AN: I was listening to Big & Rich's song "Deadwood Mountain", which inspired me to write a sad Cowboy!America story. That and I think Alfred would look really good all western-like Anyway, this is the end result. I feel bad that I finally show Matthew some major love and it's in a TRAGEDY. I win. So hard. -w- I'm sorry in anything here offends anyone, like the fact that I changed the last names to "Kirkland-Bonnefoy". I did this because it just makes sense for the boys to have their parents last names like that. In case you missed the memo, this is HumanAu. By the way, the title is also a song. It's by Toby Keith if you're curious. Yeah. Disclaimer time, I guess.

I, BrokenBridges, own squat. There, I said it. NOW YOU ALL KNOW THE HORRIBLE TRUTH! *sobs in corner*

Matthew had always thought his brother was nuts when it came to his cowboy lifestyle. No matter how everything changed over the years, no matter how the mini-fad's came and went in his short nineteen years, that one thing seemed to remain: Alfred's constant calling. Being so close to animals, getting down and dirty working the land, and the thrill of a good ride. His favorite place was his home in Texas. There was were he kept the small ranch that he'd purchased after moving out of their parent's home. He'd ride around the country side for hours on end, just thinking about everything and nothing. Arthur once commented jokingly that his love of it all would be his end.

No one realized the truth this statement would someday possess.

It all happened one crisp fall day in October. Alfred had invited his family to come watch the rodeo he would be competing in. The blonde's sport of choice was bull riding. He said nothing beat the adrenaline rush of riding a two ton living roller coaster. Matthew never understood what his twin was talking about, Arthur and Francis just laughed. If it made their son happy, then whatever.

When his turn came, Alfred prepared himself at the gate on a big black angus bull that the officials had dubbed Shotgun. The young rider gave his anxious family a smile and a wave before the horn sounded. Like the beast's name implied, they were off. As he watched his brother bounce up and down with each kick, he couldn't help but feel his stomach tighten. He'd watched Al do this countless times, why was today any different?

He only has to stay on eight seconds….everything's going to be find Mattie…chill…. The curly haired boy repeated this mantra over and over again. Suddenly, he heard someone scream. It was Alfred. Mattie's eyes widened as the bull gave an exceptionally strong buck, throwing it's rider over, his hand still tied to the saddle.

Everyone was forced to watch as the black demon threw the young man around like a rag doll. Arthur had by now buried his head in Francis's shoulder. The Frenchman had his in the smaller man's hair. Matthew, however, couldn't look away. At one point, Alfred's bright blue eyes locked with his. The younger twin was left breathless at the look of pure terror and pain in the normally smiling orbs. He knew this wouldn't end well. His gut had been right. Oh God he wished it wasn't.

The clowns and other contestants tried their damnedest to help the trapped boy, but no one could hold Shotgun down long enough to untie him. They tried piling onto the creature all at once, but they where thrown off like flies. Alfred could only scream more. He could feel his bones breaking and blood pouring from where he'd been pierced by the horns. It was a sickening sight. Eventually, someone found a tranquilizer gun and shot the beast.

With a final jerk before falling, the bull slammed Alfred into the ground, it's front hooves coming down on his chest. Alfred didn't' even scream as the blood spurted from his lips. Then, just as quickly as the hellish ordeal had begun, it was over. Medics raced to the fallen cowboy's side, and Matthew desperately wanted to join them. But he was frozen in place as he stared at his brother's unmoving form. Arthur and Francis sat beside him, praying and crying for their eldest to be alright. A few minutes later, an announcement was made over the arena's loud speakers. The family would remember it for as long as they lived.

"I-it seems as though contestant Alfred Kirkland-Bonnefoy has been seriously injured. Let us have a moment of silence as they load him into the ambulance…."

Matthew, Francis, and Arthur didn't waste a minute. The second the ring quieted, they ran for the car. They where going to follow the ambulance to the hospital.

When they got there, they were immediately ushered to Alfred's room. The sight of the once-lively boy laying deathly still in the white room, tubes coming in and out of him, made them all sick to their stomachs. The doctors had told them that the did their best to stop the internal bleeding that the bull had caused, and that the damage was very bad.

Quietly, the three nodded and took their respective seats in the cold room. Arthur sat in a small chair at Alfred's bedside, begging his son to wake up. Francis stood over him, watching everything through moist eyes. Matthew, however, seemed to be doing the worst. He just stared at his brother in a state of pure shock. Alfred had always been the strong one, the hero, the kid life couldn't take down. But here he was, white as a ghost with blue lips and black eyes. Matthew prayed it was all some sick, terrible, nightmare.

