Canada looked out the window. He was scared now. What happened to Roanoke could very well happen to him someday. She was just forgotten and left to fend for herself so she died. Granted, he was a much larger nation than she had been and had more people than she could ever have hoped to house but the thought remained. She had been forgotten. He had been forgotten more often than not. He was sitting in a café outside of Vancouver. Snow flitted down outside. It was the first snow of the year. It had always been something he looked forward to but right now, it just seemed to put him into an even dourer mood than he had been before. Would anyone care like England had if he had just vanished one day? Would anyone notice the empty chair at the meetings? No, they forgot him a lot when that happened. Russia sat on him and no one noticed. They most certainly wouldn't notice that they would be setting out a chair for a nation that would never be coming.
He sighed and looked back from the window. An older woman was sitting across the table from him. She was looking out the window but when she caught him looking at her she turned to face him, before smiling. His eyes widened. She was older, more mature, with bright blond hair and emerald green eyes that he knew the instant that he meat them. She wore a simple brown jacket and a red hand-knit hat, one of the ones England loved knitting in his spare time as well as a matching red scarf. He could feel boots, near his but not touching. His heart trembled in his chest as she flashed a smile of bright pearly whites. A waitress walked over to their table. Matthew was too surprised to say anything but Patience ordered for the both of them, sending the waitress off with their orders. Matthew was sure he looked like a gaping fish at this point, but Patience didn't seem to care. She even laughed.
"R-Roanoke?" he croaked.
Roanoke reached across the table. She took his hand in hers, squeezing tightly but not enough to hurt him, just to assure him that she really was there. However, this gesture sent Matthew's mind reeling. He had been positive she had faded out of existence. He had been there, but no one really saw him, again. The pad of her thumb brushed across the back of his hand. She felt very real, very solid, as if she were really alive. He blinked almost owlishly, uncertain as to what to do now that the woman was in front of him, though he did wonder if he was entitled to the wish of never being alone after everything that had happened in his life. He wanted to believe that she would make sure he wasn't alone but she was already gone. She passed on. He licked his lips and glanced around. He wondered if America wasn't playing some practical joke on him. It wouldn't surprise him if he had hired some professional actress to play the part of their sister and prank him. Patience was wearing common clothes after all – hand designed from California.
"Are you actually here?" he whispered.
"Yes, I'm here. Alfred sent me over to keep you company until the next World meeting," Patience said, "But, it's great to see you, Matthew!"
Matthew might have said the same. It was good to see her after all, but his mind was still in shock at seeing her so differently. She looked as old as he was. A dazzling smile on her face, the kind gestures she was using, it was all that of someone who was seeing an old friend for the first time in a few years. She looked like she could pass for his sister. She had blonde hair like he and America did but England's green eyes. Did England know she was okay? Did America have a part to play in this? Was this why America called his boss with his 'clever little plan' that was completely 'heroic'? Canada had been too busy trying to console England to really listen to America blather and barter with his boss. His mouth went dry. His breathing became a little heavier. If America thought he was being funny, he wasn't. This was cruel. He was just waiting for America to burst out of nowhere and laugh at him, telling him it was all just some big joke and that he hired an actress to do this for him.
"Humans are the most amazing creatures I know," Patience said, "Alfred called in a favor his boss owed him. He's not getting a birthday party as extravagant as he normally likes to have it…"
The waitress came back with their drinks. Patience smiled at the waitress, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, as if she were not centuries behind the time period. After the woman left, she pulled out a small bottle of maple syrup from her coat pocket – his favorite brand, not the fake brands that America insisted were real like Betty Crocker. She added it to Matthew's coffee before pushing it in his direction. He swallowed thickly. No one else remembered he liked to have maple in his coffee. He took a sip and his eyes widened. It was his preferred type, down to the very last drop. He had to fight back the reflex to choke on his drink. He wanted to ask how she knew it, along with millions of other questions but his mind was moving as quickly as the maple syrup poured out of the bottle.
"But Alfred has people living on my lands now. I'm not a nation, but I still represent the land. But there's no need for a government there, so Alfred has me as one of his assistants."
"That… was actually a brilliant move," Matthew muttered.
Patience smiled at him. She nibbled on her scone. She hadn't had scones in centuries. Actually, it was her first real meal. She knew that when she would go to visit England he would demand that he make her dinner. He had been ecstatic when he found out what America did. He had sobbed over the screen of what Alfred called a computer. He had wanted to take the first plane to the United States to see her but she decided to tell him to meet her with Canada instead. England was in the process of booking himself a flight. Francis was even coming, because England was in a charitable mood. Patience just felt that it was that France had done something to Arthur to make him agree, perhaps something embarrassing that she really did not want to know about. She heard enough horror stories about France as a little girl. So she would tell Matthew about his visitors later. Right now, she wanted to get to know her littlest brother. She was found before America, at least by England, making her older than him, and Canada was younger than America, so she was older than Canada, at least when it came to being founded as nations, though she never received the title. She was only around because America saved her.
