One day I'll learn how to use livejournal. *sigh*

Merry Christmas ukekoroshiya!


It was the day after Thanksgiving that Alfred always sent out his invitations for the Christmas party. The annual speed bump of the year that no one ever seemed to look forward to, and yet everyone saw it coming and did nothing to prevent it. Sadly, it was not as if they had families of their own to spend the day with; and passing the holiday with their allies and enemies alike was, grudgingly, accepted by most of the world. Like the crazy relatives that humans always seemed obliged to visit during this time of year. Even their bosses were taking the time off.

But still, it was about as enjoyable as it could be. Alfred made the arrangements nice enough; he even had each invitation written in the native language of the countries. Even if that was due to the fact that Yao had shown up a month early for the party 30 or so years ago, it was refreshing to be sent something from Alfred with acknowledgment to their culture.

This didn't mean that the countries had to enjoy the actual party, though. And most usually dreaded to be faced with countries that they had tensions with, or being involved in another drinking game started by either Alfred or Arthur. And the worst fear of all: being caught under a kissing bomb. Every year Alfred just had to put up mistletoe in nearly every godforsaken corner of his house, from the entrance to the dining room, and so far almost every country had been caught under it. Most of the countries referred to them as "kissing bombs" because if you didn't have tensions with other countries going into the party, you certainly had them going out. Whether it be because they were forced to kiss a country that they were on bad terms with, or they were caught kissing the "ally" of another nation, it caused problems every year. And it was probably the biggest pain in the ass to deal with too.

But this year, when Francis was just about to give up all hope, the invitation came as a shining beacon in his mailbox. It was true, Francis had fallen completely head over heels for his former colony and had been trying everything in his power to make the boy realize it. However, his normal flirtatious attempts (which seemed to have an effect on everything that breathed) did nothing for the boy who seemed to mindlessly tamper with his affections. In the end he blamed it on the fact that Matthew's half French side was immune to charms sent his way, and his half English side was too stupid to notice

In any case, Matthew was being frustrating. He proved to be unbearably thick when it came to romantic advances. Unless Matthew really did think that Francis was licking off some dripping syrup from his chin when they had breakfast a couple months ago, or that he really was crushing a bug on the wall right next to his head, or that everyone had honest to God canceled on Francis ten minutes before his party which really only had enough food for two anyway.

Francis was about to tear out his own beautifully shining hair, but figured it would be a waste because the new shampoo he was trying was doing such wonders and his split ends were no more.

So when that invitation fell into his hands, he wanted to hug the American with all his might. He figured fate must be cutting him a break for once, or that they were equally frustrated with the Canadian.

Either way, when Christmas finally rolled around, Francis had dressed his very best using his most expensive cologne and tying his hair back so it would not get in his way. All he had to do was get Matthew to walk under the mistletoe, that's it. Once that was done he could finally make that poor boy realize what he had been lacking all his life. It was a brilliant plan.

Well it would have been at least.

-------

"You still haven't snagged the kid yet? Francis, I think you may be losing your touch." Gilbert said wickedly elbowing his friend in the side.

"I would rather not hear that from you."

"And that's what you're going to try next? Mistletoe?" The walk to Alfred's house was a chilly one as they passed the various cities. All three friends could see their breath as their boots clacked softly on the gravel.

"Antonio, you sound so skeptical." Francis said with a bit of annoyance. Antonio was one of his closest friends, he did not expect to have his plan shot down by him.

"Don't get me wrong Francis, I'm sure it will be no hard task to get the boy under the mistletoe, but Tino gets mad if you don't kiss anyway. Don't you think Matthew will just misunderstand again?" The Spanish country laughed as his friend seemed to go into a state of deep contemplation.

"Knowing that guy, he will misunderstand. I don't see why you need a plant to get into Matty's pants." The albino tucked his arms behind his head as they walked down the streets, completely ignoring the irritated voice that came from his friend.

"Believe me, I'll give him a kiss that will do anything but confuse him."

"Haha I'm sure you will. If you need my help in any way just let me know, all right?"

