Romania sighed and twirled a strand of her long, strawberry blonde hair before writing down the exact amount of Eye of Newt needed for the sleeping potion that she and the other members of the Magic Trio were planning to brew. England made her and Norway memorize the recipe for every potion they brewed. It was a monotonous thing he made them do, claiming it was a "safety precaution." He was very anal about it and refused to let them brew it if they couldn't recite it word for word, over and over again, without looking at the recipe.
Unfortunately, Romania couldn't focus. Her brain was muddled with thoughts that were like those of a silly schoolgirl that had a crush. It didn't help that the skirt of her W Academy uniform was completely unbearable. It kept riding up and the material made her thighs itch. She sighed again and sat down her pencil before glancing out the window. Across the lawn she could see into the window where the Slavic Club was meeting.
She could see Russia standing near the front of the room, smiling creepily with a hint of an unrecognizable emotion in his lavender eyes. Next to him, Serbia and Croatia had started yet another fight and Slovenia was trying to be the mediator. Poland was sitting in one of the desks with his boots propped up on the flat surface of it while he filled his fingernails. She saw Montenegro ask Poland to put his legs down, as he was wearing a skirt and there were things that made even Montenegro uncomfortable. Ukraine was in the corner trying to talk with Czech and Belarus, but only Czech was participating in the conversation. Belarus was staring longingly at her big brother, Russia, probably trying to figure out a way to get him to marry her. Bosnia was talking passionately with Slovakia and Macedonia about something while Bulgaria listened nearby.
Bulgaria. He was the source of Romania's attention problems as of late. It was hard to focus when almost everything reminded her of him. She passed a field of Baltata Romaneasca* cattle the other day while driving through what used to part of Transylvania and immediately thought that if Bulgaria had been there, he would have wanted to go get yogurt. Greece had interrupted her conversation with her cousin Italy to show off some of the olive crop the day before, and when she saw them all she could think about was the color of Bulgaria's eyes and how easy it was for her to get lost in them. She constantly thought of his messy brown hair and how she would love to run her fingers through it. How soft his milky white skin must-
She quickly shook herself out of those thoughts. He was her best friend (and really her only true friend that was always there for her); she couldn't think of him like that. She was heading into dangerous waters by thinking of him as more than a friend. She didn't want to ruin their friendship and make him hate her. He was the only thing that kept her stable. She could always count on him to cheer her up when she felt like a failure in being both a horrible older sister by not keeping Moldova away from Russia and one of the E.U.'s delinquents. Without him, she would drown in sorrow. She didn't think she'd be able to live if he wasn't there.
"Romania!" England yelled, interrupting her from her thoughts.
She practically jumped in her seat and let out a yelp of surprise, biting down on her tongue with her one large, pointed, vampire-like canine in the process. She hadn't realized she went into a daze as she was staring out the window. Across the lawn, the meeting of the Slavic Club had dismissed (presumably because they couldn't accomplish anything, were all too dynamically different to actually cooperate, and hated each other despite being family). England was glaring at her, his emerald green eyes seemingly piercing her soul. Norway sat nearby glancing up from his spell book in curiosity.
"I know that look." Norway said knowingly, a hint of the smirk that his stoic face wouldn't show flashing in his bluish-purple eyes. "Give her a break, England. Our dear little trouble-maker is in love."
"Ce?!(1) I most certainly am not!" she protested, annoyance flashing in her pinkish-red eyes.
Norway actually smirked, for once. "Of course you are, Little Miss Mischief. That far away look in those eyes of yours gives it a way. It doesn't happen to be a certain Balkan we all know you hang around with, does it?"
"N-Nu!" she stuttered, her pale cheeks becoming flustered.
Norway's smirk grew into a grin. "Come on, Romania. You can trust us, ja? We're all friends here. Besides, it's not like you can confide in him and you and Hungary don't exactly get together for sleepovers to have this 'girl talk.'" He turned to England. "She can trust us, can't she England?"
Now England was smirking. "Oh yes. She must have fallen pretty hard for our resident yogurt maker if she's not focusing on a potion that was her idea to brew."
"T-Taci!(2)" she stuttered. "It's not like that."
"It's not like what, Love?" England asked in a teasing manner as her ran a hand through his wild corn gold hair.
Norway took his Nordic Cross hair clip out of his ash blond hair, allowing the strange curl at the base of his head to stick up. He turned it into phone mode. "Hm… Maybe I should call the Dane. He and Prussia can set you two up."
