★ honey, i'm home → america/alfred ★He promised you that he would be home...but he couldn't completely fulfill it. || America/Alfred x Reader || AU SETTING || Remember 9/11.
【 i did promise you that i would be home 】
From behind him, he could hear the soft gurgles that slipped from a child’s lips, and though he hadn’t slept a wink for hours, he could not help but smile. Not that the sound soothed him, but rather, it reminded of the very reason why he boarded this plan in the first place, why he just couldn’t get to sleep. His nerves jumped at him, made him completely shaken up with excitement that nothing could deter him.
“Turn that dang music down, you young whippersnappers.” The elder beside him grumbled in his sleep, falling to his left and right onto Alfred’s left shoulder. Alfred could only give a sheepish grin, as he carefully removed the elder off his shoulder and sooner shifted the man into a more comfortable position.
As soon as he finished, he leaned himself into a comfortable position as well, folding his hands together on his lap, as he kept his eyes wide open even though they felt terribly heavy. The excitement still shook his bones and pumped him up, and he really did feel that nothing could bring him down.
“Alright, [Name],” He wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her in close. “I guess I’ll be seeing you?”
She buried her head against his chest, looping her arms around his neck, as she bit her lip. He could feel her tremble in his arms, and in order to calm her down, he rubbed circles on her back, calming her. After a few seconds, she pulled away from him, wiping the tears that had fallen from her eyes, as she later flashed him a wobbly smile. “I’ll miss you.”
“I’ll miss you too!” He grinned, and he was tempted to pull her back in for another hug, but time wasn’t in his favor. “Take care of yourself and Junior, okay? You’re a great mom, so I’m not going to worry too much!”
“Right,” She wiped away another tear, before she leaned in close and pressed a quick kiss to his lips. “You better take of yourself too, alright? It’s not all toy guns and rifles out there, you know.” [Name] said, as she reached out and fixed up his uniform. “Listen, I love you and promise me that you’ll—”
“Be safe?” Alfred then saluted, as he continued to grin. “Roger that, ma’am. I won’t let anyone pull one against me.”
However, her next words were completely different than what he had ever expected, and when he saw you settle with that one smile that just made his stomach churn into knots, his breath hitched.
“Be a hero, and save our country, okay? I know you can do it, but,” He could hear the concern in her voice. “Promise me that you’ll come back home, safe and sound.”
Alfred then grinned. “I promise.”
For a moment, he closed his eyes, and the words were still fresh in his heart. In a few hours, he would be home, and he could just imagine it now — you would be hunched over the kitchen sink, washing dishes with a serene smile on your lips, while Junior*, his own two-year old son, would be on the living room floor, fumbling with his toy blocks. He wondered what sort of expression would you have once he came home, and he could only then come up with what sort of things the two of you would do during his visit.
“First things first,” Alfred grinned to himself, as he licked at his lips. “A family dinner with [Name]’s best homemade apple pie and my famous-number-one-in-the-world hamburgers!”
The thought made him hungry and just incredibly happy, because even though it would be him, yourself, and Junior, the fact that it was with his own family made the sentiment swell in his stomach.
“And then catch up with old friends, some relatives, maybe go to a football game, or catch a movie.” Alfred stretched his arms, careful as to not accidentally hit his neighbor. “Gosh, that is just going to be awesome! Dude, I wonder if Arty will come and visit me while I’m here.” He wondered to himself, tapping at his chin.
“Oh wait!” His eyes suddenly lit up, before looking both left and right, as well as out the aisle. When he discovered that not one flight attendant was in sight at the moment, he lifted himself up on his seat, peeking over the number of heads that appeared in his direction.
As he was sitting up, he caught sight of a rattle rolling down the aisle and just near his feet, unclaimed and drenched in drool. With a grin, Alfred picked up the children’s toy and turned to the seat behind him, meeting with the sight of a mother holding a baby in her arms.
“Ma’am,” Alfred called out, tipping his head slightly out of respect. He held out the drenched toy in his hand. “Does this happen to be your child’s toy?”
“Oh my, yes!” The mother blinked, as she took the toy into her hand and hid it inside her bag. She looked back at Alfred with a flustered expression, clearly embarrassed by the red on her cheek. “Thank you very much, and I’m very sorry for troubling you.”
Alfred held his hands back and shook his head, still grinning. “Hey, no problem’s here, ma’am. It’s all good.” He chuckled, before pointing to the baby in her arms. “A girl or a boy, ma’am?”
“A boy, and ten months too.” The mother smiled, as she pointed a loving gaze towards the bundle of joy that drooled in her arms. She then returned her gaze back onto Alfred. “Do you have any kids?”
“That I do, ma’am!” Alfred grinned, quite proudly too. “I have a wife and kid waiting for me back at home! My kid’s two years old, and my wife’s told me that he’s a little on the chubby side. But then again, so was I when I was his age, and I still am! Guess my wife’s into the husky fellow, ain’t she?” He joked.
“Maybe.” She joined in his laughter. “You must be excited to see them.”
“I really am!” Alfred beamed, before grinning sheepishly. “I can’t wait to see how much my kid’s grown, and my wife…Oh man, my wife is just so darn beautiful. In fact, our anniversary’s coming up!” His eyes then brightened.
