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Frankly Glorious

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“To be honest, I still can’t believe you let him invade you,” said France, three drinks in—not that it mattered—and fingers curled around his wine glass.

 

“It was a technicality,” said England, between gritted teeth.

 

“Technicality? He put one of his own on your throne. Did you let him fuck you?”

 

England spluttered. “I—you—“

 

“You did, then,” said France. That little knowing smile had never looked good on him.

 

“Wouldn’t you like to know, you fucking deviant.”

 

“Yes, and I’m sure you loved it,” said France, voice low. To his very great embarrassment, England felt himself flush. “He has that, how do you say, that butch look about him, like little Prussia…”

 

“You’re fucking plastered,” said England, largely to avoid having to deal with that last accusation.

 

“And poor little James wasn’t even a Frenchman—just a Catholic,” continued France, merciful for once.

 

England sent him the most withering look he could muster. He had a feeling it didn’t come across as stern as he intended; he was considerably more than three drinks in. On the other hand, he’d been giving France withering looks for centuries now. Perhaps sheer muscle memory would suffice. “Don’t play the fool, you pernicious bastard. We both know he would have sucked you like a vacuum in an instant, and he’d never even seen you.” A pause. “Upon reflection, perhaps that was why. Should’ve introduced you.”

 

“And what makes you think we hadn’t met?” purred France, expression positively feline. England thought about that for a moment. Then he put it out of his mind. Unfortunately, France continued. “It would be only fair, really, after Voltaire...”

 

England slammed down his glass, sloshing the ale all over the table. France winced and glanced at the carpet. Served him right. “I never so much as—“

 

France waved a hand. Someone ought to tell him he looked like a fucking queen when he did that. England opened his mouth, in fact, to perform this service to humanity, but was interrupted. “Then you’re a fool. You could have had him in an instant.”

 

“I don’t fuck the French,” said England, grumpily. France raised his eyes. “I don’t fuck the French sober,” he amended.

 

France gave him an admonishing look. He slipped an arm around his shoulder—what were the stools doing so close—and took his hand across the bar, face melting into that ridiculous pout. Like he said. Queen. “As if you have never had me dry.” He kissed England’s fingers, tongue tracing his knuckles, biting lightly—

 

“—seducing me now won’t prove a thing, you fool,” said England, snatching his hand away.

 

“Perhaps I had nothing to prove, this time,” said France quietly, and the look in his eyes made England look away. “How did it feel?” he asked, after a moment. “He was quite strong then, yes? Was it like the old days, before little Normandy came to you?”

 

England wasn’t even sure where to start being offended. “I don’t understand your preoccupation with this. Go fuck him yourself.”

 

“I have already done so, of course. However, I suspect your experience was, ah, the inverse of mine--”

 

“Don’t try to tell me you haven’t taken it from him, you filthy, lying whore.”

 

France shook his head. “Such vehemence. And your mouth is foul, as always.”

 

“You don’t seem to mind when it’s wrapped around your—“

 

France made a frantic shushing motion. “Arthur!”

 

“Oh yes, we can fuck until we drop, but God forbid we talk about it—“

 

“You can tell me,” he said, lowly, “all about what you do with your mouth, when our dear friend Poland is not—“ he gestured to his left, where indeed the little bender was watching them like a hawk.

 

“You didn’t seem to mind when you were sucking on my hand,” he said, but he looked away nonetheless. “Besides, we’re hardly breaking news.”

 

“True enough,” said France, tone turning nostalgic again. “You remember that time, just after Hastings…”

 

England spluttered. “You remember that?” France had never alluded to having any memories from Normandy, so England had always assumed, since the other man still nominally existed…

 

“I felt that,” said France, in his bedroom voice.

 

England flushed. “…oh,” he said. He couldn’t quite—he couldn’t quite figure out how to respond to that.

 

“And goodness, the Hundred Years’ War. And yes, little Napoleon… And that time with Russia, just after we signed the Triple Ente—“

 

“Poland,” he hissed, and the little blond quickly looked away. Fucking gossip monger. But the truth was that that particular meeting… well. Really, the memory was marred by all that had come after, by the hole left by France three decades later after his formal surrender, that little Alfred couldn’t even begin to fill.

 

“Yes, hardly breaking news,” France finished, with a satisfied smile. Then, concerned, he continued. “Arthur, are you al—“

 

England stood suddenly. “Drunk enough for tonight. Think I’ll head home.”

 

“Don’t be ridiculous, Arthur, you can’t drive like this. Let me—“

 

“As if you’re any better,” he said. “I’ll call a cab.”

 

“Still. There’s no reason for you to be alone tonight; surely you’re drunk enough to ‘fuck the French,’ as you so charmingly put it.”

 

“Who says I’ll be alone,” he said, but even to him it sounded hollow.

 

France stood. “Put on your coat, then,” he said, “and let me go flag a cab.”

 

England wanted to protest, but he was so tired, and it was so late—surely there was nothing wrong with letting the man do as he wished, just this once?

 

He got into the cab that France had caught, and in moments, was dead asleep. He didn’t see the other man’s soft smile, or feel the gentle fingers in his hair.