A/N: Kink meme deanon. The prompt was: "A simple request in which nation A has insomnia, and nation B helps get them to sleep. Just straight up cuddling, holding, soothing-voice fluff-fluffity-fluff-fluff-fluff *anon who has sleeping troubles herself would really appreciate it*
As a hint I tend to ship anything to do with Allies and/or Baltics. Whatever writer!anon find best will work though :3"
If Finland had to name one fact about Sweden that he was sure no one else knew and that he had discovered since they had become a proper couple, it was that Sweden loved to touch and cuddle. Whether they were in a meeting or in bed, Sweden always wanted some physical contact. In spite of his scary-looking face, the man was really just a great big teddy bear and Finland was his snuggle buddy of choice.
Sweden knew that Finland was uncomfortable with expressing affection openly in public, so he never forced anything on him and was careful to be as discreet as possible about it. He would just let their fingers brush under the table or touch his hand subtly as they walked side by side and if Finland felt comfortable with it, he would decide whether to accept the advance. The best part was the way Sweden's cheeks would warm ever so slightly and the tiniest hint of a smile would appear on his face when Finland would let him take his hand.
Behind closed doors, Finland was far less reserved about granting Sweden physical affection, especially now that they were actually dating. In fact, whenever Finland awoke in the middle of the night, the easiest way he had found to fall asleep again was to wrap his arms around Sweden, kiss his throat and let his cheek rest on his chest. There were few things more comforting to Finland than feeling Sweden's warmth close against his body, the sense of security he got when Sweden returned his embrace, and the scent of his lover's skin.
It came as a bit of an unpleasant surprise therefore when Finland rolled over in bed late that night, intending to steal a kiss or two and let Sweden's slow and steady heartbeat carry him back into the blissful depths of sleep, and found his lover's half of the bed empty. Finland grudgingly opened his eyes in the partial darkness. The moon shining through the blinds illuminated the room enough so that Finland could see that Sweden wasn't in the bathroom attached to their bedroom. Not only that, but Sweden's pillow was missing.
Finland frowned as he sat up in bed, rubbing his eyes. Where would Sweden have gone with his pillow? Perhaps he wasn't feeling well and had gone to sleep out on the couch? Feeling a bit concerned, Finland stumbled out of bed and headed for the living room. He could see the light from the TV before he even reached the room where they kept it.
Sure enough, Sweden was sitting on the couch, pillow in his lap, the image of the TV screen reflected in his glasses. He turned away from the TV when he saw Finland enter out of the corner of his eye. The taller man frowned slightly when Finland sat down on the couch beside him.
"What are you doing up at this hour, Sve?" Finland asked groggily. "Are you feeling sick?"
"No… j'st can't sleep," Sweden replied slowly. "Didn't wake ya, did I? I tried t' turn th' volume way down, b't…"
"Oh no, I just woke up on my own and noticed that you weren't there. I was worried that you weren't feeling well or something… Are you sure you're alright?"
"Mm… I j'st… Hn, n'ver mind."
Finland rested his hand on Sweden's. "What is it, Sve? You can tell me."
Sweden looked down at his lap as his cheeks warmed a bit. "…Had a bad dream…"
Finland couldn't help being a bit surprised by this. As far as he knew, Sweden wasn't often troubled by nightmares. He couldn't help wondering what a strong, steady guy like Sweden might have seen in his dream that could have scared him. Finland decided to contain his curiosity for now; it seemed like the instances in which Sweden required comfort from him were few and far between and the thought of soothing his tall, stoic boyfriend made Finland's heart expand affectionately. Besides that, Finland was rather sleepy and looked forward to returning to bed where Sweden would hold and stroke him until he drifted off.
"Is there anything I can do? I could stay up with you for a little while."
Sweden shook his head. "'S not a big deal; y' c'n go back t' bed. I don' wanna keep y' up."
And it wasn't a big deal. Yes, he was quite shaken up over the horrific images he had seen in his dream, and his shoulders and chest were still tense from it, but he had seen that dream before and he was sure he would see it again. He had seen himself and Finland on a desolate smoky battlefield and the two of them were the only ones still standing. He had seen that Finland was only able to stand because Sweden was supporting him, blood seeping out of what seemed like a thousand wounds to soak into Sweden's shirt.
He had seen himself coming down to the ground slowly with Finland, clutching at him as if he intended to stop the blood by covering the wounds with his hands, his vision blurred beyond discernibility by tears. He had seen those tears spill over and slip noiselessly into Finland's matted, bloody hair, knowing that he had only moments left with his wife (with whom he had spent centuries, conversing in grunted, truncated utterances and hardly being able to force himself to say the things that mattered most when he'd had the time), scrambling desperately to come up with meaningful last words.
They were terrifying images, to be sure, but he would sit up for most of the night watching TV the way he usually did after waking from that dream. By tomorrow afternoon when he was unable to keep his eyes open any longer, he would invite Finland to nap with him and the two of them would cuddle together contentedly and fall asleep, the horrific dream nothing more than a vague memory in the back of Sweden's mind. It was nothing to concern Finland over.
"I don't mind, really. I can stay up." As soon as those words left Finland's mouth, a yawn followed soon after.
Sweden gave him a tiny smile as he leaned in, cupped his cheek and kissed his lips. Honestly, he was exhausted and wanted more than anything to go back to bed with him. The only thing that held him back was the worry that his dream might pick up where it had left off or, worse, that it would start over again.
Lured by that taste of his lover's warmth, Finland climbed into Sweden's lap and rested his head in the crook of his neck. Sweden's arms curled around him readily and he sighed deeply, taking comfort in the familiar shape and weight of Finland's body against his. Finland's sinfully soft lips were resting lightly near the base of his throat and his fingers were playing with the hairline on the back of his neck absentmindedly and it made things start to feel alright again.
