conjure_lass: (Hetalia: England Happy Dancing)
[personal profile] conjure_lass
Title: Discovery
Author/Artist: [ profile] conjure_lass!
Character(s) or Pairing(s): FrancexUK; France POV
Rating: PG
Warnings: Language, really bad French on my part, sap?
Summary: England doesn't have a national day? It's a travesty!! France sets out to rectify the problem in one glorious night.

It was an absolutely glorious day, though you would never have known it from the quiet, dark recesses of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. That had been intentional. If Francis hadn’t cocooned himself in the corner of the main reading room, far from the high, rounded windows that dotted the vaulted ceilings, he surely would have abandoned his quest by now. But he could not afford to be distracted! Here, in the magnificent collections of his national library, the answer lay in wait!

What was he looking for, one might ask?

His hunt had begun on Bastille Day, when, after two bottles of wine and an incredibly lovely tête-à-tête with Gilbert, he’d silently wondered why they’d never celebrated Angleterre’s birthday the way they did his own. Granted, this was not the most pleasant contemplation when one was basking in the afterglow, but since the damnable man had been what he was fantasizing about the entire time it seemed rather apropos. Prussia had already gone, not keen on having someone else’s name screamed in the throes of passion, and France had been left alone with his troubled thoughts.

This was intolerable! What was worse…he wasn’t even certain when things had started to be this way. It was like one day he’d gone to bed hating Angleterre with every fiber of his being and the next awoke to find himself sticky with the remnants of an erotic dream involving the very same person! How had this happened? It was not as though their personal relationship had improved over the years, if anything they had maintained a nice, even keel of mutual disgust throughout the centuries. So, why now?

The yellowing pages of a large tome crinkled under his fingertips as he read, looking for any indication of a national celebration, something that would point to a birthday of sorts. Rien. The closest he’d come to a holiday was St. George’s Day, and from what he’d read on the internet most British people didn’t even know what day that was, much less took the time to celebrate it. How could this be? It seemed preposterous that a nation as old and begrudgingly influential as Angleterre would not have a birthday.

It was also rather sad.

Pushing the mountainous pile of books away, Francis tugged the headphones from his ears and pressed his cheek against the cool library table. A lock of hair fell from his loose ponytail and he blew it away, smiling when he caught the gaze of a young brunette a few seats down. He winked at her pretty blush and she quickly turned away, pretending to be very interested in her laptop computer. She might have been a welcome distraction if he hadn’t been feeling so miserable.

It was pathetic the way Arthur was reducing him to this, he decided as he stood up, leaving the stacks of reference books for someone else to take care of. He brushed the back of the brunette’s chair when he passed, grinning at the small scrap of paper she not-so-shyly shoved into his back pocket. Perhaps another time. It wasn’t as though he held any real hope of his oddly misplaced affections being returned. This was Arthur he was talking about after all. He took a calming breath and let it out slowly through his nose, reaching back to free the silk ribbon from his hair. A small girl passed by, holding her mother’s hand in a tight grip, and he reached down to tie the strip into her black locks without a word. She giggled gleefully.

Indeed, the day was truly delicious; it was perfect and mild and sunny. There were blue tits singing in the eaves above his head, the air smelled vaguely of bread and the last vestiges of morning dew, the streets were alive with the feel of…Paris. Nothing else described it. It was joie de vivre. It made him smile. His pleasure was short-lived, however, as his thoughts soon turned back to the problem at hand.


Nothing was worse than having a lovely summer’s day spoiled by unrequited feelings that you were not even sure you wanted requited. Damnation. God certainly had it in for him lately. Maybe he should have started going to church.


The Metro was full of bustling people as he made his way on at the last minute, turning when the doors closed to rest against them. A nearby couple was whispering sweetly debauched (and physically impossible) nothings to each other, and while he normally would have listened in appreciatively, he instead shoved his earbuds back in and turned up the volume on his purple Ipod.

Last night I had a dream about you.
In this dream I'm dancing right beside you.
And it looked like everyone was having fun.
The kind of feeling, I've waited so long.

