The Call

"Damn it Prussia! He always cheats…" the words disappeared in a mutter as America settled back on the couch, Tony scooting over to give him more room. At least the Xbox controller didn't connect with the TV screen like it did the last time the wily Prussian cheated (it had scared America's pet cat, Britannia, senseless. America had spent the next seven hours trying to coax the Scottish Fold out from underneath the couch).

To mollify his longtime best friend, Tony poked America in the side before reaching underneath the couch pillow and pulling out the cheat guide he'd printed off the Internet. At America's confused glance, Tony set his controller out and opened the guide and tapped on the page; it was a command that could immobilize an opponent for five seconds. An online gamer had created that one, using a back door program that the game programmers had forgotten about.

"Huh, thanks Tony," America said, grinning nastily as his character returned to the land of the living. Tony saluted before settling back with his controller and un-pausing his character. The two were teamed up against Prussia and Denmark, which turned out to be a rather potent combination as the two of them had just recently stopped trying to kill each other before teaming up.

Tony was quite content with his life with America. When the nation had found him in 1950, Tony had been quite sure that America was about to throw him onto a lab table and dissect him up (he'd heard all the horror stories from his fellow aliens before making this trek to Earth), but Tony was pleasantly surprised when America brought Tony home instead, insisting that he stay as a guest. He even pulled strings to let Tony have his starship (and all of its equipment) back from the American government. America was Tony's only best friend here on Earth.

Then he came into the picture.

Tony wasn't quite sure about why or when he started disliking the one called England. Maybe it was because England and America were still being snippy to each other when Tony arrived, and Tony was the one comforting a hurt/angry/pissed/pining America after almost every world meeting. After ten to fifteen years of that, Tony had been ready to take his starship over to London, specifically to a certain Englishman's house, and 'test' the absorption rays out, just to make sure the rays worked properly after the repairs (any 'unfortunate' side effects were just bonuses).

But then one year, America had come home (a week late with no call home!) all dreamy-like, and Tony learned that he and England were officially an 'item' as the humans called it, thanks to the interference of America's brother (whose name Tony didn't even bother learning) and the Frenchman that England didn't like at all and America somewhat tolerated. Then, to add insult to injury, during one of England's visits, Tony had been given something that the Englishman cooked, and had spent the rest of the night in pain from his stomachache while England and America did…did whatever gross thing it was that nations with alliances did.

England and France were on Tony's list now. Being on Tony's list was not a good thing.

A smattering of on-screen explosions reminded Tony that he and America were still in the middle of an engagement against a Nordic nation and a European ex-nation. America continued muttering swears under his breath as he and Tony navigated the confusing terrain ("This is the last time I let Prussia choose the map!" America grumbled). As usual, Tony was impressed with America's extensive vocabulary and for each swear America said in English, Tony mentally translated into his native language. It was good practice.

Let America's friends think that Tony wasn't capable of learning English. Tony had taught America how to speak Tony's native language, and so the two of them used it while they were alone. And it kept England out of their conversations.

Tony flipped the TV screen off when his character narrowly missed getting shot by Denmark, snuck around Denmark, and then sniped Denmark from behind.

"YES! GOTCHA!" America crowed as Prussia's character collapsed after being 'unfrozen'. "Take THAT!" he cheered while holding a hand out.

Tony high-fived America before going back to stalking Denmark whose character was still disoriented from the previous shot. Tony let himself relax in the cushions of America's couch; it was just another lazy Thursday afternoon in Virginia. The temperature was just right, being close to the beginning of September of election year. As they did every year, America's duties usually dwindled to non-existent as the political machine geared up for November. His boss usually focused less on keeping America busy with foreign and domestic matters and more on winning the next election. As a nation, America was expected to remain impartial to the candidates, and was usually not an election participant (that one time America tried to run for presidency a couple years ago didn't and still doesn't count, and no one can prove that other time when America and Tony were behind the campaign scenes a couple years before that). Election year meant that America did less traveling outside of the country, and could spend more time doing stuff in general with Tony.

And since there was less traveling out of country, there was also less of England.

"Ah, come on!" America howled as Prussia killed his character in retaliation for the nasty trick earlier. Tony moved his character out of sight as Prussia prowled for him, and then sniped Prussia. Or at least tried to, Denmark was faster and jumped in front of Prussia a la Captain America with a discarded virtual trashcan lid, deflecting the virtual bullet.

As America leaned forward, impatiently waiting for the ten-second-recovery period to be over, Tony heard a familiar trilling tune. It was the theme song from that TV show that had started sometime earlier that year, the one with the animated ponies (Tony would know, he nearly drove himself crazy listening to it a million times as he reprogrammed America's cell phone's ringtones).

Apparently America heard it as well. "What the hell…?" he muttered as he reached for his phone on the nearby table, putting the game on hold and pulling off his headset (he apparently used that to communicate with Prussia and Denmark). America picked up the headset quickly and said, "Hang on guys, I've got a call coming in," before putting it back down and studying the caller ID.

Then he turned to Tony, who blatantly ignored him.

"Okay Tony, I know you don't like England and that you like reprogramming my phone, but My Little Pony is a strangely appropriate ringtone for Arthur," he said, looking impressed at Tony, who turned and beamed. "Just don't tell Artie I said that," he mumbled before pressing the 'Call' button on his iPhone. "Arthur! How're you doing?" he asked, way too chirpy to be innocent.

Tony couldn't hear England's response, but then again, he didn't want to. Ignoring the coil of irritation in his gut, Tony reluctantly paused his portion of the game as he listened to America groaning at something England said. But he definitely perked up when America let out a squeal of delight. Just to cover up his interest, he picked up the cheat sheet and pretended to be reading it.

