Chapter Four – Fucking Eh
Author: Queen Celestia
Warnings: Plot. Like a massive amount of plot. Wash your hands, grab a snack, maybe grab a pet of your liking to cuddle amount of plot. No porn this chapter sorry.
AN: Lars = Netherlands.
"And that concludes the presentation!" Matthew finished, turning the power point off. Looking around the room, he found himself arrested by Sweden's concerned gaze, he gave a small nervous smile, before sliding his gaze over to a bored looking Denmark. "So uh… Thanks for coming."
The lights switched on, and everyone began to get ready to leave, the chairs scraping across the floor not hiding the murmuring of voices.
Matthew cast a nervous glance over to Alfred, wondering if he could go invisible now and escape his brothers attentions. Maybe he had forgotten? Alfred did have that habit of stating things like showing up 'For that musical you've been raving about Mattie!' only to forget, and leave an angry Canadian standing outside alone. It had happened so much, that Matthew had taken to inviting someone as back up, usually Prussia since he had the most spare time out of his friends.
Alfred was busy discussing something with Sweden, looking vaguely confused as to who exactly he was talking to.
Gathering up his papers, Matthew made his way to the door, nodding and smiling to some of the nations that noticed him, and awkwardly avoiding Russia's gaze. The man had been staring at him the entire meeting, with a rather disconcerting look on his face.
After that embarrassing debacle in the bathroom, Matthew had managed to pull himself together, and kindly rejected Ivans proposal to 'become one' so to say. He wasn't too sure if the Russian had accepted the rejection, and he wasn't up to confronting anyone today, he was tired and just wanted to spend the next three days sleeping cuddled up to Kumajirou.
Slipping out, Matthew let go of the breath he had been holding.
Good, now all he had to do was vanish somewhere, his duties were over.
"Geez, I thought the meeting would last forever," whined a familiar voice, one that caused Matthew to smile.
"Gilbert!" he turned to the man who had detached from the wall, "What are you doing here?"
The man stretched out, giving Matthew the impression of a pretzel untangling itself from it's own limbs, before he casually slung an arm around Matthews shoulders.
"Well, that beer tour got cut short, since my dear brother apparently can't hold his alcohol, and I had to drag him all the way back home, causing some injury to my awesome arms."
Matthew rolled his eyes, knowing that if you changed the roles of the two people in the story you would probably get a lot closer to the truth.
"And then, when he was deposited, I found myself in the house more bored than one of Austria's wives on the honeymoon, and decided that you probably missed me a hella lot so I decided to visit!"
"You sure it had nothing to do with my pancakes?" came the reply.
The Prussian pulled a face, "Well, maaaaaybe."
Gilbert stiffened, before suddenly pulling Matthew into a different hall, and dragging him into a nearby closet.
Eyes wide with confusion, Matthew tried to ask the question silently, only to be met by Gilbert placing a finger against his lips.
Footsteps could be heard, turning down the hall after them as if intentionally following. However they passed by, and they let out a breath.
Matthew realized that Gilbert was holding him rather close, a little awkward. When he attempted to break free, Gilbert's hold got firmer.
"Eh?" he looked over to the man, trying to make out his expression from the light cutting through the darkness from the cracks of the door, that sort of faded into a murky grey turning things to not be clear.
"What's wrong Matty? You were miles away during the meeting."
"You were at the meeting?"
Gilbert snorted, "I was spying obviously."
"Oh." Matthew was glad that the closet was dark, and he wondered if Gilbert had purposely allowed it to be this way. "Well. Uh."
He wasn't sure where to start. So he said the main thing, "Alfred's been wanting his take again."
The hold got tense, "You still letting him?"
Leaning his forehead against Gilberts chest, Matthew sighed, "What else am I supposed to do? My country doesn't have the money to throw around on law suits at the moment and Alfred gets all huffy on my not 'sharing' what's 'his'."
"Maybe if you didn't have such pansy asses in government, this entire situation could have been avoided," Gilbert hissed.
"Oh shut up Gil." Matthew grouched, as he pulled out of the hold, allowing some of his real strength to show. "You know sometimes there are situations that no matter how you try you can't change."
"Well at least I'm not so defeatist about it!" Gilbert replied angrily.
Matthew sighed. He had very few close friends who knew what was actually going on in his life, and he sometimes wondered why out of the entire world, the ex nation of Prussia had become one of them.
"Well you don't have to worry about those types of problems anymore!" Matthew bitingly replied, immediately regretting the words the moment they slipped out of his mouth.
