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23 August 2010 @ 08:14 pm
[Fanfic] Accented Spanish and Sugar (2/2)  
Title: Accented Spanish and Sugar
Character(s) or Pairing(s): Cuba/England, America, Spain
Rating: 18
Warnings: Sex and swearing
Summary: When they first met, England lied to him, and as he grew older, England invaded him, fought with him, stood up for him and slowly fell in love with him
Notes: De-anoned from the kink meme. This was for the rarepairs challenge request which asked anons to take a pairing never before written on the kink meme and make it work and write smut for it. Cue a lot of historical research, pirate!England, empire!England, conquistador!Spain and lots and lots of Cuba.



15 July 2009, El Malecón


The day after the ballet company’s first performance, England was unwillingly roused after only a few hours of sleep. Glancing at the clock through sleep-heavy eyes, he registered the time as not quite 6am and reached out to smack Cuba, who was currently trying to coax him out of bed.

“Do you even know what time it is?” England groaned, wishing he had the energy to shout and show his disapproval properly. As it was, he wasn’t awake enough to grasp Cuba’s Caribbean approach to Spanish, and so the only words he caught of the other nation’s answer were ‘early’ and ‘sunrise’. “I don’t give a shit about the sunrise,” he slurred, trying to bat Cuba away and curl up on the mattress again. Cuba sighed.

Then suddenly England found himself hoisted into two strong arms, which lifted him off the bed and set him upright on his feet on the floor. Cuba grinned at him in the dark. England glared muzzily in response.

“I hate morning people,” he muttered, but resigned himself to an early start.

And so it was that barely forty minutes later, England found himself taking a walk with Cuba along the long stretch of the Malecón – a street along the coastline where a high wall kept the sea at bay on one side and a line of various buildings marked the edge of the city on the other.

As it was still ridiculously early (a fact that England made a point of complaining about every few minutes), there weren’t any tourists cluttering up the walkway yet. It would have been almost silent if not for the waves breaking loudly against the wall down below, but that in itself was a rhythmic, peaceful sound that ebbed and flowed with the pattern of the waves. The only light came from the thin strip of daylight starting to edge its way over the horizon to the west, and from the stars that still faintly shone at their backs on the other side of the sky.

As they walked, talking as quietly as they could while still being loud enough to be heard over the sound of the sea, England felt almost as though he were still dreaming. He’d walked along this road before, of course, when he’d visited the city in the past, but he had never witnessed it so empty and silent, and it gave the dawn a surreal feeling of something that was at the same time both familiar and strange.

Strangest of all was England’s urge to reach out and intertwine his fingers with the darker-skinned man walking by his side.

Stealing a surreptitious glance at Cuba, England noticed the way that the weak, pink-tinted sunlight framed the other nation’s face, giving his skin a healthy glow and making his eyes glitter as they caught the light and deepen compellingly as they walked through patches of shadow. He noticed how long Cuba’s eyelashes were, and how a dimple formed on his cheek when he smiled. Cuba had a beautiful smile – it was crooked, curving up on the right as if the muscles in his left cheek were too lazy to help out, but the asymmetry was somehow just so Cuba and it showed his happiness so honestly and openly that no matter how many times Cuba turned that lopsided smile on him, it still had the power to make something in England’s chest flutter at the sight.

It fluttered now as Cuba turned to smile at him, and England found himself smiling back, even though he had no idea what Cuba had said. He was still too tired to pay much attention, and the sound of the waves was lulling him into a state where he was barely awake, despite the cool sea breeze that was having absolutely no affect on his alertness, or lack thereof.

Cuba stopped walking as they passed by a palm tree, and England took another step before his tired brain caught up and told his legs to stop. He turned around to face Cuba in confusion and was surprised when he felt the gentle touch of Cuba’s hand cupping his face, his thumb stroking softly along England’s cheekbone. England leant into the touch, wishing that he could just press himself against Cuba’s firm body, feel those warm arms encircle him and sleep.

Cuba murmured something to him, and, again, his words passed England by.

“You’re going to have to speak more slowly,” he muttered tiredly into Cuba’s palm. “It’s too early in the morning for me to understand your goddamn seseo and words where you don’t pronounce half the letters and your whole general dialect.” Cuba laughed at him, leaning forwards to kiss him on the cheek.

“You’re so cute when you’re barely awake,” he said, clearly enough now that England could make out his words. “I’d take pity on you and use English, but-” he nuzzled along England’s jaw and pressed several soft kisses to his neck, “-I just love to hear you speak Spanish.” England let his eyes flutter closed and sighed deeply, stepping closer to Cuba so that he could wrap his arms around him and rest his cheek on Cuba’s shoulder, feeling Cuba’s arms reach up to hold him close.

“Do you really like it?” he asked, a little surprised. “I’d always thought you must hate the way I speak your language since I speak it like Spain does.” Cuba shrugged and carded his fingers gently and soothingly through England’s hair. England melted into him.

“I don’t mind Spain so much these days,” Cuba said. “But I always liked the way you spoke. You don’t sound that much like him anyway.” England suddenly jerked his head up, startling Cuba, who hadn’t expected the sudden movement.

“Oh God, is my accent really that strong?” England asked, a look of abject horror on his face. Cuba blinked, and then laughed loudly, and England suddenly realised their position and the fact that they were technically in public, even if there was no one around. He tried to subtly slip out of Cuba’s arms, but they only tightened their hold on him, not allowing him to escape.

“You sound English,” Cuba admitted, “but only subtly. Besides,” he added somewhat smugly, “when you’ve been with me for a while, you start to pick up my accent a little.” England’s expression couldn’t have been too reassured, because Cuba grinned and kissed him on the lips. England squirmed a little, glancing around, paranoid that even though the street was empty, there could be early-risers lurking behind the dark window panes, watching them through the glass.

“I like it though,” Cuba carried on abruptly. “The way you speak Spanish is...soft. It’s nice. And it’s cute when you don’t quite manage to roll your Rs.” England hit him, scowling at the teasing, but his reaction only seemed to amuse Cuba more. Smiling fondly, Cuba leant in for another kiss, but England nervously pulled away.

“Is it really OK to do that here?” he asked quietly, eyes flicking to check for passers-by, even though he knew that the street was empty.

“Of course it is,” Cuba murmured back. “If anyone comes, just try to look like a girl.” England swatted at him.

“Why am I the girl?” he demanded. “Why can’t you be the woman here?” Cuba scoffed, but couldn’t wipe the grin from his face as he did so.

