kierwynn: (US/UK ~ awkward (vol 4))
[personal profile] kierwynn
Title: Golden Years
Fandom: Hetalia
Pairing/Characters: America/England
Word Count: 1108
Rating: PG
Summary: After his retirement, Alfred has trouble settling into his new daily routine. Arthur tries to help cheer the poor man up.
A/N: For US/UK Olympics Fic Sprint Round 1. The word golden made me think of Golden Girls, so I wrote old men. oop I was concerned that I was writing them too young, but let's be real, Hugh Hefner is pushing 90 and still acts like a youngin', so I figure I'm good.

There was a long, loud sigh coming from the front room. Arthur ignored it.

Instead, he chose to focus on the pot in front of him. He had long ago been banned from even setting foot in the kitchen, but he had never taken that to heart. Why would he now?

There was another long sigh, this one even louder and more drawn out.

Arthur frowned. It was getting harder and harder to ignore the American in the other room. His partner, Alfred, had been at it for the past 10 minutes. He obviously wanted attention, but if Arthur didn't focus, then the food-

Another sigh, and Arthur finally cracked.

"Alfred!" he yelled, turning angrily to face the doorway leading into the front room, "Would you stop that? You're being ridiculous and I can't concentrate! If-"

Whatever he had to say was cut off by the very familiar smell of something burning. He quickly turned back to his pot, but it was too late. The food was ruined.

This time, he was the one who sighed. He removed the pot from the burner and turned off the heat. Another failed attempt. He felt strong, familiar arms circle his waist and he grumbled, "It's your fault, you know."

"Arthur, sweetie," Alfred began, laughing, "In all our years together, you've not once made something without burning it. It was doomed before you even started."

Arthur frowned. "I just need a little more practice."

"Arthur..." Alfred began slowly, "You're 63 years old. I think, if you haven't gotten it by now, you're never going to get it."

"Nonsense!" Arthur turned in Alfred's arms to face him. "I simply need to put more effort into it. I'm sure I'll master it one day."

"Yeah, okay, sure. You keep telling yourself that."

Arthur rolled his eyes. "And what about you?" Alfred just stared at him, causing Arthur to scowl. "You've spent the last 10 minutes trying to get my attention. Well, now you have it. What is the matter?"

"Oh, yeah..." Alfred let out another long, dramatic sigh. "I'm bored."

"Alfred..." Arthur's eyes narrowed. "You're an adult. You're perfectly capable of entertaining yourself."

Alfred leaned forward, resting his chin on top of Arthur head. "I'm an unemployed adult. That's different! It's hard finding ways to entertain yourself day after day when there is nothing else to really do but stay home."

"You're not unemployed, you're retired."

Alfred squeezed Arthur tighter, taking a slow, shaky breath. "Unemployed, retired... they're the same thing," he whispered. "Either way, I don't have a job."

Arthur shook his head and wrapped his arms around Alfred. "Oh, love..." He should have known that was the problem. He suddenly felt extremely guilty for losing his patience with other man.

When they had first discussed Alfred's retirement plans, the American was insistent that it never happen. He had been working at the same museum since he graduated college, and he loved it there. Arthur didn't want to push him- he wanted Alfred to stay if that was what made him happy, but there was no denying Alfred was getting older. He got tired more easily and was having more and more trouble keeping up with the demands that were placed on him at work. Eventually, he reluctantly agreed that retiring was probably the best course of action.

Arthur had known that it was going to be hard on his lover, but he hadn't expected it to be as bad as it was. Alfred was always the more active of the two, and when they were younger, he was involved in all sorts of sports and various other activities. He was always active; always doing something. Not anymore. It pained Arthur to see him in such a state. Even in his old age, Alfred had always made an effort to be active in some way, but ever since his retirement, he had taken to moping around the house.

"I know this is hard for you," Arthur said sadly, tightening his hold on Alfred. "But you'll adjust. It's just a new stage of life."

"Whoever decided to name this the 'golden years' was crazy," Alfred sighed. He was silent a few moments before adding, "I could have stayed at the museum forever, you know."

"I know you would have liked that, but this isn't so bad, is it?" Arthur pulled away just enough to look into Alfred's eyes. "We now have all the time in the world to spend together."

Alfred grinned, sending a wave of relief over Arthur. He couldn't stand to see the other man unhappy for too long.

"Yeah, that's a plus. But, I don't know... I just want something to do. I want to be active." He shrugged.

"No one is stopping you from doing something. You could take up a hobby... And you may not be able to play all of those sports you loved when we were younger, but you can still be active."

"Oh?" Alfred asked, one eyebrow raised. "Active in what way?" He smirked, a hint of playfulness in his voice that caused Arthur to blush.

"W-well, you know, there's... that..." he cleared his throat, "And there are other, more simple ways to remain active. Why not take a walk? It may not be the most interesting activity, but it's a start."

"I guess that would work..."

"In fact..." Arthur pulled away from Alfred completely and motioned towards the stove. "Our dinner is... well, you can see the state it's in... Why don't we take a walk now? We could walk to that McDonald's you love so much."

Alfred's face brightened considerably at this, which made Arthur smile as well. Even in his 60s, Alfred was still a giant kid.


"Yes, really."

Alfred pulled Arthur into a tight hug. "Thank you, Arthur! I love you!" He pulled away, placing a quick kiss on Arthur's lips. "You always know how to make me feel better, you know that?"

"I suppose after nearly 40 years together I ought to have some idea how to cheer you up." Arthur said, grinning.

With a small laugh, Alfred reached out and took Arthur's hand. "When we get back, can we try out some of those... "other" ways to stay active?"

Arthur blushed once again. "I, well... if you insist. I suppose I can allow that."

Alfred's laughter increased as he tugged on Arthur's hand to lead him out of the kitchen.

As much as he worried sometimes, Arthur knew Alfred would be okay. He wasn't one to remain mopey. He'd adjust and he'd remain the happy, bubbly person he had always been. The bright ray of sunshine Arthur had fallen in love with.

No matter how many years may pass, some things would never change.


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September 2012

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