Alfred came rushing out of his room, buttoning up his shirt and fumbling to put his glasses on.
"Mattie, what's wrong?"
He looked at Gilbert and Ludwig and his eyes widened in shock. He ran over to the little boy and checked him, like Matthew did. He looked at Gilbert and then at Matthew.
"How did you get that blood on your shirt?"
"I-it was L-Luddy...he started coughing something fierce and t-then ...the blood came shooting out of his mouth and he passed out..."
Alfred nodded. He was listening to everything Gilbert was saying very carefully, he was trying to get some sort of diagnosis in his head. Matthew was too busy worrying about Ludwig to see the look Gilbert gave Alfred. Alfred didn't see it either. Gilbert had a wave of jealousy wash over him. Alfred lifted his head back up to face Gilbert.
"How long ago did this happen?"
"About ten minutes ago..."
"We have to get him to the hospital quickly...he's barely breathing as it is..."
Gilbert's eyes widened more than they already were. The thought of his brother's possible death was something he doesn't want to hear. Matthew noticed that Gilbert was panicking on the inside.
"Gilbert, come on, I'll drive us to the hospital."
Gilbert made a mental sigh of relief when Matthew offered to drive. He didn't want to be in a car with...Alfred. He didn't want to have to be around him until he had absolutely no choice to be, which would be when they arrived at the hospital. He nodded and Matthew escorted him to the hospital. He was in his pajamas and slippers, he would have to change into his scrubs at the hospital. He started to dial Arthur's number on his phone.
"Arthur? It's me. Are you still at the hospital?"
"Yeah, I was about to clock in, why?"
"I have a man and his little brother sitting in the car with me. His little brother is barely alive."
"Oh my god. How far are you from here?"
"About five minutes."
"Okay, I'll have a bed ready by then. I'll be waiting for you at the entrance door. "
"Okay. Alfred should be right behind me."
"Oh? That's good, I have something to look forward to..."
"Yes, yes, just hurry up and get here before I change my mind, I'm bloody tired enough as it is..."
Matthew laughed to himself.
"Okay, see you there."
Matthew hung up. He looked at Gilbert in the backseat. Gilbert was still crying, he was whispering something to Ludwig. Matthew could hear his labored breaths from where he was sitting.
"Is he okay?"
Gilbert nodded. He didn't take his eyes off of his sickly little brother.
Matthew and Gilbert were running to the entrance of the hospital to find Arthur standing there.
"There you guys are!"
He looked at the limp little German boy in Gilbert's arms. Arthur gasped and placed a hand on the boy's chest.
"He doesn't have much time."
"Come on, I have a room ready for him."
Matthew nodded and motioned for Gilbert to follow after him. He doesn't even think Gilbert payed attention to him and Arthur. He was acting on his own will. As soon as they got Ludwig hooked up and situated, Alfred came in buttoning up his coat. Matthew went to change.
"Okay, I'm here."
Arthur raised an eyebrow.
"Yes you are..."
Alfred winked at Arthur. Then he looked around.
Gilbert rolled his eyes. Is this really the time to be worrying about his boyfriend? His brother was barely alive!
"Don't worry about Matthew! Focus on my brother!"
Alfred and Arthur looked at him with raised eyebrows. What's up his ass? Alfred remained calm and responded.
"Gilbert, we need Matthew in order for me to get this going. He knows more than me."
Before Gilbert could retaliate, Matthew came back in, all dressed for the occasion. Gilbert sighed.
"Look, there he is, can we start now?"
Matthew nodded. Alfred ignored Gilbert and looked at Matthew.
"What exactly happened?"
"Well, he said that his little brother started to cough a lot and then he coughed up blood and passed out."
Arthur looked at Alfred.
"It sounds like Pulmonary Fibrosis."
Alfred nodded. Matthew wanted to verify the diagnosis by asking Gilbert a few questions.
"Does he have a sickness of some sort?"
"He has what you guys said, though it wasn't this bad before."
Alfred, Arthur and Matthew thought for a minute. Finally, Arthur said, "This has to be a more severe case then."
Gilbert cringed at the words. A more severe case?
"W-what exactly is Pulmonary Fibrosis?"
Alfred took a deep breath.
"Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic disease that causes swelling and scarring of the air sacs and in tissue between cells of the lungs. The scar tissue replaces healthy tissue and causes inflammation. This damage causes your lungs to stiffen and makes breathing more and more difficult."
Matthew looked at Ludwig.
Gilbert shot a quick glance at his brother and then back at Alfred.
"Is there any treatment for it?"
"Since his case is severe, we would have to stay here until I feel like he is ready to go home, okay?"
"As long as he's okay..."
He ran a hand across his brother's cheek. Matthew smiled to himself. Gilbert really does care about Ludwig. Arthur walked over to Gilbert.
"You'll have to pardon us, mister...?"
"Beilschmidt, Gilbert Beilschmidt. This is my brother, Ludwig Beilschmidt."
Arthur smiled and shook his hand.
"Pleased to meet you. Your brother is in good hands, don't worry...we are going to need you to step out though."
Gilbert nodded and started to stand up. Not removing his eyes from his sleeping brother. Matthew wanted to follow him out but he had to stay until Alfred gave him the all clear.
Alfred and Arthur had things under control and Matthew decided to find Gilbert. He was sitting in the waiting room, looking as anxious as ever.
He walked over to him and sat down. They looked at each other, not knowing what to say. Matthew broke the ice.
"Ludwig is going to be fine. He's just sleeping right now, the medicine is helping him with the pain."
After a few more minutes of silence, Matthew spoke again.
"There's one thing I don't understand, Gilbert."
Matthew looked up, blue meeting crimson eyes.
"From that day in the park...you knew about his condition...yet you did nothing to help him. I asked you and everything."
Gilbert took slight offense in that.
"What do you mean I did nothing to help him?"
"You didn't tell me."
Gilbert snapped back at him.
"I don't need to tell you. I had it under control."
"You clearly didn't! If you did, he wouldn't be here, now would he?"
Gilbert stood up. He was getting angry.
"For your information, I had medicine for him...I ran out."
"Why didn't you go buy some more?"
Gilbert stood silent. Matthew took advantage of his silence and continued interrogating him.
"And why were being rude to Alfred? He was just trying to help! We aren't even supposed to be here right now! We're supposed to be sleeping!"
"I'm very grateful for the help, and why do you care about how I'm treating him? Why do you care about
me? I barely know you."
"Because he's my brother, that's why!"
Gilbert froze. He didn't know that Alfred was Matthew's brother. He thought they were dating. While he was deep in thought, Matthew kept bombarding him in questions.
"Why didn't you let me walk you home yesterday?"
"You still didn't answer my original question. Why didn't you buy more medicine for Ludwig?"
Then it hit him. There could only be one possible reason on why he didn't answer. With a gulp, Matthew calmed down.
Gilbert huffed and crossed his arms. Everything got deathly quiet and they both just stood there. Matthew waiting for an answer that never came. Matthew thought that maybe he didn't need an answer.
"Excuse me, I'm going to go check on Luddy."
He pushed past Matthew and returned to the room. Leaving Matthew to his thoughts.