Title: Rage

Author: myxxym / Impervious Marr

Character(s): Russia/America, implied noncon England/America.

Rating: PG-13?

Warnings: Man, lots of violence. Mentions of noncon and bondage but no actual scenes, a load of emotional crap, basically.

Summary: It was like a gunshot to Russia's ears - and he felt an insane rush of - an inhuman kind of hate.

A/N: Dated 11 June 2009. An old fic I'd like to archive with my collection on fanfic net, previously up on . A follow-up to 'Tape' by pyrrhiccomedy, a fic about noncon England/America: which is currently unavailable apparently, but this fic can be tackled as a standalone. Mayhap you can figure out what happened? Modern times.

Thanks goes to pyrrhiccomedy herself for letting me write this, reading it over, giving suggestions and giving it the okay. Thanks to everyone else who make me happy being a fanfiction writer.

x

x

RAGE. BY. IMPERVIOUS MARR.

x

x

fourth of july

x

x

America wasn't sure how long he simply stayed on the cold, cold floor, with his fingers not really gripping the edges of his body - whatever he could actually reach, anyway - the tape from his eyes still on his hands - because he doesn't like the dark, so he tugged and - ripped it as, as fast as he could - maybe he whimpered when the tape was wrenched from the delicate skin of his eyelids, but does it matter...?

And his breathing stuttered: I love you, like a whisper, it played on his ears like a heartbreak, those words broke him.

His tear ducts were dry, now, so he simply had the side of his face pressed onto a wetness even though he already stopped crying. He was so tired but I can't sleep, I can't sleep, I can't, he can't - he wouldn't - he couldn't

he just did

He couldn't even manage a weak sob, but

he just

His heart hurt.

x

x

" - not actually...here, right now, uh. Yeah! Like, leave a message, with your name and phone number and... Whatever, um, I'll get back to you as soon as I can, but that might take a while 'cause I have like eighty messages I haven't -"

For the fifth time already, America didn't pick up his phone.

And Russia was beginning to have that sinking feeling in his stomach; it spoke of worry and discontent. He disliked it immensely, so if America turned out just fine - just sleeping away and, and not picking up the phone, and making Russia worry - he would not be sorry if America ended up with a bruise on his pretty face, courtesy of a punch from him.

"Pick up your phone, America," he murmured, cutting off the sixth call after the tenth ring. He was actually quite lucid even under alcohol, and he remembered that England volunteered to bring him back to his house, and America slurred a thank you; Russia was the one to put him inside the car while England watched him, and watched him with a kind of hate Russia was all too happy to return.

England's own I'll take good care of him was crisp, and Russia responded with a chilled you're welcome, I am sure you will, and right after that Russia watched as long as he could as the car drove off, while China called him back for more drinks.

It has been four hours since then, but Russia couldn't shake off the feeling of, something was wrong, since America had gotten extremely disoriented earlier after only a few shots. Maybe he was just extremely tired, or maybe he ordered something stronger since it was his birthday tomorrow; Russia wasn't exactly sure, since England was the one who bought the drinks.

So he decided to call America, just to make sure he made it safely, yes? Something along those lines...

But he would not pick up.

He absolutely refused to contact England - but considering the circumstances -

Unlike America, who loved to let his phone ring for a few times before picking it up, England answered his phone just after the the second.

"Arthur speaking," he responded automatically, and his voice was rough, irritated, as if he just woke up from sleep. Russia was momentarily pleased. Still, he decided to greet him pleasantly, if only for his own amusement.

"Good morning, England."

The pause was tense.

"How the bloody fuck did you get my number?"

"Where is he?" he went on anyway, and he was sure that England could hear his smile and the strain through the line.

Russia only heard a slight shuffle, and a muffled curse, the shifting of the phone before England spoke again. "America? Wouldn't you like to know."

"This can go very smoothly, or it can go very rough," Russia immediately responded, his voice dangerous, all pleasant, the epitome of still river waters. "I am not partial to either, England."

"He's in his house," England spat. "Unless you haven't checked yet and started pointing fingers all over the place, hmm?"

"As a matter of fact, I did. And thank you for thinking so highly of me," Russia responded in a false bout of honesty, a little bit of sweetness he knew would make England shudder at the other end.

"Fuck off. If you're insinuating that I had something to do with him suddenly disappearing on you, you're giving me too much credit." England suddenly chuckled, and it wasn't a nice sound. It twisted something horrible in the pits of Russia's stomach, and he spoke again - maybe he just, oh I don't know - just doesn't want to talk to you - and there was rage, England laughed, and he ended the call immediately - throwing his phone towards the wall and almost breaking it into half.

