1. Good Luck
America shifted back on his feet, rocking slightly back and forth, his hands deep in the pockets of his jacket, and England sighed. "What is it?" he asked.
"I dunno," America said. He held out his hand. "Guess we should shake on it, huh? The whole wingmen thing."
"Hmm?" England asked. "Oh, very well." He proffered his own hand.
America's fingers closed around it. "Look," he said, "you'd better fly well, okay? I know you're not as awesome a pilot as me, and really your thing is boats, but it'd be a waste of a great plane if you didn't make that Spitfire shine up there."
England scoffed. "Don't be ridiculous," he said. "I was flying Spitfires before you even joined the war."
"Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever." America slid his hand up over England's forearm, letting his palm coast over the fabric that hid old, slowly healing scars, and England felt himself blush uncomfortably, because America had seen those wounds while they were still raw and open. America closed his hand around England's arm, just under the elbow. "Sorry for being a little worried, you just haven't been taking great care'a yourself, is all I'm saying."
Irritation straightened England's back. "You're being absurd," he said, his voice clipped. "Let me worry about whether or not I'm taking care of myself properly, it's none of your concern—"
"I think you mean none of my business," America said, with a hint of a teasing smile that faded almost immediately, "'cause it sure as hell is my concern." He still hadn't let go of England's arm, and England could feel an embarrassed blush rising in his cheeks.
"What is that supposed to—" he started.
He was cut off, again, by America's hand tightening on his arm, and then America leaned forward and brushed his lips against England's. It was a soft, uncertain, gentle touch, America's chapped lips warm and strangely soft where they brushed hesitantly over his. He lingered there for just a moment, his breath feathering over England's lips and cheeks, and it smelled like licorice, actually—but then England knew America kept some licorice in the pocket of his jacket to eat while he was flying—and then America pulled back all at once, his glasses brushing against England's cheek, and jammed his hand back in his pocket.
England's arm felt cold where America's fingers had pressed with the loss of that tight hold, and his lips tingled, all too warm. He knew he was blushing, but at least America's face had turned bright red, too. "Just give 'em hell," America blurted, and then turned on his heel and practically sprinted for the other side of the airfield.
England's lips still tasted like licorice. He looked around, and when he was certain no one was watching, he lifted his hand to touch his mouth.
England's shoulders were stiff, his eyes screwed shut, his hands locked together behind his back, his lips thin and pressed tightly together, his eyebrows knotted up. He looked like he was expecting someone to deck him.
And, okay, so sue him if that wasn't how America'd wanted this to be. He laid his hands gently on England's shoulders, and England jumped. "God, England," America grumbled. "Do you gotta act like this is gonna be the end of the world?"
England took a long breath and blew it out through his nose. "Just get on with it," he said tightly.
America bit his lip, but he wasn't going to back down now. Not with England, and not when everyone else was freaking watching. He just needed to . . . somehow . . . make this okay, first. Make England not be trembling and tense and scared looking.
He kneaded his fingers gently into England's shoulders, rubbing at the tension in them. "Hey," he said. "Take it easy." He stroked his fingers back and forth along the fabric covering England's shoulders, along the back of his neck. "You're so tense," he said mournfully.
"Wh-what do you expect?" England stammered out. "You—you're—I mean, you can't very well expect me to—"
"I expect you to enjoy it when I kiss you," America said, and he couldn't help it that he sounded sulky. He reached up and took off his glasses, closing England's hand around them, then moved in closer. He shifted his hands up to frame England's face and rested them there, stroking along England's cheekbones. England's skin was turning red, flushing up along the path of America's fingertips. America smiled and leaned forward to kiss England's nose, one cheek, then the other. "Hey," he said. "It's not gonna hurt. It's gonna be awesome, okay?"
England made a disbelieving noise half caught between a scoffing cough and a chuckle, and America seized the moment when England's lips quirked up just the tiniest bit to press their lips together.
