twistedsheets10: (a love undiminished)
[personal profile] twistedsheets10
 
THE LAST PART OH GOD

Title: Floriography: The Language of Flowers (4.7b/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. A chance encounter in the kitchen may be the only chance America would ever have to actually do something about it.

1: Dogwood; 2: Honeysuckle; 3. Roses and Irises; 4. The Truest Language (1); (2); Interlude: Anniversary; (3); (4); (5); (6); (7a)

4. The Truest Language (7, part 2)

On the opposite wing of England’s house, an ancient door was nearly violently torn off its hinges. “Why,” America begins, not bothering to explain why he just barged into Canada’s room unannounced and heaped terrible abuse upon his door, “is everyone trying to keep me away from England?”

Canada looks up from the book he was reading to get him to relax so he could fall asleep to glare at his brother. It was exhausting day, with all the Nations visiting England and the associated shenanigans they got into, with Canada ending up making sure they didn’t go too far (it was worse than herding cats), and he just wanted to get some fucking rest for his early flight out tomorrow.

So much for that. He lowers his book to his lap and sighs. Anyway, it’s not like he didn’t expect this would happen. “No one’s keeping England away from you, America.”

America snorts in disbelief. “Yeah, right. So those times where people blocked my way or dragged him away when I tried to talk to him were totally my imagination. Didn’t happen at all.”

Canada just smiles. Ah. So his brother had noticed. “Maybe we just wanted to talk to him. It’s not often we get England’s attention to ourselves when you’re around. You usually monopolize him.”

“I do not!”

Canada gives him that Look, the one that usually made America cringe a little, but today he only looked back defiantly. Finally, Canada sighs again and relents. “Give him some space, America. You know how he is, especially around this time of year.”

“But I can’t!” America says. “He–England–Canada, he–he let me go!”

“I know.” The look of chagrin on America’s face at Canada’s calm answer was priceless. “And it’s all the more reason you should leave him on his own for a while.”

America looks like he wanted to tear his hear out in frustration. “How can I leave him alone after this? I don’t even know what he means when he ‘let me go’.”

“Don’t give me that, you know very well what he means. You wouldn’t be here talking to me if you don’t.” Canada stares hard at his brother, who looked at him with that sulky expression of his. Right. It was time to get a bit blunter about this. “So what do you want, America?”

“I–what? What do you mean–”

“Because you can’t go and talk to England if you don’t know.” Canada takes an aggressive step toward America, who backed away, startled. “You’ve always been your best when you know what it is that you really want, if it’s something you truly believe in. England–he–England has already convinced himself that this is the right course for him to take, and you know how he gets when he’s like that. He’s even more obstinate than you. You can’t make him change his mind or listen to you with half-baked ideas and unsure thoughts. So I’m asking you again, what do you want? Because if you knew, you’d know what to do.”

America takes another step away from him. “I–”

“This is exactly why we didn’t want you talking to him so soon.” Canada throws his hands up. “You obviously don’t know what to say or even what you want. And if you talked to him like that now, you would ruin everything!”

America opens his mouth to speak, and then quickly closed it. He is silent for a moment, as if absorbing what Canada just told him. It is always hard to tell if America listened to you. Then, scratching the back of his head, awkward and nervous, he mutters, “I didn’t realize you were all so concerned about this. It’s a little…creepy.”

“Please.” Canada snorts. “We’ve endured both of you dancing around for nearly three centuries, we’re not looking forward to more of that shit.” America winces. “I know you’re unhappy about England’s decision, America, but you need time to think this through. And England needs a break. We all need a break, and sleep. Because we have an early flight tomorrow, because it’s your birth–”

“Part of me wants things to go back the way things were before.” Canada feels a lump in his throat at the way America spoke, suddenly sounding so much younger than he was. “But I don’t think that’s possible, or even if it’s enough.”

Canada put a comforting hand on America’s shoulder. “Get some sleep, America. There’s still time. England, he–surely, he wouldn’t change his feelings so fast.”

America’s lips curve into a small, sad smile. “I hope so.”

------

Canada got it halfway right. America does have an idea what he wanted, but it wasn’t something he could easily get. There were still things he needed to be sure of, things that only England himself could answer.

