?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
16 May 2010 @ 05:25 pm
Only Fools Fall  

 

 

A/n: If people haven't figured it out, the title of this fic is a shorten version of Elvis Presley's song "Can't Help Falling In Love" where it says:

Wise men say, only fools rush in

But I can't help falling in love with you

I shortened the lyric to "Only Fools Fall". I thought of it on the spot since the title holder was just "Past Love" X'DDD. Yea I suck with titles OTL

~*~*~*~*~**~**~*~*~*~

Suffocating. The room became hard to breathe. Harder and harder they gulped down air, the scent of their passion filling their senses- smelling it, tasting it on their tongue. Sounds of the creaking bed accompanied their heavy pants, groans and sighs. Sweat drenched bodies touched and pressed against one another- rising, pulling higher and higher. The string snapped. A roaring cry, a taut arched back…and it was all over.

Spent and tired, still trying to regain his breath, China felt a familiar weight settle on top of him. "Ivan, you're heavy," he said without much heat, his eyes already closing to sleep.

"Did it feel good?" Russia ignored him, taking the bruised lips into a soft, slow kiss.

Despite the exhaustion, China felt himself smile at the childish question. He had thought they were long past that stage. Still, since Russia asked, he'll simply play along. "I've had better."

"Hmm, did you now?" The Russian replied, not really listening. He moved from kissing the smaller nation beneath him to nibbling lazily on his neck. "I hope you're referring to the other times that we've slept together...not that we did much sleeping."

Russia had expected a scowl or perhaps a blush, but China surprised him by doing neither. He opened his golden eyes, a coy seductive expression entering his face. His arms wrapped around Russia's neck and shoulders as he turned his head to kiss him back. Usually after one bout of lovemaking, China refused to go for another round, but other times his male sexual urges won out, making it possible to last until dawn. Was today…?

Without warning, China flipped them over with him now lying on top. Smiling, he placed a hand on the space beside Russia's head as the other lovingly stroked the larger nation's cheek. "I'm more experienced in this manner than most of you considering my age. If you let me be inside you, maybe I can compare it to my other lovers." His thumb caressed Russia's bottom lip, his voice dropping down to a low, husky whisper, "They always said I was very gentle and tender…. Ivan, do you want to experiment?" He lowered his head, their lips almost touching. "Do you want to see if I'll be a gentle lover to you?"

"You know, Yao, I have always wondered when and who exactly you lost your virginity to. Was it with a woman or a man? Were you top or bottom?" Russia asked straight faced.

At the unexpected and unwelcomed question, China's 'friend' turned into a limp strand of noodle. He groaned in frustration, flopping down in defeat on top of Russia with his face buried into the pillow.

"What was that?" The Chinese muffled voice sounded out through the pillow, "Why do you even want to know? You completely ruined the mood, idiot. And I thought America was bad at reading the atmosphere."

"Eh? But I want to know since you seem so 'experienced', Yao," Russia chuckled, kissing the reddening ear, "Who was it that introduced you to the pleasures of the flesh, hm? A pretty lady from the court?"

Without even bothering to look, China grabbed the nearest pillow and threw it at the Russian's laughing face. "Shut it, Ivan. This is not the right time to talk about it. Goodnight."

"Why not? I think this is the perfect opportunity to bring it up." Russia loosely placed his hands on China's lower back, massaging what must be a sore spot come tomorrow. "We just had sex and you're naked lying on top of me. I don't think I'll be feeling any bouts of jealousy for your past lovers if you tell me now." A finger trailed down lower to draw lazy circles on China's taut cheeks. "Or is it that you already forgot, given your advanced age?" he teased, blowing light air into the other's ear.

"It's not like you remember every one of your sexual exploits," China said firmly as he removed the playful hand on his bum.

"True," Russia laughed, conceding to the point. He took hold of the smaller nation's hand in his, enjoying the feel of their connected hands. "Then what about first love? No matter how much time passes, no one can forget their first love."

China rose on his elbows, peering down at the Russian with curiosity, "Why are you so persistent? Is it that important for you to know who I loved in the past? You're the one I with now. That should be enough."

"I'm a greedy person you know. I want your everything: your present, future and even your past, but that's not the reason why I'm asking." He brought China's hand to his lips, kissing each fingertip tenderly. "I just want to know something of you that the others don't. I want it so that even if you want to sever our ties, the bonds can never be broken…."

