Disclaimer: Don't own the characters!
A/N: Established relationship USUK while trying to keep it underwraps. For those who don't know, Uncle Sam is the national personification of the USA, while John Bull is the national personification of Great Britain.
I Want *Him*
-Ding Dong- -Ding Dong- -Diiiiiiing Dong-
"Well why the hell aren't those yanks answering the door, then? Awful hosts, the lot of them. Forgot the dinner was tonight did they?" John Bull huffed out.
England tried to find the strength not to roll his eyes at his elder counterpart as they stood on the pleasantly swept doorstep. The welcome mat was springy under his feet.
When they had pulled up in America's driveway, the British nation had noticed a wide array of smoke pluming up from somewhere in the backyard, and there was loud hip hop music playing as well. It was likely America was still outside grilling, preparing for the 'family dinner' they were having tonight.
"I'm sure he just hasn't heard us." England reassured his relative. "I'll just give him a quick ring on my mobile."
"Not those bloody, finicky contraptions again. If the young man is competent he would have been expecting us by now." John Bull replied obstinately, punching the doorbell with his thumb a few times again.
'Bloody hell. It will be a miracle if this dinner goes well.' England thought, feeling the throb of a headache already beginning at his temple.
Suddenly the green-eyed personification heard the thumping of running and the front door was finally thrown open. England's spirits lifted slightly when America spotted him and the blue-eyed man looked as relieved as England felt. The two blonds shared a small smile.
"Hey." America said softly, his eyes smiling.
"Hey yourself." England murmured back, trying not to blush.
"Well it's about time, innit?" John Bull interjected impatiently.
The comment made America break his gaze with England and take a step back, gesturing with a flourish for the two Britons to enter the home.
"You're right on time, you're here, and… so is my-.. yeah… come in, come in!"
"All right then, thank you lad." John Bull nodded importantly and pushed his way inside, followed closely by a now-full blown headachy England.
"America! Hey boy, what's that, are they here?" A loud voice boomed as soon as they stepped into the foyer, and England turned to see America's Uncle Sam come over and begin boxing his younger counterpart in the side and stomach.
"Hahaha!" America tried to fix his skewed glasses as he punched the old man back.
"Hohoho-!" Uncle Sam's nose hair made his laugh whistle as he tried to put America in a head lock.
England stood staring, aghast and unsure if they should break up the fight.
"Ooh sonny that will hurt tomorrow." The odd old man crowed and then turned a keen eye on the newcomers. "Anyway, so you're this 'England' I take it?"
America's Uncle Sam was a tall, spindly man with what seemed like more white wispy hair on his chin than on his head. He had bright eyes and a long nose, and was wearing a very flashy pair of trousers.
England had seen pictures of him before, but had never met him in person. Now he knew for sure that the man was really as outrageous as he appeared to be.
England could easily see how the two American personifications could have been related though. If somebody had stuck a couple crayons (red, white, and blue) in a child's hand and let the kid go wild, England was sure America's features could be stretched and warped weirdly just like his Uncle's – not unlike those bizarre looking cartoon drawings he was so fond of.
England and his own distant relative on the other hand…
In almost direct contrast to the island nation, John Bull was a portly man whose waistline seemed to need to take up as much room as his robust and abrasive personality did. He was on the short side and, when he took off his smart bowler hat, it was apparent his head was no stranger to balding. (It was also shiny enough that England could almost see his reflection frowning back at himself as he stared at the back of that big noggin.)
"Yes, hullo." England replied to Uncle Sam.
A loud snort from beside England drew everyone's attention to John Bull.
"Hullo there again, Sam." The stout man smirked out and stuck out his hand. "Still wearing those striped trousers to make yourself look taller, I see."
Uncle Sam's eyes seemed to twinkle as he reached out and clasped the other man's hand with both of his own, shaking briskly. "Nice to see you too, Bull, old boy. It's been a long time and I notice those mutton chops on the sides of your head are as full and unkempt as usual."
Awkward and strained chuckling came from both old men as they continued to shake hands. There was a palpable crackle of friendly long-time animosity in the air of America's house.
The two old personifications knew each other quite well already even though they were only now truly meeting the younger personifications. Sam and Bull had regularly interacted as well as two opposing characters could a hundred years ago.
However, in recent years the two had not seen each other for quite some time and, under some foul strike of circumstance, the suggestion of a 'family dinner' together to finally bridge the gap had been proposed.
