Notes: I love my Americest geographically correct and I like my stories bittersweet so you can expect comedy, fluff, and heartbreak in equal measure. Rated M for lemons, language and incest (in so far as you can call what the countries do incest...).
Matthew slumped down into his favorite living room chair and sighed, pressing a hand to his forehead.
Finally, finally Alfred had left his Ottawa apartment and flown back home to D.C.
He didn't know if he was being paranoid or if his brother was becoming more persistent. Maybe his falling out of favor with the rest of the world save England and for some strange unknown reason Japan had finally gotten to his southern brother?
Sure , Alfred had always been over enthusiastic about everything including his relationship with Matthew and baseball...and god help him when the two were combined.
But this really had to stop it just really really had to stop.
Scenes from the past week flashed through his head:
Matthew was in the kitchen making breakfast because everyone knew Alfred could cook about as well as England. Alfred had shuffled in groggy from actually waking up at a decent hour after a night of videogaming. Without so much as a good morning, he passed Matthew and flung open the cabinet door right next to the stove in search of cookies. "Ah! Maple!" Matthew groaned as the heavy oak cabinet door hit him in the back of the head. "Al, couldn't you wait until the pancakes were finished?"
"Huh? What?" Alfred looked over with a mouth full of cookies. Seeing Matthew rubbing the back of his now-possibly-bleeding head the southern nation had the nerve to giggle. "Ha ha! Sorry bro!"
Matthew rubbed the back of his still tender head at the memory, but Alfred being his usual hazardous self was not the problem. No, dear god, that was not the problem. The clinginess was the problem.
It was not unusual for Alfred to insist on sharing Matthew's bed after subjecting himself to horror movies. Oh sure, Matthew tried to stop him. "but...but you HATE horror movies. They terrify you."
he would say while thinking 'please, please don't let him climb in bed with me tonight. He kicks in his sleep.' . However, his rational advice was usually met by nothing but obnoxious laughter as Alfred would reply "Lol ! What dude? Nothing terrifies a HERO!"
Still, hours later, after suffering through another round of shaking and screaming in his pitch black living room as the ghostly scenes flickered across the TV set, Matthew would excuse himself to bed and Alfred would put up a false front of bravado to retire to the guest room.
Of course he never stayed there. His record for staying alone in the guest room was something like 10 minutes. Inevitably he would sneak down the hall (afraid of alerting the ghosts to his presence) and pry open Matthew's door (how he got around the lock, Matthew would never know) and dislodge Kumajiro in order to crawl under the covers with Matthew.
Matthew's usual line of defense was to pretend he was asleep and hope that Alfred would just be quiet and follow his lead. No such luck.
"Mattie? Hey, hey, Matthew!" and if he didn't answer the incessant poking would start. A well placed finger between the ribs usually had him bolting upright in bed in no time.
"Matt~!" Alfred would sing-song "You're awake!"
Typically what happened next was Alfred rambling at him about some random topic (stopping at short intervals to shriek at the things that go bump in the night) until he forgot about the horror movies and went to sleep.
This had not happened last night. What happened last night had made Matthew long for the old days of trying to keep his eyes open under pain of poking while Alfred talked extensively about which videogame console controller had the best design.
It had begun like this poke poke "Hey Mattie!" poke "Bro!" followed shortly by Matthew rolling over to face his bright eyed twin brother. "What?" He whined fully expecting the inevitable rant to commence. Instead Alfred snuggled up to him, making the northern nation blink in confusion.
"Hold me." Alfred crooned using the voice he used on Japan whenever he wanted the island nation to swallow his pride and eat florescent cake.
"Um, excuse me, what?" Matthew choked out in a hoarse whisper.
"It's dark." Alfred whined twining his muscular arms around Matthew's waist. Biting back the urge to totally freak out at the unexpected and frankly terrifying contact Matthew groped desperately in the dark for the chain to light the lamp on his bedside table.
Light flooded their little corner of the room. "There." Matthew sighed. "Now you have a nightlight. So, let me go please?"
Alfred made a little annoyed noise in his throat and Matthew's eyes widened in horror due to the fact that he could tell Alfred was pouting even though his face was buried in Matthew's chest by the feeling of his bottom lip gutting out against Matthew's chest separated only by his thin flannel night shirt.
"Why?" he whimpered "Don't you like me?"
'Ack!' Matthew thought 'He's either on one of his rare bouts of low self-esteem or he's trying to manipulate me for something.' Neither scenario was good. Matthew always felt a little guilty when Alfred was legitimately downhearted, usually because his passive-agressive snarks or rants about America's flaws were the cause of it.
"Of course I like you." Matthew kept the panic out of his voice. "On your side of the bed."
Alfred tilted his face upward and Matthew squeezed his eyes shut. 'I will not look...I will not look...'
but the temptation was too great and one eye rebelled and fluttered open. There it was, the infamous puppy dog face. Complete with watery blue eyes, pink flushed cheeks and trembling lower lip.
'No,' Matthew thought 'Don't give in man, you may be the only country on earth who is immune to his bullshit! Well besides Cuba, and Russia and...well the point was don't give in!'
In the end , even his inner chorus of the Guess Who's "American Woman" didn't do the trick.
That was an awkward thing to think of in reference to one's brother anyway...
