Santa Interns as a Love Guru
I don't own Hetalia.
Finland tugs at the hem of his sweatshirt as he walks down the driveway to the mailbox, Hanatamago dancing happily around his feet.
Their mailbox is hand-painted and actually, it's a gift, too, so it inspires an almost ridiculous level of sentimental value. America presented it to Sweden a few years back as a happy day present (for some odd reason, and Finland didn't worry about it too much.) It had ended up being a fun family endeavor: while Sweden made the wooden post, Finland, Sealand and Ladonia painted. It's not particularly attractive, but it does make the daily trek down to get bills easier.
Finland has already paid the bills this month, though, and he isn't expecting much besides advertisements. It's a surprise when he sees a personal letter.
Finland pauses, halfway back up the driveway, and furrows his brows in curiosity.
A letter from Spain. Not that there's anything wrong with a letter from Spain, but why on Earth…? What about email…?
Finland rolls his eyes because he's a parent and he's used to just going along with these sorts of things.
Sweden glances up from the soup when Finland reenters the house.
"Ads." Finland replies, dropping the magazines and flyers onto the counter.
Ladonia doesn't look up from where he's hunched over his laptop at the kitchen table, but Sealand peeks his head up from his Nintendo DS.
"Anything from the Lego people?"
"No." Finland lies blatantly, shifting one advert to the bottom of the stack. "Sorry."
Sealand shrugs and Sweden nods in approval—Sealand's vast collection of Legos is only fueled by his crazed Uncle Denmark, and Sealand is notoriously bad at cleaning up after himself. Besides, Hanatamago will eat them if left to her own devices. Sweden doesn't like colorful dog poop.
Finland grabs the stack of mail and drops it into the trash, the letter from Spain still in the counter. Sweden looks at it questioningly.
"I have no idea." Finland replies, running one finger under the envelope flap and breaking the seal.
Finland brings the letter up to his eye level, Sweden's chin dropping onto his head as the two Nordics take a moment to read.
Finland isn't sure who finishes first—he has to read it twice, just to make sure he actually read Spain's request correctly.
Advice. Spain wants advice. About romance. Finland's wide eyes meet Sweden's searchingly, and the taller blond pats his wife's shoulder reassuringly.
"After dinner." Sweden says, turning back to the pea soup. "It's ready."
Finland is always okay with postponing his problems.
"All right." Finland says. "Boys, electronics away please."
Ladonia makes a distressed noise and Sealand begs to be allowed to finish whatever level he's on. Finland is listening but that doesn't mean he cares. He's too busy fishing out some spoons and napkins.
Hanatamago barks eagerly and Sealand laughs. Sounds of defeat echo from his DS and Sealand sighs in response, shutting his game with an audible snap.
"Mama said electronics off, Ladonia."
"He's not my mother." Ladonia says petulantly.
"He is too."
"He is not."
"Enough." Finland cuts the argument off at the start. "Sealand, would you set the table please? Ladonia, would you come carry the bacon to the table?"
Sealand grabs the cutlery with enthusiasm while Ladonia angsts about having to part with his beloved internet. Finland pats him on the head consolingly.
Finland busies himself by gently pouring punsch into cups—Sweden made it, and it's not very strong so their sons can enjoy it. Sweden is dishing out portions of soup. Finland smiles in amusement because it's very easy to tell which bowl is meant to be Sweden's. He wonders if Sealand will try to claim it in an attempt to assert his masculinity, and knows that if Sealand does Sweden will not say a word. Finland loves his family desperately.
It's only much later that Finland slows down enough to remember Spain's letter. Sealand and Ladonia are tucked in bed, Hanatamago is asleep at the end of Sweden and Finland's shared mattress, and Finland jolts to reality from where he's resting on Sweden's chest.
"The letter!" Finland says. "Sve, I completely forgot-!"
"S'fine." Sweden chuckles, rewrapping his arms around Finland's shoulders and bringing his wife to rest against his chest once more. "I brought it here." Sweden tilts his head to the side, and Finland's spots the opened letter sitting on Sve's nightstand next to his glasses case.
"You're brilliant." Finland compliments, smiling into Sve's warm skin. "What should I say?"
Sweden is quiet, and Finland knows he is trying to figure out how to phrase his solution.