But despite his impatience, this uncertainty, he would give England his space. If that would be for the betterment of both of them, even if it went against every instinct America had, he would wait. After all, as Canada had told him once, he’d taken too much from England. It was past time to give back, even if this only this little thing.

------

July 3, very late evening, England’s house

“Please don’t let there be ghosts, please don’t let there be ghosts,” America mutters in a low, trembling voice as he made his way down the stairs on his way to England’s kitchen. Curse his traitorous stomach for being hungry this late at night! Now he has to navigate through England’s haunted halls so he could have a bit of a midnight snack. He should have snuck all those chips up in his room before he went to sleep.

To his relief, he arrives at the kitchen without incident, and quickly proceeds to the fridge to rummage through its contents. If he didn’t find anything he liked there, he would go after the cupboards. Thankfully, England’s fridge seems to be well-stocked with food, though they were more of the fresh, healthy kind. Sighing, he reached for shiny red apple.

And that’s when the footsteps started.

America freezes in the act of biting the apple, his knuckles turning white as he gripped the poor fruit so hard it almost became apple juice, listening as the footsteps got louder and louder. His vocal chords seem to be too paralyzed for him to speak. This is stupid, I’m just being paranoid, there’s nothing scary about this at all–

A shadow of a horned creature looms suddenly by the door.

America’s shriek would have woken the dead itself.

“What the–Is there anyone in the–Oh. It’s you, America.” The look of concern (and annoyance) on England’s face shifts to blank indifference when he saw him. He steps into the kitchen, hands on his hips. He is dressed in loose gray pajamas, his hair a bird’s nest. “Hungry again, I see. Why are you clutching my knife like that? Put it down before you hurt yourself. And do keep quiet. You’ll wake everyone in the house.”

“Shouldn’t you still be in bed? You’re supposed to be recovering.” Relieved (and very much embarrassed), but still a little reluctant, America puts the knife back where it belonged. He doesn’t remember how the hell that had gotten into his hands. “Sorry,” he says with a sheepish smile, though his heart was still pounding, and not just from the scare. Crap. Alone with England, and still full to bursting with questions to ask him. It is hard not to give into the temptation of pulling England in a tight grip and not letting go until he told America all the things he wanted to know.

England, unaware of America’s inner turmoil, only sighs. “Go back to sleep, America. You have an early flight and day full of…activities tomorrow.”

“Yeah,” America says. Then, seized by a strange impulse, he asks, “Are you going to the party?” He doesn’t have to say which one. They both knew which party he was referring to all too well.

“No.” Short and curt, as always.

Stung, America demands, “Will you ever?”

For a brief moment, England’s face crumples with sudden pain, before it once again smoothes into one of calm apathy. “America–”

The old, deep hurt flares up suddenly, catching America by surprise, and the words came tumbling out before he could stop them. “You go to everyone else’s birthdays, you go to Canada’s, why can’t you go to mine, just like with everyone else? I thought you were letting things go. Why can’t you–”

“First of all, I do not go to everyone’s birthday,” England cuts in. “Second, I know very well what I’ve said to you, but you cannot expect me to–this isn’t something I change at the drop of a hat.” America feels an odd thrill, hearing England say that, telling his feelings before have not yet changed. “Also, in case you have forgotten, I am injured, and as such I can’t travel such distances at the moment.”

“And third,” England says, “since honesty seems to be the current policy today, you are not ‘everyone else’, America. You never were.”

America stares at England, who stares defiantly back at him. It hits America, then, why England always acts that way when his birthday comes around. How could have he missed this all this time? He thought England was just being like that because he was petty and spiteful, and because it rankled to the once great empire that his former little colony has grown more powerful than he. Maybe that was part of the reason, too, but in truth–

You…my rebellion and independence barely mattered to your people then, but it meant so much to you, because you loved me. I was never the most important colony to the British Empire. But you loved me the most. Not as Empire or Country, but as you.

And suddenly it all made sense.

“Now,” England continues, oblivious to America’s epiphany, “for the love that all is holy, go back to bed and stop making any more rackets. Or I will kick you out of this house.” He turns his back to America then, and starts to walk away.

Emboldened by his new insight, America calls out to him. “England, wait!”

England, now looking very pissed, turns back to him. “What?”

