You stood with your back pressed against the wall, tapping your foot a bit impatiently against the fancy carpet floor. You were standing in the hallway of the floor of the building where the meeting was supposed to be held, and you were waiting for England to arrive with America. You had convinced England to come shortly before the meeting started so they wouldn't have had to spend so much time waiting for all the other countries to get there. Besides, you figured, if America was going to remember everything that happened before the crash just by looking at the countries, he had to do it in a way that would've captured all of them and all the memories that went along with them instead of one at a time.
You continued to stand there for the next few minutes or so, examining your nails and looking down at your feet, until you finally lifted your head and shifted it to the side so that you were able to stare down the hallway. Instantly, your gaze brightened when you saw two figures heading in your direction, and you immediately recognized who they were.
A tiny smile made its way to your face as you removed yourself from the wall and began to walk in the direction of America and England, walking slightly faster with every step you took.
"Guys!" you said a bit loudly as soon as you were in earshot of the both of them. Once the three of you walked towards each other at a close enough distance, you stopped when you were only a few feet away from them.
"Hello, Arthur," you said to England after you shifted your gaze over to him and gave him a tiny nod. It felt a bit strange calling him by his human name, but you already agreed that you were going to call everybody by their human names whenever America was around so it wouldn't have confused him.
After you shifted your gaze to the side and looked up so that you were staring directly into the eyes of America, you felt your heart rate increase and your throat slowly tighten. You forced yourself not to start crying, and instead you cleared your throat and gave him a tiny smile. "Good morning, A-Alfred," you stammered softly, suddenly finding it difficult to find anything else to say.
"Good day to you, Miss _____," America said politely before he extended his hand out towards you, making you go thunderstruck once again and subconsciously shake it, giving him a blank stare.
America's acting way too different than he was before! you thought with a bit of concern. This was barely even America anymore. This was just some guy with glasses and a weird cowlick who looked like America but acted so formal and respectful.
After America finally released your hand and dropped his back down to his side, a few long moments passed in silence during which you had dropped your gaze down to the floor. Finally, he cleared his throat and spoke quietly. "So, Miss _____, er...Mr. Kirkland never told me exactly why we're all here. If you don't mind, can you please tell me why?"
At the sound of his voice, you instantly snapped your gaze away from the floor and lifted it to meet America's. "O-Oh," you began softly, a bit uncertain of what you were going to say next. "W-Well there are meetings that me and Mr. Kirkland attend, and since you were behaving good, he decided to...bring you along?" You felt your cheeks turn red and you fidgeted slightly in embarrassment when you realized how stupid your explanation sounded.
But instead, America only nodded and briefly shifted his gaze over to England, who was staring down at the ground, before he moved it back to meet yours. "Oh, alright."
After a few more awkward moments of silence, England looked down at his watch before he cleared his throat and spoke. "It's about time we started to head towards the meeting room. The conference will be starting in a few minutes."
You nodded before you turned around and began to head towards the direction of the meeting room, America and England following not too far behind.
When the three of you finally reached the door to the conference room, you paused in front of it, and when you leaned slightly forward, you were able to hear the sounds of the other countries that had already arrived.
Just as England was about to open the door to the meeting room, you halted him with a quick motion of your hand, and you shifted your gaze over to America, who had a fairly eager look on his face.
"Um, Alfred," you began as you put your hand on his shoulder, feeling him go slightly stiff, "I believe it would be better if you stay outside here for the next few minutes while Mr. Kirkland and I go to the conference."
At that, America looked at you and a disappointed look crossed his face. "Why do you think that?" he asked a bit impatiently, but quietly. "It's not like I'll be disruptive in any way, and I want to see everyone else who's in there, too."
You sighed before you looked down at the ground and removed your hand from his shoulder. "I understand, but for the first few minutes we need you to stay out here. As soon as you'll be allowed to go inside, I'll come out and let you know when you can go in, okay?"
America pouted slightly before he drifted his gaze off to the side. "Fine."
You slowly lifted your gaze to look up at him, and as soon as you caught the expression on his face, you couldn't have helped but let out a tiny, somewhat saddened smile. You remembered how America always used to pout if you didn't allow him to do something that he had previously wanted, and this had always made you giggle at his childishness. Now, seeing him act in a way slightly similar to this made some of the depression you had had over his memory loss reappear.
As soon as you entered the meeting room closely following behind England and closed the door behind you, your gaze instantly swept across all the countries that already had taken their seats in the large room. Almost all of them were occupied, except for yours, England's, and of course, America's.
"There you two are," Germany said as you and England took your seats. "The meeting is just about to begin." A few moments passed in silence, and after everyone seemed more or less settled and a silence swept through the room, Germany's gaze briefly drifted so that it was able to momentarily focus on all the countries in the room before his eyes settled on you. "Where is America?"
At that, everyone's gazes instantly snapped over to you, including England's, and you felt your heart once again pound in anxiety before you felt a lump start to form in your throat. I'm not going to cry, you repeated in your head. I have to say what needs to be said without getting too emotional.