"So how long are you gonna stay…oh, I see…But you'll be here tomorrow at least, right? Awesome! Tell Mattie I said hi…no, Tony won't be mean and he did not steal that favorite teacup of yours last time, you just misplaced it," America said, rolling his eyes.

Silly America, of course I stole that limey's teacup. Don't look under the patio if you don't want to see its final fate.

Tony smirked to himself. The blue flower-patterned teacup had met a rather dismal fate after an unfortunate encounter with America's favorite Mazda (not that Tony had been throwing pottery everywhere on purpose, he'd just been testing the balancing abilities of Earth cookware on the house's roof), and was now resting in peace under the patio with the numerous teacups and the one teapot that the stupid limey brought over the years. There was a crack under the patio that only Tony knew about, and America was too oblivious to find. The teacup graveyard if you will.

"Uh-huh…okay, see you then!" America said cheerfully, and then murmured a fond good-bye in some language that Tony didn't quite recognize before hanging up.

Call over; Tony prepared to begin the game again.

"Hang on Tony," America said before putting the headset back on. "Hey Prussia, Denmark? Can I call a rain check on this match, I've got a visitor coming tomorrow and need to clean up…yeah, yeah Prussia, relax. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is coming in the mail, I also got Black Ops comingyeah, yeah, I know, I'm unawesome for cutting the game short, but you know how nitpicky Arthur can get…yeah…"

Oh no. That limey had better not be interfering with MY America time…

Tony stopped pretending to be doing anything except staring at America when America finally put the headset down and shut down the Xbox. In fact, he didn't realize Tony's despair until he turned around to see the alien still sitting on the couch, staring at him.

America sighed and said, "Tony, before you freak out on me, hear me out first."

Tony crossed his arms. No promises.

"Okay. I know you don't like Arthur very much, but he was visiting Matt this past week, and was able to set up his schedule so that he's leaving from Washington D.C. on Sunday, so that he could come see me. I haven't seen him for at least six months, and I would really, really like it if you just cooperated with Arthur for this weekend. I know I usually give you more of a warning, but even I didn't know about it until today." America frowned. "He said he called earlier this week, but I still don't know why I didn't get it, phone's still working, I checked," he added thoughtfully.

Maybe it's because I hung up on him while you were too busy singing in the shower to hear the phone?

Tony shrugged. "I don't know," he said in his native language, and America nodded.

"Yeah, me neither." America looked down at Tony as he stood up. "So will you please, please behave for this trip? I'll buy two boxes of those pepperoni pizza pockets you like so much if you cooperate?"

Tony held up three fingers. No way in hell was he going to cooperate without enough leverage to make it worth the effort.

"Fine, three boxes, sounds good. I'll get them after I drop Arthur off at the airport on Sunday," America said before standing up again and stretching, his spine making cracking sounds.

And just for the delay of the treats, Tony was not going to cooperate regardless of a bribe.

The bribe was just a bonus, assuming Tony wasn't caught.

"So are we cool?" America asked, looking hopeful.

Tony mused over the proposition for a few minutes, and then reluctantly stuck a hand out. Thankfully America couldn't tell that Tony was scowling right now, or he might suspect that Tony wasn't planning to uphold his end of the bargain. Then again, America did have a reputation for completely missing things, not noticing them unless it was plain and obvious and in front of his face.

America's grin was big as he took Tony's hand. "I promise Arthur will be gone Sunday afternoon, 'kay?" he said before shaking Tony's hand and then straightening up. He looked over at the bookshelf where Britannia was sitting; tail swishing lazily and green eyes watching them carefully. "And you, mister, are going to be downstairs the entire time so that Arthur and I won't have to worry about stepping on your dumb tail again when we want to be together at night. No arguments."

The cat merely yawned and if it could talk, Tony suspected it would say something like 'You creatures are beneath me, so I shall sleep wherever I damn well want to'. Tony sighed; if only the creature was more intelligent, he'd think about recruiting it to his cause. But humans and nations were the dominant species for a reason.

Satisfied that the cat wasn't going to talk back (or scratch for that matter), America sighed before kneeling down and began cleaning up the game boxes and the controllers. Stuffing those underneath the TV with the DVDs, America went back to the coffee table and collected the empty pizza boxes that littered the place before reaching for the empty soda cans.

That's when Tony knew to bail. America was lucky that he was going to have England over, but expecting Tony to help clean up for an unwanted visitor was pushing said luck a little too far.

This year, Tony was going to put his foot down. September through December every year was usually Tony's time with America. This was the second time in sixteen years that England came around for a visit around this time. England got most of the rest of the year with America, so Tony was going to defend his America time and make it clear to the Englishman that September through December was off limits.

"I might need a little assistance," Tony mused aloud as he headed toward the basement door, the entrance to his private workshop. His eyes fell on Britannia, who was watching the moving cowlick on America's head as the nation cleaned near the bookshelf. Nah, the cat wasn't smart enough for-


"SHIT!" America howled as Britannia swiped and snagged the offending cowlick. Badly startled by America's reaction, the cat jumped up and shot off the bookshelf and back under the couch while America clutched his forehead.

Tony frowned thoughtfully. Perhaps the cat could be useful after all.

He pulled out his workshop key card, ran it through the scanner, and opened the basement door and headed downstairs.

Time to get to work.

A/N: Kink-meme de-anon. But it's rating appropriate, so don't worry. Anyway, welcome to One Weekend. I'll update here when I update there. Hetalia Axis Powers and all related media belong to Hidekaz Himaruya.