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China sways in the winds. With the sap of his blood, he is a bamboo forest never breaking. His leaves rustle and the air strikes him; he bends back in an arch, then in the other way, all four sides.

He should have died a long time ago, he thinks, but the fact is that, he has not. Like a dragon, he has lived thousands of years. Sometimes, when he paints calligraphy, he finds himself writing it all down again—Confucius’s words permeated the air and lulled him to peace; the Qin emperor played with zither with deathly sting; General Guan’s son grew too quickly; Madame Mao, an old lady, was strong to the end...

And Taiwan had the most beautiful eyes, like the night without moon. And Hong Kong loved hawthorn berry sweets, and the Koreas were inseparable, and Japan had the quickest hands. And China pours wine down the rivers, watching the drops disappear into ocher. The tide, shrinking and swelling, never ceases. His land, sad and ancient, will never fail his people. And neither shall he.

--

“You’re going away?” Yao asked, astonished. “But, why would you, aru?”

“I’m just dorming, Yao-san!” Kiku replied, smothering irritation. “It’s better for me to cloister on the campus, and, anyway, Ludwig-kun and Feliciano-kun are going, too. It is a fine option, do you not think so?”

“Why, though? It’s like you don’t even want to be around here.”

Kiku stopped packing. The statement seemed to have an effect this way, so Yao took the suitcase from him, gently prying his fingers away. When he next spoke, his voice had dropped; a good but telling rarity; the softness was unnerving.

“It’s like you’re so eager to grow up, Kiku. You’re overworking yourself. These days, you’re always spending time with those lao wai.” Kiku blinked, once. “You’re always studying. I’m worried, Kiku. You should slow down a little—I mean—” Kiku, even without being lulled by the tenderness, did not, couldn’t, prepare himself for what came next, and when Yao’s hand yanked, he jumped and stared at the strand standing between his brother’s fingers. Yao had pulled a long, white hair from his head. “—Kiku,” Yao continued, “this is too much. I’m really...worried for your health.

“And, it’s like you don’t even want to be around us anymore. You’re spending so much time away from your family.”

There was a long silence, prolonged even more by Kiku’s hesitation before he slowly, ever slowly, looked down, almost shamefully. A sight Yao was used to, of course, but the contrition was, nevertheless, all too genuine.

This was not the first time they argued. But none had escalated to the physical; at no point in time had Kiku actively begun to leave the house. At no point in time had Yao had to actually wrench him by the hand from the door—not here, not in Beijing, Hong Kong, Taiwan, not anywhere in Asia; anywhere they lived, anywhere they had ever lived. When Kiku chose to school in Singapore, they had gone through the process and moved, enrolling everyone into that same schools (“Singapore is good for schooling; I was just thinking of sending us all there, hao ba, Kiku?”); when Leon had been kicked out of Guangdong’s schooling, they had moved straight on to Hong Kong...and Yao, not once, had thought of sitting down and staring, because it was so important to keep the family together. No monetary shortage, no academic crisis, <i>no government, </i>they quietly noticed, could keep him from allowing his siblings a better chance for the future, while keeping the them plastered to each other the way the Great Wall was glued to China like a spine.

Then came the day the invitation appeared, from the prestigious, inapplicable W Academy—to all of them; an incredible blessing, one that Yao accepted immediately. A prestigious school, one that only extended invitations in searching for students; how could anyone in the family resist such reputation? Yao had actually felt some tears rolling in his eyes when he read the letters for the fifth time—every detail, every word—and even further when he read it so many more times it became frayed in his fingers.

But it made him more frantic. He was the one in charge of his siblings: To have so many to care for as one grows...

It was exhausting. He had assured himself that he was doing well, if only because he was doing the best he could; and yet, he found himself trying harder and harder all the while; was he trying too hard, now? he wondered. Perhaps he was overbearing, and perhaps he was so preoccupied with not being so that simply stopping and pulling back was an option out of view. And now he could feel his heart thudding, he realized, as he just barely kept Kiku from running away.