“Because I’m far too obviously manly,” he replied, and now it was England’s turn to laugh at the overly-arrogant tone that Cuba had affected.

“Of course,” he said, rolling his eyes, and this time it was him who closed the gap between their lips, letting their mouths explore each other for a moment before the paranoia grew too much and he ducked away again, blushing lightly at the thought of being caught in the act by a random stranger.

However, as they continued their walk along the Malecón, which was bathed in stronger sunlight now, the night being quickly washed out of the sky, he reached out and took Cuba’s hand in his own, wondering vaguely why he felt like part of a couple, and then wondering why the thought that he might be felt so natural and right.

“By the way,” he added suddenly, “Why exactly did you feel the need to drag me out here at such an ungodly hour of the morning?” He glanced at Cuba suspiciously, who looked as though he’d momentarily forgotten that they hadn’t been outside together, clasping each others’ hands, forever.

“Oh, that,” he said, and that crooked smile tugged cheekily at the corner of his mouth. “Well it’s hard work hanging out with you, you know, and you’re so much easier to deal with when you’re still half asleep and down a few IQ points...or twenty.” He laughed and wisely ran before England managed to process his words and hit him.

“Hey! Get back here, Cuba! What was that supposed to mean?!”

***

13 August 1762, Havana


England turned from the window as the boy entered the room. The first thing he noticed, with nothing more than a faint twinge of guilt, was that Cuba’s skin was bruised and his face was cut. England might have thought that he was too young to have been involved in the fighting, but that would have been hypocritical of him, considering his own blood-drenched childhood.

“Do you need any medical attention?” he asked, allowing the faintest hint of concern into his voice. Cuba glared at him as if he wanted him to drop dead. He probably did, England considered vaguely.

When it became clear that Cuba wasn’t going to reply, England sighed and shifted his gaze to look out of the window again. He looked out over the city that had finally surrendered to him. It had taken the British forces a good two months to reach this point, but it had been worth it. Keeping an eye on Cuba’s reflection in the glass, England smirked to himself as he thought of the expression Spain’s face would adopt when he learnt that his most important trading port belonged to the British Empire now. Oh, if only he could tell Spain personally...

“What do you think you’re smiling at?” The growl from behind him made England turn, surprised, to see Cuba practically snarling in rage, drawing himself to his full height. He was impressively tall for a fifteen-year-old, England thought as he briefly mourned his own short stature.

“I’m wondering how your master will take the news that his colony belongs to me now,” he said, just to see how Cuba would react to being treated like a piece of property, just because he could. He wasn’t all that surprised when Cuba tried to attack him, letting forth an incoherent scream of rage as he charged at England, pulling back a fist to hit him with. He gasped when England dodged him easily and tripped him, sending him sprawling to the ground. England tutted, unimpressed.

“You’ll have to do better than that, kid,” he said, and suddenly felt a lot older than his own twenty years. Cuba looked up at him with hatred burning in his eyes, but he didn’t try to attack England again as he climbed to his feet. England almost felt proud of him for not trying the same stupid tactic twice. He liked fast learners.

“Do you think this is some kind of game?” Cuba hissed, and England frowned slightly as he noticed that the cut on Cuba’s face had opened and blood was tricking down his cheek. “Who are you to invade my country, kill my people and act like it’s just another normal day for you? You’re so fucking arrogant! Don’t you dare think I surrendered because I’m scared of you – I just don’t want any more of my people to die for nothing.” He was trembling in anger and looked as though he were fighting back tears. “I didn’t think you were like Spain, England, but you’re just like him!” England winced a little at that, but didn’t let it anger him as he pulled a handkerchief from his breast pocket, shed his gloves – they were new and he didn’t want to get them dirty – and approached the boy.

“So angry,” he murmured, and Cuba tensed as he took the younger nation’s chin in his hand, gently wiping the blood off his face. Cuba stared at him with a mixture of confusion and suspicion, refusing to allow his muscles to relax. He almost reminded England of himself when he was younger. But not as broken, a small voice whispered in the back of his mind.

“Did you expect me not to be angry?” Cuba asked, voice hard and disbelieving. England examined the dark stain on his handkerchief and wondered if he’d have to make a new one. Blood was so hard to wash out when it stained.

“Oh no, I completely understand the way you feel,” England replied, threading his hand through Cuba’s hair absentmindedly, knowing that it wouldn’t do a speck of good to try and soothe the child, but trying anyway.

“Of course you don’t,” Cuba immediately spat, clenching his hands into fists by his sides. “You’re an empire. I know your type! You think you’re better than the rest of us because you have all the power, but you’re wrong. One day you’ll fall – all of you – and then you’ll understand what it is to not own the world!” England yanked sharply at the boy’s hair, unintentionally, as if some sort of reflex had been triggered, and Cuba gasped hoarsely at the pain. He started to reach up a hand to remove England’s fingers from their iron grip in his dark locks, but then he must have seen something deep in England’s eyes, because he stopped immediately, and for the first time that England could remember, he looked frightened.

“You’re wrong, sweetheart,” England murmured, forcibly prying his grip open and breathing deeply to relax the muscles in his hand so that he could move it down to stroke along Cuba’s cheek. Whether the boy shivered at his touch or at his tone, he wasn’t sure. “On all counts, I’m afraid.” He suddenly pulled Cuba close, holding him against his body in what could have been a loving embrace. “Would you like to know a secret?” he whispered into Cuba’s ear. A series of short, shallow breaths against his shoulder was all the answer he received. “I used to be like you,” England continued in a dreamy voice, not needing verbal confirmation that Cuba was listening. He probably wouldn’t have heard it if it had been given. “I used to be more of a victim than you. I think you’re the one who doesn’t truly understand what it is to live in the gutter of the world.” He paused to place a tiny kiss to Cuba’s forehead. He could never help but try to comfort frightened children.

“Did Spain ever lock you in the darkness?” he breathed, and it was like the supply of emotion had been cut off from his voice because his words were hollow, dead things. “Did he ever hack you into little pieces just to teach you what his word for ‘death’ was?” Cuba gave a muffled sob against his shoulder, and England shushed him, rubbing his back gently through his shirt. “Everyone in this world is either weak or strong,” he said, louder suddenly, using his best teacher voice, the one he used when America was falling asleep in his lessons. Somehow, though, it sounded off to his ears, as if the soul had been sucked out of it. “The world is split into the invaders and the invaded. You have to understand, Cuba, that I can’t go back to where I was before. I have to keep on clawing my way up, past France, past Spain, right all the way up until I own the world. It’s the only way I can ever guarantee my peoples’ safety.” Cuba’s hands curled around the fabric of his shirt, and England wondered faintly if he was trying to comfort him or trying to draw out comfort for himself. “Do you understand?” he asked softly.

