Author's Note: This fic takes place on V-E (Victory over Europe) Day. That's May 8, 1945; Germany's unconditional surrender that ended WWII in Europe. This was written for hetaliasunshine on livejournal, and the recipient was smrtypantz.
The Victory Kiss
By Everything is Magic
England was going to do it. If he had the courage to do this any day, it would have to be this one. He was filled with the euphoria of victory, his own happiness and the joy of his people coursing through his veins. It was brilliant. It was wonderful. It was a day he'd been working toward for years.
Victory in Europe day, and the year was 1945. His people had been under attack for almost five years now, and England still ached, his body sore and his heart sore. But that was over now, and although the war in the Pacific still raged, his home, and the rest of Europe, was free. He breathed in, the London air more beautiful to him than ever. He watched his people from where he stood, the balcony of Whitehall's ministry of health building, where his boss had made a speech earlier that evening to the masses of citizens.
And America was standing next to him. The stupid git hadn't had the time to get home for his own celebrations, so he remained in Britain. And Churchill and his King had thanked America profusely, and England, well he couldn't exactly deny that the boy deserved it.
Which brought England back to what he was going to do; because it involved America, and in fact, it was all about America. They were friends, that much was undeniable. The war had transformed their relationship from allies to friends, and England would even chance to say that America was his closest friend, despite how often they argued, and despite how obnoxious he could be and--- well yes, all of that.
But it was more than that. Somewhere along the line, England had realized, and he was quite embarrassed to have done so, that he, well… felt for the younger nation.
He was in love with the daft fool, hamburgers and heroics and barging right into things without thinking and naivety and all. And--- he looked over at America, who shot him an enthusiastic grin—he was going to damn well do something about it. If he didn't do it on this day, to hell if he knew if he'd ever be able to try it again.
England was going to kiss America, and nothing, save the King himself, was going to stop him.
America was all cleaned up, his uniform pressed and his boots even polished, although he still wore that bomber jacket. He was never without it. And as silly as it was, England wasn't exactly without his own lucky charm (no one saw the horseshoe necklace he tucked under his uniform), so he would be hypocritical to fault him for it. Besides that, it looked rather… good on him. Oh who was he kidding, America was ridiculously handsome. England's own green uniform was pressed and looking tip-top, and he pressed his hands down it, with a furtive glance to America.
So yes, that kiss! He had been considering it for the last day, and it was, absolutely positively going to happen. And if America rejected it (which, he loathed to admit, even in his current optimism, he thought that there was a pretty damn good chance he would), he'd play it off as a joke, a dare from France, even. Speaking of France, he was probably engaging in a celebratory streak through the streets of Paris right now, subjecting all of his unfortunate citizens to his pasty white arse. Bloody wanker.
"America?" He touched the other nation on the shoulder, and he swiveled his head to look at England.
"You enjoying yourself?"
America grinned. "Yeah, it's awesome. There are a ton of my men down there too! And this is seriously one hell of a party."
"Well, all things considered, are you surprised?" England asked, a wry smile on his face.
"Haha, sort of?" He shrugged. "Not the kind of celebration I'd expect from you uptight Brits."
England scoffed. "I assure you, we are quite capable of throwing… 'swinging parties,' or whatever bollocks you'd call them."
America laughed, and England was reminded why, despite how exasperating he could be, he'd fallen for the other nation. His laughter, when it was genuine like this, caused warmth to pool in his stomach. And his smile, well, it was more than a bit dashing. When had this upstart of a nation grown up into something like this? Something he was so maddeningly drawn to. He suspected he'd been like this for a long while, and it was only now that he'd allowed himself to acknowledge it.
"Yeah, whatever, England." He shook his head. "Anyway, it's awesome."
"I'm glad you're enjoying it," England replied, and he stiffened, taking a deep breath. "Would you mind coming back inside with me?"
"I have…" He cleared his throat. "I have something I need to tell you."
"Uh, okay." And England motioned him inside, off the balcony. America followed, bewilderment clear in his expression.
