Again, I posted excerpts of this to the UKCan tumblr (fuckyeahukcan . tumblr . com). I didn't steal it, just in case someone decides to accuse me of doing so. ...Also...go check out that tumblr. It is awesome. The guy who runs it is awesome too. Just...go. It's awesome. Like...blow your mind awesome (is it okay if I keep pimping it?)

Warnings: AU, slash, OOCness, sex, mentions of violence, a relationship between an older and younger man, weirdness, language


Pairing: Arthur/Matthew

Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia.

Every morning its clockwork. Its an innocuous greeting, done so as he retrieves the morning post from the bushes as the boy is rushing off to school, a messenger bag slung over one shoulder and an apple in his mouth.

"Good morning, Mr. Kirkland." Matthew says, removing the bright red fruit from his lips, and smiling at him, violet eyes a little shy and tone just north of bashful.

"Good morning." He replies curtly, green eyes watching as the teenager sets off towards school, dressed in a pressed uniform and golden hair already windswept and catching early morning sunlight.

And Arthur can't help but want, long fingers clenching the slightly damp newspaper, watching as the boy, all lanky lines, blurs into the horizon, all shades of bright.

It's wrong, to be sure. He's a widower and a one-time divorcee with a son from his first marriage who hates him and a son from his second who he gave away at birth because he couldn't bear to look at the baby bathed in his dead wife's blood, silver at his temples and joints stiff. He's a novelist who writes about the various ways prostitutes can be mutilated and murdered, a cat and mouse game between the detective and serial killer, and the soft-spoken librarian who attracts their attentions.

Matthew is the only son of Francis Bonnefoy, who works at the French embassy and is a poor excuse for a person but is a good father despite being selfish and irritating. His mother left him and his father on his second birthday and never looked back. He's a good student, a good athlete, and a good boy. He sometimes even helps Arthur in the yard and makes sure his bear of a dog never gets into Arthur's rose bushes.

Matthew is a wonderful, sweet boy and Arthur just wants to coax him into bed and do filthy and obscene things to him and make him cry out until dawn's first light.

"Good morning, Mr. Kirkland." Matthew says warmly, shortly after moving in, peeking over the fence at the man who is pruning his rose bushes. He is sixteen, curious, and rather shy.

Arthur had met him briefly, the day before, hurrying after his father who was flamboyantly shrieking at the movers for not handling his antique furniture delicately enough.

"Good morning." Arthur replies, stiffening for a moment, gaze focused on the pinkish blossoms before he looks up and gives the teenager a faint smile. He is kneeling near the base of the plant, knees wedged into the dirt, and he can see a dead, shriveled twig from the corner of his eye. He resists the urge to snip it right now because the other seems to be thinking of something to say now that he's got the older man's attention.

"How's it going?" He finally decides on, tone bright. The sun is behind his head and Arthur winces at the light sparking off his wayward curls, the way it illuminates him and bathes him in light.

Oh, that's a nice description. He should write that down.

Giving the teenager a half smirk, he says, tone slightly droll, "You're not much of a conversationalist."

Matthew looks sheepish, pink gracing his cheeks. He taps the top of the fence pensively and finally admits, "Frankly, you don't seem to be either so I wasn't really sure what to say." He laughs lightly. "We could talk about roses but I don't know much aside from the fact that my father loves them."

Arthur frowns at the mention of Francis but doesn't really say anything for a moment then he rises to his feet. "Matthew, was it?"

The boy looks pleased and nods.

"Well, what can you tell me these roses? From what you know, of course." He's being polite, sort of, in his own way to the best of his ability and desire, because he's not used to people being actively curious about him enough to address him. He lives a solitary life and is pleased with it. However, sometimes it gets too quiet and this is a nice break from the oppressive lack of noise in his home.

Matthew glances down at the lush blossoms, heavy and drooping with the weight of their petals. "Mrs. John Laing." He says finally, nodding at them. "Aren't they?"

Arthur blinks, taken aback. "I thought you didn't know much about roses." He says, half-teasing and a little accusing.

"That really wasn't much." Matthew points out, smiling.

