England was being kissed, very enthusiastically and surprisingly quite well, by America.

This was a problem. It was also not a problem, and the problem was that it was not a problem. Unfortunately, the way it was not a problem was making it very hard to concentrate on it being a problem, and the way that it was not a problem was that he was sort of enjoying it. Sort of a lot.

There was another problem, which was related to the way it was all not a problem. This problem was that this kiss had not come particularly out of the blue. It had not even come out of say, left field. It wasn't as though America had walked up and kissed him with no preamble whatsoever. No, England knew this kiss was probably his own fault. He had encouraged it.

And that was not a problem either.

His problems had all started five days ago, really. Five days ago was a day before this year's world conference started. Five days was the first big snowfall of the year, which meant that five days ago was when he was suddenly inspired to put up Christmas decorations, so that when the doorbell rang five days ago, he was too distracted to with untangling himself from a string of lights to properly check who it was, and that was how, a week ago, he ended up letting America into his house.

"Merry Christmas!" America said cheerfully, shaking the snow from his hair as he walked in. He was carrying a large suitcase, but as England was busy trying to get the lights off from around his neck, he failed to notice this.

"Bah bloody humbug," England growled, having lost all his holiday spirit as a result of two hours of struggling with Christmas lights. He would have sworn they were neatly coiled when he put them away. "And what do you think you're doing here?"

"Conference starts tomorrow, remember?" America set down his suitcase. "Do you need help with that? 'Cause you kinda look like you're choking."

"I'm perfectly well aware the conference starts tomorrow, as it's in my country," England snapped. For all his efforts, the string of lights only seemed to be getting more tangled and tighter around him. "I asked you what you're doing here. In my house."

America grinned. "Staying with you, of course!"

England jerked on the string. Suddenly he was choking, and America bounded over to help. He had the lights untangled within seconds. Git. Why did he have to be useful right now, right when England was about to say –

"No." Massaging his throat, he shook his head. "Absolutely not. I don't know what world you live in, but – "

"But it's a recession!" America was practically pouting, his eyes huge and round. "This is cheaper! It's only for a couple days! My boss told me to save money!"

England closed his eyes. He wasn't sure if it was the near-garroting or America's voice, but his head was starting to pound. "No. No, no, no. Do I even need to list all the things wrong with this? You don't just show up on people's doorsteps and expect to stay a week!"

"But I knew if I called ahead, you would've said no," America pointed out.

Fair enough (as he'd just done so), but – "And you think I won't just throw you out now instead?" His head was really aching now. It must be the conversation – this was the most ridiculous thing he'd heard since he didn't know when.

"Nope," America said cheerfully, and England was just about to demand what exactly would prevent him from doing it, when America stepped forward and pressed the string of Christmas lights, now neatly coiled, into his hand.

"You can't throw me out," he explained, and why wasn't he letting go of England's hand? "I just saved your life, didn't I?"

Er. Once again, fair enough. But he spluttered, "And you were just expecting to have an opportunity like that?"

"Nope," America repeated, and by now the polite time to let of England's hand was long past, so why was he still holding onto it and why exactly were England's palms getting sweaty? Just the pressure from having his hand pressed between America's, that was all.

This completely explained why his non- held hand was also slick with sweat.

America finally let go of him (England wrung his hand vigorously) and said, "But I knew I'd be able to convince you one way or another. Where was your spare room again? Oh yeah, down here. Gosh, I haven't been here in so long!"

And he picked up his suitcase and walked off.

Ha. The innocent act wasn't fooling England. Certainly not. (The puppy eyes, in particular, had absolutely no effect on him.) America was up to something sinister.

He just wished he had some idea what it was.

On the other hand, the way things were going, he'd have nearly a week to figure it out. Oh God. A week of almost constant America? They could barely stand each other for half the day during meetings. What had he just gotten himself into –

Wait a moment. Wait one bleeding moment. He hadn't just gotten himself into anything. He'd never actually agreed to America staying here! What was America talking about, convincing him one way or another? For God's sake, he'd just bluffed his way in on nothing! England was still perfectly within his rights to throw him out!

He stormed down to the guest bedroom where America was unpacking his things as if he had a right to do so. As if England had invited him in! Into his house! Into his guest…bedroom…

Whatever the reason (and he wasn't going to think about the reason), that thought made him stop short just inside the threshold of America's room. Which rather ruined the effect of storming in.

"If you were going to offer me tea, no thanks," America said, looking up.

The nerve! No right to be there, no right at all, and America was expecting England to offer him tea? And refusing it before England had even asked! As if he would offer him tea in any case!

"I wasn't going to offer you tea," England said acidly.

America grinned and shut his now empty suitcase. "I know. You haven't offered me tea since I actually drank some and then spit it all over you. Hope you don't mind if I get myself some coffee though. I had to catch a plane at midnight."

He tried to walk out of the room (without England's permission to make himself anything, thank you very much), but England threw up his arm across the doorway, catching him in the stomach.

"No," he said. "You may not make yourself coffee. First off, I don't even have any coffee. And in case you didn't notice, you never actually did convince me to let you stay here. So you had better start talking fast before I throw you out in the snow. Without that suitcase."

In retrospect, England thought he never should have given America a chance. He should have just made him leave, no other option. He made the mistake though, and America took the opening.

"I don't need to convince you. I already saved your life." And he bent over England in a way that could've been menacing but was actually something else. "Come on, the least you can do is let me stay, right?"

England meant to say, "No, of course not, I never would have choked if you hadn't been here in the first place," but for some reason America's face close to his made him say, "Ah. Er. Um. Yes?"

"Of course!" America said, then brushed England's arm away like it was nothing at all. "Guess I'll have to get my own coffee. There's a convenience store a block that way, right? I passed it on my way here. There is coffee here, right?"

And he sauntered out.

Right. Well. If that was how it was going to be. England stood up straight and, out of habit, tried to flatten his hair. Alright, he'd said yes somehow. It had slipped out. He wasn't sure how or why, but he supposed he had to be gentlemanly. America could stay. For now.

After all, what could possibly happen?