So I believe this is my first official fanfiction I've written for Hetalia, which is sad considering I've been into the fandom for close to a year now.
I absolutely love the pairing UK/US (in that order, yes). Even though this isn't necessarily a slash fiction, it still involves a bond of love between these two. This story begins very light and sweet, but at the end there is a foreshadowing of certain events (ahemrevolutioncoughcough).
Well I hope you enjoy this story! I've posted it to the Hetalia and usxuk communities on Livejournal as well.
There was a rabbit sitting on the top of the hill. The child hid behind tall stocks of grass, watching the small animal. Its fur was a color similar to the shade of wheat, but the spring sunshine made it look golden. It was currently munching on some berries from the nearby forest. The child loved to pick those berries and bake them into yummy pies.
The child slowly crept forward towards the rabbit. He just wanted to pet its fur—it looked soft and warm, and the child was sure it would feel that way too. He crawled on his hands and knees at first, trying not to make too much sound. Every time the rabbit would look his way, he would freeze immediately. When he was even closer, he stood up into a crouch and carefully moved through the tall grass. The rabbit would look towards him again when he stepped on a twig that snapped, but decided to pay it no mind and went back to his earlier business of eating berries. It occurred to the child that rabbit's did not usually eat berries; they ate vegetables, wheat, and alfalfa. If rabbits ate fruit, they would get fat, but this rabbit was regular size. Maybe he wanted to be fat? He would ask Iggy later, since he was the person that taught the child about the animals around the area.
As the boy got closer, he decided that he wanted a pet; A pet rabbit. He wanted this rabbit. This rabbit reminded him of his Iggy, even though its eyes were brown instead of green. He could take care of this rabbit, and not let it get fat. It wasn't healthy to be fat! The rabbit wouldn't be able to run around very fast, nor would it be able to play with its bunny friends. It would just want to eat berries all day—well he would make sure that it wouldn't! The boy began to get excited, and soon he was only three feet away. Hooray! He was going to have a bunny of his own that he could take care of; give it bathes, feed it, play with it, take it on walks (he would have to get a dog leash so it wouldn't hop away), cuddle with it at night, and protect it from scary monsters or other big animals that ate rabbits!
In his excitement, he totally forgot that he was trying to capture the rabbit in the first place. The child tripped over a root and fell right in front of the furry mammal. It jumped at least a foot in the air before dashing off towards the forest.
"Wait! Little bunny, please wait!" The child called towards the rabbit, scrambling to his feet and racing after the fast creature. The rabbit ducked under the thicket of bushes beneath the trees. The boy followed, crawling under the bushes as well. He winced as thorns tore at his clothes, his bare arms and legs, and his face. He ignored his stinging wounds and bounded even faster after the rabbit before it slipped out of sight.
Finally the boy reached an opening out of the thicket right after the rabbit exited as well. He climbed to his feet and began sprinting. He was determined to catch that rabbit!
They were still in the forest, but luckily there weren't anymore thickets close by, just trees. Small twigs and branches lay scattered on the ground, scratching and cutting the boy's feet as he ran over them. He didn't care though—he wanted his rabbit!
From above, there were openings between the trees where the sunlight could reach through and touch the forest floor. The sun kissed the boy's hair and skin, making him glow and look almost golden. His bright blue eyes glimmered from the light and childish enthusiasm. His cheeks were a rosy color from running and his lips were a healthy pink. He was a healthy young child, innocent and sweet.
At some point, although it seemed impossible, the child's stamina ran out. Even though he was a strong boy, he was still young. Soon he began to grow tired of running. He was a stubborn boy however, and was determined to never give up on his to-be pet.
The rabbit began to run towards a large sycamore. This was it! He was going to trap the rabbit against this tree and capture him!
