~I GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN~
A Hetalia Axis Powers Fanfiction * Presented by FanSlewFantasy 2011
SwedenxFinland *
R18*

...

so, heres a sufin i wrote. this itself isnt R18, yet, but we will see...

htt p: /www. youtube. com/w atch?v= cGdIpcj0HJo

...

"Y' like to write."

I jumped, clapping my hands down across the paper on my desk to hide it from the sharp, dangerously azul eyes of my usually grimly silent Graphics teacher.

"I uh…" I felt my cheeks colour, hating how he looked at me because I was never sure how to look back. He was so… intimidatingly handsome, like behind his solemn square glasses and flat, rigid voice, he was contemplating picking up the empty chair beside me and bringing it around the side of my head without even batting a suave eyelid. To make things even worse, here he was, just having caught me writing… private stuff in class instead of doing the sofa design concept I was supposed to be. "I suppose?"

My voice was weak and shy, I couldn't help sink back in my chair and made a short pact with myself that if he tried to read it a loud or take it off me, I would just have to eat it and accept the chair to my head like a good child. I knew I shouldn't have been writing it in class… but I just couldn't help it. When he wasn't looming over me like a menacing shadow, he was just so utterly write worthy and amazing and oh god his hand just twitched, like he was making to grab the sheet of refill I was crouched on protectively.

I fisted it, turning away and hoping like hell he would just move on. A piece of eraser pinged me in the back of the head but I ignored it, knowing it was only Ivan trying to harass me into going to the ball with him again, and crossed my toes under the desk, pleading with god, willing for mister Oxenstierna to move on and ignore me

"Hm." A stiff rustle, I watched the cuff of his trousers (who still wore bootlegs, anyway?) flutter as he walked by. A short indignant noise coming from behind me, and the eraser throwing stopped.

"Kids who play w'th erasers d'n't deserve them."

Ivan's protests went uncared for, and still blushing, gnawing my bottom lip I turned my head, to observe from my low slump on my desk my teachers progress up the rest of the row, occasionally snapping stationary out of the hands of misbehaving students and receiving gaping mouthed huffy 'what the fuck's as he did so.

One particularly childish student had the ruler he was using to poke another jerked from his hands and rapped smartly across the back of his knuckles.

I don't think anyone in graphics level two liked the graphics teacher/head of department. Not at all. He was much too rigid, much too efficient, much too… Swedish to sit comfortably in a classroom of rowdy teenagers. He got on with no-one, and spoke instructions only once in his soft no-shit-steel monotone. His attention to detail in everything made him the butt of a million jokes a day.

Oh no! There's a fingerprint on your development sketch! Clean it up fast, or Mr OCD might have a heart attack.

Ah well, better a heart attack than spontaneous combustion. Much easier for his ghost to clean up!

Everyone hated him, I guess you could say.

Everyone except me.

Mr Oxenstierna was only young, and despite his cool stony expression, very very good looking. There weren't many clean, simple men in this part of town. Far too many snots and brats though, scholarship kids who thought they were better than everyone else because they drove exotic cars and wore designer labels. Far too many fat-cat college men, with beards and legacies, and wives behind white picket fences like rows of leering teeth in a broad fake societal smile. Sir, with his smooth shaven chin, natural face and department store shirts and trousers stood out around here, his old and battered yellow car looked humble, compared to the Ferraris and Volkswagens that beaded the streets. I liked that. I liked it a lot, and I liked his jaw, and I liked his shoulders and his nose and his hair and…

I really hated how he did that!

His cold hand on the back of my neck jolted me from my thoughts, I found myself staring right at him, and at the brush of cool skin on my own I started shivering without any decent reason.

"Tino, have y' done y'ur sketch?"

I shook my head, his lips pressed together and he dropped his hand.

"Do it. I want t' speak to y' after class."

With that, he swept away, back to the front of the class and ducking across to walking down the next aisle, and make sure no-one was playing up down there.

