But All I Feel is Alone

Okay, last one… I don't know what I'm going to do with myself when I finish this… I guess I'll have to think up something new…

Here goes nothing, people liked the first three, and I'm not sure how the fourth one will be accepted because it is a lot different than what I'm used to. It was kind of choppy… I'm hoping that this one is a little less so. It's just that the Cold War was so LONG and I wish I could SKIP IT. Alas, it's kinda what the last two oneshots are about. I hope this one flows better…

Then I decided that this one should be LIGHTER than the hurt/comfort RussiaxChina one. Instead I'm going to stick to my original idea of America wondering if he needs to start fresh and learn to live his life properly. So he starts on a 'retribution' trend and tries to apologize to Japan.


Fandom: Axis Powers Hetalia
Genre: Romance/Drama
Pairings: Alfred/Kiku
Rating: M for Mature
Warning: Smut and romance, human names, different languages, references to the second world war.

One-shot Collection:

The Waking Up is the Hardest Part- Germany/N. Italy

Not the Storm Before the Calm- France/England

Crawling Towards the Pillowcase- Cuba/Canada

The Air You Took and the Breath You Left- Russia/China

But All I Feel is Alone- America/Japan


But All I Feel is Alone- America/Japan (Alfred/Kiku)


"You heard me…" Grumbled England; his arms crossed uncomfortably across his chest and his eyes downcast.

He was obviously trying not to make eye contact with Alfred, who was staring at him incredulously. As they stood there in stunned silence the American couldn't help but notice the older nation's cheeks adorning a gentle blush. Sometimes Arthur could act so shy and uncertain of himself; things like hiding his embarrassment behind his hand. Something he was sure only a few select people got to see; Francis, apparently, being the main one.

The younger nation wasn't too sure how he felt about all this. He had been so used to the two of them fighting, with their coiling sexual tension, and he assumed they would slow dance around each other for the rest of eternity. The idea of France and England, of two such polar opposites, trying to put everything aside and start to build something was as much of an eye-opener as it was a shock.

He was just a bit jealous, not of the relationship, but of the concept of having someone you could trust with your whole self. He was envious to the fact that the romantic nation had seen all these things about Arthur that he could never even conceive. They knew each other; their imperfections and their good points. Alfred knew deep down that they could turn out alright and balance each other out perfectly if they worked at it.

And here he was, realizing that he suddenly felt very alone and suddenly upset about that fact. It appeared to have snuck up on him without his knowing.

"Bloody git, would you say something already?" The frown that was permanently etched between those two fuzzy eyebrows was different this time. It was begging with him to accept the idea, and even though he felt left out of the loop, Alfred felt proud that his opinion meant this much to the elder blonde.

"Congrats." He stuffed his hands in his pockets and rocked back on his heels with an easy-going smile. He wouldn't ruin this moment by feeling sorry for himself; that he didn't have anyone to share everything with like Francis and Arthur now did.

England visibly relaxed, falling out of his tense stance and into a more comfortable one. He even smiled a little and thanked Alfred for understanding. He probably knew it must be hard for him to take in, so he patted him on the shoulder and told him he'd visit later. He probably had to go tell Francis that the American hadn't blown an aneurysm. Still shocked, the younger blonde followed him to the door and said goodbye on auto-pilot.

Was everyone with someone except for him? He was the hero! He should be the one starting a life together with someone, giggling into the phone, and making stupid inside jokes! When had this all happened? Crossing his arms and slumping back into his chair again, Alfred blew his bangs out of his face irritably. First Germany and Italy, then France and England, and now even Canada had been rumored to be dating someone? Had he missed a memo somewhere?

That was when the knock came. And had he known what was going to happen, he would have stayed glued to the chair. Not opening the door and coming face to face with Ivan Braginski, his telltale smile, and water pipe slung over his shoulder casually.