His appeal was aimed towards Kiku’s downcast eyes. “Kiku. Aniki is worried about you.” Perhaps this would have affect?—everyone in their house knew how much he disliked Japanese. Of course it was all right that Kiku spoke it, and all right that Yong Soo spoke Korean—what good comes of severing one from his tongue?—but Yao himself avoided it heartily. Chinese was his language, and it was Chinese he would speak.

Kiku did blink. “It is not...,” he said, hesitantly, “that I want to be away from the family. You know it is very important, Yao-san. Family.” He blinked, profoundly. “But I want to be with my friends. It is...the only way to expand my mind. How else am I to deal with the world out there?”

Yao let go, Kiku slipped from his fingers. He backed away, blinking blearily, as if a chord had been struck, and it was resonating within his ribs. Kiku had never said as much to him. And yet, he felt as if this had heard this sometime before; as if they had already had this conversation. His mind yielded nothing but a consciousness.

His brother’s eyes peeked out at him from beneath straight, black hair. He seemed to almost be pleading.

Yao laughed. His brother looked so small! Like a helpless child... “Ah, Kiku, you’re so cute, you know that? You really are growing up too fast...but, you know, if you grow up too fast, you won’t live as long...you know that, aru?”

<i>You don’t understand, </i>Kiku seemed to think. But the very fact that Yao could see the thought, though this insight was not on the surface, indicated enough—that he did, at least, see, and that he could see a solution in view; his smile, it also indicated. It was so easy, so simple!—and yet, it was only the first step to a long fight to keep his family together; there had been incidents, now a crisis, and his response was to declare the war.

Because, somewhere in his soul, in a burbling well as deep as the end of the sea, Yao felt that this was a lesser evil.

“Fine, then,” he said, just as Kiku opened his mouth. “Then, we’re going with you.”

Not a very thoughtless decision; it was the instinct to keep the blood linked; this decision had been made many, many times. No matter that he barely had enough sleep now, overworking himself alongside simply going to school, and that it was such a drastic way from getting enough to pay the little of the tuition he had to pay, already. As long as the veins were linked, the arteries closed together—then, it was worth it.

Almost as worth it as Kiku’s face was?—this time, Yao giggled gently.

For it contorted and he began to splutter, “Yao-san, I cannot— You can’t be serious—”

“Aw, you look like a panda that fell down a chimney, aru! Of course, I’m serious!”

“But—Yao-san— Think of the money it would cost— To move the whole family out—”

“But, if we didn’t, would you still go dorm?” said Yao, knowing the answer already.

“...Yes,” Kiku admitted. “I would. But—”

“Mo mo ceng ceng de, just like an old lady, aru,” said Yao, who did not have a habit of rolling his eyes, the only way he refrained from doing so. “We’re going. There’s no question. Why would you want to move out when you could see this coming, aru? We’ve been here before. And I’m not concerned about the money, aru, that’s why we buy bootleg materials. Don’t give me that look, aru. I didn’t come to this country to be pushed around by the government’s idiocy.”

--

The regret made itself known, later. After confiscating Kiku’s suitcase entirely—“Don’t pull that ninja thing with me, I have the power to keep you out of dorming if I wanted to anyway”—he took the time to think it all over again. Even took a walk in the garden. Napped next to some chrysanthemums—Kiku’s namesake; and even in Japanese was the name beautiful—hazily watching the white petals drift by the blue of the sky.

Times like this were the most serene; he had no choice but to rest and think.

<i>What a stupid thing I’ve done, </i>he said to himself, watching the sky. His mind flickered, wavered, moved the way candle-flame does, the way he slipped in and out of sleep.

But that was fine; so much more than fine. This was calming. The only sleep he could get any time, really.

