"Get that damn red coat!" an American soldier shouted out.
A group of soldiers had formed a circle around who they thought was just another red coat. They beat the red coat without mercy. Rain poured down heavily on them.
The red coat fell to the ground. The physical pain that these soldiers inflected upon him was nothing compared to the pain that he felt inside. The Revolutionary War was over and America had achieved what he wanted, independence.
"I just wanted to see him...one more time..." the red coat thought helplessly, before at last letting out a scream as someone kicked him hard in the pit of his stomach.
The American soldiers around him were relishing the moment, delighting in beating the red coat to a pulp.
"Enough!" someone behind the group shouted.
The soldiers stopped, but one of them sneaked in a last kick. The red coat was face down in the mud, his body beginning to bruise.
The man who had chastised the soldiers came forward.
"I'll handle it from here. You all go home and leave the red coats alone. They know now not to mess with us and are leaving."
"But-," one of the soldiers started.
The group rushed off. The man bent down to the level of the red coat.
"You alright, England?"
The red coat managed to lift his head up from the mud. He narrowed his eyes at the young man in front of him.
"What do you think, you git?" he hissed. "Stupid America!"
America held out his hand to help his fellow country get up. England swatted his hand away and grabbed at a musket near him. He held the gun in front of him, aiming it at America. America held his ground, refusing to move, and watching every move that his former ruler was making.
"What's the use?" England said, throwing the musket away. "You know that I can't shoot you!"
America smiled gently at the Englishman.
"Come on. Let's get you cleaned up so that you can return home."
Before asking for his consent, America bent down and picked up his foe.
"What are you doing!"
"Taking you back to my house."
America began to make his way to his destination, all the while ignoring the insults and inquiries being spat out at him by England.
Once at his house, American entered. He walked through the vast house, before finally reaching a room with an empty wooden bathtub. He place England near the tub..
"I'll go get you some hot water," he told him. "I'll be back soon."
"America," England called after him as America left the room.
"I won't be long, Arthur," America addressed England by his other name. "I promise."
"Arthur! Come back here, Alfred! No one calls me Arthur. You hear me, you bloody idiot!" Arthur shouted.
He sighed and attempted to undress himself. However, the process of doing so only caused him to ache even more from his wounds. England slumped down, waiting for Alfred to come back.
After a while, Alfred did return. In his hands, he dragged in buckets of hot water that he had heated up over a fire. America unloaded his burden into the tub and soon enough the tub was filled with water, a thick layer of steam levitating over the tub.
"There you go," he announced, looking back at Arthur.
He waited for England to go into the tub.
"What's the matter?" Alfred asked, after realizing that Arthur was not getting into the tub.
Arthur waited for Alfred to figure it out.
"Hmm?" America continued.
"I can't get out of my clothes, idiot!" Arthur clarified for him. "It hurts me."
Alfred bent down and began to help Arthur undress. Once the Englishman was undressed, the younger of the two men helped him into the tub. Alfred began to clean Arthur. Upon cleaning him, Alfred noticed the various wounds that Arthur had acquired over the past few years, fighting in the Revolutionary War.
"Did they do this to you?" Alfred asked, gently touching a fresh bruise on Arthur's arm.
Arthur quickly withdrew his arm from Alfred's grasp. He turned away from America.
"It's nothing," Arthur replied, clearly lying.
"Arthur, tell me," America begged. "Please, England."
"It's Mr. England to you," he retorted, starting to scrub himself, causing himself even more pain by cleaning his body.
England winced as he did so. America remained in the room, watching his enemy, the one who he had once looked up to. Arthur could feel Alfred's eyes on him.
"What are you still doing here?" Arthur snapped. "Let me bathe in peace. Or do you want to make sure that I do not escape before you chain me up and throw me into a prison? Then, you can celebrate your independence in peace, right, and not have to worry about me anymore?"
"What?" Alfred said. "Why would I do such a thing?"
"Oh right. You're too stupid to do something like that," England remembered. "But still, why are you here? Shouldn't you be out celebrating, Hero? You've won. It's over."
"It's not over, at least not between us, Arthur. You know that better than me," Alfred replied in all seriousness. "I did not want to do it, you know. I just-"
"You just what!" England whipped around, splashing some of the bath water onto America. "What the bloody hell did you hope to gain from this! You're such an idiot! Why couldn't you have listened to me a little longer? Everything I've done was for you and you have thrown that all away now!"
