[露中 Fanfic] Taming the Polar Bear - Chapters 5 to 8

polarbearv2-preview05-08.jpg
Image by lietchgoo

Main Pairing: Rochu (Ivan x Yao) | Genre: School, Romance, Humour, Drama | Rating: PG-13


Characters: Rochu-centric with many side pairings, supporting characters and cameos from other nations

Synopsis: In Hetalia Gakuen, Ivan, a notorious school bully, meets & falls in love with Yao, a student councilor who resolves to tame him of his bullying ways. Hilarity, chaos & fluff ensue as Yao braves Ivan's romantic but perverted pursuit to take him into hand.

Chapter 5: The Reunion
Chapter 6: He Likes Me. He Really Likes Me.
Chapter 7: Taking Responsibility
Chapter 8: Imaginary Bugs and Fragrant Peonies

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.



Warning: Explicit description of M/M Non-consensual kissing

Chapter 5: The Reunion

Ivan had never initiated a kiss in his entire life. There were of course, those obligatory greeting kisses on cheeks and hands. His older sister Yekaterina and his parents used to kiss him on the forehead when he was very much younger. But he had never received a genuine kiss, nor desired to kiss anyone on the lips.

His experiences with kissing had been traumatic. Natalia, his menacing younger sister, tried to kiss him. More than once. So had that idiotic Francis Bonnefoy during the freshman induction ceremony. Natalia landed him in hospital whenever he refused to cooperate. To top it off, he had landed Francis in hospital, which gave him an even worst feeling since it had been his wish to get along with everyone in his new school. Since then, he had not entertained the idea of smooching anyone.

Well, except Yao. And suddenly, deep in his mind, a small voice told him that he would like to keep his first genuine kiss for Yao. He flushed at that thought. But he hated losing and did not want to fail his dare. He figured he would just make the kiss a very quick one.

"Ack!" a sudden burst of bright light in the pitch black corridor fell upon Ivan's eyes, causing them to screw up in pain from momentary blindness.

"Aiya! I'm so sorry aru! I didn't see you!"

The intensity of the beam diminished as the offending light source was lowered. He felt a small hand on his arm, steadying him from an otherwise imminent fall.

"Are you ok? Can you see me?" Ivan felt something moving in front of his face, but all he could make out were vague outlines and some white flashes from the sudden intrusion of light. The speaker sounded exceedingly familiar and comforting.

"Oh, of course you can't, silly me."

The light source was brought up again, this time directing the strong beam towards the ceiling and illuminating the face of its carrier by its side.

"There, better now?"

When Ivan opened his eyes again, he found himself staring down into soft, liquid-amber eyes rimmed with long, dark lashes. Not sly like Francis', not terrible like Natalia's, not filled with dread like Toris', Eduards' and everyone else he had laid eyes on. The eyes of an angel, framed by a porcelain white oval canvas. The angelic face that occupied his dreams night after night.

Yao.

The angel's small pink lips formed a lovely smile that made his heart race.

"Where are you going? Shall I take you there? It's difficult to wander around in the dark aru."

Stunned that the man of his dreams had appeared in front of him out of the blue, Ivan developed a passing amnesia.

Where was he going?

Then he remembered. Ah.

For the first time in his life, Yao realized how small he was when the large European enveloped his petite frame effortlessly.

"W... what are you doing aru!" Yao cried, flabbergasted as he felt his feet being lifted off the ground. He tried to flail his arms, but they were pinned to his side by his aggressor's muscular arms. His torch clattered to the ground and broke, plunging the dark corridor into deeper darkness.

"Aiyeeeeeee!" Yao let out a shriek as something moist and velvety snaked its way up his neck. This was a sick joke. A sick, sick joke that these juvenile European juniors had come up with. He needed to get out of here pronto. He thrashed his legs to get back to the ground, but his toes brushed helplessly against the hard cement floor.

And then, it was slithering up his chin, and over his mouth...

