Title: An Unexpected Guest
Assigned prompt: NorIce- Video Game(s) [Optional: Winter]
Rating: PG- 13
Summary: Norway pays a visit to his brother, and happens upon Super Mario 64.
It was the middle of February in Iceland- hence the flurries of white powdery snow gathering on the rooftops as the middle aged cab driver steered his black vehicle through the sparsely populated streets of Reykjavik. Sitting in the back seat was a golden blonde-haired figure, staring thoughtfully out the condensation-blurred window to the winding down city. The fact that the snow hindered driving capability somewhat, and that it was near nighttime, cleared the streets of more than a few cars.
Norway glanced down to the gold wristwatch on his hand. A quarter to nine. He pulled the sleeve of his midnight blue blazer-like jacket over the time device. He adjusted his white tie that wound around the collar of his grey and navy pinstriped shirt, then fixed the hand-knit red scarf he had received from England last year as a Christmas present so that it covered any exposed skin around his neck.
The taxi slowed down, and then abruptly braked. The scruffy driver mumbled something to the man in the back in Icelandic, who pulled a few bills of Kronur out of his wallet and placed the crisp paper into the outstretched hand. “Takk.” he thanked dryly, grasping the handle of the black luggage on the floorboard.
His slim black boots hit the crunchy fresh snow, sinking a bit into the lightly packed ice. The secluded area was shadowed by the lone house and evergreens, lit only by what was left of the gradually lowering sun and the headlights on the taxi, that were more like a rude awakening to the slumbering, serene setting. The blonde pulled his suitcase behind him as he trudged through the snow, hearing the engine rev up again as the cab turned around to return to the livelier downtown district in the city, likely seeking inebriated clients in need of a safe ride home.
His brother’s house was an old, but well-constructed and definitely alluring, establishment. The red wooden panels adorning the sides were a prominent color against the varying natural shades of grays, browns, whites, and greens that surrounded it. Each window, corner, and accent was embellished with a clean frame of corrugated iron. Norway walked up the five or so steps to the front door, noticing the absence of light from inside the home and making the assumption that Iceland had already headed to bed.
It was no problem. He always thinks ahead. Cleverly whipping out a house key from his front pocket, he inserted the metal device into the keyhole. The miniature intricate works inside of the lock system cranked, halting once the key was upside down. Norway pushed down on to the handle, allowing himself passage into the slumbering house.
He removed his soggy boots and left them on the doormat. Removing the protective outerwear, he hung up his jacket and scarf on a conveniently placed rack to the right, adjacent to the door. A Tiffany lamp was resting on a table, wedged between an armchair and a couch. He pulled the bronze chain, casting a warm glow into the now visible living room.
From the opposite side of the living room on a wooden shelf, two black beads peered at him unblinkingly. Mr. Puffin sat up and ruffled his wings at the sight of a visitor, exposing his white belly. Norway bent over the suitcase and unzipped the rectangular luggage, uncovering a plastic bag filled to the brim with powdered sugar-coated cookies.
He held them out tantalizingly to the bird, who was leaning forward with an interested gleam in its eyes. “If you get Iceland up and out here, you can have one.”
That was all the prompting it needed- the bird knew a mouthwatering snack as soon as one was spotted, and it looked as if sneaking it off wasn’t a choice. With a rapid flutter, the mass of feathers ascended the staircase, melding into the darkness.
Opening the bag, he popped one of the Norwegian cookies into his mouth, savoring the fresh, crispy, rich flavor of the deep fried pastry. He settled himself down on a comfortable leather armchair opposite of the television and kicked his woolen sock feet up on an ottoman. He flicked the LCD screen on with a simple push of the power button on the remote, and the image of a video game from the Wii hooked up next to it materialized.
He had no experience with whatever game this was, but he had nothing to occupy his time until Iceland woke up. A selection screen with three save accounts appeared, piquing his interest. With slight curiosity, he took hold of the Wii remote and classic controller from the square table. He played around with the analog sticks, moving the gloved finger cursor around the screen. He clicked the second file, and a short man in overalls and a red hat dropped from the sky before a large castle.
