The next few days went along pretty smoothly and quietly. You had to go into town once to stock up on food since there was a somewhat small amount left, and you bought things that you knew would've been good for baking, and you baked a lot. You were able to feed America muffins, donuts, cakes, pies, and cookies, all of which you made and all of which he found absolutely delicious. Never in your life had you been praised so excessively and enthusiastically, and the thought made you smile in satisfaction. You were glad that for now, America wouldn't have had to eat that crap England always made.
You also spent some time outside, observing England's garden or just lying outside in the fresh grass. It felt good to get a decent amount of fresh air after locking yourself away inside for so long, and before long, your mood began to increasingly turn better. You were no longer as grumpy and stressed as you were before, and you seemed to be getting along with America a lot more easily and smoothly than you were a few weeks ago.
Before long, England had returned and it was time for you to go back home. A part of you was reluctant to go and wanted to stay here and spend time with America, but you ignored that part and instead began packing your things, prepared to go back to that lonely life you lived by yourself back at home.
When you headed downstairs and began to make your way towards the front door, England was in the bathroom and America was in the living room. At least I won't have to say goodbye to either of them, you thought with a bit of relief. You could've just quickly left the house before the tiny part of you that wanted otherwise grew bigger.
You approached the closed front door, and just as you rested your hand on the knob and were about to open it, you heard a voice that made you stop.
"Are you leaving already, Miss _____?"
Crap! you thought to yourself. You slowly turned around and reluctantly stared into the eyes of America, who was looking back at you with a bit of disappointment visible on his face.
A few seconds passed in silence before you cleared your throat and gave him a tiny smile. "Of course. I told you I was only going to be staying here while Mr. Kirkland was out, right?"
"Yes, but..." America paused before he dropped his gaze down to his feet and mumbled, "I thought you were going to stay for a bit longer after he came back...."
"Oh, I'm sorry," you said with a bit of disappointment. An awkward silence passed between the both of you as America continued to keep his gaze on the floor while you continued to stare at him with a slightly upset expression on your face. Finally, you sighed. "Well, I guess I should go...."
"I'll see you at the next meeting, right, Miss _____?" America asked as he lifted his head and looked up at you expectantly.
Despite yourself, you couldn't have helped but let out a tiny chuckle. "Of course, Alfred."
"That won't be far from now, will it?" America asked with a frown.
You shook your head. "No, I don't think so."
He gave you a tiny smile. "Good. I hope not."
You let out a slightly nervous laugh before you turned around and grasped the doorknob. "Well, I'm leaving now. Bye, Alfred."
"Goodbye, Miss _____," America said as he gave you a tiny wave. "Thank you for taking care of me while Mr. Kirkland was away. I hope you'll visit again soon."
"Uh...sure..." you muttered before you quickly stepped out of the house and shut the door behind you. You hated having to say goodbye to America like that. It reminded you of when you kicked him out of your house, and how you never had the chance to properly say goodbye to him before he lost his memory forever.
A few mornings later you stood in front of the counter in the kitchen, staring blankly ahead while you waited for your water to boil, thinking about what America had said to you just before you were about to leave.
I'll see you at the next meeting, right, Miss _____?
That won't be far from now, will it?
Good. I hope not.
You remembered the look on America's face just when he caught you about to leave. He seemed pretty upset, though you hadn't paid much attention to it. Why was he so saddened over the fact that you had to leave? He would've seen you pretty soon eventually, right? It wasn't as if once you left, he would've never seen you again. And he had looked so relieved when you told him you would've seen him at the next meeting...
Maybe the reason he was acting this way was because...the experiences and sequence of events of the accident must've subconsciously entered his mind and caused him to act this way. Why else would America have been so upset through the fact that you were leaving only to be happy when you would've seen him again soon? After he left your house a few months ago, you never would've seen him again...well, at least not the person he used to be. Maybe this subconscious realization hit him and caused him to act the way he did a few days ago. There couldn't have been any other reason, right? At least, not that you could've thought of or wanted to think of.
What if this means that America might slowly be getting his memory back? You would've had to ask him as soon as you got the chance.
After your water boiled, you proceeded to prepare yourself coffee. You usually didn't drink coffee when you didn't have anywhere else to go on a certain day, but for some reason you had woken up unusually tired, and you figured some caffeine would've given you the energy needed to get through the day.
You were halfway done with your coffee when you heard the phone ringing from its place in the living room. You sighed before you reluctantly stood up from your seat and headed over to the living room and towards the phone, which was placed on the coffee table. You walked over to the table and leaned forward to pick the phone up before you turned it on and pressed it to your ear.
