A/N: Because I have a sudden obsession with China, and that amount of natural femininity is inexcusable! So there, that's my explanation and I'm sticking to it. And you just know Russia would do something like this…Poor Yao. :/
Pairing: Russia/China, RoChu
Warnings: Kind-of implied bisexual!Russia, and also things get a flavor of lime towards the end.
Summary: Bandages can hide scars, and features better left unseen. But they've never been able to bind the heart.
Disclaimer: I happen to not own Hetalia…Then again, you knew that didn't you? ^_^
Ivan stares at the door to the countryside house where his love resides. Of course, Ivan would never admit to such a trivial thing as love; at least not for anyone but his sisters. (And purely platonic love, despite what Natalia may wish for.) But nevertheless he's managed to let one Wang Yao get past all the barriers he's set up, and into his slightly (Okay, maybe more than slightly) unstable mind.
And damn Arthur Kirkland if he didn't have to go messing it up. Ivan had almost hit him over the head with his pipe. But he knew if he did, he'd have the rest of Europe against him. For all his strength, superiority, and intimidation, the rest of the world against one was not a fair fight, nor one that Russia could win.
Gritting his teeth, Ivan tries to think of happy things so he doesn't completely freak out the boy on the other end (Not that Yao ever shows his reaction to Ivan's sadistic mannerisms with anything but intense annoyance) and tries not to think of about twenty different ways to end the United Kingdome of fucking Great Britain and thrice-damned Northern Ireland…
Oh, it had been an innocent enough conversation. The rest of the European nations had a meeting the day before last, and somewhere between trying to avoid France's molestation (When the man is truly in a mood, he'll take a chance on even Ivan) and trying to convince the Italies to become one with him, he'd come to sit next to England.
England had apparently decided he didn't have enough civility in his diet, for he greeted Russia kindly and struck up conversation. Russia chirped all of his replies, offering Arthur a genuine grin which the other country seemed to interperate wrongly, because he became steadily less comfortable.
Finally, Ivan sighed and glanced around, mumbling, "I hate these meetings…Yao-Yao doesn't come to them, da?"
"Uh…da," Arthur agreed, chuckling in a very awkward way. He seemed to consider something for a moment, before he said, "You have a pretty big thing for China, don't you Russia?" At Ivan's firm nod and child-like smile, Arthur gave another uneasy chuckle and said, "So then I guess you know China's secret."
How much more stupid could you get? Ivan now wondered, but at the time, he just gave England a curious look and smiled, inquiring, "No, what secret?" while hoping it wasn't some outrageous quirk, like a fetish for bestiality or something. He loved those pandas well enough for it to be possible…
"Oh, it's nothing," Arthur said, and yipped when Ivan turned an almightily annoyed face upon the other European nation. Ivan despised it when people asked him about certain things and wouldn't reveal what they were talking about to him. His look for Arthur clearly screamed, "Well you mentioned it, so tell me now before I get angry!" And the Briton was quick to reply. "I mean, he hasn't told you that he's…well…he's not, you know…?"
"No, I do not know," Ivan said, in a slow, low voice which was still pleasant enough but on the verge of getting angry. Arthur had flinched and quickly finished his rant, which left Ivan sufficiently shell-shocked, which made an opening for Arthur to retreat. And retreat he did, making sure he was never alone with Russia for the duration of the meeting.
As soon as he got home the next day, Russia booked a red-eye flight to China from Moscow and now stands in front of Yao's home on the countryside, which the Asian for some reason prefers to his larger, Beijing home.
Having finally been able to calm himself with the thought of sunflowers blowing in a summer breeze, Ivan raps smartly on the door, loud enough to get Yao's attention even if he is in the very back room of the house, or asleep. (Or dead, for that matter.)
Before Ivan has the chance to knock again, a voice screams, "I'm coming, aru! Don't bust the door down, for God's sake…" Ivan puts his hand down and waits impatiently for the Chinese nation to open his front door, after which time he gives Yao an incredibly bright smile and says, "Good morning, Yao-Yao."
Yao grumbles something that sounds a lot like, "Don't call me Yao-Yao, aru…" before stepping back and opening his door further, so the Russian can step into the room. It is, as expected, bare of furniture and instead features mats to sit on. Yao is nothing if not traditional; not even a television or a radio! Ivan sighs, wondering how the Asian keeps himself entertained, and not for the first time, before wandering over to a blue mat and sitting down, smiling for Yao to sit beside him.