Desire does not settle hot and cloying in his chest until he is at work (because he needs to keep busy in between novels) and he comes across a submission from a writer (né Bonnefoy) in a pile of submissions from pretentious English majors. It's a poem. It's in iambic pentameter. It doesn't make Arthur weep nor does it make him laugh.

It does make him look at Matthew in a new light when he sees the boy playing with his dog at dusk.

It's not that Matthew is young and so Arthur wants him.

No, it's definitely not something filthy like that.

So even though Matthew is young and Arthur wants him, this is not the point on which to focus.

Matthew is young, yes, but he takes his youth and takes the best parts of it—the charm, the vigor, the beatific glimmer in wide eyes that comes from a lack of knowledge—and does well not to let the bad parts drag him too far back. He's soft-spoken and introverted, disarmingly polite, and he carries this sense of impending ruin—as do most teenagers, to be fair.

Arthur could possibly be a little in love and he is most likely a little obsessed. He is enamored. He is weak.

He's probably in love.

He's terrified of the prospect. Matthew does not help things at all.

It becomes too much, one day, when Arthur is hunched over his desk, in his study, wrestling with the first chapter of his next novel. He looks up and sees Matthew, dressed in dilapidated jeans and nothing else in the abnormally warm spring day, running around his backyard with his giant white dog, hockey stick in one hand and playing keep away with the lumbering beast.

Arthur gets up from his desk and goes to the window, leaning just out of sight and watching as the boy, the midday sun catching in his hair and beating down on his back, kneels to scratch the dog about his ears. The light bounces off his glasses and Arthur can see the taut stretch of his pale muscle and the lanky, loose lines of someone approaching manhood. There is a bright red strip of boxer visible above the waist of his jeans and Arthur can see more of that red in patches in the denim.

And it's so very wrong, the way Arthur aches, deep in his chest and deep in the pit of his stomach, and he wants to relieve it but he can't so he settles for the next best thing.

Matthew leans over to pick up his hockey stick and Arthur groans, turning his face into the border of the window and muffling the noise against the grain of the wood, as he unzips his trousers and pulls out his half-erect member, already dragging rough fingertips, worn from holding pens and pencils tightly, down the shaft and thumbing the blunt tip even as Matthew is running barefoot in the sharp green grass. He coaxes himself to hardness as he spies on the blond, who dekes and dangles much to his pet's consternation and giggles like its all in good fun.

The wind carries Matthew's laughter and Arthur closes his eyes and pretends.

"Hello Mr. Kirkland." Matthew says, reflexively, his nose in a book as he waits for his pet to finish relieving himself. "Not on the tulips, Kumamatata." He scolds and the overgrown puppy slinks away from the flowerbed.

Arthur is sitting on his patio, laptop whirring in front of him. Immediately, a slow burn begins in his chest but he ignores it and greets the boy in kind.

"What are you reading?" He asks.

"The coroner's report for a mutilated prostitute." Matthew replies, looking only vaguely distressed as he lowers the book to address Arthur. "Her lips are missing."

Missing lips. He wrote that, didn't he?

"You shouldn't be reading that rubbish." He retorts, rising to his feet and walking to the fence that separates their yards. "Might I make some recommendations?"

"Papa finds it dreadful and unbeautiful." Matthew admits, mischief in his smile. "With such a glowing review, how could I not read it?"

Arthur can't help but smirk at that. But he says, "What do you think of it?"

He doesn't need Matthew's approval—he knows his writing is admired and reviled and, frankly, he's happy with that. There's nothing more wonderful than being overrated because that means there is a group that adores him and a group that wastes time hating him—but he's curious nonetheless.

Also, he wants this moment with Matthew.

While Matthew talks, he memorizes the fine bridge of the other's nose, soft cheekbones and a sharp jaw, and the attractive line of his collarbone.

"It's mostly the way the author makes no excuse for his characters being flawed. They are unapologetic and even the detective doesn't care long enough to be truly genuine. His characters are imperfect and not perfect despite their flaws."

The rain falls in sheets, thundering against the pavement and tumbling into cracks in the sidewalk, flooding the streets. Arthur, catching sight of a blur of red out the window, sees Matthew struggling with the front door and then the garage door. He sees the way the other's shoulders slump and, grabbing a huge parka, goes outside and invites the waterlogged boy inside for a cup of tea.

