Mine to Hold.

"Papa!" Matthew's big violet eyes filled with tears, wrestling against Arthur's arms with all his pathetic strength. His screams and cries were heart wrenching. Francis couldn't bear to listen. He elbowed Arthur in the face, quickly recovering as he was dropped to run towards his papa.

Arthur glared at the child. It didn't matter what the newly formed territory or the french man wanted. He had won the war after seven long years. Matthew was his, and that was that.

Francis held out his arms for the boy. Without reserves, Matthew catapulted into them, burying his face in his neck, fat tears rolling down his cheeks as he senselessly whispered his pet name for Francis over and over.

His entire body ached. There were scars from battle. Bruises from where Arthur himself had hit him. A great gaping wound where Matthew had been cut out. He knew Matthew didn't see it, didn't feel it. Arthur had been kind enough not to cut the french out of him. And in that way, no matter what Arthur did, Matthew would always be his. His to hold, to love, to teach. His and his alone.

"Don't you worry, Mon petit Souris. Papa won't subject you to L'Angleterre's terrible cooking for too long." he ran his fingers through Matthew's soft blonde locks, they were thin, shaking and bloody, staining the baby fine hair. Matthew gripped tight, his tiny hands digging into his uniform. He could not help but hold Matthew tighter as Arthur appeared to break up their moment.

"C'mon." Francis let his arm's loosen, bestowing one last kiss on Matthew's cheek. Arthur tossed him a glare that he returned heatedly, while little Matthew couldn't stop crying, babbling in french, words along the lines of "papa help, papa save me, papa I love you, please."

He knew, tonight, Matthew would cry himself to sleep in Arthur's home, misplaced and alone. If he were there, he could put the child to rest, sing him french lullabies till those big violet eyes closed peacefully. Again. Matthew was his. His to hold, his to sing to, his to own.

Arthur wouldn't be able to separate them no matter what he tried.

But that didn't make any of it less painful.