China glowers and mutters, "Yeah, just make yourself at home, aru…" before wandering into the kitchen. He exits with a large pot of green tea, which he sets on a tea cozy and lets cool as he sits down next to his kind-of lover. For all his irritation, Yao is glad Ivan has shown up today. It was fitting to be another very lonely day in the Wang residence until he showed up. Yao has to silently admit to himself that he acts annoyed by the Russian more out of habit than anything. He actually finds a few things he does cute. Notice the use of the word 'few'. Ivan is still a very cruel, scary person.
"So what brings you here, aru?" Yao mumbles once the tea has cooled and he's poured himself and Ivan a cup. No one has talked yet, and it's making him antsy. He glances at Ivan and gawks at the fact that he's still wearing his heavy jacket. "Ivan! It's the middle of summer, aru. Please, take that off. You aren't in Russia anymore, aru."
Ivan hums and removes the jacket without fuss, revealing himself to be wearing a fitting black tee-shirt underneath. Yao lets himself appreciate the sight for a millisecond before turning back to his tea. He notices with distaste that Russia still has the scarf on. Then again, Russia never took off that thrice-damned scarf.
"Your turn," Ivan says pleasantly.
"Huh?" says China, and gasps as Ivan springs towards him, going towards the buttons of his shirt. His tea spills and he cries out, struggling away. His voice raises an octave or two, making it higher as he cries, "Ivan! What do you think you're doing, I'm naked under this…!"
As Yao continues to scream rape, Ivan makes his way steadily down the row of buttons, working his way around failing hands and not even feeling it when Yao tries to knee him.
Finally, the shirt falls open and Russia sits back, staring down at Yao's exposed torso, his eyes narrowing slightly as the sight that greets him is exactly as had been suspected. At least his primal urge to kill Arthur has dimmed, seeing as he hadn't been lying to him as Ivan had half-convinced himself of.
Yao's chest is wrapped in a heavy, constricting layer of bandaging and gauze. Ivan, as one last test, reaches out and tries to touch the bandaging, but Yao slaps his hand away fiercely with a hiss of, "Pervert."
Taking Ivan's stillness as a chance for escape, Yao seizes his shirt and scoots away, against the opposite wall while still glaring daggers at the Russian.
"Yao-Yao?" Ivan says quietly. He stares at the bandages on Yao's chest, constricting his (Her, he now guessed…) concealed womanhood. "Why didn't you…"
Yao (Is that even her real name?) draws her legs up to cover the bandages and whispers, "No one knows, aru. No one knows except…"
"England," Ivan mumbled. He now sat back on his heels, his hands limp at his sides as he stares at the country he thought he knew. His face darkens slightly and he mumbles, "And why does England of all people know, Yao-Yao?"
"Damnit, I've told you not to call me Yao-Yao, aru!" Yao cries, fisting her hands into her hair, which came undone in the tussle. Ivan doesn't think he's ever noticed how beautiful her hair is before. It bypasses her shoulders by four inches and reminds him of black silk. The color of it is such a magnificent black that it has no darker lowlights of black, because it's as dark as can occur in nature.
Well, Ivan thinks to himself dryly. At least Yao-Yao's personality wasn't an act. He doesn't think he'd be able to handle it if her personality turned out to be some part of an elaborate scheme to increase her masculinity to a believable state.
"And England had to know, aru," sighed Yao, looking at the floor instead of Russia. Her hands slide carefully from her hair, and it's so ramrod straight that it hasn't even tangled; it just falls, straight but somehow not limp at all, back around her shoulders. "Where else do you think Hong-Kong came from?"
Ivan is uncharacteristically hesitant (And trust him, if it was anyone else he'd be beating answers out of them right about now) as he says, "Yao-Yao, can we talk about this?"
Yao sighs and stares down at her delicate, long-fingered hands. Ivan stands up and kneels down in front of her, taking one of those hands and squeezing it, maybe a bit too hard. He repeats his request, this time with an almost grunted, "Please" on the end, because Russia has never said please for anything.
Eventually, after a long moment gathering her thoughts, Yao raises her eyes to Ivan's and begins, "I was born in the Shang Dynasty, aru. I'm the son of Ancient China. My father knew he couldn't kill me when I was born a girl, knowing that someday I would represent China in his absence. He was dying, as his country tore itself apart with war. He knew he didn't have much time left. Soon, I was going to be Imperial China and, someday, the People's Republic of China." She took a deep breath and let it out again. "And he knew that when he died, I, a girl, was going to be the representation of China.
"But he knew that if he tried to tell his government—which was severely sexist and unstable besides—that I was a girl, they would kill me. So he made my mother, the concubine who gave birth to me, shut up about me being a girl and tell the leaders of China that I was a boy. By the time I was six years old, he had died. And I knew what was going to be expected of me, aru. He gave me a boy's name—I never knew any other name. He'd also told me all about what would happen when I hit puberty, and what to do to hide it. I began binding my breasts and exercising to be sure that I looked fit enough to be a boy, aru."
