Disclaimer: I own nothing
Summary: There is a very thin line between reality and insanity. Alfred may have crossed that line long ago...
Warnings: AU, hints of incest, hints of emotional issues, dark-ish tones, very strange
Alfred x Matthew, Francis x Arthur
"Isn't he the most darling boy you have ever seen?"
Francis Bonnefoy-Kirkland smiled lightly, very happy inwardly to see his husband act in this way. Of course, Arthur would never admit it, but he loved children very dearly and thus, after a long conversation and decision, they decided to adopt.
"Oui, he is beautiful, is he not?" Francis chuckled richly as he patted the boy's blond head, causing him to pout cutely and swat at his hand, "It would seem he is more fond of you than me." The Frenchman noted with bemusement, watching as the toddler cuddled into Arthur's (horrid) sweater vest and dozed off.
"He has good taste, then," Arthur smirked teasingly, stroking the boy's hair affectionately. The child didn't move from his make-shift bed and Arthur, right then and there, knew that this boy was the one, "I want him. This is the boy I want." Arthur said firmly, looking towards Francis for any arguments that he would be eager to shoot down.
Francis simply put his hands in a surrendering-like motion, "If you believe so, then he is the one, mon petite lapin." Francis did not want to break Arthur's good mood after seeing him so... happy.
"You two will be good parents," The kind woman said timidly as she sighed the papers that would make them officially parents, "His name is Alfred." She supplied helpfully, handing the papers over so they could finish up the signing.
"Good strong name," Arthur said approvingly, cuddling with his new son as they signed the paperwork, "If I may ask, what happened to his previous parents?" The Briton asked curiously, watching carefully as the woman sighed sadly.
"His parents were killed in a car accident. It was rather horrible," The woman said quietly, giving Alfred a soft look, "He was the only survivor of that crash."
"Well, he will have loving parents now, non?" Francis winked, causing the woman to blush and stutter as Arthur glared and elbowed Francis harshly without losing his grip on Alfred. Francis simply rubbed the spot, giving Arthur a flirty look.
Alfred Jones officially became Alfred Kirkland-Bonnefoy.
It wasn't until Alfred was four that Arthur realised something just wasn't quite right.
"And then I saved the cat from the big mean dogs and that means I'm the hero, right?"
The Brit raised an abnormally thick brow and put down the laundry basket down to watch his son from the door of his room. Alfred was sitting in front of his mirror, his legs crossed and his hands propping up his chin and his eyes were brighter than Arthur had ever seen them before, "I'm the hero, right?" Alfred repeated, looking intently at his reflection in the mirror and Arthur had never seen Alfred look so serious, as serious as a four-year-old could even look, "C'mon, say I'm the hero!" The boy pleaded, tapping the glass and moving even closer.
Arthur didn't interrupt, instead, choosing to listen and watch and see what exactly Alfred was doing.
"Daddy even let me keep the cat!" Alfred seemingly gave up on his last question; his young mind unable to stay on one topic, "I called him Hero, 'cause that's the bestest name ever!" Alfred poked the mirror again, "Why aren't you saying anything, Mattie?"
Arthur finally figured out what was going on, "Alfred," He lightly knocked on the open door, startling Alfred so that he jumped visibly, "Lad, who are you talking to?" Arthur asked softly, feeling parental bliss internally when Alfred's face brightened considerably.
"Matthew," Alfred pointed to the mirror, "That's Mattie," He said proudly, and Arthur knew that Alfred was only pointing to his own reflection and he probably imagined a make-believe friend. Alfred then pointed to Arthur, his smile widening, "Mattie, this is Daddy!" He laughed, looking eagerly back to the mirror.
Arthur didn't think nothing of it because Alfred was only four-years-old and that was completely normal for a four-year-old child.
Instead, he bent down beside Alfred, smiling softly at the mirror when Alfred tugged at his sweater vest eagerly, "Hello, Matthew."
Only Alfred's reflection stared back at him.
A whole year passed since that first incident before Francis found out.
"Alfred, you must not forget about your responsibilities!" France called out, eyeing the hungry cat that was wounding itself around his legs. The Frenchman sighed, seeing how fat the cat was growing and reminded himself to scold Alfred for feeding it those greasy fries, "Feed your chaton!"
He stopped at the open door, frowning lightly as Alfred completely ignored him and sat in front of his mirror instead. Hero meowed excessively for food, pawing at his leg, but Francis simply ignored him in favour of watching his son speak to the mirror.
