Afraid of Love
Chapter 23

AN- Okay, I owe everyone an explanation. I'm bisexual. And I was worried that if my friends found out, they would leave me. But get this, I told one, who was the second person I've actually told, she was cool with it. I told another and found out she was bi, knew another friend was bi, and another girl was gay. What. The. Fuck. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO DID NOT KNOW THIS!?
Actually, the first person I told I've known since I was born, way before any of the others, but I actually knew she was gay first. Wow. I only have five straight friends.
Now, my mum will be a whole other story…
Though I am very, very mad. I have been ignored for all of the holidays by one friend who I have yet to get a reaction from. At least they could have the freeing courtesy to answer my messages. But no, they can talk to my other friend on THE SAME SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE about a show they watch, but they can easily ignore me. Thanks, I feel real important now. Why don't you go and kick some more dirt in my face?

Eduard's Blog
Entry 478
Hello again followers!
I have once again returned from my adventure where I heroically battled with savage creatures and- okay, I just got back from teaching a bunch of pubescent teenagers. I guess I can't really fancy that up.
My students, as usual, have a number of excuses to avoid handing in their assignment. But I'm the cool teacher! I let it slide. Besides, like Ghandi said, uh… I don't really know what he said. Never mind.
I have a problem, other than my students being all whiny. It's about my roommate, whom in the past I have referred to as 'Tin-Tin'. Anyway, my friend is doing it again, like clockwork. It is 'that time of the month again' where Tin-Tin goes through a dark ray of emotions, and I can do nothing about it. But I swear, next time I will follow him. I don't care how dishonest it is, I will help him!
Wish me luck!

Eduard sighed and closed his laptop. He hoped that this wasn't a bad idea.


"What's your order?" Tino snapped at a customer, a rather fat woman with an ugly dress on. He was over it. Seriously, nothing had gone right. Every month, he had to make payments to an annoying American to pay off his debt, which would take nearly all his life. But now that douchebag had increased the monthly amount! First it had been three hundred a month, and now it was five freaking hundred a month. Now he had to rearrange all his finances to compensate for it, and also manage to prevent Eduard from realising he was smuggling away five hundred a month. So, it wasn't his fault if he didn't want to waste his damn time been 'polite' to every damn customer that waddled through the freaking door.

"Oh, well, what does this 'escargot' taste like? I've heard some interesting reviews about it and I would like to try it for myself."

Tino smiled thinly. Well, what she didn't know wouldn't hurt her… "Oh, it tastes great, I've had it myself actually." Lies, all lies. As if he would eat snails.

The woman smiled. "Oh, well I'd love to try it!"

Tino smiled sweetly, but it never reached his eyes. "Of course, it'll be only a moment ma'am." Tino hurried back to the kitchen and gave the order. Seeing his chance to bludge, Roderick appeared by his side.

"Hello, Tino. And how are y-"

"Terrible." Tino cut him off shortly.

Roderick blinked. "Um, okay, why's that?"

"None of your God damn business, that's what."

"Tino," Roderick began, frowning. "What is it? Maybe I can help."

Tino glared at his 'friend'. "Roderick, listen to me carefully. Mene pois, ennen kuin tapan sinut. Luota minuun, se ei olisi ensimmäinen aikakin, että olen joutunut luovuttamaan riesa."

"Excuse me, Tino, but what the Hell did you say?" Roderick asked, confused beyond belief.

Tino shook his head. "Just leave me alone today. I'm in a horrible mood and I'm this close from killing everyone around me."

Roderick held o his hands in a peacemaking gesture. "Okay, okay, I'll give you your space." He said before leaving. But it wasn't like Tino had a chance to take a breath before a certain someone found him.

"Tino!" Francis beamed. "I haven't spoken to you in ages!"

"You talked to me yesterday…" Tino muttered, but his boss seemed to not here him. Instead, to his displeasure, he swung an arm around the smaller blonde and led him to an empty hall. There, he turned to Tino and smiled.

"How are you, mon petite?"

