Holy shit on a shingle, this is the final installment of this story! It's here are last! Here at last! And my fingers bleeeeeeeeeeed. Lucky, I love you. You are a fantastic writer, and an even more fantastic friend. You have so much talent and I'm so proud of you. So, this is for your 15th birthday I missed last year. Make good life choices, and I hope you enjoyed this...thing.
For everyone else! Enjoy the madness winding down!
Disclaimer: Nothing I own.
France lifted his cellphone and sighed. He'd texted England and America a while ago and yet they were late. He looked up at the quaint restaurant he found the last time he visited Canada with all the unrequited love in his heart. The boy had been ecstatic to see him, which was a nice change from everyone else who was needlessly cautious due to his unfortunate need to touch pretty things. It could hardly be helped that all countries were so lovely in their own way. At least Russia had been a good sport about it.
"Mon dieu, can they be any slower?" France felt the grumblings in his tummy and whined in the back of his throat. He wasn't one to gorge himself like an animal, but he'd been so busy with a brutal election process, and helping his new boss get started, he hadn't had much time to eat. His house was still wracked with record high unemployment and growing public debt, but now wasn't the time to deal with it. Now, he only wanted to sit down to a nice lunch with his pseudo family, and maybe tease England about how much he missed his scowl in lieu of his busy schedule.
France turned back to the street and was relieved to find America making his way towards him. It was about time. If he had to stand out in the cold for any longer with nothing in his tummy he was seriously going to faint, and that would surely ruin a good afternoon.
"Oh, Alfred!" He raised a hand to wave at the approaching nation. "I was beginning to think I was being stood up! Where is that insufferable bushy browed amour of mine?" France's relief faded when America drew closer and he saw that the boy's face was screwed up into an expression of pure agony. Tears streamed down his cheeks and his glasses were askew. France didn't have time to process it until he was nearly toppled over by the much larger nation throwing himself into his arms.
"I can't believe it. I can't believe he would do something like this to me." America's entire frame shook and France gently wrapped his arms around him to return the embrace. Annoying as America was, France couldn't ignore the call of being an older brother, and seeing either of the twins cry always broke his heart. America crying was something different though. For the longest time France was convinced the boy lacked tear ducts, or at least broke them from prolonged use during his childhood if what Canada told him was true.
"Hush," he soothed, rubbing the younger nation's back. "Je suis ici. Séchez vos larmes. Tell big brother France all about it." He looked up at the restaurant mournfully. Nothing inside it was going to make America feel better. The boy thrived on genetically modified meat and grease. France's stomach growled again as if begging him to reconsider. Still, it was the job of an older brother to do his best to comfort his younger siblings, no matter how nauseating the process was.
"Amérique," he said with a strained smile. America looked up at him. His red, tearstained face was so pathetic it rivaled the Sarah McLaughlin dying animal commercials France was subjected to every time he tried to watch television at America's house. "How about…" Say it! Just say it and get it over with! You are the big brother now! "How about we go find a McDonalds and you can tell me all about it?" He was smiling on the outside, but inside he was dying and weeping at the cruelty of it all.
"You'd do that?" America sniffled.
"Of course." France reached into his pocket, withdrew England's favorite handkerchief he'd left at his house, and wiped the younger nation's nose with it. "Here, blow." America obeyed and France felt something in his heart melt at the sight. America reminded him so much of Canada when he was little. "Now, let us go and find a greasy hell-hole to make it all better."
Russia entered the house and marveled at the damage he and Canada had caused in their fight. There was a hole in the floor from Canada's head, and the coffee table lay in smithereens from where the younger nation had suplexed him. The back of Russia's head still throbbed from the impact. The large television was face down on the floor surrounded by a sea of glass, and blood was smeared across the floor like a child's clumsy finger painting.
Russia never remembered being in an individual fight that intense before. He had used every strategy and ounce of strength he possessed. Other nations would be lucky to bruise him, but he knew he'd be limping at least for the next few weeks thanks to Canada. Thinking back, Germany once told him about how vicious the Canadian troops were during World War II, particularly on Juno Beach.
Seeing America's supposedly helpless and shy twin brother racing up the beach, taking bullets and killing enemies wasn't too much of a stretch after fighting him. Still, Russia knew he'd done the most damage. Canada hadn't landed a hit on him until Russia had successfully worn down his strength to that of a slightly stronger than average human. What made it worse was that Canada didn't seem to have an off switch. Where America knew when to declare his victory or cut his losses and back out (though with much swearing and insults), Canada had been ready to fight until he physically couldn't.
As he wandered through the house, Russia began to wonder why it was no one remembered Canada. Sure he was unfortunately the twin of one of the loudest and most annoying countries on the planet, nor was he very outspoken, but the boy clearly had issues on a personal level due to his isolation. Hadn't anyone noticed? Hadn't America? Or was he so obsessed with being a hero that he convinced himself that his brother enjoyed being passive and stepped on so long as America was there to make it better?
Russia peeked into several rooms, only to find them empty until he came to a door at the end of the upstairs hallway. It was covered with hockey paraphernalia and a red and white flag with a maple leaf in the center. He assumed it was Canada's flag and opened the door, unsurprised when he found the other nation huddled in a corner with his knees drawn to his chest. He didn't react when Russia stepped into the room, just stared blankly ahead, his cheeks stained with tears.
The little polar bear Russia remembered from the car incident sat at Canada's side and gently licked at his swollen, bloody knuckles. "He's hurt." The bear turned towards him. Russia figured he should probably be more surprised that an animal had just spoken to him, but after living for thousands of years, he'd seen stranger things. He knelt down in front of Canada. The bear darted in front of the unresponsive nation and bared his teeth.
Russia was taken aback for a moment. The little creature had looked so fluffy and harmless, that the incredibly sharp teeth within its wrinkled muzzle seemed out of place. It growled deeply in its chest, its fur bristling. Russia looked at Canada, expecting him to either call the animal off or encourage it, but nothing. In fact, he seemed to be fading to the point where he was almost transparent.
"Easy, comrade." Russia carefully held out his hand and allowed the bear to sniff it. "I am only here to help." The bear's tiny black nose wiggled and slowly its muzzle smoothed over, transforming the miniature beast back into a harmless fluff ball.
"Don't hurt him again." It stepped aside.
