Author's Notes:

Whut is this I don't even- *WTFBOOM*

This is me attempting to write Hetalia. Why? Well, I dunno. Fandom frolicking is what I do best.

So the FACE family kills me with its cuteness, so I decided to (try to) write it. Obviously, I failed. But this is like, an exercice for meh. I'm in the process of writing a multi-chapter pirate!Hetalia fanfic and I'll start posting it when I'm 60% done, and right now it's 40-ish% done, and no one cares, why do I even bother?

This was originally part of a series of 10 oneshots, each detailing separate couples, called "10 Ways to Say I Love You". I basically found how to say "I love you" in 10 languages, and was gonna write one chapter based on each. Pairings included Spamano, USUK, PruCan, RoChu, BelaRussia, and moar... But I lost inspiration and only the FACE/FrUK chapter was written. This chapter was called "Je T'aime".

Pairings are slight FrUK towards the end, AmeriCan brotherly cuteness, and FACE family (lovelovelove).

Warnings: Slight violence, lots of crying (whut), I think there's swearing somewhere in there, Matthew's POV, human names... Flashbacks are shown by the XXX...XXX symbols and are in 3rd POV. Cause I'm creative like that.

Do not own Hetalia. If I did, there would be so much more FACE interaction. And Pirate!Arthur. Cause Pirate!Arthur is awesome.

Enjoy if you can~


This closet scares me.

I don't know how much time I've spent locked in here, but all I know is that I don't like it.

And yet, what's waiting for me outside is even worse. Just the thought of them makes me want to cry more than I already am.

Alfred, Daddy and Papa... Are they even looking for me right now? Do they care? Do they... love me?

Fresh tears squeezed out of my red-rimmed eyes, plopping softly on Kumakaji's soft, wet fur. Or Kamijiro. Or whatever I named this bear when Papa got it for me.

Papa...

A sob escaped my dry, cracked lips, breaking through the resolve I'd built during the entire time I'd been in here.

No, no, don't get it wrong. Nobody locked me here... Nobody except the demons inside me. I brought this upon myself because I'm so weak and helpless.

Still, it's not the best feeling in the world when you're ignored and cast aside, traded like you're worth nothing at all and told you've been loved this entire time.

I just don't understand it. I might be a newborn country, but still, I can understand enough and read the atmosphere (something Al can't do).

They said I meant something to them. Did I really? My heart said yes, my head said yes, my body said yes... but my guts... My guts told me they were lies, all lies. I've trusted my intuition a lot of times before...

And according to my intuition, I do believe that nights spent alone outside in the rain were no signs of love.

XXX...XXX

The boy shivered as he knocked again on the wooden door, wind whipping through his soaked white nightdress. His golden brown hair stuck to his face, damp with rain and tears. He cried in the night, the sound of splattering rain covering his meek, childish voice.

"P-P-Please!" he sniffled, shuddering violently. "It's Matthew! Canada! P-Please open the door!" he cried hopelessly, hitting one last time against the chipped wooden door before falling to his knees and splashing in a puddle.

How typical of his own housemaids to forget about him.

Now that France had colonised Canada and taken the child as his own, he had constructed a house especially for him in the heart of New France, in the town of Quebec. He had gotten many humans involved and had gotten Matthew maids, cooks, butlers... Anything he might need while his papa was off to France or taking care of politics in Matthew's stead.

What irony that the people who were supposed to care for him would forget him outside. The maids who usually put the lights out for him had probably seen his closed bedroom door and decided he'd gone to bed already.

No one would know he was outside until the morning came.

Maybe he could go find the governor? Or even better, Francis? He did recall his Papa saying he had an important meeting in the governor's house today, which was why he wasn't home.

Yes, that sounded swell.

The thought of his Papa's comforting embrace sparked hope in his mind as he slowly raised himself up on his tiny leather boot-clad feet. The white nightdress he always wore swished on the dirty ground, becoming dirty with mud as he stumbled down the front steps of the house, through the rain, and up to the small wooden door that enclosed his mansion.

He lifted his teary eyes in desperation and pushed himself on the tip of his toes, trying to reach the metal lock that kept the door in place. He only had to pull on it to get it loose, but...

God, why did he have to be such a young nation in the first place?