"Mmmph!" Yao protested as a pair of lips muzzled his own. He tried to open his mouth to shout, but all he accomplished was giving the other man's tongue greater access into his mouth. He tried to twist his face away, but the man had placed a hand against the back of his head, forcing him forward. Their tongues collided as Yao tried to block out the intruding muscle. But if anything, he only seemed to make the other man more excited.

A low growl escaped Ivan's throat as he kissed back harder, mistaking his victim's heaving chest as a sign of ecstasy like that of his own. Each time Yao moved his head, Ivan drove deeper inside. He was almost shocked to discover that kissing felt so natural and stimulating. He supposed that was the difference between love and disgust.

"Stop it stop it stop it stop it!" Yao shouted in his mind as tears of anguish and shame leaked from his wide, desperate eyes. Feelings of humiliation soon gave way to panic as Yao discovered that he was having difficulty breathing. The rogue was hugging him so tightly that his chest felt constricted against the other man's broad, hard chest. His only source of air was entering reluctantly through his nostrils.

As his body and mind grew weak, Yao saw significant moments of his life flash across his eyes. The first time he got his pet panda... the first time his cousin Honda Kiku gave him a Hello Kitty doll which he fell head over heels in love with... the first time he nearly committed murder when his other cousin Im Yong Soo drew a mouth on the adorable blank face and he had to rename the doll Gitty-chan... The first time he stepped into Hetalia Gakuen... The first time he received his student council badge... The first time he saw Ah Gong cry when he chose to take up anime drawing over martial arts...

Why why why why why? Now he was going to die, smothered by a perverted homosexual when he had a whole bright future ahead... Ah Gong would not forgive him...

Hade's judgment hall vanished, replaced by a brilliantly lit corridor. The brightness invaded his eyes so suddenly that Yao failed to realize immediately that the iron grip on his mouth had been released. The spell broke when Ludwig's voice rang out, "Oi this is a public place! What the hell are you two doing?"

"Help me! Save me!" Yao cried, hating himself for sounding like the crybaby he had slammed the phone down on just minutes ago.

A scramble of hands rushed forward, and the two broke apart, Ivan being held back by the combined efforts of Toris, Eduard and Ludwig, while Feliciano supported Yao who was swaying unsteadily on his feet. Several other students had emerged from their rooms to see what the to-do was all about.

Respectful silence hung heavily in the air, until Feliciano wordlessly held up a napkin to Yao. Although it was already stained with pasta sauce, Yao hastily grabbed it to wipe off his tears and saliva.

"I... I... I.. I.. Y...y...y...you...the heck is this aru?" a red-faced Yao struggled to recover his speech abilities as he spluttered at an equally red-faced Ivan.

Taking the cue from Ivan's silence and Yao's confused and furious expression, Toris and Eduard started bobbing their heads up and down like roly-polys.

"It's really my fault... we were playing this game called truth or dare and then one of us dared him to kiss someone in the corridor... it was just a game... he never meant any harm... please don't punish him…"

Ludwig tut-tutted while Feliciano asked, "Ve~ what's truth or dare? Is it fun?"

Yao pinched his eyes closed and took a deep breath. "A game huh? You guys..." he gritted his teeth, "really need to grow up."

Toris and Eduard drooped their heads in shame. If it was even possible, the crimson on Ivan's face had gone one more shade deeper.

"Detention!" Yao barked suddenly, causing Feliciano to jump. "Three of you! Student council room tomorrow! 3 pm!"

Throwing a death glare at the abashed trio, Yao stalked off with a swish of his long hair.

"Um… is it safe to come out now?" a small blonde head poked out from Ivan's room.

"LATVIA!"




Chapter 6: He Likes Me. He Really Likes Me.

Tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock…

The shorter clock hand closed in on 3. Most students had long fallen asleep before this hour to gear themselves up for the Monday blues. Some nocturnal ones were still up, aspiring to top the class with some intense studying, attempting to ascend another gaming level, or… indulging in some hanky-panky that could only be accomplished at this sort of devilish hour.

Ivan was doing none of these. He had been lying in bed for hours, but he could not sleep. Not when his heart was pulsating at 120 beats per minute. The only thing that kept recurring in his mind was Yao's return.

