I don't own Hetalia.
It was at nine in the morning of the first Friday of February when Arthur Kirkland had seemed to simply glide out of Francis Bonnefoy's life. Neither of them had seemed to really know, but before either of them knew it, Arthur had his belongings packed into a box and left Francis's house without another word. It was less of a fight, definitely wasn't a disagreement of any sort. For some reason, it seemed like after two years of being together, Arthur had just up and decided to leave, however, it seemed that Francis had known that it would happen just as much as the other had.
Francis spent that night at the neighborhood bar, the next morning at his friend Antonio's house, and that afternoon contemplating suicide. Antonio, not used to seeing one of his best friends acting like this, immediately called up one of his other friends, Gilbert. The three spent the night all at Antonio's house, and despite the half-hearted complaints of Antonio's boyfriend, Lovino, Francis ended up completely wasted on Antonio's ground for the next week.
"I can't do this anymore," Antonio sighed finally as Francis's days of living on his hardwood floor was nearing a double-digit number. "Francis, you need to pull yourself together and realize that Arthur was just a bastard for leaving you like that. This is getting insane." The man on the ground merely shifted slightly before rolling over completely, his designer shirt wrinkled and stained brown. "You haven't showered for a week. You smell like a garbage dump, and as your friend, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to kick you out."
Francis lay there, contemplating that for a moment, before croaking, in a hoarse voice, "I could live with that." Lovino, who had been standing there silently by Antonio up until then, seemed to snap and narrowed his eyes, storming forward and stomping down, hard, on the bottle in Francis's hand, causing it to shatter and tear into yellowing skin.
"You don't even look human anymore," Lovino snarled, Francis blinking up at him with misted eyes. "For fuck's sake, Bonnefoy, you look like you're dying on Antonio's floor. Be a man and take this like a man! Get the fuck back to your own house and drown out your sorrows in a bottle, in a toilet bowl, hell if I care. You need to go out there, because goddamn, Francis...you're breaking Antonio and Gilbert too."
Francis had blinked slowly, lying there in a puddle of scum, and with his bones popping and groaning like an eighty-year old man's, got up slowly and seemed to wobble to the door, where he stumbled out and fell right onto the city pavement. He could hear Antonio's worried calls and a rushing of footsteps to where he lay on the ground, but he heard Lovino's voice, uncharacteristically soft, whispering words to the taller male. And before Francis could react the least, or before his head could even wrap around what he was doing on the sidewalk, the door to Antonio's little townhouse swung shut, leaving the disoriented Frenchman lying on the ground.
Francis was content to stay there, rolled over so he could see the sky, and not the greenery of the few fenced trees that were attempting to grow around him. He couldn't bear seeing any color that was even close to the color of Arthur's eyes anymore. Hours passed without his knowing, passed just by him staring up at the sky, less of finding animals and such in the clouds, it was more spent just...gazing. A few times, he could feel coins from passerby dropped around him, from people who thought he was homeless. More times than that, he could feel Antonio and Lovino's gaze from their window, staring down at him and wondering if he'd ever move. Francis could hear raised voices from inside the two's house more than one time, debating loudly to the point where they were almost screaming at each other to help Francis or not.
As the day grew long and the sun was beginning to set, a pitying taxi driver saw Francis laying there, seemingly having no intention at all to get up, and called out to him, "Come on, man, I'll drive you home free of charge if you stop looking like roadkill there." The man helped Francis up and sat him in the cab. "You want any of that money on the sidewalk?" Francis didn't respond, so the dark-skinned man sighed and took off his shoe, collecting the few coins in his sock and passing it to the ragged man. He then moved around to the driver's seat and took off. "So where am I headed?" Francis sat there for a long time, just letting the cab driver move slowly through the city, wondering if he should go back to his and Ar—no...it was just his house now.
Another hour passed in silence in the cab. Finally the driver sighed. "Look, kid, this is costing me, and I hope you know it. You look like you just lost someone really important to you, so that's why I helped you, but I can't keep driving forever. Gas is pricy these days. So you wanna tell me where you live, or am I gonna have to let you crash at my house?" Francis looked up from the window for the first time and sat there in silence for a few more moments before wetting his lips.
"Now we're getting somewhere," the cab driver said in what Francis thought was a joking tone, making him look back out the window without any comment. As the scenery slowly changed into a recognizable pattern of trees and buildings of Francis's street, and driver spoke again. "Tell me when to stop."
Francis was flung forward slightly when the man braked suddenly, but he mechanically unbuckled his seatbelt and stepped out, wobbling and almost falling flat on his face when his feet actually supported him for more than a few seconds—a first in ages. He felt the cab driver say something about his number, calling him if he needed anymore help, and then a small slip of paper being shoved lightly into his shirt pocket. He moved forward, stumbling over his own feet, as he heard the distant rumble of the cab disappearing around the bend. Francis's hands loop automatically into the dangling flowerpot, fishing out the house key, and he paused at seeing a familiar yellow sticky note stuck on the door, stained with water from the rain.
Welcome home. Don't forget to feed the goldfish, Francis, I know you tend to do that 'by accident'.
The sticky note was peeled off with care and Francis cuddled it in his hand like a newborn kitten, reading the simple note over and over again, just to see that small, familiar writing was such a relief to his system. He jammed the key into the keyhole, and used a free hand to peel off another sticky note that was resting on the wide flat of the key. And wash this key, the rain's causing the dirt to stick to it. It's becoming unrecognizable from the rest of the soil.
Francis unlocked and moved into the house, his eyes settling on the familiar sight of sticky notes everywhere, stuck to each flat surface. It was Arthur's way of reminding him to do things, it had always been his way. Francis stepped onto the welcome mat, heard the small crinkle of paper, and bent down to peel off another post-it. Wipe your feet, there's mud everywhere outside.
