A/N: Netherlands + Canada + football (or soccer, whatever you non-Europeans/South Americans call it :P) = too awesome a plotbunny to ignore. That is all XD. Consider this my contribution for NethCan day (5 May, you know why) except with less war. Kinda. Football is war. Fear the Orange Legion!
Warnings: France being France XD. And Romano being Romano.
Disclaimer: Not mine. But if I manage to bribe Himaruya with stroopwafels to give me the rights it might be mine someday!
Alfred was on his way to another one of those boring world meetings, when he noticed a bunch of kids playing on a field. They were kicking a ball back and forth, running all over the place, jumping and diving every now and then. It looked familiar, but he couldn't quite remember the name. They were kicking the ball… kickball? No, that wasn't it. It kinda looked like a pussyfied version of one of his favorite sports, American football. Dammit, what was the name? It was on the tip of his tongue! There is a ball, they use their feet… Ah, of course! Soccer! They were playing soccer. He remembered now. He himself played it every now and then when he felt like gracing the World Cup with his presence.
He stayed for a while, watching the kids play. He wondered if he should walk over and tell them to stop wasting time on such a lame game and play a real sport instead. You know, like American football. He was already on his way towards the field when his BlackBerry started buzzing. It was a reminder he had left for himself, the meeting would start in 15 minutes. He decided to lecture the kids during lunchbreak, and went towards the building the meeting would be held in. He saw his brother walking in the hallway, and sped his pace up to walk with him.
"Hey bro! How come you never played in the FIFA World Cup? People might have actually noticed you for something besides the Winter Olympics!" Alfred flung his arms around his brothers shoulder, poking his cheek with a free hand. Matthew sighed as he pushed his brother off of him and continued to walk towards the conference room.
"If you yourself would pay some attention you would know that I did participate in the World Cup. Once. It was a horrible experience."
"Come again? You actually participated? When the hell did that happen?"
"1986. Me and my boys qualified in 1985 by playing a draw against Honduras. It was enough to get us to Mexico where the WC was held at the time."
"No fucking way. You were there in Mexico? Why didn't you tell me? I would have rooted for you!"
"I did tell you. You forgot. Probably because you were still pissed that you didn't make it that time." He said, trying to not to sound too irritated. He didn't know why exactly, but whenever the subject of his one and only WC participation came up, he would get angry. Probably because he lost all of his matches without scoring a single goal. And he didn't qualify for a WC ever since.
"Who didn't make it for what?" Francis asked. They had arrived in the conference room, and Francis caught the last sentence Matthew said.
"Hey, Francis! Did you know Canada actually participated in the 1986 World Cup?"
"Of course. We were in the same group and played the first match against each other." Francis said, smiling as he remembered.
"And you only managed to win with a lousy 1-0. So much for being the reigning European champion at the time." Arthur said as he walked towards them.
"Don't even start, England. At least I managed to make it to the semi-finals and take the third place in the end."
"Doesn't change the fact that you only managed to score one goal against a team in which only half the players were professionals and the other half were either bakers, plumbers or unemployed men. Honestly." He retorted with a snort.
"Well I never!"
"Uh, guys? I'm right here?" Matthew said, trying to get avert their attention back to him.
"Are you kidding me? Only half the team was made out of professional players? No way! Tell me more!" Alfred was getting that gleam in his eyes whenever someone told something that could hold his attention. And poor Matthew was being ignored again. I'm right here, you hoser! Ask me if you want to know that badly!
"He lost all the matches in the first round, without scoring a single goal." Arthur continued, a huge grin appearing on his face. Breathe, Matt, breathe. Go to your happy place.
"Really? He went out goalless? That's just sad." Okay, that's it! I've had enough! I won't let them insult my boys like that! He was about to open his mouth to nicely ask if they would please stop badmouthing his team when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Hey Matt, everything all right? You look like you're about to snap. What are they talking about?" Matthew looked back to see a certain tall, spiky haired, green eyed nation looking at him with a worried look on his face.
"Johan? How long have you been here? How did you know I was about to snap?"
"I just walked in, actually. And that curl on your head tends to twitch quite viciously when you get mad. Did they insult ice hockey or something?"
"Ah, no, not quite. We, or rather they, are talking about the time I participated in the World Cup." He said with a frustrated sigh.
"Oh, the 1986 WC in Mexico? They're talking about your loss then. But you did pretty good for your first time if you ask me."
Matthews face lit up. "You really think so?"
Johan smiled as he ruffled Matthews hair. "Yeah, I told you that over the phone after all your matches, remember? I didn't make it that time unfortunately, so I just stuck to watching the matches with some of the others who also didn't make it. I wanted to come over to support you, but my queen and the government kept me quite busy."
"That's right, you did call me. I can't believe I forgot that. You gave me some pointers, too. They may have saved me from losing with bigger numbers." He said, smiling back.
