Sleep Dear Brother, Pt. 4

Norway would never say it out loud, but he was really glad Denmark was there helping him take care of Iceland.

For as much as the Dane complained about Iceland and how he got in his way of seducing Norway, he'd been exceptionally tender and attentive to the small nation and he was grateful for it.

But again, Norway would never tell Denmark any of this, perhaps he'd try being a little nicer to him for the duration of his stay.

After two days of on and off rest, Norway got out of bed and went to check on Iceland. When he entered the front room, he stopped, Denmark had Iceland in his lap and was reciting a story; one Norway remembered from their Viking youth, Iceland listened with rapt attention. Stories were his favorite thing; he particularly loved the fairytales Norway told him.

Denmark looked up at Norway and smiled, all without pausing in his storytelling.

Iceland, who was far too astute for his age, noticed Denmark's attention wavered, so he turned from him to see Norway.

"Bror!" Iceland shouted. He shot up from the Dane's lap and ran across the floor to Norway; he stumbled a bit because the sickness had taken a lot of him. Norway met him halfway and scooped him up into his arms.

"You shouldn't be running around, Iceland, you're still sick."

Iceland wrapped his arms around Norway's neck, "But I feel better, Danmark has been taking care of me."

Norway waited until his little brother stopped hugging him before he put his hand to his forehead, it was still too warm, "You need to keep resting," he deposited Iceland on the makeshift bed and covered him with a blanket.

Meanwhile, Denmark got to his feet and took three long strides to reach Norway. "I'm glad you're awake, Norge." And then he hugged him tightly.

In keeping with his promise to be nicer to Denmark, he let Denmark hug him as long as he wished. He even went as far as to wrap his arms around him.

"Come on, I there's food waiting for you," he took his hand and led him to the adjacent room and sat him down at the table.

"I'm not very hungry," Norway protested.

Denmark was hearing nothing of that, "You have to eat." With that, he set a big bowl of stew on the table for him with a mug of gløgg.

"I told you, I'm not hungry."

"Humor me?" Denmark tilted his head and pouted in that irritating way of his. He knew that Norway couldn't say no to him then.

Norway glared, and put a spoonful into his mouth. The flavors exploded on his tongue and warmed him up. He hadn't realized how hungry he was until he took that first bite.

Denmark wore a self-satisfied grin as he watched his lover.

Norway took a few more bites and then washed that down with the gløgg before he spoke. "Thanks for taking care of Iceland for me, I know there are other things you probably want to do."

"It's no trouble, I couldn't leave you in the state you were in that first day I came here. You scared me so bad; I thought you'd died on me."

"Be realistic, Denmark. "

"I'm serious, Norway. I love you a lot. You don't always have to be so strong."

Norway shrugged, "Have you slept at all?"

Denmark frowned and Norway knew he wanted to hear "I love you" back, but pressing Norway for it would not yield any results. "I have, on and off all day for an hour or two. Then I'd check on you and make sure Iceland was keeping. He's been alright. I feel bad for him when the flare-ups happen."

"You should be a nursemaid," Norway teased.

"I pretty much am. I deserve a reward for all my hard work," the Dane tapped his lips.

"Nice subtlety," Norway pushed back his chair and moved around the table to kiss Denmark. He sat down in his lap and slung his arm around his neck to keep from falling off.

Denmark kissed him back enthusiastically.

When it was over, Norway gave Denmark the smallest hint of a smile, "I love you."

Denmark grinned and hugged him tight.

Norway got up and went back to his side of the table to continue eating. As he was scraping the last of the stew out of the bowl, a blood-curling scream rang out. He dropped the bowl and it shattered all over the floor, it didn't register to either of the older nations.

Norway reached Iceland first and fell to his knees beside his bed. Denmark stood behind Norway.

Sweat poured from Iceland's forehead, he face was flush with fever. "Ice, Iceland, I'm here," Norway peeled back the blanket and lifted his little brother up.

"Nor, help me, it's tearing me apart," Iceland whimpered.

"He needs to cool off, Norway. There's bath water I was saving for you when you woke. It's cool."

Norway wasted no time in carrying Iceland to it. By the limp way Iceland rested against him, Norway figured he'd passed out again. At least the Icelandic nation wouldn't fight him then.

Denmark followed.

"Take his nightshirt off," Norway instructed, he still held Iceland in his arms.

Denmark complied, tossed sweat-soaked shirt on the floor, and helped Norway ease Iceland into the wash basin. He had to be supported in the tub or else he'd drown,

The older nations took turns holding Iceland above the water and pressing a cold cloth to his forehead.

"I'm afraid I'm going to lose him," Norway said to Denmark after their third switch. His stomach ached with fear; he could feel his heart beating in his throat.

"We won't lose him, once the Volcano on his Iceland stops erupting, he'll be better, you'll see." Denmark grabbed Norway's hand and gave it a squeeze.

When they finished bathing Iceland, Norway dried him off and put a clean nightshirt on him. Denmark replaced the sodden bed things with clean ones and pulled a thin blanket over Iceland after Norway laid him down.

Iceland slept now, Norway was glad for it. Denmark needed to sleep too, he knew.

"Go to bed, Denmark, you've already done everything you can do. I'll keep an eye on him now."

Denmark yawned and smiled, "Alright, Norway." He kissed his cheek and left the room.

Minutes later, Norway heard snoring, and for once it didn't bother him. It was nice to know he wasn't alone and helpless.

A/N: Well, I think this story has been on hiatus long enough. Three years is excessive. I apologize for the huge gap between the third and fourth chapter.

I appreciate all of those who have read and commented and favorited and followed this fic. I'm sorry this chapter is so short; I'll try to make them longer.