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previous part: venetian red.
very possibly historical inaccuracies. (edit: OH SHOOT GOT MY FACTS WRONG FOR 6. rectified more or less now D:)
here's the next part! venetian red is much closer to the original idea/symbolism but i really wanted to do columbian blue. this is more out of want than inspiration D: may be subjected to editing in the future?
notes. um. may post them up
title of sections 6. & 8. are from The Catalyst by Linkin Park.
5. Red and blue are always on opposing ends of the spectrum.
England and America are on opposing ends of the battlefield.
The dreadful feeling that has always existed (he denies it but the act of denial acknowledges its existence doesn't it?), the constant gnaw on England's subconscious just before he succumbs to sleep and just before he wakes - like remnants of an idea not fully formed - is materialised in blue, white and gold, with musket drawn, bayonet glinting, boots muddied, teeth gritted -
America has never looked more beautiful, the lone sliver of blue against a sea of red - blood, redcoats, soil - and it makes England's heart ache. It is the beginning of the end. (No, it began long ago, many many years ago, when all England saw were blue opals and warm smiles, when there was the blue of Columbia slashed across the red that is England.)
England knows, oh how he has known.
That blue is what will destroy him, completely and utterly.
The sun stays hidden behind charcoal rain clouds.
6. Where oceans bleed into the sky.
The ocean brings America to him.
England muses: he likes things that are blue and unattainable. (He tries and he tries and he tries, he conquers and plunders and dominates - but he never truly owns. America and the ocean are too wild, too boundless, too blue -
Red and blue are always opposing.)
One hundred and seventy-one American lives is what it takes for the country to enter the Great War. Alfred is here as an Associate Power, not an ally, not even after England had (swallowed pride and painful memories) shown him the Zimmerman Telegram personally, but all these don't matter because he's here.
America is teasing France about his red, too flashy, too impractical trousers, blue eyes glittering too brightly behind his glasses. Texas is old but England is still slightly taken aback whenever he sees it on America's face. He still finds the glasses too new. (Maybe he just finds America too new.)
"You changed your uniform."
England very nearly jolts in surprise at America's voice beside him. He doesn't, and forces himself not to look at too blue eyes, glares at Francis' extravagant red trousers instead -
"I have more sense of practicality than that damn frog." I have fought far more wars.
England closes his eyes, sips his tea and it calms the fraying edges of his nerves, grip on the tea cup preventing the tremble in his hand from showing.
America hums a response. England knows he's not paying attention.
"You're not wearing red anymore."
Neither are you wearing blue.
A lopsided smile, America's posture is deceptively relaxed and casual: back slouched, gloved hands pocketed, but England sees the unnatural tension in his hunched shoulders and the balled up fists. "You look nicer in green, England."
I'm glad you're here. "Thank you."
He's glad America is no longer wearing blue.
7. When empires bleed into the ground.
England is weary.
The red that stains the world now is mostly blood, some of it Communism, all of it unsightly. There are tendrils of England's empire still entwined in the world body but they are more strokes on the world map and less the bleeding mess that is the aftermath of the Second World War.
He shuts his eyes, ignores the buzz of the meeting around him, and sinks into a kaleidoscope of red, blue and gold painted behind his eyelids -
There is a warmth enveloping his hand.
England snaps jade green eyes open and for about two seconds, his surroundings are brought into too sharp and too clear focus and he sees the colours around the room in too much contrast - the emerald of Antonio's eyes, the purple of Matthew's, the orange of India's scarf -
America frowns down at him. "You okay there?" his tone is hushed and soft with concern.
England opens his mouth to speak, but the flashes of red, blue and white at the corner of his eye command his attention. He pauses, then closes his mouth as he turns to the window of the meeting room. America only follows his gaze.
Outside, the American and British flags are waving languidly back at him.
Red, blue and white.
England squeezes America's hand. "The world's changed, hasn't it?"
"Yes." He feels America squeeze back, tentative but reassuring.
"Yes it has."
8. We are broken people living under a loaded gun.
The world hasn't changed.
It's still coloured in red and gold. Red of the Communists, gold of the capitalists (whose only belief is in gold.)
England sardonically thinks that America's natural inclination to dislike the colour red started because of him and his red coats.
A shrill ring. Immediately 'hello'.
Oh lord. It was Cuba this time.
England hangs up and wonders when Alfred will stop seeing red, especially if he hates it so much.
England has never wanted to see blue as much as he does now.
9. England knows blue and gold.
They lie in bed, England's back pressed flush against America's chest as the pads of Alfred's fingers dance across England's scar from the London bombings. America nuzzles closer in silent half-apology, half-comfort. The scar no longer hurts, England would like to say (it's been five years after all, although England still wakes in the middle of the night to the dull ache of the scars he got from the Blitz.)
England twists, lightly drags his nose across Alfred's left cheek, lips meeting his jawline briefly. It's all right. He draws back to gaze at blue and gold.
Red had been power, had signified that power, stood for the blood he had spilled for his country (both his own and his enemies), and when he was empire, red was the colour of the sun which never set.
Blue was the ocean he controlled but never tamed, that gave birth to his Royal Navy, the most powerful in the world, that brought him across to a new world, a land called Columbia, that used to be British America, and is now the United States. Blue is the sky that Alfred used to yearn for, the free expanse he first touched with flight and later broke through with space exploration.
England is the red to America's blue, as Alfred is the blue to Arthur's red.
They are not opposing, only parts of the same whole.
The rays of a new dawn; America's eyes shine.
And England knows love in blue and gold.