Author's Note: Established relationship, USxUK. I never did get a fic done for the Fourth of July, but this kind of fills the role. Yesterday was of course, the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo Eleven moon landing, and this fic is about that night in '69. I've always been of the opinion that America is actually really intelligent regarding science and technology, even if he sucks at things like geography.
To the Moon and Beyond
By Everything is Magic
England had seen so many things throughout his long life. He'd seen nations rise and nations die, he'd seen oceans deep and unfathomable and skies blue and infinite, and he'd discovered new worlds and been a part of the old world, still was really, his magic never having left him.
But what he was seeing now, was like nothing that he'd ever imagined. He remembered when the world was a mystery, and the ocean was riddled with sea monsters the size of islands; Earth at the center of the universe and the sun and the planets circling around it. Then just as he was discovering the worlds outside Eurasia, grand and new and one of them was America, he realized that the Earth was the center of nothing, that his was just one world in a string of planets, the Moon being the only thing that revolved around his home. If England weren't so busy discovering new worlds upon his own green Earth, he would have felt very small right then.
He took the opportunity to feel rather insignificant now, centuries upon centuries later. He watched on the television screen, the two American men stepping onto that moon; Earth's moon, further than he'd ever dreamed of travelling in his seafaring days. It was impossible, but here he was, listening to them speak from a world away as they planted a flag in the dusty surface of the Moon. That flag, with its stars and spangles and… in all of his exploring, in all of journeys, he'd never come close to this. Attempting to achieve the unattainable, he supposed, should have been unsurprising from the man who stood next to him.
He'd never been the practical type, America hadn't.
England recalled visiting his house in the twenties and thirties, when he'd often find America with his nose buried in thick magazines. Tales of traveling through space and slipping through time and creatures from beyond our galaxy littered their pages, the cheaply produced paper and the outlandish cover art not deterring America at all. He'd rolled his eyes and told the younger nation to 'invest in some finer reading material,' but America never listened. They weren't just stories, but visions of the future, the other nation had informed him. And England was too old and archaic to understand this, of course. Or so America had teased.
Well, they weren't yet building colonies on Mars at least, but right now, America's stories didn't seem quite so impossible after all.
He'd always been one to reach for the sky, America had been.
Even with his natural cynicism, England couldn't deny the awe he felt at what he was watching with the other nation. America's blue eyes welled up as his flag was planted on the surface of another world, and England couldn't find it in himself to quip at the other country for his display of emotion. He could understand quite well why America felt the way he did.
"I'm proud of you," was what England proclaimed instead, his voice barely above a whisper. But America heard, and he turned to face England.
"You are?" He smiled, tentative but wide. He rubbed his eyes with the bottom of his palm, and they were questioning and wide and… touched and hopeful.
"It's an accomplishment, it is," he continued, his cheeks flushing at how much his admission appeared to have affected America. "It's extravagant and I'm not sure how completely necessary it was, but… it's," he laughed shortly, "well, it's amazing, really."
America's lips parted to speak, but instead he just scratched the back of his head.
"N-now don't get me wrong! You've come a long way, but you're still you know…"
"A world superpower?" The younger nation smirked. "So awesome Russia is pissing his pants at the thought of me right now?"
"Oh shut up!" England huffed. "You're still wet behind the ears so, so… I'd best not say anything more. Your ego is already insufferably large."
America rolled his eyes. "Whatever, England."
England crossed his arms, averting his eyes away from America. "Yes well, again, congratulations."
The younger nation held his arm up, as if forming a rocket with his fingers. "There's nowhere else to go but up! You're right. I've come a long way, but that just means I can go even further and further!"
The Briton chuckled. "There's no stopping you, is there?"
America snapped his arm down to his side. "No way!" He pumped his fist. "You name it, America's gonna do it."
"You're so daft." A smile flitted across England's face and he reached up, ruffling America's hair.
America pulled away from his touch, instead lifting up his hand and placing his fingers under England's chin. "It would be great to have someone with me though. Every hero needs a partner, right?"
England scoffed, pushing his arms out in front of him and shoving America away. "I will not be your sidekick."
The younger nation shook his head in the negative. "I never said sidekick. I said partner."
At this, England's cheeks bloomed scarlet and he nodded. "You know I'll always be there America, even if what you want to do is moronic and I don't agree with it."
America snatched England's hands, rubbing his fingers along his knuckles. "And you know that I will too, right?"
"Yes, I know." He squeezed the younger nation's hands in return.
"Now that that's settled," America replied, dragging England by the hand over to the nearest window. "Someday we'll go there!" He pointed outside, up toward the ever present silver moon in the deep blue sky.
"Huh?" England wriggled a moment in his grasp before relaxing, standing in front of America and following his gaze skyward.
"To the Moon, England!" America wrapped an arm around England's center, resting his chin atop the older nation's head and continuing to gesture to the stars with his free hand. "Can't exactly go by myself, can I?"
The Briton snorted, but was unable to fight down a smile. "I don't see why not, although I hear astronaut food is absolutely terrible."
England could feel America snickering against his hair. "You're lucky I'm in such an awesome mood tonight, because you really left yourself wide open with that comment." The Brit grumbled weakly. "So partners then? To the Moon and beyond." He pointed up to a small dot of reddish light in the sky. "That's Mars, you know that right?" The older nation nodded. "We'll go there. Then Venus afterward, although it's really hot so you might not be able to handle it since you're British." England scowled. "But I know you love adventure too, so you'll stick it out, I'm sure."
"I think I'll be all right," England countered. America nuzzled into his hair and rubbed his free hand across the other nation's front. "But it might be a while, I suppose, before we're able to go to ah, Mars."
"And Venus," America corrected.
"Fine, Mercury too."
"And Satu--- "
"All right, America, I get it," England interrupted. "How long do you propose it will take before we're able to go gallivanting on Saturn's rings anyway?"
"Well first off, we can't do that, because Saturn's rings aren't solid," he clarified, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "Secondly, probably a long time but… hey, we've got that right? We'll be around, and…"
"We'll still be partners then?" England closed his eyes and tried to will away the flush that was rising up on his cheeks.
"Of course," America replied, and there was not a shred of doubt in his voice. England smiled and turned his head, leaning up and capturing America's lips in a kiss. The other man placed his free arm on the back of England's neck and slid his eyes closed. He ignored the way his partner's glasses pressed awkwardly against his face as he kissed him. On the television, Neil Armstrong (a true hero, according to America, England thought wryly), spoke to America's boss from a faraway world.
It's a great honor and privilege for us to be here representing not only the United States but men of peace of all nations, and with interests and the curiosity and with the vision for the future...