Prologue

„Amelia!" The cry resounds through the old walls as Alice follows her daughter crumpling the letter in her hands. Shouting what she wants, the blonde teenager turns, glaring at her mother furiously. "What is this?!" Stretching her arm out, Alice demands answers. A hell lot of answers.

The blonde kid doesn't seem to care though. Snapping whether her mother forgot how to read, she declares she will move out. Alice's brows twitch angrily at the bitchy tone in her child's voice. She did NOT raise the girl to talk like that. "Pardon me?"

"Don't act as if you don't understand, old lady." The teenager turns with her hands on her hips. "I-am-moving-OUT." Amelia stretches every single word, easily ticking her parent off.

Allice snorts annoyed and decidedly folds her arms. "Don't you dare talk with me in that tone!" This is NOT happening. It just can't. "And no, you will not move out." She tries hard not to lose her temper in front of the kid glaring at her.

"What the heck you making such a fuss about!" Running her hand through her hair, the blonde shakes her head and curses how she shouldn't have come back here. But this comment doesn't sit well with her counterpart.

"Little Missy!" The Englishwoman hisses back at her child, asking her just who she thinks she is. "Now cut the crap and explain this stupid bullshit of a joke." Blocking the door, Alice angrily faces her daughter who doesn't look like she wants to settle this with words. No, this is war. The part of trying to talk about it is long past by now.

Amelia frowns and throws her bomber jacket over her shoulders; «accidentally» knocking a picture over which shows the mother-daughter pair some years ago. A relict from the time when they were still laughing side by side. But these days are gone. For a moment, both stare at the scattered glass.

"Didn't expect you'd even try to understand." Amelia mumbles before she angrily shoves her mother's arm away and leaves the living room, calling over her shoulder how she doesn't want to be stuck in this ragged house with her any longer.

"Bloody hell! You're still underage. You are but a snotty-nosed high school kid and…" Alice follows the kid throwing a tantrum, trying to get a hold of her.

"Fuck yeah I will!" The blonde slaps the hand away and storms into her room. "And I'm no freaking kid anymore!" Amelia snaps, snatching her packed bags and storms past her startled mother.

"Amelia!" Alice screams when the door gets slapped in her face. She reopens the door cursing under her breath. Running after her, she only manages to grasp a hint of the blonde head disappearing in a blue van before the car drives off, leaving a distraught Englishwoman standing on the pathway between her Victorian house with oriel windows and the white painted fence that needs a new layer of colour.

Her legs give in as Alice keeps her gaze glued to the street where her daughter disappeared. "Amelia. My little angel…" She stutters, still refusing to believe that the girl is growing up and wants her freedom.

xxx

Alice absent-mindedly stares out of the dirty window. She holds her cup of tea up to her lips only to realize it has gone cold. How long has she been standing there? The woman sighs as she sets the cup down in the sink and turns away from the kitchen window. It's not like anyone would open the old gate and come down the small pathway to her front door. –Especially not a sixteen years old girl with a messy blonde bob and the demanding temper of an undiscovered Hollywood star. Also known as her daughter.

Alice frowns. She didn't hear from Amelia for three days and is worried sick. No that the girl would care; nor would Alice herself ever admit it. Even less would she actually try and call her ex-husband to ask for support in her search.

"If that little git dares not go to school tomorrow, I will make sure to…" her angry muttering gets disturbed by a little knocking sound. Irritated by the noise, Alice tilts her head.

But then again, who would knock at a door nowadays? Assuming it must be her mother instincts going crazy she turns to prepare another tea, a warm one this time, when suddenly the doorbell rings.

Maybe her maternal instincts are really going crazy and make her hear someone knock on the door before they would even dare to ring… "Don't you know where the key is hidden?" Alice calls, wondering if Amelia would actually be sorry enough to show she feels guilty after their fight. Knowing how the teenager would normally just act as if nothing ever happened, the Englishwoman doubts her daughter did finally realize that acting the «I'm so amazing you can't stay angry at me»-thing doesn't work all the time. But maybe…

"Wouldn't it be weird if I knew?" Alice freezes, staring at the flat chest in front of her which could never belong to her heavily equipped daughter.

"You…" Slowly, her eyes wander upwards to meet his irritatingly green ones smiling at her apologetically. Alice knits her brows and immediately feels anger boiling up in her. "Whatever you want: No." She slams the door in his face to answer his unspoken question and immediately locks the door.

Then Alice rushes off to the kitchen cursing in a way she didn't curse for a long time. And here she was thinking that Amelia… Trying to calm her temper, Alice takes another try to boil some water, the annoying visage still present in her memory. Cursed Spaniard. Fucking Git! Taking a bad situation and making it worse. The only person able to manage to do so right after Francis and Amelia just HAS to be standing at her very doorstep. Bloody hell, can her day turn even worse now?

Jumping at the sudden sound of her phone ringing, Alice drops the kettle back in the sink and rushes to shut the screaming machine off. "Shut up you cursed…!"

Her hand freezes shortly before picking up and Alice tries to relax. With the most polite voice she can pull off after these unsettling events, she greets the person at the other end. "Good afternoon. Kirkland speaking. How can I help you?" For a split second, there is no answer.

