**Rawer, plot lizard ate my brain, and hello! I'm back a day earlier then I expected to be from Busch Gardens – let me just say that I got plenty of story ideas while I was up there and that I need to do a little research before I type them. Here's a story just to keep you amused, and I still hate how the latest Australia chapter turned out – again! So, Australia is gonna take longer. Hope this makes up for it. **

"Hey! Look at that pretty lady! Woo!" some random guy, Matthew heard, cat-called.

He turned his head, expecting to see some slut walking behind him. Sure, he was fine with that, sluts didn't bother him. It was the way he swung – yes he was gay. No problem with it, right?

Instead, he saw that he was the only one on the street.

"Hey, pretty lady! Over here!"

Matthew's mouth made a perfect curve as he frowned. He turned his head towards the sound of the voice, seeing someone in a car looking.

At him.

Stopping, the Canadian man glared at the arriving car, "Excuse me?" he said loud enough to be heard.

"I said, pretty lady." The man in the car smiled, "I know that you're not really a woman." He laughed.

"Oh, good, ha, I thought that you really were calling me a female." Matthew rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.

"Naw," The man gave a cheeky grin, "Say, do you live around here?"

Of course he did, Matthew was used to Canada. These streets were like his own home, he knew them by heart.

"Yeah, I do." He walked over to the door, "You lost?"

"Yeah." The guy in the car answered, "Can you tell me how far away from Maple Street* I am?"

Maple Street? Heck, that was where Matthew lived. "Yeah, it's right over there."

"Oh, I'm stupid, glasses suck, thanks!" he drove off, Matthew continuing his walk down the street to his house.

Whenever he went to close the door, he saw that same car driving the other direction. He sighed and closed the door, "Well, he really must be lost."

Matthew went into the living room, picking up his checkbook and stuffing it in his pocket, "Tomorrow's the day." He muttered to himself, "I'm gonna go and get that animal."


"Hello!" The girl at the counter said, "Welcome to Maple Tree Animals! How can I help you today?"

Matthew stood at the door, looking towards where the animal he wanted should be, "Um, do you still have that little bear?"

"Oh, yes sir we do! I wonder how he even got here anyway." The girl led him to the case with a bunch of little brown bears in it, "Oh my, looks like we carry bears now!" she laughed, "Sorry. Yes sir, we have bears now. Boy, there's so many of them in Canada that some of them end up being adopted!*"

Matthew nodded, admiring the bears until he saw something white out of the corner of his eye. He looked, seeing a little polar bear sitting in a case all by itself.

He walked over, smiling at it as he said, "What about this one?"

"This one?" the girl asked, "Oh! This one's been here a while! People don't want it because there's something wrong with it – I guess it isn't growing properly."

The bear was that of a cub still, Matthew figured, seeing the small body shake as the bear looked up at the AC above it.

"I want it." Matthew reached into the box.

"Oh, you're so lucky! It's gonna be fluffy and everything!" The girl ran to the front counter, Matthew smiling at the bear in his arms, "Hello, there..."

The girl pushed some buttons on the cash register, "His name is Kumajiro, if you don't mind having an already named pet."

"Oh, I don't mind." Matthew cuddled with the bear, which seemed to like him already, "Kumajiro."

The girl finished ringing up the purchase, Matthew paying at least three hundred dollars. She gave him some care products in a bag, and on the way out he was stopped by a girl and her boyfriend to let her pet the bear.

"It is so cute!" she said, rubbing Kumajiro's head like crazy while the man glared at Matthew.

Not my taste... Matthew thought, only giving the man a glance.

After he finally got the female away, Matthew walked down the street with people staring at Kumajiro. Some reached out and touched his head lightly.

The Canadian smiled at them all, "I just bought him, be careful please."

He was almost home whenever someone honked at him, "Hey, pretty lady!"

Matthew turned to see the same car from yesterday with the same guy in it. He pulled up with that same grin, "I'm... lost again. Would you help me?"

Matthew nodded, "Sure, where did you want to go?"

"Um, well, I'm trying to get here." The man held out a map of the area, pointing to the area with the hotels, "But... I can't figure out which road I need to get there. I'm stupid, I guess. Can I pet your animal?"

"Go ahead. He likes being patted on the head."

