You had a big grin plastered to your face as you walked down the incredibly long hallway of the building where the meeting was going to be held. For the first time in a long time, you actually felt happy about going to a meeting considering the fact that you now had to carry two loads instead of one. Matthew offered to carry Mr. Kumajiro even though you told him that the bear was heavy and he would've easily gotten exhausted. Despite the fact that he had a lot to carry, he made the whole distance to the building without complaining.
It was rare that you got excited for meetings, but this time, it was different. This time, you made sure to arrive late, when all the countries would've been in the meeting room waiting for you. Well, what you were going to show them was going to be worth the wait, especially to England, who you were going to prove wrong for the second time in a row. Oh, this was going to be fun.
You and Matthew paused at the door to the meeting room, and you shushed him before you pressed your ear against the door. Sure enough, you heard the voices of other countries in the room, most of them annoyed, as they waited for you to show up. You smirked before you turned your attention back to Matthew, who was looking up at you intently.
"Mattie, do you mind if I take Mr. Kumajiro for a few moments?" you asked him sweetly.
He looked down at the bear, who had kept on looking up at him and asking "Who are you?" for the length of the journey to the meeting, with a slightly unsure look visible across his face. Finally, he looked back up at you and nodded. "Okay, Mama," he said quietly before he extended his arms, presenting you the bear.
"Thank you," you said before you took Mr. Kumajiro from Matthew's tiny hands and wrapped your arms around him.
"_____, what is it?" Mr. Kumajiro asked as he looked up at you.
You pressed a hand to his mouth to silence him. "Nothing, Kuma. Stay silent until I tell you to, okay?"
"Okay," was the muffled reply.
You held Mr. Kumajiro in one arm as you fiercely opened the door to the meeting room, revealing the irritated faces of many of the countries as they sat around the large, glossy table. "Sorry I'm late!" you said in exhaustion. "I got stuck in, uh…traffic." That was when you realized you were horrible at making excuses.
Of course, England was the first to speak up. "_____, there should not be an excuse to be late for a meeting. You should really consider learning how to handle your time better." A few moments of silence passed before his gaze drifted to the polar bear in your arm. "And why the bloody hell did you bring a stuffed polar bear with you to a meeting?"
You smiled before you patted Mr. Kumajiro's soft fur. "Well, what if I told you that this bear could talk?"
England sighed and rolled his eyes. "_____, I told you before that there is no such thing as a talking polar bear. You may have proved me wrong about finding a baby in the woods, but you are not going to prove me wrong a second time by saying that a talking bear actually exists."
This caused some of the countries around him to snicker, especially France. You only sighed as a smile appeared on your lips. "Oh yeah, England?" You smirked before your gaze dropped down to Mr. Kumajiro and you removed your hand from his mouth. "Mr. Kumajiro, now you can talk."
England sighed and crossed his arms as he glared at you. "What, now you've given the thing a name? _____, I really think you need to—"
Mr. Kumajiro drifted his gaze to the countries that were staring at him in amusement before he asked, "Who are you?"
England was cut off from his sentence when he found that he had lost the ability to speak. He just stared at you, eyes slightly wide, mouth open mid-sentence. This…this was just impossible. Did he just really hear that bear talk? He was faintly aware of some of the countries around him staring in amazement at the supernatural bear, others snickering because you had proved him wrong…again.
Your smirk widened when you saw England's expression. "Do you believe me now, England?"
Another few seconds of silence passed with him still staring at you with that look of disbelief. Finally, he cleared his throat and crossed his arms, drifting his gaze off to one side and muttering something that was so quiet you weren't able to hear.
"What was that?" you asked in a sweet, playful voice. "I didn't hear what you said."
England sighed in exasperation before he shifted his gaze so that it met yours. The smirk on your face was still prominent as you looked at him amusingly, and in return, he glared at you. "I said yes, okay?" he growled before he drifted his gaze down to the table and more silently added, "I-I believe you…"
France smirked before he walked up to England and gave him a slap on the back before he laughed. "Angleterre, I thought you already knew by now that _____ always comes full of unusual surprises!"
You sighed before you rolled your eyes, turning your attention from England and France back down to Mr. Kumajiro, who was giving the countries who gazed at him in awe a blank stare. "Who are you?" he asked them, causing a loud fit of surprise to erupt from almost every person in the room.
