the girl from china

20 FEET
  • China: Did you know about this? Girls being dropped from 20 feet. Unbelievable…
  • America: I know right? 20 feet? Pfff, walk it off!
  • China: America, you do know that normal people don’t just walk off a 20 feet fall, right?
  • America: So all the times I pushed England off a building and he was all like “AHHHHHHHHH”?
  • France: I thought it was funny, America!
  • England: No way in hell was it funny!
  • France: Like a Himalayan tree frog!
  • England: YOU calling ME a frog!? You calling me a damn frog? Say that again, say that to my face!
  • Russia: Guys, maybe focus, guys. Focus?
  • England: Damn frog…

China: Did you know about this? Girls being dropped from 20 feet. Unbelievable…
America: I know right? 20 feet? Pfff, walk it off!
China: America, you do know that normal people don’t just walk off a 20 feet fall, right?
America: So all the times I pushed England off a building and he was all like “AHHHHHHHHH”?
France: I thought it was funny, America!
England: No way in hell was it funny!
France: Like a Himalayan tree frog!
England: YOU calling ME a frog!? You calling me a damn frog? Say that again, say that to my face!
Russia: Guys, maybe focus, guys. Focus?
England: Damn frog…

5 Things to Know About FFC-Acrush, China's Hottest 'Boy Band' Made Up of All Girls

FFC-Acrush is the latest boy band from China to create a huge buzz online. But here’s the catch: All the members are actually cisgender girls impersonating boys.

The group is a sensation in China, with nearly a million fans on Weibo, the country’s version of Twitter. Here are five things to know about the band:

The Members

The “boy band” is comprised of Lu Ke Ran, Peng Xi Chen, Lin Fan, An Jun Xi and Min Jun Qian – all girls. According to Mashable, all the members prefer not to use gender pronouns and instead go by “meishaonian,” a term that’s gender-free and means “handsome youths” in Chinese. The “A” in their name comes from the Greek god of male beauty, Adonis. 

Inspiration

One of China’s biggest pop stars, Li Yuchun, inspired the “boy band” due to her androgynous style. The group’s manager pulled a Simon Cowell by assembling the five members to model after her unisex appeal.

Fandom

In China, fans call attractive looking males “husbands.” As a result, the members of the C-pop group are referred to as such. In recent years, androgyny has become more acceptable and marketable. They have yet to create a name for their fandom.   

The Music

The group has not released any music but plans to drop their first video in April. Under the rules of the FFC – which stands for Fantasy Football Confederation – they will need to incorporate elements of soccer in their videos. Their sound is expected to mix K-pop and C-pop 

Public Appearances 

Recently the group has made a few public appearances to greet their fans. In the YouTube video below, they are seen dancing in front of a crowd.

4

The Man Who Fell To Earth: A Spotify Playlist

  1. “Station To Station” from Christiane F (1981)
  2. “All Saints” from Indecent Proposal (1993)
  3. “Fashion” from Clueless (1995)
  4. “I’m Deranged” from Lost Highway (1996)
  5. “Under Pressure” from Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
  6. “China Girl” from The Wedding Singer (1998)
  7. “Rebel Rebel” from Detroit Rock City (1999)
  8. “Golden Years” from A Knight’s Tale (2001)
  9. “Let’s Dance” from Zoolander (2001)
  10. “Young Americans” from Dogville (2003)
  11. “Suffragette City” from Lords of Dogtown (2005)
  12. “Cat People (Putting Out The Fire)” from Inglourious Basterds (2009)
  13. “Lady Grinning Soul” from The Runaways (2010)
  14. “Heroes” from The Perks of Being A Wallflower (2012)
  15. “Modern Love” from Frances Ha (2013)
  16. “Space Oddity” from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
  17. “Moonage Daydream” from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Listen to this Spotify Playlist & more curated by Rotten Tomatoes here

there’s a part in that NatGeo article where Avery Jackson, the trans kid on the cover, says “Everything about being a girl is good”. The female children in the article say some really different things about girlhood. From Nawar Kagete in Kenya: “You are seduced wherever you go. You are chased by men. If you go to fetch water, you are chased; you go to collect firewood, you are chased.” From Yunshu Sang in China: “I think that something girls can’t do is to be a police officer. I want to be a police officer, but most police are men and there are no women, so I can’t.” From Tomee War Bonnet in South Dakota: “The worst thing about being a girl is that you just can’t do things that boys can do, like, it kind of bothers me how there was not one girl president.”

