Relationship Status: It's Complicated

Chapter Seventeen

As Matthew scrunches his nose at a particularly hard question, he feels something very thin trace up his thigh. His leg immediately jerks up, hitting the table with some violence. He shoots a withering glare at Alfred, who leans back into his chair and grins.

Braginski's currently answering someone's question at the other end of the room, so Matthew plucks the eraser out the back of his mechanical pencil and flicks it at Alfred. Alfred only barely manages to suppress an indignant squawk at that is caught and Braginski straightens up to look at who made a noise.

"This is a culminating task," He addresses the class as a whole but gives a pointed look to Matthew and Alfred. "I expect silence, or there will be zeros."

Braginski turns back to an increasingly annoyed Feliks, and Alfred sticks his tongue out at Matthew. Matthew, who's resolved to do as much as possible in the final stretch of school as possible to boost his grade and ease up his grounding, continues to work diligently.

After he eventually made it home that morning after the party, his mom had proceeded to thoroughly chew his head out over just about everything. While Matthew had admittedly zoned out half way through the lecture about bad grades and staying out with friends too much, he left with the knowledge that he is grounded for the remainder of the school year, equalling to around two and a half months. He's not allowed to go to anyone's house, no one's allowed over, allowance and most funding is cut off, and while he's occasionally let out of the house on the weekends, he's got a curfew and restrictions as to where he can go. Normally he would not mind, using that extra time to sleep or sneak Wi-Fi onto his phone or try and train his fat cat to do tricks but this time he has a reason to go out a bit more often than usual. So he's worked hard on raising his marks and lowering the restrictions on his grounding.

One of the ways he's worked hard is by getting a tutor who surprisingly excels in Math, the one subject that he's truly doing horrible in. Through rather unconventional ways, the tutor's taught enough for Matthew to bring his mark up in the course, and have the capability to pass the exam without humiliating himself.

He taps his pencil, looking at the question. He has no idea what the flying fuck he needs to do, and doesn't think he's covered it in one of the study sessions he's had during lunch. He searches his brain and...

...Does sort of remember looking at that part in his notes just a few days ago, asking his tutor about it, and effectively getting distracted thereon after because his tutor had a change of heart. Just the thought of that makes him blush lightly and his mind's on the verge of wandering again.

But being the good (no, amazing) best friend that he is, Alfred picks the gum in his mouth and flicks it at Matthew's hair, making sure Matthew's attention is back where it's supposed to be. Matthew makes a disgusted face as he picks out the stick gum, but can't throw it back because Braginski has glided over to their part of the room. Sourly, he sticks the gum under his desk, and waits till Braginski's not looking to mouth a "fuck you". Alfred makes a V-shape with his fingers and wriggles his tongue through them, an Matthew ducks his head to look like he's been working as Braginski does catch that one action.

Alfred gets a hissed reprimand as Matthew works away, and is left with an insolent pout as soon as Braginski is done.

"Hey. Hey, Matt," he says once the bell finally rings and everyone is turning in their paper. "Guess what I'm doing today and you're not?"

"Being an idiot?" Matthew offers and Alfred rolls his eyes.

"Wow, you're so funny Matt. Don't kill me." he says, voice dripping with sarcasm. "Just for that, I'll tell you. Also because it's something I'm doing and you're not.

"And that would be..."

"I'm hanging out with Lars today."


Matthew and Alfred stand and stare at each other until Alfred blurts out a "Aren't you supposed to be jealous 'cus you can't chill with your boyfriend?"

Matthew gives Alfred a hard look, and chooses not to respond to that. Ever since that one morning a few weeks after they had started "dating", where Matthew had woken up to a relationship status change request online, Alfred has continuously referred to Gilbert as the boyfriend.

"I'm not jealous of you," he says as Alfred continues to prod him on their way out of the class room. "I chilled with him at lunch today."

"Oh yeah, I forgot." Alfred makes a face, as he pushes aside someone who is standing in front of the classroom door and talking to their friend. "You were having one of those tutoring sessions again for Math."

"Don't put it like that," Matthew scolds, as he apologizes to the student.

"Don't put it like what? Facts are facts bro," Alfred slaps Matthew's back. "And the facts are that a certain Alfred F. Jones caught Matthew Williams and the boyfriend macking in an empty stairwell, even though they claim that public displays of affection are not their thing and that the boyfriend was merely helping him with math. And Alfred may have taken a picture in exchange for Elizabeta giving him a chocolate bar but that's neither here nor there."

