"Don't worry, aru!"
China pat the fretting Japanese man on the back. The two of them stood in the bushes, watching the mailbox intently. Japan shifted anxiously. He had gone to many of his good friends with advice on this matter – America, England, and embarrassingly enough even Italy and Germany. Each had a different response on the method he should take in this matter. He considered all of it. The only person he refused to actually receive help from was France, despite the nation's reputation as the nation of love. France had been known to give some rather eccentric advice that was really only for desperate measures. Japan wasn't desperate, not yet at least. He would go to Spain before he would go to France, but desperate measures might need to be taken so the Frenchman wasn't completely crossed off his list of advice like Germany and Russia were. The two men simply weren't known for being romantic.
"I know for sure that Romania will like your letter!" China assured the man.
"I hope so," Kiku mumbled.
"And if she doesn't, that means your breasts are still mine!" South Korea shouted.
He was purposefully ignoring Korea and watching quietly from their spot in the bushes as Romania walked out of her house. She smiled, took a deep breath, inhaling the air as she walked outside. She then strolled down her garden and to her mailbox. Japan's heart was pounding when she opened her mailbox, spotting the soft pink envelope. He couldn't even focus on how nice she looked that day. His heart was just beating so loudly in his chest he thought that it would give away his position to the woman. She apparently didn't hear his heart, much to his surprise. He did hear her gasp when she found the letter that he had stuck in there, just moments before she came out of the garden. She had dirt on her arms and her face, but she looked like the picture of pure ease. She always looked rather calm, at least, unless Russia were around or she was having a 'brother-sister' spat with Turkey or splitting up Turkey and Greece.
"Ah? A letter?"
She looked at both sides of the mail, noticing there was neither a return address nor name. However, her human name was on the front cover – Relia Popescu, written in Romanian. The writing wasn't a true Romanian's hand writing. The letters were slightly off, but she found it endearing that someone would try to write her name out in her own language for her. The only people who knew her human name were nations. But she wasn't expecting any mail from other nations, nor was she expecting anything from the office. Plus, the letter was far too nice to simply be business oriented. Shrugging, she pulled the small slip of paper from the envelope, sniffing at the delicate scent coming from the letter. Someone had to have hand delivered it if they got it to her without an address. She looked around, hoping to find someone, but the Asian nations were safely tucked away behind her lilac bush, something South Korea would later complain about because of the floral smell, but China and Japan would not listen to his whimpering.
"Mmm, cherry blossoms," she sighed.
"It's going well, aru!" Yao whispered excitedly.
By now Japan was blushing red. His heart was racing in his chest at alarming rates. For a moment, he watched as she gently cradled the letter in her hands, lost as she swirled around in the bliss that the scented letter brought for her. She smiled, thinking of the times she spent in Japan's home. She remembered that he loved the blossoms, and had the trees planted all over his garden. She would have planted them in her backyard as well, but that would introduce an alien species of plant into the ecosystem and it had a deadly affect on the food chain so she had to go without the flowers. That did not mean that she did not appreciated it when Japan sent her some blossoms home, after the World Meetings, because he knew she enjoyed the flowers. She always put them in a vase by her bed side, so she could wake up to them each morning. Her face grew pink at the thought of Japan. She rather liked him.
"Alright, let's have a look…" Relia muttered.
Gently she opened the letter, doing everything in her power not to let the envelope get ripped as she opened it. Her eyes were scanning over the words. Japan by now felt like his heart was going to burst from his chest in an explosion of just how anxious he was. She had yet to say anything. South Korea opened his mouth to say something but China covered his mouth, to keep their location hidden from the European nation they were spying on. It was strange that she had yet to notice them yet. She was normally very good at finding intruders. She had to be, especially since Russia kept trying to sneak into her house to kidnap Moldovia whenever the younger nation was over. That normally brought forth a skirmish between the two, since Romania was protective of her younger 'brother'. The last one involved Russia being body slammed into the Smart Board that America had installed in his Meeting Center. Russia then grabbed her by her hair and was about to smash her face against the window when America and Germany intervened.
