The 'Hug'

Chapter 10

Ivan came out of his musings, noticing Toris and Arthur muttering lowly to each other. Walking stealthily over to the eastern European, he surprised him as he yet again placed on hand on the other man's shoulder. Toris stiffened noticeably, Arthur worried that the other man would need to share a room with Alfred if Ivan kept giving him such bad scares.

"Vell, ve had better be going now, da?" Ivan said, Toris looking as though he would rather not leave with Ivan if he could avoid it. "The vodka vill be good for him. Alcohol kills all germs, does it not?" Ivan said with a smile, Arthur blanching as he tried to politely respond.

"I'm not entirely sure that's how the alcohol is meant to help, Ivan, but it is appreciated all the same." Arthur said, his sarcasm leaking through. But Ivan seemed to overlook that as he smiled again. "Either way, have a good day Britain." Ivan said, walking toward the door, with Toris. "Best of health to Amerika" Ivan said before the two of them walked out into the hallway, leaving Arthur to let out a sigh of relief that one awkward situation had taken care of itself. He only had to worry about how Ivan would chose to deal with the information he'd learned about his rival, dreading the idea of any more visits that he'd have to make himself sociable for to handle. He did wonder if Ivan came simply to see if Alfred was at death's door though, or possibly because the other man considered it the decent thing to do. He sat back down heavily in the chair, rewarded for his dealing with Russia and Lithuania by seeing Francis and Matthew walk back into the room a few minutes later.

"Arthur, did we see Ivan and Toris getting into ze elevator?" Francis asked as he stood beside Matthew, encouraging the North Americans to take a seat. Matthew's eyes were a little red, a sure sign that he'd broken down in Francis' company about what had been said.

"Yes. He apparently 'persuaded' China to tell him where Alfred was and decided to bring Toris along for some reason – probably because he knows Toris has some medical expertise and might have provided him with additional information." Arthur said with a roll of his eyes. "He brought him a bottle of vodka too. But he was mostly quiet; just kept staring at Alfred as though lost in thought. But that's Ivan…"Arthur said with a shiver.

"Is there something wrong with the scar from the War of 1812?" Matthew interjected, apparently unable to keep putting this conversation off. "I mean, we just had a bunch of bicentennial celebrations to honor the 200 years of peace between us. Alfred and I went to a big celebration at his Fort McHenry and signed a "Declaration of Peace' and everything…." He was saying, curl bouncing as he looked back and forth from Francis to Arthur.

"I don't recall that. When was that?" Arthur asked, trying to recall any notification from his boss to attend such an event. But Matthew continued on with explaining. "At the beginning of all the ceremonies. My prime minister and yours taped short speeches that were played at the event, along with Alfred's president. You don't remember because you didn't show up." Matthew said, looking less than pleased that Arthur had forgotten about the event. "I sent you an email too, but I guess you were doing other things."

Arthur looked a little abashed at having not gone to such an event, although there were other things he'd been doing at that time too. "Well, I'm sure it went well regardless. I'm sorry I didn't attend Matthew." He said, knowing how much the other nation would've valued the acknowledgement since he was almost always overlooked at the world conferences. "If it makes you feel any better, you can blame Francis…" He said with a tone that aimed for lightheartedness.

"What? Me?" Francis said, taken aback at the accusation and looking sharply away from Matthew to Arthur. "How do you think you can blame me?" he asked incredulously.

"If anything, I was probably dealing with the commemorative ceremonies for the battles I had to deal with against your general with the inferiority complex." Arthur said with a smirk, enjoying how Francis was getting worked up.

"Napoleon was an excellent general." Francis said, ready to launch into the virtues of one of his countrymen. "You just never recognize the brilliance of my people unless they backhand you with it." He said, Matthew shaking his head. He was considering interrupting again the two nations who had dropped back into arguments over their long history of skirmishes and wars, hoping to get them back to focusing on Alfred again. However, he thought he saw a slight movement from his brother's hand. "Al?" He said, leaning forward towards the bed. "You waking up now, eh?" He asked gently as he took his brother's hand, gaining the attention of the two bickering nations. But Alfred only briefly squeezed his hand as the only movement from him, Matthew unable to keep from looking disappointed.