"Canada." Russia looked over the younger nation, ignoring the pain from his ribs. He'd been through worse. Canada's face was a mess. One eye was half swollen to the point it was nearly shut. His lower lip was split and the right side of his golden hair was stained a dull red. His hands were no better. Russia lifted one and pursed his lips at the split knuckles. America wouldn't have let himself get to this condition, and if he had he'd be a whimpering complaining mess. "Where is your first aid kit?"
Canada turned his face away. It was still amazing how much he looked like his southern brother. It was enough to make Russia's heart clench. He was just as stubborn, if not more so, but this boy knew what it was like to fend for himself, to have no one else care for him and to become his own nation regardless. In a way, he might have been what Russia truly needed in a partner: someone deceptively innocent, helpless and weak, but in all actuality cold, possessive and damaged.
But he wasn't America, twins or not. How anyone could confuse these two countries was beyond him. "First aid kit," he said again. Canada still didn't look at him, though it wasn't out of submission, but defiance. Back when he was the Soviet Union, such disobedience would have earned someone a concussion if they were lucky. He was seriously considering reverting back.
"Medicine cabinet," the bear interrupted those thoughts. "Follow me."
"Traitor," Canada muttered under his breath. Russia ignored him and followed the bear into the bathroom across the hall, took the first aid kit, and returned to Canada. It had all the essentials and he readied the needed supplies.
Russia wondered if it would be too much to use some of this on himself. Canada had done a number on his body. Everything hurt and the broken ribs ground together with each move of his torso. Still, it wasn't anything he couldn't handle. He started to bandage the other's hands, before moving up to the face. "Why are you doing this?"
"Does it matter?" Russia dabbed the bloodied knuckles of the other nation's right hand with disinfectant. "I need a bowl of water to clean all the blood off of your face."
"On it," the bear said unexpectedly and trotted off. Russia watched it go, blinking curiously. He was aware of other nations having talking pets. Apparently Iceland had a puffin with quite a rude mouth, but seeing one gave him the shivers. Maybe that was why he was satisfied with his pipe.
"I guess not, but I hope you know that this won't make Alfred forgive you." Canada glared at him, though it didn't have much bite to it. Mostly he just looked tired.
"Da, but this isn't about him," Russia said. Canada scoffed.
"What? So you're doing this out of the kindness of your heart?"
"Something like that," Russia said just as the bear returned with a bowl of water held between its front paws and a wash rag. Russia took the bowl and dabbed the washcloth. "Believe it or not, I know how you feel."
"Isn't that just dandy?" Canada said. "No offense, but I doubt anyone could ever forget your existence. You tend to give off an aura of a major creeper."
"You'd be surprised." Russia dabbed at Canada's bloody lip. The other nation didn't flinch. "When the Soviet Union collapsed, it was like I was dead. Everyone left me."
"That's because you were psycho and abusive." It was meant to bait him. It would have worked in any other instance, but for some unforeseeable reason, Ivan couldn't bring himself to be angry.
"Da, I was." He wiped at a scrape on Canada's cheek. "I'm not saying I was entirely the victim, but I still know what it's like to feel abandoned. Especially when my sisters left." Russia held back the memories of Belarus walking away, and Ukraine stepping out into the snow. The house they shared had been empty. "Belarus left without a word. She wouldn't look at me, talk to me, or even say goodbye. She just left. Ukraine was the same. She wouldn't answer my questions or listen to me beg."
For a span of minutes that were like hours in nature, there was utter silence. Canada still had his face turned to the side, while Russia gently scrubbed at the other's neck. The glass shards from the television had done their work. Russia lost himself in his thoughts as he continued to care for the other nation. They drifted to America, and the kiss they shared earlier before things shot to hell.
It was tragic that their relationship fell apart within hours. It truly wasn't meant to be, and it gave Russia the violent urge to destroy everything in sight. It wasn't fair. Things were better between them. The Cold War was over, and the memories of that shy, twitchy little thing America had been when they first met made him ache with longing.
"Alfred clung to me when we were little." Canada's voice broke his concentration. "Every time England turned his back on us, I felt like the most important person in the world. I would hold him, and I would be there with him in that moment, not just drifting like some ghost." Canada took a shaky breath. "And every time England came back, I was back to nothing. America would forget my name and ignore me." It was said bitterly with a rough voice. "England took America away from me over and over and over. Tell me, what would it be like for you to lose your sisters on repeat?"
Russia considered it. Once was hard. No, 'hard' was an understatement. It had been absolutely unbearable. His heart had shattered, and even to this day the images of Belarus and Ukraine with their backs turned to him haunted his nightmares. To have to go through it again not just once, but for years, it was a hell not even Russia could imagine.
"I sit through it every day still. I have Alfred when we're home. I'm somebody there, but as soon as you people show up, I get walked all over. I turn invisible and no one can hear me, not even my own brother." Russia remembered America's words about how he and Canada grew up with only each other for years at a time. "I don't mean much to a lot of people, but I do to Alfred. If he ends up with you, you'll take him for sure." Canada's eyes narrowed accusingly. "He'll have you and then I'll fade."
"Is that what all this is about? You think I'm going to take him away and lock him in a tower?" The very idea was ridiculous. America was no princess.
"You wouldn't have to," Canada said. "He'd care more about you than me and spend all his time with you, give you every piece of himself until he forgets me entirely like everyone else. He already bullies me, and a lot of my troubles are because of him, and I let him because I could never say no to him. What's forgetting me for good?"
"Ah." Russia dabbed some more disinfectant on Canada's cheek.
"What do you mean 'ah'?"
"Canada, forgive me for saying this." Russia reached into the first aid kit and pressed a band aid to the other nation's scarped cheek. "But you are an utter idiot."
"You heard." Russia tilted his head to bet a better angle on the state of Canada's face. That fat lip was going to take a while to heal, and the nasty black eye could use some ice. "Little bear." He turned to the polar bear. "Would you fetch me an ice pack for your master?"
"He's not my master," the bear said. "He's my friend." The bear trotted off, presumably to do as he was told, but then what did Russia know?
"How am I an idiot?" Canada's chin rested on his knees.
"You put so little faith in the way your brother feels about you," Russia said. "You think you have to cling to him to get him to pay attention."
"Because I do!" Canada snapped. "He forgets me all the time when he's around other nations. If he were to actually be in a relationship, that would be it. He doesn't need a brother when he has someone to take care of. I…" he trailed off to swallow. "What's the point of existing if no one cares? Can you even call that existing?"
"Canada, you're an important country. You and your brother are the largest trading partners in the world."
