England sighed as he stared blankly out the window of his living room, watching with his elbows rested against the rim of the windowsill and his chin in the palms of his hands as rain fell blearily, pattering against the window. The weather had been like that for the majority of the day and the neighborhood had been practically empty, nearly free of any cars or people.
After a few minutes of standing in front of the window, staring blankly outside, England stood upright and turned around to face the living room, which was completely still and quiet except for the occasional, rhythmic ticking of the wall clock. Letting out another sigh, he walked over to the couch and sat down, putting his elbow against its arm and putting his chin in his hand, absently staring at his reflection in the TV.
It was April 23rd, his birthday, and he had spent it this year just as he had spent it nearly every single year before—in his house, by himself while it was raining. Even though on some years he sometimes got phone calls or brief visits—both of which were a bother to him, especially on his birthday—this year nobody seemed to even give it the slightest attention. To him it felt like nobody he knew bothered to remember that it was his birthday.
It wasn't like this should've been a problem to him, anyway. He wasn't very social and didn’t act that nice around people—rather, he was rude most of the time and often pushed them away—and there were many times before that he had spent his birthday by himself, but the fact that nearly everybody else had at least one other person to celebrate a special occasion with and he was always left alone made him feel even more isolated and even a bit lonely.
As England continued to stare blankly at his reflection in the TV screen, he felt a tiny part of him wish that he wasn't so alone all the time, that for once, someone visited him on his birthday or some other holiday because they really cared, that they didn’t want him to be lonely. But of course, that never seemed to happen.
You ran down the street in the near-pouring rain with an excited smile plastered to your face, your feet occasionally stepping in puddles and causing a fairly large splash that sometimes went up to your knees. The sound of rain pattering around you could've been heard, though you paid no attention to that as you continued heading toward your destination while trying not to slip skid against the slippery sidewalk.
In both of your hands you carried a large bundle that was covered with a small tarp in order to prevent it from getting soaked, and you made sure to carry the bundle tightly in your arms to avoid dropping anything that was inside it.
Even though it was fairly late into the evening and the weather wasn't adequate for you to be stepping outside, that didn’t stop you from coming to visit your friend, England. You knew that today was his birthday and he was probably spending it at home by himself like he usually did without the presence of others. In order to prevent him from feeling lonely, you had decided earlier to come and visit him with the accompaniment of a gift. Even though he rarely acted friendly around others, a lot of people got on his nerves, and he seemed to be annoyed and hard to get along with most of the time, for some reason he always acted nice around you and the both of you quickly became good friends. He was always there to help you out when you were in trouble or facing any kind of problems and did so many wonderful things to you, so you thought that visiting him on his birthday when nobody else did would've been a way to show how great of a friend he’d been to you.
Finally, after a few more minutes of running, you were finally able to spot England’s house. Running across the front yard and up the porch steps, you removed one hand from the bundle in your arms and used it to give the door three firm knocks, your breath coming out long and deep as you recovered from the rather long run there. Standing out in the rain for the next few moments while you waited for England to show up at the door made shivers start to course through you, and before you knew it, your body had started to tremble with cold.
Finally, after standing out in the rain for a minute or so, you were able to hear the sound of the front door unlocking and opening, revealing no other person than England, looking rather grumpy as he stared at you with a prominent frown on his face.
“What the bloody hell do you w—oh, _____, it’s you,” he said, the annoyed tone in his voice replacing as well as the frown on his face. You nodded and smiled, and an awkward moment of silence passed between the both of you as you continued to stand there out in the rain with the bundle in your arms and England continued to stand in the doorway, looking a bit nervous as he fiddled with his fingers.
Finally, after a few more seconds of silence, he cleared his throat before he took a step to the side, motioning with his hand for you to enter. “W-Why don’t you come in, _____,” he said, his voice wavering slightly. “You shouldn’t be standing outside in such poor weather.”
You gave another nod before you obeyed and walked inside, thankful that England’s house was warm compared to the near freezing conditions outside. After talking off your soaked coat and placing it on the coat hanger next to the coat to dry, England closed the door behind him and the two of you walked to his living room, quietness filling the atmosphere around you before a sudden thought came to your head.
