Francis planted a kiss on Matthew's head, brushing the small child's hair out of his face. He had finally been able to get the boy to sleep and had no intention of waking him. Not for many hours.
The nation sighed deeply, silently thanking God that he could take his own nap. After nearly a week of not sleeping, he thought the best way to celebrate a job well done would be to sleep.
Matthew's fever had broken.
Whatever had happened, France didn't know, nor did he really care. His colony was sleeping safe and sound and free of disease. Maybe his kind, generous people had managed to help the weaker, unprotected natives. The nation actually loved the native people of Canada, encouraging his men to marry their women and create a better bond with the tribes.
Francis snuck out of the room, closing the door gently behind him. With luck, Matthew would sleep through the night and be himself again in the morning. Finally, the duo could get back into their normal routine; waking up whenever the thought of breakfast lured them from the safety of the blankets, sharing a warm meal, spending the day exploring the wild country side, and having little Canada point out the different animals the French bought for their skins. Not that his guardian would ever directly tell the sensitive little boy that.
As he descended the stairs, aiming to raid England's secret stash of alcohol (there was no way Antonio wouldn't want to celebrate as well), France managed to catch sight of his rival.
Fast asleep in the arm chair with little, still feverish, America.
Francis shook his head, taking in the scene. Arthur's arms were wrapped securly around the small boy, craddling him close. Alfred's tiny hands were tangled in the Englishman's shirt, his brow twitching in his sleep. If he had been anyone else (namely a certain Spaniard), he would have gushed about how cute the two were, all snuggly and such.
But, he was France, one of Britain's greatest and oldest rivals, and he would rather not have the Brit jolt awake at the sound of his voice.
It would probably spell utter disaster if he happened to wake America first.
In the past week, France had seen a side of England that he had never thought existed. This 'other side' was gentle, calm, and loving, like that of a new mother. The Empire cradled his small colony with such care, holding him as if he was the most precious treasure the pirate had ever found.
To be perfectly honest, Francis was shocked at how dedicated Arthur had become. He had seen a warrior who had killed without remorse become an adoring and doting father.
Only in a matter of a few months.
England had always been the target of plenty of teasing not only from his older brothers, but also most of Europe. France was sure that the first nation to attempt to invade the colony's land would be laid flat in a matter of moments by the very nation that now slept unsuspecting with his child tucked firmly against him.
France did not want to be that nation.
With careful steps, the Frenchman snuck past the two, slipping out the kitchen through the back door. There, he found Spain, a small guitar in his hands and a cheerful smile on his face. The older nation felt a similar grin blossom on his face and he took a seat on the soft grass, listening to the soft Spanish tune and watching the sun set behind the mountains.