Hey look it's me again.

(I've decided I really like to update on Saturday nights)

So gaiz. I've been reading this book called Citizens of London, and it's about the US envoys that traveled to Britain during the period of American neutrality at the beginning of World War II. It's really well-written and interesting and informative and all sorts of nice, perfectly innocent and asexual things like that, not to mention chock-full of THE MOST LEGIT USUK YOU'VE EVER SEEN!1111!

Thus this fanfic.

And so my anecdote ends.

Historical notes (feel free to skip):

In regards to the title: The Savoy was a London bar that stayed open and was kept in prime working condition even during the Blitz. It was a hotspot for political figures such as journalists, ambassadors, etcetera, etcetera, American and British alike. (For any of you who don't know, before the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States was rather adamant about not joining the war, which thoroughly irritated Britain because they were kind of getting their asses steadily pummeled while we sat around moaning about a handful of economic problems and otherwise staring at our toes. Sorry about that, you guys. We did come around eventually, and thus came into being the wartime alliance that all of us fangirls know so well – the Special Relationship, so dubbed in…1946, I believe, by our dear Mr. Winston Churchill.)

In addition, during the Blitz, London experienced a sort of…sexual revolution, for lack of better word. And no, I am not making this up. Women (including Churchill's daughters, yes, pretty much all of them, the little skanks, lololol) started having affairs all over the place, basically because they could be blown up the next day so who gave a damn anyways. I dunno about the state of the homosexuals, but…nevertheless…:3

Please forgive the impromptu history lecture, and prepare yourselves for some serious angst.

Even so, enjoy. ^^

The world had narrowed to a blur of talk, of whispers and rumors and towering piles of legal documents rising in mountains from the surface of his desk, of signatures and speeches and addresses and negotiations, of so many meetings and conferences and discussions that even Arthur, with all his attentions to detail and exacting policy regarding organization, couldn't be bothered to keep track of them, instead letting them blur into the single process of Churchill making requests and Roosevelt sort of rolling them around on his tongue for a while before spitting them out with excuses chasing at their heels. However, when Arthur was away from work, that air of professionalism dissipated, and all around him he could hear the voices of his people, never allowed to sound above a whisper because god knows that to recognize what was happening aloud would make it tangible and inevitable and irreversible, that if they worried for the empire that was crumbling around them through anything but the smoke circles running from the tips of their cigars as they hunched around their drinks in the small hours of the morning, she would snap right then and there and all the weight of triumph and glory would come crashing down on them and break their backs and take their hope and steal away their pride.

Time had faded, preserved only as an antique aspect from the time before the war; Arthur's days and nights were no longer judged by a clock but by the amount work on his desk and those terrible moments of fear that came too often late at night and were always announced by the low moan of the sirens followed by the dull thud of the first bomb dropping, setting the city aglow with fire and the paralyzing knowledge that at any moment those sirens would be sounding for you. The fear was almost thrilling, coarse and wild and stumbling through Arthur's veins to fill his lungs and throat and nose and bones, and it was all he could do to keep working, to simply grit his teeth and steady his pen and continue writing, perhaps descending to the basement of the building if he felt the need, though he rarely did.

Outside his window, London was pockmarked and crumbling; on the other side of the glass, Arthur was working, always working, and when he wasn't working he could be found drinking while surrounded by the people he was trying to work with. Most were British, a few were American, many were journalists and politicians, a handful were radio broadcasters, and the slightest few were actually of some use - the vast majority were nothing more than talkers, merely adding more white noise to what had become the soundtrack of Arthur's existence (but then again, they bought him drinks, so he could bring himself to accept their other shortcomings without much trouble).

Regardless of the halfhearted arguments they would bat back and forth across bar counters and tabletops, their words laced with the smell of alcohol and cigarette smoke and the sarcasm men like to wear when they are truly terrified, there was one consensus, with which Arthur was reluctantly in agreement.

