Hey there! Okay, so I decided to continue this, apparently. This is kinda a sequel for my other SuFin-fic, 'A regular visit'.
Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia, I only write for the fandom's sake and for mine!
Thanks to DancingOnRainbow for beta-reading! :D
Over four centuries.
Actually, four hundred and forty six years.
Sweden did this every year. Now was no different. This was just another year, another Christmas he wished he could have spent with his dear wife.
Nothing had changed.
His steps were the same. Slowly and almost carefully taken as he walked through the snow that was spread across the ground in a thicker layer than normally. It was as cold as normally, too.
One hand clad in a black material tightly wrapped around a brown paperbag containing three flowers. A small case for his glasses stowed away in a pocket in which he was also having a necklace with a cross attached to it.
Peter was with England. Norway had beaten Denmark for trying to run away with his little curl. Iceland was being shy as always, carrying around his puffin on his shoulder like it was a small parrot.
And Sweden still missed Finland.
Yes. Everything really seemed to be normal. Like nothing had happened and Finland had just never been there.
Like Finland had never been there.
That hurt. That always hurt. No matter how much he thought that sentence, it always hurt. He tried to get used to it, tried so hard to make his emotions calm down and not go berserk when he thought of his dear wife and that one, simple sentence.
He had never succeeded.
Sweden opened the familiar gate that gave the normal, eerie sound you always hear in horror movies. His boots pressed the snow flat, his weight doing whatever it could to help.
He saw the tombstone even before he should be able to, his eyes trained to find it as soon as possible so he could see the place where his only true love was buried.
Sweden had never loved anyone before he had set eyes on Finland. That little man who always smiled and always talked. People often said that Finland spoke too much. Sweden couldn't disagree more. He always loved to hear Finland speak. Finland always spoke for both of them with the amount of words that spilled from his cute, little mouth.
His nervous laugh when he thought Sweden was mad at him or annoyed with him because of his stern and emotionless face. But Sweden had never been angry with Finland. Never. Not once. Finland didn't do anything that could make the Swede have that feeling toward him. He was just too adorable.
The chuckle he would occasionally give when he tried to contain his laughter when at the meetings. Apparently, Sweden said funny things that made Finland chuckle so much he either fell from his chair and was in cramps, or made him simply leave the room. He would peek in a few minutes later, getting eye contact with Sweden while ignoring everyone else and their confused expressions, and he would break down again, leaving the room once more.
They could all hear his incredibly loud laughter in the hallway and they could nearly see the tears well up in his eyes. The others would maybe look at Sweden to figure out what the hell had just been going on. But Sweden would never give anything away; his face was blank and unmoving as always. On the inside, though, he was the complete opposite.
The other Nordics rolled their eyes while Denmark huffed slightly and sent an annoyed glance at the Swede who didn't notice him. He only had eyes for Finland and his heart nearly burned with happiness and passion when he knew how he made Finland feel.
Eventually, the Finn would come back, eyes red and teary and he would take his seat beside Sweden again, acting like nothing had happened. And how tired he would be. Finland was always so tired when he had been laughing and chuckling like that. This also meant that Sweden would allow himself to let Finland rest against him during the rest of the meeting and on the way home.
Normally, he would be too afraid to lose his cool and just not give a damn about anything, and he was afraid he would end up harming the man he loved the most. The only man he loved. But when Finland was sleeping, when that little face was so relaxed and he could feel the body slowly move with his breathing, he could only stare at him. His eyes would never move from the perfect lips that were parted ever so slightly, the closed and relaxed eyes and the cute little sounds that occasionally escaped him. Sort of snoring, the other called it.
Sweden didn't care about a name for the sound. He just knew he found it so incredibly cute. Everything about Finland was cute.
Especially the way Finland would never wake up when they should get out of the vehicle or airplane or whatever transportation they had been taking. Sweden would try and wake him for a few minutes but when he never succeeded, he would let a warm smile slip over his face, freaking the other Nordics out, before he would carefully pick up the sleeping man and carry him into the house and into the bedroom to put him under the blankets and duvets.
And resting there, nearly entirely covered by the countless fabrics and pillows - Finland surrounded himself with them, for some reason - Sweden would just stand beside the bed, smile gone but still warm on the inside. He would maybe stroke the cheek or the hair but nothing more than that before he would leave the room again, closing the door silently so he wouldn't wake him up.
