twistedsheets10: (US_UK_eyes)
[personal profile] twistedsheets10

I had to split this into two, it was so LONG. Just posting here, but not in the comms yet. Expect this to be edited.

Title: Floriography: The Language of Flowers (4.7a/4.7)
Disclaimer: Hetalia is not my creation.
Pairing: America × England
Rating: PG-13
Summary: England has decided to let go, and that terrifies the crap out of America. He just doesn’t know what to do, or what the hell this exactly means for both of them.
Author’s notes: The last two parts of The Truest Language. Because it got too big for one post, wtf. Thank you so much to those who stuck by me until the very end. This is also the very first multi-chaptered fic that I finished, EVER.

4. The Truest Language (7, part 1)

America’s confrontation with England ends in a cliffhanger.

It went down like this: America freezes (which is just so un-heroic), dazed from England’s words, his mind unable to form any semblance of coherent thought.

How does one respond when someone suddenly decides to let go of more than two hundred years of complicated feelings and ties just like that?

He didn’t like this, not one bit, this uncertainty of what he was in England’s life, this sudden displacement of his place in England’s world. The elation he felt when England seemed to acknowledged him as who he is now was sucked into the mass of tangled emotions, into the sudden, dark gaping hole of ‘And then what? And what the hell does this all mean?’.

Then, France appeared out of nowhere, and all but flung his naked self to the England, who, flabbergasted and horrified, immediately started yelling and flailing and would have started throwing kicks and punches (never mind his injuries) had not Portugal stepped in in the nick of time and enfolded England in a gentle, but firm and restraining embrace.

And they say America can’t read the atmosphere. America suspects though, that this was done on purpose — he didn’t miss the calculating look France gave him a split-second before he turned away and pinched England’s angry red cheeks, cooing all the while as he watched ‘mon cher Angleterre’ squirm and struggle in Portugal’s grasp.

He just hasn’t figured out what the purpose was, though.

------

After that, it was hard to get England alone. Someone was always with him, be it Canada discussing his and England’s respective governments and London’s current ‘heat wave’ and debating the need for air conditioning, or France with his unwanted groping and constant teasing, or Sealand’s childish nagging, or Portugal being pretty much a clucking mother hen, or one of England’s brothers, who had arrived in such a brusque and ‘uncouth’ manner (England’s words, not his) that America feared England would have a heart attack, so red in the face he was.

(It was pretty hilarious though, how Scotland took one contemptuous, sweeping look at England, his dark and abundant brows scrunched together in a fierce frown, and complained, in the most incredibly foul language and thickly accented voice America had ever heard, why there was such a fuss over a minor injury and that England was such an arse and didn’t he raise him better than this?

The look of outrage on England’s face was priceless.

Needless to say, Portugal had to intervene again before England injured himself again. Wales and France had to help Portugal this time, though, because someone had to restrain Scotland, who had gone on to suggest that he would volunteer to give England the trashing of his life, free of charge, and then he’ll really be seriously injured.)

By the time Northern Ireland and Wales (of all people), out of nowhere (what the fuck was it with these European guys popping out all of the sudden), planted themselves between America and England when America was coming over to talk to England, and proceeded to usher (more like shove) the perplexed England away from him, it was pretty obvious that what was going on.

They were trying to keep England away from him.

Frowning, America watched as England’s brothers continued to drag England away from him to rejoin the others on the other side of the room, occasionally shooting him odd looks over their shoulders. Crossing his arms in front of his chest, America let out a huff of irritation and leaned back against the wall.

Well. This was kinda interesting. And annoying, considering that before this, most of these guys pulled some pretty convoluted stunts to get America and England together.

America does notice things, contrary to people’s belief that he didn’t. He just ignores stuff he’d rather not think about, like this … thing with England.

But even with his determined avoidance, it was pretty much impossible to not to notice something was going on when people went out of their way to do everything they can do to get him and England to spend time together, like locking the two of them in a room, or trapping them in an elevator, and, in one occasion, in a very cramped confession booth in Italy — which was really odd, because the last thing America remembered before that was that they were drinking in a pub. In England.

(He blushes at the memory of the confession booth. Trapped in a small room with little way of maneuvering, and slightly disoriented and maybe more than a bit tipsy, it took them a while to figure out how to get out. And all the while America found himself pressed against England in an almost indecent manner, and praying hard that he wouldn’t get aroused from all the bodily contact between the two of them. That was especially hard because a very belligerent, drunk, and uncoordinated England kept ‘accidentally’ wriggling his fucking ass against his crotch, goddammit!)

It’s pretty unnerving, though, that the other Nations figured something changed between America and England even without being told about it in such a short amount of time (because there was no way England would have ever told them what happened in the garden, unless France, who probably overheard everything, told everyone and if that is true America will kill him, ‘oldest ally’ be damned.).