With a dismal groan, I slumped face first onto my sloped graphics desk, Set Square sliding sideways, and scrunched the story in my hand to a frustrated little ball. Why was I such a horrible wimp? It wasn't fair…


"You wanted to see me sir?" I clutched my folder closer, trembling in my boots and jumping when the last student besides me, cackling merrily, let the door slam shut behind him, leaving me alone with my terrifying teacher and my own worst fears. The incriminating story had been stuffed into my left boot, and I had prepared a lie if he asked to see it, but really hoped he would not. Something tells me I wouldn't be able to lie to him for long.

"Mm." he nodded, not looking up from the T-Squares he was turning head up and inclined to the edge of his desk in an invitation for me to sit down. "Yes, thank you for staying."

I cleared my throat awkwardly and settled on the edge of the desk.

"I'm sorry," I murmured, adjusting my scarf nervously. Winter was here, tapping on the windows outside with frosted fingers, and I had dressed this morning to accommodate. "For not doing my work in your class, sir."

"Yes." He finished organizing the sets and placed the carefully in the open cupboard by his blackboard. "I know."

My heart did a funny thing, and my fingers curled on the edge of his desk. I hoped he wouldn't give me punishment. Detention, or some horrid thing like that.

"Oh." I stared at the floor, a particularly unpleasant mushroom coloured carpet littered with pencil shavings, and jiggled my leg in impatience.

"That's not what I wanted t' ask y'." His chair creaked a little when he sat down. He wasn't a small man. "I wanted t' talk t' y' about why y' write so much."

"Oh?" I frowned, and shifted uncomfortably. I couldn't avoid looking at him, now he was speaking to me directly, but I couldn't very well let him see my flushed face. "I uh… like it I suppose?"

"Y' suppose?"

"Well… yes. I like it. I do."

"What do y' like t' write ab't?"

I wasn't comfortable answering that.

"Sir, I have to go." I hopped off his desk and pulled up my scarf to hide my pinked cheeks.

"Tino-"

"Please sir, if I'm late for my blush... I mean bus!" back to him I froze and swore under my breath. "If I'm late for my bus I can't get home until much later."

"I wanted t' know if y' would like t' do a favour for me, in regards t' writing up an art'cle t' be published in the yearb'k." He told me in the same emotionless grind. "Think ab't it, let me know tomorrow. I will be here at break, okay?"

Of course, I was much too mortified to respond. I stood there instead numbly, eyes wide and fixed on an isometric projection of a summer house, thinking. Dohimafavour?Was he serious?

Unable to decide if I should scream in excitement and teenage lovesickness, or pass out in fear, I walked stiffly away.


I finished reading and looked to Hanatamago for her thoughts.

"So what do you reckon?"

Nothing, she just wiggled around on my bed, clearly quite pleased with what she had accomplished today (sleeping, eating a packet of biscuits mum left on the coffee table, chasing a bird through drifts of muddy snow and getting her paws in a state) and settled with her head resting on my ankle, ready to sleep.

"You can't get comfortable." I told her, clicking my tongue, moving my foot away. "I have to go downstairs soon, for food." The scent of roasting meat was drifting up the stairs, I was salivating and had been for the past half hour. Despite this, she returned to her position and sighing, I let myself fall backward, twitching my foot and scratching her fluffy ear with my big toe.

"Fine then. Don't be useful." I folded the story neatly and set it lovingly on my bedside, a wad of ten pages covered in scribbles and such that I meant to type up, now I had finished. "But I'm quite happy with how it turned out."

I let myself fall silent and watched a trapped moth flit its way dumbly around my mutely eggshell ceiling. The moth's plight was a short one, I thought, as it drew nearer and nearer to the naked bulb dangling from my ceiling. I watched it with an isolated feeling of non-emotion as it drew closer, closer, and then too close, lighting on the surface and searing, bouncing backward and spiralling to the floor below. It had been burnt to either death or disability in its quest to reach the light. Fascinated, I sat up and peered at it, wings flumping lamely, redundant. Hanatamago bounced off the bed and padded over to investigate what I was looking at.

