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tried to reach deep

August 2019

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tried to reach deep

fic: always for the first time

Title: always for the first time
Day/Theme: 4 . 14 . A poem can begin with a lie
Series: Hetalia
Character/Pairing: France/Canada with minor mentions of Spain/Vargas brothers (mostly Romano) & Prussia/Hungary and a smidgeon of possibly USUK?
Rating: PG-13
Word count: 4558
Author's note: kink meme: for an adorable request involving an anecdote about a poet leaving poetry over their uni under the alias of "Francis the Poet"

This has already been filled with Spain...but I was already halfway through this by the time I found out. Different pairings + the more the merrier?

poems quoted:
The Basket-Weaver's Love by René Char

Always for the first time
Andre Breon

Poem to the Mysterious Woman by Robert Desnos

It may be
by Max Jacob

Dreamed-Up for Winter
Arthur Rimbaud

The Footsteps
Paul Valéry


Assume all the poetry was written in its original French in here, but Matthew is simply mentally translating it...mostly because I can't find the original versions orz.


*


He walked this way home every day, sometimes with Alfred and sometimes alone. Past the library that Matthew spent most of his time in, which Alfred was always get hushed and thrown out from for being himself. Usually there was not much to note, save the same scenery, but as of late, there had been increasing amounts of vandalism of the most benign sort. Someone had gone and spread random acts of romance around the campus. Red roses were left at doors, and bits of poems found pressed in books on ripped pieces of paper, and pinned to the bulletin boards. Matthew studied the sidewalk. In pink started a line of words. It was written in an elegant hand, even if some of it had smudged and been rubbed away. Footprints trailed in colored chalk up the campus sidewalk.

Today he was with Alfred as he noted them. As always, Matthew paused to read them. This only caused his brother to notice, and in turn scoff over such notes.

"French? Why would anyone write it in French? No one reads French anymore."

"I can read it," Matthew said.

"What's it say?"

I loved you, I loved your face, like a wellspring trapped by storms, and the secret of your domain enclosing my caress.

"It's from a poem," Matthew said.

"Oh," Alfred said. He immediately lost interest. Alfred walked on, while Matthew stayed back, his gaze still turned downwards to the poem. He had remembered the line very well, and had even copied it down for himself when the course had moved on past René Char's works. It was one of his all time favorites, the kind he had worked to memorize until he could recite it flawlessly.

"Hey Matt, are you coming already? You're going to be late at this rate."

"I'm coming," Matthew said.

"Sheesh, and you bitch at me about making you late."

"I'm coming!"

Matthew turned then, just too soon to see a figure in black slip around the corner.

*

When he went to class, he found it scented with roses. There were a trail of petals from the door to the window, and a single rose left in the middle of the floor. It wasn't Valentine's day, or any other love-themed holiday, but it didn't seem to have to be. It'd happened for two months now, and they were no closer to catching the culprit than when it first started. There had been sightings of a man dressed in a black hoodie and dark pants, but they had yet to uncover him.

When Matthew opened his textbook, he was assailed by the scent. A few stray rose petals had fallen into his bag. There was a quiver, a flutter inside him that he shut down immediately. Other people got rose petals on their seats too. If anything, it was likely an accident. He held the rose petals in between his fingers, feeling the soft texture. When the professor came in, instead of pocketing the petals, he let them fall to the floor.

*

On the way home, Matthew noted a new poem drawn out on the walls. He lingered a while, this time Alfred was too busy elsewhere to hurry him along.

I have dreamed so much of you
that you lose your reality
is there still time to reach that living body
and kiss on that mouth the birth
of the voice which is dear to me


Just below it was another fragment. He traced over it with his fingers, purple chalk dust clinging to his fingertips.

the closer I come to you
In reality
The more does the key sing in the door of an unknown room
where you appear to me alone


Someone was being serenaded, or maybe it was several people. All the girls spent a great deal of time between classes giggling amongst themselves and trying to figure out who was doing it, and who it was aimed at.

Maybe it's Francis Bonnefoy they said in whispers and hopeful smiles. Matthew would let his attention linger on their gossip for a moment after that mention. Francis Bonnefoy was given to all sorts of romantic gestures, but he was also narcissistic. He'd not be hiding it, he'd be shouting from the rooftops that he was romancing whoever...or the whole school for that matter. He was brilliant and charming, and always surrounded by admirers. He was always surrounded by light, it seemed, light reflecting off of him and hidden in flecks gold. Light in his smiles, from the sound of his laughter. Once, when Matthew was passing, he'd stopped mid-story to wink at him. Matthew had blushed, and felt dizzy from his heart racing at first, but soon he had lectured it away. It didn't matter that Francis had noticed him; he noticed everyone. He'd probably only done it for a prank with his other friends, Gilbert and Antonio. People didn't notice Matthew, least of all someone like Francis.

