"Is this the place you told me about?" America asked, slightly tightening his grip on the bags he held in both hands.
You nodded as you lifted your gaze and looked up a bit nostalgically at America's house, his old house, the house he had before he lost his memory. With just a tiny bit of hope, you turned your head around to look at him. "Why? Do you think it looks a little familiar to you?"
He shook his head. "Well, it's pretty big. Are you sure you think I'll be able to handle living here?"
You nodded, a tiny, forced smile coming to your face. "Of course, Alfred. It doesn't matter how big the house is as long as you know the door to every room and know how to take care of yourself."
America nodded. "Okay. So...are we going to be going inside or are we going to stay out here forever?"
You let out a tiny chuckle before you bent down and grasped some of his things in your hands. "Of course we're going inside."
Once the both of you arrived at America's front porch, all of his stuff on the ground next to him, you took out the key you had to his house in your pocket and opened the door. After you had gone here to retrieve some of America's clothes, you had taken his key with you, figuring that you would've needed it eventually, and it turns out that you did.
Once you opened the door to his house, you led America down the fairly long hallway until you were able to enter the living room. You sighed as the familiarity of it all entered your brain. This place looked just like you remembered—a little trashed, but still welcoming.
America looked around before a confused frown made its way to his face. "This place looks like somebody was already here before me. Is that true, _____?" he asked as he shifted his gaze to look at you.
You dropped your gaze down to the ground, refusing to lift it so that it would've met his. "Yes," you mumbled, "someone did live here before. But I never got the chance to really...clean out his stuff, so I'm going to have to stay here for a bit and do some of that. But the mess like this you would be able to clean up on your own."
America nodded. "Oh, okay." A few more seconds passed in silence before he drifted his gaze down to his luggage. "So...where should I put all of my stuff?"
You lifted your gaze so that you were looking at him. You were silent for a few moments before you replied. "Oh, uh...there's a room upstairs where you're going to be sleeping. You can put your stuff outside the door while I clean up the room a little bit so it'll be ready for you."
With that, you took some of America's things and led him up the stairs, where you found yourself in the middle of a rather long hallway. You hadn't visited America's house for months, and somehow, it was a lot bigger than you remembered. Maybe the fact that nobody was living here anymore gave it a sense of emptiness, and you hated that feeling.
"Well, here we are," you said as you paused in front of the closed door to America's old room, setting his stuff down on the floor in front of you. You turned around to look at America and found that he was staring around him with slightly wide, curious eyes.
"This place is really big..." he murmured.
You gave him a tiny, crooked smile. "D-Don't worry. You'll have things memorized pretty easily."
America nodded before he set his stuff down on the floor and looked up at you. "So, what do you want me to do?"
"Well, I would like it if you took some time to walk around and explore the house for a little bit," you replied. "During that time, I can clean up some of the things in this room and then I'll tell you when I'm ready. If you ever need anything, I'll be inside this door, got it?"
America nodded. "Okay. Thanks, _____."
After he had gone off to explore on his own, you sighed before you turned around so that you were facing the door to his old room. You shakily extended a hand so that you were able to grasp the doorknob and hesitantly opened the door, preparing yourself for a new wave of memories to hit you in the face. As soon as the door to America's room was more or less opened, you felt your throat instantly tighten. There were so many things here left from his old self, and you had to get rid of them. You weren't going to throw them away, but you were just going to put them all in a box and put the box in his storage room, never to be looked at again.
Once you were able to get a large box you felt was suitable enough for storing America's things, you walked back into the room before you began taking down and removing stuff. You removed posters, video games, sports things, and anything else that you felt left behind a trace of America before the accident. The only thing you didn't get rid of was his old clothes, which you felt still would've been able to provide use to him now.
As soon as everything was more or less cleaned up and put into the box, you sighed before you bent down and closed both lids and sealed them with duct tape. There, you thought as you put your hands on top of the box and looked around you, amazed at how different America's room looked now that it was removed of almost all of his old things.
You stood up before you brushed your hands together to get rid of any stray dust, reminding yourself that America would've had to vacuum this place later. Good. No more memories. You took one last look around you, feeling some sadness slowly start to make its way inside you. All of the memories of America that were previously in this room were now sealed away in the box, which you weren't going to open. A part of you felt upset that you were locking away his things like that, but you felt like it had to be done or else you would've confused him with all this stuff.
You were about to go outside and tell America that he was ready to come inside when out of the corner of your eye, you spotted something standing on top of his nightstand, which you had forgotten to clear out of anything. From where you were standing, it looked like a picture frame, though you couldn't see what picture was in it.
