Britain boarded the plane, ignoring America's happy wave. The jet's door sealed and the giant machine left, bound for a rainy island far away. America watched it with sad eyes and a bright smile. That was the last one. All of the other countries had left yesterday evening. Now, America was the only one in his nation.
He turned and walked toward the Chevrolet truck that he had driven. The door closed with a slam. He left the airport in silence. He got into the crazy traffic and started his journey home. He just wanted to be home. Sure, the house was empty. It had been for years. South had moved into her old mansion by the sea in the late sixties. She didn't come around anymore. West had never really lived with America. He had his own house on the cliffs of Nevada. America didn't get why he would want to live in the middle of nowhere when he had so many cities to choose from, but West had always been weird.
America turned the radio to an oldies station and listened to Frank Sinatra. Those had been the days. Great music, attractive women, and great days. When had everything gone wrong? When had Americans stopped caring about each other? Years ago, good Samaritans weren't rare here. They had been plentiful.
The station was interrupted for a report on Iraq. America listened, disgusted. His people were so sentimental. Any bleeding heart story and they were ready to fight, or to surrender. It was too close to what China had yelled at America years ago. "Kill enough Americans, and they go away. Doesn't matter why they're fighting, or how many of the enemy die. It only matters how many of the Americans go down.
He had denied that, and still would to the other nations, but it was true. He couldn't finish a job anywhere without his own people calling him a monster. Then again, he couldn't do anything right. If he fought someone, he was a warmonger. If he didn't fight, and turned the other cheek, he was an inattentive idiot without any idea what was going on around him.
America sighed, when could he just rest? Would South ever be strong enough to destroy him? Sometimes, he almost hoped she did. South would kill whoever threatened her people, and they'd cheer her on. She would be strong. West would join her. He always did. When the man would admit that he loved the southern belle was beyond America. He had known how the western region felt about her for centuries.
His exit came up, and he turned. The thousands of cars slowly disappeared, eventually leaving America alone on the back road. His house finally came into view, a giant flag blowing in the wind with a light shining on it. He smiled, that was beautiful sight. He pulled into the gravel driveway, listening to the familiar crunch from his tires.
He parked the car under an oak tree and got out. His shoulder was throbbing. It hadn't stopped since 2001, when they had bombed him. He rotated it and looked up at the stars. They were fainter than when he had been young. They had once been brilliant in their beauty. Now, they were only little dots of light. Just like his so called dreams.
He walked up the steps of his house and looked into the dark house. Why was it, that no matter how much he did for other people, they didn't care about the good he did? Why was he always left alone after they had gotten what they wanted?
America sighed and found his keys. He felt the ring until he could find the right one. Once he had the correct piece of metal, he opened the door and walked in. He flipped on the lights and locked the door. He looked down the hallway, wishing that one of his regions would be there. No one came. He lowered his head and shrugged off his jacket. He hung the old leather up and started taking off his guns and knives. He didn't wear as many as Russia or Israel, but he had enough to ruin someone's day.
He laid them down on the table and kicked off his shoes. He was so tired. Tired of being used, of being hated, of being forgotten, of being left alone. He walked up the stairs and went into his bed room. It was dark, but he kept everything military order. He walked to the bed and pulled down the covers. He unbuttoned his shirt, and kicked off his pants. He took off his glasses and lay down. The mattress was firm, and it felt so good. He sighed and turned into the pillow. Maybe tomorrow would be the day, he smiled. Maybe tomorrow, he could finally end it all.
He turned over and looked at the ceiling fan. South had made him install it, claiming that a room was unlivable if there was not a fan. He had given in. How could he not? She had been happy, and she had even smiled at him. He missed her. Sure, she was mean as a snake, but she was also as sweet as honey when she wanted to be. The woman could charm Switzerland into buying her whatever she wanted, had the fancy ever struck her.
To the world's relief, South had only ever had three crushes, and Switzerland had never been one of them. To his relief as well. He did not want to deal with Switzerland when the neutral nation realized what had happened.
He turned and looked out the window. The full moon was out. Which means that he is the only person trying to sleep. He scowled, and turned over again. He wanted to sleep! Why did his mind have to keep reminding him that he was alone? What had he done to deserve the constant reminder? He growled and clenched his eyes shut. He didn't have time for this. He controlled his breathing and counted to one million. Finally, nearing two million, he fell asleep. A fitful sleep, filled with dreams of when he and South had fought. She still has a scar down her left cheek.
He dreamed of a family. A real family. States running around, him and South chasing the little rascals. Her laughter. His smiles. Days in the mountains. Nights on the beach.
