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Chapter 1

*Gilbert*

 

I told myself from the very beginning that I wasn’t allowed to fall in love. But sometimes, rules you make for yourself need to be broken. This whole mess started with the new school year, and a new family had moved into my neighborhood. Yeah, because my life totally needed some of that cliché romance novel stuff in it.
I first decided to break my Number One Rule when my father decided we would go over and welcome the new family to the neighborhood properly. "Now no matter what, I want you to be kind to the entire family. Even if one of the son's is annoying or rude, you are better than that." He drilled this into my brain several times before he actually rang the doorbell.
"Ja, ja, whatever you say." His mouth opened to scold me just as a young looking boy with bright violet eyes and silky-looking waves of golden hair answered the door. "Hello, may I help you?" His voice was quiet and chirpy, like a baby bird.
"Hallo, my name is Bernd Beilschmidt, and this is my so-" Before my dad could finish I grasped the boys hand and shook it firmly. "My name is Gilbert, but you can call me tonight" I threw in a classic eyebrow wiggle and smoldering smirk. The poor kid looked like he was about to explode when someone called from inside asking who was at the door.
"JUST THE NEIGHBORS, MOM!"
"WELL THEN DON'T LET THEM STAND OUT THERE FREEZIN' THEIR BALLS OFF! INVITE THEM IN!" I tried to contain my laughter at the woman's choice of words, but alas, I failed. "So why don't you gentlemen come inside….." Just as we entered the house, he grabbed my arm and whispered "My name's Matthew, by the way. I might just take you up on your offer"

* * *

 

We somehow ended up staying over for supper. "So, Gilbert, what year will you be starting when school starts up?" Mrs. Bonnefoy asked, trying to strike up a conversation and possibly end the awkward silence that had settled in the dining room. "Uh…. 2015?" That earned me a quick slap on the back of the head from Dad. "He's going to be in his Junior year. If we're lucky, he might manage to pass all of his classes and graduate next year."
"What a coincidence, the boys are starting their Junior year as well! Judging by your current living location, they shall be attending the same school?"
"Most likely. World Cross High school?" At this point I drowned out the chatter of the parents and turned my attention to Matthew.
"Gott, he's so cute, like a little canary. Maybe I'll call him Birdie? Nah, that'll just make it to cliché. But adorable. WAIT!" I slapped my palm against my forehead. I barely even knew the guy and I was already assigning him a cutesy pet name! I heard his brother snort with obnoxious laughter, as if he had read my thoughts and was mocking me for them.
The youngest member of the Bonnefoy family, a little girl named Jenna, stared at me from across the table, smiling a creepy little child smile. Jesus, it was like all the kids knew I was thinking about Matthew except Matthew. The rest of the meal was sort of a blur. Matthew showed us out, and once again, grabbed me before I had a chance to leave.
"Tonight was sort of hectic, but I'm glad I got to meet you. You seem like a super amazing person, Gilbert. Maybe we could hang out some more, once school starts?" In that moment, with the stars shining in his violet eyes, I just wanted to cup his face in my hands and-
"Nein! Schieße, Matthew. I'm sorry, I just can't get to close to you. I'm so sorry…" I turned away from him and practically sprinted home. I suppose I should tell you why I had to make that goddamned rule in the first place. I mean, it's sort of the whole reason my life was going through all this fucking angst all of a sudden. The truth is, when I get to close to somebody, they will always end up dead.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

*Matthew*

Okay, so I was super gay for Gilbert. There was no denying it. But if I was going to get over that stinging blow of denial I had to avoid him.
"And make sure you two stop by the elementary school to get your sister around 3. Don't leave her out in the cold like you did last year." Mom hollered out the door as we made our way to the car. "Yeah, yeah, whatever you say Ma!" Al called back, already settling into the drivers seat. Jenna waved happily and leapt into the back, buckled and ready to leave within seconds. At least they were excited for school.
I got in the car, barely managing to get myself buckled before Al hit the gas and rocketed out of the driveway and into the street.

