Thanks again to all of you who have reviewed! It means a lot to me and I am glad so many people are reading this haha. Sorry about the lack of updates, life has been super hectic and I am a really slow author. I will try my best to finish this story, but it may take awhile.
Now clothed, washed as best as he could in the small sink of the bathroom, and feeling as if he had regained at least some of his damaged dignity Arthur sat at the kitchen table, watching Katyusha making a borsch luncheon for later. He had offered to help but was promptly turned down with a, 'You are a guest Mr. Kirkland,' and was offered another cup of soothing tea to occupy himself with.
Looking over at Arthur's serious expression, his eyes boring imaginary holes into his cup, Katyusha couldn't help but smile. She thought the whole incident was rather funny and endearing, promising not to tell any one else what had happened after Arthur came down scarlet faced and clumsily tried to explain the situation, ever the Gentleman. It was strange seeing Arthur like that, vulnerable and human. She remembered the stories Ivan used to tell her of how strong Arthur was and how many colonies England had captured, remembered the time Ivan told her voice with glee that they were at war against each other and how Russia had called out for England's aid before turning to anyone else during the Second World War when Germany betrayed them. He would be a good man for Ivan to become one with, to balance him- be the fire to his ice, and England would be a great asset to Russia and thus to them.
Ravis on the other hand had been mortified on Arthur's behalf, and at the time of the incident threw the freshly acquired clothes on top of Arthur to hide his shame, asked politely for Katyusha to leave and hid for the rest of the day with Toris and Eduard. To Arthur's credit he didn't swear or get angry, not until Katyusha left anyway, and firmly blamed Ivan for the whole mess.
'Thank you for the breakfast earlier on and sorry about all that erm nonsense….' Arthur lamely stated for the sixth time that morning wanting nothing more than to crawl under a rock and hide for a few hundred years but instead resolved to save face and man up. He could really do with a drink right now. That and a bath as he still reeked of alcohol and the smell was making his cravings even worse.
Curiously, at the precise moment of Arthur wishing for a bath, Ivan chose to bound his way into the room loudly, slamming the door against the adjacent wall and effectively cutting off all forms of conversation between Arthur and Katyusha.
'Arthur you are up, wonderful!' Ivan beamed with alarming pleasantness, his hands grasping a rather strange handful of what looked like old dried twigs. 'And you eaten too, very good timing'. Ivan's smile turned to Katyusha, who gave him a polite nod in return.
Puzzled, Arthur let out or rather slow 'Yes', his mind ticking away furiously to decode this strange new behaviour. It unnerved him and annoyed him.
'The only thing left', Ivan carried on enigmatically, 'is a trip to the banya as I am sure you would like to wash away that vodka smell, no?'
There was that smile again, directed at Arthur like a white hot pin point, a smile that was pleasant on the outside but calculating on the inside, a parallel of the man himself. Hesitantly Arthur weighed up his options of avoiding the banya and thus smell like an alcoholic for the rest of the day but safe from Ivan's hidden calculations, or to bite the bullet, have a wash and take anything thrown at him head on.
In the end he chose to bite the bullet and followed Ivan out into the cold air.
Ivan led him quickly and silently to the back of the house where the small wooden shack of the banya stood, and motioned him to get inside with a nod of his head. Arthur had been in one before along time ago, when he had first visited Russia and was keen to learn its culture and in return teach Russia England's. However this had been over a hundred years ago and Arthur couldn't remember the banya etiquette, so hovered uncertainly about the door way before a strong hand guided him firmly through it.
'So nervous Arthur, it is not like you have not seen one before.' Ivan taunted and followed him through the wooden frame into the buildings minimal depths.
The entrance had benches to sit upon and clothes pegs on the wall to hang clothes on, which were already being utilised by Ivan who had already got his shirt and trousers off whilst Arthur was busy coming back with a retort, venomous words lodging themselves deep in his throat at seeing Ivan's half naked muscled mammoth of a body. Ah yes, bathing meant being naked Arthur recalled heatedly, cheeks already turning red as Ivan pulled off the last of his clothes unashamedly, his bottom pushed out and open whilst getting of his boxers. Quickly Arthur pulled his eyes away and focused on anything that wasn't Ivan, fiddling with the buttons of his borrowed shirt.
'You need help with that, comrade?' Ivan asked voice playful and knowing, naked body closing in and towering over Arthur, filling up his view again with Ivan, Ivan, Ivan.
'No,' Arthur spat back, turned away and pulled the shirt off over his head before tackling his trousers with an air of forced defiance. Once free of all clothing he turned to Ivan and glared, covering his genitals with his hands as Ivan's gaze dropped a little below the comfort zone. 'Well?' Arthur asked briskly and nodded his head towards the next room.
The next room was the wash room, and whilst Arthur busied himself with washing his body with cold water from the tap Ivan poured water into the rock chamber, which hissed and sizzled away, before washing himself as well. A little while later the sauna compartment was thick with steam and both men entered its enveloping heat. Much to Arthur's horror there were only two pale wooden benches in the room, both facing each other, making it impossible to hide his body and any unfortunate bodily reactions from Ivan. Resigned he sat on the nearest bench, the heat of the bench scolding his bottom painfully and placed his hands firmly in his lap. Ivan sat on the opposite bench lucidly, hands hanging down beside him, showing Arthur everything front wise and moaned appreciatively. Arthur swallowed hard.