“I–” Dammit, this isn’t the time to be tongue-tied! “I wanted to ask you about what you said earlier, in the gazebo. About letting me go. It’s been…bothering me.”

England blinks and stares at America for a few moments. Then he shakes his head. “America,” he began, all placating and reasonable and evasive, and for a moment America wanted to punch him in the face, “There’s no need to be concerned. My own personal decision will not affect our longstanding relations as coun–”

“That’s not what I’m worried about!” America snaps. “You–would you stop all this politics crap? I know it’s important, but that isn’t what I want to talk about with you. This is something more…personal.”

“Personal? America, what–”

America swallows hard. It is time to grab the bull by the horns. “I know you love me. And that you still do — Don’t lie!” he says sharply, when England looked like he was going to deny it. “I heard what you said to those flowers I gave you when I saw you here earlier! I asked you a question with them, and you said yes.” Mauve lilacs for asking someone if they loved them still. He smiles, sharp and bitter. “I learned how to understand that secret flower language of yours, you know, after you sent me those buttercups all those years ago.”

England seems to be stunned for a moment at this revelation, and then he narrows his eyes, his lips drawn to a thin line. “And so I do, fool that I am,” he says slowly. “Now that I’ve answered you’re question, I shall ask you a few of my own, though I regret I have no flowers with me to convey them. What is your intention? What do you want from me, America?”

America swallows hard, suddenly nervous, his boldness rapidly deserting him. But he can’t back away now. If he turned his back from this, he may never have the chance again. “I gave you those flowers as a gift to cheer you up.”

Which is true. That was his initial thought when he picked up the flowers, which he chose because he knew England liked personal touches in his gifts. The idea of asking through them what England felt didn’t occur to him until he saw the lilac blooms and remembered what they meant, and he impulsively got them, wondering how England would react to it, if he would respond to the question or just ignore it. I wanted to know if I still have a place in your heart, that you didn’t hate me. And maybe, I wanted to know if you could still love me, just as much as I seem to love you.

His feelings for England was something he had for the longest time, but never acted upon or tried to name, because he had been too unsure of himself and of England. His questions and doubts were something he would have never asked England outright, because he would have never answered him to his face, but if America knew if he coded his question in flowers, there was a chance England would answer his questions. Even with this idea, he never had the courage to ask, content to wait it out, until now, when he realized, seeing how England reacted to his boss’s words, the way he looked at him as he lay beneath him days ago in Canada’s house, that if he didn’t do anything, England would be lost to him forever.

“Well?” England demands. “What do you have to say for yourself, America? I am waiting for an explanation of what–”

“It’s just . . . I don’t get it. Why, after all this time, you decide to let go now. Is it because of what my boss said recently? About me spending time more time with other nations?”

“We’ve already talked about this in the garden earlier, America, and I’ve already told you–”

“I’m sorry about what I’ve said in the garden earlier, when I accused you of being jealous about me spending time with other nations. But England, my bosses say these things all the time. It doesn’t mean that I–that I value you any less, that you are any less important. I–” he fumbles his words again, desperately thinking of something to give more credence to his words, “I mean, don’t we still have that? The special relationship?”

England sighs, all anger seemingly drained out of him. “I do wish my politicians would stop bandying that phrase about. It’s a much-abused term, and much of it is my government’s making rather than yours. Don’t lie,” England’s smile is far more bitter than his own had been, all the more heartbreaking, because America realizes then, with horror, that England is well and truly going to give up, “we both know that the special relationship is bollocks, built on pragmatism and politics, and all but non-existent. I am no more special than any other nation you deal with, America. Haven’t your officials said so more than once? And it was time I acknowledge it.”

“But that’s not true!” He said, surging forth. “There are things that are special between us. I mean, it’s not something that’s just political and policies and stuff but–” he stills for a moment when he notices England staring at him, an indecipherable look in his face. He clears his throat a bit don’t fuck this up America and says, “We share lots of values and culture and influences. Like language. Even if half the time I don’t get what you’re saying. And there are lots of things of yours my people think are awesome. Like Shakespeare and the Beatles and Monty Python and The Office — my version is better, by the way — and — and most of us think your accent is hot. Hell, I think your accent’s pretty hot.” Which was true. Probably the only reason he can stand England’s ranting most of the time.

