It was midnight as a thunderstorm raged on outside and America couldn't sleep. He found the older his physical, human body got, the later and later he fell asleep. It wasn't that he wasn't tired. His body felt exhausted; however his mind felt most active at night. His wandering thoughts made it difficult for him to fall asleep. If only his older brother, England, was with him. England would know exactly how to settle his mind enough to allow him to fall asleep. Unfortunately, England was in Europe dealing with international and domestic politics.

America sighed. It was lonely being all by himself. As a nation, he couldn't interact on a personal level with humans and being around them too much messed up his sense of time and theirs. And while his sense of time would eventually correct itself once he distanced himself, theirs would not and they would go insane. Humans, as England had put it after his first encounter with human death, were fragile creatures and could not handle a nation's sense of time. As he had said, humans were made to die; on the other hand a nation was made to live until their country fell and their culture and people were dead.

Suddenly, a knock at the door that sounded over thunder interrupted the colony from his thoughts. He approached it cautiously, not knowing who could possibly be calling at such an hour. America dared not to get his hopes up that it was England. Hoping it was his brother at the door would most likely lead to disappointment. Besides, England would have just entered as it was technically England's house and America was technically his legal ward.

The colony hesitantly opened the door. Just as he suspected, it was not his brother, but rather a girl he had recently become friends with, and lately had secretly started feeling a little more. She was about his human age of thirteen. She had curly brown locks that were tied back with a ribbon and tucked neatly under her cap. Her blue eyes were the same color as France's. And like him, she was also a British colony. Only, she had belonged to France at one time.

Though she didn't live far from Massachusetts, she still had a little way to travel and she had to make sure she didn't run into France or any other nations. She let herself in, out of the storm before carefully removing her cloak and boots and setting them aside. She gazed at her fellow colony with a look of faint amusement.

"I figured you'd be up, Alfie." she said in perfect, unaccented English. Unlike Canada, she taught herself English a long time ago and hid it from France. She was fluent and could imitate one of his people.

"What brings you, Arianne?" he asked curiously.

Her cheeks flushed beet red. "I-I could not sleep and I-I was wondering if you'd be kind enough to let me spend the night with you. As you are aware, England is not in the colonies and he doesn't even know I exist. It's dreadfully lonely."

"Of course, you can stay here. You can take my room and I will take the couch in the sitting room." he offered.

"That's not what I mean, Alfred. Why not bring down the quilts and some pillows and we can both camp in the sitting room? It will be warmer than a drafty bedroom."

"Alright." he said. He was confused as to why she wanted to sleep in the sitting room. England would say it was extremely inappropriate for a boy and a girl that were neither married nor related to sleep in the same room, but America didn't know why he would say that.

America went upstairs and stripped the quilt off his bed and grabbed his pillow. He carefully opened the door to England's room. He was not to be messing around in his brother's room, but America figured he could take the quilt and pillow off the bed as long as he remade it in the morning. And if England figured out and questioned as to why, America could always say he got cold during the winter and didn't think England would mind if he borrowed the quilt. He took the bedding downstairs to the sitting room where his guest was waiting. The two put together a makeshift bed, using America's quilt as the "mattress," so he didn't get in trouble for dirtying England's, despite the fact the floor was spotless.

"Let's just hope England doesn't decide to show up. He'll be mad at me for sharing a room with a girl because it's inappropriate." America commented.

Arianne giggled. "Alfie, do you know why it's inappropriate for us to be sleeping in the same room as each other, let alone a bed? If you can call this thing a bed." He shook his head. "I figured as much. You've done most of your maturing without England around. So I'm guess you know nothing about sex. Even if England were around, you probably wouldn't know much because it's scandalous to talk about."

America blushed. "I-I have heard it in passing from France b-but I know nothing about i-it."

He hung his head in embarrassment. He had noticed his body changing in a different way than just getting taller and he had no clue what was going on. He was afraid to ask England because it might be inappropriate and America didn't want to be scolded for that. The fact his friend who was a girl knew about that stuff when he did not was humiliating. Then again, she was at one time France's colony and was brought up different. America was even willing to bet Canada, of all people, at least knew something on the subject.

Arianne laughed. "No need to be embarrassed Alfie. Let me guess, your body's changing. Your voice is different and you started noticing human girls who are much prettier than me. Am I right?"

"Yes." America mumbled. "Except on the prettier than you part. None of them compare in looks to you."

"I can't tell you much about the body part; you'll have to ask England about that. Don't worry, I'm sure he'll understand." she told him. "However, I can tell you about sex. I won't explain the mechanics because I can't explain that to someone like you."

"Then what can you tell me?" he asked, extremely confused.

