A/N: I don't own Hetalia in any way shape or form!
Ten. Today it has been ten years since that dreadful day. The day my country weeps. The day I couldn't do anything but watch as innocent lives were lost. The day that America will remember forever. The day the twin towers collapsed and more than 2,000 people died. September 11, 2001.
It was like any other day. Alfred rolled out of bed groggily at 7:30, grabbed his glasses and shoved them onto his face without thinking much about it. Yawning, he sat up and stretched, his bones popping in pleasure from being stiff throughout the night. He opened his mouth, smacking his lips loudly and scratching his lower back as another yawn emitted from him. "Mmm, well I guess it's about time to start the day..." He said to no one in particular, seeing as no one was in the room and he had no idea where Tony had gotten to.
Pulling back the covers, he swung his feet over the edge of the bed and onto the smooth wooden floor, a smile plastering his face. He walked over to his dresser and began digging through the top drawer looking for a decent set of clothes.
Once he found something suitable he began walking into his bathroom on the far side of the room, his feet slapping loudly on the wooden floor almost seeming to echo throughout the house. Strange, it almost seems...ominous. Alfred thought as he stripped himself of yesterday's dirty clothes and stepped into the warm water that awaited him.
He began to wash himself slowly, his muscles relaxing at the soft touches as he cleansed himself. He ran his roughly worked hands through his dishwater blonde hair, spreading the shampoo thoroughly before washing it out and repeating the cyce once again.
The water began to run cold and he sighed, slightly annoyed at having to get out of the comfortable shower. Taking the towel he brought from the hallway cabinet, he began to dry his hair with it roughly before wrapping the much abused towel around his surprisingly thin waist. He tucked the edge of the towel into the fold so it would hold before walking back into his room to put on clothes.
He pulled his shirt over his head, carefully avoiding Nantucket as not to cause him a 'problem'. Letting his towel fall to the floor, he pulled on some American Eagle boxers and jeans, zipping them up quickly, but not to fast. He didn't want a repeat of last week.
Shuddering, he ran his hand through his hair again, flinging little droplets everywhere before going into the kitchen and making himself a huge sandwhich. Grabbing a Coca Cola to complete his feast, he hurried into the computer room and was about to set it down on his desk when a grey bulbous head leaning againt the arm of the chair caught his attention. "Ah, Tony! There you are! I was lookin' for ya bro."
When the grey alien didn't respond, Alfred hit the chair with his hip, trying to avoid dropping his food. Of course, being the oblivious American he was, he didn't think to set down his food on account of the Alien distracting him made him forget.
"Tonnnnyyyyyy." Alfred whined, still trying the get the foreigners attention. Waking from his slumber, the alien blinked warily at the American hovering above him with food. "Heyya dude! I thought you, like, had died or something. But I knew you wouldn't because you'd be missing out on all the cool new video games. Also because you're too awesome to die, bro. Now scoot over so I can sit, this food isn't light ya know."
The alien did as asked and Alfred set the plate and can of over caffinated pop next to his laptop. Tony looked at Alfred's sandwich hungrily and then up at the American himself. Alfred raised an eyebrow. "You want a sandwich?" Tony nodded vigorously, clutching at his stomach in an attempt to say he was starving.
Alfred heaved himself to his feet, walking towards the door before suddenly stopping in the middle of the room. "You want a Coca Cola too?"
Tony shook his head and spoke in a language that only he and the American could understand. "Moutain Dew? Alright then, bro." He walked out the door and was gone for about a second before poking his head through the doorframe again. "Oh, hey while I'm doing this can you go ahead and get the computer game ready?" Tony nodded and Alfred went to fetch his friend some food.
He opened the fridge again, pulling out the things he needed to make the sandwhich and reached above the sink to get the bread from the cabinet. As he was speading the mayonaise on the the top half, his stomach suddenly clenched causing him to gasp in surprise. It was gone as soon as it came, causing the American to wonder if it had really happened at all. Shaking it off as declines in the stock market, he finished making the alien's food, grabbed him a Mountain Dew out of the fridge and walked back into the computer room to see his game was already started.
