Author's Note: Thanks for all the favs, alerts, and reviews. I really do enjoy reading through them while I write. Well, thanks for your patience, and sorry for the long wait. I hope this chapter makes up for it. There's a historical note for you at the end just to clear things up. I will be changing some history here because of Tamaki, but for the most part the FrAus parts are historically accurate. So thanks again for your patience and please read on.
April 15, 1997
"You can't keep doing this to me! I c-can't go on like this, Francis." The Austrian yelled at the defenseless Frenchman. Francis knew he shouldn't have been interacting with Devin, but he could not help himself. He could not watch his son in misery.
Solemn sapphire eyes bore into glassy violets due to unshed tears, "I know, mon cher. It is not easy on me either, but I could not leave him alone today. Devin right now is alone. His mother is sick and his father is in Japan. He is lost in this convoluted mess which we have unfairly thrust upon him. We have each other; he has no one, mon Coeur."
Roderich slightly nodded, knowing that the Frenchman's words rang true, but the pain and longing he felt in his heart was slowly wearing him down. It has been a week since they last saw Tamaki and ever since then, it has not stopped raining in Vienna. Silent tears ran down his pale cheeks. His tears were lost within the pouring rain outside the Austrian's mansion. He liked to believe it was the heavens crying for their misfortunes instead of his emotions inflicting the weather of his country. Francis enveloped the slightly smaller man in his arms, running his deft fingers through the contrasting dark tresses. He paid no heed to the spotting on his jacket from the Austrian's tears.
"Shh, mon amour."
"I-I…every time I look into those violet eyes, I…I f-feel as though something in me is being ripped apart. He does not remember us, nor do I believe he ever will…I can't t-take it."
"Faire taire (silence/hush)," Francis pulled away so he could look upon the tear-streaked face, "Devin will remember with time once he must assume his role as either a province or even a nation."
"But we don't even know if he is one. He's growing up at the rate of a normal human."
"Two nations don't just give birth for nothing."
Roderich couldn't dispute against France's last comment. It was unheard of for a nation to give birth to life. Unlike humans, they were not meant to. If a new nation was born, they were found by another, but they were never born from the womb. Roderich himself couldn't remember how he came to be. He only remembered being raised to be an aristocratic strong nation.
"Then if so, when do you think he will become one of us?" Roderich finally asked.
"Only time will tell." Francis held on to Roderich, drawing him closer to feel the other body pressed against him. He needed reassurance that he was not alone. Like Roderich, he has struggled with watching Tamaki grow up without him, but luckily that would all change soon. Tamaki may not remember him as his father, but he hoped he can remember him as a friend.
The sudden sound of the front door slamming shut forced the two to part. Blue eyes silently asked the Austrian what he should do. Roderich quickly ushered Francis into the hallway closet, shutting it just as he saw a bright yellow object fly in the corner of his peripheral vision.
"Aww Roddy, did you really miss me that much?" Roderich turned to see the approaching Prussian. His vexed violet eyes narrowed dangerously towards the Albino. He brusquely rubbed his damp cheeks from the sight of the other. He'd be damned if he allowed the other to see him this way. Only Francis was granted the privilege.
"What are you doing here, Prussia?"
Prussia was only a foot away from the Austrian, smirking as his crimson eyes were filled with mirth, "Why I'm here to grace you with my awesome presence since you seem to have missed it."
Prussia stood cheekily in front of the Austrian, waiting for his usual protests but they never came. Perplexed crimson eyes starred interrogatively towards Roderich. The man looked a bit thinner, had he been eating? His skin adorned an insipid sickly shade. His vibrant violet eyes had lost their flame and defiant fierceness that many found alluring. Prussia was taken back when he saw those captivating eyes look at him in silent desperation. Austria wanted to be alone though Prussia interpreted it differently.
Roderich flinched away from the pale hand that came to wipe away his remaining tears, "What do you think you're doing?"
"What, I can't comfort you?"
"No you can't." Austria swiftly retorted before shouting, "Get out of my house, Prussia!"
Prussia finally grinned, secretly relieved that Austria was back to his normal self, "Kesese, nein, by now I think you should know I'm never leaving you. I'm too awesome for that."
"Fine then," Austria stormed past the Prussian, "I'll leave. I needed to stop by the market anyway."
"Wait, you would leave me here alone?!"
"Why not? You're going to burn the house down anyway, so I might as well be outside when it happens."
Austria grabbed his cobalt blue coat from the closet, carefully fastening the silver buttons. Crimsons eyes stared dumbfounded by the brunet. This wasn't Austria. He would never leave Prussia alone in his precious orderly home though before Prussia could question the Austrian's antics the front door had slammed shut. Prussia was left alone to his own devices.
