You stood outside the door to America's room, your back pressed against the wall of the hospital's fifth floor hallway. Canada and England stood in front of you, and you were having a somewhat important discussion with them. It had been almost two weeks since you had last seen America, and this morning you had gotten a call from England saying that the hospital people confirmed that he was well enough to leave. The only problem was that based on how he constantly needed to be watched and barely seemed capable of doing things on his own, it seemed like he was going to need somebody to stay with and teach him enough basic things until he would've been able to live on his own in his old house once again.
Now, you were talking with Canada and England, deciding whose house out of the three of yours would've been suitable for America to live in.
"Why won't America live with you, Canada?" you asked, averting your eyes so that they were able to lock on him.
Canada looked at both you and England uncertainly, blushing in nervousness. "W-Why would he want to live with me?" he asked softly before he dropped his gaze down to the ground in shame. "He's probably going to forget who I am in only a few days."
"You're right," you said unfortunately. You drifted your gaze over to England, who was staring at the door to America's room with his arms crossed over his chest. "England, can America live with you?"
At that, England snapped his gaze away from the door and shifted it over to you, where he stared at you in surprise. "What? Why would you want him to live with me?"
You sighed and rolled your eyes. "You're acting as if it already isn't obvious. You took care of America before, so it shouldn't be any different now, especially since he lost his memory and he'll be acting way different than he was a month ago."
England sighed desolately before he dropped his gaze down to the ground, you staring at him expectantly. Finally, he lifted his head so that his gaze was able to meet yours, the sadness in his eyes replacing with irritation. "Why can't you just let America live with you?"
You felt your chest tighten in anxiety and your eyes slightly widen before you felt a lump start to form in your throat. "B-Because..." you murmured before you dropped your gaze down to the ground, "too many...painful memories...."
"And I suppose you think that letting America live in my house wouldn't bring back painful memories for me as well?" England retorted as he glared at you, dropping his hands down to his sides and clenching them into fists.
You lifted your gaze from the ground, staring at him in anger. "Well, you actually have experience of taking care of somebody, when I have none at all!" you said loudly, raising your voice so that it was almost a yell.
"Guys, guys..." Canada said, stepping in between the both of you and pushing you away from each other before an argument could've broken out. "We came here to discuss who America's going to be living with, not have an argument over it."
You sighed in annoyance before you pressed your back against the wall once again. "Fine," you muttered. "But I think it would be best if America goes and lives with England. What do you think, Canada?"
"I think that sounds like a great idea," Canada said, and the both of you shifted your gazes towards England, looking at him expectantly.
He moved his gaze so that it was briefly able to meet the both of yours before he groaned and crossed his arms. "Okay, if you two want it so bloody bad, I suppose I can...take care of America."
You smiled. "So it's settled, then. America's going to be living with England."
"But it's only until he knows how to manage living on his own," England said a bit bitterly. "After that, he can live in his own house."
You were a bit relieved that America wasn't going to be living with you. You didn't want his presence constantly making you depressed, and you didn't want to get into the kind of relationship you had with him before his memory was gone, and you figured the way to do that was to minimize the time you spent with him in the most efficient way possible.
A few days after America had gone off to live with England, you received a call from the Brit asking you to go over to America's old house and pick up a few of his clothes and bring them over to him. You didn't decline, since you saw it as an opportunity to step out of the house for a while and get some fresh air.
When you arrived at the front entrance to America's house, a somewhat large bag held tightly in one hand, you stopped, taking the time to look up and examine the place where he once used to live in all the time. This place became very familiar to you after all of the visits you took to spend time with him outside of meetings before.
You walked across America's front yard a bit cautiously, as if you felt the presence of someone watching you even though there was really nobody there. When you walked up the porch steps, you paused in front of the door, fiddling with your fingers in anxiety. Why did you all of a sudden feel so nervous just because you were entering a house you had already visited a thousand times?