Their reunion had been so surreal and fairytale-like (he thinks) that Ivan could hardly believe that it was more than just a dream. Yet the foreign but endearing scent of peonies in Yao's soft, black hair, the enduring sweet aftertaste of his lips and the fiery defiance in his amber eyes that pierced through his own violet ones told him that it was real.

Ivan had long since took it for granted that people disliked him for no apparent reason. Aloofness, fear, avoidance, aversion... these were the attitudes he was conditioned to get accustomed to. A long time ago, anger and confrontation knew him, but ever since he was big enough to protect himself, nobody reproached him in any way. He had people at his beck and call, but deep down, he was always empty and lonely. For the second time in years, Ivan felt a rush of emotions warming his cold heart.

He had finally met someone in this school who did not look at him as though he was the devil-incarnate. And now, a mere few hours after their run-in in the corridor, Ivan began to sense a new-found insecurity.

"Toris… are you awake?"

"Zzz…"

"Toris…"

"Zzzzzz…"

"Toris?"

"Sgnorrrk!"

"TORIS!"

"Huh?" Toris shot up in fright, his head connecting painfully with the base of Ivan's upper deck. Ouch. What a torturous night!

"What?" Toris massaged his sore head resentfully.

"I was asking you if you were awake."

"I wasn't, but I sure am now," Toris groaned.

Ignoring his room mate's grumpy tone, Ivan proceeded to consult Toris about a problem that had been bugging him all night.

"You know that Yao and I go way back da?"

"Umm... yes," Toris replied. Having been bullied into taking part in Ivan's search for Yao, Toris knew that Ivan's idea of going way back with someone was having an intense one-sided crush on him. While Toris did not agree with that, in the past three months that he had spent in the Russian's company, he had come to accept that Ivan had rather unique views on various matters. It was advisable to adopt his view too, or at least pretend to do so, if he did not wish to come to a sticky end.

"But Yao doesn't seem to remember me~" Ivan said morosely.

"He's only met you once and that was three months ago," Toris explained reasonably.

"But he accompanied me for hours and fed me," Ivan said, convinced that he must have left a strong impression on Yao.

Toris longed to inform Ivan that he was not in fact on the receiving end of 'special treatment' from Yao. Last year, Yao had bandaged his ankle when he sprained it at last year's Track and Field Meet and stayed at him with the hospital for two days. But unlike a certain Latvian, he knew it would be suicidal and thus, decided to keep quiet and let the Russian indulge in his fantasy.

"Do you think Yao is mad at me?" Ivan asked.

"That was pretty obvious, wasn't it?" in his semi-conscious sleep-deprived state, Toris could not be bothered to honey-coat his exasperation, even if he was talking to the devil himself.

"Why? Isn't kissing a form of affection?"

"Not the way you did it. That's sexual harassment all right," Toris resisted the urge to add 'pervert' at the back.

"I don't understand."

Sighing inwardly, Toris tried to explain, "Well think about it this way. You didn't like it when Francis sprang a kiss on you right?"

"Francis is scary. I'm not," Ivan replied matter-of-factly.

Yeah right, Toris rolled his eyes.

"The point is, nobody likes being forced into doing something he didn't want to do. Being kissed by someone you don't like falls in that category," Toris said emphatically.

Suddenly, the Lithuanian was staring into Ivan's upside down face hanging down the side of their double-deck bed.

"Wah!" Toris cried, clutching his chest in shock.

"So. You think that Yao hates me, do you? Kolkolkolkol..."

"No! No no! I mean, you two have only met twice and he doesn't even seem to remember you," Toris waved his hands frantically.

"But I like him very much. I dream of him every night," Ivan pouted from his topsy-turvy position.

"Some people warm up less quickly. Heh heh..."

"Hmm..." Ivan pondered.

"Go back to sleep all right? We still have to go for detention tomorrow. I heard that Wang Yao likes to assign chores as punishment," Toris groaned inwardly at the prospect of performing drudgery after an entire morning of Monday classes.

"That means he might like me da?" the stubborn Russian pursued.

"Probably," Toris concurred weakly. He really needed to get back to lala-land and bask in blissful ignorance before he had to come back to reality and live his miserable life.

