Author/Artist: chromatic_coma @ animusia
Character(s)/Pairing(s): (in this chapter) England, Russia, France ;; FrUK
Genre: Friendship, Romance, Slice-of-Life, Angst
Warning(s): Kissing, Implied threesomes, Talk of (technically underage) Sex, Swearing, It's really long, Lack of Plot, Human names, etc.
Summary: Graduation really sneaks up on you; one minute you think that everything is right with the world and that nothing can ruin this for you, and the next you look at the calendar and find out you only have one more week with your closest friends. But sometimes graduation isn't the end, and sometimes it's not a new beginning either. Sometimes graduation just is what it is, and you have to figure the rest out for yourselves. Gauken Hetalia!AU fic
x-posted @ hetalia, inthreesome, what_the_fruk
Part I Chapter I - Part I Chapter II - Part I Chapter III - Part I Chapter IV - Part I Chapter VI - Part I Final - Part II Chapter I - Part II Chapter II - Part II Chapter III - Part II Chapter IV - Part II Chapter V - Part II Chapter VI - Part II Final
Scarred Heart in Hand, Part I Chapter V
Arthur was on his way home from the store, bags laden with groceries so that he could prepare dinner for his father and brothers back home. The sweltering heat was causing him to sweat, and he cursed his own inability to wear in public any shirt without a collar; it was much too hot to be wearing a polo, even if all the buttons were undone. He paused, and lifted the arm with the lighter grocery bag to wipe the sweat off his brow with the back of his palm.
Upon hearing someone call him name, the bushy browed blond looked up. In the distance he made out the form of Ivan, sitting on one of the playground swings in the park abandoned by the heat. He was wearing a lavender t-shirt, Arthur noticed when he squinted, but his scarf was still around his neck.
Arthur realized that he was faced with a choice; he could politely tell Ivan that he needed to return home and make sure his brothers were well nourished so that they could continue to consume massive amounts of alcohol without dying or worse, which the other would no doubt deem important, or he could forget about his good for nothing family and take a moment’s reprieve with a fellow graduate.
The choice, he realized, was obvious. Arthur strode over to the swing set, placing his grocery bags down and grateful for the trees shading the area. He paused for a moment, rolling his shoulders and inhaling deeply, before leaving a swing between himself and Ivan and sitting down. Instantly he felt the heat of the black swing cook his butt, but after a bit of shifting he had adjusted to the temperature and it no longer bothered him.
“Hello, Ivan,” he started, sitting stationary and turning to the other, who was very barely moving back and forth.
The other was beaming, probably finally ecstatic that he had company in the lonely, abandoned park. Arthur felt a little unnerved, if only slightly.
“How are you?”
“I’m doing well. It is very hot lately, but that is to be expected of summer.”
“Well, perhaps it would not be as bad if you were not wearing your scarf?” After all, Arthur mused, it was making him hotter just looking at it.
Ivan gave him a funny look that made Arthur regret opening his mouth at all, and the British boy was quick to say, “Or maybe you should drink more cold fluids! That would make you a lot less warm!”
The other smiled, his expression softening instantly, “That is a good idea, friend. Fortunately, though, I will not have to worry about this much longer. I am going to go to college in a cold town, so they have very comfortable summers.”
“Oh?” Arthur asked, pleased to have moved onto a topic he could get into a discussion about. “What are you going to study?”
“I am undecided.”
“Hm… well, what are you considering? What do you want to study?”
Ivan hummed, “Well, in truth it is my dream to study philosophy…”
He was looking up at the sky, bright blue, clear except for a precious few fluffy white clouds, following, Arthur realized, a pigeon as it flew around in the distance. For a split moment, Arthur was filled with the sensation that the bird was no longer just a bird; they were looking up at Ivan’s dreams; ordinary, but unattainable. He frowned,
“Well, why don’t you, then?”
Ivan shrugged his shoulders, his swing creaking to a stopped. He sighed heavily, with a man with a thousand burdens on his shoulders.
“Philosophy is not practical. I have to make enough money to support my sisters and my uncle and whoever else becomes dependent upon me.”
