Dark Lady Devinity
A/n: This is for grisseykey. Merry Christmas from your Secret Santa. Hopefully this fits your criteria of fluffy, funny and in character. I ended up with a theme when writing.
Francis sputtered as the cold, wet mass of semi-solid snow hit him in the face. The young nation frowned as he wiped the offending substance from his face and glared out at the snow covered hill a little way to his left. He could see the green cape, vibrant and lively against the white barren earth, and knew who his assailant was.
The boy thought about his presence here and wondered if it was necessary. England was bad enough during the summer days. Why would Francis bother to visit during the winter? If he had stayed in France, at this moment, one of the beautiful servant girls that the king provided him would be fixing him a cup of hot cider and his favourite butler would be starting a roaring fire in the fireplace before Francis' favourite chair. No one would be tossing around snow balls when there wasn't any need of it.
Suddenly, a snowball got Francis in the back of the head. The long haired boy screamed as the slush slid down into the opening of his fur coat and against his back.
"You scream like a girl, frog!" Arthur's mocking voice drifted across the field. Francis pouted. For that last snowball to connect, Arthur's fairies- not that he believed in them- would have to be playing with the boy. That was cheating!
"Yes, but you sound like a girl ALL OF THE TIME." Francis yelled back. However, Francis really shouldn't be saying things like that. His own voice was high pitched as he had not yet reached that point of puberty. Yet the war was on. The boy reached down, gathered a pile of snow, and raced towards Arthur's make-shift fort. He nailed the little boy on top of the head.
"That's cheating, you bloody girly frogman!" Arthur yelled.
"Asking the fairies for help is cheating too even if they aren't real!" Francis huffed.
The fairies didn't like that. They started a bombardment of snow missiles- no longer simple snow balls- upon Francis.
"Gah! I should just go home." Francis cried as he ducked behind the hill that Arthur was using for a fort.
"Coward!" Arthur ridiculed. But in that one word, Francis heard 'Stay and play with me.' The child had no one else to play with in winter as the mortals were busy and his magical friends preferred their cozy forest to the snowy fields and moors. Arthur must have been very lonely for them to agree to play in the snow with him.
"Fine. But you have to help me fend off the fairies first. I know I can't fight back if there's magic involved." Francis said.
Arthur nodded and waved the fairies over to lay out new rules for the game. The fields were soon filled with screaming and giggles.
So many years later, after a young child no longer wished to play and grew up instead, there were wars and bitter words. Boys became men and playing became conquering. Everything between England and France, Arthur and Francis, had changed.
So why was this part still the same?
Francis was no longer a boy but in adulthood he was no more mature. Indeed, he had gotten worse. So he screamed the first time the snowball got him in the face. Young, childish laughter filled the air. There was no sense of loneliness and no fairies this time. And now Francis truly did not believe in fairies and denied them out of an inability to see than boyish fear.
"Good shot son." There was laughter and pride in that distinct English accented voice. It had been a long time since Francis had heard Arthur sound so happy and carefree. The man must have gotten his precious America to assault his hated enemy.
So Francis was surprised to see Arthur stand up from his hiding place and swing Francis' beautiful and non-violent Matthew upon his shoulders.
"You have corrupted mon infant!" Francis wailed although in reality he was glad to see that Arthur had learned to love this child as well.
Matthew giggled. Then the boy called out, "Come and play with us Papa!"
Francis smiled. He had come to the new world on business. He had only stopped by to discuss a few things with Arthur before going on to New Orleans. However, he could not deny his little one anything.
Before he could agree, however, he got hit with a snowball in the back of the head. It was that lonely snowy field in England all over again. Francis screamed and flailed, momentarily thinking of fairies. Then Matthew started clapping as Arthur chuckled and Francis suddenly found himself being tackled. Then man looked down to see bright blue eyes and sunny golden hair. Alfred was hugging Francis' knees and smiling brightly.
"I got you! I'm a total hero, right?" Alfred asked.
Francis bent down to pick up the boy. "Oui, I have been defeated by two heroic young men. But who is going to defeat that dastardly Englishman over there that is holding your brother hostage?"
Realization dawned on Alfred's face and he cried out in childish and very much pretend horror "Mattie!"
"Al!" Matthew cried and threw out his arms like he wanted Alfred to either hug him or come pull him to safety.
"I don't think so. You're mine now." Arthur said before he darted off with the Canadian. Alfred and Francis shared a look and started to make snowballs to use against Arthur.
Eventually, Matthew was rescued and somehow the adults found themselves on the same team as the children turned on them.
"It is a bit like old times, non?" Francis asked.
"Shut up frog." Arthur said but he was smiling as he said it.
Modern times had their own fragrance on the wind. Francis could identify every change in the world by the taste of the air on his tongue and the scent the wind brought to his nose. He had an associated scent for his childhood and a scent for his years with his colonies. Now the air carried the scent of exhaust and sand disrupted by wars and mint hot chocolate, pine and the sea. However, part of that scent was due to the fact that he was in England at Christmas time. Francis had quietly infiltrated a café that served a relatively good hot chocolate. It wasn't as creamy as he liked but it was like fine art compared to Arthur's cooking.
As Francis drank his beverage, he kept an eye out for any beautiful passersby on the street. He was supposed to be in a meeting with Arthur and their respective bosses. However, Arthur could not make it and Francis left to enjoy England as it readied itself for the holidays. It also provided an opportunity to people watch, which Francis found exciting… he liked to imagine their reactions to his Christmas streaking. However, as much as he imagined big chested women and handsome men throwing themselves at his perfect body, it never happened and none of the people outside the café window were going to change that. Then one particular passerby caught Francis' attention; he had shopping bags on both arms and was looking at a piece of paper while muttering to himself. And now Francis knew why Arthur Kirkland had missed their meeting.
The Frenchman quickly left money on the table- leaving the waitress a sizable tip- and snuck out of the café. He noticed clean, fresh snow on the window ledge of the building and he used it to form a snowball. Grinning, Francis threw it into the back of Arthur's head. It felt good to be on the other end of the snowball for once as Arthur yelled and dropped his packages. The Englishman looked around and caught sight of Francis.
Francis grinned and hurried over to Arthur. "It is only fair, do you not think? I have waited centuries to get you back for that first snowball."
"I was a child then. We are grown men now and in the presence of other grown men and women." Arthur said. "It isn't proper!"
"Lighten up Cheri." Francis said. "It is not good to be proper all of the time. Now, let's make sure you didn't break anything."
"If I did, you're replacing it!" Arthur huffed.
"Oui, oui." Francis said. "I may not be 'proper' but I'm not a barbarian. By the way, is there anything for me in there?"
Arthur flushed bright red. "Of course not! Why would I get anything for you?"
Both nations stared at each other for a moment and then Francis lunged for the shopping list. Arthur flailed at the sudden movement but he quickly thrust the hand holding the list as far out of Francis' reach as possible. As they struggled, Francis slipped and crashed face first into Arthur. They ended up kissing and Francis tried to take advantage of the situation. However, Arthur had other ideas and he kneed the man in the crotch.
Wiping his mouth, the Englishman grumbled "What a cliché."
"Ah, well, that is life." Francis said. "But did you- ow- have to hit that hard?"
"Yes. Are you coming over for dinner tonight?"
"Oui. And I'm cooking."
"Good. I need help thinking of something to get Alfred that isn't a coupon for McDonalds."
The two men started the walk back to Arthur's home, sharing the burden of the bags. In two days' time, Christmas would come with streaking and visits with friends and family. And maybe there would be a snowball fight or two.