Change the World!
Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia or any of the characters portrayed.
A/N: I should have mentioned in the first chapter that this fic was written for a prompt off livejournal's hetalia_kink meme.
America wouldn't allow himself to be discouraged by England's refusal to cooperate with his plan and pressed onward with unbreakable determination. He spent that night (after England was done with him) studying his notepad. He crossed off his latest accomplishments and skimmed the list for what would be his next feats.
'You don't seem to realize you're multilingual'
America didn't understand that one at all. He never understood a word of what other countries said when they slipped into their native language, so how he could be multilingual? Sure, he slipped into local dialects without thinking when he was in his own country, maybe that was what England meant? At any rate, that was one change he'd have to skip over.
'You make odd noises when you sleep'
He wasn't quite sure how he could fix that problem either, bar going without sleep entirely. He resolved to wear one of those nasal strips and hope for the best. If he continued to annoy England with the noises, he'd simply have to sleep elsewhere and let England keep the bed.
There was no grumbling from England the next morning, rather England was in a rather cuddly mood and it wasn't until early afternoon that they actually got out of bed. If he was still making noises in his sleep, England didn't mind, so he must have succeeded there.
With those easy fixes out of the way, America had decided, with some level of chagrin, to launch into the next phase of his mission.
'You don't appreciate my embroidery' and 'You think 'The Real World' is television at its finest'
It hurt him somewhere deep inside to ask England to sew him something and ask if he could watch a bit of England's favorite television programs, but he persevered somehow.
It was hard to pretend that he wasn't bored out of his mind at the droning on the television, but every time he glanced over to where England was sitting, hard at work with the needle and thread with that absolutely content look on his face, America gritted his teeth and tried to pay attention in case England wanted to ask detailed questions later. It would all be worth it in the end, he reminded himself.
And he continued to remind himself of that when England proudly presented him with a hand stitched handkerchief. It was obviously made with love and care, not a frayed thread or uneven stitch. The 'A' emblazoned across a corner was intricate and beautiful, and America wouldn't have minded if that's all it was. But of course the ruffled edges and finely detailed flowers just ruined any semblance of manliness, not that he'd tell England that.
"Thank you, England. I'll treasure it," America said with some effort on his part to smile convincingly.
England beamed in response. "I don't know what's gotten into you, America, but I like it."
America's heart fluttered in happiness as he was pulled into a kiss. Did that mean England was finally proud to be his?
"So what did you think of the program?" England asked with barely concealed excitement.
America cringed internally, and tried not to sound too robotic as he cited his carefully rehearsed dialog about the show. Luckily England was satisfied with that and didn't press further, although he did offer to share some more programs should America wish to see them. How could America say no after that?
He seemed to be on the right track, but the change he'd decided to tackle next was the one he'd been dreading the most since the very beginning. But if he could get that one out of the way, he could do anything.
'You're too easily scared and scream like a girl when you're frightened'
For that one he decided to enlist Japan's help, since no one else he knew had scarier movies. Normally just the thought would send him shivering under his covers, but it was for love and he cursed his violently trembling hands as he called Japan.
"Are you sure you don't want me to stay, American-san?" Japan asked warily as he arrived to drop off the stack of DVDs he'd brought with him.
"N-Not at all, Japan! I'm a hero, so I'll be all right on my own! Thanks for the quick response!" America squeaked in a really bad attempt to sound like he wasn't terrified.
"All right, American-san…I'll be here for a few days if you change your mind," Japan said, obviously not convinced but not going to press further, and gave him a short bow before he left.
"All right! Here we go! All day and all night marathon of the scariest movies ever made until I can watch them without getting scared!" America shouted to no one in particular as if trying to convince himself that he could do it, and then flopped onto his couch and started the first movie.
It was about fifteen minutes into the movie before he had Japan on the phone again. He couldn't hide his hysteria, try as he might. "O-On second thought, it would be pretty awesome to have some company! N-Not that I need it or anything, ah ha ha ha!"
Japan was there in an instant, apparently he hadn't even left the block knowing that America would inevitably call him back.
It was a little easier to sit through the movies with Japan next to him, although he still jumped and screamed at the right moments, and spent a good deal of the time wrapped around Japan in terror, while Japan calmly acquiesced to America's need to cling.
"I think here would be a good place to stop," Japan finally said flatly from underneath America's arm as they finished the fourth movie of the night.
"Y-Y-Yeah, th-th-that s-s-sounds good," America babbled, but made no move to let go.
Japan very carefully disentangled himself from the American's vice-like grip and gave another short bow. "If you would like to continue in the morning, please give me a call. Good night, America-san."