She owed America her life. He just shrugged it off, pretending as if he didn't do anything but it meant the world to her. He had given her a second chance when she had sat by and idly accepted what was going to become of her. It was enough to make her want to sing his praises for what he did. In fact, she could hear his national anthem ringing through her ears. She shook her head. England would have a hissy fit if he knew that was all it took to save her. But America had done it first. He even set aside the lands where her people died and made it a historical landmark. People would dress up and pretend to have lived in that time period for historical purposes, for tourists but Patience didn't care. She was alive. She had never been so happy to be alive. Hundreds of years ago, if someone told her that America was going to save her life and she would be grateful for it, she would have laughed bitterly and told them that there was nothing anyone could do. It seemed that Mother Earth had a very funny sense of irony. She hadn't let Patience pass on but she didn't let her live either. Patience lived in limbo for centuries, waiting for something to happen.
"He did suggest changing my name," Patience mused.
She stared down at her cup of tea. She rather liked her name. She had been given it by her settlers from England, so basically, indirectly from England himself. But it was still a part of who she was. She didn't want to give that up. She had already given up so much and she wanted to maintain a part of herself. By having America's people on her lands, she was no longer her own representation of Roanoke. She was a part of one of his States – his children. The idea nearly killed her. She was a part of his children though she was older than he was. She no longer had power over her people. She had to report to America. While she was okay with that, it would never give her the chance to spread her wings as her own nation. She was still just a territory after all these years after all. But if it was what she had to do, she could always make Patience her middle name. She also had to take up a surname. Maybe she should take up White in honor of John or maybe Dare in honor of the baby Virginia Dare who had died. Patience White…? Patience Dare…?
"Patience is slightly outdated," she admitted, "What do you think, Matt?"
He frowned. He never had to deal with that sort of thing. Matthew was one of those names that had yet to get old. It had its moments where it wasn't popular but he still managed to maintain his name's validity. Alfred had to deal with how his name was older and Arthur did too. Gilbert was most certainly an older name. But some of the nations didn't care. Gilbert wouldn't change his name no matter how much you paid him because Gilbert was 'Awesome'. Alfred had modernized by going by Al, though he would punch someone if they called him Fred or Freddie. It was actually pretty funny once, but it wasn't funny when Russia called him that during the Cold War and America was about ready to cut his throat out for it. America was crazy during the Cold War but then again so was Russia. They were both ready to kill one another.
"Whatever you feel like doing," Matthew said.
Patience smiled at her brother. She had a feeling Matthew would say something like that but just in hearing what he said gave her the courage to make her decision. Canada was what she needed in her life as an unbiased third party. England would want her to act how he raised her, and she would but she would like to modernize as well. Canada and America could give her the crash course on that. America already showed her how to use a cell phone, which she now had in a purse New York and Pennsylvania bought for her, as a welcome to the family present, with dozens of other gadgets in her purse like an ipod and other things in her travel bag next to her. They gave her 'gift cards' to buy clothes once she went across the border so she didn't have to have a suitcase on the plane. America laughed at her expression as he dropped her off at the terminal and sent her on her way. She fit right in because people just thought it was her first time flying, which it was but she was fascinated by everything.
"I'll keep my name. It's certainly original," she said, "So, care to show me around, brother?"
Matthew couldn't help the bright smile that crossed his face. He was so glad that America remembered him enough to send Roanoke up there to keep him company until the next World Meeting. What made it even better was that she remembered him! He could show her so much about his lands. The thoughts made him giddy because no one else ever paid attention to him so he never got to talk about himself except to Kumakichi. But even Kumatata didn't pay attention to him sometimes, let alone remember him, let alone his name. But Kumajirou was his pet, so he had to take care of him because if he didn't have the polar bear he had no one. Now he had his sister to be by his side when she wasn't running errands for America, which he hoped wasn't going to be too often. The waitress stopped by and Patience pulled out money to pay for both of their drinks. Matthew was smiling from ear to ear. He was spending the day with his sister.
Okay, I am a sucker for a happy ending so naturally, everyone gets some love. I felt like Canada had been neglected in the last chapter.
So anyone like how America saved the day?
10 out of 10 doctors agree that reviewing leads to a longer life. So what are you waiting for?