It was two weeks after you had treated America's stomach pains that you had to attend yet another meeting. A part of you was actually a bit excited to go, and once you had this thought, you quickly became surprised. You usually weren't very happy to go to a meeting and were more often than not reluctant to go, and you rather would've spent the day at home taking a nap or something instead of waking up at 3 in the morning and going off to some country. You suddenly wondered what caused you to get a sudden change of emotion, but you didn't pay much attention to it as you prepared to head off to the meeting.
Another shock came to you when you arrived at the building where the conference was going to be held and you realized that you had arrived a whole hour early. This was a surprise to you, since you rarely seemed to arrive on time and more often than not were in a rush just because you were late, not because you just wanted to be there.
When you arrived at the floor where the conference was going to be held, you walked down the long, wide hallway for a few minutes before you decided to stop, approaching the wall to your right and pressing your back against it before you slid down so that you were in a sitting position, your bag on the ground next to you.
You clasped your hands together, rested them on your knees, and waited.
Why were you waiting?
You honestly had no idea why you were sitting on the floor of a hallway, waiting for no apparent reason when there was nobody even there and you clearly could've gone to the meeting room and found an adequate place to sit, and perhaps keep yourself occupied with something, anything, until the meeting would've started.
You should've been bored just sitting there, but in fact you were eager, and your heart was pounding in anxiety and a bit of impatience. Why am I feeling like this? you thought to yourself. You weren't sure why you were acting the way you were today and you weren't sure why you were sitting against a wall. Maybe you were waiting for something, even someone to show up, but who would've been there to show up that would've made you feel like your weird emotions and sitting against a wall actually had a specific purpose?
At the sound of a familiar voice, you lifted your head, which you had by now rested on your knees, and shifted it to the side so that you were looking towards the source of the sound. You instantly felt your mood brighten by a more than normal amount when you spotted America walking down the hall towards you with England next to him. You stood up, grasping your bag in the process, and began to walk towards them.
"Alfred, don't forget about the proper way to address a lady," England said as he shifted his gaze over to America, who was looking in your direction with an eager expression on his face.
He let out a tiny laugh. "It's alright, Mr. Kirkland. _____ allows me to call her by her first name, now."
"Is that so..." England muttered before the three of you stopped a few feet away from each other.
You shifted your gaze so that it was briefly able to settle on him before you moved it to the side so that it was able to lock on America. When the both of your gazes met and he gave you a tiny smile, you instantly froze and your eyes widened as you realized the cause of your actions that morning—your excitement to go to the meeting, your eagerness to get there early, and sitting out in the hall waiting.
It was because of America.
The reason why you wanted to go to the meeting was because it would've given you the opportunity to see him. The reason you arrived so early was because you knew that England always came early to conferences, and he would've taken America along with him, giving you more time to spend with him. And the reason you were sitting out in the hall as if you were waiting was because you were anticipating the moment when America would've arrived with England sooner instead of having to wait until the both of them arrived in the meeting room.
You suddenly remembered the way you fed America when he had a stomachache, the way he smiled at you, how upset he had gotten when you had to leave, how he complimented your cooking....
This had to stop. Now.
"_____, are you okay?" America asked you, and you instantly snapped out of your trance to look at him. "You look a little sick..."
Although you hadn't been aware of it, you were prominently grimacing and were clutching at your stomach as if you were going to throw up. Quickly, you composed your face and the rest of your appearance before you dropped your gaze down to your feet. "I'm fine. I just need to be alone for a while..." you muttered quietly.
Before giving either America or England the chance to say something, you turned around and began to walk back down the hallway and towards the stairs, where you would've gone outside, not even bothering to turn around and look back at the confused expressions on the both of their faces.
This building had a backyard like the last one, but it was a bit different. It was way smaller and wasn't as floral as the previous one had been. Still, going out in the back where you would've been alone was way better than going in the front, where you would've had to face the other countries as they were to enter the building.
As soon as you stepped outside, ahead of you was a rather wide patch of grass and one large tree. You slowly walked over to the tree, feeling the rather cool wind beat against your face and blow through your hair, before you sat down with your back pressed against it.
As soon as you made yourself more or less comfortable, you hugged your knees to your chest and wrapped your arms around them before you buried your face in your arms, contemplating about what you were going to do, what had already been done, and what was going on.
I told myself before that I can't fall in love with America, you thought to yourself. No matter how much I may want it—which I certainly don't—I'm not going to let myself get into a similar relationship with him before he lost his memory.
But as soon as you had that thought, you instantly realized that that was a lie.
No relationship that you might've ever, ever had with America would've been similar to the kind you had with him before. Your previous relationship took place back when he still had his memory, back when he still remembered everything about his life and everything about you. No matter what happened now, he would've never been the same person he was before the accident ever again. No hamburgers, no "I'm the hero!", nothing.
Nothing of that will ever come back and you couldn't do anything about it.
You hated it. You hated that America's memory was gone. You hated the fact that he no longer was his old self. You hated that you wouldn't have allowed yourself to get into an intimate relationship with him because it only would've hurt you more than anything. And yet you wished that his memory came back. You wished that he was his old self. And a tiny part of you wished that you would've allowed yourself to get into an intimate relationship with him because it would've made you feel happy instead of dreadful and crushed.
