Alfred F. Jones, superpower country and the most heroic of all, always thought he had seen and lived through everything. He has been conquered, colonized and thrust in wars and battles. He, in return, did the same (in a more civilized and ‘un-terrorist-like’ manner, according to his standards) to countries that he colonized; liberated them from their parent conquerors and taught them better. It was tough shit, he had to admit, since most of countries he handled back then were having a rebellious phase (less cooperation, more banshee like screeching) but in the end, it turned out alright. They turned out alright and he was damn right proud of them.
With all the things he has been through with them, all the tender and homicidal moments, the experience he had in taking part of shaping the other countries (though some are ungrateful) taught him a lot of things and gave him the opportunity to experience things other wouldn’t. It shaped him too, in the process, without his knowledge.
So, if asked, has Alfred F. Jones seen everything? The blonde would answer on a positive note.
Well that is, until now, of course.
Said blonde haired American stood on a platform, a chalk in one hand and the other unconsciously touching his bruised jaw. The brown haired companion sitting behind a desk before him seems to fidget sheepishly.
Alfred could only sigh.
And he thought he already experienced everything.
Apparently, he hasn’t.
He never taught a Filipino what the word ‘Thot’ meant before. Or the rest of the newly updated America slang language.
Three days ago
“NO, YOU STUPID FROG FACED PRAT! YOU GRABBED MY ARSE—“
“NON! I DID NO SUCH THING! HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME OFF—“The Frenchman didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence when a pair of hands grabbed his collared shirt and proceeded to strangle him. This was not a new scenario in a world meeting. Francis Bonnefoy vs. Arthur Kirkland, Feliciano Vargas goading the person next to him for pasta, which happed to be Kiku Honda, there is also Antonio Carriedo who was trying (and failing) to hug a certain Lovino Vargas, who in turn, successfully kneed the Spaniard’s thoracic diaphragm.
There were a lot more common occurrences happening simultaneously, too many to count. What was uncommon though is a certain blonde haired eye glassed nation with a hero mentality and his lack of participation—rambunctious involvement, as England would say. Instead, he was stuffing his face with burgers and fries. Perhaps a not so uncommon sight, but the lack of his boisterous voice is what makes it unusually.
It was only a matter of time before the individual activities were halted by the booming authoritarian voice of Ludwig that signaled the end of the unproductive meeting and everyone dismissed themselves from the meeting room. It was only this time that Alfred decided to make his move.
“Hey guys, the hero has an announcement to make!” The blonde yelled from the top of the table, but nobody turned to pay attention to him. It didn’t deter him though.
“Party at the Valkyrie! The drinks are on me!” He had everybody’s attention at the word ‘drinks’, followed by their excited and elated expressions on the word ‘me’. Of course, to anyone, anything free is wanted, more so if it is something consumable; especially if it’s food.
Without another word, Alfred jumped off the table and went on his way. He had a party to prepare after all. If anyone asked why he’d host a party, he’d say he wanted to do something for everyone. Make them feel relaxed and all. But really, he just needed to be on everyone’s good side. And okay, maybe it had something to do with Alejandro’s comment about him being a ‘gringo estupido bastardo who just wastes his money on genetically modified beef patties and YOU SUCK AMERICA! COME MIERDA Y MUERTE!’
Alfred, knowing the degree of dislike the Mexican had for him, shouldn’t have been affected by that since a) Alejandro has been saying things like that even before, b) they had a rocky relationship and c) Alfred understood shit percent Spanish (despite the number of Hispanic immigrants he housed). But he is, and his ego cannot handle that. So he decides to prove Alejandro wrong. He was Alfred F. Jones and heroes do know how to share. Hopefully, this would pass as ‘sharing’ to the Mexican and maybe lower his ranks in his hate list.
Speak of the devil.
Just around the corner is the raven haired Mexican conversing with a familiar looking brunette. Alfred allowed a small smile on his lips.
“Ugh. I’m not going. That bastardo is just flaunting his money again. Plus, Antonio’s going to be there. He wouldn’t pass up the offer of a free drink.” Alfred heard the Mexican mutter. He tried not to get that part about him affect him (or his ego).
“Stop being such a bigot, Kuya. I’m sure he just wants everyone to have fun.” the Filipino piped in. ‘Trust Juan to back me up’, Alfred thought. “And what’s wrong with Papa being there? I thought you had your issues sorted out already.”
“We did, I just don’t want to see him drunk off his ass again and make out with Gilbert of all people. Cristo, I was more embarrassed for him and he acted like it happened every time he was drunk, said shit that ‘it’s normal when you’re drunk’. I asked Ludwig about it and muscle man couldn’t even look me in the eye because apparently he doesn’t just do it with Gilbert but with anything that moves. I DON’T NEED ANY MORE MENTAL SCARS, JUANITO!” By the time Alejandro finished his rant; he was already out of breath and had both his hands on Juan’s shoulder. The brown haired boy could only sigh and placate his brother with a pat. Alfred couldn’t unsee the mental image of that occurrence.
“Well, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to, you know. And I think I won’t go, too. Have to meet up with Netherla—Tim about… you know.” The Filipino gestured with his hands.
