I don't own Hetalia, Hidekaz Himaruya does.

Japan ran through the bamboo forest, the light shining down through the spaces in the green leaves. It had rained last night; the sounds of rain and thunder scaring the boy as he hid under his covers, waiting for the storm to pass.

He didn't really like the sound, it was something Yao said he would get used to, but at that time, he had large doubts. He spent a sleepless night with a pillow over his head as he tried to block out the sounds. He had wanted to go to Yao, but he was determined to be strong and not bother his brother with such things. His brother wasn't afraid and didn't show any fear, so he wouldn't either.

It was late afternoon now and the sun had broken through the clouds. China had let Japan out of the house while he cleaned up.

Running up and down the clearing, watching the stalks of bamboo fly past him in a green blur, Japan laughed happily. He felt free as he ran; the wind whipping at his clothes as he shut his eyes.

It was a mistake, to shut your eyes when running, and Japan's foot hit a deep puddle, causing him to loose balance and tumble forwards in the mud.

"Uwah!" Japan called, his eyes watering as he landed hard on his stomach. A rock was under him, and as he fell, it pushed into his clothes and skin, making a hole and getting to the soft skin beneath.

Japan winced as he felt a sharp pain in his side, shakily getting up. His clothes dripped with mud, water and blood as he took a step forwards, wincing and placing a small hand over his cut.

"Ah! Ngh... This hurts..." Japan sniffled, about to cry out for China when he stopped.

If I tell Yao-san, surely he will scold me! He told me not to run in the forest... I ripped the clothes he made for me, too! What if he punishes me! Japan thought, wringing his hands nervously.

Japan sniffled, rubbing his eyes. He didn't want Yao to be mad at him. Yao was scary when he was mad...

"I won't tell him..." Japan muttered, rubbing his nose. "If I don't tell him, he won't get mad! It's just a scratch. It will heal..."

Deciding that is was best, Japan formed a plan. He would change from his clothes and use the bandages in the bathroom. Then he can try to repair the clothes himself, he had seen Yao do that many times, how hard could it be?

"This way, Yao won't get mad!" Japan said gleefully, hurrying back home.

When he got home, Japan looked around the room, making sure Yao wasn't there. The coast was clear, and he hurried back to his room, taking the wet, muddy clothing off and hiding it under his pillow.

Next he walked to the bathroom, taking a stool with him and standing on top of it as he shuffled through the medicine cabinet for some bandages.

"That stinging water hurts, so I won't use it." Japan said, looking at the antiseptic wash next to the bandages.

Japan jumped down, wincing as he landed. His right side was sore from the deep cut. "I'll just wrap it up and it will be better!" he said, messily applying a long bandage to his cut. He didn't know how to tie the bandage, so he used some sticky tape on it, making sure it was secure. The long strap around his shoulder kept sliding down, but he merely had to push it back up.

"Okay, there. Now it will heal and Yao won't get angry!" Japan said, walking back to his room. His cut stung, but he was certain that in a few days it would be fully healed. He slipped on another change of clothes, just as Yao entered the room.

"Hm? Kiku? What are you doing back inside? Oh? You changed your clothes too, aru?" Yao asked, looking at Kiku in confusion.

Kiku nodded, "Y-yes! I was outside, but I got warm and changed!"

Yao looked at Kiku suspiciously. "Hmm... Really, aru? You look very guilty... Did something happen outside?"

Kiku shook his head quickly, slowly backing towards the door. "No! There's nothing wrong Yao. I'll go back and play more to stay out of your way!" he said quickly, darting away before Yao could say anything else.

Kiku spent most of the day in the bamboo forest, this time more careful for puddles and rocks. His cut had become a bit itchy but he didn't scratch it, as it only made it sting. He didn't run anymore, as every movement seemed to agitate his cut. It had opened a few times, the bandage slipping down his shoulders, but with a couple of adjustments, it stayed back in place. He was playing with a fallen bamboo stick when he heard Yao call him for dinner.

"Kiku! Come back for dinner, aru!"

Upon hearing his older brother call out, Kiku hurried back home; wincing as his cut stung with each movement.

"Did you have fun playing, aru?" Yao asked as they sat at the table, eating steamed rice and buns. "What were you doing outside for so long?"