“Oh, I almost forgot!” you said as you walked into the living room and England led you over to the couch, where the both of you sat down, him staring at you a bit confusingly. “Happy birthday, England.” You looked up and met his gaze with a smile despite the small bit of confusion that was still shown in his.
“Er...th-thank you,” he stammered, looking a bit flustered as he drifted his gaze off to one side and instead fixed it on the TV placed across the room.
Another awkward moment of silence passed between the both of you, the only sound being the rhythmic tapping of the rain outside, before you spoke up once again. “Look, I got you a present!” you said as you held the covered bundle in your hands out toward him.
“A-A present?” he asked, turning his head to look at you with a surprised, somewhat shocked expression on his face.
You nodded, a smile prominent on your face, and motioned the bundle in your hands a bit closer to him. “Yeah. Sorry I couldn't get you anything better, but this was like...kind of at the last minute.”
England continued to stare at you in silence, that same surprised expression still on his face, before he finally drifted his gaze down to the bundle in front of him that you still held in your hands. He took it from you a bit hesitantly, staring down at it in a bit of confusion, before he took off the tarp covering it and put it off to the side, his eyes widening and his mouth slightly opening when his gaze settled on a large bouquet of beautiful, shimmering red roses.
A somewhat long stretch of silence passed between the both of you as you stared expectantly at England while he still kept his surprised gaze fixed on the bouquet of roses he held in his slightly trembling hands. Finally, he lifted his gaze up to look at you, a small blush coming to his face. “_-____...y-you didn’t have to do this...”
You smiled and shook your head. “I know, but I wanted to anyway.”
“But...w-why?” England stammered, still finding it difficult to form a proper sentence. “I-I...Nobody ever does something like this for me on any holiday...”
“I realize that, and that’s why I wanted to try and do something to change it,” you replied quietly, reaching out your hand so that it was able to rest on top of his. “I know that you're always so isolated and you often spend your birthday by yourself, so I wanted to visit you so you wouldn’t have been as lonely as you usually were. Also, you’ve been a very great friend to me for a long time and I wanted to do something to kind of thank you for all the wonderful things you’ve done for me.”
“R-Really?” England asked, staring at you with slightly wide eyes as the blush on his face increased by just a tiny bit.
You nodded. “Really.”
But what you kept hidden was the fact that you started to think of him as someone more than just a friend and had a crush on him that had been developing for quite a long time. He had always acted nice around you for the many years you’ve known him compared to how he acted around others, and he was always very considerate and caring toward you that to you, he didn’t seem like just someone you got along well with and trusted to assist you whenever you had a problem. However, you refused to say this out loud for the fear that if you did, he wouldn’t have felt the same and the friendship that had grown between the both of you would've been shattered.
“O-Oh...” England murmured, dropping his gaze down to the flowers. “I...Thank you, _____.” He lifted his gaze back up to look at you as a tiny smile came to his face. “I-I really appreciate your generosity.”
“Oh, it’s nothing,” you said as you waved at him dismissively, your face slightly flushed from his compliment. “I just wanted to do what I thought was best, that’s all.”
A moment of silence passed between the both of you before England set the flowers down on the coffee table next to him, looking down at them through slightly hesitant eyes. “_____, I...I don’t know how I should thank you for everything you’ve done for me...”
You looked at him in confusion. “What do you mean?”
England remained silent for a few seconds before he lifted his gaze to look at you, and you saw that a bit of sadness was visible in his eyes. “What I mean is...You’re honestly the only real friend I have. I know that I have a difficult time getting along with others, they often get on my nerves, and they most likely think of the negative things about me, but you’ve always been there for me even when I acted somewhat rude around others. I haven’t been as lonely as I was before I met you, and somehow, despite the behavior of almost every other person I know, you hardly, if ever, seem to annoy me at all and you always make me feel like there's at least one person I know who respects me, and that’s a quality I admire in you.”
You were silent for a few moments, your eyes slightly wide at his sudden statement, before you felt a smile make its way to your face and you felt tears start to form in your eyes. “Arthur...” you murmured, not caring about the fact that you were using his human name. “I-I...” Somehow you found that you had lost the ability to speak, so instead of trying to find the right words to say, you opened your arms, leaned forward, and pulled England into a hug, wrapping your arms tightly around him and resting your chin on his shoulder.
