(This is proof that I've been writing here and there, when I'm not busy frantically chasing down grad school opportunities and being rejected. Eheh.)
Title: Five Days of Flour
Characters/Pairings: America and England
Summary: The prompt was "England baking cookies as a birthday gift for America. But failing in the process. America eats them anyways." This is that story given too much raw egg, burnt black, over-frosted, and served with hope.
With a helping of ambiguous ending.
Five Days of Flour
The First Day
On June 30th, the nightmares began.
Hundreds of years of tradition dictated that England prepare himself for the fallout, of course. When he woke, sick to his stomach and with a sore wetness trailing down to his ear, there was already a glass of water and three aspirin sitting on his bedside table. England took the pills with shaking hands. He tried to forget the feeling of mud between his fingers and the scent of gunpowder and earthy rain. Outside, London was kind enough to have granted clear skies to her night.
He toed on his slippers and went to put on tea. The kettle was already waiting on the stove, his Darjeeling propped against the cutting board.
“Pathetic, I am,” England told the lot. He twisted the stove knob, waiting for fire to catch and then dim before dropping the kettle back onto the burner.
There was an invitation, of course; it sat on the toaster. There was always an invitation. It seemed like no matter what England said, or no matter how many times he merely dropped off some paltry offerings before leaving America to his annoying, frivolous (hurtful) festivities, the invitation would come without fail. The same kind that America probably gave all of his close friends (or not-so-close friends): a patchwork mess of glitter, glitz, and greedy expectation.
England never confirmed whether or not he’d show up. He either did or didn’t. It depended on whether he felt masochistic enough once July 4th rolled around, or if self-preservation got the best of him, and sometimes, if the moon was hovering a little low, his feet took him there whether he liked it or not. America was a magnet. America was indulgence. America was filling his head at four in the morning, to the point where England thought he might open his mouth and the stars and stripes might fall out.
That bloody flag. How he hated it.
The Darjeeling helped settle his nerves. England’s fingers gradually lost their trembles, and in time, his bones followed suit. The nausea dulled to a butter knife’s edge. When he was finished with a second cup, he got out the ingredients for ginger snaps. Small brown cookies for winter nights, not the last day of June. Even as he snipped open the flour, England could recall how the sun used to lay its hand over the land like a caress to America’s golden head, and how under that sun they’d shared ginger snaps in the dizzy-blown rye. Cookies made from real ginger stem. Iced to glimmer.
Cooking was many things to England: a friend, a sanctuary, a passion. Tonight, it was a sacrifice. Tonight, he baked and he mourned. He couldn’t bring himself to taste a crumb.
The Second Day
He decided he would bake cookies for America’s birthday.
Because I’m a complete dunce, England thought. It’s not like he ever enjoys my baking. The ungrateful brat. Somewhere along the line, America had grown too good for home-cooked food; he’d become overly fond of what could be processed and faked. But none of his burgers ever seemed to fill him, and so he ate more and more, jubilant but needing.
There was a lesson in that, something valuable that could be said about America. England knew it could be important, but it was like reaching for something at the back of the top shelf, too high but there. His fingers brushed silver and then he would fall back on his heels. Another day, perhaps.
The reprieve of weather hadn’t lasted long, but then London wasn’t London without a touch of gray to her smile. England went out to the supermarket and bought ingredients for sugar cookies. He purchased frosting and silver bells and chocolate sprinkles and bits of peppercorn. There were puddles in the street.
July 1st, and his feet felt like they were embedded in needles.
“You don’t damn well deserve this,” is what England told the photograph on the entrance hall table. With a jaunty wave frozen in time, America ignored him. “If anything, I ought to get cookies that day. No one ever remembers that, though.”
Still, later that night after some (a bit too much) wine, England rolled up his sleeves and began to bake.
The sugar cookies burnt. He tried to cover the black sections with the frosting, but they only crumbled under the weight. They tasted like ash on his tongue. England ate three, anyway, because it was in bad manners to waste and they weren’t that bad, not really. Not up to America’s standards, but what was new? Good lord, his stomach churned.
The congealed mash stuck in his throat. England swallowed the lump and whispered, “This is too hard.” He wasn’t sure what he was speaking about, but it must have been the truth.
It was past ten by the time he gave up. When the grandfather clock in his study intoned the hour and fifteen, England dumped the rest of the sugar cookies, or what had lived a short life as sugar cookies before their cremation, into the sink. He stomped upstairs and fell face-flat on the mattress, and that night he dreamt of the gunshot he hadn’t taken.
The Third Day
The third day was chocolate chip. Tried and true American favorite, if England wagered correctly. He didn’t care much for anything without raisins himself, but for America, and for his own preservation of mind during this trying week, England buckled down and succumbed to a mundane recipe.
He snacked on the chocolate chips while he mixed the raw eggs into the dough.
Really, if England was any kind of friend, he’d just give America the cookie dough. If England was really lucky, he’d make America happy and still manage to give the idiot salmonella. The idea was entertaining. It kept England’s mouth twitching into a bare-bones smile until he remembered what it felt like to have something he’d loved ripped from his hands, to have that love returned as festering hate. (Be fair, he thought, but he didn’t want to be fair, not when it still hurt so.)
Three hours later, the dough idea was looking more viable.