By the tombstone sat a small shadow with its back to him. Sweden seemingly didn't notice as he slowly walked closer, frosty flakes landing in his hair and melting over time, making the blond strands wet before freezing cold and stiff. The paperbag rustled, snow squeaked. Air escaped him in small clouds.
"You sho'ld go hom'. It's col' outside today," he mumbled when he was close enough for the small person to hear and to notice himself. Said person didn't let it show if he or she had heard Sweden's words. And Sweden only cared about the person because this was Finland's grave. No one should be sitting here, except Sweden. This was Sweden's place, he would stay here forever and ever if he could.
Now, the big and blonde Nordic stood by the person clad in a long and heavy-looking black cloak. It was complete with a hood and everything so Sweden could see absolutely nothing of him or her. It didn't mean anything to him, though. Except that there was a slightly wrong feeling about the person. Like he or she didn't belong here.
But what did Sweden know, he had been up till way too late tonight to finish a piece of furniture for an important client. He was tired and wanted to sleep but more than that, he wanted to visit Finland's last place of peace. He would never stop that, he would never miss out on this visit. If he broke a leg and an arm, then he would still go. Lost a lung and a kidney? Oh well, you have two of both so that didn't matter. Besides, it would only be a small sting of pain whenever he moved. Nothing that would hinder him in going here.
"D' you mind? I wan' a little privacy here." The Swede was normally not someone who bossed others around - he left that job for Denmark who did it perfectly fine - and he would normally respect others at a graveyard. But this person... there was something about him or her that Sweden couldn't quite define. And though it didn't scare him at all, he really wanted privacy when talking to Finland.
Because he would always cry, that was for sure, and that was so embarrassing. He didn't want anyone to see that, not even a stranger.
He got no reaction from the mysterious person. Sweden nearly frowned.
"Could it b' you are a frien' of Tino?" he then asked. And this time, he actually got a reaction. Small and bare hands grabbed the edge of the hood and folded it back, exposing a small head with short, blond strands just visible under a white beret.
Without knowing why, a deep, so very deep, stab of pain drove through his heart and nearly had him show an expression. That hair looked just like Tino's. It was the same kind of beret, as well.
"You should have brought Hanatamago. She would have recognized me in an instant."
Sweden froze. And it had nothing to do with the cold, nothing to do with the snow that still gently fell on top of his head.
"How is she doing, by the way? You usually talk about the others and you."
Sweden's heart skipped a beat before coming to a halt for a painfully long second. No. This... this couldn't be. There was no way it was possible, he would have heard of it. He would have known if the government had planned on forming Finland once more. He would have noticed it, would have felt it.
He had felt the confusion when people living in the country called Finland suddenly got new nationalities and he had felt it when people moved to either his own country or to Russia.
Sweden would have felt it and known it if Finland was created again.
But it was as sure as frozen water being cold and boiling water being hot that it was Finland who turned around and smiled up at him.
It was his big and bright, violet eyes that looked like amethysts, shining and glistening with the many facets of a real diamond. And it was the same smile that could light the darkest pits and pools of darkness. Wide and cute as ever. The soft and pale cheeks that were now covered by an ever so feathery hint of pink, a so very soft blush crawling over his face. They looked slightly thinner than usual, like he had lost weight. The hair was the same, as well, Sweden saw when the beret was slowly removed. Blond and short, some of the strands playfully brushing his ears. Small and cute ears that had to hear Sweden's heartbeat. Or lack thereof.
Because Sweden was not sure if his heart had set a pace twice as fast as it normally would or if it had simply stopped. He did not know if the pain in his chest was due to the muscle that brought vital blood to the rest of his system or if it was because his mind told him this was real but that he would also lose Finland again.
But... he knew one thing. He knew that his knees gave in and that they connected with the hard but yet strangely soft and cold snow. The coat was shielding his trousers from the wet substance, his hands resting beside him, one on either side.
And Finland chuckled. And it was the same sound as Finland had ever made. The soft but chilling sound, like a million bells ringing in the cold and frosty air, bringing message of a saint coming close. A sound containing so much softness it was like touching a chinchilla's fur, as friendly as the friend you have always had, that friend you can tell everything to. It was as gentle as the gentle brushes of fingers against your cheeks and your hair.
It was all that was Finland. Even his nose. Small and cute, with a slightly rounder tip than you would usually see. But it was red as Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer's nose. Was he freezing?
A hand reached out for him. A small hand, smaller than he remembered, wrapped in tight and black leather, the fabric gently hugging each little bit of skin, the contour of each finger so very clear. Sweden could almost see the pearly nails.
