Details/Notes: I think this is a bit darker than what I usually write. Set sometime during the Cold War, with vague descriptions of abuse. Latvia's a bit, ah, yandere here. But I think it works. Hopefully not just for me. Please review. Disclaimer come on my profile page.


His brothers don't deserve him. Russia does. He wishes he would see that.

"I don't think he m-meant to b-be so r-rough," and he can't hold back the sob in his throat as he speaks. Lithuania pauses in his bandaging with a hand on each of Latvia's shoulders.

His expression reminds Latvia of soured milk, and when he speaks the words are strained. "Latvia," he says, "Does it really matter if he means to do it?"

"Y-Yes," Latvia says stubbornly. "Of c-course."

Lithuania stares deep into Latvia's eyes, searching for something, and Latvia isn't sure what that is, but after a while Lithuania must find it, because he turns away, and continues with his task.

Latvia drops his gaze to his hands, tracing the air above each of his red, raw wrists.

Estonia crawls into Latvia's bed in the middle of the night, and Latvia can just see him pushing his glasses up his nose in the dim moonlight streaming through the thin curtains.

Latvia can't breathe for a moment, and he doesn't know if the pain in his chest is sympathy or jealousy. "Did h-he? You're not h-hurt, a-are you?"

"No," Estonia replies with a shake of his head, "You know it's never me."

Latvia nods in response, and feels his hand tighten around Estonia's for no real reason he can think of, but something in some part of him stops him from letting go. Even when Estonia winces and tries to pull away, he can't.

Estonia closes his eyes, pushes in close to Latvia's ear, and pleads with him, "Don't fall in love with him, Latvia. Please, please don't do that."

Latvia stares down at their hands, and asks, voice vague and wandering, "What if I can't stop myself?"

"It's too late, isn't it?" Estonia asks.

Latvia doesn't say anything. Estonia sighs, and pulls away, saying more to himself than to Latvia, "I'll send Lithuania over. He's better at this."

Lithuania smiles at Latvia over breakfast, but it's impossible to hide the dark circles under his eyes, the purple bruise peeking out from under Lithuania's collar, and Latvia can feel a horrible warmth burning his throat.

He hasn't seen Russia in nearly two weeks, and now he knows where he's been.

Latvia doesn't know why he's so angry, because when Russia comes to see him it never ends well, and he should be happy that he has Lithuania to protect him, but he doesn't feel happy.

He feels sick to his stomach.

He drops his fork to his plate and casts around for something to do with his hands.

Lithuania continues to smile at him.

He swallows thickly, and picks at the gold braid of his epaulets, and doesn't dare raise his eyes to Lithuania's again, but that doesn't stop Lithuania's gaze following him, tracing his movements.

He feels Lithuania's sigh as he tells Latvia, "Poland was always jealous of Russia back when he wore those. Terrified, well, we both were, but jealous."

Lithuania's eyes finally leave him, and Latvia risks a glance up, catching the unseeing stare Lithuania gives the table as he continues to reminisce, "He says the worst thing about Russia's revolution is his current, ah, lack of fashion sense? He said it in that stupid accent of his, though."

"Do you m-miss him?" Latvia demands, interrupting because he has to know.

"Yes," Lithuania answers automatically, and then looks up, startled at his immediate answer. Latvia nods to himself, and feels a smile forming on his face.

"Would you go back to him?" Latvia asks, even as he knows he shouldn't.

But the words won't stop coming.

"Probably not," Lithuania admits, eyes on Latvia, watching him closely, "We're different people now."

"You'd rather be with him than here," Latvia accuses.

He feels sick again when Lithuania flushes, and tugs his collar up until the bruise there is completely hidden. Latvia watches the movement, wants to reach out and pull the fabric away, pull away the falseness.

Lithuania hesitates, and Latvia moves his gaze up to Lithuania's face, to his wide eyes and frozen expression.

"Don't, don't trick me," Lithuania says.

Latvia's heart turns to ice as he realises the implications of his question, and his eyes dart around for the cameras, even though he knows he won't be able to see them.

Lithuania's eyes are tear-stained when Latvia looks at him again, and he looks away quickly.

He feels his head swelling up with the ache of his own unshed tears, and he begins to shake, because he isn't supposed to be unkind. He isn't supposed to be like Russia.

"I'm s-sorry," he says as he begins to cry, "I d-didn't m-mean to."

"It's okay," Lithuania says as he takes Latvia's hand, "Neither of us know what we're saying."

"Why," Latvia swallows the rest of his sentence, "Why did I do that?"

"You're tired," Lithuania says as he squeezes Latvia's palm, "Don't be sorry. Don't. You have nothing to fear from me."

"You're his favourite," Latvia accuses again, and Lithuania winces.

