…in which sense is not made, but it's not good to think too much about things.

...............

Sweden was a good listener. Because he didn't talk much, it gave him more opportunities to hone his listening skills and become an excellent listener. Oh, but it wasn't that he didn't like talking or anything like that, no. There were many, many things he'd wanted to say at various points in time to various people, but because people apparently found him hard to understand, he'd been too shy to speak out. Still, he was usually grateful to be a good listener, since those were apparently rarer than good speakers, and really, there wasn't much he wanted to say to the rest of the world anymore, was there? It was easier to just hang around with Norway and Denmark, who never had problems understanding him, whether he spoke or not. Ok, maybe it was easier to hang around with Norway... Or maybe not. But the point was that he was usually a very good listener. He just couldn't understand what Latvia was saying.

"...wh't?"

"Please adopt me!" repeated Latvia, looking up at him with those adorable large puppy-dog eyes. Now, normally, he was pretty into dogs, though not in the same way Denmark was into dogs (or Germany, if the rumours were true), and Sealand had taken advantage of this fact many times before, and Sealand had nothing on Latvia, as far as innocent puppy-dog eyes was concerned, so there was no reason why he hadn't caved yet, except for a vague feeling that something was wrong.

"Why?" he asked the trembling nation, wondering if the letter 'y' constituted a vowel and if it was remotely possible to pronounce 'wh'' without it.

"I d-don't think I-I can take care of myself anymore..." Come to think of it, Latvia looked a little more like a kitty than a puppy, but cats tended to look less needy, so, perhaps it could be said that Latvia looked like a cross between a cat and a dog... but how did that even work out?

Speaking of which... "W'ren't y' kn'wn 's th' B'lt'c T'ger?'

Latvia looked like he was about to cry. "T-that was before the Crisis, b-but now it f-feels l-like Mr. R-r-russia is j-just w-w-waiting t-to take me b-b-b-back!"

Sweden brushed past Latvia abruptly, making the poor thing burst into tears in alarm. There was no time to apologise, thought, and, really, he'd always found it profoundly unhelpful to apologise because his apologetic face was apparently scary enough to make them cry more. As depressing as the thought was, he didn't let it slow him down too much as he drew the curtains, shutting out a cheerfully grinning Russia. He tried not to think too hard about how or when Russia had turned up, especially considering they were on the second storey, but he couldn't say that he was entirely surprised.

Poking his head out of the window, he stated firmly, "G' 'way."

"But Latvia is so cute~ 3 Wouldn't it be nice if he could become one with me again?"

Sweden pulled out a tin of Surströmming and a can opener, watching the smile freeze on Russia's face.

"You don't fight fair!"

Sweden stared at him and Russia giggled sheepishly.

"Ok, I go now~"

"G''d." He shut the window and retreated back into the room before he had to see how Russia was planning to leave. This was the second floor. There wasn't even a tree outside. It wasn't good to think too hard about Russia.

"M-mr Sweden?"

He gave Latvia an inquisitive look, which made the smaller nation cower again. He wasn't really that scary was he? No, of course, not. Norway and Denmark never found him scary. Not even Iceland found him scary, and he was the youngest. And Sealand, of course, had no problems with him at all. Latvia was probably just easily spooked. Yes. Living with Russia probably did that to people.

"S-so, would you p-please adopt me?" asked Latvia, wincing as if expecting to be smacked for asking.

On one hand, Latvia was cute. On the other hand, Russia thought Latvia was cute.

"C'n't y' 'sk th' 'th'r B'lt'cs t' h'lp y'?"

Latvia stared at him blankly.

"Ask th' oth'r Balt'cs t' h'lp y'?" he pronounced a little more clearly and slowly.

"But Lithunia is having problems too and Estonia's only getting by selling cheap vodka to alcoholics like Finland."

Sweden frowned as he drew himself up to his full (rather impressive) height. "M' w'fe's n't 'n alc'lic."

Finland chose this moment to enter the room and to begin to ransack it. "Where did I put that fucking rifle?" muttered the angelic little thing who was really only kinda little compared to the rest of the Nordics, but perfectly adorable nonetheless. "Has anyone seen my fucking rifle? Russia is getting away!"

"Y' n't 'llow'd t' g' hunting wh'n y'r drunk," he reminded his cute little wife, who whipped around to glare/pout at him.

"Why are you so tall, Su?" said Finland, as if just realising this, still glaring/pouting at him. "Why're you so super tall and super cool and manly and hot, with a stupid language that I don't even like, and you'r always insisting I'm the woman when you're the one who cooks and cleans and sews, bitch! I hate you!"

Sweden blinked, noting that a few of those were compliments. A little more depressingly, the only time he could ever hear such undisguised praise from Finland was when he wifey was stone drunk. Finland was always too careful around him.

"Lemme help you grow shorter, please?" asked Finland sweetly, pulling a knife out of seemingly nowhere. Finland had a talent for that sort of stuff.

Gently, he disarmed his cute little wife and patted him on the head. "Y' should g' t' sleep 'r els' y'll g't a hang'ver."

Finland stared at him. For a very long time. Then calmly walked away into the extra room that was always reserved for him. Then death metal exploded out of the closed door.

Sweden covered his ears and motioned for Latvia to follow him to a quieter place.

"M' w'fe's n't 'n alc'lic," he repeated firmly, once they were in a place where they could hear again.

Latvia looked like he was about to say something, looked at his face, then shut up. They milled around in awkward silence for awhile. Well, it was comparatively silent, but they could still quite clearly hear the music coming from Sweden's house.

"M-mr Sweden's sound system is p-pretty good," said Latvia finally.

"D'n't h've one."

"Oh."

They avoided each other's eyes for a bit longer.

"S-so, w-w-will you adopt me, Mr Sweden?"

Sweden thought about this. He considered it carefully. He ran through several scenarios in his mind, finally arriving at one depicting a nuclear family with a cute little wife, a rambuntious little boy who plays with Japanese giant robot toys and an adorable little girl with curly blonde hair with little ribbons in them that his cute little wife will help her tie every morning, and they would go for picnics in the mountains and snark at Denmark because he didn't have mountains, only roadbumps. He even composed an entire eleven minute long 'welcome to the family, I'm so happy to have a daughter' speech so that he could give his reply.

Then he thought of Russia. Who usually had to go through Finland to get to him. And he thought about Russia going through Finland with vodka. And he thought about them becoming drinking buddies and bonding over the godforsaken weather in their respective houses. Even though his cute little wife was not an alcoholic.

"G't t' learn t' take c're o' y'rself."

Latvia looked shocked. Then momentarily angry. Then completely upset. "But you adopted Sealand!"

"Seal'nd's 's n't a nation."

"I'm so telling him you said that!"

Sweden frowned putting his height and scary face to good use for once. "N', y're n't."

"K, I'm not."

They looked around at the trees and the clouds and the ground for a little while while the heavy metal died out in the background.

"'ll s'nd y' home?" offered Sweden. Latvia looked a bit like a kicked puppy, but there was nothing to be done about it. Maybe he'd let Sealand go over more often to play with the kid, if he could get Sealand away from the television. Yea, that was a good idea. He could get Sealand to go out more and give poor little Latvia a bit of company.

They got back to the house in time for the phone to start ringing.