Dearest Ivan, Gone out with Arthur. Don't know when I'll be back. Love you.
-Alfred

Ivan sighed and set the note on the hall table. He would have to spend hours alone in Alfred's house. He hated being alone. But he was definately glad that his little one had forgotten that today was his birthday. He chuckled to himself as he poured himself some vodka and remembered his first birthday celebrated with the American...

-FlashBack-

Ivan had woken up in his bed, his head throbbing with pain. He groaned and doubled up. He had definately drunk too much last night. The pain in his head was blinding, like three knives had gotten stabbed through his skull at the same exact time. And, on top of that, he wanted to puke violently.

Through his pain, he felt fingers gently comb through his hair. He peeked through cracked eyes and saw his Alfred smiling down at him. "Morning, love." He leaned over and kissed Ivan's head softly. Ivan tried to answer, but couldn't. He just moaned (pathetically) in pain. One half of Alfred wanted to cry and hold Ivan in his arms and comfort him. The other half wanted to say aaaaaaaaaw you're so cute. So Alfred just grabbed the cup off the nightstand and continued to pet Ivan lovingly. "Here, drink this. It should make you feel better."

Ivan tried to pull himself up and eventually succeeded with Alfred's help. He held his glass up. "Cheers, comrade." He started chugging the vile concoction, wincing at the bad taste. He set the cup down on the nightstand and gulped in air. He grabbed Alfred around the waist and pulled him onto his lap. Alfred was dressed in a pair of baggy jeans and a graphic tee-shirt. It said something in Japanese... "Thank you, comrade."

Ivan noticed that he wasn't wearing a shirt. Just a pair of black pants. It was a nice feeling... Alfred's soft skin against his own. His hair so close to his neck... Ivan leaned his head down and kissed the top of Alfred's silky locks. Alfred snuggled closer into Ivan's embrace and sighed. He was always happiest right here, but Ivan's present...

Alfred pulled away. "Hold on one second, love." Alfred scurried over to the closet and flung the door open. He got down on his hands and knees and started pushing things aside. Ivan just sat back and enjoyed the view. Those jeans really made his lover's ass look fantastic. Ivan's stomach felt much better and the pain in his head had dulled. He could enjoy this morning. But only because his Alfred was there.

Alfred stood triumphantly, a present in his hands. He walked over to the bed and crawled back up onto Ivan's lap. "Happy Birthday, Ivan." He smiled proudly as he handed the present to the Russian.

Said Russian blushed a brilliant shade of red. "You- you didn't have to..." The present was in a box, tied with a large red bow. Ivan ran a hand over the scars on his neck. Stalingrad had been hurting more that normal, but he ignored it. He had never received a present before... well, except for his scarf. But he didn't know if that counted. He looked up at Alfred who was bouncing with excitement.

"You're being a tease, open it!" Alfred smiled and laid his hands on Ivan's knees. Ivan chuckled and untied the ribbon, allowing the wrapping paper to fall open and reveal a box... a jewelry box. Ivan flipped the box open. Inside sat dogtags.

Ivan Braginski Moscow, Russia COmmunist Party

Ivan smiled and looked at the second one.

Happy Birthday, Ivan!
I love you, now and forever.
~Alfred

Ivan's jaw dropped. This- He- He had said what? "Alfred..." He looked up at the American who was judging his reaction. Alfred leaned forward and planted a firm kiss on Ivan's lips.

"I love you, Ivan Braginski. I love you."

-End Flashback-

Ivan sat down at the table, smiling at the memory. That had been the happiest day of his life. He sipped his vodka and picked up the paper. It would be a long morning without his sunshine. Without his sunflower. Ivan was torturing himself. He had to stop thinking of Alfred. Reading the American paper didn't help too much. He set the paper back down and drained his vodka.

He stood and walked about the house, thinking of different things. He could do some much needed paper work. Or he could go for a walk or watch American television... A walk would probably be best. Staying in this house would only remind him of Alfred. Ivan wrote a quick note for Alfred, just in case, and slipped out the front door. Ivan was wearing his normal uniform and scarf. He was very comfortable, even though it was Winter in America.

