Author's note: very late happy-birthday to Sweden!
Special thanks to Here's Your Cheese Omelette's awesome beta! I luv you Hyco!
"Are you going to visit Sweden today?" England asked over his cup of tea. Behind the rising steam, France sat with his legs propped on his messy desk, reading a paperback romance. He cocked his head back and gave England an upside down stare.
"That's Today? Must have slipped my mind. You got anything for him?"
England waved a tin can tied with ribbon, at which France rolled his eyes.
"Tea again. What a sudden burst of inspiration."
"At least I have something. And I dare you to come up with something other than wine."
France tossed the paperback on his desk and jumped up. He pulled out a bottle of Burgundy from his drawers, which was somehow missing its label and appeared to already be half consumed.
"I will soon. And I'll even let you watch. Come along."
The two men peeked around the corner of the street and saw Finland coming out of a sauna accessory shop with two bags in hand. England shoved the other man.
"What is this about?"
"Why, this is about Sweden's birthday of course," France pulled out the half bottle of Burgundy. "And don't drink a drop of this because I'm not carrying you back."
With that, France ran after Finland, who was surprised by an unexpected friendly arm draped across his shoulder.
"Ah Finland! Out shopping?"
"Oh good day France! I'm getting Su-san's birthday presents! Norway is throwing him a birthday party this afternoon." The Finn proudly showed the contents of the bags. Birch sauna soap, cedar sauna essence, and pine sauna bucket complete with a ladle; as well as an unmistakable box of salmiakki.
"Ah how considerate of you," cooed France, "I would be a very happy man to have such a considerate significant-other…"
Finland blushed and protested "We just live together…"
"… but all I have is this reluctant listener who smirks at my woes while I pour my heart to him." France gave England a violent slap on the back, who glared back with annoyance.
"You see my friend, I just got dumped."
"Oh I'm sorry to hear that!" Finland said with genuine sympathy.
"That was what I was longing to hear all day, but this awful Brit denied me of that. Can I bribe you with some good Burgundy for you to lend your ears to my sorrow?"
He promptly pulled out three wine glasses from somewhere in his coat.
"Yes now. I shall be brief and succinct with my complaints, so you don't have to worry about missing your sweetheart's party." France steered the Finn towards a riverside bench. "All you have to do is sit and enjoy the good wine."
Sweden walked home under the drizzle with a few bags of presents in hand. His Nordic and Baltic friends had thrown him a party earlier at Norway's house, and all had a good time without him having to say anything other than a few thank yous. Lithuania and Poland brought a huge spiky Šakotis cake; a pair of amber cufflinks from Latvia; a knitted sweater and a pair of mitts from Estonia; smørrebrød sandwich platter by Norway; and a few bottles of Brennivín schnapps and chocolate from Iceland. Denmark brought a porcelain tea set, along with a stack of adult movies and an elbow in the ribs.
Somehow, Finland wasn't there. He had left this morning with a promise to meet him at the party. They tried to call him a few times, but he didn't answer. So Sweden sat through his birthday party with eyes trained on the door. Now the sun's setting and still no Finland…
He reached his house to find the door unlocked.
Carefully pushing the door open, he saw a card standing on his coffee table along with a tin can tied with ribbons. Hanatamago waddled over to sniff the bags.
Happy birthday chum! Your present's in your room! Enjoy! - France
Underneath France's flowery scrawl was someone else's writing.
I have nothing to do with this. Present's on the table. – England
He approached his bedroom with suspicion. Letting the door swung open with a creak, he found a very naked Finland sleeping on his bed, hands tied up with pink ribbons.
He stood at the doorway for a long time before he could find his voice.
No response. He tried again.
When nothing came, Sweden realized he should be worried. Two large strides and he reached the bed, knelt, and patted Finland on the cheeks.
"Finland! Wake up! Wake up!"
"Hm…" Gray eyes fluttered opened, and Finland's sleepy face broke into a brilliant if incoherent smile.
