The Atonement of A Hero





"I don't want to do this."

"An accord is an accord, England-san. I am afraid that there is no turning back now."

"There must be another way."

"I am sorry, but we've discussed it with the UN ambassadors and your superiors. The papers have been signed, and today is the day it comes into effect… Don't look so glum, England-san. You are doing what is best for your people. You have shown great honor." Kiku's voice sounded kind, but not even that could possibly begin to remove the eternal frown etched into his features; the dullness of those green eyes or the pasty color of his cheeks. Arthur looked sickly at the least, and most of the allies were beginning to wonder if the new union would even work as quickly as it was needed in order to save Great Britain. That hope was wearing thin. Along with a more personal hope inside of Arthur.

Green eyes looked into the mirror before them, absently taking in his current appearance and scantly lack of clothes. The others were waiting outside, he knew. Hungary would step in and attempt to give some colour to his pale cheeks, Belgium would try to adjust that bloody thing on his head, manage to get his hair to look proper with that hideous object. But right now, he had only requested Japan's presence, simply because he needed a friend to talk to. The decisions that led him there were taken too rashly, too harshly, and now he felt as if he would fall apart at any given moment. This wasn't what he wanted; this wasn't what his people wanted, or his King. This degrading situation was the work of his Prime Minister, of Parliament itself even. His country so very close to the brink of a civil war.

The toll it took was overbearing. He would go as far as to call it depression, how for months he sulked without a point, refused to indulge in his scones and could only barely stand the scent of his own tea. This wasn't what he wanted, wasn't what he needed. Great Britain would do better on its own once it emerged from its Depression; once Arthur recovered from his heartbreak. But he wasn't even given a chance. As it always was, his human emotions were not taken into consideration, and there he was.

Standing on a small stool before a three-way body-length mirror, wearing nothing but lacy underwear, lacy stocking and a white bustier. Degrading, humiliating, insulting and repulsive. His fragile frame looked frailer still, the bodice accenting feminine curves exposed to the air-conditioning. Eyes red, lashes damp, form quivering. He had cried. Arthur Kirkland, the once fearsome Empire that stroke the most ferocious of fears into his enemies hearts, was turned into a quivering mass of loneliness, one he could ignore no longer. Kiku had awkwardly wiped away his tears and gave him false words of comfort, along with a friendly pat on the shoulder. 'It will be all right…' Of course it wouldn't be. He was withering, and God he welcomed it, any other fate would be better than the one he was about to face. Even death, he'd welcome it with open arms. After long years of suffering, England had expected some sort of compensation, a break from it all, a ray of sunshine… But it had all been pulled from beneath his feet.

"Bring in the others." Even that luscious accent that could have wooed the world to his feet was but a mere whisper. Too much, too much… too much… Those two words echoed incessantly within the recesses of his battered mind. The first time it had devastated him; this time, it had broken him beyond repair. Only to be thrusted into the hands of a debauched fiend. His land was as good as gone, and all he could do was stand there and get wrapped up like some doll ready to be delivered to the undertaker.

The small Japanese man nodded and made his way towards the large pale doors, opening one a slight bit and murmuring something to someone on the other side. Moments later, some of the female countries walked in, all carrying boxes in their hands, brilliant smiles on their faces. As if it were all just an elaborate game of dress up.

A few giggles rose from here and there, one of them clearly from Elizaveta who looked the Briton over, raising an impressed eyebrow. "You sport it better than most women. I envy you." Arthur gave her a twisted smile as he continued to gaze at the mirror, finding it hard to swallow over the lump in his throat.

"Are all the guests here?"

"I suppose? Ludwig's in charge of the guests—"

"And the food, and the gifts, and the foreign relations committee, and the music and the transportation—"

"All right, Seychelles, we get it." Hungary interrupted in the most kindly fashion, but that didn't stop the small island country from pouting though. "There's a good crowd present already. Some of your nobles have already arrived."

"And William?" Brown curls bounced as she shook her head, giving him an apologetic smile. Arthur's frown didn't deepen however; he was expecting it. Obviously his King would not sit and witness beforehand the biggest disgrace about to be executed in the name of England. What a way to start a reign; the devastation to his reputation would be too catastrophic to recover from. "Let's just get this rubbish over with."

