December 28th

8:48 p.m.

The glowing sun lingered in the soft blue sky, casting shadows aside all down below. A gentle breeze began to pick up, beholding a slightly nip in the air as an icy winter gust snuck in with the rest, carrying brown, decaying leaves within its enlightening grasp. Regardless of the post-snow chill, most would consider it a rather delightful day, being that it was in fact the cool season. However, underneath the sheltering roof of the Jones estate, the matters at hand were anything but pleasing. But not a soul could blame, had they known of what occurred this fateful day.

After all, the time had come for Arthur Kirkland to return home. Just as was spoken through the telephone only days previous, his house had been fully renovated and refurbished, and had been entirely prepared in those three days. The Briton had found it incredulous that they managed to repair his estate in a matter of six days, especially over the holiday season, and found out why it was so quickly finished upon receiving the bill, nearly doubling over on the floor.

The Englishman now sat in the loveseat in the family room, bags scattering the floor. He absentmindedly began drumming on the handle of one of his suitcases, opposite hand creating a rest for his head as he glanced down at the newspaper on the coffee table. No travel delays… seems like pretty nice weather… He cursed mentally, releasing a deep sigh. It wasn't that he didn't wish to return home; he was England, after all, how could he not go back? It was the thought of being alone again that truly racked him. All of the time spent with Alfred had been nothing short of a living nightmare, and yet he felt compelled to admit that he would miss it dearly.

"Morning, Arthur," Alfred yawned, entering the room dressed in warm, blue cotton pajamas. He let his eyes drift towards the bags decorating the floor, a mosaic of suitcases, and swallowed. "Guess today's the day, huh?"

Arthur nodded. "My flight's at 10:30." He watched the American's face fall, if only for a second, then brighten weakly again.

"W-Well… you probably ought to get going again. You know, after-Christmas crowds and such…"

"I know. I was just waiting to… say goodbye…" he felt his voice weaken, and cleared his throat to interrupt the silence that followed. He rose, sighing a second time and clutching his various items. "Um… see you around, you git…" he muttered, the menace that once coated his voice now diminished.

"Yeah…" Alfred grinned slightly, ruffling his older nation's hair. "See you at the next World Conference, Iggy?"

Arthur gasped silently at the American's touch, grimacing. The Briton himself used to ruffle Alfred's hair like that, back when he was shorter than Arthur. Things had changed so much from those days… Indeed, he saw before him not his former child-figure, but a grown man, more than capable of taking care of himself. On the contrary, it seemed to be Alfred who was the comforting hand this time. "Y-You…"

Before either of them could blink, Arthur had yanked the taller nation forward by the collar and planted a rough kiss on his lips, leaving Alfred bewildered, eyes wide as grapefruits. The Briton pulled away swiftly and rushed out the open door, shutting the barricade and panting in anxiety. What had he just done? It was as if some unknown being of evil had possessed his body and forced him to do so… The Englishman's face felt hot enough to warm his body in the cold outside. Leaning up against the wooden door, his lips gave a slight smile, gazing up at the sky before his departure.

Merry Christmas, Alfred

The American still stood dumbfounded in the family room, lips slightly parted and oceanic eyes still agape. His mind seemed to be having even more difficulty forming anything logical, anything that made an ounce of sense. What on earth had just occurred between them? Only three words managed to process themselves in the barren nothingness his brain had become.

H-Happy Christmas… Arthur…


A/N: COMPLETION! I would like to take this chance to thank my friends, my reviewers, my fellow authors, my readers, mankind, alienkind, demonkind… Oh, wait, I didn't win a Grammy or anything… My mistake. Anyway, I think I will write a sequel, so you can all look forward to that. Unless you despised this story with a burning passion. Then you can feel free to flame me. :D

Sorry it was so short. I couldn't type any more last night, so had to make it separate from the last chapter.