[露中] Goodbye Kitty, Hello Vantty!

Series: APH Hetalia | Pairing: Ivan x Yao (Russia x China, 露中) | Genre: Romance, Fluff | Rating: PG

Synopsis: Kitty-chan is losing popularity in the cute market and her creators have plans to replace her with new characters. Yao is devastated, but Ivan knows exactly how to cheer him up!
Inspired by: this news article. When I read about how Hello Kitty was losing popularity and that her creators are trying to look for something to replace her, the first thought that came to my mind was 'Poor Yao!' XD

Disclaimer: The following story is a derivative work of APH and shares no relation to actual countries, political ideologies, history or events. Characters are copyright to Hidekaz Hiramuya, but the storyline and writing are copyright to me. You may share the link to my blog or blog post, but you may not repost my writings without my permission.

Goodbye Kitty, Hello Vantty

Huff... huff... huff...

Wang Yao was spent, his slender 4000 year-old legs wobbly from an all-out triathlon for the past several hours, alternating between walking, running and biking.

Who knew a small country like Japan had so many nooks and crannies, so many side alleys, so many ways to get lost?

But Yao could not afford to stop for a rest. He was in Japan for very important business, and he had to finish it up by today or he would miss his flight home. It was already 8pm. Most of Tokyo closed at around this time. He had barely minutes...

Ah there...! Finally! His last hope, hiding in an obscure little corner. He ran inside it, just as the lights inside were beginning to dim.

"Eh?" the flustered shop girl hurriedly put the lights back on as Yao made a beeline for the section that said 'New Arrivals'.

"Sorry sir! We're closing!" The shop girl eyed the strange customer anxiously as he emptied shelf after shelf of their contents, only to stuff them all back haphazardly after he had felt all around the insides.

Nothing. Yao's heart sank. They weren't even hiding in secret compartments.

"Sir?" the pretty shop girl was practically on the verge of tears.

"Sorry Miss, but do you have any new Kitty-chan products?" Yao asked in halting Japanese.

The shop girl cocked her head to one side. "These are all we have, Sir."

"They aren't new arrivals aru. I already got that doll two weeks ago. And that fan from last month. And that bento set from two months ago... And that computer was definitely old... six months ago aru!" Yao said mournfully.

"I'm sorry Sir, but this really is all we have," the shop girl said apologetically.

Yao sighed. He was afraid it would turn out like that. If even Sanrio World Ginza, the world's largest Sanrio flagship outlet did not have any Kitty-chan product that did not already exist in his collection, what chance did this poor little gift shop have.

"All right, sorry for the trouble," Yao bowed and headed out into the dark, cold Tokyo night.

Well, he still had one more option. He really wasn't hoping to use it, but now it seemed there was no choice. He took out his cell phone and dialed a number.

"Moshi moshi. Honda Kiku speaking."

"Kiku! I have something very important to ask you aru! What happened to Kitty-chan aru? Why isn't she appearing on any more new merchandise aru? The last new Kitty-chan item I have was from one week ago! This is a catastrophe, considering that I used to buy ten new kitty-chan items per day aru!"

Kiku sighed. He had been expecting such a hysterical call from Kitty-chan's biggest fan since Sanrio broke the sad news to him.

"Kitty-chan is losing her popularity at home, and my designers are running out of ideas for her..." Kiku explained solemnly. "So... they're planning to design new characters to replace her," Kiku delivered the final blow.

After a short silence, just when Kiku was beginning to worry if the Chinese nation had fainted from shock, a sob issued from the other end.

"B... but why? Kitty-chan is so cute! No one can replace her! No one aru!" Yao cried.

Much as Yao's claims seemed ludicrous, Kiku shared his sentiments. Sanrio's recent new designs were not well-received, and other regulars like My Melody and TuxedoSam were no where as popular as Kitty-chan. Yet Kitty-chan herself was nowhere as loved as she used to be.

"We have tried everything to reinstate her popularity. The Kitty-chan animation series was our trump card, but when it went on air, we received many angry letters and even one death threat from her fans when she started opening her mouth to talk. So we had to cut the series," Kiku said grimly.

