Music and loud voices swirled around the room, echoing in the space almost larger then a ballroom. It was the nations' yearly Winter Festival, where almost every nation in the world got together to exchange gifts with their friends and family, and to spend time with those they don't normally get to see during the year. This was a time where a truce was called, a truce that held until midnight, when the nations went back to being rivals.
Canada was sitting in one of the chairs lining the room, watching others dance in the clear space provided for exactly that. Canada chuckled to himself as he watched, for he knew that almost every couple on the floor consisted of someone who wanted to dance, and someone who got roped in to dancing. Spain wanted to dance, so Romano was dancing. Liechtenstein wanted to dance, so Switzerland was dancing. Italy wanted to dance, so Germany was dancing, while his brother Prussia creeped on him with France and took pictures. Hungary and Austria were dancing quite happily, and some of the smaller nations, Sealand, Wy, Seychelles, and even Latvia, were in the center of the room, holding hands in a circle and spinning around while Finland watched fondly, Sweden by his side.
A small bag rested at Canada's feet. Inside were gifts for when the countries would do their gift exchange, which would start at ten thirty that night. Since Canada didn't have many friends, this parties were always somewhat boring to him. In his bag, he had a gift for his brother America, France, England, his friend Ukraine, and his crush. Canada blushed at the thought of his crush, then glanced around the room, for once relieved that no one was paying attention to him.
"All right, dudes and dudettes!" the loud, unmistakable voice of America rang through the room, even louder then usual thanks to the help of the megaphone in his hand, and Canada could see England trying to steal the megaphone away, before grabbing it successfully and thwacking America on the head.
"Sorry about that." England's accented voice came through the megaphone. "Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to begin our gift exchange, which will end at eleven. Thank you." Then the Brit turned off the megaphone, keeping it away from America.
Canada got to his feet and made his way over to where his brother and England stood, arguing already, although they stopped when Canada approached. "Hello, America. Hello, England." Canada said, a soft accent lilting his quiet voice.
"Hey Mattie!" America yelled in Canada's ears as he glomped the smaller nation, while talking up a storm. "Dude, it's been awhile since we've talked! How have you been doing, Mattie? We both had some recession a bit ago, huh? Oh, I've been working on a wicked new airplane design, and you wouldn't believe how totally awesome it is! You'll have to come see it once it's finished, okay? And we can--"
"For God's sake, America!" England snapped, pulling him off of Canada. "Let the man breath!" The Brit turned to Canada and handed him a small wrapped gift. "Here you go. It's not much, but I simply could not think of anything to give you." he said with a easy smile.
"T-Thank you." Canada said, opening it to see a small plushie of a polar bear, and Canada grinned at the little toy in his hands. "I have a gift for you too, England." Canada said, handing England a wrapped parcel, which contained a deluxe box of Earl Grey tea, England's favorite kind. then he handed a gift to America as well.
It did not take long for Canada to track down France and Ukraine and give out his gifts, but he could not, for the life of him, find his crush, no matter how hard he looked. He was just about to go sit down again, when he felt a hand on his shoulder, and heard a voice say "There you are." Canada swallowed and turned to face his crush.
Russia stood behind him, as tall and as intimidating as usual, but with a smile on his face as he looked at the smaller nation before him.
Canada had long since had a crush on Russia, despite the nasty rumors that floated around about the massive nation. Despite how scary Russia seemed, Canada was one of the only people to see his other side. The Russia who hated the winter and loved sunflowers, who was afraid of Belarus, who sometimes had nightmares. Russia had never been scary to Canada, not even when they first met. Yet the smaller nation, who feared rejection and loneliness above all else, was hesitant about sharing his feelings with him.
"I have a present for you, Matvey." Russia said, handing the littler Canada a wrapped gift.
"Thank you, Russia. I have a gift for you as well." Canada said, handing it to him. They unwrapped their gifts together.
Long ago, not long before a World Meeting, Canada had been touring the building, looking at the artwork, when he came across a beautiful painting of a white dove, wings lifted as it landed, or took off, and a beam of sunlight making the snowy white feathers glow. He had stood, entranced by the painting, when he had heard footsteps behind him. He had turned around to see a tall man with sandy silver hair and violet eyes much like Canada's. He had a pale pink scarf wrapped around his neck.
"This building has so much art, da?" the man asked kindly. Canada had only nodded shyly at the time, then turned his eyes back to the wonderful painting before him.
"This one is my favorite." his soft, lilting voice had held a tone of longing as he gazed at the dove in the picture. It looked so peaceful, so free, it made Canada jealous of it, yet all the more wishing to be able to take off into the sky.
The man came and stood beside Canada and looked up at the painting. "It's easy to see why." he said, tilting his head slightly to one side to look at it. Then he looked back to the smaller nation standing beside him. "I'm Ivan Braginsky, Russia." he introduces himself with a small smile.
Canada looked up at the big nation with a bit of surprise. He had heard a lot of things about this Russia, none of them good. Yet this nation beside him appeared to be gentle, almost tranquil. Nothing like the blood thirsty monster he had been hearing about from his brother and papa. Maybe the nation just had a soft side he didn't let many people see. Canada realized with a start that Russia was waiting for him to introduce himself.
