It started with a care package from home. Sweden returned from his evening class that night to find the box sitting on his step with his name on it and his parents' address in the top corner. Feeling his mood lift, Sweden unlocked the door before picking up the package and bringing it inside. The box was promisingly heavy, and his insides bubbled with curiosity as he fished out his pocket knife and cut through the tape.
The contents might not have seemed worthy of bragging about to a more financially stable person, but to a poor college student like Sweden, it was a virtual treasure trove. He pulled out a sinfully soft navy sweater, a pair of jeans, a package of boxers and socks, a jar of sand art brownie mix, a few of the high quality chocolate bars his mother melted down to make hot chocolate with on special occasions, a jar of cloudberry jam, some reindeer jerky, and a new electric razor.
Sweden wondered if his father was off on another business trip and his mother was feeling lonely, because while her care packages were always good, this was even better than usual. He made a mental note to call and thank her tomorrow.
Sweden picked up the sweater again, letting it fall open from its folded state so that he could slip it on. Now this is exactly how a sweater should be, he thought appreciatively. It was wonderfully warm, a fact he would be especially grateful for considering how poorly insulated their apartment was, and it felt as though it might have been made of cashmere. He doubted that it actually was (his family wasn't that well off), but it was good enough for him.
Sweden whistled happily to himself as he began to break up one of the chocolate bars, thinking he might like to have some hot chocolate now. He had just finished making it when the front door opened, admitting a cold gust of wind and a chill-flushed, bundled up little Finn.
"Ooh, something smells good," Finland remarked brightly as he slammed and locked the door behind him.
"J'st made some hot choc'late," Sweden said. "Y' want some?"
Finland peeled off his scarf to reveal the sunny smile that never failed to make Sweden's heart throb. "Sure!"
"You c'n sit," Sweden said, getting a pair of mugs down from the cabinet. "I'll bring it to ya."
Finland removed his snowy shoes along with his coat and gloves, but didn't sit like Sweden had suggested. Instead he dug through one of the cabinets until he manage to locate a bag of miniature marshmallows.
"Yes! I was hoping we had some!" Finland said happily, holding up the bag for Sweden to see. "Hot chocolate just isn't the same without marshmallows."
Sweden couldn't help smiling (or at least attempting to). "Agreed."
Finland ripped a hole in the top of the bag and shook a few marshmallows into his hand. Sweden watched as Finland dropped them into his mug in the shape of a smiley face, and it caused him to let out a little breath of stifled laughter. Finland's still chill-flushed cheeks reddened a bit more at this, but he dropped the marshmallows into his own cup in the same shape.
"My mom always used to make marshmallow smileys in my hot chocolate when I was a kid," Finland explained a tad sheepishly. "She said something about the marshmallows being happy about getting to swim in warm chocolate. It sounded pretty logical at the time."
"'S cute," Sweden said, his own cheeks pinking. Not as cute as you, though. That was what he wanted to say, but it would just be far too embarrassing.
The two of them took their mugs into the living room area and sat down side by side. Sweden held his mug up for a toast and Finland obliged with a smile, clinking their cups together softly. The boys drank deeply, smacking their lips in satisfaction as they lowered their mugs again.
"Alright, you're officially the king of hot chocolate," Finland declared. "This's gotta be the best I've ever tasted!"
Sweden's cheeks pinked slightly as he waved the compliment away. "I can't take credit. 'S just 'cause th' choc'late's good."
"Oh, you're just being modest," Finland insisted, taking another swallow. "Or is there some secret ingredient that you just don't want to tell me about?"
My secret ingredient is love, Sweden thought before he could stop himself. Then he felt his face begin to warm rapidly at this embarrassing thought and hurried to hide it behind his hand before Finland noticed.
"What's wrong, Sve?" Finland asked. "Did you burn your tongue?"
This seemed like a less embarrassing explanation for his blushing than the truth, so Sweden nodded.
"Let me see," Finland said. "I'll kiss it better."
Sweden's eyes went wide and round like coins at this offer, and he whipped around to stare at Finland in shock, wondering if his hopeful mind had fabricated that statement. Finland looked just as shocked as Sweden did, his hand darting up to cover his own mouth in horror as his face went scarlet.
"Ah ha… ha ha ha… Wh-what am I saying?" he asked shakily. "I must be more tired than I thought! I'm sorry, that was really weird! P-please forget I said it!"
Sweden looked numbly down into the chocolatey depths of his mug, wondering how he could possibly forget hearing his beautiful little fantasy wife say something he'd always longed to hear him say. He couldn't help glancing hopefully back over at Finland, who was trying to hide his still very red face in his mug. Sweden knew he had to follow this up; he couldn't just let the chance slip away from him. He considered actually sticking his tongue out in invitation for Finland to kiss it like he'd offered, but he wasn't sure he actually had the courage…
"S-say, is that a new sweater?" Finland stammered nervously, clearly trying to distance himself from his awkward outburst.
