A/N: Wow, my first Hetalia fanfic! This is exciting! Obviously I don't own Hetalia, though I highly approve of the sense of humor! Hope you enjoy the story!

It had always been something of a joke to them. America, the clumsy, not-so-heroic hero. The wannabe. The loudmouth. No one took that hero nonsense seriously, at least not until a rainy October day, when their meeting was interrupted by an angry man wielding an M50 Reising sub-machine gun. They didn't know who he was, or even what country he was from. He had come bursting through the doors right as Britain was finishing his speech regarding his solution for the current economic slumps.

"Everybody get on the ground and put your hands where I can see them!"

"I beg your pardon? Who are you?" Britain's impending tirade was cut off by a loud crack and the feeling of a bullet flying by his right ear, almost close enough to graze the skin.

"Get on the ground, now!"

One by one the countries knelt to the floor, even powerful Russia, in the wake of that gleaming machine gun. The man moved to the front of the room, observing them all as he went.

"Well I guess it is true then, you are the countries. Not their representatives I mean you are actually countries. Ha ha! What nonsense! If we'd known about this we could have taken over years ago!" A few of the nations winced at the implication behind those words. Humans were not supposed to know about the existence of the personified countries, it made them too vulnerable.

"See here you brute! You cannot take our countries by taking us! La liberté ne peut être prise si facilemente!*" France looked as though he wanted to continue but froze as the gun swung to him, the color draining steadily from his face.

"Now listen here, all of you! I am going to spell out a few simple demands and you all are going to make it happen, clear? If any of you get any bright ideas expect a bullet in your head." He circled around the room eyeing everyone menacingly. As he passed a trembling Canada a sneer shot across his face and a hard leather boot came into contact with Canada's side. "How pathetic. And here I was thinking the countries would be a handful. Looks like you all are nothing but a bunch of…"

Before the man could so much as finish his sentence something hard and strong collided with him. The young American had been watching for his chance, body coiled and ready to strike at a moment's notice. Seeing the man distracted by his own musings America had launched himself at their captor. The two large men proceeded to fall to the ground and the crack of a gun went off. Before the man could manage to get back to his feet America had tackled him again, pinning him securely to the ground.

"Hate to break it to you buddy, but America doesn't negotiate with terrorists!" With a decisive jab America brought his fist crashing into the side of the man's head. The other countries looked on in astonishment before beginning to return to their feet. Britain was the first to recover from the shock, moving towards America and the now unconscious assailant.

"Well done America. That was quite impressive!" America let out a soft, weary laugh.

"Guess all that military and CIA training came in handy after all. What do you think Iggy, was I a hero?" Britain was about to retort that he had told America a thousand times not to call him that ridiculous nickname, when the younger nation suddenly slumped forward. Immediately alarmed France was the first to get to the blond.

"Ameriqué?" But no reply came from the boisterous nation. Gingerly the Frenchman turned him over only to let out a small gasp. Blood was blossoming like a deadly red flower across the American's white dress shirt.

"Madre de Dios!**" Spain hissed, "He needs a medic immediately!" Without a word Italy shot off to get the authorities, running as though he was being chased by all the allied powers at once.

"Ameriqué, vous m'entendez? Can you hear me?" America's eyes fluttered open slightly. His face was already a ghostly white from blood loss.

"Francis? Why are you speaking French to me? You know that won't get me to sleep with you." America's voice was weak and France was unable to find any comfort in the boy's ability to joke at a time like this.

"Ameriqué, listen to me, you need to stay focused, you can do that right? Does it hurt?"

"S'not so bad, 've had worse." The blonde's words were becoming slurred, "M' kinda tired Francis."

"No Ameriqué, don't fall asleep! Stay focused!" America's eyes slid shut as he let out a shallow breath. "Ameriqué…America…Alfred!" The Frenchman shook the boy slightly to get a response but couldn't get him to open his eyes again. At once the doors to the conference room burst open and the medics stormed into the room, closely followed by Italy and the police.