He let out a few cries of desperation as his small, chubby fingers brushed the cold metal, and felt his heart leap in his chest as he finally grabbed the lock. It gave away with a sound click as he pulled on it, and Matthew gave a rare smile as the doorway opened.

Not even throwing a single look back at the lit windows of his own mansion, the small nation started walking.

The adrenaline quickly evaporated, though, and he soon lost feeling in his legs. The next thing he was aware of was crashing roughly onto the muddy ground, feeling numb.

"No, no, not now... Encore un peu..." he pleaded under his breath, trying to get his arms to move. He knew where the governor's house was, it wasn't very far at all. He could make it if he could just get up!

He struggled, struggled and struggled in vain to bring feeling back to his limbs, blood circulating back in his arms, find enough strength to keep moving, but deep inside, he knew he'd lost.

He was only so small, and only so enduring. Even if nations couldn't be killed at all, they could still hurt, still feel pain and love. Tears dripped onto the wet soil as his eyes slipped closed, the raging storm biting through his light garments, all the way from the small red ribbon around his neck to the inside of his thighs through his pumpkin panties.

He didn't know if he should have taken the following unconsciousness as a curse or a blessing.

Matthew then woke a little while later to the sound of shuffling feet and splashing next to him. Mustering all his willpower, the baby nation cracked open his eyes, noticing that the annoying rain had stopped. Instead of the whitish drops falling from the sky, he was now staring at a clear, dark blue sky.

Wait, that wasn't the sky... The sky didn't have horror and surprise floating through it like that.

"P-Papa..." he instinctively called in a weak, croaky voice, feeling instantly relieved as someone gently picked him up. Heart coursed through his veins, bringing back some movement, and he instantly latched onto the Frenchman's neck, bursting into soft sobs.

"Dear God, Mathieu, what happened to you?" Francis caressed his son's muddy, damp golden hair with a static movement as he entered through the garden door and locked the metal lock after them.

"T-T-They didn't h-hear me when I knocked..." the north American nation sniffled. "I-I wanted to come find you b-b-but I fell, a-and it was raining a-and I-"

"Sshh, it's okay, mon ange, it's okay, mon coeur." Francis kissed the child's forehead before glaring lightning at the wooden door.

Those stupid humans. Why did he ever hire them to take care of his precious son? All they knew was to destroy, not preserve. Because of them, his poor baby had spent the night outside, cold, in the rain, hopeless...

France's colony suddenly sneezed and coughed, every strain of his throat like a dagger in his father's heart. The Frenchman cradled the obviously-sick child closer, and, never stopping his caressing, he made his way to the door. There would be hell to pay, oh yes there would be...

But all Matthew could care about right now was about how safe he felt in his Papa's comforting embrace.

XXX...XXX

Ahh, but... Papa saved me just because I was a budding nation, right? H-He wouldn't have helped me if I didn't have important natural resources to offer... Right?

It's not even like anyone had cared for me like that ever again afterwards.

Then again, I had saved Alfie that one time... No, that doesn't count. I just did it because I knew Arthur would get mad at me if I let Alfred die. Alfred never even mentioned it again once he woke up, that must mean he hates me for stealing his spotlight...

But... But... I only wanted to see him smile again...

XXX...XXX

"Alfred!" the little nation yelled as he ran through the woods. "Alfred, come out, this isn't funny!" he pleaded again, looking around for any signs of his new brother.

The two of them, along with Arthur, had just returned from a regular trip back to New-France. Ever since the little colony had partially become Britain's after the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, he'd been jumping between his and Francis' house in Quebec and Alfred's and Arthur's house in Boston. Sometimes, Francis would accompany them from one house to the other, but at that time, he had been called back to France to deal with some after-war problems.

The four of them had quickly become familiarized with each other, giving Matthew the impression of a regular family (as regular as a homosexual family could get). To give the child freedom despite the recent Treaty of Utrecht, England had acquiesced to taking the youngest blond between the houses of his two occupants, just to get him familiarized with Arthur and his colony, Alfred.

Now, as usual, they were returning from their trip and were at the border between Matthew's homeland and the Thirteen American Colonies for a break. Arthur usually made this pit stop so that the humans accompanying them could rest and feed the horses before setting back out.

Only this time, it was different, since Alfred decided to kill time by playing hide and seek.

