America smiled as the blood ran down down down his arm. The pain and relief flooded over him, assuring him. 'This is real. I'm real. Real, solid, alive. Alive, I'm alive.' He closed his eyes, relaxing backwards as everything but sensation, pain, happiness, truth, assurance, bitterness fled from his mind, leaving behind only proof. Proof he is himself. He watched as the blade sliced sliced sliced not a sound made only his breathing echoing around through not only his skin, but previous wounds, failed attempts to assure himself that he wasn't going to disappear, that he wasn't going to just vanish one day. He could hear the drip drip dripping of his blood on the tile, music to his ears. The sound of his life his life HIS life circling around him. But what he failed to hear was the knocking on his door, a familiar voice calling his name.

He always made sure to do this in the bathroom, this quest to find his existance. He had once foolishly done this in the bedroom. It took him a week to convince England that he had just spilled cranberry juice on his carpet, that he hadn't in fact sat there for hours dragging paper across the pads of his fingers, watching the blood roll down his hand and drip drip drip on the oh so clean carpet. The carpet that had mocked him with it's pure colour, the carpet that didn't have to prove it was real because you could feel it on your feet, on the sole of your foot, rubbing and tickling and sending sensations up up up your body to tell you 'Hey! I'm here!' to tell you that it was real and it was there and--

Suddenly, he was looking into green green green eyes that stared into his soul. Green eyes that were usually so full of love and compassion but right now were filled with concern and anger and a hint of curiosity.

"Alfred?" and it was so so so full of emotion that America knew. Emotions that he was no stranger to because he felt them felt them all the time, that part of what he was doing, right this minute, was to find these emotions, to hide from these emotions, to discover what these emotions really meant. He realized that England was saying something the pitch of his voice washing over America and soothing him even more than the blood flowing from his arm was currently asking America something that fell on his deaf ears. Ears that only heard that of his dripping blood and the emotion swirling in England's voice. "Alfred, are you listening? What are you doing?"

"Nothing." The biggest lie and the most honest truth was never told.

"This," He held up America's had for emphasis "is not nothing. What do you think this will accomplish, you idiot? Why are you even doing this?"

He smiled up at England. He didn't know. He didn't understand. "Proving I'm me." All he received from that was a blank stare. And oh that stare was so so so inviting that he just had to tell him. That this this was important. That without this, America Alfred Al was liable to just disappear off this earth.

"Did you think this would kill you?" Why wasn't England listening? "You're a nation, this couldn't possibly--"

America let out a loud loud laugh. Too loud and too too inappropriate for the situation. "England. That's funny. Don't you see? I'm not a nation, just a country." He laughed at England's confused look. That was funny because of course he wouldn't get it. No one else did because they were nations. "You don't see, do you? No. No one sees. I'm not me. I'm everyone. I'm not a nation. I'm all the nations. All all all the nations worst bundled into one tight tight tight package. 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!'" He laughed again, high pitched and delirious no no no not delirious, he was crazy crazy crazy with happiness. "I'm not a nation. Ask any of my 'children'. No no no, I'm not a nation. Ask them what their citizenship is, what country they're from and they'll say 'I'm from America, I'm American.' But ask them, just ask them what their nationality is and they'll say 'Oh! I'm German, I'm British, I'm French, I'm Russian.' There's no American. There are very very very few Native Americans left and those are getting so so small." He pressed a kiss I need help please please oh god help me to England's forehead.

"I'm everyone. Don't you see? I'm made of the whole wide world! My people come from countries all over the world. Even some of my first first first people! They were from you! And even after that, they all came from somewhere. Russia, China, Poland. Slaves from Africa. All of them! Even the revolution wasn't mine. They weren't my ideas. They were Rome's peoples' ideas. Socrates, Plato. And John Locke! He was French. My government was Rome's. Even my best best best weapon isn't mine! It's Germany's and not even one of "my people" were the one to give me the information. One of Germany's own told me. Germany's. Am I even myself? Is my hair mine or is it France's? Are my eye's mine or Germany's? My work ethic mine or yours? My height mine or Russia's? Is my personality even mine or is it borrowed from Italy? My language isn't even mine. All I am is a country born of borrowing."

He smiled at England's disbelieving look but he knew that his lover understood, that he was truely listening to him. That what he was saying all of his deranged thoughts that he shouldn't be bothering his loved one with was actually being heard. "That's why I have to be the hero. Don't you see it? Do you see it now? I have to save the world because I am the world. I am am am. Don't you see? If the world was to end except for me, they would all leave me. All my citizens that aren't truely mine. They would go "home" and I would be left with nothing. I have to save them to save me. If I don't save the world, who will save me?" England embraced him at that, a muttered "I would" unheard by the delirious nation he was embracing.

"You know it's true. It's true true true. Because you were there. You were there when the twin towers were hit. When they fell down down down. You know that I cried but between the sobs and the pain, I was smiling. I was smiling and laughing and happy. And do you know why? Do you know? Because I felt them, I truely felt them. My people. They were really mine. I could feel their pain and their grief and their heartache. They were my people. But now? Now, now they are all going their seperate way. They're all about themselves and their heritage. They're growing away from me. Away and away and they don't even like me anymore. What if they don't need me? They don't need me now but what if they truely don't need me? Will I still be here? What'll happen to me? I'm only here because a bunch of people from all over the world, every everywhere came here. But if they leave, they leave me, then am I me? Who am I?" He was sobbing into England's shoulder by now and all England could do was embrace him. There was nothing to say because really, it was mostly true. But what he couldn't see was what he really was. A dream and a hope to those who left their "homes" and came to this "nation" so that they could be happy and free. While some may say that they hate their nation, deep down everyone feels pride for their home. So, is some ways, America was correct. But what England was determined to show him was that he was his own person, that he did have his own people and that England loved him, not everyone he was supposedly made of.