Ivan smiles slightly. "Yao-Yao still has curves."
Yao turns her head down and scowls almightily at her knees. "Yes, but I try to cover them up."
Ivan nods and rubs her knee, an out-of-place sign of affection from the Russian, as the Asian continues, "And then Arthur invaded and took Hong Kong and…and he had to know," she looks pointedly away from Ivan as tears cascade down her face. Her voice gruff, she continues, "He had to know…because we had to…" she sighs and grits her teeth. "It wasn't supposed to come to that! Nations don't get pregnant when they're invaded!"
Ivan sets a hand on her quivering shoulder. "Most nations aren't female either, Yao-Yao."
Here she has to laugh. "This is true, aru. B-But…it was so hard, hiding a pregnancy from all of those men…I just wanted help, and someone to tell me it was alright." She sighed and wrapped her arms around herself. "I gave birth to Hong Kong in this house, and it was in the middle of nowhere, at the time. There was no one with me, aru. I didn't have any help. And I can still remember the pain, and how scared I was when he didn't cry right away." Her shoulders shake with a powerful sob. "A-and I stayed here until the baby weight was off, and I told my boss, when I got back, that I'd accidentally gotten one of the concubine pregnant, like my father had. And he was worried I was dying for a little while, aru. But then he realized who he represented, and sent him to live with Arthur."
"Yao-Yao must have been sad, da?" Ivan observes, the only statement he can make without worrying about pulling some string of China's.
She turns red-rimmed eyes onto him and demands, "Do you have any idea of what it's like to suffer that much for a child, then have him taken away from you after you've only gotten to hold him or hear him cry a handful of times? Can you even imagine how painful that is?"
Ivan softly replies, "No, Yao-Yao, I don't."
"My whole life is a lie," she whispers, swallowing in a way that has Ivan wondering if she is forcing down bile. These are hard revelations to make, after all. But she looks more white than green at the moment, so Ivan doesn't feel an immediate need to shove a wastepaper basket under her chin. "I've been telling people I'm someone I'm not for thousands of years…"
Ivan can't resist anymore. He flings his arms about the girl next to him, whom is a perfect stranger while still managing to be one of his best friends, and squeezes her tightly. He tries to treat her delicately, but his idea of delicate and Yao's idea of it differ dramatically and Yao finds herself trying to wriggle her way out of the embrace. Ivan loosens his arms as he says, "Thank you for telling me the truth, Yao-Yao…" and kissing her cheek.
Yao smiles slightly and leans against him, all the fight gone from her. Sometimes it feels good to consent to just being held. No one has done that for her since Arthur, when they were vain and thought they might be able to make a relationship work. Back when they thought their governments wouldn't condemn the relationship, and before Arthur realized he was a Class-A poofter. For his brother of all people…
Ivan suddenly realizes that she hasn't removed the bandages that bind her breasts tight to her chest. He turns Yao more fully towards him, so he can glance over her shoulder under the guise of giving her a firmer hug. He stares down her back, fingering the edge of the bandage and digs a nail into the knot. The tie is poor quality, more likely than not from Yao having to do it herself. He's easily able to pull it loose and the bandage, pulled tight, begins to unravel itself.
Yao gasps, sitting back and staring with her eyes wide. Quicker than she can react, the bandages fall away slightly, and Ivan can see the rose-red of her nipples through the light tan color of the bandages.
Reaching out a hand slowly, he tucks a finger through the bandage. Silently, he glances into Yao's golden eyes. She blinks, but doesn't refuse him. So he pulls the bandage away, revealing her breasts to his eyes.
There's a sound from the Asian and she leans back further. The last of the bandages fall away and Ivan stares at her beautifully-shaped breasts. He has no idea how they came to be so beautifully formed, because binding often resulted in awful malformations, but there it is. They're small, but gorgeous and Ivan can almost feel them filling his palms perfectly as he stares.
"Y-you're the first man to see them, aru," she whispers, and he stars at her in question. Quickly, she explains, "I never let Arthur unwrap them. We only…we only did it that one time, and it seemed too…impersonal to let him do that."
"You're not resisting…like I thought you would," Ivan whispers, ripping his eyes away from the delectable sight to stare into her eyes. He tries to tell himself that Yao resisting would have been half the fun, and that he's disappointed. Some part of him is disappointed; but it's the part he left on the doorstep. The part he told himself he wouldn't bring into Yao's house, or into this conversation today. And he succeeded miraculously well. The biggest, most dominating part of his mind at the moment is utterly relieved that she didn't try to stop his advances.
"I feel very exposed, aru," Yao mumbles. "But I have nothing to hide from you, Ivan. It's going against all my morals, but I feel like I can trust you."