Best Digimon encounter in the wild ever

Hey guys, second admin here.

So to set the stage, I was in class today and we had a girl from China come over and study english with us.
But the real story begins when she asks me out of the blue

“Do you like the anime, Digimon???”

It was so weird because almost all class, no one could get a word out of her, but here she was asking ME if I liked Digimon. She must have seen my phones wallpaper (which is when all the digimon are annoying Leomon). So I say,

“Yeah, I love digimon”

Her face lit up with delight and she began to ask me a ton of questions. She asked who my favorite human and digimon were, she asked me what my favorite season was, and if I had seen Tri.

BUT THAT’S NOT THE BEST PART

She then asked if I liked the Japanese theme song, Butterfly. Of course I said yes (I have that shit in my car, I listen to it all the time).

SHE THEN STARTS TO SING IT OUT LOUD!!! Everyone looked at us. It was at this moment that I knew exactly what to do… I pulled that shit up on my phone and sang along.
EVERYONE WENT WIDE EYED. No one had been able to get more than 2 sentences out of this supposedly shy girl. But now she and me were singing butterfly in class. Even our teacher was in shock.

Anyways, that’s my little story of a digimon encounter in the wild. If you guys have any stories, send them to me!

OH CRAP

Am I the only one who see that?

- Tallented girl
- Very very very rich guy with not so tollerant family (and probably deceased mother)
- class/school girl-president
- famous and handsome boy
- (they look actually the same. come on!)
- mixed family (uk-japan/france-china)
- Girl from Asia and boy from Europe
- (they even argue in similar way)
- crush on each other
- heroes (kind of)
- shared secret (against friends)
- guy has problem with his family
- guy is awesome in almost everything
- girl probably too…
- MY LADY
etc.

What once seen…
…can not be unseen


#mindblowing

.:SEVENTEEN IN SCHOOL:.

Seventeen: Crazy kids (and very talented)

Short description: They’re pretty nice guys, all of them are in the “Pledis” classroom. Everyone wants to talk with them and they’re know in every classroom because the teachers always bring them up. They are a bit noisy but they have good grades, they’re always together or in small groups. If you ever want help, you can ask them.

Members

Choi Seungcheol (aka. S.Coups)
Has a strong leader feeling, actually the leader of the “group” they called ‘Seventeen’. Is very good at sports and literally can do anything, has a really soft heart even if he can be a little flirty. Has strong arms so he’s usually the one called to help teachers -or even girls- to move notebooks here and there. The one who usually leads the “Pledis” classroom when they need to do any event.

Yoon Jeonghan (alias “Angel *1004*”)
His beauty features would kill every girl, and his giggles can even make the teachers have a heart attack. He had long hair but some bad guys put gum in it so he had to cut it off. He’s the “angel” of the group, but he can be a bit lazy too. He makes the girls feel comfortable around him so they always come to ask for anything for him. Actually it’s pretty manly, and it’s considered the mom of the group.

Hong Jisoo (aka. Joshua)
Has a really soft voice, he’s a transfer student and his English skills would kill everyone. He’s the “gentleman” of the classroom, but actually is a bit shy. He can be dorky though, he’s one of the first people to reach the music classroom always, so when no one see him he plays his guitar. The teachers love him so much and so do the girls. Is usually following Jeonghan everywhere.

Wen Junhui (Aka. Jun)
He’s from china but his Korean is pretty good. Actually everyone was a bit scared of him at first because he looked like he could kill you, but then when everyone tried to talk with him he was like: “I’m scared, I’m new, I don’t know what to do” with such a puppy eyes and being really cute. He can be a little sassy and he appeared in a film when he was a kid, everyone thinks he’s very cool. He can dance and he’s very sweet with the girls.

