Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia; Axis Powers or Neighbors, or any of its associated fictional locations or characters.
The Flooding of the Sun-Burnt Country
Open Your Eyes
"Damn it, Northern Territory!" shouted England. "Take your freaking crocodile away from my foot!"
"It's not my croc," she declared cheerfully, ignoring the way the crocodile was happily gnawing on England's left ankle. "It's Queensland's. Don't yell at me if you taste so good. It's all that colonial whiteness. Mm-mm, that's good pommy."
"Just saying what he thinks," Northie shrugged light-heartedly. The mood in Australia's house had gradually been lightening as the disaster had been dealt with. It had been a bad time around the beginning of February, when the cyclones had threatened. Western Australia had been relatively lucky. The tropical cyclone had made an arc, coming unusually close to the south-east end. But, when push came to shove, it had done nothing but ruffle a few bird's feathers, not done much damage, caused a bit of wind but left Western Australia almost completely unscathed.
However, Yasi had decided to visit Queensland.
"Doctor! She's having a fit!"
"Nurse," the doctor barked, immediately trying to stabilise the normally prone figure who was now jerking about as if being electrocuted.
The doctor had kicked them all out when they tried to stay with her, letting only Australia remain by her side. As Northie looked back, she had seen that Australia's face looked unusually grim. But, the next moment, it softened, and he gently brushed some of Queensland's hair away from her face.
Outside, Tasmania was quietly reading a book. She still had to go to bed sometimes, feeling sick or dizzy, but she refused to stay in bed. Victoria was the same, stating how bedridden might look good on Ramsay Street, but in real life it was, 'totally unfashionable.' At that moment, he stalked off in disgust, muttering angrily, 'OMG, she's being so selfish, being so sick. She should, like, get better. Now.' NSW had recovered relatively fast as well. He began to talk to Canberra about some new policy that was polarising the country. He and Canberra both walked off, trying to look like they weren't worried, trying to act normal. That was all they could do.
Northie's eyes glossed over where SA began painting on the wall, something in bright colours which looked like Australia standing up, being held up by people which could have been them. She ignored the muttering, "gonna kill all cyclones… yeah, gonna slice them up like a steak on the barbie… Freshly cooked…"
WA had stormed off. When NSW had first risen from bed, WA and he had begun to have many arguments about which of them should stay in bed more. Northie had become sick and tired of them when they began going deep into the night, and had just started sicking Little Croc, Queensland's little crocodile, on them whenever they annoyed her. This technique worked so well that Northie had begun applying it to every-day life. Whenever SA started threatening to go axe-crazy, WA or NSW irritated her, Victoria looked too gay (which was all the time, probably why he was bitten the second-most), Canberra looked a bit podgy, or England was being silly (all the time, so he was the one she urged Lil Croc to snack on… Almost constantly, actually), she just told the small reptile what to do and he did it.
But, digressions aside, WA was nowhere to be seen. Northie went looking for him, wondering just where he had got to. After a half-hour of looking she finally found him outside, digging a hole in the backyard.
"Westie?" asked Northie, confused. "Whatcha doin'?"
"Digging a swimming pool. What does it look like?"
"Well, fine but… Why?"
"'Cause Queensland's gonna need to cool off when she gets better. Have you felt this heat?"
Northie paused and watched for a moment. Lil Croc made a small questioning noise, asking if he could bite Westie. Northie shook her head and Lil Croc settled down, disappointed but accepting. "Somethin' wrong, Westie?" she asked lightly.
She waited. He stopped wiped his forehead. "It's just… Why?"
"Why is it always Queensland?" His words became angrier. "Why is she always hurting, and I'm always fine?" He threw the spade down. "Why does it always have to be her? She can't take this right now, she-"
"GET HIM, LITTLE CROC!"
Lil Croc jumped onto Westie and bit him on the ear. Westie began thrashing around, trying to remove the reptile. "NORTHIE! What the HELL!"
She stood there with her hands on her hips, grinning at him, her white teeth almost glowing in contrast with her dark skin. "Never, EVER say that! 'She can't take this'… What are you, bloody England? We can take this! We can take anything! And do you know why?"
"Maybe I would if your crocodile wasn't freaking BITING me!"
Lil Croc let go, having had his fun, and crawled back up to Northie. She put him on her shoulder. "We're Australian, that's why. We're the ones the world looks at and thinks, 'they can do anything. They can survive anything'. Do you know why the world says that? Because it's true. Just look at my people; centuries of oppression and we're still here. SUCK ON THAT, WHITE AUSTRALIA POLICY!" (A policy during the 50s aimed more at immigration, but still trying to push 'white Australia')
"You know we aren't that resilient, right?" WA frowned at her, rubbing his ear.
"Why the hell are you so bloody pessimistic?" she snapped, folding her arms. "It doesn't matter if it isn't true, all the more reason to MAKE it true. By surviving. So stop moaning and groaning. Your state isn't, so neither should you! You'll make them all look bad."
WA paused for a moment, incredulous before picking up a clod of dirt and throwing it at Northie. "That's for calling me a wimp!" He did it again, ignoring her protests. "And that's for throwing the crocodile at me." He did it a third time. "And THAT is for comparing me to England!"
"Hey!" shouted England. "I heard that! What wrong with-"
"Sick 'im, Lil Croc!"
"STOP BITING ME!"
Weeks passed, and Australia gradually edged out of the world-view as the crisis became less and less immediate, as the more mediocre problems of a wide range of destruction became more prominent than the actual destruction itself. Other world issues began to gather the media's attention, and soon Australia and all his states were more the viewers than the viewees of world news. They weren't sorry in the least.
England had taken to coming over regularly when the disaster had first struck, but now that the focus had gone from the actual crisis to insurance claims, he began to reduce his visits to the same number as before the floods.
The world news was, as usual, worrying. Australia and his states rifled through the various channels, looking at the new disaster that had come up, the Japanese earthquakes. Unbeknownst to them, in her room, Queensland opened her eyes.
They were watching when a loud voice interrupted that of the news reader's.
"What are we all doing in here instead of out there? Look at everything that's going on, you slackers! Let's get out there and do something!"
A week later, Queensland and Northie went out together, Lil Croc in hand. Lil Croc was too big to ride on Northie's shoulder, so he just followed behind her instead. He had grown just as fond of Queensland and had spent the last week clinging to both of them.
They went to a river at the top of the state. It was a place few people knew about and even fewer came, a known territory of crocodiles. Queesland nudged Lil Croc into the water, saying, "time for you to go, Lil Croc." Her voice had a trace of sadness in it.
Lil Croc looked back at her, looked at Northie. Northie nodded, smiling, bittersweet. Lil Croc went into the water. He would quickly adapt to the life of a crocodile and, after a while, forget about his upbringing. Though he never knew why, he would never try to take a bite out of a human being. Except English tourists. For some reason, he found watchng them run hilarious.
Queensland and Northie walked back to the house together. It was time for them to go home too.
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