conjure_lass: (Hetalia: UkxUs)
[personal profile] conjure_lass
Title: Shiny
Author: [ profile] conjure_lass
Characters or Pairings: UsxUk
Rating/Warnings: Mindless SAP. Self-Beta. Human names. I think there's one bad word in it.
Summary: Four Christmas traditions, UkxUs style...which is to say no style at all.
Author's Note: I do believe this will be my last Christmas fic before the actual holiday. I'm pretty happy with it! This one is almost totally for the fangirls. *heh*

LED Display

Arthur had never seen anything quite like it.

Well, that wasn’t exactly true. Sometime in the mid-seventies he’d taken a particularly potent bit of LSD and had hallucinated something similar to this. (He’d never been able to look at berry trifle quite the same way again.) But he certainly hadn’t seen anything like it since, and he’d never realized until this moment how lucky he’d truly been.

Because really…even his extensive and beautiful language did not have the proper words to describe this.

He wasn’t sure which was worse. The obnoxious, huge, blinking Christmas tree? The sides of the house that were so covered with lights that you could no longer see the paint? The electric sleigh traveling in endless circles around the front yard? The American flag lights that completely covered the garage door? Or maybe it was just the exorbitant amount of yard ornaments, all blinking and glittering and shining and moving and generally being so bright that you could see them from space.

“--65,000 LED lights! And you haven’t even seen the best of it!” Alfred gestured wildly and shoved Arthur into the front seat of his SUV. “We have to be in the car to hear the music.”

“Music?” Arthur echoed, turning his head to look out the windshield towards the display.

The tune began slowly, sounding vaguely like a Coca-Cola commercial jingle, from the speakers of the car. Moments passed while Arthur’s eyes adjusted to the blinding glare beyond the glass, trying in vain to keep up with the synchronized flashing and twinkling as the song reached its crescendo. He didn’t even know things this horrific existed! It broke every boundary of good taste and decency! It was as if the house had vomited Christmas lights!

Finally it ended, and Arthur turned to look at Alfred, the younger nation smiling proudly with his arms crossed over his chest. What to say? Alfred had obviously worked hard on this, no matter how terrible it was. Arthur was, he had to admit, loathe to burst his bubble. It was Christmas after all. Licking his lips, he scratched at the back of his neck and took a deep breath.

“Well…that certainly was…something,” he finished lamely, watching Alfred’s eyebrows rise up comically. “I really don’t know what to say.”

“Tackiest thing ever…right? Right?!” Alfred chuckled and leaned over, jabbing his elbow into Arthur’s side repeatedly.

Letting out the breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding, Arthur’s voice came out quivering with laughter. “I haven’t seen anything this horrendous since France wore that light up thong to the UN Christmas party.”

“I got a city violation for light pollution and public disturbance!” Alfred was giggling so hard that tears were beading up at the corner of his eyes, Nantucket bobbing merrily along with each burst of laughter.

“Why did you do it then, idiot?”

“Well, you know how it is. The guy next door had more lights up than me and I couldn’t just let that slide. One thing lead to another and the next thing I knew--” He shrugged and pointed towards the house before sliding in and resting his cheek on Arthur’s shoulder. The older nation shook his head. Of course, this had all just been testosterone driven excess. That explained everything.

“Wanna help me take a few down tomorrow morning?” Alfred whispered into the settling hush, weaving their fingers together as they watched the lights twinkle and flash merrily in the dark.

“Certainly.” Arthur kissed the top of Alfred’s head. “But let’s leave the light up unicorn near the street. I like that one.”

“I bought it for you.”


Trimming the Tree

It had taken six hours, two-dozen bags of microwavable popping corn, and four bloody fingers before they’d finally finished the popcorn strings. They’d forgone the cranberries after America had started nibbling on them. Half-chewed fruit just didn’t look that nice on a Christmas tree. The sugar cookie ornaments had been a complete wash after they’d burnt to a crisp in the oven. Oops.

“Do you think we should put real candles on it like we used to?” America stood back from the Christmas tree, his finger tapping at his lips in a thoughtful way.

