Although you had gotten only a few hours of sleep, you didn't feel tired at all as you drove towards the hospital that Canada told you about during your conversation with him through the phone. You kept your frightened gaze fixed on the road as you continued to drive in the night. The roads were empty, except for a few occasional cars here and there, and the rain was so hard that it made it difficult for you to see the road, but you didn't care.
You were aware of your sweaty palms slipping against your tight grip on the steering wheel as you felt panic fill your body and a million questions race through your head. America had gotten into a car accident...but how? It was late at night and there were hardly any cars out at the time you kicked him out of his house. It wasn't like he was drunk or anything! But maybe some other idiot was, and their car collided with his.
But the cause of the accident was not what you worried about the most. What if America broke a bone or something else? What if his injuries were so severe that he would've had to stay in the hospital for months or even more? Oh god...what if he was dead?
You refused to think about that thought any longer. You refused to think of what would've happened if America was dead until you got to the hospital and saw him yourself. You refused to have any other kinds of thoughts about what condition he might've been in. All you cared about right now was getting to the hospital.
Once you entered the parking lot of the hospital that you believed was the right one that Canada was talking about and found a good enough parking space not too far from its entrance, you grabbed your umbrella and pulled it out just as you stepped out of your car. You opened your umbrella and closed your car door fiercely before you took the short walked that was needed to get to the hospital's front doors. It was rather cold outside, and you weren't really aware of the weather recently, so you quickly started to shiver.
By the time you arrived inside the hospital, you were freezing and partially wet. When you asked for Alfred F. Jones, a receptionist told you his room was located on the fifth floor. You didn't know if you got the exact room number in your head, but you would've figured something out once you got there.
Once you took the elevator that led you up to the fifth floor and began walking down the incredibly long hallway, you felt the worry and panic that was in your body get greater and greater. With each step you took, you were able to feel your chest get tighter in fear and your heart rate increase. You kept on thinking over and over about what had happened to America and whether or not he was okay.
As you continued walking down the hallway, looking briefly through each door to see if America might've been one of them, you were aware of a small figure standing against a wall a good enough distance away from you, and there was someone else standing next to him. You paused, taking the time to examine those people from the long distance you were away from them to see if they might've been familiar. After a few seconds passed, you finally felt some of the worry inside you release when you realized that it was France and Japan.
"Guys!" you yelled, not even bothering to know if anyone else heard, as you quickened your pace until you broke off into a run. At the sound of your voice, they both turned their heads in your direction, and you skidded to a halt when you were only a few feet away from them.
"Oh, _____, there you are," Japan said quietly, watching you as you took deep breaths to try and calm yourself from your running.
Once you finally stood upright and regained most of your breath, you shifted your gaze so that you were able to stare at him and France. Although they seemed to look calmer than you were, you were still able to notice worry visible in their eyes.
Your gaze finally settled on France, and once it did, you clenched your hands into fists and looked up at him pleadingly. "I-Is America okay...?" you asked nervously, your voice slightly trembling.
He sighed as he ran a hand through his hair and leaned back so that his back was pressed against the wall. "I don't know, mon cher," he said quietly. "I just don't know."
You let out a small groan before you moved your gaze to Japan, who was staring down at the floor. "What room is he in, Japan?" you asked him, the worry in your voice becoming a lot more detectable than it was before.
Japan lifted his head so that he was able to meet your gaze briefly before he calmly raised a finger and pointed it towards a closed door across from them. "He's in that one," he said. "Are you sure you wish to see him?"
"Yes, I'm sure!" you said a bit too forcefully before you quickly ran over to the door and fiercely opened it, your heart beating at an abnormally fast rate. Once you saw the scene displayed in front of you, you could've sworn that your heart almost got caught in your throat.
