The automatic door to the hospital opened for Gilbert as soon as he stepped on the same hidden sensor like any other day.
One of the three secretaries, who was simply sitting at the shared, spacious, circular desk, typing away at the keyboard in front of her, greeted him cheerily. "Hello Mr. Beilschmidt!"
"Hello Ms. Vargas." Gilbert slightly smiled, quickly waving at her as he walked by.
He took the same route as usual; down the left alcove, up the flight of stairs, a short walk along the left hallway, and finally the arrival at the room numbered 71 in the Oncology ward. Briefly, he tapped the door with his knuckles and gingerly walked in.
"Gilbert, you came!" Matthew beamed, his sunken face and bandana covered scalp contrasting his bright expression melancholically.
Gilbert closed the door behind him, "Of course Mattie, the awesome me comes every day! And you know nothing can stop awesomeness!" He gave a stereotypical superhero pose at the foot of the bed, earning himself a wheezed chuckle from the Canadian.
"You act like a little kid sometimes, you know?" Matthew said. Giving Gilbert a sweet smile, he grabbed the framed picture on top of the oak nightstand beside his bed. "Heh, I remember when we were--" A hoarse cough erupted from his throat. "Excuse me," He quietly added before he resumed his previous sentence. "--that small..."
"You okay Mattie? That sounded even worse than yesterday." Gilbert's eyebrows knit together and his eyes widened in concern as he became more serious.
Matthew glanced up from the picture and into Gilbert's crimson eyes. "I'm fine; the doctor said I'm high on the list." He gave a brief, loving smile.
Gilbert headed over to the drab armchair on Matthew's other side. "Okay..." Gilbert trailed on, then started blurting out random things that had happened since he last saw him yesterday. The Chinese place messing up his order, how Ludwig yelled at him for leaving the case of beer out on the counter, the drunk call Lovino gave him at two in the morning; things like that that put an amused smile on Matthew's sickly pale face.
"Gilbert?" Matthew interrupted in the middle of one of Gilbert's 'adventures', which he never did. Well, interrupt in general that is. A befuddled expression grew on his face as he nibbled on the inside of his lip.
"Eh? What's up Mattie?" Gilbert asked, raising a brow at his strange behavior.
"Why do you come see me every day?"
Silence enveloped the room.
Gilbert truly didn't expect him to ever ask that, despite the three or four months he had been visiting him daily. "Uh..um...what?" He shook his head, "What'd ya just ask?"
"Why do you come see me every day?" Matthew repeated in the same way and tone as before.
"Well...you're almost as awesome as me! We're best friends!" At the last two words he nudged Matthew's shoulder with his elbow. "We always have been!" At the end of his answer, even though he kept his own cheery demeanor about him, his heart broke into thousands of tiny pieces inside, never to be seen again. How could he just say that so casually...? He had deeper feelings for the dying man, so...so why couldn't he just say them aloud? Why was he such a coward?
"Oh...okay." Matthew accepted the explanation somewhat reluctantly, but nevertheless did.
"Yeah! I still remember when we played together when we were kids ya know." Gilbert smiled widely as his eyes crinkled together.
"Me too." Matthew added, hugging the picture frame to his own weak frame tightly, but not enough to damage it.
"Oi, is that a pic from back then?" Gilbert asked, leaning over excessively to try and sneak a peek.
At that cue, Matthew held it even tighter so that there wasn't the slightest chance of him seeing even a mere corner.
"Oiiiiii! Matttiiiieeee!!" Gilbert whined and pawed at the frame childishly. "Come onnnnn! I wanna seeee!" After saying that he pouted, sticking his lips out as if he were a fish.
"Well it is mine after all~" Matthew teased.
"Awwww! Come oonn! For ol' time's sake?" Gilbert puppy dog eyed the bedridden man innocently.
"N. O. P. E." He spelled out, poking his immature friend's nose and leaving an opening for said immature friend to grab at.
And of course, as his nose was being poked, Gilbert snatched the frame away. "Kesese~ I got it!" He exclaimed as he held it above his head triumphantly.
"Gilbert!" Matthew weakly whined, "That's mine!"
"Not anymore~!" Gilbert stuck out his tongue and mocked him, "It's mine!"
"Gilbert, please!" Matthew begged in a coarser voice, most likely from talking too loudly for his lungs to handle.
Gilbert looked down at him, and immediately saddened. "Okay Mattie...." He slowly handed the picture back to Matthew.
"Thank you." Matthew responded, leaving it so that the top was facing down on his blanket covered lap. He was about to say something else, but once more a cough emerged from his unsuspecting mouth and forced him to cease speaking.
He looked at Matthew worriedly, "You really don't sound good Mattie..."
Matthew cleared his throat, "I'm fine Gilbert. I already told you I'm high on the list."
Gilbert didn't want to fight with his longtime friend --he really shouldn't talk any more than he was supposed to--, so instead he let his mind wander. Back to the time where everything was carefree and happy, back when they first met.
"Yeah Gilbert?" Matthew asked, blinking his eyes a few times and tilting his head slightly.
"Do you still remember when we first met too?"