I still remember. Do you?

You were clutching whom I presumed to be your mum's hand tightly, and you were scowling nervously at the floor, attempting to mask your obvious fear with petulance. I tilted my head curiously, marvelling at your appearance. I'd never seen someone so pretty. Your beautiful pure white hair and porcelain skin contrasted amazingly with your piercing blood red eyes. You were so small, a lot smaller than me back then. When we first met, I almost thought you were a girl. You were wearing a red shirt to match your eyes, and faded denim shorts. You kicked the ground with scuffed red trainers, refusing to look up.

"Honey, this is Gilbert. He'll be your new friend now, so please treat him nicely!" my mum said in a weird tone of voice. I glanced at her kind face, wondering why her eyes looked so strangely sad. I shrugged it off, dismissing it as nothing. Maybe she was irritated with me for not wearing the dress she'd picked out for me. I hated dresses. So, I had no choice but to chuck it out of my bedroom window and choose my scruffy old jeans and torn and muddy shirt from last week. Since I'd been a little unorthodox in my methods of rebellion, I decided to do as she said.

Grinning brightly, and holding out my hand, I declared boldly, "Hi'ya, Gilbert! I'm your new big sibling, so I'll be looking after you and teaching you the ropes! You bet'cha I'll toughen you up before long!"

Mum stared at me sullenly, looking disappointed in me. I squelched the feeling of sadness blooming in my chest. She was never pleased with me, so I shouldn't get upset about it now. Besides, my brother wouldn't cry in this situation. He was tough, so I'd be too! I promised him that!

Big, innocent, naive, untrusting crimson eyes stared at me. Then, a very small voice muttered robotically, "It's nice to meet you."


We dashed through the bright green grass, kicking off our shoes and abandoning them in the forest's tall shrubbery, laughing and grinning. We passed tall oak trees, running across the crunchy leaves on the ground as we chased one another. We zipped past the rose bushes and blooming daffodils, running so fast that all of the different colours blurred into one. The luminous azure sky was nearly invisible through the leaves of the trees shrouded us and hid us from the burning sun. I heard a girly shriek emit from you, followed by a dull thud. I turned abruptly, but couldn't contain my boisterous laughter when I saw you collapsed on your bum, covered in petals. I grinned toothily when you shot me an embarrassed scowl, and skipped over to you. "Heh, you look like such a girl!" I teased, grin growing when your face flushed red. I smiled sheepishly, kneeling down next to you and leaning closer to brush some stray petals out of your snowy hair. "Sorry," I said, "But it's true." I beamed at your sulky expression and kissed your nose, before standing hastily and offering you a hand. You blinked your wide crimson eyes at me curiously. "C'mon, let's go!"

You took my hand. Would you still do that now?


"Oiii, Gilbert!" I called as I dashed madly up your pathway, almost falling over but catching myself just in time. I pulled myself up and knocked on your door obnoxiously. "Hey, hey, Gilbert! Little brother!" I whined pathetically, jumping from foot to foot anxiously.

Finally, finally, after what felt like a wait that lasted for all eternity, the door was opened to reveal your mum, who I'd never really bothered to speak to. She smiled weakly at me. "Hello, Eliza," she said softly, keeping her voice a low hush.

"Hi'ya, ma'am," I said, feeling a bit shy for whatever reason. Putting my hands behind my back and kicking the ground nervously, I looked down at her shoes, feeling a bit stupid in my old hand-me-downs whilst she was dressed in what looked like a new peacock-blue dress. "Um... My mum told me Gilbert was sick, so..."

"Oh, yes," she replied quietly, glancing back inside the house. "I... wouldn't want you to get sick too..."

I finally raised my gaze, staring up at her with pleading green eyes. "Please, ma'am," I begged, and then flushed slightly, feeling like more of a peasant than anything. Mum would kill me... "I really have gotta see him. I wanna... I need to make sure he's all right!" I declared strongly, staring up at her with determined, my gaze unwavering.

She perceptibly hesitated, before finally letting out a small sigh. Smiling wearily, she opened the door for me to come in. "Okay," she said, "But please be careful..."

"I'll be quiet," I promised, deliberately lowering my voice and miming zipping my lips. "Promise." I beamed at her, before kicking my muddy shoes off and tossing them outside. No need to get someone else's house dirty. I nodded thankfully to her before zipping up the stairs and down the hallway, the route to Gilbert's room locked in my mind. I stood on my tip-toes to jiggle the handle. I, very slowly, pushed the door open, wincing when it creaked. Damn door, I thought, scowling at it. Then, I remembered my mission: make Gilbert better!

Approaching his bed, I noticed the stray tissues littering the floor, the bundle wrapped in blankets on the bed, occasionally shuddering, and a few breathless coughs emitting once in a while. I felt a bit awkward, unused to having to be careful or gentle. "Uh," I said, and then hit myself when the sheets tensed. Quiet, Elizaveta, you idiot! "Gilbert?" I whispered tentatively, my cut-covered hand (from various outdoor escapades) hovering above his stainless white blanket. "You okay there, little bro?"

The bundle groaned, but I didn't back away. I blinked and cocked my head when the sheets moved, and soon met fever-hazed red eyes. I forced a smile onto my face, but I was really worried. His face was so red...