She blinked. The Asian countries held their breath as they waited for a reaction of any sort from her. Her expression got slightly dreamy. Japan felt his breath hitch, hope shot through his heart like an arrow. Everyone tensed when they heard a soft 'oh' escape her lips like a sigh. Japan only hoped that he didn't come off as too blunt. It took him hours to even come up with that, because nothing he wrote seemed to sound right. He wasn't even sure about that letter, but China was making him use it because the he liked it best, because it was short, simple and to the point while still coming off as romantic. The probably should have gone to Italy but if they told the Italian, he would have told the world. France was not to be trusted either in this matter because he would try perverse ways to get the two nations together that would only end up in the two hating each other for all eternity. It was, after all, what happened with Prussia and Hungary. Those two couldn't even be in the same room without shit hitting the fan.
"It's such pretty writing…" Relia lamented, "I just wish I could read it…"
China froze. Japan looked like his heart had dropped to his stomach. That was as much of a rejection if there ever was one. He most certainly lacked the courage to jump out of the bush and tell her face to face. Kiku bowed his head. There was nothing he could do now. He tried to confess but it failed. She was probably not interested in him in the slightest. The Asian nation could only watch in heart tearing dejection as Romania took the letter inside her home. Yet he didn't even have the heart to watch as Romania walked inside her home, shutting the door behind her. She looked it over front and back, finding nothing except for what was written for her. It was obvious that the writing was not any of the European languages that she knew. It most certainly was not French, Italian, English or German. So she looked it over, taking it to her books. She had to find out what the writing was so she locked herself in the library, pouring of her books to figure out the language.
"Did you know that Korea invented love letters?"
"Shut up, aru!" Yao hissed.
"That… word is cherry blossom… And that is more… This means like… No that's not it…" she murmured to herself.
Then her eyes widened. She had finally cracked it. After a few hours of studying, vast resources that were in her library that were used and abused. She had even gone without eating or drinking anything because she was just so desperate to figure out what it was but without the proper books she had to go to the public library to figure things out. Once she was struck with curiosity, nothing deterred her until she figured it out. Turkey and Greece argued how that was a good thing and a bad thing for her. She just laughed at the two, because they reminded her of older siblings who could never get along. But as she translated the letter, her 'brothers' were the furthest thing from her mind. In fact, she had all but forgotten about them as she stared wordlessly at the paper.
"My love for you is greater than the number of flowers all in a cherry tree," she read aloud. "Japan!"
She stared at it. Her hand was shaking now. She sunk into her chair as her knees went weak, running a hand through her hair. Ink stained her fingers after working so hard from writing notes and reading all of her thick books about languages. She may not have known Japanese like she did other languages but there was no mistaking her translation. Japan had confessed that he liked her. She had a crush on him for decades now– back when they were fighting World War II together. She had fought World War I with the Allies. She then fought with the Axis Powers during World War II. She didn't like fighting with the Axis Powers but her companions to fight with weren't bad. They helped her get over the fact that, despite the fact she as a person disagreed with the side she fought for she could not go against her boss' orders. But she had not said anything because she would rather have him as a friend than to lose him because she ruined their friendship. Now she had proof, unless this was someone's idea as a joke, a cruel one at that.
Japan was always so good to her. She liked him back and she had for a while. She looked at the clock. 12:56 am. She had no idea what time it was in his home but she had to find Japan. However, if this letter really was from Japan, she couldn't just sit back and not tell him that she figured things out, that she wanted to be with him as much as he wanted to be with her. She went to her phone but then froze. She couldn't call her pilots. It was the middle of the night. However, she could fly her own planes. She went to her room and gathered a single overnight bag, one with just a change of clothes and Kiku's letter. She barely remembered to take her cell phone. Swiftly, she sent her boss an email, saying some personal business came up and that she would be unable to come into the office the next day.
