Notes: Based on a kink meme prompt where nations are forbidden from having relationships. It's all about France. Pairings include: France/Germany, France/Spain, France/OC!Lebanon, France/Turkey (well sort of), and France/England. Also Germany/Italy, Spain/Romano, France/OC!Algeria (again sort of) and England/America.
He's always taken a delight in teasing Germany. Not often ‒ only when given cue to by the world around them, as Europe's Married Couple and all. Germany will always blush and yet, turn serious ‒ remind him of rules and regulations and all those things Germans love. Be careful Francis.Francis will only laugh innocently and inform him it was a joke.
Apart from that, though, they get along remarkably well. They are good business partners, and Germany seems relatively indulgent of France's... dramatic whims? He does acknowledge he isn't always easy to deal with, and he appreciates the good job of that Ludwig does. They balance one another out, as all good partnerships do; law and reason offset by love and emotion. He remembers how petrified he was of this boy, for so long, and it amuses him. He supposes he's glad to find such a good friend in a former enemy.
France wouldn't mind marrying him. He knows for a fact Ludwig looks very cute in an apron.
Italy often appears while they're discussing business, which can only be expected if he's the third largest economy within the EU. France is glad to see him ‒ when Italy bothers to face in his direction at all. More often that not he gets a quick hug and "Hi, big brother France!" before Italy is attaching himself to Germany's arm, blathering away, "Ooh, ooh Germany! I found a really good pizza place not far away can we go there can we can we except I have no money so you might have to pay for me, oops..."And Germany always resists but ends up talked into it, apologising to France for running out on him but he understands, doesn't he? And France will smile and wink and say "Anything for the course of true love."
And Germany will, again, blush and yet turn sour, warn him not to joke about such things, about what joking about it could do.
When they return, Italy is usually laying in Germany's arms, or slung over his shoulder or such, having underestimated the distance to the restaurant and become exhausted halfway through his journey. Now, France knows Italy fakes that for reasons easily speculated, but he is not the type to tattle. And Germany would not listen to him. But every single time Germany goes along with it, indulges Italy's whims, and that's slightly confusing, it's slightly... infuriating.
He's not jealous, per se. Simply disoriented. He doesn't understand why Germany and Italy should still be so close; not years after the war in which they were allied ended, and left them poisoned against one another. True, they have no reason to dislike one another now, but no reason to like one another either. He doesn't know what happened to cause this grand forgiveness. It is suspicious, oh so suspicious, and he does worry what will happen to them both if said suspicions are shared.
It would be less apparent if it were someone Germany, the nation, was closer to. The rules officially apply to all relationships, but they are tolerated in regards to those that follow from the political status quo. As long as the parties concerned remember: it can all change if some human politician says so, and they are always, always subservient to that.
So if Germany were to break his beloved rules, he could at least do so with someone who makes sense.
He and Spain fuck occasionally. That's also technically forbidden, but allowed as long as it means nothing. And for two persons so free in their sexual favours, no-one really worries about it.
Spain is a gorgeous man, all tanned skin and emerald eyes. France prides himself on appreciating the beauty in all people, but Spain is above and beyond. The wonderful thing about Spain though, is that France can sayall this ‒ that he is one of the most beautiful men he's ever met, that he's also kind and generous and full of warmth, that he makes France feel happy to be alive ‒ and Spain will just accept it with a smile and move on. A compliment between friends, nothing more.
Francis acknowledges he's flirting with danger. Well, he flirts with everyone else.
"Francis, have you seen my underwear? They're the ones with the little kittens on the waistband!" France smiles lazily before pointing Spain in the direction of under a set of drawers, shamelessly watching as that fabulous behind shakes on it's way there. He enjoys being lazy, sometimes. And Spain has turned it into a cultural phenomena.
"Aha, found them!" Spain grins and slips on his underwear easily. France sighs.
Spain laughs and places himself on the bed again. "Sorry about that. But I do have to get home again, I mean Romano said he'd be coming over and you know how he is when I'm not there to cook for him, so...!"
France ponders this. "You always come through for him, do you not?"
Spain blinks, confused. "Um... yes?"
Romano is in love with Spain. Everyone knows that, particularly little Romano himself, who has to scream hate and bile just to have a chance of following the rules. It's one of the most heartbreaking things France's ever seen, to see two people destined to be together kept apart because of who they are falling in love ‒ they are not even tolerated, because it is not Southern Italy who fell in love. It is Romano.
