No one had really seen this one coming.
Honestly, he himself hadn't really seen it coming. It was just that one day he'd been leaving the UN headquarters and seen her standing there, talking to him, and looking as though she was about to burst into tears. He'd never seen that expression on her face before, and he was surprised.
After all, Belarus was usually as icy as her winters.
But what had really gotten him was when she reached up to touch the man in the scarf and he caught her hand and pushed it away. Then he entered his car and left her standing there.
He could relate. That'd happened to him hundreds, thousands of times.
He knew what it felt like to love someone who did nothing but push you away.
So he walked over with a cheery smile and tapped her shoulder, inquiring a soft, "Senorita?" She turned large blue-violet eyes on him, the tears he'd seen earlier already gone. Her expression would have sent most men running for their lives, but he had the advantage of being atypical. Angry people didn't scare him off as easily; in some cases he found a temper to be cute.
She was definitely cute. Very pretty- none of the other nations were as pretty as her. It was too bad everyone always called her insane and shied away.
He imagined how much prettier she'd be if she would smile.
"Are you alright?" he asked simply, not really one for delicate phrasing and subject-hopping. She blinked slowly.
"Perdóname, Belarús," he said with a bashful smile, rubbing the back of his neck. "It's just that I saw what happened and I thought you might like some company."
"Nothing happened," he answered sharply, eyes glinting. He remembered that she was a master of weapons and most likely had dozens of knives on her person, hidden in various places of her blue dress.
"Not what I saw, senorita," he replied, smile slightly more insistent. Her brow twitched in annoyance and he continued, not wanting to antagonize himself too badly. "It is just that, we all know how you love your brother, but he does not seem to be too nice to you. Si?" She did not answer, just gazed up at him. Her pretty face had smoothed, as expressionless as that of a doll. Then she parted her lips.
"I could say the same to you. The Italian is not too kind himself." There was a bit of ice edging her words, designed to cut. His smile thinned slightly, but he did not relent.
A beat of silence.
"... What is your point?" She was trying not to frown, he could tell. He did that often when Lovino was being particularly disagreeable, except he just smiled more widely. The young woman before him opted to stay expressionless.
"Well, I would understand better than anyone, si?" She gave up on trying as he said that, a frown creasing slightly between her brows. Then the expression smoothed and she nodded slowly, much to his surprise.
"Maravilloso!" he exclaimed, surprising her slightly. She parted her lips once more to ask what was so "maravilloso" about their agreement, but he beat her to the punch. "It is almost six in España; would you like to come to my house for dinner?"
She was about to protest, really she was, but the way he looked pleadingly down at her didn't leave much room for argument. It was odd; usually she could say no to anyone without feeling regret, but his deep green eyes were so expressive that it would have been like saying no to a child, and contrary to her image, Natalia loved children-
He lit up like America on Christmas, and a touch of pink might have graced her cheeks.
"Genial!" he answered happily, touching the small of her back. "Come, my car is this way."
His hand was impossibly warm even through three layers of heavy fabric.
It had seemed only natural to invite her to come again the next day at the end of dinner. It had not been a quiet affair; he had chattered cheerfully to her about anything and everything (though, for once, he had enough tact to avoid touchy subjects) while she occasionally replied to his queries. She was quiet but did not seem annoyed. It was a nice change of pace from being yelled at and called an idiot constantly. He had only been a little bit surprised when she accepted, nodding wordlessly.
Like the ladies' man he was, he took her hand in his (ungloved, she had shedded those black gloves upon entering his warm lands), and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. Her skin was still icy. He lingered for a moment, breath ghosting over her pale hand, as though he expected her to melt.
For her part, she had felt a jolt of heat travel though her whole body at how hot his lips and fingers were. A bit more hurriedly than she wanted to admit, she pulled her hand from his grip and straightened. Not affronted at all, he smiled and led her to the door.
She melted into the night before his eyes, and he gazed into the darkness for a moment before re-entering his lavish house.
They were allowed to seat themselves wherever they wished for the world conferences, but they had all been sitting in more or less the same arrangement for years. So it came as a surprise to everyone present the next day when Spain entered the conference room, waved to Belarus, and loped over to sit beside her. Her indifference and his obliviousness nullified all the odd looks they were getting as he chatted cheerfully with her. Well, more at her, but she wasn't complaining. He took that as a good sign.
