Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia!
Summary: Alfred has a problem, which can only be solved by a kiss from a certain Brit in a certain square in a certain city. He's got a lot of planning to do if he wants this to happen.
Author's Notes: This is a fic exchange with the lovely worldaccordingtofangirls. The prompt was Alfred and Arthur watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve and, in true TG fashion, I rolled the prompt in sugar, covered in with rainbows and stamped unicorns on it. In other words, IT'S PURE FLUFF. I'M SO SORREH.
Alfred F Jones was a contradiction. Everyone knew him as a man whose gaze was almost constantly set on the future. He liked to think of things that hadn't yet been thought of; not even the brightest, shiniest, newest idea could keep his attention from drifting toward that horizon full of unknowns and limitless possibilities. So, it was quite understandable for him to be rather frustrated when he found himself unable to move past a few certain events which had already happened. He hid his preoccupation well, he thought. His mega-watt smile was still mega-watt, and his bright blue eyes still retained their unadulterated enthusiasm for life.
Times were hard, there was always another war to deal with, he was tired, he'd been busy working, he was simply daydreaming…those were the excuses he had used over the years to wave off any concern the other nations expressed over his preoccupation.
His preoccupation? He admitted that it was kind of a stupid thing to find himself fixated on, but he couldn't help it. He wanted a kiss. And not just any kiss anywhere, but a kiss from a certain Brit and in a certain location. One might wonder how Alfred F Jones came to be preoccupied with such thoughts, and all the curious would have to do was ask.
They would be told that Alfred had a thing for Times Square, even before the outbreak of World War Two. Times Square was the meeting place, the gathering ground. It was walked by millions of people, both U. S. citizens and tourists. Alfred had come to view the square as the epitome of, well, himself. But, as the years crept on and war loomed on the horizon, he found himself less and less willing to visit the new quieter, more subdued version of what was once a bustling city square. The war began to take normalcy captive, and even the annual New Year's celebration changed to accommodate wartime blackout restrictions. Instead of the normal ball drop –his people mingling and celebrating a fresh start –there were minutes of silence and church bells to signal yet another year of war, rationing and heartbreak.
All of that changed on August 15, 1945 –the day that America, greatest nation in the world, beat Japan into submission and ended World War Two forever.
Even though Alfred had been aboard the USS Missouri, he was still able to witness over and over the awesome power of humanity through photographs. So many pictures of soldiers and sailors, nurses, normal citizens all mingled together with smiles on their faces and hope in their hearts. It was such a wonderful thing to see after years of bloodshed and anger. His favorite photo? He would be the first to admit his choice was cliché, but his favorite was The Kiss. A nurse and a sailor, neither of whom knew each other, locked in a joyful and lighthearted embrace in the midst of a sea of celebrations in the greatest city in the world.
That was how Alfred F Jones became enraptured with getting a kiss from Arthur in Times Square –a dream that had remained strong through the passage of decades.
It wasn't as though Alfred recognized immediately that Arthur was his intended target, although once he did realize, it was as though it had always been going to happen –inevitable. He could feel his interest stirring within him even during the war, before The Kiss even existed –the thing that Winston Churchill coined the Special Relationship. Alfred had found himself taking more and more notice of Arthur until his mind was filled with the Brit, and it happened like slowly boiling pot of water –warming gradually until suddenly the pot was spilling over with excess energy. And then there had been the moment between them on V-E Day.
Alfred felt his breath stutter when he finally spotted Arthur in the crowded streets of London. The Brit looked better than he had in a long, long while –it wasn't that long ago that Alfred was changing the dressings on Arthur's body, burned and battered from the latest Blitz. But now, Arthur looked amazing –not just physically (Alfred thought he could use a bit more food in him), but also mentally. It was as though the weight of the world had been on his shoulders, and now with the arrival of V-E Day, that weight had fallen away, leaving Arthur looking younger, more relaxed, and happier than he'd looked in years.
Alfred thought he was stunning.
As though sensing his approach, Arthur turned then, somehow finding Alfred through the throng of his citizens, and their eyes locked. This was the first time they had seen each other since their emotional reunion after D-Day, and Alfred shivered a little at the intensity in those green eyes. He didn't realize he had moved until he was already standing in front of Arthur.
His hand moved up to cup Arthur's cheek without his permission, and before he could get embarrassed of his actions and pull away, he felt Arthur lean into the touch. Relief like he'd never known shuddered out of him then, and he murmured "I'm so fucking glad you're okay" before, without really thinking about it, leaning down and brushing his lips against Arthur's.
To his surprise, Arthur brought his hands up to grip at Alfred's shirt and hair and kissed him back, fierce and joyful.
The very next day Alfred had shipped off to fight the Japs in the Pacific. He and Arthur had kept in correspondence, and it was through their letters that their relationship truly began to change until eventually neither of them could deny that they were in love with each other. It had been fragile, however –a love born of bloodshed and hatred –and Alfred had been hesitant to give all of himself even after the war ended (especially with the way Russia was leering at him). Even though Arthur had refused to involve himself in America's and Russia's little proxy wars, the unwavering support from across the Atlantic forced Alfred to realize that Arthur was there to stay.
From that point on, Alfred and Arthur had shared many more kisses, but Alfred could never shake the silly dream of kissing Arthur in Times Square.
"It's definitely going to happen this year!" Well. That's what Alfred said every year, but this year he really truly meant it! December 31, 2011 would be the year.
"That's what you say every year," Matthew pointed out. His brother fell into a pout, but Alfred being Alfred, he couldn't be kept down for long.
