Ivan: 02

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               "Wow, _____. You're really light. Like a little doll!"

"Er, thank you, I guess..."

Ivan is carrying me like it's nothing down the hallway... is this really alright? I mean, I can't really walk anyway, but still...He's very warm, not to mention his hold is sturdy. I'm sure even the smallest of children would feel safe like this...Ack! What am I saying? I barely know this man!

"Oh! ____, we have to make sure you eat something healthy, so you feel better! What would you like for breakfast? Kasha? Butterbrots? Ah, or maybe you would want"–

"Uh, I think that something simple, like pancakes or cereal or something would be alright..."

I have no idea what the dishes he just said were. Traditional Russian food possibly?

"Aww, are you sure? I thought you would like"–

He was cut off by Francis who wore an amused expression, " Oh, would you look at that. It's only day one and you're already being carried around."

We barely entered the dining room where everyone was currently seated, their eyes immediately turned on us. I shrunk back against Ivan. I wish I could disappear!

                   "To be honest," Arthur spoke up, "I wasn't expecting you two to get along so quickly. A nice surprise, I suppose."

"You guys, stop it! And you– put me down!"

I can feel my face heat up like a flame!

Ivan laughed, "Your face is all red! How cute. Well, can you say please first?"

"Oi, isn't that a bit cruel? The poor girl asked to be put down."

What should I do..? Everyone is watching...

"Put me down, please..."

                "Wow, she actually gave in." Kiku noted.

"Hmm, alright!"

Ivan gently lowers me down so that my feet are rested on the floor and straightens me up. I guess he remembered that my legs are weak, though, because he continued to hold onto my arm and lead me to an empty seat.

Francis watched from his chair as we passed, "... And I thought I was the only suave one here."

I smooth out my clothes as I'm pushed in close to the table. I can still feel everyone's eyes on us as Ivan sits down beside me.

"Well? Isn't anyone going to bring ____ her breakfast?"

He's smiling, yet his words are sharp.

Arthur sighs, "Calm down. Yao is bringing it here in a moment. There's no need to get so protective over _____."

"P-protective? It's nothing like that!" I stammer.

               "Oui. All he wants is for our rose to get some food, is that not true?"

They're definitely teasing me now! I can hear them chuckling... Can't they just let it go? I was forced to be here anyway...

"____ is feeling sick. Does that not matter? She needs food to get better."

The air became still in an instant. No one speaks. The tension is suffocating. Yet, Ivan is sticking up for me. Almost... Like he is being protective. Are there more sides of him that I haven't discovered yet?  

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