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Never Forget

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America groggily opened his eyes, trying to fight back sleep. He tried to remember if he had anything important to attend to today. Oh right, there's a World meeting today. America glanced at the clock. The glowing, red numbers told him it was 7:30. America bolted up, 7:30? Shit, the meeting started at 8. America jumped out of bed and practically flew into the shower.

Why did he have to host this month? When he hosted, his boss preferred him to be early and not late like he usually is. As he threw on the first clothes he found in his closet, America couldn't shake the feeling that something is wrong. He remembered the last time he felt like this. It was right before Pearl Harbor was bombed. America pushed the uneasy feeling to the side, deciding to see if any of the other countries happen to know something.

America cast a longing glance at the kitchen, wishing he had time to cook an actual breakfast instead of stopping at McDonald's. There's nothing wrong with McDonald's, he just preferred homemade food when the option was available. He ran to his apartment door, grabbing his keys on the side table as he ran past, he grabbed his bomber jacket off it's hook. He glanced at his phone. Damn, it's 7:50. There's no way he's going to make it on time. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, America ran down the three flights of stairs and climbed into his car.

He drove as fast as he could, without attracting attention, to the nearest McDonald's. After picking up breakfast, America headed to the building that the meeting was being held. He could already hear England scolding him for being late to his own meeting. His clock read 8:20 when he pulled into the parking lot. He ran up the stairs and threw open the door to the room. Almost all of the countries stopped to look at the American, bending over with his hands on his knees.

"I'm sorry for being late." America gasped as his breath slowly steadies out.

"Why say sorry when we're all use to you tardiness." England said walking over to where America stood.

"Haha it's just to be polite Iggy! I mean the meeting was held at my place." America laughs throwing his arm around England.

"It's not Iggy, it's England!" England snaps, shaking his arm away.

America glanced out the window to see the two towers of the World Trade Center standing proudly a few blocks away. He turns back around to see the countries talking and arguing already. He glances at the clock, it reads 8:35. He frowns, the uneasy feeling growing stronger.

"Hey, Alfred? Are you okay?" A soft voice asked from beside him.

"Huh? Oh, I'm fine Mattie." America turns to see his twin brother standing beside him.

"Well, if you're sure." Canada gives him a glance, and America could see that he didn't believe him.

Then Germany starts yelling at everyone to be quiet and to sit down. He nods to America, signaling for him to begin the meeting. America walks up to the front, his smile covering up his growing uneasy feelings. He glances at the clock and it reads 8:43.

America opens his mouth to begin when suddenly he sees a plane flying much lower than it should, especially since there wasn't an airport close by. America squints, trying to get a closer look at the plane when a blinding pain exploded from his right temple. America gasped, instinctively hunching over as he felt his skin tear open, blood running down the side of his face. He manages to glance up and when his gaze lands on the twin towers, he freezes, his hand stopping halfway to his face.

"America!"

"What happened?"

"Are you alright, lad?"

America continues to stare out the window, slowly the other countries turn to see what he's looking at. He faintly heard many countries gasp, and a couple of screams. He watched as another plane appeared just like the last one. He watched as it veered toward the south tower. Another flash of blinding pain sent him stumbling to the ground. He fell heavily onto his knees and reached up to feel the new wound. America pushed himself to his feet, hand against his right temple trying to slow down the blood flow.

"I have to go." America mumbled.

"No you're not. You can barely even stand. You can't do anything like this." Canada appeared next to him.

"No, you don't understand. I have to help them." America pushed Canada away and took a few shaky steps towards the door. He stumbled into England. The older nation caught him and tried to steer him to a chair.

"No! I have to help!" America pushed away the island nation and managed to get to the door without falling.

"Wait! At least let us wrap up your head. You can't be pouring blood everywhere." England said stopping America.

America hesitated then let England wrap his head with some bandages from Germany's extra first aid kit.

"Ok, now we can go."

"We?" America asks, confusion in his voice.

"Did you really think that we would let you go there by yourself? You may an annoying idiot but we do care about you." England said.

America smiled then walked to the door. As the other nations followed him, he broke into a run as he left the building. He ran past his screaming citizens.

"We'll help people get away from here. Those towers look like they might collapse." The Nordic countries broke away to help his panicking citizens.

America and the remaining nations reached the twin towers, fighting through police and firefighters.

"Hold on, sir. We can't let any one through." A slightly over-weight officer stopped him. His uniform covered in dust.

America skidded to a stop. He glanced at the man and his name tag.

"Officer Brown, I am Lieutenant Alfred F. Jones. These men are with me and we're here to help with rescue." America said, authority filling his voice.

America wouldn't let an officer stop him from rescuing as many citizens as he could. He felt the officer scrutinizing him. Debating on wether or not to believe him and let him pass. America knew his young looks could be disbelieving but he drew himself up and looked down at the officer.

"Alright. Split half an half. Lieutenant Jones go to the South Tower, take some of the men with you. But be careful. The building isn't that stable and could possibly collapse at any minute."

America nodded and his group split up. England, France, Canada, Japan, Germany, Russia, and China follow America while the rest went to the North tower. The Italian twins stayed behind to help with the injured, along with Ukraine and Belarus. Firefighters handed them masks and they entered the building. They gradually made their way to higher floors rescuing countless people, and unfortunately finding a lot of dead bodies. They worked for almost an hour when another blinding flash of pain came from America's stomach. He let out a short scream and fell against Canada, who never left his side.

"America!" Canada yelled.

With the help of England they managed to get America outside and lay him down. Canada looked America over, despite his brothers objections. A new wound had appeared on the right side of his chest. It was long and deep, but not deep enough to do any real damage at the moment.