In reality there shouldn't have been that big of a problem with the idea.
Except for that fact that England and America were in a relationship.
A… rather… special one.
One which involved political ties that were a whole lot more passionate than either old relative had any idea about.
"Alright then, let's get in the dining room for some of that grub the lad spent time making!" Uncle Sam finally announced, clapping a hand on an annoyed John Bull's shoulder. He pointed a finger at his nephew. "America, you should listen already when I say, I Want You!, to get a nice young, sexy, American girlie to do that stuff for ya!"
America felt a flush creep across his cheeks at that, and England's eyebrows clashed together as he stared hard at nothing in particular.
"I brought a roast." England stated blandly, and lifted the foiled dish he had brought with him a little higher.
It was the first time a mention of England's cooking had dissolved a conflict rather than inflame it.
Once the guests from Britain had gotten themselves settled in, Uncle Sam and John Bull retired to the TV room to wait under England's insistence that he and America would go and prepare everything to be set out for dinner.
The two younger personifications had then gone to the Land of the Free's kitchen, where England (in a frustrated motion) began unwrapping his roast, and America went to fetch all the finished grilled burgers and veggies.
"You know I've got the patio furniture out right now. We could set up the umbrella and eat outside, maybe put out the awning-"
"Don't be daft, America." England finally grit out, ending his short vow of self-imposed silence. "Roast beef and potatoes shouldn't be eaten outside." The Briton sighed and leaned against the kitchen countertop, putting a hand to his forehead.
America slowed in his stacking of grilled food onto trays and eyed the slightly shorter nation for a moment.
"You're upset about what Uncle Sam said when you got here." The bespectacled man plowed into a guess and wrinkled his nose beneath his square frames as he wiped his hands off on a kitchen towel.
"That thing about me getting a girlfriend?" America clarified and raised an eyebrow when he looked at the put off green-eyed nation.
Sam, that old geezer could be a handful to deal with, and embarrassing to boot, but he didn't really know what was going on, so he hadn't put much stock in it. England though…
England folded his arms and graced America with an affronted look that told the taller man the Briton was loathe to admit that America had guessed right.
America cocked his head to the side. "It was just a stupid comment, England."
"Yes, thank you. I know that, America." England huffed, hand going to rub his temple more strongly.
America's lips stretched into a sneaky, knowing smile and he took two long strides until he was directly in front of the former empire. England blushed as America's hands went to either side of him, keeping him trapped against the cupboards.
"Hey don't get snippy with me, now. It's been a while since you visited, you should miss me." America teased.
England glared and took his hand off his forehead to beat America on the chest with it once. "I'm not being snippy with you. And…" The Brit's brusque tone changed to a softer one. "I did… miss you, that is…"
"That's what I like to hear." America brightened and kissed England on the cheek. "You don't have to worry you know. I've got all the sexy I need right here…" America whispered cheekily, grinning, and he gently bit England's ear.
England's blush turned fierce and this time he pushed America back.
"Watch what you're doing!" The tousle-haired nation hissed out. "Your uncle and my relative are just in the next room. It'd be a cold day in hell if they found out." England pointed out.
"Relax!" America laughed, but relented, moving away to grab up some of the heavier food dishes. "This dinner will be over in no time flat without any more hitches. They'll never know. You'll see."
"Hm. Right." England muttered back, and briskly opened a drawer to find some utensils.
America left England rooting around in the kitchen and waltzed into the dining room to load up the table with some patented homegrown American cooking.
"Oi, you there." John Bull waved a hairy knuckled hand from his spot on the couch, where Uncle Sam was showing off all 500+ channels on the telly.
"Where do you keep your fags?"
America froze, the hair on the back of his neck prickling and he sweat nervously. "Urh.. I- …. Say again?"
"Are you daft?" Bull frowned and asked in a disturbing parody of what England had said to him earlier. "Fags, man. Fags."
America's smile became more and more alarmed.
Uncle Sam snorted and shut off the TV. "You can shut it with your crazy British slang, Bull-y beef." The bearded American personification rolled his eyes up and nodded at his counterpart.
"Get me some of those cigarettes, huh America! You know the kind I smoked while counting war bonds back in the day. I'll take a smoke after we eat that Wholesome American Meal!"
"Uh yeah, sure Uncle."
