___ was one of few things that silenced Alfred F Jones. At world meetings she would never speak. Ever. There are a few times he heard her spoke but it only when she excused herself or apologized for the few times she was late.
There were times when Alfred just watched ___. Someone once told him you can learn a lot just by watching a person... So that's what he did to get to know ___. Alfred had tried to speak with her before but she became slightly flustered and told him she had to leave every time.
Today was a normal world meeting. Arguments everywhere none of it the same and nothing getting done. Usually Alfred would be within an argument but today is a day his eyes stopped at ___. He didn't understand her. That's what silenced him. How could she never have anything to say? How could she always be so quiet? There had to be something in that mind of hers she needed to share; to get out. Something she needed to scream. But what could it be?
The bustle of world meeting always gave ___ a headache. Why did they always have to argue? She sighed looking down at her notes. When arguments happened she tried to write down different idea of all the countries. She hadn't done much today, today she just wanted to spend it outside. It wasn't like she had to be here anyways. She wasn't a country; just a capital. Her boss just thought she'd be able to help Mathew at world meetings. Boy was he wrong. She was just as invisible as Matthew.
With all the yelling ___ took the opportunity to slip out of the room for some peace. She could feel an attack coming on and she really didn't want it to happen there. If she went outside maybe she could calm herself.
Outside a little porch swing hung from a tree so ___ sat on it. A light breeze blew her hair behind her shoulders calming her slightly. This was much nicer than the meeting. The warm summer air hugged her letting her drift into light sleep. She heard a door open and close then someone sit aside her.
It seemed like the person sat there because they wanted something from ___ so she opened one eye glancing at the person. "Is there something you want," she asked politely.
Upon opening her eyes ___ found Alfred F. Jones, otherwise known as America. In all honesty she found him a little too loud for her taste.
For once Alfred couldn't the words he wanted out. "I'm Alfred," he stated. It wasn't what he wanted to say but at least it was something.
A tiny giggle left ___'s lips, "Yes I know. You're Mathew's brother... I'm ___." She let her eyes drift shut again. A breeze blew whipping both Alfred and ___'s hair everywhere.
"The meeting is getting hectic, isn't it," Alfred asked attempting to make conversation. ___ didn't seem very interested…
"Yes," ___ answered quietly. This situation made her nervous… It wasn't often she talked to other nations… Or many people for that matter. Socializing just made her nervous.
There had to be something that could get her talking, Alfred thought. He racked his brain for something, anything to get this girl to talk. "Have you ever been to New York," he blurted out.
The question caught ___ off guard. Why did he want to know anyways? "I ah, haven't... Why do you ask," she questioned.
"Do you want to," Alfred asked not answering her question. Maybe if he had more time to prepare and more things around him to talk about he could get her talking. New York had plenty of things to do, so why not go there?
___ had never really thought about going to New York… The first thing that always came to mind when she heard New York was people, lots and lots of people. She took a few moments to think it over before replying, "I guess so…"
The answer made Alfred's face light up into a big smile. "I could take you," he almost yelled.
The sudden raise of volume in Alfred's voice made ___ tense up noticeably. "U-um, o… Okay..? When do you want to go," she asked uneasy.
"Tomorrow," Alfred answered quickly. He already had plans but he wanted to listen to whatever was in that mind of ___'s a soon as possible. "You could come home with me today and stay at a hotel for tonight or my house. Then tomorrow we'll go site seeing all day."
The whole plan was out of the blue, there was no point in it, ___ didn't even know anything about Alfred, she hated crowds, and it was a perfect place for her anxiety to act up but… She couldn't bring herself to say no. That is how she ended up in a random hotel in New York waiting for Alfred to pick her up.
While she waited she paced back and forth around the room. She checked her appearance in the mirror multiple times. The day hadn't even begun yet and ___ already felt her breath leaving her. It was like she had to keep reminding herself to breath. She couldn't do this! What was she thinking yesterday? She made up her mind; she's going home. Just when she started to pack her things she heard a knock on the door. It was too late now…
"Are you ready ___," Alfred asked through the door. Maybe if she was really quiet he would think she wasn't there. Liking the idea she stopped moving and locked eyes with the door. He'll go away… "___? Are you there?" Give it a few minutes… "___?" ___ could hear the disappointment in his voice. She could almost see the look of dejection of his sweet face.
