Matthew was never one to be jealous. Ever. But, when it involved you and another guy, that was a different story. Especially when said guy was his own brother.
To be honest, now that Matthew looked back at it, it seemed as though he was the one who was making such a big deal out of it. You and Alfred had hugged. So what? It was only a hug. You guys were just friends, after all... right?
But Matthew wanted your hugs to be only for him, no matter how selfish it sounded.
He wanted to be the only one who received your affection.
He wanted to be the only one you loved.
But what was he saying? You and Matthew were just friends, and Matthew could never scrape up enough courage to confess to you. He was just the quiet, practically invisible Canadian boy at school. You were pretty. You were kind. You were smart, you had a plethora of friends, you were outright amazing. In Matthew's eyes, it seemed as though you were way out of his league.
And then there was Alfred, Matthew's brother. The hyper, lovable American who could make anyone laugh. He was popular. He was athletic. He knew how to win girls over. It seemed as though you and Alfred would fit together better than you and Matthew.
Burying his face into the soft fur of his polar bear, Kumajiro, Matthew heaved a sigh.
Meanwhile, you were running around in panic, searching furiously for Matthew. 'Where could he be?!' You thought, gasping for breath. Darn the size of this school! While running, your mind unconsciously drifted back to the incident that had caused all of this.
Soft footsteps echoed in the school hallways as Matthew peeked curiously into empty classroom after empty classroom, trying to find where you were. He still had your textbook—you had left it in class, and he wanted to return it to you—but he couldn't find you was the problem.
"I wonder where _____ is?" Matthew murmured, scratching his head as he glanced at the textbook in his arms.
While Matthew tried to search for you, you were listening with wide eyes as the secret about the Canadian's crush on you dripped from Alfred's mouth like rain. Alfred had asked you to meet up with him in his last period after school, and you had accepted as Alfred looked eager to tell you something.
You had been friends with the two brothers ever since grade school, and they have always managed to amuse you to no end. With Alfred's happy-go-lucky personality and Matthew's shy and quiet one, they were like polar opposites.
Alfred had managed to worm his way into your heart, earning the title of 'Best friend'. Matthew, meanwhile... he had reserved a spot in your heart much more special than you had initially expected.
And now here you were, after school with Alfred pouring secret after secret of Matthew's apparently gigantic crush on you.
To say you were happy was the understatement of the century; you were so happy you could've died!
"And I guess that sums it all up! Mattie's fallen real hard for you, _____!" Alfred said, "And I know you've fallen for him, too! I've seen you stare at him and blush!"
"H-Hey! Sh-Shut up!" You stammered, playfully whacking him on the arm. He was about to retaliate when a sudden, soft voice cut in, coming from outside of the classroom.
"_-_____? Are you here?"
As the doorknob started to turn, you looked at Alfred in panic. Would you have to confess now?! You weren't ready! "A-Alfred! I can't confess to him now!" You said in a hushed whisper, though you were silenced when Alfred only winked.
"Just play along," He whispered before suddenly gathering you up in a hug. "What're you—!"
A hurt-looking Matthew entered the room, probably misinterpreting the whole scene. I mean, how could he not? You were in a hug with Alfred, with a blushing face that had resulted from hearing about Matthew's crush on you.
"I-I'm sorry, I shouldn't have i-i-interrupted," Matthew said hastily as tears pricked at his eyes. Within seconds he bolted, leaving you both guilty and furious while Alfred was sheepishly rubbing the back of his head.
"What was that for?!" You practically yelled, jabbing Alfred in his chest with your pointer finger.
"I-I can explain!" Alfred said frantically, waving his hands in an attempt to prove his innocence. "I know you like romantic confessions, so I thought that maybe if I get Mattie jealous then you could run after him and he'd start romantically confessing his feelings to you!"
"..." Speechless, you managed a nod. The plan actually sounded pretty good. "Now what're you waiting for?!" Alfred said, taking you by your shoulders and steering you out the door, "Go to Mattie, _____!"
Lips tugging up into a smile, you gave him a fist bump. "Thanks, Alfy."
"No problem! That's what the hero does, bro!"
And with that, you sprinted off in search for the shy Canadian.
"The courtyard!" You suddenly spluttered. "He has to be there!"
You knew Matthew liked quiet places with scenery, and the courtyard fit the description perfectly. Spinning on your heel, you went back the way you came and burst through the pair of doors to the courtyard, skidding to a stop right in front of the bench where Matthew was seated.
Your sudden appearance obviously startled him, as he jumped before glancing at you—only to look away immediately, tears apparent in his violet orbs. Cautiously, you approached him, plopping down next to him only for him to recoil and scoot away a bit.
"M-Matthew—" Before you had time to finish your sentence, you were cut off by his soft voice.
"...Am I not good enough?"
"Tell me, _____..." Matthew murmured, "Am I not good enough? Am I not good enough for you?"
"Wha-What're you talking about?!" You shouted. It hurt to see him like this. "Of course you're good enough, Mattie! If anything, you're better!"
"Then why pick Alfred?"
"N-No. Let me finish, _____," Matthew mumbled before suddenly placing Kumajiro on the bench and enveloping you in a hug. With his head buried into the crook of your neck, he held onto you as though you were a teddy bear, and shyly you brought your hand up to run it through his blonde hair.
Despite the circumstances, you couldn't help but squeal inside. Here you were, being held by Matthew and running your hand through his hair!
"Why are you so perfect?" Matthew whimpered. "You're so pretty. You're smart. You're kind. You're friendly. You have a lot of friends. And it kills me to know that you wouldn't pick a loser like me. I'm invisible. No one notices me but you and a couple of others. Alfred, on the other hand... he's popular. He's funny. He's athletic. He has a lot of friends. You guys would fit well together...
But I don't want to let that happen."
Hands moving to your shoulders, he held you at arms length, a scarlet blush adorning his cheeks as he determinedly met your gaze.
"_-_____..." He paused in an attempt to push aside his jumbled mess of shyness and nervousness, gulping. "_____, I love you. I love your smile, I love the sound of your laughter, I love your voice, but most of all I love you. But _____...
Do you love me?"
"..." You were speechless, and you probably looked like one of Antonio's tomatoes right now. Alfred seriously wasn't kidding when he said that Matthew would give you a romantic confession...
Taking your silence as a no, Matthew could feel the tears prick at the corners of his eyes once more before sighing. Slowly unraveling his arms from around your figure, he let out a small yelp sound when you hugged him back tightly.
It was now your turn to confess, and with a few words of mental pep talk you were prepared to spill out your feelings.
"Matthew... I like Alfy," You started, earning a pained look from the Canadian—but you opened your mouth, signifying that you had yet to finish. "I like Alfy... but not the way I like you.
Alfy's my best friend. I have to like him, otherwise that'd defeat the purpose of best friend—but you're the person who my heart decided that being my best friend wasn't enough, so it made you my crush. Then, as if that wasn't enough already, my heart changed it's mind once again, this time making you into... into..."
"...Into the person that I love. I love you, Mattie."
As soon as the words left your lips, you could hear him let out a small squeak of surprise; and what followed after was something you were probably never going to forget. With what sounded like a sigh of defeat, Matthew mumbled a quick 'Punch me if you don't like this' before a pair of lips crashed into your own, the sudden smell and taste of maple syrup flooding your senses.
It only took you a few moments to respond, and with a dark blush you were kissing him back with just as much fervor until—
"Heck yeah! Get some, Mattie!"
...You were going to murder Alfred one day.
Even if he did help you with getting both you and Matthew to confess.