Recently Sam had developed a habit of speaking in emphasized threes. He should really get that checked out.
America let out an internal shout of relief as he turned and walked off to collect the rest of the dishware, and England, before one of those old men made another comment that set the whole dinner up in flames before either of them had a chance to come out.
The spread was soon all set and the group of four took their seats. England and John Bull sat across from America and Uncle Sam, leaving the two header chairs empty on the 6 person dinner table.
Unlike America, his Uncle Sam staunchly denied the existence of all aliens, so Tony (said alien 'friend') was away for the evening doing whatever it was he usually did. Crop circle pranks most likely.
That left the small crowd to commence the torturous human behaviour commonly known around the world as The Family Dinner.
Uncle Sam insisted on leading grace and saying a few words before they began despite John Bull's tetchy comment of,
"You haven't actually gone to church since 1903."
The spritely old man duly ignored his nemesis though, and so one garbled prayer (which ended in "God Bless America" and failed to add anything further), and one extremely awkward moment of silence later, the men picked up their utensils and started to dig in.
"…Well. This is nice, I'm glad we did this." England tried to start making conversation.
"…." John Bull didn't bother to concur, looking serious as he buttered a roll.
England glanced to the other side of the table and Uncle Sam made a noise which sounded like agreement, though he was already half-way through a burger.
England cut his eyes discreetly at the man as he watched crumb after crumb fall into that tangled white beard. The British nation looked over to America to see if the bespectacled country was seeing the same thing he was – but England had to pause mid-bite when he noticed all sorts of debris flying from America's carnivorous maw as he put away his own hamburger.
"…I notice you cooked these to medium-rare, America."
"Yeahmmrfgl." America muffled out, solely focused on eating. Ire spiked in the green-eyed man at the other nation for not helping him out with the pitiful dinner talk.
"So you forgot to make one well-done for me, is what you're saying, then."
"…." America's chewing slowed and he uncomfortably pulled his burger away from his mouth to check if he was eating it by mistake.
"Oh. So that's what was wrong with the dreadful thing." John Bull used his fork to belligerently gesture to England's partially mangled burger which sat uneaten on his otherwise rapidly emptying platter.
England's expression became purple and he tried not to glare as he vindictively started cutting his vegetables into smaller pieces.
The tense chinking of cutlery and various chomping noises continued until the last of the grilled patties had been eaten and now the quartet was suffering through England's contribution to the meal.
In a tragic splash of fate, in this case neither America nor John Bull had the excuse that they could eat no more. It was quite obvious they could. England stood up and dished out a piece of roast beef onto all the dinner guests' plates before sitting back down and waiting with peeled eyes until everyone picked up their forks and knives again.
America wisely elbowed his Uncle in the side when the white-haired man had reared back in his chair and then gotten a wide smile (precursor to some type of joke that would undoubtedly get America put firmly in the doghouse after this whole thing was over).
While on the topic of dogs, the dining family members at last decided to start some discussion.
"So I see you finally got rid of that pet bulldog you had, Bull-meister." Sam needled his old friend, making a show of looking around for said dog he had occasionally seen with the large man. Judging from the way he kept glancing back to the untouched meat on his dish though, the spindly man's concern probably stemmed from the fact that he wished he could feed his portion away to the absentee animal.
Sam stroked his beard. "Did your lion and unicorn actually eat him, like I predicted?"
America choked on his beer and England shot him a scowl.
"That's nonsense and you know it." The rotund man scorned. "William VIII is at a kennel for the weekend in Dover." Bull stuck his fork into the blackened hunk on his plate and sawed at it with his knife.
"Dover, huh?" America perked up at that and then turned his amused baby blue eyes to England while wearing a sly grin. "Isn't that the spot on your neck? The one that drives you up the-"
"AHEM!" England sputtered out a cough and dropped his fork.
Uncle Sam suddenly sported a peculiar look, his white eyebrows quirked at the odd display between the two nations.
A blush turned the tips of the Briton's ears pink, and he craned his neck, giving America a look, before clearing his throat.
America's mouth formed an 'O' but his amusement failed to be cowed. He had an air of hilarity about him that England knew was almost impossible to quell once he got going.
"Weell~" Sam drawled out. "We've all got our indignities. I tell ya, I once had to cover for America when his Old Faithful decided to be a little too faithful during a meeting of congress. Hahaha!" He slapped the table.