Your gaze dropped down to your hands, which were placed on your lap, before you began to fiddle with them. "He's not here," you whispered quietly.
"And why is that so?" Germany asked, and you were able to notice a bit of irritation in his voice as you felt his gaze burn into you.
"Because...he lost his memory!" you said loudly as you lifted your head and fiercely met the gaze of Germany.
At that, murmurs and gasps of shock arose from many of the nations, but he remained still. "That's impossible," he said, the annoyance in his voice increasing. "What makes you believe that America lost his memory?"
"Because he did!" you cried as you stood up from your seat and slammed your hands down on the table, more out of grief than frustration. "He got into a car accident after he left my house and ended up getting put in the hospital, and he got a trauma to the head that was so severe that he doesn't remember anything of what happened in his life before the crash!"
A few seconds of silence passed, almost everyone in the room staring at you in shock, before England cleared his throat, causing the countries to shift their gazes over to him. "_____ is telling the truth," he said quietly. "I was with her in America's room in the hospital right after he got into the accident."
"I was there, too," Canada said softly as he closed his eyes and stood up from his seat, and for the first time in a long time, everybody noticed him. "I was there when the nurse walked in and said America couldn't remember anything before the accident."
"You can't possibly be serious," Germany said quietly as he shifted his gaze over to Canada.
Surprised by the fact that at least one person in the meeting room had actually noticed him, Canada was silent for a few moments before he opened his eyes and moved his gaze over to meet Germany's. "Would I lie about what happened to my brother?" he asked quietly.
A few seconds passed in silence, a slightly perplexed look on Germany's face, before he finally closed his eyes and let out a long, exhausted sigh. "Alright," he said, a bit of defeat in his voice. "I suppose now would be a good time to start the meeting."
"Wait!" you said suddenly, causing Germany to open his eyes and lift his gaze to meet yours. "You wouldn't mind if I bring America into the meeting room, do you?"
"No," he said after a few seconds of silence. "Do as you wish."
You nodded before you turned around, walked over to the door, and opened it, expecting to see America patiently waiting for you. But when you took a brief look around, you felt your heart rate increase and your chest tighten in worry.
He wasn't there.
"Alfred!" you called, hoping you would've gotten a reply. When all was quiet, you tried calling out his name again, but when silence greeted you once again, you turned around and stepped back into the meeting room, your eyes slightly wide in panic. "America's not here!" you called out anxiously.
"What do you mean he's not here?" England asked as he shifted his gaze over to you, a bit of irritation in his voice.
You shrugged before you fidgeted in nervousness. "I don't know. I told him to wait for me outside in the hall until I would've allowed him to come inside but now he's not there...!"
"Well, go and find him!" England said, and to you it seemed more like an order than a suggestion. "Who knows what kind of trouble America might get himself into?"
You nodded, not even bothering to look at any of the other confused countries, before you turned on your heel and ran out the door, slamming it fiercely behind you.
It seemed like you had been running endlessly, searching through every room, every hallway, every floor of the building, calling out America's name over and over again. A million thoughts began to race through your head, and you almost felt just as worried as you were when you were driving to the hospital after you heard that America had gotten into a car accident. Why did he leave his spot next to the door to the meeting room? Why didn't he listen to you? Where did he go? What if he gets lost and you'll never find him? What if he accidentally wanders outside and gets hit by a car?
After you have checked through every floor and were now standing in the very back of the building on the first floor, you pressed your forehead against the wall in worry. You had looked everywhere, and you still couldn't find America. You prayed over and over that he would've somehow managed to find his own way back to the meeting room, but that seemed highly unlikely since this was his very first time in this gigantic place and he could've easily gotten lost.
You groaned before you approached a window and stared out of it, your mood brightening by just a little bit when you saw a beautiful garden located in the back of the building. Actually, you never knew that this place even had some kind of a garden, let alone a backyard.
That was still one place you had not checked yet. You felt your heart increase its pace in hope when you realized that there was still a chance that you would find America.
You walked over to the back door, located not too far from where you were standing in front of the window, before you reached out to grasp the doorknob and slowly opened the door, feeling a blast of warm air and sunlight hit your face.
"Alfred?" you called after you stepped outside, shut the door behind you, and proceeded walking forward, looking around for any signs of America.
"Miss _____?" a voice asked after a few moments of silence, and when you squinted against the bright sunlight and looked ahead, your panic instantly faded when you saw America standing next to a patch of flowers, his head turned in your direction so that he was looking directly at you.
"Alfred!" you yelled before you ran up to him, skidding to a halt a few feet in front of him to prevent yourself from crashing into him.
"Hello, Miss _____," America said happily before he turned around so that his body was facing you before he gave you a smile. "What brings you here?"
You put your hands on your hips and glared at him. "Alfred, I want to know why you thought it was right to wander off to where you're not supposed to when I clearly told you to stay put! When I walked out into the hall and saw that you weren't there, I was in a panic!"
