"Oh bloody hell, this is my universe..." England muttered, from the chair he had collapsed in. Prussia and France gave him a look of disbelief, while Spain merely looked between his friends and England confused.
"I thought you said you didn't 'ave a universe? Zat Italie rescued you from ze end of yours?" France asked, looking disapprovingly at England. The Brit fidgeted uncomfortably in his seat, looking at the floor.
"... I lied." He admitted after intense staring at him. "... It's just that unlike with you guys, I had absolutely no reason to want to leave, OK? I didn't want to look selfish, so... I lied." He bit his lip and looked away, frowning.
The three stared at him in disbelief, before Prussia slapped him on the back.
"I alvays knew you'd be a laugh!" She said, adding on her signature laughter on afterwards. France started snickering too and before England realised it, everyone in the room had started laughing at him.
He turned a bright red colour, almost as red as his coat, shoving Prussia violently.
"Sh-Shut up! It's not that funny!" He tried to snap, though his voice came out more like a whine, much to his frustration.
It made the Bad Touch Trio laugh even harder. It was times like this, that he wished he could take British America with him. He knew he couldn't, since she was still only a child; but if he had her by his side, he'd at least know one person wouldn't laugh at him...
Well, that's assuming she didn't end up like America. Loud and Obnoxious.
After the laughter died down, France spoke.
"Tell me Angleterre, if you didn't 'ave any reason to leave in ze first place, why leave?" He asked curiously. England sighed deeply, before answering.
"... I missed my glory days... I missed being a big brother... I missed fighting nations without having to worry about the consequences..." He admitted the last one guiltily, thinking about the two world wars.
"... And I was fed up with being tied down to a political life. Nothing gets done, everyone lies through their teeth and it's all paperwork. I mean, I don't mind doing paperwork or leading a life riddled with meetings and sessions, but it'd be a flat out lie to say I enjoyed it! I just wanted to have some fun for once! ... Besides, everyone hates me here, so I saw no reason to stay in the first place."
"Kesesese~, my Iggy thought similar." Prussia commented, unable to stop the occasional snicker.
"Oui, I find zis unsurprising." France agreed.
England pouted and muttered "Don't call me Iggy gits." The others just grinned at him in amusement, making him even more annoyed.
"Let's just get out of here before they discover us." England finally said, his hand pointing at the gadget Prussia was holding.
Prussia looked at the ceiling in thought, before shaking her head.
"Nah, I vould very much like to see ze version of me in zis universe!"
"Prussia!" England snapped, almost immediately.
"OK, OK, no need to get in a huff! Or as you would say, no need to get your panties in a twist~" Prussia continued teasing.
"Ah, he's almost as red as Romano now!" Spain noticed, patting England's head, like a child.
"Spain, I'm not a kid!" England continued annoyed, pushing the Spaniards hand off his head. "And stop ruffling my hair, it's already bad enough as it is!"
This made France ruffle it as well. The Brit sent him a death glare.
"Prussia, in your own time!" He said, stuffing his gloved hands into his pockets, having finally gotten France and Spain to stop ruffling his hair.
"... Oh scheisse." She said after a moment, her hand whacking the instrument several times. "... Ah... I forgot to tell you guys to charge up last night, didn't I?" She asked, shaking it violently.
"Don't tell us ze battery's flat, again?" France asked, however, he didn't really mean it, if the smirk on his face at seeing England's expression, which just screamed "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" had anything to say about it.
England immediately snatched it from Prussia, pressing the home button hurriedly. "Oh, this is just..." He started, a string of curses following.
"Doesn't it take six hours for it to recharge by itself? Sometimes longer, depending on the universe?" Spain piped up, looking over England's shoulder.
He scowled at the only brown-haired man in the room, making Spain smile, not really noticing how England's glare intensified.
"Ah, I'm sure it's not so bad England. You could catch up with your universe, see vat zey've been up to with out ya!" Prussia tried comforting, patting him on the back, hard enough to make him cough.
"As if I wouldn't know! Probably threw a party the moment they found out I'd disappeared, then forgot about me ten seconds later!... I really don't need that being shoved in my face."
"Ah, so mon petit lapin zinks no one cares about you?"
"I never said that! Besides... it's true..." He muttered, his glare now set on France. France backed away nervously, but continued smirking anyway.
"But it wouldn't kill you to just do a small check-up, in case they need help anywhere, si?" Spain asked, smiling warmly at the brit.
England was about to say no, but suddenly found that the Bad Touch Trio were all wearing a kicked puppy expression.
England frowned and hesitated before speaking, guilt shaking through his whole body. He shouldn't feel like this! He hadn't even kicked a puppy, so why did he feel guilty?
