conjure_lass: (Hetalia: Little France)
[personal profile] conjure_lass
Title: New World
Author/Artist: [livejournal.com profile] conjure_lass
Character(s) or Pairing(s): France, with FrancexAmerica implications
Rating: PG
Warnings: Mentions of blood? Disturbing mental images?
Summary: France contemplates his own meaning of freedom after a disturbing nightmare.
Author's Note: A serious piece? No real fluff? FrancexAmerica? I've gone insane!



He was dreaming of blood again.

Liters of the sticky fluid were pouring from beneath his closed bedroom door, staining the carpets a violent red, making the air stink of copper. It was fresh and warm under his bare feet, splashing up against his trousers as he backed up into the wall, his palms sweaty against the wallpaper. He couldn’t seem to make himself move any further than that, his eyes fixed mercilessly on the ever-increasing rush of blood that soaked the floorboards and rose slowly to fill the hallway.

It was coming for him--the blood--and with its rise came the endless parade of whispering voices. Voices pounding against his consciousness as he pushed clenched fists against his ears. But they didn’t quiet. They weren’t really there anyway. They were merely ghosts of the past, lodged in the gummy recesses of his mind, leeches that never quite seemed to detach from his skin no matter how he pulled at them.

Now the cuffs of his trousers were beginning to be weighed down, the blood rising against the walls like flood water in a basement. He cupped a hand against his nose as he retched, his body seemingly rooted to the floorboards, squeezing his watering eyes shut as though if he didn’t look it wouldn’t be real.

But it was.

Why were they still tormenting him so? He had done what his people wanted! He had tried to give them equality, he had murdered his king for them, and he had spilled the blood of thousands in an effort to further that new idea of freedom. Why hadn’t that been enough? Must he be punished eternally for a revolution that went too far? For an untried theory that ran away with everyone’s sanity? For the countless opinions shouted at him from every direction, leaving him so confused he had lost himself in the process?

He had tried. God help him he had tried. But it would always be his fault that it was not enough.

The blood rose up past his nose…and the voices finally stopped.


France awoke with a start, trembling hands clutching at the silken sheets tangled around his legs and torso. The delicate fabric was soaked with sweat, and he realized dazedly that he himself must be soaked as well, his hair sticking in matted clumps to his forehead. Despite that, he found himself chilled, the gentle oscillations of his ceiling fan making goose bumps rise along his arms and stomach. Taking a few calmative breaths, his eyes moved to the adjacent pillow to make certain his bedmate had not been stirred, eyebrows furrowing as he attempted for the hundredth time to settle that damnable cowlick with no success.

Dawn streamed through the tall vertical blinds of the bedroom window, preventing France from falling back to sleep even as he curled close to the warm body at his side. The sun itself was seemingly against him this day. Eventually he gave up on repose altogether, crawling stiffly (having such a young and virile lover came with its price) from the bed to pad into the bathroom. The reflection that stared back at him as he washed his face was a little haunted, remnants of the nightmare still shimmering on the skin of his cheeks and nose. He looked about as good as he felt. Nevertheless, it was pleasant to clean away the grime, to pause and rest his forehead against the cool, pristine porcelain of the sink, willing the uneasiness in his body to leave him be.

France’s current home had been built in 1890 on the heels of the Exposition Universelle, not far from the banks of the Seine where he could easily view his city with a glance. He had overseen its entire construction, even going to so far as to help lay the foundation himself in an effort to get it just right, for it to be perfect, to be exactly as he wanted it to be. It had taken more time and considerably more money than was strictly necessary, but he’d done it anyway.

Some things in life should be immune to frugality.

The stairs leading down to the cave creaked under his weight as he descended them, tugging the fluffy collar of his bathrobe closer to his cheeks in an effort to shield them from the lingering humidity. Canada had given it to him as a gift many years ago, and it was so big that the sleeves draped nearly to his fingertips and the hem trailed the floor like a lady’s dress. But it was warm and it was comforting, and no matter how many times he washed it he could still swear that it smelled of pine.

A row of low-hanging light bulbs dangled from the ceiling, flickering to life as he pressed a small button near the bottom of the stairs. The dim glow twinkled off the rows and rows of wine bottles, their aging labels recounting the tales of decades past, each one unique and memorable. He passed through them all on his way to the back of the cellar, pausing momentarily to decide whether or not this was finally the day to drink the 1945 Mouton Rothschild.

That bottle had been waiting for the right day for a long time.

Deciding that the time was not appropriate, he continued onwards until he found himself silently facing the stony back wall of the cave. Again.

Each stone of the cellar was perfect…save one. It was that one brick that he reverently ran his index finger around now, the borders well-worn with age, and tugged until it popped loose from its place in the wall. A dark hole was revealed upon its dislodgment, but for the moment France merely ran the palm of his hand over the charred surface of the stone, his breath coming out in an emotional rush.

Remembering…

He had felt as though he could conquer the world that day, the sweet rush of accomplishing the “impossible” better than the finest wine, more addicting than the purest opium. It had been delicious to watch that hated building being ripped down, to see the fires rise up from its tips, to feel the established order begin to give way to his people’s frustrated wills. France had loved every second of it. He’d been as sick and weary and hungry as they had, his belly churning for something he couldn’t quite name but could smell floating on the breeze with each passing day. Unrest had seethed within him for so long that the demolition of a single building had caused it to come to a head and spill out in a near orgasmic rush. He had never felt so free, so in control of his own destiny, so alive.

That was why France was down here, to remind himself of what he had so desperately wanted, still wanted, would always want. There was no going back; he had been irrevocably changed. And he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, regardless of events that he would no doubt regret for the rest of his life. The voices could not erase what he’d become, no matter how they persisted in haunting him.

Placing the brick on the ground, he reached carefully into the exposed hole and pulled out a tattered handkerchief, shaking it of dust as he brought it into the light. It had become yellowed, the initials “FB” almost unrecognizable, but the memory of the bloodstains splattered across its surface were still fresh in his mind. France brought the cloth to his nose and inhaled deeply, closing his eyes with a slightly self-satisfied smile.

It was the smell of freedom.


Notes:

1: The Exposition Universelle was held in 1889 and was the introduction of the Eiffle Tower.

2: One bottle of 1945 Mouton Rothschild can cost thousands of dollars. When I looked it up the cheapest one I found was $2500.

3: After the storming of the Bastille, the structure was ripped down to the foundation and some of the bricks were given away as souvenirs of a sort. They even gave one to Louis XVI.

4: After Louis XVI's beheading, people came up and dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood. Cheeky, non?




This scene came to me on a whim and I felt like I just had to share it. I like my France a little on the serious side, so be duly warned.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Cherry!

Date: 2011-03-03 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aeld.livejournal.com
The research you do... X_X

THE RESEARCH!!! *shakes*

Date: 2011-03-03 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] conjure-lass.livejournal.com
*BLUSH*

It actually surprises me that you notice the amount of research I do. I know i've mentioned that before, but it still surprises me. No one else seems to ever notice! Though they're probably noticing in the back of their mind that it seems very real, which is I guess the point of research.

December 2012

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