They both missed the intense gazes they were getting from two countries in particular. Romano seemed to be doing his absolute best to drill twin holes in the back of Spain's head with his eyes. Russia seemed to be doing the same to Belarus, though his gaze lacked the pure venom of the Italian's. Rather, he seemed to be concentrating deeply, not understanding what he was seeing.
The whole meeting room seemed to quiet itself little by little, the other countries' voices falling increasingly quieter as they attempted to listen in on the odd couple's conversation.
"... and then I was thinking that maybe we could go dancing? I am sure you are a wonderful dancer, Belarús. Of course, I'll be certain to prepare a lighter dinner tonight if you do want to go dancing- you did like the tomatoes last night, si?"
"Ah! Do you like chocolate? I just received a large import from Belgium, and perhaps I can make you a nice dessert? If you'd prefer, then, we can stay at my home and do something... else..." He slowly trailed off. Not to be suggestive, but because he suddenly realized that the room was silent and everyone was staring at them. Belarus looked up as well, seeming unruffled. "Eh... Is everything alright?" he asked the room after a couple moments of awkward silence.
Everyone suddenly dove right back into their old conversations as though nothing had happened. Only Russia and Romano kept watching.
"Belarús!" Spain called cheerfully, running up to the young woman and picking her up in a hug. She made a soft exclamation of surprise, wrapping her arms around his shoulders on reflex as he gave her a little spin. It was disconcerting, how warm he was- his body was practically burning against hers. Every time he touched her, she was shocked. Unbelievable. A soft blush rose in her cheeks as he set her down, arms still losely around her waist, and smiled brightly. "Good morning!" he greeted belatedly, bumping his nose with hers.
She turned a fascinating shade of crimson. He grinned brighter at how adorable she was. "What was that for?" she asked, but she didn't push him off. She hadn't known such warmth for a very, very long time.
"I missed you," he answered simply, releasing her. A tiny part of the nation protested at the loss of heat, but he wrapped an arm around her shoulders instead. She had never met someone so touchy. Or, frankly, anyone who had the nerve to be so touchy with her.
... Oddly, she did not find herself disliking it.
"We have been together for the past three hours, Ispaniya," she answered tonelessly, though there was the barest- barest!- hint of a smile at the corners of her lips. His smile grew all the more brilliant in response.
"Yes, but I did not get the chance to speak with you! Then you walked out of the conference room." Her tiny smile grew an equally tiny bit at the answer. There was something about this man that was just so kind, so pleasant, that it was impossible to dislike him, though she had tried her best. She had given up after their first conversation the day before, and after only twenty-four hours, they seemed inseparable.
She wondered offhandedly why he was so interested in being a friend to her. After a moment of thought, she voiced the question. "Why not?" Spain answered with a happy smile, the arm around the Eastern country tightening slightly. "I like you, you're bella, we understand each other, and we get along." The answer was simple. She was confused.
"I am... pretty?" No one had told her that since she had been little. They had been too afraid of her to say so, she assumed, but after a while she had begun doubting. Perhaps she simply wasn't attractive...?
"Of course!" Spain answered as though the question were silly. "You're by far the most beautiful of all the nations!" he answered cheerfully (receiving himself a look from the passing Austria and Hungary). Slowly, the Slavic country's delicate features began to color all over again until her cheeks were burning patches of pink. She looked away.
"You may call me Natalia."
"Only if you call me Antonio."
And so it began.
Spanish: Perdóname- excuse me; Belarús- Belarus; senorita- miss; si- yes; exactamente- exactly; marvilloso- wonderful; genial- great; bella- beautiful.
Russian (as I have absolutely no knowledge of Belarusian, and the languages are very similar): Da- yes; Ispaniya- Spain. I was tempted to spell Ispaniya "Ispanija", due to the "j" in Slavic languages being pronounced as a "y" sound, but I was rather sure that no one would understand how to pronounce the words. They'll be spelled as they sound, due to Russians using the cyrillic alphabet most (for all I know; I'm Serbian).