A/N: This fic is very near and dear to my heart, one that I've been writing for about a year. It's taken that long to get this fic right. It's kind of a different twist on a song fic. Yes, it does follow Evanescence's song "My Immortal" but it is not essential to know the song to read this fic. I would, however, recommend giving it a listen, it's a gorgeous song! Thank you for reading and enjoy.
All of Me.
I don't remember when exactly it was when I first looked over at you, but I do know it was after an extended period of time of awkward silence. Your impromptu visits always produced too much noise for my liking but once I sat down to read and ignore you, you followed suit. That is, if you can call reading that rubbish of a comic "book" reading. I wonder if you ever sat down to read anything that was longer than an informational pamphlet, probably not. Your glasses that never leave your side, are placed on the table next to you as you continued your staring match with each page, memorizing each little dot as your blue eyes moved sluggishly across.
God, you look so much younger without those blasted things on.
It's almost a refreshing change to not have those glasses of yours obstructing the view of your azure eyes that reflect everything so perfectly, however each time their direction is changed to mine, a knot tangles its way from my chest and around my windpipe; strangling me with thoughts and feelings I'd rather not remember. I wish you wouldn't look at me so deeply, it hurts when just for one shining moment, I see the young boy I raised and the emptiness in my chest seems amplified.
You finally catch my eyes on you and look up while cocking your head to the side.
"What's up…?" Hearing your voice nearly sends me jumping from my seat.
"N-Nothing, why would anything be up? I'm just wondering how long it will take your brain to fall out of your head 'reading' that abomination." I hate the way my voice always seems to fail me, almost as much as I hate the fact that you understand that's not what I mean in the least. Your face contorts into confusion before giving up and returning to whatever speech bubble you were on.
'Prat has absolutely no bloody idea…'
As much as I try to hide it away from prying eyes, I don't like being alone, not that anyone cares to pay attention to that fact. My brothers never seemed to care I hated to be alone and my only friend when I was small seemed to be France which, of course, exploded in my face; so why should the rest of the world think twice about what I wanted if the people closest to me already didn't care to look? I still don't like to be alone, but I have grown used to it.
I remember when the New World had been found and brought with it the shining image of a new nation. The moment I laid my eyes on you, America, I knew you would be different and not only due to your naïve and innocent ideals. Your independent nature was accentuated not only by your amber locks, but those blue eyes, bluer than any sky I've ever set eyes on. I miss the days that those eyes would look up at me and twinkle brightly with my return after many months of separation…
But your eyes were quickly reduced to only slightly glistening pools of their former selves as they stared down at me with nothing less than disdain. Even when the sky itself was greyer than a tombstone, your eyes shown blue enough for it all. As they bore down into me, the rain's chill sank its fangs into my skin and past my uniform that was tattered and stained. The only thing that provided me with some warmth away from the rain and the blood that had run cold around my legs were the tears that dripped from my eyes.
Those tears kept me warm enough without you for the upcoming years. I could see the rift forming between us as you enjoyed your life of "freedom" and "independence" all while I was left to rot across the ocean. It progressed to the point of where the tears couldn't even reach my heart where my seething hate for you began to brew. And that's when you came back, you were trying to be friends and get along with me. You fought for your right to break apart my heart and yet you're still returning to rip the remaining fragments out of my chest. Idiot, why can't you just leave me be?
When you'd show up on my door step, I'd wait for the day I could shove you back out. Even after being successful in doing just that, I'd find something that you had left behind a few days later. That only served to dangle you in front of my face; I'd have to give it back to you but I'd have to wait because you were a "busy nation." Git, how can you even tell me things like that? You always know just what to say to destroy me at the foundations, it seems. Not that I'll admit that.
It's a well known fact that I don't hide what I'm feeling well, despite what I may think. The wound that you tore open with your own hands turned into a scar, very tender to the touch. Even now it hurts, after the decades upon decades of time and multiple instances of me trying to accept the desertion. Once a small bit of me felt healed, I'd see you forming new friendships with other nations, exposing that blinding smile that you used to show only to me and I'd feel that wound open and fester deeper. It soon became clear that I would never be rid of that feeling and even to this day, I feel my heart clench with jealousy when you're around others.
How can I not feel this way? When you were young, no one else made any effort to sit with you as you bounded through your open fields as the bundle of joy you were, no. They all stayed in their respective homes, comfortable in their beds while I weathered the storms out across the Atlantic. I treasured the time we had together, both the good and the bad. I still remember when you fell and scraped your knee for the first time. Your wails continued for no less than an hour as I rocked you back and forth, reaching my thumb up to wipe your still chubby cheeks of the tears that coated them. You hiccupped a few more times before your flushed face calmed as you curled to my chest in a peaceful sleep.
That wasn't the only time I found myself protecting you with my arms, quite the contrary. I remember the nights when lightning painted the sky and thunder rolled in the distance and you would wake up in the middle of the night screaming. The sound pulled me out of bed as if a magnet were attached to my hip and the other was at your door; I'd dash into your room and see you curled in a ball on the bed, shuddering in a mass of blankets. When I'd sit down, the magnet seemed to shift to you as you ended up snuggling into my side, hiding your face in my night clothes as I stroked the back of your hair soothingly, hugging your frame to me each time the lightning flashed and your body went rigid.
