Has explicit end pairing of Russia/America. If that's not your thing, skip this chapter. Small allusions to other story, Byzantine.
America/World Powers, Spain/Romano, England/Portugal, England/India, The Frying Pangle, France/Jeanne D'Arc, Germany/Italy, Greece/Japan
Getting it Right
One day, Aphrodite thought. One day, I'll get it right.
Aphrodite was a queen among women, the Mistress of gods, the Empress of love. She was a master at relationships, a genius in matchmaking and setups. What she thought was a good match was a good match.
Except when it came to Alfred.
Alfred was impossible. Oh, she loved the little darling. She adored his cute little apostle, his sparkling eyes, his boyish grin. He had created Southern belle style for her; tea parties and dollies and dresses in her honor. Cupcakes and wars; a Lost Generation of heroes and lovers and beautiful drama, all an unintentional gift from Alfred's soul to hers. Yes, Alfred was a sweetie, but he was impossible. She was Aphrodite. When it came to romance and love, she was always right. Except when it came to Alfred.
Aphrodite tried the Spanish one first. Antonio Fernández Carriedo. He seemed perfect, with smooth, handsome features, hair of chocolate that was windswept from conquest, and whose blood was pumping with nothing but passion. It will be beautiful, Aphrodite thought happily when she first observed the Spaniard set upon the American lands with the swagger of an explorer. She squealed giddily when the Conquistador happened upon little America and scooped him up in his arms, cooing at the young Native. It would be perfect, the goddess decided. A perfect love story; a forbidden love barred by a mentor-student relationship, which would blossom and explode in passion and desire as they fell into each others arms.
It was only three days later that Aphrodite realized Alfred and Antonio would NOT be perfect together. There was already another deliciously, perfect love story in play between Spain and little Romano. Aphrodite sighed in happiness when she discovered Byzantine had finally found love in a dramatic twist of war, secrecy, and desperation. Aphrodite could wait for America's love story if she had Romano's to feast on.
She swooned when the French one and the English nation fought for America, the oblivious little cutie-pie. Love triangles were magnificent. The Englishman radiated power, and a rugged, jarring attractiveness with his sharp features, thick eyebrows, and wild short hair. The Frenchman could've been on of her sons, with his elegant charisma, his groomed hair, and his sensuous eyes and movements.
America picked the one with power, not for the glory, but out of compassion (and some pity), for the others' insecurities.
Aphrodite was skeptical, but if Arthur Kirkland was what America wanted, then so be it.
"You aren't interfering with my plans for Alfred, are you?" Aphrodite glared suspiciously at her elder, and Hera sniffed in haughtiness. "Plans? Why would I bother with your plans?" Aphrodite pouted. It wasn't fair that Hera didn't like her! Just because Aphrodite advocated romance and true love! So what if that meant sometimes her influence broke a few (million) marriages? Hera suddenly paused in stroking her precious peacock, and narrowed her eyes.
"What plans?" Aphrodite hummed innocently, her lustrous hair changing honey blonde to raven black in her nervousness as she twirled a stand with a delicate, artistic finger. "Nothing."
"You have plans for Alfred." Not a question. A statement. A cold, disapproving one at that.
"Do not interfere with America. He does well in not falling in love. A personification like himself would never be able to politically handle a marriage-" Aphrodite waved a hand dismissively.
"Marriage, smarriage! Alfred needs love in his life!"
"Personifications find it overwhelmingly difficult to remain faithful. Politically it is almost impossible. The English one alone makes me cringe in despair over the disgusting amount of infidelity-"
"The English one, huh?"
"Aphrodite. No. Aphro-Aphrodite!"
It was promising, the relationship between America and England. Loving and doting, the English nation spoiled Alfred (named after a great king, but didn't suit America's power like the name Alexander would), and Alfred admired and almost worshiped his elder.
But then it turned sour. Aphrodite would admit, she (and all the other Olympians, who favored their latest hero) was biased towards Alfred, and mostly blamed the foreigner for the collapse of their relationship. England's trysts with the Portuguese one, and India caused his memory of America to crumble, and America grew too strong for England to handle in the Empire's absence. America rebelled, and Aphrodite cast the idea of England and America from her mind, and wasted no more effort on the pair.
Instead, she tries to push the Prussian, who reminds her so much of Ares, and Alfred together. But the soldier has his heart fixated on taken woman, and Aphrodite is uncomfortable at how the Prussian's love for the Hungarian mirrors her own marital relationship with Hephaestus and her affairs with Ares. She decides to watch the "Frying Pangle", and in a moment of hypocrisy, hopes the Prussian breaks free and falls for another instead of the Hungarian nation, who is happily married to the Austrian, but seeks sexual fulfillment elsewhere.
She turned her attention back to the Frenchman, as the romantic smiled kindly at her nation, and offered chocolate and roses. She did not have hopes for him, and told America in a dream to abandon any thoughts of a romantic endeavor with Monsieur Francis Bonnefoy.
Don't bother, she told America, strings of sadness clinging to her voice, he already loves another. You will merely be a replacement that will not satisfy him. No one can satisfy the lust he feels for his loss.