"Sex, to our kind, is a political act. There is no feeling in it. No excitement, no happiness, no passion, no love. It is pure politics." she said flatly. "I learned that the hard way. The way France described it, it sounded beautiful. But it's not. When I heard about it, I wanted to try. Don't ask with who, just know it wasn't France or England or Spain or anyone like that. It was somebody who has no relation to France and is unknown by my big brother. The bastard did it like it was nothing. He wasn't nervous or excited like I was, because after the first time, you feel nothing. It is just another branch of politics for our kind."

America's eyes widened in shock. He didn't believe her one bit. He too had heard France going on and on about it. According to the Frenchman, it was beautiful. He was the country of love, so surely he knew more about it than Arianne.

"That can't be true." America whispered.

"It is." she said flatly. "Tell me America. Do you believe in love?"

He hesitated, afraid of what she was going to tell him about the subject. He slowly nodded his head. "Yes, I do."

She gave him a pitiful smile. "I hate to break it to you, but love doesn't exist to our kind."

"B-But Austria and Hungary are married." he pointed out. "How can one be married and not love their spouse?"

"Because our marriages are also political, just as sex is. Austria and Hungary were just forming an alliance that's hard to break. They don't love each other." she told him. "For our kind, love is too painful. Human lovers go insane from just being around us and lovers that are nations end up betraying us. That's why love doesn't exist for us. If we fell in love, we'd only end up getting hurt." She brought his face up so he was staring into her eyes. "Promise me something."

"What do you want me to promise you?" he asked, a hint of misery and disappointment in his voice.

"Promise me you will never fall in love with anyone in anyway. You can love no one as a lover or a sibling or a friend. No one. Not England, not Canada, not me, not future wives, not anyone. Promise?"

America was silent for a moment. He couldn't believe what she was asking him to do. He hated being alone because it was miserable. But she wanted him to be alone for the rest of his life. She even wanted him to stop loving Canada and England, something he could never do to his family.

"America," she said, "this is the only way you will never get hurt. You may go on loving someone, but they will hurt you. No matter what, in the end you will be hurt. You think loneliness is miserable? Having your heart broken is worse. You can't trust anyone not to hurt you, not even yourself. Just promise me you won't love anyone."

America looked into her eyes and his heart broke. She was speaking about how he'd get his heart broken, but it already had. He stared at the floor. Somewhere deep inside him, he knew she was right. She was right about everything.

"I-I promise." he said softly, his voice barely above a whisper.

She gave him a weak smile and put a hand on his shoulder. "I know it hurts, but this is for the better. Trust me, you'll see." She sat up a little straighter. "One last thing, don't ever, ever show your true self to other nations or anyone for that matter. They'll only use it to hurt you. Understand?"

He nodded weakly, refusing to meet her eyes. Her face lit up and she kissed him on the forehead. He flinched, but she didn't notice. He slowly crawled under the quilt and turned so his back was facing her. He felt tears sting his eyes, but he knew better than to cry. Men and boys were not supposed to cry, not even when their heart was shattering and they were all alone.

"Goodnight, America." Arianne said softly.

"Goodnight, Vermont." he replied with a steady voice that didn't give away the tears that threatened to spill. But she didn't hear him as she was fast asleep, blissfully unaware that she had just broken the heart of a boy whose first love was her. America silently cried himself to sleep as the storm outside continued to rage.

Okay so some explanations on this one. The Vermont Republic actually did exist. Vermont was its own nation before it became a United States territory and eventually the 14th state. Vermont was a French colony that became British because it was originally discovered and named by the French (Vermont means Green Mountain in French.) Arianne is a French name that means "purity," from what I could find. She would later become America's wife and from this fic you can probably figure out how that ended between the two of them on a personal level. Being France's colony, she most likely heard about sex from France (we know Italy did).

Now on America's behavior... He did most of his maturing physically when England was away, so he was kind of naïve about what would've been going on because he had no one to explain it to him. But as most probably know, finding out about stuff like sex from your friends probably isn't the greatest idea. He also had a minor crush on her because she was the only girl he knew personally at the time.

As for the statement about Vermont having sex, because I know somebody's going to say she's physically a thirteen, unwed girl in colonial times, she's playing a mind game with America. She's saying things to deter him from loving her. She might be lying and she might not be lying. I won't say anything else on the matter.

Now, as for my other fanfictions, I've been busy. I just got goats the other week, so I've been taking care of them. On top of that, the school year just ended so I was busy keeping up my grades so I didn't have to take exams. I want to finish Never Forget before I return to the Percy Jackson or Harry Potter/Hetalia crossovers. And Game of States will get updated whenever.

That was a long author's note. Now that this is over, I hope you enjoyed this. I'll update my multichapter fics soon. Sorry for boring you with this author's note. I don't own Hetalia. The Vermont Republic is my OC.

Ciao i miei lettori!~