Youth in Rebellion
Chapter One: Like Kurt Cobain!
» Fandom: Axis Powers Hetalia
» Rating: T
» On Going(WIP)/One-off/Series: WIP
» Classification(s): Humor, Romance
» Warnings: Violence, Language, Sexual Situations
» Pairing(s): Arthur/Francis (England/France)
» Disclaimer: I don't own APH. I don't own this title. I don't even own this plot! It's a (relatively) shameless rip-off of a manga by Yukimura, "Usotsuki wa Dareda (spin-off)". But.. it was just too perfect... I couldn't resist. Following that storyline, then, there will be three chapters, and one extra special bonus chapter with the smex in it. I am nothing if not benevolent.
I skipped school for the first time.
The doors sprang open in front of him, and the mass of commuters crashed like an avalanche onto the platform, with him shoved and pushed along until he reached a calm eddy in the stream of people.
I rode the train in the opposite direction, and got off at a station I didn't know.
He stared blankly after the end of the departing train, hardly noticing the rapidly emptying space around him as the businesspeople swarmed the street exits. "What to do first?" he wondered aloud in the fading din.
I wanted to change into someone who wasn't me.
"Buy clothes, dye my hair..."
If I stay as I am now, I'll remain unable to do anything.
"Make me look like Kurt Cobain!"
Whatever response Arthur had been expecting, it wasn't the barely muffled "Pfffft!", followed by a completely uncontrolled guffaw, that came out of the stylist's mouth.
The small little salon, unremarkable but for the garish green neon that sparkled over it even in the morning light. It had caught his eye, and he'd strode in without a second thought. He really should have paused for that second thought. I'm… being laughed at?
"Sorry, mon petit," still laughing, in an accent thick enough to spread on toast, "You really caught me off guard! Ahaha, c'est magifique!" The man pressed tears of mirth from the corners of his blue, blue eyes and smiled hugely down at him.
Was it a strange request? I was being serious. Arthur managed a less-than-assertive, "Um, you're being really rude..." He mentally added, You bloody frog, irrationally annoyed at the accent, height difference, untidy ponytail, straggly beard—really, everything.
"Je m'excuse, don't get mad," the Frenchman chuckled, his tall, broad form still shaking with suppressed laughter. "Just, hearing that from someone wearing such a high-class school's uniform... with such a, a serious expression..."
Arthur slapped a hand over insignia stitched into his lapel. "What? You know my school from my uniform?"
The Frenchman waved a hand. "You could say it's part of the job... or, un passe-temps. What, you are 'ditching'?" Arthur flinched, and the man grinned that vaguely lecherous grin again. "Non, c'est bon. I did it all the time when I was your age." The man shrugged, and continued simply, "There are times I want to change too."
For a moment, their eyes met and held and Arthur felt the shock of having his own innermost desperate thoughts echoed back at him from someone as unlikely as this arrogant, stubbly, mad Frenchman. The man stared impassively back for a second, two…
Before his face split wide into that sly smirking grin again. "But, if the Kurt Cobain look is what you want, we will need to do something with those eyebrows of yours, mais non, mon petit?"And he was off laughing again, the bloody great buffoon. Arthur'd hardly known the man a minute and he already hated him.
Arthur heard a muffled, "Ah! Wait!" as the door slammed closed behind him, but he had already stormed out into the street and away, all but blind with impotent rage, and, though he refused to acknowledge them, angry tears. Bloody- beardy French frog! Who the hell do you think you are, trying to stop me! There's nothing laughable about it!
Why does no one take me seriously...?
It was, unfortunately, the same story everywhere. One woman gave him hour-long lecture on the dangers in playing hooky, and stylist after stylist gave him the same stupid excuses: his hair wasn't long enough, the color wouldn't suit him, and where were his parents anyway?
His parents. Right.
"Arthur, I'm asking you a favor. Please be good, okay? Be a good boy for your Mum."
