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Title : One Afternoon when America Discovered the Awesomeness of Tea

Author : DnKS – giRLs

Rating : PG13

Character(s)/Pairing(s) : America and England

Disclaimers : The characters involved in this story do not belong to us, nor do they have any connection to real nation(s). No infringement intended.

Warning : General sap

Note : Written for finite_farfalla, as part of 2009 Secret Santa Fic/Art Exchange. The prompt being used is 'England invited America for afternnon tea'

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In all honesty, America could not understand just what England saw in his precious tea until he could love that stuff so much. It tasted foul. Or perhaps he should have said that England's tea did taste foul. What's with the way he brewed those poor tea leaves until they turned up as some dark-looking, heavy-smelling, migraine-inducing watery substance? And the way England insisted that the proper means to enjoy a cup of tea was to heat it past boiling point with only a bit of sugar and a hint of milk (milk!) only made it worse.

Tea and milk simply didn't mix, unless they were to be made into that sweet bubble tea that Taiwan had popularized a few years back. The bubble tea was a very nice trick—America was a bit miffed that he couldn't be the one to come up with such a wicked idea like that.

America enjoyed some good tea every once in a while, don't get him wrong. It's not like he totally abhorred that stuff. Sometimes, in a hot summer day, it was really refreshing to have a nice glass of iced lemon tea with so much sugar and a sprig of mint mixed in. That, in America's opinion, was the proper way to enjoy tea.

He tried to introduce his great invention (hey, it needed brain to think up such an awesome idea of mixing lemon and tea!) to England. What he got was England looking at him with an expression mostly found on mothers when their little kid was trying to tell them that he had built a spaceship, and some angry remarks from Russia because he said that the lemon-mixed-with-tea thing had been his traditional way of enjoying tea for ages. America did not believe him, though. He did not look awesome enough to come up with that invention.

So, yeah, he was a bit disappointed that he could not bring England to enjoy his invented lemon tea (perhaps he should have trademarked it). But he could understand that people's tastes might vary. At least, he could understand that not everyone shared an awesome taste like him. Ha! Yes, he could accept it. Somewhat. That did not mean he had to accept it when England invited him for some afternoon tea, though.

"England, look," America said to England upon being invited, again, to join him for some tea and refreshment that afternoon. "I enjoy spending time with you, that's true, but can't we do something else? Like… watching a movie or something. Because you know that I don't really fancy those afternoon tea times like you do."

England only scoffed lightly in a way that always made America squirm uncomfortably in his seat. The fact that he was sitting in one of England's unyielding wooden chairs in his kitchen only added the 'uncomfortable' factor.

"Nonsense," England said. "You enjoyed them just fine."

"See, 'enjoyed' being the operative word here. It's past tense," America tried to explain. "Though I kinda doubt it myself. I know you told me that I used to love that… grimy brownish thing you call tea, but I can't believe it."

"Your taste buds have been destroyed by the amount of fast food you've consumed," England noted scathingly.

"Don't insult my food," America said, and then added under his breath, "Not when your food is even worse than mine."

It was fascinating to note how fast England's glare could turn so sharp. "What did you just say?"

"Um…" America said. He took regard of England's expression, the close distance between England and the knives in his kitchen, the sharpness of those stainless steel knives, and laughed nervously. "I'd love to join you for tea?"

And it was really even more fascinating to note how fast England could change his sharp death glare into a warm gaze. "Lovely. Wait for me in the guest room, if you please."

Seeing that he practically had no other option else than following England's words, he did just that. At least, America thought as he dumped his body to England's couch, it was more comfortable to sit there. And it was not like he was scared of England. It was true that England could get so violent when he was angry (and the glare England had sent him just then could very well indicate that he was indeed angry), but a hero like America feared nothing. He was merely being… um, considerate toward England's feeling.

America's knowledge on geography was not really that great if it concerned things beyond his national border so it was no use, really, to ask him if he knew about that certain river called Nile in Egypt.

It seemed that only a couple of minutes passed before America saw England entering his guest room. The tray containing his second best tea set was balanced on his hands. There was a hint of smile on his face and his expression looked serene. As a matter of fact, America noticed how England always seemed complacent when he was having his tea and homicidal if he went a few hours without it.

He narrowed his eyes in suspicion. Could it be possible that there was actually something twisted in that tea? Something weird? Something evil?

"America," England called him. He blinked. That voice made him realize that England had already reached the couch, and was by then placing his tea set on the table. "What are you thinking about?"

"Huh?" he blinked and tried to give England his natural look, which meant he grinned at him in full force. "What?"

England's gaze scrutinized him for a moment longer before he shook his head. "Never mind. Perhaps I'm only seeing things."

America released a relieved breath when he saw England getting back into arranging the tea set on the table. He knew what lecture he would get from England should he mention his suspicion about that-tea-having-something-evil-in-it. He could already picture England's disapproving stare and his clipped tone as he told him one thing or two about delusion.

America honestly believed that England should never say anything about delusion. Not when he, himself, was delusional. He was the one to come up with those imaginary friends of his that he kept seeing every now and then. If that was not the highest level of delusional, America did not know what else could top that.