“Why won’t you rise?” England begged the lumps on the tray, stabbing at them with a toothpick. The slip of wood came away gooey once more. He jabbed at the cookies a few more times for good measure.
“Damn it to buggery,” he finally said.
He tried turning the oven on higher. When the oily smoke billowed out from the tiny openings in the oven door, England got his oven mitts and slapped at the fire until it went out. He sawed at the cookies until they came away from the metal sheet, and then popped one piping hot into his mouth.
His vision blurred.
“Bloody smoke,” he said, voice raw, and rubbed at his eyes.
The Fourth Day
Once, they had eaten ginger snaps underneath the sun in a field so vast that England thought America might go on forever and ever. It was under that sun that America took England’s hand with his tiny, sap-sticky fingers and a smile as bright as the shallow waters of Virginia. He said something, but England never heard it.
When England woke up, the rain hit the window glass in tinny little pings.
For a long time, he laid there in his misery. Maybe it was hours. Probably it was minutes. But it was a long time, not measured in increments but in how far he managed to convince his heart to go. When at last England sat up, raking his nails through sleep-frazzled hair, he thought maybe he was ready to try again.
In his past, England had fallen to his knees just as often as he’d made others fall to theirs. He’d endured. He’d conquered. He’d softened the blow. There was a trick to that kind of survival; it was in how you breathed, how you recovered from a knock to the teeth. America was not the boy that crumpled England. He was only the boy that left him.
Still. And yet. Still.
England went downstairs.
Someday, he thought as he assembled the mixing bowl and whisk, numb to the senses, gaze skittering to and from the invitation that waited on the toaster, I’m going to be able to celebrate your birthday instead of ache for it. And that’s not you winning; that’s me.
The rolling pin rocked gently against the uneven counter top. England set it to the side. He went to the cupboard. Opened the doors.
Once, they had eaten ginger snaps under the sun on the day that America fashioned his birthday. It wasn’t July 1st, though it was in the summer. America hadn’t been born from his revolution, only changed, only grown; in that knowledge, England found both comfort and a terrible, empty despair. That, too, he would have to weather until it was easier to forget. The child with the man. The sweet with the bitter. The past with the future.
Where the hell was his almond bark?
Ah, there it was, on the top shelf.
England got on his toes and reached.
The Fifth Day
America looked down at the tin.
“Aw, you shouldn’t have,” he said, and meant it.
England went a mottled red that never failed to amuse America. “Just take it, you idiot,” he snarled, thrusting the tin forward once more. “Feel grateful you received anything! Especially since I know every single nation bought you something utterly ridiculous and wasteful just to pander to your whimsies.”
America had stopped listening at “grateful.” He took the tin, feeling the contents shake and rustle against dessert cup paper. Maybe it wasn’t too late. Maybe they hadn’t achieved sentience. Maybe he could pass them on to Russia. That hadn’t gone over well last time, though.
And then, as he contemplated his options, England touched his arm. And he said, quiet but sincere, “Happy birthday.”
America stilled, his fingernail digging under the metal rim of the lid. He didn’t look up. All at once, his stomach was unsettled and quaking, and it had nothing to do with the cookies. Oh.
I don’t think you’ve ever said that to me, was on the tip of America’s tongue, but he pulled it back behind his molars just in time. There was a tingling in his ears that told him they were probably pink, but he knew England wouldn’t notice. England never noticed. England had spent over one hundred years with his head stuck in the sand, too busy trying to yank out of himself to see what was going on around him. Around America.
His mind flickered over a memory, some half-melted vision of clear turquoise skies and icing that coated the roof of his mouth. The cookies in the tin were small, rounded black things with little red candies on them. It didn’t matter what kind they were, or how they tasted. America crammed one inside, anyway, and chewed until his cheeks hurt.
When he dared to look, England’s eyes were wide.
If I eat all the way to the bottom of the tin, thought America, will you be happy again?
I like to think you could be happy again on a day like today.
The party continued on behind them, somewhere on the other side of the doorway. The laughter rose and then trickled out into the night, embraced by the pervading silence beyond it. But for that moment, there was only America choking down the thick taste of cinnamon and char, and England, pale and watchful and standing there with something like an early dawn coming up behind his eyes, and understand me, America begged, see me see how this fills me please rend something from this because I’m too dumb I can’t say it—
Crumbs. “S’good,” he croaked.
And then England was—
Many, Many Years Ago
“England! England! Today’s my birthday!”
“Oh?” It was a beautiful day for a birthday. England bent to meet the little boy, noting his dirty bare feet in the grass, feet that had grown too big once again for the shoes England brought him. But America was smiling, smiling, smiling, reaching for the container that England held out to him.
“Is this for me?” He shook the tin.
“Yes, they’re cookies. Ginger snaps for your special day, America.”
So bright that they hurt to look at, those eyes. “I love your cookies!”
I love that you love them, England wanted to say. But instead, he took America’s face in his hands and kissed his forehead. Kissed him, there under the sun in the dizzy-blown rye.
Obviously, I took the whole "England spending a week before America's birthday miserable" idea from the comics: http://community.livejournal.com/hetali
And ran with it. >.>
Title: Cherry Cola
Pairings: France/Canada/America + Voyeur!England
Warnings: America’s mouth
Summary: De-anon for hetalia_kink. The prompt was France and Canada making use of America’s mouth at the same time. While England watches.