Cue, Alfred’s intervention.
“WHAT’S THIS I HEAR ABOUT YOU NOT GOIN’, JUAN?!?!” The blonde strode from his spot till he was facing the brunette, his hand on his shoulder and with an extremely devastated expression on his features. Alejandro scowled at the eavesdropping American, but Alfred just ignored him. Juan’s gaze landed elsewhere.
“Yeahhh, about that. Sorry, I just have this thing going on with Tim and I don’t want to be give him the wrong impres—“
“Come on bro, please don’t do this to me! You gotta be there! Please, please, please!!!!!!!” He knew he was being a dirty cheat, but Alfred doesn’t want his little brother being left out of the fun. So he pulled out his trump card: his teary-eyed puppy dog face. Something that he knew would work so well on Juan and Alfred was aware that Juan knew how this worked on him so well and the other nation threw him a defeated glare.
“Fine.” Juan sighed in defeat and was man-hugged by the blonde. Works every time.
“Alright hit me later,’kay?” Alfred said. The tanned boy just gave him an equally shocked and confused look.
“Come on! Hit me later, yeah? Okay. See you later, baby bro.” He said ruffling the Filipino’s hair. “You’re invited too, Alejandro.”
“What makes you think I’d go?” There was venom in the other boy’s voice but apparently, it was at this moment, that Alfred’s ‘selective reading of the atmosphere’ kicked off.
“Because Francis is gonna be there.” The blonde blurted out as he walked away, leaving an apprehensive Filipino and a stoic Mexican behind. He had a party to plan after all.
The Valkyrie is considered as one of the most well-established clubs in the city, notable for their unique selection of drinks, hosting parties, the celebrities that come often for drinks and the DJs that play the music. An exclusive club that only the rich can pay for but sadly, on this day, even their money can’t buy them a single drop of black martini or sangrita in the club; especially, not when Alfred F. Jones is determined to throw a party to impress and has the money to book the whole club for the night with just a single whistle.
And in inspecting the vicinity, to Alfred, it looks like it was worth all the hassle and, ah, haggle for the club’s booking. He could see that everyone enjoyed themselves; relaxed and are having fun dancing to the beat of the music or, in Mikkel Densen’s case, having a chugging contest with Gilbert and Antonio—OH MY GOD NO.
The blonde immediately made his way towards the gathering crowed but had his attention diverted by the arrival of the same person he begged to go earlier.
“Juan! Over here!” Alfred cheerfully called for the nation’s attention. Said nation’s attention turned towards Alfred and… Did he just look a little bit nervous? The blonde shrugged away that observation and strode over to the smaller boy who was, as Alfred predicated, accompanied by Alejandro.
He knew the ‘Francis’ bait was dirty but he needed him here. After all, it’s his words that forced the goodness of his heart (his ego) to act and extend his, ah, kindness and generosity to the rest of the nations. He needed Alejandro to see firsthand that he, Alfred F. Jones, is a man who shares, even to the ones who doesn’t really like him.
“Hey Juan, you’ve made it! And Alejandro too! I was just about to—“Before he actually finished that sentence, something hard and forceful collided with his jaw.
The last thing Alfred F. Jones remembered was the shocked expression of the Filipino boy, the impressed ‘Damn’ of a certain Mexican, the accented cheer of a Cuban (‘Knockout his dentures, manito!’) and the ‘Oh’s of the other countries before everything went black.
ROOM 404, GENERAL HOSPITAL.
When Alfred gained conscious, the first thing his ears picked up was a low mutter from a certain Englishman.
“Bloody kid, butchering my language. Look at what happened to him now.” Arthur’s accented voice spoke.
“Piste, patyon ra dyud ko niya ba. Ipa-dakop ko niya sa iyahang tauhan ba tas putlan ko ug kamot. Basig putlan pa gani ko niya ug ulo kag i-pandisplay niya para makit-an sa tanan kung unsay mahitabo sa mga taong kalit ra manumbag. NGANO MAN NAA KO SALA NGA SIYA MAN NAG INGON NGA SUMBAGON NA KO SIYA. PISTENG YAWA DI PA GUD KO GUSTO MAMATAY, KUYA, BA.” Alfred could literarily hear Juan shaking the unfortunate person in panic. The switch to the Visayan language is a dead giveaway for Juan’s distress.
“Calm yourself, Juanito. We can’t understand what you’re saying.”
“But Mr. Kirkland—“”Call me, Arthur.” The Brit corrected.
“Arthur, I just punched him hard enough to send him to the hospital.”
“It was a misunderstanding. He wouldn’t hate you for such a thing.”
“I punched him hard enough to give him a concussion. He isn’t going to hate me. He’s going to behead me!”
“But you have to admit, ese, that was some hardass punch. Hell, even I can’t knock him out in one punch. What did you do, get lessons from Emmanuel?”
“A little but that’s not the point! Alfred’s gonna kill me when he wakes up! Fuck! I should just bury myself under Mt. Makiling and live like a fucking caveman!”
