Title: In Water
By: The DayDreaming
Ratings/Warnings: Rated M…for MUSTACHE! There is disturbing content in this fanfiction, including themes of torture, suicide, and molestation. If that makes you weak in the knees, GET THE FUCK OUT. This is UKUS, with an optional hint of RussiaxAmerica at the end. THIS IS A SEQUEL. If you haven't read it's predecessor, "The Daphnes Burn," you will not understand what's happening.
Summary: (Sequel to "The Daphnes Burn") He's screaming now, tears forgotten as his eyes widen in panic. Arthur can only hold his arms down and 'shhh' him into silence, "That's right, dear. It's okay. I'm here, I'm here. Shhhh, it will only take a couple minutes."
A/N: ….I'm so, so sorry for this. This is just one big clusterfuck of suck. I honestly need to give up writing if this is the stuff I'm going to come up with…
"As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: so man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep."
The crash of a wave.
Kites on the wind.
Child's breath past dandelions.
The seeds fly away.
And where do they go?
They flow as seconds do.
Agonizing tik after tok trail behind like so many spent moments.
Where do the dandelions go after they're shorn apart by the world?
And it's one of those things that doesn't have an answer until the world spins around again and you see it on the other side of a chasm.
Does it exist beyond the horizon of vision?
He can feel himself shudder and shake, ripping out at the roots, each bond broken a tik and a tok against static background silence.
Does he fly away?
Alfred doesn't think so.
It feels a lot more like floating down down down.
Alfred doesn't get better.
Not in the morning.
Not the next day.
Nor the day after that.
He worsens. Still and pale, burning away in his mouth but cold-pitted in his stomach. In the agony of constant aches, he screams for sleep, and on the brink of dreaming he cries for wakefulness. He walks a road of branching paths and finds that all ways are impassable.
But life carries on.
England is always there, holding his hand or smoothing his hair. He whispers words of encouragement, even as Alfred finds himself incapable of sitting up on his own, of walking, of even grasping onto the sheets as they smother him while Arthur tucks him in.
There's the distinct feeling of embarrassment at first, when England must feed him and he dribbles food all over his face (even if it's England forcing it on him, because he's not hungry; hasn't felt hunger for a little while now, and tries to push any food away), when England must change his clothes the first time he soils himself and feels the tender fingers behind the damp cloth that cleans away the taint from his vital regions, when England washes him from head to toe twice a day and stares at him with this look he can't quite describe (it scares him and makes his skin crawl, he's seen it before but he can't recall where).
Arthur smiles at him, but Alfred can't help but think he's smiling at someone else.
Smiles as though Alfred and America are inconsequential, smiles as though there is an inside joke that he can't quite grasp because it's too many years old and the meaning's been not but dust in the others' mouths for as long as he's lived—
Smiles because maybe Alfred isn't in mind at all.
"It will be okay, dear," Arthur tells him, spooning some sort of horrid-tasting mash in a bowl. "Eat and you'll get better. I made this especially for you."
Alfred turns his head away, stomach churning.
"Come now, dear. Turn around and eat."
He can taste the bile at the back of his throat at just the thought of food. Curdled and sliding down his esophagus in a wet clot that sits in his stomach, waiting to go back up again, burning burning burning as it moves along.
It feels empty. He's hollow inside and out, and the void it creates leaves him breathless and afraid of contact.
"Alfred, I will not stand for this childishness."
But Arthur is Arthur. Doesn't he say he always knows best? Alfred knows that Arthur isn't right all the time, that he's prone to error and grudges and all manner of inappropriateness, just as they all are, but…
It's so hard to think that Arthur isn't some type of god. Not when he always makes to prove America wrong, to show how much Alfred still needs to be taken care of, how inane and stupid Alfred is compared to him.
It makes Arthur appear massive. So terribly huge and oppressive.
Alfred can't help but feel he's played this song and dance before.
Arthur grunts and tears Alfred's head back into place, gripping his jaw and pinching until his lips pucker open and mandibles pop apart. He shoves the spoon in, clanging it against teeth and depressing the tongue until the bowl is tilted and that foul mash is slid into his throat. England rubs his neck and makes the semi-solid mass move down down down.
"There we go, love. Once more; I want this bowl all gone before I leave for bed."
Alfred makes it through half before it all comes back up again on England's shirt.
The bath again.
His life seems to have settled into a cycle now, and it's only been a week. Right?