"Tino!" mum's voice carried up the stairs. "Dinner's ready!" but I barely heard her, too absorbed in watching Hana devour her own little post dinner snack.

Suddenly inspired, I leapt off the bed and to my desk, clacking open a drawer and pulling out a notebook and pen.

"Can you put it in the microwave mum? I'm not hungry right now!"

Switching on my desk lamp, I sat down and began to write.


It took me the whole morning, and a LOT of liquorice alsorts, for me to pluck up the courage to go and see sir was indeed in his classroom that lunch break.

He was looking just as hardworking as usual in jeans and a dark blue plaid shirt, the sleeves rolled up to reveal pale, pale forearms, his shoulders stretching the seems of the shirt not so much as to be gigantic and unattractive, but instead handsome, and manly. He looked up when I opened the door, from his neat yellow lunchbox of what I immediately recognised as being salmon on Ryvita and to me, standing wide eyed and blushing all over my face.

"Oh." He dropped his eyes and set his cracker down on his desk. "Hello Tino. I didn't think you would come."

"Oh… well…"

"It's okay. Sit, have you eaten?"

Only about three kilograms of liquorice allsorts. I nodded, and clawed at the folder across my chest defending me from his flat stare. A cool prickle of nervous sweat glittered on the nape of my neck. Caught between the instinct to sit, as he told me, and the instinct to excuse myself, I edged to the row of desks in front of his and eased myself cautiously into a seat. He didn't remove his eyes from my face the whole time, velvety blue drilling aggressively through what felt like every flimsy layer of me, and reading all my shameful secrets.

"Y' thought 'bout it?" he spoke softly, measuredly, but still it was scary. I nodded, and forced myself to fix my eyes on his face.

"Yeah…"

"Well, I wan' y' to do it."

He had this habit, it was very evident in his classes, of cutting so swiftly to the very point of a matter it left the audience lost as for what the hell he could be meaning. He never explained himself, never worked his way up to whatever it was he was going to say, he just jumped his way straight there and if you couldn't follow that was your problem. This habit had of course left me for bewildered, my eyebrows arched and I tried to make sense of what I was just told. It was simple, self explanatory statement technically, but that doesn't mean I could make any sense of it…

"Th' school yearbook asked f'r an article about th' graphics department. I can' do it, I'm bad with English. But y' like writing, an' I think y'd be good."

"I…"

"Y'll do it then?"

He gazed at me as always, and I genuinely didn't have a single clue as to what I was supposed to say. Yes? No?

What?

"You want me." I repeated, processing the words, "to write… oh!" suddenly, I understood that he was asking me, and with the understanding came an onslaught of bewilderment. Questions, such as 'why?' and realisations such as 'Oh my god sir I don't think I can do that!' lifted to the surface of my tongue. I swirled them around in my mouth, unable to select an appropriate one. I settled on the half-assed "But sir, I don't know what to write it on!" and left it limply hanging there, hunched and shy under in his presence. He blinked, but made no change in expression.

"Y' missed the field trip to IKEA in June." He stated. And he was right, I had been hospitalized with tonsillitis. "but I would like y' t' write about that anyway."

"But sir-"

"This Saturday, we c'n meet outside the school. I will drive us t' th' IKEA in the city. We c'n make up f'r th' field trip and y'll earn extra credit." He rustled around in his lunchbox and withdrew a small, tinfoil wrapped slice of pork, which he unwrapped with clever French manicured fingers. He had long, feminine nails. Unlike my own, which were chewed short and stubby. "ask y'r parents tonight. L't me know."

