Arthur leaned back in his small boat, just holding lazily at the handle of his fishing rod. It'd been a while since he'd gotten a bite.
"Francis! Please, for the love of god, tell me you've at least felt a nip today." The Briton hollered, voice directed to his lover on the other side of the small ship.
"Non, mon ami, I am afraid not," came the reply, the voice laced in a heavy French accent. "Have you?"
The Briton just grunted, cringing. Great. A whole tiresome day with nothing to show for it. "Shouldn't we be heading back soon? It's late afternoon, you do realize." Arthur hollered, reeling his line back in due to being unfruitful. He finished up with his line, put his rod down, and moved over to the opposite side of the vessel.
"Ah, you just must hold hope, Arthur! There's still time to bring in that big catch for the contest~!" The Frenchman sang, turning and flashing a grin to his work partner. He lifted a hand from his rod, flicking it through his champagne-blond hair, and smirking.
Arthur sighed, sitting down beside Francis and just leaning his head on the other's shoulder. "You asshat." He murmured tiredly. "Fine, we'll wait another hour, nothing more." Francis only chuckled in response, using his free hand to ruffle Arthur's hair.
If only Francis hadn't allowed that extra hour to pass.
Within forty minutes, they'd struck a rough patch of ocean, and Arthur had hurried himself into the cabin to try and steer the small boat throughout rough waves. He knew they should've turned back. He knew it. Alas, they hadn't had enough common sense.
The seas had risen to fearsome heights, the water dark, as was the now overcast sky.
"Arthur-" Francis yelped, clinging onto part of the boat as it veered and tipped from side to side. He felt as if he was going to be sick.
"Francis, in here, quickly!" Arthur hollered, distress causing his voice to crack.. Water was spraying up everywhere from the falling waves. The droplets and sprays ended up drenching Francis as he made a stumbling dash for the cabin. He slipped on the wet deck though, and ended up sliding as the boat tilted again.
"Fr-" The Briton cut himself off, first instinct being to move out from the cabin and try and rescue Francis. He stepped out of the protected little room, diving down along the deck, reaching out for his boyfriend's hand.
"Arthur, don't! Get back in the cabin-" Francis shouted, worry piercing his silky tones into despairing shouts. "It's too dangerous!"
He didn't listen. He grabbed the other's hand, using all of his strength and practically flinging the larger man the other way. It had been said that when a loved one was in danger, anyone could become so much stronger in their attempt to rescue them.
In this maneuver, Arthur had ended up switching places with the Frenchman, sliding to one side of the deck as the boat rocked and swayed. He was drenched already from the splashes of waves, and he tried not to show the distress on his face. He could see the wave coming up from the other side of the boat. And he knew it would be what would knock it far enough. And so, as a sending off, Arthur smiled.
"I love you, Francis."
Those four words were all Arthur had time to mouth.
The wave rocked the entire ship, flipping Arthur off and down, into the roaring seawater. There was a shout from Francis, but it was muffled to the Brit's ears. The water crashed down, ripping at him with claws of tides. And he sank.
A year had passed since that day. Francis still blamed himself. The cigarette was pulled down from his chapped lips, and he stubbed it out on the ground to the side of the grave he sat at. "I miss you, you know." He said quietly. "I still haven't been fishing ever since. Happy leaving day."
Just saying that was enough to trigger tears from those once-vibrant eyes of blue. After Arthur had drowned that day, the colour just seemed to fade, leaving him with a dull cerulean around his pupils.
"I love you, Arthur." Francis murmured, just staring at the gravestone. "I love you so much." He whimpered, leaning over and hiding his face in his hands.
Francis's younger brother turned up before long, sitting beside him, adding a flower to the bouquet already in front of the stone. "It really wasn't your fault." The voice mumbled, belonging to a pale boy with soft blond curls.
"I miss him just as much as you do." A second voice came from behind him, this time in a thick-set American accent. Francis didn't even look as Arthur's younger brother sat to the other side of him.
He was foolish enough to have wanted to wait. There's still hope, Arthur!
The words in his head gave him something close to a migraine.
Francis leaned back, done with lamenting. He wondered if one day, the waves would just swallow him up, crash into him, and take him down to the sea floor.
Maybe he'd meet Arthur there.