Hello and good to see you, reader! Apple Fairy here!

So, this time it's Ameripan! Also, really serious and dramatic Ameripan! I kinda made America very serious in this fic, so if that's not your thing, then this might not be your kinda story. Sorry!

If, however, you're fine with that, then please read on! Thank you!

I hope you enjoy the story! :D

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Hetalia


I Can't Say It

Story by Apple Fairy


It's as if I'm being choked. Like someone has their hands around my throat and I can't breathe. I can't talk. I can't do a thing.

It's how he described that feeling, with the words in his throat, the words that he couldn't say. He'd try to get the nerve to say them, but they'd just stay there, choking him, and he didn't say anything at all.

I like you.

Let's be more than friends.

What do you think of me?

Was he scared? Was he nervous? Alfred couldn't even say himself, so he'd smile and act cheery as usual, keeping those words to himself. He wanted to savor this time anyway. This time with Kiku, that could end at any moment. Watching another movie, hanging out, no worries. And while Kiku was reserved as always, still there was a restrained feeling of happiness. That much Alfred could see.

He wished this moment could last forever.

Can I hold your hand?

I've liked you for a long time.

Nations aren't human. In a way they are, but they live by a different set of rules. As a nation one represents their people and their people's belief. As a nation, one lives longer and watches and causes history. As a nation one fights, is given orders, and is a symbol in and of themselves.

And as a nation, one must remember that all relationships are temporary. It's a sad thought, but it's just a part of being who they were. If that's understood, if one learned to grin and bear with that, then it was easier for everyone to deal with it. With their long lifespans a majority of the nations have grown to deal with this fact. The one person you made an alliance with might be your enemy tomorrow. The colony you've been raising might stage an uprising against you behind your back. If you fall in love with a human, you are dooming them and yourself.

It was just easier to not get too attached in the first place. It was a silent rule understood between all of them.

However, America was still so young. He hadn't understood this way of thinking, not until now.

"I don't quite understand." Japan spoke, his voice smooth as America hit play on the remote.

"Understand what?"

"You'll be scared again won't you? Why bother watching?"

America looked to him grinning. "Because you're here it won't be so bad!"

Japan looked away, a twitch at the side of his mouth, as if he would smile. "Is that so?"

I've never seen you smile.

I want to hear your laugh.

This is what Alfred realized then. He's never seen Japan, no…Kiku smile before. Ever.

For some reason this thought just caught him.

Is it possible for a person to go through life without smiling at all? Well, that's just impossible, right? Especially considering their lifespans, it was just absurd to think he's never smiled.

It's just that he's never smiled around me.

Through all their years together, of knowing each other, Alfred realized that Kiku has never smiled nor laughed around him. It was always that same calm look; refined and composed. He tried to picture a laughing Kiku in his mind. With cheeks red and eyes sparkling and him just being happy.

He couldn't see it.

America tried to focus on the movie instead. On that first half hour of being introduced to these characters that will be brutally murdered anyway. He tried to focus on that.

Even though it scared him, this movie, at least Kiku was here and Japan wasn't.

Not the Japan that was at all those meetings, or the Japan he spoke to current events about. Just Kiku, his friend, who was a person not a nation. It was these moments he felt like Alfred, just Alfred, and no one else.

And so, Alfred treasured these moments, these stupid moments that meant nothing in the long run. Playing video games, watching movies, and reading comics…all these pointless things that meant so much to him. And yet…

Why do you never smile around me?

He tried focusing on the movie once more and failed at that. When had these feelings started? If he tried to concentrate on that, he would be able to conclude that it was when they first met. Go make friends with whales; sure why not, he had thought. It sounded like fun! So he agreed to board that ship, to go negotiate with the people, and to meet this new nation he'd only heard about.

"He's not ready to see you." He was told.

But I want to meet him.

"I'm sorry, but if you could come back later…"

Where is he?

