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Please, Don't Be Afraid of Me

Chapter Text

He hated the look of fear amongst his fellow nations as they stared at him in silent horror after America's presentation of the Canadian. The nations pulled away from Canada and backed away some before turning back to America. England spoke after clearing his throat.

"Ah. Th-Thank you, America. We will be sure to watch over our people. We will make sure that no harm will come out of this." America gave them a grin as he shut down the video of a pale, lanky figure of a tall and scary Canada. He gave a thumbs up and struck a heroic pose.

"No problem, bro! After all, I'm the hero! It's my job to protect innocent civilians from monsters!"

Monster. Monster. Monster. Monster!

Canada woke up in a cold sweat. He gasped and clutched at his chest. His heart was beating erratically at just the mere thought of the horrible memory.

He wiped the sweat off his brow and shakily got out of bed. He nearly fell over at the feeling of weakness in his knees. He held onto the bed post at his side. His eyes settled on the mirror at the other side of his room. He was skinnier than he should be. He was weak and pale and sickly looking. Though, he guessed, that's what you're supposed to look like when you're a Wendigo.

His body was tall and lanky. Sharp horns protruded from his skull and his eyes were of black sclera and irises dilated bright with the colours of the Aurora Borealis, his pupils no longer of use in the dark. His teeth sharp and gastly. His long fingers and toes clawed to the tips. His blond hair, now dirty and unkempt, the long curl in front seemed to bend in two. His skin was near gray and it hugged his bones tight, dipping into crevices and holes. He looked like… a monster.

That's what he was. The rest of the world had said so.

His once family and friends were now enemies. At least, that's what they had seen him as. Canada liked to think that they were still connected some way. However, he couldn't really think of it like that anymore. The world had cut their ties off with him a few decades ago. His people were confused and distraught at finding that they could no longer trade and be allowed in other countries. Though, that didn't stop his people from being happy. They continued to live happily amongst their homeland. They lived off the land and made their own supplies and machinery now. They no longer had the need, nor the want, to be connected to the rest of the world.

They were a peaceful country. They refused to fight, even if they had a new reputation of being terrible and having a strong sense of blood lust. Canada's people were not like that, no. They were kind and polite, like always. Even after their forced isolation. The Cut. That's what they had called it then and still referred to it now.

They didn't hate the rest of the world. How could they when they had treated them so well before the Cut? The Canadians believed that the world had simply gotten tired of them and left them be. The Canadians were sort of grateful for the let alone, but it didn't stop the sense of betrayal being set in their hearts of the sudden accusations being placed upon them.

Canada shook his head as he headed towards the bathroom, walking on all four long limbs. He stopped at the doorway and bent down as his body shifted. The sounds of bones popping and liquid flowing quietly signaled the transformation. He gasped as his body finished shifting and stood back up on his legs. He looked at the mirror above his sink. He had gotten a bit taller, thanks to his people taking over a few recently discovered large islands to the north. They were filled with plenty of resources. Oil and minerals, along with other needed supplies and resources. Of course, the rest of the world didn't know. They would never know of him now being the largest country in the world.

He took pride in his people cheering and celebrating even brighter and better on Canada Day with the discovery of new land and gaining a greater economy than before.

His body had gained a lot more muscle from self growth and preservation. His eyes now not being just blue violet, but now also having small speckles of turquoise and red swirled within his irises. He had gained a large scar across his back that swung over his shoulder and down his chest, thanks to the Cut.

His people had prospered and were now a stronger people. Full of power, a greater strength now adorning his military and weaponry. Though they would never use them for anything selfish and against their common morals. They hated fighting, instead choosing to make peace. Even after the Cut.

Canada sighed and smiled at himself a little before turning to take a shower. It had been a while since he had done so, previously just being a small period of self hatred. Not on Canada, but on him - Matthew. He had been feeling down. June was coming to an end and his birthday would show up in just a few days.

He had never felt so lonely. Sure, most people forgot his birthday, but there were still some who told him happy birthday and celebrated it with him. The ones mainly being America, France, and England. Even though they forgot most of the time too, Canada was happy any attention he received on his birthday that was always shadowed in America's birthday. Even more so now. No one ever talked to him anymore. It was worse that there was a meeting with his brother on his birthday weekend. Canada's birthday being this upcoming Saturday was a terrible gift he had received.

The governments of Canada and America had recently decided that they should start up trade again, though only on limited items such as natural resources and machinery. This would be the first meeting Canada would have with anyone after the Cut several decades ago. Not just any random meeting. A meeting with the country that had started the Cut. Canada's very own twin brother and closest friend, America.

Canada had never felt so betrayed and so much despair as when his brother discovered his Wendigo form. He took a video of the Canadian and decided that he would take charge of being a hero and "saving the world". He showed off the terrifying form of the Northern nation to the rest of the world at the next world meeting. Clear pride displayed on his face as the world came to him and asked for his assistance in keeping the "monster" at bay. Canada never blamed his brother. He knew America was just scared and cared about helping others. He never yelled at America in anger or was upset with him, because he knew his twin's heart was in the right place.

Now, here they both were. Stuck in a situation that neither wanted to be in, but they knew that they had to do or otherwise their bosses would get upset.

Canada had started packing his bag once he finished his shower. His hands shaky with a bit of fear and excitement. He'd get to leave and visit another country after so long. Isolation wasn't really the best thing to go through, but it gave him a lot of time to relax and watch over the people of his country more easily without the concerns of the rest of the world on his back.

 

Canada was on his flight to D.C. that Friday in which he would get a ride from the airport to America's house, where they would hold the small meeting for the time being. Canada could barely contain himself as he hopped into the black SUV. He would get to see his brother after such a long time. He could see through the car window that America's economy was still going strong. A few new buildings had replaced old ones from what he could gather from his memory of his last visit to D.C. The people seemed to be just as crazy and amazing as ever. Canada smiled. His brother had been doing well. He sat back in his seat as they passed the city to a small private suburb for the large mansion that was America's house.

Canada stepped out of the car as it dropped him off at the driveway. He thanked the driver and closed the door before heading to the front door, duffel bag and work case in hand. He was dressed in a black suit, a red tie around his neck and white handkerchief in his suit pocket. Black dress shoes nice and polished. His hair was pulled back in a sort of messy ponytail, the curl hanging loose in front of his face. Lips soft with chapstick and a small blush of excitement adorning his facial features.

Canada stared at the tall, oak double doors. He took a deep breath and allowed a small smile to slip on his face as he knocked on the door with strong knuckles. He stood patiently as he waited for an answer. A clang could be heard as he heard cursing behind the door. He chuckled as he could clearly picture an America clumsily getting to the door.

His face lit up at the sight of his near reflection in the now open doorway. America looked the same as ever. His eyes still the beautiful shade of cerulean blue and his skin a lovely shade of tanned peach. Blond hair that was a little brighter than his adorned his face, his cowlick standing proud. His glasses, or - as America called them - Texas, hanging off his nose slightly. A dark blue suit and black dress shoes being his outfit for today's meeting.

"… Who are you?" Canada never thought he would miss such a question. One that had plagued his life before the Cut. He welcomed it with open arms. He laughed shyly a bit.

"It's me, Canada. Your brother?" Canada had seemingly gotten less anxious around other people and had become a little more outgoing during his isolation. It was a surprise to the American before him.

"M… Matthew?" Canada nodded at his brother's question.

"It's nice to see you again, Alfred. It's been so long." America's eyes were wide. He backed up, opening the door a but wider.

