Warning: There is a lot of genderbending and a lot of femslash in this fic, so if it's not your cup of tea, use the back button. This was written for the yuritalia secret santa over at lj.
Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia.
When Canada tumbles out of her empty house, still rubbing the sleepies out of her eyes, the first thing that catches her attention is the Sun, barely visible poking out of the horizon, still bright red against a pink sky.
The next thing she notices is that the sails are up on the massive ship at the dock, the French flag hoisted at its top fluttering rapidly and almost thunderously with every passing gust of wind. Canada shivers, noticing the men aboard the ship, packing it up with furs and goods, and suddenly she is afraid.
"Canada?" she hears from behind her, and when she turns around she finds France. The woman is crouched down so that they are at the same level, and from this closeness Canada can see that France's eyes are red and puffy. Instinctively, Canada hugs herself more tightly.
She smiles softly, placing her open palm atop Canada's head and brushing her fingers in the little colony's hair.
"Come, it has been a long time since I have brushed your hair, has it not?"
Canada nods shyly and takes France's offered hand, allowing herself to be led back into their small home.
France gestures for Canada to sit on the wooden seat, before the looking glass wordlessly. Slowly she runs the brush through Canada's soft, golden curls, and Canada has to suppress her delighted squirm. She can't, however, hold in the contented sigh that escapes from her lips.
France chuckles. "You like this, Canada?"
"Good. I like this, too," the elder agrees. The brush is set aside, and now with her fingers France quickly parts Canada's hair, twisting the locks back together and tying bottoms with ribbon. Sometime during this, Canada's violet eyes fall shut, and so when France finishes she smiles down at the girl and kisses her forehead gently to rouse her.
"Are we sleepy?" she teases, and Canada's cheeks take on a light dusting of pink. "That is alright. What do you think?"
Canada looks into the glass, and smiles; on either side of her head is a braid that settles on a shoulder, and when she reaches up to touch the back of her head she feels the braids as if they're woven against her skin. She must look surprised, because France laughs.
"Do you like them?"
Canada nods, but then she stops smiling and her voice is small when she asks, "Are you leaving...?"
France does not answer. Instead, she presses a second kiss to Canada's forehead, smoothing her bangs away from her face, and then she excuses herself.
And a few hours later, as Canada stands on the coast and tries not to let her tears blur up the sight of the ship, while one of her hands is waving frantically at her caretaker, the other hand is tight around one of the little French braids in her hair.
Canada had almost forgotten how her bedroom in this home smelled. It was not the first time she had come to England, but it was the first time she was there in a long while. So, once she had opened the door, the warm smell of crisp linens and fresh roses assaulted her senses.
The journey across the Atlantic had been long, and unlike her sister Canada had never gotten her sea legs. The sight of her bed was enticing, to say the least, but the sticky grogginess of Canada's body protested sleep in favor of a hot bath.
So, heaving a great sigh, Canada tumbled back into the hallway, entering the guest bathroom and drawing the water, undressing as she waited for it to cool from scalding. The relief was instantaneous once she sank into the warm water, and after a quick wash she felt much more refreshed.
A while later she was back in her room, dressed in a pale nightgown, and brushing her hair so that she could finally feel comfortable enough to sleep.
There was a knock on the door that startled her, followed by England's sharp whisper, "Canada?"
"Come in," she called back, embarrassed by how shrill her voice sounded from shock and sleepiness.
England, apparently, did not care, shutting the door behind her gently and giving her colony a once over.
"Tired, are we?"
Canada nodded sheepishly, and England took a few steps forward. Canada noticed that she was well-dressed, even more so than usual, and assumed she had just come out of an important meeting.
When their eyes met, Canada's thoughts were confirmed; the older nation seemed especially weary.
"The trip here is quite long," England agreed. "Thank you for coming. It means a lot to me."
"Of course! You asked me to come, so why wouldn't I?"
England did not answer, easing the comb out of Canada's hand instead, which quickly fell slack into her lap.
