They had the dorm to themselves, Matthew comfortably nestled into Francis' side, head resting on the Frenchman's chest. Francis was warm, had an arm around the younger blond's waist to hold him close as they watched a movie on Al's TV. A blanket covered their laps, keeping them warm while snow fell outside the window. It was a beautiful sight, but neither boy paid it much mind. Matthew was barely even watching the movie—he was too distracted by the hand on his hip, gently stroking against the fabric of his jeans.

The light touches put an odd feeling in his stomach, little flutters that made him want to squirm, simultaneously pull away and press closer to the man who didn't seem to realize what he was doing. It was embarrassing to feel this way. He knew his cheeks were slowly turning pinker and would eventually be red, knew that Francis was bound to notice when that happened.

What is this? Why does my stomach feel like it's twisting and turning?

He hadn't felt anything like this since…since his dinner date with Francis that ended with them stargazing and kissing on the hood of Francis' car. That had made his stomach feel odd, and before that, Gilbert had had this effect on him.

Oh. Blue-violet eyes widened at the realization and he glanced up to see if his boyfriend had noticed yet. It didn't look like it, so he shifted and pressed just a little closer without it being too obvious. At least, he hoped it wasn't obvious because he would be terribly embarrassed if Francis realized what was happening to the Canadian. Matthew was definitely too shy to admit that he was…turned on…by something as simple as Francis's fingertips running against his hip. It wasn't even skin-to-skin contact and it was getting to him.

"Are you warm enough, cher?" the older blond asked softly, turning kind blue eyes on Matthew and making him blush.

"Yes," he replied softly, because in truth he was starting to feel a little too warm under that gaze and with the hand still caressing his hip the way it was. For once, he wasn't sure if he was glad or annoyed that he was wearing his hoody, as always. It was good because it made him feel protected, like it didn't matter how Francis made him feel because he could always hide in the red fabric until his body stopped acting so ridiculously and calmed down again. At the same time, though, he wondered if taking it off would help him cool off—it would expose more skin to the older blond, though, and Matt wasn't sure what he'd do if those fingertips found their way to bare skin.

"Matthieu." The hand slid up his side, making his skin tingle under his clothes—so much for his hoody protecting him—until it cupped his cheek; concern took over Francis' expression. "You're burning up. Are you all right?"

"O-oui," he managed to squeak, and then understanding replaced the concern. Francis smiled, his thumb stroking over one of Matthew's red cheeks, cool against his heated flesh. It was quiet as they looked at each other for a few moments, before the older boy leaned down and pressed his lips against Matthew's, patiently molding the Canadian's mouth to fit his own.

"Si doux ..."

The murmured words had Matthew pulling away as he looked down, his shyness getting the best of him. But Francis had other ideas, let his hand slip down to the younger blond's hip again where it gripped firmly, guiding Matthew to sit up and shift over until he was nearly straddling Francis' lap. This new position had his cheeks flaming red as lips pressed to his forehead; a gentle hand removed his glasses and set them off to the side.

"Let me see your pretty eyes, Matthieu, s'il vous plait," came the whisper that had the Canadian lifting his chin to meet Francis' gaze. As embarrassed as he was, he couldn't manage to look away even as the hand on his hip began to stroke again, as it moved over to gently cup his backside. The quietest of squeaks escaped his throat at that and he blushed darker than he would have thought possible, but he didn't protest or move away. He just kept looking at Francis because the man was smiling so patiently and affectionately that Matthew could barely feel nervous at all.

Gentle pressure was applied to his backside until their lips met again in a kiss that was soft for the first several moments. Soon, though, he felt breath against his lips and then Francis licked Matthew's lip, drew the younger boy closer by the hold he still had on the Canadian's rear. He rubbed and even squeezed a little, making Matthew's neck feel warm under his collar—no one had ever touched him like this before, and he had to admit that it felt nice.

Besides, it wasn't the first time Francis had kissed him like this, so he hesitated for only a moment before allowing entrance to him, felt the Frenchman patiently slip his tongue inside just like the night of their date. It was an odd feeling, this sort of kissing, but far from unpleasant. Francis was obviously skilled and while that made Matthew worry that he was inadequate, the Frenchman kept whispering his name and pulling him closer and guided him so patiently—he forgot his worries and lost himself in the scent of roses, let his eyes fall closed, relaxed against Francis' chest as their quiet kissing continued.

"Matthieu…" Sounding slightly out of breath, Francis pulled away from the kiss and ducked down to kiss at the younger boy's pale throat, wrapped an arm around his waist to hold him close, still with his hand firmly placed on Matthew's backside. His kisses made the Canadian tremble and he smiled before biting ever so gently on that spot just under the corner of the jaw, where no one would see a mark unless Matthew lifted his chin.

"Nn…F-Francis…" Matthew sounded even more breathless than the Frenchman did, but that was to be expected. He was the one receiving a hickey, after all, the first hickey he'd ever had, and Francis was excellent at what he was doing. The feel of teeth gently catching and tugging his skin made it impossible for Matt to close his mouth and yet he couldn't quite manage to make a sound as a tongue massaged the spot between bites to keep it from getting tender. And having such sensitive skin being sucked on while Francis' breath caressed the surrounding area…well, it wasn't something he would mind feeling again.