Matthew freezes mid-step. "You what?"

Alfred continues walking on, and it takes Matthew a few seconds to get his feet moving again so he can do a slight jog and catch up with Alfred.

"Did you take pictures of us?" Matthew demands, and Alfred mutters something about it being his fault for faking study periods during lunch. "Hey, he actually teaches me!"

"Yeah whatever. When your final mark is still a bare pass, don't come to me asking me why." Alfred sniffs as they make their way to Matthew's locker. Matthew gives him a sour look, before fiddling with his lock. As he turns the dial, Lars materializes out of nowhere.

"Hey Matt," The tall boy greets, and his spiked hair gives him the appearance of towering over everyone else. "'Sup?"

"I was just telling him how he's going to fail Math." Alfred says, pulling the lukewarm can of iced tea he had left in Matthew's locker in the morning.

"Shut up," Matthew grumbles, shoving binders into the locker. "I studied."

"Yeah, Beilschmidt helped you, didn't he?" Lars asks idly, smirking taking the can from Alfred for a sip. "Yeah, I know."

"I hate you both," Matthew says tersely, before turning to drop a textbook into his bag. "A lot."

"Hate who?" A fourth voice pipes up as Gilbert joins the group. "Those two? Why?"

"They're weird." Matthew replies, Lars and Alfred pulling a mock offended face as Matthew swings his backpack over his shoulder. Gilbert raises his hand, Matthew mirrors the action, and mid hi-five, they pull into each other to give a one-armed hug. Like always, Alfred gives his vocal disapproval about how the hug is not cute/sappy/sexual enough, and like always he's ignored.

"How was Math?" Gilbert asks as they pull away, Matthew shrugging in response.

"Good, I guess. I think I remembered everything. There was this one part where-"

"You guys are too romantic," Lars interrupts their conversation with a deadpan. "I think I'm going to leave before I get sick."

"Don't get too jealous." Gilbert throws back, and Lars rolls his eyes. Alfred, meanwhile, has grabbed Matthew's wallet off the shelf of the locker, and rifles through it to pull out a five dollar bill.

"Where are you going with that?" Matthew asks, trying to grab the bill while Alfred holds it out of his reach. "Hey, give it back! That's the only five bucks I have for the rest of the month!"

"Your point?" Alfred chirps happily as he tosses the wallet to Matthew and starts walking backwards. "You'll live! C'mon Lars, let's dip."

Matthew's too busy catching and fumbling with the wallet to run after Lars and Alfred, who have decided to gleefully book it down the hall with the new found treasure.

"Get back—!" He tries to yell after them to no avail, because he generally isn't one to yell in the first place. A chuckle comes from behind him and an arm pats his back.

"Don't worry about it," Gilbert says. "Getting it back won't be too hard."

"Maybe." Matthew sighs in defeat, and turns back to his locker to close it.

"Is your mom letting you out today?" Gilbert asks, and Matthew shakes his head.

"Nope. She wants me to stay and help garden." Matthew grimaces as he locks the lock and turns the dial back to zero. "Or specifically, help Rupert garden and bond with him."

Much to Matthew's displeasure, Rupert seems to slowly be making a place in his mother's heart. He's gotten more involved than before in their tiny family, and while he and Matthew are at cordial level, Matthew still wants to challenge him to a violent sport to get all his anger out. It's worked with Alfred, whom he had a wrestling match with to forgive him for telling people (namely Gilbert) about Matthew's secret.

"Damn." Gilbert curses lightly.

He takes a brief glance down both sides of the hallway, before quickly kissing Matthew. As cheesy as it is, while Matthew has done a really good job with acknowledging the fact that he's finally got with the guy he's been crushing on for the better part of the year, he still feels that small giddiness every time something like this happens. He's tried to explain it to Alfred, who generally laughs it off and says the best cure is to get more touchy feely in public. This is something both Matthew and Gilbert are not prone to. It is not that they are against it or that they are uncomfortable with it; it just feels rather awkward to be doing things like that in public (hence Gilbert's quick survey of the halls). There was this one time when they went to a sandwich shop for lunch and tried the bare minimum by holding hands, but after Gilbert had started yanking Matthew back and forth and sending him in all directions with his hand still attached. They have decided that they will save those things for when they are more mature.

"Want me to drive you home?" Gilbert asks. "Sadiq and Ludwig are going over to Elizabeta's tonight and nobody else is coming along so..."