It felt like he never left.
It was fifteen days, even, since Arthur had left.
Francis had stayed inside the house since he had returned home, constantly running into the familiar yellow post-its that were perched everywhere, seeming to evaluate his every move. He had begun to collect them all in a notebook, organized by the day that he found them. There was only one that he didn't keep in there, however. It was the one that was taped right onto his pillow, the one that looked like it had been left there long ago but no one ever had the heart to tear it off. Francis now kept it in his pocket everyday, folding it and unfolding it to the point where it was falling apart.
I love you.
It had been a month since Arthur left, and Francis had found most of the post it notes by then.
The one on his toothbrush, reminding him to get more toothpaste. The one on the side of the television, reminding him to turn it off after he watched it—it saved energy. (And another one saying the exact same on the television remote.) The one inside the laundry machine, another in the dryer. Don't use too much detergent, git and Don't forget to iron them but I swear if you burn yourself again... in that order.
The notebook was filling up.
Francis had started finding...different...post-it notes by now.
There was one that he had never noticed before taped to the back of a large teddy bear that he had bought Arthur on their first date. Francis had been sitting on the couch, and the stuffed animal that he had always ignored had seemed to be calling to him that day. As he picked it up and hugged it, that familiar sound of paper rang through the house. Francis tore it off eagerly, as if fueled by a drug. Remember when the stars seemed to shine just for us? Francis had looked at it and smiled sadly.
He hadn't seen a special star for so long that he had forgotten what they looked like.
Francis had let up a photograph that he had slammed face down. It was a picture of Arthur, laughing and holding what looked like a baby crocodile in his hands as far away from him as possible. Francis had remembered laughing along with the slightly hysterical Brit, snapping the photograph before the other could so much as object, thought it wasn't like he didn't threaten to toss the reptile at him.
There was a sticky note over Arthur's face.
Smiles can last for eternity because they'll never fade. I hope the same's with me.
Francis had folded and unfolded the I love you note so many times that it fell apart. It was the first time he cried after Arthur left him. After, he scrounged out a glue stick and glued the pieces into the last page of the note book, so that he'd always be able to find it easily.
Francis woke up that day, brushed his teeth, took a shower, had a breakfast of toaster waffles, and for the first time in a long time, felt like he was energized and ready to do something. He walked around the house and cleaned up until the afternoon, when he sat down on his bed and read through all of the sticky-notes in his notebook.
He finally pushed himself up right before the last page and moved over to the telephone, finally ready to go and hang out with some friends. He considered calling up Antonio and Gilbert to go out to the bar, but when he lifted the phone receiver, a small yellow note drifted down.
If you're going out to drink, you're lying to youself, Francis. You're not over me yet. Now go and clean that blood off of your legs. If you keep cutting yourself, you're going to keep breaking my heart.
Francis stared down at the note with wide eyes before breaking out into violent tremors and collapsing on the ground, screaming and crying.
How did he know?
How does he always know?
After going out and buying groceries for the fridge, Francis had filled up his cupboards with food that wasn't irreversibly high on sugar count. He had looked out at the sunlight outside, and not thinking anything about it, moved to open the back door and sit in Arthur's rocking chair on the porch. Crinkle.
It's been so long since Francis had heard that noise.
He let himself up and smiled down at the familiar yellow post-it note in his hands. "Hello, Arthur," he whispered softly to himself before reading it.
I see you've finally come out here. About time too, you idiot. This was the place that we fell in love, remember? Well, I guess it's finally time for you to find out why I left you. Go to 801 Millcreek Road in Johnstown. I'll be waiting.
Francis stood in front of the tombstone, head down, tears falling down his face.
Born - May 1, 1981
Deceased - April 18, 2010
Be honest my dear
And stay close to hear.
Call our hearts to combine
Obedience to love is sublime.
"I did all this because you were telling me too...weren't you?" Francis choked, finding that strangely enough, a smile was starting to stretch across his features. He set down the notebook of the sticky-notes on the ground, opening it to a random page. I'll never forget you and There is such a thing as forever was staring up at him. "You always ended up taking care of me so much...and I had never gotten to say thank you. Then you had to go and...and die..."
Francis shook his head, inhaling sharply to stop himself from screaming. He sat down forcefully on the damp ground, the light breeze almost tugging the pages to change. Francis slapped his palm down, bending a corner of one of the sticky-notes. Then he looked up, and saw a little black box right next to the tombstone, with a weather-beaten sticky-note, with a single word on it.
The addressed man didn't waste any time in knocking over a wilting bouquet of white roses to reach the box, fumbling with the clasp and opening it with a hastiness that had never before been seen. And inside...
"Of course," he scoffed, picking up the sheet of notebook paper.
I'm so sorry that I had to do everything like this. But I swear that I have a good reason. I was diagnosed with an illness when I was really young, and I forget things really fast. It got a lot worse after the years, so now it's become...I guess I'm just trying to say that I'm really sorry, but I started forgetting about you. I got really scared after a while, so I began trying to leave you. But you know...it got really hard. So I had to cut it off quickly. I'm really, really sorry about everything I had to put you through. I just hope that you'll live on happy and stupidly like you always did before me.
Wishing for your best,
Francis looked up from the note, which was by now tearstained, and gritted his teeth. "What am I supposed to say to that, you idiot?" he whispered, his voice cracking.
And then, suddenly, like magic, a strong gust of wind blew through the cemetary, flipping the pages of the notebook until it stopped on the final page, the taped sticky-note stating I love you staring right up at Francis. And despite everything that he had gone through for the past year, he found himself smiling down at the note, as the sun finally set and the stars opened up overhead.
This is choppy, not read through, and I have no clue what I was thinking. ;-; Review if you want.