Written for the USxUK Secret Santa assignment on LiveJournal.
Author: Gosangoku
Recipient: geministar01
Pairing (main): Baby!US and pirate!UK, extra scene with fluffy older!USxUK, with Canada making a cameo appearance. Hints of Franada (FrancexCanada), but not blatantly so. Other nations were a bonus, plus Assignment 110 wanted Canada, so I also threw in France, Prussia and Spain because... well, because they're awesome.
Prompt (chosen out of three): Assignment 110 - Platonic/Family action/adventure. Little America (and maybe Canada?) get kidnapped by rival human pirates who don't realize they've got a couple of colonies on their hands. Arthur, naturally, comes to the rescue. Any extra characters are welcome, but the presence of Canada is a big bonus.
Genres: Action, adventure, hurt/comfort, fluff, maybe a little comedy(?).
Rating: Not too sure. T, maybe? It doesn't contain much mature content really, just some violence and bad language.
Warnings: France (he needs his own warning), mentions of Arthur's religion (Catholic protestant), human names, cursing, bad language (cursing), different languages (although it's mostly basics anyway) and hinted shounen-ai. Although, joining the community, shounen-ai (and yaoi) should have been made obvious, so I don't know why I'm warning about this. I'm babbling. I also added an extra scene at the end with older!US with UK reminiscing about the majority of this fic, meaning Arthur saving Alfred and Matthew. I use English spelling, meaning I spell "realization" as "realisation," and "favorite" as "favourite." Also, diabetes-inducing fluff maybe. Hopefully. I wish.

Hope you enjoy the story!


I will love you until my dying day, so come what may.


The vast blue ocean. It was beautiful. It was brilliant. The waves, ascending, climbing, flying, and crashing back down, rocking the ship, but he wasn't perturbed by the hasty movements of the ship. In fact, as he perched in the crows next, standing on the edge of the basket and maintaining his balance by holding onto the topmast, he felt as if he owned the entire ocean. He had power, he was strong. He was unbeatable!

"Captain Kirkland!" one of his crew called, dashing up to the topmast to see his captain.

The captain growled in aggravation. His sea escapades were growing less and less frequent as his colonies increased, especially having to take so much care of America all the time... Not that he minded, to be honest. He got lonely a lot-not that he would ever, ever admit that-and that kid just made him feel so happy, more so than even his dear old Queen. Shaking his head to rid himself of those thoughts, and berating himself for disgressing like an old man, he glared down ferociously at his crew.

"What is it, ye scallywag?" he demanded hotly, not taking kindly to being interrupted. Hell, if he was pushed around all day by his parliament and monarch-of which the latter he didn't really mind as his Queen was bloody brilliant, but, cor blimey, they got on his nerves!-so he felt justified in giving his men a bit of the ol' heave-ho, the bleeding wankers. Mostly, all they did was get spannered anyway, so took pleasure in making them flinch sometimes. Especially if they flirted with Spanish girls. That pissed him off. Blimey, I hate those Spanish pricks... I swear, one day I'll send them to Davy Jones' locker!

"Sir, we 'ave word of anovver ship comin' in. Shall we launch an attack?" he asked in a thick, roguish voice, hoarse despite how much larger he consumed on a daily basis, like the rest of the crew.

"Is it Spanish?" Arthur spat furiously, lip curling in disgust. Tch, who else ruins my voyages? Bleeding toe-rags! "Gordon Bennet, is it the bloody dagos(1) again?

"Dunno, cap'n," the guy answered hastily, slurring his words slightly. Arthur bet he reaked of alcohol, but who was he to judge? He probably did as well.

"You didn't bother to find out?" the Briton growled angrily, snorting in disgust and rolling his eyes. Grabbing a rope, he cut it with the dagger attached to his belt, and swung down, landing right in front of the man. Arthur was smaller than him, but, fuck, could he be intimidating! "You filthy bilge rat! Why the fuck aren't you doing your bloody job?" he demanded, thrusting his sword towards the man's throat, which the guy didn't even see him remove from its sheath.

No wonder he's so feared, thought the victim with the blade at his neck. Trying not to swallow in case his adam's apple hit the point of the sword, he stuttered, "I-I only found out a minute ago."

Sneering, Arthur rolled his eyes and, shooting a smouldering scowl to the stupid wanker who couldn't do his bleeding job properly, he dashed to the edge of the ship and, upon seeing a dot on the horizon steadily approaching, cursed under his breath and bellowed, "Crew! Get yer bleeding arses out on deck! Now!" and the crew scurried out from their jobs below deck and from altering the masts, lining up before their captain, who immediately stared down on them, folding his arms and stucking his chin up imperiously. "We aren't going to lose," he declared, pumping a fist into the air. "We're going to blow those wankers out of the sea!"

"Yeah!" his men chorused.

"Get to it then!" he yelled, and the crew let out another incoherent shout before rushing off to do their jobs, some climbing the mast, looking out from the crow's nest and shouting out information, the navigator giving instructions, the masts being altered to these commands, and Arthur? Arthur, the captain, was steering the ship. It was horrifying-he was supposed to be a refined gentleman, working honourably for the Queen of England, it was terrifying-he could be blasted to smitherines at any moment in time as he fought on the seas, and then England would be affected terribly. But most of all, it was thrilling. Charging into battle on the seas-on his seas-felt wonderful. He always followed orders upon orders upon orders, always doing things for the "greater good", and now, here, on his ship, on the sea, he felt at home. He felt in control. He felt alive. Even more so when he felt his ship rock atop the tempestuous waves as they approached the enemy ship, both stopping when not too far from each other so they wouldn't severely damage their own ships.