“I should’ve taught him to hold his rum better,” said England, pursing his lips. With his legs casually crossed and the half-finished glass of gin resting on his knee, he seemed very unaffected by what he was seeing.
Canada wished he were as stoic. Or, at least, a little more drunk.
“Mon dieu,” France murmured, eyes at half-mast and fixated on the object of their mutual fascination. He was seated close enough to Canada at the kitchen table that Canada’s elbow kept brushing against him every time they shifted. Most of the time, it was probably on purpose. Canada had the sneaking suspicion that any second, his distant father figure was going to peer over his shoulder to get a better view.
“I really,” said Canada weakly, “think this is a bad idea. Uh. America. America?”
America gave him a sullen look and released him with an obscene popping sound.
“M’not drunk,” he said, in the stubborn mulish way he always did if he couldn’t get his way. “All I’ve had is a cherry cola and rum, and most of it was cola. Will you guys stop being jerks now? Excuse me for thinking that sitting around, drinking ourselves stupid is not an awesome way of spending our weekend together.”
France said mildly, “I like this way.”
“See? Two votes in favor, and I know England’s an old pervert so he counts as a third. Shut up and enjoy your blow job, Canada.”
“That’s not it,” groaned Canada, feeling his neck heat up. He could see the quiet, enjoyable evening he’d wanted dissipating like fog on glass. Just the same, he didn’t say anything when America, sprawled on the white linoleum tiles of the kitchen, leaned into the cradle of his thighs and licked the head of Canada’s stiffening erection.
England made a “mm” sound. There was the sound of ice clicking in a glass, but Canada was too busy staring down at his lap and gripping the arms of the chair with milk-white fingers. He hadn’t thought to protest too much when America first nuzzled his knee and reached out to unzip him—sometimes America liked to tease, and the drinking had made Canada a little soft-headed. And besides, America had been sitting on the floor since his third glass, pressed to Canada’s thigh and laughing, his hot breath pushing through the denim and keeping a part of Canada warm inside. He was good at that: inching his way into your personal space and then initiating contact before you realized what was happening.
After all these years, Canada still hadn’t learned how to stop it. Maybe he didn’t want to.
“There’s a time and a place, y’know,” said Canada, low enough for America’s ears to catch it. He felt awkward sitting here with his jeans undone and his naked cock standing out. There must’ve been a part of America that recognized that, because his brother smiled and slid in smoothly between his legs.
“Mm-hmm,” he said, taking Canada in his mouth again.
I’ve missed you, that smile said.
For a while, the odd sweetness of the smile was enough that Canada could feel less embarrassed and begin to enjoy himself. He watched, mouth dry, as America pulled back and wetted his lips before sinking down once more and filling his cheek with the head of Canada’s erection. He slurped once, mostly to annoy Canada (it worked), and began to suck in earnest.
“Oh,” keened Canada. He hooked his ankles behind the chair legs.
It was so quiet. Even France, who normally kept a cheerful verbal banter up during times of intimacy, was watching in silence behind the curtain of his hair. The vacuum made the smallest of sounds seem loud: the harsh panting that Canada couldn’t restrain, the wet noises as America worked enough saliva over Canada’s cock to recklessly bob up and down over it, and the occasional muffled moans in between them that sent faint, thrilling vibrations through Canada. America knew everything that Canada liked. He knew how to work his brother deep into his throat, how to dig his tongue against the sensitive skin at his slit and beneath the head. As he lavished attention, his hand kneaded against the crotch seam of Canada’s jeans, rubbing at his trapped balls.
And, like always, Canada couldn’t stay quiet. Not for long.
(Sometimes he thought America did this on purpose. Just to get Canada wound up to this point, to let go. Sometimes Canada even loved his brother for that, if it were true.)
“Fuck... Yeah, there. Uhh. Ah!”
The clack of more ice in a glass and a drink being poured. Canada couldn’t bring himself to care about their audience. He pushed his head backward, neck caught by the top of the chair, and gasped thinly. It was hard not to pry himself from the arms of the chair and wind his fingers into America’s hair, urging his brother down further, harder, faster.
He heard the whisper of cotton and knew that France had taken his shirt off. The snap of trouser buttons and the scrape of the chair pushing out soon followed. Canada could feel the hand at his shoulder before it even touched him, and he understood the unspoken request for what it was.
So did America. Disengaging, saliva gleaming on his reddening lips, America took a few deep breaths before speaking. “What’s your plan?”
Canada looked at France.
“Oh, don’t stop,” said the nation jovially. He gave them a crooked grin. Under the butter-yellow lighting, the dusting of blond hair on his chest seemed darker than usual and he was already half-hard, jutting and long. “Though, I thought I’d take a turn?”
“Selfish, bastard frog,” commented England.
“C’mere,” said America, mostly to spite him.
Canada groaned, though he wasn’t sure if it was from the lack of contact with his cock or from watching America straighten a little so that he could lick France from balls to tip. He decided, after a little agonizing, it was a combination of the two.
“Vous êtes si bon,” sighed France, letting his fingertips scour through America’s messy hair. The boy in question nipped his hip and then took France in hand, circling the bulb at the top and then licking it roughly, over and over, until France’s ears went red and he bit his lip. He’d always liked a little over stimulation.