"Oh! I-I'm Matthew Williams, Canada." he said, then braced himself for the inevitable question that always followed.
"Nice to meet you, Matvey." Russia said, giving a nod and small smile. Canada was taken aback. Normally after he introduced himself, people and nations alike always asked "Who?" like they had never ever heard of the second biggest nation in the world.
To cover up his surprise, Canada looked back up at the taller nation. "So which picture in here is your favorite?" he asked.
Russia moved over to a painting on the other side of the hallway, parallel to the dove with the outstretched wings. "This one." he said, a barely detectable note of happiness coming into his voice as Canada turned to look at the painting.
The painting was of a field of tall golden flowers, standing proud and majestic against the clear blue sky painted onto the canvas. Canada nodded slightly as he looked at the painting. "Sunflowers." he said, more to himself then anything.
"Da. I love sunflowers, but it is too cold for them where I live." Russia said, eyes returning to the picture. "But this picture makes me feel hope, much like I'm sure that one does for you, am I right?"
Before Canada could think of anything to say in response, America came out of nowhere, grabbing his brother's arm and shouting something about being late to the meeting if he didn't hurry. As they left, Canada craned his head to get one last look of the sunflower loving nation, having no idea yet that he had fallen in love.
Canada looked at the gift in his hand, breath catching, eyes filling with tears. It was a small statue made of spun glass. The light gleamed off of the dove's pure white wings, which were outstretched as though in flight, and the whole thing looked as though it was about to take flight and fly around the room. It was beautiful, and a single tear slid down each of Canada's cheeks as he gazed at the bird in his hands.
Russia was looking almost as surprised at what his present for Canada had revealed. In his hands was a snowglobe, which was slightly dwarfed by his large hands. In the very center of the snowglobe was a single sunflower, standing golden and proud despite the artificial snow that surrounded it.
"Russia... Thank you." Canada whispered, a shy but very happy smile breaking across his face.
"No, Matvey. Thank YOU." Russia said, a rare amount of childlike wonder in his voice.
"It's supposed to represent how there can always be hope, even in the darkest and coldest winters if you look hard enough." Canada said, his voice still softer then usual as he gave Russia a look filled with things unsaid.
"Alright people!" America had obviously stolen the microphone back from England. "It's eleven, so lets get some dancing back in this party!"
Russia smiled slightly when the music started up again. It was a slow song. The massive nation extended a hand towards Canada. "You would like to dance with me, da?" he asked mischievously. Canada smiled, and the two nations sat their beloved gifts on Canada's chair, then proceeded onto the dancefloor.
The two nations were caught up in the music, and danced around and around even after the slow song had ended. There was no time in the little world they were sharing, and it seemed like hardly a second had gone by before the end of the dance was announced, only minutes before the treaty broke. It was only then when the two nations stopped and looked at each other, sharing a look and smile.
"Awwww, look at mon petit Mattieu! He's all grown up now!" Canada sighed softly as he heard the excited squeal of his papa, France, who had been watching the nations dance for some time now, unknown to either of them.
"Hey, you're like, totally standing under some mistletoe!" came Poland's yell. Apparently the two dancing nations had drawn quite the crowd., most of which was stunned by Russia's actions. "Now you have to like totally kiss!"
Canada looked up to see that they were indeed standing under the trademark clump of leaves and berries, then blushed as he turned his gaze to Russia, who had a knowing smile on his face. "Well, what do you say, Matvey?" he asked mischievously. "I think they're waiting." he added, nodding his head in the directions of the crowd watching them.
"O-Okay." Canada blushed, then looked down where Russia's arms still wrapped around him from dancing. "But I-I've never k-kissed anyone before, so I don't--"
He broke off as Russia leaned over slightly, tilting Canada's chin up to kiss him gently on the lips, drawing gasps from the onlookers. Canada felt a burst of emotion hit him as he kissed Russia back, sensing joy and love from the larger nation. After a long moment, they pulled back unwillingly.
"Go Birdie!" Canada could hear Prussia cheering, along with catcalls from some of the other, more inappropriate nations, as well as a chorus of "Ewwww!"s from the kids, and a happy squeal from Italy. France and Ukraine, however, started a round of applause for the two nations, who obviously felt more for each other then friendship.
"Dude, there you are!" America broke through the crowd to stand, oblivious, by his brother. "Come on, Mattie. We gotta leave, we have work tomorrow!" he groaned as he tugged Canada away from Russia.
"Okay Alfred, I hear you! Just let me get my stuff." Canada said, then made his way to his chair, Russia following close behind.
"Listen, Matvey." Russia said. "When you're in the car on the way home, look at the bottom of the statue, da?"
Canada looked up to question him, but the nation had grabbed his snowglobe and disappeared into the crowd of nations that were saying their goodbyes to nations that would be their enemies in a moment's time.
Later, in the backseat of America's car, Canada pulled out his dove statue and flipped it over, curious to see what would be on the bottom. His eyes widened, and a happy smile broke across his face as he stared at the words on the bottom of the statue. я тебя люблю. Canada didn't understand any Russian except for the yes and no, but that was only because Russia said them all the time. But he didn't need to know the language to know what the statue's base said.
"Oh, Russia..." Canada whispered almost silently so that America wouldn't hear him. "I love you, too..."