No one else mentioned his eyebrows, at least.
Arthur hunched in on himself, arms folded tightly against the chill in the air as night settled. As he trudged by them, streetlights lit themselves in a sudden dull orange blaze. He'd been walking for hours, going from store to store, place to place. He'd bought clothes, tons of grungy, awful clothes, and chains and body jewelry he didn't have the piercings for. But he'd get them! He'd gone into some seedy little bar and ordered dinner, and then had been too squeamish to eat more than a bite of it. He'd tried to get a beer and had been laughed out by the bartender and patrons; he hadn't had the guts to try another. So he walked, and seethed, greasy morsel and anxiety tying hard knots in his queasy stomach.
I JUST WANT TO CHANGE!
Maybe she'd actually noticed he was gone. Maybe she was frantic with worry, he thought with some vicious satisfaction, kicking a can into the street as he waited for a light to change. Serves her right. The fact that he had no idea where the train station was anymore, and no real idea of even where hewas had nothing to do with his decision to spend the night out. None at all. He tried to suppress a shiver by clutching himself harder, and glanced around. His eyes fell on a glaringly lit all-night convenience store, and his sick frustration eased a bit. If no one would dye his hair for him, he could do it himself. Ha! Amazing that it hadn't occurred to him before.
Once inside, he marveled at the selection and the price. Getting it done professionally would have cost him, what, fifty pounds? But look here, and here! These were ten quid, and guaranteed 'salon-quality results'! But, what color was Cobain's hair? Was it 'Blaze Blonde'? 'Light Toffee'? Which brand? Highlights?
Arthur jerked straight, arms filled with boxes, and found himself face to face with the frog stylist from that morning. The stupid bastard was smiling that smile, again,and Arthur felt a scorching blush try to work its way up his face and after a moment of frozen mortification, spun around to march away in a hopefully dignified snub.
"Ah, hey! Please wait!"
It was ruined by the little squeak he made when the man grabbed his arm. "Let go!" he yelped, trying to jerk out of the hold.
"I wanted to apologize-"
"Let g-!" but the motion had already loosened his grip on the boxes and once one went, he lost his grip and they all came tumbling down.
"Sorry, sorry! Let me," and before Arthur could think to grab after them, the man had crouched down to pick a box up. Turning the box to the light, the corner of his mouth quirked. He looked up with a raised eyebrow. "So… down to doing it yourself, then?"
"So what!" Arthur yelled, losing the battle with his blush. "It's none of your bloody business, is it?"
Arthur flinched back as the man abruptly stood, and let out a startled gasp as he reached out to rub a lock of Arthur's hair between his fingers. He was suddenly close enough for Arthur to feel his body heat in the cool chill of the store, and smell his cologne... something heady, and very masculine. Arthur swallowed, eyes lodged on the pearly buttons unclasped at the open vee of the man's shirt. "H-hey... what're you..."
"Your hair… you have never dyed it before, have you, mon petit?" the man mused quietly. "And it's a bit short for Kurt Cobain. No matter what you do with this, you will not resemble him."
At that, Arthur jerked his head away from the man. "Enough already! Why... why is everyone trying to get in my way?" he shouted, not caring who heard him. The Frenchman looked bewildered, which only made Arthur more furiously embarrassed. He tried to shove past him, and in the process hit a towering display of paper towels. An arm around his waist yanked him back into the Frenchman's warmth and the toppling packages bounced harmlessly on the marbled linoleum in front of him.
"...please be more careful," the man said mildly. Arthur opened his mouth to retort-
-and his abused, empty stomach chose that moment to make its complaints known, as plainly and loudly as it could.
There was a short silence.
"Instead of holding it in til you make weird noises, just go ahead and laugh!" Arthur growled, hands over his face in complete humiliation.
"Je m'excuse... m'excuse..." the man said breathlessly, still racked with suppressed laughter. "Ah, mon petit, trop charmant! Je t'adore!"