"I'd hate to impose." Matthew demurs, blinking out from soaked bangs on the stoop.

"Nonsense." Arthur says. "Do you honestly plan to stay out there until your father gets home?"

The stubborn tilt of his head indicates that, yes, yes he plans too so Arthur sighs and says, "They've shut down the highway due to flooding. It'll take hours to sort out."

Matthew hesitates and acquiesces.

Arthur gives Matthew a towel and a cup of tea with extra honey and doesn't give him any of the fresh-baked scones he made that morning.

Apparently they aren't very good.

This is why he doesn't use low-fat milk.

Instead he brings out a plate of biscuits with chocolate drizzled all over them and Matthew's eyes light up and Arthur busies himself with adding sugar to his tea and hopes that his beating heart, now booming, isn't so loud.

When wet, Matthew's hair darkens and curls around his face and there's a droplet of water on the tip of his nose that he wipes away with his wrist and Arthur asks how school is going and how old are you now, oh 18? How lovely—

And Arthur's voice catches because Matthew looks right at him when he accidently says the words and gives him a curious look before it smoothes out and he eases over the older man's panic by saying, "It is pretty cool." He ducks his head a bit, spindly fingers tapping against his teacup. "Papa doesn't need to sign permission slips for hockey retreats now." He gives Arthur a shy grin.

Arthur is falling faster and faster and faster and he tries to steady himself on the other's innocence but Arthur is already damned in the same light.

"Hello, Mr. Kirkland." Matthew greets him as he is coming back from forcing his giant dog to play in the dog park.

Arthur, back to pruning the roses, stretches out his back and quirks a thick eyebrow. "Hello, Matthew."

Matthew's dog is already asleep on the porch.

"Crimson Queen." Matthew says, watching as Arthur snips a stray leaf and then a dead bit of stem.

"Well done." Arthur says, a proud twist to his lips. "Now, how about those?" He points to a cluster of white rose bushes a ways off.

"Alba roses." Matthew responds, looking pleased. "Alba maxima?"

"Armide, actually." He corrects gently. "I take it you like roses, too?"

"Don't tell the guys." The teenager said jokingly, referring to his rowdy hockey teammates. "I also like Atonement. It even made cry a little."

Arthur's heart skips a beat and he realizes that he was born too early and Matthew was born too late and it's not fair.

"What if the prostitute's hands were cut off?"

His agent is frowning. He can tell. "That's not even the focus of your series. I'd rather you do something about this librarian-serial killer-detective triangle."

"But that's not the focus either."

"Better that than dead whores." She snaps and Arthur sighs because Belle is sweet, she really is, but she could easily turn into Bellatrix Lestrange if Bellatrix Lestrange was a 5'5'' Belgian woman who wore three-inch pumps and read comics and could drink most men under the table.

"It's my book."

"I know." Belle sighs and Arthur can hear her pacing in her office. "But how many fictional prostitutes have to die?"

"…I've only killed off five in my entire career."

Belle seems to digest this. "I suppose one more couldn't hurt. But what about this librarian character? Its been three books and we only know her as the librarian—capital 'L'—and that the serial killer leaves her white roses stained in blood and that she calls the detective each time."

"And that she likes Thai food."

"…Fantastic." Comes the dry response and Arthur genuinely enjoys their banter. "At least you make your deadlines. Just, please, no more removing of limbs."

"I'm thinking rape with a crucifix."

Belle hangs up on him.

Arthur would love to make headway on the Librarian's storyline. But she is as elusive to him as she is to her paramours. She is wholly uncooperative and could easily be written out—except her paramours are a little obsessed with her and all she wants to do is read her Tennyson in peace.

Arthur decides to draft a scene where she is reading Tennyson before the detective approaches her.

Arthur hates remembering his youth. He did stupid things. He wore leather, had piercings, got arrested, yelled at his mother, and almost flunked out of school. He married young, divorced young, married again young and gave up a child after burying a wife.

He also wrote mediocre short stories.

He still writes short stories but he hopes they aren't mediocre.

Actually, Arthur just hates remembering the past because he did stupid things.