The air in the cupboard was tense, and Matthew opened his mouth to apologize, only to be cut off by the hiss, "Don't you dare apologize when I can't even be sure you actually mean it."
"Gilbert…" Matthew sighed. Sometimes it was hard having a friend that knew you better than yourself. On some level he wasn't sorry he had brought up Gilbert's freedom. At least when he had told Lars, there had been some sort of sympathy (which then ended with them sprawled out in the empty swimming pool in 24 Sussex Drive with empty buckets of ice cream splayed out around them, and being rudely woken up by a screaming cleaning lady unexpectedly walking in on them… probably didn't help that they were both naked, dishevelled, and probably had ended up having sex that neither of them remembered.)
"Well, I don't care if I can't 'relate' to you," Matthew could quite literally see the shadowy hands making the quotation signs, "I can remember! I'm not senile ya know!"
Whatever Matthew had to say in response was ended the moment the closet door was flung open, revealing a large shadow. There stood Ivan, looking absolutely delighted at who he had found in the closet, and Matthew felt a little frission of fear at the friendly childish smile on the mans face.
Gilbert was tense, probably thinking of something loudmouth to say, when Ivan beat him.
"Matvey! Gilbert! I thought I heard you. Is there a party happening that I don't know about?" here, Ivan cutely tilted his head to the side, his lips forming a little pout as if he actually believed the words that had just come out of his mouth.
"If there was a party, there would be no way in hell you would ever be invited," Gilbert managed to cuttingly reply, before sending a rather smug grin over to Matthew as if his words were perfectly acceptable.
Matthew sensed, more than saw, the words perfectly hit their mark, and he felt his irritation with Gilbert rise.
Why was everyone always so mean to Russia anyway? Sure he might be a little strange (Here, he could hear Gilbert's voice as if psychically cutting in with 'a lot strange' ), and he might have a very bloody past, but out of all the European and Asian countries, who didn't?
Sometimes, when watching the other countries fight during a meeting, Matthew felt as if Ivan was excluded from even that, whenever Ivan managed to speak the other countries seemed to ignore him or shut up, not allowing him to weigh in on their (mostly petty ) arguments.
And now, after a relatively crappy day, where the only person who hadn't pissed him off was getting put down, Matthew could feel his patience with Gilbert disappear. Yes Gilbert was a good friend, but friggin' beaver tails, he was a real ass hole a lot of the time!
Plus, Matthew could still remember the warmth of Ivan, the comforting presence, before the offer of Ivan taking 'care of' him had sort of ruined the moment. (Here Matthew had the vague unease that it had actually been his pride, but he shut that up right away.)
Plus, Matthew knew that if he accepted Ivan's offer, that he would be hit with a barrage of questions that he did not want to answer.
Questions such as why he had lied about not sleeping with his brother. Why he even had given in, when he so clearly didn't want to.
So instead, he had shoved Ivan aside and quickly finished getting dressed, eyes carefully avoiding, before rushing down to the meeting room.
Avoiding those piercing violet eyes all meeting had been awkward and made him stressed. He was sure his presentation had failed, had sucked or that he had forgotten something important.
Although he figured that this was one of those days when he would hit the 'all three jackpot'.
Usually, when Alfred had claimed him for a day, Matthews attention was focused on the vivacious blond. Today had been different. When Matthew had been escaping the meeting it wasn't because he was particularly frightened of his brother finding him (the whole thing had become somewhat routine to be honest, and he was usually better at stuffing the feelings of worthlessness down) it was the whole not wanting to face Ivan.
And now, Ivan was standing there, unavoidably in the way, looking at Gilbert with an expression that Matthew pinned as 'sad'.
"Gilbert, you're such an asshole," Matthew found himself saying, surprised as much as the other two were that such words were coming out of his mouth. "Think before you insult people eh."
Gilberts mouth hung open in some surprise, before stuffing his foot even farther into his mouth saying, "But it's Russia, no one likes Russia."
"I do!" Matthew blurted out, the entire day finally bursting forth, "Just because he's big and a little weird doesn't mean people don't like him!"
As if to prove his point, Matthew took the step forward, and grasped Ivan's limply hanging arm.
"Come on Ivan," came the command, "We're obviously not wanted here."
Ivan stared at Matthew as if wondering when his intrusion had amalgamated him and Matthew into the 'we' party, but decided to go along with it. To be honest, he was a little happy that someone had decided to break the mould, that someone who was not related to him was bothered to even mention the word 'like' at all.
"Wait wait wait!" Gilbert sounded positively panicked at the idea of Matthew going off alone with Ivan, "Where are you going?"