So when Francis Bonnefoy smiled at him when he turned away from the poem, Matthew ducked his head and lost himself in the crowd, and didn't catch that for a moment, Francis' face fell. Nor did he know that for several hours of prime drinking time Francis spent bemoaning his fate while Gilbert called him a fucking pussy.

*

The next days were wet, and rain washed away the chalk and all the beauty that the person had written out there. Matthew felt a pang of sadness for its loss. It wasn't just the chalk that suffered losses, either. Anything attached to the bulletin board was soon pulled down. If not by romantic girls, then by a very annoyed custodian who didn't quite get the idea of l'amour Most people just used craigslist these days, but amongst the various club memberships, the sellings and flyers he spied a bit of script. It was already partly covered by an ad for a garage sale. Matthew lifted it up to get a better look at the poetry.


You should think no longer
Of some faithful husband
I am the lover, I have wings
I will teach you how to fly.


He stared a long moment, before moving on. Soon, he joined his friend Miguel (withstanding the moment where he mistook him for his brother and yelled at him) and left the bulletin board and its romantic notes far behind. He turned too soon to see the figure in black who had been waiting, watching and was now punching the wall in irritation. That was followed by him holding his hand and muttering curses which would be followed and lots of whining whilst drinking wine.

*

Francis sighed and chugged another round of beer. "Je ne comprends pas! How can he miss it? Do I have to break into his house and write his favorite poems over his walls? Do I have to spray paint Francis Bonnefoy Loves Matthew Williams over the walls?"

"Hey, don't look at me," Gilbert said. "I told you, fuck his brains out against the wall and he'll get the picture."

"As tempting as that scenario is beginning to sound, I want to woo him over with my superior French skills," Francis said. "It is my honor that is at stake here."

"Screw romance! And especially screw your damned honor! Besides, it works a lot better. Lizzie and I have great sex, thanks for asking," Gilbert said.

"I know, mon ami. We share a wall and I hear all of your great sex nearly every night. Often I have 'celebrated' with you in my own room."

Gilbert laughed. "You fucking French bastard. You wish you could have as awesome a time as Lizzie and me have."

"That indeed I do. Where is Antonio, anyways?" Francis asked, the beer can halfway to his lips.

"Banging some Vargas boy," Gilbert said.

"Which one?"

"I don't know. Either. Maybe both," Gilbert said. He stretched his arms out in a yawn, and then grinned. "Lizzie and I are going to the bird sanctuary tonight."

"To see the cute ickle birdies?" Francis said.

"Shut up! Cute birds are awesome! Besides, all that foliage and wilds..." Gilbert grinned.

"Ah, good point," Francis said.

"Yeah, while you and Antonio are being lame, the awesome me will be off having awesome sex. After we take pictures of the cute birds."

"And here's a toast to you and your awesome sex, cute birds not withstanding" Francis said and lifted his beer.

When Gilbert had left, Francis pulled out a beer and settled into getting as drunk as possible.

*

It was blue chalk this time. A shade like the sky, but faded. Matthew tilted his head as he read.

This winter in a rosy railroad car
With blue upholstery
We shall be snug. Nestsful of kisses are
Waiting for us in every padded cranny.


It reminded him of Quebec, of before he'd come here, of the winter nights spent huddled under thick covers, and the earthy scent of the wood fire back in his family's cabin. He'd lived for those winter trips, snuggled up in layer after layer which would soon get soaked with wet, clingy snow by the day was through. He and Al would play snow wars, make forts, make angels and snowmen until their fingers were stiff from cold and their cheeks were rosy and stinging from the cold.

He felt warm and nostalgic, and maybe that was affected him, which clouded his thinking. Matthew looked around. The streets were still quiet at this early hour. Color slipped past the grey of the not-quite-yet light of morning. He'd nabbed a bit of white chalk after offering to clean the blackboards. Just a broken stub, one that no one would miss. He bent down and began in a far less elegant hand to write out a line from Valéry.

My life has been the awaiting you,
Your footfall was my own heart's beat.


