The proof of love
Written by Milie (Loverly Souris)
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! Warnings ! This one-shot contains character death (and resurrection… they are countries after all), brutality, blood, OC!Armenia and my usual typos and grammar mistakes…
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"You're tearing us, you're tearing us...
You're breaking us, breaking us...
You're killing us, killing us...
You're saving us..."
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It felt like he was holding a heavy, life-sized porcelain doll, and like his arms were shaking because he was scared he would drop and break it accidentally. The small body seemed to be made of china indeed – it was cold, pale, motionless and rigid. The only colour that broke the monotony of the whiteness was the dark red of the rivers running down from his neck down on his bare chest towards his hips, already drying leaving their paths behind. The fountain-head of these rivers was the fifteen-centimetre-long dagger stabbed in the throat of the doll, more accurately the lethal hole cut by it. The blade was embedded to the hilt in the once soft flesh, the handle dirtied with blood.
Toris wanted to look away, no, even to run away very far from here, but he couldn't take his frightened green eyes off the naked body – his little brother, Raivis. His solid, marble-like face was frozen in a grotesque grimace, a mixture of surprise and pain, mouth open in a silent scream, eyelids shut tightly. His blond locks were slightly wavering with Toris' trembles while holding the boy. On the carpet, a large pool of blood and some other fluid were emitting a nauseating smell, and the man had to clench his lips in order not to throw up again like when he'd stepped into the room and seen the outcome of the screams and crying he had heard from downstairs. He was ashamed, but he couldn't keep himself. Nothing like this had ever happened before. Nothing so serious.
Fighting back his urge to vomit, Toris took a deep breath and curled his fingers around the handle of the knife in Raivis' throat gently. He tried to pull out the dagger carefully so that he could end this horrible nightmare – however, the last kiss of Death, the rigor mortis didn't let him that easily. Teardrops gathered on Toris' eyelashes as he begged on a muttering tone, trying again to move the blade, but the stiff muscles closed around it tightly.
"Please, my heavenly Lord…" he prayed letting his eyelids drop, unable to watch the humiliated body of his brother whose flame of life had been so brutally put out. He prayed, because Raivis' only ticket back to this world was removing the knife from him – but if he couldn't do it, if he couldn't help the boy back… Toris didn't even dare to imagine the consequences.
Just as he was almost swallowed by desperation, the handle moved a little. His eyes shot up with newly found hope and after another breath, he sent a tad more force into his fingers. "Hang in there, my dear brother…" Toris whispered, his other hand buried in the dirtied hair on Raivis' nape, clutching around the locks.
After struggling for five minutes, the dagger was out of the wound, leaving a deep and long hole behind. No more blood oozed from the cut, it was just gaping dryly, emptily, like another ill-placed mouth. Toris shook with disgust and turned away, feeling nauseous again, but he couldn't take it anymore – he tenderly laid Raivis back onto the floor, then stood up and ran to the adjoined bathroom, reaching it just in time.
When he walked back into the bedroom, the wound was already much shallower and the rigour was almost gone, too, at least from his arms and legs. Toris stepped closer to Raivis and bent down to gather him up with so much care only a brother could feel. He took the boy back to the bathroom and cleaned him from the blood and that other strange liquid that he later recognized – much to his horror – as semen.
By the time Toris had finished, Raivis was already slightly warm again, and although his pulse was still very weak, he was sure that his youngest sibling survived the torture and he would be awake soon. He dressed him into soft pyjamas and put him into bed, then went to tidy up the mess on the floor.
And that was when he finally felt the pale scent of vodka in the air, mixed with the smell of blood. It left no doubt about who did all this to Raivis.
"That… demon" Toris muttered, barely holding himself back from starting to shout and curse. He wanted to go immediately and teach that neurotic bastard a lesson he would never forget for sure. He'd almost killed- no, for God's sake, he'd actuallykilled Raivis! If he hadn't been a nation, he would never rise from death! And the semen… Toris shuddered at the thought, feeling more and more hatred towards that man. That drunken, brutal, perverted sadist…
Toris ordered himself to take a deep breath and wave away the clouds that darkened his mind. After all, Raivis would be alright, at least physically. And with his mental scars, he and Eduard would help him, as they were his brothers and their love for the smallest Baltic was much stronger to be ruined by someone greater than them.
He pulled a chair to the bed and sat down, never taking his eyes off Raivis. The boy looked peaceful, the only reminder of his sufferings was the bandage around his neck. Toris sighed. Raivis was still so young, he should have taken care of him more, keep him by his side all the time, watching his every step – that way this wouldn't have happened to him. The man was terrified of what Raivis would feel when he woke up. He was hoping that his brother wouldn't try to escape, he would get punished then surely. Although Toris couldn't imagine what that man would do to Raivis. What punishment was more serious than rape and murder?
He glanced up and his green eyes met with tired violet ones. Toris stood and sat onto the edge of the bed, leaning closer to Raivis and kissed his forehead lightly. "My dear brother…" he whispered on the verge of tears again. His heart swelled with happiness and relief. Raivis was alive. Sitting back, Toris reached down and cupped the boy's face into his hand. "How are you feeling?"
Raivis couldn't hide the wetness pooling in his eyes. "I-It hurts s-so much…"
"I know" Toris tried to answer soothingly, while his heart was torn in half. With his thumb, he brushed away the tears that ran down on Raivis' cheek. "I know, Raivis, but it'll go away soon. It won't hurt for long."
Raivis let the palest of smiles appear on his lips, making Toris admire him even more. "T-Then… it's o-okay…" He closed his eyes and slowly drifted back to sleep, breathing softly in and out with a quiet purring sound almost inaudible.
