A few months later, one evening after supper, Arthur was sat on the bed that he and Francis now shared, watching anxiously as the printer laboriously churned out page after page of text, the whirring sounding ominously like the chainsaw that had cut the trees for the ream of paper. He took a moment to lament the loss of a patch of rainforest; publishers should really accept electronic manuscripts, not just paper ones…
The printer then fell quiet, and a quick glance at his laptop confirmed that all the pages had been successfully printed on double sided paper – he wasn't so wasteful to only use one side. He gathered the ream, making sure the pages were in the correct order.
His labours were complete. His latest novel was completed, proofread, and printed. All he had to do was take it to the publisher. He'd do that tomorrow though; all he wanted to do right now was relax with Francis. Of course… Francis.
Arthur descended the staircase, manuscript in hand. From his place on the sofa, Francis smiled warmly at Arthur. "What's that?" He asked, nodding his head towards the manuscript.
"My novel," Arthur answered quietly, holding it out to him. "I want you to read it before anyone else does." His boyfriend, as Arthur had come to think of him as, gazed at the thick pile of paper in awe, before taking it gently, as if it were something to be treasured; an ancient tome rather than a freshly printed romance.
"Thank you," he said sincerely as his eyes locked with the first page.
It took only a few days for Francis to complete the book, and it would have taken even less time if he didn't have to work. Once he had read the final line of the final page, he turned the manuscript so that the title page was facing upwards, and he stared at it for a short while, as he always did once he had read one of Arthur's books. Arthur didn't know, nor would he ever know, that Francis was staring at the author's name.
"It is your greatest work yet," he declared. "Beautiful, heart warming, tear jerking… Everything a good story should be, non?" Arthur blushed, looking down at his slippers.
"D-don't speak French while you review my books," he mumbled sheepishly, only causing Francis to develop a wolfish smirk on his face, and place the manuscript down.
"Mais, mon ami," he purred into Arthur's ear, pulling the spluttering Brit onto his lap. "You know you love it… Et, I know you love it, cher." His smile grew as Arthur squirmed, despising the fact that Francis knew he was a secret Francophile. "This book, it was written about us, non?" Arthur glared at him.
"Of course not! Why would it be?" The blush that Francis loved so much was powdering his cheeks lightly, and said Frenchman nuzzled into his neck.
"The story is about a young woman, still in love with her ex-boyfriend, when her friend introduces her to someone he knows who is perfect for her, but he has one tiny flaw. Oui?" Arthur closed his eyes at the emphasised French. "She likes him, a little, and he likes her a lot. She hides her feelings, but they flourish and bloom. Mais, just as her friend gathers the courage to ask her to be his, her old love returns, asking for her to run away with him. She refuses, but her new found love thinks he has lost her." Francis' voice had gotten quieter, his tone more serious. "He prepares to leave, but before he can, she confesses her love to him. Overjoyed, they stay together, and he asks her to be his girlfriend the next day. It sounds familiar, non?" He purred softly, nuzzling Arthur's neck as his arms laced around his waist.
Arthur nodded slowly.
"Fine… It's about us," he admitted, hiding his blush in Francis' shoulder.
"I am glad," Francis smiled. "Glad you included me in one of your beautiful works of art."
They sat together, holding each other like that for a while before Arthur rose his head, biting his lip.
"I've been thinking about something… About us," he murmured. "You cannot age…"
"Correct," Francis replied softly. He knew where this was going…
"I'm twenty-five, and I'm not getting younger." Through thick lashes his green eyes peered up to meet Francis' blue ones. "What will happen when you are still young and beautiful, and I am old? And then, when I am, well… dead?" They were both silent. The thought of life without Arthur was too much to bear…
"Typically, once the owner has no further use for the android, our memory will be wiped, and we'll be remade to fit someone else. Recycled." Arthur gazed into his eyes, tucking a lock of golden blond hair behind his ear.
"Will that happen to you?" He asked.
"Oui. There is a glitch in the programming, however, and it is possible to back up our memories. I've exploited the glitch already, so I'll never forget the time I've spent with you."
"That's… I…" Arthur stammered, not finding the words to express how wonderful Francis made him feel. "Then, what about when I am old, and I've lost the supposed beauty you're always harping on about?" Francis chuckled, pulling Arthur closer, if that was at all possible.
"Cher. You will always be the most beautiful thing in this world to me. No-one could ever match you, no matter what happens, I will always love and cherish you." Smiling sheepishly, Arthur hugged Francis tightly, closing his eyes when his embrace was returned.
"I love you, Francis."
"I love you too, Arthur… It is such a shame about your cooking."
((A/N: okay, now it's finished! So many of you were asking for an epilogue, so here it is. There will be no more chapters for this story, but if you liked it, keep an eye out for my next fic, which is part of the same series as this one, but follows Prussia, Austria and Hungary's story. Thanks to everyone who read this, and I hope the epilogue was up to standard 3))