Author/Artist: chromatic_coma @ animusia
Character(s)/Pairing(s): (in this chapter) England, France, Prussia, Canada ;; France/UK, Prussia/Canada
Genre: Friendship, Romance, Slice-of-Life, Angst, Drama
Warning(s): Kissing, Implied threesomes, Talk of (technically underage) Sex, Swearing, It's really long, Lack of Plot, Human names, CHEESE, 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, prussiaxcanada
Part I Chapter I - Part I Chapter II - Part I Chapter III - Part I Chapter IV - Part I Chapter V - 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 VI
The next morning when Francis awoke, the sun was barely shining in through the window, and that was not the only thing that was wrong.
“A-Arthur…?” he mumbled, trying to regain his vision and find the other, panic already beginning to set in. They had had such a good night for the first time in a long time, and this was their last day, their last little piece of a day, and if Arthur had left him without saying goodbye-
“I’m right here, Francis.”
He sighed in relief at the sound of Arthur’s voice, and in the shadows he could barely make out the other’s figure, pulling up his pants.
“A-Are you going…?”
“I have to,” came the remorseful reply. “My flight is in six hours, and I’ve got to go home and shower and then get to the airport and check in…”
“Do you need a ride…?”
“No, its fine, Mrs. Jones is taking me. She promised me she would a while ago.”
Francis frowned, until a weight rested down beside him on the mattress.
“I…I’m going to miss you, Francis.”
“And I you,” the blond was quick to reply, causing Arthur to give a forced chuckle.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
They kissed once, twice, a third one longer and deeper than the other two before Arthur stood up and pulled his shirt on.
“I… must be going…”
“I understand.” No, Francis didn’t, because he couldn’t understand how one could leave a lover behind. But this was a good opportunity for Arthur, and as someone who loved him he had to make sacrifices.
‘If you love someone, you let them go.’
“Bye…” Arthur whispered, his voice cracking over the syllable.
The door to Francis’ bedroom was shut, and he was left in it, alone and colder than he had ever been before.
Arthur hated airports. Sure, they were generally efficient places, well maintained and usually also well organized; basically everything he loved in his own life. Still there was something melancholy about an airport that unsettled him from the moment he set foot inside.
There were people everywhere, with luggage that varied from being big enough to fit him inside, to small camping back packs and shoulder bags. Everyone was scrambling around, gesturing to their family members, pushing carts that had been haphazardly stacked and looking for the right gate to their airline. And he stood frozen in the midst of all this, passport and boarding pass in hand and bags checked in; he was ready to go.
Mrs. Jones and Alfred had already left, at his request, after a touching goodbye that Arthur found he could hardly remember in light of his current heartache. He walked around the airport aimlessly, his gate still not open as of yet, trying to find something that could distract him from his thoughts.
Namely, Francis Bonneyfoy. He’d spent so many of the past few years ignoring any feelings he might have for the other, using the excuses that he was too rough, uncouth, uncivilized, ill mannered, unfaithful, a boy who slept around, untrustworthy, a liar… but the previous night had changed all that. He had gone to Francis looking for comfort, and found instead something better.
He found love. Arthur wasn’t stupid enough to try and deny it anymore, because this was the love that he had read about and seen and written about in his own stories, the ones that had gotten him accepted to the University of Cambridge. This was the story of Belle and the Beast, of two people who did not seem like they belonged together until they put those external differences aside and took each other for what they really were.
…Perhaps it was time he left the greeting cards and candies’ store.
As he strode down the clean hall of the airport waiting area, Arthur looked out the window and saw his plane sitting near the gate, being packed with bags and most likely cleaned out on the inside as well, being prepared for takeoff. And then he came to the realization that even though he had his passport and his boarding pass and even though he was checked in and his tuition was covered, Arthur was not ready for takeoff.
“Arthur!” he heard his name echo down the hall, and in that voice he so badly wanted to hear that for a moment he refused to turn around.
It hardly mattered, though, because a moment after that someone’s body was impacting with his and turning him around and hugging him like their life depended on it and he didn’t even have to open his eyes to know who it was, though he could not remember closing them in the first place.