From that moment on, Toris didn't let Raivis leave his side, not for a single moment. When doing the chores around the house, he always organised the tasks so that the boy would be around him, helping him. It wasn't difficult – after that night, Raivis was stuck on Toris like glue, seeking for shelter in his older, but not much stronger brother. They didn't speak a word about the incident though. They didn't need to.
Days dragged by in an ultimate slow-motion, and Raivis didn't seem to suffer any more violence. Not that he had any chance to – Toris never let his guard down. However, the ever caring Lithuanian made a mistake in believing that by defending the boy he didn't have any weak-points left to be attacked.
"Mr. Laurinaitis! Mr. Laurinaitis, please!"
He immediately woke up and saw a pair of huge golden eyes filled with terror. It was a little Armenian girl, Meri, who lived in the same house with them and, until now, she was out of that man's punishing hands, as far as Toris knew – so, he couldn't imagine what she had seen that made her so frightened. "What is it, Meri?" he asked still quite sleepily and rubbed his eyes.
She was practically trembling with fear. "I-It's about Mr. von Bock, sir…"
Eduard? "Where is he?"
"In… in Mr. B-Braginski's room…"
Toris was out of the bed in a second and in front of the door, not even bothering to put on something upon his nightclothes. Meri could hardly keep up with his long strides as they were walking towards another, separated part of the large mansion – his quarters.
Worry clenched his heart thinking about what he might find behind that door. He was certainly hoping Eduard wouldn't be in such a bad state as Raivis – he was taller and much stronger than the boy after all. He was able to protect himself. But then again… he had already proven how cruel he could be.
A sharp scream cut the menacing silence and Toris stopped abruptly, almost sensing the fear and the pain of his brother. He looked down at Meri – the girl could hardly stand on her feet because of the shivers that were shaking her little body. The man lowered himself to her and patted her head lightly with a soft smile. "Go back to your room now, okay?"
There was something in his tone, something calming that promised everything would be alright as soon as he took matters into his own hands and made the sorrow lingering in the air disappear. Meri looked into his emerald eyes and felt her fear faint a bit. "Okay" she nodded, but before turning, she added quietly, "Be careful!" And she took off.
Toris straightened up slowly watching as the girl disappeared on the corner, then continued his trip on a much quicker pace.
A muffled gunshot shook the corridor and he broke into a mad dash. "Eduard!"
As soon as he reached the door, he opened it without hesitating for a second, without considering the consequences of entering the room so abruptly uninvited. Again a major mistake – another shot, louder this time reminded him of this. First, it was just the sound, ringing in his head for a long time, deafening him, followed by the maddening hotness of the bullet that penetrated into his flesh easily, like the knife into the butter. Only then came the pain, such a tearing pain Toris had never experienced before.
He gasped and reached up to his wounded shoulder. Blood spurted out between his fingers with a frightening intensity that told an artery was snapped. His vision started to swim, but he focused on the two figures on the other side of the room. It was strange. One of them seemed to be floating above the ground with several centimetres. How could that be possible?
Eduard was hung. A thick rope was attached to the ceiling in the middle – one end was tied tightly to a massive bookshelf, the other was around the blond man's neck. He was clinging to the rope to hold his own weight, though he was seemingly running out of strength. His right thigh was a bloody mess, disfigured probably by the gunshot Toris heard from outside. Moreover, several cuts adorned his chest and arms, particularly his hands above the handcuffs glinting on his wrists. Those wounds were still bleeding severely as he was struggling not to release the rope. It would mean instant death.
"Ah, how nice of you, Toris, to finally join us."
Hatred immediately cleared his sight as he looked at the third person in the room who had just spoken in a syrupy tone. Ivan. The gun was still in his hand, lifted and pointed directly at him, though Toris didn't care anymore. He stumbled closer to the other two. His emerald eyes were almost black.
"Let him go…" he muttered, his voice a bit hoarse because of the pain in his shoulder. He tripped, but instead of hitting the ground, a pair of strong arms locked him and pulled him close to a broad chest. The nauseating scent of vodka filled Toris' nose.
"Only with one, simple condition" Ivan whispered into his ear. All the sweetness was gone from his tone – it was thick with threat and sick pleasure as he was running the gun up and down on the Lithuanian's back. Toris looked up into his violet eyes and for once, he wasn't intimidated by them. No. This was his one and only chance to end this nightmare.
"I'll do… anything… just leave my brothers alone…"
The man let out a cruel chuckle and grabbed Toris' chin with his free hand. "Sacrificing yourself in order to save your brothers, what a sweet proof of your love. It should be awarded, so I'll do what you request. But let me tell you a secret…" He leant closer to his ear again and said quietly. "I only wanted you. And now that I have you, I wouldn't need them anymore anyway."
And then, he released Toris, who fell down onto the floor and watched him stepping to Eduard. He pressed the gun to the rope and pulled the trigger, causing it to rip and the Estonian reached the ground with a thud. Toris immediately tried to crawl to his brother, but Ivan stepped in front of him.
"No, my sweet Toris. You are going to entertain me now."
Fear glinted in his eyes as he first looked at the barely moving bloody heap of limbs, then up at the man towering above him. "But…"
"Oh, Toris, have you already forgotten our deal…?" Ivan reached down and gathered Toris into his arms. "I don't bully your brothers and you do anything for me, remember?"
That's right. He was the oldest of the siblings, it was his responsibility to look after the younger ones, to protect them no matter what. And if the price was a life-long torture from the cruellest man in the world… then it had to be endured. In order to keep his loved ones safe.
A pale, almost invisible smile lingered on his lips as Ivan laid him down onto the bed and he turned his head towards the already unconscious figure of Eduard. A single teardrop escaped his eyes.
I have been a good brother…
… haven't I?
A/N: Please, review, if you want. :)