Author's Notes: Written for hetalia_kink, the prompt: "Turkey and France become allies while the rest of Europe treats it like a huge scandal. While that happens, Turkey and France are forced by their bosses to get friendlier with each other. They are both hesitant and reluctant at first. However, the longer their alliance lasts, the more fond they are of each other. I would like to see a sexual and romantic relationship if possible. Basically, I want a slowly growing relationship. Bonus. I would like it if they both considered each other as a kind of forbidden fruit. Maybe make it that since the other nations consider their alliance to be a scandal, make it kind of a "forbidden love" relationship. If you go in that direction, I wouldn't mind if the bosses liked the alliance but not necessarily a relationship. " History notes down the bottom.
All the Christian, European nations stand around in shock.
"You cannot have..." mutters England.
"I ally myself however it suits me," France answers smugly. "I don't see how this concerns you. We are hardly allies. In fact, I have few allies amongst you."
A whole host of yelling breaks out.
"Enough!" cries Austria, silencing the rest of Europe. "France, you cannot be serious about this. What nation is this? He worships false idols unashamedly; he defies the will of God like a game. He will drag you into hell with him, mark my words. This is sacrilege!"
France stands tall. "Well, I thank you for your concern over the state of my soul. But perhaps, if that leader of the Habsburg Empire and Holy Roman were not so vicious, I would not need to ally myself like this, hmm? We all do what we must to survive. So yes, I shall embrace my alliances. And likely, we will both see you on the battlefield."
He walks out, and Europe's vicious whispers continue behind him.
France understands the importance of this alliance, given the threats he faces nowadays. He is sorry to say he was almost desperate in his search for someone to stand with him against the Habsburgs, and he has found them. However, he is still rather... confused and intimidated by his ally, although he will not present that at the world at large. Still, he hardly understands this new nation.
However, his boss has made him spend time with the man, so sacrifices must be made.
The Empire is tall, strong, well-built. He is a handsome man, although he hides his face. He lends an air of heat and luxury to the surroundings, which seems to fit in with the land around them. France cannot help but be slightly admiring as well.
It doesn't make things any less awkward though.
Turkey sighs and raps on the table with his knuckles. "So," he says. "We're meant to be all buddy-buddy now, huh?"
France nods. "I believe that was the instruction, yes."
"...Hm," says Turkey, biting the inside of his lip. "We ain't talking much though, are we? I mean, no offense."
France laughs. "No. Well, maybe this alliance will just fall apart then. I hope not though; it's quite fun to see my fellow nations so panicked that I would ally with the filthy moor. And I am choosing that language for emphasis; you may not get angry with me."
Turkey snorts. "Like you don't mean it," he says. "That's the thing about you Christian nations. You believe in your religion, in that one guy so much... and the rest of us suffer for it. Great."
France shrugs. "I suppose. It's been awhile since things like that, Sadiq," he says. "And no nation will ever have a clean past. Especially not in matters of faith."
"Maybe," Turkey mumbles, and an awkward silence falls. France swallows. He was meant to befriend Turkey, and he thinks resurfacing memories of such things won't help. He looks for something to clear the air.
He finds nothing. It all becomes even more uncomfortable.
"I wonder when my boss will return..." he thinks aloud, and Turkey decides to join in the conversation.
"Might take awhile. My boss pretty much believes in this whole diplomacy thing being as long and brainfucking boring as possible. We could be here awhile."
France smiles. "Knowing my kings, actually, he's probably going to insist on having a portrait done."
"Oh yeah. Your portraits," says Turkey with a smirk. "Not really meant to have seen 'em, but whatever. Honestly, everyone just looks like they're banging in those."
France has to laugh. "I assure you, Sadiq, the state of the world would be a lot better if the kings of the world just would."
There, much better.
Sadiq chuckles. "Yeah," he says. "Come on, I haven't even offered you a drink yet. What kind of host am I?"
For all Europe degrades it, the Orient is quite startlingly beautiful if you look in the right places. France is starting to see the appeal it holds – the culture and beauty of it. Of course, the Ottoman Empire has poverty and pain too. Any nation does. But he is somewhat enthralled by what is not.
He and Turkey are not quite that close yet – at least, as not as close as their bosses like. However, they get along. Turkey smiles at him widely while they trade.
He has made a good choice.
Veneziano chooses to interrogate him about it. Poor child Veneziano, parroting the anger of the continent. "Ve, France? Why are you with the Ottoman Empire? He doesn't believe in god!"
Francis is tired of this question, but Veneziano is quite sweet about it. "He believes in God, Feliciano. Just not the same way we do." A scholar of his once tried to say Islam was but an offshoot of his religion, a heresy that could be reconciled, but France knows better than to try that.
"How would I know why he doesn't see what we do?"
"But why are you making him strong?" Feliciano whines, flailing his arms about. "You want the Turks to be powerful enough to hurt us all and make us all worship their scary not-god thing which will make the real God really mad at us?"
France sighs. This is getting less cute now. "Feli, I cannot deny – I wish to see the Turk all powerful and ready for war." On Veneziano's shocked gasp, Francis continues. "But not for himself – for he is an infidel and we are all Christians – but he will discourage that Emperor. He will make him weaker, and make him make major expenses. And he will be a constant presence to other governments who are opposed to such a formidable enemy."
"Ahh," says Feliciano, with a wide grin. "So, you're like... using him so you don't get your butt kicked?"
France frowns even though that is actually quite accurate (although he would rather not put it in those terms; he is not afraid). But he has a certain affection for his Eastern man; through the fighting and trade and all he has seen of the country.
"Perhaps," he eventually answers. "But perhaps their heresy does not make them as backwards as we think, non? I have been in his land. His camp. Life is as safe, large and easy as it is in Venice."
Venice seems confused. "But he's a Turk!" he insists, looking like he'll cry. "A barbarian!"
"Yet again, perhaps," says Francis, confusing his young companion. "But from what I saw... perhaps he turned the Turks Christians, and the Christians Turks."
Turkey finds himself called upon by France to help conquer Italy. He agrees to do it.
This doesn't work very well.
Turkey groans as he bandages a bruise. "That went well," he mutters.