Arthur frowned, “Your sisters are smart enough to be able to handle themselves when the time comes.” He argued, but Ivan gave him a rueful smile and shook his head.
“They are my sisters. They are girls. It is my job to take care of them until they are married, and…”
Ivan flushed, and Arthur realized the other was embarrassed to reveal he did not think his sisters would get married.
“Nonsense,” he countered, “They are both smart and beautiful women.”
“Katya is a crybaby, and Natalya is crazy,” Ivan snapped bluntly, “As much as I love them, I cannot delude myself into believing anyone else will.”
Of course, Arthur realized; Ivan did not want to get his hopes up, in case they were not married and he was left responsible for them.
“It’s too soon for you to be so bitter…” He murmured, and Ivan perked up.
“Hm? Did you say something?”
“Hm, because I believed I something.”
“No, it must have been the wind,” Arthur lied, though his fists clenched more tightly on the metal chain handles of his swing. Ivan gave him a look which he matched with a stare, until the other turned away.
“I am not bitter,” he started, his voice low and deep, “I am happier than ever. I have the chance to start over and not make so many mistakes. It is like when the snow is not yet stepped in, and one cannot tell what is beneath it; no one will know from where I have come or even who I am.”
Now Arthur did not even try to hide his frown. “But what about your friends here? You sound like you’re relieved that high school is over; aren’t you going to miss them?”
Ivan laughed; it was hard and bitter and caustic; the sound of it sent shivers down of dread and hurt down Arthur’s spine.
“Friends? I did not have friends. No one looked out for me or cared about me, so there is nothing to keep me attached enough to the school or this town that I would miss it.”
He laughed again, but this one was not as angry as it was hurt.
“And now you take on a tone of sympathy, as if you might understand my pain,” he murmured. “But you cannot understand it, Arthur, because you were popular.”
Arthur was, for a moment, stricken speechless. “I… I was not.”
Ivan shook his head at the protest, “You were the Student President, no? Everyone knows that political races in schools are just popularity contests.”
“And that explains why people teased me,” Arthur snorted. “It’s not a surprise that I won, given that I was running unopposed!”
Ivan snorted, “They teased you because they cared about you. Your friends are bastards, but they are still your friends and that is how they chose to express that to you.”
He paused then, and sighed, finishing in a whisper, “Please, do not take your friends for granted. You are luckier to have them than you realize.”
Arthur paused as well, his mouth trying to form words out of the incoherent ideas in his head. He wanted to comfort the other, to do something that could possibly make him start to look at the past in a new light, a better one…
“…When I first moved here, I wasn’t popular, either. I didn’t have any friends, no one was used to my accent or my mannerisms, everyone liked to make fun of my eyebrows… But I endured all that, and I hardly noticed it. It’s like you said, they’re all bastards with a sick way of showing that they are my friends, but maybe your friends are the same?”
Ivan did not answer, and Arthur dared to hope that maybe he was considering what he was saying.
“You had friends, Ivan, you always have. It just wasn’t friendship like, I don’t know, Francis, Gilbert, and Antonio’s, or Matthew and José’s, but that’s because you’re not them. You treat people differently from the way that others do, and so they treat you differently too. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to miss you, or that they didn’t enjoy your company.”
Ivan’s face twisted into something the other could not recognize from looking, but his intuition told him that the other was still hurting.
“Perhaps that is true for you, Arthur. And perhaps it is true all these people have special ways of interacting with their friends. But I am not stupid, yes? I know that people are afraid of me.
“No, they aren’t!”
“Then, why is there an empty swing between us?”
Arthur froze; he knew that he could blame the heat, or make up an excuse about that swing being broken or dirty, but when it came down to it he knew that Ivan was not going to believe anything other than what he already believed, and that was that Arthur, like everyone else, did not like him.
So he stood up, and stepping over the soft padding on the floor, he put a hand under Ivan’s chin and tilted his head to ensure that they were eye to eye.