He blinked a little, pondering the situation, the way his mind had calmed from a race he had not realized he was in; he had run, he had won, and yet, through it all, he had not noticed that what he was fighting for was...indeed, being fought for at all. His heart had been thunder-shot; it had contorted itself this way and that as he panicked, and the adrenaline had been enough so that his focus was on keeping Kiku, running before he could walk. And now he was slowing down, for the garden’s movements were sluggish but graceful. Here, he could think.

He turned over; the grass was soft here, as soft as the grass in his home country. He had never actually understood why his siblings were so varied; Xiao Mei was Taiwanese, Leon was a Hong Konger, the Im brothers were Korean (<i>gaoli bangzi, </i>he thought to himself with a smile), and Kiku was Japanese (<i>xiao riben, </i>he thought there, too).

Then, he frowned, backpedaling a little in his mind; that wasn’t right—the grass here was soft, but...not in China. Not in his home country. In the country, yes, in certain places where it was clean—(these days, such places did not exist in China anymore, and if they did, Yao had not found them)—but he had no memories of grass in the city. Although he had wandered throughout China, moving his family with him, to work, he had come straight from the heart of Beijing. Or was it Shandong?—he shook his head, mind fuzzy; nevertheless, there was no grass in the city, in his home country. China must have been very clean once, perhaps in more ancient days...

He sighed to himself a little, out loud, the puff of it swaying a leaf. It was exhausting work, to think. And now he would have to work a little more overtime to pay for dormitories for all of them.

This time, he did slide into sleep for some solid hours more.

<i>And the grass was truly, extraordinarily soft and springy; no city grass could really compare.

Even with his blood on it; at least it feeds it. He rolls over a little, the autumn leaves sprinkling his face, and he faces the sky, which is very, very blue, the straight, curving parallel to the ground, and the body of his newly-dead brother.

He refuses to look at Kiku’s body, so shrunken now in the samurai armor; but, he has won, and he refuses to face him, look at the dead eyes and say, “It was for me, and for Yong Soo.” But he does look at the sky, tired, gripping his side, where Kiku ripped his katana, wondering if he too can die if he bleeds enough. He looks at the sky, and whispers to himself, to the body, “Xiao, xiao ri ben.”

And the grass is soft, his heart shrinking and opening again—

--</i>

“Like, why?” said Leon, bland eyes staring at Yao. “When I said I want to move out, I meant, like, in my own house or something.”

“That’s why Xian Sheng is so scared of letting you see the fraternities,” Mei said bluntly. “It’s called the Empty Nest Syndrome, because Xian Sheng’s going through mid-life crisis. Isn’t that right, Xian Sheng?”

“Well, we’re here!” said Yao, loudly, ignoring them. (“Xian Sheng’s just in denial,” Mei said to Leon, who nodded knowingly.”) He pulled the car into the lot, W Academy looming grandly above them. Spires and arches—he sighed, muttering to himself, “Look at where all our tuition money is going. All right, da jia!” he said, louder now. “Get out of the car, get your bags.”

W Academy was a large campus, surprising for a school with hardly a few hundred students. Buildings, bridges—even a lake. And after the working process of settling in—there were many of them, and so while they had much more to settle with, it was done in a procession of messy proficiencies—they went their own ways, and Yao had to walk to his first class without his siblings.

Age of The Empires—a good class with a good name—in the largest lecture hall he had ever seen.

“Ludwig,” he greeted Kiku’s friend, and took a seat beside him in the very first row—a statement to be made, for there were about fifty—(he did not quite count, and was very sure there were more)—layers of table sloping down step by step from the double doors, and aisles, to boot; he pulled out laptop and Ludwig his.

“Hallo, Yao,” Ludwig said back, pushing his glasses onto his nose. So cute, Yao thought. “How was the homework?”

<i>Wonderful conversation starter: </i>“Very easy, aru,” he said cheerfully, not hiding the cocky streak. “I mean, China is my homeland—aru—so of course I would know it.”

