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The bedroom was filled with slanting shafts of light that filtered in through the blinds. America was lying across the bed, the sheets tangled around his legs. Mexico was sitting on the foot of the bed. America was staring at the tattoo of an eagle across Mexico's right shoulder blade, and then he spoke "Alejandro, where did you get that tattoo?"

Mexico looked over at America and said "Alfred, do you remember your parents?" America glanced over at Mexico, confusion obvious in his face "I mean, there is England but he isn't really-". Mexico interrupted him "I don't mean him. I mean, your parents-your real parents". America shrugged "Not really, I can't remember". Mexico sighed "Then you are lucky, maybe that's why you can forgive Eyebrows". America scowled "He has a name you know." Mexico ignored his remark "I will never forgive Spain for what he did. Never". America rarely heard Mexico's voice so cold, it was only ever like this when he was talking about Spain. America sat up and stared at the back of his lover's head, willing him to turn around "Why do you hate him so much? What did he do to you"?

Mexico snarled "It's not what he did to me. It's what he did to my mother. Even he doesn't know I was there that day. He doesn't know that I saw him put his sword through my mother's heart." America shivered at the coldness in Mexico's voice "How can you remember that? You were so young". Mexico finally turned to face America "If you had seen something like that, you wouldn't forget. I was old enough to know what good and bad was. I see through Spain and that fake act he puts out". America tried to respond "But Spain is different now; he was going through hard times back then". America realized a second too late that he had said the wrong thing when angry tears formed in Mexico's eyes.

He could hear the pain in Mexico's voice "I don't care! What he did was unforgivable! If you could remember, you would know how I feel". America carefully hugged Mexico "I'm sorry, I know it means a lot to you. What does it have to do with your tattoos?" Mexico's rage cooled a little "Now my tattoos are the only things I have left to remember my mother and father". America traced the eagle on Mexico's back "Tell me about them, please"


The night was alight with the fire of thousands of torches gathered around the base of a pyramid. The steps held the high priests of the Aztecs, dressed in gold and rich feathers. All around rain poured down in sheets. The Mayan empire kneeled next to his wife on top of the pyramid. The woman screamed as another contraction sent pain searing down her spine. The mighty Mayan Empire, who watched death without a sign of emotion, flinched at his wife's cries. Her back arched, lifting her chest off of the stone table. Her dark hair fell stuck to her slick back. Rain and sweat mixed on her body, completely exposed to the elements. On her head she wore a simple gold crown, as was fitting for the mighty Aztec empire even in such rawness.

Her back fell and hit the stone table again, drawing blood. Her head arched impossibly far back as she screamed again. Her fingers dug into the grooves on the side of the table, drawing blood as her fingernails broke. The arch priest started to chant as the rain poured down. He lit sage in the fire of one of the torches. The sweet smelling smoke lifted in the air. The woman convulsed again, her bruised back hitting the table again. Maya cried out, the pain of watching his strong wife suffer was too much. He begged for his wife to be saved at whatever cost. No one paid him any mind; he was not their strong nation.

Then a third voice joined the cacophony that filled the night, soft and gently crying. The baby emerged from Aztec's abused body screaming and crying. The priest took the squirming infant in his hands and cut the umbilical cord with a single stroke with an obsidian knife. The priest handed the screaming baby to Maya, who stared awestruck at his son. The heavy rain washed the blood off of the baby's copper skin. Aztec pulled in a shaky breath, her eyes fluttering open "My son…" She sat up with difficulty, but she didn't care about the pain. Nothing mattered but the son she had just brought into this world. She cried "Give me my son!" Maya placed the boy in his mother's arms. She stroked his forehead "Mexica, my son".

Maya wrapped his arm around her, half out of affection half to support her. He smiled "Our son". She nodded tiredly and Maya feared for a moment that she was going to pass out "Look how beautiful he is". The baby squirmed and cried, making his mother smile more "He is so fierce, he is a warrior for sure". Thunder crashed in the distance, all the priests turned and looked. The head priest turned back "It is an omen. This boy has a great destruction in his future".