"Y-Yeah. … Wow." He watched as Canada walked though the door, his neck craned up just a tiny bit to face the Northern nation. "You've… gotten taller." He looked down at the suit. He could see that the sleeves and pants fitted tighter around the new body underneath. "And more muscley." He flinched at the rich laugh that left Canada's mouth. He sounded way different than before. Older, more powerful. Yet the same.

"I guess so. My people have been doing well. Though I'm sure we can discuss that more in the meeting." Canada walked behind America after he shut the door.

"Ah… right." Canada took notice of the slight shaking of the American and his heart sank. America was still afraid of him. He chose to ignore this and move on with the meeting. He sat at one side of the small table, placing his work case on top. America followed suit on the opposite side.

They stayed that way for a while, staring at the table top and fiddling with the papers in their hands. It was only a few minutes after that Canada cleared his throat.

"Right. Shall we get started?" America jumped a bit and looked up to his brother before nodding silently, taking out a pen and pad.

"Yeah. I'll start with some questions and you can answer. Then we can alternate. Good?" Canada nodded with a smile.

"Sounds good to me, frère."

Chapter Text

The meeting had gone smoothly. They discussed economics and future trade agreements. Canada was friendly throughout the meeting, seeming quite happy about the meeting even if it was about politics. America seemed more… withdrawn and a bit hasty to get the meeting over with. Canada didn't blame him. Every nation was afraid of him. He didn't blame anyone. Especially America.

"… and so my economy is doing just fine. We really have been doing well. It all honesty, it seems that becoming isolated has greatly helped us in the long run." Canada finished his report with a smile.

America stared at the younger nation with wide eyes. He was left speechless after hearing Canada's report. Canada had been… doing well? That shouldn't be right. He should have weakened. "Oh… Well, that's… good." America looked down at the table and unconsciously twiddled his thumbs. What was he going to do? The other nations had said that Canada needed to be weak for the next step of the plan. So far, it hasn't been proving effective. He looked back up to his twin.

Colorful eyes stared back at him. America suddenly became infatuated with them. They reminded him of Northern lights. "Hey… when did your eyes change color?" Canada blinked and placed a hand on the side of his face, pink dusting his cheeks. Embarrassment.

"Ah, well… Claiming the new land has pushed Canada farther underneath the field of the Aurora Borealis, so it has more of an effect on my physical appearance. I thought it was a nice change." America nodded unknowingly. He continued to stare into the eyes. They looked so… gentle. Warm. No. Stop.

Canada's a monster. Monster's are not gentle or warm or nice. They're the bad guys. Heroes take care of the bad guys. Heroes kill the villains. Monsters deserved to die, because they are evil and only hurt innocent people.

America cleared his throat. "That's cool. Uh… So…" America took a look at the clock on the wall. "I guess we could end the meeting now." He stood up quickly and closed the folders in front of him. "I'll show you to your room for the night." He walked to the door and opening it wide.

Canada didn't take long to finish organizing the papers and stood up as well, following his brother. "Thank you. I'll grab my bags by the door first and catch up with you." Canada flew a quick smile to his twin before heading down the hall to the foyer to grab his bags.

 

It was later that night that the twins saw each other again. America had left Canada at the guest room door, claiming he had some important phone calls to make. Canada didn't take long to get comfy in the small bedroom.
It was dinner time currently and America had grilled some steaks and had made mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables for their meal. They sat at opposite sides of the dining table, silence filling the room. They both kept their eyes on their food, with the occasional look around or peek at the reflection across the table.

It was America who broke the silence. "So… uh… how have you been doing? Not Canada, I mean… you, Matthew." Canada was surprised by his brother's sudden question. America had cared about not Canada, but Matthew? He was shocked to silence, before the clearing of his brother's throat woke him up from the trance. "Well?"

"O-Oh! Oh, um, yes… I have been… doing well." America nodded.

"I see. And how's work been treating ya?" Canada smiled, a glow on his cheeks.

"It's been really well actually. I haven't had a lot of work, thanks to the Cut. I pretty much spend time at home nowadays, taking care of the garden, taking care of Kumajicho - I'm sorry. I mean Kumajirou. We've both been really persistent to know each other's names correctly. We've made a lot of progress. When I'm not doing that, I'm usually out in the wild, enjoying the wilderness and what nature has to offer my people, and-"

"Hold on." Canada stopped as America cut him off. "The Cut?"

"Hm? Oh! Yes, the Cut. That's what my people call it. When we were cut off from the rest of the world, we called it the Cut. Our economy back then had stooped very low. Though we eventually got back up on our feet and have been doing better than ever." Canada finished with a giggle.

"Ah." America looked back to his plate, poking at the greens on his plate. The Cut, huh? So it had been effective in the beginning, but not in the long run. America had sweat in his brow as he remembered the call from earlier that evening.

 

Earlier that night

 

"I don't know, England! I was for sure that he would be weak at this point. He should be sickly and all that shit, right? But he's not! He's way buffer and stronger than ever! Fuck, he's taller than Russia, dude!" America had called his former caretaker. He was panicking. How was he going to be able to carry out the plan if nothing was going accordingly to said plan?!

"America, calm down. He's there, isn't he? All you have to do is kill him." England's reply was calm and clear.

"Dude, how am I supposed to do that? The guy is huge and fucking muscly! I can't go to war with that!"

"America! Calm down!" America took a few breaths to steady himself before giving the 'okay' to England. "Alright. Now, he will be resting in your house, yes? You could kill him while he's asleep. It would be easy. There might be a mess to clean up, but we will have won." America nodded.

He would need to grab one of his guns.

 

Back to the present

 

Canada was the first to finish and had told America he would retire for the night. His smile was genuine as he spoke to America before leaving the room, "Perhaps we can catch up tomorrow? I'd like to know how you and the other countries have been doing yourselves these past few years."

America watched his brother leave and waited in his chair. He didn't move from his spot as he heard the door shut down the hallway. He stayed still and quiet for a few hours to be sure his brother had fallen into a deep slumber. He was quick to leave the room after and search his office for his gun inside the large, oak desk.

"You could kill him while he's asleep."

America held the gun in hand, making sure it was loaded before cocking it quietly. He'd have to be careful holding it. A gun going off would surely wake his brother and ruin their plans.

America was silent as he tiptoed barefoot down the hallway towards his brother's room. Silent as he grabbed the door knob, turning it ever so slowly as to not cause any noise. He made sure that the door did not creak or whine as he opened it with timid movements.



Canada slept peacefully on his bed, no sound disturbing the quiet breaths that left him. America held his breath as he walked closer.
He was going to do this. He was actually going to pull it off. He would win. He would kill the monster and win this war. He let out a quiet shaky breath as he held the gun up and pointed towards the head of his twin. His brother.

America paused and looked at the sleeping body of his neighbor. Peace. America shook his head, frustrated. No time to be distracted. He walked closer, the gun closing in on his twin's temple.

"You could kill him while he's asleep."

America winced at the memory in his head. Kill him. Kill him. He gripped his own hair and pulled at it. 'Just stop. Stop thinking about it. You have to kill him. He's the villain! Heroes get rid of villains! Protect the people!' He gasped as the gun was suddenly thrown from his grip. He watched as it hit the wall on the other side of the room. He turned back to the bed to look at his brother. His eyes widened and he froze on the spot. 

Dark eyes stared into his own. A face of a Wendigo filling his vision. America felt his heart begin to beat faster. He opened his mouth to yell, but no sound came out.

"A… America? What…? What are you doing?" That was Canada's voice. Or what seemed to be. It was… darker. More… demonic. Canada looked to the gun on the floor and back at America. It didn't take long for Canada to connect the pieces. "Were… Were you trying to… k-kill me?"