"Hey, Gilbert," I murmured softly, gently weaving my hands into his sweat-stained hair. It felt kind of gross, but I'd felt worse. Besides, if it made him feel better, then I didn't mind. I was worried, I thought, but my mouth refused to formulate the words. I felt my face heat up slightly and glanced away, before grinning sheepishly at him. "How ya feeling? Pretty rough, I imagine," I said sympathetically, biting my lip when I received a weak nod in response. "Hey, cheer up," I ordered, very gently bopping his head. He grimaced nonetheless. I withdrew my hand. "Uh... Look, I brought ya somethin'," I muttered, feeling a bit shy suddenly. Rifling through my abused makeshift straw backpack, I withdrew the new game I'd bought just for him. It'd taken all my savings from the past few months, but if it was for him... "I was gonna play it, but since you're sick, I decided to take pity on ya. Here," I murmured gruffly, shoving a video game towards the sick boy.

Big red eyes blinked at me, and then at the game. He coughed weakly. "M-Metal Gear Solid...?"

I grinned. "Yeah!" I cheered, tensing again when he winced. "Yeah," I repeated, quieter now. I searched for a story in my mind. "Uh... My brother sent it to me. Y'know, the one in the navy? You wouldn't know him, he left before you arrived here. But anyways, you can have it. I got loads of games," I lied easily, waving a hand in a dismissive gesture.

He blinked, and then grinned at me, a mimicked version of my own. "Thanks, Eliza," he whispered hoarsely, and I smiled back, but it was pained.

It doesn't mean anything if you aren't using my real name...


My first day of school was horrible. There were loads of other new kids, but they all already seemed to fit in and have friends. I shrugged it off, pretending I didn't care. I kind of didn't. I had Gilbert outside of school anyway. Who needed more than him?

I kept telling myself that over and over again when everyone made fun of me. I felt my eyes sting and burn, but I didn't let any tears fall. I couldn't cry. I'd never cry. Even when they laughed at me and teased me about being poor, and having no friends, and being alone, I just threw back insults and pretended I didn't care.

But it really hurt...


"I'm home," I muttered, kicking off my shoes and tossing my terrible, ugly, old, worn bag in a random direction, ignoring my mother's look of disgrace.

"Elizaveta," she murmured disapprovingly, "Go pick that up and put it in your room now, unless you want to be grounded."

I wouldn't have obeyed her if being grounded didn't mean not seeing Gilbert. Sighing irritably, I grabbed the offensive bag and hauled it up to my small room, dragging my feet as I did so.

"Elizaveta, walk properly!" she scolded me, and I just mimicked her voice under my breath.

Out loud, I mumbled, "Yeah, okay, mum."


"Eliza!" a carefree, childishly happy voice shouted merrily. I glanced up tiredly, brightening immediately when I caught sight of crimson eyes shining in glee.

"Gilbert!" I returned with a big grin, immediately enveloping him in a large hug when he got near enough. I pulled back, blinking, realising something was off. I gasped. "Heeey," I whined, staring at him.

"W-what?" he stuttered, scowling and blushing slightly. "What is it?"

"You're getting taller!" I exclaimed, examining him as I walked around him in circles. He watched me, blinking owlishly. "Look, you're nearly as tall as I am now!" I cried, beaming at him, although inwardly I could feel a crack in my heart. He's growing up quickly. Too quickly, I thought fearfully. The kids at school were right. I would end up being alone.

"Eh?" he asked in wonderment, eyes widening as he looked down at himself in appraisal. "I don't feel any taller, but... if Eliza says it, it must be true!" He grinned cheekily at me, and knowing I'd be alone soon was suddenly worth it. Just for his smile.

"Uwaaa! You better not get any taller than me!" I teased amiably, wrapping an arm around his shoulders and laughing.

Inside, I felt as if I were dying.


He hadn't spoken to me that night.

"So, what's the occasion?" my mum enquired airily, smiling at the woman across from her. "You and Gilbert haven't invited Elizav--" A sharp glance from me silenced here momentarily, but she hastily regained herself. "Eliza... and I... over for a long while. Has something special happened?"

The returned smile was weak at best, and her eyes were flickering. She had dark circles underneath them and the fork she clutched in her frail hands was shaking. "Well," she began weakly, obviously unsure of how to broach whatever the hell she was going to say.

Crimson eyes flew up to meet mine for the first time that evening. "We're moving," he announced, childlike voice deeper than it once was but still not broken. He was my height now, if only a tiny bit shorter, and he was a lot more forward and arrogant than the once timid boy I'd used to know. I didn't know if I were proud of the influence I'd had on him, or disgusted of myself.

The silence that reigned following his seemingly emotionless statement was deafening to my ears. I could hear nothing but the blood flow in my body halting abruptly, my heart ceasing its pounding beat, and my breathing stopping. Suddenly, I could hear white noise thrashing in my ears and my mind, but it couldn't block out those innocent, evil words from echoing repeatedly in my head.

He's leaving me.

Clutching the tablecloth before me with shaking pale hands, I tried desperately to scramble for the pieces of my heart and mind that had suddenly shattered like a delicate china plate when those words were spoken. It was so hard to breathe, to force that much needed oxygen into my lungs, when all I wanted to do was... was turn back time. Turn back time to when he was my friend, before I knew he would leave me. Abandon me. It was so hard to breathe. It was so hard not to fall apart in front of him as my heart crumbled into a million and one pieces inside of me. But I had to. I had to do it for him.

So, as usual, I smiled, pretending I wasn't dying inside, and said, "Congratulatoins."

He didn't smile back.


I almost wore formal attire for when he was scheduled to leave, but with my ashen face and greasy hair (I'd just been lying in bed ever since we arrived home from that heartbreaking evening), it made me look like I was going to a funeral. It felt like it too, even with the brightly coloured present clutched in my sweaty hands.