Kiku gulped, the rice sticking to his mouth as he swallowed with a cough. "N-nothing much. I just played with sticks, Yao!" He said, trying to act cheerful. His side was hurting more now.

"Really? Well, as long as you were careful. I don't want you to get hurt out there, aru." Yao said, shrugging Kiku's odd behavior off. He wasn't too worried, he trusted Kiku.

"Y-yeah." Kiku stuttered, hissing in pain as he reached over for the soy sauce.

"Kiku? Is something wrong, aru? You look like you're in pain... You can tell me." Yao asked, giving his young charge a worried look.

Kiku merely nodded, taking the soy sauce and pouring it on his rice. "I said I'm okay. Don't worry!"

Yao frowned, "Well, I'm only being cautious, aru. Don't reach over the table like that either. It's poor manners, aru."

Kiku nodded quietly, deciding it best not to do anything to further anger Yao. "Sorry..."

Yao nodded, letting it slide as he finished his rice. "Well, I suppose we should turn in early." He said, stretching as he stood.

Kiku nodded, feeling tired himself. He felt a bit light headed and weak, which scared him, but he dare not tell Yao, lest his brother find out about his wound.

"Okay, I'll take the bowls." Kiku said, standing up too. His vision blurred for a second, but he shook his head as things came back into focus.

"Oh? Thank you Kiku." Yao said, watching Kiku pick up the bowls. Was is just him, or was the little boy shaking on his feet?

Kiku nodded, taking a few steps to the kitchen. He was hit by a sudden wave of nausea, the world spinning as he tried to right himself. It was to no avail, as he tipped forwards, the bowls leaving his hands. He heard a loud crash as the bowls hit the floor and a dull thud as his body followed. Then there was nothing but darkness.

It's hot... Was the first thing Kiku thought. There was nothing but dark space around him, but he could feel something brushing against him once and a while.


Huh? What was that? Kiku wondered, hearing something. It was faint; he couldn't quite hear it.


Again? Someone was calling him, but who?

"Wa- u- k-ku!"

That voice... It was familiar... He knew it! It belonged to someone close to him!

"Plea- -iku, wa- up!"

Kiku struggled to open his eyes, to move his arms, anything.

"Kiku, please wake up!"

He struggled harder against the dark haze, trying to find a light as he pushed with all his will to resurface. He had to confirm that voice, he knew it! It was-

"Y-Yao!" Kiku cried weakly. His voice was hoarse and his throat was scratchy as the sounds came from his mouth.

Yao sighed in relief; he was so worried about the boy... "Kiku, it's okay. I'm right here, aru." He said, reaching over to the wash basin and wringing out the cloth. He placed it back on Kiku's head.

"Y-Yao?" Kiku said again, his eyes opening slightly. They widened as he looked at his brothers worried face. "Y-Yao?"

Yao sighed shakily, his hair was in disarray and his clothes wrinkled. Three whole days Kiku had been out, his fever only a few degrees from the point of death... He had been tirelessly trying to keep Kiku cool and bring down his fever, not having time to care for himself, or even sleep. Kiku was too important to him; he just couldn't lose him.

Kiku groaned, his side was sore, like a red hot iron was constantly being pressed into the cut. He tried moving, but it only made the pain worse and he cried out.

"Tch, Don't move, aru. You're badly hurt Kiku, that cut has gotten infected." Yao said, trying to look calm, but his voice betraying his worry. He gently pushed Kiku back down on the bed, re-dampening the cloth and putting it back on Kiku's head.

Kiku looked at Yao, he could see the worry and fear in his brothers deep amber eyes. A heavy feeling settled inside him, weighing his whole body down as it nestled in his stomach. He didn't know what it was until later, when Yao explained... He felt guilt.

It slowly dawned on Kiku that by not telling his brother he was hurt, he did more than make Yao angry... He caused his brother to worry; to fear for his life. Worry and fear was far worse than anger, and he knew the feelings well. When his brother went off somewhere, promising to return within a time limit, if it was exceeded, Kiku would always worry, sitting at the door and falling asleep until his brother came home and found him there... Those feelings… He made his brother feel them too…

"Y-Yao... I-I'm sorry." Kiku whispered, unshed tears forming in his eyes as he looked at his brother. He looked up at his brother, stretching his arms out for a hug.