Kwon Soonyoung (aka. Hoshi)
The one who is always smiling and is very energetic. It isn’t easy to follow Hoshi, he’s always moving around and even changing his seat. He can be slightly shy at first but after that prepare yourself. In the lunch time he can be seen in the dance room, dancing is soul out. He’s really funny so even if the teachers get mad at him for not doing homework he just need to say something and they’re laughing automatically forgiving him.

Jeon Wonwoo (Alias “sweater paws”)
He’s the book guy, always reading and visiting the library in the free times. He, like Jun, has a cold gaze so sometimes he’s misunderstand as someone mean but he’s just a cute cotton candy. He likes to look after the school’s garden, taking care of the little flowers and watering them, putting fertilizer, etc. Puberty hit is voice really hard so he has a really low voice, sometimes you can hear him sing and even rap when he’s taking care of the garden.

Lee Jihoon (aka. Woozi)
Cute face, scary af. That’s what their classmates think of him. In reality he’s a really hardworking kid. Someone made a bet with him and he lose so he has his hair orange now. He’s always hearing music in his seat, but because he always do his homework the teachers don’t say anything to him. Everyone was surprised when they found out that he could write songs and sing, no one believe him until they hear him playing the piano and singing in the music room. Is too shy with girls.

Lee Seokmin (aka. DK/Dokyeom)
He’s the sunshine of the classroom. Always smiling, helping people out and he helps the teachers when they need it. He has a really good voice, so every time they need help in festivals they ask him and Seungkwan to sing for the people. He’s very funny, he’s one of the “three dorks” with Hoshi and Seungkwan. He can be a little sensitive too, when he stepped in the garden of Wonwoo one time by accident he cried all the day.

Kim Mingyu (Alias “Big handsome tree”)
Tries to be sassy, but he can’t. He seems like someone ultra cool with a lot of confidence but in reality he’s just a dork puppy with a kind heart. He’s totally a kid, even if he’s the most tall guy in his classroom. He knows he’s handsome and all, but he doesn’t know how much it affects girls. Everyone likes him, he’s the one in charge to carry Jihoon around the school. He’s really close with Wonwoo. Actually he’s pretty caring, and he knows how to cook.

Xu Minghao (aka. The8)
Pretty quiet. He’s Chinese and he was a transfer student like Junhui, he has a really cute face but he has some temper too. Tries hard to learn Korean but he’s still struggling with it. He’s that one guy who is always in the file on the cafeteria and everyone passes him leaving him at the end. Misses Chinese food a lot so he and Jun go sometimes to Chinese restaurants. He’s always following the “seventeen” group and doesn’t say much. He participated one day in a festival and everyone was surprised by his b-boying skills.

Boo Seungkwan (Alias “Boo Diva”)
LOUD & SASSY AF. This guy can talk with everyone and be totally normal about it, he has a great sense of humor too. Because of that, he’s always the one who represents school in festivals. He with Hoshi and Dokyeom can have all the group smiling and laughing. Some people heard him sing with Wonwoo to the flowers and everyone freaked out because; hey, he was SO GOOD. He pretends to be confident but he isn’t. People said that they’ve seen him talking in the phone with his mom in lunch time.

Hansol Vernon Chwe (Alias “Di Caprio”)
Half Korean, Half American; this guy is pretty popular with the female students but in reality he’s really awkward. In music class he showed his singing skills and when everyone didn’t say anything he just starting rapping and everyone was so surprised. He has a lot of swag, like everything he does is very hip-hop. The “theater club” always wants him because they want to make a realistic version of the “titanic”.

Lee Chan (aka. Dino)
He’s a young kid but he’s really good at dancing. He’s a really good student and all the female teachers go all: “awww” with him. A fanboy of Michael Jackson, has notebooks with his face in the cover. He’s pretty funny too, he’s Jeonghan’s baby. He convinced all the guys to participate one day in the festival and everyone loved their performance of “dangerous”, leaving the whole school waiting for more.


So after some time I continued these again! It was seventeen turn now :) Remember guys that request are open ^^ (We haven’t receive anything :c) 

Admin Miyu

The 2p! Allies As Love Quotes

2p! America: From Romeo and Juliet, Act 1 Scene 4,

“Romeo: I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe. Under love’s heavy burden do I sink

Mercutio: And, to sink of it, should you burden love-Too great oppression for a tender thing.

