Hello and Welcome! I know, I am bad, horrible, disgusting and diseased! But, after making a deal with my lovely friend, yetanotherwallflower, I am now posting an update! Here for your entertainment-Flowers Pick chapter twelve! I'd like to thank my lovely translators, MalinChan, yotzie, Ruusu, kooliobutterflyhahaha, Sine-k, Another Mad Swiss, Lillens, DianeLeBlanc99, and Sarai Onyx Vainamoinen. Thank you very much guys! I do not own Hetalia nor it's characters-though I do own this story! I suggest listening to "Antiokia" by Garmarna for this chapter.
Time had slithered on, dragged on as the heat in the air pressed down upon them, meshing them further into each other until skin touched skin and breathes mingled against each other in a battle for air, for life within their lungs. They could smell the scent of each others hair, perfumed with flowers and sweat. They could feel the heat that their bodies gave off in waves like golden sunlight. They could hear their hearts reverently beating against their rib cages with thudding power. They could almost taste the salt upon their sun stroked skin that beckoned to them each for a taste.
The silence toppled and crumbled over one another. Rising and falling, a movement to match their breathes, their heaves and pulls of their bodies that were dying, begging to get closer to one another, no matter the cost. It was then, with a voice that sounded so raw, the first of the two spoke, unable to hold the silence still.
"You picked me…Yer' Flower's Pick…Me?" Berwalds voice was hushed above the flames crackling, the birds cawing in the mighty ash and birch trees above them.
Somewhere all around them the village people stirred, trying to get and ear full, trying to listen and to watch at what the two lovers would do, what they were destined to accomplish this night and the many nights like it.
Tino licked his dry lips once, his eyes never straying from the Swede's intense gaze that glowed with jades hue.
Then, with careful movements that would not stir even a skittish rabbit, light fingers pressed themselves into Berwald's shoulders lightly as the Finn began to lead him into the dirt laden ring. Tino's feet soon began making quick work of moving backwards at a steady pace so that the oblivious Swede would not lose his balance and fall into the dust like a great pine tree cut down by an axe.
"Of course I picked you, my sweet, my love, my everything." Tino's voice was barely a hush, but the words rang true and loud through Berwald's ears, causing what one could only describe as a healthy red blush to grace the taller Nordics face.
"I love ya', I love ya' too, more than anythin'." Berwald whispered against Tino's pink bitten lips, his voice quaking some as he wrapped his arms tightly round Tino's waist, crushing the Finn in a warm embrace that left him breathless and wide eyed.
Tino couldn't help the grin that graced his face as he too wrapped his strong arms round the Swede's neck, Berwald hoisting him up into the air, the sounds of cheering soon erupting from the villagers who had been looking at the silent couple with fondness and contentment.
On and on Berwald spun the Finn in his arms, into the whirling air that clung to them, smelling like musk and flowers, until he could no longer feel breath in his own lungs and had to twirl Tino to the ground, his feet skidding into the earth with a hiss that made the Finn erupt into giggles.
And just like that the silence was broken and instead gave birth to a joy of sound and merriment that seemed to yell into the sky and the high high mountains that were topped with green and grey. The harp strings were plucked and the drum was beaten within an inch of it's life. The pipes had life breathed into them and the copper bells tinkled and chimed into a chorus of glee that all melded together under the evening sun that it seemed would never die and fade into darkness.
So much life and love had been breathed into the settlement that Tino feared that all the blood rushing around his body would surely make him faint and fall to the dust - however, with Berwald's strong and none too meek arms wrapped around his waist, Tino was sure his Summer-Husband would catch him if he fell. Such was a comforting thought that it left Tino even more breathless, finding a great weight up-heaved from his shoulders and flung into the bonfire - he had finally found his summer-husband.
