A/N - Going back to school tomorrow, hence the writing-to-get-over-my-depression FrUK. Hope it's not too bad for the rush!
Also, if there are any thoughts on the ending, I'd really like to hear them. I suck at endings.
Sunlight filters through the curtains, illuminating the room in soft golden hues. Someone stirs amidst the tangle of limbs and sheets on the double bed.
Blue eyes blink open as France wakes.
Outside, he can hear the birds sing their welcome to the new day, and he makes to stand. It is then that his sleep-soaked thoughts finally catch up to his surroundings. He notices that this room is too messy, too lacking in that French je ne sais quoi that hovers around France's own elegant home.
And most importantly, he notices the presence of one Arthur Kirkland, gold flecked lashes brushing his cheekbones in sleep.
There is a moment where France just stares blankly, memories still caught under a web of alcoholic haze, before the thread unravels and he remembers.
For a moment, France can't think.
Then he tries to resign himself. He's always known this would happen someday. The only thing he can do is wait. And in the meantime, he's going to stay by England's side as long as possible. He's going to drink in as much of this happiness as he possibly can before it inevitably slips away forever.
They'd both been drunk.
France, who still isn't used to England's strong whisky, had been much further gone than the younger nation. Tongue loosened by alcohol, he'd said those words he'd kept locked away for centuries. And England had been so inebriated that he'd dragged France back to his apartment and…
France sighs wistfully at the memory. Beside him, England whispers something unintelligible in his sleep, and he returns to looking at the younger nation. Something inside him somersaults happily at the sight.
When he is sleeping, England displays a completely different side of himself, one that France is only able to catch rare glimpses of the rest of the time. The younger nation is lying on his side close to France, messy blond hair haloed by morning sun. His lips are parted slightly and his brow clear and untroubled.
For once, the younger nation looks content.
An alarm clock screeches, and France jumps, feeling unreasonably guiltily. He wishes he could have had longer before England woke.
But beside him, England only moans sleepily and pushes closer to France.
Heart hammering, France slowly stretches back. Just a few more inches…
There. He presses down on the alarm clock, and its raucous howl is cut off abruptly. For a few seconds he watches it warily, wondering whether it is truly silenced, then he turns back to England.
Sure enough, the other nation is still fast asleep, chest rising and falling in rhythmic time to his breathing.
Thank God England is such a heavy sleeper.
Cautiously, France reaches out, taking care not to move any more than he has to.
He rests one hand feather-lightly over England's heart, savouring the feel of its steady beat within his palm. A glance upward to confirm England is still asleep, then France splays his fingers over the warm skin, still mesmerized by that unending rhythm. Slowly, he trails his hand upwards, along England's breastbone, collarbone, jawline, to hover above his mouth, soft puffs of air brushing the tips of his fingers.
And then the corners of that mouth quirk upwards slightly, and France snaps his head up in horror to see a pair of dancing green eyes looking back at him.
France rips his hand back as if he's been scalded and tries to look blasé. "How are you feeling? Do you want me to make you something to eat?" He asks.
"Alright," England says nonchalantly. France sighs with relief (and maybe a twinge of sadness to see that it had meant so little to the other nation), and, for the second time that morning, he tries to stand up.
But before he can disentangle himself from the rumpled bedclothes, a hand has yanked him back, shoving him against the headboard. "Ouch!" France says, head cracking against the wood. "Angleterre -"
"Sorry," England says unrepentantly. He sits up in front of France, blocking his escape, and although they are the same height England seems to have kept the strength of his days as the powerful British Empire. There is a moment where England just looks at him steadily, silently, green eyes sharp as they examine him.
It is England who speaks first. "Last night, what you said…"
"I don't know what you're talking about," France says quickly. Feigning ignorance probably won't be enough to stop a determined England, but it's worth a shot.
England's green eyes turn serious. "Stop it, France, I know you know."
There really isn't any way round it. France nods stiffly, hoping that this won't change everything irreparably. Memories of himself teasing England race through his mind, driving home with horrible certainty the fact that the chance to mock France for being in love with his arch rival will definitely not be passed up.
England goes on. "Did you mean it? Because knowing you, I would have expected it to be some line you use when you're bored and, well, you know."
France tries not to look hurt.
"But when I woke up, and you were doing that," England waves his hands around vaguely, still looking at him earnestly. "It felt… Real."
France stares at England, takes in the almost-hope in his eyes, and freezes.
By the time coherent thought has decided to return, England is climbing off awkwardly, blushing and mumbling something about tea - and is that a flicker of disappointment?
France closes his eyes and hopes he isn't reading meanings into nothing. "It was. Real, I mean. And what I said - I meant it."
Then the bed dips slightly as England crawls in beside him, lying close to France and closing his eyes with an air of satisfaction. France waits patiently.
He soon realises England isn't planning on responding, but there's no way he's letting England off after what he has just had to admit to. He prods England pointedly. "Well?"
England rubs his eyes and scowls petulantly. "Well, what?"
"Stop it, England, I know you know." France smirks as England's scowl deepens at hearing his own words used against him.
"Fine," England says grumpily, hauling the sheets back over his head. "I love you. A little bit."
Pulling the sheets back reveals England's blush, and France laughs happily. "Only a little?"
England opens his mouth to reply, but his stomach grumbles loudly before he can respond. France stifles a grin. "I'll go make breakfast."
"No, it's fine. I'm not hungry."
France raises a skeptical eyebrow. "Mon cher, I'm not deaf. You're hungry."
"Yes but…" England tails off, reddening. "Fine, you're right."
Hearing England agree so quickly piques France's interest. "What were you going to say?"
"What makes you think I was going to say anything?"
France looks at him, unconvinced.
Eventually England gives in. "Stay in bed a little longer, 'cause we're…"
The rest of his sentence is much too mumbled for audibility, but France knows what England wants. He tugs England close, so that their noses are almost touching, and holds his waist loosely. "Happy now, mon amour?"
England nods and yawns sleepily, green eyes fluttering closed. France smiles fondly and kisses the top of his messy hair. Then he lets his own eyes slip shut and drowns in sweet sleep.
France spends the next few hours drifting in and out of consciousness.
And each time he wakes, he wakes to England in his arms.
Feel free to review :)