Author: Jubilee (calavasas )
Characters/Pairings: In this chapter: America, England, France, Germany, N & S Italy, Russia, China, Japan, Greece, Spain, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Hungary, Prussia, Australia, OC!Mexico, OC!India, OC!Vancouver. Eventual America x Japan and hints of others.
Warnings/Notes: AU - High school. No warnings in this chapter, though a certain character might come off as offensive by his comments and rude remarks.
Summary: Alfred didn't really know what he wanted to do with his life. All he did know was that he wanted to do something heroic, to be a hero. Luckily for him, he was about to get that chance in the form of a small Japanese teenage boy.
The bus finally began to pull up in the front of the school. The driver stopped the vehicle on the left side of the parking lot as he saw another yellow bus pull up on the right side.
"Okay everyone," he said as he turned off the motor. "Time for learning!"
Matthew beamed. "Our first day back!" he said happily. "Oh I can't wait!"
Nobody was in a hurry to get out of the bus (except Matthew) but either way, they all poured out in single file. Alfred, being the attention whore that he was, had to be first even though Vash was actually the first one to step out of the school bus.
"Alright guys!" Alfred said as he turned around. "It's another year, so that means another semester of torture. But we can do this!"
Gilbert laughed. "You always get so pumped up at the beginning of every semester."
Alfred chuckled and said, "I guess. Maybe school can be fun at times, if you know how to enjoy yourself!"
"Yes but you enjoy yourself too much sometimes," Arthur replied. "I'm not going to let you copy my math homework anymore."
"Because you're supposed to do it yourself!"
"Yet you lend it to me anyway. Weird huh?"
Arthur huffed and mumbled something under his breath. "It's because you make those stupid puppy eyes at me and they're hard to resist…" A faint blush appeared on his cheeks.
"Huh? Did you say something?"
"I just said that I lend them to you because otherwise, you'll keep on bugging me about it for the rest of the day…"
Alfred and his group of friends heard some footsteps behind him. "Well well, if it isn't Mr. World Peace and his band of illegals."
The blonde sighed and turned around, a discontent look on his face. "You're gonna start again? We barely got here and already you're being a complete dick."
"Don't call them illegals," Matthew said standing next to his brother. He tried to look tough but he looked more cute than anything, with his textbooks hugged tightly to his chest and his adorable scowl.
"I never understood the two of you," said the boy. "The both of you are some of the few Americans in this school yet you hardly have any American friends. You guys just hang around with immigrants."
"Stop it," Alfred said, sounding defensive. "That's enough Damian."
The teen scoffed and him and just began to walk to the front steps along with the group that came on his bus. Alfred waited until they were inside the school and then he began to walk in that same direction, Matthew and the others following him.
"You know," said Aksel. "You don't always have to defend us Alfred."
"We're pretty capable of kicking that guy's ass," Gilbert added.
"Doesn't matter. Matthew and I are the only ones without an accent. As long as you have an accent--"
"I understand what you're trying to say Alfred," Ludwig told him. "But really, we're fine on our own."
"Yeah I know. I just get tired of him always making remarks like that about you guys. They're not funny."
"Why does he pick on you anyway?" Feliciano asked. "You were born here in America, just like him. So…I'm a bit lost…"
"He's just butthurt Feli."
"What does that mean?"
"It means he takes everything to the ass. It's fine if he makes fun of other people, but once you start capping on him, he goes ballistic."
"That doesn't seem fair…"
"Is he mean to you because you quit the football team?" asked Lovino. "I'm just asking 'cause I remember he was being a big drama queen about it last year in tenth grade."
"Yeah, I guess that's why." Alfred shrugged. "I really don't care. I mean, I love football, but I'm not gonna be on his team if he's gonna be an asshole towards my friends."
Alfred had always loved sports, whether it was football, basketball, baseball, soccer, even swimming. He loved to play all of them, and during the winter, he'd play hockey with Matthew, who surprisingly got violent with this sport which shocked Alfred in the beginning. In middle school, Alfred had joined the football team since at the time, it was his favorite sport. He expected it to be violent like he had seen in movies and he was looking forward to it, but that was in high school, not middle school. He was a bit sad since what the middle school had was "Flag Football": you had to take the flag off the belt of the opposing team's player with the ball before they reached their goal line. There wasn't any tackling or display of manly strength, which made the American feel a bit disappointed.
