A Trustworthy Pirate
Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia, the one to worship would be Hidekazu Himaruya. Please treat him carefully - you don't want him broken and incapable of creating more Hetalia, right?
England winced as he got to his feet, his whole body aching from the abuse he'd just put it through. He hadn't had a choice, of course, but that didn't mean it wouldn't complain. The nation exhaled and ran a hand through his hair, grimacing as he felt soggy strands clump together – disgusting. He shook his head and then glanced around him, inspecting the area.
The sea water lapped on the stone, murky and ominous in the faint light of the moon. There was no light in the passage, but that didn't matter. He was more worried about how much time had passed. The guards wouldn't stop trying to find him just because of a little dive in the sea, not when he was wanted by the Queen.
After a half-hearted attempt at making himself presentable, he started for the exit. It was as he adjusted his hat so the water droplets would run off his clothes and not down his neck that he heard the low moan.
He froze for a long moment, holding his breath.
'What… I've still not woken up yet?' a bratty voice – with the oddest accent England had ever heard - muttered and he relaxed, pressing a hand to his chest to try and steady his racing heart. He'd forgotten all about his new companion. 'Where am I? Why's it so dark?' there was a sudden gasp, 'England! No, Not-England! He's not here!' and then a thud and a long silence before a quiet, 'My fucking head… ow…'
For a long moment, the pirate debated whether he should reveal himself however he couldn't, in good conscience, just leave the lad after dragging him down here with him.
'We're in a path 'neath the castle,' he answered, wincing when he heard the other squawk and tumble back into the water with a loud splash, and then watched the other's silhouette crawl back out the water. 'Can you walk? We should go afore they come looking,' he continued, though he made no move to help the other.
'You're still a pirate, England?' the man asked slowly, as if he couldn't believe it.
England scowled, 'Is there a problem with that?'
'N-no! No! Well, a little because it makes you so badass and you really shouldn't be because you stitch and shit in your spare time-' a twitch began in England's eye. He didn't understand much of what the other said, but he got the gist of it. '- but, you know – fuck, my head really hurts…' he whimpered, doubling over, and England glanced away, scratching his chin sheepishly.
'Sorry 'bout that,' he muttered. 'S'prolly from when your head hit the gate… several times…'
Well, it hadn't been England's fault the coward had fainted upon hitting the water. Really, he should just be grateful England had even dragged him with him and not left him to drown. It was a tight squeeze for one, let alone two.
'Damn it, I've never been this messed up in a dream before and not woke up,' the other whinged, a hand pressed to his head, and England blinked.
'A… dream?' he repeated slowly.
'Yeah, y'know, when you sleep and you end up in a really wacky world -'
'I know what a dream is!' he snapped. 'I just don't understand why you think you're in one!' he paused. Well, he'd known who England was, so maybe he thought he was dreaming because he'd met England? Was it his dream to meet the nation and, now he was here and had experienced such a rush, he couldn't believe it? The pirate puffed his chest up in pride.
'Because this – this shouldn't be real!' the other replied, sounding frantic. 'Like, this is super mega impossibly not possible!' his voice rose as he continued and echoed around them.
England darted forward and pressed a hand over his mouth. 'Shh, do you want them to find us?' he demanded, and then swore when a tongue came out and linked his palm. He flinched back, but was consoled when he saw the other gagging.
'Ugh, so dirty…' the other hissed.
'Then you shouldn't lick someone's hand,' he rolled his eyes. 'Now come on, before the guards find us. We have to escape.' He turned his back on the other and started to walk away.
'Wait!' a hand reached out and grabbed his arm tightly. 'Don't leave me!' the pure terror in the other's voice was a surprise and England half-turned, both eyebrows raised as he gazed at the other. He could just make out the other's pleading expression and something in his chest tugged. What was this… feeling? Why did he feel so… 'It's so dark and scary down here, what if there's ghosts?'
And the feeling popped, being replaced by irritation. He tried to free his arm but the other whimpered and only held tighter.
'There's no such things as ghosts, brat,' he snapped. 'Especially not down here. There are rats, of course, but everywhere has rats-' he stopped when he realised his words weren't reassuring the other. 'What did you say your name was again?' he asked, trying another tactic.
'… You should know,' the other muttered petulantly, but before England could snap back he lifted his head. 'America.' Well, that was a name he hadn't heard before.
One more question on the list of who this man was.
'Well then, America,' he murmured, making his tone smooth and sultry. It was the same tone he'd used to convince his Queen he was the ideal candidate of a privateer; it never failed to charm people. 'I promise you there are no ghosts down here,' he shifted closer, never losing eye-contact with the wide blue – blue as the endless oceans he adored so much – eyes, 'but if there is, well, it's common knowledge ghosts are scared of pirates, savvy?'
He flicked the other's nose, smug when he noticed he'd succeeded in calming the other, and then turned and began to lead the way through the dark. The death grip on his arm loosened, thankfully, and for a few blessed moments there was silence.