Canada felt his heart shatter. He had so wanted this meeting to put their friendship back together. Their brotherhood. He wanted this meeting to open back up the gates to the other nations, hoping to be able to gain back their friendships. He had trusted America. He believed that America wanted to gain back their ties and become brothers once again.

But reality had set in. America wanted to kill him. America wanted him dead.

America finally had the courage to speak. "O-Of course I was! Y-You are a monster! And heroes have to kill the monsters! S-So… So I have to kill you! It's the right thing to do! You'll only hurt the others! S-So the hero has to save them! And I am that hero!" America jumped and tried to run towards the gun. His heart was pounding in his chest, fear taking hold.

The air was suddenly knocked out of him as he found himself slammed into the wall by a push to his back. He quickly backed up against the wall, holding onto his shoulder. That was going to leave a bruise. He looked up towards the Wendigo, who now stood by the bed on all four lanky, long limbs. A shine caught America's eyes from the face of the monster. He focused on it and found the moonlight shining in from the windows, hitting the pale terrifying face. The light had hit the streams of water trailing down Canada's cheeks. Tears. Canada was crying.

"I trusted you. I-I thought… I thought we could be friends again. W-We could be b-brothers like before. … B-But I guess what I had h-hoped for will n-never be." Canada let out a small sob as he hung his head, eyes scrunched shut as he cried out. "I… I wanted to believe-! I wanted to believe that something like th-this! Like my appearance wouldn't force us apart! Th-That how I looked wouldn't make you-!" Canada looked back towards America. Eyes filled with self-hate. Guilt. Longing. Heartbreak. Despair. "Wouldn't make you afraid of me!!"

Then he was gone. Sounds of heavy steps running down the stairs and the front door opening with a slam signaling his leave. The roars of sadness filling the air dissipating as the "monster" ran into the night, wishing for loneliness for the first time in its life.

Chapter Text

America hadn't moved one bit from his spot near the wall. He continued to stare at the spot where Canada once stood. His voice ringing inside America's head.

"I trusted you. … I wanted to believe that something like th-this! Like my appearance wouldn't force us apart! … Wouldn't make you afraid of me!!"

America grabbed at his hair as the memory of the Wendigo replayed in his head, over and over.

"I trusted you."

"I trusted you."

"I trusted you."

America let out a whimper as he held his head tighter. Canada. Canada. Canada was crying.

No! Canada was a Wendigo. A monster! A monster that fed on human flesh and reeked of vile and rot. They killed and tore apart people for their own selfish need to satiate their own hunger and blood lust.

 

"America!" A young America turned to look at his twin. Canada was running towards him, a small bundle in his hands. America smiled brightly and ran to meet Canada.

"Hi, Canada! Whatcha got?" Canada's smile was happy and his cheeks were flushed from running. He held out the bundle to America.

"I made some cookies for you! Would you like them?" Canada always liked to bake treats for his family, especially his twin. America's smile turned to a grin in no time.

"Oh wow, for me? Really? Yes, please!" He grabbed the small bundle of cloth and unwrapped it. Inside were 12 star-shaped cookies, golden brown and with a scent that gave off the smell of honey and brown sugar. He instantly shoved one in his mouth, relishing the taste that settled across his tongue. He moaned in happiness at the flavors dancing across his taste buds. "This is delicious, Canada!" Canada giggled as he watched his twin stuff his cheeks with more of the cookies, chewing happily. America grabbed one and held it out to his brother, "Want one?"

Canada looked at the cookie before smiling up at his reflection, "No, thank you. I made them for you, so I want you to have them all!" America's eyes got visibly wider as his grin shined brighter than the sun.

"Oh, wow! Thank you so much, Canada! You're the best!" The blue eyed boy glomped onto his twin, his weight causing the other to fall to the ground. They giggled and held onto each other as they nuzzled their heads together. The afternoon sky full of puffy clouds and the sun providing a warm glow.

 

America shook his head as the memory came to mind. He groaned angrily. Why do these memories keep popping up?! Okay, fine! Canada always shared his food with others, especially America. That didn't mean that he didn't reek of carcasses and swamp water.

 

"Hey, Canada. Have you ever noticed that we all smell really different to each other?" The North America twins were playing on America's new XBox, settling on their bean bag chairs with beer bottles and junk food around them. Canada paused his game playing to look at his brother in confusion.

"What?" America paused their game and set the remote down to grab a bottle of beer.

"I guess it's a country thing? Like ya know, we each have a weird scent that smells different to everyone else. Like for me, France smells like roses, and wine and cheese. England smells like rain and burnt food, and tea. Yada yada yada."

"Oh. … No, I haven't." Canada shuffled in his seat. "Uh… What do I smell like, to you I mean?" Canada squeaked quietly as America moved towards and placed his nose against Canada's hair. America inhaled the Canadian's scent, taking a deep breathe.

The scent of the Canadian wilderness hit him hard. Trees, rivers, dirt. It smelled natural. Pure, true. Freshly fallen snow and ice caps on the mountains provided a cool snap to the wonderful scent. The distinct scent of maple trees and flowers filling his nose.

America found it intoxicating. He found it hard to lean away from the lovely scent. He laughed as he looked back to Canada. "You smell great. Like maple trees and the alpine tundras."

Canada smiled. "That sounds reassuring, I guess."

"What about me? What do I smell like?" Canada looked towards America and scratched the back of his neck.

"Uh… Well…" Canada moved towards him and inhaled the scent of the American before pulling back quickly. "You smell like burgers and gas fuel and stuff… you know." Canada cleared his throat before turning back to the television. "Come on. Let's finish this game."

 

America held his head. Okay, Canada didn't smell like something disgusting. But that didn't mean that his Wendigo form didn't smell horrible.

Suddenly a thought struck his mind. Canada was acting nervous and awkward. Canada had been lying about his scent. He smelled different than what Canada said he had. Just what did America smell like to Canada?

Canada. Canada. His baby brother.

"I trusted you."

"Th-That how I looked wouldn't make you-! Wouldn't make you afraid of me!!"

Canada.

 

"America?" The voice was barely above a whisper, but it still caught the chibi colony's attention. America sat up and looked at his door, finding the lightly lit silhouette, of his twin Canada, standing there.

"Yeah?" Canada shuffled his feet.

"Can I sleep with you tonight? The… The storm is getting l-louder." A clap of thunder erupted in the night sky and Canada shrieked, squeezing Kumajirou closer. America smiled wide.

"Of course! Come on! Get up here!" He patted the bedding next to him, signaling Canada that he was welcomed. Canada wasted no time in hurrying to the bed. Once he was settled under the covers he cuddled up next to America.

"Thank you, Alfie." America giggled as he pulled his twin close.

"No problem, Mattie! I'll always protect you from the big, bad storms." Canada looked up to his brother.

"You promise?" America nuzzled his brother's cheek.

"I promise." Canada didn't seem convinced. There was a sad frown on his face as he pushed America away. He sat up, his arms crossed and a pout on his lips.

"No, you don't. You always forget me and you always leave me alone. Even when I'm standing next to you. You always seem to focus on Mr. England and food more than me." Tears were in Canada's eyes. "You always forget me. Am I not important to you?"

America felt his own eyes fill with tears. Canada was very important to him! He mattered much more than Britain or food! He sat up and grabbed the back of Canada's nightgown. "I-I'm sorry, Mattie! I don't mean to! I always get distracted. Please… don't leave me. I'm sorry. I promise I'll focus on you more. I promise. We can play games together without England and we can go play in the woods and find bunnies. Please!" Canada looked back to his twin, tears already down his face.

"Do you really promise?" America nodded his head furiously.