Both captains of each ship glared steadily at one another before the Brit smirked and barked out, "Fire the cannons!"


"Igirichu!" Alfred cried pitifully, clinging to his caretaker's leg as sobbed, and his younger brother clutched the Brit's other leg quietly, silently begging him not to leave. "Don't go!"

Sighing ruefully, Arthur knelt down so he was almost at eye-level with both colonies, and he smiled at them both, ruffling their hair fondly. "I'm sorry, guys," he apologised softly. "But I have to go." He grimaced as fresh tears filled both of the little one's eyes and forced another bright smile. "I'll be back later," he said quickly. "When you're big countries like me, you'll have to work hard too."

They blinked their big eyes at him. "Big, eh...?" Matthew asked in awe, tilting his head.

Arthur grinned. "That's right," he replied, poking the boy's nose and, so the American wouldn't feel left out, he pinched his cheek, ignoring the complaints. "I know that you'll grow up to be big, strong, successful nations."

The colonies stared up at him, big eyes sparkling hopefully. "Then you'll be proud of us, Iggy?" they chorused, Alfred's voice overruling his brother's but, nonetheless, Arthur addressed them both when he responded.

"No matter what, I'll always be proud of you." Leaning down a litte further, he kissed both their forehead, and then heaved himself up again, dusting off his pristine black suit, picked up his brief case and headed to the door. "I'll be back in a few hours," he informed them. "Be careful," he warned with a frown. "Don't-"

"Open the door for strangers, answer the phone, go in the kitchen or bathroom cupboards because there're harmful chemicals in there, or especially let any French people in," the brothers recited, snickering when Arthur pouted at them.

"Yes, well," the Brit said, coughing into a fist awkwardly. "Do take care." His face softened slightly then. "See you later." Sending both of them a small wave, he departed from the house to make his way to his meeting with the queen, smiling at them when they dashed to the window to watch him disappear up the road.

"Bye bye, Iggy," they whispered as he disappeared from their view, Matthew sighing wistfully whilst Alfred was repeating Arthur's words over and over again in his head.

I'll always be proud of you.


"Oh, blimey," Arthur swore irritably, already not in the most favourable mood; he'd had to leave his charges at home on their own despite how clear they had made it that they dislike that immensely and now it was raining. Just his luck. "Figures I'd not think to bring a brolly with me," he muttered. "I never bring one when it actually rains. Bugger all." He shook his head and continued on his way, dull emerald eyes trained on the pavement, not really seeing. Maybe that was why he inadvertantly crashed into someone, shoulders colliding painfully and both men in the collision cursed. After recovering, the unknown man turned to shout at the idiot who crashed into him, when he spotted the choppy blond hair and very prominent eyebrows. Cursing again, he turned and legged it down the street. By the time Arthur had recovered, he only saw the nameless man dashing off. Huffing and rubbing his shoulder, he shouted after him, "Y' stupid wanker! Watch where ye're going next time!" He huffed irately again before folding his arms and marching onwards towards his destination, still unable to banish his two little colonies from his thoughts entirely.

As he deftly approached his beloved Queen's road, he unconsciously began reciting a prayer for his children, emerald eyes half-mast as he inwardly said his catechism for them.

Our father
who art in heaven,
hallow be thy name.
Thy kindgom come,
thy will be done
on Earth
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day
our daily bread,
and forgive us
our trespasses
as we forgive
those who trespass
against us.
And lead us not
into temptation
but deliver us from evil.


Having been dozing off, Matthew jumped in surprise when there were several sharp knocks at the door. He glanced at the clock, violet-blue eyes widening slightly. L'Angleterre couldn't be home yet... he thought, reverting back to French in his thoughts. He glanced at his big brother, frowning at the boy who was snoring lightly. "H-hey, Alfred? America," he whined nervously as he knocks continued.

A bright azure eye blinked open and the colony glared sleepily at his little brother, sitting up to rub his eyes. "What?" he grumbled rudely, hearing Arthur's voice rebuking him in the back of his mind and correcting himself. "What can I help you with, Mattie?" He liked to think the Briton would be proud of him.

"Someone's at the door," the Canadian replied in a hushed whisper, eyes darting nervously to the door and back to Alfred's face again as he fisted his shirt worriedly.

"Why didn't ya answer it?" the elder nation enquired, rolling his eyes. "Maybe Iggy's home early!" he suggested brightly, eyes lighting up.

"He's never gotten home early before, especially not this early, eh," Matthew reasoned, brows drawing together as his concern grew. "It may be a stranger..."

"A stranger?" The American faltered for a moment before grinning broadly, disorientating Matthew. Why was he smiling when there was quite possibly a dangerous stranger at the door? "Awesome!" he squealed, grabbing Matthew's hand and dragging him God knows where, but the younger nation complied with his brother's wishes; Alfred was unreasonably and inexplicably strong already and, although Matthew knew he could rival his brother's strength, he just found it easier and less troublesome to play along, much as Arthur did so. (Despite his rather stupid attempts to scare Alfred on Halloween. They were always successful, but he always nearly got his back broken by Alfred's insane strength!)

"How is this 'awesome', Alfred?" he asked with a small, nervy sigh. I wish L'Angeleterre was here...

"'Cause we can be, like, spies or something!" came his big brother's enthusiastic response as he made some odd movements-ducking, punching the air, kicking the air (like Mulan in that movie that Chinese guy gave to Alfred as a birthday present last July... Although, Alfred didn't use her stick-thing)-to get to his chosen destination-a window.