"Please move sir, we will take it from here." The other countries were forced to step back as the medics went about their business. After quick checks for vital signs one of the medics signaled for the stretcher and three of them lifted America carefully. "This wound is serious; we need to get him to a hospital immediately."

Meanwhile the police had handcuffed and dragged the unconscious attacker out of the room. As the medics ran out the nations suddenly found themselves alone again in the too quiet conference room.

"Mein Gott***, what the hell just happened?"

It was to a group of weary, sleep deprived nations that the head surgeon wandered out to deliver the news. He cleared his throat and was immediately met with several pairs of tired eyes.

"Mr. Jones's surgery was a success and he is no longer in any immediate danger." The doctor paused and a heavy tension descended on the group, "However, I am afraid that he slipped into a coma towards the end of the surgery and is currently unresponsive." The doctor paused again to allow the news to sink into the assembly of shocked nations before murmuring a quiet word of condolence and excusing himself. It was Britain who spoke first.

"This is a joke! There is no way that bloody git would be taken down by a bullet, just no way! He survived his bloody capital being burnt to the ground! He survived one of the worst civil wars in history, not to mention two world wars! Am I really supposed to believe that he is unresponsive because of a poorly aimed gun shot? Bollocks!" France looked at Britain sadly. Exhaustion and stress had wrinkled his usually smooth features.

"You forget Mon Cher, this was an attack not on the nation, but on Alfred himself. We all know what it is like to be wounded in battle, those wounds do not heal like the wounds to our countries." Italy buried his face in Germany's shoulder, sobbing from the fear and anxiety that had built up amongst their group.

"Then what are we supposed to do Francis?" Britain murmured, collapsing back into his seat.

"We wait. We wait and hope he wakes up."

It had been six months since the attack on the conference. Already half a year and yet America had yet to wake up. Across the ocean the nation was unusually quiet, like a sleeping giant under a magic spell. They waited to wake up to the world again, but would they still be the same? Would America have changed? Would Alfred have changed?

The conferences were now uncomfortably quiet, and America's vacant seat left a hollow feeling in the room. The nations had all spent as much time as they could afford to spare, and in many cases more than they could spare, at the blonde's bedside. They silently urged him to wake up and brought flowers to his room to keep things bright for when he did finally open his eyes. Even Russia had visited, bringing with him his favorite sunflowers.

Of the nations France, Britain, and Canada were his most frequent visitors. Canada even stayed in the room with his comatose brother for weeks at a time, only leaving when work called him away. For all that his brother annoyed him and got him into trouble, the Canadian missed his bright smile and energetic behavior. The quiet figure in the bed was not the brother he'd grown up with. So Canada continued to stay with his brother as much as possible, changing out the dead flowers for new ones and talking with him, though he wasn't sure his brother could even hear him.

He told America about what had happened at the latest conference, about the withdrawal of American troops from all foreign countries, about the quiet isolationism that had taken a hold of the once great nation; and most of all, he told him how much they missed him and how much everyone dearly wished for him to wake up. Until then Canada and the other nations continued to wait for their unlikely hero to open his eyes again.

It was on one particularly sunny day in April, as the last vestiges of winter were melting away, that a pair of sky blue eyes blinked open to take in the bright light for the first time in a very long time.

A/N: So I had this story bouncing around my head for awhile now and figured I should write it down before it drove me insane. It always struck me when America declared that he was the hero that it would be interesting to see him actually following through on that claim, especially because everyone seems to take him for a fool. Originally I had thought of having him take a bullet for someone, but I couldn't decide who I wanted him to save so I figured I would just have him get shot in the fight. I also wanted to try and include some of the native languages, but I don't speak French, so I apologize if my Google translator efforts failed. As always, constructive criticism is more than welcome! Please REVIEW if you liked my story or have any ideas how it could be improved (I figure if you're reading this you've already read the story so 'read and review' doesn't really apply). Thanks for reading and I hope you liked it!


* "Freedom cannot be taken so easily!"

** "Mother of God!"

*** "My God"