...Hi? Long time...no see... -laughs awkwardly and hopes no one bricks her- Real life and exams and school caught up to me and they brought writer's block. But, now I'm back and I bring UkCan! -hides from USCan lovers-
Anyways, since this author's note might be long, feel free to jump ahead to the story.
Anyhoo, I'm still suffering with writer's block. Its not that I don't like USCan, its just that I can't think of anything to write. :I Also, some of you may know that I was creeping on tumblr for a while. Now for some shameless pimping~ For any UkCan lovers, there's a tumblr (fuckyeahukcan) run by an awesome individual that has fan art and links to fanfics and other cool things. So, go check it out. You might even find my nonsense on it and then good writing too!
Or if you like my ramblings, let me now say that this story was inspired by the story The Time Machine by HG Wells. I love that story and I borrowed (read: bastardized) the concept and wrote this. I'm sorry HG Wells. ...Not really, but I had fun writing this. And it pulled me back into full writing. Yay? Yay. And thanks to the lovely Stella Solaris who read over parts of this and listened to my inane ramblings about it. ILU~
Also...I missed you all. I couldn't stay away forever.
Warnings: AU, bastardizing a wonderful work of literature, OOCness, language, sexual situations, weirdness, other stuff
Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia or The Time Machine or HG Wells. I do, however, wish I had a time machine.
"I never expected it to work." Arthur said quietly, graying temples and solemn eyes, pipe hanging from his tired fingertips.
"Your devil's luck, no doubt." Francis responded, the barest of smirks on his lips. The blond leaned forward, aristocratic features sliding into indolent, faux politesse. "Tell me, Arthur, more of this wondrous world and your adventures in time."
Green eyes narrowing slightly, catching the loping derision in those words, and lips pursing curiously around the pipe, inhaling, dark smoke curling out from the corners of his mouth as he exhaled, tone unsurprised. "You don't believe me."
"I tend to err on the side of disbelief when in your company." Francis shrugged, demeanor casual. "Better than your blatant disdain."
"Perhaps if your ideas weren't mediocre at best. You are the laughing stock of Paris, are you not? Why else have you retreated to the English countryside? London is more your speed, anyways, Francis."
"Perhaps I missed your charm, your droll wit and massive eyebrows."
And Francis laughed, rich and full, and it was as though the two men were transported back to their university days, before their time together was torn, attempting to disprove each other's childish hypotheses, besting the other's athleticism and trying to become the leader of their ragtag group of headstrong, precocious boys with inquiring minds and too much money, gentlemen and lifelong rivals in the making.
And though each eventually split paths, Francis to the more applicable scientific methodologies and Arthur to the fantastical and improbable, neither could quite shake the schoolboy legacy of scrapped knees and bruised fists that set the cornerstones of their adult relationship.
To be honest, they were the best and worst of friends and because no one else would have them, they gravitated towards each other. Arthur was the only one who could judge Francis so harshly for his theories and personal indiscretions and Francis was the only one who could truly ridicule Arthur's dreams and storytelling but neither man had the heart to truly tear down one of the realest things either had come across.
"So, tell me, then." Francis tilted his head and gestured towards the other, mindful of Arthur's haggard demeanor and shadowed gaze. "How are things?"
"Charming." Arthur scowled, stubbornly remaining at the base of the tree, one hand pressed against the charred, gnarled wood as he glared up at Matthew. "Gentlemen do not climb trees."
Matthew, though camouflaged by the ruined leaves, was most likely rolling his eyes, if the tone of his subdued voice was any indication. "Gentlemen seem to do nothing if you are to be believed."
Arthur refrained from telling the other that only primitive and lesser beings and or children climbed trees.
"I bet you're just afraid of heights." The blond teased, suddenly dropping from the branches and onto the Englishman, who promptly sputtered furiously, his composure slipping rapidly as he attempted to untangle himself from the other.
Matthew laughed, melodious and low, from his perch straddling Arthur's side. He curled down, twisting until his face was peering into the disgruntled glower of the time traveler.
"You're not." Arthur sniffed, blocking out the wide violet eyes attempting to gain forgiveness. "And that was dangerous."
