A/N: Like my fics "Yes, No, Maybe" and "Shampoo, Marshmallows, and Crossdressers, Oh My!", this was finished at a very early hour in the morning. This one is a lot shorter than either of those, though.


"What do I see?" China repeated the question that had just been posed.

The inquiry's owner stood before him, but faced away, revealing his bare back.

"I see a tattoo of a bleeding sunflower... Russia, what is this, aru?"

The taller man turned around, his usual innocent smile plastered on his face, but another, darker emotion shining in his eyes. "It is the symbol of everything we are. Like our love, it stains the skin." He pointed to the rope burns on China's wrists. "You understand, da?"

China scowled, tugging his sleeves over his hands so that marks were no longer visible. "No, aru. I really don't."

Russia clicked his tongue, snaking his arms around China's waist, the latter not rejecting nor consenting, just standing there. "How can you not? It is a mark that holds the past, present, and future."

"It's a tattoo, aru."

The Russian smiled, a paradoxal, loathing kind of love burning in his eyes. "Yes, but it is a tattoo bearing our names."

Lightly, curiously, China moved his arm up, fingers slipping past Russia's hip and ghosting over the tainted skin of the tattoo on his back.

The blonde shivered slightly, grasping his mate's chin between two fingers and tilting his head up. Their lips collided hungrily, releasing the pent-up emotion they held.

"And," Russia began breathlessly upon breaking the kiss, "as long as the ink stains my skin, I know that I have you close."