Welcome! Thanks for dropping by!

Does everyone know why today's important? April 12, 2011... fifty years since the first manned space flight and a hundred and fifty years since the beginning of the Civil War (American, that is). Seemed like a good day to post a fic!

It's time for me to re-introduce myself. After clearing my HIGHLY embarassing fics and adjusting the username I started to hate (formerly known as kaoriITALIA), I'm back. This is a short piece I started writing last Thanksgiving, stuck with extended family and overall rather bored. At first I meant to finish it before the end of the weekend, then I meant to upload it in December. Unfortunately... that didn't happen. And I certainly won't be waiting for Thanksgiving to roll around again to post it.

Hopefully everyone can catch the event I've parodied in here. Of course, not everyone has a nerd for a father like I do... so I'll explain at the end.

There's lots of OC states in here... they're just very fun to write, I think, if one doesn't take them too seriously and keeps in the general Hetalia spirit. Washington is entirely my creation, as is the version of DC I envisioned, but most of the others are, essentially, inspired by others I've seen. Of course, they were based on history and real life as well, so it's a little mix of everything. The Hawai'i I mention briefly is the same as the one I've previously written about, and I came up with my own versions of most of the West Coast as well. Lest we forget - there's real characters in here, too. America and Canada, those wonderful North American brothers. As a native, I won't apologize for my rendition of Washington, but I will apologize for any discrepancies in the other states, although most are too briefly mentioned to be developed.

The usual disclaimer: I certainly don't own Hetalia, and certainly don't have anything to do with it. I'm just a history/language nerd who basks in the glow of Himaruya-sensei's genius. Charles Schulz is also a genius - an older one than Hetalia, at that.

Please enjoy!

The American Tradition

"Washington, where are you?"


Two boys answered the call, standing up from their seats. The smaller of the pair, a miniature of his father in every way except for his clear vision, grinned and finished the response. "Yeah, Dad?"

With a huff and a pout, his younger brother sat down and stared at his plate sullenly. Washington really felt that he should have been used to this kind of situation, but fell for it every time nevertheless. "It's not fair!" he declared for the third time that night, but the meal continued uninterrupted as Oregon patted Washington's arm sympathetically before going back to his turkey. The raincloud hovering above the state's head did not change its consistent drizzle, clinging to his hair and slowly diluting a puddle of gravy and mashed potatoes.

Dim and gray, rainy little Washington was forgotten at the gigantic table of fifty-three people. The states' father, America, sat at the head of the table where most of the Eastern states were clustered around him, accompanied by Washington, D.C. The seating arrangement moved haphazardly westward to where Washington sat amidst his brother Oregon, Idaho fussing over the potatoes she'd brought for dinner, California talking to anybody who'd listen about upcoming movies and the holiday shopping season, and the amiable Alaska having a chat with Hawai'i, smaller than most of them yet older and (usually) more mature.

Lonely and feeling somewhat isolated, as per usual, Washington appealed to the older man at their end of the table. "Uncle Canada," he said sadly, "Can I come live with you instead? I don't mind moving in with BC, she's nice to me…"

Canada laughed his quiet little chuckle, unnoticed by the majority of the table. In fact, sitting so unobtrusively among the West Coast, he really could have been mistaken as America's fifty-first state. "Sorry, Washington," he said with an apologetic grin, setting down a fork laden with meat and vegetables, "I don't think my brother would take too kindly to that." A funny kind of look crossed his face, a dark flickering in his eyes. "America wouldn't like that at all, I recall…"

Washington leaned slightly away, spooked by the change in his usually cheerful uncle's demeanor. When Alaska distracted Canada with a discussion about the weather, much to the delight of a laughing Hawai'i, he swallowed whatever pride was left and focused on his slightly soggy plate once more.

"Hey, hey Washington!"

Washington looked up hopefully, exalted that someone was finally speaking to him. But again, the happiness bubbling in his stomach was extinguished suddenly as DC trotted past clutching a football in the November chill. Texas shouted a challenge, making to tackle him about the waist as he charged. The northwesternmost continental state watched them, huddled into a jacket against the dry, frozen wind, then turned back into the house.

More and more states joined to watch Texas and Washington, D.C., but after a little while watching the two roughhouse on America's spacious front lawn, the others started to join in. Even California and Florida were persuaded to play, plaiting their hair back and moving with considerable agility after leaving behind several pounds of jewelry on an unfortunate coffee table.

Almost immediately after the game began, America came charging in, nearly taking out Pennsylvania with his enthusiasm. Canada joined in more reluctantly, but still held his own when his brother wasn't chasing him down. Although it wasn't anywhere near baseball season, New York and Massachusetts still managed to get into an argument, more concerned with tackling one another than actually gaining possession of the ball. Montana exchanged a look with the Dakotas and swiftly separated their bickering siblings, the brother-and-sister twins each pinning one of New York's arms while the gentle Montana merely picked the flailing Massachusetts up by his collar and carried him out of the way without much exertion on her part.

About three-quarters of an hour into the game, Washington, D.C. dropped out for a rest. He smiled as his doting big sisters, Maryland and Virginia, brought him hot apple cider, and the three of them chatted awhile, watching the game continue as America struggled against both Texas and Alaska, putting their differences aside to tackle him in tandem… without success. The two biggest states toppled and their victorious father rushed for the touchdown.

"Hey, Washington!"