A mischievous glint shined in his dark scarlet eyes, 'Oh this will be fun.'
April 16, 1997
"A plus tard, maman!" (See you later, mom) Tamaki was halfway through the door before his mother had stopped him.
"Wait, Tamaki, where are you going?" Anne-Sophie stood at the kitchen doorway, wiping her hands clean from washing up after their lunch. It was only a week since her miraculous recovery. Her doctors were baffled by her new state of health, but welcomed it nonetheless like her friends as well. Anne-Sophie leaned against the wall for support. She had been off her feet for quite some time that her legs were not as strong as they used to be.
"I'm going to the park." Tamaki explained, but she did not let him get away so easily.
"Oh, what for?"
"I'm meeting a friend."
"No, she has music lessons today. I'm meeting someone else."
"Well hold on then, I'll come with you. It's not safe to be by yourself in the park, even if you're with a friend."
"Oh…" Tamaki stood by the front door, patiently waiting for his mother to join him. He didn't know how else to reply. She had never met Francis before and he normally kept their meetings private. They were somehow special to him. He didn't exactly know why, but for some reason when he was around Francis he felt safe. It was as if being around an old familiar soul.
Anne-Sophie grabbed a light coat on her way out, "Come on, let's not keep your friend waiting."
The park was as it usually was. The sun streamed down from the sky, illuminating the water of the Seine River. A few people roamed around, enjoying the nice day outside. Tamaki's violet eyes went to the bench where Francis normally sat, and there was the Frenchman just as he always was. His blond locks were tied back with a pale lavender ribbon as he wore a causal gray blazer and with lavender shirt underneath. He smiled at the two as he saw them approach. Anne-Sophie saw they were heading towards the bench in which Francis sat and eyed the stranger warily.
"Bonjour, Tamaki, is this your mother?" Francis stood up to greet them. He smiled brightly at Tamaki before glancing at Anne-Sophie.
"Oui, I am his mother." Anne-Sophie answered, reaching out for Tamaki's hand as a protective maternal instinct, "And you are?"
"Excuse moi, I am Francis Bonnefoy, a friend of your son." Francis extended his hand out for Anne-Sophie to shake. She gave Francis her hand, but instead of shaking it, he delicately held it in his own.
Internally, Anne-Sophie wanted to pull her hand away from Francis and run away with Tamaki, but something had kept her in place. Some ethereal being told her she was safe; Tamaki was safe. The evanescent moment was gone as soon as Francis had pulled his hand away. It was Tamaki's cheerful voice that had pulled her out of her trance.
"Francis, what story are you going to tell me today?" The young boy pulled away from his mother's protection. Anne-Sophie felt the small hand in hers leave. A small chord within her had struck painfully. He had left her just like that. She was not ready to let go and yet there was Tamaki, already gone.
"Madame," Francis called out to her. Light blue eyes met vibrant ones. Anne-Sophie saw something in those eyes. She could not put her finger on it. There was years of pain and heart ache in those eyes. They were wise eyes that were too old for the body in which they belonged to. A soul that was older than the life it exerted.
"Would you like to sit down, Madame?" Francis held his hand out, indicating for her to take a seat. She nodded and sat down beside her son. Only then did Francis follow, sitting on Tamaki's other side.
"Where did I leave off, mon petit?" Anne-Sophie smiled at the endearing term. The way Tamaki looked up at Francis made her feel better. Her son looked up to him almost as if Francis was his father. She knew that having Yuzuru gone could take a toll on Tamaki. He didn't have a male figure around the house to look up to like the way he looked at Francis now.
"You were telling me about how the man had lost the war. He was stuck in a wheelchair." Tamaki answered.
"Oui, I remember now." Francis smiled and nodded his head.
"But his friend, he didn't leave him, did he?" Tamaki inquired his intention fully on Francis.
"Oh but his friends did. He was at his weakest point and yet all his friends had left him. They waited for him to die. Even his wife left."
"But why?" Tamaki was fully enraptured by the story. His mother listened in as well.
"They left because they could not deal with knowing he could die. They did not want to wait around to see him parish. He was like a walking corpse to them. They only wanted to stay around long enough that once he was gone they could take what was left." Francis paused, reminiscing in the memory, even though to Tamaki it was just a story. "Only one person stayed behind."
Francis smiled at the other's curiosity, "It was someone who the man thought he'd never see. It was his long time enemy."
"You mean the person he was fighting against?"