Francis is pouting. "Sorry," he says.
Turkey rolls his eyes. "It's fine, idiot. C'mon, can we get ourselves bandaged up or something now?"
He offers his hand to France and the other man takes it without a word. "Thank you," he says as they help each other walk. "You really didn't have to do this."
"S'what an alliance is for, right? It was pretty fun 'til we lost, anyway."
Francis smiles as he slides an arm around Sadiq's shoulders. "Ah, you are a good presence, mon ami."
"Thanks," says Turkey, even though it's kinda condescending when he thinks about it. "And you're fucking heavy."
"You really love my stuff, huh?"
"Shut up," says Francis as he pours over a multitude of foreign texts; books of faith and god, of science and astronomy, of art and literature. He lies on a silken oriental rug. "I have as much culture as you; however, you have a great deal of knowledge that we both benefit from the sharing of. It is a sign, mon ami, not only of my respect for you but of my own strength as a nation that I embrace such Eastern wisdom so fully."
Turkey rolls his eyes before going to lie down next to France. "Geez, you and your ego."
"I see no point to false humility," says France. "I am perfectly aware I have an advanced culture, and only seek to advance it further."
"Yeah, I get it already," says Turkey. "I feel like such a girl like this though; lying on the floor and sharing our diaries."
France laughs. "Well, women do have such open, affectionate friendships. There are worse fates."
"This is just your way of making me allow you copy all my designs, huh?"
"Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, mon ami."
They are growing attached. France is a little uncertain of the wisdom of doing so, but he supposes, his alliance with Turkey has only really brought good so far so why not follow that through? Besides, being with Turkey has secured him against the ambitions of the Habsburgs; he has even managed to encroach on their advantage on New World Trade.
Still, sometimes he thinks of things. "Sadiq, mon cheri?"
They are sitting either side of a coffee table in one of the palaces of the Ottoman Empire. Sadiq looks at him weirdly. "Yeah, what is it?"
Francis smiles. "You wouldn't trade with other European powers without asking me first, right? You know... to make sure it was okay?"
"Well, yeah," says Sadiq. "Wouldn't wanna be knocking about silks and spice with anyone who'd piss you off. What's up with this? Since when did ya start getting clingy on me?"
"Looking after my interests is not 'clingy'," says Francis, trying not to blush. It takes more effort than it really should, for a diplomatic alliance. "I just... you are important to me. As a powerful ally and empire. I would like your promise that... you would not do such a thing."
He looks away, embarrassed. His request sounds so odd, and perhaps irrational. From what Francis sees in the corner of his eye, Sadiq is half-smiling at him.
Slowly, the other man rises from his seat and sits on the table in front of France, making him look back up. "Well, you've got it," he declares. "From now on, anyone wantin' to trade with the big rich eastern Ottoman Empire's gotta go through you. And that'll make you the biggest guy in your damn Europe or... somethin'. Whatever you want, I'm gonna give it."
"...Merci," whispers France, a little taken aback. He had not expected that. Sadiq chuckles, and gently tugs on his long silky hair. France is fairly certain he has missed a crucial detail in proceedings, and really that is unacceptable.
The is one more moment of pause. "Okay, fuck this," says Sadiq.
And then he leans down and kisses France, hard. Oh, thinks Francis as he feels the other man's dry, chapped lips against his own, yes, that was it. It suddenly all makes sense – his blushing like a schoolgirl, obsession with all things his ally could give him, need to keep the man his alone on some level (although really, with countries that's impossible). Tongue meets tongue and Francis tastes spice and stars and heat, and he clings to Sadiq's coats to pull himself in closer. Turkey simply has a hand wound through Francis's hair, holding them together.
When they part for air (which they technically do not need, as nations, but going without is hardly comfortable), France cannot held but aim a cheeky grin. "Ah, so is that how they conduct diplomacy in your part of the world? Because if so, then this is one Oriental tradition the west should embrace as soon as possible."
Turkey snorts. "Shut your face, pretentious European fucker."
Francis laughs at Turkey's way of endearment. And then they're kissing again, gripping onto one another.
"This can't have been what our bosses meant to happen..." mutters Turkey, and France chuckles.
"Well, they should have been more cautious when it comes to affairs of nations, in the more specific sense. They will simply have to adjust."
Turkey laughs and grabs him by the waist. "Can we move somewhere? You're hurting my neck like this."
"Lead the way."
He lets Sadiq pick him up and wrap his legs around Sadiq's waist (he will reassert his more masculine factors in this dynamic later), carrying him off to somewhere without the neck problem. They make love on silken sheets, and Francis finds it difficult not to just laugh joyously. So he does not bother.
The conversation with their bosses is a little uncomfortable.
"...Oh dear," says his king Charles when he sees Francis with his hands on Sadiq's thighs.
Francis isn't that concerned by it. Their touches are fairly innocent, all in all, but he kisses and fondles and holds so there can be no mistake of the amorous intentions. Turkey does not seem to mind. Perhaps it is a little arrogant, but – these men may rule the nations according to their rules, but Francis and Sadiq are the nations. What can these men possibly do to them?
The Turkish Sultan appears confused. "Um... is this allowed under your Christ? This... interaction between two men? Because..."
"No," Charles answers firmly and decisively. "It is not."
Francis sighs and pulls himself up and away from his lover. "And do you believe it is in your control?" he asks. "We are nations. Even if your human, religious law does not allow this, the rules are somewhat different for us. Besides, you were the ones pushing us to be close, were you not?"
"We didn't exactly mean..."
"Well then, you simply should have been more careful." He reaches across and takes Sadiq's hand. "To be honest, a lot more international diplomacy than you may like to think occurs this way."
Suddenly, he leans down and kisses Turkey fiercely – possessively – one again. He can feel his bosses gawping at him. "Do you mind?" he looks back to ask. "We were having a private moment before you two burst in."
Their bosses share a look. "...Very well," sighs King Charles.
"Just don't let anyone else find out, okay Sadiq? 'Cause anyone who's anyone would drop dead if they knew, and then I'd have to find a new class of anyone who's anyone and really, that'd just take too much time."
Sadiq laughs at that. "Gotcha, boss."