He heaved a sigh of relief when Ivan disappeared back to bed.

Tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock…

For Ivan, the next 12 hours could not pass soon enough.






Chapter 7: Taking Responsibility

It was a lazy Monday afternoon in the Student Council Room. After another fruitless session of supposed collective brainstorming about this and that severely disrupted by a streaking Francis who declared that the weather was too hot for any clothes, the head student councilors of Hetalia Gakuen adjourned for a short break to ease their tempers.

"Kitty-chan! Kitty-chan! Where are you aru? Nyan nyan~" Yao cooed as he shifted stacks of paper around the conference table in search for his beloved Hello Kitty bento box.

"Seriously? You're talking to a bento box? Get a life! What do you expect it to do? Come treading out of its hiding place?" Arthur scoffed.

"Aiya I was just voicing out my inner thoughts to myself," Yao replied stoutly. "Like you always do aru," he could not resist adding.

"Excuse me! Pixies, fairies, unicorns… they exist! Just because you blind mortals don't see them doesn't mean we ignore their presence!" Arthur hotly slammed a palm on the table top, scattering his tarot cards in the process.

"Arthur, you should join my drama club. We're recruiting script writers with wild… uh… good imagination and we could do with talent like you," Alfred piped up in between chomps of hamburger.

"This, coming from someone who believes in little green men? What a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black," Francis drawled lazily as he admired his dreamy visage in his hand-held mirror.

"Aiya! Why don't you guys lend me a hand since you're doing nothing important?" complained an exasperated Yao. "Come on, someone must have seen my bento box. I only left it here last night aru. I even recall that it has a half-eaten bun in it aru."

"All the more reason not to find it," Francis made a face.

"Just ditch that girly hobby and grow some balls already," Arthur grumbled, annoyed that his tarot card reading session was being severely disrupted.

"Maybe he can't?" Alfred supplied unhelpfully.

"Why you…!" Yao spluttered.

"I assure you that he does have them. I have seen with my own eyes!" Francis proclaimed, receiving a shell-shocked look from Yao.

"Saw 'em when we went for toilet break together, sweetheart," he winked salaciously.

Yao pursed his lips and looked away. Oh Heavens, when the Frenchman was on heat, his company was unbearable. Yao knew Francis threw endearments around like nobody's business, but such public displays of affection still disturbed his prim and proper self.

"… not as magnificent as mine of course, but a true symbol of manhood nonetheless," the Frenchman said triumphantly, greatly enjoying his verbal torment.

Yao was torn between escaping from the room and attacking Francis with a stack of hardcover reference books.

"For God's sake! Can you please spare us from your lewd revelations? Don't you have anything better to do than to watch other people pee?" Arthur snapped. Whatever holy spiritual presence he had previously experienced had completely dissipated, undoubtedly put off by the brazen nature of the conversation in this room.

"Thank you Arthur," Alfred said, completely misinterpreting who 'us' referred to. "Though to be fair, you were the one who started it."

"Shut up, bastard! No one asked for your opinion!" Arthur retorted.

"… but just so you know, I swing all ways, so if you ever decide to explore your… masculinity… I'm here for you, ma jolie," Francis blew a kiss at a deeply vexed Yao who was now desperately rubbing down the goosebumps that had erupted all over his arms.

"Heavens! If you have nothing helpful to say, just shut up aru!" Finally deciding not to stoop to the Westerners' juvenile level, Yao compromised by bending down on the pretext of searching under the table to hide his scarlet face.

A pair of clarion, amethyst eyes met his own amber ones.

"Aiyaaaa! What are you doing under the table aru!" Yao leapt up in shock.

"I came for detention like you asked me to!" Ivan smiled sweetly as he crawled out from under the table. In the process, he was careful to bump hard into a dumbfounded Francis, causing him to topple backwards together with his chair. Francis scrambled to his feet and sped off towards the exit, screaming bloody murder.

A stupefied Yao turned to his fellow student councilors in search of answers, only to be greeted by an even stranger sight of Arthur clinging on to Alfred as though his life depended on it.