Not wanting to make everything look and feel even worse than it was, I pulled on my casual clothing, although I'd washed it thoroughly. Mother didn't notice. She never noticed when I tried. But it was okay this time. I wasn't trying to please her. But when we had arrived to his house, the an hour before the time they told us they were leaving, no one was in. The door was locked, windows shut tight and a sign hung on the innocent wooden oak door, like the trees we once ran under...

For sale.

I wondered how much more my heart could possibly take. I closed my eyes, because if I didn't then I know my tears would have fallen that day. I'm not sure if they would have ever stopped flowing.

I never managed to tell him happy birthday.

I never even got to say goodbye.

I never told him I love you.


I didn't try to move on. I didn't want to. I knew, no matter how hard I could possibly try, his beautiful eyes and wonderful voice would never erase themselves from my memory. I could feel his soft hands on mine when I always helped him up, could feel his arms around my neck when I carried him home after he scraped his knee, and feel his lovely hair beneath my fingertips when I tried to let the touches linger.

I couldn't move on.

I stopped talking, stopped smiling, and stopped visiting the beautiful fields and flowers. They were ugly and boring without him occupying them. I always wanted to cry whenever I saw the green grass, because never anymore did I see him running towards me. I was alone.

I walked to school on my own all the time. I didn't bother attempting to make any friends. They had given up teasing me, finding someone as unresponsive and quiet as me boring. And I was boring, I realised, as I staggered home in the rain, my scruffy, old, too-small shoes screeching angrily against the pavement. I kicked at the hard ground, and immediately stumbled and fell. I clenched my fists, my fingernails digging into the pavement and drawing blood. Red. Like his eyes.

I picked myself up. I had to. No one else could do it for me. I didn't have anyone else. I had to get up and keep going, even though, every day, I could feel my heart tearing more and more.

I could myself the wetness on my face was the rain.


"Everyone, pay attention!" a baritone, and yet still somehow shrill voice shouted brusquely. The chatter and gossip disippated until silence reigned. "We have some new classmates," the teacher announced. I didn't even know my form tutor's name. I never paid attention to anything anymore. No wonder my grades were so low. I kept my gaze staring down, steadfast, at the mahogany table, not taking in the scratch and pen marks made by students. "Please welcome them nicely! Boys, introduce yourselves."

"I'm Ludwig."

There was a brief silence, and obviously the teacher was waiting for something more. "Er," the teacher continued stiffly. "All right. It's nice to meet you, Ludwig. And you?"

"My name is Roderich. It is... nice to meet you."

Another pause. These people evidently weren't the most talkative. "Right... and you, then...?"

"Yo! You should've asked me to go first, since I'm the most awesome out of this sorry lot!" a loud voice declared boldly, earning a few chuckles from the class. "Hey, everyone! I'm Gilbert! Address me as Gilbert-sama, because I'm way too awesome to be referred to as anything but that!"

Gil...bert...? The name sounded foreign and yet so normal in my mind. I felt my slow heartbeat speed up, pumping violently in my chest as blood rushed around quickly. I held my breath and clutched my pen tightly in my hand. It couldn't be. It couldn't be. My Gilbert was quiet and sweet and little...

"Erm... Right... Anyway... you have different last names, right? I'll sort out a rearranged seating chart tomorrow. For now, just choose any seat."

There were several more whispers drifting throughout the class, but it all went in one ear and out the other for me. I heard hurried footsteps, tutting, and then a soft sound. Very slowly, I raised my gaze...

To meet purple eyes.

I looked back down.


"Elizaveta?" the teacher called, and I glanced up from my note-filled book with my usual sedated look.

"Sir," I murmured in acknowledgement. I wonder what he would do if he were aware that I had no idea what his name was. Probably wouldn't care. He seemed to dislike his name being screamed by the headteacher every other lesson anyway...

"Would you show Roderich around?" I probably looked confused, because he added, "The boy who was sitting next to you."

"Oh," I murmured softly, glancing sideways at the graceful, tall, slender figure of a brunet boy with purple eyes. I looked down again, nodding. "Sure."

"Thank you," Mr. Blondie replied gratefully, not sounding grateful at all. He always sounded sour. "Now, I must be off before Headmaster Julius arrives... Later." As quick as a bullet, he was off, leaving Mr. Purple Eyes and I alone in the classroom. I felt kind of awkward, having been without much human contact in a while.

"Um," I began articulately. Mr. Elegant raised a delicate brow, evidently unimpressed.

"I do not require any assistance," he informed me in a very formal tone, adjusting his glasses as he gathered his notes. "I am sure I will be fine without any - Oh, blast..." he cursed, blushing bright red when his papers slipped out of his arms. He collapsed to the floor, scraming for his notes with shakey hands. Why was he so embarrassed?

Without a word, I fell to my own knees, and silently aided him in gathering his work. He glanced sharply at me, a befuddled scowl on his face, but when he realised I wasn't making fun of him, he resumed grabbing all of the papers with me. Our hands both brushed the final sheet of paper, and we both drew back as if burned. He blushed, and I averted my gaze. I stood up and let him get the stray sheet, and then handed him the pile I'd gathered. He muttered his thanks and I nodded quietly, turning to grab my scruffy, old school bag, hitching it over one shoulder. I bowed slightly, keeping my head down so that my hair covered my face, and turned to leave.

He didn't stop me.


"Excuse me!" a jubilant voice called. I didn't look up. No one spoke to me, so they couldn't be addressing me. But when I felt a hand on my shoulder, I lurched back and stared up into two dazzling brown eyes. "Excuse me," he repeated, his Italian accent rather thick, "All of the other tables are taken. May my friend and I sit here please, madam?" He offered me another sunshine bright smile.