He pushed his glasses up his nose with his pinky finger, the nail tapping audibly on square, celluloid frames, before taking a bite of his pork. I remained there, unable to move. The thought of spending a whole, terrifying day with Mr Oxenstierna alone had paralysed me with excitement and horror unanimously, I could barely bring myself to remain standing. My knees had turned to some kind of foamy chum, and had began quivering within the confines of plain blue-jeans for the last two minutes. I was pretty sure I was the colour approximation of a fire-truck.

"Uh…"

He chewed his food still staring at me, and I couldn't shake the feeling that once again, he was reading all the way through me deep into my soul.

"Wh't?"

"Are we… are you allowed to do that?"

"Do wh't?"

"Take me to IKEA in the weekend? Not that I'm implying to have an ulterior motive or anything! I mean, of course you don't! Hahaha who would I mean look at me? Haha… sometimes I crack myself up. But no, I mean will the school let you? I dunno if my parents will. And also, like, what if… oh fuuuuuuuuuck… I'm sorry sir, I'm going to shut up now."

It never failed to astonish me how, in the face of his total, blank indifference, I managed to stick my foot so far in my mouth it came out my ass. His eyebrows arched in the only gesture of emotion I had ever seen him give.

"I'm sorry sir." I covered my face with my hand in an attempt to hide my shame. "I have to go…"

"I wish y'd stop runnin' out on me Tino. Remember t' ask y'r Mum or Dad tonigh'." He pressed his lips together, and I could see the bump of his tongue sweep over his teeth briefly, before he lifted a hand and picked at what must have been a tread of meat caught between two. "L't me know tomorrow, in class."

I nodded helplessly, having never felt so dizzy with adoration and fear in my life, and left.

When I got outside and around the corner, I was free to slump against the wall and jam my knuckle into my mouth to hold my wantful whine.


My Mother said yes.

My Mother said yes and so I found myself at seven thirty that Saturday, arriving at the school in a scrupulously chosen outfit, (jeans, a white t-shirt, and casual waist-blazer…) trembling in my wool-lined boots. He was already there, handsome in a pair of flares and a powder blue hoodie, bearing a steaming paper cup of coffee and a bag-bagel in his hand. He leaned against the door of his car, not like most of the people in the area who would rather die than let anything touch their glossy hoods, and offered me the cup of coffee and bagel when I arrived. I was startled, but took them with trembling hands.

"… Thank you?"

"I wasn't sure wh't y' wanted on your bagel, so I go' BLT."

"Oh, okay…" I peered into the bag, bangs obscuring my flushed face. Had he really… bought this for me? "Well, I… I don't really like tomato."

"'S'okay. I will eat th' tomato if y' wont. Hop in." he stood up straight and walked around to the driver's door of his car. "Watch th' seat, 't rolls back and forth sometimes."

"Uh…" with the pinky of my coffee cup hand I pulled the door handle up and wrenched it open. "Right. Okay."

My mouth was watering, the smell of the bagel was aggravating the hunger I felt on account of skipped breakfast. I was tired, and had been tossing and turning all last night for fear of today. The coffee smelled wonderful…

Inside his car it was warm, I didn't realise until I was inside how cold it was out there, in the crisp clear car park, until the buffeting of warm air (accented with the perfume of vanilla and cinnamon from the air freshener on the rear view) powdered my skin. There was a toy boat in the front passenger seat.

"Oh." He saw it, grabbed it, and cast it into the back carefully. Doing so, when he leant forward that is, revealed his wrists and part of his forearms. They were smooth, with juts and lines in all the right places, and very creamy looking. "Sorry, that's Pet'rs."

"Who's peter?" I settled in the seat, avoiding his eye and talking only because I didn't want us to fall into one of those bottomless, awkward silences.

"m' son."

"… oh."

It was funny, hearing him say he had a son was like having a ton of rocks dropped into my lower intestine. Suddenly, I wanted to go to the bathroom. My stomach was arrowed with pain and I clenched my hand on the cup so tight that coffee spilled over the lip, burning my hand.

