This was written for the Secret Santa Exchange Livejournal! I really hope you like it; its pretty long.
SLIGHT mentions of PruCan and Ameranada (but its not! So don't worry!)
Anyway, main story is probably T or T+, and the omake is definitely M. Yay… can I write anything NOT dirty? ... Gomenasai! Please tell me how to improve!
Matthew had been sat on at lunch. Again.
This, in itself, wasn't particularly surprising. Even though he tried to stay out of everyone's way, he would inevitably be mistaken for a chair or an empty spot and sat on – spilled on – tripped over. Whatever. He was used to it, or at least, that is what he told himself.
But today hadn't exactly been what Matthew would call a "good day".
It had started in first period, of course. He'd been sitting in the back of his chemistry class, doodling on his hands and wrists as he waited for Mr. Weillschmidt to pass out the exams, when he saw the teacher come down the aisle, handing out papers as he went, before stopping directly in front of Matt's desk. Matt wondered if he would be skipped over. Again. But that wasn't the case.
"Hey, Williams!" the albino teacher had barked. "Just what in the hell do you think you're doing?"
Matt looked up from the doodles of swirls on his hands. "Eh?" He had never been called on in this class before.
"What're you writing on your arms? Are you cheating?" The entire class – the entire class turned around to stare. Even the loud Korean kid in the front row. Even the murderous-looking girl from somewhere like Belarussia or something had turned around. Everyone.
Matt's brain froze. He was not used to being the object of anyone's attention and he simply could not deal with this so he froze as Mr. Weillshcmidt continued to accuse.
"Williams, cheating is so not awesome and I can't believe that you're being not awesome, especially you, you're so quiet usually! What the hell, Williams, I'm gonna have to give you a zero on the test."
And then the teacher stalked back up to his desk and Matt looked down at his hands and for the rest of the period people snuck glances at the cheater. Matt did not cry. They were still staring at him, and he would not cry with people watching. And he had now failed his chemistry class. Shit. Why were they all looking at him? Why? He just wanted to disappear. Being invisible was okay!
But the day had not brightened from there.
Second period was a pop quiz in precalculus.
Third was the assignment of a book report that would be worth half his grade - on Anna Karinena of all books. was one sadistic teacher.
Fourth was gym. Field hockey! So maybe his day would get better after all –
But apparently, Matt was back to being invisible, because no one picked him for a team.
By lunchtime, Matt was seriously contemplating ditching. It would be hell if he got caught, but , hey, it wasn't like he'd be kicked out of the boarding school – or even caught at all, probably. Still musing if he could pull off such a bold move, he found a secluded place on the school lawn to sit down with his lunch tray. He was about to bite into his fish sandwich – who in the world decided that it was smart to put fish in a sandwich? –when someone, giggling, attempted to sit down on Matt's lap.
Oh, God, it was Alfred.
Yeah, being sat on by your twin brother, dragging along his new boyfriend, an asshole English kid who had bullied you for years, is not a particularly pleasant experience, especially when said brother gives you a dirty look when he stands up, as if you are interrupting something.
"Hey! Oh. Matt. Sorry. Didn't notice you there. Come on Arthur, let's go somewhere else."
Yeah. Matt was gonna ditch the rest of the day.
But then the bell rang for the end of lunch. Crud, he couldn't leave now, the teachers would be on patrol, on their way to their classrooms. And besides… he probably wouldn't have had the guts to do it, anyway. He'd just have to stick out the rest of the day - only one period left to go. So, he cleaned up the crumbs that Alfred had knocked into his lap, and threw the rest of his lunch in the garbage. He wasn't hungry, anyway.
"Hey, Mattie, hurry up!"
The sound danced across the quad. For perhaps the first time all day, Matt cracked the very smallest smile. It was Yakaterina, or Katyusha, as everyone called her, the Ukrainian exchange student. She was one of his few friends at the school, and never ceased her efforts to take care of him. She was such a mother figure.
"Hi, Katy. I'm coming." he replied, gathering his books and following the Ukrainian back into the school building. They had their last class right next to each other. Hers was Russian literature, his was French Language.
Katyusha gave him a smile, slowing her pace a little to keep up with him. "You look a little down," she observed. "What's wrong?"
Ah. He was hoping that he wouldn't have to think about it for awhile. Maybe the whole day would just go away if he ignored it. Instead, he plastered on his smile and tried to sound cheerful. "Nothing, Katy. Think I failed a test. That's all, eh."
