When all the dressing, bandaging and cleaning had been completed, Denmark couldn't help but notice the smaller man fidgeting ruthlessly with his shirt. He looked very guilty for some reason but Denmark could not possibly fathom why. After everything, Norway was the one who should feel the least guilt in his opinion.
"Hey, are you alright there Lukas? Ya seem a bit...I dunno..."
Norway's head snapped up at being addressed and then his cheeks burned with shame. He felt awful of course but he had already left himself so vulnerable to the taller nation that, when he thought about it, he felt there was no point in hiding anything else.
"I feel...awful Mattias...I really want him to die but...b-but that's not me at all. I feel as though...I feel as though I've betrayed everything I stand for for saying that. Death only brings more death and two wrongs do not make a right..."
Denmark, though slow at times, knew exactly what or more exactly who he was talking about. He could feel a familiar heat cloud his mind.
Damn that man for making him suffer so...
"Listen here, Norge look at me..."
Norway lifted his head slightly only to find Denmark had crouched down in front of him again. He looked determined but anguished.
"You have nothing to feel ashamed of. Absolutely nothing. We all say things in the heat of the moment. I know you feel strongly about what you stand for but men like him do not deserve these tears and this guilt. You hear me?"
Norway, though still not fully convinced, nodded in understanding.
"I know that two wrongs can't make a right but when that man is put away to rot where he belongs...though that will never be enough in my personal opinion, I know it will be right for your people and right for you...so don't sweat it alright?"
Norway smiled softly and felt just a bit more centered. Though millions across the world wanted him dead, and part of himself also, he would keep his head held high and show that man and the world that he will not be consumed by this hatred, it would only serve to drive his campaign for liberty further.
Denmark nodded, satisfied but then suddenly remembered something.
"D'ya want me to go get the others or would you rather they came back tomorrow or something?"
Denmark knew it was late which was why he asked. The sun had long set and the darkness covered the land. He didn't want to disturb Norway but he couldn't just leave their family downstairs. Come to think about it he had pretty much forgotten all about them, only being reminded because of the pictures on Norway's wall. A very, very old painting of the five of them, the Nordic family with their charges Greenland, Faroe Islands, Orkney and Shetland all together and other pictures around the room.
Norway avoided Denmark's eyes, a light dusting of rose tinted his cheeks. He fiddled with the bottom of his over-sized shirt.
"...I'm not sure. I guess I should go say hello. I don't want to even think about how worried they must be."
Denmark was again surprised by Norway's unfounded guilt. It was a quite cute this time he still found it a little saddening.
"No, no I don't think that they mind too much. About the waiting that is, so don't sweat about it. Come I'll take you down."
Denmark felt much happier when he heard his Norge protest when he carried him bridal style all the way to front room where the rest of their family were indeed up and waiting for them.
"Norja! Ja Tanska myös! Thank God you're OK!"
The duo were almost immediately embraced by the tiny Fin who looked happy, so, so happy, just to see that Norway was safe. Sweden got up, tall and dignified with a soft smile to his face. The man didn't smile very often and therefore when he did smile it was usually genuine and very warm. It suited the lofty man. His gruff voice permeated the room.
"I'm glad that you're alright."
Never a man of many words, he cleared the way to the sofa so that Noway could sit down. Denmark gently plopped Norway on the sofa next to Iceland who, as hard as he tried to hide it, couldn't hide the joyful gleam in his eyes or stop his cheeks flushing with pure ecstasy.
"Never, ever, worry me like that again bróðir..."
Norway couldn't help but tear up again. He was so loved. He was so very loved by his lover and his family and he didn't know what he did to deserve it. If it wasn't for them, he would still be stuck in his room covered in blood and wallowing in his deep misery all alone.
He felt incredibly lucky as he sat with his family, all with cups of hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows made by Finland and Sweden even brought out some Kladdkaka and other Scandinavian treats they hadn't enjoyed for a while together. He felt like laughing out loud, and he felt like crying so he did- surprising everyone completely. He felt so silly, laughing and crying at the same time, but he couldn't help himself. Iceland cuddled Norway to him but let him go once he realised what he was doing- face inflamed. The Nordics couldn't help but laugh along with him, even if it was at Iceland's slight expense, and they were happy that they actually succeeded in cheering up the usually solemn man for once.