* * *

The schoolyard was buzzing with life, and it was only 7:54 AM. There was a variety of people scattered about, all conversing excitedly about their summer vacations. Alfred threw his arm over my shoulder, pulling me closer. "Mattie, take a good look around and tell me what you see. Me? I see our new future -a brand new life, spread out in front of us."
I rolled my eyes. "I see a bunch of people, some of them might even want to rip our faces off." I peeled his arm from my shoulder, and swiftly retreated. I do love my brother, but I really really don't want to be associated with him.
The front doors were open, thank God. I managed to find the library, the cafeteria, and a safe little quiet spot to read in when things got to hectic. "This year might actually be okay. Now I just have to avoid running into Gilbert. "
But, of course, my life is taking that cliché romantic comedy route and the exact person I had my heart set on avoiding crashed into me at full speed. "Schieße! Hey, watch where your going!" He hollered, scrambling around the floor to gather up his papers and pens and things along those lines. "Sorry, sorry! You should watch yourself to, though!" He scoffed, rolling his blood colored eyes before glancing up to look me in the eyes. His reaction was priceless.
He managed to choke on his own oxygen, eyes widening. "Mattie?! You're going to this school?!"
"Yes, we discussed this when you and your Dad had dinner with us. I'm surprised you don't remember, you pulled that stupid pick up line nearly immediately." His already pale face seemed to drain in color, if that was even possible. "O-oh, right. So, um, yeah…. Bye!" To this day I have never seen another human being move as fast as a retreating Gilbert Beilschmidt. Turns out, we both had the same plan for the school year.

* * *

The day went by in a blur of teachers trying much to hard to be funny and students trying much to hard to make them look like fools in front of the entire class. "Did you have a good day at school Jenna? Make a lot of new friends? Like your teachers, your classes? Do they have good lunches cause if they don't have good lunches then that school isn't worth liking." Alfred's mouth practically ran on the fuel of a thousand angry Spartans, spewing out every last detail of his amazing first day. "I was totally the hero at lunch time, some Russian chick tripped and nearly face planted in her food but of course, I was there and I caught her right before the impact! She was so grateful, she told me we should go out sometime! You guys want to go to McDonald's, cause I am starving. Anyways, after lunch I had science, which of course, is the best class EVER, an-"
I finally managed to tune him out and focus on the world zooming by outside the car window. Fall was finally starting to settle over the town, and the beautiful shades of gold and orange were overtaking the green of summer. Sunlight shone through the gaps in the trees where the leaves had abandoned their branches, dancing in the shadows gracefully. "You really like lookin at nature, dontcha Mattie?" Every bit of serenity I had found shattered the second my brother opened his mouth once more.
"Yes, Alfred, I like looking at nature. We've established this before."
"Really? We have? Wow, I gotta pay attention to you more often. Anyway, you never answered my first question, do you want McDonald's or not? Jenna wants something and it's gonna be super awkward if you're the only one in here who ain't eating or drinking something." I sighed and leaned against the cool glass window. Why did my brother and sister have to be my only friends?

Chapter Text

Chapter 3
*Gilbert*

 

"Come on, Lud! I swear I saw it and it was AWESOME!" The little blond toddled after his older brother as fast as his chubby baby legs could carry him. The albino boy was racing through the woods behind their home, blood red eyes darting through his surroundings in search for his awesome discovery. "Wait up bruder! Wait up wait up!"
Gilbert felt a very strong sense of pride knowing that the first understandable sentence his brother had ever said was a cry for him, but nothing could slow him down now! Soon, the two Beilschmidt boys approached the creek, one of the many obstacles they'd have to cross to find the elder's treasure. "Bruuuuder!!!" Ludwig cried for Gilbert, his little legs catching every so often on the fallen branches and stones. But his brother heard nothing but his own thoughts.
"Oh man, Lud, you're gonna love this, it's great!" He ran for several more minutes before he realized that he didn't hear the crunch of leaves behind him. He turned and met with the sight of an empty space. Ludwig wasn't behind him anymore, and there was no telling how long it was since he had. "Ludwig?! Hey, little bro? Come on dude, where are you hiding?!"
He began to panic, rushing back the way he came in hopes to catch sight of his sidekick. He ran and ran until he reached the edge of the woods, then he turned and ran back in, tears starting to poor down his pale cheeks. After repeating this action several times he rushed home. "Momma, Papa! Come quick!"
His parents were at his side in a heartbeat. "Gilbert, honey, what's wrong? W-where's your brother?"
"I lost him! I looked in the woods about a bazillion times, I really did! I can't find him!!!" It was about an hour before the police arrived. Mrs. Beilschmidt held her son tightly, murmuring promises that it would all be okay. It took another hour for the police to find the youngest member of the Beilschmidt family. "I'm sorry Mr. and Mrs. Beilschmidt. He's gone. It seems he slipped in the creek and hit his head on a nearby rock. Even if there was no creek, he still would've lost too much blood for him to survive."
Tears spilled down Gilbert's cheeks. He was to young to understand that Ludwig's death wasn't his fault. But it was the first in the series of untimely demises that seemed to haunt everyone the Beilschmidt boy had allowed himself to become close to.

