A Nation's Salvation

BY : eternalstarhaven
Category: +G to L > Hetalia: Axis Powers
Dragon prints: 1195
Disclaimer: Hetallia: Axis Powers does not belong to me, but to Hidekaz Himaruya, while the idea behind the story is my own. I do not make a profit or money by writing this. I also have this story posted on fanfiction.net under the same penname.

Nation's Salvation

A Promise Between Brothers

Prologue


He was an ancient, having existed since the beginning. Before there was land, there had only been the vast sea and the beautiful world beneath, but time had brought forth the mountains, the trees, and the land. With it, came the surface dwellers, mixed with others like himself, only slightly different. There was peace, and there was war... there was life, and there was death. As more and more nations spread out across the world, his people slowly dwindled until only two remained, and he was tired... so very very tired. Even the birth of his son had not changed that, and he could only hope that his half-sister remained strong enough to endure.

With the disappearance of her island cities, she had reverted back to a child like state, often residing within the Scandinavian territories and care. He had no worries when she was with Norway or Denmark, two of the more level headed sons of Scandinavia. They, more than anyone, understood the need for her survival. He knew his death would bring her great pain and sorrow, but his time had come and one day his son would claim his birth right.

It was on a cold, and windy morning that he appeared before the older of the twins, violet eyes looking up from his daily chores to stare at the approaching water nation. Standing, he put down his weapon, reaching for the older male's arm in a sign of respect and friendship. They understood one another... and with a weary sigh he sat and watched for a long time as Norway continued to clean and polish his hunting tools for a migration across the ice bridge that extended from Siberia to an unknown world. The Scandinavian Countries made this trip quite frequently, a tradition that had begun with his father, passed down to his sons. With each migration, some stayed behind, while others came back and with them, much needed food and supplies so that everyone could survive the harsh winters that existed in the Scandinavian countries. Only small portions of the land now showed promise, no longer completely covered in ice, and with it, the birth of a new nation, Iceland. "How fares your father?"

"Much the same as yourself, I suppose," Norway answered. "You are two of the oldest, and with that comes a heavy burden. More and more of the ancients have already passed, leaving their legacies and futures with their sons or daughters."

"What I'm about to do... it's beyond cruel, but necessary for the survival of the entire planet."

Sensing something serious, Norway once again paused in his work, trying to determine if this was something for him alone, or for his twin as well. Making up his mind, he stood, said something to one of his younger warriors, and watched him take off. "I ask that the story wait... I feel it is necessary Denmark here of it."

"Where is she?"

"My father has a fondness for her; she has yet to grow, her mind still recovering from what happened. I think she knows what happened, to some extent, and her nightmares often have her coming to us for comfort. She is the one good thing we all have an agreement on." The water nation knew... with all the fights waging back and forth between the existing Scandinavian nations, it was hard pressed for them to remember the good qualities about one another. With scarce resources, nations often battled to claim something for their people to survive. "Without her, we would not have food, and we'd once again wage war against one another. Our shamans rely heavily upon her knowledge of the fish and animal migrations; perhaps we should not, but she has yet to tell us to stop."

"So Sweden has set aside his quest for more land?"

"I wouldn't say that, but he's not so hard pressed so long as his people have food and clothing. He has taken to the seas, and is searching other areas for expansion and exploration."

"Then perhaps, while the brothers are in agreement with one another, Denmark and yourself are not the only ones to hear what I've come to say." If Sweden had still been at odds with his brothers, he'd have forgone this decision, but all of them cared for the female water nation, a rare notion considering their outlook about woman in general. However, she was safer with no other group of nations.

Giving the order, the two simply enjoyed the occasional meal, while Norway continued his preparations for hunting and exploration. The two went hand in hand with the Scandinavian nations, the climate and atmosphere far to hostile for them to sit idly and do nothing. It was hunt for food, take the furs and make suitable clothing and bedding, or perish due to laziness and lack of preparedness. "Will she ever recover?" Norway asked. It was at this moment that his brothers chose to arrive, first with Denmark, then Sweden and Finland hours later. Judging from his younger brother's contented expression, he must have returned from a successful raid. Sweden wasn't one to smile, but one knew when to avoid him, his eyes a little less icy at the moment. Each noted the water nation and greeted him in the same manner that Norway had, all of them aware enough not to fight or argue in his presence. It was the same with their father; Norway had yet to figure this part out, but it was a burden off their shoulders knowing they'd have an unspoken moment of peace.

