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[fic] Shared History

Title: Shared History
Genre: General
Pairing: US/UK
Word Count: 2,505
Rating/Warnings: PG (kissing) Also possible mistakes with historical information (I did my best!)
Summary: Alfred stumbles upon an intriguing quilt stashed away in Arthur's clothes drawer and inquires about it. They spend time discussing it with each other, remembering past events as they do so.
Notes: For the usxuk  Summer Camp challenge (Day 13 prompt - Sewing)


"Hey Arthur, what's this?" Alfred asked as he saw a folded quilt in one of the drawers. It had squares four inches across and was made of fabric that had printed-on pictures.

"Don't go through my stuff without permission!" Arthur hollered from the bathroom. He heard the water from the sink stop running and Arthur appeared, wiping his irked face with a towel.

"You said I could borrow a t-shirt and pajama bottoms," Alfred answered hotly. "I didn't know where they were."

"They're in the bottom drawer," Arthur said irritably as he went back into the bathroom to put his towel away and presumably to use the toilet.

Alfred quickly pulled off his business clothes and changed into something more comfortable to sleep in. Arthur's shirts were a little tight on him and his pajama bottoms revealed a few inches above his ankles, but no one was there that could make fun of him for it. He had not planned on visiting Arthur, but the mood ended up striking him on his way home from work and he ended up stopping by. Since Arthur had not returned yet, Alfred found himself looking at the quilt again in interest.

"What are you doing?" Arthur asked on his return as he pulled back the royal blue covers and climbed into king-sized bed with a yawn.

"This quilt. What is it?"

"Just something I've been putting together," Arthur answered and Alfred ended up pulling it out.

"Whoa! It's really long!"

"Put it back!!"

"No, it looks interesting!" Alfred exclaimed as he gathered it in his arms and walked over to the bed. "I just saw a picture of the London Company."

Arthur sighed as Alfred climbed in, laying most of the quilt over their bodies and holding up the top portion to look at.

"It's a quilt…" Arthur mumbled, turning quite red to Alfred's surprise.

"Yeah, I figured that."

"Of our history together."

"Come again?"

"Look," Arthur pointed out, indicating a picture of a baby girl. "Virginia Dare. First English child born in America."

"Oh you're right! I remember that. What was that? 1580s?"

"Around there, yes."

"That's a ridiculously long time ago," Alfred commented as he scanned the quilt, recalling quite a bit of it, and searching for ones that he wanted to talk about. "Oh Jamestown. That was a terribly rough start."

"You're telling me," Arthur said. "Your country's wilderness wasn't very kind to my people."

"You should have came more prepared."

"It's a bloody huge ocean!" Arthur exclaimed, hitting him on the head with his hand, resulting in a loud thwack. "You try sailing a ship through that and keeping all of those supplies from getting ruined."

"Is this a tobacco plantation?" Alfred asked, inspecting it closely as he rubbed his head gingerly. "Yeah, it is. That crap is horrible for you. Can't believe how widespread it is now."

"Here's the Mayflower," Arthur said, pointing to a square with a ship on it. "And one with a meeting between the colonists and the Native Americans."

"Oh yeah. Your colonists weren't very nice to my Native Americans," Alfred said, thinking back to days long ago when almost all of his land was undeveloped. "Actually, you weren't very nice to a lot of people."

"I liked my conquests, thank you very much," Arthur admitted as he pulled the quilt towards them to look at some new parts. "And my naval battles. Especially my defeat of the Spanish Armada to become the dominant world power."

"Of course you would like that event in your history. Anyway, is this King Charles I?"

"Idiot king. Many of my people left for America because of him."

"Didn't you end up in a civil war because of him?" Alfred ask, details hazy in his mind since it took place over in Arthur's country.

"Yeah, the Parliamentary army defeated the Royalists and brought the downfall of the monarchy. For a while until King Charles II came along and brought it back."

"So you had that to deal with while my country was struggling with religious beliefs and differences."

"Amazing how that continues today," Arthur said with a disgusted sigh. "It's hard to make people get along when they feel so strongly that another group is wrong…"

"I hear you. Ah, is this the Navigation Act?" Alfred asked and Arthur nodded. "Your king was really greedy, limiting exports to only your country or your colonies by only English ships."

"He wasn't really my favorite either."

"Some more war between the colonists and Native Americans," Alfred said sadly as he moved down the quilt. "Who is he again?"

"King James II," Arthur answered, looking at the square Alfred had his finger one. "He was the one that started taking away the rights of the colonists and assuming all legislate and judicial power. He fled to France after my leaders kicked him out."

"Gah, the Salem Witch trials," Alfred said with a groan when he saw a picture of a courtroom with frightened people. "I hated the hysteria during that time."

"Why don't we move ahead a bit?" Arthur suggested as he grabbed a length of the quilt and hoisted it closer to his chest. Alfred saw pictures of colleges that were founded in that time and smiled because he was happy they still existed today.