Matthew cast a rather forbidding look to the silver haired man, "Where the polite people are? Or perhaps we'll go back to my room and fuck."
Red eyes narrowed, "Matty, don't you dare take out your French temper tantrum out with Ivan-"
"Temper tantrum? Temper tantrum!" Matthews voice got quieter, before his lips curled up into a smirk, "But why not Gilbert? I've already tried out the goods."
Gilbert looked as if he had been smacked in the face at those words, his lips curling up into a snarl, "You're doing that again as well!"
Matthew smirked, "What? I thought you liked our re-enactment with you as the table."
"I THOUGHT THAT WAS SOME WEIRD FANTASY!" Gilbert shouted.
Matthew fought hard not to face palm, opening his mouth to reply, when another voice joined in the fray.
"Whats this I hear? Weird fantasies? Were there aliens?"
The three turned to look at an over excited Alfred who seemed to exude friendliness, the only thing off putting were the cold blue eyes sending daggers to where Matthew was gripping Ivan's arm.
"Nyet," Ivan was the first to recover from the intrusion, and as if to further anger Alfred, he placed his hand over where Matthew was gripping him, in a rather proprietary manner.
Alfred started forward, as if to rip Ivan away from Matthew, when Gilbert did something rather unexpected.
He punched Alfred in the face.
A stupid move, very chivalrous, but it almost seemed as if the Cold War had come back into play, when he was a lackey of Russia, a strange look passing between the two nations, before Matthew was quickly whisked away from the area by the large Russian, Alfred's loud complaining voice echoing down the hall, not yet noticing that his target had escaped.
When they were a safe distance outside of the building, and stopped inside of a shopping centre, Matthew looked at Ivan, "What was that eh?"
Ivan shrugged, "Mutual hate for one person, is stronger than a dislike?"
"Oh… well thanks for saving me." Matthew replied, as he let go of Ivan, feeling ashamed for before, he also added, "And thanks for before uhm… but you don't really need to concern yourself for me."
However, Ivan was looking around at the mall curiously, "Show me around?"
"Eh?" the question took Matthew by surprise, as he looked around as well. Nothing special, just a mall.
Realizing that it seemed strange, Ivan said, "Usually, I don't have time to explore other countries – usually kept to a tight schedule."
"Oh.." Matthew smirked, as he said, "Why? Afraid you'll run away from home?"
"Yes," came the reply.
Matthew couldn't see the expression, as Ivan had begun to move on ahead, like a tanker in a sea of ice.
The mall wasn't that crowded, Matthew had visited other parts of the world, the mass amount of people overwhelmed him, so to return home to his colder climes, and to be able to walk around a mall with maybe one hundred customers was a treat.
Room to stretch out in, time to dawdle outside a window for an hour thinking of other things, or perhaps giving a pleasant smile to the bored looking sales person who was probably thinking of creative ways to kill themself.
Things you couldn't really do in other places – especially the dawdling outside a window for an hour, in the States that was bound to bring out a shotgun or two. There had been an unpleasant experience, that Matthew preferred to forget, that involved him getting yelled at by a brandishing American, with him running away as fast as possible, only later to meet up with the man again at the bank holding the place up. Bad days, bad days, whenever Alfred invited him with the invitation of 'excitement', he should remind himself of that bank robbery where he got shot in the ass for protecting an old granny, egged on by Alfred's heroism.
Even though that wound had healed, sometimes, on days where he swore his brother was being most annoying, a small twinge would occur in reminder.
The Russian was making way for an escalator, Matthew following behind like a small puppy, feeling as if he was getting the tour instead.
Walking through the place, Ivan was continuously looking around, before pausing outside a pet store, taking in the scene. Looking over to Matthew who was straggling behind, he said, "Where you live, it's very calm."
Giving a guarded reply, Matthew said, "Anything wrong with that?"
That was another complaint of Alfreds – how 'boring' Canada was. How nothing big ever seemed to happen, and if there was change it happened so slowly no one noticed it.
Seeming genuinely surprised at the defensiveness of the other, Ivan replied, "It's nice, I like it."
"Oh." Still, Matthew regarded the other with some suspicion. People didn't usually like the malls – if they were to like his country, it was usually the scenery, or the fact that you could still hunt big game. The German brothers liked to visit and make a vacation of hunting down the big game, Ludwig probably a little too excited while carving the freshly dead animal up for dinner.
Entering the pet store, Matthew observed as Ivan seemed instantly drawn to the cage holding the small mewling kittens, his face softening as he knelt down, and stuck his gloved fingers through the bars.
