Where to begin? So here's a chapter of World Camp?

Actually I was planning on leaving the Hetalia fandom (actually I thought I already had, go figure!) but suddenly, after months of absolutely NOTHING I had a sudden urge to at least finish up this little arch in World Camp. I guess it's not much but I actually really enjoyed writing this. After so long it honestly felt great to write these guys again.

As much as I love Hetalia, I've felt myself drifting for quite some time now. However, I'm thinking that still writing for the fandom isn't such a bad thing. I can't simply take what's been such a huge part of my life out so quickly I guess! So who know? Maybe I'll write more of this sometime. But when is not something I can say.

I really really appreciate those of you who review/favorite/alert this fic (and I'm aware that I have yet to reply to a couple of you ahhhh sorry) and you're free to keep doing so if you want to be informed when I do...happen to spontaneously update every once in a while. /worst writer ever

Actually one of you have been really awesome! A while ago (but after the last update, I believe) I received some fan art for Chapter 10 by yotzie! Thanks so much again! I love it! (And you guys should check it out too. There's a link on my page. c:)

So, I suppose you guys should enjoy the chapter?

That's how it works right?

"Hey, West. Check it out."

Ludwig glanced up from the book he had been reading while he accompanied (and by accompanied it was more like supervised) Gilbert in the backwoods of the camp in his ambitious attempts to create a new hockey stick for…for…for a friend of his brother's. (He honestly thought he had the name down, but alas.)

It had been two weeks since the Prussian nation had first proposed the idea and, because Ludwig tended to be painfully honest around his brother and anything that involved him, he could honestly say that the…object that Gilbert had managed to make was…well I suppose you could say that it had the relative shape of a hockey stick. Yes, it was long (maybe a bit too long) and it bent out at the bottom but other than that the entire feat seemed to have been in vain.

Ludwig was surprised that Gilbert had proved to be such a horrible engineer. He had thought that the German blood would have pulled through in the end. That is, until he realized that Prussia was a nation built on strength and fighting skill without relative elegance and grace which explained the many outbursts Gilbert had had when his tools wouldn't "properly cooperate with his awesomeness". This then involved a good many of them being lodged into an unfortunate tree the next second.

Ludwig realized only a couple days after he had been dragged along into this frivolous quest that Gilbert hadn't brought him along for help but simply company as he went to town with his hammer and nails. The German nation didn't particularly mind. After all, he knew that his brother would be much worse for wear if he hadn't been there to provide amateur medical assistance has Gilbert missed with his saw over and over and smashed his thumb with the hammer more times than he could count. Gilbert had even managed to slice his toe despite its distance from his tools and the thick boots he wore in protection of the snow which still lay heavily on the ground.

Ludwig had asked how on earth it had happened but the Prussian simply waved him off without even a quipped comeback to gratify his clumsiness. Ludwig was able to note the determination in his brother's features during that moment. He had caught the look and the slight grin that said clearer than any amount of words could that even though he could probably go into depth exactly what had happened, he had better things to do than explain. The moment he was bandaged, Gilbert got back to work without a word. This is why when Gilbert suddenly spoke up after two weeks of hard work, Ludwig was a bit surprised.

"So how does it look?"

Ludwig glanced over the "hockey stick" once more and swallowed before answering with a direct, "Well...not very good."

Gilbert let out a frustrated sigh and tossed the stick to his side, leaning forward on the log, looking down at his boots, "So that's it then?" Feeling uncomfortable, for the sound of defeat was not common to hear in Gilbert's voice, Ludwig stood and tapped the Prussian's shoulder with his book.

"You could always present it to...your friend anyway." Glancing over the hockey stick once more he turned back to his brother who was also looking over at the nailed wood, "I'm sure the...effort would count as something."

Gilbert shrugged and reached over to pick up the hockey stick, turning the handle in his grasp slightly before a small grin appeared on his lips, "Yeah." he said, normal tone returning to his voice, "Yeah Matt really likes that kinda stuff."

