That was the last straw. You lost your little sister, Sarah, in a car crash after her 6th birthday last March. Your little brother, Leonard (he preferred being called Leo, though) was paralyzed for life in the same accident you lost Sarah and he had been suffering since March 13th when he lost his sister. You were devastated when your eleven year old crippled brother spazzed as inside him stunned his brain and blasted it to bits, rendering him unable to blink and breathe; thus he suffocated to death. Your father was a Spanish man fighting for the American army over in Afghanistan, due to come home any day now. How would he feel if he came home to only one child of three left? He had been gone for only a year and in that one year, lost two children. Your mother was sobbing uncontrollably on the wooden table in your kitchen.

You rolled your eyes as you walked over to the fridge and pulled out leftovers from Saturday night's dinner. She wouldn't even get up to cook for you, go to work, or anything else. You grieved for a day or two and moved on; you were the strongest in your family. But for this to go on for almost a week? You didn't know how much more of her bitter weeping you could take. You took the steak and bacon out of the microwave and grabbed a fork and knife before plopping down on the couch in the family room and flicking on the TV. iCarly, Victorious, Almost Naked Animals, Adventure Time, My Babysitter's a Vampire, Good Luck Charlie, Kick Buttowski, River Monsters, Pawn Stars; there was nothing good on TV tonight. You finally settled on watching some stupid show called 'I Survived a Japanese Gameshow' where Americans made utter dorks of themselves by participating in game shows in Japan. It was like watching Wipeout, but stupider and more extreme. You finished your dinner, cleaned up your dish, and turned off the television. You looked out the window, "Hey's snowing a blizzard out there..." you mumbled out loud.

You walked to the kitchen after much hesitation and decided to console your mom. You put a hand on her heaving back, shaken with each gasping breath she took. She looked up at you and stopped crying for a few minutes. "You looked like you need a friend," you smiled.

"Why are you so freaking happy?!" she snapped.

You blinked and stepped back, "I'm trying to help you."

"Well I don't want your help! I can take care of myself! You never give me any credit!" she yelled, rising from the table.

"Just like you never give me any credit!" You yelled back.

"Why should I?! You're just a stupid teenager who doesn't know anything!"

"You don't know everything! You're pathetic, you know that?" You snorted.

She screamed in your face, "Wait a minute! I never give you any credit? What the heck is wrong with you! I always give you what you want and-"

You cut her off by screaming louder than her, "YOU NEVER GAVE ME WHAT I WANTED MOST!"

She fell silent, but still stood firm and tall, "Then what the hell do you want?"

"Your understanding." You stated boldly and she punched you in your jaw and you fell to the floor.

"My understanding?! MY UNDERSTANDING? You lazy piece of crap I give you understanding all the time! You're always on that damn computer and you never spend time with me when I want to go somewhere with you or help you!" she yelled.

"Yeah?! Well did it ever occur to you that I might not want anything to do with you at the time you ask me to go somewhere or do something? Maybe I had a bad day and I want to be left the hell alone. Maybe I'm angry and I don't want to hurt you so I keep my mouth shut. And when you drag me where you want to go you get all angry because I don't say anything. News flash genius! I didn't want to go in the first place!" You kicked her shin and she gasped, holding on to the table to keep from falling.

"All I want is to spend time with you! And you know that it's hard to do with your dad overseas and me working all night and you in school all day! You need friends!"

"You're the idiot who won't take me anywhere to see what little friends I have! You're the one telling me to be social but won't let me out of the house! In the end you can only blame yourself for being so clingy! I have my face in front of a computer whenever I can because I have friends who actually care, even if they do live in Texas or Nevada or California or Pennsylvania! UNLIKE YOU THEY ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT ME AND RESPECT ME FOR WHO I AM!" You jumped to your feet and kicked her to the floor, then stomped on her hand for extra measures. You then ripped your scarf, winter coat, and hat from the chair and off the floor and slid into your snow boots before storming out the front door.

