A/N: So I'm still working on "Close Your Eyes, Make a Wish", but the idea for this hit me the other day when I was playing with my cat and I had to write it down. Enjoy!
Fincat had no trouble admitting that he could be a bit of a dork sometimes. There was no point in denying what everyone around him could probably see clearly anyway. Between forgetting to make sure the sliding glass door was open before he tried to leap to catch a butterfly on the other side, or sometimes getting things tipped over on top of himself, or managing to fall into water when his master, Finland, was in the bath and Fincat hopped up on the ledge of the tub, and became entranced by his own reflection on the surface of the liquid, Fincat had ended up laughing embarrassedly at his own silliness on more than one occasion. Mostly it was ok, though, because Fincat was Finland's only cat and there were no others of his kind to witness his occasional clumsiness.
Today was different, though. Today Sweden, Fincat's master's mate, was spending the weekend at Finland's house, and he had brought his own cat, Swecat, with him. Though Fincat was starting to get used to Swecat by now, he was still a bit wary of him. For some reason, his own silliness, which would have been only a little embarrassing if witnessed by most other cats, was absolutely mortifying when witnessed by Swecat.
It was strange, because Swecat never ridiculed him or scoffed at him when he did something kitten-like the way other cats might. Fincat supposed his mortification came from the way Swecat stared at him afterwards, usually in silence (though occasionally, Finland had heard him mumble something that sounded suspiciously like "cute"), his tail fluttering softly against the floor. Whatever the reason, Fincat always made an even greater effort to act more his age and not do anything embarrassing when Swecat came to visit.
Fincat had assumed he'd be safe from that sort of thing this morning, at least for a little while. Sweden had come to Finland's house after an overseas business trip and was a bit jetlagged, so while Finland was able to rise at his normal time, Sweden was still in bed, as was Swecat. Fincat followed his master quietly out of the bedroom and joined him in the front room, sitting beside him on the couch as Finland switched on the TV.
Finland yawned and scratched Fincat groggily behind the ears as Fincat came and curled up beside him. Fincat greeted his master with a cheerful meow and licked his fingers. This made the master smile and bend down to pick up the comb from the basket beside the couch. Finland held up the comb for Fincat to see. Fincat perked up instantly. Finland laughed as Fincat stood on his back legs to sniff eagerly at the comb, confirming that it was his own.
"You like this, don't you?" Finland said amusedly.
Purring loudly in anticipation, Fincat climbed into Finland's lap to await his brushing. The first stroke down his back with the comb felt like heaven. Fincat arched into it, his eyes fluttering closed in enjoyment. The next stroke tickled his cheek pleasantly. Finland began to hum softly as he brushed his pet, smiling at the cat's obvious enjoyment. After a while, Fincat rolled over on his back, allowing Finland to comb his stomach, his paws sticking up in the air.
This went on for a few minutes, Finland brushing him slowly, Fincat purring and kneading his leg with his paws. That was when Fincat happened to peek between his closed eyelids and notice a large black shape on the floor in front of them. Fincat's eyes shot open in horror, praying that his suspicions would not be confirmed. His prayer was in vain, however; sitting right there, watching his every ridiculously kittenish move, was Swecat, his tail fluttering softly against the floor as usual.
Fincat let out a startled meow and darted away under the chair, his cheeks beet red underneath his fur.
"Wh- Fincat, what's wrong?" Finland asked, surprised by his pet's sudden retreat. Then his gaze swept slowly over to Swecat, whose eyes had never left Fincat, even now that he was hiding under the chair.
"Oh no," Finland laughed. "This sort of scene seems awfully familiar. Don't worry, Fincat, he's not thinking anything bad about you. That's just how he shows that he's interested in you."
Unfortunately, Fincat didn't really understand more than a few words in human language, so all he really got from Finland's attempt at reassurance was "no", "Fincat", and "bad", none of which were particularly helpful or reassuring. Fincat was too flustered to pay his master's words much mind, even if he had understood them all. Why did Swecat always have to be there to see him do such embarrassing things? Swecat probably thought he was an immature idiot. Why did Swecat have to be so cool and composed all the time? That only made Fincat feel worse.
Fincat had hoped that Swecat would just slink away again and leave him to collect himself after his embarrassing display, but to his dismay Swecat approached his hiding place instead. A shiver of fear and humiliation ran down Fincat's spine as Swecat peered under the chair to meet his gaze.
"Hey," he grunted.
"Ahhh, I can't believe I let someone see me acting like that," Fincat moaned, covering his face with his paws. "How embarrassing… You must think I'm such a kitten. P-please don't tell anyone!"
"'D never tell," Swecat mumbled. "Wanna… wanna keep yer cuteness all t' m'self."
Fincat was already as red as he could be, but if possible that statement would've made him blush even harder. It wasn't often that Fincat could be at ease enough around Swecat to think anything about him other than "scary!" or "I'm sure he thinks I'm an idiot…" or "Right! I'm gonna try really hard not to make a fool of myself in front of him this time!"
Occasionally, however, he couldn't help noticing the way his smooth, healthy coat shined in the sun, or admire the quiet elegance and dignity of his slender but strong form, or marvel at how cool he looked when he slunk expertly through the grass in the backyard and leapt gracefully into the air to catch a bird. In fact, Fincat had sometimes wondered if he might develop a little crush on him if only he wasn't so intimidated by him.
"P-please don't tease me," Fincat said in a small voice. "I feel bad enough already."