"Someone go get a doctor! We need to stitch up his wound." England ran off in search of a doctor.

"I have to go back! Let me up, Canada!" America struggled against the restraining hands on his shoulders. He winches as his wound was stretched.

"Just let us stitch it up. Then you can go back. You can't help anyone unless you let us help you first." Canada said, knowing that his brother wouldn't rest.

"What happened, America-san?" Japan asked, his usual emotionless face showing concern for his friend.

"The- the Pentagon was hit. I'm guessing a plane crash like here." America turned his head as tears flowed down his face. He hated this, being powerless to help his citizens, to stop them from dying.

"He's this way, Doctor." England's voice drifted over and he returned with a doctor.

"Let me guess. He's trying to go back." England said to Canada.

Canada nodded and stepped back to let the doctor fix his brother's wound. As soon as the doctor finished America jumped back up and started walking back to the tower. He had been running back up to where he collapsed, when he heard a loud rumbling noise. He glanced at the watch on his wrist. It read 9:59.

"America! Get out of there! The tower is collapsing! You have to leave!" England grabbed his former colony and started to drag him down.

"No! I can still help them! Let me go!" America struggled until they barely managed to get out of the building.

The force of the collapse caused the nations to hit the floor as dust and debris billowed around them, injuring even more. America let out a choked sob. England dug them out and carried America away. America instantly started to struggle against the hold and when he dropped to the ground he took off running towards the North tower.

"America! You idiot, get back here! That tower could collapse at any minute!" England yells running after him.

The other nations follow, knowing the American will not listen and continue helping. Suddenly before America reaches the North tower, he yells and stumbles falling to his knees, clutching his arm. England and the others reach him as he gets up. America glances at his wrist, just below his watch a long, shallow cut appeared and started bleeding.

"America! What happened?" Canada asks when he sees the cut.

The other nations gasp, wondering what other place had been hit. The rest of the nations except for England, Canada, and America, talk then start towards the North tower.

"Ve'll start helping! Find out vhat happened!" Germany yells as he leads the other nations into the building. England nodded then turned back to America, who was staring at his new cut.

"America, what happened?" England ask gently taking America's hand.

"Another plane crashed. It didn't hit anything but it must've been hijacked. Otherwise it wouldn't have shown up. Just south of Pittsburgh." America looks up at England, tears forming in his eyes and running down his stained face.

The second wound on America's temple stares bleeding again, probably as a result of the Southern tower collapse. The tears clean some of the dust on America's face. America stares at England trying to figure out why he was targeted.

"Why me? What did I do? I only wanted to help! That's all I ever wanted. Why do people hate me so much? To do something like this-" America trailed off as he tries to calm down.

Instead sobs rip from his throat as he collapses into England's arms. England let him cry for a few minutes then places his hand on America's chin. Blue eyes were covered by a layer of tears. It broke England and Canada's heart to see America like this. The normally proud American brought down by four attacks on his country. Three hate-filled attacks on important structures and a possible, prevented fourth attack. They don't know why the fourth plane went down, and they don't know where it had been headed. But they could only assume it had an important destination as well. America stared at England as he spoke.

"I don't know why these people attacked you. We might not know for awhile. You were an annoying idiot who didn't really know when to stop, but we all knew your heart was in the right place. We knew you only wanted to help and you did your best to do what you can. For something like this to happen... These people, they don't know how you helped the world in many ways. Or they do but they ignore it like idiots and doing something like this with blind rage. They obviously don't know the consequences of what happen when you attack the United States of America. When you recover you're going to immediately start planning to avenge all the citizens that had died today and in the next few days. And I'm certain that not only Canada and I, other countries will give you our full support."

America takes in everything, slowly straightening out. Blue eyes lit with a deadly determination, England has seen this before, when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Then an ominous rumbling sound filled the street. The three countries look up to see the top section of the North tower collapse, shortly followed by the rest. The nations stare in shock and worry as they watch the tower collapse, possibly with their friends inside. The dust takes a few minutes to clear and they see that not all of the tower collapsed but a small section of the bottom remained. Then, with another rumbling noise that too collapsed, showering the surrounding area with more dust and debris. The countries watch with horror and make their way to the remains of the tower to see if their friends had managed to make it out.

"Alfred! Arthur, Matthew! Over here!"

The three countries turn to see the other nations, with Germany yelling to them. Relief washes over them when they see their friends. They're banged up and bleeding a little but alive. The remaining three countries run over.

"Oh thank God. You guys are alive. I don't know what I would have done if anymore people I cared about died." America said, tears once again flowing down his dust-stained cheeks. "We need to find out what happened. And if anything else will happen."

"Ok. My government will probably ground all flights. That means the international flights will need to be redirected to other countries. Canada, can flights land in your airports?" America asks leading them back in the direction of their hotel.

"Of course. I'll call my boss right now. Are you going to D.C?" Canada asks pulling out his phone.

"Yes, if any of you want to come you can. I'm guessing you'll be coming Matthew?" America asks.

"Yes. I'm not leaving my brother here to deal with this himself. Just let me go back to the hotel to grab my stuff." Canada replies, walking off towards the hotel. A few nations follow, intending to call their bosses about what happened. America glances at England who hasn't left his side.

"Of course I'm coming with you, git. I'm not about to leave you now." England mutters, a very faint pink dusting his cheeks, as he glances at America and looks away rapidly.

America grins, enjoying seeing England uncomfortable. The grin disappears as he thinks about how his country will be affected by it. But he knows that his country won't let these attacks keep them down. He can already feel his people preparing to fight back. And America vows to never forget the citizens who died today and in the next few years in the war against terrorism. America knows his country will never forget the events today and will use these to motivate themselves to come out victorious.

America promised to never forget.