Wootwoot! And as the two Seychelles-centric chapters scoot over for this third in our little story, we hope you'll rejoice along with us as our dear syrup-loving Canadian protagonist Matthew Williams takes the stage! Enjoy!
-Miharu and Mitsuki
Chapter Three: Agreements
At times like this, Matthew Williams caught himself thinking that he really, really…
"YO! MATTTAYYYY! THE HERO HAS ARRIVED!"
…hated his goddamn life.
"Al…" Matthew said, heaving a small sigh while attempting to push himself up on the couch in which he had (just moments previously) been sleeping peacefully. "I don't mean to be rude, eh, but… why the hell are you in my house?"
Alfred rocked back and forth on his heels, recognizing the irked tone. Putting on the cutesiest face he could muster, he smiled, batted his eyelashes, and said cheerily, "Did I wake you?~"
"Maple—Yes, Al, yes you did." Matt groaned, pushing his face into a pillow, hoping that this was all just some messed up nightmare or memory. Unfortunately, as he was now feeling a sharp pain in his back due to something heavy being placed upon it, the guy promptly realized that this meeting was nothing of the sort. "Al, get off me. You're heavy." He whined sleepily into the pillow.
"But why? We're bros, Mattie, and this is what bros do."
"Sit on each other?"
"Bond.~" Alfred said happily, reaching from the remote and turning the volume to max on some shitty music channel. "Ho damn, this song! LIKE A G-6 FUCK YES!"
Matthew groaned. "You suck, Al."
"I've been told I do it well." Alfred said, and when Matthew looked up in horror he saw Alfred waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
"Tellin' it like it is, bro. Now get up. I wants me some pancakes."
"Happy to see you after two weeks of separation, too, Al." Said Matthew sarcastically, giving his twin brother a deadpan stare before burying his face in the couch again. "And make your own damn pancakes."
"I can'tttt!" Alfred whined with his best puppy dog pout.
Matthew was not amused by this bullshit. "And why not, eh?"
"Because I am not a woman, and therefore do not belong in the kitchen, and therefore cannot make pancakes, as it is the type of food that is made in the kitchen." His brother explained in a knowing tone, adding grandiose hand gestures to emphasize the point he was making.
Matthew picked it up loud and clear. "Are you implying that I am a woman?" He asked, irritated.
"Not implying, my dear Mattie, never implying. Now get back in the kitchen and make me a sammich!"
"I thought I was making pancakes."
"Glad to hear you're gonna make 'em for me, little bro."
Matthew grumbled some curses darkly into his confidant, the pillow, heaved Alfred off of him with (a hell of a lot of) effort, and stumbled over to the kitchen, ignoring Alfred's smug "woop-woop!"s along the way with some difficulty. He stared over at the time on the microwave, and his jaw popped open, a very annoyed look coming across his face. Reminding himself that he was the nice, polite, quiet one, he managed to put on a polite smile as he turned to his older-by-four-minutes brother, who was currently reclining lazily in his couch watching his tv, and said softly,
"Alfred Jones… Do you have any idea what time it is, eh?"
"Really, now?" His smile turned forcefully passive now, "Because something tells me that normal people do not somehow break into their brother's houses at 5 in the morning when they should both still be sleeping like normal people."
Alfred simply laughed, shushed him, and turned back to the obnoxious rap music video on the tv screen with a fixated, childlike expression of wonder. Matthew heaved a long, hearty sigh, combed his fingers through his wavy blonde hair and turned on his heel, standing on his tippy-toes to find the pancake mix. Stupid brother… He thought angrily, pouting as he dumped the mix into a bowl and began to prepare it. What did I do to deserve this? Really, how inconsiderate… And as he continued to fume and his brother continued to be his normal, obnoxious self, the phone rang in the most irritating of ways. So poor Matthew, pouting still after noticing that Alfred, despite his lack of a busy schedule and the phone in the living room placed directly beside him, hastened to wipe his hands on the apron he'd halfhazardly thrown on and walked over to the phone.