Their king and sultan start to walk out, murmuring commiserating statements about alcohol.
"Well, I guess that coulda gone worse."
Francis looks back down at Sadiq, and smiles. "Indeed."
A few decades pass. Things seem mostly good; they sorta get comfortable, trading and warring and all that stuff nations do (although it took a bit of grovelling that time they planned to invade the Moriscos together but he overslept and forgot to send in his fleet. Yeah, oops). But then things get kinda weird. Everyone's trying to control Europe, and maybe he and Francis sort of lose each other through all that. Maybe it's the bosses fault. He doesn't seem to like Sadiq much.
Turkey kind of thinks he sees Francis behind Austria at Saint-Gothard, or maybe helping out little Feliciano at Candia. It makes him feel a little sick.
But eventually, through all the confusion and wondering and everything, Francis arrives in his port again.
And jumps into his arms.
"Um?" answers Sadiq as Francis holds onto him tight, legs around his waist. He kisses along his neck, whispering "Je suis navré, je suis navré, je suis navré," again and again.
"...That means sorry, right?" Sadiq answers, because even if he knows Francis' language there's only so much he can do when the man is putting his entire weight on his back. "Um, ow."
"Oh, pardon," Francis says, letting himself down and clearly starting to pretend he wasn't just clinging like an oversized puppy. "It's just... I haven't seen you in quite awhile."
"...Yeah, pretty much."
Francis winces. "I owe you an apology," he says. "It's my bosses fault, really. He has a whole alliance with the Habsburgs... I mean, he's half-Habsburg; his mother's a Habsburg and he married a Habsburg, so such things happen."
Sadiq nods along. And decides not to ask about the whole 'half-Habsburg and married a Habsburg' when the Habsburgs are technically just one family, because bosses' families are always fucked like that.
"So, I'm gonna just forgive ya...?"
Francis bites his lip hesitantly. "I... That was what I was hoping for. My boss won't be happy if we can't renew the alliance; he has a whole plan... and I missed you," he adds the last bit with a hesitant smile, which isn't really something he does, hesitation, and maybe it's stupid but screw it.
"Yeah, that ain't a question," he says. "I forgive ya."
"...It sounded a lot like a question..."
"Because I was screwing with you," he says, and Francis rolls his eyes. "You're making this up to me, though," he smirks.
"Oh, of course."
"We're at war with the Ottoman Empire."
France hesitates and puts his pen down, but does not turn to face them. "I was aware?"
In the mirror, he sees Feliciano, Feliks, Toris and Roderich all look at one another (well, Feliks may be looking at his decorating choices). It's Austria who asks the question.
"Are you going to join us?"
This time, Francis does turn to face them. He pauses. "...And why would I do that?"
The League give each other aggravated sighs, and Veneziano looks at him with panic.
"Big brother France! We need you!" he cries, tears forming again. "This is a war! We're trying to look like Europe is united and stuff! Even Russia agrees with us! Russia! You've got to help out!"
"Well, given there are so many of you, I am a little lost as to why I would be so necessary," he says. "Although I'm flattered. But the Ottoman Empire is an old ally of mine, and I am not getting involved. I have said I'll stay neutral; leave me be."
"Oh yeah, allies," snorts Poland, looking annoyed. Lithuania squeezes his hand, as if in warning.
"What? Don't you think I should be honest with what I'm thinking?"
Lithuania looks like that's exactly what he thinks, but Francis ignores him. "No, honesty is always right. Tell me what you think."
"Okay, France, don't act like this is some kind of tactical idea, or, like a trade thing, or... basically anything to do with being an actual country," he says, and Francis cocks his head to the side. "Everyone knows you're just doing this because you're screwing him! And that's still, you know, as fucked up and creepy as it was over a century ago, and you are so fucking screwed up being with a... and, and now you're choosing him over your fellow European, Christian nations! And it's sort of like, wow, is his dick really that big that you're totally going to betray all your principles and screw over everyone who shares them with you for it?"
"Feliks," warns Lithuania again, and Francis looks away. Foolish arrogant child, he has no idea how this works...
"I see you have a rather strong opinion on my relationship with our dear Sadiq," he says, looking back to the mirror. He almost forgot, how the people he knows felt about all this. "However, you are wrong. I am not just screwing him, as you say. If it was nothing more than sex, why on Earth would we still be here after a century?"
Feliks pulls a face. "So... what? You're in love with him or something? Uh, ew."
"Feliks," insists Toris. "We are trying to win him over, remember?"
Francis sighs. "Indeed. It is faintly ironic that you condemn me so harshly for my relationship because Turkey is non-christian – your dear partner over there was pagan until you united, was he not?"
"Well, yeah, but I actually made him change that."
"Indeed. And do you think he's happier for that?"
Francis raises an eyebrow. "Well, I'm not sure he's ever said that."
"This is besides the point!" calls Austria, getting their attention (and making Lithuania look incredibly relieved). "It matters not whether Francis's relationship with Sadiq is nothing but debauchery, intense love and passion or a series of short notes – nor do the details of your union matter, Poland and Lithuania! What we came here to find out, was whether Francis will join our league and help, of not."
"Ve, big brother France!" cries Italy. "Feliks didn't mean to be so... mean! We really do need your help!"
Francis sighs. "Well, you do not have it," he says. Feliciano looks crushed. "I'm sorry. But I have an alliance and I am not breaking it. Goodbye."
Poland looks annoyed, Lithuania looks stressed, and Austria looks accepting. "Very well," he says. "Then we have no more business here. Just please, even if you will not fight on our side, do not attack us. Do that little, at least."
"I said I would remain neutral, did I not?" says France. "Now leave."
"You said you'd remain neutral."
England steps forward into his personal space, pushing him back towards the wall. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
Francis gives him a look. "And how exactly is this any of your business? You weren't fighting."
"Because what you did was wrong!" insists England, although he doesn't really explain how. "Bloody hell, you promised you'd stay neutral, and... why the hell are you on his side anyway?"
Francis sighed. "Alright, I lied," he says. "It wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last. And yes, I was meant to remain neutral, but... it's not as if I haven't been bothering Austria for quite awhile anyway. This surprises you that much?"