He remembers the clock on the stand, analog, with the date imbedded on a wheel next to the ornate three. July nineteenth.
A week is a long time to be sick with just an ordinary illness. It feels like it's been a lot longer, though. Days upon days. As though he's lived one million seconds in this half-dead state.
But, it's only July nineteenth.
The water strains to fall from the closed faucet, erratic drops tapping a rhythm on the tiled walls and eroding away at his mind.
One second falling after the next.
In the morning, what he thinks is morning , breakfast, with something burnt and something acidic and sweet and berry-like to smother it. Then throwing up and a bath. Rest. Lunch that doesn't stay, then more rest. England climbs into bed with him and says it won't hurt to keep him company for the time it takes the sheets to wash and dry. Dinner and a bath again. England strips and sits with him, in the water, holding him.
Those hours that occur in-between are blurry, like someone's taken a soggy towel to his brain and wiped away most of the debris; but there's some still floating around, scattered and in an impermeable haze with no focus point.
Sometimes he wonders if he dreams of consciousness.
Arthur runs a soapy hand down his chest, slow and warm against his cold skin. It meanders about and runs in lazy circles, across his arms, dribbling to his hips.
His breath hitches, nervous.
He registers that something's there. Nothing should be there.
He whines out a protest as the fingers slide further, underwater and heavy, to the inside of his thighs, hold steady for a moment, then move on to his knee and calf.
Everything is heavy and wrong. He shakes at the thought.
Alfred is drawn back to the world as England leans in and holds him, breath caressing his ear and open palms stamped across his shoulder blades.
"Anything wrong, love? Do you need to throw up? Need water?"
He can't say. Can't say what he needs or wants, because he doesn't know. It feels like he's swimming in an ocean, dark blue as he sinks to the bottom and stares at the sky, a ring of light that slowly becomes more distant.
"Iggy…?" he mumbles. He feels the scrunch of the other's mouth against his neck, a wet line drawn in the sand.
He swallows. What was he thinking? He can't recall. He unravels the chain of thought, waves and kites and dandelions.
"It's what birds do, love."
"Oh. Not…not Alfred's?"
"No. Alfred's stay right here. Right next to their Arthur's."
Floating down down down.
It's a haze that envelopes him, swallows him whole and sets his mind adrift in a turbulent, storm-bitten sea.
Time trickles down his shoulders in slow, erratic seconds, tik tik tik-ing away what feels an eternity but must only be hours.
He wakes up and the clock says July nineteenth.
Arthur is proud, to say the least.
Alfred is such a good boy, even if he has his little bouts of rebellion. It's okay, though. England smooths them out and all is well.
Out in the garden now, the weather pleasant, if not a little nippy. His watering pale glazes over his azaleas, than onto the White Sanicles. It's sunny out, so he pulls the Doll's Eyes under the awning of his patio.
Many of the plants are new additions to his home, but some he finds he's had all along; useful things that he'd previously dismissed. The Fey flit around him, helping to ensure his growing garden's health. They are kind and eager, so happy to have a guest. The Guest. The one they've heard so much about and waited for.
It truly is a perfect day.
Maybe he'll bring Alfred out to the garden.
That is, until he finds Alfred sitting up in bed.
Alfred smiles at him, still wan and weak, but alive. More alive than he's felt for days now.
"Arthur!" he reaches a hand to him, shaky and small, "Look! You were right. I'm getting better!"
And England, he can barely, barely stitch the smile into place on his face, "That's wonderful, my boy."
It's wonderful. So, so wonderful.
Arthur walks to him, takes his hand and intertwines their fingers, "You're so strong. But, let's lay down now. You may feel better, but who knows how long it will last?"
And Alfred can feel how England's hand tightens around his, a bruising grip. It pulls him down, sinks him into the familiar pool of the mattress. Even as he wants to say 'no, I want to go home,' Arthur wraps his arms around him, locks him in at the waist, rests his chin in the crook of his neck.
He feels the other all around him, flowing over his head like wind, or the sky. Like being in water, lungs tight, heart pounding in a swollen cage as the world grows dimmer around him.
"I'll make you all better," England speaks into his skin, kisses each word in; they burn their way through his consciousness.
And Alfred can't help but wonder why he needs to be better in the first place.
That in-water feeling intensifies, engulfs him. He wants to cry, wants to run. But from what?
Alfred gasps and finds that he can't quite breathe, that it's not just a drowning feeling, but Arthur clinging tightly to his chest, back to stomach, held and whole.