I shot into a sitting position like a freshly fired bullet. I could feel the tears running down my cheeks, the memory from my childhood still running through my mind. My entire body was shaking, covered in a thin layer of sweat. It had been so long since I had that dream, why did it have to resurface now?!
I wiped the tears from my face, along with any sadness left behind by the dream. The sun was already awake, streaming through my curtains like snakes made of light. I supposed now was the best time to get up and face the day.
After an informative and slightly comical getting ready for school montage, I started my trek to school on foot. I was so lost in my thoughts about school and my cliche life in general, I didn't hear the Bonnefoy mother bid her children goodbye, or the revving of the car's engine as it barreled down the driveway, nearly taking me out. "Whoa whoa whoa! Alfred Franklin Bonnefoy, you watch where you're going!!!" The mother screamed from the porch.
The driver's door swung open, and Alfred popped his head out, a sheepish smile plastered on his face. "Oh, dude! Sorry 'bout that man! Gilbert, right? Hey, how about I give you a ride to school, we're going to the same place, yeah?" I didn't even have time to answer before he started speaking again. "Hop in the back, Jenna and Mattie won't mind having an extra person!"
My heart and mind light up with the possibility of seeing Matthew again, even though I had already told myself that I couldn't get to close to him or his family. "Uh, sure. Thanks, Alfred." I climbed in, shooting an awkward smile at the small blonde girl settled next to me in the back of the small car. She smiled back, much brighter and happier than my own. Matthew turned around slowly, lifting a hand and waving stiffly. At least we were both awkward together.
"So, as I was saying before we almost killed Gilbert, my dream was suuuuper weird last night! That Russian chick from yesterday was there, and we both had lazar guns, and there was, like, some sort of weird alien that looked just like Jenna."
"Alfred, can you do me a huge favor and just not talk about your dream again? Its the exact same as last week, only with some other chick. Why don't we ask Jenna about her dreams?" This last part was spoken sarcastically. I glanced at the kid beside me, expecting to see her fuming and ready to scream at them like most kids do. But she simply chuckled silently. It was a little weird. Actually, more than just a little weird. It was super weird. Like weird to the max.
The rest of the ride had the same awkward feeling to it, but it was over fairly quickly. As Matthew exited the vehicle and began to walk away I grabbed his wrist. "Wait, Mattie I-" He turned to look me in the eyes. Those beautiful violet eyes. "I want to apologize for what I said when we met. I do want to be your friend, more than anything."
He looked shocked. "Gil-"
"I was just worried for you're safety, I like you a whole lot. I just didn't want you to get hurt because of me." There was a long silence. People were staring, I think Alfred was taking pictures. "Gil, I wanted to be you're friend too… Why don't we try it again then?" He slid his wrist from my grasp and replaced it with his hand. "Gil, do you wanna go out or something?"
"More than anything."

