Chapter 1: Summer Sun
Summary: Gilbert and Matthew meet over the summer and are immediately drawn to each other. At the end of the season though, they part ways thinking that they'll never see each other again. That is, until Matthew is transferred to Gilbert's school.
Matthew let out a long sigh as he read the note left for him on the kitchen table. It was from his mother who was urging him to go spend some time outside for a change. Well actually, it was closer to threatening and promised that if he was home when she returned he would find all of his video games mysteriously pawned off. She also promised him maple cookies if he complied.
Resigned to obeying he trudged up to his room and pulled on his favorite old maple leaf t-shirt and a pair of khaki shorts. Matthew didn't even bother combing his hair and just sort of tousled the strawberry blond locks into place. The reason being that no matter what he did to it there would always be that one errant ahoge in the front that curled in the most infuriating way possible. He threw himself onto his bed for a moment to contemplate his fate for the day.
It wasn't that Matthew was a shut in but he much preferred winter sports to summer ones. Since it was mid-June at the moment his choices for activity were severely limited. After brooding over it for a few minutes as he got his stuff together, he elected to go rollerblading at the boardwalk. If he was lucky he might be able to find a street hockey game that he could join. Pleased with that prospect, he strapped on his blades and left the house.
He wasn't overly familiar with the town his family had just moved to. Matthew felt no real need to anyways since his father's work at the local company branch was temporary and in the fall they would return to Toronto. That also meant that he hadn't bothered to make any friends, resulting in him staying in the house all the time playing video games. Luckily the way to the beach was well marked and barring one incident of slight lost-ness, Matthew made it to the boardwalk in fairly good time.
He sneezed hard from the salty sea air as he skated his way across the parking lot towards his destination. In his two seconds of not paying attention a car door opened and he slammed into it. The poor Canadian flew backwards and landed hard with a thud on the asphalt.
"WHAT THE FUCK?" a male voice yelled somewhere above him. A pair of hands grabbed him roughly and Matthew's vision swam as he was yanked upwards. "THAT WAS MY FUCKING DOOR YOU JUST WRECKED YOU ASSHOLE!"
"I-I-I'm sorry!" He managed to get out between bouts of swearing from the other boy. His glasses had fallen off when he had collided with the door and his captor was only a blur in in front of him.
"Whatever," the blur said and let go of him. Unfortunately Matthew wasn't able to rebalance himself on his rollerblades and he crashed to the ground for the second time. Frantically he groped for his glasses. Luckily they were unscathed and his put them on as quickly as he was able.
Matthew lifted his head to look at the guy whose door he had busted. He appeared to be about eighteen and had hair whiter than snow but what caught the Canadian boy's gaze first was his ruby red eyes. He was framed perfectly by the rays of the sun and his sardonic eyes blazed with the effect. "What's your name kid?"
"Matthew," he answered in a breathy voice that he immediately hated himself for. It simply wasn't like him to act this way, especially towards someone whose property he had damaged.
"Look Mattie, you're fucking lucky that I can fix this on my own. BUT I'm still going to punish you for knocking it off like that." He jerked a thumb towards the car part. With his glasses on, Matthew could see that it was barely hanging onto the hinge and his heart sank.
"How much do I owe?" He asked his voice filled with dread, praying that he would ask for a ridiculous sum of money.
"Kesesese, you're not getting out of this with a check," his laughter was probably the strangest that Matthew had ever heard and in any other situation he would have smiled in response. "You're buying me lunch for the rest of the summer."
"You deaf? For the next couple months you are buying me lunch, but you should feel lucky that I ain't a goddamn pig like that jock Alfred whatshisface. I usually just get a loaded bratwurst over on the boardwalk."
"Ah okay," Matthew replied as he began to pull himself up, he didn't know who "Alfred" was but he wasn't in any position to point that out. His entire body screamed in pain from the various scratches and forming bruises. If it weren't for his new found debt and his mother's still looming threat he would have gone home right then.
"Shit man, you look pretty fucked up. I'll wave the lunch fee for today since you looking like road pizza just made me lose my appetite. C'mon I'll take you to the first aid station by the lifeguard." The boy reached out a hand and added as an afterthought, "My name is Gilbert by the way."
Matthew smiled as he took the proffered hand, "Nice to meet you."
Gilbert pulled the injured Canadian behind him as they headed towards the small first aid shack just off the boardwalk by the beach proper. Around them kids of all ages ran and played while the adults behaved similarly. It was a perfect summer day and it seemed as if the entire town had turned out to enjoy it. Matthew didn't register any of it though; his concentration was divided between keeping his balance and the hand that held his.
It was rough and callused but the grip was firm, and he liked to believe, comforting too. He wasn't blushing because of that though, no he was blushing because of how ashamed that he had to be helped like this.
Ever since he was little people around him had assumed that because of his slightly delicate features he was weak and needed assistance with everything. Granted he had banished all of those presumptions when he became captain of his junior league hockey team but it still embarrassed him to be treated as helpless.
They were almost to the hut when Matthew worked up the nerve to say something, "Gilbert…GILBERT!" he had to yell to get the other boy's attention over the noise of the boardwalk, "I don't need help, I'll be fi-"
"Bullshit," Gilbert replied without turning to look at him. "You're fucking bleeding like everywhere and you'll scare the kids if you don't slap band-aids on some of those."
"O-oh, right," Matthew let it go at that, he wasn't that badly injured but if the albino was going to be so insistent who was he to stop him? Besides, he kind of liked the idea of being taken care of by the other boy.
Gilbert forced the Canadian to sit on the tiny plastic stool and take off his rollerblades while he fumbled with a bandage box. It was almost comical how much trouble he was having with the flimsy container and it was all Matthew could do to contain his laughter at the sight. Finally he managed to liberate the band-aids and proceeded to cover his "patient" in them.
"I have to look like a mummy right now," Matthew said dryly as he surreptitiously peeled a few bandages off.
"Nah, you look awesome because I was the one to fix you up," the silverette said with pride.
"Uh huh," he replied noncommittally as he continued to strip the wasted bandages.
"Stop that!" Gilbert slapped at Matthew's hand, "you're fucking ruining my hard work!"
The strawberry blonde raised a single eyebrow as he dutifully paused for a second. He slowly made as if to peel off another band-aid, a smirk spread across his face as he did so. "What are you going to do about it?"
A low growl issued from the albino before he lunged forward and tackled the taunting teen…