HOMECOMING

Fandom: Axis Powers Hetalia

Pairing: USUK

Genre: fluff, cardverse AU

Rating: PG-15

Disclaimer: APH belongs to Himaruya, and the countries factually belong to themselves. Or their bosses and the people that live there, rather.

Summary: After a long war campaign, King Alfred returns home.

A/n: A late present for Hakuku. Happy birthday! Also… sorry for the fade-to-black, guys. I'm no good at porn anymore.

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The first thing King Alfred did upon his return was to dash, regardless of his weariness, up the steps to where his Queen waited, scoop Arthur into his arms and kiss him. He was so eager to be home after three months that he didn't care for the laughter of his entourage. He raised Arthur clear off his feet, spinning him around and laughing into the kiss, unheeding of the Queen's protests until he set him down. Arthur pushed him away, his face brilliant red, but Alfred refused to let go, his arms wrapped snugly around the other's waist.

"Oh, you great lout, not in front of everybody!" he griped, but anyone could tell there was no heart in it. Alfred merely kissed his forehead.

"It's so good to be home," he murmured, and Arthur finally melted into his arms, bestowing upon him that beautiful smile meant only for him.

"It's good to have you back," he replied. Behind them, Lord Yao cleared his throat and chivvied them both into the palace.

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Dinner was held in the smaller dining hall, an informal homecoming affair where protocol was not observed. All were too tired and happy to be back to be bothered, despite Lord Yao's obvious misgivings about the whole thing. It appeared he would never get used to King Alfred's disinterested approach to etiquette.

Alfred sat next to Arthur, lounging in the high-backed chair and occasionally running his fingers over Arthur's hand. It was clear to everyone present that all the two wanted to do was retreat into their own little world, and very soon Lord David, Arthur's brother, bid them goodnight with a pointed look at all others present. Alfred sniggered behind his hand, Arthur blushed, but they took their leave, heading off to their bedchambers. Along the way Alfred took Arthur's hand in his own, squeezing it warmly, and Arthur stepped closer until their shoulders brushed.

Once they were in their rooms, Alfred stretched. He finally felt the ache from four days of riding, his entire body sore as hell. Not only from the riding, of course. War was a hideous, tiring business, and he hated it.

"Tired, love?" Arthur asked, fetching Alfred's nightclothes. Alfred nodded, placing both hands on the small of his back and arching. His spine gave a crack that made Arthur cringe. "You stink, as well," the Queen went on. "You need to bathe."

"Do I have to?" Alfred whined, slumping in a very unregal manner. Arthur frowned.

"Yes, you do," he said tartly. "I'm not having you in the bed when you stink of horse and sweat and Heaven knows what else!"

Alfred let himself be steered into the bath chamber, grumbling all the way. He stripped off as Arthur ran the water, hot from the magical coal fires down in the subterranean belly of the palace, and freely scented it with lavender. And, although he complained, Alfred was quite looking forward to a hot bath to relieve the ache that seemed to be in his very bones. He opened eyes he hadn't realised he'd closed when he felt Arthur's fingers on his chest.

"Some of these are new," he murmured, chasing fresh pink scars with a fingertip. Alfred sighed, capturing Arthur's hand in his own and kissing it.

"It happens," he said, smiling resignedly. Arthur shook his head with a sigh of his own and turned to tend to something else, leaving Alfred to sink into the spacious bath with a groan of relief. He rolled his shoulders and neck experimentally, wincing at the cracks, only looking up when Arthur told him to move over.

"Oh?" Alfred asked with a grin, raising an eyebrow. "Joining me?"

"Don't go getting all excited now," Arthur chastised, slipping into the bath behind Alfred and placing a bar of soap on the tiled side. "I'm here because you never wash properly."

Alfred huffed, folding him arms. "The way you go on you'd think I was twelve," he muttered. Arthur snorted and brought his head back, wetting his hair thoroughly, before reaching for a bottle and pouring some thick oil in his hand.

"I can't believe you're complaining about a bath with your husband," he said, running his hands through Alfred's water-darkened hair and massaging gently. Alfred grinned, keeping his eyes closed, partly in fear of soap in his eyes and mostly because Arthur's fingers were always so pleasant wherever they touched.

"I'm complaining about you acting like my mother rather than my husband," he said. Arthur rolled his eyes and continued his ministrations, scrubbing a bit harder just to punish the other man. Eventually, however, Arthur lapsed back into a gentle massage as he rinsed the lather from Alfred's hair, and the silence in the warm bathroom was comfortable and sleepy.