Cuba finally, hesitantly, pulled his face out of England’s chest, and when he looked up at him, his cheeks were wet with tears. It almost broke England’s heart when he reached a trembling hand to card his shaking fingers as best he could through England’s hair. He wasn’t angry anymore, but somehow he seemed so much more afraid than he had been when England’s men were raining destruction down upon his city.

“It’s all right,” Cuba whispered, and England realised with a shock that no one had ever told him that before.

“You don’t need to look so scared,” he said, gently removing Cuba’s hand, because Cuba was the frightened child who needed comforting, not him. “I’m not going to hurt you. Not anymore.” He took a step back and moved into another moment; a moment where he was calm and composed and faintly exasperated at the look the younger boy was giving him. What, did he think that England needed pity? “I’m going to keep you in my possession until I can arrange a treaty with Spain,” he said, all business now, but Cuba’s expression didn’t change. England ignored it. “If he gives me what I really want, I’ll give you back to him. But until then, I expect you to be a good boy and not cause trouble for me, understand?” Cuba nodded slowly, silently, and England pulled his gloves back on before he forgot them and left them in the room.

As he ushered the boy out and handed him over to the waiting guards, ordering them to take him to a doctor for a physical examination, just in case, he thought again of Spain’s furious face on finding out that Havana was no longer his. The image brought a smile to his face as he strolled along the corridor, as did the memory of Cuba, fierce and young and beautiful, losing every battle but never being tamed.

He wondered if one day it would be Cuba who would be defeating Spain.

***

15 July 2009, Hotel Inglaterra


It was late afternoon, and England had been sitting in his hotel room staring at his mobile phone for fifteen minutes straight now, biting his lip, hand hovering over the call button. The screen had turned off a long time ago, but England knew that once he pressed the button, America’s name would appear on the screen, selected in his contact list. He wondered if it said something about him as a person that he had never hesitated to lead his soldiers into battle, but it was taking him a considerable amount of time to get up the nerve to make one single phone call.

Earlier, after the sun had risen above the horizon, Cuba had walked England back to the hotel, accompanying him all the way to his hotel room before leaving to go to work. England had promptly gone back to bed, and it was only after he had woken up at a reasonable hour that he had started to suspect that the real reason why Cuba had woken him so early was so that they could spend some time together before he buried himself in paperwork. He had also given England a kiss goodbye, and the easy familiarity of the gesture played on England’s mind, making him wonder not for the first time about the nature of their relationship.

He had spent the rest of the day hanging around with a group from the ballet company as they explored the city. None of them knew who he was, of course, but somehow the rumour had got round that he was a friend of the director of the company, which England played up to because it was so much easier than being bombarded with questions about the past, many of which he knew he wouldn’t be able to answer. Honestly, people seemed to think that just because he’d been around for two thousand years he’d known everyone and been everywhere, and he swore that if one more person asked him what it was like to be immortal, he would show that unfortunate soul exactly what it wasn’t like...

But all that had been avoided, and so now here he was, practically alone in the hotel as the company had already left for the Gran Teatro to prepare for tonight’s performance. England stared at the phone in his hand and sighed. He wasn’t even sure why he was putting himself through this. He didn’t need to speak to America. He just, well.

He just couldn’t get the look in Cuba’s eyes after their quick kiss goodbye out of his head.

England pressed the call button and prayed that he wasn’t inadvertently starting the world’s first nuclear war.

“Hey, England!” America said as he answered the phone, but his chirpy mood did little to ease the butterflies in England’s stomach. “’Sup?”

“Hi,” England replied, and hoped he didn’t sound too nervous. “Um, you’re not busy are you?”

“Of course not,” America said. “I’m never too busy to talk to you!” It would have been sweet if England hadn’t known that America was probably just using him as an excuse to procrastinate on whatever he should be doing right now.

“OK. Well, I sort of, um...” England tried to pull himself together enough to stutter out a sentence. “I sort of wanted to ask you a question.”

“Shoot,” America said, and if he suspected what England was going to ask, his tone didn’t give anything away.

“Hypothetically speaking,” England started slowly, “what would you do if I, uh, dated a Communist?” There was a beat of silence and England felt himself start to sweat.

“If you did that,” America finally replied, and his cheerful tone was still intact, even if it had taken on a more dangerous edge, “then, hypothetically speaking, I would nuke said Communist so fucking hard that his whole goddamn island would sink to the bottom of the ocean.” England heard the smile at the end of that sentence. It was a smile with sharp edges.

“I see,” he replied, and paused, mind working quickly to try and save the situation. It turned out that he didn’t have time to remedy it, however, as America continued speaking.

“Now I’d like to ask you a question, England,” he said, and England almost wished that he would sound angry, because his resolutely cheerful attitude was positively terrifying.

“Go ahead,” he invited, dreading America’s next words and wondering if he had doomed the whole world.

“What are you doing in Cuba, England?” And ah, there it was: the sharp, almost threatening tone that both relieved England and gave him the mental image of America standing with his phone pressed to his ear with one hand and the index finger of his other hovering over a big, red and thoroughly ominous button.

“You already know what I’m doing here.” Was it really America who was making England squirm like this? What was the world coming to? “The Royal Ballet Company-“

“Yes, I know your excuse, but what are you really doing there?” England closed his eyes and tried to think happy thoughts.

“I wanted to see him,” he said quietly, staring unseeingly out of the window. There was a short pause and then a rush of static over the phone as America sighed.

“Are the two of you already in a relationship?” he asked, and it sounded slightly less like an interrogation now, but only slightly.

“No,” England said, lying down on the bed, legs still dangling off the edge from where he’d been sitting. “I haven’t even discussed this with him. I just...” America waited for him to continue. “He makes me happy, America,” England finally murmured.

“Don’t say that,” America groaned. “You know I can’t argue with that!” He seemed to be struggling with himself for a minute, but then he sighed again as he came to some sort of conclusion. “OK, look, I’m prepared to compromise. How about this? I promise not to blow him up if the two of you hook up, but only on the condition that he treats you right. Oh, and that the two of you use protection, because I don’t want you catching something gross like Communism.” England spluttered, face heating up.

“Communism isn’t an STD, America!” he managed to say.