Romania snatched it from his hand, her face red with embarrassment and fury. "Swear on the life your precious little brother, Iceland, you won't do that or else I'll break it!"
"Ja, I promise." he said as he took it from her trembling hand. She hadn't noticed she started shaking with anger. "This only proves our point, you know?"
She wasn't paying attention anymore. Instead she was gathering up her books to leave. She had to sit in an Eastern European class next period and she'd never hear the end of it if she missed it (she also didn't want to miss the chance of spending time with Moldova either). She quickly walked out of the room, her cheeks still hot with embarrassment.
The Eastern European class had finished early and now they had free time. Moldova sat in Romania's lap, chatting eagerly about something. Croatia and Serbia had picked up their fight from earlier, which was about the refugee crisis going on. Prussia (who had been thrown in the class for "reasons") wasn't helping by butting in when he shouldn't. Romania knew, since it was over the refugee crisis that she and Bulgaria would be pulled into their argument since everyone in the E.U. was pointing the fingers at them.** Russia sat off to the side, smiling as if he were enjoying his favorite show. Belarus and Ukraine were talking about something in Russian. The Trembling Baltic Duo (Estonia ditched Eastern European class for the Nordics, even though he wasn't wanted there) stood nearby, looking over their shoulders at Russia nervously. And Bulgaria sat next to Romania and Moldova, listening to what the youngest nation in the room had to say.
"Anyway, Kosovo's a big cry baby." Moldova said, finishing his story on the fight he and Kosovo got into.
Romania raised an eyebrow at her younger brother, tempted to point out how often he used to run crying to her, but decided against it. She could tell from the look in his amber eyes that his days of running to her arms in tears were over. There was a pang in her heart at the thought, causing the feelings of failure to begin to wash over her. No child should have to grow up the way her brother did when he was part of the Soviet Union.
Bulgaria, as if reading her mind, ruffled Moldova's messy chestnut brown hair. "What do you mean my half-brother's a baby? You're still a baby."
Moldova pouted causing Romania and Bulgaria to laugh. "I am not. Am I, Big Sister?"
Romania chuckled. "Of course you are, Alexandru. You'll always be my baby brother. Even if you were one hundred seventy-nine centimeters tall and covered in hair, you'd still be my baby brother."
"But I'm not a baby, Big Sister." he protested stubbornly, his large, pointed, vampire-like canines that were similar to her own one causing his speech to come out somewhat slurred.
She kissed his cheek affectionately and he returned it by kissing hers before he got up to go talk to his "Big Brother" Russia, something that unsettled Romania greatly. Bulgaria chuckled and put an arm around her shoulders. It was in a friendly way, as his hand was resting directly on her shoulder. But it still made her tense up in surprise. Her stomach did little flips and she felt slightly light headed from the sound of the blood pounding in her head (something she was somewhat sensitive to for reasons she didn't like to think about). Her heart was beating so loudly and furiously, she was sure he could hear it.
"What's wrong, Valerica?" he asked, her human name sounding like sweet honey to her ears as he pronounced it the way she instructed him to so long ago. "You're paler than usual."
"Nimic(3), Nikolai. I'm fine." she assured him, fighting a blush from appearing on her cheeks.
"Really? Because now your face is turning red. Do you have a fever?" he asked, extremely concerned, as he put a hand to her forehead.
"Nu, I'm fine." she told him as she brushed his hand away. She forced herself to meet those olive green eyes of his. "Really, I promise."
"You're sure?" he inquired with an eyebrow raised.
She nodded. "Da, I'm sure."
His eyes lit up in alarm. "But you just nodded 'no.'"***
Romania rolled her eyes. "Nikolai, in most of the world nodding means 'yes.'"
"Oh." Bulgaria said sheepishly, a light pink blush appearing on his face. "I forgot."
She had to chuckle at that. That was one of Bulgaria's traits that appealed to her: the fact that he was weird. She herself wasn't the most "normal" nation, being the land of vampires, demons, witches, and black magic, but Bulgaria's weirdness was cute. She found it likeably strange that it was common in his country to nod for "no" and shake one's head for "yes." And his yogurt addiction was also kind of funny, in a good way.