___ sighed; it was just a dumb fear anyways… It was just one day, she could handle herself… Right? Thinking on her toes she messed her hair up to look like bed head and slashed some cold water in her face. After she grabbed a brush and ran to the door and pulled it open quickly. "I'm sorry I slept in," ___ laughed nervously. Hopefully he would buy her lie.
Alfred was just about to walk off and ask the main desk if they saw ___ walk out but there she was. The small frown disappeared from his lips replaced by a big grin. "No problem! I do it all the time," he assured happily. He didn't give her much time to reply as he grabbed her hand and dashed off to the elevator.
"H-Hold on Alfred, you're going to fast," ___ stuttered. Alfred just looked back at her smiling wide and slowed a little. Maybe this wouldn't be as bad ___ thought it would be…
As they reached the elevator Alfred pulled ___ closer and demanded nicely, "So tell me about yourself."
"Well… Uh," ___ mumbled thinking of what to say. "What do you want to know," she asked nervously. Talking was something she was never good at… Especially the subject of herself, she stayed far away from that.
Alfred gave it a quick thought answering, "Everything." This only gained him a confused look from ___. Why did he want to know everything? Also where would she start? "I'll ask you a question and you answer. How's that sound?"
"O-okay," ___ answered hesitantly. "Well… Uh, what's the first question?" This whole situation made ___ nervous. Going to a place she'd never been, filled with people on top of that, with a person she had only spoken to a few times that wanted to know everything about her. Literally. In hopes of calming her nerves she played with a loose string on her sleeve.
To think of a question Alfred eye's wondered around the elevator. "Question one is…" he began slowly, "what's your favorite color?" He decided to start out simple and lead into the more personal questions.
"I don't really have a favorite color," ___ answered mindlessly, "I really can't stand the color orange though… It's hideous." That was an easy question hopefully they'd all be like that.
Things continued like; Alfred would ask a question, ___ would answer. Sometimes they carried light conversation in between. By lunch Alfred knew basically all of ___'s favorites, what she was like as a child, her dream job, any bones she had broken and the stories behind them, along with every scar. ___ got to know Alfred much better than she did before as well. So far things were going well.
"Alright question 112," Alfred stated, "if the world was going to end but you had the chance to live in space would you?"
___ looked away from the menu to Alfred that was an interesting question… Then again he did have a friend alien so it was possible. She really had to think before she gave him her answer, "No…"
The answer surprised Alfred. Why wouldn't she want to live? "So you wouldn't want to live? You'd rather die if the world ended?"
"Yeah… I mean everything in the world I knew and love would be gone. Sure my parents might go but," ___ paused looking towards her feet. "I don't know… All that history, a lot of art would just be… gone. All those places; gone. You'd never be able to see it again…" She looked back up at Alfred, "Heh, sorry that was a little depressing."
Before Alfred could say anything ___ went to order as it was their turn. Once ___ was done he ordered his food and pulled his wallet out. "Wait, I'll pay," ___ interjected.
Alfred smiled, "No, no, I'm paying." ___ in return gave him a little pout but insisted to pay for half. Which he reluctantly agreed, he couldn't say no to that pout.
For the most part while they ate it was quiet. ___ was wondering in her mind and Alfred was doing… Well he was shoving food into his mouth. It caused ___ to giggle quietly. It amazed how two strangers could go from, well strangers to those people who've known each other for years in just a few hours. At least it seemed like ___ knew Alfred for much longer than just a few hours.
"Question 113," Alfred said bringing ___ out of her thoughts, "why do you always seem so nervous?"
Oh goodness… Was she really that obvious that Alfred noticed? She laughed lightly, "Am I really that easy to read?" Alfred nodded in return. "I, uh, wasn't aware I was that obvious… I guess I'm just a nervous person." It didn't seem that Alfred was too satisfied with the answer but ___ didn't really feel like explaining to him she has social anxiety. Not on the list of things she planned on telling Alfred, or anyone for that matter. "S-So, next question?"
"…Question 114, if you saw a shooting star what would you wish for," Alfred asked. He didn't pick up on it at first but as the day went on he noticed ___ loosen up. It took him a while to notice it but it was prominent now. Her stumble of words slowly ceased, she looked him in the eye at times, and she stopped playing with loose strings on her clothing. There had to be a reason for all those nerves right?
