You and Me and You and Me
Genre: romance, angst
Pairing: Prussia/Canada [PruCan]
Word count: 2,060
Disclaimer: You know 'nothing'? Yeah. That's how much of this I own, and how much money is being generated from this fic.
Summary: Being alone gives you lots of time to think about the answers to anything and everything, and Matthew had been alone for a very long time.
Comments: This struck me at two AM. I apologize if that means it makes little sense.
If no one acknowledges you, do you really exist?
If no one looks your way and sees you- you, not someone who looks like you- do you look like anything at all?
If no one can answer simple questions about you- name, age, location- do the answers even exist?
If no one loves you, can you love and be loved?
Matthew knows the answers.
Four yeses, a perfect string: y-e-s, y-e-s, y-e-s, y-e-s, and that's the end of it.
Except it's not really, and he knows it.
True, the answers are there, but there's more to it than that. Behind yes-or-no questions lie feelings, heart-wrenching pains, a person, and a soul. He may be forgotten, but still he remembers- and he feels.
He feels everything, acutely and instantly, and nothing slips past him. He feels pain the instant someone forgets or mistakes him, he feels overpowering joy at things as simple as a victory in a sports game, he feels the crushing loneliness every second of every day, and most of all, he loves.
He is in love.
He is in love because he cannot help himself. He is in love because he cannot be the opposite. He is in love because sometimes he just wants to feel something positive. He is in love because to not be would be impossible.
He is in love with Gilbert Beillchsmidt.
It had started- all of it- on a perfectly sunny day in March. He was in town- Copenhagen this time- for the world meeting, as they all were. The city was almost unseasonably warm, and the sky was a pure, sapphire blue. Had he not already known he'd simply be either ignored or mistaken for his brother, he would have had had to remember to complement Denmark on the beauty of his house.
A shudder runs up his spine, because he knows not only that voice but also that tone.
"…I-it's not America, Cuba. It's me, Canada." His brother. Your friend. The second-largest nation in the world. Surely you can remember me at least once?
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," the scornful voice replies. "You always say that, hamburger freak. Would you just shut up and take it like a man?"
"But I'm really not-" He is cut off as a fist collides with his stomach, forcing him to exhale and knowcking him to the ground.
He squeezes his eyes shut, knowing he's missed his chance to dissuade the angry nation and also knowing exactly what will follow.
"I said shut up!" Cuba growls, kicking him over so he's lying on his stomach. "I hate you! You always try to distract me, tell me you're not who I know you are. It's so stupid! You're stupid! Hamburger-chomping son of a-"
"Cuba? What the hell are you doing to Canada?"
He almost, almost opens his eyes, but manages at the last minute to stop himself. He wants to know what's going on and perhaps hug whoever it is for recognizing him- especially because he definitely knows that's not France, who, of course, is the only one who recognizes him with any sort of regularity.
That was unexpected. France's friend Prussia? Germany's brother Prussia? The pain in Austria's side Prussia?
"Of course it's the awesome me! Now would you mind getting off of Mattie? I kind of needed to talk to him."
…needed to talk to him?
Cuba is apparently just as dumbfounded as he is. "But… you don't understand! This is America! Who's Canada?"
There is a sigh from somewhere behind him, and then Prussia replies very slowly, as though speaking to a child, "Canada is the one you are so unawesomely about to beat up. I just saw America, he's over that way. And besides, aren't you and Canada friends or something? Shouldn't you recognize him?"
"I'm sure if he was my friend I'd recognize him!"
Had his eyes been open, Canada would have rolled them. Gee, thanks, Alejandro. I'll make sure to bring that up the next time you drag me over to eat ice cream.
"Well, whatever. Leave him alone, loser, the awesome me wants to talk to him! If you've got some sort of issue with America, he's back thataway."
There is a moment of pregnant silence, in which Canada desperately holds his breath in an attempt to go unnoticed, and then finally there is movement from above him.
Cuba, when he finally opens his eyes, can be seen standing facing Prussia with a confused expression on his face, as though he still can't quite understand the situation. About ten feet behind him stands the one and only albino ex-nation, a somewhat defiant and exasperated expression clouding his face.
Then, slowly but surely, Cuba continues his movement and walks past Prussia, glancing back every few seconds- at least until he catches sight, apparently, of the blonde he's been looking for this entire time. With a shout of "AMERICA! There you are! Get back here!", he sprints away, leaving in his wake only a confused and grateful Canada and a now-smug Prussia whose eyes are glittering with some sort of barely-contained mirth.
"That guy's such an unawesome idiot," he says under his breath, with a wink in Canada's direction that, for some reason, makes his cheeks flush with vivid red heat.
"You recognized me," he blurts suddenly, his eyes widening as soon as the words are out as he looks down, across, around- anywhere but at the face that is breaking into the grin he saw only the first glimpse of.
"Kesesese~ Of course I did! Why wouldn't I? The awesome me isn't some looser who can't tell the difference between you and your idiot brother. You two really aren't much alike- you're way more awesome than he is."