"Oui, at least one of them, he stayed. Despite the efforts the other made for his enemy to leave, he never did. Then in time, with help from the other, the man was able to heal. A friendship had formed and what was once hatred turned into something else."
"He finally loved him back." Tamaki said more so to himself than to anyone else. He leaned back against the bench, running Francis' words through his head once more.
"Oui, and before he could tell him, another war had split them apart."
"What, but why?"
"Because, Tamaki…" Francis looked down at his clasped hand, thinking on how he could explain it, "In life, things are thrown at us expectantly, and it is up to us to decide how to handle it. The choices we make to overcome our adversity are what shape us and those around us. So when there is love, and something comes in the way, we must decide whether that love is worth holding onto during the storm."
"And did they?"
"He didn't, but his friend did, and when the war was over, his friend had helped make a treaty in which the man could no longer ally himself with Germany. The man himself then made his country neutral so he would no longer have to go to wars. This allowed them to finally be together." Francis finished his story as Tamaki hung on every last word, fully absorbing the information.
"So after everything…From being enemies, to friends, to lovers, and even after all the wars, they remained together…" A small smile spread across Tamaki's features.
"Oui," Francis returned the smile, "remember, Tamaki, love is the strongest emotion there is. It is something that makes you feel…"
"Invincible," Anne-Sophie quietly added in middle of Francis' pondering for the right word. Tamaki turned to his mother, and those large curious violet eyes staring back at her made her feel like Tamaki was still hers.
She smiled and continued on her point, "The feeling you get when you're in love is nothing like you've ever felt before. It makes you feel like you're floating or you're on top of the world. He can make you smile and laugh just by thinking about him."
"He who?" Tamaki inquired.
"You're father, Tamaki. I loved your father and when you find someone that you love to the point that you can't eat, can't sleep, someone you'd do anything for, you never let them slip through your fingers. You hold on to that love that you have for them because…the feeling itself is something you never want to let go."
Tamaki nodded while listening to his mother. Francis gave a sympathetic smile to Anne-Sophie. He tapped Tamaki's shoulder, to regain the boy's attention.
"Why don't you go get some ice cream from over there?" Francis slipped Tamaki some money, "And don't forget vanilla for me please. Would you like anything?" He turned to Anne-Sophie.
"Vanilla sounds lovely." Tamaki smiled and ran off to get the three of them ice cream, leaving Anne-Sophie and Francis alone. There was serene moment between them. Anne-Sophie smiled, thinking about how Francis could make Tamaki so happy in just a second.
"Thank you," she broke the silence, "Thank you for being the father figure Tamaki never had. It's good for him to be around another man. I never really wanted to think so, but seeing him with you is… extraordinary."
Francis slightly bowed his head as a friendly gesture, "Merci, Madame, but you do not need to thank me at all. Tamaki is a wonderful boy, and even though I try to teach him something every day he seems to be teaching me something instead."
"I know what you mean." Anne-Sophie softly chuckled. Tamaki came running back with three vanilla ice creams for them. He handed one to Francis and Anne-Sophie who both thanked him before he sat between them once more.
Anne-Sophie continued to watch as Tamaki interacted with Francis, the way his violet eyes brightened and sparkled in a way she had never seen before. Some part of her envied how Francis could so easily connect with Tamaki. Then there was the small smile they shared. It was almost identical with one another. And even their movements, they were graceful, elegant. She liked to believe Tamaki got the trait from watching her, but by watching Francis and Tamaki together it would seem Tamaki had been with Francis his whole life.
"Can we, Mama?" Tamaki's voice derailed her train of thought.
"I'm sorry, what was that?"
"Francis invited us over for dinner tomorrow, so I can see his grand piano. Can we go?" Tamaki's hopeful violet eyes beamed up at Anne-Sophie. She could never deny her son anything when he flashed his rare violet eyes at her.
"We wouldn't want to impose—"
"No, it is no problem. I would be delighted to have company." Francis broke in.
Tamaki looked at Francis and then back to his mother, "Please can we go?"
"I think so, as long as it's no inconvenience to you."
"No, I insist." Francis smiled.
"Thank you, we would love to join you." Anne-Sophie returned the smile, standing up to take her leave after she got the details from Francis, "It is late. We must be heading home now. Come on, Tamaki."
Tamaki leapt off the bench and took hold of his mother's hand. He turned back to look at Francis. A large grin took over his face as he waved goodbye.
"Au revoir, Francis!"
"Au revoir, Tamaki." Francis waved back as he watched them slowly retreat.