"Sugar?" England asked and America saw how England already poured a cup of tea for him.

"Er… yeah," he answered. "Five spoons, please."

England looked at him in a way that made America knew he was thinking 'oh, dear, what should I do with you' even though he said nothing. It made his eyes twitch and raised his defensive mechanism up.

"What?" he asked. "Can't a man take his tea with five spoonful of sugar?"

"Nothing is wrong with that," England said, but his tone of voice indicated otherwise. He added five spoonful of sugar to America's cup of tea, grimacing all the while. "Want some milk for your tea?"

"No. Nuh-huh. It's perfect the way it is," America said. He snatched his cup of tea from England and placed it on the table before him. Like what he had mentioned earlier, tea and milk simply didn't mix. And he could only watched in something akin to horror as England prepared his own cup of tea—barely a spoonful of sugar and milk! No wonder his cooking tasted bad, America thought, England simply had no sense of taste.

"Biscuits?" England asked, gesturing to a plate of cookies. America took one and, despite of his knowing it would lead to the whole you-have-butchered-English-language-enough-already-America-for-God's-sake fight, he couldn't help mentioning.

"Actually they're cookies."

England only sighed, "This fight is getting old. I'm a bit terrified that I think of simply dismissing this 'your English is not my English and it's not okay' thing."

America finished his cookie and grinned. "Told you that I would one day make you see my way. A hero never fails his words."

"Whatever, hero," England chuckled warmly. He extended his hand and swiped the corner of America's mouth. "Though what kind of hero still unable to eat a biscuit without smearing some crumbs on their cheeks?"

"My kind of hero?" America said. He caught England's hand on his cheek and managed to place a few kisses on his knuckles. He smirked. "And I know you love this kind of hero just fine."

England scoffed and pulled his hand back from America's hold. "Stop that."

"But you're smiling," America said with his grin only went wider. England was often being difficult like that. America did not know why he did that. It was not like they both didn't know that England loved America very much. And… yeah, well, he also loved England. Very much.

Seeing no harm in it, America moved his face closer to England's. He stared into those eyes, silently asking for permission. And when England gave a small smile, so small it was that he would totally miss it if he did not know England so well, he promptly kissed him on his lips. He felt like saying 'ha, I know you like it' when England did not reject his advance. But he chose to enjoy the kiss instead.

England was an uptight Brit and all that, but damn, how the old man could kiss.

"One day," America said after he ended the kiss, a bit breathless. "I would find my death kissing you and I wouldn't regret it even a bit."

England only stared at him with a somewhat smug expression. "That's quite an un-heroic death for a hero to have."

"Mm-hm," America mumbled, not quite agreeing to the statement, yet also not quite opposing. He noticed of how he had looped his arm around England's waist in the middle of their kiss earlier. He noticed how England's lips still looked somewhat wet, rosy, tempting, after the kiss. "God, I want to kiss you again."

England smiled. "You tasted like chocolate."

Those seemingly-innocent pieces of chocolate cookies became the object of America's gaze for a fleeting moment. Absently he traced his bottom lip with his tongue. Chocolate, he thought, yeah, there was a faint taste of chocolate.

"I love chocolate," he said.

England touched his face, whispering, "And I quite like it, myself, actually."

"Oh, really?" America whispered back. Their faces had become so close that his lips practically brushed against England's when he spoke. "Like it, you say?"

There was a fleeting kiss placed on his lips. It was too close for America to see England's expression, but he could very well imagine the smirk that was surely there.

"Quite mad about it," England whispered. Then there was another kiss. A pause. And then, "Have you got any chocolate with you, boy?"

America might be a bit slow on reading the atmosphere at times, but he could recognize an invitation when he saw one. What England had just said was without doubt something that could very easily fall into the category of 'invitation' without anyone or anything needing to give it some helpful push. So, without further ado, he caught those lips and proceeded to kiss England within an inch of his life.

Sure, England might be the best kisser out of the whole lot of them, but after years being taught hands on by the expert himself, America felt it was only justified if he prided himself in his kissing technique. And speaking about hands on, America thought as he felt how England slowly slipped his hand underneath his shirt, it seemed the kiss would soon turn into something more than mere innocent motion of lips against lips.

Not that he minded, of course.

He was not quite sure how but when he released England's lips a few seconds or minutes later, he found out that they were already horizontal on England's couch. He blinked. England was sprawled under him, looking somewhat dazed and all in all edible. He groaned and dropped his face onto England's shoulders.

"Give me a reason why I shouldn't continue," he said hoarsely. "Because, fuck, England, you're so damn hot."

"Well…" he could hear England saying, could feel how England nicking on his neck. "I don't want to ruin my shirt, that's for a start."

He snorted. "And what do you propose we should do?"

"Why," England said. "We should get rid off our shirts, perhaps?"

"Along with our pants?" he said, stealing a kiss from England because he couldn't help it.

"Oh… that would be…" England stole another kiss and then smirked. "…advisable, I guess."

"Oh, man," America said as he began unbuttoning England's shirt with his deft fingers. "You are impossible."

