embroidery circle

Planes and Proposals

((A collaboration with @ask-aph-fruk I hope you like it! She’ll basically be illustrating this fic!))

A soft, gentle light gently cascaded into the living room with a sort of grace that only someone who was honestly cruel could hate. And even through his rather bitter and tough skin, Arthur wasn’t quite as cruel as that.

A sheet of silk was weaved tightly into a wooden embroidery circle as Arthur poked and pulled his needle with such precision as the Englishman was. The scene being stitched into the sheet of delicate fabric was a quaint, homey one that brought the thought of camping to his mind, with a large mountain bottomed by a bright blue lake with a shore of trees.

Arthur’s eyes did not faulter, even when he heard rushed footsteps racing down the stairs of his home.

“A-Angleterre,” Francis panted, and his chest heaved with the distress of trying to catch his breath. “I a-am sorry that I have to leave so soon from our visit here, but my boss has called me back to France on an emergency..”

Only now did Arthur’s eyes lift from his project. He would never really admit it, but he was slightly saddened by France’s words. However, with his pride, he shrugged off the rather silly emotion with a scoff. “Hmph. Very well then, it’s not like I expected anything more from you.”

The Frenchman straightened up his build, and looked at England. “It is not like I chose to do this, you know? I’m sorry, lapin, and I promise to make it to you somehow.”

“You can make it up to me by leaving.” Arthur rolled his eyes, and continued his work. Francis had to force down the grin that was rising in his throat, and he spoke.

“…I’m afraid you’ve forgotten that you’re my means of transportation when I’m here in London.”

Arthur paused, and let out a rather annoyed sigh as he stuck his needle twice through the tight fabric to keep it secure, and slipped the piece back into his threadbox. “Very well, then.” Arthur straightened out the few wrinkles in the pistachio-colored sweater he wore, standing up.

The car ride to the airport was rather silent, and Francis did his best to speak without smiling. Arthur simply drove, ignoring most of France’s comments, before arriving at the airport with him. “Have a nice trip.”

France’s face turned into a look of falsified sadness, and offence. “Aren’t you going to watch my plane take off, lapin?”

Arthur sighed, and let his head fall forward onto the steering wheel, before once again repeating his earlier statement; “Very well, then.”

The lobby of the airport was busy, as most airports were. Arthur sat on one of the couches after buying himself a bottle of water, and he watched France at the reception desk to recieve his tickets and be passed onto safety checks.

England sighed, now sitting in silence. He didn’t know why he was still sitting there, frankly. France wouldn’t notice if he left. But there was a feeling somewhere within his gut, that just told him to sit.

He soon found himself chatting with people. Some were annoyed, and some were emotional. He remembers one particular woman who simply sat and cried on his shoulder, despite his protest, because her son had departed to his new home in France.

After his short, yet somewhat dandy conversations with these strangely nosy strangers had ended, England was bored enough to watch the small security screen that showed the small tunnel in which people boarded the plane.

Though, something was different. Francis was walking backwards, and several people around him were carrying signs by their sides. On the outside of the tunnel, another camera followed France onto the asphalt of the landing strip, along with the sign holders.

Arthur watched curiously, as Francis stood in front of these people, as they lined up side by side behind him. The first lifted the sign. And then the second. And then the third. And finally, the last.

And the message was clear.

“Will you marry me?”

Every inch of England’s body was immediately thrown into paralysis, and he found his eyes tearing up a bit as he stared in awe at the screen. When he felt hands on his shoulders, he wiped the building tears furiously away, forcing his vision away from the screen.

He paced the lobby furiously as people congratulated him. But there was one question on Arthur’s mind; How would he give the other his answer?

The resolution came when he heard a familiar voice, and all at once, emotions flooded him one by one. He was angry, he was sad, he was shocked. But soon those emotions were bubbled over by elation, (with a sassy side of salty pride), and he simply nodded quickly in Francis’ direction.

Francis had accepted the small “Congrats!” or “Have a nice marriage!“s, from the strangers and staff in the lobby, on his way back out to Arthur’s car. And, boy, as soon as they were in the car, it was the waterworks.

Arthur leaned against Francis, sniffling and glaring up at him. "H-How dare you diminish me t-to tears in public..! You c-cheeky bastard..!”

France only laughed in response, and his fingers graced England’s hair. “You know, lapin, even if you had said no..”

Arthur looked up in curiousity, sniffling. “Mm..?”

Francis slowly grinned, looking down at him. “Your reaction was perfect~”

“Oh shut it! You’re a right pillock!” Arthur huffed, which lead to more laughter, and tickling, and kisses, and, thankfully, a happy marriage.

A happy marriage that blossomed from war and decay, into an airport induced proposal.

3

CIRCULAR DIAGRAMS / pencil and oil on paper, 44 x 50 cm, 2015.

In my youth at the school, certain lessons were inevitably boring. When the distraction peered, inadvertently I began to scribble the pages of the books, filling with drawings their blank borders. The hour of history, or philosophy, gave easy ideas: I copied the portraits of philosophers illustrating the beginning of each chapter in the textbook. The math class gave beautiful diagrams: their geometries structured the space, providing backgrounds to fill with decorations, figures, pictures. Maybe it was the insight that those same geometry hid himself a sort of aesthetics, an inexplicable and axiomatic beauty, like when we are aware of it in front of nature, without being able to give it an explanation. This sort of drawings make me think of a kind of prayer, a repetitive but pleasant action, like the work of an embroiderer, like a spider weaving its web.