Tino gritted his teeth. "I can speak some basic French, and I'd appreciate it if you would refrain from calling me that."

The French man laughed. "Okay, I see your point. How does mon amour sound?"

Tino balled his fists. 'Calm down. Just ignore him, you need the money. "You can call me whatever you like."

Francis' eyes flashed, and it dawned on Tino how that sounded. Dammit! Why was everything against him today!?

Francis smiled and placed his hands on each of Tino's hips, causing the Finn to quickly suck in air. "I can, can I? Well, I can think of a number of things I'd like to call you…" he purred softly in his ear.

Tino slapped at his boss' hands and pulled away from him, glaring darkly.

"Francis," he hissed. "Just because you are my boss, does not mean I will allow you to treat me like this! Do not touch me again, or I will have to quit. I don't care about the money! Y-you can't do that! It's not allowed! H-hey, what a-" Tino was cut off abruptly as Francis leaned towards him, eyes closing. "HEY!"

"Excuse me!?" Someone called out behind them, preventing Francis from pressing his lips on Tino's. Tino looked wildly around to see Roderick, eyes wide and frantic.

Roderick stammered. "U-uh, sir?"

"What is it?" Francis snapped, annoyed that he had been interrupted while Tino looked on, terrified.

"Um, uh…" Roderick scrambled for something to say. "There's a customer! They're not very happy, sir. They want to see you."

Francis scowled and stalked out to the front desk, Roderick following closely. "Well, where they?"

Roderick scratched the back of his head and laughed nervously. "Uh, I guess they didn't want to wait! Heh heh…"

Francis looked at him suspiciously. "You know, I would fire you if you weren't nice to look at." He then strode up the stairs, leaving Roderick with his mouth gaping. Roderick quickly ran back to the hall where Tino had been cornered, only to find it empty. He hoped Tino hadn't ditched work, that wouldn't do him any good.


Flashback

"H-hey, Ivan? Is okay if I come in?" Tino asked quietly after he knocked on the cold wooden door.

"Of course, little Tino!" Ivan smiled and opened the door for his little cousin, encouraging the twelve-year-old to come in. Tino bit his lip and shuffled nervously into his room. Ivan, hoping to set the boy at ease, sat on the side of his bed and patted next to him. Tino eyed the bed warily before climbing up onto it. He stared at the floor, trying to gather his thoughts.

"Is there something you would like? Do you need my help?" The fifteen-year-old questioned. Ivan smiled friendlily, but oddly that didn't seem to help.

Tino wrangled his hands. "Um, well, I was going to say that you've let me live here for two years-"

"Let you?" Ivan interrupted. "You make it sound like it was a chore for me. Tino, I would have made sure you lived here. Do you really think I would have let you live with your 'mother'? Of course not." His smile became more genuine. "We are family, da?"

Tino nodded, but his eyes were dark. "Family doesn't mean you have to look after each other."

"Yes it does!" Ivan sighed. "What did you want to say?"

"Well, I wanted to give you a present, for looking after me." Tino fiddled with the hem of his shirt.

"Oh, Tino, you didn't need to do that!"

Tino shook his head. "I wanted to!" He protested. He pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to Ivan and looked away shyly.

Ivan studied the drawing carefully. There were two stick figures, one of a small boy with yellow hair and a taller one with grey. It seemed Tino had a limited collection of colour to choose from, he would have to fix that. Obviously, it was of Tino and himself. Ivan's smiler became happier when he realised that they were drawn to hold hands. It was sweet, he thought, that with Tino's obvious aversion to people touching him that he did not let that affect his imagination. Heck, in any of Ivan's drawings, he was killing someone, usually his father.

"Aw, Tino, this is perfect!"

The corner of Tino's lip twitched. "Really?"

Ivan nodded. "Yes, I'm going to stick on my door!" He announced as he pulled off some blue tack from a wad of it stuck to his desk and walked over to his door. Damn, he was so close to getting a smile. That boy never smiled, and was rarely ever happy. Not that he blamed him… Ivan shuddered and forced himself back to reality.

"Okay, I- I'm glad you liked it."