The first couple of rounds were innocent, fun. The two brothers had taken turns hiding and counting, and all had gone well.

And then, Alfred got the smart idea of hiding in the forest.

A huge, scary, looming forest full of dense trees that was inhabited by many dangerous creatures.

"Alfred!" the blond pleaded again. "Please come out! Daddy won't be happy with us if we don't return now!" he tried, knowing how much the Englishman meant to Alfred.

And yet, still no sign of the hyperactive nation.

"Al..." Canada sniffled, slowing his pace a bit to recover. No, no, no, Alfred wasn't lost, he was just kidding around, is all. Now, he'd pop out anytime and yell 'Surprise, Mattie!', hug him, and they'd both go running back to Arthur so they could return home to Al's and Arthur's house.

A scream suddenly went off not too far from Matthew, and the bumpkin nation's blood ran cold.

Alfred...

"Al!" All exhaustion cast aside, the younger brother instantly bounded back into a run, crashing through the trees in direction of his brother's voice.

He finally crashed through some branches right in time to land in a clearing. He quickly pushed himself back up, though, and his heart stopped as he stared at the unveiled scene in front of him.

Al was leaning against a tree, holding his bleeding arm while tears of pain coursed down his scratched cheeks. In front of him stood a small group of natives, holding traditional knifes in their hands and French guns at their waist.

As one of the natives levelled his knife at him, Matthew finally found his courage again and stepped forward, wearing the most serious expression he could find.

"Leave him alone." He commanded in the native's tongue. Of course, being his people, Matthew knew their language. Then again, the natives didn't know he was the personification of their country, so... He didn't know what he could do to convince them other than amaze them and scare them into backing off.

"Little boy." The one who seemed like the leader stepped forward, disregarding Alfred completely. "You speak our language? How surprising for a White like you. Although it won't change a thing as this child has trespassed into our territory, and he is an enemy. We must eliminate him, so please, step back." He commanded gruffly.

"No!" Matthew shouted angrily. "He's my brother, and I'll be damned before you lay a hand on him!" he desperately wished he had another argument to back him up, other than threatening with empty words, but telling humans about his status as a nation was forbidden unless said humans were a part of his government or his boss.

"Please, do not shout so. The spirits desire us to cleanse the land of enemies, and so, we shall obey." The native calmly stated.

"Mattie..." Alfred gritted his teeth and whimpered.

"Stay out of this, Alfred." The child muttered without breaking his gaze away from the native. "If you hurt him again, I will make sure to send the spirits after you. You will have no more fish for a month, and the winter will destroy all your supplies." He threatened, watching the natives freeze. Of course, these people attributed a spirit to everything, and so, threats like these were major.

"Little boy, do not trifle with the spirits like this. The spirits do not like it and will punish you." The native warned darkly.

"The spirits will not bother me for I am protecting a brother." Matthew's purple eyes suddenly glowed yellow for a second, making the natives take a step back. "Now stand down before I am forced to destroy your village's crops. It is the village hidden in the trees next to the river south of here, is it not? With one wave of my hand, I can level it if I wish." Well, that wasn't true. At least, Matthew never would have done it for real, but he needed all the backup he could get.

Obviously frightened, the natives backed away and suddenly sheathed their weapons.

"Spirit of Mother Nature." The leader breathed in awe. "We deeply apologize for upsetting you. We shall offer many offerings tonight for your forgiveness."

"None of that is necessary. Just let the boy go and return home. Fish will be plentiful for you if you do so." Matthew smiled lightly, comfortingly.

"Yes, Almighty Spirit." The native breathed in awe, before turning tail and running, obviously in shock. His two companions immediately followed without a word, apparently excited to go home and tell their tribe they met a Spirit.

"Alfred." Matthew finally huffed when they were gone. "I was so worried... Why'd you run off like that, you idiot?"

"I'm sorry, these natives suddenly started chasing me and I had to lead them away from you so they wouldn't hurt you. They caught up with me and slashed my arm." He winced as he took his hand off, uncovering the shallow, yet bloody wound in his upper left arm.

"Al, you didn't have to hurt yourself..." Tears welled up in Matthew's eyes as he took his brother's bloody hands in his gently.

"Don't cry, Mattie." Alfred grinned despite the pain. "I'm a hero, I can handle this!"

