"We'll be back in a week, Gilbert. The numbers to reach us are on the fridge and money for pizza is on the table in the kitchen. Um, oh yes. Arthur will probably be in his room a lot… Don't bother him unless you hear something suspicious or he doesn't come out for dinner. Alfred's videogames are in the shelf beside the TV and if you think Matthew's disappeared don't worry, he's probably there somewhere under your feet. Also, if Francis wants to cook let him. He's actually a better cook than you would think. Yeah, that's everything." Your mother instructed the babysitter from her awkward position hugging all of her sons in the front garden.
Gilbert smiled charmingly, "Everything vill be taken care of, Mrs. (Mother's Last Name). Und don't vorry, nothing vill happen to your children vhile I've got my eye on them, I svear."
Your mother let out a relieved sigh, "Thanks again. Also, I forgot to tell you… our daughter ______ will be staying here as well. She's around your age so she won't need taking care of but do look out for her and make she doesn't do anything ina-"
"MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!" You yelled, blushing red as a tomato.
"Right, right. You're a responsible young lady and all that. You could have taken care of your brothers all by yourself. I know. You've told me before." Your mother rolled her eyes, giving Gilbert a tiny wink. She gave the boys one last hug and kissed each on top of their heads. She stood up, walking over to you and whispering in your ear. "You know, that boy Gilbert's very attractive…" she trailed off, grinning at you like no mom has any right to grin.
"Mom!" you squeaked, eyes going wide, "How can you say stuff like that? Isn't it against the Rules of Parenthood or something?"
"Well, probably but I worry about you sometimes, _____. You've been on your own a very long time…"
"I'm fine, Mom. Just go get in the car already…" You gave your mother a quick hug and shooed her off to the car.
"Goodbye, kiddos. Your father and I will miss you!" She called back to you all, blowing kisses and smiling.
"Bye, Mom!" yelled Alfred.
"Have a good time, Mummy!" said Arthur, waving.
Stay safe." Matthew said in his loudest voice- really no more than a whisper but it was loud for him.
"Au revoir, Maman!" Francis called after her, smiling his usual charming smile.
That night, Francis made dinner despite Gilbert's protests.
"It isn't safe for a kid like you to be cooking!" Gilbert argued.
"I've done zhis a 'undred times before." Francis said coolly, stroking the peach fuzz on his chin, "I'll be fine!"
In any case, dinner was fantastic and everybody showed up for it- Even Arthur.
"So…" started Gilbert, picking at his food and looking at all his new charges with bright red eyes.
"I'm done!" Alfred announced.
"Vhat?!" Gilbert looked alarmed, "We just sat down! How did you-" he sighed.
"Can I go? I'm almost at the boss level on my game."
"No. Vait for the rest of us to finish eating first, okay?"
You chuckled. Gilbert was very good with your adopted brothers. Most babysitters would be ripping their hair out by now- as many had already- but he seemed to be doing well. And he was cute…. You stopped yourself. You would not let your mother's words get to you. He was just another stupid babysitter and nothing else. You looked down at your food and began to dig in again in brooding silence.
"Are you okay, _____?" Gilbert asked you, noticing your silence.
"She's just trying to convince 'erself zhat she is not in love with you." declared Francis.
"WHAT?!" you shrieked, shooting the thirteen year old a death stare.
Gilbert laughed, "Vell, I vouldn't be surprised. I am very awesome." He grinned at you, wiggling his white eyebrows.
"Nuh uh!" shouted Alfred, "You have to wait like everyone else!"
"Yes, _____ dear. It would be quite unfair if you got to leave before the rest of us." Arthur put in pompously.
"I'm older than the rest of you; I can do what I want."
"Th-That's not fair!" squeaked Matthew, clutching his stuffed bear.
"Yeah, Frau." Put in Gilbert, still smirking.
"What did you just call me?" you turned your death stare on the babysitter.
"Frau. It's German."
You got up from the table, pushing your chair back with a dreadful screech. "I'm leaving." You stalked off, going upstairs to your bedroom and slamming the door.
"Vell." Said Gilbert, "That could have been vorse."
"How could that have been worse?" asked Matthew, curiously.
"She could have hit me." Gil said calmly, making Francis laugh.
You heard a soft knock on your door.
"It's me, _____." whispered Matthew.
"Oh, come in Matty." You watched as the little boy opened the door and padded over to your bed, climbing up on it.
"I couldn't sleep." he confided in you.
"Me neither." You admitted, stroking his soft brown hair.
"Are you really in love with Gilbert?" the Canadian asked after a minute of silence.
"N-No!" you squeaked, "What gave you that idea?"
"Francis said you were…" Matthew shrugged. The little boy always followed Francis's lead and believed every word the kid said even when it was an obvious lie.
"Well, Francis must have gotten it wrong this time." You told Matthew.
"It wouldn't be so bad…" Matthew told you. "It would feel more like Mommy and Daddy were here." The boy yawned, clambering under you covers and curling up next to you, falling asleep immediately.
