A/N ;; This is update number un in my two year anniversary update-as-many-stories-as-I-can-athon! I hope you guys enjoy this, because this story isn't going to be updated for at least three weeks after this. I'm taking some time off from writing this to catch up on some other stories, so be patient, okay?

Also, a question for my lovely readers! Would you guys be opposed to me making another pairing story in this same universe? I already have a GerIta one-shot that I might fit in here and, from there, I have a full-fledged story planned, all based on GerIta. I mentioned RomHun in this chapter, so maybe I could make a spinoff of that, too? God, I could even write something with the Nordics. All these characters have backstories that I haven't been able to explore very much, so while I would try to keep that cracky humour intact, these spinoffs (or, the GerIta one at least; the RomHun and Nordic ones would probably be a lot like this one) would be slightly more serious. It would kind of be like a series…? It has the potential, I think, but I'd like to get your guys' opinions?

Speaking of opinions, if you haven't already voted on my profile page poll, go do that. Honestly, thus far, I'm surprised at what kind of things you guys would prefer me to post…

Also… guys. Two reviews. That's all I need. Two. Reviews. And then I'll hit fifty… for the first time ever. Maybe I'll even reach one hundred alerts… You guys have no idea how much this means to me. Can I just say that I love all of you? I do, really. I want to tackle-hug all of you. You guys are all so kind and supportive, and your comments make me laugh all the time. You guys are the reason why I haven't already taken down this story and thrown it away. All my reviewers are the reason I've continued writing so long – I would have probably given up a long time ago if it weren't for the people supporting me here. You guys are all getting shoutouts at the end of the story.

Here's to another year of writing!

Hardly a Love Story


Chapter Seven
Jägermeister Trumps All Logical Thoughts


"Hello," Matthew greeted tersely, slinging his bag over his shoulder as he walked past Gilbert, who was leaning against the wall at the entrance to the alley, arms impatiently crossed over his chest. He smiled widely as he caught sight of Matthew, but the Canadian didn't give him a second glance, nor did he bother getting worked up that Gilbert had shown up – yet again – as he was getting off work. At this point, he was used to it.

It had been going on for the last week.

Maybe someone else would realize and report him for loitering… if Matthew could be so lucky, perhaps one of his coworkers would notice the oddly-coloured man outside their workplace. Snow white hair and red eyes were kind of hard to miss… especially if they appeared in the exact same spot every day.

However, he had yet to tell Lukas and Emil about Gilbert – for the sole reason that he was only slightly worried that if the Norwegian found out, he would find a way to accidentally drop a brick onto Gilbert's head from the top of the Pizza Plaza.

"Oh, I was just going for a walk, fancy–"

Matthew held up a hand, frowning. "You really don't need to make an excuse," he said. "I'm not angry."

"You sound slightly miffed, though," Gilbert replied, uncrossing his arms. Instead, they found a place resting on either of his hips, his hands tucking into his pockets. He was wearing his mitten-fingerless-glove combo again, Matthew noted offhandedly. He really had to get himself a pair of those… the mittens he had bought during the 2010 Winter Games were too special to just wear anywhere. Somehow, he would have to casually ask the German man where he had bought them. "Then again, slightly miffed is like your neutral emotional state."

Matthew had a hard time admitting that this was probably true. Alfred and Mikkel had told him the same thing.

He shrugged. "I've resigned myself to this fate." Well, better late than never, he supposed.

Well, that and Mikkel had, quite seriously, recommended anger management classes for him after Matthew had called the apartment Lukas, Emil, and the Danish man all shared to complain about Gilbert. At the time, he hadn't cared who picked up the phone – all he had wanted was to rant to somebody about the giant pain in his ass who went by the name of Gilbert. Later, he would consider himself lucky that neither Emil nor Lukas had picked up the phone that night. The only thing Mikkel had gotten the chance to say was "Hello?" before Matthew began his rant.

After three hours of swearing, threatening, and just general complaining, Matthew had let himself pause to catch his breath. Mikkel had listened patiently throughout the entire ordeal, and any indignant replies he had concerning his own involvement were quickly silenced by Matthew's voice overpowering his own. He had brought the Danish man to tears about halfway through, when he had very specifically and in an awful lot of detail described to him exactly what he would like to do with Mikkel's body after he had wrung his neck in the most painful way possible. Matthew supposed he might have a talent with that, what with being able to bring "the hero" down to a sobbing mess and being able to achieve around the same result with the Dane.