"Yeah, well I'm not talking about Canada, I'm talking about Matthew." The younger nation spoke softly, just as he normally did. "England took me from France, made him give me up with the Treaty of Paris. Maple, I had everything. France loved me, or at least I thought he did. Then I was taken from it and thrust into a house where I didn't know the language and was ignored." He tipped his head back and laughed humorlessly. "Once England had me, he wasn't sure what to do with me. I wouldn't eat his food, and for the longest time I flat out refused to speak English."
"Stubborn like your brother," Russia commented.
"Twin thing, I guess." Canada tapped the side of his head. "I acted like an angel at first, but when I realized that wasn't going to make England give me back to France, I restored to worse behaviors. I'd throw tantrums. I'd run away into the woods to try and find France, curse at Arthur in French, and punch holes in the walls. I was too young to understand that as a colony, I didn't have a choice and I didn't want to believe that France would just give me up. It wasn't until I made Alfred cry that I stopped. When we first met, he got bored with me, and so I didn't acknowledge him either. In my mind I was a prisoner, but the look in Alfred's eyes…"
"I see." Russia looked over his shoulder as the bear return with a pack of ice in its mouth. "For your eye. It's going to be swollen shut soon, but please continue. Alfred never told me about this."
"I…scared him." Blue eyes fell to the bear as it dropped the pack at his feet. "He ran up, hugged me, and just cried. I still remember him trembling, the tears on his face, the way he begged me not to be angry anymore. For the first time in my life, I felt like a monster, causing fear like that in someone else." Canada took the ice pack and placed it over his eye. "That's when I knew I needed to make sure he never cried like that again. I would protect him, even if it went unappreciated in the long run."
"Then you really are a fool." Russia closed the first aid kit with a snap.
"You keep saying that."
"Because it is the truth." He met the younger nation's eye with a frown. "You are so caught up in Alfred forgetting you, that you are blind to how much he adores you."
"I'm not sure how it is at your house, but on this side of the globe adoration doesn't usually translate to someone ignoring you in favor of traipsing around with other people and forgetting your birthday."
"Canada." Russia put both of his massive hands on Canada's shoulders. "I know I may not be the best person for this, but even I can see it. He told me all about how you helped him when England left."
"H-He did?" For the first time Russia saw genuine surprise overcome Canada's features. "He remembered that?"
"He never forgot it," Russia said. "He blames himself for how the others treat you, because he feels he burdened you so much that you had no chance to deal with your separation from France. Canada — Matthew, your brother loves you and has nothing but respect for you. He may tease and forget, but you have to remember he is an idiot a lot of the time, da?" Russia smiled.
"Heh, he really is, isn't he, eh?" Canada returned it almost shyly.
"Besides, it doesn't matter if he ends up in a relationship with me, Japan, England, or a Big Mac for that matter." He poked Canada's chest. "You will always hold a piece of his heart that none of us can touch. You are in his blood, probably along with all sorts of growth hormones, preservatives, and chunks of cholesterol, but you are floating somewhere in there too. I'm sure of it."
"Um, thanks. I think."
Ugh, he was so bad at this. "Eh, the point I'm trying to make is that in the end, you are the one he can count on to always be there."
"I…" Canada paused and wet his trembling lips. "I'm stupid." He placed his head in his arms and groaned. "I screwed everything up, didn't I?"
"A little bit, yes."
"I'm sorry." It sounded completely sincere, muffled as it was in Canada's arms.
"I'm sorry as well." Russia winced when he touched the back of his head, still sore from the coffee table. "I probably should have rethought beating the crap out of you." He felt something in his coat pocket vibrate and was surprised to see that his phone remained intact. He flipped it open and saw a text message from America.
Meet me at mcdonalds in town
Usually when America texted him, it sent a thrill down his spine. Now all he felt was a growing sense of dread. "Your brother wants me to meet him at a McDonalds."
"I guess he had time to cool off." Russia stood, ignoring the searing pain in his back. "Time to face the music, I suppose."
"You'd do that? Why?" Canada uncurled his legs and sat forward. "When did you suddenly start to care? You two are supposed to hate each other."
"Da, that seems to be the common consensus around here." He looked down at the other nation, who had taken his bear in his arms and was slowly getting to his feet. "I know this is a hard notion to grasp, but we were both countries before the Cold War. We have more history than just thirty or so years of the world's deadliest pissing contest. And…" Russia's voice tapered off as a new thought overtook his words. It was just America standing there in his fine clothes within the Winter Palace. At first he reminded Russia of a little bird, flighty and timid, but upon approaching— "I finally figured out where mine came from."
"Pardon?" Canada asked.
"I know why I want to be with America. I remember when I first met him, first talked to him." He continued on, almost jittery with glee. He knew. He finally knew why he felt this way. "When I first met him, he was this little thing, who barely knew how to close a deal. My boss back then had just, how to say? Made a pass at him."
"Wait, your boss wanted to do my brother?"
"Nyet, she wanted to have intercourse with him, but that's not important!" Russia waved a hand to silence the other nation, his smile so wide it was going to crack his face for sure. "He was jittery and nervous and frankly had no idea what he was doing. Not that he was stupid, no, far from it. But there he was, this country who was so young and fresh and didn't know the rules, but there was…a spark in his eyes, a spark that said he was going to learn. In that moment, I saw his strength. He was so new, flustered, and in way over his head, but when I talked to him, I saw the passion of his heart. He was like pure fire, and I…fell in love." Russia put a hand over his rapidly beating heart. Had it really been that long?
"Wait, you mean to tell me that you loved my brother from the moment you met him?"
"Huh, I guess I did." Russia faced Canada with his usual smile. "I must not have realized it until now. Funny how that tends to work." He laughed and clapped his hands. "Oh, this is wonderful. It all makes sense now."
"Yeah." Canada limped to the other side of the room and sat on his bed. His back was to Russia, and the light from the window engulfed his wavy blond hair in a halo of light. "Russia, when you talk to my brother, don't worry. I'll tell him the truth, and let him know that it was my fault." Russia's smile slipped and he stared at the back of Canada's head, trying to see into it.
"Because America needs someone who can love him for that long despite all the stupid stuff he does." His shoulders slumped. "We're not children anymore, and I need to let go. So as America would say," he turned smiling gently, "go 'em him, tiger."
Russia dipped his head in thanks and turned away.
Russia stood in front of the golden arches of the McDonalds, feeling oddly out of place. Through the window he saw France with his arm slung over America's shoulders, looking a little green. France in a McDonalds. Now that was the start of a good joke.