People-watching had always been one of Francis’ favorite pastimes, but today he found no joy in it, choosing instead to stare blankly at the ceiling of the subway car. Inevitably, he found himself recalling the reason for his trip to the library. Perhaps there was something he was overlooking? Some small piece of information that would shed light on this most distressing set of circumstances? It would be just like les Anglais to have some kind of obscure law against celebrating their nation’s birthday. Arthur was probably determined to stay twenty-three forever! That was it! Francis snickered softly under his breath, tapping the toe of his boot against the wall in time to the beat, trying to imagine someone actually wanting to celebrate being stodgy and ill mannered.

And yet…

“I suppose I shall just have to remedy the situation,” he declared happily, pushing away from the opening doors to turn with a flourish and walk out into the station. The crowd pushed and shoved around him, but Francis, as always, was in a world of his own. But that was all right. His world was prettier anyway.

Three nights later he was sneaking into the front yard of Arthur's Canterbury home, having left his rental three blocks away to avoid looking suspicious. Granted, the lock picking kit he produced from the pocket of his slicker probably wasn’t making him appear any more innocent, but then, what would? He was France! More than that, he was France invading Angleterre. It was like the Battle of Hastings all over again.

It took three tries before he got the pick in the right way, but eventually the lock gave way with a satisfying click and he gingerly pushed open the door. He peeked around warily. All was dark and quiet, but that didn’t mean that the man wasn’t up and wandering about. There had been many a night when France had tried to install cameras in Arthur's home only to find the infuriating creature still sitting in the living room watching SOAPnet and embroidering a pillowcase or something.

Suddenly his feelings of affection made even less sense than they had before.

He paused at the bottom of the stairs, eyeing them nervously. They creaked; he remembered that from the last time he’d snuck in. How to check for Arthur on the second floor if he could not ascend the staircase? It was quite a dilemma. Rubbing his chin thoughtfully, he jumped when he heard a loud bout of snoring coming from one of the rooms above. Parfait! Now he could work in peace.

Thankfully Angleterre liked to bake, so there was no problem finding the appropriate ingredients for a spectacularly lovely birthday cake in his refrigerator. Hell, this would probably be the first lovely baked good this kitchen had ever seen! Arthur would be thrilled. And who could blame him? Having someone not only make up a birthday for you, but bake you a cake in the middle of the night as a surprise? It was enough to make even the most cynical heart melt.

Foolproof plan: on!

Turning around with his arms full of eggs and butter, Francis nearly had a heart attack when an immense flash of light temporarily blinded him, sending him skidding back into the door of the icebox. “Nom de Dieu!” he exclaimed, groping around with his eyes closed until he could feel the counter to set the food on and get his bearings back.


Finally working up the courage to turn around, he slowly cracked open his eyes to see a very winged, very glittery, very naked fairy floating about three inches from his nose. Uh-oh. Francis blinked and attempted to smile. The small fairy, lavender with royal purple hair, huffed aggressively and flitted about, gesturing at the bowls and pans spread all over the kitchen counter. She stamped her tiny foot on the air when France did not immediately respond to her silent questionings, waving her finger at him like an angry mother.

Ah…bonsoir Mademoiselle Rosette…uh…ca va? This is a surprise for Arthur, so if you would be so kind as to stay quiet I would--” Francis cringed when the fairy began to glower, pointing at him again as if he should know what she was getting at. His shoulders sank in defeat. “Very well…I will tell Arthur that I have seen you.” The fairy did not seem appeased and swatted furiously at his nose until he relented. Francis sighed, long-suffering and dramatic. “And that I always have. Will that satisfy you? I can think of no better birthday present for our Angleterre than the opportunity to gloat.”

Rosette beamed, wings flapping cheerfully as she sat herself on the edge of the countertop, swinging her legs back and forth. The picture of satisfaction. France plucked a grape from a nearby bowl and dropped it in her hands, busying himself with baking while she devoured the small fruit. It was only when he was pulling the finished cake from the oven that she came back to observe him, nodding her approval at his efforts before flying over to sit on the kitchen table and point at the nearest chair.

“I am a fool,” he lamented as he sat down, propping his cheek in his palm. He glanced out the kitchen window with a sigh, rubbing at his eyes with the back of his hand. The first rays of dawn were breaking over the horizon, sending shards of light scattering all over the white linoleum floor. Arthur would be waking soon…and all hell would break loose when he did. “Usually my breaking and entering serves some kind of purpose, but this is just ridiculous. I do not know what possessed me to do something so stupid.”