"... Fine, I'll consider it. But I'd be doing it for your sakes, not theirs!" England decided, still a lovely tomato red.
"Hey France, take your camera out, I vant to take a picture of England! His cheek's colours are identical to his coat's colour!" Prussia half-asked, half-demanded, waving France over.
"Do that and die." England hissed, but Prussia merely tusked, as France handed her his phone, asking for copies later.
"Now, that vouldn't be very gentlemanly of you, vould it Sir Britain?" She asked, smirking at seeing how England knew this. He folded his arms and looked away, hiding his red face from the camera.
"Aww, c'mon Iggy, let me see your cute, little face!" Prussia cooed, her compliment making sure he'd stay that lovely red colour. Prussia nodded at both France and Spain, who without hesitation grabbed England and turned him around.
He blinked in surprise, unable to move momentairily, as the camera took several wonderful pictures of him.
Once he got out of his shock, he immediately started struggling, but both Spain and France decided that holding him in place was a lot more fun than releasing him and refused to let him go.
Prussia switched to film-mode, realizing how this would probably feed Hungary's (and admittedly her own) yaoi obsession back home and would also make the near perfect blackmail material later.
England growled in annoyance and kicked France in the shin. The French man let go and England turned to Spain, completely ready to let hell rain down on the poor Spaniard.
So Spain did the first thing he could think of. He dove in before England had the chance to attack and tickled him like mad.
He was just incredibly lucky that England happened to become very ticklish shortly after landing in a different universe.
England immediately fell to the ground, trying hopelessly to push Spain off, but failing badly, laughing too much to do anything at all. France joined in and Prussia soon found that she'd be receiving a lot of money for this clip, if Hungary wanted to ever watch this.
England started laughing uncontrollably and France and Spain started wearing dark expressions, grinning evilly and tickling more and more everytime England begged them to stop.
But the fun was brought to an immediate halt when they heard voices.
"Wait... Do you hear that?"
"That... Raughter... Is it me or does it sound a bit rike..."
"... Let's go check it out."
There was a pause, as the four looked at the door in horror, hearing footsteps approaching them. They were frozen in place, unsure of what to do.
England was the first to snap out of his stupor.
"Hide!" He whispered harshly, pointing at a bookcase in the corner of the room. The three stared at him dumbly and he roled his eyes in exasperation.
He pushed them behind it, the trio discovering that the bookcase hid a large hollow space behind it.
"If I needed to get away from the others, I hid here." England hurriedly explained, closing the book case behind them, leaving only a gap for them to peak out of.
Darkness engulfed them, as they looked for the nations heading over.
"France, stop groping me."
"Sorry, I could not resist, vhat vith being in ze dark with you trois-"
"Can it frog."
"Yeah, I vant to hear what's going on."
"Oh, I see them!"
And indeed, three nations entered the room, looking around.
"Huh, I could have sworn I heard something..." Canada said, not that anyone saw or heard him.
"No one's here America." Japan said, entering too. "It must have been our imagination."
"... Yeah, I totally knew that." America replied. England sighed in annoyance, not failing to notice how Spain, Prussia and France were comparing America, Japan and (if they saw him) Canada with the ones from their own universes.
Prussia was drooling and mumbling something about loving genderswapped universes quietly. France had become quiet, seeming happy to see them (the universe he was "rescued" from was one, where everyone was either dead or hated him... A lot.)
Spain was likewise quite happy to see them. His universe had been ending rapidly, or at least, Earth was. A deadly disease broke out and was slowly killing all nations. The three they saw were one of the first to die.
"Prussia, you're drooling on my head." England commented annoyed, making Prussia blush and wipe it away.
"I vas not. Awesome people don't drool." She whispered back.
However, France and Spain watched in alarm, as the three non-European nations straightened up and listened. No way had they heard them! Right?
They tried getting the attention of the other two, but they had started a banter battle in quietness.
"If you weren't drooling, then I'm a flying pig." England replied.
"Ha, I knew you vere one!"
"Wha-? No, you did not just call me a pig!"
"Oh come on, you eat like a pig, act like a pig-"
"Excuse me, I do not eat like one!"
"Hallo? You eat stuff no one else vill eat, you are totally like one!"
"Are you insulting my cooking?"
"Zat you came up with by yourself."
"Guys, shut up..." France whispered quietly.
"Japan, please tell me you heard that?" America quietly pleaded to Japan. This finally got Prussia and England to stop squabbling long enough to look at the three nations outside the book case in horror.
"Yes. I am sure I heard something."
"No way was that our imagination!" Canada commented, but was unfortunately ignored by America and Japan. Again.