I hissed, dropped the cup, and before my eyes it was everywhere, all over the floor of his cheerful little car.

"…" he stared at the spill in silence, expression no darker than usual but suddenly, through my prism of perspective, fraught with rage. I hurried to pick up the cup, spilling apologies and trying not to spew tears as well. He had a son… so he had a wife… so I was the biggest idiot who ever lived. Oh my god. Now I really just wanted to die.

"H're." He grabbed my hand, which I had rather redundantly been trying to use to sop up the wetness and pushed it toward me, unlatching the compartment and withdrawing a towel. "Pet'r gets carsick. I keep this in the car f'r 'im. Put it on th' floor." he snapped the compartment shut and buckled his belt. "if y' want another we c'n go to the café on th' way."

"No!" I shook my head fiercely and stared out the window to hide the tears of misery and mortification that were, rather cruelly, escaping my eyes. "No its fine. Just drive."

I hunched on the seat and pressed my forehead to the passenger window. My bagel remained untouched in my lap, and my breath fogging the glass grew trembling, the more I thought about things. The more I tried to picture his wife, with her wonderfully pretty face and pert breasts, just as efficient and no-nonsense as him until they got to the bedroom and he ravaged her soul with a powerful, angular body and a single, stripping look.


IKEA was big. Really big. Giant big. And I had never been there before. At all. I didn't know what to expect.

It was about an hours drive away, on the far edge of the other side of the main city, and upon arrival he stopped, leaned over me, unlatched the compartment again and withdrew a neat 1B5 exercise book and pen.

"H're, make notes 'nd do sketches." He passed them to me and got out of the car.

I followed, once I had swallowed my despair and woken up my legs, only to find myself in the broad, shadow cast car park of a looming blue warehouse that consumed the trickle of shoppers strolling in the doors. If there was ever a building that could be mistaken for my graphics teacher, this was it.

"Th' point of th' trip is t' teach students th' common traits of functional design. Wh't y' are looking out f'r is things a certain piece of furniture has in common with other pieces, 'nd questioning why that is so. I will be making sketches as we go, because I didn't last time 'nd think there should be some kind of image t' go with the report, okay?"

"Okay…" I moped in his shadow as we walked across the car park. His back… I gazed with such luscious longing at his shoulder span, the way his hoodie sat on the splayed blades of his frame. "But I still don't understand what exactly I am supposed to put in my report."

He hesitated, glancing sideways at me, and if I hadn't been feeling so glum (my cruel imagination had by this point taken me down paths of his perceived wife writing her name possessively across the planes of those shoulders) I would have been horrified by the look he gave me.

"I don't know, it doesn't matter." He remarked. "Just write it."

We entered IKEA side by side, and I noticed dully that the top of my head was about level with his armpit.


"Is it okay?" he asked me, reaching for his own fork on the table. "I noticed y' didn't eat the bagel, were y' not hungry?"

"No, I was just feeling a little sick…" I chewed the meatball in my mouth and decide that it tasted pretty good, actually. "I still don't feel right."

The two of us had been walking around IKEA for hours in awful silence, me studying tables and sofas and all the time seeing him fuck his wife against them, him making brief and very accurate sketches, totally pokerfaced and indifferent to how much I just wanted to go home and hide under my bed for the next century. It was almost midday, and I was famished, but I didn't feel capable of digestion so rather than accept his grumbled offer of my own plate of whatever I wanted from the on-site restaurant, I told him I would just have what he was having. He took this as an invitation to buy a single plate of Swedish meatballs and two forks. I was too intimidated to say no, and so, here we were, sharing a plate of meat brutally balled up and stabbed with miniature Swedish flags in a sad mockery of my heart.

"If y' feel ill I c'n get y' some Paracetamol."

"No thanks. I'm alright."

