Author's Note: xD Okay, if it wasn't for you, tokyo girl 05, I wouldn't have written this... So... Thank you! xD And thank you for the cracky conversations (yes, they ARE cracky!), too!
England had several secrets that he was not all too proud of; some unmentioned things he had done during his time as a pirate, for instance. But if there was one thing that surprisingly few knew about, the exceptions being his siblings, Spain and France, then it was his deep-rooted and violent survival instinct. Thanks to early battles with his siblings, and Rome as well, he had somehow developed a specific instinct that told him that if he was going to die, then he had to take his opponent with him. Every time this surfaced, his own mind seemed to fade from the world, while his body continued to fight. He didn't stop until he either fainted or won. His siblings had always been strong, and therefore survived this violent reaction. France had at first attempted to fight back, but eventually ended up fleeing from the battle as fast as he could. Spain had put up a brave fight, but eventually gave up. It was a reaction one should fear; Arthur wasn't there anymore. The only thing left was the bestial wrath and the cold instincts that told him when to dodge, when to attack, when to deliver the last blow... The "good" thing would be that it rarely surfaced. The siblings knew how to tell if it was about to happen, and France would recognise the look in the man's eye. Spain only attempted to stay out of fights with the violent nation.
But the best thing was that America had never ever seen this happen. He hadn't even heard about it. And to be fair, Arthur was only barely aware of it himself, so he had not mentioned anything about it to the strong young man. The brat didn't need to know, after all... But the brat did have his ways of annoying people to unimaginable lengths... So when that meeting came around, England was ready to be annoyed, but he had not been able to imagine the chaos that would ensue.
First of all, his brothers, Angus and Merfyn, had for some strange reason decided to tag along, despite all his protests... He couldn't stop Seamus, Ireland, from going to a World Meeting, of course, but Scotland and Wales... They could've stayed at home, right? The argument had ended with Angus telling his little brother that if they couldn't come, he'd fetch his axe. A good point, and one that made England give up. So now, he sat there in his fairly uncomfortable chair with Merfyn on his left side and Angus on his right, and Seamus sat next to Angus. Of course, some nations had given him odd looks since he normally came alone. But when America foolishly enough decided to ask about it, Angus had spoken before Arthur had a chance to open his mouth.
"Th' brat ain't th' only part o' th' United Kingdom, ye wanker," he said, a dangerous glint in his eye that seemed to dare America to talk back. "We've got opinions o' our own, and England is only kind enough t' represent us." He leant back and crossed his arms. "Other than tha', we speak for ourselves."
Luckily, America did not say more; he only gave them a strange look before starting the meeting properly. It surprised Arthur how his brothers could be so civil at times. He only needed to tell them to pipe down three times, other than that they were very quiet and actually listened to what was being said. Even Francis seemed rather impressed on that point. Alfred did, however, notice the occasional quiet bickering among them, and he couldn't help but smirk a little. Mostly because Arthur seemed to lose some of the arguments. Oh yes, there would be teasing later...
When it was time for lunch, Arthur's brothers were first to get to their feet and leave the room, chattering away with each other, and soon other nations began to follow suit. But Alfred waved away the offer to eat with Japan, and instead kept his eyes on the Englishman to see what he would do. As expected, Arthur did not leave the room, but rather chose to remain and rest a little bit.
"Having fun with your siblings, England?" He grinned when Arthur began to glare at him. "What? Just stating the obvious about what's right in front of me."
"Do you ever shut up, America," Arthur asked, a slight growl in his voice. "I am not in the mood to deal with you right now."
Alfred calmly stepped over to him, a slight swagger in his steps. Either he didn't notice, or perhaps he just didn't care about the glint in the older man's eyes that clearly said "I want to be alone, so you'd better bugger off before I hurt you". He leant causally against the table, smirking at the glare Arthur sent him.
"Don't get so worked up, old man," he teased. "I just think it's kinda cute that you actually brought your siblings. Afraid of being here alone?"
Arthur let out a low growl and stood up, glaring angrily at the younger nation.
"They insisted on coming here," he bit out. "It had nothing to do with me, you bleeding git!"
"Yeah, right. Did you beg them to come with you, or what?"