So when he got to high school in ninth grade, he tried out for the actual football team and got in. That was when he met Damian. He didn't go to the middle school Alfred attended but to another one, so he didn't know much about him. The two became friends as they went to practices and games. Alfred enjoyed being a jock and the benefits that came with it (such as being a chick magnet and not exactly having to have a high GPA) but then he began to see that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. For one, he noticed a few of the football players tended to have the typical high school bully demeanor and ego, something he didn't like, even though he himself could be conceited at times. He didn't mind it until they began to pick on his friends.
The boy turned around from his seat on the bleachers during lunch with his friends and some of the cheerleaders. "Yep?" He was blonde like Alfred and had blue eyes like him too, except his hair was cut a bit shorter and was spiky.
"What did you do to Feli?"
"Feli? Who the hell is that?"
"Oh, that gay pathetic Italian?"
"He's not gay. He just happens to be in touch with his feminine side, which by the way, gets him more girls than you'll ever get in your life time."
Damian scowled. "Just get to the point Jones."
"Stop picking on him. He's very sensitive. Antonio found him crying yesterday and I practically had to beg Ludwig and Francis to not kick your ass."
"He was just being annoying is all. That "ve" thing he does and how he continually talks about pasta was getting on my nerves."
"But he wasn't bothering you."
"It was annoying."
"Did you pick on him because he was annoying, or did you pick on him because he's Italian?"
Damian's face started to become serious. "What are you saying Jones?"
"I've been noticing something lately, and I don't like it."
"What would that be?"
"You pick on other students."
Damian laughed and so did his friends. "It's not like we beat them up! We'd never go that far."
"But why do you have to do that? And it's not just any kind of student. It's the ones who weren't born here in America."
Damian sighed. "Jones, you're beating around the bush. Just say what you want to say."
"I want you to stop picking on them."
"They're not illegals!"
"Why are you getting so touchy about this all of a sudden?"
"Because I've realized that I've been stupid and blind about it this whole time. I guess I just tried to ignore it, hoping it'd go away, but now I have to say something since obviously that isn't working."
"Alfred, why does it matter if we pick on them? They're gonna get picked on anyway."
"Because they have accents?"
"Well…yeah! I mean, don't they sound funny to you?"
"No, not to me, but maybe it's because I've been around most of them since elementary so I've heard their accents various times that to me, it's as if they didn't have one at all."
"But I see you make fun of the Brit's accent."
"Arthur is my friend and I only do that because I know him. He gets angry about it, but he knows I'm playing. He doesn't know you that well, so that's why he gets pissed when you do that to him. So cut it out."
"Oh but his accent is just so hilarious, is it not old chaps?" he said to his friends. They laughed and said, "Why yes it is old boy." They imitated Arthur's accent.
Alfred's eyebrows furrowed. "He doesn't talk like that."
"Jones," Damian said chuckling and shaking his head. "Don't tell me you've gotten soft. Football players can't be soft."
Alfred looked at him and was silent for a moment. Then he said, "You know what? You're right."
"Good. Glad we understand each other! Now about today's practice--"
"Football players can't be soft."
"Yeah they can't."
"Then I guess I quit."
"What?! You can't quit!"
"Yeah I can." He took off his football jacket and tossed it at him. "There. See? I quit!" He smiled, but that was only to mock him.
"Al, you're one of our best players! Don't you love football?!"
"Yeah I do, but I don't want it to turn me into a jackass. I'll sign up for some other sport."
"Baseball has always been my second favorite sport. It's America's past time after all."
"Baseball? You're going to join baseball?"
"Al…you're wasting your potential!"
"I'd rather do that than lose my friends. You may see them as immigrants, but I see them as Americans. Their families pay taxes like those who were born in America and they live like Americans. The only difference is their native language and religion. I don't understand why so many people want world peace, yet they act like you do towards those who aren't American-born."
"So you're Mr. Universe now or what?"
"No. I'm just saying. This school was founded so that way we can understand each other's cultures and customs making us more comfortable around different nationalities."
