AN: Hope you enjoy, it was a killer to write. Alright since I'm leaning one way or the other, should Russia and Kansas be together as lovers or friends?

America's Children



When Kansas finally made it to bed late the next evening she was thoroughly exhausted. She slowly crawled under the comforter, her muscles protesting against the motion. But she refused to give into the temptation to just drop until she was ready dammit. Allowing herself to fall onto the pillows, which seemed oddly fluffy and warm, she let out of mew of pure pleasure. It took all she had to make herself move again and slip out of her two day old jeans. Letting the silky smooth sheets slip over her legs and letting herself sink into the bed was a little like heaven.

Oh heaven this is wonderful, she thought contentedly, sleep pulling pained eyes shut. Burying her face in the warm fluffiness Kansas inhaled the oddly pungent scent of vanilla. Vanilla? Kansas lifted her face and reluctantly opened her eyes. Why did her bed smell like vanilla? Perplexed she gripped her pillow tightly in a fist as she balanced herself up on her elbows. She could feel the heat still radiating off it. Which meant someone had to have done the laundry recently and had to have been in her room-

"Oh, Miss Kansas, you're back," a soft voice whispered. Kansas turned slowly to find a familiar red head staring at her in her doorway, forest green eyes calm.

"Hello Washington," she slurred out sleepily, lying on her back so she could see him. Washington gave her a soft smile in return. "I suppose I should thank you for doing my laundry."

"Not really," he replied, suddenly looking deeply amused. Kansas's brows drew together.

"And why not?"

Washington gave her the widest grin she'd ever seen him give, which considering it was Washington it wasn't that big, but wow. "Jersey and Russia have been doing it all day and they even dared to venture in your room. It was Jersey's idea. He thought it would be nice for you to have clean bed clothes when you got back."

"Thank them for me." she said feeling oddly touched. New Jersey and her weren't particular close and she couldn't really think of a good reason for Russia to be nice to her. Or at lest so thoughtful.

"I don't think I'll need to," Washington told her with sympathetic eyes as he leaned slightly out of the room. He turned to look down the hallway as he continued speaking. "They're coming right now."

Kansas grimaced, right as a slender brunette and towering Russian appeared in her door. Well Russia stood in the doorway, New Jersey was inside. Russia was too big to let anyone, even the miniscule state, in a confined space with him. New Jersey's face split into a wide smile and Russia gave her his slightly less condescending smile. One of those oddly sweet ones that made her think he couldn't be that bad.

"Ah, so you are back from your mission," Russia said violet eyes gleaming pleasantly, his Russian accent standing out sharply among the various American dialects.

"Yes," Kansas told him, not exactly curtly, but definitely not verbose. New Jersey jumped foreword.

"Miss Kansas!" the puppy-like state said happily, quickly skipping over to her bed.

"Hey, New Jersey," she greeted, eyes lazily drifting downward. "Been awhile, how have you been?" The brunette beamed brighter if possible.

"I've never been better!" he said wiggling in a manner reminiscent to a dog shaking its tail. Kansas smiled. New Jersey may have been many years her senior, but he always made her feel maternal. He created that reaction in most of the female population.

"Mister Russia said I can come to him anytime I think It's coming for me. He says he'll make sure I don't ever get hurt and he'll help me stand up to brother." Kansas looked at Russia sharply or as sharply as a half dead girl could. That was a rather generous promise, for someone who'd only be in the states a month. And someone who hated their father.

"How nice." she said sweetly looking at Russia carefully. Without warning to a yawn forced its way from her mouth.

"It seems we should let Miss Kansas be," Washington said softly, looking at New Jersey pointedly. The older state's eyes widened and he instantly jumped to his feet with an 'Oh!'. Washington and New Jersey left wishing her good night. And then only Russia was left.

Kansas opened her mouth to talk, but his eyes caught hers and she went quiet, bewildered and tired. Russia opened his mouth, but closed it. After starring at her a few minutes he frowned.

"You states are odd," he told her finally, eyes looking at her with an odd serenity and happiness. Then he left, his always present scarf trailing behind him.

Kansas was still watching the doorway five minutes later. Russia was not what she expected. One second he seemed intimidating and dark, the next he was bright and curious as a child. Kansas fell back on her bed with a sigh. Why couldn't it be nice and simple? Why couldn't he just be the psychotic cruel man Da described during his worst stories of Russia? Her arm fell across her closed eyes. This situation was getting worse the more the others got attached to the stranger.

…"Are you going to sit there all day?" a teasing voice asked. Kansas opened her eyes reluctantly, feeling the warmth piercing through her skin, warming her pleasantly. Missouri was looking into her eyes with his deep brown ones. Kansas pouted at her nap being interrupted and Missouri smiled. The scar on his right cheek was pale white against his deeply tanned skin. Kansas leaned foreword and poked it causing her big brother to chuckle. She squealed in protest as he picked her up and swung her high in the air. But on the inside she was warm happy of the attention…

Oklahoma was dry sobbing, all the liquid in her small body dried up. She was hugging Kansas around the waist as Kansas looked down at her horrified. Her little sister's marigold yellow hair was caked with dust. Kansas looked up to gape at the empty desolate lands. It looked so dead…

Kansas peeked terrified from around Missouri's pant leg. Her tiny body was shaking in her thin dress. Unfamiliar men were speaking in a language she didn't know. They were starring at big brother suspiciously. She recognized one word they kept repeating as they pointed to her and her siblings. "French." Their twisted mouths seemed to spit it like a curse. Then the group suddenly broke up. A blonde man was coming up to them his pale face broken in a wide grin his blue eyes shinning. He stopped in front of them and Kansas flinched into Missouri.

