disclaimer: nope, nope!
prompt: Ameripan – Japan's insecurity over his Nagasaki and Hiroshima scars.
notes1: i don't generally ship Ameripan (I've read one other fic, but only for an interesting concept) but i love prompts like this.
notes2: if you would like to see the unabridged prompt, ask & a link will follow.
notes3: de-anoning from hetalia_kink.
summary: We all have our scars, but sometimes, the story behind them is a little difficult to share, even to the one who made them.
pairing: America/Japan.

America was confused.

He was sitting in his chair, a cushy recliner that rested in front of the fireplace, meant for thinking on cold winter nights.

Him and Japan had been in a healthy, steady relationship for months. Their relationship had slowly escalated because of Japan's nervousness to general contact, and America had been okay with that. After all, if you love someone, you should be able to wait, right?

But nothing had ever escalated beyond kissing, between them, no matter how much America tried. Every time, in between the frantic breaths and needy lips, when America would try to creep his hands up Japan's shirt, to feel the warm skin under, those soft lips would disappear, and he would hear the trademark,

"I must go."

America had been trying this for months, to no avail.

Now it was getting a little ridiculous.

He thought that maybe it was still nerves, that Japan thought that America was still immature or something that made it so he couldn't go through with it with America.

So, America was going to prove him wrong.

He had invited Japan over for dinner. He had done his best to clean his house to perfect, had kicked Tony out of the house for a while, and tried to set the most romantic atmosphere possible — and in Japan's taste.

Cherry blossom petals scattered themselves on the carpet, along the kitchen counter and amidst — but not on — the plates on the white silk tablecloth. America had bought very, very, very expensive delicacy dishes for them both: fugu and kobe beef wraps sprinkled with beluga caviar, a selection of several oysters. And, on the side, his secret weapon:

matsutake mushrooms.

America had read that any Japanese who received matsutake felt extremely special, and this gift should be extremely cherished, and figured this was the equivalent of something of an "I love you" in his country.

(And you know, America was always up-to-date on all the latest cultures.)

He was lighting up the last of the candles when he heard a very quiet, very polite knock on his door. He smiled, knowing Japan was here, and called out a "Coming!" as he ran for the door.

"Hey, Kiku," he said as he opened the door, allowing the Japanese to come in. "Glad you could make it."

Japan glanced around the dim room, until his eyes fell on the table, and he realized why he had been asked to dress a little formal.

(He had grabbed one of his best out — one of his only kimono's.)

He smiled at America. "You did all of this for me, Alfred-kun?"

"Well, yeah," the blonde replied with a smile, pulling Japan to him. "You're everything to me, you know."

"Anata wa watashi ni sa reruto." A kiss, and then, "Let us eat."

"This is very good, Alfred-kun," Japan noted, digging into the fugu wraps first. He raised an eyebrow as he plucked a piece of caviar up with his chopsticks. "Do you realize how expensive this is?"

"Yup," America responded, smiling at Japan and nudging a piece of the said caviar into the other's mouth. "That's why this is only for us."

"Demo, Alfred-kun, this is really expensive — " he tried to protest, and was silenced by a kiss. Japan sighed and gave in, kissing America back for a moment before pulling away to continue eating. "You Americans are so strange sometimes…"

"That's why ya love me," America grinned cheekily, still chewing on a piece of the beef.

(Which, America was surprised to find, that it was quite good.)

Japan smiled as he continued to eat. "Hai, sōdesu hai."

Their plates were cleaned quickly — not like a starving, rabid coyote, but politely hungry, like Japan had been teaching America. Of course, he found this much easier when trying to use chopsticks to eat, but – that was beside the point.

"Arigatou, Alfred-kun," Japan said, smiling as he was pulled to America's chest. "That was the most amazing dinner I've had in a while. And…I feel very honored to have been served matsutake."

"I'm glad," the blonde murmured, trailing tiny kisses down Japan's jawline, down his neck, onto his shoulder —

"A-Alfred-kun," Japan stuttered, quickly worming his way out of America's arms. "I – I'm sorry, but I must go…"

"Goddamnit, Kiku!" America cursed, reaching out to try and grab his arm, and catching the back of his kimono instead—

—but then the fabric ripped from Japan's body, the old and fragile silk not able to withstand the strain.

And Japan stood there, frozen, looking at America with wide, scared eyes.

"Kiku, you have nothing to be ashamed of…" It was then he saw the scars.

They were a sickly, translucent white just a shade paler than his original skin, deformed to patch across his skin in different depths. One on his right shoulder, spreading onto his tricep and spattering down to the top of his collarbone. The other, on his hipbone, trailing a nasty pattern up his side and then disappearing down into the part of the Kimono held up by the obi.

"Kiku…" America breathed, gulping as he looked at the damage he had done. "Oh, God — "

"You do not have to say anything, Alfred-kun," the smaller nation said quietly, lifting up what was left of the arm of the robe. "Anata wa mō watashi o hitsuyō to shinai baai, watashi wa rikai shite..."

"How could you think something like that?" America questioned, reaching out to Japan to hold him against his chest. "God, I — …why would you still want me after I did that to you?"

It was an answer that America wanted — no, that he needed. He couldn't describe the disgust he felt for himself, for ever having to put a person through something like that. He imagined it felt a little like when Three Mile Island leaked — that burning, disintegrating feeling, only three billion times worse, spread out over such a distance like that…

Not to mention — this was Kiku. He loved the man with all his heart, to depths of his being.

(Leave it up to him to never even think of the consequences of his actions, America thought begrudgingly.)

"Node, watashi wa anata o aishite imasu," Japan said, nuzzling his face into America's neck. "We may have had some problems in the past, but…"

"I love you, too, Kiku," America said, clutching the smaller man to his chest, burying his nose in Japan's soft hair. "There's nothing that can ever express how terribly sorry I will always be for hurting you."

"You were just protecting your people, Alfred-kun," Japan murmured, and horrible memories of Pearl Harbor flashed through America's brain —

– of the hurting, and the burning, and all those casualties –

— before they went away as quick as they had come.

And America kissed Japan, gently but passionately, cupping his cheeks in the most lovingly way he could. He felt a smile against his lips, and began to lead them toward his bedroom. He made sure to let Japan down softly, before he pulled back.

"I love you."

He peppered Japan's jawline with kisses, before trailing down his neck.

"I love you."

America pushed back the kimono sleeves, shrugging the Japanese's arms out of them, before taking his time to brush his lips down each arm.

"I love you."

He reached the shoulder, where the scar was, and tentatively touched his tongue to the skin, and continued as he heard the light moan from the man under him. He trailed every single scar, and licked them, before kissing Japan's lips again.

"I love you."

America licked across the expanses of Japan's bony collarbones, jutting out beneath his slender frame. He trailed kisses down the smaller man's chest, ghosting his fingers over the pale abdomen to untie the obi.

"I love you."

His tongue flattened out to trace over the burn scar along Japan's hipbone, and he followed it's trail down the man's thigh — not in an erotic way, but in an adoring way.

"I love you," he murmured with finality, kissing Japan's lips once more, laying bed beside him to pull the smaller man close to him. "I love you so much, Kiku."

"Watashi wa anata o aishi sugite, Alfred-kun," Japan whispered, as he snuggled into America's chest, and fell asleep.

ending notes: so at first this was a little difficult to write, as i'm not used to Ameripan, but at the end it all fell into place.