"You're a fool," China laid his forehead on the larger nation, tightening his hold on Russia's hand. "But my fool."

"So will you tell me?" Russia asked, an angelic smile gracing his face.

But China wouldn't be deceived. He's fallen for that trap too many times before he learned his lesson. "I'll tell you…only if you tell me yours first."

"Eh? But that wasn't part of the deal. Come on, Yao, don't be so stingy."

China flicked him on the nose. "Don't think I don't know you're tricks. Once I tell you mine, you're just going to weasel your way out from telling yours. With all your talks about ties and bonds, you've piqued my interest. Who was your first love? Tell me."

"You wouldn't know who she was even if I did."

"Oh, so it was a girl," China said with interest. He folded his hands on Russia's chest, resting his chin on top as he gazed up at the other man's face. The blanket covering their naked bodies slipped down to their waist.

"Do you really want to know?"

At China's nod, Russia sighed in exasperation, "Alright…but you better tell me yours afterwards."

China smiled slyly- a look that was both untrustworthy and honest at the same time. "Don't worry. I always keep my promises."

"I'll punish you later if you don't." Russia ground their hips together to make sure there was no mistake in what kind of punishment he had in mind.

"Just begin," China said coolly, waving away in unconcern the prospect of being sodomized; his demeanor showed none of the pleasurable sensation running through his every nerve at the sudden friction of their bodies.

From where he laid, China could feel Russia take deep, calming breaths with every rise of his chest. He'd usually fuss and scorn his northern neighbor for tugging on his hair, but this time he didn't mind. He allowed him to absentmindedly twirl the strands by his face without a word. He knew. He knew how nerve wrecking it could be to dig up the long ago past. For immortals such as themselves, it was never a pleasant thing. So he waited patiently in silence, listening quietly to the steady beating of Russia's heart.

"I was out in the market with my sisters when I met her," Russia finally began- his physical body still in the room, but his mind was lost somewhere far, far away.

"It was full of people that day- all of them yelling and bustling about. Ukraine led Belarus and me to an empty spot on the road and told us to stay there while she bartered for some fish. I was standing there, holding tightly onto Natalia's hand when someone tapped me on the shoulder."

"I turned around and found a pretty lady with deep blue eyes looking at me curiously. I barely even reached her waist. She had to bend down to be eye level with me. She asked me, 'Why are two children standing here by themselves? Aren't you cold?' I told her no and thanks for the concern but we're fine by ourselves. She didn't leave like I expected. Instead, she reached into her basket." Russia glanced down at China, his lavender eyes filled with warmth and fondness at the memory.

"'No need to be so defensive,' she said, giving me a warm loaf of bread, 'My name is Dasha. What is yours?' I was about to ignore her and leave, but then she reached out a hand to pat my head, smiling at me. That smile was all it took for my heart to skip a beat."

Smiling himself, China planted a kiss in the middle of Russia's chest. "Who knew the big, bad Russia was such an adorable child?"

"You have to understand, I barely had any contact with younger women other than my sisters. I had no interest at them at that age," Russia said somewhat defensively, "But yes, that smile was all it took for me to start following her like a baby duckling. Everyday after I finished my chores, I would find a way to visit her at the edge of town."

The rumble of Russia's laugh vibrated against China's skin. "I hid in the tree next to her window to watch her weave. I thought I was so clever, but the whole entire time she knew I was spying on her. I only found out when it was raining one day and our eyes met. I was so sure she couldn't see me, but she called out saying I should stop trying to be a stray cat and just come in before I catch a cold. I ran away, burning with embarrassment. When I saw her the next day, I couldn't meet her eyes. I was about to dash home, when she nonchalantly commented that since her husband died, it's been lonely eating dinner by herself. It would be nice to have company sometimes, she said….So I did."

"She was a weaver, you know?" Russia whispered contemplatively, stroking China's back out of habit, "As a widow, that was the only revenue left for her to support herself. But she was the best and was able to scrape by without having to remarry. She thought I clung to her because I was interested in being her apprentice. Why would a man want to weave? It was a woman's profession. Nonetheless, I didn't correct her. It gave me an excuse to see her everyday. Dasha was kind and patient, teaching me the intricate process in making an elaborate cloth fit for a king. After the sun would set, we would have dinner right by the fireplace. No matter how I protested though, I was never allowed to spend the night. I only left quietly after she gave me a kiss on the forehead for a safe journey home."