Once inside, England walked him down a hallway and twisted open a large brass doorknob, gesturing for America to enter the vacant room with him. America shrugged and did so, closing the door behind them. The room was well-furnished, a study of some sort, likely for a higher up employee of the department. There was a window that opened up to the street, allowing sunlight to sift in and giving view to the abundant and blissful crowds outside.
"I can't believe it's finally over," England spoke, after a moment's silence. He paced across the room and then stopped in front of America, who stood stationary next to a large leather chair.
"Yeah but we did it England!" America exclaimed. "It's lucky you had such an awesome hero on your side. Our victory was assured. The good guys always win, eventually."
At this, England had to roll his eyes, because dear Christ was this boy naïve. He was… so young, after all. Remembering that sent another fit of nerves through him. America did always make fun of him for being an old man. What if--- what if he was completely appalled and even the joke excuse didn't cut it?
Oh shut it, he told himself. Just fucking do it. You're braver than this, England.
"You did well, America," England said, and what better lead in than to compliment the younger nation?
"Really?" There was something in America's tone, something like genuine delight, not the usual 'of course I'm awesome!' but as if England's opinion actually really mattered to him. He could have been imagining it th---
Stop it! He interrupted himself again, and he stepped forward so there was barely any space between himself and America, and took a deep breath. Now or never, England.
Don't make me regret this.
He leaned forward and cupped America's chin, hesitating, just for a moment, before pressing his lips against the other nation's.
England clenched his eyes shut tightly, not wanting to see America's reaction. So damn afraid that he was going to pull away and laugh at him and say something cutting and then things might go back to the way before they were even---
America was reacting. Oh shit. Bloody fucking hell. He'd shifted and he was about to pull back and…
America looped an arm around England's shoulder. He felt the pressure of his hand, softly threading through the hair at the nape of his neck.
And then the kiss intensified, because now America was leaning into it, slightly chapped lips against his and…
He wasn't pulling away at all. America, the daft fool, who he could scarcely understand why he wanted to kiss in the first place, was kissing him back.
Well this was unexpected. He'd thought of a million and one excuses to give if America shoved him away or what have you, but he hadn't really thought at all of what to do if America returned the gesture.
And he um… he had very much done so. More, even, by the moment. America's hand wandered up, continuing to tangle in his tousled hair, and England, who was rather stiff as a board, relaxed a bit into his touch. He was pressed against America, his own hands resting atop the younger nation's shoulders.
Taking a deep breath inwardly, he cracked his eyes open. America's expression was unreadable as of course, his mouth was quite occupied. But his eyes were closed, lids soft and relaxed and… not clenched as England's had been.
He almost wanted to chance flicking his tongue forward, asking for entrance, but he resisted. It was enough that he--- oh Christ, what the bleeding hell was he doing anyway?
Gasping for breath, England pulled away. He dropped his hands, fisting them at his side and willing them not to shake. He'd clenched his eyes shut once more, and for all he knew America was turning and walking away and—
His cheeks were burning. He could feel it. And he could hardly believe that even in his euphoria, he'd done something as stupid as…
England whipped around, planning to walk away with an apology, when a hand grabbed his wrist. His heart hammered in his chest, and he forced himself to turn around, to face America.
He attempted to gulp down the lump that was forming in his throat. "S-sorry," he finally muttered, eyes open but looking down, instead of at America.
England could have sworn he heard America's breath hitch, and he still hadn't let go of his arm.
"What're you sorry for?"
He chanced glancing up at America, and the other country's expression surprised him. His cheeks were flushed bright pink, and he appeared more… bewildered than upset. "I apologize. It was inappropriate of me to do that," England rushed out.
America shrugged, his blue eyes flitting away. "I… well, lots of other people have been doing stuff like that today."
"What did it mean?" And America's question was barely above a whisper, almost a cautious murmur.
England puffed up his chest, attempting to keep calm. "It was just a kiss."
"Hmm uh… it was just a kiss back, then," America emphasized the last part of his sentence.
"Oh right. Is there a reason you did that?" England ventured, and he noticed that America's hand still gripped his wrist firmly.
"W-well, what reason do you usually kiss people back?" The younger nation's cheeks were again flushed with color.