Then, the dream changed. Going to the smoking field where he had destroyed her. He had made everyone desert her, making them pretend the war was about slavery. She had just gotten tired of making him sandwiches. He had smiled when her men fell. She had just cried tears of anger. He taunted her. He shot her. He nearly killed her.
West had stopped him. The look of disgust in West's eyes had been what made America remember himself. He looked down, and there she was. Bloody, bruised, broken, and unconscious. She had been unconscious for a while.
He had retreated, and when she woke up, she had surrendered. He hadn't calmed down yet, so he made her suffer. Especially after one of her men killed his boss. He had beaten her, and she hadn't even fought back. Because she had surrendered. She had given up. But every time she looked up at him, the loathing in her eyes told him it was only temporary. She'd get up again.
The dream changed. They slept in a bed. He woke up smiling, and so was she. She leaned over him slowly, but suddenly there was a knife at his neck, and she was smirking murderously. She leaned over to his ear and breathed, "I told you that I'd rise again." She slit his throat.
America woke with a start and grabbed his neck. No blood. Nothing. He looked around. South wasn't there. His mind caught up with him, and he remembered. Of course she wasn't in there. They had never shared a bed. She couldn't stand to be in the same room with him. Why would she? He had beaten the hell out of her many times.
He snarled and flopped back down. He looked at the clock. It was thirty minutes until he had to get up. He shrugged. He could go for a run. He loved to run.
America got up and pulled on a t-shirt and shorts. He grabbed his running shoes and slipped them on. His Ipod was on the dresser. He grabbed it and his revolver. He didn't want to go unprepared.
He drank a glass of water, and then he was off. He took the path through the woods. He hadn't been that way in a few months. He breathed in twice through the nose and once out of his mouth. He watched the path and leapt over fallen trees and roots. He loved running. It made his mind clear. It gave him an immediate goal to work for. He could do it easily. This path was about twenty miles, once he went back to the house. A human couldn't do it, but he was a nation. It only took him about an hour and a half.
He reached the stream and looked at the waterfall. He smirked and ran to the rocks. He hadn't climbed it in a while. He grabbed the rocks and started up the hundred foot wall. He got to the top and looked at the water. It would be easy to end it here. Drowned himself. Only South knew about this place. She wouldn't find him. He would seem to simply disappear.
He took one hand off of the wall. He looked at the fall and started down. He came down slowly, and once he was only about twenty feet off the ground, he jumped. His knee didn't enjoy the jump, but Pearl Harbor was strong. He stood up and starting running back to the house. He needed a shower before he went to the shooting range.
He sprinted the last five miles. The burning in his legs felt so good. He loved this. He jumped up the steps and ran up the stairs. He stopped in the bathroom and stripped, getting under the steamy water.
He finished up and walked into his room, a towel wrapped around his waist. He looked around at the mostly empty room. He was alone. Just like he always was. He looked at his revolver and thought about it. How easy would it be to just pull the trigger?
America looked down at it. If he died, most nations would jump at the chance, but South would take care of that. She'd threaten them with everything, and if that meant she had to nuke someone, she'd do it in a heartbeat. She'd protect everyone. Why not just end it. He smiled down at the gun. It would be so easy. He smiled widely. He would end it. He wouldn't be the monster. How can the dead be monsters?
He stood up and got dressed in a pair of jeans and a button down shirt. He grabbed the gun and walked down to his sunroom. He looked out over his yard and smiled. This is what he wanted to see, right before he left forever. He looked down at the metal gun and ran a finger over it. He would miss some, but no one would miss him. They'd bury him, and then have a party. The warmonger was dead.
He lifted the gun and America breathed in once more. He cocked it and closed his eyes. He breathed out and started to squeeze the trigger. A shot rang out.
America dropped the gun and swore loudly. The round when straight through his hand! He grabbed the gun up and turned quickly, ready to kill whoever shot him. He froze when he saw furious pale green eyes glaring up at him.
She stood there, the .40 caliber Glock pistol still poised to take him out. She scowled at him, and yelled, "Who do you think you are?" She walked towards him, "God?" She growled, "You don't get to decide when your time here is up, you disgusting excuse for a nation. Things too hard for you? Build a bridge and get over it. You ain't leaving here that easily."
She lowered her gun and snorted in disgust, "To think, I thought better of you."
America looked at her in confusion, "Why do you care?"
South shook her head and slipped the Glock back into the holster, "You may piss me off. You may make me hate your guts. You may be the cockiest son of a gun I've ever met, but you're still my family. I ain't got much of that, so I got to keep you around." She turned and started walking towards the kitchen, "Come on, you useless collection of cells, I'll make you breakfast."