"Oh, we teamed up for that one!" Alfred said when he saw a picture that was from the War of the Spanish Succession. "That was a really long war…"

"Here's when I introduced tea to the colonists," Arthur said, remembering the moment fondly.

"At that time, they were still your people occupying my country," Alfred reminded him. "I still don't understand your fascination with that drink."

"It's delicate flavor! It's soothing effects! And besides, if I didn't like your country, I wouldn't have kept sending people to colonize it!"

"Calm down man! Here we go - Benjamin Franklin. First public library, the Pennsylvania Gazette, and Poor Richard's Almanac."

"Declaration of war on Spain," Arthur said. "Sorry about that - it caused fights in your country too between different colonists."

"It's okay, it happens. Oh, I remember the time where France and Spain teamed up against you."

"Stupid War of the Austrian Succession."

"Oh geez, most of this row are all of those ridiculous acts your Parliament passed to limit trade and the issuing of money in the American colonies."

"… LIke i said, I like being the dominant one," Arthur said in an embarrassed way and Alfred patted him on the head. "I just never get my way so I have to keep coming up with more extreme measures."

"Well, I did cause you to declare war on France because I was dealing with the French and Indian War."

"And later I declared war on Spain."

"Were we really at war that much back then?" Alfred asked in disbelief and Arthur nodded gravely. "Now when we get into conflicts, it ends up being a huge deal where everyone has to get involved and take sides. Not that it wasn't huge back then, but it was such a regular occurrence over a long period of time that it probably was accepted easier."

"Well that and we have much more powerful technology. Faster and more devastating weapons. Horrible ways to kill mass amounts of people," Arthur said with a shiver and Alfred wrapped an arm around him, pulling him close.

"Let me point out all of these new acts you imposed on us to cheer you up," Alfred suggested. "Sugar Act, Currency Act, Stamp Act, and the Quartering Act. You liked to impose taxes, restrict rights, and invade houses."

"I grew out of it," Arthur said indignantly as Alfred laughed. "I just didn't want to lose my people to you back then. Looking back, I know I lost them because I kept putting my fist down on them and limiting their freedom to do things."

"People make mistakes, no one is immune to them… The Sons of Liberty!" Alfred said, pointing them out excitedly on the quilt. "So we're getting to the start of the Revolution!"

"Don't remind me…"

"Hey Arthur…"

"What is it?"

"If the Revolutionary War was such a tough time in history for you, why is it even here on the quilt?" Alfred asked carefully, trying not to cause Arthur to flip out, throw him out, or possibly cry.

"Because we shared that time together. Through the good and the bad, accomplishments and struggles, our lives are interwoven so closely and I want to remember that forever since there were many times that we could have just simply given up on each other. Or destroyed each other."

"Arthur…"

"How about we just look through the Revolutionary War silently?" Arthur suggested. "We've already discussed it at length and we've already accepted it for what it is."

"Of course Arthur," Alfred said, kissing him softly on the cheek.

Arthur let Alfred pull the quilt at his pace, revealing images of John Hancock, George Washington, the Boston Massacre, and the Boston Tea Party. He recognized the First Continental Congress meeting, Patrick Henry's speech, Paul Revere's ride, and the execution of Nathan Hale. All of the battles and conflicts surfaced to Alfred's mind as bright as day - he could hear the sounds of gunfire and the clash of the bayonets as men fought each other for either control or independence. Memories of storming forts, naval attacks, German mercenaries, and crossing the Delaware River swam around in his head.

When they reached the square with the first flag of the United States on it, Alfred couldn't help but fondly reach out and touch it. It was a symbol of the fact that he was on his way to independence from tyranny and that he was going to have people that he could call his own. After a few more years of battle, sieges, surprises, and deaths, his country had succeeded and they were able to negotiate peace and gradually be recognized as the United States of America by the European countries.

"That… brought back some intense memories," Alfred spoke aloud. "More so than just talking about it."

"Yes… yes it did."

"You were so upset that you lost, which is understandable. Was there another reason than being shown that even the dominant world power could fall to sheer will and determination? Or the fact that you would lose money from being unable to manage our trade or tax us?" Alfred inquired, wondering why he had never thought of asking this question before. Arthur shifted uncomfortably, causing Alfred to suddenly feel bad about asking.

"You don't have to answer if you don't want to," Alfred said quickly, pulling the quilt nervously to something that he could talk about to distract them.

"It's fine," Arthur reassured. "Yes, those were some of the reasons, but I think my own personal reason was that I was with you from the beginning. I had grown close to you and wanted to take care of you until the end of time, but you hit that streak of rebellion and I didn't want to let you go. I was afraid… that you would never return. Or worse, never speak to me again."

