Warnings: AU, slash, previous warnings apply
Pairing: Alfred/Matthew, hinted past relationships
Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia nor do I deserve to.
Everything seemed to be frozen.
Alfred dared to not even breathe. After laying his heart and feelings and pride and quite possibly everything he held dear on the line, all he can do is watch Matthew, breath bated and eyes wary.
The other blond's only reaction to his confession had been a soft intake of breath as his eyes widening, darkening to a shade of periwinkle, as he processed Alfred's words.
Alfred can only take so much quiet before it becomes suffocating, each passing moment a sharper prick of rejection. Averting his eyes and turning away, he exhales shakily, eyes stinging behind steel-rimmed glasses. His chest hurts.
"Everything Arthur says is true." Alfred said suddenly, false cheer coloring his words even as he hides his face.
"I've just gone and ruined everything." His tone is turning self-deprecating and he hates it because he's always been confident and self-assured and damn Matthew for his hesitance.
"You don't feel the same, I get it—"
"You haven't even let me—"
"—I just couldn't wait anymore—"
"—just shut up—"
"—Years and you've never noticed—"
"—let me just expl—"
"—you've never even looked at me have you?"
"Alfred you deaf idiot shut up!" Matthew snapped finally, an exasperated frown overtaking his features.
Alfred automatically closes his mouth and looks back at Matthew with something akin to apology in his eyes.
"Look, you just caught me off guard." Matthew mumbles, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. "Its not like I wake up hung over every day and plan to hear a love confession. Especially not from my best friend who swore on Sports Ilustrated that he 'likes the boobs'." At this Matthew levels a look at him—you know, that looks that just makes the receiver feel stupid and ashamed about every single itty-bitty naughty thing they've ever done since they were three years old. Yeah, if that look were an Olympic event, Matthew would win gold every goddamn time.
Alfred can't help but blush when he remembers that time. It had been after the first time he had woken up, mid-hump into his mattress with sticky boxers, after a very explicit dream involving a ketchup-covered Matthew and an enormous Big Mac (no onions) and he had still been in the whole denial stage of I'm-in-love-with-my-BFFF (Best Fuckin' Friend Forever) and wanted to reassert his heterosexuality. Of course, after the third wet dream (in which Matthew hand-fed him Chicken McNuggets while wearing a cowboy hat and bouncing on his dick), he realized that maybe he also liked the cock (as long as it was Matthew's).
(And that maybe he should lay off the McDonalds.)
But we digress.
"You're not just saying this because you're jealous I might not spend as much time with you if I start dating again?" Matthew asks, gently, reaching out to touch Alfred's shoulder. He has to know this now, because Alfred, as he has always known, tends towards jealousy and possessiveness.
Alfred never said it outright, but Matthew knew Alfred didn't like to share. He doesn't want to think that the other man would lie like this just to monopolize his time, but he is not so naïve that he would believe the other is too innocent for such thoughts.
And Matthew smiles, relieved, when Alfred jerks away insulted and, in an incredulous and pissed voice says, "Hell no."
"Then how long?" Matthew, voice soft, coaxes Alfred into sitting on the couch and sits next to him.
"Since Mai and I broke up, I think." Alfred laughs lightly, a somewhat boyishly embarrassed blush on his face. "She seemed to realize it before me."
Matthew looks surprised and then, voice betraying a hint of hurt, asks, "Why didn't you say anything?" He adds, upset. "How could I have known if you didn't say anything?" He'd learn to ignore a lot of physical gestures for the sake of his sanity (it was a survival mechanism he developed for all the times he had to share a bed with Francis during vacation). Unfortunately, as shrewd as he could be, subtle amorous gestures tended to go way above his head.
"I…" Alfred pauses, looking into Matthew's eyes. "…I was afraid that you didn't feel the same and that I would end up ruining everything and that we wouldn't be friends and I thought it would be okay as long as I could keep you close but I can't do this anymore because you want to find this guy and Lars is here and you've always liked Lars and how can I compete when you're so great and you adore him and—"
He's cut off by Matthew's palm pressing firmly against his mouth and Matthew looks like he's torn between laughing and sighing at Alfred's rambles.
"Lets say this now, because you've gotten mine and Lars relationship wrong." Matthew said firmly, keeping his hand on Alfred's mouth. "He taught me how to ice skate when Francis ditched me at the ice rink to go flirt with some girls and stayed with me the entire time. He had just lost his job at the time and was about to be evicted and I asked my father to help him out."
He removed his hand and Alfred, rather dumbly, said, "Oh."
"Yeah, 'oh'." Matthew rolled his eyes. "And, I'll admit, I did have a bit of a crush on him for the longest time—which is why Francis wasn't happy—but I only think of him now as an older brother." Matthew smiled and Alfred couldn't help but return the gesture, feeling a large weight disappear from his gut.
"And…" suddenly Matthew looks rather unsure and pink and Alfred really, really wants to just kiss the other man right now. "…its not just Lars that I adore." He glances up at Alfred with a hesitant smile and Alfred just blinks.
