‘You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel,’
“Bloody Hell! When I figure out who keeps changing my ringtone without my permission they will rue the day,” Arthur growled as he snatched up the device and answered it; thusly, cutting off the offending music.
“This is Arthur Kirkland,” the Brit answered a bit of irritation in his voice.
“Hey Artie! It’s Alfred,” the American’s voice rang loudly into Arthur’s ear causing him to flinch away from the receiver.
“Yes, Alfred, what can I do for you?” Arthur said with a sigh as he pinched the bridge of his nose in aggravation.
“Dude, don’t be such a Grinch,” the blue eyed man pouted. Alfred’s choice of words instantly made Arthur suspicious.
“Alfred, are you the one who changed my ringtone to play ‘The Grinch’?” the Englishman asked barely hiding his displeasure.
“What? Man, Gil actually did it. That Prussian is a crafty bastard. Now I owe him a keg. Damn,” the blonde man muttered to himself having forgotten his phone conversation.
Arthur pulled the phone away from his ear and smacked it into his forehead several times.
‘Note to self: KILL PRUSSIA!’ Arthur thought as he brought the phone back to his ear.
“America was there a particular reason why you were calling me?” the Brit asked with a heavy sigh.
“Hm? Oh, yeah. I was calling to personally invite you to my awesome Christmas party next weekend,” Alfred said unable to hold in his excitement. The green eyed man gave a massive groan and again smacked his mobile against his forehead.
“Artie, you still there?” the American asked as the Englishman brought the mobile to his ear once more.
“Alfred, you know I detest your boisterous, obnoxious parties. Why do you insist on inviting me?”
“But it’s not going to be like my other parties this year. I had Matthew help me this year so that it would be more respectable,” Alfred whined with a hint of hurt in his voice and Arthur’s eyes widened in shock at this statement.
‘America? Hosting a respectable party?! This I have to see,’ Arthur thought as the corners of his lips turned up in a slight smile.
“All right, Alfred. I accept your invitation,”
“Really!? Awesome! You’re going to love it, Arthur. I promise. See you next weekend,” the excited American exclaimed and hung up. Arthur pocketed his mobile and moved toward his kitchen.
“This is going to be interesting,” the dirty blonde said with a devilish grin.
To Arthur’s utter surprise the party was very respectable. The guest list had been very exclusive to keep the party from getting out of hand. How Francois managed to get invited the Brit still didn’t know, but the Frenchman had (mostly) behaved himself. The food and deserts had been toned down from the usual burgers, potato chips, and blue cake. The music had been kept at a soothing volume and the guests had managed not to get completely trashed. Yes, the party had been quite respectable.
Now the Englishman found himself as the last guest left in the house.
‘Well, I’d best congratulate the lad and hurry off to the hotel before the snow storm gets worse,’ the emerald eyed man thought as he sought out the American. Arthur found the taller man in the living room gathering discarded plates and cups in a black garbage bag. The Brit stood in the doorway and cleared his throat to catch the younger man’s attention.
“Well, lad, you did a fine job this evening. This was a very respectable party and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves,”
Alfred stopped what he was doing and smiled brightly at the older man.
“That’s nice, but tell me did you have a good time, Arthur?” the wheat blonde asked as he set aside the garbage bag and casually sauntered toward the Brit. The Englishman was taken slightly aback by the question. Why did America make it sound like his opinion was the only one that mattered?
“I was pleasantly…surprised by how…respectable the evening was,” the Brit stammered as the American was now a bit closer to him than the older man thought was proper. Emerald eyes locked with sapphire ones and Arthur licked his lips nervously.
“If all my parties were more like this would you come to them?” Alfred asked with a hopeful, pleading look in his eyes. As Arthur stared into those sky blue orbs he felt his pulse quicken and a fire light in his belly.
“I…I really can’t stay,” the Brit said as he quickly stepped back from the American toward the front door.
“Artie, it’s cold outside,” Alfred said following the smaller man.
“I’ve got to go away,” the Brit said continuing to back toward the door with a certain American on his heels.
“Arthur, it’s cold outside,”
“This evening has been…”
“What’s your hurry?” the American interrupted making the Brit flush scarlet. Their eyes locked again and Arthur could see the hunger in Alfred’s eyes.
‘Not good, old boy. You need to get out of here before something happens,’ Arthur thought frantically as he spun and dashed for the coat rack.
“Really I’d better scurry,” the green eyed man said as he reached for his coat, but came up short when Alfred took hold of his other wrist. Arthur turned an indignant glare toward the American, but the taller man only grinned at him warmly.
“Listen to the fireplace roar,” Alfred crooned as he moved closer to Arthur. “Stay and have a drink with me,”
The Brit’s brain scream at him to leave, but his heart (and other regions) told him to stay.
“We…Well may…Maybe half a drink,” the Brit conceded which caused the taller blonde’s smile to widen.
“Awesome! Put on some music while I pour,” Alfred said releasing Arthur so the pair could go about their tasks. Arthur moved warily over to the entertainment center housing the sound system and hit the tuner button.
‘Oh, I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby, all I want for Christmas is
“Aw, man I love this song!” Alfred said as he came up behind Arthur making the Brit jump in surprise.
“Git! You scared me,” the Englishman said with slight anger.
“Sorry, Iggy,” the American said with a slight blush and handed the smaller man his drink. The dirty blonde snatched the drink from the other man and quickly took a large swallow. The fiery liquid gave a very pleasurable burn and Arthur looked at his tumbler pleasantly.
