You're Cute When You're Happy
Note: Written all on account of wanting to see deredere playful, affectionate England. I mean, technically dere is in tsundere, right? Also, America is a bit of a jerk in the beginning. Also, a (semi) established relationship. Literally. Also, probably the most fluff I've ever written in a single fic. As in, this fic is literally all fluff.
It was rare to see England in a good mood especially in the middle of rainy season. It was even rarer for America to be greeted with an affectionate hug and kiss as soon as he walked into England's house.
"Not that I'm complaining," America said, dropping his duffel bag in favor of wrapping an arm around England's waist. "But what brought this on?"
England just smiled at America and kissed him again. "What? I can't greet you however I want?" he asked.
"Any time you want," America said, because as a 19-year-old male, he was not going to turn down any sort of physical intimacy especially coming from someone as good in the sack as England.
He felt England's chuckle reverberate against his lips, and then England backed out of his arms again, heading for the kitchen. "Dinner's almost ready. Go put your things away," he said.
America shrugged, a little weirded out by the unusual greeting, and took his luggage up the stairs to England's bedroom. Well, it looked like this was the start of a good week if this was any indication of how things were going to be. America's usual visits to England's place were mostly punctuated by lots of great sex and usually an argument or two of varying degrees of severity. America tossed his duffel next to England's dresser, shrugged his coat off to toss onto England's neatly made bed, and then went downstairs to find England for the first round of great sex for which would hopefully distract England from dinner.
Over the years, they'd developed a system of sorts that had started at the end of WWII. It had been after some celebratory party or a speech or something – America didn't really remember except that everyone had been celebrating and a little drunk on victory and champagne, and somehow or other, he and England had ended up on England's bed. And ever since then, it had been a sort of thing. Sometimes, England called America and sometimes America called England, until it was all but a normal thing now for England to ask to see America in a week, so America would look on his schedule for his earliest break and take a couple days off to fly over to London.
"What're you making?" America asked, walking into the kitchen and opening up England's refrigerator to help himself to England's milk.
"Curry—don't drink straight from the carton," England said, grabbing the milk from America before America could do exactly that. "Really, it's not that difficult to get a cup first."
America rolled his eyes but went to the cupboard for a glass. "How about we skip dinner and go straight to bed," he suggested hopefully.
England leveled him with a look that wasn't even completely insulted either. "Dinner first. This is really good curry I've made this time," he said.
"That's what you say every time, England," America said.
"Well, it's true," England said, beginning to turn red. Which was a bit relieving because England had been a little too cheerful ever since America walked in. In recent years, things had been going pretty well between them. They got along pretty well, supported each other in every major conflict, and England hardly ever cried about the American Revolution anymore. But it still didn't mean that they didn't fight quite a lot and England still seemed to think it was his duty to criticize every single thing America said and did. Frankly, England being in such a rare good mood was freaking America out a little.
"Did you beat France up again or something?" America asked, wondering if he should tell England that his curry should be yellow and not black, and that the food coloring England was dumping into the pot wasn't really helping.
"What?" England said, pausing in his cooking to give America a confused look.
America shrugged. "You're in a really good mood," he said.
England turned red. "Yes, well... it's... you know..." he said and went back to stirring the pot with renewed purpose.
America blinked at the strange reaction. Was there a reason England was in such a good mood? More importantly, was America supposed to know why? England's birthday wasn't until April so that wasn't it. Valentine's Day was over and it wasn't like they celebrated that anyway since they weren't actually a couple. It wasn't Christmas either or New Year's – not that England celebrated either of those much. He wracked his brain for any of England's other holidays but it was the very last day of February and America really couldn't think of any significant date.
Well, it probably wasn't anything important, and England, busybody that he was, would tell America if anything really was up. So America shrugged and went to get plates for England's awful cooking. England was just happier than usual for some incomprehensible reason and America supposed he was all right with that.
Later though, when they were sprawled on England's huge king-sized bed and America was dozing into sleep, he felt England touch his face, brush his hair away, and press a feather-light kiss to America's forehead.
"I love you," America heard England whisper before England turned over. England pulled the covers up to his shoulders and his breathing quickly evened out.
And America felt wide-awake even though it was three in the morning and they'd just had two rounds of very good and exhausting sex, because when the hell had love come into things? And shit, did that have something to do with why England was so happy?
England woke America up at an ungodly hour the next day – not because England got up too early – in fact, England was the type who liked to sleep in on his days off. But sleeping in still didn't cover the six-hour difference between America's East Coast and the United Kingdom, and on top of his rather troubled sleep the night before, it meant America was still quite exhausted when he woke up with a start.
It took America a few moments to realize why he'd woken up, and then he heard England laughing and felt the pressure on his nose where England was pinching him and cutting off his air.
America flailed upright, glaring at England. "What was that for?" he demanded when England let go of his nose, but England leaned forward to press a quick kiss to America's cheek.
"Morning, love," England said, looking far more awake than he had any right to for the time they'd gone to sleep the night before. Or maybe it was all the excellent sex that had England awake so cheerfully this morning.
