Characters/Pairings: France x England; mentions of America x Japan
Genre: Romance - Comfort
Warnings/Notes: Nothing. This is another AU. It's my second Hetalia one-shot but my first FrUK fanfic. Set on Christmas Eve, modern day. This was also written for a fill for the Christmas FrUK event over at what_the_fruk
Summary: Arthur thought he was going to spend a sad and lonely Christmas Eve all by himself, but ends up having a visitor. Crushed by a recent heartbreak, he soon finds that the perfect gift he could ever need was right there with him all along.
"They're all wankers. All of them!" grumbled the young British man as he walked to the convenience store. "Pfft. Family? Who needs them? Bastards, that's what they are!"
He walked into the store, coming out shortly. The owner of the shop wished him a Merry Christmas, but all Arthur did was grumble, "Yeah whatever. You too."
He hated Christmas. Reason? Well, he always had to see his family. He hardly ever saw them, not even on his birthday or their own birthdays. His parents had already passed away and the responsibility of raising the youngest child, Peter, was left to him. Of course, Arthur tried his hardest to bring up his little brother as best as he could, but he had been struggling because he couldn't find a job for a while, so his friends Tino and Berwald said that they'd be more than happy to look after him in the meantime.
Arthur now had a steady job, but he was not yet ready to take in Peter again. "Hmph. At least I saved him from the other four…" Arthur's older siblings weren't the nicest of people, at least to him. He was always bullied by them, even his sister. He got nervous when in their presence, scared when his eldest brother Angus was there, and horrified when he had to be around his sister Colleen. The eldest two were the meanest to him. He never knew why, but stopped trying to figure it out ages ago.
Today they dropped by Arthur's place on their way to Scotland where the four siblings shared a house. He of course had never seen their home because he was unwanted. Christmas Eve was the only time of the year when they saw him or even called, but of course, the visits were never pleasant. They usually made him feel like crap by the time they left, just like they did today.
Arthur frantically took out the bottle of alcohol and opened it, taking a drink. "Those stupid, evil sons of bitches. I hate them. I hate them so much."
He had spent Christmas with his friends in the past, but they soon started families and he felt more unwelcome in their homes, so he stopped accepting their invitations. It was after this period that he met an American who he became infatuated with and eventually got into a relationship that seemed like it was too good to be true. This young man teased Arthur, but was always kind to him. He loved that the most about him and how he could cheer him up when he was down. Sadly, it WAS too good to be true, for a few months earlier this year, he found out that his boyfriend was holding affections for another, a coworker of the American's apparently from Japan. Arthur had seen the young man before at social gatherings. He was quite small and looked rather feminine.
"I…should have seen it coming. Why didn't I see it coming?!" he shouted at nobody in particular. It was cold out and snowing, so not many were making a fuss in the streets. They were probably all at home cooking and celebrating the holiday with loved ones, something Arthur didn't do often.
"That git. He's the biggest idiot I have seen in my life!" He suddenly became sad, the alcohol doing its wonders on his emotions. "But of course… Kiku is so cute and pleasant. Of course Alfred would like him more than me… I should have seen it before. I should have paid more attention whenever Kiku would blush while around him, or when he'd get embarrassed and start stuttering. I should have seen how close those two were becoming. Alfred told me he was his best friend and that they had a lot in common. Why? Why didn't I see it before? Their close relationship…turning into something more gradually over time… Why didn't I see it damn it? Why?!"
Out of frustration he threw the bottle against a brick building. He wiped his eyes with his sleeve and sniffed, trying to stop any mucus from coming out of his nostrils due to his downcast state. Kicking the snow, he continued walking back to his house, still a little tipsy but sober enough to remember his way back home.
He ignored the person shouting his name and continued walking.
He still ignored the person calling at him, until said person grabbed him by the shoulder. Arthur swerved around to see a coworker of his, Francis.
"Oh, it's you. What do you want?"
"Well first off, I said hello to you at the convenience store as I was passing by, but you ignored me. I suppose you were enveloped in your thoughts?"