Norway began getting comfortable with the controls, testing out what the different buttons would make the character do. There was one that made him jump, one for punching, one that would make him squat down; seemed straight forward enough. The graphics were a big jump from what was currently being published. Everything seemed to hold a very prominent geometric shape. The different textures and colors looked as if they were painted on. The colors were very lively though, and projected an intriguing and engaging vibe.
While Norway was pondering the different appeals of this 20th century video game, experimentally climbing up a nearby tree, a certain sleep-muddled nation stumbled down the stairs. Brandishing a closed umbrella, Iceland looked much like a startled deer, his eyes wide and alert. He stood in an open stance, umbrella at the ready, when Mr. Puffin caught up with him. The bird hovered next to him for a few moments as the violet-eyed boy scanned the room silently, peering through the darkness. A low light he hadn’t taken into account, coming from the living room on the other side of the wall, suddenly brightened and dimmed. He heard a familiar Italian-sounding “Woohoo!” echo into the hallway.
Why was Super Mario 64 on?
Eyes furrowed in confusion, he crept toward the doorway. He peeked out from the break in the wall, finally seeing the silhouette of a person seated on a chair playing Wii. After exchanging a questioning look with his pet bird, he padded barefoot across the expansive floor rug that covered the majority of his living room.
Due to having just been woken up, his priorities were somewhat obfuscated- the only thought running through his mind at the moment was, “Wouldn’t it be easier to just take the whole console?” Well, they were trying to break in, so that gives at least some indication to their level of intelligence. Advancing towards the furniture, he mentally planned out his ambush, making sure that every factor was accounted for-
He yelped as his foot hit an unsuspected black object, and Iceland protectively threw his hands before his face as he crash-landed on the floor, right next to the armchair. He rolled onto his back, rubbing his eyes and groaning. No point in trying to conceal himself from the trespasser anymore.
“Good, you’re finally awake.” spoke a smooth voice from above, making the silver-haired male pause. He abruptly sat up, looking up into the face of his older brother who was nonchalantly playing the Wii and focusing on the screen, his eyes reflecting the illuminating image.
“Norway?” he muttered aloud, nonplussed. After a short moment of rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, he cast his pet a perturbed glare to his pet, who was perched on his shoulder. What the Hell did he mean when he said there was a mysterious trespasser in his living room?
Navigating Mario through some type of anteroom, Norway messed around with the long jump action. “What’s this game called?” he asked, opening a star-adorned door and walking through it. Mr. Puffin abandoned his position on Iceland and began to pester the seated blonde, scratching at the plastic bag. Upholding his side of the bargain, the blonde held out palm with the promised treat. He picked up the oddly shaped cookie and flew up to his cove on the mantle.
Sighing, the younger nation answered his brother, who seemed unperturbed by the situation (while he himself was quite perplexed). “Super Mario 64. What are you doing in my house?” He stood up, beginning to become acrimonious to the unexpected visitor for not giving him any indication of his forthcoming, when he remembered what his attire currently consisted of.
This time, the blonde tore his eyes away from the attention-demanding game. One of his eyes lifted a nearly undetectable amount, a discreet sign of surprise. Iceland’s propensity for being physically modest prompted him to immediately shrink back and attempt to cover his body, which was clad solely in a pair of boxers bearing a plaid sapphire and purple pattern.
“Hold up, I’m going to go grab some clothes-“, he sputtered, moving to return to his room, when his brother’s arm reached out to grasp his forearm.
“You just got here, there’s no need for you to leave again.” reasoned Norway, his assuring gaze making contact with Iceland’s conflicted one.
Glancing toward the stairs, he said in an unsure tone, “I’ll be quick, I just need to run up there for a bit.” He was instantly pulled into Norway’s lap, lying horizontally across the cushioned chair. Internally, he smirked. He always did know what Iceland enjoyed the most.
