Written for the kink meme a while ago. I just decided to upload it here. Basically, England - who doesn't have the greatest relationship with America - switches places with another version of himself in which he and Alfred are lovers. Features AlfredxArthur and heavily implied AmericaxEngland.
Here I am
Alfred took a deep breath of fresh sea breeze that rushed through his hair as he waited for Arthur to arrive on deck. Leaning against the rails, he tried to find the stars and constellations he could remember being taught as a child. There was the big dipper shining against the inky sky and, to the far right, he could see Orion's belt...or was that Sagittarius? Virgo?
Sighing, he turned his gaze down to the dark waters churning far below him, tipped with white foam that looked gray in the darkness. It was a large ship and the sea below looked so very far down that it made him dizzy to stare at it for too long. However, he was not faced with that problem for too long for, as he began to lose himself in those waters, he heard an angry voice yell his name.
Grinning despite the irate look he knew he would find on his partner's face, Alfred turned to face the deck with a look of glee.
"Yo! What's up Arthur?"
The man marched up to him, his mouth firmly frowning in annoyance. "What's up? You put talcum powder in the hairdryer, didn't you? I had to take a second shower after that, mister!" he cried, poking a finger at Alfred's chest.
Not unnerved the slightest by Arthur's foul mood – he had endured enough of them by now – Alfred threw his head back and laughed out loud. "April fool's!"
"Don't laugh, you bloody git! It's not funny!"
"That's what you get for using a hairdryer. Your hair is so short anyway; you could just towel it dry!" he grinned, wiping tears of mirth from his eyes.
"Do you have a problem with my hair now?" Arthur huffed.
"That's not what I said. I like your hair," Alfred placed a hand on his head, ruffling his soft hair with tender affection.
A slight blush tinted Arthur's cheeks red. His shoulders visibly relaxed. "Honestly, I don't know why I can't stay mad at you," he sighed in exasperation but his eyes betrayed their warmth.
Alfred wrapped his arms around Arthur's waist, pulling him into his body. "Because you love me, don't you?" he murmured, lips pressing to sandy blond hair that smelt warmly of apple shampoo.
"Keep putting talcum powder in the hairdryer and I'll have to rethink that," Arthur snorted, yet he leaned into the touch and hooked his own arms around Alfred's back, pulling him closer as if to kiss him.
"Yeah right, I know you 'd love me whatever happened," Alfred kissed him once, a chaste peck on the lips, before Alfred unwrapped himself from the warm embrace, blushing madly.
"A - Anyway, it's getting late. Don't you want to - "
A large, prominent eyebrow twitched. "I was going to say 'do you want to get dinner' actually,"
Alfred shook his head vigorously. "Dinner's good too! Dinner's totally good!" Come to think of it, he was starving.
"Good, because the restaurant on board is having a Friday special...although I have plans for after dinner as well," Arthur mumbled the last part, eyes refusing to meet Alfred's amused gaze.
"Then what are we waiting for? Let's go!"
Grabbing Arthur's hand, Alfred led the way inside.
"It's getting awfully rocky, isn't it?" Arthur turned to look out the port-side window with worry. Though the glittering elegance of the ship's restaurant; its red velvet seats and mahogany tables warmed by the dim ambience of the low chandeliers, created a comforting atmosphere, he could not help but be distracted by the sharp rocking of the ship and the waves splashing against the windows as a storm raged outside.
Alfred put down his knife and fork, wiping the last traces of steak sauce from his lips. "Are you feeling seasick?" he smirked.
"I never get seasick!" Arthur retorted, but his expression quickly lapsed back into one of pensive worry. "Shall we go back to our rooms?"
"Impatient, are you?" he smiled wickedly.
"It's not that!" Arthur blushed. "I just...have a bad feeling."
"You worry too much," Alfred assured him. However, he agreed to leave for their rooms if that would calm Arthur's nerves.
Gulping down the last of his champagne, he rose and quickly paid the bill – it would be his treat tonight since Arthur had got the tab the previous night. Arthur got to his feet as well, slinging on a dark blue jacket over his dress shirt.
He was just about ready to leave when the ship suddenly lurched to the right, almost throwing him completely to the floor. The glasses and a half-empty champagne bottle slid and smashed over the royal blue carpet. He heard a woman shriek and general cries of surprise rose from the tables around him.
"Bloody hell! What's going on?" he swore, steadying himself against the table.
"Ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking - " the loudspeakers crackled to life but before he could hear anymore the ship lurched to the other side, groaning like a dying beast. It tilted again, tables and chairs toppling over and people falling to the floor, tumbling over broken glass and furniture. The lights flickered and sparked.
Alfred grabbed Arthur by the wrist as he was about to fall down, steadying him. They both exchanged a worried glance. Outside, the storm seemed louder than ever.
"This is...captain...please...I repeat..." the speakers crackled. The ship tilted to the far right. The chandeliers snapped and fell, plunging them into darkness.
"Shit!" Arthur swore as he heard something crash almost right next to him. He heart pounding in his chest, only Alfred's warm hand still gripping his wrist gave him any comfort at all.
"Everyone, please get to the lifeboats!"
