Welcome! If you came looking for feels and touching moments, you've come to the right place. Since everything I seem to write is either depressing, terrifying, or cracktastic, I decided to try my hand at writing a genuine feel-good story. Much cuteness and deep lessons will be learned, and all in a nifty Dennor package! I love these two and since Lucky and I screwed them over in our monster fic Seven Little Killers, we decided to give the Nordics a chance to shine.
Don't be mistaken, this story isn't fluff. It's a journey with lessons and some heartache, but it will mostly be positive and fun. I've never written the Nordics before. Denmark was a fascinating one, but very challenging. I hope I did him justice! I think he's so cute.
Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia, but it makes a great stress reliever/reason to procrastinate on final papers.
"So you're leaving." Iceland's cool voice drifted across the room to where Denmark packed a suitcase full of his clothes and other necessities. He didn't bother to spare the younger nation a glance and instead focused his efforts on placing his toothbrush where it wouldn't touch his underwear. He wasn't a stranger to nomadic life. Sure it had been a couple thousand years ago, but he figured it was like riding a bike. Once you did it you never forgot…or something. There was an exasperated sigh from his doorway. "You know ignoring me isn't going to make me go away."
"I'm not trying to make you go away." Denmark closed the suitcase with a satisfied "There!" before it promptly sprang open again. He definitely needed to travel lighter. There had to be room for his Mr. Calzone plush. Sweden made for him on his birthday after nearly a week of groveling, and now he couldn't sleep without it. Norway had always found it creepy, though Denmark couldn't put his finger on why. Nothing was cooler than a singing pizza face.
Denmark's lips pressed into a fine line. He remembered the night before his best friend vanished all too clearly. Norway had stood in this very room, looking down on him while he pretended to be asleep. It had been odd, but then Norway had a tendency to do odd things. The most prominent instance being his singing. One moment he'd be singing softly in his own language, and the next he would fall silent. It was like he sensed whenever Denmark watched him, but Norway never turned around to acknowledge it. He just stopped.
So that night, Denmark ignored the tender, sad look on his best friend's face and pretended to sleep on, his eyes cracked by just a smidgeon. Norway had then taken a note out of his pocket and left it folded on his nightstand.
"There's a lot I want to say," Norway had whispered. He hadn't been wearing his hat, nor was his Scandinavian cross clipped into his hair. Curtains of blond shrouded his face and Denmark remembered thinking how oddly beautiful he was, his usual blank face giving away nothing. "But you won't listen, idiot." Denmark had almost shot up when he heard the painful waver in Norway's voice. Not once during their childhood had Norway allowed his emotions to show. He was cold and even calculating at times. "This is for the best."
Denmark had restrained himself from demanding an explanation as Norway turned his back and left the room like a shadow shrinking away from light. They'd talk about tomorrow morning after he read the note. That had been the plan anyway. It was just that Denmark hadn't expected him to be gone the next day. Just gone. As if he never existed.
"You're ignoring me again," Iceland said.
"I'm not trying to." Denmark shook away thoughts of Norway. It wasn't worth getting depressed over because he was going to fix the problem. "Anyway, I have to go catch my train soon, so when Sweden and Finland get here, make sure Sweden doesn't get into my beer, and constantly remind him about how awesome I am. Also, tell Finland not to cry. It's not like I'm dead. If they bring Sealand, the only way to save the house is to contain him. I'd go for the oven as a prime holding container. If Mr. Puffin takes a crap on my bed again, I'm roasting him. Make sure you feed the fish and keep everything super clean."
"I do that anyway," Iceland said. "Ever since Norway left it seems I'm the only one who does anything productive around here." Denmark brushed by the shorter nation to get to the living room. He crossed his arms and took a deep breath. It was going to be awhile before he saw this place again with its comfortable décor and easy access to alcoholic beverages.