The room wasn't that big, but it had all sorts of machines that you've never seen before. You were able to spot England and Canada as they stood on either side of a bed that was a few feet away from the door, looking down with worried eyes. You let your gaze shift a little bit so that you were able to see the person lying on the bed, and once you did, you felt your throat tighten and a great amount of panic fill your body. There, on the bed, with the sheets covering him up to his chest, was America. His eyes were closed and he didn't have his glasses, and he seemed to be breathing. But what shocked you the most was the large bandage that was wrapped around the top of his head, and you could've sworn that you almost fainted when you saw the large amount of blood it had already collected. A monitor was set up that kept track of his heart rate, and so far, it was making steady beeps.
At the sound of the door opening, both England and Canada turned their gazes away from America and up to you. "Oh, _____," Canada said softly, and you were able to notice that his cheeks were stained with tears.
You shifted your gaze so that it was able to meet theirs for a brief amount of time before you took a few steps forward so you were standing directly next to America's bed. Once you looked down at him and carefully examined his face, you could've sworn you would've broken down into tears. He looked so calm, so peaceful...yet it pained you to see him like this. You wanted those blue eyes to open, for him to assure to that he would've been there for you and everything would've been okay, just like he always had.
Quickly, before the tears that were already in your eyes were able to make their way down your face, you lifted your head to look up at England. "Is he...going to be okay?" you asked him, your voice barely more than a whisper.
England shifted his gaze so that it was able to meet yours, and once it did, he let out an exhausted sigh before he looked down at the floor and shook his head. "I don't know, _____," he said quietly. "The doctor said he was in critical condition."
You felt your throat tighten up to the point where it became impossible for you to speak. You lowered your gaze so that it was able to lock with America. Without thinking, you reached out so that you were able to tightly grasp his hand, which was resting comfortably on top of the sheets. It felt so warm, so big compared to yours. That was when you realized that you had never even held his hand. This was the very first time, and it occurred in a hospital while he was unconscious, unable to even feel your weak, trembling hand pressing against his. You had always imagined the first time you held America's hand being in a very peaceful, calm setting. You never imagined it would've been in a hospital where he wasn't even able to feel it and you were on the verge of breaking down in tears.
As you continued to stand there, your hand tightly grasping America's, a sudden thought entered your mind that made your chest tighten and guilt fill your entire body.
This whole situation was your fault.
It was your fault that you had yelled at America instead of just letting him apologize and having the situation settled. It was your fault that you had forced him to get out of your house and then slammed the door in his face. It was your fault that he had been forced to drive in such bad conditions and then get into a car accident where you weren't even sure whether he was going to live or not. He was a goddamned country, for heaven's sake! People like him don't just die because of a serious wound to the head!
You wished that you were able to go back in time and reverse this situation. You wanted to apologize for getting America into this mess, even though a part of you knew that he was to blame as well. But you didn't want to think about that. The only thing that you were able to think about was that it was your fault. It was your fault that there was a possibility that America might've died.
I'm sorry....you thought as you continued to tightly grasp his hand, trying hard to fight back the tears that threatened to make their way down your cheeks. You continued to stare at America, praying over and over that at any second, his eyes would've opened and he would've been alert to the world and you would've finally gotten the chance to tell him that you were sorry for everything that happened and you just wanted him to be okay. It pained you more and more to stare at the quiet expression on America's face, but somehow you found it impossible to take your gaze away from him.
The only thing that made you remove your eyes from America's calm face was the sound of the door opening and footsteps entering the room. You lifted your gaze and looked up towards the door in time to spot France and Japan enter the room, both carrying worried looks on their faces.
"How is he?" France asked as he took a few steps forward so that he was able to stand next to America's bed and look down at him.
Canada sighed before he shook his head sadly. "He doesn't seem to be improving."
You dropped your gaze back down to America, your heart overwhelmed with sadness. You would've given anything in the world to have his eyes open and assure everyone, especially you, that he was going to get better. You no longer cared that he had ignored you and your depression and didn't come to help you when you needed him. You no longer cared that you had yelled at him and kicked him out of your house. You no longer cared that you had lost your trust in him and no longer thought of him as your friend. You wanted to put all that behind you and think only about how much you cared about him, how much you wanted him to recover as soon as possible.
