I'd suppose this could be alternate universe, but with Hetalia it's kind of hard to tell. :D Yet, I'll just say yes, it is a college AU. Because high school bores me.
But, other than that: Oh my god I have not loved a pairing so much since my olden days of Naruto.
Tino would rather go to a terrible place (Russia) than to tell his boyfriend that he couldn't understand a good amount of the words coming from his mouth.
"'M playin' t'day," Berwald mumbled, looking down. His glasses slipped down his nose a little, and Tino pushed them back up with his index finger and a smile.
"I know," he replied, nodding. "Don't worry, Su-san! I'll come see you."
Berwald looked up. "R'ly?" he asked hopefully, and Tino found him endearing at moments like these. Especially so, because the man didn't look so much like he was going to murder him in cold blood—which, of course, was his usual expression and stance towards life.
"Really." The Finn waved him away with a grin. "I'll be there! And, remember; don't use any words with more than three syllables, okay?"
"M'kay," Berwald replied, but it was pretty obvious that he didn't want to leave Tino's side.
"Um." Tino looked confused. "Is there something wrong, Su-san? You kind of…aren't going anywhere."
"…wife…" the Swede mumbled, at least more so than usual.
Tino blanched. Oh dear, this again? It was sad, but he sometimes wished that word had more syllables—then he'd like to hear Berwald say it so constantly!
"Uh huh," he said instead, smiling harder. "Well, you'll see me later! Until then, you…might want to get ready. It's the championship, right?" This time, he took the initiative and turned around to walk away. Because it was apparent that Berwald wasn't going to do it anytime soon.
He got, at the very least, two steps in before strong arms embraced him from behind, and Tino found it necessary to blush—especially with Berwald's breath brushing against his neck like that.
"'M gonna miss ya," the bespectacled man muttered, hugging Tino tighter. "L've ya, Tino."
"Aww," the Hungarian girl from across the campus, Elizaveta, cooed, reaching into her purse. She pulled out a cellular phone and made a show of snapping a picture of the two men. "Why can't you do that for me, Roderich?"
Her Austrian boyfriend (a very musical fellow, Tino had attended a few of his on-campus concertos) snorted, tilting up his nose arrogantly. "For one," he replied, giving the Scandinavian couple a look of acute disdain. "I'm not a homosexual."
"I bet Ludwig could counter that," Elizaveta retorted, walking ahead and flipping her hair over her shoulder.
"That's only because Ludwig is a homosexual," Roderich said, and they continued on their way down the cement walk, arguing all the while.
Tino flushed, chuckling nervously as he patted the older man's arm. "I love you too, Su-san," he said. "Very much."
Berwald released him, and the expression on his face was somehow stoically satisfied. Tino never asked him how he managed to pull those looks off, even though it was quite the phenomenon to him.
"See ya l'ter," Berwald said seriously, and he walked away on his own this time.
Tino waved, rather confused. Or, maybe he was just hungry, as he had skipped lunch so he could meet up with his boyfriend in time before his game.
With that, he headed to Arthur's off-campus flat, as they had somewhat similar tastes in food.
(But, he found his food to be much better. After all, what's more delicious than salmiakki?)
"—like, another point for Sweden!" the Polish announcer, Feliks, cried, and Tino jumped up in his seat to clap in excitement.
"Go Su-san!" he exclaimed, smiling. For a moment, though, it looked like the man paused in his skating to look up—but that was probably his imagination.
He would also rather go to Russia (Hell) than admit that he was kind of sort of maybe envious of Berwald.
Tino was, well, intimidated by the Swede's larger (and more in-shape) stature, and his athletic ability. Especially in sports like hockey and association football (not the American one—the one Alfred insists on playing, calling every other sport "soccer" or "lame").
(But, then again, there was that one time in ice hockey, where he somehow managed to beat Berwald 4-1, but still.)
Yet, he was okay with all of this, because there was one thing he could never possibly be jealous of, and that was Berwald's speech deficiency. He loved his boyfriend, and all, but seriously.
"Tino? Is that you?" a body pressed against his side in the motions of sitting, making the Finnish man frown ever-so-slightly. If that wasn't Berwald, then it was getting a little too personal. He turned his head to the side—and just about screamed like a girl.
"Eduard!" he squealed, almost knocking the glasses off of the face of his long-time young friend with his passionate embrace. "I thought you were still in Estonia!"
His friend, Eduard, laughed, hugging him back just as tightly. "Yes," he replied. "Well, we're really just visiting. Raivis and I came here with Ivan. He says it's for his sister's hockey game, but I think he came to see Toris—he really misses him, did you know?"
