I want you all to do something. First, copy this into a new tab: http : / / www . youtube . com / watch? v=ptsooXyCwh4. Then I want you to pause it and re-read the fic from the top (if you haven't read it straight through). As soon as you've finished this chapter, play the song and just listen to it. Close your eyes and drink it in. That's the feeling I want to evoke.

"Who are you?"

Canada felt like banging his head against the tabletop. Or maybe Kumajirou's.

"Ca-na-da." he said slowly, enunciating every syllable. He flicked his eyes back to the pancake he was making, rubbing the bridge of his nose. For some reason, his glasses had been giving him trouble lately.

Kumajirou seemed oddly persistent today, and kept asking him.


"Ca-na-da. The guy who feeds you."


This was getting ridiculous. Even on the bad days, Kumajirou wasn't usually this forgetful.

Canada flipped the pancake on his plate and started pouring maple syrup on. Then he went to the fridge for butter.


Oh, honestly. A man has to make a stand sometime.

Canada slammed his hand down onto the table and stared Kumajirou straight in the eyes.

"I. Am. Canada. I have ALWAYS been Canada. You. Stupid. Polar. Bear."

Kumajirou looked straight back at him. He placed his paw on Canada's hand.

"No." he said quietly. "You didn't used to be."

"Wha-?" Canada stared at the bear. Then he dropped his butter, which landed in a very un-satisfying splat on the floor.

He knew.

A young Native American woman standing in a snowbank, beckoning

Grass plains rippling, Helaku was pelting him with

"I'm having trouble, help me with this." A brown hand, his brown hand, helped untangle the

Gaho pointed out the juicier blackberries, Helaku took

Gaho was patting him

Howling at the sky filled with stars and the desert

Matoskah leading him and Helaku to safety as Spain

"-can't remember-"

Raven tears falling on his face

Matoskah? No, he's

"Kumajirou." breathed Canada.

He looked up at Canada.

"Who?" he asked.


Through the curling mists of Time, I sit on my porch. I am an old, old woman. The people here feed me, let me out to stare endlessly through the desert and the sky and the mountains, and then put me to bed. They don't know who I am. They just know I'm the old biddy who won't die. There's a kind of respect they have for me.

I know what I'm staring at, even if they don't. Some days, I'm living my memories again, and two chubby boys are racing up the stairs and crawling into my lap, laughing. Some days I'm young again, and it's only when I come crashing to the wooden patio floor that I remember that was a long time ago. Sometimes I can see clearly and I softly weep, tears dribbling off my chin and into my lap.

One day, they'll come back to me. And until that day comes, I will stay on this lonely porch and watch the Raven soar on the wind, stealing my heart with it.