Curiosity took over you, and you continued to stare at the picture frame for a few more moments before you hesitantly approached it, never taking your gaze away from it. As soon as you paused in front of the nightstand, you looked down at the frame before you reached out and grasped it, looking down at it with a puzzled expression on your face.
As soon as you took in the picture looking up at you, you let out a shocked, grief stricken gasp and you felt tears quickly form in your eyes.
It was the last thing you ever expected to be in America's room. It was a picture of you and him, and he had his arm around you while he saluted with a big grin while you had a tiny, slightly creeped out smile on your face. You remembered when that picture was taken, and just seeing it here in America's room made such a sudden, powerful amount of emotions surge through you so quickly, so violently that you started swaying from side to side from the dizziness that formed inside you.
You shook your head before you grasped the picture tightly in both hands and shut your eyes tight, your entire body trembling. The image of that picture flashed in your brain, and you weren't able to get rid of it no matter how hard you tried. Why? you screamed in your head. Why, why, why?!
You let out something of a chocked sound as you released your grip on the picture frame, not listening to the sound it made as it hit the floor, still intact, before you quickly stood up and ran out of the room, blindly running over to the bathroom a few doors down and slamming the door behind you, tears falling freely down your face.
America was in one of the guest rooms when he heard the sound of a door slamming loudly, and it startled him just a little bit. He lifted his head and shifted it so that he was staring towards the door, a look of confusion prominent on his face.
What was that? he thought. I hope _____ is okay... America decided that it would've been better to check on you to see if you were all right. With that, he headed over to the door and walked out of the room, heading down the hallway towards the door that had all of his luggage in front of it.
America paused in front of the door before he slowly looked inside, finding this place clean and ordinary. In the middle of the room next to the bed was a rather large, sealed box, and he figured that that was where you had put any things that you had cleaned out of the room.
Where's _____? America took a step inside the room, trying to see if you were in here. But when he found that the room was empty, he was about to turn around and walk back out the door before he caught something lying on the floor out of the corner of his eye. He turned around so that he was able to stare down at what was on the ground, and upon closer inspection, he noticed that it was a picture frame containing a single photo.
_____ probably forgot to put it in the box...America assumed as he walked the few steps needed to stand next to the photo before he bent down and grasped it in one hand, studying the picture carefully.
It showed a guy with blonde hair and blue eyes with glasses saluting, he had his arm around this girl with (h/c) hair, and the both of them seemed to look pretty happy, especially the guy. As America continued to stare at the picture, a slightly confused look still on his face, his eyes widened and a surprised look came across his face when he recognized the girl in the picture.
It's _____! he thought in surprise. Does that mean you knew the guy that lived here before? Did the both of you arrange some kind of deal so America would've taken this house after its previous owner moved out or something? What happened to the previous owner, anyway?
But as America continued to stare at the picture, he could've sworn he almost had a heart attack when he recognized the guy in the picture, too.
"That...That's me!" he said in shock as a disbelieving look came across his face. Upon closer inspection, he realized that the guy in the picture looked like an exact copy of him. The glasses, the eyes, even the cowlick. Everything looked exactly like him.
"But...how is this possible?" America asked, his voice barely a whisper as he continued to stare down at the picture. When was it taken, anyway? He didn't remember ever having a picture taken with you, and even if he did, he certainly didn't remember saluting, having his arm around you, and grinning like an idiot.
The only thing that was able to snap America's gaze away from the photo was the sound of footsteps gradually getting louder and louder as they made their way towards the room. He got to his feet before he turned around to face the doorway just in time to see you enter the room, looking down at the ground with a grief-stricken expression on your face.
As soon as you detected the presence of someone else in the room, you paused and looked up, your gaze instantly locking with America's as you stood a few feet away from him. "O-Oh, Alfred..." you began a bit hesitantly, trying not to let sadness show in your eyes.
"Hey, _____," America said as he held the photo out in front of him. "I was wondering if—"
"Wait!" you yelled suddenly, causing him to almost jump in surprise. Your eyes widened and a look of horror came across your face as you stared down at the picture America held in his hands, the picture of the two of you...before he lost his memory.
"Give me that!" you shrieked before you ran over to him and snatched the frame fiercely out of his hands, walking over to the closet, opening the door, and throwing the picture inside.
"_____!" America said in surprise as he watched you. "You didn't have to snatch it out of my hands like that and just throw it in a closet, you know."
"Yes, I did!" you yelled before you whipped around to look at him, taking deep breaths as you felt tears on the edges of falling from your eyes. "You weren't supposed to look at that picture if I didn't even tell you to enter the room until I was ready!"
