Title: The Ducks of St. James Park
Character(s)/Pairing(s): America and England/AmericaxEngland
Word Count: 2404
Disclaimer: The characters involved in this story do not belong to me, nor do they have any connection to real nation(s). No infringement intended.
Warning: This fic is not beta-ed and done in a rush so if you find any error in it, beg pardon (and notify me?).
Some Kind of Summary: America and England were talking about their 'relationship' while they were feeding the ducks of St. James Park.
Note: Written for usxuk's 2011 Special Relationship Sweethearts, Day 6 - Earth, Sky, Sea, and Space
All things considered, England knew he should have been suspicious the moment he opened his door to the sight of America standing with his patented brilliant grin on his doorstep. That grin spelled nothing but trouble. He had had years of experience to be able to know that. And, yes, perhaps he should have just closed the door on America’s face, but the fact that America thrust a very extravagant bouquet of flowers onto his chest and the fact that America had a very strong forearm—which he used to brace against England’s door—were several of the reasons why the closing-the-door-on-America’s-face scheme simply could not work.
And that brought them, thirty minutes after the whole showing-up-with-garish-bouquet-incident,
But really, England would be even more thankful if America could just get on with whatever it was he wanted instead of taking him strolling with him for thirty minutes without even saying a word to him. He had tried to be patient and hold off his tongue but thirty minutes of walking around aimlessly was more than enough to make him snap.
“Exactly what are we going to do?” he asked when they turned a corner.
“Hm?” America said. He turned his face and smiled at him as if he could see nothing wrong with the world. “You’ll understand it soon enough.”
“Yeah, alright,” England said. “But I want to know now, instead of ‘soon enough’.”
“Calm down, it’s not like I’m going to kidnap you or something,” America said and England raised one of his eyebrow at him, as if reminding him that the whole dragging-him-out-without-telling-him-any
England snorted. “Right. Could you at least tell me where we’re going?”
“Oh, you’ll love this, because…” America said with a childish glee in his voice that would find itself at ease in some five year old boy high on sugar, “…we are going to the duck pond!”
“Wha…” he tried to speak, but America seemed not so eager to listen to him. Instead, he grabbed England’s hand and dragged him without giving any heed to what he’s about to say.
It was not like England was okay to be dragged around without any kind of resistance, but he figured out that he did not really look forward to causing a scene. Besides, America had some really strong grip. And it would be easier to follow his sudden irrational fascination to some duck pond rather than, say, trying to break free from his grip and make a scene.
‘The duck pond’ that America talked about turned out to be… well, the duck pond—that small lake inside the St. James Park that England often visited when he’s feeling maudlin. He did not know why he felt tempted to feed the ducks when he’s feeling down, but it helped. Really. Though one could only guess why watching some waterfowl diving into the lake after a piece of soggy bread could calm people’s heart.
That time, though, he didn’t feel maudlin. He could even come as far as saying that he actually felt a bit… curious. And his feeling was justified, because who would not get suspicious when their friend (lover) showed up on their doorstep with some extravagant flowers, no explanation, and a strong urge to get them out to see the ducks.
He even had a paper bag full of bread with him to feed the duck with.
“Okay…” England said after they were seated—side by side, with the bag of bread between them and America humming his national anthem absently under his breath. “Are you seriously taking me here just to feed the ducks?”
America stopped humming and stared at him quizzically. He reached inside the paper bag and took a portion of bread, breaking it to little pieces and threw one of them to the lake.
“What is wrong with that?” he asked.
Actually, it did not seem so ‘wrong’. Only, it was America. England doubted that he would be willing to fly all the way across the Atlantic to his doorstep only to give him flowers and take him to feed the ducks. That did not sound—for lack of better word and the threat of sounding like a guy he knew so damn well—awesome enough for him to do.
“I don’t know, it’s just…” he said with a shrug. “It’s a bit surprising.”
America grinned at him, as if he was proud of achieving something really grand.
