The unnervingly cheerful voice made the brunet stop in his tracks, hands instantly clenching onto the papers he was holding so that they wouldn't be scattered all over the place. Toris didn't need to look to know who it was; there was only one nation in the whole world whose cheerful voice could send shivers down his spine.

"Y-yes, Ivan, sir?" he meekly said, slowly turning to face the nation standing a few steps behind him, if only for courtesy's sake. As expected, there was something eerie about Ivan's bright, cheerful smile, despite of how it was, well... bright and cheerful, really.

"Are you busy?" the Russian innocently asked, tilting his head slightly, his purple eyes fixed onto the brunet.

"Uh...No, not really," Toris slowly answered, glancing at the papers he were holding for a moment before turning his attention back to the larger nation. Ivan's child-like gaze was oddly unnerving. "I just have to archive these papers, and—"

"Then I'll come with you!" the blond suddenly exclaimed, smiling as he approached the smaller nation, practically ignoring said nation's apparent apprehension.

"Um, but..." The Lithuanian could barely stop himself from taking a step back as he watched Ivan approach. "Don't you have... work to do, sir?"

"Oh, I've finished them all already," the larger nation lightly said, beaming at the brunet as they started walking down the hallway. "If I haven't, I wouldn't be wandering around, da?"

"I suppose you have a point..." Toris quietly replied, a nervous grin forming on his face. It didn't seem like Ivan was up to anything—for the moment, at least. Lord knows what kind of thing the blond would blurt out and force him to do later.

The rest of their trip to the archive room was done in silence, since Ivan seemed to be preoccupied by looking at the large courtyard through the window and Toris hadn't the guts to start a conversation with the larger nation. To be honest, he was wondering why the blond wanted to know whether he was busy or not, but he wasn't sure if it would be wise to ask him that. Still, he was curious, very much so, and Ivan seemed to be in a rather good mood; surely, it wouldn't hurt to ask a simple question, right?

"...May I ask you something, sir?" the brunet politely started, garnering a child-like "hmm?" from the larger nation. "Why did you want to know if I was busy or not?"

A short moment passed in silence as Ivan looked at him, a slightly confused expression on his face before he came to realize something. "Oh, right," the Russian calmly said, "I never did tell you why, did I?" Toris nodded quietly, and Ivan smiled. "Well, I was wondering if you would play with me."

The blond's words took more than a few seconds to sink in. "...Play?" the Lithuanian quietly repeated, his tone clearly confused. Ivan merely nodded. "Well... What kind of game do you have in mind?"

Toris silently regretted agreeing to the larger nation's suggestion—not that he had the option to decline in the first place. There was only one choice when it comes to Ivan's whims, and that was to obey said whims. It was simply too risky to even try to say "no" to the Russian.

"I don't know, really..." the blond quietly said, his voice trailing off as his attention returned to the courtyard, which was visible through the window. "But I'd like to play outside. It's getting warmer, but there's still so much snow!" The cheerful smile returned to his lips as he spoke the last part.

"Ah, I see..." Toris politely commented, a slight relief present in his tone. It didn't seem like Ivan was up to anything bad, after all. "Why me, though?" he blurted out a short moment later.

"Well, Eduard's too occupied to play with me, and Raivis seemed to be sleeping when I came to ask him if he'd play with me," the large nation replied, a hint of disappointment in his voice. "When I went to his room, he was curled up under his blanket, shivering."

"R-really...?" the brunet timidly said, a nervous grin on his face. He was willing to bet that Raivis wasn't even asleep and was only attempting to hide from Ivan. Still, his littlest brother had always been the most introverted—or perhaps easily scared—one, and he couldn't blame him for acting like that. "...Alright, I'll play with you," Toris finally said with slight hesitation, covering it up with a weak smile. "I'll just drop these papers off for a moment..."

Sometimes Toris wondered about Ivan's definition of "warm", because it was freezing outside, despite of how he was already wearing three layers of winter clothing. He still couldn't comprehend why the larger nation could so gleefully walk around in the thick layer of snow, chiming "Toris, Toris" whenever he found something interesting—which, in turn, made the brunet wonder how he could find so many things among the snow. Had Ivan not pointed it out, he would have missed most—if not all—of them, especially since he hadn't exactly been looking for them.

At the moment, however, the tall blond seemed to have lost interest in his surroundings and was approaching him. Toris silently hoped that this wasn't a bad sign.

"Toris?" the Russian calmly asked, standing in front of the brunet and tilting his head slightly. "Aren't you going to move from there? It's much colder when you don't move, you know."

"But it's so cold..." the smaller nation quietly murmured in response, shuddering slightly as he rubbed his hands together. He swore he would never again step out of Ivan's house when the snow was still more than five inches thick.

"But it'll be colder if you don't move around!" the blond childishly insisted, clasping the brunet's hands. "And it's not fun if you're just standing there, Toris; it's like I'm playing on my own..." A dejected look made its way onto the Russian's face. "We'll go back inside after a short walk around, okay? It won't take ten minutes."

Times like these made the Lithuanian wish he had the ability to deactivate his brotherly instincts, which was making him increasingly weak against that kicked puppy look Ivan was giving him. Not to mention how he couldn't say 'no' to the Russian in the first place.

"...Well, if you insist," the brunet finally said with a weak smile, allowing the larger nation to drag him by the hand as they started to walk across the snow-covered courtyard. Ivan then began to talk about some trivial things happily, and Toris simply nodded in response, at times adding a short sentence or two to his replies. The cold weather was undoubtedly distracting him from forming a decent reply.

When Ivan suddenly stopped, Toris subconsciously took a short step back, closed his eyes, and silently prayed for his life. Something was going to happen; something bad was going to—

"There. It's warmer now, da?"

A moment's silence ensued before Toris overcame his confusion and tentatively spoke.

"...E-excuse me?"

The brunet slowly opened his eyes, immediately noticing the scarf wrapped around his neck. It didn't take him long to realize that this was Ivan's scarf he was wearing, and in another few seconds, he came to the conclusion that the larger nation had shared his scarf with him... Wait, what?

Another moment of silence ensued, broken when the smaller nation let out a slightly muffled yelp as he finished putting the pieces together. Toris was just about to take a step back out of shock when Ivan grabbed his hand once again and resumed their walk, as if nothing had happened.

The first few steps were done in silence as the brunet's attention was occupied by the scarf. It was soft and warm, smelling slightly of vodka... and there was a very faint yet unmistakable scent of blood on it, which made the smaller nation gulp nervously. Still, it felt nice to wear, even though it didn't exactly feel right to wear, and it did wonders warming him up.

"Um..." Toris quietly started a moment later, his eyes turning to the nation walking right beside him. "Excuse me for being so blunt, but... what's with the scarf?"

"Ah, that," the Russian lightly started, beaming at the smaller nation. "Well, you were freezing, weren't you?"

A silent 'oh' escaped the brunet's lips, realizing that Ivan had been holding his hand long enough to notice that he was, well, freezing. "...Thank you," he meekly said, smiling weakly at the blond in an attempt to show some sort of gratitude.

"Don't mention it," Ivan calmly replied as they continued to walk towards his house, treading through the snow. "Just play with me again sometime, da?"

"I will," Toris amicably said, momentarily dropping all of the cautiousness he usually puts up around the larger nation and missing the sinister glint that appeared in the Russian's eyes for a split second.