Author: Zalia Chimera
Characters: Prussia, England, America main, with half the rest of the world on the sidelines
Pairing: Mention of Prussia/England, Germany/Italy, although they aren't focussed upon
Notes: This fic takes place at an unspecified time in the near future, the next 150 years or so after an unspecified war and series of events. They aren't really vital to the story.
It's from a Kink Meme Request that uh, I can't seem to find anymore because I didn't bookmark it *facepalm*
Summary: After England's death, a new power rises from the ashes.
England wouldn't have wanted a big funeral.
Actually that was a lie. Prussia was fairly certain that England would have liked a full state funeral in Westminster Abbey with black horses and a procession and flags at half mast, all on live television of course, and probably a few risque exposes and memoirs in the tabloids and glossy magazines because they all knew how much Arthur loved his scandal. But that was never an option for a nation. Even if their existence had been common knowledge, no nation died easily and by the time they did, there was rarely the infrastructure left to accommodate pomp and ceremony.
So what England got was a pub twenty miles from anywhere on top of a moor with a nicely atmospheric thunderstorm going on in the background. Couldn't have worked better if they'd planned it all out really. The pub didn't serve fries ('chips!' the entirety of Europe had corrected him after America had asked), but did serve a very good all day English breakfast platter (big enough, Prussia noted approvingly, to need a table on its own) and had a good enough selection of beer that even Germany couldn't object.
It was pretty awkward at first. It wasn't as though any of them had much experience with wakes. Nations were resilient after all. Prussia had spent the first part of the evening sipping his beer and looking over the others as they filtered in and watching the landlord's eyes get wider and wider as his little country pub was filled with foreigners from every corner of the globe. If only he'd known the truth of that thought.
Most of the nations looked rather shell shocked, even France because it was difficult to adjust to the loss of someone who'd been around for more than a thousand years, even if you'd spent most of that time fighting. Canada looked one wrong word away from crying, or possibly viciously annexing whichever country said that wrong word. It was difficult to tell with the kid sometimes.
Even America seemed subdued.
The landlord put on the radio to try and lighten the gloomy atmosphere which had descended upon his pub and Prussia couldn't help but snort when the building was filled with the dulcet voices of the Sex Pistols. Fuck, Arthur was up there, wherever nations went when they died, laughing as he screwed with the radio from beyond the grave.
It got a few of the others laughing at least and soon the anecdotes were flying (with a few bemused looks from the bar staff, especially when Denmark recounted finding England during a viking invasion) and the alcohol flowing freely and a few of the nations actually got up to dance. The last of the regulars sidled off, the weirdness of being surrounded by the personifications of various nations finally becoming too much for them. They would never know that's what it was of course, would probably just brush it off as a funny feeling or something equally inane.
An hour later and Prussia really was starting to think that the radio was possessed by Arthur's lingering spirit, as it changed through the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, every decade and style from punk to rock to Britpop. There was a certain solemnity when Vera Lynn played, voice gramophone shaky, and they all remembered for a moment before it was brushed away with the strains of Bohemian Rhapsody and some rather enthusiastic air guitar playing by Finland.
"You're looking unusually contemplative," Austria said as he slid onto the stool next to Prussia, his gaze lingering on Hungary as she moved onto another dancing partner.
Prussia grinned sharply, downed the last of his beer and motioned to the barmaid for another of whatever it was that he'd been drinking all night. It tasted good and had a faintly obscene name and that was enough for him.
"Well, this kind of thing doesn't happen often," he drawled, giving Austria a sideways look. "Makes you consider your life and mortality and crap like that."
"Really?" Austria said, arching one elegant eyebrow and sounding utterly sceptical. He'd known Prussia for far too long to believe him.
"End of an era," Prussia replied. "The world is changing." He held it just long enough for Austria to look like he was starting to believe it before snorting and elbowing him hard in the ribs, giving a raucous laugh. "And America's paying for the booze!"
Austria gave him a wry look and then winced when Prussia slapped him on the back in a manner slightly too hard to be companionable.
"Ah, Roderich," he said, grinning wildly. "You should have seen your face!"
Austria pushed his spectacles back up his nose with one finger, giving Prussia a wan smile. "You do a rather good act of solemnity."
Prussia gave him a look that was far too knowing for Austria's liking, although it was gone quickly, replaced with a somewhat drunken leer. "Don't we all?" Prussia said, leaning in close enough that Austria had to lean back or risk their faces touching. That seemed to amuse Prussia. "We're all fucking superb actors and liars when we need to be."
Prussia raised his glass. "Here's to a fucking magnificent bastard!" he called out in an inelegant toast which was echoed by several others around the room. More toasts followed thick and fast, each with its own chorus of cheers and the occasional boo.
24 hour licensing had to be the best thing England ever did because their party or wake whatever it was didn't end until the early hours, spilling out into the gradually lightening night to chauffeured cars which were one of the perks of being a nation in this day and age.
Italy was already draped over Germany when Prussia climbed into the car, squirming on Germany's lap like a calamari and Prussia had to smirk at the flush on his brother's face. You'd think that Germany would have got used to Feliciano by now, but apparently not. It was amusing as hell to see West struggle to resist the urge to bend Italy over and have his way with him then and there in the back of the car.