England chuckled softly, brushing through the knots in Canada's damp curls with a maternal ease Canada did not know she had possessed. It was immensely comforting, and in her tired state Canada felt ready to drift off to sleep.
"It's all right," England murmured softly. "Sleep if you'd like."
Canada furrowed her brows and hummed, now determined not to sleep. In her mind, it would be rude to let England do her a kindness as she slept through it. No, she would wait.
"H-How are you doing?" she murmured instead, trying to hold in a yawn.
"Very well, thank you for asking."
In the glass Canada could see that England's smile was genuine, and she felt her cheeks turn bright pink. Chalking it up to sleepiness and the warmth of her body from the bath, she could not help it as her eyes fell shut.
"And you, dear?"
"Oh," Canada murmured softly, sleepily, "Fine."
England chuckled softly, pulling her fingers away from Canada's hair, and humming deeply. Canada opened her eyes to see the woman's reflection in the mirror, stroking her chin. Then she noticed her own reflection, with her hair pulled entirely away from her face except for her short bangs.
"It suppose one ponytail doesn't really suit you, does it?"
Canada shook her head, bringing the braid over her shoulder; it was immaculate.
"I like it."
England smiled, and suddenly Canada found she was rising instinctively from her seat. She turned, found England standing just behind her, and noticed that the other woman was just a little taken aback, a little shocked at the suddenness of the gesture. Good, that made both of them.
But, even so, a part of Canada knew what she was doing when she leaned in slowly and bridged the small gap between them. And an even larger part of her liked it when her lips touched those of the older nation, just for long enough to make it count as a kiss and not a moment more.
And then Canada pulled away, bumping into the bureau and spluttering incoherently. England cut her off with a heavy chuckle and a rueful smile.
"You really will always be French, won't you?"
Suddenly Canada was struck with a million different ways England had probably interpreted what she had just done, and guilt seized her body. England shook her head slightly, and with a heavy sigh she turned to leave.
It wasn't until England got to the door that Canada found her voice again.
"I will always also be English, too."
England paused in the doorway, and when she turned she was wearing a devious smile.
"Yes, and don't you dare suggest otherwise. Sweet dreams, Canada."
It wasn't until Canada was tucked under her covers that she realized her kiss to England had been her first. A smile graced her lips as she curled into her pillow, deciding that, as awkward as it was, it was actually rather nice.
"So you're like, officially a nation now, right?"
That was the question that had brought Canada to America's DC apartment that night. It had been only two nights ago, after Canada stumbled home from a long, long series of meetings with the sensation that someone had just loosened shackles she hadn't even know she was wearing, that America had opted to call at an obscene hour (her defense was that she was in California and Canada in Ontario at the time) with that pressing question.
"Yes, America, I am."
"Good, then you're coming to my house for a celebration slumber party in two days, kay?"
Canada was prepared to refuse, but America cut her off and suddenly had to hang up. At that point in their relationship, Canada was left wondering if America did that on purpose.
At any rate, it was the promised night, and Canada was lying on her stomach on the plush rug on America's floor. The other nation had suddenly run out of the room, leaving Canada alone with her magazine collection and her television, and while the latter droned on in the background, Canada flipped through the pages of iSeventeen/i and iVogue/i; it amazed her, how revolutionary girls were becoming. Living with a man before they were married, it was something unfathomable twenty years ago, and now more than half of the girls who answered this survey said they would.
Canada wondered what it would be like to live with a man, alone, unmarried and in love. A voice in her mind scoffed, and somehow the vision turned to one of her living with a girl in that same sort of relationship.
Suddenly a bowl of ice cream was dropped on top of the open magazine, and then there was America, her body falling upside off the edge of her bed, her smile upside but just as crooked as ever.
"Aw, Canada, your face is all red! What were you looking at?"
Before Canada could say anything, America nudged the bowl of ice cream away from the magazine, and her grin became devious. She rolled over, now lying on her stomach on the bed, and leaned in close to her sister.