"Now if I told you that it wouldn't come true, right," ___ teased gaining a pout from Alfred. She giggled, "I'm kidding. Hm, I guess I'd wish for… I'd wish to get over a silly fear of mine." She took a bite of her sandwich and waited for Alfred to ask the next question.
"Well if you're afraid of it isn't really silly is it? At least that's what I think," Alfred murmured thinking of his fear of ghost. Though, he would never admit it to anyone. He was the hero after all. "Okay question 115," Alfred muttered while thinking. "How come you never say anything at world meetings?"
The question made ___ freeze and drop her sandwich on the table. She could feel the heat rising to her cheeks, she didn't want to tell him; not at all. "I-I-I… I d-don't have a-anything to say i-is all," she lied. Lying was something she was never good at… Hopefully Alfred would be his dense self and not notice. "A-also I talk to Mathew!"
"Rarely," Alfred answered determined. He was going to get to the bottom of this weather ___ liked it or not. "You're lying I can tell," he accused with narrowing eyes.
___ was in fact speechless at the moment; all she could do was stare back at Alfred. Those big blue eyes staring directly at her (e/c) ones, she was frozen. Words tried to sneak past her lips but nothing but a faint murmur came out. How did he even know when she talked and didn't?
Alfred sat there silently with an almost pleading expression. He wanted to know, that's all. ___ suddenly looked down muttering, "Alfred please… j-just take me back to the hotel…"
___ was mentally slapping herself, that wasn't what she wanted to say! The two now stood in a subway back to the hotel. ___ looked up to apologize to Alfred for overreacting to find he wasn't there. Panicked her eyes darted around in search of his stubborn piece of hair that stood up. Subways always made her nerves tenfold, they were so unsafe… Quickly her breath became shallow and grew shakier. Alfred didn't get off already did he? ___ gripped her sides while glancing all around for any site of Alfred. The train is going to stop working isn't it? I'm going to die down here! Oh god I can't breathe. Where's Alfred? Her thoughts raced around in her head.
Alfred felt awful; he really screwed up… He sat with his head in his hand beating himself up. Slowly he turned to the spot next to him and began, "___... I'm sorry… I-" Alfred was cut off by an elder lady clearing her throat while giving him a weird look. "Ah… I thought you were someone else… I'm sorry ma'am," Alfred excused himself.
Now it was Alfred's turn to be panicked. When he told ___ he was going to sit down he could have sworn she followed. Quickly he went back to where he thought he left her only to find she wasn't there. Now, much panicked he threw his hands in his hair cursing himself. How could he lose ___? She didn't know New York! If she got lost she could get robbed, or hurt or worse… Ridding the thoughts from his head he quickly went to look for ___.
___ refused to move far from the spot she was in… Alfred would come back… He wouldn't leave her. Unfortunately for her it was close to the doors. Even few minutes the subway pulled up to another station when people would pour out than back in. Many of them almost knocked ___ over. One man even came over and threatened ___ for all the money she had. She quickly handed it over to him almost in tears. Right now she wanted nothing more than to get off this subway.
Just as __ was about to give up she spotted a familiar blond head; Alfred was facing away from her looking around. Grateful she found him ___ quickly walked up behind him and clutched unto his shirt with one hand. "A-Alfred g-g-get me o-off t-this d-d-death trap, p-please," she pleaded near her breaking point.
Although very confused, Alfred led ___ off at the next safest spot. The entire time ___ still had her hand clutched to his shirt and hadn't said a word. It looked like ___ was shaking but Alfred couldn't tell for sure… Once they were off the train and near someplace somewhat quite Alfred faced ___. He took her shoulders and asked, "_-___ what's wrong? You're freaking me out."
___'s gaze refused to meet Alfred's but quietly she explained, "I-I-I'm sorry… I-I'm having an a-anxiety attack…I-I-I…. I d-didn't want you t-to find o-out th-this… this way. I… I'm s-s-so sorry." Shakily ___ rubbed away some tears that slipped.
It wasn't until now that Alfred noticed how off ___'s breathing sounded. She was definitely shaking as well. He didn't know what to do… "How can I help," Alfred asked a little panicked.
