Disclaimer: The only thing I own is the story idea and only some of the witty remarks. I own so little; so please don't steal.
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Black Tie Affair
"I can't find a babysitter for Ice…"
Norway, who had been sitting next to a very focused Ice carefully placing more blocks on an already tottering tower of world domination, never turned to face Denmark, peeking into the living room with a phone in his hand. "You said you had this taken care of days ago," he said levelly as not to disturb Ice, but raised his eyes to glare at Denmark. Denmark chuckled sheepishly, scratching his already messy hair into further disarray.
"Yeah, I thought I did…but Prussia's busy house-sitting for his brother and America had to cancel at the last minute because he finally landed a date with England…" Denmark grinned lopsidedly. "We could drop him off at Prussia's house, but you know how he gets when there's no responsible adult around…"
"No." Norway turned back briefly to Ice's tower, which shook slightly before Ice's hands flew forward and stabilized it. When the threat had passed and Ice went for another block, Norway turned back to Denmark. "There's really only one thing to do."
Denmark stared at him for a moment before his eyes widened. "But Nor…"
"The restaurant never said anything about children not being allowed," Norway said, getting up slowly as Ice balanced another brick-printed blocks on the tower. "I'm sure he'll behave himself well there."
"But…but…Nor!" Denmark sputtered as Norway walked up to him and took the cordless phone before the Dane could drop it in indignation. "It's our date night~!"
"Shut up. It's not like you can do anything to me in public in the first place." Norway slid a finger up against Denmark's mouth. "It's just going to be one night and Ice will probably act better than you will." His mouth twisted in the slightest suggestion at irritation. "I would let Nisse take care of him, but last time the neighbors called the police thinking he was home alone."
"Too bad not a lot of people can still see spirits anymore," Denmark grinned, playing with a couple strands of Norway's hair. "Ice!"
"What?" Ice looked up in perfect imitation of his brother; the glare was so similar Denmark almost cringed.
"Do you wanna come out and have dinner with us?"
Ice stared at them for a moment before turning his attention back to the tower. "Okay." He watched them through the holes in the blocks as Denmark murmured something to Norway and leaned down to kiss him. "What are you two doing?"
"Denmark's just being an idiot," Norway explained, placing a hand over the rejected Dane's mouth. "Come on, Ice. We've got to get you dressed up."
Ice thought he looked quite sophisticated for a kid. Although he wasn't very comfortable in a suit, at least no one treated him like a cute little boy. When they walked into the restaurant, no older women cooed at him and pinched his cheeks. He considered this a success. He has definitely grown up a bit. He held Norway's hand only because he wasn't familiar with the place and grown-ups never get lost.
"Table for three," Norway said, and Ice stared up at him. Norway looked really good too. He could wear suits too. The violet tie really matched his eyes. He knew his brother could wear clothes; that was where he got his fashion sense too. As the man led them to the table, Ice turned to Denmark, who was grinning and walking next to him. Denmark could not dress himself, Ice thought critically. Pink dress shirt, yellow spotted tie.
"You look ugly," Ice said bluntly. He heard Norway stifle a laugh.
"Are you excited?" Denmark asked as if he hadn't heard. Ice shrugged. He didn't understand the allure of a dimly lit area with long tablecloths that made tables look like they were wearing dresses, and slow music and candles, but there was a lot about adults he didn't understand. When they got to their table, Ice watched Norway and Denmark take their seats. When Norway reached out to help him to his chair, Ice shook his head. Adults could sit on their own.
It took a couple minutes to climb onto the chair and another couple minutes to kick at Denmark's shin for laughing at him, but he finally won over the annoying black contraption.
Sitting up made Ice feel more mature, until he realized adults probably didn't have to crouch to see the other side of the table. His feet were dangling off the ground and he couldn't see much past the middle of the table. The waiter had been kind enough to leave him the menu, but at the present, he couldn't even reach that.
"Uh oh," Norway murmured, noticing the problem. Denmark merely waved over another waiter and Ice found himself lifted as a sizable phonebook was placed under him. When he settled himself once more, he discovered he could rest his elbows on the table and actually see his brother and Denmark. Not that he rested his elbows; that was rude table etiquette.
Denmark didn't seem to know this. His elbows were all over the place as he suggested foods to Norway, who shot them all down as he leaned over from time to time to consult with Ice. Ice did not know what veal was, or mutton, or pheasant, but laid a hand on Norway's hand and told him seriously that he trusted his brother to pick out something good for him.
All of a sudden, the waiter (Ice did not know how waiters at this restaurant could just appear out of nowhere; it must be another adult thing) was at their table, showing Norway and Denmark a bottle of wine. As Ice watched, the waiter poured two glasses of the mysterious red drink. "Ah…about the little one…" the waiter said, to which Ice frowned at.
