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The holiday was now over, Arthur drove himself and Matthew to the airport, although Russia was going to say goodbye to them at the airport, they learned that his younger sister was on her way.
It was decided for the good of all three of them that they should leave the house, with Ivan deciding to stay at another of his homes instead.
"I enjoyed myself," Matthew said softly as Ivan locked the door to his house; "Thank you for inviting me,"
"Welcome Matvey, come back when you can, da? We can watch hockey!" Ivan said gleefully as they heard the car door close and Arthur walk over to them, having put the last case into the boot.
"Act… Actually…" Matthew began and the two nations looked at him, he felt a blush rise; "I was going to ask… If you both are free of course… If you wanted to come over to my place for a few days at some point?"
"Oh, that would be fun," Ivan looked at Arthur who smiled.
"All right, I don't see why not," Arthur placed a hand on Matthew's shoulder and the Canadian looked up; "We'll visit your place next time,"
"Da. It's nice in the summer?" Ivan asked, they never really had any meetings in Canada, probably because America was so loud that it took place the other side of the boarder.
"Yes, very warm," He said with a smile.
"Eh, I think spring would be better suited," Arthur added, remembering the most recent time he had visited Canada during the summer and had suffered from heat stroke.
"Yes, it will be cooler," Matthew agreed; "Still warmer than the winter," He added for Ivan.
"Well Ivan, we'd better be off," Arthur said and turned to the larger nation; "Thanks again for having us,"
"Nyet, thank you for coming," Ivan said as the two made their way to the car; "I shall see you at the next meeting?"
The two nations replied together; "Yes," as they got into the car.
The two waved at the Russia as they left his driveway and made their way to the airport; Matthew was still smiling, please that perhaps he would have two new visitors to his home and hopefully they won't forget.
"Well, that's a relief," Arthur finally said and the younger nation looked at him in surprise, he noticed the look and smiled; "No, I don't mean it like that. I just meant that it's Russia, we all know that he's rather… volatile,"
"Yes but, he seemed calmer. After that last nightmare he had a few days ago…"
"Thankfully he hasn't had another one," Arthur nodded, remembering what had been said the next morning and how much he had cursed himself once he left the room.
"I was worried," Matthew said softly, looking at the road ahead.
Arthur almost didn't hear him, what with the crunch of snow beneath the tyres, but he looked at the other and smiled; "I might not be an empire any more, but I can handle myself, even if it's Russia,"
"I know, I know it's silly, but… You're family, family worry about each other even if there is no reason for it," He admitted and the Brit was touched, he knew that Matthew was more open than his loud brother, but he never realised that he would openly admit his feelings.
Of course just because he was touched didn't mean he would admit to it; "Ah, well, all right. I suppose families do worry about each other, but I have faith in you not to do something silly,"
"Unlike America?" Matthew joked with a smile and Arthur nodded with a slight laugh.
"Indeed," Thus proceeded a talk about America and all his annoying qualities, some that they both knew about and other's that were hidden.
Walking into the World Meeting, Russia felt happy, not because he had terrorised a smaller nation, not because he was going to terrorise a nation, but due to him still being happy that Arthur and Matthew still called him, whether it was over the phone or email, they were his friends.
His heart jumped a bit when he thought of it, it also started to hammer a bit when he thought back to that morning when he slept on Arthur after a nightmare and the altercation that had occurred. If he was honest he would have expected the smaller nation to act rather cold towards him, but instead Arthur was just a friendly as normal, as if nothing had happened.
He spotted Matthew and waved at him, with some of the other nations that were already seated looking at him oddly.
"Morning Matvey," He walked over to the Canadian who smiled and gestured to the seat on his left.
The other nations were startled to see another nation in their presence that they hadn't been aware of.
Normally the Canadian would remain invisible, but because of Ivan, the nations saw him.
"Arthur has gone to get a pot of tea," He said motioning to the paperwork on his right.
"Loves his tea," Ivan commented and he nodded.
"Almost as much as you love your vodka," Matthew teased and yawned as Arthur returned with three full cups of tea.
"This place only gives out cups of tea, no pots," The Brit tsked and put the cups down, passing one over to Matthew and another to Russia; "I don't understand how that's possible," He would have continued to rant but he noticed his former charge yawn once more; "America kept you up again?"
Ivan looked at the young nation, curious as to why America would keep his brother up.
