A/N: Hello, duckies. Well, here I am again. Typing this way late. Been stuck in a good rut, I have. No motivation whatsoever. Everything grinded to a halt. Luckily a good fanfiction kick started my gears again so here we go!
A lot of you wanted some more PruCan (although I've had a few complaints about the pairing but meh, s'my story) so for now I'll write this from Gilbert's point of view. I need a little freshness in life.
When Gilbert had first met Matthew he thought he was a quiet guy. And quite frankly he seemed rather un-awesome. The boy barely talked and that was saying something considering that Gilbert hung out with Kiku –who was practically the quietest guy a majority of the time sans when talking about anime or video games. Gilbert wasn't all that impressed with Matthew but had a hell of a time chatting with his twin brother Alfred. The boy loved to talk and Gilbert's excitement level was right up there with him. Their egos also came close to matching and bickering became a fun game among the two for the first couple days they knew each other. Alfred kept trying to get Matthew to talk more and the other brother did occasionally say something. His voice was soft and had a slight Canadian lilt to it. Gilbert became interested in him. He wanted to hear him talk more. Gilbert had joined in with Al on trying to get Matthew to talk.
Over time the boy opened up a bit more. It was a slow pace, that was for sure, but it happened in a quite extraordinary way. Gilbert didn't often read people but he liked to occasionally pay attention to those around him, especially if it related to his friends. He could tell that the twins were very close to each other. Hell, they may have been closer to each other than Gilbert and his younger brother Ludwig were (and that was saying something because Gilbert cherished his little brother –even if he liked to rile him up on occasion)! He also noticed that Matthew wasn't used to talking to other people. Maybe he was introverted and his brother was extroverted? Quite the match-up. Maybe all twins were like that? After all the Vargas twins seemed to be opposites as well. The introvertedness made Gilbert want to pry. He wanted to open this boy up and discover his secrets.
Matthew was a good cook. He had discovered this when the twin had brought a homemade lunch to school. Not surprisingly it was Canadian food with a mixture of American food. The twins had shared it. Over time Matthew occasionally kept doing this and as the group of friends (Arthur, Alfred, Nicole, Kiku, Gilbert, and Matthew that is) became closer, Gilbert felt he had the right to pick off of their plate.
"Hey!" Alfred had cried as Gilbert snatched up a piece of the homemade "pigs in a blanket" (no doubt Alfred's choice) and popped it into his mouth. He chewed and was surprised that the biscuit covering of the hotdog was not flavored the way it usually was. It had a flavored that tingled Gilbert's tongue with a spicy-sweetness that seemed to blend far too well with the biscuit and hotdog flavor. No doubt that this wasn't Pillsbury.
"This is great!" Gilbert exclaimed and grinned. "Did you make this yourself?" He asked Matthew.
Matthew fumbled with his words for a moment, almost surprised that Gilbert seemed to be talking directly to him in such an excited manner (how strange that he still wasn't used to it even though it had been a while since the boys had arrived). "Ah…y-yes." He said in his soft voice, nervous. Gilbert wanted to snap him out of it and leaned closer into his face.
"Can you make me lunch sometime? The shit they serve here sucks!" Matthew grew a tiny bit more flustered (Hey, he looks kind of cute like that!) and looked down with slightly pink cheeks.
"Gilbert, you can't just force him to make food for you!" Arthur, Gilbert's best friend, scolded from next to him glaring at him. The boy had finally given in and joined the group not too long ago and he and Alfred had just broken away from one of their (what Gilbert and Nicole called it) "lover's quarrels" at the scene.
"Yeah!" Alfred agreed, surprising Arthur that he was actually being agreed with by this boy.
"No…It's alright." Matthew spoke up, raising his voice slightly to be heard over them. He smiled at Gilbert for the first time. "I'll bring some tomorrow for you, is that alright?" Gilbert smiled back and realized that he wanted to make Matthew smile more.
Gilbert turned his head on his bed to gaze at Arthur as the boy sat knitting (like the pussy he is, kesesese) on the floor next to him. They were in his bedroom after a cleaning spree (Gilbert had grown tired of how messy his room was and Arthur was unwillingly forced to join in the cleaning) relaxing afterwards. It was Thanksgiving Break so they both had a week to chill. Neither felt inclined to invite their other friends over. Gilbert and Arthur had been friends the longest after all and had grown together through awkward adolescent ages. That brought two boys together.