"Hmm, I see that part of you hasn't changed much," China commented.

"Oh, I ask and give more than just kisses now, Yao," Russia gave him a pointed look, "I am nothing if not generous."

The smaller nation smiled wryly, "I know and perhaps a little too generous."

"Should we see and find out?"

China pinched the Russian's cheek. "No. I rather hear more about you and this wonderful Dasha of yours."

"Jealous?" Russia questioned.

"Should I be?" The other countered.

Russia elegantly inclined his head. "I would be utmost happy if you were."

"Then I am, if only just a little," China stated politely as if he simply told Russia the weather was nice, instead of the envy he felt for Dasha earning the affections of little Ivan. When China and Russia finally met for the first time, Russia was well into his teens. It would be useless and utterly stupid of him to be jealous of a woman who saw a part of Russia he could never see. "Are you going to finish your story now?"

"There isn't much more to tell," Russia said with a wink, "I guess the only thing I can say is that I proposed to her out of the blue one day. Dasha was helping me undo the knot I made in the cloth when I asked if I could take her as my bride when I grew up. She was stunned for a moment before bursting out in laughter. She was still laughing even as she said she was honored by my request. I knew she wasn't taking me seriously, but I was still happy. All I had to do was grow a little taller, prove my worth…but…."

Russia suddenly stopped, unable to go on. A deep bone tiredness entered his face as he swallowed the old bitterness and guilt. Wordlessly, China cupped the larger nation's face with his small hands.

Pain. It was etched in every line of Russia's features. He kissed each arch of the amethyst eyes for every tear the larger man couldn't shed. His lips brushed the corner of the other's mouth, hoping to ease the clenching jaw.

Gradually, the stabbing ache in his chest was soothed by the raining of slow purposeful kisses. Russia took hold of the delicate hand on his face and smiled sadly, appreciating the gesture.

"If you don't want to say it, you don't have to," China said, his unfathomable eyes gazing down at his companion.

Russia shook his head. "No, it's alright. Whether I tell you or not, it won't change the past." Closing his eyes once again to relive the memories of that day, he sighed in exhaustion, "There was an invasion. The town was ransacked, houses burned, and people died. Sometimes if I try hard enough, I could still hear the tormented cries of the people around me. Dasha lived at the edge of town, the part where the invaders first entered…." He sucked in a breath, the smell of burnt flesh haunting him. "She never had a chance."

The back of Russia's hand lightly grazed against China's soft cheek. "She was just nineteen, Yao. She had so much ahead of her."

China said nothing because nothing could be said; words were of no use and held no real meaning. All he could do to comfort the once very small, vulnerable nation was be silent.

They laid there without a word, without a sound, each lost in their own thoughts. Night had fallen, the sun long since gone. Flying freely in the sky without cages, birds returned to their nests to await another day in the vast blue plain. Out in the distance, a lonely howl wailed out to the crescent moon. As if in answer, the room suddenly plunged into darkness as the moon hid behind the nightly clouds, shying away from the desperate cry.

"What about you, Yao?" Russia's voice embraced him from the shadows, "Who was it that first touched your icy heart?"

China laughed mirthlessly, "That's funny coming from you. You, who have places where winter never ends, where snow never melts," He tucked his head between the crux of Russia's shoulder and neck, his hand directly above the other's heart, "and places I'll never reach."

Russia kissed the top of China's head. "You're being overly dramatic with your lyrical prose."

Light flitted back into the room, basking the two nations with pale rays from the moon. No longer blinded by the darkness, Russia titled China's chin up. Violet eyes danced in amusement as he gave the older nation a peck on the lips. "And don't think you avoided the question, Comrade*."

China glared at him through the bright moonlight. It was spoken in Russian, but Russia was no longer a Communist country; the term no longer held the same meaning from when they both saluted under the same red flag. From the mischievous grin Russia was giving him, it was hard to miss the innuendo.

"You think I prefer males do you? A Tongzhi*?" China asked, giving the young cub a sharp bite on the lip for his insolence.

