"Why do you keep writing in that notebook?"
He heard that sentence so many times he didn't even bother to count anymore. Not that he ever had. It just struck him as odd that people always seemed to zone in on that fact, and not the others.
"J-j-just something t-to do while R-Russia's out."
They never focused on how his stuttering would increase. That he was shaking worse than before. They certainly never noticed that the book was written in Latvian. Then again, they probably never thought to check.
"We have plenty of chores we have to finish them before Russia comes back, you of all people should know that."
He always wondered how they never noticed he wouldn't shake while writing. If it was laundry, mopping, cooking, trying in vain to not let that stray sunflower die, cleaning, or anything else, he would be shaking. Not with writing. Never with writing. Writing was different. Writing was special. Too special to taint with his nervousness.
"I-I-I kn-kn-know, b-but-"
He was confident while writing. He may shake and stutter in everything else, but never writing. When he wrote, he didn't have to worry, because it wasn't him. Not mentally at least. Mentally he was a brave soldier in a war, a lost boy on the streets, or even a princess trapped in a tower. He would pour his own feelings into the story, or rather, he would use his feelings to explain the character's. It filled him with a confidence that nothing else could bring. For a second, a minute, but never an hour (for he never had the time) he would be brave.
"No buts, now get to work. You can dust the second floor, and try not to break anything. I know your clumsy, but Russia . . . he's. . ."
Then he would be back in the present. Any confidence would leave him, leaving him a stuttering shell. Returning to his own life, which unlike his stories he had no control over, was always the worst thing. He would be forced to face reality instead of fantasy. Rags instead of riches. . . .Torment instead of love.
"Hey kid, what's with the journal? You writin' something awesome about me? I wrote one or two things a while ago. Never got along to finishing them."
He never felt like he was writing a fake story. Fake stories didn't exist, in his opinion. Only fake authors who didn't possess the gift of being able to look into a different universe and put it's very essence on the page.
"W-w-what w-were they ab-bout? I-If you d-d-don't m-mind me asking."
The person who asked him the question would never get told what was in the journal, but they never quite noticed that. If all else failed, that was a skill he would take to his grave. Not useful to most, and it only worked in regards to the journal, but it worked nonetheless.
"Oh, it was awesome! The first one started out with a giant fireball and-"
He didn't necessarily like where his 'gift' ended up putting him, but it was better than the alternative. Much, much better.
"Hey! Like, what's up with the journal? It's so totally weird!"
Almost everyone he knew had asked him it at least once. Not her though. Never her. She was much too smart to bother asking. He supposed that's what he liked about her.
"O-oh! H-hi. I d-d-didn't see you come in."
Now that he thought about it, she may be the only person who had never asked him. She was definitely the only person who had read the secrets held in the journal. Not that he knew it was her at first. No, of course not, that would be much to simple. He only had a small message written the corner of the page, which was written so small it practically disappeared onto the page.
"What! How could you not notice my fabulousness? Ugh, well, Russia, like, wants to see you."
The message had scared him in a way that was more personal than the fear he usually felt. The fear he felt with Russia was the kind you felt when there was a serial killer in front of you. The note made him feel paranoid that his most dearly hidden secret could be told at any time. It was an exhausting type of fear.
"O-o-okay. I-I'll be there i-in a second."
Later he would look back and realize the most terrifying thing about the note wasn't the fact that the person knew what he wrote, or that they could tell Russia at any moment. No, the scariest thing was the fact that it was written in Latvian.
The words said in the note weren't scary at all, it was more of the fact that it existed. The fact that someone had read his stories, the stories he had poured his heart and soul into, terrified him. He could still vividly remember when he had found out who had wrote it. She hadn't even been surprised, and looked rather bored honestly.
"Gahh! H-h-how? I-I-I! M-my book! Y-Y-You're-"
When he had first found out who it was, he had been sure she would immediately tell Russia about them, but he was wrong. Way wrong. The long-haired girl had seen no motive to tell the Russian, despite her relations to him.
"I am reading it, yes."
That girl could stay calm in the midst of war, but for some reason, he had expected her to be upset that he had found out it was her. He had been sorely mistaken. She didn't even bat an eyelash.
"B-but. . . .A-Are you going t-to tell Russia?"
He had been surprisingly calm when he confronted her. He supposed he thought he had already known the answer. Instead the Belorussian had surprised him. Then again, who didn't she surprise?
"Why would I do that? These are simply childish stories, not plans against him."
That's when it started. After that, he would always let her read his stories, and though her criticism was as harsh as her heart, when she deemed the story good, he felt like he was flying. He had never before let anyone even glimpse his work, but she insisted that he continue to show her them, just to make sure that he didn't start writing things against her brother. He was to terrified to say no.
Over time, he realized that she was not as heartless as everyone thought, and she realized he could do more than stutter through the stories he showed her. (He still remembered the rare look at shock on her face the first time he had read one of his more mature writings.) That was it though. Her feeling didn't go past that. And neither did his. Definitely not.
Even if their tradition continued way past the ending of the Soviet Union. And if the Latvian began to anticipate her visits, it was purely platonic. And the blue eyed girl's visits were made only to make sure that the "little bastard" wasn't talking about Russia behind his back. Besides, even if they did have feelings for each other, Lithuania still had a crush on her, and Russia would never allow it. No matter how much the girl's behavior perturbed the Russian, he would never allow her to treat someone else the way she treated him. Which is why they were happy they didn't like each other. Not at all. He was content being completely alone, and the girl was joyful at chasing someone who didn't love her.
And if Belarus helped Latvia act something out romantically for his books, it was only so he could describe them better later. She didn't want to read terrible writing, after all.