The world really doesn't have enough DenAme and PruAme in it, right? And I don't think I've read a fic with an Awesome Trio love triangle. And therefore, I present this, for the two pairings that just don't get enough love.
I don't know how long this will be. Probably only two or three more chapters. Just a short little tale about love, really. This is a sort of prologue, just to get everyone's relationships squared away and so we know where everyone is with each other.
I also don't know if the rating will increase. We'll see, I guess.
It happens suddenly enough that he doesn't see it coming, but develops slowly enough that he accepts it for what it is.
"It," of course, being his attraction to one Mathias Køhler, the golden boy of his school.
It starts sophomore year, in math class. Alfred's jotting down notes as fast as he can because the teacher seems oblivious to how fast he's talking, and is also so focused that his back is always facing the students, so raising a hand is only going to result in a sore arm. It doesn't help that the man is older, so his hearing's not what it used to be, which means the students have to practically yell to get his attention.
Alfred pauses, tapping his pencil against his notebook when he taps a little too hard in a grip not tight enough. The pencil flies from his hand onto the floor, rolling to the next desk over. The boy sitting there notices, reaches down, grabs the pencil, and offers it to him.
This is the moment it begins. His mouth dries and his heart does its best to send all his blood to his face. He takes the pencil and says thank you, to which the boy responds "My pleasure," with a polite but genuine smile and a wink before those eyes—blue like his own but darker, wilder—turn back to the front.
Alfred can't focus the rest of class.
The next few days are confusing for Alfred.
He notices Mathias more and more, and it certainly doesn't help they have PE together. He's suddenly become aware of just where Mathias is relative to himself, and it turns out they have quite a number of classes together, by which he means four out of six, and which also means he has a class with the boy everyday.
Mathias is on the football team. He also takes weights. He's very fit, and athletic.
It's so distracting to him that he sometimes trips on air when the teacher makes them run laps. When they play team sports he's always too busy watching Mathias to really pay attention to his surroundings(he does pay attention though, because he learned his lesson when an errant soccer ball nailed him right in the stomach).
The only problem is that he doesn't talk to Mathias. Ever.
They have different groups of friends. Mathias spends his time in the quad with his sports friends. Alfred stays by his own friends on the benches beside the football field. Math is the only class when they sit next to each other, and oftentimes it takes too much focus to take notes(damn Mr. Stellson for talking so fast!)for casual conversation.
He accepts that he has a crush, but plans to do nothing about it. It's hard but manageable. He's only in high school, after all. He'll get over it.
One thing that absolutely does not make things easier for him is Gilbert Beilschmidt. The German is a friend of Mathias's, and also on the football team. Alfred frequently sees Gilbert with Mathias. They appear to be great friends, always laughing and joking together.
But they couldn't be more different from what Alfred sees.
Mathias is nice, quiet in class, kind to other students. He balances homework with practice to get top grades.
Gilbert is loud, in and out of class. He's nice when he wants to be, but only to those he likes. He also spends more time getting concussions from practices than he does studying for tests.
Now, Alfred's not any different from the other students. He hangs out with his friends, does his homework, goes to the football games. His glasses are a little thick but he doesn't complain because they're durable and help him see. He wears t-shirts and jeans. He's normal.
But despite that, Gilbert still bothers him, for no other reason than he seems to genuinely enjoy doing it. He'd be a bully if he did it everyday, but as it is he knocks Alfred's books out of his hands one day, pushes him into his locker the next week, then smiles viciously when Alfred doesn't do or say anything about it. It annoys Alfred, sure, but Gilbert's just being an ass and Alfred knows he'll grow out of it someday(and God forbid they ever meet on that someday, because he's going to give Gilbert hell for all this).
The one good thing that comes out of Gilbert's teasing or bullying or whatever the hell Gilbert's doing, is Mathias comes to his rescue one day.
Gilbert walks by and smiles pleasantly enough at him, until he smiles back hesitantly. Then comes out the Gilbert he knows, the cocky smirk and the hand that apparently hates his books with a burning passion because it always manages to hit them so hard he can't hold onto them. And of course he's holding two of his heaviest books, algebra two and chemistry. Gilbert's annoying and grating laugh echoes through his head as the boy rounds the corner.
He's just bending down when an unexpected pair of hands lift his chem book. Looking up, he's just on the verge of thanking whoever it is when he sees it's Mathias, smiling down at him. Blushing fiercely and hating every second of it, Alfred grabs his math book and stands, Mathias following suit.
"Thanks," he says, cheering internally because he didn't stutter. Mathias hands the book over to him with a "My pleasure," which Alfred smiles at. Mathias lifts his own math book. "Walk you to class?"
Alfred's surprised he hasn't passed out with how much blood must be in his face. He nods and shoves his chem book into his locker. Then he hefts his backpack up onto one shoulder.
This is the perfect opportunity to speak with Mathias. He should take it. The walk to class isn't that long, but long enough to strike up a little small talk. However, it's Mathias who breaks the silence between them.
"I'm sorry about Gilbert," he says, and Alfred turns to see Mathias looking down at him, "He's got some problems at home, but that doesn't give him the right to be such a jackass." Mathias frowns. "Does he do that often?"