You weren't even aware of it, but by that point your face began to feel abnormally warm and tears began to make their way down your eyes. As soon as you realized that you were starting to cry, a wave of surprise overtook you. You thought your days of crying over America's loss were done. Well, apparently not. And it wasn't just his loss. It seemed like his memory being wiped out was more of a loss to you than it was to anybody else.
At the sound of someone's voice, you instantly lifted your head from your arms and looked up directly into the eyes of America as he stood over you with a concerned expression on his face.
Oh, great. You seriously didn't feel like dealing with him right now with all the crap you felt just seconds before. But instead of showing your disappointment, you only asked with a bit of surprise and confusion, "A-Alfred...what are you doing here?"
America sat down next to you with his back against the tree, looking ahead of him. "I just thought I'd check to see how you were doing, and I figured you would've been out here."
Did you really? "Oh..." you murmured quietly before you looked away from him and instead let your gaze fix on a wonderful, large strip of grass.
A few moments passed in awkward silence before a thought previously stored in the back of your mind suddenly came to you. You had previously wanted to ask America why he had felt so upset when you were about to leave his house, and maybe his answer would've cleared up some of the confusion you'd been feeling throughout these past few weeks.
"Hey...Alfred?" you asked after a few seconds passed and you turned your head around so that you were looking at America.
At the sound of your voice, America shifted his head to the side so that his gaze was able to meet yours. "Yes, _____?"
You sighed, fiddling with your fingers a bit uncomfortably before you asked, "Do you remember when I had to leave after taking care of you while Mr. Kirkland was out?"
America nodded. "Yes, I do. Why do you ask?"
"W-Well...I want to know if there's a specific reason why you seemed so upset about me leaving..." you replied a bit uncertainly and uncomfortably as you shifted in place and dropped your gaze down to the ground.
A few awkward seconds passed in silence before you finally found the courage to look up and meet America's gaze, and you saw that he was staring at you with a frown on his face and a barely visible blush on his cheeks. "W-Well, I just didn't want you to leave..."
he said quietly after a few moments of silence, drifting his gaze down in front of him. "I mean, you fed me food that was actually delicious unlike Mr. Kirkland's, and...your presence was nice...." He trailed off on the last few words so that you weren't able to hear him fully.
"Wait," you began. "You actually thought—"
"I need to tell you something," America interrupted suddenly, lifting his gaze and shifting it to the side so that it was able to meet yours.
You stared at him with your eyes slightly wide in surprise, and after a few moments, you replied, "Yeah...what is it?"
America sighed and broke his gaze away from you and instead dropped it down to the ground before he said quietly, "I overheard you and Mr. Kirkland talking to each other after you went to give me soup when I had a stomachache."
You let out a tiny laugh. "Well, I don't think you couldn't have heard us, since we were pretty loud." That was when a new wave of shock spread through you when you realized that America probably had heard you and England calling him by his country name, and the thought made you freeze and your eyes slightly widen.
But America didn't seem to pay attention to this fact and instead continued. "Well, I kind of agree with what he said to you...."
"About his cooking being great and how your stomach problems were my fault?" you asked with a bit of a frown.
"No, no," America said with a bit of a smile as he lifted his gaze to look at you before a serious expression made its way to his face a few seconds later. "I mean what he said about me coming to live with you, instead."
"Oh..." you murmured quietly, feeling your previous nervousness replace with surprise and a bit of longing. "And...?"
America shifted in place a bit uncomfortably before he continued. "Well, I just think you'd be able to take care of me in a way that I think would be better than the way Mr. Kirkland takes care of me. Not that he does so in a bad way or anything, but it's just that he's been feeding me nothing but fruits and macaroni for the past two weeks."
You couldn't have helped the giggle that came out of you, and you had to cover your mouth with your hand to try and stifle your laughter.
A tiny smile came to America's face before he continued. "Anyway, I just think it would be nice to live with you and have you give me food that I like a lot more than his. And you could take me to new places around where you live. I've never really been to your house before, but I still think you'd do a great job looking after me."
Your laughter faded, and you looked up at America in surprise, feeling a new wave of emotions start to form inside you. Even though you agreed with both America and England, you were very, very reluctant to have him live with you. It would remind you too much of the relationship you had with him before he lost his memory. But you had to compromise with yourself.
"Fine," you sighed after a few moments of silence. "I'll let you live with me, but I'm going to teach you how to work around the house pretty quickly. After that, you're going to go and live on your own, got it?"
"Alright," America said softly, a bit of uncertainty in his eyes. "But where will I live then?"
"We don't have to worry about that right now," you said a bit hastily. "Right now, we have to tell Mr. Kirkland that you'll be living with me, okay?"
"Okay," America agreed with a nod.
At that, the both of you stood up and began to head back towards the building, just a few minutes before the conference was supposed to start.
What is the mess I'm getting myself into? you thought as you walked back inside with America next to you. Now you were going to be seeing him way more often than usual, and the thought disturbed you. You had a feeling that it would've brought way too many memories back for you, but you didn't care. You were going to teach him like crazy so he could've gotten out of your house as soon as possible.
No matter what, you vowed to yourself, you were never going to show your true, innermost emotions in front of him just because of some memories. And you weren't going to let those memories take control of you, either.