I feel like this sucks a lot. I had one feeling when I began the piece, and ended with a completely different one. This is almost entirely an England monologue about his maturity into adulthood for nations.
"You can't be serious," England said, giving the admiral in charge of his admittance into the navy an incredulous look.
"I am," the admiral replied, giving a condescending look specifically to England's hair, "It's far too long and tangled. It'll be easier just to cut it all off."
England wrinkled his nose at the man, but didn't argue. He didn't particularly like it at this length anyways. It went past his shoulders, and he had only just managed to contain the dirty, wild mane into a messy bundle tied at the back of his neck. He was only refusing on principle. He had been bombarded by numerous new rules and orders, and they hadn't even left the palace yet! The guards had been sworn to secrecy then sent back to their posts, leaving England alone with the admiral.
"Fine," he conceded grumpily. The admiral looked both pleased and relieved. The man nodded and continued leading the nation out of the palace. Once on the street, the admiral guided the former pirate into a carriage. He gave the driver orders to drive as fast as possible to the officer academy. The entire trip was spent in silence. The admiral appeared slightly uncomfortable in the atmosphere, but the new recruit seemed to be enjoying it immensely.
England was quickly hustled through the building. He was roughly cleaned, his hair was lopped off, and he was given a uniform to wear. By the end of an hour and a half, England looked like just about every other officer in the British navy. He was not pleased, but the admiral certainly was. At least he wasn't the one having to answer everyone's questions about him.
"Good," the admiral said, referring to his new appearance.
"I'm glad you're happy," England remarked sarcastically. He stormed ahead of the admiral, unwilling to be following anyone. He knew his way around the building well enough. It was impossible for him to get lost on his own land. That was one of the only good things about coming back. Just setting foot within his boarders had calmed him. He felt safe and home. Then all of his people's problems slowly bubbled up into his consciousness. He hated to be reminded just how much trouble he was in, always in.
"This was your choice," the admiral pointed out.
England rolled his eyes and scoffed, quickening his pace. He had decided to gamble on a chance and make the best of his capture. As soon as he found the opportunity he would escape from the watch of the military officer. This was home, but he craved freedom more than comfort. What point was there in being if all you ever saw was your own lawn? That grew boring far too quickly.
The admiral had chalked England's better mood the following day to a full night's rest. It wasn't. England was doing his best to fade into the background, even if it required mature and military behavior. The sooner he was no longer a liability or a danger he could slip away. It had worked several times before, and he was very good at it.
The admiral was unusually wary of him and was ridiculously annoying. England lost his temper several times in the presence of the imperturbable officer. His more incendiary moments were quickly attributed to his time spent as his pirate, and while not terribly unexpected, always pushed the date of his departure further away.
It took several months before he left for the docks without anyone batting an eyelash. Not even the admiral noticed. He would be too late when he realized his mistake. England was a better liar than his Hanoverian king might think.
England had been staking the docks for several weeks. He had found a ship with an easily controlled captain, and a newer crew that wouldn't ask questions about an officer. They would mumble, but would never attempt anything. He had secured passage to America only the day before. The kind hadn't ever bothered to check where he kept his money. He smirked, thinking of how easily deceivable humans were.
"You've made it just in time," the captain said curtly to him as he stepped aboard.
England disliked the plump man as he was hardly fit to be captain. England only nodded to the man before turning from him to walk to the prow. He had no job to do, nor anything to tend to. He was simply a passenger with hidden money and the clothes on his back. He watched his land disappear as the ship left the port. He was reminiscing, wishing that it was Elizabeth he was leaving as a knight of the sea with a home to return to and not a criminal desperately attempting to break his shackles for the final time. He realized his thoughts and pushed them away. The sea was forever dangerous, and he had no time nor place for such thoughts.
He waited for the usual excitement to rise in him as he stared outwards over the open blue expanse that he felt he hadn't seen properly in ages. He was still for several moments then he sighed, and leaned his forearms on the railing. He didn't think he could feel more disappointed with himself, with everything. This was no longer his place of freedom, and there was no thrill. He had indeed been changed in his short time home. The maturity he had thought he had needed to gain for the future when he had arrived was residing within him. He had felt his people's need, and had left. He felt so childish for it.
With that knowledge he turned from the sea. There was no comfort it could give him. He wasn't a pirate, but an Englishman. He slunk from the deck and into his quarters, intending to spend the boring days on the sea thinking of what he would say when he returned to America. He hadn't expected a pirate attack near the end of the voyage, but it had been a welcome distraction. Captain Jack Sparrow was indeed a man worth talking about.
England spent that evening gazing wistfully across the empty ocean thinking of the man that was some sort of odd, brilliant version of the pirate he had been only a short time ago. He had loved the feeling, the power of his sword, the control he had over two crews with only a length of sharpened metal. If only for a moment he had broken his binds. He still felt the relief in his system. His name was still remembered, and he could still be free. The adrenaline of the fight had long since worn off, and the chill of night was setting in as the sun set at the edge of the horizon.
He knew this was the end of it. He would likely never have freedom like that again. He had his people to think of, America to think. Spain had already fallen, and he was rising. The world couldn't be leaderless, and he had so much work to do. He felt the change in himself, and the shift in time and the world, more clearly than when he had been captured. It was time, and he knew why he had left the admiral, his land, and the military. He had needed this final time to be free, to be free and choose to accept his duties alone and by himself. He felt ready and capable. He could look forward to the future, and learn to find happiness in more than just the sea at his feet and the wind in his hair.
You're not leaving
England started, but caught himself before he glanced around the deck. It was Calypso. He could see her form in the water.
The sea is still here for you, it is your friend.
"And my greatest foe," he returned to the seemingly empty space before him. Her laugh was the only response he received. He had been right when he had returned to his land.
When he goes to war, when he one day is crippled, when he, sometime in the future, is cast from his pedestal, when, at some time, he is hated, the sea will be there. Even if there are no English sailors, but just like the bow, he would still have the sea. If he dies, his grave will be marked with water.
From that moment on, no matter the circumstances, England enjoyed his voyages on the sea.
Everyone matures, but usually it is not so conscious a decision. I didn't want to rewrite the scene with Jack, and wanted to keep England's thoughts in the middle of the conflict a mystery. England, by the end of this, has accepted his role as a proper world leader and that he will do his job as a nation. This new thinking (in my headcannon), while leading to America's own growth and eventually independence, also allows England the ability to begin the move into the industrial revolution, which has improved human lives considerably.
However his pirate heart lies on the sea. England is an island, and can't really ever part from the sea. Not only that, most of England's power came from his navy. One day, supposedly, England will also sink into the sea, either through erosion or global warming.
If this wasn't what you were expecting, or not really your cup of tea, sorry for bothering you. Please review!