Just a bit of an experiment everyone. I was a bit bored and felt like playing around with Alfred and Matthew's relationship some more. And this thing was born. Its just a little filler before I update other things. Review, please~

Warnings: violence, sex, angst, OOCness, unrequited love

Pairing: one-sided Alfred/Matthew, mentioned Alfred/others, mentioned Matthew/others

Disclaimer: Only in my dreams...


Said toddler looks up from where he was staring at the eyelashes of his white bear, curly blond hair falling in front of wide eyes. "Frère?"

Alfred frowns slightly and says, "Arthur said gentlemen don't use vulgar language." He shakes his finger at Matthew, mimicking the thick accent of their guardian before smiling brightly. "But I won't tattle!"

Matthew, who had unknowing responded in French and looked like he was ready to cry at Alfred's admonishment, smiles up at the other blond.

"Anyways," Alfred says, with all the seriousness of someone about to make a profound observation, "remember when I saved you from that spider?" Matthew nodded. "Yeah, that makes me your hero."

"Okay." Matthew said slowly.

"And, according to those stories Arthur reads us, heroes save damsels in distress."

Matthew has a fairly good idea where the other is going with this.

"And then they get married and ride off into the sunset on a white horse." Alfred looks incredibly excited.

Matthew is frowning, eyes narrowed and quietly daring Alfred to continue his train of thought.

"So, you're the damsel and now we have to get married!" Alfred is bouncing with excitement, blue eyes shining. "And then we'll ride off on your bear because we don't have a horse and bears are totally cooler!"

Here, Alfred kneels next to Matthew and grabs the boy's hands excitedly. "Oh and the hero always gets to kiss the damsel." Annoyed, Matthew glares at the other boy who is leaning in closer with exaggerated, pursed lips and smacks Alfred in the face and walks off, boyish pride stinging.

After the shock of the normally gentle and easy-going blond hitting him and denying him the kiss he earned, Alfred bursts into tears and wails, "Arthur!"

Arthur is just about to settle down with a hot cup of tea when he hears Alfred's call. Immediately concerned, he puts down the cup of tea and heads towards the playroom, absently patting Matthew on the head when he passes the toddler.

"Alfred? What's the matter, lad?" He says softly, kneeling down next to the boy. Sharp green eyes immediately lock on the dark red splotch on the other's face and he knows, even without Alfred tearfully babbling about heroes and Matthew and horses, what had passed.

But he pulls the boy into a loose hug and holds back a wince when he feels Alfred rub his running nose against his clean shirt and invites the boy to tell him anyways.

"Mattie doesn't love me." Alfred sniffled, eyes still damp with tears.

"Don't be daft, Alfred." Arthur says, kindly. "Matthew adores you. What makes you think otherwise?"

"He wouldn't let me kiss him!" The little blond says heatedly.

Feeling a headache coming on, Arthur sighs and says, "Start from the beginning lad."

"Remember when I saved Mattie from that spider and you said it was a very noble and heroic thing I did?" Arthur nodded and Alfred continued, "And then you read us that story about the knight who saves the princess from the dragon and told us that heroes save princesses and damsels and maidens and then they usually get married and live happily ever after?" Despite the run-on sentence, Arthur managed to follow every word. "Well, I told Matthew that because I saved him, he was my damsel and we had to get married and ride off on a horse—except we don't have one so it'll have to be his bear—and then he hit me when I tried to kiss him like they do in the stories!" And the indignation is back in Alfred's bright blue eyes and Arthur doesn't know whether to laugh or sigh at the boy's thinking.

Arthur refrains from doing either and instead explains, gently, "Alfred, I think you hurt Matthew's feelings when you called him a damsel."

"But he is one! He's my damsel because I saved him!"

"Alfred, damsels are women." He says pointedly, slightly unnerved by the strange possessiveness underlining the blond's words.

"…Mattie's close enough."

Arthur blinks and resists the urge to cradle his head in his hands. "Matthew is a little boy, just like you Alfred. He doesn't want to be called a girl."

"But heroes save damsels and if I'm a hero, he's a damsel!"

