Rechive:arthur gets a new foster kid - matthew - in his house
Rechive:he takes him and alfred out somewhere and some lady asks matthew, while arthur is a a distance (albeit still close, but out of hearing range)
Rechive:"is that your daddy?"
Rechive:...and matthew looks a little funny in the face
Rechive:then bites his lip and nods
Rechive:and then continues to act strange for a couple of days
Rechive:until he gathers enough courage to tug at arthur's sleeve while they're out in the garden (alfred playing around with the neighbour's dog) and asks him all quiet, hopeful-like, "can i have another biscuit, daddy?"
Rechive:and arthur just
Rechive:arthur tears up and pulls matthew into a tight hug and matthew thinks maybe he did something wrong because he saw the tears
Rechive:so he uses every scrap of courage he has
Rechive:asks "is it okay if i call you daddy?" because that is a huge thing for him
Rechive:and arthur is all "yes yes yes yesss you can oh sweet precious boy of course you can"
Rechive:and matthew nods and tears up too and whispers really quietly that he's always wanted a daddy
Rechive:and arthur blinks away tears and says it's always been his greatest wish to have another son
Rechive:so matthew starts crying and arthur starts crying and they're hugging and crying and alfred wonders wtf is up
so I keep seeing the post with the ‘we love you, England, but get out’ and i’m laughing 'cause all I can think of is Canada softly ushering England out of a room like probably his office and England’s blubbering a lil bit like 'huh? Matthew, what? But I…’ and Matthew’s just quietly 'shh, shh Arthur its ok. Just go, just go.’
“Matthew, I do not have the energy to hunt you down.” Arthur called out, wringing water from Alfred’s bath out of his cuffs. “You need to have a bath and you need to have one now.”
When there was no response, he sighed heavily and pinched the bridge of his nose. And then, waterlogged and irritable, stormed outside to look for his wayward ward who was probably wrestling with his bear outside.
“Matthew, I said–”
“Papa, look!” And immediately Arthur froze and went still, already horrified at whatever Matthew would show him. The boy only used endearments when he knew he could get into trouble.
Arthur turned and, mouth dropping open, he stared at the boy. “Were you playing in the pond?"
Matthew was covered head to toe in muck, weeds tangled in his curls. But he looked utterly pleased, despite the slime and mud on clothing. He was holding something tightly in his hands, against his belly, and he rocked back on his heels.
Arthur stared. Matthew opened his hands and held his prize up towards Arthur.
"I caught a frog!”
The frog, nonplussed but probably put out, croaked, its small body ballooning despite the grip Matthew had on it.
“Aren’t you proud?” Matthew asked, excited, eyes gleaming. “You were telling Alfred how many frogs you caught and killed once upon a time.” But then his face fell for a moment. “But I couldn’t kill him.”
Arthur stared for a moment longer. And then for a few minutes. Matthew started to squirm.
And then Arthur laughed, hard. He covered his mouth, trying to stifle the near hysterical laughter, but it spilled out, regardless.
Matthew made a face but Arthur knelt down and gathered the boy into his arms, uncaring of the muck now staining his clothes and the frog pressed up near his face.
“Oh you darling child.” He muttered, voice catching on a laugh, smoothing Matthew’s soaking hair. “I knew you took after me.”