Giving In Artificial Starlight

Chapter 1: Chaud: Hot

"Alright then, I suppose that's it for today. Our next meeting is scheduled for the twelfth of March. We'll be discussing the trade negotiations regarding the Middle East. I suggest everyone get plenty of rest during these months off; with the economy as it is, it wouldn't do to strain ourselves." The sound of papers shuffling and chairs scraping echoed through the high ceilinged conference room as the audience finally stood from the table that had held them prisoner for the last five hours.

"Damn, Iggy, that was such a boring speech, I almost fell asleep," A loud voice rang from the crowd of countries. There was no doubt of whom it belonged to.

"Shut your trap, America, I only spoke for thirty minutes!"

"So tired!"

"You more than any of us should be paying attention!"

"Oh, but it's all so hard to concentrate when everyone just goes on and on and on-"

"Stop your whining! Bloody hell, you are annoying, I try to help and you just… Francis keep your wandering hands to yourself!"

A new voice joined in the argument, his tone childish with mock hurt, "But L'Angleterre, I could not help but show my affection; you're always so cute when flushed and angry."

There was a feral growl before a sharp slapping sound was heard, followed by a yelp. America doubled over, holding his stomach as he laughed, watching as England and France started to argue, something that always entertained the spectators. His laugh was cut short however, as a hacking cough wracked his body, a short but violent burst that caught the other's attention.

"Alfred," England asked in a worried tone, the hand currently around the Frenchman's neck releasing so as to pat America's back soothingly. Francis watched in concern. "Are you alright, lad?"

"Fine," The coughs subsided but his voice cracked at the end. He made a show of clearing his throat before smiling at the two in front of him. "It's usually no problem; they just catch me off guard sometimes."

"You haven't been running a fever have you?"

"No, not since last year, but it seems to be coming back. Obama thought up of some new programs, maybe those will work, but we don't know yet."

"I'm sure he'll think of something, don't worry."

"Of course," Alfred's grin lit up his face; he was proud of his new boss. So far, things had been getting a little better; still a long way to go, but definitely better. "By the way, have you seen Canada? I have to ask him about his stupid health insurance. You know, my governments wanting to change that…"

"Oh, Mattieu, where are you, mon chéri," Francis called, looking around happily for his former colony of so long ago. "Come see your père!"

"I'm here, papa," A meek looking man stepped closer, his voice soft and barely audible over the many conversations around the room. Almost immediately the boy was crushed into a strong chest, light cologne assaulting his nose as the Frenchman gave him a hug.

"Alright, alright, you pervert, let go of the poor fellow!" Arthur yanked Francis back by the collar, giving a slight smile to Matthew as a greeting, which the blond returned with a nod. However, as soon as Francis was pulled away, Matthew was tackled yet again by a chipper American.

"Mattie, guess what, we're changing our health care!"

"So I heard-"

"And I want you to help tell everyone that it's a bad idea!"

"What? Why would-"

"I don't want to pay such high taxes and individual health care providers would get screwed and the next thing you know, my fast-food chains would be affected and- Communism!"

"Food chains? Communism? Alfred what-"

However, America was no longer paying attention to his brother; he was glaring and pointing ominously at a big, dark figure across the room. Ivan Braginski, or Russia, noticed the attention and directed a childish smile back to the group, causing shivers to cascade down their spines.

For a moment, the conversation lulled as the other occupants in the room sensed the tension, but it only lasted for a second as Ivan turned to speak to Ukraine. The others around the two seemed to relax. It was a usual occurrence for the two super powers to end the day in a brawl, regardless of the countries in between. They didn't think to question the good fortune that today wasn't one of those days.

Alfred looked back to the Canadian in his embrace. "Damn that commie is creepy."

"Yes well," Arthur cleared his throat. "I heard his economy hasn't been doing very well either."

"Since when?" Matthew asked, his question almost ignored seeing as he spoke so quietly, Alfred was the only one to hear.

With a bitter smile, the American ran his hand through his hair in an embarrassed manner, "My economy was the first to go down, and now it seems that everyone's following… Am I just that awesome?"