"Oh, fluffieeeeee..."

Matthew laughed, "Just go down that road, take a left and go forward for the next three exits, then take the fourth."

"Seriously?" the guy said, "Ugh, I feel stupid."

"Hey, it's alright." Matthew held the bear tighter in his arms, "Besides, it's not like you're from here. If you were, you'd be slapped."

He laughed, "Aw, I know. Thanks." The man drove away again, Matthew looking after him – Hmm, a New York license plate. He must be a D bag.

Kumajiro settled into his new home very quickly, Matthew enjoying his comfort even quicker.

"Kuma!" Matthew called, "Dinner!"

The bear could be heard running down the stairs and into the kitchen, where his bowl of canned tuna sat for him.

"Good Kuma." Matthew stroked the bear's back before standing up to grab his plate of pancakes. He always had them for dinner for some reason, he just liked them, he guessed.

When he sat down the phone rang, "Hello?" he asked, picking it up after the first ring.

"Hey, it's the awesome me!"

"G-Gilbert?" Matthew asked, starting to turn red. Great... I just had to have to be the only guy from the high school to have a crush on him.

"Yep! I'm visiting Canada! Matthew, you really need to make me some pancakes, I'm coming over tomorrow!"

"T-tomorrow?"

"Yeah! Y'know, just to stay and eat your pancakes and go back to the hotel! Damn, Mattie, how long has it been since we've talked?"

"Um... three years?"

"Yeah? Dang..." The German coughed, "...alright, I'll have my ass at your door at eight! See ya then!"

"Um, OK... bye." Matthew hung up, and then slapped his hands over his face. Great, the guy that he treated to pancakes that one school day was the same guy who he liked, and also the same guy who wanted to come over tomorrow for pancakes.

Well, that was certainly gonna work out well.


Gilbert was at the door, as Matthew expected him to be, at eight, "Hey, Matthew!"

"Gilbert!" Matthew didn't know to hug him or shake his hand. He went with shaking hands.

The German stepped in, "Is that the pancakes I smell?"

"Yeah. Kumajiro!"

"You got a dog?"

Kumajiro appeared, fish in his mouth as Matthew said, "Not quite."

"Oh holy –" Gilbert jumped back, "Well if it isn't a bad ass bear!"

"Yeah..." Matthew eyed him, "...a bear."

"So, where's the pancakes? Huh?" Gilbert laughed as Matthew presented to him a plate of pancakes.

"Bon appétit."

"Surely."

Everything after that was fine. Gilbert stayed until three in the afternoon.

"Hey, Matthew, let's go grab a drink!" Gilbert jumped up.

"Um... OK." Matthew said, already seeing this night was going to end like a nightmare.


Tipsy like dishes about to fall over.

Matthew wasn't drunk, but he wasn't sober either. He could still recite his ABC's and walk a straight line, but the alcohol confused him from time to time.

Gilbert was laughing and drinking like crazy, waggling his eyebrows at others. Matthew just kept his head down and didn't look at him, although he felt someone's gaze on his back.

He hoped it was Gilbert's.

"Hey, Mattie." Gilbert slurred, "Guess what? Ya see those gay fags over there?" he pointed at a brunette male and a blonde male – who surely shouldn't be wearing women's clothes, sheesh! – making out in the corner.

"Yeah."

"They're sick! We should get some chicks over there to break them up!" Gilbert stood up, "You aren't gay, are ya Mattie?"

"Uh." Was the response.

"Hey! Yo! Chick! Yeah, you with the long brown hair! Get over 'ere!"

A group of females walked over, one with long brown hair and a fierce look in her green eyes, followed by a tipsy long haired blonde and an Asian looking woman.

"What do you want?" The brunette said, cold sober.

"I want you." Gilbert pointed at them, "To break those two up while I get to know you're friend here better." He smiled as he pulled the long haired blonde over to himself.

The brunette looked at the males making out before pulling out a camera with a smile, while the Asian girl walked over to Matthew. "Hey there." She said.

"Uh... h-hi." Matthew answered.

The girl leaned in, "You're cute."

"T-thanks?"

"Oh, no need to thank me. Thank whoever gave you those looks. Say... why don't we go to your place?"

Matthew blinked rapidly. Great, now was the time he had to come out of the closet.