It was late, he was tired, Alfred was (he begrudgingly had to admit) quite warm and comfortable and Matthew didn't want to give his twin and excuse to squeeze him with his unpredictable super strength.
"Fine!" He groaned "Fine! But just this one time!"
Grinning victoriously Alfred had snuggled into the crook of his neck.
Matthew prayed no one ever found out.
It turned that as far as Alfred was concerned "Just this one time!" meant "Please press your body uncomfortably close to mine every night so I can wake up to your charming beef scented morning breath." and then there had been that time they started arguing about history...
"Dude, what have I ever done to make you suspicious of me?" Alfred was pouting, arms crossed, sitting on Matthew's kitchen counter.
"Oh I don't know..." Matthew grumbled slamming the dishwasher a little harder than he'd meant. "You did INVADE ME that one time."
Alfred looked genuinely surprised. "What? When?"
"1812!" Matthew flailed his arms "What the hell, eh?"
"1812?" Alfred tapped his temple, face screwed up in concentration "oh yeah! That's that time you and England burnt down my White House house, right? Dick move you guys."
"You torched York!" Matthew gasped " You invaded me. Oh my god!"
"Ha. ha. Really?" Alfred swung his legs and grinned at Matthew's horrified expression. "I always wondered why you burnt the White House. Guess I forgot about all that other stuff. I'm totally sure I had a good reason for it at the time. Uh, whatever it was."
He'd slung and arm around Matthew's shoulder "Water under the bridge, right bro?"
"Bastard..." Matthew mumbled under his breath.
Of course that was nothing compared to the day that Alfred had actually picked up a news paper for once in his life and found a letter to the editor about Canadian fears of Americanization.
"Mattie~ what?" He'd whined "I mean come on! Sure I think every country on earth has a god given right to McDonald's but still..."
The way he was swinging that newspaper around must have triggered some chainsaw-induced stress memories and Mattie felt himself slipping into his comfortable, nervous sphere of invisibility.
"Al...Al...calm down." Matthew scooped up Kumajiro and clutched the bear defensively.
Alfred continued to rant. "Okay, I KNOW I stamped that American flag on your forehead that one time but really that was for your own good! If you didn't have such a ridiculous, girly, flag it wouldn't have been a problem..."
'Did he just call my flag girly?' Matthew thought in annoyance but found it impossible to get a word in.
Finally the storm blew over and Alfred seemed to calm down. He took Matthew by the shoulders and looked him dead in the eyes. "This cannot stand! I am going to do something to prove to you I am not trying to Americanize you!" As Alfred stormed out of the apartment Matthew caught the whisper "...anymore than everyone else."
Matthew should have felt a sense of dread. He should have wondered what the hell his twin was up to on the streets of Ottawa, but instead he was just glad to have a moment alone to make tea and calm his nerves.
What seemed like hours later Alfred finally returned carrying a single, small, bag with him. Matt couldn't make out the name of the store as Alfred made straight for the guest bedroom.
"What did you buy?" Matthew called after him but his only reply was "Nothing! Order Pizza! I'm starving!"
Now wary of whatever Alfred had bought Matthew made his way to the kitchen phone and dialed up his favorite delivery service. What? Just because he COULD cook , unlike his brother , didn't mean he wanted to all the time.
As he ordered an obscene number of large pizzas for two people (feeding Alfred wasn't cheap) Matthew had no idea the kind of painful inner struggle his brother was suffering in the guest room.
He would soon be wishing Alfred had lost that inner struggle. As he hung up the phone and walked into the living room he heard Alfred calling from the hallway.
"Oh Canada~?" and knew that this, whatever it was, could not be good.
Swallowing the lump in his throat Matthew replied "Um, yes?"
and then there he was reclining against the doorframe where the hallway met the living room running a hand up and down over his completely, stupidly, unfairly muscular chest and wearing...
"Pants!" Matthew shrieked "Oh my god, put on your pants!"
"What?" Alfred asked straightening up and snapping the elastic waistband of his Canadian flag themed tighty whities. "I'll have you know this is a supreme gesture of goodwill. I think your sissy flag is chaffing my old glory if you know what I mean."
Matthew buried his face in his hands. "Please, Alfred, please. Get my flag off your vital regions and PUT ON SOME PANTS."
"Why?" Alfred grinned "Afraid I look better in them than you would?"
Alfred was now much too close for comfort and Matthew sprinted backwards towards the kitchen before Alfred could snake an arm around him.
"Do you know how long it took me to find a pair of flag-themed briefs in this city?" Alfred commenced to complain "Where is your Canadian pride?"
Alfred cornered Matthew by the open kitchen's bar and succeeded in getting the jump on the northern nation. "Don't hug me when you don't have pants on! Don't hug me when you don't have pants on!"
Matthew was practically crying.
"Okay..." Alfred teased "If you really want me to get dressed I did pass a costume shop with a fake Mountie uniform."
Matthew shook himself from the terrifying memories. Alfred wasn't here anymore. No more nervously looking around every corner to make sure his brother's clumsiness didn't endanger his life, No more getting kneed in the back while he was trying to sleep (Sleeping with an Elephant? Trudeau had no idea. It was more like sleeping with an armored tank.) , No more whiny demands for Pancakes. It was just him and his oddly forgetful Polar bear. Mattie sighed in relief and tried not to think about the world meeting that was just two weeks away.