"But Mattie! This year I have a really great idea," the American whined. "Artie agreed to come to New York for Christmas!"
"Aaaaaand he also agreed to go to Times Square for New Year's!"
The pout returned. "Mattie, how can you not see the brilliance of my plan! What do you do when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's?" Matthew sent his brother a blank look, clearly not taking the bait. In true Alfred fashion, that went ignored. "You kiss someone! And New York City just happens to be like the biggest New Year's party on the planet! Admit it dude, my plan is perfecto!"
"Alfred, for someone who's been dating Arthur for 70 years, you sure don't know a lot about him." At Alfred's confused look, Matthew continued. "Arthur doesn't like public displays of affection." Alfred's confused look hadn't gone away, and the Canadian sighed and rolled his eyes. Honestly. "Alfred, there are hundreds of thousands of people there. Arthur is not going to take being kissed in front of all those people very well."
"Oh come on dude! Arthur will be too busy kissing me to mind!"
"…alright, okay, I'll listen to your crazy ideas. But only for Arthur's sake."
Alfred didn't know where he'd gone wrong. He thought his plans were pretty kick-ass, but Matthew had disagreed. The American had spent the better part of an hour discussing plans A through J, the most memorable of which were engineering a superhero called Kiss-o-man to fly in from the skyscrapers above to sweep Arthur off his feet (Plan E) and then there was Plan K, which was offering Arthur a McCafe and kissing away the whipped cream that would surely end up on Arthur's mouth (but that involved Arthur somehow agreeing to drink the McCafe in the first place, which was something Alfred hadn't yet worked out). Other plans, involving peanut butter, twelve empty cans of Coke, neon lighting and car tires were systematically scoffed at and turned down by Matthew until Alfred was left with nothing, not even Matthew (who had rolled his eyes, called him hopeless, and left for a date with Francis).
"Well, what does he know, anyway…" Alfred muttered, but then he grinned. Well, he still had a few days to come up with some even awesomer plans! Arthur wouldn't know what hit him.
Arthur had arrived just in time for the couple to celebrate Christmas together, which had been a mixture of exasperating and awesome. They opened presents (Arthur had bitched about having to pick up tiny bits of wrapping paper from when Alfred had been a bit too eager), made out like teenagers in front of the fire (after Arthur had bitched about being too cold), and, of course, done the horizontal (and sometimes vertical) tango. Having Arthur with him after going without him for so long –the Atlantic was a vicious cockblock –was amazing. But December 31st was upon them, and Alfred had run out of time.
They were by no means among the first hundred or even the first thousand to grace Times Square by the time Alfred had dragged out a protesting Arthur, but the American had insisted on being within viewing distance of the giant ball and Arthur had sighed and allowed the manhandling, accidentally forgetting his coat and scarf in the process.
That had been at three in the afternoon.
Since they'd arrived, Arthur and Alfred had witnessed the lighting ceremony, the Chinese Lion Dance, the passing out of hats, tiaras, glasses, and scarves adorned with "2012"s and "Happy New Year"s, performances by Drake, Hot Chelle Rae, Megan Hilty, Pitbull, Justin Bieber (Canada would be so proud), and Diego Torres, as well as hourly countdowns and a rather emotional toast to the victims of 9/11.
So far, a productive night.
However, despite the passage of hours, Alfred still hadn't gotten a kiss; he had been dismayed initially, but then he simply forgot to be disappointed, because just being with Arthur made him happy no matter how much the Brit bitched.
Speaking of, Arthur hadn't said a peep in a while. Concerned, Alfred glanced down at the Brit currently cuddled up next to him and he had to stifle at chuckle; Arthur was raptly watching the end of Cee Lo Green's performance with wide green eyes and pink flushed cheeks. Sensing eyes on him, Arthur looked up and smiled, and Alfred's breath caught as a sudden surge of affection for his long-time lover rushed through his veins and swooped low in his stomach.
Without either of them noticing, the ball began to drop, signifying the last 60 seconds of the year.
Arthur reached up and trailed his fingers down Alfred's jaw as the crowd began to chant around them.
"Alfred, thank you for bringing me here today. I never told you, but I've, er… Well, I've always wanted to be part of the New Year's celebrations with you. I'm glad I got to be here with you."
"And I love you, you git."
Alfred's breath rushed out in a laugh and he wrapped his arms around his lover's waist and brought them flush together.
"I love you, too," he murmured, forehead resting his lips against Arthur's forehead in a not-quite kiss. "Arthur?"
Alfred thought Arthur would scoff, throw a tantrum, outright refuse, but he didn't. Instead, Arthur smiled, wound his arms around Alfred's neck, and kissed him gently. They kissed in the New Year, alone in the crowd of thousands of other people doing the exact same thing as the pyrotechnics burst overhead.
There have been many kisses between us, Alfred thought as Arthur parted his lips to welcome the American home, but this one is definitely my favorite.
"Ow!" Alfred yelped, ducking under the Brit's second swing.
"Don't EVER make me kiss you in public again, you bloody fucking twat! We were on the jumbo-tron for fucksake!"
"Okay, okay, I'm sorry!"
AN: Oh God I had SUCH a hard time banging this thing out. It didn't help that my neighbors had drama and I had to stop writing in the middle of it to call 911, nor did it help that I had to work 30-BAZILLION hours this week. Dear sweet Jesus I'm ready for a new year.
WORLDACCORDINGTOFANGIRLS, PLEASE LOVE THIS. XD
(PS, you should all go check out worldaccordingtofangirls' stories. She's a fantastic writer!)
© TG December 2011