It'd be confusing for whoever these were aimed at, probably send the wrong message, but for a second he couldn't help but indulge this fancy that it was aimed at him. Then, as if to atone for treading into someone else's love affair, he began to write a part of another poem, the line from René Char, the same poem that had been quoted before.

I have dreamed so much of you
walked so much, spoken, lain with your phantom that all
I have to do now is perhaps to be a phantom among phantoms and a ghost a hundred times more than ghost who walks and will walk gaily over the sun-dial of your life.


Then he pocketed the chalk and walked on, not noticing the figure in black who was clasping his hands to his chest and simultaneously doing a happy dance likely inspired by several glasses of wine he'd had before.

*

"He wrote back!" Francis said. He sighed happily. All was well in the world. Also, the wine helped.

"You're such a girl, Francis. And for the record I say you still should've just fucked him against the wall," Gilbert grumbled.

Francis was too caught up in his happy reverie (where he may have very well been fucking Matthew against a wall) to notice.

"Seriously though, man. Why are you after Matthew freaking Williams? Do you have any idea how long it took for me to realize who you were even talking about? The kid is like a fucking ghost."

"He loved Valéry and Char, his hair was so very silky and his French was so very cute..." Francis said, his voice taking a dreamy edge.

"And? It's not like he's the only French speaking bastard around here. There's that one blond chick – whatsherface–"

"Ah, her...she screams when she comes," Francis said, breaking into a smile at the memory. "Though she has a brother complex, and was even a little too kinky for me."

"What the hell? Is that even possible?"

"She wanted a threesome, her brother wanted a foursome and when I saw what he wanted to bring along, I wanted to leave," Francis said.

"Geez, I never thought you'd be one to turn down an orgy. What if dreamboat Mattie wants to bring his brother along? Then will the honeymoon be over?"

"I would thank all my lucky stars, enjoy the dear boys and get it on tape. Then I would make several copies, and send it to Arthur," Francis said.

"You crazy bastard," Gilbert said, but he was laughing.

"But I can't help but think I must go in for the kill and make him mine, lest he reason it away. Ah, Matthieu, mon chéri. You are adorable, and yet so very troublesome. Say, Gilbert, can you pick locks?"

"Pick locks? Are you kidding? Kicking down the door is so much more fun," Gilbert said.

"Perhaps I should ask Antonio. He certainly seems to be picking the locks on one of the Vargas brothers' chastity belts..."

*

"The awesome us are breaking into the campus!"

Antonio laughed. "Way to be stealthy, Gilbert."

"Pfft, like I need stealth! Stealth is for sissies who don't know how to roundhouse kick like I do! Chuck fucking Norris has nothing on me!"

"Shut it before we get caught," Francis muttered. The walls gave a satisfying echo. Francis had flirted with a very perplexed custodian long enough for Antonio to pocket the spare keys. A few gifts of wine to a night watchmen, and they were set. They were all dressed in black – ninjaing clothes, as Gilbert put it. Francis was in tight black jeans and a hoodie. He would've worn a black catsuit (or nothing at all) if he'd had the chance. Gilbert wore black cargo pants, a black shirt and black combat boots, while Antonio apparently hadn't gotten the note and wore a dark pinstripe suit, making them resemble a group made up of a makeup of a soldier, a mafioso, and a gay ninja who apparently stole from the Gap.

Francis peeked into the windows at the lowest level.

"Are we there yet?" Gilbert said.

"Oh, we're there all right," Francis said, sighing happily. "I love when girls forget to close their drapes~"

Gilbert joined him. "Ooh. We've hit the Ukrainian jackpot."

"I really didn't expect her nipples to be that large," Antonio said.

"You say that like it's a bad thing," Gilbert said. "Man, I'd put my mouth over those milkbags and–"

They ducked down as Ivan's crazyass sister entered and flopped down on the bed.

"We should probably move on before she flays us alive and feeds us our severed dicks," Gilbert said.

They snuck from window to window, but the results were alas, far less interesting than the first window. Most of them remembered to close their blinds, or were simply not in the dorm. However, one room in particular had forgotten to close them. Alfred was in nothing but a very tight set of briefs emblazoned with the American flag, and he was dancing to Lady Gaga. He swivelled his hips, and grabbed his crotch to the repeated line of po-po-poker face

"..this is amazing. I wish we had a video camera," Gilbert said.

"Oh, there you are Matthieu~" Francis said.

