Title: Octopus and I
Please Note: Hetalia is not mine, and this was written for a friend. Her prompt was France/UK/Japan, TENTACLES. The ensuing madness is my own.
Warnings: There is no actual tentacle porn, but there is mention of TENTACLES.
It was a hot day.
The sun shone brightly over Nagasaki harbour as it teemed with late-morning activity. Japan was watching the sea from a window with one hand resting on the windowsill. In the other, he held a round paper fan, stamped with the symbolic image of the rising sun. He waved the fan steadily, only marginally helping the sea breeze provide relief from the still heat. White western sails were creeping over the horizon, slowly. He watched them as they drew closer, face unchanging as he waited for the ships to make port.
Behind him, England stirred. He rose slowly and stood behind Japan warily, placing a hand on his small shoulder as they watched the ship's colours come into view. A minute later he recoiled.
England swore, spying from afar the bleu, blanc, rouge of France. He whirled on Japan, "Honda, why the fuck is he here?"
Japan blinked twice, calmly, before answering, "To improve relations with the west..."
"He... he said he was most interested in staying, and has considerable influence in Europe, does he not? He is also company, perhaps, for you, on this trip..." He looked up at England, uncertain, a little worried, "You have visited countless times on your own, but I thought it might be easier on you, all the way over here, with a neighbour. Was it wrong of me?"
England laughed, perhaps a little cynically (that France, always bloody next door, meddling and poking that fat nose of his into things...) but nevertheless endeared to Honda's small, round face, marred by the troubled frown. It contrasted too deeply with that spark of ambition and it unsettled him, so he smiled quickly, ruffling Japan's hair with one hand.
"...I can deal with the bastard, no problem whatsoever. "
Japan returned the smile with one of slight relief, "I hope so, Kirkland-san... I do not wish to have made a mistake so early on in my diplomacy."
They watched from afar as France disembarked, shouting orders to his sailors left and right. He turned, looking up at the two nations in the window, and winked, blowing a kiss. England frowned, Japan, apart from acquiring a slight flush, did nothing. They both withdrew into the house, making preparations for the new guest.
When he arrived at the door, he provoked an immediate whirlwind of activity, pointing carelessly at everything, commenting eloquently in rapid French on the beauté exotique of Honda's gardens, his house, and after an appreciative (and shameless) sweep of his host from head to toe, his body. Japan excused himself quickly to prepare tea for the two guests, and as England self-righteously asked him to "please leave those ridiculous shoes at the door", France smiled.
"It seems you have had experience in Japan before, mon cher." He said conversationally, "How long have you been here?"
"Just one night! What is it to you, anyway?" Arthur snapped, as Japan reappeared to show them into the tearoom.
"But you've come a few times before, non?"
"Yes, of course. We have had good relations since—"
"That's not your business." He retorted coarsely, turning his nose up at the Frenchman, bringing his face close to that irritatingly unshaved chin and whispering viciously: "If you do anything strange to Honda I'll –"
He was rudely blanked mid sentence.
"Oh la la, what's this?"
A small woodcut print at the far corner of the corridor had caught France's eye, causing him to turn away from the irate young Briton and wander towards it. Among vast scrolls with the intricate curves of waves, delicate flowers and majestic mountains, it depicted, in fairly graphic detail, a woman being sexually assaulted by a pair of octopi.
"This is interesting." France said, smirking, hand on his chin, "Looks like our shy little Honda has a few kinks of his own..."
"Don't be ridicu--" England stopped. He'd completely missed the print, despite the number of times he'd gone past this corridor. He flushed, wondering just what other interests Honda had declined to mention to him. Trust Francis to spot something this messed up...
"That is a print by Hokusai." Japan said, joining them, his voice a monotone. If there was any shock in his voice at the discovery, England didn't hear it. He wanted to believe that he sensed a little bit of an edge, but otherwise it betrayed barely an emotion. "He is a famous woodprint artist; many of his prints are widely circulated. This one is from the Edo period, so it is a quite a few years old now."
"What is its title?" France's polite tone was disturbing, especially with that lewd sparkle in his eyes. England backed away from him slightly.
"Tako to Ama. The Octopus and the Shelldiver."
"He has chosen some very interesting subject matter."
"I think we would get along well, especially in regards to art." Said France amicably, "I must take some prints of these home, toute suite, and place them in gloriously extravagant exhibitions. With me, I assure you that your art will get a thorough exposure in Europe."
"Thank you for your praise."
England took one look at the unlikely pair and brought his hand to his forehead. Poor Kiku. He thought to himself.
Thanks to Francis, Japan's art would have a decidedly interesting reputation.
[a/n] the work was supposed to end here, but oh god, the plotbunnies did the rest....