Arthur hated his French accent. It annoyed him. "It's none of your business. And why are you here in the first place? I thought you were going back to France for the holidays?"
"I have a home here too, so I decided to give it some attention. Besides, I spend a lot of holidays with my family all year round."
"And you? What about your family?"
"I don't want to talk about it frog. Leave me the bloody hell alone."
"If I did that, you could trip, since I see you have been drinking…again."
Arthur glared at him. "Look wine face, I don't have time for this right now. I have to get home."
"None of your business!"
Francis looked at him calmly as Arthur continued to glare at him. Then, carefully he said, "You're still upset about Alfred leaving you for Kiku, aren't you? And you're going home to mope because it's your first Christmas Eve without him? That can't be healthy for you mon ami."
The young British man walked away from him without a word. He was walking rather quickly, hoping to get the image of Alfred's stupid grin out of his mind. When he got to his house, he took out the keys from his coat pocket and tried to unlock the door, but he was in such a hurry and tears were blurring his vision, that the frantic motions he was abusing the door knob with did nothing but frustrate him.
He slammed his hands on the door, angry because it wouldn't open. He sobbed as he leaned forward on the large wooden piece. "Damn…damn! DAMN!" he kept shouting over and over. He felt the same hand on his shoulder again. He stood upright but did not turn around, letting the same person take the keys from his hand to unlock the door of the house.
"It's going to snow more heavily and it's getting dark. Go inside." Francis ushered the shorter male into his house.
Arthur took off his coat and earmuffs and tossed them aside on one of the couches and sat on another, his face buried in his hands. Francis had been inside before. Arthur had a very large house and Francis felt a little proud of him for being able to accomplish such a thing from where Arthur had started off in the past.
He made himself at home, like he always did whenever he'd visit. Arthur would never admit it, but Francis was the only person who was allowed to get close to him, even when Alfred was still in the British man's life. Francis was basically like his best friend, although Arthur would never admit that either.
The Frenchman noticed a large Christmas tree in the living room decorated beautifully. He walked over to it and turned on the lights, illuminating the area. Arthur did nothing but continue to feel sorry for himself on the couch. Francis shook his head and walked over to the kitchen, occupying his time.
After a while, Arthur felt like he was alone in the living room and looked up. The lamps were on and so was the Christmas tree. He smelled something delicious coming from the kitchen, so he got up and went to investigate.
He found Francis happily cooking an extravagant dinner, but who it was for, Arthur didn't know. "What is all this?" he asked, annoyance in his voice.
Francis smiled to himself. He's returned to the regular Arthur again. "What does it look like? It's food. Oh, sorry, I forgot. You don't know what that is since yours always comes out black and charcoaled."
"My cooking is just fine! Don't insult my food! And where did you get all of these ingredients anyway?! I didn't have all of this in my kitchen before!"
"Well I was carrying various bags when I met you on the street, but you were so absorbed wallowing in sorrow that you didn't notice." There was a pause as he continued cooking, his back facing Arthur. "Are you done crying?"
"…what exactly do you want Francis?"
"You want the truth?"
"I want you to stop being so depressed over your American ex-boyfriend and enjoy the holidays. It's supposed to be the happiest time of the year and it should be shared with people you care about, yet here you are doing the exact opposite."
"You expect me to get over it?! You don't know what it's like! You've never been in a serious relationship before so you have no idea how it feels!"
"Oh but I do, except the relationship I want hasn't come to me yet."
"You're impossible." Francis didn't turn around but continued cooking. Arthur was more curious as to why he was doing this, in his home nonetheless.
"Why…are you here? In England I mean?"
"I already told you. I have a house here."
"Yes, but there's nobody inside it."
"Hmm, that's true."
"Why are you spending a Christmas Eve all alone?"
Arthur scowled. "I wasn't alone earlier. My three older brothers and my older sister came to visit, but of course it was only to make me feel worse than what I was already feeling. Peter called earlier from Tino's house though to wish me a good Christmas Eve."
"What else do you want? That's as busy as this day has been. God, I shouldn't have thrown that bottle against the wall earlier… I need a drink…"
"Oh, I brought wine with me."