“I will miss you,” Arthur stated decidedly, making it a point that just the same way Ivan’s mind could not be changed, neither would his. “I will miss you because you were one of the most kind and caring people in our school. Because you helped me plant flowers around the front entrance to make the school look nicer even though it made the other boys laugh at us. Because you would always save bits of bread from your lunch and feed stray cats with it on your way home from school. Because you also took the time to think about what you were about to say, and because you never let the things others said get to you.
“I am going to miss you, Ivan. And I’m not the only one.”
Finally, slowly, the other smiled. It grew on his face like it would on a child’s, lighting up his expression so that someone who would just walking by would not have believed there was a maelstrom on his face moments ago.
Arthur took a step back and allowed the other to stand, feeling very short as Ivan towered over him.
“Thank you,” he said simply, melting away all of Arthur’s worries. “Good luck to you.”
Arthur nodded, “See you around.”
Ivan smiled again, a childish quirk of the lips, before waving and taking off in the direction of his home. Arthur watched until his figure faded in the distance, and turned back to retrieve his groceries.
Instead of picking them up, though, he sat back down on the swing, kicked off with his legs, with the sun beating down on his head and the dust being kicked up around his feet, Arthur swung.
‘Tomorrow,’ he thought to himself, ‘Tomorrow I am going to board a plane and go back to England and grow up. But for today, this is enough.’
On the horizon, the sun was just beginning to set; in Arthur’s kitchen, the sink was full of dishes. He stared at the pile with distaste, tossing the dishtowel, still dry, onto the counter beside the mountain of dirty dishes.
“I cooked tonight,” he declared, “someone else can clean up.”
They wouldn’t clean up, though, Arthur was certain of this. His brothers would fight over who had to do it, they’d opt to settle it was a drinking contest, and soon enough they would all be wasted enough that when they awoke with throbbing hangovers none of them would remember the dishes at all, much less who was the first of them to pass out.
The blond sighed, wondering if his brothers would, in their drunken stupor, remember that he was going home to England. Back to England. Home to England. Arthur knew there was a sharp distinction, and he frowned at being unable to decide which of them was more appropriate. It didn’t really matter, if they noticed or not; Alfred’s mother had already offered to take him to the airport and see him off months ago, so he did not need their help.
The sound of the water dripping from the faucet of the kitchen sink drew his attention back to it. He rolled his eyes, turned the tap shut properly, and when the water stopped dripping a sudden idea make itself known in his mind.
‘I’m going to Francis’ place today.’
And, without arguing with himself, or even questioning the thought, he pulled a pair of shoes on his feet and stepped out into the thick, dusk air.
Francis was alone in his bedroom, sitting there in the dim light only because it was the smallest room in his big empty home and it was the only place in the house so full of life. His mother had come home sometime very early that morning, before the Sun had even started to rise, but she was gone again before the large grandfather clock in the entrance had even struck noon. She had, when he rose for breakfast, congratulated him from behind her newspaper, and then slipped him two checks, one for his tuition and the other, a present.
Francis sighed, catching sight of the check on his desk and frowning. He turned his attention to elsewhere in his room, anywhere. He always thought that this room had a life of its own, not because of any of his doing, but in truth thanks to the efforts of Antonio and Gilbert, and the last 15 years of friendship. Ever since they had started hanging out in his room, they had started to leave things behind here, which Francis would find a place for among his things. Soon, they started to intentionally leave things behind, and even started to bring things with specific sections of Francis’ room. The beanbag chairs, he recalled, had been found by Gilbert when a neighbor was tossing them out, and after the trio put some love into fixing them up the albino had insisted they be placed near his closet, under the window.
Those were the most notable of the additions to his room, but Francis felt there was much more significance in the smaller things; a handprint Antonio make in Kindergarten and left at his house, promptly forgetting about it. Or Gilbert’s lucky keychain, abandoned when it failed him on one too many tests in the fourth grade, that was now hanging on his lampshade. Or any of the other entirely meaningful knickknacks he’d kept, ones that made him caretakers cluck at his packrat habits, but he knew that there was no way he could explain why these things were important enough to keep.
