Over the Horizon

Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia, or anything else I may reference in the story. I really only own any OC's and the ideas/what-ifs. Please enjoy :)

brief: The 'world' ended (WWIII happened), leaving only Alred and Mattie left. all human life gone under the death, destruction and poison of the radioactive weapons/bombs. The lands destroyed, the animals dead. Only small pockets were left - few and far between. And really only in the out reaches of civilization.

Alfred was forced to watch everything he loved burned, all because of the selfishness of humans. Mattie was dying, his bear barely moved these days. The two were forced to take refuge amongst what places were left while everything burned. Alfred had hidden himself deep in the mountains (Rocky?) and watched as his people died all around him. He felt every death, every gasp of breath...

Finally as the fires began to die down, he ventured out to see who else survived.

He only found Matthew.

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Cold blue eyes stared impassively as they watched the unnatural fire rage below, decimating what left of the city below. Thier owner knew nothing was left alive below, but it still stung to watch all that one had worked so hard for be destroyed.

All for the greed of man. Turning brother against brother.

Suppressing a shudder, Alfred turned and glanced over at his twin. The other blonde was bunched over, heavily bandaged holding Kumajirou gently. The bear hadn't moved since America had found his brother weeks ago, barely alive in the rumble of his capital. It was worse than those horror movies he'd liked so much. Walking through the devestated landscape made everything all that more real.

Al could feel his hands begin to shake as all the memories of the past few months surfaced. All the pain, the death and agony as his people perished, as his lands began to wither away and the animals fall. Never had he felt such heart renching pain. Not in any of the wars he'd been in before, nothing came close.

Damn those bastard. They destroyed everything in thier greed. Thier hunger for more, for money, resources and land. They were parasites that clung to thier host, leeching everything from them. Those damned Europeans, even the Asians, thier want, thier hunger and desire for everything all around them. Jealousy, envy and greed...the fall of man.

Clenching his hands Al jerked himself from his thoughts when he heard Mattie's ragged panting as another wave of pain ripped through the younger twin, causing his body to spasm, muscles tensing.

'Another piece of him...gone'

Al thought as he queitly walked away from the horrid view and over to his brother. Crouching down he gently pushed back Mattie's sweaty bangs from his burning forehead. Al closed his eyes and sighed softly, biting his lip. Shit. Mattie's fever was still running high, too high.

"Al...?"

He started a little, pulling his head back and quickly reaching for the bowl of water and rags sitting on the ground next to his brother. Alfred pick up one soaked rag and gently placed it on Mattie's head, trying in vain to help eleviate the raging fever.

"Hey bro...I'm here. Don't try to talk too much."

Mattie eyes fluttered open, still glazed from his illness. The action made Al grit his teeth in frustration. How he wished he could do something more, anything to help his brother. Sure, he used to pretend he couldn't remember or see his brother when they were around other nations. But all because he was worried they would take advantage of Mattie. Sweet Matthew.

Sure he knew his brother wasn't innocent or anything, but Alfred would do anything to protect him. No matter what had happened between them. They were brothers, twins connected in a way no one else would ever understand. And now...Alfred stared down at the other nation, feeling the mounting horror that he would be alone, that Mattie would follow the others.

"Al...how...Kuma?"

"He's fine mattie, just fine."

Alfred fought to keep his voice steady and kept his eyes on Canada's. He didn't care look over at the still bear. His brother's faithful companion was worse off than Mattie and it terrified him. He feared what would happen should it...Alfred managed a weak smile for his brother's benefit. No, he couldn't even think about that, not now. Not when Mattie needed him.

"He's...he's sleeping, like you should be. so don't worry. I've been looking after him since you got sick. He's been eating exactly what he should be, salmon and seal with maple syrup."

Alfred knew he was rambling, but he couldn't help it. He always talked too much when he was worried, or lying or afraid. And right now he was feeling all that and more.

"So no worries, afterall I'm the hero!..."

Alfred lowered his voice and smiled a littler wider, ignoring the paleness of Mattie's face.

"Everything will be alright..."

'It has to be.'

"Than...Thanks Al..."

"Sleep Mattie, everything will be fine..."

Matthew's eyes closed and Alfred knew he was unconcious again. As he pulled his hand back, he noticed it shaking and bit back a snarl of anger and frustration. He grabbed the blanket Canada had kicked off during his fit and covered him once more, making sure he was tucked in before kissing Mattie's forehead.

As soon as he left the room he muttered a quiet curse. Mattie was getting worse, and he knew it was only a matter of time before he was alone. That terrified him more than anything.