"…Because they kissed you first?" He knew it was a weak retort, but his mouth was feeling dry and he just couldn't find the words he wanted to say to America. This was sodding nuts, the whole thing. England adjusted his posture, standing up straight, and breathed deeply.
"Okay um, why did you kiss me first?" America finally moved his hand, but he didn't let go of England's wrist. Instead he was now rubbing his thumb along the side of it.
"You never answered my question, you idiot!" England snapped, and his eyebrows narrowed into a furrow.
"England, you started it. You should tell me first."
"What are you, twelve? You're such a child." The Brit whipped his hand out of America's grasp and crossed his arms over his chest.
"A child you just kissed!" America looked irritated, affronted even, by England's words. His lips had tightened into a pout and his eyes had narrowed.
"I wouldn't kiss you if I thought you were a child," England clarified, cheeks pinking again.
"But you just called me one."
"You're behaving like one."
"You're doing the same thing."
"I am not."
"I'd say 'are too,' but that would be childish of me."
At this, England lifted his arms above his head in a gesture of exasperation. "You know what? I don't know why I kissed you. I must have been crazy to think you'd get it through your thick grease-filled skull."
"I know what kissing means, England! I'm not fucking braindead," America spat out, and his eyes flashed behind the frames of his glasses… something that England could have sworn was hurt.
"Could've fooled me," England replied, and he immediately regretted it. He had kissed America, and America had kissed him back. That should have been brilliant, right? But now they were fighting and…
"You're not even making any sense."
"I am!" He paused and then shook his head, sighing. "Blimey… what are we even arguing about?"
America lightened, and he cracked a small smile, a short laugh escaping. "I uh… yeah I don't even know."
"Oh. Well." England's lips turned up slightly as well.
The younger nation scratched the back of his head, his smile turning sheepish. "So uh… kissing?"
"W-what?" England's cheeks darkened.
"It's um--- uhh…" America was still gesturing nervously, his hand now rubbing the back of his neck.
England bit his lip. "Look, honestly… perhaps we should just forget it happened. It was unwise on my part to…"
"I don't wanna forget it," America interrupted, as if it were the most obvious thing in the word.
England's green eyes grew large and his mouth dropped open. "Y-you… don't?"
"Nuh-uh." The other nation shook his head in the negative. His hand had dropped to his side, and now he was fisting that same hand in the leather of his jacket.
"…America," his voice caught in his throat.
"Why?" England stared straight at him, his expression resolute.
"Why would I kiss you back, England?" He inquired, frank, serious; there were no hints of teasing or even light-heartedness in his voice.
"I-I see." England felt sweat forming on his palms and he was afraid to say much more. He breathed in, loud in his ears and his heart was thrumming again. Silence fell upon the pair, and England registered the tick of a clock and the continuing ruckus outside on Whitehall. The city was brimming with unbridled joy, and something welled up within England. Could America really be…?
"So uhh…" And America was flicking his eyes about, another anxious reaction on his part.
England contemplated his response, attempting to formulate his words in the best manner possible. After a few moments' silence, he cleared his throat. "You're special to me America. Deeply special. I don't want to do this if…"
"I wanna!" He interrupted, near shouting, frantically.
"What?" England's eyebrows shot up.
"Y-Yeah…" America sighed. "Happy V-E Day, England." And England stiffened when America took his shoulders, leaning down and then dipping him backwards as if they were in one of his silly Hollywood movies and then crashing their lips together and that unbridled joy burst within England. Suddenly he felt as if they were outside, and they were amongst the crowds and the sailors doing conga lines down the streets and the parents holding up their babies to get a glimpse of his prime minister and the dancing girls and the singing and the roar of planes and the pure elation.
America's hands rested on the middle of his back and his shoulder, and England gripped the other country's shoulder as well, resting his other hand on America's side. And his eyes were closed and America's were too, and this time England did flick his tongue forward, the taller nation giving purchase immediately and allowing him entrance. He smiled into the kiss, and he felt America do the same.
This was… perfect.
When they finally pulled apart, England was practically dizzy with giddiness and short of breath. America tipped him back up, and they kept hold of each other, hands on shoulder and back. His cheeks were flushed high, and America's were the same.