As they danced around, the sun dripping gold upon their shoulders, Tino could feel a sense of joy bubbling up inside him, the likes he had never experienced before in his life. And as he was twirling around, drapes and skirts all aflutter, hand in hand with his strong and shy husband, his eyes couldn't help but catch the other people around him infected with the same kind of mirth and gloriousness that he was sure they all were beginning to feel.
It seemed that once Berwald had laid his heart and hands in Tino's care, the rest of the Warriors decided that they had waited long enough, and started to pluck and tear at each other for their tender brides.
Tino couldn't help but giggle into his hands as he witnessed Mathias leading Nikolas round the bonfire clumsily, the Danes bow-legged stance not helping in the slightest against Nikolas' steady rhythms'. And yet Nikolas' eyes still shone bright and blue and Mathias had what Tino could only described to be the biggest wolf-like grin he had ever seen on the Dane. And as he watched his cousin dance, hips swaying and mouth sliding into a little smile of delight, Tino could truthfully say that his cousin looked the happiest he had ever been in a long time, and Tino hoped to the Gods above that his cousin would smile like that everyday in the Danes care.
However, the sun, though still in the sky, was beginning to beat down tendrils of fire upon the dancers and the coals became too close to bare feet and stung against the grey ashes of the dirt. Legs began to cramp and arms were hung loosely to the sides as the couples began to grow weary of the song and movements and were beginning to look for a place to rest their aching feet.
It was then that benches of pine and oak and huge wooden slabs for tables were pushed and pulled against the dirt around the fires and around the coals. Skins and hides of cattle and reindeer were laid to rest against the wood for added comfort to sore feet and knees and jugs upon jugs of water were collected hurridly from the well to quench the brides nad their new hsubadns thirst.
However, as Tino and Berwald tried to make their way to a low seated table near the rest of their friends who had too stopped dancing to find their rest, the Swede and the Finn were caught by the arm by a few serving maids.
With explanation but crooked fingers in their arms, the two bewildered dancers were led to the front of the feasting tables and sat into two wooden chairs modestly decorated with upheavals of garlands - broom leaves with the little yellow flowers, dog wood with thick branches and purple lath blooms were woven nicely across their chairs in what became an array of sparkling color.
"The crowned one shall sit with the Flowered one." Was all the ladies said cheerfully before they scurried off into the bustling noise of whining cattle and clinking plates and pots leaving Berwald and Tino to blush next to each other like little children who got the extra flank of meat in the stew pot.
"So, this is happening then. The Maidens dance is sung and done, and now we feast under the sky like Bride and Groom…" Tino murmured out, his fingers running over his shoulders that were covered in sweat and dust - he needed a bath soon, some nice cool water would feel wonderful on his sun blistered skin.
"Aye…Now we feast, till our bellies ache…'n then…" Berwald's voice seemed to trail off as he looked at his empty wooden bowl, his fingers tracing the curved lip of it, his eyes intensely focused.
"And then we…" Tino's voice was raw and a bit croaky with embarrassment as he rested his hands along his clothed knees, holding his body up high in the midst of his heated face.
Berwald didn't dare to finish the Finn's words, he only smiled softly, shyly, like a boy catching the glance of his first crush…and That's what Tino was to him, the Finn realized. Berwald had loved Tino for so long, since they were kids still in white clothed tunics that swallowed their knees, since they used to chase butterflies and dare Mathias to eat them, since they would play in the mud till sunset and would get spanked by their mothers for coming home so late because they had lost track of time…
My…Tino began to wonder… What happened? We were so close… Yet after that kiss, well. Tino stopped his thinking, stopped the bad thoughts that sliced at his mind like a dulled blade. He was a child then, he knew no better about a mans heart and affection! Yet now, now he was older, wiser, stronger. He knew of the Swedes affections and he was more than sure that he could return them favorably with love and kindness.
Tino looked up at Berwald who was contenting himself to awkwardly trying to pour a wooden ladle of boiling mead into a clay pot, his brows furrowed in concentration as he dripped more onto the wooden table than into the mug.