Sweden was rooted on the spot, too dazzled by the smile to say anything.
"Su-san…" Finland struggled to sit up, and Sweden hastily loosened the ribbons on his wrists, and inadvertently unwrapped his "present."
Finland threw his freed arms around Sweden's shoulders and pulled him down for a sloppy kiss. Sweden just managed to catch himself with a hand on the headboard before he could land bodily on the naked Finland. Aside from that bit of rational act, he stood there rigid, eyes wide in a kiss he had only ever had in dreams.
Then Finland pressed his body against his, and he pulled back in a start. Before him sat Finland, still decked with ribbons and smiling at him with an unnaturally dazed and happy face.
"Happy birthday Su-san…"
Too good' a be true.
Sweden dragged his gaze away and hurriedly pulled the bedspread around Finland in a tight wrap. Finland moaned in protest, struggling against the new constraint.
"I want to hug you Su-san…"
Seeing there was no way to keep him still, Sweden lied down behind Finland, now cocooned in a crisp white sheet, and wound both arms around the squirming body.
"Go back t'sleep."
After a few minutes of weak tussling, his present fell back to sleep; his warm body breathing evenly in his arms.
Slowing letting go of Finland, Sweden got off the bed carefully. The duvet was stuck under Finland sleeping body, so he went into Finland's room, took the blankets and gently laid it over the supine form. Remembering Finland's naked form underneath, he took the spare duvet from the closet and piled that on Finland as well.
That night he lay on the sofa with a quilt, hesitant of remembering that kiss he should have never received.
Finland woke up in an unfamiliar bed with a familiar smell. The morning sun was too bright, so he huddled deeper into the warm pocket underneath the fluffy duvet. He'll sleep-in for bit before he heads out to buy Su-san's presents…
But he already bought Su-san's presents.
He bolted upright. The party!
Cold air touched his skin, and Finland ducked back beneath the multitudes of duvets and comforters, terrified at his lack of clothes. And of all the places to be bare, he found himself in Su-san's room. Back in the darkness under the blankets, his brain slowly patched together what happened yesterday.
He was shopping, then he met France and England, then he drunk the wine, and then… Then somehow he was so glad to see Su-san that he started kissing him. Naked. Finland moaned and pressed the duvet into his already hidden face. He had thought missing Su-san's birthday party after promising he'd go was bad, but attempting to seduce Su-san under the influence and without any clothes on was mortifying beyond imagination.
Oh what would Su-san think! Oh France! What have you put in the wine!
After several minutes of miserable self-pitying under the blankets, Finland finally pulled his head out again. He found his pajamas and underwear folded in a neat stack on the night stand, and quickly pulled them on. Su-san even left his slippers by the bed. Peaking out the door, he could hear his housemate cooking in the kitchen. A thin quilt and a pillow were thrown haphazardly on the sofa outside. Hanatamago was coiled up by the door.
Su-san must have slept on the sofa last night. Finland pulled back and shut the door, feeling even more wretched. He missed his birthday party, tried to seduce him, made him sleep on the sofa, and he still woke up to make breakfast for him.
Finland huddled back into Sweden's bed, thoroughly ashamed of himself. Of course he knew Su-san wanted him to be more than his housemate, yet he would take all the care and attention Su-san showers on him, and pretend it was all out of good faith. Maybe one day Su-san would simply give up. He'll find him at the door one morning with a suitcase, leaving him the entire house that he built for them both.
Finland didn't even want to imagine how Su-san would take that inebriated kiss. He was just relieved that he was even more of gentleman than he thought.
The door opened and Su-san came in with a tray.
Finland nodded with a red face as Sweden set breakfast on the nightstand. It was his favorite, an open sandwich with boiled egg and cheese; yet his view of the breakfast was quickly getting blurry.
"Su-san…I'm so sorry…" He could feel his throat closing up. "…the party, I was really going to go…
"And I made you sleep on the sofa… "
Su-san, stop it!