"What?! I don't bloody beg for anything!"
"Oh, I can think of quite a few things you'd beg for, with the right influence~"
At that comment, Arthur bristled and shoved Alfred away. A light blush dusted his cheeks, and the American laughed loudly at the sight.
"Hah! You're blushing!" He grinned and shoved back. "I knew it, I knew it!"
"Shut up," Arthur growled. "I would never beg!"
As the shoving match continued, Alfred's teasing slowly began to get worse. When he noticed that he was able to make Arthur stumble several steps backwards, while the Englishman could barely make the younger man move, he began to laugh again.
"Man, you're so weak," he said, not noticing how Arthur tensed and clenched his fist. "Just give up already, old man, you can't do an-"
The sentence was cut off when Arthur's fist suddenly made contact with Alfred's jaw with a strength that no one would have thought this skinny man to possess. Alfred reeled back, lifted his hand and touched the sore spot.
"I am not weak!" The Englishman's eyes flashed dangerously as he brought his hands up and crouched slightly, ready to defend himself if the American would hit back. "You might be a bloody brute who doesn't know how to hold back, but at least I prefer to not make people fly through walls just because I pat their back!"
Alfred stared at him in disbelief for a moment.
"You... You hit me..."
"Oh, if only you knew how long I've wanted to do that, you bleeding sod!"
Another stare that quickly turned into a furious glare, and a fist came flying against Arthur's face. The Englishman jumped back, easily dodging the punch, and then attacked again. They yelled and cursed at each other, hitting as hard as they dared to. Soon it began to turn into a quite violent wrestling match; neither of them played fair, but Arthur was the one who kept aiming for his opponent's southern regions.
"What the hell, old man," Alfred yelled as he narrowly dodged what would have been a quite fatal blow. "Stop doing that! It's not fair!"
Arthur rolled his eyes and ducked as the brat attempted to punch him.
"Pirate," he replied with a slightly smug smirk. "I don't play fair! And besides, you keep trying to hit the back of my neck, and my ribs!"
"That's just common sense!"
"Common sense, my arse!"
Alfred finally managed to get a hold of his old mentor, and literally picked him up. He ignored the fact that Arthur kept kicking him, and threw the poor man against the table. Arthur let out a yelp as his back made a distinct cracking sound. Alfred stared in surprise as a large crack appeared on the sturdy table.
"Holy shit," he said. "Man, they're going to yell at me for that..."
Arthur, however, didn't hear what the younger nation was saying. He sank down on his knees and pressed one hand against his back, his emerald eyes wide open as he stared down at the floor. In his own mind, he was literally centuries away, back to when he was a child and Scotland for some reason had taken upon himself to teach the boy to fight...
"Ye'll 'ave t' be ruthless if ye want t' survive!" The Scotsman stood tall in front of him, his two-handed axe in hand. "An' if ye dinnae survive, I ain't ever going t' forgive ye! No brother o' mine will die b'cause 'e was too much o' a wimp t' defend 'imself!"
Arthur took a deep breath and nodded to show that he understood. He was desperately hoping that his brother wouldn't see the fear in his eyes... What was it Cymru had said...? "Animals can sense and smell fear"? Yes, that was it, wasn't it? So Alba probably already knew, didn't he?
"Now..." The grin that spread on the older boy's lips was rather scary and told the younger that soon, he would either need to run, or fight. "Lessee if we can rouse those battle instincts, ye wee runt."
Alfred blinked and eyed the other man. Arthur wasn't moving; he just sat there on his knees, staring down at the floor, for some reason...
"Hey... Arthur, are you..."
A violent shiver ran through the Englishman's body, and Alfred frowned as he took a few steps closer.
Slow footsteps... Arthur winced at the pain in his back when he forced himself to straighten up; the collision with the rock had been quite violent, and cracks had spread in the solid stone. But nonetheless, he straightened up and looked straight at his older brother who slowly came against him, raising his axe.
"Are ye ready? Ye did well when I trained ye. Now, show me what ye managed t' get into yer 'ead. Ye remember wha' I said 'bout th' most vulnerable areas, aye?" A laugh. "Nay, dinnae tell me. Show me. Or else, ye'll die."
