The sun was barely up, but the streets of Beijing were already bursting with life. Listening with half an ear to the sounds of the busy city, China hummed a cheery little tune as he scooped the sizzling egg off the pan and onto a waiting plate. Neatly, he set the table until it resembled something out of a cafe. He stood back, hands on his hips and admired his handiwork. Simple as the meal was- scrambled eggs with sausage and toasted rye bread- he was quite proud of the western breakfast he cooked, complete with coffee and tea.
After all, his morning meals usually consisted of congee or noodle- completely different from the European fare- but since today was special, he made an exception. He even went the extra mile and bartered with France for some good quality cheese. Land being what it was, dairy product was not a forte of China's. The hassle was worth it though. He smiled, laying a small vase with a single sunflower onto the table. The meal may be ordinary, but maybe that's why he and Russia got a long so well. Both of them were simple people that liked simple things. He knew the Russian would appreciate his effort.
Finally satisfied everything was in place, China looked at the time and noticed it was a quarter past 7. It was still early, but he had the entire day planned to the minute for the two of them. He took off the apron and walked towards the room where the other nation slept. "Ivan?" He knocked on the door lightly. "Are you up yet? It's time for breakfast." Silence.
China pursed his lips. How odd that Russia was still sleeping. He usually was a morning person, spending every minute he could soaking in the sunlight. Maybe he was still jet lagged from the flight last night. China felt a twinge of guilt for forcing Russia to fly out in a hurry, but if he hadn't, then the weeks of careful planning would've been for nothing.
Cracking the door open slightly, he popped his head inside. "Ivan? Time to wake up..."
In the middle of bed, instead of the larger nation, China found a big, white cocoon looking as if it would hatch any minute. If it wasn't for the silver tuft of hair peeking out from beneath the blanket, China might've suspected Godzilla had come to visit him. He leaned against the doorway, shaking his head. Russia was exaggerating. No matter how cold it got in Beijing, it was nothing compared to General Winter.
Silently, he watched the steady rise and fall of the downy filled blanket, and wondered about the sleeping man beneath it.
Over the years they've been together, there were many ups and down in their relationship. Nothing could come close to the dark days that followed their Split, but even as they mellowed out and rekindled what they once lost, there was still one sore point they could never overcome.
China didn't love Russia.
The Chinese scowled at the thought. It wasn't true, of course. He did love him. Despite his initial resistance, Russia unknowingly somehow, someway wormed his way into his heart. Before China could comprehend what happened, he couldn't stop himself from falling, from depending on his northern neighbor. He began to trust and care for the other nation, and that reluctant admiration grew into a sense of fondness he hadn't felt for anyone else beside his siblings. It had been so long since he felt such tenderness for someone, it took him a while to realize what he felt went beyond camaraderie, beyond platonic. His pulse raced like it did when he first realized what lust was. He craved Russia's presence, his touch like roses craved sunlight. When their bosses' ideologies conflicted, when they went their separate ways, for a second China thought death had finally come for him. The pain in his heart- the loneliness, the anger, the crushing pressure in his chest- made him wish he really was unfeeling as others claimed him to be. Ashamed and dismayed, but not unwelcomed, he had completely fallen in love with the Russian. The proud and mighty China handed his heart out on a platter, and Russia never even knew he had it.
Since their reunion, Russia would always tease China, saying he wasn't affectionate enough; he didn't love him. The blond knew full well how much the Chinese hated his claim, but that's exactly why he did it. He liked seeing China's beautiful face darken into a scowl. It was in those rare moments China actually seemed approachable. Human. He'd whine over and over again that he could count on one hand just how many times China professed his love for him, and he'd still have fingers left over.
When Russia brought it up, China eyes turned into pinpoint knives. However, he was never able to give a retort, because it was true. Although he returned Russia's feelings, perhaps even surpassing the strength and depth of the other man's affections, he rarely said the three magical words. The rare, few times he did was only because Russia blackmailed and pried it out of his stubborn mouth.
He never understood why westerners were so obsessed with over the top display of love. The intimate details between lovers should be kept private. Call him a fossil or traditional, but when it came to courting, China still kept to the old ways. He would only say "I love you" on special occasions. Not deface its value and toss it out whenever like old newspaper.
China knew Russia understood this, even agreed with him, but it didn't stop him from teasing. Well, China was about to prove him wrong. His pride raged at being called "unromantic". Russia was going to find out just how much of a romantic he could be. By the end of the day, he'd make the burly man feel like a pampered princess. Then let see Russia say he didn't feel loved!
Clearing his throat, China walked over to the overgrown marshmallow. "Ivan." He gently shoved the blanket. "Breakfast is ready. If you don't get up soon, it'll get c-"
A hand suddenly shot out from beneath the covers, grabbed his wrist, and dragged him into the bed. Rolling on top of him, Russia wrapped his arms tightly around China's shoulders. He nuzzled into the Chinese's slender neck and took a deep, lazy breath. "Mmm, I smell eggs. Did you make them just the way I like it?"
"Ugh, Ivan!" China pushed against the solid chest imprisoning him, but the other man just chuckled at his paltry efforts. "Get up! You're heavy!"
"Try asking. I might feel more compliant if you asked in a nicer tone to move," Russia said gruffly, a hint of sleep still in his voice.
China huffed out in a frustration. "I swear, if you don't move, Ivan, I'll-"
"Ah, ah, ah," Russia admonished him. Smiling into the glaring eyes, he kissed China's frowning lips with a smack. "Threatening me doesn't work. Why don't you sweet talk me? How about starting by calling me by my pet name?"
"...Vanya...," China finally said through clenched teeth.
