaster. "Matthew!" His voice was croaked and broken as he knelt down beside his friend – no, not just his friend. Matthew wasn't just his friend, he admitted to himself. He cared something more for the syrup-loving man.
But why in the world was he just realizing this now?
He decided at that moment that he did have the worst timing in the world.
He couldn't believe how stupid this was: all this waiting. It was torture. Resembling a ticking clock, or an impending bomb, waiting was the last thing Gilbert wanted to do ever again. Just in front of him swung his entire future, but he didn't know what would happen to it. It was between his fingers, incomprehensible, and only by waiting would he be informed of how it was going to continue on. Would it halt with senseless agony if bad news should arrive? Or would it inflate with childish harmony should relief be given to it?
It bothered him to no end, too, those words that the doctor had told him, when he asked about Matthew's well-being: "We're not sure yet." It filled him with anger, and an in-suppressible sense of maltreatment. If the doctors didn't know, then who on earth did? They were the ones in charge of everything in that white building; how could they just not know?!
Gilbert steadied himself with a deep breath. The gauze wrapped tightly around his skull withheld a pounding headache. The doctors had insisted on treating him, and successfully ripped him from Matthew's side to do so. Also, those no-good white-coats had told him that he might have a concussion, so he should lay down on one of their long, stress-inducing beds. How dare them, thinking that he would possibly be so selfish to do that when the one person he truly cared about was dying without a –
He briskly shushed such thoughts from his mind. What was he thinking; Matthew was going to live! Of course he was! After pushing a friend out of the way of a speeding car and taking the hit himself, Matthew deserved to live…
Gilbert bent his head, placing his elbows in his knees and his forehead in shaking hands. God, why had Matt done that? Sacrifice his own health like that? His own life? It made guilt rise in his stomach. It was such a terrible feeling that he couldn't shake for the life of him.
All of a sudden, he felt something light and warm grip his shoulder. And because of the distressed state he was in, he couldn't help but jerking upward to face whatever it was.
"Mr. Weillschmidt?" asked a kind-faced nurse with a comically clichéd clipboard tightly held against her chest with one arm. Her other hand rested on the Prussian's shoulder.
Seeing it was someone of the useless medical profession, Gilbert growled and stood as to have the full advantage over the petite woman. This made her drop her hand from his shoulder, relieving his tensions only slightly. "Yes?"
The tone didn't sit well with the nurse. She found it too coarse and emotionless for someone waiting upon news of their beloved. But, as trained, she made no personal comment. She told him, "You may see your friend now. He's stable."
Six hours of waiting summed up to something so wonderful that it made it all worthwhile. Only internally did he express relief. He said, "Okay."
She eyed him quite wearily. Something was really off, and her tongue really wanted to gossip and ask questions, true to her personality. But when she noticed the bandages wrapped around the Prussian's head, she figured that that was the cause of the man's ruptured personality. She nodded more to herself then to him. "Follow me." She turned, and began walking down the busy corridor.
"What else can I do?" Gilbert grumbled distastefully under his breath. The steps he took as he followed her resounded so heavily in his ears as if these were the last steps he'd ever take, or like he was wasting time by going so slowly. He tucked his bruised hands into his pockets, cursing to himself inside his traitorous mind. Maybe, he advised his brain, if he stopped thinking everything wouldn't seem so morose and dramatic.
The nurse stopped in front of a door with a crooked plate hung on it that read '134'. "In here, sir," she managed to say as politely as possible, before becoming slightly more serious. The harder part of her job was approaching so quickly that it messed with the pattern of her heart's beats. This would never get easy, no matter how many times she would say it. "Um… Mr. Weillschmidt, just to warn you… ah, your friend…" She pretended to forget the exact details as she flipped through the pages of her clipboard. Though, in all honesty, she probably would never forget – at least, not for a while. "He… suffered major wounds and things of the like… you might want to be prepared for the things you might see." She looked up at him from below her long lashes, wanting to see what reaction this conjured. She'd received so many different responses from other family members and friends of accident victims; she knew she couldn't keep count any more.
"I know," he said quietly, keeping emotions free from his countenance. The hands in his pockets constricted tighter.
The nurse paused for a moment to stare at him in slight awe. But quickly, before romantic notions of emotions and other things could form in her mind, she nodded, opened the door for him before smiling charmingly and leaving.