Toris…? Tino thought about it, frowning. The only Toris he knew was the Lithuanian that was so nice it made him want to smile more than usual, and he stayed with Alfred, the resident epitome of obnoxious Americans. Or did he live with the game announcer Feliks, the Pole who had difficulties with light bulbs? "Wait," he started, paling. There was far more important business in that statement! "Ivan? Ivan Braginski?"
"Um, are there any other—oh my god, that guy is really scaring me," Eduard said suddenly, eyes wide. "Is he going to kill me?"
Tino blinked. How could anyone really scare him when everyone was so into the close game that was soon to come to an end? Better yet, how could anyone care about anything else in this world when people like Ivan Braginski generally exist? He looked down, and found his answer too quickly for his tastes.
He wondered if he could get any paler, actually.
"Oxensternia has, like, totally just suddenly stopped on the ice!" Feliks exclaimed like it was so implausible that he almost couldn't believe it. "This is, like, mega weird—it'll probably cost them the game if he doesn't get back in it, fer sure!"
"Oh, oh," Tino bemoaned. Eduard looked at him, an eyebrow cocked.
"Do you know him?" he asked, and Tino realized why people can't handle the truth—because sometimes it was a terrible thing.
"Yes," he replied, fixing his cap worriedly. Berwald's blue eyes bore into him, with the man just standing there on the ice, hockey stick clutched in his gloved hand, and all the other players tried not to spare him a look as they continued on with their lives and the game. "He's my…best friend." Yeah, it probably wouldn't be the best thing ever to just introduce Berwald as his homosexual lover without said man being there with him—he loved arguments, especially if it concerned Tino.
"What?" Eduard said loudly over the roars of the crowd, readjusting his glasses. "You said that he's your boyfriend?"
"Not my boyfriend," Tino corrected, although he was somewhat irked. Was he see-through, like a piece of plastic or something? Really, he couldn't have been obviously into Berwald just because they slept on the same twin-sized bed in their shared flat—not that he minded, as the man was always warm to the touch and made the best pillow, even when they weren't naked. "My best friend. And, really, he's not so scary once you get to know him!"
Eduard nodded slowly, eyes wide behind his glasses. "I'm not really sure about that," he said. He touched the blond man's shoulder. "…Are you sure that you don't want to stay with Ivan again? At least he's slightly less scary than Su-san down there."
"…How could you even suggest such a terrible thing?"
There was a sudden roar of outrage and anger from the crowd surrounding them, snapping Tino out of his trance of mortification.
"Oh my God," Feliks cried. "For the first time in, like, forever, Sweden has, like, totally lost! To…Belarus?"
The congregation went wild, and the opposing team danced like Cossacks at the revelation that, wow, they defeated the Swedish team in college ice hockey!
Tino didn't know whether to be horrified or worried, because Berwald was going to get the scolding of his speech impedimentary life, especially if the coach's red face was any indication as he slid ungracefully onto the ice to the tall man, who looked at him in curiosity.
"And you're sure that's not your boyfriend?" Eduard asked, cocking an eyebrow. Tino ignored him.
Berwald was taking the screaming and vein-popping very well (and by "very well", he meant stoically), Tino noted. He felt bad—they would've never lost the game if Berwald had not looked at him. Maybe he shouldn't have come, since he's clearly not a help in the Swede's concentration.
But, then again, if he hadn't have come, then Berwald would've been devastated and sad, which means Tino would've been devastated and sad (since their emotions were tied like some sort of knot at the most random times) and it would not have been a very happy affair.
Eduard tapped him on his hat. "Are you okay?" he asked worriedly. "You didn't respond, so I was getting kind of concerned."
"Huh?" Tino touched his hat and looked at Eduard. "Oh! Right, I'm fine." He frowned. "I need to go to Su-san—I feel terrible." He stood up, prepared to step over members of the slowly dispersing crowd of the hockey game.
Eduard stood up as well, brushing off invisible dust from his shirt. "I'll come as well," he said. "I'd like to meet Su-san—and, well, Ivan might be looking for me." He blushed bashfully, running his fingers through his hair.
It was almost pitiful how every time the name of the Russian giant was mentioned, Tino felt a cold sweat prickle at the back of his neck. "Please, don't lead him to me," he replied, smiling.
He'd only escaped a year or so ago—it was quite simply the winter break from Russia (or Hell, it works either way).
Eduard simply smiled, and Tino found that he really missed his younger friends. He should see if he and Berwald could take a vacation to Estonia one day. Maybe even Latvia, as seeing Raivis again would be really nice.