Ignoring the flinches and the quickly-stifled screams of terror whenever there was a noise like, oh, England breathing, anyway.
'You… really don't know who I am?' the other asked suddenly, a little desperately. Probably trying to distract himself. 'Like -' England hissed at him and he lowered his voice. 'Like, you don't know me at all?'
'Maybe you'd care to enlighten me, then, if it's so important to you.'
The nation sighed as he led them around a corner. 'Who are you, lad? I've naught heard of America as a name before, nor do I recognise your accent. You speak my language in a strange way, you dress in the oddest clothes… and yet, you know who I am – who I truly am,' he paused. 'And you claim to know me, though we've never met before…'
'We have met before though!' the other protested. England gritted his teeth. Hadn't he just established they hadn't? 'But, you know… maybe it's… I think it might be complicated…' he trailed off. 'You're positive this isn't a dream?'
'Like, really, positively, hugely 150 percent sure?'
He growled, 'I don't like repeating myself, boy!'
Not for the first time, he cursed his insatiable curiosity. No matter how irritating the other was, he would never be able to ditch him until he'd uncovered everything there was to know. And, of course, it was his duty to stay with the other and make sure he didn't inform others of England's status as… England. That was top-secret information. Technically, for knowing it, America could be executed with just one order from him…
'Okay okay! Sheesh,' the other grumbled and there was a long pause. 'Just one more thing, though, uh… what time is this?' England blinked. What sort of question was that? 'Uh, you know, what year. Please. 'Cause it's really kind of probably important and – yeah…'
Shouldn't he already know the date? '1588,' England replied slowly. There was a long silence.
'Yeah, it's complicated,' America stated and then the other was nearly swamped by the sudden deluge of swears. 'This is not good, not good at all! Oh man how the fuck am I going to get myself outta this-'
… Maybe those hits to the head had done some permanent damage.
Deciding it was better to let America get it out, whatever it was he had to get out, England occupied himself by searching for the exit. It should be pretty soon… It sure was taking a long time to get out, now that he thought about it. He put that down to having an irritating clingy thing on his arm. How did he get himself into these situations?
'- video games!' the other took an exaggerated breath and, in that moment, England spotted the exit. He halted, letting out an 'oomph' when America hit him. 'Hey, why'd you stop?' Well, at least he'd stopped panicking.
'We're near the exit,' he whispered, pressing up against the damp wall and tugging America next to him, ignoring the quiet whisper of 'thank fucking god 'cause those ghosts, man, they were just nasty'.
He waited, listening for any voices that might indicate there were guards outside waiting for them.
'Dude, why haven't we moved yet? Freedom is, like, right there,' America hissed.
'I know that ye bilge rat!' he smacked the other's head, ignoring the question of what a bilge rat was. 'I'm checking the coast is clear.' Wait, should he do that or would it just make the other's brain damage worse? But, if anything, America looked reassured by the hit – like it was something he'd expected.
'Well, if it isn't then I'll make it clear,' the other stated. England blinked.
'But, the guards -'
'I can handle them!'
'Because you were doing so well before,' he muttered, but the idiot appeared to have super hearing. He poked England's shoulder and ow, that had actually hurt a little.
'They caught me by surprise. I won't go so easy on them next time!' he pumped his fist to his palm. 'You just wait and see – I'll teach them for messing with a hero!' the pirate rolled his eyes. He was pretty certain now there were no guards at the entrance, otherwise they'd have been alerted by America's loud mouth, but it seemed the same thought hadn't crossed the other. 'I'm gonna go out there and deal with 'em.'
And, just like that, he'd gone on ahead up the steps and ran out the exit with some kind of war cry.
England took his time, reaching the exit just in time to see America crash into a wall. He snorted, a hand clapping over his mouth, as he watched the other land flat on his back.
'Fuck…' the taller groaned, opening his eyes and blinking up at England. The nation raised an eyebrow.
'Yes, you took care of them quite nicely,' he smirked and then looked around. He was rather grateful it was the middle of the night – had it been daytime, they probably would have drawn a crowd. America was rather loud. However, there was no one around… though he knew that wouldn't last long.
His face darkened. This was the worst part of the port, and the perfect place to hide because of it. Excrement filled the streets, rubbish littered on top, and often the carcass of some animal. Then there were the people; those who couldn't afford to live anywhere else, the outlaws, the bandits. If you couldn't protect yourself, you'd be dead by morning.
America got to his feet but had taken off his jacket and was trying to wipe something off it with a disgusted look. 'Where the fuck are we?' he grumbled. 'This place is disgusting…'
'You don't know?' England frowned. How could he not know? Granted, the Cinque Ports were losing their importance, but one still knew about them. If he didn't know where he was – why was he here at all?