Yao took one short look at Kiku, the dam bursting as his emotions spilled forward. He leaned forwards, hugging Kiku gently, so as not to irritate the cut, but firmly, as though reassuring himself Kiku was still there.

"I was so worried, aru…" Yao whispered; his eyes watering as he gently raised Kiku up. "When you collapsed, I moved just in time to catch you… You were burning hot and I didn't know what was wrong, aru."

Kiku sniffled, blinking as the tears that collected began to spill over. "I'm sorry! I won't do it again…"

China said nothing as he hugged Kiku, both boys letting their worry and fear flow out with their tears. All that could be heard was the light patter of rain on the roof and the soft sniffles and whimpers of the two boys crying.

After a few minutes, they broke the hug, Yao quickly rubbing his eyes as Kiku did the same. They didn't show emotion too often, and although this was an exception, they were still fairly careful about keeping themselves in check.

"Kiku… Why didn't you tell me before, aru?" Yao asked. It was a question on his mind ever since he saw the cut. He had found it red and swollen, when he was frantically examining the boy.

"I-I didn't want you to be mad…" Kiku whispered.

"But why would I be mad Kiku? If you're hurt, it's important to tell someone, aru! You got very sick because you didn't tell me!" Yao said, his voice starting to get louder.

Kiku flinched at Yao's tone, "B-Because I ripped the clothes you made me, and I ran in the forest when you told me not to! I thought If I didn't tell you, I would get better and I could fix the clothes, then you wouldn't be mad!"

Yao frowned, unhappy that his brother didn't listen to him in the first place, but only sighed. "Kiku… When you get hurt, things like that don't matter, aru… Clothes can be remade, rules can be reinforced, and mistakes like disobeying can be fixed with a simple talk…" he whispered, standing up from his chair. He crawled in the bed next to Kiku, whose eyes began to droop. He was growing tired, the fever having broken, but not disappeared.

Yao hugged Kiku, holding him closely and protectively as Kiku began to nod off, feeling comfortable in his brother's arms.

"Realize Kiku, that by not telling me the truth, you almost died…" Yao whispered, as Kiku only half listened. "There are many things in this world that can be fixed, replaced or solved Kiku… But there is only one you. If I lose you, I can't replace you…"

Kiku nodded, his eyes closed as Yao gently stroked his hair. He understood now… He had been foolish to hide it from Yao, a mistake that could have had grave consequences. Now he knew, and made a promise to himself that he would tell the truth. Like his brother said, there was only one of him.

"Yao... If I died, what would happen to you?" Kiku mumbled, opening one eye to look at his brother.

Yao sighed, still patting his brother's head. "I don't know what I would do Kiku… If you left me…" Yao mumbled. "I suppose I wouldn't die… but I might feel like something inside of me died…"

Kiku nodded gently, nuzzling closer to Yao. "Okay… I won't leave you. I'll tell the truth so I won't get sick again. Know why?"

Yao looked down at his brother, his hand stopping. "Why?"

"Because, if I hold part of Yao, which will die if I do… I'll protect it, like Yao protects me, because I worry about Yao too. Just like there's only one Kiku… There's only one Yao too." He Kiku whispered, Yao just barely catching his words as the boy fell asleep.

The rain had grown stronger, the drops making deep, loud sounds against the roof. Thunder rumbled in the distance as lighting flashed, the wind whipping at the windows. That night though, Kiku slept calmly, not waking up as Yao's arms were wrapped wound his small frame. Both boys had a smile on their lips as they slept through the storm.

Author's Note: Darn FFN took my spaces! :U

Anyways~ This was a short Fanfic I did for my friend. Her prompt was "China and kid Japan =u= Japan hurt himself accidentally, and doesn't wanna bother China about it =u=" So I gave it my best shot... It was done in about three hours I think...

(;w;) Ahaha... I don't know about it. She claims it makes her cry rainbows, but this just makes me roll around and feel like I somehow failed... Nonetheless, she said to post it, so I am.

I hope you enjoyed it, I won't say its terrible, but I will say I'm not sure it's extremely good. *sighs*

Back to working on schoolwork and my other story "Monster High"