X a Week Later X

It's a 47' Cadillac; not the flashiest car like he normally drove around in, but it did the job. Right now all he needed was a set of wheels that would take him away from where he was. He wasn't sure where he was going, but he knew he could end up down any highway in the Unites States. For once he didn't have a destination, he just needed to keep driving.

Maybe then he would understand just what the fuck he thought he was doing when he slept with Ivan Braginski. Why he felt like it would make his irrational loneliness feel better. Hell, maybe he'd pit-stop at every damn doctor across America to see if he had some sort of mental disability that causes momentary acts of insanity and lapses in judgment.

Just when did a heated argument turn into sex, anyways? Was it even sanely possible?

He should have let Ivan rot in the war…

He felt his mood darken, because thinking of the war brought up bad, repressed memories to do with Japan. Kiku most certainly didn't need to be in a coma right now, he wish he could have found a better way. Yet the other half of him yelled in response; they wouldn't surrender no matter what he did, what was he supposed to do?

He sighed heavily and hit his forehead against the steering wheel, waiting for the light to turn green. There he went again; making excuses where there really wasn't any. It was the endless debate; peace vs. war, talking vs. fighting, and he had chosen the latter of both options. He could sit here and yell at himself then rebuttal the argument all he wanted but it wouldn't fix anything or erase what had happened.

Kiku maybe wasn't as close as many, but he had considered him a friend. The reason why he had agreed to drop the bombs was because he knew of all the things China had told him; he had seen that scar. Maybe if he could have talked to him instead of being fueled by indignation then…

He really was getting nowhere, and he looked up to notice the red light had been green for quite some time. He checked his rearview mirror worriedly and was surprised to find he was alone on the highway. He gently eased off the break and onto the gas; thoughts whirling again.

Who knew where to start with Russia, the damn communist bastard sat placidly by during the first few hundred years and then pulled this other freaking persona out of nowhere! What the hell was his problem? You didn't just barge into someone's home and begin throwing threats around! He was the damn Unites States of America!

The fact that he had retaliated with threats of his own was a minor detail.

All this running around in circles was going to drive him kookier than ever. He leaned back in the seat and let out a pent up breath. It figured that he only had a couple days to sort himself out before he had to go to that damn world meeting. All he'd do is sit there and listen to everyone fight over whose fault the war was and how they were going to pay for it all. The only person who hadn't been completely devastated, and who actually participated, was Michael…

…Marty? …Mitchell?

Whatever, it didn't matter. Canada's economy was booming, his neighbor to the north had all the luck; at least no one tried to pick fights with Matt...

MATTHEW; that was it! He slammed his hands on the wheel and grinned in triumph.

Just as he almost back-ended a car; swearing he swerved around into the other lane, narrowly missing the oncoming traffic. He cranked the wheel back into his own side and then expelled his breath. So maybe he shouldn't try pressing his luck like that. Perhaps it was a smarter idea to stop the car and think. Where would he stop though? Things like these needed to be considered. He didn't want to have his epiphany moment in a corner store. He should go somewhere that was mentally stimulating…


It must be karma. He had never believed in the stuff, but if he ever had to give a perfect example of it, he would bring up this exact moment. Especially since his 'mentally stimulating spot' ended up being the Tokyo airport, where everyone was looking at him incredulously. He was surprised no one had taken out a gun and just shot him out of disbelief at his audacity in showing up here.

In all of his thinking back home, the one thing he had concluded was the need to see the damage he had done to Kiku. Maybe then he could start looking for answers.

He began to walk, and after an hour of mindlessly wandering around he decided he would brush out the old Japanese and find out where the hospital was. He found a gentle-looking older woman and politely asked her 'where is the hospital?'. She stared at him for a moment, and then began speaking rapidly; so fast, in fact, that he could barely decipher a word. He asked again and noticed how frustrated she looked. He wondered if she had just insulted him, or given detailed instructions that he had just missed.

