Freedom Ain't Nothing but Missing You

"Mr. America?"

No response.

"Mr. America...?"... "Mr. Jones?"

"What? Oh, sorry! Yeah?" A blonde haired man looked up from the paperwork he had been intently studying. He hadn't been really reading it. Heck, he had no clue what it was about... Oh, right. A new treaty. He had been zoning out again. It had become a regular occurrence, but he hadn't been able to pin down a reason why. Sure, he hadn't gotten a lot of sleep lately, but there had been weeks where he hadn't gotten sleep. There was something on his mind. No, there was someone on his mind.

"Excuse me for asking, Mr. America, but are you alright?" the secretary asked. She was young, blonde, green eyed. Your stereotypical hot government secretary. And following her stereotype, she was caring and concerned.

"Yeah," America lied, "Uh... What were you trying to get my attention for?" He looked back at her, realizing he had averted his gaze. She shifted on her feet for a moment and debated just walking out.

"Mr. England is here..." Now it was she who looked away. She didn't want to see that hopeful look followed by the sad expression. Above her gaze, that was exactly what happened.

"Yeah. Right. Send him in, please," America whispered in a voice that wasn't his own. He paused, knowing he was forgetting something. "Thank you," he added, though she had already walked out.

America sat back and looked up at the ceiling as though it would give him the answer to an unasked question. It had been a while, a long while, since he had last seen his former caretaker. His former friend. The person he once looked up to and loved.

The one he still loved.

He shook his head, trying to get the thoughts away. He had to focused on the work at hand. It wasn't bed time. It wasn't time for him to spend the night awake, reliving the memories that were burned forever in his mind and his body. His hand brushed a scar on his arm, long forgotten. He couldn't even remember where he had gotten it. Maybe the Civil War? He had gotten a lot of scars from that. Maybe one of the World Wars? Possibly Korea or Vietnam?

There was only one war he was sure he hadn't gotten the scar from. He hadn't gotten any scars from that war. The Revolution. Not a cut or scratch. Not even a bruise.

England wouldn't let him get hurt.

Two sets of feet clicking across the floor interrupted his thoughts. He looked up and forced himself to hold his gaze. There he was. Right there, in front of him. His green eyes searched the room uncomfortably for a few moments before meeting America's own bright blue ones. The American had dreamed about this moment. He hoped there would be a flicker of happiness. A smile, an 'I'm sorry.' Maybe even a 'Let's put the past aside and get to work.'

Instead, the eyes remained blank, expressionless. The older man took his seat and set his brief case on the table. For a moment, America was able to smell the sent of England's cologne. It was different than he remembered. He probably had gotten bored of it after a few centuries. He remembered how England always smelled safe. Whenever his arms were around the younger nation, they were always comforting. How America longed to feel those safe arms again!

"... ybe we should add an economic... America? Are you listening?" America blinked and looked back at England, unaware that the older had been talking for a bit. England looked confused, but still had a slightly blank, emotionless expression.

"Y-Yeah," America lied. "Economics. Right. Sorry, man. Kinda just... Zoned out." He looked away again, back to the papers he had set before him but had never bothered to read.

"Right," England responded, giving him a look before returning to the treaty paperwork. "Anyway, I was saying that this says nothing about an economic policy. I think-"

"Hey, uh... How's Sealand doing?" America asked suddenly, causing England to snap his head up and looked at the American in surprise and confusion.

"Good I guess," the Brit replied slowly, "Why?"

America realized he had zoned out yet again and had forgotten about the work. "Oh, no reason. Sorry. I just-"

"Zoned out again?" America opened his mouth to respond, but closed it and nodded. "Right. America, excuse me for saying so, but are you sure we should be discussing something so important when you are obviously focused on something else?"

The American sighed. "Probably not," he admitted. "I'm sorry. I just... Haven't been sleeping well." England simply nodded and stood up. There was no 'Oh really? Why?' or 'Want to talk about it?' Instead, he just got up and started for the door. America looked on in shock. Had it really come to this?

"Wait!" He couldn't have stopped the words if he wanted to. But now they were out and America wasn't sure if he even wanted to take them back. England paused and turned around, looking back at him with the same emotionless expression.

"What?" he asked curtly. "Honestly, America, I have other things I need to do today. I don't have the time to waste. We can make another date to discuss this."

"No," America said quickly. "I mean... No, I mean no! Please... Uh... Stay?" America groaned and placed his head in his hands. He couldn't even articulate what he wanted. What did he want anyway? He sure didn't want to talk about this stupid treaty. He wanted to talk with England. No, he wanted to talk with Arthur.

"I'm sorry," he finally said, praying England was still in the room. He dared to look up and saw the Brit staring at him, frozen in place. "I... I'm sorry. For everything," he continued, not bothering to let England speak. Though, he was certain the Brit couldn't have spoken if he wanted to. "For never seeing you, for acting like I hate you, for leaving you... Dude, I don't even know. I just... I miss you. Not England. I miss you... Arthur." He looked up pleadingly, his hands still on the sides of his head.

