"Man, I've gotta' say Britain, that kid sure looks up to you." Britian nodded without really listening as he watched his little brother sitting on the rungs of the pier. He was gripping a fishing rod tightly in his hands, impatiently waiting for a fish to bite the line.
"I suppose so. At least, I know he's a bit more obedient than you were." America pouted a bit as he leaned back against the railing. Currently, the four of them (including France) were out on a bit of a fishing excursion for the day. China and Russia had opted to stay around Britain's place, as neither really liked Britain's country.
"Ah, oui. I remember when little America was still a tiny little thing. You were zo cute zen, I honestly don't know what 'appened to you." America shrugged, still pouting.
"Well, whatever." He glanced up at Roughs, who was struggling with his fishing rod. "I think your little buddy needs some help over there, Britain." Britain looked up and, seeing America's words as true, went over to help his little brother. France sighed blissfully as he watched his old friend/rival acting like such.
"Ah, eet 'as been a while zince I've seen Anglerrete acting like zis. I 'ad forgotten 'ow cute 'e can be." America grinned and wiped off his glasses from a spray of salt water.
"Hey, you know what I just noticed?" France looked at him curiously, wondering what it could have been. "The two of them look just like a couple of Angler-Saxons!" He laughed loudly at his own joke, while France only stared at him as the joke fell flat. Britain ignored the conversation behind him as he helped Roughs reel in the line. The boy was excitedly turning his hand with his big brother's over it, but his bright face fell when he found that there was only a large clump of seaweed hanging from the hook.
"Aaw, I wanted that to be a big fish! We could have had it for supper." He pouted in a way that was very Britain-like, which caused the older nation to ruffle his younger brother's similar hair.
"No need to fret. Remember, a gentleman never gives up, no matter how many times he must try until he succeeds." These words seemed to inspire the little not-quite-nation, whose face lit up at the words from his older brother figure.
"Right! And I'm gonna' be a gentleman, just like big brother!" Britain helped the boy cast his line into the water again and left him alone to fish as he went back to speak with his friends. He saw France staring at him with a small smile playing on his lips, and tightened up.
"What on Earth are you staring at?!" France rolled his eyes and looked away with the smile remaining.
"Oh, nothing. Just reminiscing about when you were cuter and less mean." Britain held a fist up to France's face.
"Why you-" he cut off his own insult at the sound of Roughs crying out.
"Big brother! I caught one! I caught one!" He was standing up, leaning precariously over the railing as he tried to hold on to the straining line.
"Hold on now!" Britain called out as he walked quickly to his little brother. "I'm coming right now!" However, just as he was about to reach him, a sudden jerk on the rod yanked him over the edge of the pier and down into the water below. Britain rushed to the edge of the pier, yelling over the edge. "ROUGHS!" America and France ran up and looked over the edge with him.
"Oh my god! He just fell in the water! We've gotta' do something!" He turned to Britain, who was sweating and staring down at the water. "Well?! You're his big brother!"
"But I don't know how to swim!" America stared at him with half-lidded eyes.
"Seriously? A pirate slash sailor who can't swim?" He huffed and kicked off his shoes, then threw his jacket at France. "Well, I guess it's up to the hero once again!" He jumped over the railing and dove with perfect form into the water.
The water was pressing in on all sides, on instinct, he held his breath. He flailed his arms frantically, muffled cries escaping in the form of bubbles issuing from his nose. He had his eyes clamped tight, not knowing anything that was around him. Suddenly, he felt a hand lightly grab on to his, and he inexplicably felt himself calm down. A voice sounded in his head, that of a woman speaking to him in soothing tones.
"It's okay, you have nothing to fear. Calm yourself, and open your eyes." He calmed down as the voice instructed, then opened his eyes. He almost gasped aloud. The salt water didn't sting his eyes, and he suddenly didn't feel the ache from his lungs anymore. He was surrounded by a world of silent, open blue. Small bubbled rose up from the depths and tickled his skin as they brushed past his skin on the float upwards. It was incredible, amazing, so many other words that he didn't know. "You see? You are safe here in the ocean." Suddenly, he felt something wrap around his waist, and the hand around his wrist released him. He found himself being pulled upwards, away from the depths, until his head broke the surface of the water. He took in a deep breath of air, as the person holding him towed him towards the rocky shore.
"Britain! I've got him!" Britain was waiting for the two of them on the shore alongside France. As soon as America landed on the ground, Britain whisked Roughs from his arms and wrapped him up in his jacket. America took his things back from France after he shook the water out of his hair like a dog. Britain clutched his little brother to him, not willing to let go for anything.
"Roughs! Oh thank goodness you're alright!" However, as he grasped the child, Roughs suddenly began squirming I his arms.
"Noo! Let me go! I wanna' go back!" Britian stared at the child as if he didn't know what to make of him.
"You... want to go back in the water?" Roughs nodded and whined until, finally, Britain let him go. The child immediately dove back into the water and was swimming like a fish. America stared at the child and scratched his head.
"I don't get it, I thought he'd be happy to be saved." Britain didn't respond, he only stared at his new-found little brother, a strange look in his eyes.
1 This is meant to be a pun on the term 'Anglo-Saxons'.
2 Mon Ami – (French) My friend