Canada looked at England pleadingly, his stomach a chaotic tumble of coiled want. England raised an eyebrow at him and took another sip of gin and tonic.
Hoser, thought Canada.
France was encouraging America in his native tongue, though it was doubtful anyone but himself and Canada understood it. He told America how amazing his mouth was, how wicked his tongue and beautiful his face. How beautiful it would be with come dripping down his cheeks and neck. More, dear one, take moreperfect</i>, so perfect.
America groaned deeply in answer, tilting his head to slide France far back into his mouth, nose tickling from France’s pubic hair. He forced himself on France’s cock repeatedly, and Canada knew his jaw must be sore, knew it was aching at him, but it was so beautiful. France was always, always right.
France groaned and reached out. He touched America’s cheek. His thumb, imprinted like a hidden kiss at the corner of America’s lips, tugged at the skin until it caught like a hook. America made a surprised noise and glanced up, eyes wide; he breathed around France’s length through the space made by his finger.
“You have always had a big mouth,” he told America, affection too strong to deny in his voice. “For talking, for eating, for… other things.”
“Here, here,” muttered England.
“I wonder,” continued France, so warmly it was impossible to take offence, “would you push your limits, if I asked?”
America searched his face. So did Canada.
“That is, I mean to say,” and France’s gaze flickered toward Canada, a dark in his eyes welling like ink, “why take turns when we can simply share?”
Canada’s breath caught.
England put his glass down.
And America, very slowly—without looking—reached out to his brother.
Denying it was never an option. It almost hurt to get to his feet and shuck his jeans and underwear completely, so much did the mere concept arouse Canada. He inhaled quickly a few times and calmed, rubbing his stomach, before taking the two steps needed to press side to side against France. Their hips bumped and settled like ships in a harbor.
“Start small,” France was saying, drawing himself out of America. “A little at a time, mon cher.”
The flush in his brother’s ears and collarbone didn’t fade, but America met Canada’s eyes readily enough. He opened and shut his jaw a few times as if in practice and then smiled, confident but awkward. “You’ll have to get even closer, so…”
France chuckled and wrapped a hand around Canada’s erection, his grin widening at the heartfelt groan that followed. He pushed their erections together, enclosing about them near the base. While not unpleasant, it felt odd, and Canada nestled his chin into France’s shoulder with a little frown.
“Yeah,” said America, and then he immediately took both inside.
“Oh fuck,” Canada stated, light-headed.
France was busy sucking air through his teeth.
While enthusiastic, it took a good few minutes of hesitantly trying to… stuff himself comfortably before America could really manage to get any momentum. He was never good at realizing his limits or that there were, in fact, any that existed at all. He sucked helplessly, unable to find traction but it didn’t matter—never before had he seemed so tight, so hot. Canada tried to control his breathing. He could feel the ridges on the roof of America’s mouth, the slight puffiness of his cheeks where youth had never quite shed its fat, the glide of France’s cock against his own as they filled every available millimeter.
The flush on America’s face steadily grew higher.
“Oohh… that’s it, merci,” France crowed, his hips steadily rocking forward. Whereas Canada felt unable to move, he seemed as though he could not stop himself. “Si bon, America. Si bon.”
Oh god, thought Canada, something like an electric twinge making its way up his spine. He repeated this to himself several times before it found its way to open air: “Oh god, oh god…”
“Canada. Move, Canada,” France murmured in his ear.
And in shock, Canada did just that.
The first shift of Canada’s hips in time with France’s tore a very tiny sound from America that shook all sense out of Canada’s brain. He watched intently as they buried further into America, stretching his lips until the blood was gone from them, filling him so completely that, for once, America had no finesse or control at all. He only took in what they gave him, over and over, clumsy in his attempts to pleasure them.
Canada gave into temptation and dug his fingers in America’s hair. “Shh, stop that,” he said, his inflections ragged. He rocked into America soundly, feeling something internal and deeply buried thrill at the answering, guttural whine. “Just let us have you, eh? S’all you have to do. Oh… France, France—”
“Je sais,” panted his partner. “Quickly, he is loose, we can be rough—”
“Lord,” said England, as if in pain.
America’s eyelashes fluttered shut. Quiet keening could barely be heard around the slapping of damp flesh, and if anything, it spurred them on. They held onto his hair as equals; one handful for Canada and the other for France, holding America fast as they took their pleasure in him. When he choked, they slowed but did not stop. When he thrashed, they told him how beautiful he was, how gorgeous and messy and beloved.
It was France that came first, his entire body jerking as if in surprise. He gasped something imperfect and surged hard into America’s mouth without warning, bloated spurts of come issuing with the resulting spasms.
“Uugh,” said America, recoiling. His eyes went wide and alarmed, and Canada quickly slipped from him. His brother coughed wetly, gagged, and swallowed around France’s cock.
A rivulet of translucent pearl, combined saliva and seed, trickled down his chin. France tugged himself out with a satisfied moan, smearing the last of it across America’s cheek. “Excellent,” he breathed. “Ahh…”
America coughed again, raising a hand to wipe it away. He stopped and stared at it before he could, just as Canada did—his fingers trembled violently in the air.
