Title: The Daphnes Burn
By: The DayDreaming
Ratings/Warnings: Rated M…for MILKSHAKES! There is disturbing content in this story. Please don't read if you have a particularly weak stomach. I still don't think this deserves an M-rating…buuuut, there is mucho creepiness…Also, this is EnglandxAmerica, UKUS! As in, England is totally the buck in this nature documentary, baby. Awwww right.
Summary: [drabble] And maybe America shivers from the cold or the heat or any number of reasons, but certainly not from England as he leans over and presses a firm kiss to his lips. "It will be okay."
A/N: Short drabble I did when inspired by a certain sample comic on Pixiv, and chatting with Impervious Marr. Thanks for the suggestion on the flowers. I'm gonna go hide in the bathtub now. AND NEVER COME OUT.
"Yes, in the long run there is something to be said for these shiftless days, each distilling its drop of poison until the cup is full; there is something to be said for them because there is no escaping them."
He never really thinks about the plants he grows until he's in the other's garden, watching as he handles Angel's Trumpets.
Alfred likes to talk while he works, and though Arthur doesn't visit his house to play gardener, he thinks it's a bit endearing the way his boy has named each and every bush and tree and potted affair (mostly his presidents' names, the hopeless thing), and greets them all with a fond touch.
The Angel's Trumpets, he explains, are incredibly poisonous. Even while speaking, he goes to touch his eyes with his bare hands after fondly brushing the corpse of a spent bloom off of a thriving green branch, and it's only Tony who saves him, spraying a water hose at the blond and 'accidentally' hitting England.
But, he doesn't mind now. Not a bit.
And maybe it's madness. A lapse in sanity, or a temporary state of mental distress. Whatever the cause, though, has his thanks.
He only has to wait for summer.
America never does question what's put before him. Famished from a long flight, he plunks onto the proffered chair at England's breakfast table and eats the berry-riddled scone without hesitation or complaint.
And even if he looks strangely at England as he smiles and pats his head, Arthur brushes it off, because it won't matter. He'll get used to it.
Alfred holds his stomach not long after, mutters something about 'damn scones' and asks if he can lie down.
And England doesn't mind, because as a courteous host it's his duty to accommodate his guest, no matter how rudely he cusses the older man out and leaves his fifth scone only half-eaten.
He tucks Alfred in, like a good brother or mother or even lover would, and leaves him to rest, though the groans and sounds of retching later on indicate that he shouldn't have bothered.
But that's okay. Because England is ready to sooth the other's upset stomach with crackers and a nice, fresh batch of homemade jam. And Alfred, silly boy, says he doesn't want it, that he just wants to sleep and that his lips and tongue are burning it hurts hurts stop stop stop.
And of course, England doesn't comply. Alfred is a messy eater at the best of times, so it doesn't bother him when the other manages to smear the jam and crackers all over his jaw before it finds its way into his mouth.
His skin gets cold, clammy and pale in the light spilling in from the afternoon sun. He begs England to close the curtains and turn off the lamps, it's too bright it's killing him. England jokes that he's going off to find welder's goggles, but merely draws the shades and flicks off the lights.
In the dim of the room, flecked in grays and dark blues, he can imagine that this must be what he missed out on. Little America, never sick, didn't need so much love and care. That's why it was okay to leave him. England came back. Always, always came back, even if there were years upon years upon years in-between.
He loved him, after all. And he still does, even if it's buried under layers of loathing and disdain.
America sniffles and leans over, vomits red and cracker and jam, but it's okay.
England smiles and pats his head.
Alfred can't seem to move. England tuts and tilts the other's head, weak and almost useless.
He wants water, rasps out that he feels like he's dying of thirst, though he pronounces it with the caution of one whose throat is raw and dry and burning. He is lost in a desert and he's alone alone alone.
But that's alright, because England is here. Here to tilt his head back and pour water down his throat and spoon-feed him a mash of berries and oatmeal.
Though Alfred says that he shouldn't be eating fruits when he's sick (the boy is so, so paranoid about his flu epidemics), England merely chides him and shoves in another spoonful.
It's okay, he whispers to him, gently into his ear, a butterfly's wings. Everything is okay.
And even as he's holding Alfred down on his side as the other seizes and rocks on the bed, springs squealing away and covers pushed to the ground, Arthur knows that it will be alright.
He'll get used to it.
