- I won NaNoWriMo for the first year ever. Haven't finished the novel, yet, but I'm taking a quick break from it to write this in the middle of the freakin night before school. I can't sleep, and all these ideas hit me like -BAM- so...here we go...Enjoy my short story!
- This is a High School AU set up. It's written with a narrator-like voice with scenes written in-between. So, have fun!
- My high school Matthew is kind of...i dunno...I want to say, different? Or is my Gilbert different? I don't know, I love it but it's just so different from "One Month" I don't know what to think.
- this may make you cry? 'cause I almost did while writing it?
You Belong To Me
Prompt 5: "Forget Romance"
"The word 'romance' according to the dictionary means excitement, adventure, and something extremely real. Romance should last a lifetime." - Billy Graham
For four long years, Matthew Williams spent his time watching the life of the one he loved without ever confessing the truth to the guy. Yes, guy. He told no one about his crush, not his parents, not his brother, not even his brother's boyfriend. Alfred tried several times to hook him up with other guys or girls, but things never worked out because Matthew always turned down any attempts.
He had learned how to say 'no' in high school, but it wasn't very difficult. Alfred also learned how to take him seriously, at least during the winter when the twins played hockey together. Matthew was always better at the winter sports; it was his one saving grace when it came to his high school reputation.
Not that he cared about such things. It kept the bullies away, though. It kept most everyone away. Matthew Williams was allowed to spend his time in the shadows of the rest of the kids, focusing on his studies.
At home, he wrote novels in his spare time, taught himself violin, and played one-player video games. Art was a small past time, too; he loved sketching characters from his own stories, dreaming of one day turning it all into a comic book or video game or movie even.
At school, he studied and stayed focused in class. Well, most of the time. He was a quick learner and the rowdy kids in his class tended to annoy him. Whenever a certain trio shared his class, he would groan and reserve himself to spending most of class time drawing in a sketchpad because it would take hours to work through simple problems because of all the disruptions.
At first, he looked down on them, not really liking their attitude toward classes. They were stupid not to realize how important this education was. Francis Bonnefoy flirted with everyone – boy or girl – and disrupted class alone by passing notes constantly, causing girls to giggle. Antonio Carriedo usually sat near Francis but he wasn't so much a flirt as a ditz who always asked the stupidest questions and then got teased by his two buddies; he would excel in his music classes, though so at least he had some career option ahead of him. The third one, though, the rowdy albino Gilbert Beilschmidt, was the loudest most obnoxious guy in the class and was always throwing something or causing drama behind the teacher's back (rumor said he was also a few years behind, having been held back until he landed in the same grade as his younger brother).
Matthew Williams absolutely despised these three and not only because they were annoying in class. Most teachers usually chose him to be the one to sit between them, in an effort to quell their disruptions, and this led to the trio poking fun at him constantly.
And then one day Matthew was asked specifically to tutor Gilbert outside of class – simply because the two apparently lived next door. Something Matthew was not too fond of doing. Of course, he followed rules and he did as he was asked, and for whatever reason, when Matthew scheduled a day and time – Gilbert showed up.
"So, the quadratic formula..."
A yawn interrupted him. "I'm bored, Mattie. Why don't we take a break?"
Clenching his teeth, Matthew Williams set his pencil on the table and glared over the rims of his glasses. "Don't call me that." It was a nickname that was meant to be reserved only for family. Schoolmates and annoying, lazy, jerks were not allowed to use nicknames.
Sitting with his elbow on the table and hand on his chin, Gilbert just grinned back at him. It was like the albino was always happy or finding something funny. The guy never showed any other emotion than boredom or that complete sly look of someone who loved getting into trouble. Matthew shouldn't have anything to do with someone like this; the fact that he was forced to invite the guy over to his house and tutor him after school was annoying enough.
"Oh come on, it's been an hour. My brain needs a break from all this information."
Rolling his eyes, Matthew pulled back, slouching his shoulders. "Fine. Whatever."
Gilbert laughed and hopped up from his seat, pushing the chair back and hardly caring when it tipped over behind him. "Great! So, what do you have for entertainment in this place?"
When the albino started walking around, Matthew kept a wary eye on him, not sure he liked having an unpredictable rambunctious high schooler wandering aimlessly through his house. The place was empty and would stay empty for a few hours yet. His parents both worked late and Alfred usually stayed out at a friend's house anyway. Matthew was left alone; the house was his job; he kept it tidy while everyone was away; he was responsible for everything in it.