America's face fell and he immediately turned red.
Well, almost impossible.
"Yeah well, it was just the one time." America adjusted his glasses and coughed into his fist.
"Awful." Bull added very unnecessarily, and duly started chewing on his bite of roast.
"So," England stressed, eager to change the subject. "How is the beef, then? Tastes all right?"
Beside him John Bull grunted (in approval or disapproval, England couldn't tell), and chewed more vigorously.
There was a din of quiet, slow, chewing noises for a moment longer, before Sam cracked up again and pointed at his stout opposition.
"Hoho~! Remember that time I licked you good in that foot race? Listen here, England, I beat Bull here by at least a mile-"
Bull bristled and puffed up. "You won by nary a hair, Sam you bleeding liar! Exaggeration, that's your one and only skill!"
"That and beating you!" Sam crowed, inciting a furious glower from the other personification.
"I'll have you know I…"
Underneath the tablecloth, America took the opportunity and brushed the soft toe of his shoe against England's sock-clad ankle as an apology for almost slipping up. It wasn't his fault he was so damn bored of listening to their older counterparts drone on about yesteryear.
England's eyes widened a fraction around his bite of potato at the touch.
A green gaze glanced up and met smiling blue ones before America tilted his head away and acted like he was paying attention to his Uncle's current grandiose, embellishment ridden story.
England figured that was the end of it, but quickly found out he was mistaken – swallowing hard at a pleasant stroking that tickled its way against his calf.
America had lost the shoe and was stepping on his foot playfully.
Never let it be said that England couldn't – or wouldn't – give as good as he got. The British nation adopted an unaffected appearance, hoping the USA wouldn't see the slight smirk that curved his lips.
Unhurriedly, England toed off both of his loafers. The former empire delighted in America's unabashedly shocked expression when his soft cashmere sock made contact with a long leg, teasingly shifting up and down.
America sucked in a breath and blinked behind his glasses in complete awe. One of England's feet stayed at his ankle while the other… the other one went higher…
The warm foot rubbed his inner thighs, tracing denim inseams before barely caressing his fly.
America's face instantly turned an attractive shade of pink and he bit his bottom lip. 'That… that little-!' He didn't know it was possible for someone to do something so alluring and sit there at the same time sipping tea so serenely.
England met America's eyes over the rim of his teacup and the superpower eagerly got rid of his other shoe, hooking his feet around England's leg and yanking to try and get him closer.
"-!" England's tea cup went flying and the tousle-haired country was nearly dumped straight off his chair, his head smacking the back of it as he clawed on the tablecloth to catch his grip. A few empty bowls and cups fell over and Sam and Bull stared widely as the British nation hastily attempted to right himself. He coughed a few times having choked on some tea.
"Oh geezus, England-" America's eyes bugged out. Sometimes he forgot his own strength.
"I'm fine! Fine."
John gave a perturbed look to his relative. "Good heavens man, what's gone on there?"
"Nothing!" England waved his hands as he got back in his seat. "Nothing. I just – well these chairs are just a bit slippery, aren't they?"
"Slippery?" Bull seemed bewildered.
"Yes. Did no one else notice? I've been very nearly sliding off all evening."
"Same here." America added.
"You," Uncle Sam suddenly said. He was eyeing England, "You need to find a true U.S. of A seat to park yourself on. I've been trying to tell America to quit buying this cheapo crap from that Swedish crook."
"Hmphf, quite right," Bull agreed. "Now if it were a proper British chair the wood would be hard and firm. You needn't move your arse from that."
"….." England couldn't find anything to say.
America just twisted open another beer.
After the chore that was forced dinner conversation, there came a point where there was no use in pretending any longer that Uncle Sam was going to finish his piece of roast. England picked up the elderly American personification's plate a little forcefully and started stacking the dirty dishes to clear the table. America got up to help, grabbing the cutlery as his uncle finally got to light up a cigarette, puffing happily.
"Well, good show, everyone." England announced with propriety… though one look at the twitching thick eyebrow on his forehead clearly told that he was very much relieved for not having to continue on.
John Bull snorted in undisguised cynicism and took out an ancient looking pipe. "Finally. Is there dessert?"
"…I'll just be putting these away." England narrated, looking like he was struggling to hold his tongue.
