[A/N: I have so many bunnies for this series it's unbelievable. This is set after "Hamburger Sutorito II". Canada and France live together, and Canada is asexual and originally could not resist France because his food is just, well, irresistible. Good chefs get all the booty... ]

It was an exceedingly nice bed Canada lay in. Soft, cream colored sheets lay snug against a much too soft (in Canada's opinion) king-sized mattress. The headboard was of a dense, sugar maple hardwood and had a large, elegant rose carved into it. The rose was barely visible behind the mountain of pillows covering it, pillows hidden this week in hunter green and goldenrod pillow covers (France changed the bedroom color scheme so often that Canada sometimes wondered if there was a room hidden somewhere in the house, stacked full of bed linens and blankets, chic curtains, and of course tasteful pillow cases).

For once, Canada hated the subdued beauty of the bedroom. It was, after all, his prison now. For going on two weeks now, he had been glued into the bed, too nauseated to move. The one attempt out of it he had made, in an attempt to go out into the drive and into the car, to see a doctor, had ended rather badly. He'd staggered off the walls of the hallway into the kitchen, and then, in trying to tie his shoelaces, had barely managed to avoid puking all over them... by turning his head to the side and vomiting on France's pair of Berlutis instead. Canada was pretty sure Francis had been holding back tears as he left them lying, in a sad puddle of puke on the kitchen floor, to carry Canada back to the bed.

The cocksucking bed. Now Canada glared at the foot of it, cross. Pictures of it going up in flames danced in Canada's mind, interrupted only by France nudging the door open with a socked foot (he didn't seem to have the heart to wear any other shoes yet after losing his beloved pair). He came into the room bearing a silver tray. Canada watched him approach through bleary eyes. He looked so damn good it made Canada wish he could appreciate his looks fully. France's golden-blonde hair looked so much like his own, spilling onto beautiful shoulders concealed beneath a pale green herringbone dress shirt of pure Egyptian cotton. But the eyes that looked down at him so lovingly were a warm open blue, unlike the cool, reserved violet of Canada's own.

France sat very gently and slowly on the bed near Canada. He carefully lowered the tray over Canada, setting the little clawed feet over Canada's sides. Canada was not happy. Canada did not want to eat, not even France's cooking, for once. And France should have known better than to bring him anything, after what had happened with the peach sorbet from breakfast, and the berlutis.

"I called Dr. Thompson and..."

"And?" Canada.

"He will not come."

"Why not?" Canada asked, looking genuinely surprised.

France hesitated. He thought, but did not say, 'Oh, perhaps because the man is almost ninety years old, and probably should not be driving at all, although you do not seem to have noticed how quickly this human's time has passed.'

Canada had never been eager to notice the fleeting shortness of individual humans lives. Although what nation was? No one was happy to think often of their lonely state, surrounded by millions of people just as smart and charming and clever as they, healthy and beautiful and endearing, wicked or despicable. All gone in the blink of an eye while they carried on, because of some mysterious difference of which they knew not the cause. And the one-hundred or so others like them, would for the most part be all they would ever have of like-minded, like-situation companionship.

"It is the roads of course. They do not salt these little back roads." he explained instead. And it was true, at least partly. "You must have your government do something about it." he said chidingly.

France knew as well as any nation how little power they often had to push for even minor things, but it was an irritating fact to face up to. He instead preferred to operate under the likely vain hope that some other nations, at least, had more tractable heads of state.

"They're bad for the environment." Canada mumbled.

Francis pushed some of the curling locks of hair away from Canada's flushed face. It was probably wrong, but France loved the way Canada looked when he was feverish more than anything. The pink rosy blush to his cheeks, the heavy eyelids over glassy, glazed violet eyes, the exhausted panting when he tried to do more than lie still... it all made Canada appear more aroused than when they were having sex, unbelievably. The closest he came to looking like that usually was when Francis was feeding him dessert. Canada was so crazy about dessert, it made Francis wish he had been born a cake. Preferably a nice chocolate layer cake covered in almonds and doused lightly with crème de cacao... the kind which France had several times smeared all over his body to great effect.

It seemed truly bizarre to France that he had settled into the most satisfying relationship yet of his life with someone who did even care for sex in the slightest, and did not desire to possess his gorgeous body or be possessed by it.

All the same...poor Canada's body was looking so thin these days. France could appreciate a nice spare frame as much as any man, but Canada had never had much fat to spare anyway, and now with two weeks of eating nothing more than a few club crackers... France pushed the tray further down and began feeling along Canada's body, slipping one hand up his oversize t-shirt (Canada was actually wearing one of France's, which said, of course, "I Toronto") and running his fingers over his ribs, and then down into the draw-stringed waist of his dark-blue pajama pants to feel his hipbones.

Canada, did not, of course, take it unprotesting.

"Stop molesting me on my sickbed!"

Squirming and kicking, he slapped ineffectually at France's arms.

Finally, satisfied with his thorough going-over of Canada's physique, France drew back.

"I was not 'molesting' you, mon poulet. I was simply confirming what I already knew: that you are far, far too thin, become all skin and bones, fairly wasting away with hunger! Hunger for my delicious cooking. "

France dramatically whipped off the lid covering the tray, revealing a simple yet elegant bowl of barley soup. Two toasted, unbuttered pieces of wheat bread lay off to the side, as if casually, but Canada knew France, and he knew they'd been carefully arranged to appear that way. True random and careless was sloppy and ugly more often than not, something France would never allow in any food he created.

