Authors notes:

Sorry for the late update!

I, sadly, have bad news.

This is sadly the last chapter...

I don't own Hetalia; it belongs to Hidekaz Himaruya.

Red Bracelets

Chapter seven

The snow beneath his feet produced a crackling sound with every step he took. He wove his way between the stone markers until he found the one he was seeking. Franklin stood above the grave searching for the words he wanted to say. He was unsure if he should apologize for what he'd done. It had been more than a month since it had happened. The only thing that had forced him to even question his decision was Alfred's harsh words the day Matthew had left.

"You're the reason he wants to leave! I bet you mom is rolling over in her grave right now! She'd never forgive you for this,"

"He's probably right," Franklin finally said out loud, "I doubt you will forgive me," he crouched down and brushed the snow from the grave stone, in the process he knocked something to the ground. He pulled the object from the snow. It was the little wooden box with the scratched up lid. Curiosity got the better of him and he opened the box. Inside was a folded up sheet of lined paper that he unfolded promptly. He recognized the words to be in Matthew's hand writing. As he read the letter that had been intended for his late wife, it was not anger that came over him, but a deep sadness and regret instead.

After Mariellet's death Franklin had buried himself in his work and spent very little time with either of his sons. Perhaps it had been the fact that Matthew looked so much like Mariellet that made it difficult to even look at the boy. At first Alfred had frequently pointed it out that he had been ignoring the younger of the twins, but after a year Alfred had completely given up. Now it was the boys' turn to ignore their father. Alfred spent as much time as he could out of the house and avoided his father when at home.

Franklin wasn't even sure if he wanted to mend their relationship, but the words in the letter forced him to make a decision. He put the letter back in to the box and returned it to the grave stone.

"I'm sorry Mariellet, I should have been a better father to them," With those words he turned away from the grave and walked back across the cemetery towards home.

The batter sizzled in the oiled frying pan and the scent of pancakes filled the kitchen. Mattie hummed a little tune while he cooked, occasionally whistling the tune to encourage the little yellow canary that was perched on the counter to sing along. Mattie flipped the last pancake on to a plate and switched off the heat.

Aldric walked in to the kitchen and stopped to watch Mattie for a moment. Matthew noticed and greeted him with 'Good Morning' and held out the plate. Aldric willingly took it and the teen switched the burner back on.

"You look like your mother," Aldric stated offhandedly, the comment surprised Mattie and he whirled around to look the man. The always serious German wasn't looking at him, but instead was busy eating the pile of hot syrup covered cakes.

"You knew my mom?" Matthew asked nervously. Aldric didn't look at him, but he replied.

"She was a good friend of my late wife's," Aldric glanced at the boy. Mattie stayed quiet waiting for him to explain further. Aldric continued. "Your mother taught drama at the same school my wife taught music."

Matthew thought about it for a moment. The memory of an always energetic brown eyed blond who spoke loudly and with a strong German accent came to mind. She had often visited and spent a lot of time around his mother.

"Gen... Genivee?" Matthew offered. Aldric nodded. "I didn't realize that was Gil's mom... That explains why Gil acts the way he does." Aldric gave a little laugh, it was possibly the most emotion Mattie had seen the man show in all the time he had lived at the Beilschmidt house.

"What about me?" Gilbert asked walking in to the kitchen while stretching his arms.

"Good morning Gil. Want to go do some Christmas shopping with me and Alfred today?" Mattie asked, ignoring the original question.

"Why would I want to see your brothers face this early in the morning?" The albino remarked. He proceeded to fish the jug of Orange juice out of the refrigerator, but before he could turn it up and drink right out of the container, Mattie held a glass up in front of him. Gil pouted at him but took the glass.

"So, you want to go?" Mattie asked again.

"As unawsome as Alfred is, shopping sounds fun," The albino replied before he took the plate of pancakes that Mattie had just finished making and found a seat at the table to eat.

Christmas music chimed in catchy tunes all over the mall. It made Mattie feel warm and fuzzy inside. When he and Gilbert found Alfred he was sitting on the edge of the fountain in the center of the mall looking abnormally irritated and glaring at his cell phone.

"Yo, Unawsome!" Gil greeted Alfred. The blond shot him a death glare.

"Good morning Alfred," Mattie announced. Alfred took a deep breath to calm himself down and then greeted Matthew with a forced smile. "What's wrong, Al?" The smaller blond asked his brother.

"I'm okay, it's just stupid... Arthur hasn't answered any of the messages I've sent him and now he's late" Alfred answered with a sigh.

"I'm right here," Arthur walked up behind where Gilbert and Matthew were standing. "My apologies that I was late, I over slept." he told them.

"Have a fight with the stairs again, Artie?" Gil asked Arthur, prodding at a bruise on the Brit's cheek with his index finger.

"As matter of fact, I did." Arthur swatted Gil's hand away. "Well, now that you know that let's go about our shopping," and with that he turned on his heel and started to walk away. Alfred jumped up from his seat and caught up with Arthur so he could walk beside him. Mattie and Gil followed suit.

