It was the night before a world meeting, planned to be held in London. It was your usual routine to find a hotel not too far away from the conference building and stay there until you had to return back home once the meeting was over, but despite your hardest efforts, you were simply unable to find an available room in any place in the city. When you arrived in London, you tried phoning every hotel that you figured would've had some available space for you to temporarily take, but you were left frustrated and disappointed when you realized that they were all full. You figured that part of the reason for your situation was because of the weather, since there was already a pretty heavy rainstorm by the time you arrived. This only added to your troubles when you found out that you had carelessly forgot to bring an umbrella.
But as you continued to sit there in the airport, contemplating over what you were supposed to do, a sudden thought entered your head that made your irritation disappear. You could have gone to your close friend, England, and asked him if you could've spent the night at his house. You knew that he didn’t usually like having people over, but if you told him about your situation, surely he would've understood and allowed you to stay.
By the time you arrived at the front door to his house, it seemed to be raining harder than ever, and it was only a few seconds after you stepped out of the taxi that took you there that you were once again completely drenched and freezing cold on top of that. Knocking on the door a few times, you continued to stand there while rubbing your arms furiously with both hands, the bag containing the stuff you brought along with you sitting on the ground next to your trembling feet.
After what seemed like forever, you were able to hear the front door unlock and open, revealing England standing in the doorway with a somewhat irritated expression on his face. Upon seeing you standing there, drenched and shivering, his eyes slightly widened in surprise. “_-____? What are you doing here?”
You looked up to meet his gaze and gave him a tiny, strained smile. “Well...I was supposed to find a hotel to spend the night in for tomorrow’s conference, but...things kinda didn’t work out. So...” You dropped your gaze down to the ground, a significant blush spreading across your face. “C-Can I stay at your house tonight?”
A somewhat awkward moment of silence passed between the both of you, during which you tried your hardest not to shiver, though it was in vain. Finally, England let out a sigh. “Alright. I wouldn’t want you catching a cold or sleeping outside, so you can stay. But it’s only for tonight, understand?”
You looked up at him and gave him a big smile. “Thank you, England!” you said happily and reached down to pick up your bag. “You're the best.” You hastily made your way inside the house, unaware of the flustered expression that made its way to his face at your compliment.
Thankful to finally be inside a warm house and not out in the cold rain, you took of your drenched coat as well as your shoes before you made your way into the living room with England beside you. Upon entering, your eyes instantly widened when you realized that it was nearly 11 p.m.
“Oh, no!” you said, your hands instantly flying to your face. “I didn’t realize that it was already this late...” Turning to England, you asked a bit hesitantly, “You...have an extra room for me to stay in, right?”
“O-Of course,” he stammered. A somewhat awkward moment of silence passed between the both of you until he cleared his throat and spoke once again. “If you're hungry, I can...prepare you some food before you go to sleep.”
You shook your head and tried your hardest not to cringe. “No, it’s fine. I don’t want to seem like much of a bother.”
“Are you sure?” England asked, frowning a bit in concern. “It wouldn’t be a problem for me to—”
“No, really,” you interrupted with a tiny smile. “I'm not that hungry, anyway.” The truth was that it had been quite a while since you had last eaten something at the airport, but you rather would've gone hungry until tomorrow than face critical stomach pains.
“Alright then,” England replied, though judging by the uncertain expression on his face you knew that he still wasn't entirely satisfied with your answer. However, he chose to remain silent and instead led you over to one of the guest rooms, only a few doors down from the bedroom where he slept. It was way bigger than your own room and it even had an attached bathroom, something that made your mouth almost drop open in surprise.
“If you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to tell me, alright, _____?” England asked, standing in the doorway to the room as he watched you set your bag down on the floor beside the bed.
“Sure.” You looked up at him with a smile. “Thanks for letting me stay with you, England. I don’t know what I would've done or where I would've slept if it weren’t for you.”
You were able to see the expression on his face instantly turn flustered, and he coughed into his fist and turned his head slightly to the side to hide the significant blush on his face. “I-It’s nothing. Just...go to sleep, alright?”
You nodded, still standing motionless in the same spot until England closed the door to your room and you were able to hear his footsteps gradually grow fainter as he walked away. You continued to stand there in silence for the next few moments, staring blankly at the door that he was standing near just seconds before, the atmosphere relatively quiet except for the soft, dull sound of the rain as it rhythmically pattered against the window and roof.