"Maybe I could help you get back to sleep," Finland suggested drowsily.
Sweden considered Finland's offer briefly. To tell the truth, having Finland pressed against him, warm and soft and sleepy, was already starting to make him feel a lot better. Maybe he ought to let Finland try to soothe him. Finland yawned softly against his neck.
"Mm, if I don't fall asleep first, that is," he amended with a tired smile.
Sweden mirrored his smile faintly as he used the remote to switch off the TV. Getting to his feet with Finland in his arms, Sweden buried a kiss in Finland's fair hair. He carried Finland to bed and crawled under the covers with him. The smaller blond removed Sweden's glasses for him, folded them up and set them on the bedside table before kissing the tip of his lover's nose.
Sweden made to hug Finland protectively again, but Finland stopped him. He pulled his shirt off a bit shyly and guided Sweden's head onto his chest. Sweden glanced up at him questioningly, causing Finland to blush in the darkness.
"When I'm having trouble sleeping, being able to feel your skin against mine and hear your heartbeat really helps," he explained in an embarrassed mumble. "I thought maybe it would work for you, too. But, um… you don't have to if you don't want to."
Sweden rested his ear acquiescently against his chest, his fingers coming up to trace over Finland's ribs, increasing his contact with Finland's bare skin. Finland's slender arms came up to encircle his shoulders and Sweden let his eyes slip closed. Relax, he told himself. We're not on the battlefield and there's no war. Fin is alive and safe. Relax…
Sweden repeated this to himself in his head a few times, trying to banish the ugly dream from his thoughts. He took a deep breath, inhaling Finland's scent, and felt his own heartbeat begin to even out a bit. There was still a tension in his stomach, however, that prevented him from relaxing fully.
"Do you remember the vacation we took to Sicily last winter?" Finland asked quietly as he began to stroke Sweden's choppy hair.
"Mm," Sweden grunted.
How could he forget two full weeks in paradise with his beloved Finland? The two of them made it a point to take a vacation somewhere nice during the dead of winter each year. Last year they had gone to South Italy and it had been time and money well-spent. They had spent a day with Italy and Germany touring the capital and Romano had even been persuaded to suggest a few less well-known attractions.
"Remember our third day there when we took a picnic out to that little tiny beach and we had the whole place to ourselves?" Finland continued in the same calming voice. "We had that amazing bread and the mild yellow cheese, the spicy sausage and the delicious red wine, and the weather was just perfect. The waves were rolling onto the sand… the water was perfectly blue… and it felt like we were the only two people on the whole island… Then when we were done eating, we laid out on our towels and took a nap in the sunshine… and there was that beautiful, warm breeze rushing through the trees… making that quiet rustling sound…"
Sweden sighed deeply as he recalled the details of their surroundings on the beach, reconstructing paradise in his mind. He remembered being the first of the two of them to wake up from their nap to find Finland's silken hair tickling his chin in the breeze. The sunlight had brought out a delicate sprinkling of freckles across Finland's nose which had entranced Sweden. He'd loved those little freckles; in fact, he'd taken it upon himself to kiss each one of them tenderly as he'd waited for Finland to wake from his nap.
"After that, we played in the ocean," Finland's speech was broken by another quiet yawn. "Mm, and a shoal of colorful, shiny fish came to swim with us…"
Sweden's memory was filled with Finland's sweet, melodic laughter and lively violet eyes, reflecting the sparkling blue ocean. His lover was always beautiful to him, but if he had to point out a moment in which his boyish charm and youthful beauty had really shined, it would probably be that moment at the Sicilian beach. Just remembering it made the last hint of tension in Sweden's stomach uncoil and relax. He let out a sigh of relief and kissed Finland's chest gratefully.
Finland's fingers, which were still threaded in Sweden's hair, began to stroke and massage again languidly. In the lapse in speech, the calm, regular sound of Finland's heartbeat filled his ears. The two of them yawned at the same time.
"Wish I could take y' back there," Sweden mumbled lethargically. "Y' were s' cute playin' with th' fish."
Finland smiled slightly, too sleepy to be embarrassed. "I wouldn't say no to a chance to see you in those swimming trunks again."
Sweden blushed, but could feel the corners of his mouth being tugged upwards very minutely. Finland nuzzled his nose into Sweden's hair and kissed the top of his head.
"Are you feeling any better, Sve?" he whispered.
"Mm… thanks t' m' w'nderful wife."
"Good…" Finland yawned again. "Because I can't stay awake any longer."
"G' 'head 'n' sleep," Sweden replied softly, returning the kiss on the underside of his chin.
"Did… I help at all?"
"Mm. Y' help'd a lot," Sweden assured him. "'M gladjer here f'r me."
It was such a sappy line that Sweden could feel himself blushing, but he meant it with all his heart. Silence followed. Finland must have fallen asleep. Sweden was torn between the desire to lift his head from Finland's chest so that he could watch Finland's angelic sleeping face and staying right where he was to let his wife's heartbeat lure him away from the brink of consciousness where he currently drifted. Finland's arms were curled around his neck, holding him in place, so he couldn't very well lift his head without disturbing him.
That suited Sweden just fine. He was almost asleep anyway. The only reason he was still clinging to wakefulness was that he wanted to enjoy Finland's warmth and closeness just a little while longer. Finland sighed in his sleep and touched a kiss to the top of Sweden's head. Sweden drifted off to sleep, his ugly dreams forgotten, his head filled with Finland's brilliant smiles, wheat-blond hair shining in the Sicilian sun, and soft, ocean-chilled hand gripping his shyly.