"This is a good sign Mathieu." Francis said, releasing his hold he'd had on Arthur's shirt to stand beside Matthew once again. "He normally is difficult to wake up on a good day. He'll wake up when he's ready." Francis said, Matthew nodding in agreement for a lack of anything better to do.

"Still, I thought he'd be waking up. You two are loud enough." Matthew said, before realizing what he'd said and snapping his head up to look at the two other blondes. "Oh, I-I didn't mean to say…" he began to say with a light blush, worried about what either might say.

"No, don't worry about it Matthew." Arthur said, a blush tinting his own face as Matthew forced him to realize how childish he had been. It was similar to Francis' comment that one time during a meeting of Allied powers when he'd called him and America out for being too argumentative when other things where at stake – even if it had been a 'fashion emergency' according to the Frenchman. "You're right. But it shows that Alfred's possibly becoming more aware. As much as he usually is anyway." Arthur said with a smile to Matthew, the group falling into silence again.

"Ciao a tutti" A distinct voice said from the doorway, Arthur taking in a deep breath at the prospect of yet another visit. It would seem his efforts to keep some privacy had completely been for naught as he saw Feliciano standing timidly next to Kiku, who looked uncomfortable with having his former fellow axis power standing so close to him. Kiku also politely greeted the others, Matthew being the one to invite them inside but the two of them waited for Francis to repeat his invitation before stepping inside. Matthew sighed as it seemed the two visitors hadn't heard him, but refrained from saying anything else as he chose instead to watch for any other movements from his brother.

Feliciano cheerfully bounded over to his 'Big Brother France' rather than face the possibility of an irate Britain. "Look at-a what I've found! Finally! America thought we might find it in the UK but it was-a just sitting in the book store across the street!" Feliciano said, thrusting a book into the surprised Francis' face. "See! See! Kiku says it's not-a what he was talking about but this is just what America and I need" He said excitedly as Kiku more calmly greeted Matthew and Arthur. Francis took a step back to avoid getting hit by the over-exuberant Feliciano, grabbing the book to try and make sense of what he was so excited over. Seeing the large bold letters "The Atmosphere" with a long subtitle, he curiously flipped through the book. "Feliciano, what are you talking about?" Francis asked, unsure why a meteorological and climate-oriented book would be so important to the other nation, nor what connection it had to the resting nation.

"Ve~, America told me that Britain told him to read "The Atmosphere". Kiku recommended the same book to me, so we've been looking in bookstores for just the right one. We've read lots-a these kind of books, but we don't think we've hit the right one yet." Feliciano explained as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Germany says I'm missing the point, but America thinks it's like a scavenger hunt for the right one and scavenger hunts are fun, don't you think?" He continued, innocently looking to Francis for encouragement.

"Ah, well…" Francis started to say, looking over to Kiku and Arthur to see the two of them with amused expressions on their faces. "Then I suppose this will make America quite pleased when he wakes up. I'm sure he'll be eager to read it with you, but I do not suppose you've read very many, have you?" Francis asked, laughing at the idea.

"Oh yes, well…" Feliciano said with a shrug, "…not so much-a me, but America finds them interesting. He says-a they remind him of some of his past friends, like a Mr. Franklin with his electricity." He said as he glanced over at Alfred. "He actually can tell you a lot if you ask. He usually reads aloud when we're – a sharing the book so that I can make the pasta." He said, Francis nodding along at the believable situation.

"Well, like I said, I'm sure Alfred will be happy to know you've kept up the search while he's been ill." Francis said, handing the book back to Feliciano. "But,'ow did you know to come 'ere, mon ami?" Francis asked.

