Disclaimer: I own nothing. Rights go to the respected owners. Hetalia belongs to Hidekaz Himaruya.
A/N: Just a whole bunch of USUK Christmas fluff! I hope you enjoy :)
England bolted out of the conference room the second Germany announced the meeting was adjourned. He was exhausted from having to deal with the year coming to a close; his country was still flooded with problems. The Brit opened the door, hoping to seize a cab to the airport before anyone had a chance to catch up to him.
"Hey Artie! Hold up!"
Damn it… That voice… That voice could only belong to.
"Dude England why'd you bolt out of there like that? Trying to ignore me or something?" Alfred flashed his blinding smile.
The Briton resigned and sighed. This was exactly why he'd wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. America had recently invited him over to celebrate Thanksgiving, but he'd politely declined saying he was too busy trying to get his nation back on track. He'd felt guilty ever since he'd rejected the offer, considering he was extremely close to the American, yet he didn't want to deal with being scolded, or have to hear 101 reasons on why America's cooking was superior to his own.
"Ah… It's nothing Alfred. I just feel a headache coming on, is all."
At least that was partially true. England hadn't been feeling in tip top shape recently, America knew this, and he hoped the younger wouldn't question it. However, taking into account the two had been together for awhile now (America always felt he had to protect the smaller, more fragile man), the Brit knew that would be unlikely.
"Are you catching a cold?" America inquired. Without waiting for an answer he shrugged off his bomber jacket and wrapped it around the Briton. He then pulled England into an embrace and lifted a hand to his forehead, checking to see if it was unusually warm.
"Git…" England sighed. He knew now why he felt guilty ever time he rejected a kind offer from the blue-eyed man, and especially now, after just trying to flee the meeting without encountering him. Why did America have to do that? England knew the idiot loved him, and he loved him back, but that didn't mean he had to be on his case all the time.
"I think you're a little warm Iggy. Why don't you come back to my hotel room with me? Staying in Munich another night won't kill you."
England managed to flush and frown simultaneously. He wasn't sick enough to miss his flight back home, and besides, he knew what sharing a bedroom with the American would lead to.
"That's quite alright" the Briton assured as he removed the hand currently residing on his forehead, and instead placed it on his cheek. The American gently smiled down at the Brit, as he started to casually caress the man's cheek.
"Arthur… I haven't been with you for so long. I miss you and- I don't know how much longer I can hold out."
America frowned, as his free arm snaked around England's waist, pulling him in closer.
"I don't wanna let you go," he admitted, "I never wanna let you go."
England smiled a bit and then leaned up on his tippy toes to lightly kiss the man he loved so much. They stayed together; lips locked, and arms all around each other until a fierce wind blew, tearing them apart.
"Don't talk like that Alfred. You make it sound as if I'm on the verge of death; I am not that old."
The American beamed and giggled quietly. He quickly planted another kiss on the Briton's cheek before he answered.
"I know, I know," he smiled, "I just hate being away from you for so long! How about next world meeting we just ditch and make out in a closet?"
England blushed even brighter and scowled, but his lips betrayed him and he let loose a chuckle.
"Alfred as nice as that sounds, I don't think Ludwig would be very pleased," his bright green eyes bore into the younger, "And don't worry, we'll be together soon. You're still coming over to celebrate Christmas right?"
America's eyes sparkled as they grew double in size. The man started to squirm before he suddenly lifted England into the air, spun him around, and then ended the mini ordeal with a humongous hug.
"I almost forgot!" the American exclaimed as he held the Brit tightly, helping to steady him.
"Forget?" England pondered, "You've only been reminding me every day since the fourth of July. Don't you remember? 'England for my present this year I wanna spend Christmas with you! We can bake cookies, and sip hot cocoa by the firepla-'"
"No, no!" America cried, "Not Christmas, I could never forget that. I just almost forgot to give you your pre-countdown-to-Christmas gift!"
