Another Russia fic :) I love him! This will probably be around 5-6 chapters. Have fun along the way!

I do not own Axis Powers Hetalia and am not making any money with this.

Chapter 1

-888-

The sheets on the bed were stained with blood, wet, dark red spots and circles that were slowly seeping into the mattress beneath. The clock on the wall emphasised the silence with its unnaturally loud ticking. Had Toris not heard each second pass, time would have become a formless, endless thing that did not apply to him. And maybe it did not regardless. The scent of snow and thunder lingered in the air, reminiscent of the last remnants of an ice-cold thunderstorm after devastating a field of sunflowers.

Lithuania was sitting at the foot of his bed, bowing his head so he could see his hands. They lay in his lap together, holding each other, holding onto each other. His face, he felt, was blank, and that made sense, because he was in shock. Or at least he should be. A glance at the clock revealed that Russia had left over three hours ago. It felt like Toris had been sitting here for a lifetime.

He was aware that his mind had shut down and was performing only the most basic of functions. Feelings had been dampened and finally muted when Russia had started touching him and he had entered his current state when he was unable to take the pain, the blood loss and the insane glint in Russia's eyes anymore.

His wounds were starting to hurt, which was a clear sign of his emotions coming back. Soon, soon, he would be breaking down on this very bed, sobbing and clutching at the bloodied pillows. Toris stood and looked blankly at the bed for a few moments, before bending down painfully to take the sheets off the bed lest the blood completely ruin the mattress. Bundling up the sheets, he was about to make his way to the bathroom, when a knock sounded on the door.

Frantic thoughts chased each other in his head and his emotions were back, making his eyes tear up. He needed to hide the sheets! The pillows, God, why was there so much blood? How could he hide it? And his own state, how would he conceal the forming bruises, the shallow cuts and the dried blood matting his hair from when Russia had hit his head against the headboard while he had been... Toris shuddered and a tear ran down his face. He wiped it away hastily. Maybe it was Estonia at the door...? He sometimes came to look after him when Russia had visited him.

He threw a long bathrobe over himself and walked to the door, opening it a split to peek outside.

Outside his door wasn't Estonia, or even Latvia. Instead, there stood the tallest nation he knew.

Russia.

Dismayed shock mixed with the still-lingering fear and numbness was starting to set in again. Lithuania wished he could close the door, lock it, and hide in his bed forever, but he knew it was no use. Russia could tear down his door in a split second and would have him anyway.

He stepped back and opened the door wider, ignoring his instincts that told him to flee. He cast his eyes down, not daring to meet Russia's violet eyes. Lithuania didn't want to know which emotions they held now- childish rage combined with vengefulness or was it blood lust with cruel delight? He had long ago learned to stop searching Russia's eyes to see what was in store for him. It turned out all the same in the end. Why bother?

''Toris- what happened to you?'' Russia asked with an emotion in his voice that was close to concern.

Toris looked up in dismay. Was this another of his cruel games? What could he do to not be hurt...? Perhaps he had to play along?

''Someone... someone beat me up.'' Toris could feel himself shaking, shaking in utter fear of what was to happen. Was this what Russia had wanted to hear? Was-

''No one should ever hurt you. It's not fair, you can't defend yourself...'' Russia was frowning at him and finally, Toris dared to lift his eyes to meet Russia's.

Russia looked uncharacteristically gentle.

''Come on, I'll help you clean those wounds. They look like they need some attention.'' And Russia was leading the way to his bathroom. Toris couldn't do anything but follow, astounded and not sure whether to trust the peace or be prepared to be hurt.

Russia was going through his cabinet and extracted bandages and a small cloth that he disinfected. Toris looked on, completely confused.

''Sit down over there.'' Russia pointed at the toilet and Toris obeyed immediately.

A second before Russia applied the disinfected cloth, Lithuania steeled himself for the painful comeback of the old Russia, the one who would sink his fingers into the wounds and lick the blood from his fingers with a childish look of delight on his face.

The cloth touched the edge of one of the wounds and old Russia did not come back. No, the Russia standing behind him was carefully dabbing at the dried blood on his back, without attempting to inflict more pain.