Finally she pointed down the street and then put up two fingers, he relayed back that she was telling him 'two streets down', she nodded and then gestured a turn with her left hand. He asked her if she meant 'left' and she bounced her head again. He waited for a moment longer only to realize that was the end of her instructions, she shooed him on and he bowed quickly before turning and running down the street she had pointed to.

Little, old ladies- the same in every country.

Turning left he noticed a rather large building that most certainly looked like it could be one, with a tired, but triumphant, smile he walked in through the double doors. Surprised, he found that he wasn't immediately stopped, albeit he was getting very odd looks. All around him were poker-straight haired people, all with almond eyes staring him down. He ducked his blonde head and almost felt the need to cover it, before rushing over to what appeared to be the front desk. He didn't read, but at least he could speak a bit.

After fighting with the nurse at the front desk for a few minutes, whipping out the rusty Japanese he knew and probably butchering it so much that it would make any Japanese native angry, she agreed to take him to Kiku's room. He had to promise he would only be ten minutes, and she stared at him suspiciously as she led him there.

She led him towards the very end of the hall, where the stairs were and then pushed them open. They climbed countless stairs before they appeared before a door, the next floor was very quiet and he felt like his footsteps were like warning bells. He felt like the trek took them forever before she looked around and then gestured towards a room.

He looked inside the room tentatively, and when he turned around she was gone. With one brave intake of breath he ventured further, closing the door behind him and walking between the crack in the curtain. Sure enough, there lay Kiku. His breathing was labored, face covered with sweat, and his chest swathed in bandages, probably all from him. His stomach dropped unpleasantly as he shifted closer, finally slowly resting his heads on the foot board in fear that it would come alive and yell at him. He chewed over what he wanted to say, and then decided he may as well start talking because all this thinking was getting him nothing.

"I'm not sorry…" Oh, great first words there brain. "About ending the war that is… I just… I wish it hadn't come to this, you know?" Of course he didn't know; he was unconscious.

"I mean, after all those things you did… To China, and me, and even Arthur… I just I couldn't believe you could do things like that." He realized he wasn't any better in comparison and scoffed, looking down. "Hell, that I could do things like this… I guess we are the same, then…" He collapsed onto the side of the bed, before having a tense moment where he wondered if he had hurt the older nation further.

"Sorry!" He deflated slightly when all he got was another rise and fall of that bandaged chest. "Augh, I'm not even sure what I'm even doing here. I can't believe we've all fallen this far. I can't believe any of us could have done any of those things… We all used to be so close, and it seems like the closer us countries get the further our own people push us away…" He threw up his hands in aggravation, his tone rose a bit before he bit it back down.

He turned and looked at the other man who could do nothing but listen to him rant. How he missed those diplomatic visits where the two of them would compare culture. He kind of enjoyed the quiet persona of the other nation. He was a nice change from the other people he was close with. Besides that, he had always thought the smaller nation was kinda pretty; with his soft black hair and his fair skin. It was almost unbelievable that those gentle amber eyes behind thick eyelashes were capable of a cruel glint.

He let his elbows rest on his knees and let the wall of blonde hair shield him. "I think something happened between me and Russia too… Not that you would care if you were awake- it's kind of understandable that you hate me- but I just wanted to tell someone. I don't deserve your undivided attention, but… We fought, and then… Things happened." He grimaced at the mere thought of the activities, still unable to believe that they had actually transpired. "I don't know why, I actually went on this trip to try and figure that out… Now I'm not so sure I want to…"

They stayed there in silence, America was trying to figure himself out and Japan was still in a deep sleep. It was not like it would have changed if Kiku was awake. He'd probably just ignore him and continue on like he hadn't spoken at all. He could only wait to see what Japan's reaction to him would be. If they were in front of everybody probably very cold and polite, but once they were behind closed doors he could see the Japanese man trying to stab him and make it seem like an accident…

"Either way, you probably don't want to hear all this… I guess I'll talk to you once you've recovered. If you want to even see my face…"

With that, he could feel that there was finality to their little 'meeting' and marched out of the hospital and to the airport. May as well get to Germany, where the world meeting was, and stay there until the gathering happened.