'Uh, no?' the look he gave England made it seem like the nation was the one acting ridiculous. 'Seriously, one sec I was in McDonalds and then next BAM! I was here!' he snapped his fingers. 'Then everyone was all 'OH NO A WITCH-'
'Keep your voice down!' the pirate hissed. America shot him a disgruntled look. '… Where did you say you grew up again?' the other brightened and a sparkle came to his eyes. Wherever it was, he obviously loved it.
'United States of Mother Fucking America, dude!' he exclaimed, pointing his finger at England. The nation worriedly glanced around them. 'And don't you forget it!'
'I've never heard of it,' he replied, still keeping an eye on the corners.
America wilted. 'Seriously? I'm that far back?' he exhaled and then blanched. 'Shit, that's not good! If America doesn't exist then – then why do I exist? Maybe – no, wait – shit, damn it, I dunno what to do! How do I get home?' he ran a hand through his hair. 'Fuck, this is – man, this isn't awesome. Not awesome man!'
Oh dear, he was starting to panic again.
Unfortunately, England didn't get a chance to get him to shut up because the idiot's rambling had attracted some rather… unsavoury characters. He glanced down at his clothes and sighed. It was a pity he'd been locked up in the cells for a few days so he didn't look his most presentable. They wouldn't have dared approach if they knew who he was.
'Ahoy lads!' he called, easily slipping into the slurred dialect befitting a pirate.
'Oy, what y'doing?' the group of three swaggered up. England subtly moved to stand in front of the idiot, who was still too busy panicking to notice the men.
'Jus' standin',' he replied.
'Yeh? Well stan' elsewhere! Makin' a fuss…' one of the men shoved him. England stumbled back and then scowled, drawing himself up to his full height. They still towered over him, but, as most people did, he had learnt how to use it to his advantage. He had the additional advantage of being sober, too, although he didn't intend to remain that way much longer.
'An what if I don', mateys?' he replied, a cocky smirk on his lips.
'We'll make you!' and so the fight began.
He ducked the first punch and easily knocked out the drunken man, before ducking a swipe of a knife by the other. He hissed when it skimmed his arm but didn't stop, instead wrestling with him to try and get the weapon. The third man jumped into the fray then, however, and sent all of them to the ground.
'England!' and then America was yanking him free of the pile with a worried look. 'You okay?'
'Watch it!' England threw his body weight against America, out of the way of the blade. Their attacker stumbled, his liquor acting against him, and then England struck.
A swift kick to the arm allowed him to steal the knife, and then in one movement he had bashed the handle over the man's head. He crumpled to the floor, unconscious, and then only the third man was left. England turned to him with a smirk, and made a beckoning motion with his fingers. Enraged, the third man rushed forwards – and it was pathetically easy to dodge, punch him in the stomach and send him to the ground.
The male groaned, clutching his stomach for only a few seconds before throwing up over the street.
'Ridiculous,' England huffed. He could hardly believe they dared to call themselves English citizens. 'Bloody blaggards,' he grumbled and turned back to America, blinking when he took in the wide-eyed stare. 'Yes?'
Slowly, America's head went between the unconscious men and England, before settling on the knife in his hand. 'Y-you took them out. The fuck – it was like a 1 hit KO! You can't do that!' he looked as if he'd had the rug pulled out from underneath him. England raised an eyebrow, wondering what a '1 hit KO' was.
'Why can't I, lad?' he smirked, drawing the bloody knife up to his lips and darting his tongue out, as if to lick it.
'Don't do that!' America squawked, suddenly ripping the knife out of England's hand and flinging it away. England stared. 'Think of the germs! The health! You're England! You don't – you don't do this kind of stuff!'
The nation sighed and rubbed his forehead. 'Just who have you been listening to?' he wondered.
For some odd reason, America appeared to already have a perception of him in his mind and, given they had never met before now, the only explanation was that someone had put it there – and he had inkling he knew who.
The pirate glowered at America as he heard the bastard's 'ohonhonhonhon' laugh fill his ears. Obviously, France was a bit distracted with home events to come and irritate England personally so he'd sent this poor lad in his place. He must have taken great pleasure in portraying England as someone who – what was it? – 'stitched and shit'.
After all, there had been rumours of a French man running around the town, womanising the ladies and stealing goods and generally pissing England off anyway.
'Please stop glaring at me you're kinda scary…'
A satisfied smirk crossed his face and he barely heard the squeak from his companion. He wouldn't give France the satisfaction of getting one over – instead, he'd use the lad to beat France at his own game. That meant, of course, pretending to go along with this idiot's ploy for now.
That wouldn't be too hard. He was willing to put up with a lot to get one over on France.
'Well, lad, what d'ye intend to do now?' he asked, and America jumped.
'Where're ye gonna head now?' England elaborated, resisting a sigh. 'Ye can't just stay here, the guards'll find ye soon enough…'
'I – go?' America repeated, paling. 'I don't – there isn't -' he floundered and then his shoulders slumped. 'I don't have anywhere…' He was quite the actor, England mused. If he didn't now know this was a ploy to remain with England, and thus further France's ambitions, he might be convinced.