There had been conversations. There had been hints. There had been so many fruitless dinners and luncheons and calls and conferences and letters and requests and forms and bartering sessions that they had all started to seem more like goddam tea parties. Then again, at least these tea parties had merited something from across the Atlantic, albeit nothing more than a trickle of supplies, and Arthur supposed he should be grateful, though the idea of gratitude rather stuck in his throat when he considered the oblivion most Americans were enjoying as the entirety of Britain watched as their empire began, bit by bit, colony by colony, bomb by bomb, to cave in on itself. Oh yes, there had been conversations, there had been dallying and skipping words about like stones, and mincing meanings, and disguised pleas followed by disguised refusals, but never action, and as frustrated as he was, as they all were, Arthur had grown accustomed to it: America would not save them. It was certain that the British Empire would perish, and perhaps free Europe would perish as well - Arthur didn't know, but again, he had grown accustomed to it.

So why was Alfred there? At first, Arthur had thought that he had finally enjoyed a little too much to drink and that he was simply imagining him, that his mind was conjuring up the boy standing at the far side of the bar, chattering and laughing with a group of foreign correspondents, dressed in a rumpled three-piece suit with his glasses clinging lopsidedly to his face and his hair still upset from the little bowler hat he had been wearing, which he held to his chest with one hand while the other gestured wildly through the air to emphasize whatever point he might be making. However, after some time had passed and the illusion endured, Arthur decided that Alfred was indeed in London, rubbing elbows at the Savoy, no less! and that he was obviously there on business because otherwise he never would have bothered to put on a suit, however unkempt it might have been. By this point, Arthur had turned back to his gin and thirstily downed what little remained in the glass, wiping his mouth on the edge of his sleeve and tapping the surface of the bar in the hopes of another round, fortifying himself because he knew it wouldn't be long before he was seen and beckoned over and made to suffer through what had the potential to become hours of fruitless conversation, nothing more than verbal sparring between their two nations, one pushing and one pulling with ten times the strength, all of which, of course, would amount to naught in the end.

He jumped and nearly spilled his new drink across the counter when Alfred tumbled into the stool beside him, righting himself and fidgeting with his tie, glancing cautiously at Arthur, who merely lifted his drink to his lips and took a controlled sip, appreciating the gentle burn of the alcohol against the roof of his mouth.

"Long time no see, England," said Alfred with a crooked smile, courageously extending his hand. Arthur raised an eyebrow but put down his glass to accept the handshake, realizing as he did so that Alfred's fingers had come to dwarf his own. In addition, his palm was hot and sweaty and uncomfortable, and Arthur sighed, ending the contact and wiping his hand indiscreetly on the leg of his trousers before he returned to his gin.

"What in the world are you doing here, America?"

Alfred rested his elbows on the counter, heaving a little sigh as he did so.

"Well, I…lately I've been hearing so much about the situation over here, you know, over the radio and stuff, through those broadcasts, the ones by Ed Murrow, do you know 'em?"

Arthur nodded; he was very well aware of the popular radio chronicle that detailed the horrors of the Blitz. In fact, he was personally acquainted with Mr. Murrow, the journalist behind the series, and actually preferred him to many of the other American men who would flit in and out of London - he appreciated his dark sincerity (he sugarcoated nothing, capturing the crashes and screams and the crackling of the flames that haunted the streets of London and attempting to broadcast them to the ears of the American people), respected his seriousness regarding the situation in Europe and the necessity of American involvement, and tried his best to ignore his realistic and therefore frighteningly grave attitude regarding the future.

Alfred, apparently encouraged by Arthur's agreement, had since continued with his explanation.

"So I've been hearing all sorts of things, and I wanted to know if they were…if they were true. I wanted to see for myself, just how bad off the situation was, I mean. So I hopped on a boat with all the other envoys and politicians and journalists and stuff," he shrugged, bobbing his head in thanks as the barkeep deposited a small tumbler of bourbon in front of him. "And here I am," he paused, taking a small sip from his glass. "And I didn't know if we would run into you or not, England, but…but to be honest, I was kind of hoping we would, and I'm glad we have. With all that's been going on, I wanted to see you, y'know, I wanted…I wanted to be sure that you were alright."