"Alfred, you idiot." Matthew simply laughed before the ruffling of leaves suddenly caught his attention.

His gaze snapped back to some leaves as they moved. Had the natives come back? Had they realized he was a phony? Oh dear God, he hoped not, because if they were back, he wasn't sure he could-

"Alfred! Matthew!"

"Daddy!" the two children suddenly cried at once, recognizing the voice of their father figure immediately. Said father figure burst through the trees a second later, covered in leaves and some dirt, but otherwise fine, if not winded from a long run.

"Where have you two been? We've been waiting for you and-" Arthur suddenly blanched as he saw the blood on Alfred's arms and hands. "Oh dear God, Alfred, are you okay?" he was at his son's side in a second, brushing some bangs out of his eyes worriedly.

"'M fine." The little colony gritted out in pain, clutching his injury till his hand turned white.

"It'll be okay, Alfred. Let's get back to the others, quickly. I have supplies there to take care of you." Arthur smiled in hopes of cheering the small nation.

Alfred simply grinned and put up a weak thumbs up.

"I-It's cool, D-dad, I'm okay~"

And with that, he drooped against Arthur's arms, unconscious.

"Alfred!" Matthew cried in horror, stifling a sob.

"It's okay, Matthew, he just passed out from blood loss. It's okay now, I've got you." The British man smiled comfortingly and hauled Alfred's small form in his arms, using his free hand to help his other son up.

"T-Thank you Arthur, I-I... I was so scared." The small colony sniffled as he followed Arthur into the trees, away from the dreaded clearing.

"It'll all be alright now, Matthew." Arthur smiled and tightened his grip on the boy's hand. "Now, tell me what happened, okay? Leave nothing out."

"O-Okay." Matthew blushed in surprise, but took a deep breath. "Well, it started when Alfred decided to play hide-and-seek..."

XXX...XXX

How blind could I have been? None of them have loved me this entire time! Arthur was so preoccupied with Alfred, and he didn't pay attention to me when Alfred woke up again, and...

How...? How could I have been so blind...?

A-And... Dad never made things better, either...

XXX...XXX

"Mister Britain?" Matthew finally squeaked, breaking the silence that had ruled over the two nations in the carriage for the last three hours.

Arthur jolted with a start, straightening himself out before registering the child's words. So formal... Was the boy scared of him...?

"Please, call me Arthur." The older nation smiled in what he thought was a comforting manner, but it only served to make the child cower back into his seat.

"A-A-Ar... Mister Arthur?" he tried again, apparently unable to accept that this man would be his new father from now on.

"Yes Matthew?" Arthur sighed, knowing it was hard for the little boy to accept the changes.

"W-Why did you take me away from Papa...?" the question was uttered softly, as if afraid of the response.

The island nation sighed deeply, eliciting a squeak from the small boy facing him. He still couldn't find the right words to deal with this situation. The Seven Year's War had finally ended in Britain's favour, and as a way to repay his debts, the ruler of France had given all its North American colonies, in the exception of the St-Pierre and Miquelon islands, over to Britain.

Francis had been devastated with the choice of his superiors, but could not help going along. Arthur was not too fond of the idea either, seeing as how he was already full with Alfred and how the shy newcomer was terrified of him, but his officials made him go all the way to New-France to collect the child from Francis, so he might as well have done it.

In the end, the nations were, after all, nothing but puppets with their strings in their human leaders' hands. Many times in history, the strings had fallen into the wrong hands, and the nations were the ones who suffered, and this was just once more. A nation's life is tainted with splatters of blood and wars, and every single bumpkin nation to every single empire knew that.

"M-Mister Arthur?" Matthew's shaking voice brought the mulling empire back to conscience, and he tried smiling to appease the kid.

"It's okay, Matthew. None of us like where this is going, but I promise I'll let your Papa visit your new home once in a while. Right now, we're gonna go back to my house in the Thirteen Colonies, where you'll be living for good from now on. We won't be going back to the Province of Quebec anymore unlike what we've done up to now, but it'll be alright. It'll be just like in 1713, with more stability. You'll have Alfred to play with, too." He nodded at the boy, who simply hesitated before nodding back.

Still, the age-old empire had expected a louder response from the kid. Sure, he only looked eight years old but had a few centuries' worth of knowledge under his belt as well. The innocent nation looked far from the steely type Arthur was faced with right now.

