Warnings: High School AU, Shounen-ai, Unbeta'd, OOC?
Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia.
It went without saying that Emil Steilsson loved his family. The four of them always stuck by his side, picking him up whenever he fell down and giving him a push when he could not go on. Lukas protected him from everything he could, always giving hell to those who dared to make Emil suffer in any way. Mathias cheered him up with that stupid goofy grin of his that was so contagious whenever his confidence went down. Berwald gave him an ear to listen to his rambles, no matter how stupid or embarrassing they were. Tino offered him a shoulder to cry on, his arms always extended for the younger to come to and receive the much needed warmth of an embrace. Even if they tended to argue a lot (whether with each other or with Emil), the Icelander was extremely grateful to have them and would never change anything about them.
"You are to stay away from Emil. Do not speak to him, do not look at him, do not even attempt to communicate with him or I assure you, there will be consequences."
...At least, anything but their overprotection.
Emil growled under his breath, massaging the bridge of his nose in a vain attempt to calm down his growing headache. Not again.
"Lukas, seriously, this is completely unnecessary," he said with poorly concealed irritation, sending an apologetic glance at his boyfriend, who was cowering at his older brother's cold blue eyes. Sure, he knew that Lukas could be intimidating, but this... "Stop it."
The blond carried on with his glaring as if his younger brother was not present, "Understood?"
Emil felt a gentle yet firm hand grip his shoulder, and he looked up to see Tino closing his violet eyes and shaking his head at him, as if telling him it was no use to interfere. The Icelander hated to admit it, but he knew his cousin was right. If there was somebody more stubborn than Emil himself, it was Lukas. Even more so when it involved the former, regretfully.
Still, pointless or not, there was no way he would just sit down and watch his brother scare off yet another one of his love interests. He opened his mouth to defend him, ready to give his annoying 17-year-old brother a piece of his mind, when he suddenly heard the front door slamming closed. Emil clenched his fists and gritted his teeth when he saw the satisfaction in Lukas's normally dull eyes.
"Good riddance!" Mathias's irritating cheerful laugh resonated in their kitchen as he ruffled his little cousin's white hair.
"Must you..." He began, trying desperately not to lose his temper, "Must you always do this?"
Tino stared at him with an apology written in his warm eyes, but Emil knew he also agreed to such absurd methods of...of...of whatever this was.
"We are just trying to protect you," Behind him, Berwald nodded stoically.
"Protect me?" Emil repeated in a sneer, "Protect me from what, exactly?"
"What else? The hardships of love!" Amethyst eyes glared at the Dane, whose face seemed to harbor an impossibly wide grin.
Restraining from slapping away the hand on his head, Emil stepped away from Mathias, fuming., "You cannot protect me forever, you know? You have to let me make my own decisions."
"You're too young to understand," The Norwegian teen declared, to which Emil groaned. He hated it when his age was brought up.
"You're only one year older than me!" He yelled, exasperated at seeing them so uncaring towards his feelings, "I am not a child anymore!"
"No more discussions."
Emil growled once again before stomping his way out of the house, slamming the door behind him. He didn't care that his actions contradicted his previous statement and made him look childish; he just wanted to get away from his family for the rest of the day. When his head cooled down he would return and go straight to his room, only to be stopped by the smell of Berwald's wonderful cooking and eat dinner with the rest, stubbornly not saying any word and letting Mathias do most of the talking. Then Tino would try to add him to the conversation and Emil would refuse to meet his eyes, because if he did then he would forgive them for what they did. Just like he always did.
He was taken out of his musings when he suddenly felt a rather strong impact on his face, making him stumble backwards and fall on his back. His nose felt numb for a few seconds before a warm liquid ran down his lips and chin. Shakily, Emil brought his fingers to his nose, wincing at the sharp pain he caused. Amethyst eyes widened slightly when seeing the blood in his hand. How did that happen...?
"S-Steilsson-kun?! Are you alright?!" Emil, still slightly out of it, looked up to see the familiar face of Kiku Honda, an upperclassmate.
"Kiku...what are you doing here?" His rather weak voice had a small confused tone as he looked around him. Now that he thought about it, this part of town looked different than where he lived...Could it be possible that he was so deep in thought that he did not notice where he was going? It wouldn't really be the first time, but he was pretty sure it would take him longer to go back, and that meant having to endure a lecture from Lukas and the worried babbles of Tino. He put his head in his hands, groaning at his misfortune. Kiku visibly jumped, mistaking his actions as pain.
"Please do not move! I will be back immediately!" The Japanese male shot a glance towards his right side. Emil followed his eyes only to see another young Asian male with an uninterested look in his face, a bloodied baseball ball in his hand. Emil narrowed his eyes, "Xiang-kun, please take care of him while I go get Yao-san!"
