When I Knock
The first door he knocked on was the first person he wanted to see, the first person he wanted to apologize to.
Would he want to hear an apology? Whether the other did or not, it was a bit past due. England breathed in the Manhattan air and coughed. Damn, he could already not wait to go back home.
America stared at him with wide eyes. Putting on the best smile he could, England tried not to make it false. Just the truth... that was what the two of them needed between them, right? It would not be now, but England wanted to work up to that point.
"I'm sorry." The words England was about to say next were lost in his mouth, his exact words spoken by America as well as himself. "What the bloody hell are you sorry for?"
America chuckled, rubbing the back of his head. "For... y'know... not being enough."
Not being enough? England could not understand the sentiment. That is not right. I was not enough. Wasn't it why you left me? "That wasn't why I left."
"You needed to go home, yeah, I got it."
"No you don't," England frowned. Stupid America, thinking he understood. When he rambled his words out like that, it was so very obvious that he did not understand it. "I needed to go home, yes, but it wasn't because you weren't enough. It was... I just..."
I didn't want to hurt you.
"Don't worry about it," America waved it off before England could attempt to figure out how to push those words from his mouth. "As long as things worked out, right? Speaking of which, I didn't see anyone come up with you."
"Of course you didn't."
England could not see them either, but he heard them. Heard them and knew someone was there.
America was confused and England forced himself not to laugh. He also forced himself into the house so he could make America lunch. It was the least he could do, despite America reiterating over and over that it was all right and England did not have to bother himself.
In the end, America ate it. England felt like a big brother again and less likely to try and set America's shoes on fire any time in the near future. It was a lunch that they really should have had ages ago. By the time England left, he was not exactly certain why they had been unable to up until now. All of the reasons against it seemed rather ridiculous.
The second person he came across was an accident. Who he was trying to go see was simply in this direction and while England was getting himself on to another train to head in the direction he wanted to go (he absolutely loathed foreign transportation, but in his mind it was not as bad as France's), he bumped into him.
"England! It's been a while!"
"For good reason," England grumbled in response, not that it had any affect on Spain's cheery attitude. One thing that had not changed is that occasionally England still felt like strangling that happiness out of him. What had changed was that he knew he would never attempt it.
"What brings you to mi país?" Spain asked him.
"Just... passing through."
"By train? I'd better not keep you from missing your carriage then!" Spain laughed and with a wave turned and walked away.
Sometimes it was false, England knew. Spain was never really all that happy all the time. He was not like Veneziano. Still, Spain tried and England suddenly wondered how it was he could manage it.
Spain stopped, though it took him a couple of more steps before he did so, turning around with a bright look still on his face. "You're welcome! For what?"
For what indeed. England knew better then to mention any of it, but he felt so much better having said it. Not, 'I'm sorry'. Not, 'forgive me'. 'Thank you'. 'Thank you for being so irritating, so unable to be understood, for giving me another excuse back in the day to explore, even though I planned to already'.
England just smiled.
Leaving Spain confused was nothing new, but England did not necessarily care. After all, he was off to France's house and he needed all of the strength he could muster to even try thanking him without soon afterward trying to kill the other.
Then again, he had to remember counting on France being a drama queen.
"Thanks! Is that all I get? For everything I put up with, I just get a 'thanks'?"
Pretending to think about it, England decided to take an entire ten seconds before he spoke the answer he had thought of immediately. "Yes. Yes, that is all you get."
"How cruel!" France's fist was pushed up against his own lips. "I go through hell for you and I get nothing in return? You know how much time I wasted? How much disaster my taste buds had to suffer? Let alone my nightly escapades! All put to a halt because of you!"
"Well, I am not going to give you a nightly escapade for thanks France, you can count that right out."
Letting out a long dramatic sigh, France leaned back in his chair and stared at England through narrowed eyes. "Well, now that you're cured–"
"I'm not cured." As much as England hated to admit it, especially to France, it was the truth. He was not cured, not by a long shot. But now he was at least heading in the right direction.
"Non?" England shook his head and France looked rather thoughtful. "Well, if you ever need to spend the night somewhere–"
"Oh look at the time," England said quickly, rising to his feet. "I'd best be off. See you later, unfortunately." He began to walk toward the door when France's hand caught his arm.
"Je... suis content."
For a few moments, England just looked at him. "Thank you... thank you."
At first he thought to go home. But he over shot that by five hundred and fifty five kilometers. Even more than at America's doorstep, England found himself with the dilemma of whether or not to knock. He had nothing to say here. He had nothing to thank for, nothing to apologize for, nothing to say at this house. So why had he come?
When he reached forward to tap on the door, it swung open, Scotland looking down at him.
Taking in a deep breath, all England did was let it out. He did not have any words. What had they been arguing about before all of this anyway? He barely remembered, everything else which had happened wiped it away as if it had never existed. Whatever they had been mad at each other for was really not that important. It was gone to him now.
"I will see you at the next Parliament meeting."
"If ye show up, yeah ye will."
Scotland shut the door, but not before England saw the bare of teeth that was Scotland's smile. Feeling much lighter, England headed home.
"Mister, there's a light on your shoulder."
He looked over into the park, where a little girl's face was pressed up against the fence, staring at him while her friends continued to play on the playground structures behind her. England did not bother to look to his shoulder.
"Blue, isn't she? I don't think she would appreciate being called a light though."
"I do not!" Llyr pouted, he could hear her. He could imagine her expression right now, cheeks puffed out, arms across her chest, legs stuck out in front of her as her wings fluttered and kept her hovering right there.
If he looked to his left, would he see her?
The girl's eyes widened. She did see Llyr. In an instant, after her gazing, she had turned around and had run.
"Mum! Mum! I just saw a fairy!"
England looked over at Llyr. "I see a fairy too."
"Stop, you are making me blush." She looked away, smile on her face. "I am glad you are back."
Hearing the sounds of a falsely interested mother listening to the girl's words about fairies, England smiled. It always starts in the minds of the young, after all. They were the ones who had yet to close their minds...
The sky was unbelievably large.
"So am I."
It was the beginning of magic.
"Je... suis content" = "I... am glad."
For this note, which I decided I would wait until the end to give.
This story was not intended to have any pairings (other than references to previous feelings) and, therefore, it did not. It is why this was under the Hurt/Comfort/Friendship genre. I find it surprising that is always what people expect, though I am not any better, because it does tend to be the common trait in fanfiction. I think my point is that I hope this story is still liked though it had about zero romance in it. Was there love? Yes there was, but not that kind of love.
On the other hand, a lot of people reviewed and spoke about the fact they liked how different the idea was and that there was plot! As for that, I am always happy to oblige. The amount of reviews this story has received has blown me away, especially as this is not my most interesting or in depth plot. It was a simply story about England dealing with a time where his Sight vanished. Thank you for reading about it and a special shout out to those who used up precious time in order to review on a recurring basis, letting me know what they thought about everything: Whimsical Schmoo, Nerica, Angel~, PuRE'Curse, Kanki Youji, Kami011, LunarEclipse896, HappyDaez... and anyone else I may have missed putting on this list. Thank you, everyone else who even bothered to review once or twice and those who simply chose to just read it. Thank you.
Now, I have to say this is the first time I have written something with an exact theme in mind. Knocking on doors. Yes, this entire story was about doors. About leaving them shut and letting people in. About those who are trapped inside and how long long outsiders are allowed to stay. To have the courage to go to a house and knock on the door, to have the courage to open the door and face whoever has come and everything they bring with them. Sometimes it is easier to open the door then it is to ask for the door to be opened. And those people are the ones who cannot see when the doors are already open.