Casting Shadows

If there was anything more predictable to England than finding himself at a world meeting every other day, it was finding himself at a bar afterwards that several other nations decided to go to. It did surprise him, however, to overhear the topic of discussion that evening.

Prussia smirked as he downed the last of his pint before looking at France. "Well, how about America? He's got a pretty nice ass. Don't know about the rest of him, but I'd plow that."

France choked on his beer, which covered up the strangled choking noise England found himself producing as he stood behind them. "Non! Are you foolish? America is accounted for! You know that!"

Prussia slammed the empty mug down. "Like I'm afraid of England? The sun's already set on him. At least on that side of the globe it did."

England's snorted to himself. The way America treated him sometimes, reminded him of a young lad who fancied a girl in his class. It was easy to see where other nations may have assumed something like that. He'd have to remember to punch Prussia later for the comment about the Empire, however, if a good brawl managed to break out later.

France set his chin to rest in his hand. "If you truly believe that there is nothing between them, by all means, go pursue that piece of ass you desire." He chuckled as Prussia faltered before sulking and asking the bartender for another fill.

England took the lull as his time to sit down. "Gentlemen. I see you've already managed to get yourselves thoroughly pissed. The meeting didn't end ithat/i long ago." He flagged the bartender, asking for a pint of his own.

Prussia leered at him across France. "So, England. Where's your other half?"

England raised a brow. They honestly believed that he was in a relationship with America? Didn't they realize the Special Relationship was nothing more than a sarcastic reference to them being friends despite constantly wanting to strangle each other? Well, that was fine, he supposed. They were just a couple of drunk idiots anyway. He wouldn't want either of those clowns attempting to get their filthy claws on America. Perhaps it would be better to let them believe their drunken suspicions than going trolling through the streets in search of the lad. After all, it was better they didn't know.

"Oh well, you know. He does have to spend isome/i time with his brother. It wouldn't be right to take up all of his attention. I thought I could at least give him the evening to himself and then have at him later." And by have at him, he was sure he'd be laying into the boy for some sort of mischief he'd caused.

France nodded, shooting a knowing look to Prussia. England knew that it went without saying there was an "I told you so" in that glance…or however it was said in French.

The story was a lie, of course. He knew that America was not with…with…that other nation. No, he was on another date. England didn't particularly approve of the match, but America was being treated very well, and England honestly couldn't remember seeing him so happy before. Not genuinely, anyway. He wouldn't get in the way of that. As England listened to France and Prussia continue their drunken ramblings about the rest of the world, he drank his beer. It never crossed his mind to wonder the extent of the rumor.

On the other side of the city, in the bustling district of Shibuya, America finished eating. He looked across the table at Denmark and smiled. They were on a spur of the moment date. Denmark had grabbed him as they were leaving the meeting for the day, and asked to take him out for a night on the town. America wasn't going to refuse, of course. He never turned down the opportunity to spend time with Denmark. As Denmark led him to dinner, he began to think it wasn't as random an evening out as he thought it would be.

That fact that the place he had taken him was a reservations only establishment might have been a good clue. It was some place called Koz Café, just outside Shibuya. Denmark had started talking to the chef as soon as they'd arrived, and America realized this place was run by one of his own. It had its advantages, of course. In particular, he was pretty sure the food they had been served wasn't on the menu at all. Every course had another story from Denmark about how it was a traditional Danish meal, and its cultural relativity. America had hung onto every word as they ate, and was disappointed as they finished the Koldskål, thus ending the meal. Who knew berries in milk would taste so good?

"So, I was thinking we could go into Shibuya and go to one of those video game places. You like video games, right?"

America smiled and nodded. "Oh yeah! I know this great place there that we can go to! Japan showed me once when I came to visit." He blinked, faltering. If Denmark had gone so far as to book dinner reservations, maybe he already had something in mind. He looked over at him and was surprised to see the other with that sharky grin of his on full blast.

"It wouldn't happen to be Adores, would it?"

America's grin widened so much it was starting to hurt. "Yeah! I love that place! I go all the time!"

Denmark nodded, setting down more than enough for their bill as he got up from his seat. "That's what Japan said when I asked him about it. He said that you make him bring you there every time you visit."

America grinned sheepishly, shrugging as he got up. Before Denmark had a chance to think of anything else to say, he grabbed his hand, practically dragging the other out the door and to the subway station at the corner. Judging from Denmark's amused laughter as he tried to keep up with him, he didn't really mind.

America wasn't sure how much later it was that the two of them were setting down their prizes they had won for each other, standing in the photo booth on their way out of the arcade. Denmark had pulled him over to it as they were leaving, complaining that he didn't have any pictures of his hot boyfriend to show off to his friends. Denmark set up the machine and then moved, throwing an arm around America's shoulder, grinning broadly as the camera flashed, taking a picture of them. America smiled and turned, kissing Denmark's cheek in time for the next flash of the camera.