Honestly, he had expected the tears to never stop once they started.

What he'd gotten were a few heart-wrenching goodbyes with Francis, and then, total silence. The boy hadn't spoken a single word or even shed a single tear on their way home. This had totally disoriented the British Empire to the point where he'd wondered if the clingy child he'd spotted the first time in Francis' mansion in New-France was the same that was looking sadly out the window right now.

"I must warn you, though." He finally blurted out, unwilling to cut their brief exchange short. "That there are many rules to follow inside the house. Obedience is one, manners are a second, chores are a third." He explained. "Alfred is known for being a loud troublemaker, so there are many rules to abide by. I trust you'll be able to follow them smoothly and restrain Alfred when he's not following one either and I-"

Sniffling cut him short, and he turned his eyes to the kid, whose teary violet eyes never ceased staring outside. A single tear had fallen down his cheek, the first one since their departure from Francis' house. Disbelief ran across the Brit's face and his huge eyebrows rose all the way up his forehead in surprise.

"I know." Matthew finally whispered. "I'll do my best... Father."

XXX...XXX

I chocked a sob out of my abused throat, clapping my hands over my ears. I didn't want to hear the voices of the people who hated me, I didn't want to relive all those painfully traitorous memories. Every single voice in my head was shouting at this point, and all I wanted to do now was scream as well.

Yet the sounds tearing from my parched throat were nothing but weak sobs. I felt so shameful, embarrassed, disgusting, I wished the darkness of the closet I'd locked myself in for so long would just swallow me up. Would anyone even notice if I disappeared from the face of the earth?

I was always easily ignored, fading in the background, forgotten... No, I don't think anyone would care enough to wonder where I'd gotten to.

And right then, right there, right as my train of depressive thoughts ended, light flooded my vision.

I whimpered and drew back, my back digging into the wood at the back of the closet. After being shut in the darkness for so long, my eyes hurt from the sudden burst of light in my world of solitude. Spots danced in front of my blurry vision, and it took me a whole lot of time to get used to the sudden lighting.

That's when I noticed the human figure standing in the light, bathed by it on both sides. I could recognize that figure anywhere, a result from living with him for so many years.

And then I realized that my closet doors had finally opened. Did that imply both meanings of the expression?

"It wasn't very nice of you to hide for so long." A sad, flat tone echoed like a dead ghost from the mouth of the boy I loved so much, making me shiver.

Was it because of me that he sounded so dead?

He must have figured I wouldn't be speaking right now, because he continued.

"Arthur and Francis are absolutely panic-stricken." Alfred snickered as if this was one big joke and pushed some hair out of his eyes. "You should see their faces. Hilarious. Nice prank you pulled off there, Mattie." The nickname sent an unknown bolt of pleasure rippling through me, warming my cold heart. "Just don't do it again."

That last sentence was pronounced so frugally, so sadly, that I momentarily felt guilty for causing that tone. Then, I remembered that Alfred was one of the reasons I decided to hide in here for so long.

"You don't love me." The fact that I pronounced those words firmly, like a statement, scared me to no ends. Where had my joy gone? My confidence? My usual self?

Where had Matthew Williams gone?

Alfred suddenly sighed and extended a hand.

"Listen to yourself whining, Mattie. You're my brother, my best friend, my geographical neighbour. If I didn't love you, I would've expressed it up to now. Now please..." he offered a half-hearted smile as a make-up gift. "Please smile again. Life is fun, worth living. Many people love you, people you didn't know loved you. I love you. Dad loves you. That French pervert loves you more than anything else in the world. What else do you need?"

I stared at his extended hand for a while. The seconds felt like days. Time seemed to stop as I replayed his words through my head.

And before I knew what happened, I found my hand clutched in his.

Alfred smiled that dazzling smile of his and gave me a small tug, making me stumble out of the closet. I don't even know how long I've been in here, but my legs were sore for not moving for so long.

"You okay, Mattie?" Alfred asked, innocent blue eyes shining as he looked down at me. I smiled lightly, for his sake, and nodded.

"Y-Yeah. Thanks, Alfred." I whispered that last part out, a little blush accompanying my words.

"What for?" my twin brother cocked his head to the side as he lifted me up and lead me away.

"Everything." I muttered. "For every single thing you've done for me."