Arthur blinked. Although politics required that they maintain a relatively steady formal correspondence, the last time he had seen Alfred in the flesh and attempted to partake in an actual conversation with him had been nearly a decade ago in Chicago, and even during that brief instance there had been a considerable measure of tension between them. Although the relationship between the United States and Britain had warmed considerably since The Great War, losing the greater part of its feigned cordiality in favor of, at the very least, a grudging but honest sort of respect, the same could not be said for affairs between Alfred and Arthur: in fact, they had spent the majority of the World's Fair in long bouts of uncomfortable silence that were occasionally punctuated by halfhearted bickering regarding the fact that America had shamelessly copied Britain and was now unabashedly reaping the benefits. Since then, there had been nothing between them but letters and the occasional call (for business purposes only), and Arthur could not for the life of him fathom why Alfred would want to see him - Alfred, the self-obsessed little boy who used to spend hours poring over engineering manuals and tinkering with ridiculous contraptions in the hopes of stumbling across an invention instead of drawing maps and sketching proposals like he ought, the brash and ignorant soldier who had charged from the trenches claiming to be a hero only to fall to his knees and weep at the sight of the carnage spread before him (shedding tears, Arthur had thought ruefully, for the nature of Europe, the for bloodthirsty character of her people, for him),the indulged child (Arthur would vehemently deny any fault in this matter) who threw his money to the wind that came from the west and was finally receiving nothing but dust in return, the stubborn newborn power who used his staggering strength only to further emphasize his refusal, and lastly the shy young man who was fidgeting in the barstool beside Arthur and saying that he wanted to make sure he was alright.

"I beg your pardon?"

Alfred bit down on his lower lip.

"So you're alright, then, England."

Arthur swallowed; so he had heard correctly. He glanced into his glass of gin, mournfully noting that there was little but a film of alcohol left in the bottom.

"Of course I'm not alright, America," he said quietly. "I'm absolutely dreadful, and so is everyone, and everything. The whole place is going to hell. But," he idly twirled his glass in his hand, watching the gin swirl against the sides. "I'm alive. I'm exhausted. I'm afraid. I'm jumpy and overworked and I feel as if I haven't truly breathed in months. But still, I'm alive, I'm alive and I'm here and I'm talking to you, so I suppose that would classify as alright in some sense of the word."

Alfred was quiet for a very long moment, staring into his mostly-full glass of bourbon.

"I'm sorry, England," he said finally, still not looking at him.

"I don't want your pity," Arthur spat, looking away because Alfred was being nothing but honest and it made him sick.

"It's not pity," mumbled Alfred. "I don't pity you, England."

"You're a fool. I don't know why you've come."

"I want to help."

Arthur actually laughed, a harsh, low, mirthless sound that hurt his chest.

"Don't kid with me, Alfred."

He allowed himself a moment of satisfaction at the sight of the visible flinch that flitted across Alfred's face at the sound of his human name, lifting his drink to his lips and draining the last of the gin, tilting the base of the glass to the ceiling in an effort to salvage every last drop; the sound it made when he set it back down on the counter resonated in the silence between them.

"I want to help," repeated Alfred dully, not looking up from his study of his hands. "And I want you to live."

Arthur chuckled again.

"Don't, Alfred. All you want is to be the hero. You want your second chance to rescue Europe from itself, and this time there will be no League of Nations, no silly ruse of freedom and equality and a better, more peaceful tomorrow, simply you in all your glory and nothing else. And to be honest, I want you to want that because it is in my best interest, because it will save me and my country and the entire continent from otherwise certain demise, but this time it would seem that your superiors know better. They have learnt not to meddle in the affairs of the damned," he sighed. "Perhaps you should follow their example."

Again, Alfred was quiet for a very long time, sipping pensively from his glass of bourbon.

"You're not damned, Arthur," he said eventually, a curious expression in his eyes. "If you were, then you wouldn't be in this situation, would you? You would have followed the rest of Europe and dropped to your knees before Germany, you would have turned your back on freedom to salvage a dusty old empire, you would be just like the goddam frog, completely crawling with Krauts while you flip through the pages of a German phrasebook at gunpoint," Alfred's upper lip curled with disgust. "But you haven't, and you won't, not until you've lost everything that stands between them and you, I know it. So, like I said before, I don't pity you, Arthur," he let his name drop between them like a stone, raising an eyebrow as if to dare Arthur to challenge him. "I admire you. I believe in you. And I want to help you."

