Despite the issue currently at hand, Stephen couldn't help but notice that his guest was quite the impressive specimen of man. American man.

"All I'm saying is," the gentleman went on, Stephen's bestselling book cradled in his hand much like an ugly newborn that he was morally obligated to find adorable (Stephen knew the feeling and, in this current situation, chose to disregard it entirely), "this is causing problems for me. Some of the smaller countries are starting to think you're me, and . . ."

He trailed off, rubbing the back of his head and adjusting his glasses. Alfred F. Jones—that was an American name if Stephen had ever heard one, and this was most certainly an American Man. That was good, since he was apparently the America. The man did have a reputation to uphold.

Thankfully, everything about him screamed of the good ol' U.S of A: a rough-and-tumble getup, a working man's boots, the big 5-0 stamped proudly on his back, the face of an intellect, and hair. Gorgeous, flowing locks like – dare he say it? – amber waves of grain. Frankly, Stephen couldn't help but notice the man looked quite a lot like himself. That made him the second most beautiful thing Colbert had ever seen.

"I apologize deeply for this, Mr. United States. May I call you America?"

"Ah? Oh, sure."

"Thank you. Unfortunately, America, there's really nothing I can do."

"What?" the country asked, tilting his head; Stephen felt a stirring in his gut at the way the man's one gravity-defying lock of hair caught the light. "Why not?"

"Unfortunately, sir, it's not up to me," Stephen answered, utmost regret seeping into each note of every syllable he uttered. "My book is a coveted item. 19.5 million copies sold in the first hour, sir. Clearly, the market has spoken."

For a moment, America seemed befuddled, which left Stephen feeling more than a little concerned. True Americans were never uncertain; as he so often displayed on his own award-winning show, Americans charged forward with fury and zeal, caution and discretion thrown to the wind in their crusade for Great Justice(c) and the American Way(TM). To think that this man, the very incarnation of the greatest country the world had ever known (so quoth history; not merely great, but the greatest) would for even an instant be doubtful, show weakness! Stephen was beginning to think this man was not who he said he was at all—!

"Um, Mr. Colbert—Stephen," America said, and Stephen felt a rush of relief when he realized the man only hesitated out of courtesy. This was also not a very American quality, but he'd let it slide. "You don't understand. This isn't good! Your book's made a lot of people unhappy. It's made a lot of problems for me, since they think I'm you. Especially the chapter on foreigners . . ." Opening the book, America quickly and intently began to leaf through it, the sort of determination inherent only to the home of the brave clear in his piercing gaze. Stephen was just able to pull his eyes away from the man's masculinely lined brow in time to slam his hand down atop the pages, bringing their dreadful flipping motion to a halt.

"Please, sir, there's no need for that," he said, voice the epitome of concern and tenderness, brethren to the angels of on high. "I'm not a fan of books, and I would never force a guest of mine to ever read one, especially twice."

They watched each other, and after a brief moment, Stephen found himself lost in America's eyes. His hand found the country's, brushing lightly over his knuckles in an indescribably mannish and brotherly fashion. The way America blushed was equally masculine.

"Right," the country said, glancing down at the book in hand. "Yes, sorry. But, Mr. Colbert—" Flipping back to the first page, he held it up for his fellow patriot to see. Stephen was just starting an abrupt turn to spare his eyes the sight of that horrible beast known as the printed word when, instead, he found himself looking into his own smiling face. That he could handle. "You see how this could cause trouble for me?" America said, tapping a spot on the picture-Colbert's breast—Stephen was simultaneously scandalized and aroused. When he was able to tear his mind from such bawdy thoughts, he found that the other man was pointing at a name tag pressed proudly to the picture-Stephen's chest, America spelled out boldly across it (indeed, bold! As it should be).

"I am quite sorry about that, America," Stephen said with the greatest lament, nodding somberly (and oh, if the judges could seen him now, they would regret favoring Manilow). He stood and circled the table, moving somberly. "But as I said, the people have spoken," he finished, brushing a hand against the mahogany tabletop. Somberly. "There is no more that I can do—"

Within the instant, there was a hand at Stephen's wrist, gloved fingers encircling his cuff forcefully (and yet, somehow, it made him feel safe, oh so safe). "The people will understand," America urged, getting to his feet and almost knocking his chair over in the process. Stephen could instantly feel himself falling victim to the vapors. "This is a matter of the utmost importance, Mr. Colbert, a matter which will determine the fate of myself, my home and most importantly, all of those patriots who reside within my borders. There are those out there who seek to do us harm, seek to undermine us, and unless I have full credibility and control over my given name, I cannot protect the people to my utmost. You and they must understand that now, this must be done, for the good of the world, and the good of Americ—"

Before Stephen could dream of stopping himself, he grabbed hold of the country and dipped him, capturing his lips with a world-shaking kiss. Fireworks exploded, volcanoes erupted, an orchestra played and somewhere, an overly-plump soprano let loose her final note. It was magic, wrapped with fiery passion and topped off with a glorious, red-white-and-blue bow of true patriotism. It was the greatest kiss ever to be had by anyone, ever, and so undeniably American.

When they finally pulled apart, breathless, America lightly touched his lips, and Stephen granted him a winning smile. "You had me at, 'the people'," he said, and kissed his beloved homeland again.