"Oh, don't get full of yourself."

Francis rested an arm over the Englishman's shoulders, ignorant of the warning looks given to him by several of the others present. "But if I was not imagining things, L'Angleterre, you were coughing as well during our break."

"I just… swallowed my drink the wrong way. Lay off, frog."

"Iggy, if you don't feel well, just say so. I'd hate it if you got sick because of me," Alfred's voice clearly showed his concern.

"It's fine!"

"No worries, mon chéri, I will take care of Arthur should he get ill!"

"I don't need you to, damn it!"

With another smile, Alfred looked around, seeing that the room had steadily emptied of people eagerly returning home. "I guess that's it then. I have to get home. Tony has probably stolen and hidden all my video games again. I don't know what he does with them, it's not like he has a game system."

"Yes, I must be returning as well. Goodbye Alfred, Matthew." Deliberately leaving out the Frenchman's name, the Briton shrugged off the arm and headed to the door. Francis stopped to wink at the North American brothers before following, starting another argument that resounded throughout the hallway.

Giving his brother another squeeze, Alfred picked up the manila folder that resembled everyone else's but for the tagged name "America" on its side. "Come on, Mattie."

"Kumagama is missing," The polar bear was probably pigging out under the provision table.

"Oh," Alfred made a face, most likely trying to remember exactly whom he was talking about. "Want me to help? After all, I am a hero!"

"N-no, I'll just see you later." Nothing else was said as America nodded, gave him an enthusiastic thumb up, and practically ran out the door. Canada shook his head in resignation, wondering how he had the patience to deal with the man that he called his brother most of the time.

Matthew turned to the cloth-covered table on the far side of the large room. It was covered in snacks, one from every country to be fair, and wasn't meant to be served for full course meals. It was mostly full of cookies, breads (even pancakes, to Matthew's delight), and fruits and vegetables. Standing next to the table, Canada gripped the white cloth in his hands and lifted it up to peer underneath. Just as he had predicted, his friend sat there, licking his paw for the remains of whatever he had eaten.

"Kumakichi," The white face glanced up, the large black eyes innocent.


"Canada," The man replied without hesitation, expecting the question; it was a well-known ritual. "It's time to go."

Shuffling out from under the table, the bear was picked up easily and the animal snuggled closely into his best friend and master's embrace. "Home," He asked.

"Yes. We're going home." Canada's hand absently ran through the animal's thick fur, coming up to scratch behind a small ear, much to Kumajirou's pleasure. With his own manila folder in hand, Canada made his way out of the conference room, traveling the empty hallways leisurely. His return flight to Ottawa was not until tomorrow and while he loved his home more than anything, the warm by comparison China weather was a nice change. As the host country for this meeting, Yao was kind enough to reserve a rather expensive hotel for them all; it would be a waste for China to have spent the money if Matthew wasn't going to use it until the end.

Slipping into the elevator, Canada recognized the Chinese symbols for "one" and pushed the button, watching the doors close and feeling the car descend to ground level. Walking past the lobby, Matthew shuffled through the automatic doors and to the curb, waving down a taxi. Despite his usual invisibility, he didn't have to wait long at all for a cab to spot him.

Opening the back passenger door, he slipped in and greeted the Chinese driver with a friendly "Ni hao," before digging into his pocket for a slip of paper stating the address of his hotel. The man looked at it, smiled, and spoke rapidly in his language, giving the paper back and shifting gears. Matthew didn't catch all of what was said, but he understood enough to know the man knew where he was going.

The drive was relatively short, and Matthew occupied himself with looking out the window. Beijing was a large city with amazingly tall buildings and many friendly people. There were plenty of interesting things to see, and he wondered if he would have time to explore later on. Although, he didn't know more than the most basic of Chinese… perhaps he could ask the hotel staff about popular tourist spots.

The cab slowed to a stop and Matthew was brought out of his thoughts to see the familiar building in which he was staying in. Pulling out his wallet, he took out the required amount specified on the meter and handed it over with a smile, thanking the man.