“F-Francis…” he choked, burying his face in the other’s shoulder and inhaling that deep, warm, familiar scent. “W-Why… How are you here?”
“I drove here. I decided after you left that I did not say goodbye as properly as I wanted to.”
The other pulled away, and gave Arthur a warm smile; for the first time he noticed the other’s eyes were red-rimmed.
“Here,” Francis started, pushing a large yellow envelope against Arthur’s chest. “That is for you. It is a gift. Do not open it until you are in your seat in the plane, alright?”
“I won’t,” Arthur murmured, gripping the envelope as if it could tell him what was inside. He licked his lips and sighed, “I didn’t… get anything for you…”
Francis shushed him with a smile, brushing his fingers again in the other’s hair and sliding them down his cheek.
“You gave me the best night of my life,” he replied, “and that is all the present I need.”
A loudspeaker announcement went off, then, asking all passengers boarding the flight direct to London to please go to the designated gate. Arthur’s heart felt like it was being squeezed painfully by the voice, until Francis swept him off his feet into a long, dizzying kiss.
“Will I see you again?” he asked against Arthur’s mouth quietly, but not nervously.
“I… I’m not coming back until I have my Doctorate.”
Francis pulled back and gave him a sad smile, “Ah, but that means you are coming back.”
Arthur nodded, and he became unable to open his mouth as tears began to slip out of his eyes and slide down his cheeks.
Francis moved in to brush the tears away with the pad of his thumb, but soon the storm that had been building in his own eyes started, and tears spilt down his own face.
“One more kiss. Give me one more kiss, Arthur, and I will be fine.”
So Arthur leaned in, gripping the other around the shoulder with his free arm, and pressed their lips together in a kiss that was neither chaste nor wanton, but needy and lasting so that their lips were still tingling when he pulled away, and took a step back.
“See you soon,” he replied with a slight wave of his hand, and Arthur nodded, smiling back at him.
Then he turned around, headed for the gate, and it took all of his self control for him to not look back.
When he was seated on the plane, seatbelt strapped, shoes kicked off, Arthur opened the envelope. Inside of it were two things: the photo of him and Francis on the night of their freshman formal four years ago, and a check made out to him in the amount of two hundred dollars, with a note on the back ‘Just some money to get you started on your new life..
It was late afternoon, and Gilbert was sitting outside the corner store, a cherry Popsicle hanging out of his mouth. Even though it was hot and the Popsicle was beginning to melt, he was licking it lazily, not paying it much heed even as the bright red syrup dripped onto his shirt.
Every so often, when an old woman was passing by, Gilbert would hold onto the stick with both hands and push the icy treat in and out of his mouth in a manner that very much resembled something vulgar; it always made him laugh when he made an innocent old woman flush and curse him out.
It almost made him sad that this was what he was reduced to; Francis had come home from seeing Arthur off to the airport with puffy red eyes and had asked if maybe he could be left alone for a while, and he looked so miserable and downtrodden Gilbert did not even feel up to poking fun at his expense. Antonio was off somewhere, probably with Lovino, but also possibly out spoiling his cousin; the boy loved children more than should have been normal for an eighteen year old.
That left Gilbert to be a lone ranger, being inappropriate in public and scaring pigeons away from his lonely curbside post.
“Huh?” Gilbert looked up when suddenly the sunlight was blocked from his face (shade!), and found himself squinting into the Sun to make out the features of one Matthew Williams.
“Oh, hey. What brings you over to this side of town? You wanna hang out with the awesome me, huh? Can’t say I blame ya.”
“Y-Yeah,” Matthew agreed, gesturing to the spot beside Gilbert on the curb, “May I?”
Gilbert shrugged, “It’s a free sidewalk.”
Matthew sat down with the faintest hint of a grin on his face, “Well, I did see you scaring those pigeons away earlier, so I wanted to be sure.”
Gilbert snorted. “Hmmmmmm… well, since you’re slightly more awesome than a pigeon, I’ll let it slide.”
Matthew smiled, resting his elbows on his knees; it was then that Gilbert noticed a small box in his lap, modestly wrapped in brown paper.