But it wasn't. The next morning, Alfred's heart monitor stopped beating. Nurses and doctors flooded the room, forcing the terrified family to leave for the time being. They just sat outside the door and waited with clenched hearts.

Fifteen minutes later, one of the doctors walked solemnly out of Alfred's room. Everything seemed to freeze for Mattie as he spoke.

"I'm so sorry…but….he's gone."

Their reactions were instantaneous. Arthur screamed and fell to his knees, Francis following not far behind to comfort his broken lover. Mattie ran. He ran and he ran and he ran. He could feel the burn in his chest as his lungs screamed for more air, but he didn't care. His twin, his best friend, his other half, was dead. Finally, Matthew stopped on a small hill about ten miles from the hospital. He just stood there as tears cascaded down his delicate face. I should have listened to my gut. I should have stopped Al before he got on that bovine deathtrap…. The distraught boy knew it wasn't his fault that the other was dead, but he still felt guilty.

He stayed there for the remainder of the day. As dusk approached, he heard his parents come up behind him. He'd never seen them look so old and weary. Suddenly, he threw himself into their arms and sobbed, letting all his bottled feelings go. He stayed there seeking comfort like the child he really was for hours. Finally, when he had run dry, Francis suggest that they all go home and get some ample rest. They had a lot to take care of over the next few days. No one complained.

Several days later, they laid Alfred into the ground. They had decided to bury him in a small cemetary not too far from the house, overlooking the land. The service was a simple one, all of the twins' friends had attended, as well as many of Francis and Arthur's coworkers. It was easy to see that Alfred may have been an idiot, and sometimes even a douche, but he was still someone that they where all going to miss greatly. Nothing could replace that part of their lives.

As everyone begin to clear the grounds Matthew stayed behind. Even though he knew Alfred probably couldn't hear him, he decided to talk anyway. He yelled at his brother for being a careless fool, for being so reckless, but mostly, for leaving him. Alfred had been his rock, the person that had seen him when no one else would. Now what was he supposed to do? Softly, he dropped to his knees, much like Arthur had done at the hospital, but he shed no tears, just stared at the headstone.

Alfred F. Kirlkand-Bonnefoy

7-4-91 to 10-22-11

Rest in peace hero

It's so simple, Matthew thought as he read the epitaph, But that's how Al would have wanted it. Short, sweet and too the point. He laughed bitterly to himself as he thought this. He remembered days gone by, watching his brother practice his roping, caring for his beloved horses, or just simply sitting on the couch asking Mattie how his life was going. That's all the young man had now; memories.

During his musings, Matt didn't notice the presence of another person suddenly appear behind him. When he did however, he turned around startled. He came face to face with a pair of faded blue jeans that he would know anywhere, but thought he'd never see again. As he looked up he saw the bright, smiling face of his brother.

"Alfred…" He whispered in shock. This couldn't be real, no matter how much he wished it. His brother was dead! He'd seen the body himself! But here he was, standing before him, just as healthy and happy as he had been the morning that everything had begun.

"Alfred…." he repeated.

"That's my name, don't wear it out," the elder chuckled.

Matthew made to tackle his twin, to rekill him for making them suffer like this, but as he did so, he went straight through the other teenager. He hit the ground with a thud, and turned around to stare shocked at the ghost.

"Sorry bro," Alfred said, "But you can't do that. I just came back to tell you something…"


"That you can't be all depressed. And you can't let the old men be depressed either! It ain't cool, dude."

Matthew just sighed. Dead or not, Alfred was still Alfred. He stared at the apparition for a moment before speaking again, "But we watched you die Al! You can't expect that not to bother us!"

The ghost nodded, "Well, yeah. But you still have your own lives to live, Mattie. I lived mine, and ya know what? I didn't feel anything after the whole thing was over. Once they got that bull off my chest, I was pretty numb. So don't y'all think I suffered too much or nothing. I died doing something I loved. 'S all that matters." and with that, he faded away.

Matthew just watched the spot where his brother's spirit had stood. He felt like a huge weight had been lifted from his chest, like knowing that Alfred had moved on so easily would allow him to move on. With a sad smile, he started the journey home to help his fathers heal as he had. Alfred wasn't gone, not entirely.

As he looked once more over his shoulder at the grave, Mattie uttered three little words that he knew had his brother smiling, wherever he was.

"Ride on cowboy."

AN: And there you have it. My terrible death fic. I enjoy doing mean things to Alfred far to much. Oh well, review please! ...Please? *puppy face* I'll give you a plushie of whoever you want! Just like always! Honest!