"Zai Jian," The man waved, and pulled away once Matthew shut the door, making his way inside the hotel. A woman made a startled sound as she noticed the bear held in Canada's grip but said nothing as he stepped into the elevator, traveling to the fifth floor and down the hall. Room 503 came into view and he pulled out his card key.

"Comrade Matvey."

The deep voice hiding behind a light tone made the Canadian shiver as he turned around, slightly surprised to see Ivan standing there, and even more surprised that the Russian would speak to him. "Yes?"

There was a long bout of silence as the large man simply stared, that smile never leaving his face. The wait only grew to suffocate Matthew and each second made the Canadian feel even more afraid of what the huge country could possibly want with him of all people.

"Did you take notes on the European oil substitutions?"

Blinking in shock, Matthew wondered if the man really needed to be so intimidating if he just wanted to borrow some notes. "Yes. D-do you need to see them?"

That creepy smile only got larger, "Da. I am afraid I was… not paying attention at the time. Matvey would be kind enough to let me borrow them, da?"

Quickly looking down to the folder under his arm, he held it up to the large man before him, trying not to make eye contact. "Pages three and four, I b-believe. Um… Just give them back after you're done. Please."

Taking the folder in his huge hands, Russia nodded and with one last smile walked back the way he came. Matthew let out a shaky breath and held Kumajirou closer, shoving his card key into the slot and opening the door when the little light turned green. Firmly shutting it behind him, he sighed, relaxing against the dark wood. "That was only really scary."

"Don't like him?"

Peering down into his bears black eyes, Matthew had to smile, "He's intimidating, that's for sure." In all honesty, Matthew never spoke to the Russian. As far as he could tell they had a lot in common climate-wise, but Canada was hesitant to say he knew much else about Russia's place or its culture. "Anyway, why don't we pack now so we can relax until we leave tomorrow, eh?"

The bear made a movement similar to a nod and Matthew sat him on the floor where he clamored across the room and up onto the bed, curling up on the pillow. Rolling his eyes, Matthew sighed, knowing that Kumajirou wouldn't be much help without opposable thumbs anyway. He scuttled about, picking up papers and notes from the last three days worth of meetings as well as his personal belongings such as clothes and bathroom products. He was careful to put everything away in his suitcase neatly.

"Finally," He huffed, flopping next to Kumajirou lazily. Tired from the day, although he did nothing physically exhausting, Matthew cuddled into his friend's coarse pelt, hoping that he didn't catch whatever his brother had come down with. His throat was a little sore, his head a little stuffy. Overall, he definitely felt under the weather and only hoped it was a small dip in the economic charts. Perhaps he should call Harper later. His boss would know what was going on, most likely already doing something about it. A large yawn escaped him, and Kumajirou turned to flick his pink tongue across the country's eyebrow in a comforting gesture.

Smiling, Matthew wrapped an arm around his life-long friend; closing his eyes and slipping into a light sleep.

A loud jingle filled the air, waking him from his nap. With his violet eyes still closed, he fumbled through his khaki slacks to find his red phone currently singing and vibrating in his hand happily. Canada flipped it open and brought it to his ear, trying to sound polite even though he was a little aggravated, "'Hullo."

"Mattie," Matthew recognized the voice to be his brother, of all people. He bit back a groan; the nap did nothing to make him feel better. "Guess what!" Canada held the phone a little ways from his ear, the loud voice cutting through his headache like a knife, making it throb even more. Alfred didn't even wait for a reply, "You know Yao gave us tickets for a free dinner at this famous Chinese restaurant and everyone's invited! He set up reservations at six. So get up lil bro, and come join us for a wild night in Be-Jang!"

Beijing, Alfred… really, He thought. Turning around to look at the clock provided on the nightstand he noticed the time; five o'clock. He really did groan this time. "Al, I don't think-"

"Come on! Don't be such a fun-sucker!" He was about to protest again when Alfred interrupted him, as he always did. "If you don't show up I'm gonna go back to the hotel and drag your ass there myself!"