“Are you surprised because I showed up at your doorstep with flowers,” America said. “Or are you surprised because I took you here?”
England shrugged. He took another piece of bread and threw it to the lake, watching as a dark headed drake promptly chased after it. Somehow it made him smile.
“Both I think,” he told America. “But this is nice, actually.”
America’s smile grew and he—before England could do anything to prevent it—extended his hand and grabbed England’s hand in such a casual way that was ruined only by England’s decidedly unmanly squeak. It didn’t deter America, though, who did not release his grip on England’s hand. Rather, he tightened his hold. And he was looking at him with such a tender gaze that it was impossible not to get affected.
So, predictably, England blushed. And, predictably, he turned his face in vain attempt to hide it from his companion.
Yet he still did not try to retract his hand from America’s hold.
“Uh, is there any particular reason why you... took us here?” England asked. He was not turning his face away from America anymore. But he still refused to look at him. Thus he kept staring down, down at his legs, resting on the grass so very close to America’s. He could casually move his leg, he thought, just a bit until their thighs touched.
“I just wanted to visit you,” America said. He was sighing and from the corner of his eyes England saw him lobbing another piece of bread to one big duck that had been eyeing him for quite some time. “I missed you.”
Arthur snorted and looked at him in disbelief. “You missed me? So you flew across the Atlantic to see me, bring me a huge bouquet of flowers, and now taking me to feed some ducks with you?”
“I was trying to be a doting partner,” Alfred said sullenly. He threw another piece of bread with a tad more force than necessary.
There was something terribly wrong in that sentence and England was trying hard to pinpoint what it was.
“Er…” he said, finally daring to stare at America’s face again. “How exactly ‘taking me to feed the duck’ correlates to you trying to be a doting partner?”
“Well…” America said. He turned his face to meet his gaze and his expression was best to be described as ‘uncomfortable. “I had a talk with… uh… some of my senators…”
England, sensing that this story would likely take a long time, rearranged his body so he could sit in a more comfortable position. The fact that his so-called ‘comfortable position’ meant that now he was sitting closer to America was something that he chose not to acknowledge. Much.
“Okay,” he said to let America know that he was listening.
“We were talking about…” America said, gulped, then continued, “…relationship.”
England felt his eyebrow twitch and he couldn’t hold himself back from exclaiming, “Oh, God.”
“Before you say anything, just hear me out,” America said hastily. He scooted over so that he was now even closer to England, so very close that things like ‘personal space’ became something that only existed in myth. “You’re avoiding me lately.”
For once, England was glad with America’s insistence for him to keep silent and just hear him out because he didn’t think he had satisfactory response to that statement.
“And I don’t know why you do it. I mean… perhaps it’s only the impression I got but somehow I doubt it. You are really avoiding me lately,” America said. He was plucking the grass absently and England was most tempted to tell him to stop doing that. “I wonder if I’ve done something wrong. I… often I didn’t realize that I’ve hurt people. I mean, if I have done you wrong, I’m sorry.”
That time, England didn’t care anymore that America had practically asked him not to say anything. Tightening his hold on America’s hand, he forced him to look straight into his eyes.
“No,” he said firmly. “America, look at me. No. You never hurt me.”
America gave him a tentative smile.
“Good. That’s… good, then,” he said. Then he chuckled and leaned forward to nudge England’s cheek softly, briefly, with his nose, as if he was trying to breathe in his scent.
That, England thought as he tried hard not to blush—again, shouldn’t have been so damn adorable.
“So… uh,” he tried to say. “I didn’t… I mean, I’m sorry that you… that I make you feel that way. I’m not really avoiding you. I just… have so much in my mind lately and I know it’s a pathetic excuse but sometimes I just want to have a bit of personal time and… that doesn’t mean I don’t want you anymore. I just need…”
“Some space,” America finished for him.
“Yes,” England agreed.