As much as it amused Alfred to hear his younger brother cuss out, he knew he had to do by right and fix this mess. Even though he was the one who got his lights punched out, somehow, as the hero, he knows he must have done something to warrant that punch.
The blonde started moving a bit and by the time, he had his eyes open, the browned headed Filipino was already by his bedside, spouting three paragraphs worth of apology every ten seconds. Arthur and Alejandro just watched the scene unfold.
“Oh my god, Kuya Alfred, I’m sorry I punched you! Really, I am. I understand if you hate me and never want to see me again but please don’t start World War III over this! Or cut my hands off! I’ll never do it again! Please, I really, really, sorry, Kuya, I—“
“Woah, woah, woah! Dude! What are you talking about? World War III? Hand-cutting? Why would a hero like me do that?!”
“He’s under the belief that you’d murder him for punching you.” Arthur intervenes. “Which is preposterous seeing as it’s all a misunderstanding.” Alfred just scrunched up his nose.
“Misunderstanding? I don’t think I remember saying something to prompt a punch outta him.”
“But you we’re like ‘hit me later’ and I was like ‘what’ and you were like ‘come on, hit me later!’ a-and I just did what you asked me to do!”
There was an awkward silence as Alfred tried to let the facts sink in.
Apparently, even after a hundred years or more, there was still a language barrier between the two of them. What the words ‘hit me’, which meant communication or ‘to talk’ in American slang, translated differently to the Filipino. Actually, it didn’t translate to anything other than its original and literal context; which Juan obeyed without a problem. Miscommunication. It really is a misunderstanding.
Instead of the irrational anger or any hateful feeling he felt, Alfred was overwhelmed by strong feelings of nostalgia, and found himself reminiscing the days where he’d experience such a similar situation back in the day; not just with this country but the others that he liberated as well. Sure, some of the miscommunications started a war but most of them were comical. It elicited a laugh from the young blonde nation and gained apprehensive stares from the rest of the room’s occupants.
“It’s fine. It’s okay. I’m okay. It’s a misunderstanding. Forgive and forget. We’re still bros. You and me.” Alfred said. Juan just gave a sigh of relief.
“Oh thank god! I thought you were going to maim me!”
“See, lad? He maybe an idiot but he’d understand. Well, once he gets his facts straight.” The Brit spoke, giving the Filipino a pat on the back.
“A point for the Englishman.” Alejandro concurred and he stood. “Now, if you ladies are done with your apologies. I have a plane to catch.”
“I’ll drive you there, Kuya. Excuse us, Kuya Alfred, Arthur.” Juan stood and was about to leave but Alfred grabbed the boy’s wrist and had him forcefully sat by his bed side.
“Not so fast, Lil’ bro. We still need to do something about this, ah, language barrier thing going on. So, you know, to avoid something like this from happening again.” The blonde haired American found himself touching his jaw. “Damn, you throw quite a punch.”
“What exactly are you suggesting, Alfred?” Arthur raised a questioning brow at his former charge.
“How about sessions? American Slang 101!”
Everyone just stared at him.
“Come on, Juan! You know it’s a good idea! It’s the least you can do after, you know, punching me.”
The man in question just stared back at him before shifting his gaze to the other two occupants of the room. Alfred could spy the look on Arthur’s face that translated easily to ‘I give up. Just agree, or he’d pester you.’ And Alejandro just sighed.
“You don’t really have a choice, manito. You did knock him out. So you don’t have a choice.” Alejandro spoke.
His eased agreement actually surprised Alfred to a degree. Usually, Alejandro would be against him even over the simplest things. To have a common ground with the Mexican is new and maybe, it could develop to a more mutual platonic thing if it was nurtured properly.
“Just think of it as penance for Holy Week. Have that irritating gringo teach you his lingo for like what? Three months? I’m sure the Father above would take this as an atonement not just for the punch but for every dirty deed and sin you’ve done in the last hundred years.”
Okay, so maybe operation ‘Nurture Budding Friendship With Alejandro’ was a no go.
Juan just gave out a deadpan stare at his older brother before walking out of the room, Alejandro trailing behind him.
Alfred didn’t expect to see Juan again after that. Not till the next meeting between their leaders. But he was proven wrong, when after three days since he got back from the Philippines, the personification of the said country was in front of his door step, complete with luggage that could last him for about a year.
Alfred didn’t think Juan would take it seriously, but he did and he was here. Such a thing actually made him smile before he let the other in and helped him with his stuff.
And now found him in a situation that is rather familiar and yet, foreign to him. Blue eyes looked over his young oriental pupil, as he swiped intently at the tablet.
“So, uhm, the word thot... Well, it says here, it stands for ‘That hoe over there’.” His companion answered.
“Okay, the next word is ‘Hit ‘N Snitch’.”
So Alfred F. Jones, hasn’t exactly experienced everything. But he’s glad he hasn’t. This kind of things gives him the opportunity and excuse to spend time with people he’d known since forever. Not only is he helping them (like the hero he is), but he could utilize the situation and experience for future references. And besides, despite the probable ups and downs, Alfred had that tingling sensation in the depths of his being that this is going to be way more fun than he initially thought. Who was he to deny that? He always liked the fun stuff.