"You know big brother," America gushed, "I'm so happy to be back with you!" He frowned slightly. "Ho's brother was really mean."
"I know he was, love." England pat the child comfortingly on the head. "But you never have to see that brute ever again."
"That's good…" America's brow furrowed slightly. "I can still see Ho though, right?"
England hesitated; he took a small sip of tea from his cup. "…I suppose," he said at last. "But er, America," he added awkwardly, "perhaps you shouldn't call him Ho - "
America pouted. "Why not?! It's cute!"
"Yes but - " England's eyes flickered frantically from side to side as he attempted to suppress his own discomfort. "Why Ho?!"
"Because," America responded, "it's short for Holy Roman Empire! And Holy Roma was already taken, so…"
"…Oh. Well then…" England coughed. He placed his cup down and tugged stiffly on his collar. "I suppose that's alright…er, more tea, love?"
"You betcha!" America beamed widely. "You know how much I love tea!"
"'Betcha' is not a word America," England chastened as he lifted the tea pot. "And of course you love tea - who doesn't."
America frowned. "I bet Ho's big brother doesn't."
"No, that brute loves beer," England scoffed.
"Beer? What's that?" America cocked his head to the side. "Can I try some?"
"Perhaps when your older…" As thoughts of the few instances of which he had had the 'pleasure' of experiencing a drunk America overtook him, England quickly shook his head. "Or not."
The door burst open.
England sat up abruptly, almost dropping the tea pot. "What the bloody - ?"
"Sorry!" Finland stumbled into the room, looking slightly embarrassed by his entrance. "I know I should have knocked first but, er…I just wanted to check that America had eaten his breakfast."
England grit his teeth, clearly unhappy at the interruption to his quality time with his once-again little brother.
"As you can see," he growled, gesturing to the tea and crumpets present on the small table.
"And have you given him a bath?" Finland pressed.
"Yes, this morning."
"And brushed his teeth?"
"And made sure he didn't pee himself?" Finland looked apprehensive. "Because, this one time, Poland said - "
"And I'm sure Poland was completely at fault for that." England narrowed his eyes. "You do realise that I raised him, don't you?"
"Yes," Finland muttered, "and you did such a good job of it."
England stared. "Excuse me?!"
"Nothing, nothing." Finland let out an awkward laugh. "So, uh…why don't I join you for breakfast?" He squeezed himself in between England and America, not even bothering to wait for a response - England let out a series of splutters.
"Aren't you supposed to be spending time with Sweden or something?" the Brit growled, clearly unhappy with this arrangement.
"Huh?" Finland blinked. "Oh, plenty of time for that. I just thought I'd take a quick stroll and…just happened to be passing by this area." He shrugged awkwardly. "Yeah…"
His eyes flickered to America.
"…Are you sure you brushed his - "
"I told you, I bloody raised him once, along with a whole bunch of other cretins!" England banged his fist on the table. "I know how to do this Finland!"
"Which is why I am raising one of the kids you - er, never mind…" Finland let out an awkward cough, rubbing the back of his neck. "Sorry England, it's just becoming a habit."
England snorted and took a long drag of tea. "Yes," he said, his voice slightly mocking, "I'm sure your husband would just love to know about how invested you appear to be in regards to America."
"Su-san is not my husband!" Finland protested. "Why can't anyone understand that?!"
"They're lovers," America said, wisely. Finland shook his head rapidly in denial.
The door of the room banged open (again).
"Bonjour!" France said, barging into the room. "It is I, the master of sexual acts - "
"There's a child present!" Finland squawked, reaching to cover America's ears.
"France, get the hell out of my room," England growled.
"What's a sect-yel act?" America asked, staring blankly.
"…I repeat, France, get the HELL out of my room!"
"I brought wine for you all, oui." France seemed unbothered by the unwelcoming air in the room. His eyes flittered to Finland, and he smiled lightly. "Oh hello Finland - if I'd known there would be company, I would have brought more."
"You are company!" England snarled. "Unwelcome company!"
"Nonsense," France snorted, waving his hand dismissively. "I am family."