"And for my birthday, Daddy and Papa got me a baseball glove!" Alfred said excitedly, bouncing in his spot on the floor and seemingly waiting for a response. After a moment of silence, he seemed content, "I know, isn't that so cool? I really wish you could be here so you could play with me, Mattie!"
Francis blinked and then raised his fine brows and wondered what was going on, "Why don't you ever come out, Mattie?" Alfred asked quietly, frowning at his reflection, "I want to play with you!" He pouted, looking like he was on the verge of snivelling and Francis found this the time to intervene.
"Alfred," He cleared his throat, making the boy quickly turn around in surprise, "What are you doing?" He sighed internally, hoping that Alfred didn't inherit Arthur's strange belief in the supernatural such as those faeries he was always talking about.
"Oh, that's right!" Alfred's blue eyes widened and he grabbed Francis' hand and dragged him down to his level, "Papa, you haven't met Mattie yet!" He pointed at the mirror and Francis was a bit confused, but didn't say anything negative, "Say something French to Mattie. He likes to learn it," Alfred scrunched his nose, "And I taught him every word I know."
Francis almost laughed, knowing that Alfred disliked learning French and didn't retain it all too well, "Bonjour," He smiled charmingly to the mirror, playing along with Alfred's little game. The blond boy waited for a moment and then shook his head, "Mattie already knows that word!"
"Alfred," Francis warmly placed his hand on Alfred's blond hair, "You simply cannot play in your room all day alone. You must do your chores," He said firmly, gesturing to the still-meowing cat, "See? Hero is hungry."
"But I'm not alone!" Alfred pouted, stomping his foot a little, "Mattie's here with me!" The child glared at Hero, annoyed at his cat, "You go feed him!" Alfred sat down again, watching the mirror intently and ignoring everything around him.
Francis sighed, stroking the black fur around Hero's neck, "Your Dad will not be happy." Francis warned, though Alfred didn't appear to hear and the Frenchman decided to let Arthur punish Alfred because he was no good at staying angry with him.
Much to Francis' surprise, Arthur did not punish Alfred and, instead, reassured him that Alfred was going through that stage where one had an imaginary friend.
Francis thought it strange that Alfred would pick his own reflection for such a thing...
"Why do you always carry that bear with you?"
Alfred watched intently as Matthew blinked, looking surprised as he clutched the stuffed animal even closer to him, "I don't know," Matthew said softly, looking much smaller than usual, "It's been with me for a long time." The young boy shrugged, patting the ragged-looking polar bear between its ears.
"Did you ever name it?" Alfred asked curiously, unconsciously patting his cat, which had settled down beside him, "You can't have it and not name it."
"Oh! Umm, his name his Kumajirou... I think," Matthew blinked, and then nodded in confirmation. He stayed silent for a moment, watching from inside the mirror as Hero slowly got up, struggling a bit because of his weight, "I think it's time for your chore." Matthew said quietly, pointing to the cat and Alfred frowned, pushing the cat away from him roughly.
"I wanna keep talking to you!" Alfred glared at the cat, "He eats a lot, anyway!" The blond sighed, "Can you come out of the mirror today?" He asked timidly, looking away with disappointment as Matthew simply stared out at him.
"I can't," Matthew smiled sadly, staring at his almost-reflection, "I don't think I can ever come out." Matthew swallowed as Alfred glanced up at him with teary eyes.
"Why, Mattie? I don't even think that Daddy and Papa believe in you! I wanted to show them that you're real!" Alfred sniffled.
"Maybe," Matthew began hesitantly, looking away with guilt, "Maybe you need to make different friends, Alfred." Of course, it wasn't hard to notice that Alfred spent most of his time talking with him except when his parents forced him outside to play. He even doubted that Alfred had friends in his school.
"What?" Alfred looked as if he had never even thought of that idea before. He didn't look too happy either, "Why? I don't want any other friends, Mattie! You're all I need!" Alfred looked confident in his words and Matthew felt warm in his empty being.
"I caught that Russian bully picking on Toris again," Alfred began his tale with a wide grin, "So, I saved him – Toris, because I'm a hero! And then Toris asked if I wanted to sit with him at lunchtime and I said yes!"
Matthew listened quietly, swallowed in his baggy clothes, that were really Alfred's reflection, because he was physically smaller than Alfred, "But he had this weird guy with him, Feliks or something," Alfred snickered, as if there were a hidden joke, "He was a boy, but kinda looked like a girl! He had girlie things in his hair and he was wearing a skirt!"
"Do you like them?" Matthew asked curiously, fiddling with Kumajirou as Alfred looked thoughtful.
"What do you mean?" Alfred demanded, "I will always like you more, Mattie! But..." The young boy sighed, looking longingly at nothing, and Matthew immediately understood.