"Oh, Alfred," sighed Arthur, bringing a hand to his temple. "You don't know what you want."

Alfred's eyes flashed.

"I want to fight."

"You want to glorify yourself."

"I want to help."

"You want to be needed."

"I want to know the world for myself."

"You want to feel adequate, validated. Despite your victories, your disproportionate power which your superiors refuse to share, you remain parched for approval; it would be cute if it weren't so pathetic."

"I want a war."

Arthur glanced at him sharply.

"How long are we going to keep playing this game, Alfred?"

The line of Alfred's mouth deepened into a fierce frown, indicating that he had dug his heels in and would have his way even if it took a lifetime, a trait which he had no doubt inherited from his former caretaker.

"Until you accept my decisions," and suddenly he was scooting forwards in his barstool, leaning across the counter, coming so close that the frames of his glasses nearly brushed Arthur's cheek, and he could see the fine shadows the dim lamplight cast into his corn-colored hair, smell the bourbon and cigarette smoke on his breath. "I know what I want."

"No you don't," said Arthur, but he didn't pull away when Alfred kissed him, although he did give the idea a good measure of consideration. Alfred was young, Alfred was a fool (an inexperienced fool at that - his lips were clumsy and their teeth clacked together and he didn't know what to do with his hands), and Arthur knew that even though he was the one being kissed, Alfred was the one being taken advantage of: Arthur had webbed him in with little word games and now he was letting him think he had garnered some sort of victory, and though he had never thought of Alfred as much of a lover and therefore hadn't really been aiming for anything of this sort, he was slowly realizing how long it had been since he had been kissed and how handsome Alfred had grown up to be and how, come to think of it, very grown up he was all of a sudden, not to mention how tired Arthur felt and how he really couldn't bring himself to give a damn about the future because he couldn't be sure if tomorrow even existed anymore. And so, after a minute more, he found himself kissing Alfred back, seizing control and digging his fingers into his hair and rising up a little bit from the stool to plunge his tongue deeper into his mouth. There was no need to worry about privacy because nobody noticed, nobody cared, this was London in the Blitz, after all, and the future didn't exist so therefore there was no longer any call for shame.

They broke apart when Alfred turned his chin away to gasp for air; Arthur sunk his fingers into his collar and dragged him down again, realizing how much taller he had grown when he had to lean almost completely out of his barstool to jar their mouths together even as he pulled Alfred down by his shirt. The kiss lasted for a little while longer than before, Alfred losing whatever semblance of control he had enjoyed in the first place as Arthur wound his fingers fiercely through his hair and levered himself upwards, pressed deeper, feeling his blood begin to run hot despite himself, fueled in part by alcohol and a sudden nameless necessity that he hadn't realized existed until then. When they snapped apart again, Alfred was flushed and panting, glasses crooked and hair hanging every which way about his eyes and forehead, wiping at his mouth shamelessly with the back of his hand.

"Arthur," he turned his nose up sharply as Arthur made another dive for his mouth, placing the flats of his palms on his chest both to steady him and hold him back. "Arthur…I want…I want to…"

"I told you, Alfred," hissed Arthur, sinking his teeth into his jugular. "You don't know what you want." Before Alfred could respond, Arthur had grabbed him by the cheek and kissed him again, smirking against his mouth when he heard him sigh and relent, wrapping his arms around Arthur's neck and tangling his hands into his hair to drag him closer.

"I want," groaned Alfred against his mouth, and his tone, harsh and low and roughened by want, so completely alienated from the childish image he had always projected, made Arthur's heart jump a little despite himself. "I want to go somewhere."

This got Arthur to pause; he raised an eyebrow curiously.

"Alfred, for how long..?"