America was still disgruntled but he grudgingly accepted England's apology kiss. "You know I have jetlag," he complained, and since England's rare good mood seemed to continue, America grabbed England around the waist to pull down with him as he flopped back onto the bed. England let out a squawk as he tumbled down, and America flipped over to trap England beneath him, pressing his head to England's chest as England struggled.
"Get off! You're heavy," England said breathlessly and shoved at America's head even though England didn't sound upset.
"You started it," America mumbled, making himself comfortable and ignoring England's ineffectual shoving.
"Okay, okay, I won't wake you up like that anymore," England said.
"Too late," America said and levered more weight onto England until England was gasping before America pushed himself up on his elbows and leaned over to kiss England. Or tried to anyway. England slid his hand over America's mouth and shook his head.
"Not until you brush your teeth. Morning breath," England said and grinned at him.
America glared at him, not really annoyed and England knew it, as he rolled over and buried his face in a pillow. "Then I'm going back to sleep," he said.
"No, don't, you're never going to get over your jetlag this way," England said, shaking America's shoulder. "And you're staying a week this time, right? You don't want to have jetlag the whole time."
America didn't respond until England sighed, leaning over, and kissed him again on the mouth.
"Stop sulking and get up," England said. "I made breakfast."
America groaned. "I'm definitely not getting up now," he said.
He only had a little warning before England yanked the pillow out from under his head and began beating America with it as America struggled to get upright in the tangle of sheets and blankets. England was grinning again as he hit America with the pillow, and America found himself laughing too until he managed to catch England's wrists and made England drop the pillow.
"Awake now?" England said.
"All right, fine, let's get breakfast," America said and leaned over to kiss England again which he was finding he really wanted to do every time he saw England smiling like that.
England scrambled off the bed. "Go brush your teeth and get dressed," he told America and actually walked out of the room humming.
America blinked and yawned, running a hand through his hair as he got out of bed to go find his clothes. He was still feeling a little like he'd woke up in the Twilight Zone by how blatantly affectionate England was being. And then there were those three whispered words last night which America was still reeling about. England had never said that to him ever before in his life. Not when America was a colony. Not after. Of course America had known, more or less, how England felt back when he was a kid – the way children knew that their families loved them. But they weren't exactly a normal family, and then the revolution had happened, and after that, there had been years of tension up until World War I. Even then, England had been prickly for a very long time afterwards, and there were still things now that England got mad about way too easily.
So what exactly did England mean by saying that? He obviously hadn't meant for America to hear it.
America shook his head. It was not going to be a big deal. He was just going to spend this week with England the way he spent just about all his free time with England nowadays. They'd have spectacular sex a lot, probably get into a couple of arguments, and England would go back to his normal, grumpy self. And in the meanwhile, America found England's playful mood really quite cute – and now that was a word he never thought he'd be applying to England of all people – and it might even be more enjoyable than usual.
England was already setting a full English breakfast out on the table when America met him downstairs. "Do you need to do any work today?" England asked as they both sat down.
England waited until America had already dug in before he began to cut his sausage into neat little pieces.
"You told me to get everything finished, didn't you?" America said. This time around when England called, he'd told America to finish up his work and make sure he had the entire week off which America really hadn't thought about much at the time. He asked England to cancel work and come spend Thanksgiving with him in recent years, and often for Christmas too. For America's birthday, England usually took the entire week off beforehand because even though in recent years, he'd been getting a lot better about it, England still got all mopey around that time of year and couldn't concentrate on anything. It was more or less the only week England took off that he didn't come to see America for, which was sort of irritating, but England usually showed up on July 4th anyways, so America let that go.
England went a faint pink to America's surprise. "Oh, yes..." he said.
America had just assumed that England had a couple days off that he wanted to spend in bed. Sometimes if they had to go awhile without seeing each other, they would spend a bit of time together beforehand. America thought it was just another one of those things and England was going to tell America he'd be busy for the next couple of months, but England's response wasn't right for it. He also hadn't brought up anything about being busy so far.
"Did you have something planned for today?" America asked. The first couple of times in the beginning when things had still been new and awkward, it had seemed polite to at least go to dinner before falling into bed, so they'd had a couple of uncomfortable so-called "dates." They'd stopped with that pretty quickly because England "accidentally" dropping a fork under the dinner table and then "accidentally" giving America a blowjob sort of put an end to pretending they wanted to do anything but hit the nearest horizontal surface. Since then, they ate at home, talked a bit maybe, and then went to bed (or if that was too far, sometimes the couch, sometimes the floor, wherever it happened to be convenient). It was a system that worked pretty well in America's opinion.
England turned a darker shade of pink. "Um, sort of..." He fidgeted. "I just thought since it's um... and we never... I've got tickets to the matinee show at The Rose theatre," he said.
"What?" America said, completely confused by that nonsensical explanation.
"The new Shakespeare theatre," England said. "The play isn't Shakespeare though," he added quickly before America could start groaning. "It's about Thomas Paine. One of your people, actually."
America stared at England. "You want to watch a play about the Revolution?" he asked.
England went completely red. "I just thought you might enjoy it," he said and began gathering up the breakfast dishes even though England had hardly touched his food and America was only half done.