And then the fingers brushed his cheek. It made Sweden's breath hitch and he thought he would pass out. The touch was all Finland, it was so much him. How... how could it be? How could Finland be alive, how could his touch feel so real?
Sweden knew he was dead. Sweden had been the one to fix Finland before his funeral. Sweden had washed the Finn's dead body and Sweden had covered it in beautiful white clothes that only made Finland look even more like the angel Sweden saw him as. Sweden had brushed the hair and set it perfectly. And Sweden had carefully put him in the coffin and closed the lid.
All of it done without showing a single hint of emotions. But on the inside, he had been choking up and his heart had ached so immensely with each single beat. His movements had been slow and precise as ever, he hadn't show a single bit of emotions, not even in the way his fingers brushed over the skin, wished so deeply that Finland would just open his eyes and smile up at him.
And now... now he was right there. Finland was right there in front of him and he was... why wasn't he smiling anymore? Why did Finland look so serious? Finland shouldn't look like that, Finland was always happy and Finland did always smile.
But it was gone now. The smile had gone and he was instead frowning as he moved a bit closer, his fingers brushing Sweden's cold cheeks. And they got a tiny bit firmer as Finland came to sit in front of the other, his long cloak shielding him from the cold and from sitting directly in the wet snow.
Sweden felt both his cheeks be grabbed gently by Finland's gloved hands. His mind went blank, he was left to only stare at the man he so fiercely wished would come back. And now he was there, he really was there. Those fingers weren't a ghost's. They were warm and soft, gentle as they had always been.
"Swe?" the Finn whispered, eyes flickering over the Swede's face. "Swe, what's the matter?"
Only then did Sweden realize that the pain in his chest was also because he had held his breath, that since Finland had turned around he hadn't exhaled nor inhaled air that his lungs now so desperately craved and needed.
He let the air out and took a new breath and he could hear how it shook and how it was uneven.
"Tino." His lips formed the words and his tongue gave them sound. It wasn't pronounced as good as he was able to, the shock being too much for him. "Tino. Tino. S... Smile."
And the Finn tilted his head ever so lightly, looking like a curious dog. His eyes slowly moved over Sweden's face, as if trying to find sense in what he had just said.
"Smile? Why?" But he did it. The corners of his lips pulled upwards and created the most perfect, most wonderful smile Sweden would ever see. And it was only for him. Only for him and for Peter.
His breath came out as a shaking, wheezing sound and he closed his eyes. But he could still see it. The smile was as if burnt into his retina.
"Swe? You're acting weird, are you okay?" Finland asked, his voice sounding most curious but also scared and worried. His strong Swede was being weird, his strong Swede looking like he had trouble with something.
His expression was lacking as always but Finland knew the man enough to see that something was wrong. Sweden might never show what he felt, might never crack the smallest hint of a smile but Finland didn't need that. He only needed to hear Sweden's voice and look into his eyes to know when something was off. Which was very rare as Sweden was always so strong and calm and composed, he never let anything get to him.
Sweden felt the Finn's hands grasp around both of his cheeks. The fingers brushed over his cold skin, his eyes opened and he saw Finland sit right there, right in front of him. The eyes shone but it was with anything but happiness. It was with pure worry.
"Swe! Say something!" The smile faltered a bit, his face becoming serious.
Sweden took a deep breath.
"I... Sorry, Tino, it's just... you hav' been dead for s' long and then you're here aga'n."
Finland let out a small sigh, the air forming a tiny, white cloud in front of his mouth before a wide smile spread on his face. "You're cutting vowels again, Swe. I thought you had fixed that."
"You... you actuall' heard wha' I said to you?" the Swede mumbled and slowly, ever so slowly and carefully lifted his own gloved hand, the paperbag falling to the ground, and the flowers becoming exposed. He didn't care about that, though, as his fingers made contact with Finland's cheeks, touches so soft as if he was afraid the other would break from them.
"Everything," Finland whispered and closed his eyes. "I heard everything you said. I don't know how, I couldn't see you, I could just... it was as if the words just seeped into my mind."
Sweden took yet another deep breath before letting his touches get firmer, feeling the man better. And even through the thick gloves he could feel the heat that radiated from his small man. He felt the warm skin, the tips of his fingers brushing over the face he knew so well, yet had never really known. Finland's head got slightly heavier as he leaned into the touches, eyes still closed, and a content sound escaped his throat. It nearly sounded like he was humming.