"Aw, c'mon Mattie! We can have a party!" Gilbert had his arm around the blonde and rested his other arm on the Asian girl, "Whaddya say!"

"Um, Gilbert... I don't really want to..." Matthew got up, "I'm leaving. Have fun."

"What are you, gay?" Gilbert appeared in front of Matthew, looking like he was sobering up.

"Um..." Matthew looked around, "...what makes you think that?"

"There are girls who want to have a nice fuck with you and you refuse!" Gilbert howled.

"Uh..."

"What is it Mattie?" Gilbert rested his hands on Matthew's shoulders. "Don't tell me you're to drunk to fuck!"

"Gilbert... I... don't swing that way." Matthew looked down.

"What?" Gilbert's hands moved.

"I'm... gay." Matthew kept his face down.

Gilbert didn't do anything for a second, until Matthew felt his head being slapped, "You faggot! Did you think that if you got me drunk you'd get laid by me tonight? What are ya, an idiot! I'm not gay, Matthew. Get away from me!" Gilbert slapped Matthew really hard, "Get away, fag!"

The Canadian did as he was demanded, walking out of the place with tears rolling down his face.

Great. This was what he feared – this evening was a nightmare.


Walking down the street, Matthew wished he brought Kumajiro, just so he could have someone to hug as he went home.

When he did get home – he thought – he was gonna hug the bear so tight he might kill it, and then have two things to cry over.

Matthew wiped away a tear. Gilbert, the guy who wanted pancakes and hang out, called him a gay faggot. Gay faggot. How come it hurt so bad? Matthew hardly had a crush on Gilbert.

Anymore.

He was so lost in his thought he didn't even realize he was sitting on a bench, and someone had just yelled at him "Hey, pretty lady!"

Matthew kept his head down until he smelled, cologne and heard someone say, "Hey, are you alright?"

He looked up, it was the guy from the car.

The Canadian sniffled and wiped his eyes, "What?"

"Why are you crying?" the man kept a concerned look on his face, making direct eye contact with Matthew.

"N-nothing." Most likely this cute guy was straight to.

"Tell me."

"I – I would, b-but –"

"Where to ya live? Maybe you'd feel better at home."

Matthew's head shot up, now he wasn't tipsy anymore, he was stone cold sober, "W-what?"

"Where to you live? I can take you there and you can tell me what's wrong."

Matthew swallowed. Accept a ride home from this cute, cute, cute, cute guy? Or walk home and still cry?

"I – I guess..."

The man smiled, holding out his hand, "Alfred."

"M-Matthew."

"Hey Matthew." Alfred helped Matthew up, "You can trust me, I'm not gonna do anything to you."

With a nod, Matthew let Alfred lead him to his car's passenger seat and let him get in.

"So." Alfred started to drive after getting in the driver's seat. "Where do ya live?"

"Maple Street."

"Hmm! I know where that is."

Matthew nodded.

"So... what were you crying about?"

"Oh... n-nothing."

"Oh, c'mon. It takes a lot for a man to cry."

Damn it! This dude was straight to!

"I... got... rejected." Matthew said, "By my long time crush."

"Who is...?"

"Gil – Jillian!" Matthew lied.

There was silence, "Y'know, I saw ya in that bar."

Matthew looked at the floor. Great, maybe this guy was gonna kill him.

"I saw that albino slap you across the head twice. Why'd ya even go with him?"

"He wanted to drink."

Alfred could be heard clearing his throat before speaking, "He wanted to drink?"

"Yes."

"Jackass." Alfred muttered, pulling to the side of the road. At first Matthew thought that he was the jackass and that he was gonna be killed.

Instead, it was his house.

"Oh, uh, thanks." Matthew opened the door, "Um, you want anything in return?"

Alfred looked at him, "Yeah."

"What?"

That was when Alfred pulled Matthew close to him and pressed their lips together.

The Canadian's heart froze – all of him froze. Oh, no, this was all a joke, right?

Alfred pulled away, "Um... I'm not from New York... I live across the street from you... I moved in a few months ago... and I sorta kinda wanted to talk to you..."

Matthew held his hands to his mouth, still feeling Alfred's lips on his. What was it, right? Required?