I nodded, grabbing my bag and standing, but he put his hand back on my shoulder. My my, aren't we touchy-feely?

"No, no, I didn't mean for you to leave! Please, stay!" Did this kid emit rays of sunshine? He took a seat next to me, and his blond friend sat stiffly opposite him. "So, miss, what's your name?" he enquired happily.

I lowered my gaze, slowly lowering myself back into my seat. I kept my bag on my lap, afraid that this was some kind of scheme to steal my bag to torment me. "Elizaveta," I answered softly.

"Ah, such a beautiful name! Where are you from, lovely Elizaveta-chan?"

I lowered my head further, eyes boring into my bag. "Hungary."

"Is that so?" He smiled again. "My friend, Ludwig, is from Germany. I'm Feliciano, and I'm from Italy!" he declared brightly.

I didn't know how to respond. I just nodded.

"Don't you have any lunch with you, Elizaveta-chan?" the talkative Italian enquired, sounding confused.

"No," I mumbled. "I eat at home." I hated eating mum's food, but I couldn't afford shop-bought food. I just forced myself to eat at home.

"What?" He sounded mortified. "Share my pasta with me! It's really good," he said happily.

"I'm fine, thank you," I replied quietly, slumping slightly.

"Please?" I glanced up, and cursed myself for it. His eyes were so big, almost like...

At length, I muttered, "...Fine."

The resulting smile made my heart lurch. I wanted more.


"Elizaveta-chan!" a sort of familiar voice cried. I turned warily, only to be tackled to the floor by a flying blur blob of brown. It made me think of a little boy with white hair and red eyes running up to me... "Ludwig's being so mean to meee!"

I broke out of my reverie, blinking and glancing down at a sobbing mess of an Italian. Wonderful. I didn't know how to console people. Very carefully and slowly, I put my hand on his head, rufling his brown locks gently, like I had done so for Gilbert so long ago.

Big brown eyes blinked up at me and he smiled at me, as if he were reassurring me. I looked away immediately. "He wouldn't give me a kiss." He pouted, and I glanced back at him in shock. "Will you give me one?" he asked hopefully, and he looked so innocent and sweet and so like...

I kissed his forehead.

And then someone yanked him off of me. I looked up, confused, and then I froze.

Crimson eyes bore into mine, and time stopped with my heart.

I couldn't breathe.

I couldn't breathe.

I couldn't breathe.

"E-Elizaveta-chan? What's wrong--?"

I couldn't breathe.

I couldn't breathe.


I saw red.



I looked up. They always used the wrong name. I didn't bother correcting them. Abandoning the stare down with my scuffed converse shoes, I met a reproachful gaze. The nurse eyed my up and down, just as most people did, obviously examining my second hand school uniform and too-long hair. I couldn't afford a hair cut.

"Since you brought him here... do you want to see how he is?"

I shook my head instantly, looking down at my shoes again. "No," I replied lowly. "Just... could you tell me... if he's okay...?"

A brief pause. She was watching me. I clutched my bag tightly, praying for the unbearable silence to end. "He's fine," she finally answered. "You... don't want to see him?"

"No," I answered again, turning abruptly, and then pausing to add a bow and a nervous, "Thank you," before hurrying down the hall, my worn converses squeaking along the way.

Why are you back here?


I had a love-hate relationship with physical education. Everyone sniggered at me in my too-big gym shorts and t-shirt, but I was able to take out my overwhelming, pent up emotions. We played baseball a lot. I'd discovered the Japanese really loved their baseball. Whenever I was a batter, I always imagined someone stupid pale face as the ball, and hit it with all I could. I scored well in sports, and yet people still didn't want me on their teams. I was an outcast, after all.

"Okay, we need two teams. Um... Ludwig, Roderich--"

"Not Roderich!" the voice cried unhappily. "He sucks at sports. Let me be a team leader! I'll be awesome at it!"

"No, Gilbert. Ugh. Come on up, Ludwig and Roderich. Pick your teams, boys."

I stared down at my hands, scarred from various escapades in parks, and with dirt-encrusted fingernails, which were bitten and covered in little cuts. As expected, Ludwig had first picked Feliciano. He was pretty pathetic at sports (and most things), I'd come to realise, but the blond guy always wanted to be paired with him. I couldn't understand it...

"Elizaveta," a slick, suave but very uncomfortable voice said, and I looked up in bewilderment. I was greeted with a purple glare. "You're on my team, so get up."

Numbly, I stood, utterly befuddled, and let my unfeeling legs carry me over to the tall boy. I kept my head ducked as they chose random class members, ignoring the smouldering looks I could feel burning into me. Soon enough, the teams were chosen, and we were told our positions. My team was batting first. I went to grab a bat, waiting for the crowd to disperse so that I could grab my usual beaten bat. No one ever picked that one. I always did. I felt a tap on my shoulder, and glanced around to meet Mr. Holier-Than-Thou's apprehensive gaze.

"Erm," he began awkwardly, glancing away. "Would... Would you mind going first?" he blurted, face burning scarlet. "I'm no good at sports..."

"Sure," I replied smoothly, sliding past him to take my place in the box. Some blue-eyed blond guy (your typical run-of-the-mill popular jock that every girl wanted) was throwing. He sent me a blinding grin.

"Hope you ain't as bad as Arthur!" he shouted to me, and then began giggling to himself when he found himself on the receiving end of a poisonous glare, a red face, and screamed profanity.

