His lips pulled tight against his teeth in a desperate attempt to smile. He couldn't even manage a simple smile anymore. He thought it would be good for him to get away from them all. To stay away from all the bad people. He just ended up feeling more alone. He knew he deserved it. He spent every waking moment of every day telling himself how much he deserved being alone. Not having any friends. Not having anyone but a deranged sister. He deserved to be tortured like this.

He sat with his back against the wall. It was cool and the cloth pressed against his skin tightly. His shirt was restricting, but he wouldn't change it. He leaned his head back hitting it upon the wall a bit too hard. He wouldn't use his hands to comfort the bruise. His eyes kept on the ground. He had a meeting to go to in a few minutes. He would be late. He would be punished for being late.

He smiled slowly the thought pleasing him. He shouldn't like that idea. It shouldn't sound so wonderful to him. He laughed bitterly. He was an awful person and country. He hurt his people so much. He destroyed their lives. The proletariats and the bourgeois. He could still see their empty eyes staring forward as they waited in line for moldy millet. He had done that to them. It had been his will that broke them.

He took out a cigarette and lit it with an almost broke match. If he got lung cancer from this it would be good for him. It would torture him until they found a cure, but he wouldn't accept it.

He stretched his legs up and let the cigarette fall from his mouth. It landed on his chest and left a burn. His arms pressed to the wall. His hands pressed to the ground. He slid up the wall slowly. Achingly slow. When he reached his full height he was pressed to tightly against the wall he didn't think he could separate.

He pulled away from the wall. It was the only thing comforting him. He would be ten minutes late to the meeting. His boss would be angry. They were in the middle of peace talks with America. He closed his eyes tightly. He could still see America behind his eyes. Golden locks and brightly shining eyes. America was beautiful. He was free. He was everything that was good in the world. Big cities, nice people, rude people, shiny new offices, celebrated military personnel, a warm summer that pervaded everywhere, capitalism… All the good stuff.

He started walking. His legs were weary. They barely kept him up and it took him great effort to keep moving. Every time his foot hit the floor it jostled him and he felt almost as if he were going to fall. He cracked his neck and rolled his arms. They were stiff.

He finally made it to the meeting room. It felt too automatic. It was as if he was in a dream. This wasn't a dream though. This was real. He knew it by the throbbing pain in his head. He could see his boss was talking to him.

"…and you have the audacity!" He tuned in at the last bit and pulled his skin across his teeth again. It didn't feel real. He sat down in the meeting chair and looked at America.

"Stop smiling, commie! It's creepy as fuck!" He figured his skin was still pulled tightly. He didn't have the will to stop it.

"If it annoys you, America, then it serves its purpose." He clasped his hands together on top of the meeting table. The world was spinning around him and it felt like water was running through his head. It was liquid and had a very low viscosity for he could feel his mind pouring right out his ears.

"Ass hole!" The liquid was running out of his ears quickly. He felt light headed.

"Such basic insults. Is your vocabulary so shoddy that you must resort to insults a twelve year old child would be more prone to use than a man of your age?" He threw back the first thought to fill his mind before it had a chance to dissolve into nothing from which it formed.

"Fuck you! My vocabulary is fine! I just thought that your commie brain wouldn't be able to process any insults that were actually witty! Big nose!" He sighed and leaned on his hands. Even bantering with America had lost its shimmer. It used to be the highlight of his day. Now he could barely get out of bed every morning even at the prospect of seeing America. The nation of the free. The nation that didn't feed its people moldy millet because the communists took most of the good food for themselves throwing some lavish parties where it was all wasted.

"America, I am very tired and as a result I am not up to par as usual. I wish not to continue this arguing. Will you please let me rest?" His voice was quite low and it droned sounding lifeless.

"You don't sound so well… Are you okay?" His eyes traveled wearily to America. Eyebrows knitted together. His bottom lip jutted out. It all conveyed worry. A worry he himself could not feel anymore let alone express for another.

"I am fine, America. As fine as I will be for a while." He said that line so much and so often it sounded monotone like a bad actor. He didn't wish to change it. He didn't have the energy. Instead he let his lips fall back into a frown like usual.

"You don't sound fine…" America whined it. He shrugged his shoulders going up stiffly and coming back down halfway stopping in the middle before beginning their descent again. It was as if someone had pushed pause while he was in the middle of shrugging and then pushed play just as quickly because they had not meant to pause the action.

