A/N: Kink meme de-anon. I've been doing a lot of fills where Sweden needs comfort from Finland, so I decided to reverse it this time. Also, I apologize that Finland's mood isn't "fixed" by the end of the fill; I just didn't think that it was realistic, given the situation. He will feel at least a bit better at the end, though, I promise!
The prompt was: "Could this anon have some hurt/comfort, whereby one nation feels lonely/down/depressed and another nation cheers them up, be it romantically or not. If it is romantically, I don't really want smut.
Also, I would really like to see some pairings that are off the beaten track; whether they are crack or just an undershipped pair, I don't mind. I'm just a little tired of US/UK and Franada and AmeCan."
Also, not sure if this needs a warning, but there are non-explicit mentions of off-screen pet death.
When Sweden entered the debate clubroom after school that afternoon, he had been expecting to simply grab the notebook he'd accidentally left there after the last meeting and go home. There was no meeting today, so he'd expected the place to be empty. He was rather surprised, therefore, when he opened the door to be greeted by the sound of soft, stifled sobs and wet sniffling.
His eyes swept the room, looking for the source of the noise. Sweden's heart felt as though it were simultaneously skipping a beat and breaking. In the far corner of the room was a solitary, familiar blond figure, back turned on him and facing the wall.
There was no mistaking it: that was Finland. His fantasy "wife", his handsome, cheerful, beloved Finland, was crying and alone in the clubroom, and Sweden had stumbled upon him. He felt apprehensive. Finland was usually so cheerful and strong; what could have happened to make him utter such heart-wrenching sobs? He wanted to offer him comfort, but he was kind of afraid that the source of his misery would be one too great for him to handle competently.
His chest hurting on behalf of Finland and his unknown sorrow, Sweden stepped into the clubroom and silently closed the door behind him. Finland apparently still hadn't noticed his presence. Another choked sob tore its way from his throat as Sweden approached.
"Fin?" Sweden asked quietly, trying not to scare him.
His effort was in vain; Finland startled violently at the unexpected sound of Sweden's voice. He wiped his eyes frantically.
"Wh-who's…?" Finland began shakily, peering over his shoulder. "Sve! P-please don't sneak up on me like that!"
"Sorry," Sweden mumbled, brushing the matter aside in favor of a more important question. "…Y' ok?"
"Ahh, y-yes, I'm sorry!" Finland stammered, still not turning to face him properly as he wiped his eyes on his sleeve again. Sweden could see the poor boy blushing profusely. "Ah, how embarrassing… I'm… I'm fine…You must th-think I'm strange for coming here...I… I don't know what I was… B-but I'm fine…yeah…"
Finland trailed off self-consciously, his head bowed in shame, causing Sweden to frown slightly.
"Y' don't seem fine," he pointed out. "Y' hurt somewhere?"
Finland shook his head a bit more exaggeratedly than necessary before wiping his eyes on his sleeve and sniffling again.
"'F someone did this to yah, I'll make 'em sorry they ever lived," Sweden vowed. "You c'n count on me."
Finland shook his head again, a shuddering sigh slipping from his lips. "It wasn't anyone's… S-she was…"
But it seemed that trying to explain the reason for his tears choked him up so badly that he could no longer speak, and he bowed his head even more as his quaking grew more pronounced again. Sweden shifted uncomfortably; he wasn't good at handling other people's tears and would generally like to avoid having to do so, but the thought of Finland crying alone with no one to hold him and reassure him that everything would be ok made his heart clench painfully.
Before Sweden had even made a conscious decision about what to do, he was clutching Finland's shoulder, squeezing it gently in what he hoped was a reassuring manner. Finland sniffled wetly, but didn't pull away from him. Instead his hand came up to cover his mouth, a tiny, muffled sob slipping from his lips. The taller boy reached into his pocket and pulled out his clean, neatly folded handkerchief. He offered it to Finland silently.
Finland hesitated briefly, then accepted Sweden's offering. As Finland buried his face in the handkerchief, Sweden put some coaxing pressure on his shoulder, shyly inviting him to come closer. To his delight, Finland allowed Sweden to pull him close. Sweden held him awkwardly, touching him as little as possible in his nervousness while still keeping him near, not really sure what he could do to help.
The Finn drew another shuddering breath, trying valiantly to wipe his tears away and compose himself. But it was clear from the unceasing movement of the handkerchief across his eyes that he wasn't having much luck.
"S-sorry…" he choked. "I can't… stop…"
"'S ok," Sweden mumbled. "Take yer time. 'S ok."
Finland sobbed again, letting his head rest ever so lightly against Sweden's chest. Sweden swallowed hard and wrapped his arms around his friend, hugging him closer. He took a deep, calming breath, releasing it slowly as he lowered his cheek onto the top of Finland's head, rubbing his back soothingly.
The two of them stayed like this for a surprisingly long time. Finland cried until it seemed as though he possessed no more tears, and Sweden held him patiently through it all, stroking his hair tenderly in an effort to soothe him. At last Finland sniffled and dried his eyes one last time before leaning more heavily against Sweden in exhaustion, his embarrassment at his own display causing him to hide his face in Sweden's chest.
"S-sorry I kept going for so long," he muttered, and Sweden could see that his ears were flushed again. He guided Finland over to the couch and sat down with him so that he could rest after his outpour of emotion.
"'S fine," Sweden assured him. "Y' don't have t' 'pologize."
"And… thank you for being there for me when I needed someone, Sve," Finland said gratefully. "I… I'm glad it was you."
