Okay, Author's note time! This would be my first attempt at an AmericaxEngland, so don't be too critical if it's OOC. Just sit back and enjoy! And for those wondering what clotted cream is, as I mention it in, like, the third sentence, it's superdelicious English butter. So, yeah. On with the fanfic! I don't own Hetalia. Or Pride and Prejudice.
A Vibrant Bouquet of Balloons
England held his steaming cup of tea up to his nose, smiling as the wafting scent registered in his mind. He had a plate of delicious scones and a new copy of Pride and Prejudice with annotations. He had been planning to do a bit of gardening, but the heavy thunderstorm had basically eliminated that possibility. Still, a good book, scones with clotted cream, and a cup of his favorite Lady Grey tea would help make his Saturday evening absolutely perfect.
His doorbell rang, but England was trying to finish his page before answering. A half-second later, the doorbell rang nine times in quick succession. England's left eye twitched. He slammed his book on the table and began to walk angrily to the door in time with the infuriatingly cheerful and obnoxious chorus of doorbell rings.
Arriving at the door, England flung it open and grabbed the gloved finger about to poke his doorbell again. His pale green eyes met a pair of innocent, sapphire ones. "Don't. You. Dare," England growled, so distinct that it could be heard over the ominous crack of thunder accompanying his words. He shoved the hand away, then inspected the doorbell to discover that it, luckily, was not broken.
"Oi, England!" America said- or nearly shouted. "I need a favor!"
England had about two seconds of blessed silence before America realized that his (ex) adopted father had slammed the door in his face and resumed his never-ending assault on the doorbell.
Ding-dong! Ding-dong! "ENGLAND! COME ON, OPEN UUUUP!" Ding-dong! Ding-dong! "I KNOW YOU'RE THERE! JUST OPEN THE DOOOOOR!"
Poor England groaned and opened the door a crack. "What."
America smiled at his father. "Can you do me a favor?"
"What is it?" England asked warily.
"Well, my windshield wipers broke and it's raining too heavily for me to see. Can I stay at your place just until the weather clears?"
"The weather channel said it would probably last until five or six tomorrow," England said, narrowing his eyes slightly and keeping the door almost closed. "And I don't have a guestroom."
"I know," America said, running one hand through his hair. Despite the fact that it was soaked, that one blond strand still stuck almost straight up, defying gravity.
"Why don't you go to France's? He's only ten or fifteen minutes down the road. He has tons of guestrooms."
"Don't you remember what happened last time I went to France's?" England's face screwed up in confusion for a second before he remembered the incident he had managed to make himself forget. Oh god. Now that he remembered, he rather wished he could forget again.
America took England's shudder as a sign that he remembered. America was the unfortunate victim of the event, but England had also been sufficiently scarred for life hearing France recap it at the last Allied Powers meeting. America went in for the kill. He widened his beautiful blue eyes to make them look as sweet and pleading as possible and made the most adorable puppy-dog pout he could. "Please?" he begged. "You're the only one I can ask."
England swore slightly to himself as he felt a hot pink flush stain his cheeks. America looked too damn adorable. With a sigh of defeat, he opened the door completely. "Stop dripping on my porch and get changed into something dry, idiot!" he snapped.
America grinned in triumph and walked into England's foyer. The second he was in and the oak door was closed, he shook his head like a wet dog, ignoring England's disapproving glare. England's angry expression softened when America sneezed obnoxiously loudly.
"Go get changed into a pair of my pajamas- you know where I keep them, right?" The Briton didn't wait for his ex-son to respond, already shifting comfortably into the role of the responsible parent. "I'll make you some cocoa."
America seemed placated, a light pink blush on his face. England was about to ask about it when America asked timidly, "Actually, can I have a cup of coffee?"
"Do you think I keep that unrefined slop in my house? Cocoa or tea. Your choice."
"Cocoa's fine," said America, slipping off to the other parts of his house with his not-very-subtle booming footsteps. England sighed and placed his kettle on the burner in the kitchen. Just as the kettle began to whistle cheerfully, England heard America enter the room and turned around.
