Chapter 3 A Familiar Sight
The personification of the United Kingdom had had just about enough. Arthur had been up all night, with this stupid, idiotic, not to mention, French man beside the apartment they had followed Alfred to. The two of them had thought that if this boy was indeed as suspicious as they believed him to be, something would have happened if they had followed him. Perhaps they would get some answers. Well, as it turns out, they thought wrong.
"This has been a complete waste of time," the English man grumbled from where he sat with his back against the wall in the hallway of the apartment building they had decided to rent a room in for the night.
"It's better to be safe rather than sorry, Angleterre," his French colleague called from beside him, where the long haired man kneeled, pressing the wide end of a glass up to the wall, and the other end to his own ear.
"We've been here all bloody night, and we have nothing," Arthur turned a glaring eye to his coworker.
"I know Angleterre, I know. But this was your idea in the first place, mon cher."
"Shut it, frog. Maybe this was a mistake, this boy has to be harmless," Arthur considered. Over his long life he had done so many missions, both with others, and alone, and usually in the first twenty four hours, spies, or criminals had made a move that had tipped him off; however, this boy had done nothing. Absolutely nothing, other than snore. The boy was a teenager after all- of course he wasn't some kind of spy or something. Arthur sighed to himself. This was a fruitless ordeal, too stupid for him to care about anymore.
"Let's go," Arthur frowned, rising to his feet.
"You're finally giving up?" Francis rose to his feet, dropping the cup from his ear.
"I'm not giving up on anything. This just isn't worth my time."
"That's what I was trying to tell you at one in the morning Angleterre-"
"Shut up frog. Let's just get back to the hotel, I need to get some damn shuteye," Arthur rubbed his forehead in an exasperated state, shuffling his way over to the door of the apartment that lead out into the hallway.
"Oui. The meeting is in a few hours, we should get back. I'm sure my darling Canada is worried sick about his Papa."
Instead of replying, Arthur simply rolled his eyes.
As the two men made their way back to their hotel room they were supposed to be staying at, Arthur, (in his already aggravated, exhausted state) was not happy to hear the accented voice of the man beside him.
"I know you're disappointed, Arthur."
Of course that Frog wanted to get all sentimental.
"I am not disappointed, you wanker. I don't know what you're talking about."
"You know what I mean. You miss the old days."
It wasn't too strange to see Francis in a more feeling, sentimental state, but Arthur couldn't help but be alarmed every time the French man seemed to guess what he was already feeling. He spent way too much time with the French bastard.
But Arthur had to admit. He wasn't wrong.
He could remember it so clearly, as if it was only yesterday. He sailed the seas, the true personification of the mighty and feared British Empire. He ruled over lands worldwide, faced danger and contest at every turn, fought and drank like the pirate he truly was. It was like a dream, all the power in the world, just at his fingertips. He used to interrogate spies and execute them, without a second thought. Nobody could bat an eye at him without daring his power. Just remembering the days Arthur felt a rush of adrenaline flow directly into his heart.
All the present offered him was the date of the next meeting, and Doctor Who.
Arthur felt himself begin to frown.
"Shut up, Francis. You know you feel the bloody same."
"Oui, I do. But at least I say what I feel. You get so tense Arthur." The French man's words dripped with a teasing tone at his last sentence.
"Rubbish! Just forget about it, frog!" Arthur shot a glare at his longtime companion.
"Alright, whatever you say, Angleterre." Francis shot him a wink as they approached the entrance of the hotel the nations had booked.
"I'll see you at the meeting, bloody bastard," Arthur mumbled to himself as he and Francis parted ways: he with a wink, and Arthur with a middle finger.
However, it was the two European men at fault for the rare sighting of a very distressed Canadian in the streets of Boston that fateful morning.
Matthew Williams was known to be a particularly calm person. Yesterday, he had attended the first meeting of the week held in Boston Massachusetts, just as planned. And everything was fine. He hadn't seen England or France return to the meeting after their planned lunch break, and while it worried him that his closest family members were not present, he didn't intend to pry. The next morning, he got up, made pancakes and hot chocolate, and everything was fine.
So how had his day come to the literal screeching halt that he found himself in the present?
That was a thought shared by the American teenager in front of him, unbeknownst to the Canadian, who just dented his rental car.
After heading back to his Boston apartment the day before the present, Alfred had promptly fell to his pillow, no time spent in front of the television like normal days. Instead, he stared at his ceiling in thought. Something big was going to come. He didn't know how, but he just did. He just knew. Something in his gut was twisting, uncomfortably so. It was akin to a tapping noise in the back of his head, constantly irritating him to no end. This was a feeling he got before he became a hero. He didn't mean hero in the literal sense, simply a hero to one person, or a few. Trouble was going to start soon, and he had to stop it. That was his job, right? His country was his to protect, at least, that's the job he gave himself. Heavens knows that his bosses only ever gave him work to keep him busy, as if any of it actually mattered. So he didn't bother with it. No, he had his own work to do, being a hero among his people, there to protect them. He couldn't do that locked away in the White House. His mind wandered to how many people he could have saved during those oh so many years he was locked away from his people.