Francis’ entire life was defined by the company he kept, after all. And now he was going to lose that company…
The doorbell rang. Francis was only slightly startled, and he was quick to get his hopes up, that it would be Gilbert or Antonio or…
Arthur. Arthur was standing on his porch when he opened the door, the sky crimson behind him, his chest heaving with pants as if he’d run to Francis’ home.
“Francis… I…” The other trailed off, still breathing heavily. “May I come in…?”
“Oh! Of course, Arthur; is everything alright?”
Now, in the light of his living room, Francis could see that the other’s cheeks were flushed from something other than exhaustion.
“I’m fine,” he snapped, “I just…”
He paused again, looking away from Francis’ concerned gaze, down to the carpet underfoot.
“I’m going away tomorrow.” Arthur whispered, biting his lip as his fists clenched. “I’m leaving…”
Francis, not knowing what else, took a cautious step forward, brushing his fingers in the other’s hair.
“Come,” he murmured, “let’s go upstairs.”
They relocated; Francis shut the door to his room as Arthur gravitated to sit on the edge of his primly made bed. The sheets wrinkled under his weight, and from there Francis’ gaze moved to the other’s ass, up his lean torso, all the way to his distressed face.
“Arthur,” Francis started, stepping forward so that he was sitting down in the chair beside the foot of his bed. “Talk to me. What is bothering you?”
The other looked over at him, his thick eyebrows furrowed over his eyes, and Francis’ could feel him grinding his teeth.
“I just… I never noticed what applying to a school abroad would mean. Up until now, I was excited; returning to England, studying British literature, gaining a new experience, moving away from my insane brothers and useless father…
“But suddenly, I just… I realized that I was leaving something important behind.”
“You, Francis. Fuck, I never… I never wanted to admit to myself how endearing your annoying voice was, and how warm you are-“
Arthur paused suddenly, as if only just realizing how embarrassing the things he was saying were, and his face turned bright red very quickly. Francis knew the look, and he knew that if he did not say anything Arthur would deny everything and stomp out of his room.
And this time, he would be stomping out of his life, too.
So he shook his head lightly, and wound his long, lithe fingers around Arthur’s chin, bringing their faces close together and brushing his nose against the other’s.
“Arthur,” he murmured softly, “I love you. For a while, I loved to hate you, to tease you, to mock and leer at you and to make you feel bad. Perhaps I was just an evil child,” he chuckled softly against the other’s earlobe, “or perhaps, maybe, I just wanted to be able to make you feel something.”
“Francis,” the other said, his voice shaking as he tried to turn a breath into a grumble. Francis shushed him softly, before pulling away, Arthur’s scent and feel still overwhelming his senses.
“We do not have to have sex if you do not want to, Arthur. For tonight, instead, we can just talk.”
Arthur nodded, placing his arms at his sides and relaxing, if only subtly, into the mattress. He was looking around, taking everything in slowly,
“I never realized how cluttered your room was.”
“It’s not clutter,” Francis tsked. “They are memories.”
Arthur shrugged, “Or you’re just a packrat. You’ve kept everything, haven’t you?” He reached over to Francis’ nightstand, and picked up a red yoyo, “Like this. What is this?”
“It was Gilbert’s. He hit his brother in the head with it one too many times, so his father did not allow him to play with it; he smuggled it here for safe keeping.”
Arthur rolled his eyes, “Figures. He probably did it on purpose, too. Thank God Ludwig turned out to be nothing like him.”
“And not brain damaged,” Francis added, taking the yoyo and placing it aside.
Arthur gave a soft laugh, before falling silent once again.
“Hey… do you have anything of... ours?”
Francis paused for a moment, and then he stood up slowly, taking confident, quick strides into his closet. He vanished in there for a moment, before returning with a navy blue blazer, now too small to fit either of them, if only just barely.
“Do you remember this?”
Arthur’s face was split between incredulousness and awe, and he murmured, “My old blazer…”
Francis nodded, placing it in Arthur’s lap, “From our first date. I was getting cold, and you offered it to me.”
“Yeah,” Arthur smiled, “And when you came to return it I refused because it was covered in the germs of your filthy French ancestry.”
