Notes: A continuation of the 6-part series I finished back in January. As such, massive spoilers for those 6 chapters. I figured with Indiana Jones!America now having an official image, it was time for me to revisit this universe.
I really hope you all enjoy. Please take the time to comment if you do! :)
Alfred Jones and the Curse of the Pharaoh: Epilogue
If there was one thing America loved more than a good adventure, it was the day after they got home. Tired, bandaged and bruised, and very thankful to be sleeping in a comfortable bed, it always managed to cause one rare trait to surface in England.
He would actually sleep in. By quite a lot and without fuss even. And America loved it so much.
Loved getting to wake up before him (and not due to jet lag or time zones even) and just watching him contentedly snoozing in his arms. Loved just basking in the late-morning sunlight that drifted across his room from the window, curled up together with England and just so incredibly happy. They'd successfully retrieved the last piece of the Golden Osiris, it hadn't caused any sort of universal disturbance or Tony's alarm would have sounded in the night, and best of all- England was safe and sound beside him, little puffs of his slumbering breath fluttering his bangs as he dozed.
After their latest adventure, that last part was something America cherished tenfold. He absently traced his fingers over the bandage on England's arm and frowned. Thinking back to what had happened with the jinn the day before; America pulled England snuggly against him and kissed his forehead.
"You know," he murmured quietly, "we face a lot of scary stuff on our adventures, but that…that was one of the worst."
"Tell me about it," a muffled grumble sounded from against his chest. America started and looked down. England was frowning up at him.
"And you weren't the only one scared half to death, you know," England retorted, leveling him with a sincere gaze after a momentary flicker of a look at America's neck.
A tenative smile crept onto America's face. "Yeah. Yeah I know."
He cupped England's cheek at that and tilted his head forward until their foreheads rested together. "But, now that we're at home safe and sound, it was…worth it wasn't it?"
England leaned in and pressed a firm kiss to America's lips, which he returned eagerly. As they pulled apart, both of them withheld their snark about bad morning breath, figuring that they owed the other at least that.
"Of course it was worth it, you git." England replied.
America just grinned. "What? The adventure or the kissing?"
At that, England decided to forgo his earlier niceties. "Well, considering your morning breath…"
"Hey, you have it too! It's like…moldy tea or something!" America retorted.
"Moldy tea?" He cocked an eyebrow at that, then snorted. "Oh right good comeback, that one."
"Shut up!" The younger nation feebly replied, making a weak shove at England's chest. "It totally does!"
With a hint of a smirk, England started to move towards the edge of the large bed, tugging America along with him via his pyjama shirt sleeve. "Let's see to getting up and brushing our teeth, then. Can't have- what was it? – oh yes, moldy tea taste preventing you from kissing me."
America wiggled his hand around until he could clasp England's hand. He gave it a squeeze and smiled. "Yeah, because I really need to kiss you some more and that's not happening if I keep getting a dose of moldy tea."
"Oh really? And is it any better for me, getting something akin to stale burgers off of you?"
Bare feet touching down on the carpet, they both turned to give each other a mock glare. This teasing was a bit of a morning ritual for them, when they were in a certain mood, and it never ceased to start the day off right. America blew a puff of air pointedly in England's direction and England crinkled up his nose.
"Toothpaste and loads of mouthwash for you, I think."
They held each other's glares for a moment more before America caved, breaking into peals of laughter that England discreetly joined in on. It was going to be an awesome day.
Second only to the comforts of a bed, was the luxury of a warm shower. Having thoroughly enjoyed breaking in America's bathtub the night before, the couple still managed to take a rather long joint shower.
This was partially due to the need to carefully wash around all their injuries, and partially because America simply had to prove that post-teeth brushing his mouth no longer tasted of stale burgers. That specific exploit, and the following rebuttal on England's behalf, extended the shower length by at least another forty-five minutes.
Hair still dripping wet, and a towel hitched around his waist, America fetched the first aid kit.
"All right, all awesomely clean and ready for new bandages! Plus, I was promised to be allowed to fuss."
"I can take care of myself, you…" England was cut off as America pecked a damp kiss to his lips.
"Come on, you promised! Please? Pretty please?"
Never able to fully turn down America's pout accompanied by his wide, sad, puppy eyes, England huffed. "Oi, stuff it or I'll bandage your mouth shut," he shot back, but without much bite. A smile was tugging at the corner of his lips. America snapped back to his usual casual smile, pout long gone. "Right then, let's get to it. We still have things to do and it's already past noon. Though I suppose we did earn our bit of a lie-in…"
"You bet we earned it," America replied cheerfully, snatching England's hand and leading him back to the bed. "Just like we earned our battle scars, which currently need re-bandaging."
