Happy Fourth of July everyone!
I do not own Hetalia. I just think that it's awesome enough to write about.
"Hey Alfred?" I ask, trying very hard not to bite my lip nervously. Or run away.
"Hmm?" Alfred lets his head drop to the side to look at me.
I suddenly lose all of my bravery. "Never mind." Why would he ever talk to me anyway? I'm just the girl that loves U.S history too much for her own good. I wish that I knew him better. He probably has a ton of people to talk to.
I wish that my Dad didn't drag me to these dinners with him. My siblings never have to come and they're all older than I am! All these diplomats are hard to talk to. But Alfred always seemed care-free and I thought that maybe today I would get the courage to start a conversation with him at one of these functions.
"No, tell me." He pokes my shoulder. "You looked like you needed to say something."
I flinch from the sudden contact. "I-It was noth-nothing really! I-I have to go!" With that I walk away as quickly as I can.
In my haste I don't realize that I've gotten in someone's path until I bump into them.
"I'm terribly sorry!" I exclaim.
"It's no problem love." The guy says. I take a good look at him and see that he has deep green eyes and huge eyebrows.
I look away from his eyebrows because I know that it's impolite. "Excuse me."
"I don't think that I've ever seen you around before." How did I not notice that British accent?
"That's probably because I've only been around the American diplomats." I explain before introducing myself. It's true though. My Dad hasn't been letting me around foreign diplomats yet. He is new at his job after all. It was a surprise when the position was opened up to him.
"Lovely name. My name is Arthur." He extends his hand for me to shake so I do.
I give him a small smile. "You enjoying yourself, Arthur?" He can't be older than I am. But then again, Alfred is the same age as me and he has a high ranking job. Well, sort of the same age as me…
"Somewhat." He seems to be forcing himself to smile.
"Are you staying for the fourth?" I ask shyly.
His smile wavers a moment. "Yes, I am."
We're both silent for a few moments before Alfred comes over to us.
"Hey! Arthur what are you doing here with Miss Independent?" He grins at me.
I blush. He gave me that nickname when I angrily told him that I wasn't dependent on anyone and didn't need his help to open a door. Arthur looks a little stiff after hearing my nickname. I feel curious about that. "Alfred…" I protest quietly. "Would it kill you to call me my real name?"
He grins brightly. "Nope! But you look so cute when you blush." He throws his arm over my shoulders and directs his smile at Arthur. "Doesn't she?"
Arthur smirks. "Excuse me; I didn't realize that she was your girlfriend."
I blush even more and out of the corner of my eye I see that Alfred's blushing too.
"We're not dating." I tell him. I wish we were, but it's impossible.
"Y-yeah what would make you think that?" Alfred laughs nervously. I feel a little pain when he says that.
Arthur raises his eyebrow. "Then you wouldn't mind accompanying me for a dance, love?"
"N-No I guess not." I say. He extends his hand again and I allow him to lead me over to the dance floor.
Surrounding us are the twinkling of glasses and the black of the tuxedos with the occasional dress and sparkling diamonds. A typical diplomatic event.
"I apologize for this love." Arthur says after a few moments of silence.
I turn to him with interest. "For what?"
"It was quite obvious that Alfred is fond of you and I am ashamed to say that I asked you to dance to anger him." He really does sound sincere with his apology.
"Oh." I say after a few seconds. "Well, I think you're wrong about him being fond of me." I peer at him and ask quietly. "How far up the ladder are you? Do you know about the…special people at this function?"
He laughs, surprising me. "Yes, in fact I'm one of them."
"Then you would be England, yes?" I ask trying not to show my excitement.
"How ever did you know?" He teases and twirls me around. "Yes, I am. But please call me Arthur." He smiles at me. "So you are Richard's daughter I presume?"
I nod. "Yes, I'm sure you've met him. He is the president after all." Now. I wish he was the vice-president again. But that's really selfish.
"He seems like a fine man. Alfred speaks well of him." He glances at my Dad laughing at some random joke.
"Yeah." I agree absentmindedly. "He's great at ignoring my pleas to stay home too."
Arthur smiles sympathetically. "You don't like dinner where everyone has business on their minds?"
I smile a little at his joke. "Not really."
The song ends, but we stay on the floor. "You seem like a lovely girl. I see why he likes you."