"Atlantis is a difficult case, but not uncommon considering her situation. I'm amazed that she survived at all; none of the others were so fortunate. It only concludes that she cared for more than just the mortals on the surface, but everything beneath of it as well. Which is the reason why I have chosen her."

One of the women quietly approached Norway, a large smile spreading across his handsome face as he took the smallest addition to the Scandinavian family. His eyes were so much like Norway's, but a shade lighter, and filled with laughter and naive innocence. Giggling, the boy grasped at his brother's beard, his fingers curling into the warmth, but the moment the other brothers saw him, he had no choice but to pass him around so that they too may bond with him. Even Sweden seemed to have a soft spot for the infant, holding him close while they kept their careful attention upon one of the last two water nations, Oceanonis. "Is it wise to force more hardship upon her," Sweden demanded, passing the child off to Finland. Out of the group, Finland was the most passive, and had an affinity for younger nations. "She's quiet, nothing like the warrior we remember her as, and often looks to the sea in confusion and fear. That is not something a water nation should fear, but embrace. Their are scars covering nearly every inch of her body, burns and lacerations from the savage attacks against her island nations. Is what you're about to ask of her so necessary that you cannot let her exist without further pain or burden?"

"I'm aware of her emotional and physical distress, and this decision does not come lightly. However, my days upon this world are numbered and not even my fondness for her will stop my removal from it. Perhaps her becoming a child again is a blessing and a curse all in one, but it is the solution I have needed. She will endure, and I ask that she fall beneath your protection until my son becomes aware of his legacy."

"Your son?" the twins asked at the same time.

"He is of two worlds, one of the land, and one of the water. The latter part of himself remains dormant, and he will suffer much before it awakens." Oceanonis's gaze fell upon the sea, his red-blue eyes dull from the millions, upon millions, of years he had spent protecting and roaming them. "She will one day return to the water, and it is that friendship and fondness for the land nations that will save this world. My only request is that no one knows of her existence. It is best forgotten, told only in stories and legends. If she so reveals who or what she is, then that person is exempt from this request. Atlantis will be the last, and with that curse comes the power of all that is connected to the ocean; the rivers, lakes, sky. If it is water, she will command and control it. Without her, this world will fall."

All the Scandinavian nations tensed, unaware of how serious the connection the water had with the water nations. Essentially, with Oceanonis wanting to pass on, he was leaving the fate of the world with one, emotionally and physically scarred female. Sweden was instantly on his feet, Norway and Denmark jumping up to stop him. Oceanonis did not flinch from that icy, blue gaze, rage swirling in their depths as he regarded her older brother. "Why would you leave her to such a task? You are her brother, are you not?"

"I may ask the same question to the four of you," he countered, a shade of embarrassment tinting most of their tanned cheeks. Sweden was the only one that didn't look away; he made no apologies for his decisions; his people needed to survive, and for now he had found a way without having to fight his brothers. Granted, he still had disagreements with them, but not enough to want them dead, nor would he place such a responsibility on them that Oceanonis was placing upon Atlantis.

It seemed Sweden was most definitely the more protective of the young water nation, making his decision all the easier. He knew her survival would unite them in a way nothing else would. To lighten the mood, Finland spoke for the first time, all eyes shifting towards him. "You spoke of a son; do you wish for his protection as well?"

Oceanonis turned his gaze to the fire, waging an internal conflict with the request. He knew his son may or may not need them in the future, but he didn't want his decisions influenced with knowing who or what he was before the time was right for it. "Yes and no. He's plenty strong enough without additional influences, but should he truly need the help, then I am not opposed to such assistance. Under any circumstances, you are not to tell him from where he originates from; not until the awakening of his powers."

"How will any of us know?"

"You will know the traits of a water nation; our hair and eyes are the most notable. In the water, his hair will change colors, but revert back to normal upon the surface once dry. It is only when those traits do not not revert back, will you know for sure that he has embraced that part of himself. Like Atlantis, his life and destiny are ones of hardship and great suffering. Both are equally necessary if they are to find a friendship and love worth fighting and dying for."