Damian raised an eyebrow to him. "You know, you were cool when I first met you, and now…I don't know who you are anymore."
"When I first met you, I thought you were cool too. But now I know that you're just an asshole who probably doesn't get enough attention at home so he needs to get it at school by acting tough and hide the fact that he loves ponies with hearts tattooed on their butts."
Elsewhere, Feliks got a strange feeling inside of him. "I feel like…somebody is insulting pretty ponies…" He ignored it and continued to eat his lunch.
"What did you say?" Damian said, his friends snickering behind him. The thought of him having a secret stash of ponies was amusing.
"Hey, I'm not judging man," Alfred said, raising his hands in defense. "What you do after school is your business. I won't tell anyone I saw you at the book store buying a calendar with horses on them."
Damian's friends burst out laughing, the former getting extremely upset. "That's it Jones! You're dead meat!"
Alfred laughed and began to walk away. "You getting angry about it only proves me right ~ !" he chimed.
"Just you wait Mr. World Peace! You're going to suffer the same fate as your immigrant friends!"
"Oooh, I'm so scared. I think I'll go home and cuddle my pony plushie while I talk to my calendar about my daily woes." The blonde laughed and ran back to the cafeteria to join his friends again.
End of Flashback
"So that's how the story went," Manny said. "I never knew that."
"Yeah I refrained from telling anybody, but now seemed like a good time to let you guys know. Oh, no offense Feliks. Horses are cool. My cousin has some on his father's ranch in Texas."
The Polish student waved his hand. "It's like totally alright Freddy. I understand. But really, that would be so hilarious if Damian liked ponies!"
"It would wouldn't it?"
The group laughed and began to walk to the front of the school.
"What's up Artie?"
"Thank you for…defending me from those idiots."
"No prob. I'm the only one who can pick on you."
"Oh, and Francis. I'm not gonna let those morons take that away from us. Besides, we're only playing. They actually mean it."
"I know…that's why I'm thanking you for defending me."
"Like I said, it's no big deal!"
"Uwaaah, but Alfred," Feliciano began. "Don't you mind that now you're grouped like the rest of us?"
"He means you're now a bully target," Yao clarified. "By defending us, you have alleged yourself with us too, meaning you're just as 'bad' as we are, at least in Damian's eyes."
"Meh, I really don't care." He put his hands behind his head. "I don't care if he picks on me, because I can still kick his butt anytime, anywhere. I might have to save Matt's behind though."
"Hey!" said the younger twin. "I'm not that defenseless! I-I can fight too!"
"The only time you get violent is during hockey. Man, you get really scary when we play…but, that makes it more challenging!"
"I just don't like fighting okay?! That doesn't solve anything! You don't mind it 'cause you like to show off and be a hero…"
"A hero isn't afraid to fight if it's for a just cause! And this is a just cause Matt!"
"Whatever you say…"
"You know Alfred," Elizabeta said to him. "Sometimes I feel like you're a biased character of some fanfiction by an author who loves your character and makes you the star and all around good guy of the plot."
"Really? Where'd you get that idea from Liz?"
"I've read my fair share of fanfics so I know a thing or two about habits of certain authors."
"Well okay. But that would be awesome if I was the author's favorite and they made me look good, at least more than I already am! Ha ha!"
"They could also try to tone down that arrogant attitude of yours too," Ivan said with a smile. "I think that would be a nice change of character so not everyone thinks your annoying."
Alfred turned to his friends. "You guys don't think I'm annoying right?!" For some reason he became panicked all of a sudden. It didn't help that the friends hesitated.
"Well…" Yong Soo began. "You can be obnoxious sometimes."
"Ha! Look who's talking!"
"Aniki! Don't be so mean and don't interrupt me!" Yong Soo turned back to Alfred. "Like I was saying, you can be obnoxious sometimes and too pushy."
"Yeah, and you always want to be in charge whenever we have to do group activities," added Lovino.
Antonio nodded. "Not only that, but you're pretty hyper too."
"Basically, you can be overwhelming to all of us," Arthur finished.
Feliciano noticed Alfred's troubled and shocked expression. The Italian smiled and said, "But don't worry Alfred. You're a good guy!"