"I do it all the time." Matthew maintained. He smiled, soft and guileless, and Arthur sighed, reaching up to brush some curls that had fallen into the other's face. At his touch, Matthew's face brightened and he leaned down, pressing his cheek to Arthur's with affection.
It was, relatively simple, then, to ease Matthew onto his back, supporting the lithe blond by splaying two broad palms against his lower back. The blond, supine, sunlight caught in his wheat-colored hair and with an appealingly long, thin nose and soft jaw, was pliant and trusting under Arthur.
"This is getting rather sordid." Francis smirked, his azure eyes a shade darker.
"Shut up." Arthur snapped, bristling. "The year was, according to my calculations, 802,702, and it was a utopia. No more natural predators, no difficulties whatsoever, and a single, homogenous, sedentary society. Everyone shared everything. There was no concept of fear, of scarcity. We had evolved past our fight or flight impulse."
"Oh." Matthew whispered, spindly fingers coming up to stroke at the smooth skin at Arthur's jaw, fingertips traveling up and across the once-broken bridge of his nose, his cheekbone, connecting light freckles under a gentle touch.
Arthur, allowing the curiosity, contented himself by absentmindedly stroking the curve of the other's waist, thumb pressing against the bump of his hipbone under the thin fabric of the other's robe.
The sun was unbearably hot and distractingly close above them. Its rays, trickling through the burnt canopy of trees, was trapped in their hair and fragmenting off their bodies, brought lethargy in its shimmering hover.
Arthur, unused to the high temperatures of the time, was sweating, moisture beading at his temples, soaking his sandy hair, and pooling in his lower back and making his face red. It was his fault, however. He had decided to wear his suit after turning down the crude but cool clothes Matthew had offered him. Now his trousers were grass stained and his tailored striped suit was sodden and rolled to his elbows, his collar undone and kerchief lost.
Matthew, noticing his discomfort, frowned and reached for the rest of his buttons. "You can't even handle our winter."
Arthur made a disbelieving noise in the back of his throat. "This is winter?"
"We're transitioning into spring." The blond explained, brow furrowed as he struggled with Arthur's buttons, tugging at them uselessly. "What are these?"
"Buttons." Arthur said, pushing away Matthew's hands. "Stop that. We're outside and this is improper."
"What are you talking about?" The blond asked. "Its perfectly proper. It would be improper not to."
The Englishman stared at Matthew. "Beg pardon?"
Matthew rolled his eyes and sat up, grass crunching under him. And then, purposely, he leaned closer, wrapping one arm around Arthur's shoulders, his fingers pressing into the crook of his elbow.
But Arthur was caught off by the sensation of soft lips ghosting along his jaw and a lithe body molding to his. Matthew's hair brushed against his cheek and when Arthur turned his face, he could see the endless coil of time in Matthew's violet eyes.
Arthur had gotten silent so Francis took the liberty of helping himself to the man's liquor.
But the Englishman's gaze remained distant.
It is almost sundown when Arthur and Matthew stumble back to the compound. Matthew gives him a shy, albeit giddy, smile and Arthur returns it, inwardly a little breathless at the way the golden haired male moves, nymph-like and with long-legged grace, giggling at the way the shorter man grimaces at the feel of rough grass and rock between his toes. They slip past the huge stone doors just as the sun dips below the horizon and Arthur finds himself with an armful of Matthew who just shyly nuzzles against him, red mouth finding his own lips and placing chaste ministrations even as he entwines their fingers. He smells like sweat and feels real and familiar, unlike the strange, sepia buildings with their ancient, molding odors or the cloying sweetness of the fruit that is stored for the summer.
The compound is bustling and noisy and full of laughter.
Arthur pulls away, realization that they are being watching prickling at his sense of propriety, and Matthew huffs but leads him to the communal area for dinner.
Arthur sits at a table with Matthew and like other nights several others join them. One of which was Alfred.
"The constipated look on your face tells me you are not fond of this Alfred." Francis smiled lightly at the Englishman.
Arthur's expression darkened further and Francis was delighted to be proven correct.
"I don't understand." Matthew said quietly, violet eyes troubled as the Englishman paced the length of his room. The blond, a threadbare blanket wrapped around him at Arthur's order, was bemused. "Arthur—"
"No, of course you wouldn't!" Arthur spat out, whirling around on Matthew who remained infuriatingly placid. "You are a being so devolved, so ineffective, so pathetic that you wouldn't understand. You are a hedonist, a fool, and a whore."