Ludwig nodded along and watched as Gilbert stood up as well, hockey stick still in hand, and began walking in the direction of the other cabins, "So I'll go do that now...you know, if he'll talk to me." Gilbert looked slightly discouraged before he quickly shook off the look and replaced it with a better suiting, narcissistic grin, "But he'll have to! It's been weeks now and who wouldn't be craving my awesome attention?" Grin widening, the Prussian turned back Ludwig, "You know why, West?"

Figuring he would be told why despite how he answered, Ludwig replied with a short, "Why?"

"Once you go albino, you never go back. Remember that dear bruder. Some good shit right there." And with that, Gilbert waved and walked back through the trees, leaving Ludwig shaking his head with a small smile on his lips.

Matthew missed Gilbert.

He missed being rudely awakened with a snowball to the face (at least after he had gotten Gil back for it), laughing until he was crying at the same jokes he had heard a million times, and that flutter in his gut when the Prussian's toothy grin was directed at him.

Two weeks it had been since they last talked (and by talked, he meant when he broke down into hysterics in front of the entire camp) and it had been two of the worst weeks in the Canadian's life. Matthew honestly didn't remember the last time he smiled after the incident or the last time he had allowed for a laugh to break through his lips, even to Alfred's best attempts.

He just couldn't feel it anymore.

He had been meaning to talk to Gilbert for a while now but it's like the Prussian made every effort to skirt around any such contact with the Canadian as possible. For the last two weeks he hadn't even sat down for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but simply stuffed any food he could manage into his pockets and left the Mess Hall without a word to anyone, save Ludwig on occasion, and literally disappeared until dark.

It had been curious, yes, but Matthew hadn't attempted to go looking for him anyway. If the Prussian was willing to make such a great effort to avoid something as little as making eye-contact, then he obviously didn't want Matthew to go searching out for him either.

The hole left behind by the loss of his hockey stick had been painful and if Matthew could go back in time and stop Gilbert from even considering ever making "Gil-bomb" he would in a heart-beat. Momentarily losing the friendship of Gilbert, however, had left behind a gaping chasm and made the ache of his hockey stick dull in comparison.

He just needed his friend back.

"What the status, Kiku?"

"Comatose, Elizabeta. No signs of resurrection thus far."

Elizabeta groaned and slumped forward in her seat at one of the back tables of the Mess Hall, blowing at the hair falling in front of her face.

"They were so promising!" she suddenly exclaimed, throwing a hand up, "So new and interesting! Where the hell did it go wrong?"

"It seems like a rough patch indeed." Kiku nodded, thumbs rubbing across each other absently, looking at his partner, "Gilbert is rarely spotted anymore and record of the other's attitude has been at a low since the incident."

Elizabeta stood and began making her way towards the doors, Kiku quickly following suit. She pushed open the twin doors and stepped onto the packed snow outside the Mess Hall, "Who knew a mind-blowing idiot like Gilbert could make someone so happy, you know? Go figure."

"Indeed. It's curious considering-"

"Wait ssh!"

Elizabeta grabbed a hold of Kiku's sleeve and suddenly pulled him around the side of the Mess Hall, body pressed stealthily as Kiku struggled not to trip face-first into the snow. Breath hushed and eye gleaming, the Hungarian peered around the side of the building in the direction of the Watch Tower, biting the inside of her cheek, eyes narrowing.

"Do you see what I'm seeing?"

Kiku leaned to look around Elizabeta's form in the same general direction, eyebrows pulled together in concentration. Suddenly, he could see two figures just underneath the Watch Tower and his own eyes gleamed subtly with mischief.

"Have your camera ready?" Elizabeta turned, grin pulling at her lips and Kiku nodded.

"Of course."

Matthew left the Mess Hall earlier than usual that night, getting up from the table and turning swiftly towards the door, much to Francis' inquiry. It had been one of his worse days and the feeling like his mood cloud was leaching onto those around him wasn't exactly a comforting thought.