I shake my head. "He can't like me. I'm…" I gesture to myself. "Not one of you and I'm not that much fun to talk too." Or pretty for that matter.
"That doesn't mean he isn't attracted to you." Arthur insists. "He speaks about you during the World Meetings quite often."
I blush and want to change the subject. "So why are you using me to make him angry?"
Now he's blushing. "Ah. Well you see-" He clears his throat. "I suppose this time of year just makes me a little more resentful of him."
I furrow my eyebrows, not quite understanding. "Why is that exactly? I thought that the two of you were getting along." Then I realize what must be bothering him. "Oh…it's almost the fourth of July…"
He laughs nervously. "Yes, well. You would think I would be over it after so much time." He looks over my shoulder and I follow his gaze. Alfred seems to be glaring at him. I quickly turn back to Arthur who continues speaking. "But he was my little brother and…" He shrugs. "I'm sure you don't want to hear it and I'm sure you know already."
I smile gently. "But you know, sometimes things happen for a reason. My Dad once told me that the American Revolution was just a rebellious teenager thing that had to be done for America to grow up." I giggle realizing something. "That was before he knew about America too."
Arthur smiles. "And why did he tell you that?"
I blush. "I wanted to know why we didn't have royalty in America. At the time I was really upset that we didn't have royalty that I told him I wished we under still under British rule. I was only six at the time." I don't know I'm telling him this. It make things worse.
"Thank you for that." Arthur says softly. I feel strangely humbled by that.
I blush even more. "No need to thank me." We're quiet again for a few seconds before he speaks again.
"Why does Alfred call you Miss Independent? Did you win a contest or something?" He asks.
"Umm…" I bite my lip. "He tried to open a door for me and I kind of blew up and told him that I wasn't dependent on him or anyone else. It kind of made me angry that he said 'The Hero will open the door for you!' That and I was angry at my Dad for treating me like a child and I took it out on him." I blush at the memory. "Minutes later my Dad introduced him as my country."
Arthur laughs. "He was actually a gentleman for once?" He sounds kind of proud.
"He tried to be." I tell him. "I was really embarrassed afterwards, but he just shrugged it off and told me not to worry about it."
"Sounds like him." Arthur says smiling. "So he nicknamed you Miss Independent after that?"
I nod. "I was so embarrassed that I couldn't even protest the nickname."
"Figures." He mutters.
"What?" I ask feeling at ease for once.
He smiles tightly. "That he would call you that. He'll probably keep calling you that to make me angry because of what I've done."
I smile. "I doubt it. He doesn't seem like the type to hold a grudge." I frown. "And he doesn't like me." I insist again.
The song ends and Arthur escorts me off the dance floor.
He smiles softly at me. "If you insist, love."
"Hey! Miss Independent!" Alfred calls. He makes his way over to us.
Arthur looks at me meaningfully and I laugh.
Alfred scowls for a moment before plastering a smile on his face.
I shake my head. "How did you know?" I whisper to Arthur.
He shrugs. "I've known him a while." I giggle.
Alfred doesn't even try to hide his annoyance. "Hey, what is going on?"
"Nothing." Arthur and I say together quickly.
"I-I better go to my Dad." I tell the both of them. "Nice meeting you Arthur."
He gives me a half-bow. "Pleasure meeting you, love."
"You will be coming here to watch the fireworks right?" I ask. "I mean if you feel up to it."
"Thanks to you, I think I might this year." Arthur smiles kindly at me.
I return the smile before glancing at Alfred. "Good n-night Alfred."
"'Nite Miss Independent." He winks at me.
I blush and walk away quickly. Why do I have to be in love with my country?
"Hey, Miss Independent!" Alfred yells from across the hallway.
I turn around and nearly drop all my things in the process. "H-hi Alfred." Why do I always stutter around him?
He grins. "Nice outfit."
I blush and mutter. "It's the fourth of July." I'm wearing blue caprice with a thin red belt and a white sleeveless collared shirt with red sneakers. With a red headband that has a tricolored bow. Red, white and blue of course. I like to wear the colors of the flag on this day. I've always done it, ever since I was a baby.
"I like it." He informs me brightly. "It suits you." He plays with one of my braids and smiles.
I blush more. "Th-thanks." I look down at the floor. I like that he's playing with my hair so naturally, but I'm kind of embarrassed too.
"Why the braids though?" He asks still smiling at me.