Without further ado, Russia pushed open the doors and ignored the commotion by the cash registers. He instead headed directly towards France and America's table. America stuffed his face with another burger, while France had ordered a salad that looked as if it had barely been picked at. They both looked up at him as he approached with unreadable expressions.
What was France doing here anyway? America seemed to be huddled against him and Russia had to admit it had him confused. Then again, France did see himself as the world's older brother. Russia preferred to see him as the perverted uncle, but then if he made the situation between he and America worse, he was going to be the dead perverted uncle.
Russia glared at him, promising with his eyes as much, and France returned it with a terrified smile of his own. His gaze darted to the window and Russia followed it, surprised to see a very irate England storming down the street. Was he muttering to himself? Russia squinted a bit. It was hard to tell from this distance.
"Well, time to work my magic elsewhere. Remember what we talked about, Alfred." France excused himself and left the restaurant with a little too much gusto. Russia watched him appear outside the window and latch himself onto England. They had been through hard times, but they had still managed to find their way together, crazy dysfunctional as they were.
"Russia." America looked at him through his lashes in a way that was uncharacteristically bashful.
"I take it you want to chew me out for fighting with your brother." Russia sat back, ignoring the sharp jolt of pain in his spine from where Canada nearly folded him in half backwards over his knee. America stood up abruptly from the other side of the table and Russia looked around at the pedestrians. The last thing he wanted was another fight with a North American brother, and fighting in such a public place where they were undoubtedly going to get arrested was—
Russia's thought came to a screeching halt when he felt America's arms snake around his neck in and another pair of lips press quickly and discreetly against his own. Russia didn't have time to react before America was talking at him so fast he was having trouble translating.
"Oh my God, Russia I'm so sorry. I should have known." America's fingers were suddenly ghosting along his cheeks and they warmed involuntarily. "He didn't hurt you, did he? I'm sorry. I'm such an idiot. I didn't see this sooner."
"America," Russia tried, but the younger nation was so worked up that he didn't hear, still apologizing and fretting over every little bruise. A part of him feared that America might order him to strip right there so he could assess the damage. Fun as that might have been, he was no exhibitionist. Finally, he took America's hands and held them to the side. "Stop apologizing. It is not like I am dying."
"I know, but I totally ran out on you, and that was not something a hero would do. I was just," he bowed his head and Russia released his wrists. "It's just I was so overwhelmed. France made me see that it wasn't your fault. I mean, I never thought Canada would be so…so selfish like that." America's eyes met Russia's eyes and he took the larger nation's hands. "I didn't want to believe it. Just the fact that he would be so possessive makes me wonder if I ever knew him at all. I'm so stupid. I thought we were brothers, but he hates me."
"It's not that simple," Russia said.
"Please, don't give up on this, yet." Alfred's eyes were shining and he leaned forward. "We just started and I don't want this to end. These past few weeks with you…they've been so freaking awesome and I want it to be even more awesome. Please, just don't leave."
"Hold on, why would I leave?" Russia's eyes widened and he looked around the McDonald's, hoping to God America wasn't making a scene amongst Canada's people. Thankfully, the booth they were in was in the far corner of the restaurant away from the cash registers and most of the customers were sitting closer to the exits.
"Because everyone else did," he said. "Canada…Matthew, he chased away everyone else, and I don't want that to happen to this, because I…sweet Benjamin Franklin, I love you." Russia felt his heart give a lurch and he pressed a hand to his chest to make sure it wasn't going to fall out. Warmth bloomed in his cheeks as he looked down into the raw emotion in the younger country's eyes. "That's the—"
"Alfred." Russia squeezed America's hand and gently placed a finger over his lips to stop the chatter. "Despite the laws of physics, I oddly enough love you too." America choked back a laugh, bowing his head and Russia pressed a kiss into his unruly blond hair. "I'm not going to leave you. The thought hadn't even crossed my mind. In fact, I was sure you were the one who was going to call it quits."
"Oh." America's voice was flat with disbelief. "I see."
"Yes." Russia laughed and let his hand rest against America's cheek, bumping their foreheads together for a moment. "But the situation with your brother is something you need to fix."
"I know but—"
"And he doesn't hate you. Quite the opposite actually."
"How would you know?" America asked.
"We talked after you stormed off, and Canada…" Russia wasn't sure how he managed to get himself dragged into all this family drama. He looked at America, and was reminded of the first moment they spoke, and the inextinguishable blaze in those bright blue eyes. It was a contagious feeling that anything in the world was possible. It was the moment he had fallen hopelessly and irrevocably in love. "Alfred, your brother has been hurt terribly, and not by me before you panic."
"I know that." America's eyes shifted to their joined hands. "I see it all the time."
"He thinks you are the only one who cares about him, and being with other nations causes you to forget him." Russia let the pad of his thumb stroke the top of the other nation's hand. "From what he told me, that's not too far of a stretch."
"Yeah." He let out a great rush of air, as if Russia had just punched him in the stomach. "It's always been like that, though. He's never told me that it bothered him. He's always so quiet and shy, and I get impatient. I want to talk to people, and he…can't keep up."
"He has a lot of issues," Russia said. "I know I'm the last person who should be labeling someone like that, but this behavior stretches back centuries, back to when you were just colonies. He holds a lot of resentment towards England, which is where it started."
"Oh, my God." America put his face in his hands. "So it was about me clinging to him."
"Not in the way you might think. When you did it made him feel loved, America, but he said you would ignore him every time England returned. That you both would." Russia squeezed the other nation's hand. "Don't you see? He's terrified of losing you."
"He wouldn't lose me though!" America's eyes shined and he looked up at Russia with an almost pleading expression. "He's the hat and I'm the pants."
"I am not going to pretend I know what that means, but have you told him that?"
"Well, no. I thought he already knew. We're twins! He's like the yin to my yang. The Robin to my Batman. The coffee to my cream." America's eyes softened and he looked so young that once again Russia was seeing him for the first time in the Winter Palace, embarrassed and afraid he'd botched all chances of good relations between them.
"He doesn't know that," Russia said. "And from the way we all treat him, I find it hard to believe he'd figure it out. He's angry, America, and he's been hurt his entire life. You need to talk to him. You need to tell him that it's okay to let you go and that no matter what you love him."
"You're right." America scratched the bottom of his eye and smiled shakily. "When did you suddenly become a therapist?"