He stared at me, impaled a meatball with his fork, and brought it to his mouth to bite savagely. A drip of he gravy there were rolled in (a fairly nice and rich beef one, actually) clung to his bottom lip. He swiped it aside with his tongue and tipped his head to the side.

"These are Pet'r's favourite." He told me blankly. "I make them a lot for 'im. At home."

"I…" I pushed a meatball around the plate, into a pile of creamy mash potatoes and a weird, beet-root looking relish. "Didn't know you had a son. How old is he?"

"Twelve."

"How long have you been married then?" my grip tightened on my fork. I didn't really want to know…

He looked at me blankly, almost quizzically, chewing his meatball and staring without abashment directly into my eyes. Without replying, He reached his fork forward and nipped the meatball I was toying with onto his own fork. I looked up in shock, but he had already tucked it into his mouth with a look I had never seen before. It was so intimidating, it was more… challenging. Almost… daring? I blinked, but it had passed, and he was as determinedly terrifying as usual with his razorfied and handsome features.

"Ar' y' gunna eat those meatballs?" he pointed to the three that remained on the edge of the plate and I shook my head, pushing it toward him.

We passed the rest of the field trip in awkward silence.


"H're." Mr Oxenstierna pressed a small packet of sweets on me, just before I unbuckled my belt to slip out of his car. They were foreign, clearly, the writing on the packet I immediately assumed to be Swedish, and heavy despite the fact the box-slash-packet all fit nicely in the palm of my hand. "M' mother sent them t' me, but I don't like them."

"Uh… great?" I frowned at the strange colour, red, with a strange black lozenge on the front beneath the brand-name. "What is it?"

"s'called salmiaklakritz. It's extremely salty liquorice. I noticed y' eating Dutch coins in my class so I thought y' must like that sort of thing."

"Oh…" I nodded in comprehension, my stomach dissolving into tingling and a strange, lustful feeling. "Yeah, I love liquorice. It's Swedish?"

"Finnish."

"Ah. Okay. Thank you." I smiled at him, a flimsy excuse for a grin, and slipped out of the car.

Hana greeted me when I stepped inside, jumping up onto my jeans and leaving paw prints, again.

"Tino, your dog made a mess in the kitchen!" mum screamed almost as soon as I had shut the door behind me. "Come in here a clean it up!"

I groaned and pushed the sweets into my pocket, the exercise book with my notes in it rolled and shoved in there too.

"Yeah yeah, I'm getting there."

I felt pretty bad… all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed.


I got up on Sunday, booted up my computer, and feeling utterly dead inside began typing up two things: one the report, which I had promised would be handed in on Monday, and two my short story, which I had been unable to get off my mind. The small box of pastille slash sweet things he had given me were my breakfast, and upon having one I found them to be the most heartbreakingly delectable things I had ever tasted in my life, and finished the whole packet, before I had even finished the reports introductory paragraph.

500 words should have been easy. Really it should have. But there really was so painfully little to say about furniture I found myself floundering, my attention returning resiliently to my half typed masterpiece in the other document window, almost reaching its blissful climax. It was a bittersweet story now, but no less precious to me. Just like every single other one I had written over the past seven months.

With a guilty glance around the room, I shut down the report window and opened my story. It was half typed, I had done a lot of it over the week, in neat size twelve type. Inconspicuous, impersonal. But the meaning contained in them was immediately secretive and intimate, word by word they made an embarrassing, aching tribute to my teenaged angst.

My tongue flicked my lower lip, I settled comfortably in bed, propped lowly against pillows and the wall.

I began to type.

By five pm, I had finished it, and I had finished my report, as well.


"Tino! Hurry up!"

"I'm coming, I'm coming!"

I had overslept. My mother was in total rage mode, and I could feel myself, a ticking time bomb of tension, edge closer and closer to juts loosing it entirely and throwing my schoolbag out the goddamn window. Without looking I grabbed the wad of papers I had printed off the night before and crammed into separate manila folders. The report should have been in there, I didn't bother to check, dashing downstairs in a great hurry, leaping over the dog on my way out the door and catching my mother just in time.


