The Utmost Forbidden Extremities

Courtship outside the nation-race was forbidden, but it was just this one that he was willing to forsake the ancient law for. Only this one though – Nation!UKxHuman!Japan

"Son, don't go near the Indians. Please stay away. Son, don't go near the Indians. Please do what I say." – "Son Don't Go Near the Indians" by Rex Allen

Since the beginning of their kind, they could not participate with the likes of humanity. They would only watch; only watch as the world burned and crashed around them as they sing the songs to the damned and the dying. Humans were other creatures to them. They live, they die. They are born, they are killed. One has blond hair; another has skin as black as sin. Since the beginning, they – the immortals of the world – could not touch humans.

The Ancients had said so. Interaction with others not involved with the government was illegal. There was no known punishment, for why would there be? No country, no colony, no kingdom wanted the infamous title of Law-Breaker tarnishing their names. Even Arthur Kirkland wouldn't stoop so low to such a level as that! Humans were not worth it in the end. They were not built for extremities; not built for war. They couldn't handle the madness of a war or the pain of an invasion. Humans broke.

However, there was this one though.

Just this one.

Sitting at that lonely corner café with a red pen in hand and an abominable copy of Twilight in palm, England had originally fished him out a large group of bustling people that were swimming their way through the crowded side-walks. He had been in a sea of people, if not in an ocean. He was seemingly pushing his way politely through the throng with his bag of wares in both hands; his humanly scent completely cloaked by the stink of human greed and vanity surrounding him. Now he sits at the café, feet on the table in front of him and blatantly follows the others with his eyes as he stops here and there to talk to some of people at the stands on the street.

With the pen at his temple, he notices that he is more or less stunned by this fascination.

Normally, England was not all fascinated by humans. He was curious though, seeing as humans were 'off-limits' to nations. After all, was it not the cat that was murdered by curiosity? Humans brought on some curiosity for the likes of his kind, even though the majority of them were morons who couldn't tell right from left. They were fascinating; scrabbling among themselves as if their opinions actually mattered. Fascinating, fascinating they could truly be even though they were more destructive than ever in the modern days.

England was truly amused by this human being.

However, before he had realised it, the short Asian was being followed. Three men, each looking worse for wear, were trailing quickly behind the man. England puts the pen to his lips. How shameful. Even in the modern world, there were still such things as the Human-Trafficking Empire. How boorish, he finds himself complaining inwardly. How absolutely filthy the modern being has become. Well, was there truly a difference between that of the past people and them now? It seemed that only the hygiene habits had changed. Soon he has been backed into a dark alleyway, his hands still full with the wares he had obviously just purchased and no way to protect himself in case of attack. The human trafficking empire had obviously come looking for new subjects. He tilts his head in morbid fascination, watching the others close in the human in what they supposedly think is 'menacing'. Nothing is menacing any more after you stare down the barrel of a loaded cannon while France is sneaking his way into his trousers. Nothing.

No one notices the Asian being backed into this dark alleyway. The other humans go on with their life. Most likely, they think this is normal. It is normal to see an Asian draw many men into dark alleyways. England must agree. Too many drunken nights in New York City with that moronic America to have him really think else-wise. He looks back to the Asian and studies his face. It is impassive; almost dead.

The look on his face says nothing; as if he was completely undeterred by the situation he was in. He's interesting, this one. Perhaps a solider? Perhaps one of China's many soldiers? Arthur shutters at the thought. It put him off slightly that there were chances of him being one of Yao's wares. How utterly atrocious it would be to be attracted to a being of that calibre. How he would never hear the end of it from China! Even so, England wondered if he could fight as well? If so, this would be an excellent day!

However, there was something of this one that did not scream Chinese. It was something else. Was he Korean? Taiwanese? Malaysian? There was a lack of emotion in the man's eyes. He was not one of China's wares. He thinks to the other Asians he has met. Hong Kong's eyes burn with the hatred for him; Vietnam's burn with hatred for America and Russia; Thailand's eyes burn with a hidden sadness and Mongolia's dwell in his lost past. He thinks of the Southern Korea, but he is always staring imploringly at China. His Northern one is no different, except his eyes speak of an impenetrable paranoia for everything. There aren't many others he could think of with an such a level of emotionless, except for one. Japan.

He has not met a Japanese person in years. They were here and there but normally kept to themselves. They did not like attention. Much like their Country they were for no one has seen the real Japan in such a long time. For thousand years or so, no one has laid eyes upon the real Japan. China had uttered this all to him one night in the darkness off a brothel, the pipe of opium resting in his lithe fingers while he leant back on his many ornate pillows. He was said to be an old man that was as twisted as time itself. He was lonesome and lived alone; ruling his country from within barred temple doors. He was an old man that was as bitter as they had come.

"Bitter of what?"

"Who knows?" China had answered harshly, his golden eyes narrowed while he tapped a nail on the pipe. "He's an old broken man torn down from his pedestal of honour by the western world. He's the last damn one of us all that still clings to the old faith. He's a whisper in the wind and a man lost in time. I do not care for him as he does not for me. Never mention him again."