Gritting his teeth together and twisting his lips up into a demented sort of smile, he strode towards the far end of the room where the door was, picking up his scarf and his lead pipe along the way.

Russia knew America wasn't in his house - lights were off when he checked, and America never turned them off if he was inside, no matter what. He also called his embassy in England at least three times and one of the girls who took care of the place assured him sleepily, that yes, Alfred F. Jones hasn't entered lately, sir, would you like to leave him a message?

"Please," he whispered, furrowing his eyebrows as he struggled with the small keypad of the device he always kept hidden in the inside of his coat. It has been a long time since he was forced to resort to this, and the mere thought chilled his insides.

The tracker he placed in America's phone all those years ago still worked right - he had absolutely no doubts about this - and it was blinking in a location that wasn't even a mile's radius away from where America's embassy was, in England.

The other nations didn't know about half the things he did when he was Soviet.

Instead it pinpointed to a location Russia - Russia fervently hoped wasn't anywhere near where England was staying. He really...

And worse, what if he could only find the phone there, but not America?

No, this is not the time.

But there was no doubt about it. England was lying.

And as the seconds passed slowly - America's voice cracked as he finally gave a last groan, breath leaving him in a whoosh, his heart still hurts, everything going pitch bl...

x

x

Russia kept one hand on the steering wheel and another on the device on his hands, alternating his gaze from the road, to the blinking light, and back again.

He was becoming increasingly uncomfortable as the roads led him quite far from the city center, in a little part of it where the residency wasn't made out of high rise apartments but quaint, double story houses with picket fences and sprawling lawns. When the reciever finally made a loud, chiming sound - a sign that he was getting close - it was in front of an unoccupied building, a gleaming For Sale sign right up on front.

The reciever made another loud sound and Russia tuned it down.

The lead pipe and the scarf around his neck was the only assurance he had as he gripped them tightly, before making his way out of his vehicle when he parked it not too far away.

He didn't like this one bit.

"Alfred?" he tried tentatively, hesitant about making this much noise when it was this dark out here, even if the street lamps provided him with enough light to see almost everything around him. Apart from the reciever, he could hear the slight sway of the trees and his own breathing - is that all?

It's too quiet.

And Russia looked around him, and his gaze settled towards the house, where the door was left opened. It creaked slightly - like a keening sort of half-laugh. He gripped his pipe tighter, and made his way towards it with an astonishing speed.

No.

The door creaked again, and it opened a bit wider; a sort of - a sick, dark, twisted sort of invitation.

No.

x

x

Maybe he's been asleep for a minute, or an hour, or a day.

He wasn't really sure.

All he knew was that he definitely heard something dragging itself, footsteps - somewhere above him, and he was just too tired to try and look, too much in pain to actually open his eyes wider and see if that - if, if h-he came back, m-maybe - maybe it was a cat or - something, not a person who was actually - actually looking for him, because, who do I have...?

The cuts all around his body and the bruises and the marks made his whole body throb, but he couldn't actually focus on any of them in particular. It wasn't as if he couldn't drag himself back up from where he was lying on the floor, he really had worse than this, really had worse but... He just didn't want to.

Who was waiting for him tomorrow?

and no one would believe me he's right he's I who I who do I have I love you like a whisper it hurts it hurts it

England, waiting for him tomorrow?

and no one

The thought wrenched a dry sob out of him so suddenly that he painfully coughed at the strain on his throat. It burned the insides, made his the back of his eyes water, and his eyelids were just half closed because he doesn't have the will to summon the strength to open them wide - or close them shut. The leftover adhesive from the tape over his eyes earlier stuck like a painful reminder, clinging on his skin.

I don't like the dark...

The footsteps above him grew more distant, and he couldn't hear it anymore, and whatever little hope he had in his heart, one way or another, died.

"Happy birthday, America."

He shuddered -

"Happy birthday, America."

- closed in more on himself.

"Happy birthday -"

Go away, go away, go away, he wished fervently in his mind, and it echoed again and again, and he never wished for something this much before. Just for once. Once. He wished for a lot of things, and his wishes were dreams and his dreams came true and he wanted this, so much.

The door above him kicked open in a loud bang that made America cry out weakly because it was just too loud and it made him jerk away in reflex, fingers coming up to his ears. The movement opened some of the shallow wounds on his front, the ones he got from the scissors a-and England.

" - America! Where are -"

He breathed, in and out. He really wanted to sleep, be alone. He'll get back up by himself eventually.

He always did.

There was a flurry of movement, and the light clink of metal against metal, heavier footsteps than those of England's, and the sound of a person because America could hear breathing. And that breathing stopped for a long while, before it all came out in a careful sort of rush.