"I don't know. I really don't," his eyes glittered fiercely at him despite the heavy come and go of his breathing. "In a way I think I always have, in some way or another," he paused, "of course, when I was a kid it was just that I thought you were the shit and stuff," he glanced away. "But now…I don't… goddammit, I don't know. But it's like you said, Arthur - here I am, here you are. And to be honest, I don't give a damn about much else. "

Arthur really hadn't said anything of the sort, or at least not with that sort of connotation; before, he had been trying to imply the misery of his current situation, certainly not justify fucking Alfred into a mattress with no promises or expectations (at least not on his behalf) whilst their respective countries were trying to forge a fragile alliance in a time of crisis; however, because he knew America would not help them, because every other night the skies seemed to break and rain hell over London, because the future could just as easily be demolished as any other building or monument or piece of history that still stood its ground against the tide of totalitarianism, he found that he didn't have it in himself to correct Alfred's words, instead taking him by his tie and pressing him hard against the far wall of the bar, kissing him fiercely and telling him that he knew a place where they wouldn't be disturbed. Alfred gasped against him and nodded his assent, fingers digging almost painfully into the small of Arthur's back as if he could keep him there that way, and for a moment the thought that perhaps Alfred was only doing this because he thought he could protect him (protect Europe, protect the Atlantic ocean, backhandedly protect himself without a single gun being fired on the part of the American people) if he held him close enough flitted through Arthur's mind; he dismissed it immediately in favor of leading Alfred through a back door and onto the street, the chill in the air striking them hard, their breath billowing in front of them in thick clouds of white.

They didn't hold hands or link arms or do anything silly like that, simply walked side by side, keeping their pace brisk to combat the cold and their hands shoved deep into the pockets of their overcoats. Alfred put his bowler cap on again, Arthur buttoned himself up to his nose, and thus they continued down the street, Arthur trying to ignore the destruction and Alfred trying not to be so obvious about gawking at it, his eyes widening visibly every time they passed a pile of rubble or a half-crumbled building or a roped-off area where a bomb had yet to detonate. The city was almost entirely dark, the only light produced by the glimmers of candles, coming from behind the few windows that weren't boarded up or blacked out, and the yellow crackle of the fires, flickering at them from the edges of the alleyways and casting eerie, amorphous shadows across the streets. The hotel wasn't far off, and they couldn't have been walking for more than five minutes before the low hum of conversation began to drift towards them through the night air; this was soon followed by the sight of the hotel, looking like a little island of light against the dark, filled with talk and laughter and the sound of glasses clinking and the chatter of high heels against tile floors and pieces of jewelry clacking against each other. They hurried inside; Alfred flashed his identification at the front desk, received a key, and allowed the receptionist to ooh and ah over his nationality for a few impatient moments before they escaped and proceeded to stumble over themselves into the elevator, falling into each other the moment the doors had shut and not coming apart until they chimed open again. Arthur kissed Alfred some more outside the room, letting him scrabble with the key for a while before he finally got the door open and allowed Arthur to push him inside.

Although Alfred had at least remembered to flip the lights on at some point, Arthur paid no attention whatsoever to their surroundings except to purposefully make note of the position of the bed so that he could begin to maneuver them in that direction, seeing as Alfred really was quite hopeless, simply standing there and sighing and gasping while Arthur kissed him and ripped him free of his jacket, doing away with his waistcoat and running his hands up beneath his suspenders to unfasten them before he let his own overcoat crumple to the floor and started in on Alfred's buttons, breathing evenly between pressing his tongue and teeth to his neck and jawbone, finally hissing in victory as the cloth began to fall away. Alfred let out a soft cry of complaint when the edge of the bed bit into the backs of his knees; Arthur merely grumbled at him and pushed him into the mattress, pressing him down with his shirt opening up around him as he lifted his hips to allow Arthur to get at the button of his trousers. Arthur tossed them aside and kissed him forcefully for a long moment before he sat back again, straddling his hips, and began to undo his own tie and waistcoat, making his suspenders crack painfully against his shoulders in his haste.

However, suddenly he felt himself shifting backwards, and realized that Alfred was sitting up, catching his wrist, looking almost irritated. Arthur stopped halfway through with the buttons of his shirt and quirked an eyebrow at him.

"I'll need my hand, Alfred, if we're to get anywhere."

"I want to do it," breathed Alfred; the high color in his cheeks deepened. "Undress you, I mean."

Arthur blinked. "Why? It'll be faster if I just - "

"It's not about speed," Alfred leaned forwards, catching his waist with one hand, running his thumb along the sharp curve of his hip. "I just want to do it."