Washington looked away from the game at the sound, already expecting to be disappointed… but… that was DC waving at him, repeating the call. Disbelieving, he glanced over each of his shoulders, but no one was close enough for him to mistake the greeting. With a little hesitation, he wandered over to the sidelines. "Ummm… what's up… DC?" he questioned, attempting a damp smile from under his cloud.

"Why don't you join the game?" DC replied cheerily, looking far too enthusiastic after taking a hit from an overzealous Colorado just minutes earlier. "Thought you'd be up to a little football, too, of all people!"

"Football's, uh… not really…" Washington muttered and trailed off awkwardly. To be honest, he really did like football, he just… wasn't that good at it. Sure, every year he'd go out and cheer, road-trip occasionally to away games, and be an exemplary twelfth man. They just didn't usually make it that far on any given year. "Maybe next time," he excused himself lamely, starting to edge away from a potentially embarrassing scene.

But DC had other ideas. He grabbed his taller sibling and dragged him a little distance from the chaos unfolding on the lawn. "C'mon, Washy, you can't skip football on Thanksgiving. Why, it's…" He smirked slightly, making Washington feel even more nervous. "… it's tradition." He held a football in front of him and knelt on the grass, showing off a Cheshire grin. "Look, how's this. I'll hold the ball, and you just kick it, ok? It'll be fun!"

Washington didn't need to be told twice. He started running.

In the wrong direction, of course. He should have fled right then and there, gone inside to warm his coat and make everyone coffee, found some excuse to go talk to Hawai'i where she was bundled up by the fireplace - anything to get away from the weather- and holiday-induced gridiron mania and salvage his already crippled pride. But, of course not. He just had to run at the football.

He ran, not quite managing to leave his raincloud behind as he gathered speed. The wind tore at his mousy-brown hair, half-freezing the wetness trapped in it. At the last second, he saw DC grin, almost a smirk. It was a look he did not like, but it was too late to stop. He threw his weight on one foot, swinging the other leg forward to kick the ball…

… and his feet flew out from under his body as the football vanished. Washington windmilled his arms wildly, helplessly, as he fell through the open air. After a frantic, weightless moment suspended in slow-motion, he hit the ground flat on his back, sending frosty leaves skittering from the spot.

The game slowed and halted as they heard Washington yell and DC whoop, Nebraska and Iowa left comically dragging from America's ankles, ball forgotten in his hands. Everyone stared at where the wet little state lay winded on the brittle, frozen grass, spare football dropped near his head, trying to catch his breath. California stopped texting, thumbs hovering over the touch-screen keyboard on her phone while her cocoa cooled at her side where she sat on the lawn; Hawai'i was tempted outside to look, bundled in three coats and forgetting to shiver.

"Washington…" America said slowly, dropping the ball and freeing his feet from his daughters' grasp, "What did you do?"

Though Washington struggled for a moment to raise his head and assure his father he was all right, Washington, D.C. was the one being addressed, and Washington, D.C. answered. "Washy and I were having a little fun, is all," he laughed slightly, knowing the others trusted his word. "Poor guy tripped while he was running at the ball, silly Washy."

And then the worst part came: they all laughed. Some more than others, but even shy little Wyoming shared a chuckle with his big brother Colorado. Hawai'i went inside again; California had her phone working again in a flash, texting the whole scoop to Florida five yards away. The game resumed, and Washington closed his eyes, forgotten in his spot. Raindrops spattered his face, cold but never quite icy, as he slowly and deliberately smacked the back of his head against the ground.

A shadow fell between his face, the cloud, and the hazy sun, and Washington opened his eyes to see his uncle watching him carefully, squatting by his side. Washington sat up as Canada bounced on his heels. "You'll be all right, kiddo," he said, a little too cheerily for his grim nephew's liking. "At least it's not baseball season, right?"

"What's that supposed to mean!" Washington sat bolt upright and bristled indignantly, on the defensive in seconds. Honestly, the Seattle team wasn't that bad… or rather, he hoped they weren't. Was this really the time for insulting his house, though?

Canada grinned, but it didn't quite reach his eyes this time. "What I mean is that your dad's got a mean throwing arm, and a lot of the Eastern states seem to have inherited it," he explained patiently. He chuckled slightly, then seemed to remember something. It dawned on him after a few moments. "Washington," he said thoughtfully, "didn't something like this happen at America's birthday party last summer?"

That particular picnic was not one of Washington's best memories. "Good grief," he muttered, letting himself fall back down in the leaves again. "Don't remind me."

Thanks so much for reading through! It's not very impressive, but now I can say I'm back!

In Washington's defense... well, he's really kind of a crybaby. And very easy to make fun of, even though I've lived here all my life. As for Washington, D.C. ... well, we can't all be like Alfred. The politicians have to get it from somewhere. I'm sure he's a good kid, though, deep down inside.

Hopefully everyone caught the Peanuts parody. Most people ought to recognize the name Charlie Brown... and know the story of how Lucy tricks him into kicking a football that she pulls out from under his feet. For some reason, he tries every fall... and she has a good laugh every fall. In one strip I remember, she lures him in with a "surprise"... then shows him the whole thing on instant replay after he falls. "Good grief!"

Football... well, clearly, I'm talking about the American variety. For all and any international readers. After all, whyever would Alfred be playing soccer on Thanksgiving day?

It feels wonderful to be back, and I hope to see you soon with one of the upcoming oneshots I'm writing.

I'll Meet You There