Always, always alone. The lonely nation even when his brother's were a constant presence. His king hadn't even put that much a fight, he knew he had wanted too, but it was too much. Politics swerved out of control, war buried a debt deeper than the aftershock of the Second World War; his allies had abandoned him. Abandoned him for being a lapdog, a pushover to one of the earth's Superpowers. And even after he was left behind, that one last ally had left his side too.

Poor England. Poor little lonely England.

"Of course." Hungary crossed the room and exchanged a few words with Ukraine, who got busy quickly and began searching through the white boxes that had just been brought in. Unraveling the largest of them, a smooth ivory velvet box with a burgundy bow resting at the top, she brought out the masterpiece for the evening, directly imported from Austria with the finest of fabrics. Between both her and Hungary, they brought it up to the distressed Briton with a smile on their faces, thrilled at the idea of dressing up a bride. "So? What do you think?"

Arthur scrutinized the repulsive thing, feeling his stomach flop horribly. As if the day couldn't get any worse. "Why do I have to be the one wearing the dress? He looks more like a woman than I do."

"It's part of the deal, honey. Fine print."

"Fuck my life."

"You poor thing… You shouldn't be forced into this."

"That's what I've been saying since the beginning." He replied, nearly snapped, instantly. Slumping his shoulders, he jumped off the small stool, making his way to a wooden bench inside of the room. Catching the blunt desperation in her ally of old, Elizaveta discreetly gestured for some privacy, which the girls were kind enough to provide without a fuss as they exited the ridiculously large room.

"Why not tell good old Eli what's bothering you?" The brunette chirped with her most dazzling smile, taking a seat beside him.

"I hate the fact that I'm about to marry the one nation I've hated with a burning passion since the very beginning of my existence." He didn't even miss a beat.

Her green eyes widened at that, her mouth stuck in the shape of an 'O' as she nodded slowly. It didn't take a rocket scientist to notice that both nations getting hitched today hated each other. It annoyed her to the tenth degree. "When I first married Roderich, I didn't like him very much either. But I did it for the sake of my people. Once time began to pass, I came to accept that, and even learned to lov—"

"Don't. Just don't. I absolutely despise that man and there's nothing on Heaven and Earth that could change that."

"And yet your hate towards him isn't what has you so sad."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Let's call it a woman's intuition." She moved closer to him, setting her arm across his shoulders in attempt to comfort him. "In fact, not even that. It's so damn obvious, Arthur."

Prominent eyebrows furrowed further, either he was confused or irritated, or both. Which one, she couldn't quite pinpoint. "What are you saying?"

"You love him."

Green eyes clashed with darker green ones. Two strong tempers clashing with the strength of a typhoon, both refusing to subside. But Arthur knew she was right, and he knew she wasn't referring to that frog. He slumped down further with a long and painful sigh. "There's nothing I could do about it now."

"Well, maybe there isn't." Jumping back on her feet, she took up the dress and strutted over to the mirror again; her short dress framing her gorgeous legs as she made her way. She would look absolutely stunning in Arthur's current ensemble, he noted mentally. He, in turn, just looked pathetic. "How is it that you say…? 'Keep calm and carry on.' 'Stiff upper lip.' Have some dignity, handsome. Now come on, won't want to be late for your own wedding, now do you?"

Defeat. Sheer and utter defeat. Perhaps she was right. Damn bloody right. Maybe there was no other choice than to do just that. Lay back and think England, ironically enough. Without uttering a word, fearing his voice would crack, Arthur rose most ungracefully and dragged his feet across the floor. He looked more like a zombie marching to a monstrous pyre of epic proportions instead of a bride about to be pampered. He much rather be the zombie.

Outside of the large dressing room, separated by the large elegant doors, the smell of pasta wafted through the air, spicy, warm and mouthwatering. Feliciano sat in a small corner of the crowded room, enjoying his meal and watching Germany pace back and forth, an unusual pair of glasses perched on his nose, a clipboard held stiffly in his hand. He watched him bark orders at the other nations that ran back of forth as well like headless hens, all of them holding something peculiar in their hands. The Italian brother wanted to help, but he had been yelled at, in unison, that he would be better off doing them the favor of hanging in the sidelines. All they had to do was promise him pasta and a siesta, and they'd won the battle before it even began.

