You smiled happily, brushing out your [h/l] [h/c] hair with a brush/comb.
Today was the day.
The first day your Papas were letting you attend school, instead of being home schooled. Your Papas, the personifications of the nations Spain, France, and Prussia (now East Germany), had always been very...protective of you. When you were a young, little colony, they'd seen how fragile you were, and how even the slightest disturbance in your economy or people would make you sick for days on end. But, after a lot of begging, you'd finally convinced them to let you attend World Academy. Your big brothers, Canada, West Germany, and Romano had definitely helped you with begging your Papas to let you go, but the biggest help had probably been your big sister, Seychelles.
Focusing back on the day at hand, you brushed out your hair for what might've been the fifth time before deeming it worthy of being seen in public. While you were positive it wasn't as smooth and glossy as your Papa France's, it would do. Speaking of your Papa France...
A knock was heard at the bathroom door, causing the barking of your puppy to be heard at the other end of the house. After a shout in butchered German from France, you heard his silky smooth voice ask from his side of the door, "On, [y/n]~, you're spending more time on your looks than I did today. It's almost time to go~"
His first sentence was said teasingly, making color rise to your cheeks. Your Papas, while you loved them to death, also loved to pick on you, but it was all in good taste.
"Coming, Papa!" you said, checking yourself one last time in the mirror and putting the Prussian blue headband into your hair, adjusting the bow on it and then smiling confidently. You looked quite cute, if you would say so yourself. Stepping away from the sink, you opened the door to the bathroom and stepped out, seeing your Papa France leaning against the wall across from the door. The moment you stepped out, wearing your traditional World Academy uniform, his azure eyes softened, and a smile worked its way onto his face.
"You look so grown up, [y/n]," he said, stepping forward and sweeping some of your [h/c] away from your face. "And I feel so old," he joked, chuckling.
Despite the nervous pit in your stomach, you laughed along with him.
The grandfather clock down the hall chimed its deep ringing song, alerting you that it was time to get in the car to head to school.
France wrapped an arm around your shoulder, kissing your head and leading you out to the car.
- Time Skip to the School -
There it was.
You never thought that it would be so...large. The grand, majestic school building loomed before you, its intimidating spires and tall buildings reaching high into the sky. The place, to you, gave off a feeling of fake calm, as if trying to trick you into entering its halls, where it would trap you for all time.
You tried swallowing the lump in your throat and found that your mouth was as dry as a bag of sand. All three of your Papas sat in the car, staring at you worriedly. You'd been so excited about this before. Why were you suddenly so scared?
The moment you turned to go back to the car, they knew something was wrong. Getting out of the car, they saw you hyperventilating and panicking, almost on the brink of tears.
"Woah, woah, woah. Are you okay?" Your Papa Prussia asked nervously, placing one hand on your shoulder and the other on your cheek.
You shook your head, wringing your hands and letting out a strangled noise of panic. "I-I can't do this!" you said, your panic obvious in your voice, and your hyperventilating getting worse.
"Hey, breathe, [y/n]. Just, breathe," he instructed, locking his ruby red eyes with yours. "Calm down and breathe for just a second."
Trying your hardest, you managed to get your rapid breathing under control, but this didn't stop your hands and body from trembling violently with fear.
"I-I can't do this, Papa! I can't!"
He chuckled, shaking his head and smiling, wiping away the tears that were flowing down your cheeks. "Yes, you can, and you will." He chuckled again, taking a handkerchief from his pocket and drying the last of your tears. "Just show them how awesome you are, and don't take any shit from anyone. Now, let me see an awesome smile from you."
Hearing the calm, reassuring words of your Papa, you couldn't help but smile. "Thanks, Papa," you said, throwing your arms around him in a hug.
"Kesese~ No need to thank me, you needed the pep-talk," he replied, hugging you back and nearly squeezing you to death.
