Title: You Do, But I Don’t
Characters/Pairings: France/England, America, Canada
Word Count: 1,454
Rating: PG 13 (language and sex references)
Summary: Alfred finds himself in a tough situation when he finds out that he’s going on a road trip with his dad and soon to be stepdad and stepbrother. It’s a family bonding vacation right before Francis and Arthur get married. Arthur is excited. Matthew is nervous. Alfred is annoyed. But he can’t resist an adventure, and that’s exactly what this little family outing quickly turns into… Even if it’s not exactly the kind he wanted. *An AU story with humor and teenage family drama*
Status update: After driving for 12 hours, we are officially 4 hours away from the Grand Canyon. This was supposed to be an 8 hour drive! How is this possible, you might ask?
Well, it’s all Dad’s fault for being an idiot. It all started when I hooked up the GPS and put in the destination like he asked me to. He’s hopeless with technology, so he could have never done it himself. Anyway, it was all going just fine for awhile (or at least as close to fine as you can get when Dad and Francis are arguing over whether to play Shakespeare audio tapes or classical piano music. Either one would bore me to tears, so I didn’t really care who won). But we were well on our way in the right direction, until Dad decided he didn’t agree with the GPS’s directions, so he ignored it. Then the GPS kept trying to make Dad turn around, and that made him angry, so he threw it out the window, to everyone’s horror. “Don’t worry, I’ve got a great sense of direction,” he said arrogantly. Famous last words. After a few hours of Dad’s way, or as he liked to call it, “The better way,” and “The shortcut,” we realized that we were in the middle of nowhere and therefore completely screwed. It was 50 more miles until we saw a gas station, and there probably weren’t too many more the way we were going, so we all begged Dad to stop and ask for directions. He grumbled and said he knew exactly where he was going, but when Francis laid a delicate hand on his shoulder and said calmly,
“Please, Cher?” he begrudgingly gave in. God, it’s so disgusting how he gets all soft and mushy whenever Francis uses his French. I doubt he even knows what he’s saying half the time. For all we know, it could be a string of profanities, or butt sex, or quotes from Spongebob. I don’t know!
Ok, maybe that last one was a stretch… But if that’s what it takes to stop Dad from getting us even more lost, I’m fine with his French charms… for now. Dad went into the gas station to find out where the hell we were, while the rest of us waited in the car. No more than 2 minutes later, Dad came storming out of the gas station. It turns out we were going in the completely wrong direction and that we were now hours behind schedule. But I think what made him the angriest was knowing that he was wrong, and that the GPS had been right all along. He got in the car, buckled his seatbelt, and slammed his foot down on the gas pedal. Matthew was smart, so he already had his seatbelt on. I, on the other hand, paid the price for not doing so at the first red light we came to. He may have sped uncontrollably, ignored stop and yield signs, and even crossed the double yellow line, but he would NOT run a red light! I’m surprised we didn’t get stopped by the cops. Unless we did while I was napping- Oh wait, DIDN’T take a nap! It was quite possibly the most hectic and dangerous afternoon of my life. .. I always thought that would have been saved for something special like skydiving, or bungee jumping. But, no. It was wasted on a really bumpy car ride.
Anyway, I guess I do have to say in Dad’s defense, the ride would have been bumpy, regardless of his driving (Apparently, once you go out into the desert , nobody cares about fixing things like potholes, or giant cracks, or guard rails…). He just made it 50 times worse. But the unbearable part was when the road got curvy. That’s when everybody started freaking out. To say it was a tense car ride would be an understatement, with Dad pissed off at the world, and taking his anger out on the road. He took most of his turns way too sharply, and there were at least two times when I thought we were going to hit a car coming the other direction. But we didn’t, so that’s all that matters. I guess. Matthew and Francis were scared (But I wasn’t, just to make that clear… I’m not afraid of anything. Except communism. That shit is scary!) However, despite everyone’s concern for their lives, nobody said anything. I guess we were all just glad that Dad was directing his fury towards the road and not us. But soon, all those twists and turns and curves began to make us all feel
sick to our stomachs a little uneasy.
I noticed it in Matthew first. His pale, shaking hands were gripping tightly onto the seat. I looked up at his face, which was turning a pale shade of green. Then Francis stuck his head out the window, breathing in and out deeply, and trying to get some fresh air. And, pretty soon, I felt my stomach churning. Still, nobody said a word. We all sucked it up and prayed for this nightmare to be over. A couple of hours later (It was like 10 or 11 at this point) everyone was feeling like complete crap. Not only were we exhausted, but we were headed into the 4th hour of Dad’s hell driving. At this point I don’t know if he was speeding out of anger, or just as a desperate attempt to make up all the time he lost. Either way my lunch was coming up. This is it, I thought. I really didn’t want to be the first one to puke, but at least when I did, we’d finally have to stop. I was about to puke; I really was… but Matthew beat me to it. And he didn’t even make it in the paper bag. Let’s just say that when we returned the van a week and a half later, it still didn’t smell right. On the up side, that was enough to convince Dad to stop at a hotel for the night. On the down side… we had to clean out the van. “It’s a rental,” Dad said. “We can’t return it looking like this.” I’m not somebody who is easily grossed out, but cleaning up somebody else’s barf? That is disgusting. So I told Dad I didn’t feel well either, and he let me go into the room to lie down. It wasn’t a total lie… The fumes of that stuff were toxic, and if I had to be around that much longer, there was going to be another mess to clean.
So now here I am, sharing a bed with Matt. I think that’s kinda weird, and I am by no means comfortable with this at all, but they were all out of rooms with twin beds for the night. This was really disappointing when I came upstairs with the key Dad gave me, expecting my own room, or at least my own bed, only to find one large King size bed. I awkwardly climbed into bed with Matthew, being careful to stay as far away as possible. Matt still looked pale and shaky, so I asked him, “Hey, you ok?” He looked over at me, surprised. This was the first time I had spoken to him the entire trip so far, so I guess I can see why.
“Is it always this bad?” he asked. I laughed.
“No, but if you’re expecting a perfectly smooth ride tomorrow, you can forget it. But I can tell you, I’ve been riding with Dad for 15 years, and it has NEVER been this bad. So you shouldn’t feel too bad about… throwing up.” He smiled.
“Thanks.” I was confused. Were we actually having a bro moment? I think he wanted me to say something sentimental… That would be weird. I didn’t want to. Honestly, I’m still not entirely convinced that this wedding is going to happen. We’ve still got a week for Dad to wake up and see that Francis is not right for him. So why should I get used to having a brother just yet?
“Uhh, sure,” I said abruptly. “Night.” And I rolled over on my side and turned off the lamp. (This is being written by my cell phone light, which apparently doesn’t get service out here… Why have you failed me, Verizon?!). I guess I’ll go to sleep now, but I still don’t like sharing a bed with Matt. I guess I’ll let him stay on the bed, but if he moves over to my side even an inch, I’m shoving him onto the floor.