Ludwig yelled at Antonio who had crossed the room in nothing but a dress shirt, boxers, and black socks being held up by garters of the same color, and even then they still seemed to be slipping down his calves. All guests, participating or not, had to be dressed and ready at least one hour ago. Most of them weren't. Because most of them did not care for the occasion. It was all just an excuse to dine the best of meals, and drink the best of wines; not to mention to bail on a world meeting. Anything in order to skip a hellish eight hours just sitting on a not so comfortable chair, listening to stuck up droning which didn't concern them. Actually, it did concern them, being the nations of the world and all that jazz, but that didn't mean it still wasn't boring. And they were. Goodness gracious, they were.

However, not all those that were present were there on obligation. And that didn't quite mean that, because they were there on their own free will, that they were there to express their joy and best wishes. Not at all; not all of them. Some were indeed happy, others were ecstatic; others just snickered at the disgrace, the sheer horror of it all. Like Antonio for instance; he was there for the indirect revenge that would take place in just a matter of hours. Perhaps he didn't trigger the events directly, but the sheer shame a certain someone was about to endure would prove just as satisfying.

Gilbert, on the other hand, didn't really care. He was there because West had made him wear a tux and dragged him along. Not a country anymore, yet he was forced to be there. He had not been allowed to bring his chick, but he had snuck it inside his jacket and was now idly playing with it as he sat beside Feliciano. The albino didn't approve of this. He experienced the hate between the two nations firsthand; this wasn't fair to England at all. Maybe they weren't exactly the best of friends at the moment, but they were once upon a time. Even Japan had been wrapped up and placed a bowtie on. Because bowties were cool.

Only a handful of nations were allowed in that particular pre-room though, and it was those closest. Sure, all of them had to attend, along with a hand-picked few of their bosses, but all those had to wait in the church. Yes, it was the not so blissful union of two nations under God and the government. Mostly under the government, but that came with the whole 'not a human but a country' ordeal.

They were all currently nested on what would have been the lobby of a bridal salon, but the bride simply refused to call it that. It was too bloody unmanly. Along with the term bride, but that's what he was, whether he liked it or not.

"Ivan, verify if the Prime Minister has arrived."

"We've already informed you that he has, da."

Ludwig blinked at him, and then nodded. "Right, right, forget it then."

"Oh ho, West, getting a bit stressed there?" Gilbert yelled from half way across the room, making the German's eyebrow twitch in irritation. "If there was one thing I didn't expect you to be, it was a wedding planner."

"It's the least I can do." Ludwig pushed the glasses up the bridge of his nose, sturdily looking at the clipboard before him. He still clung to the guilt from a certain event that had occurred during the Second World War. No one really knew of it, but Gilbert. West had an issue with over-thinking which tended to get the best of him. If only he'd known the bride's distress.

A distress that would only grow graver, as did Ludwig's and everyone else present, when the doors opened with a soft creak. No one else was expected in there, which was what made most of the nations present turn and stare at the newcomer. Of everyone that could have stopped by, it had to be him. "Scheiss." Was the only word that was muttered in the suddenly quiet room. It was as if all sound was sucked and vacuum sealed as they all gazed in shock. He had been invited out of sheer politeness, but the moment the envelope had reached the palm of his hand it was shoved into the paper shredder. The Superpower wouldn't even acknowledge the union, had downright refused to even make an appearance at the church even after the constant threat his Commander in Chief expressed towards him.

And yet, there he was. Not out of political obligation, but for personal reasons no country present could ever even begin to possibly understand. His footsteps boomed in the overly silent room, black, neatly polished, dressing shoes tapping against the wooden floors, until he was face to face with Ludwig, who failed to look at him in the eye. The look alone was enough to make the German understand the unspoken question. "He's in the room. Knock before you entre." The newcomer continued his way.

The room continued in silence as they watched the man walk stiffly towards the regal doors; back entirely erect, but for different reasons than the usual egotism. All eyes watched as he rapped on the door, hesitated for a slight moment, before knocking again.

Inside the parlor, Elizaveta asked for one of the ladies to open and check who it was that was knocking at such a hectic moment. As she re-laced Arthur's corset, a tap on her shoulder made her turn towards the shy Liechtenstein who whispered something into her ear. With wide green eyes, she looked at Arthur's reflection in the mirror, thankful that his eyes were tightly shut, for her reaction to the news would have given it all away. Ever so silently, she stepped down and gestured her helpers to leave the room.