America plopped unceremoniously down, his towel hitching up to expose more of his legs as he did so. England cleared his throat and waved a hand in that direction.
"Can you cover a bit up there?" He flushed. "We really don't need anymore of that sort of distraction."
Blushing now as well, America tugged his towel back down. "Well if someone wasn't borrowing my robe…"
At that England began to fidget with the too-long sleeves of the terrycloth bathrobe he was wearing. Aside from the size, it was clearly not his, as it was monogrammed with an American flag and fancy loopy handwriting spelled out 'The United States of America' under it.
"Just a bit nippy outside the bathroom, that's all." He flushed a bit more and tugged the robe further closed. America couldn't help but grin. For all their rather intimate relations, both of them could get rather flustered from time to time over stupid little things. It was…rather endearing.
Reaching over and pulling England down into a seated position beside him on the bed, America frowned. "I should just get you your own robe to keep over here…"
If possible, England blushed even more so at this. "N-No, that's not necessary at all. Don't get me wrong, it's nice of you to loan me yours, but having one for me is really quite unnecessary."
Inwardly, America knew that this was just England being England and not wanting to admit how touched he was by the suggestion. With a small smile creeping onto his lips, he secretly plotted to order England a matching robe the next time he got the chance.
"All right then," he said starting to tug at the robe. England shot him a look.
"Am I not allowed to borrow it then?"
America's expression softened and he gave England's shoulder a gentle squeeze before affectionately trailing his hand down England's arm.
"England, I can't bandage your arm with the robe on, you goof."
He had the decency to look ashamed for his misassumption, mumbling out a quiet, "Oh. Right then," before he started pulling the left sleeve of the robe down.
There, right on England's upper left arm, was the bullet graze. It was still raw around the edges and even a bit redder than usual due to the stringent cleaning they'd given it in the shower. But now, extremely gently, America ran his fingers over the raw wound.
The cut itself had swollen up around the edges, the dark red scabbing the only thing preventing it from bleeding freely. The skin all around it was still darkened pink and America sucked in a breath as he noted the slight bruising to the area.
With America's hand still resting over it, England reached up and gently pressed it down over the wound until both their hands rested lightly atop it.
"Oh hush. An adventure is really not worth having if there isn't at least a small chance of danger," England remarked, steeling his gaze. He'd lived through so much worse and survived it all. And as mad as it seemed sometimes, these little excursions let him relive a bit of his glory days, when he risked it all for a prize to take back to the Queen.
"Plus," he continued, "it's not like you walked away unharmed. Your neck looks right ghastly."
He released their hands at that to reach up and lightly run his fingertip over the jagged cut that was still leaking a bit of blood after they'd wiped it down in the shower. At least the scrape on America's cheek and arm were both healing quite well, both of them already looking more like a bit of raised pink skin rather than cuts. But as for America's neck, the tender skin there was swollen and England couldn't resist the urge to lean forward and press gentle kisses along it.
Clearing his throat, England busied himself in pulling out some butterfly bandages to seal the cut up with. "Just to help with the healing process, of course."
"Can't argue that."
America beamed, remembering how England always said that same thing when he was much much younger and had done something simple like scrape his knees. Despite all that had changed between them, as nations and as themselves, since then- America was glad to know that some of those little things stayed the same. Though he was grateful that England wasn't reprimanding him for 'being so reckless and going off on an adventure! You poor dear, you could have been killed,' like he had back then. It was much better now to have adventures with England than to have England worrying about him being but a young colony out adventuring on his own.
"All right, I'll put some ointment on it first and then bandage it up, so you've got to stay still now."
With a smile, America nodded, leaning into England's gentle touch. It really hurt, now that America thought about it for a moment instead of worrying about England's injury. But he tried his best not to let any discomfort show on his face, knowing that it would only make England more concerned. Plus, he was a hero, and a hero could totally handle this!
In no time at all, England had it all bandaged back up, the soft white gauze tickling America's neck a bit as he shifted it.
"There now, all done," he remarked, "I'll let you finish up with mine now, since you insisted on fussing."
Cheekily grinning, America leaned over and pecked a light kiss to England's injury before he too armed himself with ointment and gauze and began to bandage it up. It was only a matter of time before they were both sporting white bandages over the reminders of their adventure.
