I hope I'm not offending anybody here D:
(special thanks to my dear berseker, who was a lovely beta <3)
Title: Standard & Poors
Pairing: Francis & Ludwig
Summary: So now Francis has this stupid grade and Ludwig wants to talk about it.
The room was dark and stuffy, thanks to the heavy curtains drawn over the window to keep the unwanted sunlight outside. At the floor, pages of the newspaper could be seen in the heap of shirts, trousers and underwear, items too expensive to be abused so, pieces and pieces of fine clothing carelessly tossed around–
Francis didn’t care.
He was still in bed, his naked body resting on silky sheets, his back against a soft pillow. He didn’t care about the mess and the heat, and he certainly didn’t care about the words printed in the newspaper. Everything was so irrelevant; just noise fading in the background of his attention, a waste of his time, and now–
Now he didn’t want to waste it. Now his time was so important that what he wanted the most was to be alone, to have this time to breathe, to enjoy every second before the door opened and he could enter with a long explanation about why this was so important and how they had to talk about it.
Francis didn’t want to talk.
He smoked his cigarette and closed his eyes, turning around, thinking about nothing. About how his hair spread over the pillow, how the soft strands felt on his naked shoulders.
It was so peaceful, almost like sleeping. It felt like floating, swimming in light, so far away from everything. Even letting the ashes fall on the carpet felt good, it felt like freedom, and Francis believed, for a second, that he could just forget everything.
The thud of footsteps (a dry sound, muffled by the clothes on the floor), shattered the illusion, and Francis grimaced. He should have heard the door opening.
The person – him – stopped. His breathing was fast and heavy, and Francis considered pretending to be sleeping. But then he would need to open his hand and let the cigarette fall, and the sheets would be on fire, so would the room, and what would they do if this happened? What would happen then?
How much would he fall?
And it wasn’t like he’d get away with it. More steps, this time slow and insecure. Francis bit his lips, almost all the way through the cigarette. He didn’t want to open his eyes, not yet, he almost said it - I need to be alone.
Nonsense. And when he felt the weight on the bed, Ludwig sitting by his side, Francis started to talk. His voice was flat, calm, and he spoke in French to himself (“this is bullshit, it’s fake, I shouldn’t waste my time with this kind of thing”) and to Alfred (“cuz now we have the same rating, the same fucking rating, so what’s there to laugh about?”), and then to Arthur (“why, laugh, keep looking, say whatever you want, I’m not answering you, it’s not like your opinion ever mattered”), speaking for the sake of speaking, to hear his own voice, to everyone and to Ludwig too, telling him to leave, to go fuck himself, asking–
The kiss in his mouth cut him off.
Eyes still closed, Francis raised his hand to touch his boyfriend’s fine hair.
“May I get rid of this?”, Ludwig asked, closing his left hand at Francis’ wrist.
Francis forced a smile “You may do whatever you want, mon amour.”
He felt Ludwig opening his fingers, taking the cigarette from his hand. Only then he opened his eyes, after the smell of smoke filled the air.
Ludwig was dressed with a suit, dark tie and black shoes. He straddled Francis, holding him between his legs, ignoring his nudity. He took a drag on the cigarette, let the smoke out and only then looked at the mess around them.
“You’re really upset”, Francis said, struggling to keep smiling, anger burning behind his eyes. “I’m flattered”.
Ludwig turned back at him, his face clean, void of emotion. “You’re talking in French”, he put out the cigarette against a newspaper in the nightstand, his own German accent as annoying as adorable.
“Yes, I do that sometimes. Did you come just to steal my cigars?”
“I came to see you”, now he was holding Francis’ face with both hands, his expression still unreadable.
Ludwig kissed his mouth again, but Francis knew he would answer. So he accepted the kiss, and closed his eyes again, open palms pressing Ludwig’s back to draw him closer. That kiss was like mouth-to-mouth breathing, Francis thought, grabbing his suit, twisting the fabric in his fingers. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Because Ludwig knows I’m floating, he thought, knows I’m drowning and this is only the beginning. Because I need help. Because I need him and he knows it.
“Because we’re together”, Ludwig answered, gasping against his ear “Because now everything that happens to you is personal to me, and vice-versa. Because now you own part of my heart”.
Francis felt a chill against his spine. “A very small part”, he murmured when Ludwig started kissing his neck.
Ludwig didn’t stop and Francis unbuttoned his suit, loosened his tie and, more important than anything else, received the touches and kisses, feeling Ludwig’s hands in his face, in his waist, in his back.
“A very small part”, Ludwig echoed “But I’m sure you can fix that”.