"I told you before, that you don't always need to be talking with me," Matthew insisted, "You need to make other friends," Matthew looked serious as Alfred was about to protest, "I will always be here and I won't ever go anywhere, but you can."
Alfred simply looked down, feeling bad because he had promised Matthew that he would never leave him, "Please, Alfred? For me?"
Looking into those pleading indigo eyes, surprisingly different from his own, Alfred couldn't help but want to make Matthew happy.
It didn't take him very long at all to make new friends.
"Mattie," Alfred looked thoughtful again, and Matthew silently knew to expect something strange, "Are you a Canadian?"
"What?" Matthew looked completely taken back, only knowing of different countries because Alfred had told him of them, "Canadian? What's that?" He asked softly, pouting when Alfred simply laughed at him teasingly.
"It means you're from Canada, silly!" Alfred snickered, "It's the country on top of ours! It's really cold and snowy up there and people live in igloos and even have real live pet polar bears!"
"Why would you think that?" Matthew tilted his head, wondering where the question even came from, "I-I don't know if I am." He replied helplessly, sighing.
"Well, there's this girl in my class – her name's Madeleine Williams or something – and she acts a lot like you! She even kinda looks like you," Alfred observed Matthew carefully, looking away with a soft blush, "S-she's kinda pretty, too."
Matthew smiled and laughed lightly, "Do you like her?" He teased, causing Alfred to react rather violently.
"N-no, no way!" Alfred scrunched his nose, "Girls are gross. They have cooties!" He shuddered, looking back at Matthew.
"Beside, I have you, Mattie! I don't need anyone else!"
"Alfred – Kiku is on the phone for you," Arthur popped his head into his son's room; thick brows narrowing as he spotted the boy sitting, once again, in front of his mirror, "How many times have I told you..." The Brit rubbed at his temple, as if to ward away any oncoming headaches.
"Can you tell Kiku to call back later?" Alfred's voice was completely uninterested as he stared at the mirror, much like a cat would and that unnerved Arthur, "I'm still talking to Mattie."
"Kiku may have video games for you," Arthur said, almost a pleading undertone because Alfred was just too obsessed with his imaginary friend and it was becoming abnormal because it had been going on for five years now, "Wouldn't you like that?" He tried to bribe because he usually didn't let Alfred play those video games, the ones that came straight from Japan, since they were rather... weird.
"I'll play with him later," Alfred waved it off, not taking his eyes off the mirror, "Why'd you go all quiet, Mattie?"
Arthur knew that this wasn't normal.
"All right, I have had enough," Arthur said firmly, grabbing Alfred by his arm and forcibly dragging him away from the mirror. He ignored Alfred's enraged cry and dragged him from his room, "Alfred, do I have to punish you?" Arthur frowned, his patience wearing thin as Alfred kicked at his legs defiantly, "I will take the mirror from your room if I have to." He said grimly.
Alfred immediately stopped his act at those chilling words, "N-no, you can't!" Alfred's blue eyes filled with large tears, "Y-you can't! I won't get to see Mattie again!"
Arthur sighed, kneeling down to Alfred's growing height, "My boy," He said softly, putting his hands on Alfred's shoulder to comfort him, "Isn't it time for you to grow up a little?"
Even when he was all grown up, Alfred would always believe in Matthew because Matthew was all his.
Alfred learned to keep his door closed because whenever his parents came into his room, Matthew would go all quiet and not speak and if he did try to speak, he simply couldn't (or his parents couldn't hear him).
But, maybe – his friends would be able to see Matthew because they weren't old yet like his parents were.
"I have something really special to show you!" Alfred beamed excitedly, though Kiku didn't really react externally and Toris looked nervous for some reason, "But, if I show you, you can't tell anyone else, okay?"
"You have my word." Kiku nodded, looking very serious as he looked around the room for what Alfred might show them.
Toris simply swallowed and quietly agreed, wondering what could excite Alfred so much.
"Okay, it's here!" Alfred pointed enthusiastically to his mirror, bouncing in front of it and sitting down. Kiku and Toris quickly crowded in, hoping to see whatever Alfred wanted to show them, "See, look! There's Matthew!" He pointed to the reflecting glass.
Kiku blinked, seeing nothing but Alfred's mirror image, "Ano, Alfred-san, what exactly are we looking at?" He asked politely, feeling very bad as Alfred looked at him with that devastated expression.
"I don't see anything special either." Toris shrugged, crying out when Alfred suddenly pushed him rather roughly to the ground, "W-what was that for?"
