M and I going for lunch. Back around 1pm.
Plan is a go! ;D Go get some broer!
Matthew's laughter rang out in the chill February air as he and Lars made their way slowly up the gravel path from the car, the pleasant sound sending shivers down the taller nation's spine. He had enjoyed lunch very much, Lars mused absently, but they were almost at the door and Bretje's sms had indicated that she was done with the preparations. Deliberately, the blonde man stuck his hands into the pockets of his coat to prevent himself from wringing them as he watched Matthew's laughing subside to occasionaly bursts of chuckling.
"Did England really act like that when he was a sailor?" he asked, eliciting a grin from Lars. He winked one grey eye briefly and watched as the amused smile grew on Matthew's face.
"No, he was worse." Lars admitted, lips twitching in the effort to hold in the laughter. "He used to wear an eyepatch because it made him look more pirate-y."
Again, Matthew laughed softly at the mental image of stuffy England parading around in ruffled shirts and pirate hats and eyepatches. Lars would have laughed along with him, if the shorter nation hadn't started forwards to unlock the door.
Inside his chest, Lars' heart clenched and his throat constricted painfully. Now. Tell him now.
"What the hell?"
He blinked in shock as he stared past Matthew into the living room. Involuntarily, his mouth fell open and Lars immediately thought, I'm going to kill Bretje.
There were tulips everywhere; bunches of them in a myriad of hues stacked on the table, on the chairs, even a few tulips on the mantle in a tall blue vase. Everywhere he looked there were more baskets and more flowers, and Lars could feel a stress headache begin to pound behind his eyes.
Matthew advanced cautiously into the house, staring in sheer disbelief at the number of plants that had taken over his living room. There didn't seem to be a single space not sporting a bouquet. In the place of honour on the coffee table, there was a basket of flowers, fashioned into the shape of a maple leaf out of red tulips and surrounded by others in riot of colours. Gingerly, almost as if the flowers were going to eat him, the Northern nation picked it up and turned slowly around to look at Lars, whose face had paled remarkably at the sight of the floral effusion.
"Lars..." he said softly, blue eyes wide. "Did you do this?" With one hand, he waved to the gifts; Lars' national flower.
If it were possible, the taller man blanched even further. "I- no- I mean- There weren't supposed to be so many!"
Under any other circumstances, Matthew might have found Lars' obvious dismay hilariously funny. Now, though, he just felt confused. "But the Tulip Festival isn't until May."
"I know." Now, the first signs of colour crept back onto Lars' face in the form of a pink blush spreading over the bridge of his nose and cheekbones. He stepped forward, shutting the front door behind him and lifted the basket of tulips from Matthew's grasp, plucking a single stem from the bouquet. From where he was standing, Matthew could here Lars take a deep, shaky breath to steady himself before he asked, "Do you know what tulips mean, Matt?"
That gave him pause for a moment as the shorter man frowned and searched his memory for the meaning of the tulip. He had known once, that was certain, but now the only thing that he knew about the tulip was that it was the National Flower of the Netherlands. Mutely, he shook his head 'no' and, before Matthew could even jump in surprise, gentle fingers had tucked the single tulip behind his ear.
Lars' voice was a soft, low rumble that sent a shudder down Matthew's spine. "Tulips mean 'perfect love'." The side of his thumb brushed Matthew's face briefly, making his blue eyes widen. "Variegated ones like this one mean that you have beautiful eyes."
You have beautiful eyes too, Matthew wanted to say, as he stood transfixed by slate grey irises and anchored by a deep, velvety voice. But his heart had leapt into his throat and was pounding in his ears like some mad drumbeat and Matthew found he couldn't so much as make a peep.
Lars continued to slowly decimate the bouquet.
"Yellow, for sunshine and happy memories." Another flower went behind Matthew's ear.
"White, for worthiness." The other ear this time.
"Pink, for gratitude ad appreciation." With two tulips behind each ear, Matthew was distantly surprised that they fit.
"And finally…" Lars trailed off hoarsely, Adam's apple bobbing as he swallowed past the lump in his throat. From the basket he still held, he withdrew two tulips; one red and one cream, and offered them to Matthew. Wordlessly, he set the basket down on the table behind Matthew and his voice when he eventually straightened and spoke was barely more than a whisper. "Red is a declaration. It- it means 'I love you', and cream means 'I will love you… forever'."
It was almost hard to breathe with his heart in his throat like that and Matthew had almost missed Lars' words due to his heart's thundering in his ears. But, as he stared into Lars' face, earnest and passionate and more than a little bit terrified, Matthew finally realized where he had seen that look before,
That look was precisely the same look that Alfred always had whenever Arthur was around.
Matthew took the flowers.
There was a smile on his face as he lifted the two tulips to his nose and took a breath of the subtle, honeyed smell that tulips seemed to have. Taking the short moment to think, Matthew inspected the funny, warm feeling that had blossomed in the pit of his stomach; the same feeling, now that he thought about it, that he got whenever Lars came to visit and they spent time with each other.
Surprised, Matthew looked up to see Lars had moved away a step and was now staring at him, the look on his face more panicked than anything. He was clearly waiting for an answer to his confession.
Matthew flushed. "Oh- um… Well." He bit his lip briefly in indecision. Then, Matthew closed the gap between them, still clutching the two tulips in a death grip and reached up to tuck the red and the cream flowers behind Lars' ear (it was most annoying to realize that he had to stand on tiptoe to comfortably reach Lars' head), resting his hands on Lars' shoulders for a long moment afterwards.
Quietly, he said, "'Red and cream. We match now."
For a long, long moment, Lars obviously did not register the meaning behind Matthew's words. He simply stood there with his brow furrowed adorably at the younger nation, before finally Matthew's shy, encouraging expression and hesitant smile elicited a wide, joyful grin from the older nation. "Yes, we match." He said softly, before slowly inclining his head towards Matthew's, eyes lingering on the shorter man's mouth.
Matthew only had to tilt his head up slightly to meet Lars' lips and his brain just seemed to… stop. Blissfully, he lifted his hands to cup Lars' cheeks even as one long, strong arm twined around Matthew's waist. After a moment longer, the Dutch nation tilted to deepen the kiss, gaining a soft moan from the shorter male. They only parted when oxygen started to become a serious issue, and even though they were both flushed and breathless, Lars still managed to slip one last word in edgewise past kiss-swollen lips that were tilted upwards in a tender smile.
"Happy Valentine's Day, mijn Engel."
To which Matthew responded by pulling Lars' face back down for another kiss.
Author's Notes: So there you have it! It's over. x3 Hope you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Also, thank you very much to all those who reviewed and added this story to their favourites~ It makes me happy. :3 Cheers!