Arthur, expression dangerously close to a heavy pout, wiggled pointedly in his grasp, and the man released him—only to cup his face and tilt it up towards his own.
His hands were so warm.
"If you really want to dye it, come to my place."
"As an apology, I'll do it for free, d'accord?"
"And let's get something to eat on the way, mon petit, since eating alone is so lonely."
The 'getting something on the way' involved stopping off at a small bistro where the maitre d' had greeted the Frenchman with hugs and loud, full-on kisses. The chef, a small and slender Italian man, threatened to do something physically impossible with a spatula and the men had separated, laughing. The other man caught sight of Arthur standing uncertainly in the doorway and said something in Spanish to the Frenchman, with much waggling of eyebrows. The salacious tone made Arthur's ears burn, but the man just laughed. He was always laughing, Arthur thought petulantly. What the hell was so funny?
"Antonio, please! This young man just wants to look like Kurt Cobain!"
"Sinceramente? Take an extra helping, it could take all night!"
Arthur wanted to punch him, he really did, but the food being ladled by the bad-tempered chef into takeaway containers smelled so divine, and he was very hungry. Hungry enough to ignore the pat on the ass the Spanish maitre d' gave him on the way out, especially once he heard the angry voice of the chef shouting something about stupid, philandering Spanish fishbait.
They made one more stop, to a liquor store. "Lush," Arthur muttered under his breath as they exited with a six-pack and several bottles of wine.
"Ah, but mon petit, it is just as lonely to drink alone as to eat alone," the Frenchman said with a wink.
An hour, a meal, and four beers later-
"Ahahahaha, beer is tasty!"
"You know, mon petit," said the Frenchman thoughtfully, taking a slow drag on his cigarette, "Your personality… she changes quite a bit when you have had a few."
Arthur pointed an accusing, wavering finger at the the somewhat blurry face across the table. "Stop calling me that! My name is Arthur, Reginald, Kirkland,you bloody beardy frog, and you'd better remember it!"
The man looked amused. "Well, Monsieur le Arthur Reginald Kirkland, my name is certainly not 'you bloody beardy frog'. It is Francis."
"It would be," Arthur mumbled into his newly-opened fifth can.
Arthur took a hue swig and nearly choked on it. "N-nothing…"
"Sooo," said Francis after a lull, "What was M. Kirkland doing, ditching school all day? Especially such a high-ranked school?"
"Isn't that obvious?" Arthur grinned brightly. "I was out to do bad things!"
Francis gazed at him in bemusement. "And Kurt Cobain?"
Arthur smacked a hand down on the table. "Yes, exactly! Here, look!" He dived into the shopping bags he'd collected during the day and drew out a shirt that read, "Fuck your uncle!" in bleeding red script. "Today, I say goodbye to the old me! From now on, I'm hardcore rock and grunge!"
There was another incredulous silence, into which Francis said with the utmost dryness, "Oui, I see this."
The sarcasm wasn't thick enough to penetrate Arthur's by this point wildly drunken state. He went on. "I've always been living on the strict straight and narrow, always doing whatever the fuck I'm bleedin' told... well, no more!"
"No more, eh?"
"That's right!" he declared. Faltering a bit, he continued, "I... I want to get dirty once in a while...!"
From nowhere, tears pricked at the corners of his eyes and Arthur blinked rapidly, alarmed. However good a listener the man was being, he was NOT going to cry in front of Francis. He wasn't.
When the rest wasn't forthcoming, Francis took another draw on his cig and gently prodded, "Your... mother?"
"She's always stopping me-but she does whatever she wants herself!"
"Ahh," said Francis, as though a great mystery of the universe had been solved. Arthur nodded, perhaps a bit too enthusiastically as the world titled a bit. "She's an actress."
"Ou- I mean, yes," Arthur said. "She asks me to be good, not to shame her, but she's the one who shames me."
Francis tapped his ashes into an empty beercan. "Today was just to spite her, then?"
