Author/Artist: chromatic_coma @ animusia
Character(s)/Pairing(s) [in this chapter]: England, Prussia, Canada, France, Hungary, Austria; eventual FrUK, eventual PrussCan, onesided (?) RussAmerica, Austria/Hungary
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Warning: Human names used, fail!attempts at humor, language
Summary: Arthur is a young screenplay writer and director who wants to make a name for himself, but will that be possible with a flirt like Francis Bonnefoy as his star?
Chapter Summary: It's been a week, and still the fighting won't stop, but Elizaveta thinks she knows a way to help things...
Save the Drama for the Stage, Chapter 4
Elizaveta’s eyes were narrowed, and she gave Francis a once-over glance before looking him in the eyes again.
“You look so much more handsome in the nightlight,” She commented, and her voice dropped to a sigh as she added, “My brother will never approve of you like this…”
There was a tense silence in the air as the actors stared at one another, before Francis took her hands in his and replied, “Then fix me. Make me into something your brother would want for you.”
“I don’t want you to change, Aaron.” She whispered, leaning into him.
Francis chuckled, tilting his head slightly towards the young woman, whispering “I’ll always be yours,” before moving his hands around her body and seizing her lips.
Everyone else in the auditorium stopped their side conversations and looked to the stage to watch the stars kiss (with the sole exception of Roderich, who made a point to look away from his fiancée’s heated lip-locked session with another man). Soon the sounds of Peter’s gagging and Gilbert’s cat-calls filled the room, but the two seemed unphased. Especially Francis, who seemed to be rather enjoying himself getting further and further into it…
“That is quite enough, Bonnefoy!” Arthur called, at which moment Francis released Elizaveta and gave his audience a sheepish grin.
“Ah, excuse-moi, it is easy for me to get carried away with such a beautiful woman in my arms.”
Arthur was unamused, and he continued to give Francis a dirty look until the other stepped away from the woman and hopped off the stage, walking up to his disgruntled director.
“I truly am sorry, monsieur,” he started, lips downturned and seriousness etched into his features. “I will do better to control myself next time.”
Arthur nodded, a little discontent with how close the Frenchman was standing beside him, but choosing to overlook it for now. It was safe to say he was in a reasonable mood, for once; it’d been about a week since Francis joined the cast, and aside from several snide remarks about the script and too much intimacy with the other cast members, everything was going smoothly all around.
“But, if it bothered you so deeply, I will be sure to kiss you next so that you are not so jealous.”
Whatever good mood Arthur had was flushed out of his system; Peter and Gilbert took cover behind the curtains.
“Jealous? H-How preposterous! Only a complete oaf would want to be kissed by a frog like you!”
Francis blinked, and from her place watching the scene at her fiancé’s side Elizaveta could swear she saw a flicker of sadness in his eyes. Even though it was gone in an instant, the gears in her mind quickly started turning.
“I see,” Francis replied cooly. “It’s probably better that way, since I would never allow myself to be caught touching my lips to someone whose eyebrows look like caterpillars.”
Arthur froze, his jaw slack, before color filled his face.
“Sod off, wanker! Rehearsal is over, everyone get out!”
By then Francis was already gone, but Arthur slammed his hands against his desk for emphasis and soon everyone was following suit. Peter had already scurried off, and Gilbert was already tugging Matthew away, not giving him the chance to try and comfort his mentor. The usual sounds of set building and Felik’s gabbing were also gone, and when Arthur looked up again he found that the only ones left were Elizaveta and Roderich, he with a protective hold on her arm that she was trying to pull free from.
“Please, Roderich, just give me a moment.”
“Why,” he frowned, “so you can become intimate with Mr. Kirkland as well?”
Elizaveta smiled softly, “You know Mr. Kirkland is a gentleman; he would never allow me to do something like that.”
“Oh, so you would if he would consent, then?”
Now the young woman laughed airily, giving him a swift, chaste peck on the lips that made Roderich flush. Arthur looked away and pretended not to notice.
“Roderich, you know I only have eyes for you. Now, then, you can punish me for my infidelity later, just please give us five minutes. If you’d like, you may stand right outside and keep time.”
After a moment, Roderich sighed and let her go, “Oh, I intend to. Five minutes, Elizaveta.”
Then the pianist gave Arthur a brief, cold glance before striding out of the room. Elizaveta chuckled softly after him, before walking up to Arthur’s table and sitting in the chair opposing his.
“If you’ll take a seat, Mr. Kirkland, I think it’s time we check your fortune again.”
The blond rolled his eyes dramatically, and sighed heavily. “Really, Elizaveta, this doesn’t mean anything-“
“Then indulge me, please? You don’t have to take it seriously unless you want to.”
After a moment’s pause, Arthur sighed again and sat down, as Elizaveta almost magically conjured her ancient deck of tarot cards. Shuffling them happily, she looked up with bright eyes,
“What is your question, then? What would you like to know more about?”