There was a pause. Matthew recognized a lost cause when he saw one. "Fine, I'll be there." On the other line, Alfred cheered. Matthew didn't know why he bothered. Alfred made such a big deal about dragging him out to have fun but then ignored him in favor of the other guests. It wouldn't be any different tonight. "See you then."

"Bye Mattie!"

Hanging up, Matthew sighed, thoroughly annoyed. Kumajirou looked at him. "Who?"

"Alfred wants me to go to this stupid outing. I just want to sleep."


That caused Matthew to pause, family was important to him; the concept of bonds and love and having someone to trust. Ignored most of the time, Matthew grew to appreciate each and every moment spent with his loved ones, even if just for a second. "You're right, Kumamaru. Tired or not, I love them, they're family. A little economic trouble isn't going to stop me."

Smiling at his friend, Matthew sat up, blinking at the sudden ache of his body and bringing a hand up to rub at his temples. "Ok, first, I need to change into something more informal but still nice looking."

Rifling through the suitcase he packed not two hours ago, he took out a long sleeved light blue button-up shirt and some black slacks. Changing quickly, he combed his hair, though it didn't do much, and shrugged on a black suit jacket before picking up Kumajirou. He made sure he had his wallet, card key, and phone before walking out of his room.

The hallway was empty and quiet as Matthew made his way to the elevator. However, before he could push the button to call, a loud screech and bang filled the air, echoing through the hallway. It sounded close, and Matthew looked up and down the hall for the source but found nothing.

Then there was a low whine like someone had been hurt. Worried, Canada followed it, noticing an open door a few rooms down. Cautiously approaching it, Matthew peeked inside. It was dark and he didn't want to intrude if someone was inside. "Hello? Is anyone in there?"

Another bump, and Matthew was sure it was from inside. Stepping in the doorway, his arm brushed timidly across the wall, finding and turning on the light switch. The dark was suddenly gone and everything was illuminated; the bed, dresser, desk, TV, everything that Matthew had in his own room, down to the green swirly pattern of the nicely made sheets.

Movement from the side caught his eye and Matthew took a second to process what exactly he was seeing. Black boots, black pants, a beige overcoat, a long white scarf, pale blond hair… Canada gasped in shock as he stumbled into the room. Hurrying over to the man he knew to be Russia. Setting Kumajirou on the ground, he placed both hands on Ivan's shoulders, pulling with all his strength to roll the man onto his back.

Eyes closed, and face scrunched up in pain, Ivan panted, his breaths ragged and wet as if he were choking on something before a violent cough shook his massive body with force. Slightly panicking, Matthew felt the man's face, his own eyes widening at the heat; Ivan was burning up! Leaping to his feet, Matthew ran to the adjoined bathroom, grabbing a towel and dampening it with water before shooting out and landing at Russia's side, wrapping the cool cloth around the man's head.

Looking the man over, Canada took in the situation. Clearly, Ivan's economy was worse than everyone thought. Such a heavy cough, high fever; enough to bring Ivan to the floor. Russia had to be in bad shape for him to have such symptoms. Moreover, his attire must not be helping. They were in China, a lot warmer than the arctic climate Canada and Russia were used to, and yet Ivan still wore his winter gear. It must be his fever. He needs to cool down. Carefully but quickly, Matthew unwound the scarf, setting it to the side and starting to unbutton the thick heavy winter coat the man wore.

"Что ты делаешь?"

Matthew looked back to Russia's face, seeing dark violet eyes glaring at him with such malice that it practically stopped his heart. Canada had no idea what the man said and that look was enough to chill him to the bone and give him nightmares for a few days, but Ivan's state was not to be ignored. With shaking hands, he continued fumbling with the buttons, "Y-you're running a h-high fever. You need to take this o-off."

"Нет, оставь меня в покое."

