Disclaimer: Of course I don't own these lovely characters. But I think Himaruya won't care if I use them in my fanfic.

N/A: I'm wondering if I need to add some more pairings in this fanfic, but based on the topic I want to express here, I better not go too far… This chapter is about what Alfred did for his brother and the whole family. Rus x US will be involved. If this upsets you please receive my apology.

When Francis was washing dishes in the kitchen with a pleasant whistle, Alfred is lounging on the comfortable mattress, searching for his iPhone in a fluffy blanket, and finally touched the metal surface.

The room was a bit messy. His jeans and jacket clustered in the corner of bed and a muddy sock was hanged on the chair arm. The boy lazily stretched out his body, gaze dully fixed upon the ceiling which was painted with the sign "I'm the hero". His glasses placed on the desk, it was just then that Alfred found he's got sort of near-sighted, because he couldn't even see the word "hero" clearly.

Oh, hero, an awesome but some kind of childish word.

Bunches of flowers, applause and grateful words, these are what Alfred desired most as an imaginative hero. Yet there's no guarantee that every hero will receive what they deserved.

All of a sudden, Alfred bounced off, jumped out of the bed, opened the wardrobe and crawled into the dark space, as fast as a leopard. Not noticing his fast heart beating and heavy breath, the boy held out his cell phone, rubbed the screen, hesitating if he should gave that persona call.

Finally, rubbing the screen with his trembling hand, the boy dialed the number.

"Hi, who's that?" There is a sort of innocence in the boy's voice, soft and gentle, as pure as the snowflake in winter.

"Of course it's me, you thickheaded. Don't you have my number in contact book?"

"Hmm…come on, you know I'm just joking." Ivan couldn't help smiling, tone full of delight.

"Your flirtation sucks. Hey, listen, I'm just calling you to deliver an important speech about…"

"So you finally decided, da?"

"Well, if you insist, yeah, I made the decision." In the first place, the boy knew this won't be a happy conversation.

"So what?"

"I think it's time to put an end to our weird relationship, even though it hasn't started yet."

Alfred's voice could never been so calm. The serene in his tone was like Morning Ocean, devoid of any eagerness or arrogance, which is absolutely not his usual style.

"Oh, may I take this as a revenge for beating you in the Student Union President election? Come on, Al, you sometimes really behave like a kid, don't be so naïve." He was the only person who had the privilege to call him Al so far.

The unsettling truth is that Alfred did lose in the election, but the top best hero all over the world hated to accept the result. He was pondering reasons of his failure for a certain while, yet there was no reasonable ideas supporting his assumption that Ivan played some dirty tricks.

Anyway, our greatest hero didn't care about it and he swore to beat up that bastard in next year's election.

"How many times do I need to remind you I don't like your flirtation? I mean, this is the end. END, understand?"

"…"

The embarrassing silence penetrated into the wardrobe, Alfred hugged his knees more tightly and tried not to be engulfed by mere darkness with all his strength.

"Tell me reason otherwise your head will be smashed into pieces by metal pipe tomorrow." His tone wasn't fluffy anymore, but cold-blooded and emotionless.

"Well, Ivan, I admit I had some stupid but pretty nice feelings towards you. Listen, you're the only one I recognized as my rival. See, you've been my one and only rival since grade one in primary school, and I never doubt you'll occupy this position for eternity. You always tried to get higher grades than me, win more metals than me in sport meeting, or yell, scream and fight against me just for a girl. Ivan Braginsky, you completely ruined my life, don't you know?"

"The reason why I robbed you of the girl was that I can't stand her clinging to you all the day like a piece of plaster."

"Of course I know, you arbitrary evil. I'm telling you this for demonstrating that even if you're so freaking annoyed, I like you. Again, I like you." Huddling up in the dark, Alfred couldn't hold back the delightful smile.

"Then why are you trying to deny your feelings? Your parents are a gay couple. I don't believe they'll be against our affair." Confusion spread in Ivan's mind as virus.