He smiled up at the lightly falling snow. He didn't get snow like this in Russia. Snow in Russia was like dog bites or whips against virgin skin. Here, it was like baby's laughter or love. Snow in America was wonderful. Everything in America was wonderful...

Ivan began walking down the street, taking in the quiet of the Northern countryside. Alfred never liked living in the capital for long periods of time, so they were currently living in the countryside of New York. New York was beautiful. Hills and trees... Ivan liked New York second best of all the states. Alaska, of course, being his favorite state.

Ivan walked off the road and into the forest that surrounded Alfred's home. It was always very peaceful here. No loud noises or frightening wars. Ivan could stay here forever... No he couldn't. He had almost forgotten that one time...

-Flashback-

"You are a vorthless sack of meat, Jones!"

"Yeah, well you're a bastard, Braginski!"

Alfred threw a pot at Ivan from the other side of the room. Ivan ducked in the nick of time. "Vell, I see how it is, Jones. I'll be leaving now!" And he turned on his heel and stormed out of the door. Ivan was convinced that it would be their first and last fight. The Russian was fuming as he walked through the forest. How dare that little American pipsqueek call him a bastard!

Ivan stopped and punched a tree, making a neat little hole right through the center. He sighed and sank to his knees. He buried his face in his hands, trying not to cry. He loved Alfred. That's how this whole thing had started. He still hadn't said I love you to Alfred. But he did. He loved Alfred so much. Russia dropped his hands and sat back on his heels.

He was afraid. The last time he had said, I love you, he had gotten hurt. Germany raped him and left him to die. Nothing more was left but the scar on Ivan's chest. But he couldn't let his fear ruin everything between him and Alfred. Ivan stood and slowly walked back to the cabin. He looked up at the window which now had a small light in it. "Alfred? I know you are there. Please answer me."

He waited what seemed like forever before Alfred opened the window angrily. "What do you want, Russia?" Ivan flinched. Amerika's tone hurt and Alfred hadn't called him Russia in a very long time.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry I insulted you and I'm sorry I didn't tell you how much I love you. Because I do. I love you, Alfred." Ivan opened his arms wide as he looked up at the patch of golden hair in the window.

"If you love me, you can prove it. If you're still here in the morning, I'll know you love me!" And with that, Alfred slammed the window shut. He was confident that when he opened the window in the morning, Ivan would be gone, sleeping in the hotel down the road. He curled himself up on the bed and began sobbing.

Ivan stared up at the window. He would stay there all night. He never moved. He stood in the freezing cold of the New York winter and stared up at the window. The winds grew stronger and the night grew colder, but he stood in the same spot. He folded his arms over his chest and waited for the one true love of his life to realize he loved him. Ivan was used to this cold... when he was wearing a coat and his scarf. He was outside wearing his boots, a pair of jeans, and a wife beater. Nothing else. And the cold was starting to get to him slowly.

When morning came round, his lips were blue and he was shaking from head to foot. But he didn't care. All he wanted was for Alfred to open the window so he could tell him once more that he loved him.

Alfred hadn't fallen asleep. He had sobbed all night, curled in his little ball. When he saw the morning rays hit his bed he sat up. He was afraid to open the window. He was convinced that Ivan wouldn't be out there. Alfred crawled slowly over to the window and peeked out, his eyes puffy and pink. When he spotted Ivan, still standing in the same spot he gasped. He was frozen for only a moment. He jumped out of his bed in a whirlwind of Alfred and blankets. He sprinted down the stairs, almost slipping and falling.

He ran to his door, not bothering with shoes. He flung his door open and ran into his front yard, looking immediately to his left. He saw Ivan staring at him and he began to cry again. Ivan only opened his arms and Alfred ran into them, sobbing into his chest. "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..."