America had to push for the answer a bit more, but finally he was told, albeit reluctantly. With strong strides, he reached Japan's room, opening the doors, not really expecting much.

The sunlight streamed through, lighting the dark, and Japan raised a hand to his face, blocking it out. And Alfred, with one look, thought to himself:

I want to protect you.

The delicate wrist and the small frame, the warm eyes that looked frightened. It's not right to say that it was 'love at first sight' because it wasn't. Rather he just looked so fragile and scared, it was like some sort of instinct kicked in. Like he wanted the responsibility to care for this person, to shelter them. There was a small desire to just scoop him up in his arms and…for some odd reason, to show him the world.

Alfred snapped out of his state as he heard a scream come from the TV. On screen, a woman was being dragged by her legs into a dark room. The scene faded to black. America felt himself shiver, and he glanced to Japan. He was as calm as ever, seemingly unaffected.

You fascinate me.

This thought caught Alfred off guard. Just suddenly, such intimate words, he…

He looked away from Kiku.

The words he couldn't say, the words he could never understand were caught in his throat again. Choking him, frustrating him. He could barely watch the movie, as he tried to sort this all out. How long has it been like this? How long had he felt this way? And what the hell did it mean, anyway?

I can take care of you.

I can make you happy.

I want to see your smile.

I want you.

I want you.

I want you.

"Alfred-san?'

His face was red and he didn't understand. Ah, as a hero…this wasn't right, was it? No, no, it's all wrong. Something's wrong, a problem in the story, something that didn't fit, that didn't belong. It annoyed him.

"Yeah?"

"You seem uncharacteristically quiet. Is something wrong?"

I want you.

Can I hold you?

I never want to let go.

"Oh no, I'm fine! Don't worry about me!"

Kiku cast him an amused glance. The corners of his mouth twitched again, as if to smile, but he didn't. "I suppose you've gotten some courage if you're able to watch this."

If he thought about it enough, he could piece these feelings together. Gather them all up, and put it together, all to make one four lettered word that summed it all up. But it felt dangerous to declare this feeling, to figure it out. Also, Alfred could barely comprehend it anyway, so he was much too far away from such a conclusion. He just knew that he couldn't stop thinking about Kiku. The warm eyes, the pale soft hands, the nape of his neck that seemed so inviting…

But did America really deserve to see what was below that clothing? He tried to think of his skin, of Kiku's skin. But what he had to remember was that was also Japan's skin.

Scars from burns. Burns from such a long time ago, burns from a harsh decision. Scars given as courtesy from America, something like a disproportionate revenge. Maybe, a time ago, Alfred could've imagined milky white skin. Smooth and unblemished. Before the war and before the hatred and the attack and…

…His head hurt thinking about this. He stopped altogether.

What was wrong with him anyway? Heroes don't brood! They save the day, they protect the innocent, they bring justice to the evil doers! Alfred stopped thinking about this, shook off the thoughts, and grinned at Kiku.

"Of course! Heroes aren't afraid of anything!"

"Ah, but before…"

"That was the past, this is now!"

"…Of course, Alfred-san."

It's not that I hurt you.

No I never want to hurt you.

Why does it keep happening?

Alfred wanted to protect Kiku, but the wants of America had different plans for Japan. He should apologize but he couldn't. The fact that his initial feelings for Kiku were ignored he…he didn't want to focus on this. No need for sad feelings! No need for any of that!

So, just as always, he looked away from the problem, ignoring it altogether.

I'm sorry.

Do you hate me?

Please don't hate me.

Words rushing through his head, words that he couldn't make sense of. What did it mean? He wanted to ignore it, but he couldn't. It troubled him, and he hated that. But it's not like he could ask for help: heroes have backup and sidekicks to inspire and lead. He didn't need help. And besides, who would help anyway?

It was then another scream lashed out from the movie. This time, a man was being stabbed over and over again, the blood even getting on the camera lens. Alfred could feel a movement on the couch, and when he looked over, he could see Kiku shivering.

Kiku.