Russia walked back to his cousin, and completely forgetting everything he had just been thinking, reached out and hugged him.

And was promptly punched in the face.

It wasn't like it hurt. It probably had hurt Tino more than himself. "I'm so sorry Tino, I forgot! Is your fist okay?"

Tino's eyes began to well up with tears. "I- Ivan, I'm sorry! I wasn't thinking! I didn't mean to hurt you. I- I won't it again. Please don't be mad…" Tears began to roll down the Finn's cheeks.

Ivan quickly handed him a tissue ."No, no it's okay. I forgot my boundaries." Ivan frowned for a moment, thinking. "Actually, that was a pretty good hit. We'll have to put those skills to good use one day…" Ivan trailed off, his mind focused on the future.

Both boys looked up as they heard someone thumping on the floor above them. Ivan sighed. "Mother needs something, I promise, I'll be five minutes, okay?"
Tino sniffed and nodded.

Ivan, not wanting to leave Tino in the state he was, grabbed an old book and a pencil off his desk and handed them to him. "Here why don't you draw another picture?"

Tino nodded and began to scribble. A little more consoled that Tino was busying himself with something, Ivan went to tend to his mother.
End of flashback.


Berwald stirred the chocolate mix, humming quietly to himself. That was one of the many things people didn't know about him, that he liked to hum while he cooked. What he was making was brownies. Yesterday, Felix had given him one of his many dating tips and had said that all men loved food. And that brownies were 'like totally awesome and their amazingness should be shared with the food'! Now, Berwald wasn't someone who believed in stereotypes, but he did know that brownies tasted nice and hopefully Tino would think so too. Berwald's eyes widened as he realised something. What if Tino was allergic!? Or what if he just didn't like chocolate!? Berwald wracked his brain, trying to remember if he'd seen Tino eat any chocolate. Oh! Tino had eaten a croissant that time they went to the zoo! Did croissants have chocolate in them? Berwald shrugged. They probably did.

Do the creep oooh
Do the creep aaah

Berwald quickly grabbed his phone, forgetting for a moment that his hand was covered in brownie mix. Oh well. Damn, Felix had changed his ringtone again, and this time it was much worse. Forgetting to check the caller ID, he answered.

"Yo, Berwald! What's up?"

Oh God, why?

"…Mathias?" He asked slowly.

The Dane laughed. "You know it! So, how have you been? What's Australia like? How the fuck are you surviving the heat!?"

Berwald sighed. He hated talking to his brother in law. Unfortunately, it didn't seem the feeling was mutual. On the contrary, Mathias got a kick out of winding Berwald up. He wasn't too ashamed to admit that he had punched the Dane on more than one occasion.

"Ja, Australia is fine. What do you want?"

"Aw, come on!" Mathias whined. "Why are you so mean to me? Don't you want to talk to me?"

"No."

"….Well, then, tell us how you really feel." Mathias grumbled.

Berwald rolled his eyes. "How are Lukas and Emil?"

"Oh, they're great! Hey, I wanted to ask something."

"No." Berwald said immediately.

"Huh? You don't even know what it is!"

"I don't want to know."

"Yes you do. I wanted to come over to Australia for Christmas with the boys. It'll be great!"

"No."

"What? Don't you want to see us?"

"Lukas and Emil can come, but you can't."

"Why the Hell not!?"

"Because I don't want to see you."

Mathias let out a long, high-pitched whine. "Berwald, no fair! I want to see you!"

"No. Good bye."

"Fuc-"

"Tell Lukas to call back later if you still want to come."

"B-" Berwald ended the call before Mathias could continue. As if he would let him into his home. He could imagine the things he would say about his dog- oh God, what if he met Tino!? Berwald vowed never to let those to meet, he could only imagine the things Mathias would come up with.

Do the creep ooooh
Do the creep aaaah

Oh come on, was he seriously calling back already? He did realise that Berwald was just going to hang up again right. This time he checked the caller ID and was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't Mathias calling, but was Tino instead.

"Hello?"