"_____? This is England." You were able to notice a bit of anxiety in his voice as he continued. "I need you to come over here as soon as possible. I need a bit of your help."
"Why?" you asked, a bit of concern detectable in your voice. "What's the matter?"
"America has a serious stomachache," England said with a bit of a sigh. "This honestly hasn't happened before and I'm starting to get concerned. I tried to give him some soup to soothe him, but it only seemed to make him feel worse. Medicine doesn't seem to be helping to relieve the pain, either."
"Oh, no," you murmured. Now you were really beginning to worry. "When did he start having the pain?"
"It was only a few minutes after I had given him his breakfast," England replied. "I honestly don't understand why he would be feeling pains now when he'd never had them before."
A few seconds of silence passed, and that was when you probably knew the reason why America was having such a bad stomachache. "I'll be there as soon as I can," you said briskly.
"Thank you, _____," England said, relief evident in his voice.
After the both of you had hung up, you got dressed and proceeded to head out the door, prepared to deal with whatever complications America was having.
Once you entered England's house and walked over to the living room, you took a look around and quickly became confused when you realized no one was in there. You had honestly expected to find America there lying down on the couch or something.
"Where's America?" you asked as England approached you from behind and paused right next to you.
"He's upstairs in his room," he replied, and with that you began to head towards the stairs with England following right next to you. You were a bit surprised that America had managed to go all the way up the stairs when his stomach pains seemed to be very intense as they sounded.
Once you arrived at the door to America's room, you paused a bit hesitantly before you grasped the doorknob and opened the door. Instantly, you felt pity wash over you when you saw America lying on the bed, rolled over onto his side so that his back was facing you, clutching his stomach in agony.
"Poor America..." you murmured under your breath, quietly enough so that he wouldn't have heard you calling him by his country name. Slowly, you approached America's bed until you were standing directly over him, and you placed a hand on his shoulder.
At that, America wearily lifted his head and shifted it to the side so that he was able to meet your gaze, and your face filled with pity as soon as you saw how scrunched up his face was and the amount of pain that was visible in his eyes.
"M-Miss _____..." America managed to croak out before he shut his eyes tight, clenched his teeth, and let out a low moan as a spasm hit his stomach.
"Alfred..." you murmured, leaning forward so that your lips were only a few inches away from his ear. "How are you?"
"T-Terrible..." America groaned as he continued to grip his stomach. "It...I-It hurts so much..."
You sighed as you lifted your head and began to gently massage his shoulder with your hands, thinking about what you could've done to relieve his pain. Whenever you had stomach pains, you usually drank some tea, had some soup, or massaged your abdomen until the pain might've gone away. Or if it was really that bad, you would've taken a pain reliever. But you didn't know if England had these kinds of pain relievers in his house, and it would've taken quite some time to get to the pharmacy and back, and you didn't want America to have to suffer for that long. Instead, you decided to go with the first treatment that came to your mind.
"Alfred, can you please roll over onto your back?" you asked America softly.
"O-Okay..." he muttered, shutting his eyes tight and letting out a strained groan as he rolled over so that his belly was facing the ceiling, his hands still tightly clutching his stomach.
"Now, I need you to do me a favor..." you said before you grasped both of America's wrists. You looked up so that you were able to gaze at him, and as soon as his pain-filled eyes met yours, you removed his hands from his stomach and placed them on either side of him on the mattress, "relax."
America gave you a tiny nod, though his fingers were now clutching the sheets and he had thrown his head back, his eyes tightly shut and teeth gritted in pain.
You looked down at his abdomen before you raised both hands and quickly rubbed them against each other to create warmth. You lowered them and gently began to massage his stomach, surprised that you were actually able to feel its rumbling under your palms. By this point, you were sitting next to America on the edge of his bed as you continued to softly but firmly rub your hands in circles against his stomach.
America let out another strained groan, and when you looked up, you were able to notice his forehead glisten with sweat. "Shhh..." you soothed gently as you continued to massage his abdomen. "It's okay, it's okay...."
This went on for the next fifteen minutes or so, during which America's moans had lessened and his fingers no longer grasped the sheets as fiercely as they had before. A few more minutes passed before you removed your hands from his stomach and looked up at him. "How are you feeling now, Alfred?"
America lowered his head so that he was able to look at you, his lips curved downward in slight pain. "I-It still hurts a little, but not as much as before...."
You nodded. "How about I make you some soup?"
America groaned before he lifted his arm and covered his eyes with it. "I don't want soup," he said, his voice slurred. "The last time Mr. Kirkland gave me soup, the pain became worse..."