But, after Mikkel's crying had stopped and Matthew had finally let his heart rate settle back into a normal level, the Dane had calmly informed the Canadian that he had been thinking of signing Lukas up for anger management classes, and maybe Matthew should attend with him. That, in turn, set Matthew off again in another speech about how Mikkel really didn't understand what kind of hell Matthew had been through in the last nine months, and had ended with the threat of Matthew starting another one-on-one hockey game between them.

Thankfully, even in his anger, Matthew had been clever enough not to mention Gilbert's name at all during the entire process of the rant. Sure, Mikkel had offered to help Matthew take care of his most annoying customer, but the oaf wasn't capable of doing anything other than imagining what he could do without a name or face.

That had been a week ago, and so far, Matthew hadn't heard anything about it from Lukas or Mikkel. He had no doubt that Mikkel told his Norwegian roommate about the entire thing, but he couldn't help but be suspicious that Lukas hadn't questioned him about it. When it came to him, Lukas was nosy.

Well, nosy in all matters except Mikkel. Usually, the Norwegian demanded more information whenever he found that Matthew had a problem, interrogating him until the Canadian spilled. However, when Matthew had called Lukas after his first encounter with Gilbert in the alley, all he'd had to say was "Mikkel did–" before he had been cut off and given a quick assurance that Lukas would be at his apartment soon.

Twenty minutes later, he had opened the door to find Lukas standing in front of him, bundled in a thick winter coat with a spiral bound notebook tucked under his arm, staring at him expectantly. Before he even had a chance to offer to take Lukas' coat, he had been dragged towards his bedroom by his wrist, told to sit on his bed, and asked to give a one to ten rating of the severity of Mikkel's latest bout of stupidity. With a rating of ten, a smirking Lukas had flipped to the very end of his notebook, and thus, the first step to Matthew's plan of revenge was formed.

"So, I can fuck you?"

Gilbert's hopeful inquiry dragged Matthew out of his thoughts, and as soon as the words registered in his mind, the Canadian could feel himself scowling. "Not that fate!" he exclaimed, pleased that he had even been able to remember what exactly they had been talking about in the first place.

Gilbert's smirk matched the volume of Matthew's scowl. "Right, there was no harm in checking." He shrugged languidly, his smirking widening slightly – if that was even possible at all. "You know, one day you might wake up and realize 'Hey, I'd really like to bone Gilbert. Unfortunately, he's stopped asking if I want to fuck, and I'm too shy to ask him instead.'"

"I'm not shy," Matthew protested, not bothering to come up with a counter argument for the rest of Gilbert's statement. It was implied.

Gilbert stared at him flatly, clearly unimpressed, and Matthew shrugged. "Alright, maybe a little," he conceded.

The German shook his head, disbelieving. "You're so shy you border on anti-social," he informed his pizza delivery boy curtly. "People give you a wide berth in the street. It's the pouting – people think you're always pissed off, and no one likes a Debbie Downer."

Matthew's eyes narrowed. "Say Debbie Downer again– and how do you know that?" It was more like people bumped into him more on the street than they tended to avoid him. He wasn't invisible or completely unnoticeable, but he didn't exactly carry himself confidently either, like Gilbert or Alfred did. It was an okay system, he thought. It wasn't as though he had ever gotten hurt because someone didn't see him. "Maybe it's you they're giving a wide berth."

Matthew wouldn't be surprised if that was the exact opposite case. Outwardly, Gilbert had an air of confidence. He had his moments of humour, even if they weren't exactly always appropriate, and he was certainly attractive enough to warrant attention. Pigmentless skin and red eyes wasn't an everyday sight, and even if the eyes were a little bit intimidating, it was easy enough to get over. People would be naturally attracted to him, even with an ego the size of Jupiter and his crude jokes. If Matthew was an introvert, then Gilbert was an extrovert. If Gilbert was able to work the room, Matthew was a wallflower. They were opposites in nearly every way, and contrary to the age-old saying that opposites attract, not every instance of that worked out.