"What's happened?" they heard someone shout.
"Just get on the lifeboats, please!" another voice in the dark shouted.
It was only when they began to move, did Arthur realise that his ankles were wet. He only had a moment to revel in this realisation before the outside doors burst and freezing water flooded in, knocking him over. He felt Alfred lose his grip on him and he was swept away to another part of the restaurant.
"Arthur!" Alfred's heart jumped. "Shit!"
It was too dark to see much. The water was cold and constricted his lungs, making each move seem as if he was struggling against a sea of needles. Gasping for breath, Alfred desperately moved through the swirling water that was carrying everyone this way and that.
"Arthur!" He cried, gasping as he tried to stay afloat. In the darkness, he just about managed to make out Arthur's struggling body, fighting against the waves to breathe.
"Arthur, stay there, I'm coming!" he yelled, swimming forward. He was a good swimmer, he had passed all the grades in swimming during high school but they unforgiving cold and the sheer power of the torrent proved to be a difficult opposition.
"Alfred!" Arthur stretched his hand out. Alfred pushed himself forward. They were almost there. The tips of their fingers touched.
The ceiling suddenly collapsed under the pressure of water flooding the floors above. Pieces of the ceiling and furniture from above dangerously dropped into the water and a fresh torrent buried Arthur beneath the surface.
"Arthur!" Water flooded Alfred's mouth. He dived down and came up again without being able to get a single glimpse of his partner. Arthur could not drown. He was not as good a swimmer as he was, true, but he could not drown. It was just impossible! He could not! Alfred would not allow it!
The ship groaned and capsized.
"One more time, America! You say it one more time and I swear I'll throttle you with your own tie!"
England glared at the younger nation with animosity in his eyes, doing his best to stare him down though he was contending with the equally cold look in America's eyes.
America took a slow step forward, punctuating each word with a step that took him closer to where England stood. "Grumpy...old...eyebrows!"
"Ungrateful brat!" England snapped and pounced upon him, wrapping his fingers around America's neck. Dear God, why did he have to be so annoying? Always so arrogant so – so America! It felt as if England was being suffocated just being in the same room with him and his enormous ego.
Before he had a chance to successfully strangle America, however, Germany cut through the middle, his face glowing red with anger. The world meeting had officially meant to start half an hour ago but for England and America's immediate bickering the moment they got within three meters of each other, and the exasperation on everyone else's face was evident.
"England! America! Can we please get on with the meeting?" he boomed.
"It's America that's being difficult!" England retreated to childish finger-pointing.
"Hmmm, yeah. England's just being his usual grumpy self. No wonder he doesn't have any friends and has to make up imaginary ones."
"Charlie is perfectly real, idiot!"
Alfred snorted. However, before he could open his mouth to retort, the lights suddenly cut and the entire meeting room was suddenly swamped in darkness.
"What was that?" America heard Spain's voice somewhere close to him in the darkness.
"A power cut, huh? You're as unreliable as always, England," Alfred chuckled. He was definitely not afraid of the dark, no not at all.
There was no answer.
No, America was not afraid of the dark at all. He was not even afraid of the shadow monsters that lurked in places he could not see.
There was still no answer.
"England?" America wondered why his stomach was making him feel queasy. It was not as though England cooked those horrible, poisonous scones for him anymore. "O - Oh I see now, you planned this to scare me since it's April fool's. I – I'm not afraid, England! H – Hey, England?"
"America, you're stepping on my foot," Japan's voice reminded him that there were other nations present and he blushed to think that he had made them believe that he was a scared (which was completely untrue by the way.)
Finally the power kicked in again and the lights came on again, restoring order to the situation.
"Thank God!" America breathed, and immediately hoped that no one had heard his sigh of relief.
Japan's worried cry made America start. He looked frantically to what Japan was now rushing towards and felt that odd, queasy feeling in his stomach return as he saw England lying cold on the floor, completely unconscious and...soaking wet?
"Ve, it's like a murder mystery!" Italy cried with a look of horror on his face. He sidled closer to Germany, giving all other nations a wide berth as if they were all murderers.
"Everyone, stay calm!" Germany quickly quietened the rising clamour before it could get out of hand. Taking charge of the situation, he slowly knelt down besides Japan and leaned over England's prone form. "England, are you okay? Can you hear me?" he took England's arm wrist and checked for a pulse.
As he watched, America wondered why he was not moving. He was a hero, wasn't he? Surely he should be doing the stuff. Why was he not moving to help?
Slowly, England's eyes opened, revealing bleary, unfocused eyes. "H...huh? What? Where am I?" he rasped weakly until, as if all his strength suddenly returned to him in a bolt of lightning, his shot up, looking around the room with a wild, terrified gaze. "A – Alfred! Where's Alfred?" he cried, panic-stricken. It was only when his eyes finally rested on America that he visibly relaxed, and slumped bck into Japan's supporting arms. "Alfred, thank God!"
America finally managed to clear his throat around a strange lump that had formed in his throat. "Aww jeez, England, did you faint out of fear or something, that's so lame! Be careful you don't wet yourself in your old age!" he said, laughing a little.