"My what?" England watched as his friend leaned down to rummage through his previously disregarded briefcase. After awhile of sifting through several papers, the American pulled out the treasure he had been looking for.
"Ah-hah!" he shouted as he placed the strange rectangular package in England's empty hands. The strange gift was thin, covered in shiny red and green wrapping paper, and had 24 individually labeled panels. England looked at it for a moment, curious emerald eyes trying to decipher the identity of the object. After realizing he would never guess what on earth the gift was, he looked to his partner for help.
"It's an advent calendar!" America proudly announced, "I made it myself, so you can count down the days until you get to see me for Christmas!" he smiled down at the Brit. However, the man still looked a bit confused so he continued to explain. He pointed to one of the small square windows labeled with a number.
"Each one has a number on it. You open the one that corresponds to that day. Like on the 4th you'll open the panel that says 4. Make sense?" the Brit nodded and he continued, "Usually in advent calendars, each day has like a religious quote, or sometimes a piece of chocolate; But! Being the awesome hero I am, I wanted to make yours unique. I was gonna do 24 different reasons why Christmas is awesome, but that became too hard. I had presents on that list like 8 times…. So instead, I did 24 reasons why I love you!"
England instantly blushed, as he looked up at the taller man. Was he being completely serious? How could there be that many reasons to love him… Even now, the Brit didn't understand why such a handsome man would give him the time of day.
"It was really hard narrowing it down to 24," America rubbed the back of his neck, "But I think it's good enough. I hope you'll like it."
"Th-Thank you Alfred… I'm sure I will."
America smiled and then wrapped his arms around the Brit one last time. His mouth hovered over his ear as if he was about to tell the older man a secret.
"I love you so much Arthur," he whispered and kissed the man's ear.
"I love you too Alf- HELL!"
The American pulled back, fearing he'd done something wrong. He worriedly looked at his partner only to realize that the Briton had gotten a glimpse of his watch.
"I'm going to miss my flight!" he cried as he frantically flailed his arms, calling a cab.
America giggled a bit, but then walked over the shorter man and calmly hailed a taxi. He opened the door to the backseat as England got in.
"I'll be counting the days till Christmas," he said, while leaning through the open window in the backseat.
"Me too love, me too."
England placed a quick kiss on the American's lips, and then quickly told him to get the hell out of the window because he had to go. With that, America stepped back and waved as the cab took his lover and the calendar away.
England awoke, as warm sunlight streamed in from his bedroom window. He glanced at the clock to see that it was only about a quarter past seven; even on his free days England would always get up early. The Briton let forth a yawn and then tore off the covers and retreated to the bathroom. He brushed his teeth, showered and then got himself dressed before heading downstairs for some well earned breakfast.
Arthur tapped his foot casually waiting for the water in his kettle to come to a boil. He was always cranky without his morning cup of tea. As he waited, the Briton went to the fridge and removed a jar of jam and some butter to have with a few scones. He walked over to the small breakfast table he kept in his kitchen, and deposited the items. As he leaned over to make some room for the scones, he noticed the calendar Alfred had given him. The shiny paper seemed to call to him as he picked it up and admired the gift for a second.
"Well I suppose I should open today…" he mused quietly.
England sat down, calendar in his lap and searched for the window labeled 1. He quickly found and opened it as two small scraps of paper fell out. Arthur put the calendar down on the table, and hunched over to pick up the notes that had fallen. He flattened the first one out and began to read.
Day one of my totally awesome calendar! Are you jumping up and down with excitement yet? Psh- I know you are don't deny it ;) Anyway babe, so I'll just remind you that each day in the calendar has a reason why I love you… I know it's not much but I hope it'll help ya last till Xmas. Ok so without further ado, I present to you reason 1! Hope ya like it Art.
Love, Alfred "
'Git' was England's initial reaction. Using such terrible grammar skills… But that was Alfred… The Brit quickly opened up the second note to read it.