"But you're so beautiful," Russia laughed, "I can't imagine a woman on Earth more enchanting than you. She would pale in comparison and wilt from embarrassment. Only a mighty warrior should be worthy of you. Perhaps a general on his proud steed that gallantly saved you from a rebel group? Oh I know, a brilliant tactician that saved a whole village using his cunningness. Your people do value brains over brawns correct? Was it Zhuge Liang? Did I guess right?"

The pillow China chucked at Russia earlier, he now used to smother the living daylights out of the light-haired man. "I'm going to kill you now, Ivan, and you better like it."

Laughter muffled by the down-filled pillow, Russia squeezed the firm ass on top of him in a teasing response. China growled disgustedly before rolling off Russia and away from the perverted hands.

The gentle weight of China gone, Russia peeked out from under the pillow with a grin; China was lying on his side, his back facing the Russian in his attempt to ignore the larger nation. Russia flung the pillow across the room with a flick of his hand as he leaned up on his elbow to admire China's mesmerizing form. He reached out to touch a silken shoulder and his mouth soon followed, unable to resist the simple taste of the flawless skin. "You still haven't told me who you loved," Russia stated between kisses, "or would you rather we go straight towards the punishment?"

China gave him a sidelong glance, ignoring the growing hardness jabbing into his back. He looked away, his voice completely void of emotion as he told Russia who first stole his heart. "My wife."
 

"You're wife?" Russia said with unrestrained surprise, "You were married? To a human?"

China shrugged, "I was. You proposed to your Dasha didn't you? Why the fuss?"

"Yes, but I proposed without knowing the difference between our life spans. We're immortals, Yao. You know that better than anyone else."

"I'm old, Ivan, but I started off just like all of you." China stared off into the distance, watching the leaves outside flutter with the wind. "I was once stupid and ignorant. I only learned through experience, through my mistakes."

He sighed with a deprecating smile. "She was my first wife…and my last. The only one I'll ever recognize as my spouse."

Russia knew he said he wouldn't feel jealous, but the finality of China's voice stabbed into his heart like sharpened claws. He felt strangely betrayed.

Luckily, before resentment could seep in, China's next words eased the tightness in his chest. "Maybe I feel that way because she was the only one where we exchanged marriage cups. I haven't tried it with anyone else and don't plan to in the near future."

"What about the treaties we signed? Doesn't that count as a marriage certificate?" Russia asked, hugging China from the back.

Laughing, China reached behind him to pat Russia on the cheek. "Don't be silly. Those are treaties between our bosses and countries. They don't bind you and me as people."

Russia buried his face into China's hair, taking in the flowery scent. "I wish they did."

"Ivan," China chuckled, "treaty or no, I wouldn't be here with you, letting you touch me, if I didn't think of you as a lover."

"Maybe it's because of the sex," Russia mulishly said

China raised an eyebrow at that statement. "If it was for the sex, America might be a better choice for an old man like me. I'm not quite fond of not being able to use my hips for a couple of hours," He paused before deliberately adding, "Vanya."

Russia stiffened at the unexpected use of his pet name. China hardly ever said it, considering it too intimate for his taste. It was a logic Russia never understood. They've slept together, shared each other's bodies- a name wouldn't make much of a difference in their level of intimacy. He would have insisted China call him by the more affection version of his name if the smaller man hadn't put it to a more creative use.

'Vanya'- to China it had become synonymously to the word 'love'. It was his own way of saying his own feelings without having to express them explicitly. Spoken too much, it would lose its true value. For that, Russia forgave him for using it sparingly.

Assured of China's affections for him, he playfully kissed the back of the Chinese's neck. "What makes you think America satisfy your needs if I can't? If you're looking for someone to top, I can guarantee you I'm a much better choice." He took hold of China's hand and allowed it to trail over his torso and over every sinewy skin. "See? No useless flabs of fat. Unlike America, you can have me without having to name a price." Russia sat astride the black-haired man, exuding dominance even as he was suggesting role-reversal. "Sex for cash is a sordid thing, don't you think? All you have to do is ask me nicely, Yao, and I can prettily cry out your name all you want. Wouldn't you like that? "

"Even with the idea of bottoming, you want to compete with America?" China asked amused.

"Old habit. Hard to get rid of." With that, Russia captured China's lips in an open mouth kiss. Twisting, colliding, tongues danced around one another to sample and savor each other's taste. They swallowed their moans of pleasure as their kiss deepened. The taste of the medovukha they drank earlier lingered in their mouths, intoxicating them with its sugary sweetness. But it was the hint of bitterness beneath the honey and spices that drove the two nations into a frenzy. The taste of the other's seed, the white stains left on their stomachs- all telltale signs of what transpired only moments ago.