After that, there was silence. Silence for both of their part, at least, for the ducks of St. James Park were still busy quacking around them, as if wondering why the nice guys with the bread did not throw any of those treats again.
“So, anyway,” England said, breaking the silence. “What does that have to do with the ducks?”
“Erm, well,” America said, looking as if he was going to admit some embarrassing secret. “Uh, I’ve told you about how I had a talk with a couple of my senators about ‘relationship’, right?”
England somehow had a feeling that he would hear something unpleasant.
“Yes…” he said carefully.
“Well, they… kinda… told me that…” America tried to say. He rubbed the back of his neck in discomfort. “They talked about when you’re in relationship, you have to… compromise. I mean, I was wondering if perhaps you’re avoiding me because you found that I’m not good enough, that perhaps it’s because I always… want you to follow my every whim and not caring enough about you.”
So far and England still didn’t understand how the ducks came into the equation. But he merely nodded his face so America knew he was still listening and, at the same time, urged him to continue.
“You love doing embroidery,” America said. “You love baking scones. You love having afternoon tea while watching the marathon of Eastenders. You love hunting for intricate regency silverwares and collecting them. You love flowers. And you love feeding the ducks.”
Those were all true, of course, but…
“Every time you visit me, I’ll always drag you to… amusement park, or accompany me playing my game, or even join my mad charade that involves exploring the tropical rainforest and trying to locate a lost civilization that might or might not exist,” America said and England had to smile at that. “And you’re always there for me. But I never… accompanied you doing things you enjoy. I can’t do embroidery. I hate baking scones—no hard feeling there, you know how I feel about your scones. I was asleep during the first twenty minutes of watching British soaps. I have no love for silverwares. But… ”
And England got it. Just like that, he got it.
“I can get you some flowers and accompany you feeding the ducks,” America finished with a dejected sigh.
England could feel his smile breaking on his face.
He was staring at the… adorable, impossible, lovable guy who sat beside him and felt like he wanted to punch him or kiss him senseless or just exclaim how much he loved him.
He settled with cupping America’s cheeks with both of his palms, drawing their faces closer and let him see—let him know—just how his simple but heartfelt confession had affected him.
“You adorable…” he said as he kissed America’s cheek, “…impossible…” he continued, kissing America’s chin, “…lovable daft git,” he finished with a quick peck to America’s lips. “I love you so much I could hardly hold myself back from punching you.”
America frowned at him. “Isn’t that, like, an oxymoron?”
He didn’t comment on that. He just pulled America’s face closer to him and gave him a very thorough kiss that would not get past any respectable censorship agency without getting stamped with an ‘Adult’ label.
“And you annoy me so much until I cannot hold myself back from kissing you senseless,” England said, not caring that the thing he had just said might very well be considered another oxymoron.
“Oh, God,” America said, blinking rapidly and stared at England as if awestruck. “If this is what happens when I’m taking you out to feed the ducks, I wonder what’ll happen if I’m willing to watch Eastenders and Coronation Street marathon, eat the scones we bake together, and drink hot black tea with you.”
England laughed. He moved to rest his head on America’s shoulder and casually threw some bread to the large group of ducks swimming not so far way from them. Absently, he felt how America’s hand settled on his waist, supporting him and brought him closer to his embrace.
“Don’t bother,” England told him. “You’ll only fall asleep or bitch at the plot and lack of explosion.”
“Hmm, yes,” Alfred said against his hair. “Soaps are just not my thing. But I’m okay with accompanying you feeding the ducks.”
England chuckled warmly, settling deeper into America’s embrace. He saw America throwing a little portion of his bread to the ducks, watching them chasing after it and feeling so content to just sit there with America and enjoy their time.
“Yes,” he agreed. “Accompanying me to feed the duck is really okay.”
And around them, the duck of St. James Park were quacking and swimming and chasing after the bread thrown at them.
(A/N: I can't access my writing journal from office anymore. Oh, man, it's been so long since the last time I used this journal to post fic...)