Chapter 1: Talk to me
AN: SO! First uploaded story ever... –scared-
-cough- This was a request a friend of mine did a few weeks ago. I must say, this story wrote itself after she gave me that little piece of information from Wikipedia (the italic parts, I don't own). Seriously. The story is about 18 pages and a line long in my notebook (big notebook) and I told the people around me that I was almost finished since page 10... –sigh-
So, I hope you enjoy this part of the story. I already have the second part written out (since I hope this oneshot-turned-long-story will be put at bay around chapter 3) and I'll upload it sometime next week, when I know for sure that I like it.
"..." talk (should speak for itself)
'...' thought (like you didn't know already)
italics Wikipedia-parts/important parts of mono- or dialogue
-real story starts here-
After the EU arms embargo on China imposed after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, a series of demonstrations where the movement –led mainly by students and intellectuals- used mainly non-violent methods, China became a reliable client for Russian military exports, making up 25-50% of all foreign military sales
"Yao-kun is a happy client of Russia, da?"
Brown eyes looked up from the papers, briefly glancing at the violet ones of the other, bigger nation, sitting there like always. Still that light blush-like darkening on the cheeks, still those sparkling, unpredictable eyes, still smiling that scary smile -scary because it looks so innocent.
It doesn't scare Yao, though. Having more than four thousand years of experience with the world (literally), one big psychopath couldn't scare the land of the Dragon!
He quickly looked back at the charts in his hands, numbers and names translated to his own language and showing what and how much his nation would now purchase of the others military exports. Though he didn't immediately want to respond he was satisfied with the trading between them, so he guessed…
"…Yes-aru. Your technology will be good for my country to have."
"Yokata-na~," the other replied after a few seconds, sounding sincerely happy for some reason, "it would be bad for me if my most important client wouldn't be pleased with me. Perhaps we can even be friends, da?"
Slightly alarmed, the red-clad nation snapped to attention, locking slightly shocked eyes on the closed-eyed face of the other. That was not something he expected-aru! The Russian must be on one of his "Become one with Russia"-tirades again!
…Still, the light-haired man looked sincerely innocent, with a real light blush on his now tilted face and his eyes closed. Even the smile looked a bit less psychopath-innocent and a bit more…real…
He quickly composed himself again, lightly coughing and looking away.
After a few seconds, he shifted a bit and straightened his long shirt, hesitantly opening his mouth to respond.
Ivan just smiled a bit broader.
'It doesn't even look that creepy anymore, aru…'
More recently there has been a pro-China shift in the trade balance as there has been a dramatic fall in the Chinese purchase of Russian weapons and military technology. This can be linked to the fact that Russia is only willing to send Soviet-era technology that China is beginning to be able to match independently, and refuses to sell its advanced technology due to fears that China would reverse engineer Russian imports to improve its own military exports that would then be able to undercut Russia in other foreign markets.
No one really thought about the nations themselves when this happened…
"Yao-kun never talks to me anymore, da…"
The smaller of the two turned around, stopping in his path to the door. They had just finished a meeting with the other nations, trying to see how they could help Kiku with his country. The poor man was devastated, but wasn't as badly affected by the tsunami as some expected, still trying to be strong for his people.
He quickly looked the other nation over; no long coat, so no hidden axes or lead pipes in there (though he had his doubts about the latter), normal shirt, the man was still wearing that scarf –even though the sun shone outside ('Does he even have a neck underneath that, aru?), and no killer-aura visible in his face or around him. Rather, his posture looked almost as if the other had slumped a bit, slightly sagging shoulders and eyes and brows drawn in an almost sad expression. Even the psycho-innocent smile was gone.
'Doesn't look like a threat yet, aru…'
A quick glance around them confirmed that, yes, they were now alone in the hall and yes, the other nation was still the big, intimidating-looking Russian but no, he didn't look that threatening right now and hadn't made any indication of being in a murderous mood.
Yao looked at the other's face again, relaxing just the slightest bit from the surprise-induced tensing Ivan had invoked with his sudden remark.