'Everyone's go' somewhere, even if it's jus' to Davy Jones,' England replied. 'What abou' yer home?'
At that, the other looked even more miserable. 'Trust me, I would if I could, but…' he shook his head. 'It's not around right now.' England raised an eyebrow but decided it was plausible – that his home was no longer, that is. The kind of misery America showed was one he'd seen quite often in his lifetime, as legitimate as they came. 'Hey, you're into fairies and magic and crap, right? So if I told you something really weird you'd believe me, right?'
The nation took a step back at the intense look he got from the other. 'Ah…' he floundered, for once unsure how to respond. It seemed France had told him more than he'd expected – the bastard. 'Tell me, an' I'll tell ye whether I do or not.'
'Okay…' America took a deep breath. 'I'm from the future.' He delivered it with a straight face.
England snorted before he could stop himself. 'Good one, lad, now what was i'?' he raised an eyebrow.
'I'm telling the truth!' America exclaimed, glaring, and England was suddenly reminded of where they were. He rubbed his forehead, feeling a headache begin. This was sure to be one hell of a tale. He might as well hear it out – if nothing else, it would provide him with a bit of amusement.
'Well, if we're gonna be dealing with the obscure,' he drawled, adjusting his hat just so, 'we need a drink to go with i'.'
'If ye wish to convince me, lad, yer'll have more luck when I've got a drink in me hand, savvy?' he smirked and started walking. When he didn't hear movement behind him, he glanced over his shoulder. 'Well? Ain't ye coming?'
Looking unsure just what was happening, America hastened to catch up with him. England scrutinised him. Although he looked like a grown man, he also had an aura that screamed 'innocence personified' – as if he didn't yet know the harshness of the world. England was almost… sad he would be the one to destroy it, but it didn't do to leave one so ignorant to the world.
Still, that he was…
'I dunno whether to praise who raised ye, or scold 'im,' he mused aloud.
'Praise,' America said quickly. Too quickly. England shot him a curious look. 'Seriously, it would be weird if - just… you can't scold y-him,' he coughed and glanced away, scratching the back of his head. How curious.
England decided to ask later, when he was more receptive to whatever stories this lad and France had concocted.
!DRAW A CIRCLE THERE'S THE EARTH!
The Green Parrot.
Probably the most dangerous pub he'd been in, and that was saying something. Hardly half an hour went by when there wasn't a brawl of some kind, and the owner of the pub changed regularly (usually because the old owner was killed or had abandoned the place) enough to keep things… interesting, to say the least. He tried to avoid it whenever he could, but right now it was the best place to go.
Plus, the grog here was strong enough to support him through a tale that France had concocted. A nation of love he may proclaim to be, but he was not a nation of storytelling.
Still, as dangerous as this pub was, his reputation should afford him protection from all but the bravest. He was easily recognisable, after all, although not like this. Right now he looked little better than a drowned rat, not the Arthur Kirkland that inspired fear into the hearts of man. No, he had to tidy himself up first.
'You want us to go… here?' America said dubiously, gazing up at the pub.
England rolled his eyes, 'Got a problem with that, lad?'
'But it's so…' he took in the broken windows, the sick littering the space to the side of the building, the blood stains up the walls and around the entrance. 'Seriously, how the fuck can people stay here? I'm not even a clean freak like you or Germany but-' England raised an eyebrow at that, wondering who Germany was and why America thought England a 'clean freak'. '- it's just not healthy!'
The nation gazed at the other thoughtfully, not sure why he'd missed it before. 'Yer rather fixated on cleanliness, ain't ye matey?' he snorted, still remembering the other flinging away the knife.
'Dude, there's fixated and then there's just wanting the basics...'
'Well, I'm fla'ered ye care for me wellbeing,' England replied, peering at his reflection in the other's glasses and clucking his tongue. It would have to do.
'Ha, I'm not worried about you,' America scoffed. The pirate took a step back, narrowing his eyes. 'It doesn't matter if you get sick. You're way more used to this stuff. But me? I don't got any immunity – really, England, you should think of others once in a while!' he scolded. 'There's no way we can stay here. We're going somewhere else,' and with a decisive nod, he turned and started walking away.
England's lip curled in disgust. What an arrogant boy. Clearly, he was used to being obeyed. Such a shame for him, then, that the only person England currently obeyed was his Queen.
'Suit yerself,' he shrugged, striding over to the pub's entrance.
After all, it didn't make a difference to him – there would be plenty more chances to get one over on France.
The pirate paused for a moment outside the door, listening to the laughter inside, before pushing hard and letting it swing inwards and hit the wall with a bang. Instantly, he was the centre of attention. He smirked and crossed the dirty floor, whispers followed in his wake.
It's him, they murmured, the one with devil eyes.
