Roundabout ; PG - gen/romance - America + Taiwan, impl. America/England & Hong Kong/Taiwan

Sometimes it was good when this happened.

After a world meeting they would come together in what could only be called "their fanciest clothes", come down to this ball room and dance together- all as if none of them have been friends, lovers, rivals, enemies for the past century. For the past millennia. Down here where your feet sweep over polished floor and high decorative ceiling all you need is the feel of the music and your hand in your partner's- at their hip, or at their shoulder. Not touching at all and touching all too close. Tonight America dances with Taiwan who comments positively on his attire.

"You should wear something like this more often," she tell him, dark hair elegantly lashing out behind her as they turn to the music- Taiwan who is sharp on her feet as she is witted. She always had an idea; such a fashionable country. She liked beautiful clothes and glossy lips. Taiwan. Who shared ideals similar to his (their favourite conversation always starts with the complexities, the brilliance that is- ah screw it, they always started with just how friggin' awesome democracy is... but of course every time Taiwan saw China nearby she would lower her voice) and she was an all around pleasant to be around country, though sometimes he did not exactly follow her exact train of thought, many ideals that she rambled on and on about passionately though he knew had been there once. He used to do a lot of business with her, but had recently been taking more of his business to China, who did it cheaper, faster, and in mass.

Taiwan warned him about this and "only business" he would reply though he could tell this was not the answer that she desired, nor proved to sate her.

"I can't," he replies, feeling familiar words fall from his lips once more, thoughts pushed back to a happier, harder time- "I can only do wear something like this on a special occasion-"

Something nice, something England loved to wear all the time, these sorts of clothes England loves...

"Is this a special occasion?"


" it really just for special occasions?"

He pinches at her cheek as if in tease, and though a red mark is marred there she continues unperturbed, half the mind to knock his shin in semi-playful comeback.

"Don't you just wear it none-so-often because it is precious to you?"

This old suit, this old neat suit that he had worn before a mirror, unsure written all over his face as England peered afar in the reflection. Encouraging. As if that is how it should be and not be at all. Because-

"What about you?" His head nods in one motion as if to encompass her entire dress. The red silk with phoenixes curving up in gold, embedded, aflame, dying and living all over and over. Her step is faulty, but America swings her right up, neither missing a step for less a second as they kept track to the music. Abashed.

The person who had given her this dress-
Her expression contemplative, gaze withdrawn, before relaxing... almost admitting.

"You're right; we're both idiots aren't we?"

She gives him an inclination of her head, to where England sits at the bar, she notices every now and then him glancing their way after his argument with France has died down, only to be started up again full throttle should America catch his eye. (All the meanwhile as he sips what must be tea now and then, his hands returning to the sleeves of his shirt- also as red as her dress- Hong Kong, his expression tranquil as always, that-)

"You'd rather be dancing with him?" she asks America, half rolls her gaze to indicate England.

As if his taste is only off but not bad.

"No way," America starts, "Besides he wouldn't let me lead, and do you know how awkward that would be?"

Taiwan gives him what could only be a flicker of the devil's smile as an "Oh?" startles him slyly-

And quickly, quickly, she forces, reverse and turn turn turn who do you think you are?- him to step back and her forward, one full turn. One full swing where she has lead and he has followed. Victory point and match in the very curve of her smile, her hip- "Would it really be that bad?"

It's one thing for a pretty girl to have her way with you, but when a country as old and experienced as England (who had already conquered half the world and lost it all times over mind you) one does not easily believe that who leads and who follows is simply a matter of preference. His face must be giving way to these thoughts because Taiwan laughs in what's too much like a chuckle for her small feminine frame.

"We really are idiots," he tells her.

"Of course."

Who else was mad enough to love someone with such thick eyebrows any way?

Besides them.

Others look upon the two as they stop before the song's end, heads clumped together, cool and sweaty brow knocked against the other, as they laughed and laughed, unable to contain themselves. The pretense of dance garnered away, hands entwined against the other as if they will wrestle out their humour instead, sliding, slipping against the other- back to back in support, the opposite climb of one wall facing the other. Taiwan is batting at the air with one arm, one fist, as if she'll find a way to get support her legs again this way. America would have been worried and convinced try to hold that arm away in case it accidentally hit someone but is too busy holding at his stomach, tears at the corner of dried eyes. They'll scale nothing at this point; only to collapse on the cool dance floor, for breathless they knew holding each other together in what has already been compromise-

Only they were such idiots.