Matthew seemed to be struggling with the words, eyes lowered as he worked out the meanings in his head. This served to only further infuriate the Englishman.
"You're being cruel." The blond finally accused, cheeks darkening.
"Oh thank God you have at least a modicum of intelligence. Better than the rest of your lot."
"Don't insult my people, Arthur." Matthew said coldly, sitting a little straighter.
"Most of your people can't even read." Arthur snapped. "It's a colony of imbeciles. How the human race could have fallen so far…its so humiliating."
"Why don't you tell me why you're being so harsh?" The blond's voice softened, soothed and Arthur steeled himself to keep the inflamed disgust roaring.
"Does fidelity mean nothing to you? Loyalty? Truth? Honesty?" Arthur ranted. "And to think I was fooled by that shy act."
"How have I fooled you?" Matthew interrupted, his soft voice deflected by Arthur's anger. His fingers tightened their grip on the blanket. He whispered something, indiscernible, head bowed.
"You were rutting with that moron. And you didn't even have the decency to find a room!" Arthur gave him a cold look, masking the hurt in his voice. His chest ached a little.
Matthew stared at him. "Do you mean Alfred?"
Arthur turned, eyes screwing shut, hating the way his mind dragged back the memories of the two blonds. Matthew and Alfred, intertwined, golden hair and golden bodies muted in the shadows, soft, airy gasps of pleasure. The sharpness of Matthew's neck bared and the lean muscle of Alfred's back all blurring together and warping until all Arthur could see were their bodies moving in tandem.
And Matthew's words weren't helping. "—It's how things are. I am his and he is mine and you are mine and I am yours. Arthur? Arthur, please. Anything else, should—"
"That is not how things are." Arthur gritted out, emerald eyes open now and hard. He looked back, hands clenched at his sides, face shadowed. "You are mine and only mine. I am yours and only yours."
"Immoral, self-serving, and bacchanalian. You'd fit right in." Arthur said snidely, discarding his ignored pipe next to him and shifting.
Francis mockingly tipped his drink towards his companion.
When Arthur had first catapulted himself to the distant future, he had nearly died. Suffering from vertigo, his stomach threatening to claw up his throat, his heart about to explode from his chest, and head light. He had fallen out of his machine, writhed on the ground and swore, blood dribbling out of his nose and smearing against the brown grass as he attempted to block out the burning, ever present sun.
The whirring of machinery and incessant clicking of the engine had him covering his ears and shuddering in pain.
Matthew had found him, clinging to sanity and ill, and had taken him to a nearby grove with a shallow pond—more a puddle—with murky water. The strange human with a fluid gait and soft hands had tended to him, wiping the dried blood of his face and rubbing his stomach, whispering to him in a strange tongue and cradling his head. Once Arthur had stopped shaking like a newborn colt, the blond had retrieved some of his fellow inhabitants who helped transport the stranger and his machine to their compound.
When Arthur had become accustomed to the newness of it all, he had thrown himself into learning more about this race, searching for the wonders that were promised with the arrival of the future.
Instead he found…Matthew's people.
Disappointing to be sure. English was spoken by a few, seen as a pastime for the more elitist members of society. Everything was disappointingly simple. Though the architecture was stunning and perhaps once even innovative, it was crumbling and the people lived like heathens. There was indolent, flighty, and, worst of all, uncurious.
But they were all startlingly beautiful with wide eyes and long lashes and soft hair and charm in excess.
But he could not get past how they were so bland. They ate when hungry, slept when tired, fucked when aroused, laughed when happy and barely gave the newcomer in their midst a second glance. Nothing more complex.
Even Matthew had gotten bored of him until Arthur sought him out and implanted himself into the blond's life. Granted, Matthew had few interests and was more amused by Arthur's antics—like the Englishman was puppy, the nerve!
But Arthur found himself returning. Again and again.
"Don't the laws of this universe dictate some sort of cause and effect?" Francis interrupted. "Are you not ruining our present in your wanton desire?"
"We're not quite Communists yet, are we?" Arthur retorted. "I specifically avoided the past and since our present is continuing straight—"
"How did you make this?" Matthew asked, crouching next to the machine and running his fingers across the smooth metal bindings and bronze bolts and welded edges.