There was a loud clang when - something long and metal dropped onto the floor, and then there was a flurry of movement with fabric and footsteps coming closer and closer. Hands came up to touch him on the sides and he jerked away for a second time because they were cold -

Familiar -

He lashed out hard, still on the floor, hitting something solid, and it momentarily stunned him that whatever he hit only gave a grunt but didn't move from its position. He knew he hit hard.

"Who are - go away."

"America, stop - it's me."

He never thought he'd be terrified of relief. He simply collapsed, fight leaving him.

"Hey," America rasped, staring out in front of him and spotting an odd silhouette that moved. He didn't turn his head to look up at Russia's expression. "There's still... Tape. 'Round my feet, I think. And..."

"Don't speak." Russia felt around for the scissors he stepped on earlier and made quick work of the leftover binds that held America's ankles together. Then he gathered the nation close, pulling America to lie on his lap so that he could gauge the damage done - at least physically. "I need a light - where do you hurt?"

"... In places," America replied eventually, and he closed his eyes because his voice was horrible. "Nothing serious, I'll be... I'll be fine..."

Russia tugged off his gloves with a quick jerk of his teeth and hands, before raking a hand through America's hair with absolute care; a great distance away from the way England tugged and ripped his head upwards, and America could still remember that - that smell -

America flinched, his hands coming up to push away Russia's. "Don't -"

"Shh, America, it is only me," Russia soothed, moving his hand downwards to America's neck, pressing down on the skin by accident because he could not believe someone did this to America, and there was rage, so America hissed.

"It hurts, fuck - stop." His hands trembled where they clutched tightly onto Russia's coat, and it took a lot from him to move closer so he could breathe anything other than the smell of the room - a mixture of sex and blood and broken words - and it almost relieved him when he could breathe in Russia's cool, crisp scent. But he couldn't stop the words that tumbled out like a waterfall. "J-just get me away from here just get me - get me out from here just -"

Russia didn't need to be told twice. He quickly stripped himself of his coat and covered America with it, whispering an apology every time America made a weak gasp when the fabric pressed into one of his cuts or his throat. It really wasn't that bad, he really had much worse - it wasn't as if his bones were broken, just a dozen cuts, the bruises, he could stand but he -

The will to -

Russia stepped back for a bit, picked up his fallen pipe and placed it on top of America so he wouldn't leave it behind. Surprisingly enough, America was the one to grip it as if it was a lifeline, to - to assure himself that Russia, he really was here.

"Just sleep, America," he murmured gently, running his hand through America's blond - dirty - blond locks again as he held him close to carry him out, and this time the younger nation made a miserable, miserable noise.

"- don't want to, don't make me sleep you'll be - you'll be gone from -"

"I will be here." Finally he braced himself, heaved - and America's weight was almost enough to make him topple over. And as he made his way nearer to the staircase, out from this basement (this personal hell), the lamps from above provided enough light for Russia to see America's face clearly, he -

He only just stopped himself from finding that bastard - I will break every single one of his bones using my own hands

America's beautiful blue eyes were dull and exhausted, still fighting, a bit - a bit broken but not quite. Who was he to be broken by distress? America simply hurt.

"Don't make me sleep -" His breath shuddered. "- don't leave me -"

"I will be here when you open your eyes." Russia tightened his grip, pressing a firm kiss on America's hair and he hoped that would be assurance enough for the nation. "I promise, faithfully."

Those words echoed like a repugnant - digusting thing in his mind.

I promise, faithfully; I will mean every word.

America's eyes burned.

I do, you know. I do love you.

He closed them, and it still hurt.

He couldn't describe how much.

x

x

Russia didn't even bother to go back to his room, or America's hotel - or anywhere near the conference area. He didn't even bother to go back to the car; when the cool air of the night shifted - static - as he stepped onto the pavement of the sidewalk, he was in a new neighbourhood now - the one he was more familliar with, the ones the nations called theirs.

He simply moved the heavy weight in his arms carefully closer to himself, and started towards the east.

He walked, walked away from England's house.

And in the night, he passed by the quiet houses of Germany, the streets of Warsaw, and lightly treaded across Belarus's lawns; finally ending up in a short part of Moscow's roads where his house glowed dimly in the distance. It probably took thirteen minutes, with only their breathing, fabric against each other and the sound of their footsteps accompanying them throughout the whole stretch.

America simply watched through all of this, still not asleep because he couldn't - but not really seeing anything. His head hurt like - hurt like hell. There was a spark of familiarity in his eyes, though, when America spotted Russia's house.

"Reach into the right pocket of my coat, America," Russia said quietly, the first words between them since he started walking. His arms were tired.