"Once you've been around for as long as I have, problems like this become quite simple to fix."
"Oh, shut up." America let his forehead rest against Russia's shoulder. "And thank you. I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Probably eat yourself into cardiac arrest due to boredom."
Canada sat where Russia left him, staring out his window and into the pine forests that surrounded his grandiose cabin. His black eye was numb from the ice still pressed against it and he was thankful for at least that small blessing. These few weeks had given him a lot to think about. Sure he was protective of America. He was his little brother, no matter what the loud-mouth believed.
There were times when America made him feel like he had the world in the palm of his hands, and others when his brother reduced him to the size of an ant. He lived for the latter.
"Hey, Matt." That was a voice he wasn't expecting to hear. It sounded awkward, as if it didn't want to be there. Canada looked away from the window, and sure enough, there was Alfred standing in his doorway.
"You know that one thousand year invitation still exists." He watched America as the memory caused his brows to lift and his lips to part. America won a bet when they were children and declared that Canada had to allow him into any room he was in for a thousand years. Needless to say, he'd never doubt Alfred's bad taste in food again.
"Um, thanks." America stepped into the room, clearly unsure of what to do with himself. He fidgeted with his hands and then stuffed them into his pockets. The awkwardness made Canada feel as if someone were stabbing a knife right between his ribs. It had never been awkward between them. Intense at times, yes, especially during the revolution and 1812, but never awkward. No matter what the situation, America was the one person Canada could talk to about whatever was on his mind, be it loathing, sadness, or anger.
"You should forgive Russia." He turned back to the window, figuring he'd start with the most pressing issue. "It wasn't his fault. I started everything." He jumped when he felt a soft hand touch his face and looked up to see America had made his way across the room without him noticing. His brother's eyes were teary, but he was trying to smile.
"You look like you just got out of another hockey brawl. Only I didn't have to bail you out of jail this time." America sat next to him, without removing his hand from his cheek. His fingers touched some of the bandages. "Russia did a good job."
"So you talked to him?" Canada's uncovered eye drifted downwards.
"Yeah, it cleared a lot of things up." America laughed breathlessly. "France did too, oddly enough."
"How is France?" They were getting off topic, whatever it was, but it was nice to let the issue simmer for a bit and take a breather. Besides, it wasn't going anywhere. Even now it circled above their heads like some ill-tempered dragon.
"His boss has been working him to the bone, but other than that, I guess he's been all right. He misses you." America smiled and let his hand fall away from Canada's face to his shoulder, probably for lack of anywhere else to put it.
"That's good to hear." Canada wasn't sure if he was referring to the fact that despite France's polarized elections he seemed to be doing fine, or that France actually missed him. "How's Russia?"
"You banged him up pretty badly, but then it seems he did a number on your face. Used to do the same to me." America's hand moved from Canada's shoulder, rubbed his upper arm a few times, then retreated back into his lap. "I saw the hole in the floor. I take it he drove your head through it?"
"Yeah." Canada flinched and tenderly touched the top of his head.
"Dude, I get it." America touched his own head. "Guy has some serious upper body strength."
"H-He loves you, you know." It hurt to say it, to admit it. However, when Russia had been talking about the moment he first met America, there was no denying it. Russia had smiled, and it wasn't the creepy childish one. Nor was it the fake curve of the lips he plastered on that radiated unhappiness. It was a true smile that made Russia look achingly human.
"I know." America's eyes warmed when he said it, and his voice took on a reverent sort of depth that made Canada have to swallow the growing lump in his throat. America loved Russia too, deeply and truly. However, his next words brought Canada back down to earth, as if they were a cinder block chained to his ankle. "But I'm not here to talk about Russia."
The bottom dropped out of Canada's stomach and the true issue no longer circled above, but dropped heavily between them. The rough warmth of America's hands gently forced his head to turn so he was looking into his brother's eyes. Canada hadn't known he was even looking away.
"There's a lot I want to say to you." America's teeth sank into his lower lip and his eyes screwed shut.
"Just say it." Canada removed America's hand from his cheek and turned back toward the window. He could take yelling. It wouldn't be the first time America yelled at him. Only this time, he deserved it. In the moment of clarity given to him when Russia told him how he had loved America since their first meeting, he saw he wasn't protecting America at all. He was being possessive and selfish, based solely on his own insecurities. It didn't matter the reason. It wasn't right and it definitely wasn't healthy. Protecting America had been an excuse, and coming to grips with that was hollowing him out from the inside.
Canada's uncovered eye widened and he slowly brought his attention back to America. His twin's eyes were glassy and his lips were slightly pursed. America reached over to him and took the hand he wasn't using to hold the icepack in place.
"Matthew, I'm so sorry." America shifted across the bed until their knees were touching. He sniffed a little and wiped his cheek on his shoulder with an embarrassed laugh. "You know I'm super crappy at this kind of stuff, so bear with me, 'kay?"
"O-Okay." Canada wasn't sure if he'd even spoken, because his lower jaw hung uselessly.
"I have got to be the worst big brother in the history of the world," America began steadily. "And you have every right to hate me, but you don't. You…were always there for me, and even when you couldn't be, it was my fault. You're a nation and your first priority is to your people, and in 1812…I forgot that." Both of his hands clutched Canada's. "I took things too personally, but shit, this isn't even about that! Matthew…Mattie…I," America stopped abruptly and looked down at their joined hands. Canada couldn't move his mouth to ask America to continue. He wasn't even sure what his brother was trying to do. "You mean…God, you have no idea. You mean…Matt, you mean everything."
"I…" It was the only sound Canada could muster out of his frozen vocal chords. The way America said 'everything' made his lungs constrict and something prick at the backs of his eyes.
"I've been selfish, like in a big way. I remember all the things you used to do to make me feel better whenever England left." America took a shaky breath and held Canada's eyes. "When he came back, I would just take off towards him because I was so happy, and you'd stand there like…like you were waiting for something."
Canada remembered standing alone in front of the giant house with Kuma in his arms, watching his brother run into England's arms. America's entire universe shifted back to England, and Canada always felt like he was standing in an empty room that used to be full of countless treasures, all of which had been his, and all of which had been torn away in the most shocking and painful way. America's cubby little hands touched England's cheeks as the two nuzzled their noses together, laughing. America was right. He had been waiting to be held too. Waiting for the love France gave him before he turned his back and left.
It was all so clear that Canada found himself there again. His bare feet collected dust as England and America passed him by without a second glance. They entered the house and closed the door behind them. Canada stared out into the fields, wanting to run away, but knowing he was bound here after so many attempts to break free.
