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 :)
A/N: Thanks for the feedback. FYI, the plot isn't going to be the usual going back and encounter past selfs. Al won't be seeing the other nations for a while. ;P
Chapter one - Waking up
'Owww...my head, what happened?'
Alfred groaned, wincing at the bright light that stabbed his eyes as he awoke to conciousness. His head pounded, everything was so sensitive, like he'd been scrapped across hot metal, then ground up and fried. Blinking rapily he stared around.
He definitely wasn't in the base anymore. Familiar golden grains waved happily in the wind. A sight he hadn't seen in over 20 years since the bombing first started. It was beautiful.
'It worked, holy shit, the damned thing worked...'
He thought dawning wonder, as he sat up, before grabbing his head as it throbbed harder with the movement.
Closing his eyes he could feel a wave of grief threaten to take over. Even in the face of the reality that he'd made it, he'd managed the impossible again...the memories still persisted. His brother was gone, his other half, destroyed by the selfishness of others, by the greed, hatered and bigotry he'd fought against for so long he'd grown blind to it in his own country and among his own leaders.
Letting his headache subside, the former american nation sighed softly, running one hand through his hair. Well, first things first. He had to figure out where and when he was. groaning slightly as he moved, alfred glanced around, trying to spot anything, but all he could see was goldens waves surrounding him. After a few moments he got up, grabbing his pack and loosening the scarf around his face, so he could take a deep breath of the fresh clean air. Something he'd missed for so long.
Shouldering his heavy pack - careful of the shotgun, Alfred closed his eyes and spun around in a circle, trying to figure out where to go. After a few seconds he stopped, slightly dizzy, but facing a direction, one he was going to take and try to find someone, anyone alive, mentions of civilizations, or whatnot. He only hoped 'Horizon' hadn't sent him into the future with him being the only thing left, other than the occasional animal.
"Well, come on feet. No time to waste just standing here..."
Alfred walked for miles, with nothing in sight. Not even birds. It was like he was in the middle of the Ethusian Fields, without all the other people roaming about. Just when he was sure he was about to lose it, he paused. There! Turning his eyes to his left, Alfred watched a large cloud of dust that seemed to be headed straight for him. It took him a few seconds before he let out a curse, recognizing what was running toward him.
"Shit! Shit! Shit!"
He yelped, turning tail and darting away, not wanting to be run over by the aggressive animals. The ground began to shake, making it harder to keep himself upright.
'Oh hell, I'm gonna get run over by a bunch of stupid animals...'
Alfred thought as he ran, barely keeping ahead of the approaching herd. A second later he spotted a large rock he'd passed earlier and hurriedly scramlbed up. Just in time as the large bison thundered past, the wind dragging at his clothes. Panting slightly, he watched with awe as the animals slowly disappeared from view.
Bison, American bison. They'd gone extinct almost 10 years before the war, with few left alive living in captivity, and even then they were a dying species. To see them running wild and free felt amazing. Plus, they helped him with the year - wild bison hadn't run free in America for over a hundred years. So, at least he had an idea of possible whens he could be.
A few moments later he knew it was time to get moving. He had people to find, and hopefully civilization and maybe a telephone. A part of him wondered what it would be like seeing the other nations, if they'd freak out. His heart raced at the thought of seeing his brother again.
'Perhaps it wouldn't be so terrible seeing everyone if Mattie's there. I'd give anything to even see the commie again for a few moments.'
Hopping down he pointed himself in the direction from which the bison had come from. Something had to be in that direction, right?
Days passed by and America was beginning to feel worried. He hadn't seen any people no matter how long he walked. His rations were beginning to run low, but thankfully there was plenty of wild-life he could live off. He'd managed to find some fresh water - something he hadn't seen in decades, that still amazed him.
Everything seemed so familiar, yet so alien. Alfred knew that the wars had been going on for a long time, but he never truly understood how long it had been until he was free, walking with no fixed destination in sight.
"Ugh, what I wouldn't give for a burger..."
Alfred muttered as he eyed a MRE with disgust. Sure they helped with survival, but one had to be truly desperate to eat them. After slight hesitation he managed to choke it down, his face twisted in disgust at the taste.
After another day or two of wandering, with the occasional hunting, skinning, and cooking breaks, Alfred kept going, praying he wasn't in hell, at least hell for him. No human contact would drive him mad eventually, not like he wasn't already insane as it was from the wars, from losing Mattie.