I shrug, not making eye contact. "When I take my hair out of the braids, it becomes wavy. I like it wavy." Why is he so interested in me all of a sudden?
"Can I ask you something?" He inquires becoming serious suddenly.
I look up. "S-sure. Do you want to go somewhere we can talk comfortably?"
He smiles. "You want to go someplace more private?"
I blush. "Uh…hold on. I just want to put these things in my room." I point to a door a couple of feet in front of me.
"I'll come with you." He decides and walks with me.
We walk silently until I turn the doorknob. Thank God I cleaned my room. I put my things on my desk and face Alfred in the doorway.
"D-do you want to talk in here or s-somewhere else?" I ask feeling a little unsure.
He stares at me with a grin. "I'm not going to bite, Miss Independent. Stop being so nervous."
I bite my lip and become very interested in a pencil. "I c-can't help it, sorry."
"You seem to talk to England just fine." He says bluntly with no emotion.
I jump a little at his tone and look at him. "Y-yes, well. Umm…" I can't seem to talk right now.
"You must like him a lot huh?" He looks away from me and out the window.
I shake my head. "He's nice, but kind of old for me, don't y-you think?" I try to joke.
He closes the door behind him. Okay…I'm starting to get more nervous.
"Why are you so nervous around me?" He asks looking at me once again.
I blush. "S-sorry. It's just something that Arthur said…" Well that and I'm in love with you!
"What did he say?" He interrupts.
"That you were um…" I look away again. "Fond of me." Why did I tell him that?
"Really?" He sounds serious for once.
"Yep, and I sai-said that you couldn't be and umm…this is embarrassing." I stare at my feet. It's official, I'm an idiot. What is it about him that makes me freeze and act like a nervous little girl?
"You said that I couldn't be 'fond of you?' Why? Do I not seem to like you?" He sounds hurt.
"No! You've always been really nice to me. It's just that-" I sigh and look in the mirror to take out my braids. "It's complicated."
I hear him come up behind me. "What is?"
"Lo-look I-I-" I take a deep breath in. "I don't feel comfortable about talking it a-and it was just an off-handed comment."
"I see." He sounds a little disappointed.
I turn back around and bite my lip when I see how disheartened he looks. Why is he so upset?
"Hey." I touch his shoulder. "You s-shouldn't be feeling down on your birthday."
He stiffens a bit at my touch so I pull my hand down thinking that I made a mistake. He grabs my hand and looks into my eyes. "So give me a reason I should be happy."
"Everyone is wearing your favorite c-colors." I say.
He shrugs. "Yeah, but that's not what going to make me happy." He rubs circles with his fingers on my hand. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't enjoying it.
"Umm, sorry?" I say feeling blood rush to my cheeks once again. I try again. "Arthur will be watching the fireworks this year?"
He stiffens. "Are you happy about that?" He looks down and sounds sullen.
"I am if y-you are." I tell him honestly.
"Really?" He perks up immediately.
I nod. "Y-yes."
He points to my braid. "You didn't finish taking that one out."
I smile shyly. "I-I was kind of mo-more worried about y-you sounding sad."
He grins. "Can I take it out?"
I blush. "S-sure." I sit on my bed only to have Alfred pick me up and set me down on his lap.
"Do you mind? I kind of like it better this way?" He asks.
I nod feeling really embarrassed.
"Considering you're Miss Independent and all-" I blush more. "I'm surprised you're letting me do this for you."
"W-well-" I can't think of an excuse for a while. "I-I thought it would be nice to be p-pampered by my country."
He chuckles. "Oh really? Not Miss Independent anymore, huh?"
"And i-it is your birthday." I add. I don't him to think that I'm being dependent on him.
"Oh." He sounds sad again. His fingers brush against my ear. "So you're letting do this as a birthday present?"
I play with my fingers instead of answering.
"Done." He tells me. I finger my hair and decide he did a good job.
He sighs. "Are you ever going to stop doing that?"
"D-doing what?" Even though I know the answer.
"Stuttering when you talk to me." He tells me. For some reason him saying it makes me upset.
I get out of his lap and turn around to glare at him. "Well sorry! It's hard for me to talk to you!"
"Why?" He demands forcefully.
"Because I freaking like you okay?" I yell. Then I cover my mouth.
His eyes widen. "What?"