Some hours later, the three of them strolled by the beach, the cool sea wind a relief to the stillness of the air in the housing enclosure. Japan talked amicably with France about the various artists and popular printing, painting and publishing techniques employed by artists in the area, while the latter waxed poetic at the creative nature of what they depicted. He was particularly interested in shunga, and while England found it mildly embarrassing, Japan was happy to provide him with what information he requested, sharing his culture freely in an attempt to reach out to the western world.
England felt ever so slightly left out.
He watched the two men in front of him, his thick eyebrows furrowed in worry: He'd never really heard much about his friend's hobby of collecting erotic artwork. Honda was smiling, gesturing smoothly to illustrate the way the wood blocks were carved, printed. He imagined him leaning over the wooden tablet, chisel and mallet in hand on a hot day, sweat on his brow and his eyes intense with concentration...
Would France be closer to Japan than he was? Would they still share the same relationship as they had in the past? Was he losing his grip on one of his most treasured equals in the east?
His pace slowed and he started to fall behind. Looking up, he saw his two companions crouched beside a large rock-pool. Japan was smiling, and Francis had stripped naked and was wading into the water, ducking under for a moment to scoop something up.
When he finally arrived, he saw, trapped within the rocks were a small group of octopi. France was smiling expectantly, petting one that he'd scooped up to place on his shoulder. Japan, still fully dressed in a summer yukata, was sitting, trailing his feet in the water and laughing as they passed their suckers over his toes, their tentacles trailing in the water as they circled. He came up beside Japan, and opened his mouth to ask a question.
"In trois, deux, un...!" France shouted, startling the creatures.
There was a loud splash.
Before Arthur could react, Japan had, in one fluid movement, struck him in that one precise spot that caused his knees to give way. He braced himself for impact at the bottom of the rock-pool, but instead found himself in Japan's arms. Honda had slid from his perch to break his fall, and in that moment, caught him skilfully from the front, his arms wrapped firmly around his body. Japan smiled sheepishly, almost apologetically, their faces just inches apart. England flushed, turning a bright shade of pink all the way up to his ears.
"W..what are you doing?!" He stuttered, indignantly, "That wasn't funny! I'm all wet now, and the kimono I borrowed... "
Japan said nothing, his own now loosened yukata billowing out in the water around him. One of the sleeves had slipped down his shoulder, and England turned his head away, avoiding eye contact at the flushed face of his Asian partner. France smiled suavely at the exchange; the only one to remove what he had been wearing.
"It's but a game, mon cher,' he said, finally moving slowly up behind England. Adrenaline rushed through his body as he felt, with abject horror, pressure from behind and a caressing hand move into the folds of his clothing. He gasped as France stroked him, his legs becoming weak once again, his face contorted in anger – how dare this bastard touch – was he undoing his obi?!
As his clothing fell away, and the creeping sensation of suckers and long, tendriled ropes of pure muscle crept up his thigh, it struck him then that they were in the rock pool with a group of multi-tentacled beasts, each clamouring for a hold, an escape, or perhaps warmth in the cool water, and the image of the painting in Japan's hallway flashed into his mind. The creatures crowded around them in curiosity at the foreign invaders, and as their cold arms took hold of him, he looked into Japan's equally flushed face and brought him closer, tipping his face for a deep, desperate kiss.
"I am sorry, " Japan said softly into his ear, as they broke away. "France-san was curious, you see, and I was reluctant to demonstrate such a thing on my own..."
England's head snapped up, glaring at the two of them in indignation, "GET THAT PERVERTED BASTARD TO SATISFY HIS CURIOSITY ON HIS OWN!" He shouted, before attempting to scramble out of the rock pool and subsequently slipping capably on a patch of algae, tipping him back into the water with a resounding splash.
Japan was too generous a host for his own good, he thought as he recovered later from the traumatic experience. His dignity had been fried. Right then and there, he made a decision:
If he could help it, he was never going to visit a country with France again.
[A/N2:] The painting "Tako to Ama" by Hokusai is also known as "The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife" and can be found if you google. Be aware, it is pretty much the first tentacle porn.
Shunga is the pornographic ukiyo-e painting style produced between the 16th and 19th centuries in Japan. It was a popular art form and most ukiyo-e artists dabbled in it. It carried very little stigma, unlike some pornographic production today.
England was on good terms many years before France was, but France and Japan share quite a special relationship themselves, especially in the case of art. This hasn't really been touched on in Hetalia as far as I know, but a lot of impressionist artists (and some from later movements) were influenced by Japanese woodcut printing, brought over to them during the Meiji period.
Almost everything history-wise was wikipedia'd for clarity so if anything's wrong, my apologies.
The wtf-ery at the end does not historically reference anything. It was just for the lulz.... :'D