M/M Human AU Rating is Teen. Alfred gets kicked out of his home, so Matthew takes him in. Requested by myluckypapillion
"Until you realise your erroneous thinking, you are not welcome here."
And with those words, Alfred was ejected from the Jones’ house.
He regretted now not grabbing a warmer coat: like his father’s prized leather one, just to spite the man. Under the setting sun, the evening winds were gearing up and frost was settling upon the well-cut grass. He feared his death of cold if he weren’t to find a warm shelter by nightfall.
The angry words looped in his head: you are not welcome here.
Not here where you grew up, where the parents who loved you and tucked you into bed and kissed you good night and packed your lunch for the next day—you’re no longer welcome here. You, our fifteen-year-old son, our only, our pride and joy, are not welcome here. We, the ones that raised you and praised you and had such high hopes for you, no longer wish for your presence.
Please don’t return.
He wiped at the tears he didn’t want to acknowledge with a fury that left his face sore and red. He trudged the brushed-clean cement walk, hands deep in his pockets and hood low over his eyes. His glasses were mildly fogged from his breath that the wind kept shoving back in his face.
Aimlessly he walked, his mental navigation currently controlled by his lower conciousness, and wondered what would come next. Part of him still hoped for his cell phone to ring, for his mother’s tearful voice to apologise or his father to ask where he was and tell him to get his butt home stat; instead, the stubbornly silent device was a simple cold brick in his hands, nothing more than an object to grip as he struggled against heaving.
He blinked, hating the tracks on his skin and the blotches on his glasses left by those cursed tears, hating the tears themselves, wishing he were somewhere warm: with friends, at school even, anywhere that wasn’t colourless cracked concrete and brutal wind.
A tree branch whacked him across the head.
He released the phone in his pocket and rubbed his hood, grumbling and ready to snap—then his eyes focused on the house behind the offending tree. Blue siding, missing shingles, broken basketball net in the driveway (broken because Alfred had overestimated how much weight it could hold after a slam-dunk): his old second home.
Mattie’s home: where (before the school district boundaries had changed) he spent his afternoons til his parents came to pick him up, where he’d learned random French phrases from Matt’s bilingual father, where he’d broken his personal best on his old favourite shoot-out game.
Where his old best friend lived; whom he’d, in the rush of adolescence and starting a new school, regrettably forgotten. A wave of nostalgia overtook him and he, cleaning up his appearance as he could, jogged up the steps and fisted the doorbell.
He counted thirty seconds and tried the bell again.
A breeze shook the bushes nearby. He expected one of them to uproot and roll away like a tumble-weed.
Guess nobody’s home, thought he. Slouching, he turned on the heel of his right foot and stepped away. He reached his fifteenth step when he heard the door click open, and he glanced back.
How many years had it been since he last saw Mattie? His faint memory did so little justice to the gorgeous boy standing in the threshold, dressed in a loose t-shirt and sweatpants and a towel wrapped around his head.
"Sorry for making you wait! I was—unavailable for a mo’, but I tried to get here as fast as I—was there, something I could help you with?"
Does he even recognise me? thought Alfred, turning around and pulling his hood back. He felt a blush creeping across his ears; his old friend had aged very well.
Mattie blinked, and blinked again. Red crossed his cheeks.
Al nodded. Matt froze.
"Hey," said Al. "It’s been a while."
A few seconds more, then Matt realised himself and yanked the towel off his head. He tossed the towel out of Al’s view and finger-combed his wet, wavy hair.
"Y-Yeah, it’s been a long while. Uh, wanna come in? It’s rather cold out, no?"
"A bit, yeah." He walked cautiously.
"Well, come on. Come in." Matt waved and nodded toward the space behind him. "I’m sorry the house is in disarray at the moment. If I had known you were coming, I would’ve—"
"S’all right," said Alfred, waving a hand to indicate calm. "This was, sudden for me, too." He took a seat beside Matt on the couch in the front room.
"I just—I was out walking, not really paying attention… then I ended up here. And, I remembered just how long it’d been since I last saw you…"
Mattie scooted closer, swallowed.
"I missed you, you know. After you switched to the other school…"
"I’m sorry: I know I should have tried to keep in touch better. I can’t believe I didn’t know how much I missed you til now." He dared to put an arm over the other’s shoulder. "Can you forgive me for that?"
Matt nodded. “It’s—I didn’t exactly try very hard either.” He folded his legs under him. “I was afraid of being a bother, you know?”
"Mm, I do know. Despite how many times I told you: you’re never a bother." He gave Mattie a little shake.
The brunet grinned. “So… how’ve things been for you?”
"They were good til this morning." He bit his lip, deciding how best to approach the story. "Mom and Dad, found out something ‘bout me. And they didn’t like it."
"What did they find out?"