Russia ignored the look of revenge in the other nation's face and laughed softly. "There's my little sunflower." Slowly, he lowered his head and brushed his lips against the China's. This time when they kissed, it was much deeper and fuller. There was no lust or desire that drove the kiss. Their mouths melded together like the warmth reprieve of a house after a cold winter day. It was familiar, comforting; broken pieces of themselves that fitted together to make a whole. More than sex, it was sensual. Passionate. The level of intimacy in their kiss was one that only couples that grew to see each other become wrinkled and grey could share.
To China's utter shame, in the end it was Russia who ended their kiss. He saw the smug expression in the Russian's eyes and pursed his lips from displeasure. Russia smiled back, silently noting the blush heating China's cheeks and his heavy breathing. The larger nation's smile grew into a grin. He waggled his eyebrows suggestively and pulled the blanket over the both of them. "Why don't we stay in bed a bit longer? I was tired last night, but I'm full of energy now. How about some light exercise?"
China knew exactly what kind of "exercise" the other man had in mind. Of course they weren't going to have sex now. It was only 8 o'clock in the morning. The schedule he planned would be ruined! They weren't suppose to have a romp in the bed until at least 9PM at night. "No," China said, pinching Russia's arm in warning. "It's too early in the day. So stop being lazy and get ready already. You're wasting our time right now."
Russia snuggled closer, enjoying China's supple body warmth. "But why? It's so cold. Five more minutes."
"Heaven help me," China sighed. "Sometimes I wonder if I'm really a cradle robber like France says. You act like you're five years old!"
"Well, if the shoe fits...Ow!" This time, China pinched a more sensitive area- the waist- for the snide remark. Russia pouted. "No, not my fat. You know I'm insecure about that."
China rolled his eyes. "You're not fat. Don't let America get to you." He looked at his watch and saw that it was already 7:30. Impatiently, he pushed at Russia's shoulders. "Now hurry up! We got to leave the house by 8. We're on a tight schedule today! So let's eat and go."
"...Why are you in such a rush?" Russia narrowed his eyes in suspicion. A little more alert, he was beginning to notice China was nagging more than usual. "You're up to something."
"W-what? Of course not! Don't be silly!" China said a little too quickly. He widened his eyes in innocence, but was unable to hide the slight panic in his voice.
"Hm...Yesterday too," Russia said contemplatively. "You called me out of the blue. Normally, I can barely get you to send me a text."
"International calls are expensive! I email you...once or twice a month..."
Russia continued, ignoring the smaller nation's excuse that he's heard a million times. "And you actually sent you own jet to pick me up so I had no choice but to come. You actually spent money out of your own pocket. What's going on Yao-Yao? Are you sick? Dying?"
"Of course I'm not dying, you dolt!" China burst out indignant. "Don't jinx me. I...I have a new medicine I wanted you to try! Thought you might like it. You can have a discount."
China was a terrible liar and Russia quirked up an eyebrow at him. "If you don't tell me the truth, I'm just going to continue to lie here. We're going to spend the entire day in bed. So..."
"Fine, fine! I was going to surprise you, but since you're so stubborn..." China grumbled, unhappy that Russia was ruining his plan. "It's February 14th."
"Valentine's Day?" Russia asked. "I didn't know you cared about such things. You usually don't."
China flicked the Russian's nose, irritated that he could be so dense sometimes. "I don't care about Valentine's Day. I care about our anniversary!"
Confused, Russia blinked and blinked again. "Our anniversary? The Friendship Treaty? But we've never celebrated that before. So why-"
"Because I remembered you told me before that it was like our marriage certificate," China said with a thread of frustration and embarrassment in his voice. "I know I brushed it off as a joke when you mentioned it, but I always kept what you said at heart. I know I never said it aloud, but I was happy that day too." Uncomfortable revealing so much of his feeling, China began to fidget. This was as close as he was going to get to confessing. "Satisfied?"
"Very." Russia smiled, his eyes full of awe and indescribable warmth. China had to look away or else he'd melt from mortification.
"Can you get up now?" China said, looking at anything but Russia's sweet smiling face.
"Alright, I'll get ready." Finally meekly obeying China, Russia got up out of bed. He took a step towards the bathroom before he stopped and turned back around to give the Chinese another kiss on the lips. He lingered, the immeasurable joy he felt at China's nearness humbling him. "I adore you, Yao. Whatever you have planned, I look forward to it."
China swallowed and watched in silence as Russia practically bounded towards the bathroom. Even though today was the day he was going to surprise him for once, Russia always found a way to throw him off balance. For some reason, the Russian never hid his feelings. He showered him with constant affection to the point that it was suffocating sometimes.
The corners of China's mouth turned upwards. Russia may be more open about love, but China had more experience. Tonight, everything would come into place. Once they might've joked the February 14th was the day of their marriage because of some treaty, but not anymore. China patted his pocket and was relieved to find the small black box still there.
Russia might've called him unromantic, that he didn't love him, but he won't ever say it again after today. Not after China gets on one knee and asks for his hand and marriage.
This is a secret santa gift for SajahHearts3919842 . She asked for, "Yao nagging Ivan to prepare for a certain important event".
I was a pinch hitter for the RoChu-Squad secret santa. It was super last minute that I had to fill in so it took longer than normal for me to finish this, especially since it was after I started school again. I'm so sorry I'm such a slow poke! But I'm actually kinda glad it took me quite awhile, because originally like the prompt asked, I was going to write a fanfic where Yao goes to Ivan's room to wake him up for a meeting. However, as Valentine's approached I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if Yao had to convince Ivan to get ready for something important because he wanted to propose to him that day?"
This story is still RoChu, but I just wanted Yao's manly pride to be so strong that he'll even go so far to propose to Ivan just to prove Ivan wrong that yes, he does love him. LOL.