America followed her numbly and sat at the breakfast bar while she gathered eggs and vegetables. He watched her blond ponytail swing around with her movements. He looked down, "Why did you come?"
South didn't look at him, "I always know where I need to be. I needed to be here."
America took the glass of apple juice that she offered, and took a sip, "You will be fine."
South stopped and turned to look at him, the scar standing out against her lightly tanned skin, "What do you mean by that?"
America looked into the cup, "When I die, you'll survive. You'll thrive."
South snarled, "Listen here, you little piss ant, I don't want you to die. You ain't going to either. You're the United States of America. I'm the South. I fight to keep you alive. Don't you dare go spitting on that by killing yourself." She turned and cracked the eggs into a bowl and started cutting up the bell peppers and tomatoes.
America sighed, "I'm hated, South. No one, not even my own people like me. Why should I stick around?"
South poured the mixture into the heated skillet. She turned to him and smiled, "Heroes aren't always loved." She moved over in front of him, "Yes, you can piss people off easier than a fish can swim. Yes, you back down to easily. Yes, I do hate your boss." They both laughed. She looked him in the eye, "But, I still love my family. I still care about you. So does England. So does Germany. So does Japan, and even Russia when you two aren't at each other's throats."
She turned and flipped the omelets out and handed him his. He grabbed a fork and dug in and moaned. South could still cook better than France. He loved when she cooked. South spread ketchup on hers and dug in. They ate in silence. Then America got up and washed the dishes, confusing South.
She leaned against the counter next to the sink, "I've never seen you do the dishes." She didn't mention that he had always made her do them. He flinched anyway.
America smiled weakly, like she hadn't found him trying to kill himself, "I've been alone for a while. I had to learn."
South smiled widely, "I see."
America dried the skillet and looked over at her, "So, how long are you staying?"
South smirked wickedly, "I'd say until you don't need me anymore, but we both know you'll drive me crazy before then."
America smiled at her happily, "I'll have to be on my best behavior then." South was taken back. Maybe being lonely for a few decades was a good thing. He was so much nicer now. She liked the change.
They spent the day playing outside. Acting like they were children. There were water hoses, pool fights (another thing South had insisted he have at the house), and then cloud watching. America slowly stopped thinking about always being alone, and South pushed the vendetta away. It wasn't the time for anger. She had to help him.
Finally, the sun set behind the trees and they headed into the house. South smiled up at him, "It's kind of like the years after the revolution, isn't it?"
America looked down at her and smirked, "Except for the running water, clean swimming area, air conditioning, cars…"
South giggled, "I meant the feeling. It doesn't feel like it usually does when we're around each other."
America sighed and looked out the window, "I miss you."
South plopped down on the couch, "So what?" America looked at her, surprised at her callous attitude. She snorted, "What did you do about it? You wallowed." She rolled her eyes, "That's all you ever do since the civil rights movement. You don't do anything all the way." She smirked wickedly, "I sure do hope that doesn't apply to everything." She plucked at her jeans. They were torn as usual, and loose. She wallowed in her stolen t-shirt (read: his favorite George Strait shirt!) and smiled, "You used to be awesome!"
America looked at her incredulously, "You hated me!"
South shrugged, "Only when it came to your holier-than-thou attitude. Besides that, you were actually pretty cool."
America threw his head back and smirked, "It took me trying to kill myself to get you to admit that."
She smirked, her eyes shining like he had never seen, "You never asked, you just assumed. And wallowed a lot."
America sat down beside her, "I get it. I wallow." He looked at her mockingly, "When did you get so observant?"
South shrugged, "Always have been. You were just too busy calling me names and such, to notice." The silence hung then. Both of them revisiting the burning field. America could nearly feel the smoke in his eyes.
South jumped up, "So, is my room still together?"
America looked at her in confusion, "You're staying?"
South shook her head and smiled, "You just don't get it, do you?" She walked over to him and leaned down, "You still need me, Alfred. I still need you too. I'm here until you don't need me anymore. Get that through your thick skull, you maggot." She scowled at him and he smiled back. She cared. At least someone did.
She turned and walked towards the door, "Under all the bastard layers, you're still the teenager that saved me from that burning building in the Revolution." South turned her head, "That's the nation I joined, and that's the nation I saved today. I always will."
America watched her leave. He soon heard the shower in his bathroom start running. He smiled and looked up at the moon, "I love you too, Amelia." He stood and picked the revolver up from the table. He walked to his bedroom and put it back in the case. He wouldn't need it. He had something better than oblivion.