“You think my accent is hot?” The look of bemusement on England’s face is priceless.

America nods. “Well, uh, yeah. I mean, I think someone described it as Brie on the brain. Like everything is sexy and awesome with that accent.”

“I see.” England’s mouth twitches, like it does when he had a particularly clever retort and insult in mind, but he didn’t say anything.

America takes that as a cue to continue. “And even without all of that, I–” Damn it, why is this so hard to say. He’s rambling about a lot of things that doesn’t make sense or even matter at this point. He tries to gather his thoughts, but it all comes out in a rush, a flood of words and emotions he kept dammed up inside him for so long and never thought he’d say out loud but goddammit, screw this– “I really do like you. We argue a lot and all and we do have our differences and shit but I like you. Very much. As me. Not just as the United States of America, but as me, you know. The not quite country part.”

England starts at that, his eyes going wide. “America–”

“What I’m trying to fucking say is,” America takes another deep breath, god why is this so hard, and looks at England straight in the eyes, “no matter what, political special relationship or no, for the longest time, you have always been special to me. You will always be. I been through so many changes in such a short amount of time, and in everything, you’ve been there: friend, ally, brother, enemy, guardian. You’re the one constant thing in my life. If I was trapped in some sort of timewarp and needed something to anchor me down, to keep me from losing myself and completely being screwed up, that would be you.”

He takes a step forward and almost reaches out to touch England’s arm, but stops himself. “England, I don’t want you to let go. I don’t want–what I want is a chance for us to something more than what we are now, what we were before. Better than all of that. It doesn’t have to be anything political. It’s just would be us. The not quite country us.”

There. He’d finally said it. America has always thought that what he wanted from England was freedom and acknowledgement, but even after he had gotten just that, his heart sought something else. It confused him for the longest time, these feelings, but now, standing in England’s kitchen, finally understanding what England’s feeling are, remembering the look England’s eyes as he told him he was letting go, he is finally truly sure of what he wanted.

England’s face goes still and expressionless, but America could see his fingers curl into white-knuckled fists. “You must be aware it will never truly be just ‘us’? We’re countries, bound to duties and–”

“I know that! But that doesn’t have to be something that would keep us apart. I want this change. I want everything that comes with this—good or bad. I want you.” He pauses, remembering Canada’s words. To give, rather than take. “If–if you’d let me, England, if you want me too–”

“You stupid prat,” England cuts in, voice fierce, “You utter ignorant fool. ‘If I want you too?’ Do you even understand how–How can you say this when I’ve let go? You can’t–” He shakes his head. “No, America, I will not subject myself to this again. I–”

“So this is it? We’re just gonna drop this because it’s, what, too hard? We’re gonna give up before we could even try? We’re just gonna settle being friends, being allies? Or is it because you don’t believe me at all? That you think this is some political bullshit or something. That’s not fair, England. I–”

He stops abruptly, and sighs, trying to calm himself, trying to slow down the frantic beat of his heart before he completely loses it. He can’t give this up, he can’t lose in this. He finds it hard to imagine living his life without the feelings he has for England and England own feelings for him. He could do it, of course. He was strong enough, and in time, maybe things would change. But he doesn’t want to. He never, ever wants to.

“England,” he says again, his voice quiet now, but not losing any of the intensity he felt. He wants to take a step closer to England, to hold him, as if his touch would feelings convey his feelings better, because words are failing him. “I know you’re scared. You’re scared because you think history repeats itself; you’re scared because I haven’t been that opens with my feelings — you’re scared because of so many things.” A brief, sheepish laugh escapes him. “I’m scared too, you know, probably because of the same reasons you are. But I–” He swallows the lump on his throat, “I do love you. It was true when I gave you those lilacs when you came back, remember, when I kissed you on the lips by accident, and it is true now. And always will. So please, if you want to–” Please give this a chance. I promise, I swear–

------

England stares with tear-blurred eyes at America, looks into those eyes the color of the highest summer skies, the deepest winter seas. For a moment, he sees the eyes of the boy he had loved with all his heart, giving him purple lilacs to welcome him home, the boy standing in the endless field of grass, staring up at him with wondrous eyes as he takes England’s outstretched hand, saw the purity of love in them, and then the image shifts, and he is looking now at the eyes of the man who loves him with the whole of his heart, with the whole of the passion behind of his words and deeds, the man who asks with flowers if he loves him still, who confesses that he cannot bear to see him sad, and is now standing before him in his kitchen, holding out his heart for him.