"What are you doing here? When did you get in?" Arthur goggled at Ivan, his usually brusque voice developing a slight trill.

"Don't worry, Arthur, I'll protect you!" Alfred said, lifting one clenched fist into the air like Superman while putting his free arm around a trembling Arthur.

"I came to help Yao find his bento box since none of you will help him~" With a dazzling smile, Ivan whipped out the Kitty-chan bento box and presented it to Yao. Yao grabbed the box in surprise. He bent down and looked under the table to check for secret entrances that the intruder could have sprouted up from.

"So... the detention da?"

"Oh, oh yes," Yao said, finally regaining his composure and standing up. "Arthur will assign your detention to you."

"What detention?" Arthur's voice was almost positively whiny now.

"Aiya I told you about it this morning, didn't I?" Yao frowned impatiently. "Because your delightful European juniors needed to be instilled some discipline for... er... unruly behaviour aru!" Yao's face flushed at the memory of his run-in with Ivan the previous night.

"Speaking of which," Yao turned to address Ivan, "Where are your two friends aru?"

"Toris and Eduard? Haven't seen them~" Ivan blinked innocently.


*     *     *


Half an hour ago in Eduard's and Raivis' dormitory, Eduard tried to convince Raivis to go for detention.

"Raivis, be a man and come to detention with us. You were the perpetrator after all," Eduard tried to drag the little Latvian through the door.

"Why should I when I wasn't asked to? You guys were stupid enough to get caught!" Raivis said as he tried to beat Eduard's hand away.

"Gasp! LATVIA!"

"So, I'm stupid, am I? Kolkolkolkol~"

"N...no... what I meant was..."

"It's all right, I wanted to go for detention all by myself anyway, kolkolkolkol~" Ivan chuckled eerily as he pulled out ropes and masking tape out of his school bag...


*    *    *


"Kolkolkolkol~" Ivan smiled, casting the room in a sinister chill that made everyone's hair stand on ends, and all the more, steeling Arthur's resolution against giving the Russian detention.

"Leave me out of this! Every time I take him for detention, something bad happens to me!" Arthur shook his head profusely.

"Arthur Kirkland! I demand some responsibility from you as head student councilor of the European cohort aru!" Yao hotly reminded Arthur of his position of great accountability.

"What? He was the one who kissed you! Ask him to take responsibility," Arthur said defensively, deliberately misconstruing his words.

Yao felt a familiar tinge of warmth rush over his cheeks.

"Now I know why your juniors turn out this way. You set a terrible example aru," Yao said with contempt.

"May I take this opportunity to remind you about the time your incredibly well-behaved junior and cousin Im Yong Soo grabbed my chest and barbarically declared my non-existent breasts as his without so much as an apology?" Arthur retorted furiously.

Yao had nothing in response, save for an even redder face.

"You can assign my detention, I would love to do your detention~" Ivan said affably.

Yao narrowed his eyes. He had never seen anyone so eager about serving detention under his supervision. Somehow, he found this vaguely familiar, but could not recall why. The Russian stared back at him with innocent puppy eyes.

"Fine, fine," Yao shrugged, "Follow me."

Watching Yao and Ivan leave the room together, Alfred said in awe, "I admit, he does have balls after all."

"Yea, mind getting your hands off me now, you bastard?"






Chapter 8: Imaginary Bugs and Fragrant Peonies

Ivan trotted behind Yao as the latter led the way to the Asian quarter. Yao was short, Ivan noted, compared to most of his school mates he had seen in the European quarters of Hetalia Gakuen. Yet the Asian took such wide, confident strides that Ivan, despite his long legs, had trouble keeping up with him. Then again, his attention was split between walking and staring at Yao's back, and Ivan was one of those people who could not multi-task very well.

If Hetalia Gakuen was not an all-boys' school, Yao would certainly be mistaken for a girl, Ivan mused as his eyes traced the outline of the Chinese man's back ardently. The student councilor could easily pass off as one, with his graceful demeanor, long sooty hair pulled back into a ponytail, slender shoulders, svelte waistline and... that perky little butt. Ivan's eyes glazed over as he started fantasizing about squeezing it...

