Chapter One: Just Another Weekday Morning

Inside an old-looking mansion, heavy and echoing footsteps could be heard thumping down a hallway as the place's primary inhabitant ran for his life from a very familiar, knife-wielding sister.

"Big Broder! Big Broder! Let's become vone! Come on, you know you vant to! Don't you dare deny it!", Natalya's (Belarus') voice rang down the crumbling and ancient hallway, making Ivan Braginski gulp and run even faster, fear and panic dominating his emotions. The tall and pale blonde man-known by many as Russia incarnate-had been surprised earlier that morning when, seemingly out of nowhere, Belarus had trapped him in his own room holding a bouquet of sunflowers (his favorite blossoms) along with some legal marriage documents, demanding they finally "become vone". Ivan had jumped out of bed, dropped the documents he had been going over, grabbed the lilac-coloured scarf his older sister Ukraine had given him, and somehow managed to escape from her grasp unscathed. Of course, the sudden visit had shocked the Russian man; his little sister rarely came to visit him on such short notice-she usually sent a letter in advance warning him of her arrival. And to make matters worse, he had a world conference meeting that required his assistance in a few hours. Today was definitely not his day...

Heaving a series of low grunts, the pale blonde nation rounded a sharp hallway corner and continued to run. A sudden rush of air made Ivan duck instinctively, and he inhaled sharply when a kitchen knife imbedded itself in the wall-and the place where his head had once been. Fear suddenly washed throughout the great Russian Federation and he put on a burst of speed. His sister was definitely getting closer to him; the embedded knife from earlier and her nearing footsteps merely confirmed it. Ivan clumsily rounded another corner-and nearly lost his footing-before scrambling into the nearest room and slamming the door close. Almost immediately, heavy pounding on the door-followed by obscene cursing in the Belarussian tongue-rang upon Russia's ears as his little sister demanded entrance. A sigh of shallow relief escaped Ivan's lips, and he slumped against the door. That had definitely been too close of a call, he realized in horror. A second's hesitation would have almost certainly cost him his life, something the Russian man valued very much.

With his heart still pounding from the close encounter he nearly had with his sister, Ivan turned around-and nearly screamed in surprise when three pairs of eyes stared at him back, wide and watery. The three Baltic nations quivered in fear at seeing their former 'master', and the youngest of them all, Raivis (Latvia), began to whimper. "G-G-G-Good morning, m-m-mister R-R-R-Russia! H-H-How are y-y-you t-t-today?". Beside him, Eduard (Estonia) chuckled nervously and with shaky fingers, adjusted his glasses. "I-I-Ivan... What a surprise to see you here. Uh, is that N-Natalya outside, sir?" he added. The aforementioned man smiled and a violet aura began to form around his heavy frame, hovering like a depressing presence. Seeing the Baltics shivering in fear made him temporarily forget his own fear regarding his sister. "Pryvet, my little servants! I had forgotten this here vas your sleeping quarters, da? So nice to see you here together~!" he cheerfully replied, the heavy aura only intensifying in thickness. Indeed, the three men had somewhat unwillingly stayed over Russia's house in order to attend a special meeting regarding the Nordic Five (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark) and theirselves.

Toris (Lithuania) gulped audibly and scratched his head, body quaking at the sight of the large Russian man. The three smaller nations were deathly scared of Ivan and his abrupt mood changes; past experiences with the unstable man had taught them to be on alert when something like that happened, so seeing him smiling after having been shivering in fear was definitely NOT a good thing. "Ahahahaha! Uh, good m-morning to you, mister R-Russia! Why, t-t-thank you for a-asking! A-And you?" he asked in a quivery tone, fearful of the large man's reaction.

Ivan's smile got even larger and more haunting-if that was even possible. "Spasiba for asking, my little comrade! I am fine... Or at least, I vould be, if my little sestra hadn't come here today..."

