Improve Your Diction: Kirkland Edition! - Reader X Arthur (England) Kirkland. Listening to “By Chance (You & I)” by J.R.A. And I guess it kinda suits this chapter….kinda…at the end. ;D Man, I want a guy who plays sports…preferably Jeremy Lin. (I don’t own Hetalia/APH, the characters, etc.)
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“Your ass is going down this time! Prepared to be beaten, Artie!” the blue-eyed patriot shouted across the grass field to his adversary, looking extremely confident as he tucked the black and white patterned ball in his arms. Signs of quick breathing and sweat on his brows, however, showed that he was already becoming exhausted. He usually had enough stamina and endurance to stay on top of his game every single time, especially when he was playing against someone who wasn’t as athletic as he was. But it looked like he underestimated Arthur.
The Brit scoffed while he tightened the laces on his cleats. His legs wobbled as he stood up from the grass, almost giving out from running back and forth on the field the whole afternoon.
“I told you; soccer is football,” he informed him with a displeased face. The rest of the world refers football as the game that involves your foot and a ball, but Americans have to always have things their way and call it soccer. Arthur thought it was complete bollocks, but he would only waste his time trying to reason with this guy on the subject.
“You’re in America now, so suck it up!”
“Whatever. Just start the game already, you twat.”
The two locked eyes as they faced the other team. Alfred, knowing every one of his varsity teammates, gathered a few of his buddies to join in on this little afternoon game. Luckily, Arthur was placed on the opposing team without too many of his idiotic and sports-obsessed-and-possibly-steroids-using friends, as he frequently referred them.
The sound of a whistle shrieked loud and clear, and the ball was thrown and the players dispersed. You kept your eyes on Arthur the whole time, who was wearing the red team jersey. Before the start of their first soccer match, you had never seen him play any sports, so you were interested to see if he was physically capable of doing athletics. So far he hasn’t chickened out and left, so you guess he had a little more guts than you give him credit for. He’s a good runner, and honestly, his soccer skills weren’t that bad. Oh, well, “football”. He would have corrected you too if he was around to hear you say that.
Arthur had the ball passed to him and was kicking it and dashing toward the center line on the field. He was taking the lead and came to a few more yards until he was close to the other team’s goal area. You got to admit, he’s good. More than good, actually. How did he, of all people, learn to play so well? It must be a guy thing to have this much energy, endurance, and motivation simply for a little tournament. Alfred’s team had won twice, and Arthur’s team had won the previous two games. They weren’t satisfied and so this fifth game would be the tie-breaker. Ha, and you thought the tension between Arthur and Francis was ridiculous and childish.
“Woohoo, go Arthur! You’re almost there!” you cheered him on from the bleachers in the stadium.
The Englishman heard your voice and looked up to his far left. Surprise lit up in his evergreen eyes as he didn’t think in a million years that he would ever have a personal cheerleader encouraging him. He returned a humble grin, but to his amazement, he saw your expression change from glee to shock in a matter of short seconds. Before he could comprehend why, the wind was knocked out from him and the ball was swiped from his feet. This large weight attacked him from the side and made him tumble briefly before stopping near a muddy pile on the touch line. You stood up from the bench and cringed at his nasty fall.
“Ahaha! Nice try dude, but did you really think I was gonna let you win?”
“Ouch…,” he winced at the pain in his leg, “Bloody hell, Alfred…”
The Brit groaned as he looked up at the American, who ran into him as he dove for the soccer ball. The American wiped the dirt and sweat from his temples and looked down at Arthur’s defeated expression.
“You know, you’re almost as bad as Francis. He’s a pansy an—ouuuugh—”
The disheveled blond lunged at Alfred to shove him off his chest. The two wrestled like farm pigs in the mud until the referee quickly broke them off with the whistle’s ear popping signal. Alfred backed away from the angry Englishman, who suffered more injuries than just a large bruise on his side. Not only was he muddy, but he was also covered with grass stains and bloody cuts.
“I think you should sit down for a bit,” you said to him after you came over with a towel. Your hand grabbed his wrist and you looked over at the bench where you were sitting. “Why don’t you take a break for a moment? I’ll get you some water while we’re at it.”
“Fine,” he reluctantly complied. His glare sharpened as the sun tried to blind his eyes—vulnerable to the exposure of light rays that his damp fringes failed to cover.
While he trudged past Alfred, he heard the young man whisper, “Told you I’d kick your ass.”
Oh, and that annoying face of his was mocking him. If it wasn’t for your presence, he would have taken off his cleats and thrown it at him, with the studs aiming at his face, of course
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“Gah! Can you please be a little more gentle, _____?” Arthur winced at the sting that came from the contact of hydrogen peroxide on his open wound. His other hand gripped the side of the bench for support from the searing pain that shot through his forearm. “Oh dear lord this must be what being skinned alive feels like.”
After a tremendous amount of time you had spent with the British student (perhaps more than you had wished), you had never seen him overreact so much to such a little thing in the way he did now.
“Sorry, but just endure it for a little longer, okay?”
You dabbed the cut on his arm with a cotton ball before adjusting an adhesive bandage over it. Fortunately, he had more bruises on his limbs than scrapes, so treating him wasn’t too tedious because he didn’t have to squirm so much. You grabbed a cloth from the first-aid kit and started to clean up the blood, dirt, and debris visible on his hands.
“You should thank me for this,” you teased him with a grin. “I deserve a reward for taking such good care of you.”