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"Alfred?"

"Yes?"

"what are we going to do?"

The tall nation looked down at his once strong brother. The other blonde was a pale reflection of what he'd once been, bruised and bleeding. America knew his brother was dying, slowly and painful and there wasn't a thing he could do.

Still, he had to be strong.

"Don't worry Mattie."

He thanked God his voice didn't waver, even as he stared through the broken window out into the acidic rain that fell over his burning lands.

"I'll take care of everything...I'll make it better. I'm the Hero afterall..."

Purple-blue widened, then warmed at the statement, before becoming glossy even as the elder brother brushed a stray curl away.

"I'll make everything better...Mattie...Don't worry..."

Alfred's voice was barely louder than a whisper as he watched with tear filled eyes as his brother slipped away...the degrading already beginning. For a long time he'd always wondered what would happen if a Nation died, their people dead, their lands destroyed... what would become of them?...

And now he knew all too well, having seen it too many times...and he'd see it once more...

Somehow, it was worse, just because it was Mattie. Dear sweet Mattie. His baby brother whom he'd tried to protect from the world, keep him safe...and all he'd done was sign his death warrant.

"I...I love you Al...I...I'll...miss you...don't...Don't give up..."

America clutched his brother close, trying to hold on even as he felt him slowly disappearing, fading away like dust in the wind.

"Oh Mattie...love...love you...forever..."

He couldn't feel Mattie legs and he knew the smaller twin's eyes weren't focused anymore.

Alfred cried out as his brother's body disappeared, leaving his grasping at air and sobbing. He could feel his heart break, a hole now forming where his brother once had been. Thier bond was broken and it hurt, worse than anything that had ever happened before.

He cried for hours hugging himself in the dirty rain, wishing he was dead, so he wouldn't feel so alone, broken, and left behind.

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Alfred didn't even have a body to bury. Nothing of Mattie or Kumajirou was left. They'd faded away, like dust in the wind. He shuddered. Hating the memories of loneliness and loss. He'd wandered for a long time after Mattie had died, half-mad until he'd stumbled across some documents in the rubble of his own house that had reminded him of his project, of NORAD and the machine.

Taking a deep breath he'd turned to pack everything he'd need for the journey. His favorite bomber jacket (it's still surprised him it had survived everything that had happened since he'd first begun to wear it), rations, water, his guns (just in case) goggles and otehr survival gear he might need. After he was done, America was silently grateful he was as strong as he was. Otherwise he'd never even get the damned bag off the ground.

Hefting it up on his shoulder, Alfred adjusted it one last time, making sure his shotgun wasn't jabbing him before he gave one last look at the place he'd called home for so long. It barely looked like anyone had even lived in it. Who would have known his crazy paranoia from the cold war actually would pay off?

Sighing softly, Alfred truned and left, hoping beyond hope that his plan would work as he tied a thick scarf around his face to keep the dirt, grime and whatever else was in the air out of his lungs.

'Wonder if I look like Russia like this?'

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Alfred stared at the beautiful silver metal. It looked more like a giant egg beater than a device that could create (hopefully) a portal to another world, or a time, or dimension. God, he hoped it was the latter. It was eerie, being in such a large base and knowing he was the only living thing in there. All his soldiers and civilians were dead from the gasing, thier bodies having slowly rotted away, becoming dust as a side-effect from the poison. It made him shudder.

How he hated them, how dare they do this! Fuckers, why did they betray him and Mattie?

'I guess MAD worked...all too well. Fuck.'

Sighing he looked down at the console and knew he had one chance at this working, and he prayed it would. It was funny, all those plans he'd made more than 7 decades ago when he and Tony had begun the project, all about code words, plans, etc. he'd use in case the machine actually worked. So his 'past' self wouldn't freak and try to kill him, (like if he ended up in the cold war era)etc.

He just never thought he'd actually use them.

'God, anyone, please let this work...'

Alfred prayed, pulling the leaver down as the rings began to spin, faster and faster before lining up perfectly. Light began to form in the middle, growing larger and larger until it began to stabilize.

"It's working!"

Alfred cried out with shock, joy and tenative hope. It was working!

Suddenly the lights began to flicker, causing the powerful nation to curse, running toward it. He knew he only had one chance for this to work, and it was now or never. Holding tightly to the pack on his back he leaped.

There was a flash, whirling and a whine before darkness.

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TBC...

A/N: So, this is really only the beginning. I've got the plot outlined and the next chapter almost ready. Hope you enjoyed. R&R!