altaeansonata: (US/UK)
[personal profile] altaeansonata
Second chapter of Forget Me Not; first chapter is --here--. As before, concrit is always welcomed and appreciated :)

Title: Forget Me Not – (2/?)
Author: [personal profile] altaeansonata
Rating: PG-13 (Warnings: None)
Wordcount: ~1600
Genre: Fluff, mild angst in later chapters
Characters: England, America, Canada
Pairings: US/UK, Canada/UK
Summary: England brings America flowers. Canada schemes to intercept his affections.



–₤–

Snow had just begun to fall when England and America began their walk, dusting the frozen ground and whispering softly between the branches of trees. The mid-morning sun was hidden by an overcast blanket of clouds, and the air seemed crisp and dry and yet muffled their voices as only snow-dusted air can do.

“I still can't believe you brought me flowers to liven up my place,” America said. He wouldn't stop teasing England about them, and England was well past thinking that bringing them had been a mistake.

“I'd say I can't believe you can't appreciate natural beauty,” England retorted, scowling at nothing in particular, “but I quite easily can.”

“'Course I can,” America said, sauntering over to an oak tree and tracing a finger along the grooves and creases of its bark.

“Hmph, you ought to stop paving it over, then,” England said, joining America by the tree.

“That's the whole point of freedom, though, isn't it? To be able to say 'to hell with it' and pave it over anyway.” He reached up and snapped off a branch to emphasize his point, sending a flurry of snow down onto England's head. “To appreciate the beauty or to tear it down to make way for something ugly. But being able to do that's beautiful, too.”

England brushed the cold powder off of his face in annoyance, and directed his scowl at America this time. “That's deeper than I'd have expected from you.”

America shrugged, and began walking again, branch still in his hand. “I've had a lot of time to think about it. You should have seen this place when it was new. I mean, of course you did, but not all of it, not like I did. Forests, and mountains, and endless empty plains.... A lot of it is still empty, and will be for a long time, but the people – my people – left marks on all of it. Turned it from possibility into reality.”

England kept pace with America, taking in his words. He couldn't bring himself to say it, but he wished he had been there with America through all of it. He wished he'd been there to see America move west, to watch as the land America lived in became America himself. There really was a sort of beauty in that, he supposed.

America, oblivious to England's reverie, continued. “Besides, it's not like you can eat nature. But you can eat progress. Well, as long as progress is fast-food-shaped.”

England rolled his eyes. He knew it was too good to last. “Not all progress is fast food, you know.”

“Of course not. But when was the last time you got excited about silicon chips or fuel efficiency or stem cells? A three-dollar burger with mushrooms and Swiss cheese and bacon, though? You can't tell me that's not exciting.” And he really did look excited, waggling his finger at England like England knew he was right and was just playing silly buggers in denying it.

England was irked now. “No. It isn't. It's daft. Do you really think that you're making a difference?”

“'Course I am. Everyone's doing it, aren't they? Sure it's not big, not... important, but little things can be awesome, too. Change the world, change people's lives. You know how long people used to spend cooking? And now they don't have to, if they don't want to. They can go out, and, and do stuff, instead of being stuck at home making a pot roast.” He was walking ahead of England now, not looking back as he spoke, with his arms stretched out at his sides as though he was an exuberant evangelist preaching to the world at large. The quickening snowfall ignored him, and so he turned back to England, an expectant look on his face.

England had to admit, he liked America's enthusiasm. He was old, older than a lot of nations, and a bit world-weary. Seeing the younger nation's cheerfulness and... his earnestness, really, it made him think of when he was young, too. Of course, the selfsame thing aggravated him to no end, but... he could overlook that.

All that being said, Canada was much the same way, although without as many annoying displays of ego. But England drove that thought well out of his mind, and focused instead on America, who was–

Paff!

–throwing a snowball at his face, apparently. “What the bloody hell was that for?”

America shrugged. “You were ignoring me. So I got your attention.”

