"Su-san?"

"Mm?"

"Do you love me?"

They're lying in bed, reading by bedside lamps, tucked up under a thick duvet against the chilly Scandinavian air. Sweden turns to Finland, his head on one side.

"'Course I do. Couldn't ask for a better wife."

Finland sticks out his tongue at that, poking Sweden's arm. "I keep telling you, I'm not your wife! Say 'partner' or something – I'm not a girl!"

"Ya squeal like one when I fuck ya."

"Su-san!" Finland squeaks in mock-indignance before falling into giggles, leaning up to kiss Sweden's smirk. "Anyway, I love you, too." He kisses him again, and lays aside his book. "Time to turn in, do you think?"

"Sure."

Acting in unison, they switch off their respective lights and settle down into the bed, Finland curling up on his side to nuzzle against the soft skin of Sweden's shoulder. He falls asleep easily, so he doesn't notice Sweden lying awake, sighing at the ceiling with a thoughtful expression on his face.

***

"Oh, Su-san. Wasn't it my turn to cook today?" Finland asks as he walks in from herding his reindeer to find Sweden slaving over their oven, a thin sheen of sweat on his forehead.

"Just felt like cooking."

"Can I help?"

"Nah. It's okay."

"I'll go and get a shower then. When's it going to be ready?"

"'Bout an hour."

***

"Hernekeitto!"

"Ärtsoppa," Sweden corrects, smirking, sitting down across from Finland and swirling his pea soup around with his spoon, watching Finland as he eats a mouthful and looks up with glee in his eyes.

"You make it so much better than I do!"

Sweden smiles at him, and they eat the soup in relative silence, because Sweden doesn't talk much anyway, and Finland believes that you can only be silent when food is on the table with the people you're closest to.

The next course is a lovely mess of fried meat and potatoes that Finland shovels into his mouth so fast Sweden is sure he can't be tasting it. Still, herding the reindeer is a hard and hungry job, and Finland seems pleased with what he's eating. So pleased, so absorbed, in fact, that he doesn't notice Sweden's telltale signs of nervousness – constantly pushing his glasses up his nose even when they haven't fallen down, fidgeting his feet, looking around the room distractedly.

Dessert is Swedish cheesecake, served on gently curved plates. Sweden carefully sets Finland's down in front of him, watching with fear and excitement as Finland in turn looks quizzically at the little box at the side of his plate.

"Did you buy new jam?" He asks, opening it.

When he looks up Sweden is already in place, on one knee on the kitchen floor that he scrubbed fiercely that afternoon in his anxious anticipation.

"Will ya be m'wife for real, Tino?"

This is it; his heart is in his throat as he offers Finland his hand, looking over the top of his glasses into a slightly blurred – but still incredibly beautiful – face.

"Su-san…you know I don't like…"

"Partner, then!" Sweden corrects desperately. "Spouse! Anythin' ya want!" He takes a deep breath, dizzy with fear. "Marry me, Tino!"

Finland stares at him, his bottom lip turning downwards. "Oh, Su-san…" He lunges forwards, throwing his arms around Sweden's neck, bursting into tears. "Yes!" Sweden can feel Finland moving behind him, knows he's putting the delicate silver ring on his finger with shaking hands.

He holds him, almost crying himself as he feels Finland pressed against him, so warm, so beautiful. He turns his head to kiss the back of Finland's neck and is rewarded by his fiancé rearing back to kiss him with so much passion he can hardly take it. "I really love you, Su-san!"

"Love ya, Tino." They stay on the floor for a while, not quite willing to let go of each other yet, until Sweden sighs happily. "C'mon, let's finish eating."

"Okay," Finland replies.

They get up slowly, kissing and kissing again as they do, and go back to their respective sides of the table. Sweden can't stop looking at the way the ring sparkles against Finland's skin, and Finland can't stop staring at his to-be husband, admiring him in so many ways he can't count them. They finish eating in their usual silence.

Cheesecake has never tasted so good before.