He didn't get far before America latched onto him again and screeched into his ear, "you can't leave!! Please sleep with me tonight, Japan!!"
Japan's eyes widened and he struggled a bit against America's hold on him. "I don't think that's appropriate when you already have-"
"Please, Japan! You can't leeeeeeave," America wailed and sobbed into his shoulder.
Japan couldn't very well say no to a crying America and resigned to his fate while America dragged him off to his room.
"Don't you dare fall asleep before me!" America said desperately and continued to cling to the Japanese man, trembling violently all the while.
"Of course not, American-san," Japan replied calmly with a slight smile. When America finally fell into a troubled sleep, Japan finally sighed and wondered why he so enjoyed that nation's company when he did things like that.
America had quite the fun time the next morning explaining to England, who had wanted to surprise America with a visit, just why he found America wrapped so intimately around Japan. He suspected that England didn't really believe him when he did.
Well, that was another change where he'd have to disappoint the older nation.
In the days afterwards when England was refusing to talk to him, America wouldn't let himself pout or feel dejected and instead decided it was time to tackle the other ridiculous change. The one that if it didn't work, he'd never breathe a word about it to another living soul ever. He'd take the secret with him to his grave.
'You don't believe in magic and you can't see magical creatures'
He was certain that Arthur didn't mean the sort of magic you could see on the strip in Vegas, or the kind that masked men revealed the secrets to on TV, or Houdini's famous escape acts he performed at the turn of the century, but America studied all of those carefully anyway in the hopes that they'd gear him up for the supposed real stuff.
The next part required a trip to the library (scratch 'you think reading is for 'nerds'' off his list) and several hours in the children's section reading fairytales. He had to admit the stories were pretty interesting, especially since some of the stories were so different from his Disney adaptations. He became particularly engrossed in the story of Peter Pan, the boy who didn't want to grow up, and especially the chapter where Tinker Bell drank the poison to save Peter and she'd only be saved if children believed in fairies.
"If you believe," he shouted to them, "clap your hands; don't let Tink die."
"I do believe! I do!" America cried and clapped as loudly as he could. A librarian hissed at him to be quiet and the American mumbled a humiliated apology before he crawled off to a more secluded corner to finish his reading.
If that wasn't enough to let him see magical creatures, then he'd really have to believe that England was just lonely and therefore delusional. Not that he needed to be now that he had America! It was time for another spontaneous visit to England's house.
He remembered when he was just a child how England would tell him fantastic stories of the amazing creatures that loved to visit his gardens, and how one day England would bring him there to see them. His friends would love America, he'd said, and America, as enamored with England as he had been, drank up every word as truth and looked forward to the day when he'd visit England's gardens and meet his mythical friends. But he grew up and grew away from England, and he stopped believing everything he said to be the absolute truth. His first visit to England's house had confirmed it.
He felt a bit foolish as he snuck around the side of England's house to his gardens, as he almost hoped he would see at least a fairy or two, as ridiculous as he knew that was.
Imagine his disappointment when he stepped into the line of trees and rose bushes and saw no unicorns grazing on the grass or fairies playing in the rare burst of sunshine. He mentally kicked himself for even thinking that there was even the remotest possibility that such things existed outside of stories and set out to find England. It didn't take him long before he heard the nation's faint voice.
"Don't be absurd, I do not miss him. He was quite cozy with Japan and he can just stay that way, I don't believe his pathetic excuse for a moment. … You really think he was telling the truth, do you? Well, I don't. He's been acting very strangely lately, it seems it was all just a buildup to that moment. … His behavior is not for me, you silly girls. You've been reading too many stories," England scoffed at the air and furiously crocheted what looked like a doily.
America cringed at England's embarrassing display and was thankful for his sake that he was in the privacy of his own garden and not out in public. Either way it was time to announce his presence. He cleared his throat and jogged over to where England was sitting.
"Good afternoon, England!" America exclaimed and bent over in a silent request for a kiss.
"I don't want to talk to you," England grunted and turned away from him.
Suddenly it hit America that he could check another change off his list with that current situation.
'You think high-fives are the best way to solve any dispute'
Before he'd set out on his mission, he would have persisted and begged England to forgive him, and of course would have sealed the deal with a high-five. England always looked so irritated whenever he did that, though, and only gave up because he was so tired of America's whining that he would do anything to shut him up. Maybe if he actually listened to what England wanted, he'd earn his forgiveness in a different way.
"Is that really what you want, England? For me to leave you alone?" America asked quietly.
"Yes, you annoying prat, it is!" England seethed through gritted teeth.