“Oh? How about Francis, then?”
Arthur hesitated for a moment, before snapping out, “Anything. That’s fine.”
“Alright then, let’s begin,” she said, placing four cards face down on the tabletop between them in a diamond. She pointed at the one closest to her first and said, “This card is Health and Happiness,” then the one to her right, “Finances,” then left, “Career,” and finally the one closest to him, “and Love. Are you ready?”
“Good,” Elizaveta said, reaching forward and flipping the cards. “Health and Happiness is the Chariot, your Finances is the Magician, your Career is the Emperor, and Love is the Fool. All of your cards are face up, so all of them hold their true meanings and not the opposites.”
“And all this means?” Arthur cut in quickly, voice already bored. Elizaveta tapped the Chariot card and started,
“In order to be happy, you need to learn to use your emotions to your advantage and to embrace them rather than to sweep them under a rug and ignore them.”
She gave him a pointed look after that, but the Briton simply rolled his eyes. “Next?”
“The Magician has the ability to take what he has and transform it into something he can use; because this is Finances, if you use your skills to your benefit you will most likely succeed.”
“Most likely?” He repeated, a hint of mocking in his tone.
“Well, nothing is certain, you know.” She replied sweetly. “The Emperor is a man with a good heart, but who shows it by strict rules and guidelines, much like a Father with his children. He listens and learns from his subordinates while always keeping their best interests in mind.”
Arthur grumbled something that sounded a lot like, “If that’s the case I deserve more appreciation around here…” before going on, “And the last one? The Fool?”
“The Fool operates by his own rules. He is not strictly good or bad, he has the power to be both, and tends to drop convention in order to find out what is right for him. As a result, he is often looked down upon, though generally he is pleased with his own life.”
Now Elizaveta could hardly keep the smile off her face, especially as she could see the gears winding in Arthur’s mind. “And you said this one was…?”
“Ah… well. There is a great deal of Fools in this one theatre alone, so I’m sure this is nothing for you to get all smiley about.”
“But you forget, Mr. Kirkland, the question you wanted answers to was about Francis.”
Now Arthur hesitated. “Y-You… you can’t mean… you think I’m in love with him? Him, the French frog with stringy hair and disgusting mannerisms and general uncouth barbarism?! Preposterous! It’s.. inconceivable that I should fall for someone so… so awfully French!”
As Elizaveta collected the cards again, she had to suppress the inappropriate urge to laugh. “I said nothing, Mr. Kirkland. But for someone who has no romantic inclinations for another, you are protesting an awful lot.”
“I-I-I-!” He sputtered, but to no avail. Colored flooded his cheeks, but Elizaveta chose to say nothing about it as she collected her belongings and stood to leave.
“Remember, the cards are only right if you chose to believe in them. Are you superstitious, Mr. Kirkland?”
Before he could answer, she strode out of the room confidently, leaving behind a red-faced, shell-shocked director.
’There, that should do it.’
Francis did not want to go back to his room. In fact, he did not want to be anywhere near the theatre, not so much because of anger at what was now the ninth fight in the seven days he’d spent with Arthur Kirkland, but more because of his own frustrations at being confused over his emotions. It was not in Francis’ nature to misunderstand his own feelings, but when his inner conflictions started to bleed into his acting it was time for a personal intervention.
“Mr. Bonneyfoy, wait!”
Francis paused, turning back at the sound of the nervous, rushed call of his name. Running up behind him with Matthew, the mousy blond with the clipboard who followed Arthur around and took notes on basically everything he said. It was useful for when Francis decided to tune the man out, at least.
“Mathieu? Qu'est-ce qu'il y a?”
“I-I,” the boy panted, trying to catch his breath. His cheeks were flushed slightly, and Francis found it slightly endearing… before cursing his amorous heart once again.
“I-I wanted to ask for some advice…”
Matthew trailed off, and Francis felt that there was something more.
“Yes?” He repeated, trying to coax it out of him.
“…About love stuff.” The teen’s cheeks darkened, and this time it was not from running.
“Ah, I see.” Francis smiled widely, almost a smirk, “Come, mon petit, let us discuss the situation in greater detail.”
To Be Continued
A/N: I know nothing about tarot cards. Everything I used for this chapter came from the following websites: Here and Here.
Elizaveta fancies herself a fortune teller. According to her, that deck of tarot cards once belonged to her great-great grandmother who was a very superstitious woman, but Gilbert is always quick to ask her how she knows her mother didn't get that deck at pawn shop. Surprisingly enough, she often doesn't have an answer.
I don't know why I decided to add that dimension to her character, but ever since I got the idea I can't get it out of my head. To me, it really fits her personality...
Thank you all for reading~ I promise it won't be another month until the next chapter.
Chapter 3 - Chapter 5