After getting fully dressed, America set about fixing up something for lunch while England hung up their still damp attire from a few days before outside on the clothesline. As they both enjoyed eating food they knew wasn't spiked with Vegemite, America typed up an email to Australia to let him know they'd gotten home safely and that their quest had been successful.
England kept trying to interject gloating remarks into the email, clearly wanting to remind his former colony that while Australia was considered quite the adventurer and risk-taker's homeland, that England could more than hold his own.
"Tell him I killed a jinn's host body after being possessed and see how he likes that! Wrestling crocodiles for fun isn't much compared to that, you know."
America just snickered under his breath, but he put it in anyways, making sure to preface it with "England would like you to know…"
But, as England quickly noted, he was certain America's account of his 'heroic deeds' was no less glorifying than his remarks were. And, with a glance at his blow-by-blow comments on how he figured out the pillared hall trap and how he got his neck almost cut in two, America found he really couldn't disagree with that.
"Well, what do you expect? That's what adventurers do. They brag to other adventurers, who then see if they can outdo them on their next escapade. Plus, let's face it England, I was really freaking awesome."
England snorted, but still muttered a, "I suppose you were," under his breath.
After that he typed up another quick email to Japan to assure him that why yes, he had witnessed them sneaking out of a collapsed Egyptian tomb entrance and that they were safe and sound at home. He promised that he'd fill his best friend in fully come the next time they met up to play video games together.
With lunch finished and the two emails sent off, the two then ventured out once more.
The grocery store had never looked as intimidating to America before as it did now.
"Um…I'm not sure where to find these, but that's okay!" America remarked, frowning down at the list of British foods England was wanting.
England had taken off the full week to spend with him, in case their adventuring had taken longer. But now they had over a half a week left to spend together, and America figured it'd be nice to try and have a few things around his house that England really liked. Plus, as he'd noted to him back when they were in trapped in the pillared hall, he really was getting a bit miffed about England always complaining about his choice of tea in the house.
America pouted to himself; he had, after all, been making sure to always have tea at home just for England. It wasn't his fault that the stodgy Brit frowned upon Lipton as his only choice.
But in all honestly, America wasn't sure where to find any of the British food items on England's list in the store. He shopped quite frequently in the international food aisle, and hadn't ever seen any of these products there. Squinting up at the aisle signs as if they would magically tell him where to find kippers and beef pasties, another thought occurred to him.
This was going to be a bit of an adventure.
He had the list, and now it was up to him and England, to track down any of these foods amongst the smattering of American goods the DC grocery store had to offer. He would have hints; considering his knowledge that kippers were fish and beef pasties were often a frozen food, he knew at least a vague idea where to start their quest.
"Are we going to stand here all day or get something to eat?" England queried, his fingertips drumming absently on the handle of the shopping cart he pushed.
America beamed at him, walking over to stand directly behind England; he wrapped his arms around him and put his hands to either side of England's on the cart's handle.
"It's adventure time, England! I have no idea where to start, so let's go!"
Steering them first towards a middle aisle, a large portion of shelves devoted to tea came into view. America knew, at least, where to find this thing on England's list.
"All right, pick out whatever is to your stodgy taste."
England frowned and shot America a glare as he walked over to the shelves and began to inspect the options. His eyes skimmed over the large selection of Lipton with disdain before catching sight of package a bit further down.
"Oh thank goodness, there is something worth getting," he murmured, selecting one of the flavors of Twinings tea from the shelf.
America grinned, his arms full of more of his favorite coffee. "Grab a couple, it's not like you don't drink it all the time. You'll have plenty for when you visit then."
Suppressing a smile at the thought that America was going out of his way to assure England was as happy as possible when visiting, the older nation snatched up two boxes: one of Earl Grey and one of English Breakfast Tea.
One item down.
After indeed finding kippers amongst the fish products for sale, England had to settle for pot pies rather than beef pasties or shepherd's pies when they perused the frozen food aisle. He frowned at this, turning over the package of the pot pie warily in his hands.
That's when he caught sight of America tracing a heart on the inside of the glass door to the freezer and grinning at him like a loon.
England blushed and tossed the pot pie in their cart. "Oh stop that. People are already staring quite enough thanks to your neck."
At that, America fidgeted with his open dress shirt collar and sighed. "Well I can't wear the collar any tighter, England. It kinda hurts."
Gaze softening, England reached over to give his hand a gentle squeeze. "Don't you worry about it being visible. It's um…er…" he lowered his voice to a whisper, "quite heroic looking."
Blue eyes went wide. "Really?"
"Yes, um…." England cleared his throat. "Right then, where's the marmite bound to be?"