Understatement of the year, but Katyusha took it at face value, nodding her head sympathetically. And then they were in front of Matt's classroom, blocking the way for stragglers and taunting the late bell with every moment wasted, and Matt knew he had to go inside.
"See ya later, Katy," he said, giving her a little wave before ducking inside. He didn't feel like much more cheerfulness. He felt like crying, actually. God, this day sucked. He just wanted to curl up with a batch of pancakes and his pet polar bear in his dorm and hope to the highest that Alfred, who also happened to be his roommate, would stay out all night with that stupid Arthur kid so that he could mope in peace.
And then he remembered exactly whose class he was sitting in and realized it would have been much better to ditch class than deal with this on top of everything else. Right on cue – half a minute after the late bell rang – Monsieur Bonnefoy waltzed gaily (no, not a figure of speech) into the room.
"Bonjour mes étudiants. J'espère que votre déjeuner était agréable"
Monsieur Bonnefoy was not the regular teacher for the class; he wasn't even a certified student teacher yet, just some undergrad from the nearby university that was stepping in for a teacher that was too old or too lazy to come in; Matt wasn't sure what the story was, and he frankly did not care. All that he could think about was Francis.
No, not Francis. Monsieur Bonnefoy.
When Matt was a freshman – Maple! Was it four years ago, already? – Francis had been a senior. A grand, gorgeous, unreachable senior who spoke as he liked and taunted the teachers and flirted with everyone, even poor, impressionable freshmen.
But it still, somehow, felt special when Francis had leaned over to his chair in French Culinary club and complimented Matt's shirt or ran a hand through his hair and smiled, smiled the way that Matt was sure was for no one else but him. But that was stupid. Matt was a completely invisible freshman, and Francis was so beautiful and he acted like that with everyone, but it was just so nice to be noticed. It would make anyone lovestruck. Anyone. In any case, Francis had graduated at the end of that year and gone off to uni, never to grace Matt's vision again except for in occasional troubling, embarrassing dreams.
Until this year. When the regular French teacher decided to go MIA and jet-setting Francis had wormed his way into the job. And now, every day, right after lunch, Matt had to endure an hour of the man. An hour of flashing smiles and velvet laughter and a way of asking for an answer like he truly cared if you knew. Matt could barely stand being in the class for too long, listening to the wine-rich tones of the Frenchman's voice, flushing every time his name was called.
"Matthieu… Matthieu! Mon cher, are you with us?"
Matt looked up with a start, only to find a gleaming pair of utterly concerned ice-blue eyes entirely too close to his face. Francis was practically leaning over his desk, staring at the blushing Canadian with an…anxious expression? Matt was usually pretty good at reading moods, but he wasn't so sure when it came to his teacher. There was just so much he didn't understand.
"Mon ange, do you need to go to the nurse's office? You look quite flushed."
"E-eh!" Matthew stuttered. "N-no! I mean, non, non, je suis bien, I'm fine." No one else in the class seemed to be staring at him, thank God, but the attention from Francis alone was enough to send Matthew into near- unconsciousness. He felt his brain overloading with the stress of the day and felt like he had a fever. This was bad. It was just, Francis' eyes were so blue and clear and beautiful and his smile was absolutely addicting and maybe Matt could just stare at Francis and get away with it. And sure enough, Francis turned away- although it almost seemed reluctant (but now Matt was just being ridiculous; it was his imagination that always got him into trouble!)- and began the lesson.
"Today," he announced, "we will practice writing in the formal style, by composing letters." Most of the class let out an appreciative sigh. Everyone preferred written assignments over oral ones, especially Matt – if he was heard at all, it would inevitably end in someone making fun of his accent.
"But who will we be writing to?" asked a small, pig-tailed girl in the front. Matt didn't remember her name, only that she was from an island chain called the Seychelles – and he only remembered that because it was a more foreign word than he was used to hearing, even at his international high school.
"Right now, it is just a practice run, for you to begin to understand style and form. You can write letters to whomever you wish; Monday I'll assign you something for real."
Translation: today was only a practice round and no one really had to give a crap about what they wrote. The class kept quiet under the absolutely smouldering gaze of their student teacher, but no one really put a lot of effort into their pieces.
"Psst, Matt, who're you writing to?" Whispered Estevan, Matt's other…friend. The kid, whose parents apparently had shipped him here from Cuba, often mistook him for Alfred, but he was pretty nice. Even if he could be loud. And violent. And annoying.
