Okay, so I wrote a story some time ago where America falls to an epidemic and dies. Well, this story starts where that one ends: with a new America. If you haven't read the first one, it's okay; it'll still be easy to understand.
I don't own Hetalia!end/AN/
It wasn't exactly a cheap trip, to come and visit the tree under which America was buried. But England had made the arrangements this year; he couldn't bear the thought of leaving America alone forever.
Canada had felt the same way, and had agreed to meet him there.
It was an eerie place, the almost empty land of free and home of the brave. Canada had brought along his rifle, explaining that the local wildlife had been greatly strengthened by the destruction of the nation.
And now here they stood, by the quiet home of the nation himself. England wasn't the crying type, or so he always told himself, but he found he had to swipe at his eyes as Canada whispered a small prayer.
He hadn't believed in a god for a long time, and the feeling had only been intensified by America's passing. Many nights, he'd sat up with a bottle and cursed and raged at whose ever fault it was that America was gone. Maybe someday, he would be able to come to terms with it; not today, and not tomorrow either, however.
Canada crossed himself, then turned to England. "We should go. We don't want to be out here when it's dark."
There may have been a steady trickle of people coming here to settle, but it was hardly civilized; it looked as though America would have to be reconquered, and the wilderness fought back. England could only imagine what it was like in the heartland.
Canada had claimed chunks of land, and so had Mexico; best not to let it go to waste, since there was no one to manage it. The UN had taken charge of the rest, and there was a settling program going on, for those that could survive without the necessities of a first world country.
It made England sick, honestly; Mexico had been just a little too happy about the extra land for his liking, and he'd nearly decked him. If it hadn't been for France… well, there would be an international incident on their hands.
England turned to go, heart heavy in his chest. He was sure there had never been a darker time for him than the past year.
A cry from Canada, who had already started the short trek to the all-terrain vehicle, caught his attention. "England! Did you see that? I saw someone!"
A straggler, out this far from the coast? A survivor? Could be either. England hiked over to Canada, who was pointing at a clump of bushes. "Now, where did you see them?"
"It was a him, and he was child- we have to find him!" And Canada crashed into the undergrowth, going after the child like he was one of the wounded animals that he helped in his spare time.
England followed, saying, "Be careful; if the child's a survivor of the epidemic, then he could have gone feral."
A scream cut off any further advice from England; Canada was crouched in front of another bush, talking into it. "Hello, I'm Canada. Who are you?"
A snarl came from the bush, and for a moment, England wondered if Canada had cornered an animal instead, and had gone completely nuts. Then, he caught up with him, and looked over his shoulder. "Oh…"
The boy was a deep tan, and his hair was brown and in a scruffy mop on his head. His eyes were coffee-colored, ranging hyperactively between astonished and deathly suspicious. His little teeth were bared like stubby fangs at them, as though he actually expected he could fight them off if necessary.
But there was something special about this boy; he was undeniably a nation, all the way out here from civilization. It was something England could just tell.
"It's all right, we're not here to hurt you." Canada held up his hands placatingly, being careful not to scare the child nation.
England tried to join in, feeling that he could be quite good with children. "Yes, don't be afraid."
The boy, however, continued to snarl, hands cupping something protectively against his chest. He seemed to refuse to use words to express himself, angry and probably scared.
"England, why don't you go get me one of our snacks? I'm sure he'll like it." Canada seemed intent on the boy, and getting him safely with them. He did always like helpless things.
But England couldn't help but notice how low the sun was getting in the sky; it was already a drive back to safety. They couldn't tarry here. Which really left only one option.
"Excuse me," England nudged past Canada, and swooped up the startled boy, saying, "Come on, we'd better get out of here before any of the wild dogs find us; it's a miracle they haven't- Ow! Ow, stoppit, you little bugger!"
The child had dug his teeth into England's shoulder, growling and flailing and twisting every which way. "Grrmmph!"
Fortunately, Canada was quick to pull him off of England, and hold him under his armpits so that he couldn't reach either of them to bite. "Poor kid… just imagine how long he's been out here alone."