"Mattie's special! He's more special than you, so don't call him not special!" Alfred snapped, terrifying Toris and startling Kiku, "Why can't you see him?" He mumbled, looking back and seeing Matthew's saddened expression.
Toris only laughed nervously, hoping that Alfred would stop acting like Ivan and just go back to his friendly self, "Alfred-san," Kiku cleared his throat, hoping he could clear some of the tension within the room, "Is this possibly the Mirror of Erised?"
And then Alfred realised that maybe, he too, was special because he was the only who could see Matthew...
"Mattie," Alfred suddenly asked, looking a little embarrassed and Matthew looked at him with a puzzled expression because that was very uncharacteristic for Alfred, "Do you think girls are gross?"
"I don't know," Matthew shook his blond hair, and clutched Kumajirou tighter to him, "I've never met one before, so I couldn't say. Why?" He asked curiously, vaguely wondering if Alfred liked one.
"W-well, it's just... Madeleine has gotten a lot prettier and..." Alfred paused, covering his red cheeks and looking rather lost, "I'm not sure what to do." He sighed, falling to his back and glancing at Matthew for his reaction out of the corner of his eyes.
"Just talk to her," Matthew blinked, stating the obvious because he didn't know better, "It shouldn't be too hard. You said she acted like me, right? Then, she shouldn't be too mean or anything."
"Mattie!" Alfred sat up so quickly that it startled Matthew, "You're not supposed to say that!" The American boy pouted, "I was lying earlier! I don't really like Madeleine," Alfred confessed, "Even if she is really pretty."
"Oh," Matthew looked surprised, wondering why Alfred would trick him like that, "Do you like another girl, then? That Natalya you mentioned before? Or that one from Seychelles?"
"Ewww," Alfred groaned at the thought, shuddering, "Natalya is crazy! She almost stabbed someone with a pencil for touching her brother. And that girl from wherever talks funny. She always likes to talk in French and mix it up with English!"
"So why did you ask me earlier?" Matthew prodded, knowing there was something bothering Alfred if he asked him such a random question.
"You were supposed to act jealous!" Alfred huffed, tapping the mirror impatiently, "Why didn't you?" Of course, he was upset because his plan backfired rather badly.
"Was I?" Matthew murmured, looking embarrassed by his large mistake, "I'm sorry, Alfred! I didn't know." He muttered, digging his fingers into Kumajirou's old fur.
"Whatever." Alfred mock rolled his eyes, giving Matthew a smirk, "Just make sure to act jealous next time I like a girl, okay?"
"Whatever you want, Al."
"I am beginning to worry," Francis confessed at dinnertime, sighing as he looked down at the fabulous French food he was currently preparing, "Alfred still spends so much time locked up in his room, talking to his mirror!"
Arthur bit his lip, not really wanting to bring up the topic because it was worrying him too. Most children realised that their imaginary friends weren't real by this age, but Alfred didn't seem to get it yet, "What are you suggesting?" The Brit asked in a low tone, glaring over at Francis.
"Perhaps," Francis glanced away, studying a bottle of wine sitting on the counter, "We should consider getting Alfred a little... counselling."
Arthur snapped, "Our boy is not crazy!" He gripped the table hard; his green eyes blazing at Francis, "Just give him a little more... time." He sighed lamely, holding his head in his hands and wondering where he went wrong.
"It has been eight years," Francis said softly, stroking Arthur's messy blond hair soothingly, "The boy needs a bit of help to get past this stage. There is nothing to be embarrassed about."
Arthur said nothing and Francis found it safe to proceed, "I know a wonderful psychiatrist. She is a very close friend of mine. She is my cousin, after all."
"The one from Monaco?" Arthur asked miserably, thinking it might what be that snapped Alfred out of his fantasy-land and to get him to stop talking about 'Mattie' constantly.
"She's the one," Francis confirmed with a nod, "And her price would be considerably lower."
Arthur didn't say anything as he pondered over the idea and as Alfred came down from his room and asked for dinner and spoke nothing but of Matthew, he decided right then and there.
He nodded to Francis silently.
Alfred was now hesitant to talk to Matthew.
"Hey, Mattie." Alfred said shyly, sitting down in front of the mirror and squirming a bit nervously. He looked away as Matthew looked at him with obvious concern.
"Alfred," Matthew easily noticed that there was something different about his only friend, "Is something wrong?" He asked, hiding his face behind Kumajirou as Alfred froze at the question and flustered quite visibly.
"N-no, nothing's wrong!" Alfred laughed it off, biting his lip and attempting to stop his excessive squirming, though he failed miserably. It wasn't his fault that he felt hot and funny in his pants every time he even looked at Matthew, and he vaguely knew what was going on because Francis had explained it to him when he was young (and in very explicit detail, too).