His eyes stayed fixated on what Arthur was knitting before he finally spoke his thoughts. "How can you stand it?"
"Stand what?" Arthur asked, not bothering to look up.
"Your relationship with Al." The name was still bitter on his tongue. He could still remember when he had read the blog page in Matt's words. He could remember his disgust at the image of the two of them having sex (Alfred and Matthew, not Gilbert and Matthew) in that apartment. It sickened him.
Arthur sighed through his nose and Gilbert could sense the melancholy in his next words, having known his friend for so long, "Quite the contrary, I can hardly stand it as well." He didn't turn to look at his friend and continued his knitting, although it was slower now as his mind became occupied with other thoughts. "I don't…like having Alfred and Matthew in such a relationship. It makes me horribly jealous. But what can I do? I understand their 'love' for each other and accept that. I'm not happy about it but I do." Gilbert rolled onto his side to gaze at the back of Arthur's head, frowning at his words. He had a feeling that his friend had been holding these thoughts to himself. It wasn't often the stubborn Brit actually opened up to people and exposed his true feelings. He would need to listen closely lest Arthur closed up suddenly again. He was like a clam that way. "But Alfred assures me that they don't love each other in a lover's way anymore. They even said so in the blog." His voice became a little softer and he lowered his knitting. "But…I still can't help but feel insecure. After all, they've known each other their whole lives. What's to say that they won't just up and decide they want each other more?"
"Nothing." Gilbert agreed solemnly. Arthur really did see where he was coming from. For the first time Gilbert realized that Arthur was in the exact same boat as him. There were two halves to this lover's conundrum and Arthur was on the other side. He felt as if a portion of the burden and guilt and anger he felt on his shoulders had also been shifted unto Arthur's. They were baring it together.
Arthur straightened slightly as if forgetting that he had been actually talking to someone else other than himself (or maybe his "magical friends"). "W-Well anyway it doesn't matter! Alfred and I are no longer dating." He finished stiffly, clamming up.
Gilbert looked at him in surprise. "What! Since when!"
Arthur returned to his knitting. "…A couple nights ago."
"Why? You didn't have to break up because of me."
Arthur scoffed. "Don't have such a bloody big head. It wasn't because of you." Gilbert made a face at him because of the insult before he became serious again.
"Because…" Arthur hesitated and seemed to contemplate how to word his next sentence, "he wants to help his brother become happier."
"By having sex with him?" Gilbert accused.
"Last I heard Matthew rejected even a hug from Alfred." Arthur commented lightly. Gilbert didn't respond suddenly wondering if Alfred had been trying to put a move on his brother. A scowl creased his face for a second before he flipped over onto his back to glare at the ceiling.
"Where'd you hear that? The horse's mouth?"
"Kiku. Alfred confessed to him about it. I haven't talked to Alfred since we broke up."
"…Does it bother you that you two broke up?"
"…." Arthur didn't respond and instead began to pack away his knitting. He pulled on his backpack that he had carried over and glanced at Gilbert, who watched him. "I still lo- ….care for him. Just as I know you still care for Matthew. Hopefully we can all resolve this." Gilbert turned his head away, frowning at the wall. Arthur left with a soft thud of the door closing.
It had been a long time since Gilbert had smoked. He and Arthur had both taken it up in middle school when Arthur's older brother and sister had both started and they had stolen a few from the packs. They became addictive, what with Gilbert's troubled lifestyle with middle school assholes bullying him and Arthur going through his rebellious phase. Gilbert had started wearing dark eyeliner to give his mahogany eyes a fierce look and he and Arthur had become the resident punks. They often smoked on campus behind the portables or in the bathrooms. A few times they had been sent to detention or got referrals. After a stern lecture from his father, though, Gilbert eventually stopped smoking even as Arthur continued on his wild streak. He still partied with him, drinking alcohol and whatnot, but when Arthur and Ludwig had started fighting, Gilbert had to take a side. It wasn't long after that that Arthur stopped his punk lifestyle and became more like he was today. That was three years ago.
