A/N: I'm not sure how canon regards all of this, but for the purposes of my story, Matthew and Alfred were both full-grown adults at the time of the American Revolution. Usually I like to see country names instead of human names, but in this case I thought it would have distracted from the emotion of the story. Also, hooray, I managed to write an entire Canada fanfic with no mention of maple syrup and/or pancakes. It can be done!
Too Easy by ACM a.k.a. Annie May
Matthew should have known better. It was all too easy.
He'd been fascinated by Arthur from the first time he laid eyes on him. He was gazing dreamily after him, even before he knew why. Then he grew up, and so did his brother. And everyone loved his brother. Even Matthew had to admit, Alfred was impressive. There was nobody else like him. As a result, no one even seemed to see Matthew anymore. Only Francis, who was like a father to him, even paid any attention to him.
Arthur started dating Alfred, but Matthew kept staring after him. He couldn't help it. Arthur was fascinating, and not even being completely ignored by him could change that.
But then Arthur and Alfred had their messy break-up. Arthur was crying. Matthew hated seeing tears stream from those beautiful green eyes. Suddenly they turned towards him. He was looking at Arthur, and for once, Arthur was looking back at him. It didn't make sense, Matthew would have realized, had he thought about it. But he didn't. He couldn't. As Arthur took his hand, as he helped Arthur to stand, as Arthur put his arms around his waist…He couldn't bring himself to consider the reason. He just knew that he finally had what he wanted.
That was only the beginning of years and years together. Matthew was always at Arthur's side. They made memory after memory, travelling the world together or just spending the day in bed cuddling. Arthur's temper could be scary, but Matthew learned how to stay on his good side, most of the time. When Arthur needed to talk about how he would be a great pirate again someday, Matthew let him, and supported him, as soon as he understood he was serious. And Arthur's lips were fierce and his hands were soft and his actions, rarely accompanied by words, were kind. Every morning and every night, Matthew saw Arthur's eyes looking at him with love. Or so Matthew thought.
But suddenly, Arthur didn't look at Matthew anymore. He just seemed to look through him. He was looking at Alfred again. He stared at Alfred. He argued with Alfred. He complained about Alfred. He laughed at Alfred and with Alfred and only when Alfred was around. He didn't even smile anymore, except at Alfred. Matthew, who was still looking at Arthur, saw this. And he was sad, and he was angry, and he wanted to scream and smash things and run away. But he didn't. He just gently (and perhaps just a bit bitterly) pointed out to Arthur that he was in love with Alfred.
And, of all the nerve, Arthur denied it! Not only could Arthur not see Matthew, he could not see himself. And Matthew smiled and believed him. And tried and tried to make it work. But he couldn't. Finally, that last time Arthur forgot his name was just too many. Giving him one last chance to say no, Matthew ended it. And Arthur didn't say no. In fact, he seemed happy. Like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He gave Matthew one last hug and Matthew wanted to hold on forever but he knew he had to be the one to let go first. And then Arthur was gone. Matthew was left staring at the space where he had once stood. And Arthur would never look at him again.
And now Arthur had finally come to terms with his love for Alfred. Any day now, he was going to tell him. This left Matthew with an uncomfortable question, an incredible possibility, one that would have seemed laughable months or years before. Even though Alfred and Arthur dated for such a short time, and Matthew and Arthur dated for such a long time, had Arthur loved Alfred the entire time? Was Matthew just a rebound fling that lasted for centuries?
And why, suddenly, couldn't Arthur remember his name anymore?
Angrily, Matthew stomped down the stairs of his house towards the kitchen. He almost tripped over his pet polar bear, who looked up at him and asked serenely, "Who are you?"