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When morning came, Peter was picked up by a truck that was already half full of other children. His mom didn't cry then, and he didn't either. They'd spent all night in tears. She hugged him close, and kissed his forehead and cheeks, made him promise again to be good, and to be safe. He clung to her, begging her to be careful, cause he was going to come home and she had to be there. She didn't promise.

Instead, she helped him get on the truck, with his backpack and suitcase, after making sure his coat was buttoned up, and that his backpack was closed tight. He watched her, as the truck drove, as long as he could, until she was out of sight, and then he sat quickly, shoulder to shoulder with two other kids, a little boy who cried, and a girl a little older then him, who had tears on her face, but kept her head ducked behind a book. Peter just stared ahead, fingers plucking at his sleeve, eyes going over the head of a set of twins sitting across from him, huddled together and sleeping.

After what felt like ages, the truck finally stopped. They were all ushered off and into a line. A man with a clipboard and military uniform took their names and a woman next to him pinned pieces of paper with numbers to their coats. They were split into groups and put on big ships. Peter tried to ask where they were going, but everyone was rushing so much, no one seemed to hear him.

He'd always thought he'd be excited to be on a ship. He loved boats and ships and learning about them. But as he boarded a big ship with SS Duchess of York written on the side in big bold white letters, he just felt nervous and scared. And so alone. He didn't know anyone on board with him, and he didn't know when he'd see his mom or his dad again.

The trip on the boat was nearly a week, and Peter eventually did make a few friends. There was William, who's mom was working in a factory in London and liked to sneak out of the mess hall at dinner to sit outside alone, and Michael who didn't really talk much, but was nice and liked to talk about books. They weren't like the friends Peter had back home, who he could play football with, or explore the city with, but they were good for chasing away the lonely feelings.

-- -- -- -- --
In 1940, the SS Duchess of York left Liverpool on August 10th, bound for Canada taking evacuated children under the Children's Overseas Reception Board. Peter Kirkland didn't want to be on board. But he was.

The Children's Overseas Reception Board approved 24,000 children for evacuation overseas. Between June and September 1940, 1,532 children were evacuated to Canada, 577 to Australia, 353 to South Africa and 202 to New Zealand. The scheme was cancelled after City of Benares was torpedoed, killing 77 of the 90 CORB children aboard. However, in 1940 and 1941 about 14,000 children were evacuated privately to overseas relatives or foster families, including 6,000 to Canada and 5,000 to the United States.[12]



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Disclaimer: I own nothing.

“But why do I have to go?” Peter asked, watching his mother hurry about the room. She was shoving his clothes into a suitcase, a few of his books and toys, but mostly clothes, things he'd need most. He knew why, she had told him that he would be leaving in the morning, being shipped off somewhere, though she hadn't been sure where. Somewhere safe, she had promised. “I want to stay with you.”

Giving a sigh of exasperation, Alice Kirkland sank down on her knees in front of her son, hands on his shoulders, “Listen to me, Peter.” She started, and frowned when he looked away. Turning his face back towards her gently, she spoke quickly, “Things are bad, and it's not safe here. Your father and I have to do what we can to make it better, but you need to be somewhere safe.”

“Why can't I stay and help?” Peter responded quickly, angrily. He hated being treated like a child, and that was very much what this felt like.

The sad look that flickered over his mother's face gave him pause, and he let her pull him into a hug, felt her arms tight around his back, and her cheek his. She smelled like roses, roses and smoke. And he couldn't help but cling back to her.

“Right now, the best way you can help, is to be good and do as your told. Write home when you get where you're going, and stay safe so Daddy and I don't have to worry about you, okay?”

He could hear the pain in her voice. His mom never sounded like that, so broken and sad, and he felt her shake as she spoke to him. Wrapping his arms tight around her, he hugged her back, and buried his face against her shoulder, telling himself he had to not cry. He had to be strong for his mom.

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Alice was a slight woman, there was just over a foot between them. Her eyes were large, a sharp green (not really dark or light), behind gold framed glasses. She was pale, with freckles on the bridge of nose and the longest, tawny blonde, hair he'd ever seen. She always dressed like she meant business, and behaved as such as well. There was an air of authority about the young woman that drew Ivan in like a moth to a flame. Up close she smelled like the sea, like a salty breeze on a warm day, and old books, all must and worn.
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Human Names;
Erik - Ladonia
Klaus - Kugelmugel

"You," Natalya stated, voice the only sign of her annoyance, "Have no idea what true cold is."