One such stupid thing was submitting a short story, shortly after a certain blond boy moved next door with his doting father and pet dog, to an obscure literary magazine. He submitted it under a penname, not his actual one but a new one.

Mr. John Laing

Oh god.

Oh god.

"Good morning, Arthur." Matthew says casually, one morning, uniform pressed and sharp and hair windswept and catching the early morning sunlight.

Arthur is about to pick up his newspaper but he ignores it, straightening up slowly and giving the teenager a stoic look. He does not panic. He does not betray anything but calm frigidity.

"Such disrespect." He says, haughty and distance, but still not unkind. There is a warning in his words but it goes ignored.

"But who could respect a man who wanted to bed a child?" Matthew responds lowly.

"I think you need to go now." Arthur says just as low, green eyes sparking and humiliation already creeping into his cheeks.

Lips in a thin line, Matthew stiffly turns away and begins to walk towards school. But he pauses and steals away the second of calm that Arthur managed to grab and asks, "Do you still want me?"

It's dangerous and wrong but the danger and wrongness of it all haunts Arthur and the desire is heady, sparking under his skin and he wants, he wants, he wants.

They go a week without much conversation.

"Good morning, Mr. Kirkland." Matthew says politely, voice dropping slightly on his name, almost mocking and almost sensual.

And Arthur wants to call him a 'minx' and a 'monster'.

But he mostly wants to drag that taunting, little teasing brat into his bed and spread him wide with his hands and his fingers and lay Matthew bare for himself and God.

Another prostitute, with dove soft skin, dies.

The Librarian receives another rose.

The murderer plucks out the eyes of another prostitute.

The detective asks the Librarian out to dinner.

"It is only for a week." Francis explains, looking like he'd rather be eating sawdust than ask his bland neighbor for a favor. "Would you mind checking in on him now and again? He can get so lonely."

Arthur doesn't owe the Frenchman a damn thing, but he's not a mean person and he feels like he's signing away something vital when he agrees.

Arthur does check on Matthew the day after Francis leaves.

Matthew stands there, in the doorway, quietly, only shifting to let his pet escape to the backyard.

"You look well." Arthur says. "If you need anything—"

"I want to you to kiss the seam of my lips and trace the moonlight on my shoulders and I want you to smother me and ruin me and I don't even care because right is the blossom on my hips of your fingertips and the crescendo of our heartbeats laying waste to time." Matthew recites in one fluid rush, lips remaining parted long enough for Arthur to taste his mouth when the tightness in his chest snaps like a plucked string and he has Matthew against the wall and someone shuts the door and there is a muffled sob and it's too much.

They are lying in the entryway and the sunlight is streaming through the frosted glass and Matthew won't let go of him but its okay because he won't let go of Matthew and there's something pleasant about sharing the same breath and being pressed against each other on the hardwood floor.

"I read that story over and over and I almost didn't believe it was you." Matthew whispers, voice too soft in the din of the silence. "I tried to convince myself that it couldn't be you, why would it be you—"

"Hush." Arthur whispers, tracing the bump of the other's Adam's apple, and pressing his thumb against Matthew's lips. "I adore you."

"I thought you hated me." Matthew sounds petulant, almost, except sadder. "I'm not the ingénue you seem to believe and I'm very mature."

"If you have to reassure me, Matthew…" Arthur trails off. "I could be your father."

"Frankly, men and women flock to Papa." The blond says. "He had an affair with my babysitter when I was 12. She was 19."


"I just don't want this to be the end." Matthew exclaimed.

"Darling, if you want, this could be the beginning." Arthur says quietly, rubbing the other's back gently.

It's wrong, yes. He should put a stop to it now.

But he's selfish. Matthew wants him. Matthew isn't a child. Arthur is in love.

People have done much worse out of love.

"No need to be so impatient." Arthur chides, pressing a kiss to the soft flesh of Matthew's inner thigh.

Matthew is a sight, chest flushed and heaving, an arm thrown over his eyes as he flutters down from his high. "Arthur." He whispers, one hand tangled in the other's short, sandy hair. "Please."