When Gilbert stopped in front of the entertainment system, whistling at the television and the large collection of movies, Matthew rolled his eyes. Everyone thought that was the most amazing thing in the house. People these days just seemed much more interested in staring at a screen for hours on end instead of actually doing something creative -
"Is that really your score against your brother in Super Smash Brothers?"
At Gilbert's question, Matthew nearly fell forward. The game score board. For a long time, Matt and Al had been keeping up with their wins and losses in the one multi-player game they owned. Bragging rights belonged to the winner of their matches, so it was sort of a big deal. At least to Matthew who never played with anyone else.
"Y-yeah, it's the one thing we have in common," he muttered.
He wasn't expecting the albino to care or anything, but when the guy laughed it still made Matthew's eyes widen in disbelief. "Oh, you must suck, huh?"
Gritting his teeth, Matthew snapped to his feet. "I do not suck!"
Sure, Al had beaten him over...and over...and over again...for years so his record looked pretty terrible, but he had been training on that game with every intent of beating his brother one day. It still kind of irked him that Al could be so incredibly gifted when he hardly played nowadays.
"Sure looks like you do – just saying." Gilbert said, flashing that grin again.
Feeling a fire in his belly that was definitely not normal, Matthew Williams stomped over to where the albino stood. Standing his ground, he narrowed his eyes. "Fine. How about a challenge then? I'll show you how much I suck."
Gilbert leaned back a bit, grinning, though his red eyes seemed to gleam. "Deal. But don't think you can beat me. I'm awesome at video games."
"We'll see," Matthew snapped back, flashing his own grin, feeling a new excitement taking over his normally calm demeanor; he didn't tend to get this way except when it came to winter sports but for some reason he had forgotten all about the mathematics he was supposed to be teaching.
He won the match of course. It made Gilbert whine like a child and demand a rematch, too, believing it to be a fluke. This led to the albino losing thirteen more rounds. They were only stopped because Matthew's parents came home, alerting him to the fact that it was way past time to send Gilbert home.
As he showed the albino out, they had a peculiar conversation – well, something Matthew had not been expecting when he had been forced to bring the guy over. They agreed to meet again. At first, they hid behind the tutoring fact, but when Gilbert started passing his mathematics the need for Matthew's tutelage was no longer a good cover story. Eventually, they both admitted to being friends – and Gilbert never did beat Matthew at Super Smash Brothers, though he tried many, many times.
Once their friendship was out in the open, Matthew learned other things. Such as Gil's crazy relationship with the head cheerleader Elizaveta Hedervary. The first time he actually saw them kiss – making out in the guy's bathroom – Matthew was a little confused to feel emotions other than disgust. For whatever reason, it hurt him to see the albino kissing a girl, and it took him months to admit his own personal secret.
In fact, it was on his birthday when he realized how fucked up the world really was for him.
Guys did not have sleepovers. Guys did not have slumber parties. Guys did not dress up in pajamas or have anything to do with the common girl late night birthday hang out.
No, guys simply hung out with their friends all day, and just so happened to spend the night. When you were addicted to video games, it was easy to forget the time of night, after all. So, this current situation of Matthew and Gilbert spending time in Matt's room without anything to do – it was not normal. Besides, it wasn't his fault that the game console and television had been stolen. When you were a twin, it was impossible to share such things even if it was your birthday. When your brother was a jock with too many friends over, it was impossible to share anything.
So, here they were, awkwardly hanging out in Matthew's room on his birthday. And, of course, Gilbert was poking through Matthew's things, as if trying to discover the secrets of his quiet friend. To his surprise, Gilbert found something that interested him – something Matthew hadn't been expecting at all.
"You play violin?"
Matthew blinked at the question, snatching the case from the albino's hands the moment Gilbert held it up. "Y-yeah. S-so? I taught myself."
Gilbert grinned. "Awesome. I didn't know you could play something."
"Yeah, well, I do," he said, feeling a little defensive as he held the case to his chest, sitting on the edge of his bed and glaring at his friend.
Gilbert surprised him again. "I"ll be right back."
Without another word, the albino left the room, sprinting out into the loud house. After staring at the open door, Matthew blinked and stood up to stare out his window, curious to see where his friend had run off to. He wasn't so surprised to see Gilbert racing to his house – after all, the albino did this a lot for spontaneous reasons – but when he saw the guy return back to the outside with a case of his own...
