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[personal profile] conjure_lass
Title: Traffic
Author/Artist: conjure_lass
Character(s) or Pairing(s): Fr/UK
Rating: PG-13 for swearing and metions of sex.
Warnings: Bad language
Summary: Arthur had faced many dangers, but nothing would compare to Parisian driving and the dreaded Place de l'Étoile.

This was it.

He’d survived the Black Death, the Hundred Years War, Napoleon, King John, the Industrial Revolution, the Crusades, the Wars of the Roses, the Seven Years’ War, probably more wars that he couldn’t remember properly due to being drunk through the important bits, the Battle of Britain, Jane Austen, Simon Cowell, the paparazzi, and more off-key singing than any one nation in all the world.

But the Place de l'Étoile was going be the death of him. Arthur Kirkland. The glorious United Kingdom.

“What is wrong mon crapet?” Francis blinked wide eyes at him, reaching out across the front seat to pat his thigh in an almost motherly way. “You are white as a bed sheet.”

“We’re not going out into that are we?!” He pointed out the front windshield of the car, waving his index finger around, feeling his jaw go slack at the almost horrific sight before him.

London traffic was bad. He wasn’t going to bother denying that. Being one of the largest cities in the world (not to mention London had never exactly been designed for modern traffic) did have a tendency to clog things up a bit. And yes, sometimes the M25 caused his citizens to develop homicidal thoughts and was probably the cause of at least three dozen vehicular births. All right. But this…this was ludicrous!

There were no lines! No lights! No order! Just one enormous roundabout with dozens of cars flying in from twelve different streets all honking and dodging and avoiding one another with cat-like reflexes and no common sense! Who the hell thought this up?! He and Francis weren’t even in the damn thing yet and he could already feel his blood pressure going through the roof.

Oui,” Francis slowly put both hands on the wheel and nodded, glancing sidelong at Arthur as though observing a wounded animal ready to strike. Arthur pressed his lips together and sunk down low in his seat, holding for dear life to the car door. “How else are we to get to the ballet? It is…the fastest route.”

“How exactly do you traverse…that?” Arthur once more pointed towards the throng of circling cars around the Arc de Triomphe, swallowing when he realized it was almost their turn to enter the fiasco.

Francis laughed, that lilting chuckle that Arthur both hated and loved at the same time, and waved a jaunty finger. “Oh mon amour!” He winked, straightening his tie before slapping his hands back on the wheel with a flourish. “It is like every other roundabout…just more exciting! We are like cavalrymen again!”


Exactement!” The car began to roll slowly out into the circling traffic, Francis squaring his shoulders and narrowing his eyes with concentration. “Now…let’s see…how do you say? Ah, yes…tallyho!”

The car surged forward towards the traffic, squeezing into an opening between a bus and a commuter van that wouldn’t have left room for even a ladies pinky finger. Arthur bit down on his bottom lip to keep from making some humiliating noise, turning terrified eyes to Francis who didn’t seem to be disconcerted at all. He weaved skillfully in and out of any available opening, stopping on a dime when appropriate and honking at some fool on a Vespa who darted out in front of him without warning. They jostled and cajoled their way around the Arc, oozing like organized chaos, until Arthur began to find himself more than a little amazed at how…smooth it all was.

At least until they tried to get out.

“Holy Mother of Christ!” He shouted as Francis veered the car towards the Avenue de Friedland, straight towards oncoming traffic. “What are you doing?!”

This time, Francis seemed almost startled, taking a moment to get them into the correct lane (oh thank the good Lord that there were lanes again) before turning to Arthur with an annoyed sneer.

“Well, how else were we meant to get to our street?” Francis drummed his fingers against the wheel in an exasperated way. “Honestly, one would think I had never driven in Paris the way you act! C'est très insultant!”

“When have I ever cared about whether I insult you?!”

“Never!” Francis made a sharp turn onto a less crowded street. “I do not know why I went through so much trouble to get these tickets for us and I truly do not know why I want so very much to spend all my time with you!”


There were very rare moments where Arthur felt…guilty. In fact, he’d made a habit throughout his life of not feeling guilty. It never got you anywhere, and it usually led to second-guessing yourself, which in turn only led you backwards. True, there had been that one time when he’d gotten completely shit-faced and wound up pissing in the Queen Mum’s garden…he’d killed her daylilies. Not only had he been incessantly guilty, but completely humiliated as well.

