The Mother Road
By TG (musichika_tg on LJ)
Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia, Eagles, or any of the songs or places portrayed in this fic.
Summary: Snippets of Alfred's and Arthur's week on the Mother Road.
Warnings: Arthur's potty-mouth and Alfred's innuendo.
Author's Notes: First, sorry for the long ANs...there will be one at the end for historical/place references and my sources. Second, this is kind of an experiment. Since this is a pinch-hit for the USUK comm's Secret Santa exchange (I just got the prompt a few days ago) and I've been busy as crap, I haven't been able to get a second opinion on the formatting. It's possible that there's a bit too much dialogue. I tried to begin and end it with prose , and intersperse some in with the dialogue so it doesn't get stale, but...*shrug* Who knows. Third, I have seen Eagles live, which was AWESOME, and I've been on bits of Route 66, so I could not resist taking tophatviolet's prompt a bit further than just the song Take It Easy XD Fourth, I do realize that the road trip idea has already been done in this fandom. This fic isn't meant to infringe on any of those.
Anyway... Happy holidays to tophatviolet!
(Exact prompt: "Take it easy-eagles. Something involving this song since it's just so..American and reminds me of dusty roads and the line. "I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me." is just so nghh 3")
The phone rings, and though Arthur is tempted to ignore it in favor of staring at his scones baking in the oven, he knows that it might be important, so he answers.
"So Artie. I was thinking that we should do something fun after the World Conference."
"Oh? What did you have in mind?"
"I was thinking –"
"Twice in one day?"
"You're an ass. Anyway, as I was saying. We should go on a road trip!"
Arthur lets his silence speak for itself; even though he loves the twit, the idea of spending any amount of time cooped up in a car with the rambunctious American is not one conducive to his happiness.
"…you don't like that idea, huh."
Arthur sighs. Alfred sounds crushed, and he can only be thankful that his lover isn't here to turn the kicked puppy expression on him.
"Well…what did you have in mind then? Next conference is in Chicago, correct? I don't fancy that we will be able to see much of anything but buildings. Nor will it be much of a road trip if we are stuck in traffic."
"Ahahahahahaha! Artie, dude! You're so silly! Why would I want to take a road trip in a city? No, I wanna go for a drive on the old Mother Road! Y'know, like old times!"
"Route 66? Alfred, it doesn't even exist anymore."
"Sure it does!"
"Alfred… I don't know."
"Come on, what's not to know! I mean, those bushy 'brows of yours haven't taken over your brain yet, right? Hahahahahaha!"
"Alfred. Do kindly fuck off."
"Aw, Artie! You know I love you! Just make sure to pack a week's worth of clothes! And pack those shorts I like so much. It's pretty warm in the Southwest~!"
"Alfred! A week? What -? Oh blast it all to hell, the smoke detector's going off. You made me burn my scones, you twit!"
"Oh Artie. I didn't make you do that, you burn food just fine on your own –"
All Alfred receives for his trouble is the dial tone and a cold shoulder.
"Let us start the meeting, despite the absence of the United States –"
BANG! The door is nearly busted off its hinges as America walks in with a bag from McDonald's, which is literally dripping grease onto the floor.
"Yo, what's up?"
"…America, you are twenty minutes late."
"Yah I know! I 'ad 'oo staw fa' Mi'onal's!" Swallow. "Anyone want some fries?"
"…no. Sit down, Alfred."
Arthur's nose wrinkles and he sighs.
"Alfred, get off me. You smell like grease and it's revolting."
"Aw Artie! I'm just so excited! Aren't you excited?"
"To be trapped in a car with you for a week, traveling an unused, unkempt road in the unbearable heat? Oh yes, America, I am so excited."
"Sorry. I thought this would be fun, y'know?" Alfred's smile is wistful, and his expression is a little sad, like Arthur has hurt him but he doesn't want to show it. Damn. "Spendin' time together on the open road…dusty highways with the windows rolled down and Eagles blastin' on the radio, the little ma and pop diners…"
"…I'll get my coat."
ROAD TRIP –DAY ONE
"I spy with my little eye something…green!"
"It wouldn't happen to be grass (again) would it?"
"Holy shit, Artie! How did you know?"
"Our first stop of the trip: the Chain of Broken Rocks Bridge!"
"Alfred, this sign says that vehicles aren't allowed to use this bridge."
"I know, dude!"
"…then why are we here?"
"Alfred. Shut your mouth and pay attention to the road. We'll be there soon."
"I'm so hungry~!"
"Welcome to Meramec Caverns!"
"Alfred, this is… That is to say, this is lovely."
"I know, right? Jesse James picked a pretty damn good hideout, huh."