"_! _ _ _ GET YOUR SORRY, LAZY BUTT BACK HERE THIS INSTANT!" you heard you mom screaming herself stupid from the house but you ignored her as you hurtled yourself into the swirling blizzard. You yanked your hat down first then pulled the jacket on snug and tight before wrapping the scarf around your neck and up to your nose. You then found your gloves in your coat pocket from school earlier that day and pulled those on too. You found yourself crunching through the snow up the driveway to your best friend's house moments later. You knocked on the door and got no answer. Then you rang the doorbell once, twice, thrice before giving up and bounding off her porch back into the snowstorm. Your thoughts wandered aimlessly at the past year's events and soon found yourself staring at the neighbor's door. The Simon's residence. You knocked on their door and their alarm, a mixed dog named Molly, went off, announcing your arrival. Again there was no reply, so you rang the doorbell once, twice, thrice with no reply either. This time you practically pounded on the door and waited a good ten minutes in the cold before dubbing it they weren't home either.

Everyone always lies. They say that they'll be there for you but when you need them most they're never there. Best friends, friends, teachers, parents, other family members, the counselor at school. Not even Church is in session when you need guidance from the spirits or the Priest. You broke into a run, sprinting through the snow and slush on the road that was dimly lit by the occasional streetlight and the next thing you knew, you were crashing through the trees of the neighborhood forest. You ran so far into the forest, blinded by crying and your foggy breath, constantly being whipped by tree branches. You didn't care where you were going; all you knew was that you needed to get away from there. You came to a stop in the middle of a huge clearing, where snow was falling gently. The clearing was beautiful and the snow lay undisturbed; you had never been this far back into the forest before and you wondered where you were. Something moved in the forest ahead of you and curiosity took over. You took a few small steps forward and the shadow came forward as well, just as slowly and cautiously as you. It was only a polar bear cub; how cute. "Are you lost little guy?" you asked and inched forward, noting the cub was caught in a snare. "Aw you're let me help you..." you began to untwine the wire and the cub yelped as it cut into his skin. "'s okay...shhh..." you tried to soothe the creature and it finally began to calm down and you began your work again.

About half an hour later, the bear was successfully freed. It was weird because polar bears didn't even live in your country. You watched as it toddled off and gave a merry 'thank you' and a wave before disappearing into the shadowy forest. You blinked and wondered if you'd been hearing and seeing things but brushed it off and looked down at your handiwork. The wire you had uncoiled lay in a mangled heap at your feet and you kicked it across the clearing, cursing whoever had set it and hurt such a small, innocent creature. You turned to walk a different way when suddenly CRACK! Well that didn't sound good. You looked down and saw a faint line in the snow. You blinked and stooped over to examine the line, brushing the snow aside and hitting something hard. Curious you began to brush away more snow and looked down, and gulped. Fish were frozen beneath you and you jumped up, covering your mouth with gloved hands to muffle your scream as the ice gave another loud CRACK! Without thinking, you began to run in towards the tree line. Bad choice my friend. The ice splintered beneath you and you plunged into the freezing water below, your cry for help cut short as pond water swamped into your mouth, sucking you down to its depths. The moment you hit the water felt like a million tiny knives stabbing you all over at the same time.

No! Somebody save me! Please! Help me! You screamed mentally and swam upwards, only to hit your head on ice. You wailed and oxygen bubbles escaped your mouth as you began pounding on the ice, begging and praying somebody would hear your pleas. In your own eyes, you watched as your movements became slow and lucid, as if you were swimming in honey. Your body began to feel like lead and your lips parted, letting whatever air you had in your lungs escape. You were unable to tell what was down, even though you were pretty sure that was the direction you were headed. A light headed, fuzzy feeling washed over you.

You begin to remember things. Like the time you closed your locker on your fingers in middle school. And the time you threw a cupcake at the class bully in first grade and you got sent to the principals. What? She deserved that cupcake to the face, and it was worth wasting your mom's homemade cupcake to see her expression. For months afterwards your classmates cheered you on and congratulated you on your manning up to the class bully. And the first Halloween you spent with Cassidy and Jeremy. You were dressed up as a black cat, Cassidy was an elephant, and Jeremy was a giant bumble bee. You were all headed to a costume party down the street but your parents forgot to dress up so they missed out on all the fun stuff and Cassidy was too scared to go in the haunted mansion somebody had set up in their garage and Jeremy was petrified of the high school kids dressed up as vampires and mummies. Meanwhile, you stood by and laughed at them for a while until you saw this huge spider decoration and started crying you were so scared.