"Reason 1: I love your accent
Oh come on don't gimme that look! Ask any American in the U.S. of A. and they'll tell you British accents are sexy. But we're not talking about any ol' accent, and we're not talking about any ol' American being turned on by it ;D I love the way you talk Iggy. It makes everything sound so much cooler, so much more important, and… well why deny it? A hell of a lot sexier. I don't care if you're insulting me, or having a conversation with me, or telling me your secrets; it's amazing all the same. I truly love your accent."
Of course the first thing England did was scowl and blush. Why was America so… so… himself? It was unbelievably cute that Alfred was being sentimental… but he had to do it through a calendar? The Brit sighed. If this was only day one, he looked forward to what the rest of the month had in store.
The next day Arthur, had forgotten to open the calendar window in his rush to get to work. Upon returning, he hastily threw his briefcase on the table and angrily wretched open the fridge for something to eat. Nothing, figures. He instead opted for some soothing chamomile tea, which would surely help him to calm down. Everything at work today had been 'Debt this' or 'Expenses that'. People had been yelling and screaming at Arthur from the moment he arrived to the moment he left. The Brit poured the warm water into his cup, and inserted a teabag. He sat down at his small table, and again became aware of the strange rectangle, covered in wrapping paper. He picked up the calendar and removed the note for day two.
"Reason 2: I love your eyebrows
Has anyone ever told you they love your eyebrows? Well I just did! Really Iggy I'm not gonna tell you that they're smaller than you think because honestly- they're enormous. BUT! That's just what I love about them! :3 They're so unique to you, and they do a great job of complimenting your eyes (which did I mention, are also beautiful?). The fact that your brows are bigger than your whole country put together just means that there's more to love. I love your eyebrows Iggy."
England couldn't help but smile, and he suddenly felt a whole lot calmer. He looked into his mug filled with tea and then did something that was not like him at all; he spilled it down the sink. Chamomile may be calming, but perhaps giving Alfred a call would be much more comforting.
Today had gone a bit better than yesterday. He'd had a meeting with both Spain and Greece discussing what to do about their near bankrupt economies. Both countries were rather laid back, so on one hand, not much got done, but on the other, England felt a lot more relaxed today. When he'd gotten home, the Brit immediately went for the calendar, not admitting he was eager to see what today would bring.
"Reason 3: I love your weird British slang
Alright dude, seriously. How many British terms for idiot are there? I've heard you call me a twit, a git, a wanker and a whole bunch more. Anyway you guys sure do have some interesting slang over there… (You're not drinking the pond water are you Iggy? D:) I love that your always so calm when you say 'I'm going to blow a fag' ….HEHEHEHE! Ok I'm sorry Artie but really? xD Well anyway I love your totally strange vocabulary, it always makes me giggle."
Arthur smiled, and giggled as well. America was an idiot, a twit, a git and a wanker, but the guy knew how to get England to laugh.
December 4th - 7th
And so the days went on; England opened a window each day only to smile and wish that the silly American was around. In a strange roundabout way- the calendar made it harder for him to wait until Christmas, as opposed to what Alfred had said earlier. He looked down at the 6 strips of paper he had now collected; each one with a loving note from the one closet to his heart.
December 4th had been 'I love the way you hold me tight', the 5th 'I love that you can always make me smile', the 6th 'I love the way you look at me', all of which had made Arthur smile and blush, but it was the note revealed on the 7th day that had caught England off guard.
"Reason 7: I love the way you raised me to be great
Ok I know that looking back in history is not your favorite thing to do, and I hope to god that this little sentimental note doesn't ruin your mood or anything, but I really feel the need to tell you this. England I want you to look back, look back and remember when you found me, when you took me in and under your wing. You cared for me better than anyone else could have. Arthur, you've taught me everything I know. I realize you hate looking back on the past, the war with me especially, but without that, and without you I could have never become the country, superpower and person I am today. For that I can never cease to thank you. England, I love you for raising me to be so great."