Romeo: is love a tender thing? It is too rough, Too rude, too boist’rous, and it pricks like thorn.

Mercutio: If love be rough with you, be rough with love.”


2p! England: From Gone Girl

“Because you can’t be as in love as we were and not have it invade your bone marrow. Our kind of love can go into remission, but it’s always waiting to return. Like the world’s sweetest cancer.” 


2p! France: From Your Laughter

“My love, in the darkest hour your laughter opens, and if suddenly you see my blood staining the stones of the street, laugh, because your laughter will be for my hands like a fresh sword”


2p! China: From Gone Girl (again)

“Her mind was both wide and deep, and I got smarter being with her. And more considerate, and more active, and more alive, and almost electric, because for Amy, love was like drugs or booze or porn: There was no plateau. Each exposure needed to be more intense than the last to achieve the same result”


2p! Russia: From The Last Vampire

“Some loves have to be given up, others have to be forgotten. Strange as it may sound, if you think of me as a monster, but I can love most passionately. I do not think of myself as evil.”

In the past there have been many perfect Wonder Women, in my head at least. Lynda Carter of course, but also dream picks like Lucy Lawless. I partnered with the amazing rickcelis to create my perfect Wonder Woman cast for right now. Check it out!

Lupita Nyong’o as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman

For the main role of Diana I wanted someone likable, beautiful beyond belief, and resilient and that for me is Lupita. She’s young, charming, and won’t back down from any task, no matter how difficult. The majority of script believability would be handled with this one piece of casting. (alt.: Gugu Mbatha-Raw or Danai Gurira)

Viola Davis as Queen Hippolyta

I came thiiiiiiis close to going with Gina Torres, especially once Viola was cast as Amanda Waller, but Viola just exudes regal to me - and a dreamcast doesn’t have to have cinematic universe continuity. She has the warmth needed as a mother and the ferocity necessary as a warrior queen, and to see her go toe to toe with anyone I would dare write into her scenes would be the ultimate pleasure. (alt.: Gina Torres or Erika Alexander)

Quvenzhané Wallis as Donna Troy / Wonder Girl

For the choice of Diana’s sometime-sister and most-of-the-time-whatever-the-writers-need-her-to-be, I picked the luminous Quvenzhané Wallis. She is (like the others) a fantastic award-winning and Oscar-nominated actress and not only can she sport her natural hair and make it appear as the crown it was rooted to be, because of her continuing evolution as an actress who is so rooted at her young age, it will be fantastic to see her cinematic journey from Wonder Girl to Troia. (alt.: China Anne McClain or Amandla Stenberg)

If you’re wondering who I’d get for Steve Trevor, well Nate Parker for sure!

  • *Watching tv*
  • Sehun: Check out that hot babe
  • Baekhyun: *watching Chanyeol walk by* he's hot alright *winks*
  • Sehun: I didn't mean Chanyeol! you gay
  • Baekhyun: Sehun,you just called Luhan a hot babe
  • Sehun: Well at least he looks like a girl!
  • *Luhan all the way from China*: I DON'T LOOK LIKE A GIRL!!

i cant believe there are some men that think women have no reason to be afraid of them?? like men can be Evil. the worst experience i’ve had with a man i dont know was when i worked at a resturant. a man (30-40) came up to my desk and asked me to go to his car with him. i was training a girl that day that had just moved from china, we only had a day left for her training so we we’re trying to focus. i was really busy so i wasnt even taken off by it, but i just said “i cant, im working” he reaches over the desk and grabs my arm (i was 16 y/o and 100ibs. the other girl was smaller than me) and begins pulling me over the desk. the other woman throws her arms between us and he immediately let go. at this point, another two coworkers had come up to the desk. one came back with my boss, but by that time, the man had taken a seat at the bar. my boss said that he was a paying customer and that was the end of that.

like, if you genuinely dont think we have a reason to fear men on sight, then you arent listening to the women around you.

Jealousy

Pairing: Ivan Braginski/ Yao Wang (Russia/China)

Summary: WW2 AU. Insane Russian Commander Ivan Braginski is the terror of his battalion and his enemies alike. He controls the lives of thousands - but it is the memory of one that controls his own. Tie-in to ‘Lily of the Lamplight.’