"Alfred, what are you doing?" the Canadian squeaked, eyes bulging. "They might see you, imbécile!" he hissed, tugging at his brother's stubby leg to try and pull him down off of the window ledge.

"Don't be silly, Mattie," the other blond said dismissively, waving off his brother's agitating attempts to remove him from the ledge. "He won't see me," he assured him, standing to get a better look, as Matthew sighed in defeat and leaned up to peak his eyes over the ledge, hardly able to see out of the window. "I see him! I see him!"

"Alfred, be quiet!"

"Whatever, Mattie. Look! He looks funny. He's wearing Iggy's clothes when he says he has to leave for a long time. Like, that weird big hat with a feather in it, and a long coat, and an eyepatch... What's with the eyepatch anyways? Iggy's got fine eyesight," he pondered, digressing. Matthew suspected his brother had an attention problem.

"Alfred, please, just get down!" he whispered frantically. "England will be home soon, and he'll make that man go away."

"We're stronger than Iggy," Alfred retorted huffily, almost sulking.

"England has more experience than us. He's fought a lot, which is why..." Why he has so many scars...

Alfred, oblivious as always, didn't sense his little brother's thoughts and just shrugged, obstinate. "But we're stronger," he repeated, as if that justified his idiotic train of thought.

"Alfreeed..." he whined.

"Oopsies!" Alfred squeaked and jumped down from the ledge.

"What? What is it?" Matthew demanded, biting his lip.

"I think they saw me." The American smiled sheepishly.

"I told you!" he yelped worriedly, before halting. "Wait, wait. They? There's more than one person?" His eyes grew as wide as saucers.

"Yuh-huh," the other boy confirmed, tilting his head in a clueless fashion. "Why? 'S 'at bad?"

Matthew was about to grab his brother by the shoulders and shake the fool (like he had seen England do to his papa quite frequently), when he heard a loud crash and a mixture of words slurred and shouted that he hadn't ever heard before. Gasping, he exclaimed, "Hide!"

But it was too late.

The men didn't bother to muffle the kid's screams when they grabbed them and high-tailed it out of the house, a few of the men staying back to smash up some of the house.

"Serves ya right, ya bloody nancy!"

They left after smashing his tea pots.


"What a bunch of pillocks! They're all off their trolley!" Agitatedly stuffing his forms under his arm, Arthur stormed out of the meeting. "Still, they are just-argh! Whatever. They aren't worth my time." I know two little childr-c-colonies who are worth much more time than those ruddy plonkers. Honestly, complete and utter pillocks. Gordon Bennett... Heaving a frustrated sigh, he departed from his beloved Queen's property, shaking his head at the taxi triver, opting to walk home in the rain to clear his head before going back to his ch-colonies. He didn't want to be snappy with them. It wasn't their fault that Arthur wanted to rebel against his government.

I'm still so hung up over my punk music. Heh, 'Anarchy in the UK' indeed.


"America! Canada! I'm home!" a sopping wet Arthur declared as he approached his house, jogging up to his door. He was always excited to get home and see his child-colonies! I really must stop seeing them as my children, he chastised himself briefly, before smiling again. But... they're just... They're mine, and I... They mean the world to me. This thought caused a sudden stop, and Arthur stood before his front door, smile slipping from his face when he recalled the time when he had fought with Francis over Matthew. The pain and agony the French man must have felt was overwhelming and, although he and the frog weren't ever on the best terms, he knew that he would be absolutely devastated should anything happen to Alfred and Matthew, and that included getting his children taken away...

Slowly, shaking his head to rid himself of such thoughts-You're the invincible British empire. Stop standing around like a bloody plonker and go and see your colonies-he finally unlocked his door, waiting for the two little nations to run up to him and hug his legs. After a few moments of waiting, Arthur grew mildly concerned. Usually, the kids would jump up and greet him immediately when he got home, and if they had fallen asleep, Matthew always woke up when he opened the door and notified Alfred.

Playing off his worry, berating himself for feeling so scared, he began searching the house. Thoroughly. Five minutes later, he was near hysterics, especially after noticing that a lot of his furniture had been destroyed.

He dashed back into the hallway and shakily grabbed his phone, jerkily dialling the first number he thought of, shaking back and forth and taking deep breaths to calm himself.

After several rings, someone answered. "Bonjour, mon amour." He didn't even know who it was!

"Oi, France," Arthur said instantly, almost interrupting the French man.

"L'Angleterre? Oh, 'ave you called to ask me for-"

"No," Arthur deadpanned instantly. Usually, he'd have bit the wanker's head off already, but he was too panicked and worried for his children to do so. "I need help."

"'Elp? What on Earth for?" He sounded bewildered, and Arthur didn't blame him. He hadn't asked for help from anyone before, let alone Francis.

"A-Al... America and Canada... I-I think they've been kidnapped." He didn't even care that his voice sounded so weak at that point. He was too busy analysing possible situations (which was difficult what with how he was inwardly hosting a party of panic!) to notice the long silence at accompanied his statement.

"L'Angleterre, if this is some kind of joke..."

"I wouldn't joke about something like this, France, you bastard!" the Brit shouted furiously into the phone, terribly offended by the accusation, but, more than anything, just horribly worried about his children. Oh, how he wished they were alright... If anyone had laid a hand on them, he'd give them what-for!


Arthur snapped back into the real world. "Wh-what?" he stuttered, surprised. Had Francis been calling him?

"Écouter," he demanded, somehow sounding calm. "Je vais vous aider," he said, and then, thinking again, fell into English. "I will 'elp," he repeated. "Just remain calm, L'Angleterre. I shall do something, je promets. Au revoir pour l'instant." The line went dead, but Arthur remained leaning against the wall, clutching the phone, shaking, thinking only one thing.
God, don't let them die.

