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10 January 2010 @ 10:36 pm
Snow Day  

Snow piled and covered the ground outside. It was winter in the UK and while it doesn’t compare to Russia’s artic temperature, the chilling bite of the wind still made one huddle into their coats and long for a seat in front of a toasty fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate to warm one’s hand.

The meeting between the nations had adjourned. Following the other ash-blond Russian’s heavy footsteps, Yuri had expected Ivan to retire to his room or perhaps get a bite to eat. What he had not anticipate was his master to bound up to the smaller, frail Chinese nation and drag him out into the snow. He had only been a bodyguard for…Russia (it was still awkward to think of him in that term), but he had already guessed most of his quirks, his likes and dislikes, his habits. It was essential for people in his profession to anticipate their employer’s actions. However, it was not in his repertoire to read other’s thoughts and especially those of Ivan. It wasn’t in his interest or his concern to know what the other…man thought.

He shook his head. No…that wasn’t true. Even if he had wanted to know what Ivan was thinking by reading his facial expressions and body language, he wouldn’t be able to. But he knew this. Ivan didn’t like the snow- he told him often enough how much he longed for the sun. That is why Yuri didn’t understand his jubilation when he saw China, dragging him out in his oh-so-hated snow.

Yuri watched the two nation frolic among the white powder ground through an open window. Maybe it was the way they were built or they were simply immune to the cold but-

“Aiyaah,” someone barged in, interrupting his thoughts, “It’s cold as Antarctica in here!”

On reflex, his hand reached for his holster, but he quickly relaxed when he saw who had entered. He smiled, striding over to help China’s mid-aged secretary. “Here, let me help you.”

“Ah, thank you, Yuri.” Weijing sighed with relief, relinquishing the heavy stacks of papers into the other’s arm. “I’m not what I use to be. Can’t handle walking around on high heels anymore.”

The old Chinese woman cracked her neck as she watched the young man place the documents on the desk. “What are you doing in here anyway? And with the window open? Only people who need signatures from-” Familiar laughter outside caught her attention. Without even looking out the first-floor window, Weijing could already guess what had happened when Yuri gave her a wry grimace.

She laughed. “So Ivan told you to get lost again.”

She walked towards the window; Yuri standing beside her. They watched in amiable silence as their respective countries begin piling and rolling the snow into a ball.

“What do you think they’re trying to do?” she asked.

“Perhaps build a snowman?”

“Really?” Weijing quirked an eyebrow. “Yao’s ball looks kinda lopsided….”

No sooner than it was said, the dilapidated snowball collapsed back into powder. Ivan laughed heartily at Yao’s growl of frustration but his laughter was cut short as a ball of snow hurled into his face. Oblivious to the two pair of eyes following them, China ran away with a squeak as Russia began chasing him around the white courtyard.

“Hm…seeing them like this, it makes you forget they’re not human.” Weijing commented. She tilted her head and tapped a finger to her mouth in thought, the sound of the two laughing nation forgotten. “I’ve always wondered….Do they even need bodyguards? It’s not like they die if they got shot in the head.”

Yuri shook his head. “Probably not but it’s more for protocol and looks.”

“You’re most likely right,” Weijing chuckled.

Despite not knowing each other long, a friendship struck between the two helpers. It was inevitable considering the fact Russia and China always brought them along to only later dismiss them from their company. It wasn’t uncommon for the listless secretary and bodyguard to grab a cup of coffee or lunch until Ivan or Yao call them back. Overtime, they had gotten to know each other quite well and often joked upon their employers’ relationship.

“Oh,” Weijing exclaimed, witnessing Russia tackle China to the white ground, “Looks like Ivan caught up to Yao. Took longer than I expected.”

“Ivan was just playing around.” Yuri crossed his arms over his chest. “He could’ve caught up to Yao whenever he wanted. No way could Yao outrun him with his shorter legs.”

Ignoring Yuri, Weijing began dubbing the two men’s voice with her own.