"To compliment this dinner I'm making for--"
"Then take it with you and get the fuck out."
"You didn't let me finish. I made this dinner for you."
Arthur looked genuinely surprised. "Why on earth would you make dinner for me, of all people?"
"Hmm…well…it's Christmas Eve…and you are a person I do in fact care about…so why not?"
Arthur blushed a bit. "You actually care--"
"Why wouldn't I? Even though you are in fact an asshole, I know you just have conflicted feelings, and the holidays make me generally happier and generous, so I decided to come down here to make you a proper meal that doesn't turn black when cooked."
The Briton tried to ignore the last part. "What do you want Francis? Seriously?"
He stood quiet for a moment as he finished the last bit of the cooking and placed it on the table with the rest of the food. "I simply want to spend Christmas Eve with you. No matter how much you deny it, you have been lonely these past couple of months, and today even more so. I want to attempt to change that."
Francis finally turned around and smiled at him. "Because I believe nobody should be alone on Christmas. That's why I didn't end up going to France after all."
"And you just thought I'd let you into my home all willy-nilly did you now?"
"I'm inside aren't I? I guess you did then."
Arthur was at a loss for words and could only respond with a darker blush. Francis chuckled and continued to set the table. He watched the Frenchman happily prepare everything, even serving the wine into glasses. Arthur seemed rather sheepish just then, rubbing his arm a bit nervously. He slowly walked over to the table and looked at the food. Francis' cooking had always been delicious to him, but like their friendship, he'd never admit it.
"So…" he began. "…is this all for me?"
"Of course mon petit lapin. That's why I made it."
Arthur ignored the nickname Francis had given him long ago and sat down in his seat. The food smelled and looked delicious. His mouth was starting to water already. He began to serve himself, but not too excitedly, otherwise he'd be giving Francis the satisfaction that he enjoyed his cooking.
The Briton looked at all the food on the table as Francis leaned against the counter, tying the ribbon that held his hair out of his face, tighter. Arthur was a bit nervous and his face was reddening, but he went on ahead and asked, "Uhm…a-aren't you going to eat too?"
"I-I-I mean, there's a lot of food here…"
Francis smiled. "You'd really let me eat with you?"
"Yes, now s-sit down before I change my mind."
He laughed. "Arthur, admit it, you love having me around."
"I do not!"
The dinner was rather pleasant for the both of them. To help him make him feel better, Francis allowed Arthur to vent to him about why he hates his siblings and how stupid Alfred is overall, and agreed with him on everything just to keep his spirits up. He seemed to not care that he was bashing the American so much, but continued to serve himself wine and stuff his face. Francis assumed he must have gotten over it by now.
"…and I bet my siblings are just jealous," Arthur continued. "You know, my parents paid more attention to me than them, so I bet that's why they hate me so much. I was the baby of the family until Peter came along, but my siblings are still nicer to him than they are to me. I had a lot of talent you know. I'd make clothes for the teddy bear Peter received one year for his birthday. I was always good at things like that, and my parents praised me for my talent, something my other siblings didn't have."
"Oh yes, it does seem like they are quite jealous."
"Right? Seriously Francis," he paused to eat some more food that was on his plate, and then continued by pointing his fork at Francis, emphasizing his perspective. "My siblings are the worst siblings a person could ever have."
"Yes, they sound like horrible people!"
"And they are! God, I'm so glad my parents left Peter's well-being in my hands, otherwise those four demons would have turned him into one of them. It was nice of Tino and Berwald to help me."
"It was indeed."
Arthur set down his dining utensils and looked satisfied. "Well then, that was a rather…lovely meal. Eh…th-thank you Francis…"
"Oh, it's no trouble at all."
Arthur looked at the table as Francis took another sip from his wine glass. "Uhm…Francis?"
"Ah…would…would you mind k…keeping me company this evening…?" He continued to stare at his plate, for the blush returned in full force to his face. Francis smiled again, obviously very amused.
"Of course." He stood up. "First I have to wash all of these dishes before dessert."