America allowed England to change the subject, but it didn't stop him from smiling in a totally smitten way as they searched the condiments aisle for marmite and lemon curd. Once again, England had to settle for something similar and got himself some marmalade instead.
They did succeed on the chips and crackers aisle with salt and vinegar chips, although America was still chuckling silently to himself about England insisting on calling them 'crisps' rather than chips. They had this argument at least once a month, sometimes more depending on whether or not they taunted the other about it.
As they turned towards the cookie aisle, an employee struggling with several boxes set off an avalanche of packages. America stepped in quickly, with England right behind him.
"Pardon me, let me handle this!"
Between the two of them, they managed to save most of the packages from crashing to the ground and prevented them from falling onto a lady with a baby who was browsing nearby.
"Thank you. You have quite the quick reflexes there," the woman remarked as they helped the employee put the packages back on the shelf.
America just grinned. "You're welcome, ma'am. It comes from years of archaeology work."
She looked rightfully impressed and England cut in with a pointed cough. "Well, some good ole exploration trips too, but yes, you get the idea."
Much like the child on the airplane, she asked about America's neck and he explained. Then, to England's shock, he also noted how England had piloted a plane after being shot with a sleeping dart.
"Sounds like something out of an action movie," she said. "Well, good luck with that and thanks again!"
"Have a nice day!" America called after her as she rounded the end of the aisle.
The two countries shared a pleased smile amongst themselves before searching for the item they were looking for. Sure enough, crammed in between a bevy of cookies, was the tea biscuits England was craving.
Skimming the list over England's shoulder, America spotted the last item.
"Okay, next up- mushy…wait, what? Why would you want to eat mushy peas?"
England leveled him a glare, pushing the cart out from where America was leaning on it. The younger nation stumbled a step as England retorted. "They are quite tasty once you give them a chance. Could get them at all the Pie and Pea stalls back in the day."
America grinned up at the aisle headers and pointed to the next one down. "Maybe they have mushy peas on the baby food aisle. Hey, is this because you're old and can't chew?"
"Oh belt up, will you? It's usually in the canned food section back home, so let's try there."
They scoured the rows of cans with all the attention to detail they had been using recently to read hieroglyphs, but no mushy peas were to be found.
"Ah wait, there…"
England had noted a sticker on the topmost shelf and eyed it with interest. "Not mushy peas, but still to my taste."
Standing on tiptoe, he reached up, his fingertips brushing over the dusty shelf in hopes they weren't out.
"Need a lift?" America queried.
"Well, I could always…" England cast a glance up and down the aisle to verify they were indeed alone. With great agility he stepped back, caught a glimpse of a can pushed far to the back, and made a hasty jog forward. He leapt up the shelves quickly, as to not linger too long and break them. With a triumphant smirk, he snatched the can down.
"There. Buttered peas will have to do."
America rolled his eyes and muttered "show off" under his breath. England had used a similar tactic once in an old Mayan temple with booby trapped stairs, after all.
But as England added the can to the cart, America's smile surfaced again. "That everything?"
He nodded. "I've noticed you picking up things as we went, so I guess we're set then."
"Awesome. To the checkout line then!"
America raced forward with the cart, and England, shaking his head, followed after him smiling to himself. Despite the minimal selection, he thought that perhaps they should do this more often.
They arrived back to America's house to find the mail waiting for them. While America easily carried multiple grocery bags into the house, England frowned down at the medium sized brown package addressed to him seated on America's doorstep.
"Oh how on Earth does he do it? He always knows when I'm visiting you, even though I never tell him where we're staying after an adventure. I half expect him to send something via owl someday!"
Poking his head back into the entryway, America raised an eyebrow. "What, did you get a package from Hogwarts or something?"
England sighed. "No, just the Colonel again. Oh, it looks like he sent me one of his hats."
America came over and peered into the box. He gave a whistle. "The Blashford-Snell designed explorer hat? The one with the mosquito net for your neck and the fancy brim that has a cooling feature when you sweat?"
"That's the one," England replied, pulling out the hat and eyeing it. America snatched it from his grip and plopped it down on his head.
"Perfect fit! That's so awesome, England! I wonder if the Colonel would send me one…"
England's eyes skimmed over the attached note from the Colonel, wishing them good luck with their adventure and hoping they'd found what they were looking for. "I'm certain he would if you asked. He does rather like you."
"Pffft. Like he doesn't idolize you. Then again, you're the only British explorer older than him, so that figures. And well," America grinned, glancing over to where his explorer hat rested on the shelf, "I do have an official Indiana Jones movie prop hat, so mine's still the best."