"Oh," Yao secretly hoped that Kiku would never find out that he was responsible for that death threat.

"However," Kiku put on his most convincing salesman voice, "we just released a new Jewelpet series. I think you will like Diamond-chan. She's a kitten too and she wears pink bows! Sounds cute right? How about I send one to you as a gift?"

Yao rolled his eyes. What kind of a tacky name was Diamond? Kitty-chan sounded so much cuter! But Kiku was offering him a present, so he would not dream of declining it.

"All right then, thank you aru."

"I hate airplanes aru," Yao grumbled to himself when he finally reached home. Oh well, at least his comfortable bed was waiting for him. He could not wait to sink into it and visit Kitty-chan in lala-land.

"Yao~!" A huge human form hurtled towards him, obscuring his vision and destroying all hopes of sleep.

"Ow! Ivan! One of these days, you're going to get me killed aru!" Yao protested after the Russian nation had released him from a back-crushing hug.

"Yao~ I missed you da~ What took you so long to get home?" Ivan's watery violets drilled through his own amber ones with such intensity that all anger and exhaustion from the disappointing trip dissipated.

"The hunt for Kitty-chan was more difficult than expected. I didn't manage to find any new ones after all aru," Yao shrugged as he tossed his backpack onto the sofa.

"No new Kitty-chan even in Japan?" Ivan shared Yao's indignation.

"Yes aru, in fact, by the looks of it, they might be putting her in cold storage," Yao said glumly.

"Oh no, Yao must be so sad da~?" Ivan said sympathetically.

"You bet I am," Yao pouted and made sad puppy dog eyes at Ivan.

Most people scoffed at Yao's infatuation with the mouth-less cat. Even Kiku sometimes gave him a look of incredulity whenever he bumped into Yao in a Sanrio store pushing a shopping cart laden with Kitty-chan things. Only in front of his beloved Ivan could he openly mourn the impending loss of something that had been part and parcel of the past 36 years of his life. Ivan never mocked at him, not openly anyway. After all, if it had not been Yao's love for all things cute, Ivan would have been unceremoniously thrown out of Yao's house at this unearthly hour.

"Then, this might cheer you up~!" Ivan pulled out a stuffed doll from under his coat and pushed it into Yao's hands.

Yao let out a squeal of delight. It was a Dear Daniel plush clad in a large tan coat and green trousers, with black gloves over its paws and a broad pink scarf that obscured half its face, revealing two purple oval-shaped eyes and a somewhat larger than normal yellow nose. In between both ears was a small tuft of platinum blonde fur.

"Aiyaaaa! It's a Vanya Kitty-chan! Soooo cute aru! I shall call you Vantty-chan!" Yao hugged the doll happily. "This is so unique! Where did you get it from?"

"Hmm... you could say that I got it custom-made!"

"Do you think I can custom-make a Kitty-chan dressed like me in a mandarin jacket and black pants with a dark pony tail aru?"

Ivan scratched his head thoughtfully. "I suppose so. Why? So that Vantty-chan has a wife da?" Ivan grinned mischievously.

"Aiyaaaa of course not aru!" Yao flushed, annoyed that Ivan saw through his inner thoughts.

"Anyway, how come Kiku didn't tell me about this new custom-making feature? I'm going to call him to scold him aru!" Yao pulled out his cell phone.

"Ah, don't! He might be asleep at this time da?" Ivan pointed at the clock, who's short hand rested at the number two.

"Heavens! So late already aru! You'd better get going!" Yao exclaimed.

"Get going? Can't I spend the night here?" Ivan whined.

"Oh... all right," Yao relented. After all, Ivan did give him the most adorable Kitty doll ever. "But you're staying in the guest room aru!"

Ivan sulked and pouted as Yao turned away to lavish attention on his new baby.

"Vantty-chan~ it's warm in my room, so I'll take off your gloves and scarf ok?"

"No! Don't do that!" Ivan cried.

But it was too late. Yao had removed the scarf, and was now frowning at the alien D-shaped mouth that scarred Kitty-chan's blank face.