Once he let you go, he kissed your forehead and muttered a "good luck" under his breath. Your Papa Spain also hugged you and kissed your cheek, giving you his lucky gold chain necklace, with a tomato locket on it that opened for a picture of him and Romano on one side, and you and him on the other. France gave you another tight hug, wished you the greatest of luck, and gave you a bit of advice on the social structure of World Academy, since they'd all attended and/or taught at the school at one point in time.
"Thank you, Papas!" you said, smiling. They only shooed you off toward the school, saying there was no need to thank them.
Once they got into the car, all of them watched you as you entered the school, worried expressions either clear on their face, or easily seen in there eyes.
"Are you sure she'll be okay?" Spain asked finally, breaking the silence in the car.
"She'll be fine!" Prussia said, letting out a laugh afterward. "She was raised by us, right?"
France chuckled. "I guess so," he muttered, putting the car in drive and pulling away from the school.
- Time Skip to Lunch -
You grabbed you tray from Italy, smiling sweetly at him.
"Thanks, Uncle Feli," you said, waving as you walked off to an empty table. Once you sat down, you made it a point to stay as quiet as possible, and keep your head down the entire time. But, as it seemed, someone had to find you.
A boy came over, taking a seat right next to you. He had messy reddish hair, striking emerald eyes, and slightly busy eyebrows, though not as bad as England's. He appeared around your age, but you couldn't be too sure, seeing as countries could always appear different ages.
"Hey," he said, poking your shoulder with the end of his spoon.
"Yes?" you replied, raising your head, a slightly irritated look in your eyes.
"You're France, Spain and Prussia's kid, right?"
"Yeah...how is it any of your business?" you asked, furrowing your brows in confusion. Here comes this boy, out of no where, and he immediately asks you about your Papas. No, "Hi, how are you doing, I'm ___, what's your name?"
"Just curious...Hey, are the rumors about them true?" he asked, continuing to become ruder and ruder by the second.
Silently fuming, you asked, "What rumors?"
"The ones about them being rapists and pedophiles."
Your [e/c] eyes widened and you nearly choked on your own saliva. Rapists? Pedophiles? What?!
Your sweet Papas, who had never done anything to harm you, risk your safety, or let you even come close to danger, were being called rapists and pedophiles?
How was that even possible?
"Um, excuse me?" you snarled, fire seeming to burn behind your [e/c] orbs.
"Hey," he said, putting his hands up defensively. "Don't shoot the messenger. So, are they?"
"What?! They'd never -- !"
"Have they touched you?"
"You just -- "
"They have, haven't they!"
"Why you -- "
"I knew it! They're all rapists and pedophiles, just as the others were saying."
"Get. The. Fuck. Away." You growled, thoroughly fed up with this. "They are, and always will be, the sweetest, kindest fathers to walk this damn Earth, and I don't care what the others say, what your parents say, or what any other nation says. They are my parents and they would never, EVER think of doing something like that!"
And with that, you stood up and stormed out of the cafeteria, not aware of the fact that the entire cafeteria had gone silent while he'd been pestering you, had stared at you as you walked out, and were now whispering about how the rumors had been true.
You stomped into the bathroom, slamming a door shut and locking it firmly. Then, you sat on the toilet seat and cradled your head in your hands. How...how could they! They couldn't have known what they were saying!...could they?
The seed of doubt began to bloom in your mind, and you started to evaluate every single one of their actions in your head. You couldn't find anything besides Fatherly love in there...except for the few times that France ran around the house naked...and even then he had his rose!...and he was drunk, so he didn't exactly know what he was doing. And that had only been two occasions separated by about seven years. The first one, you couldn't even remember, and the second one was only a fuzzy memory of Papa Prussia and Papa Spain yelling at him.
The sound of the heavy wooden door to the girls' bathroom squeaking open graced your ears, and your head shot up.
Despite the fact you didn't want to hear the conversation, your ears picked it up anyway.
"Can you believe that outburst in the cafeteria?" one girl asked.
"I know! It's only proof that she's hiding something," another said with determination.
