Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia
"What's taking her so long?" A young man muttered to himself, checking the time on his phone for the hundredth time.
He stood outside of a large glass building for conferences. The subject of his worries, his friend Sydney, was supposed to get off from work and meet him here half an hour ago. She was rarely late, and he had half a mind to go into the building to find her. His friend was not answering his texts or calls, either.
'Screw it,' he thought, and made his way to the automatic doors.
The security gave him odd looks as he entered the building. There were women and men in suits going to their meetings who gave him the same wary glances. He knew he must have looked out of place, with his casual clothing consisting of a hoodie, jeans, and sneakers, so he quickly continued towards the reception desk. He tried to act as if he was somehow allowed to be here, but he knew the guards would intercept soon enough.
And he had almost made it too, if he hadn't caught the eye of a man who, upon sight, immediately strode to him.
"America! We've been so worried- where have you been?"
'America? ' The puzzled man ignored the absurdity of the name and focused on the stranger. It was an older man with long, wavy blonde hair and blue eyes. There was a strong French accent when he spoke too.
He shook his head at this stranger and flashed him what he hoped to be an apologetic smile . "No, sorry, you must have mistaken me for someone else. I'm not-"
The blonde observed him closely. "You're right."
"Yes, there's something wrong with you. Firstly, how are you so short?" The stranger's hand landed on top of his head. "Mon dieu, you look like you're under one hundred years old again! Did England cast some spell on you?"
Now this guy was really starting to creep him out. "I'm seventeen," he replied dumbly, "and my name is Zachary."
"And mine is Francis," the man sighed, "I don't know what games you're playing, but we are late for our meeting."
Francis gripped Zachary's arm, tugging him along. Zachary tried to pull away but Francis was insanely strong. He struggled and Francis murmured something about his strength was greater even as a toddler. The French man led them down several hallways until they reached a door that surely led to the grandest conference room.
Zachary's kidnapper swung the double doors open and announced their presence as France and America with great flair. The people who sat around the table looked at him with either indifference, irritation (or joy, but that was just the one brunette), as if used to his theatrics, but all gazes held a hint of shock when they saw Zachary.
"What the bloody hell?" A distinctly English voice exclaimed. It belonged to a man with equally distinctive eyebrows.
More voices piped up in disbelief and sometimes tinged with concern. The room was abuzz and chaotic until a blue eyed man got them to quiet down. He struck Zachary as someone who was serious.
The man, whom the cheerful brunette had called Germany addressed him. "Please just take a seat so we can begin our meeting."
"But I'm not-"
Francis, or was it France? It seemed like most of the people here were named after countries. France made him sit in the empty seat. He wanted to just leave, but these people were clearly adamant on him staying because of some doppelganger who was supposed to look older than Zachary. They still let him stay, as if a younger version of a person was not a crazy occurrence.
Everyone still cast him curious looks every now and then. The man with the bushy eyebrows glared at him from across the table. If Zachary followed with his theory of everyone being named after the nation of their accent, this guy would be England. France had mentioned something about England casting a spell on him. Did that really happen? What if he was America?
He was absolutely sure he was Zachary. Zachary Castorson, a high school studentwhose parents did not name him after a country, causing him to be in this Unfortunate People Named After Countries support group or whatever.
So why did he feel like he has met these people before?
England found America's behaviour suspicious. The America he knew was not this reserved, especially not during a meeting. He hadn't uttered a word since he sat down, and he kept thinking that it truly wasn't him. However, he could not deny that this imposter looked like America.
He was the younger version that reminded England of the days before his independence. There were some painful memories that followed that thought, but he pushed them down and continued to study America. America met his gaze and furrowed his brows at him. Annoyance flashed in his cerulean eyes.
The younger blonde looked around at the disinterested meeting members before hissing to England. "What is your problem?"
Burning fury rose in England. "What is my problem? What is your problem? You disappear for three months," his tone was indignant, "and just come back a-as a teenager! You aren't acting like yourself, and offer no explanation either."
Several people around them glanced at them as their conversation was hardly whispered anymore. The person who had been actually speaking of the topic of the meeting also paused. America felt all eyes on him, soon enough.
"There is something off today, other than the obvious age difference," France from before nodded grudgingly, as if in disbelief that he was agreeing, "I believe you could at least tell us where you've been."
Zachary stood up abruptly while he slammed his palms down onto the table. "You want an explanation? Fine." He took a deep breath. "Everything I've said has been brushed off because of this America I look similar to. But I will say this again. Slowly. I am not America. I am Zachary."