France smiles. "An admirable trait," he says. Perhaps, if Spain and Romano were simply two normal human beings together and happy, they'd be a little like this. At hotel rooms at ten in the morning, Spain up and at it and Romano too lazy to get out of bed. Spain would probably still be looking for his underwear and Romano'd probably be staring at the naked flesh, though he'd blush and deny it; France doesn't think everything Romano does is an act after all.
So France is living out Romano's little romance for him. Somehow he gets the feeling it wouldn't be appreciated.
So she's far away and a little unstable, but she's also something wonderful to him: a former colony who actually likes him. Lebanese women are stereotypically beautiful and he certainly sees it in her, although he's become so used to it by now he struggles to be exactly breathtaken. Nonetheless he cares for her deeply and vice versa, and he does enjoy speaking with people who care for him.
"I'll get you something to eat," she says. They're always cooking together, adding new touches to each other's recipes, discussing and debating until they have some remarkable culinary creations if he says so himself. He always feels so proud when he's with her, and he is not exactly a humble man at the best of times. Things are easy, with her. Despite all her struggles and hardships, she is the sort of woman who makes the world better by being in it. He adores people like that.
"Are you staying over?" she asks, smiling at him. "Can you afford to?"
"Oh, for a few days surely," he says. "It's been awhile since I saw my favourite part of the Middle East."
(Perhaps she's not that, not really. She was the girl he found and cared for and changed and who will always have a place in his heart. But there was the other one, who he needed and hated and would rather have killed than let her leave him. His two Arabic girls, and he's not sure which one means more.)
"So you'll be taking the couch as usual?" 'The couch' meaning 'sneaking into her bed at one in the morning.' They speak in innuendoes for the fun of it, not as any sort of code... he thinks.
So they make dinner and small talk and don't discuss politics; they're both awfully careful not to mention her sister, for their conversations never go to a good place once her sister is mentioned. He knows that their relationship breaks all the rules. To deal with one another unashamedly as people, to be so fond of one another, to express this fondness through sex even. Whenever he leaves this place he's slightly terrified. But they are two nations close together, they're stereotypically known for promiscuity; they can get away with it. He hopes.
When he comes into her bed, he strokes a hand through her hair, watch her body shift as she stirs and smiles. "Hello there," she says, rolling over to face him.
"Bonjour, mademoiselle." He presses a kiss to her hair before moving downwards, against her forehead, then to her nose and finally her lips. She's still smiling.
He's suddenly struck with horrible, destructive curiosity.
"Do you love me?"
He could almost slap himself for his own stupidity. She hesitates for a moment, but manages to handle it with grace.
"Let's not worry about the details."
That will do.
"What are you doing here?"
Turkey shrugs. "Free country, ain't it? Leave me alone."
France huffs and places himself down on a stool, not quite meeting the other man's eye. "Yes, I suppose it is. Unlike some others." Turkey rolls his eyes at that. "In any case, I came for a drink."
"Then go ahead. Just don't expect me to pay for ya," France scoffs. They sit together in awkward silence, and France potentially could get up and move away, but he chooses not to. Afterall it would only be more awkward, going to all that effort just to escape him.
Turkey taps his fingers on the table distractedly. France gives his order to the bartender then waits uncomfortably. "So, I assume you haven't discussed me at the EU meetings or anything?"
Francis snorts. "Sadik, we are in the middle of a financial crisis that could potentially tear apart the EU itself. We have more pressing concerns."
Sadik nods. "Right. How's Greece doing anyway? He won't talk to me."
France blinks. "In case you do not recall, you and he hate each other; he's more or less one of the major reasons you can't enter the EU anyway. Why do you care?"
Turkey shrugs. "Well I dunno. It's been awhile; I'm not too angry at him right now. And I still care about the brat. So spill; how ishe?"
Awful, and we are in fact probably not helping.Francis doesn't say that. "It's still none of your business. Greece is angry enough at everyone that I don't need to infuriate him further by discussing his life with you, of all people."
An easy save. "Right then," says Turkey. "...So what are the other reasons I can't get into the EU?"
Francis sighs. "You're not European, Sadik."
"Geography says Europe ain't even a thing." Okay, the man has a point there. "Try again, kid."