"Hmph, probably not her who's hiding something, but her parents. I feel sad for the poor thing, having to go through something so traumatizing," yet another voice chimed in, a tone of pathetic sympathy in her voice.
"Mhm, I agree, Angie," the fourth, and final, girl said.
"Where did she go?" asked the first girl.
"I dunno." The bell chimed outside the door and the third girl sighed.
"Come on, we have to get to class."
At first, it was only a few stray tears that leaked down your cheeks, but as the conversation had gone on, your heart began to ache, and you felt sob after sob pile on top of the ones before it. The moment the door was closed, an anguish filled cry slipped past your lips and you cried, crumpling into a ball on the toilet seat, your legs pulled up to your chest, your head on top of your knees, and your hands gripping each other so hard you were beginning to cut off the circulation.
You weren't sure how long you were in there until Seychelles came to get you, after the office called when you hadn't shown up to your next classes. She found you in the bathroom and had, somehow, coaxed you to open the door.
...she ended up having to help you back to the car, since you were in no condition to stay at school. The headmaster told you to get some rest and come back when you felt better, but you hadn't heard a word of what he'd said. You'd only paid attention to all the kids who'd stared and whispered as you left.
It looked like you were going to have a long night...
- Time Skip to when you get home -
Just your luck. When you got home, all of your Papas were gone. Seychelles called Papa Spain, since he was just out at the market with Romano, and let him know that you'd come home.
He'd said he'd be home shortly.
But, until then, you would remained curled into a tight ball on your bed, sobbing until your throat was raw and couldn't produce sound any more.
By the time you heard the front door slam open and the rapid beating of feet on the floor, your voice was nearly gone, and your throat was producing only dry hiccups. The sound of Papa Spain sliding across the floor and crashing into the wall was also heard, but just barely over your sorrow filled sobs.
Eventually, the click of the door opening was heard and the soft, tentative footsteps into the room were taken, eventually reaching your bedside. Papa Spain pulled the blanket back, despite your quiet, verbal protest against it.
"Leave me alone," you grumbled. He shook his head, sitting down next to you and brushing a bit of your sweat -- and tear -- soaked hair away from your face.
"No, not until you tell me what happened, my precious little girl," he said, a hint of stern finality in his voice. You turned your head away, staring down at the floor or your sopping wet pillow.
"Nien," you grumbled.
"Si~" he chimed, poking your cheek. "Come on, tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me," he continued to do this, prodding your cheek with his finger to add emphasis to each and every "tell me." Finally, you were fed up.
"Fine! I'll tell you."
"Yay!" he shouted, throwing his arms up, smiling that goofy smile of his.
Sighing, you buried your face in the pillow, mumbling out an incoherent slur of words, accented with a few good ape-grunts.
Spain laughed quietly, turning you over in the bed, despite the fact that you remained as limp and lifeless as a cadaver.
"Now you can tell me, and I'll understand what you're saying," he said, brushing more of your hair from your face.
You shut your eyes, imagining the face of the boy at the lunch table yet again, feeling anger well up inside you yet again.
"One of the boys at school...he said some rude things, Papa."
"Hm? What kind of 'things?'" he asked, his lips moving from their usual care-free smile to a neutral look, very close to a frown, but not quite there. He, Prussia and France had been expecting this to happen, eventually, but they didn't think the bullies would single her out on the first day. There were always a lot of kids that came into World Academy, and she was no different from any of the others, so how had they managed to pick her out of the crowd? Not many people would've been able to tell she was a new student, since very few nations, cities, states, territories and provinces who'd attended the school since they were younger would've known every kid that came and went, since World Academy was such a large school.
Brushing this thought aside, he turned his focus back to you, because you'd begun speaking yet again.
"Well, one boy said that...um...you and Papa Prussia and Papa France were...uh...well...that you were...um..." you tried stuttering out what he'd said, but your mouth wouldn't work. It was like trying to force your arm to move, but it had gone numb for some strange reason.