"All right, England. I wouldn't want to upset you, after all," America said with a sigh and turned to leave.
He heard England make an odd choking noise and stumble out of his chair. "What?! You're really leaving?"
America stopped and turned to look at the astonished island nation. He tilted his head and frowned slightly. "Of course. That's what you want, isn't it?"
"Well…no! I thought this would be like any other fight we have and you'd persist until I forgave you! I can't just let you have your way!" England shouted a bit desperately and made to clutch onto America's hand.
America blinked down at his hand and entwined their fingers. "So you really want me to stay then?"
"Of course I do, you impossible brat!"
America lifted his head and smiled shyly, sheepishly at England. "I really am sorry, England. I didn't want to hurt you."
England grumbled and flushed slightly in reply. "Did you eat something strange? Did that alien of yours do something to your head? You've been acting out of sorts."
America shook his head and squeezed England's hand. "Not at all! I just had a bit of sense knocked into me, you could say."
England furrowed his brow, but didn't press. "I suppose you'll want a spot of tea and some scones then. Come on."
The younger nation agreed brightly and steeled his stomach for its impending torture. The things he did for love, really.
America decided with those last few failures, it was time to pull out all the stops and go for the most extreme changes. They'd be public with their relationship by the end of the week if it killed him.
'You aren't cultured', 'You're too loud', 'You're too pushy', 'You're too egotistical' and 'You never take anything seriously'
So basically he planned to change everything about himself for England's sake. Would it make him happy? To be with someone who could discuss poetry and art rather than the latest football (American, that is) scores? Who was modest and never spoke out of turn? Who didn't coast through life trying to have as much fun as possible? The more reasonable part of him said that if England really loved him, he wouldn't need America to change so drastically in order to be proud of their relationship, but to hell with reason.
He spent a few days letting Italy lead him on a tour of Rome, and actually paid attention to everything the pasta lover had to say about his art and architecture, since he knew that Italy wouldn't think twice about America suddenly taking an interest in his culture. Armed with everything Italy had taught him, America was able to tour Paris without having to ask France for help, and he wound up in Brussels, Madrid, Vienna, Berlin, and other capitals in Europe drinking in everything he had so stubbornly ignored all that time. Even if that didn't impress England, it would still be worth it, America decided.
His ultimate test would come in a couple of weeks when he planned to launch the last phase of his mission on England. If he could ignore the Super Bowl in favor of taking England out for a much more elegant evening, he knew he could keep the changes he'd so painstakingly worked for. Just the thought of skipping one of the most important days of the year outside of his birthday, Christmas and Thanksgiving made him sick, but he continued to remind himself that the rewards would be worth the sacrifice.
So he arranged for England to visit, with the older nation no doubt believing he was being dragged into one of America's infamous Super Bowl parties, with all intentions of taking him out instead. He spent the days leading up to the event with his boss and the first lady, engaging in civilized conversation and learning to suppress the urge to boast or yell. His boss was slightly bothered by the nation acting so uncharacteristically composed and told him as much, but America merely took it as a sign that he was ready.
Still, he couldn't help his childlike excitement as he waited, in a crisp suit, for England's arrival. He opted not to meet the nation at the airport, lest England catch wind of his plan too early, and instead paced inside the entryway of his house until the bell rang and he practically pounced on the knob.
There was England, suitcase in hand in his idea of casual clothing (sweater vest and neatly pressed slacks), giving America a definite suspicious look.
"Why are you so dressed up? Aren't we going to watch that ridiculous game of yours?"
America shook his head and pulled England inside. "Not today! Today we're going somewhere different. You're a bit dressed down for the occasion, however."
England scowled. "Now I know something's wrong. You wouldn't miss that game for the world."
"I'm not interested in such boorish," America briefly paused to cringe internally, "activities. I'd much rather be with you enjoying more civilized distractions."
England stayed rooted to his spot and his eyes were darting all over America as if looking for some sign that it was a joke and America would rip off his suit at any moment and pull out a keg of beer and some potato chips instead. He was certainly disappointed when America continued to smile expectantly at him instead.
"Give me a moment to change then," England sighed and trudged heavily up the stairs to put on a more formal suit.
America took England in his private jet to New York City to take him out to dinner at the fanciest restaurant (where he ordered some fine vintage wine instead of beer or whiskey), walk him through Central Park, take him to museums, and finally to Carnegie Hall to end the night with fine music. Not once did he speak out of turn or boast about how amazing his country was. He didn't mock the art or music for being boring or choke on the wine. He was a perfect gentleman the whole time. Calm and poised.