Chapter Text

*Jenna*

 

Months passed since my brothers started hanging out with the neighbor boy. Most of the time they would spend time at our home so I got to see them pretty often. They did normal teenage boy things like play video games, pretend to do homework, and watch what they called "action films" in front of Mommy and Papa but were actually romantic comedies starring Sandra Bullock. Sometimes I caught them talking about their feelings and they'd swear me into secrecy. Even though they didn't have to worry about that anyways.
The Mommy and Papa I lived with now weren't the Mommy and Papa I was born to. They adopted me almost a year before we moved to this part of town. The family I lived with before is the reason why I can't talk anymore. She was an alcoholic and she smoked a lot in the house, and my brother Allen would hit me and James with his bat whenever he got mad. One night, Allen got really upset. I don't even remember what I had done to make him so angry but whatever it was snapped something inside him. I screamed for help but she was drunk out of her mind and Daddy was still working.
He chased me down the hall swinging his bat. I ran as fast as I could until I hit the stairs. He was still coming, but I knew I couldn't run down the stairs fast enough. I turned to yell at him to stop in time to receive a bat to the throat.
I was struck in the same place four more times before he shoved me down the staircase. The last thing I remember before blacking out was James rushing over to me. When I woke up I was in the hospital. The doctors told me that my old family had put me up for adoption.
I was lost in my memories when I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Gilbert. "Kid, you are super creepy. Did you know that?" I smiled and nodded. "Alright, Jen, leave us alone for a while, we just wanna hang out with each other for a bit." Matthew shooed me away. But instead of leaving, when he turned his back I climbed into his laundry basket and hid. "Super Spy Jenna Bonnefoy is on the case. Let us observe our targets.".
They sat in silence as a Sandra Bullock movie played, the occasional laugh breaking the silence like a hammer to glass. "Status update, targets are boring.". But just then as if God had to prove me wrong, Gilbert chuckled deeply. "Oi, birdie~ How about a kiss?"
"Not now, Gil, this is the best part." He replied. A few seconds later, there was a sharp gasp. "Gilbert!" This exclamation was followed by another low chuckle. I peeked out to see what was going on a little better. Gilbert had his lips pressed to Matthew's throat, one hand tangled in his hair and the other I couldn't seem to find. "N-Not now, my siblings are home, they could walk in at any minute!" I snickered silently. What a pair of dorks these two lovebirds were.

 

*Gilbert*

December started sooner than expected. Since my father wasn't a very social man, the neighbor women would often push their kids onto us to watch while they went off to bang their husbands after their company or clique Christmas parties. I honestly didn't think that the Bonnefoy's would be one of them. It was about 6 pm when Mrs. Bonnefoy knocked on our front door. I hollered to Dad to tell him that I would get the door, and there she was, hair half done with all three of her kids behind her. "Oy, Gilbert! Your Dad home? Look, Franny got himself invited to a party that he didn't tell me about till now. Can ya keep an eye on my babies while we're gone? I'd ask the boys to try and watch themselves and their sister but they cannot for their life care for anything."
I stared at her for a few seconds before nodding and pulling the others inside. "Hey, don't worry about it. We've got this, enjoy your night Mrs. Bonnefoy!" She smiled and finished tugging her long blonde hair into place. "Alright, see ya kids later! Don't be a bunch of twats to Mr. Beilschmidt or I'll kick your asses from here to next Christmas!" She pulled the door shut and dashed to her car, leaving me with the Bonnefoy children for the night.
Matthew gave me a quick hug followed by a fist bump by Alfred. Jenna smiled up at me in her creepy kid way. "Okay, let's hang out. My Dad is working up in his office so we shouldn't bother him. What do you guys usually even do with a kid?" Alfred smirked at my question and scooped up Jenna, holding her at my eye-level. Then, using a ridiculous falsetto voice, he began to use her as a puppet "Well I like it when Alfred goes out on dates with his cool Russian girlfriend! We should let him do that!" Matthew plucked the little girl from their brother's arms and mimicked his actions. "I actually like it when Matthew beats Alfred's ass and sends him to bed early because Matthew rules! Also Mom doesn't trust us so we're stuck here with nothing to do. Oh wai- ahem," He coughed and switched back to his normal speaking voice, "Oh wait, tonight's the night they light up the Christmas lights Downtown. We should go, Al could drive us."
"Dude, I don't wanna go see them plug in a bunch o' li-"
"We'll get Wendy's afterwards." There was a brief pause where I was pretty sure the Bonnefoy brothers were going to start a fist fight in my living room. It was pretty dang intense. Finally Alfred reached into his jean pocket and pulled out a set of keys and his cellphone. "Alright, let's go."

