Fifty Shades of Denial
"You'd want to proceed in a series of steps after submitting the plans to the CERN director if you want to keep the legislative power over them. That might be helpful later down the road because you never know what could happen," America said, leaning forward and pushing the papers across the desk and in front of France, who nodded thoughtfully. "First step is to-"
"What is this diagram I am looking at?" France interrupted, gesturing to the only complex diagram on the top page.
"Oh, that's one of the few models that some of my scientists came up with. I know I've got zero membership with CERN, but that doesn't stop some of my guys," America said, shrugging. "So, just so you know, this here is the neutron accelerator, and that's the particle collector, and that's-"
"And that's a pissed England," America said, his head snapping up at the door in alarm. France looked just as startled; he'd jumped in his seat at the infuriated yell. In theory, he was already used to that tone, but there was always a first time with everything. Such as this case: France usually knew when England was about to yell at him or America, but this was a surprise.
"What did you do to poor Angleterre now?" France asked. Thundering footsteps were rapidly approaching.
"Hell if I know." America actually looked panicked now. "Did I forget our anniversary date or something? I practically write all the important days down on my new calendar every New Year, so it couldn't be that... maybe paperwork?" His sky-blue eyes darted frantically all over the desk, searching for that elusive document in question. "I swear I don't know what I did this time. The last time he screamed at me this much, it was over that stupid Twilight book."
France smirked. "That was entertaining to watch. I believe the English class you were visiting at the time was more startled than you were when Angleterre smacked your head against the chalkboard saying 'Twilight isn't literature'."
"Dude, that hurt. I had a headache for days."
"AMERICA! WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU?"
"Give him a couple minutes to come down here. He'll go down to the coffee bar first, find Jess, and be stunned for a few seconds that I'm actually in my office being productive," America said, leaning back in his leather chair.
"This seems like too much of a routine between the two of you," France said casually, leaning back in his own office chair.
America snorted. "You have no idea. It's as routine for us as it is for you to sneak into my brother's hotel room at night," he said, ignoring France's faux wounded expression. "C'mon, don't give me that!" he snapped when France's pout grew a little more. "At least be quiet about it and shut the damn door before the clothes start coming off, I can hear you guys loud and clear and it's icky to think about. Plus, England gets pissed because hearing you two turns me off."
"I'm always open to having a... larger party if that would soothe things over," France said while casually inspecting his fingernails.
BAM BAM BAM!
"And that's England. Come on in!" America shouted, and rolled his eyes as England slammed the door open so hard it almost came off its hinges. "Geez, you give me so much grief when I accidentally wreck your house door, care to show some respect to my office door? Or can I say 'pot calling the kettle black'?"
"I just did and no, if you utter such a thing, you're sleeping on the floor tonight," England snapped. He briefly glanced at France. "What the hell is he doing here?"
"He and I were just chatting about science-y stuff. What's got your knickers in a twist now? What do you want?" America asked, leaning forward warily.
England's face went a few shades from pink to purple before reaching into his coat. "I want you to... to... explain this!" he snarled, pulling a paperback book out of his coat and threw it to the desk as though it was lethal to the touch.
America and France leaned forward to examine the book, and then France recoiled away as America shuddered. "That? That looks like a book of erotic fiction," America said, examining the gray tie on the front against the dark blue background, the silver words Fifty Shades of Grey adorning the front cover.
"Poorly written erotic fiction, I might add," France added, looking mournful. "A bastardization of what would otherwise be a delightful pastime."
"Exactly." England froze, and then snapped, "And I was agreeing with America, not you, frog. America, I might have been able to forgive you for that horrendous Twilight series, but... but this is just crossing the line! Do I need to come over to Washington D.C. and re-teach all of your English lessons from your colonial days?" England exploded, waving his arms around in anger.
"I could teach you the proper way to perform those scenes if you'd like," France offered, looking interested.