They both laughed, Francis placing his hand on top of the blazer in the other’s lap.
“Wait, Arthur, I have something else.”
The British boy perked up, and Francis had crossed over to a box that was sitting in between the beanbag chairs, and had been since the night of their graduation.
He returned with a photo, placed in an elegant, simple picture frame, and placed it face down in Arthur’s lap, watching his face with the other flipped it over.
“This is… a picture from the night of our freshman formal, isn’t it?” Arthur asked, his eyes watering slightly as one of his fingers brushed down the edge of the photo. He was smiling, Francis was relieved to note.
“Yes,” he agreed, “it is. It is also a photo from the night I fell in love with you.”
“I- I… what…?”
Francis tucked a lock of his bangs behind his ear, gesturing to the photograph with his other hand,
“I remember the moment exactly; you and Alfred had been dating this year, despite that you were in high school and he still in junior high. You had been adamant about the fact that you were not going to come to the dance, because you said you would never waste an evening spending time with us, but everyone believed it was because Alfred was not allowed. But then you showed up-”
“Alfred and I had had a fight.”
Francis nodded, “You came, because you thought it would make him jealous, and you were angry with him. But you were miserable; you did not speak to anyone, you did not get up to dance, nothing…”
Now, Francis smiled, “And then Elizaveta, bless her, approached you shyly and handed you a flower. And she told you…?”
Arthur gave a crooked smile at the memory, “She told me to get off my ass and go find love out there. I took the flower and told her I would, but after she left with Roderich and I rolled my eyes and scoffed.”
“And I saw you then, with that non-believing look on your face, twirling the flower between your fingers, your eyes looking up at the ceiling in mocking, and it made my heart pound like it never had before.”
“R-Really…? That was it?” Arthur shook his head, “You’re an absolute loon.”
“Perhaps,” Francis agreed, “but it was the first time I’d ever seen you look so… lonely but happy. I wondered what it would look like on your face if that loneliness was taken away, and you were only happy. I wondered what it would look like if I was the one who made you happy.”
Arthur shrugged, unable to keep the smile tugging at his lips off his face.
“Well,” he murmured, standing and wrapping his arms around the other’s neck, “I should think it would look a little something like this.”
Francis beamed, brushing his fingers in the coarse strands of the other’s thick blond hair, “I hope you do not mind if I kiss you, right now.”
“At the risk of sounding clichéd, I would be offended if you didn’t.”
And so, without any more preamble, Francis kissed Arthur. Slow, deep, passionate, moving his mouth against the other’s gently, taking care not to let it turn hungry and wanton. Nothing good ever came out of a situation where these two abandoned romance for lust, and while usually it did not matter too much, today every small gesture meant a millions things to Francis.
So when they parted for air, Francis took the moment to take in Arthur’s every eyelash, every freckle; his eyes were moist, his lips were full and wet, and his nose and cheeks were dusted with pink as if someone had sprinkled powered color over them. It was endearing, it was alluring, and best of all it was all for him.
“I love you, Arthur.”
The other paused, turning redder, and his voice was barely audible when he murmured back, “I love you too, Francis.”
Francis pulled away. He took a step back, appraised the other from the small distance, “Do you remember what happened next, at our formal?”
“H-huh… oh. Yes, well, after that, you approached me. You leered at me with that nymphomaniac stare of yours, bowed at the waist so that your eyes were looking at my crotch, and asked if I would like to dance.”
Francis rolled his eyes, “Of course, and despite all of that you decided to say yes.” He was deadpanning, and Arthur frowned.
“Well, perhaps it was not that obvious, but knowing you now I’m sure that is what you were thinking. Not to mention you took advantage of my loneliness, and then without waiting for my say in the matter you swept me off my feet-”
“-Quite literally so, I may add; you almost dropped me.”
Francis laughed, patting the other’s hair, “And then we danced. Do you remember what song we danced to?”
“Of course not!”