"Fucking hell, England," a proud baritone voice shouted, and the Brit glanced up instantly, prepared to attack, when he noticed the near-white hair and gleaming crimson eyes.

"Prussia...?" he muttered in confusion, thick brows drawing together. "What the bloody 'ell are you doing here?" If he's trying to pull something, then... "F-France? What are you both... Spain!" He jumped up, posed ready to fight, tensing further when the albino slammed a hand down on his shoulder.

"Chill, England," he said with a cocksure grin, and Arthur scowled at him for being so haughty. "This'll be awesome. You have me."

"Wow," the blond muttered dryly. "If that isn't reasurring, I don't know what is."

"I know, right?" the German replied, still smirking, and ignoring the sarcasm lacing Arthur's voice.

"France," the Briton hissed, furious lime green eyes darting to the French man. "I called you, not... these two!" He motioned towards the other two thirds of the Bad Friend Trio, both of whom pretended not to hear him.

"Oui, oui, mon cher," Francis agreed soothingly, making Arthur's thick brow twitch in agitation. "But you cannot disagree that it would be sufficient to obtain more 'elp, can you?" He winked.

Arthur grumbled huffily, not wanting to admit that the git was right. Still, he thought morosely, I wanted to be the one to save America and Canada... America's always making such a big deal about heroes... I wanted to live up to that expectation... "Whatever," he settled on saying, glaring at all three of them, trying not to smirk when the Spaniard seemed to pale slightly. "Let's just get going. I want to rescue them as quickly as possible."

"Warten," Gilbert suddenly said, and the three other occupants turned to him expectantly. "Wait," he repeated in English, and asked, "Do you have any idea who could've taken Amerika und Kanada?"

The Brit averted his gaze momentarily before fixing his usual scowl upon his pale features. "I have lots of enemies," he answered stiffly, restraining himself from glancing at Francis and Antonio. "However," he added, realising that his answer wasn't very helpful, "I did, er, blow up part of some wanker's ship yesterday."

Antonio scoffed and muttered something that sounded suspiciously like, "Como de costumbre," which Arthur spent a moment translating to, "As usual." He glared back in response.

Much against his better judgement, he admitted softly, "I shouldn't have done that, I know," making the Bad Friend Trio fall back into silence. "Especially since I'm taking care of - I-I mean, since I have colonies to..." He flushed slightly. Reign over, you idiot. Reign over! Not 'take care of'! You sentimental old fool! "To reign over," he finished feebly, surprised that he wasn't being made fun of for his slip-up. It was probably because the three friends had nations to look after. He tried not to recall that Francis had once taken care of him.

"Richtig. Right," the German declared, effectively breaking the tense silence, "There's no use sitting 'round in this old dump." He grinned back in response to Arthur's glower, vowing to take the guy out for a drink some time as an apology. "So, let's board one of England's ships! C'mon, Artie, lead us to one!" he ordered sharply, pushing Arthur out of the door and laughing animatedly at his colourful protests.

Antonio and Francis exchanged looks. 'E's good at distracting people...


"For fuck sake! Make the little buggers shut up! Jesus Christ!" a roughish man shouted angrily, shaking his head and running a hand through his messy brown hair, shooting a malicious glare at the two 'kids'.

His shout just made the more exubarent twin cry louder, whilst Matthew was trying to mask his cries, although he didn't think they noticed him anyway... Wanting to be at least somewhat useful, Matthew nudged his twin gently. "Alfred... quiet down," he whispered shakily, eyes darting back to the crewmember who was supposed to be watching them. "Maybe they'll be nicer if we're quiet..."

Alfred sniffled loudly as big tears fell down his face, and turned to his brother with frightened eyes. "They won't be nice!" he shouted, a far cry from his younger brother's tone. Matthew winced when the pirate turned and hissed at them. Alfred only sobbed out louder, "They always hurt Iggy lots! He always comes home hurt! And he's never done nothin' do deserve that!"

"Shut it!" the man barked. "Fuck, I'm a pirate, a scavenger, and I'm s'posed to be stealin' and shit, whilst cap'n's got me takin' care of some runts! Chrissake, the fuck's he on?" he grumbled to himself, kicking the wall irately.

Matthew ignored the man in favour of offering Alfred a weak smile, much like Arthur did when he returned from work. "I'm sure l'Angleterre - um, Arthur," he corrected himself, and thought not to use the Brit's country name in fear of any catastrophic incidents. "Arthur will come looking for us. He'll save us, eh," he reasurred his elder brother softly.

The American's eyes were wide and tearful. "You sure? You don't know that..."

"Arthur loves us very much," Matthew explained, although he silently added, He just loves you more. "He'll definitely come."

Alfred's frown transformed into a bright, vibrant smile, and he said cheerily, "You're right, Mattie! Iggy'll come! He always comes to get us!"

"Don't be too sure 'bout that, kids," the pirate finally broke in, a sadistic smirk on his tanned face, and the little nations turned to him warily. "S'pose he don't come back..."(2)

"What're you saying?" the elder of the two brothers cried, eyes wide with an odd mixture of fear and fury. "Where's Iggy?"

"Kirkland, ya mean?" The man shrugged and flicked his nose. "How the fuck d' you expect me to know?" he snapped. "I'm just a member of the crew, don't get told nothin'."

"Do you know why we're here?" Matthew asked smally, and the man blinked a few times before his dark eyes settled on him.