"Okay, then," Matthew looked a bit hurt that Alfred wouldn't share his feelings, but didn't prod on the topic, "How was your day at school, Alfred?" He changed the conversation, though his mind kept going back as to how Alfred was acting strangely.
"It was boring. It always is," Alfred rolled his eyes, glad in the change of their talk, "You're really lucky, Mattie! You don't have to go to school and stuff."
"I wish I could," Matthew sighed wistfully, "I wish I could do everything that you can."
Alfred swallowed, now feeling guilty for his stupid and thoughtless remark because Matthew couldn't come out of the mirror and Alfred hadn't figured out a way to save him yet, "It'll be soon! I'll save you!" Alfred said confidently and Matthew could only smile at his enthusiasm.
"I believe you."
"Alfred," Arthur began with a firm expression, causing said boy to look at him curiously, "I think... that you may need some help." He slowly said, watching carefully as his son looked at him strangely. Francis stared at his wine, mentally preparing himself for the fireworks.
"What do you mean?" Alfred frowned, not liking his Dad's tone because it usually meant something bad, "Schoolwork isn't too hard." He said casually, tensing as Arthur looked at him with those eyes.
"No, that's not what I mean," Arthur sighed, "Alfred – it isn't... normal for you to be so obsessed with 'Matthew' anymore," He tried to ignore Alfred's alarmed look, "So, we have arranged for you to see counsellor."
"You think he doesn't exist, don't you?" Alfred accused, his face growing red with rage, "I'm not crazy! Mattie's really there!" The American grit his teeth and left the dinner table in a fit when his parents stayed silent.
"That could have went better."
Doctor Émilie Bonnefoy sighed, crossing her legs as she waited for the next patient. She knew it was the adopted son of her cousin, Francis, "Goodbye, Sam. I will see you next week." She smiled comfortingly at the androgynous New Zealand boy who had gender identity issues going on.
She got up from her chair, waving in the next people in the room, "Ma chérie ~ it has been a long time, non?" Francis smiled charmingly at his cousin, opening his arms wide for a hug. Émilie looked at him suspiciously, knowing he would probably try to grope her if she accepted his embrace.
"Is this Alfred?" She asked, bending down to Alfred's height and smiling softly as to relieve any nervous tensions, "How are you, Alfred? My name is Émilie Bonnefoy."
"I don't need to be here!" Alfred declared confidently, glaring at the pretty woman who had long brown hair loosely tied in a braid and had blue eyes that were the same colour as Francis'. She was dressed professionally and had a kind air around her.
"You will see his problem soon." Arthur said quietly and he and Francis watched as Dr. Bonnefoy led Alfred into the room for the next hour.
"Tell me again," Dr. Bonnefoy asked her patient of about a year, "What does Matthew look like?"
Alfred glanced at her with a bored look, "You already know. He looks like me, 'cept he has kinda purplish eyes and his hair is a little bit longer, but he's a lot quieter than me and he has a polar bear."
Dr. Bonnefoy nodded, writing something down on her notepad, "And his appearance never changes?" She looked up at Alfred, who was lying down on the chair and going through the repeated actions of throwing a bouncy ball against the wall and catching it again.
"Nope, not really. He gets bigger as I get bigger." Alfred shrugged, sighing as he looked at the clock. Another ten minutes to go.
"Would you like to leave early?" Dr. Bonnefoy smiled kindly, observing as Alfred instantly jumped to his feet and nodded eagerly, "All right, do not forget our appointment next week."
Alfred did not even look back as he left the room.
"How was your appointment?" Matthew asked softly, bringing his knees to his chest and watching as Alfred huffed as he sat down.
"Same as always. Asking me the same stupid questions and writing stuff down about me," Alfred glared at nothing, looking tired and almost even sad, "Mattie, does Kumajirou ever move?" He covered his bloodshot eyes, seemingly hiding his tears.
"No, Kumakichi never moved. He's only a stuffed toy," Matthew looked very concerned, "Alfred, what's wrong? Please, tell me!"
Alfred laughed, finally letting the tears burst down his cheeks, "Hero's dead. My kitty's dead!" He whimpered, letting his head fall into his knees and falling to his side.
"I'm really sorry, Al."
"Alfred, do you have many friends?" Dr. Bonnefoy asked, glancing up over her glasses to the American boy.
"Yeah, I guess," Alfred rolled his eyes, "There's Kiku and Toris – they're my best friends." He muttered, fidgeting excessively because he was sick of these counselling sessions when they were completely pointless.