"So... I borrowed this car from a friend who lives in New York and acted like a lost driver to talk to you." Alfred shyly looked back at Matthew. "Y-you're cute, y'know."

"Oh, dear." Matthew looked around, "Um... you want to come in?"

Alfred's eyes brightened up, "Sure."


The next day, Alfred was back at his house across the street – Matthew leaning against the wall blushing as he watched the American (He moved up here after getting out of college for the health care) walk around his yard. That newspaper boy must've thrown the paper in the bushes again.

Someone started banging at the door, Kumajiro roared in disturbance.

"It's OK, Kuma." Matthew said, walking to the front door.

He opened it to reveal a very – Oh my – mad Gilbert. "So." He said, "You thought that being gay was gonna get you somewhere in life?" Gilbert's German accent was heard.

"L-look, Gilbert, I wasn't –"

"Oh no! You only agreed to drinks because you wanted to let me get drunk and take me here and fuck me. Well, guess what? That's wrong dude, wrong! Y'know what, you're such a gay faggot I can hardly believe that I wanted to be your friend in high school! You're a mother – no make that father fucking – gay fucking faggot!"

Matthew's tears started to pour again, Gilbert stood at the door and continually harassed the Canadian verbally and physically (Slapping him across the head) for the next ten minutes. Tears fell like rivers.

"And by the way –"

"Hey, albino ass."

Gilbert jerked around, only to be punched in the face. Matthew gasped and stared at Alfred, who stood at the door like a hero, "Quit harassing Mattie."

Matthew looked down, great. Now he had a pet name from Alfred.

"Hey, Mattie." Matthew's face was held up by Alfred's hands, "Don't look down, it's alright. He's just a communist faggot, that's all."

Gilbert went to grab Alfred's feet before being kicked in the face. "What the – oh, are you a gay faggot to?"

Alfred turned around to face the now-standing German, "Yeah, and... what harm is it gonna do?"

"Rub gayness AIDs on the rest of the world!"

"Now, does that even exist?"

Gilbert opened his mouth, and then closed it, looking left and right.

"Right. Now, get out before I sucker punch you in the face again." Alfred held a fist up, "Now."

Gilbert nodded, "B-bye Matthew." Before ducking out of the house, door slammed shut behind him by Alfred.

"Now," Matthew watched as the other man walked around behind him, "That's one problem solved. If anyone else harasses you about your sexuality – call me." Alfred rested a piece of paper in Matthew's hand. "I don't want anything happening to you."

"Uh, t-thanks..." Matthew looked at his feet, seeing Kumajiro pawing at them while feeling Alfred still breathing on his shoulders.


First date – oh good gosh, first date.

It's just a movie. Nothing more, besides, Alfred and I have kissed before, it's not like – oh, but we've only kissed in private. Who says we're gonna kiss in public?

Matthew opened the door, seeing Alfred across the street waving him over, "C'mon Mattie, we're gonna miss it!"

"OK." Matthew picked Kumajiro up, carrying him over to the car.

The drive was silent, and the wait in line was silent – aside from Alfred making comments about the guys in front of them.

"Look at him, he's all shaggy haired and everything, and look at him, he's got these fancy clothes and shit." Alfred whispered.

"Well, look behind us," Matthew answered, "There's a man in a dress."

Alfred looked behind him, making like he was gonna look at the sky before turning back around, "Dude, how did he even fit in that thing?"

"Maybe he's gender confused?" Matthew asked quietly, petting Kumajiro quietly in his arms.

"Maybe."

The movie was chosen by Alfred – at Matthew's request. So, he had to sit there and watch action heroes fly around and rescue the world, occasionally comforting Kumajiro when the loud noises came up.

After the movie, the ride home was silent.

"Something wrong?" Matthew asked, "You're usually one to start conversation."

"Oh, I thought you were nervous about our first date." Alfred answered.

"A little..."

Alfred pulled to the side of the road with Matthew's house, "Don't be." He kissed him, "I want you to be comfortable. If you wanna change the date, say so."


Three months dating now.

Matthew and Alfred made their way into the park, "Look Mattie! That one goes super fast – and look! It's the Viking!"

"Um, yeah." Matthew sighed, "I don't like going upside down."

"Then we won't!" Alfred laughed.

"Matthew Williams?"