America knew what he meant. When they cleared the raised steps to Russia's front door, he rummaged around where Russia told him to, and pulled out a key which he quickly jammed inside the lock, turned, he stepped inside. The stale air of the house after being left alone for a few days rushed into their nostrils as Russia closed the door with a foot.

He breathed in the scent of home.

Wonderful.

"You can simply drop the pipe there. We will get you cleaned up, da?" Russia asked, though it wasn't really a question, more like a statement, and his voice held a lot of things but it mostly held the kind of - the kind of tone like he was - I don't want to think about it; America responded with a twitch of his hand, and let go. The pipe made a soft thunk on the carpet.

Russia made his way upstairs.

And then there was the bathroom.

"Can you sit up?"

"Yeah." America tried, once, his mouth felt absolutely vile, he wanted to scrub his mouth off with - with whatever - anything - he wanted to retch, but he kept it down and Russia settled him on the floor. "Fuck, that hurts," America gasped, shutting his eyes as the pain exploded when he hit the floor - Russia gave a rough grunt of displeasure because - because he knew that kind of jerk, that kind of reaction. "- 'sokay, just - just... Yeah. I - I'll deal."

Russia didn't say a word when he pulled away to get a few things under the counter where the sink was - and then a face towel, wetting it with water then wringing it quickly. He dropped down beside America, pulled the coat away and started to clean the blood, the cuts, where he possibly could. Of course he could use a shower but - Russia would just like him to rest as soon as possible.

America hissed, jerked when Russia started on his neck. "Jesus."

"Yes, it stings," Russia agreed, working fast - it might be a bit obvious he's done this before, even if only a few times, and only to treat his own self. "More so when you have a headache. But hold still."

America shut his eyes, just - tired from all this - this emotional bullshit.

"There's some on... On my shoulders. Chest. Stomach, I think... And maybe my hip..."

Russia listened to all of this, even if he didn't need to, because he could see all the marks as plain as day. They would heal, yes - but the way America simply stared off, with absolute devastation, boiled an anger inside him - so deep, and so violent.

"Was it England?" Russia asked quietly. He just needed a bit of antiseptic for that cut on his neck - the bruises would be gone, maybe tomorrow, maybe the day after, or after. The other cuts wouldn't leave scars.

"Neck, wrists," America continued, ignoring the question, pressing his lips together, moving his head slightly to look to the side.

"America."

He laughed humourlessly, dropping his head.

"I can't think of anything else except maybe I've been f-fucked in the m-mouth and my..."

Russia growled, low, dangerous. "Tell me."

And that - that made America's eyes burn, made him pull away slowly from Russia's touch, made him curl on himself, made him put his hands over his ears, made his voice crack; made him shake.

"Fuck," was all he could say, and he curled tighter, a sob dragged from his throat. "Fuck."

It caused Russia to drop the towel and gather whatever he could of America in his arms, holding him tight.

"Shh, it's all right."

"Gave in." America gasped miserably, and a keening cry made its way into Russia's ears. Russia murmured sweet things in Russian into his ear, giving him all the warmth he possibly could, rubbing soothing circles on America's back. "He - he said - f-fuck, I can't -"

He choked out another sob, and Russia simply pressed butterfly kisses to the side of his head.

"Let it all out."

"He couldn't, he wouldn't - he just - he just did and I fucking gave in, Russia, I just - even when I t-told myself to make it to make it nothing, even when I told myself to spit, to laugh, to refuse I -"

"I'm here, America, it will be all right -"

"He told me... I'll tell you I love you," America finished in a small voice, and it was like a gunshot to Russia's ears, whose motions on America's back stopped - abrupt -

"Told me that - told me that he does, and no one else -"

And he felt, he felt an insane rush of hate.

"- no one else loves me like this."

"He does not," Russia spat, unable to help himself from clenching his fists. He pressed his nose onto America's hair, his hold possessive and unyielding. He wanted to get rid of the stench of - England, away from beautiful America, never let that bastard touch him again, never even let him breathe in America's direction, would never let him look. "He does not love you, America."

"God, Russia - I - I know that - it's meaningless because of all the; I know that," America spoke, sentences in phrases in words in letters and he closed his eyes tight, so tight. "It hurts - fucking hurts - but it's everything, Russia, it's - it's all I've ever wanted to hear... You know...?"

I love you,

in that voice.

Russia curled his lower lip inwardly in displeasure. When America was calm enough, he pulled away, "Let's just finish cleaning you up, get you into some clothes - and then sleep; you will be fine."

America wiped those tears away with the back of his hand, chuckling sadly.

"I know. Still doesn't stop it from hurting like a motherfucker."

They finished quickly, and after some protests Russia finally got him to wear a shirt and some of his old trousers, seemed a little bit big for him but America said they were comfortable. Russia pushed him onto the bed laden with blankets and pillows right after that.

