Things were perfect, for a while.

They held hands in public; they never tried to hide it.

Things were so innocent, so romantic, the early sparks of a sprouting love.

For a while.

His eyes were always soft whenever he saw him, whatever emotion he'd been conveying melted away to adoration whenever he saw America walk through the door. Without fail. Every time.

Others would watch as they shyly gazed at one another, their hands sliding together without much thought when they stood close.

No, they never tried to hide it, but they never had to mention it either. Everyone knew as they were spotted whispering to each other, spotted smiling together, it was obvious.

America and Russia were in love.

It was as simple as that.

Or at least it should have been.

The soft touches, the gentle kisses, the longing gazes, it was all bliss – for a while.

But it didn't last.

Their hands were intertwined, not an unusual sight.

But there was some strange, crushing, constricting quality in the way Russia cradled America's smaller hands that day. A firm hold.

America didn't really pay attention to the fact his hands were just a tad smashed, he just assumed Russia didn't realize how tight he was grasping them.

He felt fingers brush away the unkempt hair from over his ear and a hot breath against the side of face accompany a quiet hiss.

"You are mine." it laughed in a chilling tone, drawing America a few inches closer.

However, he chose to ignore the shake that had overcome his body as the words seeped into his

consciousness. He brushed off the cold haze that had just washed over his heart.

After all, when he looked up, Russia was smiling softly, his eyes displaying nothing but love.

But when he dug deeper, he saw a disturbing sort of lust under it, but not for his body. It was a dark, obsessive lust, a need, to own completely and control.

He stood for a moment, his mouth open as though he was prepared to say something.

But it was there without a doubt, love. So much love. It almost eclipsed the strange desire that sat so plainly upon Russia's face. Adoring love. Happy love. Innocent love. He couldn't bring himself to leave, so he chose to ignore.

If things really did get bad, he could run then, right?

Besides, he figured, he loved Russia, if something was troubling him; it was his duty to help him overcome it.

"Okay…" he laughed nervously as he tried to loosen his fingers that were growing sorer by the moment.

They wouldn't budge.

"Uhhh, Ivan?"

"Yes?"

"My hands are starting to hurt? Would you mind letting go a little?"

"Oh, sorry." he did, but not before his eyes flashed with a dominance of that bizarre longing. He did it purposefully, as though to warn America not to run now that he had the freedom to.

It only grew worse.

One day, England was observing them at a gathering. The way Russia wouldn't let America out of his sight – and very rarely out of his arms. As obvious as their love had been, now was the emotional abuse that had come into play.

"Bloody idiot should have seen this coming." he murmured to himself. "This was bound to happen, the way he dove head first into such a relationship. I told him so. Did he listen? NO!"

"You're jealous, oui?" France appeared from behind him. "Imagining your boy squirming with pleasure under the covers with somebody else?"

England gritted his teeth. "Fuck off, Francis."

"C'est vrai. Look at you, staring, pouting from the other part of the room."

"Goddamn it, just leave me alone." He growled.

"Well, if you're lonely…"

England felt a hand movement extend from his lower back over his hip and around to his thigh.

"DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, WINE BASTARD!"

"Well, excusez-moi, I was just expressing my sympathy for you." he left in mock horror.

England sighed, replacing his watch upon America and Russia.

There was no denying it, he was locked in by fear. But it broke England's heart to see America's eyes still light up with passion. He still loved Russia, no matter how strange the situation had become. It was impossible to not see the connection, the spark, that just so happened to be tainted by fear and dominance. England settled in a chair, still watching his world be held by another.

Yes, he was very, very jealous.

Poor, poor Canada. He wasn't as aware of the situation.

"Al!" He bounced up to him happily. "How've you been? You never visit anymore, or even call."

It was one of those rare moments where Russia wasn't breathing down his lover's neck.

"Not good, eh?" He read his brother's anxious expression. He wrapped his arm around him in a comforting embrace. "Sorry to hear."

America's face grew even more anxious as he watched something over Canada's shoulder.

"What's wrong, Al?" He quickly found out.

A crushing grasp fell on the side of his neck, squeezing tighter until…

"Hello, Matthew." He resumed breaking Canada's collarbone.

"OWWWWEEEEE! YOU'RE GONNA BRUISE MY SHOULDER! I BRUISE EASY!"

"I'll do much more than bruise." He locked his assertive gaze on the others nation's. "Maybe you should leave, da?" His arms slid around America, like a handcuff. He squeezed him as well, though lighter, more like a warning.

"I'll, see you later Alfred." He caught a glimpse of Russia's face. "Or not."

"Ivan…he wasn't trying to be romantic or anything. He's just my brother."

"You just never know." His grip softened as he turned him and said "I just want to make sure nothing happens to my sunflower."

America formulated a thought in his abused little head.

He's doing this because he loves me.