Alfred found himself unable to go visit the Asian again. Instead he was dropped right in the middle of the Cold War, reeling from how quickly things seemed to escalate. Somewhere along the way that little bit of rage he had felt towards the Russian had been blown into full-out contempt. He wasn't sure where or when the static had begun to build, but it seemed that all around him the whole country was on the edge of a breathless suspense.

He had all but forgotten about his guilt towards the lithe nation until one world meeting when he had walked in to see the stoic nation sitting there waiting for the others to arrive. He had Feliciano chirping adamantly at his side, and Ludwig on his other, jumping in every once and a while with an explanation.

He couldn't help but notice the bandages were still very visible, peeking above his crisp uniform top. The United States felt an unpleasant twist flip his gut around. When it settled, Japan finally looked up at him. The atmosphere froze with the blank look he was given, but he knew the raven-haired man was probably thinking of various things he could be using to torture him with.

Why hadn't he been informed of Kiku's recovery?

But before he could go over and even begin a greeting the rest of the room filled up and soon the monologues began. As he spoke he could feel those piercing black eyes on him, staring right through his skull and into the wall behind him. Even as he went forward to sign the document ensuring all troops retreat from other nations, he could feel the shiver of cold orbs watching his every move. He felt unnerved, but he knew he should have expected this sooner or later.

He HAD kind of decimated two major cities…

It would be the right thing to do- to go up to him after and talk- at least they could both have some piece of mind, right? So he ventured over to where the smaller nation was packing his notes up and waited out of his personal space until he looked up and addressed him. Finally after meticulously placing everything into a crisp black briefcase, the orient turned towards him expectantly.

"Yes, America-san?" His voice was low and clipped, which matched his rigid stance perfectly.

"Hey, uh, Japan…" Well this was rather dumb; what dialogue had he prepared for this? It wasn't like he could ask him about the weather! Trying to fill the silence he quickly blurted something out. "How are you?"

Looking like he was actually kind of startled that America had the audacity to ask him such a thing, Kiku pursed his lips and then pushed in his chair to not have to make eye contact as he replied. "I am surviving; my people will recover."

The blonde flinched at the direct answer, hoping they could eventually lead into that touchy subject. Then again, he had never known Japan to dance around a topic; all of the Asians seemed to be like that. Instead he switched gears, walking with the shorter country as he continued on his way out of the meeting hall.

"I kind of wanted to talk to you about that-" He ventured further, trying to get in front of Kiku and stop him from briskly marching away. The guy was fast, that was for sure.

"-about what, America-san?" Kiku pulled the breaks on abruptly and spun around on the pursuing nation. "About the fact that you dropped two nuclear weapons on my people? That you shattered the lives of thousands of people? That even now the cancerous effects are still spreading like wildfire? That I attacked one small port of yours and you destroyed a third of my country?"

With each point, the little nation before him became all the more intimidating. His voice was like poison, and for a solid minute after he was almost afraid to speak due to the mere force he felt from the words. The guilt he felt was now starting to spread from his heart all the way down through his intestines. All the words struck a chord that he had been hiding away from for about a decade since Japan had surrendered.

He opened his mouth to speak, to offer some sort of explanation, but nothing seemed to appear on his tongue. He closed his gaping mouth and swallowed thickly, trying to take a moment to calm himself and then answer rationally. It wasn't his strong suit, but this was a delicate subject. Then again, he switched tactics, two could play this game. He regained his wits about him and pushed his regret into a far place to deal with after. Kiku sure as hell wasn't getting off scotch free!