Alfred’s hand near Matt’s face clenched and released. He regarded the younger boy’s grin and took a deep breath, knowing that what he was about to say was the truest of truths, especially if his red ears and nervousness accounted for anything.
"That I’m gay." He felt Mattie straighten under his arm and scoot a smidgen closer to him. "They… kicked me out, actually. S’why I was out walking."
"Oh… that’s terrible," said Matt, looking down at their legs and—as casually as he could—rested his head on Alfred’s shoulder. "That’s… I’m so sorry. I never imagined they would be the type to do that."
"Yeah… I never knew how they’d react—which is why I never told them; too afraid. Now I see why." His hand slid down Matt’s arm and settled near his waist.
"I’m sorry," said Matt again. "When my father found out about me, he was good about it. He said he just wanted me to be happy."
"That’s good. Are you?"
"Happy? Yeah, I am. Now." He paused, and swallowed. "You’re here. And we’re… we’re like this."
Alfred blinked rapidly, becoming aware of their layout and Mattie’s words, and he—though far from being an atmospheric expert—thought he understood what Matt was getting at. His heart jumped.
He had to be sure. “What are you getting at, exactly?”
"I," said Matt, fidgeting. "Well, for some time… I’ve, I’ve kind of liked you. So…"
Alfred pressed a kiss to the brunet’s hairline, smiling like a fool. A door shut somewhere in the back of the house. One of Matt’s hands flew to his head; he righted and sought Alfred’s crinkled eyes. Another kiss was left on his cheek. Al picked up both of his wrists and wrapped his arms around the blond’s neck.
"I like you too, Matt." He kissed the tip of the freckled nose and twisted his body to face Matt, placed his hands on the boy’s back. Cooler hands moved to his cheeks. He could feel a gasp of air on his lips—then another pair of lips.
By the time he closed his eyes, Mattie had pulled back. They watched each other, searching, analysing, waiting for a reaction. Al pursed his lips as an invitation.
Mattie accepted. Footsteps sounded in the hall.
Shifting to his knees, Matt forced Alfred to crane his neck back and Al’s hands to slide down to his bum, where they rested for a few seconds; then Alfred’s brain caught up, and they scooted up again.
They broke for air, and Mattie hugged the blond’s head, resting his chin in the golden hair.
"I can’t even say," said he, "just how much I’ve always wanted to hear you say that."
"You don’t have to, Matt," said Alfred, voice a little nasally from his nose being flattened by a thin chest. "you’ve expressed yourself quite well."
"You should stay here, Al—with me," said Mattie, a little breathless and dreamily. "Wouldn’t that be nice?"
"It would be." Al tried to nudge Matt back, but the boy held firm.
"We could share my room, y’know. My bed’s big enough for two. And Dad’s a good cook, so we’ll get to have nice meals together. We’ll be together all the time—"
Al resigned himself to the brunet’s rambling and the smell of his clean shirt. One of his hands hooked around the back of Mattie’s knee, the other rested on his lap. He closed his eyes and tried to picture some of the scenarios.
Then the hairs on the back of his neck prickled; he felt unfamiliar eyes on them.
"—and we’ll probably have to buy you some new clothes, since you and I aren’t the same size; but I’m sure Dad will be fine with that, we’ll just have to ask him."
"Yes, I think that a rather good suggestion," came an accented, kindly and disbelieving voice.
Matt flinched and released Alfred, glancing up at his father’s bemused expression.
"D-Dad! When did you get home?"
"Mm, some time ago. I see you’ve had a good afternoon?" He crossed his arms and smirked.
"Ah, D-Dad, do you remember Alfred? He’s nowhere to stay and—"
Alfred turned his head and waved meekly.
"Yes, I do remember him. Hello, Alfred." Matt’s father nodded. "If you would, first please explain to me how this has happened, I would have no problem letting him stay here."
"Well, you see—" began Mattie.
Alfred woke, stifling a huge yawn. Beside him, Mattie curled closer and fisted the material of his pyjama shirt. He combed his fingers through slightly knotted wavy brown hair and kissed the boy’s head.
"G’morning," mumbled Matt.
"Very well. I had a strange dream though."
"Well, my parents were in it. They were asking me to come home, to stop being so stupid and just come back."
“‘n wha’d you say?”
"Do you really wanna know?"
Matt half nodded, half nuzzled Al’s chest. With a small smile, Alfred traced the shell of Matt’s ear with a fingernail.
"I told them, Mattie—I told them to stop being silly: they clearly didn’t know what they were talking about. They got confused, so I had to explain it to them, that I didn’t need to return home.
"I had to explain to them, I’m here with you; somewhere I can be myself.
"I had to tell them:
"I was already home."
Thank you for the prompt! I hope this did your expectations justice, dear! :) ~Moon