"I know that much at least," he answered with a roll of his eyes. He folded his arms and leaned against the wall, towering ominously above the two small nations, and they cowered back before Alfred was filled with a sudden burst of adrenaline, fueled by the memory of an exhausted Arthur reading him stories about heroes and kinghts, trying not to fall asleep before Alfred did, and he stuck up his chin as if to challenge the pirate. The man, in return, raised a brow and scoffed. "Cap'n captured you guys so he could lure Kirkland here."

"Why?" Matthew enquired, wishing he sounded more demanding and less vulnerable and timid but, to his credit, he didn't flinch when the pirate's obsidian eyes locked onto his pale blues.

"Why? Fuck, does he tell you anythin'?" he asked rhetorically, and upon seeing the confused and perplexed look on the kid's face, he ran a hand through his hair again and sighed in frustration. "Basically, the tosser blew up one of our ships."

The young nations' eyes widened in horror before Alfred glared furiously. "Liar!" he accused.

"Alfred..." Matthew whispered warningly, worried that his elder brother's outburst would spur violence, but it appeared he had gone unnoticed... as usual.

The man leaned down, dirty, unshaved face inches away from Alfred's young, flushed face, and he whispered, with the smell of ale on his breath, making the American grimace in disgust, "You think I'm lyin'? Alright, let's see what you believe when the fucker boards this ship, huh?"

As if on cue, the first mate slammed the door open, glaring viciously, and shouted, "Oi, you, get up on deck! We got a fight on our hands."

The man sent a victorious smirk towards Alfred before mutting, "I'm comin', I'm comin'," unseathing his blade, and following his superior.

The young nations waited in silence as they clambered up the stairs onto deck. Silence ensued for a moment before boisterous yells were heard, but they couldn't decipher the words due to the muffled thumps of boots on the deck above them. Alfred felt helpless and useless like this, and he didn't like it one bit. In the stories Arthur read him, the heroes always, always, always escaped from these situations! He was a hero too, so he had to escape so that he could rescue his damsel in distress! (Namely Arthur. Although, when Alfred informed the Brit that he was Alfred's princess, he didn't react the way the American had expected. Instead of swooning and fawning over him and his heroic-ness, he turned red, made some weird gaping fish-face, dropped the book he was reading, and fled from the room. Needless to say, Alfred had not been pleased.)

Enthused by his sudden ephiphany (or daydream), he turned dramatically to his younger brother and declared boldly, "We're gonna get outta here and save Iggy!"

Matthew stared back incredulously. Was it not supposed to be the other way around?


The sea was a lot calmer than usual today, which the navigator was somewhat pleased about, although the captain of the ship could not help but feel as if it were some kind of warning, akin to the phrase, "The calm before the storm," but in a more literal context. At the wheel of the ship, he stared out at the vast blue ocean before him, midnight-blue eyes scanning the area. He still felt an odd sense for foreboding. His crew often teased his, what they had dubbed "women's intuition," but he didn't respond to it. The feeling was often correct, so he wouldn't hesitate to rub his crew's faces in it. If they live, he added to himself, and then brushed off the thought. He was an unusual captain; instead of brash and openly competitive, he was strategic and reserved. However, those unique traits did serve to benefit him in the long run. But today? Today he just had a bad feeling...

"Cap'n? What's up now?" a crew member asked from behind him, folding his arms and grinning in amusement. "Your women's intuition again?"

The captain turned and glowered coldly at him. "I suggest you don't agitate me, Scott," he hissed, dark eyes threatening, and then tensed when he heard another man shout from the crows nest.

"Ship on the horizon!"

He swerved around and, sure enough, he could see a dot on the horizon, heading towards them at a rapid speed. The captain's brow creased and he hissed in annoyance. I'd make a tactical retreat, but their ship is faster. There is no way we'd escape in time, he thought glumly.

"What're the orders, cap'n?"

"Prepare to fight."


"Goddamn, England," a thick German voice spoke up loudly as he jogged up to the Brit steering the ship, clapping him heavily on the back and, as usual, dismissing the glare sent his way. "Hate to admit it, but she's a beaut'!" he declared, nodding vaguely at the ship they were aboard. He smirked victoriously when Arthur's face lit up and laughed when the Englishman grinned (weakly, since it was prominent that he was worried). "I'm awesome are cheering people up, right?" He winked, and the blond rolled his eyes in return, but didn't answer. Instead, cloudy emerald eyes, misted over from deep thought, were pinned onto the horizon, awaiting a ship to appear so he could attack it and get his childr - his colonies back. Colonies. Colonies, colonies, colonies, he told himself sternly, willing down a blush. He sighed deeply and shook his head, trying to dismiss his distracting thoughts. I cannot be having an internal struggle when I'm fighting for Al - America and Canada...

"Oiga!" Antonio called from the crows next, and everyone glanced up at the brunet expectantly, Arthur slightly more anxious than the others. "I see something," he said quickly, "On the horizon, a bit further ahead. It's a ship, obviously." He leant over and looked at Arthur. "Speed up. They are not going very fast. We could probably catch up to them easily if you increase the speed."

Although he was not one to take orders, Arthur knew that this was serious and getting into an unecessary fight would just cause more havoc. Nodding quickly, the Brit did as instructed and made the required orders to speed up the ship. Usually, when chasing down an enemy, he felt a thrill, a sense of smug accomplishment, but right now, as he approached the other ship, he just felt a sense of dread and worry for his ch - colonies. They'd better be okay, he thought, clenching the wheel so tightly his knuckles turned white. Or else I just might have to kill that fucking crew. Tossers, the lot of them! Just because they're pissed off with me doesn't mean they have to kidnap my children! I guess this is what comes from having people you care about... Somehow, that didn't fill him with more dread, but instead seemed to make him more determined. Don't start feeling sorry for yourself, Arthur, you idiot! You've got kids to save!