A little ways away from them was an arena stairway that led to the glass that surrounded the ice rink. The Finn started for it, waving his friend along.
"One thing, though," Tino said as they descended the stairway. "Su-san says some really weird things some of the time."
"Why do you call him Su-san?" Eduard asked.
"That's his nickname." Tino smiled as he finally reached the bottom of the stairs, waving his arms wildly to catch Berwald's attention. "Su-san! Su-san, are you okay?"
Berwald immediately perked up at the sound of his voice, snapping his head towards Tino with wide blue eyes. "Tino!" he exclaimed, skating towards that portion of the glass, his coach actually offended behind him. The Finn pressed his hands and forehead to the glass, grinning. Berwald lifted up a gloved hand and pressed it against the glass as well, over one of his own palms.
"Why did you stop playing?" Tino asked, blinking. "The game was lost, and I feel like it's my fault."
"I s'w ya," Berwald explained, hand still mirroring his on the glass. "Up th'r, huggin' wh'ev'r, 'n 's like, 'Wh't?' 'n I jus' st'pp'd."
"What did he just say?" Eduard asked, utterly confused. The Finnish man looked at him, remembering that the Estonian was not named 'Tino,' and not from Finland, and thereforth would probably not understand most of the stuff Berwald says.
Hmm. If Tino's 'Su-san Babelfish' still worked efficiently… "'I saw you up there, hugging whoever, and it was like 'What?' and I just stopped,'" he translated, grinning. Then, he paused. "Wait, what?" He looked back at Berwald, eyes wide. "You threw the game because I was hugging my friend?"
With the way the bespectacled man looked down at the abused ice, the answer was clearly Yes. "…B't, Tino—" Berwald tried, but Tino wasn't having it.
"Su-san," Tino said, scolding in his tone. "You don't…you don't do things like that! What if this was, I don't know, the championship game or—oh, oh no," he moaned, removing a hand from the glass purely for the purpose of smacking his forehead and dragging the palm down in a show of frustration. "This was that game, wasn't it?"
"Su-san…" the Finnish man resisted the urge to slam his head into the glass, if only because glass shards were rather difficult to remove from flesh. He thought that what Berwald was lacking in grammar, he made up in common sense. "Why would you do something like that?"
"'Cause," Berwald tried again. "Yer m'wife, 'n I l've ya." He pressed his other hand to the glass, mirroring the smaller man's palms against the barrier.
Oh. Oh. Tino looked down at him through the glass, his cheeks beginning to feel the strain of the size of his smile. "Aww," he replied. "I love you too, Su-san!" He really meant it, too!
Eduard blinked. "Oh, so I was completely off," he commented, smiling at Tino. "He's not your boyfriend, because you're married."
"I thought you were an A-student!" Tino replied, very close to slamming his head into the chilled glass. "We aren't married, he just says weird things! I told you he says weird things."
"…But, you didn't deny it—" Eduard pointed out.
"Because he just told me that he threw the game because he loved me!" the Finn insisted. "I mean, I can't get mad at him for a word that degrades me as a male when he just said the single most romantic thing I've ever heard since the one time I watched Feliciano Vargas proclaim his love for that big German guy on the big screen television during that association football match!"
"Ludwig?" Eduard asked.
"Yes, that's the one."
Tino suddenly realized that he probably should not have said that so loudly, especially around the fans of the defeated Swedish team and the coach (what was his name, oh, Reinfeldt) who couldn't possibly get any redder—lest he wanted to explode, that is.
"Oxensternia!" the coach started in a yell, and Berwald didn't look away from Tino at all. "Oxen-Oxensternia! Do you know what…what you've done?!"
The fans of the Swedish team were also beginning to look rather pissed behind Tino, who looked at them with a watery smile and a cold sweat beginning at the back of his neck. Which was odd, because he really didn't get cold sweats unless—
"Tino!" was the booming exclamation from the top of the stairs in the seats of the arena. The Finn thanked the whoever in the sky—perhaps Jesus—for the distraction. The crowd turned their heads up, Tino tried to duck his head down, and Eduard just turned his head to the side. "Väinämöinen! How are you?"
Oh my God. Oh my God.
He knew the sound of that terrible, deceptively friendly voice. "Ivan?" he whispered, looking up.
And, there he was, holding a half broken pipe and wearing a jacket so heavy it could've been used for weights. The Russian monster of the world—Ivan Braginski.
"Tino!" Ivan made to step down, and the entire crowd just moved. Tino was half-amazed and half-completely mortified. An oxymoron, but true. The large man trotted down the stairs, a grin on his face and his pipe swinging along in his hand. "I haven't seen you since that winter break a year or two ago!"