It was like an unveiling of curtains for Gilbert, as the door slowly swung open. For a moment, his resolve wavered; all at once he felt like breaking down with apprehension, and not wanting to see Matthew in such an awful state, not wanting to feel the regret and self-loathing it would bring. But he loudly cleared his throat free of all suspicions then graced the hospital room with his presence.
He could see Matthew, now, if only the top of him that wasn't hidden under silky, white sheets. The image wasn't clear, but he processed as much as he could from his viewpoint of the doorway. Matthew's bed was the last one in a long row of three, each spaced out with a good four or five feet between them. The bed Matthew's motionless body laid on also was pressed against the back wall, a few inches below a windowsill. The broad window above him revealed nothing but the only dim light in the room and snow.
That accursed snow.
Gilbert gritted his teeth once again. It made his aching head worsen, but it dulled the pain of emotions. He licked his dry lips for a second before taking his hands out of his pockets, and walking toward his lonely friend.
As he got closer, cuts, imprints, burns, bruises, gashes and everything of the like became clearer and more distinct. He knew he would never forget it, no matter how hard he would ever try. His beloved's eyes were free of sheltering lenses, and he could see small fissures beside his eyes, probably from when those lenses had broken and in turn broken his skin. The glasses themselves were no where to be seen, not that Gilbert was looking for them at all. He watched the fragile chest rise and fall as he inhaled and exhaled, and he never thought he'd be so intrigued with something like breathing. Whether the sleep Matthew was in was natural, or if the doctors had put him to sleep with some undisclosed drug to prevent him from being conscious of the pain, Gilbert would never know, nor did he really care. As long as peace was on that angel's face, and that the heartbeat monitor was still beeping steadily, he would be content.
He stole a solitary chair from across the room, and put it next to Matthew. Sitting in it, his mind roamed once more. What if Matthew wasn't actually breathing by himself? What if one of the many loud machines surrounding him like a fortress was actually controlling his oxygen intake? How… how long would he remain asleep? Would he ever awaken?
Gilbert had a fleeting thought that he would never be able to inform his friend of his true feelings if he never woke up.
He grunted, and raised his hands to grab the few locks of hair that were sticking out from the bandage. Why was his mind tormenting him so ruthlessly?! It was such a contradicting idea that Gilbert's own mind was the source of so many malicious thoughts. He looked up helplessly to stare at his loved. One thing kept resounding in his mind: Why had Matthew pushed him out of the way and taken the hit? It was such a trivial subject that could be answered in a few words – but those words were inside a comatose man's throat, and couldn't be spoken unless he woke up.
He reached out tentatively to brush his fingers against those of Matthew's that were hanging limp out of the bed. It was such a cheesy thing, he told himself as he grabbed his love's hand, but he really needed this.
After a long while of that – maybe many hours, he wasn't counting – Gilbert became conscious of something amiss that crashed his train of thought into a wall. Where… where was that familiar ticking of the heartbeat monitor?!
His mind reeled and spun, creating skid marks and making frantic turns. He stood quickly, dropping the – suddenly cold – hand to run to the door. He ripped it open and shouted to anyone who would hear him, "His... his heart's not beating!"
A/N:Inspired by the song Things Left Unsaid by Disciple. I think music is my creative enabler, who knows... I always feel the need to credit songs that inspired stories in those stories... so I take the title and give it to the story. :D I'm a terrible name maker anyway.
-celebrates- TENTH FANFICTION, WHOO~! AND IT'S ACTUALLY A GOOD ONE~!!!!
-dies- It's so late. I wanted to get to sleep two hours ago, but I had to finish this... and yes, I did finish the whole story, so... yeah. It was actually one whole narrative, but I realized it was really long, probably too long to be a one-shot (which it is; all in one sitting, too!), so why not make it a two-chapter? Only one more chapter after this, yep. And since I already have it uploaded, edited and everything... I could post it at anytime! But I want to see what you guys think... though I'll most likely snap with or without reviews and post it soon. :3 I don't know.
I'm sorry if Gilbert's not cursing as much as he should - I always forget about his cursing-thing! D: And sorry about the France-bashing, I couldn't resist. x3
/end of long Author Note (sorry...)/
Ah... okay. R&R, if you please~!