You woke up with a rather heavy heart the next morning, your thoughts from the previous night sticking to you like glue. You had eventually broken down into silent tears after you thought too deeply of the situation, and you had ended up crying yourself to sleep. How silly were you to think that your days of crying over America's memory loss were done. You had known his old self for too long of a time for you to think you can just brush it all off and move on with the present.
That wasn't how things worked for you.
However, instead of sitting around and sulking like you would've liked, you knew that you had no time to just waste the whole day doing nothing. Now that America was living in your house, you were with the responsibility of taking care of him, and one of the most important responsibilities was to teach him how to handle living on his own and taking care of himself.
Throughout the rest of that month, you had been able to teach America how to work around the house. He sometimes complained, saying that some of the things you taught him weren't necessary, but you wanted to make sure he knew about as much as you did so he wouldn't have had a hard time working around the house he would've lived in by himself. He hardly did anything before he lost his memory, and you wanted to change that.
One chilly winter morning, you were snuggled under the covers, still peacefully asleep. The light from outside was shining through the curtains and brightened up your room, though that didn't seem to bother you.
What bothered you was the sound of a loud voice and heavy, rapid footsteps gradually getting louder and louder as they made their way towards your room.
"_____!" a voice yelled as the door to your room burst open and fiercely slammed against the wall, causing you to jump in surprise, your eyes to fly open, and you to gasp.
You instantly sat upright, finding America standing in the doorway, looking at you with wide, surprised eyes. "A-Alfred!" you stammered, your cheeks slightly red when you realized that he was in your room without warning, and you were thankful that you were at least wearing pajamas. "W-What is it?"
"_____, look outside!" America yelled before he ran over to the window and pushed the curtains aside.
You let out a sigh before you reluctantly climbed out of your bed and a bit clumsily walked over towards him, a chill running through you as soon as your feet touched the cold surface of the floor.
Once you approached the window and paused next to America, covering your mouth with your hand and letting out a yawn, you looked outside and found that everything was covered in a somewhat thick layer of white. "So?" you asked, not the slightest bit surprised. "It's just snow."
"Snow?" America echoed as he shifted his gaze to look at you, frowning in confusion. "Is that what the white stuff is called?"
You looked up at him, a bit of a surprised expression on your face. "You've never seen snow before?"
He let out a nervous chuckle before he rubbed the back of his neck with his hand. "Well, I've never seen it throughout the time I lived with Mr. Kirkland, so..."
You nodded, a look of understanding coming to your face. "Oh, okay. But you don't have to worry because there's nothing bad about it. You can even play in it if you want."
"Really?" America's eyes brightened and a smile came to his face. "That sounds great!"
"Yes, it is," you said a bit more quietly before you drifted your gaze down to your driveway, which you already knew was going to need some shoveling. You hated shoveling snow, mainly because it was exhausting work and more often than not resulted in back pain and sore arms for you. You figured that America would've been able to handle it better, since as far as you remembered, he was way stronger than you or anyone else.
Suddenly, and idea came to your head.
"Snow is fun to play in," you repeated, shifting your gaze over to America, who was still staring out the window with an eager expression on his face. "But in our case, it only requires work."
"Our?" America asked as he removed his gaze from the window and shifted it over to you.
"Yes," you confirmed with a nod. "I have a new job for you, and you're going to be shoveling the snow after I give you a demonstration."
He groaned before he crossed his arms and frowned, a pout instantly coming to his face. "_____, why do I need to learn this? I feel like you're giving me too much work."
"Hey, where you used to live, there was always frequent snow so you're gonna have to know how to clean it all up if you want to drive anywhere!" you snapped.
America lifted his gaze to look up at you, his eyes filling with confusion. "What are you talking about? There wasn't any frequent snow when I lived with Mr. Kirkland."
Oops. "Oh, er...I—" you struggled to find something to say to make up for your slip. But when you weren't able to find anything, you just let out a sigh and ran a hand through your hair in irritation, your face red in embarrassment. "J-Just...forget what I said," you muttered. "It doesn't concern you anyway." I have to get the memories of America's old house out of my head!
America continued to stare at you in confusion for a few more seconds before he shrugged and drifted his gaze back over to the window. "Well, okay."
You removed your hand from your hair and looked over at him. "So, I'll let you make your breakfast and then we'll get dressed and I'll show you how to shovel the snow. It's not really that difficult to do, so you should get it pretty easily. Got it?"
A pout once again made its way over to America's face but he nodded. "Sure, I guess."
"Good." You turned around and proceeded to head out the door before you briefly paused and turned around to look back at America, who was slowly trailing behind you. "Come on, Alfred, it shouldn't be so hard, so stop pouting." And stop reminding me so much of your old self...