Alfred shrugs. "Not really. It doesn't bother me that much. And hey, if he has to let out some steam by picking on other kids, I'm happy to help. At least he's not breaking into stores or spray painting walls."
Mathias chuckles. "Yeah, I suppose he could be worse. He's really a great guy, he just...well, his problems have problems, you know?" Alfred nods though he really doesn't know. Gilbert may be a great guy, and good for him, but Alfred only knows the jerk side of him.
"Hey," Mathias says suddenly, with determination, "Do you get what's going on in class? Because I'm totally lost."
Alfred blinks because that had to be the last thing he expected Mathias to say to him, but he nods anyway. "Uh, yeah. Math comes pretty easy to me."
"Cool, cool," Mathias says, nodding as well. "Do you think—uhh, do you think you could...? Um," Mathias stammers out, rubbing his neck and looking away. Alfred smiles because it's the first time he's seen Mathias so flustered and damn if it's not the cutest thing he's ever seen.
"Couldyoumaybehelpmewithit?" Mathias says in a rush, and Alfred's heart does a strange sort of flop in his chest.
It takes him a moment to sort out Mathias's words, and by the time he does they're sitting down in their seats. "Uh, yeah, yeah! I can help you out, no problem. Is there a certain time or...I mean, do you want to meet sometime...?" Alfred congratulates himself on leaving the choice up to Mathias, that way he won't sound so eager making suggestions. He's happy with whatever arrangement they come up with.
"Is lunch okay? I have practice after school."
"Sure," Alfred says, getting out a pencil and trying to steady his hand. He's so excited he's shaking. "Do you want to start today?"
"That would be awesome," Mathias says with a wide smile, and Alfred just about melts. He doesn't get a chance to answer because Mr. Stellson's voice signals the beginning of class.
Throughout class Alfred's concentration is continually split between math formulas and daydreams. It only takes a few minutes before the realization of what has just happened sinks in fully.
He's going to be helping Mathias study, at lunch, and it's going to be just the two of them. The two of them, alone, studying math.
If Alfred smiles the rest of class, no one notices, or says anything.
"So, you plug in this number in all the places where 'x' is?" Mathias asks, using his pencil to point to the mentioned areas. Alfred nods and shows Mathias his own work.
"Yes, and when you simplify, that number will be the 'y' coordinate. Then when you get enough points, you can graph it."
Mathias nods and does so, and Alfred sits back and lets the scratching of the pencil on paper fill the silence between them. This is their second week of studying. Because it's lunch, they eat together before coming to the library, where Alfred helps improve Mathias's understanding of the concepts the whole class is on to the best of his ability.
After a few minutes Mathias sits up and shows Alfred his work. He'd gone ahead and sketched the graph as well, and Alfred's pleased to see everything's correct.
"Looks good to me," Alfred says, and just then the bell rings. It's a terrible sound, not because it sounds like it was made by someone tone-deaf, but because it means he and Mathias have to split up. It's Friday, so after math Alfred has English, then he and Mathias share history, then the day's over. As is usual, Alfred expects them to part ways like they always do, but Mathias surprises him when he speaks.
"Are you coming to the game tonight?" He asks, and Alfred could be imaging the pink high on his cheeks(but he really wishes he's not). Alfred pauses in his packing, so startled is he by Mathias's question.
"Uh, well I was thinking about it. I usually go..." And here Alfred shrugs, because while he enjoys the games he's still a sophomore in high school. He's not made of money, but most times he's able to charm his friend Arthur into giving him a ticket(Arthur's in leadership and as such handles the tickets and cash for each game. He gets free tickets because of it, but Arthur hasn't the time to go to them, so Alfred takes advantage and uses his puppy dog eyes to obtain it. He makes a big deal out of it but Alfred knows he'd give him the ticket anyway).
"Do you need a ticket?" Mathias asks quickly, and Alfred's brows shoot up. Boy is Mathias acting weird.
"Actually yeah, I do..." He trails off, because Mathias is digging in his backpack until he pulls out a card. "Here," he says, and Alfred's positive he's not imagining the pink dusting the football player's cheeks.
Alfred takes the card and examines it. The card serves as a pass for all sports games, it seems. There's no name on it. "What's this?" He says with a quirk of the lips. He already knows but he'll revel in hearing Mathias saying it.
"It's, uh," Mathias clears his throat and swings his bag onto his shoulder. Alfred does the same, and picks up his book, still waiting. "It's a pass, you know...to the football game? I mean, you've been a great help, I just felt like I needed to repay you, or something."
Alfred smiles, touched that Mathias even thought of repaying him. This doesn't help his crush any, only makes it worse because Mathias is such a sweetie, and how thoughtful of him since Alfred loves going to the games.
"Thank you," Alfred says sincerely, staring at the pass in his hands. He misses seeing Mathias stare at him, until the warning bell blares through the library again, startling them both. With smiles and waves they part.
This tentative friendship they have goes on for another two years. They're both seniors now, older and more mature, to be sure, but still kids.