But England had been fascinated by the prospect of a nation hidden away in his country. It was somewhat like a fairy tale for nations. That's of course what probably most would assume. Even though with its fairy-tale like quality, it was only in his eyes after all a nation that could still be conquered. Now, as he sits at this lonely little corner café and watches with amused eyes the bartering for the Asian's freedom, he thinks that his attraction to this man was because of Japan. As mentioned, he had never met Japan. Even during the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. He had only spoken with his officials at the time who were now long dead. He had never met the nation and all traces of him were lost in the archives of time.

Of course, he had asked the other Asians of what they knew of Japan. He was answered with the same thing by all. It was a blank stare, slightly open mouths and a haunting voice that stained his eardrums still.

"Wouldn't you? Wouldn't you? Wouldn't you? Wouldn't you? Wouldn't you mind being hated by the man lost in time?"

Such dis-concerning voices ran rampant through his head every now and again but now it rang endlessly. He almost closes his eyes before realising that the short Asian had been bartering for his life only moments ago.

He sets down the pen and the atrocious monstrosity that is America's literature, takes off the protective gloves that protect him from the illiteracy and purses his lip. He should probably do something.

He most definitely should. But he won't. It isn't like him. Of course, he is a gentleman and whatnot and it is in his chivalric code (he seems to be the only one that still follows it apparently!) to help out those in need, but this one looked like he was faring quite fine. In fact, England could vouch that there most likely a small spark of rage boiling in those brown eyes. He barely saw it of course, but it was there. He could feel the roll of irritation that was seeping off of him.

And it most definitely excited him.

After a moment, England makes his decision and stands up. He calls over a nearby waitress that serves him often while he is here. She smiles kindly and asks him what he needs.

"May I borrow one of your café chairs?" She looks at him oddly, and he only offers an even smile. "I'll bring it right back. I only need it for a moment."

"Um…Why Mr. Kirkland?"

"Oh you know, I just need to change a light bulb and all…" He doesn't really. He isn't that short but she nods in slight confusion and allows him to take the chair with the promise that'll be returned in the next twenty minutes.

England folds up the chair and strolls across the street at a leisure place and through the drifting throngs of people. A thick van is blocking view of the alleyway. Have they managed to subdue him so quickly? The nation walks faster and swings casually around the van and enters the alleyway.

There are two men and they have cornered the Asian.

"Ey' laddies. I tink we cought ourselves a fresh won ere!" One barbaric trafficker is horribly gurgling in butchered English. "Oyy, pretty won. Wotchurs name?"

The Asian stares at the language-butcherer and his eyebrows furrow in confusion. "I...What. I am sorry. I do...I do not understand you."

That accent...That accent is not Chinese. Or Wu. Or Jin. Or Mandarin. Or the accent of whatever the hell China decided he spoke. England readjusts his grip on the chair and moves closer to hear more.

"You have funny accent." The being similar in the characteristics to that of a Sloth guffaws, obviously the Chinese one in the situation. "You sell for very much on Market Black! Very, very much!"

"But I am not being sold on the Black Market." The Asian answers calmly. "I believe you have mistaken me for someone else?"

Sloth-man laughs again. "Ahaha! You funny! Girl like you sell very much on Market! Come with us so we can make you pretty!"

"But...I am a man." The Asian answers slowly, pronouncing each word slowly in his accented voice. "I do not...have I am not a girl."

"Oyy, Youse gots to be a girl." The language-butcherer scoffs. "Youse has those nice legs and oy! Nought to menchen, you has those girly eyes."

England sighs loudly and as the language-destroyer turns around to stare, England slams the fold up chair into his head. He sinks to the ground and Sloth Man screams something in Chinese that England is sure he has heard many times before. He rushes at the nation and he chair slams over the Asian's short head and he collapses.

"Blast it all, you've bent the chair!" Clare would not be pleased with this news. He sighs and steps on the Sloth before crossing over to the other Asian. He stares as if he is wondering if that chair is going to hit him as well. England wouldn't do that. Unless he murdered one of the traffickers of course. Not even a nation can escape the law!

"Do you have a name?"

The Asian stares oddly before replying softly. "Honda Kiku." He gives a small bow. "I must thank you for saving me; normally you do not see such courtesy in this city–"

"Any time love." England purrs. "My name is Arthur Kirkland. It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Honda." To be polite, England bows as the other had done. His bones creak with protest.

"Will they be all right?" He looks at the two fallen barbarians. "Normally I do not care for such rude people such as that but I would rather not have the death of two people with nothing better in their lives to hang so poorly on my conscience."

Arthur looks behind him and scoffs. "They could have gotten a lot worse if they had been found by the local gangs. Bloody twits."

Kiku readjusts the things in his hands and England sees that they are very tiny, very feminine, almost like they had been sculpted out of glass themselves. His own hands felt thick in comparison. Something boils to mind, something about asking him out for a cup of tea, but instead another phrasing of words leaves his mouth. "Are you a traveller?"

