My first Hetalia fic, hope you enjoy. I own nothing, characters belong to Hidekaz Himaruya, lyrics to R.E.M.

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'It's easier to leave than to be left behind.'

They sat at opposing ends of the small table. In fact, their knees would have been touching, if America could sit properly in a chair. One of his legs stretched out from under the table, tripping passersby, the other one was crossed over his lap. Occasionally, pieces of lettuce fell out of the burger in his hand, but unless they landed on America's leather jacket, he didn't do anything about them.

England stared at his wavy reflection in his tea cup until a piece of vegetation landed in the brown water. The elder nation raised his head to watch his former colony. He'd chosen not to order any actual food because usually when America wanted to 'have lunch' it involved talking very loudly with his mouth full. The mere thought made England want to wretch. However, this time, the young nation wasn't flinging bits of meat at him while mumbling about the next meeting; he was quiet and stared at the floor a few feet away.

Not wanting to finish his lettuce tea, England set it aside and watched America, waiting for him to say something. The former colony set his burger down on the table and sighed heavily. England raised his thick brows but didn't say anything. He glanced back to his tea; the lettuce was still there.

"I saw you after the last meeting." America said suddenly. England nearly jumped out of his skin at the voice.

Once he gathered his thoughts, the Englishman responded, "That makes sense, I don't vanish into thin air after all."

"You were talking to Ireland." America went on staring at the floor; he didn't respond to England's statement. England himself didn't say anything back, he recalled the conversation. The two nations were on alright terms with just about everything except for Ulster. "Ireland started yelling and he left."

Now England remembered. He tried to explain, "Yes, that was--"

America rolled on with this story; he'd shifted his body more to England, but his eye focus was now on England's abandoned tea cup, "So, I talked to France." America set his chin on his open palm, and his fingers curled over his mouth; he didn't say anything for a minute

"Well, what'd he say?" England coaxed him. He wanted to know why he would be kicking France's ass later.

"First," The American mumbled through his fingers, "He told me my outfit looked like merde, whatever that is." England rolled his eyes, typical. "Then," England focused back on America as his blue eyes traveled along the table then up England's arms, "He told me that," America paused with his eyes at England's chin; he halfway wanted to punch him, but pushed the urge aside and continued up to meet his green gaze, "You used to take care of Ireland too." Something in America's voice made England nervous.

"He said, that you still have some of Ireland." America said, though he sounded like he wasn't sure about what that meant. He stopped looking at England and went to glaring at a neighboring table's leg.

"Now 't be fair," England tried to explain, "I only-" He stopped when America shoved a finger in his face.

"I also heard," The younger went on through clenched teeth, drumming the fingers of his left hand on the table in frustration, "That you had India, and Egypt, and Australia," He went on naming other countries that England knew the US couldn't locate on a map. England put his face in his hands; America had only just learned about his imperialistic past? "And South Africa, and Bermuda!" America's voice had gotten steadily louder; he was almost shouting now.

England peeked through his fingers to see two violently blue eyes glaring at him, glistening with tears. England put his hands down. Was America genuinely upset about this? "Fiji!" The bespectacled nation spat in the other's face. "That's where you were all the time. Every time you were busy." America hissed, "What was I to you?" He choked and jolted forward to the point that the two nation's noses almost met. The Englishman could see America's tears threatening to jump from his gleaming blue eyes; he opened his mouth, but found that he had nothing to say.

America spoke for him, "Just another drop in the bucket? Another stack of coins?" His voice broke, and the younger nation immediately looked down. The next time he spoke was much lower, and it wasn't a question, "Just another fucking piece in your damned control freak empire."

England felt a couple of tears hit his hands that gripped the edge of the table. America sputtered and gasped for breath; his shoulders shook and he sobbed and sniffed several times. England didn't move; he didn't know quite what to do. He felt tears pricking at the corners of his own eyes. He'd been a greedy wanker; it took bloody America to make him see it. England opened his mouth to speak, not even sure about what to say, but the American cut in again.

"Well?" He whimpered with his head still down, "Did I ever mean anything to you other than power?" America's head suddenly shot up. England was confronted with electric blue eyes glaring from red sclerae, "Or money?" America shook the table between them; tears swelled in his eyes again, "Did you ever care at all?"

The two of them stared at each other for a long time. England raised his hands and gently wiped the tears from America's blotched cheeks. The younger nation leaned into the touch and closed his eyes; he looked very tired all of a sudden. Then without really controlling himself, England leaned forward until his lips softly kissed America's. When he set back, the American's eyes were wide; England pressed their foreheads together and stared into his plain blue eyes. "You were always my favorite." He whispered. America slowly smiled; it wasn't what he had expected to hear. No, it was far better.

'
I told you, I love you. I love you, forever.'