Finally, you let out a sigh and turned towards your bag, which was still sitting quietly next to the bed. Due to the fact that it was almost completely soaked when you arrived and it still contained some of the wetness when you had entered this room, the dripping water had formed a small puddle on the floor underneath it. You let out a sound of displeasure through closed lips and walked towards the bathroom, getting a towel that hung on a rack and then proceeding to walk back into the room and wipe away the small puddle under your bag as well as the bag itself to ensure that it would be entirely dry.
Once that was settled, you decided to change into your pajamas and turn in for the night, since it was already pretty late and you wanted to get a decent amount of sleep in order to avoid fatigue at the meeting tomorrow. You took your pajamas out of the bag and proceeded to change, taking your damp clothes and putting them in the bathroom for them to dry overnight. Once you brushed your teeth, you walked back towards the bed and settled under the covers, turning off the lamp that was placed on the nightstand.
Once it was entirely dark in the room, you lay quietly on your bed with the back of your head pressed against the pillow and your hands rested lightly on top of the covers. With open eyes, you stared up at the ceiling and listened to the sound of the rain fall.
There were several thoughts running through your head as the seconds ticked by in silence, mainly, I'm so glad England allowed me to stay here for the night... You knew how much he loathed having people over at his house, let alone allowing someone to spend the night in such horrible weather like this. But somehow, a tiny part of you assumed that if it had been someone else in your situation, England wouldn’t have allowed them to stay overnight no matter how much they tried to coax him.
After all, England was your closest friend and vice versa, and he always interacted with you a lot differently than he did with almost every other person. Instead of yelling at you or getting into fights with you because you got on his nerves or did something to pester him, he was always very gentle and sweet to you, and was always there to help you out whenever you needed it. In return, you constantly supported him even in his most depressing times.
Somehow throughout the duration of your time with England you managed to develop a tiny—or rather kid of huge—crush on him, though you would never be willing to admit it. You were a bit hesitant about staying in his house at first not only because you were unsure of his approval, but whether or not the whole situation of spending the night there would have been too awkward for you. You visited him a lot, but it was exceptionally rare for you to sleep over.
I hope I'm not being too much of a bother to him...you thought with a tiny frown. Tomorrow you would be sure to get up early and be quick to prepare for the meeting in order to avoid causing him any more trouble than you probably already had. Turning over onto your side, you closed your eyes and steadied your breathing, the sounds of the rain pounding against the window lulling you to sleep.
When you opened your eyes again, you were confused as to why it was still dark. After a few seconds with you lying still under the covers, you realized that the sound of the rain continued to fill your ears, only this time it seemed to be much heavier. You moaned and rolled over onto your other side, too lazy to look into your bag for your phone to check what time it was. You closed your eyes and continued to listen to the rain beating fiercely against the house. I hope the streets aren’t flooded in the morning... you thought as you felt yourself slowly drift off once again.
But what disturbed you was the sudden bright flash of lightning and the loud clap of thunder that immediately came after, causing your eyes to fly open and your heart to pound in your chest. Now alarmed, you quickly sat up in bed, turning your head around to look at the window. As the roll of thunder died down and you continued to sit there, breathing rapidly, you let a gasp and instantly threw the covers over yourself in a panic when another bolt of lightning lit up the room.
You never admitted this to anyone, but you were absolutely terrified of thunderstorms. You had this phobia ever since you were very little, and any strike of lightning or loud rumble of thunder sent you hiding. You knew that it was an extremely childish fear to have, but you had no one to go to when you were scared to comfort you and assure you that there was nothing to be afraid of. You always had to deal with this terror alone, and the countless experiences you had in your life were more than enough to traumatize you.
Despite the fact that you were clinging to the covers, which apparently protected your entire body, that didn’t stop every strike of lightning from making itself visible through your shield and didn’t drown out the unusually loud rumble of thunder. It was getting increasingly hard for you to breathe under the stuffy covers after a while, and you were forced to lift them from your trembling figure just for a few seconds.
However, as soon as you did so, a bright flash of lightning lit up the entire room with an illuminant white followed by a roar of thunder so loud that you instantly sprang out of your bed. Without further thinking you dashed out of the room in a panic, your heart racing and tears on the verge of spilling from your eyes.