A lot of people incorrectly assume that Finland is the romantic one. Finland doesn't dissuade them, not with his cute appearance and polite demeanor. But Finland and Sweden know better. Finland doesn't have a romantic bone in his body—he appreciates the romantic things Sweden surprises him with, but when it comes to planning them he is hopeless. Sweden is much better at understanding people than Finland is, even if Finland is better at communicating with them.
Fortunately for us, Finland grins against Sweden's chest, we're a team.
"Spain needs to do nothing." Sweden finally explains, one hand gently rubbing circles on Finland's back.
"Nothing?" Finland is surprised.
"He does too much." Sweden elaborates. "It scares Italy."
Finland bit his lip. "I can see that."
"Don't tell him not to do anything. Tell him to do nothing. He needs to be doing nothing."
"Aren't they the same thing?"
"Phrasing." Sweden corrects. "One is passive. Spain will hate it. When you tell him to not pursue South Italy, you need to make it seem like it's active. Okay?"
"Let Italy come to him." Sweden explains. "Spain's hurting because Italy claims Spain's feelings are unreciprocated. This way, he won't be able to tell Spain it wasn't his idea in the first place."
Finland comes to the instant realization he needs a notepad. "Sve, this is great and all but can you remind me tomorrow?"
"Of course." Sweden kisses Finland's hair. "And Spain has to be patient. He can't assume it's not working. Italy is going to need time. He can't rush it."
"Okay." Finland says softly. "That sounds like it's going to be hard for him."
"Good things come to those who wait." Sweden whispers playfully, pecking Finland on the lips.
Finland laughed fondly. "I love you."
"Love you too. Go to sleep now."
"Okay." Finland says sheepishly. "Sorry."
Finland sends his reply off in the mail the next day. Two weeks later, he finds himself sipping coffee and listening to Spain's troubles via Skype.
"It is so hard!" Spain whines. "I know my tomato loves me. I know he misses his gardener. I took such good care of him. Why won't he come back?"
"Because he's stubborn." Finland replies, nursing his Moomin mug patiently. Finland is currently in his and Sve's shared home office, and Sweden isn't even bothering to pretend he's not listening. Finland eyes him and Sweden wiggles his eyebrows salaciously. Finland averts his eyes with a blush.
"How did your Swede do it? How did he wait for you to come back?"
"I don't know." Finland muses. "He loves me very much."
"Do I not love my precious tomato? How do I love him? Let me count the ways: Uno, dos, tres…"
Sweden is scribbling on a sheet of paper. Finland is curious, but doesn't want to appear rude in front of Spain. Finland is really trying to be helpful, he really is, but he also wonders if Spain has always been so loopy.
"Siete, ocho, nueve…"
Sweden quickly passes the note to Finland, who places it in his lap and glances down to skim it. He doesn't want to be rude, but Spain is just counting (albeit rather dejectedly).
No advice to give because he doesn't need it. Just let him talk.
Finland nods, and Sweden reaches over and squeezes his hand before returning to his work.
Finland's index finger traces the top of his Moomin mug as he prepares himself for Spain's continued venting. He isn't sure how long it's going to last, but Finland is nothing if not patient.
Spain's counting dissolves into a watery plea for reassurance which Finland's soothing voice is more than happy to give. Finland hopes that South Italy gets over himself, but he's also a realist. When Spain hangs up, Finland stares into his empty mug and gets a feeling he needs to stock up on hot chocolate.
One month after "tomato abandonment" and five Skype calls later, Finland decides he and Spain need to go ahead and set up biweekly Skype sessions. Spain is delighted and Finland resigns himself to the life of… whatever this is.
Sweden calls him a cheerleader and offers to buy him pom-poms. Finland is not amused. But Finland can't bring himself to not answer Spain's calls, not when the other nation is so lovesick it's pathetic. Finland listens to Spain's moaning and griping and he can't help but think back to his Sve and sometimes, when Spain feels better and hangs up, Finland is in tears for his beloved. It took Finland so long to trust Sweden again, after the whole Russia thing, and Sweden waited for years. Finland doesn't know why he is getting emotional about it now, but Sweden is there with his steady presence and shushes Finland's apologies until Finland finally lets that part of their past go.
