Ch. 1: Nations Make Strange Bedfellows
Arthur pretended to be sleeping. It was better that way. Maybe then his former "brothers" might quiet down. England, a.k.a. Arthur Kirkland, tried to remember if the contractor he'd hired had finished converting the den into a guest room, then worried what those "brothers" might do to any couches they found. Alfred Jones, a.k.a. America, always managed to break things, and Matthew Williams, a.k.a. Canada, was just plain clumsy (although he did always apologize for his accidents and pay for them, unlike Alfred).
The downside of hosting the World Conference this year in London was that those two North American brothers thought it was all right to use their former "family connection" and crash at his place instead of getting a hotel. Arthur sighed.
Yes, America was getting over an economic recession, and he had taught both nations to be frugal. So how could he complain that they were finally using his advice? Something crashed and clattered downstairs, causing Arthur to bolt up in his bed in surprise and look towards his door.
"Please don't let that be an antique," he quietly prayed as he leaned on his elbow, cringing and rubbing his forehead in an effort to massage away a headache he knew would soon be coming.
He heard the doorknob turn and the door click open. He hadn't locked it on purpose because he knew if Alfred tried hard enough, he could break the entire door off its hinges. Arthur knew they always neglected to knock before entering (yes, even Canada forgot sometimes), so if Alfred was leading the way, why damage a good door?
"Arthur? Can I sleep with you?" a voice whispered.
Arthur lowered himself back down on the pillow and then held his breath, squeezing his eyes shut. He hoped that the curtains around the bed would block out any noise. Silence echoed through the room.
"Arthur, I know you're awake," the voice whispered again. "I saw your light on just a couple minutes ago."
Damn American novelists! Arthur cursed silently as he opened his eyes to stare at the top of his poster-bed. The latest fiction from the States about a post-apocalyptic world had been too engrossing tonight, and he had forgotten to listen for his "guests". He had hoped to have turned out the lamp in time, but apparently, he wasn't fast enough. "Why can't you sleep in the lounge or the den? I had them converted to guest rooms, specifically for your visits."
"Um . . . I would if I could," the voice whispered, "but they're both . . . um . . . occupied."
Arthur pulled his blanket up to cover his nose and mouth and blinked up at the darkness. How many people came in? He counted off in his mind all the so-called "family" who would dare to use his house for a place to stay: America, Canada, Sealand—no wait, Sealand has recently been adopted into another family; he'd never come here—there's Australia, New Zealand, and Seychelles—no, she hates me—and it wouldn't make sense for the other two since they rarely attended the World Conference. Australia and NeZee usually let him represent them, just like his real brothers, Scotland, Wales, and North Ireland.
So how could one of the brothers take up both of the rooms unless more than just the two nations came in? Arthur wondered. And if it's only those two: Which of them was so selfish? Which was cheeky enough to dare disturb me? He pressed his fingers to the bridge of his nose. He was too tired to worry about silly brothers who didn't know how to share.
"There's a chair and some blankets over by the fireplace," he said finally.
The person at the door rustled in and stumbled over to the fireplace.
Arthur sat up and peeked out of the heavy curtains hanging from his four-poster bed. He thought he could make out a figure in a bomber jacket. So it's Alfred, he thought. Odd. Matthew doesn't come off as the type to bully Alfred into resorting to sleeping elsewhere, he mused releasing the curtain and lying back down on his bed.
"Alfred, try not to break anything," Arthur said, rolling over onto his side, closing his eyes, and snuggling into his pillow.
Only the sound of something soft and leg-like hitting something hard and chair-like answered. After that, there was nothing but silence filling the room.
Arthur opened his eyes, raised his head, and looked at the spot where the younger nation would be through the curtains. "Alfred?"
"Sorry, England," America finally answered in a pained whisper. Arthur could hear the nation straining to get out the words. "Stubbed my toe and hit my shin on the chair leg. That's going to bruise. Good thing we heal quickly, huh?"
Arthur raised an eyebrow. Bruise? Alfred? From a little bump? Impossible.
America made some more rustling sounds. "Um. This chair isn't Busby's Chair, is it?" a whisper came from across the room.
"Don't be a prat, Alfred," Arthur said, plopping his head back down on the pillow and closing his eyes again, "That's in Thirsk Museum*, not here." He heard clothes rustle and flop onto something, and then the chair squeaked in protest of its new occupant. "Please tell me you left some clothes on before you sat in my chair," he groaned.
