Disclaimer: If Axis Powers Hetalia were mine, I wouldn't need to write fanfics. If any of these songs were mine, I wouldn't be writing fanfics.

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Minimal fluff 09!

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Second Chance

It had been a heartbreaking experience to lose America, to find the rift between the two nations wider than the sea itself. America was an arrogant bastard, England had come to realize, who bit the hand that fed him. Who was it who had adopted him from the beginning and raised and protected him? Who had been the one to support and defend the budding country from the French during the French and Indian War? It was only natural that wars would cost money and when England asked America to help pay the tab, the latter had hissed and protested about democracy and how England had been hawking over him all this time until a full scale war broke out. Of course, France had laughed at him but England was willing to believe that after he had beaten some sense into America, their relationship could continue on a smooth pace like before.

England hadn't been expecting a historic confrontation in the rain in which he, the older, stronger nation, was the loser.

So ended the honeymoon period of the two's alliance. England wasn't expecting for it to hurt this bad. He had gained and lost territories before. But this was the biggest part he had lost so far, the one he spend so much time and effort on. Even if he would never admit it out loud, England had loved America (and still does), but he supposed it was only time before the confident, egotistical nation would break away.

The world spins on and England attempted to have business as usual, introducing more global trade, trading opium in China. It had only been an innocent dealing until England realized he could profit from a intoxicated China. Of course, China realized this as well and attempted to fight back, closing off ports and making deals to limit European trade. Another scuffle ensued, which England won easily (see America, even old man England wins some). Suffering major losses, China had to sue for peace and during a conference, the heavily bandaged and sick nation tried to lessen the damage to the already weakened nation.

"Here, aru…how about this, aru…I'll cede Hong Kong to you and give you five ports to trade in, okay, aru? Is that okay?"

"Well…" It would only be this easy to have the huge nation under his hand, England only had to say the word, and…

"Alright, alright, aru! You'll be the most favored nation in the eyes of the government and you can come and go as you please, aru." Defeated, China slumped in his seat. "England, please, aru. I'm already like this, don't carve me up even further, aru."

England had never been a kind-hearted nation, but seeing China like this was just pitiful, nation-to-nation. Besides, he knew that that France and Germany and a number of other countries had had their eye on China as well and he already had enough ports to secure his economy for a good while. Pretending to think it over, England agreed, much to China's relief.

"So…this Hong Kong fellow…how is he?"

"Ah, right, aru. Hong Kong!" China turned to the door and called for the island. "Hong Kong! Come meet your new owner, aru!"

There was a silence and a beat before someone appeared in the doorway. The island was much smaller-looking than China was, and extremely docile like Japan. He had on the same oriental garb that the Asian nations wore, not to mention an expressionless face. There was a youthfulness to him that reminded England of America (bloody hell, did this make him a pedophile?). England watched him carefully over China's shoulder.

"Come closer, aru. Don't be shy." Giving the now traded nation an encouraging smile, China beckoned Hong Kong to the table and England was struck with how slave-trade this seemed. It had been abolished only a few years ago but England still remembered the lifeless eyes and torn-apart families, the pain and hardships of losing the ones you loved…

"Ni hao," Hong Kong said quietly, or at least England thought that was what he said. Asians always had strange languages, especially Korea who would spew out Korean when you least expected it. England glanced at China with a raised eyebrow. "He sounds different from you."

"Yeah, he will, aru. The mainland speaks Mandarin, but little Hong Kong here speaks Cantonese. Bear with him, aru. He's quite charming once you get to know him." China squeezed Hong Kong's shoulder and the island turned inquisitively toward his former benefactor. "Don't worry, aru. England's gonna take good care of you until I get my former strength back. Daddy's still going to be here for you, aru, so behave, okay?" With a strained smile, China ruffled Hong Kong's already messy hair before walking out of the room without even turning back.

"Hullo, Hong Kong." England smiled as warmly as he knew how as Hong Kong stayed in the same spot as he was when China beckoned him to the table. There was an air of caution around the smaller nation. "Don't worry, I don't bite."

Hong Kong merely stared at him.

"I've taken care of a lot of people already so I'm not going to hurt you as long as you don't cause any trouble, alright?"

"Like America, right?"

It was so quiet that England nearly didn't even hear him but just the name 'America' jolted him with an instinct similar to the one that enables you to hear your name in a crowd of people. The smile on his face faltered a bit but England considered it a good sign that he still had a trace of the curve. Hong Kong continued in a small voice.

"I won't be like America, I promise."