You let out a tiny smile before you leaned forward enough so that you were able to quietly murmur into his ear, "Yes, but Mr. Kirkland's food is not as good as mine, remember?"
At that, America removed his arm from his face and shifted his head to once again meet your gaze, his eyes filled with exhaustion and a bit of pain. You realized at how close you suddenly were to him, and the thought made you blush, though he didn't seem to notice it. "Y-Yes..." he murmured after a few seconds. "I would like some soup, Miss _____."
You quickly sat upright, thankful to be away from him in terms of closeness. "Okay. In the meantime, you have to continue to massage your stomach or else the pain will come back."
America nodded in obedience, and when you stood up from your place on the edge of his bed and turned around, you found England standing in the doorway with a slightly surprised look on his face.
Your gazes met for a few seconds, causing you to become irritated and put your hands on your hips. "What?"
A few more seconds passed before he shook his head and dropped his gaze down to the ground. "N-Nothing...I just thought...."
"Thought that I wouldn't have been able to get rid of his pain so quickly?" you asked as you walked towards the doorway and brushed past him. Once you were out in the hallway, you paused and turned around so that you were once again looking at England, who had also turned around to face you. As soon as your gazes met, you lifted a hand and motioned him with your finger. "Come downstairs with me. We need to talk."
"The last time I checked, you weren't in charge of my house," England said a bit stubbornly as you led him downstairs and proceeded to head towards the kitchen.
"Yeah, well, last time I checked, you were in charge of America's stomach pains, and things didn't turn out so good," you retorted as the both of you entered the kitchen and you opened the refrigerator, looking around for what you needed to make soup while England stood off to one side.
"I honestly don't understand why you need to give America soup," he said as you began to prepare America's food with your back facing him. "When I tried to give it to him, his stomach pains became more severe."
"That is exactly the problem," you said as you waited for the soup to turn warm, turning around to look at England and placing your hands on the counter. "Let's face it—your cooking sucks ass." When he looked like he was going to give you an angry reply, you continued, crossing your arms over your chest. "When I came over to your house to take care of America, I prepared my own food for him instead of following the instructions on that list you laid out for me. And when I gave him my food, he said that it was way better than yours. So I guess his taste buds must've changed as well as his stomach and he got used to eating better tasting food. Which is why he got stomach pains after he tried eating your food again."
A few moments of silence passed before England clenched his hands into fists and stared at you angrily. "So America's stomach problems are your fault! It's your fault that you had allowed him to eat your food and caused him to get a change of taste! You weren't even supposed to prepare your own food but go with what I left for you in the note! It's your fault you chose not to listen and caused America to have problems!"
"Oh, so it's actually my fault that you're a horrible cook?" you asked angrily, raising your voice to almost a yell. "If maybe the food you made didn't taste like it just came out of the trash, I wouldn't have had to prepare my own and America wouldn't be having complications with his stomach!"
"My food isn't horrible if America was able to eat it all the time before you came over!" England retorted loudly. You were sure by now that America was able to hear the argument you were engaged in from his room, but you didn't care. "He always used to eat it without a problem until you showed up and just had to change everything!"
"Well what do you expect me to do about it?" you yelled as you walked up to England until you were barely a few inches away from him, your angry gaze burning into his. "Do you expect me to come over every single time you call me like a whiny child telling me that America's having problems? Do you expect me to care for him all the time as if I was the one looking after him instead of you? Do you expect me to have to leave my house every day just because you need me to help you in treating America because of what you feed him? Do you expect me to stay with him all day because he can't handle eating the food that you make?"
You roughly poked England in the chest, causing him to take a step back. "Hey, I know!" you yelled. "Why don't I just move in with all y'all!"
A few seconds passed in silence as England continued to keep his angry, shocked gaze locked with yours and you continued to stare up at him fiercely while you took deep breaths. "No," he murmured after over a minute had passed. "America needs to move in with you."
"What?" you asked loudly before you pulled your hair in frustration. "America can't live with me! I can't handle taking care of him and I'll never be able to! I can't handle—"
"_____, listen!" England yelled before he grasped your shoulders, causing you to remove your hands from your hair and look at him in surprise, his serious gaze burning into yours. "You can handle taking care of America," he continued quietly. "You took care of him adequately for almost a week. You even said that you were able to feed him food that he seemingly liked more than my own, and you're able to treat his stomach pains when, according to you, I only seem to make them worse."
A few seconds of silence passed, during which you stared at England in surprise, before he continued. "I believe you know how to take care of him more than you think. You just seem not to realize it."