The bits of snow still stuck to England's face stung, colder even than the air around him, so he brushed them away as well as he could with his coat sleeve, leaving only a few clinging tenaciously to his eyebrows. “Sodding right you did! You, you–” he reached down and grabbed up a handful of snow “–absolutely magnificent bastard!” He lobbed the snowball at America, not as hard as he would have liked, and frowned as the other nation easily ducked it.

“I'll take that as a compliment!” America called back, laughing as he threw another snowball in England's direction. This one flew over England's shoulder, and impacted with a thunk on a tree behind him.

England, his face red from the cold and the snow and annoyance at America (as though that was anything new), grabbed and shaped another lump of snow and had it hurtling toward America before he could even think. This one made a satisfying paff against America's coat, but that only made the other nation laugh harder. “C'mon, Arthur, you throw like a girl!

Which, of course, only served to piss England off all the more, but he had to admit there was a certain amount of fun in throwing snowy projectiles at America. A certain disquiet came over him as, taking cover behind a tree, he realised that this was eerily similar to fighting America – actually fighting America – so many years ago. But he pushed that to the back of his mind with Canada and everything else, and concentrated on smacking America in the face with a snowball.

“Hah! Missed me again! Do I have to come over there and teach you how to throw, Kirkland?” America called from behind his own tree. He sent a couple of snowballs whizzing back toward England, who dodged one but caught another with his shoulder.

“Blow me!” England called back, hurling a snowball along with the insult.

“Is that a request?” America retorted, and it was only because England's face was already beet red from the cold that it didn't turn any redder.

“Hardly!” England said, sending another snowball at America, and somehow this one did manage to connect with the other nation's face. America's glasses went flying, and England, though laughing, felt a little bad when he saw him kneel to the ground in an attempt to find them.

“Hey, cease fire, okay?” America said.

England nodded. “Of course.” He brushed the half-melted snow off of his hands (which were starting to go numb) and dried them on his coat, and then walked over to help America look for his glasses.

The snow was getting a bit deep now, at least three inches, and it took England a moment to find where America's glasses had gone. “Here they are,” he said, and America's face lit up.

England stood and walked over to America, holding the glasses out to him. The other nation took them, dusting the snow off the rims and putting them back onto his face with a “Thanks.”

“Not a problem,” England said. He then frowned. “You've got some snow on your face, still.”

“Huh? Where?” America said, rubbing the front of his face with his sleeve.

“Here,” England said, reaching out to brush away a clump of snow by America's ear. His fingertips brushed America's ear in the process, not wholly unintentionally, and America's cheeks grew almost imperceptibly redder.

“Your hands are cold,” America mumbled.

“Hm?” England said, mostly just to keep the conversation going and not think too much about what he'd just done. He failed to realise that his hand was still hovering by America's ear.

“I said your hands are cold,” America repeated. He took England's free hand in his own hands, which weren't much warmer.

“'S because you had me throwing snowballs at you, you git,” England murmured. He was tracing the line of America's ear with his fingertip now, around and down and along his jawline to his chin. His heart was beating a bit faster than normal, now, and he vaguely wondered if America could hear it.

“You weren't listening to me,” America said, nodding his head down and brushing his lips against England's finger in a faint kiss.

England grazed his fingertip softly across America's lips, and he could feel the warmth of his breath on his hand. America replied with a light bite, holding England's finger in his teeth and flicking his tongue against it for a second before releasing it.

“Mm... You have my attention now,” England said, closing his eyes and moving his hand up to comb his fingers through America's hair.

“Huh....” America replied, and said nothing for a long time. He pulled England close, and England fancied he could feel the other nation's heart beating, even through their thick coats. “So... is this why you brought flowers?” America finally asked.

“Shut up, America,” England said, and kissed him.

–₤–

---------------------------

A/N: Sorry for the distinct lack of Canada this week; he just didn't fit into this chapter. Next chapter should feature him quite heavily, though ;)
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