This is a tie-in fic to my ongoing WW2 AU series. Like 'My Echo,’ it will be a collection of short chapters and flashbacks - from Ivan’s point of view - following the main storyline to my PruAus story, 'Lily of the Lamplight.’ It probably won’t make much sense unless you read that one also, I’m afraid.

WARNING: Although this story is part of the Veraverse, please be warned that it is very dark, potentially unsettling, and a very different type of 'love story’ to the others in the series. Warnings for the story include a rather creepy Ivan, age difference, violence, and dubious consent. Please do not read this expecting a fluffy romance – and if the previous themes bother you, then please do not read this at all. You do not need to read this story to understand 'Lily.’

Summer, 1943

The Russian Front

The noise from the wireless radio drifted into Ivan’s mind like droning, senseless whispers: futile and immaterial, lifeless and empty. Strange words in English he could barely understand; sentimental words in Russian he did not want to. Ivan wondered vaguely if he should turn it off, then wondered uncertainly if it mattered, then wondered angrily who had placed this whispering machine in his makeshift quarters to hum and drone and mock him with its bleak, cheerful, vacant lies. Ivan attempted to ignore it as he stared at the papers on the desk before him. The lying sighs from the radio bled into the senseless words on the page. These words were not for him to understand. Ivan was no man of words - he was a commander. He told men who to kill and how to bleed and where to die. He did not draw lines through letters - that was the business of lesser men. These words belonged to others. Belonged to men like…

“Eduard!” Ivan called the name lightly. Officers who shouted did so because they could not control their men; because they were not loved, feared, or honoured. Ivan had no need to shout. So why, now, was he was not being answered? “Eduard!” he called again. Where was his Estonian? Why did he not answer? The tent flap was open. Ivan frowned at the evasive words laughing up at him. His Estonian would understand these words. He would turn them around and put them in order and send them away somewhere they could not confuse and disturb and mock and laugh. But why was that radio still murmuring, still mindless and pointless and grating and endless and…

Jealousy. Was only through jealousy, Our hearts were broken

And angry words were spoken.

Now all I have is memory

To cherish so tenderly…

Ivan clenched his teeth and tasted blood. The chaotic, clamouring wireless whispers twisted into evil words, sung with a deceitful English voice, hammering into his skull and screaming at him accusingly and no, he did not need Eduard, he needed his Lithuanian, he needed… “Toris!” Ivan snapped his head to see the tent opening flapping in the wind. Flapping vacantly, incessantly… no one entering, and no one standing beyond… and why was there nothing but these words and this void and this noise, this ceaseless noise, these rough, shrill, mocking echoes merging with these empty, laughing words that would… not… stop…

Twas all over my jealousy,

My crime was my blind jealousy,

My heart was afire with desire for you

But I never thought that your love was true…

Ivan shook his head. He fought for breath. He felt it all diminish, and collapse, and cease. Then the world turned white; and Ivan remembered.

Autumn, 1930

Leningrad, Russia

Yao belonged to Ivan. He belonged to him from the very second Ivan first beheld him, on a freezing morning in late autumn, standing proud yet wary in the vast, bare, silent entrance hall of Ivan’s vast, bare, silent manor. His hair as long and black as midnight in winter; his eyes as dark and narrow as the slowly collapsing hallways of the crumbling Braginski mansion. So small, so fragile, like a frightened orphaned cub left alone and helpless in hunting season. They said he had come from China: he and his sister, the bland little girl who stood uncertainly in her lovely brother’s shadow. Both pretty teenagers who would work hard, require little, and most importantly, had no family to ask questions. Ivan’s blood burned through his veins, his breath hot and thick in his lungs. His back straightened; his chin rose; his eyes flashed as they drank in his dark, beautiful, proud little orphan cub. Ivan said the words aloud. “He’s mine.”

The boy’s eyes widened at that, fixed rigidly on Ivan’s own, sharp and alarmed. It was a look Ivan recognised - one he knew well. Fear. Ivan returned the stare evenly.

“Vanya, darling, we don’t own people. He is to be a servant, not a slave.”