"Don't talk about it, okay?" England stood up and started to the door, before pausing and turning around, holding out his hand. Hong Kong stared at it in question for a moment before turning to England with his usual blank expression.

"I can walk by myself."

That's right…independence was a popular idea that nations were jumping on the bandwagon of. Look at France's revolution. Look at America. England smiled sheepishly before leaving the conference room.

--

England learned from America that he had to check up on his fledglings every once in a while to make sure they were in check. There had been rebellions here and there against the European schools and models that he had set up in Hong Kong's realm, but overall it was a nicely growing European island. So when a trading boat set off to Hong Kong, England followed along. He found the island at his home, staring out the window at the South China Sea.

"How have you been, Hong Kong?" England stood in the doorway, watching the island. Hong Kong had seemed like an obedient, quiet kind of place when he had gotten it from China, but the last time England had been over to celebrate some kind of festival, Hong Kong had set off a long line of firecrackers, scaring the living daylights out of the European nation. Hong Kong had received a talking-to and a slap on the wrist but again, he never seemed to look bothered. Today, Hong Kong looked tired over his normal face of apathy.

"Okay." England had gotten used to Hong Kong's one-word answers that usually killed conversations. Walking across the room to sit on the window seat that Hong Kong was sitting on alone, England tried to start another conversation.

"Is everyone happy?"

"Japan has been coming over as of late," Hong Kong replied. "He says you've been giving him some trouble."

England made a face. "Yes, but it will be over soon. Don't worry about it."

Hong Kong didn't answer, instead staring out at the junk ships that were docking. England's accent was becoming familiar on the streets and European education was spreading. England looked out as well, noticing the European teachers and visitors that were making themselves at home.

"I won't screw up this time," England murmured, half to himself. Hong Kong glanced at him with stoic brown eyes that seemed as bottomless as the sea outside. England smiled at him, and by some sort of out worldly instinct (perhaps the fairies that followed him around pushed him gently forward?), he leaned in closer to the island and kissed him on the lips, slowly and gently.

It felt strange, not like it did when he kissed America. Because although yes, Hong Kong belonged to him at the moment, he wouldn't forever and the treaty had stated that England was to give Hong Kong back to China after about a hundred years. So he still had time left, but was it reasonable to get attached? After all, look at America…

Feeling guilty, England backed off, leaning back against the wall. He had been lonely since America had abandoned him and France knocking at his door and harassing his people was no help. He figured he ought to stay impartial this time around; he was going to raise Hong Kong right and show America, China, the world that he, England, could rear a nation better than everyone else.

Although Hong Kong made it a bit difficult as he murmured, "Why did you stop?"

Not having an adequate answer, England threw caution to the wind as he leaned in again to explore what exactly was in the depths of the little trading island.

--

He had failed again. But this time, he had not been opposed. Instead, someone had swooped in and stolen Hong Kong from him and he couldn't stop him. So now, Hong Kong was living in Japan's house for the time being. Japan couldn't afford to feed two mouths, so England figured it was only time before Japan gave him back. Still, he was readying for an attack when America visited him.

"Hey, England! How's it goin'?"

England cringed to hear English spoken like America did. At least America didn't have as much slang but the accent was gone from his voice and he no longer sounded as civilized. He supposed independence did that to a nation. "What do you want, you democratic git?"

"Hey, don't be so edgy. I'm just here to check up on you. You used to own me, you know."

"Used to. How are things at home?"

"Eh, recovering. I'm not feeling as sad as before." (1)

"Good." America gave him a twisted smile as England turned back to the business at hand. Peeking over the older nation's shoulder, the poor sighted nation cocked his head. "England? What are you getting ready for?"

"Nothing. Japan just took Hong Kong from me and I'm getting ready to get him back."

"Really? So he can be like me?" There was accusation in America's voice that England was not in the mood to counter. Sighing exasperatedly, England glanced over at America while planning his next move in the second world war.

"On the contrary, America, you were a failure. Hong Kong won't fall like you did."

"Big words, considering you don't own Hong Kong." America's face had twisted into an ugly grimace. "What is it with you and little nations? Why do you like picking them up and raising them and pitching them after they get too big for their boots?"

"Are you jealous?"

Sputtering, America turned on his heel and stormed back to the home front. England watched him go, contemplating if it had been a good idea to hit below the belt like that. But America would see. They would all see. England had grown up as a pirate, but he was civilized enough to know to share the wealth.