"Hi sir." Disgruntled, I grabbed the folder in my bag and slapped it down on his desk. It was bent, a little rumpled, but otherwise fine. "Sorry if it's bad, I rushed it a little."

I didn't give him time to respond before I had stalked away and taken my seat at the far desk on the other side of the room.

I should have been excited to give my report over to him. Excited, flustered… any number of things, really, but all I could bring myself to feel was a dull 'whatever' feeling. I had had a bad night, plagued with dreams of utter humiliation and awkward moments, and a little too much sex to be comfortable. It was a relief to embrace daylight, but also it was a curse that now I had to rise, and face school, and work, and him. Him and his perfect face, and wonderful eyes, and his firm, endlessly distant yet painfully intimate gaze. And oh, who could forget that glorious, so far unfinished isometric drawing of a torch I was supposed to be doing.

The fun times never end, in my life.

I sat down and took a deep breath, forcing myself to cheer up, things couldn't really be that bad, could they? But when I looked at him, and the way he pressed his lips together critically as he opened the folder and went to read the first line or two through his glasses, I felt for a second that actually, maybe they were.

The first part of the class dragged on forever. He set us a task, up at the front and speaking for a good fifteen minutes in his favourite 'ask me no questions, I tell no lies' tone, and everyone went to, procuring rulers and set squares and other such delights. I couldn't be bothered, and remained in my seat waiting until the other class members had finished playing light sabres with them, before grabbing one that hadn't been damaged and starting my own. This took us to about twenty minutes in, but it felt like eternity.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see sir had read my report already, and set it neatly on his desk beneath his coffee mug. Every now and then he would look up from what he was doing, no doubt graphicing on the computer, to lift the corner of the folder and peek at it, as if he didn't quite believe what was there.

I flushed a little, in unexpected pride. Was it so good? Did he like it that much?

I placed my Set Square and T on my desk, setting up my paper carefully beneath and sinking into my seat. Someone had placed a balled up paper there, I recognised the writing on it immediately as Ivan's, and turned around to reprimand him.

"No!" I told him as firmly as I could without hurting his feelings. "I am not going to the ball with you."

His brows furrowed and I turned away, before I had to see him whine and sulk. I focused firmly on my work instead, and for the first time ever found myself genuinely enjoying the way my soft graphite pencil flaked, leaving silver lines and curves on the snowy paper below.

And then before I know it I was surrounded by a clatter. Of pencils being packed up, of rigid plastic rulers snapping against others as they were stacked and packed away. Chairs scraped over the floor and I scrambled to pack up though everyone else was already standing behind their desks looking ready to leave. I was too busy scrapping at the pencil shavings left on my desk, earning accusing glares from everyone. They couldn't leave until I was packed up, but it was their fault, for not telling me class was over.

Mr came to the rescue.

"Everyone can leave, Tino, I would like to talk to you please, once y've done packing."

"okay." I grinned at him, slipping my drawings into a pile and sipping up my pencil case. "Be there in a moment sir." I kicked my chair under my desk and opened my bag.


The first thing I saw, when I looked inside, was a folder. Not just any folder, but a manila one, dark brown and inconspicuous, identical to the one I had dropped on my teacher's desk an hour before. I frowned, remembering briefly that I had had two folders. One containing my report, the other…

My heart leapt and I yanked out the folder with shaking hands. I could feel the colour draining from my cheeks, pulling every drop of blood from my face and rendering it a sheet white. A feeling of doom had taken over me, and I didn't even need to open it to know…

It was my report. The two light pages I had typed it on fluttered mockingly cheerful when I opened it, the heading in bold, full font. My stomach plummeted, my knees almost gave way beneath me, and all my blood, every drop of it, slingshot back up to my face and flooded it, the sensation not unlike that of being on fire.