"And," Katyusha began. "We thank you and your brother for…not being mean to us because some of us can't speak in perfect English."
"She's right," Heracles added. "Alfred, you and Matthew are what I would call, the 'good Americans'."
"You mean there's another kind?"
"The bad ones," Francis clarified. "The ones like Damian."
"The ones who think their nationality is superior to the rest around the world," Ivan said.
"And the ones who don't respect another culture," Manny concluded.
"Oh…I see." Alfred crossed his arms. "Well, that's just like every nationality…right? There's good people, and there's bad people. At least, that's what my mom always told me."
"And she's right!" Neeraja said. "You can't assume all people are the same just because a group of a certain nationality did something horrible. There is always going to be good and bad people in the world, no matter what country you're from."
"So," Feliciano finished. "We're…we're thankful that you and Matthew are the good kind in this country. You've been nice to us. I mean, you get so fascinated by some of our cultures, especially concerning the food!" He laughed.
Matthew chuckled. "Oh, it's nothing really. We're just glad you don't think all Americans are bad."
Alfred beamed at his friends. And this is why I gave up being on the football team, he told himself.
He noticed that Kiku rushed into the doors as soon as they finished climbing the steps to enter the main building. Alfred was still curious, so he asked Yao, "Hey Yao?"
"Does Kiku hate me?"
"Aiya…Alfred, not that again…"
"Well he's the only one out of every single person on our bus who doesn't speak to me!"
"It's not that he hates you," Yao said with a sigh. "He's just not comfortable around you. I don't think he's gotten over the incident."
"But Ludwig and Feli have!"
"Yes, but he's not us," Ludwig said. "Kiku is…a bit more stubborn than we are I suppose."
"Believe me Alfred, we've tried to talk to him!" said Feliciano. "But…but for some reason…he doesn't want to listen…oh…and it would be a lot more fun if he came with us to places like Disneyland. I like going there because we get cute hats with mouse ears on them!"
"Give him some time," Li said. It was strange to hear him talk since he wasn't very vocal. "He'll come around soon."
"How do you know?"
"I get gut feelings from time to time."
On the intercom a voice said, "Welcome back Ambrosia High! I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas break, but now it's time to put on those thinking caps and get to class! Please report to your homeroom for further instructions. Thank you and have a great day!"
"Well," Matthew said. "Looks like school is finally beginning!"
"Yeah, aren't you a happy camper…"
Sometimes Alfred felt like it wasn't merely coincidence that all the people who happened to ride on his bus were in the same grade as him, and that it wasn't merely coincidence that they all happened to have the same homeroom teacher either.
Matthew took his seat in the front of the class next to Alfred. Homeroom was the only time Alfred didn't mind being seated in the front, the reason being he didn't have any work to do. Homeroom was just an informative period and a chance to gossip.
The younger twin looked to his right. "Oh, good morning Victoria!"
Victoria was Arthur's cousin who moved from Canada. She didn't have his accent, though sometimes she'd say certain words differently. She had long blonde hair in a braid and blue eyes. One could also tell she was related to Arthur because of her slightly thick eyebrows, thick for a girl at least. She sat down next to Matthew. "So, how was your winter break?"
"Oh it was okay. I got to play some more hockey."
"Yeah! I was going to ask you if you wanted to come, but Arthur said you would all be going to the mountains for Christmas…so…"
"Oh, yeah, we did go."
"How was it?"
"It was okay I guess."
"Ah! Did you know your cousin is coming to this school now?"
"Which one?" Victoria, or actually, Arthur, had a huge family. Arthur was the second youngest. He had three older brothers named Angus, Gavan, and Alec. Then it was Arthur himself, and finally his youngest sibling, Peter. His three older siblings were already at college. He was the next to go, though it would be a few more years until Peter left home. Arthur didn't like it when his brothers were home though because they usually picked on him when they would come to visit, yet bring Peter gifts. He felt like this was completely unfair.
"Your cousin from Australia."
"Oh! You mean Logan!"
"Yeah! What grade is he in?"
"Logan is in the same grade as us."
"But isn't it a bit strange that he moved when half of the school year is over already?"