It was quite suspicious behavior even for England, but America decided that for one, he didn't mind not having to eat the food that England had made, and two, he also didn't mind going to see a play if England wanted to. The subject matter of the play was a bit worrying, but England adored classic theatre, and even though America half-expected England to freak out on him and start crying when the moment of the Revolution actually occurred in the play, all England did was sigh a bit and lean into America where they were seated in the stands.
Well, America thought, relaxing as he watched the rest of the play, they had a week together and they couldn't spend it all in England's bed. It wasn't bad going out every once in awhile with just the two of them. He slid an arm around England's shoulders just to see what England might do. It wasn't really anything America hadn't done before like when they were watching movies at home and it was just comfortable to stretch out. It was something America did with Canada or Japan too when they visited and watched movies. But this time, he was doing it with the intention and he knew England could feel it, but all England did was give a small sigh, reach up, and tangle his fingers with America's hand.
America began to blush. It was like they were a couple – well, they were sort of a couple – but like a real couple. One that actually meant something to each other – well, they did mean a lot to each other – but not in that way. It just felt wonderfully blissful to sit there with his arm around England for all the world to see, and England leaning into him like it was the most comfortable thing in the world.
America only half remembered what the play was about when they walked out two and a half hours later.
"How did you like it?" England asked as they walked slowly along the Thames afterwards. They were standing close to each other, comfortable with the closeness even after the play, and America found himself itching to take England's hand, maybe put his arm around England's shoulders again – just to touch him.
America blinked. "It was uh... good," he said lamely.
"That's all? I thought you would have enjoyed it," England said.
"Sure, I guess. But they were all talking in your weird accent," America said.
England rolled his eyes. "It's set in the 1700s – you still talked like me in the proper accent back then," he said.
America grinned at him, feeling more on solid ground again. "Not true. Your accent changed too. Back then you sounded more like me," he said.
"You wish," England said. "It's a bit early but do you want to get dinner now? Or go home?"
"Let's get McDonald's," America said cheerfully. "Then we can go home and..." He waggled his eyebrows.
England went red. "Bugger off," he said. He stopped for a moment and America was wondering what England was up to when England suddenly squeezed his eyes shut, reached over, and grabbed America's hand.
The only reason England didn't miss was because America was still looking at him and realized what England intended to do just before he did it. It still took America by surprise, but he grabbed England's hand when England reached for him, and then watched with amusement when England tensed up even more, scrunching from his nose down and shoulders right down to his feet. England's hand jolted in America's, and after a moment, America watched as England opened one eye and then the other, and then slowly sort of uncurled.
America pretended not to notice as he just tugged England down toward the big yellow M he could see in the distance. "Come on, I see one there," he said.
"R-Right," England said, stuttering, and when America glanced over, England's face was completely red and there was a small smile on his face.
Wow, America found himself thinking. He'd always sort of known England was somewhat attractive in an unconventional sort of way. Back when he was young, he'd just thought everything about England was amazing. And then he grew up and found out how England was probably one of the best nations anyone could ever pick to be in a sex relationship with because between how flexible England was and the sorts of things he knew how to and was willing to do, were sort of unbelievable. Although America didn't really like to think about anyone who was having sex with him having sex with someone else just on account of pride (because America liked to think he was pretty damn good in bed), he was pretty sure England had probably slept with more than half the world by now. America was just another one of them which smarted a little sometimes, but it wasn't like they were in a relationship or anything, so it wasn't anything for him to get jealous about. So yeah, America had always sort of found England attractive, but he'd never really thought about England as being cute before. Which England very much was when he acted like holding America's hand was something he'd been daydreaming about. America found himself hoping that no one else ever got to see England like this. They'd eat him alive never mind that England could definitely take care of himself.
America came back down to earth when he realized they were in front of McDonald's and England was staring at him with his eyebrow raised.
"Are you all right? We're here," England said, frowning.
"Uh, yeah, of course," America said and quickly pushed the door open. Unfortunately, he'd reached for the door with the hand that was still holding England's, and England had to let go of it so America could open the door.
They were hit with a gust of warm air when they walked inside, and America quickly recovered and went to the counter. When America ate with other nations, he usually visited and made them cook for him or else had them come visit him so he could cook. It was what most nations did because everyone liked their own cuisine, and in general, the system worked so everyone either got flattered or had a free meal. The only house no one ever went over to eat at was England's though even England, as awkward and unpleasant as he usually was, got invitations to other nation's houses to eat. They mostly came from people who either 1.) felt sorry for him having to eat his own cooking, or 2.) thought it might teach England a thing or two about proper cuisine to see how it was really done (but then look at what England had done to France's macarons or India's curry).
Occasionally, when nations had meetings and they all went out to eat, everyone usually went Dutch mostly because no one wanted to shoulder anyone else's bill. Some of the nations who were in committed relationships would take turns paying for each other – at least America always saw Sweden and Finland quietly bickering about who would pay this time around (or rather, Sweden looking intimidating while Finland went through a long, flustered speech about why it was absolutely Finland's turn to pay). France had a habit of paying for whoever he was trying to get into the pants of that night. Italy almost always forgot his wallet and resorted to making Germany or Japan pay for him.