Swecat frowned at the floor. "…Wasn't teasin'," he said in a voice so soft that Fincat almost thought he'd imagined it.
He looked up at Swecat curiously. For once Swecat's smoldering gaze was aimed not back at him, but at the carpet, which he was picking at with his claws. He looked almost… shy.
"Wish y' weren't s' nervous 'bout just bein' yerself 'round me," Swecat murmured, and there was a barely detectable note of hurt in his voice that made Fincat feel as if he'd done something wrong. "I like ya th' way y' are."
Fincat could scarcely believe what he was hearing. How was he supposed to guess that Swecat was anything but annoyed by his kittenishness when he always appeared to glare at him when he did something silly? Then again, he'd never seen Swecat do anything but glare, even when he was doing things that he appeared to enjoy. Perhaps Fincat had misjudged him.
"It's just that… I'm always doing silly, kittenish things and you always seem so cool and collected," Fincat said timidly. "Maybe… maybe I would be less nervous if I knew that you do silly things too sometimes."
Swecat seemed to contemplate this for a moment before slipping under the chair and crouching down next to Fincat. He left a little gap of a few inches between them, but Fincat could feel his warmth through his fur. A strange urge to snuggle up to him rose within Fincat, but he blushingly kept his distance.
"C'n I tell ya a secret?" Swecat asked softly.
Swecat hesitated, then spoke to his paws instead of meeting Fincat's eyes. "Love havin' m' ears cleaned. Makes me act even more like a kitten than when y' were gettin' brushed."
Fincat blinked. "…Really?"
"Mm… used t' have m' mother do 't for me," Swecat admitted. "She always laughed at th' way I acted… Hasn't been anyone t' do it since she died, though…"
Fincat considered this. He imagined a tiny little Swecat kitten curled up at his mother's side, purring loudly as she washed his ears and couldn't help smiling a little. "That does sound kind of cute… I wish I could've seen."
"Y' could see," Swecat mumbled. "If y' wanted."
Fincat trailed off into silence, failing to grasp at first what Swecat was implying. Then it hit him. "Oh! You… you want me to…?"
Swecat still wouldn't look at him, even as he nodded in response to Fincat's question. Fincat's heart began to pound, hardly daring to believe what he was hearing. Perpetually cool and elegant Swecat was inviting him to partake in an incredibly intimate act with him, and to experience a vulnerable part of his personality that he'd never revealed before. Fincat was sure that Swecat wouldn't offer this to just anyone. He felt as though his heart was swelling in his chest.
Fincat inched closer shyly, fitting himself up next to Swecat. Swecat tilted his head in Fincat's direction, resting his chin lightly on Fincat's paws. After taking a deep, slow breath in order to calm himself, Fincat began to lick Swecat's ear. A soft chirping purr rose in Swecat's throat at the first swipe of his tongue. Swecat's paws began to knead at Fincat's side as the cleaning continued.
Astonished, amused, and a little enamored with the sudden and profound affect the ear-washing was having on Swecat, Fincat grew a bit braver, nibbling the tip of Swecat's ear in a gesture of shy flirtation. Swecat's eyes fluttered closed. He nuzzled his nose into Fincat's fur and began to lick gratefully, purring louder than ever, his back foot thumping uncontrollably up and down against the floor in his bliss.
Swecat hadn't been kidding about the effect of ear-washing on him. Finland found what had been the tiniest seeds of interest and affection towards Swecat suddenly bursting into full bloom in his heart. Seeing him being reduced to a giant purring puddle of mush over something like this was just adorably silly. Why hadn't Swecat shown him this side of himself before?
Swecat sighed happily as Fincat nibbled his ear again, a shiver of pleasure racing down his spine. If he'd thought he'd loved Fincat before all this, it was nothing to the adoration for him that was spiraling out of control in his chest right now. A soft confession of love spilled from his lips, but it was lost in the gentle hum of Fincat's purr joining his. It felt so good to finally release the words that had been echoing so loudly in his heart for so long that he said them again and again, not knowing or hardly caring for now if they reached Fincat's ears.
Swecat wasn't sure if Fincat heard him, but his suspicion was piqued when Fincat's little pink sandpaper tongue strayed from his ear and swiped softly once across his cheek.
They've been under there an awfully long time, Finland thought suddenly, remembering how he'd seen Swecat follow Fincat under the chair a few minutes ago. He extracted himself from a still groggy and half-asleep Sweden's embrace with an apologetic kiss and crouched down curiously beside the chair. Finland couldn't help giggling at the sight that greeted him.
Fincat and Swecat were snuggled up together underneath the chair, both pairs of eyes closed as if asleep, even as Fincat continued to lick the inside of Swecat's ear, both of them purring loudly, their tails curled so that they almost formed a heart shape on the floor behind them. Finland gestured to Sweden to come see, saying nothing out loud so as to avoid disturbing the tender scene he had just stumbled upon.
Sweden squatted beside him, peering beneath the chair. Finland saw him smile minutely before he looped an arm around Finland's shoulders, pulled him close, and nuzzled a kiss into his sleep-mussed hair.
"Looks like I can't resistcha no matter what form we take," he whispered.
Finland smiled softly and returned the kiss on Sweden's lips, the two of them returning to the couch and leaving their cats to their cuddle time.
A/N: Oh man, I hope that wasn't too similar to my nekotalia!USUK story... I tried to make it different, but there are similar things going on in both of them. If they were too similar, I apologize and will try harder next time!