Author's Note: Written for Nasty-Show for the New Zealand Quake Relief auction on livejournal. Thank you for bidding on me!
It's Just Toast!
By Everything is Magic
America had made it a habit, over the years, to play with his food. Usually England scoffed at him, chided him for being childish and insisted that no, he was not interested in the fact that he'd written the quadratic equation out in ketchup on his plate. He at least had the decency to not do this at nice restaurants, but… that didn't change the fact that anywhere else; whether at home or at McDonald's, he would not hold back. And if England commented on it (which he almost always did), he'd get a straw wrapper or a fry in the face from a mischievous America.
Sometimes England's reaction to America's… food playing habits weren't quite that though. Sometimes, he just ended up terribly flustered. America would be the type prone to expressing his affection via playing with food.
Whether it was a heart made out of onion rings, or an "I love you" written in barbeque sauce, or a cheesy song lyric written in frosting on top of a cookie, he'd splutter and blush and mutter a hardly meant insult, while a small smile quirked at his lips.
But probably the silliest thing America did occurred when he prepared breakfast for England. America actually liked to cook. He wasn't quite as passionate about it as England, but he… really did enjoy doing it, and he took some amount of pride in the things he created. England knew this, but even if he hadn't, it would have been obvious by the way in which America always presented his food.
With panache. With a 'tada,' and sometimes a bit of glory music provided by himself, and sometimes even by covering it with a clean cloth from his kitchen and removing it with a swish, sound effects included. And always, he did it with a huge, beaming grin.
But when he was serving him breakfast, he did all of this and more; because in his words, England needed his mornings to be "bright and full of sunshine!"
So unfailingly, America would always create pictures out of England's food. He started out with more common ideas, like a face out of bacon and eggs, or a smiley out of strawberries and bananas on a pancake. But time passed on, and they had been together years and then decades, and America decided that he needed to mix things up a bit.
He told England that writing in syrup didn't work that well, although he did succeed in doing so with whipped cream a few times. So he'd draw pictures, with cream cheese sauce or hashbrown ketchup or god knew what else, and they were… never that great, but America hadn't ever been that amazing an artist, to be fair. If it was around Christmas, he'd get pancakes with snowflakes and pine trees, for spring he'd get flowers, for Halloween, pumpkins.
And he got creative. He'd pull out food coloring and dye the bloody stuff so the trees were actually green and the pumpkins were actually orange. And sometimes he'd dye the food itself; pink pancakes for Valentine's Day or green ones for St. Patrick's Day (not that England liked this holiday, but America always seemed to enjoy it a lot). And then, heaven forsake him, red, white, and blue stacks of pancakes for Independence Day. And England would refuse to eat them, but then America would point out the… usually ridiculously sweet message he'd written on them (underneath a picture of an American flag or… firecrackers or whatnot), and he'd melt… just a bit and force them down.
This morning though, was new. America had made cheese on toast, a dish that England had taught him how to make forever ago. According to America, it wasn't common in the United States, which England thought to be an abomination because bloody hell it was delicious.
England was browsing the newspaper, reading glasses perched on his nose and a cup of tea on the table beside the couch's armrest, when America walked in. He made some kind of noise that England thought was intended to be a trumpet's fanfare, before whipping off one of England's favorite tea towels (it featured an image of the Globe Theatre), to reveal…
Well, something. There was something drawn in brown sauce on top of the toast, and it took England squinting for a moment to figure out what it was. After all, those globs of sauce could just be too much sauce coming out of the container at once. They didn't have to be eyebrows. And that little… thing coming out of the other piece of toast's head could just be him drawing outside the lines. It wasn't necessarily a cowlick.
But between the two pieces of toast, there was a shape drawn on the plate that could be nothing other than a heart.
America was staring at him eagerly, awaiting a response.
England cleared his throat, a flush rising to his cheeks. He put his newspaper down in his lap. "America… did you draw… us on the blasted toast?" Now that he looked again, the art didn't look that awful. At the very least, it only looked slightly worse than how America usually drew the two of them.
America shrugged. "Yeah, why not? I've never done it before!" He grinned, plopping down on the couch next to England. "Now, do you want to eat me or you? I'm guessing me."
At this, England's flushed cheeks went from pink to bright scarlet. He rolled up the newspaper and whacked America with it in the arm. "Don't be perverse. It's toast."
America blinked twice, a quizzical expression on his face. And England realized that, go figure, the younger nation hadn't meant it that way at all. He probably wanted England to eat the him-toast because 'it's awesome' or 'because you're my boyfriend, so you get me!'
England was about to say something, but then America's face flooded with color, and he began gesturing wildly with his free hand. "G-geez England! I didn't mean it like that at all. You perverted old man. Why would I think something like that about toast?"
Well, it had sunk in now. England hmmphed and reached for a piece of toast. And of course it was the damn piece with America's face on it. He hadn't even thought about it, he'd just… grabbed that one unthinkingly or some such. He supposed that he did gravitate toward the other nation, even in toast form.
He took a bite, and then glanced over to see America licking his toast counterpart's eyebrows off. Huffing and ignoring the way his cheeks heated at the way America's… tongue slid over his sauce-created face, he went back to his own piece, finishing it in a few quick bites and going back to his newspaper.
It wasn't a minute later that he felt America's hand on his shoulder. He turned to meet his partner's blue eyed gaze. "Good, huh?"
England cleared his throat. "Why yes… I do believe you have… managed to successfully create cheese on toast, difficult though it may be."
America pouted. "Hey, it might be easy, but it doesn't stop you from burning it."
His eyebrows narrowed. "I don't burn it at all! You just undercook it." America chuckled and put the plate on the coffee table.
And then he leaned forward, pressing his hands to England's cheeks and rubbing back and forth for a few moments, before leaning in for a kiss. England returned it, wrapping his arms around America's shoulders. Their glasses clashed, and they nearly got tangled up together as they pulled apart. England removed his reading glasses apologetically, and America chuckled.
"Much better than the sauce version of you."
England leaned back in, his hot breath in America's ear as he spoke, "I dare say, I quite agree."