Gilbert dragged in a long intake of smoke and breathed out slowly. The cigarette smoke blended with his own visible breath in the chilly night air. Thanksgiving had brought with it a cold front and a small flurry of snow that was starting to barely coat the ground. It stuck to his boots as he walked, leaving grassy foot prints behind him in the ice. Technically he was going to be eighteen soon and he already appeared to be eighteen so no cops messed with him (not that they really cared anyhow). He heard a squeal of child and turned his head to spot two boys running around on the playground. It was dusk and the streetlamps were on but the kids' parents were there so it was fine. It was obvious they were siblings from the look of things. Gilbert took another drag of the cigarette.
Arthur's right. He decided suddenly, watching the children. He didn't like the situation the group was in. Everyone was obviously upset about it including Kiku and Nicole. He didn't need to be at school with them to know such. Even if Arthur didn't admit it, Gilbert knew enough to know that he was at least partially to blame why Alfred and Arthur broke up. And Gilbert also knew that Arthur had been going for Alfred almost as long as Gilbert himself had been longing after Matthew. The fight was not ridiculous, though. Cheating was a crime in Gilbert's book. Especially with incest involved. But he also understood Matthew and Alfred's situation.
He inhaled again and pulled out his cell phone, bringing up the internet and eventually the blog. Neither boy had updated at all. Gilbert decided to reread Matthew's entry the night Alfred had sex with him. He sat down to read and when he was finished he gazed at the sky. Matthew apologized to me. He closed his eyes. Had he been too harsh? Maybe he should've listened to Matthew more. He had stormed over there and broken up with him as soon as he had finished reading and comprehending the post. Thinking about it now, he may have been too rash. He suddenly found his cell phone to his ear and a number being dialed without his realization. It wasn't until a hesitant voice said, "Hello?" did Gilbert realize who he had called.
"Meet me at the park on Anderson." He told him.
"…Fine." The two hung up. Gilbert finished his cigarette and snuffed it out before lighting a new one.
He was happy that he was used to the cold as half an hour later the person he called finally arrived. Alfred was bundled up in his thick bomber jacket that he had bought last year at a vintage thrift store that was heavy but very warm. The jacket fit him better now that he had been working out some. Gilbert had gone through three cigarettes before he stood to face Alfred's solemn face.
"Hey." He stated.
"Hey." Alfred greeted back, looking slightly wary behind his glasses. The boy really did not like the cold. Gilbert didn't say anything else, instead staring Alfred down until the younger boy broke. "Why are we out here?"
"To talk. To fight maybe, depending on how much you piss me off." Gilbert admitted, already feeling a bit angry. His bitterness was bile on the back of his tongue.
"I'd rather not have to fight." Alfred tried to joke pathetically before he became serious again. He looked to be a bit scared, Gilbert noted. The boy sighed through his nose. "Gilbert, what happened was completely my fault. Don't take this out on Mattie."
"You're damn right, it's your fault!" Gilbert growled at him, scowling. Alfred flinched. Gilbert suddenly remembered that Alfred had been verbally abused as a child and his anger cooled quickly. He was angry and betrayed, but Alfred was still his friend. "Who the hell has sex with someone else's boyfriend the same day we got together?" He demanded in a lower voice.
Alfred glanced away, his head lowering slightly with guilt. Good. Gilbert thought, pleased. "I didn't know. I was really upset and didn't think about how Matt would feel. I was so used to just…having him. I didn't know that you two had gotten together. I'm sorry."
"It's still not right! You guys said in your blog that you two don't love each other in that way anymore! Then what the fuck was that?" Gilbert could hear his voice rising again and he quickly tried to grab control over it.
"We don't…but that night was an accident." Alfred met Gilbert's heated glare. "Matt and I promised each other when we got together with you and Arthur that we wouldn't do anything with each other. The most we've done is a little playing and none of it was sexual! Maybe a kiss, but that's it! Nothing more! Matt doesn't even-" Alfred seemed to choke on his words for a minute a passing sadness flitted through his eyes before his determination came back, albeit softer than before, "Matt doesn't even want me to hold him anymore. He's really torn up about this. And if you don't do something about it, then I'll just have to…kick your ass or something!"
Gilbert couldn't help it: he laughed. He laughed loudly. Alfred had sounded like a little kid threatening an adult. It was rather cute for such an idiot. "You can't ever beat me!" Gilbert bragged for a moment, smirking. It dropped after a few moments. "Fine, I'll talk to Matt. I'll talk. I'm not promising anything. Cheating is still cheating no matter the circumstances." He looked away. "But I want you to promise me something here and now: if I ever find out that you two had sex again while one of you or both are dating someone else, I will personally beat you to hell. Get me?"
