Based on ironicorange’s stalker AU, inspired particularly by this art piece
(tw for blood in linked image)
Characters: Russia, America
Warnings: Kidnapping, drugging mention, death mention, mild violence
Also posted on AO3
The dry, bitter taste was the first thing Russia noticed. He tried moving his lips, his tongue. Everything was too heavy; even his eyelids would not cooperate.
He was so tired.
Had he died again?
Russia wasn’t sure how much time had passed when he woke up next. He blinked slowly, the careful movement the only hint that his eyes were opening and closing. Wherever he was, it was dark. The bitter taste was like a film over his tongue, and his mouth felt as though it had been stuffed with cotton. The cottony feeling continued through his brain, but as Russia closed his eyes again and slowed his breathing, the fog began to lift.
What was the last thing he remembered?
Teeth chattering, Russia’s brow wrinkled as he realized he was cold. More precisely, his neck was cold. The thick scar tissue that wound around him like a collar was especially sensitive when temperatures dropped, but Russia was getting distracted.
What was the last thing he remembered?
Once he became aware of the cold, Russia became aware of rope biting into his wrists and the pull of his shoulders, like they were in danger of being pulled out of their sockets. He became aware of the bloated tingling in his hands, the rope having cut off circulation for… how long?
What was the last thing he remembered?
He remembered warmth, noise… some annoying song with nonsensical lyrics set to an overly-peppy tune.
An American café.
He’d been getting coffee after a meeting, hosted in New York City. Russia hadn’t wanted to go back to his hotel right away. America staring at him had left him unnerved. Russia had hoped to read—forget about work and other Nations—for an hour or so before finally dragging himself back to his hotel, jet lag still pulling at his bones, leaving his limbs heavy.
He remembered the subject of his unease happening to end up at the same café.
Or maybe it was planned. Russia was sure now that it had been.
He remembered feeling overheated, taking off his overcoat and scarf. He remembered the jet lag feeling worse and spilling his coffee.
He remembered America helping him into the back of his car.
After that, darkness, the bitter taste, rope biting into Russia’s porcelain skin, painting lines of red over it.
. Russia tried to say his name, but his lips still didn’t want to move. He could barely push the air needed up through his throat.
He’d been mute for several months upon waking up after that time. After he died.
had been like, Russia didn’t know, couldn’t know—or so he claimed, wanted and needed to be completely true.
Was that what this was for? Whatever this was?
Russia, being a Nation, knew about
, just as many of his people still remembered, still wore scars from. However, it was in an abstract way. Deeper than the knowledge a human gained through reading about it in books or hearing it from scholars but still not as fully-realized as the first-hand knowledge of going through the thick of it. Of having the thorns of that era digging into your skin and drawing blood while your eyes trained on the faraway sunlight teasingly filtering through the suffocating vines and clinging barbs.
Russia hated this disconnect as much as he was thankful for it. A Nation shouldn’t be this separated from their own history, the lives of so many of their people—whether for better or for worse.
Before Russia could allow himself to drown in these thoughts further, blinding light sliced through him. He squeezed his eyes shut, tears gathering along his long, pale lashes as he clenched his jaw.
Russia could barely make out the voice, the sudden light awakening a deep, harsh pounding in his head that left him feeling off-kilter and ill. Bile inched up his throat, and he didn’t notice the cold spots on his tongue and sliding down his throat until he shivered again. He didn’t stop accepting the ice chips, though, the wetness returning to his mouth feeling too much of a relief to refuse.
When the cup was taken away, Russia drew in deep breaths through his mouth, only vaguely aware of a presence leering down at him.
“... ay, darlin’?”
This time, Russia recognized the voice, and his body reacted before his thoughts could line up enough to form a plan.
Pain shattered across his skull from the crown of his head from the force of impact; Russia rolled back and away, realizing too late he’d rolled right over the edge of a bed and letting out a line of curses even before he hit the ground. More pain shot up from his jaw, carpet rubbing his chin and knees raw, and the way he landed, his wrists still bound tightly behind him yanked a shoulder out of socket. It was only after the pain ebbed to a pulse that Russia was able to yell out, but when he opened his eyes and saw blood running down America’s face from his nose, he felt a spark of pride warm the inside of his chest.
The pride shriveled to a cold cube of ice as America sneered and lifted Russia with only one arm to throw him back onto the large bed, the mattress groaning under Russia’s weight.
He glanced around the room, hoping to get some information, anything that may help him.
This kind of treatment towards other Nations outside of wartime was unprecedented. Even someone as cocky and self-absorbed as America wouldn’t dare—or so Russia had thought.
The walls were dark blue, almost black. There were blackout curtains covering the windows, and the bookcases and floating shelves were filled with more nicknacks than books. The figurines of bears and salmon, plus the cold and blackout curtains think they were in the northwest. Alaska? Why? And how? Russia couldn’t have been unconscious on a trip from New York to Alaska, could he?
He thought back to the cottony feeling in his mouth and the dizziness still plaguing him. How long had America been drugging him? Did his boss realize he was missing? The other Nations?
Pulling a handkerchief out of the pocket of his usual bomber jacket, America said, “Guess I can’t blame your reaction, can I?”
His voice was low, robotic. He wiped at the blood, his nose already healed.
“But… desperate times and all that.” America pocketed the handkerchief, but red still stained his tan skin.
His eyes, the shade of a summer sky, looked so empty that staring into them made Russia shiver despite himself. He’d known there was something dark inside the younger Nation. Less and less, he’d been hiding his glances, his leers, his searching gaze.
“Do you remember…?”
He’d always trail off, expression falling when Russia would only crinkle his brow, waiting for him to continue, to ask what exactly it was he wanted Russia to remember.
It was something from
, he knew. Something
knew—the him that wasn’t Russia, not this Russia.
“Remember what?” Russia would finally ask.
America would whisper, eyes downcast and looking so crestfallen that Russia almost reached out for him.
He’d always stopped himself, understanding that while relations were better, things were awkward, especially when America got like that—wistful and hopeful that Russia would magically remember something that belonged to someone else’s memories.
“I need you to remember.”
Russia shivered. He didn’t remember America saying that, but the voice ringing in his head was the younger man’s voice. The tone wasn’t like his usual one, though. It wasn’t even that wistful and hopeful one.
It was low and desperate.
It was what he’d said in the café, as he put Russia into the back of his car, right before he slammed the door shut.
,” Russia growled, and America’s expression darkened.
“So you still don’t remember.”
America’s voice was a monotone, and Russia wished he could look into his eyes and see madness, see that America was completely unhinged.
Instead, his usually bright eyes were calculating. He was cold, fully aware of what he was doing, and finally, Russia started to feel a thin thread of fear wind down his spine, making him shiver.
“I’d hoped the drug would work,” America continued, either unaware or uncaring about Russia’s discomfort and unease.
Russia’s shoulder, still dislocated, was starting to darken with bruises, but America ignored it, staring into Russia’s violet eyes.
“They were supposed to make you dream,” he explained. “I’d started working on them during the Cold War.”
He bent down and ran his fingertips, covered by leather gloves, over Russia’s injured shoulder.
“I guess we’ll have to try something else. I’m not letting you go until you remember me.” He took hold of Ivan’s bicep and his uninjured shoulder. He shoved his shoulder back into its socket, a loud stream of curses ripped from Russia’s sore throat. “Remember
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