"Okay!" Hungary said, skipping up to the front of the room. "America, why don't you let an expert handle this now?" America gladly conceded the floor, and Hungary picked up the pointer. "Well, for starters we need to list the ones we all know are official already. England and America - yes, thank you America, we don't need the victory dance right now - Germany and Italy, and Sweden and Finland. So we don't need to find matesprits for them." As she spoke, Japan wrote the names down.

"Nor me or my brother!" Belarus said, eyes aglitter in Russia's direction. He shuffled away, ending up pressed against China's side. China tried to shuffle away from him in turn, but realised South Korea was on his other side, and stayed put, scowling.

"Uh, we'll certainly take that into account," Hungary said, glancing at the single-direction red arrow joining Belarus' and Russia's photos. "Okay, we have a bunch of possible ones as well, so if anyone has comments, tell us and we'll check them off. If anyone's been waiting to reveal a relationship, now's the time."

Japan looked at his own picture, which was uncomfortably cornered between two red arrows. "Uh, Greece, Turkey, I'd appreciate being able to speak with both of you later on. Privately."

Hungary clapped her hands. "Okay, I think it's time to go to lunch. First I'm going to drop in on the micronations' meeting and persuade them to draw some new arrows for the chart. We'll need a lot and we'll all be busy."

"Good idea, might as well get some use out of the little upstarts," England said, nodding. "Uh, I request that you don't tell them exactly what's going on. No need to frighten them."

"Oh, you just don't want to explain what 'concupiscent' means," France said, smirking.

"Silence, frog."

Japan looked at the chart and muttered "Okay, we know where the first black arrow's going ..."

"It's not blackrom!" England snapped. "I just think he's annoying!"

France snickered. "Aw, how cute. Denial."

England launched himself at France and started making an enthusiastic attempt to choke him. Germany helped America pull them apart, shaking his head and saying "Honestly, get a room." England spluttered indignantly and sank back into his seat, hiding his face.

"Okay, everyone's getting hungry, we should take a break. In fact, I think this is enough of an official meeting for today. Potential doom is a bit tiring. Tomorrow we'll regroup here and figure out what else to do. Any questions?" Hungary thrust her pointer imperiously at a waving hand. "Yes?"

"Uh, not that I'm complaining, but you don't have my picture on the chart," Canada said. "Why?"

Hungary squinted at him. "Who are you again?"


"Do I have to come to lunch with Turkey?" Greece protested.

"What makes you think I want to go to lunch with you, jerk?" Turkey snapped, jabbing him in the ribs.

"Fine, how about you and you each coming to lunch with me?" Japan sighed. This was deemed acceptable, especially after Japan paid for coffee, and they found a quiet corner of the cafeteria to talk in reasonable privacy. They ate in silence, Greece and Turkey glaring at each other occasionally and Japan fiddling nervously with his chopsticks.

"So you wanted to talk, right?" Greece finally asked him. "Well, we should talk then."

Japan swallowed and pushed his bento box to the side. "My apologies. Talking plainly is quite difficult for me, but this is not a situation in which anyone can be expected to read the atmosphere."

"Figures, it takes the threat of annihilation by space monsters to get all three of us into a normal conversation," Turkey said, rolling his eyes.

"And neither of you are going to like what I say," Japan warned. After this elicited only curiosity, he sighed and continued. "Well. I might have agreed to pursue a, shall we say, red relationship with either one of you, but I'm really tired of being the focus of your arguments. I know that's not your intention, but you're making me feel like an accessory to your rivalry rather than a person. If I choose either one of you over the other, I'll only make it worse, and you'll end up making it all about each other instead."

Greece and Turkey both looked surprised and hurt.

"You have a point," Greece conceded sadly. "I'm sorry. But, well, we have a history and you're kind of a new thing in that."

"Yeah, much as I hate to agree with feta-bre- I mean Greece, we haven't really been fair to you."

"I appreciate your apology, but after this morning I'm now prepared with a solution." Japan took a deep breath and looked at the two over his clasped hands. "I'd like to offer to auspisticise for you."

Turkey dropped his coffee. "What?"

"Well. I do like both of you, and I don't want to break off all contact with either of you. It's pretty much what was happening anyway. I step in and prevent you from killing each other, your mutual respect for me hopefully leads to you trying to get along better, and I don't have to choose between you. It is a romantic quadrant, just not quite a traditional one by human standards." Japan looked down at the table, awkwardly. "Please, it's important to me that you try to put up with each other."

"But what the hell do we have to agree on?"

"Well, you could start with your obvious mutual annoyance at the fact that I just simultaneously turned both of you down for matespritship iand/i cockblocked your potential kismesissitude." Greece and Turkey blinked. Japan turned pink and covered his face, muttering "Forgive my bluntness."

Turkey snickered. "Hey, I think this is the first time I've heard you cuss."

"See, you're as bad an influence on me as you are on each other!"

Greece smiled slightly, and said "Okay. If this is the only way you think this can work, I'll try it if he does."

"I'm not backing down if he's going through with it."

"Then we're in agreement." Japan offered a handshake to each man, and after some hesitant glaring they also took each other's hands, completing the circle. For once in his life, Japan actually smiled, and Turkey and Greece both silently reflected that it was worth any amount of hassle to see him happy.