He laughed again, striding over to his iPod dock and hitting play. Light, slow music started up, and Arthur found himself remembering suddenly the moment in the gymnasium, which smelled of sweat and had cheap decorations falling from the walls, when Francis held him close and murmured-
“Monsieur Kirkland, may I have this dance?”
Arthur flushed, shyly placing his hand in the other’s outstretched, offered palm. Francis smiled, winding their fingers tightly together and pulling the other close with a hand in the small of his back. Arthur made a soft noise, before his rested his free palm atop Francis’ shoulder.
They swayed together, moving back and forth slowly, their footsteps light as they slid across the carpeting. The music continued to croon from the speakers, and Arthur was becoming lost in it; Francis knew this because there were no other circumstances that would allow Arthur rest his head against his chest so tenderly, so lovingly. It made a blush creep up his cheeks, and he tilted his own head so it would rest atop the other’s-
The song changed to something loud and incomprehensible; probably put on his iPod by Gilbert. It shattered the illusion instantly, and Francis swore at Gilbert under his breath when Arthur pulled away.
“Hn…” He cleared his throat, face bright red as he kicked the floor. “That was… a good dance.”
“It was,” Francis agreed, scowling as he shut the infernal, annoying, angering music off. “Stupid Gilbert…” He hit the iPod dock once for good measure, hard.
Francis froze before he could land a second blow when the sound of a light, soft giggle was heard coming from behind him. Slowly he turned around to find Arthur laughing into his palm.
“You look so ridiculous when you’re angry,” he chuckled.
“But it killed the mood!” Francis gestured wildly, before pouting and crossing his arms over his chest. “It’s being mean to me!”
Arthur rolled his eyes, a chuckle falling from his lips again as he shook his head. Francis felt his heart thump as the smile he could not keep in spread over his face.
“Oh, poow baby Fwancis,” he mocked, “was the music pwaya being mean?”
“Yes,” Francis repeated indignantly, stomping his foot down for dramatic effect. “And only one thing can make me happy again.”
A thick eyebrow rose, “And that would be?”
“I need a kiss from a fair virgin maiden.”
Arthur snorted none too gently, “Good luck finding one in this town; between you and your so called ‘Bad Touch’ comrades, I wouldn’t be surprised if the only virgins in this town are babies.”
“Good point,” Francis agreed, giving him a sly smile before gripping him tightly by the arms, “I suppose you’ll have to do.”
“You came to my home for a reason,” Francis murmured, suddenly sober. “Didn’t you? Something that brought you to me and no one else, or else you would have gone to see Alfred.”
Arthur scowled, pulling away, “You don’t have to keep mentioning him, you know. Whatever happened between him and I ended a long time ago.”
“Your virginity, Arthur? You gave it to him?”
Arthur tried to maintain his composure, even as color spread down his neck. No doubt thinking of the incident, Francis realized.
“Y-Yes. And in return he gave me his – Francis, there’s no need for you to be jealous!”
“I’m not jealous.” He was very jealous; there was a difference.
Arthur huffed and sat himself down on the floor, resting against the frame of Francis’ bed; he gestured for the other to sit opposite him with a snap, “We need to talk. Now.”
Francis complied, giving him a look, “Yes?”
“Whatever happened between me and Alfred happened a long time ago, back when he was much better company than you because at least he didn’t tease me every day over things I couldn’t control. He made me feel safe and sheltered, things you were too immature to give, Francis.”
When he fell silent Francis opened his mouth to speak, but Arthur shushed him by holding up a finger.
“I’m not done yet. I’m just figuring out the right words… Hn. Our first time was not perfect, but it was still probably better than anything you could have given me. Alfred cared about me, Francis.”
“And I don’t?”
Francis pouted, leaning back against his chest of drawers, the little handle knobs digging into his back.
“Is he bigger than me?” he asked finally.
“I need to know; it’s a matter of pride!”
“In that case,” Arthur smirked, “he’s much larger.”
Francis pouted even more, before both boys let their laughter ease their expressions.
“You know, Arthur, I really have cared for you for a long time.”
“W-Why?” he murmured, looking away to the carpet for a moment before swallowing and looking back up. “I’m not… anything special.”