There was a long silence. Russia simply let his hand rake America's hair as he sat beside him, while America breathed relief, looking up to Russia and never letting the gaze falter. Russia was staring off into the distance with a thoughtful look on his face; when he looked back, his heart tightened.

He let his finger run over the curve of America's lips before he spoke.

"I'm going to take care of everything, da?"

America's lips parted.

"Okay."

"So just sleep."

"Mm."

"I will be here when you wake up."

His lips twitched, and those eyes looked up to Russia's own. He saw something, the flicker of an emotion that was always present in Russia's eyes when the older nation looked at him - it made him want to smile, and he really did, he really tried - even if it did come out a bit crooked. But Russia understood anyway; he leaned over and kissed him on the forehead, tucked him in better as he buried a bit more into the blankets.

It made him want to believe, so fervently, and he wished he wished I wish I wish

Wish, so much, you're telling the truth, you're not lying, I believe you.

His hand shot out from under the blankets, intertwined his fingers with Russia's, giving a squeeze before dropping it.

"All right."

And in those words was all the trust he could possibly give and more.

The last thing he saw before the dark was Russia's soft smile.

x

x

He brought down his fist onto England's front door, three times, all loud. Certainly England wouldn't be happy with the intrusion at four in the morning, especially when he didn't even use the doorbell, but it is for the best, no? Russia smiled serenely as he heard hurried footsteps and muffled curses behind the door.

England opened it with an irritable frown, which twisted up into a nasty scowl at the sight of him.

"It's four in the bloody morning," England snarled, completely dismissing pleasantries. "Are you drunk?"

"Hmm," Russia wondered, before shrugging innocently. "Unfortunately I am very much not. And good morning to you as well, yes?"

"What do you want?"

"Just a chat."

England rubbed the area in between his eyebrows, gritting his teeth. "I don't need this right now, Russia. Go bother someone else -"

"I insist, England," Russia cut him off smoothly, pushing into the house even as England protested vehemently. "I very much insist."

"Well I insist you leave my property at this very instant; if you really want that - that chat, then take it tomorrow or if it really is urgent later in the day. I'm tired, Russia."

"I imagine so; I'm sure you are," Russia responded, the barest hint of malice. He made himself comfortable in one of the chairs of the discussion room, which was past the dining hall and the entrance corridor, and England merely settled with glaring at him in exasperation from the doorway. "What a shame though; I would at least like to discuss the plans for America's birthday, da?"

A pause.

"Just throw him one big celebration, like we do each year?" England suggested carefully, eyebrows furrowed in suspicion. "What are you on about? We never plan his parties; just obligated to bring him presents. Unless what you're really asking is what you should get him."

"That's just the thing, no? Maybe this year we should make it a bit more special. And do not worry about what I should get America - I know the perfect present for him." Russia's head tilted slightly, slowly. "I need your help, though."

There was a moment when both of them stared directly into each other's eyes -

And England realised he knew.

Before England could turn away and run and grab something Russia was already on his feet, moving with an insane speed.

"Ty suchyi vyblyadok -" Russia slammed the pipe across England's head and it made him spit out blood. England didn't stop there; he started to run even when he could see black spots in his eyes - he hadn't gotten enough sleep and all of this - "Sick -"

"What the hell are you doing!" England demanded, even if he knew very well asking was useless - not necessary - just, just stalling for time; he had a gun in here somewhere -

Russia grabbed a nearby heavy vase and threw, letting it smash against England's back ("Fuck -") as he advanced with the pipe in hand. The delay was costly; Russia caught up to him enough to slug his pipe against the very spot where that vase hit him.

England cursed violently, collapsing. He scrambled inside one of the rooms, ignoring the screaming protest of his body; and dived behind the couches, and his body screamed - don't stop moving don't stop moving

"Thinking you can just get away from this, hurting him like that."

"He'll live. It's not like he's going to die or anything -"

"Who said anything about him dying?" Russia asked, kicking aside the coffee table; just making a lot of noise, beautiful noise. Startled, England scrambled from his position and tried to slip past Russia, but the other nation saw this, and he swung again. "Distressed, England, distressed. You should know, seeing as you were the one who was enjoying the feel of America's lips around your filthy little cock."

England spat out another mouthful of blood, holding his jaw with a free hand as he used the other to steady himself.

"Fucking him and forcing him because you know he'll never submit to you, hmm? Such a way of asserting your claim, such a way."