It was then Alfred realized that all these thoughts were about Kiku, that maybe he should tell him so as to make sense of it. I mean, he caused it after all, maybe he would have the answers too. But…

I've hurt you so much.

I'm sorry.

You never smile around me.

You never laugh.

Is something wrong?

Do you hate me?

He shook his head, trying to get rid of it all. But the words were in his throat again, choking him, and he could say it. He really honestly could if he tried. Just grab the remote, and press pause, turn to Kiku and confess it all. Try to get some answers. Try to make sense of it all. I mean, if pressed enough, Alfred could tell you that, yeah, maybe this wasn't friendship. All these thoughts were too intense and emotional to be friendship. They were something more but…

He was too scared to figure out what that meant. What was beyond friendship? Alfred was too scared to figure it out. Which is silly because heroes never get scared, but this…

…This had nothing to do with that.

As nations, all relationships are temporary. Never get too attached. There is responsibility before desire. America was too young to comprehend that, but unknowingly he was starting to.

If I tell him, he'd be fine with it right?

But what if I hurt him again?

Don't hate me.

I don't want to hurt you.

Those shivering shoulders…I could put an arm around them, he thought to himself. That small frame, those thin wrists, the curve of his shoulders…

I want to hold you.

I want to take care of you.

I want to make you happy.

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

The screaming coming from the movie was stopped midway. Kiku frowned, confused, turning his head to see America's hand on the remote, the finger on the pause button. There was something different about him then, at that moment. The stiffness of his jaw, the furrowed brow. He turned to look at Kiku then, eyes serious. Kiku was taken aback by this expression…it was so different so…

…so frightening.

"America-san?"

"It's Alfred."

Such a forward tone of voice, which also made Kiku shiver. He had grown used to America's playful voice, cheery and carefree, but this was so…so commanding. America must've noticed Kiku's subtle fear then, because his expression softened once more, and he smiled an unsure smile. Kiku gulped, and corrected himself then, unable to read the mood.

"My apologies. Then, Alfred-san, is something wrong?"

"I…I need to say something. So hear me out, okay?"

While his tone was gentler this time, Kiku was still perturbed. Because, while Alfred was more kindly, there was one fact that wouldn't stop unnerving him. Those blue eyes, such innocent blue eyes, wouldn't stop staring at him. It was such an intense stare, and Kiku had to look away for a moment because of it. It was like he was staring right through him.

Suddenly Alfred's hand was on his cheek then. Warm and light, those fingers forced him to look back at those eyes.

"Please don't look away. This is really important, okay?" He said, a slight edge of steel to that voice. It made Kiku shiver, and he nodded lightly, agreeing. What other choice did he have then? He decided to stay as calm as always, though, and waited patiently.

"I…I need to know. Kiku…"

Alfred's cheeks turned red, his heart pounding. What was this? Being all nervous and scared this wasn't…I wasn't…I…

"What do you think of me? Like, about us, too."

Finally, he said the words that were choking them. And although it was a slight cop out, he couldn't bear to say anymore. It was so scary and frightening and he didn't know what to do. He was going blindly, and this isn't what heroes do! Why am I so scared, what is wrong with me?

Kiku what have you done to me?

Meanwhile Kiku was silent. He didn't look surprised. He didn't look like anything. Just the same as always, calm and considerate and for some reason this just made America so angry.

Why are you always so cold? Why do you never smile? You're always like this! It's so annoying!

Alfred tried to block out these thoughts. What the hell? What ugly emotions. This wasn't him, so he ignored them, trying to pretend like these weren't his latent thoughts brought to the surface.

Finally, Kiku spoke, his eyes looking downward, voice precise and careful.

"I…I would be lying if I said there wasn't some dislike for you."

What? No, no, I heard wrong right? Yeah, I must've…

"However."

Suddenly, Alfred was hopeful.

"However, such emotions are only for America. For Alfred-san, however, things are much different."

Kiku looked back at him then, smiling. It was exactly what Alfred wanted, and even more.

