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[personal profile] conjure_lass
Title: To Thy Rest
Genre: Romance/Mindless Fluff
Pairing(s): UsxUk
Rating/Warnings: None!
Summary: An Early Morning Hair Washing.
Author’s Note: A week ago or so, someone on my flist mentioned wanting some fluff. I decided, since I’m good at it, to indulge. I think this is my first time writing present tense successfully. Yay!

This might have been more romantic if they hadn’t been using baby shampoo.

Arthur fights the urge to groan as Alfred’s fingers work methodically along his scalp, through his soapy hair, the soft massaging long since having prompted him to close his eyes. It’s easy for Arthur to hide his pleasure like this, with his body curled and bent over the deep kitchen sink, the faucet running warm water near his ear. Alfred is a solid weight along his back, sleeves rolled up past his elbows, the heat of his skin warming Arthur’s spine as he hums some tune that Arthur doesn’t know. The younger nation’s long fingertips work in tandem with that unknown melody, blunt fingernails scratching and scraping as though keeping time with the percussion.

“Good?” Alfred bends down, brushing his lips along Arthur’s wet ear, making him shiver involuntarily. “Hold still while I rinse it out.”

The Scooby Doo cup that had been set on the counter nearby is retrieved, filled, and slowly poured across Arthur’s head, the smell of baby shampoo suddenly overwhelming in his nostrils. The scent mixes with the first beams of sunrise trickling in through the window overhead, the slight ache in his lower back from staying bent over for so long, the sound of Alfred’s satisfied murmurs as he drags his nose through Arthur’s wet hair; the world feels narrow and focused.

“Are you going to powder my bottom and give me my bottle now?” Arthur smirks and shakes his head, sending droplets of water splattering against the steel basin of the sink.

“I’ll do whatever you want to your bottom, babe,” Alfred replies, reaching down a wet hand to pat Arthur’s behind, give it a playful squeeze before pulling away. “After we finish up. You sure you’re not going to smell? I don’t want to go to bed with you if you smell like Anheuser Busch.”

“I hope to god I never smell like that piss water you call beer. Now hurry up. My back hurts.”

“I’ll get your heating pad later, okay? I‘m sure stuff like that is covered with Medicare.” Alfred takes the bottle of stout and upends it over Arthur’s head, any traces of shampoo washing away in the bubbling hiss of the beer. Arthur sticks out his tongue as the liquid cascades down his cheeks, letting it puddle there before pulling it into his mouth with a satisfied hum. At least Alfred went to the trouble of actually finding a worthwhile beer.

The clever fingers come back, working the stout into his locks, squeezing at the strands every now and again to hear the tiny squeaks they produce. It’s all wonderful, but Arthur finds that he can’t enjoy it fully, caught somewhere between humiliation and the pleasure of being so pampered. He doesn’t know which he should be feeling, can’t make up his mind, and so that struggle manifests itself in the restless twitches of his body against Alfred’s chest and legs. He hates and loves this sort of thing, these quiet moments lovers share that he still feels odd being a part of.

It’s not fair, he thinks. Alfred never seems to feel the least bit self-conscious. Arthur envies him that, though he knows full well that a lot of it is a farce. But he has never, and proably will never, press the issue. Some things, he knows from personal experience, are necessary for nations to be who they are, to maintain themselves in the insane world that they live in. Arthur knows his precious child, still his baby in so many ways, well.

“All right, let’s wash this out. Deep breath,” Alfred whispers, intimate, as though he’s tuned in to Arthur’s contemplation, doesn’t want to disturb it. Arthur nods, takes a breath, and the cup is filled again, water splashes around his ears, swirls down the drain, tinted brown from the beer. When the water runs clear he shakes his head again, smiling as Alfred’s arms twine around his waist to lift him onto the tile counter, setting him there for the younger nation to press between his spread thighs.

A fluffy towel--stars and stripes--is draped haphazardly over his head, ruffles playfully, sops up the moisture from his hair. Arthur allows the manhandling with a longsuffering sigh, reminded of times long gone by when he did much the same to a tiny boy, exploiting every ticklish spot just to hear the delighted baby laughter bounce off the walls of the bathroom.

“Huh…you’re right. You don’t smell like beer.” Alfred pulls the towel away from Arthur’s eyes and gives him a pleased, if not a little sleepy, smile. And no wonder. The sun is fully up now, the shards of light are shifting from golden to brilliant white, the kitchen is smiling, bright and cheerful. But not cheerful enough to keep Arthur awake any longer, and he yawns, wide and comfortable, leaning back on his elbows to survey his kingdom.

Alfred. Imperfect, lovely Alfred.

“Take me to bed,” Arthur says in a voice that leaves no room for argument, rising up to wrap his thighs snugly around Alfred’s hips, slip arms around broad shoulders. “We’ve been up all damn night thanks to your romantic nonsense.”

“You love it.” Alfred is quick to respond, lifting Arthur and padding across the kitchen towards the staircase. They ascend it slowly, mouths finding one another’s, calmly, without heat, both of them too exhausted for the embers in their bellies to ignite into any sort of passion. Alfred nearly stumbles when they reach the landing, clutching Arthur more tightly and chuckling at his own clumsiness.

“What was that you were saying about romance?” He laughs, the sound gentle, wonderful, just like all of Arthur’s memories. Alfred’s laughter never changes.

“Yes, well…I find most of your numerous faults to be endearing, so not to worry.”

“Jerk.” Alfred drops him onto the foot of the bed and pushes his knees up, pressing his palms against the back of Arthur’s thighs to slowly slide him up the sheets towards the pillows. Arthur nestles into the pile when he arrives at it, watching with heavy lids as Alfred moves to pull the shades and close the curtains, casting the room into murky twilight, shadows long on the floors and walls. What tiny strips of light are left to peek through the cracks catch on Alfred’s hair as he walks through them; they throw the strands into stark relief, make them more like burnished bronze than their natural sunshine yellow.

Arthur smiles.

Sleep is nibbling at his consciousness when the younger nation finally pulls back the covers and nestles against him, their bodies instantly warming, a single line of heat. Arthur moves sluggishly, as though through treacle syrup, to surround Alfred in his arms, embarrassment forgotten in the fog of impending sleep, movements lethargic. He closes his eyes. Alfred’s fingertips are weaving mindless patterns along the skin of his lower back, dipping into the small, becoming slower with each pass.

So sleepy.

Eventually, Alfred’s movements come to a halt entirely, breathing calmly in and calmly out, muscles going lax and heavy. He mumbles something unintelligible that Arthur only barely hears, feels more than anything, the rumble of it deep in Alfred‘s chest. The tender, barely there caress.

A tiny squeeze to Alfred’s middle, to show he feels the same.

Arthur falls asleep.

I'm actually really pleased with this piece. All mistakes are my own, please forgive them and enjoy anyway, yes?



December 2012

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