Whoohoo! Final chapter everyone! I feel like the last two were necessarily unnecessary but its okay! Everything works out! Thanks to everyone who followed this story, reviewed, fav'd, or waited with bated breath! You all are awesome and deserving of many cookies! I hope you all enjoy this next part as well~

Warnings: slash, OOCness

Pairing: Alfred/Matthew

Disclaimer: I don't own.

"Finally." Alfred muttered, letting himself into Matthew's hotel room. The woman at the desk had, somehow, managed to recognize him and refused to hand over another key copy. After pleading and cajoling and bribing (and drawing the attention of the entire lobby on the pair), the woman had rolled her eyes and reluctantly handed over the spare, mumbling, "You don't seem like the dangerous type anyways. Too dumb…"

Alfred, then, had gleefully snatched the key and sprinted off, barely even listening to the insult.

The door creaked softly as Alfred shut it, looking around for Matthew. The room was quiet and the blond crept towards the bedroom of the suite. Opening the door, the blond peeked through and smiled softly when he saw the other man slumbering on top of the bedspread.

Holding his breath, Alfred slipped over and sat on the edge of the bed, watching the other as he slept.

Alfred's hand raised, slow and hesitant, towards the slumbering blond and idly pushed back some curling, silken strands that hid the younger's face. Thin lips barely parted in sleep and nearly translucent lashes rested against pale cheeks.

The thought of Prussia having Matthew… Alfred scowled, possessive and unwavering.

Matthew was his. And that wouldn't change. Alfred wouldn't let it change, not without fighting, tooth and nail and gun and missile and bomb.

Matthew slept on, body rising with each breath.

A face often mistaken for his, but so dissimilarly detailed.

Alfred studied the other, blue eyes tracing every contour, every feature of the other nation, committing it to memory.

He didn't want to forget anything.

Alfred was warm. He could feel it in the tips of his fingers, felt it tingle throughout his body as he watched Matthew. His heart ached, bursting at the seams with the only emotion he could look at Matthew with nowadays.


Alfred swallowed roughly. He knew it. He accepted it. He embraced it.

"I love you, Matthew."

Violet eyes fluttered open, blinked once, before focusing on Alfred. And Alfred felt panic overtake him, briefly. How long had Matthew been awake?

But Alfred could see the flicker of confusion, the indecision between flight and fight, between staying and running.

Alfred felt confidence return, fortifying his resolve.

He refused to let Matthew run away again.

"Mattie." Alfred said, softly, lovingly. He reached for the other's hand, held it tightly while never breaking his gaze with the other blond.

"How did you get in?" Matthew inquired, eyes questioning. "You didn't steal the spare." The last few words were said almost accusingly, the barest hint of blame, but Alfred still felt it.

"I planned to. I wanted to." Alfred laughed weakly, the beginnings of a sheepish smile on his face. "But I didn't think you'd appreciate it…this time."

Matthew frowned, annoyed. Not only at himself for successfully pushing away his brother (and it was strange because any other time he'd congratulate his self) and at his brother for choosing that time to start listening to him.

"I didn't think it would stop you." Matthew admitted squirming in discomfort and looking away from curious blue eyes.

"…Wait, you knew I steal your keys?" Alfred asked, surprise sufficiently distracting him from his goal. "Since when?"

Matthew laughed, low and melodious. "Since you started. You're not very subtle." He laughed again when the sitting blond pouted. "Besides, how else would you break into my room before three am?"

"It's for your own protection." Alfred grumbled, defending himself. "I told you I would always protect you, you know."

"I know." Alfred looked down catching the unreadable look Matthew was giving him. "I never stopped you because I know. And because you're the only one I would trust."

Some might find that strange. Even Matthew found it strange that he wouldn't dream of giving Francis or Arthur the key to his homes or to his rooms, he would give that privilege to a nation with enough weaponry (nuclear and not) to bring the apocalypse down on the world hundreds of times over. He would trust the nation that stared at his lands in desire, even invaded with the intention of keeping the other boy in a gilded birdcage for years.