"No." China broke away with a gasp. While he didn't mind the sex so much, it was the toll it took on his body afterwards that concerned him. Despite Russia saying he was willing to bottom, from the way the larger nation took control of the kiss, it was clear who would really end up receiving. Once was more than China's poor hips could handle.

"No, you don't want to top?" Russia answered undeterred, quite use to China's initial protests, "We can do it the normal way then."

"No. Wait, Ivan- Mmph." His words were cut short as Russia took his mouth in a punishing kiss. China tried to push the Russian away, but when he was determined to have something, it was hard to convince him otherwise.

Crying out in a last desperate attempt, China tore away from Russia's seeking lips, "Q-Qieying! Her name was Qieying!"

Russia paused, letting China shove him off. "Qieying? Who is Qieying?"

"M-my wife," China explained, scurrying off to the other side of the bed.

Russia dragged him back. "What about her?"

"D-didn't you want to hear about her?" China stuttered, overly nervous about the hand hanging low on his waist, "Ties and bonds remember?"

Weighing his options, Russia thought for a moment before slowly nodding his head in agreement. "You're right. I do want to hear about your wife." He embraced the slender man tightly as if afraid China would take flight with his fairy maiden. "She must be exceptional if she is the only one you'll marry in your entire life."

China did not live to be this old by pure luck. While Emperors of the past paid no heed to his advisors, China listened; he read between the lines. It was usually what was left unsaid that was the most important.

He lightly touched the hands wrapped around his hips. "She's dead, Ivan. She died a long, long time ago. There's nothing left to be envious of."

"And yet you still call her your wife," Russia spoke quietly, making a simple observation; his tone was neither condemning nor accusing because China was right. There was no need to be jealous of a mortal. A love between humans and undying entities such as themselves, no matter how beautiful or soul-searing their love was, it could only have one ending, one conclusion.

Tragedy.

The cold night air crept, chilling the room. Seeing China shiver, Russia pulled him closer, whispering intelligible words of comfort as he raised the blanket to cover them. They laid together in quiet stillness, watching the airy moonlight twinkle through the frosted window pane.

China closed his eyes, the steady pace of the hand stroking his head lulling him into contentment.

"There's nothing spectacular about the relationship between Qieying and I," China murmured, snuggling closer to Russia and burying his head deeper into the cocoon of warmth, "She was a servant I picked up off the street. It's a typical story of a deluded Master taking an interest in his pitiful housemaid."

"You're demonizing yourself," Russia admonished, "Most people wouldn't marry their servants and simply take what they want. Why don't you tell me the whole story?" He kissed China's collarbone. "Start from the beginning."

China hesitated to begin, but with encouragement from Russia, he reluctantly told his tale. "Like…you with Dasha…I met Qieying at the market, but unlike you, it wasn't love at first sight."

"I had just found Hong Kong as a child." He turned around in Russia's arms to face him. "You know how stone faced he is. He was even worse as a toddler. In the beginning of raising him, I took him out to the capital often, trying to impress him with fresh snacks and interesting toys. People from all walks of life were gathered in the capital. Sometimes we would stop to admire the performers on the streets selling their talents. Point and take a guess at the gentry inside the palanquin. Beggars were also plentiful in the city, asking for a bit of food or money."

"One day we were walking down the main street when Hong Kong tugged on my sleeve and pointed to a crowd of people. I smiled, carrying him to the front of the crowd. We expected maybe an acrobat or maybe a talented storyteller, but all we found was a girl garbed all in white, weeping next to a corpse." China's sharp eyes met Russia's. "That was Qieying."

"Her father recently passed away due to an illness and because she had no money to afford a proper burial, she was selling herself. She would either be bought as a concubine or as a servant. As pitiful as it was, it was a common scene for poor filial daughters. There were many more just like her and I cannot help them all."

Sighing, China stared at the ceiling. "I was about to suggest to Hong Kong we should leave, but when I saw his eyes brimming with compassion, I knew if I left her, Hong Kong's image of me would shatter….I paid for her father's burial…and so began our days as Master and maid."