"Um, hey Berwald." Tino answered, sounding a little depressed. "I was just thinking that I haven't seen you in a bit, though for obvious reasons. I wasn't going to call but I didn't want you to think I was ignoring you but I don't want to seem annoying but…" Tino trailed off. "Uh, sorry, I didn't mean to ramble."

"It's okay. Uh, Tino?"

"Yeah?"

Berwald cleared his throat nervously. "Would you like to come over?"

"Uh, sure. I'm not doing anything."

Success! Berwald felt a little giddy that it was so easy. "Oh, excuse me for a moment." Berwald put the phone down and carefully placed the tray of brownies in the oven before returning.

"It sounds like you're busy. Are you sure that I can come over?" Tino asked, sounding unsure.

"Ja, I was making brownies."

Well, that seemed to excite him. "Ooh! Brownies! I am so there! Talk to ya later!"
Berwald just managed to stop Tino before he hung up to give him his address. Okay, the only thing he had to do before Tino came was clean his house and- according to some more advice from Felix- light some romantic candles.


"Hey Berwald!" Tino chirped. Berwald nodded in greeting as he held open the door for his friend. He was glad that Tino seemed to be a little happier than he was earlier. He liked to think it was because he was seeing Berwald, but to be honest it was probably because he knew brownies were here.

Tino's eyes wandered around his place as Berwald led him to the lounge room. It was nice, but it seemed a little… empty. Like Berwald wasn't here permanently. Tino was struck with the sudden thought of Berwald leaving him, and his stomach plummeted.
"I'm sorry, I only have one couch." Berwald said, sitting on one end of the couch, gesturing for Tino to sit beside him. Okay, so he was that sorry, this way they could be close to each other! Berwald discreetly massaged a muscle in his arm. Taking that other seat and hiding it in his back yard had really strained his arms.

Tino shrugged and sat down. "So… brownies?" Tino grinned.

"They're cooking, sorry."

Tino pouted, before jumping up. "Oh, where is your dog!?" Without waiting for an answer, Tino began hunting around the house for the white ball of fluff. "Here, doggie doggie doggie!" Tino frowned. "Hey, what's her name? I don't think you told me."

"Uh, she's in the laundry! She likes to play in there." Berwald quickly said, leading him to the laundry. Damn, he still hadn't thought of a name for her. This was becoming a recurring problem. Opening the door, Berwald unleashed a power that no man could withstand: a cute puppy.

"Yap! Yap! Yapapapapapap!" The puppy wagged her tiny tail about excitedly and practically jumped a metre straight up several times. Tino giggled and scooped her up.

"Aw, hello! I haven't seen you in a while, puppy!" Tino giggled and carried her back into the lounge room where he promptly sat on the floor with her. He rubbed vigorously, constantly cooing about how adorable she was.

The dog clambered up Tino and started licking his face, causing him to laugh and squirm, but didn't push her away. "Hey, stop … uh, sorry I still don't know your name." Tino looked over at Berwald with a questioning look.

Berwald gave a great sigh. There really was no point in hiding it anymore. "I… I don't know."

Tino sat up. "What do you mean?"

Berwald shrugged. "I don't know, I still haven't thought of a name for her."

Tino's jaw dropped. "Still!? Then what have you been calling her so far!?"

Berwald gave another shrug. "Dog."

"Berwald!" Tino clasped the little dog and gave a dramatic cry of shock. "How could you!? This beauty deserves a beautiful name befitting of her beauty! Not dog. If you don't be careful, she might start to think that's her name."

"That's what I mean. I can't think of a name that is right for her."

Tino drummed his nails rather ineffectually on the carpet. "Hmm, what about… Cuddles?"

Berwald shook his head. "No, what about… Jumpy? She jumps a lot…"

Tino scrunched his nose. "Nah, what about… Wiggles? Because she wiggles her butt a lot?"

Berwald stared, dumbfounded by the Finn's reasoning. "We could name her Twerk and it would mean the same thing."