Sweden's chest clenched in disappointment; he'd missed his chance. "Mm," he grunted, taking another swig of his hot chocolate to calm the bitter lump in his throat. "Got it in m' mom's care package earlier."
"It's nice," Finland said. "Navy looks good on you!"
Sweden ran his thumb over the hem of the wonderfully soft new sweater. Perhaps he could still steer this conversation back in the direction it had been going before.
"Best part's how soft 't is," he said. "Here, see."
He held his sleeve out to Finland. Finland extended his fingers hesitantly and stroked the fabric.
"Woooow," he gasped. "It's like fleece!"
"'S warm, too," Sweden said.
"I bet!" Finland sighed. "I wish I had a blanket made out of that material. My room gets so cold at night… Ahh, if I were your boyfriend, I'd beg you to wear that sweater all the time so I could cuddle up to you while you wear it…"
Sweden could hardly believe his ears, and had to clench his fist inside the long sleeve of his sweater, allowing his nails to dig into his palm to be sure that it wasn't all a dream. He'd missed his chance before, but fate was being unusually kind to him tonight and giving him another shot. Finland, meanwhile, was clapping his hand over his own mouth again, his face flushing deeply once more.
"Oh my god, what is wrong with me tonight?!" he squeaked. "I' m so sorry, my mouth is completely running away on me!"
Sweden forced himself to meet Finland's eyes in spite of his nerves. That violet gaze sparkled so enchantingly that Sweden almost lost himself in them for a moment, but then he reminded himself that he couldn't be sure when or if such a wonderful opportunity to make his move on Finland would ever present itself again and he rallied his thoughts determinedly.
"Y' could try 'f y' want," he mumbled.
Finland blinked at him in surprise. "E-eh?"
Sweden took a deep, steadying breath and finished the last of his hot chocolate in a single gulp, setting the mug down on the coffee table before spreading his arms in invitation to Finland. He knew he must be just as red as Finland, but he kept eye contact nonetheless. When Finland seemed frozen with indecision, Sweden beckoned him in with a small wave.
Finland's Adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed hard and set his own mug on the table beside Sweden's. The taller boy nearly stopped breathing when Finland laid a hand timidly on his chest. He wrapped his arms around Finland's back and shoulders, pulling him close. Finland was so tense in his arms. Sweden wanted to do something to relax him, so he rubbed his back soothingly.
After a moment, Sweden heard Finland breathe a tiny sigh and his body began to relax at last. His arms wound around Sweden's waist, returning the embrace. Finland was so close that Sweden could feel Finland's heart pounding beside his own. Sweden stroked Finland's silky golden hair gently, and before he could stop himself nuzzled a kiss into it as well. He heard Finland's breath hitch softly in surprise and for one terrifying moment Sweden feared he'd ruined everything, but then warm, satiny lips brushed his throat shyly and his heart rejoiced.
"How is it?" Sweden asked quietly, rubbing Finland's back again.
"Perfect," Finland breathed. "Even better than I imagined."
A tiny smile tugged at the corners of Sweden's stubbornly inexpressive lips, and he lowered them to touch the top of Finland's head again.
"Mm, you're so warm," Finland murmured. "I wouldn't mind falling asleep right here."
Wondering if it was really ok for him to feel so overwhelmingly happy, Sweden shook out the blanket that was folded over the back of the couch and draped it over Finland's slender body, silently inviting him to do as he wished. Sweden rubbed Finland's back lovingly for about five minutes before he heard Finland yawn.
"Mm, sleepy," he mumbled.
Sweden, feeling a little more daring now, bowed his head and kissed Finland's cheek tenderly. Finland smiled tiredly and hugged Sweden even closer, returning the kisses at the base of his neck. Sweden suppressed a little shiver when Finland's eyelashes tickled the side of his neck as Finland's eyes slipped closed. As he lulled the boy of his dreams to sleep with his warmth and gentle caresses, Sweden took a moment to appreciate the fact that this might never have happened if his wonderful, thoughtful mother hadn't sent him that timely care package.
Thanks, Mom, he thought serenely as he allowed his own eyes to drift closed. You're the best.
A/N: A kink meme deanon. The prompt was: "Sweden and Finland have feelings for each other, but haven't yet worked up the courage to admit it. One day, Finland sees Sweden wearing a super soft, slightly puffy-looking sweater and makes a comment about how he bets it would feel nice to snuggle with someone wearing a sweater like that. Sweden shyly replies that Finland is perfectly welcome to test that theory on him if he wants. Cuddling ensues.
Bonus points if it feels so nice and soft that Finland ends up falling asleep in Sweden's arms :)"