"She became Hong Kong's personal maid. In the first few months I barely took notice of her. She was just one of the thousand of servants in my home, but gradually she caught my eye. When I asked Hong Kong how he learned this new saying or song, he would answer Qieying taught him. Sometimes when I came home early, I would look for where Hong Kong was and I would catch a glimpse of Qieying patiently teaching him calligraphy. Whenever I saw them playing word games or singing a folksong together, I would join in as well. After a long day at the palace, being with them- laughing, relaxing- lifted my mood. It was a…nice feeling."

"I asked her one day why she so well educated, especially a young a girl at her age. She told me her father was actually an official. He never had a son, but he didn't take out his frustration on Fate and instead doted on her. He taught her poetry, calligraphy, and appreciation for music. However, her perfect life fell apart when her father ran afoul with a higher official. He was stripped of his title and they had to live as beggars. Her father, unaccustomed to the hard life, soon fell ill and never recovered. Throughout her tale, there was a melancholy air about her, making her seem frail and delicate. I was afraid if I even breathed, she would disappear. But after her tale, she smiled softly at me."

"'I'm glad I met you,' she said before running off back into the inner quarters." China's eyes grew distant, reliving his past. Beneath the blanket, Russia clutched the other nation's hand as if to make sure China was still in the room with him. "It was bold and entirely inappropriate for an unmarried woman to say such things, but it was at the moment I realized the nice feeling I had when the three of us were together. We felt like a family. I reasoned with myself if…if Hong Kong was to have a fulfilling upbringing, he needed a mother figure. He was already half-attached to her so why couldn't I take Qieying as my wife?"

"Does Hong Kong remember any of this?" Russia asked

China laughed, "I don't know, but I don't think so. Even though he has such a serious face, he's actually absent minded sometimes."

"So what happened?"

"I asked and she accepted." China grinned at the memory of Qieying's face when he finally unveiled her during their wedding night. "She was shocked speechless. She knew I held a high a position, but she never expected the Emperor himself to attend our feast. Maybe it was nervousness from being so close to the Son of Heaven or what would happen next since we were alone, she kept babbling nonsense. Her habit of serving me as a maid came back and kept pouring me cups of wine after another. It was adorable to watch her become so flustered. I remember thinking the candle light complimented her complexion perfectly. I finally got her to sit down on the bed next to me. I held her hand as I blew out the candles."

"Hong Kong, Qieying, and I spent our days blissfully. Nothing had changed. Qieying continued to take care of Hong Kong, but now she viewed him as her son. When she saw me come home, her face lit up and I could see her restrain her feelings from flowing through. I understood though. My heart swelled and ached from the depth of her love. With Hong Kong reciting a new poetry Qieying taught him, we shared a glance and smiled….The happiness didn't last."

China paused, thinking of how to continue. He swallowed back the rising suffocation. "There was a plague….People were dying everywhere. There was no cure. The dead started piling up in the streets, in the ditches. At last people had to resort burning the corpses to stop the infection. Black smoke filled the sky, but it didn't stop the raging disease. I told her to go, to take Hong Kong far away to another city, and once this was all over, I would come and fetch them. She refused me. She told me she was failure as a wife if she left me alone. No matter what I pleaded, she helped me take in the patients. I was worried, of course, but after the first few days it began lessening when I saw her handle the patients with tender care and still seem perfectly healthy. How stupid I was….After the first week, I noticed the rash she was trying to hide from me. That was the first sign of infection. After that…she began to deteriorate faster and faster. All I could do was watch her waste away in front of me, helpless to it all. She didn't blame me. She even thanked me for taking a penniless girl such as her as my wife. She thanked me for treating her with utmost kindness. Her last words to me were, 'I'm sorry I couldn't grow old with you.'"

China laughed bitterly. "She never knew I was an immortal. I never told her she never had a chance to see my hair turn white. Perhaps that was cruel of me. I was selfish. I never thought of the consequences when I took her as my wife. I think it the plague was Heaven's punishment for playing with her feelings. It wasn't love. I…don't think I ever really loved her. I wanted to play house." China closed his eyes tight from the onslaught of emotions. "I can't even remember her face, Ivan. I don't remember what she looks like…."

Russia gathered China in his arms, rocking him gently as he shushed him. "I know you loved her. If not, you wouldn't be in such agony." He kissed the top of the smaller man's head. "She was happy, Yao."