"Well, you wouldn't give up! I didn't want to do it but you were acting strange! First you devastated China-" He must have hit an incredibly sore, deep, dark, spot there that was way below the belt, but he pressed on. "Then you kept on killing all your prisoners, and yeah you attacked my port! What was I supposed to do?" He threw up his hands, feeling his voice gradually increase in volume. It now sounded like he was trying to convince himself more than he was trying to convince Japan.

"-I couldn't believe you would do those things. Yeah, I heard some of the stuff from China but I was always thinking you could never do shit like that. Then everyone started talking, and your troops were so damn persistent and…"

"America-san…" Japan's voice picked up where he trailed off, and he could tell that from the moment he said the name 'China' he had opened a floodgate of nasty repressed feelings.

Now it was like the raven-haired man was just wishing he hadn't reciprocated the conversation at all. He looked off to the side, and tried to hide his eyes behind the short silk strands. So Japan had some regret in him too, huh? He was probably just now realizing the devastation that he had caused. As he went through his inner conflict, America calmed his racing heart and simultaneously came to the conclusion that remorse looked horrible on Japan. It wasn't like they had all up and decided they would do such horrible things to each other. Kiku probably had just as much pressure from his boss to attack Pearl Harbor as the U.S president had on dropping those bombs.

"Listen, Japan, I guess we both did things we aren't proud of…" Still without a response Alfred sighed and leaned against the wall behind him, letting his head make a dull 'thunk' as it made contact. It didn't hurt; it just reminded him of how tired he was.

They stayed like that, America's mind had wondered back to the time when he had seen Kiku lying in that hospital bed and wishing that they were in a time where they were sharing culture instead of angry words. Japan was probably being eaten alive by what he did to Yao, but America knew that was not a topic to even acknowledge at this point. There was no way the island country could even begin to fix the damage he had done.

Feeling antsy from the awkward silence he leant forward and caught the Asian nation's attention.

"So, uh, made any good movies lately?"

Japan almost made a scoffing sound, and was now staring at him like he had just asked him for sex after such a tense moment. It was almost unfathomable to start talking about cinema when so many other things needed to be attended to. Some things were more important than a good show. And there was no way to get out of a question like this. His pride as a nation couldn't say no just to get America to leave him alone. He had come out with something new, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to share it just yet, but...

"Yes, we just finished one that was well received…" It was ironic to be talking about America's favorite topic when they had just been angry at each other, but he was getting tired of being upset at himself. He had the last year to thank for that.

"Oh, really! What is it called?" The blonde leaned in expectantly.

"Gojira… It's a… Science fiction by your standards…" Kiku tried to give a brief overview of the movie, how the sea monster first terrorized a small island and then went on to almost destroy Tokyo city. He also touched briefly on the underlying story with the humans.

"Wow! I want to see it!" The earnest tone of his response; how he didn't sound the least bit sarcastic, made the next words just fall out of the older nation's mouth.

"Perhaps you can come over and watch it sometime…"


A couple months later, Alfred was nursing a giant headache with Russia written all over it. He was looking for any and all distractions to get his mind out of the slump it was in. By chance he had been walking down the street and saw an old 47' Cadillac and was reminded of the day when he driven around and ended up in Japan. Which brought him back to the last conversation that had transpired, and just to ensure himself that he had managed to keep his spontaneous tendencies, he picked up the phone.

When the other end of the phone answered he tried to sound as neutral as possible when he asked. "So, that invitation to watch Godzilla still open?"

If Japan were the type, he would be kicking himself in the ass for saying yes to the American. He had just been so shocked by the question that he had unintentionally agreed for the blonde to come and watch the movie. He should be fuming at Alfred for all the things he had done during and after the war. The problem was that he was just so exhausted from the guilt-trip and the blame-game that he would have accepted any invitation to get his mind off of it. Even if the person had ended up being a cocky, loud, trouble-making American who was causing a whole lot of mess for the rest of the world with his arms race.