He figured he would just save the rest of them the misery.

The Canadian stuffed his hands in his coat pockets and began a quick pace towards Cabin 2, unfortunately one of the cabins farthest from the Mess Hall. The brisk air burned at his face, turning his cheeks red, and stole his breath away as he passed the Watch Tower. Suddenly, however, he was stopped by a familiar voice shouting at him from the Camp Entrance and he had no choice but to turn around and face it as the noise drifted to his ears.

"Hey Matt! Hold up a second!"

"Alfred…" Matthew groaned as his brother came closer, dragging something behind him. Pale violet eyes caught on the object and his lips quirked in puzzlement, "What's that?"

Alfred finally approached him and dropped his luggage. Peering around his brother, Matthew saw it happened to be a massive pine tree, nearly 12 feet tall, it's branches jutting out at awkward angles from the way it had been hauled across the snow, "What do you mean 'what's that?'? It's a Christmas tree, obviously!"

Matthew paused, lost for a moment before he suddenly came to an abrupt realization that-

Christmas was tomorrow.

It's like the last couple weeks had molded together, days linked without a noticeable break, and time flown completely out the window.

He couldn't believe he had forgotten Christmas.

Suddenly aware of this, he glanced around the camp, just noticing a few strings of twinkling lights strewn over a couple of cabins, wreaths hanging from doors, and even the Watch Tower adorned with bails of holly wrapped around it's rotting legs.

It astonished him how he could have been so wrapped up in his own sorrows that he had managed to tune out the holidays. It was almost depressing.

"Oh." He said simply, not sure what else to say. (Or rather, what to choose from.) Alfred's grin remained unwavering as he put a hand on his brother's shoulder and Matthew glanced up.

"Hey, I know you're in a funk but would yah mind watching the tree for a sec? I was going to round up some people to scavenge some decorations. Gotta dress this place up a bit for the best holiday of the year! Well, you know, besides the Fourth of July, of course."

Matthew rolled his eyes but nodded slightly, the look on Alfred's face to sincere to simply reject, "Yeah sure. I'll be here."

"Thanks, bro!" Alfred clapped him in the side of the head in a motion that Matthew's sure was meant to be affectionate but only accomplished in creating a dull throb in his temple, "Oh and…make sure another "Gil-bomb" doesn't come rolling in, yeah? This tree was a bitch to cut down."

Needless to say, Matthew was not amused and scrunched his nose as Alfred's figure retreated towards the Mess Hall again.

Matthew let out a long sigh and watched as his breath clouded and curled up into the blackness of the sky. He then leaned gingerly on one of the legs of the Watch Tower until he made sure that it could, indeed, support his weight before he leaned fully on it.

He glanced back at the tree and absently began humming "O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree" under his breath, imagining it standing proudly in front of the Watch Tower, adorned with decorations and charming, multi-colored lights when the rest of Alfred's team was through with it. That is, if they could find anything. Last time he checked, there weren't simply boxes of candy canes and glistening orbs hanging around camp.

Though, he figured, if Alfred had to use rusty hoses as tinsel and then steal bottles of shampoo and put them on hooks for ornaments he would. The thought of it made Matthew smile for the first time in what felt like ages, which it practically was.

Out of the corner of his eye he could see a figure approaching him and he turned, the smile lingering on his lips as he did so.

"Hey, Al. That was quick. Did you find some-" but he was stopped short as it wasn't he brother approaching him but someone whose mused hair matched that of the snow beneath their feet and eyes the same shade of the holly strung above his head.

"Gilbert." Matthew wasn't aware that he had breathed the name until his noticed the Prussian flinch slightly and the Canadian abruptly closed his mouth, his cheeks flushing though not from the cold.

