It was rumored that Japan – the country of the rising sun – had fallen sick. How happy the days were, how... completely and utterly happy a particular Korean nation was. But through happiness, also came curiosity, and that bit .. of worry.

Yong-Soo decided that is was time to give his hyung a visit.

The Japanese man was silently in his home, sitting down, and facing a wall.. completely awake, for his body or mind did not allow him any honor to sleep. He sensed a presence behind him, not moving, not daring to move.. not caring, to even move.

Yong-Soo had arrived silently, walking up behind the Japanese male.. surprised to see him, awake.

"Kiku, why are you up so late?" Yong-Soo flat out said, stated actually 'as-a-matter-of-factly'..

Yong-Soo?

"Insomnia." He replied instantaneously, no hint of human in his voice. Kiku was always the robotic type, never looked like he felt anything, never acted as if anything mattered at all.

Insomnia?

"That is a terrible condition! No wonder why you're still short, you don't get enough sleep!" Great.. he just made it into a laughing joke, of course.

Instead of Japan just turning around and escorting him out of his house, he actually replied back. "What manners you lack, Otouto... do not talk to me in such a way." His voice was monotonous, no hint of any type of feeling within them. Yong-Soo couldn't stand that.

The Korean just frowned, crossing his arms, and sighing back half-heartedly. "Uh huh.. sorry then, old man."

Japan then began to look him in the eyes, turning around, now instead of gazing at the wall so intently, he was gazing at the naïve Korean.

Quick to response, he replied, monotone of course: "Would you not feel any remorse or guilt if your "old man" of an older brother died tomorrow?"

The way he was looking at the Korean.. the way his eyes pierced. Why, what.. what sudden pang hit his heart?

What kind of question is that? Of course.. of course Yong-Soo would not feel any of that towards Kiku. Kiku could die, for all he cared. He could fall over and die this instant, and he would completely.. and utterly.. not care.

"You speak of death commonly, old man. What's wrong?" Yong-Soo replied, slightly squinting his eyes.

"Tch.." Japan smiled, he smiled, a half smile. Before he stood up on his feet, and averted his gaze downwards, so he was now not looking at the Korean, for now, he knew he mustn't. "Nothing that a naïve pest of a younger brother can help with, or care about.."

"If you can't speak to me directly and instead substitute me with the floor, then I'm sure you're not very well." The Korean placed a hand on his shoulder gently, wondering why he was touching him at all at this point. "Honestly, hyung. What's up?"

What was this bubbling up inside of him. Guilt? Curiosity? A sick mixture of the two?

"The floor would care to listen, and not fake it—" Kiku felt the touch on his shoulder, quickly backing away, and holding his own shoulder, before looking up, and squinting his eyes, narrowing them, into a cold stare.. his black like hues, reading into the other Asians chestnut colored ones .. as if trying to read an indescribable and unfathomable map.

"Nothing, Otouto. Nandemonai. Leave."

Suddenly, HE was the one to inflict painon the other? Yong-Soo was the one to cause grief for THEM? What did this man have on his mind?

"Don't look at me like that, hyung-nim. I'm a good actor, I know, but out of all people, my family should be able to recognize when I am serious."

… Did he just call this traitor and monster 'family'? Maybe Yong-Soo wasn't feeling well either.

"Keeping everything pent up...just like always, I see."

A soft nostalgic ping hit the Japanese males heart, almost.. laughing at the Korean's remark.

"Ah.. Otouto. Since when was pity your thing ..? Since when did you care. For in my weakness, or strength, sick, or health.. you do not care. You cannot lie to my face, and tell me that you do. So quit your foolish acting, younger brother."

An almost instantaneously, he turned his back on the Korean, refusing to look the idiotic, immoralistic, and foolish younger "sibling" in his eyes, muttering a few other words:

"Keeping everything pent up, is how I have— and always will. Why, you ask? Because, "family" is not there when I need them most." He spoke out bitterly, bluntly, and harshly.