Muffled yelling sounded in the hallway but neither blond noticed, both too involved and focused on the other to really notice it as the sounds grew louder. When the door burst open, though, slamming against the wall, Matthew jumped and drew away, found that he'd somehow moved to fully straddle his boyfriend and that Francis' hand had slipped up under the back of his shirt to trace up and down his spine. Luckily, he managed to get to his own spot on the futon before anyone noticed what he and Francis had been up to, and finally realized who had so noisily come into the dorm.

It was Alfred and Arthur, and between them was Antonio. The Spaniard looked distraught, as if every hope and dream he'd ever had all shattered in a single moment. He was being partially dragged and partially restrained by the two blonds holding onto him.

"Déjenme ir! Lo estrangularé! Voy a hacer que devolverá cada insulto!" Antonio shouted, struggling with all his might against Alfred's hold on his arms. Arthur had his arms wrapped tightly around his waist and was helping to force him down on Alfred's bed; the American was quick to sit on the brunet's back in order to hold him down. The yelling continued and Matthew covered his ears against the painful volume as Francis pulled him closer protectively.

"Antonio, calm down!" Alfred ordered, his tone harsher than Matthew had ever heard it. He'd settled firmly on the middle of Antonio's back and was pinning the other male's arms down as Antonio kicked and thrashed. Meanwhile, Arthur was attempting to still the brunet's legs long enough to sit on them.

"Quit bloody kicking before you hurt someone!"

"¡No! Bajense de mí!Lo voy a despellejar vivo! Nunca he sido todo menos amable con él y él me llama un bastardo pervertido?! Le enseñaré a cerrar la boca, el poco pinchazo!"

"Hey!" Lifting one hand, Alfred smacked the Spaniard over the head. "I know you're upset but talk in a language we can all understand! We can't fix it if you won't tell us what's wrong!"

Antonio growled, glaring at Alfred over his shoulder. His green eyes were rimmed with red and if he hadn't been so angry he would have looked to be on the verge of tears. And he continued to struggle, though Arthur eventually managed to pin down his legs and then they had him completely immobilized save for his hands, which kept fisting in the blankets, the knuckles gone white with the strength of the Spaniard's grip.

"What's going on?" Francis asked once the dorm room was quiet—heavy breathing came from the three across the room but at least Antonio had stopped yelling.

Panting from exertion, Arthur sat up as much as he could without freeing either of the Spaniard's legs. "No idea. We found him chasing that kid around, yelling in Spanish. The kid looked terrified so we grabbed him and brought him back here. He hasn't said anything in English yet, just kept yelling."

An amused expression took over the Frenchman's face and he shifted forward to sit on the edge of the futon, fingers interlaced with his chin resting on them. "I take eet Lovino finally found your breaking point, zhen."

Growling again, Antonio tried to shove himself up off the mattress but didn't manage to shift the weight on his back enough. A few moments passed as he tried again and again, Alfred's determined expression unchanging as he held down his angry friend. Eventually, he let out a huff and laid still, glaring at whatever he could see.

"Who's Lovino?" Matthew whispered so only Francis could hear, and the Frenchman chuckled softly.

"Lovino ees a…spirited…little Italian whom Antonio 'as been chasing for quite a while now. Our Spaniard ees amoureuse, mais Lovino won't give 'im zhe time of day." The explanation had the anger fading out of Antonio's eyes and left him looking heartbroken.

"Little Lovi is perfecto," the brunet mourned, green eyes closing as he relaxed his grip on the blankets; a shuddering sigh left him limp under Alfred and Arthur. "Yo lo amo, pero ... él me odia."

"You were threatening to murder him il ya un moment," Francis pointed out, and Antonio sighed again.

"Sí, but I would never hurt him. He is too precioso."

"And he's finally figured out how to piss you off," Alfred commented, deciding that the Spaniard had calmed down enough that he no longer needed to be pinned and moving to sit beside him on the bed as Arthur did the same. "So, what now?"

"Nothing."

Four pairs of eyes turned on Antonio as the Spaniard ran a hand through his hair.

"What do you mean, nozhing?" Francis demanded. "You 'ave been smitten wizh Lovino since you first set eyes on 'im. You cannot give up so easily!"

Antonio actually managed to laugh at that, though the sound was bitter and a little self-derisive. "Easily? Amigo, I have never tried so hard at anything as I have at wooing Lovino Vargas. Today, I lost my temper and so any chance I had at persuading him is gone."

"What did he say to make you so angry?" Arthur spoke up, a little rumpled from the earlier struggle.

Sighing, Antonio sat up and rubbed his face. "It was una estupidez."

"But it pissed you off," Alfred commented, glancing at his friend out of the corner of his eye.

"Si, si, but I shouldn't have let it. He's always rude, this time was no different." Hanging his head, Antonio let his hands rest in his lap. "I'm used to him yelling at me, calling me a pervert and a bastard and an idiot. Those things don't bother me—I'm sure he's just shy and unwilling to believe that someone genuinely likes him. But, today, he called me a," he paused, seeming to struggle with the word, "me llamó un violador."