"Alfred, Arthur, stop quarreling like an old married couple and let's resume the game," the PE teacher said with a long-suffering sigh, a small smirk coming to her face when the two boys blushed. "Married couple indeed... More like lovestruck kids..."

"Shut up!" they both screamed. I felt my lips twitch. Two boys together...? For some reason, I quite liked the idea...

"All right, all right, then let's get on with the game. Throw!" the teacher ordered, and the Alfred boy nodded. He met my eyes and gave me another grin, which slowly dissolved into a competitive smirk. He launched the ball. It came flying towards me with such speed that I almost missed seeing it. It went straight past me, and I hadn't even lifted the bat.

"Strike one!" the Japanese kid behind me declared. I scowled. Well, no one was going to show me up at this game... Not even Mr. Popular. I held up my bat, glaring at the American guy, as if daring him to just try and win.

He threw.

I swung.

The ball went flying after it hit my bat with a loud cracking sound. I'd almost thought the bat had broken. The ball flew over the field, and the other team went running for it. I made a break for it, easily dashing past first base.

"I've got it!" a very English, snobby, proud voice shouted, and the short green-eyed guy tossed it. Much to my surprise (because I thought he looked like a pansy), it travelled far. Alfred leapt for it, but it flew too high over his head and went over to the other side of the field. I passed second base.

"Kiku, throw it to me!" Alfred yelled.

A small Japanese boy zipped after the stray ball as I approached third base, and he wrapped his hand around it, and threw it over to third base. The ball collided with the stump, but I'd already passed. Just in time.

"Throw it to fourth! Throw to fourth!" Jock-Boy screamed.

The boy I'd passed on third base (no idea what his name was) immediately lobbed it over to fourth, just as I was approaching it.

I almost froze. But the screaming and cheering kept me tied down to reality.

One crimson eye was staring me down, the other covered by an eyepatch. He had the ball. Why wasn't he trying to get me out? He could have done it already.

Time seemed to slow down as I finally arrived at his post. Our eyes met. My last footstep past fourth base was the only sound in my hearing vicinity as I glided passed.

I scored. But I felt unaccomplished.


There were lots of people in the changing room. I didn't like it, even though they just looked right through me. I grabbed my stuff and slyly moved away into the shower area, hiding behind a curtain to change. The lights were off. I preferred it there.

I changed as quickly as possible. No one was here to see me, but I didn't want to see myself either. The darkness helped. I pulled my regular school blouse over my too-tight sports bra and fumbled to button it up. I glared sullenly at my skirt but yanked it on. I hated having to wear it. I never did like girl's clothes. And I hated my legs, which was why I wore such long socks. Stepping into my scruffy converses (I couldn't afford new school shoes), I kicked the floor to get them on properly, and then grabbed my bag and gym kit. I slid out of the girl's changing rooms as quickly as possibly, abruptly by-passing all of the pretty girls with a downcast gaze.

I'd never be beautiful.


My combination to my locker was pretty stupid, but I couldn't help myself. It was his birthday date, as it was today actually. My locker creaked open ominously, just as it usually did, and I grabbed my necessary books and equipment and stuffed them in my bag. When I shoved them in, my fingers brushed over a plastic box, and the memory of staying up really late came back to me. I'd never been the best cook, but I'd never been as bad as that English kid in my food class. I think he blew up an oven once. And got his American boyfriend really sick. Yeah, I wasn't as bad as that, but it did take me a good couple (seven) of college tries to get it just right. I'd conveniently remembered that, months before his fourth birthday, he had been pestering his mother for a certain super duper chocolate cake. He was so greedy.

The sixth cake had been just as good as this one, but... I'd written a message on it with the white chocolate. I miss you, it had read. Then I went over it with, I love you. Then I threw it away. I made a plain one. I'd stayed up until two in the morning to make it, and then remembered I'd had homework. I eventually fell asleep at four thirty in the morning, and had to wake up two hours later to leave for school. I was so exhausted.

After the first two lessons, Feliciano grabbed my hand and dragged me over to our usual shared bench outside, shaded beneath a big birch tree. Ludwig sat opposite us again, eating his... whatever it was. We walked amongst ourselves, although Feliciano was doing most of the work on that note. When the bell finally went, I approached Ludwig nervously.

"Um... Ludwig," I muttered carefully, eyes fixated firmply upon the floor. He glanced down at me, raising a brow.

"Elizaveta," he replied bluntly, always speaking monotonously. I didn't see his eyes widen when I thrust the plastic box, wrapped in red ribbon, towards him.

"Er... would you... could please give this to your brother... Gilbert?" I mumbled shyly, blushing crimson and not knowing why. It wasn't as if I were giving him Valentines chocolates as a confession. I was just giving him a birthday present. "Since... it's his birthday," I continued when he didn't reply.

Very slowly, his large hands brushed over mine to grasp the box. "How... did you know?" he asked, but the bell rang.

I looked up at him sadly, a melancholic smile coming to my face. It's also the day he left me.

I walked away.


"Elizaveta-chaaan! Look, look! This is Kiku! He's our new friend!" Feliciano suddenly decided, dragging a small Japanese boy over to our table the next day. I assumed he'd snagged a new friend since Ludwig was off sick today.

"Um... It is very nice to meet you, Elizaveta-san," the Kiku boy said, bowing. Remembering my manners, I bowed back stiffly.

"Please treat me kindly," I replied, and we took our seats. It was slightly tense, at least for Kiku and I. Feliciano was too oblivious to notice. But when I noticed Kiku reading something under the table, things started to get interesting. "What are you reading, Kiku-san?" I enquired after a few minute's hesitation.

