Characters/Pairings: Netherlands/Canada centric, FACE family, other nations mentioned
Summary: From their first meeting Canada was entranced by the soft spoken man with spider-silk hair. The other was entranced too.
Warnings: Boy/boy, historical fiction.
Soundtrack: 'Enchanted' by Taylor Swift
Info: First NethCan fic, I do love this pairing X3 Historical fic set sometime in the past with no particular historical events. Meant to be a oneshot but it got too long so I'm turning it into a two or threeshot, hopefully have it all done by the end of this week. Yay for breaking writer's block. Netherlands' name is Lars de Vries because Lars has been the name I've associated with him since first getting into this couple and de Vries is one of the most popular Dutch surnames (circa 2007).
Canada hates these places. Vast rooms lighted by soft candles, gentle voices filling the room. England is standing in a corner, wine glass in hand, talking with a tall man with black hair, Austria, he thinks. France is of course surrounded by girls, flirting unashamedly, sweet words falling from his mouth as easily as a waterfall. America too is surrounded by people, talking happily. This is where he belongs; though he claims it is too stuffy in places like this. People are drawn to him like fireflies to a lamp, and Canada knows that although obnoxious he is bright, and people will follow him. He thinks that maybe even England will follow him, old, refined, controlled England, at the whim of his brother, loud, maddening, never thinking. It seems like a wild fantasy and yet, somehow, he can see it. People pass by him; their eyes never looking directly at him but instead seem to go straight through. He wishes he could disappear, just get up and leave, but he knows that England will look for him when the party draws to a close and he will be reprimanded if he is not exactly where he is expected to be. Someone throws a greeting in his direction, and he returns it without thinking. His eyes flicker across the room. There are many nations here, from Spain (he thinks, America knows him better) to England, mostly Europeans though there are a few others. There are their bosses too, kings and queens and prime ministers, and the interactions between them, he notices, are much less intimate than the ones between nations, their actions more controlled than even England's, impossible though it may seem. He sits back in his chair, closing his eyes and exhaling slowly. He does not belong here. He wishes now, more than ever, that he could return home. This stuffy room in some corner of London, forced into a pretence of society, a society he doesn't feel right in.
His eyes dance across the room, coming to settle on a tall man whose silky golden hair shimmers in the light. He is talking to someone Canada doesn't recognise, but as he watches the blue eyes look across the room to meet his. Canada lowers his eyes, trying and failing to stem the blush which creeps up his cheeks. "Matthew!" His reverie is broken by the sound of France's voice. The arms drape themselves across his shoulders, and his face is directly by his side, murmuring into his ear, "Loosen up a bit! You look worse than that 'gentleman' over there. Come over and talk for a bit, there are a lot of people who want to meet you." Canada doubts this, but he indulges France anyway, rising as gracefully as possible (he can still feel the eyes watching him and he tries his hardest not to look stupid), and joining France's party. One of the girls looks visibly relieved at his presence, and sets about talking to him in a bright, cheerful voice. He is somewhat overwhelmed by her and is grateful when the man England had previously been talking to comes over and mutters something in her ear, drawing her away. France turns to him and smiles "She's a looker isn't she? Pity she's already with Austria. Still…monogamy is boring. Perhaps I can still entice her to join me, oui?" Canada mutters some affirmation distractedly, eyes searching the room for the blue ones. He meets them quickly, but does not look away this time, instead challenges the man to come over. France follows his line of sight and chuckles beneath his breath. "Who is that?" Canada asks. "Hmm? Oh, him. Lars. Lars de ," he says in response to Canada's mystified stare. "Good luck," France says before drifting off in search of some more girls. Canada watches him leave before turning around. The man, Netherlands as he now knows him to be, finishes his conversation with whoever he was talking to, and begins to move across the room. Canada drops his eyes to the floor, but looks up when a voice speaks in his ear.
"You were watching me."
"You looked back."
"You were interesting. People don't normally watch others like that."
"And now you've talked to me you'll see I'm not very interesting at all."
"On the contrary, I find you fascinating."
"You don't even know my name."
"Do you know mine."
"Lars de Vries, am I not correct?"
"Indeed you are. It is nice to make you acquaintance…Matthew."
"I can see Arthur has brought you up to be a good little boy."
Canada steps back, blushing, unable to think of a response. Netherlands laughs quietly and he would be lying if he said it didn't send shivers down his spine.
"I was right."
"You are interesting."
It is Canada's turn to laugh, turning his head away to try and hide his blush. "No-one else thinks so."
"Then they are stupid. They don't know what they're missing out on."
Canada makes to reply, but just then England calls his name. He wants him to meet someone, and of course will not take no for an answer. Canada apologises, to which Netherlands says it is nothing, and walks off to England. If he is angry he says nothing, and merely introduces the two. Canada pulls on his mask and smiles and talks in a light voice. He can feel Netherlands eyes on his back, and when the other man (Austria or Roderich as he knows now) walks away with his wife (Hungary/Elizabeta) and he turns back to Netherlands his first words are "Do I have something on my coat?"