Alfred cringed. He had never seen Arthur this angry before.
"I wanted to be equal to you! I wanted to have the power that you have!" Alfred spoke up. "I am no longer a child, nor your younger brother, anymore. I am independent of you! Besides, you brought this upon yourself. The whole tea tax and Stamp Act didn't exactly help matters!"
Arthur was taken back by what America was telling him. Lately, his former younger brother had been acting unusually serious and more determined than normal.
A moment later, America grabbed England's golden locks on the top of his head and shoved England under the water to clean his hair. England felt America's grasp on his hair release after a few seconds and England popped his head out of the water.
"Bloody hell! You really are trying to kill me!" he shouted at America.
Alfred shook his head and got up from his position near the bath tub and went to the door.
"I'll go see if I can find some clothes for you. You are welcome to stay the night. Although, I can't see where else you would stay, since it's not safe for you outside right now. My citizens will kill you without a thought," America said, before leaving the room.
England took in his warning. He wondered why America was being so kind to him and warning him. One would think that he would care less about what happened to his enemy, but not America. England smiled to himself. America could be a true gentleman sometimes.
Minutes later, America returned, night clothes in his hands and a cloth which he could use to dry England off with. He then helped England out of the tub and dried him off. Arthur grabbed the night clothes and put them on.
Arthur took some steps forward and then fell. His legs were unable to hold him.
"Wow. Someone can't walk," Alfred observed. "And you're not even drunk."
"Shut up!" England retorted.
"You're still mad at me, even though I helped you?"
American bent down and picked England up again, this time cradling his fellow country in his arms. He began to walk, making his way to another room in the house.
"What do you think?" England said rhetorically.
"That I could use something to eat," America replied, off topic.
England looked up at America.
"Of course. You would be thinking of food at a time like this. One of these days, you are going to become a total glutton."
"It's not my fault that the portions that you fed me were not enough to satisfy me."
America stopped in front of a door, before opening it up. Arthur recognized the room as that of Alfred's bedroom. Alfred carefully placed Arthur down on the bed.
Arthur took a look around the room. He noticed that the handmade wooden soldiers that he had made when America was a child sat on a dresser in the room.
"You still have that old thing?"
England was surprised, but delighted to see that the toys were still there. Alfred looked over at the toys.
"They were well made, is all. Don't think that this means that I want to be under your rule again," Alfred clarified.
He walked back towards the door.
"Wait," England called after him. "Don't leave me."
Alfred looked back at him, confused.
"Please, don't leave me. Don't ever leave me."
America walked back into the room, closing the door behind him. He sat down on the bed. England crawled over to America.
Alfred gazed at Arthur. Arthur appeared to be so desperate. It was then that America realized something.
"You are afraid of being alone, aren't you? You want to have a family to keep you from being alone," Alfred figured out.
"Don't be absurd. I can make it out there by myself. I have done it before," England said, although he did not convince America.
"Sure, you can," America replied sarcastically.
"You want to know the truth, then?"
England could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He had to do it now, before it was too late. He sat up and circled his arms around America's neck. America was surprised by this action. The next thing that America knew, he felt England's warm lips press firmly against his. Nothing had prepared either of them for this.
America closed his eyes, savoring the moment. England's eyes too were closed as he attempted to make this moment last as long as possible.
Finally, the kiss broke. England ran a hand through America's tresses.
"We could be great, you know. You and me, me and you," Arthur put forth this option one last time. "We are no longer siblings, so it would be alright."
America shook his head.
"I am independent and I wish to remain so." He took Arthur's hands out of his hair. "But that doesn't mean that we can't be allies, one day."
He stood up and made his way out of the room.
"Sweet dreams, Arthur," the young man wished, before exiting the room, leaving his enemy in the cold darkness.
England breathed heavily. His troops were managing somehow, but they would need a miracle to win this war. Suddenly he heard cheering from his soldiers. He turned to see soldiers in American uniforms coming on to the battlefield. Behind them, he saw Him.
The man walked over to England, his blue eyes glistening with determination.
"What are you doing here?" England asked the man.
"Keeping a promise. I did say that we could be allies one day," America smiled at England.
England smiled back at him.
"Indeed you did."
"Now then, let's defeat these idiots as quick as possible. After all, I have a hamburger and some cola waiting for me after this," America decided.
England laughed and the two of them took each others' hands and joined the battle.