He was met with stunned silence.
A soft voice came farther down the table. It came from a man wearing a pink scarf. "Well, they do say there are at least six people in the world who look identical to you."
"Alright then if he's not America, then where is the real America?" said England.
It was nearly evening by the time Zachary got out of the conference building. His mind was entirely on what had happened earlier as he took a bus home. He felt uneasy. In another scenario, it would have been cool to find your lookalike. But Alfred (the people had hastily explained to him that the country names were simply code names they had) was missing, and nobody disappeared off the face of the earth for a good reason.
Zachary got off the bus along with some other people and walked down the streets. The sky was rapidly losing its light, and in turn, the streetlights had lit up. Somehow, he felt even more anxious than before. A faint rustle behind him nearly made him jump. The blonde whipped around only to see a man with a briefcase, who looked like he had just gotten off work, stare at him weirdly for his abrupt action. Zachary shot him a quick smile before facing the front again.
He reasoned to himself that his nerves were just haywire after today. Zachary made his way home, the route so familiar it was like he was on autopilot. He liked to take a long walk home, so he usually took the longer way. Just because he was especially paranoid today, he took a quick glance over his shoulder.
The man was still there.
Zachary tried to keep calm and act normal as his hands tightened into fists in his pockets. Something crumpled inside and he remembered the slip of paper one of the people at the meeting had given him just before he left.
"Just if you wanted to call or something. If anyone mistakes you for Amer-Alfred, you can give me a call and I'll explain. Oh, or if something odd happens." The man named Matthew (code name Canada) had said. He seemed like a nice person.
The blonde didn't think he would need it so quickly, but he was thankful Matthew had thought of this. Zachary's mother had taught him that it was better to be extremely cautious than sorry. As casually as possible, he took out his phone and Matthew's phone number. He peered behind himself again while he waited for Matthew to pick up. Still there.
"Hello?" Zachary let out a sigh of relief at the sound of Matthew's voice.
"Hi, Matthew? It's Zachary."
"Oh, hey Zachary! Is everything alright?"
Zachary kept his voice low so the man behind wouldn't hear. "No, not really. I might be wrong, but I-I think someone's following me."
Voices could be heard on the other end of the line. Matthew replied a few seconds later. "We're going to come to you and make sure you get home safe. Where are you now?"
He told him his location. "Why are there people following me?"
"Uh, just don't confront them, okay?"
"Wait-" But Matthew had already hung up.
Suddenly, Zachary was all too aware of a presence right behind him. He turned around to see his follower mere inches away, way closer than before. His eyes widened as he panicked on what to do. "Hi," he sort of squeaked, "you're kind of in my bubble right now. Do you mind if-"
"Identify yourself." The way the man stared down at him sent alarms off in his head. "Are you a country? The organization does not have you documented."
Zachary swung his fist into his follower's face and ran.
He only looked back once to see the man struggling to stand before sprinting for his life. A car eventually sidled up Zachary, and he prepared himself for a fight with his possible kidnappers. After he caught sight of who was in the car, he relaxed.
"Matthew!" He almost sobbed happily.
The door to the passenger seat opened, he got in, and they sped away. He looked back, and saw his follower had gotten up and was running. Again, he counted himself lucky that Matthew had arrived. He was not a cross country runner. Zachary had caught his breath by the time Matthew slowed down.
"Arthur," said Matthew, "is it safe?"
A voice from behind(surprise!) spoke up. It was the British guy from the meeting. "I think it's safe now. Are you alright?" Concern tinged his voice.
It took a moment for him to realize that it was directed at him. Zachary nodded and met the green eyes in the mirror. "Yeah. But you two have some explaining to do."
The three drove to "a safer place" which meant an apartment near the conference building. Matthew, the one who had suggested this place, took out a bunch of keys connected to a maple leaf key chain and selected the right key after a lot of jingling.
"Sorry," he muttered, "I haven't had the need to use one of Alfred's places before."
Zachary was surprised. An emotion he experienced too much today. "Wait, this is the guy who I look like's house?"
Matthew nodded absentmindedly as they entered Alfred's home. "Safest place to be. Please, take a seat."
The odd trio settled down onto the couches. Zachary inspected his surroundings. Alfred's home was as modern on the inside as it was on the outside. Yet, it still gave a homely feel, if that made any sense. The combination of minimalist furniture and ancient looking photos was odd, but it worked.
Matthew shifted in his seat, drawing Zachary's attention back to the situation. "So," Zachary said, "can anyone tell me why I was just chased?"