You thought about what he said then shook your head and laid back down, closing your eyes.
You opened your eyes, looking out at the bright new day. You smiled. "Matty…" You whispered to the Canadian boy, "Matty, time to wake up…" Silence.
"Matty?" you pulled off the covers- nobody was there. But Matthew's stuffed bear was lying on the pillow. "Matthew!" you shrieked, jumping out of bed and running out of your room.
What could you do next? Who could help you? Your thoughts immediately turned to Gilbert. He was supposed to be good at this stuff…
You ran towards the guest room where the babysitter was staying, "GILBERT! GILBERT, HELP!" you shouted, opening the door.
"Hmmm?" Gilbert sat up in his bed, rubbing tired eyes.
"Matthew's missing." You told him, worried.
Gilbert immediately jumped out of bed, "Vhere did you last see him, Frau?" he asked you, worriedly.
"Uh…" you stopped, suddenly forgetting everything. Gilbert apparently slept naked….
"Oh!" Gilbert blushed crimson, grabbing a pair of pants and underwear from his suitcase beside the bed, pulling them on quickly. "Right… So, vhere did you last see him again, Frau?"
"Uh… he came in my room last night because he couldn't sleep but when I woke up he was
"Right. Vell first things first, let's check his room, okay?"
You nodded and started off to the room he shared with Alfred. When you got there, you found Matty's bed empty and Alfred still snoozing.
"I guess the kitchen's next… He might have gone to get breakfast."
You and Gilbert spent the rest of the morning searching the house. Everywhere you looked- nothing.
By lunch you found yourself sitting on the couch in the living room crying and being comforted by Gilbert.
"It'll be okay, Frau. Ve'll find him, ja?" Gil wrapped an arm around you, hugging you close to him.
"I lost him!" you wailed, not stopping Gilbert from hugging you, "it's all my fault Matty's gone!"
"Nonsense! He's around here somevhere…"
"I guess we could check the ice cream store…" you sniffled, "He loves ice cream and we never have enough around here."
Gilbert nodded, "Come on then, _____."
A bell tinkled merrily as you and Gilbert walked inside the store.
"Hello, Mr. Fortisque." You smiled a bit at the ice cream man behind the counter.
"Oh hello there, Ms. _____!" the man waved at you, "What can I get for ya today?"
"Actually I was wondering if you'd seen Matthew around here anywhere."
"No, I don't think so… But I'll keep my eye out for him, okay?"
You nodded glumly, trying not to cry.
"Mr. Fortisque, can I get two chocolate ice creams? Both on cones." Gil said, slapping a ten dollar bill on the counter.
"Of course, young man." Mr. Fortisque smiled at Gilbert, scooping up some chocolate ice cream and dumping it into two cones. He gave the cones to Gil then counted out his change.
You looked at Gilbert questioningly.
"I thought ve could take a break for a little vhile and eat some ice cream." Gilbert told you, "Let's go out to the park." He smiled then looked over his shoulder at the ice cream man, "Keep the change."
You and Gil walked out to the park and sat on a bench, licking your ice cream cones.
"Thank you for helping me…" You smiled tiredly at Gil.
"Of course, Frau. I mean, I am kind of babysitting Matthew so…" He trailed off.
You laughed, "Well yeah, that too…"
"You've got some Speiseeis on your nose."
"Huh?" You crossed your eyes, trying to figure out what he was talking about.
Gil chuckled. "I got it…" He leaned in and before you knew what was happening had licked a bit of chocolate ice cream off of your nose. "All better!" he announced.
You blushed, "Y-Yeah…"
"Oh Gott… I shouldn't have done that, right?" Gil looked at you worriedly.
"No, it's fine…"
"Good." Gil said, still leaning in close to you, "Because othervise that would make things very awkvard…"
"Huh, what are you-"
Gil pressed his lips onto yours in a rough kiss. You were surprised at first; nearly dropping your ice cream but then began kissing him back greedily. You had been alone so long….
"____!" Gil pulled away, laughing, "Shouldn't ve be looking for your bruder?"
"Oh yes!" you blushed again, standing up. "Maybe we should check home again… He could have gone back."
Gil nodded and took your hand in his as you both walked to your house.
"____!" cried a little voice from inside the house as you came up the driveway, "_____, we found him!"
"Really? Where was he?!" You asked as Alfred came running outside.
"Arthur had him up in his room… He said he needed a test subject."
"What?! That little brat! I'll"
"_____..." warned Gilbert.
You took a calming breath, "Right… Well I'm just glad Matthew's safe. Tell Arthur he's grounded for a month for me, will you?"
Alfred nodded and went back inside.
"So…" Gilbert looked down at you.
"So…" You smiled at him.
"I guess ve can do vhat ve vant now that Matthew's safe…"
You pulled him down by the front of his t shirt and kissed him again, "We sure can."