Your life began flashing by in seconds. First day of school, chorus, band, soccer, lacrosse, your first trophy, winning third place in a track event because the kids who won first and second cheated, failing your algebra exam, turning the class bully into a nice person, your first detention with the science teacher, the last day of eighth grade, all your friends. Yet you had never once been in love. Sure a few anime crushes on the hotties in Ouran High School and Naruto, but those didn't count. It was painful for you to watch others love and be loved, but know you could never have any of that love. It hurt more than words could explain, and it was even harder when your siblings died. Finally the lights began to fade and the edges of your vision grew black. The last thing you remembered seeing was the outline of a person swimming towards you...

I'm just a step away

I'm just a breath away

Losing my faith today

Falling off the edge today

You woke to somebody rousing you. Drowsily you opened your eyes, blinking to adjust to the brightness of some unknown light source. Your eyes adjusted slowly and first you saw the outline of a figure watching you closely, but not within striking distance. The details began to fill in as you opened your eyes wider to let more light in. The stranger was boy, no more than a mere sixteen years old. Worry plastered his soft face as his blue-ish purple eyes were fixed on you, hidden behind his rounded glasses. He has soft, strawberry blonde hair that was wavy and came down to his chin. A stray strand of hair branched off his head. He was wearing a red hoodie with a white maple leaf on the front of it, and in white text under it was the word Canada in all capital letters. He wore dark blue denim jeans and white socks, his soggy boots were near the entrance to his oversized tent. You must've been in heaven, because this guy was an angel. Either that or he had come to take you away and lead you to the light.

I am just a man

Not superhuman

I'm not superhuman

Someone save me from the hate

"Wou-would you like to tell me why you were on the ice?" he asked softly, you just barely being able to hear him. You groaned and sat up. You put your hand on your forehead in pain from where you had hit it on the ice earlier. The memories of the fight with you mom swarmed in your head like a hive of angry bees and you began spurting and explaining everything to this stranger. At some points you lashed out at him and he flinched, but continued listening. When you were done, you were afraid you'd gone too far but he still sat there cross legged, head tilted to one side adorably, listening intently.

It's just another war

Just another family torn

Falling from my faith today

Just a step from the edge

Just another day in the world we live

You blinked and mentally choked yourself. Why had you just confessed everything to this stranger? You didn't even know his name! "Hey uhm...can I ask what your name is?" You asked shyly.

"I'm Matthew," he replied, in the same voice he had used earlier, and he shook your hand blushing. God was he cute! "Thank you for saving my bear," he whispered. You gave him the most confused look you could muster at the time, and it must've been terrible. or he was just terrible at reading expressions. "You found my bear cub in that trap on the ice, he told me." Never mind. Forget looks, was this guy mentally jacked up? Is that why he was living in this tent built for at least three people in the middle of a snowstorm? He couldn't be a homeless person; he had clothes on his back and a portable fridge in the next section of his tent. Perhaps he was an outlaw? A wanted criminal? Oh please anything but that! You begged, panic rising.

I need a hero to save me now

I need a hero, save me now

I need a hero to save my life

A hero will save me just in time

Just then, a polar bear cub waddled - no, limped - into the section of the tent you and Matthew were in. His left foreleg was bandaged up good and tight, and the cub looked at your in recognition. "Kumajiro, say thank you," Matthew prompted.

The cub huffed and limped over to you, who were still sitting up in what you presumed Matthew's sleeping bag. The cub plopped down in your lap and looked up at you with coal black eyes, his nose wiggling before he licked your chin, "Merci, human." Your eyes grew to the size of dinner plates. The bear! The bear just! It just! No way! That little bear just spoke in plain English, err, French and English, to you! You blinked your eyes and started pinching yourself, trying to wake yourself up from this dream.

"N-non! Pl-please stop pinching yourself!" Matthew leaned forwards and grabbed your wrists and you stopped, staring up into his luminous eyes.

I've gotta fight today

To live another day

Speaking my mind today

My voice will be heard today

"P-please stop..." He repeated. Geez you couldn't even free yourself if he wanted to. This guy had a monster of a grip! He seemed to realize this and let go. "Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!" he kept saying. He kept face palming and cursing and calling himself stupid.

"Now it's my turn to tell you to stop," you sprang out of the sleeping bag and hugged him. The cub tumbled out of your lap and onto the floor. Matthew tensed up at the hug but eventually relaxed. You yourself were quite surprised you'd made such a sudden move, and to somebody you hardly knew. "Why did you save me? I should've just died, it would've been easier that way," you began to get teary and buried your face into the crook of his neck.

