Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia or any of the characters portrayed.
A/N: This is Alenei's request for my tenth anniversary! I know it's not quite what you asked for, but I hope it satisfies anyway. :)
There really is nothing like a quiet afternoon, Arthur thinks as he takes a seat on the sofa and opens up his book to the marked page. On the end table next to him is a hot cup of tea and it's only a matter of time before Alfred will find him. Then he'll sit on the sofa next to him and insist on cuddling. Arthur will indulge him, of course, although he'll vehemently deny that what they're doing is cuddling, and then the afternoon will be perfect.
"Hey! You busy?" Alfred calls, right on schedule. He appears suddenly, dressed in dumpy clothes that make the clothes Arthur used to wear look like fabulous garments. Never mind that, it's been awhile since either of them has attempted to brave the laundry room on their floor, so dumpy clothes are probably the only clean thing Alfred has.
"Not really," Arthur replies and tries to not make it too obvious that there's a very vacant spot next to him that's begging to be filled.
"You wanna come help with the car wash on campus then? They're short a few hands, so I was going down there to help out," Alfred says and smiles hopefully at him. That explains his poor choice in wardrobe, at least.
Arthur stares blankly at Alfred, then turns his attention back to his book. "I'll pass."
"All right, I guess it will just be me and Roxie, then," Alfred says and starts heading for the door.
The page that Arthur's turning tears slightly and he snaps his head up to frown at Alfred. "Roxie?"
"Yeah! You know, my car! She could use a good wash," he says brightly and obliviously, as if this is common knowledge.
He named the goddamned car. Arthur shuts his book and slams his palm against his face. Here he was thinking that Alfred was going to go with some girl and it was the car all along. He slowly removes his hand from his face as he realizes that there's probably going to be all sorts of girls at this car wash anyway. Scantily clad girls, like in those dreadful movies Alfred likes to watch sometimes.
"On second thought, I'll come, after all," Arthur says and quickly stands. Alfred's face instantly lights up.
"Awesome! You better put on something you don't mind getting really gross, though."
Arthur grunts and disappears into their bedroom to retrieve an old t-shirt and jeans. So much for his quiet afternoon of reading and cuddling. On the other hand, they don't go out and do a lot of things with Alfred's fellow students, so there's a chance he'll get to meet Alfred's friends here, too.
Alfred's smile widens when Arthur reappears dressed in the ratty clothing, and he ushers Arthur to the door.
"Shall we then?"
"Hnn," Arthur replies and follows Alfred as he practically skips down the hallway. At least it's very easy to please that boy, and he smiles slightly to himself.
'Roxie', as Alfred has apparently dubbed his car, really is filthy, but the car is such a worn down and old thing that Arthur wonders why Alfred even bothers with it to begin with. Taking the bus would be a lot cheaper in the long run. But Alfred gives the car a fond pat before he climbs into the driver's seat. Beggars can't be choosers, he supposes. Arthur rolls his eyes as he climbs into the passenger's seat.
As usual, Alfred puts on some dreadful music on the radio, but this time he sings along loudly. It's with some alarm that Arthur actually takes note of the lyrics instead of drowning out Alfred's noise.
"I want your love and I want your revenge, you and me could write a bad romance!" Alfred sings along and grins over at Arthur as he does so.
"Turn it off," Arthur says and reaches to turn the radio off.
"I want your love and all your love- What? Why?" Alfred asks and swats Arthur's hand away.
"It's awful, I'm turning it off," Arthur snaps and shoves Alfred's hand out of the way so he can switch off the radio. He shouldn't have to explain why it's awful, but Alfred pouts and watches the road with a steely gaze, apparently not noticing or caring what he was singing.
Arthur sets his jaw firmly and scowls out the window. The rest of the drive is spent in a tense silence until they reach a parking lot where several other people, students presumably, are washing cars. There are no scantily clad girls like Arthur had feared, but then again it's getting later into autumn and there's a slight chill in the air.
Arthur continues to scrutinize the other students as he climbs out of the car, awhile Alfred jogs over to where a pretty brunette is hard at work with a sponge. Alfred starts talking with her and then motions to where Arthur is standing tensely by the car. She looks over and even from a distance Arthur can see that her eyes light up. She says something excitedly to Alfred, who smiles sheepishly in reply. Arthur narrows his eyes as Alfred jogs back over to him.
"All right! So we'll wash Roxie and then help out with the rest, okay?"
"I suppose," Arthur agrees.
It's not long before they're armed with buckets of soapy water, sponges and a hose, and they set to work washing Alfred's car in a still tense silence. Arthur realizes he's probably going to have to be the one to break it, but as he opens his mouth to speak, another voice beats him to it.
"Alfred!" a girl's voice calls, and then a very busty blonde approaches with tears in her eyes.
Alfred's face turns a bright shade of red and he smiles sheepishly over at Arthur.
"I'll be right back," he says quickly and before Arthur can respond, Alfred's already off and meeting the girl halfway.