A light kiss was placed tenderly on his lips, eyes softly closing at the affection. He relaxed his head back against his brother’s hand. Norway’s other hand massaged Iceland’s back, and he melted at the euphoric double-contact. In return, the boy lying down ran his hand through the fluffy silken hair, making sure to tease the erogenous zone near his curl. Norway inhaled sharply, then released a warm breath with a slight shudder, proceeded by resuming his loving touches through the locked lips.
Finally, he pulled away, and both males slowly opened their eyes. An invigorating spark fizzled in both of their gazes, and Norway gently caressed Iceland’s cheek with the backs of his fingers. The silver-haired boy’s mouth curled up into a soft smile. With a last peck on the forehead, the blonde was satisfied (for the time being). He reached for the controller on the coffee table, Iceland resting contently across him while watching the screen.
Once he got the game off of its sleep mode, he questioned Iceland, not sure how to continue. “What am I supposed to do?” Mario stood in a black and grey tiled room, tall walls painted a pastel blue with puffy white clouds extending all the way up to the ceiling. There were also fish tanks built into walls, and a large, square, framed picture of a sunken pirate ship.
Lazily lifting his arm, he pointed at the painting. “Jump through that.” As nonsensical and inane as springing through a picture sounded, he complied, and the painting rippled as the protagonist disappeared into the seemingly normal wall decoration.
Mario dropped into a new world, which was mostly composed of a turquoise and ultramarine color scheme, seeing as it was an ocean. From then on, Iceland leniently instructed him on the game play, occasionally nibbling on a fattigmann cookie that Norway would feed him. Naturally, being a first time player, he had his share of casualties. After encountering multiple damage-inducing clams and forgetting to replenish his air supply, Iceland advised him to swim towards the abyss at the back. Peeking over the edge, he became aware of a muddled mixture of sea foam greens and blues obscuring the view of the ocean floor.
“So, I have to get a star down here.” he asked tediously, hoping that the character wasn’t weak enough to pass out a third of the way down the chasm. Iceland just nodded his head in reply, breaking another one of the treats in half: one for himself, the other part for his puffin.
Rapidly pressing the A button on the controller and tilting the analog stick down, he swam through the obscure waters. His eyes were beginning to glaze over a bit- the traveling took out some of his energy. He decided he would complete this level, and then drag Iceland and himself to bed.
He stayed along the wall as he descended, beginning to get an opaque view of the bottom. A purple nub was jutting out from the side of the vertical surface, which he would pass on his way down anyways- he might as well investigate it.
Yawning as he continually mashed the buttons, Norway got closer and closer to the object, making out two white circles at the end of it. Changing his course to the object’s right side, he began to get a better look at the figure.
Then, he saw them: the deadpan, soulless white eyes. The slightly agape mouth, with its anathematic overbite. The icicle-shaped daggers embedded in its jaw that served as the deceitful monster’s teeth.
Iceland, who was beginning to drift off with one arm draped over his brother’s torso, was woken unceremoniously by an uncouth yell and the clattering of two white controllers falling aimlessly to the floor. Hastily glancing up to Norway with a worried expression, he found the older boy in a state of uncertainty. One of his hands was clutching the arm of the chair, the other one held in front of him in a wary, tentative position. His face was twisted in confusion, looking somewhat taken aback.
Wondering what it was that got the normally immutable man to cause some sort of disoriented spasm, he curiously looked to the screen.
Well, the poor plumber was definitely drowning. That can’t have been it, though. Out of the corner of the screen, he saw the sea creature awaiting the player to lure it out of its seaweed cove. Realizing what he got so worked up about, Iceland couldn’t contain a snort of derision.
“You mean you were scared of the eel?” he taunted, a small, derisive smile beginning to emerge.
Changing the subject, which was much to his chagrin, he announced, “I think it’s time to get to bed.”
“Yeah, I think you’re starting to get delusional.”
“Iceland, bed. Now.”