You planted the blade of the shovel firmly down into the snow, gripping the handle with your hand. "Okay," you said, watching as your breath formed into a tiny cloud in the air before it dissolved a few moments later. You turned around to face America, who was standing a few feet away from you, the eagerness completely drained from his face. "I'll shovel a path through the front yard for now just so you get an idea of how to shovel the snow. After that, I'll leave you to do the driveway. In the meantime, you can play in the snow if you'd like, but don't do anything to aggravate me, got it?"
America nodded, some of the excitement returning to his eyes. "Okay."
"Good," you said before you turned your gaze back to the front, where you began shoveling snow while he stepped outside and went over to one side of the yard.
You were about halfway done with shoveling a somewhat thin path through the front yard, already feeling your arms and back start to ache, when you heard America's excited voice fill the somewhat quiet atmosphere.
"_____, you can make snowballs with these!"
You sighed quietly as you continued to shovel through the snow, not even bothering to lift your gaze up to look at America. "Okay," you replied. "Just don't—"
But you never got the chance to finish your sentence before you felt something hard fiercely hit you in the shoulder, causing you to let out a loud yelp, your eyes to widen, and your grip on the shovel to vanish, making it drop on the ground with a loud clank. You quickly spun around to face America, that same stunned expression still on your face, as you were trembling in shock.
As soon as he caught the look on your face, he burst into a loud, sudden fit of laughter, holding his sides as he fell back in the snow and started rolling over in it.
You instantly felt your cheeks heat up in anger and embarrassment when you realized that America was laughing at you. "Hey!" you yelled. "I said don't throw any snowballs at me!"
He continued to laugh as he lifted his head to look up at you. "No you didn't! You never got the chance to before I actually did!"
As you watched America fall back down onto his back and continue laughing abnormally loudly, you felt a sudden emotion spread through you, and you almost felt as if you had been slapped in the face. Quickly, you brought your hands to your mouth as you felt tears on the edge of forming in your eyes.
You had never seen America laugh this loudly and enthusiastically after he lost his memory. He used to laugh like this almost every day, and that used to be just one of the many things you admired about him. His laugh used to be enough to brighten up your week, possibly even more than that. After America lost his memory, you thought you never would've heard him laugh the way he used to ever again. In fact, he seemed so distant, so separated from his old self. But now that he was actually laughing just like the way he was before, it sent so many sudden memories into your brain that made you experience a powerful mix of emotions that you were barely able to describe.
You covered your face with your hands as you felt tears slowly start to slide from your eyes. I'm not going to cry, you thought. I can't cry. Not in front of America. I can't ever let him see me cry. But that didn't stop the tears from spilling down your cheeks, and you held your breath as you covered your eyes with your arm.
America continued to laugh, totally oblivious to your sudden change of emotion, until he propped himself up on his elbows and lifted his head to look up at you, a smile still prominent on his face. But as soon as he caught sight of you standing quietly still, your arm covering your face, his laughter faded and was replaced with concern.
America stood up, brushing snow from his coat and arms, before he slowly and a bit hesitantly approached you, feeling guilt start to rise up inside him. "_____, are you okay?" he asked softly.
You didn't answer, and instead turned away from him so that your back was towards him, trying to get rid of your hidden tears as quickly as possible.
"_____, I'm sorry," America said quietly as he walked up to you and apologetically placed a hand on your shoulder, causing you to instantly stiffen. "I didn't mean to hurt you."
"Sorry?" you repeated softly, dropping your arm down to your side and quickly wiping away any stray tears that might've been visible in your eyes, keeping your gaze fixed on the ground. "Sorry for what?"
"You know...sorry for...throwing the snowball at you," America murmured quietly before he rubbed the back of his neck with his hand uncomfortably.
"Oh..." you said, your voice barely a whisper. "That's what you're sorry for."
"Yeah," America replied quietly. "Why?"
"N-Nothing..." you murmured as you clenched your hands into fists, trying to ease the large lump in your throat. "I-I just thought...oh, never mind."
An awkward silence passed between the both of you, and that was when you became faintly aware that America's hand was still on your shoulder. Slowly, you stepped forward, causing him to drop it back down to his side, before you finally sighed and said, "Hey, we can build a snowman." You figured that America would've cleaned the driveway out later, not right after you had just been hit by a bunch of memories.
"A snowman?" he asked surprisingly. "That sounds hard."
You turned around to face him and let out a tiny giggle. "Not an actual man made of snow! That would be too difficult."
"Oh," America said with a chuckle as he looked at you eagerly. "So how do you make one?"
"Well, uh..." you began as you stared down at your hands and anxiously fiddled with them. "See, first you have to make a big, round ball out of snow. But the ball has to be hard and firm. It can't be soft, or else it's...gonna break..." Your voice became a little bit quieter as you continued, stumbling slightly with your words. "A-And then you have to take a...smaller ball and put it...on top of the larger one...." Your face became a significant shade of red as you took in the meaning of what you just said. "I-I mean, sphere..."