"Hey America, the co-" England's mouth snapped shut and his face turned bright red. America was wearing a pajama set with a button-up shirt and matching pants. The top three buttons were undone on the shirt, but that wasn't why England was blushing. On the pajamas were little cartoon hamburgers, sodas, and French fries with giant cartoon eyes and beaming smiles. America was also grinning hugely, and England knew why.
"You actually kept these? They were a joke gift!"
"Sh-shut up! A present is a present!" America laughed and England glowered, his face as red as the Union Jack. "If you don't want hot chocolate all over those ridiculous pajamas, I suggest you take the mug before I throw it at you." America grinned, clearly not taking England seriously, and grabbed the mug, taking a sip. He made a slight face and the other nation narrowed his green eyes.
"Nothing. Just…English cocoa is kinda…weird."
"If you don't like it, don't drink it!" England snapped, turning on his heel and stalking out of the kitchen. "Ungrateful brat." America followed him nonchalantly. England plopped down on the couch he had been sitting on earlier, sulkily avoiding the sapphire-eyed nation's gaze. America sighed and took a huge mouthful of cocoa.
"See? I'm drinking it. Mmm, delicious," America said with his customary grin, biting his tongue slightly to stop himself from gagging.
"Really?" asked England in a small voice.
"Of course," he lied. "Would I lie?"
A beaming smile spread across his face and he picked up his tea, still grinning. America felt his cheeks pink slightly and he looked down at the table rather than at England's delighted green eyes. He saw the novel on the table and picked it up with a laugh.
"Jane Austen? Seriously?"
England pursed his lips. "I find Miss Austen to be a refreshingly emotional female voice crying out at feminine discrimination and emphasizing the importance of love in an affluent, money-dominated society." A brief silence followed this declaration.
"…Dude. Are you sure you're not a girl?"
England flushed in rage. Or embarrassment. "Pardon me? I think I would know my own gender!"
"Well, I sometimes think you're PMSing. Let's just chalk this one up as one of life's little unexplained mysteries, shall we?"
England snatched up the book, eyes flashing. "Do you WANT me to make you sleep in the rain outside?"
"Okay, okay!" America said, laughing, holding up his hands in surrender. "I won't bring it up again!"
England's eyes didn't stop glaring at him, but his mouth relaxed slightly from the scowl it had been set in. He abruptly took a sip of his tea, wishing he had made something alcoholic instead. He had a feeling he might need it.
An awkward silence stretched for a few minutes, England having picked up Pride and Prejudice again, leaving America to tap his fingers on the oak table and pretend to enjoy his cocoa.
"So… How's the book?" America said cheerfully, trying to lighten the mood. England didn't even look up.
"Good." He said shortly. More silence.
"You're not still mad at me, are you?" England pointedly flipped to the next page. America winced. He was definitely still mad. "I was just kidding, England. I'm sorry," America said earnestly. "I didn't mean it, you know that. Please don't be mad at me."
England, surprised by this, set down his book and looked thoughtfully at America, who truly looked apologetic. Unwillingly, he cracked a small smile. "Okay, okay. I forgive you."
America smiled with relief. "You're not mad anymore?" England sighed, running a hand through his hair.
"Jeez. What am I going to do with you?" America said nothing, just continued to grin. "…What?"
"You're not mad," America said, relieved. "I so thought I was gonna have to bunk on the porch!"
"Ouuuuch!" whined America, holding his throbbing head. "That's so not cool! What was that for?"
"Idiot," the other nation scoffed, turning to his book. America clicked his tongue, then did it again a few seconds later. England continued to ignore him. Another click. England held out for 17 clicks, but snapped after the 18th. "Can you STOP that?" he said, whipping around to find America's face uncomfortably close to his. England flushed red and tried to back up, but there was no room. "What do you want?" he tried to say angrily but he felt too awkward and it came out as uncertain. America said nothing for several seconds, merely blinking his painfully blue eyes. Finally he opened his mouth.
"Hey, can I borrow that book?"
England started to smirk. "You want to borrow this book? I thought it was for girls. Are you a girl, America?"
"Well, that's…" America blushed slightly and fidgeted, embarrassed. He was staring fixedly at his brown gloves. It was the cutest thing England has ever seen. …Wait. Did he just call that obnoxious idiot cute? He blinked and emptied his tea in one gulp. He KNEW he should have gotten alcohol. Damn.
