Characters/Pairings: Netherlands/Canada with England and Belgium.
Summary: From their first meeting Canada was entranced by the soft spoken man with spider-silk hair. The other was entranced too.
Warnings: Kissing and angst.
Soundtrack: 'And Counting' by LIGHTS (again)
Info: Glad to see you at the finish line dear reader, happy V-day
His eyes open and he drags air into his lungs, the customary stuffiness as normal as the crisp air of the outside world. His room is dim and he keeps it so, as his eyes recoil from light now and the brightness gives him a headache. The world seems fuzzy and colourless now, empty to him. His friends are as bright and funny as ever, but being with them is a long, drawn-out process where he makes his excuses to leave earlier than normal because he can't face being with them for too long, for fear that clarity will return and that time might fade from his mind.
For the only things left to him that is sharp, shocking in their clarity and contrast are the weeks he spent in London all those months ago, replayed again and again in full Technicolor and dazzling him when all other colours have faded from the world around him.
Hazy eyes fall on a letter, scanning it slowly and wracking his brain as he tries to remember what day it is. Date remember he tries to recall some sense of urgency as he remember that England will be visiting for two weeks starting today and he has to pick him up from the harbour in two hours, but all he can stir is a vague sense of worry about whether he has any clean clothes. He is well dressed and polite for official occasions, but when all he has to do is stay at home he sleeps and wakes in the same clothes until he can no longer stand it and finally changes, disgusted at his own dishevelled state.
Rows of clothes appear before him, waiting for him to choose on. Selecting something that looks vaguely appropriate he falls out of the house, and makes his way to where he is meeting England. As the blonde man steps off the boat he can feel some sort of colour returning to his life, the greyness fading as he centres on England and raises a laconic hand to greet him, but the colourlessness is still there is his peripheral vision, and the world seems fuzzy as he focuses on something that's not England. As he makes his way off the ship and Canada steps forward to embrace him in greeting the world seems to be moving much too quickly and he realises with a jolt that with England's arrival so comes the arrival of the real world, of colour and focus and a life lived at a normal pace and his previous laziness already seems a distant memory. England is by no means Netherlands but he is one step closer to him and because of that, or perhaps simply because he is England, the world seems so much realer now, and that distant week so much closer.
England is an easy guest to have. He is low-maintenance and as long as Canada keeps his mess in his own room he does not complain, merely helps Canada as he cleans the rest of the house with an apology on his lips. England's presence alone is enough to pick him up again and he starts to pay attention to how he looks and the quality of his work, and the disorganised rut that he had driven himself into seems to disappear as everything starts to make sense again. The world runs at a normal pace and he can see colours again and his eyes are clear.
The first week passes by in a blur and its exactly one week post arrival that England announces the reason for his visit. He has once again drawn the lot to host the World meeting and as is customary for nations who have commonwealths or empires he has delegated hosting duties to one of the countries under his control, in this case Canada, and promptly came himself to oversee organisation. Canada has no problem with that, sure that the responsibility would be too much for him.
And the England announces, in the lightest of tones, that one of his associates is hosting another ball for the various ambassadors and nations and that one of the attendants would be…Netherlands.
Canada checks himself in the mirror and then checks again. England calls out to him from downstairs and he hurries down, looking at England for confirmation. He nods and mutters under his breathe "I'm granting you free leave to do as you wish tonight. If you don't leave with me, well…well just come back in the morning."
Canada flushes at the insinuation but nods his thanks anyway as they make their way to the home of the host. His stomach is a-flutter with butterflies and he swallows nervously as they enter the ballroom, looking around for Netherlands. England pulls him over to a group of nations and seeing Belgium, points him in her direction. When he greets her she says little and simply points to the patio outside, before whispering in his ear "he still has hope"
He smiles at her and nods at some others before walking outside quickly, already sick of the stuffy air inside the ballroom. He sees Netherlands' shadow silhouetted against the grass as it is illuminated by the lights from the party and is reminded of that day all those months ago.
"Lars," he finally says, quietly.
The other makes no sign that he's heard him, and just as he is about to call his name again he finally says "I got your letter."
"That's good," he says, "Did you…I'm sorry I couldn't meet you…"
"It's okay. I understand. I'm at fault myself, I hid behind Margot. Perhaps I should have been there to see you go, but I wasn't sure Arthur would let us."
"He's given me free reign tonight. He won't interrupt us…I can go home when I want."
Netherlands turns and Canada's breath is taken away as he is reminded again how stunning the other man really is.
"Are you hoping to do something that could be interrupted?"
"If you want to…"
"It's been four months. I've never wanted anything more."
"Four months and there was never anyone else for you?"
"How could I, after reading that?"
They are walking towards each other now, already reaching out, but he has to be sure, he has to make sure Netherlands knows he is sure.
"Nor for me. I could only think of you."
"And every day since I got home. Those weeks occupied my every thought, waking and sleeping."
Closer, closer, and he has to be sure.
"If I've ever loved anyone, I love you."
"Me too Matthew, me too."
Closer, closer and now he is in Netherlands' arms and he is reaching out to cup his face and the other's lips are so close to his and his breath is fanning across his face and Netherlands looks so hopeful, so desperate.
"Lars…" he breathes out, but his words are stopped in his mouth by Netherlands' kiss. His lips are soft and as sweet as he remembered, and his arms feel just right as they wrap around his waist, pulling him in tight. He winds his other arm tight around the other's neck and sighs happily against his lips as he feels Netherlands push him back until they are leaning against the side of the balcony, out of sight of the wide, illuminated windows, and all he can feel is Netherlands' body against his. If they leave the party quickly and go home together let it be all the sweeter, and if they are the talk of the town then why should they care? If he doesn't go home the next morning but the newspaper boy is sent to tell England that he was caught up, does it matter what England thinks? If he is simply taking advantage of the fact that he has Netherlands all to himself for a few days, is he so wrong? Distance and time are long and painful but their proximity is a catharsis and if the world feels real again what's so bad about that?
The distance is hard and the time is long but it's better, it's easier now that they know they have each other. Even though it takes weeks for them to see each other, letters can be sent, and as time progresses so does the technology and soon it seems, the journey takes mere days, and sooner still he can call Netherlands' and hear his voice, disembodied and soon, soon he can open his laptop and see Netherlands' face in front of his, smiling tiredly and laughing at his anecdotes about his day, and it takes only hours for them to fly to each other's homes.
Because despite all of technology's advances, despite email and webcamming and calls and texts, there is nothing that beats seeing Netherlands' face in front of his and kissing his lips and smiling against his skin. And those moments make the waiting time all the more worthwhile.
I was enchanted to meet you….
Finished. Finally. Happy Valentine's day. Wanted to finish this today as I first posted this Valentine's 20122. Sorry it took so long to finish.