I really should've known that day was going to be interesting when I woke up on Canada's couch. Again.

I sat up slowly, the blanket I didn't remember putting on last night sliding down onto my lap. Sun was coming in through the window but my suspiciously alcoholic headache seemed to be able to handle it.

"Good, you're awake. Come on, I've got what you need," a soft voice said from behind me. I smiled blearily, rubbing all sorts of things from my eyes. Canada sat down on the coffee table next to me, his almost-patented hangover cure in his hand. "Here." I took the glass and held my nose, anticipating the burn of both the ingredients and the liquid itself as it scalded my tongue and roughed up my pallet. It worked best the closest to boiling it was but that didn't mean it didn't hurt like a mother going down.

I gasped, my head infinitely clearer. "Thanks." He smiled just a little, then took the empty glass from me and stood up, heading back towards the kitchen. "Breakfast'll be ready in a moment," he called back. I sighed and closed my eyes, leaning back into the overstuffed throw pillow. His voice was almost as soothing as his bizarre hangover cure.

"Did I do anything incredibly stupid last night?" I asked him as I sat up for real and followed him after a few minutes of breathing. I was still in yesterday's clothes, so it couldn't have been too bad.

"Well, you managed to make my brother furious beyond repair again. So, nothing out of the ordinary," he informed me with the blunt tone he used with his sarcasm, turning his head to talk over his shoulder. Today it was Belgian waffles and scrambled eggs.

I grinned as I inspected his fridge, pulling out the apple juice and pouring us both a glass. "How did I manage to do that?" He paused in the middle of sliding the last waffle onto a plate and made a face at the air as he thought.

"I'm really not quite sure. I think it involved a stop sign and a switchblade, though," he said after a moment, going back to his previous occupation. We sat down at his table with twin stacks and maple syrup quietly, both too tired for too much conversation.

"Is there anything important I forgot that I had to do today?" I asked him idly after we were done, taking his plate and putting it in the dishwasher.

"Probably." I laughed. I didn't know how anyone could forget this guy. He's absolutely hilarious.

There was an awkward silence as we stood in the kitchen, dishes put away and life set back to normal. "I should probably head out before West puts out a search warrant for me," I finally said, breaking it, jerking my thumb out the back door. He smiled with just a bit of nervous tension in his expression.

"Yeah, I guess so." Another awkward silence as he blushed and refused to meet my eyes. I rolled them instead and, before my audacity could balk, crossed the kitchen in a few long strides and kissed him, my hands cupping his face. He smiled into the kiss and wove his fingers together behind my back.

"Love you," he whispered when we finally drew away.

"Of course," I smiled back. "What's not to love?" I pressed my forehead against his, hoping he could read my mind and know I meant the same. His eyes smiled through his glasses.

Abruptly he spun me around and slapped my ass toward the door. "Now get out of here before I call Germany for you," he told me playfully. I laughed loudly.

"Aye aye cap'n!" I saluted and backed towards the screen door. He leaned back with his elbows on the kitchen counter and smiled as I left.

I was halfway down the alley behind his house to the bus stop at the end of the block when a shadowy hand grabbed my elbow and pulled me into a crack between a fence and a house, slamming up against the rough concrete of the house's garage. I was winded and confused and dizzy, which wasn't helped by the arm encased in loose leather pushed up under my chin against my throat, which also shoved me up so I had to stand on my toes. I gasped, my vision settled, and America's angry eyes appeared three inches in front of my face.

I choked. "What-"

"I'll be doing the talking right now, Prussia," he growled, shoving his arm higher up on my throat to force my chin back. I gasped for breath, my windpipe crushing itself as I stared in shock and mild horror at America's shining eyes. "I know Canada thinks you're so great and awesome and everything he wants right now, and he's obvious head over heels for you, but- listen!" he said menacingly, shoving me again as my vision started to bubble with black and my eyelids fluttered closed. I felt myself losing consciousness, but I managed to get out a (very manly) squeak.

