(A/N: Uh, I started out trying to explain why America was so intent on being a hero. Well, this is what I wound up with. Please, let me know what you think, thank you!)

"Why are you always going on about being a bloody hero? You sound absolutely ridiculous." England griped, tightening his grip around the soda can. Of course, America couldn't be bothered to serve tea at a meeting hosted in said country. There was a break in the meeting and only he and America sat in the meeting room. The country in question had made some ridiculous comment about "being the hero."

Always wanting to be a hero, the git. When would he realize all the other countries thought he sounded utterly ridiculous to their ears? Never, I'd be willing to bet all my pounds on it. The democratic nation was just too clueless. Or, perhaps, he had a clue and just didn't care if anyone thought he sounded ridiculous. England had no doubt that America truly believed it, or at least, definitely wanted to "be the hero."

America's bright smile had faltered and his eyes narrowed slightly. This was not a usual argument. England was being sincere and while America would generally be inclined to snap back with, What? Are you talking to your imaginary buddies again? And, yes, England, you do sound totally ridiculous. However, something in the other's form and tone actually made America pause in thought before offering any response.

"Is it such a bad thing?"

England's eyes widened and snapped up, no longer interested in the soda can. America actually sounded serious. He had been expecting a snide comeback and perhaps a reference to his own habits regarding folklore. That's usually how these discussions went. Usually, they went nowhere, but America looked genuinely interested in what his answer would be.

"Sounding ridiculous?" England asked incredulously. "Of course that's a bad thing, you bloody git! Do you really need me to spell that much out for you?" He sighed, those familiar feelings of frustration rising within him. It was always this way with America. He wanted to understand and be patient, but just found it so impossibly hard to be patient with someone that always came across as so dense. Sometimes, England would pray that surely America was only feigning such ignorance regarding certain matters, but he was well aware of how simple-minded his former Colony could be.

America shook his head. "No, I mean being a hero. Why do you think it's ridiculous?"

England gripped his can a little tighter. What was the dirty blond nation trying to get at? Wasn't the reason obvious enough? "You just sound ridiculous, always spouting that nonsense," he muttered, glancing at the floor. "The kind of hero you are always going on about. The one that fixes everything, that's always cheerful, it's a bloody farce."

America asked quietly, "Would it better if I were to act more like Batman or Spiderman?"

England nearly choked at the sincerity in the question. "Wh-what? You're not even capable of that sort of brooding, you bloody git. What kind of idiot would even think to ask such a moronic question?"

"No, I guess that would be more up your alley."

"I don't have delusions about being a hero of any sort."

"I don't, either," America replied with carefully measured words. England met the blue eyes and held them in a steady, challenging gaze. The blue eyes did not flinch and a fierce determination burned behind them. "I already am a hero. It's not a delusion."

England arched a brow. "Really?" he retorted with sarcasm. "I don't see anyone here jumping to agree with you on that matter."

America hardly noticed the sarcasm. His eyes glossed over and a dreamy smile graced his face. "To my people. They all want to be someone's hero. It's in their dreams that are reflected in their eyes. It's part of the American Dream. Some are heroes to little kids, some are heroes within their families, and others are recognized for doing something particularly heroic for someone else, such as saving them from death or stopping a crime. In some part of them, each one of them hopes that they can do something considered heroic. To speak up for those that can't speak for themselves. It's a wonderful thing."

England stared at America, not wanting the moment to end, the other nation looked so tender absorbed in the feelings of the people in his nation. America must have disengaged from them because he looked at England with clear eyes expectantly. His own green eyes were kind, and he hoped he wouldn't come across as cruel. "Alfred, wouldn't it be better if your people dreamed of a place with no heroes? In order for there to be a hero, there has to be a victim."

America's brows knitted together in confusion, the point England made eluded him. "But if there were no heroes, there would only be victims."

England sighed and smacked one hand to his forehead, feeling both frustrated and amused. He had never had doubts, but if he ever should, this conversation would ease his feelings. "At least your heart is in the right place," he thought aloud. No one could deny that. It was pointless to try to point out or even attempt a debate with someone whose cluelessness rocketed high into the stratosphere.

America's chair scraped loudly against the floor as he scooted backwards, smiling brightly, trying to mask the discomfort he suddenly felt at the heavy tension in the air. He and England hadn't even fought, really, but this tension was so heavy and England looked so resigned. This was one of the many reasons America hated to get too serious. Seriousness usually led to some kind of distorted sadness that he could never quite figure out.

England looked over at America curiously. He was still sitting, staring at the emptiness in the room, his troubled eyes mismatching his bright smile. There was pronounced silence as neither spoke, America lost in his own thoughts, England watching. Finally, the older country broke the silence, "Alfred, are you going somewhere?" he asked, with raised brows and looked pointedly at the chair, which had been violently pushed away from the table.

America blinked a few times, as if his lids were wipers that would make the trouble in his eyes disappear. The blinking did lessen it considerably and surprise was evident in his voice. "Oh! Oh." He glanced at the table and the chair, as if only now realizing he had pushed away from the table suddenly. "Right." With a nervous laugh, he stood up, keeping his eyes firmly away from the curious emerald ones. His smiled brightened more, but he still refused to look at England. "I'm going to go grab a burger. All this talk of," he paused, desperately trying to remember what the World Meeting was even about, but his mind came up empty,"stuff. It's pretty boring and I need some of that awesomeness that is a hamburger!" He said with a laugh that was just a little too forced and cheer that didn't quite match his usual exuberance.

Did what I say actually bother him? England thought, looking back down at the can of soda in his hands, face filled with wonderment. Had he missed something in the conversation? Surely not. Git didn't even comprehend the point. He listened to America's footfalls as he headed towards the exit. Once there, America came to an abrupt halt. He cleared his throat and England twisted around in his chair, ready to tell him he didn't want any bloody burgers. Any insults died in his throat at the look on the other's face.

America shifted from one foot to the other and looked almost anxious over something. "Engla....." he trailed off and tried again, "Arthur."

England stiffened a little at the use of his human name, which America hardly used despite England frequently referring to him by his. "Yes?"

"What you said about my heart? Thank you."

All this just to say a damn thank you? England thought, annoyance shooting through him. He was about to loudly protest that he had given no compliments, but America's next words drained him of any bitter feelings.

"Your heart? It's always in the right place, too," he said in a rush as if this was very embarrassing for him to admit. "Even more than mine is sometimes, I think." He stopped short, eyes flitting around, not quite willing to look England head on. His voice dropped to a very thin whisper, "And you're like a hero, too. Just a different kind from me." America's eyes finally met England's disbelieving ones for a brief moment before he turned away and hurried out the door.

England stared after him, trying to make sure he had properly heard everything. The whole thing was very bizarre and further proof that his and America's minds were just on two totally different tracks. Even so, something in him felt a little lighter and happier. So, America didn't only think of himself as a hero.