"We are almost near them now!" Antonio called, pulling the Brit out of his musings. Not responding, the blond continued to hastily make his way to the other ship and, when lined up beside them, he pulled out his blade and leapt across, not sparing a passing thought for the gap between the boats, and threw himself onto the other deck, immediately hefting up his sword.

Lime green eyes glinting furiously, he glanced around the whole crew, sneering lightly, untill his eyes locked on one man, and he charged. Blades clashed and eyes locked onto one another.

"I'll fucking kill you."


"Reckless idiot," Francis hissed as he leapt onto the other ship, Gilbert following behind quickly, and Antonio swung from a rope from the mast and landed next to them.

"'Cause he cares about those kids, I guess," the German supplied, and then his crimson eyes darted to where Arthur was fighting. He nodded towards his friends before dashing into the brawl and preventing an attack aimed at Arthur's back. "That's cheating, don't you think?" he drawled as he deflected the random pirate's attack and defended himself from another oncoming attack, and then kicking that man out of the way. Aforementioned man groaned before glaring angrily at the albino and pulling himself up, brandishing his sword and chrging to Gilbert. "Cheating is so not awesome!" he declared dramatically, meeting the other man's blade with his own and pushing him back. "I'm here to restore the awesome, and you cheaters are in the fuckin' way of that!" As he said that, he slashed his blade across his opponent's chest and the man flew backwards, hitting his head against the wood and slipping down to the floor, unconscious. Smirking triumphantly, Gilbert rushed into action and continued his fight. Antonio and Francis, motivated by their German friend's vigour, zipped into action and began swinging their blades, blocking in defense and slashing in offense.

"Where are they?" Arthur demanded furiously, dodging an attack aimed at him and then twirling around to bestow one upon the captain, whom only just managed to defend himself. Seemingly unperturbed by his lack of defense, the captain continued his struggle against Arthur, keeping a calm mask on his tanned face.

"Who?" he replied tonelessly, and Arthur's eyes flashed in rage before he crashed his sword against the bigger man's, trying to force him into a corner.

"Don't pretend you don't know," the Brit hissed angrily, applying more pressure to his weapon and forcing the man back further until both blades were hardly milimetres away from the captain's face. "Where are my children?"

The captain twitched slightly, straining to maintain the small distance between their blades and his face. "You--" he began, only to be interrupted by a bang of a door and a loud voice.

"Don't worry! The hero is here!"

Everyone turned to the source of the voice, and Arthur could have sworn his heart stopped. He paled and felt physically sick when he saw Alfred and Matthew emerge from below the deck out into the fray. Noticing the Brit's distraction, the captain's lips twitched into a small smirk. He decided to use it to his advantage, and he shoved his sword against the Englishman's, surprising the man and effectively getting into an opening. The captain felt a small sense of victory when he managed to swipe his blade across Arthur's chest. Smirking triumphantly, he flashed over to the two young nations, holding his blade to their necks. Both boys froze instantly, along with the four other countries.

"Drop your weapons," the captain ordered, and the countries did so reluctantly, letting their blades fall to the floor, clanging on the deck and slipping out of their grasp. "Good," the man praised, voice akin to that of a purr. "Crew, grab them," he demanded, pleased when the four countries where grabbed by his crew, restrained from making any movements. Gilbert was prepared to struggle, but when Antonio shook his head at him, he grudgingly obeyed and stilled, but continued to glare angrily at the captain and trying to step on the feet belonging to the guys holding him back. "Bring Kirkland to me," said the captain, unwavering and unperturbed when the two kids behind his blade whimpered, and Alfred almost shouted Arthur's name when the Brit was shoved forwards roughly by two men, but the look in the man's eyes made him stop. Swallowing, and then moving his head back slightly in case he accidentally leaned forward into the blade, Alfred waited. Iggy, I'm sorry... I wanted to be the hero... but it seems like I've just messed it up...

"Well?" Arthur snarled challengingly. "What do you want? Why have you taken my children?" he hissed dangerously, wanting nothing more than to rip out of the men's grasp and punching the captain square in the jaw.

"Is it not obvious?" the captain replied, his tone full of rage. "You do not recall destroying my ship?" His blade was shaking slightly now as his emotions built up, and Arthur just hoped he controlled himself enough so that the two young nations wouldn't be hurt...

"Well, you've obviously repaired it," the Brit snapped in response, terse due to his nervousness. He couldn't let anyone hurt Alfred or Matthew... He couldn't! "What more do you want?"

"You fucking bastard," the captain hissed, gritting his teeth and clenching the hilt of his sword tighter. Matthew closed his eyes tightly and Alfred clenched his fists, trying to prevent himself from making any movements that could endanger him and his brother. At least, this way, I can help Mattie... Th-that's something... "What do I want? Well, that boat my father died saving was partially destroyed, and our booty was all but lost to Davy Jones's locker..." Alfred suddenly contemplated the irony that his last name was synonymous to a man's who supposedly contracted all lost souls, but was hastily brought back to reality when he felt the chill of metal at his neck. He grimaced and told himself not to swallow, although he really wanted to lean away from the pirate behind him. He smelt funny... At that point, he just wanted to hug Arthur, despite how embarrassing that may be, and inhale the scent of tea and burnt scones...