"Exactly." Francis got it, he really did. "Exactly..."
"Arthur, its gotten to the point where your father and I are splitting up.
"But it doesn't really matter, does it? You were never attached enough to call him 'Father', were you? It'll be just us again.
"What? If there's something you want to say, say it.
"You're really not cute at all."
"When it comes to her," Arthur told the can in his hand, "I can't say anything. That's why I want to change."
He looked up at Francis, who was smiling again-but softly. Affectionately.
"Then, Arthur," the man said, taking the cigarette from his mouth. "I'll collaborate with you." He stuck the unlit end between Arthur's surprised lips, fingers lingering on his face. "Shall I teach you something wicked, from start to finish?" he purred darkly, leaning closer until his face filled Arthur's vision. "Alcohol, or cigarettes... or drugs, or sex?"
"... Francis," whispered Arthur weakly, suddenly very, very aware of how close they were, how isolated, and how easy it would be for this man, this stranger really, to... to— do something nasty to him, or nasty with him, and oh well now, where had that thought come from? It was true he was trying to be dirty, and doing something like THAT would quite be the dirtiest thing ever, but there was a thing such as common decency, wasn't there? Francis's cigarette was hanging between his lips still, and what was he supposed to do? Take a puff? But he'd never smoked before in his life and OH MY GOD, an indirect kiss! He was, in fact, sharing an indirect kiss with the man already, at that moment! Now that was dirty. It was very dirty. Still, actually kissing would be better—dirtier! He meant dirtier. Although, Francis was a bit beardy. He wasn't completely sure how he felt about that. Ergh, ergh, what to say, what to do?
Almost accidentally, Arthur leaned forward, just a few centimeters.
And with that small movement Francis sat back, somewhat emphatically, and took his cigarette with him. "En plaisantant, mon petit. Only joking."
"Wa?" said Arthur, a bit dazed. His heart, as if it had stopped, was all of a sudden pounding loudly in his ears.
Francis shook his head and breathed out a long stream of smoke. Irrationally, he seemed suddenly… unsettled. He made a sharp gesture with his hand. "Drugs are fine, I suppose, but cigarettes are a no-no." A nervous chuckle. "Small thing you already are, you will not grow at all if you smo—" A faint electronic ring sounded somewhere in the house, and Francis nearly leapt to his feet. "Ah, the phone! Excuse me for a moment, M. Kirkland."
He padded out of the room, leaving Arthur alone with his pounding heart.
"That was... odd," he told his beer can, his voice having acquired a disconcerting breathiness.
What exactly am I doing here again?
He laughed at me.
He understands. And he's the first, ever, to not get in my way.
He's a good person...
His eye caught on the smoke lazily drifting up to the ceiling from the cigarette, balanced on an empty beer can. He reached out and took it, attempting to hold it in two fingers and almost dropping it into his lap. From an indirect kiss to a real kiss…?
"Very dirty," he said aloud, and from the doorway Francis popped his head in and said, "Quoi, mon petit?"
"Eeep! Ack! HOT! HOTHOTHOT-!"
"What? Fils de pute!"
All of the sudden, Arthur found himself airborn and could only clutch at Francis's neck as he was sped to the bathroom.
"Your pants, take them off."
"What?" Arthur squeaked.
"Take off your pants!"
After a few confused moments and a few slaps and smacks, Arthur sat, ears burning as Francis aimed the spray attachment of his showerhead at his knees where two symmetrical marks showed where he'd been burned. "You want to smoke that much?" the man asked dryly.
"No!" Arthur retorted hotly. "But the cigarette fell... and I thought, the carpet..."
Francis sighed heavily. "Despite your tame appearance, you really are a handful, cher Arthur."
Arthur would have yelled something back, but, unbidden, his mother's voice came to his mind. "Just be quiet! Quiet! You're bothering me!"
