From England to Sealand
'Finally, some time to myself!' Peter thought, chest puffed out, 'Those big countries just can't seem to get enough of the Mighty Sealand!'
Peter knew, somewhere in the back of his mind, that there must have been a reason for England to let him stay at Sealand. Normally Peter was never allowed on the base without someone there to supervise him, especially now that he offered tours in the summer. But, to Peter's shock, England had let him stay at his beloved fortress until Tino and Berwald picked him up in the next couple of days.
Truthfully, Peter could tell England wouldn't have let him visit Sealand at all if hadn't been for his pleading. The "Royal Jerk of Jerks" seemed even more stressed than usual, but it was only after the fact that Peter even noticed it.
Yet, even when Peter had stopped to question the shadows on England's face, he was already too deep in fixing up and playing on his sweet, sweet home. The thought reared its ugly head in one last attempt at attention when Peter had finally sat to rest, but the micronation was already hopping atop one of the many railings of the fort before it could settle. It finally blew away in the wind as Peter began to swing his legs and hum a melody the old soldiers had taught him before they, too, had left.
To Peter's strong bitterness, that was the thought that stuck in his mind and with it came the face of his ex-older brother. Peter would never forget that it was England who had left him first.
The young micronation sighed and tilted his face to the sky; such memories like that would drive him insane. 'Besides,' Peter snorted, 'even if the Jerk hadn't left, he still wouldn't take me seriously.'
Yes, even though his soul was tethered to this old war fort, Peter was adamant that it made no difference to his Nation status. Whether it was steal and metal or rock and soil had no bearing on how strong it could be - in fact, it should make him stronger! None of the others were awesome enough to be made of the strongest metals on Earth!
Peter released his grip on the railing he still sat on to through his arms in the air with a hearty, "Whoop!" And then promptly fell backwards.
A sudden chill had washed over Peter's entire body, the cold washing his concentration and balance away in an instance. Luckily he fell back towards the fortress, but instead of landing on the floor, Peter's knees had held and his entire upper body went smashing into the railing he had just been sitting on.
With a painful throbbing that from from the base of his spine to the top of his head, Peter couldn't hear the sound of another person climbing the ladder up towards the main fort.
While rubbing the back of his head, Peter finally took in the sound of a running boat down below and the soft clicks of someone walking around the fort. But, no matter how much he wished to turn around to look for this person, to stop staring at the sea, Peter could not move.
There was something wrong here.
The ungodly chill settled deep in his bones and gripped him still, as if some basic part of him knew to keep quiet. He could remember the days where England had told him about older countries, something about leaving a presence behind. Yet, even with the knowledge practically branded into his mind, Peter could not recall the information. So, instead, he worked to get his movement back and promised himself to talk about this with Tino or Berwald later; but right now, he had to protect his home. From... something.
However, after he was able to bring warmth back into his bones, what Peter got wasn't some scary winter monster. It was just a lady.
She stood at the other end of the railing, her profile the only thing he could see. Even still, Peter thought she was pretty, a little too pretty to be visiting an old World War II fortress. 'Maybe she's a rich tourist?' he thought. 'They sometimes try and bribe people to take them out here after the summer is over.'
Peter hopped down from his perch, his landing unnaturally quiet on the metal grating. The micronation crept forward, hands clasped behind his back, hoping to get a closer look at the pretty tourist woman. But as Peter got closer, his steps still muffled, he could see that she reminded him of the pretty man that sometimes bothered England at the World Conference.
Then she turned and Peter's eyes went wide. He knew of Nations looking like each other sometimes - Peter had met the Italy brothers once before - but he was quite sure Nations weren't suppose to look like a mix of them.
She was still very pretty with her long sunny hair, pale skin, and light blue dress. Her white sandals were on the lowest rail, her upper body propped up by her arms as she leaned out above the water. But, even as the wind picked up and her grip tightened on the rail, she didn't look away. No, she let Peter stare up at her like a painting he had been told to never touch.
She smiled, the corners of her eyes crinkling, and that only set Peter off again. They looked blue and kind of like a purplish color, but also like a greenish color too - but not? Peter gaped at her, sure in the fact that he had to be sleeping. Of course he knew about the Legend of the Eyes - it was always a fun story to tell the other micronations even if the title was a bit hyped - but Peter had never seen eyes that changed color like this.
As he continued to stare, he wondered if even old man China had seen eyes like this. Peter was only snapped out of his reverie when the woman climbed down from the railing and giggled at his, most likely, stupidly shocked face. Cheeks burning, Peter ducked his head into his chest to give him a few seconds to gather himself back up, but when he looked back up, she was gone.
Peter was again left stunned and shocked as the lady was no longer there. It was only a few seconds later that he heard the revving of an engine and the humming it created, slowly getting farther and farther away. Shaking his head, Peter tried to convinced himself that this was why Berwald and Tino - heck, even England - told him to never go anywhere by himself.
He'll start seeing and hearing things.
Peter was crying, but at what he couldn't remember. All that he could remember right now were the tears, the pain, the smell of smoke. He was curled up on a soft bed and though his eyesight was blurred, Peter could make out the engraving on the headboard - England's headboard. Of course, he was England's bedroom.
Yet, even with adrenaline burning a hole into his stomach and veins, Peter simply could not move. All he could do was weep into the worn comforter and wait until someone came to get him. Names and faces flashed behind his tightly closed eyes, but all of that vanished the moment he heard the door open.
As much as he wanted to call out and demand who they were, only a thin wisp of a whimper was able to pass his lips. A cool hand was placed on his forehead and a woman's voice said, "Oh, my dear, don't fret."
Urging himself to at least open one eye, Peter slowly blinked his left eye open and a hazy form dressed in red was all that he could see. The woman giggled and whispered, "Don't tell mean old Arthur that I'm hear, will you? He's not suppose to know."
All Peter could do was nod and the woman hummed happily before sitting down next to him, somehow moving his head to her lap without even a twinge of pain. She began to run her fingers through his hair and said, "One day, I know you'll grow up and become even more powerful than the British Empire. And when you do, I want to sing you a very special song."
Her voice was soothing to his ears and, by some magic or luck or sheer will, he found himself asking, "Do you promise? That I'll get stronger? To sing me a song?"
"I promise," she told him. Red was the last thing he saw, her voice the last thing he heard, and her lips against his forehead the last thing he felt before he relaxed into sleep.
Madeline was currently on her flight to her next destination. As she looked out of the window she couldn't help but smile fondly at the recent memories of her younger step-brother.
She hadn't expect Peter to have been there. She knew from Alfred that Arthur, along with both Sweden and Finland, would never have allowed Peter to go out on his own, let alone go back to Sealand at all. Madeline had always wondered why, but neither of the New World siblings knew; that was just how it was. And even though she knew it was a little risky, Madeline had to see Peter herself. He was still young - not even a century old! - and all the younger micronations were prone to forget things easily.
'Besides,' Madeline thought, sadness dimming the sparkle in her eyes, 'it's not like I was there for much of his life anyway. I'm sure he couldn't recognize me even if he tried.'
This is how she spent her last day in England, the thoughts of Peter never leaving her mind. She was quite aware that most of her fellow Nations thought Peter was just an annoying little kid, so she wanted to see the compound for herself. And while Peter kept her company for her remaining day, seeing him once again brought back memories of her own days as Arthur's colony.
And as Madeline's eyes slowly drifted shut for her next plane ride, she started to dream of those times when she would hide in the rose bushes, just looking at the clouds, while trying not to fall asleep in the suns' warmth. She smiled and thought, 'I guess some things never really change.'
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