America let out a tiny laugh before he rubbed the back of his neck with his hand. "Well, I needed to use the bathroom, and after I came out, I got a little bit curious of what the rest of this place looked like, so I kind of wandered away from where I was supposed to be, and I ended up here..."
You huffed before you crossed your arms and frowned. "Alfred, you know better than to go off somewhere without me or Mr. Kirkland knowing. Who knows what could've happened to you if you went off somewhere else? You could've gotten hit by a car!"
America removed his hand from his neck and dropped it to his side before he looked at you and frowned. "Miss _____, that wouldn't happen," he said firmly. "I believe I would know better than to walk right into the direction of a moving car."
At that, you felt your throat tighten as soon as your mind registered America's words. He said that he knew better than to get into a car accident, yet he still somehow got into one before, and the thought pained you. Still, before you could've exposed too much of your inner emotions in front of him, you only cleared your throat and looked away. "Still, I was worried about your safety."
"Really?" America asked, and when you noticed surprise in his voice, you shifted your gaze over to him.
"Of course," you said as if it was already obvious. "Why would you think otherwise?"
He was quiet for the next few seconds before he lowered his gaze and replied. "Well, I figured since Mr. Kirkland was the one who was caring for me, he would've been the one who was the most concerned."
"Oh, he was worried, too," you said simply. "A lot of us were worried, especially since we know that you lost your mem—I mean...since we know that this is your first time going inside a big building like this...."
A few seconds of silence passed before America nodded in understanding and lifted his gaze so that it was able to lock with yours. "I see. Thank you for telling me, Miss _____. I promise I won't do anything like this again."
You nodded. "Good." The two of you continued to stand there for the next few moments, staring into each others eyes, and you felt a sudden sensation start to stir inside you as you continued to let your gaze burn into America's. It was a sensation that you hadn't felt since before America lost his memory and it was replaced by grief, and as soon as you recognized it, you wanted to slap yourself in frustration.
I can't fall in love with him! you mentally yelled, flinching at the thought. Our past relationships are over!
"Miss _____, are you alright?" America asked quietly, instantly snapping you out of your thoughts. "You look a little disturbed..."
A few seconds passed before you gave him a slightly nervous smile and shook your head. "I'm fine...everything's fine." You turned around and slowly started to walk back towards the door to the building. "Come on. Let's go back up to the conference."
"We're here!" you said somewhat loudly as you opened the door to the meeting room, being greeted with the faces of many of the countries once again, America following shortly behind.
"There he is," England said before he stood up from his seat and approached the both of you, pausing when he was only a few feet in front of America, who was staring at him with a slightly nervous look as he fiddled with his fingers anxiously. England took a few moments to examine America up and down before he frowned. "Alfred, I hope now you know better than to run off to places you're not supposed to be in."
America nodded before he dropped his gaze down to the floor, a slight look of shame on his face. "Yes, Mr. Kirkland," he mumbled. "I promise I won't do it again."
After England had returned to his seat, you motioned for America to come forward and sit in the only empty seat next to you. You noticed that many of the others in the room were staring at America with slightly wide, surprised eyes, and you saw that he noticed it too after he fidgeted in his seat uncomfortably and pressed his back against the chair.
"Miss _____," he murmured to you a bit uncertainly. "Why is everyone staring at me?"
You turned your head so that you were able to look at him before you gave him a slightly nervous smile. "Oh, it's because...they're just curious to see a new person attend a meeting, that's all...."
After the conference began, you didn't pay attention to how America was staring around at everyone with curious eyes, and it was until he tapped your shoulder when you became aware of what your original intention of bringing him along to the meeting was.
"Miss _____," America began quietly, "why is everyone here calling each other the name of a country?"
That was when you felt like your heart almost got caught in your throat, and you cleared your throat before you took a deep breath and replied calmly. "W-Well, it's because...whenever we go to meetings like these, the people who attend each represent and speak out for a different country. They're kind of like the...leaders of their...nations...yeah."
"Oh..." America said quietly, a bit of confusion visible in his eyes. "So does that mean you and Mr. Kirkland represent countries, too?"
You nodded slowly. "Yes. I represent a country as well as Mr. Kirkland, who represents England. But it's only while we go to meetings. Sometimes we might call each other by our country names outside of a conference, though."
America frowned. "Why would you do that?"
You shrugged. "I don't know, actually. It's a habit, I guess."
He nodded slowly, a bit of understanding coming to his face. "Oh, okay."
A few more moments passed in silence before you turned your gaze back to America and quietly asked him, "Hey, Alfred...you don't, by any chance, happen to recognize any of these people, do you?"
At the sound of your voice, America turned his head to look at you and frowned. "Why would you think I would recognize them if I've never even seen them before?"
You shook your head, a disappointed smile coming to your face. "Just asking," you muttered before you turned your attention back to the meeting.
So much for that idea.