Tears had gathered in Arthur's eyes and threatened to spill over at any minute. He placed the calendar aside and went upstairs where he did not cry himself to sleep.
December 8th -14th
This week had gone by so fast for England he'd nearly forgotten to open the windows on his calendar. It was Sunday now, and he sat on his couch in the living room quietly catching up on some embroidery. He'd brought the advent calendar into the sitting room so he could display it nicely alongside many other gifts he'd received (most of which were from America). He put his needlework down for a moment and went over to where the calendar resided. This wasn't the first time he'd done this; stood there and reread the notes Alfred had written to him. Each day of the past week had brought a note that made him smile and miss his boyfriend, but on a happier note, each day brought Christmas that much closer.
He skimmed over the titles of the last seven days: 8th- 'I love that you take all my insults in stride', 9th- 'I love that your hand fits perfectly in mine', 10th- 'I love that you put my glasses on to try and look cute', 11th- 'I love that you're great to cuddle', 12th- 'I love that you're my better half', 13th- 'I love that you're always by my side', and 14th- 'I love that thinking of you instantly brightens my day'.
Arthur smiled at that last one. Thinking of Alfred seemed to do the exact same thing to him. He had no idea how he would begin to thank Alfred for everything he'd done. The Brit sat back down on the couch and again picked up his needlework. He smiled down at the stitched red white and blue letters that spelled out Alfred F. Jones. It wouldn't be his only thanks, but this was a start.
England returned home much less occupied this week than the last. He went to his fridge and poured out a glass of wine (not that French crap mind you, but a nice bottle America had suggested from the Napa Valley) for no apparent reason. He sat on the sofa and watched some comedy, simply to waste time. When he'd emptied his glass, the Brit went back to the kitchen and washed it out, before he dashed to his calendar. It's not as if he was impatient to see what Alfred had in store for today; no he was just a bit curious is all. When he picked up the package he realized that the window for the 15th was a bit bigger than the others. He quickly opened it to reveal the usual note, but also a photograph and a few chocolate coins. England quickly read the note hoping for an explanation.
"Reason 15: I love that you were a pirate
Argh matey! Well I suppose that's pretty self explanatory! How many other people have a boyfriend who was a pirate? It's really rather sexy Arthur~ As you can see I've included one of my favorite pictures from Francis's costume party. Do you remember what happened that night? All hands on deck I might say ;) Also I've included some pirate booty in there for you- In exchange maybe I'll receive some pirate booty? B) Love ya Captain Kirkland."
Arthur could not be any redder. He was beyond embarrassment, this was ridiculous. Alfred with his innuendos… But they could be rather clever he'd admit. Arthur then stole a glance at the picture only to gape. He remembered going to the party but he didn't remember leaving like that. He would definitely have a talk with Alfred when he came to visit.
December 16th- 18th
After searching for about half an hour, England finally found a small heart shaped box that Alfred had given him last Valentine's Day. He'd painted it himself and the lid of the container had a unicorn along with the words "Alfred + Arthur" sprawled across the top of it. England had finally decided that it was time to find a place to put all these little declarations of love. He smiled at each one as they resided in the box. Maybe it was just him, but each little letter made him love the American just a bit more. Perhaps it was also the fact that the last three letters to come out of the calendar were rather romantic…
December 16th- I love that I have to lean down to kiss you, December 17th- I love that in bed, you're warmer than any blanket, and England's personal favorite December 18th- I love that smile you give me when I finish kissing you.
America had always told him that he had a beautiful smile, and that he didn't see it enough. Of course lately with all the economic problems, England had been smiling less and less. He frowned at the thought, and then realized the irony of the situation. He placed the heart shaped box on his coffee table, and secretly promised himself to give Alfred the biggest smile he had ever seen when he saw him Christmas morning.
