Written in England's POV. Enjoy.
I sighed as I entered my house and closed the door behind me. Another pointless meeting with countries who did nothing but bicker and complain. And that bloody idiot, America. You'd think since I raised him, he would be brighter and more realistic. What a laugh.
I hung up my coat and loosened my tie as I walked into my bedroom. What I needed was a good rest. Too exhausted to properly change clothes, I flopped down onto my bed face first. After taking a deep breath, I turned my head to the side and looked around until my eyes settled on a picture frame that stood on my bedside table. I stared at it. It was a picture of me and _____. It was taken long ago, around when I had first found the little country. I had found her on the coast of my own country, just sitting in the sand and staring at the ocean. It was quite surprising. She didn't panic or look scared when I approached her. As soon as our eyes met, we sort of felt a strange connection to each other. When I offered her my hand, she took it and walked back home with me. It made me very happy to have a little one around the house again.
In the picture, _____ was still in the form of a 6 year old. We were both smiling at the camera, her head tilting to the right with mine lying lightly on top of hers. A nostalgic feeling suddenly overtook me. It was kind of lonely not having her here anymore.
I closed my eyes. As I lost myself in thought, I began to hear a soft voice calling out to me...
I felt a light tug on my blanket. I opened my eyes to see little _____ looking at me.
She tugged at my blanket again. "Big brother."
I sat up and rubbed my eyes. "What is it love?"
She looked shyly down at her feet. "I...can't sleep."
"No. Just couldn't sleep." She shifted her weight back and forth on her feet.
"Well then, that's a problem, isn't it?"
She nodded and then looked up at me. "Can I...sleep with you?"
I smiled. She was just too cute.
I scooted to the side and lifted the blanket so she could climb in. After settling down, we turned towards each other and stared back into one another's eyes. This was going to be a long night.
"Well, are you going to go to sleep?"
I sighed. "Me neither now that I'm awake." I thought for a moment and then got up. "How about a snack? Maybe that'll help."
"Yeah!" _____ hopped out of bed and ran out the door, only to come back whimpering. "It's really dark. I can't see."
I chuckled. "Afraid of the dark, are we?"
She ran over to me and clung to my arm.
A little heartbroken from her fear, I picked her up and hugged her close. "There's nothing to be afraid of dear. I've got you."
As I walked down the hall to the kitchen, I turned on a couple lights to make her feel better. I remember when America was afraid of the dark as a child. Sometimes _____ reminded me so much of him, it hurt. But right now, I had to focus on _____. She was my main priority now.
I turned on the lights in the kitchen and set her down on the counter. "So, what do you feel like eating?"
"Cookies? We don't have any at the moment I'm afraid. Except for that cookie dough in the fridge."
"Can we make those then?"
"Erm..." As much as I didn't want to admit it...it seemed that I was prone to making the fire alarms go off when in the kitchen. That's the last thing we needed at this time of hour. "I don't know _____..."
"Please? I wanna help you make cookies!" She looked at me with teary eyes.
*Sigh* This girl...
"Ok ok, we'll make them."
"Yay!" She clapped her hands as I walked over to the fridge to get out the cookie dough.
After we had all the cookie dough set, I looked at the instructions and frowned.
Ugh, this is too long to wait for cookies. Maybe if I turn the heat all the way up, it'll be done in no time.
I put the instructions down beside _____ and walked over to the oven to heat it up. As I was about to pick up the cookies and put them in the oven, _____ stopped me.
"I don't think you were suppose to turn it up that high."
"Nonsense, I know what I'm doing."
"No." She wouldn't let me go. "You're suppose to follow the directions."
She pointed to the instructions. "Follow. Directions."
What a demanding child. I sighed and gave up. After the oven was set properly and the cookies baking, I leaned on the counter next to _____ as she kicked her legs in boredom.
"So...what should we do now?"
_____ looked up at the ceiling thoughtfully and then back at me. "Can you tell me about America? When he was little like me?"
I flinched. "W-Why do you want to know?"
She shrugged. "I wanna know if I'm like him."
But I don't want you to be like him...
I shook my head. Stop being so childish! It was many years ago after all...
After a couple minutes of silence, I looked up at her. "He was...a cheerful boy. A good one too. Just like you."
_____ giggled. "I'm a boy?"
I face palmed, trying to keep back a smile. "You know what I mean! Do you want to hear about this or not?"
She closed her mouth and folded her hands in her lap.
"Good. As I was saying, he was a good boy. Didn't talk back. Ate all his food. And did what he was told. But...But then..." I frowned and stared at the counter.
_____ titled her head curiously. "Then...?"
"...He grew up." Before I knew it, tears were threatening to fall. Bloody hell, why now...
Before I could reach up to wipe away my tears, I felt little arms wrap around my neck. I looked at _____ in surprise. "_____...?"
"It's ok England. You don't have to cry. I've got you."
A river of tears began to fall from my eyes. I didn't want to lose her. Not like I lost America. My heart wouldn't be able to take it.
I sucked in a breathe to keep from sobbing and held her close. As I leaned my head down onto her little shoulder, my voice came out in a small whisper. "I love you so much..."
I felt her arms tighten their grip around my neck. "I love you too."
We stayed like this for what seemed like hours until the oven began to beep. Wiping away my tears, I straightened myself.
"_____, I think the cookies are ready."
I looked down at her to find that she had fallen asleep, her head resting on my shoulder. Smiling at how peaceful she looked, I picked her up and walked over to the oven to turn it off.
"I guess the cookies will have to wait."
I walked into her room and pulled back the covers of her bed. Placing her down carefully, I tucked her in and gently kissed her forehead. "Night love."
Walking out, I slowly closed her door. "Sweet dreams..."
I opened my eyes. The room was almost pitch black, probably the middle of the night. I sighed and sat up. How time flies...
Scratching my head, I left my room and went to the living room. As I entered, I noticed that my house phone was blinking red, indicating that I had voice mail. I walked over to it and pressed the voice mail button, expecting it to be from my boss to probably dump more work on me.
But to my surprise, someone else's voice met my ears.
"Hey England! How are you?"
It was _____.
"I just called to check up on you. We haven't really talked in a long time, have we? Being a country is busy work.
Oh! I almost forgot. A certain day is coming up in a couple weeks. My independence day! My country actually extended it and turned it into a one week celebration. So I wanted to ask you if you could maybe spend the week with me? My people would be honored to have you, and...and I...I really miss my big brother...you know?
...Well, I gotta go. Get back to me as soon as you can, ok? Love you, bye!"
She...actually missed me...
I hadn't talked to _____ since the day she became an independent country. I knew the day would come one way or another, but nothing could have prepared me for it. But when the day finally came...I just let her go. No screaming. No fighting. Not even tears. Once I accepted her request for independence, I walked away without another word. And she did the same. It seemed there was nothing else to say about the matter.
Looking back on it now, I regret not at least saying goodbye. But if I did, she probably wouldn't have been able to leave. So maybe it was for the best.
I grabbed the phone and started dialing _____'s number. It was time to pay her a visit.