Denmark turned to look at him, and America couldn't help but stare, ignoring the last flash of the camera as he got lost in the other's eyes. A loud cheer from a small crowd of teenagers playing a game nearby broke the moment and they turned to the computer screen.

After several minutes of laughter and ridiculous drawings and additions, the couple left the booth, pressing the stickers from the machine onto their phones.

"This has been an awesome evening! I don't think I've ever had this much fun during a meeting." America blinked as Denmark smirked.

"You don't think we're done do you? Just because it's getting a little late? Come on. We still have time before it closes." Denmark took America's free hand, pulling him to the subway, much the same way as America had done to him before. America smiled fondly as he let the other lead him through the streets to their next destination.

It was something between tiredness and fondness that America watched Denmark with as he settled the bill for the last stop of their very long evening. What time was it now? It was certainly early in the morning. He was pretty sure that he'd end up sleeping in the meeting later that day, but he couldn't be bothered to care. How could he after the evening they'd had together?

Video games and karaoke aside, his favorite part of the evening had to have been going to Tokyo Tower with Denmark. It had been unexpected that that was where Denmark wanted to go after the arcade, but he would have been perfectly happy only going there the entire evening.

The trees of the pathway leading up to the tower were lined in white and blue lights, ready for the oncoming Christmas season. Denmark had stopped at a stand, getting them a hot coffee to share as they rode the elevator up to the observation platform of the tower. Despite the late hour, there were dozens of couples around them, each oblivious to anyone else nearby.

i"Hey America, come check this out over here! It's awesome!" /i

Alright. They weren't the most romantic of couples, but it was the thought that counts, right? They stood together until the announcement that the tower was closing. Denmark had moved his arm casually around America's shoulders as they watched the river of cars below stream past the tower, traveling in contrasting currents.

America wasn't really one for romance, at all. Sure, Hollywood was big on it, and sometimes the sap rubbed off on him, but he was more interested in having fun. The way movies portrayed it made romance, love and relationships seem like a lot more effort than it was really worth, and so he'd never bothered with it. He'd rather hang out with his friends, doing things that he liked. That was how things had started out with Denmark at first: randomly sitting together at the bar after a meeting, deciding to hang out and play games, and slowly getting to know each other. He wasn't really sure when it changed. It was sometime after they put the blue hair dye in Norway's shampoo, but definitely well before Denmark swooped in, stealing his first kiss. It was so natural that America sometimes wondered if anything changed at all; perhaps they just never realized what was between them. Most of their time together still consisted of the usual things they had done as friends, so it was the evenings like this that really pulled at him.

He broke out of his thoughts as Denmark walked over, clapping a hand on his shoulder. "I don't know about you, but I'm istarving/i! How about some burgers? At this hour, McDonald's is probably our best bet for something you'll actually eat."

America snorted as he walked out of the karaoke bar with Denmark. "I'll have you know that I don't always eat McDonald's. I just prefer it when I'm on the go."

Denmark laughed, as if he didn't believe a word of it, heading down the street to the McDonald's they'd passed on the way in. Given the hour, there was hardly a line when they arrived, and America walked over to a row of stools lining the bar along the window while Denmark went to order their food. He yawned as he watched people walk by. The subways weren't running at this hour. It had always seemed strange to him, that most places in the city opened at 10 or 11 at night, but the trains didn't run in those late night hours.

"Aren't you supposed to be the young one? How am I more awake than you?" A tray with a value meal was set down in front of him and Denmark pulled another stool over so that they're legs were pressed together when he sat down. "Just share your fries with me, okay?"

America blinked, unwrapping the burger. "I thought you were starving?"

Denmark smiled. "Oh. I am." He leaned in closer, chin sitting on America's shoulder as he picked up a fry from the carton. "But not necessarily for food." He pressed the fry on America's lips, smiling when America parted them to take hold of it. He shifted, taking the other end of the fry between his own lips.

America flushed as he realized what Denmark wanted to do. His eyes closed as he moved down the fry, until his lips met with Denmark's. They parted briefly, swallowing their respective halves of the fry before closing in again. America loved kissing Denmark, and it wasn't because it was the only time either of them ever really shut up. No, it was because Denmark, in a show of how much he used his mouth, was really, really good at it.

Unfortunuately, he didn't get a chance to fully appreciate how skilled his boyfriend was. Prussia chose that moment to stumble down the street, passing the very window they were sitting in front of. Just as easily as they could have seen him had they been looking, he saw them. It didn't matter that there was a thick pane of glass between them, America and Denmark were able to hear Prussia very clearly.

"WHAT THE FUCK?"

Koz Café was a Danish café in Yoyogi Park, just outside Shibuya. Unfortunately, it appears to have closed its Shibuya location earlier this year and moved to Yokohama but for the purposes of this story, it will still be in its Shibuya location.

Koldskål is fridge buttermilk with vanilla and lemon flavor. It is typically served with fruit or biscuits.

Adores is a very popular gaming center in Shibuya. Another popular one is Shibuya Kaikan.