His own little hands retained the memory of the downy softness of his brother's hair, and the warm wetness of his tears. Canada had nuzzled his nose and held him. America looked at him with that same warmth, confirming that he was here, that he was needed, wanted, and loved.
He was mine. His blue eyes took in the empty fields without actually seeing them. He was mine. He was mine. He is mine. He. Is. Mine.
"I know what you were waiting for now." America's adult voice brought him back to the present, and Canada pressed his lips tightly together to keep them from trembling. "You were waiting for me to come get you and bring you home. You were waiting for me to show you that…that you were more than just a replacement."
"Wasn't I though?" The words dragged across the inside of his throat like rusted daggers. America's hands cupped his face, knocking away the icepack. Canada stared into eyes that were so much like his own, and yet now he felt so much younger than America.
"You were never a replacement." America's thumbs started moving under his eyes and Canada became aware that his face was wet. "There's not a living person on this earth who could replace what you are to me." His lips quirked in a sad smile. "And I'm an idiot for giving you all those reasons to think otherwise. I never forgot what you did for me when we were little. I never ever forgot. I owe you more than I could ever pay you back for, because all the good parts of me are because of you." America sniffed and chuckled, his eyes red from behind his glasses. "The bad parts are all me. And maybe a little bit of England."
"Bad taste?" Canada's lips quivered into a smile.
"And my arrogance, and my brashness, and my loudness, and my obnoxiousness, and my self-centeredness, and my unexplainable squickiness when it comes to sex. Actually, I'm going to go out on a limb and blame it all on England." They both laughed and Canada wiped away his tears. America sobered and touched his brother's shoulders. "In all seriousness though, there's no excuse for me treating you the way I have." America leaned forward and pressed their foreheads together. "I'm sorry that I made you feel like you had to fight the world for me to love you."
"Love…me?" Canada's stomach tied itself in knots and his vision blurred and cleared when the tears spilled over.
"Yes, dummy." America pulled him into a hug. "I love you. "
"Alfred…" Canada's hands rose up shakily to touch his brother's back to return the hug. He closed his eyes, and again he stood alone while he watched America and England hug each other and laugh. There was that feeling of the universe pulling away from him, but then Alfred turned away from England. The elder nation's eyes widened in confusion, and he let the tiny colony down. Alfred was off as soon as if feet touched the dusty path, and as he got closer, Canada felt the ice in his heart begin to melt until he finally felt his twin's fingers entwine with his own.
"I know it's like over four hundred years late, but you don't have to wait anymore." America pulled back with a bright smile and Canada opened his eyes. "We have a lot to work on. Both of us. But I'm with you this time. I promise."
"All right." Canada placed a hand on his brother's face. "And I'm sorry for my behavior. There's no excuse for it, no matter what the reason. I'll…need to work on it, but as long as you're with me. "
"I'm with you. Now let's stop before we both turn into sobbing wrecks." Alfred laughed and sniffed, wiping his eyes with the sleeve of his bomber jacket. Canada removed his hand from America's face and did the same.
"Come on." America stood and held out his hand. "Russia's waiting downstairs and he could probably use help cleaning up the mess you two made." Canada felt his face redden and took his brother's hand. Even now when they were older, after so much had changed them both, their fingers still fit perfectly together. They walked out of the room together, and America offered his support when Canada's vision blurred and his steps faltered.
"Hey Russia," America called out to the larger nation. Russia sat on the couch, leaning back and while one of his hands rested over his side. Canada remembered feeling the ribs break beneath his hockey stick and wasn't sure if he was proud or horrified. America let go of his hand to sit next Russia, and it took all of Canada's self-restraint to keep from snatching it back.
"Did you two talk?" Russia lazily turned his head towards America with a gentle smile.
"Yeah, we did." America took his hand, and just the way he looked at Russia made Canada's hands tighten into fists. That mantra replayed in his head, He is mine, he is mine, he is mine, but he forced it down. No, he's not yours. Not yours. Let go. Let go and rest. America loved him, and for once in his life, Canada truly believed it. It was time to let go. It was time to finally relax and let go. Slowly, he let his fingers fall limp.
"Russia, I…I wanted to say I'm sorry." Canada swallowed back the bitter taste in his mouth. America needed to hear him say it, and Russia needed to know he was sincere. It was hard to do it without all the emotion clouding his mind, and it was going to take a long time before he was okay with it, but this was the first step. America smiled at him gratefully, leaning against Russia's side. "Please take care of America."
"Da." Russia stood up from the couch and held out one large hand towards Canada. "I will for as long as I can." It was the best any nation could offer. Their lives weren't their own, and politics could turn at the drop of a dime to the point where a personal relationship was impossible. For as long as he could, Russia would be with America. It could end tomorrow or the next few years. Yet, Canada saw a new softness in Russia. In the way he stood and the way his eyes were no longer like two violet mirrors that reflected a person's worst traits back at them. If ever a time came when they couldn't be together, Russia would always love America.
"I know you will." Canada took his hand and shook it. The smile that graced America's face was worth the pain it caused. It felt as if he were giving a part of himself up. America was a constant in his life. His neighbor, his brother, friend, and twin, but this was the right thing to do. He couldn't love America the way Russia could, the way America needed just as much as he needed the love of a family. "But, fair warning." Canada's hand tightened on Russia's and he looked up with a frigid smile. "If you hurt him, all that crazy stuff I did won't even compare to what I would do then. So when I say take care of him, I mean take care of him, eh?"
"Noted." Russia smiled, though it was a little shaky.
"I'm so happy we're all getting along now." America smiled cheerfully, ever avoiding reading the atmosphere when it was convenient.
"And you need to tell him right now."
Canada released Russia's hand when he heard France's voice coming up the staircase.
"I will!" England's voice followed and something vile curled in Canada's gut. He turned towards the staircase and backed up until he was pressed against America's side. He was still overwhelmed, and dealing with England was the last thing he needed. He didn't want to answer questions about what it was England had done wrong, because as a nation, he hadn't done anything. Everything he had done was personally. "I just have to find him."
"Well, you better. Because there are things you need to say to him, Anglelterre." France sounded uncharacteristically annoyed. The sour expression on his face confirmed it when he and England came into view. Canada retreated a little further behind America's back, which earned him an odd look from his twin.
