"You are such a baby."

"Nyet. Am not."

"You are too."


"Da. You're a total wuss."

"You can insult me all you like. I am not drinking your evil capitalist fizzy beverage."

America rolled his eyes up to the warm Moscow summer sky overhead. The weather had turned nice for his exhibit, and more than a few Soviet citizens had come out to see the latest in American appliances and products for themselves, right in the middle of their capital. But of course Russia himself had to be difficult. And here America had been thinking the Cold War was actually starting to thaw a bit. Things certainly had seemed to be getting better ever since Uncle Joe kicked the bucket. That Khrushchev guy was less of a creepy Red bastard than Stalin (not that it was hard to be less of a creepy Red bastard than Stalin) and Russia had mellowed out considerably under his new boss. He even smiled more often now, real smiles instead of those hollow, forced grins. This was progress...even if he kept making bad jokes about missiles and wouldn't shut the hell up about fucking Sputnik and firmly believed that American cola was produced in the very bowels of hell.

"Just try a sip!" America tried again, waving a bottle of Pepsi under Russia's nose. "I swear, you'll love it."

"Never," Russia said firmly, folding his arms across his chest.

"Come on, I came all the way out here to visit you in Moscow-"

"You mean to flaunt your decadent western ways-"

"Would you chill out?"

"I have told you before that I hate your Coca-Cola. You refuse to let the topic rest."

"You've never tried Coke either. Admit it."

"...I do not need to try it. It is poisonous."

"Is not!"

"I read a story in the newspaper about a man, drinks one sip of your Coke, and boom!...drops dead."

"Now that's just bullshit," America snapped. "And people don't go 'boom' when they die."

"They do when they die from drinking cola."

"Okay, know what? Watch this." With that America cracked open the Pepsi bottle and took a generous gulp. Russia gasped, hands twitching as though he was just barely resisting the urge to knock the deadly drink from America's hands. America brought the bottle back to his lips, tilting his head back as he continued to chug the entire thing while Russia watched in quiet horror.

"There," America said triumphantly, pausing to muffle a belch into the back of his hand. "Did I drop dead? Did I go 'boom'? No. No I did not."

"Of course, it sometimes does not take effect immediately," Russia grumped. "Also it can turn a child's hair white. I read about it in a magazine."

"Does my hair look white to you, buddy?"

"It does not happen right away, I told you! And perhaps Pepsi has a more delayed reaction than Coke."

"It's harmless, you dummy."

"I am only concerned about my health."

"Yeah right. You drink vodka like it's water and smoke like a chimney."

"...Will you leave me alone if I take one little sip?"

"Yes. That's all I'm asking. Just the teeniest tiniest little taste."

Russia picked up another bottle of Pepsi and eyed it with suspicion. "If I die, my people will take this as an act of war," he said solemnly.

"Yeah, you survived the Nazis and your heart regularly falls out, but one measly little bottle of Pepsi is gonna do you in," America huffed, running out of patience. "Just drink it already!"

Russia swallowed audibly, unscrewed the cap, closed his eyes and took one tiny sip of the bubbly drink. There was a heavy pause. Then he took another sip. And another. Finally he turned back to America, who was looking very smug indeed.

"Well?" he drawled sweetly. "Speak up. What's the verdict?"

"It...is very refreshing," Russia grumbled sourly. "Surprisingly tasty, for something produced in the west."

"And do you feel like you're about to drop dead?" Americas grinned, unable to let it go. "Is your hair turning white?"

Russia just glared at him and took another gulp of his drink. "Congratulations. You were right about one thing, and only one thing."

"I'm right about tons of things, admit it!"

"But not many space related things, da?"

"...shut up. You've got a lucky lead, alright?"

"Da, da," Russia giggled. "Keep telling yourself that."

"If you don't stop being a jerk I won't let you have any more Pepsi."

"But that would be most unfriendly of you. I am suddenly very thirsty."

"So be nicer to me!"

Russia smiled, another was of those rare, real smiles. "I think perhaps we should be kinder to each other. You are too entertaining to go to war with. Now, may I have another evil capitalist fizzy drink?"

Historical Notes:

Khrushchev was given a 'Pepsi challenge' of sorts at the American National Exhibition in Sokol'niki Park, Moscow in 1959, during the 'thaw' of the Cold War in the late 50s and early 60s when tensions temporarily eased. Coca-Cola would have been present at the exhibit, but they were boycotting because the Soviets had been putting out tons of anti-Coke propaganda, describing it as poisonous and publishing stories about how it killed people and could turn a child's hair white. Khrushchev was given a cup of Pepsi to sample, and to everyone's surprise, called it "very refreshing!" It became quite a big story and made headlines in the New York Times. This was the same exhibit where the famous 'Kitchen Debate' took place.