"Russia-san came into the dining room for breakfast this morning and, ah, spoke with China-san and I."Kiku said by way of explanation. "It gained some looks from the other nations, incruding Prussia who must've woken up Itary-chan. He met me in the dining room, asking for me to take him here for a visit." He said, Feliciano nodding in agreement of Kiku's story. "I aporogize for not being able to keep things as calm as you had intended, Britain-san." Kiku said, turning to Arthur with an apologetic smile. Arthur nodded in understanding, Arthur recounting his earlier unexpected visit and offering a seat to Kiku. As Feliciano got comfortable in the remaining chair and began to read from his new book, Francis pulled Matthew aside to let him know he was going to see if he could charm the nurses into allowing a couple more chairs to be squeezed into the room. Arthur excused himself before following after Francis, aware of just what Francis might try to pull on his British citizens, leaving Kiku and Matthew to listen to Feliciano reading. As he approached the second chapter, Kiku found himself reminiscing about a time when he and America weren't as close friends as they were now, although it seemed like Alfred could quite easily shift gears to being friends even while fighting.

Kiku struggled with the controls of the airplane he'd been flying, which he had assured Germany that he could expertly pilot. He'd been doing well with a bunch of his countrymen as they flew over the Pacific Ocean, except that they'd miscalculated the American airships and warships position and were now facing intense dogfights with American and British airmen. He watched as a few of the other planes in his squadron were shot down with the anti-aircraft weaponry on those ships, bracing each time he heard the boom from the ammunition being tossed up into the sky. He felt a small amount of satisfaction at seeing flames on one of the ships, although that could've been the result of anything at this point. His internal processing of his next possible move was cut short as he felt the plane shutter, ducking a little as the left wingtip was damaged on his plane.

He gasped as he struggled to hold the plane level, shouting out commands to his remaining squadron as best he could, aiming to glide to the water as softly as possible and as far as he could from the center of the ships. But he knew that control was an illusion at this point as the plane kept dropping, steering toward the mass of ships in the hope that he might do some damage if he hit one. But he hit the water first, his strap barely holding him in his seat as he was forcefully launched forward. He shook his head to clear his swimming vision, grasping in panic at the stuck strap to undo it as the cockpit rapidly began to fill up with water. He pulled on it a few more time before stretching to try and reach the blade he had stored behind his seat with the intention of cutting his way out. The glass that was currently the only thing stopping the ocean from immediately swallowing him, was cracked in several parts and he knew that he'd have to try and smash his way through to get out. His fingertips grazed over the hilt of the katana, and he struggled to reach it as the water reached up to his chest. He was almost with it in his grasp when the plane twisted from something else hitting the water nearby, the water increasing exponentially and knocking the katana out of Kiku's grip.

He pulled again on his strap but with the water up to his chin, he knew his chances of getting out were next to nothing and he took one more large breath as the water covered his head. He closed his eyes, resolved to facing his end with as much repose as possible, thoughts in his mind of what might become of his nation and if perhaps another personification would ever be born if the war did too much damage. He was feeling the burn in his lungs for air starting to overwhelm him when he felt the water around him swirl as the glass covering the cockpit was shattered. He had expected that to happen sooner or later as he sunk, but he was unprepared for the tugging on his strap and his upper body. Horrified that his death would switch to being eaten alive by a shark rather than drowning, he opened his eyes to peak out at his attacker and found himself baffled by the sight of a blond head of hair. They weren't too far under the surface so that someone could've reached him, but the thought of a rival soldier jumping into the water from one of the ships to tear him out of the plane seemed to him as though the lack of oxygen was playing tricks on him.

He didn't fight back, the other man successfully pulling the strap off the seat altogether and lifting Kiku out, dragging him back up to the surface. The two gasped as they broke through, Kiku coughing up the water he'd begun to choke on. The other soldier swam the both of them over to one of the smaller ships in the water that were serving to pick up any men they could find, Kiku glancing up to see no more planes shooting at each other and hoping that meant that the remaining members of his squadron had been able to retreat with the new information about the Allies' location. He grasped the edge of the boat and was hoisted into it by a couple of men who were helping him and the other man.