America and England, not being a couple, of course, always went Dutch when they were eating out. It was mostly on account of principle because America refused to pay for anything England possibly thought was delicious, and England flat out refused to shoulder one of America's food bills.
So as usual, America ordered two of the biggest meals and took his tray to one of the tables to sit down while he waited for England. It was a bad idea to stand out too much when they were out with humans so America could only buy so much food at a time – another reason he preferred to make his own food at home or to visit another nation and have them cook.
A few minutes later, England slid into the seat across from him, also holding two full-sized meals.
"Wow, you're hungry today," America said. Even though everyone knew England secretly quite liked America's fast food, England had a fairly normal appetite. The couple of times they'd gone to McDonald's together, England usually got a burger and salad.
England turned red. "It's not for me. I just thought—you— since you're always hungry," he ended in a mumble and shoved one of the meals at America.
"Uh... thanks," America said, too surprised to even question England about it. England usually nagged at America anytime England thought America was eating too much again. He had never voluntarily given America any food unless he'd made it himself.
England unwrapped his burger and immediately began eating at a speed that nearly put America to shame. He was also still bright red. The entire effect was that of a nervous rabbit, and both hilarious to watch as well as being really fucking cute.
America shrugged, deciding not to tease England about it because he was getting a free meal after all, though he did wonder why England was being nicer than usual. England was never this nice to anyone. There were some nations that England was polite to, and these days, England tended to be fairly civil to most other nations, but England was hardly ever nice to anyone. Even his commonwealth nations like Canada and Australia, England tended to either ignore or forget about most of the time – America could never really tell. America wondered again if there was some occasion he'd forgotten, or maybe just something in England's water making him act so strangely – albeit, it was nice, but still, weird.
Impulsively, America reached out and touched England's hand, pulling it – and the burger – away.
England stared, wide-eyed at America. He had crumbs and sauce smeared haphazardly down one corner of his lip, and even though it should be sort of disgusting and even though they were in full view of the public and even though they were sitting across a table from each other and America had to half-stand to reach England, he figured oh whatever, it wasn't like they'd never kissed in public before... well, semi-public if those times England dragged America into a broom closet or the public restroom during meeting breaks counted. So America kissed England, and it was worth that little gasp of surprise when he swept his tongue over the sauce on England's lip and felt England's skin heat up under his fingertips.
When he drew back, England was even redder than before and still wide-eyed. "A...America, we're in public," he whispered frantically. His eyes darted from one end of the restaurant to the other and when America followed his gaze, he realized several of the patrons had been watching them. No one seemed to care though and they just went back to eating. England however, seemed to be trying to hide his face behind a large coke.
"No one cares, this is your country," America said as he leaned back in his seat.
"What is that supposed to mean? There's nothing wrong with my country—" England trailed off, sputtering, but when he'd finally calmed down enough to start eating again, there was another small smile on his red face.
The next few days all passed this way. England generally had something planned for them to do, but sometimes they'd have a late morning in and early morning sex before going for lunch at a nice restaurant followed by a walk in Hyde Park. Or else there was evening entertainment in one of England's many theatres for a musical comedy. Once they drove out to the Cotswolds and the West Midlands where they spent the day going through some of the quaint little towns around the area like Stratford-upon-Avon. England utterly loved it and wouldn't stop quoting Shakespeare at America though. America noted that most of what was coming out of England's mouth seemed to consist of romance poetry that America only half understood at any given time and didn't particularly appreciate. The look on England's face, though, when he was saying something about who ever loved that loved not at first sight and get thee to a nunnery or something, was really incredibly sweet. So while America did tease England about being a sentimental old man, America went to Shakespeare's house without complaining and stooped through all the low ceilings because apparently it made England happy, and America was starting to think that he very much liked it when England smiled at him like that.
England's strange, happy mood also persisted all through the week. America had never had sex so fun as when they fell onto England's bed and England was pressing laughing kisses to America's mouth because they'd just been debating about whose accent was worse, and for once it hadn't turned into an argument.
"Your English is the weird one," America said between kisses and watched rather eagerly when England sat back on America's lap and stripped himself of his shirt, revealing the lean, wirey sort of body that America had always been attracted to. America was starting to think that maybe it wasn't because England had that sort of body that America found him attractive, but it might be because England was built that way, that America found the body type attractive.
"Oh, you're saying you don't want to lie back and think of me?" England asked, grinning at America as he tossed his shirt behind him. England leaned down to press a quick kiss to America's lips.
America rolled his eyes at the phrase France was always teasing England about but that America had never actually heard England say up until now. Instead, he flipped England suddenly so England let out a squawk of surprise when he was suddenly tumbled back onto the sheets. America grinned, hovering over him.
"I think I'd rather you lie back and think of me right now," America said and leaned down to kiss him.
England laughed between the kisses. "That's not how the saying goes. What euphemisms do you use again? Oh right, 'doing it,' 'getting it on,' or what was the other one, 'getting busy,' wasn't it? Not too descriptive, are they?" he said. "How puritan of you."
America nipped at England's bottom lip in an attempt to shut him up – those who said America did more talking than England, they had no idea – America had been raised by England at least partially after all.