"Yeah. I got you."
"Good. And you'd better not be touching Matt sexually."
Alfred looked annoyed. "I'm not."
Gilbert moved to leave and end their conversation but paused. He had one more thing to ask. "Hey. Do you still 'want' Matthew?"
Alfred turned to walk away but didn't move yet. He didn't look at him. "…Matt is…my brother. That's the only way I want him. There's someone else that I 'want' want." Gilbert couldn't help his small smirk.
"Then you'd better get your shit settled soon too. As in now." He left Alfred at that, walking the long ways towards the twins' apartment. He heard Alfred start running in the direction of Arthur's house and couldn't help his slightly sadistic grin. Hey, a little unnecessary worrying on Alfred's part was just fine.
It was nearing eight thirty at night when Gilbert showed up at the bottom of the apartment. He stared up at Matt's door and pulled out his phone to call inside. Like he had suspected, Matthew didn't answer. He tried again, this time leaving a message. "Come outside." He said and hung up his phone, pocketing it. He turned his body towards the street and breathed hard into his hands. The temperature was dropping quickly with the sun gone. His heart was thundering in his chest. He didn't know if he could face Matthew. He could still remember his stricken face clearly in his mind as he had ended everything and the way the boy had called for him to come back. Gilbert had run off as fast as he could, though.
He was beginning to consider going up to knock on the door when soft footsteps through the thin snow alerted him to a presence. He looked over and saw Matthew, wearing a light jacket, cautiously making his way over. It was obvious that the boy was scared of him. He held himself as if cold. "You…you called?" Matthew asked.
"Yeah." Gilbert said in a soft voice. "I wanted to talk."
Matthew looked around, avoiding his eyes. "Here?"
"Yeah. I gotta go home in a bit."
Gilbert saw that Matthew wasn't going to talk first. "I wanted to say…sorry. How I confronted you was bad. I could've done better." He chewed his tongue for a minute as Matthew's eyes finally looked at him. Gilbert was nervous but determined. "But I want an apology too! Cheating is not cool! You're lucky I didn't punch your brother in the face!"
Matthew looked shocked just to be listening to Gilbert. He fumbled with his words. "A-Ah, um, I'm sorry! I really am!"
"Is that all?"
"…I don't know what else to say." Matthew whispered, his head down. Gilbert approached him a bit and Matthew flinched back, scared. Gilbert held up his hands, astonished. The brothers really were abused as children. The blog hadn't been wrong. The fear in Matthew's eyes was of a different level. He probably thought that Gilbert was going to hit him. He felt like he was dealing with timid animals.
"It's fine. Apologies are fine." He sighed heavily. Matthew's shoulders relaxed some. The two stood in silence for a period of time, neither knowing exactly what to say.
"You smell like smoke." Matthew repeated a little louder this time.
"Yeah. I was smoking."
"You smoke?" Matthew took a step closer.
"Sometimes. When I'm stressed."
"Were you stressed out?"
"…Yeah. It's because I haven't seen my friends in a while."
Matthew gave a small smile slowly. Gilbert was glad to see it. "We should all go out on the last day of break. Maybe to a…movie or something?"
"Or it could just be you and me." Gilbert said and looked away so he wouldn't see Matthew's surprise again. He felt a little embarrassed. It was bad enough confessing to Matthew but it was more awkward planning dates like this. "We could try this again. See where it goes."
Matthew's smile became a bit wider. His cheeks were a little pink under the lamp light from the cold. "That sounds fun."
"You won't cheat on me again with Al?"
Matthew shook his head. "I promise." Gilbert held out his hand to him and Matthew questioningly took it. He was tugged close, causing the sophomore to blush more. "What are you doing?"
"Let's go for a walk." He linked their cold fingers together. "And continue our talk."
"Don't you have to get home?" Matthew didn't disagree. The two began walking.
"Wouldn't be the first time I broke curfew." Gilbert grinned. The boy next to him smiled and laughed before tugging on his hand gently to give him a soft kiss. Gilbert was surprised this time.
"Thank you." Matthew whispered against his lips before the two began to walk again. Gilbert tightened his grip on Matthew's hand. He was worried for the future. It wouldn't be a happy one, he was sure. He and Arthur were both going to have it rough with these two. But they would keep the twins in line.