But to the child's surprise, when the rabbit reached the tree, it jumped down into a hole snuggled between its large roots, much too small for the boy to climb through. He stopped for a moment, supporting himself with a hand on the tree trunk to catch his breath, then stooped down on his knees and stuck his hand down into the hole, reaching for the rabbit. He yelped and pulled his hand back when he felt something sharp bite his small hand. There were teeth marks on his palm that started bleeding. He cradled his injured hand, staring down at it in shock. Why did the little bunny bite him? He hadn't done anything wrong; he just wanted to take care of it. He wanted it to be his friend.
With a shuddering breath, the child began to cry. He hiccuped and sobbed, trying his best to hold it within him. Boys like him didn't cry! The other kids even told him so, and made fun of him whenever they caught him crying. The boy would wander off into the forest then, and sit down to cry alone. He always told himself to stop crying, that he was a big boy and only babies and girls cried, but… he couldn't help it. So he cried and cried, feeling sorry for his hand, feeling ashamed that he was crying, and feeling very much alone.
"Alfred?" He heard a familiar voice behind him speak. He quickly wiped his tears away with his arm before turning around to face the man who spoke.
"Alfred, what happened?" The boy looked down at the ground, ashamed to face Arthur. He tried his best to hold in his sniffles and hiccups, but alas failed.
"I-I… n-nothing," he said as leftover sobs interrupted his speech.
"Clearly that is not the case here. Look, you have cuts all over your body and your clothes are torn. What have you been doing?" Arthur moved to stand in front of the boy.
"Just playing, I-Iggy. I got caught on some thorn bushes." An uncontrollable sob escaped his throat. He blinked rapidly, trying to get rid of his tears.
Arthur knelt down to face Alfred. He took the child's face in his hands and lifted it so that he could look him in the eye. Much to Alfred's surprise, Arthur's face looked like it did whenever he had to say goodbye to the boy. Was he sad? "My boy, why are you crying?" Arthur then caught site of Alfred's clenched hand, the one that was bitten. He took the small hand in his own and opened it to reveal the wound. "Is this why you are upset?"
Alfred squeezed his eyes closed and shook his head. He pulled his hand away from Arthur. "N-no, it doesn't even hurt! Boy's don't cry when they get hurt anyways!"
Arthur chuckled, catching Alfred's attention. He saw that Arthur was smiling at him with a sad face. "My dear lad, of course they cry. Most of the time they cry alone, but sometimes they cry in front of people."
Alfred blinked up at him. "Then why do all the boys call me a baby when I cry?"
"Because they are boys, and boys do not like to cry. Neither do men. They think it makes them look weak, but it does not. Everyone cries, Alfred. Remember when Jacob's father died? Jacob was crying, and so were his older brothers and uncles. They were all men who were crying."
"Oh… I see." Alfred nodded, feeling less ashamed for crying.
Arthur raised his eyebrows at the boy. "Now, will you tell me why you are upset?"
Alfred nodded again, looking down at his feet once more. "I… was chasing a rabbit. He reminded me of you, Iggy! He had the same color of hair, but brown eyes, not green. He was eating berries, and I remembered how you told me that rabbits get fat on eating fruits. So I wanted to take him home and teach him how to eat healthy foods, so he could play and not get fat. I could protect him from monsters and bigger animals that would want to eat him, and he would be my friend! But he ran off through a thicket, and I got all these cuts from thorns, and then he jumped into that hole—" Alfred pointed to the rabbit hole between the roots, "—and when I tried to reach for him… he bit me."
After a moment of pondering Alfred's story, Arthur smiled. This time he looked genuinely happy. "I think we should get back to the house so we can take care of those wounds. Your feet must hurt too—I think you should start wearing your shoes outside like I tell you." He reached down underneath Alfred's arms and picked him up.
"Iggy, I can walk!" He protested by struggling for a moments, but Arthur's hold was strong, and Alfred was exhausted. He finally gave up, and rested his head on Arthur's shoulder. "Fine," he mumbled. When they exited the forest, Alfred was fast asleep against Arthur.
"So do you cry too, Iggy?" Alfred asked as Arthur placed him in the bathtub. The warm water stung his cuts slightly, and he had to wince when Arthur began to wash his right arm with a cloth.
