By Chibi Ra Chan
Part 1 of 7
"We are all born brave, trusting and greedy, and sadly, most of us remain greedy." -Mignon McLaughlin
For the first time in centuries, China was alone.
He could not bring himself to pretend that everything would just suddenly happen for the better; because it wouldn't. Blind hope was for silly fools who could not act on their own and he was not a fool.
He would never allow this to happen ever again.
They were all gone, all of his siblings. Japan had left to govern himself; Taiwan was rebelling against him and wanted nothing to do with her once caretaker, and Hong Kong. Oh his sweet little Hong Kong had been taken away from him, literally ripped from his arms by that meddling England.
He wept over the loss of Xiang, he was only a child after all, and how could anyone be so ruthless as to take over a fledgling country? If nothing else, he knew that he would never let such a dishonor befall him ever again. Yao would never allow another colony fall from his grasp, not without a fight.
With a sigh, China tried to push the troubling thoughts from his head, instead concentrating on the path home. His annual trip to Peking had been uneventful, and truth be told his mind wasn't exactly on the issues they talked about. He was more concerned with his own pain.
The emperor had told him to go home, to rest his uneasy mind, knowing that a distracted nation would get nothing done in the long run. If only it had been so simple.
The trip home had been cursed with unexpected snow storms; there were no merchants willing to brave the weather, leaving him to walk the mountain path alone in the thick white out.
Yao was freezing to his bones, his thin jacket was not enough to keep out the chill and thankfully in only a few hours he would return to his quiet and more importantly, warm, home. He would tuck himself next to the fire and try to keep his mind off his siblings.
It was then that a wailing sound interrupted his thoughts. It was faint over the billowing wind, but it made his heart clench painfully.
It was a lost child.
Without consciously thinking about it, his feet led him away from the path home, going deeper into the storm. Year later, Yao would say it was like being in a trance; he followed his feet, knowing that something very important was waiting for him. The crying got louder as he grew closer and closer to the mountain top, the maelstrom picked up speed and ferocity making it difficult to see anything.
Suddenly out the endless borage of white, there was a spark of brown. He nearly ran to that spark feeling as if something was tugging on his heart and he was helpless to do anything but follow. Vaguely he remembered yelling, trying to find this lost child, screaming for the child to stay where it was and wait for him.
And then he found him, a little buddle lying shivering in the snow, tears frozen to his delicately pale face with deep brown hair sprawled out all over the place.
Instantly he knew this boy was a nation. China would never be sure how he knew, but he did know instinctually that this half frozen baby was like him, a nation in his own right. The child fixed his brown eyes on him and despite the harsh cold; Yao felt warmth spread through his entire being.
He knew those eyes. They were familiar and warm with compassion; this was Silla, or what was left of that once great nation. The three kingdoms and Silla herself had been gone for centuries now, but here it was, reborn again. This child was his sibling, someone to raise, to care for, a gift from the gods to sooth his wounded heart.
This boy was the new Korea.
He picked up the young nation and murmured soft words to him and shielding him from the snow the best he could. The boy curled into him completely, trusting him with his life already. The strings that were wrapped around his heart tightened even more.
'This colony will be different. This one is different aru. I can feel it already.'
Yao knew he should hand the baby over to his own country, to let them raise him in their customs, to let him grow up in his own lands, to be a true nation, but he simply couldn't let the child go.
Couldn't, or wouldn't. He wasn't sure which.
It began, as many things tend to do, in childhood.
In his earliest memories he remembers it being very, very cold. He remembers wandering for what seems like days on a dangerously snowy mountain, lost, not knowing where he was or even why he was. The only thing her knew was that he was Korea. That much was clear, even if he had no idea what it meant. He remembers nearly dying of starvation, with his tiny fingers and toes bitten blue from the snow.
Korea remembers his tears freezing to his cheeks most of all.
And then one day, in the middle of a harsh storm, he heard something other than the wails of the wind and his own sadness. He heard a faint voice, though it must have been yelling for him to hear it over the wind. The voice is the first that he has ever heard other than his own, but he knew, the minute it wrapped around him, so soft, so comforting, so real that it was painful, that he could trust it.