Matthew's about to decline the offer, and say that Gilbert need not go through the trouble but he figures that he might as well get a ride home instead of walking in the sticky summer heat. He voices that thought out aloud and As they make their way into the parking lot, Gilbert assures Matthew that of coursethat's the reason he offered in the first place.

Like they have been for the duration of their dating, Matthew and Gilbert have remained blissfully unaware/forgetful until one sunny afternoon in history class. After wrapping up a discussion on Renaissance culture, Vargas focuses the talk on upcoming projects.

"As you know, tomorrow we're starting our major semester-long civilization seminars tomorrow. There are about twenty four of you, so I imagine we'll need a week for the presentations."

Immediately, the entire class starts protesting on how Vargas hasn't given them enough warning time and it's unfair and a bunch of other bullshit to cover up the fact that not a lot of people are prepared for this.

"It's been on the board since it has been assigned," Vargas replies coolly. "And it's been on the class webpage. And I've given you time in class to work on it. And I told you last week."

Clearly, no one in this class is productive, a good listener, or bright for the matter of fact that they continue to try and bargain with Vargas.

"It's an absolute deadline, kids," He shrugs and gives a grin. "No changing now! So who wants to go first?"

The class returns the questions with a blank stare.

Meanwhile, Matthew is thrown into a slight panic because he and Gilbert have next to nothing done. They have a minuscule amount of research finished, and have spent the last few work periods either playing games on the computer or looking up odd things on the internet and giggling like a bunch of idiots. The project requires a substantial amount of material to be covered, and Matthew's not sure if they can do it in such a short time.

He glances at Gilbert, who's turned around to give him a "fuck I think we're screwed" face. Matthew mirrors the face, and he's pretty sure just about everyone else has the same expression.

"Suit yourself then. I'll pick at random then."

A tense thirty seconds later, of which five were spent deliberating and twenty five of which are spent keeping the class in suspense, Vargas announces the first name.


Matthew heaves breathe a deep sigh of relief until Antonio says he can't because he has a dance competition but would love to go the next day, sending sniggers throughout the class room about fruity hobbies to which Antonio
simply replies that he gets to dance with pretty girls and make it look good as opposed to awkwardly swaying at the school dance. It works in shutting the class up.

Francis is called next, and being Antonio's partner, he can't go either.

"Alright, then I guess the next person on our list is...Sadiq."

Sadiq gives a non-committal grunt beside Matthew, and Matthew is oh so thankful and—

"And Beilschmidt, you and your partner will go right after. Eduard, you and your partner will go after them. Remember kids, we're on a tight schedule."

They may or may not be completely screwed.

"Serves you right," Alfred says, leaning back in his chair in Math as Matthew finishes exclaiming his predicament. Braginski's given them a review package for exam time, meaning the class essentially has a free period.


"I dunno," Alfred shrugs. "For existing or something. You tell me."

"I hate you." Matthew grumbles, absently flipping the papers in the package.

"Hear that, Braginski?" Alfred says to Braginski, who raises both his head and his eyebrows.

"Hear what, Alfred?"

"Matt hates me."

"I'm sure he's got good reason," Braginski replies dryly, before going back to marking. Alfred makes a face and gives him the finger, and Braginski doesn't raise his head as he informs Alfred that earns him a twenty minute detention after school.

"I'm surrounded by haters." Alfred bemoans, to which Braginski and Matthew merely nod.

"This is too much stress though," Matthew says after his eyes glaze over the review questions. "I don't even know how we're going to get this done. Especially since Mom's still not too keen on letting me out."

"Then invite the boyfriend over." Alfred suggests. "Maybe actually working would help."

"I guess..." Matthew frowns. "But I don't know if Mom would allow it. And I don't think we'd have enough time even if he did come over."

"True," Alfred hums contemplatively. "I mean, what if you guys get off while writing about Egyptian religion and end up getting distracted?"

Matthew blinks, until he finally gets it. With other people, he's not too great with handling innuendo, but with Alfred he just gives an exasperated roll of the eyes.

"You're disgusting." He states.

"Your life is disgusting."

"Your face is disgusting."

"Your mom is disgusting." Alfred crinkles his nose. "Wait no, scratch that, your mom's fucking hot. Don't know what happened with you though."

Matthew throws his pencil at Alfred, and it backfires as Alfred swats it out of the way and it ends up hitting Matthew square in the face. For the rest of the period, he refuses to talk to Alfred.

Well maybe not for the rest of the period, just for fifteen minutes until Matthew sees Alfred trying to slip his candy wrapper into his backpack and has to chide him.