Alfred stopped as a low growl came from the older man. It didn't sound like it had earlier, when Arthur had only been annoyed; this was more... bestial. Slowly, Arthur raised his head and fixed his emerald eyes on the American, and he bared his teeth in a snarl. Alfred immediately followed his first instinct and began to back away, but moments later the Englishman flew to his feet and lunged himself at the younger man. Alfred stumbled backwards and fell down on his back, yelping loudly when Arthur landed a punch right between his eyes and almost broke Texas in the process. He began to try to defend himself, or at least get the furious man to move, but as soon as he had almost managed to get him off, Arthur began another equally violent assault.
"What the hell, Arthur?!" Alfred gasped for air as the smaller man's knee pressed into his stomach. "G-get off! What are you- OW! Stop it!"
At that moment the door opened as the other nations came back from their lunch; people stopped and stared in shock at the scene in front of them. Angus, Merfyn and Seamus were the first to really react.
"We're gone for a little while, and this is what happens," Merfyn said and raised one impressive eyebrow. "How comforting to know that we absolutely can't leave them alone together..."
"Sweet King Lir, I think England's actually trying to kill America," Seamus burst out, and then promptly winced when he saw his little brother slam his knee against the younger nation's groin. "And I think he's winning!"
"Go, little brother," shouted Angus, a wild grin on his face. "Get 'im!"
Prussia, who had once again managed to sneak in, shoved himself past the others and stared at the scene for a moment before also he began to grin.
"Awesome," he yelled. "Get that snot-nosed little punk, England! Show him who's boss!"
"Mon dieu!" Francis's voice cut through the air as he quickly stepped up beside Gilbert. "Angleterre?! What in the world are you doing?! Oh, not this again!"
Merfyn patted the Frenchman's shoulder with a vague smile and shook his head.
"Don't bother," he said. "He can probably hear you, but he won't bother with you until he's done." He looked thoughtful for a moment, and then turned and looked at Angus. "Oi, Angus, when will he be done?"
"Tha' depends," the Scotsman replied, still busy cheering on his little brother. "Either 'e tires 'imself out, or 'e kills th' brat. Or we stop 'im, but tha' would be no fun."
"Of course we need to stop them!" Germany was, as everyone else, staring at the scene, but his expression was more one of anger rather than shock. "They'll tear the room apart!"
The British Isles proceeded with ignoring him, as Ireland and Scotland instead began to gather bets on the fight. Spain was clinging to Romano, whining loudly about his long lost armada; the look on Arthur's face did bring back pretty bad memories.
"Separate them," growled Ludwig and grabbed Ireland's collar. "Just do it already!"
"Relax," Ireland replied, a cheery smile on his face. "It'll be fine!"
At that moment, Francis let out a loud whimper; Arthur had just kneed Alfred in the groin again, it seemed.
"T-that is just cruel," he said. "He has never had anything against Florida before... What a waste, those parts can be put to much better use than abuse!"
Gilbert stopped his cheering for a split second and glared at the Frenchman.
"So not awesome," he growled. "Don't rhyme, you suck!"
"Get him off me," Alfred shrieked, trying to stop his violent opponent from hitting his vital regions again. "Get him the hell off me!"
Arthur's brothers glanced at each other. They might have to intervene after all... Even if they found the brat very annoying, the world just wouldn't be the same without America... But suddenly, they began to stare again, as Arthur suddenly leant down and bit down on Alfred's neck, hard enough to draw blood. The poor American screamed loudly, just about loud enough to drown out Gilbert's awed outburst.
"Get him off me," Alfred screamed again. "J-just get him the hell off me! OW! Fuck, Iggy! Ow, let go! Stop it!"
"Scotland, I thought you said that you wouldn't teach him about that point," Seamus yelled at his brother. "What the hell, man?!"
"Well, 'e needed t' know," the Scotsman yelled back. "I dinnae even teach 'im th' worst thing!"
"Goddamnit, Scotland!" The angry Irishman glared at the other. "Well, fine! I am not going near him right now! You get him off!"
"I ain't doing tha' alone," Angus grumbled. "I'll need some help!"
