This is officially my first sequel! Woo! That means I've finally uploaded something with a continuous storyline/plot/whatever! This calls for C-E-L-I-B-R-A-T-I-O-N!
Okay, ignore that. That was an attrocious way to begin an a/n. If the a/n is awful, what does that say about the actual story?
Continuing from "Little Bird", kind of, in a sequel that was kind of requested, but mainly written as a form of procrastionation, this story is, well, kind of a sequel. It doesn't feel as good as "Little Bird," but I like it, and hope you do too.
I hope to not upset the people who liked how "Little Bird" ended by uploading this as a sequel, as opposed to a second chapter, which someone told me to do, so they don't have to read this if they don't want. "Little Bird" can end the way it did. I am allowed to do that, right?
The title came from the musical term "reprise," which is used on albums or soundtracks or in scripts when a song is repeated, and seeing as this was based on the song "Little Bird" by Ed Sheeran (and I use the term "based" very loosely), it felt like the best title for this piece.
Any spelling/gramtical errors are entirely my fault (who else could I blame them on?), and I apologise fot them in advance. Contains one use of that unpleasant "F" word.
Hetalia and Little Bird are not mine, they are the property of Hidekaz Himaruya and Ed Sheeran.
His world was broken. He was broken. It was all over.
He struggled to breathe. It felt like some huge invisible force was pressing down on his chest, crushing his lungs, preventing them from converting air into oxygen, oxygen into energy, and energy into life. He blinked through tears he had no control over, and continued to stare up at the sky, too weak to push himself up.
Where did he go wrong? What had caused such a dramatic change in what he had thought to be the best relationship of his life? How had Alfred grown from such a sweet, trusting boy into a man full of nothing but hate and anger in regards to him? He couldn't pinpoint it to an exact event, but he knew there must have been one; something that had changed the boy's view of him. Alfred had been so full of resentment...the look in his eyes when he'd told Arthur that he didn't need him any more...the loathing that had lurked there had been dripping animosity.
Everywhere hurt. He was lying in what he was sure was his blood, but everywhere hurt, and he neither knew nor cared where he was bleeding from. He felt himself choke on what he again assumed was his own blood. He raised a hand to his head in attempt to stop the...wherever he was...from spinning. He breathed in, slowly and soothingly, ignoring the pain that came from breathing. He appeared to be near some kind of wall. He pulled himself up and propped himself against it. He coughed up more blood. He closed his eyes, and he tried to rationalise his thoughts. His main concern shouldn't be why America had decided to do this to him; it should be how he was going to recover.
This war had gone on too long. He had lost too much; the majority of what he lost being Alfred.
He heard footsteps, and tried to tuck his broken body in closer to the wall, not knowing whether the approaching person was a friend or a foe. He tried to slow his deep breathing. He told himself to hush.
However, his hush wasn't hushed enough. Whoever was near heard his breathing and stopped. He heard them ready a musket. He closed his eyes and bit his lip. Holding his breath, he heard a familiar voice call out; "Who's there?"
The shock of that voice caused England to lose his breath. He hadn't heard that voice in so long. It sounded fearful, cautious and innocent. England's shallow, loud breathing would give away his location, he knew this. He turned to grab his musket, which was lying on its side slightly away from him. He reached for it, clawing the ground in an attempt to grab it before-
A muddy brown boot trod on his hand, crushing his fingers and preventing him from reaching his weapon. Now lying in his stomach, all England could see was the barrel of the gun that had been shoved in his face.
"Looks like we finally meet," snarled America, standing tall, uniform slightly muddy and wet, but not in shreds like England's was. "This is where it ends."
All the island nation could do was cough. "A-...A-..."
"Spit it out!" Warm blue eyes that normally looked like clear skies and freedom had turned colder than steel.
Still failing to speak, England managed to splutter out the letter "A" a few more times.
"Trying to ask for mercy, are you England?" What was usually a carefree smile was now a scowl. There was no love in his eyes. He looked upon the man he had considered his brother for so long with nothing but disdain. He moved the musket closer to England, who coughed, and was finally able to say, "Alfred...please..." in what was little more than a whisper.