This was a case where they wouldn't work, Matthew was still trying to convince himself.

"No way!" Gilbert replied, just as the Canadian had expected he would. "I'm like a Labrador, while you're like a Pit-bull."

Matthew looked at him flatly. "Getting real tired of your shit…"

"No, no! Listen!" the German man exclaimed, his arm catching Matthew's shoulder as the younger man prepared to leave. "People often think Pit-bulls are mean and vicious little buggers. But they're really sweet if they have the right owner!" he explained.

Gilbert would gladly adopt Matthew.

The Canadian shook his head, freeing his shoulder from Gilbert's grip. "I'm getting to get sick of all your canine comparisons."

"You don't like dogs much, do you?"

Matthew shrugged. "I'm more of a cat person."

Gilbert gasped dramatically, his hand flying up to cover his mouth as his eyes widened in horror. "Oh no!" he exclaimed, reaching out to grab Matthew once again as he began to head towards his car. Instead of pulling Matthew back towards him, he followed after him, only holding him close as they stopped beside the piece of shit car that Matthew apparently called his vehicle. He wrapped his arms around Matthew's waist, limiting his ability to move and forcing their bodies against each other. "We're supposed to be mortal enemies! We're starcrossed lovers! They'll never allow it…" he angled his head down so that his breath brushed against Matthew's ear. "Run away with me, my dear?"

Matthew began to struggle against Gilbert's hold, feeling himself unintentionally shiver as Gilbert's lips brushed against the top of his ear. Fucking hell, that did not feel good. He was incredibly uncomfortable. The reason for the butterflies he felt was not because he was so damn close to Gilbert, but because he was simply disgusted with having to touch him so intimately. There was no space between them. "No!" he exclaimed. "We're not fucking lovers! Let me go, you freak!"

He was surprised that no one had come out to help him at this point. He could hear himself yelling, and he was pretty sure that he was being loud enough to warrant some kind of attention. Placing his hands against Gilbert's chest, he pressed, leaning back as hard as he could. With little more than a smirk of warning, he slammed the heel of his foot against Gilbert's sneaker, prompting the man to slacken his grip just enough that Matthew was able to pull away, dashing to the other side of his car and getting inside it as fast as he could. He slammed his hand down on the locking system, feeling the slightest bit of comfort as he heard every lock activate simultaneously.

Now, what he should have been able to do was jam the keys in the ignition and speed away into the distance. In reality, as he jammed his hands in his pockets, searching for his keys, he realized, with a belated sense of horror, that he didn't have them. He made the mistake of looking towards the passenger side of the vehicle where, in the window, Gilbert was giving one of the best impressions of a begging puppy he had ever seen. However, that was not the thing that caught Matthew's attention. It was, instead, the fact that he could see his car keys gripped in Gilbert's hand.

When had he…?

Oh god, that fucking hug.

"YOU BASTARD!" Matthew exclaimed, hitting his hand against the steering wheel. No, no, no, no! Fuck! "Give me back my keys!" he demanded, rolling down the window just so. It was enough space that Gilbert could slip the keys through the hole, but not enough that he could get his entire hand through. Gilbert pointed dumbly at the keys, and Matthew felt himself nodding furiously. God, this was so fucking stupid. He didn't want to play this game. "Yes! My keys! Give them to me!"

Gilbert smirked, holding them away. "Let me come over."

"You aren't coming back to my place!" Matthew replied quickly. Like hell he was allowing that to happen.

The German cocked his head. If he was trying to look cute, the wide smirk he was wearing kind of defeated the purpose. "Please? You've been over to mine countless times before."

"I was delivering pizzas!"

He shrugged. "Please?" Gilbert asked again. "I won't make any passes at you for the rest of the evening. I swear." He raised the hand holding Matthew's car keys in oath as the other went behind his back so he could cross his fingers.

Matthew's eyes turned away from his crazy ass customer for a second. The chances of him actually being able to get out of this situation without ending up with Gilbert were very low indeed. He knew he could call the police, but really, this wasn't something that he couldn't handle himself. Gilbert was just being Gilbert – and while his way of requesting if he could visit Matthew's apartment was creepy and could be easily taken out of context, it was still just the man being himself. It wasn't likely that he would have let the German anywhere near his apartment if he had simply asked, anyway. This way, both of them would technically get what they wanted – Matthew would be reunited with his precious car keys, and Gilbert would be able to spend more time with his precious Matthew.

