Characters: Pretty much everyone. Or, to be more specific: America, Austria, Belarus, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Nordic countries, Prussia, Romano, Russia, and Spain.
Warnings: A surplus of lingerie. Flashing. France being France. Language. Spain getting punched in the face.
Summary: In which a very unfortunate Christmas present results in much arguing and destruction, a great deal of public embarrassment, and Canada standing mostly naked on a table. Oh, and the Kremlin gets destroyed, too.
“¡Feliz Navidad, Ro—” Spain broke off suddenly as Romano’s fist collided with his face.
“Pervert!” howled Romano as he drew his fist back a second time. Spain whimpered and tried to shield his face. Now, Spain was no coward: he gleefully fought rampaging bulls, hung out with France and Prussia— Hell, he’d even eaten England’s cooking a few times. Spain was sure that he was perfectly justified in considering himself a brave and noble man. But. There were limits. And confronting Romano when he flew into one of his rages was well over the line. Spain would have rather eaten England’s puddings for a week straight. Even the ones that seemed to move around on their own; he was sure he could get used to that if he tried really hard—
“Why?!” he found himself yelling as he narrowly dodged Romano’s second attack.
Romano’s sour expression deepened, if that was even possible. “You know,” he hissed. “Sending me something like that for Christmas! You bastard! Did you think that was funny?”
Spain felt his brows knit together. Was that it? “You didn’t like it?”
“The hell I did!” Romano picked up a nearby end table and hefted it over his head. “Say goodbye to your vital regions, Spain!”
“B-but Romano, it was only a clock radio,” Spain pleaded.
“Were you hoping I’d come over here wearing that, you per— Wait, a clock radio?”
Spain nodded mutely.
“You sent me a clock radio? And that was it?”
He nodded again. Romano considered this for a moment.
“So that’s why the clock radio had wrapping paper covered in hearts and sea turtles.” And then the most wonderful thing in the world happened: Romano set down the end table. Spain cherished the thought that he would be able to spend the next year with vital regions fully intact, thank you very much.
“Yes,” said Spain, with a sigh of relief. “I thought it might help you, since you always oversleep during siesta.” (Taking the present situation and the fact that Romano had only just calmed down into consideration, he decided not to add his hope that he and Romano could perhaps have siesta together. Baby steps. Little baby turtle steps.)
“But then who...? Wait, did you get anything... anything weird?” asked Romano, still with a trace of suspicion.
“I don’t know.” Spain shrugged. He hadn’t gotten around to opening any of his presents yet. (And anyway, even if he did know who had sent the gift in question, he was pretty sure that by this point, telling Romano would constitute some sort of grave human rights violation.)
“Romano, I... What did you get?”
“What is it? What is it?” This sort of thing could get a little tiring after a while, and it did smack of a terrifying and saccharine sort of sweetness. Or, at least, it could get tiring for everyone other than America, who was bouncing up and down as excitedly as...
...Well, as a kid on Christmas morning. (Anyway, America had never had a problem with all things saccharine sweet; that was how he had reached his current weight in the first place.)
“It’s... let’s see. Hm, it’s another tie,” said America’s boss, holding up an expensive-looking but rather bland silk tie. “How nice.”
America thought this whole thing was an amazing idea. Christmas morning! Opening presents! With the boss and the boss’s family! On tv! Oh god, America loved tv! As soon as this was over, he was going to go home and watch himself.
“Why don’t you open one now, Alfr— Oh.” The boss’s wife lapsed into silence as she noticed that America had already begun to tear open one of his presents with exuberance. Little bits of wrapping paper went everywhere.
“It’s, um...” America stared into the box with some perplexity.
“Alfred, you need to hold it up for the camera.”
“Oh. Well. Um. It’s...”
America dangled the offending present in front of the camera, all the while wondering vaguely if his boss was ever going to live this down.
“I don’t understand it,” said Austria for what was, by Hungary’s count, the fifth time.
“Goddammit! How many fucking times does she have to explain it to you for you to get it through your fucking head?”
“You,” said Austria icily, not turning to look at Prussia, “Are no longer even a sovereign nation. I simply will not take this sort of abusive idiocy from you.”
Hungary stifled a laugh. Prussia glowered. “Look here, we all got ’em. At least the rest of us aren’t morons that we don’t even understand what they are.”
“I’m wearing mine,” added Hungary proudly. Prussia crossed the room in a few short strides to stand next to her.