"It's cool, Mattie. If you ever need a personal hero, Alfred F Jones is always available!" my oh-so-energetic brother laughed, his contagious happiness spreading onto me. I smiled as well, although I believe that the smile was also fuelled by the fact that I was blindly following Alfred.

Alfred F Jones, the Thirteen British Colonies a.k.a New England, my brother, a vast mind riddled with imagination and determination, all stuck inside the body of a thirteen year old child. Alfred was technically older than me, but we looked so alike that telling the difference is still kinda hard.

Some people still mistake me for Alfred, sometimes.

Gloom passed overhead, and I was just about ready to sink into depression again when Alfred opened a door and stopped walking.

Confused, I stopped as well, my grip on Kumashiro tightening. The room was heavy with a worried atmosphere, the panic in it almost making me choke. My eyes went to a buzzing figure in the center of the room, running around and muttering to himself.

"Dad." Alfred called, and I gripped his hand tighter for support.

"N-Not now, Alfred. You can tell me after we've found Matthew." Arthur simply replied, opening a closet and checking inside.

"But I found Matthew." Alfred simply shrugged like it was nothing at all.

"Alfred, I said you can tell me that after we- Wait, what?" Arthur suddenly froze in mid-step and slowly rose up to face Alfred and I, his weary gaze looking over us like we were illusions.

The pain and relief in his eyes were so blatant, it scared me. Tears massed in the corners of my eyes, and before I could even help it, I found myself letting go of Alfred and Kumanjaro, running in full sprint at Dad.

Arthur barely bent down in time for me to crash against his chest, tears pouring out of my eyes relentlessly. I fisted his shirt into balls of cloth where I grabbed him and my grip went almost as white as his button-up shirt when I held tight.

"D-D-D-D-Dad..." I cried, unable to say anything else than the empty word in my empty heart, devoid of any real meaning up to now.

"Hush, it's okay now, Matthew." Arthur let out a shaky breath and tightly embraced me like he'd never embraced me before.

"Hey Papa, get in here!" Alfred cried out from behind me, but I drowned the noise out and I nuzzled against Dad's shirt, desperately trying to give myself an illusion of dependence, of belonging, of appreciation.

"Mon Dieu, Alfred, stop screaming so loud and help us find-" Papa walked into the room breathless and he shakily gasped as he saw me in Arthur's arms. "Mathieu!"

"P-Papa!" I cried, weakly twisting his head off of Dad's shoulder. My body felt like jelly, though, so I couldn't really manage much.

"Bon Dieu, where did you find him, Arthur?" Papa asked, kneeling behind me and gently petting my tangled blond locks.

"I didn't find him, Alfred did." Dad simply replied, sending a surprised, yet proud glance Alfred's way.

"Well duh, I did. I'm the hero after all." Alfred simply grinned and skipped to our side. I chuckled lightly at Alfred's ever-so-beaming face and tried to convince myself that maybe this wasn't so bad after all.

"I'm proud of you, Alfred." Papa simply smiled and planted a kiss on my twin's forehead. The gesture brought up more sadness and slight anger in my heart, though, so I clutched Arthur tighter.

"Matthew, lad, are you okay? You're shaking." Arthur quizzically looked at me, innocent in all his crimes.

One look at him, and I could feel myself melting into the caring, adoring look planted firmly in his eyes.

"Why don't you love me?"

The words just slipped out.

I hadn't even meant for them to go out like that. I hadn't even meant to reveal those words to anyone, ever. This was my secret to keep, my burden to bear. I really shouldn't have shared it with anyone, now they'll get mad at me and they'll just-

"Is this what it's about, Mathieu?" Papa finally broke the heavy silence by sadly staring at me. I looked back up at him nervously, unshed tears glinting in my eyes.

"I-I'm sorry P-Papa, I never meant t-to say it out loud, I j-just-"

"You shouldn't be keeping things like this from us, lad." Arthur spoke up, and I whipped around to spot disappointment flashing across his deep green gaze. Guilt constricted in my heart. Once again, I hadn't been good enough.

"W-What do you mean, D-Dad?" I trembled, fidgeting nervously with the hem of my shirt.

Arthur simply shook his head in disappointment and sighed.

"Never mind. Where were you hiding, Matthew? We turned this entire mansion upside down looking for you." He asked calmly.