"I was happy, Swe. When you talked to me, I was happy. It made me glad that you remembered it every single year. You never failed, never missed a day, a year. And it was always the same time of the day."
Sweden nodded. Yes, he had made it a rule for him to make the visit at the exact same time every year. Both when he left flowers and when he would take back the cross a few days before New Year's Eve.
He was in shock, still. How could this happen...? How could Finland be alive again? He had been dead for so long, over four hundred years. What had happened? Why hadn't he felt anything? Heard anything? Shouldn't the government have told him anything? Sweden had been the one to take most of Finland's population when Finland was no longer a country. Russia had taken the rest while a few others had gone to other places in the world. Sweden remembered that Denmark had been pissed that none had gone to his place.
And when had it happened? When had Tino resurrected? When had the government decided to bring back Finland as a country?
The Swede looked closer at the other, bringing their faces a tiny bit closer together. He saw the familiar shine of nervousness when he got close but as always he had no intention of doing anything.
The eyes were clear and bright as ever but the colour was slightly duller and more faded than it had been before. The skin was paler, colder as well despite still being warm. Sweden took off a glove and dropped it on the ground, his fingers running through the Finn's stiff and cold hair.
"When did you get back?" he asked and pulled back again. He knew how his face was showing an expression now, one of confusion.
"I remember waking up in the snow this very morning."
"S' you didn't wake 'p in a cof'in?" Finland shook his little blond head and took Sweden's hand, giving it a light squeeze.
The bigger of the men stared at the smaller for a long time before noticing a slight shivering of the other's body. The cloak was covering his figure entirely but Sweden could see the trembling of the limbs.
"You're freezin'," he mumbled and stretched his arms out and forward as he moved his legs as well, going in for an embrace. At first, he felt Finland stiffen in his grip but it look less than seconds before he relaxed and let his head fall onto Sweden's shoulder.
"I have lost weight," he just said and Sweden could feel it now when he was so close. The cloak did a good job in covering the small body but the Swede could still feel bones poke out through the fabric. When letting his hand run over the back, his fingers could easily make out every vertebra, feel the contour of the bones. He felt so fragile in his big and strong, powerful arms.
It was therefore with immense care that he hugged the smaller man tighter to his chest and picked up the brown paperbag while lifting the small Finn at the same time.
"It's Christmas," Sweden mumbled, his voice deep and shaking, "we'll mak' you chubby again."
Finland pouted, a yelp following when he suddenly found himself resting in Sweden's arms, his head lying against the broad chest.
"I'm not chubby!" he grumbled but couldn't help a wide, bright smile. "I was just... I like food, okay?"
"I kno'. It's cute."
Sweden then carried his wife back to the car, through the snow and through the metal gate that still gave that eerie sound. Once inside the car, Finland was carefully placed on the passenger seat before Sweden went to the front seat and started the car as well as turned on the heat. He took off his coat and draped it around the small Finn over the cloak.
"Where is Peter?" Finland asked in a slow and beginning to be drowsy voice.
"With Englan'. He'll come back tomorrow."
"I see... He's still good?"
"Mh." An affirmative sound. Sweden put the car in reverse and backed a few meters before putting the vehicle in first gear and started to drive forward and out.
"Has he become a nation yet?"
"No. Still a fort but he's become bigge'. He's very excited 'bout it."
Finland smiled softly, his eyes closed and head leaning against the door of the car.
"I understand that. He wants so badly to be like us."
And then there was silence. Sweden soon realized that it was because Finland had fallen asleep. His body moved with the car's movements and his head often made rather violent moves but he didn't wake up.
'Would've thought him to be full of energy after over four hundred years of sleep,' the Swede thought to himself and dared to take his eyes off the road for a second, long enough to see a slight blush covering the Finn's cheeks. He brushed some hair out of the other's eyes and looked back on the road before him. They would soon be home.
Finland didn't wake up when the car stopped. Not that Sweden minded. Quite the opposite. He got to once more carry his lovely, sleeping wife into the house and just as they moved over the door step and got inside, there was a slight stirring in the small body before lids were moved back and beautiful amethysts were looking up at him.
"We're hom'," Sweden informed when the Finn moved his gaze to the things around him and got a confused expression.
"Do you want t' sle'p?" Finland shook his head and made signs that he wanted down. Sweden obeyed and carefully set Finland down again, holding a hand on his shoulder just in case.