This makes his cheeks burn with increased intensity, but this time he can manage the courage to look up, if hesitantly, and stare into the sparkling crimson eyes above him.
"But most people-"
"Look," Prussia interrupts him. "I'm not most people."
It had grown- the rest of it- over several weeks, and months, and years of meeting up to go out, usually for coffee, and talk. The world meetings suddenly became not only bearable but fun, and, despite himself, Canada began to look forward to them.
They talk about everything- their pets, their friends, their brothers, their bosses (or, in Prussia's case, former bosses), the antics of their fellow nations, their favorite foods, the sports they played.
Sometimes, too, they simply rant at each other; Canada can no longer count the number of times he's become simply fed up with everything around him and his state of invisibility and Prussia has been there, willing and ready to listen and sympathetic (while forgetting him would be a feat of great magnitude, he can at least empathize with the lack of respect as a nation) as he spills his guts over coffee and biscuits.
Somewhere along the way he also picked up a nickname- 'Birdie', or 'Vögelchen' if Gil (they've also long since done away with calling each other by their country names- to each other they are Gil and Mattie, even, as opposed to Gilbert and Matthew) is in a particularly German mood. He has a sneaking suspicion this is some sort of reference to his "cuteness", seeing as Gil had a (much-denied) affection for all things adorable. Gilbird is proof enough of that.
Be that as it may, however, there is also the fact that Gilbert actually respected him and continually, routinely, and without fail recognizes him. Whenever there is a situation like that first one with Cuba- or even just a case of someone not realizing he is there or thinking he is America, Gilbert immediately jumps to his defense.
"Hey! Specks! Canada's got something to say! You need stronger glasses or something?"
"Russia, I swear to God I'll kill you if you don't get off of Mattie right. Now."
"Wrong twin, Eyebrows! Can't you even tell the difference between the one you're with and the one you're not? Geeze."
It is always the same- warm, protective, angry at the one who has dared to mess with or forget about or not recognize the small blonde with the glasses and the talking polar bear (which in itself should have made him completely unforgettable; for most people, at least, talking bears aren't an everyday occurrence.)
He wonders distantly if there is any sort of significance to the fact that he seems to be more visible whenever Gilbert's around.
It had been realized- the reason and also the feeling- on a wintery night in the farthest reaches of his territory. He was hiking, alone, because he really didn't want to think about the thing that had been building in his heart and the pit of his stomach for a long time now.
He slips silently through the trees on the way to his cabin- the small shack in the woods where he's been staying for a while now- and tries desperately to figure out what is wrong with him. He would like to say "nothing", but he is neither stupid nor a liar, so that option is lost to him.
There is some sort of a burn that tells him this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but at the same time emotions generally seem to cause him trouble so he tries to ignore that.
He suddenly realizes that he knows exactly where he is- and he's been here at least five times in the last half an hour.
Accepting defeat, he sighs and flops down on the boulder, gazing up at the star-speckled sky as he watches his breath form white clouds that float around his head and up into the atmosphere. It's funny, bit out here, alone and without anything to remind him that he has ever known another person in his life, even the second-largest nation in the world feels rather insignificant.
And with that, it hits him.
Oh. I'm in love.
It had been confessed- in its entirety- the very next time they saw each other. He simply hadn't been able to hold himself in, and so he'd run halfway across Berlin the instant his plane touched down and insistently rapped on the door that he knew belonged to Gilbert.
The door slowly creaks open. "Birdie? You're early for the meeti-"
Dead silence. Then:
"…oh. Well, in that case, ich liebe dich."
Okay, well, he can live with that. He wasn't exactly expecting it, but…
He leans forward to close the distance between them and lightly peck Gilbert on the lips. Then, smiling broadly, he rocks back on his heels and blinks warmly up at the still slightly-surprised man before him.
"Glad we can agree on that, then," he says.
Gilbert chuckles lightly, reaching out to capture Matthew's slender hand in his larger, paler one. "Yeah. Um… what brought this on? Not," he adds quickly, with one of those fox-like grins he's so famous for, "that I'm not grateful, but…"
"I was hiking," Matthew says, as though this explains everything.
Gil raises an eyebrow and then shakes his head, amused. "I'm going to have to get used to answers like that, aren't I?"
A little thrill dances through Matthew's stomach. A future. They have a future.
"Definitely," he says, with as much conviction as he can muster.
He is now even more sure of the answers to his questions.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes…
He is no longer nearly as invisible or forgotten. It seems as though every day he spends in Gil's company makes another person able to see and recognize him. He has also grown more bold- when Russia sits on him these days, he's not afraid to push him off or at least make annoyed noises. He's told England off several times for mistakenly calling him Alfred or America, and he is now able to speak his mind at world meetings just as much as any of the other participants.
He isn't alone anymore.
There's you and me and you and me, and around and around we go.
And yes, the quote at the end is my own. :3 So if you want to use it or something, feel free, just give credit or something, idek orz
A-anyway. Like I said, the idea hit me at about 2 in the morning, so if it's a bit incoherent, I apologize. Other than that, though…