Title: à la mode
Character/pairing: France/America. Also France and England have hateboners for each other, by which I mean typical canon characterization.
Author's note: As a minor clarification, the USUK relationship in this fic is paternal (UK sort of views America as his 'wayward son' in this one)
à la mode \ah luh MOHD\, adjective:
1. In or according to the fashion.
2. Cookery. A.(Of pie or other dessert) Served with a portion of ice cream, often as a topping: apple pie à la mode. B.(Of beef) Larded and braised or stewed with vegetables, herbs, etc., and served with a rich brown gravy
À la mode literally means "of the fashion" in French. (The sense of a scoop of ice cream on top of pie arose in 1903 in America.)
The diner they were in was so tacky it had circled back around to cute. Which summed up America himself pretty well. He seemed intensely proud of this old place, which apparently had been a thing back in earlier years and filled him with nostalgia. The design veered between garish and uninspired. There was a whole lot of red formica, black and white baseball pictures on the wall, and a neon sign or two.
America, however, drank it all in. Only he could take in the low class and make it seem so exquisite. France had to admit it was one thing that always made his offended sensibilities wane into affectionate amusement.
He had been in America for some time ago, in all senses of the word. He smiled to himself as he thought of the letter he had penned to Angleterre which had gone in detail just how much time he'd spent in America and how delightful it had been complete with complementary sketch. The sheer thought of the look on Angleterre's face when he got that kept him smiling, even if he knew he'd return to find his door had been broken down, and a drunken Englishman would be passed out on his floor, his precious furniture smashed to bits. Ah, the wrath he would incur for bedding and loving Angleterre's wayward little brother! Just the thought of it was delicious.
It was entirely worth any pain, and something he'd be rubbing in Angleterre's nose for, oh, about forever.
Ally, former colony and now all grown up into lover he provided an endless spring of faint, quiet amusement in France. He was enthusiastic about such small things. A sports game, a sunny day, a piece of pie.
"À la mode?" France said as he perused the menu of the local diner.
"Yup, that means on top of, right? Well I've got lots and lots of ice cream right on top of that pie!"
"Not quite," France said, but America was too busy at the arrival of his ice cream and pie to notice.
Alas, America had not been quite so diligent in his French studies as his brother. While France took a smug sense whenever he'd see his words taken into America or Angleterre's languages, sometimes the meanings would be lost, or they'd apply a horrible accent to it and make it sound very little like the beautiful words of his language. Still, it was a tiny victory over the vulgar English language, and he took what he could get.
"Mmm, this pie is like. The best thing ever. Mmmmgh!" He shook his head and just savored the ice cream, the apple pie. "Seriously, you sure you don't want some?"
"I might be persuaded to take some of yours," France said.
"Well, usually I wouldn't share, but it's cool if it's with you, I guess," America said.
France delicately took the fork from America's hand, lifted a small portion to his lips and tasted. It tasted...well enough, he supposed. Not nearly as wonderful as his Apple Clofouti, but passable.
America stared at him, apparently enjoying watching him eat as much as he had enjoyed watching America eat. He licked his lips in a most suggestive way, just to give him a better view.
"Perhaps we should order seconds, d'accord?"
"Oooh, man I am always up for seconds, in like everything," America said. "Life is way too short not to have seconds, that's what I say."
France couldn't help but smirk lasciviously at that. Indeed he was.
America was always such an eager eater, even if the food in question was substandard at best. Then again, it wasn't his fault he'd been tainted by Angleterre's influence. Well, maybe it had been, as he'd chosen Angleterre over him. France never could quite understand why, though he was fairly certain magic was involved. Because someone had to be cursed to choose anyone so tacky, backward and cultureless as Angleterre over him.
And yet here he had wrangled France's language to turn of the fashion to meaning...pie and ice cream. Maybe if it had been another nation, he'd take offense at their crass reimaginings of his beautiful language, but considering America's great opinion of both pie and ice cream, he knew that beyond the momentary sigh of America's poor French, it was a compliment.
He smiled as he watched America devour his food. He was so cute, so full of wonder and joy. I will never get tired of you he thought. And when he reached out to squeeze America's hand, America looked up, food on his face and surprised, France said it's nothing.
France would let Alfred drag him to tacky restaurants and eat tacky foods if it meant he got to see just a fraction of the joy within him.