Pairing/s/Characters: (in this chapter) USxUK (main), hints of... GreecexJapan, GermanyxN.Italy, AustriaxHungary, PrussiaxCanada. Russia thrown in for good measure.
Rating/Warnings: PG. Previous chapter NC-17/R.
Summary: After the events of The Space Between, a moment of irritation causes Alfred to decide to let everyone know just who Arthur belongs to.
You asked for it, you got it. Here's your bloody epilogue! >3<;
~ The spaces between your fingers were created so that another's could fill them in. ~
Alfred had learned his lesson. A month on, and, although he had slipped back into some of his old ways, he was still (mostly) treating Arthur as well as he deserved to be treated. At a tentative request from Alfred (which was well worth the dazzling smile that he got in response), he asked if they could visit Saint Paul’s, which led to an enthusiastic tour of all the major landmarks of London. They’d walked past the Houses of Parliament as Big Ben began to chime for noon, and Arthur stopped dead, gazing up at the clock, his face shining with pride. Alfred had squeezed Arthur’s hand, and for a brief moment that look had been bestowed upon him, and he’d had to swallow the lump in his throat.
That night, he and Arthur had had a frank discussion about exactly what the older nation thought of his one-time charge. When Arthur had told him that he loved him more than life, Alfred was satisfied, and didn’t press the matter.
On the morning before the next World Conference, Arthur woke Alfred by putting a cup of coffee on the table beside the bed and wafting the scent towards him until the younger nation opened his eyes blearily, grabbing Arthur’s hand and dragging him into bed. Arthur, already dressed and ready, yelped and protested and batted at Alfred until he was released.
Half an hour later Alfred was shrugging on his bomber jacket and scraping a hand through his messy hair. It hadn’t taken long for it to grow back to its usual level of scruffiness (Arthur had said), but he couldn’t help but feel good about himself.
“Come on, Alfred!” Arthur called from downstairs.
“Yeah!” Alfred took a last look at himself, grinned, then ran to join Arthur at the front door. The other nations still didn’t know about them, since Francis and Antonio had kept their mouths shut, Matthew was keeping Gilbert quiet (Alfred didn’t want to know how), and Adelgonde liked the two of them far too much to betray their trust. Arthur was aware of Alfred’s little ‘quest’ but he hadn’t minded that much, reasoning that what he had in return was worth a few people knowing.
The meeting was going as they always did – slowly. Arthur had been detailing proposed solutions to the growing economic issues when the usual bickering had started, and even Ludwig hadn’t been able to calm it. Blame was being thrown, mostly at Alfred (who was ignoring it), about who was the real cause of the problem. At the top of the table, Arthur had sat down and put his head in his hands, obviously at a loss.
“It would all be better if everyone were to become one with Russia, da?” said Ivan in his usual, terrifyingly innocent tone. Alfred didn’t like the way that the Russian was leering at Arthur. He got to his feet and walked up to the head of the table, tapping Arthur smartly on the shoulder. When he looked up, Alfred grabbed his hand, pulled him to his feet, then tipped the shocked and bewildered nation backwards (in a style which Francis very much approved of), and kissed him.
Arthur froze, just for a moment, then his body relaxed in Alfred’s arms and he slipped one hand around the back of his neck, and kissed him back.
All arguments were effectively silenced.
“Ve~!” said Feliciano, drawing everyone’s attention to himself. “Ludwig never kisses me like that!”
The sight of the German turning a very fetching shade of red was just the thing to break the tension as Alfred finally released a slightly flustered Arthur, who abruptly sat, clearing his throat while Alfred leaned on the back of his chair. He cast a glance to his brother, and found himself smirking as he saw the distant look that Matthew had in his eyes, his mind somewhere else entirely. He’d had that look on his face since the meeting had started (which was just as well, since no one really ever asked for his opinion anyway).
A squeak alerted everyone to the fact that Heracles had his hand clasped over Kiku’s in plain sight of everyone. The small Japanese man was flushed crimson, staring at their locked fingers, while Heracles was pretending not to have noticed, though the tiny, pleased smile on his face would say otherwise.
Roderich and Elizabeta exchanged glances across the table, and then blushed, looking away quickly.
Alfred caught Adelgonde’s eye, and she smiled at him. The American then turned to Ivan, placed a hand on Arthur’s shoulder, and spoke in a clear and pointed voice.
“This is mine,” he said. When Ivan made no response, he raised his voice to address everyone. “You can all argue later, but now you’re going to listen. Got it?”
Silence. Arthur coughed lightly and shuffled his papers, glancing up. “Ah, thank you, Alfred,” he murmured, a little pink. “You can sit down now.”
He took the time until Alfred got to his seat to gather his thoughts. It was all out in the open now... and he didn’t mind. Alfred made himself comfortable and shot Arthur a grin and a thumbs up.
Smiling faintly, Arthur shook his head at the silliness of it all, and began.
Are you happy now? D=
<| Chapter Seven