Very rare moments, indeed. But there, listening to Francis mumble under his breath in affronted French, Arthur felt his cheeks heat up with shame. This was supposed to be a nice night out just for the two of them. They’d been looking forward to it. He’d have been furious if Francis had behaved the way he just had. Granted, Arthur did tend to stop twenty feet away to let even a lone pedestrian cross the street (not the norm these days), but that hardly meant that Francis didn’t know how to drive. Or that Paris traffic was the same as London traffic. Or that…

Arthur sighed as Francis proceeded to perform the most perfect close-quarters parallel parking job he’d ever seen.

The passenger door clicking opening snapped him from his thoughts, looking up to see Francis standing with his arm held at the ready, grinning expectantly down at him. Blinking stupidly, Arthur stood and reached up to loop their elbows together, smiling shyly as he experimentally let their sides brush against one another. When Francis didn’t pull away he leaned in close, clearing his throat.

“How do you do that?” he asked, shaking his head. Francis cocked a curious eyebrow at him, glancing around as if he wasn’t exactly certain what he’d done this time and wasn’t exactly certain if he should apologize now or later. Millennia of being a prat had made him paranoid.

“Do what, mon amour?”

“This,” Arthur said, waving a hand between them. “Get over things so quickly. You never seem to stay mad no matter what I do.”

“Ahhh! But that is not true!” Francis stopped in the street and pulled Arthur flush, wrapping his arms around his waist to nuzzle against the curve of his ear. “I have held a grudge against you for centuries! Things like this are as nothing compared to the resentment I hold over past events.”


A chaste kiss on Arthur’s stunned lips was the accompaniment to Francis’ soft voice. “I tease, Angleterre. I tease. How could I stay angry over such a trifle? Is our relationship not built upon such petty quarrels?”

Arthur thought on that momentarily, cocking his head back and forth to roll the idea around in his brain. “You know,” he said at last, ignoring his inhibitions enough to rise up on tiptoe and run fingers across Francis’ perfectly high cheekbone. “As much as I hate to admit it, you’re right. Not very romantic is it?”

Non,, but it does allow us the opportunity for much make-up sex.”

“Keep that up and you won’t be seeing even that for a while.”

“Lies,” Francis whispered against his mouth, reaching down to squeeze Arthur’s ass lecherously. “You will be riding me into the mattress springs, as always.”

“Or we could avoid Parisian traffic all-together and just park somewhere.”

“It just so happens I know the best lover’s lane in Paris.”

“You probably know all the lover’s lanes in France.”




1: Check out the Place de l'Étoile. Is that not the most crazy awesome thing you've ever seen? If someone has actually driven on that, would you tell me how it was? It looks INSANE and FUN.

This was something I just sort of wrote because I thought it was fun. Hope you all enjoy it, even though it probably has a mistake or two!



Date: 2009-10-20 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You know, you made me laugh from the very beginning, because my friends and I say that if you manage to get in and out the Place de l'Etoile, especially at 6 p.m., you'll be a man, a real one. That's the truest virility test in France :p.

Date: 2009-10-20 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*grin* I try.

As for the driving? If you're a woman and manage it, what does that make you? I'm not tremendously certain I want to be a man. I'd miss my lady-parts. *pout*

Date: 2009-10-20 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You'll be... more than a man :p.

Date: 2009-10-20 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oooooo. All the benefits of being a man without the frustrating extra parts. Sounds promising. *giggle*

If I ever manage to get over there i'll make a point of giving it a try even with my meager driving skills. I'm sure i'll be finnnnee. :)


Date: 2011-02-05 04:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love how much research you do *0*


You should write a fic about how practically ALL WORDS in the english language stem from French X}

Re: sdkfgsdkfgskajfhgskadf

Date: 2011-02-05 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*BEAMS* I'm so happy that you actually *notice* how much research I do! It makes me feel better for having done it. Usually I think a lot of the small nuances of my stories are kind of lost on people. *giggle*

And I may just do that someday! We'll see!

Re: sdkfgsdkfgskajfhgskadf

Date: 2011-02-07 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Of course I notice!! Daft lass...

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