A small kitten, curiously walked over, it's golden eyes wide as it began to playfully bat at the large fingers.
"Looks like you have more than one use for those fingers," Matthew found himself casually blurting, before going bright red.
The Russian slowly looked at him, his soft expression changed into something more surprised, as he replied, "They're good for holding vodka as well."
"Ah sorry.. I didn't mean to say that." Came the mumble, as Matthew squatted down beside the other, peering into the cage. "Do you own any pets?"
"No… too busy." Came the vague reply, as he turned the attention back to the kitten playfully nipping at him.
"Hm. Ludwig has some pets – he's busy too. I'm sure if you wanted…" Matthew trailed off, before finishing lamely with, "But I guess he gets people in when he's away."
"Where's your bear?"
"Kumathingy?" Matthew replied vaguely, "He's off somewhere… when we're home I don't worry too much about him. Probably trekking about near Inuvik."
"If he's good by himself, why do you take him to world meetings?" Ivan replied with childish curiosity.
Smiling slightly, Matthew said, "He insists on coming. Has some vague idea that I can't protect myself outside my own borders."
"And can you?"
Looking over to Ivan, to attempt to judge where he was going with this, Matthew replied lightly, with a wink, "There's a reason why Ludwig's very polite to me, and why Lars sends me tulips each year."
"Ah." Ivan had heard some rumours, but unlike the American, he hadn't been inundated with Canadian War Hero stories, so… had sort of forgotten that the other had even been in that war. "Why are you not like your brother? As loud?"
Violet eyes slipped away from Ivan's face, looking back towards the kitten, "I'm sure if you took your glove off, the kitten's fur would be soft."
"Would you like to hold them?" A cheery voice said from behind.
Startled slightly, the two looked up to an enthusiastic worker, her smile friendly.
"Sure." Matthew replied, standing up properly.
Ivan was a little slower, but he withdrew his hand, as the girl opened up the cage, and picked up the kitten that had been playing with him. Handing it to him, she let out a soft smile as the animal automatically snuggled up to him purring loudly.
"It's nice to see how he likes you." The lady commented, before turning to Matthew. "Which one would you like to hold?"
"Uh- that one."
Ivan watched with some interest as Matthew picked out a kitten he hadn't even noticed. It was sitting miserably in the far corner of the cage, half hidden by a blanket. Looking at the animal, it was very clear that the animal was the runt of the litter.
The lady seemed surprised, as if she hadn't noticed the animal before either. Picking it up, the animal's depression was clear as she handed it to Matthew, who gently held it.
The kitten seemed unsure at first, but when Matthew began to pet it, it settled, it's blue eyes shutting happily as it began to purr.
"Do you have any pets? Other then the bear?" Ivan asked.
"No. I haven't really thought about it," came the reply, "Although this kitten sure is tempting."
Matthew held the kitten up above him, the small paws flailing out towards his face, the kitten letting out a small mew.
"Would you like to be adopted?" he cooed eyes sparkling happily.
Ivan was entranced, the boys genuinely happy face something he hadn't ever seen before, how relaxed the other seemed, how brilliantly he seemed to shine. Why did no one else seem to notice him?
In a way, he wished Matthew meant him – he would happily be adopted by the other nation if it meant getting his chin scratched like that, Ivan thought, his attention getting torn away by the small kitten wriggling in his grasp, clearly wanting to play.
"Eh?" Matthew looked over to him, "Did you just say something?"
Ivan flushed, as he realized he might have actually said 'yes' out loud. Smiling, he replied, "This kitten is very energetic."
"It is," Matthew replied, lowering his small bundle, "I never thought you to be interested in such cute animals, you always came off as the 'I hate the world, because the world hates me' type."
"I am not that self pitying," Ivan replied not entirely sure on whether to feel affronted or pleased that the other spoke such words to his face.
"Good to know," Matthew replied, as he handed the reluctant kitten back to the worker, "What do you want me to show you?"
"Whatever you think is interesting," Ivan replied amiably, as his kitten got taken away, "I am not too picky."
To be honest, Ivan was attempting to figure the other out – what at first had seemed like an easy to define picture had transformed into something more like a Chinese puzzle box.
One false move, and he would have to go back to the beginning.
"Ok." Matthew looked around, as if trying to make his country more appealing, before shrugging and blithely asking, "Want to look at lizards?"
They ended up visiting various stores, the conversation a little awkward between them, Matthew clearly not knowing what to say, Ivan not bothering to contribute.