He blinked again, waiting for his friend to race back up the stairs and back into his room before voicing the question. "You play -"
"The flute, ja," Gilbert said, his German accent sneaking through. (The Beilschmidts were apparently originally from Germany, having moved to the States because of job opportunities or something).
Despite himself, Matthew giggled. "You play the flute," he repeated.
The pale face grew a blush. "H-hey! I didn't laugh at you for playing violin, did I?"
Unable to stop, Matthew put a hand to his stomach, feeling it tighten as he continued to giggle. The very idea that this rowdy guy played such a - "Yeah, but violin isn't nearly as girly."
The blush grew and the albino huffed, turning his back. "Shit, Mattie, it's not funny," Gilbert whined.
Forcing himself to get control, Matthew took a deep breath. With a smile, he stood up and put a hand on his friend's arm. "It's okay. I actually think it's kind of cute."
He sucked in his breath the moment the words left his mouth, biting his lip, his mind exploding at what he had just said. Cute. He thought Gilbert was cute? He – that was – it couldn't – Matthew gulped when he saw the red eyes blink and stare back at him without a word. A confused, raised eyebrow being the only response he needed to know he had said something really, really weird.
Thankfully, neither one of them said anything about it, even though they stood in awkward silence for a few more moments. At least until Gilbert huffed. "So, I was gonna play with you – you know, for your birthday present."
And with the awkward moment pushed behind them, Matthew and Gilbert played together for the first of many small musical sessions.
Those musical sessions happened more often through the years. They even added Antonio – who was a fucking beast at the guitar. And Francis, Gil's other friend, would be their audience and judge them, pushing them to try out for a talent show every year. It was a strange set up. Violin, guitar, and flute and the three of them knew it probably wouldn't go anywhere but they enjoyed playing together.
In fact, senior year they did try out for the talent show. And they won, much to Matthew's (and everyone else, really) surprise. Senior year was full of special moments. There were several fond memories for Matthew, and some not-so-fond ones. Actually, Gilbert started bringing Elizaveta to more and more "hang out" sessions. Something that was meant to be "just us guys" turned into "but she wanted to come, too."
Eventually, things got so annoying that Matthew started turning down invites whenever he knew the head cheerleader was sure to be there, too. He didn't like her. Oh, she was a nice person in a way, but he didn't like the way she claimed so much of Gilbert's time. He didn't like the way she could tell him what to do or where to go or who to hang out with, especially when she told him not to hang out with Matthew so much because Matthew wasn't popular. (She always had been one to care about school reputation).
Shortly after that, Matthew got a tip off from another cheerleader. Apparently, Elizaveta was cheating on Gil with another guy. Roderich something-or-other – Matthew didn't care, he just had to tell Gil the truth. Come to find out, Gilbert, Elizaveta, and Roderich were all close friends since childhood, a strange happenstance. But telling Gil the rumor had sparked something – it made the albino confront the cheerleader.
Which in turn caused a huge fight and a massive break up moment. Something which nearly broke Gilbert's heart, and Matthew was the only one there who could pick up the pieces.
Having heard something outside of his window in the dead of night, Matthew slipped on sweatpants and a hoodie and made his way downstairs. The entire house was asleep, quiet and still. He could hear Al's snores even from down here, but it was something he was good at ignoring by now. The sound of soft mumbling drew him to the back door, the one located right underneath his window, the one where Gil had made a habit of visiting when they had important things to discuss late at night.
Already knowing something bad had happened to his friend's relationship today, Matthew bit the inside of his cheek as he placed his hand on the cold doorknob, feeling his heart race. What did Gil want to talk to him about? Why could he hear mumbling and muffled...something...?
Saying it was for the friend he cared about – cared about beyond friendship – Matthew opened the door and stepped outside, closing the door as quietly as possible. At first, he could only stare at the shockingly silver white hair and the hunched figure sitting on the back porch steps. Then, he heard the muffled sound again and when he recognized it, he forgot about all his worry and stepped over to sit down beside his closest friend.
"I'm here, Gil," he whispered.
At first, he didn't face the albino, but when he caught the sound of gulps, he spun his head to see Gilbert drowning himself in a bottle of liquor. Alarmed, he reached out and snatched the bottle away. He knew the Germans allowed their kids to have alcohol at a much earlier age than Americans, but it was still something Matthew didn't like seeing. Not when Gilbert was using it as an attempt to forget the sad moments of his life.