You immediately headed for the closed door to England's room and kicked it open with your foot, not even bothering to wince as it hit the wall with a loud bang. “Arthur!” you cried, ignoring the fact that you used his human name as you ran over to where you were able to make out his bed in the poor lighting and jumped directly on top of him with outstretched arms, paying no attention to the startled gasp he made immediately after you made contact with him.
“Bloody hell, _____, what are you doing!?” England managed to ask after his eyes instantly opened right after the breath was knocked out of him when your weight practically crushed his lungs. It was still dark outside, and once he got a brief look at the digital clock on his nightstand and found out that it was only 3:45 in the morning, the irritation inside him multiplied. He propped himself up on his elbows and attempted to sit in an upright position despite the difficulty in doing so, considering how tightly you had your arms wrapped around him.
“_____...g-get off,” England croaked, trying to push you off of him with no success.
“B-But, but I—” You were interrupted by another sudden flash of lightning, causing your eyes to widen and a cry to escape your lips before you buried your face in England’s shirt, wrapping your arms even tighter around him.
England let out something of a choked sound through gritted teeth, looking down at your dim figure in irritation. It was bad enough that his sleep was already disturbed due to your apparent collision with him, but you didn’t want to remove your arms from him either, only adding to the fact that he probably wasn’t going to be falling asleep within the next few minutes.
However, as soon as his mind properly registered the fact that you had your arms around him in a legitimate hug, he couldn’t have helped the blush that appeared on his face. It was exceptionally rare for the both of you to go through this type of contact with each other, but whenever you did, it always caused him to turn completely flustered for a reason that he was unsure of. Despite the sudden change in his emotions, England continued to attempt to pry you off of him. “_____, I’m serious, if you don’t let go of me, I’m going to...”
“No...!” you gasped, your voice muffled through England’s shirt. Immediately after the next bolt of lightning lit up the room and a rumble of thunder followed, you let out a soft cry and clung to his shirt with trembling fingers.
Concern gradually replaced the initial shock and irritation inside England as he continued to look down at your trembling figure. Even though he was still a bit annoyed over the fact that his sleep was cut in half, he awkwardly snaked his arms around you enough so that he was able to pat your back in an attempt to calm you down. “_____, what’s wrong?” he asked with a softer tone than before. “Why are you refusing to get off of me?”
“B-Because...” you choked, removing your face from England’s shirt momentarily to wipe your partially damp face with your sleeve. “I-I’m scared....”
“Scared?” England repeated, some of the concern replacing with confusion. Through the muffled sound of the pounding of the rain and the bad lighting, he removed his hands from your back and placed them on your shoulders, pulling you away from him just enough to look down at you properly. “What are you scared of?”
You lifted your gaze, which was previously fixed on your lap, up so that it was able to meet England’s. Even though it was hard to see, you were able to detect worry and a bit of befuddlement in his eyes as well as a frown on his face, and you felt your cheeks heat up when you realized how close you apparently were to him. You were sitting on his lap, his hands on your shoulders, your face only inches away from his, the only sounds being the pattering of the rain, your ragged breath, and his gentle one. Holy.
However, the somewhat awkward moment of silence between the both of you was broken at another bright flash of lightning, causing a cry to escape you as you once again buried your face in England’s shoulder.
It took a few moments for England to register what had just occurred before he finally reached a conclusion as to why you were acting so terrified. “Oh, are you afraid of the storm?” he asked gently, wrapping his arms around you a bit hesitantly. “Is that why you’re here?”
You nodded into his shirt and let out several gasps as tears streamed down your face, and it wasn’t long before he was able to feel his shirt gradually become damp under your crying.
England let out a soft sound through closed lips, and after a few moments began to gently massage your back with both hands, drifting his gaze off to one side. “There’s nothing to be afraid of,” he muttered. “The storm isn’t going to hurt you.”
You continued crying into his shirt with no reply for the next few moments, wrapping your arms slowly around him once again and resting your hands against the back of his shoulders. Finally, you spoke quietly. “You think it’s childish, don’t you?”
England looked down at you and frowned, not hearing exactly what you said. “What?”
You slowly lifted your head from his shirt and looked up at him shakily. “Don’t you think it’s childish...to be afraid of something like this?”
