April 5, 2015. Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York.
It was a rare moment when America was actually quiet, but this was a special case. If one didn't know what the museum was for, they would never guess that there was a couple hundred people in it because no one dared to raise their voice above a whisper, not even the children. The museum, no memorial, had that aura that gave one a somber feeling. America wished the rest of the countries could see the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It would show them how resilient his people were. They took an area where a tragedy took place and turned it into something beautiful.
He glanced up at the blue-tiled wall. Tears stung his eyes for he knew behind that wall was the unidentified victims of the attack. Their families would not have closure and they would never go home again. He read the quote by Virgil, "No Day Shall Erase You From The Memory Of Time." It was so fitting because as long as he was around, they'd never be forgotten. He still remembered men who fought alongside him in his Revolution and the innocent people that were murdered in the attack were no different. He would remember all 2,977 victims forever.
He felt a soft, gentle hand on his shoulder. He wiped the tears from his eyes and turned around. He found himself staring into the indigo eyes of his twin brother Canada. The Canadian smiled softly. "It's okay Alfred. You can cry, eh. I understand."
Tears started running down America's face. He tried to wipe them away but more took their place. Canada lead America over to the area around the last support and carefully pushed him down onto a bench. He handed the American a Kleenex. America gladly accepted it and used it to try and dry his tears.
"S-sorry Mattie." he apologized. "It's just it-it still hurts."
"I know, Al. I know." Canada assured him. "I don't blame you actually. I feel like crying myself." He glanced around. "This place is beautiful, eh. They did a wonderful job."
America looked in the direction his brother was looking. "Y-yeah, they did." He turned to Canada. "Why do you feel like crying?"
The Canadian shrugged. "This place just has that mood. You look at all this wreckage and the pictures from that day and the faces of the victims and it just gives you that feeling of wanting to cry. I think it triggers some kind of empathy in a person. Besides," he looked into America's tear-filled sky blue eyes, "I remember that day Al. I remember being horrified when hearing the first plane struck the North Tower. I was so worried when your boss called me to ask if I could ask my boss to allow flights to land at my place instead of you calling me yourself because I knew you had your phone on you; I had just talked to you thirty minutes before the first plane crashed. And I was absolutely terrified when I asked where you were and he told me the last place he knew you were was the South Tower. The first thing I thought of was 'Is he okay?' I was so scared I was going to lose you. I immediately replayed our phone conversation and started crying, terrified that could've possibly been the last conversation we had."
America was shaking now. He remembered that day perfectly. For the past thirteen years it often haunted his nightmares. At the random times he could smell the smoke that filled the air; feel the heat of the fires lick his skin; hear the sobs of the dying victims echo in his head. There were times when he was overcome with the fear that radiated off the victims. Canada was the only other one that knew those times sent him into a panic attack.
America closed his eyes. Immediately scenes from that day started playing in his mind.
September 11, 2001. 8:30 a.m.
"Dude, how can you hate it? Do even know why that song was written?" America asked his brother as he entered the South Tower. He had a very important meeting at 9:00 but his boss said to be there at least half an hour before. The nation knew better than to disobey his boss.
"Yes Al, I know that it was written for the 1964 World's Fair in New York because Disney wanted a song that promoted peace and could be translated into many different languages easily." Canada replied. "I don't necessarily hate it, I just find it annoying."
"America no." Canada hissed before America chuckled. "Alfred F. Jones don't you dare!"
"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears. It's a world of hopes and a world of fears. There's so much that we share that it's time we're aware it's a small world after all. It's a small world after all! It's a small world after all! It's a small world after all! It's a small, small world. There is just one moon and one golden sun and a smile means friendship to everyone. Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide it's a small world after all! It's a small world after all! It's a small world after all! It's a small world after all! It's a small, small world!" America sang as he entered the elevator, earning some strange looks. He laughed as he pressed the button for the 90th floor. "Enjoy that Mattie?"
Canada sighed. "I hate you sometimes."
"Love you too, Bro." America glanced at his watch. "I gotta go. I'll call you later."
"Okay. See you later, Al."
He hung up his phone and slid it into his pocket. He felt a headache coming. He knew it was from the cultural diversity of New York City. There was a couple million very diverse people with in a couple miles. The people of Manhattan alone during the day was over three million which was more than the populations of Hawaii, Wyoming, and Alaska combined by about one million. And Queens was rumored to have over 200 languages.
