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USUK/GerIta/Spamano: America wants to gift England with the world - but in a tightly-controlled post-war era where the nations are forced into liaisons for the sake of a stable economy and world peace, all he has to give is the American Dream.
"There you are."
America leaned around the doorframe of the huge room, cold and loud with the sound of the machine. England, cross-legged on the concrete floor with a nest of teleprinter paper strewn about him, gave him no acknowledgement. His pale lips moved silently as he ran the reams of punched paper through his fingertips. Every now and then he paused to pick up his pencil and scribble down a figure on the open notepad before him.
"Hello? Arthur?" Alfred stepped into the room, making as much noise as he could with his heavy boots. "Anyone home?"
"Go away, Alfred," England said absently.
"Hey, I looked all over for you!" America pouted. "Don’t be like that."
At last England paused, looking up to meet his gaze. His expression was weary.
"I’m clearly in the middle of something." He rubbed at his forehead, muttering to himself for a moment. "Look, you’re distracting me. Go away.”
America did nothing of the sort, shimmying into the room. He glanced about, popping his bubble gum as his eyes settled on the biggest contender for his attention: Colossus. The super-computer filled half the room, arranged rather like a library with stacks in cream-painted steel, within which were nestled a precise arrangement of wheels and teleprinters and flashing lights. It was loud and alive, spitting out reams of encoded teleprinter paper which coiled obediently at England’s side.
It made a little shiver go down America’s back to see that England was hooked up to the machine again. They plugged Colossus in along his spine, the crackling wires fanning out behind him like skeletal wings, and ran the decryption process through him. He wasn’t the best mathematician in Bletchley Park, hardly in the league of Alan Turing, Bill Tutte and Tommy Flowers, but his brain, being that of a nation, naturally worked differently to that of even the most brilliant human. The boys at Bletchley had figured out early on that their nation could be used as a processor faster than anything they could build.
It made sense, America knew. It didn’t make him any happier. It was he who kissed the slow-healing holes along England’s spinal cord, he who knew that England wouldn’t admit to Turing and Flowers that it hurt.
"Arty," he said softly, crouching in front of him. "Stop for a little while." He reached out and closed his hands around England’s, the paper crumpling. "Take a quick break with me, yeah? Just twenty minutes or so-"
"I’m busy." England shook himself free, smoothing out the paper.
"Tea?" America insisted. "It’s not like you to refuse."
"I don’t need anything." A weary glance. "Alfred, won’t you go?"
"Oh." America folded his arms over his knees. "I get it." He watched England’s fingertips chasing blindly over the teleprinter paper, drawing out the code. "They’ve engaged your wartime protocol. That’s how you’re able to sit here for hours, doing their bidding like a goddamned machine."
"Their bidding?” At last England looked up at him, his thick eyebrows knitted. “You speak as though I have no stake in all this - as though we haven’t.” He shook his fistful of teleprinter paper at Alfred. “But the fact is that the quicker I can decrypt Tunny, the better the chances our boys have on their raids, the better the chances we have of winning.”
"I know that," America argued, "but you’re not Bletchley Park all by yourself, Arthur. It’s not fair to put so much responsibility solely on your shoulders."
England shook his head, going back to his furious work.
"We’re nations," he said. "Our shoulders are more than broad enough."
Shatter @ FFNet: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7370631/5/Shatter