"You are like me." He said in rough broken sounding French. Brother nodded, but Kansas starred at him uncomprehending. Then suddenly blue filled her vision and she shrieked. The man's impossibly blue eyes were looking at her apologetically. Kansas fought against her trembling lip, refusing to cry. The man's eyes went soft and he gentle touched her hair making soft shushing noises.

Kansas gasped as something clenched painfully in her heart and then with and almost audible snap it all fell into place. Her heart pulled her towards this man. He smiled at her.

"I am Alfred Jones. My other name is America. You are now a part of my family." He smiled warmly. He seemed much nicer than that Frenchman brother had sometimes watched. They weren't allowed to go near him, because brother said their people didn't trust him.

"Would you like to be my daughter?"…

It as cold and wet, but she was running back to enemy lines. The soldier had been brave her mind told her. He deserved to die quickly rather than slowly from blood loss after the wound she'd given him. It didn't matter he'd killed some of her troops. It hurt, but this was war and she understood her side had murdered countless others he'd known and ravaged his homes. Coming into the clearing the soldier looked up at her, eyes feverish with and looking close to death. It was the first time she saw him clearly. Suddenly Kansas's throat was burning and her gun was on the ground. A horrible scream rang through the air. It was the scream of all the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and cousins, anyone of her people who'd watch someone they love die. And it was all focused into her own scream she realized. It was her scream because she recognized that face. She'd loved that face…

When Kansas opened her eyes the next morning she was met by a pair of bright brown ones. Before she could say a word the girl scowled, looking pretty even as she did, and leaned back.

"Oklahoma? What are you doing here?" Kansas demanded startled. Her little sister huffed and turned to glare at the door.

"Brother and the Idiots decided to come visit." Oklahoma said stiffly, clearly furious. The girl turned on her sister's eyes blazing. "I don't like him! He shouldn't be living with you!"

"Oklahoma," Kansas scolded. She knew very well who the girl was talking about. The young state, who looked no older than thirteen, growled.

"I don't want the Commie Bastard living with you! You'll start to find good things about him! Then you'll befriend him! And then you'll like him so much you don't want him to leave! He's not good enough! I want him gone!"

"Samantha Inhofe!"

"Samantha Inhofe!" a voice shouted sharply.

Russia stiffened recognizing Kansas's voice. He'd never heard her sound like that. Sound angry. It was worrying. Russia turned back to the man in front of him. He had black thick hair, tan skin, with a pale scar marring his face, and familiar brown eyes starred at him questioningly.

He had Kansas's eyes, though they were a darker shade. The little girl who'd ran past him earlier had them too. He'd introduced himself as Missouri, Kansas's older brother, and if not for the eyes Russia doubted he would have believed him. The other men had the eyes two.

When the voice rang out clearly through the quiet rooms, Virginia stiffened also, but didn't lose her composure watching Missouri carefully as she sipped her tea. West Virginia leaned back placidly, his lips, in a thin line, were the only thing to reveal his feelings. Something was happening. And not something good. Russia smiled at the strangers, but he got two glares from the big blonde man and slender brunette in front of him.

"Don't worry," a pleasant placid voice told them. Russia looked at Missouri curiously and the state actually gave him a small gentle smile.

"Oklahoma is misbehaving so Kansas is reprimanding her." he explained.

Russia nodded, but still couldn't help but wonder what was happening back in that room. Reprimanding her… Russia did not like the sound of it. Nor did he like the images it brought to his mind. Surely Kansas wouldn't be harsh to the child. He highly doubted the gentle state had it in her. Or at least rather gentle to him, he'd seen Virginia and West Virginia's reactions when he'd used that word to describe the girl.

A shuffling sound drew his attention. And Kansas entered the room, wearing a shirt much too big for her and some wrinkled jeans. She looked quite disheveled and furious. The girl beside her gave a yelp and Russia relaxed to find Kansas was merely pulling the girl by her ears. The blonde child seemed to since his gaze and snarled at him.

"Samantha." Missouri said in a voice Russia had only heard once before from Katyusha. It was soft and oddly disappointed. The young blonde instantly stopped and looked down shoulders slumping. Russia watched fascinated. Missouri could control her with just the sound of his voice. Amazing.

"Samantha come sit by me," Missouri said in a calm reasonable voice and the girl-child quickly scuttled over to him and curled into his side refusing to look at Russia. Placing a comforting arm around the girl Missouri looked up at Kansas eyes amused.

"I'd thought I'd lost that." He said eyeing the shirt she wore careful. Russia glanced over and noted that it was indeed a man's shirt. Come to think of it, all the shirts he'd seen Kansas in were men's shirts and very big on her.