He could still see Norway in every part of the room: the way he used to lounge on the couch and read, stopping only to shoot blank and yet somehow still disapproving stares at his housemates. From the kitchen his mind brought up the familiar clicking of dishes being washed. Norway was the only one with the patience to do them, and it was the perfect opportunity to hear him sing. It was always the same song, so sad and lonely.
Mitt lille land
Et lite sted, en håndfull fred
slengt ut blant vidder og fjord
Denmark always crept closer despite knowing Norway would stop.
Mitt lille land
Der høye fjell står plantet
mellom hus og mennesker og ord
Og der stillhet og drømmer gror
Som et ekko i karrig jord
He never sang past the second verse, for at that point Denmark had encroached on his solitude, and what oddly felt like his privacy. The dishes were done in silence, and no matter how long he waited by the kitchen, Norway remained quiet for the rest of the night.
Denmark swallowed the bitterness the memory caused and continued his final check of the living room.
"Make sure that you don't stay up too late like your brother did. It leads to bad skin." Bad skin had never been an issue for Norway, but Iceland was still young.
"Denmark." Iceland followed him into the kitchen. Denmark opened his fridge and took out a few cold cuts in order to make a hurried smørrebrød. It was a long bike ride to the train station and he needed something light to fill his stomach. "Listen—"
"Oh, and make sure Finland doesn't feed Hanatamago any cheese. She threw up in one of my boots last time, and if it happens again I'm going to punt her off a cliff."
"You've threatened to do that five times in the past forty eight hours. Mr. Puffin's life has been threatened twelve." Iceland reached up and stroked the dark feathers of Mr. Puffin's chest. The bird cooed appreciatively from his place on Iceland's shoulder.
"I mean it. Cheesy dog puke is gross, but bird crap will give you diseases." Denmark finished putting his toppings on his slice of rye bread and bit into it without tasting it. It was gone too quickly and he reached into his pocket to check his ticket. Where were Sweden and Finland? Finland made it clear that if he left without saying goodbye, there would be non-stop texting, calling, and bitching until he came back. He knew it wasn't a bluff. He could be gone for ten years and Finland would still make it a habit to blow up his phone with guilt-tripping reminders of how he abandoned them all.
"Denmark, please listen." Iceland's tone became hesitant and he pursed his lips. "I don't think you're going to find him. Don't you remember the note he left?" Denmark stopped on his preparations for a moment, but only for a moment. Of course he remembered the note. He had read it so many times that the paper had fallen apart last year.
I have to leave. I've wanted to go back to my own house for a long time because I miss my land and people. Everyday feels empty without them, and you aren't making it any better. You don't listen, you're bossy, and frankly I'm tired of peeling you off the sidewalk whenever you have one too many at the bar. The number of shirts you've ruined is unsettling, not to mention how many times you've attempted to fistfight Mr. Puffin.
I can't keep taking care of you like this and your selective hearing comes across as disrespectful even though that's giving you too much credit. I know it sounds cruel, but this is the way I feel. Take care of Iceland, stop being such a rasshøl, and maybe I'll come back. I don't know.
P.S. Don't bother trying to reach me in Oslo. You won't find me until you learn something important.
Denmark didn't know what that something important was supposed to be, and reading that note felt like a punch in the gut. His selective hearing couldn't contend with the written word. There were Norway's true feelings, glaring up at him for five straight years, and punctuated by his best friend's absence. There was no mishearing that. It left Denmark wondering if he was really that hard to live with. Granted Sweden and Finland ran away from him, but that was their own fault.
"Well, he said he would come back when I supposedly learned something important." Denmark fixated Iceland with a confidant grin. "And what better way to learn something important than to go on a soul-searching trip across Europe!" He patted the smaller nation's shoulder. "Don't worry! It'll go off without a hitch and when I come back, I'll be a new man! One Norway can't stay away from!"
"You mean you'll be less of an idiot?" Iceland said flatly.
"Thanks, Iceland. I knew you'd understand." Denmark gave Iceland's head a gentle pat without hearing exactly what the other nation said. Something about being a doughnut? Weird, but then Iceland was related to the most whimsical, hard to read guy on the planet. "Don't worry. I'm a big country. I'm potty trained and everything!"