It was no big surprise that so many nations immediately edged away, unwilling to get close to the brawl. Wales volunteered to help, but he explained that they'd need at least one more. When no one moved, Angus groaned and rubbed the back of his head.
"Fine," he growled. "Rock paper scissors. Winner helps us."
With utter reluctance, the nations began. One after one, they dropped out, and soon there were only two left: Sweden and Canada. And unfortunately, Matthew won.
"... So, we'll 'ave a Canadian wimp t' 'elp us," Angus grumbled. "Lovely."
Merfyn patted his brother's shoulder.
"He can try to calm the lad down," he said. "I don't think Artie would attack him."
Slowly, they approached the two fighting nations, and when Arthur was about to deliver a blow that would probably have broken Texas, Merfyn and Angus jumped him and grabbed his arms. Immediately, a roar tore itself from the furious Englishman's throat, and he began to squirm in their grip, stubbornly trying to make them let go. As Alfred began to crawl away, nursing his bleeding neck, Matthew rushed forward.
"England, please stop," he begged. "Please, stop it!" He managed to avoid the older man's kicking legs and grabbed his shoulders. "Snap out of it, Arthur!"
After a moment, the Englishman stopped and stared at the young Canadian, who found that he couldn't quite look away.
"Canada," Arthur said slowly. "Matthew... It's you, right...?" The meek young man nodded and smiled nervously. "Ah, good..."
He slowly began to relax, but Angus and Merfyn didn't quite dare to let him go yet in case he'd bolt and attack the American once more. Said American was currently staring at him with a look that seemed to mix anger, shock, disbelief and awe into something that was very hard to read. Arthur looked back at him with a smug look on his face, apparently very satisfied with how everything had turned out. Alfred had a black eye, several blooming bruises, split lip, the rather deep bite mark on his neck, several smaller wounds that proved that yes, Arthur's nails were long and sharp enough to do that. The Englishman had several marks from the fight as well; split lip, a bruise blooming on his cheek, his shirt was ripped and the bruises and small wounds on his chest and stomach did stand out a bit. Although Alfred had fought back quite violently as well, Arthur had fewer (although bigger) bruises. They stared at each other for a moment.
"What the hell is wrong with you, you fucking psycho?!" America glared angrily at him. "What the fuck was that?!"
Arthur threw his head back and burst out laughing, not caring about the throbbing pain in his sides; this was quite a triumph, after all.
It luckily didn't take them too long to get to the hospital, but it did feel like it took hours... Alfred had started to wonder if his ears were still attached to his head when they got there, after a long scolding-rant from not only Germany, but also Austria, Hungary (who scolded them about having a cat-fight when she wasn't there) and Prussia (who complained about that they hadn't given him the opportunity to join in from the start). Arthur didn't seem to care much about that, though, since his brothers were already busy with telling him how awesome he had been and how proud they were of him for putting up such a fight. In fact, the poor Englishman couldn't remember when his siblings had last praised him in such a fashion... If they ever had... Ah well, what mattered was that they were doing it now, right? So he didn't complain. Instead when Germany began to lecture him, he raised his hand and flipped the man off with a wide grin on his face, earning him more laughter and praise from his siblings and another awed look from Alfred. After that, he proceeded with ignoring the others and instead tried to figure out how many injuries he had. When a nurse at the hospital began to check his bruises, he could easily tell her just how many he had.
"Dear lord," she muttered when she found a thin cut on his back, one that he couldn't quite explain; he wasn't certain about if Alfred had done that. "Just how on earth did this all happen?! We do get some weird cases here, but you and the other guy you came with... This takes the price!"
Arthur let out a chuckle and shrugged.
"We argued," he said. "And that sort of turned into a fistfight, and he made me snap."
"You did that to him?!" The poor girl sounded shocked. "But... But he was so beaten up!"
Arthur sent her a roguish smirk and winked.
"His own fault," he replied. "He could have shoved me off with that brute strength of his, but he never did."
She stared at him for a moment before returning to patching him up. In silence this time, which the Englishman was utterly grateful for. But as soon as she was done and stepped out, America appeared in the doorway and leant casually against the doorframe.