Matthew nodded; "He kept questioning me about our trip to Russia," He frowned as he held the cup in his hands; "I keep telling him that nothing was said, his security isn't going to be breached, stupid hossier,"
Ivan and Arthur looked at each other, both amused and alarmed at the Canadian's words. Amusing because it was rare to see him angry, but alarming because America was obviously badgering his brother to such a degree that it resulted in the younger being frustrated and ranting.
"Matvey, I can deal with him," Russia said happily and the other nation looked scared.
"No," Arthur said firmly and the two looked at him; "I will deal with America. You just want an excuse to fight him," He lightly scolded Ivan who smiled slightly; "What were his questions exactly?"
Matthew proceed to list the questions off and Arthur took note, all three noticed the pattern; America was paranoid that Arthur was being brainwashed in some way.
"Hmm," Arthur said as he looked at his notes and took a sip of tea; "Why just me? Why didn't he ask about you?"
"He forgets about me too," Matthew reminded him; "You were his brother, he… He looks up to you,"
Green eyes narrowed; "Heh, he has a bloody funny way of showing it,"
"I don't know, that's just how it seems to me," Matthew said with a shrug as America came strolling in and took his seat next to France as he had done at the last meeting.
"How was your trip to commie land?" Alfred called over to Arthur, who just looked back his green eyes burned with a longing to hit the younger nation.
"Enough!" Germany shouted, before anything else dramatic could happen and Arthur was relieved, he didn't know what would happen had he decided to reply to Alfred.
The meeting was rather dull, aside from stupid and foolish comments from America and North Italy, nothing happened and soon lunch was upon them.
Matthew noticed Cuba gesturing to him and he nodded back, standing up he smiled at the two.
"On you go Matthew," Arthur said; "He's better company than America at least,"
"Oh, I think he'll be questioning me about our holiday too, but at least it won't be so…"
"Dramatic?" Arthur suggested and the young nation laughed as he left; "Well Russia, are you joining me for lunch or are you wanting to…"
"We have to discuss some things," Ivan said in a low voice; "About…"
"Hey! You never answered my question from before Britain!" America called over with a stupid smirk on his face.
Arthur slowly turned to look at his other former charge, glaring at him he spoke; "Haven't you found out from Matthew? You've been badgering him often enough!"
America's smirk never faltered; "Hey, the hero's gotta make sure nothing bad happened!"
"The idiot has to learn to leave nations alone," Arthur snapped back; "You are your own country now America, as is Matthew, what he does has nothing to do with you,"
"He's my brother Britain," America said seriously.
Had there been other nations in the room they would have been shocked, thankfully it was only the four of them, America, Britain, Russia and France.
"He is his own nation first. Never forget that," Arthur reminded him; "Being brothers means nothing,"
America glared; "Just because your brother's hate you doesn't mean other siblings hate each other!" Arthur flinched as he continued; "Just because you choose to take over your own brother's nations doesn't mean…"
"You tried to take over Canada!" Arthur yelled back; "Don't you ever, ever dare say that you have never done the same thing. How would you, who hated the history of my past, know anything of what my brother's feel towards me? Maybe you know the past feelings, but do you know the present?"
Arthur had begun to move over, getting too close to France and America for France's comfort, since he could see rather clearly in Britain's eyes the wild look, the look that could easily mean; fight.
"Yea? You're history sucks," America quipped; "Who wants to know anything about boring old kings anyway?"
Arthur started to lunge but Russia pulled him away, not caring that the small nation hit him while trying to get at his former charge.
"Not a bright idea," Russia growled over to America who just looked at him.
"Yea? Let him go dude, I can easily take him,"
"Really? You may have broken free, but he was still a powerful nation, you think he doesn't have that much fight left in him?" Ivan began to loosen his grip and smiled childishly at the other.
"Ah," France intervened, wary of what could happen; "Maybe you should just…" Before the he could finish, Arthur was free from Russia's hold and pushed him out of the way to attack America.
The tall nation was ready for it, putting his arm up to stop the first blow, he just didn't expect Arthur to attack so quickly, the Brit had his other fist ready and slammed it into his face, knocking him to the ground. Alfred was stunned, but he quickly was defensive, stopping the majority of the blows hitting him, although he felt his lip bleed, then he felt his ribs become tender.
How the hell did Britain become this strong? America wondered, he didn't realise that Arthur had plenty of strength in himself, he always though it was… Well, if he was honest he never really thought about what Britain's strengths were.
"Russia stop him!" France screeched as Ivan looked on happily; "What makes you think America is fighting?"