When the food court presented itself, Matthew arbitrarily decided that they would eat, automatically going to one of the fast food places and ordering for both.
Poking curiously at the fast food poutine, Ivan took a bite, his eyes widening in surprise, "It's good."
"Not exactly the best, but it works," Matthew demurred, as he dug in.
"So what did you mean about reinacting our sex?" Ivan asked, the question had been burning inside him the entire time, and to see Matthew choke on his food was satisfying in a way.
Wiping his mouth, Matthew replied vaguely, "What exactly do you mean?"
In a surprisingly close imitation, Ivan said "What? I thought you liked our re-enactment with you as the table. – What exactly did you mean by that?"
Matthew's face was a very good imitation of a tomato, as he looked down, dolefully poking at his poutine. "Oh that."
"Yes that," Ivan leant in closer his face serious, "I do not like to be humiliated in that way Matvey."
Matthew blanched, automatically shoving his chair backwards in a small attempt to escape.
"Don't you play games with me," Ivan hissed, "It doesn't matter where you run, I will find you."
Swallowing some of his fear, Matthew replied, "And do what to me?"
In response, Ivan smiled.
Warring emotions battled across Matthew's face, before he warily shifted closer, "Fuck, I'm screwed anyway."
Laying his hands flat out on the table, palm down, Matthew took a deep breath, and replied, "I didn't actually say I fucked you – it was more of a fantasy I brought up. You know, role play."
"And you wanted to reinact it because?"
Here Matthew sighed, "Mr. Russia, you can't live in some naïve little bubble where other people don't think about you, or perhaps make fun of you."
"I'd like to," came the dark comment, "Sweden better watch out."
Ivan smiled, "Oh, just something he did."
Shaking his head, Matthew replied, "Would it be better if I said I played your part in the entire situation?"
Ivan hadn't expected that, before asking, "So if Gilbert was the table, who played you?"
Here Matthew paused, as if having an inner battle, and took a few more bites of his poutine, his gaze wandering around the food court.
"For my favourite poutine, that would be a hard choice. There are so many different varieties, it would be like comparing apples and oranges. There are some snobs who say Drummondville's poutine is the only way to go by, but there is also the contending factors of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu or Victoriaville who claim to have invented it. To be honest, to focus on the place of invention, and say that is the best poutine ever is a little silly. Plus, with the variations, there are so many different types. Chicken, pasta – it's just all tossed in like some mess. It's hard to choose, although I will concede that I much prefer cheese curds in my poutine than grated cheese. Grated cheese just doesn't cut it."
"Don't fuck with me boy," Ivan hissed, his hand shooting out, and grabbing Matthew's wrist. "Answer my questions."
Cold eyes met his, it was as if Ivan had flicked a switch, as there came the very quiet whisper of, "I don't see who I fuck is any of your concern. I don't want to talk to you anymore, you're not nice."
And then, before Ivan's very eyes, he watched as the other nation became… fuzzy.
It was strange, to see the other nation pull out of his grasp and stand up, before magically melting into the crowd, his features seeming to blur to look like all those around him.
If Ivan hadn't been staring at him the entire time in shock, he knew he would have been puzzled as to why exactly he was sitting in the food court with two containers of poutine in front of him.
Yes, he was angry at the other's slipping away, but he was intrigued – the whole disappearing act seeming to trigger a whole hoard of memories where the other had used exactly those methods to escape various other unpleasant altercations. The thought that no, it wasn't really cowardice that made the other nation do that – it was when the other nations weren't being polite. When the other nations didn't bother to listen, or just happened to cross a line that the other did not want to deal with.
Ivan felt as if he had gained a whole insight into how the other dealt with situations – this was how Matthew pouted, sulked what have you. The polar opposite of his brother, with the unfortunate side effect that no one realized that he was pissed off!
He knew he had to act quickly, as he stood up, his senses trained on the others presence.
It was faint, but still there, unmistakably Matthew.
He ignored the people around him apologizing, as he aggressively pushed through, oddly graceful in his speed, the years of figure skating and ballet shining through.
Grabbing the other, he hissed, "I do not like you running away."
When the other went limp, Ivan nearly loosened his grip, he had been expecting a struggle, a defiant spitting in his face.
Instead there came a resigned sigh.
"Could we at least not talk about it here?"
"Where would you propose? I do not think returning to the hotel would be advisable."
"Uhmm, hold on," Matthew replied distractedly, as he took out his phone, "I gotta phone Alfred."