"Patience." Arthur shakes his head before resuming the leisurely task of licking away the remaining ejaculate on Matthew's inner thighs. The other's entrance is still red, loose, and Arthur lightly traces the ring of muscle and Matthew jerks. "I wonder…" He begins, a sly grin on his lips. "I wonder, my insatiable pet, if you insist to go again so soon, would you enjoy it if I simply kept you open?" He slides in a finger, drawing it out and coaxing any remaining fluids before adding a second and pushing in.

Matthew trembles, a muscle in his thigh twitching. He doesn't respond.

"Just…spread you open. I wouldn't even have to fuck you right and proper. I could bring you off with my fingers. You'd like that, right? Writhing like a common whore, riding three, maybe four, fingers and begging for relief." Matthew's hips rise and fall to meet the steady push of his fingers and he watches as the other's prick begins to harden anew. "You could suck me off at the same time, kneeling between my legs, not sure whether to fall back or take me deeper." His pace increases and he's sort of leaning over Matthew, ignoring the cramping in his wrist because its so much more pleasurable to watch the way Matthew is blushing and moaning and gripping his forearm.

And it's only so long before he stops, dragging out his digits and loudly noting upon the way Matthew seems to try and drag them back in. "So wanton." He smirks, giving the twitching entrance a quick look. "I suppose it can't be help—"

"Oh just fuck me, you bastard." Matthew interrupts, already on his elbows and knees. "Just get on with it or we'll find out how much you liked to be te—" And his rant devolves into a long drawn out moan because Arthur just pushes in slowly until he can feel a muscle in Matthew tick against his own skin, his palms curved at Matthew's waist.

"Fuck." Arthur hisses and it's echoed by Matthew who has dropped to his forearms, forehead pressed to the pillow and mouth open.

"I'm filthy." Matthew mumbles and he's not wrong. Forgoing condoms tended to mean a greater mess (but, frankly, Matthew wasn't sexually active and Arthur hadn't gotten any action in years) but they could just shower.

It's dusk now but Arthur still feels the other's spine under his lips and he watches Matthew stretch and he spends a moment admiring that little dimple in the small of his back before he eyes the swell of his rear and muscled thighs. The delta where Matthew's upper thighs met his rear glistened wetly and his seed still dripped sluggishly down milky thighs and Arthur's spirit is very willing but his flesh is exhausted so when Matthew comes back to bed and curls up against him, he almost groans when he feels something stir.

Matthew gives him an incredulous look. "And you call yourself old." He scolds, looking almost playful despite his earlier yawning.

"Can't help it." Arthur defends almost roughly. "You're practically pock-marked with my affections, dripping with my seed, looking at me, practically begging for another go and—"

And Matthew kisses him them, a little aggressively, and pulls back with a sharp nip to his lips. "I want to be numb." He whispered, hot and demanding. "I want you to make me forget everything except how good it feels having you in me."

"Matthew—" Arthur groans, pleads, finding the curve of the other's neck and hiding his face.

"I want to wake up tomorrow and see the bruises on bruises of your touch and remember this moment and how good it was. I don't want to be dripping your seed, I want it pouring out—"

"You're vulgar—"

"—And…and…just please?"

And Arthur can't resist, has never been able to really resist, and Matthew's hand on his cock has already dragged him back to arousal so he rolls the two of them onto their sides, dick slipping between the other's thighs. Chest pressed to Matthew's back, he thrusts slowly between the slick thighs, whispering, "Just hold tight. There's a love." He says, comfortingly, reaching for the other's neglected member.

Matthew is quiet, just panting softly, slumped a little bit. Maybe he is sulking at not getting what he asked, but Arthur isn't about to push too far for a few minutes of pleasure no matter how much the other begs.

He speeds up, stroking Matthew in time and almost stills when Matthew tilts his head back, straining his neck to give him a kiss. One rough stroke and a firm smear of pre-cum at the tip is all it takes to coax another orgasm out of Matthew, the moan soft and rattling. Their bodies are hot and Arthur is sweating but, regardless, he grips the other tight, murmuring nonsensical things and sweet words and he groans, sharp, prickling heat building and bursting, as he comes.

One day of debauchery and overwhelming passion is enough and Arthur spends the rest of the week with Matthew curled up in his living room in the evening, reading or speaking softly.

