You coughed and winced slightly before snuggling deeper into the blankets and cushions of your sofa, pulling the blankets tighter around yourself just as you heard your phone ringing. You groaned and rolled over to stare at it on the coffee table for a few minutes before you picked it up and answered, not even bothering to check the caller ID.
Canada, or Matthew Williams as he was also known fumbled with his phone for a few moments as he worked on getting the nerve up to talk to you, you and he had been dating for almost a year and a half but he was still nervous around you from time to time, now was one of those times.
"Oh..Um...H-Hey _-__________... I-I just wanted to know if, i-if you might... If maybe you would, I mean I'm asking if y-"
Matthew was cut off by what sounded like a rather painful, and violent coughing fit from you, he had no idea that you were sick, you hadn't called him, that fact stung a little, you had insisted he call you whenever he was sick, so why didn't you want him to come take care of you now?
You blew your nose and coughed a few more times before you managed to regain your ability to speak, the effort it took hurt, and anyone else would have been hung up on, but this was your gentle mannered boyfriend, and for him you would do just about anything.
"Sorry for interrupting you like that, Mattie...Now what was it wanted to ask me?"
Your voice sounded so weak, it was scaring Matthew a little, as long as you had known each other, which had been for several years now, he had never heard you this sick. He had been working on pulling the red hoodie with the white maple leaf that you had given him on his birthday on while you were talking, and only had it half way on at the moment, if you had of been there, you would have been laughing your head off.
"Don't worry about it, I will ask later, I'm about to head over there to take care of you, so just sit tight eh?"
"Oh Matthew you really don't have to come take care of me, I'll be f-"
The click you heard over the line signaled to you that he had hung up, probably because he knew you were going to argue, and he wasn't going to talk on the phone while driving.
You looked down at yourself and grumbled a little, you looked awful in your sweats and one of Mattie's sweatshirts that he had left at your house one day that you then decided to hold onto because it smelled like him. There was no way you could let him see you like this, you were insecure enough as it was.
You stood up, much against the will of your aching body and started walking to your room, you were almost there when everything started to spin and you swayed slightly before collapsing on the floor and feeling darkness envelope you.
Matthew only lived twenty minutes away, but the drive felt like it was taking all eternity until he saw your house and parked his car behind yours. He was about to knock when he changed his mind, if you were sleeping he didn't want to wake you, and you had given him a spare key to your house a few months ago so he just let himself in. He walked to the living room and saw where you had been laying on the couch, amidst what seemed like a thousand tissues and empty Gatorade bottles , but you were nowhere in sight.
After waiting a few minutes, thinking you were just in the bathroom, he started to get antsy and decided to go look for you. He found you on the floor outside your room and quickly knelt beside you, smoothing your hair back from your burning face.
"Please be okay _________..."
You were vaguely aware of something cool touching your face before you heard Matthew's voice cutting through the fog. "Please be okay ________..." You wanted to answer him and tell him you would be fine, but you were tired to fight through the heavy blanket that kept you under.
Matthew laid you down on your bed and checked your pulse, it seemed even and normal, so that was not a concern, but you were still burning up, and he knew he had to get your fever down soon or it could cause serious damage. He went into your bathroom and got a washcloth damp before returning to you and placing it on your forehead.
You relaxed and looked less pained as the cool cloth soothed your headache and your fever both. You could still hear Matthew talking to you every now and then as you slept, but now it was different, it was less foggy.
A few hours passed before your eyes finally fluttered open and you looked over at Matthew sleeping in a chair next to your bed that he must have brought in from the other room. You coughed once and quickly covered it with your hand but it still woke Matthew up and he was soon standing beside you and placing a cool hand on your cheek.
"How are you feeling mon feuille d'érable?"
You blushed and felt your face grow hot again as you looked up at Matthew and smiled a little, you always got all giddy and felt butterflies in your stomach whenever he spoke French to you and looked at you like that, like you were the most beautiful girl in the world.
"Much better, thank you. I'm sorry you had to come all this way, you really didn't need to..."
Matthew shook his head and much to your surprise looked angry, you had only seen him angry once or twice during the time that you had known him, and it had never been with you, once with the his brother America because he kept being beaten up by other countries who were mad at his brother and mistook Matthew for Alfred, and once at his father France because Francis kept flirting with you even though you told him to stop, and then he finally crossed the line and started stroking your inner thigh. But this time he was angry with you.
"Damn it ________! Why didn't you call me?! And of course I had to! You could have died if I didn't! Why don't you trust me enough to let me take care of you?! Why...Why don't you want me to take care of you..."
You were in a slight state of shock after Matthew's outburst, but it didn't take you long to regain your ability to speak. You looked down at your hands as your eyes misted with tears. You saw the hurt in his beautiful violet eyes and you were ashamed with yourself, mostly because he was right, about at least part of it, you didn't want him to take care of you, you were afraid of letting him see you like this.
"I do trust you, I just...I didn't want you to see me all sick, and disgusting...My last boyfriend dumped me because he said I wasn't pretty enough, and I didn't want you to leave me too..."
Matthew blinked a few times as he absorbed what you said, he remembered when Romano dumped you, everyone at the world meeting did, you had come in and looked a bit disheveled, your hair was a mess and you had muddy water all over yourself, like a car had driven by and splashed it on you. Lovino had stood up and walked over to you, looking you up in down with disgust.
Ugh...You disgust me ragazza, how-a do you expect-a me to-a love an un-presentable person like you? It's over.
And after that he had left the room, leaving you with tear filled eyes and a shattered heart.
Alfred had had to physically hold Matthew back to keep him from beating the crap out of Lovino for what he had just done to you. Matthew hadn't liked him from the start, Lovino insulted you, laughed at you, called you names, and Matthew had often wondered if Lovino abused you, and then he dumped you like a piece of trash in front of everyone before just walking away.
"I..I am so sorry! I didn't mean to make you cry! Please don't be upset! I couldn't ever think you were anything but beautiful! Vous êtes la lumière de mon vie! Je t'aime plus que tout dans ce monde!"
You felt Matthew's strong arms wrap around you and pull you close to him as you let quiet tears fall onto his shirt and rested your head on his shoulder.
"I know you didn't, I love you too Mattie, so much it scares me sometimes..."
Matthew rubbed your back gently and pulled back to plant a sweet kiss on the end of your nose before looking into your eyes.
"You never have to be scared when I'm around, I'll never leave you...The...The reason I was calling you earlier was so I could ask you to come to dinner with me...Because well...I wanted to give you this..."
You looked down at the velvet box with the ring inside. It was white gold with tiny diamonds set into it to look like a maple leaf, it was so perfect, you covered your mouth with your hand and choked back a sob of surprise and happiness.
Matthew mistook your reaction and his face fell as he pulled the box away and was about to rise to his feet. He knew you would say no, but he had hoped...He had hoped so badly that you would say yes...But now...He looked back at you as he felt you catch his wrist and he settled back down, looking up to meet your gaze.
You reached up and stroked the side of his face gently before leaning up and kissing him, letting your lips linger on his for a few seconds as you whispered one word, one word that changed everything.