Arthur was obviously not prepared to apologise. "People die," he muttered, "You should know that better than most, captain," he sneered. "But I am prepared to negotiate with you, if it's the only way to..." He glanced at Matthew and then Alfred. "What do you want?" he demanded, thick brows downcast in anger. He suppressed a wince when he felt something sharp dig into his hip. What the...? Glancing downwards quickly, he noticed a switchblade knife sticking out of a pocket belonging to one of the crew members. If I could just grab it... I just have to keep him distracted...

"I want you," the captain muttered, and Arthur frowned in confusion to humour him as he subtly flicked his hand back, brushing the hilt of the knife. A bit closer...


"Although you're despicable," the captain grumbled with a scowl, and Arthur glared back as he fingered the blade behind him, trying to grab it. "You are a very well-renowned pirate and, despite noble appearances, riches, and working for the monarch, you're somehow a talented pirate. Merciless, heartless, and strong. I don't like you, but I'm aware that you'd be a great asset to my crew."

"That may be so," the Brit grumbled, finally slipping the knife into his hand, "But I am not prepared to sacrifice myself to a life of servitude." He smirked. "I bid you adieu." One of the men holding him back cried out in pain when he stabbed the knife through his hand, and then Arthur swung to avoid a heavy punch, then swerved to slash at the other man's arm. Before either of the bulky men could grab him again, the Englishman zipped forward and held the knife to the captain's adam's apple. "Hurt them, and I kill you," he whispered truthfully, green eyes swimming in a mixture of pure fury and hatred, but overruled by worry and apprehension for his charges. Let them go, let them go, let them go...

"All right," the captain said with forced calm, but sweat drenched his brow and his eyes darted from the blade to Arthur's eyes and back again. "Let go of the knife and I'll let the kids go."

"You first," the blond ordered, not wanting to take any chances.

"Very well..." The captain grunted in annoyance, and shoved Alfred and Matthew harshly out of the way. Arthur jerked and moved to catch them, but the captain grabbed the Brit and shoved him against the wall, knocking the breath out of him. "Now, you'll be in my crew, yes?" he hissed, softly tracing Arthur's cheek with his blade, leaving a long cut from his forehead to his chin, and droplets of blood dripped onto his red coat, leaving the substance invisible.

Arthur smirked disobediently. "I don't think so," he replied cheekily, in what Alfred thought sounded like a pretty badass tone and, although he would never admit it out loud, he really wanted to grow up and be like Arthur. When the American came back from spacing out, his eyes bulged when he saw Arthur punch the kidnapper in the face. He ducked down to the floor and grabbed the knife he had previously discarded as the other man staggered back, holding his bloodied, possibly broken nose, before he glowered furiously and charged at the Brit with his sword.

"Iggy!" Alfred cried, and Matthew felt his eyes sting when he saw the blade disappear between the two men. Everyone stood in silence for a moment before Arthur smirked painfully.

"I win," he whispered, and the captain stumbled back, extracting his sword from Arthur's abdomen as he fell into the arms of his first mate, a knife sticking out of his stomach.

"Can I knock these fuckers out now?" Gilbert pleaded and, when Antonio nodded and elbowed the guy behind him, the German and the French man also set to work knocking the crew out. As Gilbert kicked the unconscious men and taunted them, the Spaniard and Francis walked over to Arthur, who was leaning against the wall and clutching his abdomen, but stumbled back when Alfred and Matthew dashed over to Arthur and practically glomped him. The onlookers were surprised when, instead of gasping in pain, the Brit beamed and hugged the two boys tightly.

"Are you guys okay?" he asked in surprising gentleness that the audience had never heard before. They logged it away for future blackmail material.

"Yes," Matthew answered quietly, although he was feeling mildly nauseous and shakey due to the events. "Are you?" he enquired worriedly. "Th-that man... did he...?"

"Don't worry about me," Arthur answered tiredly, but he was far too pale for Francis's liking, not to mention the Englishman's wound...

"We should get 'ome quickly," the French man said suddenly, and everyone glanced to him, aside from Alfred who still had his arms wrapped around Arthur's waist. "So we can get these men to jail, and tend to L'Angleterre." He glanced meaningfully at aforementioned man, who glared back slightly, not wanting to worry the children.

"Sí, I agree," Antonio replied when Arthur didn't respond. "Gilbert, stop kicking the unconscious men and adjust the sails so we can head back to Inglaterra!"

As everyone set up to depart back home, Arthur let his eyes slip closed and he slid down the wall, slipping into unconscious, only vaguely hearing Alfred calling his name before everything turned black.

He awoke in his house the next day, wrapped up in bandages, fairies tending to him. When I recover, I'm going to curse Francis for wrapping me in gauze... He better not have tried anything! He thought angrily, and rambled as much later, not quite understanding nor really even noticing how Alfred's face was red, although Matthew was very amused and kept saying very odd things that the Brit could not comprehend, although Alfred hastily got flustered and snapped at his younger brother, whom just snickered in return.

Arthur wondered where the Canadian got his sadistic streak from. However, he was also quite flattered that Alfred was being so sweet. He knew he'd be more of a brat when he recovered, but it was nice while it lasted, and he loved Alfred no matter how bratty and annoying he could be. He told him as much, and Alfred blushed for another inexplicable reason. When Arthur kissed the boy's forehead before his next trip, the boy seemed fairly conflicted for a moment before giving Arthur a strange smile, a lot unlike his usual one, and told him to come home quickly, to which Arthur tried hard to comply to.