"I think I am older than you," grumbles France. "Very well then. Do you reflect the principles of democracy and freedom the EU is meant to embrace?"
"...Okay you sound like America, and um, yeah. Yes. Yes I do."
France snorts. "Funny. I thought freedom meant people can broadcast in their native language without being arrested, or discuss history honestly. It's surprising what you learn."
"I changed those rules," Turkey points out.
"To try and impress us. Sorry, but you don't get credit for that."
Turkey laughs. "Well ain't that convenient. If I don't change anything I'm just good old fashioned not good enough, but if I do I'm just doing it so I can join in so it doesn't really count. Nice system."
"There are boundaries, Turkey," France says. "It does not mean we don't respect you as a nation, or view you as an important international partner. But you are simply not part of Europe. You're not meant to be."
"According to you." France wishes this argument would just die already. "And admit it, you just don't like me."
"I have political and cultural reasons not to. That's hardly an accusation, Turkey."
Sadik laughs. "I'm not accusing you of shit, Francis," he says. He finally, finallyfalls silent ‒ but only for a moment. "Fuck. Hey, remember when we were friends?"
France remembers. Almost three hundred years they were, when Sadik had no-one else at least not in Europe, and he helped this man and took upon what he said, his fashions and styles that were genuinely beautiful, and all these things that were never as frightening as said. Until, of course, Napoleon wanted Egypt so he had to go, he hadto, but that was fine because all alliances end, ultimately.
"We weren't friends, Sadik," says France. "You were a useful ally against Austria, that is all."
"...Right." Turkey smiles to himself. "You never have cared 'bout anything but yourself, have ya?"
"You don't understand. I'm not supposed to."
There are people he has known since forever, who have changed and shaped him, without whom he cannot imagine his life. Alright, perhaps there is only one.
"Ah Angleterre, I have been looking for you," says France, taking a seat next to the other man. England rolls his eyes.
"I'm sure you could have found plenty of other people to harass," he grumbles, and Francis pouts.
"Perhaps cheri, but then I could not gaze upon your beautiful face!"
He laughs at Arthur's indignant glare. "What do you want, Frog? I have important business to conduct you know!"
I want many things, 'cheri.'Francis smiles. "Oh, I'm simply bored and want you to entertain me."
Arthur scoffs. "Funny, I thought when you were in search of entertainment a strip joint would be more your style."
"Be not so uncouth!" Then France grins and winks. "Unless that was an offer?"
"Get the hell off me!" England pushes him away, and Francis sighs.
"Ever the prude. Oh well, at least it as amusing."
England groans. "I'm never going to be free of you, am I?"
"You say that, but wouldn't you miss me if I was gone?"
He doesn't think that came out right. They're both left silent, staring at one another, England's gaze narrowed and frowning. France has to look away.
"What kind of question is that, Frog?"
Francis looks back. "Sweet England, I was only joking!" he says, grinning wildly again. "You're cute when you're gullible."
Arthur rolls his eyes again. "God you're a pest," he says.
"I love you too."
"Anyway, I have a meeting with America. Although the stupid boy is almost as annoying as you are..."
"Aha, indeed. The boy is so infuriating, and yet you come running at his beck and call?" England glares at him once more. Francis notices the slightest hints of a blush. "I would be careful if I were you, Angleterre. Political closeness and personal closeness are different, you must make sure one doesn't cause the other."
They're not that different,thinks Francis. Frankly everyone knows Arthur has feelings for Alfred, and if he ever acted on them no-one would care, not even their bosses. Their nations are close enough it wouldn't really change anything.
However England doesn't know that.
"I have no idea what you're on about," says Arthur, hurriedly grabbing his briefcase. "Anyway, must dash. I'd say it was a pleasure to see you again, but, well."
Francis sighs as he watches the man walk out. Yes, the United Kingdom and United States of America are so close. So cooperative. Not like the Republic of France, always so stubborn, always protesting matters which are none of its business; determined to believe it's still one of the most important nations in the world. Especially with England. Even if they're allies now, they're still who they always were; the same two nations bickering over everything for a thousand years.
But let us remain aware of what that bickering means. The bickering is born of war and suffering ‒ nothing to base fondness upon. Don't become attached,he was warned, thousands of years ago when making England one with him was a military possibility, not a joke. There is no reason for him to care for England. None.
Yes, he cannot become attached.