England let out a gasp when America moved his administrations down to kiss England's jaw and neck, and began working his way down.
"Oh, right, you've got a couple more... what was it, 'bumping uglies'? Oh..." England arched back in the sheets and finally finally shut up when America got far enough down.
Five days into the week, America realized that it wasn't really a new thing for England to be so happy and smiling, but it had just been a very long time since he'd last seen it. All the past week, England had been looking at him a lot like the way he had before America's revolution. It was like back when England had first adopted him and he smiled at America like that all the time, eager and happy to see America. It had been a long time since he'd last seen England act that way towards him, America thought, frowning as he looked over at England who was fast asleep next to him. England was hugging a large teddy bear – America had no idea when that had made its way onto the bed with them – and the way England had his face plastered to it suggested he was going to have the worst bedhead ever when he woke up.
Back then, England had always been smiling at America, giving him gifts, telling him stories, cooking for him, and always smiling and happy. Somewhere along the lines, America had lost that. He'd never regret becoming independent, but he remembered earlier when he'd still been fighting the revolution and immediately after he'd won, he'd sometimes think about whether he'd made the right decision pushing England away. Even his own people then had been constantly divided over the issue. Then time had passed and those old memories seemed so far away where they'd been locked in America's storage closet. And then he and England had started this arrangement after the Second World War, and America was pretty satisfied with it and so was England, so America had all but stopped thinking about the England back then.
He never realized that he had been missing England's smile and the way England got when he was just purely, unadulteratedly happy until America got it back again, and America wasn't even sure why. Maybe, America thought, as he relaxed again, scooting closer to England, maybe he should bring up making this whole arrangement a more permanent sort of thing. If they became real lovers and not just allies with benefits... America found himself strangely okay with this idea. It wasn't a big change from what they already were. America hadn't even slept with anyone else since he'd hooked up with England even though technically, he supposed he was allowed to – he'd just never really cared to once he had England. Taking things a tiny step further wasn't such a huge deal considering what their countries already were to each other and how long they'd been in this arrangement.
America tugged England's teddy bear out of his arms, eliciting a pout and frown on England's sleeping face, but when America moved close enough and wrapped one arm around England, England's arms immediately curled around America's chest, and his face smoothed out again.
America sighed, pressing a kiss to England's hair, and settled back down to sleep. He hoped England would say yes if America brought it up – not that America would take no for an answer once he was decided on something, but he did want to see England smile when he accepted.
"Love you..." America murmured as he fell asleep again.
On the sixth day, America woke up to an abnormally energetic England.
"What's with you? You didn't drink my coffee, did you?" America asked, yawning and scratching his head as he watched England hurrying from the closet to the dresser to the closet again. It was barely 8 in the morning and entirely too early for England to be in this state of energy.
"Of course not," England said and darted a look at America. "Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you. Just—uh, just stay in bed. Go back to sleep," he said.
England gave up looking for whatever he was looking for apparently, and just pulled on his robe before leaving the room in such a hurry that America got curious.
America stretched, still feeling tired partially due to the weather they were having today. It was humid but cloudy and damp outside – unusual for England at this time of year. A thin drizzle fell outside which just made things even more humid, and America realized since he was very close to sweating in bed and awake by now, he might as well get up and see just what England was so jittery about.
England was in the kitchen making breakfast when America found him. This wasn't strange because England had been doing this the entire week so far. Since very few people would actually eat his food, England nearly always took the opportunity to cook when America was over. What was strange, was the way England jumped when America announced his presence.
"What're you making?" America asked, going over to the refrigerator to find something to drink, still yawning and sleepy.
"You—I thought I told you to stay in bed," England said, whirling around. He was wearing his customary apron that looked even more stained than usual, and there were huge gusts of black smoke coming off of whatever he was cooking that even his air ventilator was having trouble sucking up.
America shrugged. "Couldn't go back to sleep," he said.
England looked mildly disappointed as he turned back towards the stove and began scraping whatever awful black stuff was out of the pan. "Oh..." he said.
After a week of seeing such a happy England, America was alarmed seeing England disappointed and he blurted out the question before he thought better of it. "Why? What's wrong?" After the revolution, America stopped showing too much concern for England because he couldn't afford to look like he might care, and after awhile, it got to be habit. America made the right decision this time, though, because all England did was let out a small sigh, still facing the stove.
"I wanted to make you breakfast in bed..." he heard England mumble. "It's not a big deal. Get the plates," England said quickly before America could recover from the surprise.
America wasn't sure how to respond to that so he just did as England said and helped him set the table.
But England didn't settle down during breakfast either, and he kept fidgeting and tapping his foot against a table leg until America decided that he was definitely going to remember this for the next time England told him to sit still at a meeting. He had no idea what England was so jittery about.
"Er... is there anything you want to do today?" England asked finally. He'd only been picking at his breakfast – well, America was picking at his too but that was because England's cooking was even worse than usual today but that never mattered to England who apparently had no working taste buds.
"Weren't you the one who wanted to stay in today?" America asked, raising an eyebrow. He'd complained about it when England had told him the night before because America didn't like being cooped up – but days indoors with England generally were neither boring nor inactive.