"That is the problem. Have you ever experienced the pressure being raised by a same-sex couple? If not, you'll never have the right to comment on my family."

"I don't understand."

"Nobody wrote 'queer' on the front glass of your car in scarlet red liquor and assailed you with harshest words you care to search. Nobody threw stones to you while walking in the LGBT protest parade, though you just asked for basic human rights and equality. Nobody yelled at you and shouted 'damn gay marriage is abnormal and against nature', nor pushed you violently onto the wall and bullied you in the most contempt way. Ivan, would you please think in my shoes, at least, try to feel what I felt at those moment?"

"Sorry to hear that. But if you're scared by these hardships, of course we'll face them together, so you don't need to…"

"Ivan, you didn't grab the point," Alfred sniffed a bit, cleared his throat and continued, "Do you know why I always want to be the top best student in school?"

"Cuz you want to show off, of course."

"Nice answer, you bastard. It's because I don't want to be looked down upon, don't want to be treated with contempt and disgrace, don't want to be called as queers' kid."

"Nobody dared to insult you with that."

"Certainly they won't call me like that in public. You just didn't know it. I always wanted to climb to the top of pyramid of students, so that nobody dared to show any sign of disrespect to me and of course, my family."

"Alfred, you really are simple-minded."

"Anyway, I just want to protect them from those annoying and intolerant guys. Every time they came up with the hackneyed argument which they insisted to be rational yet turned out to be ridiculous. I've already been tired of hearing people taking 'gay couples will make children gay' as a perfect excuse to speak ill of my parents and stop other gay people adopting children, so…"

"…"

"Ivan, I can't be gay. I'll study hard and be enrolled by Harvard, Princeton or Yale University. I'll spare every effort to become a respectful lawyer and fight every good fight for the weak and poor. I'll marry a middle-class woman and form a model family with three kids and a pretty wife. I'll obtain all the greatest achievements and be my family's pride. I'll prove to everybody, gay couple can also raise a child as gorgeous as me in proper way. I'll make those who assailed my family shut up, I'll…."

The boy was choked by a mixture of sadness and anger. He can't spill out more words from lips, because he was constraining himself not to burst into tears with all his strength.

"You don't need to take all the responsibility for that. Well, I mean, family isn't supposed to bear a weight on your future." Completely shocked by Alfred's speech, Ivan was at a loss.

"I said you won't understand. Today Matthew confessed his love towards another boy. I don't know who Jack is and what a person he is, but I know he's walking on the same way as my parents did."

"Don't pretend to care about your brother so much!" Ivan almost lost all his strength to protest.

"I'm the last hope of this family, Ivan. There's supposed to be someone standing out and proving that my parents are no worse than those hector-sex parents – they're even much more fantastic than them!"

It was as if a bunch of light lit up the whole night, warm of hope and pride suddenly cracked the solid surface of darkness, melting everything into a pure load of white light.

"Al…."

"If I can't be a hero of the world, at least, please, I want to be the hero of my family."

The hero of the whole family.

At least, wanna hold up a small piece of sky for them.

At least, wanna be the guiding torch and shining hope for them.

At least, wanna defend them and be their strongest support against any hurt.

Out of the blue, Alfred shut off the call and huddled up inside the huge wardrobe. Tears can't help welling up and trailing down along his delicate cheek.

Not even a person can hear his crying.

At that point, he still didn't know, not every hero will be honored in the history, and not every sacrifice was worthy making in exchange for repay.

Of course he wouldn't know another fact, either. That is, the most precious treasure for a family is not wealth, prestige, social status or other's flowers and praises, but the purest love among each family member.

PS: Oh I'm sorry this chapter is a bit too long isn't it? Anyway I'm so into the hero mode Alfred so I just can't help it!

This is the second talk, between Alfred and Ivan, over a topic about love, hurt and comfort.