Ordering dessert was not supposed to be such a taxing affair.
After the world meeting – which went on far too long for getting nothing accomplished – America took England out for dinner, hoping that it might cheer the weary nation up a little bit. Granted, he didn't take him to one of his fanciest restaurants, but who could really relax there? What they both needed was to kick back at a simple establishment, and the little restaurant under the nations' hotel was the perfect place.
There was one problem, though; England could hardly ever relax. Especially when America was excited about something.
At least he didn't take him to Burger King, like last time.
"We should totally get that cotton candy, Arthur!"
England tried not to roll his eyes at the sight of the younger nation seated across from him, hunched over the restaurant menu. He wondered what kind of establishment served spun sugar for dessert. Weren't they only sold at fairs and circuses and such? Then again, this was America, home of the free, land of the bizarre eating habits.
Not like he could talk, of course, with his atrocious cooking skills. Moving on -
"I'm telling you," he said, waving his hands a little for emphasis. "It's candy floss."
America just smiled and shook his head. He set the menu down, face-up on the table. "No, it's called cotton candy. Get it right."
"Candy floss," Arthur said, folding his arms and furrowing his bushy eyebrows.
Alfred stood up a little from his seat, leaning over the table. Arthur mirrored his actions. "Cotton candy," Al said, his eyes glinting behind Texas, leaning a little closer to the other.
"Moron, candy floss is the correct term. You can't even – mmf!"
Arthur was cut off when a pair of warm lips pressed against his own. Apparently Alfred thought that was the best way to win an argument. That, and publicly embarrassing him.
Before England could slap him or kiss him back – really, it shouldn't have been such a tough decision – a French-accented voice interrupted them.
"Pardonnez-moi, can I take your order now, or do you need more time?"
The server standing before them – who looked suspiciously like France – winked at the pair as they sat back down, trying to look as composed as possible. America ran a hand through his hair and picked the menu back up.
"Yes," Al said. He had recovered first, while England was still willing down his blush. He stared down at the tabletop, avoiding all eye contact. "We'll have the cotton candy." Alfred grinned cheekily at the other as he slid the menu down the table.
The waiter nodded, took the menu, and dashed away, back to the kitchen. England finally found the strength to look Alfred in the eye again, once the other man left.
"What was that all about?" he asked, cheeks still blazing. America just looked at him. He took a sip from his water glass and waited for the other's answer.
"What?" Arthur put down his glass and frowned. He was still staring!
Al chuckled and shook his head, seemingly snapping out of his trance. "You just look so cute when you're flustered, Artie."
England looked away. Well, that little comment wasn't going to help his embarrassment. "Anyhow," he said, folding his arms again. "I still stand by candy floss."
America had opened his mouth to retort, but the arrival of their dessert distracted him. The server had returned, carrying a gigantic plastic bowl full of cotton candy. He set it down on the table, and the two nations stared at it; it was a veritable mountain of spun sugar. The dish was clearly meant to be shared. Then again, Alfred could probably eat the whole thing by himself. He did, after all, have his own day dedicated to the confection.
"Have fun!" the man said, leaving them with a wink and a smile.
Alfred pumped his fist in the air as soon as the waiter left. "Hell yeah!" he said, drinking in the sight of the confection in all its unhealthy glory. "This is a win of epic proportions!"
England set his elbow on the table and rolled his eyes. "No, that's a diabetic coma in a bowl."
"It's amazing," Al said, eyes shining.
"I refuse to believe you could eat all that. That's just disgusting," Arthur replied, still staring at the spun sugar, wrinkling his nose a little.
America smirked and locked eyes with England. He seemed to have an idea. Oh, that was not good. America's ideas never usually ended well.
"You don't think I can do it, but what about you?" He pushed the bowl closer to Arthur. "I bet five hundred dollars that you can't do it. Come on, Artie, try it, I know how much you love sweets . . . "
Arthur narrowed his eyes. "Are you kidding me?" he asked, lifting up the bowl. "There's probably half-a-pound of the stuff here."
America picked a fingernail, trying to look nonchalant. "Well, if you're not man enough . . . "
"You little upstart!" Arthur sent him a glare and pulled the bowl closer to him. No one insulted the great British Empire's pride! "I can win any of your silly little bets any day."
Alfred smiled and leaned back against the booth. "Prove it, then."
Arthur stared into the bowl. That was an awful lot of sugar; how could he eat it by himself? Well, he couldn't back out now. Getting an idea, he picked up his glass of water and poured it over the candy floss. Al watched with wide eyes as the confection turned to a thick, syrupy mush before him.
"Artie . . . " Alfred watched, dumbfounded, as the older nation lifted the bowl to his mouth. He seriously wasn't going to do it, was he? With only a second of hesitation, England opened his mouth and guzzled the syrup, drinking it all down in one continuous motion. America looked on in fascination, eyes fixed on the other nation's Adam's apple bobbing as he gulped down the liquid. He didn't stop until every drop had passed his lips.
The bowl clattered to the table and Arthur sighed.
"Wow," Al said, jaw unhinged. "I guess I owe you five hundred bucks."
Arthur ignored him, cleaning his face with a napkin and clutching his stomach with his free hand. His right eye twitched.
"You OK, Artie?" Al said, brow contracting in worry.
"Hehe . . . " Arthur threw the napkin down and his face broke into a silly grin. "I feel like I'm going to vomit, but it's so funny! Hehehe!" He smacked his head against the table, and America raised an eyebrow.
"I think, maybe, we should leave now," he said, standing up and walking around the table. He put his hand on England's shoulder, which was trembling from the force of his laughter. America shook his head. All that sugar was clearly affecting his brain.
"C'mon, Arthur, let's go." He turned around to toss some money on the table, and England practically shot up from his seat, eyes darting around, acting quite like a squirrel on Ecstasy. America actually hoped that no one would notice them, for once.
"I've got sugar coming out of my ears!" Arthur said, giggling. OK, now people were beginning to stare.
"Sorry, Art," Al said, grabbing his arm and leading the sucrose-stoned nation through the rows of booths, trying to ignore the weird looks they were receiving. "I guess I shouldn't have made you eat all that cotton can - "
"For the last time – hehe! – it's candy floss, you git!" Arthur wriggled out of his grasp, still grinning like a fool.
"Whatever you say, Arthur . . . " It was rather disconcerting to see a hyperactive England. Especially when he grabbed his hand with a vice grip and looked at him with such dazed eyes.
"Hehe!" Arthur began dragging the other nation out of the restaurant and up the stairs. "Let's go back to our hotel room!"
Alfred's eyes widened as he followed the other nation towards the hotel. Well, if this was the result . . .
Maybe the bet wasn't such a bad idea after all.
A/N: It's in my head-canon that America and England would argue a lot about the discrepancies between their language, hence the arguing in this story. Cotton candy is known as candy floss in Britain, if I'm correct.
"He did, after all, have his own day dedicated to the confection" = Apparently December 7 is National Cotton Candy Day in the US.
Like it says, this is based on a request from the kink meme. I have a LiveJournal, but I have no idea how the kink meme works (I seriously can't figure it out). The original request basically asked for a cute, non-smutty US/UK story involving cotton candy. Of course, I had to put some innuendo at the end . . . and a completely OOC England. God, what is wrong with me.