When Matthew realizes that Arthur lives off take-out and burnt things, the horrified blond proceeds to empty the fridge of everything and fill it with things he cooked. He even marks the Tupperware and slices oranges and even feeds them to Arthur, despite the man's feeble attempts to dissuade Matthew.

"Do you want scurvy?" Matthew asks, one slender brow raises. He presses the perfectly peeled orange wedge against Arthur's lips. "Open your mouth, honestly, its not going to burn you."

Eventually, though, Francis returns and invites Arthur for dinner. And the entire dinner is spent in a cold sort of civility and most people would've just made muffins out of gratitude but Francis wasn't most people (and he also wanted to shove his good cooking in Arthur's face).

"Good morning, Mr. Kirkland." Matthew says, teasingly, one Saturday morning.

Arthur rolls his eyes and, making sure no one is around, pulls Matthew in for a kiss, leaving a little smear of dirt on the other's jaw when he pulls away. "Minx." He says without any anger.

Matthew smiles at him, warm and brilliant.

"Which is your favorite?" Matthew asks, leaning on the fence and watching as Arthur delicately held a blossom away from his shears.

He doesn't answer for a moment, but when he rises to his feet, he's holding a lush blossom and hands it to Matthew.

"Crimson Queen." Matthew says quietly, bashfully accepting the rose, a faint blush blossoming along the bridge of his nose. Spiraling petals brushing against his lip, Matthew glances at Arthur over the rose and Arthur almost doesn't have the breath to express how much he loves Matthew in that moment.

Arthur kills his last prostitute and the detective becomes two steps away from catching the murderer who has nearly driven him mad and eluded him for nearly five years now.

"It's like Jekyll and Hyde." Matthew muses, Arthur's last book propped on his chest. He doesn't know that Arthur is the author and Arthur intends to keep it that way because Matthew is kind and would soften his criticism if he knew. "They're the same person, aren't they?"

"I hated that book." Arthur mused, head resting in Matthew's lap. "I hate that one too."

"You could read it."

"Oh, I have. Too many times and I still don't like it."

Belle doesn't understand why he doesn't like his writing.

"You know…this sounded much more romantic in my head." Matthew said, pushing wet bangs out of his hair as he looked at Arthur who was unamusedly blocking the spray of water.

"I did tell you." He sighed. "You never listen, love."

"And you stopped listening once I took off my shirt." Matthew retorted, pushing Arthur's head under the spray so the shampoo washed away.

Arthur grabs his wrist and kisses each fingertip before moving to the palm before sliding down to the bump of his wrist. Matthew smiles at him and moves to wrap his free arm around the other's shoulders.

"I've been accepted to school in New York." Matthew's voice is hushed and his cheek slides wetly against Arthur's.

Arthur says nothing, breathing out. "My publisher is in New York. So is my agent." He takes a deep breath. "I know this restaurant on 7th avenue with delicious Thai food—"

Matthew presses so close to him, so violently, that the two of them nearly tumble to the slick floor. But Arthur understands and he loves and he's content in that moment.

Arthur doesn't go to Matthew's graduation. He doesn't expect the boy to spend any time with him on that day.

But Matthew comes that night, late, smelling a little of alcohol, warm and pliant and kittenish as Arthur drags him in and locks the door. Matthew mutters something about "doing it against the ugly wallpaper" but Arthur just defends the vine-covered wallpaper and drags the boy up to his bed and puts him on his side and holds him close.

Arthur is forcibly aware of just how wide the gap is between them.

Arthur doesn't know how but, despite their carefulness and secrecy, Francis knows.

"I know we are not on good terms and that we cannot stand each other." Francis begins, not really looking at him, rather looking towards the empty street.

Any other time, Arthur would've mocked him relentlessly and chosen an appropriately snide comment but this time he is silent.

"I do not like you and I doubt I ever will." The man continues, voice tight and accent sharp. "And know that I have every right to strike you where you stand. But I will not. But I will ask that, if you are an honorable man and if you hold any love for my son, you leave him." His voice softens as he turns away. "Please."

Matthew seems to crumple and shatter when Arthur tells him. The window frames him, the setting sun at his back and his hair burnt orange and gold, and violet eyes disbelieving. He does not cry and Arthur is terrified by the silence.