"I am fine. Things only hurt to a certain point." He didn't want to say that the point was the middle of his soul where everything hit sharply and expertly like an assassin's knife. It would twist and stab again and again to cause as much pain as possible before pulling away as if the act or the words never happened, but leaving a gaping wound.

"I know the feeling sometimes…" He tilted his head to the side wondering if America meant what he meant or if he was just trying to make him feel better. He doubted the latter possible. He leaned forward his neck aching as he did so.

"Do you now?" His voice was husky a tone he so rarely used. America had only heard it once back in World War One in one of the trenches. He had flown there to give information on what exactly was happening on his side of the war. He had meant to tell how one out of every three of his soldiers had no weapons. How they were dying painful deaths. They had ended up pressed against each other as bombs flew about on the battle field. He had whispered in his ear something he couldn't remember.

America blushed when he had heard his tone. He wasn't sure if the nation was going to respond or if they were going to leave it at that. Just as he opened his mouth their superiors caught their attention. It seemed just like them to interrupt something that might be important.

"Russia." His superior's voice was cold to him. He stood upon the word. It felt like ice slipping out into the air.

"America..." The voice held a certain warmth like that of a father to their child. He envied that. America stood when his name was called.

"You two will be staying together until the upcoming meeting to work on favorable relations." He nodded feeling colder inside than he already was. His neck hurt and he moved his hand to it. It felt to stiff. Both the hand and the neck.

He wasn't communist anymore, but he could still see it everywhere. He could see people starving and dying in the streets. Begging for food he didn't have. He refused food and instead gave it to the children on the street. He was becoming thinner as the weeks pressed on.

"What?! No fair! I don't want to be anywhere near this commie!" He turned at the sentence. Lips stretching across his teeth in a make shift smile. He found it humorous that he should be called a communist. He never truly was until he had been brainwashed at the end of World War Two. He placed a stiff hand on a stiff shoulder and looked at America. His eyes were dull while the other's sparkled luminously. He pulled his hand away from the warm shoulder.

"I am not communist anymore." He wished to say he never was. The words wouldn't come out. They stuck dying in the back of his throat. His tongue felt like cotton inside his mouth as he became acutely aware of it. He couldn't find where to place it in his mouth without it feeling awkward.

"Once a communist, always a communist." America glared at him. The prospect of being anywhere near him must seem like absolute hell to the American. He smiled at that. It was a slow smile of malicious intent that never quite formed into the intent, but was left halfway finished when he realized the thought of America being tortured seemed appealing.

"That is just not so, America." His voice low and husky droned quietly as though the energy to make it louder left him with all attempts to be nice.

"It is so because I say it's so!" He yawned lightly closing his eyes and stretching. His back and shoulders popped loudly. It must have been a while since he popped them, but of course it wasn't. His body just became stiff for no reason lately.

"That still does not make it so." He turned away from America not wanting to see that sparkle in his eyes while his remained dull and lifeless. He didn't have the energy to deal with the man as he used to. It may be because his people were so tired, but he guessed that it was mostly himself that was tired.

"Shut up, Commie." He grasped America's hand within his own. His gloves prevented skin to skin contact. That was good. If he touched the American he would no doubt go insane if he wasn't already.

"We must go now." He spoke as his voice bounced from the walls of his throat. There really wasn't any effort this time. He wondered how he was going to keep his true nature from the American. He didn't think it would be easy. Not with how truly wicked he was. He was so awful. He couldn't look himself in the mirror anymore. He didn't have any reflective surfaces in his house anymore.

"I still don't like you." All traces of worry America had for him disappeared at the prospect of sharing a room with him. He didn't like that, but he knew that no one should worry about him. He was despicable even more so now that the Cold War had ended. He didn't deserve any worry. He didn't deserve any love. He had made a list and checked it twice isolating himself from all others. He deserved to suffer for what he did. He deserved to suffer for killing a child.

Hey, I've been gone for a while, like any of you care, but back now. this will be multiple chapters. Don't know how I'm gonna end this, but maybe the way I started. Any who, I hope you enjoyed it even if it is slightly depressing. Leave a comment if you please. This is probably going to be written solely in Ivan's POV, but who knows. I may just change it up when I feel better. I can't guarantee that it's going to be updated frequently, but I hope you continue reading anyway.

Disclaimer: I don't own any Hetalia. Nothing of it.