“Wah, get off me you brute~,” The old woman said mockingly with a fake sugary voice, guessing what Yao was saying to Ivan as he pushed on the larger man’s chest.

Ivan grabbed hold of the smaller man’s wrists and placed them around his neck. Weijing’s voice dropped to a tenor, mimicking Russia’s voice. “Never. I love Yao-Yao. Does Yao-Yao love me?”

Yuri gave his companion a weird look. “What are you doing?”

“Since we can’t hear what they’re saying, I’m replacing their dialogue with my own.” She gave a smile to the young Russian. “Try it. It’s pretty fun. I can be Yao and you can be Ivan or vice versa if you like.”

“I don’t think I’m…suited for it.” Yuri paused. “Beside, I can read lips.”

She raised an eyebrow in surprise, “Oh? Even Chinese?”

He inclined his head in acknowledgment. “To some degree.”

“Then tell me what they’re saying.”

Yuri looked back out the window and his mouth quirked up in amusement.

“What is it? What are they saying?” Weijing asked.

“Even if I could read lips, it’s kind of hard for me to know what they’re saying if they’re kissing like that.” Yuri responded with light sarcasm.

Weijing swung her head back to look, but the kiss was already over. Ivan was helping the blushing Yao back to his feet, dusting off the snow from his hair with gentle care. “Oh great, I missed it. You should’ve told me sooner.”

“Did you want to see two men kissing?” Yuri inquired. “I don’t mean to pry but I thought…I thought…you know, with Confucianism and Daoism, Chinese people were….”

For a while, Weijing did not answer, watching the two nations again begin to build a snowman. Yuri fidgeted. He was use to silence since silence was the number one requirement for a professional bodyguard, but he was afraid he had offended his friend in some way. Just as he opened his mouth to apologize, Weijing spoke. “How old are you, Yuri?”

Confused by the sudden question, Yuri wondered why it was asked. “25.”

“Then you don’t know what it was like during the height of the Cold War.” Weijing still didn’t meet the other’s eyes, continuing to gaze as the two nations finished building one snowman and began working on the second one. “It was terrible- the relationship between China and Russia. Everyday, we were afraid we’d go into total war…knowing full well we’d lose. Underground bunkers were built because we had heard Russia wanted to wipe out our cities with nuclear bombs.” She turned to final to face the younger man. “It’s not that I want to see them kissing, it’s just that I’m…happy to live to see the day the two of them reconcile. It’s almost a miracle. Just look at them.”

She spread her arms wide, encompassing the scene in front of them, “They act as if they were never enemies. This must be something imbued in them as nations. To live in the present but not forget the past.” She smiled softly. “It must what keeps them sane after all these centuries or for God knows how long. Maybe I’m the only one who think it’s a miracle and this is nothing more than a common thing for them.”

Yuri was quiet for a moment. Snow gently fell from the sky again.

“It’s not really a miracle…I think.” Yuri said gently.

“Then what is it?” The older woman inquired, not offended but curious.

“I think, maybe, it’s just to build concrete memories.”

“Hmmm….” Weijing commented, reverting her eyes back to Yao and Ivan now working on smaller snowmen. “It’ll all eventually melt away, you know.”

“But the memories won’t. They’ll stay, even when the people are gone, those two will surely remember.”

Weijing laughed. “I guess so. Just like the snow falling and piling up. Little by little….”

“’The one on the right is the papa,’” Yuri suddenly said, “’and the one on the left is the mama.’”

“Excuse me?” Weijing whirled her head around.

“I’m reading Ivan’s lips.” Yuri answered without turning around to look at his friend.

“Oh…what is he saying?”

Yuri squinted. “He just said, ‘The ones in the middle are the children.’ And Yao just looks triumphant. Think he feels satisfied building- oh, Ivan is saying something else, 'Ehhhh, as I thought, it’s lonely with only two children. Yao, let’s make more children.’”

For the next part, Weijing didn’t need Yuri to lip read. Yao was yelling.

“You’re at it every single day! Are you trying to kill me of exhaustion aru!”

Yuri and Weijing looked at each other, smiling.