"Come over?" Gilbert asks, leaning against the locker beside Matthew's and quirking a brow. "Getting a bit forward, aren't we?"

"For our project," Matthew replies as he shuts the metal door. "Since we're going tomorrow and everything."

"That would be a good idea," Gilbert hums. "Is your mom going to let me over?"

"Yeah, um..." Matthew double checks his phone to make sure that it was actually his mother who sent the text. "She says it's okay since it's for school."

He is also going to add that it doesn't matter anyways because she's out late tonight, but he's pretty sure that Gilbert will misinterpret that as an invitation to something else and they really need to get this project done.

"What about Rupert?"

"He's going to be out with her too."

"Alright," Gilbert says, then grins and wriggles his eyebrows. "Maybe I'll have to end up sleeping over too."

Matthew gives the same exasperated look he gives to Alfred, but it's a little softer when directed to Gilbert.

"Yeah, if we don't finish in time." He says, heaving his backpack over his shoulder.

"That's what I meant." Gilbert chuckles and since there appears to be no one in the hall except for Braginski who's talking to Peter, both of whom no one cares for any ways, he tucks his hand into one of Matthew's back pockets.

At four p.m Matthew and Gilbert are sitting at the dining table while Matthew's mother sets down two plates with pancakes in front of them, courtesy of Gilbert pulling out a lot of charm. She sets down a bottle of maple syrup and some jam, and Gilbert thanks her with a winning smile and a comment on how they smell absolutely delicious and he bets they're even better than Matthew's. Matthew tells Gilbert to stop hitting on his mom as soon as she is out of the room, and Gilbert traces his sticky fork over Matthew's cheek and says to not worry and that he still finds Matthew attractive. Matthew's not quite sure whether or not he's shut up because he was flattered or just sort of disgusted.

At around four thirty, Matthew pulls him away from the dining table to the living room and asks him to set up stuff while Matthew brings down his laptop and some old world history books he has lying around in his room. Gilbert asks why they can't work in his room, and Matthew reminds that they're actually here to study.

Four forty-five finds Matthew's cat mewling loudly as Gilbert traps him in his lap and spins around on Matthew's wheelie chair in his room.

"Don't do that!" Matthew protests between fits of laughter, as Gilbert strokes Kumajiro's fur and throws his head back for some laughter of the deep and evil kind. There is a monocle on Matthew's desk from his role as a detective in a sixth grade play, and it is placed upon Kumajiro. The cat remains unimpressed at all the voice impressions the two give until around five fifteen, when Matthew's mother says she's going out.

"For how long?" Gilbert asks, and Matthew shrugs. "Awesome, wanna make out?"

"Wh—no!" Matthew protests. "We need to do our project!"

"Wanna go out then?"


By the time six o'clock rolls around, they're walking home from the convenience story with an arm full of candy and energy drinks and various other junk food. Or at least, Gilbert is because Matthew has to crouch down and tie his shoes. Gilbert toes his side, causing him to tip him over and fall onto the grass. When Matthew gets back on to his feet and asks what on earth possessed Gilbert to do that, Gilbert has no answer.

While dating him, Matthew's found out that Gilbert is an exceptionally weird person; but for some reason it's enduring to him. According to the Cosmopolitan magazine Alfred casually picked off Braginski's desk, it means that Matthew is also weird as fuck. At least, that's what Alfred said and he never let Matthew actually read what Cosmo has to say on the situation.

As soon as Matthew thinks it's safe again, he crouches down to tie his shoelaces and Gilbert uses his foot to push him off balance again. Matthew decides that maybe walking home with loose laces may not be as inconvenient as he thinks it is.

Some semblance work starts to rear its head at around eight o'clock, when Alfred and Lars have finally left the house. Matthew's not sure why they decided to come over in the first place, but he does know that nobody bothered to consult him before showing up at his house with a box of popcorn bags and some video games.

Originally Matthew's intentions were to shut the door on their face and get to actually working, until Alfred had issued a challenge that insulted Matthew's masculinity a bit too much. One game to shut him up was what was originally planned, but time somehow flew quicker than it normally does and by eight Matthew suddenly remembers that oh yeah, there's that huge project they've been given around three months to work on due tomorrow.

Matthew states this after he has finally (politely) ushered Lars and Alfred out of the house, and Gilbert shrugs and asks if this means he is staying for dinner, because then he's gotta let the old man know.

Two cups of noodles later, the two are back in Matthew's room, this time laying out the things they will need for their presentation.