The boy blushed slightly and discreetly kept one of them hidden, but I could havw sworn I caught sight of an underaged, preteen girl covered in certain white... stuff. But I dismissed that one in favour of the comic book he put on the table in front of me. "This is a yaoi doujinshi, Elizaveta-san," he informed me quietly, eyes as blank as ever, but he seemed to be radiating waves of something that felt kind of perverse. I didn't feel the need to hit him though. My eyes fixed upon the drawings in the doujinshi thing, and I felt blood rush to my face.

"T-two boys..." I whispered, cupping my blushing cheeks as I stared down at the very provocative pictures of a boy crudely sticking his hand down another boy's shorts.

"When two males are together in a relationship, it is called shounen-ai. More sexual scenes such as this one is yaoi."

Shakily, I reached forward and gripped the pristine doujinshi between my fingertips, unable to blink. I took in the two male's flushed faces, lust-filled eyes and sexually provocative positions, feeling somehow excited by the pictures...

"Ah! Elizaveta-chan! Your nose is bleeding!" Feliciano cried fearfully. I blinked and glanced at him, only to have a tissue shoved under my nose.

"I keep these with me at all times for cases such as these," Kiku explained, as if it were the most normal thing in the world. I thanked him and rubbed my nose, still staring at my new astonishing discovery of yaoi.

I guess the Japanese get nosebleeds instead of boners then...



I looked up, and then blushed crimson, hastily covering my yaoi doujinshi with my books. "Y-yes, Roderich-kun?" I murmured nervously, fidgeting in my seat.

There was a brief pause, and then a tight voice muttered, "I... I was wondering... if you would be so kind as to accompany me to... to the school dance this Friday. Y-you don't have to. I'm only asking because my brother will tease me if I don't, and..."

"I can't dance," I whispered, clenching my fists tightly in my lap.

Another pause. Why did he pause so much? "I'll teach you," he said stiffly, and I looked up at him sharply in shock. What...? "Can you come over to my house tonight?"

I blushed and lowered my gaze again. "I don't know how to get there..." and I can't afford a taxi.

"That's all right," he said smoothly, "You can accompany me home in my car."

I looked up at him, wondering why he was so adamant about this. He could choose any girl. A pretty one, a nice one, a fun one. Why was he choosing a gender-confused, unintelligent, poor, unattractive girl like me? I didn't get it. But I was too proud to voice my concerns. I looked away again. "Okay." Why was my voice so soft and quiet suddenly?

"Then I shall meet you outside of the school gates upon the day's end." He bowed, grabbed my clenched hand, and kissed it. My eyes widened in complete and utter shock, and I felt my face heat up considerably.


"Good day, miss Elizaveta."

I remained still long after he'd gone, and then hugged my hand to my chest.



I didn't know if my nausea was a result of excitement, fear, or both. I'd put my small amount of money on the latter. One thing I was sure of, however, was that I just felt even more sick when I departed from school and saw a slick, black sports car waiting outside the gates. I almost wanted to make a break for it and just dash back home, the entire way. But I was too late. Roderich had spotted me, and slowly began walking towards me. He offered his arm, closing his eyes and blushing as he did so. I felt embarrassed, but I didn't want to make him feel worse. I carefully woved my arm through his. We walked to his car together, both of us too embarrassed to say much else.

We drove to his house in silence, and I blamed my queasy stomach on the fumes of his pollutant of a sports car. I wrung my hands nervously as we got closer to his house, and the rows of homes seemed to get bigger and richer along the way. I sunk into my seat, looking down. I didn't belong there.

"We're here."

I looked up to see Roderich removing his keys, shutting off the engine and leaving the car. I moved to fumble with my lock, but it was yanked open qiuckly. I looked up at him curiously, and then lowered my gaze and stood up, grabbing my bag.

"Ladies first," he offered, gesturing for me to walk up the gravel pathway. I blushed bright red. I'd never been called a "lady" before...

I stumbled up the pathway, still abashed and embarrassed, and waited for him by the door. He inserted the key into the lock, but before he could twist it, the door flew open.

"Hello, Ludwig," I murmured shyly, offering a small smile.

"Elizaveta," he replied with a nod. His face was still quite flushed and he was dressed in pyjamas.

"Are you still sick?" I murmured sympathetically. Being sick was horrible. But... at least he had people to look after him.

"I'll be fine by tomorrow," he vowed irritably, scowling as he stepped back to let us in. "I have to be. Feliciano calls me every five minutes asking if I'm okay. I can't get any sleep." He sighed in annoyance, massaging his temples. "I'm better off without all of the fuss..."

I couldn't help but smile at that, and blushed slightly when the image of Ludwig punishing Feliciano came to mind. I coughed and looked away, dismissing my inner perverse thoughts.

"Come, Elizaveta," Roderich muttered, sniffing haughtily as he walked - or glided, it seemed - into a random room at the end of the hall. "We have work to do."

With a fleeting smile aimed at Ludwig, I jogged after Roderich, pretending not to hear the whispered question from the staircase.

"What is she doing here?"


"Oh wow! Congratulations, Elizaveta-chan!"

I looked up to be greeted by Feliciano's jubilant face. I managed to smile back. "Congratulations?" I repeated, slipping my doujinshi into my English book. "For what?"