Two months after "tomato abandonment" (Spain's term, obviously, not Finland's), Spain calls in tears and Finland comes to the sickening realization that the other nation is so lonely it hurts. Finland can't stand it.
"Spain, come over for dinner." Finland blurts out.
Sweden, who has been hunched over his work, jolts up with those words. Finland sends him an apologetic look, but Sweden is already recalculating the night's dinner plans to make enough for five.
"That… that sounds very good."
Finland smiles kindly. "Of course it does."
"Can my friends come? Not that you aren't my friend, but I've been spending time with Prussia and France because it's been so lonely without my tomato and I'd just feel better if they were there too."
Finland blinks, and immediately turns his head to look for Sve's reaction. Whenever Finland is at a loss, his first instinct is to ask Sweden. It's a definite change from the past, one that Finland knows Sweden likes. No longer does Sweden have to delve into Finland's psyche to try to piece together Finland's problems (which involved a lot of staring and scaring the shit out of Finland) because Finland just comes to him in the first place.
Sweden has put his pen down and is thinking. Finland realizes he is again shuffling their food schedule around in his head and trying to come up with what to have for dinner. Which Finland knows is stupid, as they can just go to the grocery this afternoon for ingredients. He sticks out his leg and taps Sweden's thigh.
"Grocery?" He mouths.
Sweden looks like he's been run over by a train. And nods.
Finland smiles and turns back to Spain.
"That's fine with Sve and I. It won't be a super late meal, though. We normally finish eating earlier than you do, and we've got to get the kids in bed—"
"Ah! Fin, it is fine. Good company made all the better, hm? Thank you." Spain takes a moment to compose himself. "I mean that."
Finland nods with a smile of his own. Spain hangs up, and Finland turns his gaze to Sweden.
"Flounder." Sweden mumbles. "We have flounder."
"We can also just go to the store, Sve." Finland rolls his eyes. "What do you have against stores?"
Sweden doesn't say anything, just shifts uncomfortably in his seat.
"Thank you," Finland says sweetly, "for helping me help Spain."
Sweden blushes and looks back at his papers. "No problem."
"And if we have enough flounder, you could make that awesome flounder thing with the lemon and cheese—"
"Yep." Sweden interrupts. "But I don't remember if you got two kilograms or five."
Finland nods. "If we don't have five, we can just do something else."
"Yes, it would involve the store." Finland giggles. "I don't know why you can't stand shopping—"
"I like Ikea."
"That's not shopping, that's a religious experience." Finland teases fondly. "I'll go check while you finish that up, okay?"
"And I'll tell Sea and Ladonia we're having guests. Oh, gosh." Finland freezes. "The house is a mess, Sve. Have you seen the boys' bedroom?"
Sweden chuckles. "Wife."
"Not a wife! Just, you get them to clean it. You're better at intimidating them."
Sweden lifts a brow and waits for it.
"Not that you're intimidating! I mean, you are, but not like scary. I just mean like, as a disciplinary figure. An authoritative force, you know? Not that I'm not an authoritative force, just not as good as you—"
"Fin. Flounder." Sweden interrupts affectionately. "Go."
"Yes, okay. Going."
They have five kilograms of flounder, and Finland hopes it is enough for two growing boys and five older ones. After peeking his head back in to the office to let Sweden know he's safe from the horror that is shopping Finland crosses the house to let his boys know they're having dinner guests.
Finland loves this house; when he finally agreed to move in with Sweden again, the taller nation had spent hours pondering floor plans and designs. Finland had just wanted something cozy.
Sweden wanted to build, so he and Finland had toured houses and apartments for ideas. Sweden had tried to go for something bigger, but Finland had fallen in love with a smaller floor plan that just felt like an actual home.
There are three bedrooms—one that is quite small that had been designated as the office from day one. The two other bedrooms are pretty close in size, but one is a little smaller because it is a square while the other is a longer rectangle. Ladonia and Sealand share the larger bedroom (it gives them space to play) because Finland and Sweden spend most of their time in the office, anyway.
Finland knocks on the doorframe before poking his head in. Sealand is on the floor working on his Harry Potter Lego village thing (Finland has only read books one and three. Sweden is the one that has read them all.) and Hana is fortunately chewing on a dog toy and not on some poor little Lego person. Finland has a sneaking suspicion that Sealand fed the little Voldemort character to Hana that one time, but can't prove anything. Ladonia is on his iPad playing Plants versus Zombies.