"Oh, Brooke Shields, she's so fine."
"Whaaat?" she whined, shoving a spoonful of her own chocolate ice cream into her mouth. Canada looked to her bowl, noticing for the first time that the vanilla ice cream was coated in maple syrup. She couldn't help but smile as she took a spoonful, but then America continued.
"Listen, Canada, this is a time for feminism! A time of powerful women finally getting the rights they deserve, and of sexy woman being allowed to be sexy!"
Canada turned bright red, and despite America's bold, brazen speech she too had color dusting her cheeks. There was still an indignant pout on her face, though, and Canada found she had to look away.
"What," America started again, more softly, "don't you like this? Doesn't it make you happy to see women finally getting respect?"
America paused, and licked a fleck of chocolate off her lips. "Don't you like sexy women?"
"I-I… Do you?"
America hummed, putting another spoon of ice cream on her tongue, sitting up and crossing her legs.
"Yeah," she said finally, nonchalantly, when she swallowed. "We're nations, it's not like we follow the same rules as humans. Besides, girls are, you know," she squeezed the air with her palms, obviously miming groping, "softer."
Canada heard herself stutter, and her gaze shifted from her sister, who was starting to look quite a bit 'softer' herself, to the magazine cover. God, the cover model was beautiful…
"I… like women too."
America smirked, "Ever kissed one before?"
Canada thought back to that kiss with England, all those decades ago, and to the ones they had shared later, after the Great War was pronounced over, and World War II. She licked her lips, realizing the America would blow that knowledge out of proportion, wouldn't take it well, and so she decided it was safer just to shake her head.
"I thought so…" America murmured, and then louder she asked, "Do you want to?"
Suddenly, everything was different. America quickly slunk off the bed, sitting on the floor on her knees, face to face with Canada. Tentatively she brushed her fingers in her twin's bangs, tucking them behind her ear, and followed up as promised by pressing her lips to Canada's.
It was an amazing kiss. America's lips were not as soft as England's, but what they lacked in sensitivity they made up for in fervor and heat. Canada lost herself in it, allowing America to lead her, to make her make soft noises of surprise and delight. Canada could tell America herself was getting lost, too, when her sister started to make eager noises of her own, hands smoothing up Canada's abdomen to cup one of her breasts.
When America groped her, Canada regained her senses and pulled away with a flustered 'eep'. The older of them looked sheepish, but her lips were full and her cheeks were pink, and Canada could not help but think she was beautiful.
"I'm sorry, was that too much?"
Canada nodded, and America pulled away, pulling her knees to her chest and frowning.
"It's okay," Canada said quickly, and America shook her head a bit, looking sheepish.
"I went too far. I'm sorry."
Canada sighed, throwing an arm around her sister's waist as her mind tried to come up with the right thing to say.
"This is a slumber party, right…?"
America poked her head out from behind her knees and nodded.
"T-Then… we should do slumber party things. Here," Canada said quickly, as she pulled the ribbons out of her hair and let her pigtails fall out. "You can braid my hair."
America grinned, then, and ran over to her bureau. She grabbed a brush, a comb, some ribbons and hair ties, and a small box from off the bureau as well.
"What's in there?"
America winked, tucking her lithe legs beneath her as she sat. "It's a secret."
"Relax, Canada," her sister cooed, and then she started to brush through Canada's hair. Instantly Canada relaxed in America's hands, which moved with uncharacteristic gentleness through her hair.
Then America separated away a small lock of hair, braiding it down into a tiny sliver of a plait, and from the small plastic box she fished a few red and white beads. She threaded them through Canada's hair, leaving them beneath the braided section of the strands, and then with a small elastic kept them in place.
"Well, what do you think?" she grinned, and Canada inspected it in the mirror.
"It definitely looks like something you would do, America."
America grinned, taking that as a compliment and starting on another section of Canada's hair. This continued on for half an hour, with America perfecting little braids all throughout her twin's hair, sliding beads in and tying them up.