I turn red and feel really stupid. I rush to my bathroom and close the door quickly. I lock it immediately after sink to the floor. I use the wall next to the door as support for my back.
"Hey! Miss Independent open the door!" He knocks loudly on the door.
I cover my mouth to stop myself from crying. I feel so stupid. Just really stupid. When I feel like I can answer I shout. "Go away!" I don't want him to be nice to me.
"Please open the door." His voice sounds muffled.
"No!" I tell him feeling tears prick at my eyes. "Please just leave!"
"Miss Ind-" I can't let him finish.
"JUST GO!" I yell my voice breaking a bit. I can't even explain myself right now.
He sighs. "Okay, see you tonight." He sounds…sad?
I wait until I hear my bedroom door close before I let myself cry.
"Hello, love." Arthur smiles. "Good to see you again."
"And you." I smile at him.
"Do you know where Alfred is?" He asks. "I'd like to give him his present in person this year."
I look at the grass. "I haven't seen him." I say monotonously.
"Hey, now love." He lifts my chin up. His green eyes full of concern. "Whatever is the matter?"
I bite my lip. "It's nothing."
"Aren't all Americans supposed to be happy today? I thought I was the only one allowed to be upset?" He asks sounding really kind.
I hug him and almost cry right there. "I told Alfred that I liked him. And then I told him to leave me alone because I didn't want to accept that he might like me back."
He pats my back reassuringly. "Now now love. I'm sure it can't be as bad as you think it is."
"But, I haven't seen him and I don't know if I want to." I whisper.
He and I don't say anything for a while.
"He really nicknamed you well." Arthur says. "Don't want to be dependent on him do you?"
I flinch, realizing that he's right. "But…I just don't know…I think I ruined his birthday."
Arthur laughs and pulls away to look at me. "Then you'll get have to make it up to him."
"How?" I ask.
"You can step away from Arthur for starters."
Arthur and I turn and see Alfred standing with his hands in his suit pocket.
Arthur manages a small smile. "Hello Alfred."
"Hey, Arthur." He says while looking at me. I look away.
"I'll give this to you after-" Arthur stares at me. "You talk to her." As he passes me he says "Try not to break my little brother's heart, love."
I blush and almost hit him. "Jerk." I mumble.
Alfred and I stand next to each other for a while before saying anything. Everyone around us are laughing and eating steak. It's starting to get dark. The fireworks will be starting soon.
"Want to take a walk?" Alfred asks finally.
I nod. "Su-sure."
We walk to the edge of the lawn. "S-so how much did you hear?"
"You think you ruined my birthday." He smiles a little and looks at me.
"Did I?" I ask quietly. I force myself to look at him.
He stops walking and pulls my hand so that I'm close to him. "Not if what you said was true."
My heart starts beating faster. "It w-was." I look up at his blue eyes.
"Good." He smiles. "Then I didn't imagine it."
"No." I say softly.
"Can you answer my question?" He asks with some intensity. "Why do you always stutter around me and not other guys like-" He frowns. "Arthur."
I bite my lip. "Be-because I don't like Arthur. I d-don't feel shy around guys I don't like." I look up at him again.
"Hey you don't need to feel shy around me." He tells me softly while brushing my hair back. "I want to be your hero."
"Why?" I demand. "I'm not all that special."
He laughs. "Miss Independent I can't believe you haven't figured it out." He looks me in my eyes sincerely. "I love you."
"You what?" I ask, not sure I heard him correctly.
"I love you." He tells me again with a grin. My heart beats faster than I thought possible.
I smile at him. "You know what Alfred?"
"No what?" He asks with a grin.
"I love you too."
He pulls me to him and kisses me. For once I don't care if everyone is watching. It's not like the press can take a picture of me kissing my country. And my goodness he's a great kisser.
Then I hear the fireworks launch into the night sky. But for me, the real fireworks started when he kissed me.
A few minutes and hair fix later, we join the party again.
My Dad raises an eyebrow at me. I smile in response.
"I see you two fixed things." Arthur smiles. Then he smirks. "In fact I think everyone did."
Alfred laughs while I hide in his jacket.
"Damn it." I say.
Alfred holds me closer to him and smiles widely. "You can say that was your present to me."
I blush. "Yeah for the first one, but what about the r-rest?"
"I swear one of this days you are not going to be nervous around me."