"Hey Japan." An American voice said, Kiku looking up into Alfred's face as he panted in the boat. "Good thing I was here, huh?" Alfred asked as he leaned over to come face to face with the Asian nation, Kiku letting his head drop as he realized that not only had been taken prisoner by enemy troops, he was personally in the hands of another personification – the one he'd brought into the war. "Knew you'd be in the head plane. Great big dot on the side like a bulls-eye. Ha, ha,ha…" Alfred laughed, sitting back as the boat was paddled back to the large warship. Kiku couldn't help but look back up at Alfred with a glare at both the degrading way his flag had been described and the fact that somehow the Americans and the British had known he'd personally be in the squadron.

"And how did you discover that, America-san" Kiku asked, upset with the fact that he would now be in a debt to the other nation since he had just saved him from a watery grave.

"My codebreakers are the best." Alfred said with a wide smile. "But that's all I'm sayin'. Last time I said somethin' to Britain that I probably shouldn't have….oops." He said, Alfred shrugging at how his ally had over-reacted to the mention of building fighter planes that could outdo the British man's planes. "But, you should be worrying about that cut to your forehead. I'll make sure it gets wrapped nice and tight." Alfred said, a slight undercurrent of hostility in his voice that clued Kiku in that the childish nation had a nasty recoil when provoked. And he knew that the other personification had been eager to get with him in a one-on-one situation, making Kiku wary about his future. "And then we'll see what your buddies Germany and Italy have to say. Especially since Germany's pretty much done at this point and Italy's not going to be much help for ya'" Alfred said, Kiku forcing himself to keep his stoic expression as the other nation prodded him for a response.

The boat had pulled up alongside the larger ship and all the men exited, Kiku choosing to remain silent as he was led by Alfred to the ship's medic. Alfred stood by the door while Kiku had his head bandaged, arms crossed over his chest in a way that Kiku found more intimidating than he had considered before. He'd only ever been in a fight with the American personification that time when they were all stranded on Seychelles' island, and each time they'd begun to fight, something would interrupt before the self-proclaimed hero could attack. Now, in such close quarters, he worried about how the larger man would proceed. Italy had often gotten himself sent back home through his usual antics that had grated on his captor's nerves to the point that they'd prefer to just send him back. But he found that the other personification who was watching his every move, wasn't going to be the same as the Europeans he'd been dealing with during the war. If anything, America was just as boisterous as Italy and trying to annoy him to the point of him releasing him wasn't an option. Instead, he thought that if he perhaps just stayed silent, that would unsettle his captor enough to get himself sent back home. Home was better than to one of his allies, America's assessment of the others' capabilities in aiding him correct.

After being led to private quarters, Kiku looked curiously at Alfred for answers. He had been expecting the brig due to being enemy nations, although the idea of privacy appealed greatly to him. "I did pay attention when I visited Japan before. I know being in the brig would be torturous enough with the other prisoners, not all of whom are Japanese." Alfred said with a smirk, Kiku's eyes widening as he realized that America probably still had prisoners from other Axis powers that the ship was in the process of transporting to holding facilities. The thought of having to share such close quarters with citizens who didn't share the same sense of personal space was horrifying indeed. "And since you are still injured enough to require the medic to check in on ya', you can have my bed for the night." Alfred said, motioning for the other to enter. "But don't go gettin' any ideas about escapin'. I'm sleepin' on the floor against the door, and my gun isn't leavin' my hand." He threatened, Kiku swallowing at the trigger-happy nation's threat. He had no doubt that the slightest suspicion on the other's behalf, if he wasn't his typical cheery self, might result with a bullet lodged somewhere in his body. He nodded and went into the small quarters, lying on the bed immediately and unable to stop the sigh of relief on his aching body that even the hard bed provided. Alfred laughed as he shut the door, propping himself up against it as he sat on the floor. The two remained silent, Kiku hesitant to simply fall asleep although he lay with his eyes closed and shifted his body around from time to time.

