A/N: Miguel is Cuba. Lars is the Netherlands. The rest should be easy to figure out. ^^
Have some US/Can.
. . .
The first time Alfred ever sees Matthew cry is when he finds the younger curled up against the grimy tiles of the bathroom, a few minutes after the last bell rings. His hands are covering his face as though he's trying not to make any noise, but Alfred hears his soft sobs anyway.
"Hey." This is the third time they've met, one of the other two times Alfred would rather forget. He kneels down next to Matthew and keeps a calm face even though he sees hickeys littering the boy's neck. "Are you okay?" he asks. He's worried, despite their history.
When there's no reply, he reaches out and gently moves away the hands that are covering Matthew's face. Eyelashes flutter as Matthew opens his eyes. The indigo orbs are steely. "I don't want anyone today," he snarls, but his voice cracks.
The words make Alfred's heart ache. He does the opposite of what Matthew tells him, situating himself beside the other blond. "Tell me what's wrong," he commands gently.
"You know what's wrong," Matthew replies, wiping at his eyes furiously. "It's all your fault."
. . .
The library was empty and nearly deserted. Alfred couldn't spot anyone else besides the librarian, and he didn't really want to ask the cranky lady to help him find the historical fiction section.
He made sure that he was out of the librarian's view before covering his face with his hands and letting out a muffled yell.
"Um...Are you all right?" spoke a voice.
Alfred hoped it wasn't a ghost and pried his fingers apart a crack to peer at the person. It was another boy, with blond hair like his own, except a little longer and a shade darker. His eyes were the prettiest shade of indigo, hidden behind half-framed glasses.
"Can you help me find the historical fiction section?" Alfred asked. He normally didn't like asking for help, but the first thing that had popped into his head when he saw his face was, Angel. Pure, innocent, uncorrupted. "I'm Alfred, by the way." He stuck his hand out for a handshake.
"I'm Matthew." The boy shook his hand, sounding bemused. "Okay, Alfred, the historical fictions are this way." He shot him a smile over his shoulder.
Alfred swore it was almost flirtatious.
. . .
Alfred was pleasantly surprised to see the blond, helmet under his arm, cheeks flushed from the game, a hockey stick in his hand. "You play?" Alfred asked, because he was having a hard time believing that someone who looked so gentle could play something so...violent.
He can't deny that it's hot, though.
"Yeah," Matthew said, smiling abashedly. "Since I was ten, actually."
"Cool." Alfred stood there, wondering if it was too sudden if he asked that they go out for hot chocolate.
But Matthew decides that for him. "My teammates and I were going to celebrate at McDonald's, but I never liked fast food," he said. His tone turned shy. "Do you want to get some hot chocolate with me?"
Alfred said yes.
. . .
Alfred wanted Matthew. He didn't know when he decided this, but he did know that he'd woken with Matthew's name on the tip of his tongue too many times to count.
The next time he saw him, Matthew happened to be jogging through his neighborhood. Alfred spotted him on the other side of the street through the kitchen window and wasted no time in running out to greet him.
"Oh, hi, Alfred," Matthew called, stopping in his tracks. He smiled and waved.
"Want to come over?" Alfred made a gesture towards his house. His parents were out for the umpteenth time, but that wasn't anything new.
Matthew looked thoughtful for a few seconds. Then he crossed the road over to where Alfred was on the sidewalk and said, "Why not?" His eyes were twinkling, and Alfred felt a small sense of pride at being responsible for making him so happy.
"You're all sweaty," he teased as they walked into his house.
"That's because you picked the worst time to invite me over, eh," Matthew said, sticking his tongue out.
Alfred stopped to stare at him curiously. "Did you just say 'eh?' " he queried.
"Yes," Matthew answered. "What's wrong with that?" But Alfred was already laughing and he just blushed.
Eventually Alfred's laughing died down and he smirked at Matthew. "You're cute, Mattie," he said. When Matthew just blushed even more, he smiled and leaned in and kissed him.
He could feel Matthew against him, stiff with surprise, but it didn't take long until he was kissing back.
Matthew spent the night at his house.
Alfred, holding Matthew's bare body against his under the warm covers, whispered, "I love you."
He slept with a smile on his face.
. . .
"How was he?" Alfred's friend, Gilbert Beilschmidt, asked. All of the eyes at their lunch table are trained on the lithe blond boy in line getting lunch. "Damn. I'm jealous." Gilbert whistled.
"He kind of looks like a girl," Lars van Rijn put in.
"He's beautiful," Francis purred.
"He looks lonely," said Ivan Braginsky, who was a creepy Russian that always sat with them for some reason. "Someday, I will make sure he's not so lonely anymore." He chuckled darkly.
"He doesn't deserve any of you bloody perverts," Arthur snapped.
Ignoring Arthur, Alfred said, "He was good." And he continued to tell them of Matthew's skin, soft under his touch, and the way he'd trembled and gasped when-
"Yeah, I'm jealous." Gilbert groaned. Everyone except Arthur laughed.
As his friends continued talking, Alfred watched Matthew finished paying. The blond looked around the cafeteria for a moment and spotted Alfred before making his way to the table. "May I sit with you?" he asked, speaking directly to Alfred. He seemed too shy to make eye contact with anyone else.
"Sure." Alfred nodded towards an empty seat beside Gilbert.
Matthew looked a little disappointed.
. . .
"Did you say something about me?" Matthew said once he and Alfred were outside. They jogged side by side, almost done with the two laps that they were required to do in gym class. "Your friend Gilbert kept trying to flirt with me."
