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England's first surprise came on the first day when he first saw his "little" colony again. He had been expecting to find the little boy that he'd left, once scarcely higher than his chin. America was still clearly a boy, but nothing like little anymore. He was even taller than England now, and although he was still gangly it was plain to see that he was already starting to fill out. It wouldn't be long until his chest and arms matched those broad shoulders. His voice didn't even crack. England wondered how long he had until everyone took him for an adult, probably not very judging by the ages at which his people tended to marry.
Once he got over his initial shock, he found himself somewhat sad. America was easily his favorite colony. America was somewhat of a special project to him. There was something about him that had drawn England in, made him see potential. Maybe it was that he saw something of himself in the boy, what he could have been if he had lived a life free from his brothers' abuse. He had wanted to be there for America through his awkward adolescent years.
"Come on, England! I did so much work to the house, you've just gotta see this!"
Of course, it was hard to stay melancholy when he seemed so excited about and proud of the things he had done, the ways he had grown. England felt as though he absorbed part of that energy as he allowed America to point out everything he'd done. It was all good workmanship. It seemed he had a reason to be proud after all.
It seemed that even in his absence England had managed to raise him alright after all.
He was going to be quite attractive once he was fully grown as well. England could see it already: the hard, masculine lines of his face hidden behind the last traces of baby fat, the strength his body would have when he decided to grow out now that he was likely done with up. And then, of course, he had his soulful blue eyes, his soft golden hair, and that energetic personality.
Maybe in a decade or two, England thought, he'd be ready to take. He hoped he could be there for that too, but for less pure reasons than the transition he'd missed. It wasn't as though America was his child. America was a nation, and although they may have referred to each other as family, they didn't possess that sort of bond. America was more England's student than his son. He took care of himself as they all did, he simply had more guidance than most.