"Gan bei!"

A long time ago, perhaps when he was still, on a semi-monthly basis, chatting up Babylon; Yao was able to hold his liquor without so much as a hiccup. Tonight, however… after strong eggnog, a hot spiced cider, and crème-de-menthe hot chocolate, the floor seems to be rolling under his feet. Cue the jokes about his age.

He gulps the red-and-green shot in one fell swoop.

"Nice one, Ge-ge," Wan says, the poinsettia-intertwined-with-peony blossoms in her hair becoming askew as she plunks down her own empty shot glass. Her cheeks are pink as she clutches Xiang Gang's arm, who doesn't respond except to break out in a faint sweat. All three Asian nations are fairly glowing.

The U.N. holiday party is always a welcome reprieve from a tumultuous and stressful year. Alfred had gone all out and the U.N. hall was decked out beautifully, with festive alternating-current lights, strung silver bells, and an actually-smiling Austria, thumping carols on his piano. Feliciano had also done a good job with the decorations! None of the pine centerpieces had caught fire yet, either.

The band was alright, too, at least until a (clearly inebriated) Im Yong-Soo had seized the mic and was currently belting out "Jingle Bell Rock," in Korean.

Cue Wan and Xiang Gang snapping out of their fervor and fixating at the hyper Korean dancing and singing on the stage.

"Better go keep Yong-soo from embarrassing himself to death," and with that, after an awkward parting hug from Wan to Yao, the duo scrambled to the stage for some impromptu karaoke.

The moment the screeching becomes twofold (with one monotone-sounding baritone), Yao decides to temporarily deafen himself above the bad karaoke (his siblings') and catcalls (all the other nations') by drowning his sorrows in more alcohol. He makes his way to the open bar and flags down the pretty, brunette bartender.

"Another spiced rum?" Hungary asks incredulously, her brows furrowed at Yao's wobbly form. "You sure you're alright? What about a Diet Coke instead?"

Yao shrugs and shakes his head. He knows he really ought to slow down… but… he's worked very hard this year, hasn't he? He also ate before he started drinking, right? A country deserves a reprieve every now and then, and some fun, if only for a few hours…

"圣诞快乐, és köszönöm," Yao says, grabbing the drink and winking. The Hungarian looks at the large tip and stares as Yao walks off, his long black ponytail dancing behind him. A goofy smile tugs at the corner of her lips.

Taking refuge under an overhanging garland, Yao drains his drink. A pleasantly warm sensation overcomes his body, and he leans his head back, sighing.

"Yyyao," someone behind him rumbles.

That sounds like Ivan, Yao says to himself, turning around, and… he is looking pretty hot. Blink. Since… when did I use words like "hot" to describe IVAN?

Ivan saunters over to Yao and places a heavy hand around Yao's tiny neck, flashing a gigantic smile inches from Yao's nose. "Enjoying yourself, are you, little Yao? It has been weeks since we have last caught up. I've been meaning to get ahold of you… our petrol trade deal's been finalized, and production is going at full speed!"

Ivan's eyes are glinting as he detects the clouded gold of Yao's eyes, telltale signs that Yao must be a bit unsteady on his feet. Despite his innocent, indifferent facade, Ivan is much, much savvier than the other nations would willingly give him credit for. His eyes darken in a predatory gaze.

"Were you looking forward to seeing me?" Stroke, stroke. Ivan's thick gloved fingers start fondling Yao's dark hair. Yao winces and forces out a facial expression akin to a cross between a smile and the kind of face you make when you have an upset stomach.

"Thank you, Ivan. I've been well, but aren't you—"

"You look damn good," Ivan interrupts, eyeing the slender nation from head to toe. He'd waited patiently until those annoying Asian siblings had finally left Yao alone. "Everyone else has been boring me to death. I'm glad you made it tonight." Despite their rocky past, that voice still melts Yao's heart moderately and Yao grins, weakly.

Yao had actually initially completely forgotten about the party. However, Alfred had thoughtfully shown up at his doorstep a few hours ago and had kidnapped him.

"It'll be fun!" Alfred had blurted enthusiastically, his voice cracking. "Also— if you don't stop squirming, I might drop you. It's always a lot of fun when everyone gets together! Plus, the raffle this year is AWESOME."

Yao then let out an undignified yelp as Alfred nuzzled his face into his hip. These Americans have no sense of personal boundaries! "All that's required to participate is a small donation fee!" Alfred added giddily. At that point, the American's head suddenly swiveled around so that Yao (twisting his neck) was eyeball-to-eyeball with him; Yao swore he could see dollar bills dancing in Alfred's glasses as he pondered the billions of Chinese dollars pouring into that raffle donation box.

Yao shakes his head to clear the recollection. Ivan was saying something. "Let's go outside in the hall, to one of the private rooms. I've missed our times together, Yao-yao." Yao's eyes pop out of his face as the hand not clutching the back of his head drifts to his lower back, the chilled drink in Ivan's hand making contact with the skin of Yao's backside. Yao shudders; Ivan's grin widens.