''Russia, why...?'' Toris tentatively asked.

The dabbing stopped and Lithuania ducked his head. Wrong thing to say.

Instead, though, Russia asked, ''Why are you calling me that?''

''I'm sorry!'' Toris remained with his head ducked. Then, his mind processed what he had said. ''Calling you what?''

''Russia. I'm Ivan. You always call me by my first name, because Russia is too formal.''

Toris didn't understand the world anymore. Russia, no, Ivan, was acting so oddly. Toris rarely called Russia Ivan. Why did he suddenly say he did?

The dabbing continued. ''Could you sit up a bit straighter?''

''I'm sorry!'' Toris abruptly straightened his back, making the skin around his wounds itch and hurt. He hissed quietly at the sharp pain.

Russia put down the cloth, took the bandages and started covering Toris' wounds. Pausing, he moved around Lithuania to see his face.

''Sorry, sorry, sorry- you are always apologising. What is there to apologise about? You did nothing wrong. You shouldn't feel sorry for these things.'' Russia's violet eyes grew intense, as though what he was saying was of extreme importance.

''Have some confidence. No one respects people who grovel.''

Without another word, he went back to bandaging Lithuania's torso.

Toris, for his part, was confused to such an extent that he simply stared ahead as his mind attempted to process Ivan's behaviour.

Carefully, hesitantly, Toris spoke up. ''What do you- what do you mean?''

''That you will not gain anything from anyone if you behave so submissive. Either someone will resent you for it or they will take advantage of your weakness. Always giving in, apologising, won't get you respect.'' Ivan spoke in a normal tone, as though he always gave Toris advice.

Toris swallowed. ''But... what if something bad happens if I don't give in?''

Ivan, who was tying the bandages in a knot on Toris' chest, looked up curiously. ''Will whatever happens be worse than what would happen to your self-esteem when you deny what you really want?''

Toris nodded repeatedly, thinking of what Russia would do if he so much as spoke up. Well, he had never truly done so, but he could imagine the consequences well enough.

As if he had read his mind, Ivan answered, ''Have you ever tried simply doing what you want?''

''No! Never!'', he exclaimed vehemently.

''Well, perhaps you should.'' The last knot was made and Ivan stood up from his kneeling position behind Toris and offered him a hand.

Still in a daze from Ivan's behaviour, Toris took it and let the stronger nation pull him to his feet.

Toris followed Ivan as the tall nation walked to the front door and turned back to him. ''I have to go.''

Toris only nodded dumbly.

''See you, then.''

Toris scrambled for words as Ivan turned to go. ''Th-thanks, Ivan. See you... later.''

Ivan smiled a smile of quiet contentment, turned, and was soon swallowed by the sheer whiteness of the snow.

Toris remained standing in the doorway for a long time, not caring that snow was blowing into his house on small gusts of wind and the warmth was escaping into the cold outside air.

What had that been about...? Ivan had come to his house after Russia had left earlier... and it had been as if... as if he had become a different person. It had felt like Russia was someone entirely different from Ivan. Their bearing, their words, their very personalities, were complete opposites.

Russia had been blood thirsty, childish and very very twisted. Ivan, however, was mature, caring and comforting. How was it even possible that two such opposing personalities lived in one person? ...Did Russia have multiple personalities? And if so, why had he never noticed...?

Toris squinted, trying to see Ivan in the distance, but there was only the vast whiteness of the snowy plains. He turned to look at his door with quiet desperation. Who would be standing in front of this door, the next time it knocked?

Going back inside, he closed the door behind him and locked it. The bandages around his chest felt both comforting and suffocating at the same time, as if Ivan was holding him in a protective embrace and simultaneously, Russia was smothering him until his breath was gone.

The peculiar feeling stayed throughout the rest of the day, especially when Toris took the rumpled, bloody sheets from his bed and found, not the scent of snow and thunder, but the smell of sunflowers in his bathroom.

It was merely a matter of time, really, until Russia would be back. Only now, Lithuania had to wonder. Would it be Ivan who would come knocking at his door?

-888-

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