"No, Alfred." Arthur says sternly. "Heroes save everyone, not just damsels. Now, Matthew hitting you was wrong, but you can't expect someone to kiss you after you hurt their feelings."

Alfred looks almost ashamed and Arthur ruffles his hair affectionately.

"But…" He looks like he's about to start crying again when there is a soft sound at the door. Both males turn and see Matthew in the doorway, a soft blush on his face.

"Yes, Matthew?" Arthur asks, holding out his other arm for the toddler. Matthew pads over and Arthur pulls him in close so the two boys are standing next to each other. "Do you have something you want to say to Alfred?"

Matthew looks over at Alfred who looks away stubbornly, lower lip still trembling. Matthew, who Arthur feels will always have to deal with his energetic and passionate near twin, hesitates before leaning over and pressing his lips clumsily to Alfred's cheek.

Alfred whips his head around, a rosy hue rising in his cheeks. Matthew looks away and mumbles, "We can still go ride on Kumataro if you want."

Alfred gives a little cheer and grabs Matthew's hand, tugging him over to the bear that is half-dozing in the corner. Arthur can't stop the tiny smile that rises to his lips when he sees Alfred climb on with Matthew obediently getting on after him.

Though, he can't help but hope that Alfred doesn't take this newfound hero complex too far.

"Hey, Mattie." Alfred says casually, dropping heavily next to the other blond. Matthew is lying flat on his stomach, reading an old, leather bound novel in front of the cheerfully crackling fireplace. So engrossed in his book, the slender nation doesn't notice the other's presence until he feels a head settle on his back, nestled right where his spine curves inward.

"Alfred." He mutters, but Alfred can hear the fondness in the other boy's words. "Do you need—"

"Can I ask you something?"

The older blond hears a soft sigh and the sound of the book closing. Then Matthew says, "Go ahead."

Turning his head, so his cheek is touching the fabric of Matthew's shirt and he can feel the coolness the other tends to radiate, he focuses on pale, curling strands of straw. He resists the urge to turn his head further and press his lips against the clothed back.

"Have you ever thought of leaving? You know, like being independent?" He asks, completely serious.

Matthew stiffens below him. Suddenly, with absolutely no warning, the other blond rolls away letting Alfred's head thump painfully against the rug.

"OW! Damn it Matthew." Alfred grunts, sitting up and rubbing the back of his head. Gently massaging the area, he slips his fingers through dark gold locks, checking for a lump he's positive is forming. "A little warning next time?"

"What is wrong with you?" Matthew hisses, now sitting on his knees a little ways away from Alfred. His normally gentle eyes are hard, swirls of blue and violet clashing in his rising anger.

Alfred frowns. "It's just a question."

Matthew scoffs and replies, with cutting honesty, "It's never just 'a question', with you Alfred." He shakes his head and raises a hand to stop any response from the slightly taller boy. "How can you even consider leaving Arthur? He's been so good to us. He takes care of us. He loves us!"

Normally, Matthew's unwavering loyalty wins Alfred's admiration. But that was when the younger boy would defend him in front of Arthur. Now that it's Arthur who has won that loyalty, Alfred can't help but feel angry and jealous and disgusted.

"How can you be so blind?" Alfred asks, hurt and anger in his blue eyes.

"You're the one who's blind." Matthew snaps back.

Shaking his head and knowing Matthew won't listen to reason because Arthur has so obviously twisted his sweet Matthew until the boy is blind and deaf to the truth, Alfred starts to stand up when Matthew grabs his wrist and pulls him back down. The fury and disbelief has softened, and Matthew says kindly, "I won't say anything to Arthur, Al." A smile flickers on his lips, but then he adds, firmly, "But leave me out of whatever grandiose and foolhardy ideas you have. I'm happy here." And then he releases an unnaturally silent Alfred and picks up his book.

Alfred wants to believe that Matthew is only happy because he is there with Alfred.

He wants to believe that Matthew can only be happy with him.

Alfred goes to France years later, filled with fledgling desires and fervor he has never felt before. Some of his politicians adore the other nation and Alfred can't help but be in awe of the blond man with knowing azure eyes who skillfully weaves images of liberty and independence and strength.