"How do you know? You never saw her."

"I can tell she was happy from the way you described her in your story. She sounds like a wonderful person, a wonderful wife. I wished I had met her."

China was quiet, absorbing the Russian's words and letting it wash away his pain. Slowly, he returned Russia's embrace, hugging him tight. "I wish you did too. She would have liked you."

"Humans are such fragile things aren't they?" Russia spoke into ebony hair. "They seem so full of life, but their time on Earth is so very short…."

"It isn't about how long you have, but how you spend it The shorter your life, the more you appreciate what you have."

"Hm, full of wisdom as you usual," Russia chuckled, giving China a peck on the nose. "Then what does it mean about immortals where time is meaningless?"

"They have mood killing conversations after sex," China answered sarcastically.

Laughing, Russia rolled out of bed. "I don't think so. Wouldn't you say after our enlightening conversation, I stole a little bit more of your heart?"

China didn't answer the silly question. Instead he asked Russia where he was going.

"The servants will be here in another 10 minutes. We should take a bath while they change the sheets."

China scowled, scrambling off the bed, "I really hate how your household knows what happens when I spend the night, Ivan."

"Did you want to sleep on the soiled sheets?" Russia questioned.

"It wouldn't be soiled, if somebody actually bothered to use condoms, Mr. XL."

Russia shut the door behind them after China entered the bathroom glaring at him. He shrugged at China's comment, turning on the faucet. "I didn't see you complain before or during the act. No point in bringing it up now."

Steam rose from the bath, quickly filling the room with warm fog. The larger nation settled in first- the water sloshing over the sides- and then beckoned China to join him.

That night, just as they were about to fall into a dreamless sleep, Russia asked one final question.

"Do you think one day, we'll see them again?"

In the pitch black darkness, Russia couldn't see China's face; his voice betrayed none of his thoughts. "Why do you ask me that?"

"Doesn't Buddhism believe in reincarnation? Do you believe in second chances?"

China reached out a hand to caress Russia's cheek. "It would be nice to see them once more. If I ever saw Qieying again, I would like to memorize her face before saying I'm sorry."

Russia placed his hand over China's, kissing the palm. "If I saw Dasha again, I would like to finally confess to her and get a chance to say goodbye."

"It'll never happen you know," China said softly.

"Love makes people do stupid things and wish for the impossible." Russia kissed China on the forehead. "We reconciled didn't we? There is no harm in hoping."

The smaller nation smiled, finding Russia's unfailing confidence somewhat endearing. "Goodnight, Vanya."

"Goodnight, little Yao," Russia held China close, murmuring into his hair. "See you tomorrow."
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

A/n:

Before someone says, "I can't picture Yao with a girl because he's so girly" just allow me to say that during the Song (or was it the Tang?) effeminate males were the epitome of male beauty and masculinity. They had wives, they had concubines despite their girly looks. So yea, Yao looks like a girl, but it doesn't mean I have to turn him into one and have him only interest in other males. Though even as I say this, the time period I had in mind is way before the Song or Tang. It's up to you to decide which Dynasty though.

On another note, I see nations' first love and experience to be with one of their own people rather than some far off distance nation with a different language, culture, and lifestyle.

Anyway I tried to make their individual stories melancholy and sweet at the same time. Not sure if I achieved it.

If you're wondering about the time period…don't. This fic has no actual history. I used whatever time period I consider appropriate for their love story and took great liberty with it. I hope no one expected a real historical figure to be Yao's wife. As much as I would like to use them, noted female figures in China are usually married. And to be fair, if I didn't use a historical figure for Ivan, I won't use one for Yao either.

About Qieying selling herself for her dad's burial…I just got that off Chinese dramas. I don't know if it was an actual practice or if it was commonly used.

*Comrade/Tongzhi: Literally meaning "comrade" and was used among the Communist party members to refer to each other in the People's Republic of China, but in modern times is a slang word for the LGBT meaning homosexual and other sexual minorities. I found the use of this term when I was doing research for my Chinese history class and I thought, "How appropriate for a BL Russia x China fic." So I couldn't resist not throwing it in here. You can read more about it if you wiki "tongzhi". Again, please don't take offense at my slaughtering of languages. It was not done with malicious intent but in good humor and as a way to enhance the story with cultural references.