The four backed away from the gap, hiding in the dark corners as best they could. America was heading to the bookcase, pretty sure he had seen something move behind it.
Prussia pushed England forwards slightly, as if to say "It looks like we're gonna get caught. Just go out there and admit you're here! It'll stop them discovering us!"
He glared at her, but paled when he realised that America could see his bright red coat from the gap he had been busy looking out.
"Hey, America, rook at this!" Japan suddenly said, distracting America. England quickly hid in the shadows again, so that when America looked back, he could no longer see red.
The American blinked, deciding it must have been his imagination. He turned to see what Japan had discovered.
"... Where did that come from?" America asked, pulling out a burger from his coat and stuffing it into his mouth.
"I do not know. But maybe someone has been here. I mean, no one just reaves something rike this in a room for decoration, right?" Japan asked, examining the thing he had discovered.
"... Japan, don't ya think this is the kinda thing Iggy woulda owned?" England resisted the strong urge to jump out and correct America's grammar and tell him that his name was England, not Iggy.
"Actuarry America, I agree. It's a very nice pocketwatch... We should place it in the lost and found." Japan said, holding it out.
England paled. He felt his coat pockets, then trouser pockets, discovering that something very special was missing. His pocketwatch.
He must have dropped it when Spain and France... "attacked" him.
Japan accidentally opened it, and England paled further.
"England, you look like a ghost, vhat's ze matter?" Prussia asked.
England turned to them and quietly whispered "I keep a photo of British America and myself in there!" The other three then understood why England had paled.
"... Er... Wai-... Huh?" America asked, the other two (Japan and Canada) just as confused.
"Amerika, Japan, Kanada, da seid ihr*! Vhere have you been? Ze vorld meeting vas supposed to begin ten minutes ago!"
"Ve~ Germany, what do you mean? Who's Canada..."
"Hello. I'm Canada."
"Ah, ve~ Hello Canada! Where did you come from?"
"Vell? Vhere have you been?"
"We found this Germany-san."
"Vhat is... Vhat is zat?"
"What 'ave they found Allemagne?" France of England's universe asked, entering the room, accompanied by Prussia, China and Russia.
Soon, the whole ex-axis and ex-allies (plus Prussia and Canada) had gathered in the room and England was silently hitting his head against the book case, wishing that Japan had never found the blasted pocketwatch.
France and Spain were comparing the nations they saw with the ones they knew and Prussia... She was thinking about how awesome her male self looked.
Spain looked up and asked England curiously "Why do you even keep a photo in your pocketwatch?"
"... British America insisted I keep a photo of her and I with me and a locket's too girly so..." England whispered in reply, turning red again. Prussia quickly snapped another photo, much to his annoyance.
"Ever heard of a wallet?" France deadpanned, frowning at England. "Or a phone? A lot of people use phones nowadays."
"I prefer something with class. Besides, wallets and phones are bound to get lost."
"And pocketwatches aren't?"
"So why do they 'ave it and not you?"
"Stop deadpanning me and just listen!"
"Where did you get that photo aru?" China asked, holding the photo out to look at it carefully.
"We found it in here. It was just lying on the floor..." America explained. Male Prussia popped the photo out.
"Vat are you doing?" Germany asked.
"I'm checking for a date and place. I mean, if this photo iz authentic, vhich I doubt, zen it might have some information on ze back."
America came over and helped examine the photo.
"It says it's a picture of... England and British America? Year, 2010?" America asked confused, the others leaning over.
"Vat a strange photo."
"Where did a picture like that come from? And why the heck is that girl even called British America?"
"Calm down America-san. This may be a crue to what happened to Engrand." Japan explained calmly.
"I agree with Japan, aru. You need to calm down America.
"Zis proves zat he is alive somewhere, oui?"
"Hai, it does... Or at reast, it proves that he went somewhere."
"I wonder how zat got 'ere?" The other France asked. Female Prussia, France and Spain all gave England a pointed look, as the nations broke out into a discussion on England, worry and hope laced in their voices.
He squirmed and looked away. "So maybe they do care and I thought wrongly of them..." He muttered quietly, blushing lightly.
Female Prussia quickly took another photo, much to England's annoyance.
"Hey guys, did you hear that?" Russia asked, quietening everyone down, from their excited chatter.
"What aru?" China asked.
"I think I heard something, or better said, someone, da?" Russia continued. Everyone looked at him confused, having not heard the hushed whisper from behind the bookcase. Russia, however, had heard them, since he had been standing next to the thing.
"I thought I heard something from there earlier!" America agreed, rushing over. England soon found himself pushed forwards, so that if they were discovered, he'd be the first seen.
He turned to glare at the three, who in reply shrugged.