He handed Tony his sandwich and plopped down in the leather armchair to begin playing his game that Kiku had sent him home with the other night. "Alright, time to start playing this bad boy." Alfred grinned, grabbing ahold of his controller and hitting 'start' to begin the game.
About a fifty minutes into killing zombies and who knows what else, Alfred's stomach clenched up again, causing him to almost choke on his food. He spat it out across the room, his face scrunching up as a huge tremor wracked itself through his body. Tony began patting the American on the back, afraid he was still choking on a piece of the sandwich, unaware that it had nothing to do with the food at all. Alfred moaned in pain, a light sheen of sweat beading his forehead. He clenched his teeth, as another tremor ran through his body. He was about to scream when, suddenly, the shaking had stopped.
He shooed Tony's hands away and glanced up warily, afraid if he did anything abnormal the tremors would start up again. Hesitantly he grabbed the controller again and resumed his playing, all the while afraid that any second he would feel the pain again.
His fears were confirmed when not even thirty minutes later the pains started up again, maybe even worse than the last time. His hands started shaking along with the rest of his body, he stood up, trying to walk to the front door, but fell to the ground as the hugest tremor yet racked throught his now seemingly frail body. His forehead pressed against the ground on his knees with his arms wrapped tightly around his abdomen, eyes shut tight from the amounts of pain his body was enduring. What was happening to him? To his country? To his citizens?
He opened his mouth to speak, a yelp of agony coming out instead. He clenchhed his eyes shut tighter, looking past the pain to speak to his alien friend who was staring at him in shock. "T-Tony...turn...on...the...t.v..."
Tony did as told, no matter how confused he was over the American's strange behavior. On the screen were two buildings caught on fire, dozens of people fleeing on the streets. Alfred's heart felt like it was sinking seeing his beloved country attacked like this.
"We are currently outside the World Trade Center where two hijacked planes crashed into the buildings, minutes apart. Help is on it's way but there's no telling how much we'll be able to do." The reporter on the television said grimly, her eyes brimming with tears.
"Why, dammit, WHY?" Alfred yelled, hitting his head on the carpet beneath him, hot and angry tears spilling from his own eyes. The pain was too great, his insides felt like they were aflame. There was nothing he could do. He was so useless. Just when his country needed him the most, he couldn't help them.
Despite his body's protest, Alfred stood up, his arm still clutching at his side, trying to stop the shaking enough for him to walk. He put his other hand out upon the doorframe for balance and used the wall for support the rest of the way. He was almost to the living room when he heard a knock and followed by a muffled, "Alfred?"
"It's open!" Alfred yelled, clutching again as the action caused another violent tremor throughout his body. He heard the door being unlocked followed by the familiar sight of his former caretaker and brother, Arthur Kirkland, the personification of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
"Alfred, I-" he stopped when he saw the look the younger was in. "Bloody hell, are you alright?" He ran over to Alfred's side, his brows furrowing in worry. "You're not sick are you?"
Alfred leaned on him for support as another followed through. He winced. "No, I'm fine and dandy. Of course I'm not fucking alright! The World Trade Center just got attacked by terrorists! People are dying, don't you understand? I have to help them!" He tried to push the Englishman off him but it was useless, his body too weak in his current state to put up much of a fight.
Suddenly Alfred let out a small yelp as his stomach felt like it was being punched over and over again. Tony came running in fast, hearing his friend's distress and began telling him what was happening on the news. Alfred's eyes widened and the angry tears came back, making his face feel hotter than normal.
Arthur looked between his former brother and the alien. "What's going on now?"
"They're jumping." Alfred whispered, barely audible. "My people-they're jumping to their deaths because they have no other option. It's either get burned alive or have your body smashed against the sidewalk. " His voice had gotten lower and lower until his lips had barely even moved on the last word.
