Snow Sunflowers

yosh, this is for my most platonic life partner ever! because I nagged her into giving me a request. love you, sis. /wiggles eyebrows

Somehow or other, Russia ends up sprawled on snow. The first thing that comes to his mind is that the snow feels warm for some reason, and that sunflowers grow from it. He hesitantly takes a chunk of the white. Ah, he thinks. I can't feel anything.

"This must be a dream," he says aloud. Or not really. Who knows how loud one can be in a dream, anyway? "Whoa, I can speak to myself. In a dream."

Once, Lithuania says that the way to get out of a dream is by acknowledging that they are in a dream. But since Russia goes through that phase already, he has to take the second method. That is, in the worst combination of words possible, by getting hurt. He pinches his cheek.

"I'm not feeling anything," Russia thinks, and says after his jaw slacks, "I didn't mean to say that out loud!" He looks bewildered, and maybe that's why his voice says, "why is this happening," in the most confused tone ever.

"Oh, that's it," Russia thinks, but it's being voiced out without his permission, "I'm speaking of my feelings."

He looks around after a moment. There is a field of snow, with sunflowers jutting out of it, and a trail made of marble. Naturally, he follows the trail, turning around to get a last look at the snow bed and the orange colour of the huge sunflowers. "It's not everyday that I can walk in a dream."

It takes him a while to notice, but the end of the trail leads to the same snow bed, and he tilts his head, trying to make sense of it. Then again, it's a dream. He sighs and falls back into the not-cold snow.

To say that he doesn't notice a hot air balloon with a rainbow-coloured envelope in the middle of the sea of snow and hugged by sunflowers, is an understatement. He bumps straight into it. Apparently his feelings claim, "who put this thing here?" But he gives up immediately. He has to get used to the fact that he is in his own dream. Things may as well materialize from thin air as he knows it.

However, he certainly doesn't think that Canada would be there in the basket, looking at him with tired eyes.

"Why would Canada be in my dream?" He thinks.

Canada-in-his-dream looks him up and down, and it kind of chills. (Which says a lot; since they have not-cold snow and skyscraper-like sunflowers in his dream, and he is yet to feel anything.)

"You're not the real Canada, are you?" Russia asks softly, leaning on the basket.

Canada doesn't answer.

"So you're just a fragment."

The seemingly-not-real Canada smiles, but no words come out.

Russia looks at him and looks into his eyes. "You look exactly the same, though."

Right down to the hair and eyes and the way he stands, as well as the polar bear he carries around. The polar bear seems to be more or less not-alive, to say, for it just lies limply on one corner of the basket. Canada looks away from him and at the sunflowers around them. He does it similarly to the not-in-Russia's-dream Canada; swift and graceful, and there are sparks in his eyes, beyond the glasses.

"Why won't you say anything?" Russia asks, nearly pouting. "You're annoying me." His mind says.

Canada startles, raising an eyebrow at him. "Are you going to speak now?" Russia's mind asks.

But he doesn't. Russia keeps staring at him, hoping for a word. "This is very unnerving," his mind says, a few seconds prior before it proceeds to add, in a fluttery tone, "I'm in love with Canada."

Nevertheless, Russia manages not to freak out. "Why did I say I'm in love with Canada?" Technically, he doesn't say it; his mind does, but he is having difficulty trying to specify which is which.

He has more things to worry about at the moment; like how Canada's eyes have locked on on his feature, for instance. Russia squirms under the absolutely heated stare, but finds himself doing the same to Canada. The birds ("There are birds?" his mind squeaks.) don't chirp but utter, "lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub."

"Is that my heartbeat now?" Russia asks the sky, where the birds are currently forming the peace symbol. He is feeling rather tired, despite being in his own dream.

He takes a cursory glance at Canada, whose only moving part of his body is the head. Immediately, his mind takes over. "I'm in love with Canada."

The birds' lub-dubs are getting louder.

"Canada," Russia whispers, and it's his mouth that speaks, for once.

Canada smiles. Russia blinks repeatedly in a second. Canada is downright laughing. Except inaudibly.

"I love him," his mind voices out.

"I love him so much," his mouth whimpers.

Russia reaches out and grabs Canada by his right arm. (It feels like cotton. Like the hand of a doll.) Canada's face has taken turn for a monotonous, blank look. Russia looks at him and, "yes, I love you."

The hot air balloon takes off, Canada still perched in the basket, along with his polar bear, but not Russia. He reaches out; he keeps reaching out. He tries to jump; the snow keeps hold of his legs. The hot air balloon goes up and up and up, and Russia stays on the ground, his hand let go off Canada's arm.

The birds vanish, or, more appropriately-worded, scatter into small, crystalline pieces. Russia stares forlornly at the hot air balloon. The rainbow envelope may stand out, but it doesn't mean anything when it already looks like a tennis ball from Russia's point of view.


Russia's head snaps up. "Belarus?"

"Brother." A sunflower with lips says. Russia blanches at the familiar colour of lipstick.

Russia wakes up to see the ceiling of his bedroom and Belarus slips down from his bedcover.

"Belarus," Russia sighs, sitting up and flinching at the sunlight crawling in from his curtained windows. "How did you get inside my room?" He is pretty certain that he has set all six of his locks.

"I heard you mumbling things from the corridor," Belarus says. "I was worried, so I stormed in." Russia thinks 'stormed in' may be a good way to explain the state of his threshold. "You were trying to reach out for the ceiling, Brother. While asleep."

All right. Russia blinks, and the somewhat-memories of his dream flood in. "Er, thank you."

Belarus smiles. "For you, Brother."

Russia slowly gets out of the bed, Belarus happily offering him a hand. "Don't we have a meeting today?"

"Russia, can I have a second?" Canada stalks out of his chair and walks towards him.

Oh, this Canada speaks. "Obviously," he nods. It's not my dream anymore.

But of course, America is hopping around behind Canada, huffing, "We should be going for lunch together, Canada!"

"Shut up, America," Canada shushes him. "I will catch up so go ahead."

It's not unexpected that America decides to stay to watch over Canada (and latch on him) and glare all he likes at Russia. Russia replies with the sweetest smile he can muster, but America growls at him for some reason.

Canada, obviously pretending America is nowhere in the vicinity, begins. "There will be a Hot Air Balloons Festival in my place this weekend, can you possibly come with me?"

America shrieks, "Why don't you ask me?"

"Because you forgot about it last year. I don't want to repeat the same thing all over again, America."

The Canada who speaks. Hot air balloons. The polar bear on his arms. Russia lifts his hand and at the same time lifts one of Canada's. The polar bear stumbles but holds onto Canada's jacket for dear life. The Canada who has warmth. (Unlike cotton; unlike a doll.)

"Russia?" Canada looks at him and his hand, puzzled. ("Let go of my brother!" shouts America.)

"I'm in love with you," Russia says. (Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub.)

Canada is positively burning; America gapes. "W–what?"

"This weekend, is it? I will pick you up." Russia adds, shifting his fingers so that they intertwine with Canada's.

Canada looks at him, and Russia knows he is no longer dreaming. It's the real world, and his real self has the real Canada in his grasp.

"You can't be going with him when he has an ulterior motive!" America flails.

"It's better to sleep over the day before. The event starts really early in the morning." Canada tells Russia instead.

"Mm, I'll make sure to," Russia smiles at him, and the Canada who smiles back at him is as brilliantly bright as the rainbow envelope from his dream. "Now, can I join you for lunch?"

"Sure," Canada says; "no," America says.

They leave for the nearest fast-food restaurant from the meeting place. At least America has Belarus to keep him occupied from verbally abusing Russia.