“How do you know?” America shot back. He paused as if suddenly realising something. “Wait, you’re not already sleeping with him, are you?”

“Well...”

“You are, aren’t you?! And you didn’t tell me? How long has this been going on for?” England held the phone a little way away from his ear to distance himself from the outrage coming out of the device.

“You know, I think I’ve kept you from your work for long enough, America,” he said hastily, deciding that it was probably wise to end the conversation before America changed his mind about nuking Cuba into the seabed. “I’ll talk to you soon. Have fun! And remember that weapons of mass destruction are never the answer!” He hung up on America’s incoherent rage and sighed.

All in all, that had gone a lot better than he’d thought it would.

***

23 October 1588, Havana


England grunted with pain as his face hit the ground. Gritting his teeth, he managed with some difficulty to bring himself up onto his knees, despite the fact that his hands were tied together behind his back, the rope chafing his wrists as he moved. Spain loomed over him, looking almost maniacally victorious at having captured him. England tried to struggle to his feet in an attempt to lessen the unequal distribution of power in the scene, but Spain casually pressed a foot down on his shoulder, hard, keeping England on his knees in a parody of servitude.

“Well, well,” Spain said, removing his foot. England didn’t bother trying to stand again, choosing instead to glare up at the other nation as venomously as he could. “It seems that it really is impossible to civilise barbarians after all. Although I have to admit that I never thought you’d stoop as low as piracy. Are you really that desperate, England?” England wished he could wipe the condescending sneer off Spain’s face. Preferably by means of unnecessary violence.

“Anything to piss you off,” he replied in Portuguese, and felt a cheap thrill when Spain’s eyes narrowed at the sound of his brother’s language.

“Clearly,” Spain drawled, sticking with his native tongue and refusing to take the bait, merely making the conversation bilingual instead of giving England any satisfaction at knowing he was winding him up. “I suppose I should expect nothing more from such an impudent child.” England bristled slightly at that. He was eighteen, finally, after what seemed like an endless childhood, and he’d be damned if the rest of the world didn’t acknowledge the fact that he was finally big enough – strong enough – to make a name for himself.

“An impudent child who sunk your ‘invincible’ armada,” he said in a dangerously low voice. He anticipated the blow that he received in response, but couldn’t dodge, bound and on his knees as he was, and so he couldn’t prevent the wind from being knocked out of him as Spain’s boot ploughed into his stomach. Spain watched indifferently as he choked and fought to regain his breath.

“I think you’re forgetting who you’re dealing with, boy,” he said coldly. “And you seem to have forgotten your place. Perhaps you’re no longer nothing but an island savage, but you have a very long way to go before you can even dream of being my equal. In fact,” he continued, and now a smirk pulled at his lips, “your only value lies in how very attached to you your queen seems to be. I wonder what she’ll be willing to trade in exchange for your safe return.” England looked at him, wide-eyed, only just realising how seriously his carelessness could affect his country. Spain was right; he had been overconfident in attacking merchant ships so close to Havana. But there were so many of them here and they had seemed like easy targets...

As Spain stalked away, he paused in the doorway and shot one last look at England, regarding him in same way that he might watch a particularly messy execution. “Oh, and England, here’s some advice: if you really must engage in something as pathetic as piracy, at least make sure you’re good at it first.” Then he swept out of the room, locking the door behind him with an ominous-sounding click.

As soon as he was left alone, England’s mind switched track from trying to decide which curse he should place on Spain to make him suffer most to trying to figure out how he was going to escape. Struggling to his feet, he looked around the room. It was clearly unused, with the only furniture being an old, empty desk and a chair. The rest of the room was dismal and dull with the only light being that which filtered in through the two large windows, cast by the moon and the lanterns on the street below. England bit his lip. He needed something sharp to cut through the ropes restraining his hands, but there didn’t seem to be anything of that description around.

Just as England was searching through the drawers of the desk – all empty – he heard a quiet noise from behind him and whirled around. A second door in the room that he had checked and determined to be locked now appeared to have been unlocked as it was slowly opening. England tensed, waiting to see who would appear, only to be surprised when a child stepped calmly into the room, eyeing him curiously.

The child was a stranger to England. He had dark hair that fell to reach his shoulders, but there was no question of his gender; there was a certain masculinity to the set of his features, even at this young age (which England estimated to be around twelve), and in any case he was wearing trousers and England didn’t think that the Spanish Catholics would take too kindly to a girl dressing in such a way. The thing that struck England most, however, was the familiar prickle in the back of his mind telling him that this was no ordinary boy. This child was one of his kind. He was a nation.

England sized up the child and had to admit that he was impressed that not a hint of fear showed in those wide brown eyes, despite the fact that England knew he must look quite intimidating. His fight against the Spanish sailors on the merchant ship, and then against Spain and his men when they had happened to sail past and realised that one of their ships was under attack, had left him with ripped clothes, dotted with cuts and bruises, and with his hair tousled into a complete state. But even the dried blood staining his skin and clothing didn’t seem to faze the other boy.

“You’re like me,” the child finally said. He used Spain’s mother tongue, which didn’t surprise England in the slightest, but there was something different in the way he spoke; something foreign and exotic.

“I am,” England replied. “My name is England. And you’re Cuba, aren’t you?” The boy nodded. He didn’t show any sort of recognition at hearing England’s name, which gave England hope that if he could get this boy to trust him, he might have just found his ticket out of this place.

“They told me you were a pirate,” Cuba said accusingly, although he didn’t seem too concerned about whether England really was one. He had probably heard too many romanticised accounts of piracy to truly understand the danger he would be in if he met one, England considered. Well, that was fine. England had always been a good story-teller...

“They told you the truth,” he said, and Cuba’s eyes widened. He looked awed at meeting a real-life pirate, and perhaps a little bit impressed.

“So are you really rich then?” he asked excitedly. “Do you have lots of hidden treasure?” He faltered as England adopted a sombre expression and shook his head sadly.

“All the treasure I’ve ever gathered has gone straight to my queen,” he replied, and this was where the story began. “She’s a kind ruler, but her people are very poor, so she sends out pirates like me to steal gold, silk and spices from merchant ships bound for richer countries like Spain. You see, Spain’s people are all so rich that they live in huge castles and have slaves to do all their work for them, so they never have to want anything. They don’t need any more money, but they’ve grown so greedy that they can never be satisfied.” He paused to evaluate Cuba’s expression. The young boy was wide-eyed and enthralled, swallowing every single lie that rolled smoothly off England’s tongue. Good.