When Matthew continues, Alfred feels a sort of giddiness rise up in his chest at each word.
"And you haven't ruined anything. Boyfriend isn't so far away from friend." He laughs awkwardly. "And all our friends joke that we passed bromance kilometers ago."
Alfred chuckles and, looking at Matthew for permission, takes his hand and entwines their fingers. When Matthew grins at him brilliantly, Alfred wants to kiss the other man senseless.
And he does, leaping forward and enthusiastically pressing his lips against Matthew's, tangling his hands in the other's curling hair and pushing the other man back down on the couch, their glasses clanking against each other.
Matthew bites back a pained groan as his lower back throbs sharply, but returns the kiss, lips moving tentatively against Alfred's.
When Alfred pulls back, he's wearing his megawatt smile. "You don't know how long I've wanted to do that." His voice is guileless and there's a quiet affection in his eyes that warms Matthew all over and makes his breath catch.
Alfred was, without a doubt, an obnoxious asshole that was sometimes incapable of minding his own business and acted like a fool and got him in trouble a lot. But, as Matthew learned, he was incredibly ambitious and genuinely good-hearted with a desire to make things better. And it was that side that endeared the American to Matthew. He was like a warm presence, familiar and strong, and a true friend. There was probably no one who could come close to Alfred.
He wouldn't lie and say that he became bitterly jealous when Alfred dated someone or that he could claim to return his friend's feelings even now. But he would readily admit that he often thought about how easy it would be to become something more because he cared about Alfred, willingly put him before others. Matthew was fond of the other's smile, his charm, and even the obnoxious asshole his friend could be.
And, as much as he's still curious about last night and wants to know who it was so earnestly in love with him, he knows he can't chase after some faceless man when Alfred is here, wanting him and tired from chasing him.
Because Alfred is the one he trusts the most in the world and it's a slow, warm realization that he'll try because its Alfred and the hopeful smile and bright eyes that remind him of the heart-stopping honesty from the previous night (except better because he knows this person) and he thinks it'll be okay.
And he says as much.
"Because its you, I'll try." He cups Alfred's face with one hand and pulls the other closer in a one-armed hug. "I trust you."
And Alfred seems to freeze as he looks away and Matthew catches a glimpse of something akin to shame in the other's blue eyes.
Alfred doesn't respond immediately but when he looks back at the man lying beneath him, the strangeness is gone. "I'm glad that you do." He smiles. "Because I'd bring you the moon if you wanted. I love you, Mattie."
"Maybe I want the sun?" Matthew teased.
"Anything." Alfred said brightly.
Matthew blushes and laughs and Alfred revels in the sound.
But he can't ignore the little voice in his head that is telling him to come clean because Matthew trusts him and the only reason Matthew is doing this is because its him and he trusts Alfred.
But, and it sickens him to admit this, he can't.
He's waited for years for this moment, for the moment where he could finally shove away his cowardice and confess.
But it's replaced by a new cowardice and a new confession.
He tries to justify it. Matthew seems to be ignoring last night in favor of Alfred. And, it's not so bad because it was Alfred last night and would it really make a difference if he said anything? It's not like anything bad happened.
And, maybe Arthur thought it was the best thing to do but since when has that stuffy guy always been right?
And he won't keep it a secret forever. He'll tell Matt one day. Someday. Eventually. But definitely. For sure. Soon.
Don't kill me please.
Let me explain myself. A lot of this story didn't go as I planned, to be honest. In the beginning, I intended Matthew to go on a man-hunt for the guy and that it would be hilarious. But as I started writing it, I started to focus more on Alfred and Matt's relationship up to that point and more background things. Like, the sex was only two chapters ago and I just couldn't work in a wacky, misadventure revolving around finding the guy. I also intended on having Alfred confess everything because I know its the right thing (as many of you seem to agree).
But I thought about it and I couldn't do it or make it work.
You see, I don't think I'd do it because I'd be too ashamed of myself and too afraid to lose my friend. Yes, I know that if the truth ever comes out that all hell will break lose. No joke, for real.
Sometimes though, we all know the right thing but we don't do it, for whatever reason. And I can't blame a person when they have a good reason for doing something wrong. Ends justify the means or whatever.
So, this is a bittersweet ending. Matthew does care deeply about Alfred and is going to give this a shot. Alfred gets his guy but nothing has changed for him (still has a secret he's hiding from Matt).
I'm sorry to everyone waiting for a beautiful, happy ending. I wish I could've done that. I wanted to do that, because this story was never meant to have that much angst. Everyone was so wonderful, following this story, reviewing. The least I could've done was do that. But I don't have the writing chops needed.
But, I'm leaving this open to a sequel, if anyone would care to read it or want it. And, if the reception is awful, I will try again to create a happier, better ending and repost because, as much as I write for myself, I post to entertain as well. And since I'm not fully satisfied, I wouldn't mind trying again.
-takes a deep breath and grabs tissues- I think I'm ready.