"Yes, but if there was something else you wanted to do..." England shifted more in his chair and seemed to be doing his best to demolish what seemed to be the charred remains of his sausage into complete ash on his plate.
"It's raining," America pointed out.
"Right..." England said and abruptly stood up, darting a glance at America before he gathered up his mostly untouched food. "I'm going to do the dishes," he said. He seemed to be waiting for America to say something, but America had no idea what England wanted him to say, so he just pushed back his chair and went off to England's living room.
England was acting stranger than usual which was saying quite a bit considering how bizarre he'd been acting this entire week now.
America wondered about it as he poked around England's living room. Generally, he didn't pay too much attention to the stuff in England's house because it tended to be stuffed full of things England was interested in which, more often than not, was exactly what America was not interested in. England's living room, for example, was a testament to his sewing, embroidering, and knitting hobbies. America was sure he would never find even a craft shop that was so covered in embroidered curtains and doilies and tea cosies and couch covers and quilted blankets as England's living room was. It had probably taken England ages to end up with this much stuff, but England was one of those nations that liked to hold on to absolutely everything, and he also really liked his hobbies. Even things like the tissue box had a knitted covering, and the portraits on the walls were entirely embroidered pieces of cloth that hung in expensive picture frames. This room was probably old woman heaven.
The only thing in the room that wasn't covered in evidence of England's hobby, was a calendar that hung on one wall framed on one side by a hand-stitched likeness of Queen Victoria, and on the other side, Prince Albert. The calendar was a cheap paper one that America had actually gotten England as a joke gift for New Year's because it was full of pictures of the American flag and eagle and American quotes and things like that. He had no idea England had even kept it, much less was using it.
In fact, America found, it was probably a very good thing England was using it. Apparently, England still hadn't bothered to figure out how to use the calendar function on his blackberry even though America had explained it all to him back when England first got the phone. This calendar had all sorts of dates scribbled into it – a meeting England was having with his PM next week, some conference with the European Union a couple of days after that, and so on. The entire week that had just passed was filled in with the various things England had had planned for them. On the last day of February the month before, England had penciled in "America visiting."
America flipped back to the March page of the calendar and looked to see what England had scheduled for today, but strangely, all England had done was circle March 5th in a red marker. March 6th – tomorrow – had "America leaving 8pm" penciled in on it, and March 4th had "Madame Tussauds" written in which was where they'd gone the day before (it was an expensive tourist attraction, but America always thought it was fun, and they'd ended up taking tons of pictures).
America stared at the calendar and tried to think what England could mean by having today's date circled, but nothing popped up. He was still staring at the calendar when England walked in, wiping his wet hands on a handkerchief.
"America...?" England said.
America jumped and tried not to look guilty even though he wasn't even sure why he felt guilty. It wasn't like he'd done anything wrong. "Um, let's watch TV," he blurted out and sat down on the couch to power on the television.
"Okay," England said and sat stiffly down next to America.
Since England still seemed nervous about something, it made America anxious too even though he had no idea why. As they flipped through the channels and finally settled on some replay of some old soccer game, though, England slowly began to relax against America's side.
England had taken one of America's hands and was doing some sort of half-massage, half-playing with his fingers sort of thing that America wasn't sure England even knew he was doing. It did make America relieved when he glanced over at England and saw England had a small smile on his face again though. America hadn't even thought an expression from England could make such a big difference to him, but just watching England happy sort of made America happy too.
They didn't do much besides watch television together for hours, and it was nice when America had England cuddled next to him like that and every so often they would make comments about the soccer game (a debate about whether it should be called soccer or football), and then debate about which television show to watch because America wanted to watch the rerun of The Simpsons while England said it was trash and would rather watch the black-and-white rerun of Gone With The Wind.
By the time it was lunch, England had calmed down considerably and didn't seem to be in imminent danger of jumping out of his skin anymore. So by proxy, America felt calmer too. They had a light lunch of sandwiches that they ended up making for each other that turned into a mini-competition about who was the better sandwich maker.
"Obviously I am," America said, handing England the huge subway-style sandwich America had made him. "At least mine isn't burnt," he said.
"How is this even supposed to fit in my mouth?" England said, giving America's sandwich a skeptical look as he skewered an olive onto his own sandwich and handed it over to America. "I'm quite sure my mouth doesn't stretch that wide."
"Sure it does," America said. "What on earth did you put in this anyway?" he asked, looking down at the sandwich England had made him. "Did you soak it in water or something?"
The sandwich America had in his hands literally drooped. He was pretty sure bread wasn't supposed to do that. America had no idea how England managed to mess up a sandwich of all things.
"Wanker, it's just a bit of watercress—"
"You actually put water in it?" America asked, wide-eyed.
"Watercress is a vegetable, you idiot," England said, but he looked mostly amused. "Go on, try it," he said.
America shot another skeptical look at the sandwich but took a tentative bite. It tasted about as appetizing as it looked, but England was giving America such an expecting look and still wearing that small smile, and America was rapidly beginning to realize that any time England smiled at him like that, just like back when he was a child, there was just no possible way he could say anything that would make England stop. He forced the bite down and gave England a grin. "Well, not as bad as some of your other stuff," he said.