She loved spending time with him. He always kept her in check when she was telling a story so she didn't embarrass herself or scare other people with her lack of self control when it came to details. He always put a smile on her face, even when he was trying to give her a ridiculous, knock-off jacket he bought from Japan when he was supposed to have made his own costume. He never made fun of her for her strangeness nor did he ever call her a dirty, good-for-nothing gypsy like so many others. He never picked on her for being as poor as she was. And he was always there when she needed a shoulder to cry on.
She felt comfortable around him because she knew him well enough to know he'd never lay an unwanted hand on her. He often knew what she was going to say before she even said and vice versa. She knew she could call him any time and they could hang out. She could tell him her deepest, darkest secret and trust that he'd never tell a soul. She could go to him with her problems and he'd listen.
"So what do you think?" Bulgaria asked, interrupting her from her thoughts. She mentally kicked herself for daydreaming again.
"Huh? Îmi pare rău(4)." she said sheepishly as she rubbed the back of her head, slightly embarrassed. "I kind of zoned out."
Bulgaria smiled. "That's what I figured. I asked if you would like to eat lunch with me instead of hanging out in the magic room."
"Oh. Da, desigur(5)." she replied.
"Great! It's a date then." Bulgaria exclaimed.
Romania wished he wouldn't have used that word.
Romania sat her tray down on the table next to Bulgaria. He smiled at her while he ate his yogurt. "Want a bite?"
She laughed. "Sure, let me get a spoon."
"Ne, use mine." he ordered as he put a good amount on his spoon and stuck it in her mouth.
She was taken aback at this sudden gesture. She swallowed the yogurt and nodded. "It's good. And remember, in most of the world we nod for 'yes.'"
He laughed a good-natured laugh that made her smile. "I know that, silly. What are you eating."
"Soup." she replied. "I'm not really hungry right now."
He tilted his head in confusion. "Are you sure, Valerica? You need to eat more or else you'll be sick."
"N-Nu, I'm fine." she lied, her cheeks hot with embarrassment. She really didn't want to admit she didn't have enough money to get more as she had given her lunch money to Moldova.
"Here." he said as he put some of his fruit and cheese on her plate. He understood what she had done with her lunch money and why. "We can share. I'm not really hungry either and it would be a shame to waste all this food."
"Mersi, Nikolai(6)." she said gratefully.
"Pak zapovyadaĭ, Valerica(7)." he replied with a smile. "Anytime."
The two ate their lunch together. Romania told him stories of her old bosses, with unrestricted details. After knowing her for so long, he was no longer freaked out. Nations nearby, however, would get up and move, the gruesome details of her stories causing them to lose their appetites. She would also perform simple spells, little things like levitating random objects to make him smile. All the while, he would make her eat, knowing that she sometimes had the bad habit of putting Moldova's needs before her own.
"Romania, you're making a mess." Bulgaria scolded good-naturedly as he grabbed his napkin and wiped the corner of her mouth.
She laughed and gazed into his eyes. The two of them inched closer and closer together. They were close enough that she was sure he could see every laugh line on her face. Her heart was pounding furiously and she was sure the whole world could hear it pound in her chest. Her legs were jelly and threatened to melt at any moment. Her stomach felt jumpy, causing her to understand why they said there were moments when one felt like butterflies were fluttering in her stomach.
Suddenly, their lips were touching. Romania felt a jolt go through her body, as if she was struck by lightning. She closed her eyes and melted into the kiss as he returned hers. She felt like she were floating on a cloud, like she could defy gravity at any moment.
Then reality struck. She remembered who she was kissing and what she was risking. She was risking something that would kill her if she lost it. She knew if she lost Bulgaria's friendship, she would die, slowly and painfully. She would lose everything that motivated her to stay alive.
She pulled away, tears in her eyes. Bulgaria's eyes snapped open and he wore a look of shock. "Romania-"
"I'm so sorry, Bulgaria." she apologized tearfully as she hastily gathered her things. Other nations were staring at the display going on between the two Balkans. "I don't know what came over me."
She got up and fled the cafeteria, Bulgaria's cries of "Valerica" echoing behind her.
Romania retreated to the magic room, her safe haven. She slammed the door behind her and threw herself into one of the chairs. She laid her head on the table and began to cry. She had no idea what she had been thinking when she did that. Bulgaria probably hated her after that. She was so busy wallowing in self-pity, she didn't notice the door swing open. She did, however, notice the sound of footsteps behind her.
"Go away." she ordered, her voice muffled by the sleeve of her W Academy uniform sweater.
"Nem." said the voice of Romania's long time rival. "I will not leave."