"Don't hang up." All her fake politeness disappears immediately, dropping to the floor like a mask of stone falling off. The sunny voice lets venomous curses appear at the tip of her tongue, but before she can start ranting and slam the receiver back on the phone, Carriedo continues. "I'm so sorry Alice, but there really is no one else to ask…"

"Miss Kirkland." She hisses and his immediate reaction makes her consider listening to what he has to say. She can finish the call any time…

"Miss Kirkland… Sorry… So, the thing is…"

"Cut it short, Spaniard." Her cold voice demands more details and Alice can almost see him flinch at the other end.

"Well, you know…" The more Alice has to listen to his voice, the more annoyed she gets. Simply stating that she will hang up now, the Englishwoman grabs her kettle once more.

When the Spaniard finally whines that's about Lovina and not even about him, Alice grumps but lets him continue. "I'm so sorry. I have to work overtime tomorrow. And there REALLY is no one that could look after her…"

"So you thought you just ask your best friend's ex-wife?" Alice would love to strangle him with her cold voice, telling him to ask someone else.

"Al… Miss Kirkland wait! I DID ask! I asked Emma and Tim, but they're out on a long weekend. Roderich is giving a concert and Elizaveta is in charge of hosting. –Plus they already have to take care of Feli. My brother is on a long-term holiday. I even went ahead and asked Francis and Gil, but they're both busy as well… Though I wouldn't want to entrust them with taking care of Lovi…"

Alice frowns when he finally stops listing names, dropping in how he should know that both of them actually DO have some degree of knowledge about raising kids. "Well, Yeah…" The Spaniard stutters, then suddenly gets irritatingly passionate about how this is HIS Lovina we're talking about. His little carina! And how he couldn't allow either of them lay their hands on his baby in his absence. "¡Nunca jamás!"

Letting out a heavy sight, Alice doubts the moody teenager would be happy to be called his «Baby» and tries to find another excuse when she suddenly remembers another unpleasant problem. "So you called… Francis…?" Anxiously playing with a strain of hair, she tries to inquire when he did so without sounding to concerned.

"Ah, . Just before I came here, why?"

"Well… He didn't say anything…" Alice swallows her pride for the sake of her motherly love. (Though she would never call it that… Sound's so cheesy. But she would suppose she DOES feels some.) "About… the kids?"

"¿Que?" Carriedo sounds irritated. "No, why?"

She quietly breathes out the breath she didn't realize she was holding and makes sure to change topics, stating that it's nothing to worry about. "So what was it about your daughter again?"

And immediately he starts blabbering about his beloved Lovina and how annoyed she will be that he has to work overtime. "Alice, are you listening?"

Taking the opportunity of him FINALLY being quiet for a few seconds, she shuts him off sharply. "Well, I see no reason as to why I should help you out. You didn't ever help me out either and I'm fine with keeping it that way. So, no and bye." Alice just settles at the simplest way to get out of it.

"Alice…" The ever-so-happy sound in his voice drops and the Spaniard clears his throat. Shivers run down her spine as his tone of voice changes to one that many people would deny a happy-go-lucky person like him could ever pull off. But Alice knows he can and immediately sees the sharp green eyes glinting coldly when he changes tactics. "Do you remember that one time in primary when you doodled a weird magic mark at the blackboard?"

Alice frowns and tries to put her words together even more carefully than she always does anyways. Of course she remembers the day she swore to herself to never publicly try out magic again. –At least not out in the complete open where many people can easily see it… "No." She pauses. "Many things happened in primary school."

"Miss Kirkland…" For a split moment he almost sounds concerned. But a very short moment. Then his voice changes again, making clear that he knows she does indeed remember.

"Why would I? And what is it of any help to you?" Alice also switches to offensive mode. If he insists, then she won't hold back either. Her voice freezes. He always called it ridiculous. And she doesn't see a reason as to why he should bring some old stories like these up.

"I never called it ridiculous." Alice huffs in disagreement. Then he insists how it is important, almost perfectly narrating the part of how the teacher asked who drew it. –And who it was that stood up at the end.

Alice can feel his gaze slowly piercing through the walls and to her, making her feel more and more unpleasant. She knows one shouldn't mess with the Spaniard. BUT that doesn't mean she will let him have his way!

"The teacher knew it couldn't have been me and let it slide. So, in other words I DID actually help you out once." He changes back to happy-go-lucky mode at a creepily fast pace. Which Alice knows to never be a good sign. Because he thinks he's won.

"Carriedo." Alice's ice cold voice cuts through the air around her. "Are you trying to blackmail me?" She pauses but the man doesn't respond. On top of that, with something that happened decades ago. She never asked you to stand up.

For a little while again, Antonio doesn't answer. Then he simply states: "Well, Miss Kirkland" he especially emphasizes the name and title "I just know that you don't like to own anyone any favours." Alice hears a clicking sound and the line turns dead.

xxx

Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia. I'll only write this down once though. ;)

If you've enjoyed this ff so far, could you please help me out? What kind of song would do for Alice's/ UK's favourite song?

Thanks in advance :D

xxx

Currently edditing the chapters