Title: like surprise ice on the water
Summary: love comes at dawn
Author's note: kink meme: relaxed morning fluff. Well, this pops my FrUk virginity. Here's hoping I didn't totally fail. England's still a little tense because they're very new, but he's not spazzing and trying to kill him.
Title (and summary) comes from "surprise ice" by the kings of convenience.
Arthur climbs down a set of unfamiliar stairs. He walks into a French kitchen with its frippery and designer nonsense. It's sleek blend of modern and past. He hears the faint sound of Francis singing in French, and for once, he can't blame it on the alcohol. He notes the song in question is an Edith Piaf song, but that's all he knows. He doesn't speak French, doesn't intend to even if Francis begs him and promises him a myriad of favors in return.
It'd give him too much satisfaction.
He seats himself at the table with its rich dark wood. Francis' hair is tied back and he's wearing an apron which if Arthur is correct, is the one with his flag on it. He's pretty sure he's had this sexual fantasy before, though this time he's not dreaming (and not that he'd ever admit having that particular one).
The morning light is soft and bright in his hair. It's like a suncatcher in gold, reflections of light across the ceiling. He's happy. It seems to effuse off him, this happiness. This just-got-shagged aura. But it's more than post-coital bliss and Arthur knows it. He breaks into a smile when he turns.
"Ah, you're up..." Francis says. He leans down to give Arthur a kiss.
"I wanted to give you a morning surprise, but I thought you might be a little too sore from last night. So I decided to cook you something delicious instead. I was going to surprise you with that in bed, but it seems you beat me to it.
Hot tea is laid before him. Arthur traces his finger across the rim.
"Ah, you're so quiet. Could it be the great Angleterre is struck dumb by me? Or perhaps all this time you were hiding a secret shyness?"
"I'm not shy," Arthur snaps. "The caffeine just hasn't set in yet."
Francis chuckles. "Surely, surely."
The truth is, he doesn't know what to say to Francis when they're not fighting. He knows there's been moments of camaraderie between them: black clothed spying whispers, the trimming sound of scissors, gold flecks and gold locks.
But he can't recall them this second because they were never like this. Francis Bonnefoy in his kitchen, making him post-fucking breakfast with bits of sunlight in his hair and a voice so tender that's making him weak in the knees.
(But no, the Francis voice in his head says. We did not fuck last night, Angleterre. We made love. )
Francis' back is turned, and he's still taunting. A strong line of flesh and spine, and Arthur wants to bite into it, into him. He growls in the back of his throat and downs his tea. It's done perfectly, just how he likes it and that makes it worse. The apron tied around Francis is just as bad. All he wants to do is untie it.
Francis is playing the role of the wife just to gall him. He's sure of it.
He can't even blame the alcohol this time. He was completely sober when he took Francis into his bed – or at least as sober as he ever gets. And despite it all, there is no concrete falling. Hundreds, no, thousands of years coming to a point which is at its apex, anticlimactic.. No battles, no one last stand. Just an acceptance of what has been slowly felled, and slowly changing between them all this time. There's a bite mark he left on Francis last night (because even when they're gentle, they're rough.) He wants to leave another. And another. Francis would probably approve of this, he'd probably just bloody love it if he left hickeys all over him before the next meetings.
"You know, I'm not incapable of kindness," Francis says, not turning around.
"What the–" Arthur sputters.
"'Do I read minds'? Oh no, cher. But I do read faces, and yours tells every little thought you are thinking. You've always been like that."
Francis lays down the finished breakfast before him. It smells delicious. Peppers and eggs, he feels a stab of jealousy. Francis has always liked to flaunt his cooking skills around.
"Open up, cher~"
"I can feed myself," Arthur snaps, but he takes the food Francis has held out for him. He bites down on the metal of the fork and pulls back his lips in something like a sneer, a growl.
Francis clicks his tongue. "What are you fighting, Angleterre?"
Arthur doesn't know. He's been fighting so long he barely remembers why sometimes. Then a slight will come up and it's hundreds of years of war again.
"Myself," he mutters.
"Now that, that is a battle you will never win."
Francis strokes his cheek. He can feel his knuckles and for the first time in a long time, it isn't a from a punch, or to make a fist. There's no raking of nails into his skin. In response, a slow, metered response, he reaches out and strokes Francis' hair. The tresses are like cornsilk in his fingers. Francis kisses his fingertips, his knuckles. There's a smugness to him, but not the usual kind. Reading between the lines it's less I have finally conquered you than I have finally caught you.
Arthur feels a twinge of anger, but he doesn't call Francis a frog, a bastard. Instead he clears his throat. "Thank you for the food," he says stiffly.
"Anytime, cher," Francis says.
And when Francis kisses him again, he doesn't draw back. He doesn't bite, or stiffen without the social lubrication of copious amounts of alcohol and inebriation between them. It's the first time they've woken up together and not been piss drunk and nursing a hangover together. He can taste wine on his lips. Leave it to Francis to already have had a drink this early in the morning. The old wine bastard. But that thought is almost affectionate, as is he when he traces down the nape of Francis' neck. Not to choke, to what – admire? No, nothing so drastic. Just to feel, that's all.
(you could almost get used to this, non? The Bonnefoy voice in his head says.)
Arthur looks out at the soft haze of mist rising and not at bloody Francis who's smiling as contented as a cat after a saucer of milk.
He takes a sip of his tea and feels almost peaceful. He can still taste the wine from kissing Francis on his lips.
It's a beginning.