“You do know that I was viciously assaulted because of you, right?” he replied with a blank face. He took a long gulp from his water bottle and leaned back in a more comfortable position. One of legs rested on the bench with a bag of ice covering the swelled bruise on his leg.
“Distracting me was probably part of your devious plan to make me look like a fool, wasn’t it?” He looked away with his signature scowl. You saw this and rolled your eyes at his behavior. He was still mad for being defeated by Alfred, and now he was taking out his frustration by sulking and making up nonsense.
“Wow. After all we’ve been through and you still suspect me of such things?” You deliberately applied pressure on a dark bruise on his elbow, to which the blond responded with a flinch and jerked his arm away. “And don’t look at me with that face! I wasn’t the one who tackled you to the ground, so why don’t you divert your animadversion  to Alfred instead?”
He remained still and quiet, switching his gaze from you and back to the team playing soccer on the field, to you again upon distraction and loss of interest of the boys. He threw quick glances at your face, expecting your look to turn sour, but only found you still preoccupied with cleaning the injuries on his arm. The Englishman’s lips pressed together as his thoughts stirred listlessly.
“How can I not when that blatant criticism of yours still bothers me?” he murmured loud enough for you to hear, but you chose not to respond. His gaze diverted back to your face, then noticed your hands carefully brushing against his skin. He dipped his head slightly to conceal the nervous gulp down in his throat. “I mean, it wasn’t that terrible, was it?”
You perked your head up this time.
“What are you talking about?” you asked. When you saw how he turned to the color of a beet and frowned the best he could to cover up his embarrassment, your lips formed an ‘O’ shape then twisted into a sly grin. “Oh! You mean those burnt things you called ‘chocolate scones’ you got me for Valentine’s Day? Ahahaha! Dude, you’re still mad? Man, that was like a month ago!”
Arthur grumbled before the red on his cheeks turned to that of annoyance. He leaned forward so that his eyes hovered over yours, twitching at your frank outburst.
“Th-That’s not funny!” he objected, feeling his ears grow hotter, “How in the world did I ever tolerate such a spiteful young woman like you?”
“Aww, Artie. You know I appreciate your gift, but c’mon! I don’t think baking is your specialty,” you tried not to break out into laughter upon seeing his wide emerald eyes gawking irritably at you. He can never take things lightly. “But it really was nice of you to make me something that day~.”
Your fingers lightly pinched his cheek like a mom would to her playful child. Your pearly whites shone even more when you saw his lips stutter and the color on the apples of his cheeks brighten. He shifted his shoulders awkwardly at the mention of the February holiday, remembering very well how he was idiotic enough to present you a Valentine gift. God, what was he thinking then?
The later gaps of awkward silence were joined with chirps of pigeons that came and left as they pleased. With the quietness settling in, both of you could hear the energetic clamor far away on the lush, green field.
“Hey, can I ask you something?” you questioned as you kept your eyes fixed elsewhere.
“What is it?” He was alert and curious, wondering if you were going to inquire something that still pertained to that embarrassing day back in February.
“How’d you learn to play soccer so well? I mean, I gotta admit, your soccer skills are pretty up there.”
He sighed; he was relieved.
“I used to play football all the time with my friends and, occasionally, my brothers when I was much younger. It was one of the more entertaining activities I enjoyed when I was still in primary school. My parents were always busy with work, so to pass the time after school, I played football. It dragged on until my later days in secondary school.”
The blond mulled over the memory and you noticed how his appearance has changed.
“Hey, are you okay Arthur?”
“Oh, don’t worry about me. I’m fine,” he answered half-heartedly, not really giving it another thought.
“Well… I guess you should get back into the game then.”
“Yeah… I guess so.”
He got on his feet and stretched his stiff limbs, taking his sweet time to do just that. Before he left the bench area, he wanted to give you a quick thanks for your trouble, but hesitated when he saw that your eyes fixed on the small medicine kit, making sure all the band-aids and ointment were placed back into the box. You looked so calm and tender then, possibly because you nursed him like his nanny used to do. You were not only able to take care of others, but yourself as well; he found it a very admiring quality in a person.
No matter how much he thought about it, though, he couldn’t understand why someone like you would ever enjoy spending time with a person such as him. He knew how fortunate he was to have you for a friend, and that your relationship was a lucky chance that somehow blossomed on its own. You were always such a lovely person, and he didn’t understand why he couldn’t see it until recently.
Before he regretted it, he took the opportunity and closed the gap to give you a light peck on the cheek. It was over before you know it, but it would be the one, small thing that would change everything about your relationship.
He looked away hesitantly with a light shade of pink covering his skin, but returned a shy smile when he returned his gaze at you. His chartreuse eyes were also faintly smiling, shimmering with a subtle happiness in them as they looked at you.
Your hand quickly covered your face where his lips just were.
“I-Is this some sort of cryptic  g-gesture?” Your mouth was dry and your words stuttered helplessly from your lips. “What was that for?”
The rhythm of your heart started speeding and with glinting eyes, you watched his step closer. Your breathe hitched to your throat as his hand reached out to gently brush your hair away from your eyes.
“Your reward, my dear.”
His lips briefly formed the words before he turned around and set out onto the soccer field, not realizing how one little kiss had made you fall just about in love with him.
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 - blame or criticism
 - having a secret meaning
A/N: Finally got another chapter out after four months lol
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