Tino snickered. "Or Miley Cyrus. Um, anyway, what about Flower? But that is a bit girly." Tino started laughing. "That is the funniest thing ever! Big, silent Berwald walking down the street with a scary face, walking a fluffy little dog named Flower! Oh, come on, we gotta do that!"

Berwald shook his head. "No."

"Aw, come on? It'll be funny." Tino pleaded. "Oh, I know! This is it! Hanatamago!"

Berwald blinked and was silent. "Hana… Hana- what?"

Tino shrugged"You could call her Hana for short. It's Finnish."

Well, that was certainly bonus points if it was Finnish. "What does it mean?"

Tino smirked. "Flower-egg."

Berwald almost snorted. "That's more ridiculous than the last."

"It's cute!"

"You should never be allowed to name a child."

"Berwald!"

"No."

"Please?"

"Hana-Hana-Hana-Hana-"

"No!"

"Hana-Hana-Hana-Hana-"

"Stop!"

Tino pouted and turned to Hana- Erm, the dog. "You want to be called Hanatamago, don't you Hana?"

"Yap!"

Tino turned back to Berwald. "See! She wants to be called Hanatamago!" He exclaimed triumphantly.

"But I don't even know how to say it."

Tino rolled his eyes. "Just call her Hana."

Berwald sighed. It was a strange name, but the whole choice had seemed to make the Finn happy. And he wanted his Finn to be happy. Besides, Felix had said that naming something special after your partner was a huge romantic gesture, and Hanatamago was a Finnish word. "Okay, I'll call her Hana- Han- Hana. I'll call her that."
Tino beamed and jumped up. "Really? Yes! Come on, Hana, I'll get you a doggie treat to celebrate." He began to sniff his way to the kitchen. "I'm going to steal one of those brownies for myself if I can…"


Tino munched happily on one of the warm brownies. "Oh my God, Berwald, you are the best cook ever! I can barely cook at all, I microwave."

"Thank you." Berwald mumbled to his knees, embarrassed.

Tino tapped his shoulder lightly. "Aw, come on, you can take a compliment better than that!" Tino grinned up at him. "How about a smile?"

Berwald focused. Almost… almost…. No. Not going to happen. Tino smiled ruefully.

"Okay, maybe not then damn."

Waiting for the bus in the rain, in the rain,
Wait-waiting for the bus in the rain.
Waiting for the bus in the rain, in the rain,
Wait-waiting for the bus in the rain.

Tino dug around in his pocket before pulling his phone out. "Huh? Oh, hey Eduard. Whatcha want? ….Oh, come on, why can't you get it? …But I don't even have a car! ...You're no fair! Fine! I'll go! But you gotta shop next week then. You suck. I hope your computer gets a virus from all the dwarf porn you watch!" Tino ended the call and pouted. "I have to go." He told him apologetically. "Eduard wants me to get milk and stuff and the shops will close soon. Plus I need to walk."

"I could go with you." Berwald offered. "Since you need a ride…"

Tino beamed. "Really? That would be awesome!" He quickly stood up. "Come on, get ready. We got to go!"

AN-I hope everyone is feeling a little friendlier towards Russia now! -/\-

I'm sorry! I had to use Google Translate for the Finnish part! And I'm sorry if my French is wrong, I haven't practised in over a year. And the American Tino is paying off isn't actually America. I don't even remember if I put him in this story. He might have been in the bit with Facebook.

Mene pois, ennen kuin tapan sinut. Luota minuun, se ei olisi ensimmäinen aikakin, että olen joutunut luovuttamaan riesa.= Go away, before I kill you. Trust me, it wouldn't be the first damn time that I've had to dispose of a nuisance.

Dear Miss Doflamingo and harmlessmelody37,
BAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes! I couldn't help myself! I love Shingeki no Kyojin and I couldn't think of a teachers name, so…. Anyway, I don't think I could sneak in a person named Mikasa. Or could I?

Dear Kay-Mentrae,
I'm okay. And no, these students are not states of anything, but I will be doing another story set in this universe about the micronations at Eduard's school (spoiler: Sealand will eventually become a main character in this story).