A/N: Kink meme deanon. The prompt was: I'm looking for an adorable sickfic along these lines;
When Tino isn't feeling well, he gets a little clingy, just wanting comfort. Berwald is confused by Tino's affection and wonders what's going on.
Bonus points if Tino pretends everything is all right at first, then gives up (maybe when Sweden asks if he's feeling okay) and just tries to get Su-san to cuddle with him.
Extra bonus points if Su-san really starts to worry when he calls Finland his "wife" and Finland doesn't protest."
Sweden generally prided himself on being very observant when it came to Finland. He did spend a lot of time watching him, after all, and had grown accustomed to reading the subtle shifts in his mood. Sweden tried to cut back on watching Finland so intently because he knew it made him uncomfortable, but he couldn't help himself. He just loved Finland so deeply; there was nothing and no one he'd rather look at.
Today was different, though, because today Finland was holding Sweden's arm. He'd taken hold of it as they left the house to head over to the world meeting, hugging it gently against his chest, his cheeks flushed but his lips still and silent. Finland never showed affection physically in public, at least not as obviously as he was now.
He was only just starting to get comfortable with being affectionate with Sweden in the privacy of their home. The result was a sort of clumsy, shy sweetness which was only surpassed by that of Sweden's expressions of love. As he would look back on this moment later that day, Sweden would know that he should have seen this unabashed arm-hugging as a dead giveaway that all was not well in the land of Finland.
The gesture had simultaneously flustered and pleased Sweden, and his flustered pleasure impaired his ability to think straight and be as observant as he should have been. Such was his willingness to prolong this contact that he didn't even notice or care how slowly they were making their way to the car.
Finland's eyes slipped closed and he drew a deep, slow breath, shivering as he did so. His aching head was swimming terribly and he felt sure that he was falling even as he took another wobbly step toward the car. The only thing that reassured him that he was still upright was his grip on Sweden's arm. If he didn't have a presentation to give at today's meeting he wouldn't even have dragged himself out of bed this morning.
Finland shivered again, wishing that Sweden would scoop him up, carry him back inside and hold him while he took an obscenely long nap. Normally the thought of letting Sweden baby him like that would have been mortifying, but he was too miserable right now to care. Nothing soothed him when he was upset or not feeling well as effectively as the warmth of Sweden's body, the steady, reassuring cadence of his heartbeat, and the gentle touch of his large, competent hands.
Sweden opened the car door for Finland and helped him inside before climbing into the driver's seat. Finland, who was still wrapped in wistful, fevered daydreams about Sweden's embrace, leaned over and rested his cheek on Sweden's shoulder. It was a good half-hour drive to the meeting site; perhaps he could take a short nap in the car and wake up feeling decent enough to be able to at least read the script he had prepared for his presentation.
Sweden, still blissfully ignorant of Finland's suffering, leaned over and placed a shy kiss on the crown of Finland's head before turning the key in the ignition. He didn't know what had brought on Finland's newfound inclination to cuddle, only that he was glad for whatever might have caused it.
It was only once they reached the conference building where the meeting was being held and some of the initial novelty of Finland's sudden clinginess had begun to wear off that Sweden began to wonder if maybe something wasn't right. He glanced down at his beloved wife with a small frown of concern. Finland, who was usually fairly cheerful and energetic, had fallen asleep on him. Not only that, but Sweden was pretty sure he wasn't imagining Finland's trembling.
Finland's fingers were still clutching lightly at Sweden's sleeve from where he was still hugging his arm. Sweden's cheeks warmed slightly as he plucked Finland's hand from his arm and began to rub it in between his own in order to wake him. Finland's eyelids fluttered reluctantly, then finally parted to reveal dazed violet eyes. Finland let out a little whimper as he was pulled from the sweet lack of awareness of his own misery and into consciousness.
"Y' ok?" Sweden asked quietly. "Yer shiv'rin' 'n' yer face looks red."
Finland rubbed his eyes sluggishly. "Mm… I'm fine," he lied, partially because he would be embarrassed to admit to his illness when he knew how Sweden would probably try to coddle him if he did, and partially because didn't want him to worry over this insignificant little bug he'd come down with. Besides that, the rest of the nations were expecting his presentation and Sweden would surely take him home if he said he wasn't feeling well. "Just a little tired."
Sweden frowned at him in a way that would have terrified Finland if he hadn't been so out of it, though the cause of his frown was concern rather than anger or malicious intent. He reached out to lay a hand on Finland's cheek in order to check his temperature, but Finland hurriedly turned his back on him and stumbled out of the car.