"I do!" Erik stated, glaring at her with no sense of fear. "Far better than you.”Read more... )
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Human names;
  • Erik – Ladonia
  • Klaus – Kugelmugel
  • Zoe – Wy
  • Fedrico – Seborga
  • Benjamin – Molossia
The sign was messy, Erik wasn't so good at writing by hand, as he was with typing, but the message still read well enough. Good enough that when Zoe had seen it, she'd pitched a fit. Erik didn't feel sorry for it. He'd hung it out as Peter pulled the ladder up.

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There were a lot of things that Angie walked in on her brother’s doing. The problem was, she often thought to herself, was that Dad and Papa let them have coffee. She felt this was a big mistake, but since the two teens were usually worn out by the time Dad or Papa got home from work, it wasn’t a problem for them. It was a problem for their youngest, Angelique, to handle.


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She noticed it first when she was fifteen. It was a big hockey game, and Madeline had been so busy with practice and the team that she sometimes didn’t come home until late, and she was always distracted, wound up. Three times she kicked Amelia out of her room, and even got in a fight with the Belorussian girl down the street. Needless to say, everyone was happy when the game finally came around. They got to the rink early so Maddie had time to get ready with the team.Read more... )
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Alfred hadn’t been there when Steve had undergone the procedure to become Captain America, he’d been in England trying to help Arthur, but he’d been able to come back to the States in time to see one of the shows the Captain had put on to raise funds for soldiers. He’d tried to convince the higher ups to put Rogers in the field, but they just wouldn’t listen. When they saw Alfred, they often saw the same thing they saw when they looked at Steve, a kid with a lot of enthusiasm but no experience. They didn’t know Alfred had fought in several wars, and was old enough that he could have put them all in their place easily. He’d never gotten to meet Steve in person before he disappeared. It had broken Alfred’s heart, he’d seen the greatness that Captain Rogers had, knew he would be amazing, and had been proven right when he heard what happened… but he’d never been able to shake the man’s hand, or even say hello.
Read more... )
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He had heard all the stories about humans, of course. Horrible, terrible beings that had not a care for the damage they did, but were so easily frightened away. It was a rule in Al’s little village in the forest that one never leave the forest, and never, ever, under any circumstances, allow themselves to be seen by a human. The story that scared Alfred the most, was the one about some of the things that humans would use him for. They’d rip his wings off, or pin him up on display, or sell him for money, or force him to use his magic for them. So, despite his usual rebellious nature, and even with all his bravado, Alfred had little desire to actually be caught by a human. He liked to go to the edge of the forest and peek out to see the human village that wasn’t far, but he was always careful not to be seen. He always went early in the morning, or midday, when the humans were too busy to notice him, when he could see them, but they wouldn’t bother to look for him.

All his precautions were useless, though. As i twas not a human that managed to catch him, but something even the humans feared. Alfred had been on his way back to the village, he’d gotten side tracked, and the sun had set long ago, but as quick as he was, he wasn’t worried about even the fastest bat or owl. Dodging in and out of trees, to the untrained eye, he was nothing more then a little blue light, flickering in and out of sight. He had nothing to worry about, he thought, since there were no humans brave enough to enter the forest at night. So when he was snatched right out of the air, a sharp painful tug to his delicate wings forcing him to a stop, he was baffled.

Before he’d even managed to come out of his stupor, he was plopped in a glass jar with holes in the lid, and tucked away in the bag of the one who caught him. His shouts did nothing to convince his captor to let him go, and his fists did no damage to the glass as they banged against it. Alfred had been captured… and there was nothing he could do to save himself. All he could do, was sit with his wings folded, and his back to the cold glass of the jar, knees to his chest, and pray that a chance would show itself where he could get away. In the darkness of the bag, there wasn’t even the light of the stars to comfort him, just his own dim blue glow.
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She was young, only fifteen when he first spotted her. The village she was from had been ravaged by war, and there was little to be had. Children starved in the streets, there was no food, or clean water, homes were reduced to shambles. There was so little to be had that no one was willing to give or share. Those orphans like Erika stood no chance in this place.

She was small for her age, petite, and delicate. Though her will could be strong, her behavior had always lead others to treat her badly, she was so quiet and polite, no one believed she would stand up for herself. She never proved otherwise, no matter the abuse they had put her through.

