Let it be known that I had about six cups of tea before writing this.

Tea apparently has a lot of caffeine in it.

Go figure.

Also, cliche title is cliche :P

Earl Grey

America glared at the offending cup in front of him. Well, to be fair, it wasn't the cup that was offending him, but the muggy brown liquid inside it. Also, the peppy girl on the other side of the counter was sorta pissing him off.

"That will be $2.25!" she chirped in a way that could only be described as sparkly.

Before he could correct the airhead of an employee, a female voice rang in.

"Oh! That one's mine!" A young teenage girl quickly paid the employee, cupped the drink in her hands and sighed.

"Mmm, Earl Grey."

America glared at the back of this girl's head as she was leaving. Who comes to Starbucks for tea?

"I'm sorry sir, what was your order again?" Her ponytail swished with every syllable.

America hoped she'd suffer from severe whiplash.

"Caramel mocha latte. Extra foam." His head throbbed. They served that here..right?

The store began to blur as his migraine worsened. He had stayed up all night working on some dumb presentation on...something stupid and useless, he was sure. He was also sure he needed coffee. Stat.

"-ze, sir?"

He glanced back up in the general direction of the girl, but was too lazy and pissed off to meet her eyes.

"What?" He snapped, thoroughly aware he was being rude. Equally aware that he didn't give a damn.

Her idiotic smile didn't falter as she repeated herself. "What size sir?"


She cocked her head to the side and smiled wider. "Did you mean Venti?"

He didn't have the patience for this. "No. I'm pretty sure I meant Large."

The employee nodded, then turned to a gawky teenage boy in charge of the coffee to relay the order. It was one agonizingly long minute later that America was able to get his drink and be on his way. Finally, the girl's smile fell.

"That's it Tom, that's the last time I'm covering for you. Last. Time."

The boy, Tom, took his place at the register. "Hey, it's not my fault you gave him the wrong drink. And there is no way in hell I'm talking to him again. Not after that morning when he came in and lectured me on why 'America runs on Dunkin', and how coffee is the lifeblood of America, or something ridiculous like that."

"Oh, come on. It wasn't that bad." she said, following up with an order for an espresso.

Tom got the espresso cup ready. "He made me pledge allegiance. To his drink."

England gazed lovingly at his happy cup of tea. It was the tea that was making him happy. Not the cup. That would be just ridiculous.

He raised the cup to his lips and drank, fully enjoying the rush of warmth in his body, the just-bitter-enough taste, and the general feeling of awakeness that helped clear his head. He sat back in his chair and smiled. As long as there was tea in the world, things couldn't be that bad, right? The soft sounds of nature answered him. England took in a deep breath. The smell of tea mixed in with the lingering smell of rain fluttered throughout the air. It was an absolutely perfect morning.

'Alas, all good things must come to an end', England thought with just a trace of bitterness.

He took one last swig of his tea to finish it off, brushed off the creases in his shirt (there were none), and got up to get ready for the meeting that day. He cheerfully walked out of the garden where he had just had tea, to the entrance of the building in which there was to be a World Summit that evening. Not that he was worried, he already had his powerpoint made and double-checked for any errors, flashcards with clear and concise notes, with highlights on the points that he wanted to stress, and he had already practiced his speech in front of his mirror.

So to sum it up, perfect presentation, perfect content and overall, a perfect day.

He took a left turn to the hallway that lead to the kitchen. He had hired the finest British cooks to prepare the buffet for the lunch break. He swung open the doors to the kitchen he was met face to face with a plump middle-aged woman.

"Oh. Hullo there Anna."

The woman smiled in a very motherly way. "Mornin' luv! We'll be preparing the food in an hour or so, so don't take too long in there!"

England smiled back. Of all his cooks, Anna was his favorite. She treated all of her co-workers as her children, and England as well. And although she seemed like a harmless, short little lady, although she could turn into the most terrible beast if you were foolish enough to cross her.