And just when he thought that maybe staying on stable ground with this man was even possible... Yong-Soo tightened his fists at his sides and took in a deep breath.

"Y-...You coward. Don't look away from the person you are speaking to--.. If there's anyone with improper manners at this point, it's you."

The Korean male gritted his teeth and stood firmly in his stance, now staring at the back of his head. He too, was standing up.

"Family is not there when you need...? Just when I thought—..." Yong-Soo raised his fist to his shoulder's height, but instead dropped it slowly in thought. "Just when I thought I could forget..."

Don't think about it... Yong-Soo. Don't think about it.

But instead, he heard Kiku speak words.. in which, he thought was not possible for him to actually do.

"Coward? Because I cannot look you in the eyes and tell you this, Yong-Soo?" Kiku spoke, a slight smirk.. a sorrow-filled smirk fulfilling his lips, before he turned back around, and took a few steps forward. Now, looking this younger, foolish, ignorant brother of his dead-lock in the eyes.

He began to raise his voice, his stare almost smoldering..

"Grow up, Yong-Soo! Is it not about time you do so?" He raised his voice, and continued speaking on.

"Do you not realize that this World we live in, is not a fantasy World, Yong-Soo? 'Family' betrays, "family" fabricates love and caring and kindness. Through my course of living, do you think I have not contemplated death, Yong-Soo? For my idiotic actions, and.. and..—!"

He turned his head back around, now not looking him in the eyes, shaking his head from left to right.

"You will never understand, because you are naïve, and you are quick to action, but not to thinking, Yong-Soo." His voice lowered even .. lower then he was able to produce. The words spilling out of his mouth like the blood from a seeping wound, or the guilt from a murderers chest.

"Yes, Kiku! You ARE a coward!" Yong-Soo spoke harshly, and loudly back. Before he continued on, making sure he had the Japanese mans attention.

" .. —You're a coward for thinking about death, about dominance and fear... That's why you are so insecure about what you want to do before you do it, isn't it?"

...It came to his mind that maybe he had worded this incorrectly. This was not...exactly what he had wanted to say. The younger nation glared back at his brother, and for the first time in a long while, he recalled fond memories that bore drilled holes into his mind.

"Fabrication, lies, and false hope. What else do you want to throw at me and expect me to never think about? I have a brain, my dear HYUNG-NIM... Treat me like I have a brain, because I want to treat you like you have a heart."

His voice almost cracked.. hearing that last line that hurt him, as much as it would hurt someone else.. but he meant every God-forsaken word of it.

"It is not the dominant attribute in my thoughts, Yong-Soo!— .."

Treat me like I have a brain, because I want to treat you like you have a heart.

The Japanese nation bit his lip, in subconscious awe at the fact that his younger brother managed to hit the "nail on the head" .. technically.. hit the "nail on the heart" ..

"You know of nothing you talk about, Yong-Soo." He said, softly, shaking his head.. biting his lip, allow that sentence to seep into the very depths of his mind.. before speaking back. Sorrow, disgust, horrification dripping in his voice.

"You know nothing .. about me, Yong-Soo. Nothing. Despite the name you were given as my "younger brother" .. you, you know.. NOTHING of ME!" Since.. when did a Japanese male.. raise his voice? His mouth began to have a mind of it's own, running at his own will, his facial expressions changing instantaneously.

"Why can you not continue to know nothing of me, why must you torture yourself, let alone.. MYSELF .. with your own words?!"

Did Kiku have no heart?

He smiled once again, shaking his head, shaking it, why? Because he couldn't do anything else..

"Family is only there when you are on the verge of breaking yourself, I have been shunned. I am a monster do you not understand, what it feels like to be called a monster.. by your own people? By your own.. "family" ..?! Yon.. Yong-S— YOU DO NOT!.. —You.. DO.. NOT.. u-understand what it feels like to be a TRAITOR!"

