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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When Skies are Gray

It was early when England awoke, too early, four-fifteen in the bloody morning early, but he opened his eyes nonetheless. The room was still dark and the clock sitting a distance away was still gleaming soundlessly. He wasn't sure what woke him; he felt no odd pangs of ill ease or any doubts of worry. The apparent silence was broken as he listened harder and heard the telltale patters of rain on the roof.

So this is the kind of day it'll be.

Early birds were still scampering around London, he could feel it. Running with early papers on their heads, or the ones who were prepared were walking calmly down the still dark streets with umbrellas. But most of the people were still asleep, as he should have been as well. England stared blankly into space, focused on a spot in the ceiling he couldn't really see. The rain kept coming in even sheets, never pounding down with a vengeance nor lifting its heavy spell for a breath.

When England blinked awake again, it was the right time, the right hour. Seven thirty, on the dot, and he switched off the alarm before the first ring could pierce the silence. He didn't feel any better than he did the first time he awoke, and he accounted it on the fact it was still raining. The friendly patter-patter was mere background as England slipped down the hallway, ready to look his best before beginning the day.

Even after the shower, the rain came down, trailing small brooks of water down the kitchen window as England boiled water for tea. It was a scant light out, the kind that made it morning but soft enough to be shook away. He let himself have a look out the window before realizing he had no tea left; he'd exhausted his resources and the only drink left was some bloody instant coffee America must have snuck in his house the last time that brat was over.

He hated mornings.

He hated rainy mornings the most.

After a rather dismal breakfast, England found himself alone with empty hands in his house. The rain made him lethargic, reluctant to get up off his arse and actually do anything. The fairies were no where to be found and England felt no energy to call them. He found himself actually sitting in the parlor, staring out the window at a gray, sad day as the clock tower in the distance chimed out the time, ten rings for the hours.

Paperwork seemed duller than usual.

He was in no mood for cooking.

His bones actually ached; he felt as old as he was.

It didn't take much to guess his dislike for rainy days. Rain meant the end of all activities outdoors, and it was in his nature to thrive outdoors (see the numerous conquests he had made in recent centuries). Rain meant no sun, and the sun was an instant pick-me-up for most people. Rain meant the reminder of that fact that he indeed was, and lived in the place with the worst weather. The infamous weather of Britain. Second only to the food.

Rain meant dragging up unnecessary and unwelcome memories. It meant recalling the one time America had wandered off one time when he was still a tiny colony, when the rivers were rising to dangerous levels. It meant remembering how he, a dignified nation, had trudged through muck and mess to try and find the little nation, who was discovered later to be completely fine in the car of wise men. It meant thinking of the time when America was still so small that he was afraid of thunder and lightning, nights where the little nation would crawl into his bed and pretend nothing was wrong, he'd just slipped into the wrong bed.

Rain was synonymous with freedom, liberty, independence, ideas England would wish wasn't so embedded in his vocabulary.

Once again he found himself staring aimlessly out the crying window, the rain streaking down like makeup off a cheap whore and England didn't feel like working anymore.

The only way the annoying memories went away was through drink or sleep. He didn't want to find himself in a compromising situation and he didn't have the will power to find himself even half-decent moonshine so he crawled out of his clothes and into bed again, at just ten-thirty in the morning. Maybe he wouldn't slip off into dreamland but at least he could roll around and feel like he was in control of a small part of his world.

England felt his eyelids getting heavy when there was an irksome ringing as the doorbell echoed through the house. He was completely ready to ignore it, let France linger in the rain as much as he pleased, but the sound was getting in the way of his peace, so grudgingly, England shuffled to the door, throwing it open. It had to be America, as France would never continue such a bothersome tactic. "America, I hope you've said your last words."

It was America, but it wasn't America. Yes, there was the familiar blonde hair and those pure blue eyes behind a shiny pair of glasses, but there was a strange lack of cockiness and the bomber jacket was replaced with a red hoodie with a maple leaf on the stomach.

"Not America," England said slowly, trying to piece together clues although his mind was slow on the uptake today. "Then you must be France's colony. Who? What's your name again?"

"Ca-na-da." Even the voice sounded like America, but if he said he was Canada, then Canada he must be. England was not in the mood to jump through hoops. If this nation wasn't declaring war or invading his vital regions, it was not a concern. Rain was getting on the welcome mat. England pulled Canada inside.

"You're dripping," England said, aware of the irritation in his voice. "I'll fetch a towel. Don't move."

As he rummaged through a closet for a clean towel, England felt a little guilty he'd left someone still bearable standing in the rain, but it was too late for feelings like that. He wasn't in the mood to entertain a guest, but Canada was one one easily forgot and Canada never stayed long when he visited. It was usually America making a menace of himself.