“You recall that incident involving the fire brigade, do you not?” Arthur strained around the base of the tree, grunting with the effort of trying to reach around the entire circumference. “Come here and help me! This is your damn tree too!”

“Let me, my arms are longer.” Alfred took the strings and began quickly nestling them between the branches.

In the meantime, Arthur sat down to rifle through the box of ornaments, holding each one up to the light as he remembered where they had come from. The little blue origami swan from Japan. The red and green beer stein from Germany. The silver locket with a picture of France blowing a kiss inside. A glittering copper maple leaf from Canada. A strange resin-dipped piece of half-eaten pizza from Italy. Eventually he reached the bottom, pulling out the only ornament in the entire box to be wrapped in bubble wrap, tissue paper, and secured in its own little bag.

A perfect, delicate, intricately crafted glass snowflake from Tiffany’s.

“I like that one best,” Alfred murmured from behind, reaching across Arthur’s shoulder to run a gentle fingertip along the ornament. He bit playfully at the smaller man’s earlobe. “It has to be sixty years old. I’m surprised we haven’t broken it yet.”

“Mmm,” Arthur agreed, turning to stand up and find a safe branch to put it on. “It’s still strange to imagine you wandering around Tiffany’s looking for this.”

“You wanted it.” Alfred shrugged as though the answer had been obvious, bending down to grab some fluffy red and gold garland and wrap it around his arms. He waved them so that the strands waved in the light of the fire. “The girl at the counter had the cutest smile.”

“Prat!” Arthur turned and gave Alfred’s ass a smart slap, relishing the outraged cry that followed. “You remember that after all these years but can’t remember to unload the dishwasher?!”

“Hey!” Alfred laughed sheepishly and rubbed his butt. He pointed a red and gold finger at Arthur’s hand. “She was more special than some silly china plate! Twenty years later she was the one who helped me pick out that band on your finger!”

Raising his left hand to look at the simple white gold ring, Arthur felt the heat rising up in his cheeks. “Fine, fine,” he muttered, fighting down the urge to smile or giggle or something equally as silly. “Hand me the tree topper, would you?”

Alfred passed him a box, turning his attention back to swinging his arms around near the fireplace. Arthur hoped he wouldn’t catch himself on fire, as it would have been the second time they’d had to call the fire department that holiday season. The cookies had been the first.

“Alfred,” he deadpanned upon opening the box and seeing its contents. “Winnie the Pooh dressed as an angel? Really?”

“Winnie the Pooh is awesome!”

The Christmas Story

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.”

If Arthur hadn’t known his Bible by heart he probably would have had trouble reading it in the dim light of the fireplace, but since he’d told this story probably around a thousand times he almost didn’t even have to open the book. Sighing contentedly, he glanced down at his amazingly quiet companion and smiled. Alfred’s cheek was warm and solid against his ribcage, reminiscent of times long past when a tiny colony had laid on his chest in much the same way. Hair the color of sunshine gold rose and fell with each of Arthur’s steady breaths. Long arms were wrapped around his midsection, brushing against the small of his back, holding tight.

A rare moment of peace.

“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.”

Alfred reached towards the coffee table and grabbed his glass of bourbon, swishing the liquid around in the ice and taking a small sip. Arthur watched him let the alcohol sit on his tongue before slowly swallowing it down, closing his eyes as though thoroughly enjoying the flavor. He probably was. It was the bottle that Arthur had been saving since somewhere around 1926.

“Wow,” Alfred said softly once he’d resettled himself against Arthur’s body, firmly tangling their legs together. “The census was a big pain in the ass back then.”

“Indeed.” Arthur nodded, balancing his old, leather-bound Bible on top of Alfred’s head to think. “I’m sure it took a solid year to get a decent count. Who knows how many people died in the meantime?”

“What, weren’t you there?” Alfred laughed, avoiding the compulsory swat to his shoulder. He turned up his head so that his chin was propped on the older nation’s chest. “What?! You’re ancient! You weren’t around for Jesus being born?”

“No!” Arthur bit at his bottom lip, thoughtful, and amended his statement. “Well…not as I am now, anyway. I don’t remember much of that time. Most likely for the best.”