Ivan smiled at him and France felt a shiver run up his back; "I know he isn't, he never expected his former brother to fight him like this," He sighed, noticing the time; "All good times must come to an end, da?" He looked at France again and went to grab Arthur, easily pulling him off and carrying him away, out of the room and down the hallway, all the while the smaller nation tried to claw his way out of his grasp.
"That…" America began, wiping at his bloody lip; "That commie bastard!" He slowly stood up on shaky knees; "He's done something to him, Britain would never fight against me!"
France looked at the young nation, not willing to tell him that Britain would and could fight him if pushed, but right now he needed the nation to calm down before Germany came in, otherwise there would be hell to pay.
What have you done? France thought and shook his head before soothing the younger nation who continued to rant and rave about Russia.
"Release me!" Arthur yelled, violently hitting Ivan's back before being dropped to the floor and then slammed into the wall; "I'm going to kill that brat! Get out of…"
"Nyet," Ivan said calmly, one hand on his shoulder; "Calm yourself Arthur, he's not worth getting riled up over,"
The two were in a deserted hallway, away from the other nations. Arthur slumped over and slid to the ground.
"Damn it, why?" He could feel the tears prickling, begging to come out, but he was stubborn, he refused to let them out; "He had no right to bring my brother's into it,"
"Da, he did not," Russia moved to sit next to him; "He's an idiot. You couldn't do much about that, he was released from you too early. Look at Matvey, he remained by your side…"
Arthur nodded quickly; "Yes, yes, Matthew… Matthew stayed, tch, he asked to become independent, rather than start a bloody war,"
"I think we shall miss the rest of the meeting," Ivan said and stood up, but Arthur slowly made his way back up to his feet, shaking his head.
"No, you know what Germany is like…"
"You can't go back in that room," Russia told him; "Miss this meeting, Germany won't mind, Matvey will take notes for us, da?"
Rather than replying Arthur sat down on the floor again, anything strength he had to argue against that response was gone and Ivan left to speak to Germany, who was just entering the meeting room.
"Germany!" Ivan called over and spotted North Italy turn to him, obviously scared of him and hiding behind the blonde.
"Ja? What is it Russia?" Germany asked gruffly, he wasn't overly fond of the other nation, for various reasons, but there was no way he would show it.
"Myself and Britain won't be here for the rest of the meeting," He said and lowered his voice so that only Germany could hear; "There has been a problem between him and America,"
"Italy, go ahead, am sure Canada would appreciate the coffee," Germany said to the Italian who smiled and went into the room. Germany moved to the side and Russia followed; "Problem?" He said in a low voice.
"Da, America doesn't like me,"
"Ah, yes," Germany wasn't about to say; 'that was painfully obvious Russia', instead he said; "He took it out on Britain?"
"Well, he started to, but Britain got really mad and began to fight him…"
Britain fought America? Germany though in surprise, never thinking that the Brit had it in him, not after the defeat of the Revolution.
"I had to pull him off," Russia quickly scanned the room and spotted America being attended to by North Italy, he noticed that Canada stayed where he was, seated next to Cuba, although it was obvious that he wanted to see what had happened to his brother he didn't move, his violet eyes moved to the seats that he and Arthur had occupied before lunch, knowing that something had happened; "It's why he has the split lip, no other damage can be seen," He sounded slightly disappointed by that.
"Go and see to Britain, I will make notes for you both," Germany said as he turned to go into the room; "I expect you will both be here tomorrow?"
"Of course Germany," The familiar male voice said and the two looked to see Britain, looking rather pale but other than that well, walking towards them; "Sorry about this, but… I don't think there would be any point in my being at the rest of the meeting today,"
"Ja, that is fine, go and rest," Germany told him with a nod and walked into the room, closing the door behind him.
Arthur sighed; "I need some air," He slowly walked away and Ivan followed; "You know, you didn't have to…"
"Friends watch over their friends," Ivan said; "Besides it would just give America more reason to pester me," He paused before saying; "I didn't think you could get so mad so easily,"
"Really? Would you be calm if someone was to say that you were the reason why your sister's left you?" Arthur said, then noticed the dark aura and decided to calm him, he didn't have the strength to deal with an angry Russia right now; "Ivan, we both know they left to prove themselves to you," The other nation paused, the dark aura dispersed rapidly and he slowly nodded in agreement; "For me… I was the youngest of my brother's; Rome invaded me, then Denmark followed… We couldn't protect each other, we were too busy trying to protect our people, they came first. My big brother, Scotland, always told me that, 'our people come first, no matter what happens, they are our reason for living'. When I became an Empire, having my brother's all under me… They resented me. They did everything they could to be free, Wales not so much, or at least I never felt it as strongly as I did with Ireland and Scotland,"
"It was bad?" Russia asked, he never heard this before, never realised that England was like him when it came to siblings, being left out because of something out with his own control.