He sighed as the elevator doors opened. He glanced at his watch. 8:46. Only more fourteen minutes before the meeting began. He glanced out the window and noticed a plane flying alarmingly fast and uncomfortably close to the city. He frowned. The plane shouldn't be that close. Pilots were trained that if they were going to crash to find an area that wasn't very populated. The plane should be heading for the harbor but instead it was aimed right at the facade of the North Tower.
Before he could think much more about it, the plane crashed right into the North Tower. Thick, black smoke erupted from the point of impact. His heart lurched in fear as he felt a stabbing pain in his right arm. A glanced at it and saw dark red blood soaking through the fabric. This was no ordinary plane crash otherwise he would not be bleeding as bad as he was. Something was seriously wrong. But by the time he realized this, a crowd of people had gathered around, curious as to what had happened. He began to push through the crowd of people.
He struggled through the crowd, wasting precious time he could be using to help. He wanted to yell at them to leave; something was very wrong. He glanced at his watch after getting away from the window. It was 8:50. That was four minutes that he could've been using to help. On the bright side, it seemed as if some people had the right idea and were heading towards the stairs and elevators. America stopped and rolled up his sleeve. He ripped a strip of his shirt and wrapped it above the fresh wound tight enough to stop the bleeding by not cut of circulation. He began to head toward the stairs, knowing better than to take the elevator. He had a sense of foreboding in the pit of his stomach. Something told him taking the elevator would be a very bad idea.
He came to the stairs and went down them, taking two at a time. He was somewhat slowed due to minor blood loss from his still bleeding wound. In fact, it was bleeding heavier, another sign something was off. He glanced at his watch as he came to the 87th floor. It was 9:02, almost 9:03. His boss was going to mad he skipped the meeting, but he really didn't care. Suddenly, there was a loud crash and the building shook violently. Several people around him let out screams and cries of panic. There was another stabbing sensation on his right arm as a fresh wound appeared next to the first. He quickly exited the staircase and went to the nearest window, which happened to be on the south side of the tower. All he saw was thick, black smoke rising from the side of the building as the same smoke began to fill the hallway.
The scent of gasoline lingered in the air. Panic filled America as he realized what happened. A plane had crashed into the South Tower right after one had crashed into the North Tower. It wasn't a coincidence. It was an attack. People around him were beginning to visibly panic. Fear was radiating off the walls. They dialed 911 and asked the operators what they were supposed to do. America knew that evacuating the building was going to be difficult, possibly even impossible.
Fires crackled on the floors below and the nation knew they were going to eventually reached the floor he was on. Most likely fires blocked the stairs that lead to the lower floors, if the stairs even survived the crash. The elevators were most likely not operating and going up higher wasn't a good idea either. He and all the other people were essentially trapped above the crash.
America was scared. He immediately thought he was going to die, forgetting the fact he was a nation and couldn't die. He thought about Canada and how he might not be calling him later like he promised. He thought about England and how he never told his former caretaker how much he cares about him and never apologized for hurting the Englishman as bad as he did. He thought about Russia and how they never fully repaired their friendship. He thought about all his friends and how he might never see them again. But most of all, he thought of his citizens trapped in both towers and the ones in the planes. He knew there was no hope for the passengers and crew of the planes, but he was thankful they didn't suffer. As for the people in the towers, some were already dead and there wasn't much hope for the rest. They'd either burn to death or die from smoke inhalation.
He became aware of his surroundings again. The fires had reached the floor by then and he could hear the people around him sobbing and praying and calling for help. Some people were laying still on the ground. America's body started shaking with sobs because he knew they were dead. Guilt began to consume him. He was their nation and he let them die in such a violent way. Slowly the room began to grow quieter as more people passed away, their lives unfairly ripped away from them.
He sat down in the middle of the floor because it was becoming harder and harder to stand. He was a nation but he still had his limits. The air was hot so he took off his suit jacket. He glanced at his watch and saw it was 9:36.
"He's really going to be mad at me for missing that meeting." America whispered to himself, his voice hoarse from smoke inhalation. He was starting to grow more and more light headed but he knew he couldn't close his eyes. That wouldn't be smart. He'd only end up getting hurt more if he closed his eyes.
Suddenly there was a sharp pain in his heart. That meant something happened to his capital. A new wave of panic washed over him. What he was suffering through at that moment wouldn't kill him but if enough damage was done to his capital, his heart, then he might. His Puritin roots kicked in and he began to pray despite not having an offical religion. "Please God, they don't deserve this. Please make it stop. They're innocent. Please."
