Author's Note: So, after about three months I have finally updated. Thanks for your patience and kind reviews. The next chapter might take longer to write since I'm planning to watch the whole Ouran High School anime again just so I can plan the future chapters. Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy this chapter after the long wait.
P.S. Story rating has gone up to rated T due to language but that's as far as it will go in terms of rating. I have no intentions of making this M. With that being said, enjoy.
April 17, 1997
Even after they had been seated, words were hard to find after such a piece of music. Francis had set the French dish at the center of the table. Neither Roderich nor Francis were very religious anymore. Both countries had been catholic for a duration of their history but now with their countries filled with people from different ethnic backgrounds, which brought along various religions, they no longer had a preference. Even so, they were delighted to hear Tamaki say grace before serving themselves blanquette de veau, which was one of the Frenchman's specialties. The veal was cooked to perfection accented with a rich white cream sauce that was delightful to the taste buds.
After sometime of the room being filled the awkward sound of cutlery grating against plates, it was Anne-Sophie that had broken the quiet moment as she attempted to make small talk, "What do you do, Francis?"
The Frenchman looked up from his plate when he was addressed. A light smile adorned his features before he answered, "I'm a host on a radio show, a specialist in romance if you will."
Roderich had to will himself not to roll his eyes. He instead focused his attention towards Tamaki, watching as matching violet eyes curiously surveyed the room.
"And you are?" Francis returned the questions.
"I used to be a dancer but because of my illness I had to quit. Now that I'm better I teach dancing to young children."
"Hmm, that sounds wonderful. Roderich is quite the dancer himself."
Violet eyes looked at the Frenchman curiously, sighing as he wondered what he was trying to get at, "Only ballroom dancing." He corrected. He had picked up many forms of dancing since being a part of the aristocratic life for quite some time he had to entertain. Being married to a Spaniard early on of his time also allowed him to learn their many forms of dance.
"Even so, it is nice to meet someone else who dances. It is rare now a days to find someone who still knows how to ballroom dance." Anne-Sophie gave a sweet smile, as the Austrian returned it but at the same time was inwardly cringing. He wanted to hate this woman but how could he when she cared for his son? How could he when Tamaki loved her and yet it was the reason why he was envious. How could he not be? Even so he remained amicable waiting for the clock to strike midnight when they would have to leave. Well really when she had to leave.
When the meal was finished, Anne-Sophie had offered to help clean up but Roderich would not have it nor would Francis. Instead Roderich had taken the plates up since he needed to check on dessert. Francis continued to entertain, watching as Tamaki skipped into the sitting room. Curious violet eyes examined old picture frames, coming across one of a small girl and a boy. The young boy clutched a white polar bear to his chest as a spiraling curl sprang from atop of his head. The girl on the other hand had two braids tied with ribbons on the end.
"Ah, those are mon petits." Francis had caught Tamaki staring at the dated photograph. Anne-Sophie eyed it curiously, seeing that the children were younger than Tamaki and yet Francis himself looked no older than she was. How could it be that he had two young children unless he still had them? Not only that, but the photograph looked old and worn, much older than the man that owned it. Was the man mad? Or was it just a special effect?
"They're beautiful. Do they still live with you?" Anne-Sophie questioned, thinking that maybe they lived with their mother. Francis chuckled and shook his head, though he wouldn't mind if Matthew and Michelle lived with him. He picked up another picture off the mantel. It was a more recent picture of the two when they came to visit. Of course America tagged along, making it easier to tell that they were brothers.
"Here they are. There is my Matthew, and his half-brother, who was raised by a longtime friend of mine, along with my daughter, Michelle." France pointed them out to Anne-Sophie who was a little bit more confused than before. The children looked like they were nineteen, only having a six year difference from their opposed father. Did he just call them his children, or were they actually his children?
Lost in thought, she did not notice Tamaki tugging on her arm to get a closer look at the picture himself. Large violet eyes looked curiously down at the picture, seeing the similarity between the two boys in the photograph, but he could not see the resemblance that could connect the children to Francis. Maybe they looked like their mother or none at all? After all, he did not look like his parents. He shared the blond hair, but not the look and especially not the eyes. No one else had violet eyes except for the man that was in the other room at the moment.