Despite everything they were to each other, and everything they were not, Canada loved his brother. It was something born of geography and isolation, and something born of honesty and time. It was in the way America tucked his fingers under Canada’s knee as if to hide them, trusting him not to speak about the obvious weakness, and in the way that Canada gently cupped his face and lifted it to the light.
“Go on, I’ve got you,” said Canada.
America searched his expression. Then, he slowly sank over Canada’s cherry-red erection for a last time, so infinitely careful that he barely could grip it. He mouthed the organ sluggishly, jaw pained, breathing clogged.
Canada, still so gently, held his head up as he fucked his mouth with the closest thing to love he could offer.
When he came, it had been building so long that he wasn’t sure it would happen at all. But it did, and America looked like he might cry, and Canada went down on rubbery legs to gather his brother up in his arms.
He kissed him there on the floor, tasting himself and France and soreness like something tangible there. America clutched at him and made breathy, pathetic half-words as Canada licked those lingering aches inside and massaged his jaw line, feeling sated and wonderful and grateful. Sometimes even pleasure needed healing.
(Eventually, he realized that England was snarling at France about being a completely disgusting pervert and rushing into things, but by that point, America was rocking against him needily and there were more important things to tend to. There was a time and place for everything, and England was a bit of a hypocrite, really.)
… I dunno, I just had to. *hides face*
You can obviously tell I made no effort to realistically research what it takes to have two sex organs in your mouth at the same time. BUT AMERICA IS SUPER AWESOME AND SO OF COURSE HE COULD DO IT. 8D /shot
Still, I hope it was all right. T_T
France’s French is… I can’t even remember what it is, since I cheated and used a translation web site. Mostly it’s a lot of endearments and “You are so good.” XD XD
Title: The Stanley Cup is Not a Sex Toy
Warnings: Discussion of depraved sexual techniques, no actual sex.
Summary: De-anon for hetalia_kink. The prompt was: “‘Canada’s History’ is a euphemism for a sex act so depraved, I can’t describe it on TV. Let’s just say it involves moose antlers, a jug of maple syrup, and the Stanley Cup."
AKA: In which America starts to wonder if he’s not kinky enough for Canada, and Canada starts to wonder if America is on crack.
The Stanley Cup is Not a Sex Toy
“Right then,” said Canada, slamming the jar of maple syrup on the table. “Are you going to tell me what’s wrong or are we playing Twenty Questions?”
Seated before a towering plate of untouched pancakes, America scowled. He’d been scowling, in fact, most of the morning. “I don’t know, what makes you think there’s something wrong?”
“You haven’t eaten. Anything.”
“So,” Canada pointed out, hand on his hip, “the only time you don’t eat food that’s in front of you is when you’re on your sickbed or it’s tofu. You don’t have a temperature, that is most definitely not tofu, and you’re still not eating anything.” He added, with more fondness than he’d care to admit, “I’m five seconds from calling your armed forces and reporting a national crisis. Why don’t you just come out with it?”
America stared at him. Then, he directed his frown down at the pancakes and stuffed a forkful in his mouth. Chewing, he mulishly remained silent.
Sometimes there was just no helping it—if he waited it out, his brother would fess up sooner or later. Staying quiet about something that was bothering him was impossible for America, though he put up a good front in the initial phase. Canada went back to the stove to shut the gas off, his mouth pursed and mood disappointed. He’d been hoping for a nice, playful breakfast with America before he had to send his brother home for the week ahead. It wasn’t as often that they got to stay together a few nights in a row.
A few wonderful, sleepless nights in a row.
It was those nights that Canada was contemplating when America nervously cleared his throat. It took a few times, but eventually Canada turned from the kitchen counter with an owlish blink.
America scratched his ear. “Hey, so… There might be something wrong.”
Oh. Oh, his brother was lucky Canada loved him so. “Something wrong, eh?” he asked dryly, folding his arms as he leaned back into the counter edge. “Let’s hear it.”
“Well,” America hedged, his fork drawing small circles in the puddle of maple syrup left on his plate, “it’s just, y’know, I was in town a few days ago and there was this valley girl, and she was talkin’ to her girlfriends in front of me while I was waiting in line at Starbucks—they have those yummy new caramel gingerbread lattes—and she was talkin’ about your history…”
Where on heaven is this going? Canada wondered. He tilted his head, listening but puzzled.
“In fact, what she said was, ‘What, you don’t know about Canada’s history?’ Which, I mean, that’s kind of obvious ‘cause not a lot of people do—no offense—but then she went on to explain it to her friend, um, in very vivid detail really quiet, but I could still hear and then I had to leave because—it’s just that, I don’t—did you really—”
“America,” Canada interrupted, because he could and it was his kitchen, and also because he had the lingering suspicion that this involved 1812 again, “you know that you can’t believe everything you hear on the street. She’s a valley girl.”
America pouted. “So’s Poland.”
“No, he’s not.”
“He could be, if he wanted to be less awesome.”
“She said you filled the Stanley Cup with maple syrup and then you committed a depraved sexual act with it!” cried America.
The kitchen entered a null void.
“Say what?” asked Canada, after a long moment. He thought distantly about fixing that problem with his ear canal that gave him auditory hallucinations about America accusing him of fucking the Stanley Cup. Maybe take some pills or something for it.