Korea knew in that single moment that he loved that voice.
And that it belonged to him and him alone.
That voice, his beloved voice, was connected to a boy. A boy with silky black hair and worried brown eyes, who picked him up out of the snow and hugged him close, soothing him with soft words that he couldn't possibly hear over the wind. But Korea felt the words reverberate through his savior's chest, close to his heart beat.
Korea's angelic boy took him away from the snow and to a house that was wonderfully warm, so warm that it hurt against his snow biting skin. His beautiful boy peeled away his sopping wet clothes, frowning at the child's still blue tinged toes but then let out a chuckle at the yin-yang shaped birthmark above his hip. He gave him elegant silk clothes to wear and when his toes were still chilled blue, he mumbled and rubbed them to melt away the frost.
Korea tried to talk to his beloved savior, but his tongue refused to wrap itself around the strange language he spoke, so he smiled at the older boy instead and hoped that, somehow, he could understand.
While feeding him, the pretty boy starts talking to him. Korea ate the food voraciously, but listened intently, almost greedily, to everything his boy told him. Only after talking for a few minutes did the elder of them notice his blank gaze and hurriedly switched to a language that he understood.
The boy's voice lilted over the foreign words flawlessly with practiced ease and now that he understood, Korea was hopelessly enchanted by everything he said. He spoke wonderful things about nations, countries, and kingdoms. He explained to him that they were both very special. They were lucky to be nations, which were living, breathing proof of a proud race of people.
He is Korea and his exquisite boy, his savior with the charming voice, is China. And they are brothers. China has a human name as well and he promises to give Korea his own very soon.
Korea is too young to understand much of what he was saying at the time; it was all so big and grand and he was so very sleepy, but what he did understand was that being brothers meant that they belonged to each other.
He is China's and China is his.
Seeing the child's eyes sleepily drooping, his beautiful boy, his Yao, covers him in blankets and rocks him softly to sleep. But when he tries to let go and tuck him into bed, Korea clutches his shirt with his small, no longer blue, hands and speaks to his beloved brother for the first time.
"Mine." Even though he is young, and his one word exclamation was laced with sleepiness, it was firm and left no room for argument.
His China laughs at his serious face and relents, allowing Korea to sleep with him. "But only this once, aru." Korea smiled and snuggles closer to his beautiful boy, who lazily curled the younger boy's wayward strand of hair around his fingers.
"I'm going to name you Yong Soo, okay? It means 'brave and great', aru. Would you like that?"
Korea responds by sleepily kissing China's neck and contentedly whispering, "Mine."
"Possessive little one, aren't you?"
"You're going to be troublesome, I can tell, aru." Nevertheless, he kisses his forehead and quietly the two brothers fall into a deep contented slumber.
i. Xiang- This is the name I've used for Hong Kong in several of my stories, it comes from the mandarin name for Hong Kong, Xianggang, which means 'fragrant harbor'.
ii. Peking- an older pronunciation of the capital of China; Beijing. It housed the forbidden city, which was the political center of China and where the Emperor himself lived until the early 1900's.
iii. The snowy mountain- In Korean creation mythology the hero, Hwang-gung, went to a snowy mountain top in an attempt to purify himself so he could teach his people how to live good lives and eventually settle what is now Korea.
iv. Silla and the Three kingdoms- Silla was one of three kingdoms that eventually came into being the Korea we know today.
I have literally been working on this story since the middle of summer break, and I'm finally glad to release it to you all. Originally I wrote this with the intention of making a short drabble collection, but the plot quickly grew before my very keyboard and here we are.
I really love the China/Korea pairing, but I'm always a little disappointed with the lack of serious stories for them, so I have taken it upon myself to fill the gapping hole in the fandom.
I'm honored that you've read this and would be delighted even further if you decided to drop a review.
Forever and Eternally,
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"Get out, aru." His tone was dangerously calm, revealing the steeled force that had allowed him to survive throughout the centuries.
Kiku faltered for a moment, not used to China's anger being directed at him. He quickly wiped the shock from his expression and his brown eyes steeled over, losing all trace of his earlier teasing. "You would protect him? You would choose him over me?"