Both men turned around, seeing Gilbert – The bitch! – and a few other people walk over.

"Huh?" Matthew looked at them, "What do you want?"

"Oh, nothing." Gilbert smirked, "Just saw you here with your boyfriend."

"And I'm proud of it." Alfred stepped in between the two, "Get lost."

"Why?"

"Because I said so."

Gilbert sighed, "You're very protective over Matthew aren't you?"

"Because he's the pancake king." Alfred laughed, "And because he hate harassers. Like you." Alfred grabbed Matthew's arm and pulled him away, "C'mon Mattie!"

"Wait!" Gilbert cried, running after them, "Matthew, hold up!"

"Alfred, let him talk to me." Matthew pulled back, making the American stop in his tracks.

"Fine."

Matthew turned around, Gilbert running over to him, "What is it?"

After panting a couple times, Gilbert said, "Look, sorry for harassing you." He placed a hand on Matthew's cheek, "Say... when you and Alfred break up, will you be my boyfriend?"

Matthew gaped at first.

That was when Gilbert was suddenly on the ground and the two were running towards the exit.

"We'll come back later." Alfred said.

"Yeah, later." Matthew agreed.


"I have to move." Alfred held Matthew's hand in his, "My brother needs my help."

"For how long?" Matthew asked.

"Long enough to make me have to move out." Alfred sighed, "Look, Mattie, I know that you don't want a long distance relationship."

"We're breaking up." Matthew replied bitterly.

"Until I can move back." Alfred begged, "Please! I'll try to be gone for a short time!"

The Canadian looked at Kumajiro, who just watched the two with those cute, black eyes.

"Please, Mattie." Alfred begged, "I love you, but I don't know how I'm gonna be able to keep in touch with you, and I doubt that you'd wanna move out of Canada."

Matthew bit his lip before he spoke, "Fine. You go help your brother, come back as soon as you can." He pressed his lips to Alfred's. "I'll be waiting."


"Look, Ivan, it was a nice date." Matthew and his new friend Ivan – who moved from Russia – left a fancy restaurant. "But I don't see how this can work out."

Ivan just kept on the same childlike face he usually had, "Really?" he said, voice deeply Russian, "How can this not work out?"

"Well... you're kinda tall for me. And I'm kinda short for you. And I just don't feel like something's clicking here."

Ivan just nodded, "Da." He leaned down, pressing his lips to Matthew's forehead, "If you want, we can just be friends, da?"

"Yes." Matthew agreed, "Friends."

"Da, Matvey is a really good friend." Ivan said.

"You're a good friend to, Ivan." Matthew smiled – why would he be friends with a man who moved into Alfred's house?


"Um, Francis?"

"Yes?"

Matthew looked around the park, the lighting was nice, everyone was in a romantic mood – except for Matthew, "I... don't feel like this is gonna work out."

Francis just raised an eyebrow at him, "Why not, Mon cher?"

"Because, mon ami, I just don't feel like this is gonna be... real je t'aime." Matthew answered, remembering that French was this man's first language.

Said man nodded and looked to the side with disappoint, "Well, that is sad, I was hoping to bring you happiness."

"Thank you, but I feel like something isn't gonna work." Matthew rested his hand on Francis' shoulder, "We can be friends, right?"

"Right." Francis grabbed the hand and kissed it, "See you at the meeting, Mathieu."

"See you." Matthew answered, walking away.


"Gilbert!"

"What?"

Matthew shoved the German out of his house, "Quit sneaking in, and stay away from me for good! I'll get a fucking restraining order!" his anger boiled over controllable. Matthew had already broken two vases after throwing them at Gilbert and made his throat sore.

"Look, just gimme a chance!" Gilbert said, "The awesome me shouldn't have to beg to beg to get love!"

"Well then find someone who's worth hitting on!" Matthew slammed the door shut, locking it before looking and Kumajiro, "He's such a... bitch!" he kicked the couch, shoes on luckily, "The next time he breaks in I'm gonna stab him to death!"

Kumajiro growled in agreement.


When was Alfred ever coming back?

Matthew had already tried to date a few other people, but it didn't work – and Gilbert was still wooing him. He had a job as a graphic advertiser* and moved into a bigger house. He even emailed the new address to Alfred – who didn't reply.