"Okay, I'm sorry!" America said loudly as he raised his hands defensively. He still wanted to ask you about the picture, but based on how you were behaving after you had seen him with it, he figured it would've been best not to ask. A few moments of silence passed as the both of you continued to stand there, you staring at him with a look of hurt and anger as you continued breathing heavily. "I'm sorry," America said more softly as he dropped his hands back down to his sides. "I won't do it again, I promise."
"There won't be an 'again'," you muttered before you approached the box that stood between the both of you and kneeled down in front of it. A few minutes passed in silence before you let out a sigh and grasped the box, letting out a grunt as you stood back up, a little amazed at how heavy it was. "Here," you said quietly. "I need to put this box away somewhere, and I need your help."
America nodded, a bit thankful to be out of the situation he was in just moments before. "Okay."
"Here we are," you said as you and America paused in front of the door to his old storage room. It looked exactly as you remembered it all those months ago—old and worn out. You said to yourself that you weren't going to go in there ever again, but all you needed to do was quickly put the box you still held in your hands in the back of the room and quickly run back out before you would lock the door and keep the key, preventing America from entering there ever again.
America walked up to the storage room door before he ran his hand gently across it, frowning in confusion. "This door looks old." Turning to face you, he asked, "What is this place?"
You let out a sigh, trying not to let the lump in your throat keep you from speaking. "It...It's an old room. It has a lot of stuff left behind from the person who...used to live here."
America wanted to ask about the previous owner of the house and whether or not the both of them had some sort of connection, but instead, he let out a sigh before he turned his gaze back over to the door. "So...what do you want me to do again?"
You shifted the box in your hands to get a better grip on it before you took a step towards the door. "I need you to open the door and wait outside while I walk in the room and put the box down in the back." You shifted your gaze so that it was able to meet America's, and you narrowed your eyes. "You're to wait for me right here, outside. Got it?"
America slowly nodded, a tiny frown coming to his face. "Okay."
You took a deep breath before you closed your eyes. "Open the door."
He did as he was told, allowing you to walk into the dark, cold room. You opened your eyes, and it took one brief look around you for your throat to instantly tighten. In this room were the things from his past that America couldn't and wouldn't ever remember. All of this stuff was meaningless to him now.
You walked to the very back of the room, where you set the box down on the dusty floor, thankful to have that weight removed from your arms. You shifted your gaze to the side, and you felt tears slowly start to form in your eyes when you saw America's old toy soldiers in the exact place where the both of you had left them. That memory once again entered your brain, and you let out a sniff before you stood upright and wiped your face with the back of your fingers to get rid of any stray tears.
"Wow...this place is cool."
The sound of America's voice instantly made your eyes widen in shock and you whipped around to face him, finding him staring down at an old suit leaning against a pile of other old things with a look of interest on his face.
"What are you doing in here!?" you yelled to America, causing him to look up at you in surprise. "I clearly told you to wait outside!"
"Calm down!" America said, his voice slowly rising. "Why do you think there's something wrong with me going in here? It's not like I'm going to destroy any of this stuff or anything! So just relax!"
"I-I just...I—" You sighed before you dropped your gaze down to the ground. How were you able to explain to America that the reason you didn't want him in here was because it was going to be too painful for you and too confusing for him because it contained the remains of his old memory?
America looked around the storage room for a few more moments before he approached you and sat down on the dusty floor in front of the box. "There are a lot of old things in here. The person who lived here before seemed to have an interesting life."
You felt your throat clog with emotion, and you let out a tiny sigh after you figured America wasn't planning on leaving this room any time soon, so you sat down on the floor next to him.
"Yeah...he did," you murmured, drifting your gaze over to the box. It took all your strength not to let tears form in your eyes.
America drifted his gaze over to where the toy soldiers lay, and a surprised look came across his face. "Hey...what are these?" he asked before he pulled two soldiers out of the clutter of things and examined them under the somewhat poor lighting. A tiny smile came to his face. "These are pretty cool."
"Don't touch those," you said icily as you stared at the toys he held in his hands.
"Oh, sorry," America said, a tiny bit of irritation detectable in his voice as he put the soldiers back in their original places. Turning his head to look at you, a serious expression came across his face before he asked, "So, do you think you can tell me a little bit about the person who lived here before?"
You felt as if you had been stabbed in the heart. "D-Do I have to...?"
America let out something of an exhausted sigh. "Well, since I'm going to be the one living in this house, it would be nice to know."
You were silent for a significant amount of time, staring down at your hands, debating about whether or not you should've told America about his old self. Not that he had to know the person you were going to describe was his old self, anyway. You lifted your gaze so that it was able to meet his, and you saw him staring at you with that same serious face, and that was when you knew he was expectant on receiving a detailed answer from you, and you didn't really have a choice.