Matthew was sitting on his bunk bed, rolling his eyes and saying something to Alfred they couldn't hear over the music. Snuggled under the covers next to him was something brown and distinctly fuzzy.

"Is that a...teddy bear?" Gilbert said incredulously.

"Hush up! It's adorable," Francis said.

"Ahhh, if only Lovi would be that cute. Maybe if I gave him a teddy he might be so cute..."

"Hate to break it to you, but he'd tear its head off and then shove it up your ass," Gilbert interjected.

Antonio sighed. "I suppose so. Burt maybe Feliciano would like one..."

"Playing with fire, man. Seriously, though– how are we going to get in there?"

"When in doubt, call Arthur," Francis said, with no undue smugness. He flipped open his cell phone. Arthur was one of the saved numbers, all the better for late night drunkdialing.

"Hello, Arthur," he purred. "Guess where I am now? It's a very nice sight, and you're missing it. I'll give you a hint – it's very heroic."

It didn't take long for Arthur to get there. Even Francis would have guessed that it'd have taken longer, which meant he must have run the entire way. He was panting and flushed when he arrived, which seemed to prove that possibility. He turned a lovely shade of puce when he caught sight of Alfred, what at that point was mid booty shake.

"We have got to bring cameras next time," Francis said. He covered his mouth with his hand to keep from laughing too loud as the scene unfolded before him. Arthur was yelling, Alfred seemed to be wiggling his hips in an even more ardent manner just to watch Arthur's brain explode. And while it was an amusing scene, Francis reminded himself of their true reason for being there.

"You brought them with you, right?"

"Hell yeah," Gilbert said. He pulled out a walkie talkie. "Hey baby, hit the breaker, will you? ..Yes, I'll make sure you get pictures. What? No I'm not starring in them. Especially not with your fucking ex-boyfriend. What the hell is wrong with you, you crazy bitch? Yeah yeah. Fine. What? No. I'm with the guys."

Gilbert growled in the back of his throat and finally muttered loveyoubye. When he looked up, the remainder of the trio was smirking at him.

"Best partner in crime ever," Gilbert said.

"What about us?" Antonio said.

"Best partner in crime with a vagina – other than you, Francis."

Francis gave him a one finger salute.

In a second, the lights and music faded and everything turned to black.

"Bloody hell–"

There was a gasp, and then the sound of skin slapping on skin.

"Owww. I'm just trying to find a switch," Alfred protested.

"That isn't a switch, you git!"

"Guys, Miguel probably has a hurricane lamp or something we can borrow. He always stocks that stuff away," Matthew said.

Francis gritted his teeth at the mention and clung a little closer to the windowsill.

"That'd be great if he wasn't halfway across the campus," Arthur said in irritation. "Your brother would probably think it's a bloody expedition–" There was another sound of flesh slapping against flesh.

"That's still not the switch, Alfred," Arthur said between gritted teeth.

"Uh, he's right across from us," Matthew said.

"Oh that Miguel," Alfred said.

"Who else would it be?" Matthew said with some irritation.

They shuffled out, and Francis pushed the window open. He slipped in, turned on a small flashlight and put it in his mouth while he set to work. Thankfully, Alfred and Matthew's bags were easy to tell apart. For one, Matthew's was the one which had a small stuffed bear keychain attached to the zipper, while Alfred's was covered in the logo of his favorite sports team. In his small pool of light, Francis opened it up and found just the textbook he'd been looking for. He hastily shoved in the note he had prepared.

Then he pulled himself back through the window.

"Hurry and have her turn them back on! I don't want to help him along to have some romantic candlelit dinner in that Miguel's bedroom," Francis hissed.

"You do know that he's dating a chick, right?" Gilbert said. "I'm pretty sure he's totally straight."

"Still, I am not taking any chance," Francis sniffed. "To have him stolen right out from underneath me would be a tragedy..."

Antonio and Gilbert snickered. "'Under you' indeed."

Francis smirked, but his witty retort was cut off by the lights coming back on.

The trio froze for a moment, and then they ran in separate directions into the night. Neither bothered to regroup, as they all knew that they were going to be headed elsewhere. Gilbert to Lizzie's room, Antonio to one of the Vargas brothers, and Francis to a bottle of wine he intended to become acquainted with that night. The dulcet sounds of Lady Gaga and Arthur yelling profanities filled the night as they made their separate ways.

*

Matthew had come a little late that day. He shuffled in, redfaced and apologetic as he took his seat. The professor was too busy to give him any glares, though. Not being noticed wasn't always a bad thing. Matthew opened up his textbook. A piece of paper, lined college rule from a notebook fell out. So that's where I put my notes, he thought.