It was quiet in the dorm room for several moments. They could all figure out for themselves what "violador" meant and from there understood why Antonio had gotten so upset. Anyone would be, especially someone as laid-back and friendly as the green-eyed Spaniard. Antonio wouldn't hurt a fly, and especially not Lovino.

"You were right to be angry," Arthur eventually said, his voice soft. "I would be."

Alfred put a comforting hand on his friend's shoulder. "Me, too, but I still don't think you should give up. If you really like him, then you'll forgive him and prove to him that you're not any of the things he's called you. He'll see that you're worth giving a chance."

While he spoke, his gaze drifted from Antonio to the blond beside him and Matthew couldn't help but wonder if Alfred was partially talking to Arthur, hoping the Brit would take this advice when Al finally worked up the nerve to ask him out.

Everyone's having trouble. Antonio's giving up on Lovino, Alfred doesn't know how to ask Arthur. Even I…I don't know if I'll stay with Francis, now that Gilbert isn't angry anymore…

He felt guilty for thinking it, guiltier than he'd felt in a long time. Francis had been nothing but good to him, and he did like the Frenchman. It wouldn't be fair to break up with him just because of his friendship with Gilbert, especially since he didn't think he had a chance at dating the albino. To do so would be plain cruel and he would hate himself for hurting Francis that way. Besides, he still needed to talk to him about why he'd stopped being friends with Gilbert in the first place, and try to find a way for them to be friends again. He didn't want his best friend and his boyfriend to hate each other.

This is all so complicated. It was a whine and he was glad it was only in his head—no way would he want anyone to hear him sounding like that. Nevertheless, he couldn't help but feel like things had been awful at the start of the year then been fantastic only to become worse than ever, and then had been great before suddenly collapsing in on itself. Things with Gilbert seemed like they were going to get better but he was worried what Francis would do when he found out, and he was worried about Antonio and Alfred winding up alone.

Overburdened by his thoughts, Matthew cuddled into Francis' side and smiled when the Frenchman's arm wrapped around him once more. A hand settled on his hip but didn't stroke this time, not now that they weren't alone. But there was something about it that made the Canadian think that Francis wouldn't hesitate to start things again once they got a chance, and that didn't bother him in the slightest. He was glad Francis was patient, was kind and caring and he would be lying if he didn't say the older blond was beautiful. Beautiful blue eyes and a beautiful smile; everything he did was elegant and perfect.

What would he do if Francis couldn't get over the feelings of distrust he had towards Gilbert? If he made friends with Gilbert again…of course, he'd want to invite the albino to spend time with Alfred and Francis and the others. He didn't want to have friends who didn't get along. That would be stressful—what if he ended up being caught in the middle, forced to choose between one or the other? If that happened, he'd always feel like he'd upset whoever he didn't choose, even if he tried to switch back and forth as fairly and evenly as possible.

I just want everyone to be happy. I hate all this worrying and fighting, hate not knowing what's going to happen next. I've never had to deal with this before…

"Are you all right, cher?" Francis asked softly, turning his head enough that his breath disturbed Matthew's hair just slightly. "You're quieter than normal."

"Oui," the younger blond murmured, a smile making its way onto his lips as he met Francis' gaze. "Just thinking."

Francis returned the smile and brushed his lips against Matthew's forehead. "Bon. Vous allez me dire si quelque chose ne va pas, non?"

Trying to be confident and a little bold, Matthew reached up to kiss the older boy for a few moments, then nuzzled into Francis' neck. It was then that he realized he still wasn't wearing his glasses, but that fact didn't bother him. The movie they'd been watching was long forgotten and all the excitement of Antonio being dragged in by Alfred and Arthur had left him ready for a short nap. Luckily, Francis was warm and comfortable and always willing to cuddle. "Of course."

All he needed to do now was dredge up the nerve to tell Francis that he'd talked to Gilbert, to make friends with the albino again, help Alfred figure out how to ask Arthur out, and see if there was a way he could mend the distrust between the Frenchman and the Prussian.

I can do this. No problem. Francis is patient—he'll listen to me, and probably give Gilbert a chance if I ask him to. Especially if Gil and I become friends again. Right. This'll be easy.

Well….maybe he'd help Alfred first.

TRANSLATIONS:

Déjame ir! Yo lo estrangulo! Voy a hacer lo llevara de vuelta cada insulto! Ese mocoso!

Spanish: Let me go! I'll strangle him! I'll make him take back every insult! That little brat!

¡No! Bajense de mí! Lo voy a despellejar vivo! Nunca he sido todo menos amable con él y él me llama un bastardo pervertido?! Le enseñaré a cerrar la boca, el poco pinchazo!

Spanish: No! Get off! I'll skin him alive! I've never been anything but kind to him and he calls me a perverted bastard?! I'll teach him to shut his mouth, the little prick!

Yo lo amo, pero ... él me odia.

Spanish: I love him, but…he hates me.

Me llamó un violador

Spanish: He called me a rapist.

Bon. Vous allez me dire si quelque chose ne va pas, non?

French: Good. You will tell me if something is wrong, yes?