"He moved during the winter break, so his parents enrolled him in this school because it has a good academic reputation."
"Oh, I see."
"Arthur doesn't like him though…"
"Yeah, we all kind of figured that. Logan was on our bus this morning and Arthur tried to hide from him."
Victoria laughed. "Well Arthur thinks he's annoying, but he really just wants to get to know him. We don't see Logan much, but since he and his family moved to America permanently, we'll have more family bonding!"
Matthew smiled at her. "You know, you have a cute laugh Victoria."
The girl blushed. "Oh…well…th-thank you…" She turned around when Alfred began to talk with Matthew. She had a crush on the younger twin, but was always too shy to ever tell him how she felt. She was a bit resentful towards Katyusha because she was the apple of Matthew's eye and she knew every guy wanted her. Just because her boobs are the size of pumpkins! There's more to a person than just their outward appearance! She took out a book to calm herself down.
"Alright class," said their teacher as she walked in. "Let's quiet down now." She went to the white board and wrote her name, the day's date below it.
"Well!" she said as she faced the class. "How were all of your vacations?"
"They were fine Mrs. Rosales."
"Oh come on, I want to hear how they all went individually!" She looked around the classroom. "Ah! Mei, why don't you start?"
"Huh? Oh, well okay." She thought for a moment. "Well, I got some cute new clothes over the break and a new camera!"
"That's nice! Ivan, how was your vacation?"
"Oh, we went to Russia to go visit my babushka."
"Really? And how was it?"
"It was nice being back in my home country, but Katyusha was missing the United States…"
"I'm sorry Ivan, but…I just got so used to living over here!" said the big-chested girl. "I love being here!"
"You should also love your home country," Natalia replied.
"Oh, I'm not saying I don't! I just…I suppose I just grew tired of the cold weather back in Russia…"
"It's okay Katyusha," said Ivan warmly. "Nobody is getting angry at you."
"A-Are you sure you're not mad because mama and papa had to return back to America because of me?"
"No, I'm not mad at all. Besides, Yao is over here, not over there." He smiled a bit.
"Ivan," said Yao. "You can't be rooted here all the time just because I'm not traveling with you."
"Oh, but I'll miss you!"
Yao blushed a little. "That's why you have my number! There are these things called phones you know!"
Mrs. Rosales looked for somebody else to call. "Ah, Heracles! How was your winter break?"
"Well, I slept a lot. Played with my cats…yeah, that was pretty much it."
"And are you refreshed?"
"Not really. My neighbor Mr. Adnan kept coming over to my house to complain that my cats were in his yard. And he always tells my mom 'your son's cats' never 'your cats'. He never blames my mom. He always blames me. I think he's out to get me."
Kiku, who had been sitting at the back of the classroom, laughed a bit. Mrs. Rosales looked at him. "Oh Kiku! Did you want to comment?"
"H-Huh? Oh…no…I just…I found it funny that Heracles-san thinks Adnan-san is out to get him. I don't think that's very probable since…well," He looked at Heracles. "You don't seem like a bad child, Heracles-san."
The Grecian smiled at him. "Thanks Kiku. If only Mr. Adnan thought like you."
Kiku blushed a bit staring at his desk. "Oh…uhm…w-well, I'm sure that he'll realize it's not your fault that your cats keep going into his yard…"
"Kiku, why don't you tell us how your winter break was!" Mrs. Rosales said.
"Uhm, well, nothing exciting. I mostly stood indoors just drawing or…or playing video games…Rosales-sensei…"
Alfred took this opportunity to speak to him. "Video games? What kind? I have a lot. Maybe you've played some of the ones I have!"
Kiku looked at him, and Alfred could sense the tiniest bit of hostility in his stare. "I have many kinds Jones-san but probably none you have ever heard of before since some of them I bought from Japan."
Yet another failed attempt to make amends with the little Japanese student. This really was posing as a challenge to Alfred.
"Well," Mrs. Rosales said, noticing the slight uncomfortable atmosphere. "Why don't we introduce a new student?"
"A new student?" Arthur asked. "But it's the second semester."
"Yes, but he completed the same courses back in his home country during the first semester. And he tells me he knows you! Come on in!"