He laughed. "I wouldn't serve you dinner without dessert mon ami."
"Ah, well then…" Arthur stood up and took the plates from his hands. "I'll wash these and you get to work on…whatever it is you're baking."
"Of course. As you say."
By the time the two had finished dessert, the fireplace was ablaze in the living room, giving warmth to the area. Francis and Arthur were sitting on the couch, sharing another bottle of wine. The Briton's mood was again in high spirits, the thing Francis had been aiming for the entire day. He even let Francis put a Saint Nick hat on his head, and Arthur in return put a huge bow on top of his.
"Do you feel better now?" asked Francis.
"Much better. Thank you…"
He smiled. "Ha ha, it's no problem ~ !" He turned his head to look at the magnificent tree. Then he turned back and asked again, "So who decorated the tree?"
"Oh, well I did, but Angelique helped. She was over here about two weeks ago to give me a present, although I haven't opened it, along with the rest. They're all under that tree. She saw it was bare so she wanted to help me decorate it."
"Ah, I see. Well it looks very nice."
The two continued to look at the fireplace in tranquil silence. Francis then took something out of his pocket and gave it to Arthur.
"What is this?" he asked as he held it in his hands.
"It's a present. Just open it."
He unwrapped it and opened the box and inside was a beautifully crafted pocket watch. "Francis--"
"I knew how sad you got after you lost the one your father gave you, so I tried to purchase one that was close in resemblance, and well, that was the closest I could find."
Arthur took it out of the box and ran his fingers over the smooth surface. "Francis…you didn't have to."
"But I wanted to."
"I didn't get you anything though."
He chuckled. "I wasn't expecting anything back."
Arthur put the watch back in the box and set it on the coffee table. "It's…very nice. Thank you." He looked at him curiously. "Why would you go through all this trouble for me, on this day, after everything I put you through?"
"You cannot see it?"
"Ha, I suppose that's a no then."
"What is it?"
"Mon ami, you honestly don't know?"
"Just tell me Francis."
There was a pause.
"It's because I love you."
Arthur's face began to heat up again, the expression clearly visible to Francis.
"Remember that relationship I was speaking about earlier and how I was never serious? Well, I was talking about you."
"…but why me, of all people…me…why?"
"Mm, well for one, it's hilarious to get you upset."
"That's not a good reason…"
"Ha ha, and another is that I find you to be very fascinating."
Francis shrugged. "I guess I've never met a person that has shrugged off all of my romantic advances. It's like you weren't affected at all. This proposed a challenge to me and I guess…that was the initial cause for me to pursue you. Once I got to know you more however, I realized just exactly who you were on the outside and inside."
"How long…have you felt this way about me?"
"For a while."
"So…all this time…while you were fooling around with other people…you still--"
"Yes, I was still in love with you."
"Dear God Francis, why didn't you tell me this before?!"
"I figured it wouldn't have mattered. I saw that you were so happy with Alfred that I couldn't bring myself to tell you, no matter how jealous I became or how envious I was of him that he stole your heart before I could."
"Now I feel bad!"
"This whole time…you were in love with me…I'd rub it in your face how committed and how great of a boyfriend Alfred was…often taunting you of how you'd never be that way…and I'd compare him to you…and…oh God…" He buried his face in his hands.
Francis stood quiet and looked at him. Then he said, "I find that things work out better if you're friends first with the person for a substantial amount of time, because you handle their negative points and enjoy their positive points without any romantic attachment so it's not biased. I think this is why Alfred and Kiku ended up falling for each other, because they were friends first, whereas you and he were just acquaintances in the beginning. He's known Kiku a lot longer than he has known you."
Arthur removed his hands and looked at his lap. "It…makes sense…" He paused. "I knew they were close even before I began talking with Alfred. I guess I didn't think anything of it at the time."
"Well, at least now you have a better understanding I suppose."
"Francis…I'm so sorry… You're the…the only real friend I've ever had and…"
"Ah, you finally admit it."
"Sh-Shut up! I'm being serious here and you make a joke out of it!"
