Iceland never thought he'd hate silence until then. He wasn't sure why there wasn't any noise. If Denmark was conscious, there was noise. Only if he had passed out for the night would there be silence. But it was too early for that. He was sure the beer hadn't been messed with yet that day.

Iceland stood on his tip toes, straining to look out the kitchen window, over the sink that faced the front yard. He could see Denmark out there. he had plopped himself on the front lawn, watching the sun slowly slip under the horizon. After a few minutes of watching the Dane, Iceland finally forced himself to slip out the front door. He set himself down carefully next to Denmark, daring to take a quick glance in the other's direction. Denmark glanced back and gave Iceland a small smile. It looked forced. How many years had it been since Iceland had seen an honest smile out of the man?

"Did you see the letter on the table?" Denmark asked. Iceland tried to conjure up a mental image of a letter on the dinning room table. Nothing. he shook his head. Denmark looked away again.

"Norway got his independence," he said. There had only been a matter of time until that happened, Iceland knew. Denmark sighed.

"He's not coming back..." he finished. Iceland could see his visibly deflate. All his hopes in the past decades had been centered on the hope that Norway would return, should he leave Sweden. All his hopes, crushed again.

Iceland couldn't quite come up with words, not that he usually could. Instead, he picked up one of the Dane's hands, squeezing it gently. Denmark glanced down at him, giving him a wondering look. There was a tiny smile, just barely there for a small moment, before vanishing again. The Dane lifted the hand that had ensnared his own and pressed a kiss to the other's knuckles. Iceland glanced over for a moment, only to glance away.

Later, it wouldn't matter. They both wanted the same person, and Iceland could fight to give that person to Denmark. Later, it wouldn't matter who was affectionate to Iceland, or who wasn't.