"Of course! I wouldn't break such a promise, Mattie!" He pulled Canada back to him, hugging him tight. "Please, believe me!" He hiccuped, tears on his own cheeks. Canada hugged back, wiping away America's tears.

"O-Okay, I will. Stop crying, Alfie. I hate seeing you cry." America nodded and wiped away his tears with the back of his balled up hands. After wiping them away, he held Canada's cheeks in his hands and pulled his face close.

"England says we can seal promises with a kiss. So I'll kiss you to prove that I'll always protect you and never forget you, Mattie." Now a kiss would have seemed wrong in this setting with the twins as children and male, and even being brothers, but America and Canada were children who saw no wrong.
Canada squeaked as his twin pulled their faces together. America happily gave Canada a smooch, their cheeks flushing on impact. It only lasted a few seconds.

"There! Now my promise can never be broken since I made it with a kiss." Canada smiled at his brother and giggled.

"Okay. Then… I promise to protect you too, when you need me." Canada this time, grabbed America's face and gave him a soft kiss on the lips. When he pulled away, the twins giggled together and held each other closer. They laid back down, hand-in-hand and bodies pressed together.

Canada let out a sigh of happiness and relief before closing his eyes. America followed suit. Both had a peaceful night full of sweet dreams and the comforting warmth of their twin.

The very next day, America left Canada behind to go on a walk with England on the trails of the forest behind their house.

 

America pulled his knees to his chest, tears threatening to spill. He had made that promise over and over again to his little brother. Every time, he broke it. He always broke his promises with Canada. But that one memory was the only one he could remember now, because it was so significant. He had sealed that promise with a kiss. A kiss. He couldn't help the tiny flush that covered his cheeks as he remembered Canada's soft lips on his own.

America immediately shook his head and slapped himself. Hard. A red hand print left on his cheek. No. Canada was a monster. Monsters were evil. Monsters were horrible and only had the desire to kill. They killed without mercy and had fun doing it. Canada was a monster. A Wendigo.

"… I'll always protect you and never forget you, Mattie."

How many times… had he promised and broken that simple sentence? He remembered the times Canada would come over and be excited to hang out together. He remembered the times when he'd see Canada at the meeting and totally not recognize him, always asking him "Who are you again?" and "You look like me. Have we met before?" He remembered the times he would see the saddened look in his brother's eyes when America would leave him behind for someone else.

… When was the last time he had made Canada happy? Could it have been all the way back then to that promise?

America held his head as tears spilled from his cheeks. He had promised! But Canada was a monster.

America had held a gun to the Canadian's head not too long ago and had made him leave in a fury of sadness. He remembered seeing those eyes filled with hatred. Not towards America, not towards Canada, but towards Matthew. Himself.

America's soul was torn in two.

Should he protect his baby brother like his heart told him to?

Or should he kill the monster like his mind warned him to do?

Should he protect the one who always accepted America for himself… like his heart declared?

Or should he kill the beast, the threat, the enemy… like America's family and friends said Canada was?

 

What path should he take?

Chapter Text

Canada had barricaded his home. His form hadn't changed since leaving America's house. His body was tired, physically and emotionally. He had locked himself in his bedroom, settling amongst the nest of blankets and pillows he had made next to his bed. It brought him comfort. Nesting always brought comfort to the Artic nation. It brought warmth and reassurance. He started nesting when he was a young colony, when on cool nights he would be left alone and cold in his room. He guessed it was a Wendigo thing.

Canada remembered the first time he realized he was a Wendigo. It was a simple search through some old journals and books of the past that had proclaimed him and America home to the Wendigoes. Though, Canada guessed, he got the short end of stick with being the real deal.

He remembered the first time he shifted willingly into the horrid body he had once so despised.

 

He and America, when they had been colonies for a few years then, had made the brilliant decision to spend a few nights in the forest. They had only brought a tent, food, water, and other basic supplies - including a med kit.

Of course they hadn't been prepared for a certain guest to show up in the night. A bear. Both boys had been running for their lives. Leading to them both not watching where they were really going. They both had fallen down the side of a large slope of a hill, hitting rocks and trees down to the bottom. America had hit his head hard on a jagged rock on the way down. It would heal later, but they were in trouble.

America was bleeding bad and would die if he didn't get help. Canada knew that he could carry America on his back, but it would be slow movements. He wouldn't make it in time. He knew he had to change then. He was quick and shifted right before America's eyes, though the American seemed to be slightly out of it. America didn't scream or move away from his brother. In fact, it was the opposite. He reached for Canada, asking him to hurry. Canada made no delay. He picked up America, who was now only half the size of Canada's Wendigo form, and held him to his chest with a strong arm. He took off, jumping amongst the rocks and trees of the forest. Rain started pouring and the wind blew. Canada moved faster, protecting America's body from the cold frigid rain and wind.

It not had taken long for Canada to reach England's mansion, thanks to the speed of the Wendigoes. Canada made sure to shift back before entering the house, not wanting England to find out about this power. He only ever trusted America to know. England had been quick to take care of America, warming him up and bandaging the wounds. He turned to Canada and had given him a hug, thankful that both of the boys had returned safely and thanking Canada for protecting America.

America had forgotten the entire ordeal, thanks to the head injury.

Canada was okay with that. As long as he had kept his promise to protect America, he was fine with America forgetting him.
He was thankful for the Wendigo side of him for being able to help him save the one he cared for most. He promised he would try to understand it more and be more open about using it to help others from that day on.

 

Canada whimpered as the memory left him be and he cried once again. All these broken promises. It had left Canada hoping too much for acceptance from his twin. America was the only other one, besides Kumajirou, he felt close enough to to willingly show the form to.

America discovering it himself had been an accident. It had taken a turn for the worst when America didn't accept the Wendigo like he did that night all those years ago.

America was accepting back then, he had accepted Canada. Now, America just wanted him dead. Dead, six feet under.

Canada couldn't hold back the sobs as he remembered all that America had said to him.

"Y-You are a monster! … So I have to kill you! … You'll only hurt the others!"

"It's the right thing to do!"

Canada cried out into the night. His guttural growls and screams filled the air as he remembered the pain of the Cut, the looks of disgust and hate he gained from the other nations, the rejection from America in accepting him as he was.

Canada never wished for death, but how tempting it seemed now. To leave this world and forget all the pain and suffering of abandonment from his friends and family. They hated him. Canada hated himself too. He always had, now it was stronger than ever before. Death feeling like the only way to leave the pain behind. To gain peace.

 

A warmth beside him interrupted his depressing thoughts. He lifted the blankets to find Kumajirou nestled next to him. He purred as he nuzzled closer to Canada, his squeaky voice speaking up.

"Don't let them get you down, Canada. They just don't understand you. You are a good nation, and a good person. They'll understand one day." Canada's eyes filled with tears again, he wrapped an arm around the bear and pulled him closer. "People think Wendigoes are scary and cold-hearted. But you're warm as a sunny day, Canada. You have no ice in your heart and soul. You're a good Wendigo, but you're also a good human. One day, the others will see that too." Canada sobbed into the white fur of his only friend.

"Oh, Kumajirou. You're my best friend. Please, don't leave me too." Kumajirou hummed and licked at the face of his owner.

"I won't. I promise." Canada cried quietly into the softness of the bear's tummy.

"Do you really?" Kumajirou smiled sadly down at his owner. His owner had been ridiculed and abused all his life. He had been cast aside by those whom he had deemed his loved ones. He was was the victim of many broken promises. Kumajirou would never leave his owner, after all, the boy had saved him when he himself was young. Why leave the one person who accepted him with open arms? This time, it would be Kumajirou to save the one thing he loved most.