Tino raised his brows at this and let a smirk wedge it's way onto his lips.
"My Berwald, you are but a bundle of nerves I fear." Tino whispered to the Swede, his breath catching in the mans ears making Berwald's own breath hitch in his throat.
"Aye…um…Maybe, just a little…" The Swede mumbled, his voice a little more hoarser than before. Tino watched as his Summer-Husband swallowed what seemed to be a lump in his throat, his mouth looking to be dryer than the river banks in drought season.
"And what is it that up-winds you so?" Tino asked with mild worriment as he slid his right hand along Berwald's leg, his amethyst eyes careful to catch and discomfort that would suggest that his hand movement was unwanted.
And though those Jade eyes began to grow glassy and panicked, the Swede only tensed his body for a few seconds before those startled eyes rested on Tino for the longest of seconds, and Tino felt his entire heart practically skip a beat, painfully reminding him of how intimate Berwald and he were going to be tonight.
Yet before that train of thought could blossom into a heated reminder in the Finn's already over-heated brain, a big clatter was heard before the two, causing them both to jump, their twined muscles already jumpy from what their bodies soon hoped to expect.
Tino, his eyes as wide as the sun that hung lazily above them, bit at his bottom lips as his nose met with the stench of cooked meat, salted and riddled in it's own fat and juices.
A big hock of reindeer flank and flesh sat steaming in gravy before the two, a big fork made out of iron stabbed into it.
Tino and Berwald, both feeling a little bit too queasy to even consider swallowing something through their dry throats, quickly pushed back the prospect of eating the rich meat placed before them.
Yet, no amount of "No thank you" and "I'm really not hungry" would appease the villagers and soon Tino and Berwalds' plates were begrudgingly filled to the brim with all sorts of food.
Boiled water fowls eggs with the golden yolk still runny drenched their slabs of rye bread. Oats mixed and soaked in goats milk flecked with dried blueberries were slopped up quickly by quick hands and cold metal spoons. Meat fell off the bone into the jaws of man as dogs begged beneath the tables with crooning wines and the wagging of their tails. Freshly skewered rat crisped and crackled with it's layer of butter and angelica as fingers worked diligently to pick off the scare yet hearty tasting meat.
Berwald and Tino, though their stomachs were growling and rumbling with anger, seemed to only be able to push a few handfuls of sliced and fried apples into their mouths with a bit of fat soaked bread sopped in warmed milk and honey. It's wasn't much to ease their stomachs protests, but the two feared they were too flushed and giddy to down anything more. To eat till their stomachs budged was simply not an option, there steadily beating pulse would not allow it.
And so they sipped contently on hot mead that bruised and burned their tongues, their fingers slowly and softly finding each others till they pressed and intertwined upon their laps, acting like shy lovers in the midst of a festival.
And as the torches blew and frothed with their last bits of tar and oil, and the dogs had given up long ago on the prospects of fine feasting food and were instead busying themselves with the leftover bones of pigs and deer, the two lovers, so enamored with each other, didn't notice the slight shuffling of people.
Weary handmaidens stalking back to their hovels with their bellies arm and full, deciding to spin a bit of wool while the sun was still shining and the lighting of a candle would not be needed. Young children carried by their mothers and fathers into their halls to sleep contentedly on mattresses of hay and lath, to dream of the end of summer suns and the beginning of frosty winter.
For tonight, this hour, this moment in time belonged not to the old and not to the newly young, but to the youths with crowns of flowers in their hair and a lively skip in their step.
This night belonged only to the Lovers.
Not very good I know, but hey, it's an update! And I kept good to my promise! (Eat that yetanotherwallflower! I love you baby!) So, please review, my heart needs to hear some love, hate, goodness, spitefulness, anything ya' got. REVIEW OR ELSE THE DOLPHINS SHALL GUT ME LIKE A FISH! That is all!