Towering Affection

“Francis!”

“What?”

“Francis!” Arthur shouted, his hands cupped around his mouth. “What in the bloody hell are you doing up there?”

“Hold on, I can’t quite hear you!” Francis called down, setting aside some things on the scaffolding he’d been standing on before rappelling down the side of the Eiffel Tower.

Arthur, on the ground below, gnawed at his knuckle in instinctive anxiety with every leap. “I asked what you were doing up there, you flashy idiot!” he exclaimed the moment Francis was on solid footing. “Are you trying to kill yourself?”

“I was painting, you silly man! Did you not see the bucket of paint, the brush, the crew of trained professionals doing it properly on the opposite side?” Francis threw out his arms in a gesture that Arthur guessed was intended to convey majesty. “If I don’t take care of this grand display it may one day waste away to nothing!”

“Oh my, what a shame that would be,” Arthur said, “to think your city may one day not be marred by this metal monstrosity.”

Francis staggered backward into the tower, clutching his chest in feigned shock. “Surely you cannot mean such a thing!” he cried. “This is a monument to my feelings for you, after all.”

Arthur frowned, his arms crossed. “Oh?”

“Stiff, straight, erect,” Francis sighed, fondling a strut.

Arthur covered his face with one hand. “Oh god.”

“When I look upon this virile, upstanding testament to our love,” Francis continued on dramatically, “I feel the same stirring in my loins I felt so often back then, the throbbing desire which this structure was built to represent. Of course,” Francis wriggled his eyebrows and ran a finger slowly up and down the leg of the tower, “we both know that this is nowhere near to scale; the real thing is far more impressive.”

“I don’t know why I talk to you,” Arthur said, flinging his arms out in a gesture which Francis was fairly certain was meant to convey exasperation, “You continue to be an absolute tosser and I continue to converse with you. Did you hypnotize me at some point in the last century?” He paused, and cast a suspicious glare in Francis’ direction. “Did you slip something in my drink when we signed the Entente, is that why I let you name it?”

“You let me name it because I sucked you off,” Francis replied, blowing a kiss, “the same reason you agreed to sign in the first place.”

“I wish we were still at war,” Arthur glared, “I could browbeat you without causing an international incident. ”

“I love when you’re feisty, dear. Wait!” he cried as Arthur spun around to leave, “Wait, there’s just one thing, just wait!”

“WHAT.”

Francis put an ear to the tower. “He has a message for you.”

Arthur rolled his eyes upward and sighed. “A message from Monsieur Eiffel? I’m all ears.”

“Your sarcasm is lovely in the moonlight.”

“It’s daytime.”

Francis put a finger to his lips and pressed more closely to the cool metal leg of the tower, making as though he were listening intently. “England,” he said after a moment, “You haunt my thoughts morning, noon and night. You’re in my dreams, and in my every waking moment.”

Arthur’s arms were crossed and his foot tapped the pavement impatiently, but Francis could see the tips of his ears turning pink. “Is that all?”

“I strain to glimpse you beyond my northern shores,” Francis continued, “My delicate lily floating in the sea.” Francis grinned as he saw Arthur inch closer. “And all I can think of,” he said, “is pounding your chunnel all night lo–”

Arthur beaned Francis in the forehead with a distressingly large rock. “Goodbye, Francis.”

“I’ll see you next Tuesday, my fuzzy brown caterpillar!” Francis called out as Arthur stomped away. He patted the Eiffel Tower comfortingly. “Don’t worry, my friend,” he said, “he’ll be back.”

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