 

* * *

The park Downtown was fairly large. Not as large as Central Park in New York City, but a good few football fields in length. The local river ran through the park, creating multiple paths and bridges one could take to explore the expanse of nature. Jenna constantly ran across these bridges, dancing lightly on each wooden plank. Every so often, she would grab Matthew's hands and force him to dance with her. He looked like a petite fairy with the moonlight and the street lights shining around him, bouncing off his hair like a halo. God, this kid was far to pretty for his own good.
Around 9, the whole park went black, only illuminated by the half moon. I felt Matthew's fingers intertwine with mine, and I gave them a firm squeeze. "Get ready for the most magical moment of your life, Mattie." I murmured. I felt a sharp elbow dig into my side. Alfred. He could be so childish at times, but he was happy for us. Well, he was happy for his brother.
We all waited with baited breath as the cold December air and the late night darkness settled around us. Then, like a bullet rushing from a freshly fired gun, the lights sparked to life. Dazzling greens and reds danced alongside sweet and soothing blues and whites. They decorated every tree, in varying shapes like stars and hearts. "Wow, you were right. Most magical moment of my life. Glad I got to share it with you."
We continued exploring the park, catching every light on every tree or bush or light post. Alfred would point out things for Jenna to see and he'd voice her opinions on them based on her facial expressions. It was weird that she wasn't doing it herself, but I assumed she was just shy. Matthew leaned his head against by shoulder as we stopped by the fountain at the center of the park. "Hey, do you think they hung any mistletoe up in the trees?"
"No. But I don't need some dumb plant to make me wanna kiss you." I leaned down and pecked his nose. "Jenna says you two are disgusting." Leave it to Alfred to ruin the romantic mood. "Oh yeah, if she says that why isn't she here?" Matthew snarked. Suddenly his face went from condescending to concerned. "Oh God, why isn't she here? She's gone, oh god, no. Al, why weren't you watching her closer?! Oh man, what if one of Dad's friends his here and they see her by herself?! We're are so dead!"
He wrenched his hand away from mine and began darting around like a hummingbird on speed. "JENNA?! JENNA LOUISE BONNEFOY, YOU GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!" Soon, Alfred and I joined him in his search, calling out varied versions of her name, asking strangers if they had seen a little girl fitting her description, until finally we found her on the longest bridge in the whole park. She was chasing after another family, an excited smile plastered on her face. When she finally caught up to them she grabbed the tallest one's hand and tugged on it. "Hey, what the fu- Jenna?" Whoever he was wore sunglasses (at night, what a douche), and towered over the little punk child. His blond hair was pulled back into a small ponytail that rested over his shoulder. To be honest, he was kind of super hot. But not as hot as my Birdie.
The tall blond's family stopped and stared at Jenna. "Dude, been working on that necromancer bullshit again?" The other boy nudged who I assumed was his brother teasingly. This one was wearing shades too, and was the only tanned one within the bunch. He also had dark red hair instead of light blond like the rest of his family. "Allen, shut the hell, uh, heck up. Jenna, what are you doing here?" Allen looked like he was going to rip the legs off of his brother and beat him to death with them. But he didn't seem to notice, he was too busy being absolutely confused about the small child.
