"No, that's too much," you said to America, watching as he stood in front of the counter, pouring some sugar into a tablespoon. Below him on top of the counter was a large bowl containing other things such as wheat, eggs, and salt, already mixed.
America continued to stand there, holding the spoon filled with sugar with a look of confusion on his face. An open sack of sugar stood on the counter next to the bowl.
"You're supposed to take out half a tablespoon of sugar, not a whole," you said to him as you looked over at the spoon he held in his hand.
America continued to stare down at the spoon before he shifted his gaze to the side to look at you, a frown coming to his face, as he remained silent.
You let out a huff as you lifted your gaze to look up at him. "Do you not know what a half of something is? Didn't Mr. Kirkland teach you any kind of math or anything?"
America shifted his gaze so that it was able to lock on the spoon, and he stared at it a bit uncertainly. "Uh..."
You sighed as you rolled your eyes. "Here, let me do it for you." Before you had any second thoughts, you extended your hand and grasped his, directing it over to the bag of sugar and carefully tilting it so that half of what was already in the spoon was able to spill back into the bag.
"This is half a tablespoon of sugar," you said to America.
He looked down at the spoon before a look of understanding came to his face. "Oh."
You shifted your gaze down so that you were able to look down at your hand, and you felt your heart increase its pace and a blush quickly make its way to your face when you realized that you were holding America's hand. At that instant, you froze, unable to do anything else but stare down at your hand that was still tightly holding on to his. His hand felt so soft, so warm....
Gah! What am I thinking!? You suddenly thought back to the last time you held America's hand like this. It was back at the hospital when he was still unconscious, and you had been so scared that he was going to die and you had held his hand for the first time even though he probably wasn't able to feel it. Then you had shaken his hand a few times, but that didn't really count.
Now here you were, alone with America, in the kitchen, with him fully awake and alert, holding his hand for much longer than needed.
You became even more shocked when America cleared his throat and said, "Your hand feels warm, _____."
You let out something of a chocked sound before you suddenly found the ability to move and snatched your hand away from his, rubbing it vigorously against your shirt to try and get rid of that warm feeling you had experienced just moments ago.
"O-Oh, uh...th-thanks..." you stammered, cursing your inability to speak properly. When you lifted your gaze involuntarily so that it was able to meet America's, you found that he was staring at you a bit curiously, making the blush on your face only get greater.
A few awkward moments passed in silence before America let out a sigh and shifted his gaze back over to the bowl on the counter, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. "So, are you still going to teach me how to bake or what?"
You were silent for a few moments before you cleared your throat and looked away. "S-Sure. Of course."
"Alfred, do you think you could slow down a little bit?" you asked, your voice edged with nervousness as you gripped the edges of your seat and dug your fingers into its rough surface, feeling your heart increase its pace in alarm.
America frowned in confusion as he continued to firmly grasp the steering wheel as he looked in front of him. "Why? I'm going thirty miles an hour...I think that's already slow enough."
You shut your eyes tight before you slowly opened them, staring at the road in front of you with anxious eyes. It had been about two months since you had taught America to bake, and right after that, you began to teach him how to drive, something that he had been excited about. You were a bit uncertain about it, though, since the last time he had driven, he had gotten into an accident, but you tried not to think about that any longer.
"W-Well, it's better to be safe than sorry," you said. "I don't want you, you know...getting hurt in any kind of way."
America let out a tiny laugh as a small smile made its way to his face. "You don't have to worry, _____. I'm not going to get into an accident."
You felt a sharp stab of pain pierce your heart and you let out a nervous, slightly twisted, forced smile before you shifted your gaze over to the window, where you stared outside a bit sorrowfully. "Uh...s-sure, Alfred..." you murmured quietly. "If you believe so, then fine..."
America was able to notice the change in the tone of your voice, and he shifted his gaze over to the side to look at you, frowning in concern when he saw the miserable expression on your face. "_____, are you alright? Do you want me to drive us home?"
You instantly whipped your head around to look at him and your eyes widened. "Keep your eyes on the road at all times!" you shrieked, causing him to jump in surprise. "This is what I mean by having the potential of getting into an accident! If you distract yourself even for a second, you could get into a crash that's so severe you could...you could..." Your voice became shaken, and you turned your head away from America and whispered, "You could lose your memory."
However, he didn't hear that last part you said, and America instead let out a sigh before he shifted his gaze back in front of him. "Okay, _____. I promise I'll be more careful this time and won't do it again."
You shut your eyes tight before you pressed your forehead against the cold window, trying hard not to let tears form in your eyes. "Good."