--

When Hong Kong came back, England grabbed him and found it difficult to let go. He had nearly lost the little island, missed how Hong Kong would let England hold him without struggling or returning the affection. It was an Asian thing, England reminded himself, that prevented an excessive expression of feeling (but China was pretty intense on Shinatty-chan and Korea was just an oriental France). "Hong Kong, are you alright? I'm so glad you're back."

Holding the smaller nation out at an arms distance, England frowned to have realized that Hong Kong had lost a noticeable amount of weight; which was troubling since Hong Kong had been pretty skinny to begin with. "What did Japan do to you?"

"I endured," Hong Kong said simply, staring up at England with black eyes. "I licked my wounds and my people endured with me." Giving a rather strained smile, which was more of a grimace, Hong Kong shook his head and drew himself back to England. "I'm okay now, England."

"Thank heavens." England wrapped his arms around the island again, breathing in the scent of incense and hint of gunpowder that lingered in Hong Kong's hair. He would build Hong Kong back even after this horrible possession. He knew he didn't have much longer before China would come knocking, but he still had time.

--

The crossroads of the east and west had developed into a pretty picture of tall buildings and an impressive coast. Hong Kong had made itself unique (yet alone) with his mixture of Chinese and European cultures. One night, Hong Kong made a surprise visit to England's house. The Brit brought them both out to the balcony under the vast range of stars.

"It's a lovely night, isn't it?"

"How is America?"

"Oh, that ignorant prick? He's doing fine. Getting all excited about the coming millennium. Little fool; I've lived through one of them before."

"England, was I just a replacement for America?"

England turned at the sudden question, trying to find the hidden meaning behind the words, but Hong Kong just stared at him. "Hong Kong, what…"

"America was like your little brother and you two were really close until he declared independence. Was I supposed to be a replacement for him after you lost him? So you could build up another nation in his place?"

"Don't talk nonsense, Hong Kong, you're not a replacement."

"I didn't want to think so." Hong Kong touched the balcony's stone railing. "China's coming for me in a bit."

"I know."

"It's okay, if I was a replacement." England opened his mouth to retort but Hong Kong interrupted him. "If you don't want to use the term replacement, I could be a temp. Don't deny it, England. You've just taken care of me because you wanted to show America that you could, right?" Hong Kong smiled. "Japan told me that you can be honest sometimes. Admit it."

Turning away with a silence, England didn't deny or accept the fact – an agreement in every single way. Hong Kong chuckled, sounding like the traffic that ran on the narrow streets above the subways that rumbled under his house. England turned back to Hong Kong, looking sheepish and grateful that it was dark enough that it was hard for the island to see his face. "I'll miss you when you go back, Hong Kong. We'll still be close, right?"

"Of course." Hong Kong smiled in the darkness, before leaning up and kissing England farewell on the cheek. "If it's any solace, I liked you back, England."

China came the next day, waving his treaty and taking Hong Kong back home. England didn't even have time to make scones for midday tea when America barged in his house, looking breathless.

"England! I heard Hong Kong went back to China."

"Yes, so?" England glared at him with the mixing spoon in hand, dripping who-knows-what. "Come to rub it in? You just love it when I lose territory, don't you?"

"I'm sorry." England blinked at America's attempt as condolence as the younger nation sat himself down at the table.

"What do think you're doing?"

"Having tea with you, England. Hurry up and make your shit; it doesn't taste good so it must not take long to make."

"Hmph. With those words, go make food yourself."

America crossed his arms with a glare in England's direction. "In addition to the Millennium Bug that's rumored to go around, I have to worry about making food myself? No, thank you!"

"The Millennium Bug is just a hoax, I keep telling you, you git."

"But I'm glad," America said, suddenly changing the subject. "Now that Hong Kong's out of the picture, we can work on fixing what we already have." England straightened up from the oven, staring at America, who was grinning at him. Rolling his eyes, England shoved the scones in the oven with more force than necessary.

"Who said Hong Kong was out of the picture?" England smirked as his words had direct effect and America burst up, spitting out unrecognizable words.

Stupid America. He should know that everyone England once owns, he still owns.

Owari

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Note: (1) – not a really good pun referring to the Great Depression. Don't get your knickers in a knot if I messed up some of the history. Kindly correct me in a review. But this came to me after I had a discussion involving England's involvement in Hong Kong history. It strikes me as Hong Kong being a rebound for England after America left him. It was about fifty so years in between America's independence and HK getting under England. Don't hate. Review, or else HK will continue to stew in his angst (although I don't know why HK would be angsty, since it's quite a bustling island).