Well, my knees gave way and the walls of the classroom around me began to fluctuate, buckling a little and swirling. My hands were shaking, I desperately needed the bathroom, but I wasn't sure if it was because I needed to go, or I needed to throw up. A calm shuffling at the front of the class told me that he was perfectly fine, organising his papers, closing his laptop with a click… all I could think of was watching him read it, blissfully unaware of what I had unwittingly handed over.

"Tino? 're y' okay?"

He noticed me, unmoving, and I nodded on autopilot, closing the folder and placing it carefully on my desk. As if I wasn't embarrassed enough, I felt tears escape me. Tears of horror and self loathing and ohgod,whatkindofasickhumanbeingwasI?

I sniffed deeply and raised a shaking hand to cover my mouth. If there was ever a moment that I wanted the earth to open up and consume me, it was this one.

"Hm." I heard something flick off the surface f his desk, and footsteps muffled by the grubby, shorn carpet. "H're. It was good, b't not what I was look'ng f'r."

Oh god, I couldn't believe it? How could he be so calm about it? So flat and indifferent. There I was, trembling like a leaf and crying my silent eyes out, and all he could do was say 'it's not what he was looking for'.

Well of course it wasn't! He wasn't supposed to see such things, he wasn't supposed to know such things existed! Because I had already long since come to terms with the truth that if he were to know, my life wouldn't be worth living, and he would hate me, hateme for being the creepy, perverted looser that I am.

My visceral organs had taken on a feeling close to that of ashes. I was both salivating too much, and not enough.

"Ii-it was the wrong one…" I croaked, barely audible. "I…"

"Is this it?" he pointed to the actual report on my desk, his hand the only thing visible beyond the curtain of my hair and shame. The bang of a door signalled the last student leaving, whoever it was too pre-occupied with their own life to pay attention to our quiet exchange, and we were left alone, among desks towering with stoic chairs and the ticking of a clock that was painfully loud in that way school clocks always are.

"… Yeah."

He placed the folder he held down carefully, and picked up the right one, the one with thje report. From so close, his smell was almost overpowering. Clean, sweet, light… and all underlined in a flirt of milk soap. I couldn't describe it. like cool fresh air, mingling with that of a bakery, mingling with that again of the healthy sweat that tended to linger on the skin of only the most attractive men. He sniffed quietly, opened the folder, and I assume scanned it briefly, before humming his approval.

"Thank y' Tino."

I nodded, pressing my lips together, and placed a hand carefully on the folder of humiliation. He cleared his throat.

"But I mean what I said. It was very good."

"Mm." I made a nervous noise, and licked my lips. Things were calming down in my chest, he hadn't raged or anything, like I had anticipated. "I…" I trailed off, not sure what to say.

silence stretched on forever. I was breathing really heavily, and still shivering, and he wasn't moving, his shadow loomed over me, and I whined softly.

"I'm really sorry." I told him. "I just… that was dumb of me. I'm so sorry."

He sighed, and I was surprised to hear it. The first vocal expression I had ever heard from him.

"These things happ'n."

I leapt almost out of my skin when I felt his fingers brush my shoulder lightly. He had warm hands, I could feel then through the cloth of my shirt.

"…" I didn't have anything to say, and after an awkward interval, I felt it would be best if I just left.

"Tino." He said, as I was cramming my stuff back in my bag as fast as I could and making for the door. "… I'm not married."

I froze for a moment, a fresh panic sweat broke on my shoulders. I nodded stiffly and refused to acknowledge his eyes on me.

"Oh."

"I'm very single."

I took a deep breath, tearing up again for some reason, and yanked open the door.

I could still feel his warm touch when I walked away, the flood banks breaking, and sobbing so hard I felt like I was about to faint.


thanks titoes my beta. THE STORY FINLAND WROTE... will be published in chapter two soon. watch this space. i dont own the characters in hetalia, nor make any money from writing these fics. :3