Title: Scarves and Roses
Rating: So far K-T... If I do multichapters, it'd be M for sure.
Genre: Romance, so far
Pairing: RussiaXEngland, minor pairings to be decided sometime later
Summary: A scarf got them a little closer to each other and fairies were playing at matchmaking. Watch Ivan and Arthur as they finally notice each other, the seed of attraction finally given its chance.
Ivan stood in front of the wrought iron gates of England's home, eyeing the Victorian house beyond bowed trees and thick rose bushes, deciding that it was considerably different from his own home. Even at night, everything was vibrant, full of life- it made him slightly uncomfortable. He was used to the cold, the almost endless sea of white that encompassed most of his land. The larger nation compulsively tried to hide his face in his scarf, only to remember that it was gone, that England had it and it was the reason he was there to begin with.
Earlier that day, the European countries had had a meeting regarding each nation's environmental status. He had been sitting between England and France- to prevent them from bickering and mostly to avoid Belarus and her obssessive proposals. He should have known that with England's fiery temper and France's teasing, any argument, no matter how irrelevant or harmless, was bound to get violent.
It was the worst to date and Russia, who had not thought much of England, had decided never to criticize his less than satisfactory cooking. How the topic of his cooking had come up between garbage disposal and waste management, Russia would never know. Of course, he had never tasted England's food before so there was really nothing for him to judge. In any case, everyone in the meeting had also been reminded how England had managed to own a third of the world once upon a time.
His scarf had been one of the victims of the island nation's wrath. England, in a fit of anger and brief absence of common sense, had grabbed his scarf to wrap around France's neck. There had been a struggle until the sound of ripping cloth reduced the chaos into tense, deafening silence. All eyes had landed on the ruined scarf, Ukraine promptly bursting to tears and Belarus glaring with her dagger in her hand.
The Russian had been too shocked to move, eyes trained on the ripped scarf his older sister had given him in their childhood. In her outrage, Belarus had attacked the two nations. Despite their disagreement, England had stepped forward, shielding France from Belarus' attack and had promptly disarmed her. He had calmed himself down and had apologized to Ukraine, promising that he would fix the scarf himself. Ever the gentleman, he had taken a clean, white handkerchief from his pocket and gave it to her to wipe her tears.
He had handed the dagger back to Belarus, apologizing to her as well. He had turned away from her before she could retort and had taken the pieces of the scarf, approaching Russia with all the dignity and courage he could muster.
"I apologize for this, Russia," he had said sincerely, their eyes meeting. All Ivan could do had been to stare. "I'll fix this, I promise. It will be ready by tonight."
He had smiled at him then, resisting the urge to grab his beloved pipe from within his thick coat and thrash him with it. "I will come to your house tonight, da?"
The island nation had nodded, relieved. Germany had taken that time to conclude the meeting before anything else could happen and the rest of the nations had been more than happy to leave.
Looking back, England hadn't acted like he normally would in that kind of circumstance. There had been more than fear in those green eyes. The fire and steel in his gaze had arrested Russia and had kept him from making his own brand of chaos. There was a wildness in those depths that pleasantly sent shivers up and down his spine and the smaller nation had been trying to get it under control. No one had ever looked at him in that way before and now he decided that he liked it.
With a resolute nod and a painfully cheerful smile, he pushed the gate open and strode through the brick path.
The blanket of night settled across the sky, the clear splash of twinkling stars a welcome sight in Arthur's home. Seated on a wicker chair under the night sky, the island nation busied himself with his task, knitting needles and the makings of a garment in his hands. Slender fingers, callused from long ago wars and exploits, deftly and swiftly wound and knotted soft, pale lavender yarn with ease and expertise.
Tiny fairies, glowing with their own light, fluttered about happily. Some were trying to assist him in his task, untangling the different colors of fine yarn while others played and chased each other around the flower bushes. One of the unicorns who had strayed from her herd was grazing in a small patch of grass, not minding the mischievous fairies hiding behind her. For England, it was the most peaceful night he'd had in days.
Caught between America, France and his siblings for the last few days had strained his patience beyond its limit, causing him to lash out the way he did at the meeting. Heavens, he already knew his cooking sucked, he didn't want the bloody frog rubbing it in every time he got the opportunity. It wasn't like he didn't try to improve.
