Just some spur of the moment angst. I of course do not own Hetalia, France, or the historical figure Joan of Arc. I also do not own the image used on this story. I just figured it'd be a good cover. All credit goes to the respective owners.
The ticking of the clock provided the only sound in the room. It carried on its mechanical symphony, torturing his mind as it grew closer to midnight. One second after, and it would be that dreaded day…
The empty bottle in his hand slowly slid from his fingers, landing on the floor as it spilled its remaining crimson contents out onto the floor. No amount of wine would stifle the pain this time…To be honest he didn't think anything in the world could remove the sharp stabbing in his chest he constantly carried with him. But when this day came around, it was as though someone rubbed salt directly into the wound…
The worst of it all was that he knew he deserved it.
Pushing himself off the side of the lush bed, he made his way towards his wardrobe. His usually confident stride had faded, his feet merely picking up before dropping lifelessly back to the floor once more. No charming smirk or pleased smile painted his features now. His entire visage was blank.
Just as it was every year.
He pulled the door of the oak wardrobe open with a slow, uninterested gait. However, once the door was open and a small oak box near the back caught his attention, he tore through the clothes hanging above, azure eyes brimming with emotions that did not reflect on his features. Finally, after removing the clothing that blocked the way, he gingerly picked the box up. Brushing his hand over the carefully carved surface, removing the dust before he opened the lid. A rather old, lacey outfit peered out at him.
The white lace had yellowed somewhat with age, but other then that it was in decent condition. Tears or rips had been painstakingly sewed back together. For the first time the blank mask he'd assumed dropped, his lips curving down into a pained frown.
Slowly, with great care he removed the garments from their resting place in the oak box. He laid them on his bed, stepping back to look at them for a moment, before he began to remove his current clothes. Once they were discarded, he dressed carefully in the old yellowed outfit, careful not to rip the delicate fabric. Weathered lace gathered at his throat, and the cuffs seemed to far up. It was tight, but it served its purpose. He reached, gathering a black feathered hat into his hands.
"Il ne s'effacera jamais …"
The walk took awhile. It was about thirty minutes from his home. He'd stopped along the way, a box no doubt filled with rich chocolate and a single red rose tucked gently beneath his arm. He paid no attention to the looks he received from his citizens. His clothing compared to their modern styles…It was strange to say the least, but that was the last thing on his mind.
When he finally reached his destination the clock struck midnight with a mighty toll of a nearby church bell. It was as though the grave was welcoming him back.
"May thirtieth…" The Frenchman's voice was the only sound that penetrated the silence of the night. He slowly sank to his knees before the stone, his fingers tracing the letters.
"Jeanne…" He breathed out slowly, emotion finally finding him. His pain and anguish rained from his eyes in torrents down his face, but his eyes seemed to out of focus. He didn't even notice.
"Francis I don't understand why you always feel the need to do these things for me…" Her hands reached to gingerly probe the cloth that covered her eyes, but his own hands met with hers to gently pull them away.
"Non, no peeking mon amour~" His face was split into a wide smile. He glanced down to the small blanket he had laid out beneath them, gently guiding her to sit. A spread of different dishes sat before them, all home cooked and fresh. It wasn't as grand as his usual surprises to her, but she had requested simpler things…And whatever his Jeanne wanted, he would deliver.
"Can I look now?" Her voice sounded impatient, but it was only to cover the underlying excitement he detected. His smile grew softer as he gently reached up to remove the cloth from her eyes, only to pause a moment.
"Oui, in just a moment." He chuckled at her sigh, glancing back to where he had a box set back. Flipping the covering away, he retrieved a small chocolate from within. The box contained sweets of many differing flavors. He glanced up and smiled, gently holding the chocolate between his fingers. "Open your mouth."
The girl's brow raised from beneath the blindfold, but she obeyed, her lips parting. He placed the chocolate between them, and she gently chewed once it entered her mouth. "Now, what flavor is that?" She paused a moment, getting a better taste of the treat.
"It tastes like raspberry, coated in chocolate." Francis smiled as he reached once more into the box, retrieving another candy as he praised her for giving the correct answer. Once more, he placed the candy in her mouth, and once more, she guessed the flavor.
"One more, mon amour." He pulled out the chocolate from the box, though this time her waiting lips did not receive it. Instead, he bit delicately into the chocolate, savoring the taste for a moment before leaning forward. His lips brushed hers, and he could practically feel the shock coming off of her. Slowly, he pressed his lips to hers fully, though gently, as though testing. After a moment, her mouth moved against his. Her movements were delicate, unsure. So pure. And he found that's what he loved most about it.
Finally, he pulled back, the taste of the chocolate mixing with that taste that was indescribably Jeanne. Her hands reached up once they parted, removing the blind fold. Her eyes were wide, and her cheeks were painted a delicate shade of pink. The man smiled gently, leaning forward to tease her lips with just one more chocolate flavored kiss. "I think that was my favorite flavor…"
Slowly her lips turned up into a smile, and she seemed to radiate the purity that he had come to love about her. She gently rested her forehead against his, her eyes closing as she reached to twine her fingers in his blonde hair.
"Mine to…But I'm afraid I can't place the name." He heard the teasing in her voice, and smiled as he took her free hand to bring it gently to his lips.
"I think I'll call it 'Jamais le chocolat fondu'. Because I don't think the taste of your chocolate kisses will ever fade from my mind~" He leaned closer to the girl, his lips once again brushing against hers. "Just like I know my love never will…"
His fingers dug into the grass before the headstone. His head was bowed, eyes clenched shut as raw emotion took over. He bit at his lip as tears poured down his face, creating gems upon the grass beneath him. He stayed that way. For how long, he wasn't sure. But once his tears dried up, he slowly pushed himself back up.
His fingers gently plucked the stem of the rose up, twisting it between his fingers as he watched the bloom twirl. His eyes grew watery once more, but he forced back the tears as he gently laid the flower before the grave. Next his hand traveled into the box. The same exact style and make of the one he had gotten the girl so long ago…It had taken quite a while find a store that had it, but the creators of the confections had managed to stay in business and continue producing the sweets even since then…
Slowly, he brought a piece up to his lips. The same piece he had used to sweeten his kiss all the more before pressing his lips to her velvet ones. His teeth sunk in delicately, and he chewed, savoring the flavor. After a moment, he leaned forward, his lips resting against the cold stone. His forehead rested against it once he pulled away, and he gently placed his palm upon the lettering of her name.
"Mon amour ne s'effacera jamais…"
Il ne s'effacera jamais= It will never fade
Mon amour ne s'effacera jamais= My love will never fade