Ha, he had figured out the game.

Take that, Gilbert.

Not so clever now, are you?

And now that he had figured out exactly what type of game he was playing, he wasn't going to give up so easily. "My apartment is a shithole," he said. He knew it wasn't going to deter the man, but it was best to put up some sort of fight. It was inevitable that he was going to lose, considering Gilbert held something so important while the only thing he had to offer was his own company.

Gilbert shrugged again. "I don't mind."

"The heater is broken."

"I'm already dressed for the weather…" he replied. He jingled the keys hanging off his thumb, watching as Matthew's eyes snapped back towards them, narrowing in thought. "See, I could have said 'I know a way we could warm ourselves up,' but I didn't, as promised."

"Saying it aloud a second later kind of defeats the purpose…"

"It's the thought that counts," Gilbert said quickly. "Aaaaanyway, do you want to come over to my place, then? I have a functioning heater. And free alcohol," he offered. Again, he pulled the puppy dog eyes, pleading with Matthew to go along with his idea. It was fucking cold out, and he knew Matthew had a heater inside that car. If only he could get inside it…

"I thought we already established that I'm a cat person," Matthew said, looking away from Gilbert's eyes. Puppy dog eyes didn't work on him anymore, but it was still best not to stare into them for too long. If not for his own health, then his sanity.

"Oh, so should I purr and rub up against you instead?" Gilbert suggested and, seeing as Matthew still wasn't budging, said, "Remember the beer. I have free beer."

Ignoring the blush that sprung to his cheeks at the thought of Gilbert nuzzling against his neck, Matthew focused on the offer of beer. Alcohol broke the best of them, he supposed. And free beer was incredibly hard to come by. That's it. If it was good beer, he gave up. He was a man, and even if the attractive male that he was trying to avoid had been propositioning him for sex for the last nine months and had just been a general creep for the entire length of their association with each other, the sleazeball was still offering him free alcohol. He was also kind of curious to see what Gilbert would be like when he was drunk… "What kind?" he asked, damning his own curiosity.

"Only the best, of course – Jägermeister."

Matthew paused for a moment.

"Alright," he said finally, flicking the lock button.

"Really?!" Gilbert grinned widely, hopping into the car before Matthew could get in another word.

Matthew found himself shaking as his head as he pulled out of the parking lot.

Gilbert definitely resembled a Labrador.

Only Gilbert was much, much cuter than a slobbery dog, Matthew thought.

And he would rather damn himself than admit that aloud to the man.

"Ah! They left! Commander Awesome to Pink Rabbit and Penis Museum! Quickly, commence Operation Valhalla! The subject has left the lot! I repeat: the subject has left the lot!"

"…This is stupid."

"You're stupid– ow! What the hell, Pink Rabbit?"

"…We're right beside you, idiot."

"Buuuut– Oh shit! Hurry! They're getting away! Penis Museum, the binoculars–!"


"Alright! Okay, on my count – one, two…"

"I'm not going to attack you, you know."

"I do know."

Actually, Matthew was not entirely sure of that. Gilbert had accosted him before, after all, and Matthew had even reciprocated the… favour?

Standing inside his apartment while Matthew stayed stubbornly in the doorway, Gilbert looked his pizza delivery boy up and down, appraising and thinking. What would it take to convince the boy to enter his domain again? He was probably still pissed off from Gilbert stealing his keys – which he supposed had been a daring move, as it could have potentially made Matthew lose any trust and respect for him that he had been able to acquire over the past few months. But, in his own defense, he was all about taking risks, and Matthew had played along very well. And now they were in his building, staring at each other, while the Canadian refused to take one step closer to him.

"I think after almost a year, you can safely assume that I'm not a murderer."