Smiling, he leaned into America, pressing his body against his in an embrace. America returned it, rubbing his hands across his back and resting his chin atop England's head.
"So umm…" England spoke, his voice muffled by the embrace. He took in America, who smelled of engine oil from his plane and smoke and fire and… the smell of a soldier that permeated his skin. England knew he smelled the same, their crisp clean uniforms only masking the scent that lingered. This was appropriate though, as, England reminded himself, the war was over in Europe, but not in the Pacific. They were not yet finished.
"Yeah?" America replied, almost a hum. It reverberated in his chest and England felt it. God they were so close…
"We are…" He coughed lightly.
"I really like you, England," America interrupted. He tightened his hold on the older nation, and England felt him softly, tentatively, nuzzle the top of his head.
England stiffened for a moment and then relaxed, chuckling quietly into America's jacket. "I quite like you as well, America."
America snorted, and England was close enough to feel laughter rising up from his chest, then he heard it, peals of it, and he looked up to meet the other nation's widely grinning face. England smiled as well, warm and bright and America's smile only grew upon seeing England's.
"You've got a nice smile," America complimented, a hint of laughter still remaining. England flushed red at this, which just caused the younger nation to chuckle again.
"That is…. really?"
"I mean it." America ruffled England's hair. "Y'should do it more often."
At this, England smiled again, the color in his cheeks not yet having dissipated. "Perhaps I will."
America hugged him a bit tighter, almost lifting England up off the ground due to the pressure. "Yeah! So are we going steady?"
England's face bloomed red as a cherry, and he gripped America's jacket, shooting his head up to look straight at him. "Excuse me?"
America let go of him with one hand, smiling dopily and scratching the back of his head. "Well… are we?"
"As long as I'm not akin to one of those girls…"
England sighed. "My girls. The ones you and your soldiers won over with your gifts and flattery during this war. Girls are all over the streets now, snogging your men senseless."
The other nation stifled laughter. "Seriously England? C'mon."
England huffed. "Well excuse me for not wanting to get involved in a fling!"
"It wouldn't be a fling!" America shouted, and he loosed his grip on England, pulling away and giving him a firm, steely look.
England's eyes grew large, and he licked his lips. "I… you mean that?"
"You came in and kissed me, and now you're backing off?" America had crossed his arms.
"It's not that! I just… wanted to make sure," England clarified.
America nodded and then gestured toward himself. "I'm a hero, and every hero needs an awesome love interest. You've seen the movies."
The older nation smiled sardonically. "I imagine we would be more like a pair in one of your comedies."
America shrugged but then grinned. "Yeah, probably."
Hesitating, England took his hand. "I'd like that a lot."
He squeezed his hand back. "It'll be awesome." America glanced away, pink rising to his cheeks. "Oh and uh…"
"T-thanks for kissing me?" He ran a hand through his blonde hair. "I just… this is gonna sound kind of dumb, but I didn't know when I'd have it in me to do it myself."
"Really?" And there was something sly in England's tone. "Aren't you the bravest of the brave?"
America looked affronted. "Of course! I'm the greatest hero ever, but you know… I didn't know if some grumpy old guy would be interested in someone so awesome."
England rolled his eyes. "I assure you, it's not your 'awesome' that attracts me to you."
The other country snorted. "Well I'm not in this for your 'gentlemanliness,' so it evens out."
He ran his fingers across the top of America's hands. They were calloused and worn, despite often wearing gloves. He knew his were the same. It fit. They fit.
"Shall we go outside for the bonfires, then?" England queried, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah, sure. Sounds fun!"
England nodded, squeezing America's hand just that much tighter. He glanced to the other country, and knew he wasn't imagining adoration in his blue eyes; knew he wasn't alone.
He'd come, and they'd won this war, and they'd done it together. And now, they were more than that, more than even friends and--- it was the most absobloodylutely wonderful gift he could ask for.
England closed the distance between himself and America and planted a quick kiss on his lips, pulling away with a soft smile. "To many more kisses to come, then?"
America nodded, pressing their foreheads together. "To millions more."