A/N: I know… I never write anymore… and when I do, I come up with a drabble. I know, lame, right? But it's Japan and Taiwan, so forgive me! –sighs- I remember when there was only like 5 stories for this pairing, and now, three pages! So cool! I'll have to read them sometime. Anyway, I wrote this in a hurry, so mistakes could have been made. A little Japanese for those who don't know: "shikata ga nai" means "it can't be helped" and "Aishiteru" is a really powerful way to say "I love you". It's like, super seriously romantic, and you say it to the person you love so much you'd basically die for them. Or something like that; I'm not an expert in Japanese by any means! Now, onto the drabble. "speaking has quotes" and the Japanese has been italicized.

Disclaimer: Don't own Hetalia sadly

Basic idea of the story that could have taken place: China, in his desire to become the most powerful Asian nation, had begun to neglect his people, including the nation of Taiwan. When she tried to stand up for herself, he took it as signs of rebellion, and from then on struck her to keep her quiet. More or less; I didn't put much thought into this, since it's a drabble… heh heh…

Aishiteru

They laugh, their white breath visible in the chilled air. Their hands, intertwined, are paler than the white beneath their feet. It seems strange, to be smiling, to be happy. After everything that happened… the gravity of it all should have suckled them dry and void of such feelings.

Yet there they were, their cheeks red with cold, their hearts racing with a passion that burned hotter than flames. Their slanted eyes meet, both dark, yet more alive than the sakura flowers in bloom behind them. The white petals shook with every gentle wind; they were easily plucked off their icy branches, and then carelessly flung to the ground beneath the two nations' feet.

Like how easily Taiwan had been cast aside by that hateful Yao in his moment of power-hungry extremity. Something deep within Japan's chest roared at the memory of her tears slipping down her gentle face, her lips quivering… They were quivering now as well, but not out of fear or sorrow. From the cold, most likely. He cursed the snow that fell around them, blanketing the ground.

"Kiku-kun…"

Taiwan spoke softly, her voice a whisper carried off by the frigid wind. His rough, battle-worn hand moved up to cup her cheek, his nose twitching at the temperature. How horrible it was, what this poor woman had gone through. His Taiwan. And he hadn't done a thing to stop China from doing what he did.

"Shh… Mei Mei-chan, it is alright… I am taking you away from this. From Yao, and his tyrannical ways. I swear to Kami-sama above that I will never let him touch you again!"

Japan growled, looking angry now, something the stoic boy rarely did. Taiwan cocked her head ever so slightly, shaking her head. Her eyes were wet once more; then again, when weren't they anymore? Still, he thought she was beautiful. The blackened bruise near the top of her eye did not change that. The tears now spilling, Taiwain shut her eyes, turning away. She put out the smallest of smiles, though it was not one of joy.

"Shikata ga nai, Kiku-kun… We cannot change what happened with China… so… you do not have to worry about me. You do not… you do not need to fight for me… "

Taiwan, who was pitiful at best with Japanese, tried to use what little she could. It was surprising to hear the words come out more or less correctly. It was even more stunning to feel Japan's arms tighten around her and yank her in for a rough hug. Today, he was certainly filled with emotion! Usually so apathetic, or at least in appearance, it was startling to say the least! He let her pull back just far enough for their foreheads to touch. His eyes were narrowed, his body rigid. He was going to say something important. She waited for him to find the words, which she knew didn't come easily for him.

"Mei Mei… I will always come to your aide. Until my dying breath, I will be there to save you. Do not ever forget that!"

Moments ago, they had been almost carefree, like the birds flying in the sky. Now, though, he was desperately staid, needing her to understand the severity of his words. Taiwan's eyes flew open, her face reddening and shaking, though this time not from cold. She slowly turned to look at him, her face full of surprise. Japan cared… he truly… could it be…?

"Kiku-kun… say it... please… I need to hear it…!"

Taiwan's heart worked up a storm in her chest, her stomach a tsunami of butterflies and mixed emotions. She had always guessed he felt this way, and had secretly yearned it to be true. Because she felt the same way. All she needed was to hear him admit it, from the depths of his loving heart, and she would have the strength to go on. He would be her reason for living, for smiling again. Please! Her faced begged in anxiety, waiting.

Japan's lethargic mask had appeared again, and she could no longer tell what he was thinking. Or feeling. Minutes trickled by as the snowflakes began to fall faster, landing on her exposed skin. They melted on her face, her arms. Her fingers as they peeked out from between Japan's; he had yet to let go of her. She shivered now; there hadn't been time to change. Neither of them was dressed for winter weather, and surely he was as frozen as she was. His voice certainly seemed to be.

Finally, his lips parted, and Taiwan felt like she could faint from the anticipation. Instead of speaking, however, she had enough time to register the slight incline of his face towards her own. The next moment, a warm sensation spreading from the tips of her lips. His lips were soft, unlike the rest of his calloused body, which unnerved and astonished her all at once. Their kiss was not a long one, but the passion Japan let fly could have left sparks on her tongue.

"Aishiteru," Japan whispered once, so quietly Taiwan couldn't be sure she heard it. But she did. And that was all she needed.

A/N: Hope you like it. My boyfriend and I often use "aishiteru" as expressions of our feelings… I hope he proves worthy of it! ;D

No, seriously though, I hope you enjoyed even if it was short. Reviews help inspire me to write more, hint hint!~