He sat himself down on the table, ignoring the murderous glare England was currently shooting him.
England slammed his fist on the table. "You can take your goddamn wine and shove it up your - "
"Does no one understand that there is a child in the room?!" Finland shrieked.
The door opened.
"Oh for gods-sake, what now?!" England wailed.
"It's like, me," Poland said, poking his head into the room. "I like, think I may have like, left my booty-licious iPod in here when I like, last snuck in - "
"It's not here," England said through gritted teeth. "Get out."
"But like, maybe I should like, look around for a bit - "
"No. Get OUT!"
Poland ignored England's furious howl, and wandered into the room. His eyes immediately zeroed in on America.
"You," he hissed.
America responded with an awkward wave.
Poland shuddered, glancing away. "Sitting there like a normal nation, when I like, know the truth…"
The door opened, and England let out a howl of frustration.
"Dammit, why can't you all just leave?!"
"Hey unawesome losers!" Prussia said, strutting into the room. "Have you found the spell yet?!"
"NO!" England shrieked. "Now go away - all of you, GO AWAY!"
America frowned. "Where's Ho?" he questioned (after all, since everyone seemed to be crowding England's small bedroom, didn't it make sense for 'Ho' to be there too?).
Poland paled dramatically. "Like, oh my god!" he wailed. "The demon is like, on his own?!"
"He's with Italy," Finland told him calmly.
"…Like, oh my god, someone call the FBI, or the fire brigade, or the secret police, or something!"
"All we need is my sheer awesomeness," Prussia bragged.
"Then do you like, wan to find the brat?!" Poland snapped..
England fumed silently as he slouched back in his chair.
"So then, Male-Italy - "
"Er, Holy Roma," Italy interrupted. "Are you sure you can't just call me 'Italy'?"
"…Male-Italy - "
Italy sighed loudly.
"…I can't believe no one told me you were a man." Germany shook his head sadly. "I mean, don't get me wrong Male-Italy…I don't blame you, it was probably that jerk Austria's fault."
Italy sighed and leaned back slightly. "It's nice to see you again Holy Roma." Because it was nice, even if he had to put up with being called 'Male-Italy', and even if Holy Roma no longer seemed as big, and powerful and brave as he had when they were children.
"It's nice to see you again too, Male-Italy!" Germany smiled at him. "Even if you don't wear pretty dresses anymore…and even if I can never marry you…"
"Er…sorry?" God, this was awkward…
"Yeah…" Germany beamed widely. "But that doesn't matter, because we're still friends, and that's the important thing! And…and I no longer have to be scared that the monsters will get you!"
Italy blinked. "The monsters?"
"Yes, the monsters under the bed! Remember - they came after Austria and Hungary, and were making all those scary noises - "
Italy sat still, his eyes wide and his cheeks flaming.
" - and Austria, like the sissy he is, kept calling out for Hungary because he wanted her to save him - "
"Yes, okay, I remember!" Italy waved his arms frantically. "You can stop now Holy Roma, I remember."
"So yeah, it's good that that's never going to happen to you, right? And the monsters sound kind of scary, so I don't really want to see them ever…"
"Holy Roma, let's go visit - " Italy stopped, because he'd been about to say 'Austria and Hungary', but he really didn't feel like thinking about them right at this moment.
"…America! You like America, right? And I'm sure he and England are probably bored so we should visit them, si?"
"GET. THE. HELL. AWAY. FROM. MY. ROOM!"
The door slammed in their faces.
"…Maybe they weren't as bored as I thought…" Italy muttered.
To all my readers, I am SO sorry for the MASSIVE wait for this chapter - I honestly don't know what came over me. I have been absolutely swamped with homework, have discovered new obsessions, and have basically been acting like a lazy loser, so I'm going to stop now - and I know that, personally, I HATE when a fic I love just stops being updated out of the blue. So I'm going to attempt to be a better author and actually update this more frequently, and I'll get back to writing for my other fics as well.
Now that this authors-note is done, hopefully my temporary hiatus hasn't cost all my readers, and hopefully you guys still like this fic. Leave a comment and tell me what you think of this chapter :)