Yao...wasn't that the Chinese guy who didn't get along with Lukas? Fantastic. He was about to tell Kiku that it wasn't necessary, that he could take care of it himself, but there was no sign of the black-haired male. He sighed.
"You should like, watch were you're going."
Emil looked up and immediately frowned at the young male, who crouched in front of him, nonchalantly inspecting his ("Please don't be broken!") nose. Deciding to ignore the jerk, the Icelander leaned his head back so the blood wouldn't stain his shirt, giving him more chances to hide this incident from his protective family.
He was surprised when a gentle hand softly moved his head forward, leaving his amethyst eyes locked in the concrete floor.
"You shouldn't do that. You can choke or vomit and stuff," the guy (Xiang, was it?) said matter-of-factly, causing the Icelander to scowl. He hated it when people used that voice on him.
"I knew that," He blushed in embarrassment when Xiang chuckled.
"Sure did," the Asian replied, a slightly amused tone in his voice, "Now you have to, like, pinch the bridge of your nose to stop the flow."
Frustrated at being told what to do, Emil did as instructed, feeling ashamed for not being able to know anything.
"Now what?" he asked, irritated.
"Now we wait."
A moment of silence passed between them, making the Icelander incredibly uncomfortable. He kept trying to glance at his side, half-expecting his brother to appear out of nowhere and take him back home, scolding him on the way there – but that was quite stupid. It wasn't like Lukas had some sort of Emil-radar that tingled every time he was in trouble. As infuriating as it would be, Emil couldn't help but smile at the thought in amusement. It did sound like Lukas, as silly as it was.
"What's so like, funny?" Xiang asked nonchalantly, though his eyebrows rose a little.
Emil quickly erased the smile from his lips, "Nothing."
"You were smiling," The dark-haired teen pointed out.
"No, I wasn't," Emil scowled.
"Yes, you were," Xiang insisted.
"No, I wasn't."
"Yes, you were."
"No, I wasn't!"
"Xiang, aru!" The mentioned boy frowned a little at the shout of his name. Emil, taken off-guard, jumped slightly in surprise and looked up, finding Kiku and Yao approaching them. He and Xiang sighed softly simultaneously, "What have you done?!"
The younger Chinese teen pursed his lips, but other than that his expression remained nonchalant, "My baseball hit him. Like, it's not my fault. He totally just walked into it."
Emil huffed in indignation, stubbornly telling himself that no, this wasn't his fault and Xiang was all to blame, but knowing deep down that the Asian boy was right, so he stayed quiet.
"That's no excuse, aru!" Yao exclaimed fiercely, reminding Emil of a scolding mother, and Xiang's –was he pouting?- face did not help the image, "What if you hit his head instead, aru? What if you broke his skull, aru? What if-"
Kiku seemed to sense Emil's silent despair and quietly debated with himself about what to do before turning to his older brother, "Yao-san, Xiang-kun is not to blame. If anything, it should be me the one at blame. As one of the eldest, it's my duty to watch over the younger ones, and I failed to measure the safety of both of them. I apologize," He bowed down respectfully.
Yao sighed, amber eyes softening, "It's not your fault, Kiku. Stand up, aru."
Kiku did as told quietly, still uncertain.
"Sorry about this," The Chinese man grumbled, crouching down next to Xiang to have a better look at Emil, "I'll apologize to your brother personally, aru."
"That's not necessary," Emil mumbled. It didn't take a genius to notice how reluctant Yao seemed, "It was just an accident. I'll take care of it myse-" He was interrupted by the older teen who raised a hand to silence him.
"Nonsense, aru!" Yao shook his head fervently, opening the first aid kit Kiku brought and pried Emil's hand off his nose to clean the blood. The Icelander blushed in embarrassment at the treatment, feeling like a little kid all over again.
Retaining a sigh, Emil submitted to his -rather embarrassing- fate and let Yao do his work. Emil awkwardly tried not to wince as the Chinese's skilled fingers treated his injured nose. In the back of his mind, the Icelander couldn't help but notice how forward the elder was, how non-hesitant and sure of their movements his hands were. It seemed as if he was quite used to this - perhaps his siblings got injured frequently? He was the eldest out of - how many were they, again?
"Finished, aru," Yaoi's voice made Emil blink repetitively, momentarily caught off-guard by being pulled out of his thoughts so unexpectedly.
"Thanks," The white-haired boy mumbled, once again overcome with embarrassment at his current situation.
Yao stood up and turned to his youngest brother, "Help him up, aru."
Xiang gave him a blank look before holding out his hand to Emil, who hesitantly took it. The Icelander was surprised yet again with the gentleness of the younger Chinese boy as he was pulled up.
In any case, there wasn't any way Emil would thank the guy who hit him in the face with a baseball. The mere thought made him scowl.