"It says we need a visual component...and it has to be at least twenty minutes long." Matthew scans the crumpled rubric he's pulled out from the depths of his bag as he sits on his chair. "And it says it doesn't mean just the slide power-point. Apparently we need to have a skit or a poster or something."

Meanwhile, Gilbert is lying down on Matthew's bed and poking at Kumajiro, who's sprawled across Gilbert's stomach. When he gets no response, Matthew continues on.

"We need to cover the basics of the aspects of civilization and we need to also pick a couple of influential figures. And we need to relate the civilization to modern times or something." Matthew wrinkles his nose at the checklist. "And we need to have a class discussion, or involve them in some way. How are we fitting this into twenty minutes?"

"Don't worry about it." Gilbert waves him off. "We'll figure the time stuff out later. What else do we need?"

"That's the gist of it... And we need a bibliography too." Matthew reads about the amount of detail necessary, and groans. "I knew we shoulda started this earlier. We're so screwed."

"We were busy, remember?" Gilbert says, idly pulling at the fat cats fur. "I had to help you in Math so you didn't fail. Didn't hear you say anything then."

"That..." Matthew presses his lips together.


"That's different." Matthew says finally, and Gilbert laughs. At him specifically, so Matthew swivels the chair to face away from Gilbert and tells him to be quiet.

"So where do you want to start then?" he asks, Reading the marking scheme. "Wanna split up what we're gonna talk about?"

"Yeah sure," Gilbert replies. "Can we dress in togas and laurels? We can use bed sheets for our toga and I know Ludwig's got some wreath head thingy from a middle school production."

"Why? And weren't togas and laurels Roman or Greek?"

"Well the Egyptians weren't naked. Though I think it would make for a much more awesome presentation if they were."

Something starts slowly turning Matthew around on his chair, and Matthew comes face to face with a dangling Kumajiro and a grinning Gilbert.

"How long's your mom out for?" he asks, dropping the cat on Matthew's lap. Kumajiro crawls off Matthew's lap and scurries off, not wanting to be subject to the two boys any more.

"Uh..." Matthew's mother had actually called in the middle of one of the games earlier on, and Alfred had answered the phone. He thinks he can pull off talking like Matthew rather well, and everyone else but Matthew thought it was hilarious as he told Ms. Williams that he loved her in between every other sentence.

She had also told when she would be coming home, which would be tomorrow morning. It evokes unwanted images every time he thinks about it because he knows that she's out with Rupert and that's just disgusting on eight different levels.

Matthew weighs his options on whether he should tell Gilbert the truth or tell him that he's only got till eleven or twelve so that they can actually get work done and stop getting continuously distracted.

"Eleven-thirty." He answers, looking up at Gilbert, whose grin grows even larger.

"Awesome," Gilbert leans in, putting his hands on the back of the chair. "We have time."

Matthew's about to ask for what, but it's pretty obvious as he's suddenly getting a full-fledged kiss.

"Hey," He tries to say as Gilbert redirects to his jaw line. "We need to get this done."

"We will, just after we— oh shit." Gilbert swears in that pause between where he's still trying to lay some moves on Matthew and where he leans on the chair a bit too much and sends it backwards. He loses his balance and falls forward, and the speed of his descent and the chair's travel back leads to Matthew's crotch being a cushion for his head.

Instead of being a funny situation that leads to some quirky teenage romantic thing as Gilbert groans, Matthew gasps in utter pain as he's completely crushed by the force of his boyfriend's head.

"Mighty fuck," He gasps, trying to pull off Gilbert by his hair and feeling. "Dude."

Gilbert seems to take the hair tugging the wrong way as he mutters a, "Matt, I don't think this is time for a blowjob."

"No...No man, you're hurting me..." Matthew wheezes as the pain starts to ebb away very slowly. "Shit."

Gilbert finally gains half a mind to shift his head off Matthew's more sensitive parts. He props his chin up on Matthew's left thigh and looks at him.

"It could have been worse," He offers. "This one time I accidentally elbowed Roderich there with a lot of force."

Matthew makes a face, not wanting to imagine the pain. "And how did you manage that?"

"Well, we were sitting on a park bench, right? Just after he and I 'broke up'. I was just awesomely third wheeling as he and Elizabeta confessed their love and some other strange things, and I wanted to give him a congratulatory high five. He was too busy sharing drool with Eliza so I decided to elbow him and," Gilbert raises his elbow and Matthew grabs it, not wanting a re-enactment. "I missed."