"Hey what's up, Mattie?" Matthew felt his stomach lurch at the nickname he had heard millions of times. However, this was the only time that he felt like he was going to be physically sick or suffocate if he didn't breathe in about the next couple seconds. He let in a sharp breath of cool air and let his widened eyes look over Gilbert top to bottom. He was there, all right, and, Matthew noticed, he was holding sometime behind his back as well.

Matthew's eyebrows pulled together and his head tilted a fraction, trying to peer around Gilbert somehow but the other simply adjusted himself in return, the object remaining mysterious and Matthew had no other choice but to glance up again, meeting the Prussian's eyes.

"So yeah, hey." Matthew couldn't help the tiny laugh the escaped his lips.

"You…yeah you said that already."

Gilbert shifted back and forth on both feet, the snow crunching in protest beneath him and Matthew didn't think he had ever seen his friend so on edge in all the time he had known him. It was so out of character as the Prussian was usually one to mock (loudly) other nations who behaved in such a way. Matthew found it strangely amusing.

"Oh right." Gilbert scratched the back of his neck and took a couple steps forward until he was only a pace away from where Matthew was leaning, "Hey, Matt I'm-"

"Sorry? Me too." Gilbert frowned slightly, though the expression was more is confusion than distaste.

"You too?" It was Matthew's turn to shift awkwardly as Gilbert eyed him curiously.

"Yeah, I mean," the Canadian cleared his throat and rolled his tongue in the pocket of his cheek, trying to find the words that he had been practically rehearsing for the last two weeks, "I seriously over reacted and totally…bitched you out, you know?" He let out another hesitant laugh, "So yeah I'm sorry."

That's when Matthew risked looking up at Gilbert again and found that the other was smiling as well, his features relaxed in what he could only place as relief.

"Yeah, Matt." Gilbert laughed, "You bet you bitched me out! Christ, that was some scary shit. Seriously thought that-"

"So you were apologizing?"

"Oh yeah."

Gilbert pulled his hand back in front of him to reveal-

"It's a hockey stick." Gilbert prompted when he saw the look on Matthew's face, the Canadian's eyes narrowed, and eyebrows inclined in amusement. The Prussian then continued, his voice taking on a sarcastic tone, "Awesome, right?" When Matthew only raised his eyebrows Gilbert dropped his shoulders, "I know. West already told me its shit."

Matthew slowly reached forward, easily taking the "hockey stick" from the other's grasp and examined it. The entire project consisted of four pieces of splintered-edged wood half-hazardly nailed together with more nails than were probably necessary and many of them were stuck out at dangerous angles. It also looked as though Gilbert had tried to fix some parts with strips of silver duct tape but, in the end, had made things worse when the tape only succeeded in twisting the contraption in all the wrong ways. It was a bit too long and could probably serve more useful as a bludgeoning weapon, but Matthew felt strangely charmed none the less.

Gilbert had definitely put effort into the project and Matthew felt like that's all that really mattered.

"Thanks, Gil." Gilbert suddenly looked up from where he had been determinedly staring at his boots.


"I said thanks. I…well…" Matthew laughed, "I'll be keeping it by my bed for the next time Alfred decides the best way to wake me up is with a body-slam."

Gilbert let out a hearty laugh and leaned forward to clap Matthew on the shoulder, a familiar grin returning to his face.

"At least it'll be put to good use then! Just invite me before you do alright? I wouldn't mind taking a swing myself."

Matthew simply nodded, his smile nearly breaking his face.

But he didn't care.

He couldn't possibly feel any happier.

They were alright.

Everything was going to be alright.

Elizabeta clapped her hands together and turned back to Kiku who flashed one last picture before dropping the camera at his middle and smiling contently at his partner.

"It seems as though the operation is back on, Elizabeta."

"It sure does!" the Hungarian exclaimed, her dazed smile turning into a wicked grin, "I think it's time to return to the hot-spot, don't you?"


"All systems engaged. We've got work to do."

So there you are~

Reviews are appreciated!

See you when I see you. 3