Assigned prompt: FinIce- Holiday [Optional: Music]
Other characters and pairings: Past SuFin, Mr. Puffin, mention of other Nordics, Sealand, Latvia, and Estonia
Extra notes: Differences in the way the Nordic countries celebrate Valentine's Day; Iceland=Einar
Summary: Sometimes the differences in the way countries celebrate a holiday can lead to confusion, sometimes it can lead to something better.
Finland adjusted his hat as he waited for the door to open. He knew it was not in the tradition of the other Nordics, but whenever Valentine’s Day came he would deliver a small gift to them, showing his appreciation of their friendship. He preferred this version of the holiday better than the romantic one which just felt fake to him. Still, he knew he had to be careful with the gifts since a couple of decades ago; he accidently made Sweden uncomfortable with his gifts, making Sweden think he liked him again. He was on better terms with the Swede now, but he definitely did not want to restart that relationship again.
Iceland opened the door, “Come on in Finland.”
Iceland was always his last stop. The young man was the furthest away, so it just made sense to stop there at the end of his trip and spend the night. Besides, the young man could be such good company, that Finland actually wanted to make the visit a bit longer than to Sweden or Norway. “Thank you for having me.” Finland said cheerfully, handing his present to Iceland before taking his shoes off.
Iceland shrugged, “We do this every year.”
They walked into the living room where a bouquet of flowers was sitting in front of a small tray of baked goods and coffee. There were a few candles lit around them and a vase already filled with water waiting for the flowers. Finland picked up the flowers with a smile. They were for him. Iceland got it for him every year since the second time he came over with a present. The other Nordic nations did this as well, returning the gesture with a small gift, though Finland liked the flowers better than the small trinkets or candy. He looked at the small card attached to them, ‘To Finland, Love Iceland’. Iceland sat on the couch and he tore open his gift with youthful excitement that he usually tried to hide, like any teenager on the cusp of being an adult. He pulled out a book of sheet music of very old Scandinavian folk songs.
Iceland flipped through the book for a few moments before stopping on one song. “I remember this song. Sweden used to sing it to me when Norway was away.”
Finland leaned over and looked at the vaguely familiar title. While he knew his own songs, he did not have same memory for music that Iceland did. He had no doubt that once upon a time, he knew the song as well as Sweden, but now it was forgotten. “What did it sound like?”
“It was pretty and soft, a lullaby.” Iceland smiled as he flipped the page. “Thank you, for this.”
Finland’s heart fluttered, as usual, at the sight of that rare smile. “Not a problem at all. I’m just glad you like it.”
Iceland continued to flip through the book as Finland poured himself a cup of coffee and a picked up one of the fresh buns that Iceland had made. He felt a bit awkward, sitting there quietly while Iceland looked through his gift, but at the same time, it made him happy knowing it was appreciated. He always worked hard to make sure that Iceland liked the gifts he gave him. Of course, Iceland was never rude to him with any gift that Finland had given him, but except to Denmark, at times, Norway and Sweden, and whenever he was in a bratty mood, Iceland could be fairly polite.
Iceland eventually put the book aside and gave Finland another smile. “Really, thanks for that.”
Finland couldn’t help but to smile brightly back, “You’re welcome.”
Iceland poured himself a cup of coffee and sat back on the couch, “So how was everyone today?”
Finland counted to smile at he launched into the stories he had about seeing Latvia, Estonia, Sealand, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Iceland made comments every once in a while, but for the most part, it was Finland talking, which was perfectly fine to Finland. He enjoyed having someone who was willing to listen to him chatter away, someone who didn’t make him feel like he was annoying the other person. It was probably why he liked Iceland so much. While they were young at a similar time, which helped, Iceland also didn’t intimate him, actually would show emotions on occasion, and didn’t hog the attention all the time. It also helped that he was very attractive and he could tell their relationship, if they ever had one, would be more equal than his relationship with Sweden, which made him feel belittled and feminized.
“Oye, brat, feed me.” A voice spoke up after a while and Finland turned to see Mr. Puffin wandering into the room. He was surprised, since Mr. Puffin was usually away on this particular day.