"Have you ever had a girlfriend?" Dr. Bonnefoy raised a thin brow, "It's normal for a boy your age to become interested in girls. Is there any girl who has ever caught your eye?"
"Not really," Alfred quickly denied it, "I have Mattie. He's all I need." The blond teen slumped against his chair, drumming his fingers against the armrest.
Dr. Bonnefoy nodded and wrote something down on her notepad, "I see. Perhaps you should try talking to a few girls?"
Alfred stayed silent for a moment until he sat up and smiled brightly, "Yeah, maybe I will. Then Mattie'll get jealous since I told him to."
Madeleine Williams – she was a pretty, shy girl who attracted many strange friends.
First, there was Gilbert Beilschmidt, the school punk and albino and self-proclaimed 'Prussian'/'Most-Awesome-Man-Of-The-World'. He hung around Madeleine like he was her guard dog. Then, there was that Cuban communist and Ivan, whom Madeleine pretty much worshipped for playing on the hockey team. And there was Katyusha and even Lars – the P.E teacher who was rumoured to like the girls young.
And her best friend was a girl named Emily Jones, a blond, loud, and ditzy girl who Alfred didn't really like. Many people said she was like the female version of him and he denied that completely.
Madeleine looked almost like Matthew and that was the only reason Alfred was interested in her.
And since he was a pretty popular boy, it wasn't too hard to approach the Canadian girl.
"Madeleine, can I talk to you?" Alfred asked awkwardly, watching Madeleine flush and ignoring Emily who squealed loudly, "Alone?"
"I'll just be over here!" Emily winked, giving Madeleine a quick hug and standing by the locker and bringing out her cell phone to text while watching them out of the corner of her eye.
"A-Alfred, what is it?" Madeleine stuttered slightly, nervously pulling on her pigtails and her short school uniform skirt.
"I was just wondering, would you like to go out?" Alfred decided to be blunt, almost wanting to smile because she looked so much like Matthew.
"O-oh!" Madeleine widened her pretty eyes and her blush darkened, "I-I suppose." She whispered, nervously looking away and jumping when Alfred put his hand on her shoulder.
"That's great! We can go after school!" Alfred grinned brightly, thinking forward as to how jealous Matthew would be after he arrived home.
The two parted and Alfred ignored how Emily squealed loudly after Madeleine told her.
"I thought you said that you didn't like Madeleine." Matthew looked surprised when Alfred came home from his date.
"She's nice, but I don't like her as much as I like you," Alfred grinned, looking like he was expecting something, "C'mon, Mattie!" Alfred whined, "You're supposed to act jealous!"
"Oh, right!" Matthew widened his eyes, "Alfred, why are you dating her?"
Alfred's smile dimmed, "Pops said I need to get out more and if I don't, then he'll take the mirror away. Plus, Madeleine's a lot like you, so it won't be too hard to like her."
"Don't you think it's a little mean to use her like that?" Matthew asked hesitantly.
Alfred didn't answer.
They had been dating for quite a few months and people were very pressuring.
"So, have you slept with him yet?" Emily asked with a sly smirk, giggling when Madeleine simply blushed and said nothing.
"Alfred-san, perhaps you need to look at one of my doujinshi for ideas?" Kiku offered, handing over one of his hentai manga over to the teen.
"You don't have to do this if you don't want to." Alfred said softly, already shirtless on Madeleine's bed and watching the girl squirm nervously.
"N-no, it's okay," The Canadian fiddled with her loose long hair, "Maman's not here and you said that your parents would interrupt."
Alfred watched curiously as the girl awkwardly struggled with her clothes and a few moments later, she was only in her bra and underwear.
"You're beautiful," Alfred said, half-lying because while Madeleine was very pretty; she wasn't particularly appealing to him.
"T-thanks," Madeleine covered her face with her blond hair, biting her lip and glancing down at Alfred's pants, "I could help you...?" She let off timidly, gesturing to his pants and Alfred blinked, clueless.
Alfred hesitated because he wasn't really hard yet and he didn't want to embarrass her, but she insisted, "God, I'm sorry," He apologised, after his girlfriend took off his pants and boxers, revealing that he was only half-hard, "I've... just never done this before." He finished lamely.
"Neither have I." Madeleine thought nothing of it, pressing shy kisses to his lips and Alfred halfheartedly pressed back, desperately thinking of thoughts that would possibly lead to full arousal and yet nothing worked.
However, it was rather easy once Madeleine pulled back because her eyes were so close to the colour of Matthew's and Alfred imagined that it was Matthew and not Madeleine.
