The stars were awfully high up.

But that didn't stop Ivan Braginski from reaching up as he lay with Yao's hand in his under the cool light they were bathed in.

"What are you doing, aru?" the smaller man's voice rang out clearly in the chilled night air.

"Catching a star," Russia replied, smiling softly. He brought his hand down, even though no light shone through his fingers. China turned his head to watch him curiously, but smiled as he felt the other man's thumb lightly run along his own.

China reached up, his hand grasping nothing but air.

"I… don't get it, aru," he said uncertainly. Russia just scooted over closer, taking in the scent of the night- far away from any battle field. "How much longer do we have?"

"I don't know. The battles are getting pretty bad, da?" Ivan said, his voice suddenly quiet. China pulled himself up and rested his head on the larger man's chest, feeling his warmth, listening to his heartbeat. The heartbeat of another nation.

The day had been full of blood- but the night was theirs.

It always would be.

Russia pulled their clasped hands up to the sky.

"Let's catch some stars, da?"

"How, aru?" China asked, looking up at him.

"Just close your eyes- you'll feel the warmth of their light."

Together they closed their eyes.

Something felt warm in their palms- and unseen to them, light shone through their interlaced fingers.

A/N: OH MY GOODNESS. -falls to knees- I am so, so sorry about taking so long. This summer ended up being a lot more busy than I had foreseen. o.o School starts in two days. This is nuts. Anyway, I hope this bit of sappiness is a satisfactory apology to those of you (awesome people) who have this story on alert. You. Rock. Particularly if you... still read this. o////o