"Hungary?" The brunette nearly yipped as England called out to her, turning his head to look at her with questioning eyes. "What's wrong?"

"Eh… uh…. Ludwig, just… called for us. Yes. We'll be back shortly. Don't you move from there." Thick eyebrows furrowed at that, but he didn't argue. Instead, he turned back towards his reflection and frowned, shutting his eyes tightly, wishing it all away. He didn't need time alone. He didn't want to be alone. Being alone and in silence would make him think. He didn't want to look at his reflection. Didn't, didn't, didn't… Thankfully enough though, after several long minutes, the dreaded work on his dress continued, the loneliness lifting off his shoulders if only slightly. He couldn't help but sigh.

"I really don't want to do this… It isn't fair." He might have sounded like a broken record, but he didn't give a damn. Those were words he'd repeat for the rest of his existence. Words that would haunt him no matter what the outcome of the future would be. Besides, he was sure Elizaveta wouldn't mind. She was kind and warm, and she'd listen to him. Listen and understand him. So what if it was from a woman's point of view; she was strong and willful as a nation.

The strings of his corset were pulled a little too harshly, nearly cutting off his air supply in one painful tug. Arthur wheezed and fruitlessly attempted to pull away the suddenly too tight garment, but before he could truly panic, the words "Neither do I" reached his ears, before the bodice was loosened.

It was the kind of silence that wasn't truly silent. That constant ring in one's ear that could put a chill to one's bones if at the right the moment. Arthur looked off to his left, the setting sun casting its glow through the French-windows, basking half the parlor in shadow; dancing puffs of dust dancing, twirling, falling along the dim rays. He couldn't bring himself to feel awkward or misplaced, or even mad. He felt nothing. Not the hurt of a betrayal, or the sense of loss of a love long gone. No, not long gone… It was still there. Hidden, pretended to be forgotten, but still there.

Detached. He detached himself like he had done so long ago. He couldn't bring himself to… to… The train of thought was cut short when the dreaded threat of tears made itself too obvious to ignore. Arthur couldn't ignore the hands that were now pressed fully on his back, sliding down the rough exterior of the bodice. Couldn't ignore how they shifted once they reached the wake of his hips and slid around, running up to rest on the clothed stomach, pulling the frail body back to rest against a much stronger… taller… fit body.

Arthur allowed his body to slump against the broad chest, allowed himself to be held safely within strong arms; allowed the kiss that was pressed on the mop of faded hair. He allowed himself to look at the reflection before him, and see the man who held him ever so tenderly and lovingly. Like an expensive china doll about to break. And that was the final trigger. Beads of moister rolled down the lanky planes of his cheeks, reddening the already puffy eyes as he body was racked with tremors he seldom hosted. Too much… too much…

Without hesitating, he pulled away and turned on the spot, leaning his body entirely on that of his… his what? "Alfred…" No, not his. "Oh, Alfred…" And he wept. Arthur sobbed into the clothed chest, arms wrapped around him and clinging to the back of the pricy suit. To hell with his pride, he had none left. He loved that man. Loved the boy he raised, the young man that rebelled, the one that came for him and the one who held his hand after it was all said and done.

Madly in love with the man who sat him between long legs, wrapped with a duvet, sipping hot chocolate as they watched horrid American comedies on a rainy English evening. With the one who repeatedly said that tea was just the gay version of coffee. Midnight strolls in Hyde Park; the heated sex in the back of his car while driving through the dirt roads of Arizona. The time when he was not only his ally, but his best friend. His lover, his brother and the light of his eyes.

Holding him tightly, Alfred showered light kisses wherever he could reach; the top of his hair, his temple, his cheek. He rocked them both steadily, trying his best to console the man in his arms, so desperately clinging to him that it hurt. It hurt, all the way down to his very bones. Up to that moment, Alfred still wasn't sure what had brought him there. Duty, love… jealousy? But he didn't care. All he wanted to do was run. Run far, far away with Arthur, and never be found.