"NO!" England roared before rounding back on America. "For the love of God, America! I thought Twilight would be a sufficient lesson but no!" England took a few moments to catch his breath before he continued. "Is this just a desperate cry for attention? Do you want me around more or not?"
"Um, England?" America managed to say before the Englishman started his rant anew.
"It seems you're forever doing something to get my attention! Do you remember that War of the Worlds business with Orson Welles in 1938? And then after that it was Roswell-"
"Roswell was real enough. But Engl-"
"And then after that was your Red Scare, and then after that were the nuclear threats with Russia, and dear Lord above those years were frightening, and then there was-"
"Angleterre? The boy is trying to speak," France said mildly.
"Shut up, I'm not done. And then there was Twilight and then now this! Be grateful that I am too riled about this monstrosity to list more!" England took a few deep breaths before lowering his voice and said, "I am warning you, America, I will gladly come to you in one month and happily re-teach you everything about the English language. Then that farce of 'text talk' can go too-"
England promptly fell silent and stared at America, who looked happy. "Thank you," America said. "Now, I've got something to tell you about this book. Yes, it's terrible eroticism, yes, it's not mainstream behavior, and yes, there are some things that France would try to do but do so properly and safely, but the author? She's not American."
England blinked. "No? Then what is she, French?"
France flinched and snapped, "Mon dieu, I hope not! My citizens can certainly write better than that!"
"Nope," America said, grinning. "She's British."
The room was so quiet one could have heard a pin drop.
Judging from France's equally shocked expression, America figured that France had thought it was an American author too.
England however was just standing there, gaping like a beached fish. His face slowly colored as his head swiveled to face America, and France murmured a prayer of thanks that he wasn't the target of the Englishman's rage just yet. "Did you just say that the author was British? Are you trying to provoke me into another war?"
"Dude, it's a British author. I swear I'm not trying to start anything," America said, handing his iPhone over to England, who immediately began searching on the open web browser. America glanced at France and said, "Apparently, it started as a Twilight fanfiction. Y'know, Anastasia Steele is Bella Swan, Christian Grey is Edward Cullen, José Rodriguez is Jacob Black, and Kate Kavanagh is Rosalie Hale."
France stared at him. "You actually read that book?"
America shrugged, looking uncomfortable. "I forgot my iPhone and my copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles in Jess's car, and Fifty Shades was the only thing that was in the doctor's office, where the magazines usually are." He sighed, and said, "They break up at the end of the first one, so I was hopeful about the second, so I kinda read that and it all went downhill from there."
France sniffed. "I will admit that I have read the first one, simply because a young lady stopped me in Paris and requested a rendezvous, and had mentioned that book," he said irritably. He sighed, and said, "Although, the fact it was a British author who wrote it makes more sense now, no one else would have destroyed those scenes like that."
America let out a pained whimper when he saw England's grip tightening on the iPhone, causing the screen to create spider-webbed cracks and a long thin line to form along the back of the device. "Um... Artie? C-Can I have my phone back?"
His voice died at England's look of rage. "This... this abomination would not have happened if... if that horrid Twilight book hadn't come out," England snarled, snapping the phone clean in half and causing America to jump. "This. Is. Your. Fault."
"Come now, Angleterre, it's really not the boy's fault. He's not responsible for what your citizens do," France chided, but swallowing when he realized he'd just drawn England's ire toward him. "So I," he continued, quickly thinking for the best way to avoid instant death, "Will gladly instruct you and Amérique in the proper way to perform those scenes, so that your authors may get them properly written next time. In fact," here France paused dramatically, "I'll even do it free of charge if the four of us were to do it together? Mathieu and I will demonstrate, you and Amérique can fol-"
England's snarl cut France off, and America suddenly wondered if he had a pressing appointment somewhere else that he'd forgotten about. Because he just knew England wasn't done with him yet, and he might as well go while England wasn't focused on him.
"Coffee's a little weak, but I'll survive," Agent Jess Norwood said, tasting the lobby coffee against her tongue. "Alfred on the other hand..."
