This story:

is not about letters. Or at least, not really.

What it is about is two countries, both of them with respective issues that they may want to go either emotional counseling or a psychiatrist to sort out. It is about politics and trust and flowers and scarves and being annoying and being stubborn and impossible love and aliens that don't make a lot of sense at all. It is about a game without relationships and possibly a relationship without games. It is about pasts that can't quite be let go of, not just yet. It is about a large amount of foolishness.

Well, maybe it is, anyway! //


from russia, with love


Dear America,

I was very impressed with your presentation at the last meeting, most notably the state of your dress – your collar buttons undid themselves very attractively halfway through, of which I surmise you were unaware - and the occurrence of when you bent down to retrieve your writing instrument. I felt it would be a shame to leave such a display without praise, thus I have written you this letter. Excuse the conciseness, but I am a very busy man without too much time to waste on spellchecking idiotic American-English text. Also, you have very nice buttocks.

Fondly,

Russia


Alfred stared blankly at the (could it even be called one?) letter in his hands. What the hell was this bullshit. What the hell was he supposed to…

What the hell was this bullshit.

This was completely absurd. Of course, Russia was obviously one creepy shit. That was the general consensus amongst all of the other countries, no question about it. Yet, right now, becoming increasingly bedraggled between his fingers, written in smooth gold ink on some finely embossed, high-quality, fancy-ass, was that fucking lace on the corners?, freshly out of the envelope stamped with a broken official seal, was something that had completely thrown him off course. Alfred slid Texas back up the bridge of his nose with an utterly perplexed finger. How was he supposed to react to this? Well, gee whiz, Russia, thanks for the letter, I'm sure glad you enjoyed checking out my ass! He could feel a migraine inching forward, hoping not to be noticed, just from the thought.

Goddamn that Russian and his mind games. Was this a pre-war tactic? Was he trying to weaken him with complete dumbfounded confusion before invading his country and overtaking all of his fast-food chains? Damn it all to hell if he was going to fall prey to this bullshit! Who the hell did that guy think he was?

He was Alfred F. Jones. He was Alfred Fucking Jones, hero of the greatest goddamn country on earth, and he was not going to take part in this hoopla. This was totally chill with him. Here came Russia, acting like he was the big man, trying to start something, but no, because Alfred Fucking Jones had a brain and Alfred Fucking Jones wasn't going to stand for this, he was going to be the better person and use common sense and not be the cause of buckets of shit to start flying every which way in the air.


Dear Russia,

You suck.

Not fondly,

America


Ivan had been humming to himself. He hadn't even noticed, but Latvia had brought in the tea set and was shaking with so much more magnitude than usual that the pot had practically exploded in spilling all over the dilapidated rug and then, trembling, he asked if Ivan was angry about something. Angry? How silly! He was practically ecstatic with joy. After all, he hadn't even been sure his letter would be spared a single glance by the bumbling mail handlers in that bumbling country across the sea. And yet, not only did dear America receive it without error, but to have written back so quickly…!

This was all so exciting. What should he do next, Ivan wondered? Of course the proper action to take would be to write back, since America had taken such great pains and gone out of his way to reply. Perhaps this was the beginning of a much deeper relationship between them. Perhaps, they could even be

Pen pals!

Oh, even the idea was thrilling!

Hold the phone a second, then, what on earth was he doing idling like this? Dearest America must have been thinking along the same lines as he was, to have written back with such haste. He could even, quite possibly, be sitting at home this very moment, waiting with a sad heart for a return letter from Ivan that he had given up hope would ever arrive! How could Ivan have been so cruel as to not realize this; what a poor (and he had the gall to blush at the words, right now he didn't deserve happiness pondering about what the future could hold) pen pal he was turning out to be!

But oh, what should he write about? Ivan had never had a (blush) pen pal before. But – rudimentary. There were bigger issues at hand, primarily actually beginning a letter to the country and rescuing America from the clutches of despair that must have been settling upon him just that minute!

Besides, messing with the country just sounded really fun.


Dear America,

How very nice of you to reply with such speed. I must admit that I am more than a little happy to have this chance to be your (something was scribbled out here in a blotch of ink) overseas postal correspondent.

I hope to be able to share worthwhile and interesting conversations with you in the future, because lately, though I am a little embarrassed to admit it, you have been on my mind. Just two days ago Lithuania made dinner from a renowned British recipe book, and it was so disgusting I could not help but to think of you. No need to worry about my health though; the dish was not as bad as that repulsive slop your countrymen funnel down their digestive tracts every day.

Is your vision poor so you have to wear glasses, or are they just for looks? I remember when you were younger you had no need for them. Your eyes were quite pretty.

Affectionately yours,

Russia


Was this guy fucking serious? Maybe if he was in a better mood and had a little more foresight, Alfred would have neglected to reply to this new letter and any future disasters and/or messages could have been averted. But unfortunately, it was impossible for anything that involved Russia to leave him in any mood but graghhhhhhh, and foresight was a gift just beyond his ability.


Dear Russia,

Are you for real?

As far from affection as you can get,

America


Ivan was puzzled.


Dear America,

I am sorry but I just cannot seem to understand what you meant by your last letter. I am not one of England's little fairies or unicorns, however, so as far as I can tell you I am indeed real. I am assuming that your words were merely diseased by the crude and unrefined excrement that is your language, so no harm done.

Do you like turtles? I have never kept one myself, but my elder sister did when we were young. I cannot recall where she obtained it from, but it froze quite solidly so we gave it to our neighbor China, whom I think may have turned the turtle into a savory soup or something similar. You would look very cute with a turtle. I wonder if you would consider trading in that extra terrestrial acquaintance of yours in for one instead.

Kisses,

Russia


Dear Russia,

No.

Turtles are stupid.

You are stupid.

Please don't,

America


Dear America,

It is always refreshing to hear when America has such strong beliefs in things. You are quite renowned for your obnoxious sense of self-importance, after all. I am glad you told me about your opinion on turtles, because I was almost about to make a gift of one to you. I would have been desolate if I had ended up giving you something you disliked, since I want us to be (something here had been crossed out extensively) friends for a long time.

Japan showed me some very interesting photographs the other day. One of a young lady wearing a short blue dress stands out most vividly in my mind. I think the blue would match you perfectly, but your legs are rather mannish and unshapely so you would likely not look very attractive in it.

Thinking of you,

Russia


Dear Russia,

Please stop writing to me.

God damn it,

America


Dear America,

I regret to inform you that your previous reply was dropped into a pool of melted snow by our inept postman. By the time I discovered the letter and brought it inside to dry, the ink had run badly, making your words quite illegible. While it was not a far shot from your usual grease-stained demolition zone penmanship, I am afraid even my most thorough attempts could not decipher it.

Alfred stopped midway through reading to bang his head against the wall.