Hetalia is owned by Hidekaz Himaruya

Canonverse. Set in the late 1920s following WW1. I wrote the majority of this to Indila's Love Story, it's such a pretty song. Here's some angsting Arthur. Title is just a title.

Holding her hand gently in his own cool one, his other hand rested on her smooth silk of her faded pink gown just above her hip. They danced under the twinkling white lights of the marquee, the budding trees rimming the beautiful outdoor patio rustling in the gentle night breeze. She rested a delicate and manicured hand on Francis' shoulder as they danced close, nose to nose, staring into each other's eyes. Their dancing was to the sound of the orchestra's symphony drifting out through the large arched open doors, tickling their ears.

He whispered something in fluent French, and she stifled a small giggle, cheeks heating up and glowing healthily. Beautifully. Radiantly.

She's a gorgeous woman, and he's a sleaze, thought the drunken Englishman as he gazed at them from across the patio. Arthur had been sitting peacefully on a rosewood bench smoking the dregs of his cigar pondering his life just as the two had floated out of the ballroom. All laughs and smiles. Still captivated by a fresh new love blossoming between them in time with the blooming spring. It all made his chest feel empty, witnessing them, but he ignored it as he took another long sip of his whiskey, lowering it from his lips only to lift his other hand with the glowing and smoking stump to his lips.

They hadn't noticed him sitting there when they first arrived and Arthur couldn't care less. Not bothered to exert energy just to alert them, the Brit sat silently, tangled up in his own intoxicated thoughts as the two proceeded to cosy up and slow dance before him.

Arthur pitied Francis, falling for another human woman. The Frenchman was so idiotic that way... he knew rightly that it could never last and she'd die, and he'd have to move on no matter what. Arthur was clueless as to why he kept doing it to himself...

But then, the hollowness to Arthur's own life wasn't desirable either. Scared to love. Scared to devote oneself. Scared to experience heartache. Scared of grieving. Frightened... but craving to give and receive affection, to be enveloped by something warm and contenting in the form of another.

Francis wasn't really a sleaze, nor was he a coward... What he was, Arthur supposed the Frenchman was a hopeless romantic, addicted to love despite the heart wrenching consequences.

Letting his mind wander, Arthur pondered on the unspoken solution to both their problems... he'd been feeling something different for the man for some time now, ever since the end of World War One... he knew exactly what the feeling was and it petrified him. The thought of it made his stomach twist uncomfortably and never would he let his sober mind cover that turf... but he couldn't help but wonder if the other could ever feel the same... how could he ever, after their hideous history... and maybe this was all the concoction of having too much to drink...

And at that second he'd drained the rest of the whiskey from his glass, set it on the wooden seat beside him and got up, flicking the last of his cigar onto the ground. With one great wobbly stride, he left it to fizzle out in its own time, walking past the two without sparing them a second glance.

The two lovers halted in their steps, the lady standing on Francis' toe as his footwork stopped. Gazing up in confusion, she gave him a questioning look as she gazed into his face. Her partner was looking elsewhere. France's indigo, borderline cerulean blue eyes watched England emerge from the distant corner of the paved centrepiece of the garden, bewildered over not having seen him there beforehand.

"Ah Bonsoir Rosbi- Angleterre...?"

While England swept past, France's brows furrowed at the teary eyed, sullen look threatening to reveal everything the Englishman had bottled up inside and France wondered. Worried, even. England said nothing. His shoulders had slumped uncharacteristically and a stagger in his walk only sent the alarm bells off in France's mind.

What type of person would he be if he let a vulnerable and reckless drunken England stumble out into the world on his own?

Even more concerning, why was he crying?

With a kiss to his mademoiselle's cheek and a hasty promise of return, he dashed off after his fellow nation when he saw him exit the garden, rather than return to the main event in the ballroom with the other nations.

When he didn't live up to that promise, that ended it between France and the pretty Parisian woman - she didn't return his telephone calls, she sent back the flowers, her one letter in reply to his explanation spoke of how he should just devote his time to that random stranger instead. Little did she know England was no stranger, nor a acquaintance. She was human, and France was immortal, and England was worth more to France than he would ever care to admit. There was no regretting his decision to leave her that night... if she couldn't handle France sharing the kindness in his heart, then was she even kind at all?

England will always wake with a deathly hangover and plethora of regrets following a night out drinking, but he wasn't sure if a night spent sobbing incoherently onto a confused France's shoulder was to be regretted or not. When he's doing the laundry later on in the day, he finds the rose tucked snugly into the breast pocket of his tailcoat. Half an hour later and England pens a letter with heated cheeks inquiring about this, that and the other, but mainly it's filled with insults that have become redundant from overuse and a changing, progressing world where the French don't particularly hate the English as much as they did before, a strange new world where Arthur can't find it in his heart to hate Francis like he used to without having to put any effort into it.

It's read over a breakfast of American coffee and croissants with snorts and smiles and curious hums. Arthur receives the reply exactly on their anniversary of the Entende Cordial. It's an envelope filled with pink and red rose petals and a small card that says "See you soon." in curly, French cursive.

England fumes. He doesn't really have a reason for it, but he does out of habit anyway.

I can't end fics well, or write them well to be honest. But I'm in a Fruk mood today and I couldn't hold back writing a bit of something.

Thanks for reading!