"I really, truly do. Canada, you're the only true friend I have ever had. I will never leave you." He lapped up the tears and licked away the tear stains on the Canadian's cheeks. Canada sniffed as he nuzzled the bear close, knowing the bear's words were true.

"I believe you, my dear friend." Kumajirou cuddled closer into the warm arms of the tearful Wendigo. Canada sighed as he closed his eyes and snuggled the bear closer. "Thank you. Thank you so much, Kumajirou."

The two fell into a nice, quiet sleep not long after. Neither of the two let go of each other, afraid to lose the one thing that had accepted them as they were.

Chapter Text

Canada had woken up to the sound of banging and shouts. He sat up quickly, Kumajirou waking up from the sudden movement.

Both of the beings sniffed the air to figure out who was making the loud ruckus outside their house. Being a Wendigo indeed provided some good perks, though some were not always wanted. Like his hunger for raw meat. Though one of said good perks would be having a sense of smell that could catch another being's scent kilometers away.
Unfortunately, he had been asleep so he wasn't really aware of the people out front coming close to his home.

His heart jumped into his throat as he caught the familiar scents of a few nations from the last world conference he had been allowed at.

He made a mental list as he identified the original scents of the countries he knew: Italy, Romano, Germany, Prussia, Japan, China, Russia, England, France, and…

"Burger boy." Kuma growled into the air. His teeth bared and claws out as he stood by the door, ready to attack anything that would move through the bedroom door. He was furious. How dare these humans come here and harm Canada, who was already defenseless and weak from pain and heartbreak of the troubles of last night.

Canada quickly got under the blankets once more, cowering in fear. Why were they here? He was home and he hadn't done anything wrong on the way back. Were they here because of last night? Did they want to kill him too? He whimpered as the memories of the night before filled his head. He grabbed at the sides of his head, shaking it furiously. "No, no, no. Please- Please, don't. I'm sorry."

 

A crack sounded from downstairs. They broke down the door. He could hear the loud sound of footsteps booming up the stairs.

Kuma moved and stood in front of his owner's nest, prepared to unleash a full affronted attack. He growled quietly as his eyes darkened further, his lips curled up in a snarl as the claws on his feet scratched at the hardwood floor. These humans. How dare- How DARE they?! Hadn't they already tortured his poor friend enough? The boy was literally on the verge of a mental breakdown after last night.

Canada cried as he heard the steps get closer. They were going to kill him! He had to escape! He quickly scrambled to his feet and hands, looking around for a way to escape the house. His attention was instantly shot towards the boarded up window. He ran over, grabbing the slabs of wood and tore them off the walls. They clattered to the ground loudly. The sound was accompanied by the loud bang on his door.

Canada froze as he turned towards the door, his claws holding open the window. The door fell to the ground as a boot-clad foot kicked it down.

Canada watched as the countries he had identified before filled the room, weapons in hand. Well except Italy, of course, who was hiding behind Germany.

Canada stared at the weapons being pointed directly towards him.

No one in the room moved. The only sounds in the room was the loud panting of the other countries and the quiet, erratic heartbeat of the Wendigo near the window sill, who's hands were still holding onto the window's opening.

 

Canada was the first to move after a few minutes of silence. He tried to scramble out the window, eyes wide in fear. The sound of a gun and a bullet flying past him stopped him in his tracks.

"Don't move!" The voice of a certain Englishman filled his ears. "If you try to move out that window, we will shoot you without hesitation." Canada didn't move, his body tense. He was shaking in terror. He didn't dare go against the word of his former caretaker. "Now… move away from the window and sit against the wall. Don't try anything!"

Canada swallowed loudly and brought his arms back in through the window. He turned towards the others, his eyes still dilated with fear and adrenaline pumping through his veins.



The others watched as Canada pressed his back to wall, sitting on his haunches and head down slightly. His eyes falling to the floor, placing his hands between his legs - sitting like a dog.

Kumajirou was still standing in front of Canada, a growl still settled in his throat. He acted as a barrier between the large being and the countries.

Canada didn't move a bit. He knew that he would in fact die if he did. England's voice filled his ears again.

"America, go get the chains. Quickly." Canada heard shuffling and steps down the stairs. Chains? They were going to chain him up? What would they do with him after? Were they going to take him somewhere? Were they going to lock him up in a facility? Were they really going to kill him? Wouldn't they just do it here now and be saved from the trouble of transporting him elsewhere?

His thoughts were cut off as he heard the sound of metal clanging inside the room. He could tell it was the sounds of the chains rattling. He dared to look up. His brother had chains and shackles in hand. Canada's eyes locked with America's. They stared at each other, unblinking.

"I trusted you."

"Th-That how I looked wouldn't make you-! Wouldn't make you afraid of me!!"

Canada turned his head away, eyes closed tight. He couldn't bare to look at his brother. Though… were they even brothers anymore?

Chapter Text

The room was dark except for the light above that shined down on the large cage in the center.

The shackles rubbed against Canada's wrists and ankles uncomfortably, making the gray skin beneath turn dark purple and swollen.

Canada had his head down, staring at the bottom of the barred container. Not one sound filled his ears. He didn't mind the dark, nor the loneliness. He had grown accustomed to it ever since he was a colony. The dark being cut by his night vision. His loneliness being an almost everyday occurence of which he had to accept and move on with.

The room wasn't very large, but it wasn't small either. It was barren except for a table against the wall that had a wooden box on top. He couldn't tell what was in it. There was no scent coming from it. The room smelled of blackberry, sage, and rowan. Herbs to shield against evil spirits. Clever.

The cage, it was uncomfortable. It was small for Canada's large body. It wasn't meant to hold a Wendigo, a large bear perhaps, but no Wendigo. He was left exhausted. He had been staying up endlessly to be cautious and aware of his surroundings in case someone decided to pay a visit.

It had been days, or at least he thought so. There were no windows in the room, so he couldn't tell if there was even daylight outside the room.

His body ached from being stuck in the same position for so long. He let out a particularly loud sigh as he lifted his head to look at the door across from his prison. What were they planning to do with him?

 

Canada was awoken from his anxiety induced sleep by the sound of a doorknob rattling. He lifted his head upwards, setting his gaze on the door.

Silhouettes filled the doorway as the door opened slowly. Canada could clearly tell that it was the group from the day they captured him. Though it seemed a few more countries decided to come along with them this time. The Nordics, Spain, and Romania. Canada internally shuddered.

At the very front of them all, was America. Canada brought his gaze down to the floor as his eyes may not have wanted to be seen by the others. He could sense them circle the cage, their eyes trained on him the entire time. Canada didn't dare move for they might see it as a sudden threat.

His eyes focused on the floor beneath the countries' shoes as they eventually all came to a stop in front of him. He could the sour smell of fear shrouding over them.

England, the smell of tea and bluebells filling Canada's senses, was the first to step forward. "Matthew?"

The chains and shackles clanked on the bottom of the cage floor as Canada let a slight flinch take over his body. He hadn't been expecting his human name to be used in this situation. Nor ever again.

Canada dared to take a peek upwards. His eyes locked with emerald green ones. Canada didn't have the heart to keep looking. He shifted his head downwards, his eyes trained on the floor again.

"Matthew, look at me." Canada only lowered his head again. He didn't want to. "Matthew. Look at us, boy." England's voice was stern, like when he would scold Canada and America as colonies.

Canada couldn't resist and lifted his head, looking down at the countries whom heights couldn't even reach his collar bone. He stared down at them and they stared right back.

