Characters/Pairings: France/Scotland(OC), England, Germany, Prussia, the Italies
Warning: For food porn - caramel, spun sugar and delicious sweet things.
Summary: It has only been a couple of months, but he was certain that for the most part grocery shopping and cooking lessons were not supposed to result in defiling the most sacred of instituitions (re: the kitchen).
18th April 2010; Paris
France was not a morning person.
The only time Scotland ever saw him out of bed before the sun was high in the sky was on “market day”, when he did his weekly grocery shopping. Granted the routine remained the same, and France was as surly and prone to snap as he was any other day before he had had his coffee, but the fact remained that he was out the door before Scotland had even gone on his morning stroll.
He had never liked missing out on the better part of the day, and had since learnt his lesson about letting France disrupt this practice. It had been easier to understand why France often crawled out of his room as late as he did, for his bed had been placed near the windows in such a way that the sun warmed the sheets and induced a fuzzy, languid sort of feeling after a certain hour. Subsequently France had positioned himself half on top of him, with a knee wedged between his thighs and Scotland hadn’t felt like moving for the life of him. They had ended up languishing in each other’s company until way past noon, and only then hunger pangs and the realization that if he didn’t move now, the possibility that they would just lie in bed the whole day and have nothing to show for it had made Scotland give in and roll off the side to get dressed.
As it stood he had thought that accompanying France food shopping would, in a sense, be infinitely easier to bear than having to wait around an expensive boutique that felt like a drain on his wallet even if he didn’t buy anything himself (and he usually didn’t, unless coerced).
He was wrong.
It was on one such day that Scotland came to the realization that he had largely the same opinion on foodstuff that he did in regards to fashion.
“Don’t give me that, France. An apple is an apple,” he said a little exasperatedly, to which the other nation snatched the green fruit from his hand, easy as you please, and put it back in its place.
“They are also out of season,” he said with a slight half smile, “As are the pears, grapes and plums, my dear. Besides,” he pressed his shopping basket into Scotland’s hands and made a beeline for the citruses, “those ones are far too tart.”
Scotland made a face. “What about the mangoes then?”
“Overpriced,” France replied smoothly in turn, by this stage cupping an orange between his palms and pressing his nose close to the textured skin. He made a thoughtful sound and held it out to Scotland in turn. “What do you think, mon grand? Is that sweet enough?”
Scotland gave him a completely flummoxed expression, but France looked so earnest that he took a whiff regardless. “…about as sweet as any other orange?” he ventured, brows furrowing together. France sighed.
“Of course,” he said dryly, and set about collecting a couple more to put in his basket, which was already nearly full to bursting and Scotland was sure that he could knock someone out with it if given half the chance and enough room to swing his arm. “Well if nothing else I suppose the skins would be useful for zesting.”
Scotland shifted. “Look here, mo cridhe,” he said, and cleared his throat. “I appreciate you taking the time to, er… teach me how to cook but is all of this really necessary? Shouldn’t we start with learning how to boil water or something?” he grinned a little wryly, somehow feeling the joke had fallen on deaf ears as it had when he brought it up five minutes ago. “Or maybe an egg…?”
“An egg,” France repeated with raised eyebrows, and laughed a little. “Oh mon chou surely you can handle that by yourself. Non, today you will be learning something far more satisfying. I promise you won’t have to boil any eggs though.” He tilted his chin slightly.
“You’d be surprised,” Scotland noted, glancing at the vegetables over France’s shoulder with a shake of his head. He took the gesture for the invitation it was and kissed him, lips lingering for the slightest of moments before pulling back. “Stranger things have happened.”
France settled back on the flats of his feet; there was an amused curl to his lips. “I don’t doubt that,” he said, and brushed past Scotland, taking the utmost care to pinch his backside as he went, which caused the other nation to go rigid in turn and jerk forwards, cheeks flaming, “Now mon cher, are you in the mood for strawberries?”
Scotland’s face felt hot; he adjusted the basket on his arm and glanced around to see if anyone had been watching before surreptitiously pulling his jacket down over the back of his jeans. He could think of many things that he was in the mood for, but not all of them involved fruit per se. He exhaled heavily.
“Aye, that sounds good.”
France had had a personal chef once, in addition to his housekeeper and fuck knows who else he called over to handle the more menial tasks of cleaning his apartment. It had been years ago to Scotland’s mind, but hadn’t lasted very long. He doubted it had anything to do with the woman herself; and she had been a thickset sort of lady with rosy cheeks and a racy sense of humour, a country-style cook that looked as though she could probably wring France’s neck in the same way she did a chicken’s if he so much as turned his nose up at her, as he was wont to do when something wasn’t quite up to his standards.