“Say, what’s in this drink?” the Brit asked as he quickly downed the rest of the drink. He really liked it.
“It’s really amazing rum that Puerto Rico sent me,” the wheat blonde said as he took Arthur’s glasses and handed the Brit his own.
“Aw…Good old Caribbean rum,” the Englishman mused as he swirled the amber liquid in the tumbler and took another swallow. Arthur watched as Alfred went to the bar to collect aforementioned rum.
“Man, it’s getting bad out there. No cabs will be out tonight,” the blue eyed man said as he looked out the window and hid his pleased smile.
‘Wonderful! Now I’m stuck here. I can already here Francois. Ohonhon, Angleterre, what were you and Amerique up to after ‘is party? Bloody brilliant,’ the emerald eyed man thought grumpily as he finished his second drink. Alfred was suddenly in front of him and refilled his glass. Once more hungry blue orbs locked with green and Arthur felt the fire in his belly burn brighter. The Brit licked his lips nervously and tried to tear his gaze from Alfred’s.
‘I wish I knew how to break this spell,’
“Your eyes are like starlight and you look really nice,” Alfred said softly as he set the rum bottle on the entertainment center behind Arthur and moved in closer to the Brit.
“I’ve really got to go,” the dark blonde said, but made no move to leave.
“Oh, Artie, you’ll freeze out there,” Alfred whispered as he drew his face closer to Arthur’s.
“Then lend me your coat,”
“It’s up to your knees out there,”
“I really shouldn’t stay,”
“Ah, but it’s cold outside,”
Abruptly, Alfred’s lips brushed over Arthur’s in a gentle peck causing the Brit to freeze where he stood. The American leaned back and smiled down at the smaller man.
“Wha…What do you think you’re doing?” Arthur asked with weak aggression.
“Kissing you,” the sapphire eyed man said as he leaned in for another kiss. The Brit quickly turned his head so that the American missed his lips and got his cheek.
“Did I say it was okay for you to kiss me? What makes you think I want you to kiss me anyway?” the Englishman asked hoping his face was flushed due to the alcohol. Alfred sighed heavily.
“Come on Arthur stop playing these games with me,” the American said as he straightened and ran a hand through his hair in aggravation.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t know what games…”
“Damn it, Arthur! I know you’re attracted to me and don’t try to deny it. Matt’s seen the way you look at me when I’m not paying attention. I’ve seen it too on occasion out of the corner of my eye,”
Arthur flinched at the American’s raised voice and accusations.
‘Damn, old chap, how do you get out of this one?’ Arthur thought but remained silent and stared into his tumbler as if it held the answers he needed. Alfred watched the older man closely and grew frustrated with his slow response.
‘Why? Why does he have to be like this? Why is he always so guarded? Didn’t that kiss show that I care about him?’ Alfred questioned and fisted his hands in his hair.
“Arthur, say something already!” the American cried causing the Brit to look up at him. His green eyes were a mixture of wariness and anger.
“Fine! All right! I admit it! I’m attracted to you! Are you happy now? Are you done humiliating me?”
Alfred looked at the older man in confusion and lowered his arms.
“Humiliating you? Arthur, I love you. I’d never want to humiliate or hurt you,”
“Liar! Did you forget about the Revolution or 1812?” the Brit shook so bad with sadness and anger he nearly dropped the tumbler.
“1812 was our bosses being douchebags. The Revolution was…I just wanted you to see me as an adult; as an equal. It killed me to have to do what I did, but you’re so damn stubborn,” Alfred shot back and sighed in frustration.
“If you loved me so much you would have stayed,” Arthur spat out and fought back his tears. He’d be damned before he would cry in front of America now.
“If I only loved you as a brother then, yes, I would have stayed, but my love is deeper than that,” Alfred said as he reached forward to caress Arthur’s face, but the Brit flinched away from his touch.
“You couldn’t possibly love me like that. No one could love someone like me. That’s been proven time and again,” the Englishman all but whispered and wrapped his arms around himself. Suddenly, Alfred took hold of the smaller man and crushed him against his chest.
“Let me go, git!” the Brit exclaimed and struggled against the American’s vice like hold.
“No! I’m not letting you go. Not now, not ever. I know I screwed up before and you don’t trust me. I just want the chance to prove to you that I do love you. I want to wake up next to you in the morning. I want to hold your hand and walk in a park. I want to do all that cheesy romantic comedy stuff with you. Just give me a chance, Arthur. Please, I’m begging you. Please, give me a chance,” Alfred begged and a soft sob escaped his lips. Arthur was surprised by the emotion and sincerity in the younger man’s voice.
Could it be true? Could America really love him? His head told him not to believe it and reminded him of all the times he had been hurt before. His heart though. His heart told him to take the risk, because he was so tired of being alone. Slowly, the Brit worked his arms free and wrapped them around Alfred’s waist.
“All right, Alfred,” Arthur said softly and nuzzled his head against the American’s shoulder. The Englishman felt the younger man stiffen and pull back slightly. Azure eyes searched forest green to make sure that what he had heard was correct.
“Really, Artie?” the American asked airily. The Englishman nodded and a bright smile lit up Alfred’s face. Arthur suddenly found himself lifted off the ground and spinning around in Alfred’s arms.
“Put me down you mad wanker,” the dark blonde cried but a hint of laughter underlined his words.
“Sorry, babe. I’m just so excited. I want to run outside and scream that I love you,” Alfred said as he stopped his twirl, but held fast to the Brit.
“But Alfie, it’s cold outside,” Arthur teased as he reached up and shared a deep kiss with his beloved.