"Hello, eh?" He said in his normal polite tone, hoping it wasn't one of Alfred's obnoxious friends calling his number instead of his brother's one again. (And honestly, why did that keep happening? It wasn't like their phone numbers were anything alike, and even if one was to look in the phonebook, the surnames "Williams" and "Jones" were quite a ways away from each other in the directory.)
"Hi, Matvey. It's Katyusha calling." Said the ever-nervous, kind voice of his Ukrainian friend over the speaker. Matthew could practically picture her fidgeting anxiously, and there was a long stretch of silence before she spoke again, this time much less certainly, "Oh!" She cried in realization, "Did I wake you up? I'm sorry, I didn't realize it was this early in the morning before just now! I'm really sorry, I'll call back later, I—"
Matthew laughed. "No really, it's fine, eh. Don't worry about it, I was up already when you called." Making my stupid brother his pancakes… He thought with a sour frown, shooting Al a look that his brother, ever oblivious, missed entirely. He quickly smiled again, realizing that Katyusha surely didn't mean any harm by calling him, and most certainly was nowhere near as obnoxious as his brother. In fact, she wasn't obnoxious at all. She was actually really nice, though she did have quite the problem with anxiety…
"Oh…" She said softly, sounding unsure. "…Are you certain? I'm sorry if I'm bothering you, Matvey…"
"It's fine, Katyusha." Matthew said kindly, his voice just as quiet to prevent Alfred from hearing him and teasing him about talking to girls again. "So, um, did you need something?"
"Ah, well, that's just it… Erm…" Katyusha stammered fretfully, and it took several reassurances from Matthew that he 'wasn't bothered at all by her calling, honest' before she spoke up. "Well… You know the restaurant I work in? Um, well, recently we began offering breakfast selections, but… Well… The chefs Miss Héderváry has employed right now aren't really… I mean, they're very skilled, but… Oh dear, I don't want to say it that way… And the one who used to make the breakfasts can only do it on weekends now… Which is… What I mean to say is…"
"So your boss needs someone to come in during the weekdays to cook the breakfast items?" Matthew helpfully supplied for her, and Katyusha exclaimed her agreement with this statement in relief that he had figured it out.
"Yes! Exactly, Matvey. And, er, well, I was wondering… Since I remember that you're very good at making pancakes and omlettes and the like… Well, that is to say, I know I shouldn't have without your permission, but, I remember you saying your job didn't pay very well, and with your skills and this convienient opportunity… And since the wages are pretty good here… I sort of… ReccomendedyoutomybossI'msosorry!" She finished all in one breath tearfully, sniffling and whimpering uncertainly. She must have reckoned Matthew would be angry at her for it, for some reason.
"Really?" Asked Matthew in wonder, certainly not angry, "Whoa, thanks a bunch, Katyusha, you really stuck your neck out for me, eh?" He smiled widely. "As long as it's the common sorts of breakfast, like omelettes and pancakes and such…Well, if your boss thinks I'm qualified enough, I'd be glad to help you out."
"R-really? Oh, thank you so much, Matvey!" Katyusha cried in extreme relief. There was a pause, where the Canadian could hear the Ukrainian girl tell something to someone else, a woman, most likely her boss, and she got back on the line with a happy reply, "Miss Héderváry says that, if it's convenient for you, you can start immediately, or tomorrow, if that's better for you… Starting at seven and ending at noon… Is that okay?" She sounded uncertain again.
Matthew smiled again. Really, she didn't have to be so apprehensive of him. Besides, they were friends. "Sure thing, but I'm the one who should be thanking you a bunch, Katyusha. As for the hours, they sound good, since they don't even conflict with my other job schedule, so I can start immediately. If you could pass that on to your boss—Miss Héderváry, was it?—I'd appreciate it."
"Oh! Thank you so much, Matvey! You're so nice! I'll see you in a bit, then! Bye, thank you!"
"Sure thing. Thank you. See you soon." Said Matthew, and hung up.
"Yo, bro, who was that? And are my pancakes done yet?"