He ignored them all and leant casually on the bar, tipping his head to the side and focusing on the more expensive liquor near the back wall. The bartender licked his lips and his eyes darted back and forth before he hastened to comply. He tried to clean the permanently dirty glass and filled it with the drink, hands shaking so much he missed more than he got in. England rolled his eyes but took it and threw the glass back, downing it in one go, much to the awe of many. He slammed the glass back on the counter and the bartender hastily refilled it.
It was when he was on his fourth drink and feeling suitably relaxed that the newest cause of his headache returned.
England took great pleasure in his tense shoulders, wary eyes, flat mouth. The boy was equally the centre of attention this time, but for different reasons. While England was recognised, respected, predator, this boy was clearly ignorant, a newbie, prey.
But, he was brave. He didn't quell under their attention, in fact he lifted his chin a little higher, as if using it as his strength. He looked around the bar, and eventually met England's eyes. The pirate saluted him with his glass.
Whispers broke out again as the newbie crossed the floor and slipped into the seat next to him.
'Though' ye would'n come 'ere,' England purred. 'Though' i' was too dirty,' he tapped the counter and quick as a flash his drink was refilled. He took a sip and sighed. That hit the spot.
'You didn't exactly give me a choice,' America glared at him. 'Why didn't you follow me?'
The pirate snorted, gazing down into the dark liquid. 'Why should I, matey?' With the way the other started, clearly he hadn't realised there should be a why at all. Really, this was just too much. Where had France found him?
'Because I'm America,' the other replied, as if that was all the explanation necessary.
'W-what do you mean, so?' America huffed.
'What I spoke, boy,' England drawled. 'Yeh've given me naught reason to follow ye,' he finally raised his gaze to look at the other. 'All me eyes have seen is a brat who expects others to follow 'im, but ain't done naught to ensure it,' he leant across into the other's personal space, narrowing his eyes. 'The Kingdom of England bows to no one, and yeh'd do well to remember that, savvy?'
Satisfied America had got his message, he turned back to his drink and finished it off. Finally, the buzz he'd been missing began to appear and he relaxed, resting his chin on his palm and looking back at his companion. He could put up with one of France's tales now.
'So, yer from the future?' he questioned. America looked relieved to have changed topics.
'Yeah!' he nodded frantically. 'I know it sounds weird and shit and, y'know, I'm still not sure this isn't some weird ass thing someone drugged me as, but... it's why I know you – and why you don't know my home, 'cause it doesn't exist yet. But you raised me!' he paused and then leant in close, whispering, 'I'm a nation like you.'
England was surprised, but he did his best not to show it. France must have been drunk to suggest that this boy pretend to be a nation like them.
'I see…' he said slowly, and decided to test how elaborate their story was. 'Ye say I raised ye?' America nodded. 'Yer home, then… whereabouts will it be?' he thought about his mental map of the world. All the landmass nearby was taken by nations, so it would have to be somewhere further, somewhere obscure.
'America, it's, ah…' the other frowned. England waited. 'It's biiiiig, like, superhero big!' he began to gesture with his hands. 'There's a big canyon and some plains and…' but he wasn't revealing whereabouts it was in comparison to other land masses. He sighed and gestured for another drink to the bartender. Idiots hadn't thought that far then. 'Oh! You used to call it the New World?' his gaze snapped back to the other.
He did not – yes, he realised as he looked on that blissfully ignorant face, he did just go there. Bloody France had probably laughed his head off to suggest that part.
'I know it, somewhat,' he muttered, glaring into his drink. 'Nothing bloody worthwhile there, if ye ask me…' he certainly was not sore that all his attempts to colonise thus far had failed, certainly not.
'You do? That's awesome!' America cheered and then realised England was not as happy as him. 'Dude… how can you still be pissed when I haven't even -' he broke off and shook his head. 'Whatever. Anyway, that's my home! The awesomest country in the world! Or, it will be,' he added on afterwards with a firm nod.
England was quite willing to disagree with that. He was quite partial to England, naturally, and had high ambitions that his country would rise above them all. However, that was neither here nor there.
'Very well,' he sighed, 'I believe ye.'
America blinked, 'Seriously? Just like that?'
That, more than anything, told England he was correct in his assumptions this was one of France's elaborate hoaxes. He shouldn't act so surprised he was being believed if it weren't such an absurd – and impossible – notion, should he? Tut tut. France – one less, England – one more.
He fought back a smirk as he replied, 'There are strange things in this world – a little travel through time ain't the oddest, lemme tell ye.'
'Oh…' the other scratched his head. 'Then, can I stick with you? At least until I find a way home?'
'And how do ye plan to do that?' England asked.
'Oh, I dunno. I figure it'll just happen. I randomly appeared here, so I'll randomly appear there sooner or later….'
'I weren't talkin' 'bout that, lad,' he corrected, noticing movement from the other patrons out the corner of his eye. 'Why should I let ye come wit' me? I'll likely 'ave far more fun without ye.'