"I d-don't understand you-"

"Leave me alone," Ivan snarled, violet-red eyes hard, belaying all kinds of threats should his words not be obeyed. And Matthew hardly had to think about what those threats entailed, everything from torture to outright destruction. His fingers stopped at the last button, truly wondering if helping the Russian was worth it, seeing as he would probably die as soon as the man got better, and he would. No matter how sick a country got from the declining economy, it was impossible to die from it. In time, Russia would be perfectly fine. So why risk his life?

Impossible to die from or not, when you're sick, you're sick. And this looks bad. Having been sick before during the Great Depression (Alfred's troubles had essentially been his as well at the time), Matthew knew how much it hurt; he sure felt as if he were dying. While this was certainly not as bad as what the North American brothers suffered from back then, he wasn't be able to turn his back on any country like this.

Swallowing his nervousness and trying to appear unafraid and determined, Matthew looked into the dark eyes filled with hatred, fully intent on ripping him apart. "Just let me help."

With a twist of his hand, the last button on the coat was undone, and Matthew pulled it open, struggling to get it off the huge man.

"I don't need your-"

"Please stop speaking," And later on, Matthew would wonder just where the courage came from, to interrupt Russia so suddenly, and without a single stutter. Even so, the words were more whispered than anything, as his normal tone of voice wouldn't allow his pitch to change. The authority must have shocked both of them, because Ivan remained quiet, though the glare stayed on his face, perhaps grew even darker, if that was possible.

A long sleeved, white shirt was worn underneath the coat, so decency was no problem, but Canada subconsciously realized that he had never seen the man without the thick clothing before. Then again, Canada had never been so close to the other either. The man's shoulders were broad, his chest hard with muscle and his arms extremely strong; he could so easily break him in half. Gulping back his fear, Matthew finally succeeded in taking off the coat and throwing it to the side with the scarf.

Firmly avoiding eye contact, the Canadian carefully situated the towel on the man's head. "I'm going to get some water."

Walking back into the bathroom he looked around for a bowl of some kind. A coffee maker, to the side of the sink caught his eye; it was placed on a ceramic dish that could hold water easily. He picked it up and filled it with cool water from the sink. Bringing it with him back to the room, passing Ivan on the floor and placing it carefully onto the bedside table, Matthew turned to the Russian. Cold eyes made contact with his, and the Canadian hesitantly shifted closer. "I'm going to lift you up, onto the bed… okay?"

There was no answer and Matthew bent down, taking an arm and putting it around his shoulders. Ivan's muscles tensed, sliding around his thin neck in warning, like a massive snake ready to strangle its prey should it choose to do so. Matthew shook, successfully cowered and from the corner of his eye, he saw Ivan smile. Deciding to ignore that, he took a deep breath and pulled the man up.

Significantly heavy and completely dwarfing the smaller blond he leaned against, Ivan got to his feet and made it to the bed, collapsing onto it with a small grunt. Both of them panting from the strain that little adventure took. Matthew then retrieved the towel that had fallen in the travel. He dipped it in the bowl, squeezing the excess water from it before dabbing at Russia's face. He wiped the mans reddened cheeks and neck before the Russian snarled at him again, "Stop touching me!"

"S-stop yelling, eh? It'll bring down the fever." He brushed Ivan's brow but suddenly froze as a large hand wrapped around his wrist, the pressure builing slowly, the bones in the Canadian's hand grinding together, "S-stop, Russia, please."

"Я сказал, не прикасайся комне."

The vice-like grip tightened and Matthew yelped looking into the violet eyes filled with the intent to fully break him. And Matthew was afraid.

A feral growl sounded and a white blur tackled the Russian's offending arm with savage rage. Sharp teeth broke through skin and Ivan's eyes widened in surprise and pain before he quickly withdrew. Canada cradled his throbbing wrist as Kumajirou stood on the bed, a small but vicious thing standing up against all of Russia with his hackles raised and teeth bared. Blood dripped from his white muzzle and looking at Ivan, Matthew saw a patch of red growing on the man's forearm, seeping through the sleeve.