Silence was all there was as the eyes of the Wendigo and the nations before it stared into the gaze of one another. Only a few minutes passed before Canada could no longer take the silence.

He lowered his head once more, eyes peering beneath hooded eyelids. "Why did you bring me here?"

The countries seemed to flinch slightly at the gnarly, deep, static-filled voice of the Wendigo. Not one word was spoken from them as they looked to one another. Canada grew tired from their quietness. "If it is to kill me, why bring me here? Why not kill me back at the cabin? It would have saved you the trouble of trying to transport me all the way here. Where ever here is." 

France stepped forward. "We are not going to kill you, mon fils." He looked to England with an unsure glance before walking closer to the cage, trying to catch Canada's eye. "We are simply goin' to 'elp you."

Canada lifted his head again, "Help me?" England nodded, his eyes determined.

"Yes. We have prepared a ritual that may help remove the beast's spirit within you." Canada was taken aback. 'Remove the spirit'? What did he mean? He shifted back up, the chains clanging again.

"Remove the spirit? There is no spirit." America walked up to the cage, his hands grasping the bars.

"Don't worry, bro. We're going to fix you. England says we can get rid of the Wendigo's spirit by banishing it with some weird plants and stuff. You'll be back and good as new as before." Canada was shocked and horrified. They were planning to 'banish' a spirit that wasn't even there? That was too dangerous! For him and for them!

"Wait, no! There is no spirit! There's no spirit inside me! I'm me! I'm a Wendigo! I was created this way!" Canada watched as Norway and Romania walked to the box on the table and pull out some herbs and a sheathed blade, the handle of the knife within covered in silver plating. He was beginning to panic. This wasn't going to help! This would just be harmful! It would probably kill him! "No, stop! If you try and banish something that isn't even here, you'll get hurt!"

Canada's breathing was beginning to increase. He tried to stand up on his haunches, but his horns hit the top of the prison box. The chains clashed against each other. He couldn't help the panicked growls releasing from his throat. Bad things were going to ensue if he didn't stop the ritual. Prussia set a small podium in front of the cage. England set a large book on it. There was some strange writing on it.

"It will be okay, Canada. We have figured out the perfect ritual to get rid of that thing inside you." England opened the book to a red bookmark sticking out between the pages.

Canada had sweat training down his face as he stared at the pictures on the pages. He knew that nothing good could be seen between those lines. 

 

Suddenly, a stinging sensation hit his back. He roared in pain and turned his head to see Norway wielding the silver blade. A full blue glow outlined it. Canada stared in horror as he watched the Norwegian slice his back once more. Canada roared again, hitting his head against the front of the cage. His arms and legs pulled at the chains holding him down.

The other countries stood around the cage. Some of them holding onto each other at the sound of the monstrous cries. Others were just staring at him, some in fear while others in shock. They were all determined however. They were all determined to get back their Canada. Their friend, their ally, their brother.

Canada stopped crying out as soon as Norway finally stepped away from the cage with blade in hand, dripping blood. Romania had finished grinding up the spices and herbs, beginning to spread them out in a circle around the cage.

Tears were gathering in Canada's eyes as he panted and whined in pain. The cuts weren't going to heal for a very long, thanks to the silver within the blade now back in its sheath. He looked down at the nations once more.
America caught his eye again. He looked at his neighbor. Their eyes locked and they didn't look away from the other once.

America took notice of the tears in Canada's eyes. They looked within his very soul. They seemed to tear him apart from the inside-out. America looked at the eyes for a while longer. They looked as if to be reaching out for him. America couldn't look away. They begged for him. The irises shining bright and pupils dilated wide.

A glow from the side drew his attention away. England was beginning to read out loud the words from the pages. Norway and Romania joined him along the way, using hand signals and quietly whispering some sort of chant.

America looked back to the Wendigo in chains. He seemed to be staring at the spell chanting trio. His chest seemed to be rise and fall rapidly. America took notice of the red liquid hitting the cage floor.

Why did it make his stomach turn?

Chapter Text

Hours Earlier



America looked to England, who held a very large book in his hands. "Are you sure this will work? Canada won't be hurt or anything, right?" England turned to the American and gave what could be considered a reassuring smile.

"Yes. I am sure. The spell will simply remove the spirit possessing Canada's body and we will then banish it back from which it came." America looked at the book once more before sighing and running a hand through his hair.

"I hope you're right, Iggy. If not… I'm afraid I'm gonna have to give you a fucking punch to the face." England nodded his head in understanding.

"If Canada is hurt in any way so, I will allow it." He turned to the conference room and opened the doors. Everyone was waiting. The countries looked up from their seats, eyes falling on the two blonds. England gave a small nod and everyone was on their feet, ready for the task ahead.

America couldn't help but grip at his chest. Something still felt wrong about this, but he couldn't place it.

 

Present Time

 

The chanting grew louder and suddenly everything was cast in a pillar of light which had itself centered on the Wendigo in custody. There was silence, except for the faint static buzzing of the spell being bound across the skin of the Wendigo.

A blood curdling scream filled the air.

The nations, except the magic trio, covered their ears in pain and shock as the cry grew louder. The Wendigo screamed and wailed as it began to hit the sides of the cage, desperate to escape the light.

The smell of burning flesh began to fill the air. The strong metallic smell of blood hit their noses.

America looked to see the Wendigo gripping at the bars. He was frozen into sheer horror.

The skin of the Wendigo began to burn away. With what little it had, it wasn't long before bone started to show. Blood poured from the wounds. It roared in agony. It clawed at the bars, clanging the chains around the cage.

Blood suddenly spewed from the Wendigo's mouth. It splashed onto the cage floor and seeped onto the hard wood floors around it.

"St-ah-p!! N-No-ngh!! St-Stop e-e-iiit!!!!! P-P-uh-uh-leASE!!!" The cries waned and ascended in velocity and pitch as the light tore at its flesh. "Th-AH! Th-Ther-ah-s n-N-NO sp-spah-spir-i-i-t!!! Th-Thi-sah!! Th-i-i-ee-ssss m-mah! M-Meee!! Puh-Puh! Plea-AH-se! L-Luh! Listen t-to-ah!! M-Meee-AH!!!!" The monster bellowed and roared.

America watched as the monster lashed at the bars. They began to bend and collapse at the strength. The cage wouldn't hold for much longer. He turned to the others. "The cage! It's going to break! England! Hurry it up!!" He yelled at the Englishman. Said man glared at America as he continued to chant the spell.

 

He had to escape! He just had to! He didn't want to hurt anybody, but… he really needed to leave now! Or they would get hurt from just finishing the spell.

Canada swung his talons at the bars. He bit and scratched at them. The pain was beginning to be unbearable. He could feel his body tiring. He had to hurry!

Canada gave it all he had and rammed into the side of the cage.

The wall broke and the cage collapsed. The spell stopped as some of the bars fell and hit the chanting trio. Canada's body hit the wall of the room, causing some of the drywall to cave in. He tried to hold his body up with his arms. His legs were splayed out beside him.

He gasped for air and whimpered in pain as the burns and cuts bled excessively. His body was trembling as he tried to stand up. He tried to stand up back on his hind legs. It was agony and the spell had weakened him. He just fell back to his side, his arms shivering violently.

It was getting hard to breathe. The blood was gathering in his lungs. He hacked loudly as some of said blood poured from his mouth.
He had to leave. It would take a long time for these wounds to heal, but they would heal. He just needed a reclused area to rest. He looked up to the other nations in the room.

 

America stared at the beast as it gasped in pain. He turned to the see some of the others get the bars off the magic trio on the floor.