America frowned. 'Dude, the party doesn't start until I get there!' he argued, but England didn't even turn to him. 'Uh… I dunno, seriously, why wouldn't you want me? I'm the awesomest person you'll ever -' he was cut off by something whizzing a hair's length past his nose and landing in the wooden surface between them, knocking England's glass to the floor and causing it to shatter.
England studied the crude dagger digging into the wood. It was dull with age and the blade was blunt, and slightly bent. He pulled it out the wood and, in one swift movement, twisted and threw it back where it came – right into the shoulder of their attempted killer.
'… What just happened?' America asked, blinking rapidly.
'Someone jus' tried t'kill ye,' the nation replied, turning back to his drink. He wondered if he would ever have enough alcohol to deal with the problems this idiot was bringing.
Behind them, chaos erupted. The stabbed man had overturned his table in his panic, sending drinks and glasses to the floor and hitting several men in the chin. In turn, they knocked back into another table – and those at that table didn't take too kindly to losing their drinks. They began to punch those who had disturbed them. The brawling soon spread out of that corner to include half the room.
With the occasional person jumping in for the hell of it.
'I always am,' England smirked, nudging the other. 'This yer first time someone tried to off ye, lad? Ye should celebrate! Another grog, matey!' he called to the bartender.
A glass flew their way. America ducked and the glass sailed on to shatter against the far wall. He stared at it, stunned, and consequently missed the incoming of half a table leg. It smacked him in the back of his head and he swore loudly, clutching the wounded area with a hiss.
'Who the fuck threw that?'
England took another gulp of his drink and slid the new glass towards America. 'Yer gonna want this, lad,' he said merrily.
'How can you just sit there -' he ducked a chair coming their way, '- and act like nothing's happening!' England nudged the drink a little closer. The action was not lost on his companion who scowled. 'No I don't want to drink that crap!' he threw his hands up in the air. 'It looks like piss!'
'Tastes like it too,' England agreed, gazing into what remained of his drink before downing it anyway. He slammed the glass on the table and stood, wobbling only slightly. 'Ye ready?' It didn't take a genius to know that, in this very public brawl, it would be a great opportunity to try and take him down. He snorted, tipping back his hat a little. As if Captain Arthur Kirkland would go down like that.
In response, England gave a shark-like grin. 'T'join in, 'course! What did ye expect?' Without waiting for a reply, he flung his stool at the approaching man, and then darted away to deal the one behind him a punch to the stomach. When he doubled over, he met a knee to his chin and went down like a candle.
Two more arrived. The pirate twisted and planted his foot in another's face, but the thing he'd been dreading started to happen. The whole bar seemed to remember he was responsible for the first blow and were now making sure he got his comeuppance. Well, that and the fact that many had grudges against him when he'd taken their wife or girlfriend out for a simple tryst.
Was it really his fault the ladies found a pirate more charming than an oaf?
Now he could hold his own quite well, if he didn't say so himself, but not even he could take on this many at once, especially when he wasn't entirely sober. He managed to take down four more before someone got a lucky shot.
He flinched back, clutching the wound to his side, and tripped over a table leg before landing on the ground.
'This is jus' disgraceful, Arthur,' he muttered to himself, searching for an exit – and thus was pleasantly surprised when five people were literally swept aside. He gazed up at America who was scowling as he held a bench over his shoulder like it were nothing. Two bushy eyebrows rose.
'Five hundred fucking years!' the kid snapped, turning to glare at England and in the process knocking out two more people. Without even trying. England blinked. 'Over five hundred years and I still have to fucking pick up your ass! Do you live to piss me off old man?'
The nation wanted to respond to that, honestly, but he – and the majority of the fighters – could only gape.
They all knew how heavy those benches were and he was treating it like it was nothing! England narrowed his eyes. Perhaps he had found the reason he would let this boy come along with him. That strength would be very useful on a ship.
'Who's next then?' the idiot challenged, standing protectively over England. 'I'll take you all on!'
Ah. No, this wouldn't do at all. Word could not get out that he needed someone to fight his battles for him. England got to his feet, nearly falling back several times (why was it when you were tipsy it was much easier to fall to the floor than get up?) before grabbing hold of the lad's neck, on the strange material he'd noticed earlier. He would have to ask about that later.
'Let's not, hm?' he murmured into the man's ear, using the bench as protection. 'On my mark we escape, savvy?'
'But I want to beat them up!' America said in a childish tone.
'Oh poppet,' England cooed, patting his cheek and then his voice flattened. 'Too bad I don't care.'
With the bench on their side, creating an exit was simply a matter of sweeping it around and knocking it back. They tumbled through the crowd and out the door into dark streets. England kept tight hold as he began to navigate the streets, grimacing when the idiot continued to shout death threats at their pursuers.
'Shut yer trap already! Can't ye tell we're makin' an escape!'
'Heroes don't run away!'
'We're not runnin'-'
'We so are.'