Torn between feelings of suspicion and wanting to trust his wife when he said he was fine, Sweden got out of the car as well and said nothing when Finland took hold of his arm again. As they plodded their way toward the building, however, Sweden couldn't keep from staring at Finland. Something definitely wasn't right with him; Finland was swaying and shivering and practically sleep walking, not to mention the flush on his cheeks was so deep that there was no way it was normal. Sweden got the feeling that Finland was only able to remain standing because he had Sweden to support him.
The meeting room loomed ahead and already Sweden could hear the chatter of his fellow nations inside. He couldn't let Finland go in there and try to sit through the meeting and give his presentation in this state. Just as he was about to put his foot down and tell Finland that he was taking him home, Finland's grip on Sweden's arm slackened and he sank slowly to his knees in the middle of the hallway. Sweden crouched beside him, intending to pick him up, but Finland leaned over and laid his head in Sweden's lap.
"Sorry," Finland whispered, his eyes slipping closed as his body quaked with chills. "I'll… I'll get up, just… please, let me rest for just a second… I'm so tired…"
Sweden rested his hand against Finland's cheek. Just as he had expected, it blazed with fever. It was no wonder Finland felt this awful when he had such a high temperature. The taller blond felt his heart contract painfully. Why hadn't Finland told him that he wasn't feeling well? Sweden always did his very best to be kind to Finland and be there for him when he needed him. Had his efforts gone unnoticed?
He knew Finland found him intimidating sometimes, even though Sweden didn't mean to be that way. Was Finland still so uncomfortable around him that he didn't feel like he could come to Sweden when something was wrong? Sweden ran his fingers through Finland's hair sadly.
"Is everything alright?"
Sweden looked up to see Germany looming in the doorway, having seen what happened from his place at the head of the conference room table. The northern-most nation only blushed slightly as he gathered poor, sick Finland into his arms under Germany's gaze. He and Germany, kindred spirits as they were, got together from time to time for a friendly drink and often ended up confiding things in each other that they were too embarrassed to tell anyone else. Sweden didn't feel too terribly shy about displaying his affection for Finland in front of Germany.
"M' wife's sick," he explained, hugging Finland to his broad chest. "Think I better take 'm home."
Germany glanced at the half-conscious and feverish-looking blond huddled in Sweden's arms and nodded. "That's probably for the best. We can postpone his presentation until next time. Please tell Finland that I hope he gets well soon."
Sweden gave Germany the barest hint of a smile before standing carefully and carrying Finland from the building.
Finland awoke some time later to the scent of Makkarakeitto (1) and the sensation of someone with large, warm hands taking his and giving it a gentle squeeze. He moaned as his eyes eased open slowly. His head was still throbbing painfully and he could feel the feverish heat radiating from his own skin. Finland couldn't remember the last time he'd felt this terrible. He just wanted to crawl into Sweden's lap and go back to sleep.
Sweden was looking down at him worriedly. When Finland opened his eyes, his husband smoothed his bangs away from his face gently.
"Y' hungry?" Sweden asked. "Broughtcha s'me soup."
It took Finland a full second to process Sweden's words. It felt as though his speech was traveling through a thick wall of molasses in order to reach him. To tell the truth, he didn't have much of an appetite, but Sweden had already gone to the trouble of making it and he knew he would probably need to eat anyway before he could take any medicine.
"'Kay," Finland croaked groggily.
Sweden helped him sit up, set the tray containing the soup, a glass of orange juice and two gel medicine caplets in Finland's lap, and took a seat beside him. Finland sagged against him instantly, picking up the spoon with unsteady fingers.
Sweden watched him dip wearily into the soup, his brow furrowed. Maybe it was a silly thing to get hung up on, but he was still upset about the fact that Finland had lied to him about not being sick. What other secrets did Finland keep from him? What other lies had he told? Sweden was so upset, in fact, that he could feel the beginnings of a lump forming in his throat.
Was he being ridiculous about this? He didn't want to be a nag or make Finland feel like he was being smothered but it hurt that his wife apparently couldn't bring himself to be open with him. Maybe it was just best if he told Finland how he felt about all this. After all, he always heard that communication was the key to a happy marriage. It was embarrassing, but if it meant the difference between a comfortable, contented marriage and a tense, uncomfortable one he would just have to deal with that temporary discomfort.