"You got the third highest test scores in our year, right after Roderich and that Arthur guy - you know, the boy with big eyebrows. Bad cook. Has a crush on Alfred--"

"Hey!" someone screamed shrilly, and I looked up to see Big Eyebrows glaring daggers at Feliciano. He looked kind of funny. "M-my eyebrows aren't that big!" Denial. "And I'm not a bad cook!" More denial. "And I definitely do not have a crush on-on him of all people!" Utmost denial. Even I saw how much sexual tension they had. And I was always looking at my converse sneakers.

"Don't shout at Feliciano," I said defensively, standing up and rufling the boy's honey-brown hair. I felt like a mother or something. "He's just speaking the truth. You are so obviously in love with Jones." I inwardly applauded myself for remembering his name. "Besides, you may want to go and console your not-boyfriend. He's crying in the corner because he was sixteenth in the class."

Big Eyebrows blinked, losing his angry expression, quickly dissolving into concern when he turned to see blubbering Jock in the corner. He blushed and scowled at me again, before rushing over to the American guy. Will they have comfort sex...? I wondered, blushing at the thought. Kiku's evil for giving me such a perverted mind!

"Ahhh, thank you for saving me, Elizaveta-chan! You're amazing!" Feliciano cried happily, glomping me. I laughed warily and patted his head.

"No problem, Feliciano..."

"Hey, hey, Elizaveta-chan!" he chimed brightly. I could swear he was bipolar or something. Oh well, at least he wasn't as schizophrenic as those Russian siblings. They were creepy. And I swear it was illegal to carry knives? And I wasn't too sure about pipes... "Ludwig, Kiku and I are going out later to buy clothes for the dance! You come with us, okay? Kiku's bringing his little sister, so she can help you choose a dress!" He looked so happy and excited... I just couldn't say no...



"Uwaaa! Elizaveta-chaaan! You have such a nice figure! Why do you hide it behind your baggy school clothes?" Meimei, Kiku's sister, squealed. I shifted uncomfortably, rubbing my arm and looking away.


"Ahh! Green totally suits you! This turquoise dress is perfect for you! But something's missing," she said, hands on her hips as she appraised me. I blushed at the scrutiny. Dresses were weird. They clung to me tightly, unlike my loose jeans and cargo trousers. It was strapless, and I had to fight the urge to cover my exposed collarbone. But Meimei had suddenly screamed, "Aha!" and rushed off. I didn't look in the mirror. She came back with a semi-transparent green-tinted shawl and wrapped it around my too-broad-for-a-girl shoulders. "Bend down a bit, Elizaveta-chan. I'm short." I did as she requested, but thought, You aren't too short. I'm just too tall. I winced as she slipped something into my hair. "Beautiful! Look in the mirror! Look!"

Unable to refuse the cheerful girl's order, I reluctantly twisted around, preparing myself for...

Oh... wow.

I looked like a girl.

I spent most of my savings, but... it felt almost worth it.


I felt stupid. I really was tempted to run back home when I arrived in Feliciano's Ferrari Italiano, stepping out into the brisk night air in only my strapless turquoise dress, transparent shawl, and pink and green flower hairpins. I wasn't used to high heels, so walking in those weird high black stilletos was difficult, and I concentrated more on walking than anything else. I almost fell over when walking up the stairs, but Roderich caught me. I blushed and looked away, murmuring an apology. "It's alright," he replied, face straight, but endearing amusement in his purple eyes. I smiled. We finally, finally reached the bottom of the staircase and arrived at the dance floor. Looking slightly embarrassed, but still in his element, Roderich extended a hand and enquired, "Would you like to dance?"

Embarrassedly, I put my gloved hand in his and smiled. "I'd love to."

Immediately, I was whisked off to the middle of the floor, beneath the cliché discoball that sent glittering rainbow colours flying everywhere. He put a hand on my hip, and I put one on his shoulder, and then our free hands intertwined. I concentrated on my footsteps. I didn't want to screw up.

We didn't speak. It was stiff and a bit awkward, him too proud and dignified to do anything unexpected of him, and me too out of my element. The stilletos were really uncomfortable and I'd came close to falling a good several times.

"May I cut in?" a smooth, deep, baritone voice asked, sounding calm and uncaring, and yet also threatening and penetrating. It made a shiver run down my spine.

Stiffly, Roderich muttered, "If you must," and spared a fleeting kiss on my gloved hand, offering a forced smile, before turning brusquely and walking off. I stood, staring down at the ground awkwardly and clenching and unclenching my fists. Then I felt cool hands covering my shoulders and shuddered again, shutting my eyes tightly.

"You're trembling," the voice whispered next to my ear. I stiffened. "Are you frightened?"

My eyes fluttered open, and my breathing evened out. Steeling myself, I broke free of his hold on me, and turned to face him. I didn't care that I could feel my eyes sting. I didn't care that I was shaking and crying in front of him. I didn't care.

I offered him no pleasure of words, and left him with only a red handprint on his cheek.


"Feliciano! Stop chucking popcorn!" Ludwig berated angrily, scowling and shielding his face from the onslaught of popcorn throwing.

"Yeah, quit it!" I demanded, but laughed despite myself. "You're getting it down my top! Stop it!"

Feliciano gave a sweet smile and then asked, "Want me to get it out for you?"

"Feliciano!" the German shouted, scowling in irritation at the flirtatious Italian.

I just laughed. I knew Feliciano liked Ludwig, in spite of his tendencies to flirt with absolutely every girl (and some guys) that crossed his path.

"Sorry, Ludwig!" he apologised sheepishly, beaming at the blond. "Forgive meee?" he pleaded, sticking out his lower lip and bestowing his close friend a puppydog pout that the German immediately softened to.

"Whatever," he grumbled, scowling moodily at the television as Jack Sparrow stepped onto the docks whilst his ship was sinking.