That night as Anne-Sophie washed the dinner plates, she could not get the strange Frenchman out of her head. The way Tamaki looked to him like he had never looked to another man made her feel…how could she lose him so fast? It was too soon. She set down the plate in the sink, just listening to the water run. She shook her head, lightly laughing to herself.
'Don't be silly. You're his mother; you'll always be his mother…even if not by blood.' She shut off the water at the thought. She had almost forgotten. She had Tamaki for so long that she never felt like he was adopted. Then who were his parents? She had never asked Yuzuru about Tamaki's biological parents. He only told her they were a couple who could not take care of him.
Anne-Sophie look up from the sink, "Oui, mon Coeur?"
"Can you tuck me into bed?" He rubbed his fatigued violet eyes with his pink bunny at hand. Anne-Sophie smiled down at her son. No matter whom Tamaki's biological parents were; it didn't matter. Tamaki was still her son and he always would be. She wiped her hands dry before gently leading him to bed.
"Come on, mon petit, it is time for bed." Tamaki climbed into bed as Anne-Sophie drew the covers over him. She tucked the covers around his body so he was comfortable.
"Good night, Tamaki. I love you." She brushed his blonde tresses back as she kissed his forehead.
"I love you too." He breathed out, before drifting off to sleep. Anne-Sophie sat at the side of his bed, watching as he slept. No, it didn't matter, but as much as she told herself this, she could not help but wonder who his birth parents were. Were they a young couple? Francis looked to be in his mid to late twenties. If she subtracted eight years, Francis would have been a young student in college. No college student would want to deal with a child, nor would they be ready to. Could Francis be the father? Could he be checking on Tamaki? No, Anne-Sophie shook her head. She was getting ahead of herself she thought.
The sudden sound of the phone ringing brought her out of her thoughts. She swiftly ran to pick it up before it disturbed Tamaki.
"Hello?" She whispered quietly.
"Did I catch you at a bad time?" the familiar voice on the other side of the phone asked.
"Yuzuru, no, not at all, I just put Tamaki to bed." Anne-Sophie looked up to see the clock, "What's wrong? It's four in the morning in Japan, is it not?"
"I'm sorry to call you late, but I wanted to see how Tamaki was doing. I did not realize he'd be asleep by now."
Anne-Sophie sighed and sat down beside the phone, "Oui, he's asleep. Now why aren't you?"
"Work, I'm always up."
"I'm sure you are." She gave a light laugh, twisting the cord around her finger absentmindedly, "Is there anything else you wanted?"
"How are you doing?"
"I'm fine. I'm feeling much better. Tamaki has a new friend too." She informed. He rarely called as work was his excuse, but when he did they would talk for hours.
"Oh, a friend from school?"
"No, a man he had met at the park. His name's Francis. He seems nice enough." Anne-Sophie answered, wondering why there was a long pause on the other side of the line. "Yuzuru, are you still there?"
"Hai, I just, I'm sorry…"
"No, it's fine. You must be tired." she deduced, "I'll talk to you tomorrow. You can call again around seven before Tamaki goes to school. It would be around five where you are."
"Hai, I will do so. Good night." Anne-Sophie heard the line disconnect as the other had hung up. She set the receiver down, looking at the phone for a moment. For some reason, the call did not make her feel better like it normally would. She could not feel her heart flutter like it normally did when she spoke to Yuzuru.
'In life, things are thrown at us expectantly, and it is up to us to decide how to handle it. The choices we make to overcome our adversity are what shape us and those around us. So when there is love, and something comes in the way, we must decide whether that love is worth holding onto during the storm.' Francis' words came back to her. Was the love for Yuzuru worth holding onto anymore? It felt like these days the only thing they shared anymore was a son. Anne-Sophie shook the thoughts away. Tomorrow would be a new day, with new challenges to bear. She could not afford to look back on the past. She held her head up high, and finally went to bed.
Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Again I'm sorry for the wait, but hopefully this made up for it. Thanks for reading and take care!
Historical Note: After World War I, Austria-Hungary Empire no longer existed as both became independent. Austria lost significant amount of land making him crippled in Hetalia, and his marriage to Hungary severed. In World War II, he is annexed by Germany. When the axis lost, Austria was occupied by four of the allied forces, France being one of them. Towards the end of the occupation, Tamaki was born. In May 15, 1995, The Austrian State Treaty was created reinstating Austria as an independent country once more free from occupation ruling. It also stated that Austria and Germany are forbidden to form a political union such as Anschluss in 1938. Austria's Declaration of Neutrality was passed on October 26, 1995 when the last of the foreign troops left Austria. And that is the history lesson for today! I'm exhausted so I'll be passing out now, thanks for reading if you got this far. ^^