In response, Matthew held out his phone, displaying all the missed calls, "Before he aims the nukes at you, I should let him know I'm ok."
"You mean he's stopped aiming them at me?" came the surprised question.
"Eeeeeh," Matthew replied, as he held the phone to his ear, "Hello?"
Ivan could hear a loud burst of noise from the other end, and watched as the Canadian flushed, "I'm fine! Ah? Prussia got away? No you can't bomb a country that doesn't exist - I'm fine Alfred. But I can't make it tonight, the PM needs me and.. uh.. ah uh.. yeah. No really, I'm sorry Alfred, uhmmm make it up sometime later? Ah Mr. Russia? Mr. Russia isn't here, no, uhm, don't worry about Mr. Russia. No Alfred, don't worry, I'm not getting blackmailed or anything by him. Yeah uh… oh I gotta go, work."
Matthew closed his phone, before turning to the other nation looking at him curiously.
"So instead of fully dealing with a situation you turn invisible and ignore it."
It was a statement. A curious statement, but not a question. Matthew felt himself flush. It felt like an accusation.
"Or lie your way out of it. I wouldn't have thought you to be such an accomplished liar." Ivan's tone was curious, with surprise, "I mean, your reputation…"
"Ah, uhm." Matthew's face reddened, before he quickly replied, "I'll take you to where we can talk."
Ivan was feeling more sceptical by the moment. Come to think of it, the more he got to know the other nation, the more he got that lost sensation that he didn't know anything at all. It was as if discovering for the first time that your sister had a sex drive, and that it was unfortunately entirely directed towards you…
"Uh- this'll be better if we just shift there," Matthew stated, "Can I hold your hand? It'll be a lot easier."
Bemused by the polite asking of permission, Ivan nodded, with the ironic thought that hand holding was the least of his worries concerning this fellow nation.
The scenery distorted like a blotchy oil painting, before suddenly lurching back into crisp precision.
First thing that Ivan noticed was the lack of buildings. Matthew had apparently shifted them out of the city entirely. There wasn't that awkward snow sludge surrounding them either, just very dry brown grass that had an air of abandonment about it.
"Are you sure it's a wise idea to take me into the middle of nowhere?"
"To be honest I don't think anywhere alone with you is a smart idea," came the dry reply.
Giving a small nod, Ivan looked around, taking a deep breath of fresh air, "Where are we?"
"Anywhere, Canada," Matthew replied, "I don't really care where we are, but I wanted some place where we couldn't be found."
"It's warmer." Ivan seemed surprised, still attempting to figure out where they had been transported to.
"You know how it is with our size..." Matthew replied with some bemusement, "One part of the country is experiencing a massive cold snap, while the other part is having a heat wave. Where at night you sleep with the blanket half on because you're freezing, but you stick one leg out because it's sweating due to excess heat."
"Yeah!" Ivan found himself agreeing, feeling a moment of excitement to be able to talk to someone about this type of situation. The others usually didn't talk to him about simple things like this. Conversations were perfunctory, nothing stupidly intimate about how drastic weather changes could affect sleeping patterns were ever brought up around him.
He knew the countries did talk about it, he had overheard a few conversations, especially when England was still the massive British Empire, having trouble regulating his body temperature. He had once heard a rumour that the only real reason England had acquired Canada was to help tone down the heat of some of his more southern colonies. It was odd to think how often he forgot how big Canada was. There were only a few places he heard about often, about five cities in total if he were paying any real attention to the news.
Closing his eyes he remembered gazing at a map of Canada once, his mind attempting to form around strangely shaped words like Saskatoon, Arviat, Kokokoho Lake and Provost.
Words he had quickly forgotten, like he had the rest of the country until now.
"Mr. Russia are you alright?" the others voice seemed to have gotten more nervous, as well as the different form of address, causing the other country to open his eyes and eye the smaller nation.
"I am fine, why do you ask?" he pleasantly replied with a smile.
"You didn't open your eyes – uh well. I guess you're fine." Matthew replied, deciding to drop the subject, "Let's go over here."
He turned towards some trees, not bothering to see if the other followed. Past the trees, they managed to come out upon a small lake, the glassy surface reflecting it's entire world back to the sky.
Matthew sat himself down on a log, shifting over so that the Russian could sit beside him.
The Canadian seemed content to look out over the still water, as if releasing the worries of his day. Despite everything, Ivan could feel himself relax as well, the change of location seeming to wipe the slate clean.
Here Ivan stopped him, "Why are you so formal suddenly? We have fucked each other already, I do not see why there should be any need for pretend politeness."