"Bloody hell!" England shouted as he scrambled to his feet. "The spell wasn't complete!" Once the three were confirmed not seriously harmed, the countries turned to the monster who laid against the wall.

It tried to stand up, only to fall back on its hips. The welts and burns across its body reeked of burnt flesh. It was sickening. They watched as blood poured from the creature's mouth, splattering the floor in the metallic liquid.

It lifted its head. Tears trained down its face as its eyes looked up to them.

"P-Please… You h-have to b-b-believe me. Th… There isn't a s-single s-spirit…" It coughed up more blood as it began to lower to the ground, its arms shaking violently. The talons dug into the polished wood. "A s-single spirit in-inside m-m-me. I-I beg of y-you. L-Listen…" It gasped for air again as it laid its head on the cold, hard floor. "P-Please… please…" Its breathing became labored as its eyes began to close. "... Alfred." It reached its burnt taloned hand towards America. "B-Brother… please…" Its eyes shut completely as the hand lowered to the ground weakly. Its breathing slowed. "… Alfie."

The monster went quiet.

Chapter Text

"Papa?"

Canada turned his head and smiled as he saw Newfoundland walking towards him. He knelt down to the small province's height.

"Oui, petit?" He picked up the small province in his arms and sat him on his hip. Newfoundland gripped onto his father's hoodie.

"Tout le monde est dans le van et prêt à partir." Canada smiled and kissed the child's head before setting him back on the ground.

"D'accord, d'accord. Allais sauter dans. J'arrive." Newfoundland smiled and ran off towards the van outside. Canada chuckled as he watched him go and turned back to the first aid bag. He had pretty much packed everything they would need for their trip outdoors. He just needed to add a few more emergency supplies to the kit and they would be on the road.

The kids had wanted to go camping for a while now. Canada finally had the time to take them. A full weekend of family time. It was going to be wonderful.

 

"Papa! Papa!"

Canada ran as fast as he could, dodging through the trees and underbrush. Rain poured from the sky. Thunder boomed through the air and lightning lit up the dark, oily night sky. It was just like that time when he was colony. America wasn't the one in danger this time though.

He should have known. He should have known!! Wendigoes always desired any flesh, all flesh. He hoped that his scent on his kids would keep the other Wendigoes at bay. He was wrong. He was so seriously wrong! A Wendigo had made its way to the camp while he was gathering some firewood.

He had to make it back. He had to hurry. Run. Run!

 

Canada slashed at the eyes of the Wendigo, blinding it temporarily. The Wendigo screeched and backed up some, rubbing at its eyes.

Canada took this moment to look at the kids. "Run! Go! Now!" His kids stared at him with shocked eyes before taking off, holding onto each other and carrying the younger ones in their arms.

Canada watched them go before getting a clawed hand rammed into the side of his head. He stumbled but held his ground. He looked up to the other Wendigo, a snarl forming on his face. He wouldn't let this thing hurt his kids. Not now. Not ever!

 

The kids sat around him, hugging and holding onto him tight.

"Papa! We were so scared! Si peur! We- We thought that-!" Québec cried as he held onto Nunavat, trying to stick close to the monstrous being.

Canada held them close as possible with his long arms. His own heart had been beating so fast. He was left in fear and relief. His kids were safe. They were all here with him. They were safe.

"Let's go home. It will be safer there." The children all agreed and helped him put all the supplies before watching him transform back into his human form. They hopped in the van and took off, not daring to return here.

They loved Papa for who he was. There was nothing wrong with him in the light of their eyes. He was their Papa, and Papa to them he shall be.

 

In the Present

 

British Columbia held onto Ontario's hand as they finished setting the table up for dinner. He looked to her, an eyebrow raising high.

"Brother, when… when is Papa coming back?" Ontario looked at her for a while before sighing and squeezing her hand softly in his grasp.

"I don't know. I really don't know." British Columbia nodded her head and sighed as well. Suddenly, there was a knock sounding from the front door.

"I'll get it!" Yukon's voice filled the hallway. The sound of a door opening and a cheery greeting had officially declared that their guests had arrived. The provinces filed away from their previous business and walked to the living room.

"Hey, y'all." All fifty of their cousins stood in the large space. Their faces with sad sympathetic smiles. A tall Texan stood in front of them. "Heard y'all got some troubles. We're here to help y'all get Uncle Matt back."

Chapter Text

It was warm. The darkness was warm. It wrapped around him like a soft blanket. Canada held onto it, not wanting to let go. 

The light. It was trying to take him away from the nice warmth. He didn't want to leave it. So warm. So inviting. Let him stay just a little longer, please.

"Canada..."

Canada squirmed. No. He didn't want to leave. It was so nice. So nice.

"Canada?"

Canada moaned unhappily. A light was showing through. It was making the darkness disappear. No. Please. Come back.

"Matthew!"

Canada woke up with a start. He sat up, gasping. An electric shock filled his torso as he jerked up. He yelped in pain as he wrapped his arms around his waist.

"Easy, Matt! Easy!"

Canada looked to the left of him at the sound of a voice. His vision was a bit blurry as he looked at the colorful blob in front of him. The blob reached forwards and suddenly everything became clearer as his glasses were placed on his face.

America's face filled his vision. Canada's eyes widened as he flailed back, trying to get away from his southern counterpart as far as possible. His hand slipped from the side of the mattress he had been laying on. His side fell onto the plastic barrier on the side of the hospital bed. He yelled out in pain as he gripped onto his hip.

"Matthieu!"

"Matthew!"

Canada gasped out loud as he shot his head up to look at the Frenchman and Brit standing by his bed, reaching out to him.

Canada scrambled up, hand still grasping to his side as he sat up once again. He looked between his neighbor and his former caretakers as he helplessly tried to pull back from them all. 

"Easy, Matt. Calm down. No one's gonna hurt you." Canada shot his view back to America who had placed a hand on his leg, gripping softly as if to give reassurance.

England looked to France. "Go get the others. They'll want to see him too." France looked back and forth between Canada and England with concerned eyes before nodding once and walking out the door.

"Look at me, Mattie." Canada's eyes were still wide and dilated in fear as he watched his brother move closer, moving his hands up and placing them on the arm around his waist. "Easy. It's okay. Just relax. We're at the hospital. You're gonna be okay. Alright?" 

Canada couldn't believe what he was hearing. In a hospital? Going to be okay? Wasn't he supposed to be dead? He was dead, wasn't he? America didn't treat him this way. He was supposed to hate him. He was supposed to look at him in disgust. He wanted Canada dead. He said so!

"Matthieu." Canada looked back towards his left. France had his hands resting on the plastic railing of the bed. France flinched slightly at the sight of those eyes. Dull values of purples, blues, and reds. Tired, hurt, lonely. "Oh, mon fils." He reached up a hand, wanting to place it against Canada's cheek. Canada moved back, eyes widening further. A scared growl quietly settled in his throat. France took the hint and moved his hand back.

Canada had just noticed the rest of the people in the room. The ones from the ritual. He whimpered slightly and shifted uncomfortably in the bed. He looked back down to his lap, taking notice that he was no longer in his Wendigo form. He settled farther into the bed, pulling his legs up to his chest. He was trembling as he looked around at the nations around him.

Everyone was silent as they watched the Wendigo-turned-human in front of them. Bandages riddled his body from the failed ritual. Though, they guess, that ritual would have ended up a failure even if they completed, with only a dead Canada as the result.

"Matthew." Canada glanced towards America. Ocean blue eyes locked with violet ones. Fear, confusion, betrayal, pain. All that was hidden beneath the colorful palette of purples and greens made tears build up slightly in the southern nation's eyes. "Matt. We…" America gripped onto Canada's hand tightly, yet the hold was soft and cautious. "We need to ask you some questions." 