Ah the work week had finally come to a close. England was overjoyed. That was the last full week of work before Christmas, and though it hadn't been terribly busy, he was glad it was over. He'd have to work for two more days after this weekend but it wouldn't be all that bad. Christmas was in a week; that little glimmer of hope kept him going.
After he'd prepared himself dinner (which was delicious!) he moved into the sitting room to inspect his calendar. He opened window 19 and unfolded the note that lay inside.
"Reason 19: I love that you still hold my hand during scary movies
Pft- I know you know that I don't beg you to hold my hand because I'm scared or anything! Nothing scares me and you know that! Ok that one time I wet the bed during the thunderstorm doesn't count…. (Thanks for cleaning that up btw….) But! Back to the main topic! I really love it when you sit there and hold my hand through all the stupid movies I make you watch. You always squeeze my palm during the worst parts when I need reassurance, and no matter how many times you warned me before hand, you'll always let me sleep in your bed that night. I love that you do those things for me."
England chuckled at the part about America wetting the bed. Granted he was a grown man, and it was rather disgusting, England would never let that go. He put the note away, and found that he could not stop himself from giggling the rest of the evening.
December 20th – 22nd
Arthur would have loved to relax the weekend before the holidays, but he knew that would not be the case. Alfred would be here in a couple of days and he knew that if he didn't dolly his place up with Christmas decorations, America would throw a fit. The Brit dug through his closet and eventually pulled out a tub full of décor. He hung up stockings, lights, mistletoe, and because he was trying to be eco friendly this year, he'd chosen a reusable but fake tree. The Briton rummaged through the decorations and eventually found a box full of ornaments which he placed on the tree. Alfred better like what he'd done with place, it'd taken him almost the entire weekend to set everything up.
Needless to say, after finishing up with the decorations, England headed to his bedroom closet to fetch the numerous gifts he'd bought and made for the American. He arranged them under the tree, each one nicely wrapped with bows and all. He smiled to himself thinking he did quite a job there.
"I'll have to make a batch of cookies too," England advised himself and then grinned remembering one of the more recent notes that he'd found in his calendar. December 20th had been 'I love your cooking'. Maybe he was lying, but he doubted the American would do that; after all the other two notes had been 'I love that you never give up on me' and 'I love that you're my best friend'. England would have been heartbroken to find that any of these statements were lies.
He made the last few adjustments on the tree, and then retreated back upstairs. He got under the covers and closed his eyes, his last few thoughts before sleep overtook him, being happy ones.
"America would never lie to me… America loves me."
Finally the last day of work before the holiday was done. England plopped himself down on the couch to watch some silly animated Christmas programs for kids. Though it was for children, the show had always made him smile, and so it became tradition to watch it every year. When the program was over, he made himself some soup in the kitchen and savored it slowly, enjoying the warmth. It had gotten plenty cold this December, and though it was yet to snow, England was really rather chilly.
When he finished, England again made his way to the living room. By now opening the calendar had become habit and he popped open window 23.
"Reason 23: I love your intelligence
Well there's not much to say here- No I'm just kidding! X) England I've always admired your intellect, and ever since I was little, I thought you were incredibly smart. And guess what! Little me was right! I mean you were smart enough to fall in love with me~ But in all seriousness, you are the smartest person I know. I'll always look to you when I need help (which will be never cuz I'm awesome!) You're so much more than looks Arthur, and I love that."
"I'm glad the idiot finally realizes my superior brainpower," England hummed to himself and he put the note away, "Only two more days Arthur. You can last two more days."
It was Christmas Eve. The night when Santa Claus would make his yearly trip around the world delivering presents to all the good girls and boys. England opened up the oven and removed a tray of gingerbread men. They hadn't burned; they were simply a bit crispier than usual. He placed the tray on top of the oven to cool and exited the kitchen to the rest of his flat. Arthur had spent all of the day cleaning, wanting everything to be perfect for when Alfred arrived tomorrow morning. He'd cleaned the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. He was going to clean the guest room but soon realized that Alfred was not going to be sleeping in there. Quickly Arthur opted for cleaning up his own bedroom instead.
