Author's Note: Written for arizonaicerose at helpbrazil2011.
There was no possible way to escape life being stressful when you were a nation. There were meetings and diplomatic envoys and decisions and struggles with your people and… it was constant, unending, all a part of the everyday life.
Japan was a workaholic. America had explained the term to him once, and assured him that he was 'one of the biggest workaholics he knew,' and that he needed to take some time for himself and not worry so much about everything. Japan found this ironic, because America, although he wasn't as bad as Japan, as a bit of a workaholic himself. Still, he managed to not often get wound up or overly stressed in the same manner Japan did. Perhaps it was America's young age.
Greece was the opposite of that. He got things done, he did his job, but he did it with a leisure and a relaxation that Japan secretly envied. Some part of him wished that he could be as laid back as the other man, instead of so frequently worrying about his work as well as people's perceptions of him. Greece didn't concern himself with the latter, content with himself regardless of other's opinions, and… Japan thought that perhaps, Greece could share some of that with him. And over time, Greece tried to do so. He'd massage his shoulders after a stressful day, he'd whisper in his ear in that slow, languid way in which he spoke that to him, Japan was perfect as he was, that he didn't need to impress or worry so much about what others thought of him, or… even apologize so much.
Tonight was one of those nights with Greece.
The evening sky was inky blue and filled with stars, like crisp velvet littered with small white diamonds. Constellations were clear in the sky, and Greece pointed them out as if he could do so in his sleep, Japan following his finger with his dark eyes.
They sat on Japan's porch, sipping cups of tea periodically, and Greece had even coaxed Japan to rest in his much larger lap, although Japan had blushed and politely protested at first. He placed patient kisses on Japan's temple from time to time, and he pressed his fingers into Japan's back in firm but gentle circles, working his hardest to remove the knots and kinks from it. The smooth fabric of Japan's yukata shifted under Greece's touch, and… eventually he worked up the courage to slide it off his shoulders, allowing Greece to massage his bare skin.
"I… hope that my speech at the summit went over well today," Japan said in between Greece's ministrations. "I felt bad that it went on a minute past the limit. I apologized to Germany-san, and he said it was all right, but I should have planned better."
Greece chuckled, warm in his ear. "I don't think anyone even noticed. You had something important to say. It's… okay if you broke one small rule to do it."
Greece pressed a kiss between his shoulder blades, and Japan shuddered at the contact. "If it helps, I enjoyed the speech. It was, in fact, the only one that I didn't sleep through at least part of."
Japan stiffened at this and cracked a smile. "Greece-san!"
Greece just shook his head, shifting and pointing up at the sky again. "On it he made the earth, and sky, and sea, the weariless sun and the moon waxing full, and all the constellations that crown the heavens, Pleiades and Hyades, the mighty Orion and the Bear, which men also call by the name of Wain: she wheels round in the same place and watches for Orion, and is the only one not to bathe in Ocean…"
Japan's eyes widened. "That's beautiful. Is it…?"
"The Iliad," Greece said. "Homer. My mother knew him. It's the first mention of constellations in… recorded Grecian history."
Japan nodded, just barely. "I see. That's… really impressive."
Greece chuckled, "I'm not aiming to impress. Just… telling a story."
His lips parted for a moment, but then he closed his eyes and shook his head. "Of course not. Thank you Greece-san…"
"Hmmm?" Greece cocked his head and made eye contact with him.
Japan's blushed, from his face to the back of his neck and all the way to his ears, at how minimal the space between them was. He pressed a quick, impulsive kiss to Greece's lips and turned back around, a small, nervous smile on his face. "Ah! How about I… all the constellations… and star clusters in that passage! I think you've shown them all to me tonight." He gestured up to the deep blue sky and began to point them out. "Orion, Pleiades, Hyades…" he began.
And it was peaceful, and it was content, and it was… just right.