"... Why's there a mouth aru?"

"Well~ Kitty-chan can't drink vodka without a mouth da~ So I had Sanrio sew on one," Ivan wibbled.

Yao snorted. As if Sanrio would ever give her a mouth when the mouthless look was the driving force behind her worldwide fame. How did she eat or drink? How did she talk? Does she smile? Enshrouded in mystery due to her unique facial feature, or rather lack of, she was practically the anime-equivalent of the Italian masterpiece Mona Lisa. Too bad his stupid boss failed to understand that and insisted on putting a mouth on all their Kitty-chan counterfeits.

"You didn't get this from Sanrio right?"

"...da," Ivan saw no point in arguing when the Hello Kitty fanatic had clearly blown his cover.

Yao sighed. He appreciated Ivan's desire to cheer him up, but now, it only made him more disappointed than ever. So where did this doll come from? Its mouth was different from that of Gitty-chan's, neither did it bear the 'Made in China' label found on so many of the world's mass-produced products. On closer observation, the seams clearly bore the signs of uneven stitches - the mark of amateurish hand-sewing. He held it closer to his face. A thin whiff of vodka fragrance floated into his nose.

Yao gasped. Twisting around to face a sheepish Ivan, he demanded, "Did you make this yourself?"

"...da," Great, not only had Yao discovered that his gift was a counterfeit, it was also a very bad counterfeit. How he wished he had not been drinking vodka when sewing the damned thing. Alcohol definitely addled one's brains.

To his surprise, Yao took a large gloved hand in his own small one and looked up at him tenderly.

"Oh you shouldn't have. I know how much you hate craft work! Your hands are so big and clumsy that you can't even hold a needle without poking yourself aru!"

"I'm sorry I lied. I just wanted to make you happy da," Ivan tightened his grip around the small, gentle hand.

"I know aru, and believe me, I'm happy," Yao smiled. Then, missing the feel of Ivan's skin against his own, he said, "Aiya why are you wearing your gloves? You don't usually wear them indoors."

Before Ivan could react, Yao removed a glove, revealing a hand heavily covered in band-aid. Tiny red scabs dotted the uncovered parts that were undoubtedly less wounded, but still damaged nonetheless.

"Oh Ivan, now I'm not happy," Yao looked at him admonishingly.

"Aww! Yao~ don't feel bad! These scratches are nothing! I'm happy as long as you like it! You do like it right? Even if it's not a real Kitty-chan?" Ivan said pleadingly.

"Aiya how could you ever think I'd compromise your safety and comfort over Kitty-chan?" Yao chided.

"Well everyone always says how much you love Kitty-chan more than anything else in the world," Ivan said ruefully.

"Aiyaaaa what rubbish! It's food that I prioritize above everything else. Then Kitty-chan comes next aru!"

"Oh..." Ivan hung his head dejectedly.

"But... Vantty-chan will always matter most to me, even more than the utmost priority aru..." Yao hugged Vantty-chan with both arms and looked down at the platinum blond tuft of hair, feeling his face grow hot.

"Oh... Yao~~" Ivan's violet eyes teared.

"Anyway, I like Vantty-chan more than Kitty-chan and Gitty-chan combined, so go to sleep ok?" Yao hurriedly turned around to head to his bedroom.

Suddenly, he found himself lifted into the air so abruptly in a bridal-carry that he dropped Vantty-chan in shock.

"Aiya~~ what do you want now?" Yao pummeled his fists halfheartedly against Ivan's chest.

"I just want to reward my little sunflower for being such a sweet heart~~~" Ivan said as he carried Yao to his bedroom.

"Aiyaaaa I don't want this sort of reward aru! Put me down!"

"In a moment, Yao, in a moment~~"

The bedroom door slammed shut.

Thus it was, that poor Vantty-chan spent its first night in Yao's house on the cold hard floor, while its creator spent the night in its owner's... *cough* Feel free to fill in the blank.



Topic : Axis Powers Hetalia
Genre : Anime/Manga

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