America watched England wander off out of the corner of his eye, and pursed his lips in an antsy motion. A fuming England was funny, but an England with his stormy temper? Not so much.
A plume of cigarette smoke wafted in front of America's nose, and he sat up straight in inspiration. "Hey Uncle Sam… Why don't you guys go sit out back on the deck while England and I clear this up?"
"Alright, alright!" The spindly old man fanned his hands, standing and blowing smoke around. "I got ya. Can't risk the smoke detectors going off like last time." Sam squinted an eye and remembrance of that particular fiasco. "Don't let me see you getting like that Canada flake, though."
"Who?" Bull interjected, getting up out of his creaking chair to follow.
America watched them amble off before sliding out of his chair, grabbing some used forks and knives for authenticity, and headed to where he knew England was hiding out for the time being.
The kitchen was beginning to feel like their secret rendezvous point or something. Even so, he really hoped England wasn't going to start a row (or whatever that weirdly quaint British slang was) as soon as he saw him. If there was anything worse than awkward dinner conversation, it was the after dinner conversation.
When America stepped through the swinging doors he saw England attempting to use a metal spatula to see the back of his head. The green-eyed man immediately set down the implement as he noticed America come in. The British nation looked on with an absurdly deadpan expression as America dumped his dirty cutlery haul in the sink.
"That was shite." England said bluntly.
America raised an eyebrow and turned away from the countertop. "What?"
"Your uncle suspects something. I'm sure of it. He kept glancing at me in the most peculiar way- I could feel those beady eyes boring into me." England said in a stage whisper, green eyes narrowed.
America let his shoulders drop and gaped a bit before favouring the other nation with a laugh. England really took things to extremes sometimes.
"Come on. Maybe it's because you were practically burning his crummy beard off with your glare." Or maybe it was the roast beef, America added silently.
"There was enough food in there to feed Uganda for a week."
"Yeah, well, I bet he's even combing it out as we speak!"
After a few minutes of antagonism filled silence out on the patio, Uncle Sam flicked his cigarette butt into some shrubbery. "Don't tell me you haven't noticed it going on, Bull."
"What ridiculous story has you now?" Bull puffed up in a chuffed manner, small eyes blinking rapidly and pipe held aloft in importance. Here began another pointless tale. "Spit it out already, you-"
"They're hiding something, I'm sure of it!"
"Sam, all that's been hidden from you is your bloody common sense."
"Aha! But that's where you're wrong, old boy!" Uncle Sam's eyes were glittering disturbingly as he shoved a hand into one pocket of his dreadfully striped trousers. "They're hiding a cake, Bull. They're probably putting the icing on it as we speak."
"Bollocks! A cake? That's the rubbish you were on about?"
"I thought to myself, I said– Sam. You're getting up there in the numbers, tonight these two guys are gonna give you some type of celebration. I tell you it brings a tear to my eye."
John Bull shook his head at the melodrama, more than a little put off by the American personification's unfaltering self-importance. "Belt up Yank!" He blustered. "You should only be so lucky. Of course if they are preparing the likes of you a cake, the one for me will be similar – if not even more grand – than your confectionary!"
Uncle Sam stroked his beard happily. "All right then, let's just go and sneak a look-see to find out for sure!"
England noisily scraped away the blackened remains of the rejected roast beef and America wisely kept his mouth shut as the newly emptied plate was thrust in his direction to place into the packed dishwasher.
"That's a riot if you think Uncle Sam suspects anything. I don't know about John Bull, but I'm pretty sure everything went straight over their heads." America explained wryly, a hand whooshing over Nantucket in emphasis.
England snorted something unintelligible under his breath and continued his cleaning and sorting, making America pause.
It had taken many decades for the two allied nations to get to the point where they acknowledged the relationship they had was something special, even after their Bosses had coined it that way. And it had taken even longer than that for them to come to terms and understand each other's (and their own) feelings. Admitting it had been even harder, both wanting to fight it, but powerless to do so, so all that was left was Great Britain and The U.S. of A hopelessly and utterly together. Their first kiss under that revelation had spawned Pop and American Idol, and since then, the sensations had only gotten stronger.
But all of that didn't change the fact that even to present day it was more or less anyone's guess as to how to properly read the mood.