England glares at him. "You still haven't answered my question."
"You haven't really answered mine, but nevermind. Anyway, I have chosen the side of the Ottoman Empire because... I care for him. We have been allies for a long time. And yes, our relationship is hardly chaste. Judge as you will, Angleterre, but I don't really see the moral fault in sticking by someone I actually care for."
England narrows his eyes at him. "Really? That's your story? That you're some doomed moral victor, sacrificing yourself for love?" Francis is a little confused, and Arthur smirks. "Or maybe, really, it's just that he's always let you crawl all over him, so you get your oriental crap and a few new territories, and a way to justify the fact you've just got a grudge against Austria. Nothing to do with him."
Francis's insides start to froth with rage a little, and god he wants to swing forward and hit the man. "You know nothing about us. About me, and you never will. And I will not let you come championing the fights of others and telling me, someone who's never even liked you, the morality of my alliances. Just thank god we will never have to do such a thing, England, for I'm not sure if I could not destroy you."
Arthur snorts. "Hit a nerve?" he asks. "Listen to me, Francis. No-one's that happy about you screwing with what we all believe for this one country, and one day your darkie boyfriend will let you down, and maybe we'll all laugh as you try to save the soul of yourself and your country."
"Get out!" Francis snaps. "Take your self-righteousness and leave!"
"I will, I will." England is still smirking, in a way that makes France feel uncomfortably like he may have the emotional victory here. "But you truly are so much like him now, you realize? A Christian Turk. A Christian ravager of Christendom. I bet even your Turkey himself would be ashamed of you."
He thinks his empire is weakening – empires do that, he supposes. Turkey doesn't like it. But he loses stuff, and he's not really sure how to stop it. France only seems to care about him more the weaker he gets, which isn't really all that reassuring – France has admitted his people are embracing a new craze for Turkish things largely because the losses make them less intimidating; Turkey's not really sure how to interpret this with the actual nation. However, he trusts France and all that shit, so he expects everything's gonna be fine. As long as he makes his empire not fall apart and all that.
...Shit, Turkey doesn't know how to say this without seeming... "Uh, could you, like... send some guys of yours up here? I'm trying to modernise, train artillery troops, stuff like that... things haven't been going so great down here. Just would be good if you could help out, you know."
"Why of course," answers Francis quickly, scrambling up and planting a kiss on Sadiq's lips. "Whatever you need, mon cheri."
Well, that was easier than he expected it to be, and before he realizes Francis is pushing him onto his back on the bed. "Thanks," he mutters as the kisses start to get rough and messy. "That's the thing about you, you know... always been there... almost like, things don't change... whatever."
Francis pulls back, looking worried. "Things don't change?"
The look on his face is weird, and Sadiq's a little confused. "Um, you okay? Do we have to stop making out now?"
"I..." Francis is hesitating, and this is kind of scary. "If just felt... recently... like I'm on the brink of something. I don't know what. The people are unhappy, and..."
"Huh." Sadiq frowns and pushes himself up on his elbows. "So, is this a good or bad something?"
"I don't know, it hasn't happened yet," says Francis, which – yeah, he has a point. "Perhaps it is unavoidable. Perhaps this is what the people do... they overthrow the order. Perhaps no order can truly be good enough, so we change them again and again... and pretend we think we can get it right."
"...You sound like one of your philosophers," says Sadiq, trying to lighten the mood.
Francis smiles again, thank god. "Oh? Well, is that not just another part of me that earns your affection?" he leans down into Turkey's face again. "Or did you only want me for my body?"
Sadiq chuckles as Francis pushes him down flat again; as the tongues mingle and merge, and the two of them just get on with it (Turkey's never really been one for patience in bed). And he lets Francis distract himself through him, because really what good would making him think about it do?
Maybe they shouldn't all be as surprised by the revolution as they are. But whatever, what happened, happened. Turkey's boss is thrilled. Europe's going crazy and he wants to take advantage of it all to like, modernize and shit. Turkey's not so sure he feels great about taking advantage of what's going on with France, but really he's gonna be asking for the guy's help and it all pretty much seems above board.
Still, it's a bit of a shock when he finally sees Francis.
"Holy... you okay?"
France looks blankly at him. "I suppose."
He doesn't look okay. He looks hurt; he's got new scars and looks like he hasn't eaten in a couple of days. Turkey doesn't know what to think. "D'you want something to eat? It looks like you ain't really doing that properly yourself now..."
And France laughs. "Mon cheri, I haven't eaten properly for years," he says. "And yes, food would be nice but... please don't get up and about right away."
Turkey gets it. France doesn't want to be left alone. So he doesn't. "...Everyone's scared of you, you know." That was kind of tactless. "Just, all your new ideas... overthrowing the monarchy? Yeah... No-one's sure what's gonna happen, like, in the world next... so they're scared of you. Uh. I shouldn't be saying all this, should I?"
"Reassure them they're not alone," says Francis. "I also don't know what's going to happen. And I am also scared."
Turkey reaches forward and covers France's hand with his. "It's going to be okay, y'know?" he says. "Things change, that's what happens. You'll get through this, and... we'll probably still be there, past the new millenium; France and Turkey, great powers of the age. Okay?"
Francis smiles at him. "That's adorable."
"Don't patronize me."
France chuckles. "I suppose we are meant to believe in ourselves, then? I mean... we're nations; if we didn't, how would we get anything done?"
"Well, usually by violence, but I get your point," says Turkey, earning another chuckle – one that sounds more honest now. "Really, my boss is telling me we have a whole bunch of stuff to do with everything's that's going on with ya... But I don't wanna do that just yet. You know, while you're still all..."
"Conflicted," Francis finishes for him, which seems kind of understated. "Thank you. But I do understand... the balance of power and all that. You do what you must for your country."
Sadiq sighs. "Shit man, I don't know what to say about this."
"You don't really have to say anything," says France. He squirms uncomfortably in his spot. "Could you – I am certain you will mock me for my lack of masculinity, but could you just... hold me?"
Turkey looks down at his old ally, thin and shivering. He wraps an arm around Francis's shoulders, and pulls him into his chest. "'Course," he says as the other man's head winds up buried beneath his. "Whatever ya need, man."