“You are to me,” Francis insisted kindly. He crawled across the carpet, leaning forward on his palms in front of the other. “You were always so… endearing. You seemed so mature, so polished when you first moved here. When you’re angry, it’s impassioning, and when you’re happy, it’s uplifting. Something about you has always had something in me hooked…”
Francis leaned in further, brushing his fingers through the other’s bangs, tucking a few of the longer locks behind the other’s ear. Arthur gave a soft shudder.
“F-Francis…” he breathed, and the other gave a questioning hum, prompting him to continue, “I think I changed my mind… I mean…”
Francis nuzzled his cheek gently with his nose, and Arthur dropped his voice down to a whisper, “I want to do it.”
If Francis was taken off guard, and he was, he did not want to let Arthur see it. He sighed softly, blowing out into the other’s ear, smiling when he shuddered.
“Alright, Arthur, we can do it. If you are sure.”
“I am sure,” he insisted, but there was a waver in his voice. “B-But…”
Francis pulled back a bit, to look the other in eyes, “Hm? Arthur?”
“T-This is going to be our last time,” Arthur murmured, looking away and unable to keep the quaver from his voice. “I… I don’t want to have sex. I want… to make love.”
The distinction, the tone, the sudden burning look in the other’s eyes; all of the impact of the moment made Francis move backwards ever so slightly.
Then, as if responding to Arthur’s request wordlessly, Francis leaned over and undid the only done button of the other’s polo, before sliding his hand up the other’s neck. He pressed his thumb over Arthur’s pounding pulse, and slowly he leaned in to press their lips together once more.
Arthur melted against him with a soft noise of content, his arms wrapping around Francis’ torso, one to tangle in the roots of his hair and the other to squeeze him tightly around the waist. They shifted, until Francis was sitting in Arthur’s lap, leaning over him and kissing while Arthur had his head tilted up. Their hands touched and stroked and caressed as their lips parted to let their tongues mingle.
When the time came to brake for air, Francis swept in and started pressing soft, moist kisses all along the other’s jaw, nipping softly just under his ear. Arthur shuddered, his shaky fingers slowly undoing the buttons going down Francis’ shirt; a few moments later, when he was done, Francis pulled back so the fabric could be eased off his shoulders.
“This is…?” Francis gasped softly, questioningly; Arthur paused and looked at him, face flushed and sweaty already.
“T-Too fast… W-We have all night…”
Francis nodded, and took a few deep breaths to relax his pulse. Already he could feel something stirring in his pants, and he willed himself to calm, to relax, to be loving and not lusting over the boy in whose lap he was sitting. Francis looked down, and noted that the other was suffering from the same lustful urge as he was, and to ease it for them both he pressed a gentle peck to Arthur’s upper lip.
“Strip,” he whispered. Arthur complied by pulling his polo up off his head, tossing it aside and exposing just how far down his body his blush had spread.
Francis made a noise of content, sliding his fingers firmly over the other’s firm skin. Arthur’s body was clean, but it was not smooth, he noted, and there were a great deal of small freckles sprinkled over his torso.
“You’re beautiful,” he murmured reverently, and Arthur made an embarrassed noise and hit him gently over the head.
“S-so are you…” he amended, and then his rough fingers were all over Francis’s chest, stroking the ripples under his pecs (as Gilbert’s friend, he’d been dragged to the gym a few times) and flicking his thumbs over the nipples, which hardened. Arthur smirked.
They continued on like this, a lazy exploration of one another’s bodies, creating maps of each other based on the noises each touch emitted; Arthur purred when Francis’ palm caressed his bum (by this point, he was too relaxed to even be embarrassed about it), and when Arthur stroked his fingers along the back of his knee, Francis squeaked.
It was after nearly forty minutes of this, of touches the went from light to deep and kisses that tried to cover every square centimeter of skin, that Arthur placed a hand around Francis’ wrist and directed it down to his hardened, red arousal.