Matthew stared at him, before saying, "I suppose you're right. I didn't take you to be so blunt."
Ivan smiled, "I have my moments. I am an impatient man at times, sometimes there is too much small talk with nothing getting done."
"True... uhm. Well. I sleep around a lot, and you just happened to come up. I didn't blatantly say I slept with you, I laid it out more as a fantasy." Matthew awkwardly begun, his cheeks tinting red, "I suppose that's it."
"You take me all the way out here for that?" Ivan asked with a childish smile.
"Eh well… uhm." Matthew took a deep breath, before saying in a rather quiet stream of words, which seemed laden with apology, "I'. UsuallyI'. ,'t ? It'sreallynotthatbad."
Ivan stared ,trying to dissect the rushed words. Deciding to play with the nervous Canadian, he said, "Could you please repeat that in a language I understand? I don't speak Canadian."
Matthew took a deep breath, his eyes flashing slightly at the other's response, but knowing that he probably had really whispered things really fast, fearful of making the other nation pissed at him.
"I'm sorry that you had to see what you did this morning," he began a little firmer, and slower, making sure that the Russian understood his words, "I mean, uhm, usually people don't just come visit my room or anything, and this is one of those unavoidable things that happens, that can't be changed. So uh – don't go all apeshit on Alfred, he's really not all that bad…"
"What makes you think I was going to play the hero?" Ivan replied, his smile widening slightly, "Don't worry about unavoidable relations. I understand those perfectly."
Matthew got the awkward feeling that Ivan, was usually the one inflicting unavoidable relations, not the other way round.
"Oh.. then why did you.. why were you so .. nice?" Matthew asked, a little perplexed by the others reply. "And why did you say you would take care of me?"
It felt like to Matthew the moment you begun to get a basic comprehension of the Russian, a herd of dancing giraffes paraded by leaving you lost and questioning your own identity.
"One doesn't have to go all 'hero' in order to take care of someone Matvey," Ivan replied, "I am smart enough to realize that bombing Alfred in his current state would only spell trouble for my country... trouble that right now I cannot really afford."
"Wait – would that mean if you had the money you would bomb him?"
Ivan's smile widened, the aura of crazy spilling out from around him, "Da, of course. Alfred needs a couple good bombs. If I could I would blast him off the face of the earth, make a beautiful marine wild life park instead."
"Whoah – wait up!" Matthew's voice held an edge of fear, "I happen to be part of that continent as well, and sure Alfred is annoying, but I do NOT want to end up as some sort of marine wild life park just because you got a lot of money and decided to use it on some useless task of bombing."
"Why would you call bombing America useless? I say it would bring a big improvement to world meetings... and I would make sure you weren't hit da? No need to worry."
"Couldn't you use that money to help your people? Like making national healthcare, or better funding for public education?"
"Tried that, didn't work," Ivan replied, "Although the privatization isn't working either..."
Matthew sighed, "But you also focused on building giant bombs as well."
"If I didn't Alfred would have come right in!"
"Right, the war between two ideals, that have already failed, or are currently failing."
Ivan's eyes narrowed, "I doubt Alfred would like it if you said that to his face."
"Alfred doesn't like a lot of things I do – that is if he could remember them."
Ivan giggled, "You're funnier than I thought you would be."
Giving a wry smile, Matthew shrugged. "No one really bothers to hear my jokes, and when they do they don't realize it's me half the time."
"You need to do something about that da? That whole invisible thing."
"Maybe I just don't want to," Matthew replied, "I don't have to worry too much about getting bombed, or being viewed as a threat if people don't think about me all that much."
Tilting his head to the side, Ivan considered the others response, "But what about when they mistake you for Alfred?"
"Well, it's not like they're going to locate my country on the map and mistake that... and uhm.. I've learnt how to deal with it. Not that bad..."
Matthew winced slightly at the memory of Cuba's aggressive head pounding, or the dark looks some of the other countries shot his way during meetings when they noticed him.
"Really, it could be worse." Matthew finished weakly.
"Why do you sleep around so much?"
Ivan's next question made Matthew wince.
"Uh – there isn't a rule saying that countries shouldn't sleep with whom they please is there? I'm not really entirely in any type of serious relationship, so there isn't any reason why I can't try out the local flavour."
"'Not really entirely'? Is that some more of your Canadian slang I don't understand?"
"Well... it's hard to explain."
"I have time." Ivan replied, his curiosity perked.
Matthew sighed, reached out and grabbed some grass, before shredding it between his fingers.