After leaving the kitchen, he had slowly been drawn toward the living room, where Alfred's calendar waited; all windows opened except one.
"I think I'll actually kind of miss you," Arthur said as he picked up the box Alfred had given him a month before, "Look at me I'm talking to a calendar."
England smiled and shook his head at the thought; man he was getting lonely. The emerald-eyed man simply could not wait another day to see his beloved, thank goodness Christmas was tomorrow. Slowly England's fingers lifted up the last panel and he caught the last note that would fall out of it. He sat down on his couch and unwrapped the last of Alfred's good intentions.
"Reason 24: I love that I'm your hero
I know you'll never admit to being weak, and believe me I know you're not, but regardless I'm compelled to protect you. I never want anything to hurt you, and I always want you to be happy. I'd do anything to fit these criteria from simply making you smile to taking a bullet for you. I love you Arthur, so very, very much and I'm so glad you permit me to be there for you. I'm so honored that I have the privilege of being your hero.
So my calendar's all done, huh? Well I hope you don't get to sad Iggy. Just because there's no more windows to open doesn't mean I'm out of reasons for loving you. There's so many more, so many I can't write on paper or even express to you through words. Its weird hearing me be all mushy isn't it? Anyway, I love you Arthur and nothing can ever stop me from loving you. I can't wait to see you tomorrow!
England wiped a tear from his eye as he put the calendar down. He absolutely could not wait for tomorrow to come, he wanted Alfred to be with him now.
That was it! The magical sound! Alfred was finally here.
Arthur ran downstairs faster than lightning. It was weird he thought, how before he'd received the calendar he had tried to flee without seeing the American, and now he just couldn't wait to greet him. Arthur had dressed up nicely: white dress shirt with a pale green sweater vest and a red tie (he hoped America appreciated his festiveness).
When England reached the doorway, he simply stood and stared. America was already inside; he was in the midst of taking of his coat and scarf.
"I have a spare key, remember? Now are you gonna just stand there or do I get a kiss?" America puckered his lips playfully.
Arthur didn't need to be told twice. He rushed over to the American only to be caught in his arms. He dug his head into his chest and wrapped his arms tightly around the man's waist; he didn't want to let go, he never wanted to let go.
America squeezed him tight and ruffled his hair, "Someone's glad to see me," he smiled.
England looked up, and without another word caught the American's lips. His hands traveled from where they had resided on his waist up into his beautiful golden hair. In return the American tilted his head deepening the kiss, and pulled the Brit even tighter against him. They stayed like that for a long pleasure filled moment until England pulled away to breath.
"Wow… and were not even under the mistletoe yet," America prompted as he soothingly rubbed circles on the Brit's back.
"Al- Alfred… about the calendar… I just don't know how to thank you. It was just so sweet, and generous, and honestly I have no idea how to thank you."
"How about another kiss?"
England obliged and again their lips locked together. America managed to push the smaller man up against a wall to get a bit more balance as they kissed passionately. Again however, a certain Brit pulled away in need of oxygen.
"Really Alfred. I just don't know what to say or do. That just meant a lot to me. I love you so much…"
The American smiled like he knew something England did not. He kissed the Briton's cheek tenderly, and then looked him straight in the eyes.
"You don't have to say or do anything for me in return. I did it because I love you, I thought you would have figured that out by now," he paused allowing the older man some time to blush, and then took his hands in his own, "There are so many reasons why I love you Arthur, but do you know what the most important one is?"
The Brit shook his head as he looked deep into sapphire eyes. America squeezed his hands once more before he responded.
"I love you for loving me."
I hope you liked it! Happy holidays everyone. Reviews are always appreciated :)