When the Englishman returned a little while later, exhausted and disguising wounds from his recent escapade, he nearly fainted at the doorstep. Alfred was taller than him. He acted annoyed and exasperated when the American bragged about it, but secretly, he just felt rather disappointed. Not that he wasn't proud! He was. He just felt like, what with Alfred's - no, America's - strength and charm, he just felt rather useless. Conflicted, torn between pride for his charge, defense for his empire, and worry and anticipation of rejection, he had upped the taxes and did everything in his power to keep Alfred beside him, to keep him safe.

Or, that's what he told himself. He did want Al - America - to be safe, but... more than anything, he just wanted the man himself, and that scared him. Defensive, he increased his taxes again. It wasn't long before Alfred declared indepedance.

After that war, it was the first time Arthur had to dress his wounds himself since... Since before I had Alfred.

For a long time, he was bitter and resentful, and told himself and others that he didn't go to any of America's birthday celebrations due to resentment, but truthfully? Truthfully, he felt sick knowing that America didn't need him anymore...


He felt so out of place. He didn't know why he was there. He was invited, as always, but he had always tore up his invitations and chugged whiskey instead of actually accepting the bleeding things.

So, why was he there? He couldn't even answer that himself. He felt so wrong, standing a few yards away from the party, lingering in the shade of a big tree, watching as all the countries chatted and laughed amongst themselves, playing games and having fun. He didn't stare at them much. Instead, his emerald eyes were just scouring the entire place for a certain someone. Where was he? This was his party, so he should have been there! Cor, blimey, talk about being a rude host--

"England?" He froze. "That you?" No, no, no! He couldn't know that he was here! "Oi, answer me, old man..." Oh, God. Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God. Why does my throat hurt? My eyes are burning... Shit, he can't... How did he... Why is he here, of all places? Fuck... "Iggy?" Don't call me that... "You're shaking. Are you okay? You cold? That's kinda weird. I mean, it's, like, twenty three degrees or somethin'... Iggy? Talk to me..."

"Sorry," Arthur choked out, and inwardly cursed himself for sounding so weak. Leave me alone to wallow in misery, please.

There was a pause. "A-are you cryin'?" Alfred asked hesitantly, sounding almost meek.

"Of course not!" the Brit snapped, but did not have the intended effect as his voice broke at the end when a sob broke through. "I-I just..." He gasped and swallowed, feeling hot tears pool in his eyes, making his vision blurry. "Y-you're just... so big now, and I... I mean, you're independant, and..." That word left a bitter taste in his mouth. He almost wanted to be sick. "You're so strong and s-so powerful, and I..." I'm nothing anymore. Not an empire, not anything. I'm just an island. A lonely, old, broken island. "I should go," he concluded, clenching his fists. "I apologise for showing up. I shouldn't have... H-have fun, America." He turned to leave, but his wrist was caught before he could, and he made the mistake of looking up, because now Alfred could see the tears falling down his cheeks and how fucking vulnerable he must have looked, and...

"I invited you," Alfred said nervously, eyes darting away for a moment before he looked back at Arthur, still holding the Brit's wrist in a vice-like grip. Fucking strong prick, he thought. "S-so, uh, just... y'know..." No, I don't know... "Just, like... Aw hell, Iggy, I want you to be here! I always have! Else I wouldn't have sent invitations to you all those times, and, well, I..." His face contorted, obviously not knowing what to say.

"Don't think too much. You'll hurt yourself," Arthur said, but it lacked its usual venom, and sounded more like a broken sob.

Alfred smiled slightly, reluctant. "So... you gonna stay?"

"Well," the shorter man muttered, flushing slightly. "I suppose someone will have to look after you when you get drunk."

Alfred raised a brow. "Other way 'round, old man," he said, grinning cheekily. "Who's the one who calls every night 'cause he gets drunk off his ass?"

The older man blushed. "N-not every night," he mumbled meekly.

"Whatever," the American replied dismissively. "You're gonna stay, then?" he asked, trying not to sound too hopeful.

Arthur glanced away, cheeks pink. "I-I already agreed. It would be rude to decline now," he replied shyly, and then glanced down. Alfred was still holding his wrist.

Alfred, catching Arthur's glance, also looked down. He flushed and was prepared to let go, but had a sudden urge to be bold and instead let go of Arthur's wrist only to grab the man's hand. He blushed and looked away, hoping the Brit wouldn't tease him. "S-so, want some cake?"

Arthur stared at him in astonishment for a moment before regaining his composure and forcing a scowl onto his features, although it was difficult to mask his pleasure with anger. "As long as I can have tea afterwards."


Hetalia belongs to Hidekaz Himaruya.

Why did this take so long to write? Bloody hell, I started it as soon as I got my assignment and have been writing for it every bleeding day! Wow, I must be really slow... Cor, I want tea now. Really, really badly. I'm starting to ramble. I apologise.

I hope you enjoyed it, geministar01! I'm not one of the very popular authors, but I tried hard on this! So, I hope you liked it! I even added Canada in it for you, and the Bad Friend Trio! Please like it... ;A; Now I'm acting like a clingy old man. Uwaaa~

I enjoy writing fight scenes, but I tried not to drag this one out because many people don't like fight scenes. (That sounds like an excuse for being lazy. It isn't, I swear!) Prussia was fun to write for. I liked making him kick the unconscious men. That was awesome.

Happy holidays to all! I hope you have fun! ...

Review, y/y? I'll give you burnt scones as presents... What was that? No? F-fine! As if I care! I'll just make you sit on Busby's chair! S-so, ha! ...Please review.

(And I swear I was going to inform you guys of something but I have a terrible memory and have completely forgotten, so I guess it's pointless to write this since I can't remember anyway and now I'm babbling again because I'm socially awkward. Well, goodbye~!)