Kansas watched them stiffly, not showing any welcome. Something that struck Russia as odd. Looking at the two who'd been glaring at him, he noted they were starring at Kansas.

"I already know what you're going to say-"

"Then why the hell did you let him live with you!" the blonde snarled, pointing an accusing finger at Russia. "We thought when West and Virginia came to live with you that they were taking him! But now we hear that they're your chaperons. Chaperons! What the hell is going on that makes you need chaperons?" At this the blonde looked at Russia furiously.

Oh, so that's what it was. Russia smiled contentedly, happy he understood. Obviously the young man did not want his sister living with a stranger. And judging by what the states assumed the implications of Virginia moving in was he couldn't blame him. If Russia thought someone was doing something like that to his sisters… Russia's smile widened as he thought about how his pipe would have to be taken out of retirement.

"Look at him smirking!" the blonde hissed. Russia blinked at him confused. He was not smirking, simply imagining the things he'd do to men who hurt his sisters.

"He isn't smirking." Kansas said in a tight voice. The blonde gave her a sneer that oddly enough made Russia want to punch the arrogant sounding man. His voice makes my ears bleed, Russia decided with a smile. It seems this one took more after America than the others.

"Then he's just twisting his lips in a mocking smile I suppose?" the blonde spat causing Russia's smile to grow. That was an almost intelligent response from America's child of all things. Perhaps this wasn't entirely like his father.

"Stop acting like an idiot Colorado." Kansas snapped back impatiently her entire small body tensing as if ready to spring. Russia turned to note the bigger man was as tense as Kansas and kept clenching and unclenching his fists. As if not sure whether to hit something or not.

"Idiot am I?" the now identified Colorado said in a soft his. "At least I'm not fucking that Russian Bastard!"

Russia went still and his smile disappeared. He turned to see Kansas's reaction. Her face went pale and his heart went a bit cold. The idea of touching him intimately must have been very appalling for her to turn that white and look so furious.

"Don't you dare insult him!" Kansas snarled, surprising Russia (but when hadn't she in all honesty) by her defense of him. "At least I'm not in love with someone completely out of my reach! Poor Colorado can't even get up the balls to talk to him! Coward!"

Colorado froze eyes bulging. Face white under his flush of red. Kansas's mouth also closed and the room went quiet. Kansas had a stubborn expression of fury as if she wouldn't apologize even if she should. Russia knew at that moment something horrible would happen.

"I trusted you." Colorado whispered face suddenly hurt. Kansas wavered eyes flashing with guilt, but it was gone as soon as Colorado's fury bloomed on the surface.

"Then again I suppose I shouldn't trust someone who'd shoot their own family." Colorado said probably knowing it would cause a reaction.

Russia stiffened and looked towards Kansas startled. The amount of pain and shame in her eyes confirmed what Colorado had said. Russia's insides went cold and his purples eyes turned to Colorado. That froze struck him wrong. Brought too many memories to the surface. Memories he'd worked on forgetting.

"Leave," Russia said levelly filled with a sudden hate for this man who would purposely, without the slightest show of regret, hurt his sister in such a way. The man turned on him, but seemed to freeze when he saw his face. They were all shaking and staring at him scared. They should be. They were weak and he was Mother Russia. Russia's grin started to grow on his face. Dark and insane. Far superior to these fools. But then Russia caught sight of Kansas her eyes dark and filled with an agony and regret he recognized. His smile faded and he turned back the Colorado.

He stared the boy down until he looked away. The dark haired man who hadn't spoken stood up and touched the blonde's shoulder.

"You went too far, let's leave." Colorado didn't bother acknowledging it. He just broke free of the grip and stomped out of the room only to be followed by his silent companion.

"Samantha follow your brothers." Missouri said softly. The blonde quickly obeyed throwing her sister a look of adoration on the way.

"I'm sorry for allowing it to go on." Missouri said evenly eyes trying to catch Kansas's. "You both needed to lose some steam."

She wouldn't look at him. Russia watched her nod, gripping the chair tightly in his fists. Missouri left with the solemn gentleness that radiated off him tinged with sadness. Russia did not feel kinder to him for it. He'd had the power to stop the boy, but he hadn't used it. He was as much at fault as either.

"I'm going." Kansas told them. Virginia was the first to react her eyes wide and horrified.

"Chamania you shouldn't-" Virginia started jumping to grab the smaller state's shoulder. Kansas quickly skipped away.

"I'll be fine Virginia, just leave me be." Kansas ordered and marched out of the house. They remained in silence several minute after the door had slammed. Virginia spun on her brother eyes blazing as she began to open her mouth.

"We need to go after her." West Virginia told them.

"I'll go-" Virginia stopped abruptly turning to gape at the chair. "Where did he go?" she demanded shrilly.

West Virginia looked up at his sister blandly. "He left as soon as you turned around. I ay we leave them alone. Ivan will take care of her."

"And how do you know?" Virginia glared at her brother pulling at her lacy collar. West Virginia smiled.

"Because Champion Shot opened her home to him and defended him against her own siblings."

Virginia stared at him incredulously.