For 3 years Mexica was able to grow and learn in his parent's influence. His mother was fierce and taught him about fighting. His father was calmer and gentler, but still firm, when his father died; Mexica was too young to know exactly what was going on. But he did remember that his mother cried for days, it was the first time he had ever seen her cry. The mighty Aztec Empire could kill thousands of mortals without a thought, or crush little tribes without a tear, but when The Mayan Empire disappeared she cried for days. The Mayan empire died of slow loss of people, it was slow and painful. Mexica had been very young, but he remembered what it felt like to lose someone. He also remembered that he had learned how to be clever from his father.

It wasn't long after that Aztec insisted on giving her son tattoos. Because of his young age, Aztec only gave him two, the band around his arm and the eagle on his back. For years after that, Aztec trained her son to take her place as the military might of America. Mexica was physically only 5 when word came from the coast with news of the "Square clouds" and the "white men". Mexica remembered clearly the first time he met Spain.

Aztec looked her son in the eyes and brushed back his hair "You have to be good, I want to impress this god-man". Mexica nodded and tried to stand up a little taller. He knew he would have to endure, even though the amount of gold and feathers he was wearing was uncomfortable. Aztec wore more than Mexica did; she looked almost like a goddess. They were not going to meet this white god-man in the city; they planned to meet him in the forest. They walked out to meet him accompanied by a few warriors; although Aztec wanted to meet him she didn't trust him that fully. When they met, Spain was also accompanied by a few men, clad in some strange silver stuff.

Mexica hadn't understood at the time what Spain had said when he first saw him, but now he knew. Spain looked directly at Mexica, not at Aztec and he muttered under his breath "So cute~". Mexica didn't understand the words, but he didn't like the look that Spain was giving him. It was almost as if those green eyes could see through what little clothes he had on. Aztec didn't miss the look either and she spoke to Spain "You are welcome here, until I know whether you really are a god or not. But I will make one thing clear to you; you are welcome to whatever gifts you like except my son". Spain glared at Aztec, but he spoke with false kindness "I'm sorry, I have not seen someone who looks like him before, that is all. Your world is very strange to me; I would like to know more about everything".

Mexica didn't like the way that Spain spoke, but he didn't know why. The men that stood behind him troubled Mexica more. They looked like the type of men who were brought only to fight and kill. Aztec and Spain talked a lot about gold and kings and other things that Mexica couldn't understand. But every so often, Spain would glance at Mexica and again Mexica's skin crawled. The meeting ended later than Mexica would have liked, but it was not too long. However Aztec was very happy with the way it ended. Mexica spoke as soon as they were far enough away "Mother, I don't like him", Aztec growled like a jungle cat "I don't either, he is no god. I expect he desires all I worked so hard to bring together. Worst of all, he wants you. He thinks I don't see it in his eyes. He will see what happens when he crosses me!"

Her step broke slightly and she coughed hard. Mexica didn't know what was wrong with his mother "Mama, are you alright?" She coughed again, much harder "I will be fine, it is just a passing sickness. The gods have bad timing, perhaps blood will appease them. Maybe they require the blood of the white man. I think I will give them the heart of this man they call Cortez." As soon as they were back at the city, Aztec was shouting orders to her warriors.

Mexica believed that if his mother had her full power, she would have easily made good on her threats. But a sickness took her quickly shortly after her meeting with Spain. It was so bad that she didn't fight with her army as she always did before, but nothing could stop her from commanding from her palace. Mexica tried to stay out of her way, even when he wanted to step in and tell her to rest. The sickness was only getting worse, slowed some by her immortal ability to heal. Mexica saw the same sickness take a mortal man in a week. But there was no mistaking that the sickness was deadly, and Mexica became more worried every day he saw his mother weaken. The day came when Spain was at the doors of their great island city.