"Yaaay! Ludwig loves me!"

"G-get off, Feliciano!"

"No way! Come on, Elizaveta-chaaan! Join our friendship hug!"

Grinning despite myself, I tackled them into a big hug, feeling more at home than I ever had before.


When we were all wrapped up, snug in our makeshift beds for the night, I'd almost fallen asleep to sweet dreams of boys kissing boys. But then, I heard a creak. Footsteps. The soft click of the door. I stiffened and held my breath, clinging onto my pillow and clenching my eyes shut tight and trying not to think of the SAW films we had so conveniently watched before deciding to sleep. Blood-curdling screams enetered my mind and I gasped, curling up into a small ball as the footsteps grew closer. My heartbeat sped up. I began to sweat. I was getting scared. Oh, God, no--!

A hand went over my mouth and someone lifted me up, out of my bed and off the ground and it wass my immediate reaction to thrash and try to scream against whoever the fuck had the nerve to- to--!

"Don't be scared... It's me. It's... Gilbert."

I froze.

The hand over my mouth slowly slipped away to trail down my neck and gently grasped my arm. I felt my feet touch the ground again, and I turned around, lifting my hand, but he grabbed my wrist. I tensed, but relaxed when he sent me a huge grin. "You aren't gonna hit me again, are ya?" he asked, only half joking. I smiled a watery smile, feeling tears come to my eyes again. I clutched his hand that had my wrist in a careful grip, and lifted my free hand to weave around his neck. I leaned up, standing on my tiptoes to brush my lips against his warm, soft, slightly chapped ones. But I pulled away when he leaned closer to me. I looked up into his torturous, wonderful crimson eyes with my own tearful green ones.

"You have no idea how much I want to hit you. And kiss you at the same time," I whispered, feeling the hot tears fall down my face. I broke my first free of his grip and clutched at his shirt, staring up into his eyes pleadingly. "Why did you disappear so suddenly?" I demanded, shaking tumultuously as I tried to control my wracking sobs. "You didn't even say goodbye!" I slammed a fist against his chest as I shuddered and sobbed. "You didn't even say goodbye," I gasped, feeling my knees grow weak. I slipped to the floor, shivering and crying.

He sunk down in front of me, and tentatively slipped his hands over my shoulders before yanking me close against him. He held me so tightly I thought he might break my spine. Why couldn't I stop crying?!

"I'm sorry," he whispered, clutching me even tighter if it were possible. "I'm so sorry, Eliza... Elizaveta. I... I wanted to, but I... I was weak. I didn't... I didn't know how, and I... I'm just so sorry. Please... forgive me. Elizaveta," he whispered, and gently grabbed my chin, tilting it up so I met his crimson eyes. He was crying too... Since when...? "Elizaveta... I love you..."

He kissed me.


"Ah! I'm getting wet!" I cried, but I was laughing as we ran through the green grass, past the big oak trees and flowers, even though we were getting soaked.


I turned back, and couldn't contain my laughter. You were sprawled out on the grass, white hair plastered to your forehead and crimson eyes confused. You looked up at me and caught me laughing, and you pouted petulantly. I laughed harder, but fell to my knees and crawled over to you. I didn't care that we were getting wet, or that we would definitely get sick tomorrow. I sat in between your legs and leaned up to press a gentle kiss to your forehead as a gesture of apology for laughing at you.

You wrapped your arms around my waist and fell back, pulling me with you. I screamed but began giggling again as you barked out a sharp laugh, and then pressed your lips against mine for the umpteenth time that evening.

"Gilbert," I whispered, wrapping my arms around you and staring into your blinding red eyes. "I love you."

No hesitation. No pause.

"I love you too, Elizaveta."


Axis Powers Hetalia belongs to Hidekaz Himaruya.

FIRSTLY, no, I am not confused about first, second and third person use. I utilised different forms of addressing people to suggest the closeness of their relationship. You can deduce it however you want though~

Man, this is much longer than I'd intended! It was meant to only be up to two or three thousand words... Cor blimey. XD; I went a bit overboard, huh...?

I couldn't resist sticking some USxUK in there. I'm sorry~! And yes, Kiku had to be the one to introduce Elizaveta to yaoi. It was the most obvious choice! And yeah, he was reading hentai when he handed Elizaveta the yaoi doujin. XD Bad Kiku!

I love PruHun, but I also love AusHun. And PruAus. Nihihi... but I just had to write this when the idea popped into my head.

And I'm sorry about the "baseball" game. I wrote it in a very English way. XD; Here in England, it's "rounders," and... yeah. And I enjoyed writing the little USxUK scene there... even the teacher ships it! The PE teacher was meant to be Mama Egypt, and Elizaveta's form tutor (or homeroom teacher for the Americans) is supposed to be Germania. :'D Or Legolas, if you prefer. :P And the headmaster is indeed Rome, as the name Julius suggests. XD

Sorry if the ending seemed a bit rushed. This took frickin' ages and I'm supposed to be doing my GCSE revision. UGH! Shoot me now! ...No, on second thoughts-- Wait, don't pull the trigger--


...It's a good thing I keep a video game in my jacket pocket all the time... W-wait. This means you broke my video game! -falls to ground in pouring rain- NOOOOOO--!

I'll stop. I'm acting weird and not-myself because of stuff. X'D I'm not high though. Haha.

D-did I make people act a bit too tsundere in this? . Ah... I hope I didn't. I'm just used to writing USxUK stories now, and so... hmphhh... whatever. I hope you like it. :)

Thank you very much for reading!