Though two years has passed Alfred hasn't done anything about his crush on Mathias. He chalks up Mathias's blushing to being embarrassed or nervous, and doesn't think much of the game passes Mathias continued to give him. They only share one class this year, English, and Mathias doesn't need tutoring in it. They'd bonded over the first math tutoring, but their groups of friends are still too different. Alfred doesn't ask Mathias to keep eating lunch with him, nor does Mathias ask for any other tutoring. Alfred leaves the offer open, but doesn't expect Mathias to take him up on it, and he's not disappointed when Mathias doesn't ask for the extra help.
Still, in English class Alfred finds himself staring at Mathias sometimes, imagining a life that will never be. Senior year's already halfway over, and Alfred knows it's too late to confess anything, because he's going to a different college than Mathias. Best to let go now.
They're returned from Spring Break when something surprising happens. Alfred doesn't know why it happens, or what's even the point of it. All he does know is that it shocks the hell out of him, and leaves him twice as confused about Gilbert than he'd been before.
Around the middle of Junior year, Gilbert had completely stopped bothering him. He hadn't ignored him or anything, he'd just walk by and not do anything. Offer a smile or a wave, but that was it. He didn't "accidentally" shove Alfred into the lockers, or knock over his books. He was civil.
Alfred thinks about it and is confused. Why is Gilbert acting so nice all of the sudden? He's not laying down jackets over puddles for him or anything, but he's not being a total ass either, so that's a plus. But it's the why that alludes Alfred, until a couple days after Spring Break, when all suddenly becomes clear.
The final bell rung around fifteen minutes ago, and Alfred's walking to his car. The parking lot is next to the school, and stretches alongside it. He'd been talking to his history teacher about an assignment, so the school is deserted by the time he makes it to the edge of the lot. But he doesn't get far before someone falls into step next to him.
He's surprised to see Gilbert there, hands in his pockets as he strolls leisurely next to Alfred. Alfred stops short and looks around, like he's going to see the rest of the football team. Maybe Gilbert had been laying off because he wants Alfred's guard down for some complex prank?
"Uh, something I can help you with Gilbert?" He asks warily. Gilbert sees him glance around and does the same, but there's no one in sight.
"You waitin' for someone?" Gilbert asks. Alfred stares at him, because are they really having a normal conversation...or any conversation at all?
"No, I just..." Alfred can't finish his sentence because he doesn't know what to say. Gilbert's appearance is rendering him stupid, it seems. It's shocked him enough that he doesn't know what to do.
Gilbert looks at him and starts walking towards him. Alfred unconsciously backs up until his back hits one of the beams supporting one of the many structures providing shade for the cars, his books in front of him like a shield. Gilbert doesn't stop advancing until he's in Alfred's personal space, supporting his weight with a hand on the beam next to Alfred's head. He's effectively trapped Alfred, but also given Alfred a way to get away from him if he wanted to. But Alfred's curious as to what Gilbert's doing. Still, he's also nervous.
"Look," Gilbert starts off, sighing, "I'm...sorry, for how I treated you in the past. It was—I was a jerk and...I'm sorry for that, really." He looks sorry, Alfred can tell he means this, which surprises and confuses him.
"It's alright Gilbert, everyone does stupid shit when they're young." There's silence for a beat. "You know, Mathias told me awhile ago that you had some problems at home. If it had helped you to do that then...I don't think I'd change anything if I could."
Gilbert just stares at him, something like awe in his face, before the next thing Alfred knows, warm lips have descended on his own and Gilbert's other hand has come up to rest on the other side of his head, trapping him completely now. His books are squished between their bodies, but Alfred doesn't notice because Gilbert is kissing him.
Gilbert is kissing him.
He has half a mind to push Gilbert away and maybe punch him in the face too, but there's a desperation to this act which stops him. He can feel it in the way Gilbert's hands have moved down, one on his bicep and the other on his hip, grip sure and strong. He can also feel it in the way Gilbert kisses him, pressing their mouths together firmly and swiping his tongue along Alfred's lips. But Alfred doesn't get a chance to respond in any way before Gilbert breaks the kiss, and they spend a single moment sharing air between them before Gilbert pushes away from him and heads to his own car, not saying one word to Alfred.
Alfred for his part is still standing against the beam, lips parted slightly and lungs weakly pulling in oxygen, heart beating quickly and there's an ache there now that makes his brows furrow, and he frowns.
What just happened?
Alfred's more confused in the following months than he's ever been in his life.
Nevertheless, he talks less and less with Mathias, and comes into contact with Gilbert even less than before. He still has that silly crush on Mathias, but now it's vying for a place in his heart with feelings for Gilbert, which confuses the hell out of him and frustrates him to no end.
But, he pushes them to the back of his mind, and as graduation rolls around and he says goodbye to high school and hello to college, he looks forward to starting his life. But the feelings are still there, simmering in the back of his mind and heart and waiting for just the right time to bowl him over. Too bad it's going to happen a lot sooner than he'd thought it would.
Well, what did you think? I'd love to hear, but no pressure. I've been meaning to get out another quick DenAme story, and Prussia just wormed his way into the mix so I thought, 'Why not? Love triangles are great fun!'
Hope you enjoyed, and will enjoy the following chapters.