You took a deep breath before you closed your eyes. It's okay, _____, you told yourself. I'm only going here to get some clothes and that's it. You took the few steps that were needed to grasp the doorknob, but when you pressed your other hand against the surface of the door and pushed, you were confused as to why it wasn't opening.
"Of course," you muttered to yourself. "America probably locked it before he went over to my house a couple of weeks ago." When you drifted your gaze down, your eyes slightly widened and an amused smile came to your face when you saw a red, white, and blue striped key sticking out from the keyhole in the door.
You chuckled to yourself before you turned the key and opened the door with your other hand. America forgot to take the key out of the keyhole before he came over to my house. But the humor that was evident on your face was replaced by guilt. He was probably in such a rush that he didn't even have time to take it out.
When you stepped inside America's house and closed the door behind you, you found yourself among many things that were still familiar to you. Just the sight of them made yet another lump start to form in your throat for what felt like the thousandth time that month.
You quickly shook your head and took a deep breath. I'm not here to cry, you thought to yourself. I'm here to get America's clothes.
You walked down the seemingly endless hallway of America's house, passing by several doors and rooms, still carrying your empty bag tightly with both hands. I wonder where America's bedroom is.... If you had ever stepped inside his bedroom, it only happened once and you didn't remember it. Many of the other doors led to places you were already familiar with, so you figured it wouldn't have been that hard for you to find the room you were looking for.
However, what made you stop in your tracks was a large, slightly worn out door that seemed to stand out from all the others right in the middle of the hallway. You paused, your gaze shifting to the side in its direction, before you finally turned your body around so that you were facing the door, your bag held tightly in front of you.
You let out a tiny gasp as a new wave of memories reluctantly entered your brain.
"What is this place?" you asked, curiosity detectable in your voice as you stood a few steps away from America as he hesitantly opened the door the what seemed to be a large, dark room. You shifted the stack of books that you held in both hands so that you were holding them in a more comfortable position. America had asked you if you wanted to help him put some things away in his storage room, and you agreed without hesitation. You've never seen his storage room before, and you were a bit curious to see what it looked like.
"This is my storage room," America said before he took a few steps forward and patted the door gently with his hand as if to prove his point.
Your eyes widened. "Really? But it looks a bit old..."
America let out a tiny chuckle, and you were able to notice a hint of sadness in it. "Yeah, well, there's just a lot of old stuff in here."
You nodded. "Oh, okay." You didn't need him to give you permission to go inside before you took a few steps forward so that you were standing at the doorway, the light from out in the hallway entering the seemingly empty room. Your mouth slightly dropped open in surprise when you saw a lot of old stuff in that room, and you admitted you never thought America would've kept this many things in such an old-looking place.
"You can just put those books in that corner over there," America said, pointing his finger towards an empty space, and you shifted your gaze so that you were able to fix your eyes on the spot he was talking about. "Thanks for helping me out, _____."
"Oh, no problem!" you said happily before you slowly and a bit hesitantly walked into the room. It was pretty dark in there, but you were able to make out a bunch of stuff you had never seen before, making you a bit curious to go up close and see what they were. But your arms were getting tired from holding a fairly large stack of books for so long, and you had to put them down first.
Once you finally approached the empty corner and set the books down on the dusty floor, you shifted your gaze so that they were able to focus on what seemed like a cluster of wooden, painted toy soldiers that you had never seen before.
"Aww!" you said, a smile coming to your face before you reached forward and picked one up, blowing dust away from it and squinting so that you were able to examine it closely. "This is so cute!" After looking at the soldier for a few seconds, you set it back down to where it belonged and reached down with both hands to pick up and look at two more, amazed by the fact that each one looked different. "America, I never knew you had these!" you said as you continued to look at the toy soldiers.
"_____, what are you looking at?" America asked before he entered the storage room and walked over to you, pausing a few feet away from you.
You turned around and looked up so that you were able to meet his gaze, still holding the two soldiers tightly with both hands. "Just some toy soldiers that I found next to the corner over here." You lifted a hand to show the soldier that it was holding to America. "How come you never showed me these?"