Smiling kindly, your Papa chuckled and then asked, "Would it be better if you wrote it down?"
Nodding quickly, you grabbed a pen and paper from nearby the bed, jotting down a quick note and then tearing it off, folding it in half. But, as you were giving it to him, you stopped.
"Promise not to open it until you're with Papa France and Papa Prussia, okay?" you insisted, worry flooding your features and drowning out all other emotion.
At first, Spain was shocked. But, then, he nodded, saying a quiet, "Si, I promise," before you trusted him not to open it and handed him the small slip of paper. He shoved it in his pocket, and brushed your hair away from your face.
"Why don't we wash off your face and hair?" he suggested, smiling as he stood up. "It doesn't do for such a pretty face to be all red, do we?" Chuckling, he grabbed your hand, helping you up off the bed and then ushering you off to the bathroom which, thankfully, you didn't have to share with your Papas. They have a bathroom downstairs for themselves, so that way they never accidentally walked in on you, and could leave you to your privacy when you needed it.
Once you got to the bathroom doorway, you sighed, leaning against the frame. "Papa, I love you lots, but I just wanna be left alone right now," you mumbled, your eyelids drooping over your eyes.
He nodded, kissing your head one last time before walking off to the living room. Once he heard the door close, he glanced down the hall to make sure you were in the bathroom, and then grabbed the note from his pocket. Despite his promise to you about not opening it until Prussia and France were around, his curiosity and concern got the better of him this time. Besides, it wasn't like he was going to tell you that he'd opened it before you'd asked him to.
Opening the plain sheet of white paper, he read the sentence written down over and over again. It took him a moment to translate your butchered version of Spanish, but he'd eventually made it out to roughly translate:
Spain was frozen. This...this was the worst of the worst. He knew that their group didn't have the best reputation among everyone, especially with their "live and let live" lifestyle. They'd also become very unpopular once they'd taken a little nation into their home and the child was, remarkably, turning out much better than many of the other stubborn brats that the nations had called colonies and territories.
He, Francis and Gilbert had been able to ignore the taunting, jeering and hurtful remarks directed toward the "Bad Touch Trio" but this, however, was a different thing. Their daughter, their precious baby girl, who hadn't done a single thing to any of those kids or adults, should not have to suffer because of what they did or who they were. In all honesty, Antonio thought it was quite idiotic that they were hated so much.
What had they done?
Absolutely nothing. They were nations, but mostly people. They made their mistakes, just like everyone else. They lived their lives how they thought they should live them, just like every other person has the right to. They've been beaten, bruised and battered in their fair share of wars. They've won some, they've lost some. They all have their regrets, which they would carry with them for the rest of their lives. They've witnessed unspeakable horrors, they've been tortured, witnessed murders, been violated and degraded so much that they had to go to the cause of their torment and beg for mercy on their hands and knees. They've hit the lowest of the low, but they've also had their share of joys. They've felt love, had children, known the joys of parenting, felt the warmth of a spouses' body curled up next to them, seen the beauty of a child's smile, and made a great deal of close friends along the way. Even though those people were gone, they still had the memories to look back at and smile and laugh about.
They were people. They lived, loved, laughed, cried, sulked, and mourned, just as humans did.
So why were they hated so much?
Was it because Prussia was loud and boisterous?
If anyone took the time to get to know him, they'd see he was just lonely. The negative attention he drew to himself was a desperate attempt to make sure that no one forgot him, forgot the proud and noble nation he had once been.
Or was it because he was always so happy?
If a person tried to get to know him, they'd realize that he was always happy because he wanted others to be happy. He was tired of all this...sadness and hate everywhere. Why not just accept everyone and show them all love and compassion, no matter who they were?
Or was it because France was open about himself?
He was, as he put it, passionate. He loved everyone and everything, no matter who or what they were. Francis, honestly, did not give a shit who you were, where you came from, or what your orientation was. In his eyes, everybody deserved love. And, he flirted with people to make them feel better about themselves. Honestly, who wouldn't feel more confident in their appearance if a very attractive man like Francis was flirting with them? Especially men, even if it may make you feel awkward at first.