Russia said something in his own language to America. Much to Canada's surprise, America's eyes widened and his gaze traveled between him and the approaching England. "Woah, really?"
"You understand him?" Canada asked.
"Duh." America stuck his tongue out at his brother. "How else was I supposed to listen in on his people during the Cold War?" Alfred reached up and cupped Russia's face, squishing his cheeks together. "Isn't that right, zayka moya?"
"Douche." Russia pushed America's hands away, though his eyes were warm with affection. There wasn't much time to dwell on it, for right after the exchange France practically shoved England towards them, his arms crossed and his face stern.
"I don't want to see you." Canada found it suddenly hard to breathe and he clutched America's arm tighter, taking a small step to further hide himself behind his twin.
"See? He doesn't want to see me." England turned back to France. Yet the other nation's eyes had taken a hard edge. He knew that look all too well, and just like when he was little, Canada felt a twinge of nervousness. Contrary to common thought, France was not someone to question when he got into a particular mood. Canada had once witnessed his former caretaker snap a man's wrist during the Seven Years War. It had been a fluid, quick movement of the hand, happening so fast Canada hadn't had time to process it all until their attacker shrank away, clutching the wounded limb to his chest.
"Matthieu." Just the voice he used was enough to make Canada flinch. France's expression was hard, completely opposite of his usual easygoing manner. "You will listen to what England has to say." That was a cold hard fact, but it hurt enough letting America go. This was too much.
"S'il vous plaît ne me forcez pas à." Canada's eyes fell to the ground.
"Levez les yeux." France's voice was firm, not harsh, and somehow that made the command all the more powerful. Helpless to disobey Canada lifted his eyes and tried his best not to glare at England, pressing himself into America's back for support. "Now, listen to him, and don't interrupt. He and I had a long talk, and he has a lot to say." France crossed his arms and England looked over his shoulder and scowled before turning it first on Russia and then America. Finally, his expression softened when he looked at Canada.
"I'm," he voice cracked and he coughed into his fist. Canada watched him warily as his eyes drifted from America to Russia once more. "Can we talk alone, per chance?"
"I don't think it's a good idea to leave me alone in a room with you," Canada said. It hadn't meant to sound like a threat, but here was the person who hurt him his entire life, not even as a nation, but as a human being. There was no excuse for it, no bosses to blame. England had neglected him and caused a rift between he and his brother on his own accord.
"Right." England's cheeks pinked slightly, clearly coming to the same conclusion. "Bad idea. If I were you I'd punch my head clean off my shoulders."
"I could leave." Russia raised a hand.
"Non, the more people hear this the better," France said. "Go on, Arthur. Tell him."
Hearing his name on England's lips without having to be reminded sent an unexpected and rather painful jolt through him. "O-Oui?" He lifted his eyes to America, who looked over his shoulder and gave an encouraging smile. He was with him and Canada very cautiously looked at England.
"Bloody hell, I don't know where to begin." England laughed a little and rubbed his eyes. "Matthew, I understand where your resentment comes from. I haven't been the best I could be for you. When I made frog—I mean, France give you up to me, I didn't think of you as a child. You were property to me-a land full of natural resources I needed to expand my empire. You were right."
Canada swallowed thickly wanting to interrupt and tell him that he wasn't helping his case, but one warning look from France was enough for him to keep his mouth shut.
"But you were a child. You were just a little boy like your brother, but I couldn't see that. When America left it broke my heart and my pride. You were right. I didn't care that you had stayed. I told myself you didn't have a choice, that you relied on me too heavily, and that your population was unstable. You didn't have a choice and I thought that if you did, you would have left too.
"I took you for granted." England's eyes softened and he smiled sadly. "I was so focused on what I lost that I couldn't see what I had. I was so hurt and angry about America leaving that it poisoned the reasoning behind you staying. I diminished it. Maybe you didn't have a choice, but you still fought valiantly alongside me, and you were the one to pick me up again after it was all over." Canada's throat constricted at the memory of England on his knees, sobbing in the mud and rain. America had been long gone and England, alone and curled into himself, had looked so small and fragile. There was no telling how long he had been sitting there. Canada had dropped his musket, fallen to his knees, and pulled England into his arms to cry with him.
"I was a fool, Matthew. I doubt this is what you want to hear, especially after what I've done, but…frog, do I really have to say it?" England's cheeks darkened as he turned a pleading expression onto the nation standing behind him. France's demeanor didn't change.
"Oui, this is long overdue."
England let out a frustrated huff, and green eyes met blue. "I've treated you like dirt, I'm aware of that. Not just as a nation, but as a person, and you deserve so much better than that. I'm not going to lie and say that there are any legitimate reasons or excuses for my behavior in the past, because there aren't any. I didn't appreciate you, I didn't treat you as one should child, and it was true that I favored your brother. At one point I thought you were a devil with all the bad behavior, but I know now that it wasn't your fault. It was my fault for being a terrible brother, for neglecting you, and ripping you away from the only love you knew." England's eyes were completely vulnerable and his lips were pressed into a fine line until he spoke again in a voice that was nearly hoarse,
"Regardless of all that, I…I do love you. You are just as much a part of me as your brother is. I've lived for so sodding long that at times it feels almost cruel. I've hurt so many people, including my own damn brothers, in ways that I can't possibly hope to fix." England took a step towards him and held out his hand. Canada flinched and took another step behind America so that he was peering over his brother's shoulder. "But let me try to fix this. I want to…I don't…I don't want to hurt you anymore. Please. "
Maybe it was the way England said 'please' or the way his eyes were wet and red-rimmed that made Canada's heart swell to the point he feared it was going to burst. Or more than likely, it was the hand. He had seen that hand held out to America so many times in his childhood. It was the hand that always took. It took him from the love of France, took the love of his twin, and looking at it now, so many centuries later, Matthew didn't want to take it.
With tears burning his eyes, he stepped out from behind America and brushed by it, instead flinging himself into England's arms. He heard the smaller nation gasp as Canada buried his face in England's shoulder and let his exhaustion overtake him. He wasn't sure if he was crying or not, but all that mattered was the solid warmth he was clinging onto. England's arms wrapped around him in return. "I'm sorry." England's fingers ran through his hair and his voice was rough in his ear. "Matthew, I'm so sorry. I'll make this right. I promise you."
Canada lifted his eyes from England's shoulder and saw France smiling at them both, dabbing at his eyes with his sleeve. "So beautiful. I need to be part of it!" France flung his arms out and twirled some sort of odd pirouette before latching onto them.