England remained silent for a few moments, your question leaving him a bit speechless. He didn’t know whether to say it was and risk hurting your feelings or say it wasn't and still have you cling to him pointlessly. “Er...well...”
You sighed and looked down at your lap before giving him the chance to reply. “I know it’s childish,” you murmured. “I was afraid of thunderstorms for as long as I could remember, but every time I got scared I had no one to go to, I had no one who cared about me enough to comfort me and tell me that there was nothing to be afraid of. I always had to handle my fear alone, but I was never able to get rid of it. My instinct always told me and still tells me to hide.”
You looked up at England slowly, tears still falling silently down your cheeks. He continued to meet your gaze for the next few moments, and after a while you were able to notice that the concern and confusion in his eyes was replaced with a bit of sadness.
“I...I’m sorry, _____,” he finally murmured after a long stretch of silence passed. He extended his arms out towards you in a hug but stopped momentarily, unsure whether or not this was the right action. He decided that it was so and wrapped his arms tightly around you, cradling the back of your head with one hand. Unaware of the thunderstruck expression on your reddening face, he continued. “I can assure that you have absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Storms like these may seem a bit terrifying, but once you get used to not being afraid of them, they’ll no longer be a problem for you.”
You continued to remain silent for a few moments, your cheeks flamed and your entire body stiff in surprise. Finally, you decided to loosen up and wrapped your arms tightly around England, resting your chin on his shoulder and closing your eyes. “I know, but...they’re scary.”
“I understand,” he replied softly, massaging your trembling back gently with his hand. “But eventually you’ll get used to them and no longer have this fear.” England was silent for a few moments before he drifted his gaze off to one side and muttered quietly, “And...I can always be there to comfort you whenever you're scared, so you have absolutely nothing to worry about.”
You opened your eyes at that, his words taking you by surprise. You pulled away from England and looked up at him with slightly confused eyes. “Do you...really mean that?”
He nodded, still keeping his gaze fixed to one side and refusing it to meet yours.
You remained silent for a few moments, his words still processing in your head, before you finally let out a smile. “Oh, Arthur, thank you,” you murmured and once again wrapped your arms around him fondly. “You're probably the only person who would actually be concerned over something like this. I-I just...You have no idea how much this means to me...”
“It’s nothing, r-really...” England stammered, flustered by your words as he patted your back a bit awkwardly.
“How can you say it’s nothing?” you asked, pulling away to look up at him and frowning. “You’re basically the only one who always supports me whenever I'm in a tough situation and you’re always there to help me. You’ve done so much for me, and yet you always brush it off as if it’s not important.”
“I just...do what I believe is best,” England muttered, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand.
You smiled. “And that’s why I want to find a way to thank you for being such a great person.”
“You don’t have to thank me, _____,” England objected as he looked down at you with a frown.
“Yes, I-I do...” you insisted, a tiny blush coming to your cheeks as you continued to meet his gaze and your eyes filling with a bit of hesitation. “But...I...I’m not sure about...”
“About what?” England asked.
“About...” You remained silent for a few moments, looking down at your lap with an unsure expression on your face. You let out a soft, unsure sound as you deliberately avoided meeting his gaze, which you knew was still focused intently on you. Finally, your heart rate rapidly increasing, you slowly lifted your head to look up at England. “I...” You were cut off by a sudden tightening in your throat, and you let out a tiny, slightly exasperated sigh at not being able to say what you wanted.
“_____, what is it?” England asked a bit irritably, starting to get annoyed by the unnecessarily long stretch of time you were creating.
Deciding not to wait any longer, without any further thoughts or hesitations, you took England’s cheeks determinedly in your hands and leaned forward to kiss him firmly yet passionately on the lips. You were able to feel your entire face instantly go on fire at the sudden contact, yet you weren’t able to notice how his eyes widened in surprise and his face carried an expression of utter shock as well as embarrassment that almost seemed to match yours. A bolt of lightning lit the room not a second after you kissed England, yet you no longer paid attention to it. All of your attention was focused on how your trembling lips were still connected with his.
After you forcefully pulled away from him less than five seconds later, you instantly dropped your gaze down to your lap, your cheeks flaming as you took deep, quiet breaths. You still hadn’t paid attention to the expression on England’s face; all you were able to think about now was how he was probably going to kill you for making this kind of intimate contact with him.