"Are you sure you heard something? It might have been your imagination." Germany asked, inspecting the area voices were supposed to have come from.
"Da. I am sure. And I don't think it's been coming from the bookcase, but from behind it." Russia added, pointing at it.
The nations quietened as they moved over to examine the bookcase. Some even leaned against it to listen.
England soon realised his breath was far shallower than he would have liked and tried to force himself to breathe calmer and even, but only ended up breathing louder and faster than before.
"... Ve~, I think I can here someone breathing!" Italy commented, the others agreeing.
England cursed his stroke of bad luck and turned to look at the others. They were busy throwing a sheet from France's stylish manbag over themselves, so that they would be less noticeable.
England glared at female Prussia, silently asking "Why can't I hide with you?" She shrugged and hid herself away.
"Hey, the case slides aru!" China said, moving it gently. England subconciously took a few steps back, glad that the floor beneath him was made of stone, rather than wood and that his shoes were quiet.
But sadly, even trying to hide in the dark, by pressing his form to the wall, the light still found him.
He slowly sank to his knees, wishing that he was invisible, and looked up nervously and expectantly. The door opened and everyone gasped, seeing England, who looked away with his face turning scarlet. They didn't even notice the suspicious pile in the corner, covered in a white sheet.
An awkward silence settled, England not daring to look at their faces. It didn't matter which emotion they portrayed, it would be painful for him either way.
"Eng... Engrand?" Someone asked hesitantly. England flinched as his name was said. He nervously looked up with an awkward smile and for reasons beyond him, it made everyone gasp or take a step back.
He quickly looked away, his hands now fingering the guns strapped to his waist. Ah, it was that much simpler in other universes; just shoot them and then run for it, without worrying about the consequences... But this was the one he originated from...
He couldn't do that to them.
"Why?" America asked this time, having finally found exactly what he wanted to ask, what had confused him most.
"... Why what?" England asked after a pause, still slumped on the ground, not daring to face his fellow nations.
"Why did you hide from us?" England didn't reply, slowly getting off the floor. Everyone suddenly broke out into questions and demands, startling the poor brit.
He could have sworn he heard some soft snickering from his supposed friends in the corner. Great, abandon me at a time like this.
He swore he'd get revenge later. But right now, he had to deal with another problem.
"Look, I'm sorry I just suddenly vanished on you, OK! Now if you will all just shut up; you're doing my head in!" He snapped after a few moments of consistent questions.
He had failed to realise that the demands and questions had turned into worries about how he was and whether he was OK.
They looked at him expectantly.
"Engrand... I'm glad you're back... But what happened to you?"
England frowned and fidgeted slightly again. He looked at them uncomfortably and opened his mouth to explain himself. However, before he could even utter a word, there was a flash of light and England (along with the unnoticed, suspicious lump behind him) vanished. Again.
England's universe "of origin" didn't get to find out what happened to England.
"Hey England, in your universe, it only takes fifteen minutes for the Universe-Hopper to recharge!" Prussia announced happily. England looked blankly at her, as he looked around himself.
Where... Oh yes. He was in his home. The new one that is, not the one located in the universe he originated from.
Silently, England nodded in agreement, before letting out a deep sigh of relief. It was a one-time thing. He would never see his own universe again. No dealing with consequences. Just a lot of fun awaited him in the near future.
No worries, no tie-downs, no stress.
"England! You're back!" A little girl called out. England turned around on his heel, just in time to catch British America, who slung her little child arms around his necks, while having the biggest smile you'd ever seen on her face.
Ukraine entered shortly afterwards, accompanied by other children nations, some running up to the four that had recently returned. Prussia picked up her adopted younger brother "Rheinbund" or, in English "Conferderation of the Rhine", while France and Spain were simply swamped by children nations who had been treated badly or neglected.
England held British America in his arms, smiling at his (adopted) younger sister.
Yes. Barely any responsibilites. No consequences. Just fun, fun, fun and joy.
He breathed out deeply, still unaware that you could never run away from consequences forever.
"America, I've been studying Engrand's pocketwatch... It doesn't originate from our universe."
"What are you saying?"
"There's a murtiverse out there. And England is located somewhere within it."
*Amerika, Japan, Kanada, da seid ihr! = America, Japan, Canada, there you are!
I have no idea how I even came up with this or where I went with it. For now a One-Shot, for everyone to share and enjoy. :D Do feel free to base stories on this. :P
Note from older Author (no joke): I felt awkward about posting this, so I didn't and forgot about it, until now. It's a little over a year old now and when I found this One-Shot in my folders, I thought, "if I haven't had the heart to delete this yet, then I may as well publish it". So I did. I hope you enjoyed it. The above applies.