"Don't tell me I'm the only one, Ivan," England sneered, finally snapped, and Russia walked to him very slowly, as if humouring the nation, as if he was actually listening. He played with his pipe, flipping it into the air before catching with both of his hands - tightened - and brought it down on England's shoulder in a violent move. England bit the inside of his cheek from screaming out, but he did let out an angry, painful noise. He took mouthfuls of air, also breathing noisily through his nose, finally speaking when he felt he could. "Don't tell me that, hmm? Don't tell me you've never wanted America on his knees, all fucking yours, because that'll be such a laugh if you don't."

"I suppose you finally have some belief of yours correct," Russia interjected, a cruel smile playing on his lips when he kneed the nation in the stomach. England let out a loose groan of protest, doubling over.

"What the bloody fuck are you talking about -"

"I will say this. Listen, England, listen," Russia chided, fingers coming to rest under England's jaw. He jerked away from the touch. "He is, as you always need to be reminded, time and time again - all mine. I do not need to want it, I already know this very well."

"You're fucking insane and delirious."

"Quite, I suppose, but then again insanity is really up to one's own interpretation." Russia sighed. "You're almost too boring, such a useless toy, do you realise that?"

"'I suppose'? This coming from a person who thinks he could simply waltz in here and beat the living shit out of me as if you're America's keeper?" England asked, wiping the blood from the corner of his mouth. "The others would think you've gone mad, you've no good reason for coming down here."

Clearly, it was the most inappropriate thing to say. Russia couldn't help the chuckle that escaped his throat; it was a malevolent, evil sound.

"But of course, England, what else? And have I really cared about what the others think? No matter. Russia does not like it when you touch his things," Russia said sweetly, patting England's head as if it was some kind of twisted joke, before he clenched tufts of it in his fist; dragged England across the whole stretch of the room and England scrambled for purchase, fingers scrabbling on Russia's hold because lord it did hurt, his scalp burned like no other as if Russia really wanted to yank his hair out as painfully as possible.

He probably wanted to.

Russia stopped abruptly, swung his load with all of his strength and released, causing England to be thrown bodily onto the dining table. The corner dug painfully onto his back and his arms went back automatically in a reflex, causing some of the delicate crystals to be pushed out of the way and into the ground. They shattered. England's hands scrabbled for anything - anything he could use, and his hand hit metal; he grabbed the fork and threw, he grabbed the spoon, the candelabrum, the plates - everything to keep Russia away.

He simply advanced, mirroring steady death.

"He's not yours," England managed through the haze of slight panic, bubbling up in the deepest pits of his stomach. He gritted his teeth, kicked out when Russia was a metre away. The solid contact of his foot with Russia's gut made him smirk, made Russia step back for a bit, but it seemed like nothing. England rounded the corner of the table, putting chairs between him and Russia, who just - who just wouldn't stop.

"Oh?"

"He's all mine. I made the boy - should be begging on his knees, just for me, especially not for the likes of you. Deserved everything he got," England murmured loftily, egged on by his own beliefs, he would not submit - let's be reasonable, he chuckled. "Told him 'I love you', because that's all he wants to hear, the ungrateful brat. I do love him, you know?"

Russia's heart stopped; so did his movements. England took this as a chance to back away as far as he could, paused a few couple of steps away - Russia was between him and his escape, so he didn't want to make any hasty moves.

"You don't love him," Russia whispered blankly, as that rage from earlier boiled again. "You do not."

"Of course I do. And I'm quite surprised, that you, of all people..." There was a peculliar look on England's face as he trailed off the incomplete sentence - before he spoke again, and it didn't sound pleasant; didn't sound pleasant at all. "Would you like to know what I asked him?"

Russia gripped his pipe with an extraordinary strength.

"Has anyone ever said those words to you?" England continued, before another memory made him smile.

A beat, a breath, a twitch of the fingers a second a time a moment when England's eyes gleamed in victory and Russia

"Did Russia ever say it?"

did russia ever say it, during the

It tore an inhuman laugh out of him - who hurled that pipe towards England and it hit him directly in the face. The dropped with a clang onto the granite floor, and Russia ignored this, immediately coming up to England's side pushing chairs out of the way - took one, actually, and brought it all the way towards England and smashed it against him -

"Ebuchaya ty mraz'," Russia cursed sadistically, laughing as England collapsed from the force, stars exploding at the back of his eyes. He didn't wait - Russia kicked him on his side, causing the nation to curl into himself on the floor, all over that broken glass earlier. Then he pressed down onto the place where he hit him with his foot, pressed down and harder, gradual pressure, of course, because he wants England to feel this. "Skotina merzkaya, ublyudok."

England gasped, and choked - and finally he let out a distressed noise at the feeling of glass puncturing the cloth of his shirt and sinking into his skin.

"- the hell did you say -"

Russia cut him off with another swift kick to the side. "Be quiet," Russia said promptly, then sighed. "It is such a pity we nations cannot die from petty physical wounds; so we would just have to settle with pain, no?"