It's no surprise that the next day, Alfred feels a little better than before. He sits in bed, trying to control the spoon laden with honey into his mouth.
"It tastes bad," he remarks to England, but shoves it in anyways before tearing into a burnt biscuit. There are green bits of something or other floating around in the congealing mess; herbs, Arthur says, to help him feel better faster, to make him stronger.
And maybe it doesn't come as much of a surprise when, an hour after he's eaten the entire jar of honey, America is taken by the increasing burning in his mouth, sweats and moans.
He vomits again, ruining the sheets.
And England is there, to wipe at the saliva that won't stop flowing from his mouth, to lay him down to sleep as dizziness takes his mind and makes the room swirl.
"I thought I could fly away…," Alfred mumbles, clenching desperately at Arthur's shirt. He feels tired.
Arthur touches his forehead and smiles, "Not today, love. But don't worry. I'll take care of you. I'll fix you."
It's a different sort of sickness that overtakes him. All the pain remains, just with new symptoms.
Arthur stays with him twice as much, holds his hand as his body convulses but his muscles grow listless, tips water into his mouth like sweet rain even as rivulets of drool stream out from the sides.
He sleeps with Alfred and holds him tight as his boy's vision suddenly fails and he's screaming for someone to save him from the dark.
Arthur doesn't mind. It's all for the best; to help Alfred. As long as he's with England, he'll be safe and perfect, not causing trouble or turmoil or any sort of unwanted mischief. He's not nosy or annoying, ignorant or antagonizing. He's sure the other Nations are relieved to finally have their burden disappear off the face of the earth.
And England is perhaps happiest of all. He finally has what's always belonged to him; is slowly reclaiming his prodigal treasure.
When America becomes incapable of moving altogether, though, England becomes worried.
Alfred can't be fixed if there's none of him there to be made better.
"It's a stimulant," England tells him as he loads a needle, pulling the plunger slowly so as not to take in too much. "It will make you feel better. More focused, more aware. It will help you stay awake. Maybe even allow you to get up and move around a bit."
Alfred stares at him, shakes, but otherwise says nothing.
"All will be well. I'm here for you, in case anything should go wrong."
And Alfred believes him; believes that England will always be there, even if he doesn't need him, doesn't want him.
He can't quite feel the stab of the needle in his arm amongst the tingling sensations in his extremities.
It seems to work.
Alfred speaks and eats, but he can't keep the apathy from his eyes. He's weak and useless, shrinking and shrinking as he slowly wastes away.
"What day is it?" he asks England.
England pats his head, "Whatever day you want it to be, Alfred."
"O-oh. …Is it July nineteenth?"
Arthur smiles and kisses his forehead; swipes a string of drool from the other's mouth, "Yes."
"Am I getting better?"
"…can I go home?"
"Hm," Arthur sighs out a tiny laugh. "Not yet. Not until you're better. Better than better, really. You must feel perfect."
Alfred turns away from him, holds himself to still his shaky vision and hands, "What if I never feel perfect?"
"Then you'll just stay here with me, love," Arthur breathes, leaning down and wrapping himself around America. He can do it so easily now.
Alfred tries to gather his thoughts, finds them scattered like dandelion seeds on the wind.
He thinks he may have had a cure for that.
Somewhere along the way, he realizes that he's misplaced his tok. The clock tiktiktik's away, and he knows that it's going nowhere fast.
Alfred's not hungry.
England gets angry at him, yells at him for not eating, but he can't make him. Alfred slides off the bed and wiggles his way into a corner, hiding his face from Arthur and curling into a ball.
He thinks that Arthur maybe cries, with the way the other grabs him from behind and presses damp cheeks into the crook of his neck. So he lets himself be fed a little, enough that England leaves him alone for a while to go do his work.
He has trouble falling asleep and staying awake, finds himself caught in an in-between of exhaustion and restlessness, aching and pain and dizziness. He can't help but think that something is watching him from the shadows.
Arthur calls him silly, but sometimes Alfred thinks he can see England in the corner. Sitting and grinning and staring at him. It makes his skin crawl; and so he cries out, only to see England run into the room, and the—the mean England, the scary England—has slithered back into his hole in the wall.
He can't tell which England is worse.
"Is it July nineteenth still?"
"Yes. If that's what you want it to be."
Arthur kisses him on the lips.