England stood there, shocked. He turned around and faced America fully. America realized he looked just as shocked as he had on September 11th when he had learned of the attacks. America remembered waking up in his bedroom. Canada had been there, but he hardly remembered him. He remembered England, though. The Brit was pressing a cloth to his head and whispering to him. The words were kind, words he hadn't heard out of England's mouth in a long time. So, America laid there, just listening to the words while England didn't even know he was awake.

Finally, he realized he was worrying England, so he opened his eyes and looked up at him. They both knew. America knew what had happened. He had expected the Brit to make sure he was going to live and leave. Instead, he was pulled into a huge hug. He didn't remember how long they stayed together. It could have been minutes, possibly hours. He hadn't even realized he had been crying until they pulled away and England's shirt was soaked.

The next meeting, it was as if that moment had never happened. They continued to be distant, but they both couldn't push the memory away. It had happened, it was real, and yet they chose to just ignore it.

"America..." England started, coming over. His voice was laced with a hint of worry as he approached the desk. "You're tired."

"No shit," America grumbled, "But before you go into you don't mean it or you don't know what you're saying, I know exactly what I'm saying. I do mean it." He looked back up and into England's eyes desperately. "I'm sorry."

England paused a few feet from the desk. "... Thank you," he whispered, "I'm... Sorry too."

"I know I act like I hate you, but I don't," America continued, hardly hearing the thank you and apology. "God, Arthur. If you even knew how much I don't hate you." He paused. Now or never, he figured. "It's almost funny... Me hating you... When really... It's the exact opposite." He took a breath. "Because I love you."

England looked stricken. He froze on the spot and his heart skipped a beat. America looked at him, wondering what he would do. Yell? Run? Say he never wanted to see America again?

They both knew this wasn't brotherly love. This was real, honest-to-God love and America couldn't have been more sincere.

"Arthur, I know what I did was an asshole move," America continued, standing up. "I left you and that wasn't fair. To be honest, I wouldn't go back. I really can't now anyway. Besides, how could you ever love me back if I was just a brother to you? But I didn't think things through. My people wanted freedom so they revolted. I wanted to prove that I was strong. And, well... I was... I am. But you're the only thing that can possibly keep a hero like me awake at night.

"Nope. I haven't been sleeping at all. Since that night... Since July 4th 1776, I have gotten close to no sleep every night. But lemme tell you something; it turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you. I like my freedom. My people love it. But I could never figure out how to bridge the gap I so stupidly caused.

"Honestly, I'm not as much of a hero as I pretend to be. I keep saying and saying it, hoping you'd see how awesome I am and how much I'd love you, but I guess you just don't go for those types. But, Arthur, I don't want you to be my back up. I've always wanted you to be right by my side. Because, honestly, I love you. And I'm pretty sure you don't love me back, but, honestly? I really don't care. 'Cause now I can at least say that I told you how I feel."

America came around the desk and leaned against it, studying England for a few moments. The Brit was shocked, his mouth open as though he wanted to say something, but couldn't. He was gripping his briefcase tightly, his knuckles white.

"I-I..." England started when he remembered how to speak. "I... Dammit, you're an idiot!" His expression changed to angry and he turned away. America sighed and looked down, upset. He finally realized how hurt he was. Sure, his feelings were out in the open, but he hadn't taken into account how much it would hurt to hear that England didn't feel the same way.

"I know... You can go now. Sorry for wasting your time," America said, not looking up.

England spun around with a new expression written on his face. This one was one of worry and America swore he saw a little smile on his face. "I'm not leaving!" England cried. "We're going to go back to your house and go to bed. I'm rather tired as well." America looked confused and opened his mouth. "What?" England cut him off. "You think I've slept? I haven't bloody slept in centuries."

England walked closer and took America's hand. "Alfred, come on. We can... Talk later."

"Over dinner?" America asked, not realizing what he had said. But England nodded.

"That sounds lovely," he smiled. He let go of America's hand as the two walked out of the office. "Oh, and Alfred?"


"I miss you too," he sighed, "So, so bloody much. And I'm sorry for the way I've treated you over the past few decades. We're both at fault here." America nodded.

"So... Can we start over?"

"Yes. Please."

"… Can I start with I love you?"

England paused and looked up at him before smiling ever-so softly. "Only if I can as well."

This is kind of a song-fic-ish-thing. I don't really like Taylor Swift too much, and this is definitely not my favorite song from her, but it reminds me so much of USUK in probably the saddest way ;A;

This doesn't really follow the song after a while, though. I had to end it happy-ish

Sorry for the cheesy ending Dx

(re uploaded due to the crash)