It had been years since they'd last seen each other face to face. Since the end of the Special Relationship, what little they had had just become too strained to bear and simply parted ways. For months England was hidden away from the public eye, but once he stepped out again, for the sake of his people, he was not that same England; the one who had learnt to smile and laugh. That had been ripped away from him. Viciously. And was left to crumble and fade like a forgotten old man, a wasted nation.

"Hey, handsome…" Alfred's voice was but a whisper, as he looked down at the blonde still buried in his chest. It took him a moment before Arthur gathered enough guts to look up into those enchanting blue hues. "How are you?" It might have been a stupid, automatic question, but the corners of Arthur's lips tilted ever so slightly.

"I've been better." His grip tightened. "I thought you weren't coming…" Green eyes fell away as he hid his face against the other's chest once again.

"I'm not. I just came to see you." A mumbled 'that doesn't make sense' made the American smile a bit. "You know how greedy I am. I'm not just gonna sit there and watch that dickhead take what's rightfully mine." The slight tremors gradually became overwhelming, as Arthur began to shake in his arms. The Briton pulled his former lover closer still, desperately repeating to please… save him.

Never would he have thought that he'd see the day, when Arthur Kirkland would beg the way he did at that instant. The sheer desperation made Alfred sick to his stomach; he clung tighter.

So many things to say. So much to catch up on. Four years without exchanging a word. But all he could think of, all he wanted to do was just run… "Come away with me."

Stilling for a moment, Arthur pulled back and stared up, wide-eyed, at the suggestion. "You know I can't do that… If I could, I would have done so hours ago."

"Why not? No one's stopping us. No one outside those doors would even say a word."

"And our bosses? Your president, my prime minister… God knows what the UN would do. I… England… need this." He refused to believe his own ears, even if he knew it was the cold hard truth. No beating around the bush. He needed this union in order to survive; he couldn't just run away on a human whim and neglect his duties as a nation.

"Fuck them. Fuck your prime minister! This is his fault." Alfred bit back, nearly yelling out as he grabbed Arthur's forearms, shaking him before composing himself. That didn't stop him from talking. "He said you'd do better without me there. He said you didn't need me. He said that it would be better to cut off every tie in existence. Fuck him and his sorry ass." If ever had he seen such an intense feeling of disdain in Alfred's eyes, it paled in comparison at what he saw at that moment. That young, lively child engulfed in such sublime hate towards one insignificant human. Arthur took hold of his face, shushing him lightly and pressing his forehead to his. "I'm tired of them telling us what to do, Arthur… Aren't you?"

"We can't just give up being what we are."

"Exactly. That's why, we're gonna run. They can't tell us anything, Arthur." Cerulean eyes pleaded with the intensity of that of a child asking for a piece of candy. "They'll get pissed… I dunno, they can put taxes or whatever the hell they want. But they can't stop us from being what we are. This doesn't have to be England and America… Just, Arthur and Alfred." He ducked his head, pressing a soft kiss to Arthur's bare shoulder. "Just you and me."

"You're not being rational."

"Heh… Even at the verge of breaking, you try to be so… eloquent. So proper."

"It's all I have left." He threaded his fingers through the golden hair, savoring and submitting the luscious feel of it to memory. Ignoring the fact that he was to be married in a matter of hours, and taking advantage of the stool that now made him America's height, Arthur leaned in, angling his head to press a light kiss on those deliriously soft lips, leaving them both breathless.

"You're so cruel." Their talk continued in whispers as they remained in each other's arms. Trying to hold on to each other, trying to ignore what was so blatantly in front of them.

Alfred wasn't his.

Arthur didn't belong to him.

A knock on the door was all it took to make them pull away reluctantly, even if Arthur only dropped his arms enough to hook them loosely to Alfred's hips.

Elizaveta popped in, smiling softly at the two blondes. "Sorry if I interrupted anything, but, Arthur. You've got twenty minutes, love." Luckily she didn't notice the visible tightening Arthur did on his grip. He clung then, harder than before, shaking his head as she vanished once again.

"Come on… We have to get you dressed." Defeat. That was a tone, let alone a look that didn't belong on Alfred's handsome face. A subdued hero, resigned to losing his fair lady. At that thought, Arthur noticed the implications that one ceremony held. Not only to him, but Alfred. He was still a child at heart, no matter how much he'd grown or how battle worn he was. He was still a hero, still believed in his fight against evil… but he had not gotten his happy ending. The girl wasn't his for the taking, like so many of his comic books.