The mother giggled, “Is that so? What day would that be?”
“Let’s see, if today is September 11, then it would be in three days.” Alfred said out loud to himself, as he soon held out three fingers. “It’ll be on September 14, I believe! That is, if I’m correct!” He joked.
“In three days, huh? Well, if you don’t mind, may I give you a suggestion?” The woman tapped at her chin, before winking at Alfred. “A dinner and night-out dancing, works like a charm.”
“I’ll keep that in mind, ma’am.” Alfred nodded, as he smiled. “I’m sure my wife will love to go dancing—”
Before he knew it, a series of yells and screams reached his ears and when he leaned close to peer down the aisle, he could see from a distance that there were a number of people crowding near the pilot’s area, guns cocked against the heads of a few passengers. When he leaned in forward to get a better look, he could see that the men gathered there were foreign, and the look in their eyes told him that this would not be a simple flight.
The sound of a gun shot rang through the air, and soon enough, it was accompanied by the shrieks and yells of several passengers. Alfred remained in his seat, his eyes burning holes in the direction of the strangers. His heartbeat was fast, quite unlike the adrenaline and excitement that had pumped through his veins when he was enthusiastic about returning home.
From behind him, he could hear the mother gasp in fright when the sight of a wounded man, who was gripping at his bloodied arm, knelt in the middle of the aisle. Alfred clenched his fists, as he stared straight at the male who seemed to be responsible for the injury.
“What on earth is going on?” He could hear the mother question, and as he could hear her try to stand up and take a peek, he held a hand out to stop her.
“Ma’am, with all due respect, I think you should just remain seated.” Alfred spoke with a hard stare, as he soon stood up. “I’ll go and take a look, so please stay here and take care of your son.”
As he stood up and began to stride towards the direction of the pilot’s station, he could see one of the men had caught sight of him, and soon, Alfred found himself victim of a gun pointed in his direction. Words in a language that he could not catch were being thrown all over the place, and with as much courage as he could muster, he interrupted them.
“Put the guns away, and settle down. This is not the time to be doing this.” He tried to remain calm, even though he wanted to punch these guys in the face so much. But with the risk of innocent lives on board, he couldn’t just burst out in anger, not when he wanted to go home too.
One of them men yelled at him, and Alfred soon found himself shoved at by the tip of a gun, just near to being shot in the chest. He stumbled back, but did not fall, and just held his ground, glaring at the men hard.
“Be a hero, and save our country. I know you can do it.” He could hear the concern in her voice.
“Promise me that you’ll come back home, safe and sound.”
Your words rang loudly in his head, and that is the reason why he finds himself charging back towards the men with a surge of determination, albeit a little reckless, in his heart.
“Put the guns away!” His voice was loud, and though he knew that it would be of no use, he didn’t want you to find out that he failed to be a hero.
You probably would’ve argued that this was one of the stupidest things he has ever done.
“But as a soldier, I’m not going to let this country down without a fight!”
Through his perspective, the world seemed to have darkened for a minute, and when he later opened his eyes, he felt a numbing course through his chest, and he found it strange that his chest was drenched.
When he moved his heart just near his heart, he found his hand stained with the same red that made him remember the American flag, the flag he was fighting for as a soldier, as a hero. Not a moment too soon did the world around him begin to shake, a multitude of shrieks and screams of panic filling the air.
Alfred stumbled back, clutching as his chest that coursed with excruciating pain, as he later felt others grab and kept him from falling onto the ground. He found it hard to breathe, completely hard to speak. The taste of metal touched his taste buds, and when he coughed, he soon found that same red splattered onto the ground.
“The plane is going to crash!”
Cries and panic filled the air, and just the sound of it tore his heart apart. The plane began to tilt forward, as it crazily shook, and by then, the world seemed to be a nightmare. He could hear the sobs from all around, man and woman alike, adult and child.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to our family dinner, [Name].” Alfred grounded out, the tone of regret and disappointment in his voice.
“I’m not going to even see Junior go to Kindergarten for the first time.”
“I’m not going to be there give him advice on how to pick up girls when he grows up or even tell him the good ol’ ‘birds and the bees’ speech.”
“I can’t be there when you get that promotion, [Name], but I know you deserved it.”
“I can’t be there when Junior gets sent to the Principal’s office because of some prank he might’ve done, and I won’t be there to tell him how to ride a bike or how to play baseball.”
“Oh gosh, [Name]. I won’t even make it to our anniversary.” He shook his head, letting out the tears that he thought he could’ve hold back until the end.
“You know I promised, and I really wanted to be home to see you in person to tell you this, but damnit,”
Alfred could not help but grin when he saw the vast land of America just outside the plane.
“Honey, I’m home.”
【 but i’m sorry that i couldn’t keep the promise 】
GOD BLESS AMERICA
Um, my portrayal of 9/11. Please remember those who died on this day.
By the way, when it means that he didn't really fulfill his promise, it means that he was only able to make it to America. However, it was only partially fulfilled in that he didn't make it to home "home" on time, aka. his house where [Name] is. That was his real promise.
Anyways: PREQUEL OR SEQUEL? MAYBE.
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