conjure_lass: (Hetalia: America Shhh)
[personal profile] conjure_lass
Title: Resolute
Author/Artist: [ profile] conjure_lass
Character(s) or Pairing(s): UsxUk
Rating: PG for language
Warnings: None
Summary: Arthur takes a little walk through the White House Rose Garden.

The sun has long since set by the time Arthur makes his way along the borders of the White House Rose Garden, a singular light in the east window of the Oval Office his guiding beacon.

His own roses are, of course, far superior to the ones (King’s Ransom, the color of whipped butter) he now bends to inspect, but he supposes that they’re decent enough given the circumstances. At least they’re well tended, adequately laid out, and given the proper amount of fuss and attention. Offhandedly, he makes a mental note to attend to his Shopshire Lad back home as it’s beginning to take over the south wall of the house.

Plucking one of the pale yellow petals, he rubs it slowly across his lips before pushing it into his mouth, feeling the rose oil spread along his tongue and coat the back of his teeth as he chews. Not half bad. He’s always been rather fond of candied flowers, and this would be excellent on top of a dusted sponge cake.

Hell, on top of any cake. Cake was always a good thing.

A warm breeze sets the branches of the crabapple trees in motion, obscuring the already sparse light and casting odd shadows along the manicured lawn. The brief distraction draws Arthur’s attention away from the flowers (Nevada Rose, like a bed of fresh snow sprinkled with lemon drops) and back to his original purpose.


His gaze catches some sort of agent patrolling the outer edges of the garden, passing in and out of sight behind large pillars, but Arthur pays him little attention as he makes his way up the stairs towards the door. He does spare the man a moment of obligatory eye contact and a raise of his chin before going inside, but this isn’t the first time he’s wandered these grounds after hours, and it won’t be the last.

The Oval Office, despite misconceptions, is not very big, and so Arthur doesn’t have to look far for the source of his worry. He does, however, have to relearn how to breathe, to steady his hands. Such is the effect of finding his former charge lain out and deeply asleep, sprawled completely across the Resolute Desk. Alfred’s bare feet hang gracelessly off the edge, his arms clasped around his own shoulders as though cold; he does not look comfortable. Even his ever-youthful face is set in tense lines, the corners of his mouth twitching unconsciously; his dreams have led him somewhere unpleasant.

Arthur can relate.

“Alfred,” Arthur murmurs, shaking his head. “What are you doing, boy?”

Dark eye circles present themselves as he moves in closer, a wrinkled dress shirt, a ridiculously ugly tie partially undone; Alfred gave up in the middle of taking it off. The younger nation is exhausted, and it shows. Arthur’s heart gives a sympathetic tug as he crouches down--he can hear his knees pop rather unpleasantly--to place himself on eye level, and runs his palm over the aged leather of the desk.

He knows this desk.

He remembers standing awkwardly beside it, clearing his throat so many times it felt raw, and presenting it to Alfred’s boss. His dearest Victoria had demanded that he be the one to do it, to be certain that things were done properly, though he’d been convinced at the time that she was simply playing matchmaker. The nosy parker. But his annoyance had eased upon seeing the almost tender look on Alfred’s face, the way he’d adjusted his cravat nearly to death in his nervousness, and how he’d gushed over the craftsmanship, the inscriptions, the leatherwork.

It’s one of Arthur’s fonder memories from those days, when he and Alfred’s relations had been strained at best.

Balancing himself on the balls of his feet, he reaches into his back pocket and tugs out a mangled packet of fags he’d bought at the airport, jostling it until one meets his lips and quickly lights it. The smoke drifts upwards towards the ceiling, and Arthur briefly hopes that the smoke alarms won’t go off, but dismisses it. That would be nothing compared to that time he accidentally set fire to the main bathroom of the House of Representatives.

It was an accident!

Alfred stirs, fingers clutching at his shoulders with more force until the knuckles begin to go white, a strange sound coming from the back of his throat. Arthur, acting without thinking, reaches up and takes one of those hands in his own, finding the skin clammy and moist when he does. He’s reminded of times gone by, of holding a tiny boy in his arms, of rocking him into the early morning, of easing tears, and aches, and fear. He draws from those memories now, cooing utter nonsense, rubbing the pad of his thumb along the tops of Alfred’s fingers, anything to bring comfort.

Long moments pass, until suddenly the younger nation draws in a sharp breath, hazy eyes creeping open, unfocused and fuzzy. For a second Alfred doesn’t seem to know what’s going on, until finally recognition begins to clear his gaze, and he gives Arthur a brilliant, if not a little sleepy, smile.

“Hey, sexy.”

Sputtering, Arthur feels his cheeks getting hot, and hates himself a little for it. “Hello, yourself. And you certainly aren’t looking sexy…you look rough as hell.”

“Haven’t been sleeping well.” Alfred’s bottom lip protrudes, his fingers squeezing pathetically against Arthur’s own. “How did you find me?”

“Magic.” Arthur smirks, leaning down to take a last drag off his fag before pressing it out on the sole of his shoe. “Don’t read too much into it, of course. I have some business to attend to this week. You’re merely a pleasurable distraction.”

“Of course I am.” Alfred smiles before pausing to sniff at the air in an exaggerated way, wrinkling his nose in disgust. “Aw fuck, Arthur, my boss is going to think I’ve been smoking in here again! Way to get me into shit!”

“Just tell them I did it.” Arthur shrugs, rising to sit on the desk and deposit Alfred’s head snugly in his lap. He leans down to nibble at a blushing cheek. So sweet.

“You know what they said would happen if you were ever caught with fire in the capital again, right?”

Ahhh, yes. The talk. He remembers it.

“We’ll tell them Francis did it. He has a two packet a day habit, at least.”

“Babe, that’s your answer for everything.”

“Hasn’t failed me yet.”

Silence trickles between them, and Arthur takes advantage of it, leaning down to run lips along Alfred’s face, trying to dislodge whatever troubles have led him to such a state. Coax the worry from his pores. Ease the confusions. It’s a fruitless venture and he damn well knows it, but Alfred is appreciative, reaching up, wrapping fingers in Arthur’s hair, tucking his knees in like a boy.

“Thanks.” Alfred whispers, rubbing and butting against Arthur’s belly so roughly that he almost careens off the desk.

“For what?” He tries somewhat unsuccessfully to cradle more of Alfred’s body than his arms will physically hold. It’s the thought that counts. “I haven’t done anything.”

“For taking the week off work.”

“How?” Arthur stills, blinking owlishly down at Alfred’s grinning face. “How did you…?”




1: In 1855 the British ship Resolute was found by a U.S. whaling vessel after having been abandoned in the Arctic.

2: After being purchased from the whalers for $40,000 dollars, the ship was refitted in the Brooklyn Navy Yard by the American Government with the intentions of presenting the ship as a gift to Queen Victoria "on behalf of the people of the United States as a token of the friendly feelings by which our country is actuated."

3: In 1879, when the Resolute was finally broken apart, her timbres were made into four desks, one of which was presented to President Hayes. It is known as the Resolute Desk, and is still used by U.S. presidents to this day.

Hope you all enjoy! Loves!


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