Tamaki turned to see if Roderich was doing well. Seeing that his mother was occupied with Francis, he wandered off into the kitchen, watching as the lean man was cutting up fresh strawberries to place on the chocolate cake. He hummed a tune to himself, still not aware of Tamaki's presence. The tune was familiar, but Tamaki couldn't remember where he could have possibly heard it from.
Roderich turned to throw the tops of the strawberries away, a bit startled when he saw Tamaki standing in the kitchen. A warm smile graced his features to see those curious violet eyes looking back at him.
"Did you want a little frosting?" he inquired. Normally he would batter away any prying fingers from his cakes, but he could make an exception to some children. He remembered he sometimes allowed Feliciano, when he was child, to have a little bit before he served the treat. Tamaki nodded, since he did have a little sweet tooth, and he remembered the cake he ate before on his birthday in which Roderich had baked. His mouth just watered thinking about it.
Roderich smiled, and beckoned Tamaki closer, "Your finger please."
Tamaki did as he was told, holding a finger out for Roderich as he squeezed some frosting to coat the single digit. Tamaki thanked the Austrian before tasting the frosting. The richness from the vanilla seemed to melt on his tongue. It was delightful to the senses as Tamaki couldn't help but grin. The grin was infectious, spreading to the Austrian who was delighted to see that his son enjoyed his baking. He hoped he would for most peopled liked his sweet treats.
"Won't you have some?" Tamaki questioned, catching Roderich by surprised. The Austrian smiled, nodding as he found himself unable to refuse his son.
"Here, why don't you do it?" Roderich handed the tube of frosting over to Tamaki who took it, holding it a bit awkwardly at first. Roderich held his finger out as Tamaki squeezed some on carefully. He did not want to mess up, especially since Roderich had done it so neatly upon his. Roderich thanked Tamaki as he indulged himself in his own icing, softly closing his violet eyes to allow the sweet flavor wash over his taste buds.
The sweet moment was suddenly interrupted by an unwelcomed knock on the door. Francis excused himself, wondering who could want to disturb him now. Anne-Sophie nodded, and retired to the kitchen to see if Roderich needed help. Seeing that the Austrian was fine, Francis went to answer the door, hoping whoever it was could make it quick.
He opened the door, looking a bit aggravated, only for his frustration to quickly turn to agitation.
"Ah, mon amie! What can I do for you?" Francis quickly closed the door behind him as he stepped outside. The other nation stepped back, surprised that Francis wouldn't even allow him inside.
"Busy, Francis?" the Prussian's had his hands buried deep inside his sweat shirt while a suspicious pale brow rose inquiringly.
"Oui, I am entertaining tonight." Francis answered casually. He smiled at his friend, wondering where Spain was. Normally Gilbert messed with Antonio first before he came to him.
"You don't say? Political stuff?"
"So you wouldn't mind if I stayed for a bit." Gilbert stated more then questioned, starting to move past his French friend to the door only for Francis to take hold of the door handle before the other could.
"You need a place to stay?" Francis tried to keep his breathing in check. Gilbert could not enter the house. If he did, he would undoubtedly be curious as to why Roderich would be over. And secondly, no other nation could know of Tamaki.
"Ja, Feli is staying over at Lud's for dinner, Spain has that annoying bastard, Lovino, and Matthew is busy with Alfred, so you were my last resort. Oh and then the Priss has his guard dog on watch and my head is still sore from yesterday." Gilbert grinned before laughing at the memory. He would break into the Austrian's home more often if the consequences weren't getting hit by a frying pan.
"So are ye going to let me in or not?" Francis froze, knowing that Prussia would never forget it if he didn't let him in. He had had guests before with Prussia over, so why should this time be different?
"Excuse me," by then Roderich had had enough of this nonsense as he opened the front door. Crimson eyes first widened in shock before mirth took over the ruby orbs.
"France, I have important matters to attend to, so shall we get on with this or not?" Roderich inquired, a mask of aggravation marring his features.
"Oui, of course, Prussia?" Francis looked over at his friend, trying to get the unspoken message across that Prussia should leave.
"Austria?" Gilbert shot back with a sly grin, completely ignoring the Frenchman's silent plea. "I see you found new clothes."
"No thanks to you."
"Ouch," Gilbert replied mockingly, "and I thought I was doing you a favor. You really needed a new set of clothes; all of yours were outdated."
"Outdated?" Austria was indignant, folding his arms across his chest so he could not slap the man in front of him. "Shouldn't you be drunk at some bar, Prussia?"