"There we go, you look so much better with a smile on your face." His hand was cupping Matthews cheek, pulling him closer for a kiss. Matthew closed his eyes and leaned towards Johan. After sharing a sweet, way too short kiss they pulled apart. A content sigh escaped Matthews lips.
"I'm going outside for a final smoke before the meeting starts. Want to keep me company?" Johan asked, his hand still on Matthews cheek. Matthew shook his head, putting his own hand on top of Johan's. "I'd love to, but I still need to make some final preparations. I'll keep a seat ready for you next to me, okay?"
"You're a peach. Thanks." After planting another kiss on Matthews forehead he left the room, leaving Matthew with the rest of his family. Francis, noticing the dreamy look that was on Matthews face and hearing that final sentence he said, jumped towards Matthew, capturing him in a bone-crushing hug.
"You're keeping a seat ready for him? Oh la la! I'm so glad to see that you got my charms, Matthieu! I'm assuming you're going to put your hands to good use? Oh hon hon hon! Ouch!" He rubbed his head after Arthur smacked him upside the head.
"Don't lump him in the same perverted category as you, you damn frog! Matthew knows better than to do those… those things during a meeting!" He said, glaring daggers at the Frenchman.
"Arthur, you're being stupid. Of course Mattie is gonna use his hands! I mean, he has to!" Alfred stated. The other three stared at him, in shock. Alfred, approving of me doing that? Wait a minute. Does he even know what Francis meant by that?
"How else do you expect him to write down notes?" A simultaneous facepalm occurred.
"That's… that's not what he meant, Al. For crying out loud, I should have known better," Matthew said as he pinched the bridge of his nose, leaving to get his speech ready.
"What did he mean then? Mattie!"
"I can show you, if you'd like." Francis said with a perverted smirk on his face as he hugged Alfred and reached for his pants. But before he could do anything he was smacked again, and then dragged away by Arthur.
"Bloody perverted git! Can't you keep your hands to yourself for once? For the love of the Queen!"
Alfred was alone in the room now, still confused. What was Arthurs problem anyway? He was always going on about that he should learn more things, and now Francis was offering to teach him and then he just drags him off! He shook his head as he walked towards the cafeteria to get some coffee. He would never understand Arthur and his strange, Britsh ways.
"…and then those brats just kicked the ball in my face! Just look at how messy Texas is now!" Alfred complained, showing Johan his glasses. They were on their way back from lunchbreak, and Alfred was telling everyone about his heroic quest to educate those unfortunate children on the field in the ways of real sports. "They're a bunch of wild, disrespectful monkeys who know nothing of real sports! Just like you!" He finished. Johan shrugged.
"That's what you get for trying to separate Dutch kids from football."
"You call that football? It's a pussyfied version of a real sport, American football!"
"Excuse me? American football is nothing but a pussyfied version of rugby!" New Zealand said, glaring at Alfred. He would have gone over and kicked his ass with his awesome Maori skills too, but Australia held him back.
"Easy there, mate. You know he doesn't know better. No wonder he sucks so much at football."
"Watch your mouth, Aussie. I participated in more World Cups than you two and my brother combined." He said with a smug look on his face.
"Your brother? He actually participated? When did that happen?" Antonio asked, joining the conversation.
"I know right! I said the exact same thing! He apparently participated in the 1986 WC in Mexico!"
"He did? How did he do?" Feliciano wanted to know.
Gah, not again. I don't wanna hear this. Matthew quickly made his way towards the conference room. He almost made it, but then he felt a pair of arms grabbing him from behind. "Oh my God, you poor soul! Why didn't you ever tell me?"
"Eh? Feliciano? What do you mean?"
"I heard the horrible news! You only made it to the World Cup once and went out goalless! That's just heartbreaking!" Feliciano's eyes were tearing up, and Matthew felt a little guilty.
"Aww, crap. Please don't cry, Feliciano. Sure, it sucked that I didn't make it to the second round, but football isn't that big a deal for me. I don't mind, really."
"How can you say that! Football is the sport that unites us all! Okay, I've made up my mind. I'm teaching you how to play football so you can participate in the next World Cup!"
"WHAT! NO THE FUCK YOU'RE NOT! I REFUSE TO TEACH THAT AMERICAN BASTARD THE STYLE OF THE SQUADRA AZZURA!"
"But I'm not Ameri-"
"SHUT IT, BURGER BASTARD! YOU WILL NEVER GET TO KNOW OUR SECRETS, GOT IT? NEVER!" And with that, a fuming Romano dragged his brother towards the conference room, leaving a confused Matthew and an amused crowd behind.
"What… what just happened?" He asked Johan, who had walked up next to him.