They had started keeping their current status together a secret mostly because it was private and nobody else had to know. Nothing lasted forever when it came to history, and eventually it became an unspoken apprehension that if they owned up and officially named what they shared, the end of it would come sooner rather than later. But keeping it all under wraps from their obstinate relatives was proving to be annoying as hell and complicated too. Maybe they should just say something?
America sidled up behind England and slung his arms around him. The former empire relaxed and appeared to turn slightly red, turning around to study what got into the slightly taller nation.
"…I know that look, America." England suddenly deadpanned. "What's your awful idea this time?"
America pursed his lips at being seen through. "What makes you think that, yeesh."
He pushed forward and kissed England on the cheek and pulled back enough so that they could look at each other.
England gave America a half-hearted frown (one he obviously didn't mean) and breathed out a murmured, "Huh."
The warm puff of air on America's mouth from the reply was unexpected, and the bespectacled nation felt his skin tingle a little. Blue eyes caught green ones again and the taller man's gaze suddenly became newly captivated.
America inched his head a bit closer and pressed his lips lightly to England's in a soft kiss, one hand coming up to gently cup the other man's chin.
He ended up feeling, more than hearing, England's sigh of contentment – the British nation melting comfortably against his chest, arms going around his waist.
Enjoying the closeness very much, America held England more firmly against himself, his nose nudging the other man's as he tilted his head into the kiss. The hand holding the Briton's chin faintly trailed up along soft skin, into tousled sandy blond hair, fingers burrowing pleasantly.
England made a sound and his fingers curled loosely into the cotton fabric at America's lower back. The kiss went on tenderly, the two countries eagerly re-visiting borders.
It had been a while. And the footsie earlier hadn't helped either.
The British nation's palms smoothed up the superpower's back in a teasing movement, and America ardently twisted his mouth the other way, hand sliding further into England's hair and gripping a little more tightly.
"Mmf!" England pulled away, wincing when America's fingers grazed the aggravated bump on his head. "Ouch! Mind your grip!"
"Here lemme see that." America chuckled in apology.
"Here lemme see that."
"Ack, careful. This is your fault, you know."
"England that's lame. It's barely a flesh wound!"
"Ouch! Don't poke it-"
Uncle Sam and John Bull paused, stopping where they were in the hall just outside the kitchen on route to spy what was being concocted for dessert.
Uncle Sam turned to his British counterpart with a proud look. "Ah, that's my nephew. He's doing his heroic duties."
America's voice floated out of the kitchen again. "Hey, I know what'll work~"
Sam and Bull stood stock-still, uncomfortably wondering at the exceedingly teasing tone the American nation had affected.
"Why don't I just give Dover a little attention…"
They heard a gasp, and then England laughed breathlessly. "America.."
The hallway air got extremely awkward, John Bull slowly turning an unhealthy shade of purple. Uncle Sam sweat rapidly, and scratched his chin trying to explain. "Well, he's just… kissing it better… is all…. He-"
A sharper gasp sounded, and this time a shocked yet delighted moan. "E-England…!"
In the long history of the world, the current situation here in the middle of America's house, could definitely take the proverbial cake for the title of All Time Awkward circumstance(as Uncle Sam's speech impediment would undoubtedly label).
The two elder personifications couldn't stay near the door any longer, especially when some more amused laughs filtered through. The made a break for the back porch, too freaked and winded (mostly on Bull's side) to mutter any sane explanations to each other.
It felt like an hour later (it was really only more like 10 minutes), when England and America came out to join their relatives on the sunny porch. A few of the USA's hairs were fly-away and out of place, and England's – well. England's hair was always disheveled so it revealed no clues there.
England set a plate of scones for dessert down on the patio table.
Everybody sat a safe distance away from each other and stared at the baked goods.
Mentally scarring as the overheard conversation had been, it seemed both elder gentlemen had taken the short reprieve to settle into deep, deep denial concerning the matter. Certainly Uncle Sam joked and teased his nephew enough about getting more dates and multiple girlfriends, but he had never so keenly been duped right under his own nose before – if it was America really was doing the hoedown with that England fella.
On the other side, if it was one thing that got John Bull through each day, it was a sense of comportment over knowing England was still an upright and proper nation (…isolationist and lonely); rising above all the others because he was too good for dalliances with them! Besides that, it had also been several decades since the belle Marianne last gave him the time of day, so the idea that his woefully, romantically hopeless relative was making some close mutual ties struck low and to the gut. Not unlike England's plate of home baked scones sitting between all of them.