"Wanted to let you know we're having company tonight." Finland says. "I 'd like for you both to clean your room, please."
Sealand and Ladonia immediately begin to whine. Finland just shakes his head. "Sweden is going to come in here and check." He warns.
"Aww, Mama." Sealand sulks. "I've just got my Hogwarts and Diagon Alley set up the way I want them!"
"It's not the Legos." Finland hints with a raised brow. For some reason, his sweet little micronations cannot seem to manage putting away their clothes.
"Dirty clothes in hamper—and if they're clean they do not go in the hamper just so you don't have to hang them up." Finland chastises lightly. Ladonia glowers.
Finland leaves his sons to dig out the vacuum from its spot in the coat closet and busies himself straightening the larger space that is the entry/living/dining area. The kitchen is a small nook in the back of the house, and Finland isn't going to worry about cleaning it until Sve's finished with dinner.
Finland isn't sure how they settled into their routine, but Sweden usually handles dinner. Finland isn't going to complain: some might assume it's a subtle barb against Finland's cooking, and even if it is Finland is not going to mess with a good thing. While Finland can cook, he doesn't really like cooking. He'd much rather help the boys with their homework (because they do go to school, even if they rotate between homeschooling and different schools in the area. At the moment Ladonia and Sealand are enrolled in a nice private school that's about a twenty-minute walk from their home).
Finland hums to himself as he vacuums the floor. Finland decides that vacuuming will take about thirty minutes (because if the vacuum is already out, he's going to go ahead and clean the other bedrooms, too. He'll leave Sealand's Legos in piece. For now.) and then he can work on dusting. The house isn't too filthy or anything, Finland simply doesn't want to be judged by his housekeeping (or lack thereof!)
An hour later Finland is satisfied with the state of his house except for the kitchen and the boys' bedroom. It's good enough. Finland peeks his head in to check on his sons: Sealand is playing Legos and Ladonia is back on the iPad but the clothes have been put away. Finland can't complain.
He pushes off the doorframe and saunters towards the kitchen. The smell is intoxicating.
Finland leans on the counter, watching his husband pour lemon juice over the fish.
"Thanks." Finland says, smiling at Sweden.
Sweden shrugs. "If you're here, shred the cheese."
"Let me wash my hands." Finland pushes up his sleeves and flips on the faucet. "How much do you think you'll need?"
Sweden makes a disbelieving face and Finland laughs.
"Yes, master. Your wish is my command."
Finland grates cheese and chatters about absolutely nothing while Sweden finishes the rest of the marinade.
The fish, all three pans of it, finally gets into the oven at six. Finland watches Sweden slide the last pan in; more accurately, Finland stares at Sweden's ass while Sweden is bent over in front of the oven.
Finland startles at the noise, turning to see who called his name. "Yes?"
Ladonia shyly digs a toe into the floor. "Can I have a snack?"
Finland shakes his head. "Dinner's in the oven, sweetheart. It will be fifteen minutes."
And then the doorbell rings. Finland grins. "Why don't you go get the door?"
Ladonia looks thoughtful until he hears Sealand's shout.
"I'll get it!"
"No! Mama said I should get it!"
Finland crosses his arms in front of his chest and sighs. Sweden slides an arm around his waist and plants a kiss on his cheek.
"Nice of you to invite them over." Sweden mumbles.
"Nice of you to cook dinner. Thank you so much." Finland replies.
Sweden bends down as Finland pushes up to the tips of his toes for a kiss.
"Ew! Don't look!"
"Oh, god! My eyes! Parent cooties!"
Finland and Sweden break apart to watch Sealand and Ladonia fake retch and roll around the floor in agony. France and Spain are amused, and Finland isn't exactly sure how Prussia feels.
Finland feels his face start to cool as he smiles at Spain.
"Welcome." He says pleasantly.
"Thank you for inviting us!" Spain throws his arms around Finland with a beaming face. "Your house is adorable! Your darling little baby tomatoes are adorable! You're adorable!"
France gently pulls Spain from Finland's arm, for which Finland is very grateful.
"Yes, thank you." France says. "Your country is very lovely, Sweden."
Sweden nods his head in acknowledgement.