Finally he spotted a column of smoke in the distance and felt hope rising. Yes! Some sign of civilization! Quickly, he hefted his heavy pack, which now contained hides and furs of his kills. He used them for warmth when night came and the temperature plummeted. Facing the smoke he half walked-half ran towards it, hoping it was a house, or a cabin. Maybe there'd be people there on vacation, or...
Alfred's mind whirled with different possibilities as he came closer and closer to the source. Excitement rose, he could see something up ahead, it looked like a bunch of tents...wait, tents? A little confused, Alfred slowed down and walked a little more cautiously. After-all, who would be camping way out here? And without an RV? Or a cabin?
As he came into view of the encampment he saw a group of people (people! real live living people!) hurriedly moving about. What looked like a few women ducked down into the closet tent and the men turned grabbing long sticks before going out to meet him. Alfred was really confused, because he could tell that they grabbed spears, not guns.
One of the men shouted something at him, and while it sounded familiar, he couldn't figure out what he'd said. Alfred hadn't spoken anything but English for so long, hearing another language was strange. And it didn't sound like anything from Europe (thank god)...but still...
"I come in peace."
Alfred said as the men came closer, holding his hands up, smiling slightly, trying to give off an aura of peace, though tempted to finish the stereotypical greeting, but kept himself from doing so. As the strangers came closer he took in their clothing and felt the pit of his stomach drop. They were dressed in hides, and what little decoration they had was very primitive.
"Hay aly! Ga-go ni-hi?"
"I...I'm sorry, I don't understand..."
Alfred felt lost as he watched them come closer. They definitely looked primitive themselves, natives for sure. But...no one had dressed or spoke that tongue for a long time, even before the wars so he was struggling to remember it. It sounded like gibberish, but familiar gibberish, maybe he'd spoken it with Mattie? But...
"Kiyiya, ga-do o-gi-na-li-go-hi nah-dv-ga?"
The tallest one, who still barely reached Al's chest frowned deeply, looking at the former nation. Alfred's height was taken in, as was his unusual cloths and eye color. After a moment the man issued orders sharply, gesturing towards the paler man.
"[We take him to the chief. Get his pack and spear.]"
Alfred let them surround him, hands still held up as one of the smaller teens darted closer, his hands reaching for the backpack. He almost growled and jerked away, but forced himself to stay calm, knowing they wouldn't be able to use his gun, as the safety was on, so that would be fine. For now.
"[Such a strange weapon...]"
Muttered one of the warriors as they eyed the shotgun, not recognizing it. Alfred could manage to catch a few words here and there, but not everything. It was still coming back slowly and he was struggling to contain his growing horror and fear.
"Hey! Watch the coat. Leather's a little hard to come by."
Alfred's eyes narrowed when one of the men poked him with his spear, but allowed them to herd him towards the encampment. As they came closer, more people came out to look at the stranger that the warriors brought back.
He was tall, wearing strange hides of an animal none of them reconized. Along with the strange hide-like thing wrapped around his neck, it's color like that of freshly fallen snow. His hair drew many stares, as it looked exactly like the golden grains among the plains and his eyes were like that of the clearest sky.
"[What beautiful eyes...]"
"[I've never seen hair like that...]"
"[He's so tall.]"
"[What tribe do you think he belongs too?]"
The tribe was whispering and murmuring amongst themselves, sometimes too soft for Alfred to catch anything. His knowledge of the language was slowly coming back, but still it was difficult to understand everything. And he was starting to get the feeling none of them had ever seen a man like him.
A tall man exited the largests 'tent', and Alfred knew this was the chief of the tribe. The man was dressed in thick hides and furs, but in better condition than most. He had a few feathers weaved into his hair, giving him a status of power evident to anyone who paid attention. His dark brown eyes focused on Alfred's group, eyeing the tall pale skinned man who stood in the middle, surrounded by the spears of the others.
"[Who have you brought here Running-wolf?]"
"[A stranger Chief Red-Thunder. He came across the plains. No one else was with him.]"
"[Hmmm. Bring him closer, let me take a good look at him.]"
Alfred was pushed closer to the elderly chieftain, but bit his lip to keep himself from shouting. while he knew he couldn't be killed like a human, he'd rather avoid any and all pain that might be associated with such experiences. Still, this was a good a time as any to try and figure out where he was, and perhaps even when.
"[Do you speak?]"
"[I speak little.]"
The warriors drew back as they eyed the stranger who spoke their language in surprise. Sure his accent was terrible, but understandable.