Canada stared at it, feeling absolutely zero desire to pick up that spoon and begin eating food that would likely not sit well and would wind up on some surface in the house. Probably either the bedspread or the carpet next to the bed, since this time as last he would most likely be too weak and dizzy to pull up the nearby trashcan in time.

France, noticing his lack of interest in his beautiful creation of art, pouted.

"What is wrong with it my dear?" He pondered. "Perhaps it is too plain, too unfattening. Would you like a little cheese on top perhaps?" he asked.

"Oh god no. You're going to make me barf."

"Non, Matthieu, you will not yet be sick again. After all, there is nothing in that belly of yours at the moment. That must be corrected."

"Seriously France, it's just going to come right back up again." Canada said, looking miserable.

France sighed. "I know, mon sucre d'orge. But you must try, because you really have lost too much weight. And you know that not always can the human doctors do anything to help us with our malaise. So please try."

Now Canada sighed, relenting. "Alright." he said relunctantly.

He reached his hand out to grasp the spoon but, before he could pick it up, France had deftly snatched it from the tray.

Canada groaned and fell back on the pillows.

"Surely it can not be such a trial to be fed from my hand? There are hundreds of ladies and dashing gentlemen that would crawl over coals to be awarded such a treat." France teased.

Canada covered his eyes with hands, twisted his face into a "Why me?" expression, and then sat back up, opening his eyes.

"Alright. I can put up with it, so long as you don't make airplane noises. Then I really would get out of this bed and beat you to death. Or at least sic Kuma on you." he said.

"Good!" France said, and began feeding Canada his barley soup. He leaned up against him and gently put the silver spoon against his full bottom lip, tilting it slightly to let the soup run down his tongue. They spent a good half-hour like that, with Canada looking so temptingly adorable that it was all France could do not to fling the tray off the bed and kiss him. He did not succumb to this passionate impulse as he would with other people, because he knew that Canada would not appreciate, not in the mood he was in, and also, France had no clue whether what he had was catching or not. So when all the barley soup was gone, France had to content himself with a soft, lingering kiss on Canada's sweaty forehead.

He then laid the tray down off to the side of the bed (cooking may have been his thing, but cleaning? Non, what a sad waste of his so valuable time and skills. Much better to simply invite America over while he was possessed of one of his strange neat-freak fits, and let him go to town). France then slid into bed next to Canada, turning on his side to watch him. Canada quickly drifted into a doze, but it was not yet midday and France was not in the least bit tired. Yet he was not bored. He watched Canada as he slumbered. He truly did resemble an angel. Lord, he hoped the time would never come when Canada did go to be with the angels. Canada was his angel, God could not have him. He had better get over this sickness. It was ridiculous how much France loved him.

For all his talk of the glories of l'amor he knew that he was not truly in adoration of it. Real love was terrifying. It reached in and grabbed your heart and would not let go its hold. It made you vulnerable, weak, totally at the power of someone else and their well-being. Perhaps a life of fleeting fancies and shallow, short love that served only to make time pass away, with the love itself fading soon after, would be preferable.

France had not, and would not, close himself off and away from that terrifying love. It would have been all too easy to say Canada was too much work, too much bother, not worth it when there were so many others out there who would be his with no strings attached, with him risking nothing. But France had been alone before, even when he was surrounded by people, surrounded by beautiful naked bodies against his own. Keeping yourself closed off, alone inside and safe, hurt. It hurt just as bad as adoring someone and losing them, only with keeping yourself 'safe', you gained nothing, only traded one kind of pain for another, and had not even memories of love to sustain you.

Content in his love, France finally dozed. He had been awake throughout the night keeping an eye on Canada, and now he slept many hours. And was not awakened. For Canada slept on soundly as well, barley soup safely digesting in his stomach, a bit sad that it would never get to lay on the nice bedspread, or explore the fine plush white carpet, because Canada was getting better.

Two Days Later.

"Oh mon petite Matthieu!" France called, walking into the living area where Canada was sprawled on the sofa (blue, wagon-wheeled pattern, ugly-disgusting, France hated it).

"What?" Canada asked, looking up at him from the enormous half-knitted red sweater he was making for Kumajirou.

"I have here your tab!" he exclaimed, waving about a sheet of stationary paper covered in his distinctive, cramped, elegant handwriting.

"My tab? What tab?"

"The tab! The talley of all the food you consumed during your little period of ill-health. It shows exactly how much I am owed." France thrust the paper in front of Canada's eyes.

He stared at it. It was difficult to read the tiny writing with it's huge letters at the start of each word.

"You... you were keeping record while I was sick?"

"I expect you to begin paying off your tab immediately now that you are better." France responded smugly.


France dove onto the couch and wasted no time ripping off Canada's shirt, not caring that the thin material tore. (It was hideous anyway, in France's humble opinion). Canada, terrifying temper flaring up, reacted quickly by grabbing his knitting needles once more.

Francis narrowly avoided taking one to the groin. Laughing, he licked Canada's nipple, leaving a line of saliva on the trail to the other one, which he never reached. Canada kicked him off the sofa first.

Yes, it was much better being married to a challenge.