Taking the hat back off and gently placing it back in the box, England noticed the other mail bundled with it.
"Looks like you got a letter as well."
Handing it over, America's eyes went wide at the name on the return address. He quickly ripped it open and read it over.
Got some good news on that lost city you've asked me to keep my ears open about, amigo. Just heard about it the other day, but I knew right away it was really good news for you so I figured I'd pass it along as soon as I could. Of course, this isn't soon-soon because you asked me to send it via the normal mail. And, like you made me promise, I respected your request and sent this via normal mail just in case some hacker got into your email or whatever those worries were. Not that I think a hacker could get into your email, considering your computer protections, but I guess you want to be extra-extra safe?
Anyways, I was out around Tabatinga just having some fun. Good clubs around there with some amazing samba music and dancing. I really liked the dancing. But I guess I'm getting away from the point. I overheard some people talking about this old Inca pathway they'd been exploring in Peru and how it just trailed off into the mountains. I asked them some more and they gave me a few notes about where they were and what they saw. I attached all this for ya.
But here's the kicker amigo, they found some old gold coins. They didn't seem to think much of them, but I can tell you- those coins were really old. Like back when Portugal was still being a jerk--not that he's not a jerk now but you know what I mean--or maybe older. I included a sketch of it in the notes, all from my memory, but still I think it's a pretty good rendition. I hope this helps you out, and let me know if you need a place to stay when you're down here exploring.
Good luck, amigo!
With a loud cheer, America swung his arm around England and pushed the letter under his nose. "England, look, we've got clues! Clues for the lost city! This is so freaking awesome!"
Pulling him around, America pecked a kiss on England's lips then began a mad dash off towards his office. He paused, wheeled back around and drew England into a deeper kiss; his fingers tangling up into England's hair as they stumbled back against the wall. The letter fell waylaid to the ground as England returned the gesture, making sure to be gentle around America's neck as he pulled him closer.
A few moments later they parted, both grinning widely.
"It looks like I'll be breaking in my new hat sooner than expected," England remarked with a smile.
America just beamed. "Hell yeah, we've got another adventure to go on! But first, I gotta take care of something really important."
He started back towards his office, England following behind him. "What, are you contacting that gentlemen that's given us information about the city up until this point?"
"Nah, he probably already knows. Or would try and beat us to it. But, I really need to get this special ordered now so I can have it when we need it."
England frowned, already wary as to what America was up to.
"Dare I ask?"
"I gotta get a new whip off eBay since I lost my old one, of course! Luckily I know a guy that does it for all the Indiana Jones stunt performers and he always makes them top quality," America replied, still grinning.
With a chuckle, England turned to go back and retrieve his package from where he'd sat it down in the hallway. "Oh yes, can't go without that."
"Of course not!"
But as soon as his back was turned, America clicked open another tab and began filling out another special order form as well. One for a monogrammed bathrobe with the Union Jack on it.
Because clearly, England would need it after they got home from their next adventure.
 A Kipper is a whole herring, a small, oily fish, that has been split from tail to head, gutted, salted or pickled, and cold smoked.
 A pasty (like beef pasties) is a filled pastry case, commonly associated with Cornwall in the United Kingdom. It differs from a pie as it is made by placing the filling on a flat pastry shape, usually a circle, and folding it to wrap the filling, crimping the edge to form a seal. The result is a raised semicircular package.
 Twinings is a marketer of tea based in Andover, Hampshire, England.
 A shepherd's pie refers to an English meat pie made with beef mince and with a crust made from mashed potato.
 A pot pie is a type of baked savory pie with a bottom and top completely encased by flaky crusts and baked inside a pie tin to support its shape.
 Marmite is a sticky, dark brown paste with a distinctive, powerful flavour, which is extremely salty and savoury with umami qualities, somewhat comparable to soy sauce.
 Lemon curd is a popular spread for bread, scones, toast or muffins.
 Mushy peas are dried marrowfat peas which are first soaked overnight in water and then simmered with a little sugar and salt until they form a thick green lumpy soup.
 Pie and pea shops and stalls used to be a common feature on Northern streets and markets, but these days it is more usually sold in sandwich shops and "Chippies"
 Colonel John Blashford-Snell is a former British Army officer, explorer and author. In 2006 Blashford-Snell helped the London hatmakers James Lock to design a hat especially to meet the needs of explorers.
Coming Summer 2010:
Alfred Jones and the Lost City of Gold
The second installment in the Amazing Adventures Series