"I'm not in the mood, Hungary. Just leave me alone."
The other woman sat down beside her. "Don't you listen, you little witch? I said I am not leaving."
"I heard you. Now leave!"
"Look at you." Hungary said, her voice uncharacteristically gentle towards Romania. "You're a mess." Hungary hesitantly put an arm around the crying girl. "There, there. It's going to be okay."
"Nu! I-It's not! I messed up and ruined one of the only good things in my life!" Romania wailed. "I-I'm a failure! My little brother wants to hang out with fucking Russia, of all the people in the world, and I let him grow up too fast. I'm a disappointment to the E.U. And now I've lost my best friend. Bulgaria probably never wants to see me again!"
"That's not true." Hungary said softly. "Bulgaria will always love you."
"He doesn't like me like that though!" Romania cried. "He's just my friend and that's all we'll ever be."
Hungary snorted. "You really are thick, aren't you?"
"Just go away." Romania mumbled.
"You want me to go away? Fine, I will." Hungary snapped. "That's the last time I try to comfort you, you ungrateful little wench."
Romania heard Hungary's footsteps on the wooden floor and the door creak open, followed by a loud slam shortly after. Another hand was placed on Romania's shoulder. She batted it away but it didn't move.
"What do you want, Norway?" she asked miserably.
Norway remained silent. If Norway was in the room, then so was England. She had momentarily forgot that they all normally spent their lunch period in the magic room. That meant they had saw the whole thing with Hungary and probably had a good idea what was going on.
England spoke up. "Fine, Norway. I'll go get the bloody wanker, but you owe me. Big time."
Romania heard England's heavy footsteps leave and go out the door. Normally, she would be curious to see who Norway had England go get, but she was too miserable to care. She didn't want to ever see the light of day again. Well, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but Bulgaria was a big part of her life. They were always paired together in the E.U., so the when one was mentioned, the other was too.
Norway kept his hand on her shoulder, not talking or moving. It was his way of telling her that he was there if she wanted to talk. A few minutes later, the door opened again and two sets of footsteps entered. One was England, because she could feel the anger radiating off him. The other one was probably England's "least" favorite person, if he was in a bad mood.
"Roumine, ma cousine(8)." France said as he came over to her and put an arm around her shoulder. "Qu'est-ce qui ne va pas?(9) What's wrong?"
"I messed up." she sobbed. "Bulgaria probably hates me now."
"Quoi? Bulgarie does not hate you." he told her. "What on Earth makes you think that?"
She shakily explained what happened in the cafeteria, sobs interrupting every now and then. She could feel France frowning. She could tell he was shaking his head, even though her face was still buried in her arms.
"Sit up." he instructed.
Romania sat up and wiped her eyes with her sleeve. England pulled out a handkerchief and handed it to her. "Here Love, use this."
She accepted it and used it to wipe the raw skin around her eyes. France grabbed her hands, his blue eyes filled with steely determination. "Come with me."
France lead Romania out of the magic room and down the long hallways of the W Academy. She sniffled and wiped her eyes several times as he lead her through the school. Several nations hanging around the hallway stared at her. She felt like some freak as their gazes pierced her. France shooed them away as he lead her to their destination.
Suddenly, they literally ran into Bulgaria, who was followed by Croatia and Poland. He seemed kind of dazed, like the two Romance nations had interrupted something important. His eyes suddenly lit up when they landed on Romania. Bulgaria let out a cry and pulled her into his arms. He pressed a kiss to her temple. "Slava Bogu!(10) You had me worried sick!"
"Come Croatie, Pologne. Let's give them some time alone." France instructed the other two nations as he flipped his shoulder-length, wavy blond hair. The three of them went down towards the opposite end of the hallway.
Bulgaria raised Romania's chin until her bloodshot red eyes met his olive green ones. "I need to tell you something. It's very important and then you can say what you need to. Are you listening?"
Romania was paralyzed with fear. He was going to tell her their friendship was over. She would never, ever forgive herself. Somehow, she managed to nod. "Da, I'm listening."
Romania felt her eyes tear up. It was coming any second. She just had to try not to cry in front of Bulgaria. It was for the best, if they weren't friends. After all, how could he ever trust her again?
"Obicham te, Rumŭniya(11)." he said before he grabbed her forearms and pulled her into a passionate kiss. Again, like the first one, a jolt went through her body. She felt her legs turn to jelly as she melted into the kiss. She wrapped her arms around Bulgaria's neck and returned the kiss. She broke off.
