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Ah-choo, I Love You

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"Oh, please, Hungary, let me."

She paused, wine bottle in hand, and shot him a dry, archly amused look. "Austria, I'm perfectly capable of pouring my own drink."

He sniffled, rubbing his nose yet again with his handkerchief. "That isn't the point. I wanted this to be a nice, romantic picnic—" He made a move to take the bottle, but she pulled it completely out of his reach.

"And it can't be romantic if you aren't the one doling out the wine?" she asked pointedly.

Austria huffed. "That's not what I meant—" he started to say, but was cut off by a sudden sneeze. Closely followed by two more. Hungary took the opportunity to fill her glass.

"Besides," she said, with a smile that bordered on impish grin as she set the bottle back down, "you're clearly occupied with more important things." He frowned at her over his handkerchief, and she let her teasing demeanor shift into something more sympathetic. "Honestly," she said, for what must have been fifth time, "we don't have to stay out here."

Haughtily, Austria gave his nose a final wipe, as if that would teach it a lesson and ensure it wouldn't drip anymore. Hungary made a personal bet that the square of cloth would be out again in less than a minute. "Nonsense," he said. "It's a beautiful day; we should take advantage of it. Besides, I know how much you like the outdoors."

"Yes," she said patiently, "but I like it even better when my date isn't miserable."

Austria frowned again. "I'm not miserable," he insisted, though his raw, red nose and watery eyes clearly said otherwise.

Stubborn, too, Hungary silently added, too familiar with the way he worked to be anything other than mildly amused by the whole situation. She was tempted to compare him to Prussia right then, just to see him dissolve into a gloriously predictable rant about how the two of them were nothing at all alike, and how could she even suggest such a thing, etc., etc., etc.

She laid a piece of cheese across a slice of apple and thoughtfully took a bite. Austria sneezed again. Five times in a row, in fact—a record that day.

"Okay," she said, decisively downing the rest of her wine, "that's it. We're going back to my house."


"No 'buts,' " she said, already on her feet, her hands on her hips for good, authoritative measure. "That handkerchief of yours is no doubt a soggy mess by now, and there's nothing that says we can't have a picnic on the living room floor with the windows open. The air back there isn't nearly as pollen-ridden as it is out here. Besides," she added mischievously, "there are certain, ah…gentlemanly things you can do for me in the privacy of our homes that we can't very easily do out here. Shouldn't do, at any rate."

What with his already-aggravated sinuses, it was hard to tell if he blushed, but Hungary didn't think she'd ever seen him start to pack up quite so quickly.