"I'm a University student." Kiku answers and England raises a brow. Someone looks a bit old to be taking up such an occupation. There is an ancient wave in those emotionless eyes. "I'm afraid I don't have much time to do anything except make the seldom trip home…"

"Oh, where are you from?" Here it was. He was what he needed. Thoughts of an outing for tea slip away from mind-set.

"Japan. Are you a native here yourself?"

England nods and slides his hands into his pocket. So he was Japanese. And he was human. There is a slight wind of excitement that brushes over him. "I've been here most of my life, even though the occasional idiot makes me wish I lived elsewhere. There are too many stupid people in the world." The intelligent are a dying breed.

"Ah." Kiku nods. He seems to mirror a ghostly smile at the jest of the large moronic population in the world. "I had a feeling. You have a different charm compared to everyone else I've met here and you're obviously a native."

"Oh quite, though I'm a bit far from where I'm normally at. Southampton isn't really my kind of place. I've always preferred London really. There's just something about the bloody smog and the alleyway prostitutes that get you every time!" He did have some of the best hookers in Europe. At least they didn't have to wear the ridiculous traffic jackets like Spain's.

"I have heard that London is quite the tourist trap. Is it really quite that different from here?"

Arthur chuckles. "Most the major cities of England are tourist traps. Such a shame really. Such an old city has become rather deformed in the face of modernism."

Kiku understands. "It seems to share that same quality with Toyko."

"Oh? Are you from there?"

Kiku shakes his head. "Kyoto actually."

"Ahhhh, do you miss it?"

"Who doesn't miss their birthplace?" Kiku questions before he sighs. England sees that he has become bored of the conversation. He must admit. It seemed to have entered a dry-spell. "I'm afraid I must get back now though. My room-mate must be wondering as where I have gone. I told him that I would be home within the hour…"

"Oh I see. If you ever need a tour guide of England, I'll always be ope–"

"I don't think that will be necessary, but thank-you anyhow."

Kiku bows once more, gratitude showing once more in his oriental face before he stands straight and manoeuvres around England. The nation stands stock-still and the realisation of everything washes over him like a thick waterfall. His wonderful attitude of chivalry has utterly and totally failed him in his conquest! He's been turned down by a human! This saddening feeling that courses its way through his veins like a deadly poison – is this what France feels? Is this what he experiences every time he experiences rejection?

Wait, what. Why is he comparing himself to France? England is not France! He will never be France! France was a git-faced Frog and he was a wonderful gentleman.

Still, however, he feels saddened by this rejection. Truly saddening. Something like this does not just occur. If he is turned down, then he is turned down. If he is offered to bed down another, he will reject only if necessary. Such a thing as this, this true feeling of loss, it mystifies him.

Suddenly on whim, he turns and sees nothing but the two fallen traffickers. His thick eyebrows furrow in confusion. All of this, had to mean his swag had utterly failed!

His swag never fails.

A bloody human had turned him down. How is this possible? Maybe he is thinking too highly of himself; of nations. But England scoffs and picks up the chair and brings it back to the café.

His swag, his charm, it never fails. This is all he can think as he returns the slightly dented chair to the café and he smiles charmingly at the waitress.

It never fails.

As he walks home, he can blame only one person.

It was Alfred's fault.

This newly found spur of admiration is nothing but a farce, he thinks. Spurred on by only Kikus refusal of his prospect to take a casual stroll of England with him.

He shouldn't care. He shouldn't. But he does. More than he would ever like to admit.

He is fascinated by the prospect of such a person that Kiku is. He really is. So that is why he is where he is now. Stalking Kiku. Arthur has sunk finally into the pits of the in-famed Hell after so many years of purgatory.

And he's enjoying it. He's bloody enjoying every damned moment of it.

Arthur slips in with the crowd as they make their way across the street. Kiku is only a few metres ahead of him and is strolling casually along at his own leisure pace, hands oddly empty this time and folded into the sleeves of his traditional garb. He sticks out slightly with his outfit of kimono, haori, some knitted scarf and oddly western boots made to battle the toughest snow.

The others of the group do not pay much attention to him and he is not surprised. His people are used to almost anything. It was only if you look at someone wrong was when a scene was made. England smirks. His people are amazing.

The throng makes it across the street and Kiku suddenly splits left with a few straggling faceless others. He runs forward to blend in and braces himself against the corner of the building. He laughs quietly at how ridiculous he must look. Pressed against the wall and peeking quietly around the corner, he must look quite the sight. However, it couldn't have been as bad as his time in Rome. That had just been horrible. And was a situation he never ever wanted to hear about again.


"I must be mad..." Arthur murmurs before skulking after Kiku. He is unfortunately forced to slide into a deep doorway as Kiku turns into a colourful store. Without looking, he collides with an elderly older woman on accident. On righting her and keeping her from falling over, he apologises profusely and quietly.

The elderly woman only smiles and pats his shoulder.