In silence, the American slipped the satin gloves on Arthur's frail hands, settling them all the way up to his forearms. The skirt and train was adjusted, after they had been lifted to double check the pristine white boots to see if they were properly tied. And last, Alfred gently placed a tiny bushel of flowers, tilted on the right side of Arthur's hair, where he pinned the handmade veil, letting it drape over milky bare shoulders. Green eyes remained downcast as Alfred tenderly adjusted each little detail on Arthur's persona, letting his fingers linger, brushing his hands whenever he could. As if it were his bride he was tending to.

And God he wished it was.

"Hey, don't look so glum. You look beautiful." But tears continued to run down those soft cheeks, marring the beautiful image.



Arthur turned again, the dress turning with him just a slight bit, the weak rays of sunlight falling on his shoulders, making his skin glow on that woeful evening. Never had Alfred seen such a haunting sight; and he was so sure that he never would again. "Do you love me?" He steeled himself for the question, but that didn't stop the broken sob that accompanied it.

"Yes. I-I do. You know that." He didn't miss a beat.

"How much?"

"More than you could ever imagine." Taking the gloved hand, he pressed a kiss onto it before looking at Arthur in the eye. "I always have."

"Then will you protect me?"

"As a nation, you have my sword. As a person, you have my life." The sudden laugh startled Alfred, making his frown deepen. "What is it?"

"Since when have you been one for poetry?"

"Love makes a person do crazy things."

They smiled at each other then, and a flicker of light illuminated hollowed emerald eyes. Something inside of Arthur made a decision, and whatever it was, it made Alfred breathe with slight more ease. "Yes it does, Alfred. Yes it does."

The ticking of the clock was deafening in the dead silent hall. Stone angels perched among the walls, smiling with disdain. Painted saints on the windows, faces mellowed with compassion. It was a mockery. Like they knew the reason for his anger and were keeping it a well kept secret. He had been insulted. As a man, and as a nation. He'd wage war if he had to, but no one made Francis Bonnefoy look like a fool before hundreds of people.

One hour had passed. He still stood at the altar. His worry melted away into ire once Ludwig stood by his side and whispered into his ear, "Don't wait any longer. America came for him."

Alfred sighed against Arthur lips before leaning in to softly press a kiss, the fingers tangled in the hair at the base of his neck tightening just enough to make shivers course through him. The pink hue that tinted the Englishman's cheeks made the other smile warmly as he wrapped his arms around the small, lace clad waist and nuzzled his face into the warm yet exposed neck.

They had run away.

Arthur had taken his hand and pulled him out through the emergency exit doors after a moment's hesitation. His mind was set. He'd deal with the consequences later, but first, he wanted warmth. He needed to be held in arms he trusted wouldn't crush him at his weakest. Those arms had come to him without asking.

"Shouldn't we wait till we get to the hotel?" A chuckle was drowned out when the Briton pressed flush against him, taking an earlobe into his mouth and sucking gently; nibbling on it as he pulled away.

"Of course." But no effort to stop followed the words as Arthur continued his ministrations. He was somehow glad they had gotten him a stretch limousine, that way Alfred could sit comfortable and stretch out his long legs as Arthur straddled his hips, the gown spilling out around them in a stunning fashion. The younger nation took note of just how beautiful the scene he was featured in was; the sheer eroticism of it. Sinful, beautiful and his. He was in the middle of it; the trigger itself. "Penny for your thoughts?"

Alfred smiled, fishing through the layers of fabric until he found the edge of the white boot, splaying his hand and running it up the stocking-clad leg. "I've missed you, Arthur." He leaned into the gloved hand that now caressed his cheek ever so tenderly. "I don't even want you to leave my side again. But once the president—"

"Hush now." A longer kiss was shared; this time, Arthur boldly asked for entrance and was easily granted it. His slick tongue prodded at the American's, gliding across the wet crevice of his mouth, across his teeth, and guiding his own tongue into his, sucking powerfully, involuntarily grinding against the other. Moist lips glistened as he pulled away, resting his forehead against Alfred's. "We'll cross that bridge once we get there, Alfred. Let us just… live the moment."