Japan was drowning his sorrows in his hot spring in his backyard. He couldn't face China or South Korea after his complete and utter embarrassment. He even turned Taiwan away. Now there was a rapid, almost highly insistent knock coming from his door. He reluctantly got out of the bath, dressing rather quickly, though loathing the person who was making him retreat from his indulgence. It was probably America, wanting to play a video game or asking about the next week's shipment. He sighed as he opened his door only to find a frazzled Romania standing outside his home, looking the absolute worst he had ever seen her look since World War II. He didn't know what to say. He could barely get his breathing to go properly as he stared wordlessly at her. The two just stood there, staring for a moment. Romania seemed to be waiting for him to say something to her, anything. He shifted and wondered if it had something to do with his letter that he had sent her. She did have a knack for languages, seemingly learning them faster than many of the other nations.
"A-Ah, R-Romania-san, w-what a-are-?"
"Your letter," she breathed, "I translated your letter…"
He had closed his eyes for only a second and when his eyes opened slowly, they only widened again, but for completely different reasons. Relia's wide, wide eyes were staring down at him. Some wise person had said once that the eyes were the window to the soul. The man couldn't agree more in this case. Relia's eyes were her soul. It appeared that most of the time, they were bright and happy and full of laughter. But at the moment, they were driven and intense and they bore straight through a person, laying their soul out for him to scrutinize. He didn't know whether to look away from her or stare back. He was very much tempted to just shut the door and pretend he wasn't home, even though she had already seen him answering the door for her.
"W-Would you like to come in?"
Japan nodded. He opened the door wider so that Romania could step in. He watched her silently as she took off her shoes outside his home, something that few of the nations did for him anymore. England and America knew he liked having shoes off in his home, as did Greece, but Italy waltzed in with his Italian leather shoes all the time. Even Germany tended to forget that Japan did not like the mud his boots left behind in his home. She neatly tucked her shoes right by Japan's. She looked up at him. He noticed the envelope in her hand. He took a shuddery breath. She must have figured it out. His heart was racing again. He didn't know what to say. Slowly he closed the door behind her. Romania licked her lips.
"W-Would you like some tea?"
"No," Romania responded, "I want to talk about this letter."
Japan shifted anxiously. He couldn't meet her eyes. He walked past her and into the kitchen. Romania followed after him. She kept the letter close in her hands. There was a saddened look on her face. She did not want him to be upset by this. He had sent her the letter. It was one of the most touching things anyone had done for her in a long time, at least a few hundred years, at least since Rome took her in as a child and Turkey and Greece took care of her after that. Greece and Turkey had always been so good to her. The Allies had been good to her when she was with them. The Axis powers had been good to them when she as on their side. She had friends all around the world now, though she was still on tense terms with Russia because he had abused her time and time again. Though, everyone was wary of him.
"Stop running, Kiku!" Romania ordered.
He turned to face her with wide eyes. Romania smiled at him, tenderly. She held the letter as if it were the only thing in the world that meant anything to her. Her heart was racing a mile a minute. She was terrified. Her stomach was dancing like live snakes eating each other. Japan would have rather not have spoken anything about it. He slowly turned around to face Romania, with the courage that he held when he fought in wars. He had a stony expression on his face as he faced her, trying to pretend that her heart didn't ache if she rejected him over his feelings. She had drawn out the stronger part of him. Japan could see a thin layer of sweat on her forehead. She looked as terrified as he felt. A small kernel of hope burned in his heart and exploded into something warm. It was slightly frightening.
"Did you mean it?" Romania asked.
Japan bowed his head, too anxious to look her in the eye as he confessed his feelings. He had to muster up the courage to tell her the truth, what he was unable to say to her face. He swallowed thickly, feeling a lump in his throat in his throat. In fact, his voice had crawled up his throat, camped out and decided to say there as she looked hopefully at him. She bit her lip, waiting anxiously for him to actually say something to her, anything for her. Japan took a deep breath. Perhaps he should have listened to America and gone to the bars with him. Perhaps this would be easier if he had a touch of liquid courage. But the look in her eyes made him gather this hope together, because perhaps she felt the same. Italy would have hated Japan's situation. He would have wanted Japan to do something, to have told her the truth.
She leaned close to him. Japan felt his face burn as he looked up at her. She smiled and kissed him on the cheek. A blush crawled up his cheeks and they burned brightly. Romania took his hand in hers, setting the letter on the table. Who knew the love letter would actually work?