The Norwegian's mood only seemed to improve further when he got a call from England and his brothers. He laughed when he heard Scotland ranting in the background and Wales and Northern Ireland ranting right along with him. Something about, "We'll feed th' bastard fecking haggis if we haftae!" Norway really liked the U.K siblings especially England and Scotland and felt his heart warm at the fact that his friends had taken time to call him. He later found out that they had called several times but he had been with Denmark in his room. They stayed up all that time just to make sure he was alright.
Norway's eye's met Denmark's as he lounged in the arm chair next to the sofa. Denmark smiled gently and took Norway's hand in his, rubbing his thumb over his knuckles. He brought it up to his face to lay delicate kisses on it. Norway blushed prettily but didn't make any move to remove his hand from the larger one. He was suffering yes, but he was loved and supported.
Unfortunately Finland, Sweden and Iceland had to leave to go to their hotel rooms. It was almost one in the morning and they were all very tired after a trying day. As Norway and Denmark saw them off from the front door; Norway couldn't help but miss their presence already. He was broken out of his reverie by a pair of arms winding themselves sneakily around his waist and a familiar head rest upon his shoulder.
"I think you better go to bed now...you need your rest and you got to do loads in the following weeks. I don't want you tired out."
"Since when did you become my nanny?"
Denmark chuckled at that, glad that the bite had returned to Norway's tone.
Denmark took a steadying breath.
"You...If only you understood how much I worry for you, how much I adore you and how guilty I feel that you were suffering alone through the first part of the day. Please...for me, rest."
Norway, not matter how many years passed, was always struck at Denmark's honesty when it came to his feelings. The man was honest in general but when talking to Norway he always wore his heart on his sleeve. He was the exact opposite of Norway. While Norway would try to fight his blushes and covered his true feelings with insults and disdain, the Dane would never hide the love in his eyes, would always smile indulgently and when Norway said jump he would always reply, 'How high?' only to jump twice as high. After all that happened since he woke up that morning, through the toughest times like World War II and the dissolution of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway, despite all the corruption in the world, Denmark always remained steadfast and true.
Norway turned in Denmark's arms and raised his own to embrace the man even though his body hurt very much.
"Never, ever feel guilty about this morning. You... you can't be with me all the time. But you came to me...as soon as you knew something was wrong you came. Thank you."
The large Dane's eyes widened slightly, especially when Norway's hold became a little tighter.
"You stayed with me for hours. You cleaned me up and stuff. You saw me at my worse, and you still l-love me."
Norway's face was bright red. He never really liked expressing his feelings so openly.
"There's no-one, no-one in this world that compares to you...I...I-I...-"
Norway shook his head and decided to throw all caution to the wind. He raised himself up on his tip-toes and covered Denmark's lips with his own. Denmark's eyes widened even more. Both nations felt the other's face heat up as if on fire and a familiar electricity spark in them, igniting a deep passion within. Even if Norway couldn't put his feelings into exact words it didn't matter. Denmark knew that Norway was pouring all of his feelings into this one kiss and that thought made him hold his love closer. Norway groaned softly at this; a small keening sound.
They parted after a few minutes when air became a problem. Denmark rested his head against Norway's and both were panting lightly. Norway withdrew his hands to caress Denmark's face gently, kissing him quickly but sweetly one last time.
"Jeg elsker deg...jeg elsker deg Matthias..."
The Norwegian personification affectionately nuzzled the Dane's cheek. Denmark's heart soared and he had to restrain himself from crushing the small man in his arms. He knew that Norway was still in a lot pain despite trying his best to not let it show. Norway himself was left breathless at the ecstasy that glimmered in Denmark's eyes when he looked in to them. They transformed into liquid sky. He knew that with this man by his side he could face the madman that caused all the pain and, though he still had a long way to go, he knew that one day he would be able to move on from the tragedy and look ahead to a brighter future.
"Jeg elsker også dig Norge..."
They remained like that for a little while before they were both chuckling at their silliness because the door was still wide open. They closed it and chose to stay up a little longer, watching a random DVD. But it was quite useless. They both fell asleep within minutes, Denmark's arms wound protectively around his love and Norway cuddled tightly to his chest.