"You'll be having a late morning then?" Prussia said with a grin.
Italy beamed at him and then turned back to Germany to give him a rather sloppy looking kiss.
Well, at least the journey back to the hotel was entertaining.
There was a long ugly gash down England's cheek that twisted when he smiled at Prussia, a lopsided expression that was welcoming but not entirely happy. He was wearing a uniform and that brought back memories even if it was considerably more modern than the last one Prussia had seem him wearing. His coat and trousers were dusty but the boots were polished to a high shine, damnable British pride. Even when it wasn't going well for him he had his shiny fucking boots.
Prussia perched on the bar stool, tilting it precariously as the barman brought over a pint. England pulled out a silver cigarette case, another relic as much as shiny boots and swearing allegiance to a monarch. "Haven't seen you smoke in a while," Prussia said with a smirk, pulling out a lighter before England could find his own.
England gave him a wry smile and placed the cigarette between his lips, leaning in to the cherry of the flame and then taking a long drag, exhaling the smoke in cloudy plumes. He shrugged. "Old habits," he replied with sour amusement as he held out the box to Prussia who tapped out a cigarette of his own, rolling it between his fingers.
"And here I thought your lot had a smoking ban," he said as he reached for the beer instead of lighting up.
England snorted, looking around at the dingy pub which was nearly empty despite the hour. "Who's going to enforce it at a time like this?" he said, that bitter twist back on his lips and Prussia couldn't take his eyes off the scar as the skin flexed around it.
The silence lay somberly over them although Prussia half expected to hear the wail of air raid sirens and the dropping of bombs across the city. He heard neither but it was a difficult image to dispel when England was sat like that, leaning on the bar, staring at the line of bottles and glasses above the counter, silver smoke twisting around him like Prussia thought one of those spells of his might look.
They'd been lots of things in the past; allies, bitter rivals, occasional lovers when the need to fuck someone with whom you didn't have complicated political or emotional relationships became too overwhelming.
"I didn't ask you here for nothing," England said with unusual solemnity.
"And here I thought you just wanted to bask in my glory," Prussia said, baring his teeth in what didn't quite manage to be a smile.
"Yes well, I have a- a request," England replied as though it pained him to admit that he needed to ask anyone for anything.
It immediately piqued Prussia's interest. He cocked his head slightly, regarding England with sharp eyed curiosity. England asking him for something? This was new. They usually just bit and scratched and fought until they eventually made it to bed when they met up like this.
England shifted uncomfortably, an alien gesture that made Prussia want to explore this new territory, but he held fast, hiding his expression behind amber liquid and glass.
England was silent for a long time, brow creased in thought before he finally relented to his own thoughts. "If I die, take England."
It made Prussia choke on his beer, unable to hide his surprise at the words that no-one had ever thought to hear England, proud England, say. "What?" he asked, staring at the other nation like he'd just declared his undying love for that ponce Francis.
England turned and his gaze was hard as steel and burned with all the pride and savagery that had made him the largest empire on Earth once upon a time. It was a dangerous look, a sharp knife twist reminder to Prussia that, diminished as his empire was, he was still a force to be reckoned with. England slipped off his stool, backing Prussia up against the bar, one hand placed either side of Prussia's body as he leaned in close. "I won't have my nation, my country, become some colony or minor state under the control of another," he said, a hint of a snarl in his voice. "I won't have it nibbled away at the edges by the hyenas in Europe." He smiled, a vicious expression. "You understand that, don't you?"
"Better than anyone else," Prussia replied, returning England's near mad gaze evenly. He knew what it was like to feel your country be split and dissolved, pulled from beneath you until you couldn't even call yourself a nation.
England's smile widened at the admission, showing his teeth in just as much of a predatory expression as Prussia had shown earlier. "Take the United Kingdom," he said again, pained and savage. "Don't let them have it. Don't let my kingdom fall."
He left the hotel early the next morning, heading across the Steel City to where what remained of parliament was located. It wasn't a city made to be a capital, but if the bombardment of the blitz had failed to subdue it then there was little which would keep it down. London was in tatters and too much a target for them to risk keeping the shreds of government there.
"I can bring the country together again," Prussia said, red eyes burning with conviction that he could do exactly what he said. "I can stem the tide of the kingdom's fall, the riots and the fighting. Give me England."
It didn't take long to convince them.
It was with relief that he left the stuffy room and he made it only a short way along the corridor before his legs shook too much for him to walk and he leaned back, sliding down the wall as he felt the snap along his spine, primal coil around his soul, like the aftermath of the world's most vicious orgasm, leaving him open mouthed and panting, skin sweaty and flushed. The land, oh god he could feel the land and the people and the pain of the burning cities all flooding him at once, the tendril thin connection to the Commonwealth and how long had it been since he'd felt it like this? A century? Longer? His awareness had been fading slowly since Prussia had been dissolved as a nation, as it was carved up and as what had once been his became West's instead.
But this, oh god this...