Logan happened to walk into the classroom. "G'morning!"
"Good morning!" Mrs. Rosales said. "Why don't you introduce yourself to the class!"
The Australian student turned to his fellow peers. "Hello all! The name's Logan! I'm from Australia, and I also happen to be Arthur's cousin! Iggy! Why do you keep avoiding me?"
Mrs. Rosales shook her head. "Oh come now Arthur. I expected better of you, especially to family."
"Mrs. Rosales, you have no idea how irritable this young man is."
"You can at least show him around!"
Arthur sighed. "Very well. Logan…I guess…I'm gonna have to take you on a tour of the school during…lunch…"
"Well!" Mrs. Rosales said as she took some cards from her desk. "Here are your classrooms. They're in the same location, though here's the schedule just in case some of you forgot. Arthur, your schedule this semester is the same as Logan's so now you'll be able to show him around more efficiently!"
If this were a cartoon, Arthur's jaw would have dropped to his desk. "Wh?! M-Mrs. Rosales, why?!"
"I didn't make the schedule. The office did. Don't blame me!"
Alfred turned around and patted him on the head. "Have fun Iggy! I'm sure your cousin will love it here!" He looked at Logan. "Why don't you sit next to Arthur? There's been an empty seat next to him in this class for a while now. It's like it was meant for you!"
"Woah! Thanks mate!"
"No problem!" He gave him a thumbs up. Alfred felt Arthur burning holes into his back with his gaze.
Through clenched teeth, he told the American, "I hate you so much right now…"
The first bell rang, indicating it was time for the students to go to first period.
"Okay class," said Mrs. Rosales. "I'll see you here after seventh period to collect your class schedule. Don't forget to get them stamped or signed by your teachers!"
Alfred looked at his class schedule, and then at Matthew's.
"Alfred," said his brother. "You know my schedule already and I don't have all the same classes you do…"
"You can't always copy my homework! Or Arthur's!"
"Then why do you still do it?"
Alfred shrugged. "I don't like homework."
"Yeah I know…" Matthew sighed. "Well, I'll see you later."
"Alright. Bye bro!"
The blonde walked through the hallway to his first period, some of his classmates waving to him and saying good morning. Though he wasn't in the football team anymore, he somehow still remained to be one of the more popular students in the school, probably because he wasn't exactly what one would call shy and quiet.
First period was his Government class. He hoped that next year he'd be able to get Mrs. Rosales for Honors World History. She only taught tenth and twelfth grade history. Alfred was in eleventh grade.
He took his seat somewhere in the back. He didn't like sitting in the front.
This was how the rest of his day went. Go to class, sit in the back, get his schedule card signed or stamped, and get the homework assignments from those teachers who liked to torture their students on their first day back (at least this is what Alfred thought).
His math period was just before lunch, so this was the class he usually didn't pay much attention in.
"Jones, where do you think you're going?!" said the teacher.
"To my seat?"
"No, you're going to sit in the front this semester."
"Because you always fall asleep in the back!"
"How come Matthew gets to sit back there?!"
"Because he still does his work."
Alfred groaned and walked over to the front row, sitting down.
"Same goes for you two, Kirkland and Braginski."
"Sir," began Arthur. "I always do my work and--"
"Yes but you're sarcastic and cynical and you hide magazines with your trigonometry book when you sit in the back! You're sitting here too!"
"I don't understand why I need to be seated in the front Mr. Jenkins," Ivan said.
"You fall asleep too in my class Braginski. Now sit."
The Russian walked over to the front row along with Arthur. Ivan sat next to Alfred and Arthur next to Ivan. The three of them were right in the middle of the rows of chairs. Matthew shook his head in the back. "Why couldn't Alfred have just behaved last semester…?"
"Now," said Mr. Jenkins. "Let's review from last semester." He began writing some properties on the board.
"Oh god…we already know this…" groaned Alfred.
"What was that Jones?"
He put his head down.
"You can at least take notes," Ivan said. "That way you won't get in trouble."
"But I already know how to do this…"
"It doesn't hurt to review Alfred."