"I was only going to make myself another cup." England replied pleasantly, lifted up his empty tea cup.

Anna nodded. "And while you're at it dear, would you mind taking care of a small nuisance?"

England peered into the kitchen, then sighed. "Of course Anna, I'll take care of him."

"There's a good boy!" She patted his shoulder, then was on her way.

England made his way to the table in the middle of the kitchen, and calmly sat himself across from the "small nuisance". It smiled at him.


"Can I help you somehow France?" He kept his smile on his face, refusing to let go of this positive attitude that had struck him.

The other nation pretended to ponder this question.

"Mmmmm, let me think...non." If he was waiting for an typical annoyed response, he wasn't about to get it.

"Well then, I'm glad to see that you are doing well." England smirked into his empty tea cup, pretending to drink it to hide his smile. Even France wasn't affecting him today. This was evidently displeasing to the other nation as he could see his smile faltering.

"Are you ready to make your presentation today?"

England got up to get the kettle ready for another cup. "Completely." he replied, with yet another smile. Stressing him out about his presentation was not going to work, and frankly, England expected a little more from his rival.

He could feel France's eyes drilling into his back, trying to work out another angle on him.

"I entered this room very starving, to look for some breakfast, but all I could find were these stale loaves of bread on the counter." England heard him sigh, dramatically and lean back in his chair. "What a shame to the culinary arts, your food is."

"Nonsense," England replied pouring himself another cup of earl grey, "that bread was just baked this morning." The bad food angle? England snorted inwardly. How original. He pulled the teabag out of his drink and tossed it in the trash bin.

France sat back up, rested his elbows on the table and observed England suspiciously. "I heard America was running late again. He didn't even finish his presentation."

England sat back down in his seat. "America late to a meeting? That is certainly a rare occurrence." He smiled back at France in way that clearly showed that his previous statement was one dripping with sarcasm. He set his tea down to cool off. "America's boss called me earlier today. He assured me that they were very well prepared."

There was a long silence between the two.

"Bushy eyebrows?"

"Nice try."

France sat back in his chair and laughed. "What has got you in such a great mood now?"

England simply shrugged and put his lips to the edge of his tea cup before concluding that it was still too hot for consumption. This was followed by another silence.

Suddenly, France stood up and left the room muttering some excuse in French, clearly bored by England's lack of reaction.

This day was going better than planned.

Perhaps he would enjoy some biscuits with his-BANG.

England nearly fell out of his seat as the young, energetic nation stormed into the kitchen, with unbelievable energy.

"America! Bloody hell, you scared the livin-" But America wasn't listening. He had slammed his hands down on the table and stared straight into England's eyes, with such an intensity, it was making him nervous.

"England, do you know what's astounding?" He asked with as much seriousness as he could muster.

"Your ego."

America's eyes narrowed. His voice dropped an octave.

"No. Coffee."

England rolled his eyes and stood up to go find those biscuits.

"Who told you where I was anyway?"

"Molly did!" America replied with an unnecessary amount of exuberance.

England raised his eyebrow. "Molly? Who the bloody hell is-"

"You know! That pudgy cook lady! She reminds me of Molly Weasely! Ya know, Harry Potter? She told me exactly where you were! I like her. Much better than your old cook. That last one was a bitch. She put marmite on everything." America paused for a moment, recalling the taste. He then attempted to take another swig of his coffee, only to find that it was already empty.

"America, how much of those have you had already?"

America narrowed his eyes at the empty cup, as if it had just said something particularly rude to him.


"Three! Of those huge cups! That isn't health-"

"And I feel GREAT! I didn't sleep all night, cause I was working on that thing...god...what was that stupid thing again...?" America snapped his fingers wildly, as if it would help him remember.

"Nuclear Policies?" England offered.

America's head snapped up. "Yea! That was it! Anyway, so I went to get coffee, and it helped! So I did it again! A lot! It's like an IV shot of pure AWESOME. I feel like I can take on anything anyone throws my way!" He then stopped and turned to England, the intense look returned.