"Și eu te iubesc, Bulgaria(12)." she told him tearfully. "Întotdeauna am(13)."
Bulgaria smiled and wiped her tears with his thumb. "Then why'd you run away, glupavo momiche(14)?"
She returned his smile. "I don't really know why. It was a silly reason. You'd think it was stupid."
"Try me." Bulgaria challenged.
"I was afraid." she admitted.
He tilted his head in confusion. "Why on Earth were you afraid?"
She hung her head in shame. "I was afraid you would hate me."
"Hate you?" Bulgaria asked in bewilderment. He raised her chin again so her eyes were meeting him. "I could never hate you."
"I know that now, but I didn't-"
"Think I wanted to be more than just friends." Bulgaria finished. His smile grew. "I know the feeling. But I've wanted to be more than just friends since our time in the Ottoman Empire ended."
"You have?!" Romania asked in shock. Bulgaria nodded. "Does that mean you want to give 'us' a chance, you know, romantically?"
"Of course I do." he replied. "Do you?"
Romania thought for a second. "Da, but only if we go on dates that are appropriate for Moldova to tag along when he's staying at my house."
Bulgaria laughed. "Of course our dates will be appropriate when Moldova's with us. There's a world meeting coming up. Would you like to go get dinner that evening?"
"Dinner sounds nice." she said before smiling at him. "It's a date."
He kissed her cheek. "May I walk you to your next class?"
She giggled and took his hand. "Of course you may, considering we have the same class."
I apologize if this is horrible. I don't normally write romance stories. I just like the Romania/Bulgaria ship and I wanted to try to write it. I just used fem!Romania because I wanted to and I think fem!Romania and regular Bulgaria would be cute together.
*Baltata Romaneasca, also called the Romanian Spotted Cattle, is a multipurpose cattle breed (meaning it can be used for milk and beef) found in Romania. It is the most numerous breed of cattle in Romania. (Resource: Breeds of Livestock, The Department of Animal Science- Oklahoma State University website).
**I've been following the refugee crisis and right now, to quote an article I read, "Croatia is mad at Serbia" because apparently Serbia is sending refugees to the Croatian/Serbian border, Croatia sanctioned Serbia, Serbia banned the import of Croatian goods, and Croatia has been turning away cars with Serbian license plates. Apparently by not letting Serbs in, Croatia is seriously hurting Serbia's economy. Then Austria said that migrants coming in from Slovenia and Croatia will be sent back like the Austrian government has been doing to migrants coming from Bulgaria and Romania. And of course Bulgaria and Romania are getting the finger pointed at them because the refugees are coming in through those countries. Hungary now has fences on it's border with Serbia, Croatia, Romania, and Slovenia. (Resource: KSBY6 News).
***Bulgarians nod for "no" and shake their heads for "yes."
1- Ce (Romanian) meaning "What"
2- Taci (Romanian) meaning "Shut up"
3- Nimic (Romanian) meaning "nothing"
4- Îmi pare rău (Romanian) meaning "I'm sorry"
5- desigur (Romanian) meaning "Of course"
6- Mersi (Romanian) meaning "Thank you"
7- Pak zapovyadaĭ (Bulgarian) meaning "You're welcome." (I do not have Cyrillic script on my computer, so I settled for the Latin script that Google Translate has under the Cyrillic)
8- Roumine, ma cousine (French) meaning "Romania, my cousin"
9- Qu'est-ce qui ne va pas? (French) meaning "What's wrong?"
10- Slava Bogu (Bulgarian) meaning "Thank God"
11- Obicham te, Rumŭniya (Bulgarian) meaning "I love you, Romania"
12- Și eu te iubesc, Bulgaria (Romanian) meaning "I love you too, Bulgaria"
13- Întotdeauna am (Romanian) meaning "I always have"
14- glupavo momiche (Bulgarian) meaning "silly girl"
I used "Collins Free Online Translator" for the Romanian and the French and I used Google Translate for the Bulgarian. I could've used Collins for the Bulgarian, but again, I can't type Cyrillic on my computer. I think Collins is a little more trustworthy than Google Translate because they actually sell foreign language dictionaries, but it might not be 100% correct. So I apologize for any linguistical errors as I do not speak French, Bulgarian, or Romanian (I do speak some basic Spanish, German, and Italian, however, and I know a few words in Slovene).
I do not own Hetalia. Thank you all for reading.