"Arthur, I've always considered you my friend, no matter how many times we've bickered. And I will admit that, I have wished I could mean more to you than that, but then when Alfred came, I knew I'd either have to wait longer, or that I didn't have a chance."
"…well, you don't have to wait anymore."
"I…well you see, there is…something I've never told you…" He scratched the back of his neck. "You see…while it was true I loved Alfred, you were…actually the first object of my affection, but I denied it because I knew you wouldn't take me seriously and we were just friends and…all these other men and women you've been with…well, quite frankly they were more glamorous and flamboyant than I ever could be, so I felt plain…and refrained from telling you. When I met Alfred, he had been with 'plain' people before so I felt--"
"You felt comfortable being around him."
"Mon cher, don't tell me you refrained from speaking to me about this because I thought you weren't handsome enough, did you?"
"Th-That…is exactly the reason."
"Oh silly Arthur."
"It's true! All these people you've been with before…just look at them! I mean, they were like models!"
"Some of them were in fact."
"Argh! You see?! You only go for the most attractive people--"
"And I consider you to be one. Arthur, if I didn't find you attractive, I would have never pursued you in the first place. Your plainness is exactly what I find attractive, that, and how easily you blush if you're embarrassed."
Arthur shook his head in disbelief. The fact that Francis loved him still couldn't register in his mind. The Frenchman sighed and said, "Your siblings made you this way."
"What are you talking about?"
"They made you believe you were worthless. I've spoken with your eldest brother before, and he told me negative things about you."
"And when was this?"
"Earlier today actually, which was why I was curious about your emotional state since I saw your siblings here in England. It is also another reason why I came here." He put an arm around Arthur's shoulders.
"And when you found Alfred, he proved them wrong by caring about you and showing you that you are in fact not worthless in the least."
"How do you know so much of this kind of stuff?"
Francis chuckled. "I am the Professor of Love!"
"Wow. That has got to be one of the lamest things I've ever heard in my entire life."
He laughed again. "You know you love me ~"
Francis was definitely not expecting to hear a response like that. "Excusez moi?"
"I do love you… I just denied it because you're a moron."
The Frenchman smiled again for what seemed like the hundredth time that evening. He looked at Arthur who was staring at the fireplace, arms crossed, and cheeks colored rose. He tried not to make eye contact for as long as possible.
Something from the corner of his eye caught Francis' attention, and he looked up, grinning. "Now what is that doing up there?"
Arthur looked up, mouth agape. "The bloody hell is that?"
"I believe it is mistletoe."
"You! You put it up there didn't you?!"
"Ha ha! I swear I did not! I noticed it just now! Honest!"
"Well I didn't put it up there! And nobody but my siblings and Angelique have ever been in this house!" He paused, and remembered one day that month where Angelique asked to borrow a chair to put something up on the ceiling. "So it was her… That's why she wanted the chair…"
"I'm positive Angelique put it up there, but I will never know the reason."
"Well, we might as well make use of it."
Suddenly Arthur's heart began to beat very fast as he looked at Francis with wide eyes, cursing himself for letting the blush grow bigger still. "Wh-What?"
Francis lifted his chin with a finger. "I said, we might as well make use of it."
Arthur tried to say something, but no words would come out of his mouth. He felt paralyzed and embarrassed, not sure what to do, as he felt the distance between them closing. Luckily for him, all Francis did was lean his forehead against his. He smiled at him, Arthur's eyes still wide with shock.
Francis placed a hand on his cheek and rubbed his thumb against it, calming him down slightly. "You know, you really are like a frightened little rabbit."
"I…I am not."
"Whatever you say."
Arthur had expected him to attack with kisses, but all he did was continue to look at him directly in the eyes, still rubbing his thumb against his cheek. Arthur surprised himself by taking the initiative to further close the gap between them, slowly and a bit nervously. Francis smiled again and copied him, until they were just barely hovering away from each other's lips. "Francis…" the shorter male whispered in a barely audible tone.
