A Pirate's Life for Me

Chapter 1

Matthew never expected to wake up to the awful smell of something burning. And upon rubbing his eyes and focusing his vision, he found out that what was on fire was his bedroom.

"Mother!" he shouted, jumping out of bed. He skirted around the flames that had engulfed the entire left side of his room, barreling through the door. So much damage had been done to their home already: the living room was a mass of fire, the roof in the kitchen starting to collapse, and his mother's bedroom door...was opened.

Matthew ran across the hallway and into the room, eyes frantically searching for a familiar blond head. A few seconds later, he finally caught sight of his mother, sprawled on the floor, the fire lapping dangerously close to her arm.

Instinctively, Matthew reached out to her, but then someone's arms were wrapped around his waist and he was forcibly dragged from the room. "Let me go!" he shrieked, struggling. His attacker was clearly stronger, though, and Matthew went limp, watching helplessly as he was carried out of the burning house and outside.

"Why didn't you get out?" He was dropped on the ground none-too-gently. Blue eyes peered down at him. "You could've gotten killed. But I saved you, so it's okay!"

Matthew sat up, fully intending to go back to his papa and drag him out to safety. But the roof was already caving in, and Matthew watched with teary eyes as the house crumbled.

"Hey." His blue-eyed savior put a hand on his shoulder. "You okay? What's your name? I'm sorry about your house, by the way, but it was Iggy's decision to go to pillage this village, so you can't blame me. If I didn't follow Captain's orders, he'd, like, flog me, you know? You're not mad at me, right?"

Matthew stared up at him, bewildered. "W-Who are you?" he demanded. He roughly swiped the tears off his cheeks and glared.

"Alfred Jones, lookout of the HMS Vulture." Alfred made a big show of bowing, then straightened. He was grinning, a hand casually on the hilt of a scabbard that hung loosely around his waist. "What's your name?"

"None of your business!" Matthew squeaked.

"Oi! Jones!" a voice barked out from behind them. "How many times have I told not to fraternize with these bloody villagers?" An irate-looking blond appeared behind Alfred, his fancy scarlet overcoat swishing in the wind. "Oh." The man stopped upon seeing Matthew and smirked. "What do we have here?"

"He's mine, Iggy," Alfred said, pouting. "I saved him."

"It's Arthur, not Artie or Iggy or Iggypop or whatever variation you blasted American have for my name," Arthur retorted. His eyes softened when he glanced at Matthew. "And I don't care if you saved him. Get him on the ship." The smirk was starting to turn predatory.

Alfred helped Matthew to his feet. "Don't worry, I'll protect you from his eyebrows," he whispered to the slightly shorter blond. He winked. "And the least you can do in return is tell me your name."

"Matthew," Matthew bit out. He crossed his arms and pressed his lips together, eyes mournful as he saw that the whole village was in ruins. And his mother...

He was led to the pier, where a huge ship was docked. A flag waved proudly in the air, black with a white skull and crossbones in the center. Matthew gulped.

"On you go!" Alfred chirped, sounding a little too enthusiastic. He helped Matthew walk across the platform onto the ship.

"Eyes up," Arthur ordered as he walked past them.

Alfred sheepishly averted his gaze from Matthew's backside. "Not like you weren't looking," he mumbled.

Arthur ignored him and started explaining the ship rules to Matthew, whose eyes progressively grew wider and wider as the list went on. Arthur was about halfway through - "I am the Captain and everything I say goes." - when a door opened a several men filed out.

"Can we leave yet, Artie?" one of them complained. He had platinum-colored hair and red eyes that sent shivers down Matthew's spine. "Oh, what do we have here?"

"Listen up," Arthur commanded loudly. Once he had everyone's attention, he continued, "This is Matthew. From now on, he will be our cabin boy."

There was a wolf-whistle. One glare from Arthur shut that person up. "Now, each of you step forward and state your name and position."

"I'll go first." A man with wavy blond hair, just like Matthew's except longer, stepped forward. "Je m'appelle Francis Bonnefoy. I am the scholar, which means I do all the translations and provide information when needed."

"Enchanté," Matthew mumbled, the French flowing easily from his lips.

Francis looked delighted, but the red-eyed man from earlier shoved him aside. "I'm Gilbert Beilschmidt, the most awesome person you will ever meet," he declared. "I'm the gunner. I operate all the cannons." He grinned.

"I am Ludwig Beilschmidt," said a tall blond. "Unfortunately, I am Gilbert's brother. I'm the navigator."

"Ve! I'm Feliciano Vargas and I cook pasta for everyone!" Feliciano smiled happily, clapping his hands. He gestured to another male beside him. "This is my brother, Lovino. He's the first mate!"

"I can introduce myself, idiota!" Lovino growled. Before he could jump on his brother, he was restrained by a brunet.

"My name's Antonio Fernandez Carriedo!" he said cheerfully. "I'm the doctor, so if you ever hurt yourself, don't be afraid to come to - Ow, that hurt, Lovi!"

Deciding this was taking too long, Arthur took matters into his own hands. "That's Lars van Rijn, the helmsman. I presume Alfred already told you that he is the lookout, and I'm the captain."

Matthew nodded jerkily. "A-Are you gonna push me overboard?" he asked fearfully. To his defense, he'd heard many stories about pirates and none of them were good.

Arthur rolled his eyes. "Didn't I tell you that you were going to be a cabin boy?" he drawled. "If we push you overboard, we'll have no one to scrub the decks."

"Scrub the...decks?" Matthew echoed. He backed up, hoping to be able to flee while he could, but Alfred was blocking his path. "But-"

"No buts," Arthur interrupted. "Now, Lovino," he smirked again, fingering the feather plume drooping from his hat, "take Matthew to a room and find him the proper uniform to wear."

Matthew's eyes widened. Lovino grabbed his arm and wasted no time in heading for the cabins.

"Hey, Arthur," Alfred said as they watched Matthew disappear. "Don't we only have one uniform?"

Arthur nodded.

"And isn't that uniform tailored for a cabin girl, not a boy?" Gilbert asked.

"Yes." Arthur grinned, green eyes glinting deviously. "But Matthew doesn't need to know that."

A/N: I really need to stop writing multi-chaptered fics while I have multiple other ones going already.

But I couldn't help it with this one. T-T

Pairings that will appear throughout this fic: GerIta, Spamano, FrUk, USCan, Franada, PruCan, NethCan... Eventually, Canada will end up with someone. Still not sure who that will be, but probably America...

See you on the next chapter~!