Ivan ignored his older sister’s words. The boy was his. From that moment, Ivan knew. The boy was his, and always would be. “He is my servant, then. My private servant. No one else’s. Do you understand?” Ivan turned a dark glare on Katyusha. She nodded hastily and looked away.

“Why would you want him anyway, Vanya?” asked Natalia haughtily, sashaying too close to the Chinese siblings and inspecting them disdainfully. Her bright gold, jewelled gown clashed magnificently with the dark remnants of pre-revolutionary décor along the walls. The boy blinked carefully towards her as she smirked. “I doubt this little weakling will last the winter.”

Ivan smiled indulgently. “I will dress him in furs, and lay him before the fire, and he will survive because I wish it.”

Natalia laughed her high, cold laugh. “Like a little doll!” She ran a hand along the boy’s narrow shoulders, touched his hair airily. His delicate features furrowed, insulted and slightly angry.

“Yes,” said Ivan smoothly, his greedy gaze locked on the affronted boy, enjoying the collection of emotions that danced across his face. “My pretty little china doll.”

Natalia stood behind the boy, gently playing with his hair. She smirked again, staring at Ivan through those midnight black locks and her own lowered lashes. “But Vanya, you always broke our dolls, don’t you remember?”

“Natalia!” said Katyusha disapprovingly, warningly. “Leave the poor child alone.”

Natalia groaned, flicked the boy’s hair one last time, and pushed between the siblings, flourishing her wide skirts as she did. “Whine whine, moan moan, Katya. You do little else these days. And just what are you wearing, dear sister? You look like a housemaid. You should give that horrid dress to the little Chinese girl.” Natalia threw the girl a mocking glare. “Though I don’t think the poor thing could fill out the chest.”

Katyusha frowned reproachfully, twisting her hands nervously before her. “Talia, dear…”

“The girl will go to the kitchen,” Ivan interrupted. He had no time for his sisters’ inanity, or for the insignificant girl with the flower in her hair. “The boy stays with me.”

At those words the boy turned red, his hands clenched into fists, and he took a firm step forward. “My name is Yao. I am not a child, I am sixteen years old. And as the lady said earlier, neither am I a slave. My sister’s name is Mei. We are here to work. We expect to be paid, and we expect to be treated with respect.”

A brief silence followed the words, before Natalia broke into high peals of laughter. “Sixteen, Vanya! And the little doll speaks Russian! Is his accent not pretty?”

Ivan smiled in agreement. “Pretty.” As pretty as his soft, bow-shaped lips; as his brave, empty words. Yao’s bold gaze faltered as Ivan’s grew deeper. Immediately, the hall felt too crowded. Ivan wanted the others gone. “Go.”

Ivan merely spoke the order, but his sisters reacted immediately. Natalia rolled her eyes and swept from the room, glowering fiercely at Yao one last time. Katyusha looked concerned as she took the girl’s hand. The girl stared wide-eyed at her brother, clutched at his hands, cried frantic words Ivan did not understand. Yao responded reassuringly, smiled and nodded, even as Katyusha spoke kindly and led the girl from the room. Always kind, always fretful, always obedient Katyusha.

The vast hall fell finally silent, the last of Katyusha’s nonsense words fading to echoes against the barren stone. Yao took a few moments to turn slowly back. His hands were still in fists; his eyes still wary. Ivan took slow, deliberate steps through the heavy air to stand before him, over him, so close Ivan’s coat brushed the tips of Yao’s shoes. Yao did not back away.

“Yao.” Ivan said it slowly, savoured the feeling of the word on his lips for the first time. He liked it. Short and fleeting: a soft yet strong beginning yielding to a gentle, almost lingering finish.

“Mei… my sister…” Yao’s chest rose and fell, an evident attempt to grasp for control. Ivan smiled at the futile effort. “I promised her we would not be separated.”

Ivan lifted one shoulder in an indifferent shrug. “You should not make promises you cannot keep, Yao.” Yao placed a hand to his mouth briefly, as though he was holding something back. On some strange impulse - one Ivan did not recognise and did not understand - he continued to speak. “She will be looked after. Katya is often tending to strays.”