Slumping in the chair, America looked profoundly miserable. “She said that… Canada’s history was… that you…”
“That you,” and America’s voice got even smaller, “cut off the antlers of a livin’ moose and dipped them… in the syrup and shoved them… inside two women eating each other out, and…"
Canada whacked the side of his head. No, still having hearing problems.
“And then you masturbated over ‘em and sang God Save the Queen, Eh and then ran outside to violate the moose again…”
“I do have my own national anthem now,” said Canada.
“And I don’t care how twisted and fucked up you are!” America exclaimed, ears bright red but gaze earnest. “But now I c-can’t help but wonder how long ago that was, and if… I know you wouldn’t cheat on me, but maybe I’m not exciting enough for you ‘cause I don’t let you shove animal parts in me—”
“Oh my god,” mumbled Canada, burying his face in his hands. It had to be something psychological. Recessive trauma from spending his childhood in a lacy nightgown, or maybe that time France drunkenly tried to explain contraceptives to him (which became a lecture on the different textures between men, women, and England’s various orifices). His brother was not seriously saying this.
Except he was, and now America looked like he wanted to cry.
Well, good. So did Canada.
“We all do crazy things,” America was continuing, looking increasingly desperate. “Like, you remember that one time I was kind of especially drunk and I thought doing it on the lap of the Lincoln memorial would be a sweet tribute to the old man? Yeah! It’s like that, right? With more fisting?”
Canada took a few wholesome breaths. “Please stop talking.”
And because America had been taught well, he did just that.
It took a while for Canada to sort out what he wanted to say in his head, but when he was satisfied with the overall response, he let out a long exhale. “Okay,” he said, wiping his hands on his jeans. “Okay. America?”
“Can I talk now?”
“Yeah. You just did.”
“I want you to know that I love you,” said Canada, and he meant it in the most heartfelt way. He hoped his sincerity was evident to his brother and partner. “But you’re a complete hoser sometimes, you know that?”
America slitted his eyes at him. “Stop using your enjoyably quirky Canadian slang at me. I’m immune to it. Like Gandhi to snake venom.”
“First of all, the term ‘Canada’s History’ is your not-so-enjoyably quirky slang. I don’t know where it came from, I don’t want to know, I blame your charismatic television comedy show hosts and the World Wide Web, but it’s got nothing to do with me. It’s just some demented euphemism your people made up to poke fun at my sex life, which is now your sex life, I’d like to stress. Secondly,” and now Canada was warming up, “in case you hadn’t noticed, I never use syrup for a pleasure aid. You know why?”
He waited for America to timidly shake his head.
“Because it would chafe! And third, no, I haven’t cheated on you, I haven’t been with any two women or a moose or sports paraphernalia, and I'd never sing God Save the Queen if I were jacking off. No one gets off to the Queen, eh?” He let out a final sigh in a slow, exasperated rush. “Unless it’s the band.”
“True,” said America.
“Most importantly,” Canada told him, “the Stanley Cup?”
America smiled sheepishly at him. “Is not a sex toy?”
“No, I’m sure someone’s gotten off in it before. But d’you know how tightly they have that thing locked up now? Hockey is sacred. The Cup? Is like the Holy Grail.” Canada shook a finger at him and tutted. “We don’t all abuse our power as nations so that we can play with all the fun toys.”
At this point, all of the tension and upset had drained completely from America. He looked at Canada from under his lashes now, embarrassed but grinning, a remaining tinge of pink in his cheekbones. “So you’re not committing depraved sexual acts without me,” he said, with good cheer.
Canada had to smile.
“No,” he admitted softly, going to America and sliding his fingertips across his face. He cupped his brother’s jaw and bent to steal a kiss. “Not without you.”
“Well,” America started to say, but then he was silenced.
And the morning was good again.
(Three days later, America very not-so-casually asked Canada if he would mind abusing his power as a nation to steal the key to the Stanley Cup. Because apparently, there were tons of variations of “Canada’s History,” and not all of them involved a moose.)
I DON’T KNOW. I REALLY DON’T.
Sadly, the definitions of the many ways “Canada’s History” can be identified are more hilarious than this fic. Look ‘em up and be horrified. Horrified.
… And yet it only makes me want to move to Canada even more.
Title: Where Goes the Anchor
Summary: Prompt was: "England has the most epic, amazing dreams, and America just keeps popping up in them. And of course he wreaks havoc in England's dream world(s), as only America can." In which England's dreams are strange, and wild, and fantastic. And America is his, only his.
Where Goes the Anchor
“What I want to do is travel deep and deeper into the dreamlands, to find that place that I know is waiting for me here. My home.”
- CHARLES DE LINT, The Onion Girl
England had been born from the sea a long time ago, before the modern rationale of men took root and cast away magic. He knows the raw, unadulterated power of the gods. He knows the flavor of the seasons before they found names. He knows the language of rocks and rivers and running blood. He doesn’t always remember those times, since they are so far ago, but there are days when all England can feel is his age. Raw, unadulterated joy in his bones.
It is one of those days that he takes a distaff. A distaff, which most wouldn’t recognize, is the third hand of a spinner. Fibers are twined around the distaff as they work, the ribbon keeping flax or wool in place and straight as the spinning comes into being. England keeps a distaff in his attic (he has no basement for many reasons), and on a cold day in November, he takes it from its box and fingers the yellowing ribbon still attached to its head.