Arthur can only watch as the girl gesticulates at Alfred and Alfred tries to keep his eyes off her…assets. He can't help the feeling of white hot jealousy blazing through him. Of course he knows that Alfred would never cheat on him, even if he's popular with the girls. If he really wanted to be with someone else he would end things with Arthur first, but rational thought is no match for the ugly feelings bubbling inside of him.
Alfred's face is red and he's fidgeting and averting his eyes, just like he was wont to do when he was trying to convey his feelings to Arthur on the roof of the school years ago.
Arthur steps around to the other side of the car and grabs the hose, which he nonchalantly sprays in the girl's direction. She shrieks and jumps away from Alfred, who looks in shock at her and then over to Arthur.
"My apologies," Arthur says flatly and Alfred frowns.
"No, it's all right! Really, it's fine. I'm fine…" she babbles and her eyes water even more. It takes all of Arthur's willpower to not roll his eyes at her dramatics.
Alfred's frown deepens, but then his expression softens as he looks back at the girl. "I'll help you in a little bit, Katyusha. Don't worry, you can count on me!"
He flashes her a thumbs up and winks, and she wipes at her eyes and smiles.
"Thank you, Alfred!" she says and glances hesitantly over at Arthur before walking away. Alfred watches her fondly and then turns back to frown at Arthur again.
"What'd you go and do that for? Katyusha didn't even do anything!" Alfred asks as he snatches up a sponge and wipes furiously at the car's windshield.
"Hmph," Arthur replies and looks away. Alfred continues to watch him with a stern expression for awhile, but suddenly something seems to dawn on him and his eyes widen. He stops wiping the windshield and once again his face turns red. He looks around as if to make sure no one is listening and then he turns back to Arthur.
"I don't want to be with anyone but you, Arthur," he says and smiles hopefully at Arthur. Arthur's own cheeks burn slightly and he averts his face.
"Don't be ridiculous," Arthur says and picks up the hose to spray the soap off the car.
Alfred's hopeful expression fades into a scowl and he huffs before he picks up the bucket of soapy water and dumps it over Arthur's head. Arthur sputters and stands frozen in place as the water drips off his body and Alfred regards him with a smug, triumphant expression. Then he returns to life and picks up the hose again to spray it directly into Alfred's face.
He watches Alfred with his own smug look as Alfred hurriedly pulls off his glasses and gives Arthur his best 'how could you?' look. Arthur doesn't have long to enjoy his victory before he takes a sponge to the face and Alfred's grin returns. Arthur wipes the soap off his face and glares at Alfred.
It's on now.
Alfred yelps as Arthur starts chasing him around the car with the hose and soon sponges and water are flying as they do battle. It comes clear very quickly that they're both enjoying it, however, and the tenseness from before dissolves away. Alfred's laughing, and even Arthur is grinning as they continue with their spontaneous game.
"Hey! Quit wasting water and soap, Alfred!" the brunette from earlier suddenly calls sternly. They both freeze just as Alfred is about to dump another bucket of water onto Arthur and look over to where she's standing with her hands on her hips and tapping her foot impatiently. Alfred quickly lowers the bucket to the ground and waves his hands in surrender.
"Sorry, Lizzie! We'll get back to work!" Alfred calls back sheepishly and she turns away with a huff. Alfred grins over at Arthur, who just rolls his eyes in reply.
The rest of the afternoon goes much smoother after that, and Arthur gets to meet some of Alfred's friends as he'd expected. The brunette is Elizaveta and her boyfriend is Roderich. The blonde is Katyusha, who Arthur begrudgingly apologizes to, and she attends the school with her brother, Ivan.
"But I don't like him very much," Alfred clarifies with obvious distaste.
There are others he meets, and others that Alfred promises to introduce him to later, but each time his actual relationship with Alfred is never divulged. Elizaveta does give him a knowing look, however, and Arthur wonders if she's somehow acquainted with that boy Kiku, who gave him the same look once upon a time.
At the end of the day, Alfred buffs his car proudly and pats it fondly again.
"There now, that's much better, isn't it, Roxie?" he asks the car before he climbs inside. Arthur rolls his eyes again for the umpteenth time that day as he follows suit.
Alfred turns on the radio once they're on the road again and gives Arthur a pointed look as he does so. Arthur nearly reaches over and switches it off, but the song that plays is different than the one earlier, and he pauses.
"Cause IIIIIII loooove the way you call me baby, and youuuuu take me the way I am," Alfred croons along, just as oblivious as ever.
It's ridiculously sappy, but it fits Alfred. Arthur retracts his hand and settles it back in his lap. He looks out the window as he listens to Alfred sing badly along to the radio.
Although he would have preferred the reading and cuddling he'd originally hoped for, he supposes that it hasn't been a complete waste of an afternoon. There are much worse things he can think of. Things he's done himself.
"Youuuu take me the way I am," Alfred finishes and then smiles over at Arthur. The corner of Arthur's mouth quirks slightly and Alfred beams.
No, not a complete waste of an afternoon at all.