Finally, you sighed before you dropped your gaze back down to your hands, which were rested on your lap, and you began to fiddle with them. "W-Well, he lived here for a pretty long time," you began. "I knew him very well, too. He was always enthusiastic, optimistic, friendly, and he was always able to stay cheerful even if times were really hard. He had a somewhat rough past, and he had to break away from the person who had cared about him the most. He always told me stories of his childhood, and those memories always made me feel bad for him. But he was always able to pull it together and stay happy, and that was something that always made me happy."
You felt your voice start to break, and you had to clear your throat and swallow before you continued. "He had promised that he always would've been there to protect me, and I believed him. I always knew that whenever I was in trouble or in need of help I could've gone up to him and asked him for anything and he would've been there to support me, and that was something that I was always thankful for. He was sometimes loud and annoying, but I didn't mind at all, and while many people usually found negative things in him, I was only able to think of the positive. I knew that he was severely misunderstood, and I didn't treat him the way everyone else did. I was actually able to talk to him freely about my feelings, my personal issues, my problems, and he always gave me the support I needed...."
You were unable to continue when the lump in your throat became so great that you were no longer able to talk, and you shut your eyes tight, your body trembling, as you felt tears form in the edges of your eyes. "I trusted him," you whispered before you took in a deep, shaky breath, trying to calm your nerves.
When you opened your eyes and lifted your gaze to look up at America, you found that he was staring at you with a slightly saddened expression on his face. "He sounds like a great guy," he murmured.
"He was wonderful," you replied shakily, trying vainly not to show too much emotion in your voice.
"I have a question...about that...picture I saw in the room upstairs," America began a bit uncertainly, and you continued to stare at America with that same look of pure sadness, except a bit of tension was shown in the expression on your face.
"What is it?" you whispered reluctantly, bracing yourself for what was going to happen next.
"The...the, the guy...in the picture," America began, keeping his serious, confused gaze firmly fixed on you. "That...That was me, wasn't it? I mean, he looks a lot like—"
But America never got the chance to finish before your eyes widened and you felt the thinning stick inside you snap into pieces. "No!" you yelled suddenly, springing up from your seat and staring down at him with a look of pure anger and grief. "That wasn't you, and he isn't like you in any kind of damn way!" You pointed a finger at America, who was looking up at you in shock, as you felt tears form quickly in your eyes. "How dare you think that just because the both of you look the same, you have to be identical in every possible way? Because that's not true! I had actually looked up to him, I trusted him, he was always enthusiastic and just so...so great, and I always felt that my life was complete when I was with him, but it's not the same anymore, and it never will be! I actually believed that I had somebody to look after me and protect me whenever I was depressed, and he was always able to do that and I never even got the chance to properly thank him for everything he did to me! But then he just had to leave me to deal with my depression on my own, and then I...I...I...."
You shut your eyes tight and let out a chocked sob as tears fell freely down your face, and you clenched your hands into fists. "I just had to yell at him and kick him out of my house and cause him to get into an accident after everything he did to me, and it was all my fault! After all we'd been through together, after all we did for each other, after how much he supported me, after how kind he was to me, after all that he did for me! And he tried to say sorry, but I never got the chance to let him say even that, just like every other damn mistake I made in my pathetic life! He was so wonderful, so sweet, so caring...he wasn't like anybody I've ever met in my life! I trusted him, I supported him, I looked up to him, I admired him, I cherished him—"
Taking in a deep breath, you shouted, "I loved him!"
America continued to look up at you, his eyes wide in surprise, horror, disbelief, and shock as you buried your face in your hands and sobbed loudly, not caring about the fact that he was watching you cry.
"What happened to him?" he asked after a few seconds, his voice barely a whisper.
You removed your hands from your face and shut your eyes tight, taking in a deep breath. "He lost his memory!" you wailed before you turned on your heel and ran out of the room, slamming the door fiercely behind you and leaving America in darkness.
Even though it wasn't that cold in the room by that point, it felt as if his blood had froze. America continued to sit there, your words spinning around in his head, planting themselves into his brain. His heart pounded fiercely in his chest, and he was beginning to get a dull pain in his head. He lost his memory! Those words kept on bouncing around in his head, not having any meaning, until they finally buried themselves in his mind.
America's eyes widened as he continued to stare blankly in front of him, his body trembling, not caring about the fact that it was dark, that he had seen you cry for the very first time. All he could've cared about was how much pain you had gone through and all this time, he hadn't even known about it.
As he continued to sit there in silence, he was aware of a faintly familiar voice shouting in his head over and over, "Get out!"