"Don't worry, laddie. You'll get him."

"Get who?" Please tell him that this old woman is just horribly observant and he is not horrible obvious in his pursuing.

"The pretty one in the kimono." She whispers, as it is a secret. And it is. He leans in closer. "It's so silly. You and him. But don't worry. I don't think he's noticed."

"Are you sure?" Arthur does not know why he's even talking to this woman, let alone admitting that he's committing an act of sexual harassment. "I don't want to seem...personal. He's just fascinating –"

"You sound like one of of those..." Her lips work furiously for the right words. She snaps and smiles. "A weeabo! You sound like one of those new weeabos. Great fans of the Japanese culture. Glad to see the young folk are interacting with the world around him.

Miss, I'm pretty sure I'm older than your entire family line. He doesn't say this out loud of course but grins politely and nods his head. "I...see."

"You're welcome, si – Oh there he goes!"

Arthur peeks his head out slightly and sees Kiku trod off farther down the street. At this distance, the nation cannot see what he is carrying in one arm.

"That's Kelsey's store. She sells Kites you know. Odd boy though. Not too many still fly kites in this city!"

Pretty sure they have never flown kites he– Maybe. Arthur's too bloody old to remember all the weird shit that his cities have experienced.

He shakes his head and sighs. "I should be off."

"Good-luck lad!" With a grin, the old lady smacks him on the behind and shuffles inside the shop. He stares dumbfounded before groaning and leaving. Old people will never make any sense to him – no matter what century.

Kiku is turning the block and heading towards one of the smaller parks when Arthur is finally in an excellent eye-range of the Asian. He had to cross the street though however, seeing as there were fewer people on Kiku's side then his. He did not want to seem ridiculously obvious.

He follows Kiku to the park and dives behind a high bush when Kiku pulls out what had he had bought from the colourful store. Lo and behold, it was a white and red kite. Immediately, the Asian set to putting the children's object together with a look of determination. Arthur felt shamed. He was stalking a kite-flyer.

Not that there was anything wrong with kites. He quite enjoyed flying a kite every now and again, but he wishes that his object of prey had done something more interesting with their freetime. However, at least he gets to watch Kiku run around.

Days pass, and everyday Arthur follows Kiku to that same park where he dives behind the bushes to watch Kiku fly his kite.

It is when Arthur is still crouching in the bushes watching Kiku when he arrives. As swift as a snake, an arm wraps around the Englishman's shoulder and he's pushed most forcefully onto his back. France crawls on top of him and immobilises his lower half and pins his arms down to the ground that is digging sharply into his back.

England knows not to curse as he prone to do when he forced into such a situation as this. Kiku is too close. He could easily peek over the bush and venture in on this horrible sight.

"You bloody frog!" He whispers, seething with rage.

The frog only grins a gentleman's smile and he feels mocked.

"Oh mon cher," France sighs. "You've seemed so utterly pathetic these last few days that I can no longer bear to watch!"

Arthur grunts and thrusts up in a feeble attempt to escape the French douchebag that holds him captive. "I have no bleeding clue as to wot in the hell you are talking about!"

"Oui, you do~" France purrs. "You know exactly what I'm talking about."

"No, I don't."

France only shrugs and sits up and has enough sense to keep Arthur''s lower half pinned and his hands trapped. He laughs and smiles suavely. "Oh, really?"

"Yes, really."

"Then you don't mind if I take this 'Kiku' back to my hotel room?"

The whispered words thicken the stale air that has accumulated and Arthur grits his teeth in irritation as Francis turns his head and licks his lips. "He looks mighty delicious. I wonder if he tastes as wonderful as looks. L'honhonho–"

"Don't you touch him."

Utter dead silence ensues and France looks at him out of the corner of his eye; the grin now gone. This is no longer a petty game played by ancient rivals. This is serious. The Frenchman's shoulders quake with silent mirth. England only scowls.

"Even the mightiest of us have fallen." Francis suddenly recites and Arthur is quick to shush him. Kiku's kite that still so flies valiantly in the cold wind dips for only a second before the Asian has obviously taken off sprinting again.

"As if you're one to run your fat mouth." England scoffs.

"My mouth is beautiful, no? Certainly not fat."

"Lies. Dirty lies!"

"Anyway. What is it that you are doing, my most beautiful Angleterre? But really, I am curious as ever! What are you doing at such a park as this, hiding behind such a bush and spying on this porcelain doll? I am wondering what has caused you to drop so low!"

"And I'm wondering why I haven't burnt Paris to the ground yet."

"Don't be so harsh, mon cher. Really, I'm trying to have a polite conversation here!"

"When have we ever had a 'polite' conversation, frog?"

"Well, if we could try every once in a while, you miserable piece of disgusting matter."

"Sounds like a plain horrible idea." England snorts. "I would rather eat my own liver than talk nice with you."

France raises a thin eyebrow. "Liver? You still possess one? I would think with all your horrible binge drinking escapades with our dear Amerique that you would have lost that organ so long ago!"