"Eh," Prussia shrugged his shoulder before he grinned once more, "I felt like something more sweet."
Roderich's violet eyes narrowed questioningly at Gilbert before the Prussian's thumb came to rub something off the corner of the Austrian's mouth, catching the said man off guard. Gilbert brought the thumb to his lips to suck off the left over icing. All the while, his crimson eyes held those violets, smirking once the deed was done. He used the Austrian's shock to slip past him and into the house with a small skip in his step.
Francis was left speechless before he received a deadly glare from Roderich stating: I'm going to take full pleasure in killing him in the bloodiest way imaginable and then I'm going to kill you. Francis sighed, indicating that he got the message, but there was nothing he could do.
"Hey, and who might you be, kid?"
Both attentions of the Austrian and Frenchman snapped back into the house as the shut they front door to rush to the sitting room where they could see Prussia ruffling Tamaki's blonde hair. He smiled down at the young boy, giving no hint in terms of whether he noticed the resemblance of the boy to the other two nations in the room.
"Je m'appelle Tamaki." Tamaki answered, returning the smile.
"Well put it there, friend." Prussia held his hand out for Tamaki to low-five before grinning slyly once more, "Hey, Tamaki, is it just me or do I smell some of the Priss's famous cake?"
Tamaki chuckled at the expression the nickname brought forth from Roderich, and nodded to answer the Prussian's question.
"Perfect," Prussia's grin widened at the response and took Tamaki by the shoulder as he led the younger one towards the dining room. Roderich and Francis followed. They were worried that Gilbert would certainly notice there was something odd about the boy. Most nations could sense when they were in the presence of another just like Francis knew America was a small country when he and England first saw him.
Prussia gingerly took a seat at the table, leaning his chair back. He gave a wave to Anne-Sophie who looked perplexed by the new guest.
"I must apologize for my friend's sudden appearance, madam." Francis tried to clear Anne-Sophie's confusion.
"Name's Gilbert," the Prussian smiled, "and you are?"
"I'm Anne-Sophie, Tamaki's mother." the woman gave a curt nod in acknowledgment. Roderich could sense the awkward tension in the room and decided now would be the best of time to bring out dessert. He needed to get all the guests out as soon as possible.
"Francis, could you get the plates?" Roderich requested as he set the cake down in the center of the table. He quickly batted away a prying Prussian hand before sending a chastising glare at the said man. Tamaki only grinned to see how the two men acted towards each other. Francis set the plates down for Roderich while the Austrian was cutting the cake. He ignored Prussia's request for a large slice as he did it his way by cutting them into even proportions.
"We may enjoy our desert in here, or in the sitting room." Francis suggested.
"Great idea." Prussia's chair screeched noisily as he scooted it back. He got up with his plate and walked with a slow nonchalant gait. It was of course at that moment that a sudden chirping sound could be heard. A small yellow finch made its way from Prussia's silver hair down his arm and onto his plate to get a bit of cake himself.
The bird caught Tamaki's attention as he thanked Roderich for the cake before hopping off his chair to go join the Prussian. Anne-Sophie sent an apologetic look to the Austrian for her son to run off so suddenly but Roderich didn't mind. He only minded that the Prussian was even there at the moment.
Tamaki sat on the carpet in the sitting room, looking up at the bird curiously. "Does he have a name?"
"Of course he does." Prussia scoffed back, "He has the second to most awesome name ever."
"What is it then?" Tamaki was intrigued.
"Gilbird?" Tamaki repeated experimentally.
"Ja, isn't that right, Gilbird?"
The bird chirped in response to his master before he turned his black beady eyes to the boy. Then, unexpectedly, Gilbird flew over to land on Tamaki's head.
"Hey!" Gilbert tried to catch the bird before it landed, but by then he was too late. Gilbird had already nested in the golden locks, looking content with no signs of moving any time soon. Gilbert scoffed before a smirk tugged at the corner of his lips.
"Traitor." he mumbled, causing Tamaki to chuckle. Gilbert smiled at the sound of the laughter as it sounded musical itself. It was then that he took the time to study the young boy. He had golden spun hair and light skin, slightly tainted from running in the sun all day no doubt, and then there were those eyes. They were a striking violet hue that Prussia had only seen on nations though he knew Tamaki was not one or else he would have sensed it. Even so, they never were as bright as other nations. He could only think of one other person who had eyes like those. It was—
"Tamaki, why don't you show how well you play for our new guest?" Francis walked into the room, derailing the Prussian's train of thought. Francis took a seat down on the couch beside Prussia with a small cup of coffee while Tamaki grinned and nodded.