"…and last night…I wasn't myself… I really didn't mean to…"
This time, there was a long silence before Sweden answered in a tight voice. "Ti's alright. I know y' didn't."
Finland shook his head hard, too choked up to reply.
But it's not alright. Because I know you wanted it, just not like that.
Not like that. Finland thought to himself. He wiped off his face and knelt on the bed.
"Su-san." He waved at him to come closer, and took off Su-san's glasses as he bent towards him. Carefully laying the spectacles on nightstand, Finland pulled him down for a kiss. Too embarrassed to open his eyes, he pressed on until he couldn't breath. Pulling back, he saw Su-san blinking in astonishment, hands hovering with a slight tremble next to Finland's shoulders. He grabbed his hand.
Finland use to think Su-san was exceptionally scary without his glasses because he squints, but apparently not when he's blushing and an inch from his face. Finland whispered breathless, forehead against forehead.
"But I do now."
Sweden carefully placed his other hand on his cheek, as if unconvinced. Finland smiled into his big hand.
"Thank you for being so patient with me."
"I'm glad it paid off."
There was a growling, and they looked down to see Hanatamago pulling at the hem Sweden's slacks.
"Read t' atmosphere, canine." Sweden glared down with not much force. Finland giggled. He was about to say happy birthday when he remembered his presents.
"Oh no! Did France leave all the presents I got for you on the riverbank?"
"They're in th' livin' room. Thank you. They're nice."
Finland sat back and sighed in relief. Still holding Sweden's hands, he asked.
"Su-san… would you… would you like to um, join me in the sauna after breakfast?"
"Maybe a'ter lunch, needa run some errand."
"On a Sunday?"
"Private business. Now eat y' breakfast, I'll make some tea."
A knock at the door woke France from his mid-morning doze on the couch. He slouched towards the entrance, passing England who was reading in an armchair.
He found Sweden at the door.
"Oh good morning Sweden, so did you like th— "
Sweden landed a fist in his stomach, and he doubled over and almost threw up from the force. France looked up from the floor with blurry eyes, to see a very displeased Norseman approaching him with all the vengeance of a former Viking on the brink of going berserk.
France frantically waved his hands.
"Don't tell me you didn't like my present!"
Sweden paused for second, considering.
"I did." Then proceed to knee him in the face.
France fell back with a groan, nose bleeding. England gracefully re-crossed his legs to avoid the skidding pile of carcass from soiling his polished ammo boots. Sweden picked up the foaming France by the collar.
"Touch m'wife ag'n and I'll wipe y' off t' fuckin' map. Un'stood?"
France winced and gave a pitiful smile.
"Please don't hit the face?"
As Sweden turned the keys at the door, he had a slight panic attack. Suppose Finland changed his mind, or maybe he wasn't as sober as he thought, or maybe he himself was hallucinating from want? The fear to find an empty house was almost overwhelming.
The smell of broiled fish and fresh baked bread warmed his face as he walked in. Finland stood by the table, setting down a steaming pot of pea soup with mitted hands. An apron was cinched tightly around his waist.
"Just in time Su-san! Lunch's ready!"
Sweden stood at the doorway, taking in the amazingly vision with renewed wonder. He shut the door, strode over and pulled Finland into a hard kiss. When he finally pulled back, Finland huddled meekly in his arms, dimpled cheeks turning red.
Finland headbutted his chest softly in defiance, and Sweden rested his chin on his flaxen hair.
"Late happy birthday Su-san."
"Thank you." He said, voice tinged with a bit of amusement, "Y' make a great present."
France woke up on the floor a few hours later.
"Huh? Why am I lying here?"
"Because you're a pervert." England said before stepping over him to refill his tea.
France glared. Then he saw England's bum and lightened up. He would be prepared for America's on-coming birthday. He already knows what his present will be, and this time, France knew the recipient wasn't the kind to be fussy about the content's consent.
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