A few moments passed in silence, and that was when you were able to notice the confusion in America's gaze be replaced by sadness, making your chest tighten in anxiety and the amusement in your eyes to drain. "_____," he said quietly, "why would you look at those?"
You lowered your hand so that it was able to rest on your lap as you continued looking up at America in confusion and a bit of regret, starting to think that maybe looking at those toy soldiers wasn't such a good idea. "Well, I was just curious," you said steadily. "I've never seen them before, and I wanted to see what they looked like."
A few more moments passed in silence before America sighed and bent down next to you before he took one toy soldier in his hand and looked down at it sadly. "These toy soldiers were a gift to me from...England," he said to you quietly. "He gave them to me when I was still a kid, and I used to play with them all the time..."
"Oh..." you murmured softly before you set the soldiers that were in your two hands back where they belonged. "I never realized that you would've kept something like this throughout all these years."
"I actually have a lot of stuff from my childhood," America said a bit dejectedly. "This storage room has a lot of all my stuff that I meant to throw away but could never find the courage to."
"I see..." you said. A few moments passed in silence as you drifted your gaze across what seemed like every part of the storage room. You found old clothes, old furniture, so much old stuff that you had no idea America would've thought about keeping them throughout all these years. Finally, you let your gaze settled back to him as he still kept his depressed gaze fixed on the toy soldiers. "Why couldn't you find the courage to throw any of this stuff out?" you asked America softly after a few more moments of silence.
America sighed before he closed his eyes desolately, making you realize that you had never seen him so upset before. "It's just...every time I want to clean this place out, I would look through some stuff and all the memories of my childhood would come back. It made me happy to know that there was once a time that England wasn't always yelling me and acting so mean towards me like he is now. I always feel like I don't want to get rid of my life before I became independent from him, 'cause it would only make me more upset than I already am."
"Oh..." you said softly as you continued to sit there next to America, watching as he opened his eyes and looked down at his hands, which were rested on his lap and for a moment, you could've sworn you saw tears form in his eyes.
Before you could've had any second thoughts, you crawled over to him and wrapped your arms around him, resting your cheek against his shoulder and causing him to go stiff in surprise and a deep blush to quickly make its way to his face. "I'm sorry, America," you murmured as you closed your eyes. "You don't deserve to go through all of this sadness just because of some memories."
After recovering from his initial surprise, America sighed before he shifted in place so that you were resting comfortably in his lap before he wrapped his arms around you as well. "I-It's okay, _____," he said quietly. "Right now I'm actually feeling a lot better than I was before." You lifted your head so that you were able to look up and meet his gaze, and when you did, he gave you a tiny smile. "Thanks for keeping me happy, _____. I don't know what I'd do without you."
A tiny blush came to your cheeks before you leaned your head against his chest and slowly closed your eyes, feeling like you could've fallen asleep in the warmth of America's arms wrapped around you. "So..." you began quietly after a few moments of silence. "Are we going to sit in here all day or are we going to leave?"
America laughed before he stood up and picked you up bridal style, causing you to gasp in shock and your face to turn a deep shade of red. "A-America! What are you doing?"
America shifted his gaze to the side so that it was able to meet your flustered one, and he winked. "The hero always carries the damsel in distress!" he said enthusiastically before he led you out of the storage room.
Not that you were complaining, anyway.
You stared at the door to the storage room, your gaze blank and unfocused. Finally, you snapped out of your trance and instantly felt your body fill with sadness. You removed one hand from your bag and lifted it to your cheek.
Why does my face feel damp? you thought to yourself. You raised your hand once again so that it was able to wipe your eye, and when you brought it back down, you saw it stained with tears.
Had you really been crying without being aware of it?
You felt your lower lip quiver as you grasped your bag tightly with both hands once again and stared down at the ground. Just thinking about past memories you had with America before the accident was enough to make you cry. But you quickly shook your head before you hastily walked away from the storage room door, reminding yourself never to go in there again.