Napoleon takes over. France, and then it almost seems like he's trying to take over the fucking world. It's freaking Turkey out – the French Empire or whatever he's calling himself now keeps winding up with shit in the Mediterranean, and Turkey doesn't own all that but still, it freaks him out. Because France it getting way too close to what he does own, but it's France, so this shouldn't be a problem? They... care for one another; wouldn't betray each other.
Except Sadiq hasn't seen Francis in months.
Francis has Egypt's arms held behind his back, pinning the boy close to him. Turkey just stares in... well, disbelief, really.
"France... what the fuck are you doing?"
Francis looks down at the boy he's capturing, emotionless. Egypt also looks pretty emotionless, but he's always like that. Turkey waits for France to say something.
"You have seen my actions lately, mon ami. This cannot be that surprising. I capture territory for the good of my empire; you must know that."
Mon ami. Turkey doesn't get all the nuances of France's language or anything, but he's pretty sure that means he's gone down France's mind. "Yeah, but... it's me. How long have we been allies? Fucking... why are you doing this? Did I... screw something up? Just... what?"
"Do not blame yourself," says Francis a little too quickly. He looks away before that blank face is back, and Turkey feels a little sick – like this is more than just the guy he cared about more than anything betraying him for no real reason. "This is just what happens."
"Not with us."
"Dear lord you are naive!" France cries out, finally showing some kind of emotion. It relieves the sickening pit of it Sadiq's got brewing inside him, just a little. "Yes, we were... special." He hesitates for a moment. "But any alliance is just an alliance, and it must be changed if that is the will... the need of the people says. I'm sorry."
"Don't do that," he says, balling his fists. "Don't tell me you're sorry – if you're gonna invade, act like a fucking invader! And don't act like you don't get how I feel right now, you – you fucking traitor, I... you know. 'Course you know."
"You loved me?" Francis says sadly. Sadiq winces – they never quite said those words exactly, but then again, never really needed to. Of course he did. "I loved you too, you know. But I'm simply doing what I have to."
"What did I just say?" says Turkey, because really, he can't deal with Francis looking so... normal for much longer. Egypt, for his part, still looks blank. If he was talking this might feel less like girly break-up fighting (which it is, but it's caused by what their countries are doing so it's not so bad).
"I understand you're angry," says Francis. "Of course you are. But I am still me... I will take care of him, don't worry. I still respect all you stand for – that religion everyone told me made you a heathen, someone I could never ally with? I will not tear apart the lives of your people, don't worry. I may be an invader... but I am more than that. To be honest, I feel I act more in your interest than the beys you had in power did, non?"
Turkey shakes his head. "Okay, that's – not your call to make, and probably not even true; you just said you were doing this for your country, jackass."
"Well, yes, but the Egyptian people aren't going to be very happy if we just say that," says France.
"You son of a bitch."
"Indeed. Sadiq, I'm sorry. But that is international relations; it's all a lie and a scam, even when the liars and scammers want nothing more than to be honest. And sometimes things just... change."
"Don't act like this is over," he says. "The Egypt thing. You can't just invade my territory and expect my fucking empire not to act. He's not yours, and I'll fight for that."
Francis sighs. "Very well then." He pulls the boy closer to him. "Then I shall see you on the battlefield."
Sadiq forces himself to give a menacing smirk as Francis kidnaps his boy, for now. "See ya, mon cheri."
"Well, are you happy?"
His boss gives him a look. "Well, we have not exactly secured it yet, so it could be better – but I'm alright with what's happened so far, and – are you okay?"
Francis looks away. It doesn't matter, and he shouldn't talk about it. "It – it's nothing. Nevermind."
"Doesn't sound like nothing," says Napoleon, standing up and putting a hand on his shoulder. "Francis? I do all this for the good of my country, you know – that would work a lot better if my country would be honest with me. What's wrong?"
Francis sighs. "It might sound stupid," he says. "Just... what we did to day... I had to alienate someone I have been close to for a long time."
His boss nods. "Oh yes. The alliance with the Ottoman Empire. That's quite a long-lasting thing..." he appears to be thinking about this, threading his fingers through each other. "But I suppose you must all know the way this works? The countries all are going to make their alliances the way that suits them – why would you act not in your own interest? This is just what is to be expected."
Francis winces. "It doesn't always work like that," he says. "It's... complicated, and I don't fully understand it myself. But... yes, our actions are largely dictated by those of the people, and bosses, and all that runs a country, really. That does not mean we do not form our own attachments, like people do. Sadiq was... someone I was very close to. More than most allies. I'm sorry, it just... hurts."
Napoleon looks at him oddly. "So you feel guilty that you betrayed your friend?" Francis nods along – he's not sure if he should tell the truth about his and Turkey's relationship, but really, he's not sure what good it would do. "I see. That is sad, I suppose. But, in the end... what I say still applies. Francis, your loyalty is and must be, first and foremost, to yourself – and therefore to us all. We are going to achieve this. The French Empire will make the world bow to its will." Francis frowns, but Napoleon continues. "And, really... all we have been through. What we have fought ourselves for. Is it not time we rule?"
Francis sighs. He is tired, and simply wants what is best for his country. "Indeed," he says.
Napoleon smiles. "Go. Rest for awhile. Take a bath, I'll have the cooks make you a meal... whatever you need. We all need you strong and healthy and happy."
France nods. "Well, that is for the best."
"England! Russia!" Sadiq can't quite believe he's doing this, but what do you know. "Come out, you bastards!"
They do. They both appear somewhat confused. "The Ottoman Empire," England announces him, even though they all know perfectly well who he is. "What do you want with us?"
Shit, he doesn't want to do this. "I... fuck it, I need your help."
The two other countries share an odd look. "Really?" asks England.
"Yes," Turkey grumbles. "I... France has invaded a territory of mine. Egypt. I want your help fighting him off. Look, I know you're both freaked out by what he's been doing lately, so why don't we cut the crap and kick his ass together, okay?"
"France?" England smirks. Fuck this; fuck their arrogant European... "Weren't you two allies? He seemed pretty dedicated to defending you whenever we talked. Oh dear."