"J-Just…Just g-give me a mo-mom-ment I'll b-be… be f-fine. I-I prom-mise," ___ breathed. She shook out of Alfred's grip and backing into the wall close behind. Trying to calm herself down ___ hugged herself gripping her clothes. "A-also… I-I shouldn't have r-reacted t-the way I d-did… I-I'm sorry."
Alfred stood there blinking, watching ___ practically fall to her feet. He thought back to when he felt scared or panicked as a child and what he wanted England to do. So he pulled his bomber jacket off to place it around ___. She looked up at him with a confused look but he pulled her in for a hug. "Just take deep breaths. You're going to be fine. Breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out," Alfred whispered.
It was the first time someone besides Mathew was there when ___ had an anxiety attack. Any other time she locked herself away from everyone. Mathew was very good at calming her down; he had such a sweet voice. The only reason he knew was because he stumbled upon her when she locked herself in a storage closet. Ever since then he would calm her down when he could.
It was different with Alfred… The hug made her feel shielded while the extra heat help soothed her. She did her best to control her breathing with Alfred's instructions and slowly he was able to calm her down.
Now ___ stood gripping onto Alfred's back with her head in the crock of his neck. She continued listening to him instruct her breathing. Which helped, her breath was back to normal and the shaking stopped. "A-Alfred," she stuttered quietly. "I th-think I'm okay now… Thank you."
"Are you sure," Alfred asked. Receiving a nod in return Alfred sighed in relief, "Good. I was worried there for a moment."
"Well," ___ began," you've found me out… I don't speak up at world meetings and I'm a nervous wreck in public because I have social anxiety." She rubbed her arm while giving his a small shrug. "O-oh… you can have you jacket back," she told him slipping it off. Alfred hadn't said anything yet… She held his jacket out to him nervously. "Well… say something."
"It all makes sense now," Alfred murmured. Now ___ didn't expect Alfred's reaction… He was smiling like he just won the lottery. "Come on let's get you home," Alfred suddenly exclaimed. She was being dragged up stairs and through crowds of people led by Alfred.
Now ___ was never athletic, not at all. So it wasn't a big surprise when she had trouble keeping up with the face paced Alfred. "A-Alfred, slow down! Please," she tried to yell. Instead of slowing down Alfred stopped abruptly causing her to run into his back.
"You're so slow," Alfred teased. To help ___ along Alfred decided to put her on his back and take off running again.
To say the least ___ was surprised but didn't protest. A smile formed across her lips along with a giggle escaping through them.
It didn't take long for them to reach the hotel. Alfred took ___ right up to her room against her protests. Once they reached her room is when he sat ___ still a little giggly. The sight of her smiling face Alfred felt a warm feeling in his stomach arise and couldn't help but smile too. As ___'s giggles calmed down he drew closer to her until he was just a few steps away. "I," Alfred murmured taking another step closer. "I like your smile."
It was visibly noticeable that all ___'s blood rushed to her cheeks. Embarrassed she looked away tucking a few loose strands behind her ear. Compliments weren't something she received very often… "I, um… Thank you," she replied quietly.
Slowly Alfred lifted ___'s eyes to his now only a few inches away. "I had a nice time today," Alfred whispered his breath ticking ___'s nose. "We… We should do this again sometime," he muttered mindlessly.
___ was afraid to speak at the moment… Her voice could come out shaky or nothing would even come out. So she lightly nodded her head in agreement. A warm smile spread across Alfred's lip sending butterflies through ___'s stomach. In her mind today couldn't have become any better but Alfred soon changed that thought. Lightly he pulled ___'s lips to his for a soft short kiss.
Once Alfred pulled away ___ had to bite her lit to keep herself from smiling like an idiot. Alfred on the other hand didn't cease his smile. The goofy smile fit him though which only made it harder for ___ to hide her goofy smile.
"I'll make sure to pick somewhere less crowed next time," Alfred told pulling away. It was pretty obvious both of their faces were bright red but neither of them cared. ___ nodded slightly then giving him a small wave goodbye. "Bye," Alfred answered waving as well.
Noticing ___ still hadn't said something she spoke up, "See you…" With that ___ went back into her hotel room and Alfred set back to his home. Alright so maybe there was more than one reason Alfred always wondered about ___... He might have had a tiny crush on her beforehand.