Liechtenstein had stayed in old, distinguished hotel in London to attend the annual World Conference. She usually always comes together with her brother, but this time Switzerland has other important matter that delayed his attendance. He said he’ll come to London first thing in the morning tomorrow; uneasy of letting her sister travel alone in other country.
It was indeed a strange feeling. Not uneasiness or fear, but more like elation.
Despite her brother’s worry, she actually was looking forward to this. It was her first time travelling alone—although just for a day—and she couldn't help but feeling a little bit... mature. Her brother always accompanied her; shopping, sightseeing, even eating out. The freedom of doing whatever she wants is kind of overwhelming. Maybe she can do a little bit mischief with her friends that she was never allowed to now?
A somewhat modest knock and a familiar voice calling her name outside the door.
“Please come on in.” She answered as she turns the doorknob.
A gentleman with slightly-built figure, messy sandy blond hair, thick eyebrows, and emerald green orbs is standing there. He was none other than the well-known personification of England.
“Pardon my intrusion. Am I late?”
“Of course not, you’re always early, Mr. England. Thank you for coming all the way here.” She curtsied as she said so.
He returned her gesture by bowing slightly. As polite as ever, he thought with utmost admiration.
“Are you enjoying your stay so far?” England asked, taking off his winter coat.
“Indeed I do. London is very beautiful and breath-taking, it always been a delight to be able to come here. I love visiting your place, Mr. England.” She replied, gently taking his coat from his hand to hang it at the coat rack.
“You’re too kind with your praises.” He muttered.
Somehow, his face flushed when she said that she loves being here.
It’s been several months since they become such a great friends.
It begins when both of them came too early at a meeting; England accidentally bumped her to the floor. Perhaps it wasn’t the most graceful way of meeting someone, but when their started talking against each other for the first time, they found out that they had many things in common.
Like the fact that both of them enjoyed embroidery. England prefers to keep that a secret for it’s too feminine for a gentleman’s hobby. However Liechtenstein didn't laugh or disgusted at him; instead she shows a great admiration for his skills. He was surprised, much to his delight.
Or that they enjoyed classical literature such as poetry and fairy tales. Upon when she visited England’s manor to show her his massive collection of books in his library, her delight is like that of a little girl buying a new doll in the toy store. He chuckled and couldn't help to think how adorable she is. And there's still more that couldn't possibly be all listed.
It was much to her brother’s displeasure that upon all other men on earth, she chooses England to become her first close male friend. England was very well-aware that one false move towards Liechtenstein could resulted in a certain death by her brother’s hands. He was not sure if being her male friend is worth the risk.
But as time goes on, he’s starting to push his luck in order to become closer to her.
To become more than just a friend to her.
Including right now, when her brother is not around. Could that be anymore better chance than this?
Of course, although they’re alone together in hotel room, he knew better for not trying anything that could damage both of his reputation and relationship. Heavens, no. How impudent of him to even thinking of doing such a thing!
They’re just having a friendly conversation with animated topics—accompanied by tea that England bought on his way here—throughout the afternoon. When they both heard the Big Ben rung 6 times, they knew his visit has come to an end.
“Well, times passed before we know it. It’s such a shame for I would prefer it to be slower.” England said as he standing up from his seat.
“I also feel the same way, Mr. England. But that also means that we have such a pleasant time.” She said while taking his coat from the rack.
England smiled at her.
“There is something I want to give you in that coat’s pocket. Take it.”
She was delighted at his sudden surprise. She searched in his coat’s pocket and gasped happily to find out what it is.
It was a white lace handkerchief, made with such soft and perhaps expensive material.
Embroidery of lilies was stitched in the borders. She loves such simple and pretty design like this.
“Mr. England, This is too beautiful! Did you—“
“You figured? Yes, I stitched the lilies myself. Do you like it?”
“Oh, this is so pretty! Yes, yes I do! Thank you so much, Mr. England.” She smiled sheepishly.
His heart is filled with overwhelming joy and warm feeling. To see her face so innocently happy for the gift he made for her, it took all of his strength not to grinning like an idiot. As if hovering few inches of the ground, he averted her gaze with a blushing face.
Giggling, she glanced at her gift and his face. His thoughtfulness reminds her of her brother. Cold, blunt, and bossy at first, but they’re actually very gentle and cute. Then she thinks it was just right for her to say so.
“I-I’m glad.” He awkwardly replied.
“Mr. England is so similar to my brother.”
“I mean, people might find you a little cold at first, but truthfully, you’re a very kind person. That’s why, I really like Mr. England!” she smiled innocently.
Only to crash him back to the ground.
Brother? He’s just like her brother? He’s similar to him? So all this time, he’s just a replacement for her brother when he’s not around?
So he’s not somebody special for her after all?
The depression hits him like a pang. He silently gazed at Liechtenstein’s face, although not with the same happy expression. England’s face is blank, with hint of sadness and anger.
Liechtenstein noticed the change in England’s mood; it was long awkward silence until she opened her mouth to say something.
Everything’s hurt. The way she’s saying his name with distanced title is hurt. Remembering the time they spent earlier is hurt. Being here is hurt.
As he took his winter coat from her hands gently without looking at her eyes, he walks to the door. Just before he went out, he bowed slightly to her.
“Good afternoon to you, Ms. Liechtenstein.” England said with somewhat flat and cold tone.
When the door closes, the only thing Liechtenstein feels are strange feeling of guilt and uneasiness.