"Maybe your energy scares her." Arthur tells him before shoving a present at him. "Here."
Alfred takes it with a confused expression. "Artie?" He looks a little hopeful.
"Don't call me that you wanker!" Arthur exclaims. He blushes and look down. I think I better let them sort things out.
"Just open it." I tell him giving him a kiss on his cheek. "I'll let the two of you talk." Now it's my turn to give Arthur a meaningful look.
He scowls at me. "Using my words against me?"
I smirk and continue walking away. Then my Dad show up next to me.
"You know I'm pretty sure that I told you to never date a politician."
I smile softly. "But I'm not."
He sighs and hugs me to his chest. "Sweetie, I'm just a little concerned. You know how it is in this kind of world. And you know that he's your country."
"Dad." I look at him and force him to look at me. "I know that you may be concerned and I respect that, but I have reason to believe that he wouldn't let me do anything that could hurt me."
He smiles and hugs me. "You know I think that you've become a very smart girl. How did that happen?"
"You taught me." I tell him with a smile.
"You realize that you are dating an old man in a young man's body right?" He teases.
"DAD!" I scold blushing. I look to where Alfred and Arthur are. They're hugging. Well, more like Alfred is hugging Arthur and Arthur is squirming in his hold.
Alfred grins at me and I smile back.
My Dad sighs again. "At least I know that he's somewhat worthy of you." He smiles and ruffles my hair before going to go talk to my older brothers.
Alfred gestures for me to come over to him. So I do.
Arthur is still there smiling. "Hello, Miss Independent."
I groan. "Not you too!"
"It's his punishment." Alfred tells me. "He admitted to using you to make me angry." He puts his arm over my shoulders. I lean into him.
I smile at Arthur. "So, are you enjoying the party?"
"Surprisingly yes." Arthur smiles. "Are you?"
I look at Alfred who grins at me. "Yes." I look at the present in Alfred's hand. "What did he give you?"
"So nosy~" Alfred teases. I blush.
"I brought his favorite story book when he was little." Arthur shrugs.
"The exact copy!" Alfred adds excitedly. "Look!"
I see the frayed edges, but other than that it seems well preserved. "It's great!"
"Yeah it is." Alfred smiles at Arthur. "Thanks."
"Can I hold it?" I ask. Alfred grins and hands it to me. I run my hand over the cover and smile. The pictures look cute. I wonder what story this is. I can't read the title because the writing is too fancy. I open it carefully and smile. Inside is Arthur's handwriting. I close it, because I think it's the kind of thing that only he should read.
"You know, I told him yesterday of our conversation." Arthur told me. "I was rather hoping that he would tell you how he felt before the party."
"You said that I was a rebellious teenager." Alfred pouts.
"You sort of were." I point out.
Arthur nods. "And you wouldn't have turned out to be the way you are today." He looks away. "I am proud of you."
Alfred grins. "Aww~ Artie don't cry!" He looks so cute I can't help it. He really does look like he's close to tears and really uncomfortable.
"Arthur!" I hug him. "You're so cute!" Arthur looks back at me with a bemused expression.
"Hey!" Alfred yells, pulling me back to him. "Stop trying to take my girl!"
Arthur laughs. "She's not going anywhere away from you." He smiles at me. "Be careful, love…I mean Miss Independent. He can be very jealous."
I bite my lip. "You know he did sound a little jealous when he talked to me in my room, it kind of surprised me."
Alfred blushes. "Because I thought that you like Arthur better than me." He scratches the back of his head bashfully. "I was also afraid that you would like the other countries more than me so I asked your Dad not to introduce you to them yet."
"You're the reason why he didn't let me go to Europe?" I exclaim.
Arthur laughs loudly. "I think you owe her an apology."
I put my hands on my hips. "Like hell you do."
He kisses me softly. "Sorry."
I blink and then blush again. "I'll forgive you if you take me to Europe."
"Anything for my Miss Independent." He brings me close to him and whispers in my ear. "The Hero will do anything for his girl."
For once I don't blush. I feel sort of comforted by that. I look at Alfred and realize that if I have my hero by my side, I'll never feel nervous again. I look at Arthur who is smiling at the both of us. I'm glad that he put the past behind him. I kiss my hero and smile happily. I finally stopped stuttering around him!
This Fourth of July turned out to be the best yet and I hope that they continue to get better.