"I-In the closet at the back of Alfred's and my room." I whispered, cheeks burning in shame.

"The boys' room!" Papa slapped himself on the forehead. "Mon Dieu, comment aurais-je pu ĂȘtre si stupide?''

"Matthew, do you know how long you've been gone?" Arthur asked again with a slight edge to his voice that made me shiver.

"I-I don't know, D-Dad, I couldn't really t-tell..."

"Three days, Matthew." Sorrow clouded his eyes as he spoke those words. "For three days, we worried about you and looked for you. Why would you do that to us?"

"I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, I just-" I squeaked when something like anger flashed through Arthur's eyes, and more tears decided to take a leap of faith out of the sanctuary of my eyes. "I-I'm sorry, p-please don't get angry..."

"Mon amour..." Papa sighed and slipped his arms around my waist, putting his head against of crook of my neck. "We're not angry... Just so... relieved." He breathed out.

"For once, the bloody Frenchman is right." Dad sighed and drew me close for a hug, taking my small face in his large Daddy hands and caressing my tear-stained cheeks.

"Yey, big gay family hug time!" Alfred laughed, unable to read the mood, and jumped into, enlacing his small arms around my neck.

"Alfred! What appalling language! Where did you learn that word?" Arthur gasped at his first son, outraged. His anger only served to make me chuckle, though.

"I heard Papa say it once when you two were in your room." He proudly chided, making Papa blush in nervousness.

"Ah, well Arthur, you see-"

"I don't need your excuses, you bloody frog, all I know is that you're not raising our sons right." Dad rolled his eyes, his words warming me up inside.

"Papa, Dad..." I finally whispered, a smile making its way onto my pale face. "Do you love me?"

"What a question, of course we do, Mathieu!" Papa gasped and pressed himself closer to me, flooding me with happiness and relief.

"Why would you think otherwise, lad?" Arthur asked, a little confused.

The flashbacks I'd been getting these couple of days all rushed back to me in a second, reminding me how these people hurt me and abandoned me and forgot me and hated me. And then came the other memories, reminding me they were sorry, that they cared for me and that they loved me. Coupled with the comfort I felt while wrapped in the arms of my dearest family members, I completely melted.

"I'm sorry, I just... remembered some things, that's all..." I whispered, closing my eyes and leaning against Dad comfortably.

Hours could have passed for all I cared, but at some point in time, my tummy rumbled.

Embarrassed, I jumped back, out of their comfortable embrace, blushing and fiddling with my thumbs nervously.

Papa simply chuckled at that while Arthur smiled knowingly and Alfred burst into laughter.

"It sounds like mon petit lapin is hungry." My francophone father hummed, picking himself off the floor and helping Arthur up as well.

"How about I make something for you, Matthew?" Arthur smiled lovingly, drawing a shiver from Alfred.

Right now, I didn't care, since all I wanted to do was spend time with these people I loved so much (even if it meant I had to endure Arthur's cooking), but Alfred seemed to have other plans. He stomped to my side and fisted his hands aggressively.

"Dad, Matthew just came out of three days of isolation in a dark, dingy closet, and now you want to kill him?" he crossed his arms and shook his head, to Papa's utmost amusement. "Not cool, Dad, not cool."

"Why you... How dare you!" Arthur looked ready to pounce on Alfred, who started laughing, right before Papa looped an arm around his waist and pulled him back.

"Alfred's right, mon amour, we might wanna give Mathieu some time to recuperate before giving him some of your cooking again." He quipped with that French chuckle of his, making Daddy blush in anger and embarrassment.

"Bloody Frenchman." He simply muttered.

"Ah, my beauties, all three of you. You have no idea how much I love you all." Papa laughed lovingly, swaying his adoring stare over Alfred and I appreciatively. "I wouldn't know what I would do if I didn't have you two boys to light up my life." He smiled.

"And me?" Arthur butted in almost on reflex, blushing.

"You're a special case, my sexy little Englishman." Papa's eyes suddenly took that mischievous glint he had whenever he was around others and he grabbed Dad's waist from behind, leaning into his ear. "I can tell you everything in the bedroom, oui?"

"F-Francis, not while the children are here!" Dad squirmed under Papa's touch, making Alfred laugh at his predicament. I was just happy my daddies loved each other so much and looked so happy together.

