His Eyes (follow your eyes)


The snow turns to rain by the time it gets dark, and the pattering on the windowsills is hypnotic in the otherwise silent bedroom. Almost silent. Norway is quiet even in sleep, but even he can't breathe silently.

Denmark is looking at him. Watching isn't the right word. Norway is lying facing away, curled under the comforter. Lying down himself, all Denmark can really see is his hair, the edge of an ear, the space of neck between his hairline and the collar of his pajamas. Plain, flannel, a ugly gray blue color. Norway has bad–and cheap—taste in nightclothes.

Denmark wishes he was naked. Wishes he was closer, warm and damp with lingering sweat, tucked against his own arm and shoulder, spine curving slight against his belly. In the dark like this, he can ignore the sounds of the house, the glow of the clock. The flannel sheets and fancy foam mattress, the bed frame itself, and every other reminder of the year, day, and century.

Of course they can share a bed when Norway visits. It's convenient and they've done it thousands of times before. It's a big bed. They can keep to their own sides. And they will: Norway because he's fast asleep, and Denmark because if he doesn't, next time Nor won't stay over at all.

So he lies in bed and listens to the rain. Imagines it's a feather bed over rope, imagines the ceilings are low and cut with beams. Imagines the only thing on the night stand is a candle, that the hum of the furnace is the wind, that it's the 1790s.

That they're still together.

Of course they're still best friends. But—

Norway stirs, and Denmark realizes that he's been awake for a while. He squeezes his eyes shut on reflex as Nor turns around, but it's too late. "You're awake an' I know it." Norway's voice, always soft, cuts through the darkness like a knife.

Denmark fidgets, then opens his eyes. It's just bright enough to see Nor's face is towards him, his eyes half open and dark. "How'd ya know?"

"I always know," he sighs, then rolls away, onto his back. "Can feel you starin' at me in my dreams. Worse'n Sweden." He doesn't sound sleepy, let alone like he's just woken up. "So what's got you bothered then?"

What if he'd never been asleep? "Nothin'," Denmark mumbles, slides his hands under his head in the cliche image of rest. "Just can't sleep."

"Clearly no," Norway agrees. He shifts, sits up in the bed. He must be cold, the room is chilly outside of the quilts—which have dropped down to his hips. "So what are you worked up over? Not like you to think."

He wants to sit up and pull the blankets back up; how can Norway be so casual, it's cold.

Or pull the blankets down.

In the dark Norway's eyes look almost black. Watching him calmly. Waiting.

Denmark says: "I think I'm in love in you."

After a long moment, Norway sighs. "I know." And then he turns his head towards the window, where the rain is still pattering softly.

That's all. No return of feelings. No action. Denmark hadn't really expected it. But he waits for it anyway, his chest suddenly tight and hot—for Norway, any moment now, to turn back. He does not.

Denmark presses his face into his pillow, swallowing and trying to look like he was just going to sleep. But—no. No. He's not like that. And before the idea goes away, he sits up again, grabs Norway's jaw and pulls him around. Sees his eyes go wide and his eyebrows flick down—but he doesn't give Norway time to protest. Doesn't give himself time think.

Norway starts to say something but their lips are pressed together before he can, and he can feel Norway's mouth against his, slightly open, lips parted. He can feel the wool of the blanket scratching his arm. Can feel Norway's pulse quickening under his fingers. He pulls away half an inch. Enough to look him in the eye. He's expecting anger, but Norway's expression is as blank as always.

"And?" he says softly.

Denmark kisses him again. His eyes are open and he sees Norway roll his at him, before putting his hands on Denmark's shoulders and pulling him down.

It's sweaty and tangled under the blankets, mouths and hands and legs. He pulls down Norway's pajama bottoms and they tangle and bunch. Norway shoos him off impatiently, raising his hips and tugging them down himself. "If this is all ya wanted, coulda said so long ago," he grumbles.

It makes him go cold. His fingers tracing along Norway's hipbones. His knee is pressed up between Norway's legs. Norway's arms are pressed around him, fingers pulling at his hair. It's not all he wants. Not even close. And Norway seems to see something of it in his expression.

They both try to speak at once—"Den—" "I—" but Norway's eyes narrow. "Don't ya say anything," he warns, suddenly pulling him closer, half a breath apart. "You'll ruin things."

Denmark looks at him. Beneath him. Hair spread, cross crooked, face flushed. A few strands of blond hair sticking to his forehand, his shirt undone, red marks on his neck and shoulder. He can feel his leg pressing against him. His own heart racing. Sensing his doubt, Norway arches his back up, presses harder between his legs. "Don't you ruin it," he says, and moves his hands lower, hooks his fingers around the hem of Denmark's underwear.

Ruin it. Emotions will ruin it. Emotions will—he kisses him before he can think about it anymore. This isn't their bed, this isn't their house. There isn't anything more. All there is is this. Norway's hands threaded through his hair, his chest pressed against him, legs spread now, back arched, making soft noises in the back of his throat; teasing and egging him on. Knowing Denmark's never been able to resist the power that comes from that feeling, from seeing someone spread and helpless and begging beneath him. He won't ruin it. He can't.

And so he loses himself in the movements and caresses, the body he used to know so well. This isn't their bed, but he can imagine. Just like before. That they're married. That they're together. That there is more, and it can't be ruined by anything so small as feelings. But imagining is a distraction, no matter how pleasant, and when Norway pushes him off, caresses his neck and slides off the bed—"lubricant," he mutters, heading to the bathroom—leaving Denmark sitting in the bed, breathing hard, dropping his head back so he stares straight up at the ceiling; he can hear Nor moving around. He can hear the rain on the window. Alone, even for just a moment—what if this isn't enough?

Norway comes back into the bedroom, naked and calm about it, holding the tube in his hand—he stops at the foot of the bed. Denmark lowers his face and stares at him. He just needs to say okay. He just—puts his head in his palms. "I can't do it, Nor." He's surprised the moment he says it. He doesn't know why he does. It should be enough. He's a young guy. He likes sex. It should be enough.

But it's not.

Nor will now, he's sure, put away the tube, crawl into bed, and go back to sleep. Or tell him to leave. Instead there's just silence. He can feel him staring. At long last he looks up. It doesn't look like Norway has moved, but immediately after they meet eyes, Norway closes his. Denmark takes a breath, then another, and they still don't open. He listens to the rain and waits, tension building, unused to trying to be patient.

Norway opens his eyes again. "Then let me." He should say no. But how is he supposed to resist this? Norway climbs onto the bed again, crawls forward—"You're thinkin' too much," he says softly, climbing onto his lap, pushing against him, kissing him again, soft and brief. But he has to think. Because he doesn't want just a one night stand, no matter how achingly he does. No matter how great this feels, this body pressed against his, Nor's hand on—but he has to think. Because—there's something. Something he's missing. Something—

"Why don't ya want me to ruin it?" he asks.

Something changes in Nor's eyes. A shift from dark to darker. A flicker. A something, something he can't read or interpret, just see. "Don't," Norway warns softly, trying again to move this forward, and Denmark closes his eyes and obeys.

It keeps raining.