AN: Well this is a late update! I went on a bit of an unexpected hiatus, but here I am! I am back and ready to update again. I'm going to try and update at least once a week now, more if I can manage.
Once again, I have amazing reviewers that give me amazing reviews and make me happy! Please, continue reviewing! I love them so much and Mattie will hug you if you do!
It had been two weeks since Arthur had been admitted to the hospital and he still hadn't woken up. Alfred came by almost every day, against his better judgment. He knew that going would only raise questions and suspicions, especially because everyone knew that he hated Arthur most of the time but, he couldn't bring himself to care about any of that. He just wished that Arthur would wake up and he could stop talking to the guy in a coma.
Francis came with him today as he tried to do as often as he could manage it. They had been in another argument because Francis kept trying to convince Alfred that he was in love with Arthur. The guy was absolutely nuts with his talk of "l'amour" and things of that nature. There was no love between Alfred and Arthur. That part of Alfred's life had ended years ago. He had left England for a reason and wouldn't go back on that.
Still, he was worried about Iggy. Alfred didn't really hate him anymore. He still kind of blamed Arthur for everything that had happened between them, but that didn't mean that he hated the older man. It was far more complicated than that. He obviously still cared about Arthur. Why else would he be in this hospital every single day? It certainly wasn't for love. Maybe friendship.
Alfred walked into Arthur's room and sat on the chair by the bed, just as he had done every day for the past two weeks. He would give anything to just go back and change things. Not the distant past, but the recent past. Maybe if he had actually listened to Iggy, things would have been different. He couldn't know that for sure. All he could do was guess.
As he sat back and watched Arthur, the memories started playing like a movie in his head. It had been years since it had happened. While he had never stopped caring, he had stopped thinking about it. Yeah, the pain was still there, but it was really just in the back of his mind.
Alfred was a little kid, about five years old, and living with Arthur. Arthur was leaving to go off and fight someone or other. Alfred was never really sure what was going on. All he knew was that his guardian was leaving.
Alfred didn't want to be alone in this big house. It seemed so scary when Arthur wasn't around. "Please don't leave! I don't wanna be alone."
Arthur chuckled softly. "Al, I have to go. I'll be back as soon as I can manage it though. You'll be fine alone. It's not that big of a house."
Alfred sniffled. "Yeah it is! I'm too small to be alone here."
Arthur shook his head as he opened the door. "No you're not. And even if you are, you won't be for long. Just think of it as training for when you get bigger."
With that, Arthur walked out the door. Alfred watched him go and felt a little bit better because of the conversation. He could be home alone, at least for a little while.
Alfred sighed. Memories like that seemed so insignificant, yet they had such a big impact on him when he was young. Arthur had helped shape who Alfred had become. There had been plenty of bumps in the road, but most of the time Arthur had meant to help, not hurt.
Alfred still couldn't be sure about those laws and such though. Arthur had claimed it had all been an attempt to keep Alfred close, but the American just didn't know for sure. It should be obvious. Arthur had ended up in the hospital for this after all. It wasn't though. Alfred had spent years believing one thing and wouldn't change his mind because of a little tragedy.
It was funny, Alfred had become a hero in the eyes of the world because of his break away from England, yet Iggy had been the one to tell him that he could be a hero. He didn't regret his decisions. He wouldn't have done a thing differently if he had the chance. If it hadn't been for all of the problems, he wouldn't be the America that he was now. He just wished that he could find it in him to talk to Arthur. If he really didn't care, then it should have been easy.
Unfortunately, when someone changes your life completely it's hard to stop caring. Even if years pass, it's nearly impossible to completely stop thinking about it.
"No Arthur! I will not listen." Alfred nearly shouted.
Arthur sighed and shook his head. "You see, this is why I implement new laws Alfred. You just don't listen to anything anyone says."
Alfred shook his head. He would not be talked down to like this. He was old enough now to make his own decisions. He didn't have to listen to the likes of Arthur Kirkland. "Look Arthur. I refuse to follow this. Nothing in here is good for my people, only yours. I need to think of my own country first."
Arthur gave a dark chuckle. "Really now? You think you're old enough that you can do everything on your own? You don't need England helping you anymore?"
"America doesn't need this Iggy. Just listen to me, please," a nearly desperate tone had entered Alfred's voice. He had always been able to talk to Arthur about anything. Now, he couldn't even say one thing without having to defend himself.
"I think I know better than you what a country needs Alfred."
With that, Arthur ended the conversation. Alfred went to his room and slammed the door. It was a childish gesture, but he was being treated like a child.
Alfred shook his head. Those were the days when everything had gone wrong. Alfred knew now that he wasn't completely innocent in all of this, but Arthur held more of the blame. He had done everything in his power to push Alfred away. Well, it had worked. He had finally pushed Alfred too far. Alfred had to leave. He couldn't leave his people at the mercy of the British Empire.
Alfred walked down the streets of England with his head held high. It was the first time he had been in England since the revolution. It stung a bit to see all these familiar places, but he could deal with it. After his conversation with Arthur in the park, he felt like he needed to take a vacation. He felt like he needed to go back and visit England.
There was one place in particular that Alfred needed to see again. The park had reminded him of the place where he and Iggy had gone so many times when he was a child. It had been Arthur's safe haven and by extension, one of Alfred's favorite places to visit.
He walked down the street and saw the park in front of him. He smiled as he walked over to the bench. That bench had been Arthur's place of solace. It seemed as though he had found another one near the conference room, but Alfred remembered that this had been the original place.
Alfred was almost surprised that this place still existed. It had been so long since he had come here that he wasn't sure what he had expected.
Sitting down on the bench, Alfred felt a smile come to his lips. He really had missed this place in the time that he had been gone. It was astounding how much one place could mean. This place meant just about everything. It was strange, being here alone, but not in a bad way.
After a few minutes of sitting on the bench, Alfred stood up and walked over to the playground area. When he was very young he would come here and play while Arthur sat on the bench. Those were some of his fondest memories.
He left the playground and walked over to the lake towards the middle of the park. When he was a little older, Arthur would walk around the lake with him and show him the animals. As a teenager, Alfred would walk around the lake, sometimes alone and sometimes with Arthur, and just think or talk. Sometimes Arthur would just sit on the bench while Alfred walked.
Alfred snapped out of his dream world when he heard Francis approach. He had been thinking of his recent visit to England. It had been an interesting and insightful experience. It was not one that he would soon forget.
"Francis? How long have you been standing there?"
"Just a few minutes." Francis answered his eyes on Arthur.
Alfred stood up. "I think I'll head back home. Call me if anything changes alright?"
Francis nodded and watched Alfred walk out of the hospital room. He would definitely call if anything changed. The only problem was that he feared that nothing would change. The doctors seemed to be getting less hopeful as each day passed.
AN: End of chapter! Lots of memories this time around. I felt like we needed some Alfred time.