"Just try me." He raised his fists. "Come at me bro."

"No thank you." England politely declined, opening a box of biscuits. He mustn't let anything bring down his mood, including America.

"I can see why their slogan is 'America runs on Dunkin'. I really do!"

"America, that cup is from Starbucks."

But America was once again ignoring him, and was focused on aiming his empty cup into the wastebasket.

He missed.

Ignoring his failure he whipped around and instead focused his attention on the kitchen.

"You got any coffee 'round here?"

"I hardly think that you need any mo-"

But America had already swiped the cup of tea resting on the table. Before England could say anything, America had taken a huge gulp of his precious tea. England stood and watched in silence, as America's face went from contentment, to confusion, to disgust.

"What was that!"

"That," England started, slightly annoyed at this point, "was my tea."

America put down the cup as if it was a motion-sensitive bomb.

"Earl grey?" He asked slowly.


America stared the cup down for a few more seconds, before turning away to go shift through the cabinets. England in the meantime had sat back down to examine what was left of his tea. Thankfully, America had only downed one-third of it. England smiled back down at it, his previous feeling of happiness almost completely restored. He lifted it up to his lips, just about to take a sip, when he noticed something strange. There was a soft, moist crescent where England was about to drink from.

America's lips had been there.

For the first time that day, England's heart dropped down to his stomach. He scoffed to himself. This problem could easily be solved. He could just drink from the other side of the cup, no matter.

But was he really going to be that childish?

It's not as if America had cooties, or something ridiculous of that nature. He glanced at the other nation for a moment, who was currently shuffling through the top cabinets, a biscuit firmly planted in his mouth. There was no reason he should feel nervous about sharing a cup of tea with him. It's not as if he was kissing him for god's sake. America felt his gaze, and turned his head.

"Izzit in here?" He asked through the biscuit. England quickly shook his head and blushed, embarrassed for being caught staring. He took up the cup of tea again and held it closer, but stopped again when he saw the small mark that was left there. He suddenly remembered the last time he went out drinking with Japan after the last meeting. He had accidentally taken a sip of Japan's drink, and Japan had had a small panic attack, refusing to drink anymore due to the reason that he had to avoid an "indirect kiss" and he "didn't think of England in that way". He remembered laughing it off as a strange cultural difference and buying Japan another drink in apology. Now it didn't seem so strange at all.

England was suddenly brought out of his thoughts, not by a noise, but from the lack thereof.

He looked around for America, only to find him sitting on the precariously at the edge of the counter, staring at him, empty box of buiscuits in his hand.

"Dude, what's up?"

"Nothing." England replied quickly, putting down his tea in an effort to draw his attention away from it, an effort, which ended up doing completely the opposite of what it intended.

"What wrong with your tea?" America pressed. "I mean, aside from the obvious."


America narrowed his eyes at him suspiciously.

"It's cause I drank from it, huh?" England blanched. He was being strangely perceptive today. Perhaps the caffeine had jump-started his brain.

He glanced at America, who was sitting so still at this point, England was afraid that he would explode. But the effects of the caffeine seemed to have disappeared completely. Instead, he looked dangerously calm, head cocked to the side, eyes sparkling with something England couldn't place. He looked away.

"I-I'm just worried about my presentation today, that's all." England got up, stumbled over the chair leg before catching himself, and then made his way to the sink to get some water. He was suddenly extremely thirsty.

"Then why don't you finish it? You always drink tea to calm yourself."

"I let it get too cold." England praised himself for his quick-thinking.

Upon turning around, he found that America had somehow managed to get off of his perch and soundlessly appear next England.

"It's actually very hot. I know. I just had some." A small mischievous smile tugged at his lips.


"What is it that you're afraid of?" America stared at him harder than before, his eyes an intense blue. England backed up, the counter digging into the small of his back.

