Hello again, readers!! I am back, this time with a fic based on the Franco-Spanish War (1635). This fic was written as a request for my friend on livejournal, who asked for "france/spain (their first war against each other as children or whatever, either present or looking back onto it)". The content of this fic can be interpreted as friendship or romance, however you want to see it. Enjoy!!

Disclaimer: Himaruya-sensei owns Hetalia, I (sadly) do not.

love and war

The sun was warm that day; exceptionally so. And yet, there was a cool, gentle breeze moving through the plains and just barely stirring the grass around him. Antonio was unable to be bothered by the heat of the sun because of the wind, and by the chill of the breeze because of the sun, and the conflicting sensations in and of themselves didn't bother him either.

But, that's not to say that he had nothing on his mind.

To say that Antonio loved Francis was a bit of an understatement, or so the Spaniard would say. Not that he loved Francis in that way or anything, but he held an odd sort of fondness for his "older brother" that not even he, the country of passion, could identify. All that the teen knew was that he needed Francis, not lustfully, not sinfully, but he needed him to be there, to laugh with, to make jokes with, and even to look up to, in a sense (something he kept locked up in his heart, of course. Francis' ego was quite well-off as is).

Antonio breathed a soft sigh as his thoughts continued to race. He wasn't supposed to be out here now, he was supposed to be inside, meeting with his generals and planning. There was to be a battle the next morning, and Spain had to be ready.

He sighed once more, this one much heavier, filled with unspoken frustration. It was upsetting, that for as much as Antonio loved his brother, Spain was meant to hate France.

Francis knew he should not be feeling this way. This was not the first time French forces faced Spanish ones on the battlefield, and the young man knew that it would not be the last, and so this was something that he should already be used to (or, at least, somewhat used to).

But the fact was, he wasn't. And so it tugged at his heartstrings and made him want to beat himself up when he saw Antonio after the dust had settled on Les Avins. The boy's normally bright and healthy tan was marred with dirt and blossoming black and purple bruises, as well as the bold, red strokes of dirtied, spilled blood. And, despite the obvious pain he was in, the teen was still standing, trying to help those of his men who were worse off than he to their feet, and picking up all the abandoned weapons those he'd lost had left behind, wincing visibly all the way.

Francis knew that he was meant to walk away from the battlefield with a proud, victorious smirk, but he was physically a teenager, after all, and feeling a bit… rebellious. And besides, when the blonde boy caught sight of Antonio beginning to sway, threatening to collapse, he'd stopped thinking, only to regain that ability after the Spaniard was secure in his arms.

Antonio shook his head, fighting to open his eyes, and when he did shining green orbs met surprised blue ones. How in the world can his eyes be this bright when he's in this state, Francis wondered instantly, his gaze wavering from Antonio's eyes to his bruises but quickly finding their way back.

"Hola, amigo." Antonio beamed after a moment, and Francis was taken aback; after all this fighting, after France had done all that to him, Antonio did not see him as a threat, did not hate him? Instantly Francis pressed Antonio's face into his own chest, gripping him tightly, and pressed his own face into Antonio's dark, curly locks.

"Je suis désolé, je suis désolé, je suis désolé…" He spoke it quickly, forcefully, repeating it as though it were his mantra, as though he was trying to beat the words into Antonio's head.

The younger teen (but not by much, Francis noticed, they were almost the same height now) merely laughed, the sensation rumbling against the Frenchman's chest and making him feel warmer, safer. It made him feel that way until the laughs turned into rasping coughs.

"Antonio?" He could not keep the tones of guilt and worry out of his voice; he wasn't old enough, nor experienced enough, to keep his mask on around his loved ones.

"I'm fine, I'm fine." The Spaniard reassured, and it with some effort he finally found the willpower to remove himself from Francis' embrace. Wordlessly he retreated, picking up the swords and arrows he'd dropped, and flashing his brother the tiniest of smiles before taking his leave.

It became an odd sort of routine for them; they would fight in the battles to the fullest of their abilities, and when these battles ended they would hang around, assisting the wounding and collecting weapons. Then, when they were certain that it was clear enough, and quiet enough so that even the few other stragglers remaining would not disturb them, they would comfort one another. It was strange; this was certainly not the first time they'd fought in a war against one another; Antonio could clearly remember fighting Francis away from his cute little Italy not too long ago. So why in the world was this time so different…

Things only got worse, before they got better. Civil war broke out in France, and Spain was currently not only fighting France but also against rebellions within itself and Portugal, and fighting in Italy as well. Antonio and Francis were quickly becoming tired, their resources depleting, and the fighting was not ending. Their bosses demanded that the war continue, and so they had no choice but to helplessly comply. But with every slash of the sword, every gash and every bruise one left on the other's body they were wracked inside with guilt.

