And here's the epilogue! I hope you've all enjoyed reading this story as much as I've enjoyed writing it! This is where you find out what happened to everybody!
I don't own Hetalia! end/AN/
Change happens like erosion; quietly and imperceptibly until you look back and see just how much of the rock is gone and smooth.
Australia speculated their family was this way.
England may have never become a coddling, heart-to-heart sort of parent, but the switch gathered dust in the corner, only broken out every so often by Scotland to try to scare Hong Kong into behaving properly (which didn't work). He grew into a new maturity, able to finally lay America's ghost to rest.
Australia leaned back in his deck chair, watching New Zealand's sweaty body bake in the sunlight. His eyes were closed, and if Australia had felt in a particularly devilish mood, he could have doused him with water, or his own beer, which sat unattended on the table next to him. But Australia was content to sit back and bake in the sun with him, his skin sure to take on an even darker shade of tan.
New Zealand had grown big in the amount of time since Australia had left him behind at England's house, though he could never be considered that large; he'd also mellowed out, after a period of rebellion. He was no longer the cute brat that Australia had learned to both despise and protect. His blonde curls shone in the sun right then, and his massive eyebrows twitched at the extra sunlight.
"He fell asleep?" Canada stood behind the pair of them, having come from the house with a beer with ice chunks in it directly from the icebox. He had a smile on his face, as if he were asking, and you haven't done anything to him yet?
He tended to have a smile on his face as of late. He was through rebellion stage, and had become known for being quite calm and even tempered. For what little he was known, anyway. He'd become his own country some time ago, and no longer jumped to England's call. They were still closely linked, however.
Australia let out a chuckle, and replied quietly, "It would be a hassle to find a spider." It would normally be a hassle worth taking on, but for now, he was feeling nostalgic, seeing a child where the short teenager lay.
Canada carefully checked his lawn chair for any of Australia's bugs, and then took a seat. He seemed mildly amused, taking a chug from his beer as he observed the breeze rustling the trees.
Being this nostalgic made Australia think of Hong Kong too; he'd grown into a smartass. More smart than ass, thank goodness. He'd been the most spoiled out of anyone. Though it wouldn't be fair to describe him as getting away with murder, it seemed England had completely forgotten the Bible verse, spare the rod and spoil the child. He'd turned out well anyway.
Australia took a lazy gulp of his beer, and looked over to see Canada's eyes half closed. He grinned and prodded Canada. "Don't go falling asleep on me too."
"I would never," Canada replied, smile reappearing, though the sleepy look didn't dissipate. It was just that sort of temperature, warm enough to make you cozy, but cool enough to keep you comfortable.
New Zealand snorted in his sleep, turning towards his side.
"You know he sodomizes sheep; not a good example to follow," Australia said mock-seriously. He and New Zealand always seemed to like to have a go at each other anymore.
It was sort of similar to the way Canada and America's relationship worked. He'd had his ups and downs with America during the past decades, the most recent issue (which nearly got him and England not speaking to each other) being England siding with America over Canada having a western port. But that had been long enough ago that Canada and America were chummy again, as much they ever could be.
Canada's relations with France had taken on a good tone, though Australia suspected things would never be the way they once were. He didn't know much about Canada's early colonial days; it was one of the few things Canada hadn't been forthcoming about. Whatever had happened between them, though, they seemed to be working it out. France had shown up for Canada's birthday celebration, and had kept showing up since then.
Australia was just glad he and Canada could have a relationship going without the complications of living so near to each other. He sometimes wondered if they would have hated each if they'd known each other from the beginning. It didn't seem possible, he decided, as Canada smiled at him again.
"You're thinking about getting that spider, aren't you?" Canada said, that you're still such a child sometimes look on his face.
Australia grinned. "That's exactly what I'm thinking. Why don't you give me a hand?"
So Canada did, and not for the first time, New Zealand woke up with a yell to the tickling sensation of an arachnid.
/AN/ I know, it is short. I hope it's satisfactory, and doesn't leave any loose ends. Also, I will admit, I am not sure if Australians had iceboxes at the point of the story, which is before WWI. I claim artistic license.
I intend to start the next story around WWI. It would be more Australia and New Zealand centric than Australia and Canada centric. Though, I do have a request. I am aware that there are several New Zealanders and Australians in my audience; I would like to know if you happen to have some idea of how old time men of your country would speak. It's a challenge enough to fake sounding English/Victorian/whatever; something less mainstream (in America) is a colossal challenge. And I want to do it right.
The next story should be shorter than the first one; this one was a whopper, man. Over 120,000 words, you know.
I just want to thank you all for sticking with me and my story throughout this long ride. You guys lifted my spirits on bad days and being able to write for an audience has developed my writing skills in so many ways. Thanks for being awesome!