"Cruel," Matthew makes a shocked face. "Plain cruel."

"It's his fault I was there," Gilbert shrugs, sliding off Matthew's thigh and falling back cross-legged on the floor. "It was his idea to fake date, and it was his weird-ass idea that I be there when he asks Eliza out. So we could tell her the truth and stuff."

"Oh yeah," Matthew pulls up his legs and crosses them on his chair. "You guys fake dated? Why?"

"Long story." Gilbert says, pulling the legs of the chair to wheel Matthew closer.

"I have time," Matthew replies. "I'm curious."

"Really? Gilbert grins. Putting on a falsetto, he whines, "Gilbert, we have a project to do! Gilbert, stop messing around! Gilbert, don't ask Alfred and Lars if they wanna sleep over! Gilbert!"

"Screw off, I don't sound like that." Matthew laughs as Gilbert slowly starts spinning the seat of the chair. "I'm just curious, eh?"

"Fine, Ricky and I- Wait, why did you snort?"

"Nothing, go on."

"Roderich and I have known each other since we were practically born. Or since he was, since I'm a year older and whatever."

"You are?" Matthew knows he is, but he can't remember whether it was Gilbert himself who told him that, or Alfred, who liked to (and still likes to) feed creeper facts to Matthew about Gilbert.

"Yeah, didn't I tell you?"Got held back in kindergarten for being too awesome."

Oh yeah, Matthew remembers Gilbert telling him this just the other day. Except Ludwig had interjected and said it was because Gilbert was a crier and was held back for his own "emotional good". Gilbert's always bragging about kicking Ludwig's ass, but Matthew's sure that's been the only time he's done it when they're both past the age of thirteen.

"I remember. Go on."

"Well," Gilbert starts spinning the chair a little faster. "Roderich and I have known each other forever, meaning he tells me everything. Even though I don't want to hear it half the time. He told me once that he had a crush on Elizabeta. Had it in been any other scrawny, mole-y music geek I woulda laughed in their face, but Roderich in love is fucking annoying. So we, and by we I mean he, figured the best way to get her would be if him and I dated."

"Why?" Matthew frowns.

"First, because I'm sexy." Gilbert stops the seat from spinning right when Matthew is facing him, for dramatic effect. "But aside from the obvious, how well do you know Elizabeta?"

"Not very well...She's in my Math class and she hangs out with Kiku and Alfred sometimes."

"Alright, well. There's one thing you need to know about her, and that is that she loves gay love. She's always reading those comics... I don't know how the hell you pronounce them, but she loves them and Kiku always lends them to her."

"How does that relate?" Matthew asks, leaning forward slightly. Then it suddenly dawns upon him why. "Oh."

"Yeah." Gilbert nods. "Mr. I-have-a-90-average thought the best way to get her to be attracted to him or even notice him in the first place was to be gay."


"Yeah, so we ended up fake dating. It was hilarious because I'd make him hold my hand and kept asking for a kiss, but eventually he got fed up and spilled it to Eliza."

"What did she say?"

"Well, if I elbowed his balls while they were making out on a park bench, it's pretty obvious. His parental unit caught word about it though, and thought it was legit. Man," Gilbert gives one of those odd, hissing chuckles again. "I woulda paid so much to see the look on Mr. Edelstein's face when he heard his son was gay, even if it wasn't true."

Matthew can sort of empathize on that, because he too was shit scared when coming out to his mother. Though, she took it rather well for someone with a rather religious family upbringing. But then again, she had him when she was a teen so he supposes that has something to do with it.

"Well at least it worked out, right?" Matthew smiles for a grant total of five seconds before he catches the time on the small clock on his bedside table. "Oh shit man, we need to get to work."

"You wanted to hear the story," Gilbert starts spinning Matthew again. "Come on, we don't have to do that much work for this, do we?"

"We do..." Matthew sighs, and gets a small brainwave as the room spins. "Hey, want to call Sadiq and ask him how long his presentation will be? If they take long, then we don't need to go tomorrow."

"Take long? Dude, do you know how much Gupta talks?"


"He doesn't. That's probably why Natalia likes him. We'll be lucky if they go over ten minutes."

"Damn," Matthew curses. "Can we work now, then?"

The grumble and other unclassifiable noise is taken as an affirmative.

"Want some brownies?"

Matthew gives a bleary blink.


"Want a brownie?" Lars asks again. "I have some in my pocket."

Matthew decides not to question why brownies are being kept in pockets, and whether or not they're in an edible state.