"I missed having a nice long bath like this," Alfred murmured after a little while. Arthur hummed. In all honesty, he'd thought the other had fallen asleep, and had been about to wake him. "Up on the border, in a tent, all I could do was use the washbasin. Heh, the water was almost pure mud by the time I'd finished…"

"What was the weather like?"

"Shit. It rained all the time and we were bogged in. We couldn't get dry at all. And when it did clear up we were fighting."

"I wish the Clubs would just give up," Arthur muttered angrily, lathering up a sponge with the bar of soap. Alfred snorted, finally opening his eyes and running a hand through his hair.

"Not Ivan, not where I'm concerned. He'd rather his whole kingdom went to ruin than let me win."

"You're taking it a little personally, dearest," Arthur said, not without a hint of reproach. Alfred rolled his eyes as he leant forward, allowing Arthur access to his back.

"You didn't have to parley with him," he mumbled, taking up his own sponge and holding a hand back for the soap. "I could see the contempt." He finished scrubbing his chest and arms and huffed. Arthur hummed and washed away the soap.

"Well, I'll suppose we'll see at the Summit under the Tree," he said. And while he was a friend of Queen Kiku, he certainly wasn't looking forward to seeing King Francis again, at all. "Now let's get out, we've been in here far too long."

Alfred hummed in agreement and gave himself a last splash of water before standing and getting out, wrapping a towel around his waist. He didn't really want to be talking about diplomacy and, of all things, King Ivan, not when he was home again after so long. He sat on the edge of the bath, lazily rubbing at his hair, and watched as Arthur emptied the tub and pulled a bathrobe around himself. It was too large for him, and Alfred sniggered.

"You're wearing mine," he said, pulling his Queen forward and kissing his hands. Arthur blushed.

"I… I suppose I've just gotten used to wearing it, since you were away…" he muttered, not looking at Alfred. The King's teasing grin mellowed out into a warm smile, and he tugged Arthur between his legs and into an embrace, burying his face in the other's warm body, letting the scent of lavender on Arthur's skin waft around him.

"I missed you so much," he murmured. "You have no idea." He hummed in pleasure as Arthur's hands carded through his hair softly.

"I think I do, love," he replied. "Now, dry yourself off and stop being such a sap."

"Oh, you love it really, don't you, Your Majesty?" Alfred laughed, hooking Arthur's legs over his arm and lifting him up. Arthur yelped and struggled, but not very hard, in the end simply giving up and winding his arms around Alfred's neck, scowling.

"You're impossible," he sighed, accepting Alfred's kiss nonetheless. In any other circumstances, he would have told Alfred off: he hated being treated like some sort of doll, carried around and mollycoddled, but tonight… he didn't really care. It didn't matter, not when Alfred was home again, here and, most importantly, alive. He'd missed him so much. As soon as they were on their bed, Alfred on top of him, hair still damp and all over the place and blue eyes darkened, he pulled him down for a kiss, needy and full of the pent up desire of three months.

"I really did miss you," Alfred gasped against Arthur's lips, running a large hand along Arthur's thigh, pulling them together. Arthur didn't answer, merely pulling Alfred in for another kiss as he flattened his hands on his husband's broad back. As if he needed reassuring of that. Alfred's half-hard cock against his thigh was assurance enough.

"I thought you were – ah! – tired," Arthur sighed, tilting his head back as Alfred's lips graced his neck. He felt a breathy chuckle against his skin.

"No where you're concerned." Alfred mouthed along Arthur's collarbone, indulging in familiar tastes he'd been desperate for. His hands went to the belt of the bathrobe as Arthur's fingers slid into his hair, and he chanced a look upwards. Arthur's eyes were dark green, half-lidded, he was biting the knuckle of his right hand and smiling.

Alfred needed no more telling, as he dove to Arthur's neck again.

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Arthur lay, his whole body warm and sated, his fingers gently running through Alfred's hair. The other man was draped across him, an arm over his husband's chest and their legs tangled together, well on the way to falling asleep. Arthur smiled, turning his head slightly to kiss Alfred, soft and loving.

"I missed you so much, love," he murmured. Alfred hummed lazily, acknowledging the words with a twitching stroke of his thumb on Arthur's side. The Queen ran his fingers along Alfred's arm, content to merely watch the other fall asleep beside him, in his arms again.