"You want to be taken seriously, non?" Francis, as he wished to be called, asks. The man is sophisticated, confident. He sits on an expensive divan, arm hanging of the back, glass of wine in hand, as he watches Alfred with a smirk. "You're not the type to be satisfied with a golden birdcage. You want the sky and wind beneath your wings, nothing less."

Alfred is captivated.

Like a moth caught in the web of a spider.

"I'm proud that you, at least, are ambitious." Francis says softly, a distant look overtaking his eyes.

Matthew comes to mind. But he's frowning and his pretty eyes are disappointed and Alfred swallows hard.

Suddenly Francis smiles and puts down his wine. He beckons Alfred with a crooked finger and the younger man obediently walks over to the European.

Looking at the man, Alfred can't help but think of Matthew again. Its not that the two are similar, no, because the similarities end with silken locks of sunshine. Francis is older, face angular and smile sharp.

Matthew looks inherently kind, youthful. His face is still round and his eyes are wide and purple and blue and his hands are soft not calloused from centuries of fighting.

But, when Francis pulls him down for a demanding kiss, it is Matthew's name that falls from Alfred's lips.

Francis freezes, lips scant centimeters from the younger man's lips. Then he laughs throatily and murmurs, "You have excellent taste, cher."

Something inside Alfred ignites and he takes charge, pushing Francis down on the divan and tangling his hair in soft tresses before tugging harshly to the older nation's neck is exposed.

Francis, if surprised does not let it show, quietly acquiesces to the rough treatment. He manages to only quip, "And here I thought you were a blushing virgin" before Alfred tugs his hair again, effectively silencing the blond, and turns him over so his face is shoved into the upholstery.

There is nothing loving about the act. Alfred takes what he wants and Francis contributes a grunt or moan here and there.

Both men finish.

Alfred feels dirty.

Francis leans in to kiss Alfred, but the blond moves away and says, "Don't."

Francis is not offended and merely reaches for his wine. Before sipping it, he says off-handedly, "If you're strong, no one will oppose you. Even if you take something of theirs."

There is a strange tone to the European's voice.

Alfred is on the next ship home.

When Alfred arrives home, the house is empty and the servants tell him no visitors came for him while he was away.

An odd sense of dread, that first formed when he exited France, churns painfully in his gut and he, without resting, sets out for Matthew's house.

He arrives just as Arthur is getting into his carriage. The sandy-haired man pauses, giving him an unreadable look.

"Where's Matthew?" Alfred asks, brusquely. Arthur raises an eyebrow, used to the lack of respect by now.

"He's feeling unwell." Arthur says unconvincingly. Alfred narrows his eyes and storms into the house, followed close behind by Arthur.


The young man ignores him, rushing past servants and down the hallway, unease building.

Then Arthur grabs him and forcibly turns him to face the angry Englishman. The cool anger in jade eyes reminds Alfred that Arthur is still a force to be reckoned with and the boy stills.

"You reek of frog." Arthur says coldly. And Alfred knows that Arthur knows and Alfred knows he should be lucky Arthur hasn't taken a belt to him already. "You will, this instant, turn around and go home. You will not bother Matthew. You will not come back." Arthur's voice drops. "Have I made myself clear?"

Alfred feels his heart racing and he can't stop the words that spill out. "You fucked him."

Arthur frowns at the vulgarity of the words. "Language, Alfred."

"You fucked him!"

Arthur's eyes narrow in warning.

"You bastard." Alfred whispers. "You know I love him. And you took him."

"I'm merely protecting him." Arthur said coldly. "And you, boy."

Alfred, unwilling to hear anymore, walked past his guardian and out of the house.

Matthew stares in horror at the roaring inferno before him. Dimly, he is aware of the screams and the sizzling of his own flesh and the hands gripping his waist.

Alfred, pressed up behind his brother, coolly rests his head on the curve of the other blond's shoulder and tightens his grip on the other.

"…Why?" Matthew whispers, musket held limply in his hands.

Alfred presses a soft kiss to the other's neck, tasting sweat and smoke and something uniquely Matthew.

He likes it, so his kisses him again. And again. And again, moving up towards his jaw and below his ear and on his cheek and his temple.