This action had caused him to stiffen in shock and his eyes to significantly widen as he felt a prominent blush come to his face. Finally, he had somehow found the ability to move and returned the hug, pressing the side of his face against yours. “_____,” he murmured softly. “I...I don’t want you to leave me...not like everybody else did...”
“I won't,” you promised quietly, somehow managing to hug him even tighter. “I promise I won't...You’re too important for me to leave you.”
Finally, after a few more minutes of hugging in silence, England pulled away from you enough so that he was able to look at you properly. You were able to notice the blush that was stuck to his face and the slight hint of nervousness that was visible in his eyes. “_-____, I need to tell you something...”
“What is it?” you asked, looking up at him expectantly.
England looked at you a bit uncertainly before he drifted his gaze off to the side. “Well...er...I-I...” He let out a slightly irritated sigh when he realized he was unable to put what he wanted to tell you into words. “I guess I’ll have to show you,” he murmured a bit shyly, turning his head back to look at you.
“Show me what?” you asked in confusion.
A tiny smile came to his face. “You have to close your eyes first.”
“Um...okay,” you said quietly as you obeyed, closing your eyes and waiting expectantly for something to happen. A few moments passed in silence as you continued anticipating for something to happen, and it wasn't very long before you felt something press gently and a bit hesitantly against your lips, and you could've sworn you almost had a heart attack once your brain registered what was happening.
England was kissing you. England, your longtime crush, was kissing you. For a few moments you continued to sit there in silence, your body stiff in shock, unsure of how to react. This was all so sudden and unexpected that you had no idea what to do in reply. But finally, your mind somehow regained the ability to function properly, and you felt your heart increase its pace and a prominent blush come to your face as you happily wrapped your arms around England’s neck and leaned into the kiss, enjoying the feeling of his soft lips pressed tenderly against yours.
The wonderful experience ended much too soon for you, and it felt like only two seconds passed before you felt England pull away from you, causing you to open your eyes and look at him a bit disappointedly. “Arthur...that was...” you breathed, unsure of how to respond to what had just happened.
You were able to notice the deep blush that was on his face ever since he pulled away from the kiss, and he dropped his gaze down to his hands as he began to fiddle with them. “That...Th-That was...m-my way of saying th-thank you...” he stammered, “for...for coming to visit me on my birthday a-and for being an amazing friend for as long as I've known you...”
“Oh...” you murmured, feeling tears once again form in your eyes. Before you could have done anything else, you leaned forward and pulled England into another hug once again, burying your face in his shoulder.
“_____, I-I don’t know if you'll like what I'm going to tell you...” he murmured, wrapping his arms around you and pulling you even closer to him.
“You can tell me anything,” you assured, removing your face from his shoulder and lifting your head to look at him, your arms still wrapped tightly around him.
“Alright,” England muttered, letting out a sigh before he dropped his gaze down, refusing to look up and allow it to meet yours. “I...I love you, _____. I’ve loved you for a long time but couldn't find the perfect moment to say it to you. But now that you're here...a-and it’s only the two of us...I-I feel like I should let you know of my feelings so I won't feel like I'm keeping any secrets from you.”
You were silent for the next few moments, his words still processing in your head, until they finally held meaning and one of the happiest smiles you were able to make came to your face. “Arthur...I-I love you too,” you replied quietly, leaning forward only the slightest bit so that you were able to lightly kiss his nose. “You meant so much to me for such a long time...I began to see you as someone more than just a friend but didn’t think you'd feel the same way...”
“_____, I'm so happy you came here for my birthday,” England murmured, lifting his gaze up to look at you as a genuine smile made its way to his face. “Thank you...for everything you’ve done for me.”
“It’s nothing,” you said softly as you looked at him lovingly. “I'm just happy to have someone wonderful like you in my life.”
A few moments passed between the both of you in silence, the two of you continuing to meet each other’s gazes, before England spoke up once again. “I love you, _____...” he said softly, leaning forward to plant a gentle, brief kiss on your lips once again.
“I love you too,” you replied, the smile on your face never leaving as you once again pulled him into a hug. “Happy birthday, Arthur.”