His mind continued to wander, until it landed upon those strangers he had met in the McDonalds earlier that day. They weren't his people. He could just tell, they were foreigners. Now, he could always tell who was simply a foreign citizen from outside his own country: he couldn't sense them. Not like he could feel the soul and spirits of his own people, they were out of his reach. There was some kind of barrier between him, and foreign citizens, something he could not understand, but accept. That's why he did his very best to learn from the people who came to him through his lifetime. He wanted to know about them, about their culture, their politics, their religions, everything. As he grew up, he learned about all kinds of people, and as much as he loved his own country, his heart longed for something different. Something authentically traditional that wasn't from his own culture.
There was something about the men he ran into earlier. The long haired, French one, who gave him a major pansexual or bisexual vibe, and the shorter angry man with the eyebrows of steel. He couldn't sense them. But he could, at the same time. They weren't just foreigners. They weren't just business men. They weren't tourists.
They were new.
And Alfred was going to find out what was so new about them.
So that's what lead him to sit outside the very next morning, on a bench casually sipping caramel iced coffee, just across from the business building. It was a nice day, if a little warm. And he was ready to try and catch those weird men in the act of...something. He wasn't quite sure yet. But they had to be connected with that weird building...somehow. He was more of a "go with the flow" thinker, he'd make up his daring, heroic plan in the moment. Just when the time is right.
It was when he saw a glimpse of what appeared to be three men, a large blonde, smaller brunette, and small black haired male begin entering the building that he enacted his brilliant plan. They weren't the men he met at McDonalds, but they had to be connected somehow.
As Alfred spotted the trio, he leaped to his feet, determined to make it across the street and have a word with the men before they were out of his reach. His feet took him across the sidewalk, and down into the crosswalk in a desperate race against time to meet the men.
He halted in his tracks at the sound of a car coming to a screeching halt just beside him.
On instinct, Alfred stuck his hand out to the front of the car in order to protect himself, and he was greeted by the shrieking of breaks stopping at a moment's notice, and the bending sound of metal. Once he had the courage to open his eyes to assess the damage, and see if the passengers were alright, he was met with a face that was strikingly similar to his own, mouth opened into a small "o" of surprise.
Blue eyes met violet in a confused, long stare as horns of incoming traffic blared around them. But they did nothing to hinder the connection of the two strangers.
The man in the car, held back by his seatbelt, regarded his supposed doppleganger with intense surprise and curiosity. To be honest, he had no clue what he was doing. They were just...staring at each other.
The personification of Canada was soon shook of his stupor, and went to undo his buckle, but not before he heard the sound of police sirens in the distance.
Almost as if the teen were in alarm, the blue eyed boy, turned in the direction of the sirens, and after a moment of hesitation, with another glance at the purple eyed twin in the car, he took off running in the opposite direction as the sirens.
Matthew managed to undo his buckle, and escape from his car, just to see the boy take a turn around another skyscraper. He glanced to the street to see his colleagues, Germany, Northern Italy, and Japan staring in wonder at the wreckage he had just escaped. Matthew calmly made his way to their side of the street, onto the crosswalk, and waited for the police to arrive, which took less than a minute; they must have been called immediately by a bystander.
As he surveyed the scene that he unceremoniously found himself in, Matthew felt his mind wander back to the person that looked so much like him. He could have sworn he had seen his twin somewhere before, other than in the mirror every morning.
He knew that person. He had to. Matthew could just feel it. He had seen that person before, a long long time ago.
He remembered running.
Running running running.
Running far away from people who looked like him, but there was someone there in the very beginning. A few people he used to know, who looked different, and like him.
Matthew could remember them. A brother, he used to have a brother and a mother before he even knew his own name. Before England and France came to their lands, during the time when the Native Americans roamed freely without any contact with civilizations that existed beyond the Atlantic and Pacific.
He had a family. It was small, and they moved a lot. He and his brother, before they met anyone at all, they used to run through open fields and climb trees without anyone to bother them. They were fairly strong as well, even as children. He remembered playing with his brother, who looked so alike him, throwing rocks, going sledding, playing tag, swimming, and most of all, exploring.
Matthew didn't know who he was at the time, but he already knew he loved the land that he had found. There was a new adventure at every corner, new challenges to take on. When they were that small, the world felt impossibly big. He and his brother preferred to stay together. He remembered…sitting under the stars together, sleeping. Making sure they always had each other's back, no matter what happened.
"Hey, Ahmik! Come on, tonight is perfect," He remembered his brother calling to him.
"Dyami wait up, you're too fast!"
His little legs pumped as they sped through the high, wet grass that was just kissed by the cold that accompanied the coming of dusk.
A laugh rang out from a few yards in front of Matthew, where he could see his brother's dark silhouette.