He timidly touched her, though avoided touching her breasts and skimmed across them as fast as he possibly could because Matthew would not have those. Her soft breaths of encouragement sounded in his ears and he was aroused because he was thinking of Matthew.
He hissed and she winced when Alfred finally entered her, and feeling her tight walls constrict around his hot flesh, Alfred groaned.
Both were inexperienced and it didn't take too many awkward thrusts later for Alfred to reach his climax, "Oh, Matthew!" He panted, feeling his release explode over him and not feeling Madeleine tense underneath him.
"W-who's Matthew?" Madeleine asked apprehensively, trying her best to squirm out from underneath Alfred and he paused and froze and was puzzled because how did Madeleine know that name?
'Is that what I said?' Alfred mentally hit himself for being so careless, "He... he's..." Alfred tried lamely, unable to say anything else and looking away with shame as Madeleine covered her bare body with a sheet.
She swallowed and gave a strained smile, "It's okay, Alfred."
He knew it wasn't.
"I've had sex," Alfred said bluntly and Dr. Bonnefoy looked up with a raised brow, "With a girl at my school," He looked at the Monégasque woman accusingly, "Just like you said. It was horrible."
"I never suggested you have sex," She said calmly, writing something on her infuriating notepad, "Do you care to tell me why it was so horrible?"
"I couldn't even get it up," Alfred said miserably, giving a false laugh, "Not unless I thought of Mattie. It wasn't so hard either; Madeleine looks a lot like him," The American looked even more depressed, "I hurt her badly."
Dr. Bonnefoy stayed silent for a tense moment, "When did you start thinking of Matthew in a sexual light?" She asked in a neutral tone and Alfred looked at her with wide eyes and he resembled a lost child.
"I... I don't know."
"You were right, Mattie," Alfred gave a grim smile, "I was using Madeleine and I hurt her. That stupid friend of hers, Emily, found out and now there's a rumour going around that I'm gay."
"But why?" Matthew tilted his head, his messy blond hair falling into his pretty eyes, "Why were you dating her if you didn't even like her in that way?"
"I don't know!" Alfred moaned, not wanting to admit the real reason to Matthew's face, "I don't know."
In the next school year, Alfred tried to prove the rumour wrong by sleeping with every girl that would be willing.
He avoided Madeleine like the plague.
Matthew looked amazed and Alfred grinned sheepishly.
"Well, what do you think?" He asked, self-consciously adjusting the new glasses perched on his nose, "If you don't like them, I could just start wearing contacts." Alfred said restlessly, not even waiting for Matthew's answer.
"No, you look good," Matthew said, unconsciously touching his own face and was dismayed when he felt no glasses on his face, "I like them."
"That's good," Alfred let out a breath of relief, getting comfortable, "I broke up with that Vietnamese girl – the one that Ivan was also eyeing." He snickered, thinking of Ivan's angry expression that looked more childish then anything.
Matthew did not copy Alfred's carefree expression, "Do you really have to date all those girls if you don't even like them?" He asked quietly, looking away from Alfred's frown.
"They were nothing but a quick fuck," Alfred retorted, "They're nothing compared to you, Mattie. No one can compare to you."
Matthew stayed stubbornly silent.
And the next time Alfred looked in the mirror, Matthew was wearing glasses.
"There doesn't seem to be any progress," Arthur said with frustration, "Dr. Bonnefoy said Alfred could be suffering from rare mental disorder either called Doppelgänger Syndrome or Mirror Self-Misidentification," He sighed, taking another shot of alcohol, "She doesn't think that Alfred will ever grow out of it."
"What causes it?" Francis asked in a low tone, taking a sip of his wine.
"The car accident that Alfred was in when he was a baby could have caused some sort of brain damage," Arthur rubbed the bridge of his nose tiredly, "I don't know what to do. Dr. Bonnefoy said if I try to take away the mirror, Alfred might have a mental breakdown."
Francis sighed, wrapping a comforting arm around Arthur's shoulder and allowing the Brit to slump against him.
He didn't know what to do either.
Alfred nervously ran his hand through his blond hair, licking his lips anxiously as he exited his bathroom and slowly padded to his mirror.
His hungry eyes eagerly took in the sight of Matthew.
"A-Alfred! What are you doing?" Matthew squeaked with embarrassment, trying to hide his bared body with Kumajirou. His pale cheeks turned red and Matthew could not but help to try and hide his sight of the equally nude Alfred.
Alfred had always tried to avoid dressing in front of his mirror because Matthew was always wearing the same clothing as he was, so he simply came to the conclusion that if he wasn't wearing anything, then Matthew wouldn't be wearing anything.
