The white sheets were crumbled and slept in, but the two men didn't seem to care. Gilbert had his arms covering Mathieu’s small frame, he was warm, his soft skin pressing against Gilbert’s. His glasses lay on the bedside table, alongside a magazine and a bottle of Canadian beer, Molson Canadian to be exact.
Gilbert’s red eyes were open, glazed over with sleep and a slight hangover. But still open. He watched the small Canadian mumble something incoherent and sport a small sleepy smile, he seemed to still be asleep. Gilbert didn't want to move, you see. As this was one of the only times he’s laid in bed with a lover. Usually there was no love involved, it was a one and only time thing, which left in the morning and missed breakfast, and Gilbert would sit down alone, not even attempting to eat, just grab a pill and booze for the pain, which made his breath stink.
He knew Mathieu was a lot more pleasant in the morning if given food coated in syrup and an Advil for the appalling hangover, but his body seemed trapped in the euphoric sense of happiness, in the joy the small Canadian has always seemed to grant him. He felt a small glimpse of this as soon as he saw the boy, ignored but persistent, he always had a smile and a sorry on his lips, and Gilbert had been enamored.
He loved his violet eyes and French hair and pancakes. He couldn't get enough of him, the smell of the maple lingering on his pale skin and the coldness of his hands in winter seasons. On their first date Gilbert barely blinked, afraid the man would disappear, but he hadn't, and Gilbert continuously asked where he had been before he met him. Mathieu just blushed and shrugged, wondering if the old Gilbert would’ve actually liked him, war obsessed and constantly angry, he doubted it.
When the other nations found them together, laughing and holding hands with a hot face, they had all had different reactions, though majority forgot a few minutes after. Francis was shocked as you can imagine. His son and his best friend? But once the happiness on his son’s face connected with the memories of the small French speaking child with a grin on his lips, tears sprang to his eyes, and he couldn't seem to stop congratulating them. Arthur scoffed, almost about to verbally attack Gilbert, but stopped, because something seemed right about them. He also felt that Mathieu deserved someone he loved, even if that loved one maybe didn't deserve him quite as much. Or so Arthur thought.
Alfred was frozen. When he saw the connected fingers and the pleading face his brother was giving him, he couldn't seem to move. He just stared. Maybe it was because his brother found love before him, or because he was conflicted, or maybe he was just stuck in the overflowing memories. Whichever it was, he ignored the Prussian and ran to his brother, giving him a hug as tears ran down his face. Everyone there was startled at the American’s display of emotions, Mathieu just allowed the wetness to stain his jacket, he, out of everyone, was the only one who understood his brothers reactions at that moment.
Gilbert’s side of the family was pretty dumbstruck. “Out of everyone he ended up with the shy… who?” they asked. But Gilbert just held on tight to Mathieu’s hand, and rubbed the back of his neck in nerves. Ludwig awkwardly nodded, shaking hands with the anxious Mathieu and asking him to visit for some dinner in a few weeks, Mathieu nodded and chuckled restlessly.
Only a few days after that they shared their first kiss, where Mathieu surprised Gilbert with his extensive knowledge of French kissing, and Gilbert couldn't stop grinning for the rest of the day. So much so that Roderich actually asked if he was crazy. "Says him!" Gilbert had complained to Ludwig a few hours later.
And soon after that they spent the night in Mathieu’s bed. Gilbert didn't leave in the morning. Not just because Mathieu made him pancakes, but because he enjoyed the feeling of his arms cuddling someone, someone he actually cared about.
Their relationship had evolved and become something that everyone -who saw the loving expressions and the inside jokes- envied.
They saw Gilbert singing to Mathieu completely off pitch, to a song he didn't even know the lyrics to, but they also saw the endearing look Mathieu gave him and the quick kiss they shared with blushing cheeks.
None of the nations have ever seen them fight. Yes they’ve seen Mathieu slightly pissed off when Gilbert invited Francis and Antonio over without consent and got majorly drunk, but he always included Mathieu, and he never leaves him when he’s lonely or complains when Al comes over without a text beforehand. And Gilbert has often gotten visually grumpy over how little Matt seems to share with him sometimes, but he puts it down to the fear of rejection and abandonment Mathieu has felt since he was a child. They've never fought about it.
Gilbert, during the reminiscing, had fallen asleep once again. His hand clutched in Mathieu’s hair and legs entangled clumsily. This time Mathieu woke up first, his violet eyes crinkling in a smile when he saw the peaceful look on Gilbert’s face. He untangled himself, humming softly and thinking of what food he should cook to wake him up to. Once standing by the bedside, he reached out and caressed Gilbert’s face, hoping it didn't appear creepy, and said,
“Je t’aime, mon bien-aimé.”