Well, Scotland had liked her.
Of course that had been before the Jura incident, but after Provence, when really they should have gone with Burgundy to begin with.
At least that’s how France had put it, while Scotland had gone on trying to look politely interested while the weight of this apparently profound statement flew right over his head. It had been centuries since he professed to have known anything about France and his wines, which consequently ended up under lock and key after that and outside help had been expressly forbidden from entering the kitchen ever since.
In fact Scotland was fairly certain that the kitchen was the only place in his apartment that France saw to personally. It was spotless; there was enough crockery in there to care for a small army and the fridge and pantry were consequently always full. Scotland hadn’t come home to a well-stocked house since the Victorian era, when England had had his own cooks and errand boys. His own pretty much only contained the barest of necessities, seeing how he ate out whenever possible and couldn’t cook if his life depended on it, so having France around was always a bit of a novelty.
England had sneered once or twice that he was putting on weight with all the rich food the Frog was lavishing on him, and although that had descended quickly into an argument in its own right, Scotland, secretly, found himself inclined to agree. He bore France’s gentle teasing that he was getting a little soft in the belly with stoicism regardless, increased the time and effort he put into his hiking regime, and dragged Wales into it despite his protests.
He liked to think it was working.
Watching France melting butter, sugar and caramel over a stove top made it seem all for naught regardless. He vaguely wondered if nations could become diabetic, thought of America, and decided he was probably better off not knowing.
France revelled in the kitchen almost as much as Scotland shied away from it.
It was like his own personal comfort; feeding the need to explore and create and cultivate something together with his hands until it gave way to form. It was satisfying on all sorts of levels.
This was also why he didn’t appreciate being distracted.
“Mon grand, really,” he said, slicing the washed strawberries into halves with efficient ease, “what can you possibly achieve by doing this?”
“I learn best through observation,” Scotland declared, and this much was true, for he found he had already learnt a great deal through careful examination of France’s slim neckline, exposed above his collar where he had tied his hair back with a silk ribbon, the skin rising like gooseflesh every time he breathed against it. His thumbs traced circles over the jut of his hips.
“Then you would do well to start observing,” France told him, ducking out from under his chin and shooing his hands away, sliding the chopping board and knife sideways when he had finished. He adjusted the tie of his apron promptly and lowered the heat, peering into the saucepan once again.
“How many of these things can you eat anyway?” Scotland demanded, wiping his own flour-dusted hands on his already ruined jeans and glancing across at the kitchen table. The small mound of profiteroles sat there, largely unassuming and slightly charred around the edges. All things considered he hadn’t thought it bad, as far as first attempts went. They tasted far better than anything Scotland had managed to scrounge together on his own at any rate.
Of course half the flour had landed up on the floor rather than in the saucepan and the expression on France’s face had been beyond priceless when Scotland had been bored and tipsy enough to think that juggling the eggs was a good idea, which had resulted in sticky yolk between the tiles, as well as bits of shell stuck to their bare feet and the floor mat near the sink. After which the first batch had ended up looking rather crispy and overcooked due to the distraction.
“You can bring some back for Angleterre, I doubt he will know the difference,” France said a little snippily, rolling his sleeves back and brandishing a wooden spoon at Scotland’s nose. “But we will continue until we get this right.”
Scotland didn’t point out that France had agreed to do this for his benefit to begin with and pushed the utensil aside carefully. “Alright,” he conceded and held his hands up, “I’m sorry. I won’t treat your kitchen like a circus. Do you have any more wine?” He shook the bottle of vintage France had set out, which had started off half empty to begin with, but now contained little more than a few lingering droplets, “We’re all out.”
France looked at him sharply; his nostrils flaring like they did whenever Scotland saw fit to pass out drunk in his presence and more importantly, treat his best wine as though it were cheap grape juice. “Not for you,” he said sternly, “So you had best stand there and behave or you will never set foot in my kitchen again.”
And Scotland, fearing somewhere in his slightly alcohol-addled mind that “kitchen” could very well be a euphemism for “bedroom” and consequently “sex”, sheepishly agreed.
France smiled. “Good,” he said, fished around for a bowl and handed it to him, along with a carton of thickened cream and a whisk. “Then we shall try the recipe with cream this time.” Scotland stared at him. He stared at the contents in his hands.
“You can’t be serious,” he said at last. The smile on the other nation’s face was starting to look a little sharp from a certain angle.
“Think of it as part of the experience dear heart,” he drawled. “Why it’s not like you have a mixer at home do you?”