"Please what England?" His expression had momentarily softened at the use of a name he wasn't called any more. "D'you want me to let you go? Do you want me to go back to doing whatever the fuck you told me to? To not having a say in how my own country's run?"
"No..." England's sentences were halved by his deep, painful breaths. "Alfred...I want you...to end it..."
"This war will only end one way England; I want my freedom!"
"Idiot!" Even suffering through intense torture, England could find himself growing angry at America. The realisation that something's would never change made his lips turn up in the tiniest trace of a smile. This smile was quickly killed by his situation. "I'm not talking...about this bloody war, although...it would end...if-"
"If what, England?" He thrust his musket into England's chin, the sharp end of it jabbing his flesh and drawing blood. "You're trying my patience!"
"If you ended it Alfred...Please end it..."
"For the love of God, England, what am I supposed to end?" America growled angrily. "Keep in mind that these are your last words; I'm planning on killing you soon."
"Kill me now Alfred!" The desperation in England's voice caused it to rise in volume. With the hand that wasn't being trampled on by America, he grabbed onto America's trouser leg and tugged at it. "Please...kill me now."
America pulled his gun back, the dropped to his knees in order to be at eye level with his former 'brother.' "You...you want me to kill you?"
England nodded. America stood up, and turned away.
"I'm not gunna kill you England," he said, with his back to the country lying by the wall. "You don't deserve death. You can suffer now for that which you've done."
England gasped in pain. His entire body began to shake and convulse. "Please Alfred..."
Still with his back to him, America shook his head. England couldn't see the smile that stole over his lips, but it was one of many layers. Some would say it was a sad smile, almost as though he pitied England, but others would argue it was sly, worn with the victory of having England right where he wanted him.
"I don't know if you remember this, but I found a bird once when I was younger." His vocal tone changed. It was quieter, more peaceful even, although England failed to see how a country who had been threatening his life only moments ago could no be at peace.
He grunted. "It had a broken leg...you named it Artie...and promised...to be its hero..."
"I wasn't able to keep that promise though, was I England?" America turned around and approached him again."I wasn't Artie's hero, I couldn't save him, and he died!" Now frantic and angry, America knelt down again. He grabbed England's face and brought his eyes to meet his gaze. "Whose fault was that England? WHOSE FAULT WAS THAT?"
The island nation couldn't bring himself to answer. America stood once more, calmer. "It was yours England. You killed Artie."
Now completely aware that this was the answer to his question, that this was the point that had changed America, England tried to speak, and found his voice rendered useless. He attempted once more to push himself off of the floor, but couldn't. The fingers in the hand America had stood upon appeared to be broken.
"You know that was the first promise I ever broke, don't you?" America laughed to himself. "I'd never lied or anything until that point."
England wanted to reach out to America, to let him know how sorry he was. He'd regretted that day every day since. It had been his pride that had prevented him from changing his mind about his decision. He remembered the day like yesterday.
"Sometimes, at night, I still hear your damned cat yowl," the soon-to-be-independent country shuddered, then smiled to himself. "Stupid cat...I hated that cat with all of my heart. I considered doing...something to it, to make it pay for hurting Artie, but then I realised that the real one to blame was you."
He started to walk away. From his position on the floor, England called out to him. "Alfred wait!"
He turned to once again face him.
"Kill me like I killed Artie. You'll get your independence then, you'll have won. Isn't that what you want?"
America turned away from England for the final time. "This war's not over yet England. You may lie weak and defenceless now, but you've still got a lot of fight left in you. I'm not gonna dive head first into something I might regret. Seeing you in such a state of pain...It's almost as though you're an innocent man. I'm not one to kill an innocent man." He laughed. "We'll meet once again on the battlefield, and when we do, I'll defeat you. I'll win my freedom fair and square."
He left England alone with his thoughts. It began to rain. Lying in the mud, England felt his eyelids begin to shut. America had assured him that this wasn't the end, but he felt it was. He had neither the strength nor the heart to keep on going. He tried to think of home, wanting the streets of London, the town he'd grown up in, to be his final thoughts. Thinking of home made him realise what he'd be leaving behind.
And then he realised what he had to return to; two brothers who hated him and wouldn't hesitate to attack, and one who hated him, but was too terrified to do anything about it. They were going to think him even more of a failure if he returned home from America is this state. Maybe it was better than he didn't return home from America at all.
