England stared at the younger with mixed feelings, burning tears threatening to fall. The sound of the pouring rain and gunshots had temporarily deafened him and he could only see the blurred image of a man through liquid fire. He was alone against the American army, nothing left but one man with a musket. He held that musket in his hands as if it was his very life line—and it actually could be—and cocked it. His war-beaten body shook violently, his teeth grinding.

[i]You've lost,[/i] England's mind roared at him but he refused to admit the truth. He blinked the tears out of his eyes and stared up at the man who was just a boy moments ago. Only seconds before he was a little boy, begging for his attention whenever he did something. The same boy who loves war tales and soldier figurines, who crawled into bed with him during a thunderstorm. England had raised him, nurtured him, loved him.

But before long, Alfred was a man before his eyes, no longer needing assistance. Only naturally, he didn't need to be babied anymore and seceded from England. Of course, Arthur didn't want to see his little boy go, but was defeated. America was just too determined.

And then there he stood again, legs numbly holding him off the muddy ground, hands grasping the musket for dear life.

"I-I," He stammered, his fingers losing their grip, "I can't shoot you…" Finally, he fell into the dirt, tears cascading down his face. He couldn't shoot his little boy. Even though he was grown up and a man with his own decisions, he would always be Arthur's little boy.

"America is independent," Alfred concluded sternly, staring down at the man who knew him almost as much as he knew himself. His heart ached painfully, his head pounded, and his limbs throbbed, but he had won. Even if that meant tearing dear England apart inside. He wanted to hug him, to tell him everything would be okay, but he knew he couldn't. He was independent, after all.