England didn't make a sound.

Russia grabbed him by the hair again and brought him up to the window. "Krov' puschu -" A grisly cut formed on the side of his face where Russia slammed his head on the window, before dragging him back in, and doing it again - shattered the second time - and again until England's face was a mess of blood and tears. "- zastavlyu tebya krichat' dazhe za to, chto smotrel na nego -" Threw him to the side, snarling. "Za to, chto trogal vsyo ego telo svoimi gryaznymi rukami."

"Why don't you speaking in bloody English, so I can understand the shit you're throwing at me!" There was a note of hysteria in England's voice when he screamed, still defiant as he struggled to pick himself up, whatever he could do.

"You will learn, soon enough," Russia soothed, bringing up his pipe in the air, in thought, and it gleamed; a dark omen of things to come. He smiled serenely. "Soon enough."

x

x

America's eyes snapped open, though they were sore and puffy. His body felt stiff and there was a light throbbing in some places I'd rather not think about - his senses registered the unfamilliarity of his surroundings, the way the sheets felt different under him, or the fact that he seemed to have one extra pillow - the whole decor of the room, actually, didn't fit with what his room looked like, in his own house or in any of his embassies...

Then there was the sound of water from what seemed to be the adjoining bathroom, and he picked up the pieces.

Yesterday.

America shook his head to clear off the fog, but his head pounded dully. It took him a while to sit up, but when he did, he was already capable of making his way out of these blankets - really too much, fucking July - Russia overdid it, I think my foot's stuck in one of them - and with two feet firmly on the carpeted floor, he made his way towards the bathroom.

The warm browns and golds of the interior made for a pretty sight, something America hadn't registered the night before. Russia was at the far side of the room where the sink was and seemed to be fully concentrated on washing his hands.

America was so - so relieved.

Russia didn't notice America until he looked up and saw the reflection.

"Ah," he started, finishing up quickly and drying his hands with a nearby towel. He turned and smiled apologetically - he was already changed out of his clothes yesterday and dressed in a normal long sleeved shirt (all his shirts were like that) and some normal trousers; and it made him look homely. And when he turned, America saw the all present steel faucet and pipe laid on the counter with another towel on top of it. It seemed like Russia was cleaning up. "Forgive me, America."

The nation in question drew up a blank.

"Why're you saying sorry?" America finally asked, and he grimaced at the sound of his voice, heavy with sleep and hesitant and small. He cleared his throat. "Didn't - you didn't do anything wrong..."

"I broke my promise. I said I would be there when you woke up," Russia said, edges of his lips curling downwards in a slight frown as he walked up to America - was quick, really, quick - movement and all, Russia slipped his hands around America and he'll never let go of this.

America jerked in surprise. "Russia, what -"

"He knows nothing, and you -" Russia pressed firm, fervent kisses over and over again on America and - "Do not believe a word of what he says, he knows nothing; you mean much more and everything and -" He hugged America close, sighing quietly, feeling America's confusion when the nation pushed feebly against his hold and he wanted to take all that hurt in America's heart right now, if he could.

"I - I don't, Russia," America managed, swallowing an imaginary lump in his throat, eyes wide as his cheek pressed against Russia's hair. His eyes slid shut, lips pressed together, pain again. "Okay, I - all right I - I don't, Russia, I don't. He... He just..."

"I care, America, I care so please don't listen to him he doesn't - he doesn't know," Russia finished, still angry and furious, and everything he did to England, it was not enough.

"Russia -"

"I -" He stopped immediately, with his lips poised to say -

No.

Russia parted his lips. Almost, but no. America shook with restless energy in his arms and his loosened his grip; rested his chin on top of America's head and stared up at the ceiling. Still dark, with the curtains drawn. The anger from before seeped out bit by bit, and he was content to just - to just hold America, like this, all in peace, with reassuring words and promises he'll never break - never.

"He won't touch you ever again," Russia murmured gently, raking his hand through America's blond locks. It was like an assurance to himself more than anything. "Won't look at you."

America nodded to his chest, and all of that relief, it was just - just heaven for him, at that moment, with somebody he could cling to and could trust without having to ever, ever doubt -

your closest ally assaulting you, unprovoked

- America's eyes still burned at the thought and he wanted all that - he wanted all that to go away.

"Won't even breathe in your way, I will make sure of it, and I mean every word," Russia said carefully, and closed his own eyes.

promise, faithfully; will

mean every word

America nodded desperately because, he had to remind himself again, and again, and again, this was Russia, not - not England, Russia - he means everything because he went out there and - he took care of everything and - he did, he meant everything so this is okay, this is okay, this is okay

It took America a while to realise he was letting it all out, crying again.