"Well…Y-you said it was good…so I figured I'd try it." England scrutinized his face, which just made him more flustered. However, the green-eyed man only saw sincerity in his expression, so he handed over the book.
America grinned his usual (obnoxious, arrogant, conceited, annoying, unfortunately adorable) grin and took the book, obviously relieved that England stopped teasing him. He cracked the book open to the first page, trying to sound out some of the more complicated old English words. England blinked his eyes, finally realizing how late it was and that he was exhausted. He slowly and unwillingly fell asleep, lulled by America's horrible pronunciation of Austen's writing.
~England knew he was dreaming because of the sky. It was splotched bright colors, like those hideous tie-die shirts America wore that the Briton got pleasure out of burning. He was younger in the dream-he didn't know how young, but he was more than two feet shorter than he was in real life, and he still had some baby fat on his face. He was sitting on a grassy hill with a beautiful bouquet of colored balloons in his pudgy hand. He didn't know why he had them, but he knew he loved them all, especially the biggest in the center- the red, white, and blue one speckled with stars.
He sat on his hill, contentedly watching the balloons bob gently up and down. Suddenly, one by one, they slid from between his fingers. England began to clutch desperately at the strings, feeling tears well up in his lime-colored eyes as each balloon slipped away. Finally, the star-spangled balloon was the only one left in his hands.
England clung on with all his might, but he felt the string slide through his small fingers. He cried out, jumping up and trying to get it as he saw the beautiful pattern float farther and father away until he couldn't see it anymore. A sob ripped out of his throat and he sank to the ground, rubbing his eyes with his grubby hands and bawling. ~
America tiptoed into England's room, shutting the door gently. For once, England looked undignified, sprawled on his bed like a dead raccoon. The sight made America chuckle slightly, although he muffled it with his hand so he didn't wake the exhausted England. When America had finished chapter 1 of Pride and Prejudice, he had turned to England for praise, only to notice the other was asleep. America had picked up England, who was surprisingly light, and tucked the sleeping nation into his bed. Then America, ever the hero, had chivalrously slept on the couch.
He woke up at exactly 4:03 (Evil never sleeps, so America tried not to sleep as much as possible) and noticed the rain had stopped. So, as quietly as possible, America had gotten dressed in his normal clothes which he had remembered to throw into the washing machine and dryer last night. He put Pride and Prejudice in the shotgun seat of his vintage Camaro and slipped back inside to tell England he was leaving and thank him for letting America stay the night. Of course, no normal person wakes up at 4 A.M., so England was still asleep. America just decided to leave a note and go home, so he didn't wake up his (ex) adopted father. He placed the bright yellow sticky note full of capital letters and exclamation points on England's bedside table and turned to leave when he felt something yank on his jacket. America turned to see England, one hand grasping the back of his jacket, looking at him with such an upset expression it broke his heart.
"Why are you leaving?" England asked sadly, blinking up at him with huge, half-asleep eyes. Some strands of blond hair had fallen into England's green eyes and America absently brushed them away.
"I'm going home, remember? The rain stopped." To his immense surprise, he saw England's face crumple slightly and tears well up, almost spilling down his face.
"Please don't leave me alone," he whimpered pathetically, sounding much younger than he was. America stood frozen, unsure of what to do. Suddenly, England gave a colossal tug on America's coat and the surprised blonde lost his balance and fell next to England on the bed. Instantly, England wrapped both arms around America's waist and buried his face in his chest.
America flushed a bright red, matching perfectly with the stripes on his beloved flag. He tried to shift away, but England whimpered slightly and clutched him tighter. America sighed and timidly put one hand around England's back and the other on the nape of his neck. He rested his head on England's, smiling as the blonde strands tickled his face. "G'night, England," America murmured softly. England smiled in his sleep, snuggling closer to the other nation.
England hiccupped as he bawled, crumpled in a heap, utterly alone. Suddenly, he looked up and saw a round, shiny orb float slowly out of the sky. With a shout of recognition, England hopped up and reached out as the balloon began to float lazily downward toward his outstretched hands. As his fingers wrapped around the string, he smiled brightly. His favorite balloon had come back. He laughed through his tears, clutched it to him tightly, and swore that he would never ever let it go again. ~