"Stuff it, Bonnefoy!"

"As long as you give me a hole to do it in." The Frenchman winks and he twitches in extreme annoyance. He wiggles his arms in futile. The urge to slap France into next week is overwhelming.

"But really, my lovely, are you in love with this poor being?"

In love. "No you stupid idiot. He just...He's just..." Arthur fumbles for words and France smirks, thinking that he is right. He is not. He is French, he is never right. England could not be in love with such a being below his class. Years of strict Monarch rule have drilled the thought of never dipping below your class rank.

"I am not in love with him." England says softly. "He is only an object of interest."

"You do not wish to make him yours then?"

Arthur scowls. "No. Why would I bloody make him mine? You know things that are mine tend to run away."

"You're so unloved. But if you are not in love with him, then why are you stalking from behind this bush?"

"It's...I-It's not stalking. It' observing!"

"I see."

"No, you see nothing." He answers automatically. Francis raises another eyebrow. "Mon cher, you truly do contradict yourself. If you are not in love with him, then why all this?"

Arthur is gasping for words again. He doesn't know. He just doesn't. He has never been one who has just does, and plans out his ideas and gives the ultimate voice of reason but that way of style does not exist here. He had just went with it and he is here where he is now. Trapped and pinned beneath his fatass of an ex-rival. Finally Arthur speaks.

"He fascinates me, you stupid idiot. Can't you see it? Like a bug trapped in a jar. It still buzzes around the inside even though it somewhat knows that it is trapped. Fascinating, fascinating isn't it? He moved differently. He's a thinker and seems to possess a great mindset. I frown at the idea, but he's a box of old trapped within the new. Something about him draws me to him. He isn't like the others. He's worth my time."

"And you wish to spend this time, trapped behind a bush watching your 'fascination' fly around a rather colourful kite?"

"You have your ways and I have mine."

Francis shrugs. "What is the saying. 'What ever floats your boat'? I am not sure, but I am sure that you are in love with him."

"I'm not in love with the poor lad, you twat faced twit. I'm old enough to be his grandfather, if not his most oldest ancestor!"

"That's it, rosbif." France says softly. For a moment, England thinks that there is genuine concern there. "You are the oldest of us all and yet you are the first to fall. Is it not the ways of love that fuel your damned fascination? Is it not love that drives it all? You are one of the eldest, whether you remember the younger ones or not when before Ancient Rome truly had flaunted his way across Europe. You know that this is wrong. Why do you still do as you do?"

"I'm not going to touch him." He lies. He wants to. Very badly. He very much wishes to do such.

"Yes you are. I can see it in your eyes. I also see that you wish to pursue him."


France smirks. "The eyes never lie. You can tell so many stories from them just alone."

"Well, I don't care. Now, get off of me."

"Make me!"

"Make you? I will bloody well make you–"

Francis suddenly silences him with a kiss and his hisses loudly in protest. He tries to pull away but the frog only follows. It is only when they need to part for air is when Arthur is about to unleash a unholy stream of unadulterated curses.

"There is a fine line between everything, such a thing I have come to realise lately." Francis says suddenly, completely serious. "Hallucinations and dreamings, love and lust; cleaning and looking like you're cleaning, reading and skimming the pages of a novel. A line even separates that of good and evil. Is the world nothing more than a diagram of endless lines that go which way and that, never to be broken by the most obtuse of shapes?"

"How should I bloody know?" Where are you even going with this train of thought?

"A line separates everything and these things cannot cross these lines. An endless barrier. They are never to merge.

"Your point is?"

"My point is, is that there is a line that separates humans and nations. There is a line that separates us from everything. We can move among them like ghosts, weave our way through the crowded village square and barter with the most stubborn of men, but we cannot go past that. We can not become familiar with the human kind. No matter how beautiful, no matter how rich or poor. No matter how much our loins burn at the very thought of taking them all back to our bedchamber's and discovering if they can sate our endless thirst for their side of life. These humans must stay behind the thick wall that divides our kind."

Before he can answer, France pushes all his weight onto Arthur's chest and makes it hard to breathe. Those bright blue eyes glitter with an unsaid danger he is not too keen to face again.

"Do not venture into that line Arthur or you'll find yourself with quite the nasty shock."

Then his breathing returns to him and France is gone.

The english nation lays on the ground with the lumps of the uneven ground and the crab grass digging painfully into his back. Blood slowly oozes back to his lower regions. His eyes close and he breathes through his nose. That had been a painful experience.

And all for Francis to tell him that he shouldn't stick his nose where it didn't belong.

"Bastard." He mumbles and rolls over onto his back. Arthur rests his head in his arms and doesn't bother to even check what time it was or if Kiku had even left yet. This was too painful. He had not been in any fight, but he hurt all over. Especially his chest. Was it supposed to feel as if it was being squeezed to pieces?

All of this, all of this was too complicated. Normally, he adored things that made him think but not like this. It was as if he was personally being challenged. This was too complicated. It was just some nice, conventional stal- observance. Yes, observance. He has only been observing Kiku and that is all. It isn't as if he has taken a picture of the boy and wanked off to him.