'We are not, we're escaping. It's the new thin' heroes do, ain't ye heard?' England pulled him down an alley and ducked low, tugging the idiot beside him. He held his breath as a group ran past and didn't even glance their way. In this case, the darkness was their friend. As the footsteps faded, he breathed a sigh of relief and slumped against stone. His side throbbed mercilessly and he hissed, pressing a hand to it and grimacing when it came back wet, only to be distracted by the odd noise from his companion. It took him a few moments to realise he was gagging. 'Somethin' wrong, matey?'
'I'm dying,' the other groaned. 'Bad smell is the most unheroic death ever, ugh…'
England sniffed but smelt nothing. That's right, this lad was addled – he'd forgotten. His strength, however, now that was something to be utilised. Thank goodness he already had a reason to remain with England, else the pirate would have to come up with one. Obviously France hadn't realised just how useful this lad was to him; there was no way he would have sent him otherwise.
But let it never be said the English would not take advantage of another's mistakes… with pleasure.
'… of all the deaths, seriously, death by smell? Just-' the nation covered his mouth, stopping the rambling before it was overheard by unsavoury persons.
'D'ye want t'give away our position?' he hissed.
'I can take them,' was the reply, although it was muffled due to his hand. Thankfully, he heard learnt his lesson earlier and there was no palm licking. England eyed the bench the other still carried, currently discarded on the ground next to them, and thought that maybe he could handle them. If it were hand to hand combat. He still couldn't use a sword to save his life. 'Hey, England, what should I do with this?' he gestured to the bench.
The pirate scratched his head, wondering on the other could go from pissed to looking like a lost lamb. 'What d'ye wanna do with i'?' he asked.
'… Can I keep it? Like a memento? I mean, it was pretty heroic of me to just bust us out, right? You'd have been dead without me!' he puffed his chest up. 'Though, you know, I gotta be cursed. How come it's always me pulling your ass outta pubs and shit? Is it payback for the revolution or what?'
'This one of 'em future things, lad?' England asked, but was more focused on listening for footsteps. He heard none and then got to his feet, ignoring the pain his side caused him. There was no time. 'Let's go.'
'Where're we going?' America asked, standing upright and coming a good few inches above England. 'There's nowhere to go! Wait, you're a pirate… do you have a ship? Are we going to make an awesome escape on your ship while the guards chase us, like in the movies? That would be totally awesome! But only because I'm there, obviously, nobody's really awesome until the hero is -'
Oh, for goodness sake!
An indefinite amount of time later, England could be found dragging a bound and gagged idiot through the dark streets at night. The bench was left behind. The other wriggled and made muffled noises, but that was good.
People avoided someone taking a captive somewhere, after all.
They approached the docks. The pirate stuffed his companion into a corner and crept down to the walkway. The ships bashed together in the stormy night air, creaking and clanking, and his expert eye scanned for the best ship – the one which would allow a quick getaway but could be handled by two people. He spotted a promising one near the end. There were crates surrounding it on the dock, implying it was going to be used shortly therefore implying it would have supplies on they could use therefore implying it was perfect.
Ducking into the shadows as a pair of guards walked past, England waited until they'd left before returning to his companion. He began to untie him, caught sight of the glaring blue eyes that promised retribution the instant he was free, and hesitated. He would be a lot safer if he remained tied up, but sadly he needed his hands…
The nation resigned himself to his fate and released him. The next second he got a punch in the face and he stumbled back, rubbing his now throbbing cheekbone.
'Ye punch well, lad,' he praised, once more reminded of the other's unnatural strength.
'Asshole!' the idiot tore the gag out his mouth. 'Not awesome dude! Not awesome at all.'
'Ye would not shut yer gob! Ye deserved it,' he muttered and then hurried to change topic. 'Look matey, we need t'get to that sloop withou' bein' seen. Can ye do that?'
America stared back at him, 'Sloop?'
'That ship,' the pirate rolled his eyes and pointed to the ship he'd decided to plunder. 'Do ye get it, or do I have t'use small words?'
'Hey, it's not my fault I don't get your pirate mumbo jumbo! Seriously, why can't you just use ship like the rest of us normal people?' he huffed, crossing his arms over his chest. England bared his teeth, smirked when the other cringed back, before turning and beginning to sneak across the docks. When he got half-way to their destination, he paused and glanced over his shoulder. He was quite surprised to realise once the idiot was trying to be quiet, he was quite good.
Though that pose would have to go.
'What're ye doin', lad?' he whispered, eyeing the way the other's hands were together by his groin, the forefingers pressed together, and how he was pressed against one of the other ships.
'Shh,' was the only reply. 'Leave this to Super Secret Agent Awesome,' and England had to admire his alliteration. Maybe with a bit more work, he could become something great. It was always the least likely ones you should look to for success – just like that young lad up in London, William; he would be something great one day – and if England could be responsible for it, well, it was a win-win situation.
America slid further down, his hands now situated by his neck, as he first searched and then darted onwards, only to come face to face with a guard. England winced when, in one swift movement, he panicked and knocked the guard into the water, creating a huge splash.
So much for 'super secret'.