“N-Now, Francis. Please…”
Francis smiled, nodding and directing all of his attentions to that one bit of anatomy. Spurred on by his own excitement and the other’s soft noises of approval, even the rare moan of his name, Francis found himself wishing that he could make this moment last forever. It was a fleeting wish, and a foolish one, but looking down upon Arthur’s flushed cheeks and his body spread for Francis’ hands, he wanted nothing more.
So he decided, since he couldn’t make it last, he would make it count. After moving them to rest on his much softer bed, Francis moved slowly, deliberately, touching all the places that he had learned make the other feel the best until Arthur was calling out his name and gripping onto his body as he shook in ecstasy.
Francis was not far behind, and a moment later they were lying on his mattress, side by side, sheets a wild mess around them, as the panted their bodies back to stillness.
“I love you…” Arthur murmured against his collarbone, their sweaty bodies rubbing together as he shifted closer. Francis wrapped his arms tightly around the other, ready to never let him go.
“I love you too, Arthur. Always.”
“D-Do you want to sleep now…?”
Arthur shook his head as best he could from so close to Francis’ body. “I want us to talk.”
“Oh? What about, mon cher?”
“I don’t know…” Arthur murmured, his fingers playing with the tips of Francis’ hair. The other smiled,
“You like it? It’s funny, Gilbert has the same habit-”
Arthur’s glare cut him off, but his tone, while stern, was not angry. “I’d like to ask you not to mention him again tonight. Nor Antonio, nor Alfred. Not anyone but us.”
Francis kissed the other’s forehead, “As you wish.”
Arthur sighed, “I guess… despite everything, all the years of rivalry and fighting… I’ve always envied you.”
Francis paused, taking in the softness of the other’s whisper against his skin, the cool relief of his breath against the sweat on his neck. He brushed his fingers in Arthur’s hair, feeling its coarseness scratch at his skin. He nipped softly on his earlobe, tasting the saltiness of his sweaty skin, and he when he buried his nose against the other’s skin the scent he tried to imprint the scent into his memory.
“I have always envied you, too. You never needed anything but your personality to attract others, and you did not put up with the people who did not regard you kindly. I wish I had that sort of gift.”
“What do you mean? You’re charming and charismatic, at the very least.”
“My, my, was that a compliment, Arthur?”
“Don’t get used to it, frog.”
Francis laughed, hugging the other even more tightly. “I will not lie and say that I do not appreciate being charismatic and charming, but I am afraid that because of how I grew up I have grown used to using my body in all sorts of ways that perhaps I regret now.”
“Does that mean you would take back all those times you’ve had sex?”
“…No,” Francis answered finally, heaving a sigh. “I wish I could, but all those times I did it, it is because I needed it. I craved someone’s attention, Arthur, and perhaps I thought sex was the only way I could get it.”
“…You know, I really fucking hate your parents.”
“As do I,” Francis agreed, guiltily remembering the check on his dresser. “But it is not something we have any control over. Your father is not so great either.”
“I don’t need him. I don’t need anyone…”
Arthur made a soft noise that Francis chose to interpret as a yes, before he yawned.
“N-no, I can’t sleep now… T-This… this is my last night here. I can’t let it waste away…”
Francis kissed the other’s forehead gently, and then he ducked his head lower to kiss the tears out of his emerald eyes.
“It will not be wasted, Arthur, love. I will hold onto you all night.”
“P-Promise…?” Arthur murmured, voice thick with sleep.
“I promise. Goodnight, mon coeur.”
Francis hummed, keeping himself up for a few minutes, watching as the other’s breath evened out, slowly but surely. Arthur was asleep, now, Francis realized as he brushed the others bangs away from his forehead; he was asleep now and this might be his very last time seeing that serenity on his face.
So Francis did all he knew to do; he leaned over and pressed the gentlest, most chaste of kisses on Arthur’s lip, before resting beside him on the bed and falling asleep with him.
His arms stayed secure around Arthur’s body for the entirety of the night.
to be continued
A/N: These two scenes were among my favorites to write, and so I thought they would make a charming New Year's gift to all you amazing readers. I'm sorry I took such a long hiatus from posting this fic, but I hope this makes up for it! ♥