“It is so good to see England in such high spirits today, do you not think so, America?” a chillingly sweet voice said, ice-cold breath brushing against the shell of his ear.

America tried hard not to jump out of his skin in surprise. Glancing to his side, he found Russia standing a little too close beside him, smiling down at him with that cheerful, but unnerving smile of his. Holy shit, Russia was in the house. How the hell did he– He blinked when he saw what Russia was wearing. “Why are you in a panda costume?” He eyed suspiciously the bouquet of sunflowers and the panda head Russia held in his hands.

As always, Russia ignored his badly hidden discomfort and continued on blithely, not even looking at America as he spoke, just watching England as he acted like a spitting and hissing cat from all the fussing by the nations. “He usually is so sad during this time of the year, drinking so much I thought he would burst. But now he is so energetic and, ah, what is your word for it, ah, yes, rejuvenated! It seems he has a new sense of purpose, da? Look at how fierce his eyes are, so bright and green, like a lioness’s! So determined and focused!” He giggled, voice rich with amusement, massive shoulders shaking. “They call him your poodle, but England is nothing like that at all!”

And then he turned to America, looking at him with a single-minded intensity, eyes narrowed, his smile changing from cheerful to downright creepy with a slight quirk of the lips. “But you seem to be much troubled. That is so very strange; you are sickeningly cheerful when this time of the year come. Do you not often, ah, ‘rub it in’ England’s face how happy you are? It is your birthday is tomorrow, is it not?”

America bristled at Russia’s words. “Hey, that’s not t–”

Russia cocked his head to one side, looking thoughtful. “I thought you would be happier now. The world, they love you again. Your new president, everyone likes, everyone wants to be friend. Now you have many friends again! Is that not a reason to be happy?”

“What are you talking about?” America said. “I’ve always been well liked.” It was great people seemed to be warming up to him again, smiling when he was around, not like before, when he was greeted by angry looks and sly whispers, but he wasn’t gonna admit that to Russia of all people.

He got the creepy smile again. “Then why do you look so confused and lost, America? And why do you stare at England so?”

America spluttered, fighting hard to keep his blush down. “I don’t–”

“Does England no longer want to be your friend?” When America didn’t answer immediately, Russia’s smile widened. This time there was no mistaking the touch of malice in his grin. “Ah America, are we not supposed to be all better friends now?” he said. “Though that. Is bad. It is a pity that England would not want to be your friend anymore, you have been friends for so long, but you will have so many more friends now, what will you need him for?”

“England and I are still friends,” America snapped out. Or at least I think we are, he doesn’t say, because, quite frankly, he has no idea what his footing is with England now. Or if friendship is what exactly what he wants. Or if friendship had ever been what he had wanted, all this time.

“Ah, that is good then. Everyone should be friends with each other.” His smile turned into a manic grin, and he loomed over America, moving closer. “All the easier for them to become one with me, da?”

“Uh–” America tried not to back away from Russia’s sudden proximity, and instead discreetly looked for a way out, eyes darting everywhere for a way to escape if things go … out of hand. As he did, he caught England staring at him with wide, sad eyes, and then quickly glanced away.

“It is so nice to have this talk with you, America,” Russia was saying, taking a step back, finally putting an acceptable distance between the two of them. “We should talk more, my comrade.” America felt his knees go a touch weak. Then without another word, Russia put on the panda head over his own head and casually padded to the group gathered around England, where he presented the bouquet of sunflowers to the stunned Englishman amid an equally stunned crowd.

America blinked, and then shivered from head to toe. “What the fuck was that all about?”

------

America did eventually manage to catch England alone (by complete accident, though). He was heading over the kitchen to get some water to drink when he spotted England standing by the sink, putting the flowers America had given him in a vase, fussily arranging them in a pleasing manner, smiling that soft, fond smile of his that made America freeze in his tracks.

Then, to America’s surprise, England leaned over the flowers, and then brushed his lips against the lilacs, muttering words too soft for America to hear, but the quirks of England’s mouth as he spoke told him all he needed to know. That, and the bittersweet smile on his lips. Oh fuck, America thought, and he could feel a sudden heavy warmth in his chest, oh fuck.

And then, vase in hand, England turned, and he and America met face-to-face.

Not wanting to startle the very tense England further and make him drop the vase and leave (he then had the sudden image of England bolting and leaping away like some wild-eyed rabbit, which was just ridiculous…but kinda cute), America, face heating up, gave him an awkward smile, and mumbled, “I’m just, uh, gonna get a glass of water.”

England simply nodded, expression neutral, but the blush on his cheeks and the white-knuckled grip around the vase told another story. He hesitated for a second, and then shouldered his way past America and out of the kitchen, leaving a bemused America behind.