"I've been told that many times, thank you very much," England said haughtily

America grinned. "And proud too. And…"

He stopped as he stared at the fruit of his labor for the last several minutes. Now divested of his clothes, England looked even more tempting laying there under him. Or perhaps tempting was too lame of a word to be used. America thought perhaps he should use the word 'enchanting' to describe the England he saw that time. Sinfully mesmerizing. Intoxicating.

"…and so very beautiful," he continued reverently.

England's fingertips touched his cheek, ever so tenderly. And the smile he found on that face looked every bit so sincere. When they finally kissed again, it was with gentleness that he could not quite know where it came from. And when he finally lowered his body, embraced, worshipped, caressed England in that somewhat cramped couch, he did that with such compassion that he reserved only for England, for he worth that and even more.

In the end, they never drank their tea, America mused as he lay there on the couch with England's head on his chest one hour or so later. Absently, he stroke that blonde hair which had been tickling his shoulder, smiling without any reason whatsoever.

"Am I allowed to plead defense?" England said, somewhat muffled due to the fact that his face was still buried on America's naked chest.

"Hm… shoot," America said lazily. He dropped a kiss on the top of England's head and felt the other moved. A pair of green eyes stared at him as England raised his face.

"When I invited you to tea, I honestly didn't have in mind that we would do… this," England said.

"This?" America said playfully. "What do you mean by 'this'? The fact that we fucked or was it the fucking-in-a-couch thing or… ow, ow, ow, England!"

If look could kill, America knew he would be mortally wounded when England looked at him that time, not really dead, no, because the fucking United States of America could not die that easily. But, yeah, he was still able to feel pain, and England was surely able to inflict pain. And, hell, America thought, it was really painful when England pinched his hip like that. That guy really had some iron fingers.

"What?" he said, pouting. "I only speak the truth."

"That's indecent," England hissed.

He scoffed. "Like you could speak about indecent when you're all naked and draped over me in your own couch after… ow, ow, okay, geez… stop hurting me."

America watched England warily. The other did stop pinching his hip, but he still regarded him with a deadly expression that looked eerily perfect for his face.

"And we have wasted two wonderful cups of tea." England sighed. "It's a pity."

"Hm, not really," America grinned. "I still think it's a wonderful afternoon tea we had just now."

England glared at him. "We did not even drink any tea."

"That's why it's wonderful," America said. "After all, between tea and you, of course I would choose you. But… hm… okay, if I could have both…"

"America…" England eyed his somewhat suspiciously. "What are you thinking?"

"I'm trying to imagine you wearing nothing but a tea cosy as you serve me… ow, fuck, England!"

America jerked back on that couch as he felt England's finger did something very, very painful to his crotch. He stared at England who stared back with something like anger and embarrassment battling for dominance on his face.

"Hey, you asked," he said to defend himself.

For a moment it seemed like England was about to counter his words, but at the last moment, he only sighed and dropped his head back to rest on America's chest. He mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like 'what did I do to deserve this'. America paid that no mind. He merely rearranged their position on that couch so they could lay side by side, facing each other.

"Say," he said, grinning. "Any chance I would be invited for afternoon tea your place again?"

England eyed him in doubt. "Was that you trying to ask if you would be permitted in the future to pounce at me on my couch again?"

America blinked in amazement. "Geez, England, you're smart!"

"Well, thank you for the compliment," England said somewhat scathingly. "But to answer your question, no."

"Wow. I think that was the first time you refused me when I said I wanted to come over for tea," America laughed. Then some thought entered his mind and he smirked, "I really need to pay you back, though."

England silently questioned him with his gaze. The expression was so cute that America couldn't help stealing a kiss from those lips.

"I mean, you've invited me for tea and all that," he said after he kissed England. "How about I invite you for coffee to pay you back for this… lovely afternoon?"

England snorted. "Coffee?"

"Oh, yes," America grinned. "I would also serve chocolate cookies."

England stared at him. There was the very beginning of smirk on his lips.

"We could have some coffee with those chocolate cookies," America continued. "And when I smeared some crumbs on my cheeks, you can wipe them clean."

"Like what I did this afternoon?" England asked.

"Like what you did this afternoon," America agreed. "And for your information, my couch is wider than yours so it wouldn't be too cramped."

There was a moment of silence before England's laughter rang clear in that sunny afternoon. And America could only watch, adoring how England looked so divine when he laughed freely like that. He should laugh more, America thought, and he would make sure that England could always have a reason to laugh, to smile, to enjoy his life.

"So," he said. "Can I take that you accept my invitation?"

England ceased his laughter but the twinkle in his eyes persisted. "Only if you keep your words about the chocolate biscuits."

"Don't worry," America said as he tightened his hold on England. "I won't forget about the chocolate cookies. They're important instruments after all."

That afternoon, America rectified his thought on afternoon tea. Tea, he decided, could be awesome, given that there were some chocolate cookies, England, and… oh, some comfortable couch to go with it.

End

(A/N: Anyone wanting to throe some cookies? Preferably chocolate cookies? :D Hope you enjoy your reading.)