Why was he telling Ivan so much about himself? It wasn't like him to just begin to open up. It was odd, that despite the terror the other nation did invoke in him at times, that on a level he trusted him.
While his brain and common sense screamed at him to not trust the other at all, Matthew found that despite all of this he wanted to tell Ivan things he only told two other people in his life.
"Uh well it's not really a closed relationship, but it's more of an understanding I have with two people... I guess for lack of a better term it's an open polyamorous relationship." Matthew said.
"Two people?" Ivan's eyebrows rose. Matthew was just coming out with the surprises, like a matryoshka doll.
"I didn't intend for it to start like that!" Matthew came out defensively, "It just sort of happened... I sort of ended up 'dating' both around the same time, because at first I didn't think anything really long term would happen from it, because let's face it. Long term for us tends to be a lot longer... and well.. I got found out. So they confronted me at once, and well things ended up working in a different way than either of us expected."
"I'm guessing one is Gilbert?" Ivan asked, his curiosity on who the other may be increasing.
"Yeah, I guess today he was being obvious..." Matthew said, his cheeks turning pink.
"Then whom would Gilbert share you with? I doubt anyone would be able to compete with his ego," Ivan asked, his mind bending the puzzles as to who would even be able to put up with the arrogant ex-nation.
Fidgeting slightly, Matthew was silent for a moment, before finally blurting out, "Lars."
Ivan was not entirely sure how to respond to that. In fact, he was suffering from a mild bout of shock.
Prussia and Netherlands, had really been at serious odds throughout their relationship, although, if he thought about it more, their fights usually did get resolved with some sort of forgiveness happening. There was no other way to do things, when one lived in such close proximity to the other. It was either hate with a vengeance, or attempt to make some sort of peace.
However, both men were intensely selfish, and proud.
Despite there being "forgiveness" of a sort between them, for past grievances, there still remained a competitive nature, where one always had to win.
If what Matthew was saying was actually true, that he had managed to tame the competiveness to such a level so as to form a compromise over a relationship so personal – well. Apparently, Matthew was one hell of a peace keeper.
Vaguely, a memory attempted to surface over a situation where Matthew really had proved his compromise skills, something important. Something impressive... there was the vague feeling it involved England, France and America, but what exactly the situation was escaped him. (Plus, deep down, the idea of someone actually able to force those three to work together after hours of fighting seemed somewhat impossible to him.)
"How did you manage that?" he found himself asking.
Blankly, Matthew stared at Ivan, as if the answer was obvious. "Through reason."
"There had to be more than that," Ivan replied suspiciously, "Don't play around with me da?"
"You really want to know?" Matthew asked, his tone taking on an edge Ivan could not quite identify.
"If I don't find out, I would not be able to sleep due to thinking about it – and I am very unpleasant when not well rested. I would make sure to stay in Canada, until you tell me." Came the cheerful response.
"Hold on..." Matthew mumbled, as he turned around, and began adjusting his clothes, and hair.
A minute passed, until Matthew turned back to face Ivan, the change clear to see.
Violet eyes were half filled with tears, once perfectly ordered hair had an air of distress emanating from each follicle, and a lower lip trembled. The clothes were adjusted to give a vulnerable look, as if Matthew was unconsciously begging to be taken advantage of.
Imperceptibly shaking, Matthew reached out with his hand, as he whispered in a choked up manner, "Please, stop fighting. I'll do anything for you two to get along." As if to emphasize the anything, Matthew moved closer to Ivan, looking up at him with big shiny sad eyes.
Ivan knew Matthew was acting, he knew the gently trembling hand clutching at his jacket was an act. He also knew the trembling lower lip was only a play, or the messy hair framing the vulnerable looking face was all just an act.
He just couldn't look away, he couldn't even reply properly. His mouth had gone dry, and his pants had tightened awkwardly, and his heart was making an odd thuthump in his chest (enough of a ruckus to have him concerned that it might actually fall out again.)
Matthew seemed to realize the effect he was having, as he pressed his trembling body more firmly against Ivan, "If you promise not to go all psycho on Alfred, I'll do what you want..."
Ivan wasn't even sure if he had heard the words right, his breathing had gone funny, and his attention was caught on the perfectly crystallized drop caught up on Matthew's eyelashes. (Were his eyelashes always that long? Ivan wondered)
"Anything?" Ivan murmured, the word coming out heavily.
There was much implied in "anything", and Ivan wondered if he could really ask what would be considered impossible tasks...
Matthew gave a small nod.
"I want you to drop the others, and become my full time lover." Ivan finally replied.