"Because you said no." Alfred replies matter-of-factly. He nuzzles sweat-soaked hair. "And I'll do it again and again until you say yes."

Matthew tenses. One of Alfred's hands slid up the smaller boy's body to Matthew's chin and forces the blond to look over his shoulder into cool blue eyes. "I'm only trying to save you."

"The only one I need to be saved from is you." Matthew snaps, eyes like slivers of ice.

Alfred shakes his head in fond exasperation. "Mattie, Mattie, Mattie. Why don't you understand? This is all Arthur's fault."

"Arthur wasn't holding the match."

"Why are you so loyal to him?" Alfred shouted, shoving Matthew away. "I'm the one that loves you! He doesn't give a damn!"

Matthew looks at him with pity, as though Alfred is the pathetic one. He says nothing, however.

"Why won't you be mine?" Alfred demands, absolutely enraged. "Why not, goddamn it?"

"It's amazing what a little kerosene and a little match can do." Matthew says gleefully, watching the blaze with keen eyes. "But, of course, you would know, Alfred."

Alfred, pinned under Matthew's boot, can only watch his beautiful House go up in the flames of Hell itself and wonder where exactly he went wrong.

He was independent. He was strong. He could feel the ambition and drive deep in his bones.

But Matthew still opposed him.

"Oh, and by the way, I don't want to be yours." Matthew adds cheerfully, grinding his heel down into Alfred's spine.

Alfred writes to Matthew daily. Each letter says the same thing.

I want you. I love you. I always have. I always will. Give me a chance.

Alfred burns each letter at the end of the day, watching silently as the parchment shrivels and blackens in the hungry blaze.

Sometimes Alfred wishes they could go back to what they were.

He doesn't realize that Matthew wishes the same.

But they both know they can only go forward.

With wounded hearts, they both look towards the horizon.

The past is out of reach now.

After the Great War, Alfred looks for Matthew. He is still in awe of the other blond, still shivers when he remembers his battle prowess and the determined fire in his violet eyes.

It was as though a sleeping lion was aroused and unleashed.

It seemed heroism ran in the family.

He sees Matthew, then, through the crowd and makes his way towards the blond.

Then he sees Belgium grasp Matthew's hands and look up at him with adoring eyes. She says something and Matthew blushes under her attentions.

Alfred turns around wordlessly.

Years pass and their relationship mends.

Alfred still loves Matthew more than he thought possible.

Matthew only smiles when Alfred tells him, responding in kind but not really realizing that it's not the same, its not exactly what Alfred desires.

Alfred has relationships over the years, many, many relationships. He has angry hate sex with Russia, a gun always within reach. He and Mexico are sometimes loving, sometimes brutal and always have fun. He enjoyed the company of the Philippines as well as Panama. He and China have that short fling as well. Oh and Vietnam too.

Of course, she doesn't really speak to him that much anymore…

And he never kissed any of them.

But, despite what other nations believe, he has never once touched his northern neighbor.

But he knows others have.

Sometimes he visits the other blond and the house reeks of tulips and the faintest scent of marijuana and secretly seethes when the ashen-haired European comes to mind that always smiles adoringly at his Matthew.

And sometimes he meets Matthew and the other reeks of cigars and rum and Alfred really wishes his boss would let him fly over to Cuba, if only to beat the dread-locked man bloody.

And he knows Ukraine—that whore—has been over because he often catches a whiff of nuclear residue and almost wants to call Russia.

But, he loves Matthew and doesn't want him dead.

So he says nothing of Matthew's dalliances, knowing his brother will verbally rip him a new asshole if he so much as whispers about who Matthew chooses to sleep with. Instead, he teases Matthew and plays hockey with him and asks when his military will be rebuilt.

It's almost like when they were children. Except they still remember the bad times and Alfred had to control the urge to pin Matthew to any available surface and kiss him senseless. Even if Matthew punches him, Alfred can still be satisfied that the other nation will finally realize that "I love you" doesn't mean, "You're my best bro."

It's been so long that Alfred is almost ready to give up, something that he loathes because heroes never, ever give up.

Of course, heroes are also supposed to get a happy ending.

Maybe Matthew really didn't want to be his damsel.