"So," the American said, his voice a little bit strained. "Could you explain what the fuck that was about? Because that was just way too surreal..."
Arthur scratched the back of his head, a sheepish look appearing on his face. How did one explain something like this?
"Well," he said slowly. "You... Ah... I suppose you can call it instinct..." He frowned a little, leant back and put his legs up on the bed, wincing at the pain in his back. "I'm not certain about how I should explain this to you..."
Alfred raised an eyebrow and stepped into the room, firmly closing the door behind him. He really wanted to hear this... Because really, who would react the way the Englishman had? Ever?
"Seriously, man," Alfred sighed. "You've always had anger-issues, but this sorta takes it to a whole 'nother level, and it's kinda disturbing. You almost broke Texas, man!"
"Texas is fine, you brat," the Englishman replied. "See? Still in once piece. But I wish that I had plucked Nantucket..."
"Hey! Don't say crap like that!" The American eyed him carefully. "Now, are you going to explain?"
Arthur let out a quiet groan and rolled his eyes. True, he should have expected this; that the brat wouldn't really understand what had happened. But explaining it was so difficult... Or well, not difficult, just... He wasn't comfortable with telling someone he had raised about it. But Alfred slowly limped over and sat down on the edge of the bed.
"Shit," he grumbled. "When the hell did you get my ankle? They said it's just sprained, but still! It hurts like holy hell."
Green eyes peered at him with a vaguely amused glint; blue eyes looked back, obvious confusion in them.
"Look, Alfred," he said. "If you forgive me for every single injury I've given you today, whether it was your pride or your body that was injured, or anything else, then I'll explain it properly." After a moment's hesitation, the American nodded. "Good. As I said, it's an instinct... You could blame my siblings for it, actually... It's... Well, it's when I fear for my own life, and I think that if I'm going to die, then I'll take someone with me..."
Alfred raised an eyebrow, watching how Arthur looked away with a faint blush on his cheeks, as if he was ashamed of it all.
"I just threw you against the table," he said slowly. "How does that make you fear for your life?"
Arthur mumbled something that was more or less impossible to catch. Alfred leant a little closer, prompting his old mentor to push him away again.
"I remembered something," Arthur grumbled. "Scotland did the same to me once... Only that he threw me against a rock, and decided to "test my skills" by swinging an axe at me..."
"... Woah. Your family really is fucked up."
"Oh, do shut up."
"No, seriously... You have this instinct because of your siblings? That's pretty damn fucked up."
Arthur only shrugged, a slight smile coming to his lips.
"Well, I'm fairly certain about that without it, I would've been dead," he replied. "So I'm rather grateful." The smile turned into a triumphant grin, and he shoved at the younger man with an uncharacteristic playfulness. "Besides, I got to prove to you that I still have the strength to beat you. With the right motivation, of course."
Despite the fact that he felt annoyed, Alfred could not help but smile. Arthur was actually kind of happy right now, even though it was because of that he could have killed his former ward...
"You're still an old man," he teased. "Strong or not, I can still beat the crap out of you. I just don't want to."
"Bollocks. You, my lad, are just a sore loser."
"Pft, fuck that."
They were quiet for a short while, during which Alfred eyed the other man carefully. He was curious about if Arthur really remembered the whole fight or if he had only guessed the outcome after seeing how his former colony had looked afterwards. Perhaps...
"Well, you're still weak," he said with a grin and leant back. "Seriously, it didn't hurt until afterwards."
Arthur looked back at him and shook his head.
"You're not even trying, Alfred," he chided. "I remember what happened, and I remember you screaming like a little girl."
"Well, you still owe me ice cream," he said. "For beating me up."
Arthur rolled his eyes, scooted over and patted the younger nation's shoulder.
"Fine, you bloody git," he chuckled. "You'll get your ice cream. But first, I think Ludwig wants to have a word with us again."
"... Can't we just run?"
"No. Consider this punishment for triggering the whole thing."
"Iggy, that's not fair!"
"Well, it was your fault anyway."
"Hey, screw you!"
"Watch it, brat, or I'll actually tell him that you started it. I'm sure he'd have a few lovely things to say about that, America."
Reviews are always very very very very welcome! :3