From the short but telling distance between them, Matthew's gaze locked with Gilbert's. He wasn't exactly sure why he was so hesitant – just as Gilbert had said, he didn't think the man was a psychopath… or at least not in the psychopathic serial killer sense. Sure, Gilbert was crazy, but not crazy enough that Matthew was worried for his own life. And Gilbert's insanity aside, he still didn't know why he couldn't just will himself to cross the threshold between the hallway and Gilbert's apartment. He had entered it before – many times before, in fact – and had even been given a brief tour. It wasn't as though he wasn't familiar with it…

"You never know. Even accountants can turn out to be serial killers."

"I'm the one who told you that."

"Yeah, and it was good advice."

Gilbert's eyes narrowed, his arms crossing over his chest. He wasn't exactly sure what Matthew was thinking about, but he could see the wheels turning in the younger man's head. He hoped that he was the one who was occupying Matthew's thoughts, and maybe he hoped that Matthew's thoughts were less than innocent, but the Canadian's expression gave away nothing. He could have been thinking about the sandwich he'd had earlier in the day for all Gilbert knew.

Matthew, contrary to Gilbert's hopes, was not in fact thinking about anything concerning him and Gilbert in not-so innocent positions. No, he was making a pros and cons list – a list based around the rather simple question of whether or not he should enter Gilbert's apartment. It was a habit he had developed when he was young to solve his indecisiveness, and it had served him well throughout his entire life. He knew it wouldn't fail him now.

From down the hallway, Gilbert spied a camera flashing out of the corner of his eye, interrupting his and Matthew's staring contest. The Canadian must have seen it as well, as his head snapped to the right, an odd blend of shock and confusion on his face before his eyes narrowed at the woman down the hall. Sticking out of the last door of the hallway was a head belonging to one Elizabeta Héverdáry, a wild grin on her face and a camera held up to her eyes.

"No, no!" she scolded, her voice echoing in the hallway. "You guys were doing so good! Look at each other!" Her fist clenched determinedly. "Feel the tension! Be the tension!"

Before Gilbert could open his mouth to tell his neighbour to fuck off and that she was ruining any chance he might have at getting laid, a second head of hair appeared behind Elizabeta, this one blond and looking significantly more pissed off than the Hungarian woman was. Before Elizabeta had a chance to snap another picture, Vladimir had grabbed the arm of his pseudo girlfriend/pseudo roommate/pseudo mortal enemy and began to drag her back inside, ignoring her protests of "But–! I never get to… The pictures…!" and slamming the door behind him with a ring of finality.

Matthew slowly turned his head back towards Gilbert. "You… have strange neighbours," he commented softly.

Gilbert sighed. "Just come inside already, before she comes out again."

During the course of their staring contest, Matthew had, thankfully, came to a decision of what he had to do. He wasn't sure what was special about this particular visit, but he felt that he needed to have some level of alcohol before he entered Gilbert's domain. Perhaps it was because it was the first time he had ever come to Gilbert's apartment without a pizza, and the first time that Gilbert had convinced him to come there instead of Matthew simply showing up after work with a pizza they were sharing that night in his hand. Or maybe it was because he was scared without the cover of delivering pizza, and therefore needed some form of liquid courage. "Give me a beer, and I might think about it."

"You're so stubborn…"

Matthew simply sat down in the doorway of Gilbert's apartment. "Beer," he said.

The German scoffed. "You are the biggest moocher I've ever seen."

"It's an art."

"Yeah, you're a real piece of work."

Gilbert was silent.

Matthew let out a low breath through his nose.

"That was…" he started.

"Cheesy?" Gilbert offered.

The Canadian nodded, the words taken right out of his mouth. "Cheesy, yes. Extremely."

"Cheesy can be good, though, right?"

"Says the man who orders pizza every night."

"Not every night."

"You've been acting different lately," Matthew mumbled, sipping at his third glass of Jägermeister, resting his head against the doorframe of Gilbert's apartment. He hadn't moved since sitting down, and since he wasn't planning on doing so any time soon, Gilbert had resigned to sitting inside the apartment on the wall opposite of Matthew.

"So have you," Gilbert replied, reaching towards the bottle and pouring himself a fourth glass.

Matthew squinted thoughtfully. "You keep insulting me, and you've been less pervy than usual."

Gilbert dismissed Matthew's words with a slight wave of his hand, being careful not to spill any of his drink. "You're imagining things," he insisted.