The temperature in the room dropped several degrees when Russia's smile disappeared, and an eerie scowl replaced it, followed by a haunting chant of "Kol kol kol kol kol kol kol kol... So... who let Natalya in? Tell me the truth, or you'll regret it...", he added, speaking the final part in a harsh and warning tone. The unspoken threat immediately took its toll on Raivis, who began to cry. "P-P-P-Please, Master I-I-I-Ivan! I-I-It wasn't o-o-our f-f-f-fault! We don't know anything!" he cried, scurrying to hide behind Lithuania's and Estonia's backs. Lithuania shuddered sharply and let out a small squeak of his own when the large and imposing hand of the great Russian Federation found its way to his shoulder and tightly gripped it. "Hm...I don't believe you~! Perhaps my little Baltics are not having understanding of Russia's question, da?" Ivan questioned cheerfully.

The eldest Baltic nation let out another squeak and desperately looked towards Raivis and Eduard, but the other two nations were too terrified to even speak up. Ivan took that to be an admission of guilt, since the little child's smile once again twisted his features and the look in his lilac eyes got even more sadistic. "Lithuania was the one who vas letting my little sestra in, then? What a naughty little servant Toris is! Perhaps you should be taught a lesson, da?" the tall Russian cooed creepily, eyes firing up at the thought of torture. "Yes, little Toris shall play vith Ivan, von't he? Alright then! Come here~ Come to Mother Russia~!" the Russian nation sang as he pulled Lithuania towards himself. Toris began to cry and shake, all the while futilely resisting the larger man's efforts to subdue him completely. "E-Eduard, R-R-Ravis, h-h-help m-me! P-P-P-PLEASE!".

Reveling in the smaller man's whimpers and blubbering cries for help, Ivan reached for the lead pipe that he carried everywhere inside his coat and was about to whack Lithuania senseless when suddenly, a hard object (a doorknob, to be precise) impacted him from behind and brought him down to his knees. Toris took the opportunity to escape from the Russian's grasp and scrabbled towards his other two Baltic companions, eyes shining with unspilled tears. With a low moan, the Russian Federation staggered back to his feet and tugged his scarf, gloved hand clenching his beloved lead pipe tightly. "Kol kol kol kol kol kol kol kol..." he began to chant, the smile gone from his face. "Who threw that? Speak up..." he murmured. Eduard-who was directly in front of him, shielding Raivis and Toris-merely gupled and shoved his glasses up again; Ivan could nearly detect the intense fear and horror laced within his voice. "M-M-Master Ivan...Y-Y-Your little sister...is, uh...right...b-behind you..." the Estonian stammered. The blood in Russia's body suddenly turned to ice, and he slowly turned to face the sudden presence that loomed behind him. No, no, no, no, no, no... please don't let it be her, please, please, please...

Unfortunately for him, the delicate yet imposing form of Natalya Arlofsky-Belarus incarnate-the youngest of the Kievan siblings, hovered by the doorway, cutting off Ivan's only route of escape. Cool blue orbs tainted by madness stared piercingly at the Russian man in a sort of twisted devotion and adoration. Belarus' dress-today traded off from the ordinary navy blue to a pure white wedding gown, much to Ivan's dismay-only made Russia's sense of dread increase susbtantially, a fact lost on the slim young woman. "... Big Broder... I've finally found you... Vhy do you keep running from me? Have you already forgotten about the undying love ve feel for one another?" she murmured softly, sapphire eyes hard and piercing.

The Russian man merely chuckled nervously and waved his hands rapidly in front of him, as if the flimsy barrier could deter Belarus' advances. "S-S-S-Sestra! Ahahaha! G-Good to s-see you! Uh, v-v-vhat b-brings you h-here?" he asked, fearful of her answer-and reaction. A small innocent smile twisted her lips, and she took another step closer to her beloved brother; in her left hand, a deadly knife-her favourite-glinted from the corridor's lighting. "I've come so ve can get married, Vanya... married, married, married, married, married, married... Now, let us become vone!" she rasped abruptly, all traces of sanity gone. Russia yelped in surprise and scrabbled across the floor as he narrowly avoided Natalya's sudden assault. The Baltic trio could only watch in horror as their former 'master' tried to avoid his crazed younger sister's quite unrequited amorous advances.

"Go avay! Go avay, go avay, GO AVAY!"

"Big Broder, don't deny the power of love! Marry me, marry me, marry me, marry me, marry me, marry me..."