"Can't… breathe…"

"What? Oh. OH!" I barely registered America's thought process until the arm suddenly backed away. I took a deep, shuddering breath, coughing and wheezing. America's presence was still on my neck, but at least it wasn't making me a pancake anymore. I was able to open my eyes once more, but instead of the expected slightly guilty and very sheepish blue eyes I expected to see, they were unfazed by my struggle. If anything, righteous burning anger had fallen away to cold fury.

"I know my brother loves you right now," he continued, calmer but no less terrifying because of it, "but if you step a toe out of line – an inch, a hair, a jerky movement – your ass is mine." I was completely frozen for a comeback. How could you come back to that? I blinked at the icy anger displayed in the usually chipper nation in utter shock for a few more seconds as he glared at me. A flash of light briefly shone through the backyard behind me and reflected off his glasses, and for a moment his eyes were purple. Something in my snapped and clicked, and I grinned.

"What's the matter, America? Intimidated by the awesome me?" I asked him, my usual cockiness flowing back full force. It was his turn to blink in surprise, although he didn't take nearly as long to recover as I had before he was glaring again. Maybe it was because he didn't have a superhuman pressed against his throat.

"Listen to me, you greasy pale mongrel of an outdated nation," he growled, moving slightly closer again, bracing his other hand on the wall beside my head. His forearm cut back into my neck, but it wasn't as painful this time. "I love my brother, and I want him to be happy. I'm not about the put that happiness in the hands of one of the worst, most self-centered, irresponsible nations I have ever had the unfortunate chance of meeting!" he snarled at me. My grin turned into a smirk.

"I see England and his vocabulary has been rubbing off on you." I couldn't believe I was taunting America – an angry America with my life cutting into his ulna, no less – but I couldn't resist. I cocked my head as best I could and licked my lips. "You know, you remind me of someone right now, but I can't exactly place it-" Quick as thought, his hand on the wall flashed down to my wrist and spun me so I had my cheek cutting into the scratchy concrete and his forearm against my spine and my arm in a vice grip, straining it in its sockets.

"You fuck with me anymore and I break your arm," he whispered fiercely into my ear. "Just remember, I own a Rottweiler, a variety of machine guns, and the blueprints to your house. I would be extremely careful in anything you tried to pull off." He was a forbidding block of warm behind me, and the eye I could see was even more riled up than he had been before he pulled me into the alley.

"Heh. Whatever you say, brother," I breathed. He finally, finally backed away, and I massaged my neck slowly. "You know, you totally didn't have to do that," I told him slowly, working out the kinks from my muscles. "I like the kid; I would never intentionally hurt him."

"Oh." The anger finally dissipated. Blink blink. "You could've told me that from the beginning, you know."

"Three reasons I couldn't," I said as I rotated my head and heard the bones in my neck crack. "One, you were cutting off my air so I could barely breathe, let alone talk. Second, nothing I said could've made you stop before you made your point. You're just as stubborn as I am. And three…" I shook my hands through my hair to get flecks of concrete out. "Like I said earlier, you reminded me of someone." I grinned in what I hoped was a feral way. I loved shocking him so much.

Blink. Blink blink. Comprehension. (Comprehension didn't dawn on America, it exploded.) He had a moment of intensity flash over his eyes before he suddenly realized what he was dealing with. He burst into laughter, and it was impossible for me to do anything but follow along. His laugh was even more infectious than his smile.

"You're a sick fuck, but maybe you're not so bad after all," he said after we calmed down, slinging the same arm that had been choking me around m shoulders, leading me back to the main alley. "Wanna go eat somewhere?"

"Nah, I just ate. Anyway, I ought to be getting back to Germany…" We had reached the end of the alley and the bus stop when I suddenly realized that the bus I had just missed would not be coming back for an hour. "A ride to the airport would be awesome, though," I added. He chuckled, unslinging his arm to fish his keys from his pocket.

"Not a problem."

{A/N: This is a two-shot. The next part will be up either later tonight or tomorrow afternoon, depending on how much I procrastinate tonight. The next part will be smut.

This is also an experiment to see how many times I can switch the tone around in one story.}