"I love you."
Hands meet and fingers fold together, squeezing.
"…I love you, too."
"You can let go of my hand now. Alfred. Hey. Hey -!"
"Y-you twat, we're in public!"
"C'mon Artie! Let's go look over here~!"
"Well, here we are. Cuba, MO. Gross name, but a good town."
"Wow Alfred, these are –"
"Yup, pretty cool, huh. A few of 'em are murals of my Civil War, but there's a lot of other ones, too. Like that one, of Bette Davis. Man was she hot. Ow! Artiiieee, why'd you hit me?"
"Shut up, wanker."
"Aw don't be mad at me! Oh hey look, there's the hotel!"
"Wagon Wheel Motel. Really. That's where we're staying."
"C'mon dude, it's fully renovated! And it's like a staple of Route 66!"
"…bleeding Christ America, fine! Stop swerving the damned car already!"
ROAD TRIP –DAY TWO
"C'mon Artie! Up an' at 'em! I thought old men were supposed to wake up early!"
"Pretty bloody difficult to wake up early when a stupid American keeps me up all night…hey! I'm not an old -!"
"Well. I didn't keep you up all night, Arthur."
"I meant your snoring, berk!"
"Uh huh. Sure."
"She held me spellbound in the night, dancing shadows and firelight –"
"—crazy laughter in another room and she drove herself to madness with a silver spoon –come on join me Artie –"
"Woo hoo witchy woman! See how high she flies –"
"Woo hoo witchy woman! She got the moon in her eyes!"
"Alfred, you're the one driving. How can you possibly be bored."
"Artie lookit! Marsh Arch Bridge! It's the only cement arch bridge left on the Mother Road."
"Yes its…very nice."
"I know right? And the sign says –hey Artie. Are you tweezing your eyebrows?"
"W-what? Of course n-not!"
"Hahahahahahaha! You're so funny!"
"It's another tequila sunrise, this old world still looks the same, another frame…"
"God. Oklahoma is boring. And long."
"Ahahaha Artie! You're such a pervert!"
"Alfred, shut up. I think we're lost."
"…Arthur, why are you holding the map upside down?"
"Oh fucking finally."
"Welcome to the Hotel California!"
"It clearly says Western Motel on the sign. And we're not even in California!"
A door is held open.
"God. An eight hour drive and we didn't even get through Oklahoma." Yawn. "I'm so bleeding tired."
"Yup, under Jones! And don't worry Artie, pretty soon you'll have a nice soft bed to sleep in. And just think! We'll get to do this all again tomorrow!"
"That's just the dog's bollocks."
"Alfred Jones, correct? A…single bed room?"
Shit-eating grin. "Me and Artie don't need another bed to mess up."
"Al, it's 'Artie and I.' And d-don't say those things in public, you twit!"
"Hahahahahahaha! You called me 'Al!'"
"Do it again."
ROAD TRIP –DAY FOUR
"Hey! This is the gas station from Cars!"
"Artie. You watch my Disney movies? Well, I s'pose I shouldn't be surprised, considering your love of faeries!"
"You shut up, Disney movies are ace! What's this place called, anyway?"
"U-Drop Inn. Hahahaha. Get it? Hey let's take pictures!"
"Artie-fartie bo-bartie –"
"Finish that. I fucking dare you."
"I will kill you!"
"Alfred, it's not even lunch time yet."
"But Artiiieee, we have to stop at the Big Texan! I can totally demolish that 72 ounce steak and then we can get free food! C'moooon~!"
"…wow, three syllables. Commendable."
"Yes, all right, fine, if it'll shut your stomach up."
"Yay! You're the best, Artie!"
"Quit hugging me and put your hands back on the wheel!"
"—and I wanna sleep with you in the desert tonight with a billion stars all around!"
"'Cause I got a peaceful easy feeling, and I know you won't let me down 'cause I'm already standin' on the ground."
"Stop looking at me like that."
"You should sing more often."
"And do that more often."
"Only if you're doing the wanking."
"And you're sexy."
"Stop taking the piss."
"Who said I was?"
"Look Artie, a ghost town! Can we –"
"It's too bleeding hot for this, you know."
"Ah you'll be fine! It's just a little walk!"
"Alfred, I'm dying."
"Hahahaha I can never understand your British sarcasm!"
"I'm not being sarcastic, git! It's –Alfred, what's that?"
"Hm? Oh, wagon ruts. From the Santa Fe Trail. It was the first true artery into the West, and it so happens that the Mother Road sort of follows it. Cool, huh!"
"Wasn't that primarily in the nineteenth century? Amazing how the ruts haven't been smoothed out by time."
