Sunflowers in Dong Bei
Rated M for a VERY brief scene. Otherwise rated T.
Disclaimer: Hetalia is © Hidekaz Himaruya. I don't own the series or the characters.
Ninmenhao-Greeting; formal and addressed to more than one person
Nihao-Greeting; casual and directed at one person
Wang Lingdao, Che deng xan men ne-Sir, the car is waiting for us.
Lan Lin-means 'blue forest'; a completely fictional town.
Liao Ning- province in Dong Bei.
Dalian (Russian Dalny, Japanese Dairen)- A notable seaport city in Liao Ning. Dalian was conquered by Russia, then by Japan.
Dong Bei-A region of China comprising the 3 NE provinces. It was controlled by Japan for 2 decades.
Tong Zhi-comrade; interestingly, it is also a slang term for someone who's gay. Literally means 'same will,' or someone who shares the same goals as you.
SUNFLOWERS IN DONG BEI
The heat in Beijing was suffocating, and he wanted to run away. He didn't want to be there, wanted to be home in that prison of snow and ice and solitude. For the first time in his life, he wanted to be alone.
"Ninmenhao, welcome to Beijing."
The Chinese diplomats that greeted them at the airport were a far cry from their predecessors, the ones who'd been around the last time he had set foot in this ancient city. Gone were the traditional shirts with the starched mandarin collars. These men were dressed sharply in western style suits: dark blazers, matching trousers, crisp white dress shirts that glinted off the sun and hurt his eyes to look at. Everything about them hurt his eyes to look at. They were too similar to his own diplomats, too much a reminder of their failure to resist the lure of western culture.
"Nihao," His diplomats replied in what he knew must have been a terrible accent. "Thank you for having us. What a beautiful city this is."
Ivan would never make it as a diplomat. It'd hurt him too much to lie so easily.
He wanted to run. Wanted to wrap himself in a blanket of snow and feel his heartbeat trickling away.
"Nihao, China." He smiled. It was the one lie he'd mastered; he could always smile.
A Chinese diplomat interrupted the silence that'd fallen between the two after their greetings. "Wang Lingdao, che deng canmen ne."
China nodded. "Come Russia, my boss is waiting for you." Without waiting for a reply, China turned, expecting Ivan to follow behind.
It took all of his will power to force his feet to obey. He remembered a time when it was the other way around, when it was China who followed him.
He lowers his rifle, looking at the simmering holes in the target board with childish pleasure. There is a presence behind him, one that has become strangely comforting in such a short length of time.
"Hello Yao, how are you today?"
The other nation approaches him, a small amount of caution still tingeing his steps. Trust. Trust takes time to foster.
"Will you show me? How to use that rifle?"
So he teaches Yao. He should be training for the inevitable clash against capitalist greed. Or working through the hundreds of bills that wait on his desk. But he does not want to go home, and his boss is accommodating. So he stays here, in this ancient country that had been up till now so closed off to the world. He stays here because it is warm like the way he pictures paradise, because there is someone here waiting for him who does not tremble with fright.
"What a pleasure this is, Mr Braginski. Today marks a new era in the political and economic ties between our two countries. My government looks forward to working with yours in the years to come."
Cameras snapped rudely all around them as Ivan found himself shaking hands with a high-ranking Chinese official. The conference room was bursting with reporters, ready to spout their written lines and sing glories to the party name. It was all so familiar. It made his stomach churn.
"Please allow us to show you our country, Mr Braginski. It has been a long time since your last visit, and I'm sure you will be surprised to see how much China has changed. Look, no more hair braids!"
The room laughed like an obedient puppet.
"Mr Wang is eager to accompany you on your visit, Mr Braginski. He will be showing you all the wonderful sights our vast country has to offer."
The mention of the familiar name jolted him out of his reverie. "Oh, please, this is not necessary. I would be more than happy to stay in Beijing with my diplom-"
"No need to be so courteous, Mr Braginski. It is our wish to make you as happy as possible during your stay with us. Now please, accept this small gift of Chinese hua cha. It is our finest tea leaves, and a token of our enthusiasm for our new relations with your country, Mr Braginski."
Ivan hadn't heard his name said so many times since the early 1950s, before he'd convinced China to call him 'Ivan.' China's voice had sounded like honey and poison, and he wished for the thousandth time that he could forget.
The conference room was hot, despite the air conditioning. Everyone had migrated to another place, for another photo op. Ivan and China had been left behind, expected to make nice like the wonderful friends everyone thought they must be. The room stayed silent.