Alfred got his notebook and began writing down the things that Mr. Jenkins wrote on the board. Now he would really have to pay attention this semester since Matthew no longer sat next to him or Arthur.
He looked around the classroom to see who was in it. He knew Matthew, Arthur, and Ivan were in his class. Elizabeta was too and so was Neeraja. Alicia was sitting on the side row and Logan next to her. Niklas and Geir were seated at the desks near the door and Lovino was seated in the middle of the rows. Then there were some other students that didn't ride his bus, and then he saw Kiku. Oh yeah…I forgot…he's in my math period…
Kiku was concentrated on writing down the notes that Mr. Jenkins was writing on the white board. He noticed Alfred staring at him and said, "Jones-san, please focus your attention to the front of the class. Don't let your eyes wander." He said it loud enough that Mr. Jenkins heard.
Alfred was starting to not want to become Kiku's friend anymore. "Yes?"
"I passed your class last semester with a B! Why are you so worried?!"
"You lack discipline!"
"Are you serious…"
"And your attitude towards authority isn't very positive!"
"Okay, I'm sorry…"
Mr. Jenkins turned back around and continued to write on the board. This time Alfred didn't look around the classroom anymore, but actually did his work. The only reason this was possible was because he was trying to get his mind off of what Kiku had just done.
Ivan and Arthur noticed his upset demeanor throughout the entire class period, but they just kept this observation to themselves.
At last it was lunch, meaning half of the day was over. Most of the students went to the cafeteria during this time.
"I'm not going to do it anymore," Alfred said as he slammed down his lunch tray at the table.
"Do what?" Francis asked.
"Be nice to Kiku."
"Oh but why not?!" Feliciano shrieked. At their table, it was Alfred, Matthew, Arthur, Francis, Ivan, Yao, Ludwig, Feliciano, Manny, Gilbert, Antonio, and Aksel sitting there. Arthur wasn't at the table this time though because he was showing Logan around the school.
"Because he's being a jerk!"
"What did he do?" asked Manny.
"Well today in trig, I was seated in the front of the class 'cause Mr. Jenkins hates me, and then I was looking around to see if anybody else had changed seats. Kiku caught me staring at him and on purpose he said aloud, 'Jones-san, please focus your attention to the front of the class. Don't let your eyes wander.' Then Jenkins got all mad again and starting yelling at me…"
"Well first of all, you really shouldn't do that," Ludwig said. "You're supposed to be paying attention."
"He tells the truth," Ivan said. "Afterward, he began to write down his notes and was quiet for the rest of the day."
"Probably because you were trying to figure out a way to get Kiku back, huh Al?" Gilbert asked.
"Yeah you were. I can tell just by looking at your face."
"But what is that guy's problem?! I mean really!" He bit into his burger angrily.
"Like Li said," Yao told him. "Just give Kiku some time Alfred."
"I've given him A LOT of time and he still acts like I'm his mortal enemy or something…"
"Oh, please don't be angry with Kiku," Feliciano whined. "He just…he just has a hard time opening up to people and trusting them."
"Feli's right," Manny responded. "Kiku is probably just shy."
"Well, it's more like he doesn't have a lot of self-esteem," Yao corrected.
"Yao, you're his brother right?" Alfred asked. "Are you sure he doesn't hate me?"
"Alfred, I'm not exactly his brother."
"Have you forgotten already?! Aiya…pay more attention when people tell you things! Anyway, no, I'm not his brother."
"But he lives with you."
"Yes but he's been adopted into our family. He's the son of one of my mom's cousins who lives in Japan. But he's staying here permanently since his actual mother passed away last year. She had a sickness that never healed."
"What about his dad?"
"His dad was involved in an accident back in Japan too. He was one of those innocent people who just happened to at the wrong place at the wrong time…"
"Oh…but, wait, didn't he come here when he was like…seven?"
"Then…I'm a bit confused about his parent's death…"
Yao sighed. "You really don't pay attention. Well, it goes like this: at first his mom only came to visit my mother, and she brought Kiku along with her. His mother enjoyed being here, so she got her citizenship and Kiku's, and enrolled him in the educational system here. But then she found out her husband was in an accident so she had to--"
"Wait, why didn't his dad come too?"