Matthew rushed towards them and grabbed Jenna's shoulder. "I-I'm so sorry, she does this all the time, running off and bothering strangers. Again, s-sorry. Enjoy your evening." He began to pull her away only to have her snatched away by the strawberry blond man with a large spray of freckles across his face. "Oh, my goodness! Jenna, darling, is that really you?" Matthew's face grew even more apologetic. "O-oh, you must really be her… I'm sorry, I had no idea."
"Kid, it's cool. Stop freaking the fuck out."
"Swear jar, James. Goodness, I just cannot believe you're really here! Is this really heaven? Did we die on the car ride over, because I see a little angel!" Allen scoffed. "S'gotta be Hell, cause I'm here with you assholes."
"Swear jar, Allen." The mother took a long drag from her cigarette, which she must've pulled out and lit while this was all going on because she didn't have it when we first saw her. "Well something is going on, because I was told that my third kid had died." Her voice sounded like that cigarette wasn't the only one she had smoked mixed with a heavy french accent. "James, you have some explaining to do." James opened and closed his mouth like a fish gasping for air. "It's not my fault they took her away, it's Allen's! And your's too, Mom. If you weren't so… negligent towards your damn kids then maybe you'd still have three."
Matthew looked like he was ready to cry right then and there. I came up behind him and placed a hand on his shoulder gently. "Birdie, it's alright, don't cry." I murmured. "So you two are the ones who adopted Jenna?" James asked. Matthew went beet red. "N-no! I'm just her brother- uh, her adopted brother! My, uh, our parents adopted her."
"Who the fuck put her up for adoption, I sure didn't."
"Swear jar, dear. I don't recall putting her up for adoption either. James Isaac Kirkland, you have some serious explaining to do, young man." The freckled father set Jenna down and turned on his tallest son. "You said she was hit by a truck and died instantly." Holy shit. "Yeah, she was hit. Allen took a bat to her throat and knocked her down the stairs. And your drunk wife wasn't gonna do anything about it so I took her to the hospital and got her out of there for good. And once I turn 18, I'm gonna do the same thing."
We all stood there in a stunned silence. It was incredible how things went from sweet and romantic to this horrible horrible shit storm in a span of 10 minutes. It was also pretty incredible how similar this family looked to the Bonnefoy family. Small world after all.
"This got super awkward super fast, I'm just gonna… ollie outie." Alfred stated as he backed away from the situation. Soon the other family was doing the same, as if they had never found their lost kid in a park before Christmas. James hung back, staring at his feet. "Look, kid. I'm relying on you to keep that little trouble maker safe. You and your ghost-boyfriend." He turned his head towards me, but because of those stupid shades I couldn't tell what sort of look he gave me.
"The people I got her away from are literal psychopaths. Don't post anything about her or your family online, don't give your address or phone numbers out to anyone you don't know like the back of your fucking hand. Trust me, I tried running away when I was 13. I didn't leave a single trace behind but in a matter of three weeks I was back in that hellhole. Watch yourselves, got it?" He didn't even wait for a response before he turned away from us and sulked back to his family.
Matthew picked Jenna up and held her tight. They both looked equally horrified from the encounter. "Hey, Mattie, it's gonna be alright. Just listen to the creepy guy, he sounded like he genuinely cared for your safety."
"Let's just go home, Gil."

