Summary: Dance as though no one is watching. Love as though you've never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though heaven was on Earth.
The first in a series of four. :) Based on the famous quote above.
1. Korea's inability to sit still is, perhaps, his most endearing quality.
Korea is always dancing.
It is one of those qualities of his, this inability to sit still. The young Asian is always moving, tapping his feet, his fingers, bobbing his head to some beat. He wiggles his hips obscenely when he's sitting down, and twirls as he steps and glides down the street.
At first, China blames it on the fact that Korea constantly has headphones super-glued to his ears. If he isn't gliding to Super Junior, he is popping to SHINee, or thrusting to TVXQ. His beloved Korean boy bands are perpetually dancing around his brain, influencing his feet and body to be always twisting and moving to the rhythm of some song.
Yes, at first, China blames the boy bands.
But then, upon further reflection, China remembers that Korea has had the ability to dance as though no one is watching since he was small. Since before boy bands or mp3 players. In fact, China distinctly remembers that when he first found Korea, thousands of years ago, the little nation had been doing some version of dancing. Swaying his head back and forth and moving his tiny arms from side to side with a content smile on his face. His eyes closed as he moved to a beat only he could hear.
Korea has always been dancing.
China remembers that it was embarrassing. That when he would meet other nations, Korea in tow, he wouldn't be able to explain the reason that his young charge wouldn't stop moving, wouldn't stop swaying and tapping and bopping up and down. Ceaseless energy, hyperness, a perpetual beat that never left his body.
Korea is always dancing.
China remembers when Japan invaded Korea, and forcibly made the nation part of his empire. China remembers thinking, at that time, that the harsh take-over might actually be the event to force the beat out of the young nation.
He was wrong.
China did not see Korea much during that time, but he remembers clearly the first time he did. Eyes black-rimmed and swollen almost shut, top half of his hanbok torn and dirty and ripped and the bottom half missing completely, with blood running down his thighs. Japan had been holding the young nation by the hair, shaking him, telling him to stop it. China, trying to remain impassive about the situation (Because this is what nations did to each other. They took and they conquered and they beat), hadn't understand what Japan meant.
Until he saw Korea, with his legs shaking, drumming his fingers along his knees and swaying slightly from side to side, a wavering smile on his face as he gently tapped his feet against the ground.
China had never seen Japan so angry.
China had never been more relieved.
Because if Korea was still dancing, if he could still hear that silent beat, then without a doubt, he would be alright.
Which is why that one time was so horrifying.
1952. The middle of the Korean War. Some part of China had hurt, had winced at the fact that he was helping tear his former charge apart by backing the Communist side of the country and helping their invasion, but he was a nation, with his own people to protect, and America was threatening them by invading so far into North Korea and aggressing the Chinese border. A war for protecting South Korea had become a war on Communism, and China took offense to that.
So he fought for North Korea.
China remembers dismissing all his misgivings, pricklings of unease that told him that somewhere Korea was suffering because of his intervention. He remembers fighting and commanding and pushing the younger nation to the back of his mind.
Until he met him again.
He remembers his boss telling him about an important meeting, with an important individual. He remembers thinking that it was probably just another pompous North Korean military leader, or a Soviet overseer, coming to make sure everything was going well. China remembers disliking this, he has always disliked this. Bigotry and arrogance rub China the wrong way, especially in the young, and it is just one of the many reasons he can't stand America.
But the person who China meets is not some conceited military leader. It is not some upstart little nation.
It is Korea.
But it is not.
China remembers that when he first sees the nation, his first reaction was to run up to him and hug him. To clutch him to his chest and rock him back and forth and stroke his hair and tell him everything will be alright because nini is here now and he will make the pain go away. When China sees Korea, he allows himself to realize how much hurt the young nation has gone through, and wants so bad to go to him and comfort him.
But the look in his former charge's eyes stops him in his tracks.
Korea, not-Korea, is looking at China with a look that China's Korea would never look at China with. His eyes are flinty, not a hint of the normal warmth that usually resides there. Instead, there is a wary, appraising, almost angry look. Like a caged tiger, looking at the man with the keys. He is staring at China with a look that has never before been on Korea's face before. And it worsens, as he turns to face China completely and bows respectfully.
"Hyung-nim," he sais, in a blunt voice that is all clipped and military without a hint of expression in it. "Thank you for meeting with me. I apologize for not being able to before this time. I have been preoccupied with those fighting for the South of my country."
His voice is stiff, rehearsed. It's flat and contains no emotion. It's precise and articulate and there is no slang, and slurring of words, and everything is enunciated properly and it's not his Korea.
"It's fine," replies China automatically, barely registering the words he himself is saying. "Thank you for finding time to meet with me. I hope this war ends soon." The words are robotic, they come straight from his brain because his heart is wallowing in despair at what has become of his beloved younger brother.
However, he means what he sais. He hopes the war ends soon. Hopes with all his heart. Because this Korea, this Korea right now that is all military and war-like with flinty eyes and a clipped voice is not his Korea.
This Korea has not moved a muscle since his original bow.
This Korea is standing still.
This Korea is not dancing.
This is not China's Korea.
And China hates him. China hates him so much. But China is Communist. And North Korea is Communist. And in the icy winter of the Cold War that makes them unshakable allies. When the Communists rally together, China can stand with either Russia and his Soviet Union, or this warped, twisted, shell of his Korea.