America had expected England to be beaming with happiness, but instead the older nation had spent the day with a skeptical scowl on his face. America didn't let his disappointment show as they flew back to D.C. in silence.
But England broke the silence as soon as they were in his house again, and America set to work making England a cup of tea.
"I want to know what's going on. I could accept the tea and food, but this? This is too much and I know that there's something very wrong here. You must be a fake, that's it. America wouldn't act this foolish," England said coldly. He removed his gloves and shot an accusing look in America's direction.
America's thoughts screeched to a halt. How could England say such a thing? After all he'd done to make him happy? "What are you talking about, England? Of course I'm America! I wanted to show you that I could-"
"I don't believe you. You aren't America," England interrupted and stood up abruptly.
America was about to insist that England was being ridiculous, but then he turned and found himself staring down the barrel of a pistol. His eyes widened and his gaze shot up to England, who had a look on his face that said he wasn't playing any games.
"Who are you, really? Where is America?" England hissed menacingly.
America had never found England to be particularly scary (Halloween didn't count). He was prickly and always trying to be intimidating, but he never had much presence despite his best efforts. At that moment however, staring at those vicious green eyes, it occurred to America that perhaps he'd just been sheltered his whole life from the truth of what England was capable of. From day one, England had loved him so much that he'd always been careful to be guarded around him, even through their tough times like the Revolution and 1812.
But now, he really believed that he wasn't speaking with America, but a fake, didn't he? And so the veil was dropped, and America finally got a glimpse of the nation that had once been an empire, a pirate, who was on top of the world and could strike fear into the hearts of others without any effort. And for once in his life, America was actually afraid of England, and not just because he was pointing a gun right between his eyes.
England removed the safety on the gun and narrowed his eyes. "Choose your next words wisely or they may be your last."
So much for making England proud to be with him, America thought miserably and wondered if it was possible to make things any worse as he swallowed thickly.
"Now now, England, let's not be hasty-" He was cut off by the gun digging into his temple while England's eyes flashed wildly. "All right, all right!! Calm down, Iggy!" America shrieked and tried not to flail.
"Then talk, you bastard! You'll pay dearly if any harm has come to him," England spat out viciously.
"I really am America! I swear! Now please put the gun down and we'll talk about this calmly and rationally…"
England responded by shoving the gun roughly between America's eyes and smiling sardonically at his sharp intake of breath. "And why in the world should I believe you? You haven't acted like America in months."
America swallowed again and crossed his eyes to look at the weapon poised to deliver a potentially fatal blow. So basically it had come down to his changes to make England happy had instead made England believe he'd been kidnapped or something and replaced with a fake. How in the world England thought that was possible was beyond him, but that was the matter of things. But why he had to fail so spectacularly at something that meant so much to him…
It wasn't the time to wonder about the sad state of his life, not when said life would potentially end if he didn't prove to England that he truly was America. It was time for his secret weapon. He put on the teary, doe-eyed kicked puppy look he'd given up months before when he decided to change for the sake of their relationship, but in full force. It was a true America(n) original, a look no one could ever hope to replicate.
"Because I'm cute and you know you love me?" America asked in his best 'pleeeease forgive me, England' voice.
The air was tense and eerily quiet in the moments after America's attempt to prove himself and in those moments England continued to give him an icy, threatening look. Abruptly the thickness in the air seemed to snap and England's face went pale with horror.
"America," England croaked weakly and dropped the gun. They stared wide-eyed at each other for a few more moments until England's face went red with anger. England's standard 'America, why are you such an idiot' anger and not 'you've hurt the one I love and now I'm going to blow your fucking brains out' anger.
"I could have killed you!" England shouted at the same time America was shouting "you could have killed me!"
England panted and pointed an accusatory finger at America. "What the hell were you thinking, you tosser? What is wrong with you? Why have you been acting this way?"
America was also panting and trying to recover from that ordeal. England's questions just added insult to injury. "What do you mean 'why'? It's all been for you! It's all the things you said you would change about me!"
"All the things I would change about--oh lord, you were serious?" England moaned and slammed his palm against his face. "America. I thought you were just fishing for compliments and wanted me to say something along the lines of 'oh America, you're perfect and I'd change nothing!' so I came up with a list on the spot."
America froze, his mind coming to a complete stop at this revelation. "What," he said simply. He wasn't sure if he should be pissed off or happy, so he settled for just shocked.
"Why would you even think I'd want you to change in the first place? We're together, aren't we?"
"That's just it!" America shouted, his mind finally catching up with him. "You want to keep it a secret from everyone liked you're embarrassed! I wanted to change into someone you'd be proud to be with! So you could say with pride that I'm your lover!"