Alfred sat in silence for a minute, thinking of what he wanted to say to Arthur's revelation. Finally, he decided on a soft kiss on his forehead and taking his hand into his.

"Letting go and dealing with regrets always hard, but we're here now, laying in bed together and recalling our past without fighting with each other. I think that speaks for itself."

"Alfred…" Arthur started, smiling softly at him.

"Enough tragedy for today, let's look at some current things!" Alfred said, changing the subject and pulling up the quilt so that it was near the bottom. "How about the start of Wimbledon?"

"Haha, way back in 1877. No tournaments during the World Wars though."

"When did the Open era start?"

"1968."

"You know… your country started it, but no one from your country has won a Wimbledon championship in the Open era."

"Shut up!"

"In fact, I had quite the domination with John McEnroe and Pete Sampras. Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors made it to the finals quite a bit too."

"Stop bragging, Alfred!" Arthur said heatedly as he started turning red in anger.

"You have not won since 1936. That's insane!"

"How about we talk about football instead?" Arthur suggested hastily when he saw a square of David Beckham. "My country is good at that sport."

"Yes it is. You guys are crazy about the sport. Having the oldest national football team in the world, which you started in 1872. But you fail to deliver when it counts."

"So what are you saying?"

"That when it comes to the FIFA World Cup, your country in some way or another, does not end up getting past the quarterfinals. You won once in 1966, but haven't done any better than reach fourth place in 1990."

"At least I qualify! Your team didn't qualify between 1954-1986 and you're ranked way below me."

"My nation doesn't really care about the sport that much! American football is so much better," Alfred retorted. "We do well enough to get by."

"It should be renamed to 'primarily handball with the occasional usage of the foot'," Arthur suggested and Alfred rolled his eyes.

"Do I need to remind you that in the 2010 World Cup that you were beaten by us?"

"That doesn't count!" Arthur complained. "You shouldn't have won!"

"Your goalie completely mishandled a poor shot!" Alfred pointed out, laughing when he remembered the moment clearly in his mind. "That was completely hilarious for my country to watch."

Arthur huffed and cross his arms and Alfred grinned.

"Speaking of which, where is that on the quilt? It is a part of our shared history…" Alfred said, looking at the bottom of it. "Come on, don't tell me you left it out on purpose."

"That's not true," Arthur mumbled as Alfred jumped out of the bed and started digging through the drawer. "Get out of there! What did I tell you about invading my stuff?!"

"Here it is!" Alfred said, holding up a square with the failed goal save and picking up a a box of needles and thread. He climbed back into the bed and handed the items over to England.

"Come on Alfred…" Arthur whined as Alfred kissed him. Arthur shot him a glare as he set the square into place and picked up a needle already attached to the thread to start sewing. "Do I have to?"

"Arthur, you did say through the good and the bad," Alfred reminded him as he started to get to work, stroking his shoulder gently. He was very thankful that Arthur showed him something as neat as his quilt and very happy that he treasured their relationship so deeply.

"Yeah… but this is complete utter humiliation," Arthur said with a sigh as he stitched the pieces together with Alfred's charming laughter ringing in his ear.

Comments

( 7 Admirers — Katsu no wa Hyotei )
maplepie_tree
Jul. 14th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Alfred, really, you can be kinda mean sometimes. Not that it's not hilarious, but Iggy is kinda sensitive about his sports, ya know?

Through the good and the bad, indeed. Much love to both stories in this quilt. May it keep on growing. :)
absolutehymn007
Jul. 14th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
XD Oh Alfred. Does not pass up the chance to poke at the former might of the British empire.

Awww...! I know that they will look back at the quilt from time to time and continue cherishing their relationship. Thank you for reading!
renuki
Jul. 14th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
Well, that is cute.

*tries not to laugh at Arthur towaard the end*
absolutehymn007
Jul. 14th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)
Lol, you're fine XD I can't say the same for me, I was laughing as I wrote about his failure at sports and about how Alfred put him to work. It's time for bed, not time for work!
perkyandproud
Jul. 14th, 2011 07:01 am (UTC)
Nicely done! Cute stories and a little loving humiliation at the end...perfect! :-)
absolutehymn007
Jul. 14th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
My brain felt like it was going to explode from the facts I was reading while doing it. But there were moments like "Fort Ticonderoga! I remember that was my favorite fort name... and my favorite kind of no. 2 pencil" too.

I cannot pass up a chance to throw in humiliation in my stories. Since PoT/FE had to take a backseat for the week, and Sanada was able to get some time off from Yanagi, someone had to get it. *loves Arthur very much* But man oh man, that failed goal save was... horrible. 'Cause I was completely pulling for England for the World Cup.
salmonme
Jul. 14th, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC)
I love quilting! Them going through the patches was sweet, and sad, and a little painful. And then the end - lol. Poor Arthur.
( 7 Admirers — Katsu no wa Hyotei )

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