The blond flushed, his tone a bit flustered when he answered, “Well, it’s a gift…”
“A gift?” Gilbert echoed, grinning. “For me, no doubt.”
“Yeah, it is. It’s a… combined graduation and moving away gift. You’re finally going to get that totally awesome bachelor pad you wanted.”
The albino snorted, “Dude, I checked the dorms out, and they’re not quite that awesome.”
“But you being there is going to make them awesome, isn’t it?”
Gilbert paused, suddenly, giving Matthew an intense look; the younger boy quivered a bit under his stare.
“I’ve trained you well,” he decided, resting back against the dirty, chipped lamp post. He reached out for the parcel in the other’s lap and snatched it away.
“So, a gift for me?”
“Can I open it now? Or are you one of those pansy types that want me to open it at a special moment?” Gilbert cackled.
Matthew shrugged, “Now is fine. I know you have the patience of a three year old after the promise of cake.”
Gilbert pouted, before he decided that it was not something worth pouting over; he had the box in his hands, after all. “There’s cake in here?!”
Matthew giggled softly into his palm, and Gilbert found he needed to look away for a moment, a smile worming its way onto his face despite himself. Dammit, what the fuck was wrong with him?!
He looked back down to the box in his hands, whose plain exterior did not betray its contents. He picked it up, shook it, caressed it, sniffed it and even licked it, only to elicit another laugh from Matt, and the directions, “Open it.”
So Gilbert did; inside was a box of maple cookies, a small bottle of 100% pure maple syrup, and a handkerchief printed with chicks (the baby chicken kind, not the sexy lady kind) to line the inside of the box.
“W-Well,” Matthew started, looking away from Gilbert’s intense crimson stare as his cheeks somehow became even more pink, “I know you really liked to come over and eat some of my pancakes every Sunday morning, and that you were the only one who didn’t tease me about using so much maple syrup because you practically drowned yours every week…
“So I figured you’d like to own some syrup of your own, and I wrote out my pancake recipe, too, so that you could make breakfast for yourself on Sundays, and so that…”
Gilbert licked his lips, “So that?”
“So that… you wouldn’t forget me.”
The albino sighed, shaking his head and wrapping his arm tightly around Matthew’s neck, pulling the younger boy into a surprise headlock.
“You’re silly if you thought I’d ever forget you and your orgasmic cooking. I have awesome memory, remember?”
Matthew smiled and nodded as best he could, “Yeah. N-Now, can you let me go?”
Gilbert obliged, and looked into the box once again, “And the cookies?”
“Taste good. I would have made you some myself but after Alfred ruined the oven during a science experiment I didn’t exactly have the means to make them.”
Gilbert rolled his eyes, “Your brother is fucking crazy.”
“He is,” Matthew agreed. “But I don’t think I would trade him for anything, you know?”
There was silence for a moment, before Gilbert finally agreed,
“I know how you feel. Ludwig couldn’t be any more unawesome if he tried, but still… I think I’m gonna miss him, you know?”
Matthew nodded fervently.
“Course, it’s probably not the same, since you and Alfred are twins and all, but Ludwig’s been my brother as long as I can remember. He used to follow me around and do everything I did, til he grew up a little and realized I was a bad kid.”
Gilbert paused and gave a small laugh, thinking about the swaddling chubby toddler who’d used to follow him around until Gilbert went off to preschool and left him behind. It was strange to think that for the first time since Ludwig was born, the brothers would be apart. Certainly Gilbert had probably spent more time with Francis and Antonio, but Ludwig was that ever-present force that was always with him even when they weren’t together.
“You’ll miss him,” Matthew whispered, and Gilbert nodded.
“I guess I will. I’ll miss a lot of things about this dusty old town; the people, the fences I’ve built for community service, the graffiti I did in my artsy phase in junior high…”
They two shared a look, and Matt placed his hand cautiously on the other’s shoulder, his voice shaking a bit as he murmured, “I’m going to miss you a lot. You made my life really interesting.”
“You’ve got Alfred for a brother, so I’m sure things won’t be getting boring anytime soon.”