“The panties too?” he asked.
“The panties too.”
Austria felt even more nonplused than he had before. “Hungary, darling, isn’t that a bit uncomfortable?”
Not waiting for her to answer, he continued, “I simply don’t understand the point of these. These stockings can’t possibly be warm; look, they’re full of holes. They’re practically made of nothing but holes.”
“Fishnet,” supplied Hungary. “It’s called fishnet. And warmth isn’t really the point here.”
“And as for... As for the rest,” said Austria, his face already beet red, “This is not an acceptable design for underwear. Who could possibly want to wear underwear with a hole in the bottom? That is both disgusting and unsanitary, and it sounds very uncomfortable... Hungary, are you sure you’re not uncomfortable?”
“I’m fine, I promise.”
“Additionally,” decided Austria, with the air of one who had just discovered an important point, “The stockings, and the garters, and the garter belt, and the underwear are all decorated with so many little bows and ribbons, which was an exceedingly impractical design choice. I suspect that they would fall off after only a small amount of wear—”
“Hey! I know what we should do, then. Let’s test out that theory. You stop your bitching and put that stuff on already, and you and Hungary could come over to my place and we’ll see how much wear they can take.”
“Isn’t ‘your place’ in Russia’s storage locker right now?” wondered Austria aloud. And after a pause, he continued, “And you will kindly remove your hands from my trousers.”
“Oh, fuck you, you’re never any fun, you know that?”
“I said hands. That means the other one too.”
Tragically, in the end Prussia was left to wander sadly back to Russia’s storage locker, where he would have to enjoy his Christmas present alone. Which he did.
Austria was to spend the better part of the day muttering about the illogic of bottomless panties and fishnet stockings.
Canada had a plan.
He wasn’t going to put up with being the one everyone forgot anymore. He wasn’t going to put up with the fact that last year, the only call he had gotten on his birthday was the library telling him his book was in. He wasn’t going to put up with the fact that his nosy next door neighbors thought his house was unoccupied and held long conversations wondering aloud when someone was going to move in. He wasn’t ever, ever again going to deal with America screaming when he saw him and running off to England crying about magical talking mirrors.
This year would be the year that everything changed. This year, he would show them all just how unforgettable he was. That Christmas present was just what he had needed; it was almost like a gift from heaven.
“All right!” he yelled as he walked into the diner and climbed on top of a table. He decided to continue in the most badass way he could think of. “Eh, you guys! People! Look at me! I’m standing on a table and not wearing very much clothing! And what I am wearing is really kinky clothing! Because I’m a sexually provocative sort of guy!”
A few people looked up and then looked down again in confusion.
“Did you hear something just now?” one woman asked her friend.
“I thought I did,” said the friend, sounding baffled. “It must have come from outside, whatever it was.”
“Come on!” shouted Canada in frustration. “Aren’t you going to... to be shocked or something? C’mon, have me arrested already! Or, or...”
Everybody continued eating their food as if nothing had happened. A waitress absent-mindedly set down a plate of scrambled eggs on Canada’s foot.
“This is terrible!”
Sweden patted his wife’s shoulder as gently as he could. “It’ll be ’kay, ’m sure ’f it.”
“No, it won’t! Everyone’s blaming me for this because I’m Santa! But it’s not fair; it’s not like I deliver everything, you know. Plenty of people just send their packages by post, and I can’t be held responsible for some creepy person sending people underwear—”
“Have some julekake,” interrupted Norway in a flat voice, holding out two plates.
“Oh... all right,” muttered Finland.
“Hey! Where’s mine?” demanded Denmark, as he crashed into the room, tripped over the sofa, and sent his beer glass crashing into the wall.
Norway cut another piece of cake without comment.
Finland considered breaking down and crying.
At this point, the reader is probably wondering: What about Japan? Surely Japan would have enjoyed this Christmas present more than almost anyone else, even if it was sadly lacking in tentacles and girls with pink hair and giant boobs and cat ears.
But this was not to be.
Japan never got his present.
There was a simple reason for this: he had barricaded himself inside his apartment, resolving not to come out for several weeks just to be on the safe side. There would be no more radioactive cake. There would be no more radioactive cake.
Japan pushed another piece of furniture in front of his door. Just let America try to force feed him cake now.
Fortunately for the entire world, Russia also never got his present.
Due to some unspecified error which has never been fully explained, but which did become the subject of an extensive UN investigation and several important resolutions, the present addressed to Russia was accidentally sent to Belarus’s house instead.