"Y' c'n tell me, y' know," he mumbled, his cheeks reddening as he looked down at his knees, "'f yer feelin' sick."
Finland's spoon hesitated at his lips. Sweden fidgeted uncomfortably and continued.
"'S a husb'nd's job t' take care 'f his wife…" Sweden's voice waivered, revealing the depth of his hurt. He swallowed hard. "J'st wanna be a good husb'nd to ya."
Finland looked up at him in surprise at his unusually emotional display and felt his heart clench at the betrayal in Sweden's eyes. Sweden blushed even more deeply under his scrutiny, but forced himself to meet Finland's gaze.
"Sve… I'm so sorry, I…" Finland looked guiltily into the depths of his soup, his already fever-flushed cheeks coloring just a hint more. "It's embarrassing to have to rely on someone else for every little thing… I honestly didn't think I was that sick. If I really thought I was in trouble, of course I would tell you… I just didn't want to make you worry over nothing."
"'D rather know wh'n s'methin's wrong 'n' worry 'bout it th'n w'nder 'f yer keepin' stuff from me… Yer m' wife 'n' I love ya."
Sweden had a point. Even Finland's fever-muddled mind realized that. If they were going to be in a romantic relationship, they were going to have to learn to be open with each other in order to make it work, even if it was a little uncomfortable at first. Sweden had always been a wonderful, attentive partner, if a bit intimidating at times. There was no doubt that Sweden was pulling his weight in this relationship and it was time that Finland worked a bit harder to make sure he pulled all of his. After all, he did love Sweden.
"You're right, I'm sorry," Finland said contritely. He was silent for a moment before looking up at Sweden again. "Forgive me?"
"…Mm," Sweden grunted.
Finland breathed a weary sigh of relief and slowly returned his attention to the soup. Even after just that little bit of conversation, he felt completely drained. He rested his head hesitantly on Sweden's shoulder. His lover responded by looping his arm around Finland's shoulders and nuzzling a shy kiss into his silky blond hair.
Receiving that small amount of affection from Sweden filled Finland once again with the desire to be wrapped in his arms. He wondered if he'd be pushing his luck to ask Sweden to hold him so soon after inadvertently hurting him. But hadn't he just promised to be more open with Sweden? That included things like this, right?
Once the soup was gone and he'd taken the medicine, Sweden took the tray from Finland's lap and made to bring it into the kitchen. Finland clutched at him weakly, stopping him. Sweden looked worriedly down at Finland, wondering if this was a sign that he'd suddenly started feeling worse. Finland's eyes were averted in embarrassment.
"Sve? Can… can I ask you a favor?"
"I, um… I'd really appreciate it if maybe you could… h-hold me or, you know…" He trailed off awkwardly.
The request had barely left Finland's mouth when Sweden had set the tray down on the floor and gathered Finland into his arms. The smaller blond let his aching head rest on Sweden's chest just over his heart and sighed deeply as Sweden pulled the blanket up to his shoulders.
His head still hurt, his chills still bothered him and his joints still ached with sickness, but there was something deeply calming about being surrounded by Sweden's warmth and scent. Sweden's arms curled around him tenderly and he synchronized his breathing with Finland's. His heartbeat, strong and steady and blissfully elevated after Finland's timid request for affection, pulsated rhythmically under Finland's cheek.
The combination of his favorite features about his lover's body quickly lulled Finland into a sleepy daze. He yawned quietly, earning himself a soft kiss on the rim of his ear. Finland returned that kiss absentmindedly at the base of Sweden's throat. Sweden's large hand slipped under Finland's shirt and began to trace slow, lazy strokes tenderly down Finland's bare back in a way he knew his wife found comforting.
Finland's eyelids fluttered closed, tickling the side of Sweden's neck with his eyelashes and he breathed a soft sigh as he lingered on the very edge of sleep. Sweden continued to kiss and stroke him lovingly and had Finland not been so tired, he would have probably noted that there really was no better place to be when he wasn't feeling well than in his affectionate teddy bear of a husband's arms. It didn't take long for Finland to drift off in Sweden's warm, comforting embrace. Sweden looked down at Finland's angelic sleeping face and smiled for the first time since returning home.
"Sweet dreams, Fin," Sweden breathed.
(1) Makkarakeitto- Finnish sausage soup with rutabaga, potatoes, carrots and leek. I'm told it's a fairly common comfort food in Finland and perfect for someone who's not feeling well.