I love you.

I'm sorry I never realized it before, but I love you.

I loved you since I first saw you.

I want to continue loving you. I want you to love me. I want to take care of you and make you happy. I want to hold you and kiss you and never let go. As 'Alfred' I love 'Kiku' and that will never change. These feelings will never change, because…

because I love you.

"Alfred-san, this might be forward of me, and I apologize but…"

"Yeah?" Alfred asked, voice eager. He couldn't help from leaning closer a bit, as he hung on every single word of Kiku's. The wait was killing him!

"I…I would like to say that you're very dear to me. Although you can be quite a handful, and it's a lot to manage for someone at my age, I don't mind. Because, Alfred-san you are a very dear friend to me."

What?

"Huh?"

Kiku was blushing then, his smile soft. To say such daring things, for someone like him, was so very embarrassing. Yet, he had admitted it, just as Alfred asked him to. Though, he wondered for a moment why his friend would even ask such a thing in the first place.

"You're a good friend, Alfred-san, one I…I treasure."

Ah. So.

This is how it feels like to have your heart broken.

"A...a friend?"

"Yes."

It hurts.

It really, really hurts.

So many thoughts, all these words. All stuck in his throat, choking him, and there was nothing he could do. Nothing he could say. Alfred looked away from Kiku, back to the TV screen. On it, was a woman running from the killer, her mouth wide as she was screaming, the fear in her face obvious. Alfred smiled then, all of a sudden, and looked back to Kiku. He patted him on the back, roughly, causing Kiku to jolt a bit.

"Well, good! You're a really great friend of mine, too!"

Kiku smiled again, nervously.

"A-Alfred-san, if I may ask what brought upon this…?"

"Well, I was kinda wondering, ya know? Nothing too big." He waved it off, all smiles as usual. Kiku felt at ease again, no longer unnerved by Alfred or his bizarre behavior. It didn't suit him anyhow, and although it could be annoying, he preferred the outgoing and loud Alfred to anything else. Next to him, his friend was grabbing for the remote again, to pick up where they left off, going back to their usual routine. He couldn't help from saying it though. Perhaps as a way to clarify that things were back to normal?

"It worried me though."

"Hm? What did?" Alfred asked, somewhat distracted, as he tried to find the play button. They had turned off the lights, and he had to squint to see.

"You had such a profound expression. It was unlike you."

He could feel his heart hurt again.

So, what, you don't think I can be 'profound'?

You always treat me like a kid.

Why don't you ever take me seriously?

Will it always be like this?

"Oh, did I? I didn't notice." He laughed, acting as if Kiku was being silly, that he was overthinking it. He finally pushed play, and the figures on the screen moved from their spot. The killer was still in hot pursuit, the woman's screaming coming back to life. Their actions had put a sort of end to that conversation then, and Kiku never brought it up again.

And Alfred could do nothing about these words. These words that choked him, all the words he couldn't say. Feelings he was beginning to understand when it was already too late. He was hopeful that things could change then. Maybe he'll grow to love him. Maybe he'll take him seriously, stop thinking of Alfred as 'just a kid'. America put a lot of faith in the fact that one day, he'll have a happy ending. He put a lot of faith in this optimistic attitude, so he didn't let this bring him down.

One day, you'll love me.

What he didn't realize though, was that these were all 'maybe's. It was all chance and there was just an equal amount of chance that Kiku would never love him. But as Alfred, he ignored that, as was his nature.

One day I'll get to say it. So hurry up and fall for me. I can't wait!

When that day would come, he would definitely get to say it. Say all the words that choked him; that he kept inside.

One day, he could tell him he loved him.


Well, that's the end! Thanks for reading!

Oh wow, is this dramatic. Sorry if that's not your cup of tea! Also, this ending is sort of difficult, but I hope it sounds like Alfred, even a little.

So, um, yeah. Once again, thanks for reading! Ciao! :D

-Apple Fairy