“But what about your people?” Cuba asked. “Can’t you ask Spain to give you some money if he doesn’t need all of his?” His naivety was positively adorable, England thought, but he didn’t break character, fitting a pained expression over his features.

“Oh, Spain won’t give any money to me,” he said bitterly. “He never cared that my people were starving to death because they couldn’t afford to buy food. Not even when his king was married to my last queen. She thought he loved her and that he would help her, but instead he left to conquer other lands and take their wealth for himself. He never gave her a single thing, and her people suffered because of it.” He fell silent for a moment for dramatic effect. “Eventually she died of a broken heart, leaving the kingdom to her younger sister – my current queen.”

“That’s horrible!” Cuba exclaimed. “Why would he marry her if he didn’t love her?”

“Because he wanted to control my country,” England replied, and the hatred in his voice was genuine now. After all, the best stories were based on true events. “After the new queen ascended to the throne, he wanted to marry her too in order to stay King of England, but she was too smart for him and didn’t fall into the same trap as her sister. Since then, I’ve supported the other countries under Spain’s rule who are also suffering and want to rebel, and so Spain has become my enemy. He even tried to invade my country a few months ago.” Cuba gasped, clinging onto the door handle with one hand and raising the other to cover his mouth.

“What happened?” he urged, and England fought to keep the victorious smile off his face.

“I live on an island, just like you,” he continued, “although I’m not alone – I share it with two of my brothers. Spain sent an armada of a thousand ships to overthrow my ruler and make me his again. I didn’t have that many sailors and my people were weak from hunger, but it isn’t the English way to surrender, so we set sail and fought.” The smirk finally found its way onto England’s lips, and this time he didn’t try to suppress it. “We sank every single Spanish ship in the fleet. It was truly the greatest naval battle ever fought!” England almost wished that Spain was here to see the way his colony drank up this web of exaggerations and blatant lies without a single iota of doubt.

“Wow,” Cuba breathed. “You’re so cool, England! Spain never told me about that!” England toned his smirk down into a small, modest smile.

“Thank you,” he said graciously. “I’m glad you think so. I’m sure Spain didn’t tell you because he didn’t want you to know that he lost a battle against a weaker and poorer country than himself. But, unfortunately, even though we won the battle, my people were still so poor that I had to go out and steal treasure from Spain’s ships. And now that he’s captured me, they’re going to suffer even more.” Cuba finally moved away from the doorway and stepped further into the spider’s web that England had intricately spun for him.

“Why will they suffer?” he asked, a tremor in his voice. England almost felt guilty for tricking him like this; he was only a child after all. But, then again, it was necessary that he be young. No one hungered for a happy ending in quite the same way as a child who was told only half of a fairytale.

“Because Spain is going to use me to bargain with my queen,” he replied. “He’s going to force her to marry his king by threatening to hurt me. I’m not scared,” he added as Cuba’s eyes widened in horror, “but I know that if I don’t escape from Spain and find a way back to my country, then my people will become victims of Spain’s greed and cruelty again.” Cuba suddenly grabbed him by the arm and began tugging him urgently towards the door.

“I can get you out of here!” he said. “I know how to get past the guards and all the way down to the sea. You can sneak onto one of the ships and escape!” England somehow managed to continue playing the martyr, adopting an expression of surprised gratitude.

“You would really do that for me?” he asked, and Cuba nodded so much that his hair flew into his face. “Thank you so much,” England said as Cuba pushed it back behind his ears. “I’ll make sure to repay you for your kindness one day.”

“You don’t have to do that,” Cuba hastily insisted, and he started to pull at the rope binding England’s wrists, picking the knots free and letting the rope drop to the floor before pulling at England again, leading the way out through the unguarded door. In the next room he paused, turning his liquid brown eyes on England with an innocence that only children can possess. “If you really want to say thank you,” he said quietly, “then promise me that you’ll live happily ever after.” England smiled at him fondly, feeling genuine warmth at Cuba’s words.

“I promise,” he said, and impulsively bent down to kiss Cuba on the forehead. “And one day,” he whispered, smiling at the beautiful blushing boy, “I’ll come back, and I’ll bring you a happy ending too.” Shyly, hesitantly, Cuba rose onto his tip-toes and returned the kiss, pressing his lips softly to England’s cheek.

“I’ll look forward to it,” he said softly. “To the day when we can live our happily ever after together.”

***

15 July 2009, Hotel Inglaterra


After England had hung up the phone, he had barely had time to squeeze in a quick shower before there was a knock at the door. Clad only in a loose t-shirt and a pair of boxers, there was a brief panic as he located some trousers, and then he rushed to open the door only to find Cuba leaning against the wall outside. He had clearly gone home from the office before coming here as he was dressed in casual clothes. Nice casual clothes, England added mentally as his eyes slid over the form-fitting jeans and the dark red shirt, the top few buttons of which were undone.

“You look good,” he said, and was rewarded with a smile.

“And you look wet,” Cuba remarked, reaching out to run a hand through England’s still damp hair as he entered the room. England shut the door behind him. “Couldn’t you have waited until I got here before you took a shower? I could have joined you.” The way his eyes slid along the contours of England’s body before lazily tracing a path up to meet his gaze made England suppress a shiver, unconsciously biting his lip.

“We can always take another shower later,” he said, feeling heat start to pool in his stomach at the thought of them standing together under the water, bodies pressed so close that he could feel everything...

The fantasy was driven away by Cuba’s real touch as he lightly brushed a finger down England’s cheek, stepping ever so slightly closer.

“But you’re already so clean,” he murmured. “Wouldn’t that be a waste of water?” His thumb stroked along England’s bottom lip, and England flicked out his tongue to meet it, eyes never leaving Cuba’s magnetic gaze.

“Not if you make a mess of me first,” he breathed, and then abruptly pushed Cuba back against the wall. Cuba pulled England after him, and their combined momentum crushed their bodies together, Cuba wrapping his arms tightly around England to hold him there as the shorter nation pulled Cuba’s head down, meshing their lips into a clumsy kiss that soon smoothed out as silken lips shaped to fit each others’ mouths and hungrily devoured each other.

England made short work of the buttons on Cuba’s shirt before practically ripping it off his body, flinging it to one side and then moulding his hands to Cuba’s torso, trying to touch all of the bare skin on display. The feel of well-toned muscles underneath Cuba’s tanned flesh was so breathtakingly masculine and perfect that England found himself already half hard. He ground into Cuba’s hip, and the taller nation moaned and reached down to squeeze England’s buttocks, encouraging him to rut against Cuba as their kiss became sloppy and distracted – more teeth than tongue now – and England felt Cuba’s own erection brush against his thigh.