Even when the storm ended and I got up to take my leave, your fists would tighten on my clothing and force me to stay put. After a few moments, I would give in and lay down with you. As you drifted off you'd always whisper a small "Thank you, England," and turn over on your side to face the window and I felt myself choking on what seemed like tears.
That feeling entered me each time you grabbed my hand while we were walking down the street somewhere. Eventually, as you began to get taller and taller, the hand holding got to be lesser by the day and I felt myself missing that feeling of being happy. Even now when we're walking down the street and you grab my hand, you grown up and far from being the small child I once cared for, an ecstatic feeling that I can't even describe bubbles up in my stomach. Different from the feeling I had when you were younger, this one is much more… warm. Not that I'll ever admit to that either, I have far too much dignity.
Alfred, what's happened to us over the years? When I first saw you, all I could see was the promise that you held as a new nation to bring ideals to this world that we could use to our advantage. However, all the time we spent together seems to have morphed my views on us together. Now when your name is brought up, instead of basking in the warm light that came from your presence, I find myself getting flustered and wanting to move onto a different topic. I lied to myself and others for the longest time that I simply did not want to be associated with a fool who betrayed us in the past and would rather forget the life we led together, but I knew that wasn't the reason.
It seemed the more I wanted to get away from that feeling that was infecting my being, the more it would pop up. Soon, my dreams weren't even an adequate escape from you any longer, your face blinded my sight every time I closed my eyes. Even when my eyes were open, I could always hear your voice in the back of my mind, taunting me and twisting my thinking until it can to the point I was sure I was going insane. Just when that point would happen, you'd find your way to my side to make sure that I was feeling better, joking around that you'd have to take care of whomever was hurting "your Iggy." My cheeks would go hot and you would stand up to leave, waving sloppily and onto your next conversation as if it was nothing. Oh, if I'm correct, you're still a busy nation, aren't you?
When you'd leave me to go talk to Japan or have a few laughs with another group of nations, that jealousy warms up in my throat again. I need to remind myself that you're not mine anymore, you're not going to be around waiting for me any longer. After all, we spend so much time together now that it's gotten to the point of when either of us is visiting we refuse to even sleep in separate beds from one another. And yet, I find myself wanting more. Needing more. More contact. More everything… More you. Each time you leave me to go back to your country, I feel another piece of me pulled away much like I did kneeling in the mud that fateful day. I feel the pain that comes along with accepting the fact that you'll always be with me, always to love me in whatever way this has twisted into over the years… America, you're always there, haunting me in every way but giving me nothing for it in return. I'm suffering and you don't even bother to take those damned glasses off and see past that, I want you with me, I don't want to be alone anymore!
Blinking a few times, I see you crouching in front of me.
"W-What do you want?" I ask with obvious confusion in my voice. Your hand reaches up and I cringe, thinking you're going to poke me, but your fingertips merely brush my cheek pulling away and revealing your true motive.
"Iggy… You're crying."
"I am not!" I instinctively shout while recoiling, as always, trying to hide my feelings. A stupid lie, and you lean forward with determination in your voice.
"Arthur, really, what's wrong? You can't be crying if there isn't anything wrong." Your glasses are back on your face but you're looking over the frames and into my eyes.
"Stop…" The confusion on your face is matched by my own before I feel more tears pouring down my cheeks. Pulling my hands up to shade them, you only grasp my wrists and pull them away and look at me with the eyes I remember. There's a moment of silence filling the air before I wrench my arms away and throw them around your back, clutching your shirt in my fists. I try to hush my rather outlandish display and take in a few deep breaths, my hold on you never wavering. "…H-How?"
"How what?" You try to push me back, to look into my eyes again. I can't take it, I can't take those eyes.
"How… After this long… D-Do you still have so much of me?" I choke out. You are silent for the longest time. Finally, I hear you swallow.
"Arthur… I…" I let you go for a moment and pull back, this time staring you dead on.
"You still have all of me." It seems to be a mere whisper that doesn't even sound like it comes from me. Your face is filled with an uncertain emotion and I breathe in deeply again and wipe my face away. "I… I apologize. I'm not feeling well right now." You're still looking at me with those eyes. "Alfred, I promise, I'll be okay. I'm just tired is all." You're still looking at me and I feel my face heat up. Just as I'm about to say something, you pull me up and out of my chair to my feet, resting in your arms. For one brief moment, I can't help but revel in how warm it feels. "Alfred?" You say nothing and just hold me for the longest time. I no longer protest and I hang on as if my life depended on it.
For everything in my life that seemed unfair or displeasing, in that one moment of ours, I felt like it would no longer matter. Alfred, you mean more to me than I could ever care to put into words and maybe, someday, I'll be able to verbalize it to you. But for now, please, just don't let me go.
You still have all of me.
I do not own Hetalia or Evanescence's song "My Immortal."