With this in mind, Antonio picked up the phone.
"Francis? Gilbert? We have a problem."
Running down the hall and opening the door, they found you curled in a ball, fast asleep. Spain smiled softly and glanced back at his friends, chuckling. Well, you definitely deserved a bit of rest. You'd had a long day...
Prussia, being the only one currently strong enough to carry you, walked in and picked you up, curling you against his chest.
As Gilbert walked by, intending to carry you to your bed, Antonio gently placed his hand on his shoulder and whispered, "Take her to my room, her bed is soaked with tears and sweat...I also think she got sick."
Prussia nodded, smiling at Spain before taking you to his room, laying you down on the plush, tomato print comforter and pulling a light blanket over you. Then, he kissed your forehead. Just as he was turning to leave, something stopped him. What Antonio said had happened bothered him greatly.
Did they truly say those things? Accuse their group of being such evil people? Did the thoughts plague your mind? Did you have doubts about them now?
Shaking his head, he shoved his hands in his pockets and leaned against the wall, watching as you slept on peacefully, not knowing whether you were having negative, doubt-filled thoughts about him, and your other Papas.
Francis and Antonio found him a minute later, still standing there, a look of deep thought set into his ruby pools.
"You guys thinking about what I'm thinking about?" Gil asked, breaking the silence in the room.
"If you mean what the kids at school said, then oui, I am. How did they even hear this?" France asked, crossing his arms and shaking his head, his crystal blue eyes filled, not with anger or thought, but sorrow. It was definitely a low blow for all three of them.
Spain shook his head with a sigh, not daring to meet Gil or Francis' eyes. "I have some...suspicions on where the rumors might've come from, but it makes no sense to try and find out."
Gil's head shot up. "Why wouldn't we find out who was doing this?! They're telling our daughter some kind of fucked up - "
Gilbert was cut off by a light groan from you. Everyone in the room froze, going silent. Three sets of eyes fixed on you as you shifted and your face seemed to contort in pain, before resting again.
Gilbert continued, but at a much quieter tone. " - some kind of fucked up lies about us being some...evil damn people. Why wouldn't we want to find them?"
"Gilbert, as much as I think that this is wrong and cruel, it's just best to keep quiet about it. If she ignores them for a while, they might leave her alone - "
"Antonio, you know that won't work. We attended World Academy at one point in time, you know how the bullies there can be. Besides, we see half of the brats at World Meetings, and you know how they behave!" France whisper-yelled, being the voice of reason in the conversation.
"Si, si, I know...We could just bring it up to the headmaster of the school as a case of bullying, though."
"Maybe...It's still unsettling to me, 'Tonio," Gilbert said, rubbing the back of his neck anxiously.
"Well...as long as she knows that we're not like that, it'll be fine, si?"
"...Ja, I guess."
The trio looked back over toward you. Almost as if in silent agreement, they walked over.
France was the first one to lean down and kiss your head, saying quietly against your skin, "My little girl, we've raised you since you were a young, weak little colony. I hope you know that we aren't those kinds of men, and still trust us, despite the rumors."
Prussia was the next, pressing his white lips to your temple and saying, "We've raised little countries before you, and they all turned out to be kind, polite people...most of the time. But, none of them have ever said anything about their childhoods being bad, did they? I hope you can understand this." Running a hand through your limp, still slightly damp, hair, he stepped away, going off to the door with France.
Antonio smiled, quickly pecking your cheek. "We love you more than the world, [y/n], and that's all you should ever have to worry about. We love you and we'll protect you with our lives. Sweet dreams, my precious little girl."
With that, Antonio shut the lamp off and the trio left the room.
...little did they know that you had been awake. A tear of mixed joy and sorrow slipped from the corner of your eye.
"What did you do to deserve all this, Papas?" you whispered, before sleep pulled you back into its comforting embrace.