He smoothed out the creases and noted a bit of writing near the edge.

There is
Hopeless fusion of your presence and your absence
I have found the secret of loving you
Always for the first time


It was then that Matthew looked up to the window. There was the figure in black. He looked up, and Matthew caught sight of gold curls, and a roguish smile. He winked, and made a heart with his hands.

Matthew blushed. The room erupted into chaos, with boys laughing and girls all thinking that it was aimed at them. As much as a part of him wanted to deny this, to reiterate that Francis wasn't noticing him, the paper in his hand said otherwise.

*

Matthew stood about the steps. His professor had been talking and talking about things after class and kept him so late, and all the while Matthew had wanted to just scream at him. But as always, he was polite and quiet and listened to him droning on and on when all he could think about was Francis. In fact, Matthew hadn't absorbed anything at all after finding the poem. He was pretty sure that he'd have to crib notes from Miguel and Eduard. There was in chalk, a refrain of the note he had received in class written on the wall. Most everyone else had already gone home. Matthew felt a sinking feeling, and wondered if he was too late. He wasn't sure that he could take a whole night of waiting.

"Bon Soir, Matthieu mon amour."

Matthew turned to find Francis waiting for him. He was smiling in way that was quite suggestive, and staring very pointedly at Matthew's mouth.

"Ah...F-Francis. I didn't see you there," Matthew said. He could do little more than blush, look down and shove his hands a little deeper into his pants pockets.

"You have good taste in poets," Francis said.

"Thank you," Matthew said.

All he could think was the feel of Francis' mouth against his, and then his lips parting to let him further explore his mouth. His mind was still trying to comprehend that this was even real. He'd spent so much time convincing himself that there wasn't any chance that the notes could be aimed at him that he didn't know what to do at the revelation that they were.

Francis took his hand and kissed the back of his palm, and nuzzled against him. "From now on, I'll woo you in a more direct manner."

"I'd like that," Matthew said.

And when Francis finally did lower his mouth to his, it only felt sweeter than he could have imagined. Nestfuls of kisses, indeed. It was warm, like thawing out his cold hands in front of the fire, after slipping them from the softness of the snowy mittens. It was nostalgia and hope for a future in one as his pulse raced. He put his arms about Francis' neck and felt himself being pushed to wall where the poetry had been written. His eyelids fluttered, and he saw glimpses of the world past Francis, past the dim light reflected golden off of him. The world looked more beautiful from this angle. He felt Francis' hand entwine with his, and a part of him felt such wonder that bodies could fit together so well.

They only broke apart when they heard laughter, and found a few students passing. Matthew blushed, but Francis was nonplussed, even smug. He winked at them


"Now, mon chéri, shall we go somewhere a bit more private? I have many things I want to show you," Francis said.

His hand was still in Matthew's. Matthew was torn between the joyous disbelief, and the nagging fear that his palms would sweat.

"Oh, I'm coming," Matthew said. He rubbed the chalky dust from the back of his shirt.

"Oh you will be," Francis said.

"What?"

"Oh, nothing," Francis said smoothly. "Your family isn't expecting you back soon? I do intend to keep you out a very long time."

"Uh...I don't think Al or Arthur will miss me at all, frankly. They were off busy at some football game thing," Matthew said, gesturing with his hand.

"Ah, perfect. There is a shady spot about that ridge that is a very good place to watch sunsets."

Even Matthew wasn't so naive as to not recognize Makeout Ridge at even the slightest mention. He'd never been there personally, but he'd heard tales, and that was enough, really.

"I'd love to," Matthew said.

And he meant it with ever fiber of his being.

Comments

You've managed to combine so many of my favorite things into this. I fucking love this so much. Ahh, poetry! Francis would do something like that!

And I have to run off to class before I can gush incoherently at you some more, but lovely, lovely work.
:D ♥ Thank you! It was fun once the Bad Touch Trio started taking over...though it kept going on and on and on and I WANTED TO SLEEP, DANGIT. But no, they had to storm the school like ninjas...

Hope class goes well and it is not the Faily Class That Shall Not Be Named.
So much love for the bad friends trio. They really are perfect for quintessential high school fic. I can never get enough and this is wonderful pitch perfect. ^^ <3s
podfic link is here: http://community.livejournal.com/amplificathon/677926.html
*leaves kudos*