He found her one night when the night sky was tainted gray with clouds, and water fell so heavily one could not see through it. The villagers took shelter where they could, huddled together in their little homes, and Erika curled up beneath a tree just outside. The tatters of her dress were just enough to soak the water up and give her a nasty chill, and her long blonde hair fell around her, tangled and matted.

She had panicked when he’d first walked up to her. Tall, with styled black hair, and eyes so piercingly blue they were nearly purple. His clothes were made of fabric you could only get in the towns, and only if you were very wealthy. Erika had heard tales of what men from places like that wanted when they came to small run down villages like her own. Had she not been so weak, she might have picked herself up and tried to run, but she could not easily remember the last time she’d had food, and her body could barely lift itself.

The man knelt down before her, reached out a gloved hand. Erika flinched away, turning her head away from the man, only to have him caress along her hollowed cheek with his knuckles. There was no warmth in his touch, and the slick leather glove felt oddly rough and slimy against her skin. She tried to shy away again, but his touch followed her movements.

After a few moments, his touch slid down to her throat, fingers seeming to search for her pulse. She tried to bat at him, but he was persistent, and she was too weak. When he finally gathered her up into his arms, lifting her like she weighed nothing. Which she almost didn’t. Even as he opened his coat and bundled her inside, despite all her struggles and hoarse voice trying to make her protests verbal, there was still no warmth. Even as she was pressed against the man’s chest, the only thing the coat could provide was mild shelter from the rain, as he carried her away from the tree.

By the time they reached the edge of the village, Erika had lost the strength to fight, and lay docile as a doll in his arms. Her cheek, slick with rain and frustrated tears, rest against his shoulder, and her eyes fell half-lidded with exhaustion as he walked away from the village, and into the forest. It was a long walk, and she dozed in and out of consciousness for a long time before succumbing to the warm safety of sleep.
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He thought for sure he was losing his mind. He’d wake up out in the woods with blood on his hands, or curled in a corner of his house, as if he was afraid something was going to get him. No one knew where he was, he’d made sure to hide well, so well his people couldn’t seek him out.

But he knew where they were. He could feel them dying, fighting, burning.

It wasn’t like the pain he’d felt in the Revolutionary war or the war of 1812. Nothing like when he’d fought against Arthur and Matt. When it wasn’t his people killing his own people. That he’d been able to take. It hadn’t ached like this.

He could hear their yells and cries, echoes in his head that got louder with each passing day.

He wanted  to go deaf.

Never in Alfred’s life had he so longed for silence. For numbness.

The pain he felt now was worse then the burn in 1812 when Matthew burnt his white house down in retaliation- it was worse then when he held Arthur at gun point and demanded his freedom all the while hating himself for hurting someone he’d cared so much about. He woke up bleeding and burned and so badly broken that some days he didn’t move.

Some days, he fought with himself. Yelling at himself for picking sides, and day to day the side he chose changed. Was he with the North or the South? He couldn’t say. But he yelled at himself, hurt himself, he couldn’t tell half of the time if the injuries inflicted on him were from battles being fought by his people, or during the brief blackouts he suffered alone in his cabin, waking up with the iron poker from the fireplace in one hand, red hot, and a vicious burn on his skin, or a bloody knife and words etched into skin in vibrant wet red letters.

Matt was the one that found him. Half way through the war, his brother came down and looked for him- found him the same way he’d always been able too. That bond as children they’d had before they were split up, before Spain and England and France and all the others had seen their lands. When they were alone, just them.

He showed up at the cabin one day to find Al laying on the floor, clothes soaked in blood, and looking battered, muttering to himself about freedom and slavery and goddamned fucking yanks and fucking greedy southerners. And god, did it hurt. Matt cleaned him up, and wrapped his wounds, and not once did Al snap out of it to see he was there. The American hissed like a rabid cat and whined like a kicked dog, threw insults at people that weren’t there and when he did finally realize and react to Matthew’s presence, it was only to lash out.

He yelled and screamed and cried until his throat hurt and the salt from his tears burned down his face. And Matthew waited, listened and stayed still, until Alfred dissolved into apologies and weak insults.