When no answer seemed forthcoming, he trudged back over to the cakes and began putting them together, focusing on the meticulous task of decorating. Rose. Leaves. Pretty green border. Rose. Another rose. One more really big rose to finish it off. Goodness, but “Joyeux Anniversaire” certainly was hard to fit on a cake when you had this many roses on the top, but he’d make it work. Besides, Angleterre would never know the difference…his cakes were lucky to see anything other than the rubbish bin.

Maybe just one more rose…and…produit fini!

He was just stepping back to admire his work when a loud crash from behind drew his attention, whipping around in time to see the broad side of a cricket bat come flying towards his face. It landed with a sickening crack, slamming Francis back against the counter with a pained groan, his hand flying up to cradle his nose that was already spurting blood between his fingers. Angleterre had better not have broken anything important! Not wanting to be assaulted again, he grabbed the nearest blunt object (an antique potato masher incidentally) and went on the attack, eventually finding himself sprawled gracelessly on his stomach with his arm pinned agonizingly behind his back.

Did the humiliations never cease?!

Arthur breathed hotly in his ear, tugging so hard on his arm that Francis couldn’t help but cry out, feeling certain that his arm was about to break. Yes, this was exactly what he’d thought would happen, though in his imagination it had been an embroidery hoop and not a cricket bat. Yes, the cricket bat had been quite a surprise. A painful, bloody, nose-wrenching surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.

“France?” Arthur said, his voice laced with surprise. Francis gave an awkward groan in response, wiggling his hips in an effort to make Angleterre move. “What the hell are you doing in my house? I thought you were a burglar! Are you trying to install bloody cameras again, you pervert?! You remember the incident with the bug zapper and the wire hangers right?!”

France shivered involuntarily. Mon Dieu…did he ever.

Non, non!“ France shook his head as he was allowed to roll onto his back, trying desperately to catch his breath as he watched Arthur move cautiously to sit at the kitchen table, the cricket bat still clutched in his fist. “Nothing like that Arthur! I was just…baking.”

“Baking.” Arthur gave him a deadpan look.

“Baking. See?” Francis pointed at the beautiful creation still sitting on the counter as he rose from the floor to put a wet rag on his nose. He frowned when he saw Rosette flutter over and begin greedily lapping at the side of the cake, her face the picture of absolute bliss. She hugged it like a pillow as Francis clucked his tongue. “Though I would avoid the piece that Rosette just molested.”

“Mmm…that would be the piece to avoid,” Arthur agreed, seemingly oblivious for the moment to Francis’ admission. He pointed at the top of the cake. “It’s nice…what’s this mean though?”

“It means Happy Birthday,” Francis said, his voice sounding nasally as he put pressure on the bridge of his nose. Oh, he had never sounded sexier that was for sure. “But doesn’t my way sound so much lovelier?”

Arthur snorted. “It’s too long! It looks like you barely fit it all on here between the thicket and the rose the size of a shrunken head!”

Cast not pearls before swine. France rolled his eyes and grabbed an overturned chair, sitting down heavily with a huff. Why had he even bothered? There was absolutely no way they were ever going to get along well enough to do anything other than barely tolerate each other. It was stupid to have ever thought otherwise. Besides, it wasn’t as though Angleterre had anything that he couldn’t have gotten from someone else anyway! There was nothing special about the stupid, contrary, bad-tempered, foul-mouthed, closet pervert, fashion nightmare…

A piece of cake with a fairy sitting in the center of it slid into his line of sight, a mug of hot chocolate nestled closely nearby. Francis blinked and looked across the table. Arthur sat smugly, putting a napkin primly into his lap before picking up a dessert fork and stabbing the cake in front of him. He wore an odd expression, instantly making France leery of more incidents involving the cricket bat that had just been deposited in the corner.

“Rosette seems to like your cake…and you.” Arthur was nibbling now, obviously trying not to make any outward show of his approval. He raised an eyebrow and Francis struggled not to blush, fighting the urge to squirm in his seat. His face grew hot, and he knew that he’d failed.

Oui, she and I are…old acquaintances.” He put a bit of cake into his mouth but couldn’t really taste it, too worried about the growing gleam in Angleterre’s eyes to enjoy the flavor. What a waste. “She…helped me prepare your birthday cake.”