Kumajiro was in good health. Matthew had all the food and furniture he wanted (Francis was to thank, he worked with a furniture company), a nice garden full of sunflowers, (Ivan being nice) and somewhere to sleep at night.

But what he didn't have was his Alfred.


Seven years after Alfred and Matthew broke up; the Canadian took a walk around the town.

Where was Alfred anyway? Was he OK? Did he die? Was he kidnapped? Oh no, what if he was in jail – or prison!

Matthew stopped and sighed, looking at the street where he used to live. Some Ukrainian girl moved into his old home and Ivan had tried twice to move closer to Matthew.

Maybe he did find another place, because Ivan had a moving trailer in his front yard.

With a sigh, Matthew turned back around to go home. He had long since fed Kumajiro, he was probably pawing at the front door right now; wanting Matthew back inside.

The front step served as a post for Matthew to look around. Next door, the Polish and Lithuanian male couple could be heard laughing very loudly, while across the street Matthew heard a young English boy yell, "C'mon Raivis! We're gonna miss the movie!"

Movie, first date – ever. With Alfred.

Matthew felt the tears sting his eyes as he ran inside, falling on the couch and hugging Kumajiro close to his body.

Where was Alfred?


In the main area of town, Matthew slid into an alleyway to throw something away in the dumpster. He opened the lid, coughing at the smell before dropping his cup inside it. "Damn... they need to get that changed." He whispered, turning to go back onto the main street.

"Damn right."

He was pinned against the wall, "So Mattie, when are you gonna give the Awesome Gilbert a chance?" Gilbert kissed Matthew's cheek.

"Never!" Matthew yelled.

"Oh, really? Why don't we change that answer?" Gilbert pressed Matthew into the wall even harder.

"Look, weren't you the one that was against gay people? You harassed me about my choices when you first learned – what makes things different now!" Matthew spat.

"Because. That night you got a boyfriend." Gilbert pushed harder, "I just got to slap a gay person."

That was when someone rounded the corner wearing a police uniform. "Hey! What's going on here?"

Gilbert let Matthew go and ran down the street, the cop following close behind.

Why, oh why, did Gilbert have to resort to drugs and stealing?


This was it, Matthew made his way to the house.

Ten years. Ten fucking years. Ten fucking years ago.

Matthew had enough, today there was a fight in the town square – Francis and Ivan were on probation from their jobs now, and Gilbert was surely going to stay in jail for a long time.

So where the hell was Alfred?

Matthew decided that when he got home, he was going to tell Kumajiro about this problem and commit suicide.

That was really his only option to relieve his pain.

He made it to the center of the crosswalk before a love crazed, depressed albino ran him over.


Matthew felt someone pawing at his face. He moaned and mumbled a few times before opening his eyes to see Kumajiro above him.

"Kuma?" he asked, stroking the fur of his animal, "Where am I?"

"I don't know." Kumajiro said, "But why would someone break into our house and kill me for my fur?"

Matthew sat up, "Kill you for your fur?"

"I'm dead. You are to." Kumajiro said, "Someone ran you over once, then backed up over you, then ran over you again until the cops made him stop."

Matthew grabbed his shoulder, "Well... I got my wish."

That was when he heard, "Hey, pretty lady. Could you give me directions to happiness in the afterlife with a Canadian man I missed so much that I died from loneliness?"


**So... I don't know what my fascination is with killing both people and letting them live happily in the afterlife.

"Yeah." The guy in the car answered, "Can you tell me how far away from Maple Street* I am?"

... You know Matthew has to live on Maple Street. I wanted to get this done TONIGHT so I just put down the first street name that came to mind.

"Boy, there's so many of them in Canada that some of them end up being adopted!*"

I don't really think that you guys need to go all ape crap on this fact right here. I mean, sheesh, I'm not aiming to be politically correct, I know that there aren't any bears to be adopted in Canada, so don't make a comment about it! I just wanted to put how Matthew got Kuma in here, so I did!

He had a job as a graphic advertiser*

I don't know what you call it, but in this story Matthew makes pretty pictures to advertise your shampoo.

And that's that. I know it may suck, but reviews are eye candy for other members and me if I feel like I want to go on a review spree. Flames will be burned with green fire and murdered with a hockey stick.**