That's just disgusting.

Arthur frowns and sits up.

On a bad habit, he scowls heavily in disgust and grunts. "I'm a fucking moron in a world of fucking morons."

Then, there is a sudden call over from the bushes and in horror realises his terrible mistake. "Hello? Is anyone there?"

Out of all dunders, this most definitely had to be the worst. He groans in shame and realises that Kiku is going to be soon wandering over to where he was sitting behind the thick bushes. England knows that he must stand. He must face this by himself, even though he knows it will be in shame. He had dropped his guard and he was suffering for it. On a deep breath, he hauls himself to a standing position and his bones creak in the process.

Kiku is only feet away from the bush and his eyes go wide with a firm look of recognition.

Arthur is shocked, embarrassed and utterly devastated that he has been found in such a position as this. He had let his guard slip and he had been discovered for it. Kiku looks at him with such an odd look that he feels mortified. Arthur know, he bloody well fucking knows, that he shouldn't care what a mortal being thinks. He could walk out of this situation with a polite nod and his shoulders held high. But he won't. His feet are glued to the ground.

"You're...You're that man from the alley." Kiku is saying and grounds his kite. "What are you doing here?"

"Watc– Nothing important." What, is he a blushing schoolgirl? Can he, the mighty Britain not even form a proper grammatical English sentence in the presence of human such as Kiku?

"Are you stalking me?"

"No." Lie.

"I've felt the presence of someone all this past week. Are you sure?"

"It hasn't been me." Lie.

"And I swore that there were two people just moments ago...Are you really sure?"

What is he asking him if he wants to go through with an abortion. "Probably birds." Lie.

Kiku frowns. "Are you sure you haven't been following me? If so, you are truly...horrible at it."

"I haven't been following you." Jesus Christ, why is he such a liar.

"I think you have." Kiku admits. "I think you've been following me because you're a weird hairy Englishman who doesn't like to be told no."

Right on the spot lo – Wait, I'm not that hairy. He frowns. "What would you like me to say. Oh hey, I'm madly infatuated with you and have following you to the park everyday?"

"Well, that's not exactly what I'm looking for..."

"Then what in blazes do you want?" Arthur realises he shouldn't be so crass and Kiku could easily turn around and call the police on him for some form of harassment. But he doesn't care. His pride is utterly and completely shot to pieces and he has been found out about his obsession. At this point, he could truly care less.

Finally, it is Kiku who speaks. It is not an offer of rejection or one speaking of his immediate arrest, but more of something that seems to take them both by surprise.

"Would you like to go get some coffee together sometime?"

They get coffee. It is odd, that they are both able to get over it so quickly. It also turns out that they carry many a thing in common. England finds himself even more drawn to the enigmatic Japanese. He doesn't know if this is good or bad yet. And for some reason, he finds that he really doesn't want to know the answer as much as he should.

The allure of danger has never been so thick before.

"You should really reconsider." Arthur says.

"I really shouldn't." Kiku answers. "I do not know what you do with your life but I am a University student and it is quite the tiring aspect–"

"Oh what job isn't tiring? Really, take a walk in my loafers any day and you'll find that it's quite the trek."

"What do you even do?"

They are walking. It is a casual strolling and their arms are side by side. Arthur feels the horrible urge to interlock their fingers.

Arthur had finally gotten to know his mysterious object of desire. It was months since that horrible misguided day where he had been found out. Out of silly spite, Kiku brings it up every once in a while. It is nice to have moments like this though. It is very nice. They can talk and walk and not fight like he is prone to do with so many others.

He's getting to know Kiku and still wants to know more. He doesn't know whether this is all good or bad any more.

"I'm in Politics." Is his answer after a moment of quiet silence between the two. It is as close as he can get. All other answers will lead to the deduction of his possible madness and him being the actual personification of the United Kingdom. But who isn't mad in these days?

Kiku nods as they come to the cross-walk. He turns to Arthur and begins to bow, but Arthur steps in to hug him instead. He stiffens in his grip before relaxing slightly. Only slightly for he is still as stiff as a board in his grip. "Really, love."

"Really." He pushes away and flicks a lock of hair behind his ear. His brown eyes are piercing. "But I am thinking of taking up that offer of dinner with you."

Arthur had offered it some time ago. And he still remembers? He is getting used to this strange one's way of thinking. It was utterly human. "Any place you want."

Kiku raises a brow. "Even if somewhere positively ridiculous?"

"Even so. You obviously haven't met my brother." Alfred is the king of ridiculous-things. It was true. They all know it. No one could beat the great America in picking out horrible places to eat. "But I doubt you would pick out somewhere both horribly scarring. That's not in your taste."

"No, it is not." Arthur is distracted slightly by the other's lack of contractions. It's...cute. Distractingly cute. "But I do not want to pick anywhere that would make you uncomfortable, Kirkland-"

"Arthur," He corrects. "My name is Arthur."

