Goldpen, 1silentmouse, graysam, Shizuka Aralia, Cacow, DeiDeiArtistic, Tala, Madee-Chan, KajiMori, EmoChickOfDeath and OneGirlStudio; thank you so much for your support. I'm glad you all stopped by to read my story. This pairing needs more love.

Aw, fuck, I'm crying. TT_TT

Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd.


Come on, now
I hear you're feeling down
Well I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again


The zinging sensation of pain up his spine as he ran only aided his thought process. It occurred to Matthew, in a slightly life-altering epiphany, that he was kind of a masochist. It was a pity that that wasn't exactly the life-altering opinion he needed to have right now.

Or was it?

Was he predisposed towards emotionally hurtful relationships the same way he was predisposed towards a hockey brawl? If so, that would explain almost every relationship he had ever been in? Was it because he had never known his parents and felt he should grieve them even though he had never missed them as people but rather as concepts.

No, if he was going to do this the Freudian way he was going to need a serious quantity of alcohol in his system. He liked Francis he really did. He was sweet and romantic and, judging by his jelly-legs and the burn in his back, damn good in bed. Brilliant in fact. Best orgasm ever. And the sounds the Frenchman had made when Matthew had swallowed his cock. . . It would be nice to hear those again, just to make sure he hadn't been having an auditory hallucination.

The Canadian clasped his hands to his scalding hot cheeks. Satellites were probably recording this blush as some kind of extra-terrestrial occurrence. But that didn't make it any less true. He liked Francis. He liked the idea of being with Francis. It would mean stability, sweet mornings and sultry evenings. It would mean cuddles in the kitchen and playful bickering about who would cook. It would mean the continuation and furthering of their already domestic lifestyle.

But it would also mean that if and when Francis left (or kicked him out, it was his apartment after all) it would make the pain of Alfred dumping him seem like a paper cut in comparison. A paper cut that someone had squeezed lemon juice into, admittedly, but a paper cut none the less.

The question of age? Perhaps not so much that as of maturity and experience. He was barely twenty years old. That counted him quite firmly as being young and naïve. So maybe he was an idealist, but Francis was to, he knew that without being told because, be honest, how many pacifist drug dealers are there who try to help the people they should be selling to stay clean?

Matthew couldn't help but laugh at the thought, speeding up from a fast jog to actually running, lengthening his strides. He let the slap of his shoes on damp tar drown out his thoughts for a minute, focusing on the muscles in his legs and the breath in his lungs.

"Hey, Speed Racer, where are you going?"

Matt stopped, turning around, his chest heaving. There, where he had honestly expected to find a policeman, there was a blonde man in a wheelchair. Jogging on the spot, he answered,

"Nowhere, sir," curse his polite upbringing, he sincerely wanted to tell his man to piss off; he was trying to sort out his life here!

"Just don't forget your way back home," the man shrugged, rolling himself away. Matthew stopped all movement, not jogging, not breathing.

His way home? Canada was his place of birth, and he would always feel a kinship with the place – patriotism was something ingrained, and he would always be thankful to the land that taught him to speak French.

But that wasn't his home anymore. He had always been told – by the younger children, admittedly – that home wasn't where you were, but who you were with. He had come to think of Francis as home. He was safe there, he was happy there. There wasn't anything he couldn't do, and nothing he could do wrong. Was this the fairy-tale home he had been looking for, and why had that search been subconscious until now?

Could he really stand to be in a stable home right now when he wasn't sure enough of himself to be stable? He barely knew who he was. He didn't have any established identity aside from druggie. He couldn't just morph into Francis' personality. He wouldn't become some kind of add-on, a parasite boyfriend. Was he going to be his boyfriend? He needed to know himself first. He couldn't go back to being his old self; the good student, the Canadian, the orphan. That just didn't work. You couldn't just undo all that pain and strife. He couldn't go back to being the heroin junkie, not after all the time and energy both he and Francis had expended on his wellbeing.

If he didn't know who he was as an individual, how the hell was he supposed to know who he was in a relationship; let alone keep his identity separate from Francis'?

And there he went again, thinking immediately of Francis when he thought of a significant other.

But was that really such a bad thing?

Francis was a true romantic. He believed in roses and fairy-tales. In princes and white knights. He believed in kisses that woke you from a hundred years of sleep and any other enchantment you cared to name. True love could conquer all.

It was gratingly idealistic, optimistic and naïve, but it was all Francis, and that made it a whole lot easier to swallow. He carried all his childish beliefs in a way that made you want to believe them too. It would be nice to live in that world. That fairy-tale bubble where all the bad can be overcome by love.

But was he in love with the idea? Did he ever want to love again? Was there really any point when three months in he was going to be forgotten and cast aside, never looked at again, always through, as though he was the invisible man? The invisible Matthew.

He didn't know how long he had been standing there, staring out into space over the pedestrian walkway, but it was obviously too long, because it was almost pitch black now, and the sweat he had shed earlier was practically frozen on his skin. Shaking his head to clear it, he forced his stiff muscles to move and started jogging back in the direction he had come, hoping he could remember the way back.


Francis leapt to his feet when he heard a key in the lock. His heart thudded nervously in his chest as Matthieu walked in, looking bedraggled and cold.

"Here, you look frozen," the Frenchman said quietly, holding out a blanket to the shivering Canadian, who accepted it with a nod, shrugging off his icy jacket and wrapping the thick fleece tightly around himself.

"I'm going to make coco," Matt said, "would you like some?" Francis nodded dumbly, wondering if it would be inappropriate to grab the other man and kiss him before thanking him for coming back. It was nine at night and he had left at quarter to three. Six hours. He had thought that he was never coming back; though he knew better than to break out the booze this time. He had to be sober.

Once the chocolaty drink was steaming gently into two mugs on the coffee table and they were both seated on the futon – having decided against the couch for, ahem, obvious reasons, Matt turned to face his host.

"I don't know who I am," he stated bluntly. Francis felt his jaw drop,

"Pardon?" he croaked in surprise.

"I mean as a person. I don't know who I am; I don't know what I want from life, where I'm going or who I am supposed to be in society. I have no sense of who I am as an individual. And it doesn't help that people keep asking who I am."

The Frenchman started to interrupt, but the younger man held up a finger to silence him,

"But you never seemed to care about that, and I'm not entirely sure that even you know what you want from life beyond roses. So I figure that I am who I am, and I'll pick it up as I go along. And if you're willing to help me find out who I am, then I'm willing to give, you know, us a try."

The coco was stone cold by the time they got around to drinking it.


Can you stand up?
I do believe it's working good
That'll keep you going through the show
Come on it's time to go


*Sniffles* I hate ending on an uneven number. *Blows nose*

Ok, I am way too sad about this story ending. Again, thank you all for reading, it means a lot to me that you all spammed my friend's inbox with reviews.


Love, Ruth.