Chapter Text

*Matthew*

I didn't tell Mom and Papa about the incident. Mom was a cop, and she would not have let something like that go like we had been told to do. Jenna became less photogenic, often hiding her face when the camera was pointed at her. Mom and Papa noticed this, of course. They took her to several doctors and child psychologists to see if there was a medical or mental reason behind it but since Jenna couldn't talk to any of them no one got anything out of it. Eventually they just gave it up.
Honestly it was better for us all if we pretended it never happened. Life went on and we never heard from the Kirkland family again. Christmas passed by, and so did New Year's. Finally it was time for Valentine's Day. I spent all of January planning for it, and now it was here. Gilbert would be so shocked. Hopefully.
Mom and Papa went out again for Valentine's Day, leaving us in the care of the Beilschmidt's for the evening. Bernd was actually out on a date for once, and so was Al. That left just me and Gil… and Jenna. But she could be taken care of easily.
Gil set her down on the couch and handed her the TV and DVD player remotes. "Watch whatever you want, I don't care. Just don't come in my room. If anything goes wrong, call the police or the ambulance or your parents." She gave him a confused look, and he looked right back, equally confused. Then it hit him. "Okay if something goes wrong run upstairs and bang on the door as hard as you can. Alright behave yourself you little troll."
After we got her set up I tugged him up the stairs into his room. Once we were inside I sat down on his dark blue comforter and smiled as sweetly as I could. To say I was nervous was sort of an understatement. Gilbert settled in next to me, mirroring my smile. I could see it in his eyes; he was nervous as well. "H-Happy Valentine's Day." I whispered, my sweet smile turning into a dopey, lovesick one. I reached into the kangaroo pouch pocket on the front of my hoodie and produced a small, red box. "Oh, Bird, you didn't have to."
"I know, I just really wanted to." I placed the box in his hands. "Open it." Without taking his eyes off of mine, he shakily pulled the top off of the small box. Resting inside was a pin. It was about the size of a nickel, round, and designed to look like a baby chicken. "Oh, Gott. Mattie, it's awesome! I love it, I love you!" He wrapped me into a firm bear hug. "I'm glad you like it, Gil."
"Okay, okay. So I bought you something too." He dropped to his knees and began searching under the bed for whatever he had so cleverly hid from the World. After a few minutes of bumps and hisses he reemerged with a blue present in his hands. "Here, Happy Valentine's Day." He plopped it into my hands and followed it with a chaste kiss.
Slowly, I opened the box, peering at the necklace inside. It was a simple silver chain with a small heart shaped pendant dangling from the end. Engraved on the heart were the initials 'M +G'.
"Oh, Gil. It's so beautiful!"
"You think so? Really?" He grabbed my face and planted a kiss on my lips, this one longer than the one we had shared only minutes ago. I placed the box on his bed and wrapped my arms around him. "God, how I love you. Whenever I look at you I feel my heart jump into my throat." I whispered breathlessly.
Gilbert groaned and pressed on my shoulders, pushing me down into the mattress. "Y'know Jenna could walk in on this at any moment. She could see this and be traumatized."
"Who cares? That's what makes it all the more exciting. Don't you think so?" He smashed his lips into mine, placing his body on top of me. I felt his tongue press against my lips, and I opened my mouth to allow his tongue to slide against my own. To have his weight, his body against me, to have his breath mingling with my own as we kissed with great amounts of passion and heat… it was exhilarating. "Matthew~" He moved from my lips to my neck, sucking gently at the skin. "Oh, look at that. I left a mark. Your mom is going to kill me."
"Good." I grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled him back to my mouth. "Mmm, Mattie."
"Don't talk, just kiss me." He obliged. He kissed every part of my face, my neck, and then finally he slid a hand under my shirt. "You okay with this, Bird? I don't wanna make you uncomfortable. Especially on Valentine's Day." I hesitated for a moment. This was a big step, and we had only been dating for maybe 6 months. And if my Mom found out… "Yeah, I'm okay with it." He smiled softly and began pulling my shirt off "Gi-
"Gilbert, why is the Bonnefoy girl downstairs all alone?" The door swung open, and if I didn't have my shirt over my head I would probably have seen the horribly disgusted and possibly embarrassed look on Mr. Beilschmidt's face. "Oh… well." He cleared his throat. "Dad, please please please close the door I'll be out in like four minutes!" Gilbert hissed. "Ja, ja. I'm sorry. Uh, Matthew? Gilbert? I'm sorry."
"IT'S GREAT THAT YOU'RE SORRY, DAD. LEAVE NOW, PLEASE!" The door slammed shut and I yanked my shirt back down where it belonged. "Well. That could have gone better."

 

*Gilbert*

I felt like Matthew and I not getting it on was a major let down, but also probably for the best. The last person I had loved that much lost the use of his legs. Luckily, pianists don't need their legs to play at all. Or did they? Maybe I could ask him if I ever see him again... And then there was the girl before him. Who knew what happened to her.
Then there was the one we didn't talk about. Dad didn't like to talk about any of my previous "accidents" anyways, but when it came to this one, he wouldn't talk to me for days on end. Not that I blamed him. It was my fault both his youngest son and his beloved wife were dead.
We were driving. It was raining, and we were driving home from the store. Just me and Mom. It had been years since the accident in the woods. I hadn't forgotten, and neither had she. But we were pretending we did.
Mom had the radio on, and we were singing along. I was in the back seat, so when the truck whammed into us head on, I barely got a scratch. I still remember the horrified look on the other driver's face as he saw what he had done to us, to her. I still remember his jumbled mess of excuses. "It was slick. I lost control. I had no idea it would end up like this."
I still remember her body pierced with shard of glass from both windshields. She died almost immediately. But not before she muttered the name of her son. Her youngest son. The one she's most likely spending every second of her afterlife loving