He hated himself for thinking this way. "You're better than the wanker!" He would've yelled, but he hadn't the energy. He merely whispered the words reassuringly to himself. "You'll prosper. This land will remain your territory, and America will remain-" He lost track of his thoughts. Maybe he was right...being a nation without a country to run must be hard...Had he himself not fought France with everything he had when that bastard had tried to invade? He'd been young, and defeated more times than he liked to remember.
He'd tried to attack his brother's a fair amount of times. Looking back on it, he could see why they'd hate him, but together they were the United Kingdom of Great Britain! Their (his) empire stretched halfway across the world, and America was part of this empire! He didn't have a say in whether or not he was property of Britain! He'd raised the bloody boy, and this was how he repaid him?
England's hate began to tire him. He felt weaker than he had. The rain fell around him, reminding him of home. Surely, closing his eyes wouldn't hurt? At the chance someone found him, they'd most likely think him dead and hurry past.
He attempted to think of home; of his brothers, of the time when they once got on, but found that this new country had become his home over the past few years. All he could picture was America's smiling face. He finally shut his eyes, and allowed his thoughts to dwell on this topic instead.
"Al-Alfred?" he called up the stairs, nervous at the lack of reply. Surely the bird couldn't have meant that much to the boy? America wouldn't have- England banished the thought with a shake of his head. "Alfred?" upon receiving no reply, he himself walked up the wooden staircase, and knocked twice on the door to his colony's room. "Alfred, are you-"
"G-go away!" the boy yelled back, his voice shaking. "I hate you!"
Ignoring this, England opened the door. "Alfred, I know you're upset, but-" He stopped, noticing the boy was huddled under his blanket, crying. The sight of his tears made England feel guiltier than sin all over again.
"You've come to apologise, haven't you?"
England nodded. The boy's miserable expression grew into one of horror. "Being sorry won't bring Artie back!"
Taking a seat on the end of America's bed, England said, "I know," quietly.
America bit his trembling lip. "Why did you kill him?" The boy sat up, moving closer to his 'brother.'"If you knew you'd regret it, why did you let him die?"
Placing his arm comfortingly around the colony. "Sometimes people jump head first into things without thinking. It always leads to regret; hurting the things you love most."
America cuddled up under England's arm, snuggling there in his favourite place there, relishing his warmth. "I never want to hurt you England...I don't care how mean you are, or how much you shout at me. You're my big brother. I'd miss you too much."
England felt himself begin to tear up at America's words."Alfred-"
"I mean it Artie. I'd miss you with all of my heart! There'd be no one big and strong to chase the monsters away."
"America, one day you'll be strong enough to chase away the monsters on your own."
Head buried in England's chest, he mumbled, "I never wanna be strong if it means you'll leave me."
Extended Author's Note:
I know very basic facts about the American Revolutionary War. They are:
a) It was mainly fought between the British and the, well, American's (although I don't really know if they were classed as American then), but Prussia was involved, and their general's trained American armies or something...I think the textbook said one general spoke no English, so whenever he told his troops to do something he just kinda swore, because those were the only things he knew.
b) The troops had cool uniforms. The had like, long coats and cool trousers and stuff. The had this like, harnesses they could but guns in that went across their backs or whatever...yeah
c) It was in the 1800's
d) America won
I don't know what type of weapons they used, hence why it is referred to as a musket in this. A musket is an old gun, and I'm pretty sure they didn't use bayonets, because those were like, the latest thing right at the end of the 19th century...right?
Also, according to this, the war was started because England killed America's bird...wow...
I apologise for America's bipolar in this, because one minute he all; "I'm gunna kill you England," then he's like, "No I'm not!" and then, in England's flashback, he's like "I hate you England, actually, no I don't, I wanna be with you forever." I'm not making fun of bipolar people here. I'm really not. The story just kinda wrote itself, and reading back through it I can't bring myself to alter it. I think America's attitide changes so much because he keeps realising what things would be like without England, and doesn't want them to be that way. Also, it shows that America will always be a little boy to England, because little kids change their minds instantly. You could punch them in the face, and they'd forgive you instantly if you apologised.