"Why do you do that?"
"Why do you—you—always touching me."
"Because I love you very much. Can't I touch what I like?"
"But I don't like it."
"It scares me."
"But you're a hero. My strong, brave boy."
"…maybe…maybe heroes can be afraid, too."
"Not of me. Not your Arthur. Alfred's and Arthur's always go together. No reason to be afraid."
"I'm afraid not. Now sleep, dear. I won't let anything happen to you, because I love you."
Alfred doesn't sleep, and instead stares warily at the corner.
England carries him into the bathroom and sets him on the closed lid of the toilet.
He's thrown up again. England grimaces and removes America's clothes, popping the buttons to his shirt and trousers quickly before pulling them away and into a heap. He sets to prepping the bath, pulling at the faucets and plugging the drain.
Over the roar of the water running from the faucet, Arthur tells America to turn off the water once the tub is filled, and then wait for him. He takes the ruined clothes and leaves the room.
Alfred is alone. At long last.
He can feel eyes boring into him. He tries to look over his shoulder, only to see the old, patterned tile of bathroom.
He's sure there's someone with him, right behind him; he scrambles off the toilet seat, checks behind the commode.
Nothing, but the feeling is getting worse.
He looks around, crawls towards the cabinet and opens the door. England is there.
"Come on, love. In here with me. Alfred's and Arthur's go together, after all."
He slams the door shut in the other's smiling face, tears across the slick tile on the floor to the bathtub. It's almost full, riding towards the brim and ready to engulf the room.
"Shut the water off, poppet," England whispers in his ear; he grips the back of Alfred's head and plunges it into the tub.
England realizes something is wrong when he finds water streaming out from under the bathroom door, pooling into a wet stain on the hardwood of the hallway.
He stares at the abnormality for a few seconds, not quite registering the meaning behind such an event, until the puzzle pieces click together and he's slamming himself into the door and scrabbling at the doorknob. He shoves it open, only to be met with an empty room.
The tub is still running, a steady flow of water falling over the basin's lip and cascading to the floor.
Where is Alfred?
He tears the cabinet doors under the sink open, is greeted with darkness and the rough outline of pipes.
"Alfred?" he calls out. He stands and peers around the room once more; almost has the silly notion of looking behind the toilet to see if the boy has hidden himself there.
A second cursory glance has his eyes catch on the tub, and something dark and massive in its depths; lumpy, with golden hair, curled into a ball.
England grabs onto that mass, digging in and pulling up until Alfred's head is above the surface, gasping for air.
"What have you done," he screams, sobs, as he shakes Alfred. "What are you doing?"
Alfred merely looks into his face and screams.
In bed again.
Arthur hovers over him, staring into his eyes like he's searching for the answer to a riddle. A secret code embedded behind the layers of cornea and pigment.
Whatever it is, he's seems to find it as the older man exhales a sigh, harsh and angry.
Without preamble, England grabs America's arm, grip strong and bruising against swollen, naked flesh, and smashes his mouth against Alfred's. It's hot and heavy, not a kiss so much as an attempted melting of his flesh to his boy's; a firm pressure, a reassurance. Alfred is here, Alfred is here, is here is hereherehere.
America struggles weakly beneath him, suffocated, until England draws back, scowl in place. The tub is still running, flooding his bathroom and the hall, and there's a soggy trail where he's dragged the other's body back into the room. There are no sheets on the bed, nor clothes in the dresser; all put in the wash for cleaning, while they supposedly take their bath.
"Stay," England bites out, emphasizing the statement with a tight squeeze to America's arm, before releasing the limp limb and stalking away.
In the quiet of the room, empty empty empty, America contemplates what he's done.
There's no one there. There never was. The bruising kiss, painful against his burning lips, stamps the notion into his mind.
There is only England.
The thought makes him shudder; want to curl in on himself. There is only ever England.
His concentration is broken by the quiet, tinny ring of a cellphone, vibrating dully against the nightstand.
Arthur's cellphone. The one he had pulled from his trousers when America had managed to projectile vomit his dinner onto himself and England.
Someone other than England.
He reaches out, arm shaky, and grasps the device in his hand, almost can't believe that it's real and not slipping through his fingers. The call has ended, leaving the phone dead with a '1 Missed Call' message scrolling in black text on the screen. He ignores it and begins to press the keypad, scrambling to recall any of the other Nations' phone numbers.