"I want a shower and then something to eat... Is that okay?" Sweden nodded and quickly went upstairs to prepare the shower. His feet moved faster than normally and his hands were shaking when he found towels and clean clothes. He hadn't touched Finland's room - except for when cleaning it - and the only other person he had allowed access was little Sealand.
Moving into the bathroom, he put the things down on their appropriate places so they wouldn't get wet but were still reachable, then moved to the sink and grabbed it with both hands. 'Calm down,' he thought to himself and stared down at the white and clean porcelain. 'It's Tino, he's come back. Just be yourself, act like you always do. Try to ignore that he has been dead for over four hundred years.'
But that was of course impossible. The one most important to him had been missing in his life for four hundred and forty six years. How could he ignore, let alone forget, that fact? It was impossible. But... now he was back. He was in this very house and he was alive. He was talking, breathing, smiling, chuckling. Like nothing had happened. He was thinner, that was all.
He heard steps behind him but he didn't have time to turn around before a pair of arms was put around his waist and a small body leaned against his own.
"Swe, would you... mind joining me?" the Finn mumbled into his clothes, making the words near incomprehensible.
"Is that okay wi'h you?"
"Mmh. That's why I'm asking, Rockface." Finland chuckled a little before pulling away, letting the Swede turn around. His face was stern and cold but as always when Sweden actually felt something, Finland could see it in his eyes.
"Do you wan' me t' look away when you undres', or?" The Finn shook his head and couldn't help a small smile when he saw Sweden nearly blush. It was nothing more than a dust of pink across his face but it was the closest Sweden had ever gotten to blushing.
"I don't mind." The Swede nodded slowly and with equally unhurried but shaking fingers started to unbutton his shirt after having turned on the hot water. Finland took off Sweden's coat and folded it carefully before putting it on the floor in front of the door. He then fumbled a bit with the cloak, apparently having problems with the opening. Sweden leaned a bit forward and helped him, making the heavy fabric fall to the floor and reveal that Finland was absolutely and utterly naked.
The bigger man froze for a second before he pulled away again, forcing his eyes to only look at Finland's face. He was no pervert and wouldn't look at Finland's private parts so it wasn't really that hard to keep his eyes away from that place.
"You wer' naked under this?" he concluded, though with an asking tone and began to remove his socks, pants and glasses while Finland jumped into the shower, looking slightly embarrassed.
"Mmh," was all he received. Finland stood under the hot stream of water, eyes closed but head facing directly against the shower head so the water shot him square in the face. And despite the temperature his body was still shivering.
It took a long minute for the Swede to think about what he was now about to do. Having removed the last piece of clothing and folded it, he carefully stepped in behind Finland and let his arms slip around the smaller man. It made the Finn yelp lightly in surprise and his body tensed but much to Sweden's relief, he relaxed after a few seconds.
His heart was beating so fast. He had never been this close to his Tino. He had seen him naked only once - the first time he had bathed him. This made it the second time, and now he was all alive and breathing...
His body showed to be warmer than he had thought. When he first hugged Tino, the man was shaking from cold but as they just stood there and let the water hit against them, Finland slowly got warm as well.
As Sweden felt the shivering stop he was about to pull away but Finland apparently didn't want this. He took a firm hold of Sweden's upper arm and gently forced him to remain standing behind him. Sweden's breath hitched once more but he happily complied and moved even closer. He could feel Finland's spine poke against his own chest and stomach.
Because the Swede was much bigger than the small Finn, he was nearly leaning over the other, his arms tightly wrapped around the thin waist. Finland was leaning his head back, resting it against Sweden's shoulder and he was humming lightly, a content and satisfied sound that Sweden found so very appealing.
How long they stood like that none of them knew. It could have been ten minutes as well as it could have been an hour. They just let the water pour over them and run down their bodies, both of them having their eyes closed and just feeling each other, letting the other know they were there.
Sweden's heart never seemed to get accustomed to this, though. It continued to beat so fast and he nearly wished it would just slow down. It could maybe scare little Tino.
When Finland opened his mouth, this was exactly what Sweden feared he would say.
"Your heartbeat is so fast, Swe," he mumbled, eyes slowly opening.
"Mh." He remained where he was.
"Are you nervous?"
"... Mayb'. A bit."
Finland giggled and turned his head a bit so he could look at the Swede who still had his eyes closed.
"There's nothing to worry about. I'm still me. And I know you would never do anything to hurt me."
"...Mh." He knew that, as well. But that didn't hinder his body in reacting to having his Tino so close - and naked.
Because everybody loves cliffhangers.