A/N: and more than a month after this story's beginning we've reached the end. Rather sad actually… this is my longest story after all… I've grown to love the Nordics through Hair of the dog…
But what am I doing holding you back from the story? Enjoy the last instalment of Hair of the Dog!
For the last time, Hetalia isn't mine.
I won't tell you, there's nothing beneath your bed
I won't sell you, it's all in your head
This world of ours is not what it seems
The monsters are real but they're not in your dreams
Learn what you can from the beasts you defeat
You'll need it for some of the people you meet
Goodnight demon slayer, goodnight
Now it's time to close your tired eyes
There are devils to slay and dragons to ride
If they see you coming, hell they better hide
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight
Goodnight my little slayer, goodnight
Goodnight demon slayer - Voltaire
Berwald sighed when he heard the fire alarm go off, immediately going to investigate. He already knew the cause for it but it didn't hurt to make sure that Tino wasn't, in fact, burning the house down.
The Finn in question was pouting as he stared at burnt remains of whatever it was that he'd been attempting to make, the pan smoking ominously. "Tino… what did we say abou' ya cookin'?" Berwald chuckled, taking the pan away from his mate to try and scrape the inedible remains from the bottom of it.
"It's not fair though! You always have to cook since the others aren't here and I just wanted to do something nice for you!" he grumbled.
"Ah don' mind cookin' fer ya if it means ya not burnin' the house down. Lukas will kill us if the house isn' standin' when he 'nd Matthias get back." Berwald teased. He set the pan in the sink before moving to switch the alarm off.
"I'm not that bad am I?"
"Ya've almost burn' the house down three times this week, once while doin' nothin' but boilin' water fer some pasta."
Tino sighed, rolling his eyes. "Fine, point taken… but what will we do for breakfast now?"
The swede gave a small smile, tilting the Finn's face upwards to kiss him. "Ah'll do it, ya can make us some coffee 'nd try ta tear Peter away from the TV." He ordered. "What were ya tryin' ta make anyway?"
Tino went pink at the reminder of his failed cooking attempt. "…pancakes. Matthew emailed me the recipe when he passed through Denmark with Gilbert a few weeks ago." He admitted.
Berwald nodded. "Ah can do that." He assured.
The Finn smiled in response moving to put some coffee on while his mate made up a fresh batter. He may not have been good at cooking (okay, not good was putting it lightly, he was awful at it) but at least he could make nice coffee.
He was humming softly as the coffee brewed, eyes going to Berwald as the pancakes started cooking. He really was lucky he mused, unashamedly staring at the swede when he wasn't looking. He blushed when the tall blonde sensed his gaze and turned to meet his eyes.
"What are ya lookin' at?" he asked with a frown as his mate went red.
"Hahaha… nothing! Okay I may have been looking at you… don't judge me!"
Berwald just laughed softly, making sure the pancakes wouldn't burn before kissing his flustered mate. "Wouldn' dream of it." he murmured softly, lightly tracing the scars on Tino's neck. The thin pale band of scar tissue that circled his throat was only broken by a pair of jagged scars from both the silver he'd been bound with and the vampire bite several months ago.
The Finn sighed contently. "I love you…"
"Love ya ta Tino. Now go get Peter, the pancakes are almos' done." He said, releasing the man who pouted at the loss of contact.
"Alright…" he sighed softly, grabbing two mugs for the coffee before heading through to the lounge.
Peter sat entranced by cartoons on the TV, only looking away when Hanatamago came bounding up from down the passageway with the tennis ball the boy would then throw for her. The puppy was no longer as small as she had been though she was still the perfect size for Tino to pick up and cuddle.
The boy looked up at his approach. "Is breakfast ready Mum?" he asked. The name always made Tino want to either groan or smile. One the one hand it was nice to be seen as a parent, on the other being labelled as the woman was humiliating. Peter had overheard Berwald referring to the Finn as his wife and the name had unfortunately stuck.
"Joo it is, you ready to eat?"