Aztec and Mexica were in the throne room of the city. Aztec had lost much of her glory, her body was thinner and her long black hair was tangled. It was some mercy that her skin had been spared from the pocks that accompanied the disease. She still wore her gold; she was in her full war gear although she could not fight. She kneeled in front of Mexica and put her hands on his bare shoulders. Mexica noted that he could feel the bones of her hands through her skin. She looked in her sons eyes and the desperation in them scared him, she spoke "My son, my blood, I don't know if I will live through this, but you have to. You have to live and preserve my blood line." Mexica didn't understand what was happening, this was not like his mother "Mama, you can't die! I don't want you to!"

She stroked his face "I know little one, but if this is the will of the gods, then we cannot stop it. But he will not have you! You must hide if I tell you to hide; you must run if I tell you to run. It is not the way I taught you, but a warrior knows that he must run sometimes. Do you understand me?" Mexica refused to cry, he couldn't show that weakness. But his voice shook when he spoke "Yes, I understand. But Mama…" His mother hugged him "I love you, my son. I will die for you if I need to". There was a crash close by and the sound of metal against stone. Aztec's finders tightened into Mexica's arms, the desperation obvious in her eyes "You must hide now!" She released Mexica and he ducked into a small door that led to a tunnel.

The tunnel was only big enough for him and he knew he should run through it. But he couldn't leave his mother alone, he needed to see it. So he closed the doors over the tunnel so that just a small gap remained. Through it, Mexica could see his mother pick up a long obsidian spear. She stood up and faced the door, her face set and emotionless. The heavy doors banged open and through it came Spain, clad in armor. Spain pulled off his helmet so that the smile of triumph was clear on his face. He spoke and his joy was obvious in his voice "Give it up, savage. You know when you have been beaten." Aztec growled and crouched, blade at the ready "If I was even at half strength I could beat you!"

Spain leveled his sword, ready to strike "But you are not, God has sent plague against you. God approves of my quest". Aztec's voice was strong despite her weak state "Your god holds no sway here! Your quest is nothing but greed!" Spain took a step forward "Repent, and I will not kill you as a heretic. If you refuse, then I will kill you". Aztec replied quickly "I have nothing to repent for. But, I promise you this: I will kill you here or die". Her arms tensed on her spear and Spain rose his sword "So be it, you shall die".

The fight was swift; Aztec never really had a chance to win. Within seconds, her spear was on the other side of the room and Spain's sword was at her throat. Mexica bit into his own lip to keep from crying out, although tears rolled down the sides of his face. Spain lowered his sword so that the point was against Aztec's chest. He spoke one more time "This is your last chance, repent or die. At the very least, you must tell me where your son is". She grabbed the sword with both hands, blood running between his fingers "You can have my kingdom, if that is what you want. But I will never let you have my son!"

Mexica was sobbing, it was all he could do to keep from making noise, he had gone so far as to stuff his knuckles in his own mouth. Spain growled "You have chosen your fate". With that he pushed his sword through her chest, straight through her heart. She didn't scream, her head jerked back and blood ran from her mouth. Her eyes moved and she looked over at the place Mexica was hiding, her eyes found his for a second and she mouthed one word "Run".

Mexica couldn't keep silent anymore, he cried out. Spain heard the sound and turned to the place Mexica was hiding. Mexica realized his mistake too late, he tried to turn and run. He got out of the palace and hit the ground running. He didn't get far, before long he was surrounded by Spanish men. Spain walked up to the three surrounding Mexica, "Let me have him, I will take him under my protection from now on." Mexica tried to swallow his grief and hate "Where is my mother?" Spain's face was set, but his eyes showed his greed as he looked over Mexica "I thought my mind might be playing tricks on me. Your mother died of the sickness, there was nothing I could do for her. I plan to take you back to Madrid".

Mexica couldn't stop himself from speaking, he couldn't believe Spain was lying about his mother's death "No! You can't do that! This is my home, these are my people!" Spain kneeled and gently held Mexica's face in his hands "My people are your people now. My home is your home. And these barbarians are not your people. Let me teach you". Mexica wanted to run away, he didn't want to see Spain and his greedy eyes. But he couldn't because Spain held him. He started to cry for everything he knew he was losing. Spain pulled him into a hug "Shhh….don't cry. I am going to take good care of you". Mexica swore to himself at that moment that he would never forget and never forgive.