A small snapping sound rang through the air, followed suit by a soft, disappointed sigh.
"Alright.. this time!"
Yet another small snapping sound
"Okay, how about.. this one!"
"Grr.. yeah? Well, how's.. nngh!"
And yet another.
Japan cocked his head to the side at this, the younger nation's sudden questionable expression jolting him out of his intense focus. He'd been watching over America for the past ten minutes, eying him carefully as he went through countless packets of chopsticks, dividing every last one unevenly, each time the wood ending up tearing in the wrong way or just snapping all together.
Now the previously enthusiastic former colony was sitting there, lips pursed, eyes downcast to the floor, looking fairly depressed.
".. What on Earth is it that you are trying to do, Alfred-san?" Japan finally asked.
America merely pouted, falling back against the tatami mat.
"I was trying to do it right." He clarified after a long moment of silence. "Split 'em right, that is."
"Is that so?" Japan chuckled.
"Mm." America hummed, gazing with half-lidded eyes at the ceiling overhead.
Japan turned away and stared down the messy pile of discarded and broken chopsticks, wondering just exactly how many packs he went through in total, and not only that, but where America had retrieved the packets to begin with. He didn't remember him ever leaving the room. Discarding that thought, he glanced back up at the table, reaching out for one of the few untouched packets.
Smiling coyly as he undid the wrapping, he set his dark eyes on the pouting American, splitting the chopsticks apart perfectly without any pretense. Upon the sound they made, America jumped up, eyes wide and practically sparkling. He looked back and forth from the chopsticks to Japan, his expression conveying utter awe.
"H-How'd you do that?"
Japan's smile grew.
"There is a trick to it, you know."
"A trick?" America ushered on excitedly, his voice oddly hushed.
The raven haired nation laughed softly, musing internally over how young he was before pulling yet another packet off the table. He repeated the notion of ripping off the wrapping, making sure America was paying him his full attention before gripping at the ends and carefully splitting them again.
"You hold them at the ends and then pull." Japan explained. "Do you see?"
The blond raised an eyebrow, cautiously lifting a packet and pulling the chopsticks out. He glanced up at Japan, who nodded reassuringly, before slowly tugging them apart in the same way the older nation had just displayed for him. When they cracked apart evenly, the widest and proudest of grins spread out on his features.
Japan smiled at this, about to congratulate the American on his minor victory before he suddenly reached out to grab yet another packet, splitting them correctly once again. He blinked, opening his mouth to question before he grabbed yet another.
"Awesome!" America whispered, looking as fulfilled as if he'd just discovered the cure for cancer.
All Japan could manage at first was a small, confused nod in response. As he watched the blond's happy grin, however, he found himself smiling once again.
"You are easily amused." He stated simply, standing for a quick trip to the kitchen and retiring himself to a not quite quiet afternoon of sipping tea, boisterous bragging and wasted chopsticks.