"Ack cold! Ivan, you-"

"Just relax," Ivan says, pressing his chest further into Yao. He encircles one thin wrist with his gloved hand, preparing to take him to-

"Yao-nii," a melodious voice drifts across Ivan's come-ons, a roomful of chattering voices, and Yong-soo's-with-Wan's warbling.

Kiku!

It is almost involuntary. The moment Yao hears the voice of his little brother (his most responsible, beloved, inscrutable little brother) call his name, he feels… safe. (Even while trapped against an overhanging garland).

Japan appears out of nowhere, in a crisp suit, tilting his neck at an angle while tugging lightly at his dark silk tie. Yao's face lights up as Ivan clutches him to his body even closer.

"How do you do, you little runt?" Ivan demands the moment Kiku approaches them, one arm possessively keeping Yao in a vice-like grip. Yao can vaguely feel the huge yet half-hearted erection pressed against his solar plexus, and bites back an impulse to scream.

Kiku doesn't bat an eye. "Ivan, I'll make a deal with you. I've just purchased two more hours at the open bar. In return for full, exclusive access, I'm going to monopolize Yao-nii for that long."

"Get lost."

"Not even for five-thousand-dollars' worth of Stolichnaya?"

Ivan's ears perk up. Even so, he shakes his head. "That's too bad," Kiku shrugs, producing a bottle of the aforementioned Stolichnaya seemingly from nowhere. "Well, since I have about 500 crates of these, here's one on the house." He extends his arm.

After a moment's pause, Ivan leans forward.

The moment Ivan releases Yao to grip the bottle, Yao finds himself seized and flying across the room. Ignoring Ivan's confounded bellowing, Kiku yanks him past ten fully-laden dinner tables, the open bar, a very artistic ice sculpture of naked Francis, and out into the hall.

They don't stop running until they reach one of the empty study rooms. From the entrance, the hallways are filled with dozens of identical looking rooms, each indistinguishable from the last.

"That was far too easy," Kiku is saying, turning the lock in the door.

"Y-you've gone crazy!" Yao retorts.

"He underestimated the power of the ninja."

There is an enormous dresser in the study, as well as a desk, a small double bed, and a bathroom. Yao walks to the bed and sits down; Kiku producing a tiny 5-oz. bottle of liquor from the mini fridge and fills two shot glasses.

"Cheers."

"Cherry Mistmas," Yao slurs, trying and utterly failing to impress, and Kiku laughs without showing his teeth.

"You really are hopeless. Look at you, getting drunk at a U.N. holiday party… are you trying to mimic Sealand or something?"

"Hey! I'm totally fine! I have at least two thousand years on you Kiku!" Yao finds a box of cigarettes and lights one, fumbling. Kiku wrinkles his nose.

Both sit on the edge of the bed, not speaking for several minutes. Yao's mood begins to mellow, thanks to his nicotine, and Kiku absentmindedly scrolls through his cell phone.

"You should have come by to see me earlier," Yao says suddenly. "Then we wouldn't have had to flee Russia." Kiku doesn't look up from his phone, and Yao frowns. "I could've gotten an egg tart from the dessert table too."

"I had things to do." Kiku tosses the phone onto the desk and stares at him. Why does Yao have to be so cute? It's distracting.

Yao pouts and suddenly bends forward. "I actually didn't think you'd make it," he says, removing his socks and shoes. "You've been very hard to get ahold of for the past few weeks."

"I've been busy." Truthfully, the recent re-elections in Tokyo have inducing within Kiku major anxiety attacks. But Yao doesn't need to be bored with details.

"How would I know you've been busy when you won't even stop by to say hello?"

"Sorry, Yao-nii," Kiku says, in a swift attempt to take the heat off his back. Yao sighs, and places his head on Kiku's shoulder. Kiku shifts slightly to make Yao more comfortable. They watch the snowflakes chase each other right outside the window.

Kiku breaks the silence, "Remember when we used to make hot pot when the weather got this cold?"

Centuries flash by, backwards, in Yao's mind. He blinks. "Yong-soo always liked a ton of pork."

"Hong Kong would put in 5 different varieties of mushrooms."

Yao makes an affirmative noise. "We'd play mah jong afterwards, but I always lost. You were always a better gambler."

"You can't win big unless you take big risks, Ni-ni."

Yao shifts over on the bed and wraps his thin arms around Kiku's neck. Silk brushes against Kiku's ears; he cannot tell at first whether it is the changshan sleeves or Yao's skin, and he sighs without realizing it. Kiku reaches and pulls the tie from Yao's hair. The tie goes flying and lands on the desk, directly on top of the cell phone.

"You should quit," Kiku says, jerking his head abruptly at Yao's smoking cigarette, now resting in a nearby ashtray. "Those will kill you… Beijing needs to cut down on its pollution, Yao—"

"You sound like Wan," Yao says.

Kiku smiles, because Yao's voice always softens when he brings up Wan. Kiku loves Yao's purring Beijing dialect; it sounds so beautiful against his ears.