"B-But you took care of him when he was younger," you murmured quietly.
You were able to notice a bit of pain appear in England's eyes before he continued. "Yes, but that was before you were able to interfere with the way I looked after him. He didn't seem to have a problem with anything I did, unlike now."
You were silent for a few minutes, looking down at the floor, before you finally pushed England's hands off of you. "I have to think about it," you muttered. "I can't make any decisions now when I have other things to worry about." With that, you proceeded to remove the soup from its place on the stove, prepared to bring it up to America.
England let out a somewhat loud sigh in annoyance. "Well, what kind of food do you suppose would be adequate enough for me to give to America? Like you had said, the food I give him will only make his stomach pains come back."
With the bowl of soup in your hands, you turned around to face him. "Give him fruits, or at least a salad. You can microwave macaroni or something, if you wouldn't burn it..." Your lips curved upward in a small smile and you let out a tiny giggle, causing an embarrassed and somewhat angry blush to make its way to England's cheeks as you walked out of the kitchen and proceeded to head up the stairs.
As soon as you entered America's room, you shut the door behind you with your foot before you looked up, finding him lying on the bed as he continued to exhaustingly massage his stomach.
"Alfred, I'm here," you murmured softly as you brought the soup over and set it down on America's nightstand next to him.
At the sound of your voice, he shifted his head to the side and looked up at you, a tiny smile coming to his face. "Hello, Miss _____," he said a bit wearily.
"How are you feeling?" you asked as you sat down on the bed next to him, stirring the soup gently with a spoon.
"A bit better..." America answered a bit hesitantly as he sat into an upright position. "But my stomach still hurts a little. Some soup would be nice."
"Okay," you said as you lifted the spoon, now full with soup, and directed it over to America's mouth. "Open," you told him, and he did as he was obeyed, allowing you to put the spoon in his mouth and have him drink the soup.
"I can do this myself, Miss _____," America said after a few more rounds. "You don't have to feed me, you know."
"Oh, no, it's fine," you said quietly. "It seems as if you're already exhausted enough."
But as you continued to feed him, a sudden thought entered your mind that made you freeze. You remembered one day when America had called you and told you that he was sick and needed you to take care of him. You had blushed at the thought of looking after him, but arrived at his house anyway to help him feel better. You had prepared soup for him, and had also gone through a similar procedure with him as you were now.
"_____, I'm not that sick that I can't even hold a spoon," America said with a bit of a blush on his cheeks as you directed the spoon full of soup you were holding towards his mouth, which he opened a bit reluctantly.
"Nonsense," you said with a bit of a giggle. "I can tell that you're very exhausted and need to relax as much as possible. It wouldn't hurt to have me feed you, would it, America?"
"I-I guess not..." he muttered quietly, and you smiled in satisfaction as you resumed feeding him.
"Miss _____, are you alright?" America asked, snapping you out of your trance. "You're about to spill the soup on the sheets..."
Your eyes widened and your face reddened slightly. "O-Oh, I'm sorry, America..." you muttered quietly as you directed the spoon towards his mouth and he opened.
"D-Did you just call me America, Miss _____?" America asked softly after you removed the spoon from his mouth.
"N-No," you quickly said, your heart increasing its pace in alarm. "Why would I call you a country name? That wouldn't make sense, would it, Ame—I mean...Alfred?"
"I believe not..." he said quietly. "But you had told me about that meeting we had attended and how everybody there called each other a name of a country and maybe—"
"You're just imagining things!" you said hastily. "What you need to focus on right now is allowing me to feed you the soup and getting rid of your stomach pains."
America was quiet after that, and he had finished the bowl pretty quickly. After he was done, he closed his eyes and let out a contented sigh before he got back into a lying position. As soon as he adjusted himself in his bed, he opened his eyes to look up at you, and when his gaze met yours, you asked, "How do you feel now, Alfred?"
"I feel great," America murmured. "Thank you so much for coming here to take care of me. It really means a lot to me."
"Oh, it's nothing..." you said with a bit of a fluster as you waved your hand dismissively. "The best thing for you to do right now would be to get some sleep. After that, you'll feel a lot better."
"Okay," America said quietly as he closed his eyes. "Thank you, Miss _____...."
You smiled before you extended your hand and gently brushed it once through his soft hair before you stood up and began to head towards the door. "You have nothing to thank me for, Alfred. I'm more than happy to help you whenever you need it."
You grasped the doorknob and were about to open the door before you briefly turned around to look at him, a tiny smile coming to your face. "Oh, and you can just call me _____."