A.N. — So, so sorry for how late this is...I got really busy with other things.
Anyway, this is about the US Election. Again, sorry for the bias, but I can't help it. If there is any event, character, custom, etc. you would like me to include, please tell me! I will do my best to be faithful to it!
He was having one of those dreams again, where the Thanksgiving turkey legs had gotten up off the table and were running away from him. The little, itty-bit space between the dining room and the kitchen had grown humongous, and no matter how much he ran, the drumstick stayed out of reach. Oh, but he was so close, sooo...clooosse...
"I'm up, I'm up! I wasn't sleeping, I swear!" November cried, jolted awake by the sudden scream.
He then blinked a bit, trying to see in the darkness; it was, after all, after midnight. What he saw, however, confused him, as he was not in his living room - on which couch he frequently fell asleep -nor his bedroom, on the rare occasions he legitimately went to bed or when one of his siblings dragged him there.
Instead, he was seated in a puffy armchair, surrounded by a crowd of people. They were gathered around a TV, some sitting, some up on their feet either celebrating or shouting angrily. That was what had awoken him.
Finally it dawned on November where he was - the United States' house. Hence the crowd, since it seemed like all 51 of America's children were here the living room (luckily it, as with everything in the US, was plenty large enough to fit everyone, including the House's matriarch, America herself, and November, a guest).
Today - or rather, yesterday - had been Election Day in the United States, and a presidential one at that, and so course November had spent the day with the Country and her children. He wasn't what anyone would call particularly motivated, but he was always more active during his term than any of his siblings'. For example, he'd gone to church a couple times with Christianity and All Saints' Day on said day, and then later went with Mexico to the human world to celebrate Día de Muertos; on the 5th, he'd hung out with Guy Fawkes Day, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand at the House of Holidays, lighting up bonfires, burning effigies, and, of course, eating. Usually, he would have taken a few days' break in between, but since America's Election Day, the only one to consistently be in November, only happened every four years, he knew he would have to attend.
November shifted in his seat and then leaned over to ask the nearest person near him, Rhode Island — currently in the form of a young, bespectacled boy with a tan complexion, black hair, and green eyes. He had a deep scowl on his face that would look sort of cute if November didn't know the matter was so serious.
"Rhode Island?" November whispered. When the State turned slightly in his direction, he asked, "What happened? Who won?"
"Trump," he intoned darkly. "Donald Trump is the President-elect of the United States."
November pulled back and nodded, acknowledging. As interested as he was in the goings-on of Nations' human world bases, he had no stake in what they did and so was neither disappointed nor relieved at this year's outcome.
The same, however, could not be said for the States — understandably, of course. Most of them were standing, yelling at each other or continuing to stare at the television screen. Sitting up on the stairwell, away from the rest of them, Alaska sat, looking pleased with herself, while beside her, Hawaii appeared angry, hands balled into fists. The Deep South, arranged along the far wall, were sending out yips and hollers and whoops, but close by them, New Mexico and Colorado were clinging to each other, looking askance at some of their siblings. California, Washington, DC, and New York stood in a huddle, looking like they were trying not to cry.
"FLORIDA! How could you have messed up like that?!"
"I messed up? What - what are you talking about, New Jersey? You're the one who went the wrong way!"
Pennsylvania popped up beside her sisters. "Yeah, Jersey, where do you get off telling us we made a mistake? You honestly thought that traitor was the best choice?"
"Oh, don't even get me started on you, Pennsy!" New Jersey snapped back, her hazel eyes lit with rage. "Far as I'm concerned, you're the traitor! Do you really think —"
Almost instantly the noise stopped — arguments ceased, crying turned to sniffles, cheers subsided, and even the TV picture flickered before coming back, though quieter than before. Everyone, including November, turned to look at America, sitting in the middle of the couch in the middle of the room, a stern look on her face. She looked over everyone, then said in a calm voice, "It's too late to be this crazy. If you can't all calm down, and act civilized about the greatest tenant of our democracy, then I'm going to send all of you to your rooms."
"But, Mother —!"
"We're not children!"
"Mom! But he stole it, he stole it!"
"I said, that's enough!" America snapped, this time less calm and even more stern. Then she sighed, and tried giving a little smile. "Look, listen, I know. I know you all had your hopes — and some of you got what you wanted, and some of you didn't — and we obviously need to talk about this. It's important. But I won't have this turn into a brawl."
Someone close by to November snorted, and muttered something about "like this campaign", but America either didn't hear or chose to ignore it.
She continued, "Now, I want you all to go to your rooms, and calm down, and sleep it off. Then, in the morning, we can talk about this."
"It is the morning, though," Alabama pointed out, only to be met with an annoyed look from his mother.