England nodded, rubbing the area where he'd been bit. "Well, aren't we lucky we happened upon him, then. Little bugger tried to bite my bloody shoulder off!"
The growling was incessant, as they brought him back to the car. Canada tried, awkwardly, to rock him and calm him down, but it only seemed to agitate him further.
It would have been nice if they had brought a cage with them; as it was, they put him in the back seat and put on the child safety locks. Not that the child seemed to realize, off the bat, that the doors would open if you pulled the latches. No, instead he threw himself against the windows and clawed and kicked the doors.
"At least he's not attacking us…" Canada murmured. He was looking back in concern, probably worried about the lack of a seat belt.
England got the vehicle rolling forward, saying, "Yes, there's that. But what are we going to do with him?"
"Well…" Canada seemed unsure. "Maybe you should take him back to Europe with you. You can get someone to help with raising him-"
"Me? Raise him?" England wasn't too keen on the idea. What would he do with a child like that in his house? For one thing, child proofing would be a nightmare; he hadn't had someone this small in his house in many, many years.
"Why not you? I mean, I'm heavily involved in the rebuilding of my new territories, and I know it's not like you've got nothing but time on your hands, but… I think you did a good enough job with America and me." Canada was determined to get him to accept parenthood once again, apparently.
The snarls were slowly turning to weeping in the back. England glanced back in his mirror, to see the child crumpled on the seat and clutching what appeared to be half a chocolate bar to himself. He was still human, it seemed, and strangely enough, the sight was comforting to England.
"I suppose I could do it. But what will we call him?" There was absolutely no doubt that the child was a he; if he had been older, England might have felt it gross to have a naked person on the backseat.
"Am-" Canada cut himself off. "No, we need a new name. Something that will suit him when you've got him straightened out…"
"New Albion?" England said, a little helplessly. He was a little ashamed of his previous naming of things, or rather, the way he and other imperialists had named colonies. A lot of renaming, with a 'New' put in front. America had taken after that pattern with New Mexico… "I don't know… I almost named you Tuponia, or Anglia."
"Really?" Canada looked a little surprised. He probably knew England had had a list of names, but that didn't mean he remembered any of them. "I kind of like New Albion. But what about Libertia? You know, liberty?"
"Too close to Liberia."
The weeping continued in the back seat, punctuated by the occasional whine.
England said, sarcastically, "How about Feria, for wild or feral? It's Latin, which is all you need for a proper name…"
"Come on, you don't need to make fun of him. Come up with something for real," Canada said, giving him a reproving look.
England strained for memory of any Native American words he knew that could work, even as a placeholder. Jumbles of letters and meanings were coming to his mind, and none of them seemed to suit the savage in the back seat. Suddenly, however, one popped out of his mouth. "Wolakhota. It means peace, in… in, um… Dakota? Lakota? I'm not sure…"
"Okay. We'll stick with that for now, I guess." Canada glanced back, but the child did nothing.
Until he started keening unbelievably loudly.
Canada covered his ears, but England wasn't so fortunate, being the driver. "Get him to be quiet!"
Digging in his pack, Canada looked for a treat, though if the candy bar the kid already had didn't calm him down, it wasn't exactly clear what he was supposed to do. He opened up a pack of jerky, and shoved it back at the child.
He narrowly avoided get his fingers nipped as the child grabbed it with his teeth and retreated to the space partway under the seat.
"Are you sure something that means peace is really the right name?" Canada seemed a little skeptical, as the loud sound of chewing with the mouth open now replaced the even louder sound of keening.
"It'll be peaceful one day. Might as well wish for the best," England said.
The rest of the drive went smoothly, with Canada feeding Wolakhota almost everything in the pack.
It was only when they reached close to the shore and the nearest working airport that things got hairy.
/AN/ If anyone has any interest, I started this forever ago and finally got my computer working again and got it back. Tonight has been a fun writing night as I study! Anyway, Wolakhota is Lakota for peace. And to keen, if you're not aware, means to wail loudly, essentially.