Matthew sighed at the sound of his twin's voice, and pasted on a patient smile. "It was Katyusha, and no, it's only been ten minutes and I haven't even poured the mix in the pan yet."
"Katwhatya? Oh, you mean that chick with the huge ass tits?" Alfred asked crudely, and Matthew slammed both palms down on the counter, eyes wide, cheeks red and expression horrified.
"AL! You're disgusting!"
"Psh, what'chu talkin' bout, Williams? It's the truth innit?" Alfred said, shrugging with a casual smile. Upon seeing the disgusted expression his little brother shot at him, he pouted, retreating from battle. "A'ight, a'ight, chillax, bro. So what'd she want?"
"Her boss needs someone to make the breakfasts for her restaurant, so Katyusha recommended me." Matthew shrugged, pouring the fresh pancake batter into the pan, unable to fight off the pleased smile.
Katyusha was really such a sweet girl. She almost always remembered him and was nice to him, and the former was saying a lot. For some reason, it seemed Matthew Williams had not inherited his brother's charming, attention-whore genes and instead faded into the background. His name and face were easily forgotten and sometimes seemed to vanish altogether. The scent of finished pancakes reached Matthew's nose, and, after whipping up a few more, he dumped them onto two plates and brought one over to all, dousing it in maple syrup. Without even a simple thank-you, Alfred begun to eat like a pig. Matthew sighed. Couldn't he be even the least bit courteous?
Oh well… He thought to himself, dumping what could only be called a hearty sum of syrup (nearly half the full bottle!) onto his pancakes. Making haste to cut them up, he smiled wide as his fork slid out of his mouth, chewing. Maple syrup will surely bring happiness to those who use it! An odd train of thought, but it often came up during one of the somewhat timid Canadian's breakfast.
Matthew raised an eyebrow at his older brother as said man quickly finished the pancakes and propped his feet up on the counter, leaning back in his chair somewhat dangerously. Really, was it so impossible for him to take the time to taste his food? Matthew sighed as he himself finished the breakfast, and glanced at the clock. It was now 6:10 am. He hadn't realized how much time he'd killed simply eating.
Must be how Al feels every day… Thought Matthew wryly, hopping into a standing position by resting his palms on the table and pushing off. If it was ten after six now, and the restaurant was twenty minutes away walking-distance, he reckoned he had just enough time to get dressed, take Kuma-whatsit out for a walk, bring his pet back to the house and take a leisurely stroll down to his new place of employment.
Of course, that also meant that he had to find some way to get Al to leave, and a simple hint-hint-nudge-nudge tactic just wouldn't do; Alfred F Jones was no connoisseur of subtlety. Quickly recalculating in his head, he sighed. No time to walk Kumakuma, then.
"Hey, Al? I have to be at work in about half an hour or so, so could you do me a big favour and lock up when you leave?" Matthew asked tentatively. It wasn't much, but…
It was something.
"Yeah, I guess The Hero can do his little brother a favour." Said Al grandly, as if Matthew had asked him on some outrageous adventure. He walked over to Matthew and ruffled his hair affectionately, grinning at the small shriek of surprise the shorter man let out as he did.
And shocked Matthew Williams was. For Alfred F Jones, headstrong bonehead extraordinaire, agreeing to something, anything, without any refusal or rebuttal whatsoever was unimaginable. Matthew treated this as the astonishing work of some well-earned karma payoff.
He smiled appreciatively up (though the thought that he had to crane his neck far too much to see his twin brother's face irked him somewhat) at Alfred, saying a warm, "Thanks, bro" before rushing off to change clothes. Ten minutes later, our short, Canadian main character was walking a steady pace down the street, taking in the early-morning London sights as he passed by.
Though early, the streets were bustling with activity. Excitable children shrieked and ran about playfully, ignorant to the careful, worried watch of their mothers, wealthy businessmen hailed cabs while talking in a self-important way into their cell phones, chattering shoppers walked towards the nearest bus stop or shopping area for early-morning browsing, teenagers moaned and groaned and griped about homework, their backpacks bogged down with many a heavy textbook. He smiled to himself, humming a little tune he'd just remembered from his childhood, pushing his glasses—which had by now been long since sliding down his nose—to shield his eyes at least somewhat from the beginnings of a flaming orange sun on the horizon.