"You look so cute!" she laughed when she was done, and when Canada shook her head to protest the beads hit each other and make soft thumping noises. She was quick to stop, her cheeks pink.
"Do you want me to braid yours?"
America nodded happily, "I thought you'd never ask."
Canada stood in front of the mirror, her wet hair hanging limply in her face as she watched her reflection. The party was to start in a few short hours, and yet she looked nothing close to presentable yet. And, while she was not all too important at this occasion, she knew that the guest of honor would be looking out for her.
"Canada! You are done with the shower?"
Ukraine ran into the bathroom, dressed in a conservative bathrobe and nothing else. There was a bright smile on her face as she hugged her clothing closed around her impressive bosom, and Canada's face went bright red.
"Ah, yes! You can go use it now. I'm sorry for not telling you sooner."
Ukraine shook her head, and then gave a small, giddy laugh. "Oh, no, I already have showered this morning. I was very excited and could not sleep."
Oh. "If you needed to talk to me, you could have…"
"No, no, I am fine! You were sleeping, and I did not want to wake you."
Canada nodded slightly, and turned back to the mirror. Her hair was drying into a tangled mess, and she still had no idea what to do with it. She sighed, and Ukraine stepped over to her, taking notice.
"You are okay?"
"I'm fine. It's just my hair…"
Ukraine smiled brightly, grabbing a lock of it between her delicate fingers. "It is very pretty. It is giving you troubles?"
Canada laughed nervously, even though at the other's touch her shoulders slumped and her body relaxed. "Don't worry about it, Ukraine. I'm sure I'll think of something."
"Well… is it okay for me to brush it for you?"
In the mirror, Canada could see Ukraine's earnest expression, and she smiled shyly.
Ukraine beamed, and quickly she started, weaving the locks of Canada's hair back and forth in ways the girl had never seen before. A few times she winced, but Ukraine was always quick with apologies.
After a few minutes, Ukraine pulled away; Canada became suddenly aware of how close the other's breasts had been to her face when their warmth vanished.
"What do you think?"
There was a braid going around the top of Canada's head like a crown, and the rest of her hair fell in soft, drying curls splayed on her back. It was the most beautiful Canada could say her hair had ever been; for a moment, she was surprised at the girl she saw in the mirror.
"You are liking it?" Ukraine squealed.
"Yes!" Canada stuttered quickly, and the other sighed happily.
"Oh, that is good!"
Canada laughed sheepishly, turning to look the other girl in the eyes.
"Of course! You are my special guest!"
"Oh, no, Ukraine, this is iyour/i party," Canada insisted as she felt her cheeks get warmer. "Speaking of… you're not ready yet?"
Ukraine laughed sheepishly. "I-I'm… a little, ah, nervous."
She fidgeted and toyed with her fingers. "It is just… it has been a long time since I was my own nation. And having a celebration like this is certain to upset Russia."
Canada frowned, placing her hands on the other's shoulder gently.
"Ukraine, I know it's hard to have to rebuild your country. And it's really hard when you fight with your siblings. But Russia will forgive you for this; maybe not now, but soon. And you are strong enough to handle this, okay?"
Ukraine licked her lips. She broke their eye contact, and in a soft voice she murmured,
"It would… make me feel better if…"
"If you and I could…"
Ukraine trailed off, but her point was made clear when she gently brought her lips to Canada. Just as quickly as they touched, Ukraine jerked back; Canada was unsurprised to find that she missed the contact.
"Don't be…" Canada murmured softly, kissing Ukraine again.
They kissed, and they kissed, and they kept on kissing until it became more than just kissing. A tentative grope, a wanton sigh, and soon Canada pulled away to catch her breath and murmur.
"I-If we keep this up, we'll be late…"
"Forgive me," Ukraine panted softly, "but I do not mind."
"O-oh… but, it's your party…"
"This is the only celebration I want."
And then slowly, tentatively, Canada and Ukraine took one another.
