January 1961, Washington
His ears were still ringing long after the inaugural speech ended. They rang in remembrance of the celebratory and sweeping nature of the cheering that closed him from all sides on the ground, when he was surrounded by hundreds of young-blooded and proud American citizens (no matter how old they were). He remembered it being bitter cold that long morning waiting for it to begin, and the weather turned out no fairer when it was hours later, but America thought it far worse for the people above him on the balcony — the most important people of his nation. He stood in awe with his square glasses fogging from his escaping breath when the handsome and tanned man entered to face the television cameras.
His people shivered in coats and scarves but smiled up at their new president with a sort of unfathomable joy. He did not wave at them, for he knew it would have appeared unprofessional immediately after the swearing of his oath, and America did not mind at all. He felt the start of an admiration for this president's restraint on such a victorious occasion.
"…We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans-born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage-and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights…" (1)
His heart raced in his chest as those words pierced through America with a warmth permeating his aged and trembling bones; a heart threatening to burst from what felt like a slowly shrinking ribcage.
"…And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you..." (1)
When the speech ended with clapping and screams of approval around him, when the stands of the Capital began to empty, when his current supervisor snatched the sleeve of his bomber jacket and yelled into his right ear to follow him through security — America realized that his eyes were stinging painfully and the once flooding tears freezing on his face could not have been the winter's fault.
The first thing America would always recall about initially meeting John F. Kennedy was his outright sense of humor.
The lobby inside the Capital was insanely hot. But as tempting as it was, he did not remove his jacket, and remained where he was, straight and tall as if he were under military inspection. America bowed his head forward completely from view when the president passed him with his guards, as if he were a part of the wall paneling. The president pivoted a step when two obviously pregnant women approached from the other hall in a synchronized and graceful waddle only women so far long could manage. America peeked through his strawberry-blond bangs in time to see Kennedy greet them, crack a gleeful smile, and say, "Okay, girls, you can take out the pillows. We won." (2)
Everyone, including the women, laughed politely and America's now-former supervisor gestured him over to the group. The nation obeyed the silent command, staring upright.
"...I leave him in your capable hands, Mister President."
Kennedy's deep-set, olive-colored eyes glanced at America with a gentle kindness and purposeful examination. The sheer intensity made America do something he had not done in a while— he blushed.
"You have a name, don't you, son?"
"Alfred F. Jones, Boss."
The president's forty-something-and-still-so-young face lit up at this and he slapped the blond on his back, addressing the rest of the occupants of the lobby, "I like this man, ladies and gentlemen! I like a man with a solid F. in his name! It stands for 'far fetched'!" More polite laughter. The tanned man kept his arm strong around America's shoulders and leaned in, asking, "You know what 'far fetched' means? …Of course you do, I can already tell you are an educated fellow…" He chuckled a moment but without unkindness.
"The idea that something is 'far fetched' means that it is improbable, and therefore unattainable." Kennedy's smile widened brilliantly; confident and excellent. "I do not believe any idea, whether it is yours or mine, is 'far fetched' and unable to become reality. Do you understand me, Alfred F. Jones?"
October 1962, California
A strawberry daiquiri sat untouched on the wicker table and gleamed with liquid beads sliding down the sides of the cordial glass. Across the front porch of the summer home, sweating through his wrinkled A-shirt on this accustomed sweltering day, America cradled his own half-drained glass of Coke between his bare hands solemnly. He had watched Kennedy excuse himself during the break of their conversation for 'a short trip to the restroom', but took with him on the way inside a small, locked, black case. It was a case full of procaine that America had to be familiar with after a year and a half.
The president returned to the porch, rolling down his long shirt sleeve.
"A good soaking in the hot tub will be needed when I return home," he told America with a relaxed tone, carefully lowering himself into the empty porch swing in front of his companion with one hand cushioning his lower back. His olive eyes narrowed a little at him. "…That is a look that Jackie gives me. What is it?"
"I'm sorry… that you are hurting…"
That WE are hurting…
He could feel it in his body, the outrage and shock of the American people as word got out about the Cuban Missile Crisis… a fear of a nuclear attack on America soil shook the foundations of the people… and the criticism of the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion shook Kennedy's self-assurance and health. That much he could not hide from his closest friends…
"You and I are determined as hell, aren't we?"
As if sensing the somber air building, the president said this, ignoring America's previous comment and rose to his feet, bit by bit, with the aid of the swing's chain (panicked, his companion reached for him when the other man went sideways, and backed off promptly when Kennedy adjusted himself — again reminding America how relentless this man was). "Nuclear proliferation can be repealed." Kennedy then corrected, turning towards the deep golden sunset, "Will be repealed. In my lifetime, I intent to make this truth. I also intent to see man make it to moon."
America said, raising his glass with a smirk, "Far fetched, Boss?"
"That's right." Kennedy took up his daiquiri, clinking it against the other glass, "We'll make the people believe again… for hope in the unattainable."
November 1963, London
"Aren't you packed already, you dolt?"