The worst part of it all was when Russia got involved. He had not been in his right mind at the meeting. If he were, he'd have stopped the moment he touched the damned scarf. He had been absolutely terrified the moment he heard that tearing sound and only his dignity made him stand tall in front of the frightening nation. He also would have thought twice about inviting the Russian over. Thinking about it now made shivers run up and down his spine and his knees weak.
Nothing could be done though, he thought. A gentleman like him would never go back on his word. He sighed, eyes roaming over the almost completed scarf then continued working.
Russia rapped on the door once more but again no one answered, his smile wavering. Had England forgotten that he was going to visit or was he hiding from him? The first thought made him inexplicably angry but the second seemed more plausible than the first, mollifying him somewhat. England was not the kind to forget his obligations, that he was sure. Even when they hadn't paticularly liked each other in the past, the older nation had been nothing but true to his word.
He tilted his head to the side thoughtfully. It would be so easy to break the door down and it would be justified, but he was neither rude nor illiterate, not like America, who he just knew had done so before. Looking at the door, it seemed that it was unhinged quite recently, considering the new screws that did not quite fit with the overall antiquity of the house.
He lifted his gloved fist to knock at the door when the perfectly polished knob turned and the heavy oak door with the beatiful, intricate carvings of roses, creaked open. Poking his head inside, he was surprised to note that England wasn't the one who answered the door. In fact, there was no one there at all.
A little suspicious, the nation frowned. What kind of game was England playing? Then his smile brightened. Whatever this was, it certainly had his interest. He stepped through the door and into a wide hallway, noting the mirrorlike polish of the white marble floor under his feet and paintings hanging on the walls. He walked in further when something cracked under his boot. Looking down, he found a little walnut and a small distance away was another walnut, then another and another.
It created a line from the front door to one of the doorways down the hall. He followed the walnuts with a smile, picking them up off the floor one by one. Through the doorway, he found himself in England's drawing room. It was large and very cozy. Across the doorway was a fireplace that had been previously lit, ash and embers dying away slowly and on its mantle was a detailed miniature of a ship bearing the name Victoria. In front of it was a low, wooden table, with several books stacked on top and a small vase of white lilies and roses. Around the table was a burgundy velvet couch large enough for three people to sit on and three other chairs of the same design strewn about.
Bookcases lined the wall on his right, nearly reaching the ceiling and filled with books all worn from frequent reading. He recognized the antique vases from China and various paintings from France, Italy and other masterpieces. The walls were painted in the rich tones of wine and the ceiling like decadent cream. Opposite the bookcases were large bay windows, velvet and gossamer curtains drawn back and tied with a wound, gold cord, and a slightly open door.
The trail of walnuts led outside the door and Russia followed it obediently. Opening the door as quietly as he could, he snuck a peek and found a magnificent garden of various flowers. Beyond it was a ten foot high wall of different colored roses with an arched pathway in the middle. A maze perhaps? Lamps hanging from the gnarled trees standing sentinel around the garden brought it light and life, and in the middle of it all, sitting alone on a wicker chair, was England. In his hands Russia could see his scarf and a pair of knitting needles working with practiced ease over it.
His distinct, thick eyebrows were furrowed in concentration and his lips were pursed in a most adorable pout. His mess of wheat-blonde hair swayed in the light breeze, falling over his bright, green eyes.
Entranced, he leaned against the doorframe, watching and his smile widening.
The fairies tittered excitedly amongst themselves, their happy chatter lost in the wind as Arthur worked on the final touch on the scarf. He was as good with embroidery, sewing and knitting as he was bad with cooking; he'd been doing it ever since he could remember, patching up the measly cloak and robe he had worn in his childhood. This scarf was obviously loved and taken care of, he noted. It was old, a few lines of thread had gotten loose- nothing he could not repair- but it was very clean and soft. He had to admit that he didn't expect Russia of all nations to be this caring of his possessions. It had to be very important to him, which made the island nation even more guilty of his offense.
Arthur finished the last petal of the small sunflowers he added on the scarf, stretching and raising it to the light. He scrutinized every knot and stitch of the scarf with a critical eye, pleased with his work. He smiled, hoping that Russia would feel the same. Small hands tugged on his hair and he waved the little buggers away- gently, of course. He did not notice the little creatures looking from him to the lone figure approaching him quietly.
