Disclaimer: I don't own APH. I wish I did, but I don't. More's the pity!


"Daddy!"

England knelt down, opening his arms as Canada hurtled towards him. He embraced him fondly, wondering why he'd left it so long since his last visit. "You're getting so big these days," He said softly, as Canada nuzzled at him.

"Missed you, Daddy."

"I missed you too. What mischief have you been getting up to while I've been away?"

"Fishing in the lake when it's frozen!"

"You can do that?" Canada nodded, beaming. "That's rather clever." England got to his feet, offering Canada his hand. "Let's walk."

They set off, leaving a set of huge footprints stretching out across the snow with a smaller set dotting along in their wake. Canada smiled the whole time. He loved it when England visited, because he was always so nice and he told the best stories, unlike France, his other daddy, who was sometimes scary. Daddy France was always talking about strange things he didn't understand, and-

"Oh, look. A polar bear." Canada followed England's outstretched arm to find a polar bear had snuck up on them, plodding along a few metres away. He cried out and hid behind England's legs. "Mattie? What's the matter?"

"Don't let it bite me! They bite! They attack people!"

"Only if people bother them first, you know," England replied, his hand coming to rest on Canada's head. "Besides, we aren't like ordinary people. So don't worry about polar bears biting you – they're part of you, after all."

"Do you promise?"

"Cross my heart and hope to die," England said, picking Canada up and balancing him on his hip.

Canada smiled, just a little bit. "You always say silly things."

England smiled back. "There's nothing wrong with being silly sometimes. Shall I give you a piggyback to your house?"

"Yeah!"

***

They spent the evening putting together a jigsaw England had brought for him. It was as big as Canada was tall, and it was of England's favourite place in London – Covent Garden. Canada thought it looked pretty, as he pieced together bits of a flower stall in the bottom left corner. Maybe he would visit it, one day. When he was older. When the sea was less scary. Maybe…

As time wore on he started to make mistakes, trying to jam together two ill-fitting pieces in frustration before England coaxed them gently out of his hands. "Come on, time for bed."

"But we haven't finished the jigsaw!" Canada wailed. England shook his head at him.

"We can always finish it later, can't we?"

"Suppose so." Canada stretched his arms up and England scooped him up, carrying him into his bedroom. Canada yawned as he was slipped under his blankets, sighing happily as England tucked him in.

It was always nice when someone else was there to tuck him in. It wasn't the same when he had to do it himself. "Where's Teddy?" England asked him, casting his eyes about the room.

Teddy had been a gift from France, but Canada had dropped him when he was out walking once, and no matter how many times he'd retraced his steps he hadn't been able to find him again. "Lost him," He murmured.

"Oh dear. Oh well, night night. Sweet dreams." England bent down to kiss Canada's forehead before turning to leave the room.

Canada was asleep before the light was turned out.

***

"Mattie?" Canada curled up tighter in his blankets. "Mattie, wake up." He did, reluctantly, and found England leaning over him with a frown on his face and his outdoor clothes on. "I have to go back to England for a while," He said apologetically.

"But you only just got here…" Canada said in a tiny voice, sitting up.

"I know, I'm sorry."

"Why do you have to go?"

"Just a bit of political unrest, but I need to be there. I'm sorry, Mattie. But I'll be back before you know it." Canada hated it when England had to leave him on his own again. His eyes filled with tears and he dropped his head, sniffing. "Mattie…"

England sat down beside him and cuddled him, sighing. "I'm sorry. But, I made you a present, so you can have something to cuddle while I'm not here." Canada gasped as England produced a fluffy polar bear from inside his coat and walked it up the bed towards him. "Just so you can remember not to be frightened of them. Seeing as they're all yours."

The bear had shiny eyes, and Canada was enchanted by them. He accepted it, cuddling it against his side as he kept his hold on England. "Don't want you to go, though…"

"I'll be back. Think of a nice name for him while I'm gone." With that England stood, giving him a wave before leaving the room. Canada listened to him clomping out of the house and crunching away across the snow, bursting into tears when he couldn't hear him any more.

He clutched his new polar bear to his chest and snivelled, hoping England would come back to finish their jigsaw soon…

***

Outside in the snow, England shivered against the wind. Perhaps it hadn't been the best idea to make the polar bear out of his jacket lining. And staying up all night to sew the thing together hadn't been such a smart move either.

Still, so long as no-one else found out about his being soppy, then no harm done, and hopefully the troubles at home would be sorted quickly so he could come back and spend more time with the only one of his children who shared his love of jigsaws…