Then he puts it underneath his pillow before the night comes on his heels like a dog. It makes the pillows lumpy and uncomfortable when England rests his cheek against them. He squeezes his eyes shut.
(I don’t know what I’m doing.)
Because magic is finicky and addle-minded like a child, England sleeps as though the distaff were not there at all. In fact, he forgets it with the coming of nighttales, touched with a power that traverses the age of the soil and ready to forget, so ready, because some things people are ready to do but not ready to admit. And though England can use the distaff, though he can make the preparations, he can’t bring himself to say the words and speak what they are for in the slightest.
Outside, the rain patters against the road: go deep, deep, deep.
This is the first night England dreams of America.
England dreams of red skies at dawn and a flat, coin-sheen sea.
In the distance, there are towers made of cat fur and candlesticks raised high above the waves. He is looking at them, looking at them through a circle of paper, perched against the railing of the ship and praying for pardons and gold and the blood of Spaniards. As he watches, they disappear into the ocean once more, one by one by three.
Velvet on his wrists. Oh yes, he remembers this sensation.
“You know,” says America, “this is one of the stranger places I’ve met you in.”
“Only one?” England inquires. “That’s the strange part of it, I think.” He snaps the circle of paper up into the wind and it flies away like a tiny bird.
There is a rope hanging from the splintered mast. America swings down from it, the rest trailing like a tail, and there he is, in England’s dream, as perfect as he’d come out of the rye in the gold sunset. He wears a pirate’s hat and clothing. It’s as blue as the coat he’d worn when he threw England out of his life; the color no longer overtakes England because there are so many other things that are blue in that way (skylights, bits of thread, a jay). Still, it’s jarring.
And England knows it’s a dream because he can’t smell gunpowder or saltwater, but America is so real. The shadow of his body on the planks. The weight that creaks the ship. The rakish grin.
It is that surreal quality of his appearance that causes England to pause. Long enough for America to draw the pistol from his sash. Long enough for him to press it to England’s heart.
“You weren’t supposed to be here,” England says quietly.
America cocks the pistol and says, “Bang.”
The next morning, England means to rip the distaff from its unnatural place and throw it in the bin.
He forgets to.
He makes the tea extra bitter and takes it without milk. The day is dreary and gray, and his head hurts like a train wreck. He wonders what he’s dreamt.
England dreams of fields of corn gently waving in the wind. The green meadow goes on as far as he can see like a rippling sheet. He is holding one of the stalks broken in his hand: “You weren’t supposed to be here.”
“You said so,” says America. He laughs, low and throaty. He’s tall and sunny and beautiful, too bright for this world, for England’s dreams. “Reckon you’ve got something that needs some tenderness, huh?”
“It’ll grow back.” There are children digging under the ground. England can hear them. Damn it to buggery, he’s dreaming. He’s dreaming, and he’s saying, “Some things can do that, even after they’ve been crushed.”
Fingers damp with the muddied earth touch his chin. “Is that a metaphor?”
Such a strange dream. “You,” says England softly. “You are infinitely more difficult, America.”
America lets him go.
The sun falls. The field blackens and burns.
In the morning, England scrubs his hair free of shampoo and his head free of the image of a haze of red across a harvest. He wills the drain to take the water, and the nightmare, from him as quickly as possible.
It’s unusual to dream of America twice in a row. Sometimes, England dreams about the Revolutionary War. Sometimes he dreams about a little boy that laughed himself breathless and lifted his tiny fingers to England’s to be held. Sometimes he also dreams about tentative touches and graceless words, but he erases the thoughts related to those as soon as they start because some things are not meant to be expanded upon.
Still, England has lived many years. Coincidences are no longer a novelty.
England dreams of speaking at a world conference, the piece of chalk in his fingers pressed to a white board. He’s nervous because the chalk is white, too, so he’s not sure if everyone is seeing the plans he is writing out for them. In fact, he’s not sure there’s anyone else here at all.
When he looks at the chairs, there seems to be nothing but an emptiness.
He talks a while. He talks about global warming and rebel bands and the generation of punk rock. He talks about shoes that don’t fit quite right and the London transport’s hot-and-cold affairs. He talks about love, the biggest secrets of it, and that sticks in his throat just a little.
When the doors burst open, England is more than ready for him.
America—in his suit and bomber jacket, the 50 emblazoned against his cheek instead of the leather—has his arms still flung out, as though catching something in the air. He acts as though there are thousands of people in the room, flashing a quicksilver grin in their general direction, and then he comes to takes the chalk from England’s slack fingers.
“Stars and stripes, England,” he jubilates.
“A republic in a shawl,” says England, reaching to touch him. He thinks he must be dreaming, so that is okay.
“Have you had a rough week?” asks Japan in sympathy.
England tries to catch a yawn and fails. He blots his paperwork instead in his attempts, and curses, wiping at the spreading black line with his sleeve. Japan offers him a handkerchief. England takes it gratefully.
While he’s dabbing and grousing at one of his more lax moments, England recalls the question. “It’s not that,” he finally answers, and then adds, “exactly. It’s only my sleep that’s been a little…”
“Restless?” offers Japan, nosy in his own polite way.