None come to mind, so he attempts to access Arthur's contacts list. Names he can't recognize come up first, perhaps officials from England's government. He tries to search for 'Canada' or 'Matthew,' though comes up short after scrolling through twice. He pauses as the highlighter passes through the 'B' section again, resting on a suspicious 'Bear-Boy' among a sea of formal last names followed by first names.
He presses the call button and holds his breath, counting dial tones until he hears a click on the other end, then the automated voice of an answering machine.
He fumbles over the end-call key, then pulls the contacts list up again. Scrolling down, another name catches his eye, one he's wholly familiar with. He activates the number and waits.
Arthur gnashes his teeth, anger and rage boiling in the pit of his stomach as he lines the floor with towels. He has the urge to gouge something out, dig his fingers into something and tear until it's ripped in two. The world comes to him, dark around the edges.
How could he? How could he dare to try and run from him? Surely that was what he was doing.
He's sick in the head, his poor boy. Ill before with all the taint of the world, now he's—he's—
There's something wrong with him. Something terribly wrong to make him want to—want to drown himself—run away from him, from England, the only one who's ever loved him, truly, truly loved him.
He'll fix him. Make him better. He just has to try harder. More should work. He'd been lessening the doses, but now—
Not now. They are necessary. To make sure—absolutely sure, that Alfred will stay perfect.
Stay his, forever more.
Because Arthur loves him, and Alfred is his.
He'll make everything okay.
An accented 'hello?' is barely heard before Arthur snatches the phone from Alfred's trembling fingers.
America can only stare at the bare, empty air where once there was a hint of salvation. The familiar, welcome tone still rings in his ear.
"What are you doing, love?" Arthur asks, voice sweet like honey and sugar.
Alfred's mouth holds fast.
England leans down, sits on the edge of the bed and allows his thigh to rest next to Alfred, "Who were you calling?"
He tightens his mouth, tries to look away; Arthur catches his jaw in a bruising grip.
He leans in, resting the phone on the other's chest as he cups his boy's cheeks, gentle and sweet.
"Just tell me, love. I'm not angry."
He can feel England's nails digging into his skin. America swallows, finds himself drawn into England's eyes, "C-Canada."
"Who…?" Arthur can't help but tighten his grip, straighten America's head so that he can speak to him properly.
"My brother. Canada. Matthew."
Arthur blinks and releases his grip, fingers only lightly brushing across the crescent indentations he's left behind, "And why would you do that?"
"I…wanted to talk to him," Alfred shifts his eyes away again, tries not flinch under England's ministrations. "So he could—take me home."
"And why would you want to go home, dear? Aren't you fine here, where I can take care of you?" he punctuates his sentence by leaning in and planting a light kiss to Alfred's forehead. He allows himself to linger, drawing his mouth over the sweat-slicked skin, "Because I will, Alfred. I'm not angry. Could never be angry with you."
Alfred shivers, wishes he could draw himself in; the touches burn and hold him in place. He feels like he's floating, down down down.
"But…I can't—can't stay here forever…I'm all better, aren't I?"
England smiles at him, a pitying glint in his eyes, "I'm afraid not. But's it's okay. I'm here to take care of you. You can't go home, Alfred.
"This is your home, now."
America can feel his throat tighten, a peculiar burning forming behind his eyes. He can't—can't—, "But, what about everyone else? Don't I, don't I need to go back?"
"Oh, Alfred. Honey. Don't you realize?" Arthur smooths his wet bangs aside. "They don't need you. They never wanted you, never loved you."
And he can't breath—
"But I do. I love you so much."
"Enough to want to fix you. To make you the best you could possibly be."
He's floating, sinking sinking sinking—
"But it's so hard when you try to do this to me. Make me feel like you don't love me back."
And there is no ground, nothing to catch him—
"But I know you do. You're so very cruel, but I see you Alfred."
"And everything I see—everything I touch—"
He's in water.
And he can't help it. He cries. With everything he has, everything he's bottled up—each disappointment and bitter fear, frustration and loneliness. They uproot themselves from him, dandelion seeds on the wind, water trickling past—seconds tik-ing by without an end.
Arthur stops and looks at him, cups his face gently and rests his forehead against Alfred's, "Don't cry, love. I'll make it better. No need for tears."
And Alfred doesn't see it coming, can't feel as England reaches into his pocket and draws out a thick, leafy ball, until it's too late.