Arthur winced this time as his best friend gave a huge shudder and fell limp in his arms. "Alfred? Alfred! Can you hear me?"
The American gave a slight nod, too weak to do anything else. Arthur began dragging him towards the door. "I'm taking you to the hospital, alright?"
Alfred shook his head in protest, still wanting to help his fellow citizens.
"Don't object!" Arthur snapped at the American's stuborness. "You're going and that's final!" He looked around frantically, spotting his keys on the coffee table and grabbing them quickly before pocketing them. He dragged the American out to his car and strapped him into the passenger's side seat, running around the car quickly to get into his own before backing out of the driveway. He was barely out of the neighborhood when Alfred had murmered something.
"What was that? i can't hear you." Arthur asked, glancing over at the younger man beside him.
Alfred rolled his head over so he could gaze hazily at the Brit. "Arthur...I want you to call Kiku."
"Kiku? Why Kiku?" Arthur questioned, tapping his foot impatiently while waiting at a red light.
"'Cause...he'll be worried 'bout me. I want him...to be there with me in case I can't make it...I need to tell him something..." Alfred smiled slightly.
"Nothing's going to happen to you! You're going to be fine, Alfred!" Arthur could feel the tears threateningly pricking at the corners of his eyes, but he didn't let them fall. The word's he said were true, he felt that Alfred would make it. But what if he doesn't? What if I'm left without my little brother anymore? What will I do then?
Arthur looked over and noticed Alfred unconscious beside him. He took this time to call for Kiku, deciding it was best to let him know as soon as possible. He dug through his pockets, fishing for his phone, soon finding it and flipping it open to begin scrolling for the number. He finally found it and pressed call, letting it ring 3 times before someone picked up.
"Konnichiwa, Arthur-san, is something the matter?" The Japanese nation's voice rang on the other line.
"Y-yes, Kiku, it's about Alfred." Arthur tried to keep his breathing normal, not letting on that the sight before him almost made himself cry.
There was a sharp intake of breath on the other line. "What about Alfred-kun?"
"He...he's in terrible pain. The Trading center was attacked by terrorists in planes and he's currently unconscious. I'm taking him to the hospital nearest his house in New York. He told me to call you and inform you, where are you at right now?"
There was a moment of silence before Kiku answered. "I'm at Canada-san's right now. I'll be there as soon as possible."
Arthur normally would have been appalled at the rudeness Kiku had demonstrated by hanging up on him, but under the current circumstances it was understandable.
He cast another glance at the nation next to him. It almost seemed like he was asleep. Please hold on, Alfred. Don't give in yet. We're all here for you.
"AHHHHH! Dammit! Make it stop!" Alfred scrunched his face up in pain as his body racked tremor after tremor, punch after punch to the stomach and it felt like he was on fire. "Kill me! Kill me!" He begged grabbing onto Arthur's collar, his eye's pleading. "I can't take it! I'm going to die, I'm going to die!"
Arthur pushed him off his shirt, smoothing it out, acting as if nothing were out of the normal. "You're not going to die! Now calm down before you give yourself a brain hemmorage!"
Alfred winced, his stomach being 'punched' again. Arthur's eyes softened in sympathy. "Another jumped?"
Alfred nodded his head weakly, looking up at the television across the room. "The towers haven't collapsed yet..." He murmered sadly, knowing that when they did if would be the most agonizing part yet.
"I know, it'll be okay, I promise. You'll get through this. You'll live."
"But so many other's won't. It's not fair I get to sit here and complain about a few stupid pains while they're across town dying." Alfred shook his head, laying back down and closing his eyes, breathing a bit heavily.
"Alfred, stop beating yourself up over this. It's not your fault."Arthur sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose, trying hard not to get frustrated at the American's behavior.
"I can't help but feel like it is." He said glumly., becoming slightly drowsy.
Arthur shook his head. I know...believe me, I know. His eyes wondered over Alfred's bruised body slowly, biting the inside of his cheek, and quickly looking away again. You have no idea just how much I know what you're going through...