“Yeah, you were probably running around half-naked in animal skins, hitting women over the head with clubs and stuff.” He glanced over at the record player where Nat King Cole’s Christmas album (Arthur’s favorite) had just finished, the rhythmic sound of the needle bumping against the center of the turntable drifting quietly throughout the room.

“Ha. Ha. How droll,” Arthur said, turning his attention back to the book. “Shall I continue?”

Nodding, Alfred squeezed Arthur’s waist affectionately. “We’re getting to the part where Jesus gets all the presents. Don’t know why they didn’t bring him a bed or something though.”

“Perhaps they couldn’t fit a crib on the camel?” Arthur replied, half-joking. Alfred seemed to consider the logic, eyebrows drawn together, bottom lip caught between his teeth. Finally, he nodded.

“Yeah, but I bet the myrrh was just the first thing they could dig up on short notice.”

“You are going straight to hell Alfred F. Jones.”

Christmas Morning

Some things in life simply were. The sun was always going to rise and set. The world was always going to keep turning. The seasons were always going to keep changing. France was always going to be a pervert. And Arthur Kirkland was always going to wake up before Alfred Jones. That’s just how things were. However, there was one day of the year when this normal daily occurrence was turned on its ear. When the world came to a screeching halt.

Christmas morning.

“Wake up!” Alfred nuzzled him aggressively, the bed bouncing so violently beneath them that Arthur thought for certain that he was going to fly right off and onto the floor. Another nuzzle, this one even more insistent than the last. “Wake up, Iggy! It’s Christmas!”

Arthur groaned and buried his head beneath the pillow. Cracking open an eye, he pressed the little button on the side of his watch to light up the face and looked at the time. 5:15am. It wasn’t even six in the bloody morning and Alfred sounded like he’d been awake all night. The damn idiot probably hadn’t even slept after they’d gone to bed.

“Alfred,” he said, his voice muffled by the pillow. “Go away and wake me up after sunrise. I am not coming out.”

“You have to get up! I’ve already got your tea ready and the Christmas music on and the garbage bag out for the trash!”


Quiet seconds passed while Arthur listened intently for any sound of movement, the soothing sound of the ticking clock eventually lulling him back to drowsiness. He was just drifting off, muscles becoming loose and relaxed, when the pillow his head was still underneath shifted slightly and another joined him. Bracing himself for more chattering and whining, he was slightly surprised when all he got was a few stifled yawns and a sleepy smile. Grinning as smugly as he could manage on three hour‘s sleep, Arthur raised an eyebrow and pressed his nose against his sleepy lover‘s.

“You didn’t sleep a wink last night, did you?” He reached around the taller nation’s waist to draw him near. “Go to sleep Alfred. Your presents will keep, I promise. I didn’t get you a pony or anything.”

“You didn’t?” Alfred yawned again, pulling the pillow from above their heads to shove it beneath. He buried his face in the crook of Arthur’s neck and nestled in. “I’m disappointed already. I guess as long as you didn’t get me some ugly argyle socks I’ll be cool.”

“Uh-oh,” Arthur said, pretending to sound upset. “I’ve been found out. Guess I‘ll be taking those back along with the tartan sweater vest.”

“Not gonna wear ugly socks…” Alfred’s whispering voice trailed off, his eyes falling shut as his body went limp. Arthur lay for a moment and watched as the younger nation seemed to fall almost instantly into a dream, the corners of his mouth quirking upwards.

Yes…some things in life simply were. Arthur Kirkland was always going to prefer Earl Grey to English Breakfast. Germany was always going to hate e-mail no matter how many times everyone told him it was necessary for modern day business matters. Poland was always going to secretly be wearing women’s panties. And Alfred Jones was always going to ask for a pony every year no matter big he got or how many times he was told he didn’t have the room or time for one.

“Pretty pony…you are mine now,” Alfred murmured in his sleep, giggling in very feminine way.

Smiling softly, Arthur dozed off confident that the world would keep spinning the way it was supposed to until he could wake up and give Alfred that 72-inch LCD television he’d been whining about for the past six months.

Shiny buttons were better than ponies any day.

Merry Christmas/Secular Holiday Where you Get Stuff!


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