"W-we broke up," Gilbert mumbled, his now free hand moving up to his eyes, wiping at the tears.
Tears. Gilbert was crying. The sound of muffled sobs as the albino bit down on a fisted hand. Matthew winced when he saw it, fighting the urge to pull him into a hug and hold him and rock him and tell him that someone in this world did love him and Elizaveta wasn't meant for him anyway. He couldn't say all that, no matter how much he wanted. He didn't want an awkward moment, not here, not now, not when his best friend needed him to be just that – just a friend.
Instead, he put a hand on Gilbert's leg close to the knee, getting the albino to stare back at him with those gleaming red eyes. "Talk to me, Gil."
The lip trembled and Matthew was reminded of all the stories Gil had told him about his crazy antics with Elizaveta. How she had been such a boy when she was younger. How they had grown up together. How they had trusted each other to always watch the other's back. How Gil had always been there to defend her, even before they started dating.
"J-just friends, she said," Gil managed to choke out, his hand moving up to hide his face. "She said she never loved me. That Roderich was better. Roderich. That pansy. That prick. Th-that..." He stopped talking, his body curling further in on itself.
Matthew bit at the inside of his cheek. "Well it's not just Roderich. She's kind of a bitch -"
Faster than lightning, Gilbert's head shot up, the hands come down so red eyes could glare at him. "Don't call her that. I w-won't let anyone talk about her like that. Not even you. Do you understand?" Unable to believe the loyalty Gilbert had for the woman, Matthew was forced to nod his head, because he would do anything for Gilbert...in the same way Gil seemed so willing to do anything for Elizaveta.
What great friends the two of them made.
Graduation wasn't too far off after that. They all did graduate high school, too, even if Gilbert barely squeaked by (thanks to Matthew no doubt). After the ceremonial stuff, there was a small party with lots of food and tons of alcohol (courtesy of Gilbert and his friends, sneaking in bottles of booze). Granted, they did get caught and thrown out for underage drinking (even though Gil was only a few months away from the age limit).
This, of course, led to howling fits of laughter and the four of them made their way back to their homes after saying goodbyes. They all had different plans for after high school and they were all going separate ways. Antonio was going to join a band and if there was anything good about this world's taste in music, the Spanish-American was destined to be famous. Francis was heading off to some kind of baking school or something – the French guy had always been great at cooking for the group of friends, and the man seemed to think it was his special talent.
Matthew was going to college, which they all teased him about and congratulated him on in the next breath. He wasn't just going to college, after all; he was going to a good college. And his grades had earned him massive amounts of money in scholarship so he could actually afford it, too.
Gilbert, on the other hand, had no real plan for his future. He was going back to Germany. He had mumbled something about researching war history, especially Prussian history – because the albino had always had this strange fascination with the Kingdom of Prussia, a long dead nation that didn't exist on any map anymore. But there was no telling how far Gil would get in his endeavors or if he would get money for his passion. (Of course his family was rich as hell now so there was no worry for the albino at the moment).
Still, saying goodbye became the hardest thing and one of Matthew's worst memories.
"Are you sure? You could come with me, you know," Gilbert said as he stood outside Matthew's house, hands in his pockets, eyes a little focused elsewhere.
It shocked Matthew to no end to know that Gilbert wanted him to travel with him, but after these four years of having a crush he had never said a single word to the man he loved. So, he knew that Gil only wanted company. He knew the albino was merely wishing for a familiar face to hang out with when he went back home. It was nothing more than that.
Shaking his head, Matthew declined like he knew he would have to one day. "I can't, Gil. My future is here."
No matter how much he wanted to share his life with Gilbert, the chances of anything actually happening was next to nothing. Still, he didn't like the idea of saying goodbye and never seeing him again. All these years, he had been bursting with the want to tell his confession. All these years, he had stood by and kept it back, unwilling to risk a great friendship. Well, now they were about to be separated – probably forever – so why was he still holding back?
Chewing at the inside of his cheek, he took a breath and forced it out. "Gil..." he whispered, glad to see the albino man look up, head tilted curiously like a dog. "I have to tell you something."
"I know," Gilbert responded, grinning. "You've been hiding something for years." Matthew blinked, unable to believe it. Did he know?