"Excuse me?" Yao was suddenly right in front of Ivan, glaring downwards. Ivan followed his gaze and to his horror (delight), discovered that his hand had disobediently (intelligently) played out his fantasy mid-way and was now resting against said perky butt. Oopsie.

"Get it off. Now, aru!" Yao glared so hard at the offending hand that it practically shrank away from the invisible fumes of fury that the Chinese was now emitting.

"The mosquito da? Don't worry, I've already gotten if off for you," Ivan grinned widely to conceal his embarrassment as he slapped his hands together on pretext of brushing away a mosquito's crushed body.

Yao had to take a deep breath and count to ten to stop himself from blowing up.

"Don't creep around behind me. Walk by my side," he instructed curtly, and then marched off at top speed again.

"Wait, don't walk so fast!" Ivan whined as he quickened his pace to walk beside Yao. That had its benefits too, Ivan realized, for Yao had a beautiful side profile, giving him an unobstructed view of rosy, smooth cheeks and a soft jawline. Wispy loose strands of hair that escaped the clutches of Yao's hair tie fell delicately against the white collar of his mandarin jacket.

Ivan was so mesmerized that it took his brain a while to accurately register the sudden intrusion of yellow stripes, rapidly beating wings and alarming buzzing noise.

Yao is so delicate and beautiful like a flower that even bees are attracted to him.

Ivan grinned stupidly at this thought as the bee settled on Yao's head.

Wait a second, was that a bee?

No way could he allow this dangerous assailant to sting his angel. Instinctively, Ivan stretched out his hand to crush it, grabbing Yao's silken tresses in the process. Yao jumped violently, leaving several strands of hair in Ivan's clenched fist.

"What the hell is wrong with you aru?" Yao exploded, causing several heads to turn while sending the Russian cowering in fear behind a pillar.

"I was just stopping this bee from stinging you!" Ivan cried, waving the lifeless furry yellow and black little body in Yao's face. "It's the truth this time, I swear!"

Taking into account Ivan's blatant admittance to his previous lie, Yao was less than grateful. "I really hate shouting at people aru," Yao stormed. "If you dare make me lose my temper, I will..."

"You have already lost it," Ivan stuck out a quavering bottom lip and stared at Yao out of large, watery eyes. He looked so pitiful and huggable (gasp! Yao could not believe himself for thinking that) that Yao had to close his eyes and look away. Ivan hastily shoved the hairs he had accidentally grabbed from his angel into his pocket.

"Walk in front of me," Yao pointed to the path ahead.

"Eh? But I don't know the way..."

"It's just a straight path ahead aru. I'll tell you when you need to turn."

Resignedly, Ivan trotted to the front and the pair walked on in silence. Now he had nothing to pleasure his eyes, save for dull green shrubbery that lined the path connecting the administration building to the Asian quarter. However, as they neared their destination, exotic smells of flowers, bright explosions of red and pink and loud voices chattering away in foreign languages proved a fascinating distraction.

Noticing the visitor's captivation by the blossoms that decorated the front compound of the Asian academic building, Yao proceeded to explain, "The trees on the right are the cherry blossoms of Japan. The flowers on the right are peonies, my country's national flower. Those ahead are hibiscus from Korea..."

Ivan had visited the Asian building several times, but always when he was feeling annoyed or anxious about Yao's absence. This was the first time he could truly admire the beauty of the foreign surroundings with a light heart.

Ivan had always loved flowers, especially sunflowers, and had a pretty good nose for them. Just by smelling, he could differentiate different species of sunflowers. Delighted by the lovely new scenery, Ivan inhaled deeply the fresh air mixed with the fragrances of the wide array of oriental floral. One particular scent jolted his memory.

"Oh, so you wear peonies da! I remember smelling it in your hair," Ivan beamed, and then flushed at his memory of their meeting from the previous night.

"Of course not! I wouldn't do such a girly thing aru!" Yao retorted agitatedly. The gall of this idiot to mention that horrid incident when he's being punished for it right now, he thought. "I... I wear peony-scented cologne. It's for national pride ok?" Yao said huffily.