Arthur shoves it in Alfred's mouth without hesitation, clamping his jaws shut and pinning his writhing body down. His boy can't fight back, not as weak and thin from starvation as he is. He quickly pulls a long strip of cloth from his other pocket, wedging it between Alfred's lips and tying a rough knot behind his head.
He's screaming now, tears forgotten as his eyes widen in panic. Arthur can only hold his arms down and 'shhh' him into silence, "That's right, dear. It's okay. I'm here, I'm here. Shhhh, it will only take a couple minutes."
The writhing continues, bucking England around, though it's more from Alfred's body seizing and convulsing than effort put in on the boy's part. He's sweating and salivating again, breathing heavy as he arches into the air, almost throwing Arthur off.
Eventually, Alfred begins to slow; descends from his high to lie still on the mattress.
Arthur cautiously releases his hold, moving slightly from straddling the boy's chest to sitting on his waist and examining his face. The other's stare is blank, gazing at the ceiling in something akin to death.
But it isn't. Nations can't die, not by poison, at least. This, England knows. Alfred has merely entered the long sleep, a coma.
It's best this way, he tells himself.
Alfred is all his now.
He trails his fingers down the other's bare chest, let's his fingernails drag along the cooling skin. It's perfect; everything he's ever wanted. He leans over and licks the tears away from Alfred's eyes, grazes his lips across his cheek and nose, to bleeding lips, then pale, long neck.
The best that Alfred could ever be.
He's bold, allows his hips to slide down the other's pelvis, past his vital regions, to rest at his thighs. He can't help but touch them, tracing the relaxed muscle, not as firm since Alfred took ill, but still beautiful.
He can afford to be bold now, can allow himself to take in the other's scent, run his fingers through his hair. Hold him as close as he pleases; feel him. He wedges his hand underneath the still body, drawing the curves and knobs of America's spine and trickling his touch down to his crack, mapping the crevices and peaks of soft globes; daringly circles a digit around a puckered hole.
He's beautiful, Arthur thinks, rolling his hips along Alfred's thigh, squirming until he taps pleasantly at the trunk of his body. He's waited for such a long time. It's here; finally, finally here.
He gasps at sweet friction, the tightness in his lounge pants pressing diligently into the juncture of Alfred's pelvis. He fumbles to pull the restriction away, feel Alfred, be with Alfred.
He lets out a pleased moan as cool air flitters along his rod, only to be engulfed in the remnant heat of America's thighs. He holds the other's legs together, creates a pocket for himself, and glides in and out, pre-cum leaving a translucent trail. This is right, he thinks, this feels right.
Together at last. Separated for so many years; by war and anger and bitterness. But it only took one of them letting go to lead to this. Sweet, sweet reunion.
With a quiet gasp he releases himself, letting his seed splatter along the inviting crest of Alfred's thighs, over his vital regions. Sweet and perfect; his and only his.
He rests for a minute, draped across America's still frame, feeling his release ooze down.
"I love you, Alfred," he mouths over the boy's sternum, pressing in kisses, promises, love. "And I know you love me, too."
Alfred doesn't reply, but that's okay. The truth is painted on his legs, irrepressible proof.
But it must come to an end. England pulls himself away, and hitches his pants up. He looks at the mess he's made, contemplates cleaning Alfred off, but decides not to. Alfred looks beautiful painted with Arthur's essence. It can stay until Alfred's bath, tomorrow morning.
With a sated sigh he picks up the phone, tossed and wedged under Alfred's side in the frenzy.
He hopes this Canada person doesn't call back.
He rests the phone back on the nightstand and glances at the time, only to see that the bedside clock has broken, second hand perpetually trapped at the forty-five second mark and day reading July nineteenth.
He smiles. July nineteenth, indeed. He has to make sure the house is warm enough tonight. Winter is especially cold this year, with New Year's right around the bend.
The time surely does fly away; errant dandelion seeds.
(This is a part for Russiamerica lovers. Those who wish for the fic to stop at the part above, don't read!)
Russia can only clench the phone in his hand, enraptured in silence as he listens to them, to him. England—
Alfred, who's been missing for six months now; gone without a trace.
Together, they're together—
Ivan seethes. So much worry, and America has been hiding at England's house the entire time.
But when he hears England speak, of how much he loves America, will take care of him—
When he says that Alfred belongs to him—
When Alfred in turn begins to cry—
Russia can't help but think that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.
And then screaming. The screaming, and Ivan finds himself standing and slamming open his office door, mind blanking as silence descends across the phone line.