"Mon ami, you underestimate me. I am gracious, but I doubt I will need your help."

-------

"Due to certain financial problems and other reasons, there will only be one piece of mistletoe hung up this year." The sighs of relief flooded around the room, but Francis could have sworn he felt his heart stop. Of course something like this would happen, something like this always happened.

He looked over from the crowd to see Matthew standing awkwardly by the refreshments with an odd look on his face—something mixed between annoyance and shock. Francis could hear himself sigh over Gilbert's sadistic laughter (which was probably directed towards him) before looking back up at Alfred who was stepping down from his announcement that consisted of where the restrooms were and the different foods they could help themselves to.

Except, he could have sworn he saw the American glare at him.

Ohhh.

This meant war. No way was he going to let the object-of-his-affection's stupid brother mess with his chance. Alfred had not said where the mistletoe was but Francis could see it, right by the stereo, on the arch above the two steps that led into the entrance hall, camouflaged with the elegant garland. There stood the white berries, standing out on their branch, taunting him.

Of course they were taunting him; they were hidden in plain sight, namely right in front of the host who was watching the area like a guard dog. Francis sighed again, this was going to be harder than he thought.

"Francis, are you all right?" Francis snapped out of his thoughts to see a worried Matthew right in front of him. When did he start walking toward him?

"Of course, Mathieu. Everything is fine. I suppose I was just lost in thought. How have you been, mon cher?"

Matthew blushed a bit at the attention but smiled at his former brother. "Everything's been fine except there's a huge storm at my place. Alfred said I should probably head home before too long—I think I'll leave around eleven, since it might get a bit dangerous. Even though I am used to these sorts of storms…"

"I see… your brother did, huh? Well it seems cruel to make you go home so early, you could just stay here the night, you are brothers after all, are you not?" Matthew laughed a bit before waving his hands a bit.

"No, it's all right. It's actually a bit of a relief, I never know how to handle myself at these kinds of parties, but I always feel as though I'm obligated to stay. To be honest, I'm glad for the excuse to go home. Besides…" Matthew let his blush fade a bit as he focused his attention to the ground with the ghost of a frown marring his face. "No one really takes interest in me during Alfred's parties anyway."

Francis let his face fall for the slightest moment as he scratched his head, sneaking a glance at the mistletoe. He turned his attention back to the Canadian a moment later with his usual smile as he took the boy's hand and kissing it softly. "Well, you have certainly caught my interest. I hope that is enough to satisfy you for now."

Francis winked and Matthew blushed, unsure of how to react. "Mathieu, why don't you go mingle by the steps over there, I'll go bring us some refreshments, if that is all right." Matthew nodded tentatively, the blush still painted on his face, before walking off towards the target zone. Francis watched him walk away for a moment before catching Alfred's eye.

Yes, the man was obviously conspiring against him, with that cold look, and for once, very serious aura. Francis made sure the man was watching him as he walked the opposite direction of Matthew, towards the refreshment table and his two friends.

Slowly he poured himself two alcoholic beverages with a strange blue tint before fidgeting with the napkins.

"What are you waiting for, he's standing right there." Gilbert asked probably a bit too loudly for Francis' liking.

"Alfred is watching, I have a suspicion that he heard our conversation and is now plotting against me." Francis let out another annoyed grunt as Alfred seemed to finally turn away from him. "Tonio, do you believe you could distract him? At least long enough for me to have a proper conversation with the boy."

"Just leave it to me, mi amigo!" The Spaniard replied with a thumb up earning an amused eye-roll from Gilbert.

Antonio quickly left the table to go lively chat with Alfred, who seemed suspicious, but allowed himself to converse anyway. Taking advantage of the situation, Francis subtly sneaked back toward Matthew, always checking back to see if Antonio was still talking. Finally Francis made his way across the large room and felt a warm feeling flush through him when Matthew smiled happily at his appearance.

When Arthur suddenly dragged him away to talk.

Of course they would be plotting together. Arthur always did seem to have a grudge against him, what a perfect opportunity. At this point he could sense both Arthur's smirk and Alfred's victory sneer like arrows through his chest.