The blonde boy nodded eagerly, switching off the TV to follow after Tino. Hanatamago was bounding along enthusiastically at his side; the dog had immediately taken to the boy. The Finn smiled at the sight before pausing when his sensitive hearing picked up on the postman arriving. "You go on, I'll just get the mail!" he promised, running to go pick it up.
There were only a few envelopes in the mail box, most of them bills. He grinned though when he saw a particularly thick envelope with a stamp from Botswana in the corner, his smile only grew when he saw the sender. He ran back inside, clutching the letter tightly.
Berwald had already set the table and poured the coffee into two mugs for them as Peter chowed down on the pancakes. "Wow mum! These are brilliant! Here Hana, try it!" the boy said, cutting off a small bit to give to the young dog who was begging at his feet. He sounded slightly surprised by how edible the food was.
"Don' feed her at the table Peter…" Berwald warned as Tino scratched the back of his head sheepishly.
"I actually burnt the originals… Berwald made them." He admitted.
"Oh, well they still taste awesome! Thanks Dad."
"What have ya got there Tino?" the swede asked, smiling at the boy's comment as he gave the Finn his coffee.
Tino sat down, smile returning as he set the letter aside to sip at the hot beverage. "Matthias and Lukas sent us a letter." He explained, putting his mug down to start on his pancakes. "Just let me eat and we can open it up okay?"
Tino was leaning against Berwald's side with a fresh cup of coffee as they all gathered on the couch to read the letter over the swede's shoulder. Peter was practically hanging off of the tall blonde so that he could see. Inside the envelope was a large pile of photos (obviously printed off a computer if the thin paper was anything to go by) and a letter printed in Lukas's neat script.
Dear Berwald, Tino and Peter.
I hope you guys are doing well and not destroying the house. I swear to god if the house has been burnt down in our absence I will personally kick your ass Berwald. I told you not to let Tino cook and I don't care if you can't say no to him.
Matthias says hi, he wanted to be the one writing this but I decided it would be better if I did. I don't want Peter being scarred for life and told him so. It also helps that the idiot is bed ridden with a bad sunburn after refusing to put any sunblock on. You'd think he'd do so since we're in the middle of the Kalahari Desert but it appears he didn't learn his lesson from when we were in Egypt…
It's hot as hell here but still interesting I guess. You can probably get the idea from the photos we sent. Lots of places to run provided we don't mind heat stroke.
Of course the wildlife is problematic. I had to convince Matthias that hunting a rhino was unethical seeing as they were endangered and all so he decided to take on a buffalo. How the idiot is still alive I don't know… I turned my back on him after stitching him up and the second I look back he's poking a two metre long and extremely pissed off cobra with a stick. His excuse was that he didn't know it was poisonous and it looked cool…
Other than the repetitive run ins with the wildlife (Matthias has also had run ins with not only a lion but also crocodiles, elephants, a pack of wild dogs and even a honey badger. Though the honey badger was funny I'll admit.) It's been nice. We even ran into Jett and James when we were in Namibia last week. It appears James is also having a tough time keeping his mate from messing with the wildlife since he was attempting to pull a rock python off of him…
We'll be heading across to Zimbabwe in a few days (provided we don't die of heat stroke) to see Victoria Falls and then we'll go into South Africa for a bit so if all goes according to plan we should be home in a month or so. It'll be nice to see some snow again, Africa is really lacking in the stuff unless you want to climb a mountain… the cooler weather will also be nice.
Say hi to Emil and Kaoru when they get back from China for me. They should be preparing to head home soon…
Lukas and Matthias
Tino smiled, grabbing at the photos to flip through them. "It looks like they're having fun at least." He mused, chuckling slightly as he came across a photo of Matthias trying to throw the honey badger off of him. The Dane was covered in scratch and bite marks as he tussled with the small black and white animal, his mouth was open in an apparent attempt to convince his mate for help. Apparently Lukas hadn't helped him if the pictures were anything to go by.