"Yes, Ireland, well, I suppose having my people fight his own didn't help… They got their independence, but those who weren't Catholic, they wanted to remain part of Britain, they became Northern Ireland, my new brother," Arthur smiled at that, knowing that he was no longer the youngest; "Ireland still wasn't happy, planting bombs, scaring our people. It's calmed down a bit now though,"
"What about Scotland?"
"Well…"Arthur pondered for a moment, taking a deep breath of the fresh air; "His people were… I suppose his people never 'came together'," He stopped; "Scotland… he's never been right, when we were young, his land was split into three, split personality I think they call it now, he's been getting some kind of help for it now though, probably helps that his people are coming together more as well. But, he told me a few years ago that they were all jealous of me, because I was the youngest and I got to become an empire,"
Russia nodded; he would have to admit if his sisters were to become vast empires like Arthur had been, well, he'd be jealous too.
"We're getting closer again though, it's not easy, I don't think Ireland will ever think of me as a brother any more, but for the other's, I think we could become close again," Arthur admitted and smiled; "Better than nothing, that's what pissed me off about what America said. He doesn't know my brother's; he doesn't go out of his way to see them,"
"I always thought you were strong," Ivan said and Arthur stopped and looked at him noticing the disappointment in the violet eyes; "I always figured, from your visit, that you were a lot stronger than that. Instead you are… Sentimental…"
Arthur punched him in the gut and to Ivan's surprise, he felt it.
"Watch yourself Russia," Arthur snarled; "I might not be as big as I used to be, but that doesn't mean you can talk about me in such a manner,"
Ivan smiled in glee; "This is what I expected of you!" Arthur moved back, unsure what the taller nation meant; "Violent, giving people what they deserve, not such weak talk. I was going to ask you about what happened after we woke up in my room,"
"The lesson in manners do you mean?" Arthur raised his eyebrows in question; "Do you need some more lessons?" He said it in a teasing manner.
"Nyet, it was about your threat. How it was empty like America's, then you said they aren't sudden,"
"Ha! My threats appear empty, but they happen over time," Arthur smirked; "It doesn't matter how or hard you prepare, I will always cause trouble for you. We can take Spain as a prime example,"
"Da, we could, but that was a long time ago," Ivan pointed out and Arthur laughed.
"Do you think I have gone soft?" He looked at the tall nation; "My beating America wasn't proof enough?"
"Nyet. America was surprised,"
"Idiot," He ran a hand through his hair; "Just because we're nations doesn't mean we can let our guards down for long, especially in the company of France,"
Ivan nodded; "So, will you be teaching me more?" He suddenly pulled the smaller nation into an alleyway, nose to nose with the other.
Arthur didn't reply, instead he placed his lips onto Ivan's and kissed him, his tongue made it's way into the others mouth and Ivan froze, unsure of what to do. The other broke off and Ivan let him go, backing away slightly.
"What's wrong?" Arthur was tense, in case Russia had a trick up his sleeve.
"That was different to the one before," Ivan commented; "No lesson that had something…"
Rather than reply Britain walked off calling behind him; "Figure it out for yourself Ivan,"
Russia shook himself and grabbed Britain, slamming him into the wall, of course the other nation was ready for some kind of attack and kicked Russia's stomach with his leg, causing the other nation to stumble.
The two began to fight, brawl even, both bruising the other with their fists, although Ivan learned that Arthur didn't really see a problem with fighting with whatever was around him, be it his fists, elbows, legs or teeth.
"Why are you no longer an empire?" Ivan asked as they paused their bout, both of them catching their breath.
"All empire's fall, I'm lucky to still be a true nation, look at the Roman Empire, or Prussia," Arthur reminded him; "I never fell to such a degree,"
"You couldn't fall," Ivan corrected him and Arthur just looked blankly at him; "They crumbled all at the same time, for you each nation you ruled just broke free, or asked to be free,"
He nodded; "Yes, over time it got too much, the world was changing and empires had no place in it," He sighed; "The world is changing Ivan, soon… Soon our boss' will have no need for us,"
"Nyet," Russia said.
Arthur sighed, looked at the other nation and smirked; "Come on, we never had lunch," He walked away and Ivan just looked at him.
We were fighting… Why is he… Ivan didn't know what to think, completely confused by the former empire; Is this some strange ritual that Brits have?