But Matthew knew Alfred had never wanted to hurt him. He could've, Matthew knew, completely broken him, destroyed him, taken him and kept him.

But he didn't.

Matthew knew Alfred wasn't so innocent that it never crossed his mind.

Japan's scars, Iraq's wounds, Cuba's hatred, Mexico's flashes of disdain and disgust, the ugly burn stretching across his heart all spoke of Alfred's lost innocence.

Despite that, despite Matthew's understandable fear of the superpower next door, the nation of Canada could turn his back on the other man and not expect the cold steel of a dagger.

"I didn't think you'd come." Matthew admitted shyly.

"Of course I would've. I love you, Matt."

And there it was. No more dancing around, no more beating around the bush.

It wasn't the most romantic way, but the message was utterly undeniable.

Matthew's eyes widened and Alfred could hear the other inhale sharply.

Alfred's grip on the other tightened, keeping the slender nation in place in case he tried to flee.

But when violet eyes began to fill with tears, he couldn't help but feel he'd messed up terribly.

"Why?" Matthew whispered, closing his eyes. He just couldn't understand. Why him?

Alfred, feeling panic rise in his throat, grabbed the other by the shoulders and pulled him up and close. Wrapping his arms around bony shoulders, Alfred held the other so close he could hear their hearts pound in synchronization and he couldn't help but find comfort in the simultaneous rhythm.

"Why not?" Alfred mumbled, lips pressed against golden locks. "Why not?"

Matthew couldn't see it, couldn't understand it and it frustrated Alfred.

What answer could he give that Matthew would believe?

"Because when we were younger you pushed me into that snowdrift after I teased you for looking like a girl and it was from then on I knew you weren't a wimp. Because you were the only to look me in the eye and never flinch even when Arthur refused to speak to me." A tanned hand ran comfortingly down Matthew's back, roving over the curve of his spine. "Because you pretend to be too weak to open the pickle jar whenever I visit."

Matthew remained silent (though he was amazed at Alfred's memory) and Alfred wondered if he had said something incredibly stupid.

"I just love you Matthew." Alfred said softly. "If you just give me the chance…" He trailed off.

Matthew pulled away slightly and studied Alfred's face with unreadable violet eyes.

Matthew wouldn't lie, though he'd never say it out loud, but he was nervous. He was afraid. He wasn't sure. Could he be in love?

But Alfred's eyes held no shadows, no secrets. There was only honesty and adoration.

And he remembered that Alfred had never wavered, even after Matthew fearfully pushed him away. Alfred had persevered even when Matthew knew that he would've given up.

And he remembered how much it upset him to think that Alfred would give up on him and how inexplicably relieved he felt to see those wide blue eyes above him.

Then his face softened and he asked, curiously, "How do you remember all those times?"

Alfred grinned, embarrassed, "I just do."

Matthew's lips curved upwards slightly. He felt warm, flattered, and had the sudden urge to tease this new, sentimental version of Alfred but he resisted it.

Maybe he wasn't ready. Maybe they would both end up in tears one day. Maybe they were both still too young.

But maybe he should still take a chance because maybe it would all be okay.

"Just give me a chance, Mattie."

Matthew leaned forward and kissed a surprised Alfred directly on the lips. "I always do, Alfred."

Maybe it would all be worth it.

Oh, it will be Matt. It will be. -mad cackle- So, it is complete darling readers. I went back and read this and decided to type out the ending. I just thought this was a good place to end. I suppose if people want an epilogue or omake (or have an idea for one...) I could eventually write one. But, that is another time! I hope everyone enjoyed this story. I enjoyed writing it. I apologize if people found it not satisfying, but I really wasn't sure what other route to go (...no sex, thats another story...).

Anyways, drop a line and let me know how you all feel! Now to go see what other story to work on... -scampers away-