"His name?"

"His land name is Prussia." The expressions to his claim was almost comical to the aged nation, and he might have laughed if he wasn't so tired. Prussia, despite his young age, was definitely a force of reckoning on the northern parts of the European shores, always at odds with Turkey, Russia, Hungry, Austria, the British Empire, and the Holy Roman Empire for his lands.

They had all had their run in with Prussia, and he didn't hold back when it came to battle. The red eyes did make sense though, now that they compared it to his father's. "We will do as you ask," Norway promised, something he did not do lightly. The other three nodded in agreement as well, something that made leaving easier. Sweden still regarded him with an intense rage, but fighting one as old as Oceanonis was suicidal, if not insane. These three nations were Vikings, and they always protected their own; anyone that tried to take it, suffered, and that protection would now fall upon Atlantis, and at times Prussia.

"Did you want to see her?" Denmark asked, watching the flash of pain and guilt in the older nation's eyes. For a moment, Oceanonis almost said yes, and then shook his head. It was best that she didn't, not wanting to make this any harder on her than it already was. "Best that she remember the way I was rather than what I've become. I only ask that you pass on a message. Protect my son and the descendants of the water nations."

"That's the problem," Sweden snapped; "She doesn't remember! Her memories are fragmented and chaotic, violent and full of betrayal and pain! Why would you leave her like that?"

"The new memories will replace those, or at least make them easier. I will only serve to remind her of what she had once had, and that is far more cruel." Sweden almost challenged him, trembling with so much hate and rage that it was everything Denmark and Norway could do to keep him rooted. Oceanonis almost smiled, and then he was gone, not bothering for an excuse for his actions, or an apology. They all knew that when a nation got tired they moved on, that their father was close to such a journey himself. However, unlike the five of them, they were not faced with the knowledge that they were the last of their kind. Other land nation's existed, and they didn't have to worry with the knowledge that if they died, the world would go with it! How the heck did someone leave another with that task and responsibility?

Making their way to Iceland, they found their father staring at the young water nation, her rainbow colored eyes filled with tears. It had taken nearly a week to travel from Norway, and they knew that Oceanonis had already passed on, all of his power flowing into his sister. Her expression was filled with confusion, pain, and terror, and the moment she saw Sweden, she rushed over and jumped into his arms. The others showed no surprise; despite his violent nature, he was still the most gentle with her, and his blue eyes were a storm of fury. If anything so much as tried to hurt her... well none of the brothers envied the foolish idiots. Scandinavia knew... his sons hand't needed to tell him, connected as he was to Oceanonis. They had been the first of many; one of the land, and one of the water.

A winter came and went, and just as Autumn started it's approach, the five of them were once again gathered before another ancient that wished to move on. Why were they all leaving Atlantis alone... She too was an ancient, but because of her predicament, she had to re-live her life all over again, barely aware of everything that had come before. Scandinavia stroked a fond hand over the water nation's dark hair, her colored stripes in the silky strands the only thing indicating what she truly was to them. She had yet to pry herself away from Sweden, the two an odd combination. Perhaps it was in their blood, the older nation wasn't sure. Atlantis had been a legend among warriors, having waged war against most of the southern part of Europe and Northern portions of Africa. She never lost, and it was to that legacy that Sweden fought so hard; all the vikings did. "I have a confession," he finally spoke, his voice filled with weary regret. The brothers didn't know if they wanted another one, not after the last one with Oceanonis. Everything Atlantis did, had them afraid, but they couldn't restrict her either. To do so would place them in greater peril. "There are two others of our blood; their locations unknown."

All of them felt the sudden spike of aggression, the brothers wisely stepping away from the young blond. Handing Atlantis over to Finland, Sweden demanded he take the two children out. Finland wisely didn't argue, knowing his brothers would fill him in. "I've had enough of prophecies, destinies, and confessions to last us several centuries... First Atlantis, now this!" Sweden snarled, cracking knuckles together for a fight.

Norway was the one to reach for his brother's wrist, a hint of anger just as potent as Sweden's in his violet orbs, but he shook his head. "Let it go, brother. Even if you did fight, what would it solve... let us find and protect them like we do her."

"Why are their locations unknown?" Denmark asked, trying to remain the voice of reason.