Canada stared at America before sweeping his eyes across the other nations in the room. They were all curious. They all wanted to know more about him. But why? A weakness? An opening? Canada cleared his throat and pulled his hand away from America's grasp, cradling it to his chest.

"For… For what?" America frowned at the lost contact. England spoke up, taking charge.

"The ritual was a fail. It was meant to banish a spirit. But… as you said, there was no spirit. Therefore, that means that you…" America finished for him.

"That you are really a Wendigo." The room was enveloped in silence once more as they waited for a response from the Canadian.

Said Canadian was panicking internally. They were looking for answers. Should he answer them truthfully or try his best to avoid them? There was nowhere for him to escape. He was stuck. Canada was sure that the others wouldn't let him leave until they got the answers they wanted. He swallowed nervously.

"What… What do you want to know?"

Chapter Text

Canada was instantly bombarded with questions. Was he always like this? How was this possible? Did he actually eat human flesh? Has he turned others into Wendigoes? Was he a threat? Did he plan on hurting others with this power? So many, many questions at once. Canada stopped them in the midst of it all and cleared his throat once again.

"Well… I first woke up as a nation, but… I, uh… I also woke up as a Wendigo. I'm both. A nation and a Wendigo." He looked up at the others once more before flicking his eyes back down to his bandaged hands. "I didn't like being a Wendigo… at first. But then…" He looked towards America. He swallowed and looked back at the hands in his lap. "There was an accident when both America and I were colonies. We had decided to spend a few nights away from England's house. We spent the night in the woods nearby. Though, I guess… It didn't turn out so well." He looked back to America, to see if any recollection had shown up in those crystal ocean blues. When seeing none, he mentally frowned and continued on. "There was a bear. We fell down a steep slope. America had hit his head. He got a terrible head wound. He was bleeding badly and I had to get him home. It started pouring rain. It was starting to get cold and America could have gotten terribly sick if I didn't get him home quick enough. He asked me for help. So…" He paused, swallowing nervously. "I-I turned into a Wendigo. … And I grabbed America in my arm and held him close before taking off. Wendigoes are really fast. Fast as the icy winds can blow. I got him home. Of course, I turned back into a human so that…" He looked to England before sighing and twiddling his thumbs. "So that England wouldn't know about me and probably… kill me." He paused once more, looking up at England through his eyelashes. The British man's brows were furrowed in concentration, as if remembering that night. "America got better and…" Canada looked back to America. "He had forgotten that night, unfortunately." America was looking down at Canada's legs, brows creasing as if trying to bring back the memory he lost.

"So…" Everyone looked up to Russia. "You were Wendigo since colony. Were you Wendigo before colony?" Everyone turned their attention back to the Canadian in bed. He looked back down to his hands.

"Yes. I was a Wendigo before I became a colony. I've been a Wendigo for nearly 50,000 years." Everybody in the room froze. America looked at his lookalike with wide eyes.

"Then… Then what about me? Are we… Are we not twins? I thought that…" Canada looked up at him, a small sad smile on his face.

"You have forgotten most of those memories. We used to live amongst our people. They have stories about us. The Brave Warrior and the Horrid Beast." The other nations were silent as they stared at the North American twins, shock written upon their faces.

"What are… What are the stories?" America was intrigued, yet worried for what he would hear about this 'Horrid Beast'. Canada let out a small laugh.

"There were once two children. One destined for greatness, the other destined for a gruesome life. The smaller of the two was braver than the any other warrior set forth on Earth. He was stronger than a thousand bison. He was more cunning than any fox could ever dream of." He smiled at America. "And that Great Warrior, is you."

Every nation seemed to be enraptured by the story so far. America seemed to be leaning onto the bed.

"And the beast?" Canada smiled a weird smile, almost sad.

"The larger of the two children was huge and muscular, matching in strength with the Great Warrior. He was beautiful and disgusting at the same time. To look upon him, it would signal that your death was nigh. He fed on children's bones and feasted on the lush, succulent flesh of young men and women. He sucked out the ripe guts and blood of the elderly. He was a monster and yet they loved him, for he brought protection to their homelands from the horrendous White Man, whom was far worse than any monster that laid foot in their home." He looked up at America from his hands once more. "That monster is me."

The other nations looked sick at the description of the Beast. Though the Canadian continued on.

"The Great Warrior and Horrid Beast were brothers who were known far and wide amongst the tribes. They worked together to keep the other monsters at bay. … That is until the Great Warrior met one of the white men and left with him." Canada looked up to his twin and England as he mentioned them. "The natives were left with the Horrid Beast. They prayed that he stay and protect them. The Beast did all he could, until he too, was caught by the White Man. The tribes cried and begged for their protectors to return, but it wasn't until nearly hundreds of years later that they did. They had changed. Both the protectors and the tribes' people." Canada let out a shaky sigh and looked back to America. "That's pretty much it."

Everyone was silent as they took in this new found information. Canada watched them, looking for any signs of hostility. He found none… so far.

"Matt?" He turned to America once again. "You… You said that they said you fed on the flesh of people. Legend says that Wendigoes feed on human flesh. Do… Do you eat people?" Everyone turned back to him, wanting an answer for that as well. Of course, they would ask that. Who wouldn't?

Canada cleared his throat, beads of sweat on his forehead. "Wendigoes... Wendigoes are always hungry. The hunger is so unbearable that it's painful. The longer they go without human flesh, the hungrier they become. The hungrier they get, the more pain they feel. The more pain they feel, the more violent they become. They become willing to destroy anything they come across, just to eat what they crave. What they desire."

"Canada." England spoke up once more. "Do you eat humans?" Everybody was sure of the answer, but they wanted to hear it from Canada.

Said nation was silently panicking and swallowed nervously. "I… I do. … But I haven't eaten for a while now."

"Matt, how long have you not eaten?" His brother grabbed onto his hand, holding it tight. Canada licked his lips, his nerves felt like they were going to snap.

"A… A while."

"How. Long."

"… Since… Since World War Two."

The nations winced. Germany cursed quietly as he connected some of the dots he had seen back then.

"Zere vere soldiers zat had chunks of flesh missing. Vee zought zat it has from bombs, but… zere vere bite marks on them." The countries watched as Canada flinched and his eyes widened. He squeezed his brother's hand as he bowed his head, biting his lip in shame.

"I… The Wendigo… The Wendigo in me was going mad with the smell of blood and flesh surrounding me. I… couldn't resist. If I hadn't… I probably would have ended up killing both my enemies and my allies."

The nations were quiet as they realized that Canada - Canada - had actually eaten soldiers during the war. Had he done that in previous wars? Had he done that to all his enemies? They were too scared to find out.

"Matt, that was over 70 years ago. You haven't eaten for 70 years. You said the hungrier they get, the more pain they feel and more violent they get." Canada nodded at his brother's statement.

"Yes. It hurts, but… but I've learned to live with it. I try my best not to give into temptation... but…" A few tears slipped down Canada's cheeks that had built up in his eyes for the past few minutes now. "But sometimes… it's just so hard and I end up locked in my room. The kids get so worried and Kumajirou does his best to keep them calm, but I'm just so scared for them that I… I can't do anything about this hunger. I want it to stop. Gods, how I want it to stop, but… it just-! It just never ends!" Canada hiccuped as he wiped at his eyes, trying to keep the tears from falling.

Everyone was quiet as they watched the troubled nation cry his heart out. They had been afraid of their monster-friend, but they never realized that maybe… Canada was maybe more afraid of himself than they could ever truly be.