"Nothing out of the ordinary, really. They get like that when football is involved. We all kind of do." He said, trying to hold back a laugh.
"Feliciano does have a point, though. We could always use some new blood in the competition. Why don't you train with a more experienced nation and try to get in the next World Cup?" Ludwig asked.
"Eh? Me? Train with one of you? I don't think-"
"Oh mein Gott, West! Don't tell me you're offering to teach? No way that Blondie over there can handle the style of Die Mannschaft. You'd just be wasting our time." Gilbert said, interrupting Matthew.
"Bruder, stop saying such rude things!"
"I hate to say it Matthieu, but he's right. I don't think I can teach you how to play like Les Bleus, either. You're just too far behind when it comes to football. I'm sorry." Francis said, putting his hand on Matthews shoulder.
"D-don't be, ahaha! I mean, football is wasted on me anyway." He said, trying not to sound too disappointed. Okay, I know I'm no good at football, but I'm not that hopeless. Am I?
"You've been awfully quiet, Johan. What do you say, will you train with him?" Antonio asked. Matthew felt his spirits lift up. Surely Johan would help him, wouldn't he?
"Honestly? I'd rather not." And his spirits came plummeting down again. How can you say that? Do you really have that little faith in me?
"Do you have to be so blunt about it? You could have let the boy down a bit more gentle." Arthur scolded.
"Since when has he been anything but blunt? You're right about not wanting to train me. It's for the best if I just stick to ice hockey. Let's just forget this conversation and get on with the meeting." Matthew removed Francis' hand from his shoulder and continued towards the conference room. Once again he was being stopped from entering the room, this time by Johan, who spun him around, making him face him.
"Don't you know about the unspoken rule that you shouldn't work with the one you love? It'll only lead to trouble."
"Huh? What are you saying?"
Johan let out a little sigh as he put his hands on Matthews face, pulling him closer. "Matt, you know how I get when football is involved. If I do end up training you I won't hold anything back or go easy on you. I'll make you go through hell and back every day. I'll make you train until you can't feel your legs anymore and then let you run 20 more laps around the field. I'll drive you up the wall and you will end up hating me."
"Hate you? I could never-"
"Yes you will, otherwise I'm not doing my job right. And that's why I can't train you. I already have too many people hating my guts, I don't want to add you to that list." He finished. He wanted to remove his hands, when he found Matthews hands on top of his, giving them a little squeeze.
"After all this time I thought you would know better than to underestimate me. I don't think you'll get me to hate you that easy. I mean, I still haven't killed Alfred for getting me into trouble since day one, you know?"
"Matthew Williams, are you challenging me?" He replied, a little smile tugging on his lips.
"What if I am?"
"Matt, I'm serious. You know I hate leaving things unfinished. If we do end up doing this, we're going all the way. I'm not letting you quit halfway through."
"I know. And I won't. I can do this, you know I can."
"It's not you I'm worried about, darling." He said with a defeated sigh. Matthew decided to shut him up by kissing him. "Stop being such a dramaqueen. I know what I'm doing, so please, have some faith in me." Johan couldn't help but smile. "Okay, you win. We'll start tomorrow at 6 AM. Just promise me that you keep your hate at the training grounds."
"Tomorrow already? But we have another meeting that day."
"The meeting won't start until 2 PM, we can do a little basic training. Don't tell me you're already backing out."
"It's a date then. I'll come pick you up tomorrow." He gave Matthew a final kiss before letting him go and walking towards the conference room. Matthew kept staring at his backside until he was gone, that dreamy look getting back on his face. Francis walked towards him, placing his hand on his shoulders once more.
"Matthieu, my boy, do you realize what you've gotten yourself into? He wasn't kidding when he said you'll end up cursing his existence."
"It's okay, Papa. I've survived living with you, Arthur and Alfred. I can handle what he throws at me. But thank you for your concern. We should get going, the meeting won't get resolved on its own," he said with a smile as he removed Francis' hand and gave it a little squeeze before walking inside himself. Francis let out a sigh as he followed him. "I hope you're right, Matthieu. For your sake as well as ours."
A/N: I'm late with submitting, I know. MSN distracted me. But you know, better late than never and all that jazz. I really shouldn't start something new when I still have other stories that need finishing first. But this idea hit me and I had to get it out. This place needs more NethCan anyhow (they're my OTP *hearts*).
Matt and Johan are already together for a decade or three in this story. Yes, everyone was watching that little scene they had. Matt gave up on feeling embarrassed at public displays of affection (being raised by France and dating the openminded Netherlands will do that to you XD). If anyone wants a copy of that, Elizaveta and Kiku taped everything ;-).
The football thing and the nicknames of the football teams was found on Wikipedia and from what I got from my footballcrazy uncles and cousins.
Hope you enjoyed reading this, and reviews are always appreciated! Thank you!