"Group hug!" America shouted, and the three of them were jolted when he joined them. Canada's chest fluttered with what he knew to be happiness. He pressed his cheek against England's shoulder, loving the way France's hair tickled his face.
"I'm just going to go clean up the living room now." Russia shifted from one foot to the other, obviously uncomfortable. He rubbed the back of his head and prepared to leave the room.
"Oh, no you don't!" America lifted an arm from around France's shoulders and latched onto Russia's wrist. "You are joining this love fest on behalf of being my new better half!"
"America, I don't think that's a good—" Before Russia could protest further, America yanked him forwards until he was pressed against France's back and held him there. Although his face was still partially hidden in England's shoulder, Canada couldn't help but laugh when he felt Russia go rigid being so close to him.
Then he felt his feet leave the ground.
England gave a startled squawk, France yelped, and Russia groaned as America quite literally picked them all up and started twirling them around. Canada laughed harder, tears streaming down his face. England and France weren't so much hugging him anymore as they were clinging to him for dear life, while Russia remained painfully stiff. Sometimes Alfred forgot to control his own strength.
"This is like the ending to a perfect movie!" America rotated a final time.
"Yes. Great. Now put us down, git!" England's legs kicked wildly in thin air.
"France's butt is pressed against my vital regions, dorogoy," Russia said as if he were merely informing America of a minor hiccup.
"And I am okay with this!" France said.
"Frog, you better not be!"
"Oh, Angleterre, you are the only one for me."
"France, stop moving!" Russia snapped.
"Francis!" England's shout was comically shrill.
Canada looked at his brother, who had a clueless smile on his face, though his eyes glinted with mischief. This was nice. He, Matthew Williams, was here. He was part of the group. No, he was part of a family. He was here. He was loved.
There was still a long way to go, he knew. It would take a long time before he would be ready to let America go completely, to stop hovering and worrying, and to trust that the love his brother gave him wouldn't fade. He and England had a long journey ahead as well, but he had hope. All would be well, and none of it would have happened if it weren't for the persistence of the least likely nation.
He looked over his shoulder at Russia and smiled in thanks.
"I'm a little nervous." America looked up at him with a shaky smile. His chest rose and fell beneath his Captain America pajamas, and blond hair was splayed across the pillow in a halo. "You know, I've never done this kind of thing before for…obvious reasons."
"Da." Russia laughed breathlessly against the other's lips. They weren't planning on doing this tonight, but then a simple goodnight kiss had a way of evolving into something deeper. "It will be fine. I just want to make you happy."
"I know." America's fingers combed through silver strands, before they tenderly traced lines down Russia's chest. "I trust you with this." America chuckled and pressed a sweet kiss to the corner of Russia's mouth. "At the risk of sounding like a total tool, I love you, and I'm so thankful that it's going to be you."
"Aw." Russia smirked and returned the kiss. "Sweet talk me anymore and I might vomit."
"Mmm, sexy." America laughed and tilted his head up to kiss Russia again. Their mouths opened and Russia carefully let one hand trail down the flat plane of America's stomach. His fingers were ready to slip beneath the hem of those ridiculous pajamas and feel the warmth of that sun-kissed skin.
From the nightstand his phone buzzed and Russia pulled away from the kiss to answer it.
"Do you have to take it?" America let out a tiny whine that sent a tiny shiver up Russia's spine.
"It might be my boss." Russia flipped open his phone and felt humiliation crash down on top of him.
From: Evil Twin
Make sure you use plenty of lubricant. He's a virgin after all.
How the hell did Canada even know? This was a spur of the moment thing! They were acting on passion, dammit!
"Well?" America propped himself on his elbows.
"It's from your brother." Russia turned his phone around so America could see the message. America's face darkened into several shades of red.
"God give me strength." America fell back on the bed, covering his eyes with his hands. "Let's just ignore it." Russia nodded and put his phone back. It wasn't too hard to get back into the mood, but a few moments later his phone buzzed again.
I'm serious. If he walks into the meeting tomorrow with so much as a slight limp, I'm coming for you with a hatchet, and Ivan Junior will see the inside of your throat.
"Give me that." America snatched his phone and sent a message of his own. "There, now let's do this before—"
This time it was America's phone that buzzed and the younger nation let out a frustrated growl. He snatched it off the nightstand and glared at the message. "Really." Blue eyes became hooded with exasperation and he turned the phone around to show Russia.
From: Batshit Bela
Treat big brother with tenderness and love, or I will know. I will know, and I will come for you in the night and cut out your eyes. This can only last for so long. Brother WILL be mine. Remember that!
"Why me?" Russia's stomach lurched unpleasantly and he pushed the phone away. He should consider himself lucky she was this accepting, but he liked America's eyes in their rightful place.
"Hey." America sat up and cupped Russia's face. "We can still do this. Come on, beautiful."
America's landline started to ring and Russia threw his hands in the air. The mood was officially killed. "You know what? For the sake of my penis, your eyes, and the sanity of us both, let's just cuddle."
"Okay." America looked heartbreakingly dejected, and as soon as he said it, the phone stopped ringing. Russia laid down next to the younger nation and curled into his chest, grumpy and unsatisfied.
"Aw, don't be a grouch." America's chin rested on the top of his head and he felt the other's fingers rub gentle circles into his shoulder blades. "Canada's been doing really well. At the rate we're going, you'll be popping my cherry by next year."
"One, that's such a gross way to put it," Russia muttered into Captain America's shield. "Two, you are lucky I love you."
Russia's phone buzzed again. He groaned and rolled away from America's warmth to pick it up again.
I'm going to kill you, fucking commie.
Russia frowned at the number, unable to recognize it. America slid over next to him and squinted at the screen.
"Hey, that's Tony's number!" The younger nation chuckled fondly. "He's such a little rapscallion. Wonder how he got your number though."
Russia calmly closed his phone, set it on the nightstand, and rolled over to look into America's eyes. "You are very lucky I love you."
Pow! Right in the kisser! This bitch is done! YES da;l dfjasf;ldasg hasgkl dhas;lgjasd;lgj. The first multi-chaptered fic I've ever finished on my own! YES! Okay...
Translations (forgive me for any errors):
America calls Russia his bunny. It's cute.
S'il vous plaît ne me forcez pas à - Please don't force me to.
Levez les yeux - Look up.
Anyway, thank you guys so much for sticking with this! It means a lot! I love all your reviews. I read them, and then I feel like I accomplished something!