The sound of a gun being handled had him opening his eyes and looking over to the door to see Alfred fiddling with his gun. "Let's play twenty questions…." Alfred said, a chill running up Kiku's spine. He felt like kicking himself for falling into the trap set by his captor of being gentle and accommodating for him only to yank it all away to get information with the promise of such comforts returned. "I'll give you the first clue, just to start ya' off. It's not an animate object." Alfred said, Kiku taking a deep breath as he read into the statement to mean himself. He refused to respond to his captor's cruelties though, but the next thing Alfred said had him wondering what to think. "Come on dude, I'm bored and it's an easy game. You know how to play, right? 20 questions and then you guess what I picked. I gave you one, so c'mon. 20 questions." Alfred said, shifting a little on the floor in discomfort.

"Um…what is it?" Kiku asked about the game, not sure what was going on. Alfred laughed loudly as he normally did.

"That's not allowed! You gotta ask, like, is it big or small? Or…." Alfred said, looking up as he thought about examples to give that wouldn't give away what he was thinking about.

"You want me to pray a game with you?" Kiku asked in bewilderment, not expecting that from his captor. Alfred nodded enthusiastically, although the gun clutched tightly in his hands ruined the childish image that was otherwise the American personification. "O-okay. But, why?" Kiku asked, Alfred sighing.

"'Cuz the war is this close to being over." Alfred said, indicating a small space between his fingers. "Your boss, or bosses, whatever's goin' on there, are the ones dilly-dallying with the Potsdam Declaration. Waitin' on Ivan for somethin'….that's a brilliant idea…" Alfred said with an eye roll.

"Potsdam Declaration?" Kiku asked, Alfred's eyes widening and he hit himself in the forehead with his palm.

"Right, not yet…Well, your boss is gonna get one heck of a letter any day now from the Allies." Alfred said, looking upset that he'd let that slip. "But since you're gonna be my guest when it shows up, no harm in lettin' ya' know about it a couple of days in advance." Alfred said, Kiku sighing at the inevitable call to surrender that Alfred was talking about. "Hey, you're lucky Arthur's got this bug up his butt about royalty or else we'd be calling for the end of your emperor spot." Alfred said, earning a glare from Kiku. "But come on, dude. In here, it's just us two. Alfred and…what was your human name again?" He asked, Kiku surprised at the statement.

"Kiku Honda" Kiku said, struggling to sit up. But Alfred made gestures for him to stop moving, although not doing so by pointing his gun at him like Kiku had expected. Giving up with trying to understand the back and forth thought process, Kiku decided to just play along with Alfred, the two of them talking for a while as the Asian nation formulated a guess. "Hmm…I guess that you are thinking about that jar of jerry beans on your desk." Kiku said, Alfred smiling widely as he pronounced Kiku right.

"Arfred-san, why would you have such a rarge jar of them?" Kiku asked, wondering why the other nation would be taking such care to keep them from getting knocked around.

"Oh, those are for Arthur, er, Britain." Alfred said as he waved his hands around as he talked, making Kiku a little nervous. "Yeah, I thought he'd like the surprise I got for him since he's had a number done to him. I even had to ask one of the grim reapers to play along with the promise of sharing a drink with him to keep Arthur from being taken by him…Oh!" Alfred said, eyes widening as he realized he'd said something else private. "Please don't tell Arthur that. He doesn't know why I'm afraid of ghosts so much – he thinks I've been making all that up like he makes up those fairies of his. He can't know it wasn't him 'carrying on' so he could yell at me for pretending to be happy about his 'imminent' death. Please don't tell him once you're back home." Alfred asked, Kiku's own eyes widening at the request. Numbly nodding as he felt his head spinning from both Alfred's behavior and his injury, he barely heard the 'thanks Kiku' from Alfred as he drifted off.

He'd stayed aboard the American ship for a little while longer before things got more intense. And after the bombs had been dropped that left him in agony every day for nearly a solid year, Kiku was met not only with the concerned face of China when he'd woken up, but also that of the one who had dropped the bombs in the first place. Alfred had mentioned something about the bombs making sure that a war like the one they'd been fighting wouldn't happen again, and that he'd be hangin' around to try and help out. Kiku had been bitter for a while, but through the persistence of the North American nation, he found himself becoming closer than he'd thought and considered the other man a friend.