"You just don't give up." A rare smile tugged at the right corner of Iceland's mouth, but then it was gone within a second. Iceland's violet eyes slid away and focused on the empty living room. Something in the younger country's gaze was so fragile Denmark wondered if he could see Norway's fading ghost too. "It's been five years. He left me too, you know? Only I didn't even get a note."
"The note he left was for all of us." He didn't believe that for a second. There was too much blame in that note for any of it to be directed at Iceland.
"Then why was it only addressed to you?" Iceland apparently didn't believe it either.
"Because Norge was too lazy to write all of our names," Denmark said with a grin he didn't entirely feel. It faded when Iceland simply turned away and plopped down on the couch, curling his knees to his chest. His violet eyes glared at the opposite wall. Denmark sighed and sat on the arm of the couch. "Look, Iceland." The elder nation furrowed his fingers through his unruly blond hair. He was never good at this kind of thing. Emotions sucked enough as it was, but trying to navigate them was worse than any raging sea during his Viking days. "You know Norway loved you. He was obviously upset with me ... and things didn't work out. None of it was your fault?" He added hopefully.
"You're giving me the parents are divorcing speech." Iceland continued to glare at the wall.
"He probably thought it was best if he went to see other nations for a time?" He flinched. Wow, that was dumb. Iceland glared at him from the corner of his eye. "But you know I'll always be here!" Denmark hastily lifted his hands. "You know, besides this whole Euro trip thing. Other than that, you can count on me for anything!"
"That's the mommy cheated speech." Iceland's eyes refocused on the wall.
"We'll both be back soon?" Denmark got the sudden urge to slam his forehead into the blade of his ax. "So be nice to Finland and Sweden because they're a walking party?"
"That's the parents leaving child with babysitter speech."
"I'm sure he's in a better place."
"Now you're making it sound like he's dead. Good job. I feel so much better."
"You know what? I give up! You're impossible to comfort!" Denmark threw his hands in the air and stalked back into his room. He decided to forget the suitcase and go for a light backpack with all the essentials. That was more logical. Mr. Calzone was coming regardless if he was practical or not and Denmark placed his pizza-faced friend in the front pocket on his backpack. The whole trip was going to take a little over two weeks if he kept his times straight and didn't miss any trains and ... dammit!
Denmark was trembling so badly he was dropping his carefully rolled clothes all over the floor. Pressing the heels of his hands into his eyes he took a deep breath. He needed to calm down and get back to packing. Sweden and Finland didn't need to see him acting like a shaky mess.
"Hey," Iceland's voice floated into the room, soft and tentative. "Look …I…I'm sorry." Denmark didn't say anything and roughly zipped up the backpack. A rush of exhaled air from the doorway told him Iceland was working his way back to frustration. "And it seems we're back to square one." It didn't take very long, Denmark mused.
"I wonder what time it is." He moved to the bed and sat down to glare daggers at the clock.
"Denmark, you can't ignore problems to make them go away. I just don't see the point in you leaving for so long on the nonexistent chance you'll have a life-changing epiphany that will magically bring Norway back."
"So what if it doesn't?"
Denmark met Iceland's surprised expression and tried to order his thoughts into something that made some semblance of sense. "He left because of me. Five years and I still haven't changed." He stopped, took a deep breath, and leaned back on his hands to stare up at the ceiling. "I'm old enough to know that when people leave," he paused and forced his tongue to form the next few painful words, "it's usually forever."
"I don't understand." Iceland's brows furrowed and in that moment he looked so much like Norway it sent an icy stab of pain right between Denmark's ribs. "This is for Norway…right?"
"Yeah…kind of…I mean, ugh! Give me a sec." He needed to explain himself better. This wasn't just about Norway coming back. Not on its own anyway. No, he owed Norway this. "It's just five years is hardly a blip on my radar." It felt odd to admit it out loud. Nations were never ones to acknowledge their ages, especially if Poland was anyone to go by, and though Denmark was aware he was pretty far up there in the centuries, he'd never seen himself as old.