Scotland didn’t. But he thought it was cruel and unusual punishment besides.
In hindsight he could not remember a time his arm muscles had encountered such a workout. France did not seem as inclined to make a fuss about the cream sloshing everywhere as he did with the flour and eggs, so Scotland took the opportunity to imagine that he was beating out England’s brains with the whisk in his hand instead. It had a pretty remarkable effect, and kept his enthusiasm for the task going for far longer than he would have thought possible any time otherwise.
France was beating eggs into the choux dough when he glanced over, the wooden spoon going through the contents with fervour. He wondered if he was imagining doing the same to England too, but when he asked the other nation remarked that he had a little more class than that, and did not want to be put off his food while he was it, thank you. However the slight wrinkle to his nose, which seemed to be permanently affixed on his face whenever he and his brother were in the same vicinity told Scotland otherwise.
“I don’t know how you do it,” he grumbled, flicking the cream off the end of the whisk back into the bowl, “or what good this is going to do anybody. You can’t honestly imagine me pottering around the kitchen making these can you?”
“Perhaps if you spent a little more time in there it wouldn’t look like such a health hazard,” France replied, seemingly satisfied because he was now spooning the mixture carefully onto a greased tray and stepping back to admire his handiwork. He sucked thoughtfully on his fingertips when he was done. “It is such a waste of space mon grand.”
Scotland followed the movement out of the corner of his eye. France licked the excess off his thumb, tongue swirling over the edge. He swallowed and glanced away again. The cream was looking firmer now, coming off in stiff peaks whenever he tried to lift the whisk.
France made a soft noise that sounded vaguely like approval. “That wasn’t so hard was it?” He was leaning against Scotland’s shoulder now, peering down into the bowl with satisfaction. A tray of uncooked choux dough was balanced in his free hand. He lifted himself up on his toes to kiss Scotland on the cheek. “There’s hope for you yet, dear heart.”
“Cheeky bastard,” Scotland growled, but he turned to watch when France bent over to slide the tray into the oven. His cheeks had pinked from the heat and when he turned around again to push his hair out of his face Scotland set a dollop of whipped cream on his nose with his already messy fingers.
The effect was instantaneous. France’s eyebrows shot up, blue eyes crossing together somewhat comically as he stared down his own nose and then back up at Scotland, a frown on his face. “What was that for?” he demanded and promptly wiped it off with the back of his hand. He stuck his fingers in his mouth again, lips pursing around the digits.
Which really only prompted Scotland to do it again, this time tracing his finger down the bridge of France’s nose, sticky knuckles brushing against his cheek until the other nation jerked back and started to wipe his face in earnest.
“For being a wanker about my already non-existent prowess in the kitchen,” he says, instead of the somewhat more earnest admission of ‘keep doing those things you’re doing so I can watch’.
And France did, pointedly licking his fingers clean with broad swipes of his tongue, eyes at half-mast in a look that was more annoyance than an attempt at seduction. “It was a compliment,” he insisted, “and if you are going to waste the cream then at least use it on the fruit.”
“Strawberries and cream France? Really…?” Scotland wanted to know, but reached for the unsliced fruit in its punnet with his free hand, “Do you want me to light scented candles in the bath and scatter roses over the sheets too?”
“We don’t fit in the bath mon cher,” France pointed out in amusement, “you already tried. Besides which you complained that the petals were sticking in all sorts of unmentionable places if you so much as rolled over.”
“They made me sneeze,” he said defensively, picking at the strawberries and rolling one over the rim of the bowl. He held the fruit to France’s lips. “And the wax kept dripping over the side. Don’t you think it’s time you invested in something a little bigger?”
“I thought it was rather cosy myself,” France drawled and his fingers hovered over Scotland’s wrist for a bare moment before he took a bite, carefully licking cream off the underside before his mouth closed delicately over the tip of the fruit. He was smiling again. Scotland’s hand shook a little. He planted his feet wider on the floor, and really, only France could make something as mediocre as eating a piece of fruit look vaguely pornographic.
“If by cosy you mean packed together like a fucking tin of sardines,” he uttered and had to stop halfway to catch his breath, or rather, to look for another strawberry.
By this stage however France was licking his lips, catching the juice as it ran down the corner of his mouth towards his chin, and when Scotland leaned over to press his mouth to it he didn’t even seem surprised.
In fact his smile only grew when Scotland nuzzled his forehead and kissed the corner of his mouth, murmuring “Oh Écosse,” as though chastising him for being unable to resist.
Scotland snorted. “Don’t give me that tone mo ghradh,” he said, “You’re grinning from ear to fucking ear. You don’t mind in the least.”