"I do talk to you, aru. We just talked in the meeting."
Ivan shook his head in a slightly sad manner, looking down while answering: "China talks to Russia. Yao-kun never talks to me anymore, da…"
Though the big man was slowly tensing up and clenching his fists, the red-clad nation wasn't intimidated: the words indicated this wasn't anger-induced, but rather caused by feeling…helpless…
His eyes widened.
"W… What do you mean, aru?"
Next thing he knew, violet eyes pinned him to the floor, staring at him with one of the most serious, but also one of the saddest stares he had seen in a while.
"I thought we were friends, da…"
It didn't even sound like a question: the light-haired man really believed it was true.
Yao still had his doubts.
With wide eyes and a slightly raised voice, he answered: "We were- I had- I mean, I was your client!" He even forgot his habitual "aru", as strange as this conversation was going.
"But Yao liked talking with me, da? About food and flowers and other nations, da…?" Ivan looked even more distressed then the other now, gesturing with his hands and breathing just the slightest bit quicker. His eyes were wide and sad, almost pleading- but Yao knew that couldn't be true. Ivan Braginski, Russia in human-form himself, only pleaded –begged actually- when Belarus was around.
Yao immediately shuddered.
'Scary woman, aru…'
He shook his head, clearing away the slightly distracting thoughts, and looked at the other again. Nope, still there, and still strangely distressed and sad. Meaning he still had to answer the strange questions.
His eyes clouded over slightly, contemplating the years since the protest. While he certainly couldn't say they were "real friends", he had still liked the company the other brought when one of them visited the other. Usually, Yao only came to talk more about agreements and stuff, but the Russian always smiled (in a non-psycho way) and managed to get the nation to stay a bit longer by his own free will. Though the old country couldn't remember how, Ivan had succeeded in leading many a conversation to trifle subjects, like, indeed, what food they liked, or what flowers were nice in their opinion, or how they thought of other nations. Surprisingly, the usually so threatening nation only showed real cheer and happiness during those conversations (unless it involved his sisters, or other awkward or depressing things). Ivan also made a habit of giving little surprise-visits to the other nation, always managing to stay put until he managed to get tea and conversation out of his supposed host –that is, until said host wasn't scare- surprised anymore, and stopped shoving the bigger nation to the door, and stopped complaining about how he should stop this if it didn't involve the economy or some other situation of their respective country…
Still, Yao had liked the others company, more or less. He just never thought about it as friendship, of all things.
"…Yao-kun…likes me, da…? Yao-kun is my friend…da?"
That sounded way too close. Snapping out of whatever thoughts still invaded his head, he looked up to see the sad Russian right in front of him, looking almost concerned –and a bit scared.
Scared of what? That he'd say no? Whatever they had, it started with the trading. Yao was certain of that, at least.
"…My country is- was your client, but you refuse to sell us anything outside the Soviet-era technology. It's been years, aru, and my people need better trading" he said, choosing neutral ground; don't answer the question, just tell why there's less communication.
Ivan's eyes suddenly hardened, determination flowing over the concern and fear. "I won't give you the newer technology, da. It's dangerous."
Yao scoffed, suddenly filled with a strangely sharp irritation to the other. "I have lived for more than four thousand years, aru. Some new weapons will not kill me that easily."
"They can still hurt you, da."
Yao crossed his arms and stared hard into the violet eyes of the other, almost challenging him to defy what he would say next.
"Why do you care so much, aru? I know you want my country, but I'll never surrender, and in the past years our so-called "relationship" was neutral at best, trading military technology, aru. I was nothing more than a client, and I can just go to anybody else for that –which I will, aru."
He expected some murderous aura, or that ominous "kolkolkol" of the other. Instead, the tall nation stood stock-still, staring at him. He didn't smile, he didn't frown. Just…stood.
'What. The. Hell, aru?'
After a few seconds of tense staring, Yao looked away, staring at a certain spot on the wall.