Netherlands makes no reply, merely takes his hand and draws him to the nearest chair. The conversation flows easily. Canada finds himself speaking without limits, his normal pretences dropped. Netherlands has, he notices, a way of drawing the truth from him before he can even think about it, and the other is equally as eloquent. Before he knows it the evening is drawing to a close, and England is calling to him that they must leave soon. Netherlands calls back to him that their conversation isn't over, and leads him to the balcony. Canada looks up, staring at the stars. "Do you know when you will next be attending one of these events?" Netherlands asks and Canada's eyes slide, as they so often did during the course of the evening, to his face. "Soon I imagine. England is on a quest to culture Alfred and I, and his method is, apparently, forcing me to sit in a stifling room all evening doing nothing and speaking even less, and afterwards reprimanding Alfred for talking too much." Netherlands laughs, and looks out at the grounds. Light spills out from the party, and their forms are silhouetted against the dark grass. England appears at the door, "Matthew! I know Lars here is riveting but the carriage won't wait any longer." Matthew is tempted to say "Then I'll walk home," but England would kill him and he doesn't really know his way around London, so he apologises and follows England to the door. Netherlands follows him, and draws him to a table when England is detained by someone's boss. He scribbles something onto a scrap of paper in his pocket, and presses it into his hand. Canada waits until England's eyes are firmly in a different direction, before opening the note. There is a place, a date, and a time. He looks up in surprise.
"Will you be able to come?"
"I can try. He may not let me out."
"Ask Francis, he'll be more lenient."
"Will you come?"
"Of course. Let's go, England looks like he's escaping."
Canada laughs to himself and follows him to the door, note tightly scrunched up in hand.
"Until next time," Netherlands says.
"It was enchanting to meet you," Canada replies, for England's sake.
Netherlands follows them out, waving to Canada as he gets in the carriage and it leaves. A voice calls his name, but he stays for a few seconds, watching it leave, face and voice still in mind.
In the carriage England is chiding America, telling him that he should learn some manners or something along those lines. France is quiet, his hands occasionally drifting towards some part of England's anatomy, hands which are constantly smacked away (England's ability to multitask never fails to amaze Canada). Canada is staring out the window, his normal tactic of pretending he is alone not needed as his thoughts are completely occupied. The blush still rests on his face, and a face and voice are firmly entrenched in his mind. It was his first true conversation with a different nation that he hadn't spent all his life with or been dragged into against his will, and he is not indifferent to that fact. In fact it is all he can think of, and the things he said and what was said back. He had been treated as an adult, as a fellow nation, and nice as England is it is nice to be seen as equal, not some wild being who needs to be cultured and lectured.
"Canada," England says (it seems to be a theme of his tonight to interrupt him and Netherlands, even in his mind), and nods at the door. Canada looks up and realises he is at the hotel where England has rented a room for him and America, and scrambles out of the carriage, not bothering to be careful. England sighs as he picks himself up and then leaves, giving him instructions to be up on time for some other social gathering the next day. America waves goodbye energetically then drags him up to their room. Once in he tells Canada he'll be back later and leaves, stumbling slightly (how much did he drink?).
Canada sighs and sits down on his bed, flopping his head back. Out loud he asks the room if it believes in love at first sight. Unsurprisingly, there is no answer. He turns over, wondering if it is right or even legal to feel this way. He has never been in love, and yet he imagines it would feel like this. Wonderstruck, blushing whenever they speak, heart racing when they look at you, missing them having talked only 30 minutes ago. He imagines it would hurt like this too, for if, if it is love he feels, then there is no way that he could possibly be loved back. He is nothing, a northern country under the dominion of another who has been cut off, who knows nothing of Europe or her politics, and Netherlands is…he is tall and handsome, and has a nice laugh, and speaks in a low voice and is cultured and educated and far older than him and is so above him that there is no way…
"If…if it is love…would he love me back?" Canada laughs at the question. Of course not, they just met today. And yet…he pulls the scrunched up note out of his pocket. "He gave me a note. He asked when he would see me again. He wants to see me again. So maybe…"
He gets out of the bed, pacing backwards and forwards, troubled mind and troubled face. He walks out to the small balcony and leans on the railing, eyes fixed at the stars. "Maybe you can help me," he whispers. There is no reply, and Canada has to laugh at how silly he is being. "As if the stars could help me." Before he knows it it is two in the morning and someone is knocking at his door. For a second he pretends it is Netherlands, and he would come in and they would talk into the small hours of the morning and he would sleep on America's bed, and in the morning a red-faced Canada would apologize to England for waking up late and America would tease him and France would say philosophically "Our little Matthew is growing up," which would make Canada blush more and Netherlands laugh and…his hand is at the doorknob and he is half convinced by now it is true, but a voice breaks through his dream and it is America's. Of course, it's not Netherlands. He doesn't even know where Canada is staying. He sighs and opens the door, and is almost squashed by a drunken America who stumbles in and passes out on his bed. He closes the door, and lies down on his bed, looking up at the ceiling. "Alfred." There is no reply. "Is it strange to love someone you just met?" There is still no reply. And yet, as he drifts off to sleep he half hears some sleepy voice saying "No stranger than loving someone you've know all your life."
I hope you liked it so far. Unbeta'd I'm afraid as my beta is still at school (half term, y u no match up?), stay tuned for more! Questions, comments, suggestions, critiques, don't be afraid to review!
Also , I'm so annoyed I missed both Spain and Japan's birthdays, I'll get them next year :'D