Canada was used to Prussia's random visits to her home. Upon finding out that there was a town named in her honor in Canada's land, the former German empire had decided to see it for herself. And, when she discovered Canada's special pancakes and pure maple syrup, she decided to come back, again and again.
But, when Prussia showed up at her doorstep one afternoon bruised and thoroughly mussed, Canada could not help but worry.
"Don't worry about it, chickie," the albino assured. "It was just a raunchy round of sex. Really works up an appetite. Got any pancakes?"
Canada could feel her cheeks pinken, but she fought it off and scowled.
"What kind of sex are you having, that you get so hurt?"
Prussia laughed, "The kind you aren't having, obviously. Pancakes?"
Canada slapped her hand. "Wait. I don't think this is very safe, if your… partner… is treating you like this."
"Pfft, silly Canada, you should see what she looks like!"
Prussia had, by then, found the pancakes on her own, and was slathering them in syrup. "Yes, she. What, you think I'd let a man do this to me? Fuck no, I'm a feminist!"
"Uh, I don't quite think that's how it works…"
Prussia didn't reply; she was too busy shoveling food into her mouth. Canada shook her head, musing on how she might have made a better man, but when she took another look at the handsome woman her mind was quick to change.
"What're you staring at, chickie? In awe of my awesome body?"
Canada looked away quickly. "Of course not. I'm thinking about how stupid you were to let it get so bad!"
"Aw, you're worried about me."
Prussia chuckled, putting the plate down (it was empty), and stepping over to the blonde. "How cute…"
"Well, uh… I was wondering if, maybe, you'd want me to brush your hair? It's a mess."
Which is not what Canada had actually been wondering, but it was a start. Prussia seemed to be deliberating this, and after a moment she plopped into a seat.
Canada nodded, darting up the stairs to her bedroom, and dashing back down with a brush and an elastic. She came up to the seat where Prussia was sitting, and slowly started to brush in her tangled white locks.
"Geez, was she fisting in your hair or something?" Canada grumbled, and Prussia turned her head enough that her smirk was visible.
"Exactly that, actually. France gets very into it, you know."
Canada dropped the brush. "F-France?"
Prussia laughed, leaning over to pick it up for her and grinning, "And Spain, too. Just like the good old days."
"O-Of course," Canada said simply, as she resumed brushing. When most of the knots were worked out, Prussia broke the silence that had fallen by asking,
"Does that make you jealous?"
"Me having raunchy threesomes with other nations. Does it make you jealous?"
Canada was certain she was red to the tips of her ears, and she was grateful she had Prussia's hair in her hands. Setting the brush down on the table, she separated it with her fingers and started to weave the locks.
"Is it supposed to?"
"I'd understand if it did," Prussia replied readily, her tone nonchalant. "I am pretty damn awesome."
"Of course you are," Canada murmured, tying the end of the braid up. "I'm done."
"Sweet," Prussia smiled, checking out the reflection of it in Canada's toaster oven. "I like it. Makes me look deceivingly innocent."
Canada snorted, "Nothing in the world could ever make you look innocent, Prussia."
Prussia turned to Canada with a quirked eyebrow; when she was met with a look of amusement, it melted away into a grin.
"Remind me again why I've never made out with you?"
"I… I'm not too sure."
"Well, I suppose it's time we fix that, huh?"
And so they did.
A/N: These little oneshots are listed in chronological order, with the first being set in Canada's days as a French colony, the second during her time as a British colony, the third in April 1982, after the signing of the Canada Act, the fourth in August 1991 after Ukraine gets independence from the USSR, and the last in this decade. Minimal research was done for most of these, so I apologize for any historical inaccuracies if they exist.
One interesting thing I happened upon was a feature on Seventeen magazine's website which displays several covers per decade starting with the 1940s. The cover described in this fic was seen in this archive, which you can all find here: http:/ www. seventeen. com/ fun/ articles/ 65th-anniversary-cover-archive. I found a lot of these were really interesting to look at, so I thought it'd be nice to share.
I hope you all enjoyed, and thank you for reading!