Hey everyone! I'm back, and I bear a new Hetalia fic! This was written for the hetalia_contest community on livejournal, the prompt being "mirrors". I hope you guys enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia, hence, fanfiction.

In the Shadow of a Child

Latvia was shaking. This was nothing new, and therefore did not attract more than a few pitying stares from the few strangers that had never seen the small teen.

Lithuania and Estonia sighed under their breaths. Today was a free day, they all had the day off, and had decided to spend the day together having fun and catching up; it'd been a while since they'd last seen each other for something not business related.

Going to the carnival had been Lithuania's idea; the way he saw it, it was a fun, open, carefree place where they could all wind down from the strenuous task of not only running a nation from the shadows, but of physically being that nation and going through it's ups and downs. Neither Estonia nor Latvia had any qualms with this idea, and so here they were, standing in a bunch beside the goldfish scooping both, waiting for their turn at the game.

And Latvia was shaking. As usual.

"Come on Raivis, how about we go get something to eat?" The eldest brother suggested, deciding that the group before them was taking to long, and that Raivis couldn't really catch fish if he was that nervous, anyways.

"A-alright." The youngest brother stuttered, and Eduard put a comforting arm around his brother's shoulder, trying to calm him down. Raivis understood the meaning of this gesture, and of Toris' suggestion to go get food, and of the pitying looks he was being given by passing strangers and his siblings alike, and that made it even harder to resist the tears that were itching to fall.

The last time Latvia had been to a carnival, he'd been dragged there by Russia.

Gently pushing Eduard's hand off of him, Raivis clenched his teeth, turned on his heel, and ran.

He didn't mean to cause problems, he didn't wan t anyone to worry about him. All Raivis wanted was to find a small, isolated place where he could cry freely, before wiping his tears and going back to spend the day with his brothers. All he wanted was to get rid of these nerves, this shaking fear, the little voice in his head that was whispering in a sing-song voice 'He's right behind you, Raivis, always right behind you~ Don't do anything you wouldn't want him to see~'

In his panic, Raivis unwittingly ran into the first closed space he came across. He ran right into the House of Mirrors.

This house of mirrors did not contain one or two or even 5 fun house mirrors that bended your size and shape; it contained hundreds of mirrors, all lined up side by side, creating a complex sort of maze that Raivis only realized he ran deep into after he was inside. He was scared out of his mind when, after he brushed the troublesome tears out of his closed eyes, he was face to face with his reflection. More specifically, the fact that his eyes were leveled with those of his mirror-twin, and he was staring into a pair of gleaming violet orbs that were nearly glowing from the way the small amount of light was being bounced between the mirrors andtheylookedexactlylikeRussia's.

Raivis wanted to scream. Instead, he bit his tongue as his eyes leaked tears like a broken faucet-

No!! Not the faucet, please.-

Soon enough the taste of iron was heavy in Raivis' mouth, made him feel nauseous, made him ready to puke. Instead he simply gagged, coughing onto the floor but somehow getting blood on his clothes instead. It was only a little, though, only a cut on his tongue, and Raivis tried to calm himself down as he reminded himself that he was not hurt, this blood wasn't from his head or his arm or his tiny chest, and that he was alone; there was no laughter, no horrible cracking followed by a horrifying scream that came with the delayed realization that it was his own, nothing. Just the sounds of his sobs as they echoed in the room filled only with him and more mirrors than he'd ever seen in his life.

So he breathed. And breathed again. In. Out. In. Out.

When Raivis was calmer, he couldn't help but look into the mirror again. This time he wasn't scared, although he felt a bit disgusted. He was an independent nation now, but he certainly didn't look the part; his face was a teary, snotty red mess, his curly sand-colored hair messier than usual, as though he'd been tugging at random strands, although he had no recollection of doing so. His cream colored shirt had an odd blotch of red on it, one that would no doubt be hard to hide from his brothers-

Raivis' eyes widened. He'd run off and left Toris and Eduard behind, and now they were probably worried sick looking for him. Feeling another pang of guilt run through him, because he'd overreacted again and ruined what was supposed to be a fun day out with his brother, the Latvian slowly made his way through the confusing maze of mirrors once more, reaching the exit a good 5 minutes after he'd started moving.

The sunlight stung his aching eyes, and before he could even get his hand all the way up above them to shield them from the Sun's rays, he felt himself nearly topple over. Except, he couldn't fall, not with the way that he was currently being hugged.

Recovering, Raivis smiled to find himself in Toris' warm embrace, even though it was a hot day. And the turned around when he felt a hand upon his shoulder once again, and his smile grew when he saw Eduard's.

"Raivis!" And then the rest of the words died on Toris' tongue but Raivis understood; the tightness of his hug betrayed how worried he was better than any words could.

"I-I'm sorry! I didn't mean to-"

"Hey. It's okay." And Raivis turned around again, and Toris released his brother from the death grip and consented for holding his hand as the duo looked at their middle brother. Eduard wasn't good with comforting words, it was just one of those understood things, and so it was understood that Raivis was forgiven, that Eduard was just happy he was safe, and that the teen didn't have to get flustered all over again.

So, after it was all said and done, and Raivis told his brother that maybe they should eat, since he was getting pretty hungry and the three of them walked through the carnival hand in hand, the Latvian caught sight of his reflection once again in a mirror at the face painting booth.

This time, Raivis smiled.

I hope you all enjoyed it! And Please Review!!