“Are you telling me your observations have proved fruitful after all?” France asked, in such a way that their lips brushed with every word and his arms were pinned to Scotland’s chest, long fingers curling into the fabric.
“Fruitful,” Scotland repeated and threaded his sticky fingers through France’s hair, tucked it behind his ear, “Right.” He brushed his thumb over its curve, eliciting a shiver.
France hummed, tilting his head to look up with lidded eyes. “Then I suppose you can put them to good use.” He sighed as Scotland’s fingers traced down the small of his back, pulling him flush against him until he could feel every breath, every sigh. He pressed his lips to his ear.
“I can think of a few ways.”
Scotland hadn’t lied when he said that he was good at observation. One simply did not go through seven hundred years of dancing around each other and brief, but explosive sexual encounters without picking something up in the process.
He knew what France liked; despite the little frowns and scowls he had dredged up in the past, along with the accusations that Scotland treated him like porcelain. It was just that that hadn’t been expected of him so what France had wanted was for Scotland to stay his hand, get on it, get out and move along with their lives.
There was a relief now of not having to do that, of being allowed to touch and adore and admire in any way he pleased and the emotion in that was just so strong in itself that it made him breathless with want.
It was why he now had France backed up against the countertop, hands curled tight around the edges with his head bowed as Scotland knelt before him, mouth to the quivering skin of his belly, hands on his thighs and stroking the backs of his knees. He kissed across his hips, pressed his fingers against the curve of his buttocks, tongue swirling around his navel as France shivered in his arms.
And it was warm in the kitchen; Scotland could feel it in every resounding shudder, every time he stroked his thighs and pressed his cheek to it, watched the flush bleed red down his chest until his cheeks were rosy in a way that had nothing to do with the heat of the oven, blue eyes dark and molten.
He murmured, “Scotland,” and ran his fingers through dark hair, curled his arm around his head and pressed it closer to his person; did not say please but his erection bobbed, hard and wet and brushing against his clavicle. He made a loose fist over it, kissed the base as he pressed his thumb to the head. France moaned, low and deep, biting his lower lip and almost bent over double, his toes curling as he pressed his mouth to Scotland’s forehead, sticky strawberry juice kisses to his hair, “ah don’t tease, mon cœur.”
“You’re unusually impatient,” he murmured, pressed France back against the counter drawers with a firm hand, licked him with the flat of his tongue from base to tip and over the head, raking his teeth gently over the flushed skin until he cried out and arched again; Scotland’s arm tight around his knees so he didn’t pitch over sideways.
France’s laugh was a little breathless and when he ran his hand back through his hair it spilled like gold into his eyes, the silk ribbon haphazardly becoming undone. A part of Scotland wanted to flip him around and grind him into the counter so he could take it apart with his teeth. He crushed the feeling staunchly.
“The choux,” France said instead, in a drawn out breath with his thumb pressed between his own lips and tongue, watching Scotland’s head working between his thighs. “The pastry, my dear, it would be terrible if it burned. Can’t we – ooh.”
“Aye I’m weeping at the very thought of it,” Scotland replied somewhat roughly before going down on him again, the fingertips of his free hand stroking the cleft of France’s backside to press in, dry and insistent against his entrance. He kissed the head, catching precome on his tongue. He curled his fist tighter when he drew his mouth off again.
“Like you said, we can just pawn them off on some unsuspecting sod and you can tell them they’re only half as bloody perfect because I was fucking you against the counter. Whatever makes you happy.”
France huffed, hiding his smile behind his hand. “Ah, a man after my own heart. So that’s the way it’s going to be, mon chou? Your eloquence, as usual, astounds me.”
“You know I’ve had it just about up to here with your cabbages and your strawberries and fuck all; can’t we please just find some olive oil and –”
France gave him a pointed look. “Non.”
Scotland looked up, mentally derailed. “What?”
Non you may not use my olive oil as lubricant when there is a perfectly good bottle of it in the bedroom.”
Scotland sat back on his haunches, eyebrows raised. “You can’t be fucking serious.”
“I wasn’t jesting.”
“Mo chridhe now’s not the time to start being picky about what you put up your arse –”
France’s lips thinned. It was not exactly an expression Scotland liked to see and not especially when they were hardly halfway into foreplay and he was on his hands and knees sucking him off. He rallied himself for a convincing argument.
“Come on love, we were getting into this weren’t we?” he wheedled, and ran his tongue over the curve of France’s hip for emphasis. He kissed down his thighs. “It’s not like we didn’t use oil in the past, bloody hell it was usually all we had.”