"It's complicated." Arthur replied slowly, as if choosing his words carefully. "You see, Am-Alfred's a very important person. Sometimes, there are people who are less than friendly towards him."
"What kind of person is he?"
Arthur responded without blinking. "Government official."
"And are you two government officials too?" Zachary looked at Matthew. The blonde nodded. Zachary shook his head, it felt like they were telling the truth but there was more to it. "Okay, then why did the guy think I was a 'country'?"
Matthew and Arthur's eyes widened. Zachary found himself pinned with an intense green stare. "What exactly did he say to you?"
"He asked if I was a country, and then he said I was not documented by an organization or something."
The British man swiveled his attention to Matthew. "Nobody's supposed to know about this except for a select few higher up."
Matthew agreed. "And organization? It must have been them."
"Who's them?" Zachary interrupted. "Can I please know the truth? Seriously, I get that you two are all secretive about who you really are, but I'd like to at least know why I'm being pursued. I think I deserve the truth, since my life is in danger and all."
The two older men exchanged looks. Matthew let out an exasperated breath. "Just tell him," he said.
Arthur glared at Zachary threateningly. "You must never tell anybody."
"I pinky promise. Last time somebody 'knew' I got chased, so no worries. Now, who are you?"
"We're personifications of countries."
Arthur shrugged at Matthew. "I tried."
Matthew took his turn. "It seems crazy, but we're anthropomorphic countries. We represent the people of our nations. Whatever they feel, we feel. Whatever happens to them, happens to us. And sometimes vice versa. Some of us exist for hundreds of years but some will fade out."
Zachary took in Matthew's words carefully. Matthew sounded like he was being honest. He was strangely trustworthy to Zachary too. If he was being honest, then this was more complicated than Zachary had anticipated. His mind flashed back to the names they called each other in the meeting. "Is Alfred...America?"
"Yes," said Matthew patiently. "Arthur's England, and I am Canada."
Zachary's eyes landed on one of the old, weathered framed photos. A single man stood out from the group of people in the photograph. He reached his hand out to take the picture into his hands and look closer. The person couldn't have been a few years older than him, and he had the same face structure as Zachary. He spotted two other people in the picture that looked exactly like the people sitting in front of him. Arthur and Matthew. Or, should he say, England and Canada?
They did not look like they have aged a day, despite the photo's date stating it was taken in the forties. "So...you guys are immortal?"
The countries nodded. Canada fished his phone out of his pocket, swiped a bit, and showed a picture to Zachary.
"This was the last time I saw him. Four months, give or take."
It was a selfie of Canada and America. Canada smiled softly while America gave a huge grin. Zachary's breath stuttered at this clearer picture of America. He looked a bit more mature than Zachary, but it was still as startling as a mirror image of himself. Cerulean eyes, sandy blonde hair, and even that one odd tooth in his smile.
"How-" Zachary blinked at the photo. "And why do I look like him?"
"Wouldn't we like to know," England stated.
Zachary made himself take deep breaths. His head was spinning with this new information. Why couldn't he have looked like a normal person? Of all the people who could have been doppelgangers with, it had to be the personification of America. Also, the nation himself was missing, and Zachary was followed by a suspicious organization.
"I'm not going to be safe, am I?" Their lack of a reply was enough of an answer for Zachary. "What happens now?"
"They know you exist, and will probably try to find you because they apparently haven't 'documented' you. We suspect that the organization is against us, meaning they want to take us down." Canada looked sadly at Zachary. "I'm so sorry you have been dragged into this mess."
Zachary gave them a half-hearted smile. "At least I now know that puberty will treat me well," he said, pointing at Canada's phone, "any advice for avoiding this evil organization?"
"Stay away from us, I suppose." England murmured. "If they mean to eradicate us, they're likely to keep an eye on us. The man who followed you today was a spy, I'm betting. Being seen with us will make you seem important, like a replacement for America." His eyebrows furrowed at that. "Their interest in you will hopefully be gone with time. Keep in touch, though. You have Canada's number, and I'll give you mine later. Meanwhile we'll continue the search for America."
Canada asked him a question. "Were you near your home when he was following you?"
"No, my house was several blocks away. I prefer long walks."
"Good," Canada said, "then it will be harder for them to find you."
Zachary only hoped they were right.
Well I hope you enjoyed it! I'm a bit nervous about an OC in a hetalia fic, but I want to try to put this story out there. It's going to be different from the usual OC fics, that's for sure. Also, I will try my best to do the complex hetalia characters justice, and flesh out my OC.
Anyway, let me know what you think :)