001. Introduction (In which India explains nations as oracles and has a encounter with a dreamy boy)

A clearly defined beginning and end was a rarity in the never ending river of time. Often, it was more like the infinite sand grains that the river brought and took. Each and every single one of them had an impact, but no one could truly say which was responsible when the rocks at the bottom of the bank became sand themselves.

It was the same case for India's start to the less than perfect relationship he had with China.

Nations have premonitions. They were vague, confusing, and rarely ever made sense. Sometimes they were significant, sometimes, less so. But they predicted the future, and that was valuable in the turbulent times of warring clans and unstable kingdoms. Usually, the dreamer in question had no idea what they meant, but a nation would be wise to not force a wrong interpretation. They could foretell innovations, important figures, deaths, and of course, future fellow nations.

It was a dream where India first saw China.

He slipped into oblivion. And suddenly, he saw past the rivers that fed him and his people, saw past the brilliant, heavenbound mountains of the east, saw past the lush mountains and jungles beyond, and he saw a river. It was not any river he had ever seen. And then he saw him.

He saw a child. He didn't know who at the time, but thousands of years later, another lifetime away, he would.

The child was short, and had skin paler then he had ever seen on a person, and dirty, scruffy robes. There was also the fact that he was covered head to toe with blood, as he gripped a spear red as he was.

But what was most striking about him was his eyes . They were cloaked with shadow, and his brows pushed downwards. Blood dripped from his temples into the corners of his eyes, but instead wincing, like India imagined he would have, he just narrowed his dark, wrathful pupils.

He was so, so different from anything India had ever known, yet he felt remarkably, incredibly, terribly familiar .

002. Love (In which we ask the eternal question— What is love? Or at least, what it is to nations)

To invite love was… complicated, from a nation's perspective.

Falling in love with a human was unwise. It was never a pleasant feeling to watch a lover grow closer and closer to death as you stood, unchanging and constant.

Of course, that didn't mean nations didn't do it. Some part of a nation would always be tied to the human realm and being somewhat human meant that you naturally wanted to be around others of your kind. It may end well, or it may end poorly, but no matter what, it always ends .

Falling in love with a nation… was and always is risky. At best, it's two long time allies confirming their relationship. At worst, it's a pair of nations with rapidly deteriorating international relations but remnants of affection, human affection, for each other, keeping them in this marriage of inconvenience.

It's a bit like gambling. With a nation, you could expect a longer relationship than with any human. However, you never knew when politics could take a nosedive and you would meet your lover not in the bedroom, but in the battlefield.

In the end, humans lived to love, to laugh, to help, to serve, and to lead. Nations lived for an idea birthed from the minds of people and not much else. Nations don't keep their chins up because of the promise of more time with your beloved (or, at least, shouldn't). They keep going for the survival of the idea , for it to make it to tomorrow, next month, next year, as long as possible .

003. Forgotten (In which Uganda and Kenya lament attention-spans)

Admittedly, it was kind of sucky being a minor nation. Uganda was no small player on Africa's field, but that didn't diminish his inconsequentiality on the world stage.

Before the age of knowledge and global navigation, nations only had to know their neighbors' names because they were the only ones that mattered. A few exotic countries were tossed in there, but those were fuzzy, inaccurate, or completely false. But nowadays, everyone's supposed to know everybody else, even if that means 200+ names.

...That's how it's supposed to go in theory. It surprisingly remained largely the same for the little guys. For insignificant nations, it broke down to this: Know the big guys (Ex: America, Russia), know the important guys in your part of the map, know your neighbors, and fuck all else.

Uganda couldn't argue with this line of thinking, especially when he followed that philosophy himself. Still, he found it endlessly frustrating when he had to introduce himself again and again to nations he's pretty sure he's had to do this to before.

As he finished declaring himself as the representation of the Republic of Uganda to some obscure Central Asian "-stan" nation, he had to excuse himself to go to a quieter corner of the World Meeting Room.

"Enjoying meet and greet?" Kenya cheerfully called out to Uganda as she strode towards him.

Uganda dropped his weak smile and pinched his nose bridge. "Definitely. Except that this is probably around the 40th one I've attended and some of the 'meeters' today have been attending these meetings a lot longer than I have."

"Don't be so harsh." Kenya pointed to the back of the earlier Central Asian nation. "I'm pretty sure that one doesn't show up a lot."

"I saw you earlier with her and she got your name right."

"I know! Finally the reputation and fame I crave!" Kenya hopped a little in delight. "Just one step closer to my dreams of being relevant."

"You should be more grateful." Uganda couldn't help but frown morosely. "You get a shred more respect than I do."

Kenya shot back a grin. "I am. But, you know, I'm pretty sure that that's only the case because of America's old boss a while back." She chuckled.

Uganda had to agree with her on this point. "The most relevant our names usually become globally is when they're pieces of trivia for the stars." He sighed.

He saw a flash of bitterness and contempt on Kenya's face flicker before quickly disappearing.

"You and I both know that too well."

004. Dark (In which the mental health of nations is expounded)

There is a disease that plagues all the nations.

It's an omnipotent beast that takes many forms, from protecting national sovereignty to helping fellow allies to carrying out the will of God. It has no physical form, and its symptoms include expansion in territory, growth in influence, and rise in status.

One may think that the disease is more blessing than curse. In reality, it is more like a test. A test of what one is willing to do to feed the beast.

Are you willing to kill millions? Are you willing to systematically eradicate any opposition? Are you willing to force entire peoples into oppression? Are you willing to sacrifice the blood of your sons and the bodies of your daughters?

Few have gotten the chance to decide, to have gone far enough for the disease to offer the choice.

Most said yes.

005. Faith (In which Cuba thinks about matters of the afterlife)

As far Cuba was concerned, there was no Heaven.

Communism allowed no religion (not that that had affected anything, really), and despite the fact that the majority of his people were Catholic, he never professed to have any belief. Even in childhood, much was blind following and little was genuine worship of the God Spain preached to him about.

To him, faith would always be the tool Spain used to repress his dissent and force out his obedience. If a man as horrifying and despicable as Spain believed that he would go to such a Heaven after death, then that was no Heaven. It was Hell.

No amount of priests or promises of salvation in "the next world" could ever change that.

One- India's prbly a few decades old here and very confused about where the Indus River Civilization skeddadled to and China's prbly running around murdering his Yellow River siblings to survive.

Three- When I'm talking abt America's old boss, i refer towards the fact that Barack Obama is half Kenyan.

Five- Cuba popped into existence just as Spain was finishing up murdering all the Caribbean Indians with guns and germs. Spain prbly then turned to Cuba and said, "Would you like to hear about our Lord and Savior- actually nvm, u kinda have to" and then shoved the holy book his throat. You know, nations being parents is actually never a good idea

You will notice that many of subheadings are puns. Thanks for reading this v personal and honestly a bit self indulgent fic, hope u stick around for next time