"Alfred, be a hero and go make your brother some lunch. And then go play in the basement. And don't come upstairs~" Papa cooed, smiling widely.

"Of course I get to be the Hero!"Al laughed excitedly before taking my hand. "Come on, Mattie, let's go make some epic sandwiches!"

"Right." I nodded, smiling at my older brother before looking up at my two blushing daddies. "Papa, Dad... Thank you." I sighed out, feeling a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders.

"Our pleasure, Matthew. Now run along." Papa laughed before lightly kissing Dad's neck.

Dad simply whimpered and blushed harder. I didn't understand why he was so uncomfortable with Papa's kisses, so I just shrugged and ignored them. Adults.

"Hmmm, now that that's off my shoulders..." Arthur's voice reached me from the room we had been in, adjacent to the kitchen.

"Yes, it is quite a relief we found Mathieu in the end. I don't know what I would do without my baby boy." Papa drawled lazily.

"Hmmm, we're not very good parents if he's been feeling like that all this time, right, Francis?" Dad sighed hopelessly.

"We'll get better with time, Arthur, trust me. But for now, how about we be bad parents? Just for today?"

"Bloody frog." Dad stifled what sounded like a moan and coughed out. "A-Alright, fine, but just for today. Let's go..." he whispered that last part out, like he didn't want anyone else but him to hear it.

"That's the spirit!" Papa's happy voice made me chuckle, and as their footsteps went for the stairs, mine went to the kitchen. The last words floating in the air were all I needed to warm my heart and turn my world upside down, for the better.

"I'm so happy, Arthur. Je t'aime. Je vous aime."


Author's Notes:

Yeah, I know, "WHUT", right? My reaction as well.

Translations (in the context. Some of them might not be used in their literal sense, cause French is a complicated language like that):

Encore un peu: Just a little longer

mon ange: my angel

mon coeur: my heart

Mon Dieu / Bon Dieu: My God / Good God

Mon Dieu, comment aurais-je pu ĂȘtre si stupide?: My God, how could I have been so stupid? (used in the sense of "why didn't I think of that?")

mon amour: my love

mon petit lapin: my little rabbit (NAAAAAW X') France, you sweet pervert father, you~)

Je t'aime: I love you (must I translate this? xD)

Je vous aime: I love you, in the plural form (meaning Arthur, Alfred and Matthew. Also used as a formal way of addressing someone, but not in this case)

Historic notes:

Treaty of Utrecht (1713): Finished the War of Spanish Succession in Great Britain's favour, so just cause Francis is greedy, instead of paying England money, he gave him some parts of New-France. Since Canada belonged to both France and England back then, I had him switch between households, kinda like a kid with divorced parents, minus the divorced parents xD

Treaty of Paris (1763): Treaty that ended the Seven Year's War in Great Britain's favour (England always wins...), so this time, the King of France gave the entirety of New-France to Great Britain, except the St-Pierre-And-Miquelon islands (off the coast of Newfoundland, I think. My geography is horrible). So with this treaty, New-France officially became the Province of Quebec, and British rule was instigated over Canada (although dem lovely Brits took control of New-France in 1760, with the Capitulation of Montreal, but the Treaty of Paris made it official).

Why is Alfred's house in Boston? I dunno. I barely know anything about early American history, so I just picked a random city name that sounded okay to me. Also, I called Alfred the "Thirteen American/British Colonies" cause I didn't wanna call him "America". Am I supposed to call him New England? Cause in French, we say "les Treizes Colonies Anglaises", which translates directly to "Thirteen English Colonies", so I used that... Bleh, confusing.

As for the timeline, the first flashback is set around 1650, before the Brits made a move on New France. It hadn't been long since New-France had been colonized (earliest successful attempts date back to the 1600's) so Mattie still lives with Francis. Second flashback is set in the years following 1713. Third flashback is set in 1763. The main story is set around 1770's. The twins are around 8-9 years old (tell yourself Alfred had a growth spurt and grew up about 10 years in the 18 years before the independence).

Not my longest author's notes ever, but long enough. I shut up nao. Will you review? ): You can review in any language you like, if you want (though I will have trouble with anything that isn't French, Spanish, or Italian xD). So please review, eh? Q_Q

~LoZ4L