Ivan shifted in his suddenly uncomfortable chair. He'd taken off his heavy coat, but it was still hot. Suffocating. The walls seemed to shrink in on them and the air grow sparse. He coughed, stretched his smile more painfully across his face.
"What would you like to see first, Russia?"
They avoided each other's eyes. Ivan told himself it was because it hurt too much to look at China's uniform. A pin of the CPC's party logo decorated the chest, the yellow stars loud against a background the color of blood. The workers' blood. The color of revolution, of his failure.
It hurt for another reason too, but he wouldn't admit it to himself so easily. He remembered too much. Memory cost him everything.
"Whatever you think is best, China. I'm sure there are many beautiful things to see."
He remembered. All the places that were beautiful, imprinted like a map in his mind, a map of China's body that he'd drawn on and refined so many times in the 1950s.
"Then I will take you to see the most popular tourist spots in Beijing first. The Bird's Nest, the NPCA, Tian-tiananmen square..." China's voice stuttered on the last one, and Ivan wished he did not know why. "...and the Forbidden City, though it has not changed much."
1989. It was after their relationship had ended. Ivan had been in too much pain then to pay China's affairs much mind. The West called it the Year of Miracles. To Ivan, it was the year everyone left him. To China, it was the year the world turned against him.
China continued, "Perhaps we should just go to the new places and forget about the old."
Ivan was not stupid enough to miss the meaning behind those words.
A pause, heavy with implications.
"You don't need to do this, China. I don't want to bother you."
China's fists clenched on the tabletop, and Ivan thought he could still see the faint outline of scars.
A gasp. He loosens his grip on the slender arm, moving his thumb across the singed flesh soothingly in apology.
"Because we are comrades now. Comrades help each other, da?"
There is no answer. He finishes applying the anti-septic, and begins to unravel the roll of fresh bandages. First one arm, then the other, followed by those slender legs. He strips the smaller frame slowly, soothing wounds as he makes his way. Soon the chest is uncovered, dabbed in disinfectant, bandaged with care.
"Don't you need this too?"
Yao's voice is rough from disuse. He has seen little but warfare in the past century, and there is no use for speaking in warfare. He traces his finger along the side of Ivan's face, from the temple to the jaw. Ivan does not realize until he sees Yao's finger that he'd been bleeding.
"Ah, it's nothing. Nowhere as bad as your wounds. I'll be fine." His smile is forced, like it always is. He is in pain too. But comrades come first; it is the communist way.
Again there is no answer. He thinks that it will be a while before he can win Yao's trust. There has been too much warfare for trust. But they have time; they are nations, and communism is the wave of the future. They will always be comrades.
"I must. It is my boss's orders."
Ivan ignored the childish hurt of knowing that China was only here because he was being forced.
"Then take me to the countryside."
"I do not need to see Beijing. Everyone already knows how developed and advanced it has become. Take me to the countryside, China." Where your heart really lies.
"... If you insist."
Ivan's smile became a little less painful.
The breeze was cool against his face, and Ivan closed his eyes to shield them from the rushing wind.
They'd taken a short trip on an airplane, and were now driving along the countryside. He didn't know where they were headed, but the air was clear here, outside the ball of smog choking Beijing.
"I am obliged to ask you to exercise more caution, Russia. It would not reflect well on me if you got your head chopped off by a stray road sign."
Ivan stuck his head back inside the car, laughing easily for the first time since he'd arrived in Beijing that morning. China's last comment had sounded almost like before, when he used to insult Ivan to cover up for the fact that he was terrible at flirting.
Ivan wanted to sling his arm around China's shoulders and laugh like he used to, like he hadn't in a long time. Instead he smiled at China, surprised at how the pain had receded more since that morning.
"I was just thinking how wonderful it is to be out in the countryside, China. I am always in Moscow, or else in other nations' capitals. It's a good change, seeing the land so open like this, da?"
China did not answer, but Ivan felt as if a small chunk of stone had been carved away from the barrier China had built around himself. His expression was thoughtful, as if the scene of Ivan's hair blowing in the wind made him recall some distant memory.
That would be a nice change too, Ivan thought, since it was always him who was remembering too much.
It suddenly crossed his mind that China's hands looked soft. But they were lying in China's lap and stubbornly refusing to find their way into Ivan's hair, the way they always used to.
