A/N: From this chapter onward I'm not sure what the updating frequency will be. Like I stated before, we write as inspiration comes to us, and I have to admit we get sidetracked a lot from the main story by other little one shots and things. I also apologise a bit I suppose that the chapters are so short, we write in scenes and idk, this is just how it works out. XD
This chapter is written by my glorious partner, who's tumblr can be found in the first chapter. Enjoy it, because I have to admit I believe her writing the better of us.
The trip home was a blur of mud, blank faces, and the city smog that was Matthew's reality. The flip-side of the fallen angel's reality. It was a dream there in the garden; a picturesque place of quiet and beauty where he was himself in all of his softness. At home, things were all glowing televisions and linoleum floors. Every image or mention of religion was associated with a quiet name, a face Matthew had seen and immediately associated with a higher power he had never seen in such a soft light. There was a difference. He was different. He could only handle so much.
Matthew sighed when he finally made his way inside of his house, ducking his head and moving to drop his dirty sweatshirt and kick off his dirty shoes before he made his way to his kitchen. The whole house smelled of cold spaghetti and stale garlic bread, and he really didn't want to think about anything because it all lead back to His name, or His face, or His garden, or anything else that would just bring him back to the beginning in a horrifically surreal way. Too good to be true. Every thought had a smoky trail that left back to the fire of the nightmare; a firestorm; the remnants of lightning striking that tree. That place where He slept, that place where Matthew had sat and made flowers made of daffodils and daisies, where things had been started and ended in a flash.
Matthew considered going back to find Him near his garden when Alfred came slamming into the cardboard house, eagerly tearing through the house and toward his room, shaking the foundation with his strength.
That was Alfred, the stark reality and the brute strength, the flip side in which he would strive in the Real word, while Matthew could only possibly live happily in Francis' garden.
When the thought occurred to him without the name censured, his bones ached like being out in the cold and rain.
Rather than tossing the food he added on top of it, taking care to serve too much, because nothing was ever enough for Alfred. Except for when it was and he slammed doors.
The minute and thirty seconds had elapsed by the time Matthew had made his way into his room and down onto his bed, Alfred's door opening at the sound.
Matthew rolled over and he had a thought that was tangently related to Francis (and flowers and ringsand dirt) that was soft and made him want to whine. He hadn't been aware, hadn't known Francis well enough. He hadn't thought, and so he hadn't watched years unraveled to reveal a cross; watched hands claw at earth ruthlessly; watched an animalistic panic that (for the first time since he'd first laid eyes on those wings) made him fear for his own safety. But he hadn't thought, and it wasn't the look on Francis' face that had made him flee so much as the guilt he felt from knowing that he had caused the whole mess. He was the one who took the ring, who gave it as though it were his to give, who was a child, a child, a stupid child.
"Matt?" Alfred called into the room, door creaking open slowly.
There was a warm smell of melting butter that followed him into the room.
"Hey, c'mon." Alfred nudged with a free hand, standing over his brother awkwardly. "C'mon, Matt. Living room."
It was their ritual, their way of being close. A couple of blankets and pillows, some soda, some left overs… sometimes horror game or movies if Alfred was feeling masochistic or brave. A flash light and an empty living room because dad was working, and it wasn't like mom was coming back anyway.
"She's in a better place." Alfred would reason , lull himself into comfort.
Matthew thought she wasn't coming back because she couldn't raise from the dead, regardless of whether or not she was in a better place.
"You look like hell." Alfred stated, a prompt for conversation rather than an observation.
His food was cool again by the time they were settled in and ready for emotionally charged chatter between movies and games, but all Matthew could think about was how he was going to talk to an angel he couldn't even think about by name.