" Shit, s-sorry getting your - your shirt wet and," America said, voice muffled from his position as he struggled to wipe them off because, he didn't want to look like he was such a wimp about everything but - all of this, just bullshit and - god, he was so... So relieved, he really didn't have any other words to describe it.

Russia retracted, and kissed America's tear tracks with a comforting pressure. "It's all right."

"You have no idea how just - I just - thank you," America managed, eyes and nose red but he was, at least he was smiling, it was still crooked and a bit off but it was so sincere, a little bit of the America he knew still in that smile.

"You're welcome."

Stayed that way for a bit longer, before Russia's vision flashed black a millisecond - a sure sign he was, he was tired -

considering all that blood and all those screams still grating in his ears and England fighting and fighting but it wasn't enough oh yes, wasn't enough

- so he moved quietly and slowly, almost carefully guiding America to follow, who seemed content to just be where he was. Russia settled for pulling him by the wrists back into the bedroom.

"That reminds me, it isn't even near time for you to properly wake, what are you doing up?"

"Too warm," America said, waving a hand at a vague direction, and Russia gave him a strange stare. "You put too many blankets on me yesterday, and you -" America dropped his gaze, trying to find the words, tugging his hands slightly away from Russia's hold, but he didn't really mean to pull away from the grip, so his hands stayed. "You weren't there when I woke up so I..."

"I see," Russia said quietly. "As I said, forgive me. And it was earlier this morning, when I placed you on my bed," Russia continued - corrected easily, pushing him back towards the bed. "Now, it is only nine. Still time for you to sleep, since you have the day off - and if you are concerned about the celebrations, the fireworks only start at night."

"Fireworks...?" America rubbed the side of his head, eyebrows furrowed. "Fireworks for - oh." America bit his bottom lip, blinking out into space, just nothing in particular.

Happy birthday, America

It was a taunt, in his ears, god, just go just go away

Russia suddenly gripped his wrists firmly, bringing him closer as if sensing America's distress. "Whatever he said to you -"

"F-Forget it, yeah, I know but just... Just..." America licked his lips, chuckling. "It's just funny, he probably thought it was - it was hilarious to treat it as i-if it was some kind of present for me 'cause - you know, after all, after all that, he said 'happy birthday', like - like he thought 'was the perfect present for me and - I don't know," America finished with a tiny, lost voice, wanted to cry all over again, god he was a wreck, pathetic. "Fuck, I'm - I'm so bad at this -"

Russia grabbed his face from each side - brought their lips together with all the assurance he wanted to give, everything, just to make America forget, so that he would focus on other things - their kiss was long, a slow, steady burn as if they just wanted to feel each other there, at that very moment and America was just so -

So happy, Russia didn't push him away, didn't tell him to work out his own problems, actually stayed actually - listened, cared, more than anyone has ever done for him before. It brought up a brief pang in his chest, if one day, one day Russia -

I don't

I don't know what

I don't know what I'll do without you.

They didn't separate very far; their lips were still touching, Russia whispered against his lips.

"Happy birthday, America."

And it -

And it suddenly didn't seem so horrible anymore.

America squeezed his eyes shut to keep those tears from coming out, chuckling again, slowly and broken but this time it was a bit lighter, so unlike the sadness that plagued his laughs before. So - unbelievably glad.

They finally, finally settled into the bed, frame creaking under their added weights with Russia on the left, America on the right, pressed against each other.

And America brought his arms quickly around Russia's torso and squeezed, putting his chin atop the slope in between Russia's neck and shoulder, breathing steadily but his heartbeat singing. He knew Russia could feel it himself, and he knew Russia could feel the rumble of his chest when he spoke.

"Let's just... Stay like this today," America whispered, eyes already half shut. Their legs got all over each other, they didn't need the blankets so America kicked them away, Russia had his arms settled at America's back. It was a long while, so long until Russia was drifting in and out from the land of sleep, until America pressed his lips against Russia's skin, mouthed;

"Thank you so much."

- and that made Russia smile against his ear.

x

x

x

x

postscript

Russian provided by erueru_2d of the language beta Hetalia LJ community. Awesome people.

- Ebuchaya ty mraz' - ... I have no idea what this means. Very threatening, I bet.

- Ty suchyi vyblyadok - a sort of a more insulting version of "You son of a bitch"

- Krov' puschu - zastavlyu tebya krichat' dazhe za to, chto smotrel na nego - za to, chto trogal vsyo ego telo svoimi gryaznymi rukami.

Basically just,

"Make you bleed - I'll make you scream for even looking at him - for getting your filthy hands all over his body."

Read and review.