I've gotta make a stand

But I am just a man

I'm not superhuman

My voice will be heard today

"There was no way I'd let you die, _." Matthew wrapped his strong arms around you and pulled you closer to him, rocking you side to side the way you used to do to your little sister when she was distressed. You only sobbed into his shoulder quietly.

"H-how do you know my name?" you sniffed.

"I go to your school, silly _. You're that little freshman everyone is talking about so much. You're pretty revered for your art and literature in our school. I see you at lunch all the time but I...I've always been too nervous to approach you," he admitted, left arm still around your back, his right hand held the back of your head, his fingers twining into your hair. Too nervous to approach me...that explains why I never see him... You muse.

It's just another war

Just another family torn

My voice will be heard today

It's just another kill

The countdown begins to destroy ourselves

"I've always admired you from a distance. But you're so popular and you're always hanging out with your freshman buddies and all the boys are tripping over your foreign accent. I didn't think you'd even consider a low profile junior like me..." he whispered softly into your ear.

"Oh,'ve misunderstood. Those guys are just my friends. And they all have girlfriends anyway," you smile into his maple syrup smelling hoodie.

"But _, you've got it all. You've got friends and a family that love you. Why would you even consider death?" Matthew asked, allowing you to pull away.

"Because," you sighed, and looked down at your knees, playing with some loose threads, "Nobody understands me in the way I need them to. They won't even listen. They don't know that I only act happy all the time. They don't know my depressed or angry side. They think my life is perfect and I have everything a teenager could ask for. They should really think otherwise..."

I need a hero to save me now

I need a hero, save me now

I need a hero to save my life

A hero will save me just in time

"You should count yourself lucky. Nobody even notices that I'm there or trying to talk to them," he sighs and lets himself fall onto his back onto the frozen ground through the tent fabric. "I have a lot of problems and stress and nobody to get it out to."

"So how do you relieve stress?" you asked, flinching as he inflicted pain purposely upon himself.

"I may seem docile and quite and innocent on the outside, but throw me on the ice with a hockey game going on and that's it," he made an explosion sound effect, "All that goes out the window and I just obliterate anybody in my way." You let out a small giggle at that. This guy, violent? The very thought almost made you burst into a fit of laughter. He seemed as if he couldn't and wouldn't hurt a fly.

I need a hero to save my life

I need a hero, just in time

Save me just in time

Save me just in time

"At one point I thought about killing myself," he muttered. You stopped playing with the threads of your jeans at that. How could somebody as sweet as Matthew want to die?

"Is it just because nobody pays attention to you?"

"No. It's a combination of things. People think I'm my brother so they beat me up and they don't believe me when I tell them who I really am, so they beat me up further. Alfred has always been more successful at everything he does. Sports star, popular guy in school, but his grades are really lacking... He has like a million girlfriends, too!" Matthew replied in a harsh whisper.

"Well for one, you could try being a bit louder and more social," you laugh and lay on the floor of the tent next to him. "And actually sticking up for what you believe instead of just going with the majority."

Who's gonna fight for what's right?

Who's gonna help us survive?

We're in the fight of our lives

And we're not ready to die

"So what if everyone else thinks your idea is dumb? It's what you believe, and you need to stick up for that belief. Don't let other people too greatly change how you think. You're your own person, and some people that do notice you...they respect you for that. I'm not saying you need to go around yelling at the top of your lungs and talk to everybody you say, I'm just suggesting you should try. I barely know you, and even if I did know you better, I wouldn't be in my place to tell you how to act. You don't tell me how to live my life, so what right is it of mine to tell you how to live yours?" You rambled. By the end of your ramble, Matthew was staring at you, obviously interested in what you were saying.

"I'm just easily influenced..." he muttered.

"Adults are dumb. They say they'll be there for you when you need them but they're not. Teenagers are the most misunderstood people on the planet, expected to act like adults but treated like kids," you rolled your eyes and he laughed.

"And they think because they were once our age they know everything about us," Matthew tacked on.

You nodded fiercely, "Uh, hello? This is a different generation with different stuff?" This time both of you laughed.

Who's gonna fight for the weak?

Who's gonna make 'em believe?