England rolled his eyes, but seemed to accept it as he frowned down at his own sandwich and inspected the huge subway, turning it around in his hands as though trying to figure out how to eat it. In the end, he apparently gave up and then took a pathetic bite out of the top layer of bread.
"Oh come on, you didn't eat any of the stuff inside," America said, now focused on inhaling England's sandwich as quickly as possible so he could bypass all texture and taste. Plus, when he ate fast, England seemed to think this was a compliment to his cooking.
England took a bite of the meat, cheese, and lettuce piled on inside of the sandwich without touching the bread this time. "Happy?" he said.
"Haha, very funny," America mumbled through a mouthful of England's awful sandwich. Next time they should just make sandwiches for themselves instead of each other, America thought.
In the end, America ended up eating most of the sandwich he'd made for England anyway because England couldn't finish it, and then England said he wanted to take a nap by which he actually meant sex. America was very much okay with this, and by the time that they finished – a more tiring and intense round than usual thanks to the uncomfortable humidity – America was ready for a nap too.
When America woke again sometimes late into the afternoon, he blinked awake slowly to the gentle pattering of rain outside. It was dark enough in the room that everything was shadowed and dim, and America found that sometime during the nap, they'd moved and now America was spooning England from behind, half-inhaling England's messy hair with his arms wrapped around England's middle. He realized he'd woken up because England was moving in his arms and America sighed lazily and loosened up, pressing a kiss to the back of England's neck.
Waking up like this after an entire week felt so natural it was a little scary. England shifted as America stretched out, blissfully sore the way a good work-out felt, and then England was turning around to face him. England had that adorable small smile on his face again as he scooted forward a little on their shared pillow to kiss America soft and slow.
England leaned back again and his eyes were crinkled at the corners, just like his mouth, looking with such adoration at America that America felt breathless for a moment, just staring at him. England smiled when America leaned forward this time and captured his mouth in another slow, lingering kiss. He felt England sigh when they parted, and America was just about to kiss him again when England's next words effectively made all of America's brain functions stop in place.
"Happy Anniversary," England sighed against America's lips and kissed him again.
America abruptly froze.
England pulled back when America was unresponsive, looking curiously at America.
"A—Anniversary...?" America croaked. Oh god, when had they had an anniversary? For what? And how come no one had told America about it?
"March 5th," England said, eyes searching America's, and when he apparently caught on to America's utter confusion, his smile abruptly turned to a displeased glare. "You don't remember," he said.
America swallowed as England shoved him away and got out of bed. "Remember what?" America tried for innocence and failed very badly when England began pulling on his underwear and pants. America desperately searched his mind for anything that had happened on March 5th but just like earlier that morning, his search came up blank.
"I thought your birthday was in April..." America tried as he sat up too.
England turned and shot America a glare, only to start pulling on his shirt too. "It's our anniversary, America!" England shouted. "We've been together for how many years now— oh never mind," he snapped and stomped out of the room.
"Shit, crap, fucking, shit..." America muttered as he scrambled out of bed, only stopping long enough to grab a pair of jeans because he wasn't going to have an argument with England naked – and ran out of the bedroom, half stumbling in his attempt to put on pants and run at the same time. "England, wait!" America shouted.
He found England waiting for him at the foot of the stairs with his arms crossed, looking extremely displeased.
"Uh... crap," America said, jogging down the last few stairs much more slowly, not entirely eager to face the music. He was beginning to feel a lot like one of those boyfriends or husbands in movies that had forgotten a birthday or anniversary or something, except that 1.) it wasn't England's birthday, and 2.) they weren't even in a relationship much less married. At least not as far as America knew.
"What did we do on March 5th?" America asked and knew it was the wrong thing to say when England's glare intensified and he began stomping away again. America was quick enough to grab England this time though. "England, no seriously," he said. "I really have no idea what you're talking about."
Not exactly the best thing to say under the circumstances, probably, but America also couldn't fix it if he had no idea what England was talking about.
England gave up trying to shake America off and narrowed him with another glare instead. "Our Special Relationship, you idiot! You completely forgot, didn't you?" he demanded.
"Special Relationship?" America echoed, even more confused.
"When Winston Churchill made that speech and you kissed me, remember?" England snapped. "March 5th, 1946, fucking twat! We've been together for more than sixty years now and I thought maybe for once we could celebrate it, but you don't even remember!"
"We've been together?" America asked before he could stop himself which was probably an even worse thing to say under the circumstances, but it did stop England's little tirade as England abruptly went silent, his mouth still open as he stared back at America.
"Oh my god..." England said and turned the reddest America had ever seen his face go as he stopped struggling completely. "Oh my god," he repeated. "You... what did you think we were doing this whole time?" Then he started turning white, which made America feel absolutely awful, especially when England was staring in horror at America like that.