But he was old. Maybe even ancient if he stretched it enough. "I'm too set in my ways to change by staying here feeling sorry for myself. I need to do something...so I can be better…so that if Norway ever does come back… he'll want to stay and no one else will want to leave." He absentmindedly rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand and laughed. "Damn, that sounded a lot less stupid in my head."
"So that's it." Iceland padded over to the bed and sat down as well, knotting his fingers together and gazing down at his knees. "It's not just for Norge, but for all of us?"
"Only Norge can make five years seem like five centuries, but it'd be a pretty shitty existence without Sweden to remind me with his face how breathtakingly superior I am." He smiled gently. "I barely see the happy couple as it is. You're young, kiddo. If I don't take a good look at myself and calm the fuck down some, you'll get tired too."
"Will I?" Iceland's voice was quiet, almost as if he were entertaining the notion.
"As much as I know you hate to admit it, you're a lot like him. Sometimes so much so it hurts." Denmark felt another warm hand rest over his. He looked down at Iceland and felt a surprised flutter in his chest. Iceland refused to look at him and his cheeks colored with discomfort.
"I had hoped when he first left, we'd at least see him at the next world meeting, but nothing. Five years without a call, letter or email. It's almost like he was never here. I…miss him." Iceland removed his hand from on top of Denmark's and stood, meeting the older country's eye with a glare. "And if you find him, don't you dare tell him I said that or I'll light the couch on fire."
"Whatever you say, Ice." Denmark smirked and the two fell into a comfortable silence. It was nice to know he wasn't the only one who felt incomplete. A knock on the door interrupted their quiet reverie and Denmark rushed out of his room. "Finally! It took them long enough."
"Denmark!" Upon opening the door he was promptly attacked by a tearful blond blur.
"Hey, Finland." Denmark rolled his eyes and ignored the glare Sweden gave him. Well, he wasn't sure if Sweden was really glaring or if it was just his face again, but whatever. It wasn't his fault Finland decided to latch onto him. Glancing down to hip level he saw Sealand clinging to Sweden's hand.
"Hey, Denmark! Got any candy?" The little boy gazed up with so much hope, Denmark almost regretted instructing Iceland to keep him the oven.
"No c'ndy," Sweden said.
"I'm so glad we caught you! Sorry if we kept you waiting." Finland released him and stood back. "Look at you. You're all ready to go and everything."
"Yup!" Denmark grinned and stepped outside onto his lawn. "I was just on my way out so I'll see you guys later."
"But we just got here!" Finland's eyes widened. "At least let us have a proper goodbye."
"Sure. Goodbye. Now I have to go." Honestly, Denmark hated wishing anyone goodbye. People got all teary and obnoxious, and he'd rather his journey begin on a less depressing, snotty note. "Thanks for everything!" Of course, just as he was about to bolt around the house for his bike, Iceland appeared and Denmark felt his resolve wither. Iceland's blank, but still disapproving look was so identical to Norway's that it pinned him in place. Norge would be proud. For Denmark it reminded him of the hollow place in his heart.
"Just say goodbye, moron," Iceland said. "They came all this way for you." Denmark opened his mouth to protest, but then felt his voice die in his throat when he caught sight of Finland's teary eyes and trembling lower lip. Ugh, he was doing the face. Finland had this…thing where he could make anyone feel horribly guilty with how cute he was before pulling out a sniper and shooting them in the face. Point blank. He'd do it too. Finland was flipping batshit insane when he wanted to be. He held his own against Russia during the Winter War after all.
"Fine." Denmark groaned and held out his arms. He was going to regret this. "Come here." Finland's face lit up and he hurried forward to wrap his arms around Denmark's waist. He was such a tiny thing in stature sometimes it was hard to imagine how much Finland endured as a nation.