All that came out was a thready, "...sorry..." as the tears that had been dogging him all day pricked his eyes, burning like acid.
"Eh? No... look." Francis knelt, so that he looked up into Arthur's downturned face. "Being troublesome can also be charming, oui?I think you are very charming, Arthur. A little trouble, but I like your type of trouble."
"Francis..." Arthur mumbled. "I- ngh. Ngh..."
The reason I cried...
Is probably because the things I wanted to hear were more important than the things I wanted to say.
"Ah, cher Arthur," Francis sighed, the words making a low rumble in the broad chest that Arthur had buried his face in. The Frenchman peeled him away from himself very gently, and cupped his crying face in his hands. "How do I get you to stop crying, mon cher?"
"Mmph," Arthur answered, with a miserable little hiccup.
"Tellement adorable," he whispered, and bent to kiss at a tear track. Arthur stilled, shock breaking through his sobs as Francis continued, using his lips and then tongue to clean the tears from his face.
"Je m'excuse," Francis said quietly, lips moving against his forehead. "Was that terribly disgusting?"
"No," Arthur mumbled, addressing the floor. "It felt... good."
"I'm glad." Francis pulled back. "It's not good to hold things in, mon petit. If you can't say the things you want to say, you'll get stressed."
Before Francis could move further away, Arthur grabbed at his pant leg, tugged. "Francis... please do more."
"I want... more," Arthur repeated, daring to look up into his face.
As he watched, surprise broke into that stupid, lecherous, mile-wide grin, and Francis purred, "Just one kiss, then."
Arthur hadn't realized it at the time, having gone in the back, but Francis's apartment was directly over his salon. After many 'just one' kisses and one knee-meltingly embarrassing/arousing moment when Francis had noticed Arthur's erection through his tightie-whities, the two of them got down to the business of making Arthur look, if not like Kurt Cobain, then at least someone different. Changed.
"Uwah," Arthur said to the stranger in the mirror, reaching up to touch the golden flecks that flashed through his hair in the light.
"The bleached blond would not have been a good choice for overall coloeur," Francis lectured. "In small amounts, it blends with your natural darker tone, but lightens the overall effect. The cutting, it was a bit tricky, considering how short your hair."
"Mmhmm," Arthur agreed absently, entranced by his own image. Francis cocked an eyebrow.
"Are you listening to me?"
Francis smirked. "Rien, rien. I'm glad you like it."
Arthur twined a lock around his finger, watching it glint in the overhead light. "It's so different from how I imagined it... I thought I wanted to be grungy."
"And you haven't changed that much?"
Arthur spun in his chair to face the Frenchman, eyes wide. "No, I changed! I'm really happy! You gave me such a clean feeling...!"
Again with the 'pffft!' noise, Arthur thought with some annoyance. "That, mon cher, is the most funny thing I have heard all day."
"No, it's true! I feel like I can say anything."
"Bon, tres bon. Go and, as they say, knock the socks off of your mother."
"I like you! Please go out with me!"
"I mean it!" Arthur said in a rush, a giddy tide of terrified courage bolstering him in the face of Francis's incredulous stare. "You've given me such strength!"
And there was that smirk again. "Fine."
"Fine!" Arthur growled. Paused. "Uh, fine?"
Francis's smile was a very dirty thing. "Oui. Fine. As long as you grow at least another three centimeters... there."
Arthur blushed until he could feel the roots of his highlighted hair smarting. "I-I'll do my best!"
"Because, mon petit," Francis turned to walk back upstairs. "I, am a catcher."
Ta da! As you know from the disclaimer, having read it THOROUGHLY, this is the first of three chapters. Ah, that manga is the cutest.
It just occured to me that a few French translations might be in order... hmm...
- mon petit - literally, 'my little', but that sounds weird as fuck in English. More like, 'kid', 'child', etc.
- trop charmant - too charming
- cher - dear. Girls are 'chere', and 'ma petite'
- fils de pute! - son of a bitch!
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