Chapter Three: Ai-Ai-Gasa: I Love You From Under the Umbrella
"So, America, is there some reason you called me here?"
America and England were seated at a fast food restaurant near America's house. America had invited England out for a bite to eat, but now that he was here, he thought it was out-of-place to have invited him to a simple burger joint to talk to him. Out of nervousness, America ended up ordering too much food, even for the both of them.
England was beginning to notice his strange behavior. Normally, America would announce, "Why so much food? I'm the hero, of course! I need to make sure I get enough food or else I can't function!" to which England would say, "You bloody wanker. If you eat all that food, you'll be too full to even do anything!" But…this time, America just stared at all of the food solemnly and rushed to find a table in the back of the restaurant.
Now America was fidgety and hadn't even downed one burger yet—both traits not like the "hero" England knew. He couldn't even answer England's question.
"Huh?" America flinched, dropping his burger. Did he forget England was there?
"What is wrong with you? You're not acting like yourself. At all. Are you sick?" England reached forward and placed his hand on America's forehead. He couldn't help but blush, making his face red. "Well, you are kind of warm…Maybe we should take these to go…"
"N-no! I'm not sick!" America announced. "The hero…the hero doesn't get sick!" He tried to sound tough, but it wasn't working. England just stared at him, not fazed.
"C'mon, America," England began to put all of the unwrapped burgers into a bag. America grabbed his wrist to stop him.
"I'm not sick! England, I'm not! Really!"
"America, we've been here for twenty minutes and you haven't been able to finish one burger. Even if you're not physically sick, something's up with you. Let's just save these for later and go somewhere where we can talk."
America watched England put the rest of the burgers in the bag and close it. He decided this would be the best course of action, considering he really didn't want to talk to him in this small restaurant. "Okay…"
After taking the burgers back to America's house, America and England decided to take a stroll to a nearby park. They were nearly silent the whole way, and it was terribly awkward for America. He wanted to say something, anything to break the silence, but he had no idea what to say. England already suspected something was up with him; why speak when everything that will come out of his mouth will just warrant another blank stare from England?
Man, how was even going to begin telling England what was bothering him?
Now that they had reached the park, England motioned them over to a bench to rest. America began to fidget. What was he going to say first?
"America, I actually have something I want to tell you…" England suddenly said.
America blinked. "Huh? What is it?"
England paused for a moment, then said, "America, the truth is…I miss you."
America stared at him with his mouth hung open. Did England…just say he missed him? America? Really? America wasn't sure he heard him right.
"Dude…Did you just say you missed me?" America said, almost jokingly. He wasn't sure why he was talking like that. Maybe because it sounded too good to be true. Or maybe because England didn't seem like the type to admit things like this.
Or maybe England was telling the truth.
"America…it's the truth. Ever since the World Conference, I've been thinking about things. About when I helped raise you and you were always by my side. And then you suddenly fought for your independence, and…you were gone. I was…heartbroken. I tried to get over it, tried my damnest to move on and forget about it. We became allies and fought in nearly every war together since and I was glad that there weren't any hard feelings between us. But I guess even after all this time…I can't get over it. I obviously can't possibly ask you to return, it's much too late for that. You are actually quite well on your own…well, sometimes. Your nation is rather lazy, but it has flourished for only being a few hundred years old."
America flinched at the lazy comment, but then decided England was probably right and continued to listen.
"But America…I do miss you. I hate waking up and knowing that you've grown so much and that you're not there for me to make breakfast for, or teach you how to fight, or…you know, everything else."
America felt his eyes sting. Everything England was telling him…he couldn't believe it. No, England wasn't mad that he lost in the war and that America gained his independence. All this time…he was just upset. America did what he had to do because he felt that he couldn't stay attached to England forever. And he was right. But he wasn't ever going to forget that it was England that helped him get to where he is now, whether they had to fight for it or not.
Maybe that is why England fought so hard. He really didn't want America to leave.
"But I do have to say I am glad that you are doing well and that maybe this was for the best." England smiled.
America couldn't take it anymore. "England!"
"Huh?" England blinked. "I'm sorry, was that too sappy?"
"N-no, of course not! I…miss you, too! I mean, sure, I am glad I did what I did so I could be an independent nation, but…not a day goes by where I don't think about you. It's not that I just miss you…England, I…"
"What is it?"
America closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "England, I…I love you. I love you…so much…"
England stared at him in awe. America opened his eyes and relaxed his muscles, which had been tense since the conversation began. He had finally said it. He had finally told England he loved him.
England still hadn't said anything. America began to worry.
"America…" England slowly breathed. He reached for America's face and leaned in to connect America's lips to his. America tried to gasp in shock but couldn't because, well, his mouth was kinda occupied at the moment. Instead, he just melted into the kiss; still beyond shocked that he was kissing the object of his affections.
England finally pulled away, ending the tender kiss. "America…I love you, too…"
"England…" America couldn't help but suddenly wonder how long they had had feelings for one another. But that didn't matter at the moment. All that mattered was that they knew they loved each other right now, and that that wouldn't change.
England suddenly chuckled. "Funny how things work out, huh?"
America smiled. "Yeah…"
They brought there heads together and continued to giggle happily before kissing each other once again.
"I cannot believe it is raining…" Austria sighed as he watched the rain pour down. It was time for the next World Conference meeting in Vienna, which Austria was happy about. He wasn't going to let a meeting like what happened last time occur. He would keep things in order.
But it wasn't a bright and sunny day like he was hoping. Various countries began to arrive, holding umbrellas to shield from the precipitation. Austria stood at the door of the building hosting the meeting to welcome people in and apologize for the uncooperative weather.
Austria was about to walk in the building and check if most of the countries had arrived when another umbrella came into view. It was sporting the design of the British flag.
"Huh, I didn't realize England hadn't showed up…" Austria said, but then noticed that there were two people under the umbrella. And they were holding hands. "Who else is under that umbrella?"
He then recognized an obnoxious laugh and the glare of spectacles. It was America.
"Austria, how long are you going to stand outside?" Hungary appeared from behind the entrance to the building to ask. "It's quite chilly. You'll catch a cold." Then she noticed what he was staring at. "Is that America and England?"
"Yep," Austria said, folding his arms. "It sure is."
"Wow. I…might have seen that coming…" Hungary said, but wasn't too confident that she really had seen a relationship between the two coming.
"I did," Austria chuckled. "I knew that once America became an independent nation, England wasn't going to hate him forever. Actually, quite that opposite, as we see now."
Austria and Hungary watched as America and England chatted and laughed as they approached the building. Austria suddenly pictured the two of them several hundred years earlier, with England holding a younger America's hand.
"Seems the same as I've always remembered it," Austria smiled.
So…why is the umbrella so important? Well, an Ai-Ai-Gasa is like a Japanese version of a heart with two names in it, meaning they're an item…or, you know, something kids sometimes do as a joke to poke fun at two people who should be together. You know those daydreaming days when you drew a heart and put your name and the name of your crush in it? Ai-Ai-Gasa is Japanese for "Love-Love-Umbrella" and is a drawn little umbrella with two names under it, sometimes with a heart connected to the top of the umbrella. For those of you that watch the Hetalia anime, there is an episode where Italy plastered a whole wall full of posters of these Ai-Ai-Gasas with his and Germany's name under them. I'm not sure what episode it is, but you might know what I'm talking about.