For a moment, Ivan eyed the creature with shock; whether from the fact that a polar bear was in his room, or that it dared to attack him, Matthew had no clue, but strangely, the anger did not return. Ivan's gaze returned to Matthew and stayed there for a second, as if seeing him for the first time since he'd found him like this, and then he lay back, staring at the ceiling. "Do what you want."

Well, Matthew didn't know what to say about that. Warily, he approached the bed again; comforted by Kumajirou's soothing lick on his hand once he was close enough. Hesitantly, Canada took the towel in his grip and dipped it in water once more. He was more careful in his ministrations this time; his movements slow and pressure light as he ran the cool cloth over the man's hot face. Ivan didn't as much as twitch; his blank expression fixed on the ceiling.

At one point Matthew went to the bathroom to search for a first-aid kit of some sort. It was standard safety procedure to have one, wasn't there? Correct he was. Under the sink was a small white case full of antiseptic and bandages. Returning with it in hand, Matthew sat on the edge of the bed and spoke quietly, "I need to clean your arm."

Like before, there was no answer, and Matthew slowly moved to pull the man's sleeve up. He was careful to avoid touching the marks as he examined them. Polar bears had a tendency to rip the flesh they bit into, causing major tears that were very hard to heal and usually left deep scars. Thankfully, these were nowhere near so dangerous, they wouldn't even need stitches.

With a fresh towel ready, he soaked it in alcohol and held it over the wound. "This may hurt, Russia." Nothing but silence answered him.

Matthew brought the towel down and lightly, but thoroughly started to clean the gashes. Ivan's eyes broke from the ceiling to watch Canada work, but his face showed no pain. Finished with the cleaning, Matthew took a roll of adhesive bandaging and wrapped it comfortably, but tightly around the injury. "Ok," He paused as he put the things back in the first-aid kit neatly. "Um, were you planning on going to the Chinese dinner tonight?"

It took a long time for Ivan to answer, and Matthew wondered if he planned to keep up this silent treatment for the rest of the night. "Da. I was on my way when I suddenly… couldn't breathe."

Matthew's eyes widened as everything started to come together. "Wait… How long have you been sick?"

His eyes darkened slightly, "Why would you want to know?"

"Because you hadn't really been yourself lately," The look Ivan gave him made him rush in order to explain himself. "You usually speak up more during meetings. But these past three days, you've barely spoken at all. And yesterday it looked like you were about to fall asleep. Not to mention you wanted to borrow my notes; you're usually so attentive."

The dark gaze turned back to the ceiling. "I have been unwell for a few weeks."

"Didn't you tell anyone?"

The deadly glare was back with a fire, "Why would I tell anyone? It is not like they can do anything about it."

"Well, no, but they can certainly help you."

"No, they can't."

A flash of anger entered Canada's own eyes. "Don't say that. You'd still be on the floor if I wasn't here." A snarled sentence in Russian was ignored, Matthew didn't understand anyway. "Besides, you have family! Ukraine would have been here in a second if she heard her little brother was sick."

Ivan didn't respond to that, merely continued to stare darkly at the Canadian as he had before; the resolution to hurt in his eyes. Matthew stayed out of reach. "A-anyway, I can call my brother and ask for him to pick something up for us, since I d-don't think it would be a good idea for you to move."

"Don't bother."

A small glare of his own was sent Ivan's way. "I have no idea why you're being so hostile, I don't expect gratitude or anything, but you could at least be nice to the person trying to help."

"I don't need your help. And if you don't like it, you can leave at any time."

Huffing in annoyance Matthew crossed his arms over his chest and pointedly looked away, "Fine, be a jerk, but it's only going to make things difficult for both of us, because I'm not just going to leave." Turning around so he couldn't see the massive country emitting a rage that would haunt his nightmares for days, Canada fished through his pocket for his phone.

America was on speed dial two (one was reserved for Harper but Alfred got in so much trouble he deserved number two at least). He held it to his ear and sighed, his headache coming back with force now that the excitement was winding down. "Hey Mattie! Where are you, you're thirty minutes late!"

"Al, I decided not to go-"

"You have to!"