"No thanks." He politely declines, stifling a yawn behind a hand.

Gilbert left at around one thirty last night, after they finally finished their project. Through hard work, perseverance, and constantly having to redirect their attention back to the task at hand, they finally managed to get something that would get them a somewhat decent mark. Though, they haven't gotten that visual component done yet.

Originally, the plan was to meet up at the beginning of lunch to work something out. Somehow, that's translated into Matthew and Gilbert chilling with Lars, Lovino, and Sadiq at the smoker's pit. Matthew's not quite sure how that happened, and he's frankly too tired to figure out.

"It's a good pick me up" Lars offers and Matthew shakes his head again.

"Good pick me up? Really, Lars?" Gilbert says flippantly. "Who goes to class high before a big presentation?"

Sadiq, Lovino, and Lars give him stares.

"Well actually," Sadiq starts but is interrupted.

"They're regular brownies, dumb ass." Lovino says, as if it is the most obvious thing. "Antonio baked them and Lars took them by force yesterday."

"It's because he said my hair makes me look like a Christmas tree."

"Really?" Gilbert eyes Lars over. "I guess it's true."

Lars rolls his eyes and blows smoke in Gilbert's face. "Fine. No brownies for you, asshole."

"Wait, if they're legit, I want some!" Gilbert insists and Lars scoffs.

"You had your chance."

"No fuck you, give me some." With lightning speed, Gilbert's hand shoots out and into Lars' pocket. "Gimme!"

"Get off me!" Lars says, holding his cigarette threateningly close to Gilbert's face as Gilbert sticks his tongue out. "Matt, get your dog off me!"

"Gilbert, we need to go..." Matthew tries, but Gilbert's still wrestling with Lars to get some brownies. "Gil, we only have fifteen minutes left and we need to work out what we're gonna do as a skit thing!"

"I told you, don't worry about—"

Lars, fed up that Matthew's not managed to get the greedy teen off of him, decides that head butting Gilbert's face is the next best way to get him off. Lovino makes no effort to hide his laughter, Sadiq looks away with a pained sort of smile, and Matthew has to stifle chuckles with his knuckles because Gilbert's shocked and Lars' self satisfied expressions are hilarious.

"Ow—! Fuck you, Lars van Dickwad!" Gilbert clutches at his nose. "So not awesome!"

"Is your nose okay?" Matthew asks, trying not to sound too amused as he moves Gilberts hand for inspection. Nothings bleeding, just a little red, so everything is assumed to be fine and intact. With the exception of Gilbert's ego of course.

Gilbert's cell phone chimes and he checks it for the latest text message. He frowns and makes a face at the phone before shoving it back into his pocket.

"Alright ladies and Matt, I gotta dip." he waves and sticks both his middle fingers in Lars' face before turning around to retreat back into the school building.

"Wait, Gilbert!" Matthew grabs his elbow to stop him. Gilbert looks at him over his shoulder.


"What about our project? We still don't have a skit or any visual thing!"

"Don't worry about it kid," Gilbert says, turning around and patting Matthew on the head. "I got this."

"But... Can I at least know?"

"Of course you can!" Gilbert hums, then nods. "During class."


"Yup. Now shut your eyes. No, not you Matt." Gilbert orders the other three boys. "It's private time."

"The flying fuck?" Lovino scowls. "You can't just tell us to— oh, real nice Beilschmidt, go ahead and ignore me and suck your boyfriend's face. Bastard."

"Alright, first," Gilbert pulls away from a slightly thrown off balance Matthew. "Sucking face is for unskilled people like you and second, I fully warned all of you. It's your fault for not listening."

"It's your fault for being stupid," Lovino counters. "Weren't you saying you need to go? Why the hell are you still here?"

"Oh shit, yeah. Alright, well I'll see you later. And you," Gilbert steps forward to jab Lars in the chest. "You owe me food, stingy bastard."

With that, Matthew watches as Gilbert bounds away and ignores Matthew's calls to wait and just tell him what the hell is going on.

By the time the end of lunch rolls around, Matthew's nerves are slowly fraying as there is no sign of Gilbert. He's texted him, and all he's gotten as a reply is a "Don't worry about it". Sadiq, meanwhile, drags Matthew into class because Matthew's been standing there in front of it for the past couple of minutes and keeping an urgent eye out for Gilbert.

"You'll be fine," He assures, yawning as he slings his bag onto his desk. "Don't ya worry. And don't stand like that, it's creepy."