England scowled at the taller nation hunched near the tiny television in his living room and absently fiddling with an hourglass on the stand near him.
America's blue eyes never wavered from the screen. "Don't rush me, man! I've been packed. I gotta finish watching the broadcast of the Dealey Plaza. Then we'll go."
"You can watch it after the Global Conference," the uniformed nation insisted irritably. "The flight for Switzerland is leaving in two hours. If we miss this, America... I swear I will—"
Shushing him sharply, America dismissed him with a wave of his leather, gloved hand.
England rolled his eyes, huffing towards the corridor and muttering under his breath about 'ignorant, freedom-loving brats'. He didn't make it far before he heard what sounded like gunshots and distant screaming coming from behind him, followed soon after by the sound of his hourglass on the stand shattering on the tile floor. The mayhem on his television screen could not be mistaken, nor the horrific porridge color of America's face as he staggered away to retch heavily into the sand of the broken hourglass.
England rushed over, kneeling, and cupped the bangs out of his companion's sweating forehead. His green eyes flicked to the scene blaring on the television and, at that moment, he felt his own stomach lurch dangerously up towards his throat. "…Oh… my lord…"
On screen, the presidential limousine slowed but did not stop, and what remained of the president's body toppled out of sight.
Several days later, Washington
Everyone had shown up to the funeral precession. There had not been such a large gathering for the death of an important head of a country since the early nineteen hundreds. Some of the nations stayed on the other side of the street with their world leaders, some who were not as close to him, numbly observing the star spangled casket on the limbers and caissons as it passed them.
Some of the nations, however, did flank to America's side — Canada, who shyly glanced at him but could not find the consoling words to ease his pain; Japan, who knew that no words could; Italy and Lithuania, who sniffled quietly and pressed closely and awkwardly behind him as the mourning crowd grew in numbers; England — who had cleaned the vomit on his living room floor without complaint and held him that evening like America had regressed into the tiny child he had once been living with him — now grasped America's shoulder with the hand not holding the spray of white and crimson roses, his thumb rubbing soothing circles into the cloth of the satin, black suit.
January 2009, Washington
The Capital was thriving yet again for another inaugural speech. The National Mall packed with chittering teeth and voices and America was unsurprised that the government had to open up the entirety of it to fit all who wanted to witness this historical moment in history. An African-American man had become president this time. A man who had a Muslim parent had become president. A new man looking for hope and change and idealistic views to announce to this fellow Americans that were so precious and so fragile that to express them was perilous enough as it was.
"…Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents. So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans…" (3)
Yes. That is right. This generation, this generation who has touched the stars and created policies of safer living, with their millions of eyes staring enamored.
"…In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter…" (3)
His breath hitched in. It was no wonder — the president's speech was impressive and charismatic, honest and overpowering — and it reminded America so much of another beloved Boss of his past.
"And your name is?"
His dark brown eyes were smiling genuinely as was his pleasant expression when the blond nation and the newly sworn president shook hands in the lobby of Capital.
"Alfred F. Jones, Boss."
"Welcome aboard, Alfred F. Jones."
This absolutely broke my heart to write. ;_; Waaaah. But I haven't seen anything written about JFK and America before AND I CRAVED THE ANGST OF IT. THE OVERWHELMING ANGST. There was no political agenda to writing this about either president and I respect them both. I JUST WANTED ANGST. And the USUK I hadn't planned on either... you can take it as friendship or otherwise. I don't care. My local library has been cleared out of the JFK books... and I love them for providing the eff load of research to get this done and not asking questions to start an awkward conversation about what I do with my free time... I hope my notes were enough for readers to follow clearly. If this story broke your heart too... we can share in the angsting pain... Feel free to drop me a review, lovelies...
The two pregnant women: JFK's wife and Tony Bradlee.
The significance of the strawberry daiquiri: One of JFK's favorite drinks ever besides scotch-and-water and a brandy stinger. Only fitting that America has his favorite drink ever with him too.
Procaine: JFK suffered a medical condition and horrible back pain, and took a lot of medicine throughout his life to get back to normal functioning.
The hot tub comment: JFK frequently visited the hot tub in the White House for his back.
Jackie: JFK's wife.
Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviets were sending nuclear missiles to Cuba. The information spread and panic rose.
Bay of Pigs invasion: A 'secret' mission to overthrow the current Cuban government by government members from US and Cuba. Soviets already knew ahead of time what they were up to.
Nuclear proliferation: It is basically the policy of spreading of nuclear weapons.
The man on the moon comment: One of JFK's wishes for his term was to see Americans make it into space and to the moon.
Dealey Plaza: The district in Dallas, Texas where JFK was assassinated.
Limbers and caissons: A two-wheel cart pulled by horses.
(1) Quote of JFK's inaugural speech; all rights reserved to him and I take no credit or in Hetalia
(2) Quote from JFK; all rights reserved to him and I take no credit or in Hetalia
(3) Quote of Obama's inaugural speech; all rights reserved to him and I take no credit or in Hetalia