America was not as oblivious as his teammates seemed to think. True, he was easily excited over small details, and, yes, he loved a good super hero comic book, but he wasn't an idiot. He noticed things.
He noticed that at the Allies' meetings, England always sat next to France, even though all they did was fight. He noticed that China always sat next to Russia even though all they did was...well, America wasn't totally sure, but he knew that it involved a panda costume.
France had mistaken China for a girl when they'd first met, though apparently the revelation that this wasn't true didn't deter his interest; China kept his distance after that. England was petrified of Russia.
Now, America, being the hero, had to sit at the head of the table during meetings, but, as far as he was concerned, everybody else should sit next to people they like. They'd probably be in better moods if that were the case. Maybe if people weren't so cranky all the time, they might realize how brilliant his tactics for defeating the Axis Powers were.
At every meeting, though, England would sit next to France and start a fight, and China would sit next to Russia and avoid eye contact. France would make fashion suggestions to England. Russia would smile at China. Everyone got upset, and nobody liked America's super amazing plans for stopping the Axis.
If this wasn't America's place to intervene, he didn't know what was.
"Hey, England," he said after one especially unproductive meeting.
"Mm? ...What?" England asked, raking a hand through his blond hair.
"At the next meeting, why don't you sit next to China?" America suggested, smiling. England's hand dropped from his hair and fell to his side, his expression hardening.
"Idiot! Why would you even suggest that?" he snapped. America blinked.
"Ha? It's a good idea! When you sit next to France, you fight, and you don't like sitting next to Russia. Why not China?"
"Why would I want to sit next to him? We have nothing to say to one another."
"Why not?" America frowned. "Those wars were a long time ago, and you're allies now, so-"
"America, drop it," England cut him off before stalking out of the meeting room.
Well, that hadn't gone according to plan at all. Over the next few days, America kept trying to get England to explain why he didn't want to sit next to China. He tried every tactic: It's not that big a deal! You're just sitting! It can't be any worse than France!
Nothing. England wouldn't say a word about it. America was starting to wonder if China had some sort of dirt on England. Maybe there was an embarrassing story. It probably involved England being drunk.
Now America really wanted to know what the deal was.
If England wasn't going to spill, then America would just have to get the story from China. They were allies, too, after all, and China was much more agreeable than England. America almost laughed at his own silliness - why ask grouchy old England about something when nice, panda-loving China could tell him?
"China, China!" America called, waving. China jogged over to him, ponytail bouncing behind his shoulders.
"Aiya! What is it, America, aru? What's wrong?" China panted.
"At our next Allies meeting, I think that you should sit next to England!" America said with a wide smile. China, still catching his breath, stared at him.
"Yeah!" America lit up. "See, England and France always fight, so I thought meetings would go a little better if they weren't sitting right next to one another, so maybe you could-"
"No," China cut him off.
America started at the sharp tone of his voice. "Why not?" he whined.
"I'm not sitting next to that opium bastard, aru," China said. "If he doesn't like sitting next to France, then he can sit next to Russia, aru."
"What's the big deal about sitting next to one another?" America asked, throwing up his hands. "The Opium Wars were a long time ago, and-"
"It wasn't that long ago," China mumbled, looking away. "Only a hundred years, aru."
America sighed and lowered his arms. "Sounds like a long time to me, but I guess you're a lot older than I am."
"Not even a hundred years ago," China said distantly, twirling his ponytail around his finger, "that opium bastard was disregarding my laws, getting me addicted to his drugs, and using me for his own ends, aru." America fidgeted. "He just came in and took what he wanted, aru," China continued. "He forced me to sign his treaties and reaped all the benefits."
"O-Oh," America said. He hated this; China was getting so emotional, and England sounded horrible, and this was not the kind of dirt America had been hoping to get. "W-Well...I guess that explains why England didn't want to sit next to you, either."
China's head snapped up, his golden eyes refocused and locked on America's. "What did you just say, aru?"
"What?" America squeaked. China's eyes were burning into his. "Well, I asked England if he'd sit next to you, and he said no way, so I thought-"
"What, that opium bastard doesn't want to sit next to me, aru?" China seethed. "He's got a problem with that? What, would he feel uncomfortable, aru?"
"Probabaly?" America guessed meekly.
"Oh, well, we can't have him feeling uncomfortable around me, now can we, aru?" China snapped, turning away. "That really just wouldn't be right, now would it, aru? Okay, America, you got it. I'll sit next to that opium bastard at our next meeting. You can count on it, aru!" With that, China stormed off.
America whimpered. "I think he should sit next to France!" he said.