“Indeed.” Only full, too full of vivid dreams. The space between England’s ears is up to the brim with them. “I hope it passes soon. Bloody inconvenient, really.”
“I have just the thing,” Japan tells him, touching England’s wrist. Oddly enough, when England looks up in surprise, he expects someone else entirely.
England dreams of war.
Maggots crawl out between his fingers, wiggling from their prison in the man’s stomach, and England gags and pulls himself away at last. Too late, too late. That is the story of war. Always too late.
He looks up in the rain, knee-deep in the mud. He gets to his feet and the weight of the gun drags him down, down, down. England recognizes the uniforms from a thousand wars on a thousand men all as stiff as mannequins, even the one who’d laid gasping beneath him a moment ago. A battlefield of fake people masquerading real losses.
England reaches down and finds a copper.
When he straightens, America is before him.
Blue and dirtied America, the age he was when he left the British shores, the same scratched rifle in hand. “If I were to shoot you right now,” he says to England, voice hoarse, “you’d be just as wooden as the rest of ‘em.”
England is almost gentle when he tells this America, “You don’t belong here. Be gone already. Go now.”
“I can’t. I can’t.”
A kiss on lips too young to know its meaning. “You were never supposed to be the one.”
America drops the gun in the watered topsoil, careless and desperate. He grasps England, fistfuls of green, and pushes into the kiss. Their teeth clack. Someone’s breath catches and is stolen by magpies.
“I’ll save this little world of yours,” whispers America into his mouth, and god, oh Lord and Savior, England believes him.
“I don’t want to talk to you,” snaps England, yanking his sleeve away.
America’s face falls. “But England—”
“Let go, you idiot!”
“Why are you acting so weird?!”
Just leave me alone, England wants to say, but that’s not right. He hasn’t seen America in over two weeks. Panic burns in his gut and he runs, afraid somehow the nation will read his every story through his face.
England dreams of a church. He doesn’t know its name. The stained glass windows bleed down a beautiful, pale lavender and though he’s not gone for many years, he remembers how to dip his fingers in the holy water and flick.
There is someone kneeling at the altar.
He goes to him. It’s in his make up. It’s who he is. England goes to America and kneels beside him, and does not pray. He says instead, “I taught you this, too. Once.”
“In two minutes,” says America through his teeth, “I will bomb this place.”
England closes his eyes and waits.
He wakes up and is violently ill. The rest of the day is spent in bed, trying to fitfully catch up on sleep without dreams, sleep that is sound and safe and sweet. England finally rolls out of bed and gives up.
He brushes his teeth furiously until his gums bleed. “Tell me,” he mouths at the mirror, “tell me what I’m doing what I’m doing wrong tell me.”
No, that’s not right.
“America,” he groans into his hands, clawing at his hair. He might be going mad with this, and he doesn’t even know what this is really. It’s magic. He knows that at least. “America, America.”
There are eighteen messages on his answering machine. England deletes them and turns on the telly. He doesn’t want to watch it, but it’s better than insanity on a Tuesday.
In that dream, he’s tearing gouges into America’s ribs with his bare fingers (like little notes left behind, charming letters), grinding him into the hard surface of a table that only has eight legs. With shallow gasps, America bucks against his weight, his knees capturing the sharp points of England’s hips and holding him there fast, like an embrace, fingers skittering over flesh and finding all the delicate and sad parts of England, taking him apart. They are taking each other apart, England realizes.
And he wants to stop, but he can’t. He can’t.
He kisses America, wanting and anguished, and it must be the last time, England thinks, because this will kill him. It will surely kill him. To see but not have. To feel but not touch.
“No,” cries America, “no no no, stay here, stay with me—”
America, bold and needy and angry and full of joy. America, England carves into the man, America. I would keep you if you were mine.
And there, as America bites down on the corner of his lips and draws blood, blood for protection, he whispers, “The distaff.”
But oh, how late he is, how late. That is always the story of love: too late, too late.
He’s half-hard, and he’s floundering in the remnants of what he’s lost, and he’s going to cry, damn it all, he’s got to try not to. And he’s fishing under his pillow for the distaff and ripping it from its place, taking threads and cotton and little tendrils of fabric that have spun into it out of their hold with it. Magic. Magic like a good, hearty meal that when eaten too much can billow in your stomach.
He burns it.
He burns it and despairs.
“England,” says America, prodding him in the shoulder. “England, listen to me, listen to me!”
I am, thinks England, his belly churning. I am bloody well listening to you, fool. I hear you all too well.
But he turns and smiles, despite. “What?”
America looks at him as if troubled and doesn’t answer.
He does not dream of America any longer. He dreams of the seas, of old men, of magic and mayhem, of war, and of rooms filled without people. He dreams of teacups that dangle from the moon and pastries filled with flesh. He dreams of cold noses and sweet kisses and a nameless thing that presses his heart into a card.
But he does not dream of America.
(Not when he’s asleep.)
Note: In November, a distaff is placed under the head of a young man at night to make him dream of the girl he is destined to marry.
I hope you're all doing all right. I miss you terribly. I need to make a concentrated effort to keep up with everyone on LJ (because that is basically my social life, right there, and right now there is NO SOCIAL LIFE). XD;; ♥