"Be safe, okay?" Finland pressed his cheek into Denmark's chest, and though he hated goodbyes, Denmark couldn't help but feel the rush of genuine affection twinge at his heartstrings. Yeah. He needed to leave. Pronto. "Call us as soon as you get to Germany's."
"No drinking in places you don't know and don't drink alone."
"If you run out of money, call."
"If you miss your train, call."
"And if you get scared or lonely—"
"I'll call." He placed his hands on Finland's shoulders and held him at arm's length. So far Finland hadn't started sobbing. There was a plus. He could handle a few tears, but as soon as snot dripped into the scene he was gone. "I'm the King of Scandinavia, remember? I'll be fine!"
"I know you will." Finland smiled up at him. "But that's because I packed you some extras!" It was then that he noticed Finland was wearing his own backpack. "Sweden and I made you some snacks in case you get hungry." He opened the bag and gave Denmark a metal tin. He peeked inside and was greeted by many star-shaped cookies.
"Oh, wow. Thanks, guys." Okay, so maybe it was good he hadn't made a tactical retreat upon their arrival. The cookies smelled like a mouth-orgasm waiting to happen.
"W'lcome," Sweden grumbled from where he towered behind his little "wife." Denmark bit his tongue against an involuntary laugh. He still wasn't over that, but it was best not to mention it to Finland unless he wanted cyanide sprinkled over the cookies when he wasn't looking. He fondly remembered how Norway used to strangle him with his own tie whenever he went overboard with making fun of them. Sometimes Norway wouldn't let go until he was nearly unconscious. Good times.
"You're taking the InterCity Express to Hamburg, right?" Finland asked.
"That's the plan. First class and everything. It's going to be so great!" Denmark threw a fist in the air. He loved trains, especially the nice ones. "From there it's to Berlin. Whole thing should take about five or six hours, give or take."
"You still have your tickets right?" Iceland asked. "And your bike bag?"
"Duh," Denmark said. He reached over to place the tin of cookies into his backpack. "Don't worry, I got this. I better go, though. The first train leaves at three forty-five."
"Well, it's two o'clock now," Sealand said.
"Oh, before you do." Finland met Sweden's eye and the larger nation nodded curtly. Denmark felt a hollow sense of dread overtake his excitement.
"Finland, no," he said as the other nation held out a little white Maltese puppy. Hanatamago gave a friendly bark and wagged her tail. "Finland, this has bad idea written all over it."
"No, no. Sweden and I both agreed. We don't feel comfortable with you traveling by yourself, so we want you to take Hana." Finland practically thrust the puppy into Denmark's face. Her pink tongue snaked out and licked his nose.
"Gross!" Denmark reeled away and scrubbed his nose with his sleeve. "Finland, I can't take care of a dog. I didn't reserve a ticket for one."
"ICE allows dogs as long as you keep them muzzled and leashed. I know. I googled it. Don't bother to lie," Finland said before Denmark could protest. "Besides, look how tiny she is!" He played with the puppy's tiny white front paws. "She'll fit right into your pack!"
"I already have too much crap to carry as it is! Finland, I appreciate it, I do, but I'm not taking the dog."
"I'd hate to say it, but if she were to go with Denmark, she'd probably die halfway to Hamburg," Iceland said. "Denmark isn't very…responsible."
"Hana can l'k after h'rself," Sweden said.
"Plus she's so cute!" Sealand added.
"Please Denmark?" Finland's lower lip jutted out again. "Do it for my sake? I'd feel better if you weren't traipsing around Europe alone."
"It's not like anything is going to happen. The cookies are enough. Besides, won't you miss it?" Denmark met Finland's eyes and knew it was a fatal mistake. There was no way he was going to win. Sweden was no better. The other nation's facial expression remained set in stone: mouth curved downwards and his creepy blue eyes glaring a hole into his forehead. In other words, he wasn't going to restrain his "wife." Bastard.