"They are in the savage land, across the bridge of ice that we travel during the migration seasons. Some stayed, and most returned. Very few make that journey any longer, and for several thousand years I have searched and failed to find them. I believe that they are still, physically, very young, despite how old they really are."

At least their father had looked for them, and it started to make sense why he hadn't said anything. Why give hope of two brothers if they might not survive before they found them? The strong survived, and the weak died; that was the way of things, and yet Sweden wanted to make the journey in order to find them. How did they find what their father had not? "You still sense them?" Sweden ask, the tension going out of his arms and legs. Norway stepped back, sensing that the danger how passed, and waited for his father's response.

"They're both alive, if that's what you ask. Whether or not that they're together, I do not know, but you will know them... they will have our complexion and eye colors, and perhaps temperament. I ask only that you continue my search and protect them should they have need of it."

"As you wish," Sweden consented, taking his leave. The brothers already knew he'd seek out Finland and Atlantis, the powerful Viking intent on raising her himself.

"He is good for her," Scandinavia smirked, knowing Sweden would never treat her as anything less than a warrior. He never brought up her past, and he took her everywhere that he went, disregarding the notion that women did not fight or travel with the men folk. She wasn't of the land, and he didn't treat her as such, and therefore, their land laws did not fall upon her in the same manner. He would not seek a mate for her; as the last remaining water nation, she had that right to choose and he'd never allow anyone to force it upon her.

Finland had her sitting near the docks, baby Iceland in her arms. Her rainbow colored gaze settled on Sweden as she approached, but they didn't light up with a smile. She rarely gave that to them, and when she did, he cherished it. "Is it true?" Finland asked, holding his breath.

"It is, but father isn't certain of where they are or how old they are? It's his assumption that the two were born while we were making our crossings over the Bering Strait, and that they moved or traveled with those that stayed behind."

"That could make them as old as Norway or Denmark," Finland gasped.

"Father still thinks their only children; it makes sense. With only a handful of people to make that crossing every year, the expansion rate is very low. Russia controls the Bering Strait, and if we wish to keep that territory and them a secret, we don't dare go near it or speak a word of this to anyone until we have them within our grasp."

"And if another nation finds them first?"

"We'll deal with it." Finland nodded, smiling as Iceland picked up and showed Atlantis a large sea shell. Taking it, she placed the open side to his ear, and they watched in awe as the baby's eyes went wide, taking it back and repeating what she had done.

Norway later appeared, watching the two nations play before reluctantly taking Iceland from her. Silently she stood, going to Sweden without a word of protest. They hated it... what would it take to see her smile again? After the passing of their father, the brothers kept to their word, protecting and raising Atlantis as their own, keeping her origins a secret from the rest of the world. As far as anyone knew, Atlantis was a city of myth, having vanished into the sea, no one certain of how it disappeared. The brothers still fought, but never in front of her. One day she was simply gone, an arm band left on the beach for each of them, to include two extras for the brothers they had yet to find. They knew them for what they were; and without question they each wore one, knowing if they ever had a need for her, she'd appear.

"Do you think she'll make it?" Denmark asked them one morning, kicking at the sand. Sweden had taken her leaving the hardest; after she had left, he took to the oceans once more, violently waging war against anything that stood in his path. It didn't matter how many lands he conquered, how many battles he fought, it wouldn't take away the emptiness that had been left behind with her absence.

"The world still moves on; as long as it remains, we know she's alive," Norway answered, a sad smile appearing on his twin's face. He didn't try to offer words of sympathy; her leaving had hurt them all, but they also knew that the water was her world and regardless if she had left now or later, it would have still been painful. She was like a sister to them, regardless of her ties to Oceanonis and those that sired her. "She'll return; you forget she's a warrior unlike any other, woman though she is. I was thinking; why not go on an adventure; explore the oceans to as far as we can go?"

"You're wanting to search for them?" Denmark gasped. "Is that possible... do you really think we'll find them?"

"We can only hope, but we speak none of this to Sweden until we're successful."

"Are you sure? What if he might want to help?"

"He's too angry... if we found them in the state of mind he's in right now; they'll either run... Considering who they're related to; I doubt seriously that's going to happen. Or, they'll wage a war against the four of us, and I'd rather not have to see them hurt."



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