Ludwig cocked his head, thoughtfully, conversationally in a way Yao was familiar to now, “Ah, the other day, at the first mention of...Qin...Shee...Huang...” with careful voicing, and errors all the same “...I could swear, I saw a glint in your eyes.”

Yao laughed. “Yes, aru. I’ve always been interested in my history, I grew up on it. But what about you, Ludwig?”

A wince. “Well, my brother and I are very interested in Prussian history...”

And they were so indulged in their own talk, into such a world of chronicled happenings that they jumped when Gilbert stepped into the room after the professor, and the latter started into the microphone as if he had left off from someplace. “THEY SAY,” he boomed, and Ludwig and Yao stared ahead, fingers poised at once, “THAT ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME. LAST WEEK IT WAS ABOUT CHINA, BECAUSE IT’S ONE OF THE OLDEST CIVILIZATIONS IN THE WORLD, AND ALMOST AS OLD AS ME”—giggles in the room—“SO NOW WE’LL MOVE ONTO EUROPE.”

Click, click, the mouse echoed from its podium as the professor moved into the presentation, the projection raying onto two identical screens with one image, the very same, each. Yao raised an eyebrow from the very center of his row, deeming to let his eyes flick from one to the other; it made no difference.

He stared at the projection—the statue of a man in a tunic. A detailed hand had carved away at the face, the skin, so that the marble seemed almost to blaze alive with bronze, and the eyes stared down. There was a collective giggle in the hall as Yao looked, transfixed, upon a familiar jawline, so sharp and seeming to scream with the want to smirk. How could such a face bring such...such life...

He was tall. The man was very tall, his body long like a tower; and <i>just flex already </i>as Yao examined the arms, the legs, the power beneath what turned up as an even dignified kilt. His eyes trailed down, up, down, up, very slowly and respectively; there was no exaggeration here. The likeness was so very realistic; a fantastic, nameless sculptor had etched into history a person, and its build implied a strong resemblance to a living, breathing figure now long gone.

“YOU MAY RECOGNIZE HIM FROM THE STORIES OF OUR RESIDENT GHOST HERE,” the professor said, letting them giggle. “THIS IS THE EXACT SAME STATUE THAT STUDENT SAW WHILE STUDYING ABROAD IN ITALY, LEADING TO THE RUMORS OF THE GHOST ON CAMPUS.”

Yao stared; beside him, Ludwig’s hand twitched.

How to comprehend?—there was something about this realism that sent his mind into a small frenzy; it was as if an inexplicable frustration had touched him, with the potential to surge.

He could see him as if he was alive.

<i>That hair would be brown, </i>he was thinking, <i>and his eyes almost gold, </i>and now he realized as so. He blinked a touch, the thoughts gone like stars.

--

And the stars came back. Yao took his dazed steps down the hall, the memory of the statue strong as alcohol alight in his mind.

“What is your next class?” Ludwig asked politely. He stood to Yao’s left.

“Oh, I’m not quite sure, aru...” He reached into his bag for the slip of paper, his schedule. It did not take him long to find nothing—“Aiya, aru, I think I must have left it in class!”

He turned immediately, prepared to duck Feliciano, whom he saw approaching quickly. Ludwig turned slightly beside him, but Yao had not taken more than a step, an apology to his companion half open on his mouth before Feliciano had latched himself to him. He stumbled at the rush.

“VEE, YAO!”

“Aiyaa!” Yao fairly screamed as he went down.

“You left your program back in the lecture hall, are you okay?” The paper was thrust into his face with what Yao deemed as too much enthusiasm. He backed into the floor, then raised his head again, into a different direction. “Oh, aiya, xie xie, Feliciano, aru...” He was babbling; he blinked, slowly stemming the babble as he took the paper, slightly crumpled, back. “Thank you,” he said again, and shot him a small smile. Feliciano was such an innocent boy, was he not?—here were Kiku’s best friends; the sentiment found him for a moment.

And then it froze.