That night, you were rested comfortably under the covers, sleeping soundly and peacefully. You had gone to sleep rather early with several thoughts running through your head as usual. It was now five months since America got in the car accident and lost his memory, and yet it already felt like years to you. Still, the pain of losing his old self had been just as fierce as it was that first week after you found out that he was going to be getting a fresh start. You didn't know if you ever would've gotten over and accepted the fact that America was never going to get his old memory back again. You still had hope; but that tiny part of you was so small you just ignored it.
More than anything, you wanted America to walk up to you and tell you he remembered everything. But you knew that was never going to happen.
And so you had ended up crying yourself to sleep with a heavy heart, closing the door to your room and hiding under the covers to make sure America wouldn't have heard you. The last thing you ever wanted to happen was to have him watch you or hear you express your deepest, uttermost emotions. It seemed like having him living with you was putting you under a greater and greater amount of misery with each passing day, and you just wanted to end it all.
You were awoken from your sleep by the sound of rapid footsteps making their way towards your room, and you barely had time to open your eyes and fully register the noise before the door to your room opened fiercely and slammed against the wall with a loud bang, making you instantly jump, your eyes widening in shock.
"_____!" a familiar voice cried, and it wasn't a second later when you felt a heavy weight pin you to the bed, causing you to let out a gasp in surprise as the breath was literally knocked out of your lungs.
You felt strong arms wrap themselves tightly around you, and you struggled to get up into a sitting position so you could've been able to properly assess what was going on. "A-Alfred?" you croaked, trying hard to breathe through the intense pressure put on your lungs.
"_-____," America gasped as he buried his face in your shoulder as he still kept his arms wrapped tightly around you, his eyes shut and his body trembling in fear.
As soon as you realized what was going on, you felt like you could've died. America was hugging you. Hugging you. Not like it hadn't happened before...but this was the first time in what seemed like a long time that he was hugging you, and this was the first time ever that he was doing it after he had lost his memory. Just the thought of it made your skin prickle in discomfort.
"A-Alfred...please, you're choking me," you gasped as you tried to push him away but found that he was hugging you too strongly for you to do so.
"O-Oh, sorry..." America murmured before he slightly released his firm hold on you but didn't pull away from you. You were still uncomfortable, but you were able to breathe a little more easily.
Without thinking too much of your actions, you reached out a hand and gently, reassuringly, began to stroke America's hair. "Okay, Alfred," you said with a bit of an exhausted sigh. "Tell me what's wrong."
A few moments passed as you continued to listen to America's ragged, shaky, uneven breathing before he finally lifted his head from your shoulder and looked down, refusing to look up and meet your gaze. "I-I had a bad dream..." he said quietly.
Your eyes slightly widened, and you removed your hand from America's hair and gently placed it on his shoulder. "A bad dream?" you asked. "About what?"
America paused to take a few deep breaths before he tightly grasped your shirt with trembling hands. "I...I had a dream that I was driving on a highway, and it was raining..."
As soon as he began, you felt your eyes widen and your heart rate increase. Could it possibly be that he had a dream about the night he got into the car accident and lost his memory? Despite the agonizing feelings America had at the moment, you couldn't have helped the excited smile that made its way to your face. "Go on," you said encouragingly.
He took another deep breath before he continued. "I was driving on a highway in the rain...a-and you were sitting next to me and you looked so happy. B-But then a turn came and the road was slippery, and I didn't have enough time to make the turn before the car drove off the road and slammed right into a huge tree."
The excitement and hope had drained out of you and was replaced by disappointment and concern as you continued to stare down at America.
"I-I'm not sure exactly what happened after that, but I was able to feel a lot of pain and some broken bones, b-but when I looked over at you...you..." America paused as he continued to take deep, heavy breaths, his body trembling with fear and misery.
"Please, continue," you said softly before you lifted your hand to America's hair once again and gently resumed stroking it.
He drew in a deep, shaky breath before he continued, his voice barely a whisper. "When I looked over at you, I saw that you were...crushed under your seat and a lot of blood was coming out of you. Y-You looked so twisted, and your hips were bent out of place and your arms were dislocated and broken. W-When I looked up at your face, I...I saw that it was covered in blood and bruises and your eyes were open but they weren't moving or blinking and your mouth was open a little bit..."
"I was dead...wasn't I?" you asked quietly after a few seconds, your voice trembling.
America buried his face in your shirt before he nodded. "Y-Yes. I was so scared, I was screaming at you to wake up and snap out of it, but you weren't moving at all...and the only thing I was able to think of was how this was all my fault that I decided to drive with you and you didn't deserve to get killed like that, and I was the one responsible for everything."
