Fandom: Axis Powers Hetalia
Pairing/Characters: USA x China, plus imaginary!England and mentions of Germany, Russia, and Japan.
Rating: PG-13 for snogging, uneasy politics, and mild language from America's inner England.
Word Count: c.900 (… well, I meant it to be a drabble.)
Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for parts of Obama's SOTU address?
Summary: In which America is defensive, the world is largely disapproving, and China gets the last word. (For ovalis: USA/China + current politics.)
[for ovalis ♥]
—well, all in all it was pretty cool that China was okay with buying his debt.
That is, at least he wasn't disapproving about it, like England (America, if you could budget for shite—) or, for that matter, like the rest of them. Germany would lecture, Russia would giggle, and Japan—well, Japan would be polite, but he'd always look like he wanted to say something. It got old. It wasn't like America didn't know he was in debt—he was working on it, and hey, he was getting better all the time. He would've asked England if England even read the news about his economy, but asking England things like that usually came around to bite him in the ass.
(I have read the news, America, and can you tell me who was just elected to office in Ukraine?)
Usually, dealing with China was a nice change.
Lately, though, the recession wouldn't quit, the dollar wouldn't fix itself, and America thought that sometimes, maybe, China was getting tired of it too—though he still listened and generally even nodded as America talked about his economy growing, finally, he didn't look nearly so believing as he'd used to.
Like right now—China was smiling a little as he reviewed the forms, and his people had signed everything already, but there was a worried slant to his mouth. It made America's stomach twist.
America still said, "Thanks, man," slouching uncomfortably in his chair. He couldn't will the tension out of his neck, though he kept trying, rolling his shoulders and shifting against the back of the chair; it took effort to look relaxed. "S'cool," he continued. "We can all help each other right now—y'know, with the recession and all, I—" Can't help everyone, he almost said, but that was too honest even to think about. "Uh—'course, when I get my economy back on track, I'll give you a hand." He grinned, pushing his glasses up as they slid down his nose—why was he sweating? "Not that you need one, right?"
China lifted his eyes from the sheaf of papers on his desk and his smile took on an accommodating edge; he stood, which made America all the more aware that he was still sitting down. From this angle, China was taller, though thinner—but strong, because he had to be, didn't he? and America had never really tested—
"Of course, Mĕiguó."
—never really knew what to expect when China leaned across the desk and kissed him.
He expected the kiss because, well, they were sealing a deal, but China's hand on his shoulder, that was—and China tasted, smelled like perfume and wood, and not like cigarettes but like smoke, like industry and leaves and air—and China's fingers were clever, dipping into the creases in his jacket, curling and pulling him closer without really pulling until America was leaning up out of his seat.
What got him was that China's hands were strong, he could feel that—but careful, too, soft and calculated.
He didn't know what it'd feel like if China hit him, and somehow that made his hands shiver as they wound into China's hair.
China didn't look away when he broke the kiss, so America couldn't look away either; China was still smiling. Benevolence crinkled the corners of his eyes, deepened the curve of his mouth. It wasn't coy, and it wasn't false either—it was genuine, but genuine what, America couldn't put his finger on. America smiled back at him out of habit, focusing on the weight of China's hand. He was still close enough that a few long streaks of China's hair were caught on his shoulder.
Several moments passed between them before America cleared his throat.
"Uh—" He reached up to adjust his glasses, though China hadn't knocked them askew; China drew back slightly, looking at him from a more—respectable distance. "You know, my boss, he's been talking about more competition—with you. Exporting more of my goods, that kinda—" His voice trailed off, because what he wanted to say was so why am I looking up to you?
China simply nodded, as if that were expected. "Competition will be good for us both," he said, will be and not is. He settled his weight back on his heels; his grip on America's shoulder lightened. "I look forward to seeing your progress." It was almost affectionate.
"Yeah," America said, "yeah, great, I just. I mean, no hard feelings, but you know that," and he placed his hands on the desk and stood.
China's hand slipped away, but his eyes—his eyes didn't.
"Thanks," he said, again, after China had shown him to the door.
"It is mutual," China said, straightening his collar and smiling.
America couldn't think of anything to say that wasn't small talk, but China wasn't going to have the last word, he decided—so he kissed him again. China reached up and touched his cheek as he did.
America didn't want to be the first one to pull away, and that must have been mutual, too, because they stayed in the shadow of the doorway for a long time.
He was short of breath when he finally did put his hands on China's shoulders and lean back, but hey, at least—even if it wasn't the last word, that must have counted for something. China was watching him, so America cracked a grin. "See you around," he said, knocking off a lazy salute and turning to go.
"I will," China said.
America is referencing Obama's recent State of the Union Address (though competition and exports, etc. are not exactly uncommon topics for America's bosses).
China may buy less U.S. debt.
Major foreign holders of (US) treasury securities.
Sadly, I started this immediately before the whole US/Taiwan arms deal scandal started. That'll have to be another fic.