Hey everyone! This is a brand-new version of this story; hope you like it. Review please!

Warnings: drug use and cursing

Disclaimers: obviously not my characters (actually I'm a liar, I own the cab driver) and I got the idea from watching YouTube documentaries

Entering his dark Moscow apartment, Russia gently placed a brown paper bag on top of a shelf in his entryway. The bag was covered with little tears and wet with barely melted water and ice.

Russia shrugged off the long coat he was so famous for among the nations. Sitting on the floor in front of his door, he yanked off his boots, spilling copious amounts of melted snow all over the floor. He pushed himself up off the slick floor. Russia limbs, especially his fingers, shook, as he picked up the bag, stroking the paper with gentle finger pads, as one would touch a lover's skin.

Russia padded into the kitchen; his wet socks squelching with each step. He put the bag on the counter, as he dug through the drawers, looking for a lighter. Ivan smiled faintly -a temporary distraction from the ache of trying to go without- at the design on the metal lighter. One side had Ivan and Alfred's carved in curling letters; the lines that made them were intertwined so that one couldn't tell how the names were divided or even if they were at all. The other was the same, except with the their nation-names instead. The lighter was beautiful to Ivan. How the steel surface sparkled, and it never tarnished. Even with all their problems, it tightly tied the two nations together. Ivan's only regret was the rough slash through their nation-names created in a fit of anger during the height of the Cold War.

Snatching the bag off the counter, Russia brought it, the lighter and a spoon over to his couch, putting the items on the coffee table. The first time his people's craving drove him to heroin, he made the mistake of shooting up in the middle of his kitchen. It wasn't that bad until his limps grew heavy with the drug, and he fell to the ground, unable to pull himself up. But it didn't matter; the warmth flowing through his body and the lack of will to move made everything A-Okay.

Russia pulled a syringe, the fine powder and a latex tourniquet out of the bag. Pouring some of the fine white powder into the spoon, Russia flicked on the lighter, slowly melting the drug. He hungrily watched its progression to liquid, licking his lips every time he noticed a significant change.

Finally, the drug was ready. Holding the spoon in one hand and the syringe in another, he used his teeth to draw the heroin into it. He snapped the cap back onto the needle and held it up to his eyes, double-checking the precise amount of drugs in the vial. He may be -god, Ivan hated to describe himself with that word- a junkie, but he tried to be as careful as possible. There was no point in adding any extra risk to shooting up. He hated dying; rebirths made him very drowsy.

Tightly tying the tourniquet around his non-dominate arm, he flexed his arms, muscles rippling and slapped his skin, trying to get a vein to appear. Pulling off the cap, Russia flicked the syringe a few time to remove the air bubbles. Tensing his arm again, he slipped the needle into his vein before it could run away.

Sighing as the potent drug flowed into his system, a fireball exploded behind his eyes, filling him with a feeling of total happiness that was uncommon to Ivan and almost entirely unknown to Russia. He managed to extract the needle and yank off the tourniquet before completely succumbing the drugs effects. Falling back onto the couch cushions, he sighed again; a dopey smile upon has face. Blinking slowly, happily, the world warped and swirled into a confusing mess until all that he could focus on was the pulsating warmth of his body and the heaviness of his limbs. Why had he spent months fighting so hard against this feeling?

"Zis is getting fucking ridiculous," Alfred muttered to himself after giving the directions to Ivan's apartment to the cab driver in somewhat shaky Russian. "And zis accent!" he yelled. The people around him stared at Alfred, rapidly guiding their children away from the infuriated American. "Where zee hell is it coming from?"

"Anything you want talk on the subject of?" The cabbie noticed the aura of choler that radiated from the golden blonde.

"My boyfriend forgot zat I was flying in today," he huffed.

"I never remember, boyfriend is friend who is male or homosexual?"

Flinching at his forgetfulness, the golden blonde scrambled to remedy the situation by thickening the German accent that had strangely clung to him all day. "Ah, my mistake. Boyfriend is homosexual, but I mean male friend. My English is not always so great."

"It is of no problem, young man. We can just to work to improve our English, da?" The man smiled.


"Your friend, did he forget or he is... you know?"

"I can not say zat I do know," Alfred answered, pushing up his glasses, as he squinted in thought.

"You look around 20, so your friend is as well. The neighborhood is good but near the bad, so he could be lost." The man was frowning with a sad look in his eyes.

"Lost how?"

"To crokokdil, or heroin if he has luck."

"I hope he has more luck zan zat," Alfred worried, watching the pretty lights of Moscow twinkle brightly. His previous annoyance disappeared, leaving only concern behind.