Arthur swallowed; there was an element of sincerity in Alfred's gaze that he hadn't been entirely expecting, and for an instant he wondered if perhaps he should stop right there, call the whole thing off before he did something he would regret, but then Alfred leaned forwards and kissed him, obviously trying to be persuasive about it but really only coming off as sloppy, and Arthur found that he was responding with a sort of exasperated fondness, immediately taking the reins but also turning the kiss into a lesson, wordlessly showing Alfred where to put his hands and how to tilt his chin and what to do about those damn glasses.

"Fine," he murmured when they had parted. "But be efficient about it, won't you?"

Alfred's lower lip jutted out. "Isn't this supposed to be about romance?"

Arthur laughed; it was the same sort of short, mirthless sound from back at the bar.

"I fear Hollywood's gotten to you, my dear boy," he sighed, placing his palm on Alfred's bare chest and feeling the little shiver that ran through his stomach. "Now hurry up."

Alfred took his advice literally, running through Arthur's clothing as if each article was a different piece on one of his endless assembly lines. Arthur could very well imagine the instructions: buttons first, then shrug off the sleeves. Toss the shirt to the side. Now for his trousers, make sure he lifts his hips, there we go, let them fall wherever, pick them up in the morning. Let him kick his own socks off; deal away with yours while he's doing so...and Alfred followed these guidelines methodically, traveling down Arthur's body with clumsy fingers, only rising again when they were both in nothing but their underwear; Arthur rolled his eyes and shoved him back to the mattress, situating himself over his hips and nudging his knee gently into his crotch, smirking at the little hiss he received in reply, how Alfred sort of pitched forwards with a curiously taught expression on his face. He leaned down and forced their mouths together, eventually breaking away and trailing down Alfred's neck, over his throbbing jugular, down to his clavicle, across his heaving chest and the gentle muscles of his abdomen, circling his navel before he slid his fingers beneath his waistband and threw his underpants to the side, pressing his mouth into the hollow of his hip as he finished with the last of his own clothing and sat up again, bracing himself against Alfred's chest with a little smirk.

His hair was a mess, spread out around him across the pillow, and his glasses were scarcely clinging to his nose anymore, slipping down with the combined weight of sweat and Arthur's forcefulness. He was very flushed indeed, breathing heavily, hands balanced on Arthur's hips, lips parted and eyebrows drawn together just slightly. His thumbs were methodically tracing little circles across the curves of Arthur's hipbones, probably without his realizing it, and his heels were already drawn up nearly around his waist. After a moment more of silence, he leaned up and pressed his mouth clumsily to Arthur's face, pawing at his shoulders, and Arthur swallowed again, beginning to realize something.

"Alfred," he said, reaching up to try and stop his assault on his jawbone. "Alfred, before we…before…well, before, I have to ask…have you…ah, have you ever done this before?"

Alfred paused, stiffening against him. Arthur closed his eyes.

"You haven't, have you."

Alfred sighed, leaning back a little and bringing his hand to the back of his neck sheepishly.

"Is it that obvious?"

"I'm afraid so. You never were terribly…discreet."

Alfred chuckled. "True. But, um, Arthur," he glanced up at him, looking almost worried. "We're not going to…you're not gonna stop, are you?"

Arthur raised an eyebrow dubiously; Alfred breathed a sigh of relief.

"Good, good. Awesome," he paused, grinning ruefully at him. "Hey, don't look at me like that. You've got some weird quirks, y'know, old man. I was worried that it might bother you, yanno, the idea of…" he stopped for a moment, seeming to search for the right word. "Deflowering an innocent, I guess."

It was with great difficulty that Arthur chose not to pursue his particular choice of word and opted instead to push him back down onto the pillow and pick up where they had left off, trying to establish a steady rhythm even though Alfred was relatively useless beneath him, humming low in his throat and bucking his hips and whining occasionally but not really doing much else that would help Arthur along in his effort to synchronize their movement. However, that wasn't to say that he was an inactive partner, oh no, in fact he was quite the opposite, pawing and feeling his way all across Arthur's body as if he were a blind man, fingers stumbling around and into the dips and curves of his collarbone and shoulders and the rather too-sharply pronounced ridges of his ribs (where stopped for a moment to ogle only to be rather harshly told how that was what happened when there was rationing and the trickle of supplies from across the Atlantic had eased to a near standstill), trying to kiss him and ending up jarring their jaws or clacking their teeth together and always opening his mouth too soon, too eagerly, much too enthusiastically. In fact, Arthur ended up somewhat monopolizing the whole thing, although he couldn't bear to look when it came time for the necessary preparations, instead turning his face away and letting the ragged rhythm of Alfred's gasps be his guide, neither stopping when his breath hitched in pain nor being particularly gentle because he felt Alfred should learn to handle things as they were, that he didn't need Arthur sugarcoating the world for him any longer.