"I can drink too," Ice said stubbornly, taking the empty glass in front of him and handing it to the waiter, who did not take it.
"Cranberry juice," Norway said, lowering the glass to the table before Ice could wave it around. "It's bitter, so it's the same thing." Ice nodded knowingly and the waiter hurried off. When he returned, the juice was poured and Ice stared at it in awe.
"To us," Denmark said, holding up his glass, glancing at Ice; but Ice could see his blue eyes lingering more on Norway than him. Norway was looking back at him, pursing his lips in the shy way Ice recognized, and the boy held up his glass too. Denmark laughed as he knocked them together.
When they ordered, Denmark and Norway used all sorts of words Ice couldn't understand, but the waiter could. He still had lots to learn. Ice resolved to do his best; he was being accepted into such a grown-up environment where everyone had to talk quietly and not make a big fuss. He had to act accordingly.
The waiter had not left crayons at the table. Ice bit his lip at this realization. Grown-ups were not allowed to play with crayons. There was no paper to draw on. Adults had to make small talk. But they were allowed to kick each other under the table; he felt Denmark's foot shift past him and felt a scuffle as Norway retaliated. At other tables, people talked. Denmark and Norway were just looking at each other. "So death and taxes," Ice said, putting it upon himself to move the conversation along.
Norway stared at him but Denmark turned to him with a solemn face. "They're horrible things, aren't they, Ice?"
"Really, really bad."
Ice has just finished telling his proposal to stop all sorts of taxes by giving away free puffins when the waiter comes back with the food. After watching each of the dishes carefully land on the table, Ice waited for the waiter to walk a good distance (about two feet) away before saying, "Did they not finish cooking everything?"
"What do you mean?" Denmark asked, already starting into his food.
Ice pointed at the scant amount of food on his plate. There was more ceramic dish than food, although it looked really pretty. "There's almost nothing here."
"I wonder that myself, sometimes," Denmark nodded.
Adults did not pick at their food. While the weird colored food Norway assured him was healthy tasted odd, he swallowed it anyway and did not make a face. He was growing up nicely. He pointed his fork at Denmark and announced, "Denmark's not cleaning his plate, Nor."
"What!" Denmark waved his own fork at Ice mockingly. "For your information, no one likes asparagus! Okay!"
"Eat it," Norway ordered, reaching over and shoving the asparagus in Denmark's mouth in a surprise attack. "Set a good example."
"Adults eat everything on their plate," Ice added. He watched as Denmark gave him a fake hurt look and sipped his cranberry juice. Adults did not have to justify themselves. Getting defensive was only when you were wrong. He knew enough watching some of Denmark and Norway's fights. Denmark usually apologized later, then kissed, then pushed him out of the house to play outside.
Finishing their dinners was a rather calm, socialable affair and Ice secretly wondered why they had never invited him along before. Probably because he was still too young. He watched as Denmark and Norway talked about things he didn't find interesting and stared at the flickering candle in the middle of the table. Denmark kept passing his fingers over it. Adults did not play with fire. Denmark wasn't a real adult.
The waiter came by with the check. As Denmark argued with Norway with his wallet, Ice reached over and plucked it up. As his brother and stupid Denmark bickered on, he counted up to the number with his fingers. He only had a vague sense of monetary value, but figured that after he came up with ten fingers seven times, it was pretty expensive. No wonder why they were arguing about who was paying. "I think Denmark should pay," Ice interjected.
Denmark made a triumphant sound in the back of his throat and took the check from Ice's hand and waved it pointedly in Norway's face. "See? The squirt thinks it's mine."
Ice made a face at Denmark. "You're stupid," he said. "For wanting to spend money."
"If you really love someone, you don't mind spending a billion dollars," Denmark said in an annoying way that suggested he knew more than Ice. Ice frowned.
"I want ice cream."
"We'll get some on the way back."
But as they were driving back, Ice found his eyes distracting him from ice cream; they had passed the ice cream place and he didn't notice. Vaguely, he heard Norway say something before stopping. Denmark chuckled and replied something about Ice using all his energy to be an adult. Yes, Ice thought sleepily. I was a really good adult, wasn't I?
Ice didn't remember getting home, but when he opened his eyes again, Norway was tucking him in and kissing him good night on the cheek. Denmark grinned at him at the doorway, nodding at him. "Good night, Ice," Norway smiled. "You did good today."
"You were the best adult ever," Denmark agreed.
Ice smiled. He was a grown-up now.
Note: I went to this sort of high class restaurant with my mom and sister. I love kid!Ice! He's so cute. On another note, I've been on the road for a while and I haven't had much time to write. So I'm trying to squeeze in all the time I'm getting. Thanks for reading!