A scream, a shout for Yao. Where was he? The halls were long and endless, a maze without an end.

"Yao!" Ivan's voice echoed off the solid, dark walls. He was suffocating. He couldn't think. As he ran, the halls grew darker, longer, smaller. He desperately sprinted, turning corners.




Finally the Russian couldn't take it anymore, he collapsed on his knees, a shiver of pain running up his spine. The scarf around his neck seemed to be strangling him, cutting off the senses of his lower body.

Where was Yao?

Where was Yao?

Ivan's eyes slipped closed, darkness taking over.

But his eyes only snapped back open. The bright sunlight made him squint, illuminating the bedroom around him. At first, a sigh of relief, then a pang of worry. His violet eyes turned to the other side of the large bed, where Wang Yao, China, laid sleepily peacefully. Another sigh of relief, but still worry was there. The Chinese man's ivory skin was stained with bruises, presumably from the night before. Why didn't Ivan realize how much he's hurt his beloved Yao?

No, he had realized. He knew he was hurting Yao, but his senses were doused by lust and vodka for him to tell himself to stop. He heard Yao's pleads to stop that night. But Ivan didn't listen.

Several minutes had passed, and still he stared at the beautiful man beside him. Ivan had never realized how worn Yao actually looked. His bone-thin body, the dark bags under his closed eyes. Thousands of years this man has fought for himself in this world. He's seen more than Ivan could ever imagine, and yet the man looks younger than the Russian. What really amazed him was the fact Yao could look so beautiful and such a mess at the same time…

Ivan's eyes turned from the sleeping man, to the ceiling. He knew sleep was unthinkable after that nightmare.

The Russia finally pulled himself out of bed, his mind still on the nightmare. He couldn't let it go.

It was just a dream. Yao was still there, sleeping in Ivan's bed…

Russian water.

Ivan grabbed a bottle of the alcoholic drink, downing half of it in one go.


It kept replaying in his mind, over and over as he stumbled into the bathroom, vodka in hand.

What did Ivan see in the mirror?

Cause I don't want you to know...

A powerful nation.

Where I am...

A Russian man.

Cause then you'll see my heart.

A communist monster.

In the saddest state it's ever been.

Certainly not Ivan Braginski.

But Ivan Braginski he saw, staring back at him.

This is no place to try and live my life...

The Russian sighed, rubbing his face with his hands.

The built up anger inside him finally let go, and his large hand smashed the mirror, shattering the reflective glass into hundreds of pieces. The sound of breaking glass filled the house.

The house fell silent again. Ivan stared into the sink, wishing he was someone else…

Stop right there!


Yao's soft voice came from the doorway. The Chinese man had thrown on Ivan's large coat to cover his cold and bruised body.

That's exactly where I lost it.

"Ivan… what's wrong, aru?" He sounded worn. Tired. Ill. Russia only stared at China, saying nothing.

"Ivan, please say something, aru…" Yao sounded desperate at this point. "Yao should go home… so I don't hurt him anymore, da?" Ivan said softly, looking away.

See that line?

Yao's gaze was on the floor, staring into the shattered pieces of the mirror. He was clutching the door frame like a small, frightened child. "I don't want to leave, aru…"

Well, I never should've crossed it.

No response.


"I've been hurting Yao, haven't I?" Yao didn't give a response this time, his gaze still locked on the floor.

"Yao won't respond, I am right, da."

Stop right there!

Yao was shaking. Was it fear? Worry?

"Sometimes, aru…" Yao looked up, his eyes locked on Ivan. His dark hair draped over his face, hiding his emotions.

"I don't understand, Ivan, aru…"

Ivan clenched his teeth and fists. He was angry. Not with Yao… but with himself.

"Yao doesn't love me… Yao should think I'm a monster…"

Well, I never should've said that.

The words out of Ivan's mouth shattered Yao's heart. Ivan could even see it in his eyes. China looked back down, avoiding Russia's eyes.

"Ivan…" Yao's voice cracked from trying to hold back the tears. "If I thought you were a monster… why would I still be here, aru…?"

Ivan stared in disbelief.

"Why would I still be here, wearing your coat, in your house, aru?"

Yao's knees were shaking from the emotional trauma.

It's the very moment that I wish that I could take back.

"Why would I do what I do for you, aru? Why am I still here, after all you've done, aru? I should be asking myself these things, but I already know the answer to them all, aru…"

The Chinese man looked up at the Russian, dead in the eyes. Ivan was standing there like General Winter had come. The distressed look on China's face shattered him.

I'm sorry for the person I became.

"Ivan… I love you, aru…"

I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.

Ivan's knees gave out on him, and he collapsed to the floor, absolutely stunned.

"Ivan please… don't ever leave me, aru…" Yao left the doorway, walking towards the Russian. Ivan's eyes never strayed from Yao.

"Yao thinks I would do that…?" Ivan whispered. "I'm more scared Yao would leave me, da…" Russia reached up, grasping Yao's wrist carefully and pulling him down.

I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again.

"Ivan… Ivan please don't say those things ever again, aru…" Yao buried his face in Ivan's shoulder, choking back tears. The Chinese man's knees collapsed when Ivan pulled him down, large arms wrapping tightly around him. "Those words hurt me more than anything else, aru…"

Ivan didn't reply for a few minutes. He was taking in Yao's warm, Yao's love…

Cause who I am hates who I've been.

"Yao… I love you too, da…"

Who I am hates who I've been.