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"You look bothered," Russia observed, able to look beyond what's in front of him to see what's really there. He looked as if he wanted to say more than that, but a strange expression crossed his face, and then there was no more. America wondered silently when he began to notice the little things, but didn't dwell for long since it's been too far back to actually remember when.
He shook his head, getting into the conversation before his mind indulged in senseless wandering.
"What gave it away?" he asked humourously, expecting their usual banter.
"You haven't touched your food yet, or your coffee. It's quite unsettling for our America to act this way, that would be what others would think, net?" Russia asked, his voice carrying the same, amused tone, but with an undercurrent of -
(There was a slight hesitation, but it was hidden well. America doesn't notice.)
America's hands stilled. Usually, the younger nation smiles were quick and smooth, almost superficial in how generous he was with them, but with enough honesty to be considered real. This time around, looking at Russia looking at him like that, the smile came slow, soft, tilted differently - with more light in his eyes.
Then he looked away hastily, completely missing Russia's reaction; but the smile on his face was too difficult to get rid of. He turned his attention back to the newspaper - there was something about a plane and France, bankruptcy and motors, an earthquake and a storm; but everything came up as jumbled letters which don't make sense, just as Cyrillic letters don't make sense to me...
"It's nothing big - you know me, I'll probably figure it out in the end."
"I know. To be of assistance is still a nice thought to dwell on."
His cheeks warmed. Russia laughed, not unkindly, leaning back onto his seat while letting his chin rest on his hand and America knew, that under the table, he would be crossing his ankles. The nation's gaze was fixed on something beyond the windows of the dining hall, eyes the shade of rich violet. His cream-coloured hair fell softly against his face - Russia brushed the strands away absently and that was as far as America's thoughts carried him before he willed them away.
He was an avid dreamer, but even that seemed too unimaginable.
It has been a week since America saw a sign of white-gold hair - especially the one belonging to him. He supposed that the break was a welcome in its own right, even if he hasn't spoken to Russia since they shook hands and gave an unassuming hug in parting. Usually it only bothered him if they were apart for a few months, but it left a dull ache in his heart, these days.
He decided to take a walk today through a nameless street, seeing faceless people passing by and grinning at each other, some old timers enjoying their last years and a few boisterous teenagers laughing loudly.
He wasn't fond of looking at the couples. It lead him to paint a picture of Russia with the same kind of expression the lovebirds had when looking at each other, and it drove him to think that Russia always looks at me like that too, and he knew it was just his mind playing tricks.
Ugh, what a jerk,
"You look sad, gospodin - I mean, mister."
The timid voice startled America out of his inner musing, and he looked to find a short, blonde teenage girl staring up at him with a concern look on her face. America grinned, almost on autopilot.
"It's nothing. I'm just thinking, sweetheart." A strange look crossed the her features, and America blinked when he realized how creepy that sounded. He placed his hands up in defense. "I didn't mean anything, I'm just used to calling kids like that." If possible, she took up an affronted look without visibly frowning.
"With all due respect, sir, you don't look all that older than I am."
"You might be surprised," America said cryptically, and grinned. He looked around before sighing. "Right."