“Is he going to be okay?” London whispered, pulling the sleeves of her military uniform over her hands nervously.
“He’ll be okay. Luckily for him the bullets didn’t rupture any organs so there’s no internal bleeding, but I’ll tell you this much London, it won’t be easy breaking the news to him.” Belgium said, dabbing the wet cloth against England’s forehead. The fabric of the tent brushed against London’s back where she was crouching on a stool at the end of the bed that England was resting in, his wounds now bandaged and a sedative keeping him resting. Belgium cleaned up around the tent, the bloodied handful of cloth used to clean the blood taken to the fire outside to be burned.
“I have to go to the meeting now; can you keep an eye on him?” Belgium asked and London nodded, shifting the stool so she could dab the wet cloth on England’s forehead.
“Call me if you need anything” Belgium smiled comfortingly and with a final glance at the injured nation, closed the tent flap and left.
She walked past the campfire, slowly crackling and smoking, towards the main tent at the centre, which was emblazoned with the flags of all the European countries, and above the entrance flap, the flag of Europe. She pushed open the tent flap and walked in awkwardly, closing it behind her and feeling the stares of the other countries on her back.
“Hey Belgium!” Italy chirped happily.
“How is Angleterre?” France asked as Belgium took her seat around the fold out table they had arranged in the centre of the tent.
“Asleep. I managed to get the bullets out and bandage him up so I think he’ll be fine. He’s England after all, give it a day or two and he’ll be wanting to get back out there again and fight” Belgium reported with fondness in her voice and there were a few nods of relief around the table.
“Okay, well, for Belgium’s sake, we’re talking about what to do with Russia” Spain said and she nodded in response.
“He surprised us all by claiming his neutrality but he can’t ignore such an open show of hostility now we know America is willing to break the rules” Austria said and there was a murmur of agreement.
“Also, now America has vone victory, he’ll either attack Europe or Russia. If America attacks us, Russia vill be affected via the Baltic’s and Ukraine and Belarus, and if America attacks Russia, he’ll haf to join us to fight back. Either way, Russia can’t pretend vis has nothing to do viv him” Germany added.
“Russia’s got a score to settle with America. If he does join us we can count on him to be a good ally” Belgium said and she was given a few nods in acknowledgement.
“Shall one of us send a request of alliance?” Greece asked in his usually quiet sleepy voice.
“I, Estonia and Latvia can go” a voice volunteered and everyone looked at Lithuania. An unusual candidate if ever there was one. Estonia however looked like he wanted to dig a hole and die in it.
“Lithuania? Like, why do you want to go?” Poland asked and Lithuania shrugged.
“I don’t know. Someone has to” He merely shrugged and looked at Latvia and Estonia. “You don’t mind do you?” Estonia mutely shook his head, wondering if he would get out of this alive.
“Me? Oh, um of course not!” Latvia squeaked and Lithuania nodded.
“Well if anyone can persuade Russia you can” Sweden said in his quiet deep voice and Lithuania tried to look humble.
“We can set you off tomorrow morning on a protected flight.” Germany decided and the Baltic’s swallowed nervously.
“When’s America next going to attack? Will Russia be able to help us if he does attack soon?” A small country, Luxembourg piped up.
“Surely not for a while? England almost won so he must have beaten him up pretty badly.” Hungary pointed out.
“But he is America” Romania argued and there was an awkward silence.
“Our capitals could strike up a line of defence?” Czechoslovakia suggested quietly.
“Well, he won’t attack tonight or tomorrow zhat’s for sure. He can’t possibly be strong enough, so I say we get some rest, send zhe Baltic’s off to try and get Russia’s alliance and prepare for attack.” France said and the meeting was adjourned. Belgium was on watch duty and on the way to the watchtower; she stopped off at England’s tent and popped her head through the flap.
“London?” She whispered and crept in to the darkened tent. London was asleep on the stool, her head resting on her folded arms next to England’s shoulder and her hand holding his. Belgium gazed affectionately at the scene for a moment. The bond between country and capital was a strong one, like the bond between father and daughter, or the bond between siblings. Capitals went through everything with their countries, and were the heart of their nations. If a capital was attacked, it tore at the heart of their country, and could make the difference between winning and losing a war. A capital would risk their life for their country, and the other way around too. And they would help each other, heal each other, and comfort each other. It was stronger even than the bond of annexation. Capitals were countries soul mates.
Belgium gently pulled London off the stool and the younger girl mumbled something in her sleep. She was surprisingly light and Belgium easily could lift her and put her in the bed next to England’s. She did a quick check of the bandages and then closed the tent flap again, trying to leave as quietly as possible. The moon was a crescent, and the night was clear. Stars glittered brightly in the sky and she could make out individual constellations and found the Pole Star. The brightest star in the sky. She gazed at it for a while and it filled her with a sort of hope for the future. America would not beat them; they would not allow America to take over the world. She felt strangely defensive of Britain, and had always been close to the reserved island nation. He had helped her in the First World War, and now it was her turn to help him. She would take the liberty as to kick America’s ass next time she saw him. Courtesy of Britain. She smiled to herself and took her position in the makeshift watch tower to watch over camp, preparing for a long night.
Back in England’s tent, the island nation had been woken briefly by Belgium and was getting his bearings. London, his sweet capital was asleep next to him, her eyelashes fluttering as her eyes moved to watch a dream he couldn’t see. An owl hooted somewhere and if he listened hard enough, he could hear the tree’s gently swaying. He tried to sit up and a stab of pain went through his middle. It was bandaged now, and for a moment he couldn’t think why and then the memories flooded into his mind, some of them made him wince, other made him angry. But they were memories he would have to live with. Now he had to rest so he could fight, so he turned back over and tried to get to sleep, the fluttering of the night lulling him to the arms of darkness.