It wasn't seconds later until you were completely surrounded by people who were asking you several questions concerning the bear. The main question was how on earth he was able to talk. You were unable to answer that one, since you had literally no idea yourself. Many others were shouting questions at Mr. Kumajiro, which were never answered, since nobody even bothered to answer his question of who were the people that were surrounding him and acting as if he was a celebrity.
Throughout all of this mayhem, nobody even bothered to pay the slightest attention to Matthew, who was hiding behind your legs and clinging onto the fabric of your pants, looking up at everyone in fear. You had to admit that you had somewhat forgotten about him as well, paying more attention on Kumajiro and the countries that surrounded you.
"Hey, hey!" you yelled as you lifted your hand and started waving it, trying to silence all the countries that surrounded you. Once all was silent, you took a deep breath and began to talk.
"To be honest, I have no idea how Mr. Kumajiro can talk," you said, answering the question that was on everyone's mind. "He told me when he opened his eyes, he already had the ability. Another thing I have to say is that he wasn't alive before. When I found Matthew in the woods, he was holding onto him, but back then, Mr. Kumajiro was just a stuffed polar bear. I woke up one morning, and he was sitting on my bed washing his fur. He said that he opened his eyes and was already there. I'm not yet clear on how he somehow came to life."
"Maybe he's cursed aru…" China murmured as he pressed his hand to his cheek and stared at Mr. Kumajiro in wonder.
Your eyes widened in surprise as you began considering what China said. You looked down at the bear wrapped protectively in your arms, several thoughts running through your mind. What if Kumajiro was cursed? After all, polar bears didn't talk, didn't magically come to life when they were nothing but a stuffed toy before. Something or someone had to have some kind of ability to make this bear act the way it did. And an idea had already started to form in your mind.
"Hey, England," you said loudly, trying to hide the uneasiness in your voice. At that instant, all of the pairs of eyes in the room turned their attention to England, who was standing a good distance away from everyone else with an irritated look in his eyes.
"What is it, _____?" he asked, the annoyance obvious in his voice.
You let out a tiny chuckle before you stared down at Mr. Kumajiro. "You…didn't curse Mr. Kumajiro, did you?"
You looked up to meet England's gaze, and he gazed at you in surprise, disbelief, and exasperation. "Why the bloody hell would I ever think of cursing that useless thing?"
"I was just curious…" you mumbled. More loudly and irritably, you added, "And Mr. Kumajiro is not a useless thing! He's a very unique polar bear, and you should treat him as such."
"Yes, be nice to him, Angleterre," France smirked before he wrapped an arm around the Brit's shoulders. "If he was cursed, then who knows what kind of curse he might put on you?"
"Like that'll ever happen," England muttered as he lowered his gaze down to his feet.
Once the meeting officially began, you finally handed Matthew his bear. He sat in your lap as usual, cuddling Mr. Kumajiro and murmuring things to him, while the only response he ever got from that bear was "Who are you?" which eventually began to upset him since Kumajiro remembered you perfectly but not him. You had to assure him after the meeting was over that it was going to take some time for the bear to know exactly who Matthew was, and that he didn't have to worry.
The days that followed eventually turned into months. You spent more money than usual on cans of tuna, which you had to feed Mr. Kumajiro three times a day. When it snowed, you took Matthew outside to play, along with Kumajiro, who either kept on rolling over in the snow or just relaxing on it, something that you felt was fitting for a polar bear. When it was hot outside, you often took the both of them to the beach, where you played in the water with Matthew and Mr. Kumajiro just floated on it. You got weird looks from the people who saw you bring a live polar bear in the water, but of course, you either smiled at them or ignored them completely. When it was fall, you raked the leaves in your backyard and brought them into one big pile, which of course, Matthew would always jump in.
The thing that started concern you was how Matthew was not growing at all. In fact, he looked exactly the same way as he did after you had given him a bath that day over a year ago. This really made you consider the fact that he was a country. Of course, you knew that countries always aged a lot more slowly than non-countries did. Maybe this meant that his growth would've been slowed as well.
But all that changed one morning when you woke up. You rolled over onto your side and opened your eyes, expecting to find baby Matthew curled up next to you. Instead, you found a grown boy, who physically looked about 10, his clothes so tiny that they started ripping on their own, clutching the sleeping Kumajiro tightly.