Then England managed to find a shred of self-control and clung onto it for long enough to still his hips and tug his bottom lip free from Cuba’s teeth. He pressed open-mouthed kisses down Cuba’s neck and bit him at the juncture between neck and shoulder just to hear him gasp. He reached for Cuba’s belt to find the other nation’s hands already there, and England laughed breathily against Cuba’s shoulder.

“Somebody’s eager,” he said, and Cuba leant forwards to run a hot tongue over the shell of his ear. There was the sound of a zip being pulled down.

“I’m just being helpful,” Cuba replied, grinning as he guided England’s hand to wrap around his cock. England kissed the smile off his face and started to move his hand up and down Cuba’s length, smoothly and teasingly slowly, feeling his own breath catch at the sounds Cuba made into his mouth.

England broke the kiss so that he could watch Cuba’s flushed cheeks and half-lidded eyes. He stroked a thumb over the head of Cuba’s cock and felt him shudder, his full lips parting slightly as he gasped sharply.

“God, you’re beautiful,” England said breathlessly, almost without meaning to. He slowed the movements of his hand even more, and Cuba thrust his hips forwards desperately.

“And you,” he panted, “are a fucking tease who’s wearing far too many clothes.” He reached for England’s trousers, and England sighed in relief as his own erection was finally freed from its constraints. Cuba put a hand on the small of his back, pulling him closer. Both nations groaned as their cocks rubbed against each other, and then Cuba had his hand around both of them, stroking them to a faster rhythm. England’s own hand stilled for a beat, caught up in the pleasure as he involuntarily twitched his hips a couple of times, and then he joined Cuba, the brush of their fingers somehow every part as intimate as being pressed against each other in such a way.

It was Cuba who stopped them before he was swept too far too early, and he pushed England’s hand away, grabbing at the bottom of England’s t-shirt and pulling it unceremoniously over the shorter nation’s head. He then kicked off his shoes and tugged his socks off as England let his own trousers and underwear fall to the floor, stepping out of them as Cuba hurried to do the same. England peppered his jaw with kisses as he pulled him towards the bed, before pushing at his shoulder gently, eyes smouldering with lust.

“Lie down,” he said lowly, and Cuba obeyed without a second thought. England climbed on top of him, straddling his hips, and Cuba ran his hands up and down the smaller nation’s sides; over the slim waist and jutting hip bones, not pausing as England leant forwards, resting his weight on one hand and reaching the other to open a drawer in the bedside table, rooting around and locating a bottle of lubricant. As he sat back up, Cuba circled a finger around his nipple before pinching it lightly, drawing a hiss from England’s lips. He refused the bottle as England tried to give it to him, however.

“You do it,” he said, voice rough with lust, and England blinked at him, not quite understanding. “I want to watch you finger yourself,” Cuba expanded, brushing England’s nipple again, and England shivered, both at the touch and Cuba’s words.

“How lazy,” he said, a little breathlessly as Cuba’s hands thoroughly mapped out his thighs. “Making me do all the work.” Cuba smirked, and England might have rolled his eyes if he had been less turned on. Instead, he popped the cap off the bottle and coated his fingers liberally in lube. Some of it dripped onto his thigh, and Cuba moved his hand up to rub it in slick circles with his thumb. England bit back a moan.

He gave up on restraint, however, as he lowered his hand, tracing his thumb lightly over his hip and down over the curve of his buttocks. Cuba took the bottle of lube from his unresisting hand to place it on the bed as England gently angled a finger at his entrance. He gasped as he pressed it inside; the lube was cool, but in no way unpleasantly so, and Cuba’s hands slid over his hips, holding him in place. England pushed the finger all the way into himself easily before slipping it out almost all the way. He pressed in again with more force and bit his lip lightly at the strange yet familiar feeling.

“Look at me,” Cuba urged, and England obeyed, unembarrassed to let Cuba see the pleasure in his eyes as he inserted a second finger, back arching slightly as he crooked the fingers inside himself, scissoring them, moving them in and out of his body with obscene slick noises that made Cuba’s fingers tighten on his hips. A third finger made England gasp, and his eyes fluttered closed, a long, low moan drawn from his lips. Cuba’s breathing noticeably hitched at this, and suddenly one of his hands closed around England’s.

England’s eyes shot open as Cuba gripped his wrist firmly and took control, fucking England with the shorter nation’s own fingers.

“Fuck,” England gasped. “Fuck, Cuba...ah...” Cuba licked his lips and grinned up at him, continuing to thrust England’s pliant fingers in and out of his body.

“You were being too slow,” he said, and England felt his muscles flutter and contract around the intrusion, felt his own tight heat pressing all around his slim fingers. “I want you to ride me,” Cuba moaned, and he suddenly pulled England’s fingers out of his body, resulting in a small whine from England at the abrupt emptiness he felt. “Come on, baby,” Cuba urged, gripping England’s hips again. “Fuck yourself on my cock.” England shivered, breathing heavily, and reached for the bottle of lube, pouring the substance onto his hand before coating it over Cuba’s cock in quick, desperate movements. Cuba tried to shallowly thrust up into his hands, but England’s knees were resting on the bed so that his thighs pressed into Cuba’s hips, keeping him in place.

“Patience,” England murmured, opening his legs slightly wider and positioning Cuba’s cock so that the head pressed against his entrance. He gave a breathy moan as the beads of precum smeared across his skin, already slick from the lube. Then Cuba tugged at his hips with an impatient noise and England pressed down, gasping as Cuba’s full length slid smoothly and slickly into him, filling him and stretching him with a delicious burn that was far more pleasure than pain. England rocked his hips slightly, closing his eyes and leaning back, his hands resting on Cuba’s thighs. Cuba hummed approvingly beneath him as England rocked his hips again, just taking a moment to adjust and wrap his head around the dizzying heat that was pulsing in bullets through his veins.

“Does that feel good?” Cuba asked huskily. He wet his lips with his tongue. “Having me inside you?” England’s fingers twitched on his thighs.

“Yes,” he gasped honestly. “Yes, I...mm.” He gave up on coherency and just moaned as Cuba pressed his hips up slightly, trying to fill him even more as if he couldn’t be far enough inside England’s body.