England stiffened up all over again at first, and maybe stars sort of exploded behind America's eyes just from having their lips touching each other, but he told himself firmly not to be as eager as he wanted. Gentle. Gentle was the way to go. He pulled back and kissed one side of England's mouth, then the other, kissed one shuddering eyelid, then the other, kissed each of England's eyebrows, then returned to his mouth, opening his own and breathing softly against England's lips.
England took a short, trembling breath, and America let him, doing nothing but pressing his lips closer to England's so they were left breathing into each others' mouths.
England sighed, and the tension in his shoulders released a bit, America could feel it. And a second later England leaned forward and moved his lips against America's, and every other thought process left America's mind completely.
Fuck yes. Mistletoe really was the most awesome thing ever invented.
England was trying to concentrate, he truly was. He hadn't had much free time lately, and he'd been looking forward to spending a quiet morning reading.
And it was a fairly quiet morning, he supposed. Or it had been until that idiot had woken up and come downstairs and plopped himself down on the sofa next to England and proceeded to take up far more than his share of it with his sprawling limbs.
England had shoved off the arm America had draped around his shoulders the first time, the second, and the third, but after that it had just seemed like too much of a bother.
It had only encouraged the git, of course. At first it had just been America sleepily cuddling closer, but then he had bodily picked England up, just enough to slide beneath him and settle England back against his chest.
That was just the last straw. England tried to tug away, but America's hands that had been looped loosely around his waist tightened quickly to keep him on his lap. "What the bleeding fuck do you think you're doing, America?" England demanded, still trying to twist away without actually leaping to his feet. That would just let America know he had won, and that England refused to do. "I'm trying to read!"
"I know," America said, and his voice still sounded thick and muzzy from sleep. " 's fine. Go 'head."
"How can I, when you—when you're—when you're all over me like this?" England asked, and he could feel his face flushing at his own words and how they could be—how inappropriate they might have sounded, to someone with that sort of mind, at any rate.
"Didn' bother you last night," America said.
He would bring that up.
England's face burned. "Th-that's completely different!" he snapped.
"What?" America asked absently. His arms curled comfortably about England's waist, one hand flattening against the knitted wool of England's vest. England could feel the warmth of his palm bleeding through it and the shirt he wore beneath to soak into his stomach. America's body was all warm broad strong muscle behind him, and England thought, distractedly, good lord, how did he get so big? "So I get to do it with you but I don't get to hold you the morning after? That how it is?" His long square fingers traced little patterns over England's stomach.
England could feel his hot flush spreading up into his ears and down the skin of his neck. "Oh, very well," he grumbled, and let America settle him back against his body. America made a pleased little noise and propped his chin on England's shoulder, leaning their heads together.
It was very strange, and England wasn't sure whether he was uncomfortable or—or quite the opposite, or if he even wanted to be comfortable like this. He shifted slightly, feeling awkward perched on America's thighs, and his elbow smacked hard into America's arm. America let out a soft "oof," and England winced. "I—I'm terribly sorry—" he started.
"Nah," America said. "'S no big." He tilted his head so England could feel America's smile curving against his neck and pulled England tighter against one side, so that England was tucked between the soft arm of the sofa and America's shoulder.
It was less awkward that way. England took a deep breath and turned the page of his book.
America tilted his face down into England's shoulder and breathed in, deeply. He nuzzled his face there, rubbing his cheek over the cloth of England's shirt. "Mmm," he said. "How come you always smell so good, huh?"
"I bathe?" England suggested shortly. It was rather difficult to concentrate on even poetry with America's warmth surrounding him, and his breaths tickling the side of his neck, and the steady beat of his heart pressed to England's back. Just another sign of how insufferable a prat he was, England thought, making England want to relax into him and just . . . curl up. Good lord, it wasn't even midday.
America laughed at that, and it shuddered through his chest to bounce England slightly up and down, and rather than being as annoying as he might have expected, the feeling was rather . . . pleasant. Damn him, anyway. "I shower!" America said. "But I don't smell like you, England." He pushed his nose into England's shoulder again and breathed deeply.