"Yup! Oh, and that over there is the Spanish mission church! And somewhere around here is the Glorieta Pass battlefield."
"From your Civil War?"
"…it's beautiful, Alfred. Desolate and lonely…but beautiful all the same."
"Holy bleeding hell. Alfred. What the fuck do you think you're doing. Get away from the edge."
"Aw Artie, you're not having fun?"
"What I'm having is a heart attack!"
"I knew you were old, but I didn't know you were that old! Hahahahaha!"
"Alfred, get your arse back over here or so help me god I will smite you and everything you hold dear."
"Dude, you can't smite yourself."
Blush. "Alfred, I'm warning you."
"But Artie, La Bajada Hill is part of the original road!"
"This is not even a road! It's like someone blew up the side of the hill and packed down the loose rocks! It doesn't even look remotely safe to drive on, let alone walk on!"
"Dude, that's totally what it is! It was the first European highway, all carved up by Spain back when he owned the place. Called it El Camino Real, whatever that means. It totally scared the pants off of the original Route 66 drivers, though. Dude, how badass are those switchbacks?"
"Alfred, this is your last warning. Take one more step, and –"
"Artie, watch your step –"
"Ah. Still not talking to me, huh."
"Alfred, how can you possibly eat that much food. Didn't you have half a cow earlier today, in Texas?"
"Yah! An' Ah go' it fa' f'ee!" Swallow. "'Cause I'm the hero!"
"...sometimes I wonder why I'm even involved with you. All you ever seem to do is drag me around to places I don't want to go, and act like an idiot. I wish you'd take others into consideration."
"Arthur…I just wanted to show you a bit of myself. I guess I thought you'd enjoy getting away…y'know, getting to spend time together and stuff."
"…no, Alfred, that's not what I meant. I apologize."
"I'm sorry, Artie. I didn't mean for you to slip at Bajada, y'know." Fingers entwine. "How about we plan out the rest of the trip once we're done with dinner? No more surprises, hero's promise!"
Tiny grin. "All right, then. So long as you promise."
ROAD TRIP –DAY SIX
"Hey Artie, wake up. Take a look out your window."
"Hm? Al, what –oh!"
"Pretty sweet, ain't it?"
"Al, this is stunning. What –"
"Wow, you must really like it if you aren't correctin' my grammar! It's the Painted Desert! And pretty soon you'll be able to see the Petrified Forest."
"…it's beautiful. Al, you're beautiful."
"Alfred, we only just started out a few hours ago. Why are you stopping?"
"Well, I'm runnin' down the road, tryin' to loosen my load. I've got seven women on my mind –"
"Wow, radio! Perfect timing! –four that wanna own me, two that wanna stone me, one says she's a friend of mine! Come on, Artie! Take it easy, take it easy! Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy!"
"Al, why are we sat here, of all places? And why are you getting out of the car."
"Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand! Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy!"
"Alfred –oh, it's a mural."
"Well, I'm standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see. It's a girl, my lord! In a flatbed Ford slowin' down to take a look at me!"
Arms wrap around Arthur's waist from behind as they stand staring at the desert sky from beside the statue.
"Come on, baby, don't say maybe. I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me."
The sun, low in the sky by now, is beautiful –the entire trip has been beautiful. America is beautiful, and it is something Arthur has forgotten but is now reminded of. Despite its young age, this land is remarkably full of history and culture, sometimes forgotten amongst the older European nations, and Arthur realizes that, despite their relationship, Arthur is one of the biggest offenders.
As he leans in for the kiss, standing on that ridiculous corner in full view of the traffic of Winslow, he realizes he has fallen arse over tit all over again. America smiles into their kiss, and even though they still had a three hour drive to Oatman and another six hours to Santa Monica the next day, he finds that he doesn't care.
"America, I'll be your hero," he says in response to the song's inquiry. Alfred's smile tells him that he already is.
AN: Okay, so. Thus begins the long historical/place reference. But first, let me disclaim this: I have only been on parts of Route 66, and I have never been to any of the places that I actually describe in the dialogue. So I am just going off of internet hear-say.
My source is: http (colon) / wikitravel (dot) org / en / Route (underscore) 66#Attractions (yes, a wiki…I know, shameful)
I also spent a ridiculous amount of time researching the actual route, since it's no longer on any maps, and since it has changed alignment many times over the years. I found a website that gave turn-by-turn directions for each individual state. So I took those directions and put them in googlemaps (it literally took me two googlemaps to get the entire thing hatched out…for some reason it wouldn't let me go beyond 20 destinations in one map lol).
My source is: http (colon) / www (dot) historic66 (dot) com /
© TG December 2011