conjure_lass: (Hetalia: FrUk1)
[personal profile] conjure_lass
Title: Subtlety
Author/Artist: [ profile] conjure_lass
Character(s) or Pairing(s): FrxUK
Rating: PG
Warnings: None. A bit of flowery description?
Summary: A midnight kidnapping. A picture of romance. Sort of.
Author's Note: I wrote this scene on a whim to Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. If you've never seen that movie (or heard this song), you are really missing out.

Bright limestone gravel crunched and popped under the Renault’s tires as he steered it up the winding driveway, the sound almost deafeningly loud in the hush of the early morning hours. He’d forgone the radio, choosing to take the long drive from Paris in silence, trying to keep from waking the other nation lying a-snooze in the backseat. France wasn’t exactly sure why he had bothered with that, considering England slept like the dead, but at least the thought was there. The beams of the headlights bobbed and danced beyond the bonnet, finally illuminating the door of an aging cottage nestled in a patch of bushy, flowering trees. He gently pulled to a halt, mindful of his sleeping passenger, and opened the car door.

The smell of the vineyard instantly enfolded him, easily recognizable even in the barely-there glow of dawn peeking over the rolling hills of the vallee de la Loire. Subtle grape blossoms, dark leaves beading with gathering dew, the distinct aroma of growing things and fresh water, all saturated his clothes and hair. He yawned, stretching his arms high above his head, finding himself calmed without effort, relaxed without strain. More so than any towering monument of steel; this land, the groves of graceful fruit trees, the sloping mounds of grapevines, the shallow lakes, their water still to reflect the brilliant sunlight, was truly what he was.

It had been too long since he’d last taken refuge from the whirling chaos of Paris.

England murmured sleepily as France hefted him into his arms, carrying him somewhat gracelessly to the front door of the cottage that had been in his possession for nearly 300 years. It was almost totally different from his luxurious city home, a simple one-bedroom overlooking seemingly endless acres of vineyards, its slate gray stones chipped a bit with age, its doors and shutters painted a vivid cerulean blue. An entire summer had been dedicated to finding that color, that perfect rich hue, like the sky on the most amazingly clear day.

il faudrait se calmer sur le trifle, petit cochon,” France muttered into England’s hair, struggling to keep his balance as he pushed the front door closed with a snap of his hip.

Thankfully, the staff working the vineyards in France’s absence had recently cleaned, so there was no need to worry for England’s anal cleaning fairies. Merci mon Dieu! He wanted no repeats of that incident involving the mysteriously floating feather dusters and polishing cream. The bed linens, white and soft and well worn, smelled of lavender as France pulled them back to deposit England between them; he smiled at the smaller nation's unconscious attempt to reach out and clutch at his sleeve to keep him near.

Dormir,” he whispered, tapping at England's soft cheek. France nodded in contentment when the grasping hand fell back to the mattress, England burrowing into the pile of downy pillows, drifting fully into sleep’s embrace.

For his part, France wasn’t quite ready for repose. The sun would soon be making its first appearance of the day and he was loath to miss it after driving so long in the darkness. It took him only a few minutes to find the perfect bottle of sparkling wine from the wine cooler (even a rustic house such as this should have at least one or two luxuries), quietly uncorking it so as to not rouse England from his rest. France would have liked to say that it was only loving concern that kept him from interrupting the island nation’s slumber…but in truth England could be quite beastly when he didn’t get his eight hours.

Granted, France wasn’t sure how much of a difference it was going to make when England awoke to find himself 400 kilometers from where he’d first fallen asleep, but no harm in enjoying the peace while it lasted.

The idea of a midnight kidnapping had, in fact, arisen quite haphazardly. France had been sitting on the balcony, watching a golden peach sunset over the Seine, when he’d glanced over his shoulder towards his colleague’s frustrated mumblings. England had been sitting at the desk working, unconsciously rolling his stiff shoulders, dark circles heavy under tired eyes, shaking his hand every now and again as though he’d lost the feeling in the limb. Absolutely miserable. France, eyebrows knitting in concern, had opened his mouth to suggest a break, but had stopped himself short as another, more devious, plan took root.

Operation: Gestion du Stress had officially been born.

And so that basically brought them to the present. Hundreds of kilometers, multiple hours, and many near misses on the autoroute that France was very glad England had not seen, later.