“That’s true,” Matt agreed. “But Alfred and you really don’t have much in common. He’s more of a childish menace, while you are a full out havoc wreaking demon.”
“Ow, Matt, that hurts.” Gilbert mimed having his heart broken, and the other laughed.
“It does not. If I know anything about you, it’s that havoc wreaking demon is the greatest compliment you would ever want to receive.”
“You really get me. I’m impressed.”
Matthew nodded, smiling and twiddling his fingers in his lap, probably to ease his ever present nerves. In the past year they had spent a lot of time together, and as much as Matthew seemed to be relaxing around him Gilbert couldn’t help but notice the small nervous ticks the younger blond had. It was somewhat endearing, in that it was subtle enough that it wasn’t annoying, but not so unnoticeable so that it could be missed.
“Hey, Matt, can I ask you something?” Gilbert said suddenly, biting his lip. He’d remembered something that Francis had said to him two days ago, when he and Antonio had played that dirty trick on him to wake him up, something that had been bothering him since.
“What is your relationship with Francis, exactly?”
“Two days ago he said something about you being his Matthew, and even though he and Arthur were pretty much going at it like rabbits I wouldn’t put it past Franny to take on a lover on the side or something.”
“W-Wait, you think I was Francis’ lover? A-As in… you think Francis and I… did… that?!” Matthew yelped, his face so red Gilbert worried he was going to explode. Suddenly he felt his heart sink into the pit of his stomach, figuring that if Matthew looked so embarrassed it must have meant he was right.
“Well, haven’t you?”
“No! Of course not! Francis was just tutoring me in French, and he sort of took to me, yeah, but only as my big brother or something. That’s what he wanted me to call him, anyways. We never did anything!”
“No, never,” Matthew insisted. “So much never that I’m still a virgin, anyways…”
“You are?” This was news; Gilbert had been of the believers that between him, Antonio, and Francis, there were no virgins left at their school.
Matthew shrugged, gaze focused intently on the concrete sidewalk. “It’s not like anyone really wanted me, anyways. I mean, I’ve always had a few friends and stuff, but no one’s ever been interested in me romantically…”
Gilbert sighed, and then he quirked his lips, ruffling Matthew’s bangs. “I don’t think that’s true; the person’s probably just too shy or something to tell ya, but I don’t think it’s possible for a cutie like you not to have gained some pretty lady’s attentions. Or, you know, a hot guy’s, if you’re into that.”
“You… You think so?”
Gilbert’s heart was thumping wildly now, and he had absolutely no clue why. He gripped his chest and squeezed tightly.
“’M glad you decided to save yourself,” Gilbert said finally, as he stood up. “I know this sounds weird coming from me and all, but someone like you is better off doing it for love. It’s… better that way.”
“Gilbert…? Are you alright?” Matthew murmured, standing up after him.
“Me? I’m fine, Matt. Just starting to get overheated; albinos aren’t supposed to spend too much time in the Sun, you know?”
“Do you need help getting home?”
Gilbert smirked, “Who am I, again?”
Matt quirked an eyebrow, “Gilbert?”
“Exactly. Gilbert the fucking awesome. Don’t worry about me, okay?”
Gilbert ruffled the other’s hair again, “Thanks for the gift, Matt. It’s really cool of you to give me something like this. I’ll make pancakes every week; no, every day.”
Matthew finally laughed, “Don’t drown them in syrup, or you’ll run out!”
“Pfft, I’ll drown ‘em anyways! And then I’ll write you letters and ask for more!”
The albino laughed, clutching his box to his chest and grinning.
“Bye, Matt. See you soon?”
And even though they both knew that Matthew was leaving tomorrow for Canada with his family, and that this was the last time they’d see each other until Gilbert came home for break, Matthew nodded.
“Damn fucking straight.” Gilbert laughed boldly, before giving a fond wave and sauntering off for home.
to be continued
A/N: I recently realized that it's been a really long time since I updated this. Guys, if I ever make you wait two weeks again, you're allowed to PM me and complain XD
On that thought, I'm going to start updating three times a week from now on. New chapters will come out every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday until the fic is done. There's only one chapter left in Part I, and then we move on to Part II!
Thank you all for reading ♥