“And now there are options,” France pointed out, though he was fluffing Scotland’s hair between his fingertips, cupping his cheeks and rubbing his thumbs across them. His expression was soft, about as close to pleading as France ever got with him. “Please, dear heart?”
For fuck’s sake, why did he have to use that face now? Scotland bit the inside of his cheek and groaned, “But I can’t be half-arsed…” he started to say.
France raised his eyebrows,
“I’m holding your cock –”
Then he slapped his wrist. Hard. Enough that Scotland was surprised into letting go. He sat back with wide eyes.
“And now you’re not,” France said smoothly, hands poised on his hips like a perfectly flushed vision of sexuality, his erection hard and dripping between his legs. He pressed his thumb to Scotland’s lips, the corners of his mouth curved into a telling smirk. He didn’t know how he did it.
“Hurry back,” he whispered, and kissed him firm and sweet.
He left his shirt in the bedroom, amidst the other overturned drawers as he fished through France’s clothes. He found it in the sock drawer and skidded back into the kitchen, chest heaving.
France was sitting at the kitchen table, looking about as patient as you please. He had his chin propped up in his hand. He was smiling.
He was wearing his apron.
He was wearing nothing but his goddamn apron and he had chased Scotland out just so he could undress and slip it back on and pose there like he was on the cover of some nude home furnishings magazine, if such things even existed, and Scotland didn’t even know why he was thinking of something so nonsensical except that his mind was already going at a mile per minute and he wouldn’t have any of it to speak of regardless in about three, two, one –
“Right.” He crammed the lube into the pocket of his jeans, walked right past France (who looked somewhat surprised) and wrenched the top counter drawer open. He grabbed a butter knife. “Right,” he said again and closed his fist around it.
France’s eyes went wide. He might have edged back a little but Scotland couldn’t be sure, because then he grabbed the saucepan of cooling melted caramel off the stovetop and by the time he had turned around France wasn’t smiling very much anymore.
In fact he looked far more as though he were contemplating if he were now sharing a kitchen with a somewhat homicidal, sexually repressed Scotsman.
“Mon cœur,” he began uncertainly, getting to his feet when Scotland advanced towards him, grim-faced, “mon cœur what are you doing with that –”
Thankfully he didn’t sound so uncertain when Scotland grabbed him by the arm and kissed him hard enough to bruise, though he did sink a little towards the floor.
This is set in the future after A Different Sort of Waltz, about 2 months later to be precise, when they actually get into a proper relationship. Which would explain all the fluff at any rate orz. Newlyweds, I mean.
A 20 page Word document on food porn … whatever next? orz I swear it wasn’t meant to be this long, but just like everything else I write the plot tends to run away from me and well… after that it stopped being so much a PWP as a Porn WITH Plot. Which is infinitely preferable in its own right I suppose.
ffffffuck my porn writing skills are so horrible and I spend an inordinate amount of time on fluff and foreplay because I can imagine that an established relationship between them would be EXACTLY that. So you know, because of that there aren’t that many tl;dr notes haha. Christ I’m so embarrassed now orz. 20 PAGES.
Profiteroles/Choux à la Crème – I am such a fag for these, like I don’t even know. They taste absolutely divine when done right. Which sadly… they rarely are, unless you go to a proper patisserie bawww. ;3; I want to try making them myself one day. XD
Jura/Provence/Burgundy - these are all wine regions in France. Surprisingly Scotland was huge on the wine trade back in the day, it was one of the things he and France agreed on the most. God only knows what happened there orz.
Caramel Lattice Garnish – these are awesome but so difficult omg. Spinning sugar is an art in itself I swear. Or maybe I just suck in the kitchen; a terrible fate for a food lover I assure you haha.
Robert Burns - Scotland’s Favourite Son/The Bard/Rabbie Burns, amongst other names and titles. Widely thought of as Scotland’s national poet and regarded as one of the pioneers of the Romantic movement. Auld Lang Syne? That was totally this guy. I can just imagine the kind of sap he turned Scotland into, I loved the Romantics movement so much haha. ;u;
Westley and Buttercup - from The Princess Bride. I don't even know, but I couldn't stop laughing imagining them as these characters.
Germany and France: Pretty much the husband-wife team of the EU, for all that Germany acts and France is well...France haha. Of course this means they run the show and pull all the big strings, so you can imagine why England isn't happy. Then again he's rarely happy unless he's in charge orz. They're pretty much BFF these days... though it took 300 years of animosity to get there. |D
(Scottish Gaelic) :
mo chridhe – my heart
mo ghradh – my love
gradhan – beloved