And, he would have loved for it to stay that way. Tino tried to conspicuously scale the glass barrier while still smiling at the terrifying man. "Oh, yes," he replied. "It was very…memorable." And by 'memorable,' he meant 'resonating in my nightmares.'
Ivan laughed, smacking his pipe against the palm of his hand with a resounding slap. Tino wanted the earth to swallow him right there. Even Berwald looked kind of disturbed—and that is an accomplishment. "Ha! I'll agree!" he said, smiling harder. "What happened, Tino? Why'd you leave so suddenly with…him? That Swedish fellow." His violet eyes narrowed dangerously. "You never called, sent me letters, emails, not even a text message. It would be so easy to just open your phone, type 'missin u, tino' and send it to Ivan. Me. You made me very sad, Tino, by leaving me."
The Finnish man was minutes away from crying. He wanted to die, and not at the hands of the Russian psycho that he can't escape!
"Ivan," Eduard spoke up, clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth in disdain. "Stop…stop harassing people like that. That's why you have no friends!"
"Kolkolkol-kol-kolkol—" Ivan hissed, glaring at Eduard. "—what do you mean I have no friends? I have you, and Raivis, and Toris too! Especially Toris—he'd never leave me…would he?"
"I love you!" was the cry from the ice rink, and Tino had to look over immediately. Then again, he didn't know why he was so worried that it was Berwald, as it didn't even sound like the man.
A player from the Belarus team practically tore off their helmet to reveal long blond hair topped cutely with a bow. Her face was stoic, but her proclamation of love had all the emotion she needed.
"I love you, Ivan!" she yelled again, waving her hockey stick. Now, Berwald had to look offended, because he lost to that? "Marry me, because I can make you happy!"
Ivan froze, looking at her with wide eyes. "Natalia?" he said, taking a step back. He grabbed Eduard by the arm roughly, dragging the high-school student to him so he could properly whisper. "Why is she here? I thought I'd escaped her!"
"…I thought you came here for her hockey game."
"Was that my excuse?" Ivan chuckled, letting go of the Estonian. "Well then, I lied. Let's go!" He ran up the stairs, his boots heavy against the poor cement. Eduard gave Tino an apologetic look.
"Sorry—hey, I'll call you later, all right?"
The two were gone before Natalie was able to reach the glass, holding out her hand in the direction where they were standing.
"I love you," she said again, sighing.
Tino most certainly didn't, and would have given her an award or something just for chasing the Ivan Braginski away. He did not want to play Grand Duchy of Finland again with the Russian (as he'd much rather play Swedish Empire with Berwald on game nights—it was so much more reasonable while at the same time it wasn't).
"Su-san," Tino said quietly in the dead silence of night. He rolled a bit on Berwald's torso, since that twin-sized bed was pretty much miniscule, and they could only get a comfortable sleep if Tino slept on top of Berwald, and never vice versa. (A few times the Finn had thought of asking Berwald to push the other twin sized bed against it, but every time he turned to ask the Swede, there was that absolutely terrifying expression on his face. He still can't get the guts to get the question out.)
Berwald grunted from his spot underneath him, and that was probably the best reply he'd get. "Wha'?" he mumbled.
"I'm really sorry for messing up your game like that," Tino said, resting his cheek against his boyfriend's chest. His heartbeat was steady, and a hand came to rest atop his soft hair.
"No," Berwald replied, shaking his head. "'M s'ry fer embarr'ssin' ya like th't. Shouldn't'a thr'wn th' game."
"You shouldn't have," Tino agreed, lifting up his head. He smiled brightly. "But, that was very sweet of you, Su-san."
"'s 'cause I l've ya, wife," Berwald said, and he might've been teasing but his expression was exactly the same, so Tino couldn't really tell. The Swede pushed himself up a little and pressed his lips to Tino's, the duvet sliding down their hips a bit with the movement.
Tino leaned into the kiss, grinning. "I'm not your wife," he said, and he had been waiting to get that out all day. "But, I love you too, all the same."
That was so much fun to write that I just might do it again.
Um, okay, historical stuff. There's the infamous ice hockey game in 1995 where Finland beat Sweden (for the first time) 4-1, and they never let it go. Then, there's the other ice hockey game where Belarus kicked Sweden's ass as well. There's also the Grand Duchy of Russia, which was just when the Russian Empire pulled an "all yur base r blong 2 us" on Finland until 1917. D: I love Social Studies and all, but still...
(I am seriously in a deep deep love with this pairing. D: It is almost ridiculous.)