A/N: I AM BACK I AM ALIVE I AM LATE~! WHOOO! Not...I apologize so much guys, I am really really really late on this. I was just getting so busy with school and then had inspiration issues and writers block, but I think I'm good now! I'll probably be slow updating, or I will write short chapters and update faster. I'll figure it out later! For now, I won't keep you here long!

Chapter 17

It was dark. Really dark. Matthew had not expected it to become darker and darker as he crawled through the vents. He did not like it. At least it had not become too small as he kept going. After what felt like hours upon hours in the cramped dusty metal tubes, Matt saw light. His heart sped up as he crawled faster towards it. Had he finally found the exit?!

Finally, he reached the grate covering the vent to the outside and peered out. He was not too high up...But could he open it? Matthew pushed. It didn't budge. His heart sank, but he tried again; he HAD to try again. He pushed and kicked and pounded on the grate, but it did not come lose. Now what? How was he supposed to get out now? He began to hyperventilate as his heart sped up and he thought. He took a deep breath. "Stay calm, Matt. You can do this. You have to. For Alfred."

He sat for a little and thought, sometimes trying to squeeze his fingers through the grill and see if he could reach the screws at the corner, but it ultimately failed. In a moment of sheer anger and disappointment, Matthew cried out and kicked the metal as hard as he could. He heard a strange sound. He kicked it again. It felt like it moved. He kept at it, but soon was exhausted. He maneuvered and see how much he had accomplished. There was a dent, and the metal was looking strained, but had not come lose.

In a cry of despair, the Canadian closed his eyes and leaned against the walls tiredly. There was only one option left really...To wait for someone to come and ask for help. With that, he drifted off into a restless sleep as he waited for help to come. Eventually, the sound of a slamming door woke him with a start and he looked out to see a person there.

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Gilbert smiled as he dropped Ludwig off at school and watched the young blonde walk off. He was so relieved to have him back. Though he still could not stop the nagging feeling in his gut about what he had done to have the children returned. He sacrificed two other peoples kids to get his back. Now there were parents out there going through exactly what he had. He still had trouble believing he had actually gone through with the plan sometimes.

Gilbert sighed and pulled away from the school in his car, and he hardly realized he was heading in the direction of the alleyway by the building where he took Ludwig and Feliciano from. His head was just a mess of jumbled up thoughts and guilt at the moment. He parked his car and sat in it for a while as he mind traveled in circles between the day he learned that his brother and friend had been kidnapped, to what he did to the other children, to holding his boys in his arms again. With a sigh, he exited his vehicle and slammed the door closed loudly in frustration.

There had to be something he could do to make up for this horrendous act he had just committed...Just something, anything to get rid of his guilt! Please God! He prayed, running his hands through his hair. Guilt was just so not awesome!

"Hey! Can you help me?!" A young voice cried out from above, and the gray haired man jumped and looked around. Where had that come from? Had his pray been answered already?

"Vho said that?! Vhere are you?!"

"Me! In the vent! Please! I'm stuck! Can you help me out?!" Gilbert started scanning the wall of the building for a sign of the voice (it sounded like a child) and it's location. There were plenty of vents, but which one was this coming from? The older man ran around and, being as awesome as he is, soon discovered a curve in one grate. It had the be that one! That must be it! He grinned and ran over to it, climbing on top of some junk to see inside. What he saw made him wish he had not been the one to answer this cry for help, and the other was secretly glad.

It was the boy with violet eyes, one of the two he essentially traded for his kids. He saw the boy back away in fright as he recognized just who had heard his call. "Hey! Kid, I'm not here to hurt you! Look, I'm sorry. Just, hold on a second!" Gilbert said, running to his car and pulling out a tool box (he was a contractor) and a screwdriver. The man then made quick work of the screws keeping the grill in place. "Come on, kid, please give me a second chance!"

The violet eyed child shook his head and scooted back further into the vent. "No! You're the reason my brother and I were caught in the first place!" Gilbert's heart broke as he saw angry tears well up in the blond's eyes.

"I svear to you on my life I am not here to hurt you or anything. I vant to make it up to you. I'll take you home. Just, please, trust me. Just this once." He pleaded, a sincere look in his eyes that seemed to win over the boy, who began to slowly crawl towards the German, who pulled him out completely and carried him to the car, smiling comfortingly at him. "See? No tricks. Vhat's your name, boy? Vhere do you live?"

"Matthew." The kid said after a pause as Gilbert buckled him up and began to clean him off a bit before taking him home. It was the least he could do. This was, after all, kind of his fault...As Matthew gave an approximate location as to his house, the German was putting away the first aid kit and getting in the car.

"Awesome! Let's get you home."

A/N: The end of chapter 17! I really hope it was worth the wait! I couldn't bare to have Gil still being the bad guy, so he's redeeming himself now! YEAH GILBERT YOU AWESOME GUY! He's good at heart. Sorry if he's a bit OOC...I seem to write at late hours... I'm also really sorry I took so long to post...Life was catching up with me! I think I should be back now mostly. I may put up a poll on my profile because I have a question for you lovely people- Would you prefer longer chapters and longer periods between updates or shorter chapters and later updates? Leave a review to tell me or go and vote on the poll I'll try to put up!

Next chapter will be Artie and Francis again!

PLEASE R&R~! I live off feedback!