He speaks/El hablar
England+Spain (US/UK hints?), humor, some unfunny colonial business

The last time England and Spain really had anything in common was when America was still the New World; Spain was a conquistador and England was a pirate and England had gladly strangled the life out of Spain's fleet with the clever use of privateers (pirates) and there was a lot of unpleasantness all around. (England remembers this fondly; Spain, not so much.)

("-bastard, I know you're responsible for this," he snarled, black eye fading into his tanned skin, and England took Queen Elizabeth's hand and smiled demurely and said, "I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about."

The Queen smiled and fingered the gold ring Spain had found and England had taken from him. "Of course we have no connection to the men attacking your ships."

"Why you-")

Well, okay, there was that time when he and the rest of Europe read that ridiculous document a young, newly-minted United States of America had waved in their faces ("I'm claiming this half of the world for myself," he said imperiously, sweeping a hand over the map. "Keep out!") and he and Spain especially had laughed and laughed, arms flung around one another's shoulders, while Portugal chuckled and glared at Spain nearby, and some football ridiculousness that England tries to deny caring about (rugby is so much better, but he still gets worked up every four years during the World Cup), but otherwise, they just don't have much to talk about.

England stomps into the EU meeting fresh off a phone call from America, which is trying at the best of times, and the only seat available is next to Spain (Romano has, notably, squeezed himself in between Veneziano and Germany and is glaring alternately at the empty seat and his former mentor while enduring Veneziano's hug), so he flings himself into it and sits, stewing, while the nations chat before the meeting is called to order.

"Is something wrong, Inglaterra?" Spain asks, leaning back in his chair contentedly, and England slumps forward and rests his head in his arms.

"I taught him proper English, you know," he complains, not bothering to give this statement context. "I taught it to him and then he bastardized it. On purpose! His very first dictionary had purposely changed the spelling and the meaning of words and he did it just to infuriate me!"

England doesn't see Spain nod sagely. "América, si? I know just how you feel, Inglaterra. He speaks to me in Espanol and I hardly know my own language, so strange it is."

England sits up, his elbows still resting on the table, and twists to look at Spain. "He does it to you, too, huh? He told me he learned most of his Spanish from Mexico and other Central America nations."

"Of course he did," Spain sighs. "And this is all right. My language has changed a lot in their hands. But I only wish he'd try to speak Espanol in its original form to me, at least."

"Honestly," England commiserates. "He's so proud of knowing all these languages and their dialects, so why can't he speak the proper English 'dialect' with me!"

Spain grins. There is something very lazy about him in everything, so laid-back and easygoing. England blames his climate. "Because it makes you angry, of course."

"America doesn't think that far ahead," England grouses, and rests his chin on his forearms again. "He talks too fast."

"Ah, well, of course I would know nothing about nations who like to annoy their former mentors," Spain says.

"I heard that," Romano snarls from the other side of the table, and Spain grins.

"If only you could have remained that cute, small boy ..."

"You are sick, you know that!"

England ignores this exchange, imagining America speaking proper English as he should.

("Tally-ho, stiff upper lip and all that," America says, grinning. "Tut tut, that won't do at all. Make sure your baggage full of pants is in the boot. No need for a bobby. Tighten your trousers and ... what's the word for 'suspenders' again?")

"On second thought," he interrupts Spain's riposte with Romano, "He can keep his silly 'American'."

"At least you're on friendly terms," Spain suggests.

"No, we're not."

"Yes you are." Spain settles back in his chair, closing his eyes. "Wake me when the meeting starts."

... Yes, we are, England thinks, and puts his face in his palms.


a few notes:

Back when Elizabeth I was the queen, England had an agreement with privateers/pirates that they wouldn't attack pirate ships and the pirates would only loot Spanish/foreign ships. This was instrumental in crushing Spain's empire in the New World and bringing England to its naval superiority of the 1700's.

Relatively early in its nationhood the USA created The Monroe Doctrine, which said all of North and South America was off-limits to Europe. England, who still had Canada as a territory/colony/commonwealth at the time, probably laughed his ass off at it. And Spain and Portugal, who had changed the face of South America for all time, probably thought it was pretty funny too.

Webster's first American-English dictionary, published in 1820, purposely changed the spelling of English words to make them simpler. By virtue of being separated by an ocean, the meaning of some words had changed all on their own.

Anyone who has studied Spanish in class can tell you that class Spanish (Spain's Spanish) is not really at all like Spanish from Central and South America, and of course every country has their own dialect. On a related note, colonization is not funny, and the fact that the indigenous people of S&CA had Spanish and Portuguese forced on them is typical of the hurtful squashing of native languages involved in colonization.

Imaginary!America's 'proper English' is just throwing a whole bunch of English words I learned in 3rd grade into a paragraph. This, I think, would be current!America's idea of speaking 'proper' English.