"Fine, later in the morning." she amended. She then stood up, her long nightgown — a deep blue with fifty stars sewn all over it — falling past her knees. "Now, git, all of you. C'mon, c'mon, let's go." She made hand motions as her children, very reluctantly, began heading towards their bedrooms — some upstairs, some downstairs, some off the side of the house. November, staying where he was, watched them go by; though before their emotions had been split, now they almost all seemed to share the same annoyance at being sent off to bed.
When the last one of them was gone, America sighed again and plopped down on the couch; she seemed agitated. Though her nightgown was long, its sleeves only came about three-quarters down her arm, and November could still seen in the dim light the outline of many scars on the Country's arms. All Countries had scars, of course, received through the wars, rebellions, protests, troubles, and other conflicts through their history. Most of the time, a war or battle was how a nation came into being, whether changing rulers or breaking into numerous territories. America had once proudly shown him a deep, long scar right over her heart, a musket ball wound, telling him that was from the "shot heard 'round the world".
He had pointed out if that was so, shouldn't Britain have the wound? America had assured him that of course her cousin and former foster mother had a wound from then, but obviously wasn't going to be as proud of it as America was. All that strife between them, of course, was bygones now, and the two were very close friends.
A silence descended upon the two for a while, and November shifted in his seat a couple times, feeling awkward. America, for her part, seemed to be lost in thought, a pondering expression on her face. November coughed then, wondering if he should leave now.
"America?" he said, which broke the Country out of her reverie; she turned to face him.
"Hmm?" she replied.
"Are you...alright?" November asked.
"Oh," she answered, sitting upright in the couch. She seemed a little embarrassed. "Oh, yes, yes, of course. Thank-you, November. It's just...well, this was a very emotional time for my people, you know. Elections always are, of course, but this one seemed...worse. More divided. More angry." She sighed and glanced behind her. "As you can perhaps tell from my children's reactions."
"I understand," said November. "It must be hard for all of you, when you all have such different opinions on what's best for you."
"Yes. Well, I mean, I don't actually have an -"
America's response was cut off by her cell phone ringing. She looked around for a moment, then picked it up off the coffee table beside her. She hit the "answer" button and said, "Hello?"
Immediately an angry stream of Spanish came out of the phone; November recognized the voice as that of Mexico. America flinched and held the phone away from her, because of the loudness or the tone, November wasn't sure.
"How could you do this to me?" Mexico was saying. "Don't you know how important our economic relationship is? Don't you know how important I am to you? Do you really hate me that much?!"
"No, no," America replied, her voice somewhat pleading. "Hermanita, por favor, listen to me. I had nothing to do...you can't just accuse me -"
Her sister kept talking over her, her voice still angry but winding down slightly. Maybe right now she just needed to vent her frustrations rather than hold an actual conversation. America tried getting a few more words in, but in the end gave up, just listening with a sour look on her face.
Eventually Mexico finished. Saying, in pointed English, "And we are never paying for that f*king wall!", she ended the call.
America looked down at the phone in her hand, then let if drop down onto the couch kitchen. "I don't understand," she muttered after a while. "Why don't they get that it was not me personally, who chose this course of events? They don't - none of us do. We are the personifications of our countries, we are a reflection of who they are and who they want to be. I have no opinion, personally, because I can't. I just want what's best for my country, but behind that, I have no wish. I bow to the will of my people; if this is what they want, then this is what they want."
"I think I understand," November replied, though he wasn't sure if he could. The House of Countries had a different relationship to the human world than anyone in the House of Time; they were affected by events there much more than others even in the whole Community. Countries were born, shaped, remade, and used according to what their humans decided to do. They didn't always have to act along those lines — the Countries acted a whole lot more like family to one another than human world nations did, for example — but they could still never be free from what their people did. Even they themselves sometimes forgot that the personification wasn't responsible for the actual country's actions, as with Mexico just now.
America stood up again, and stretched her arms, reaching towards the ceiling. "Beyond that lovely conversation with my sister, I'm already getting a lot of texts and tweets from the rest of my family," she muttered. "Maybe if I turn my phone off and go to bed now, I can avoid all this until later in the morning?"
"Maybe," November agreed with a slight smile. It took him a minute to struggle out of the armchair, but soon he was on his feet. America came forward to embrace him.
"I'm glad you came, though," she told him, pulling back from the hug. "I really appreciate it."
"Of course," he exclaimed. "I wouldn't miss it. I've always been honored that you — er, uh, I mean, your country — chose my month for this event."
America chuckled. "Well, I'm glad you think so." She gave him another hug, then stepped back and headed off to her bedroom. November then went over to the front door, and started to make his way back home.