"Sorry, this may hurt a bit." He gently wiped the boy's arm with the cloth, washing all of the dry blood off and cleaning the wounds. "Yes, I do cry. Quite often, actually."
"I've never seen you cry," Alfred said, looking surprised.
Arthur smiled. "Well like I told you, men do not like to cry in public. I am the same as any other man."
"But I thought you said we were different from other people?"
"We are, but… we have human emotions, Alfred. It takes a lot more to injure us," he would not say to kill, "and we live longer. Much, much longer. However we are not indestructible and we are susceptible to feelings. Human feelings."
"Oh," was all Alfred said. He was quiet for the rest of his bath, only whimpering whenever Arthur washed over a few painful scratches and the bottom of his feet. When Alfred was finished, he stepped out and was wrapped with a large towel by his guardian. He was dried off and given underwear with a plain-white shirt and brown trouser shorts. Arthur helped him put his suspenders on.
"Are we going somewhere fancy?" he asked the green-eyed man as he pulled one of the suspender straps over Alfred's shoulder.
"No, just for a walk. We still have plenty of daylight left, and it never hurts to dress nicely. It makes you look refined, my lad." He picked up Alfred once more, much to the boy's chagrin, and took him out of the bathroom to sit him on a stool in the parlor. "We need to bandage you up a bit, I'm afraid." Arthur wrapped clean bandages all around Alfred's feet, and then around the bite mark on his hand.
"Here, put your shoes on." Alfred was handed the new pair of shoes that Arthur had given to him as a gift when he returned a few days ago. They were brown and shiny, with a large golden buckle on each of them. He pulled his socks up to his mid-calf before slipping into his shoes.
Arthur straightened his shirt up before nodding with approval. "My young gentleman," he said proudly. Alfred blushed. The older man offered his hand to the child, who happily accepted. The two left the house and began to walk down the countryside road. The scenery was beautiful. Spring had returned green leaves to the trees, and caused the flowers to bloom. Everything was lush and appeared to glow from the rays of the warm sun. Like before, it gave Alfred's hair a golden luster, made his eyes shine, and gave his milky skin a warm flush. Arthur glanced down at the boy—his boy—with love and adoration. He was perfect.
"Iggy, put me down. I… can walk," Alfred argued in a tired voice, having to pause for a moment to yawn. Needless to say, his argument wasn't very convincing.
"You've had a long day, Alfred. I will carry you home," Arthur stated. He held the boy with an arm supporting his bottom and the other holding onto his back. Alfred's hands were wrapped around Arthur's neck, and his head rested on Arthur's shoulder. Oh yes, the boy was definitely against being carried.
After a few minutes of silence, Arthur believed Alfred to have fallen asleep until the child spoke, "Iggy, why did the bunny not want me to take care of him?"
Arthur smiled. "Because he wanted to be free. He did not want to be held and controlled by someone bigger than himself."
"Kind of like… you and me?"
"What?" Arthur looked at the boy in astonishment. "What do you mean by that?"
Alfred lifted his head to face Arthur. "You're holding me right now and controlling me by not letting me walk on my own." Alfred pouted up at the man, who couldn't help but sigh with relief.
"I'm only doing this because I care about you, Alfred. If you were to walk you would pass out in the middle of the road!"
"No I wouldn't!" Alfred stated. The older man chuckled.
"Well tonight I will carry you. I miss being able to hold you like this when you were younger."
"Fine," Alfred mumbled into Arthur's shoulder, as he had rested his head again. "Just this once!"
Arthur did not think about this conversation for many years after, as he had shrugged it off thinking it was a harmless remark from the child. At the time he did not realize that his statement about the rabbit being free would come back to haunt him, and that his own words would be used against him.
No, this moment was a sincere moment of peace. He loved the boy he held in his arms so much. He would never let a soul tear his boy away from him, not even if that soul would be Alfred himself.