Disclaimer: NOT MINE!

Ok, so this is late... I know, but hey, I'm starting on the next chapter as soon as this is loaded up. No promises as to when it'll be done, but I want to get at least the bulk of it done. Anyway... R&R!

Alright... this would have been up much sooner but I was at Anime Detour 2011 as well as fanfiction was not letting me update certain stories... this being one of them... I've had this chapter done for almost a week and a half now. So yeah... sorry about that...


Je suis un Homme

Chapter 2: Stimuler le Coeur

The house was dark by the time Francis arrived home to nurse the growing brusises from his friend's overly abusive boyfriend. He loved Lovi, really he did, but there were times he'd have liked to keep his face unharmed. Obviously it hadn't worked today and he found himself going to the freezer for an ice pack to use on his swelling cheek.

The day had been almost too long for his liking. Retirieving the desired object, he wrapped it into a towel and flopped onto the couch nearby. He enjoyed his smaller apartment. It wasn't too big nor too small. Just right for a bachelor like himself. It was the cleanest nor was it a pit. The occasional porn book and novella lying around, an extra shirt and tie... yeah, all in all it was pretty neatly kept compared to most the med the Frenchman knew. He snorted at that thought, smirking as he held the ice to his face. The only man he did know that kept their home perfectly spotless was, in fact, Ludwig. Of which had to be difficult due to Gilbert AND Feliciano being there nearly 24/7.

Franci's face fell as his thoughts turned to the blond German he'd seen earlier that day. Something had been off about the usually stoic man. He'd been deeply hurt... but by what? Thinking back on it, Lovino had mentioned something about the small Italian... did he remember there being chemistry between the two? But that didn't make sense. Gilbert was dating Feliciano and they were perfectly happy... in Ludwig's house. Frown deepening, Francis pulled his phone out and texted his albino friend, requesting he come over for an hour or so to talk.

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Shifting in his seat, Gilbert purred as he got comfortable on Francis' couch. It had been a while since he'd been over to see his close friend and now, here he was with a good beer in his hand and friend right across from him. "So... What's up?"

"... Nothing really I just... I saw Ludwig earlier today when I was out with Anotnio and Lovino..."

The albino paused and lifted a brow, taking a sip of his beer.

"...He looked like something was bothering him..."

"You're point?" Gilbert asked, lifting his brow a bit higher. "He's always bothered by something... I mean, yeah he got pissed cause I was enjoying my boyfriend at the breakfast table, but what else is new?"

The Frenchman sighed, shaking his head. "Oh Gilbert..."

"But seriously, dude... did you really bring the awesome me here to talk about my tight assed baby brother?" The Prussian laughed in amusement, smirking.

Francis scowled this time, for once finding the other's childishness to be inappropriate. "Gilbert! I'm honestly worried this time..."

"Why? Luddy's a big boy. He can take care of himself."

"He looked ready to cry, Gilbert!"

That stopped the Prussian in his tracks. Beer bottle halfway to his lips, red eyes widening. He let this process for a few moments before he slowly lowered the bottle. Setting it on the nearby coffee table, he turned his ruby gaze to the blond. "He... what?"

Francis studied his friend and sighed, running a hand through his shoulder length hair. "Your brother isn't as ok as you think he is, Gilbert... When I saw him today... Gilbert I haven't seen him look that lost and alone since the Berlin wall was constructed..."

The albino was silent, gaze dropped to the floor as he tried to think of anything he might have seen. "But... why? It doesn't make sense... he's been perfectly happy as of late?"

"Has he?"

Gilbert looked up and frowned. "What?"

"Has he been happy? You're sure you aren't just saying that because you've been too happy to notice?"

A growl. "Excuse me?"

"Think about it, Gilbert... How did you meet, Feliciano?"

"Through Ludwig..."

"Who did Ludwig spend most of his time with?"

"Feliciano..."

"Who made him smile for the first time after you lost the war?"

"...Feliciano..."

"Who does he hardly ever get to spend time with?"

"Feliciano..."

"And?"

"... Japan?"

"You." Francis corrected, fighting the urge to roll his eyes. He sighed and slumped a bit. "Gilbert... you've been so wrapped up in Feliciano that..." he paused, struggling to form the words. He already had a theory, it was just getting the other to listen to him that would be difficult. "...I think... Ludwig might love Feliciano..."

The albino frowned, snorting. "Right... and I can shit rainbows and butterflies..."

"Gilbert, I'm being serious. Think about it! All the signs are there. Just... think about it?"

The Prussian stood and shook his head, grabbing the beer bottle. "Thanks for the beer, Francis, but I'm not gonna sit here and listen to this bull shit."

"Why would I lie to you?"

Gilbert rounded on the Frenchman. "I know you like me. And I know you're jealous of Feliciano and I. So do me a favor. Quit trying to break us up, leave me the hell alone! And leave my fucking brother out of your jealous schemes!" the Prussian snapped, throwing the bottle against the far wall, the glass shattering and falling to the ground in a foaming fountain of amber.

"Gilbert! Wait! Please! I wasn't trying to-!" The door slammed, Francis flinching and ducking his head.