"According to Monsieur Bonnefoy, Monsieur Jones will eat anything. Perhaps he will simply drink more?" Claire suggested. She was relatively new to the insanity that was the nation personifications, having only worked for France for six months as his secretary. But Lord knew that she already had plenty of stories.
Jess stared at the styrofoam cup. America was her charge, and she was waiting for him to finish his meeting with France so that they could leave and he could pick up his car from the repair shop (something complicated involving the car, a brick building, a feral honey badger, Tony, and Prussia. She didn't know and she didn't want to ask). But the two nations were taking an unusually long time.
"Mr. Kirkland is probably slowing them down," she said finally. "You know how he gets..."
"Actually, I do not," Claire admitted, her face flushing pink. "He never meets with Monsieur Bonnefoy in Paris, or at least as far as I know they don't."
"It's okay, I don't think they do anyway. Too much history between them for there to be a conversation in Paris or London without it turning into a sniping contest," Jess said, making a face as she took another sip. "I think I'm going to ask Alfred if he wants to stop at Starbucks on the way to get his car, I don't think he'll say no to that..."
"GET BACK HERE BOTH OF YOU!"
"And that's Kirkland," Jess said, wincing at the sound.
There was a loud thumping of feet on the stairs that led to the lobby, soon revealed to be America's as he came tearing down the stairs, accidentally colliding into a secretary and scattering her papers everywhere. America paused long enough to scoop the fluttering papers into a nice thick stack, but instead of handing them off back to the secretary, he waited right next to the stairs, out of sight of the people coming down.
France was the next one to show up, almost gliding across the floor. "Mathieu! We have work to do and things to fix!" he called, a familiar dark blue book disappearing into his coat. A figure suddenly appeared near Claire, startling her, and Jess watched as Canada hesitantly followed France, clearly unsure by what the Frenchman meant by 'work' and 'things to fix'.
"Dude! I'm sticking my neck out for you, go while you still can!" America snapped, still clutching the stack of papers and holding them just out of reach of the secretary, who was trying to get them back.
"I will call, Amérique, when we are ready," France said smoothly as Canada joined him on the way out.
"Wait, ready with what?" Canada suddenly said, pausing on the threshold.
"Fixing this," France said, showing him the book before stuffing it into his coat again.
Jess didn't see what book it was, but Canada paled and managed to say "Maple" before France more or less dragged him out of the building.
"WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU BOTH?" More thundering footsteps.
"Ma'am, you might want to get out of the way for this," America said. The secretary, her face pale, nodded and scuttled away from the staircase.
"Wait, Alfred, don't-" Jess began as she recognized America's plan.
There was silence as England remained still on his back on the marble floor, papers still floating down from where America had thrown the stack into England's face.
America didn't waste time. He took off, saying "Hi Jess, bye Jess!" as he ran by. "Call me once you're calmed down, okay Artie?" he said before disappearing out of the revolving glass doors. Then he returned a second later as England began picking himself up again, stuck his head into the door and said, "Actually, call the house phone when you're calmed down. For some bizarre reason, my cell met its death this afternoon."
"Get back here git!" England snarled, and America let out a yelp before taking off again.
"Ah, sir?" Jess asked as she rushed over to help him up. "Here, let me help you..."
"Ms. Norwood, you can help me by catching that brat and leaving him somewhere where I can easily find him and he can't hide. I'm not done with him yet," England growled as he stood up, brushing his suit off.
Jess could only nod before she turned and left in search of the missing American.
A/N: Allow me to start this note by saying that I have never read, nor do I ever plan to, read Fifty Shades of Grey. Or anything from the Fifty Shades trilogy. However, I do know enough from the two books seeing as there is little to no plot. As a friend once stated to me, "You can probably read the third one without having missed anything." Fifty Shades material belongs to E.L. James, Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer. Hetalia Axis Powers and all related material belong to Hidekaz Himaruya.
Cover image was made by the lovely Life on Vega.