France shivered as he sat down at the top of a hill near the open front door, feeling the moisture in the grass saturate the seat of his pants. He took a deep breath and smiled as the sun finally burst over the horizon, wishing he had a camera to capture the moment more properly. The landscape was suddenly awash, endless neutral tones shattering into every color of the spectrum, the world vibrantly animated with morning. As though on cue, the birds who had been only softly chirping, broke into riotous song, filling the trees with their cacophonous symphony.

Falling backwards into the grass, arms spread wide, France closed his eyes and let the warmth of the sun sink into his skin. Revitalize him. This…this was life. Not the insane traffic of Paris, nor the bustle of modern capitalism, nor the drone of airplanes as they carried him back and forth across the ocean. This was life in all the delicate places where it continued to trickle along as it had since before France could even remember.

And he could remember a lot.

“Mmm…I could brain you and you’d never see it coming. But, since I’ve not the foggiest idea where I am, that might be troublesome.”

“We are in a vineyard, Angleterre, obviously. Or have your eyes grown as decrepit as your face?”

One swift kick later, France was once again sitting upright, cradling his sure-to-be-bruised shoulder and scowling as England sat down beside him with a vindictive smile. Silence settled like dust as England drank the wine that he must have grabbed from the kitchen and France resettled his gaze on the land, waving down towards a small group that cheerily returned the gesture before disappearing into the rows of grapevines to work.

“Do you not like it?” France glanced at England with a coy smile, scooting until their shoulders were pressed flush, a seam of heat between their bodies. “I thought--”

“It might have been a bit more appropriate if you didn’t up and steal me away in the middle of the night,” England interrupted, filling France’s coffee mug turned wine glass (the one with the little poodles on it) without being asked. “And I don’t particularly like waking up and having no bloody clue where I am.”

France sighed, feeling deflated and defeated, before shifting, pulling away. Leave it to les Anglais to not appreciate a romantic gesture from a thousand kilometers away! He should just stop trying. It wasn’t as though England was ever going to do anything more than scoff at his efforts anyway!

It was a shame that no matter how hard he tried, no matter how long he worked, no matter how much he denied it and resented it…France could not make himself stop caring for Angleterre. It was a major failing in his character, surely. Perhaps he should try seducing Amérique instead!

He hadn’t made it five centimeters when he was abruptly tugged back, England’s face pressing warmly to the crook of his neck, hiding his expression from view. It didn’t matter. France could still feel the rising blush on the smaller nation’s cheeks burning into the delicate skin of his throat, the telltale shiver in his shoulders that wasn’t from the slight chill of the morning air. France, feeling himself warm to spite himself, smiled knowingly and rested his cheek on top of the untidy, disheveled mess of hair.

“The sheets smelled nice,” England murmured, his voice obviously embarrassed. Regardless, he laced their fingers together and squeezed.

“Did they? We will have to try them out later, non? After breakfast, perhaps?”

They spent a few moments sort of reaffirming life, feeling each other so close that it seemed as though their breaths rose and fell in a strange, slightly awkward rhythm. In those brief minutes their responsibilities seemed very far away, distant, as though they belonged to someone else entirely. France would have called the feeling serene if not for the fact that there would always be (and had always been) a rather wide thread of discord in the weave of their unconventional tapestry. Things would never be perfect.



“If you ever call me a pig again, I will feed your balls to the dogs. Understand?”

Unconventional indeed.

Whoops! I realized I'd never posted this to my OWN journal. I like to keep things tidy, so post I shall!



Date: 2010-02-17 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very nice. The "petit cochon" was especially cute. >D

Date: 2010-02-17 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Awwww, thank you! You didn't have to read it. :) I'm glad you liked it though. It was mostly an exercise in trying to write scenery. :)

Date: 2010-02-17 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Of course i didn't have to. :D I wanted to. :D

Date: 2010-02-19 12:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hee, that was so cute and beautifully done. I've not read much Hetalia fan fic so far, but this is a gem, and I look forward to seeing more. :)

Date: 2010-02-19 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*beams* I'm glad you liked it! I actually have quite a bit more Hetalia fanfic in my little index if you really feel like reading it [/shameless plug].

I like describing things. LOL. It's one of my favorite writing things to do. :)

Date: 2011-03-03 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

lovely lovely lovely!!!
Aaaah FrUK... <3

Date: 2011-03-03 06:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I recall liking this piece a lot when I wrote it. I don't think many agreed with me, but ahhh welll....


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