By the next day, Matthew was gone, and Alfred was lost to voices and images and didn’t know if his brother had been an illusion or not. He didn’t hear from him again, though he thought for sure he’d seen blue-violet eyes and felt that gentle touch between blood red stains and blistering burnt skin that filled his dreams and bombarded him every time he closed his eyes.
Alfred had lost his mind. From 1861 to 1865, he lived in a constant state of confusion and violence and self destruction. And when it ended, he was pale and weak and scarred. But he smiled and laughed and tried to forget those years and the horror that they’d created and hoped it would never happen again.
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A month later, two men appeared on the Jones front porch. They wore uniforms and carried with them a familiar dufflebag, a set of polished dog tags and a folded flag.

Mrs. Jones stopped smiling after that. Her lips would never quirk up again, she was never able to be around others who were smiling. Amelia smiling, even a little, triggered tears and sobbing almost instantly.

Amelia didn't smile for a long time after that. She spent a lot of time at the Williams house, and out with friends, coming home rarely because she couldn't bare her mother's tears and her father's silence, or the room that sat next to hers and continued to collect dust.

It would be years later, after her mother passes, and her father moves out of the house into a smaller one further in town, and Amelia is married and has two little girls. She wears the dog tags that had been given to her mother, and there's a photograph on the mantel of her and Al at the age of fifteen sitting on the fence at their uncle's ranch. She can smile again, at her little girls and her husband and her life, and thinks Al would have been happy for her. For the life she has.

She'll never stop aching for the part of her that she lost when Al stopped writing. She'll never forget the boy he'd been as he climbed on that bus, or years they'd had together. But life continues, and she knows he would have wanted her to be happy, so she tries, and is.
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The letters come frequently, at first. Al talks about boot camp in them. About the others that were there with him. How he had to shave his head, and get up before the sun. Running laps, doing drills, falling into bed exhausted.

Amelia wrote back about how they missed him. She told him about school and Maddie, and how their parents were, and let him know he was still loved.

The letters stopped for a while when he was deployed. Eventually, a few more came. They weren’t about training anymore, but about pain and blood and a war he didn’t understand. How were they the good guys? How did they shed so much blood, and still be right? Why did so many have to die on both sides…

Amelia never had an answer to these questions. She cried herself to sleep some nights thinking about them. Missing him. Some days, she would get a letter and let it sit unopened for a day or two, afraid to read it. Wishing there were fewer. She had boxes of them under her bed.

And then they stopped again.

There was no word for a long, long time. No letters, no calls, no contact. Like Al had dropped off the face of the earth. Everyone worried themselves sick over him.

The last person to get a letter from Al, was not Amelia, but Madeline Williams. She had written him herself since he’d left. The letter he sent her was messy, the ink smudged, some of the words blurred, it was only half a page long. It was the last anyone would see of his handwriting or signature, and she let Amelia read it, before putting it away with all the others, safe. And the two sat together for a long time, silent and still, not sure what to say.
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That night the Jones family huddled around the radio in the living room after dinner, listening with baited breath. When the words "July 4th," came from the speakers his mother dissolved into tears. His father slid an arm around her slender shoulders and turned his head so Al could see nothing but the hint of anger and worry. His sister's hand slid into his own, thumb rubbing soft circles into the top of his hand. She was biting back tears, shoulders trembling as she resisted the urge to sob.

Later that night, long after the radio had been shut off and his father had led his shakey, still crying, mother to bed, Al found himself alone in his room. He sat on the bed and stared helplessly out the window. Told himself that there was nothing he could do. They were close enough to the Canadian border that he might be able to make that run, but it felt like the cowards way out. Al didn't want to be a coward. But...

He jumped when a soft knock on his door broke the silence he'd let fall. Thinking it was likely his father, Al gave immediate permission for entrance. It was Amelia, though, looking pale and small in a way she hadn't since they were children.

There were no words needed, not as she crossed the room to stand beside him. Her hair was still tangled and messy, eyes glossy with unscheduled tears, hands twisted in her night shirt. She was quiet at first, just standing at his side, staring out into the dark of the night with him.

It was the oddest thing, the two of them near silent. Arthur would have laughed if they ever told him it possible. But it was, and they let it be until the air felt thick and the silence oppressive.

The sound that ended it wasn't a word, but a sob. It seemed to echo in the room, bouncing off the walls and it took a moment for them to realize it had come from Al. But once they both knew that, there was nothing to hold back the rest. Al let tears slide down his cheeks, and his shaking shoulders soon came with gasping sobs. It took less then seconds before Amelia was in front of him, her fingers in his hair, his face against her stomach.


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August 2017

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