"I soldered it myself with junk metal. I spend hours wiring it. With copper, bronze, zinc, and many other things that should not work together. With a core supply of electricity and painstaking calculations, I—" Arthur stopped talking, a frown tugging at his lips when Matthew, clearly not listening, began to touch the velvet cushion of the seat.
"This is nice." The blond said before the dull knobs and levers caught his attention and curious fingers drifted towards them. The numbers '802, 702' in bold black glared up at them and Matthew traced them with one fingertip. "And these numbers are special?"
"Yes. Very special." Arthur said, taking hold of Matthew's hand and pulling him close. "They tell me how to find you."
"Because numbers don't lie, pet."
"We must tell the Academy that an important discovery has been made."
"What are you blathering on about?"
"The infamous Arthur Kirkland has a heart."
"For all your frowning, you seem to enjoy visiting." Matthew said innocently, running his fingers through Arthur's scruffy hair.
"Its all for science."
"Ah, there's that word again." The blond smiled fondly. "Isn't there something here that you do like?"
"The fruit isn't bad. Especially that purple one that looks like an apple." Arthur said grudgingly and Matthew snorted. Arthur, then with a sly smile, leaned up and coaxed the blond into a kiss, his teeth snagging the other's lower lip and biting softly. Matthew moaned softly, parting his lips and allowing Arthur to deepen the kiss.
When Arthur finally pulled away, he was more than pleased to see the signs of heady arousal creeping across the other's skin. "I suppose…there are other reasons." He said quietly, one palm cradling the curve of Matthew's thigh and sliding upwards slowly.
Matthew looked down at his hand and then up at him, lashes lowered. "Me?" He asked, softly, breath catching just so.
Arthur bit back a sarcastic retort and, instead, murmured, "You."
"I suppose this partially explains your penchant for wearing dresses as a child."
"Go back to your swamp, frog."
"Where is he?" Arthur said breathlessly, grabbing Alfred and wrenching him down to meet his slightly manic gaze.
Alfred opened his mouth before sighing, bright blue eyes vaguely apologetic. "He didn't make it back before the doors closed."
The Englishman let the taller blond go, numbness spreading from his chest down to his toes. Alfred seemed to waver in place before striding away, leaving the time traveler to stare disbelievingly at the golden Sphinx in the distance, the air suddenly heavy and choking.
"Is this why it shouldn't be?" He wonders if the world always smelled like blood.
Arthur is silent now and Francis doesn't know what to say.
So he retires for the night, leaving the Englishman in the sitting room, the embers of the dying fire casting shadows on the walls.
But he prays, for the sake of the man, that it is all the workings of an overly imaginative intellect or, worse but still better than the worst, that it is the opium addiction that sent one of the most brilliant minds in the world out of university and spiraling downwards.
When he checks in the morning, Arthur is not there.
Francis pretends that he isn't worried.
"You're hardly my intellectual equal and I don't know if I can even trust you." Arthur said quietly.
"And you're a bully." Matthew said coldly, arms crossed as he glared at the Englishman who was sitting in his machine, poised to twist a bronze lever to send him hurtling back to the past.
"But I think you're the most beautiful thing I've known." Arthur responded, vaguely wistful and resigned, roughly pulling down the level, the machine sparking to life around him.
Matthew's face twisted in confusion. "What?"
"I said, you're the most—"
But Matthew was blurring away, his image and the landscape contorting and collapsing in on itself as Arthur felt himself be dragged further and further back, a kaleidoscope of color and noise engulfing him and the heat of the metal thrumming below him.
And Arthur is in his study, hunched over on his carpet, panting, his dress shirt damp with sweat and nails clawing into the rich fibers.
"So close…" He swore, pounding his fist down. "Damn it. Damn it all!"
And to his ear comes the tinny sound of his machine whirring, followed by a pop and shudder, the entire house becoming deathly silent as the very air seemed to be sucked out.
He wishes he could tell himself that it would only end in failure.
But, somehow, he doesn't think it would work.
Instead, he sits in his armchair, lights his pipe, tries to remember what day that French bastard was supposed to come in, and lets the drug seep in.
That's right. I'm back, bitches. -puts on sunglasses and swaggers out-