I thought of this idea at about, two in the morning and I just could not get back to sleep until I'd written it out. I hate it when that happens.

Sure, the place was a shithole. The hay on the floor was dirty, probably hadn't been changed for weeks, and the whole place stunk to high heavens. But the beer was cheap, the barmaid was almost pretty if you squinted your eyes just right, and the company was unobtrusive yet loud.

It was all England ever really asked in a night out.

He banged his flagon on the counter, and the almost-pretty barmaid hastened to fill it. She held out her hand to him, and with bad grace he deposited a few silver coins to her palm. He was a pirate at heart, and he still couldn't get used to this idea of actually paying for things. After checking the coins, the barmaid handed him his flagon back, now full of beer or cider or something with alcohol anyway. Something in the back of his mind registered that drinks shouldn't really have pieces of hay floating in them, but he paid that no real mind. He'd paid for this hay filled beer, and by God he was going to drink it.

He turned around slowly, to see who was sat next to him. As he did so, he wondered dimly why the room had decided to spin too. Next to him sat a young man, in his late teens or early twenties. He had longish brown hair, which made England frown as he thought immediately of France.

"S-say, you ain't, ain't France are ya?"

He internally cursed the slur in his words. By Gods, he wasn't drunk at all, so why did his rebellious tongue insist on making him sound like he was.

The young man turned to him, his brown eyes wide in surprise. Ah, dreamy expression, wide eyes, longish hair, an aspiring poet if England had ever seen one.

"Um… No. I'm not French. I'm Will, and I'm English."

England smirked, and gestured wildly with his flagon, not noticing as half the contents sloshed out onto the dirty hay below. The barmaid came, and he managed to order a pint for this Will person with little difficulty.

"Anyone who's, who's, who's no' French is a friend o'mine. Yer alright Will boy."
Will looked down at his pint with a bemused expression. Then he looked back at England, who was swaying on his stool.

"Thank you sir."

England frowned at that, and he leaned forward in his seat, not noticing that Will leaned back in alarm as he did so.

"Yer ain't got no right t'call yer country sir, boy. Arthur'll do. Arthur Kirkland." He hand gestured to the flagon he'd just bought, narrowly avoiding tipping it everywhere.

"S'cat's piss anyway. But, but at least it's cheap."

Will nodded, and England found that extremely funny for some reason. He tried it himself, but stopped in alarm when his head came off. Oh no, wait, his head was still on his neck. But even so, it was best not to tempt fate.

"Talkin' o' cat's piss, I need a piss."

Will looked positively alarmed at that, and hastened to slide his stool away as much as was polite.

"Why don't you go outside then and piss there?"

"Ah yes, but t'room is, is spinning 'nd there's a chance tha' if I ge' up I migh' fall over 'nd never make it 'tside."

England could see Will trying to make sense of his words. He wondered whether it was worth going outside for a piss, when the weather was Godawful and there were an assortment of people outside just waiting to prey on helpless drunks.

"I suppose it is a tough choice…"

Will pushed his stool back a little further again, but England was past caring really. Instead, he nodded violently at Will's words.
"Exactly, m'boy! T'pee or not t'pee, that's the decision."

With that, England slid down off his stool and lurched into the night, completely unaware of the effect of his words on a young man by the name of William Shakespeare.


"So, so that's the time I met Shakespeare."

America turned to him, one blonde eyebrow raised high. He sighed and shook his head, leaning back in the seat. From the other seats disapproving heads looked around at the drunken passenger, and England just laughed at their scorn.

"How much of that was actually true?"

England shrugged wildly, his arms flying up and almost hitting America in the nose. He grabbed the bottle of Jack Daniels which lay on the table and took a large gulp, and America rolled his eyes. England really had been getting drunk way too often lately.

"Most of it. Probably. I mean, wha' am I? The 'wha's true police'?"

America didn't answer, and silence stretched over the pair for a long minute. England waved one finger in the air, chanting something under his breath. A spell of some sort probably. America could never understand England's preoccupation with magic and the occult. Science was the way forward, science and invention, magic belonged in the middle ages.

He looked out of the window at the scenery flying past, briefly thinking to himself about just how green England's house was. He could feel the vibrations of the turning wheels through the thick rubber of his soles. Vaguely, he wondered if it was worth installing more trains in his own home. England and Japan seemed to love them, and as at times like this he could almost see why. It was enough to make him wi-

"I wish I was a wizard."

America turned his head to look at England, who was sitting straight forward looking very serious. More serious than he often looked in meetings, in fact. He frowned at the lost trail of thought, before sighing and answering his travelling companion.

"Do you now?"

"Yeah! I'd 'ave, 'ave, I'd have a broomstick 'nd I'd fly places 'nd I'd be like 'whoa watch me, I'm on a broomstick', 'nd I'd 'ave a wand and I'd be all like 'I curse thee', 'nd France would be totally, like, flummoxed. 'Nd I'd fight evil wizard who were called… called… Mouldy Torté, and I'd be like 'take that you mouldy torté', and he'd be like 'You English bastard', because Mouldy Torté is French, yknow?"

America smiled at the insane drunken ramblings of the man he once called 'big brother'. It was always funny when England was in this sort of mood, but it didn't happen often. He was usually such a depressed drunk.

"'Nd there'd be other wizards, 'nd we'd 'ave a secret society called frog… Frog… Frog somethin'."

At the back of the train compartment, a young woman by the name of Joanne Rowling smiled to herself.