"I... I don't know," America said. Something like a fuck buddies type of a relationship, he thought, though at least America's brain was functioning enough to know not to voice that out loud. He was still trying to catch up with this new revelation. Apparently, he had been in a relationship with England – according to England anyway – ever since that Special Relationship speech had been made decades ago. Was that really when they'd started this thing? America couldn't even remember except that it had been after another one of those boring speeches he hadn't been paying attention to. Apparently, England had been paying very close attention to the speech though, and somehow, for more than sixty years now, they had managed never to talk about it. This entire time, America hadn't even realized they were in a committed relationship while England had thought so the entire time. That took some spectacular sort of misunderstanding to accomplish, America thought.
"I... you... oh fucking hell..." England said and while America had been processing this all, England looked like if any more blood drained from his face, he was going to pass out. "I wondered why you were such a prat and we never celebrated it..."
"Why didn't you ever tell me?" America said finally. "You know, it doesn't count as official unless you ask," he said. And since America hadn't done any asking and England hadn't done any asking, it had never registered in America's mind.
That seemed to do the trick when England opened his mouth and then shot another scathing glare at America again. "Why on earth should I have to tell you we're in a relationship? You should have..." England went even paler. "Oh fucking hell, you didn't even think we were together..." he trailed off into a mortified mumble. "I need alcohol. A lot of it."
America though, was beginning to see this wasn't so very bad. After all, he had been intending to make this a permanent thing after all. This just meant things were already a step up from where America had originally thought. And anyway, now he definitely knew England wasn't going to say no.
England was still muttering to himself when America wrapped his arms around him. "A-America, let go of me!" England said and smacked him on the back a few times.
"Good thing I never did it with anyone but you after that speech, huh," America said. Apparently he had been inadvertently faithful to England all this time without even knowing it. Or maybe he'd known subconsciously in a way, England was the only one for him.
He felt England slowly relax in his arms. "What?" England asked and he sounded shaky.
"I'm saying, I was going to ask if you wanted to make this official anyway," America said, still holding tight to England. "I just didn't know we already did," he said and then leaned back to grin at England, feeling giddy and happy even though technically, they'd already been in a relationship for a very long time and he knew England wasn't going to say no – well, if he was mad enough at America, he might say no now, but England definitely wasn't going to hold out for very long. America took a deep breath. "I'm saying, I love you."
Something about saying those three words out loud to England made something loosen in America's chest, and the feeling was even better when England stiffened but began to blush again. "Oh..." England said and leaned slowly forward again until he had his face buried in America's shoulder, either from being extremely pleased or extremely embarrassed.
"Aren't you going to say something back?" America asked after a moment, holding England and feeling like something had finally slid into place in his life. He really should have done this ages ago, he thought. But they were nations who lived for thousands of years, and from now on, America could see England smile like that at him as much as he wanted.
"No," England said and straightened up again, still rather red, but he looked more relieved than mad now. He walked away toward the kitchen.
"What? That's not fair, England!" America said, following.
"It serves you right," England said. "I can't believe you did that to me."
"I didn't do anything though!" America protested.
"Exactly," England said, flipping on the kitchen lights and rummaging for his kettle that he began refilling at the sink. "Now it's your turn to wait, wanker," he said. Well, it looked like the shock of trying to celebrate an unofficial anniversary had put England right back to his normal, grumpy self.
America went and wrapped his arms around England's waist and felt England exhale and relax marginally. "I'm not very patient, England..." he said, grinning as he pressed a kiss to England's ear.
England rolled his eyes, but relaxed more as he finished filling up his kettle. America let him go long enough for England to go put the kettle on, but England came back himself, tilting his head up for a kiss which America was all too happy to give him.
"So this last week… it was all celebrating our anniversary?" America asked.
"No thanks to you," England answered and ducked his head again.
This did explain quite a lot about this morning. England had probably been worked up waiting for America to wish him a happy anniversary the whole time. It also explained England's bizarre behavior in the past week. How happy England had been, all the little things he'd had planned…
"Wait, were you trying to get us to go on dates?" America asked.
England turned red. "Oh shut up," England said and pinched America in the side.
America yelped, catching England's hand and grinning at him. "We'll go on more dates," he said to England. As many as he wanted that would all be just like this week from now on. America would make sure England was happy and smiling as much as possible now. "Now that I actually know. You should say these things, you know."
England rolled his eyes. "You should be a little less stupid," he said, but only put up a small fight when America tried to kiss him again, backing away a little every time so America had to leaning forward more because he kept missing England's lips.
America pushed his nose against England's and bent him back a little more, getting a startled yelp and then a reluctant laugh when England really did lose his balance and had to wrap his arms tight around America's back so he wouldn't fall.
"Wanker," England said and America felt something loosen up in him again when he saw England was smiling again. "I do love you," England said quietly, and this time, hearing him say it out loud to America made his heart soar. America grinned at England and watched as England's own smile grew progressively wider too.
"Happy Anniversary," America said.
England's eyes widened, and then England was grinning and that was all the warning America got before England all but tackled him in a kiss all joyful and enthusiastic, that later on, he would realize was probably considered the first kiss in their official relationship.
Yeah, America could definitely get used to this.
I actually started this as a short drabble to post to tumblr, but it magically grew to 10,000 words? …..so I'm posting it here instead. Happy, dere England is still so cute I could explode. It's so rare to see him more dere than tsun though…