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Francis, for the rest of the night, was not even given a fighting chance. Distractions from both Antonio and Gilbert were completely intercepted by Alfred, Arthur, or random nuisances.

At 8:09 Francis had tried to lure the boy by teaching him how to waltz and just conveniently going under the plant. A minute later Austria showed up to tell him he was doing it wrong and ended up getting a lecture on the proper way to dance for the next ten minutes.

At 9:35 he had called the house with his cell phone, hoping Alfred would go and get the phone, while sending both Gilbert and Antonio to distract Arthur. Alfred had, of course, ignored the phone call while Arthur dodged the duo as soon as he had seen them coming.

At 10:11 he had sent Antonio with a note to Matthew, telling him to wait under the mistletoe, and at the sake of least a little anonymity, he had told Antonio to feign oblivion as to where the note had come from.

It would have worked if that damn Korean had not come out of nowhere and groped the poor unsuspecting boy. With a huge blush, Matthew had slapped the overly energetic man off of him and walked off the two steps with gritted teeth and, and if Francis squinted, an air of disappointment.

And now it was 10:55, Matthew would be leaving in five minutes and he did not even get a chance to talk to the Canadian for more than a moment. And what was worse was that Matthew had been standing in the general "kissing zone" the entire party. He felt like such a fool to not be able to take the opportunity to his advantage.

So with his fists clenched, he walked forward with a new determination. A strategy that didn't involve distractions or notes or dancing; just him, wanting to be able to kiss the man that had been too thick to accept his feelings, or even understand what he had been going through just to get Matthew to bat an eye his way.

He could feel his steps on the hard wood floor as he made his way closer to Matthew. After a bit the blonde haired nation seemed to notice Francis' determination and blushed at the sight of his unwavering step. He was so close to grabbing him by the wrist and pulling him under the one spot that he had been eyeing this whole party, when

"Ah, Matty! It's freaking freezing out there! You oughta go before the snow gets too high up. Just cause you live there doesn't mean you can't get cold."

That. Damn. American.

Matthew eyed Francis before looking back up at his brother and nodding slightly. "Yeah, okay. I'll go get my coat. By Alfred, I'll see you later. See you, Francis."

And just like that Matthew left with a slight wave.

Francis sighed for what seemed like the umpteenth time that night.

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It was now 11:03 and Matthew had already left. That meant Francis was free to sulk under the mistletoe all he wanted. Alfred and Arthur seemed to lose complete interest in him as they continued to mingle with the other guests at the party. He supposed he would just have to think of another ridiculous scheme that would just, once again, go over the oblivious Canadian's head.

Francis stared up at the bunch of white berries and leaves that had given the Frenchman so much trouble. He closed his eyes and his face scrunched into a frown until he felt a cold plop on his forehead.

He opened his eyes to see Matthew standing right over him, breathing heavily and dripping slightly melted snow from his damp hair.

"Mathieu…?"

"Francis, I know you really can be slow sometimes, and I thought that I would give you a chance, but I don't want to leave another party empty handed, so…"

The words were hardly able to register before Francis could feel a pair of cold lips collide with his own. Never had Francis felt something so perfect. Never had he experienced a kiss, as clumsy as it was, that he had desired so much. It was so much different than kissing a human with a forgettable face. This was everything that a kiss should be, and before Francis got a chance to truly respond those perfect lips had pulled away.

Francis blinked, still sitting on the hard step, and Matthew blushed a dark maroon.

"I-I'm sorry, you were just sitting under the mistletoe… so I thought it might be okay." Matthew stuttered out as he stepped back a bit. "I… I guess I felt that was the only real way I could kiss you, um, I'm sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable. Stuff like this happens every year at Alfred's parties so don't worry if you want to just forget about it, I-" Francis interrupted the panicking nation by cupping Matthew's delicate check, that was still a bit cold from the outside.

"Silly boy, you do not need something as trivial as mistletoe to kiss me." Francis thought he would ignore Gilbert's laughter as he leaned in to kiss Matthew once again.


Sorry for the suckage. I'm going to go back to bed now.