Every time that America fell asleep besides him, Russia vowed he wouldn't let it be the last. He would never let go, not ever, not of him. He would do anything to keep those sapphire eyes on him, even if it meant fear. He would not let the only sunshine in his life slip away, not now. Not ever.

He'd always feared that he would leave, would find someone else. He still shuddered at the thought. So Russia did what he thought was necessary. He instilled terror into those who approached America in a manner he deemed was possibly threatening, and he also directed some of that terror at America himself, just to keep him in line.

To keep guilt from rising from within himself, he too, formulated a thought.

It's only because I love him.

Gradually, America grew more introverted, his thoughts twisted in affection and fear. It grew to the point where he rarely spoke to anyone but Russia…

It was those eyes, damn it. The way they watched him. It seemed like they were so desperate, so needy. So loving. Like Russia just wanted to please him, to hold him, to keep him safe. But just under the violet surface lay jealousy and hurt. An uncontrollable desire to make him totally his – forever.

Russia wanted to just slip away into him. The way the gold hair bounced when he talked, the way his eyes smiled as he did. The way his voice flowed so easily into other people's conversations. He was so different from anything else life had given him. It was only natural that he'd fear it would leave him, and do anything to prevent that.

America's feelings kept him tightly bound, as did Russia's crushing, confusing embraces that dropped quite the hint.

*NEVER LEAVE ME, YOU'D REGRET IT……*

He kept a sweet, affectionate smile on his face as he whispered "You are mine." an average total of twenty times a day. Just to drive the idea into him a little further.

But America loved him.

And also was terrified of him.

He tried to keep it in his head.

It's because he loves me.

But he never knew when Russia would completely snap on him, there was a tension that implied it would be soon.

It grew to the point where he feared for his safety, as it was plain obvious that what had been sweet, blossoming love was now intertwined with dark insanity and possessiveness.

He was scared and comforted when those big, warm arms were around him.

It became a living hell.

Love, possessiveness, terror and insanity, the lines were blurred.

The way he whispered "Alfred" could be so endearing, yet so menacing.

While he sat alone in his home, the thought came to him.

A way to save himself from Russia.

Suicide.

Was it possible? Would it work? Could it really be that easy?

He could try.

He wanted an escape so bad, yet there was no way out. He didn't want to see what Russia would do if he cut the ties. He wouldn't have the heart to do so in the first place, not when he still loved him so deeply.

As he steadily retrieved a kitchen knife, he thought of everyone. His mind raced over all the people he cared about, everything he had done in his short life. He knew it was selfish, impulsive. But Russia would kill him if he broke his heart anyways, not that America would even try.

No, he just had to do it quick, before he could talk himself out of it.

He swallowed over the lump in his throat as he held the knife.

His escape.

His only way out.

It was an unfortunate situation, but it was honestly the only escape.

He'd turned far too long to the thought;

It's because he loves me.

It was just far too out of control to fix.

He wondered if he should prepare, perhaps a letter? Should he at least be comfortable?

He decided he'd do it in the bath tub, where he could numb at least the physical pain.

As he entered the room, he caught his reflection in the mirror, he looked so tired while using soap to write the words;

"I'm sorry. I just can't be here anymore. I needed to go away."

He hesitated with the next, even though they were the most true.

"This is because I love you. I love you so much, Ivan."

He climbed into the tub without bothering to remove his shoes.

Was he really going to do it? Really, actually going to kill himself?

He couldn't.

He imagined Russia's lips forming the words "I love you." Then he shuddered as he recalled them laughing "You are mine."

He turned on the water.

Coward.

He thought.

I'm a coward.

He wasn't even really thinking about the action as he laid the metal to his wrist a few times. He only let out a gasp for air when the pain set in.

His muscles melted, there was just a fiery sensation in his arm, water running over it, guilt in his head and

his bright, red blood everywhere.

Fuck, why did I do this?

America lay bleeding, full of regret, unable to lift his body to butcher his other wrist.

He hoped he'd have slipped out of consciousness by the time Russia had said he was coming.

A hope which died as he heard his front door creak open.

His heavy footsteps met the ground, America could practically see the puzzled expression on his face.

"Alfred?" the footsteps grew nearer.

He first saw Russia's stunned face in the mirror, the messy soap writing reflecting all over his beautiful cheeks. He expected it to twist into a smile, then to hear his laughter.

He expected that Russia would laugh at him. He thought possibly he'd drive the knife through his heart, punishment for trying to leave. But he thought he'd enjoy this, a sick feeling of control. Because of Russia, he wanted to die, he was trying to take his own life. Certainly that would please the disturbed man.

He was very, very wrong.

"I needed to go away?" he heard the voice mimic. "Oh ебать. Oh fuck. Alfred!" He swung around to the

side of the bathtub.

Russia's knees gave way from under him as he began crying. It was the kind of crying where at first there's silence, with slight crackling noises as you take in air. Then, a great wail sends you into fits of sobbing.

"This is my fault, isn't it?"

