Author's note: I wanted to add actual smut to this fic, but I kinda liked how I ended it :3 Beware of angst and fluff! lol This was started before July and I kinda wanted to have it out before their birthdays, but oh well ^_^;

***

America was popular. Canada knew this very well. They were neighbors, friends, brothers…he knew America as well as he knew himself. He knew what music he liked, what sports team he was more partial to, and what other nations he had had 'good relations' with. Canada preferred not to think about that. He loved his brother more than he figured he probably should.

But he didn't say anything because, really, would America even believe him? America never took him seriously and if he suddenly spouted out 'I love you,' he'd only laugh. So Canada kept his feelings to himself, hoping that someday they would fade away and he could get on with his life as a nation. That was difficult when the one he cared for the most shared a border with him.

He would put on a fake smile when America would tell him about his latest successful international relationship while trying to calm the jealous beast within. There were times he really wanted to tell him; like at New Years, or during one of their birthdays, but he never had the nerve to say anything. He'd have to watch as America kissed everyone else but him.

Canada wasn't exactly sure when he started loving his southern neighbor so much. Love had been a foreign concept when he was just a tiny colony, but he had been very fond of his big brother and tended to never leave his side. As they grew up, there were tensions built up around them and they lost contact for a long time. Canada remembered feeling very alone without his brother.

But in the present, the two were inseparable. It was July 1st, his birthday, and he had been planning to finally confess to America today. His brother usually hopped the border and came over to see him every year. He was one of the few nations that actually remembered his birthday. So when Canada heard his doorbell ring, he smiled and ran to answer it, trying to hide his excitement.

"Heya Matt!" America said happily, wrapping his arms around his taller brother. "Happy Birthday!"

"Thanks," he mumbled, suppressing a blush.

"Got anything to eat?"

"Yeah, in the kitchen."

He followed his brother as he started raiding his fridge, pulling out whatever looked good. "So…142, huh? You're gettin' pretty old, Matt," America teased.

"Not nearly as old as you," he shot back with a grin.

"Hey, 232 is a respectable age. And I'm almost 233 anyway!"

"Yeah, yeah."

America fell back on his couch with a cold hotdog in his hand and a bag of chips in his other. "Man, I always love this time of year."

Canada sat beside him and blushed when the American wrapped his arm around his shoulder. "B-Because it's warm, eh?"

"Nah. Though that's a plus." He took a bite of the hotdog and swallowed. "I love it 'cause I get to spend time with you."

Canada's face turned red and he looked away. "You're just saying that."

"It's the truth!"

"Well…um…thanks." The atmosphere couldn't have been better. Canada felt his stomach constrict as he realized that now was the perfect time to confess. He looked into America's clear blue eyes and took a deep breath. "Al, I need to tell you something," he said softly.

America raised his eyebrows as he looked at him. "Yeah?"

"Um…I like you."

There was a pause and then the other laughed. "Well hey, I like you too."

"R-Really?"

"Yeah, you're an awesome brother!"

Canada's heart cried. "Ah…I…didn't mean as a brother, Alfred…" he mumbled.

The American's grin disappeared and his eyes widened. "Wait…what?"

"I…"

"You like me like me? Like…gay like?"

"Yes…"

America stood up from the couch suddenly, confusing Canada. "Sorry, Matt, but I just don't feel that way. Uh…I gotta go now. Bye." He was out the door quickly, leaving Canada to deal with what he had just done.

The rejection had hurt more than he'd anticipated. Sure, he had always known America didn't actually love him like that or anything and he had known he was seen more as just a brother and someone to hang out with and never someone to be romantic with and—

He let out a dry sob. He was curled up on his bed clutching at his pillow and wishing he could rewind and go back to before he had decided to confess like an idiot. Kumajiro was curled up at the foot of his bed being strangely comforting. He started to wonder how America would act towards him now. How could he show himself at his brother's birthday in a few days? He buried his face into his pillow and let the tears fall.

Well…at least he knows, was the only somewhat good thought he could procure. I won't have to hide it anymore…

But it would make things extremely awkward and Canada feared his brother would stop wanting to hang out with him. He feared being ignored by him the most. He could deal with being ignored by other nations, but not America; not his brother. I love him so much it hurts. Is this heart ache? I wish it would stop…

It didn't stop and for what felt like hours, he remained curled up on his bed, silently sobbing and clutching his chest where it hurt.

***

He should have seen it as a good thing to be invited to America's birthday party still. But he was terrified of what would happen. Everyone else was having a blissfully wonderful time while he cowered in a corner, feeling lonely and heartbroken.

He thought he would explode when America came over to him and said they had to talk. Naturally, Canada followed him inside and waited for the inevitable 'I don't hate you, but I don't think we can hang out anymore' line. America turned around and crossed his arms with a frown.

"Matt, were you serious before?"

No use lying anymore. "Yeah," he mumbled. "I couldn't keep it bottled up forever."

The American seemed to think a minute. "It's kinda…hard for me, ya know? I've known you for so long and…well…"

"I'll understand if you want to close off your borders and cease trading and—"

"Whoa, whoa! Back up! Who said I wanted any of that?"

"Well I just figured…"

"Matt, you're my brother. I'd never close my borders or stop trading or stop doing anything with you."

"Then what—"

America took two steps closer and pinned Canada against the sink. "I've had some time to think," he said softly. "I know I probably hurt you when I answered the first time. I'm really sorry about that. I was an idiot. Matt, I don't like hurting you. You know that."

Canada bit his trembling lip. Please don't get my hopes up, Alfred. Please. My heart hurts enough already. Just get on with your 'I love you like a brother and that's it' speech.

A hand came up and caressed the side of his face and he stared into sky blue eyes. America smiled warmly and pressed his forehead against the other's. "You're a great brother and a great neighbor. I honestly don't deserve you."

Canada blinked in surprise. "Al…?"

"I really don't know why you even like me," he muttered.

"I…"

"I mean, you deserve someone who's not a complete asshole."

"Alfred—"

"But…I lied before. I do feel the same way. You just kinda surprised me before and I reacted in the worst way 'cause I was confused."

Canada felt his heart speed up. "Then you…?"

America smiled charmingly and brushed the curl from his face before leaning forward and softly pressing his lips against the Canadian's. Canada's eyes widened before he decided to kiss back. He wrapped his arms around the other's neck and felt himself being pulled from the sink and guided down the hall. He broke the kiss and looked questionably into America's face.

"We've got about ten minutes before people start wondering where I went. Let's make the most of it," America grinned.