“Yao?” Ludwig had put a hand on his elbow, suggesting help, but Yao, unperturbed, instead continued staring at Feliciano in a rapture.

That hair would be brown. Darker brown. Lovino’s brown. Roman brown. Eyes, as well.

A blink. “Aiya,” said Yao, in fascination. “Feliciano. I just realized that...you look a lot like the statue in there, aru. Don’t you think so, Ludwig? Thank you...” He let Ludwig help from the floor, but rather pointedly used his own legs and torso to stand; in the end, it was shown, he would have lifted himself without such aid.

“Ah, well...now that you mention it?” Ludwig glanced at Feliciano and his sudden, “vee?” “There was a slideshow in there just now; it had a Roman statue in it,” he explained. “It does look very much like you...”

“Imagine it was my ancestor?” Feliciano beamed at the revelation, his flyaway curl—an anomaly in his hair—seeming to spring on its own. “I am Italian after all, and so is Lovino.”

But Yao was looking away again. The marble of the floor seemed now to curl upwards and sink its cold past his shoes, into the soles of his feet. For, unbeknownst Ludwig or Feliciano, the statue had come to life.

(Perhaps recalled to life?)

It swept along the floors, the cold; it ran a length rather as a stream, with a shocking freeze, right into the man standing at the other end, looking at Yao; and Yao, without the statue, knew the face.

“Yao?”

One step, two steps, three steps, following it into the stairwell behind the door. He did not need to touch it—on its own, it had opened and closed.

The statue, in all its it warm and Mediterranean colors, was not quite so opaque in the dark and could be seen more clearly. “Salve,” said the ghost with its eyes, with Lovino’s eyes, but never words and no voice. And had it stayed, there would have been more—as Yao could ascertain later, when the shock had slipped away—but just as quickly, the apparition was exactly was it was: an apparition, quickly gone.

--

Original FF.net note:

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9705613/1/Age-of-The-Empires

This is my next big project. I’ve been brain-dead in writing for the past couple of years, so, you know, critique me, hard. Honestly, I’ve lost the ability to focus these past couple of years, and my head must be so much the denser because my improvement has slowed; my brain’s gotten so fucking stagnant. Please, please critique me. By the way, ever read Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit, my last major work?—that was four years ago, and, Jesus, when I look at it, I die a little on the inside. Despite the flaws I see now, I impressed myself reading it all over again. And look at me now.... Oh, and hello, new Hetalian generation. I joined about five years ago and faded out for a hiatus, so coming back now is rather like freaking Captain America waking up and running into a completely new Times Square.

Ha. Ha. I write about a ghost wandering around a university, and it just so happens that APPARENTLY my dorm is haunted -__- -spectraphobic- That’s...fucking great.

So...yeah. This will be a two-part story, starting with Yao and ending with Gilbert. At least, I think so—I haven’t decided yet. Yep.

Again—PLEASE CRITIQUE. I was, like, flipping tables with this story because I couldn’t get it the way I wanted and, hell, I didn’t even KNOW what I wanted. It’s really difficult, actually, for me to write Hetalia without history involved xD And this is honestly my first straight-up AU. Ever. Sort of. It’s rather hard to define this as an AU if you stick around and see what I have in mind for the plot.

Thank you!

Notes here:

OH, MY READERS, WHERE ART THOU. –sobs-

The Dust of Cornflowers

Author/Artist: Peridot Tears
Genre: Drama/ Friendship/ Family
Rating: K+
Pairings/Characters: Prussia (Gilbert Beilschmidt), Austria (Roderich Edelstein), Germany (Ludwig), Hungary (Héderváry Elizaveta), Fritz, mentions of Germania
Warnings: Some violence, a teensy bit of swearing. Like, one word.
Disclaimer: I'm getting too old for this...
Summary: It takes people and nations to smash Prussia into dust. Otherwise—Prussia gets old and sentimental and dies.
He has not heard the voice in over two hundred years.Collapse )

Whiten The Skin, Make It Dead

Author/Artist: Peridot Tears

Genre:
Drama/ Family

Rating:
T

Pairings/Characters:
China (Wang Yao), Hong Kong

Warnings: Racial slurs, slurs over religion.