"Arthur." The words roll oddly over the Asian's tongue. It is a word he wants to hear more of. "Very well, Arthur-san, I will take you up on your offer. Do you mind if I call you tonight to discuss the possible places?"

He would have to cancel the bridge game with Ireland if Kiku decided to call tonight. Ireland wouldn't mind. He never minds. And if he finds a nasty surprise waiting for him the next day because of the cancelled game, he will not mind or seek mindless revenge on his always drunken brother because he knows he did it for Kiku. Arthur is comforted by this fact.

England bows and takes the Asian's pale porcelain hand and bestows a small kiss on it. The smallest of pink spreads over the other's face. He smiles and stands up and waves the Asian off as he stumbles his way across the street.

But by then, he already knows it is far too late.

Arthur is reaching out, reaching so far but it is too late. The truck does not stop and a scream splits the air. Whoever it was is never known doesn't matter. The scream splits the air and the ground shakes as the truck makes impact. England cannot bear to stand to see what he is watching.

He has seen war and has lived through the plague. He has watched the damned be hanged and the witches burned. He had been the one to set the blaze on Joanne of Arc and does not still regret such a thing. He had bestowed the final blow on the people of Africa and had so ruthlessly enslaved their people. But he cannot stand this. He cannot stand to watch as he does; to see the person he had so animately talk to only moments ago be ripped to pieces right before him.

He is still reaching, still reaching for that invisible hand to take his.

It never comes.

He is numb, he realises. The utter reality of the situation has not yet hit, but he can feel nothing and he sees nothing but Kiku's bleeding face, his bleeding eyes and the disoriented voice screaming out why, why aren't you saving me–

Arthur is on his knees, one hand numbly covering his frozen face and his ears are drumming with the noise of nothing. Blue and red twirl across his vision endlessly.

Someone is kneeling next to him. There is a cold hand on his shoulder. He thinks it to be Russia. Is it Russia, he wonders, come to laugh at his loss like he had done many times before? Arthur turns to snark but startles instead at the fact next to him.

It is Kiku's, but twisted. Twisted with something darker, if not evil. His palor is alabaster and his eyes are a bleeding red colour. He is sneering, but seemingly not wanting to. Is his face set permanently in a look of hatred for the world? Before England notices, the pale lips that looked so similar, so Kiku's, were forming words.

"It seems you habe forgotten." The man murmurs in an accent. "It seems he forgot too."

England stares blankly at the other. "Who are you?" He doesn't bother masking his impatience.

The head turns at an angle and the other stares at England from the corner of his demonic eyes. "You do not know?"

Suddenly, he feels it. It had crept up on him and had smashed against his own violently. It is the aura of a nation. His eyes widen and he learns quickly that it rolling off of the stranger like an endless barrage of waves.

He thinks it is the paranoid North Korea, but something unsaid told him else-wise. It is not insanity fuelled by democratic paranoia that lurks in those red eyes, but more of a sour bitterness. As if it was him against the world. From the way he held himself, the way the hand lay so stiffly on his shoulder, the sneer and the coldness – it was probably such a situation as that.

However, was this some horrible nightmare of his? Would he wake up to find it was all some horrible dream? Was God fooling with him? Was God fooling with him for the breaking of the law? Conjuring up the turned version of his love and having it tell him that it was all some terrible mistake? Nations had one law and one law only and he had shattered it. Why was this happening? Why did he look so much like Kiku–

Arthur stops and then thinks. His eyes widen once more in a thick realisation and his jaw drops slightly in surprise.

"You're Japan."

"I am." There is no change in tone and he had returned to staring at the scene. The hand had not yet moved. "But this is such a horribre prace to meet, yes? But you have to remember, don't you?"

The law, he numbly thinks, the law. He wasn't supposed to shatter it.

"You aren't supposed to break the raw. Didn't Chuugoku mention that? You are supposed to stay within the boundaries. And he–" For a moment, there is undeterred rage filtering Japan's voice as he pointed to the white sheet where his sweet Kiku only lay dreaming away because it was only a dream right? "–was not supposed to reave. He reft me and has paid."

It was once said that the bitter old man rejects everything foreign from his sights. Does he do such a thing now? However, Arthur did never discover if it was true or not but had quickly learnt that Japan had obviously discovered that one of his own had the nerve to leave the homeland to never return and fall in love with a foreigner.

And for that, Honda Kiku, had to pay.

Regret burned through England like fire.

Japan mumbles something and stands up. He looks down upon England with such a look of scorn that England cannot even find time to be offended before Japan starts speaking. "Do you mind?"

"Mind wot?" you bloody fool. He adds inwardly.

Those demonic eyes are piercing through him. The feeling of an arrow brushes against England's skin.

"Do you mind knowing you're hated?" An innocent head-tilt and he thinks its Kiku playing a game. But it is not Kiku. Kiku is dead, as dead as they come. An echo of such words rings through his head. He thinks of the other Asians and their catatonic stares. He's barely contemplating his own response before he draws himself to a standing position.