Arthur stopped when he believed Alfred was ready, reaching down and spreading his legs and positioning himself between them, glancing at him briefly and receiving a little nod in return. He began, and Alfred arched all the way off the mattress, his jaw falling slack and his hands slipping down Arthur's sides, heels scrabbling for purchase against his hips. Arthur didn't stop to comfort him or tell him that it would get better, simply gritted his teeth and shut his eyes and kept going, trembling with the effort. This continued for a few minutes, and just as Alfred was finally calming down, beginning to relax and sigh and lift his hips in an attempt to meet Arthur's thrusts halfway, a low moan erupted all around them, and Arthur stiffened, a thrill of fear arching up his spine.

"W-what…?" Alfred could scarcely breathe, let alone speak; he tried to lift himself up again, but found he couldn't beneath Arthur's weight. The dull screech of the sirens nearly drowned his voice. "I don't -"

"It's a raid, Alfred," breathed Arthur; a low thud sounded in the distance and Alfred jumped against him, nails digging into his hips. "The bombs are falling again."

They were still for a moment longer, the tips of Alfred's fingers pressing so hard against Arthur's hipbones that when he finally let go he left a light pattern of dark marks across his skin. Arthur dared not move a muscle, hands still fisted into the sheets; they were fine silk, he realized dully, soft and cream-colored and bordered with a thick band of satin that glowed in the lamplight. For a moment he took the time to be irritated, because they were probably expensive, and much too luxurious in such a time of war, and…and…eventually, Alfred let out a little groan and tried to prop himself up on his elbows, reaching up to shake Arthur's shoulder.

"Arthur," he breathed, wincing because his shaking had caused Arthur to jar around inside him. "Arthur, can you hear me?"

Arthur glared at him. "What do you mean, can I hear you? Of course I can hear you," he shifted to make the position a little more comfortable, not missing Alfred's deep sigh of relief. "I was merely doing some thinking."

Alfred gasped when Arthur started to try to move again, arching from the mattress and levering the flats of his palms against his chest to get him to stop.

"We're not going to…to go down to a b-basement or something?" Arthur made a dive for his throat and he turned his chin away, sighing as Arthur fell against his clavicle with his teeth and tongue. "Arthur, wait, h-hey, listen for a minute -" Then he threw his head back, words falling away and a little strangled noise escaping from the back of his throat as Arthur angled his hips more sharply and pushed deeper.

"D-don't be foolish," managed Arthur, leaning down to press his mouth against Alfred's ear. "We're nations. A bomb can't kill us. It can hurt like you'd never believe, but it can't…we'd survive," he smirked. "I refuse to stop here just because the Germans have decided to pay us another visit."

Alfred groaned, hands running down and around his waist as if to pull him deeper.

"Won't give…" he muttered. "The goddamn Krauts the satisfaction…"

Arthur knew that Alfred hadn't meant anything by those words, that he was merely rambling in the confusion of his fear and arousal and the wartime atmosphere, but nevertheless his breath caught in his throat and he wondered if his partner's nonsensical mumblings were really so far off, if they really weren't making love or having sex or even senselessly fucking each other but rather merely taking a stand, turning their noses up, jamming their hands on their hips (or each other's, more literally) and absolutely not budging until the bombs stopped falling, refusing to pause their desperate rhythm of thrusts and gasps clumsily harmonized with the sounds of the bed groaning beneath them in order to make the point that they, they being America and Britain, together in whatever sense of the word you please, were the West, that they always had been, and always would be, and that no philosophy or dictator or air raid could ever hope to shake them apart, not while one or the other still lived and breathed and could move his hips back and forth.