The lapse into unconsciousness is expected and welcome. It gives him time to clean up the room and run out to the garden. His fairy friends are kind and have already picked another delightful batch.
Berries are good for people, he thinks. They're healthy and delicious, and helpful for most things. Like Alfred. And so are leaves and flowers. He won't mind some extra fiber.
They'll help Alfred, he's sure.
When he's finished, he enters Alfred's room. It is Alfred's room now, after all. It was always meant to be, even if he never got the opportunity to take little Alfred home with him to Britain. He'd made it up anyways, just in case. It's a good thing he kept it in tact.
Alfred is far gone, pale and still in the dark. He flips the lights on and wipes at the sweaty body with a damp cloth, gliding smoothly over the other's face and neck, down into the folds of his ruined shirt. As his hand passes over his heart, he finds the rhythm erratic and slow, almost as though curling up to sleep in the other's chest.
And England, when he's finished, merely cards his fingers through Alfred's hair. Stringy from sickness and sweat.
He needs a bath, he thinks. The room reeks of blood and vomit.
In the bathroom, Alfred sits in the tub, back propped against the edge and head lolling forward. He shivers, and twitches, but can't bring himself to move anymore. England sits with him, disrobed of everything but his boxers, and gently brushes his fingers over the other's stomach with a soapy cloth.
There, there, England coos. Everything will be okay, dear one.
America's breath hitches to speak, but it merely slips out as an indefinite 'hggguh' before he slides further under the lukewarm water.
Chin up, poppet, England chimes, tilting the blond head back and running his fingers through the dampened hair, hands sudsy with shampoo. It will get better. I'll make you all better.
It's okay? America mumbles out, confused and dead and maybe a little scared at the slur in his words and the burning in his throat mouth tongue lips.
It's okay, England says, smiling and patting him on the head before plunging him under the water.
In bed again, safe and cozy. Alfred looks so much nicer when he's clean and in a pair of proper pajamas.
He's taken the liberty of tidying the room a bit more. Dusting the shelves, changing the bed-clothes, and adding a vase full of sprigs of Daphne and other herbs to freshen the smell of the room.
It's alright, he says lovingly, smoothing Alfred's hair. Maybe you'll feel better in the morning?
Alfred doesn't have much to say but a strangled moan as he suffers through his stomach ache and nausea and burning burning burning.
I won't leave you, if you're worried, England replies. He glances at the small purple flowers among the leaves in the vase. Those are Daphne's, did you know?
America closes his eyes.
I've got a lovely little up-cropping in my garden. Would you like to name them? He smiles and climbs into bed. I've others, too.
Belladonna. Elderberry. Hyacinth. Ivy. Monkshood. Black Locust.
They're all waiting to become acquainted with you, my dear Alfred, he whispers. Name them all the things you wish. We'll have plenty of time.
And maybe America shivers from the cold or the heat or any number of reasons, but certainly not from England as he leans over and presses a firm kiss to his lips. Not because he pulls away to look into his unfocused eyes and maybe sees something a little disturbing, a little loving, a little satisfied, a little possessive.
You are mine, can barely be heard, barely understood in the quiet of the room with only the thump…thump…thump of America's slowing heart to dampen the silence.
It will be okay because I love you.
- Angel's Trumpet is an extremely poisonous plant that people happen to have in their yards because they look rather pretty. Even getting run-off water on your skin can cause a number of health conditions. Touch your eye, and it'll dilate the pupils and cause light sensitivity.
- Daphne is also extremely poisonous, with all parts of the plant being toxic. Kids are most likely to eat the berries on them, believing them to be edible. The specific species I'm speaking of is Daphne Laureola, which is commonly found in Britain. It can cause numerous problems, including pale, clammy skin, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, slowing of the heart, burning sensation in the mouth, raw and burning throat, seizures, weakness, etc.
- Belladonna. Elderberry. Hyacinth. Ivy. Monkshood. Black Locust. : All poisonous plants.
…..uh. I really love Arthur. I do. May or may not make a second one with America's POV.
Think of it this way: I could have been a LOT more creepy? :| I need Russia to get in there. SAVE ALFRED, RUSSIA. The Brit is encroaching upon your booty-I mean, potential boyfriend-no, wait, just a friend because you guys are cool like that... Never mind. He's STEALING your BOOTY, Russia. GO FORTH.