No matter how many times he had picked up the phone to cancel the visit he just couldn't seem to dial the number and do so. The week of waiting turned into the day before, and then he was finally standing at the airport trying not to think of all the reasons he shouldn't be there.

Before Kiku could doom the trip as a failure something happened. Just as Alfred went to bow, Kiku went to hold out his hand. They both shared a smile at the little incident, the smaller country wondering how it was so easy to forget the bad history between them.

America really enjoyed Godzilla, and even asked for a tape of it so he could bring it back to the U.S. They talked about it for hours afterwards, and Japan felt more alive than he had in years. They discussed dubbing over the film, as it would take less time, and Japan showed him the anime and how they hired voice actors to record over the animation. So many things had happened since before the war began, and Alfred found himself in awe of all these things he had never known about. At the end they stood facing each other at the airport, saying goodbye and wishing the other well. In all, the visit was a success.

And every time they needed a break, it became easier and easier to pick up the phone and call the other. Japan felt disgusted with how one simple movie-visit had turned their friendship around, but he felt relieved to have a friend in the blonde again. Perhaps he could take some time off feeling bad for himself and just relish in the joys of having a companion to share things with. It seemed like centuries since anyone had actually sat down to talk to him about simple things instead of war tactics.

He wondered what Ludwig and Feliciano could possibly talk about now that the war was over, but they were still sickeningly happy together, so he could only assume they had found something.


"-And it's like I suddenly feel so alone, you know?"

Two years later found Japan and America in New Jersey watching one of the first baseball games of the season. With America admitting just how much the whole 'I'm the only one without a lover' thing was eating away at him. At least it was half-time when America had finally burst from withholding the feelings he had been trying to fight down ever since England had told him the news. He didn't know why he felt the need to spill his emotions of utter neglect to the Asian, but now it was like he couldn't stop his mouth from moving. It had all started off so innocently, but once he caught sight of a couple a few seat over holding hands it had reached its peak. Getting the conversation going had been easy enough, asking how Japan had taken the news about Germany and Italy, and once Japan half-lied that he was happy for them he spent the next twenty minutes listening to Alfred rant.

The black-haired nation seemed to be mulling over his answer carefully. Alfred immediately felt horrible and just a little horrified that he had just told Japan all this without warning. He shouldn't have said anything; it wasn't like Japan had come all the way to America (even if he had paid for the flight) on such short notice to hear the blonde bitch. The older nation looked down at his paper cup with COCA-COLA written on it in big red letters.

"I can understand how you feel." He answered honestly, his eyes dulling in sadness as he focused on nothing. "I felt the same way when I heard about…" He trailed off and sighed heavily, swirling the drink.

America leaned in so he could speak more privately; even though the crowd was loud he could still hear him perfectly. Things were starting to get personal and he supposed the smaller nation probably didn't want everyone to overhear them. He was also trying to hide the relief he felt when he realized the Orient wasn't just going to snuff him out and leave in disgust.

"About who…?" He asked even though he already knew one of the people Kiku was talking about.

Kiku nervously bit his lip, which surprised Alfred because he wasn't used to seeing such a display of emotion, and then turned his upper body towards the blonde. It was as if he was saying 'okay, things are getting serious here'. He placed his hands neatly in his lap and made direct eye contact as he spoke. It probably unnerved others, but he found himself respecting the gesture; it was like they were on equal playing fields.

"China and Russia." He explained, still unable to say Yao's name. He didn't even notice America's eyes bug out of his head at the information, and instead focused on voicing his own thoughts. "I feel like I ruined it somehow…" He confided softly, "before the war I don't think I had ever seen C- him act like that." He took a thoughtful sip of the pop to collect his thoughts before he continued on. "Now he's like this shell that walks around and does what they know they should be doing but there is no heart in doing it."

He almost slumped his shoulders from the weight that thought had on him, and it was then that he noticed America had frozen into his spot; a cold sweat beginning to grow on the back of his neck.