You heard a new pair of footsteps enter the room, and you and the others lifted their heads to look at a nurse holding a clipboard. She paused a few feet in front of them, meeting their gazes for just a few seconds, before she dropped her gaze down to her clipboard and once again lifted her head to look at them.
"I'm sorry," she said in a low, professional voice. "There are too many visitors in this room at this hour for it to be acceptable." She took a few steps forward so that she was able to look down at America. "Only a maximum of two visitors can stay in this room now."
Japan sighed softly before he walked over to you and put his hand on your shoulder. "Come on, _____," he said to you as you continued to stare down at America. "Let's go and leave England and Canada with America."
You snapped your gaze up and turned your head to the doorway, where you saw that France was already leaving. You closed your eyes and let out a long, exhausted sigh before you took one last look down at America. "Fine," you murmured, your voice chocked through the lump in your throat as you turned around and made your way towards the door, too heartbroken to even look back at America's still figure anymore.
For the next few days that followed the car crash that put America in the hospital, you were surrounded by a thick aura of misery and guilt that seemed even worse than the depression you had just weeks before. You often locked yourself away in your room, your body buried under the covers of your bed. The lump in your throat hardly ever seemed to go away, and if it did, it always came back with vengeance. A part of you wanted to cry over everything that happened, but you forced yourself to stay strong. After all, crying wasn't going to speed up America's recovery. You kept on waiting, waiting for someone to call you and give you updates on America's condition. You wanted the call to say how he had opened his eyes and was recovering. You didn't want the call to say that he had passed away. You didn't want him to die.
One afternoon almost a week after you made your trip to the hospital, you sat on the couch in the living room, staring blankly at the TV, your head hurting as well as your throat. Your eyes felt like heavyweights, even though you had started to sleep excessively. So far, you haven't gotten any updates on America's condition, and you thought about seriously calling the hospital to ask. You were so worried deep inside that you felt like you were going to jump out of your skin.
But what made you jump was the sudden ringing of your phone on the coffee table, causing surprise to quickly take over your body. With a trembling hand, you leaned forward and grasped the phone before you turned it on and pressed it to your ear. "Hello?" you asked, your voice dull and bleary.
"_____!" said an excited, quiet voice through the phone.
"Yeah?" you asked with the same tone. "Who is it?"
"It's Canada," the voice said again, a bit softer this time.
"Canada?" That name didn't ring a bell in your head at first, but once you recognized who the voice belonged to, a tiny smile came to your face. "Oh! You're America's brother, right?"
Canada let out an exhausted sigh before he answered. "Yes. _____, I'm at the hospital right now with England, and I have some good news...."
"Good news?" you asked as you excitedly sprang up from your spot on the couch, your eyes sparkling with hope and happiness. "What good news?"
"America finally opened his eyes!" Canada said. "But it was only for a couple of seconds before he fell asleep. He actually looked at me! The doctor said that his condition's improving, although none of us are sure how long he'll have to stay here...."
"Really?" you asked, barely able to contain your excitement. "Canada, that's great! It's way better than staying unconscious for a week. Did the doctor say that he's going to survive?"
"W-Well, we're not sure yet...." Canada said, the happiness in his voice disappearing. "But based on what the doctor said about his condition, there's a good chance he might."
You let out a relieved sigh as the smile on your face grew by a considerable amount. "Is it okay if I come to the hospital to see how he is?"
"Of course, _____," Canada said softly.
"Okay. Thanks, Canada!" you said happily before you hung up and began to dress. You were so relieved that America's condition was finally improving. You hoped that within a few days, you would've been able to apologize for everything that happened last week and hopefully get him to believe that you still trusted him.