The day as a whole had already gotten off to a good start; delicious pancakes in the morning, a cooperative brother, a job offer… Yeah, things were going to go well, he just knew it!
"Alfred! It is you, you stupid sonofabitch!"
Or maybe… not.
"Maple!" Canada exclaimed in pain as an all-too-familiar pony tailed Cuban man began to fiercely karate-chop the back of his head.
"Thought you could get away with what you did, huh, you rat bastard? I don't think so!" Yelled the tan man angrily as he continued to smack the Canadian upside the head and yell foreign curse words at regular intervals.
"Maple—ow! I-I understand if you're mad—ow!—but I'm honestly—maple!—I'm not Alfred, I'm Matthew!" Following that, there was a deafening silence.
"Um… Who?" Asked Cuba blankly, causing Matthew to inwardly fume as he rubbed the back of his head. Trying to stay pleasant, Canada replied with an even tone and a polite smile.
"My name is Matthew Williams, not Alfred Jones. I'm Alfred's brother. I'm sorry, but you've got the wrong guy. And also…" His violet eyes stared straight into the Cuban's, a pout growing on his face, "…We're friends, aren't we, Carlos?"
"Oh… Oh!" The Cuban, Carlos, gasped in realization, jumping slightly. His expression turned gentle and apologetic. "Oh, I'm sorry, Matt! I didn't realize… I mean, you guys just look so alike, but…! Agh, sorry, I'm such a jerk, of course you're not that ass!"
Matthew smiled, sweatdropping slightly. "It's alright, Carlos. I'm not mad. Just try to remember next time, eh?" He looked at a nearby clock, then turned to Cuba and quickly explained, "Anyway, I've got to go, sorry. I've got a job to go to. We should hang out later, eh?"
Then, waving goodbye, he sprinted the rest of the way over to the restaurant, and introduced himself to Elizabeta, gulping nervously as the woman began by examining him critically and then laughing darkly and ominously, her narrowed, glinting emerald eyes meeting his wide purple ones. After a long stretch of silence and a quick interview, his new boss, Elizabeta, handed him an apron, introduced him to the staff, then took him aside and whispered slyly to him,
"You know, if you wanted a better wage, I could also have you serving in the afternoon. I'm sure you'd look excellent in a maid costume." Was it just his imagination, or did her eyes just glint dangerously?
"M-M-Miss Elizabeta, I-I-I'm a boy!" Matthew stammered in bewilderment and embarrassment at what his imagination was churning out to him at the moment.
Her reply, however, was simple and cryptic. She smirked, then said, "Yes, and that just makes it all the more thrilling and forbidden!~ Kukuku…~" before shoving him off into the kitchen.
This was certainly going to be an interesting day, Matthew thought with a sweatdrop, excited, nervous and sort of scared all at the same time. He tied his apron tightly, rolled up his sleeves and smiled. But oh well, a little excitement makes things fun, right? He thought optimistically, repeating it over and over again like a mantra as each new order came in. Excitement makes things fun, all right, but maybe this was a bit more than poor Matthew Williams bargained for. Not that he knew at the time, but things were about to take a turn, and his quiet, forgotten life was about to be flipped into unknown territory.His train of thought was shattered, however, when he heard a loud, self-confident voice yell,
"THE AWESOME HAS ARRIVED! KESESE, BOW TO MY GREATNESS, FOR I COME HERE SEEKING BREAKFAST!"
Shortly thereafter, there was the disconcerting sound of a metal frying pan connecting with a human skull, a soft "hmph!" of disapproval and the stifled giggles of what had to be half a dozen amused onlookers.
Ohmai. Now whoever could that mysterious stranger of mystery be? Come on, it can't be too hard to guess. Anyhow, as always, we ask that you fav/alert/subscribe/review! Especially review! We love 'em!~
-Miharu and Mitsuki