"Nah… No, I'm not."

"It's called affectionate teasing," Gilbert said. "A sure sign of love. Like pulling the pigtails of the girl in front of you in class…" He trailed off, looking at Matthew over the rim of his glass. The boy was staring at him, and since he had his attention, he thought he might as well continue his train of thought. "You've been less angry recently."

"Maybe because you're not trying to get in to my pants so much." He was wrong on that point. Gilbert's entire goal was to get into Matthew's pants and stay there. He would have a season's pass. Or perhaps he would have an ID that allowed him automatic unzipping. Or maybe a VIP card that said only he was allowed to touch that body. "Did you pull a lot of pigtails back in the day?"

"I still want in your pants," Gilbert replied, and he ignored the frown that crossed Matthew's face. Perhaps he should have let the boy continue fooling himself into thinking he had Gilbert had stopped pursing his goal as strongly as he had for almost the last year. Then again, that would be like holding a secret, and he wanted to be as open with Matthew as possible. That's how he would gain the kid's trust. "I preferred sticking gum in the hair. I did it to Liz in the second grade – that was the woman we saw earlier. She gave me a swirly later. I thought that meant she returned my feelings."

"I'm pretty sure my pants are too small for you…" he muttered. "You were interested in girls for a while, huh?"

Gilbert shook his head, taking another sip of his drink. "That doesn't make any sense. I don't want to wear your pants. I want them stripped off of you, or my hand shoved down them, or whatever…" Cue another sip of his drink. "And I thought Liz was a boy back then – she's never really been a girl to me. Now she's just my best friend and the creepy neighbour down the hall. But I guess I was just confused or something." At Matthew's curious look, he laughed. "Yeah. Hard to believe, yeah? The Awesome Me. Confused. Ha!"

Matthew squinted out of one eye at Gilbert, who had been sitting cross-legged against the wall near the door, but had been inching his way closer to Matthew for the past hour. He had been rather conspicuously. Matthew had begun to notice after the third time Gilbert's scooted in his direction, but he couldn't find it within himself to call the German out on it.

He had never really thought Gilbert would be the type to be in the closet, let alone confused.

"You really are a strange one," he mused aloud.

Gilbert raised his glass in a toast, winking at Matthew, who could feel the heat gathering in his face… or maybe that was just the alcohol.

It was partially the alcohol, but not entirely.

"Would you come inside now?" Gilbert asked. "You're letting all the hot air into the hallway. I don't want to heat the entire building."

Matthew's gaze flicked to the floor for a moment, then to his glass, considering. "Fine," he relented, scooting forward on his backside before reaching up to close the door behind him. He tossed his gloves, beanie, and scarf on top of the pile of winter gear Gilbert had shed by the door earlier. "What time is it?"

The German man shrugged. "Does it matter? You don't work at all tomorrow."

"True…" Matthew replied. "That's still creepy, you know."


He wasn't.

"And I couldn't stay here, anyways."

"Well, whenever you sober up, you can drive back to your place."

"True enough. Pass me the bottle."

"Can't hold your alcohol very well, can you?" Gilbert mumbled somewhere in the vicinity of Matthew's feet.

Matthew's head wobbled unstably, the only thing keeping his brains from sloshing around uncontrollably being the poufy coat that was cushioning his head.

Matthew stuck out a foot to locate Gilbert, as his glasses had dropped somewhere, therefore making his eyes unavailable to use correctly.

His toes struck tangled hair. Ah. There he was.

"Mhm. Definitely can't hold your liquor," Gilbert mumbled, arching his head back a bit further.

Matthew moved his foot about, curious. Whatever he was touching certainly felt like it could be Gilbert's hair, but the question still stood: Was the man attached to it? "Are you bald?" he asked, raising a hand to muffle his giggles.

Gilbert closed his eyes. "You a lightweight?"

"Nooooope," Matthew drew the word out. He was more occupied with searching whether Gilbert's body was also present under the mess of hair he had found.

"Never mind– agh! Get your fucking foot out of my face! You almost poked my eye out!"