The breeze is cool under the willow, and he does not want to open his eyes. But Yao is calling, and he cannot resist the sound.
A gentle hand threads through his sandy locks, the touch both comforting and eerie in a way that he cannot explain. He shivers, for once uncertain if it is the cold that causes it.
"When do you return to your house?"
Ivan frowns. "Why, Yao? Am I bothering you?"
A pause, heavy with implications.
"No. I just need to know." When I'll be alone again.
The last few words do not need to be spoken; they ring louder in Ivan's ears than anything preceding them. He pushes up on his elbows, closes the distance between them, smiles. It is genuine this time. It has never been more so.
"Where are we, China?"
The car had come to a standstill on the edge between the open fields and what appeared to be a small village.
"This is Lan Lin. It is a small town in the northeast province of Liangning."
"Liangning?" The name was too familiar. It stung his tongue to whisper it.
"Yes. You might remember this province. The city we arrived in after the airplane trip from Beijing was Dalian." China's voice was hard on the last word, as if wanting to stress the name. Ivan wished he did not know why.
Dalny. That had been his name for it, before Japan had beaten him back and claimed it as his own. Dairen.
But it was Dalian again today, and this part of their shared history was supposed to have been forgotten. China had forgiven him. Half a century ago.
Ivan had always thought that he'd never forget significant places-vital regions and the lands where he'd once conquered. But there had been no magical spark of remembrance during the short hour he'd been in Dalian, no instant flood of ancient memories. He wondered if it meant there was hope for him to forget other things as well.
"...Why are we here?"
"Dong Bei-the northeastern provinces-is a beautiful place. There is much history here as well, but most of it does not concern you."
China turned his back and walked away from the car. Ivan followed.
Ivan knew now why China had taken him here, though he suspected it was not quite so simple. Dong Bei had been the location of Japan's invasion from the 1920's until 1945. It was a land China wanted to show was his own.
It was also the land that had guided Ivan's trucks to Beijing, more than 50 years ago.
He remembered this road.
The line of Russian trucks carrying supplies has not dwindled; they crawl like ants across the border, through the Northeast provinces into Beijing and beyond. USSR soldiers carry security and prosperity in their arms. The people welcome them, like Yao welcomes him. He likens that slender body to Yao's precious moonflowers, blossoming under his touch like they blossom under the moonlight.
"Why are you trembling, Yao?"
Yao bites his lip, does not answer. The beating of his heart is answer enough for Ivan, because bodies do not lie like people do.
He moves his calloused fingers along the fragile frame. It is not the first time he has felt this, but there is so much more to explore. He thinks it a wonder, for such a small body to carry so much beauty.
"Are you afraid?"
The other man hesitates. Shakes his head no.
Thoughtful eyes watch him, as if trying to see deep inside of his heart. He wishes there were something there worth the trouble of searching.
"I trust you."
It is on the tip of his tongue to ask, but he does not. Does not want to know, because there would be no answer. He does not want it to be a lie.
So he moves. His fingers are engulfed by warmth, clenching tight around him. His patience is waning.
It is all the encouragement he needs. He thrusts himself inside. The bedside table wobbles, is knocked against the wall with their efforts. There is a vase here, a promise. Sunflowers.
"It has been a long day, Russia. There is a small inn here that we may retire to for the night. The hotels in Dalian would've been nicer, but..."
Ivan smiled. The dull ache had returned. "Da, it's ok, China. I'm sure the inn will be fine."
Ivan rubbed gingerly at a temple. China had once told him that his head was thick enough to withstand his own metal pipe, but he didn't feel that way now. The memories had been coming back to him unbidden at an alarming rate, increasing rapidly in their frequency and intensity.
The sun was on the horizon now. As he sat down on the flimsy bed, the ache of what seemed to be the past thousand years spread through his bones, and he suddenly felt very, very old. Perhaps the heavens would be kind and allow him to sleep peacefully tonight. It was a futile hope, he knew.
Porcelain shatters on the unforgiving floor. It makes a nasty sound, like a water-rat being speared, like a baby's shriek (1).
"I can't take this anymore, Ivan! You can't even see how you're suffocating me!"
Crunched underfoot, another baby screams. Dying must be painful, to make babies cry like so.
"I'm trying to protect you! You don't even know what you're doing. You'd be lost without me."
His smile is gone. Yao has never seen him without it. He tries to plaster it back onto his face, because he feels naked somehow, fragile and vulgar. It isn't supposed to be like this.
