"Beach? What is the beach?"
Your jaw dropped. You thought he would at least know what a beach is, if he hadn't been to one... Evidently not.
"Ivan, I don't care what you say now, we're going to the beach tomorrow."
"Are there sunflowers?"
"Ivan, the beach is full of water, and sand. It's warm there, with the wind blowing and the sea's waves coming at you from the ocean. This swimsuit is for swimming, so that I don't get dragged down with heavy clothes," you explained. He really didn't know what the ocean looked like, let alone a beach with sand and calm waves.
"Can I have my coat? Are there sunflowers? How about penguins... I hear they live by water. How about Matthew's Kumajirou? I hear polar bears eat penguins, and also live by water."
You sighed. Ivan was a smart man, but sometimes, he wasn't very worldly. The beach would definitely enlighten him.
"Okay, Ivan. You'll understand when you get there. But first, you can't go in your coat. It will be too warm for that. No, penguins and polar bears don't live by beaches. They live in the cold, far, far up north, where there's ice. And water. They don't live in Russia, haha~"
"This. Is the beach, sunflower?"
You leaned on his arm, letting him carry some of your weight. "Yes, Ivan. Isn't it beautiful?" You too, allowed your eyes to shut, to allow the rest of your senses take over and relish the sensations of the beach.
Without further adieu, you leaped from his side and ran toward the water.
"Ivan! Let's go! The water is probably just right. It'll be fun!" you yelled back, as your feet splashed into the edges of the ocean.
"Sunflower... Will you not drown? Is the water... Like the bath?"
"Come on, Ivan. Water's water. You didn't drown in the bath, so you won't drown here." You ran back and began dragging him to the water's edge while he resisted futilely. "Ivaaaan. Come. For me, won't you?"
He hesitated just a moment more, but his feet were already in the water. "This is... The ocean? I am standing in a big puddle?"
You laughed, loudly and raucously, falling onto his chest and pounding him lightly with your fists, while he held you to him, trying to keep you from falling over in laughter. Ivan was just like that sometimes, and it was endearing, to see someone so tall and powerful, confused by something as ubiquitous as water. A big puddle.
"I-Iva-Ivan," you gasped, attempting to contain your mirth. "A big puddle... Yes, it's a big puddle. A very big puddle, even bigger than Mother Russia!" you said, flinging your arms out to display the ocean's largeness.
He cocked his head to the side, deciding to take your word for it. A puddle couldn't be bigger than his dear Mother Russia. Nothing could be bigger than Mother Russia. But the took your word for it. His sunflower wouldn't lie to him.
"Does the puddle taste like water? It is water, yes, sunflower?" Before you could tell him that it was salty, Ivan scooped a great handful in his great big hands and gulped it down.
He spat. "It is salty... Why would the ocean be salty."
"Oh, Ivan... It doesn't matter. Let's just play, okay?"
Without warning, you splashed water at him, and ran away as quickly as possible. But Ivan's legs were long, and his Russian reflexes honed. The moment you moved to splash him, he had already taken a step toward you. Before you ran even five steps, he had already caught you up in a great bear hug, lifting you from the water.
"Sunflower, this is like a great bathtub... We can splash water."
He let you go and kicked his leg from the water, soaking you with the wave he had brought up. It was time to get revenge.
"Sunflower, that was amusing. We should come back. I should create a beach in Russia, so my people may enjoy it as well."
You turned to face him and placed a hand on his cheek. "The beach is great, isn't it. Though your scarf is wet now too... Now I have to wash it. I told you not to bring it..."
He turned his head and held the hand that was on his cheek. "It is my scarf, and it will not leave me, nor will you, my dear sunflower."
Now that Ivan had made acquaintances with the beach, he was constantly taking baths and showers whenever possible, pretending it was the beach all over again.
"Ivan, are you taking a bath again?" you sighed. Probably playing with water again... Can't hear me over the waterworks.
You decided to barge into the bathroom. Just as you opened the door, a wave of water hit you across the face.
"Sunflower! I did not expect you at the moment..." he said, trying to keep a smile down. He was in the bathtub, splashing and attempting to create the waves that nature did on its own.
You blinked the water from your eyes and then stared at him. "Ivan, you're too in love with the water, now that I brought you to the beach." He nodded happily, as if he weren't sorry at all for soaking you.
"Would you like to join me?" he asked sincerely. Blushing hard, you ignored his question and said, "You're going to wrinkle. Come on. Out. Besides, it's time for dinner." You grabbed a towel and left Ivan in the bathtub, hoping you would allow him just a few minutes more.
"What, what?" he asked, as if nothing was particularly wrong. Of course something was wrong. He was totally in love with the beach (because Russia is too cold for it?) but it wasn't helping you in the house with him in the bathroom all the time.
He sensed you were angry and tried to alleviate it by hugging you. Naturally, you allowed him to do so, as he would sulk and get depressed later if you rejected him right off the bat. Besides, you liked it, no matter how angry you felt.
"Ivan. You can't be in the bathroom all the time. I can't do everything alone. Of course you can enjoy the bath from time to time, but I need help around the house. Please help me first, and then you can go play, okay?"
He smiled nonchalantly and patted your head, "Okay, sunflower. Ivan can help."
"Ivaaan~ Come here, would you?" you smiled sweetly, while cooking dinner.
He circled your waist with his arms and pulled your back to his chest. "Yes?"
"Let's go to the aquarium tomorrow. Wouldn't that be fun?"
You looked up to meet his violet eyes. They shone with great joy.
"Yes, sunflower~ That would be a very fun."