'Sound the alarm!' his partner shouted. 'We got some escapees!'
England swore, 'Get goin'!' he yelled, breaking into a run and shooting past the idiot only to halt when a dozen guards blocked his way. 'Avast! Head for the ship matey!' he gestured to the one docked to their left.
'You first, I'll hold them off!' the idiot declared, bringing his hands up into a fighting position.
Well, if he insisted.
'Follow me when ye need to!' he jumped off the dock and grabbed one of the ropes, hauling himself up onto the ship. He glanced at the ship he intended to reach and then back down at America. All the guards had gone to him and were starting to circle around this ship – excellent. He grabbed hold of one of the thicker, loose lines and moved back across deck with it. He took a deep breath and began running, hoping the strong winds would give him the further push he needed to make the jump.
Things did not go as planned, though not because of the wind.
America chose that moment to run up the wooden platform, chased by half a dozen guards. The two collided, one foot of England's planting in the other's face and knocking him to the ground. The unexpected hit interrupted England's swing and then he was spiralling around and around, the world half a blur, until a sudden jerk brought him back to reality.
There was loud screaming. England looked down and blinked. It seemed America had got caught on the dragging end of the line and was now flailing as he was taken through the air unwillingly.
'Good view?' the nation called, turning his sights to the other ship. They had to time this right.
'The fucking best! You know what? We should swap, see how you like it!' Replying, however, took more concentration than England had at that moment, because they had just reached the other ship, and he reached out to grab hold of the side. The wood cut his hands and his side throbbed as it was stretched when the rope tried to make its way back.
'Get on!' he hissed, hauling himself over and collapsing on the deck. He took a second to breathe before a sudden weight began crushing his ribs. He couldn't breathe!
'Haha! What're you doing there England?' and then the pressure eased. England gasped for air and staggered to his feet, cursing when he heard the guards' armour clatter. They would be over here any minute.
'Hoist the anchor! Quickly! We're setting sail!' he ordered, shoving the idiot to where the anchor was pulled up from, before darting to the edge of deck where a wooden board connected it to the docks. He kicked it off and smirked at the guards that skidded to a halt, now unable to board the ship.
He flipped them the finger, enjoying the way their faces reddened, before darting over to the ropes that shifted the sails. The winds soon caused the ship to pull out of port, the anchor being the only thing that had stopped it previously, and once he tied the sails in place he moved to the fore of the ship. He leant against the wood and shut his eyes, relaxing as he felt the wind on his face.
He was finally back on the seas.
'England! It won't go anymore!' he sighed and turned around just in time to see the idiot let go of the wheel that controlled the anchor… without tying it to anything.
'Ye bloody blaggard! Ye don't le' go like tha'!'
Awhile after they had secured everything, America got an odd look on his face. England debated whether or not asking and then decided against it. He just wanted to sit and enjoy being back on the seas for a moment, after all. But then his companion began pacing, obviously deliberating something of great importance to him, and once more England cursed his innate curiosity. It would be the bloody death of him.
'Is something wrong, lad?'
'I dunno, I just...' America turned back to look at the dark mass that had once been land. 'I just feel like I've forgotten something.'
'We are not going back for it,' the pirate grumbled and then brightened. Could he catch him out now? 'And how could ye forget something anyway? I thought you said you didn't belong here. Shouldn't ye naught have anything here?'
'Ha-ha, you're right! Of course the hero hasn't forgotten anything. The hero never forgets a thing!' he gave England a thumbs up and a tooth sparkled.
England decided throwing himself overboard wasn't as half-bad an idea as he'd originally believed.
A/N: And so, the final chapter is re-written. Some bits remained the same, whilst others were new... I'd like to know what you think of it. I had quite a lot of fun with this chapter. Next chapter though, we're gonna see a shift in perspective from America to Canada. Opa! Hope you enjoyed!
Info and Shit:
1) The Cinque ('sink') Ports were near Sussex and Kent. They were once pretty important, but during Queen Elizabeth I's reign they stopped being as such. They were still well-known, though.
2) Troubles of France is referencing to the French Wars of Religion (1562-98) between Catholics and Protestants. It was pretty brutal.
3) Geeeermany only came to be 'Germany' around 1871 - before that, it was Prussia and HRE in the same place. Hint hint nudge nudge.
4) England has had a lot of names. At this time, however, his place is known as the 'Kingdom of England' and ran from 907-1707. It later became the 'Kingdom of GB (with Scotland)' for around 100 years, and then the 'UK of GB & Ireland' for another rough 100 years before becoming what it is today with just Northern Ireland... and this is excluding a lot. Iggy just can't make his mind up, huh?
5) By the sixteenth century, only the Spanish and Portugese had successfully put colonies in America. I think France succeeded at one time, and even the Dutch were looking promising. But England? He just kept meeting failure. -pats him- Still, I suppose he made up for it eventually...
6) Young lad William - c'mon, guys, take a guess and see. It's not too hard.