A shaky laugh slipped out before he could stop himself. He was quivering with need and desire, and the way Arthur continued to grind against him wasn't alleviating his arousal in the slightest. Blue eyes were clouded with lust, and the Briton could see it as bright as day. It filled his chest with warmth. "Cool then. First, we get you something to eat. You look famished."

"I'm not hungry." His stomach growled in protest, making him flush for different reasons.

"I'll order us some room service once we get there, eh?" Alfred's voice was soft, always soft compared to his usual bursts of obnoxiousness. As if Arthur would shatter into a million pieces if his spoke a tad bit too high. His words were intended as caresses, as a blanket meant to wrap Arthur in a warm cocoon and set him at ease. He was yet to know if it was working. "How's that sound?"

"I would like that."

"Cool." His smile wavered when Arthur took a hold of his tie and pulled him forward, pressing more kisses across his jaw line, cheeks, temples, the tip of his nose, forehead, and lastly, his lips. There were so many things he wanted to say, but Arthur kept him breathless. Breathless and speechless and so lost in a love he had thought long forgotten. "Arthur…"

"And who was the one who wanted to wait?" The slur in Arthur's words was hotter than it should have been, but that little cynical tone that was so him was present, if just barely. That made Alfred's heart flutter with hope. Life was returning to those hollow eyes, color was making its way back to those lanky cheeks. His Arthur, his England, was staring back at him with such adoration, it nearly pained him.

"Can you blame me? For years I just…" Words got stuck in his throat. He never really learned how to express himself properly, but to hell with it. "I really did miss you, you know. Everything. Hell, I even missed your cooking." The light shove on his shoulder made him grin. "I'm just… glad to have you here. With me. Glad to have your gorgeous eyes and handsome face… and sexy body." More color brushed itself across Arthur's cheeks, all the way down to his neck and up to the tip of his ears.

"You saying such things… surely deserves a reward."


"I never really thought I'd ever hear you say such things regarding me. I'm flattered." His smile was almost shy and he pressed closer, hiding his face against the side of Alfred's. "Would you like that, Alfred?"

"It's been a while since—"

"Never you mind. Nothing Arthur Kirkland can't take care of." There was a hint of devilishness and mirth in those emerald eyes, strong enough to make Alfred melt on the spot. "You sit back and enjoy the ride, love."

"Shouldn't it be the other way around? You're the one in distress. Maybe I should pleasure you instead?"

"Alfred, you just sit back and shut your mouth."

"Yes, sir."

Blue eyes watched in wonder as Arthur managed to shift himself in the narrow limousine with that ridiculously pompous dress. A button was pushed somewhere inside of Alfred, making him decide upon a new kink he'd have to indulge in more often. But only with his darling Brit; since no other man could ever look as good in a dress as he did. His pants were about to freaking burst.

Gloved fingertips pressed into Alfred's calves as Arthur kneeled between his legs, resting the side of his face on his right thigh, gazing up at him with more wonder than actually lust. But that need was still there. "You look older."

"Wars tend to do that. You should know that better than anyone."

"Still… I didn't expect it to reach you so early on. You're still so young. Much too young to have that look on your face. Or those wrinkles by your eyes."

"I make these wrinkles look good, babe. As long as they don't spread like wildfire, we're in business."

Arthur scoffed lightly at that, returning his sights to the glorious prize before him, his for the taking. Yes, he had missed the days he would openly take the young man to his bedroom and ravish him senseless. There was a vast difference between love and lust, and Arthur was sure he loved his American counterpart. But that didn't mean the lust wasn't still there. The thought of his touch alone had made Arthur's nights far lonelier than they should've been. It's all over now, he had thought to himself then. Alfred was there. His. His America.

Frail but strong hands slid up the calves, manipulating those powerful legs to stretch out so he could sink his fingers into the back of his knees, a zone he knew oh so well how to exploit. He was rewarded with a lovely gasp and a jerk of the leg, accompanied by a small moan. His available hand slid up the clothed thigh, rubbing in light, tight circles, angling down to tease the inner thigh, but pointedly missing the desired area.

Too hot. Alfred yanked on his tie, loosening it as far as he could without actually taking it off. That was Arthur's job, after all. Something he had learned from years of being his lover. It was the Englishman's thing to remove the tie, usually with his teeth. And damn was it sexy. With a sigh, he reached down to slide his fingers through whatever strands he could reach; the veil was still in the way. He would have taken it off, but it defeated the whole propose of the newly discovered kink.