Complete bollocks, England thought, America was being a sentimental fool; that was all. America's scent was far more distinctive than his own, after all. He wasn't even sure what America smelled like, and he was rather afraid of trying to come up with the words to describe it, because his mind seemed to be fixated on dredging up words like "sunlight" and "endless sky," which were perfectly ridiculous and didn't have anything to do with the sense of smell.
There was silence for a moment, and America turned his head to lay it against England's shoulder, leaving one hand flat against his belly, the other curled around his waist. England read another page before he sighed and asked, "What are you doing?" He half wondered if America had fallen back asleep. He had been rather . . . acrobatic last night.
"Hmm?" America asked. Not asleep, then.
"What are you doing?" England repeated.
There was a moment of silence, and then America blew his breath out in a quick puff of air England felt against his neck and through his collar. "Listening to you breathe," America said, quickly, sounding embarrassed. "S-see, I can hear the rhythm of it right here, and if I put my hand here—" he brushed the heel of his hand against England's abdomen, along his diaphragm "—I can feel you breathing, too."
England could feel his breath catch. "I—" he said, flustered. He felt rather warm, all over, and there was a strange aching thickness in his chest that didn't actually hurt, but instead felt soft and tight, like his chest was too small. It struck him that he, too, could feel America's breathing, and that it was, indeed, inexpressibly comforting, the soft little puffs of air against his neck, the quiet sounds of air inhaled and exhaled.
"I mean," America said, "I know it's all . . . sappy and dumb and shit. But . . . 's what I'm doing."
England took a deep breath and raised his free hand to reach back and touch America's cheek, carefully, without looking back at him, then dropped his hand and rested it over the one America had clasped around his waist. He could feel the strength of America's broad hands, and pressed his thumb to the skin between the strong bones of his fingers.
America took in a deep, shuddering breath, said "Aw, man," and then lifted his head, quickly, to press a sloppy kiss to England's cheek. England settled back into his arms, and they stayed like that, hands clasped, listening to each other breathe in comfortable silence.
England's fingers traced up and down against America's thigh, and he watched as America bit his lip and fidgeted under his touch. America's skin was hot, burning through the leather of his gloves. It felt as if he had pressed his hands to the grate of a fireplace, the fire on the other side shimmering warmth through the cool leather into his skin.
He wondered if America's skin felt even warmer, higher up, and skimmed his hands up America's muscled legs—and America squirmed, his fidgeting shifting into full-out movement, but that was how America reacted during sex, he never could sit still—
"I should . . . I should take my gloves off," England muttered. America would feel even warmer if they were skin against skin, and no matter how many times they did this, he would never cease wondering at that, or feeling the sense of tremulous awe he did that his hands were on America's thighs, and America was bright red and breathing heavily and shifting himself up into England's touches.
"No, I, um, uh, don't—I, I mean—" America's voice squeaked high and broke like the teenager he almost wasn't any longer, and he flushed even darker, crimson staining his chest and bleeding into his arms under the skin. "I mean, you don't have to, if um—youdon'twant."
England's hands stilled, and he could feel his own cheeks growing hot now. "That would be—" he stopped, and took a deep breath. "You would like that?" The thought was . . . all right, it was incredibly arousing, that America would let him do something . . . like that, would enjoy it. He could feel the flare of excitement ripple down his spine, lick through his insides and wrap around his cock.
"It's . . . fuckin' hot, you look fuckin' hot," America groaned. He flopped back against the bed and threw one arm over his eyes. "S-seriously, just—just don't stop, England—please—"
England grinned, he couldn't help it, smug, and bent to press a kiss to the inside of America's thigh, glorying in how he shuddered and jerked beneath his lips, even as he had to struggle to control his own raging desire. "You're begging me, now?" he said.