"Ja it does." Berwald agreed, looking over his shoulder. "We should go somet'me…"
"Well we do have forever."
Peter grinned at the idea. "I can come too right?"
The pair nodded. "Of course you can Peter." Tino smiled, nuzzling his mate's side tenderly. He chuckled as he came across a photo that Matthias obviously took. The Dane had his arm around Lukas's shoulder, pressing him tightly to his side. The Norwegian was scowling, looking angry to anyone who didn't know him well. The Finn could see a small, barely noticeable smile playing on his lips though.
"We should frame it." the swede murmured softly as he took the photo from him. He knew that Lukas would be embarrassed by it but he didn't care. They only had a few photos like that around the house and it would be nice to add to them.
"Joo we should." Tino agreed, kissing the taller blonde. "Maybe we can get a similar photo of us sometime…"
Peter's nose wrinkled slightly at the obvious displays of affection between his two parental figures. "Mum! Dad! Do you have to do that here?" he grumbled, making the two pull apart. The Finn was blushing slightly whilst the swede just raised an eyebrow.
"Ya don' have ta watch…" Berwald murmured, kissing his mate again.
The boy rolled his eyes muttering about how gross it was. He jumped up from his seat, calling to Hanatamago. "I'm going to go play with Hana until you guys stop being so gross okay?"
"Did you mean what you said about us going away sometime?" Tino asked softly as he lay against his mate's bare chest. His fingers were lightly tracing one of Berwald's more pronounced scars, one that stretched from shoulder to hip. He wondered how he'd gotten it but didn't ask, there'd be other times for such conversations.
"Course ah did. Ah'd love ta see the worl' with ya. We can go whenever ya want once the others get back. We have all etern'ty…"
The Finn nodded, a smile on his lips. "I'd like that." He replied.
"Ah love ya Tino."
"Joo, I love you too. Forever."
A/N2: and there you have it! Told you I'd come up with a happy ending! I chose to send Matthias and Lukas to Africa purely because I know the continent. I've walked the South African bushveld and seen storms rolling across the mountains of the cape of storms, I've seen pictures and heard stories of the countries to the north from my aunt and uncle's travels and experienced the wildlife.
And as for the honey badger thing… well they are actually that plucky. Even lions give them a wide berth since the creatures think they are bigger than they actually are… they're smart too, I've heard of one that actually could unlock a door where wildlife trophies were kept whilst avoiding any traps set for it so it could get at the meat. The rock python thing was based on my step mom's brother who recently had to pull one off of his Jack Russell on his game farm. The dog stupidly tried to pick a fight with the 4-5 metre long snake…
Now to finish up the three side stories for this (the spamano one 'every dog has his day', the DenNor one 'breaking gleipnir' and the fruk one 'let sleeping dogs lie' which has yet to be written). I'll get to work on those in a day or two since I want to get some work done on my novel.
Keiron: yep, that was my plan for him all along! Thanks, it'll work out in the end, that's the belief I cling to at least. When one door closes another opens, and if it doesn't, just run through a closed window like Tino does :) thanks for all the reviews for this fic!
Foreign language: thanks, I'll fight through it though :) I always do after all! No need to thank me for this story, if anything, thank you for reviewing!
Shahi: ja, it'll work itself out eventually, I'm not one to let fate play me for the fool… Arthur overcame his hell hound when he attacked Alfred during the battle. Unlike Tino who pretty much passed out straight away though the adrenaline allowed him to at least shift the tide of battle before he passed out from exhaustion. Hope that clears things up! Ja, I ship Fruk and Usuk equally so the one I favour generally depends on the plot. In 'tainted', initial usuk and eventual fruk was better suited to the story line but here it was the opposite with initial fruk and eventual usuk :) I typically ship world peace I guess… so anyone with everyone! Thanks for the luck and thanks for all the reviews!
Thanks to everyone who reviewed, favourited, followed or merely read this story! You guys are all awesome and I hope to see you during the side stories!