When you arrived at the hospital and opened the door to America's room, you spotted Canada standing next to his bed and looking down at him expectantly and England staring out the window of the room with his back facing you. Your gaze settled on America, and your hopefulness drooped by just a little bit when you found that his eyes were closed. But the good thing was that he no longer looked as pale as he did when you saw him last week. The bandage that was wrapped around his head previously was removed, and you almost cringed in disgust at the sight of a large, deep scar showing across part of his forehead.
You slowly approached Canada so that you were able to pause directly next to him before you lowered your gaze so that it was able to lock with America. "How is he?"
At the sudden sound of your voice, Canada jumped slightly in surprise before he lifted his head and looked at you. "Oh, _____, I didn't see you there," he said, his voice slightly trembling. After a few seconds passed and you continued to keep your gaze fixed on America, he turned his gaze down as well. "America seems to be getting better. He didn't open his eyes after I called you, but he's probably sleeping right now."
"That's good," you sighed in relief. Having him sleep was a thousand times better than having him unconscious. "Maybe he'll be well enough to leave the hospital by the end of the week."
"I don't think that would be likely," England said from his spot in front of the window, making you and Canada turn around to gaze at him. Once he noticed your eyes fixed on him, he shifted his gaze away form the window and turned around to face the both of you. When he caught the confusion in your eyes, he tapped his fingers against the windowsill. "America got into a very severe accident and his injuries aren't light. Just because he regained some of his consciousness doesn't mean that he'll suddenly get well enough to leave the hospital and resume living on his own within a few days."
"Oh..." you murmured as you drifted your gaze down to your feet. "But if he's a country, doesn't that mean that he'll heal quicker...?"
"Yes, but it doesn't make a difference in this situation," England replied. "His recovery will still be fairly slow, especially since he seems to have sustained severe head injuries."
"Uh huh..." you said quietly as you continued to keep your gaze locked on your feet. A few moments passed in silence until you heard a low, tiny moan.
At the sound of the noise, you lifted your head and shifted your gaze to look at Canada. "Canada, did you just make that noise?" you asked as you raised a finger and pointed it in his direction.
He looked at you, tilting his head slightly to one side in confusion before he shook his head. "Um...no. That wasn't me...."
You lowered your hand and dropped it to your side, blinking once before your eyes widened and your heart rate increased. Instantly, you snapped your gaze down so that it was able to fix on America, who had a slightly uncomfortable expression on his face as he began to squirm in place.
"He's waking up!" you said, clasping your hands together in excitement. At that instant, England drew his gaze away from the window and took a few steps forward so that he was standing next to you. The three of you kept your gazes fixed on America as he continued to squirm until he finally grew still and slightly opened his glossy blue eyes.
You held your breath, your heart pounding fiercely as you kept your hands clenched tightly into fists, watching as America blinked a few times before he fully opened his eyes. Slowly, he shifted his gaze so that it was able to settle on the three of your for a brief second before it fixed on the ceiling.
Your eyes widened as you continued to stare at America as he kept on staring at the ceiling. His voice seemed different somehow...it seemed more distant and quiet and deep. A part of you felt like you never heard it before.
"A-America..." you murmured quietly before you lifted a hand and gently moved it in his direction. "Are you...okay?"
"Blurry..." America said softly as he blinked a few times. "Everything's...blurry..."
"Oh, I think I can fix that," Canada said quietly before he lifted his hands to his face and grasped his glasses. He took them off before he leaned forward so that he was carefully able to put them on America. "You should be able to see better now, America."
America blinked again before he slowly closed his eyes, opening them a few seconds later as he kept his gaze fixed on the ceiling. "What's...America...?"
"Alfred!" you said quickly, laughing a bit nervously as you rested your hands firmly on the edges of his bed. "Never mind America...you don't need to know about that right now." You figured that America's memory was probably a little hazy from the car accident, but you figured that after a few minutes of recollection he would've been fine.
"Oh...is that my name?" he asked a bit hazily, his gaze clouding with confusion once again.
After a few brief seconds of silence, England let out a slightly irritated sigh as he ran a hand through his hair. "Yes, Alfred," he said, a bit of annoyance in his voice. "I figured you would've already known that by now."