"N-n-nothing!" England protested, his heart now walloping in his chest. He could feel all of his blood rushing to his face, making him dizzy, as America leaned closer. He found his eyes lingering on America's lips and found himself an idiot for worrying about the cup five seconds ago, when the real thing was suddenly so breathtakingly close.

What in god's name was he intending to do? The way that America was leaning in, it looked as if he was trying to...well...it's just...it seemed as if... England's blush darkened a shade.

What if he just gave in? England's thoughts wandered into dangerous territory, but he couldn't stop them. What if he just let go, and closed the short distance between them? It would be so easy now, just to cover America's lips with his own. Just a little bit closer until-

"You're so tense England!" America suddenly took a step back and laughed, oblivious to the reaction of the nation next to him. England let go of a breath he had not realized he had been holding in, and he grabbed onto the counter for support as his knees almost gave out.

"You-you," England sputtered as he attempted to recompose himself. "-you bloody useless prat! What the bloody hell do you think you are playing at! You have no idea- you haven't the foggiest clue, have you now!"

"About what?" America asked, innocently.

This caused England to sputter some more, his face turning redder by the second.

"A-about nothing. About absolutely bloody nothing!" England quickly looked around for something heavy he could throw. The best he could come up with was an oven mitt. "Just get out you twat!"

America dodged the mitt (which didn't require much skill, England's aim was about 45 degrees off its target) and turned around.

"Yea, yea, alright already England. Don't get your British knickers in a twist."

England slowly let go of the counter, his heartbeat gradually going down to normal. He now needed his tea more than ever.

"Oh," America turned on his heel, apparently remembering something, "-and before I forget." England had barely any time to think before America grabbed his chin, and firmly planted his lips on England's own.

England's mouth parted slightly to make the soft sound of a surprised 'oh' and, taking advantage of that moment, America's tounge entered his mouth, deepening the kiss, bringing in the warm taste of caramel and mocha coffee and something else that England couldn't quite place.

Earl Grey.

England's eyes widened as the mysterious flavor dawned on him. He would have laughed out loud if he weren't in this situation. He slowly took his hands off the counter and began to run them through America's hair, softly holding the kiss in place.

Gently America pulled back, idiotic smile still plastered on his face. His eyes, which were so intense before, now seemed to suggest something more...intimate. Like they held a secret of some kind that no one else knew. No one else, except for England.

"Gotta go get ready for the meeting, m'kay?" His voice softer than usual. He quickly kissed the tip of England's nose and left the kitchen, with an extra bounce in his step.

England stood there for a while, dumbstruck, before returning to sit back down at the table, with his now, cold, cup of tea, and put his face in his hands.

But even his hands couldn't conceal the big smile that had grown on his face, or the blush rising to his cheeks as he recollected himself.

Suddenly the door creaked open. England quickly stood up out of his chair, bashing the side of the table, causing his cold tea to slosh out of the cup.

Anna's head poked in, looking both annoyed and amused at the same time.

"We would like to use the kitchen now," she said, and then added with a sly smile, "if you and your pretty-boy are quite finished with it."

"Unless if you want to give us another show!" said another voice from behind her, followed by giggles and catcalls from the rest of the cooks.

"Indeed Angleterre. Encore."

Oh, hell.


-I don't know anything about coffee. Do carmel mocha lattes even exist?

-What is a latte?

-Love Starbucks. Hate the drink sizes.

-I honestly had no idea where I was going with this fic when I started out, but I really needed to get rid of a major writer's block so I just went with it. "orz

-I can't write France. Just can't do it. For god's sake I take French and I can't write his character. (I'msosorryFrance, Idoyounojustice)

-There is a giant ice stalagmite in my bathtub.

-This is my first Hetalia fic, so I'm still getting comfortable with writing the characters, so if anyone seems OOC, that's why. (sorry)

-Cups of tea I had while writing this: 8. At least.

-Is anyone else getting a lot of snow? I haven't had a full week of school in AGES due to this ridiculous snow. I've never had to shovel my roof before. (and yes, that is why I have ice in my tub, fyi)