"Your dress is so cute," Kiku says.

Yao is startled. "I-I can give you a knockoff of it for Christmas."

Kiku rolls his eyes. "I have a better idea." He lets out one of his rare smiles. "I'll just take it from you…"

Kiku starts nibbling on Yao's neck while his fingertips lightly graze the changshan. "Kiku…" Yao says.

"Shhh," Kiku says, his voice unnaturally gentle, though his eyes gleam.

"I-I thought—"

"Come here." Yao hesitates, then plants himself in Kiku's lap. Kiku rubs one finger gently across Yao's cheek before kneading their lips together. He moves his mouth over and over Yao's mouth until Yao has to respond in kind. Kiku presses more firmly into his mouth, letting his tongue snake out to stroke the bottom lip.

He pulls away and smirks. "It's been too long."

Yao mechanically opens his mouth and is immediately greeted with a warm tongue. Shutting his eyes, Yao lets the Japan ravage his mouth. A few moments later, Kiku reluctantly pulls away as they catch their breath. Yao grasps the front of Kiku's suit and, eyes closed, starts yanking up on it. Kiku nods and lowers Yao to the bed, then straddles his hips and kisses him once again. In a flurry, Kiku has unbuttoned Yao's changshan, and his pants are unzipped.

"Ah… Ki…ku…"

There's a small voice inside of Kiku that keeps whispering sweet lures of control and dominion in his ear. He wants to squash them as badly as he wants to crush the beautiful, slender body beneath him…. No, no, he must be gentle.

When it comes to Yao, though…

It's almost impossible to control himself. Without looking Yao, Kiku runs his tongue over his index finger. Glancing upwards and taking in the image of his elder brother sprawled, half-drunk, and half-naked, Kiku finds himself growing more urgent and impatient by the millisecond.

Kiku leaves a trail of kisses from Yao's collarbone to his neck while one hand snakes into Yao's trousers. His fingers work their way up into Yao's wet entrance, and he enters roughly. He scissors, works his fingers approximately "north-east" until they hit the pleasure spot-and Yao jolts.

"Aaah! "

Kiku smiles as he rubs until Yao is gasping and bucking against his fingers.

"Nngh!… no, don't… rub…ugh…"

Kiku removes his digits and captures Yao into another kiss. Using one hand to cup Yao's ass, he skillfully wraps Yao's legs around his waist. Without another moment's hesitation, he presses his leaking tip against the warm entrance.

Yao clenches his eyes as Kiku thrusts roughly into him, the burning (pleasurable) feeling of being penetrated eliciting loud cries and whimpers from the China's throat. "You won't crave anything but Japanese cock when I'm through with you, Ni-ni," Kiku hisses, a leer easing its way into his taunt.

Yao's screams are cut short as Kiku shushes him with a kiss, keeping his lips hostage for several minutes. A thin string of saliva connects their lips after the kiss is broken.

"No!" Yao's mouth is wide open, rolling his hips so that Kiku is hitting him at an angle slightly more to the left. His long black hair splayed out all across the sheets; sweat is slicking down his temple. His face is in a state of complete rapture.

Kiku's erection pulses at the sight. "What do you want?" he asks, pushing harder, deeper.

"Mmmph! Not so—fast! It hurts!" Yao's eyelids shutterbug and his eyes roll skyward.

Kiku buries his teeth in Yao's shoulder as he changes to a deliberately unhurried pace, but—watching Yao clutch the bedsheets and feeling the nails digging into his skin-speeds up after only a few moments.

Yao gasps and half-consciously strokes himself as Kiku grips his hips and leaves kisses up and down his neckline, over and over, as the thrusts get harder, faster, more erratic. The two sweat-glistening bodies press flush together; Yao lets out a small moan, his golden irises a thin rim around dilated pupils.

It's enough to send Kiku over the edge.

Soon, the hardened flesh releases into Yao, and Yao climaxes soon after.

"God, China," Kiku growls. His head is resting on Yao's shoulder. The air smells of sex and cologne and traces of cigarette smoke. He reaches out to stroke Yao's face, and smirks with a sense of pride as he finds that Yao has passed out.

There is a pounding at the door. Kiku does what he dissociatively does during these particular instances. He turns off the lights, wraps his arms about Yao, and falls asleep, snoring.

Later, Yao and Kiku will hear that Ivan had had to be restrained by Alfred, Austria, Im Yong-Soo, Xiang Gang, Taiwan, Hungary, and most of the other guests at the U.N. Holiday party to prevent him from breaking down the door to Yao and Kiku's little room. They will also learn that they'd lost the raffle (despite the amount of money Yao had contributed)—the prize was Alfred's baby teeth ("Puerto Rican vacation, anyone?" Arthur, the winner, had politely offered), and Yong-Soo had accidentally toppled off the stage during his drunken karaoke (but he wasn't hurt!).

Christmas is a time for family, however—and improving relations is always time well spent.