Aphrodite loves a good drama, but some stories would be better off with happy endings, and the goddess of love mourns that France's ending, doomed to be bittersweet from the start, went up in flames and smoke instead.
Alright, so her last...four, yes four, that was right-attempts at finding America's match had failed spectacularly. Well, there was always the brother-
"NO. CHANCE. IN. HELL"
Perhaps the cousin south of the boarder-
There was a moment of peace between the German and Alfred, centuries later after the Great War, but the German clearly had an infatuation with the ditzy Italian boy, and Romano was still dancing with Spain.
Competition with the Ancient one spurred fire and challenge in her hero, but fire and enthusiasm turned to wariness, exploitation, and suspicion. Not a very auspicious match at all.
Aphrodite hoped, although by this time her hopes were weak, that something could be born from the ashes of the atom bomb. Friendship only, and Aphrodite didn't push when she saw little Heracles, all grown up and devastatingly handsome in the relaxed way he'd always been, had an infatuation with Honda Kiku.
She left Japan alone from her influence in tribute to the little boy who used to tug on her skirts, and give her freshly picked flowers.
Aphrodite was lost, and decided to give up. Perhaps...America was meant to be alone. The thought made her tear up, but there appeared to be no other way.
"That's it. Poor Alfie, alone forever." Aphrodite sniffed, eating bonbons and daintily wiping her perfectly made up eyes with a handkerchief.
"You're a fool," was all Hera said, not even looking up in her direction.
"H-How can you say that?!" Aphrodite cried, "Poor Alfred! Alone and isolated from love forever! How can something like that not pull on your heartstrings?!"
"Because he's been married since the 1860's." Hera replied unfazed, eating a slice of pomegranate and petting a cow plushie's head with fondness. Aphrodite recognized it as a gift from Alfred, who had given it to Hera years ago with bounding happiness and joy. Hera was quite fond of it.
"Of course he's remained faithful and has not been influenced by your absurdities. He's had my blessing." Hera continued, taking her toy and standing. "I am retiring to my bed chambers. Goodbye-"
"M-Married?!" Aphrodite squealed, "B-b-but! WHEN? WHO? How did I not know-"
"Marriage is beyond your reach. Familial love and the bond between spouses is my domain."
"W-WHO?" Aphrodite all but shrieked, needing to know which man eluded her sights. Hera rolled her eyes and began walking away.
"Isn't it obvious? It's obviously the Russian. Alfred was completely infatuated with him for centuries before begging for my assistance. He prayed for your help of course-"
Yes, that's why I've been trying to find the right one for him, Aphrodite thought sourly, "-but you took that to mean he wanted you to find the "one" for him, so he turned to me. It was easy, of course, since Russia was equally infatuated with America, even their ideological spat didn't dampen their marriage..."
Aphrodite stood there, utterly flummoxed as Hera vanished to her chambers, before stamping her foot childishly and pouting her pretty lips.
"No fair!" Aphrodite wailed. "I wanted to be the one to set Alfie up!"
And after that, she watched America and Russia waltz, and laugh, and fight, and love and be happy, and the great goddess of love pouted once more. They were a dysfunctional, yet perfect pair. It was a match worthy of Aphrodite. Aphrodite gave them her blessing, crossed her arms, and kicked the ground in annoyance, swearing vengeance on the Queen of Olympus.
Stupid Hera, Aphrodite thought mulishly, Taking all my fun. You'll pay for interfering in my matchmaking.
*The cow and pomegranate are symbols of Hera
*Portugal and England and historical BFFS/potential Friends with Benefits, no one really knows which. India was the "crown jewel" of the English colonies. Mostly for the tea. England is a real dick/whore for tea, historically speaking.
*Woodrow Wilson (USA President) during the Treaty of Paris after WWI was hesitant about all the reparations and blame we were putting on Germany, but in the end kinda rolled with it. If he had been more comfortable, that blame probably woud've been worse, but it was still shitty and unjustified, to be perfectly honest.
*Historically, Russia and America share a thing during the 1860's, as Russia is the only World power that supported the Union (and kinda helped them out) during the American Civil War. Both America and Russia also freed the slaves/emancipated the serfs around this time (1863 (Emancipation Proclamation)/1865 (13th Amendment/Civil War ends), and 1863 (Emancipation of the Serfs)). In fact, all up until the Russian Revolution and the establishment of Communist government in Russia, the USA and Russia were pretty much "FOREVER ALONE/TRADE/WE BOTH DON'T REALLY LIKE ENGLAND RIGHT NOW/HERE'S ALASKA AMERICA" Bros, with a brief rekindling of "WAR COMRADES, FOREVER PRAISE YOUR BRAVERY RUSSIA/DAMMIT AMERICA, YOU COULD HELP US OUT MORE INSTEAD OF ENGLAND YOU DICK, BUT IT'S NICE TO DRAMATICALLY MEET UP WITH YOU AT THE RIVER, YOU HANDSOME SON OF A BITCH" during WWII