Finland fidgets under Prussia's stare. The exuberant nation… is not one of Finland's favorites. Finland doesn't know how to phrase it politely. It's not that Finland doesn't like Prussia; Prussia's behavior is just so outlandish. Finland just finds Prussia rude. Off-putting. Abrasive. Finland would never say anything, but he instead simply avoids contact. After all, Denmark's overbearing enthusiasm (Sweden calls it idiocy) is more than enough for Finland's life.
Sealand finally gets over the grossness that is parental cooties and tugs on Prussia's arm.
"I've heard you're awesome?" Sealand grins. "I'm pretty awesome, too!"
Prussia seems to snap out of his thoughts. He drops a hand onto Sealand's head and scruffs his hair wildly. "Who told you that? Who told you how awesome I am? It must have been someone pretty awesome."
"Uncle Denmark!" Sealand chirps.
"Denmark!" Prussia laughs. "That bas—" And Finland has never loved Sweden so much, what with the death glare he sends Prussia's way. "I mean, that um, that… silly man."
"You were going to call him a bastard." Ladonia snarks.
Sweden's glare is transferred to his youngest charge. Ladonia cowers.
Finland rolls his eyes. His life is interesting.
The introductions end when Sweden hears the oven timer ding—everyone moves into the kitchen. Finland rearranged the table to fit seven earlier in the day, digging out chairs from Sweden's carpentry shed in the backyard.
There's enough flounder, which is also a big relief. Finland takes a smaller portion on purpose just in case. His efforts are useless when Sweden slides more flounder onto his plate. Finland blinks in alarm, but Sweden's worried stare gets him to eat.
Finland shouldn't have worried about conversation. France, Spain, and Prussia keep a delightful commentary running with the boys; they're actually interested in school, the silly human romances, Ladonia's video games and Sealand's architectural endeavors. Finland is more than happy to let someone else do the talking. He listens avidly, of course, because he loves his children more than anything, but he also enjoys the quiet affection of holding Sweden's hand under the table.
France brought a few wine bottles with him (Finland is not surprised) and the trio eagerly drink as they talk. Sweden passes, but Finland agrees to a glass of champagne. Sweden allows Ladonia and Sealand to try a sip of each wine France opens—neither can stand the taste of alcohol, but each continue to sip because the other is. The adults find this particular competition amusing, especially the facial expressions.
Finally, Ladonia asks to be excused to his room and Sealand agrees, and after some farewells the boys dart off to their room to play. Sweden and Finland are left to talk with France, Spain, and Prussia, and as Finland predicted the conversation swiftly dives into their sex life.
"How do you stand being with just one person?" France is eager to know.
Finland wonders how he stands being with so many, and says as much. France laughs delightedly.
"It is no hardship, trust me." He continues lasciviously. "You two, however, are the topic of discussion."
Finland shifts uncomfortably. He is very glad to be holding Sweden's hand.
"Other people are not appealing because they aren't Finland." Sweden says calmly.
The trio looks shell-shocked. Finland squeezes Sweden's hand in support.
"I just don't want anyone else." Finland adds. "Just the thought is almost… I don't know. It makes me feel like I'm betraying you." Finland looks up at Sweden. "I just… this is just what love is."
France makes a noise of contentment. "Love is the answer."
Finland is a bit irritated, because if he already knew then why the hell did he ask… until he sees Prussia's torn face.
"Prussia." Finland asks. "What's wrong?"
Spain and France immediately try to console their friend but Prussia isn't having it. He stands, shoving his chair back so abruptly it tumbles to the floor.
Prussia shoves his hands in his pockets and stares at the couple across the table.
"." And the nation is gone.
France sighs and pours himself another class of wine while Spain looks disappointed. Finland is very confused, but Sweden squeezes his hand in warning before he can open his mouth and say something inappropriate.
"Sorry about him." France sips his wine and appears for the most part unsurprised by Prussia's outburst.
"He is having gardening problems." Spain elaborates. "My tomato and I have shared our affection for many years, but Prussia is only now coaxing the tomato of his heart and it just hasn't been working for him."
France rolls his eyes. "In other words, Prussia got rejected."
"Repeatedly." Spain mumbles.
"Not very kindly, either." France sits his empty glass on the table. "Well, dinner was lovely. Your children are darling. Thank you for your company."