"Not because I want to be!" Lithuania shouts in protest, his voice echoing off the high ceiling. Latvia pulls away from his grip and stares down at his hands, amazed at their words, their interaction.

Lithuania stares at his own hands, and Latvia can feel him trying to breathe evenly again.

Latvia swallows, and asks the question he truly wants the answer to, "Why can't any of us just have what we w-want?"

"Because," Lithuania laughs hysterically, "That would be easy."

"You're going to be in trouble," Latvia says, and feels his tears finally well over, burning hot stripes onto his cheeks. "All because of me."

"No," Lithuania says, still giggling, "We'll both be."

"Latvia," Estonia nearly shouts, "You're a mess."

"W-Where's Lithuania?" Latvia asks, and winces as blood shifts in his mouth.

"Don't know. Oh, oh, never realised," Estonia is saying, practically shaking and hesitating as he reaches out.

Latvia doesn't try to move, because he knows that makes it worse. "B-Bandages a-are in t-the c-cabinet, E-Estonia."

"Right," Estonia nods vigorously, and disappears.

"Don't let him do this again," Estonia says as he sops the blood away from Latvia's back, "Don't let him. Please, Latvia, why did he, why so, why?"

Latvia's eyes are closed, and he can't think.

Estonia is crying.

Latvia licks the blood from his lips, and takes his time as he explains, "Russia w-was m-mad at L-Lithuania, s-so he... But w-where's Lithuania?"

Estonia doesn't say anything, and they're both crying, because they know.

Latvia's emotions are too scattered for him to focus on anything. He isn't sure what he feels anymore, anger and sadness, pain and pleasure and jealousy, and Estonia's tears staining his hair.

"Don't c-cry," Latvia says, sniffling, "It's m-my f-fault. I-I s-said, w-when I s-shouldn't have. I-It's my f-fault."

Estonia hugs him gently, and Latvia shakes harder at the warmth of his body pressed into his bloodied back. "Don't apologise for Russia. Latvia, what he does isn't your fault."

"I w-was, I t-tricked him t-though. B-Breakfast, and Lithuania s-said h-he l-liked P-Poland better." Latvia shuts his eyes and collapses back into Estonia, never mind the pain or the blood staining Estonia's clothing. "I'm l-like him n-now. I d-don't want to b-be b-but I was s-so j-jealous of h-him."

Estonia buries his head in Latvia's hair, and pleads sharply, "You're nothing like him. You're so, so much better."

"N-No, I'm n-not," Latvia says, shaking his head.

Estonia doesn't leave, and maybe he says something else, says the same thing again, but Latvia's vision has gone thick and blurry, and then he can't see anything at all.

"Don't w-wake u-up," Lithuania tells Latvia as he slips under the covers.

"Lithuania," Latvia whispers, and doesn't smile, but he wants to so very badly, because Lithuania is hugging him close, and both of them are okay, as whole as they ever can be.

Estonia is still asleep, fully clothed and fingers woven into Latvia's, pressed against his other side.

"Didn't I say n-not to w-wake up?" Lithuania asks, and there's a tease in his voice as he cups Latvia's palm with his own, and brings their hands up to chest level. "Russia passed out, and, and I left. It's okay, f-for now. It's okay."

"I'm so s-sorry," Latvia says yet again, because he has to.

"Don't apologise again," Lithuania tells him, and squeezes their hands together tightly, "Did Estonia fix you up?"

"Y-Yes," Latvia says with a nod. "What about you?"

"Bruises fade. Nothing too bad," Lithuania smiles, and it's fake and placating, but Latvia doesn't push him. Lithuania squeezes his hand one more time, and tells him, "Go back to sleep."

"You too," Latvia orders in return, and waits until Lithuania closes his eyes to whisper, "Good night."

"Good night," Lithuania whispers in return. "No dreams."

"Nice dreams," Latvia corrects him, and Lithuania shrugs against Latvia's side, before his breathing begins to even out in the first signs of sleep, and Latvia is left there in the dark, between his two brothers.

Latvia thinks he's learned something, learned something dangerous and horrible, about how to cut others on his emotions, and can't think of a moment where he was more scared then when Russia left him, and he knew Lithuania was next.

Lithuania loves him so much, and Latvia doesn't deserve it, because he can't love him in return.

Latvia can only feel jealously burning under his skin, and he can only strive to please the one that left the three of them here, curled together in so much pain.

He doesn't want to.

He wants to love like the characters love in his books, with passion and happiness and so much beauty.

Russia is beautiful and passionate, but his happiness is frightening, and unlike the men in Latvia's books, there is no gentlemen hidden under Russia's rough hands.

He might have been, once, but like the snow in the heat of summer, it's all melted away, but still, Latvia can't stop loving him, can't stop longing.

He closes his eyes, and sees blond hair and white teeth.


End Notes: Please review, everyone. Every word is helpful to me.