Antonio was lying on his back in a grassy field, the sun shining directly on him, but hardly warming him as the frosty air nipped his cheeks. It wasn't too cold, he mused, although it did not seem as though Francis agreed. Really now, did the blond really think he was so inconspicuous when he was shivering that way.

"I know you're there, mi hermano, you can stop watching me now." The Spaniard laughed, not even bothering to look away from the big, puffy cloud he was watching stroll across the skies (it looked rather like a tomato, a food he'd found in the New World and had immediately fallen in love with, and so he simply couldn't tear his eyes away from it).

Francis was torn between laughing along and denying that he was watching Antonio, if only because he knew what the Spaniard was implying with that (and maybe he was right, but only just a little!). Instead he moved forward and closed the gap between them, leaving the two of them side by side.

"So, you finally admit that I'm your brother?" The blond smirked, relishing in the warmth he was getting from where Antonio's body pressed against his.

"It's only brothers who can fight against one another and still come out so close, no? So I suppose it's only right I say what we were both thinking- Why, why are you doing that?" Antonio questioned, his confused tone threatening to turn into laughter as he watched Francis' cheek nuzzle his shoulder.

"You are so warm, and it's cold out here. Remind me again why I had to come out here to find you?"

Now Antonio really was laughing, but, in his defense, anyone who saw Francis' pout would be.

"It's only November, Francis."

The blond sighed. "That may be so, but it doesn't answer my question. What are you thinking about out here?"

"That cloud," Antonio pointed. "It looks just like a tomato, doesn't it?"

Francis' face fell, and he managed to resist the urge to face palm. Antonio saw this inner struggle and grinned.

"Now that I think about it, you're a horrible older brother, amigo."

"Excuse-moi?" Francis sounded scandalized.

Antonio poked at one of his bruises, still smiling. "You gave me this, no? And this one, and this one, and that on-"

"I understand!" Francis cried, and Antonio stopped poking at his injuries.

"Oh, but it's not just that! First you hurt me, and then you take away my land. It's no wonder why my cute little Lovi is terrified of you!"

Francis had pulled his knees up to his chest and buried his face into them, the sound of choked sobs coming from his huddled mass. Oh, what a drama queen!

"Aw, don't cry Francis." Antonio said, pulling the mass into his arms for a hug. He was surprised, though, to see actually tears run down Francis' face.

"Je suis très désolé, vraiment. What can I do to make you believe me?"

"I already believe you. You're not a fighter, Francis."

"Oui, that's true. All I wish for is love, but I must do as my bosses ask of me, what my people ask of me."

"I understand." Antonio could not remember feeling this guilty before; had he known his joking would have hurt Francis this much, he wouldn't have said anything.

"Hey, Francis?" The young Spaniard started again, after taking a moment to think up a way to get Francis out of this onset of self-hatred.

"Yes, mon ami?"

"Our bosses are no longer fighting, si? So everything between us is alright again." And, to cement his point in Francis' head, and to make sure they were on the same page, Antonio pressed a gentle kiss to his companion's cheek, and pulled away with a smile on his face.

Francis' fingers ghosted over the warmth Antonio's lips had left behind, and he couldn't help but match his friend's smile. He then threw his arms around Antonio's waist, pulling the younger into a tight hug, and placed his head on the Spaniard's shoulder, Antonio's head resting on his.

"Merci, mon frère."

"De nada, mi hermano."


The war referenced here, the Franco-Spanish War, is the first fought excuslively between France and Spain (as far as my research could show), but it's not their first time on opposite sides. In this story, the first section is before the first battle, the second section takes place after the first battle, The Battle of Les Avins in 1635, in which Spain lost miserably. The third spans over the war, and the last is just before the Treaty of Pyrenees was signed to end the war in 1659. I got all my info from http:// en. wikipedia .org/ wiki/ Franco-Spanish_War_(1635) (again, without spaces).

I hope you all enjoyed it! Once again I'm going to ask you all to review and tell me what you thought of this fic. Also, I think the French and Spanish are pretty straightforward, but if there's anything you didn't understand, just review me and ask, and I promise to get back to you.