"This is exactly what I'm talking about. You won't let me make my own decisions, you won't let me do anything!"
It's only because he loves Yao. Loves him, in a way that comrades do not. Brothers do not. It is a dangerous sort of love, a malignant tumor that he'd never wanted to be cured of.
"I gave you everything that you have." The shouting stops; his tone is cold and the smile is back on his frozen face. "You'd still be crawling in the dirt without me, groveling to Britain and Japan and-"
Yao's hand hurts more than he remembers. Those hands had always been gentle when they'd stroked him. "You will get out of my house, Ivan Braginski. Take your money, and your supplies, and your soldiers with you."
Yao's last words ring in his ears. 'You will get out of my house, Ivan Braginski.' This time, there are no words unspoken, no secret threads of shy affection between them.
Moscow is still unchanged, but somehow his heart is aching.
Ivan woke up from his dream with a start, drenched in sweat. The only thing he could think of was why the past seemed so much closer to him, so much more real than the present. Perhaps he was still living in it. Perhaps he couldn't let go after all. It was more than memories.
"Did you sleep well last night, Russia?"
Ivan smiled. It was the one lie he'd mastered.
"Where will we be going today, China?"
China knew. Knew his lies. Somehow a panicked feeling was building in Ivan's chest, and he felt like he was back in Beijing again. Suffocating.
"You'll see soon. Follow me."
Their footsteps were soft against the dirt paths in Lan Lin. Ivan felt oddly out of place amongst the locals, who greeted China with reverence upon seeing his CPC uniform, and Ivan with fearful curiosity. They reminded him of Latvia. They were so small, barely coming up to his chest.
But Lan Lin was beautiful. The faint outline of mountains in the distance wavered in the warm summer air. There was a river that wound its way through the town, lazy and graceful. Willows lined the river's edge, arching longingly towards the water with their sweeping branches. Ivan thought that this must be what paradise feels like.
Then he saw it-that single sunflower with its face turned upwards to the sky. And the real reason China had brought him here suddenly became clear.
"China, China, look, it's a sunflower. I remember now. You love sunflowers too, don't you?"
China's steps faltered, but he did not stop and he did not look back.
"Only for their seeds. My people like sunflower seeds, that's all."
But Ivan knew that wasn't all, because he remembered. China loved growing sunflowers, and his people loved it too. How jealous he'd been that China had the right climate to do so, while all of his had shriveled up and died.
How jealous /had/ he been? Jealous enough to pull them up by their stalks and stomp them into the dirt? Enough to grab China by his silky ponytail and demand he stop planting the seeds? Ivan wasn't sure, his memories were foggy sometimes.
"Will we see more sunflowers, China? I would love to see more sunflowers."
China did stop then, but still he did not turn back. "We're almost there."
'Almost' was a terrible exaggeration. Ivan had found himself scaling the side of a small mountain, wading through a river and battling a forest of wayward branches and possibly poisonous plants before China declared that they'd finally arrived.
His words died in his throat. They were on a ledge of a mountain, looking down at Lan Lin and the surrounding lands. Tree branches criss-crossed over their heads, forming a shady canopy. A gentle stream danced through this hidden alcove.
But more importantly, a large patch of sunflowers grew here, on a lower ledge just one step beyond the shaded canopy. Their faces were turned upwards, to heaven.
"This is beautiful." He wanted to touch China. His fingers ached with the want. China was so close, his hair blowing gently in the breeze. Ivan didn't think he'd ever seen softer hands.
And then he'd reached out, before his brain could stop him, and he was stroking the soft skin. It felt like coming home.
China's fingernails dug into the flesh of his palm, but Ivan didn't let go, because China wasn't letting go.
A gasp. His mouth hovers lower.
"I need to hear you say it."
The other's hands are on his shoulders, squeezing until it hurts. He does not stop, does not stop because he can feel the reluctance in those hands.
"You...you already know."
The fingers clench, nails digging into flesh. He does not stop, does not stop because those hands are not pushing him away.
"I need to hear you say it."
His breath is hot against tender flesh. So close now.
"Aiyah..." It is a sigh, one of defeat. He smiles like a child filled with glee.
"I love you, Ivan Braginski."
"Yes," China whispered in agreement. Then his hand was gone, and the remembrance of its pulsating warmth left Ivan feeling cold and empty inside.
But China had misunderstood him. He hadn't been talking about the sunflowers.
"I suppose you'll want to frolic now. There's no cameras here, so feel free to make a fool of yourself."