Kiku's thoughts were broken as the steady strain of Feliciano's voice paused for a moment. He looked up as Francis and Arthur walked back into the room, each carrying a chair. "Matteo, I'm not too sure what-a this word's supposed to be…" Feliciano said, holding the book over to Matthew who had been sitting on the edge of Alfred's bed.

"Oh, do you need any help?" Kiku said to Arthur and Francis, his accent coming through despite efforts to work on pronouncing the 'l' as expected in English, although he was pleased with how much better it sounded to his own ears. He stood up to make room for the additional chairs, Arthur quickly diving for the vodka bottle that Kiku had inadvertently knocked into as he moved. "My aporogies, Britain-san…" Kiku said as Arthur sighed in relief that he'd caught the bottle.

"Ah, not to worry. Crisis averted." Arthur said with a smile as he held up the bottle triumphantly. "Russia would not have been pleased to learn his gift had been used to sterilize the floor should he somehow hear of any mishandling, however accidental it may be." He said, scooting behind the chairs to hand the bottle to Matthew.

"He would only learn of it should you imbibe a little yourself." Francis said with a teasing grin. "I do not think you could handle more than a shot of that strong stuff." He continued, Arthur breathing deeply through his nose to try and avoid rising to the bait, Francis laughing along with Feliciano. But seeing the unamused look Arthur shot toward him, the timid Italian looked down and cleared his throat to continue reading aloud to Alfred. Debating on whether or not to say anything and instead just sitting in the chair at the foot of the bed, Matthew was the one to notice one of the nurse's peeking into the room.

"Oh, sorry…I didn't want to disturb the little get-together you've put together here." The young woman said, Francis turning at her voice and noticing the intern from the previous night. "I can come back in a few minutes." She said, walking into the room despite her words to quickly assess how things were.

"Non, you may join us, mon cher." Francis said with a seductive edge to his voice, making the intern blush. "The more the merrier and Alfred here does love large crowds." He said, Arthur scoffing at the other's blatant flirting that he was unable to hold back even at the hospital bedside of a fellow friendly nation. The intern shook her head at his offer and made to leave, stopped only by the fact that her necklace fell off.

"Oh, don't worry about that." She said as she bent over to grab it off the floor beside Matthew, who had made to politely hand it back to her. Arthur cleared his throat at the sight of Francis and Feliciano appreciating the view of her backside as she bent over, Kiku averting his eyes in his flustered state. "Yeah, the catch for the chain doesn't hold anymore. But it was my grandmother's medallion – St. Joan of Arc." She said with a fond smile as she tried to reattach the necklace. At the mention of that saint's name, Arthur watched as Francis' smile slipped off his face. Seeing the intern having some difficulty, he stood up and helped her put it on properly. "Oh, thank you, but you don't have to do that…" She said, sounding a little uneasy at having a stranger help with her necklace.

"Non, it is my pleasure." Francis said with a softer voice than before. "Your grandmother…" He started to ask, the intern catching onto his question and nodding.

"She and my family are Catholic and she thought it fitting to give me her mother's medallion since I was born on the saint day for Joan of Arc." She said with a smile, not seeming to mind admitting that to the other man.

"Yes, it is most appropriate." Francis said with a tight smile. "You look like her." He said, earning a surprised look from the intern.

"You think?" She said, toying with her short hair. Francis gave a nod and the intern shrugged. "I suppose I might. But it's been a while. I doubt anyone recorded what she actually looked like. Crazy times back then." She said, walking back to the doorway. "I'll be back in a few minutes. I'll stop in the other patient's rooms first." She said, receiving nods in response at the unspoken question to make room for her when she returned.

Francis sat back down heavily in his chair, looking over to Alfred rather than anyone else. "Big brother France…" Feliciano timidly began, Francis looking over to him. "…you alright?" He asked, Francis nodding a few times.

"Oui. I am fine Feliciano." He sighed. "Crazy times indeed. Hundred years war….what a ridiculous name your people came up with for all those battles." Francis said to Arthur, the other having been waiting for the eventual barb to be tossed his way at the sore spot of Jeanne d'Arc.