"You can't." He whispers, face pale and trembling.

Arthur wants to rise from the armchair and gather the blond into his arms, catch all the breaking pieces and put them back with a kiss and sweet word. He wants to fall to his knees and beg forgiveness into Matthew's stomach and take his hands. He wants to stop what happens next.

But, wanting is what got them to this point.

Arthur doesn't look at Matthew, instead typing some half-hearted sentences on his laptop.

"So it was all a lie?" Matthew asks, something in his voice breaking painfully.

No, no, love. Arthur thinks, unable to glance up once. He sees Matthew hold himself and turn away, pressing into the window just as Arthur had pressed him not so long ago. They had smeared the glass with their fingertips and palms, fogging it with their breath and whispered adorations.

But Arthur won't bring up Francis because Matthew might already have his suspicions and Arthur is not a father, doesn't deserve to be a father, so why should he take that privilege from another?

"You said this could the beginning."

"But did you honestly think it would last forever?" And Arthur is upset, so very upset, and it hurts him to hurt Matthew, but for their own good—for mostly Matthew's own good—this needs to end no matter how much they dig in their heels.

But Matthew's expression makes him feel like a monster and Arthur knows the answer because he foolishly wanted the same.

Then Matthew, taking a deep breath and steeling himself, lets anger and hurt and the feeling of being unwanted overtake him and he has the truth so Arthur just keeps digging and picking and pretends its just another story.

Because, in the end, it will be.

"This behavior just furthers my point that you are a child." Arthur says coldly, green eyes hard. "Now, chin up, this behavior is ridiculous."

"I loved you." Matthew finally throws back, something akin to hate in his eyes and Arthur feels it burn.

"Yes, well, that was your mistake."

And then, finishing the sentence he was typing, the Librarian is found with her heart jammed down her throat, Arthur gets up and leaves the room, lest he succumb to weakness once more.

"Good morning, Mr. Kirkland." Matthew says quietly, stiffly, as he turns into the sidewalk, his dog bounding in front of him, his golden hair already windswept and catching the sunlight.

Arthur grabs the morning paper, can't help but long, but he watches as Matthew, all lanky lines, blurs into the horizon, all shades of bright.

20 year age gap...did you guys really think it would last for now? -shot- (And I don't mean it can't, but I'm hard pressed to believe Matt's first serious relationship would be with a 38 yr old right now).

To everyone who said I don't give these two a happy ending. You're damn right. -shot again- Lol, sorry, its just that its so much easier not to let them be happy. -shot once more- But, really, I did write something happy but it wasn't as awesome. I'll write something happy later. Or maybe I'll write some USCan. Or maybe not.

Oh and also...Arthur is not a pedo in this, so please don't call him that. Creepy, obsessed old guy, yes, but not a pedo. If you think it, that's fine, but I don't.

Oh, also, you're welcome for the smut. You might not see some more for a while.

...I think I made myself cry while writing this...


1. Guys, the roses are a symbol in this, but not the specific names. The only rose that is symbolic is the alba Armide. Go google it. Its a piece of music/opera/thing and its a rather sad story. Its only vaguely related but I mostly liked the name. Its an obscure reference, I like those, so don't worry.

2. Matthew found out about Arthur's obsession because he read a short story by Mr. John Laing. Mr. John Laing wrote a story about a blond boy who moved next door and with whom he had a discussion about roses (specifically the Mrs. John Laing rose). The story is a direct narration of Matthew's first meeting with Arthur. Arthur is Mr. John Laing. Matthew came across the story, somehow (its not relevant to me, use your imagination please) and put together the pieces. He took a risk. He could've been wrong. But he wasn't.

3. Arthur is Mr. John Laing.

4. My mom is planting roses. She took me rose shopping with her. This is how I know these rose names.

5. The "pretentious English majors" are the ones who submitted work to Arthur's magazine. He is being derisive by calling them "pretentious English majors". No offense to English majors.

6. Guys, I appreciate anonymous comments very much, but don't ask me questions as anons because I can't answer you. Yes, I will still be writing some stuff for the ukcan blog.

Love it? Hate it? Could do without it? ...Need a tissue?