Note: I put up a post on my fic tumblr (the username is cosmic-dare, if you'd like to follow it) once it received fifty followers saying that the first person who liked the post got a free fic. That person was Kisatchan, who asked for a story about America pushing England on a swing. I've had serious health problems this month, and they've been very debilitating in all aspects of my life. But I am feeling better now, and hopefully it will remain that way. I really miss writing, and I want to do so much of it this summer!


Endorphins

By Everything is Magic


It was a dreary day, the kind where it wasn't warm and it wasn't cold, but it was just somewhere kind of blandly in between. The sun was hidden behind a patch of grey clouds, and the ground was covered in crunching fallen leaves, no longer the bright oranges and reds of autumn, but now a dull brown.

America frowned, pulling his thin jacket down over his waist as he paced. He personally thought that any day could be made awesome under the right circumstances, but he had to admit that dreary days were generally less awesome than sunny days.

And besides, he couldn't find England. That alone made it just a bit drearier. They'd been attending a World Summit that day in New York City, and Germany had just finally adjourned it, much to everyone's relief. America had done a rather detailed presentation for it, and as such he had a lot to pack up. England had long slipped out by the time he was ready to leave. America had run his presentation supplies up to the hotel room he was sharing with England before setting out to find him.

Well, he would have just called him on his cellphone, but England, scatterbrained old man that he was, had forgotten it. America felt a smile cross his lips at this, unbidden.

He'd checked the usual haunts; the hotel's bar, for example, before heading out of the hotel for a breath of fresh air. That's where he was now.

England usually waited for him. He might complain about him taking too long or something of the sort, but no matter how much America had to do before he left the meeting, England would stay and leave with him most of the time. And America would do the same right back at him, if England was the one taking longer. So it bewildered him that his partner had slipped out beyond his notice.

Idly, he ceased his pacing and began walking forward, along the edge of the hotel and toward a small city park on corner of the street.

There was a playground there, an uneventful little thing surrounded by the yellowing, sparse grass that was so prevalent this time of year. It didn't look like a particularly dilapidated playground. It was taken care of well enough, but in the dreary late autumn weather, with only a couple of kids occupying it, it did look kind of… depressing.

America let out a huff of air, and then his eyes widened. Sitting on the furthest swing, a book propped in one hand and an elbow resting on one knee, was England.

He shook his head, jogging across the playground to meet the other man.

"England!" he shouted, standing in front of him with his arms crossed and a half worried, half pout of an expression.

England darted upward, nearly dropping his book in the process. "Bloody hell, America. Don't give me a heart attack."

Snatching the swing next to him, America sat down and rocked gently back and forth in the swing. He chuckled. "That's right. Gotta worry about your blood pressure and all."

England huffed, turning back to his book. "You just shouted 'England' in front of all of those children, git."

America raised an eyebrow. "All of those children? There are two, and they're not going to think anything of it, geez."

"Still…"

He rolled his eyes. "Look, what's wrong? You didn't wait for me to finish packing up after the meeting, and you just kind of… ran away. Plus, you left your cellphone behind, again."

England flushed a bit at this, embarrassed. "I-I'm fine," he replied, unconvincingly.

"You're not," America countered, reaching over, poking his cheek as he did so. "C'mon, tell the hero what's going on? Did France switch your notes with naked pictures of himself again?"

"No, thank god," England let out a short laugh, but then scowled. "Honestly…" He swatted America's hand away.

"Then…?"

England took a deep breath, closing his book and slipping it into his jacket pocket. "It's silly, and I know it, but… I thought you actually did a rather all right job on your presentation today."

America lit up at this, his smile bright. "R-really? And that's not silly at all! But then… why are you…"

"Japan, China, Germany, Korea, India? You discussed your presentation with all of them? Honestly you're not even that close to any of them but Japan, but apparently they deserved to give input over m—"

"England." America turned his swing toward him, pressing an index finger to his lips to quiet him. England pinked at the unexpected contact, but frowned. "I'm on the verge of some pretty cool scientific breakthroughs with all of them. You know that science is kind of my… thing."

"Yes, I know that, but…"

"You're being all weird and insecure again," America said, placing a hand on his shoulder and squeezing.

"I'm not being any such thing! I-it's not as if I expect to be involved in everything you do, but you spoke with such excitement about working with them, and you… honestly gave a really good presentation this time, and I just felt a bit—-"

America gestured to silence him. "What I do for work as a nation doesn't have anything to do with how much I value you, and you know it. Heroes know better than to screw that up."

England blinked.

"Honestly I would have asked you for input, but I thought you'd think it was boring. It's… not really your thing." He scratched the back of his head, looking a bit sheepish.

"Idiot," England said, a small smile quirking up his lips. "If it involves you, I dare say that it rather is 'my thing.'"

They both pinked at this.

"You're right that I probably wouldn't be able to offer that much input when it comes to bloody complex physics, but it doesn't mean I don't want to know what you're up to, all right?" He gave him a genuine, imploring expression. "We've been staying in this hotel together since yesterday afternoon, and I didn't even know you were presenting until right before the meeting."

America stood up and walked behind England, grabbing the chains of the swing above him. He glanced down at his partner. "I just didn't think you'd be interested. I didn't want you to… shut me down or something when I was feeling so good about the presentation."

England had the decency to look a bit ashamed that America would think he might do that. "It might not be my area of expertise, and I might think your… plans are daft from time to time, and I might not even agree with them, but I'm always interested."

America nodded resolutely, leaning down toward England and pressing their noses together. "Okay. I'm… sorry. You know that I do care what you think, right? I mean do I get that upset when anyone else disagrees with me?" Your opinion means more than anyone else's in the world to me, he silently added.

"I do." England smiled, rubbing his nose against America's. "Even if you're too big-headed to let it do much." America pouted, but England pressed their lips together, dry and autumn chapped. "Thanks for coming out to find me, love," he whispered.

"N-no problem. Heroes don't let their boyfriends run away upset, you know!" he said, smiling against the skin of England's cheek.

England scoffed, but just shook his head. America pulled away and stood back up, and within moments, he was pushing England back and forth on the swing, gentle and slow at first, and then increasingly faster.

"Wh-what in the hell are you doing?" England yelped, his feet now several feet off the ground.

"Swinging you!" America shot him a huge, toothy grin.

"Well… obviously." The swing went higher. "But stop it this instant!"

"Just trying to cheer you up, England!"

England shook his head, gripping the chains of the swing with his hands. "I'm going to jump."

"No you're not. You might hit that kid playing over there." America pulled away for one moment to point a child, playing in the grass a good fifteen feet in front of England's swing. "Besides, I really am trying to cheer you up! Excitement and exercise trigger endorphins, and endorphin releases can make you happy!"

England let out a sound of discontentment, but when America glanced at his face, he saw his lips quirking up in a small smile. "See!"

"I-I'm not…" he sighed in resignation, "all right I am feeling a bit better, but I am more than capable of swinging without you pushing me, I'll have you know."

America beamed and let out a loud laugh. He grabbed the chains of England's swing mid backward flight and halted its movement, so that despite sitting, England was at eye level with America, his feet dangling off the ground. "You love it."

"I do no—-"

America silenced him with a kiss, and they lingered this time, England's swing still half in the air as they explored each other's mouths. Once they pulled away, their faces both bright, England cocked an eyebrow. "There are children here, America," he teased.

His blue eyes went wide, and he smiled a nervous smile. "Sort of forgot that. Anyway, it's just kissing and you did it first a minute ago." He shrugged. "Besides, kissing also releases endorphins."

England laughed lightly, smiling fully now. "Now that, I can believe."