Really, there was only one thing needed to be done in order to obtain peace of mind – get the nations to admit it.
Uncle Sam leaned forward in his seat and steepled his knobby fingers, smiling largely as he addressed the green-eyed Brit.
England reared back a little, his teacup rattling as he set it back on the saucer. The overly pleasant face on the (unusually fond of stripes) old man after the long questionable familial silence was more than a bit disturbing.
"Hm?" England placed his tea on the table and stared at Uncle Sam wonderingly – For once the attempt of chatting hadn't immediately begun with talk of the importance of war bonds or which of his posters was the greatest.
England spared a glance at his own elder relative to see his reaction, but John Bull seemed a little squashed in the face and strangled by his tight bowtie at the moment, so it wasn't terribly surprising to find no response out of him.
Sam grinned heartily. "America is such a fine, strapping young country! A true land of …plentiful… opportunities!"
America coughed into his coffee.
Uncle Sam reached over to clap a hand on his nation's back, simultaneously sending a suggestive and scrutinous eye over to a stock-stilled England. "You've come around his house enough the past couple years to notice! …Don't you agree?"
From beside him, John Bull let out a wheeze.
England didn't like the noise of America chortling and pretending it was contriteness while drinking more coffee.
"I dare say it's more like wasted opportunities." England said matter-of-factly, folding his arms and promptly using his crossed leg that was hanging in the air to kick the USA in the knee.
"If we really must get into it, Sam, this braggart happens to be none of those things!" England declared and slapped a hand down on his arm rest, grabbing up his tea. "May I begin with his slap-n-dash diplomatic tactics? Or his so called 'foreign policy'. Why just last summit there was that moronic issue…"
Uncle Sam, who had been leaning and listening more keenly to what England was going to answer, became progressively jilted at the results. "Ah…ho."
When England paused in between thoughts, America reached out and poked the British nation in the cheek, twisting his finger annoyingly. "Hey England, thanks for lovin' me so much."
Uncle Sam and John Bull both sat up at that, alarmed.
"Hmph." England's cheek turned red and he looked down into his cup as he took a careful sip. "Hardly."
John Bull frowned importantly, his mutton chops looking even more unruly than ever. "You know, America, you needn't argue against being quite fond of the UK. Even you should agree you get enough jollies while hanging about England's house."
England gained a perturbed expression upon hearing his relative utter 'jollies' and 'England's house' in the same sentence.
"Haha, well if you really want to know, I couldn't care less about those droopy looking islands hanging over Europe." America waved a hand carelessly and was the first one to scoop up a scone, popping the thing in his mouth and trying to chew.
England flushed indignantly, slurping his tea by mistake as he sucked in a breath struggling not to retort.
"I'll have you know those islands would fit nicely with any landmass lucky enough!" Bull blustered out, angry that America would so readily deny and reject being with England, who was indeed a fine country in his own right.
America nearly bit his tongue. "What?"
"Anglo-American relations, Sunny Jim!" Uncle Sam exclaimed, plucking at his white beard and trying to get some kind of affirmation. "Can't say you don't support them!"
Both the USA and the UK stopped their practiced protests in flat-out surprise.
England shakily glanced over at America who returned to look with a shrug.
"Hold on… so what you're implying is…" England started warily.
"You'd support it?" America interjected.
Both elder personifications suddenly wore crazed expressions. Somehow they'd managed to verbally back themselves into a tight, little and uncomfortable corner.
America turned to England and raised a finger in point. "Maybe we should just tell them."
"Sshh you idiot!" England cried.
"Bloody hell!" John Bull's mouth fell open in shear disbelief. Two spots of colour quickly appeared on his cheeks though, and he promptly rounded on Uncle Sam.
"This is your fault, you bastard!"
Somewhere, somehow, just like England had said, America was sure Hell was freezing. He felt a bit better knowing that, wherever that was, Russia was probably catching the worst of it.
"Now just hold on a minute there, Bull! It had to be from YOUR side. You know what the rest of old Europe thinks about you and your grabby hands all over the southern hemisphere!"
England slapped a hand to his forehead in mortification as he remembered his distant relative's many exploits of indecent behaviour during the time when the green-eyed nation had been an empire.
John Bull sputtered at the accusations. "Just what are you trying to say, you fool!"
