After the high wore off and the celebrating wound down, England and Prussia found themselves sitting across from each other in a booth in a smoky bar in the Netherlands.
“It seems surreal, doesn’t it?” asked England.
“You know. That it’s over.”
Prussia reflected on that. “Yeah,” he said, finally. “It does.”
Neither spoke for a long moment. England’s eyes were a little unfocused with the alcohol; Prussia’s were sharp. But when England reached for his glass, he picked it up easily. Prussia missed his three times.
“Don’t drink much, do you,” said England. Prussia looked like he was about to protest. “No, no need to argue. As an accomplished drinker, I can spot a novice from a mile away. Boy, you are in for a hell of a headache.” Prussia glared, but couldn’t seem to come up with anything to say, which in itself proved that he had drunk more than he meant to.
“Was it strange,” asked England, suddenly, “to fight with him, rather than against him?”
Prussia considered. He didn’t have to ask who England was talking about. “It was—strange. Yeah, strange. He…” his expression went distant. England waited with the patience of the pleasantly inebriated. “He was so… clean.”
He couldn’t fault the statement for veracity, but he waited to see how on earth it could be connected in Prussia’s sodden mind to his question. Finally, he had to prompt him. “And…?”
“I always thought… I thought he’d be dirtier. You know. Up close.” England coughed, but didn’t comment. “I thought, like… everybody gets dirty during war, right? But he was… he was so… clean.” England waited to see if any more was forthcoming; after a moment, he had to conclude that Prussia was done.
Well. Clean. Yes, he rather supposed the man was; he’d never thought about it. Spain, Prussia, himself… even the generally elegant France, they all tended to get covered in mud and blood, clothing stained and hair matted, like the commonest of their soldiers. But Austria… even just after a battle, he always seemed immaculate. “…how on earth does he do it?”
“Dunno,” slurred Prussia, eyes still disturbingly clear. Perhaps it was the color.
Prussia startled him by speaking again. “Was it strange… to fight against him… and win?”
England bristled. He didn’t have to ask who Prussia was talking about. “Your question is both offensive and uninformed. This is hardly the first time he has suffered defeat at the hands of my—well-trained and –funded—army.”
“You mean… your well-trained and –funded navy.”
“I’ve beaten him on land.” England’s jaw was clenched.
“Yeah,” either Prussia didn’t notice England’s tone, or he didn’t care, “in 1423. You weren’t at Leipzig.”
England glared. “Salamanca.”
“You fought with the Portuguese.”
"Under British leadership.”
“Against an army lead by the General’s aide-de-camp.”
“Yeah, after you lost nearly five-thousand men, to his fifteen hundred.”
England gritted his teeth. “Vitoria.”
A pause. “I’ll give you Vitoria. Even though you were fighting Joseph, with the help of Spain and Portugal.”
“We were hardly alone this time, you know.”
“Yes,” said Prussia, eyes shining in admiration, “but we were fighting the General.”
England snorted in irritation. “Take your boner for the General to Saint Helena, and see how he’s faring now.”
Prussia shook his head. “It took the combined forces of all of Europe to defeat him.”
“Don’t dwell on it.” Prussia looked inclined to dwell on it—and with rather a different attitude that England would have liked—so he poured him another drink. Prussia downed it in one. England was almost impressed.
“Have you ever fucked him?” asked Prussia, without any warning.
England raised his eyebrows. “Well, yes.” The alcohol erased any embarrassment he might have felt.
“…was it any good?”
England’s eyes went distant. “Once or twice, it was good.” France had gently teased, and England had laughed—they’d made love slowly, until England was ready to shoot the bastard just to make him speed up, but when he’d finally come, it was like nothing that had ever happened to him. England didn’t let himself think about it much. “The rest of the time…”
“…the rest of the time?” asked Prussia. “So you like… fucked a lot.”
England shrugged. “We’ve shared the channel for a very, very long time.” When Prussia didn’t interrupt again, England continued. “The rest of the time…”
“So France isn’t as good in bed as they say.”
England frowned. “Wait, you’ve never…? Anyway, I wouldn’t know, we’ve rarely go to bed.”
“That’s not a euphemism, right? You mean you don’t go… to a bed.”
England shrugged, eyes going distant again. “Going to bed would make it premeditated. I don’t think either of us really wants to play that game.”
Prussia thought about that for a second. “You guys are fucked up.” England bowed from the waist, and took another swig. “So… if it’s awful the rest of the time, why do you keep doing it?”
“Well, it’s awful, yes, but it’s also…” he trailed off.
“Oh,” said Prussia.
“Oh?” asked England. He hadn’t been quite sure himself how that sentence was going to end.
“It’s probably… it’s really intense. Right?”
England’s thoughts were far away. “Yes,” he said, distantly. “Intense is the right word.”
“More intense than when we fuck?”
England looked at him. “Prussia, I’ve known you for barely four centuries. We don’t share a border, we’ve never fought a war, we never…” he trailed off. “It’s not comparable.” England wasn’t sure, but he thought Prussia looked a little hurt. If he was, then he was a fool.
“We’ve fought against each other,” protested Prussia
“We’ve fought on opposing sides in a war neither of us instigated. It’s not the same.”
A pause. “It’s because you let him fuck you, isn’t it.” England stared. He wasn’t even sure where to start with that statement. “I could fuck you just as good.”
“Tonight, you couldn’t fuck your way out of a paper bag. Let it go.”
England barely had time to register Prussia moving, before he was pinned by the neck to the wall behind him. How on earth did he summon the coordination for that? “You spilled my drink, you cretin,” he wheezed out.
Prussia didn’t pay him any mind. “I could fuck you just as good,” he said again, and England shivered at the near-insanity he saw in his face.
“Prussia,” he got out, “Prussia, sit down. This is hardly the time.”
“I say it’s the time,” snapped Prussia, and swayed a little where he was leaning over the table.
England looked at him critically. “I’d say you have about another twenty minutes, at most, until you pass out or vomit. If you could get it up to start with.”
Prussia glared, tightening his grip. “Are you saying I can’t—“
England sighed. “Look, I don’t think I could get it up right now, alright? If we’re going to do this, let’s do it right.”
Prussia gave him a suspicious look. “You’re gonna let me?”
He shrugged. “Why not?” He was hardly about to get into a dick-measuring contest with Prussia, of all people.
Prussia looked stumped. “Oh,” was all he said.
“Oh, indeed. Now for God’s sake, finish your gin, and let’s get out of here.” Strangely cowed, Prussia did as he was told.
England left some money on the table for the establishment—far too much, he suspected, but then, they had caused rather a scene—and helped the man outside. “My house?” he asked. Prussia made a vague noise. England wasn’t about to make two stops, even if he was starting to lose his buzz a little, so with the ability that they all gained once they had an established capital, in moments he had them home.
He looked around his house, and sighed. It had been a long time. The curtains were faded, the floor was dusty, the pantry likely empty… he’d have to have some servants in in the morning. In the mean time, he marched them to the bedroom—on the first floor, for exactly this reason—and deposited Prussia on the bed. The man was already snoring. With a strange surge of affection, England touched his cheek, and then left to make his way up to the spare bedroom.