"Shut your face, or I will slit your fucking throat."
"I thought you wanted our help?"
Sadiq crosses his arms over himself defensively. "I just want my fucking territory back, right? And you two have reason to want him not to get it. That's all." England nods, and Turkey looks up at Russia's shit-eating grin. "What the fuck are you smiling about?"
"Hmm?" asks Russia. "Oh, it's just... rather sad. That he would do such a thing to even the country he professed to love." Turkey looks away. Yeah, he doesn't need an oversized psycho from the north to explain that to him. "But I suppose it does me good, so I smile."
He wins. For what good it does him.
"Ah, you have defeated me," says France, smiling even though he is forced into the dirt, supporting himself on his elbows and pretty much at Turkey's mercy. "Congratulations."
"Shut up," snarls Sadiq, brandishing his bloodied sword in France's face (France keeps his composure incredibly well at that). "Get out of here."
France raises an eyebrow. "Are you sure you do not wish to take the spoils of your victory?"
"For fuck's sake, don't," Turkey snarls. "Don't act like nothing's changed. Just go."
The facade breaks. France frowns. "I wasn't," he says. "Just testing my luck, that's all."
"You don't have any anymore, at least not with me," Sadiq warns. "Now are you listening to me or what?"
France slowly pushes himself up, avoiding the sword. Turkey slowly draws it back, and for a bit they just stare at each other.
"No, seriously, scram."
"I will," France assures him, and why is Sadiq meant to trust him again? "Just... aren't you even going to say goodbye?"
"Bye," Turkey barks. "I don't want you here. I don't want a French presence in the Middle East."
Francis sighs sadly. "I see," he says. "I shall miss you."
"Then why'd you do it?" Turkey asks, voice betraying just how much this is screwing him up just a bit. "I still don't understand."
"Expansion of an empire is always beneficial; you are hardly unfamiliar with this sort of thing," France tells him. "You only acquired Egypt a little before we met, did you not?"
"Fuck off," says Turkey. "We were... special."
"Of course we were," Francis smiles sadly. "Until my country could no longer afford us to be."
"...Yeah, I still don't get it."
And then, Francis leans in close to him. "Want to hear a secret?" he asks. "Neither do I."
Francis is practically laughing as he pulls back, and Sadiq's still confused. "Then... why did you do it?"
France shrugs. "I believed in what I was told."
"We all need something to believe in, mon ami," he says. "And what you and I do... has always been different."
Francis isn't in the middle east, in the sense of invading anything – he's concentrating on countries closer to him. Sadiq doesn't really care (or at least he's trying not to), as long as Francis isn't taking anything of his. Yeah, they were allies for forever and a day, but clearly this is forever and two days.
France doesn't quite seem to get that.
"Francis," he says when he finds the man on his doorstep. "What are ya doing here?"
"I wanted to talk to you."
"...Okay. Well, you've said 'bout six words now, so see ya."
"Sadiq, don't be spiteful," says Francis, holding the door open when Turkey tries to slam it in his face.
"Why not? Have you been that great that really, I'd never even be able to think of being rude to ya unless it was something wrong with me?"
Francis sighs, and looks away sadly. "Sadiq, I understand I... hurt you. And I'm sorry."
Turkey shrugs. He won't let this bastard get to him. "Guess it's not that big a deal. Alliances are like that. You don't have to apologise."
"Are you even trying to fool me?" Francis asks. "There is no way on Earth you would want to hurt me this badly if it 'wasn't a big deal'."
Turkey's fucking sick of this. "Look, we were... us, and then you invaded my territory so we weren't, and that's that so can you fucking let it go?"
"No," says Francis. "I know what I did... I made a mistake; a horrible mistake and I lost you. I am very, very sorry."
"So what, you want me back?"
"That's the jist of it."
"Fuck you," Sadiq snaps. "I can't trust you – you wouldn't even be here if your boss hadn't let ya."
"Look, I figure, something like us? Doesn't work," he declares. "Trying these alliances like... like relationships or some shit. Meaning to actually care about each other... we all have to put our own interests first or whatever, right? So... thanks for teaching me, I guess." There's a pause. "I mean, I'm probably about to sign some kind of treaty with Russia..."
Francis gives him a shocked look, and Sadiq snorts.
"Just a military, official thing, don't worry. Not that it's any of your business."
"Still – Russia? You think you can trust him?"
"Fuck no," says Sadiq. "But I couldn't trust you either, so there's no real point to your argument, is there?"
Francis sighs. "I am not going to convince you any time soon, am I?"
"No," says Turkey. "So you might want to get back home and sleep soon, it's like three AM."
"Your times are later than mine. Besides, I thought doing it in the middle of the night, under the presence of the stars, would be romantic. I have a reputation to live up to, you see."
Sadiq can't help but smile a bit at his Francis, oh-so fucking obsessed with his amour or whatever, and – oh fuck. "Well, all you did was wake me up," he says.
"For now." Francis is smiling slightly again, and – what does he have to smile about? "But you cannot expect me to give up that easily, mon cheri. I know what nation I am, and I know all we have between us. I wholeheartedly apologise for what I did, and I understand your anger... but I know you shall forgive me, and I shall win you back."
France is still fighting everyone; Turkey knows he's at war with England, and he hates Russia. Turkey's allied with both of them, but it doesn't mean he likes 'em. Particularly Russia. Russia took his territory, and really he would love it back.
Turkey still gets intermittent messages from France; he knows France wants him, and the country wants his help. Turkey doesn't know what to do. From a political point of view... well, France is going from strength to strength. And his people don't like Russia having their territory either. France asks him for a lot of things. He wants the Turkish Straits open just to French warships (not a euphemism, thanks – though he probably means that too, actually), he wants Turkey to stop giving Russia the privileges he gets... he wants Turkey to go to war with Russia.
Turkey's not sure he'd mind doing all this.
Somehow, he finally recognises France's boss (with some grumbling). He won't let Russia through the straits without making an official request (and then he just doesn't let the guy in anyway). He's not sure why he's doing it, but France seems pleased.
It's a lot like falling back in.