...All right, so maybe it wasn’t so fortunate after all.
The destruction wreaked was tremendous, especially when Belarus demolished most of the Kremlin in her attempt to Find Her Brother and Show Him What They Had Gotten For Christmas.
“Do you want to know what happened?” England intoned. “Do you want me to tell you how it got sent to the Queen by mistake? Goddammit, when I find you I’m going to make sure you never walk again, you hear me?”
“That sounds... delightful, mon cher,” France purred into the phone. “You will just tell me the time and the place, and I will certainly be there.”
Immediately, France’s poor ears were assaulted by a torrent of curses, which were horrible not only because of the violent things they threatened him with, but most of all because they were in England’s awful, hideously ugly language.
All in all, this phone conversation was extremely amusing, although France was afraid he didn’t quite understand the context. England had become so worked up over all this, and normally France liked to see him worked up; he liked it a lot, but this time...
England seemed to be under the impression that France had sent him what sounded like it must have been the most wonderful Christmas present ever seen, although for his part England was upset about it for reasons France could not grasp. France couldn’t even get England to stop ranting long enough to tell him what the present was, but if it had upset England that much, it must have been something amazing.
He must have assumed France was the sender because he had, admittedly, sent England some pretty good stuff last year. He still had fond memories of the scandalized attitude the BBC had taken toward the whole to-do.
However, this year France had found himself sadly lacking in creative imagination, and in the end had resigned himself to sending everybody quite ordinary gifts. He only wished he knew what it was that England had gotten this year. With any luck, he himself would get one too, right?
“...And go bugger yourself, and see if I care.” England was still muttering angrily on the other end.
“Angleterre! You have no idea how long that’s been a dream of mine. I’ve been working on a time machine, you see, for that specific purpose, but unfortunately progress has been very slow. So now I’m investigating the possibility of finding a portal into an alternate universe where I could... Angleterre? Angleterre?”
That was strange. England had hung up on him. Was it something he said?
Japan sat and waited. He had tried to sleep a bit earlier, but memories of the radioactive cake had kept him up. He was beginning to become very attuned to small noises. Now, for instance, he could hear people on the other side of Tokyo brushing their teeth.
Germany sighed. “Italy, you must not do this sort of thing. I know you think— for no reason whatsoever!— that I have some sort of... of abnormal fondness for underwear. But you can’t just go around sending me underwear for Christmas. Especially not that sort of underwear. And you sent it to the others as well? Shame on you, Italy.”
“Ve?” Italy wondered. He had no idea what Germany was talking about, except that it wasn’t pasta or art or anything else nice like that. Anyway, he seemed to think that Italy had sent him weird underwear with a hole in it for Christmas, which was a really silly thing for Germany to think, given that he had sent Italy underwear like that.
That had been from Germany, hadn’t it? Germany liked underwear a lot, after all.
There. Mystery solved, Italy thought. It was easy for him to solve complex mysteries of this sort, although he understood that it would not be that simple for everyone. Italy liked Germany. A lot. But he did sometimes have to admit that Germany was simply not the brightest person he had ever met.
It turned out that walking home from the diner in the cold had not been a good idea.
“I still can’t feel my butt cheeks, Kumajirou. Do you think I should call a doctor?”
Kumajirou ignored him, instead choosing to continue eating the leftover wrapping paper.
It was a dark and stormy night, and China had just gotten back from an important conference which had had the audacity to last all day. He felt exhausted, but he doubted if he’d be able to sleep by this point, so instead he turned on the tv and flipped to a news program. At least he could see if everyone else had had as bad a day as he had.
He made it about fifteen minutes through the news before he reached a decision: That was it. China was finished. First thing tomorrow, he was going to go back to building that wall. Make sure he was fully protected this time.
As far as France was concerned, Christmas had been a huge disappointment. Whatever present it was that England had been so upset about, France never got one. All of the presents people had sent him turned out to be downright boring.
To make matters worse, a few days later he had found the Christmas cards he had intended to attach to his own gifts hidden under a pile of magazines; apparently he had sent the packages off without them. At least that explained why he hadn’t gotten so much as a thank-you note.
Then again, he thought bitterly, he probably wouldn’t have gotten any thank-you notes anyway. Nobody liked a boring present, and even he had to admit that he had gone for the extremely mundane this year.
That was what he got, he supposed, for sending everyone socks and underwear.