He yelled out, suddenly, his voice cracking mid-sentence, but feeling a sickening, disgusting, wetness fall from his traitorous eyes.. They ran down silently, for he did not even realize that they were emitting from his hues, until he felt the droplets hit the skin of his hands..

"If I knew nothing of what I said, how am I able to make you react this way? Look at yourself.. Kiku."

The Korean.. mumbled audibly, though barely. He hadn't seen Kiku break away from his stoic, silent composure in such a long time. Kiku was usually a man of such few words of such calm features.

To see this nation cry and break in his voice should have been taken in as a victory. Yong Soo should have just basked in this glorious moment and finally take hold of him in this vulnerable state...!

However...why did Kiku's cries sound not like trumpets of revenge...but of actual pain and suffrage?

Yong-Soo stood in a confused, hesitant manner.

Kiku was not human. He was a monster. A killing machine and a traitor, he should be ashamed to stand across from him, and yet--

"You finally realize that you're what I've been calling you for so many years, hyung."

He wanted to laugh... chuckle... smile... something! The Korean felt no such pleasure in his heart.

"You've just been hiding all of this inside yourself for so long. I've waited for this day, Kiku. I've waited and told myself, 'now he understands'..." Yong-Soo's face still stayed angry, disappointed... sad.

Without any further hesitation, or any thinking in the matter: he got rid of the space between them and he hugged the man in a tight embrace, and for some reason, his mind, and mind.. would not let him go.

"You must be passing your sickness to me... I'm not thinking like myself..." Yong-Soo softly whispered.. And so, maybe Kiku was right about one thing... Yong-Soo performed actions before his brain got the chance to catch up.

Kiku, close.. your mouth. Do not say another word.

"I contemplated death, every time I closed my eyes.. before falling into a slumber." He spoke, like a broken doll.

Close, your mouth this instant. Vulnerability is such a weakness!

"Every-night, while.. others celebrated, and enjoyed company.. I wished death upon myself. I wished, that I would lay my eyes for sleep, and that would be the last time I would breath such traitorous breath, or open.. such filthy eyes."

Since when do you speak so much? Yong-Soo, is right in front of you.. he is going to cause your fall, he is going to avenge himself.. he is going to—

.. What.. is this.. this warmth?

He felt arms wrap around him, in suddenly realization that it was time for him to stop talking. That it was time for him to shut up, and listen. Listen to the silence, the heart-beats .. the desperation of something, someone, to genuinely care for just a monstrous and traitorous being such as himself.

His face continued to produce again, unwanted, unneeded, transparent droplets .. as they fell from off of his porcelain and china-doll like cheeks.. and now, onto the Korean's shoulder's, desperately clinging for him as if he was a sick child.

Allowing himself the very honor to do so, he held his brother within his monstrous arms for the first time.. slightly smiling at the males talk about sickness, and how he was not being himself:

"— Y-you can't afford to get sick.. copy-cat Otouto.."

It was official. Both Yong Soo and Kiku had finally cracked out of their fictitious shells. The Korean continued to embrace the individual and hadn't loosened his hug even yet, and he had no idea why.

What was this strange, unfamiliar feeling that he felt roaming and shying away at his soul? It was something he couldn't describe clearly. He never experienced this emotion when being around the Japanese. They were—he only sighed deeply and chuckled behind developing tears—they were fully, truly content with this moment.

This was a true hug that he longed to give ever since that terrible day. These were his true thoughts that he wanted to shout to the world of.

He ached momentarily, having comprehended that not only did Kiku accept his hug, but also return it.

You're an idiot, Yong Soo, he thought for himself, now resting his head on the other's shoulder. You wanted to kill him... to see him suffer, and to see him go through what you have.

But no... maybe he had to rethink this. Maybe Kiku had gone through far worse than what he had ever imagined possible.

"… Shh. Stop shouting. I'm right here, and I can hear you. I will hear you." The individual grumbled, losing his own voice in the process as well.

Kiku's last statement earned a thoughtful and a soft smile.

"Right back at you, old man."