Ignoring the faintest of smiles tugging at Xiang's lips and the slightest of heats creeping in his own pale cheeks, Emil immediately let of the offending Chinese boy's (warm) hand - perhaps too quickly, if Xiang's soft chuckle was any hint of that.
"Sorry for the trouble," Emil didn't mean to grumble, but judging by the almost unnoticeable spark of amusement in Kiku's dull eyes and Yao's unaffected raise of an eyebrow, neither Asian seemed to mind his brief show of impoliteness.
"No problem, aru," Yao said, crossing his arms, "You don't ming Xiang escorting you home as an apology, right?"
Something in Yao's tone made Emil realize he really didn't have a choice, so he shook his head reluctantly.
Yao nodded approvingly and quickly cocked his head to the direction Emil had come from, "Don't be late for dinner, aru."
"Yeah, yeah," Xiang mumbled, already walking off. With a last uncertain glance at Kiku and Yao, Emil followed with heavy steps.
The Icelander tried not to show any sign of his growing uneasiness from the uncomfortable silence that was quick to settle between them - at least, uncomfortable in Emil's perspective, for Xiang seemed to be completely at ease. Back slightly hunched over, shoulders sagging lightly, hands deeply dug inside the casual red jacket...the Chinese teen looked like the personification of peacefulness.
Before he could stop himself - or even realize what he was doing -, Emil's amethyst eyes lifted their sight to Xiang's face.
He had rather sharp features, Emil decided, with an angular chin that rounded softly, high elegant cheekbones, and a straight nose that seemed not to hold a single flaw. His dark chocolate hair looked black at the lack of light around them, although that didn't stop Emil from taking note of the sloppy way it was styled. It vaguely reminded Emil of that one time when his family decided they could save money by cutting Emil's hair themselves...Needless to say, more money was spent on hats and hair-growing products than anything else. Even so, where Emil used to look like he just finished battling a hair-eating monster, Xiang looked just right. The white-haired boy couldn't come up with another way to describe it.
The dark locks cupped his face perfectly, giving his sharp features a softer edge, and those slightly (endearing) thick eyebrows also made his (gorgeous) amber eyes stand out and look even brighter, amplifying the light of mischief that Emil quickly began to recognize as the most prominent trait of Xiang's personality. All that reflected in those eyes that were currently locked in his own, mischievousness momentarily replaced with curiosity, amusement and -
Emil almost yelped in surprise (horror) when he finally noticed Xiang's attention on him. His pale cheeks were quick to flow with a rosy color. Darn, he had been caught staring! Why was he staring in the first place?!
"What?" He asked sharply.
Xiang's eyebrows rose and he raised his hands in mock surrender.
"I asked where you live," The Asian repeated slowly, which made Emil's voice boil, "Unless you like, want to keep walking in a straight direction and all."
Emil almost growled but managed to keep his composure and, huffing indignantly, raised his head, straightened his back, pushed back his shoulders, and quickened his feet to walk in front of Xiang.
"Sorry," The simple, two-syllable word almost made Emil halt in his track. Almost.
"What for?" The white-haired boy asked, feigning nonchalance despite his genuine confusion.
"For almost breaking your nose," Something in Xiang's tone made the Icelander want to smile, but he refrained from doing so.
"Don't worry about it," Emil replied, feeling considerably lighter than before, "I'm sorry too. For getting you in trouble, I mean."
"You mean Yao?" Xiang chuckled, falling into step beside the other boy, "He like, flips off from every little thing and stuff. No big deal."
Not really knowing why, Emil chuckled softly as well. He guessed he could relate.
"Is that hair, like, natural?" Xiang asked out of the blue, to which Emil frowned a little.
"Yeah," He answered defensively. What, did he look like one of those attention-seeker teenagers who dyed their hair in unusual colors?
"Cool," Was the simple reply. Emil was taken aback by the smile that took over the Chinese boy's lips.
Emil refused to acknowledge the heavy blush that resided in his face.
Far too soon, Emil took notice that they had already stepped into his neighborhood. He didn't bother this time to ignore the disappointed feeling clenching at his heart, suddenly wishing his house was farther away.
"Thanks for walking me, even if it wasn't your choice," Emil muttered as they slowly approached his doorstep. He really was not looking forward to going home - and, perhaps, he would have appreciated to talk to Xiang a little more. It wasn't really often that Emil spoke to people outside his family other than his classmates at school, who were just that, his classmates. The Icelander wasn't one of many friends, and the few he held dear (which, in reality, was a girl by the name of Lily and sometimes a boy named Feliks who auto-proclaimed himself his friend) had a social life not including him.
"Who says I didn't want to?" The Chinese boy raised an eyebrow, and Emil felt a little surprised, "You're cute enough."
Caught off-guard, Emil gaped. Xiang chuckled and leaned forward, grabbing the Icelander's chin with those gentle hands of his, and lightly pressed their lips together.