Russia found confirmation in the soft, fearful look in America's fading eyes.

He shook violently as he took the knife to examine it.

"I made you want to die." It was a statement. "I made you want to die."

He suddenly threw it down to stare at the sight before him. There was so much pain in America's face, it

was worn. He'd faded since the first time they'd kissed out in the frigid air.

It wasn't like Russia hadn't noticed how everyday, he smiled less. How his eyes had grown weary and miserable. He'd been perfectly aware America was depressed. But he'd chosen to be selfish and ignore it. Even though the sunshine had faded, it was better than the empty night he'd been subjected to before.

He could always just say he smothered him

Because I love him.

But now, America was screaming because of him. He'd made him want to die. He could see America's pain eating him from the inside out, just as his did.

He couldn't deny the sick feeling in his stomach, the lump in his throat. So he continued to cry. He cried over how he'd ruined everything , sobbing with the knowledge that this was his entire fault. He'd pushed America away. He'd led him to join him in his depression and insanity.

His fault.

"Alfred." His whispered, only love and sorrow in his eyes.

He was down on the ground, weak, but stood up suddenly to scoop the bleeding boy up.

"I'm never going to hurt you. Not ever again."

America's body was limp.

But he slowly realized that he couldn't salvage this with any promise. No words would repair it.

"I'm never going to hurt you, because you're never going to see me again. You'll never see my face in this house, and you will never be expected to come to mine. I'm no longer a member of your personal life. I'll speak to you only when I have to, in as little words as possible….But you're going to live, damn it. You will NOT die."

"Ivan." America was half relieved and half terrified with this news.

"I'm never going to hurt you. I promise you, my sunflower." He was wrapping his scarf tightly around the wrist like a tourniquet.

Russia's whole body shook. Violent jerks of guilt and misery.

America wanted nothing more than to take that face in his hands, to kiss him passionately. He wanted to see him smile, but not in that tortured, demonic way he had so often done. He just wanted to see him smile, like he had so long ago.

But he couldn't even lift his arms, and his vision was growing blurry.

Russia slipped his fingers over the numbers on a phone as he held his love with one arm.

He choked out the scene to an operator.

"Please help." He sounded so weak, like a helpless child. There were still sobs bursting from his voice as he let the phone fall to the ground.

"I'll never hurt you again…because I love you."

America heard the words as though from under water, he couldn't find his mouth to say "I love you too." He almost didn't even want to.

"Don't leave!" Russia begged. "I won't be here when you wake up, I promise. But I can't watch you die."

But I've been watching him die for so long without doing anything.

He cringed at the fact.

He couldn't help it, he laid his lips on the abnormally pale forehead. "I love you." He muttered between sobs as he rocked the body.

Relief washed over Russia as he heard sirens.

"I cannot begin to apologize for the pain I have caused you. I behaved in a way I regret, I convinced myself it was because I love you."

"But it wasn't." he sighed to himself, taking another mouthful of vodka.

"Love" wasn't the way he tortured America for so long. Confusing him, crushing him.

He resumed writing the letter.

"But I do, with all honesty, love you. Carry that fact with you, my sunflower."

He scribbled the entire letter out.

He wanted to call him.

He wanted to hear his voice.

Even if it was his voicemail.

"Hey, this is Alfred. I'm probably being awesome right now. Leave a message and I'll get to you when I'm done."

He'd even memorized the way America's youthful voice fell in pitch toward the end.

It was impossible to forget the way he looked, staring in disbelief as the dust from a nuclear explosion was still settling on the former sight of Washington. New York and Los Angeles had been hit as well.

Three cities.

Three scars from slices on America's arm.

Russia decided against sending a letter or notice, he was going to stay away.

Because he loved him.

He made a move towards his bed, ready to collapse, alone.

But he froze when he felt the dark blue covers.

"Really, you're soft and warm, and these blankets are just, not." America had smiled while stroking the brown woven comforter.

"You don't like it?"

"Not really."

"It is kind of old."

"Can we get a new one?"

We, he'd said WE. It was THEIR bed.

"Sure, I guess we could."

"It's gonna be a whole lot softer than this."

"You can pick it out. I think that's decided, da?" Russia watched his facial expression grow a little shy. "But promise me, it'll be blue."

"Why blue?"

"The color of your eyes."

America's face brightened a little more, if that was possible…

Everything reminded him of America.

Because he loved him.

But he had to let him go.

He'd done enough damage.

He had to let him heal, let him be happy again.

Even if it broke himself beyond words.

Because Ivan Braginsky did truly, honestly, whole-heartedly love him.


Yeah, it's not as happy as the title would make you think.

It was originally a sequel to Frozen Kisses, but I don't think of it as that anymore.

Frozen Kisses has a happier feel, and I didn't want to mess with it with a sequel.

Especially one like this.

So if you really want see this as a follow up of it, feel free.

But I don't.

-Lissa