America growled. "'S not funny," he said. "Don't wanna get into—that—competition-thing—just—" He canted his hips up, desperately, his hands clenching in the sheets.
England ran his hand up America's thigh, leather-covered thumb brushing the sensitive skin on the inside of his leg, then braced one hand against America's hip, rubbing there, and shifted his hand to close it around America's cock. It was even warmer, searing into England's hand, and he thought that somehow he'd never noticed how very warm America was until the barrier of the leather had been there between them.
America yelped, and England looked up to see him biting his lips. He closed his hand loosely around America's length and started to move it up and down, watching him writhe and pant and swear and groan, loving the sounds he made. God, was there anything sexier on this earth? he wondered distractedly. "Make all the noise you want, America," he said through his uneven breaths. "Don't worry about being quiet."
America raised his head and said, raggedly, grinning, his voice teasing despite its shaking, "You're . . . actually telling me . . . to be loud, England? You're not tellin' me to shut up? Wow, don't know if . . . if I can deal with this—"
England just grinned, and bent his head to press a soft, open-mouthed kiss to the tip of America's cock, and America threw his head back and practically screamed and kicked England in the shoulder before muttering a breathless, "sorry."
"Enjoy it while it lasts," England breathed, stroking his fingers along America's hip in a tender rhythm, bending his head to lick and kiss his way down to where his gloved hand clasped and stroked. "I'm letting you—" a kiss, gently trailing his lips along hot flesh "—say any damn fool thing—" a licking, sucking caress "—you like." He took the tip of it into his mouth, stroking his gloved hand up along the wet trail left by his lips.
America's yell actually shook the windows.
America shifted the strap of his backpack and looked anxiously around the airport. He really fucking hated flying commercially, but his new boss had really put his foot down on the flying his own plane to go everywhere thing, and yeah, he totally got why, but it still stung. Didn't make him think the guy was any less awesome, but . . . still. He sighed.
Showing up in an airport and watching everyone else running up and hugging their significant others and kissing and crying and—while you were alone had to be the pretty much lowest, loneliest feeling in the history of the world. America sighed, his eyes sweeping the airport one more time.
Nothing. He bit his lip, told himself he was being a big sentimental baby, and shoved his hand in his pocket, looking for his cell phone.
Which was in his bag, of course. He swore without much energy behind it and swung it off his shoulder to start going through it.
"Oi, get out of my fucking way, you damn Yank," came a voice with the same damn accent so many people in Heathrow had, and America cursed the little part of his heart that leapt up into his throat at the rounded vowels and that touch of a lilt to it. "I need to meet someone."
A second later it registered in his mind just how familiar that voice had sounded, and his head shot up, to see England himself grinning down at him, his arms crossed across his chest.
"You—!" he said, and a second later wished that he'd managed to get his voice to sound a little more annoyed and a little less ecstatic. He managed to get himself to scowl. "You freaking asshole, you—"
"After all I came all the way here just to meet you at the airport," England said, shaking his head. "You Americans really don't have any manners, do you?"
"You wanna see just how rude I can be?" America demanded.
"Just try it—" England started, and was cut off by America wrapping his arms around him and tugging him close in a tight hug. England's back stiffened, but that didn't matter, because England's chest was pressed against his, his slim square shoulders and his spare back warm and solid beneath America's hands, and America could wrap his arms tight around him and squeeze.
He let him go a moment later, and England blushed and laughed and shook his head. "You gigantic prat," he said affectionately.
"You know you love me," America said easily, and watched with delight as England's face slowly shaded into deeper pink. "Ha!" he said. "Haha! You really do love me, you do—England, you're blushing, you're blushing just like a girl—"
A slow wave of red washed up England's face, burying the pink, but he just stalked forward and grabbed America's tie, yanking him down. "Just shut up, you sod," he spat. "Shut up and kiss me, damn it."
America did, bending him back and dipping him down like they were in a movie, and England's fingers sank into his shirt and twisted in his tie, and America thought that maybe airports didn't suck all that much, after all.