It had to be Canada, because the blonde was still standing in the foyer as England came back. America or anyone else would have wandered and dripped in the sitting room. Clicking his tongue, England ran the towel through the blonde hair. Never mind Canada was a head taller than him, like America, anyone in a state such as that awakened the parental spirit within him. "You'll catch cold in wet clothes," he scolded. "You've got to change out of them."

"You sure you got something in my size, England?"

"I've got some of America's clothes you can squeeze into." America was always leaving problems along with his stuff whenever he visited. In another ten minutes, Canada was definitely looking more and more like America by the second, the dripping clothes hanging in the laundry room. It was then that England remembered an important point. "Where's that bear you always got with you?"

"Kumajirou? He wanted to stay home. He doesn't like the rain."

England was feeling more and more tired with the mention of rain. He was wearing pajamas and still trying to tend to his guest. He really ought to slip back into bed, but he couldn't leave Canada sitting about. "Would you like something to eat?"

"No thanks. You got some coffee, though?"

"Just brewed some this morning. Help yourself. It's in the kitchen."

Ignoring the surprised look Canada gave him, England let the North American nation wander off into the kitchen before sitting down in an arm chair, then leaping up as if he had something to do. Canada was welcome in his house as always, like America. Feeling a bit selfish, England quietly climbed the stairs and retreated back to his room. Canada would understand he was feeling under the weather. The rain continued tapping the windows gently.

The mattress welcomed him back, the comforter still warm from before and England sighed as he sank in his bed. Somehow, the thought of someone bustling around his house was assuring, like there was someone who cared about his wellbeing. The vague question why Canada was visiting him briefly passed his mind before it disappeared in the haze as he closed his eyes.

"England?"

England almost groaned, but it would be rude. He opened his eyes briefly to see Canada poke his head in the room, coffee mug in hand. There was a look of concern on his former colony and England shook his head, reading the question on the other's mind. "I'm completely okay. I just don't get around a lot in the rain."

"You don't like the rain?" Canada asked, walking around the bed to sit down on a chair.

"Too many memories to suppress," England murmured, speaking more into the pillow than to Canada.

"The rain is nice," Canada said, rocking back and forth in the chair the way England remembered America used to do when he was bored. "It helps crops grow and it prevents the ground from drying out. What's wrong with it?"

"Memories," England repeated, wondering why his lips were so loose when he was this sober. "About your brother."

"America?"

England nodded, wrinkling the sheets around his head. "Whenever it rains," he said, his voice growing softer as he attempted to suffocate himself in the bed, "it always makes me think he's going to leave me again."

"America comes by all the time," Canada insisted. England wasn't sure whether to feel exasperated at Canada's sediment or impressed at his brotherly loyalty. "He's always here."

"He left me once, he can leave me again."

Canada stood up, the cold coffee forgotten on the bedside table, and walked over to the bed, kneeling over England. "So you really think I'm going to leave you again." England opened his eyes at Canada's tone and was thoroughly startled as the nation leaned down and kissed him on the mouth. There was only one nation he allowed to kiss him so intimately, but, then again…

"America," England breathed, as Canada hovered over him.

"You're such a crappy parent; can't even recognize your own son." America chuckled, fully climbing onto the bed. Now that the ploy had been blown out of the water, England wasn't sure why he hadn't noticed. There was the absence of the hair curl that anyone noticed once Canada identified himself; in fact, Nantucket was looking so obvious he wasn't sure why he hadn't seen it before. Those were always America's eyes, full of mischief and impatience. He just hadn't wanted to see them, drowning in his own self pity.

"Why would you pretend to be Canada?" England asked, as America started to slip under the covers. Maybe on any other day, he would have tried to shove the nation out of his bed, but on any other day, he wouldn't be in this situation. America chuckled as he slid into the warmth under the comforter, grinning over at England.

"You wouldn't have let me in otherwise."

He was so tired and was in no such mood for reprimands so England let America find him in the sheets, wrapping his strong arms around his relatively wiry frame and holding him close. "I'm not leaving now that I'm this close, you know." It was surprising really, that America was willing to close his eyes and become still when he usually would insist on funny business in their present location. England sighed gently, feeling America's breath in his hair; it was a wonderful feeling. And finally, he could do what he had come to do, had wanted to do since he got up.

Sleep.

England never noticed when the rain stopped falling.

Owari

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Note: It was raining like no other whilst I was at work the other day. I forced myself to think of a fanfiction including rain. That's how my muse works now. It threatens my writing with inspiration. And this little fic came out. You weren't expecting England/Canada now, were you really? Canadino is a strange muse, I can admit! Review, please!

Edit: Goodness, so much analness! I was going to keep the pairing categories as a little trick, but I guess people just can't handle tricks! Goodness! I apologize for misleading anyone!