Finland immediately thanks them for coming, slipping into his host role with practiced ease. Sweden follows the three to the door as Finland ushers his remaining guests to the door.
When the two nations are gone, Finland and Sweden divvy up the chores. It's getting close to nine on a school night so Sweden takes responsibility for making sure all homework is done, then getting the children in bed and reading them a story. (Finland and Sweden agree that it's impossible to be too old for storytime. Sweden, Ladonia, and Sealand are currently working on The Hunger Games trilogy in the evenings. Finland isn't sure which book they're at, but he thinks it's the second.)
Finland uses this time to store the leftovers, clear the table and wash the dishes. Then he uses the quiet time to get ready for bed himself. Ten minutes into his shower, Sweden steps into the bathroom.
"Everything okay?" Finland pokes his soapy head from around the curtain.
"Mmhmm. Can I join you?"
"Of course." Finland says. "I'm almost done, anyway."
Finland leans his head back into the stream, sighing in contentment. Sweden steps into the shower and Finland ogles him shamelessly.
"You're so hot." Finland breathes.
Sweden chuckles and presses him against the wall. "Yeah?"
"Yeah." Finland's arms wrap around Sweden's broad shoulders as their mouths meld together. They make out for a few minutes before Sweden pulls away.
"What do you want?"
"Just get us off." Finland replies desperately, one hand sliding down Sweden's chest to pull their erect cocks together. "Just… yeah."
Sweden presses forward to grind his hips into Finland's. Finland pushes back appreciatively, tugging their cocks together. Sweden groans, tilting his neck back to allow Finland to suck greedily on his neck. One of Sweden's hands reaches down and wraps around Finland's, discovering a rhythm as they tug furiously.
"Gonna come." Sweden grits out.
"Me too." Finland moans. "Do it. Come on me."
Sweden does, and Finland follows him shortly. The two nations kiss languidly and Sweden moves their intertwined, dirty hands under the shower stream.
Finland laughs, and readjusts their bodies so he can rinse the shampoo from his head.
"You're a distracting distraction." Finland chastises.
"Sorry." Sweden replies unapologetically.
Ten minutes later the two are in bed, Finland curled up against Sweden's chest and Sweden's hands rubbing against his back and through his hair.
Finland is purring with contentment as he relaxes with his best friend, but Sweden's mind is on other matters.
Finland blinks out of his trance. "Huh?"
"We're going to set up Prussia and Iceland."
"We're going to set up Prussia and Iceland."
"Couldn't you tell?"
"Not at all, Sve."
"Obvious." Sweden replies. "Prussia's love interest is friends with us. Why else would he have come to dinner? Denmark and Norway are together. It might be Estonia, but that's doubtful. It's most likely Iceland."
Finland sighs. "Sve, I wanna go to sleep."
"Okay." Sweden replies. "I'm going to make a phone call."
Finland sighs. "Right now?"
Sweden makes an impatient face, and Finland realizes that Sweden actually wants to play matchmaker.
"Okay." Finland says, sitting up. "What do you need me to do?"
"Nothing." Sweden chortles, pulling Finland back down. "You always think you have to do something."
Finland yawns while Sweden flips through his contact information. Finland waits as Sweden dials the number.
Finland freezes. What on Earth is Sve…?
"Prussia likes you." Sweden says suddenly. "Yeah. Okay. Yeah? Okay. Bye."
Finland is a little dumbfounded. "What just happened?"
Sweden presses a kiss to Finland's forehead.
"People always think they have to be subtle." Sweden explains. "They never say anything."
"For obvious reasons!" Finland argues, a little defensive of Prussia's behalf.
"Like?" Sweden demands.
"Like… like… the person could say no?"
"So? If you don't ask, you don't know and you never find out."
Finland can't exactly argue with Sweden's logic. "But that's not matchmaking, Sve, that's just blatantly telling."
"Then I am a blatant teller." Sweden acknowledges. "Goodnight, Fin."
Finland makes a noise of protest. "But you can't just tell him!"
"That doesn't make for a very good story!"
"Running around in circles does?"
"Sounds stressful. Night, Fin."
Spain's abuse of the word "Tomatoes" is stolen from Champagnesly! If you haven't, go check her out. You will NOT be disappointed!