Emil felt his face explode with heat. This was far from his first kiss, but it was definitely his first stolen one. Usually Emil would be somewhat hesitant to show physical affection, so most of his romantic (ex)partners were careful around him when it came to touching.
Therefore, something like this was completely unexpected, and the slight shudder at the feeling of electricity running down his spine was mere astonishment, of course.
Before Emil could sort out his thoughts and much less react, Xiang had already pulled away, smirking smugly.
"My family's going to kill you," Was the first thing Emil could think of saying. The Chinese boy chuckled.
"I'm aware," He said lightly, lifting a hand to brush away the soft white hair that was now a striking contrast with the cherry red cheeks, "Your family is like, incredibly infamous back at school."
Emil was quick to duck his head and swat away Xiang's (inviting) intruding hand.
"In any case," Xiang continued with his usual impassive expression, and, much to the Icelandic boy's horror, licked his lips nonchalantly, "You're like, really cute."
"So you've said," Emil glared.
Xiang went on as if he hadn't spoken, "And I really like cute things."
His smirk came back and the Icelander's amethyst eyes widened slightly.
"You - you mean..." Emil internally cursed himself for blushing again and stuttering like a school girl.
Xiang leaned his head forward to catch Emil's lips on his once more before pulling away quickly.
"Stop doing that!" The white-haired boy exclaimed hotly, covering his mouth with a hand as he glared fiercely at the brunet.
"I'll make you mine," Xiang declared, almost flatly if it hadn't been for that one mischievous spark in his amber eyes.
Emil scowled, turning his back to him to enter his house, "Sure, like I'd let you!"
Another quiet chuckle escaped Xiang's lips, "How will you stop me? By like, sending your family to hunt me down?"
"It doesn't sound like a bad idea," Emil growled, though he didn't make a move to open the door.
"Good luck, then," Xiang replied, absentmindedly placing his hands inside his pockets once more, "I'm, like, known to be quite stubborn, you know? I always get what I want."
"Now you sound like a spoiled brat," Emil sighed in irritation, lifting his hand and turning the doorknob, knowing the door was open, "Anyway, goodnight. I'd say thanks again, but I'll pass."
"Bye," Xiang momentarily took out his hand out of his pocket to lazily wave Emil goodbye, "I'll see you tomorrow."
Emil frowned and walked in, wordlessly closing the door behind him. He stayed silent for a moment as he didn't move from his spot, his mind trying to catch up with that day's events. First he had (indirectly) broken up with his lover, then he had (another) argument with his family, next he had been (painfully) hit by a baseball in the face, and lastly a rather (handsome) annoying Asian boy declared he wanted him.
The Icelander's pale cheeks were quick to redden at the memory, and he unconsciously bit his lower lip, recalling how comfortable Xiang's lips were on his.
"Emil! What happened to your nose?!" Tino gasped worriedly as he hurried to his younger cousin, examining the bandage with wide concerned violet eyes.
"Who was that boy outside?" Lukas approached them stoically, but his eyes were slightly narrowed.
"Whoa, why are you so red?" Mathias rose his eyebrows, while Berwald looked out the window.
Emil instantly blushed again and gritted his teeth, walking quickly up the stairs, "I'm going to sleep!" He declared firmly, hoping (probably in vain) that they'd let the subject drop.
He groaned quietly as he reached his room and locked the door. "I'll see you tomorrow"? What did that mean?! Was he going to keep approaching him even in school hours? Did they even have a class together? The Icelander sighed heavily and dropped down in his bed, body limp. He needed to rest.
Meanwhile, Xiang walked back home and entered his own house, taking off his shoes on the entrance, "I'm back."
"Welcome back, Xiang-kun," Kiku greeted him politely, smiling a little, "How did everything go?"
Xiang shrugged, "I've made some progress. That's like, good, right?"
"Progress?" Meimei turned from the TV, twisting from her sitting position in the couch that faced away from the front door, sitting on her knees in the base and placing her elbows on the back as her amber eyes sparkled, "You finally asked him out?!"
"Something like that," The boy replied vaguely, flopping down next to her, "I kissed him and kinda like, told him I was going to make him mine."
Meimei pouted slightly, sitting down properly once more, "That's not very smooth, brother."
Xiang smiled a little, deep amber eyes soft, "Sorry? It's just, I have like, totally been crushing on him for so long I just couldn't control myself, you know?"
The long-haired girl sighed fondly, a smile playing by her lips, "What're you going to do about his family?"
He shrugged again, "Nothing. I don't give up easily on what I want."
"Of course," Meimei giggled. Poor Emil, she thought, he didn't know what was coming to him.
What? The end? Yep. Sorry, my muse left me in the middle of it. I'd like to make a multi-chaptered fanfic out of this one day, but I don't have the time or the inspiration. In any way, I hope you enjoyed what I could manage to write!