"Oh..." America murmured softly before he lifted his head from the pillow and propped himself up on his elbows. He took a few moments to move his gaze so that it was able to briefly meet the three of yours, and when his gaze settled on you, you could've sworn that your heart almost got caught in your throat.
"...Who are you people?" America asked as he continued examining all of you.
"What do you mean who are we?" you yelled suddenly. "I'm _____!" you yelled as you pointed to yourself before you moved your hand in England and Canada's direction. "And this is Arthur and Matthew!" You had only expected he wouldn't remember who Canada was, since nobody these days seemed to, but not remembering all three of you? Was America pulling off some kind of joke on you or something? Because it certainly wasn't funny.
"Stop trying to be funny by pretending you don't know who we are!" you yelled as you leaned forward so that your face was only inches away from America's frightful one. "Because seriously, you're starting to scare me half to death!"
America instantly scrambled away from you so that his back was pressed against the wall and a slight frown came to his face. "You don't have to yell right in my ear..." he said quietly, a bit of annoyance in his voice as he continued to stare at you.
At that instant, you realized what you had done was totally wrong. America had just woken up, and his last memory was probably that of you yelling at him. Now he had just woken up after a whole week of being unconscious, and you were yelling at him again. You didn't want him to be even more upset at you than he already was. You had vowed to yourself that you were going to apologize as soon as he had woken up and was feeling fine, and now seemed like a good place to get a bit of a start.
"Oh, I'm sorry Alfred..." you murmured as you lifted a hand and began moving it towards his for comfort.
"Don't touch me," America said quietly but fiercely as he moved his hand away from you. When you looked at him in surprise and a bit of guilt, he continued. "Why would I let you touch me if I don't even know who you are...?"
"Why are you acting as if you don't remember any of us?" you asked a bit loudly, panic starting to edge in your voice.
"Because I can't!" America cried out, causing you to take a step back in surprise. "Why do you keep on pressuring me to know who you are when I don't?"
"Alfred..." Canada whispered as he kept his gaze locked on America. "Please, I'm not joking when I ask you this....Are you sure you really don't remember who any of us are?"
"No," America said before he drifted his gaze down to the sheets, the frown still prominent on his face. "I already said before that I don't."
At that, you felt your throat slowly start to tighten. There was just no way that America lost his memory. After all, the crash didn't seem so bad enough to have it wiped out, right? And if he was a country, it might've taken him a relatively quick amount of time to regain his memory, right? He wouldn't have had to spend days and days trying to recollect everything that happened, right? He was probably acting weird because he had just fully woken up not too long ago. Surely after a few minutes he would've been able to remember everything that happened. You absolutely refused to believe that he wouldn't.
After a few seconds of confusion, you heard the creak of the door opening and removed your gaze from America, lifting it so that you were able to look at the same nurse who was here last week and told you to leave enter the room.
"Excuse me!" you said as you ran up to her and grasped her by her shoulders, causing her to stare at you with eyes wide in surprise. "Why is Alfred acting like he had only met us?" you asked loudly, causing her to slightly flinch. "Why is he acting like everything is new to him and everything from his memory got wiped out?"
After a few seconds, the nurse grasped your hands and roughly shoved them off of her shoulders before she stood upright and approached America, pausing when she was standing right next to his bed. She took a few moments to gaze down at him, watching as he kept his eyes fixed on the sheets, before she lifted her head and met the gazes of you, England, and Canada.
"I'm sorry," she said softly, her gaze instantly filling with sadness. "The car accident was so harsh that it caused a severe trauma to Alfred's brain..."
You felt your heart skip a beat and you clenched your hands into fists, aware of Canada and England as they kept their gazes fixed on you and the nurse. "So?" you asked, your voice filled with panic and fear. "What does that mean?"
The nurse sighed before she closed her eyes in defeat. "He doesn't remember anything of his life that happened before the crash. All of his memories are gone."