“America, I–” he starts, and America looks at him with eyes so full of hope, and it is not fair, too, how could he deny him this, when he looked at him like that, and then, too overwhelmed, he chokes back his words, and simply nods.

Across the room, the grandfather clock strikes twelve.

------

They both jerk up sharply at the sound, and looks around, as if rudely awakened from a dream. Was it a dream? England nodded and he– America swiftly turns back to England, his heart in his throat, his stomach in knots. The chime of the clock echoes solemnly behind them.

England’s face is red, his green eyes bright with unshed tears, his breathing uneven. America is absolutely still, not wanting to startle him, though the urge to move and touch England to comfort him is strong. “England?” he says, his voice wavering, “Do you–”

“Don’t make me say it, you idiot.” England takes a breath that seems to strengthen him, and he stands straighter, his shoulders squared with determination. “America–” he chokes again, and then, he nods.

America doesn’t really recall what happened after that tiny motion, that brief jerky nod. The next thing he knew, he is laughing and smiling, his heart aching with sweet, sweet joy, and England is in his arms, holding on him tight despite his mutters of half-hearted protest.

America pulls away, and, still smiling, he cradles England’s head between trembling hands, brushes away the tear tracks with his thumbs, and stares into those green eyes he had loved for so long.

Slowly, he kisses England on the tip of his red nose, then the furrowed skin between his brows, quiet and gentle. He could feel England’s wet lashes flutter against his lips like newborn butterfly wings when he kisses him on his eyelids next, could taste the salt of his tears. He could feel the warm puff of his breath as he speaks America’s name.

With a sigh, England presses their foreheads together, locks of hair falling carelessly over their eyes. America places brief little kisses on the corners of England’s mouth, running his fingers through his blonds locks, and then on that little space between his nose and mouth, and then, finally, finally, on his lips.

Their first kiss was the barest touch of lips, their breaths warm against each other’s mouths, but it a spark that ignites a fire in the gut that consumes them, and leaves them breathless and wanting more.

Beyond them, the hour hand on the grandfather clock moves a single notch forward.

It was a new day.

To Epilogue

Notes and explanations (and boy, they are LONG):

NOTHING MAKES SENSE ANYMORE.

And so this comes to an end. I had this pegged in three parts, then it became a whopping eight chapters and spanned more than two years. I had lines for this part written down for nearly two years, oh my poor self. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much I did writing this story. There will be others to come, but not all from this verse. To the OP of the original kink meme prompt, thank you for prompting this. It’s a joy to write this story, even if at times it hurt.

Please excuse my references to movies and some well-known TV shows.

The title of this story comes from an excerpt from a poem by Park Benjamin:

Flowers are Love’s truest language: they betray,
   Like the divining rods of Magi old,
   Where precious wealth lies buried, not of gold,
But love, bright love, that never can decay!
I sent thee flowers, my dearest! and I deem
   That from their petals thou wilt hear sweet words,
   Whose music clearer than the notes of birds,
Though breathed to thee alone, perchance will seem
   Most eloquent of feelings unexpressed:


Lilacs “express the beautiful sadness of love, the feeling — always available to the lover — of impending farewell.” In one list of meanings, mauve lilacs convey the question “Do you still love me?” Also, Truman Capote says of the lilac: “The true beloveds of this world are in their lover’s eyes lilacs opening.”

Many of the meanings of flowers were taken from the book The Meaning of Flowers: Myth, Language & Love by Gretchen Scoble and Ann Field. The rest was from various sites. It should be noted that the meaning of flowers vary from place to place and from time to time, so there can be different meanings for the same flower.

Thank you for reading!


OMAKE:

------

Some time later

“Heh, that was totally just like that movie with Julia Roberts and one of yours, Hugh Something, but different, too? You know, like, ‘I’m also just a boy, standing in front of another man, asking him to—’”

“Shut up, you prat, before you completely ruin the mood.”

“Heh. As you wish.”


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