'No, Russia! I don't want to hear any more!'
This wasn't the best thing to say. I saw the dark glint in his eyes before he took a deep breath and trailed his fingers delicately through the air, staring at whatever it was he was trying to show me.
I didn't want to be shown. The things he was telling me were almost enough to make me sick.
'That just makes me want to tell you more, da?' He seized me by the wrist. I tried to jerk away, but he only gripped tighter.
'America, I only wish to share my world with you. I want you to see it, da?'
I pushed him hard in the chest and pulled away. 'Well, I don't want to see your crazy world! I think I'll stay sane.'
He glared at me. 'I think you'd like it.'
I hated myself for trembling with fear, but he could probably see the terror in my eyes anyway.
'God, I'm not saying it again! Keep away from_' I broke off as he suddenly knelt to the ground, still looking up at me steadily.
'Of course, there's a lot of screaming here. A lot of pain, da. I don't know if anyone could like that part.'
I shuddered. I didn't want to listen, but his eyes held me pinned to the spot.
'You know what I do with the ones I like, America? With the dead ones I like?'
There was a brief silence in which my shaking breaths could be heard clearly.
'I keep them, da. I keep them with me.'
I couldn't help it_ a faint cry burst from my throat. That was... that was...
Russia finally looked away, watching as he dragged his hand along the carpet. 'I try to keep them in the best condition, but lately we've been having a rat problem, da? I checked on them one morning and none of them had any eyes.' He made a discontented sound. 'Just empty, bloody sockets, da? It wasn't very pretty.'
My heart was pounding so hard I was sure Russia could hear it. Almost as if he'd read my mind, his eyes rose to my chest.
I felt sick. But I couldn't help asking the question in my head.
'So what do you do with the ones you don't like?'
He giggled. 'I was hoping you'd ask that... Because it's always seemed a shame to waste good meat for the bears, da? I was wondering if you agreed.'
I stumbled backwards, away from him, fighting down the nausea. He was horrible. I didn't even know what he was.
And he wasn't done with this yet. 'I love watching the bears tear them to pieces. First their arms, then their legs, and so on, da, until they're all gone.' He stared down at the floor, seeing something I couldn't.
'What colour is the snow at your house, America?'
I hesitated. 'I-It's white.'
Russia smiled. 'It's not white at my house, da. You can guess what colour it is.'
'Red,' I whispered. 'All that blood's gonna start staining, Russia.'
'It already has stained, da,' he hissed at me.
I closed my eyes in horror.
When I opened them, I screamed in shock_ blood was running down Russia's cheeks from his eyes, and he was waist deep in it where he knelt.
His eyes, which he'd shut as well, snapped open.
'You can see it, da,' he whispered.
Paralysed where I stood, I watched as Russia ran his hand through the roiling, swirling sea of blood and pressed his fingers one by one to his mouth, licking the red from them slowly.
My mind was screaming in terror and disgust.
'You should taste it, America,' he moaned, his eyelids fluttering. 'It tastes like death, da...'
Without even knowing what I was doing, I dropped to my knees in front of him, hypnotised by the disgusting thing he was doing.
He stared at me.
'How can I see this? W-Why is there blood everywhere? It wasn't here before!'
He smiled. 'You know the answer to that question.'
'No! I'm not insane! I'm not like you!' I covered my eyes with my hands, but stopped and very slowly, I drew them away.
The blood gleamed wetly on my skin.
It was all over my face.
I felt fingers stroking my jawline.
'You've done horrible things, America. Just like me. We're the same, you and I, da? The others can't understand what it's like to be as strong as we are. To have our power.'
I stared at him, and it was incredible. His platinum hair was streaked with scarlet, his coat and scarf stained with it.
But it was fresh, all fresh.
'I haven't done anything!' I cried. 'Nothing like you!'
He started laughing, not his usual giggle, but shrill, manic, piercing laughter, and I flinched away from the pure insanity in it.
'Nothing?' he shrieked, his eyes flashing the reflection of all the gore at me. 'Nothing, America? Japan would disagree, da? Da?'
It felt like a slap in the face.
Russia slammed me on my back and pressed his knee against my chest. I gasped in shock and pain.
'You foolish child,' he said coldly. 'You think that was just playing around, da? Do you think all those people that died down in that city were soldiers fighting against you? Do you?'
He pulled away.
'Your hand are just as red as mine, da.'
I shook my head violently, but tears trickled down my cheeks. He was right. Of course he was right.
He was right about everything.
I sat up and he took me roughly by the wrist and plunged my hand into the warm liquid. I drew a long, stuttering breath, not wanting to think about what he was going to do.
He drew my hand out and raised it slowly to my mouth.
'Taste it, comrade,' he whispered. 'Taste it, da.'
I tried to jerk my head away, panicking. I couldn't! I didn't want it! This wasn't me!
But Russia snapped his other arm up and forced my face to stare at my red, dripping hand.
I opened my mouth to tell him to get the hell away, but he slapped my hand to it and a wild, hideous desire flashed through me as a single drop hit my tongue.
I struggled for breath as I sucked the blood off my fingers one by one, and watched as Russia covered his hand again.
Carefully, he drew his index finger across his lips, coating them.
Then he leaned forward slowly and kissed me.
The taste was explosive, spreading through my whole mouth.
'More,' I whispered roughly.
He offered me his hand. I took his finger and without caring what he thought, bit down on it so hard I felt the skin break and hot, metallic blood spill out.
A feral gasp burst from his chest and a shudder passed through his whole body.
'America?' he hissed.
'I hope they don't get your eyes, da.'