America chuckled. "Yeah, of course. Don't be silly," came another whisper. "I'm wearing my traveling sleepwear: an oversize T-shirt and boxers."
Arthur opened his eyes and furrowed his brow. Why is Alfred whispering? he wondered. He had been speaking in his normal voice this whole time. Didn't he pick up on the cues that it's all right to speak normally? Something is definitely odd here.
"America, do you still have a cold?" Arthur asked.
"Not really. Why?"
"You haven't raised your voice since you came in," he pointed out.
Silence. Another chuckle. "Gee. I guess I just got in the habit," came the whisper.
Arthur smirked into the darkness. Loud-mouth Alfred? In the habit of whispering? He laughed at the notion. Everyone knew Alfred was incapable of keeping quiet more than two minutes max. He got comfortable again and started to drift off to sleep.
America shifted on the chair, and it groaned at the movement. "Arthur?" came the whisper again.
Arthur ignored the whispering nation.
"Are you asleep?" America asked in a hushed voice.
"Not with you waking me up every five seconds," Arthur replied. He was starting to get seriously irritated and a little bit creeped-out by America's continued whispering. "Go to sleep, you git."
"Can I sleep on your bed?" the whisperer asked. "This chair is uncomfortable, and I bruise easily."
That's the stupidest excuse I have ever heard. "No, you may not," Arthur said finally, glaring at the other nation through the bed's curtains. "Go to sleep."
"Please? I'll sleep on top of the covers if you don't want to share," came a quiet plea. "It'll be like when I was younger. You used to love singing me lullabies until I fell asleep. Remember?"
A wave of nostalgia made Arthur unable to remember that this was the nation who was capable of crushing him in his sleep if that nation hugged him. "All right," he said, tears tingeing his eyes. "But don't touch me or crawl under the covers, or I'll make you regret it." He closed his eyes and quickly wiped away the tears that had leaked out, and then pulled the covers around himself to keep Alfred from taking them.
Not hesitating a moment, bare feet pattered across the wood floor and then America pulled aside of the poster-bed's curtains. The large bed squeaked as the other nation crawled onto the side not occupied by Arthur.
"Thanks," America whispered. Arthur heard the other nation pull a blanket onto the bed (obviously dragged over from the chair) and clumsily wrap it around himself for warmth. "You won't regret it."
"Hopefully, I won't," Arthur replied. He opened his eyes again and listened to the other nation struggle to get comfortable. It still struck Arthur as a little odd that America would mention his childhood so eagerly. After all, current "special relationship" aside, it was Alfred who originally cast him and all "brotherly ties" off for his blasted independence.
Arthur heard Alfred plop onto the bed's other pillow and finally settle down. He rolled over to face the side America was on and stared at the blanket cocoon lying next to him. If he really does have a cold, I'll kill him, he thought.
Arthur concluded that even if Alfred was the one who brought up their past, it was probably was just a ploy to get a more comfortable sleeping arrangement. He could hear the other nation's breath settle into a consistent pattern as sleep found him. England turned to face away from the sleeping nation and snuggled into his pillow.
Warmth radiated from the other nation even though America wasn't anywhere near him, and it lulled Arthur to sleep. I hope he's back to his obnoxiously loud self tomorrow, he thought as his eyelids grew heavy and then sleep found him.
Sunlight poured through a crack in the curtains on the poster-bed. America had neglected to pull them all the way shut. Arthur rubbed his eyes and turned with a yawn towards the side of the bed that other nation was sleeping on.
A mess of blond hair next to him poked out from under the covers.
Wait. Under the covers? "Bloody git! I told you not to crawl under my covers," Arthur scolded, hitting the top of the blond head with his fist.
The hair scooted under the blankets, and he heard a muffled "Five more minutes, Bro."
"Get up, you plonker," Arthur said, elbowing America. His elbow squished against the other nation's cheek. "You broke your promise."
"Sorry," came the muffled voice under the blanket. "It got cold." America stretched out under the covers, shifted closer to Arthur, and clasped his arm before he had time to react. "And you're s-o-o-o warm, I just couldn't resist."
"Let go," Arthur protested. He knew he'd never be able to pull the other nation off. Once America decided to hug you, you had to endure it until he was done, even if he was crushing you.
The slender arms that encompassed Arthur's arm pulled him closer into softness. "Let me stay like this a little longer," the voice under the covers said.