Yao creased his smooth brow, parted his lips, drew his arms to his chest. He did not respond, so Ivan let the silence fall between them. There was so much you could tell from someone through silence. Ivan was intrigued to watch Yao thinking, to see him trying to comprehend. It was enthralling: the boy’s initial look of fury, his desperate glance back at the front entrance, the final resigned understanding on his face. The first of the winter snowdrifts were building against the door. The lost little cub had nowhere else to go.

But silence could only tell so much. Ivan reached out a hand, rested it in the air by Yao’s pale cheek. He could sense the warmth pulsing through Yao’s veins. “Why are you here in Saint Petersburg, little Yao?”

Yao’s dark, thin eyebrows drew together. He seemed at a loss for what to say. “I thought this was the old name, Saint Petersburg. Is not the city now called Leningrad?”

The smile fell immediately from Ivan’s lips. His hand closed in a fist. His very bones seemed to seize, a furious surge of anger filling his chest. He refused to call his city by that name. He refused even to acknowledge that name. Ivan gritted his teeth as he asked again, loud and demanding. “Why are you here in Saint Petersburg, little Yao?”

Yao flinched, then quickly blinked it away. He hastened to answer. “The journey is not a tale worth telling. These are desperate times. Men will do what they must when they are desperate.”

Ivan laughed bitterly. He expected such words. “Desperate enough to serve the broken nobility of Russia.” Since the revolution, domestic servitude was an underground practice – never spoken openly, never revealed to the world. But the Braginski mansion was trapped in the days of the Tsars, darkly defiant of a changing country. Tradition still lingered in this place, faded and broken.

Yao stared up at Ivan with a look now less fearful, yet tinged with uncertainty. His pale cheeks were darker now, his chest still rising and falling in that vain attempt for control. “Why do you speak like this?”

Ivan paused at that. Those words he did not expect. His brief anger fell away, his hand falling to rest lightly on Yao’s slight shoulder. “My words upset you?”

Yao looked warily at Ivan’s hand, then back into his eyes. “They confuse me. There is something behind them.”

Yao’s eyes were like fire. They looked too closely; they pierced too deep. For the first time Ivan could remember, he felt unsettled. He tightened his grip on Yao’s shoulder in response. “And do you always speak so plainly, Yao? Do we not all hide behind our words?”

Yao took a sharp breath, but did not shrink from Ivan’s clenching hold. “Only when we have something to hide.” Such remarkable composure. Ivan wondered what it would take to break it. “Truth is told not in word, sir, but in action.”

Ivan was both fascinated and disturbed. This little stranger had angered him, unsettled him, enchanted and surprised him, all in mere minutes. Ivan refused to allow him such control. “From now on, Yao - whether through word or action - there is nothing you can hide from me.”

Yao’s response trailed into silence when Ivan leant down slowly, touched his lips to Yao’s temple, inhaled the smell of him. Something young like newly-picked oranges, yet old like deep-forested trees in winter. Ivan let out a breath like a growl, and heard Yao’s own breathing quicken in response. It made him smile. “Are you afraid of me, Yao?”

Yao’s words came slower when he answered. He again drew his arms to himself, and his burning brow was beaded with sweat. “I… do not know yet.”

Intriguing. Ivan drew back slightly. “Do you think I will hurt you?”

Yao turned his face to Ivan. This close, his cheeks were aflame; his lips humid; his eyes startlingly dark. Ivan could hardly distinguish the pupil from the ink pool around it. Yao replied with defiant honesty. “Yes.”

“No.” Ivan gently released his grasp on Yao’s shoulder, brushed Yao’s hair from his collar. These clothes were too thin and ugly. Ivan would replace them with garments as silken as these black locks. Ivan would brush his hair and stroke his skin and control his insolent, charming words. “No, I do not hurt my things, Yao.”