A few extremely awkward moments passed in silence, the only sounds being the pounding of the rain and the mutual breathing of you and England. You clenched your fists, afraid to lift your head and see what the reaction on his face would be.
After about a minute passed with the both of you sitting silently on the bed in front of each other, England finally spoke up, his face still beet red from your gesture. “_-____...” he stammered, mentally cursing himself for being unable to form a coherent sentence. “Wh-What was...”
You finally forced yourself to lift your gaze to look up at him, and the expression that you saw on his face surprised you. Instead of seeing irritation or anger like you had expected, you saw that he was flustered and surprised, his mouth slightly open, eyes wide, and face almost as red as you had assumed yours was.
“I...I-I—” Your throat closed off and you had somehow lost the ability to speak, tears slowly filling your eyes as you continued to stare up at England. “I’m sorry...”
The expression on England’s face changed as soon as he saw how terribly upset you had gotten, and he forced his mouth to close. Another bolt of lightning lit up the room and a rather loud crash of thunder followed, but you didn’t move to bury your face in his shirt in fear. You were still sitting there motionless, looking up at him in pain and regret. He could instantly tell that you were seconds away from breaking down in tears, so he did what he thought would comfort you best despite the awkwardness of the situation.
England reached out and wrapped his arms tightly around you, resting his chin on your shoulder and holding you in a way that allowed almost your entire upper half to press against his. “D-Don’t cry, _____,” he murmured. “You don’t have to be sorry...”
You were surprised at this sudden action, your entire body stiffening, but you never got the chance to reply before England pulled you away from him and leaned forward to press his lips against yours once more. This time, you were the one to become surprised, but it didn’t take long for your brain to regain its normal functions and for you to lean into the kiss, closing your eyes contentedly as you wrapped your arms around England’s neck.
Finally, after some time the both of you pulled away, and you were left looking up at England with eyes that were still slightly filled with tears. He slowly lifted his hand and gently wiped them away from your eyes as well as those that had stained your face, his comforting touch making you relax. You let out a tiny sigh and leaned against his shoulder, England’s hand lifting to softly stroke your hair. You closed your eyes and listened to the pounding of the rain and the rumbling of the thunder, and though the storm was still hitting with a force just as great as it had when you first woke up, you were no longer afraid of it.
“Hey...Arthur?” you asked softly, slightly tilting your head up to look at him.
You were silent for a few moments, debating on what you were supposed to say, until you smiled and replied quietly. “Thank you...for helping me get over my fear. I guess all I needed was just to have someone to comfort me and tell me that there was nothing to be afraid of. I'm so happy that it was you...”
England looked down at you and he couldn't have helped the smile that gradually appeared on his face. He wrapped his arms around your shoulders and brought you even closer to him, with you now sitting in his lap once again. “You have nothing to thank me for,” he murmured softly. “It’s my responsibility to comfort you when you’re distressed, and I...don’t mind it at all.”
Your smile widened and a tiny blush came to your face. “Arthur...I-I love you,” you said quietly. “I...I have for a really long time, but...I never really knew how to say it to you...”
“I love you too, _____,” England replied and pressed you even closer to him. “To be honest I’ve...kind of wanted to say it for quite a while as well...”
You removed your head from his shoulder and looked up at him with a bit of surprise. “Wait, so you're fine with all of this? You’re fine with us being more than friends and everything?”
England chuckled. “Why would I not be fine? If I wasn't, I would have simply rejected your love.”
“Oh...” You looked down at your hands momentarily before you lifted your gaze back up to meet his and smiled, leaning forward to briefly kiss him again.
Some time passed and the both of you were still sitting there, though you were warmly embracing England and had your chin rested on his shoulder while he gently massaged your back. It took one look at the time displayed on his digital clock for you to pull away and look up at him.
“Hey, I have another request.”
“Hmm?” England looked down at you expectantly.
“Can I...sleep with you?” you asked, a slightly hesitant smile making its way to your face as you played with your fingers.
England was momentarily surprised by your request, though it didn’t take long for it to go away. “Of course,” he replied.
And so the both of you slept together with the few hours that was remaining of the night, your arms wrapped warmly around each other. And if this fear of thunderstorms was the reason that you were able to confess to the person you cherished the most, you were glad for it.