"But I'm not feeling well," And he held his breath as Alfred processed the words. It wasn't a lie, but Alfred seemed to have a brother complex at times and he didn't want America to freak out and play nurse-Canada-back-to-health (translated to: sit in his room and play games at maximum volume while Matthew struggled to get some sleep).

"You seemed fine earlier, are you alright? Do you need me to come by?"

"No, I've just got a really bad headache and I think it would be better if I slept. You have fun though!" There was a sound of disappointed acceptance and Matthew continued, knowing he would regret his words later. "But I was wondering if you could be my hero and pick me up some good Chinese food."

"Of course I will! I won't let you down Mattie! What do you want? I'll get you whatever you need!"

"Two orders of whatever you thought were the best. One for me, and one for Kumawaro, okay?" Kumajirou already had his food; a couple of fresh fish packed away in the mini-refrigerator back in his room. Walking to the front door, he peeked out to look at the brass plating nailed to the wood. "The room number is 510, can you remember that?"

"Yeah, a hero never forgets! I'll be there in twenty minutes, so get a lot of rest, lil bro."

"Okay Al."

Hanging up, Matthew shut the door and shuffled back to the bed in which Ivan lay in, precariously sitting on the corner of the mattress and refreshing the towel on the Russian's forehead. "You didn't tell him about me."

Matthew shrugged, "I don't think you want anyone to know about this. Besides, Alfred would only be rude about it."

"Da. So stay quiet."

Inwardly rolling his eyes, Matthew stood and returned to the bathroom for the third time, coming back with a glass of water. "You should drink."

Ivan was able to prop himself up with his elbow, taking the glass and downing it in one go. "I would rather vodka."

"That's hardly something that would help you get over your sickness."

"It is Russian water."

"Only it's not water at all," Matthew stifled a laugh, but was quickly cut short by the dark look Ivan sent him, "Désolé."

The glare turned into a look of puzzlement. "That is French, da?"

"Y-yes, I used to be Francis's colony. It's my second language."

Violet eyes roamed his figure as Ivan took notice of the blond, slightly wavy hair, the pale complexion, and violet-blue eyes. "Who are you?"

Blinking in shock, Matthew simply stared at the man he'd been taking care of for the last hour; the Russian spoke to him just today, asked for his notes, and already he had been forgotten? Biting back his irritation; Matthew spoke calmly, "I'm Canada. Matthew Williams." A few more seconds of silence, Kumajirou looked up from his curled up position at the foot of the bed.


The calm facade was gone and Matthew groaned in frustration. "Canada! Ca-Na-Da!"

"Oh! Comrade Matvey, da!"

Bringing a hand up to rub at his pounding head, Matthew wondered where he would bury the bodies when he finally decided to lose his sanity.

…Thank You…

It's been quite a while since I've written anything, and this is my first Hetalia story so I hope you like it. I have some big plans, but the plot will be slow coming.

Beta Wanted! – I need someone who will be happy to do some grammar checks (ABC check doesn't get everything); this person needs to be honest in their suggestions about the characters in particular. I'm always worried about them being too out of character. So if you're interested, PM me, please.

Other than that, I do want to warn people that eventually, this will be yaoi. A long way down the road, (we have to give Russia's heart some time to melt, eh) but it'll be there. And the rating is for the cussing and references to sex and such.

Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia or anything else included that I may have mentioned that does not belong to me (I definitely do not own countries).

I'm sorry for historical inaccuracy… and botched up language skills I do not have.

Translations: If the characters understand each other, it will be in the text itself. (Example) We still don't know what Ivan said since Matthew doesn't. Regardless, it'll all be here just in case.

L'Angleterre (French): England

Mon chéri (French): My Darling

Père (French): Father

Ni Hao (Chinese): Hello

Zai Jian (Chinese): Goodbye

Что ты делаешь (Russian): What are you doing?

Нет, оставь меня в покое (Russian): No, Leave me alone

Я сказал, не прикасайся комне (Russian): I said don't touch me

Désolé (French): Sorry