England's eyes widened, flashing with a look of hurt and confusion. "W – What?" he whispered, looking so lost that America was sure that he must have put a lot of practice into this prank. "But I – we – we almost died!"
"Nice try but you aren't scaring me!"
"...Alfred what – where are we?"
America sighed. "C'mon, England, that's enough. Even I wanna start the meeting now. Stop joking around."
If anything, England's hurt and confusion only increased. "I'm not – why do you keep calling me that anyway? I have a name, you know!" he cried, his eyes silently imploring America to understand, to say something comforting, to stop looking at him so coldly.
America laughed. England was not about to make an April fool out of him. "Just sit your butt down and let's get on with it. I have an awesome presentation to wow you with!" He leaned forward, ready to dag England to his feet but his hand was smacked away with such ferociousness that everyone in the room fell into shocked silent.
"D – Don't touch me!" England hissed, scrambling to his feet, he pressed his back against the nearest wall. His expression, once open and lost, now closed with cynicism and mistrust. "Why do you keep calling me after a country? Who are you...you're not Alfred...are you?"
Alfred had been having bad dreams. He dreamt that he had been spending a warm spring day with Arthur in a long, open field when the blue sky had quickly grown dark and rain began to pour and, the next thing he knew, Arthur had disappeared.
When he felt the sunlight on his eyelids, his first thought was of white sheets and the smell of coffee and waking up entangled in the warm arms of a living, breathing Arthur, still sleeping even as the sun shone directly on his face.
"A...Arth...Arthur," Alfred mumbled, turning over in his sleep. He wanted bagels for breakfast and a pot of steaming coffee, although Arthur would probably insist on earl grey.
Arthur would definitely insist on tea.
"Arthur!" Alfred shot bolt upright, throwing the sheet off of him as cold memory slowly slid back into his mind. He remembered water. He remembered the cold. He remembered reaching for Arthur before a torrent had suddenly ripped the apart and Arthur's body had been lost under the waves.
"Where am I? Where is this?" Looking around wildly, he soon found that he was in a hospital room. A nurse, who had been scared back by his sudden outburst, tentatively attempted to speak to him but the wild, desperate look in his eyes gave her no encouragement.
"Y - You washed up on shore, sir. We heard about the Virgo sinking. Some people took you to the hospital with some of the other survivors from the wreck - "
"Other survivors?" Alfred grabbed her by the shoulders. The nurse screamed but Alfred hardly heard it. "Listen, was there a man there? A little shorter than me, green eyes, blond hair, really thick eyebrows!"
"U...u...uh, yes, I believe there was someone who matches that description," she stuttered.
Alfred felt his heart soar on the wings of relief.
"Take me to him!"
Alfred found Arthur lying completely still on a white hospital bed. The moment his eyes lay upon the sight, his heart jumped to his throat. No... No, this could not be happening!
"Arthur!" he rushed to his bedside, throwing himself onto his knees next to him. He took Arthur's hand in his, pressing it to his lips. "Oh God, Arthur, please be alive! Please wake up!"
The fingers in his hand twitched. Alfred glanced up sharply, barely daring to hope. Arthur's eyebrows furrowed. Slowly, he opened his eyes.
"...What the hell?" he groaned
"Arthur! Oh God!" Alfred wanted to hug him. "Are you alright? Are you okay?"
"Fucking hell!" Arthur sat up, rubbing his sore head.
"It's nice to see you too," he chuckled. If Arthur was already swearing then it was a definite sign of recovery. Alfred felt stupid for worrying. Of course Arthur would be fine, he was a lot tougher than one would think. He could probably survive a nuclear attack.
Hearing Alfred's laughter, Arthur sharply glared at him. The harshness in his eyes swiftly silenced him. "Don't give me that 'nice to see you' crap, you twat, what the bloody hell have you done?" he snapped.
Alfred's smile fell straight off of his face. "What are you talking about?"
Rubbing his forehead with exasperation, Arthur sighed. "Look, if this is your bad idea of a joke, I'm not laughing. Now where the hell am I and why am I not at today's meeting?" he demanded.
Alfred frowned, confused. "Arthur..."
"And don't call me that!" he snapped. "You lost the right to call me that a long time ago."
Alfred tried to smile but his lips only managed a pathetic tweak before flopping into a frown. He wanted to laugh at this strange joke – the British had a bad sense of humour after all – but he found that he could not.
"Ar...Arthur...what are you talking about?" he stuttered. "D – Don't you know me?"
"America, my patience is running thin. It's April fool's day, I know. Ha-ha, very funny, but now kindly take me back to the meeting place. I don't know how you did this but I have more work than I have patience for."
"What are you talking about, Arthur?" Alfred cried. His head was spinning and his stomach was rebelling against the rest of his body. He thought that he was going to be sick. He could not breathe. Just what was going on? Why did it feel so hard to breathe? "D - Don't you remember the accident? We were on the ship when it sunk, remember? I thought I would never see you again. I thought that you were..."
"What are you talking about?" Arthur looked at him with cold green eyes so unlike the tender glances he was used to. That gaze pierced straight through his heart.
"What boat? What accident? What are you talking about, America?"
Alfred felt something cold seize a hold of his heart.