"Hold the phone, do you mean to tell me that Russia and China were… sleeping together before the war even began? Does anyone else know about this?" One simple shake of Japan's head and Alfred suddenly understood why Yao was treating him like he was the scum of the earth. He had always just assumed that it was because of what had happened between him and his 'brother'. Not because his family had betrayed him AND he had lost the person he loved.

He suddenly had the urge to hug the long-haired man the next time he saw him.

"Wow." Was all the United States had to say on the matter until after a long, pregnant pause where they both busied themselves with their drinks to drown out the awkwardness of it all. "I think China would kill me if he knew."

"About you sleeping with Russia? I think it would just hurt him more, if anything." Japan didn't miss a beat of what the blonde had meant. Oblivious to how America looked like he'd seen a ghost, Kiku focused on watching the players jog back onto the field and begin practicing for the fifth inning.

"How did you-… Wait, you could HEAR ME?" He cried out, grabbing Japan and turning his shoulders so he could look at him.

Unnerved at the sudden closeness and loud, attention-grabbing exclamation, he leaned away and frowned slightly. "I was unconscious, not deaf. I heard everything. I just couldn't respond." He looked to the side, as if remembering something, then muttered just loud enough for the other to hear. "I guess we really are the same, in a way…"

Floored at all the sudden revelations, he sat in awe of the second half of the game. Till this day unable to tell anyone who had won. He was too wrapped up in all the things he had just discovered, and trying to piece together what he wanted to do with them. After the game they walked back to where he was staying, and he invited him to stay over so he didn't have to pay for a hotel or anything.

When the smaller man had finally agreed, they found themselves sharing a drink and continuing on with the conversation. It felt strange to be confiding so much in someone who he had been so awkward with just a few years ago, but now it felt like they were dear, old friends. It was strangely easy to tell Kiku everything; it also wasn't like the lithe man had anyone to exclaim it to either. They had some comfort knowing they felt the same way.

After they had fallen into yet another silence, albeit this one much more comfortable, America took a sidelong glance at Japan. He couldn't help admire the beauty of some of the Asian countries. Their thick eyelashes, almond eyes, fair skin, and petite bodies were envies of many. He blamed the alcohol for the thought, and his conscience for not voicing it.

"America-san, may I tell you something you must never tell any of my people?"

Caught off guard, all he could do was nod and wait for the next onslaught of emotional enlightening.

"I…" He was pulling the right words together, "I wish that things had not played out like they did." Alfred could deduce they were talking about the bombings and gestured for the other to carry on. "However, I think that I needed something like that to stop me from eventually killing myself." He nervously played with the sleeves of his shirt as he continued, suddenly unable to meet those blue orbs. "If you wouldn't have stopped me, I don't know if I would still be human…"

"After all the things I did to Y-…China, what I did to you, and even what I ended up saying to Feliciano-kun." He shook his head to rid himself of the memories. "I don't know if I could have carried on like that and came out of it with a soul…" He stared at America seriously, and the blonde swallowed thickly at the look in those eyes. "I am not thanking you for what happened, but I think I can no longer hate you for it. Perhaps this is the alcohol talking-" They both looked down at the bottle in his hands and started counting. Oh, right, three beers later… "-but I feel as though we are somehow friends now, and you will not take that as anything more than what it is… I know that this scar on my chest is equal to the damage that China received on his back… My debt in pain is repaid, even if it was not by his hand."

Your old, run-of-the-mill, soul-searching bar conversations.

Alfred swirled the beer around in the glass, fishing around for either a response to make Japan feel better, or a merrier topic. So far he had nothing, and it seemed that in his silence the raven-haired nation felt the need to fill the void. Surprising, since he had never expected him to be this talkative.

"I know this sounds insane…" Alfred took a swing of his beer, waiting for Japan to continue. "But, after you told me you felt alone I was sure you were going to try and jump me when we got back here."