The foreplay didn't last as long as Arthur would have liked it too, but Alfred had a point. He was starving, tired, and could barely keep his still burning eyes open. He would please his lover and that would be all. Then he'd look forward to a hot shower and sinking into cool sheets, and a hot supper; not in that specific order. In just a matter of moments, he was tugging at the zipper of those expensive looking trousers, alternating between rubbing his legs and fondling the large lump so blatantly there. The soft sighs that escaped the American's lips were sweetly endearing.

Tugging down the elastic of the underwear he managed to free the stiff member, neatly nestled among blonde curls. Arthur kissed along the surrounding area, pressing his cheek to the twitching cock as two of his fingers came to glide along the heated length. The warm satin of Arthur's gloves made Alfred melt farther into the seat, reaching out to touch the unoccupied cheek. God, he was gorgeous.

Wrapping his fingers around it firmly, he gave it a strong tug, circling the weeping tip with a feathery touch of his thumb. Green eyes remained trained on Alfred all the while, gauging his every reaction. Every quirk of his lips, dimming of his eyes, every rapid rise and fall of his chest. Automatically, as if by memory, Arthur traced a clothed fingernail through the underside of the need, following the path of the vein without even having to look at it. Taking hold of the tip, he pressed his thumb against the slit, and blew. Hot breath danced against Alfred's need, and he fought the urge not to come on the spot. Arthur was too good at it; too good for him to hold on for much. Thin lips enveloped the mushroom tip, his tongue flicking lightly at the precum that began to accumulate there before swallowing. Although large, Alfred was a comfortable size to deal with.

The blonde licked and kissed, occasionally swallowing the length as far as it could go before pulling back with a loud and wet pop. He made sure to massage the few parts he couldn't quite reach. Normally, taking him in whole was an easy task, but Arthur was way out of practice, and he was sure Alfred understood that too. He could tell by the way he refrained from thrusting up into the hot mouth like he used to do, and received sweet nothings in return. A string of moisture lingered between Arthur's swollen lips and Alfred's moist cock, and he quickly disturbed it by running his tongue along the underside.

Alfred licked his dry lips as he gazed on, cheeks flushed, breath coming in short uneven puffs. He was fighting the urge to come so quickly, but if Arthur continued on that blissful torture, and looking as hot as he did, well… his mind couldn't even decide what would happen. Blue eyes watched heatedly as the blonde head bobbed up and down, licked, nipped and swallowed, sucking powerfully and unabashedly. Taking hold of his dress shirt, he bunched it up, allowing Arthur room to lean up and kiss the expanse of milky and fabulously sculpted stomach. Frankly, given the chance and lack of pride, Arthur could have worshipped that body without a second thought.

"Fuck, Arthur?"

"Hm?" The Englishman moved in to kiss at the tip again; took a deep breath, and swallowed again, earning himself a delicious groan from the younger nation. He couldn't help but wince when the load was finally shot off directly down his throat, and he did his best to not choke. That didn't stop the mad coughing fit that soon followed, causing the American to be on him just as quick.

"Oh God, I'm sorry! I'm so sorry, I should have warned you! Arthur? Are you okay? Do you need a hospital?" Arthur rolled his eyes at how dramatic he was being. After a few moments of trying to get his lungs to work properly again, he waved his young lover off. "I'm sorry, really. I'm such an idiot."

"That you are." He quipped without skipping a beat, but smiling fondly nonetheless. "I was just taken by surprise. No need to apologize."

"I just made you choke."

"Isn't that a good thing?" Alfred looked away, blushing, with an adorable little pout in place. Kissing his cheek, Arthur settled by his side, tucking him back in.

"What about you?"

"Hotel." Even with his racing heart and heated body, he was much too tired to even venture farther than they had already gotten in the limo.

With a smile, the American pressed a light, adoring kiss to his forehead, noting just how amazing his little Briton was. "Okay then. The hotel it is."





A/N: A fic inspired by the bride!Arthur fanarts that popped up some time ago, and I just couldn't resist. This was originally intended to be a oneshot, but it got way out of hand and ended up chopping it into two, maybe even three, parts.