Alfred shrugged, pushing his glasses up before they slipped off. "No reason to hide you," he said. "It was just a one-time thing, right?"
He realized that it was the wrong thing to say when Matthew sped up and ran ahead.
"Wait, Matthew!" he called after him, but Matthew was already heading back inside.
. . .
They were standing in the middle of a small circle that a crowd of students formed around them. They were trapped, but neither of wasn't going to be leaving so soon, anyway.
"I loved you," Matthew said, sounding accusing and hurt. He didn't care that there were other people. "And I still do."
Alfred sneered back, "It's not my fault that you're an easy lay."
"Actually, you were my first." Matthew's voice went quiet. "And I thought that you'd make it special."
. . .
The next day, Alfred almost didn't notice the way Gilbert was grinning proudly and Matthew's expression was blank.
The following day, Lars had his arm around Matthew casually.
The day after that, Miguel kept smiling and Matthew wouldn't stop blushing.
And after that, Ivan walked in with Matthew, the tall Russian's face gleeful.
Alfred noticed that there were bags under Matthew's eyes and was limping a lot.
. . .
A week later, Alfred was in the library, dutifully trying to forget an image he'd been graced with earlier: Francis groping Matthew while the Canadian just stood there, looking so lost and helpless and at the same time, numb.
Then an arm slammed down on the desk beside him and he jumped. "Jeez, Iggy!" he exclaimed when he saw that it was the irate Englishman. "Can't you say 'Hey' like normal people?"
"Look, you tosser," Arthur hissed, fisting the front of Alfred's shirt and slamming him against the wall with surprising strength. "I don't know what you did or said, but Matthew is in the bathroom crying!"
Alfred frowned. He pried Arthur's fingers off and shoved him backwards. "So? Why would you think I had something to do with it?" he scoffed.
"Because thanks to that little story you shared a few weeks ago," Arthur snarled, malice in his eyes, venom in his voice, "half of the boys in this school has slept with him!"
. . .
"I know. But Matthew, I'm so sorry." Alfred gets no answer, so he puts his hand on top of Matthew's and intertwines their fingers. He uses his other hand to wipe the damp cheeks, before he pulls him up. "Wanna go home together?" he says, hoping that they would be able to sort things out. And once he was forgiven, perhaps he would get another chance and this time he would not mess up.
Still sniffling, Matthew nods. "My house, right?" he asks. His tone is hollow.
"It's closer, isn't it?" Alfred says, because he took the bus to school today and he doesn't think Matthew has a car, so they'll have to walk.
And they do. It's not too hard to walk out of the school; they take the back door and cut through the field in the back, easily climbing the fence. They emerge in a neighborhood with rows of houses with brown fences and eventually they reach Matthew's house.
Matthew unlocks the front door with a key and as they come in, he explains, "My parents have work. They don't come home until six." He leads Alfred up a flight of stairs, heading towards what Alfred presumed was his bedroom.
"Nice room," Alfred says once they're inside. Anxiety creeps up his spine and he just wants to hold Matthew and kiss him and love him, all the while apologizing over and over again, because he's only recently realized how much damage he has done to this angel.
Matthew says nothing. Instead he closes the door, locks it, then gets on his bed on all fours, his back facing Alfred.
Alfred's heart breaks. "M-Mattie?" he stammers. The façade that he wears around his friends slips off and he's the Alfred in the library again, the same one who met an angel a few weeks ago, the one who was smitten with that soft smile and indigo eyes. "What are you doing?" His voice is hoarse, because oh, God, Arthur couldn't have been telling the truth, right? Matthew couldn't have slept with all those boys, because Matthew was an angel, he was pure, he was innocent, uncorrupted, and-
Well, he's not that anymore, is he? a voice inside him says. And that's all your fault.
Matthew sits back, glancing at Alfred. "Didn't you want..." He trails off. He sounds horribly apathetic.
"No." No, no, no, please don't let it be true, please don't, not Matthew, not Matthew, not my angel, please-
"Then what is it?" Matthew slinks off the bed and is on his knees in front of Alfred within a blink of an eye. He starts undoing the belt, but stops when Alfred abruptly sinks down to his level, arms wrapped tight around him, head buried into the nape of his neck.
"Why?" Alfred whispers.
Matthew's fingers curl around the fabric of his shirt and he mumbles, "Because they'd tell me they love me." Tears escape his eyes despite his wishes not to cry.
"I'm sorry," Alfred says, drawing back and meeting Matthew's gaze. "I never meant to hurt you so much." He caresses Matthew's cheek, his touch careful. "And I know that I don't deserve anything from you, but I... I'd like a second chance."
He feels a pair of lips press softly, lovingly against his own. "I don't care if you leave me again," Matthew whispers into the kiss. "Just please, this time, don't tell me that you love me."
"But I do." Alfred picks Matthew up with ease and lays him on the bed, holding himself above the smaller figure. He peppers the smooth skin with kisses, imagining that he was erasing away all the pain. "I love you. I mean it."
Matthew is trembling ever-so slightly underneath him. "Show me," he whispers.
Alfred holds him close and tender and they make love, bodies slicked with sweat and limbs intertwined under a few beams of sunlight that filters through half-closed blinds.
Alfred stays the night. He dreams of an angel whose wings are a magnificent white, moving as he stretches a hand out to him, indigo eyes twinkling.
. . .
Matthew wakes up the next morning in a tangle of sheets.
Alfred is still there beside him, already awake. The blue-eyed blond opens his mouth to say something and Matthew baits his breath. "Good morning, beautiful."
A/N: *unpeels a banana and walks away*