"[I am Chief Red-Thunder of the Golden-Rain Tribe. You are?]"
"Alfred F. Jones. Uh, you can call me [Al] though."
The chief nodded smiling slightly again. A pretty woman appeared by the chief's side and Alfred knew she was also important, by the way the men backed off. The bones and feathers she wore clinked as she turned her head this way and that, staring at the tall American, making him feel like he was under a microscope. Or at least being scrutinized by one of the ancient spirits.
"[What was he carrying?]"
"[This. And a strange spear. It looks like black stone, but feels nothing like any rock I've come across. or wood for that matter.]"
The chief looked over the pack, taking in the strange hides that kept it together. Symbols that made no sense were written on the cover and the weapon - spear? It looked like nothing they'de ver come across before. His wife placed her hand on his arm, looking back at Alfred before speaking softly. Alfred eyed the closet spear, the warriors had lowered them as they realized he was no threat. The chief's brows rose and he held up the gun.
"[What is this? I have never seen a weapon like this before.]"
"[It...]" Alfred struggled to find the word to describe it, but couldn't think of one. "[It's a] gun."
"[Yes. Be careful. Dangerous.]"
"[Beloved, he means us no harm. Let him stay the night and share a meal with us. He looks tired and has travelled far.]"
The chief thought for a moment, glancing between the tribe, his warriors, wife and Alfred. He took in the stranger's haggard appearance before smiling warmly and nodding towards the warriors - they backed off, spears lowered, all looking curiously at their leader.
"[Yes, you will stay with us for a time. Tonight we shall have a feast in honor of our guest.]"
Alfred spoke with the chieftain and his wife for a little while as the tribe hurried to get everything together. All too soon the sun was ready to set and the tribe offered to let him stay the night and share a meal with them. He agreed and soon found himself sitting among the others. That night the chief and his tribe warmly welcomed Alfred as thier guest. After the meal, Alfred found himself ushered into the chief's tent to speak once more before heading off to bed.
"[Tell me, friend - where are you from?]"
"[Far away.] America."
The chief looked confused, he'd never heard of that tribe, but shrugged it off. His wife's words from earlier rang in his ears. He knew there was something different, something special about this tall golden haired stranger. He would wait to see what it was. For now, he would welcome him into his tribe and let him stay for awhile.
"[I have not heard of such a tribe. No matter, come it is time for you to sleep. We can set up a
place for you in the bachelor's tent.]"
Alfred's heart sank when he saw no reconition when he said America. So he had to be much further back than he'd first thought.
The chief nodded and let one of his warriors accompany Alfred to the tent before turning back to his wife. The mystical woman smiled as her beloved came and sat beside her. He shook his head ruefully.
"[He is a strange one, that's for sure.]"
"[He is from far away. Our ways are not his own. Come, sleep. Tomorrow comes soon.]"
Red-thunder nodded and joined his wife, looking back once before turning his thoughts towards sleep. Tomorrow he'd worry about it, Tomorrow.
Alfred lay still in his furs and sleeping bag. The other warriors had looked confused when he pulled out the brightly colored bag from his pack and unrolled it along with his furs. They were all fascinated by the strange slick feeling the fabric had, along with the vibrant colors they'd never seen anywhere else other than in nature. Still, it had been a long day for all and it wasn't long before everyone settled down and fell asleep, with only a few left awake for the night watch.
Still, America couldn't bring himself to sleep. He knew he'd go back fairly far, but he hoped he hadn't missed a whole century.
'No worries, really. Maybe this tribe never heard of America because they live in the middle of nowhere. It can't be that big of a deal. Maybe they only know America by another name? Maybe the United States? No need to panic. Just keep calm and ask about a phone or a nearby town tomorrow. Yes. That'll do. Just ask tomorrow.'
Alfre nodded to himself, turning over on his side closing his eyes. He would panic later.
But, he knew, deep in his gut, it was useless. Horizon had opened a portal to somewhere far away from that decimated land he'd lived in. Though he wasn't so sure if he traded one nightmare for another.
A/N: Yeah, Alfred's gonna be a little OC, but that's because he's been through a lot of crap - mentally, physically and emotionally. He carries the scars and those will later be described along with his current appearance. Next chapter Al's going to be learning a bit more about the people he's staying with and they're going to learn about him.
I also edited it, so thanks fanfictionlover. My writing program doesn't have a spellcheck, so I've been kinda stuck when it comes to noticing the mistakes, but thanks for pointing them out so I can fix 'em.