"Alright," Tamaki got up and skipped over towards the piano at the side of the room. His fingers slightly tapped the keys before he struck his first resonating note followed by a harmonizing chord that was pleasing to the ears.
"I wanted to show Austria my new prodigy. You know how he can be. He only believes those of Austrian birth are true musicians." Francis had come up with a cover story for why Roderich was there along with Tamaki. Prussia snickered in response, shaking his head.
"That would be the Priss. He still thinks Beethoven was Austrian."
"That's because he was." Roderich had joined the others in the room along with Anne-Sophie.
"He was not. He was German."
"Hm, but he lived in Austria for most of his life, and it's where he composed most of his pieces. Obviously he was influenced and inspired by my country, and so I consider him an Austrian."
Prussia only rolled his eyes in response, giving a dismissive wave to the topic. There was no use in trying to argue over Beethoven again. They have done so for far too long and so had Ludwig.
"Whatever you say, little master."
Anne-Sophie found the nickname odd, but she did not comment. When Tamaki had finished his piece, she had found it time to leave. She rose to say her good byes, and even though both Francis and Roderich were sad to see Tamaki go, they were relieved as well.
"Please do come again." Francis helped Anne-Sophie with her coat in the hallway. Roderich wrapped up some left over cake for them, handing it over for Tamaki who accepted it happily. The young boy placed a chaste, parting kiss on Roderich's cheek when the Austrian bent down. The kiss brought warmth to spread through his whole body, and for a brief moment, Roderich would repeat the night all over again.
"Goodbye, Tamaki, I should see you some time for lessons, ja?"
"I'm sure he would love that. Thank you for dessert." Anne-Sophie gave a parting kiss on the cheek to both hosts since it was a French tradition, and even gave in to Gilbert. Gilbert swooped up Gilbird from Tamaki's head before ruffling it up again.
"See ya kid." The Prussian smiled and waved goodbye.
"Oui, I shall see you some time at the park, non?"
"Oui, thanks again." Tamaki hugged Francis tightly around the waist with his head buried in the Frenchman's abdomen. Francis wholeheartedly returned the hug, and waved the two off. With a solemn sigh, he closed the door before he could turn to the other matter at hand: Prussia.
"Well, I think I should get going as well, France." Austria went to retrieve his coat from the rack. Francis would like for his lover to stay, but he knew with Prussia around, they had to keep up their sometimes friendly façade.
"Oui, I shall see you at the next world meeting, Austria."
"Hold up, I'll come with you." Prussia grabbed his things, and gave a parting pat on his friend's shoulder.
"Oh no you won't." Roderich quickly retorted.
"Come on, I'll give you a lift home."
"I would rather walk, thank you."
"Just get in the car, Priss. It would be a lot faster and cheaper than you getting lost and then taking a cab home." Gilbert reasoned. Roderich paused, knowing what Gilbert said was true. With a resigned, low groan, Roderich relented and got into the car. He just hoped he would make it home in one piece or both of them for that matter.
Francis waved them off, and was finally allowed to retire for the night. So far, Gilbert had not suspected a thing. Francis was both relieved and worried by this. He knew Gilbert could not feel that small tingle you can get from being around a new nation or even a providence. It meant that Tamaki was not a nation, and even though Francis desperately clung to the hope that someday he would be, he also feared he wouldn't.
He quickly shook off the thought. He wished Tamaki wasn't a nation. If Tamaki was a nation, he would have to go through what Francis did. He would have to watch people in his life pass him while he stayed the same. He would have to go through the pain of war, and the stress of an economy. A nation's life was not something Francis whished for anyone. It was like a curse, and his desire for Tamaki to be cursed with him was only a selfish idea. No, Tamaki deserved to be happy. And so that night, with half a heavy heart, Francis went to bed with the hope that he could enjoy Tamaki for as long as his son lived.
A/N: So…I'm sorry for that long wait, but I'm on break at last, working on several projects including this one and a new one I have yet decided to publish. Thanks for reading and thanks again for the reviews and putting up with my late updates. I really appreciate the kind support for this story and hope to update soon. Till then, take care!