After trying to catch his breath and failing, England shifted his weight, moving his hands so that he was no longer leaning on Cuba. From this angle he could look directly into Cuba’s eyes, the brown irises darkened with pleasure.

“Move,” Cuba moaned. “Move, England!”

England obeyed, lifting his hips up and loving the friction of Cuba’s cock sliding almost the whole way out of him before England moved sharply back down, gasping as he impaled himself on Cuba’s length again. It didn’t take him long to build up a rhythm, his harsh pants mingling with Cuba’s breathy encouragements and the slap of skin on skin every time he filled himself completely with Cuba’s cock.

“That’s right, baby,” Cuba groaned. “Yeah, just like that.” He smacked England firmly on the arse. “You’re so good, England, you’re so goddamned good. I could fuck you all day. I would fuck you all day if you’d let me.” England angled himself and Cuba’s length rubbed against a spot that made him gasp sharply as he buried Cuba in himself. They were both close now, he could tell, and Cuba’s voice was sweeping him further towards the edge – that gorgeous accent was more pronounced now that Cuba was losing control, and his filthy words were sending thrills down England’s spine.

“Don’t stop talking,” he gasped, and Cuba laughed breathily.

“I want to fuck you over my desk,” he carried on between his heavy pants, squeezing England’s buttocks as he kept moving, hitting that same spot as often as he could. “I want you to get on your knees in my office and suck me off. I want to cum on your face, in your mouth, in your hair.” England made a small keening sound in the back of his throat and Cuba smirked. “I want to fuck you so hard that you can’t walk for a week,” he gasped, and his nails were digging into England’s hips, scoring lines down them in the most wonderfully painful way. “England, I want you to scream my name so loud that the whole fucking country knows that you’re mine.”

England came, and he did call Cuba’s name, arching his spine and throwing his head back, his whole body tensed and taut as he rode out the high. Cuba didn’t give him time to recover, pulling at his hips and thrusting up shallowly into him. England’s muscles contracted around him as the pleasure of orgasm still filled his body, and then Cuba followed England’s lead, releasing into the other nation’s body with a hoarse cry.

England slumped forwards and rested his forehead against Cuba’s shoulder as they both felt their bodies relax, their breath slowly evening out and leaving them feeling sated and satisfied. England wanted to stay lying on Cuba, but the other nation’s softening cock was still inside him, so he lifted himself up and moved forwards, feeling it slide out of his body. He looked down at the sticky mess on his stomach and felt the first slow drips down his thighs and sighed, reaching for a box of tissues on the bedside table.

Cuba watched lazily as England wiped as much of the warm liquid off his body as he could, still straddling Cuba’s hips. Then he tossed the soiled tissues onto the table and lay down at Cuba’s side. Cuba stretched an arm out and pulled him closer so that England’s head was resting on his shoulder and his arm was curled across Cuba’s chest. It was warm and comfortable and felt so right. Something tugged a little at England’s heartstrings.

“Did you mean that?” he asked suddenly. Cuba stroked a thumb soothingly over his back.

“Mean what?” he asked. “That I wanted to fuck you on my desk? Because I assure you that I would screw you anywhere.” England would have rolled his eyes if his comfortable afterglow wasn’t being subtly eroded by a case of butterflies in his stomach.

“No,” he said hesitantly, “I mean...when you said you wanted me to be yours.” Cuba’s thumb stopped stroking small circles on his skin and England felt him tense slightly.

“I wasn’t trying to be obnoxious,” Cuba suddenly said. “I mean, I know you’re probably seeing other people too. God knows we live far enough apart, and-“

“I’d stop,” England said quietly, and Cuba fell silent. “Seeing other people, I mean. I’d stop. That is, if you wanted me to,” he added hastily, feeling the blood that been inhabiting the southern regions of his body only a few minutes ago starting to flood into his face. Cuba didn’t reply, so he kept talking, desperately trying to stave off any awkward silence that might otherwise settle in. “I’ve been thinking these past few days. About us. Not that there is an us, really, but, well. It sometimes feels like there is, and it feels good, and I even called America to make sure he wouldn’t blow you up if we, you know...”

“If we became an us?” Cuba finished softly. England shifted uncomfortably, caught between regretting ever bringing up the issue and needing to say what was on his mind. Cuba paused for a moment and England closed his eyes, fearing rejection, but opened them again in surprise as Cuba pressed a soft kiss against his forehead.

“To be honest with you,” Cuba murmured, “I’ve been thinking the same thing for a while now.” England tried to turn his head and look him in the eye, but it was impossible at this angle, so he lifted himself off the bed, resting on his elbows.

“Really?” he asked, and almost winced at how pathetically hopeful his voice sounded. Cuba smiled and carded his fingers absentmindedly through England’s hair.

“Yes,” he replied, and he sounded like he meant it. “I know that my country still has a lot of problems and that some people won’t approve of you associating yourself with the likes of me.” England was about to protest, but Cuba placed a finger on his lips. “But I’m really happy when I’m with you,” Cuba carried on softly, “and I want to make you happy too. So if you don’t realise you can do better than me then I’m absolutely fine with that.” England scowled and poked him in the side.

“Aren’t I supposed to be the self-deprecating one here?” he asked. “I said I wanted you and only you, didn’t I?” Cuba smiled up at him, looking slightly relieved.

“In a roundabout sort of way,” he agreed. England leant down and kissed him softly, feeling strangely as if his heart was aching from the sheer amount of emotion welling up in it. It was a good ache, England decided.

A little while passed like that, the seconds slipping through their kisses and gentle, sensual touches. England couldn’t remember the last time he had felt so relaxed in another person’s company. Then Cuba abruptly pulled his lips away from England’s, looking as if he had just remembered something.

“Did you really tell America not to blow me up?” he asked, looking half amused and half impressed. England flushed a little. He hadn’t been planning to tell Cuba about that phone call. He didn’t want to give the incorrect impression that America’s opinion influenced him in any way.

“Yes,” he admitted. “Don’t get me wrong – I don’t let other people tell me what I can and can’t do. I wasn’t looking for permission. But, well. America’s sort of like my best friend,” he muttered, embarrassed to use the term, even though America easily referred to him as such. “I didn’t need him to approve, but I wanted him to.” Cuba nodded in understanding.

“I get it,” he said. “You can’t help the fact that he and I hate each others’ guts. We’ll manage to share you...somehow.” England smiled a little ruefully.

“You know, he may not be planning to nuke you any time soon,” he said, “but he still doesn’t like it. The next time he sees you, he might be unable to control the urge to rip your head from your body.” Cuba grinned.