"Lights out, not good," said the cabbie, as Alfred pulled out the necessary rubles. The golden blonde looked up to the window that he knew was in Ivan's room and sighed; they shouldn't be out. It was just barely 10pm here, and the Russian suffered from the same insomnia as the American. They and some of the other large nations slept only a few broken hours at a time; the general consensus was that their sleeping troubles were due to their land stretching through so many time zones.

"Spasibo (thank you)," Alfred nodded, as he passed him his bag. The cabbie tipped his hat before clambering back into his car and driving off into the night.

Shouldering his duffle bag, Alfred climbed up the three flights of stairs to Ivan's flat, careful to walk quietly to keep from waking anyone. Not knocking because there was a tiny chance that the Russian was asleep, the American pulled out his copy of the key and let himself in.

Alfred knew something was wrong the moment he stepped through the doorway. There was a strange chemical smell he recognized but couldn't put his finger on and the well-known scent of lighter fluid hanging in the air.

Alfred rolled his eyes, thinking that Ivan had gone back on their agreement. A while ago when the two started dating again, their nation-driven needs for cigarettes had mostly disappeared over the years, leaving the addition resting solely on the shoulders of their human sides. Both having died several times from lung cancer and various other complications, they agreed to swear off the things together. Well, it was less of an agreement and more due to Alfred claiming "at least I only go through a pack a day! That's better than you, Ivan!"

It was hard, but between their fiercely competitive spirits and compulsive need to win that never disappeared after the space race, they beat their addiction. Alfred's not going to lie, even now when he's really stressed out, he guilty met his a burning need to have for nicotine. But that doesn't mean for a second he won't give Ivan some crap for slipping up.

When Alfred saw the Russian splayed out on the couch, a dopey smile on his face and head bobbing to a non-existent tune. The American knew he wasn't dealing with cigarettes.

"Vanya... What are you on?" Alfred asked despondently, sitting down on the small amount of couch by Ivan's head that was not taken up by his large frame.

"Russia's on heroin~" he replied in a singsongy voice. Well, shit; there goes Alfred's hope that the Russian was on something more benign.

"Why?" Alfred asked, as Russia went from slightly energetic to half-asleep.

"The people," was the sleepy reply before the Russian's head fell into the American's lap. Dammit, it was always the people. Though that was not always a fair claim to make. Alfred remembered the rose tattoo on Arthur's shoulder that he got not too long ago. Even though the Brit steadfastly blamed it on the youth, Alfred knew that was bullshit. He looked up the statistics, and if Arthur was going to get a tattoo and blame it on his people, he missed his chance thirty years ago.

"But don't tell Alfred," Ivan continued, speaking into the other's thigh. "He'd be so ashamed of having a... junkie for a boyfriend."

"Don't worry, he'll know zat you couldn't help it." Alfred ran his fingers through Ivan's hair exactly how he knew the other liked it: petting the hair on top as though the Russian was an overly large cat and scratching almost roughly at the baby hairs on the nape of his neck.

"Then it's even worse. America got enough problems without Alfred having a broken boyfriend..." the Russian's words dwindled off into a light snore.

"He doesn't mind," Alfred whispered half to himself and half to the sleeping man. "At least zis is something the hero has experience in fixing." Drug problems were not exactly uncommon the nations; at any given time at least three were in withdraw or showing signs of recent use.

Alfred absentmindedly stroked Ivan's hair for a while longer, waiting until the Russian was completely asleep before carrying him to his bed. Stripping the Russian of his still damp clothing, Alfred laid him under the covers, climbing in on the other side. Curling against Ivan and laying his head on the other's broad chest, Alfred fell into a light sleep where the conscious part of his brain was busy monitoring Ivan's breathing to make sure it didn't stop.

During the night, Alfred awoke and immediately knew something was off. Holding his breath, he listened to the room for a moment, trying to figure out what was wrong. The American realized his head was no longer being raised by Russian's even breathing. Reaching across the bed and switching on the lamp, Alfred instantly noted Ivan's ashen coloring. Just to confirm his assumption, he pressed his fingers to the Russian's jugular, searching for a pulse. Sighing as he felt nothing, Alfred kissed his Ivan's now cooling cheek.

He threw a leg over the other's waist to pull himself as close to him as possible and nestled into his Russian's stiff form.

"Good night, Vanya," Alfred murmured, as he drifted into a fitful sleep. "I love you." He illogically waited a moment for an answer, but he received none. After all, the dead cannot respond.