Ivan laughed again. China watched him from a resting spot under the leaves, wondering, probably, how Ivan could be so simple in his happiness.
It was in this patch of sunflowers that Ivan realized the memories flooding his brain were not chronological. They were chaotic and disordered, like the rest of him. The only way to make them stop was to solve them, like a puzzle. The pieces had to be in the right places; only then would he know. He needed to know.
China had asked him if there was anywhere else he'd like to go, anything else he wanted to see. But Ivan loved this place, this secret hideout on the side of the mountain. It was their secret now, something shared between them and Ivan cherished it.
So they stayed in Lan Lin, the days easy and carefree. Ivan's memories had not plagued him as much lately. It was much easier to forget amongst the sunflowers. Soon he'd forgotten it had been nearly a week since they'd arrived here.
But time had also given him doubt, doubt for the way he recalled history. He and China had been comrades, of that he'd always been certain. Their relationship was filled with carefree laughter and shy affection, each flirting when they'd thought the other wouldn't notice. But it had been short-lived, and they'd parted with some bitterness. Was that bitterness so lasting that China begrudged him for it even now?
"China. Could I...could I take some? With me, for when I go back to Moscow?"
China looked at him with wistful eyes, as if this scene was so familiar somehow. Ivan swallowed back the dizzying sense of déjà vu.
"If you insist."
Lan Lin was beautiful. Ivan cradled the bundle in his arms as they made their way back into the town, smiling with more ease than he could ever remember. The ants pitter-pattering on the flowers did not matter, nor the occasional petal that'd wilted. These were minor imperfections, like the odd freckle on China's body or the bumps of bones poking at the skin for lack of flesh. China had swatted his hands away when he'd explored these places, never knowing that Ivan had cherished them as much as the rest of him.
Suddenly, it seemed important that China know. These memories that had been buried before now.
China stopped, but he did not turn.
"Why am I so uneasy around you?" The words that came out of his mouth were not his own, they couldn't be. They made no sense to him. But-why /was/ he so uneasy around the much shorter and smaller man?
"What?" There was an edge to China's voice that should've been new, but wasn't. This composed nation standing before him now was the same one that'd been yelling and screaming at him in his dream. It was the same tone creeping through his voice.
"You are like a child, Ivan Braginski. You always ask 'why' when you don't even know what you're asking."
China's clipped tone stung. It was his name on those familiar lips. It hurt to hear those words.
Ivan wasn't sure what was plaguing him. Was it that he couldn't forget, or that he couldn't remember? He'd always thought it was the former, but now the blinding holes in his memory were painfully clear. Perhaps he would've made a good diplomat after all. He'd been lying to himself for decades.
"Yao. I loved you once, didn't I?"
China was walking away. He'd never turned around. Ivan had never seen his eyes.
Red was the color of revolution. It hurt to look at China's uniform because it reminded him of how he'd failed, failed the revolution, failed the people. It hurt because it was the same uniform China had worn when they'd been comrades. It was the same uniform China had continued to wear when they'd been more. Brothers. Or more than brothers?
He thought he knew. His memory had seemed so clear. That was the year he had been reborn, as he'd been reborn so many times before. This may have been the source of his amnesia, but it was not the source of his pain; it had to have been before.
He thought he knew. But this was where the emptiness led him, where the holes in his memory were greatest. Something happened in 1958. They'd been more than brothers once. He'd loved him.
"Are we all in agreement then?"
They turn towards him. He does not meet their eyes.
The operation will proceed. Soon, Beijing will lie in a cloud of devastation and chaos.
The guilt is tangible. It seeps through his fingers, where the skin touches the pen as he scrawls his signature on the page. His consent, in ink the color of death. Blood is that color too. He thinks that if he cuts himself open, his blood must be black like his heart.
He wants to scar the flesh, drain the virus from his veins before it can infect his heart and kill him. But what does it matter, trying to save what's already dead.
Yao's blood isn't black, he remembers. But his flesh soon will be. What does it feel like, Ivan Braginski? He cannot make the voices go away.
What does it feel like to break your lover's heart?
This must be the last piece of the puzzle. He would get no more hints. He had to know, had to know what happened in 1958.
"I brought you a gift, China."
After China had left him alone on the dirt path, Ivan had found his own way back to their inn. He had not seen China since then. It was morning now, and he'd been woken by the driver and called downstairs. They were leaving Lan Lin. There was a barely suppressed feeling of panic bubbling up inside Ivan, as if this was his last chance to remedy his sins.