"That's nothing wrong with wearing flowers on your head, especially when you have such a pretty one!" Ivan complimented sincerely. Yao flushed, greatly annoyed by the unsubtle nature of these blunt Westerners.

"Ok cut the talk and turn right aru."

Ivan turned and promptly walked into a cherry tree.

"No, silly! Step through the double doors, enter the building and turn right."

After his earlier visits to the Asian compound in his first month, Ivan hardly had any occasion to enter the Asian quarters. In Hetalia Gakuen, students from different countries and regions took different classes and indulged in different activities in their own unique quarters, so there was hardly any opportunity to mingle on a regular basis apart from social activities, unless they decided to take a class from that particular region. As Ivan walked down the corridor with Yao, he was deeply intrigued by the oriental designs on wallpaper that covered the walls on both sides of the corridors, the intricately painted paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling and framed calligraphy works that resembled paintings.

Even more so, he was surprised by how popular Wang Yao was with the student population. Every corner he turned, students greeted him buoyantly, which he returned with a smile and wave.

"Yao-nii!"

"Yao-sempai!"

Some of the older students greeted "Yao-chan!" "Xiao Yao!", which Yao returned with a bow and sometimes, with clasped fists.

Although the friendliness of these people was not directed towards him, he was touched, and maybe even a little envious. This was all too different from the coldness he had to endure among even his own race.

Eventually, they came to a halt in front of a small room with paper screen doors, which Yao introduced as the calligraphy room. Yao slid open the door, revealing a classroom with regular chairs and tables and noticeboards covered in calligraphy writing. It was rather messy, with rolls of paper lying about in various corners of the floor, and ink bottles and brushes strewn all over the shelves and tables.

"Sorry boys, no staying behind after club hours!" Yao called to the few students who had remained behind after club activities for some extra practice.

The students obediently began packing up to clear out. Ivan noted that one of them bore a slight resemblance to Yao; the same round eyes and soft jawline. He even wore a similar mandarin jacket under his vest. The only differences were that he had short hair, rather thicker than normal eyebrows and a passive face devoid of expression.

"Aiya! Xiang, why are you still here aru! Don't you have martial arts class at this time?" Yao made a beeline towards the boy whom Ivan had been observing.

"I forgot the time, Da Ge. I'm going now. Are you making dinner tonight?"

[Da Ge: Big brother in Chinese]

"Yes aru. I'll be making your favourite Har Gau," Yao ruffled the boy's hair, causing Ivan to feel a pang of jealousy.

[Har Gau: A type of Cantonese dish, also known as shrimp dumpling]

"Yay," the boy called Xiang replied expressionlessly.

Ivan thought this was very unfair. If he himself had the pleasure of eating Yao's Har Gau, whatever that was, he would reciprocate with much more zest.

"You'd better get going aru," Yao made a shooing motion.

"Ok Da Ge, see you later," Xiang slung his backpack over his shoulder, gave Ivan a tentative nod and left the classroom.

"My little brother Wang Xiang. He's in first year. Took him only one shot at the entrance exam to get in," Yao said proudly in response to Ivan's quizzical look.

Ah, they're brothers. That explains it. Ivan heaved a sigh of relief as the pangs of jealousy that struck him previously began ebbing away. Then again, he could not help angsting over the injustice of life. Xiang had such a nice and cute brother, while he was stuck with a crybaby of an older sister and a monster of a younger sister. Oh, but if he was Yao's brother, then it would not be possible for him to fall in love with Yao. At that thought, a blissful smile re-emerged on Ivan's face. There's a God in the heavens after all.

Blissfully oblivious to the turbulence that had just passed behind his back, Yao pointed out the areas that needed tidying up.

"I'll be in the back office. Come and see me when you're done aru," Yao indicated the small door at the back of the room.

"Da!" Ivan smiled genially. This detention would be fun.

On to next chapter

Topic : Axis Powers Hetalia
Genre : Anime/Manga

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Goodbye Kitty, Hello Vantty (PG, Complete)

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