Alfred made a curious sort of gargling noise, tipping his head back again with his Adam's apple bobbing wildly beneath the thin skin of his throat.

"Arthur," he groaned, palms slipping and sliding down Arthur's trembling hips. "Oh Christ, I'm close."

Another bomb fell as Arthur opened his mouth to reply, close enough to shake the rafters of the hotel and send dust fluttering down towards them like a grey snowfall, sticking to the sweat on their bodies and collecting on the frames of Alfred's glasses. For a moment Alfred looked stricken with fear, then Arthur moved again and he curled up around him, coming with a cry that was almost immediately drowned by another explosion, even closer, rattling the bedposts and nearly sending Arthur to the floor with the force of the impact. Light bloomed suddenly from behind the window curtains, illuminating the lines of the intricate roses embroidered on the papery fabric, and Arthur coughed; there was really a rather lot of dust in the room by then, but he was close, so close, and Alfred was beginning to go limp beneath him so he needed to finish himself as fast as possible. He didn't take very long, but by the time it was over the dust had settled and the room was filled with a strange quiet, punctuated only by Alfred's labored breathing and the dull creaking of the lamp as it swung wildly from the ceiling, still alive with the force of the raid, casting haphazard shadows across the walls. Arthur lay still, gazing up at the ceiling, absently drawing trails in the dust that clung to his arms and shoulders and allowing his mind to grow completely unfocused for a few exhausted moments.

Eventually, he felt the mattress shift beneath him, and looked over to see Alfred propping himself up on one elbow, cleaning off his glasses on the edge of the sheet.

"Don't," said Arthur, batting at his hand. "They're such nice fabric."

Alfred raised an eyebrow at him dubiously. "They're covered in dust anyways."

"It's the principle, Alfred. Waste not, want not, yeah?"

"But Arthur," Alfred flashed him a smirk before he returned to cleaning his glasses, "I don't know what I want, isn't that right?"

Arthur sighed. "What just happened is certainly proof of that much."

Alfred looked up sharply, frowning. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"This," Arthur gestured helplessly to the mussed sheets and their scattered clothing. "It's not…I don't…it can't…what do you think is going to happen now, Alfred?"

Alfred let his glasses fall to the sheets, his brow knitting. "I guess, maybe…" he chuckled a little nervously, bringing a hand to the back of his neck. "I dunno, I could take you out to dinner?"

Arthur groaned. "Oh, Alfred, you have no idea."

Alfred was silent for a moment, staring at the sheets pensively, then he picked up his glasses, sliding them onto the crook of his nose and blinking down at Arthur with eyes that seemed much too wide and too blue.

"But I do know one thing, Arthur," he said quietly, not trying to break away from his gaze. Arthur raised an eyebrow.

"And what's that, Alfred?"

Alfred paused, swallowed visibly, then reached out and cupped his hand gently around Arthur's chin, leaning up and pressing his lips to his forehead with far too much tenderness, breathing his answer against his cheek as he leaned away.

"I want you, Arthur."

Ashamed of himself, Arthur turned his face against the pillow, looking towards the window that was boarded up against the grey sky that rained bombs.

"No, Alfred," he whispered. "No you don't."

See look u gaiz I can be angsty too.

Edward Murrow was an American BBC correspondent journalist sort of…thing…who was so moved by the horrors of the Blitz that he felt compelled to broadcast an honest soundtrack of the air raids to American households in an effort to fuel support for the war. Overall he was a pretty kewl dude. And had an affair with one of Churchill's daughters. :3 I think he married her..? *doesn't really remember*

And yep, Britain did the whole World's Fair thing before us. I actually didn't know that before I decided to write this story. o.O Wikipedia FTW, haha.

And...ah...I think I should admit that if two guys started making out in the middle of a crowded bar, heads would probably turn. Especially in that time period. Okay, heads would definitely turn. BUT OH WELL~

Anyways, there were some ambiguous sexytiems for you guys. I hope you enjoyed them. Whatever the case, I take absolutely no responsibility for this fic and will totally blame everything on history and its being too damn sexy. Just FYI, lololol.

Reviews are always appreciated. ^^

See you all next time around,