“This is stupid,” America muttered as he watched England scurry away (with great dignity, though, chin up and back straight, most like with a stiff upper lip). He has to talk to England at some point. He can’t leave him hanging like that, letting him go and leaving him with all these questions and this strange sort of emptiness inside him. But at least, in one question, he just had his answer.
 

------

July 3, evening, England’s house

“I must confess, this is not how I expected things to turn out.”

England groans from his bed, and shoots Portugal a glare as he tucks him under the blankets. Darkness has fallen over England, and, after a boisterous day, everyone was off to bed for an early night, particularly the injured Nation, despite said Nation’s protests. “Let it go. It’s done. I’ve made my decision.”

Portugal smoothes down the unruly blankets. “He was very quiet the whole day after your talk in the garden, you must have noted. Subdued, and a little confused, I think, and a touch unsure. That’s unusual for him — he always seems to be confident about himself.”

“Hah!” England replies with a sniff. He doesn’t need much to guess whom Portugal referred to. “A brief occurrence, I assure you. No doubt he would be back to his old self tomorrow, his stupid, enormous ego intact, if not larger.”

Portugal smiles at his vehemence. “Give him some credit. He has been quite considerate today, and on his best behavior as well. Even his gift is very appropriate.”

“I suppose,” England says grudgingly. His cheeks heat up at the mention of the flowers. If he hadn’t known America had no conception of what the flowers meant, they would have given him false hopes, and made things more difficult and awkward. “I doubt he even understands what the flowers stood for. No, he gave me those flowers because they were conveniently in bloom in his garden. But they are better gifts than before.”

“See, that is progress.” Portugal grins. “He does learn from his past mistakes. You should not underestimate him so much.”

England snorts with amusement, but says no more. He basks in a moment of blessed, companiable silence, until Portugal speaks again. “It is not like you,” Portugal says, rather delicately, as if words were glass dropped into the darkness, and he doesn’t quite know if the landing’s would be soft or hard, “to give up something you’ve wanted for so long.”

“I–” England pauses. He had thought long and hard about his decision, and after making it had refused to examine it further, lest he manages to convince himself he was wrong and so change his mind. Letting go had been heartwrenching, to say the least. He had spend a lifetime wanting so much it hurt, and then repressing that want to keep himself from hurting, and that in the ended hurting him, too. Letting go was the wisest course; it gave both of them the chance to accept things and move on, unhindered. In this brave new world, these feelings would only be an unnecessary, selfish burden.

(And maybe, he was simply tired of wanting and being hurt, that the long years have worn him out. After all, the heart could only stand only so much strain before it eventually gave out. Surely he would be wise to salvage what was left of his heart before he completely gives it all away. Self-preservation has always been a strong instinct of his.)

“Ah, how unfortunate! I did not think,” came a decidedly unwelcome voice from the corner of his room, interrupting England’s thoughts, “that you would give up so easily, mon cher, but let it be known I am here to com–ack!”

The pillow struck France’s face with unerring and deadly accuracy, and he falls down the hardwood floor with a satisfying thump. Beside England, Portugal sighs at the sight of the feathers that exploded around the room, as if a goose had been feathered alive with a wind turbine.

Alas, it was not a fatal blow. “Come now, there is no need for such violence,” France blithely says after spitting out a mouthful of goose down. “While it is pleasing to see such mature decisions from you (you make big brother so proud!), your poor judgment in love is an affro–”

Out! OUT!” England roars, fingers making strange gestures. In a flash France is gone, replaced only by floating goose feathers. Outside, in the gardens, they hear a yell that abruptly cuts off into a loud, indignant croak, like that of a particularly large (and ugly!) frog. Unfazed by all the ruckus, Portugal calmly closes the windows, and pulls the curtains shut.

And then, once again, it was just the two them in England’s room.

“Well,” Portugal says, after a moment, letting out another sigh. “I should–”

“It was for the best thing to do,” England finally says, sounding determined, with the hint of steel in his voice. He hid his trembling hands under the sheets, and then clenched them to tight fists. He smiles at Gabriel. “And now, we’re both free.”

On to part 2

Notes:

Surprise panda Russia! I don’t know why he’s there, he’s just totally random. Really.

London’s current ‘heat wave’: It was pretty hot in parts of London/England at the start of July 2009 (though it eventually turned to be one of the wettest July in record).

“England leaned over the flowers, and then brushed his lips against the lilacs, muttering words too soft for America to hear”: Yeah, that was England casting a spell over the flowers America gave him. It’s a preservation spell that allows the flowers to last a long, long while. In fact, if England gives you a gift that he made himself or came from his own labors (like flowers and fruits and vegetables in his garden), there’s a big chance he has put a spell on them, even if he doesn’t know it himself. It could be a curse, a protection, a blessing, etc. Headcanon for me is that when England does something that he pours his heart into, he imparts some sort of magic in them. This applies to his cooking, too, but it seems to go wrong for him.

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