At some point Alfred and Arthur went their own way and left Gil and Mattie to shop on their own. They had probably wandered through ten different stores that were all crowded with other last minute shoppers. Eventually the two teens had found gifts for the others, but not for each other yet. They were walking down the main hallway glancing at the windows that they passed.

"Maybe we should split up and go find gifts for each other?" Matthew suggested, but Gil apparently wasn't listening.

"Birdie, look at all the animals!" Gilbert told him. He had his face plastered against the window of a pet shop. Mattie giggled at him. The albino looked very similar to the little boy that stood a few feet away with his face plastered against the glass, staring happily at a brown rabbit on the other side. "Let's go inside!" Gil declared, grabbing Mattie's hand and pulling him into the store.

Inside the pet shop were rows of animal cages with assortments of cats, puppies, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and (the most pleasing to Gilbert) birds. Gil wandered about looking at all the animals as they passed, still holding Mattie's hand. The smaller blond eventually let go of the albino's hand, making Gil turn around to see what had distracted the boy.

"Look, Gil, it's you!" Mattie called as he held up a fat white rabbit with red eyes. Gil laughed and pointed over his shoulder at a cage of yellow canaries.

"Then one of them is you," He said with a big grin across his face.

"Let's see..." Mattie mused walking up to the cage with the white rabbit in his arms. The two teens watched the flock of little birds until one of them hopped down off the perches to the bars of the cage. It looked up at the boys and chirped, cocking it head to one side. Gil and Mattie both started laughing.

"I think I'll buy it," Gil announced. "After all, I haven't gotten Gilbird a present yet and what better present could someone want then a friend?" Mattie smiled fondly at his lover.

"Sounds good to me,"

The store clerk gave Gilbert the strangest look Matthew had ever seen a human face make when he asked to buy the bird. Her face got even more bizarre when Gil told her that he was buying it so that his other canary had a friend. Again Mattie was reminded that the albino didn't look like the type to like such a cute animal, but it seemed that Gil had a weak spot for adorable things.

A little bit later they found seats at a table in the food court to only mildly enjoy greasy mall pizza. The canary was placed on the table in its little carrying cage and cheeped happily, excited to have an owner. They had accumulated so many bags and boxes that they were running out of hands to carry them with. Gil was nearly done devouring his two slices when Matthew put his food down and started playing with the red silicone bracelet.

"This is the same table we sat at the day you asked me out," The blond stated suddenly.

"Is it?" Gil asked through a bite of food. Mattie nodded.

"Thanks Gilbert" Mattie told him.

"For what?" The albino asked swallowing the bite of food.

"For everything. If I'd never met you, I don't know where I'd be right now." Mattie answered giving his lover a gentle smile.

"You don't have to thank me, I'd do it over a thousand times if I got to spend forever with you," Gil told him. They weren't in the most romantic place or eating the most romantic food, but Gilbert's words made Mattie incredibly happy.

Que fade out scene and Finish!


"Hey Birdie, what is that you're eating?" Gil asked wrapping his arms around the thin blond from behind and pointing at the plate he was holding.

"Oh, this? Its leftover lemon meringue pie from Christmas," Matthew replied.

"Can I have some?" The German asked opening his mouth and making a little 'ah' sound. Mattie shoved a fork full of the desert in to his boyfriend's mouth, partially to make him stop making that sound.

"Yum!" Gil said licking his lips. Mattie giggled at him. "Hey, birdie, you have some on your face," Gil told the smaller boy, tilting his head up with his finger before leaning down and kissing Mattie on the lips. The thinner boy shifted around so that he faced his lover properly. After finding a place on the counter for the plate he wrapped his arms around the taller man's neck to deepen the kiss

Authors notes:

That's how it should end if it's a move!

And I'm a total cock block.

I dedicate this last scene to Prussiakitty because those little comments she says before she leaves my house always inspire something.

Sadly, this is the last chapter... I had wanted to write more, but I felt like I would ruin this story if I tried to push it too far past where I had original wanted to end it.

Oh and Happy holidays! I didn't go on to write the scenes for Christmas because I don't celebrate Christmas, but it just seemed like the appropriate holiday for the two of them. And no, I'm not Jewish. I'm Atheist.

In the time that I have worked on this story I have seen my ability to write improve exponentially and it makes me happy. There are some chapters that I hate the way I wrote them and others that I love and I'm grateful to everyone that has read this story so Thank You.

And a special thanks to XxDamned ForeverXx who was a beta for me.

I also realized that I made and used OCs in this story, which I'm not fond of doing normally but I'm now happy to employ and will definitely do in future works.

Now for that good news! In the process of trying to come up with a longer plot for this I came up with two story ideas for what would like be a second and third installment, shall we call them. The reason I didn't want to add them on to this story was because the main characters change. If you'd like to read it I have a blurb from what I may potentially start next after I write a one shot to use for a doujinshi.

So the setting for the next one is set in obviously the same AU that this one was in and the pairing is USUK. So there is a sort of repetitive theme to them. That theme would be dealing with family and social issues. This next one is physical abuse.

The last one, the pairing will be GerIta and actually deals with paranoia and I'm really excited to write that one.

For now though, Do svidaniya!