He stood eventually, not noticing or caring about the dampness on his cheeks or the front of his suit pants and he left the building to crouch on the front steps, staring out over the square, at the nation, his nation now and his lips curled triumphantly at the notion, another death escaped so that he could rise again. England had chosen well. He had no ties to anywhere else now, no misplaced loyalty when this became his country.
Ludwig greeted him when he returned to the hotel, still grinning like a madman, but a whole one now, a madman who could take on the world. There was a wariness in West's eyes, in his stance, that hadn't been there for decades and it sent a thrill up Prussia's spine to recognise it.
"What did you do?" Germany asked, eying the state of Prussia's clothing, the wild expression.
Prussia eyed him, reacquainting himself with the feeling of another nation on his soil, an odd but not necessarily uncomfortable itch at the base of his neck. "Fulfilled an agreement," he said with a shrug, heading to the lifts.
"Brother..." Ludwig said, a warning tone in his voice, expecting the worst of Prussia as usual.
Prussia smiled, a razor-blade of an expression.
"We'll talk later, Germany," Prussia replied.
He hadn't spoken to any of the others, not since cornering his brother and ordering him not to tell. He'd kept his word for which Prussia was grateful because he had things to do before he took on the world.
Scotland and Wales and Ireland capitulated without much argument, their governments too unused to autonomy to be effective when the eyes of Europe were turned hungrily in their direction. Pulling the country together took a little more work, but the presence of a unifying factor, of the nation personified had a soothing effect on a troubled populace. A minor invasion was repelled; Sealand had taken the opportunity presented and had annexed a rather nice holiday cottage in Cornwall. Prussia had congratulated him on his initiative before kicking him out.
Anticipation coiled in his stomach when the next meeting came and he took his seat, took England's seat at the table, a cocksure expression on his face as the others walked in. Some showed surprise at seeing him there; he'd avoided meetings for the last century at least, ever since Prussia had ceased to be a nation, because Russia wasn't fond of letting those under his rule speak out so what would the point have been? Some didn't even seem to notice until they realised that England's seat was occupied when it should have been empty. Some didn't notice at all.
America was missing to everyone's concern, but they began anyway.
Magnificent liars, all of them. Prussia watched, leaning against the table, fingers steepled in front of his mouth to hide his amusement as they talked about cooperation and protection and international aid. Pretty words and maybe they all paid tribute to it, maybe they even believed it, but he could see it in their eyes, the growing desire to conquer and control, as bright hot a lust for them as carnal pleasure for humans. The beast could be soothed for a brief time, treaties fragile as fine china binding them, but the world was changing.
The arrival of the hero with the slamming open of the door and a dark look on America's face as he stood before them. Prussia leaned forward in anticipatory glee. There was cool silence as America faced down the room and if he seemed taller now, no-one mentioned it or dared speak of the nations not present, who hadn't been present for weeks.
Finally America slammed his hands down on the desk, as though daring anyone to challenge him. "I'm taking the UK," he said and there was a shake in his voice. What do you know, maybe the boy actually felt bad about it, about annexing Arthur's country. It didn't stop him doing it and Prussia could see the empire lust in his eyes too, even if he'd never call it that.
No-one spoke up and he let the silence continue until America had slumped slightly, obviously thinking he could move unchallenged. It was only when the kid turned to leave that Prussia stood, something clasped in his hand and a murmur ran through the room at the sight of his uniform, a challenge to them all.
"You can't have it," he said, looking America calmly in the eyes.
America gave him a blank look before laughing harsh as broken glass and running a hand through his hair. "What are you doing here?" he asked, with you're not even a nation remaining unsaid.
Prussia grinned, slowly unfurling the roll of material in his hand as the world watched. "I said you can't have it. The United Kingdom won't become your new state."
America snorted, his expression twisting into something unpleasant, a harsh reminder that he wasn't human, none of them were no matter that they wore human skin and spoke with human voices. "It's fair game," he said. I'm entitled to it is the underlying sentiment.
The material unfurled and Prussia flicked it out across the table, a flag, red and white and blue, the familiar Union flag.
And the black eagle spread its wings across the centre.
A collective hiss of indrawn breath and America's jaw tensed at the sight.
"Anyone sets foot on my island and they'll make an enemy," Prussia said, voice ringing out across the assembly. "The Kingdom of Prussia-Britannia will not take attempts at invasion lightly."
He stared around the table, daring anyone to speak out against him. No-one did, not even America, although his eyes blazed with anger at having England stolen from his grasp. The shock wouldn't last, he knew, there'd be words and possibly blood, but the satisfaction coiled warmly in his belly.
Prussia-Britannia smiled, point made. "Then I'll take my leave." He turned to the door and left without another word, leaving the other nations to stare.
 The pub actually exists. The Packhorse Inn above Heptonstall. Freaking amazing all day breakfast platter *_*
 The beer I'm thinking Prussia is drinking is called Bishop's Finger
 The Steel City is Sheffield in South Yorkshire, which was a world famous producer of steel during the 19th century. Because it produced weapons and ammunition, it was heavily bombed during WW2. I went to university there so I am totally biased when it comes to putting it in here XD