To be honest, France doesn't know what he's doing. His boss is commanding him to do all sorts of things, make all sorts of alliances, and the Ottoman Empire just happens to be one of them. France wouldn't even expect it to last, with the way his boss acts. For now, selfish as it is, he doesn't care. He simply wants to feel that all again.
He misses his lover. It's not surprising.
Sadiq actually talks to him now, so he guesses he should be thankful. They wind up awkwardly sitting across from one another at Sadiq's table again.
"So," Turkey says, chewing the inside of his cheek. "What do you want?"
"You," Francis says. "I've hardly been subtle with that."
"Uh-huh," says Turkey, rapping his knuckles on the table. "And you want me to be at war with the same guys you are? The guys I allied with... to protect me from you?"
"You and I both know you hate them both – especially Russia," Francis tells him, which seems true. "Sadiq, I cannot ask your trust again... I do not deserve it. But they... they do not care what happens to you. Your alliance is just that – an alliance. It can be discarded on a whim."
"Like you discarded yours?"
"Not because I wanted to," France says. He expects Turkey to think he's lying – from the look on his face, he does, but France continues anyway. "That's the difference. No matter what I have done under command... I never actually wanted to hurt you Sadiq."
Sadiq nods along but looks away. "Well, that's sweet and everything. But it doesn't do me much good, whether or not you want to hurt me if I'm still getting hurt. And they haven't done that, so..."
"Sadiq!" Francis shouts in frustration, startling the man. "Are you blind? Do you think if Russia has a fleet of men stationed at Corfu, that's directed against me? You cannot trust someone who doesn't care anything about you at all... my sentiment may not have counted for much in the past, but it is something. Something that ties us together, beyond petty territory and resources. I have loved you for three hundred years, that does not just disappear." Francis hesitates, drawing a deep breath. "Even if what I have done has killed your love for me... I am still more than just an ally. I am France, your one true friend. Trust me."
They come back to silence after his speech, and Sadiq looks hopelessly, horribly confused. "Fuck man... you realise how much I've done... just because I can't get over you? Britain and Russia... fuck it, this is so screwed up."
"I know. That's Europe for you," France says.
"Pretentious European fucker."
Francis can't help but smile. "Indeed. But the fact of the matter is... you have no reason to trust your allies, and more reason to distrust them than anything. I simply want to be with you again."
Turkey shakes his head. "Fuck you; you know, if you'd just dumped my ass and it turned out you'd never cared at all, this would be a lot easier."
"After three centuries? I'm not that good an actor, mon cheri," Francis tells him. "Think of it this way – if you were human, what would you do?"
"If you were human, would you even bother asking?"
"If I were human, we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place."
Sadiq groans and buries his head in his hands. "Could ya just leave?"
Sadiq looks up at him again. "I don't know what to do, okay? I need to think about all this. So could you just... I don't know, give a little time?"
"But of course." Francis stands up and starts collecting his things. However, he hesitates. "Sadiq... do you still love me?"
"'Course," Sadiq answers much quicker than he expected. Oh. "Probably would have cut your guts out and made one of your la-de-da paintings with them by now if I didn't."
Francis smiles. "You and your shows of masculine bravado." He leans down, kisses Turkey on the forehead, and heads for the door.
He's somehow at war with Russia, and meant to be allies with him. Fucking Europe.
"Sadiq, if you would just honour our treaty, I would let go of all this," Russia tells him in that creepy way of his. "We're not meant to be fighting, da?"
"...Given how much you steal my land, I think we actually are."
"Don't act flippant!" England shouts, looking like his head is going to explode any second now. Which would be pretty funny. "You are abandoning your duties, what you agreed to do, because – because despite everything, you're still in the thrall of that poncey frog!"
"He is still in love with Francis?" asks Russia, creepy grin widening. "Oh. How stupid."
"Fuck you," says Turkey.
"Okay, I thought you were smarter than this, but this is how it works," says England. "It doesn't matter how you feel. You make alliances and you honour them; you don't pointlessly chase after your ex. So now, you're going to keep him out of your country. You're going to let Russia's ships back through the straits. You're going to cede those lands he's taken to him, and you'll surrender your naval fleet to me. And you will fight that Mr. Francis Bonnefoy to the death if that's what we need, alright?"
England cocks his head to the side. "Sorry."
"No. And shove it up your ass."
Turkey stands up, all for storming out. He knows this is fucked, but... he knows what he wants to do, so screw it.
"We had an al-iiii-ance," sing-songs Russia.
"Yeah, and I'm breaking it. Really couldn't give a shit about either of you. It's just an alliance."
"For France?" spits England. "You know, if you go to him, this means war."
Turkey shrugs before he leaves. "Okay. Might get some land back, then."
Francis isn't really expecting to be tackled and pinned against a wall just for opening the door.
"Um?" he says as he discerns Turkey's features, grinning like an animal.
"Fuck you," says Sadiq before he kisses him, wet and wild and Francis can't help but grin back. "I just put myself at war with Britain and Russia for you, you know."
France should probably be a little more worried about that than he is, but he can't find it in him to snap out of joy. "Really?" he says and he wraps his legs around Sadiq's waist, holding onto the other man for dear life. "That's very flattering."
"Yeah," says Sadiq, kissing him again and tearing open the first few buttons of his shirt. "I'm going to need your help though," he says.
"Of course. I owe you after all."
Sadiq nods along as he shuffles Francis higher up the wall. "Love you."
"Me too. Of course. Of course."
They make love, but it's not the same. There is hesitancy, and yet entirely too much urgency. It's amazing, of course, but it's also wrong.
Francis wracks his vast array of knowledge when it comes to such activities (it's vast), and quickly realises exactly what is going on. He was a little afraid of this, to be honest. After all the effort he put in to win Sadiq back... however, this time he accepts it. He must.
Still, he waits until he settles onto Sadiq's broad chest, fingers tangled with his until he brings it up. "This shan't happen again, shall it?"
He doesn't meet Turkey's eyes, and he feels the man's hand tightens against his. "Don't think so," he says. "How do you know?"
Francis smiles. "Ah, I am famous for my expertise in the various styles and manners of fornication, am I not? I know every way it is done, and every time... and that, mon cheri, was one last time."