Stepping closer, Matthew found himself standing in Gilbert's shadow. His eyes glanced to the side and he mumbled the secret he had kept for four straight years. "I'm gay...and...I'm in love with you."
Looking back, he nearly threw up. The look of abject horror and shock on that face... It broke his heart. "Uh...wow...uhm...that was not what I was expecting." Unable to say anything back, Matthew bit his lip and stared back, forcing down the urge to cry; he would cry later; he knew this would happen. "Look, Mattie, don't mistake the bromance for romance. Not the same thing -"
"Forget romance!" Matthew shouted, slapping a hand over his mouth the moment he said it, stepping away. "Sorry, I just -" He took a breath and turned around. "Sorry," he mumbled, one last thing before running inside.
There wasn't even a goodbye.
Years passed. Matthew made it through college, all the way through graduate school, too, getting his degree in film and art. He wrote on the side and still had his dream of seeing his novels showing up on the big screen. Maybe one day he would get the budget to do it, but, staying practical, he managed a small art company and dreamed of the days when he could work his way up to the scenario he wanted to live with.
All thoughts of Gilbert and high school left him for a while. He kept the feelings bottled. He never saw or dated anyone else. He simply kept his mind work-focused and refused to think of love. It had betrayed him. His heart had led him down an impossible path.
Ten years later, he found himself at a high school reunion, wearing his casual work clothes, feeling a tad under dressed next to all the big business successes of their high school class. He found Elizaveta and Roderich, learning of their happy marriage and their two children. He found Francis and Antonio, both success stories in their own right, though not doing exactly what they had planned.
And then he found Gilbert.
From across the room, he caught the unmistakable silver hair. It was a little shocking to see, though, because it had been combed and gelled back to look nice instead of unkempt. It was not a look that Matthew particularly thought worked for the man, but all the same, his heart said he still loved it. Gilbert was dressed up nice, too. In a suit of all things. The most unpredictable of all success stories.
Apparently, Gilbert had become a master in Prussian history, unearthing and discovering little secrets about little known kings. Apparently, people had taken to calling him a Prussian instead of a German because of his abnormal obsession with the place and its history. Apparently, Gilbert had matured quite a lot over the years.
Standing against a wall, Matthew fought to control his heart beat and his breathing. Everything was a little dizzy. After so long of hiding his feelings, they were here and right at the front of his mind. And the man who had caused them was right there, too, along with all the stupid high school memories.
Keeping his eyes on the floor, he saw the shoes step in front of him only seconds before he heard the voice at his ear. "I missed you."
And then the most unpredictable thing of all happened. Lips touched his own and his breath was stolen from him. His very first kiss. Stolen from him. When he snapped his eyes up, meeting gleaming red, he felt his legs grow weak and he fell forward, clinging to the albino man who had caused so much heart ache in his life.
"Don't play with me," he whispered, trying to keep himself from leaning against the albino because damn it all he refused to give in so easily after all the pain he had suffered.
He saw Gilbert grimace. "I'm sorry, Mattie. I – I guess I'm just stupid and slow sometimes." Then he grinned. "Though Antonio does have a song about how love always finds a way? I mean, it took me forever to realize it, but – you're more than a friend to me." Matthew stared, blinked, not sure if he could believe this. "I missed you."
With a gulp, he nodded his head, slowly, and then he let himself fall into the arms of the man he loved. "You idiot. You're supposed to be romantic before you kiss someone."
Gilbert's confused voice came right by his ear, even while arms wrapped around him and held him close. "But you said to forget romance."
First, he blinked. Then, he laughed. He laughed and laughed and laughed some more. The hardest he'd laughed in ten years. He laughed until he cried.
...and then he ran his hands through that neat silver hair and fixed it to the way it was meant to be – the messy hairdo of the rowdy, obnoxious, idiot of an albino he had fallen in love with.
"Aww, Mattie, it took forever to fix my hair like that," Gilbert whined.
To which Matthew responded. "Trust me. It's better this way."
"No one else thinks so -"
"Just shut up and kiss me again," Matthew demanded, sucking in his breath when he realized he'd just told Gilbert what to do, but then his breath was lost to him all over again when Gil did exactly as he was told.
He never knew kisses could feel so wonderful.
A/N: Ah hah, so, well, I thought it was longer than that. I mean, there's so much here and yet it's only 5000 words? I guess that's short story length, though. Let me know what you think!