Almost like how I felt after you lost your memory... You almost said those words out loud, but quickly stopped yourself from doing so, and instead let out a sigh before you rested your hands on America's back and gently began massaging it. "It's okay, Alfred," you reassured gently. "It was just a bad dream. Nothing like that's ever going to happen, I promise."
America sniffed before he said shakily, "_____, I...I don't want to drive anymore. Please...don't make me."
"I won't," you murmured before you rested your chin on top of his head. "I won't."
A few minutes passed in silence as you continued to massage America's back while he still clung tightly to your shirt. After a while, he removed his face from your shirt and sat in an upright position, taking a deep breath before he lifted his gaze so that it was able to meet yours. Despite the poor lighting, you were able to notice misery streaked across his face, but not the slightest trace of tears. If only I was that strong...
"_____," America began a bit uncertainly, a tiny blush coming to his face as he rubbed the back of his neck with his hand uncomfortably. "I...I don't feel safe enough to sleep by myself tonight...and...and I'm afraid something else terrible is going to happen if I'm alone." He lifted his gaze to look up at you, the blush on his face getting greater. "Can...Can I sleep with you?"
Your eyes instantly widened and your cheeks turned a dark shade of crimson, and you instantly turned your head away from him and crossed your arms, hoping he wouldn't have seen how flustered you'd gotten. "That's absolutely out of the question," you said firmly. "There is no way on Earth I'm letting you sleep with me."
"Please?" America asked as he began pawing at your shoulder, causing you to stiffen.
"No," you said firmly, closing your eyes so you wouldn't have had to see the pleading expression on his face.
"Please, _____? I promise I won't do anything bad!" America begged as he grasped your shoulders. "I know you're probably thinking of this as a whole awkward situation, but I promise I'll try not to make it that way for you! I'll stay on my side of the bed and won't even think of getting close to you, but please don't let me sleep alone right after I had a nightmare that the person I look up to the most was killed!"
At that, you slowly turned your head so that you were staring directly into the eyes of America, and you let out a sigh as another blush quickly made its way to your face, making you thankful that he wouldn't have seen it through the poor lighting. "Fine," you huffed. "But if you even try to touch me even the slightest bit, even in your sleep, I promise that from this moment on I'll be locking my bedroom door. And it's only for tonight. Got it?"
America nodded, the fearful and pleading expression on his face switching to one of happiness. "Got it," he said before he removed his hands from your shoulders and snuggled under the covers, shifting so that he was on one side of the bed. "Thank you, _____."
"N-No problem," you stammered before you shifted as far away from America as possible and pulled the covers over you so that they went up to your shoulders, turning so that your back was facing him.
All was silent for the next ten minutes or so, and you eventually figured through the steady, gentle sounds of America's breathing that he had fallen asleep. You, however, were too uncomfortable and tense to even close your eyes. But you didn't dare roll over onto your other side and cause yourself to become closer to America than you already were.
I can't fall asleep like this, you decided after about half an hour had passed. Without having any other thoughts, you pulled the covers away from you before you sat up in your bed carefully as to not disturb America and got down on the floor, taking your pillow with you. You put the pillow on the cold floor in front of you before you rested the back of your head on it, instantly starting to shiver with cold. It felt silly to be sleeping on the cold, hard floor when your warm, comfortable bed was right next to you, but you had to do it.
Well, this is still better than sleeping in the same bed as America, you thought before you let out a tiny sigh and closed your eyes, allowing sleep to slowly overtake you.
"Hey, _____, what are you doing on the floor?"
The sound of America's confused voice instantly snapped you out of your sleep, and when you opened your eyes, you looked up to find him staring down at you from his place on the edge of the bed, concern and confusion evident in his gaze.
"O-Oh...I-ow..." you groaned as you sat in an upright position but instantly paused when you felt pain ripple through your back, making you gently massage it with your hand. "I-I guess I fell..." you muttered as you lowered your gaze down to the ground.
America sighed. "_____, you should've woken me up and told me. Then I would've been able to help you back up and you wouldn't have gotten back problems like you do now."
"I guess I must've fallen while I was asleep and it didn't wake me up..." you lied.
"Fine," America said after a few moments of silence as he began climbing out of the bed and heading over to the door. "Well, thanks for letting me...sleep...with you, _____, even though you were...you know...on the floor."
"Sure, sure," you grumbled before you got into a standing position despite the aching in your back.
I am never letting him sleep with me again, you thought as America walked out of your room and closed the door behind him.