Disclaimer: No, and I am running out of clever things to say for these. About five years of this can do that to you.

Summary: Once upon a time, all men were brothers. In a changing world, Yao wants nothing more than to avoid Japan like the plague, but the one with plague is Hong Kong. -Historical-

One day, the world rent itself apart.Collapse )

Making Milktea

Author/Artist: Peridot Tears

Genre: Action

Rating: T

Pairings/Characters: China (Wang Yao), France (Francis Bonnefoy), England (mentioned), Vietnam (mentioned)

Warnings: Racial slurs, slurs over religion.


Disclaimer: Ha.

Summary:
China stabbed at France again and again, his blood painting his hands. And there was laughter - it was a hateful sound. Racial slurs, cultural slurs - lots and lots of bad language. Quite a bit of blood and violence.



"Did you, or did you not kill him?"Collapse )



Breathe

Author/Artist: Peridot Tears
Genre: Romance
Rating: K+
Pairings/Characters: England (Arthur Kirkland), America (Alfred F. Jones)
Warnings: Bloody prat. Yeah, that kind of slang, out of England, of course >w> And America thinking Europeans are old perverts.
Disclaimer: USUK? :D
Summary: America wants just one kiss, and England burns. Too bad America's sloppy.

"You know, France is coming too...I'll leave you alone when you two do your weird European rituals."Collapse )

Author/Artist: Peridot Tears
Genre: Drama
Rating: T
Pairings/Characters: America (Alfred F. Jones), England (Arthur Kirkland)
Warnings: The battle of Monmouth. Which is to say, a nice bit of blood and vomit and bayonetting. Yeah....
Disclaimer: You're joking. That is a fact.
Summary: Perhaps stabbing England in the gut is worth the words on an old document.

"...the bayonet plunged still in Arthur's ribs..."Collapse )

AmericaXYou: First Kiss

Author/Artist: Peridot Tears
Genre: Romance/ Parody/ Humor
Rating: T
Pairings/Characters: America (Alfred F. Jones), mock OC
Warnings: Mock sex. No explicit detail, but yeah....
Disclaimer: Imma too snarf for Hidekaz SAMA~
Summary: The handsome man smiled at you warmly. "Hi, my name is Alfred." You blushed. Fluff.
"Sorry about breaking your heart and all..."Collapse )"Sorry about breaking your heart and all..."Collapse )

 

The Modern Gaul

Author/Artist: Peridot Tears
Genre: Romance
Rating: T
Pairings/Characters: Greece (Heracles Karpusi), America (Alfred F. Jones)
Warnings: ...Innuendos. Lots and lots of innuendos.
Disclaimer: Naw, naw—that was Bebe’s kids’ –shot-
Summary: "My room. Tonight. Delphi Hotel. Bring a tin of those condoms." In which Greece decorates condoms with porn and America is a stud. Dear God, what've I done.

 

"He asked me for a rubber once..."Collapse )

[Fanfic] Resilience

Author/Artist: Peridot Tears
Genre: Drama
Rating: T
Pairings/Characters: China (Wang Yao), symbolic OCs
Warnings: Rather graphic violence.
Disclaimer: Eh...
Summary:
The sky was burning when Yao fell asleep, blood on his clothes. -Historical-

(...was shot in the head...China knew no more.)

...Um...to the mods...should I label this as mature? o_o;;


Tags:

Resilience

Author/Artist: Peridot Tears
Genre: Drama
Rating: T
Pairings/Characters: China (Wang Yao), symbolic OCs
Warnings: Rather graphic violence.
Disclaimer: Eh...
Summary:
The sky was burning when Yao fell asleep, blood on his clothes. -Historical-

...was shot in the head...and China knew no more.Collapse )

 

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