This conversation was so weird, aru. And he didn't like this reaction at all!
So busy ignoring the other's stare, he barely noticed the small sigh before the hair of his ponytail was suddenly lifted of his shoulder.
Whipping his head back at the other, he almost ripped his hair out of a soft grip. But it was just long enough to leave a length in the others hand, fingers slowly weaving through and twiddling with the ends of the brown hair.
He gaped, not able to say anything. His arms, now limp, fell to his sides in shock, mouth agape and eyes wide open.
'He's touching my hair, aru! Not even pulling it, just playing with it! And what's with that strange look?'
Said strange look was a mix of determination, concern, worry and something he didn't recognize on the other's face. His jaw was tensed, his brows frowning just the slightest bit and his mouth was a strict line. His eyes, looking almost soft with the strange emotion-mix, were staring intently at the others hair he was playing with.
Then the gaze slowly lifted, hand going from lightly fiddling with the hair to softly gripping the shoulder it had lain upon, both grip and gaze full of determination.
"I don't want Yao to be hurt, da" he said slowly, still gazing at the other. Then his grip tightened just a bit, eyes hardening with it. "The new weapons are dangerous, and I won't let the ones I care for hurt themselves with them, da."
Yao almost stopped breathing, already having had difficulties with the strange, thick air since the other had picked up his hair.
'The ones he… He cares about…?'
First his face blanched when the words finally settled, then his cheeks got rosy. Not red, just a little bit coloured.
'Is he saying that I… He cares about me? But-'
When he tried to speak, he tripped over the heavy air, having to literally force the words past his non-cooperative lips, and even then they came out in a harsh whisper.
"Wh- what do you mean, aru?"
Ivan stared, face now completely unreadable. The grip on his shoulder slowly tightened, before it suddenly loosened, the taller nation's shoulders sagging with a soft exhale ('Was that a sigh, aru?'). He broke the stare, violet eyes lowering and clouding over.
They stood like that for a while, one looking up at the other with shocked eyes and the other looking down with a sad air, still not removing his hand from the small nation's shoulder, almost enveloping it entirely.
'His hand… It's big,' a small voice suddenly whispered in Yao's mind, sounding almost like a child. 'It's big, and warm… Kinda heavy too, but… It's almost a nice kind of heavy…'
After a few moments, Ivan started to slowly shake his head, closing his eyes while his fingers picked up the loose strands again, but still resting his wrist on the others shoulder. He looked the smaller one in the eyes, revealing his own now sad eyes. Hand slowly grasping the point between shoulder and neck, he leaned down, refraining the other from moving away with his grip. Then, he slowly connected his lips to the lightly flushing cheek, barely touching the skin.
Yao's breathing had definitely stopped now.
Still frozen in a shocked stare, he felt how the lips parted from his cheek just the slightest bit, warm breath flowing over the no-it's-not-darkening-shaddup skin. He almost started breathing with relief again when the Russian leaned even further, previously warm breath now very hot against his ear.
The small nation's face turned a colour almost as red as his flag, breathing fast and inwardly denying these reactions with a passion. As -cough- "distressed" as he was, he almost missed what the Russian did –or, more accurately, said next.
"Do svidaniya, Yao-chan."
The words were spoken softer than a breath, warm but sad in his ear. However, when the words registered in Yao's mind, they felt like a thunder strike to the small nation, his breath stopping again, red face now paler than ever before and eyes staring at nothing.
' 'Goodbye'? Why's he saying goodbye? Why does he sound so sad? Is he saying he won't sell anything to me anymore or-'
His frantic thoughts were interrupted by a sudden light –but cold- feeling on his shoulder. Focusing his eyes again, he caught one last glimpse of Ivan's sad eyes -looking at his hair, slowly fiddling with the ends of the strands like he tried to memorize it. Then he walked away, passing Yao who almost shuddered at the sad atmosphere now surrounding the Russian with a wide perimeter.
A door opened and clicked shut, leaving China alone in the suddenly cold and bleak hall.