Chapter Text

*Gilbert*

March rolled in carrying spring with it. As Matthew and I spent more time with each other the farther the thoughts of tragedy drifted from my mind. I was happy to be with him and his family, even if they were a little crazy sometimes.
"It's crazy, isn't it? This year has gone by so quickly. It almost doesn't seem real." Matthew whispered, back pressed against my chest as we lay on his bed together. "It's almost like a movie, yknow?"
"Yeah, one of those cheesy romantic comedies~" I chuckled.
Matthew let out a breathy laugh before donning the deep voice reserved specifically for movie announcers. "He's the new kid in school with a crazy family. He's an albino weirdo with like one friend. Together, they might just make it work. Join Matthew and Gilbert as they try to keep their relationship steady in 'Insert some cheesy romantic title that your mum loves here'!"
"Yikes, that is the kind of thing a mom would like."
"I like those movies!" He gently swatted at my shoulder. "I know you do, that's why I teased you about it." He rolled over and pressed a kiss to my forehead. "I can't imagine myself without you. I can't imagine how I've ever managed to go on without you in my life. I…. I really love you."

A silence fell over the two of us. Sure we had been together, and we had been incredibly happy. But we had never uttered those three words in that particular order. His dopey smile slowly melted away into a frown as the silence dragged on. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said anything."
He began to wiggle free from my grasp. Not on my watch, you little shit. I tightened my arms around him and pulled him close once more. "Where do you think you're going, hm?"
"The deepest most secluded pits of hell, hopefully." He muttered into his sleeves. Honestly, he was so cute when he got all shy. And it didn't happen often which made it even cuter.

The silence returned. This time it wasn't awkward or thick with tension. It was still a very obvious presence, but it was calming. In this moment, I wasn't thinking. I wasn't thinking about my little brother, or my mom, or even my countless exes and their dooms. My heart and my head were set on Matthew and Matthew alone. Well, on Matthew, and my deep undeniable feelings for him.
I pulled him even closer, pressing my chest against his back. I could feel his warmth radiating through his thick hoodie. Slowly, I leaned forward and gently pressed a kiss to the tip of his ear.
"I love you too. I really, really fucking love you. I'll tell everyone at school, everyone in town, even that weirdo family from the park! I love Matthew Bonnefoy-Kirkland and I want EVERYONE TO KNOW!"
He squirmed and squeaked in my grasp. I could see a dark pink blush spreading across his cheeks. Smooth, Gilbert. The smoothest. "And I love his hair! And his eyes! And his soft skin! Does this boy bathe in lotion?! IT'S A MYSTERY AND I LOVE HIM EVEN MORE BECAUSE OF IT!"
"GIL, PLEASE, MY PARENTS ARE HOME!"
"GOOD! I WANT THEM TO KNOW OF MY LOVE FOR THEIR SON!" I cleared my throat and put on my best Western accent (Really I was just mocking how Alfred spoke). "I do declare, I wish to ask yer Daddy's permission for yer haaaaand in marriage!"

Matthew finally managed to break free, only to strike an overly dramatic Southern Belle pose. "Oh, Gilbert," He chirped in a falsetto tone. "I do not believe my Daddy would eva' allow a petite southern charm like myself to marry such a brutish foreigner like yerself! Oh, Gilbert, let's elope! My Daddy will neva' have to know!"
I pushed myself up onto my elbows. We were both barely containing out laughter at this point. "Why, I do declare that that there is a splendiferous idea there, madame!" I reached up and twirled at and imaginary handlebar mustache. "Y'see, I have the funds to support you and all 19 of our beautiful children. Assuming you don't pass away in the throes of a painful old timey child birth!"
His violet eyes were wide and smiling, lips pressed into a tight smile to keep his internal screams from becoming external screams. "We and our 19 children can homestead in Nawth Dakota, y'hear! We live off the land, maybe even run off into that mysterious unnamed territory to the Nawth! What with all them Natives livin' in the Dakotas and what not."

"GILBERT, HOLY FUCK, SHUT UP! AMERICANS DO NOT TALK THAT OBNOXIOUSLY ANYMORE!" Alfred's voice split through the fun atmosphere from his room next door. But it didn't matter. In that moment, I had my beautiful, giggly boy who would play along with all of my stupid jokes and overreactions. In this moment I felt as if nothing could ruin our great times.

I wish I had been right to this day.