Sometimes, more like seldom really, Arthur Kirkland had to wonder if there really was a point to these world conferences, when all nations gathered to talk about local and international issues that mattered in the world today. Normally, he would be one of the first to defend them.
Of course it's important.
We are here to make the world a better place.
It is our duty as Nations.
Among other righteous defenses.
But sometimes, seldom, he wondered, really. What's the point? Did what they do even matter? Do the world conferences of nations even really accomplish anything anymore?
How far they have all come since the days of old when, as Nations, they were actually involved in the matters of the State. When they served as advisers and confidantes of their leaders. When they went to war. When what they said and did actually mattered. Perhaps it's better to say how far they have fallen, the Nations...
Arthur tried hard not to be pessimistic, really. He was being silly. Of course the work they did in the present time still mattered. Perhaps it wasn't as significant or as grand as before, but they were still here and they were all working towards the common good and a better world.
And yet, there were really just times when Arthur just wished he didn't have to sit through these tedious meetings where long talks usually led to nothing and he was left feeling bored, tense, and dissatisfied.
Meanwhile, others weren't bothered by such gloomy thoughts. Some even didn't bother to pay attention to the goings on of the current conference in the first place.
From across the room, he heard a jovial laugh, distracting him from his grumpy, introspective boredom and making him roll his eyes a moment later after he had located the source: the huddle of France, Prussia, and Spain.
He should have known.
Count on the three idiots to be gathered together and causing a disturbance in what should have been an important and serious meeting between Nations. Gilbert didn't need to come to the meetings anymore and as for the Frog and Spain, they should know better. But that would be asking for too much, wouldn't it?
They were having what looked to be a very lively conversation more suited to a pub rather than a conference room. Arthur couldn't make out their words, but he was fairly sure it must be something uncouth and ridiculous. With Francis leering so lecherously as he was and Gilbert smirking that oh so smug smirk, what else could it be, really?
Another light-hearted laugh and Arthur's gaze drifted to the third member of the aforementioned trio.
Spain was neither grinning nor smirking as green eyes crinkled with amusement bordering on hilarity as he listened for the most part on Francis and Gilbert's bantering. He contributed to the conversation every now and then, but he mostly provided the highlight of his laughter, which just spurred the conversation on. He smiled and laughed, brightening his tanned, boyish features almost to the point that it was like staring at the sun when you looked at him.
Spain and his bright, sunny smiles, an equal echo to the eternal sunshine that graced his blessed lands. It was almost all they see of the Iberian nation nowadays and for some reason, it minutely bothered Arthur.
Here was Spain, Antonio Fernandez Carriedo, in his middle twenties in appearance, but definitely centuries older than he looked. With his goofy smiles and friendly, guileless demeanor, you'd never guess he used to be the powerful Conquistador who conquered most of the known world. It was true what they said before, the sun never set in the Spanish Empire. Spain's territory was that vast and now look at him, a goofy, pathetic shell of what he used to be.
Of course, Arthur didn't deny that he played a great part in reducing Spain to what he was now. There had been intrigue, deception, cruelty from both sides, and often blood was shed. Oh how he had relished it, his victories over Spain, especially sinking the fool's so-called Invincible Armada. Spain's fall was his rise as an Empire and how Arthur had loved the heady rush of power and might.
But of course, no Empire was forever.
And now here they all were, Nations all, no colonists, no colonies. Just peaceful diplomats with delegated tasks of cooperation and Arthur couldn't help thinking of the old times, especially when he looked at Spain.
Did the dense idiot ever look back and think of the old days as he did? The old days when things were simpler and they, Arthur and Antonio, were at their prime?
Arthur idly thought he probably didn't just as when the unspeakable happened.
Emerald eyes were looking at him and Arthur stopped himself before he embarrasingly jumped, startled. They've caught him looking and now wouldn't let him look away. Those eyes that used to look at him with narrowed intensity and brought back memories of a time of gold, crosses, and colonies, held him in place and he couldn't look away.
Those eyes were clearer now and held none of the hate that he used to expect whenever their gazes clashed, green colliding with green. It surprised him (Had things really changed this much?). The eyes were actually widened in what must be surprise and that look summoned a strange, loathsome, childish embarrassment that Arthur hadn't felt since he was a teeny tiny Nation and he had thought France was a pretty girl. How embarrassing was it to be caught staring? And by Spain himself of all people!
And yet for some reason, Arthur couldn't look away, caught by those emerald eyes that were now so different as the world conference continued around them.
How things have changed indeed.