"Don't interrupt!" Yao was getting frustrated. "His father didn't come because he had work to do, and at first the mother only planned the trip to the United States as a visit in the first place, but eventually decided to settle here. Now back to where I was…oh yes. Anyway, Kiku's mother had to go back to Japan to see her husband, but he didn't make it and died at the hospital over there. She stood at a friend's house since she couldn't go back to America due to--"
"Wait, why didn't she take Kiku with her?"
"Because he was still in school and she didn't want to disrupt his learning and STOP INTERRUPTING ME ALFRED!" Ivan patted Yao as a sign to calm down. The Chinese student took a deep breath and continued. "So she couldn't return to America due to depression. She was really attached to her husband and when he died, it's like her entire world just collapsed."
"Her sickness was…depression…?"
"Well my mother called it a sickness since she had to take pills for it, but she eventually died because she couldn't handle being so sad. It killed her in the end."
"But what about Kiku?"
"His mother had said that if anything were to happen to both her and Kiku's father, my mother would be the one to take care of him. She held that promise which is why she's Kiku's legal guardian here."
"Doesn't he have family over there?"
"No, his family isn't very large. His grandparents passed away on both side a long time ago, and coincidentally both his parents were 'only children' so they didn't have siblings."
"This is a depressing story!"
"It's not a story! It's his actual life!" Yao faced-palmed and Feliciano patted his back. "Anyway, I think that might be a factor as to why Kiku is so…distant from other people. He didn't really have his own parents bring him up and he lived in a Chinese household for most of his life, not a Japanese one. So…though I'm his cousin, he did certain things different from my family."
"What I really think it is though…is just…he's used to being lonely so he doesn't know how to live any other kind of lifestyle."
"That really IS a depressing story!" Manny exclaimed. "No wonder he's always by himself. He's never had people similar to him around!"
"It doesn't help that he's not a favorite in my father's eyes either…"
"Your dad doesn't like him?" Alfred raised an eyebrow.
"It's not that he doesn't like him. It's just…well he doesn't really know him so…"
"I guess what Yao is trying to get at here…" Aksel said. "…is that you need to be the person to help Kiku out."
"How? I already told you guys: he doesn't like me!"
"But you don't know that for sure," Antonio said. "Just try it!"
"I don't even know how I'm supposed to start a conversation with him when he keeps glaring daggers at me every time I try to be friendly with him!"
"You'll think of something," Francis assured him.
"Just…just try Alfred…" Matthew said timidly.
"Why don't you do it Matt?"
"Because I'm not the one who had problems with him in the past."
"Damn…" Sometimes he wished his brother wasn't such a know-it-all.
"Eh, you'll be fine." Lovino bit into his apple. "Just talk to the little guy, like a hello or something."
"Well, I guess if you guys are so insistent…I guess I have to be friends now, especially since Yao told me that story, making me feel guilty…"
"I wasn't trying to make you…! Oh never mind…" Yao shook his head and sighed, putting a spoonful of mashed potatoes in his mouth.
Alfred sipped from his juice carton, pouting. His expression changed to a curious look when he noticed that Kiku had gotten his lunch and walked out the door, but not before saying hello to Heracles.
"Hmm…I think I have an idea…"
Okay, just in case some of you didn't know who each character was in this chapter and you didn't look at the reference sheet before:
Manny = my OC Mexico
Alicia = my OC El Salvador
Neeraja = my OC India
Victoria = friend's OC Vancouver
Logan = Australia
Aksel = Denmark
Niklas = Norway
Geir = Iceland
Katyusha = Ukraine
Mr. Adnan = Turkey
Damian is just a random non Nation-tan OC who was added to give the story an antagonist. I'm NOT saying all football players are jerks, because they're not. I've met a lot of nice ones before. Just...this is the general stereotype they get, and since Hetalia already HAS stereotypes...*ahem* Anyway, yes, there is a thing called Flag Football but it's really boring to watch...I had this in my middle school.
Also, I don't know if you could tell, but I have an extreme Alfred bias. I'm serious. I will try not to make him turn out to be like...a Gary Stu or anything because I hate those! And Mary Sues! DX *sigh* So I will try my best to keep him, and everyone else, in character!