Author's Note: On March 4th, 2009, Barack Obama had a shiny new swing set installed on the South Lawn of the White House for his two daughters to play on. When I read the article, I totally thought it would be a perfect chance for some US/UK fluff.
Swing Sets and Picnics
By Everything is Magic
"England, England, you've got to come over here now!" Came America's excited voice as England put the phone receiver to his ear. He hadn't even said 'hello' before America spoke.
"Bloody hell, America. Couldn't you have told me earlier today at the world meeting?" He grumbled.
"I had no idea about it until I came home! It's awesome though. You seriously should come over now." England was used to eager phone calls from America over trivial things, but he spoke with enough urgency tonight that he considered that the enthusiastic country might actually have something important to tell him.
"Fine, I'll be there." England rubbed his forehead and smiled in spite of himself.
"Good. Meet me on the South Lawn, right outside the Oval Office."
England spotted America leaning against the white walls of his nation's capital home. Twilight was descending upon the White House grounds, and America's face was still lit by the setting sun. He looked as enthused as he had sounded on the phone. Slung over one of his arms was a large wicker basket covered in a towel. A… picnic?
America waved when he noticed the other country, and began jogging toward him. "You idiot, you invited me over for a picnic? And here I thought it was something important." England spat, his face red. America just smiled that slightly dopey smile that he found so endearing, whether he would admit it or not.
"The food isn't why I invited you over." America shrugged. "My boss's cooks just had it prepared for us when I mentioned to his wife that you were visiting. I mean I would have chosen McDonald's, but the food here is good too, I guess."
England crossed his arms and gave him a skeptical look. "Then why'd you invite me over? The pressing need to tell me you beat a new video game?"
"Oh no, it's much better than that." He grabbed England by the upper arm and began running, the shorter man cursing him the entire way but following behind. Once they reached the South Lawn America had been referring to, he let go of England's arm and swung around. He nearly fell over. America was ridiculously strong, and an overexcited America was even stronger. England had a great deal of trouble keeping his balance when the younger country let go of him.
"Ta-da!" America proclaimed. He was holding his hands out toward a new addition to the lawn. The basket was still on his arm, and it swung wildly when America gestured. "It's awesome isn't it?"
It was… a swing set. All wooden, with three swings, a tire swing, a slide, a lookout area, and even a climbing wall.
"A playground?" England asked dryly. "You brought me here to show me a sodding playground?"
America just blinked. "My boss had it installed for his girls. I thought it was pretty exciting." He laughed, but a slight frown betrayed his disappointment with England's reaction. "Figures you'd think it boring. You're no fun England." He walked over to a picnic table that had been installed next to the swing set and put the basket down. Then, ever so sulkily, he sat on one of the three swings and began rocking back and forth.
England sighed. He was so like a petulant child sometimes, the young nation who was currently playing on a swing set. It was a nice addition to the White House lawn. England knew that America's new boss, whom England rather liked, had two young daughters who would get a lot of enjoyment out of it. But dear heavens, America invited him over for the most trivial of reasons. He would have seen the uneventful swing set eventually anyway, so there was no reason for him to rush over that night. There should be reasons for their visits, right? They were nations, and they both had a lot on their plates right now, especially America. But England's expression softened as he considered their past visits. It was always the ones like this, where America was an idiot and brought up something ridiculous or asked to meet up for an inane reason that he remembered best. He shook his head. "America?"
The other country perked up. "Ah England. You can leave if you want. I'm doing good." He skidded to a stop on the swing, his tennis shoe clad feet causing dust to rise up beneath them.
England gave him a half smile and walked over, sitting on a swing next to him. "Well. You're doing well." America looked bewildered. "You're so daft."
"Better than being an idiot!" America retorted.
"Well uh yeah, but… err daft means idiot." He gripped the chains of the swing. "Oh never mind." England kicked off with his feet, and America followed.
The March wind whipped through them as they flew through the air, gaining height with each swing. There was an unspoken challenge between the two as to who could go higher. America had an advantage in his upper body strength, but England was slighter in figure and weighed less, so that evened the pair out. America was laughing, the breeze causing his hair to fly into his face. At one point his glasses fell crooked, and America had to adjust them with one hand. This did not slow him down at all. England smirked at how goofy America looked with his glasses all askew and stifled laughter himself.
"I cannot believe," England spoke between swings, the wind muffling his words, "that I came across the pond to play on a blasted swing set with you."
"Ah but you love it England, you know you do." America grinned, propelling himself forward with more momentum. "Everyone knows you're not that big a hard-ass."
England frowned and blushed. "Prat," he grumbled unconvincingly. The sun had almost entirely set by now, and as the older country looked forward, he had a sudden stupid idea that could have only come from spending too much time with America. With all of his strength, he swung back one last time. When the push propelled him forward, he jumped.
"WOAH, England!" America shouted as he flew through the air. He landed on his feet, his knees buckling under him moments later, causing him to fall on his rear. "That was so cool!" England raised one hand in triumph and as a challenge to America. The other country's eyes narrowed in determination and he propelled himself forward, leaping off the swing set himself.
Much to England's chagrin, America landed about one third of a meter past him. Well at least I was close. But his landing didn't have near the finesse of the other country's. He fell unceremoniously backwards just a moment after impact, his head and upper back landing right next to where England was sitting. "I won!" America held up his index finger in a 'number one' gesture. "Heroes always finish first."
England rolled his eyes and placed his hands on his knees. He looked down to his side, where America was smiling up at him from the grass. Their eyes met and America reached up, wrapping his arm around England's shoulders and pulling him down to the ground. The other country feebly struggled, but gave in when America's warm lips met his own. His eyes widened for a moment before he closed them, leaning down further and wrapping his own arm around America, his hand resting on the grass behind the younger country's head. In a minute, or a few, the pair pulled away from each other.
America grinned cheekily and tapped England's nose with one of his fingers. "Consolation prize."
England flushed crimson. "You… you… what would your boss think of his country snogging on his lawn?"
America shrugged nonchalantly. "He told me I could invite you over to see the swing set, and besides, he probably wouldn't be surprised anyway."
"You-you idiot," England stuttered, "thinking you can just be so open about these things."
He sat up and planted another quick kiss on the older country's lips. "Please England, don't you so be so daft. Our bosses know. Do you think they call it a special relationship for no reason?" England weakly shoved America and attempted to hide a smile. America just looked at him knowingly and decided to change the subject. They could bicker more later. "So how about that picnic I brought?"
"Well… I am a bit hungry." He stood up. Grabbing America's hand and pulling him up next to him, the pair walked over to the newly installed picnic table together.