America kept repeating his prayer over and over again as he sobbed. He was full of sorrow, guilt, confusion, anger, panic, and desperation. He didn't understand who was attacking his people or why. What did these innocent civilians ever do to deserve this kind of death? He also felt helpless. There was absolutely nothing he could do to help. He was supposed to be the hero. But what kind of hero couldn't protect or help innocent people?
Before he could think more about it, the ground started to shake. The people that were still alive began to panic again. They feared another plane was slamming into the building but America quickly realized that wasn't the case. Debris began falling from the ceiling. The tower wasn't going to be standing much longer. Suddenly there was a groaning noise and then a crash. The next thing America knew he was falling to the ground. There were cries and screams of panic from the living that still had the energy to do so.
The nation fell faster and faster. He gulped, knowing how badly hitting the concrete was going to hurt. He was more concerned about the other people. It wasn't going to be a nice death. It was going to hurt them a lot and it wasn't going to be pretty. He closed his eyes and braced himself. He felt his body hit the pavement and debris from the building land on him before the world went black.
September 11, 2001. 10:00 a.m.
Canada watched in horror as the building that was his brother's last known location crumbled to the ground, shocking everyone in the immediate area and those watching around the world. That building wasn't suppose to fall. Then again, the Titanic wasn't supposed to sink either and look what happened to that. It seemed to be a reoccurring patten when humans said something couldn't be destroyed. But that didn't matter to the nation at the moment. What mattered was that his brother's country was under attack and America was possibly in the South Tower when it collapsed. Canada pulled out his phone and dialed America's number again.
"Maple America. Pick up dammit so I know you're alive." he pleaded as he hit send.
"I'm sorry but the number you are trying to reach is unavailable. Please dial a different number or call again later." the female monotone voice of the answering machine said.
"Dammit!" Canada swore before bursting into tears. He dialed a new number. It rang twice before the person on the other line answered.
"Bonjour ma petite Canada~" France greeted. "Do you need Papa France to give advice in l'amour?"
"N-non Papa." Canada sniffled. "Are you watching the news?"
"Just turn on the-" Canada started before seeing breaking news that another plane just went down in Pennsylvania. "Mon Dieu! Pas un autre!"
"Canada, mon petit frére, what's wrong?" France asked sounding very concerned.
"J-just turn on the goddamned news!" the Canadian wailed. "Plaire à Dieu! Let mon frére be alright."
"Mon Dieu." France breathed in horror. "Where is Amérique? Is 'e alright? Did you call Angleterre?"
"Non! I did not call England! I've been trying to call America since the first plane struck and he's not answering, eh. Knowing him he turned off his fucking phone after he hung up."
"You talked to 'im?"
"Oui." Canada said softly. "His boss called shortly after the second plane hit and asked me to ask my boss to allow planes to land in my country. A-and I asked where America was because normally he'd call me himself. And you know what America's boss told me? He said America was on the 90th floor of the South Tower for a meeting."
"Mon Dieu." France said. "I will call Angleterre and we will be there as soon as possible. You get to New York as fast as you can. Also, someone needs to tell the others."
"Oui Papa. I will call on my way there, eh."
"Le bien. Aur Revour, Canada." France said hastily. "And mon cher petit frére."
"I am sure Amérique is fine. Just have faith. He is a survivor."
"Oui Papa. Aur Revoir."
Canada hung up his phone and raced to his car. It occurred to him he didn't have his passport or any money or even his license but he had diplomatic power. He'd pull every string he could to get to New York. He'd call anyone's boss he had to, even Russia's if it would get him to Manhattan. Screw politics and screw the law, his brother was more important. And nothing in the entire world would stop him from getting to New York.
Okay, so this was originally going to be a one shot, but I'm making it at least a two shot because there's just so much to write about. I just got back from New York and we went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum and it was so beautiful and eerie. I was only a two year old almost three when 9/11 happened so I don't remember it but my mom said I was playing in the living room while she was watching the news when the first plane struck. But when I was in the museum, I felt like crying and even feel like crying while thinking about it. Nobody in the museum spoke above a whisper. The museum just demanded silence. It is a really beautiful memorial for such a huge tragedy. So I was thinking about it on the bus ride home and I thought about the countries of the world reacting to it and what would happen if America himself visited the museum. Please note that 9/11 was a horrifying act of terror and I am not trying to offend anyone by writing this fanfiction. I do not own the Hetalia characters or the song "It's A Small World (After All)." This fanfiction is pure fiction and reference to any of the real victims is unintentional. Given the nature of the topic of this fanfiction, please do not leave rude comments or silly comments. Please excuse my French if it's wrong. I know very little French and had to use Google Translate. Thank you. May the victims of 9/11 rest in peace. Never forget.