Uncle Sam antagonistically rose to his feet, pointing. "It's as obvious as apple pie! England has seduced America."
The rotund British man stood just as quickly. "He most certainly would not!"
Uncle Sam let out a hoot and slapped his knee. "A likely story! Tell him, America."
America slowly gained a sheepish look. "Well, you see…"
England turned scarlet and tried to add a disclaimer. "Everything he says is a lie!"
John Bull lost it and bellowed as he knocked Uncle Sam to the ground and the two rolled in a brawl only two cantankerous old bastards could create.
"Ah bollocks-!" England yelled when his platter of scones went flying.
"What the- Uncle Sam quit it!"
John Bull grabbed Sam's angular head to punch his old adversary and was surprised when a shaggy bundle of white came away in his hand.
"It's a toupée!" Bull roared waving the hairpiece around. "You wanker! I knew you'd gone bald, too!"
Sam blanched at his unceremonious outing. "Unhand that fine piece of American craftsmanship, Bull!"
"The Hell I will!"
A couple minutes later, America physically separated the two brawling personifications in a startling display that reminded England a lot of the first time he had seen the other nation swing a buffalo around – except this was a whole lot more photo album crippling and idiotic.
Everyone irritably relocated back inside the house before some annoying neighbour could come over to complain about the overbearing ruckus (Mexico), or before a passive-aggressive leafy note could be slipped under the side door and get trampled on unnoticed (Canada).
Everyone sat back in the TV room where the two old timers were visibly winded and John Bull was moping at his forehead with a kerchief.
At some point Uncle Sam reclaimed his hairpiece and had replaced it on his head, though it didn't look like it would sit right for the rest of the night. The group sat tensely in the sitting room.
"Right." Bull finally puffed out, looking more than a little harassed. "How long has this been going on then?"
"…Just making sure here, but, do you mean – how long since we got together, or how long we've been sleeping together?"
"God, strike me now. America!" England hissed, ducking his head at the horrified expression wringing out his stout relative's face.
"Geeze, what!" America threw his hands up in the air, clearly not as embarrassed as he should've been. "This is pretty much why we never told you." The bespectacled country's mouth downturned and he shot an antsy glimpse at England.
England's head was still ducked and he shook it slowly, a hand going up to press to his forehead. "So what will you say now?" The British nation seemed damned depressed and he shoulders stiffened to bear the brunt of what could only be a lecture on why Anglo-American relations weren't supposed to be supported in… quite that way.
"Hold on a minute there." Uncle Sam intoned seriously, and appeared to be deep in thought. His visage drew the attention of the other three men, and he stood up, basking in it.
"I'm jiggy with it. I'm up with the times~" Uncle Sam bent his knob knees in a parody of a dance move, and England sweatdropped repeatedly at the nagging feeling that maybe it hadn't been America who'd been listening to hip hop when they'd first arrived.
"Can't speak for my stick-in-the-mud counterpart here, but I for one, and one for all, am not going to stand in the way of liberal pursuits of happiness! America," Uncle Sam bent over and pointed a knobby finger at England. "I Want *Him*… to call me Uncle."
The two younger personifications sat stunned.
"Right then." John Bull harrumphed and frowned compellingly as he got up and went over to collect his things from the hall closet. "I suppose I'll be forced to see you two at our Christmas dinner this year – America, Sam?"
Uncle Sam's eyebrow ticked and he waved a hand loftily. "Of course you will, Bull! I give you my word, if you show me the bird."
John Bull grinned back mercilessly. "Oh yes Sam. A pheasant bird with all the trimmings. I wouldn't dream of anything less for a great… bald, eagle such as yourself."
Sam's hand flew to his ill-sitting toupée in outrage. "Oh that's it, you old bastard—"
From their place still on the couch, America glanced over at England, finding green eyes already looking back at him. The Land of the Free gave a soft grin amidst the chaos their retired relatives were creating.
England looked up from under thick eyebrows and gave a slight and rare smile back. "America?"
America snuck an arm around England's waist and leaned in to press his nose into the shaggy blond hair by the shorter man's ear. "Now that we're not keeping this under wraps, there's something I want to say." He murmured.
England started and couldn't help the rush of affection, his hand coming up to hold America's face. "And that is?"
"The same thing you said that started us on keeping this secret." America's grin became devilish and he squeezed his British boyfriend's middle fondly.
"I want you."
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