And then laughter. Slow, dark chuckles, guttural in nature, quiet, almost undetectable. Acid boils in his stomach.
And then the distinct sounds of flesh on flesh, of a man grunting out his release in a room full of silence.
Ivan sees red.
1) Alfred getting better: Though I couldn't find a distinct body of information, I'm going along with the fact that Alfred's body built up resistance to the Daphnes Arthur was giving him. Immunized himself, if you will. Not completely cured, but not as strongly affected as he was at first. I'm also using the easy explanation of the fact that Alfred's a nation, and I think would build up immunities a lot faster than regular humans.
2) Azaleas: Arthur's next poison of choice. All parts are poisonous, especially the leaves. I used honey as a vehicle because it's a throwback to 'mad honey,' which is honey made from azaleas or other rhododendrons and then consumed. The consumer faces adverse effects, such as cardiac arrhythmias, emesis, mild paralysis and convulsions. But Arthur actually just gave him honey with HIGHLY toxic azalea leaves chopped into it (the mysterious herbs). Azalea poisoning includes a range of effects: asthenia, slowed heart rate, dermatitis, reduced blood pressure, nausea, numb mouth, burning mouth, paresthesia, sweating, seizures, transient blindness, visual changes, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, dehydration, impaired electrolyte balance, salivation, depression, and eventually coma and death. Because it's rather difficult to find articles describing exactly what it's like to get poisoned, I had a difficult time expressing all these symptoms at once. Just know that just because I didn't immediately describe them, doesn't mean they're not there.
3) Stimulants: Wikipedia says, "psychoactive drugs which induce temporary improvements in either mental or physical function or both. Examples of these kinds of effects may include enhanced alertness, wakefulness, and locomotion, among others. Due to their effects typically having an "up" quality to them, stimulants are also occasionally referred to as "uppers". Depressants or "downers", which decrease mental and/or physical function, are in stark contrast to stimulants and are considered to be their functional opposites." But, stimulants also come with a risk. And though it was difficult for me to find clarification on which specific aspects this affected, I decided to include these risks anyways: "When taken in high doses or over a long time, stimulants cause psychiatric illness, such as insomnia, poor appetite, paranoia, deliriousness, sexual arousal, increased risk taking and hallucinations. Stimulant intoxication can resemble mania. The problems almost always disappear when the drugs are stopped. However, after a stimulant binge, deep depression is common. During intoxication and afterwards the rate of accidents and suicide is increased." Mixing drugs is bad kids. I went with creative license instead of reality, and made it so that the stimulants did improve America's condition, but only very slightly. England was also messing around with things he shouldn't, and more likely than not over-dosed America. The bathtub scene? Suicidal tendencies masked by the mind hallucinating itself into delusion. Is that possible? I don't know. And I honestly don't care. PLEASE don't whine to me about it.
4) coma: Depending on the amount ingested, effects of the azalea can occur within minutes. The wad of azalea leaves England forced down America's throat was probably (how am I supposed to fucking know? I've never done this, please don't blame me if I'm wrong) enough to kill him, but because nations can't die like that, he's comatose, or totally choking on a wad of foliage.
Woowhee. What a ride. I'm going to go kill myself now.
I honestly don't know if I'll write a continuation, where we finally see Alfred rescued. SOMEONE PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S GOOD AND RIGHT IN THIS WORLD, WRITE ME A HAPPY ENDING. I don't trust myself to not give up.
Also, Arthur. You sly dog, you~ That was so incredibly creepy to write, you getting off on America, that I feel as though I will never be clean again. Also, that was my first ever experience writing porn, so please forgive the low, terrible, disgusting quality. Hope it wasn't placed too awkwardly. Almost decided not to do it altogether. :|
I will never look at myself in the mirror with dignity, ever again. Oh god, I'm a sick fuck…. Just so you guys know, it is supremely difficult to write out this story. I have no personal experience with this sort of thing (would it be weird if I did?), and therefore can only go my own readings. Which aren't that helpful, by the way, since none give personal accounts, or really describe what a person is feeling, or thinking, or acting like in a situation like this. I have a terrible imagination; I sort of regret writing this, since I know that it's so inaccurate.
If you're interested, I have a video explaining the writing process behind "The Daphnes Burn" and "In Water" in my livejournal (remove the spaces):
http:/ / eram-quod-es .livejournal .com /4679 .html