"I'll try." Matthew murmurs uncertainly.

He does worry, and he worries a lot as five minutes pass by, the class settles down, and there's still no sign of Gilbert. Sadiq and Gupta are called up to give their presentation on the Arab empire, and as predicted, the presentation takes a grand total of fifteen minutes and that includes a very brief and slightly awkward discussion period which goes severely off track until Vargas has to remind the class that they're talking about history and not what cultural restaurants they may have gone to over the weekend.

And then the moment arrives. The moment where Matthew Williams and Gilbert Beilschmidt are called up to give their presentations and the latter is still not in the room.

"Um..." Matthew nervously meets Vargas' expectant gaze, when he is asked where Gilbert is. "I'm not quite sure where he is."

Vargas hums, thinking for a minute before saying, "Well present your parts anyways. I saw him running past the class door shortly after class began. He gets a zero, you do your best."


Now Matthew has to present an entire presentation in front of his lack luster history class without a partner. It's not that he's not used to talking in front of people, and he likes to pride himself on delivering well. It's just that his partner is not there which gets rid of a significant chunk of their presentation, his notes are a jumbled mess, his partner's not here, he's operating on low sleep, and Gilbert Beilschmidt is not in the room when he's supposed to be. He finds himself wondering, as he pulls his presentation up on the computer so it can be displayed on the overhead projector, if he needs to introduce himself in front of a group of people who probably only barely remember who he is.

He's trying to stall by taking some time to look for the presentation on his USB key, but an impatient cough from Vargas makes him speed things up. The presentation's up and he scans the look of his audience before he starts.

", I'm Matt..." He starts, voice unsure. "And I'm... uh, doing a presentation on, um, Egypt."

There is stone silence as everyone looks on with a blank face. Matthew catches Sadiq's eye, and Sadiq subtly points towards the door and flashes a thumbs up. It takes a lot for Matthew not to go "What?", and he plods on with his presentation, clicking the next slide.

"So Egypt...Egypt is located in Northern Africa. " He waves vaguely to the drop down screen. "And over five thousand years ago, a civilization was built along the river of the Nile, which runs through here."

This is where Gilbert is supposed to pick up for a couple of slides. Matthew looks to the door again and is thankful as hell to see Gilbert standing at the door, making faces through the glass.

And he's wearing a toga.

And there's that authentic looking palm fan from the drama room, but Matthew can't figure out whose holding it up and fanning Gilbert with it. Gilbert raises his finger and points to himself and then to Matthew. Matthew raises his eyebrows and nods, unsure of what exactly he's nodding for.

An extremely unhappy looking Ludwig opens the door, and he too is dressed in a toga.

"I have permission from my teacher to be here." He says curtly to Vargas, then adds on a, "But I wish I wasn't."

"Proceed," Vargas says, nodding and looking slightly curious as to what will happen next.

Gilbert does not merely enter the room; he sweeps in, with Peter Kirkland (who most likely does not have permission to be here) tagging behind him, fanning him with the fake palm leaf.

"Gilbert, I thought we decided to not-" Matthew begins, but is silenced by Gilbert as he raises his palm towards him.

"Silence," Gilbert commands. "Do not speak till it is your turn."

Matthew clamps his mouth shut, and the class ooh's. Ludwig closes the door, and comes up to Matthew with the laurel wreath that had been dug out of Matthew's closet last night.

"Good luck." he mutters, placing it on top of a bewildered Matthew's head. "I mean it."

Ludwig then marches straight out of the room, even after Gilbert mutters a "You're supposed to stay longer, douchebag!"

Matthew assumes that the best choice right now is to just go with the flow, so he straightens up and hopes the expression of being shocked and a little perturbed is gone. He'll just duke it out, and hope that this will end quickly.

With Peter still fanning him, Gilbert turns to fully face and address the class.

"Lady folk, gentlemen, plebeians..." Gilbert says in a booming voice, turning to frown at the class. "Just plebeians. Anyways, we are here to educate you on this extremely badass and very majestic ancient civilization..."

Really, really quickly.

And that brings us to our end, folks!

ANYWAYS, thanks for all the support guys! though I'm stupid and didn't reply to all of the reviews, every single one of them is loved a whole ton! Shout outs to everyone who helped me catch multiple spelling/grammar/other mistakes, always appreciated. It's turned out much different than I had originally intended it (and I'm pretty sure the prompt) and hopefully all major loose ends are tied up. To everyone who's reviewed, alerted, favourited, supported and read; thank you very very much :D