"You never know what might happen," Finland said. "It's supposed to be an unusually bad winter this year. Russia says General Winter's been even more unpleasant than usual, and I wouldn't put it past you to wander off into the snow while you're drunk and die of exposure. So please take Hana. It will help me not worry." Even Hana was giving him the big brown puppy eyes. She was kind of cute … in a barking shit factory kind of way. Denmark sighed and ran both hands down his face. When had he turned into such a pushover?
"Fine." He hung his head in defeat and extended his hands to take the puppy. "But if it dies, you only have yourselves to blame." He'd just leave her in some bushes once he got to Germany. She'd find her way home eventually. Dogs were good for that kind of thing, right?
"Yay! I know you and Hana will have a lot of fun." Finland threw his arms around Denmark's neck and pulled him down until their cheeks were pressed together. "You know you always have our number if you find yourself in a pinch. I know it's not Christmas, but I can always ride on my sleigh to come pick you up."
"I'll be fine, Finland. Now I have to go or else I'll miss my train."
"I know." Finland stepped back and reached up to cup Denmark's face in his hands. He suddenly felt very small and vulnerable. Finland had that way about him. His soft violet eyes were so full of affection and kindness. An involuntary lump rose in Denmark's throat. He wasn't sure why. It was just Finland. It wasn't like he was leaving forever. Not like Norway. Finland released him and sniffled lightly. "I hope you find what you're looking for."
"D'n't come back."
"Thanks Sweden." Denmark placed a hand on the other nation's shoulder. He was never sure what Sweden was saying, but it was best to let bygones be bygones. "Thanks you guys." Hanatamago wriggled in his hands and he placed her on top of his backpack. Surprisingly, she didn't try to jump down, but curled around his neck so that she was looking over his shoulder. That was fine so long as she didn't cause him any more grief.
He turned away from his friends and hurried around the house to pick up his bike. When he rolled it around to the walkway he looked back at his makeshift family: Sweden all menacing, Finland teary-eyed but trying to smile, Sealand waving so hard he was practically flailing, and Iceland with an unreadable expression.
His stomach contracted and ached when he saw them all standing in front of his house. It was odd. He wondered why it hurt so much to leave. Had Norway felt the same way? Denmark knew he was the reason why Norway left, but had he also caused his best friend this pain? What was it like to look back at place you spent so much of your life in, knowing you weren't coming back?
"I'll see you later!" Denmark lifted a hand in a final farewell and got onto his bike. It was off to the train station. He didn't look back over his shoulder as he pedaled his way towards Copenhagen. He knew if he did he wouldn't want to leave, and he owed it to Norway to change.
The plan was to stay with Prussia and his kid brother for few days just to get his bearings. From there it was hostels and hotels. Sure there were plenty of nations who would be willing to take him in for a few days, but then that sort of felt like cheating. Life-changing epiphanies only happened when a person soul searched alone, right?
So Denmark begins his quest for a life-changing epiphany. I'm so excited next chapter, because come on, Gilbert and his awesome make his way onto the scene. Then there's yet more Denmark thinking of Norway. It's interesting to build a relationship between two characters when one isn't technically there. I'll be updating this as much as I can. Thank you!
Mr. Calzone is real. He's a singing pizza. It's apparently from a popular Danish children's network, but don't quote me on that. (http : / / www. youtube. com /watch?v =ZbUm6Rys99c) There's the link. I have a feeling that Denmark thought it was awesome and so he demanded Sweden to make him a plushie of it for his birthday.
The song Norway is singing is called "Mitt Lille Land" or "My Little Country." It has to be one of the most beautiful songs I've heard in my life, especially the version by Maria Mena. (http :/ / www. youtube. com / watch?v = 6Dgoh5YXGb8& feature =related)
smørrebrød - Is an open-faced sandwich on rye bread. I took a virtual tour of Copenhagen in preparation for this fic, and they look so freaking delicious. Especially the ones with the fish *drools*
In the note, Norway calls Denmark an asshole, or at least that's what Wikipedia said. If it's wrong let me know and I will change it!