“Let him try,” he crowed. “I can take him any day!” England rolled his eyes, but couldn’t stop the smile tugging at his lips. He was surprised, however, when Cuba suddenly sat up and started looking for something on the bedside table.

“What are you doing?” England asked curiously.

“Making a pre-emptive strike,” Cuba said smugly. England stared at him blankly for a second and then lay down again, deciding that he didn’t really care what Cuba was doing. He didn’t care about a lot of things anymore, he found as he lay there, eyes closed, listening to Cuba’s “aha!” as he found what he was looking for. The only thing that really mattered was that Cuba was right here by his side, and that as long as he was there, England would be happy. It was cheesy, England knew, but nothing could ruin the blissful feeling that had settled comfortably into his bones.

“Hey, America!” came a voice from beside him. “Guess whose bed I’m in right now!” England’s eyes snapped open in horror.

“Cuba! What do you think you’re doing?! Give me back my phone!”

***


Notes

Part 9
'Seseo' is a term that refers to the Spanish accent that pronounces the letters C and Z in the same way as S, and it's most commonly used in South America and the Caribbean. In Spain, they generally use 'distinción' where they lisp the letters C and Z (and to some extent the letter D. Yes, that's right, they lisp their Ds, albeit in a different way - imagine the 'th' sound in 'the' and you've got how they pronounce it in Spain). Of course, there are different regional accents and dialects in all countries, but this rule works as a generalisation.

The Cuban dialect also tends to miss out letters, such as the letter D in some words (so 'condado' becomes 'condao') and they tend to not pronounce the letter S at the ends of words when pluralising, hence making it difficult for a non-native speaker (although these are also characteristics of some Spanish dialects). Plus the fact that they'll use words in different ways and have different words for different things than the Spanish of Spain (think the difference between British and American English)

Part 10
The British Empire first attacked Havana on the 6th June 1762, with the city surrendering on the 13th August (I think. Another source gave me the 11th August, so the one I chose might be wrong). They only held it for ten months before returning it to Spain in exchange for control over Florida. Havana was an important city to the Spanish Empire because in order to keep their merchant ships safe from pirates, all of the empire's trading ships would go through Havana and then travel in groups to Spain.

Also, England's childhood? Do I even have to say anything? It's got to have been rough fighting off invasion after invasion after Viking raid after invasion...

Part 12
First off, there was quite a bit of piracy at Havana, due to the fact that the merchant ships gathered there before sailing to Spain. Also, as a general overview of the political situation of the time, the Spanish Empire was in its golden age, whereas the British Empire barely existed yet. The Anglo-Spanish war was going on, although it's worth pointing out that neither country ever actually declared war at this time - the period 1585-1604 was rife with confrontations between Spain and England, however.

England's little story has some facts in it as well as absolutely blatant lies. The facts are that Elizabeth I was Queen of England at the time, and her elder sister Mary, who had ruled previously had indeed been married to Philip II of Spain, who considered the marriage as completely political and spent a lot of time basically avoiding Mary by never visiting the country. After her death, Philip proposed to Elizabeth, not wanting to be stripped of his title of King of England, but she turned him down.

The main problem seems to have been that Spain was Catholic (Mary had been fiercely Catholic), but Elizabeth was Protestant and as such she promised support to the Protestants in the Spanish Netherlands, making an enemy out of Spain. England also tried to help Portugal take back their independence after the Iberian Union in 1580, further pissing off the Spaniards.

England's account of the Spanish Armada is hilariously exaggerated, however. The armada was only comprised of 130 ships, whereas the English fleet sent to combat it actually outnumbered it by 70 ships. The Spanish fleet admittedly did have twice the firepower, though. It's true that the English fleet attacked the armada and forced them to retreat, but what caused the real damage to the Spanish ships was stormy weather as they were sailing around Ireland, accounting for the vast majority of their casualties. The armada set sail at the end of May in 1588, so this part is set only a few months after that incident.

When England talks about Spain's vast wealth and England's poverty, he is also grossly exaggerating, mainly because England's whole fairy story was inspired by the Robin Hood folktales (which have been around since at least the 15th century and so England could well have based his story on them). Oh, Cuba. This is why you should never trust a pirate.

Sorry for the information overload there OTL At least now you can all consider yourselves experts on Cuba-UK relations if nothing else! ^^;;


Also, the OP of the request on the kink meme drew fanart about the section on the Malecón. Go look at it because it's Cuba/England and it's awesome. It's here.

 
 
 
Sahaana~~franceismyhomie on August 23rd, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
I wonder how Canada will take it when he finds out his best friend and former father figure are now dating

Good lord, I think I may be shipping Cuba/England now. And Cuba sounds so... sexy when you described him... I used to think of him as a cheerful middle-aged man with dreadlocks and a potbelly LOL.

This story was so good - I'm surprised how well this pairing worked. XD
Hazel: World/Englandchibi_spork on August 23rd, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
PFFT, I hadn't thought about that XDD Oh dear, how will he take it? Especially if America's the one who tells him by calling him to cry about it XD

LOL well that's one way to look at him XD But since Cuba as a nation is younger than England, England's still the old man here XD He just can't escape it somehow...

Thanks! =D I was surprised too XD I didn't originally intend to write quite so much...I just got a bit carried away XDD
Nivellnivell on August 24th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
Good lord, this is damn sexy. Cuba is just one hunk of a man.
Hazel: Crack: my antidrugchibi_spork on August 24th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
Isn't he just? ;) Really, though, anyone with dreadlocks wins me over XDD And the Spanish is an added bonus~!

Thanks for the comment~ <3
MoyaKitemoyakite on December 31st, 2010 08:03 am (UTC)
I don't know why I didn't comment on this the first, second, or third time that I read it, but I'll make up for it a little bit by posting now.

This is absolutely incredible. I think it's the best Hetalia fanfic that I've read thus far, and it's gotten me to ship Cuba and England enough that I make requests for it and point them toward this fic as a reference.

Thank you so much for writing and sharing this. It's a truly enjoyable read, and I'll probably keep coming back to it in the future, too. (Also, my favorite scene? When Cuba brought England the sugar. It's headcanon for me, now. Well, all of it is, really.)

I really should go see whether you've posted anything else. Maybe I'll do so after I finally get a good night of sleep--although I have no clue when that'll be.

tl;dr - This is a fantastic fic, and I am really pleased that I had the opportunity to read it. I just wish there were more amazing fics like this out there!