Word count: 1361
Author's note: Originally meant for, aph_fluffathon, but I decided to do something else for that. In the end I used it for kink meme: angsty Franada.
The room is dimly lit in candlelight, and it makes it mysterious and alluring. But it's light enough to see that France has done a number here. He leaves for a couple hours to get just the right bread, and the curtains have been exchanged, new coverings on the couch and chair, and
Had he been gone longer, France probably would've torn up the rug and painted the walls and gotten him entirely new furniture. He wonders how much else France has gotten to. Every time France visits, Canada finds some new thing that he missed at first. New thousand thread count linens and silk sheets put into his closet; a pair of monogrammed silk pajamas; new towels and once, a new shower curtain to replace his old, slightly rust-stained one with a Canadiens logo on it.
"I brought...what you wanted..." Canada trails off, studying what France has made of his flat.
"Do you like what I've done with the place?" France asks. He gestures with his hand. The wan light glints off of the blond hair across his arms which his rolled up sleeves have revealed.
He liked his room, but he knows that France must always change things. The people around him, the settings around him. England won't stand for it, and would throw the curtains in France's face. Canada likes his former curtains, comfy and plain as they were, but he likes these two. They're wine colored and luxurious. They remind him of France in all his elegance.
"Yeah. I was just surprised, is all."
"Ah, but that is hardly the 'main event' if you will. I just had some spare moments between cooking..."
Canada knows this is a lie, but he smiles and nods anyways. It's a harmless one. France always wants to better him. He's always making little criticisms, correcting his French and buying him new, better suits.
Sometimes it hurts. France can be callous and even cruel at times. But also there's always a little touch of gratitude. That same feeling of a new little land who held onto his papa's finger and tried so hard to replicate the new language, the style of his colonizer.
It's a feeling which has never entirely left him, even when he was no longer French territory and had passed into England's hands, even when he grew up and became his own country.
France expects more of him, because he was once his land, and now is his in a different way. Any lover of his must be of a certain level, and if they are not, France will help them along until they are satisfactory. It is simply the way it is with him. It's frustrating and gratifying all at once to be told to stand up straighter, to have France offering to trim his hair again just like old times.
"It's lovely," Canada says again, clearing his throat. He pulls out the bread. It's still faintly warm from the tinfoil covering the bakery put it in. France opens it up and sighs happily.
"Yes, this is exactly what I wanted," France says.
Canada feels a little spring of warmth well up in his chest. Usually he gets France's disappointment. Telling him that's not quite the one–but it is to be expected, because one would never find the sorts of wine or cheese or bread anywhere but the home country. But he's slowly making ground. Or maybe, just maybe, France is developing a taste for Canada's types of foods.
"To us," France says. He lifts the crystalline wine glass to his mouth. Canada traces the rim of his glass and leans in to take a breath of the earthy scent. Canada loves the aroma of Vermouth. Even more the way France smells, the taste of Vermouth on his lips. France beacons him with a crooked finger, a rich come hither smile.
Canada moves around the table, careful to not displace anything and leans down for a kiss. There's a few inches between them now. It's odd to look down on the person he spent his life looking up to, but he's getting used to it.
He's only too happy to take the kiss, and feel the Vermouth pass between their lips. It adds an extra tartness to the kiss. France's tongue brushes against his own, and it sends a tingle through him. When they break apart for a breath, there's the extra burning sensation between the desire and kiss of the Vermouth. A few drops spill over his chin, and catch in France's beard.
Canada is about to mumble and apology when France brings a wetted napkin and cleans the spill on himself, and Canada's face. The gesture is tender, and France pulls him a little closer.
"Are you terribly hungry, mon amour?" France asks. "If not, we could wait a bit."
"No, it's fine," Canada says. "As long as the food doesn't get cold."
France is always a stickler for eating exactly at the moment of cooking, lest his grand gesture not be experienced to its fullest.
"It's still cooling," France says.
Translation: He sent Canada on a wild goose chase so he could have some quality redecorating time, and saved the cooking for last.
Canada expects to get pulled to the bedroom, but instead it's to his newly recovered couch. It's white with a red pattern of damask now. A ruffle at the bottom. America is going to tease him so much when he comes over–and probably get cheeto dust all over. He mentally reminds himself to get slipcovers or a tarp or anything to keep America from ruining France's handiwork.
France leans forward and another wine kiss passes between them. The warmth starts at the base of his spine and grows upwards, flowering through him. It's a gentle and unhurried kiss, and France is careful to not let the wine spill from between them.
"Tell me about your day, mon coeur," France says.
Canada tries to think of anything that would be remotely interesting. Sometimes he trips up, wondering what he could possibly say to interest someone who was a muse to Fitzgerald, dined with Colette and spent time with Hemingway. When he was younger, it never was a problem. He was just so happy to see France after months, even years of absence that it would all gush out. Mundane and not. France used to coo over him, and coddle him quite a bit. When he was around, at least.
But he thinks of some admonishment France had once told him. Boring? You are not boring. You are simply shy and telling your story poorly. If you think yourself boring, then become more interesting. There is nothing in this world that cannot be remade.
He looks down to the newly covered couch. It was a brownish color–good for hiding stains. Deep down, that's what it is under all this pretty cloth, but no one would know from looking at it.
Canada tucks his feet under him and clears his throat.
"Today someone thought I stole Kumamaji from the zoo," Canada begins.
Whoever said the truth will set you free was way off base. France has always tried to teach him recreational lying. Tall tales, if you will. He's trying bit by bit, like that little boy who tried to stand on tip toe and get his papa's attention.
He swallows and tastes Vermouth in his mouth as he continues. France's eyes are on him alone. Instead of continuing immediately, he steals a sip of wine and one more careful kiss. The wine sploshes between their lips. Bitter and sweet all at once.
When his eyes open, his hands are at France's cheeks, the scratchy feel of his newly shaved face to his palms. France looks back at him with such tenderness, that Canada knows whatever he says, France will listen. He will be seen, and heard. And he will change and reform himself however many times France wants just for this.