"GO AVAY!"

After five minutes of the same outbursts from the sobbing Russian man and the crazed Belorussian woman, Lithuania decided to intervene. Steeling himself with his last liquid shot of courage, the eldest Baltic nation took a breath of air and yelled, "P-PLEASE, STOP!". Both Natalya and Ivan ceased what they were doing and turned to look at the slight man. Belarus' eyes irradiated pure bloodlust and hatred, while Russia's violet orbs only expressed shallow relief and gratitude. With a quick flick of her wrist, Natalya pointed the deadly kitchen knife in her hand towards Toris and snarled. "Do. Not. Get. In. The. Vay. Or I vill slit your throat and carve your face up as a present for Broder on our vedding night. Stupid fool. Vhat should you care about vether ve fight or not?" she hissed, blue eyes narrowed. Then, just as if she had thought of it, the young Kievan sibling's eyes widened ever so slightly and the look on her face grew pensive. "Unless... You are trying to get in between Big Broder's and my marriage?" she mused aloud. Toris shook his head in a negative and laughed nervously. "N-Natalya... I-I-I-I'd never! Y-You k-know that!" he replied quickly.

But the feeble words were lost on the Belorussian woman, whose facial expression suddenly turned murderous. "You are! You are the reason Big Broder doesn't love me, aren't you? AREN'T YOU? HOW DARE YOUUU! INEXCUSABLE! UNFORGIVABLE! UNREDEEMABLE!" Natalya shrieked angrily, eyes glazed over with pure rage. Raivis and Eduard's faces went pale, and both instinctively cowered away from the mad woman. With a look of nervous apprehension and slight terror, the Lithuanian stumbled back and chuckled weakly. He was used to dealing with Belarus in this state of madness out of the love he felt for her, but apparently today she was beyond reason. "N-N-Now, Natalya... L-Let's not b-be hasty..." he pleaded, trying to placate the platinum blonde. Russia, who had been watching this whole entire time, saw his chance of escape. Grabbing the lead pipe that had fallen from his grasp earlier, Ivan slowly inched towards the open door, ignoring Toris' cries for help.

Natalya snarled and quickly slashed her knife towards Lithuania, her intentions all but clear. "You vorthless idiotic excuse of a nation... I will slice your corpse to bits and feed it to the dogs! That vill teach to meddle and bevitch Broder's emotions! Now, COME HERE!" she snapped, eyes glittering with bloodlust. A yelp escaped Toris' lips and he ducked. "Natalya, please, listen to me! I don't like your brother in that way! Y-You... You can have him, I swear! J-Just don't be rash, please!" he replied, causing Belarus growl menacingly, eyes narrowed dangerously. "DO NOT TRY TO FOOL ME! Your days of bevitching are over, idiot! NOW COME HERE! NOW!" she roared hoarsely. Ivan took that as his cue to leave. In one swift move, he bolted through the door and ran out to the hallway. Tears of gratitude and relief streamed down his face as he yelled out to Lithuania, "SPASIBA, MY LITTLE COMRADEEEEE! I VILL MAKE SURE TO PAY YOU FOR THIS!".

Belarus quickly turned around, lips set in a tight scowl as she realized her mistake too late. With a shriek that could rival Romano's, the young woman threw her knife at the doorframe and turned her head to face the shivering Baltic trio. "YOU BASTARDS! YOU PLANNED THIS, DIDN'T YOU? YOU VILL PAY FOR THAT!" she spat furiously. Grabbing her dress in a bridal fashion, Natalya ran to the door, pulled out the knife from the doorframe, and resumed chasing her brother. "BROOOODERRR! COME BACK! DON'T RUN AVAY FROM MY LOVE!" she called out in return. With a final whump! the door closed behind Belarus, leaving Raivis, Toris, and Eduard to themselves. A quivery sigh escaped Raivis lips, and he shivered. "W-W-What just happened?" he asked meekly. Eduard adjusted his glasses and shook his head. "Just another regular morning for Master-err, Mister Russia, Lat. Just another regular morning...", was his solemn reply.

|||_* I love Belarus. 'Nuff said, losers.