The blonde sputtered unintelligently and succeeded in choking on the drink he had just swallowed. He covered his mouth and felt like a cat would when they were hacking up a fur-ball. After a few minutes of deep-breathing interlaced with hoarse coughs he finally calmed down enough to think. The first thing he did was put down the traitorous beer and resolved not to drink for the rest of the night.

Of all the things to say, he had expected that one the least. He stared at him wide-eyed. Yet Japan still sat there, eyeing him warily, like he was still waiting for the American to push him over and crawl on top of him. Sure he had always kind of considered the Asian cute, but that was not something he normally did. The only people he had slept with without thinking were randoms at bars who didn't know who he was and were too drunk to care. At that point he was normally in the same boat anyways.

"Okay," his voice was hoarse, and he cleared his throat awkwardly. Kiku just sat there and waited patiently, like he hadn't just almost made Alfred die from asphyxiation. Maybe that was his secret plan. "I still thought you were going to pull out a knife from no-where and stab me until four minutes ago!."

The dark haired man furrowed his eyebrows together ever so slightly as he processed the words carefully, finally he deduced something completely opposite to what the blonde had intended. "So you were waiting for me to say I was no longer mad?"

Alfred actually fell off the couch.

"Are you seriously-… Wait… What would you have done HAD I done that?" Was Kiku looking for something by saying all of this? Rather obviously the American hadn't done anything to him, and they were already half-drunk and exhausted. If he had wanted something to happen he would have tried by now.

Sometimes, to this day, he wonders if getting answers from Kiku is really what he wants to hear…

"I have been wondering that myself for quite some time…" He tilted his head, as if really considering it. This made the blue-eyed nation worry if maybe the lithe nation beside him had assumed these ill intentions from the beginning of their little friendship, or perhaps had been hoping for them.

A couple times he had found himself admiring Kiku as they grew closer, but he had always taken a step back and decided he would not ruin the one relationship he had managed to fix since after the war. Things had always been up in the air, and it was only the last couple times when they had done anything in the serious-talking department. His thoughts had stayed purely PG too, nothing aside from being amazed at how soft his skin looked, and how delicate he appeared to be despite knowing he could take down even the stronger countries.

Dreams didn't count.

They were subconscious.

He couldn't actively stop them.

"At this point I probably would have let you and blamed it on the amount of alcohol I have consumed later." Added the Japanese nation off-handedly. "After all, these outings could be considered 'dates' to many."

Oh. My. God-Almighty!

This would be where the smoke began emitting from a normal person's ears as they tried to wrap their brains around the warped logic. If he could gather something from all this it was that Japan wanted, or wouldn't mind, sleeping with him. Also, that he had expected it from Alfred since the beginning and had just been waiting to see if it actually happened or not? Couldn't nations just be friends? Why did he end up being the one looking like a total whore out of this? He hadn't done anything that could even be considered seductive either!

It was because Francis helped raise him, wasn't it?

"Ki-… Japan… Listen, I actually hadn't even really consciously thought about doing that…" He leaned forward to give the impression of absolute honesty, still in disbelief that this was actually happening.

"I see."

Surprisingly, that was the end of the conversation. America spent a whole five minutes trying to decipher if Kiku had sounded disappointed or if it was just his normal monotone voice. Meanwhile Japan stayed perfectly stoic and sipped his beer. The next person to talk was the blonde, but it was more of an awkward question of if Japan would like to rest- in the other room- and then if he would like a toothbrush and some pajamas. Which the orient politely accepted without a word afterwards.

And every night until the next time they saw each other, America dreamt of what could have happened if he had played along and slept with Japan. Driving himself nearly insane with the re-occurring fantasy, and every morning waking up to march over to the phone and end up not dialing the number.

If this was psychological warfare, it was WORKING.


Second chapter is available immediately; I just cut it in half so I could give off the illusion that it is NOT 25 pages.

It is sad how long this ended up being… It's not even that great either…