“Things?” Yao’s features immediately twisted. He blinked alertly, spoke angrily, as though broken from a trance. “Who are you to speak to me so? Who are you to say any of this to me? These words of yours go too far, sir. I am not a thing. I am most certainly not yours, and I…” Yao’s cheeks reddened as his speech tumbled from him, incensed and unchecked and useless. Ivan just smiled and ran his hand lightly down Yao’s arm. “I am here to work,” Yao continued, his voice rising apprehensively at the touch. “I do not know what sort of work you expect from me, but…”

Yao broke off with a gasp when Ivan abruptly gripped his wrist. Ivan tilted his head curiously, amusedly. Such pretty defiance. Such brave, angry words; so easily stifled. “No, Yao. You are not a thing.”

Yao’s dark eyes widened. Ivan could feel his blood throbbing beneath his skin. So thin; so breakable. Carefully yet firmly, Ivan took Yao’s fingers in his own and forced his clenched fist open. Yao parted his lips, but did not speak. Again he looked afraid, but this seemed a different fear than the last. Ivan pressed a kiss to Yao’s burning, open palm, keeping his eyes fixed on the unfathomable, inky darkness of Yao’s own. This defiance was nothing. Ivan had already decided: he wanted this boy. And Ivan always got what he wanted. “But you are mine.”

 

1943

The memory slowly faded; the world came back, harsh and white and obscure. The wireless whispers still droned, futile and senseless. Ivan drew a very slow, very deep breath of air into his lungs. Then, with a hot rush of fury and a sudden, almost unbidden twitch of his arm, Ivan snatched the radio from his desk and hurled it to the ground. It splintered and shattered, bleeding a last high-pitched whine before finally falling silent. Ivan stared at the lifeless, broken pieces, feeling only brief, hollow satisfaction.

Polkovnik?”

The word was spoken carefully, barely more than a whisper. Ivan looked up sharply. His Lithuanian stood uncertainly in the tent entrance, clutching a folder to his chest, a familiar look of fearful apprehension on his pretty face.

“Toris.” Ivan lifted his chin and gestured for the private to join him. Toris hesitated before doing so. Another day Ivan might have punished him for such a hesitation. But this pounding rage still boiled his blood, that taunting song still rang in his head, and he needed explanation. “These words.” Ivan gestured over the maddening papers on his desk. “What do they mean?”

Toris glanced at the papers briefly before answering. “Kalova requires reinforcements, sir. The Germans are retreating, and HQ requests that you send a battalion to take the village.”

Ivan raised an eyebrow. “Kalova?” The hot fury began to cool. There would be time enough for that in battle. The blood and the fury; the bitter, roaring chaos of it. Ivan relished his time of deafening, silent madness. “The little fortified village in the forest.”

Toris nodded hastily. “A prison unit will take the Germans’ place – there is only believed to be fifty men or so. It could easily be taken with a company or two.”

Ivan felt he could breathe again, the white haze clearing from the room. War and battle and death - this he knew. This he could understand. “A prison unit? Intriguing. ”

“An easy defeat.” Toris did not sound like he believed his words. “Our presence will hardly be required.” Poor, lost Toris, who felt so strongly and worried so much.

“Perhaps not so easy. No, I think I will handle this personally.” Ivan adjusted his scarf, twisted his lips in a smile, and ran a hand down his Lithuanian’s cold, pale cheek. Toris did not react. Ivan’s Lithuanian was pretty, yes, but his eyes were too light and his defiance long vanquished. “Do not underestimate desperate men, Toris.”

To be continued…

 

The rank of 'polkovnik’ is roughly equivalent to a colonel.

In Girls Fighting episode 1, when a group of 3 girls were introducing themselves in Chinese, Seungri didn’t understand so Huang Xiaoming translated for him in English. When he understood the meaning, he said ‘naruho…’ but then cut himself before saying ‘naruhodo’ (成程) which is a Japanese word meaning ‘I see’ or ‘I understand’.

That moment went viral amongst Jvips. They shared the video and commented on it with things like:

  • I knew it, Seunchan is actually Japanese.
  • The fact that he didn’t turn to his mother tongue but to Japanese proves that Seunchan is a Japanese person.
  • *sigh* We were barely taking Seunchan from Korea and now we have to fight China too.
  • Give him back China, Seunchan is Japanese.
  • Seunchan, I love you. Even if we can’t keep up with you anymore with the number of languages you speak.
  • Ah, remember those days when Seunchan was on our TV not the Chinese one?
  • So, when will he come back to our TV instead?