"I bought this vase from one of the locals yesterday. Isn't it pretty?"
The vase was made of porcelain, smooth and beautiful with art painted on it from ancient Chinese dynasties. It had been familiar for reasons he couldn't explain. That was why he'd bought it.
China did not acknowledge Ivan's words. But he was the host nation; he was obliged to be polite. "Good morning Russia. Did you sleep well last night?"
Ivan smiled. He did not know how to answer that question without lying. There had been no more dreams; he'd been right that all the pieces had been laid out now, waiting for him to order them. But still when he'd woken this morning, he'd felt as if he hadn't slept at all.
"We will be returning to Dalian, then to Beijing. I will apologize to my boss and your diplomats that you did not get to see as many sights as we'd hoped."
Ivan thrust the vase and the sunflowers inside it at China.
"I remember now."
China did not answer. But Ivan could see his eyes this time, could see the sadness in them.
"I once had a vase like this. It was a gift from you, Yao. It was a promise."
China swatted his hands away. Ivan knew now why the sound of porcelain shattering would always remind him of a baby's shriek.
Ivan's smile was sad. "That was what happened to that one too, but I was the one who broke it."
"Don't you dare, Braginski. Don't you dare blame me now, not after 50 years. Not after what you did."
"I wasn't blaming you. You weren't the one who broke your promise."
Ivan reached out for China's hand. To both their surprise, China did not pull away.
They'd stood like this once, when Ivan had begged China not to leave. He'd tried to make the other nation feel guilty; China had promised he would follow Ivan, would follow him to the ends of time. It was a comrade's promise. It was more.
"My signature was on the order. I gave my consent to decimate Beijing."
China's fingers twitched in his hand. He squeezed tighter, but not enough to hurt.
"I couldn't understand why you left me. I never wanted to hurt you, I just hoped that you'd come back to me. I thought that if I broke you apart, you'd let me put you back together again."
The USSR was on the verge of launching a nuclear strike at the heart of China. Ivan's hand had hovered over the button. Launch.
It was America who, out of purely selfish reasons, had intervened.
Ivan swallowed back the fear and doubt. He reached out. China was pressed against him now, their hearts gently beating in time with each other. This was the way it should be, the way it once was.
"Tong Zhi." Ivan remembered the words. Comrade. Comrade. "Ai ren." More. More.
China shivered in his arms. The tenseness had not left his shoulders, but he wasn't pushing away.
The road to forgiveness would be a long and painful one. Trust. Trust took time to foster, and longer still to mend. But the healing would begin now, now that his memories had been laid bare and the lies stripped away. Remembering cost him nothing; forgetting had nearly cost him everything.
For now, he could start by living in the present.
Ivan's smile does not hurt this time. He remembers exactly the last time it has been so easy.
Ivan wonders if he should lean in the final couple of inches and press his chapped lips against those pink ones. They'd be soft, like the rest of Yao.
Life is like a video game with no reset and higher stakes.
- Kiss him: Press (A)
- Don't kiss him: Press (B)
His finger hovers over the button.
1949-China is declared a communist state. The USSR begins sending the poor nation supplies and military assistance, despite the fact that Russia had never fully recovered from WWII.
1958-The USSR demands China declare its loyalty and follow the USSR's commands. China refuses, leading to the Sino-Soviet Split.
The USSR almost launches a nuclear strike on Beijing, but consults US first as they were the two nuclear powers at the time. US decides that a USSR victory against China would increase the USSR's influence in the world, and provide the USSR with China's vast resources. US leaks the news of the secret attack to the media, alerting China. Beijing sends its troops to the border, ready to counter-strike if the USSR continues with its plans. The USSR, seeing that news of its attack had been leaked and China was ready for an offensive, decides to back down.
1989-The year that communism died in many of the Second World countries, leaving the USSR mostly alone.
1989-The Tiananmen Square incident occurred. Students and other demonstrators in Beijing demanded democracy. They gathered on Tiananmen Square, at the heart of Beijing. Deng Xiao Ping, the retired chairman but still de-facto leader, commanded China's military to scatter the protesters. The exact death toll is unknown.
1991-The year the USSR was officially dissolved as the governing party and Russia became a democracy.
(1) Childe Roland
No disrespect meant to the CPC. I was actually a bit harsh in this fic; the CPC does not control reporters and media as tightly as is implied here.
Reviews are appreciated!