Matthew laughed. "Oh, I was so close." He buried his face in Gilbert's coat, inhaling deeply. It smelled faintly of the cologne Gilbert always wore, and Matthew found himself appreciating its scent far more than he would have if he were sober. He had forgotten why exactly he had been searching for Gilbert, but he felt relieved regardless that the man wasn't bald. Matthew wasn't sure if Gilbert would look nearly as attractive as he did without his messy white hair. His head was probably shaped oddly, anyway, and that would only add to his degree of unattractiveness. He should be thankful that he even had hair to begin with. "You're an egg head."

"What?" he asked, confused. "Oh, keep your face sideways. Don't fucking suffocate."

As Matthew only hummed in response, Gilbert groaned as he rolled over on his hands and knees, crawling up to Matthew's head. The kid couldn't die on the floor in front of his door. He wouldn't allow it. After all, he hadn't even gotten the kid into his bed yet. It would be such a waste.

But for tonight, there was no possible way in hell that he was carrying Matthew to his bed, let alone the couch. They would probably both end up with gaping head wounds from the coffee table if he even attempted it.

"Comfy?" Gilbert asked, smiling sloppily. Matthew was practically submerged in his coat, and it was fucking adorable. This was one of those times where he wished he had the strength to stand up and get his camera. It only made him hope that he would be able to remember all that happened the next morning – that way he could have this picture to accompany him to work the next day. He pushed on Matthew's shoulder, and the Canadian rolled over onto his back. Gilbert let out a little sigh. "No, you'll suffocate that way."

"I'm not that drunk…"

Gilbert leaned over Matthew to grab the shoulder he had just shoved. "Then stop acting like a fucking log and stay on your side."

Gilbert had as firm as a grasp on Matthew's shoulder as he could have in his inebriated state. However, his movements halted the very moment he realized that Matthew's face was beneath his own.

He could lick Matthew's nose, if he so chose to, he realized. All he would have to do is open his mouth and let gravity take its course. There was less than an inch between their faces.


The German man could feel his cheeks warming, and it was definitely not from the alcohol. Matthew had said his names – without a mocking smile, without a frown, without a glare… He had said it with a honest, wide, and amused smile. He was happy – the Canadian was pleased that he was so close to Gilbert, and that they were together. For the first time ever, Matthew looked completely at ease with him.

"Yeah?" He could hear his heart beating in his throat.

The kid giggled. "I can see up your nose."

Matthew fell into a fit of laughter, and Gilbert frowned. It was quite the reverse situation, actually.

He groaned and grabbed the other articles of clothing littering the floor, making himself a pillow of his own. He flopped down next to Matthew, reaching across the younger man's body in order to grab his arm and pull the kid towards him. He kept his hand on Matthew's upper arm so that he wouldn't roll over and die from asphyxiation.

Damn, he had a better chance at fucking the kid when Matthew was sober…

Matthew peered up at him, a small smile quirking his lips upwards. "I guess… I could be friends with you…" he paused as he took in a breath, nuzzling his head against Gilbert's chest. "I like you…"

Then again, Matthew was not nearly as affectionate when he was sober.

A/N ;; Over six-thousand words and fourteen pages… This is the longest chapter yet! Oh yes, this should tide you guys over for a while…

Also, guys, I'd just like to make it known amongst my readers that Iceland does in fact have a penis museum. I thought it was just a joke, but… but it really does exist, with… 280 penises thus far. They're probably adding more each year.

I'll admit that I laughed far harder than I should have at this. I find this incredibly hilarious – not because of the guy's hobby, but for the fact that this even exists in the first place. I respect this guy, actually. But what really put me over the edge is that a pair of Canadian guys made a documentary on the owner's quest in getting a proper human penis, and the title is The Final Member, and I just— I can't…

Look at some of these quotes, and tell me that you did not even laugh a little:

"—always get a better, newer one… a bigger size or better shape, you know?"
A tourist from New Zealand said, "I've never seen so many penises – and I went to boarding school!"
Another guest asked, "Is there a vagina museum?" and in response, the owner of the museum said, "I'm only collecting the male organ. Somebody else has to do the other job. I'd be interested in how they would preserve it. I think vaginas are better alive."

Stay awesome, guys.

(I would tell you guys to take care of your dicks, because they might end up in that museum one day, but I don't think I have any male readers…)