"Your people call it the same thing." Arthur said, crossing his arms over his chest. "The fact that there was another twenty or so years of fighting seems to get overlooked."

"Yes, but I was not the one to…."Francis began, a dark look on his face that Feliciano didn't need Kiku's sense to read into. The Japanese nation stood up, shuffling over to stand at the foot of the bed where Matthew was, urging the other man to take his seat so that they could possibly deter any fighting. Squabbles and their usual roughness with one another was one thing, but the two European blondes' gazes were medieval at the moment and Kiku knew that things could get seriously hostile.

"Oh, you did plenty then too Francis. But notice I'm not speaking your language." Arthur said with a wicked smirk, Francis practically snarling at the other. "You're the one who went behind my back to my brother Scott, just like you did with Alfred." Arthur said, standing up as he spoke to Francis.

"Alfred came to me because you don't understand that 'no' means 'no'." Francis said, standing up as well, Feliciano ready with his white flag and book still in his hand. Arthur huffed as though laughing in disbelief that France would say such a thing, knowing that France had been just as pushy.

"Yes, and his ideas worked out so well for you when you got back home, didn't it? Or did you want to redecorate the streets with crimson?" Arthur said, getting in another jab at Francis. The other European blonde shifted his stance as he stood his ground, ignoring the tugging on his shirt by a frightened Feliciano just as Arthur was ignoring Matthew's and Kiku's attempts to calm down.

"That is not the issue here, mon ami…" Francis said without the usual affection he placed on such terms when speaking with Arthur, "…You are just stuck on his Revolution for some ridiculous reason. You ignore Matthew and you've had other colonies grow up and move on, but you're too arrogant to try and comprehend what is going on now." Francis said, Arthur leaning back from his own fighting stance at Francis' words. Seeing the opportunity to keep going, Francis continued. "Ugh…it is so pathetic. Your people have moved on and as 'The Bloody United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland', you've moved on, but as Arthur…well…who knew you were so insecure? You and I have fought, like you said, for centuries and I know you better than you think through all that fighting and allying and fighting again. But you fought with Alfred for what? Only a couple of decades? Yet you still have it in your head that he's out to betray you so you decide to curse him…put him in here." Francis said, Arthur's face going red in rage at what Francis was saying. "You've never understood him at all for all your efforts, no? He would ask you to stay and you'd leave him to fend for himself to the point where when he tried to do so, you got scared and held him back any way you could. And you still can't handle it after how much closer he's tried to become with you. It is no small wonder that he was an isolationist for a while." Francis said with a final smirk.

"You arsehole! You have no idea what things were like between him and I back then!" Arthur shouted. "And I have no issue with him no more than I have issues with you. I still think about it because I want to understand why trying to do everything that didn't make me like you with raising him, things still got complicated. You call yourself 'Big Brother France' only because of some damned ego boost you always seem to need, not because you've ever as Francis been caring to anyone other than for your own needs. The first thing you ever said to me wasn't about being brotherly, but that I was you're servant from then on…And Alfred became as arrogant and misguided as I'd done everything to avoid, still stuck in that childish mind that you made sure to keep from ever expanding. And he quickly tore himself apart with a Civil War that other nations don't even reach until much later in their development, if ever." Arthur said, arms flailing as he spoke. "Look at Matthew. Has he had a civil war?" Arthur asked, briefly glancing at the Canadian. "Those rebellions in 1837 and 1838 hardly compare to Alfred's or any of mine." He said before redirecting his ire to Francis. At this point Feliciano was being urged out of the room by Kiku, only to be stopped by Francis as he grasped onto Kiku's arm.

"Where are you two going? Just because Britain has no propriety doesn't mean that you two need to leave." Francis said, not quite making it a suggestion as he pulled them back over. He and Arthur continued to throw insults at one another over Matthew as he stood between them, the invisible nation sighing before realizing that there was an additional sound other than the shouting voices. Looking up, he noticed Alfred's face scrunched up and one of the monitors giving off an intermittent beeping noise.

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