"Er…dunno," mumbled Matt. "What about you?"
"Mmm… Bonnefoy won't read these, right? I might just write mine to that cute chica from the Seychelles in the front row" responded Estevan, looking dreamy. "A love letter. What's sexier than a love letter in French?"
What… a love letter. Matt was tempted. He suddenly imagined shyly pressing a note into Francis' warm hands, watching his startled face as he read the note, a romantic confession that expressed Matt's feelings in a way no other language could. It would be perfect.
"That's so stupid…" muttered Matt, swatting his vision away.
"No, it's not!" retorted Estevan, thinking Matt was still talking to him. "Just you wait; she'll be dating me before the week's out." And with that he was writing furiously on his notepad.
And Matt stared down at the blank sheet in front of him.
A love letter sounded almost do-able. Matt knew that he'd never be able to confess his feelings to his teacher but with every day that passed, the feelings grew stronger. It wasn't just Francis' physical attractions, either (though those were ridiculously accentuated); Matt had known Francis, at least from afar, for years. He knew, through process of osmosis, that Francis was fun, had a great sense of humor, and a strange morality and loyalty, even if he was the world's hugest flirt. Matt knew that he'd never leave a friend in a pinch, and he wasn't one to lie (though scheming was a different matter altogether). Francis was…wonderful. Matt wished that he himself wasn't such a coward; he had just turned eighteen, why couldn't he express his feelings out loud? Yet, a letter wasn't so much worse. He could write a letter, leave it where Francis could find it; maybe he'd even sign it. Matt could do that. So he began to write.
Francis,Pendant longtemps, je voulais te dire quelque chose, mais je n'avais jamais le courage...
The period passed in a daze. Before Matt knew it, the hour was up and he had a full piece of notebook paper in front of him. It wasn't a long letter at all, a simple confession, telling Francis how he felt about the man, about what he loved and how it was hard for him to be ignored so often. So… it ended I don't expect you to return my feelings, only to know the way that I feel about you. I don't want ambiguity between us. Because I really care about you, Francis. Please tell me if you return the sentiment.
Matt signed the letter. Looked at it, read it over, and promptly shoved it in his notebook. There was NO WAY that he'd ever actually give this to Francis! And with that, he lost all of his courage and started to gather his books into a pile.
"Matt!" yelled Estevan. "Here, here, take it! Read it and tell me what you think! Should I give this to her? That Seychelles girl?" The teen pushed the books out of Matt's arms in an effort to force a letter into his grip. Notebooks and papers fluttered to the floor.
"Oops… sorry Mattie!"
Matt looked down at the mess that his papers were in. Some had even managed to slide all the way across the room. If he thought this day couldn't suck any more…
"I'll clean them up…" said Estevan quickly, bending down and starting to shove random papers into a textbook. Matt realized he'd probably cause more harm than help.
"Non, non," he mumbled. "Don't worry about it. Just go and give that letter to the girl. She's getting away."
Estevan didn't need to be told twice. "You're right! Uh… Sorry, Matt!" he yelled, springing to his feet and running off after the pig-tailed girl.
Matt waved half-heartedly after him, then bent to retrieve his papers, trying to hold back tears. It wasn't as if this was the worst thing that had ever happened to him, but on top of everything else, it made him a little sick to his stomach.
Suddenly a warm, familiar hand brushed his. Matt looked up into a pair of fiery blue eyes.
"Mon cher, let me assist you with these papers," purred Francis, already beginning to gather books into a neat pile. Matt blinked, mind going white and fuzzy. Francis was right next to him, helping him pick up his books. The blonde teen attempted to stutter out a reply, a thank-you, anything.
"Eh, t-thanks Fran- Monsieur B-bonnefoy, you don't need to –"
"Non, " interrupted the young man, smiling in a completely melting way, "it's not a problem. And won't you call me Francis? I am not that old at all, and besides, did we not used to be in school together, when you were a freshman?"
Matt swallowed. "You remember that?"
Francis' smile widened. "But of course, cher. I will always remember you, Matthieu."
Matt's mind went pink and red and his face rushed, hot, and he ducked his head to hide the blistering blush, snatching his now-neat pile of books off the floor and rushing out the door. "S-see you tomorrow, Mon- eh, Francis!"
He needed ice cream and he needed it now.