"Yeah," says Sadiq, and he holds Francis tighter. "I do still love you, you know."
"I know. But with my betrayal, and with how the political landscape tends to throw us about... love isn't quite enough. Some people will wage a war for it – literally – and still not win."
"You still sound like one of your goddamn philosophers."
Francis smiles. "We'll still have the military alliance, of course," he says.
"As much as I can trust you."
Francis nods along. He thinks of his boss, who wants so many things for France and probably will use whoever he can to obtain them. Especially if that old 'specialness' is gone. "Indeed."
For now, they bask. Or possibly linger.
It doesn't happen again. Their military alliance fails, then wins, then France betrays him again and Turkey finds himself not that personally hurt by it anymore. That's just the way of the world.
He fights by France's side later, and fights against him. Sometimes he thinks of the way things used to be; almost three hundred years together. But only sometimes. It's far too easy to forget.
It almost seems like the whole thing never mattered. Francis was everything to him for way too long, and... in the end, it's one of those things that gets left out of the history books.
In the 16th century, France basically began interacting with the Ottoman Empire and the rest of Europe wasn't pleased. The alliance was referred to as "the impious alliance", and "this sacrilegious union of the lily and the crescent" (which I stole my name from).
One of the big reasons for the two countries to become allies was that they both hated the Hapsburgs (rulers of the Hapsburg Empire + the Holy Roman Empire, based in Austria).
Francis I explained his alliance to the Venetian ambassador... much like France does to Feliciano above. Antonio Rincon, the French ambassador to Turkey, was the one who said who awesome the Ottoman camp was.
Turkey and France tried to invade Italy together. It... didn't go so well. (I assume this is about where the strips where Spain has to rescue chibi!Romano from France, then Turkey are set.
The alliance led to orientalism becoming a big thing in French culture (TBH, this came more later, but I threw it in earlier as a matter of artistic license). Also, there was a good deal of trade between the two, getting France ion on the trade of Eastern supplies, and...
Leading to the capitulations of 1569, which basically meant any European state would have to trade through France if they wanted to trade with the Ottoman Empire. That seemed very commitment-y, so I made it the Relationship Upgrade.
Under King Louis XIV, the Franco-Ottoman alliance initially cooled, and French troops assisted the Venetians against the Turks at the Siege of Candia (1669), and the Austrians against the Turks at the Battle of Saint-Gothard (1664). One reason for this was because he was in a shifting alliance with the Habsburgs, who the Ottomans didn't like and who were in control of a lot of stuff. His mother was a Habsburg, and so was his wife, so it kind of makes sense. (Points if you tell where I stole the the "mother's Habsburg, half-Habsburg, married a Habsburg" thing from.) Things got good again.
In the Great Turkish War, the Holy League was a collection of powers (the Holy Roman Empire, Venice, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; Russia joined later) fighting Turkey. Louis XIV refused to join, adopting neutrality. In 1688, French troops attacked the Habsburg Empire, relieving pressure on the Ottomans. Europe wasn't happy. Someone in the British House of Commons called Louis XIV "The Most Christian Turk, the most Christian ravager of Christendom, the most Christian barbarian who had perpetrated on Christians outrages of which his infidel allies would have been ashamed" (which is why England's the one who yells at France about it).
Remember that Orientalism I mentioned before? It really showed up now.
The Ottoman Empire wanted to modernise, and the French sent about 300 artillery officers to help, and train artillery units and such.
The French Revolution left everyone freaking out, and France had some issues. It was really useful for the Ottoman Empire though; they established permanent embassies in many countries and turned to France for help running these things. They were still friends at this point.
With the advent of Napoleon I, he took territory close to the Ottoman Empire, making the Ottoman Empire rather unsettled. In 1798, he invaded Egypt, and Ottoman territory. He overthrew the Mamluk beys who were in charge, claiming they were saving the Ottomans from the Mamluks. He appealed to his country's long friendship with the Ottoman Empire when addressing the Egyptian people.
The Ottoman Empire turned to Britain and Russia for help reclaiming Egypt, and they did. French presence in the Middle East was vanquished. However, Russia had taken a good deal of territory from the Ottoman Empire at some point or another, so they weren't exactly BFF.
In 1803, France was fighting Britain and Russia again and tried very hard to convince the Ottoman Empire to fight Russia in the Balkans and join their anti-Russian coalition. It didn't work, and the Ottoman Empire signed a defensive treaty with Russia in 1805. France still didn't let up though, trying to win the Ottoman Empire to their side. Napoleon promised the Empire lost territories, and wrote the following letter: "Are you blind to your own interests - have you ceased to reign? (...) If Russia has an army of 15,000 men at Corfu, do you think that it is directed against me? Armed vessels have the habit of hastening to Constantinople. Your dynasty is about to descend into oblivion... Trust only your true friend, France." Which just seemed way too much like a "I'm sorry but what we had was real and your new boyfriend is only going to break your heart so take me back please," letter, so I cannibalised it."
In 1805/6, the Ottoman Empire didn't ratify/renew its treaties with Russia and Britain. He recognised Napoleon as Emperor of France. He also said Russian warships could only pass through the Turkish Straits after a formal request, a de facto closing of the waterway. Russia and Britain weren't very happy. Tsar Alexander I issued a warning telling Selim III to fulfill his treaty obligations with Russia, and renew his treaty with Britain. He also had a freaking army prepared. Britain backed him up, demanding the Ottoman Empire let the Russian ships through again. Selim said no. Russia occupied the Danubian principalities. Britain demanded the Ottoman Empire expel Napoleon's envoy, cede the Danubian principalities to Russia, surrender the Ottoman fleet and the fleets on the Dardanelles to Britain, and declare war on France. The Ottoman Empire said no, triggering the Anglo-Turkish and Russo-Turkish wars. They formed a military alliance with France again.
The military alliance kind of fell through though. The Ottoman Empire didn't get what they were promised out of the peace negotiations, then France reached out to Russia and kind of abandoned the Ottoman Empire, driving them back to Britain, and basically the whole thing became a confusing yet hilarious musical chairs alliance system. Look it up yourself; it's something out of a soap opera.