“So…all this time?” Arthur’s voice was devoid of emotion, his face set in indifference.

Oui,” France squeezed out almost painfully, glancing down at Rosette who was soothingly patting his thumb while looking back and forth between himself and Arthur. Francis’ words came out in a fumbling rush. “I am sorry Angleterre. I did not know what to say! How does one go about admitting to something they have been denying for a thousand years! I have never been the best at admitting my mistakes, you know that! What was I supposed to do? Call you to Paris for tea and murder?”

Arthur put up a hand to stop France’s rambling, absently licking frosting off his fingers in a way that made the room heat up instantly. Or at least that’s how Francis felt. Arthur, for his part, seemed completely oblivious to his own sweet charms, though there was a flicker in his gaze that made Francis think he might be more self-aware than he was letting on. Unsurprising. After all, the last time France had snooped around Angleterre’s bedroom he’d nearly died in disbelief at the assortment of…goodies. Even he had been unaware there were that many varieties of flavored lube.

“I will never forgive you as long as I live for humiliating me all these years, you realize that right?” Arthur smiled, sipping his tea pleasantly. Francis nodded mournfully, running a fingertip through the icing and smashing a delicate rose under his index finger. He stood up from his chair and turned towards the door, head hanging dejectedly. There hardly seemed reason for him to stay now. All hope was lost. He was going to go mope like a proper Frenchman now.

“Where are you going, Frog?”

Francis froze, turning to give Arthur a curious look. “I assumed that was my cue to leave, non?”

They remained for a long minute, neither one moving, neither one attempting to break the awkward silence that had settled between them. True, almost all moments between them were an odd mix of unresolved sexual tension and blatant revulsion, but that didn’t make this particular moment any less complex. If there had been a wire stretched between them it would have been so taut it was singing by now.

“You know,” Arthur whispered finally, his voice quiet in the deep morning hush. “I cannot recall the last time anyone even inquired as to why I do not have a birthday.” Francis grinned, but stopped short of speaking when Arthur continued, waving a finger petulantly. “Don’t get me wrong! I certainly don’t need such blatant displays of nationalism. It’s hardly conductive to the modern world!”

“But?” Francis slid up to the table and bent over at the waist so that his elbows rested on the tabletop and his chin was in his hands. That stubborn lock of hair fell in his eyes again and he blew it away.

“But.” Arthur nibbled at his bottom lip and blushed in a way that made Francis want to lick at his cheeks to see how it tasted. “It is nice to be remembered…every so often.”

Foolproof plan: succès!

France chuckled, full-throated and warm, leaning forward irreistably to press his lips against Arthur's furious blush, tongue teasing out to test the flavour. He had been right; it was sweet. Of course, a second later he was angrily shoved away, but he’d been expecting nothing less. He was still laughing softly when he took his seat on the opposite side of the table and picked up his neglected hot chocolate to take a long sip. Surprisingly, it was rather good quality, just creamy enough, with a hint of lingering bitterness on the tongue. Its only failing was that it was being served in a cup with the Union Jack on it. Arthur was nothing if not tactless.

“Well then,” he purred, crossing his ankle over his knee. He lowered his voice suggestively, grinning in a way that could only be described as lecherous. “Joyeux Anniversaire Angleterre…and if there are any birthday traditions you’d like to indulge in, now is the time to ask.”

“I have a cricket bat, you sick French bastard!”

“And I’m sure we could work that in somehow if you so desire…it is your birthday after all.”


1: England has no official national day! Apparently since the mid 60's the British government has been putting the kabosh on any sort of "nationalism" since they felt that it creates separatism and does not prove of any benefit in a multi-cultural society such as UK is now. However, since Gordon Brown has been become Prime Minister this apparently might change.

2: Anyone who knows what France is listening to on his Ipod will get massive cool points from me.

3: The National Library of France. It is damn awesome...and pretty too! I could barely read/find anything when I visited it, but it was so gorgeous that I hardly noticed.

France was just too much fun to write. I apologize for this not being betaed, but I didn't want to bother my beloved beta when she isn't feeling her best, so I just went ahead and posted it as is. :)


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December 2012

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