I've got a hero, I've got a hero

Living in me

"You're right, _. If lots of people were like me, who would stick up for our generation?" Matthew asked.

"Nobody. We'd be left to defend ourselves. Wait, what am I talking about? We're already supporting ourselves. Nobody can change how adults think, they're all so thick skulled! We've got to look out for our own age group. It's clear nobody else will," you agreed.

I'm gonna fight for what's right

Today I'm speaking my mind

And if it kills me tonight

I will be ready to die

After a long exchange of words and feelings, you and Matthew soon knew everything about the other. The next thing you knew, the red streaks of dawn were beginning to stain the oversized tent. You were too occupied chatting with your new friend that you hadn't noticed when the snowstorm subdued. How long had you been awake? You had no idea, but you felt as if a great weight had been lifted in talking to Matthew about your problems. Now you had somebody to talk to.

"So do you permanently live here?" You asked Matthew.

"Non. I'm here because I ran away from my foster parents. I hijacked my foster dad's camping stuff and his bike and finally crashed here. I've got a job at the local zoo working with the arctic animals like polar bears, seals, and penguins. Which is how I met Kumajiro," he pointed to the snoring bear cub, "The zoo dubbed him a hopeless runt and were going to kill him but I snuck him to safety the night before."

A hero's not afraid to give his life

A hero's gonna save me just in time

"Wow!" You were impressed. You admired people who took risks like that.

I need a hero to save me now

I need a hero, save me now

I need a hero to save my life

A hero will save me just in time

"You should come visit me sometime, _," he smiled and stood up, then helped you to your feet. He walked over to a different section of the tent and came back with your winter stuff. "Sorry," he blushed, "It was really weird deciding if I should've gotten you out of your soggy clothes or not. I-I've never been so close t-to a girl before!" He stammered, turning as red as his hoodie. "I-I took off all your winter stuff and held you close to the heater before I let you sleep it off..."

(I need a hero)

Who's gonna fight for what's right?

Who's gonna help us survive?

You smiled as you pulled on all your winter gear and he pulled on his. "You were smart. Man, if you were a pedophile or something I would've been freaking out. I admit, when I woke up, I thought you were some crazy psycho living in the woods." You blushed, and gave a cheesy grin, rubbing the back of your neck sheepishly.

"First impression are a big deal, oui?" he asked, and unzipped the tent flap. The cold morning air smacked you both in the face, but you embarrassed it warmly and the snow underfoot crunched when you stepped outside into the dawn. He was close behind, then closed his tent flap and bid farewell to the cub, before clicking a lock on the zippers.

(I need a hero)

Who's gonna fight for the weak?

Who's gonna make 'em believe?

I've got a hero

The two of you walked in silence as you headed home and he escorted you. You reached your doorstep and sighed, then turned to look at him sadly. "Guess this is it, huh?"

"Don't worry. We'll see each other in school...maybe," he put on a fake smile, but it couldn't hide the loneliness in his eyes.

"Can we meet outside of school again?" you asked.

"Does the same place on February fourteenth at 9pm work for you?" he answered your question with a question.

"Yes!" you responded almost too eagerly and you hugged him tightly. This time he didn't hesitate to return the hug.

You embraced each other for a while before he tapped your back, "I've got to go now. We'll see each other again soon, I promise." He walked off and at the end of your driveway before turning to wave to you. You waved back.

"_?!" your mom's voice startled you.

"Mom!" you turned and practically tackled-hugged her into the door.

"I'm glad your home! Where have you bee- who were you waving to?" she asked.

"Uhhh..." you turned to where Matthew was standing but he wasn't there." I was just shooing off some jerks making a mess of Miss Robin's house."

"You must be tired. The snow in her yard is untouched, she's on vacation, remember? I guess not. Get inside so you can bathe and get some rest. I'll make your favorite breakfast while you're in the shower. Come on, come on," she ushered you into the house in a hurry.

In the shower, you were thinking over you and Matthew's departure, and then blushed when you realized the day he wanted to meet you again in private. Valentine's Day; consider it a date.

I need a hero

A hero's gonna save me just in time

AN:/ So yay! This was SUPER popular on my deviantART so I decided to upload here. Wow…it's been two years since I last did something here on . Haha…guess I should started uploading my stories here now – though the majority of them are Hetalia now. :) Thanks for reading!

-Love, Alex