The Frenchman cupped his face in both his hands and kissed him. A small sigh escaped Arthur, and he soon began to kiss back. The grandfather clock in the living room started to ring, signaling that it was midnight and therefore, Christmas. Neither moved away from their positions, no matter how loud the ringing was. Arthur quit crossing his arms in order to wrap them around Francis' neck, clearly enjoying the moment. He felt the other smile a bit, and Francis abandoned cupping his face to wrapping his arms around his midsection instead.
Arthur pulled them closer together, one hand combing through Francis' soft golden locks to grasp the back of his head, while the other continued to wrap firmly around his neck. Francis took that as a sign to deepen the kiss, which he did gladly. It took them a few more moments for them to break the kiss, but even when they did, they still plastered their foreheads together, panting in unison.
Francis smiled and wiped away the tears that were forming at the corners of Arthur's eyes. The latter managed to smile at him at last.
"I…I still feel bad for not getting you a present. I wouldn't have known what you would have wanted."
"Oh, don't worry. I already have what I want here in my arms. All I want for Christmas is you."
Arthur gave a small laugh. "Again, one of the lamest things I have ever heard in my entire life. You are so corny."
Francis chuckled. "Hmm, and yet you smile at my corny lines."
"Oh be quiet."
Francis gave him a shorter kiss and when he broke away, he said, "Joyeux Noël mon amour."
"Merry Christmas to you too…my love."
He had never seen Francis' face light up so brightly before. He held Arthur closer, snuggling him into his arms. Arthur closed his eyes and smiled, resting his head on his chest. He felt relieved, relieved that he no longer cared about what had happened between him and Alfred nor did he care what his siblings told him, because it was all rubbish anyway.
After a while of snuggling and just looking at the flames dancing beautifully in the fireplace, Arthur got up and put it out, Francis raising an eyebrow. "Why'd you do that?"
"Because...it's time for bed."
"Ha ha, are you letting me stay over?"
"Of course. I'm not going to make you trek out in the snow to your empty house."
Francis stood up and stretched. Arthur approached him and kissed his lips softly, Francis smiling in to it. The shorter of the two turned off the Christmas tree and the rest of the lamps.
"Come on," Arthur told him as he grabbed him by the hand, leading him away from the living room.
"Where are we going?"
"Well...you still didn't get your present."
"I told you already mon cher, you are my present."
"Yes, but you haven't unwrapped it yet."
Francis' expression went from puzzled to naughty in a second. "Oh ~ Well then, I will be very excited to see what is under all of that...wrapping."
And, when they reached their desired destination known as the bedroom, Francis was indeed excited to unwrap his "gift", but he made sure to handle him with care. From kisses to caresses here and there, they became more frequent as articles of clothing were discarded and thrown onto the floor. Hands roaming, breath gasping, and nails digging, the two were in eternal bliss, their bare bodies meshed together for a night of passion. Arthur had never felt so alive in all his life, and Francis had never felt so happy in the twenty-something years of living. The young British man really didn't know what he did to deserve a person like him at his side, but he didn't complain. All he cared about was the here and now, the sexual pleasure he was getting from all this, but most of all, he cared about his new "other half" and that they meant the world to each other. Just like in his old children's books, he finally got his happily ever after.
I love you Francis Bonnefoy. Thank you.
A/N: Oh geez. My first FrUK fanfiction. lol Did you know that the part beginning where the two stop to snuggle is bonus for those of you who read this here? I did not write this in the fill, so that innuendo scene was made juuuust for you guys. ;3 Ha ha, yes, this is as far as I can go with sexy tiems. I cannot write sex scenes for either het nor slash...so innuendo is all I can offer. xD Btw, excuse me and my fail French. I only know a few phrases here and there.
I'M SORRY I COULDN'T LEAVE OUT AMERIPAN. OTL FrUK and Ameripan are tied for first place but I like the latter .1% more. XD
Oh yeah, some clarifications.
Angus = Scotland
Colleen = Ireland
Angelique = Seychelles
Gosh, I hope I kept Arthur in character, because I think I made him too uke. Lol And Francis I unfortunately don't get to write a lot about, so his dialogue was a bit challenging. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year! :D