Arthur stares at Japan. "Do you mind? Do you mind? Do you mind?" He mocks. "Do you mind knowing you're hated?"

"You are praying a very dangerous game." Japan utters. He's serious. Arthur can see, no feel, the urge to kill in those demonic eyes.

"Who doesn't play with danger every now and again?" England answers back. "I can bloody well do whatever I like! And you can't stop me!"

"I can bery werr try."

"Please do." He laughs. "Do such a thing and see who's at the top in the end! I've always enjoyed a fight!"

A katana is drawn as England aims his magnum. The blade of the katana rests gingerly on his Adam's Apple and he's comforted by the knowledge that the barrel of his gun has made friends with Japan's temple.

"A dangerous game you pray." Japan sneers. "You do not know what you are doing!"

"I know what I'm doing." He says. "I always know."

"You were breaking the ancient raw."

"And you murdered Kiku for that?" Arthur sneers back. "Jolly good job chap. An innocent man was murdered because a man lost in time wanted to preserve the older ways. Well I doubt you've checked a calender or anything but it's 2011–"

"I wanted to preserve you!" Japan whispers in such a quiet voice. It is almost impossible to hear him over the roar of the ambulance that sits in idle.

England stumbles slightly from the news and almost drops his weapon in surprise. After regaining proper thought, he presses it harder against the other's temple. The cold metal of the gun seeped into his cracked leather gloves. It is a feeling he has not felt in such a long time. It is a feeling he never really wanted to feel again. "What the bloody bollocks are you going on about!"

"He was tainting you." Japan answers simply. "Kiku was human, so uncrean. You do not understand, do you! I wanted to sabe you!"

The mere image of Alfred slowly bleeds into his mind and he shakes it violently all away. Red seeps into his vision. He can see the gun going off, but it does not hit this monster of Japan. The bullet slams into the image of his ex-colony and it shatters like the fragile glass of a mirror. He closes his eyes. "And so you murder Kiku for it?"

"I care for you Engrand." Japan mutters. "I habe always bery much wanted to meet you. Habe always bery much wanted to be you." The nation drops his weapon and reaches out to touch England's frozen face. Gloved fingers that have never once ever touched a living being brush just teasingly against the skin. "Prease. Understand! I only wanted the best for yo–"

The gun goes off loudly. No humans heard anything though. So odd. He supposes it is for the best. Green eyes open and they are apathetic to the scene they see. Japan, standing stock-still before him, with the widest eyes he had ever seen. Blood slowly drips from his forehead and the hand reaching out for him hangs in suspension. Japan shuts his red eyes and bows his head as if in imaginary shame and the hand drops. No words are said. The silence is pregnant.

"I see." The Japanese nation mutters. But it is not a mutter of bitterness, more one of utter devastation. "I see how it is."

With a sick pop, the bloody bullet falls to the ground. His pale fingers weave around the bullet wound tenderly. England only stares impassively. There are truly no words that can be expressed.

"Good-bye Engrand." Japan says quietly. "I wish you best of ruck in rife. Sorry...for your ross." The last words physically pain him. England only wishes he could show the other how much pain he really felt.

Before he realises it, his arm is rising and the gun fires off too many shots. He can't think of how many had been fired off, but Japan is already gone from his sight. It was as if he had never been there. The gun falls to the ground and he sneers.


His sneer falls and he looks to Kiku's dead body again. For a moment, he wishes to reach out and only touch it. But he cannot. Kiku is no longer in his jurisdiction. Really, Kiku had never been in his jurisdiction. England smiles, only so faintly that it feels like it not even there. There would be no more late night walks, or talks of horrible monstrosities that were America's literature. There was nothing left for either of them any more.

They had had a pact once, him and Japan. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance. But it was a pact only, for there was no friendship that had lurked there. England did the talking and Japan remained forever locked in his barred cage.

The sky is darkening when he will eventually wonder off. It was a wonder how absolutely no one had noticed him at all. Some people were not just noticed at such situations as this. However, he would expect the call to tell him of Kiku's horrible downfall soon enough. He sighs and turns off his phone. He doesn't want to know now.

He'll move on, as time heals all wounds. He's recovered from worse. He's recovered from such stuff that makes normal people cringe and writhe at the thought. Burns, broken bones, the extractions of actual organs. Even he had recovered from terrible fourth degree burns after that Witch Hunt gone horrible awry. But he will be the only one moving on as there is no moving on for Kiku. This was no horrible break-up. Just the horrible ending for such a young life.

Kiku is dead and he must accept the fact.

He does not feel bad as he walks off really. He feels numb and there is no ghostly hand resting on his shoulder.

Arthur shivers and keeps on walking. Some small part of him is smiling as he does so. Maybe one day at the end of this trek he is taking, Kiku will be there waiting for him at the end.

Author's Note:

This sucked, this sucked, this sucked, oh my gods why did this suck so much.

For Shatterdoll, even though she really didn't want it. Oops.