It seemed he was right in that assumption.
"Sorry, Mattie," Alfred's confidence fell at the sound of Matthew's voice and he shyly looked away, yet didn't move away, "I couldn't help it. I just wanted to see you so badly."
"Great. Could you possibly put on some clothes now?" Matthew squeaked, still covering his eyes and was dismayed when he didn't feel the fabric draping over his body.
"No, I just want to do this at least once," Alfred pleaded, biting his lip and feeling the blood rush down lower as he stared unabashedly at Matthew, "Please?"
Matthew glanced up slowly and it took him a very long time for him to nod.
"Thank you!" Alfred slumped down with relief, his fingers trembling as he slowly reached down to grip himself, "You don't have to do anything," The blond tightened his grasp and moaned when pleasure shot up his spine, "I've wanted to do this since I was thirteen." He gasped, arching up and pumping his hand.
Matthew said nothing and Alfred could only stare at his unblinking indigo eyes as he brought himself to completion, "Fuck, Mattie!" He convulsed, biting his lip hard enough to taste blood as the slick liquid trailed down the mirror.
Alfred never slept as good as he did that night.
"Are you ready for college?" Dr. Bonnefoy asked, glancing up at him with those infuriating calm blue eyes that Alfred hated.
"I guess," He shrugged, bouncing the ball against the wall and wishing he would never see this woman again as he left for college, "I got a scholarship."
"For American football?" Dr. Bonnefoy's lips upturned into a tiny smile, "Arthur tells me that you are very good at it."
"Yeah, I was the quarterback in high school." Alfred said with a bored sigh, rolling his eyes and watching the clock tick down until it reached the time he could go.
The Dr. Bonnefoy nodded, "And are you going to bring the mirror with you?" She asked, pausing in her writings so that she could look at Alfred over the rim of her glasses.
"Of course," Alfred looked at her like she was stupid, "How else would Mattie follow?" He snorted, kicking out his legs on the couch and letting his head loll back.
"I see," The brunette glanced back down at her notes, "Tell me how far you can remember." She demanded lightly, thinking ahead because Alfred wouldn't likely see her anymore if he was going off to college.
After all, Alfred wasn't delusional about anything else other than mirrors and he could lead a semi-normal life at least.
"Nothing about the orphanage or the car accident if that's what you're implying." Alfred drawled, "But, other then that, my life was good. Dad and Papa are good parents, I guess. They got me whatever I wanted and I have good friends."
"Except your relationship with Madeleine and the other girls," She pointed out, ignoring Alfred's glare, "Did you ever wonder about your biological parents?"
"Nope." Alfred answered shortly, standing up and stretching and seeing that he only had one minute left.
"I have one more question before you leave," Dr. Bonnefoy stopped him from leaving her office, "Do you think, perhaps, that you knew someone named Matthew before the car accident?"
Alfred narrowed his eyes at her, "Well, it was good seeing you, Doc." He gave a mock salute because he knew it was the last session since he was off to college the next week.
Dr. Bonnefoy sighed and wrote one more thing down in her notepad.
"Why are we here again?" Francis looked irritated, though that wasn't surprising as they just had sent off Alfred to college.
"Don't you ever talk to your cousin?" Arthur demanded, rolling his emerald eyes, "She said to go back to the orphanage to see if Alfred ever knew anyone named Matthew."
"And she believes that Alfred may be projecting that person onto the mirror?" Francis looked skeptical but trailed after his husband as they reached the front desk of the orphanage.
"Can I help you?" A kind brown-haired woman with green eyes and a slight Hungarian accent greeted them.
"Yes, we are the adopted parents of Alfred Jones," Arthur explained, almost impatiently, "And I wanted to know about his family before they died."
After checking the papers and their identification, the woman, now known as Elizabeta asked them to wait as she checked the documents, "Yes, here they are." She smiled as she brought down the folder.
Arthur and Francis watched and listened almost anxiously as Elizabeta read the document to them, "It says here that Alfred had a mother and father and a twin brother that perished in the car accident. He had no other known family members."
They both froze at the word 'twin brother' and wondered why they hadn't been informed of his information before, "What was Alfred's twin's name?" The Brit immediately demanded.
"Oh, here's a picture!" Elizabeta cheerfully handed the documents over and Arthur and Francis quickly grabbed a hold of it and almost dropped it in shock.
The boy in the photo was only a baby, but he had the purplish eyes and pale skin and slightly wavy blond hair and looked exactly like Alfred had described him.
His name was Matthew Jones.
Alfred had been seeing his dead twin brother in the mirror...
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