For the first time, in what feels like a long time, Ivan gives a genuine smile that isn't meant to make someone uneasy, or punctuate some frightening message to someone. One that is soft and comforting; the type he gives Ukraine when she's had a bad day. But it's different; because this one is for Yao.
He leans towards her ear and whispers, "You're beautiful, Yao-Yao."
"Why do you insist on calling me that?" she sighs, but her attempt at irritability is almost completely transparent. She leans closer and rests her brunette head on his shoulder.
"It's a nickname," Russia replies. "I hear it's something the westerners like to do. And besides, Yao-Yao is much more feminine than just Yao."
"But I like Yao," she insists. "It's my birth name. The one my father gave me. It's not as if I'm hiding some female name. It's just Wang Yao, like it's always been."
Ivan leans in to kiss her tender neck, and mumbles against her porcelain skin, "Well…what's the female form of Yao?"
"Huh?" she asks, turning her head to the side so his can more comfortably nestle there. She's kneeling between his legs by now, and her arm has come up to cover her exposure.
"Well, if you don't like Yao-Yao, I'll just have to figure out something else to call you, da?" Ivan reasons. His had worms under hers and his hand rests on her bare breast, right above her heart. It's meant as a tender move but it takes Yao an excruciating amount of time to adjust to the action.
"W-well," she huffs once she's calmed enough for actual speech. "The Chinese language doesn't really work like that. There's not a female form of Yao, like Ivanna is the female form of yours, but I guess there's a close enough approximation. There's Yu, and there's also Ya."
"I think I like Yu," Ivan whispered, and he works his mouth down her neck, across her collarbone.
Yao grits her teeth and demands to know what he's doing. He just chuckles and takes the nipple not belonging to the breast he's still caressing into his mouth. A whisper of a breath escapes her and she shudders, giving up to his ministrations with only a small fight.
In the morning, Ivan wakes up alone in the large bed he and China shared the night before. But a quick glance around the room told him where his little lover had gotten off to. She had her hands twisted behind her at unnatural angles, attempting to tie the bandages across her breasts. But something's wrong, and Ivan can tell. Her arms, hands—her whole being is shaking.
"Yu?" Ivan asks, testing the new name on his tongue again. She sniffles in response, turning her head down. Because she's still China, no matter what happened last night, and she has to keep up that reputation. If she starts becoming weak now, God knows what would come next…
Ivan stands up and comes to stand behind her, stooping to her level so he can encircle her in an embrace and rest his head on her shoulder. "What's wrong?"
"I don't know," she whispers, shaking her head. "I feel so awful right now, for some reason. It feels like I'm lying again after I've told someone the truth for the first time in my life…" which was mostly the truth, when you thought about it.
"It's okay," Ivan mumbles. He can't say something like, 'No you're not', because Yao didn't need lies at the moment. Nor could he say something like, 'It's not your fault', because it was Yao's decision to keep on with this charade, even thought it could have ended years ago. But he can assure her that it's okay, because Ivan understands. Despite everything, he understands.
They get dressed in silence that morning—thank goodness Ivan looked ahead and packed himself a bag—and stepped out of the house into the morning light to continue their lives as nations. When Ivan looks at Yao, she—no, he at the moment—looks just the same as he always does. No sign of what clothing and bandages hide, or the angst that lies within. He's all Asian beauty and wisdom.
They lock eyes and he just knows. He knows that what transpired last night is never to be talked about, and that though it won't be the last time, the secret will stay between them. Because Yao knows that he can't just push Russia out of his life for what he knows.
Because bandages can hide scars, and features better left unseen. But never have they been able to bind the heart, and keep out what someone knows is right.
A/N: Just barely scrapped the PG14 rating, guys! Anyway, uhmm…I'm not exactly sure I like this. It seems rushed and I don't really think I got China's feelings, or Russia's thoughts across very well. BTW—don't get me wrong. I adore China, manly parts and all. But I just felt like doing this. It wasn't really meant to be this serious, but there you go…
Also, this is my first RoChu. I'm not using that as an excuse, however. I'd love all the con-crit you can throw at me! Even flames will be gladly accepted. Any feedback is good feedback!
I have never done the same pairing twice in a row for the duration of my writing for this fandom. DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW HARD I'VE TRIED TO GET SOMETHING POSTED FOR GERITA, MY OTP? A long. Fucking. Time. But I CAN'T because all these other plots INVADE MY MIND!
This is going unbeta'd because…I'm really tired and I'm going to freaking bed. I'll probably edit it in the morning. Until then, feel free to point out grammatical and punctuation errors. It makes my job, like fifteen hundred times easier, seriously.
Insanity over, I bid you good day. Adios.