Sweden's cheeks went pink with pleasure. He didn't know what to say to that, so he just rubbed Finland's shoulder affectionately, wanting to show Finland that he was as glad to be there for him as Finland was to have had him. Sweden's lips were tingling with the desire to kiss Finland, but to do so now would make it look like he was trying to take advantage of the situation, and that was the last thing he wanted.
"Y' wanna talk 'bout what happened?" Sweden suggested.
Finland shuddered and clutched Sweden's shirt unconsciously. Sweden waited patiently, but wasn't going to try to coerce Finland into talking about it if he wasn't ready or didn't want to.
"It's Hana," he mumbled at last. "She was acting strange this morning, so I asked Norway if he could look after her while I was at school, since he didn't have any classes today. He… he called me around lunch and… and told me that she… that she had…"
Sweden was pretty sure he knew where this was going, so he hugged Finland tight, hoping to express his understanding and that Finland didn't have to force himself to finish that sentence. Finland sniffled again and drew a shaking breath.
"I know I sh-shouldn't be surprised…" he said in a choked voice. "Sh-she was such an old dog, but… She was su-such a loyal, sweet fr-friend to me…"
He was starting to shake, and Sweden was pretty sure Finland was going to cry again. Sweden began to rub his back. Sweden had met Finland's dog before, and agreed that he'd never seen a sweeter-tempered animal. He was sorry for the loss of such a fine little dog.
"We should have a service for 'er," Sweden offered. "I'll build 'er a nice memorial."
"S-Sve… really?" Finland croaked. "Would you really do that?"
"Mm," Sweden grunted.
"Th-thank you… that would really mean a lot to me," he whispered. "Ah… I don't deserve you, Sve… You're too good to me."
Sweden blushed at this complement. He longed to tell him that if he had to name one person who "deserved" him, it would be Finland, but it didn't seem like the right time for that kind of admission. Finland didn't need anyone to take advantage of his grief as an opportunity to assert his own agenda.
"Wanna do what I can fer ya," Sweden mumbled. "Hate seein' y' s' sad."
A pregnant pause followed that comment, and it made Sweden uncomfortable. He nearly had to bite his lip to prevent himself from adding "I love you", and he got the distinct feeling that Finland also wanted to say something but was holding himself back. The silence between them festered awkwardly before Finland became overwhelmed by its stuffiness and broke it at last.
"Sve? Can… can I ask you something?" Finland asked softly.
"What if… what if I were to tell you right now that I… I love you. What would you say?"
Sweden felt as though his heart had stopped beating. This couldn't be happening. He was hallucinating. He was imagining things. There was no way that those words had just come out of Finland's mouth, especially not aimed at him. Except they had; he'd heard them loud and clear with his own ears. Sweden swallowed hard and tried to regain control of his faculties.
"…'d wanna make sure thatcha weren't jus' confused 'cause 'm bein' nice t' y' when yer 'pset," Sweden replied, the tone in his voice as heavy and serious as death itself.
Finland shook his head against Sweden's chest. "I've been wanting to tell you for a while now. But this… you being here for me when I needed you just made me even more certain…"
Sweden's tongue darted out to swipe over his suddenly bone-dry lips. "Then I… guess 'd ask 'f I could kiss ya."
Finland looked up at him at last. His cheeks were brilliantly flushed, and his eyes were puffy, the whites a painful-looking pink color from crying, and yet he still managed to be utterly beautiful to Sweden.
"I-I'd say yes…," Finland breathed, his eyes slipping closed.
Sweden swallowed hard again, but cupped Finland's tear-streaked cheek, and pressed their lips together softly. That first kiss was mind-blowing. Sweden had been dreaming of the texture and flavor of Finland's mouth for so long, fantasized frequently about the sounds of pleasure Finland might make as he claimed his lips, longed to know exactly how Finland's dazed, happily flushed expression would look.
It wasn't quite like he'd imagined. Finland was quiet during the kiss, and when they pulled apart after the third kiss, the small amount contentedness on Finland's face was overshadowed by fatigue and grief over his loss. Still, Finland had said that he loved him, had willingly kissed him, and was now snuggling into Sweden's arms again, just where Sweden liked him, and for those things he was overjoyed.
"Wanted that fer a long time," Sweden breathed, his cheeks brilliantly flushed. "Love ya, Fin."
"I've been wanting it for a while, too," Finland replied. "I just wish it would have happened under happier circumstances…"
The two of them lapsed into silence again, simply holding each other. Now that Finland had come clean about his feelings, Sweden didn't refrain from kissing him when the mood struck him. Finland's eyes slipped closed and he held Sweden tighter as the taller boy nuzzled soft, affectionate kisses into his hair. Eventually, Finland spoke up again.
"I'm getting really tired but I'm afraid to go home," he mumbled. "I… I don't think I can handle seeing her body right now."
"You could stay 't my place 'f y' want," Sweden blurted without thinking. Then it occurred to him how that offer could be interpreted, and he blushed brilliantly. He hadn't meant anything perverted by that, honestly! But before he could begin to explain himself, Finland looked up at him.
"…It wouldn't be too much trouble, would it?" he asked timidly. "I didn't mean to sound like I was fishing for an invitation, but I'd really appreciate not having to be alone right now."
Sweden's heart throbbed as he caressed Finland's cheek lovingly and treated his lips to a chaste kiss. "Yer always welcome."
For the first time that afternoon, a sad, tired ghost of Finland's usual smile curled the corners of his lips upwards. "Thank you, Sve."
Sweden returned the smile as best he could with his woefully inexpressive lips, brushing Finland's bangs aside affectionately. Without another word, Sweden helped Finland to his feet and led him out of the clubroom, shyly holding his hand as they headed towards Sweden's apartment.