Arthur froze. Wait a minute. This voice . . . Slender arms? Softness? Why does this softness feel like . . .
Arthur reached over with his free hand and flung back the covers. He stared at the other person in his bed. The person lying next to him was definitely smaller than he was. Has America shrunk due to some curse or spell? he wondered for a momentHe shook away the thought when he noticed that the other nation's hair was shoulder length and had—what did France call them?—highlights. No . . . It's more than just being shorter than me.
Arthur looked down at his captive arm. I was right. Those are definitely breasts squishing up against . . . my . . . arm. He sat up and moved away from her, his cheeks burning.
The maneuver caused the young woman to flop face-first onto the bed. She shifted so that she could prop herself up on her elbow and rest her head on her hand while still laying belly-down on his bed, her shirt revealing glorious cleavage. She reached up with her other hand, rubbed the sleep from her eyes, and then those beautiful, blue-gray eyes looked up at Arthur.
"Good Morning, Handsome," she said, smiling at him.
Arthur gawked at the woman in his bed as the heat and tingling in his cheeks spread over his face. "Who the hell are you?" he asked.
UPDATE 09/08/16: On deviantart's website is a collaboration (with the talented deviant gavorche-san) of a beautiful full-color manga/comic of "Sunshine and Rain". I'm thrilled both to work with such an amazing artist and with the results of that collaboration so far-She's completed the first two chapters! If you'd like to read the comic, go to my deviantart account and check my favorites (or my latest journals). You'll find a favorite folder specifically for the comic. Or you can search for "gavorche-san deviantart" or "poisonoustiger deviantart" in any search engine: our names paired with deviantart will give you links to our accounts.
*Thirsk Museum in Thirsk, North Yorkshire is the current residence of the Busby Stoop Chair. You can't sit in it anymore since the owner asked that it be hung on the wall out of harm's way.
There appears to be a lot of ways for a British person to call someone an "idiot", each with its own definition and degree of seriousness; these are just three of them:
prat = inept, annoying, foolish person
git = foolish or worthless person. This is technically an insult, but it often has a twinge of jealousy to it. In some parts of the UK, this word also means "not a very nice person", but it is a friendly insult, not meant to hurt anyone's feelings.
plonker = a stupid or inept person, someone prone to making mistakes frequently
Arthur: I'm really not in the mood for this . . .
Woman in the bed: ?
PoisonousTiger: Aw come on, Arthur, you'll thank me later!
Arthur *stares at PT*: . . .
First of all, an amazing artist on deviantART, gavorche-san, is collaborating with me on a comic/manga adaption of this fanfic! If you'd like to read the first chapter in comic format, check out my or her deviantart pages. Just do a search with "poisonous tiger deviantart" or "gavorche-san deviantart" as the search items and you should find us. The comic is in Gavorche-san's gallery in a folder called "Sunshine and Rain". On my deviantart page, it's under my favorites as the first folder, there are also several fanarts of my fic there in a folder just below it.
Second, a brief explanation of where this idea came from: I've had this story buzzing around in my brain ever since I discovered the Nyotalia on Hetalia Archives (huge Hetalia wikia). It just kept growing and growing in my imagination, and I finally had to get it out.
I found myself enjoying every moment of writing this, and I hope you enjoy reading it ^_^ . Yes, I went with one of the more common pairings (sorta), but I hope you'll forgive me for that. -_-;
I don't believe the language or adult themes included in this story warranted an M rating, but if you disagree, please let me know. I don't want to violate any of the guidelines.
Please note that sometimes, during the first hour after posting a new chapter, I often remember something that I forgot and I'll go back and add it. So you may want to wait at least an hour before you read the next new chapter. If you can't wait, you could read it, then go back and see if there are any changes (but you don't have to).
I have many other fanfics written and several more in mind I plan to write; please read each as its own separate entity. How characters act in one story may be completely different in another one. That's just how I write, so please just go with the flow (don't be thinking "but in XX story you made Y act like Z" because it might not happen).
If you liked what you read, please let me know in a review. If you have some constructive criticism for me, please let me know as well (you can leave it in a review or PM me, I'll be happy for it either way). If you didn't like what you read, thank you for taking the time to read this far ^_^
Although this story is my own work, it is based off of characters from Axis Powers Hetalia. I don't own any part of Hetalia. Axis Powers Hetalia and its characters belong to Hidekaz Himaruya and other copyright owners.