China likes Russia, they share similar ideals, even if the nation is quite unnerving. He knows that getting closer to Russia has the potential to make China very strong.
But he stays with Korea.
He spends every moment with Korea.
And he coaxes him out, he coaxes his Korea out. He brings his South Korea back to him, and he softens North Korea at the same time.
Korea's Northern personality is never quite as prevalent as it was during the war. And over the course of years, it mellows out considerably. The lack of emotion, interrupted by flashes of anger, and militarism are still there, but when North Korea appears, China can be comforted by the fact that his fingers will most definitely be drumming a rhythm along his legs, or one foot will be tapping uncontrollably.
Dancing, if even in its smallest form.
Because Korea, whether it be North or South, is not Korea unless he is dancing.
Yao looks up, blinking as he turns away from the pages of his book. Yong Soo is sitting in a chair on the other side of the room, feet up and legs crossed, with his headphones around his neck blasting loud Korean pop that Yao has long since learned to block out.
A blush blooms unbidden across the Chinese man's cheeks, and he finds himself unwillingly marveling at how adorable his former charge is when he's wearing his shirt with the South Korean colours and overlong sleeves and a shirt with the Chinese colours of red and gold overtop.
"Y-yes Yong Soo?" answers Yao, burying his face in the book to try and hide the red of his face.
"You know SHINee?" asks Yong Soo, and despite hiding behind his book Yao can see him tilt his head to the side adorably, eyes wide and inquiring. His blush deepens, and he ducks his head, blocking the Korean from his view completely.
"That Korean band with the effeminate looking boys?" he answers, muffled behind the protection of his novel.
"They're not effeminate!" pouts Yong Soo, both at the slandering of his band of the fact that his brother's sweet face has been hidden from him. "They're just really pretty!"
Yao pauses for a moment, knowing that at that moment an extremely attractive pout will be on Yong Soo's face. He debates abandoning his shield in order to get a glimpse of it, but decides against it. Because it is a world conference and they're in a hotel room and Japan is right next-door. The walls are too thin.
He settles for simple answering the younger nation's question. "….Yes I know them."
"Well, they're amazing dancers," continues Yong Soo proudly, "I love doing the choreography to their songs. Like Lucifer, and Ring Ding Dong. Their fast-spaced songs are amazing!" The Korean grins widely, standing up on the chair and beginning to enact the choreography to one of the aforementioned songs. And it's a very good thing that Yao's head is buried in a book because the song just happens to be Ring Ding Dong, which includes a side pelvic thrust move, repeated throughout the chorus. Seeing that really wouldn't have helped the Chinese man's self control.
"But, you know," continues Yong Soo, switching to some tutting moves from Lucifer, "Their slow songs are pretty awesome to dance to too."
"….I'm sure they are…"answers Yao slowly, hesitantly peeking his head over the top of the book as he realizes that this is clearly leading somewhere.
"So," sais Yong Soo, ending his tutting, to resort to simply rocking back and forth from his toes to his heels, a somewhat mischievous, but eager smile on his face. "Can I have this dance?"
"W-what?" explains Yao, dropping the book in indignation at the (preposterous!) suggestion.
Yong Soo grins and slides of the chair, skipping and twirling his way over to where his beloved nini is sitting. He grins wider at Yao's panicked expression, and bows low before the older nation, bobbing up and down in ceaseless rhythm as he does.
"Yao," he purrs, looking up seductively with his large, chocolate brown eyes, "Might I have this dance?"
While one hand reaches forwards towards a spluttering, embarrassed Yao, the other hands snakes into his pocket and to the iPhone within, changing the song.
As the fast beat of the previous song gives way to a slower, softer melody, Yong Soo's expression softens, and he looks up at his brother with wide eyes, a gentle smile on his face and one hand held forward.
Yao pretends to look at it dubiously, pretends to hesitate, but there is never any question. Because if Yong Soo's hand is there, he will take it.
He will take it and never let go.
And so, he allows Yong Soo to pull him up out of his chair, blushing as he falls against Yong Soo's chest, his head on his shoulder (really, when did he get so tall?), and the younger nation's arms snake around his waist, tugging him closer. Yao's heart beats furiously in his chest as he allows Yong Soo to lead him in a slow dance to the soft love song. He finds himself reaching up with his own arms, wrapping them around Yong Soo's neck, and he looks up hesitantly as the Korean beams down at him. Yao can't help but smile back, as he allows his body to follow the other's around in slow circles around the room.
Yao isn't a fan of dancing. He doesn't hate it, and he enjoys watching it, but it's not something he does for fun.
But because he is Yong Soo's boyfriend, and Yong Soo is always dancing, Yao has learned that his body has to be prepared to move in time with his partner's. To keep up with that ceaseless rhythm, that ceaseless flow of life.
Because Korea is not Korea unless he is swaying his head from side to side and tapping his feet and waving his arms and shaking his entire body to the beat of his Korean Spirit.
And China wouldn't have him any other way.
Korea/China needs more love~
I love how this turned out. Reviews, please? I'd love feedback on this!
Next up is 'Love as though you've never been hurt before'. Any guesses on the couple? X3
xoxo, natcat5 ;p