A shadow blocked the light from the lamps, obscuring Arthur's vision. Scowling, he turned to glare at whatever it was and tell it to move. Needless to say, he'd been very surprised to find the hulking Russian standing behind him, wearing his customary heavy coat minus the scarf which was still in his hands. The Englishman nearly jumped out of his skin, almost knocking his chair back. Fortunately, Russia was strong and quick, his gloved hand darting out to grab the back of the chair and stop its descent. Arthur became aware that his chair was still tipped back, though, and Russia was looming over him with an enthusiastic smile.
"Russia, what are you doing here? How did you get in?" Arthur exclaimed, Russia's scarf clutched tightly against his chest. His eyes were wide with shock as he stared at the Russian's upside down face above him.
The Russian tipped his head to the side, smile vanishing and replaced with confusion. "England said to come tonight to get my scarf, da? And I went through the door." Then he smiled. "Is it done? May I see it?"
"Oh, of course," Arthur immediately responded, offering the mended scarf to its owner. "If you could just, um, straighten my chair up? Uh, please?"
Ivan obliged, getting the chair to stand in all its legs before he reached a gloved hand to his scarf. Carefully taking it from England, he inspected the worn fabric and was delighted to see the tiny bundle of sunflowers.
"It is beautiful! So much better than before!" He touched the sunflowers with his thumb, his smile turning wistful. "I love sunflowers." He eagerly wrapped the scarf around his neck and nuzzled against it, the sunflowers visible to everyone who'd look.
England watched in fascination, an answering smile tugging at his lips. Never had he seen Russia like this before and he decided that he liked him this way. He didn't dare say it out loud (he'd probably cause WWIII) but Russia was cute with the way his violet eyes lit up with childlike glee. He immediately caught himself, face flushing in embarrassment, and cleared his throat, standing up from his chair and getting the Russian's attention.
"I'm glad you approve of it, Russia," he began. "Once more, I apologize for that mishap. Shall we call it even?"
He took his hand out for a shake, a smile on his lips. Violet eyes carefully studied him, almost making him squirm but he held himself still by sheer will and dignity. He was about to pull his hand back but was thrown offguard when Russia beamed at him and gathered him in his arms, his smaller body lifted as easily as if he weighed nothing at all. His heart pounded in his chest and the flush on his face became impossibly brighter when Russia kissed each cheek.
"Da, we are even, England. I forgive you", he whispered near his ear, voice uncharacteristically low and husky. In the blink of an eye, he returned to his normal self, childlike smile back on his face as he placed England back on his feet. "I will be going now. I will see you at the world meeting?"
"Uh, y-yes," Arthur stuttered, trying to gain a semblance of his composure. "Have a safe trip home."
Russia nodded and went out the way he had come in. When he was finally gone, Arthur sank onto his chair bonelessly and breathed out. What in hell had just happened? He touched the spot on his cheek, uncomfortably noting that for all of Russia's coldness, his kisses positively burned- and not in a bad way.
The fairies and even the unicorn crowded around him, worried, but he took no notice of them. Instead, he muttered solely to himself, "I never did find out how he got in here."
At that, the fairies scattered abruptly, disappearing in clouds of fairy dust. The unicorn fled through the maze's entrance and vanished. Startled, Arthur straightened on his chair, narrowed eyes looking about him. Ah, so that was it. Shaking his head, he stood and strode to the house, shutting the door behind him.
Puffs of fairy dust filled the garden, little heads poking from behind the lilies and the carnations. The tiny beings looked at each other and promptly fell into giggles, nearly doubling over in their laughter. Oh, this would be just perfect, they thought. Arthur had been alone long enough and, though he had them for company, they knew that their friend could not spend the rest of his days without a mate. They recognized the rather cold nation as soon as he walked through the gates. He had been summoned quite a few times in Arthur's atelier and with good reason.
Perhaps, they could do something else to get them together? It would take more planning though. Arthur was surprisingly very astute when his fairies were being particularly mischievous but was sadly oblivious in everything else- which was good in this case. Even now, the fairies hadn't told him what he was doing wrong during his summoning, that he had been doing a different spell altogether. Well, he was a good sorcerer if he put his mind to it and the fairies knew he'd realize it when the time was right.
Author's Note: There! Finally done! Um, I'm not sure if you guys will like this. I'm still thinking if I should leave it as a oneshot or not. It depends. Heh. I know it's an unusual pairing and it certainly needs a lot more love. Anyways, I hope you can give me feedback.