Ivan wrapped one arm around Alfred's waist and used his other hand to comb through Alfred's hair. "Shhhhh, shhhh..." He pushed Alfred's face up so he could look into his eyes. He used his thumb to brush away a tear. "I love you, Alfred Jones. I love you." He leaned down and kissed Alfred sweetly, glad he didn't lose the only love of his life.

-End Flashback-

Ivan smiled. His memory had a good ending, but still... It had a bad beginning as well. Ivan passed the tree that still had a hole through it. He matched his own fist into the hole with a chuckle. His hand had cut open badly from when he did that and Alfred had fretted over it for days. It had been absolutely adorable, but still...

Ivan sighed and continued his walk, not really knowing where he was going. It was a few hours before Ivan started to make his way back to the cabin. He was absolutely starving and thought he smelled some food coming from the cabin. When he could see the house in the distance, he saw the smoke coming from the chimney and smiled. His Alfred was home...

His pace picked up until he was almost running the rest of the way to the cabin. He flung the door open, breathless. He slipped his boots off quickly and walked down the hallway to the kitchen. He heard soft singing before he turned the corner. He smiled. Alfred wasn't wearing a shirt. He had on an apron and a pair of jeans, but that was it. He was singing "Witchcraft" under his breath as he cooked.

Ivan snuck up behind him and wrapped his arms around Alfred's waist. He kissed his little one's neck and smiled. "I missed you today, darlinq." He pulled his gloves off and let them fall to the floor. He wanted to feel his love's skin. He smiled wider.

Alfred chuckled. "Wait! Eat first, then you get your birthday present, silly." Alfred blushed and turned around in Ivan's embrace. It took his breath away. Ivan's cheeks were tinged with pink and he was still a bit breathless. His eyes told Alfred he just wanted to skip dinner. Alfred leaned in and kissed Ivan gently. Ivan immediately kissed back with more force. He started kissing up Alfred's jawline and then began his journey down his neck.

Alfred tangled his hands in Ivan's hair as he moaned. No, Ivan has to eat first. That was the plan! "I-Ivan..." He pushed his lover's head away slowly. Now Alfred was the one who was breathless. "Wait, please?"

Ivan looked down at his little one. The look on his face was such a turn on. But he just smiled and nodded. "Anything for you, Alfred." Ivan went and sat down at the kitchen table, watching Alfred's gorgeous ass walk from one side of the kitchen to the other and back again. This was one of his favorite past times. Alfred watching.

Fifteen minutes later, Alfred placed a plate full of Russian delicacies on the table in front of Ivan. "I hope ya like it!" Alfred knew how much Ivan loved his Southern accent, so he was beginning to slip into it, just for Ivan's birthday.

Ivan ate the food with reverence. It tasted beautiful. But he knew something that tasted better, so he quickly ate his food, barely tasting it. Alfred smiled. He knew what Ivan was doing. He untied his apron and hung it up on the back of the kitchen door. He leaned against the door frame and waited for Ivan to finish. He did so very quickly. Ivan was on his feet as he spun around to stare at Alfred seductively. Maybe he could enjoy his birthday after all...

Ivan closed the gap between them in a few strides and grabbed Alfred around the waist as he began to ravish his lover's neck. Alfred wrapped his arms around Ivan's shoulders, closing his eyes. Ivan was very talented with hands, teeth, and tongue...

Ivan was going to take Alfred here and now if they didn't move. He wanted to pound into the golden haired boy all night long. That would be the best birthday present in the entire world. He picked Alfred up bridal style, licking and nibbling at the American's ear and whispering sweet nothing's in Russian. Alfred bit his lip to stop a moan in its tracks. The sound of Russian could send him over the edge.

Ivan kicked the door open and walked over to the bed, laying Alfred down gently. He straddled Alfred happily as he trapped Alfred's earlobe between his teeth. "I vill accept my birthday present now..." He unbuttoned Alfred's pants with experienced hands. Alfred placed both hands on the side of his boyfriend's face so that they were forced to make eye contact. He whispered softly, "I love you..."

Ivan just smiled and kissed Alfred's beautiful lips. "I love you, too, little one."