England slid back into his seat and buried his face in his hands.
"You unbelievable fool," he said slowly in a voice that screamed that he was trying to be patient. "Do you really think I'd lower myself to being with someone I wasn't madly in love with and happy to be with?
"Then why don't you want to tell anyone?!" America shouted a bit desperately. He couldn't believe this. He'd gone to ridiculous lengths to change so England would be able to admit to everyone else that they were lovers, and here he was telling him that he'd been proud all along and yet still didn't want to tell anyone?
"Because, America," England mumbled and lowered his hands from his face. "Because you belong to the world. You have obligations to your boss, your people and the other nations."
America furrowed his brow in confusion and was about to express how he didn't understand what England meant in the slightest when said nation walked over to him and tugged on his tie.
"But this?" England pulled him down into a kiss, which America cautiously returned. "And this?" His hand went straight for America's crotch and he smiled wolfishly when America hissed in reply. His expression quickly softened into a tender one. "And especially this." His fingers splayed over the left side of America's chest, over his heart. "Are mine. What we have is something I don't want to share with anyone."
America's expression also softened. "Do you think that would change if we told our friends? Our bosses? It would just mean I wouldn't have to pretend in public that I'm not crazy about you. I don't want that. I want to be able to tell France to get the hell off you because you're mine."
"That would be nice," England agreed with a sigh.
"Then it's settled! I can't wait to tell everyone!" America chirped brightly and clapped a hand on England's shoulder.
England rolled his eyes, but smiled slightly. "I suppose it's the least I can do after you went through all that trouble."
"Yeeeaaah, about that, "America started, but was cut off by England's finger at his lips.
"It's not a bad thing to do something nice for me now and then, like drinking my tea or eating my food or making love to me in that amazing way." He flushed brighter than a tomato and cleared his throat while America grinned from ear to ear. "But changing your personality completely is out of the question. I want to be with you because you piss me off and challenge me, not bore me and bend to my every whim."
"How romantic, Iggy," America scoffed, but with a beaming smile on his face. He crushed the older nation in a bear hug, then picked him up and swung him around, laughing all the while.
"Oh, put me down, you git-" He stopped protesting as America acquiesced and lowered him down for a kiss. When he pulled away, any remaining anger and iciness was gone from those green eyes.
They both chuckled slightly, knowing the true meaning behind the insults. Abruptly, America grinned mischievously and tossed England over his shoulder as he jogged up the stairs to his room. England pretended to protest, to save face, of course, but allowed America to toss him onto his bed and crawl over him. They kissed deeply and set to work on each others' clothing.
"There is one thing, though," England murmured as they broke their kiss. America opened his mouth to reply, but yelped instead as he was flipped onto his back. "You really should let me top more often," England said in a low voice and smirked deviously.
America chuckled as England lowered himself again. Did he mention that England was irresistibly sexy like that?
"Hey, guys! HEY! Listen when the hero is speaking to you!" America shouted to the nations milling around the cramped conference room, England clearing his throat at his side.
A chorus of groans rung through the room as every nation begrudgingly turned to listen to whatever America had to say.
The American grinned brightly and slipped his arm around England's shoulders. "Me and England are a couple!"
There was a brief silence and then everyone went back to what they were doing before as if nothing happened.
America blinked and England's face went red.
"Hey, were you listening, you arseholes? This oaf and I are lovers!" England shouted above the buzz of noise in the conference room. There was another chorus of groans, and several deadpan faces turned in their direction.
France sighed, and turned to give the two nations a bored look. "Yes, and?"
"Um…" Was America's brilliant reply.
"You've been together for decades, haven't you?" Japan asked calmly, and every other nation nodded in agreement.
England sputtered like a dying engine while America burst into laughter.
"Why are you laughing?! This isn't funny!" England turned to give America a scandalized look.
"Of course it is! I was worried for nothing!" America wheezed and clutched at his stomach, only to start up again when he saw England's irritated face with those eyebrows of his so close together they were like one big caterpillar on his face.
England scowled and punched him in the arm. "Bastard."
"Love you, too!" America exclaimed and dragged England into a kiss right in front of everyone. It might have been his imagination, but he could swear he saw the flash of a camera.
"Please. Get a room or let me watch," France said with a wink.
England roughly shoved America off him and walked over to France to casually lean over him with a sly grin on his face. "Sorry, frog, but that privilege is mine and mine alone."
America flashed England a thumbs up, earning one in return, and moved to his usual spot at the front of the table to spout off more of his ridiculous ideas.
It had been a rough ride, but he'd gotten his happy ending after all.