Oh god... You continued to stare at your hands, too uncomfortable to continue, before you finally lifted your gaze to look at America, who was staring at you expectantly. "Go on," he said casually.
You cleared your throat before you restarted. "Basically, we can make a snowball and roll it up in the snow until we can make one big sphere. Then we can take another snowball and roll it up until it's slightly smaller than the first one, and we put the smaller sphere on top of the larger sphere. Then we take a third snowball and roll it up until it comes to a size slightly smaller than the second sphere. Then we put the third sphere on top of the second. Then we can give our snowman a face and dress him up in a scarf and hat and stuff." You looked up at America and raised an eyebrow. "Got it?"
"Got it," he said, giving you a tiny smile before he got down on the ground and prepared to roll up some snow while you watched him.
You were about to bend down and help America when a sudden memory involuntarily entered your brain, once again causing you to freeze in place and your heart rate to increase.
"America, what are you doing?" you asked with a little bit of a sigh as you leaned against the doorframe of the front door to America's house, looking out into the front yard where he was actively working on rolling up snow.
He briefly lifted his head to look up at you, a smile quickly making its way to his face. "I'm gonna make a snowman!"
"What?" you asked in surprise, briefly looking around outside before you shifted your gaze back over to him. "Are you sure there's enough snow for that?"
America let out a laugh before he replied. "Of course I'm sure. Watch—I'm gonna make the biggest snowman you've ever seen!"
You let out an amused chuckle as you continued to watch him. "Well, go ahead. And tell me if you're tired or need any help."
"The hero never gets tired!" America said confidently before he once again resumed building his snowman while you continued to watch from your place standing in the doorway.
It took a while for him to make it, but after what seemed like an hour, it was finally done. The snowman ended up using most of the snow that was already in the front yard. There was barely an inch on the ground anyway, and you were surprised that America was even able to get the first half done. But he had a big front yard, so it didn't seem impossible. America took off his hat and scarf and put them on the snowman before he got two large sticks for the arms, some nearby pebbles for the eyes and mouth, and another smaller stick for the nose.
"Can I come see it now?" you asked him.
"In a sec!" he replied as he worked on the snowman's head for a few more moments before he finally took a step back and eyed the snowman up and down. "Okay, I think it's ready."
You smiled before you stepped out into the cold, walking over to America. As soon as you were in front of the snowman, you looked at it in amazement. It was nearly as tall as you, and its face was a little twisted and some of its body seemed to be falling apart, but you didn't mind.
"Sorry if it's not perfect," America said quietly as he rubbed the back of his neck with his hand. "If there was more snow, I would've made it way awesomer and bigger."
You let out a tiny laugh before you turned around to look at him. "It's perfect," you said happily. "You don't need to waste any more strength trying to make it look better."
America let out a laugh as he wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. "I'm glad. I'm already pretty hot from working on this guy anyway."
You turned around to look back at the snowman before you briefly drifted your gaze down to the ground, spotting a rather small, curved stick on the ground next to your feet. You bent down to pick it up, finding that it was able to fit in the palm of your hand.
I know what I can use this for, you thought before you stepped up to the snowman and lifted your arm so that you were able to place the curved stick on top of the snowman's head, pushing its hat a little bit to the side. As soon as the bottom of the stick was firmly planted on top of the snowman's head, you took a step back before you smiled in satisfaction.
"There," you said. "Now it has a cowlick."
You turned around to look at America and found him staring at the snowman with a wide grin on his face before he let out a laugh. "Oh man, that's so awesome! We should totally give it a name!"
"How about Alfred Jr.?" you asked with a bit of a chuckle as you turned around to look back at the snowman.
You felt America's arm wrap around your shoulders, causing you to stiffen and your eyes to slightly widen in surprise. "That's a great name," he said happily. "We should do things like this more often, _____."
A tiny blush came to your face before you looked down at your feet, unable to get that smile off your face. "Yes," you murmured. "We should."
"Hey, _____, are you alright?"
You didn't respond, but rather stood there, staring ahead, a blank expression on your face, your hands dropped down to your sides and clenched into fists.
"_____, seriously, are you okay?" America asked a bit louder, causing you to instantly snap out of your trance.
"Oh..." you murmured as you continued to stare ahead, feeling your throat close and tears make their way to your eyes.
"_____?" America asked softly as he turned around to face you, frowning in concern. "Are you okay? You look like you're about to cry."
That was when you realized how warm your face became, and you shifted your gaze down to look at America. I can't cry. Not in front of him.
You let out a deep, shaky sigh before you closed your eyes. "No, I'm just...tired," you replied, your voice barely a whisper. You turned around and began to head over to the door, your head hung low. "I think I need to take a break from everything for a while."