"You slowpoke! Come on, I found a perfect spot."
Matthew followed the voice of his brother, until he came to a stop on a small piece of land. The ground was covered in flattened grass that seemed to be tied methodically together, to form a sort of natural cushion from the cold hard ground. And on it, laid his brother.
Without a moment of hesitation, Matthew laid next to the mysterious figure he once knew, and his eyes lifted to meet the darkening sky of the night. As the sun left them, they were greeted with another beautiful sight, the view of stars, little blinking lights that lit up the darkness of night.
Beside Matthew, his brother wiggled in anticipation, his arm rising to point at the sky.
"Look Ahmik! It's the two lovers!"
Purple eyes darted to the direction of the brother's arm, meeting the cluster of stars that he recognized as the supposed two lovers.
"Hey Dyami, do you remember the story?"
"What, you don't?"
"I want to hear it again."
There was a moment's pause.
"One time, really really long ago, there were two lovers who lived divided," The brother began. "Their parents and villages were enemies, so they were forbidden to see each other, but they were determined."
Matthew's eyes closed.
"They built tunnels, tunnels under the ground that were combined into a labyrinth, so nobody would know how to navigate it. In the middle of the labyrinth, is where they would meet."
"But how did they know where to go?"
"They put stars on the ceilings. And when they put out their fires in the caverns, the stars would show them the way to each other."
There was a moment's pause as the brothers laid under the night sky.
His brother paused.
"We'll be able to use the stars too, right? If they did it, why can't we?"
"We won't need to, Dyami. We're going to be together forever. Nothing is gonna take me away from you," he assured his brother.
Once Matthew opened his eyes, he was not greeted by the starry paradise lost in the past, but rather by a rather annoyed English man, and a French man bounding towards him on the sidewalk.
Welcome back to reality, Mattie.
Matthew turned to the voice of his father, Francis, with a soft smile.
"Salut Matthieu! I-" Francis paused as he glanced over the Canadian, "Are you alright? You look a little pale."
Matthew brushed off the French man's concerns with a light smile.
"I'm alright, just had a little traffic scare. Nothing to worry about."
Matthew could feel the stares from the American people on him, just because of his pronunciation.
"What happened, lad?" The British man, practically his second father, spoke up next to Francis.
"Someone just ran in front of my car, that's all." The boy offered the pair a shrug of nonchalance.
"Well, I'm glad to see you're alright," Arthur offered in response, pleasantly.
"Actually, the person who ran into me looked just like me. It was kind of freaky, eh."
In response to the Canadian's words, Arthur and Francis shot a look of suspicion at each other.
"...What?" Matthew glanced between the two men in front of him.
"We...happen to be looking into a boy that looks just like you, Matthieu."
"What?" The Canadian felt his eyebrows squish together in confusion on his forehead.
"Is that why the two of you went missing yesterday?"
Matthew frowned. What was so special about this one American that got two former empires to skip their jobs just to investigate? Why did he care?
"Isn't that a little disrespectful? Were you invading his privacy?"
"Non, we just listened next to his apartment all night," Francis offered with a sheepish smile.
"Shut it, Francis!"
"It was your idea in the first place, Arthur!"
"Well we know now he's not a spy, and that's because of me! If it were up to you, we would just be wine drunk last night!"
"At least I can handle my alcohol!"
Matthew could already feel a headache beginning to form.
"I'm going to grab some medicine," the Canadian chipped in to his coworkers as they argued, beginning his way down the street quickly to the local convenience store just around the corner, in the direction his twin had gone.
The Canadian was followed by the two men, and the trio made their way to the store in just a few moments, although to the Canadian, listening to his family blabber, it felt a little longer than that.
All he wanted to do was get his medicine, go to the meeting, and then go back to the hotel. However, his plans hit a bit of a loop when he walked into the store, and found himself staring down the barrel of a gun.
And his supposed doppelganger was the one aiming it at him.
Yell at me all you want, but this is gonna be another cliffhanger chapter.
Thank you to the amazing supporters of this story, as well as those who support my work. It's so strange to have an audience that's actually excited for the next chapter for once! So thank you so much! These comments are giving me will to live.
I want to give a particularly big thank you to my Beta Readers for this story, they have been such a huge help giving story advice, being creative, helping with historical research, and really just encouraging me to get off my butt and write something. This chapter would have been a week later if it wasn't for them, so thank you guys so much! Links to their account's are in my bio, definitely check them out.
Following that, I want to mention the Native American names I used in this chapter. While I, and my amazing Beta readers did do some research on the Native languages in the New England area before colonization, we couldn't find the specific language or area the names Ahmik and Dyami come from for sure, instead it was indicated they were just general among all tribes. If you actually know that information, please comment or PM me! I always love to learn.
For the record, Ahmik means Beaver, and Dyami means Eagle when translated to English.
Anyways, thank you everyone for the support, and I'll see you in the next chapter!