Iceland groaned, “I thought you were going out hunting.”
“Yeah, but the fishing sucked today, so I want you to stop flirting with Motor mouth and feed me dinner.”
“Be nice to Finland,” Iceland said sharply, but still got up and followed Mr. Puffin into the kitchen.
Finland knew how Mr. Puffin and Iceland could argue and snap at each other, but he was surprised by the comment. Was Iceland flirting with him? He wouldn’t have thought so since it wasn’t like Iceland was doing anything out of the ordinary. Still, he would have to ask Mr. Puffin about that later. He wandered into the kitchen and saw Iceland cutting up strips of raw fish, then placing it on plate for Mr. Puffin to eat. He smiled when he saw Iceland scratch Mr. Puffin’s head, who made a soft noise. As much as they could argue with each other, they really cared about each other.
“Sorry, about that Finland.” Iceland said once he was done and washing his hands.
“Oh, don’t worry; you have to feed your little friend. Besides, you two are cute together.” Finland said giving him a smile.
Iceland looked sharply at him for a moment, before looking away, blushing. “Whatever.”
“It’s only because I’m around.” Mr. Puffin piped up, “I’m the cute one.”
Finland laughed, knowing how Mr. Puffin could be and his jealously over not being considered as cute as penguins, “Yes, you are very cute.”
Mr. Puffin fluffed up and Iceland groaned, “Oh, come on Finland! Don’t give him a big head. I have to deal with him after your gone.”
“Shut up brat. He’s got it right. I’m adorable and you just can’t deal with that fact.” Mr. Puffin hopped onto Finland’s shoulder and grinned at him, “You know what? I like you Motor mouth. You can date the brat if you really want too.”
“Mr. Puffin, stop it!” Iceland snarled.
That was different. They snapped and bantered with each other all the time, but they never really yelled at each other. Mr. Puffin gave Iceland a long look and then shrugged, “Whatever.”
Iceland huffed and went back to the living room. Finland hesitated as Mr. Puffin hopped off him. “Mr. Puffin?” He asked in a low voice hoping Iceland couldn’t hear him.
“Yes?” Mr. Puffin asked looking back at him annoyed.
“Does Iceland have a crush on me?”
Mr. Puffin stared at him for a long moment, before groaning. “Both of you are idiots.” He took off, flying into the house.
Iceland was munching on a cookie when Finland came back into the room. “Ignore Mr. Puffin. He can get moody when he isn’t the center of attention.”
Finland chuckled, “Of course.” He knew that wasn’t true. Mr. Puffin did like attention, but it was Iceland’s attention he craved the most. Anyone who really knew them knew that.
Finland looked at Iceland. He wasn’t really an idiot and he knew what Mr. Puffin was implying, but he just couldn’t see Iceland’s interest in him. He figured there must be something there for Mr. Puffin to comment on it, but Iceland was Iceland and acted as he always did. It was not like he went out of his way to flirt or show him more attention than normal.
He looked at the flowers and candles and wondered if he had to stop judging it based on how other people flirt and just how Iceland can be. Iceland was shy and wouldn’t be bold like Denmark or Sweden in making his affections known, especially if he thought there was a good chance to be turned down. He felt silly as he thought about how Iceland normally was versus how he actually tried to be a good host today.
He sniffed the flowers, “Hey, Iceland. Do you send gifts to the other Nordics today?”
Iceland shook his head, “No, but I do call them or they call me.”
Finland nodded, “Alright…well it has been a long day. I think I’m going to head to bed.”
“Already?” Iceland asked, seeming slightly disappointed, “Well, alright. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Good night Iceland, sweet dreams.” Finland headed to the room he always stayed in. It was a bit early, but he needed some time to think about what he finally realized and plan what to do next.
The next morning, Finland found Iceland already awake. Breakfast was cooking on the stove and he could smell the wonderful scent of freshly made coffee. Finland sighed as he took a cup. “Morning Finland,” Iceland said.
“Good morning, Iceland. Where is Mr. Puffin?”
Iceland shrugged, “I don’t know, probably out stretching his wings.”
“Mmm,” He replied and continued to nurse his cup of coffee. He spent a good chunk of time thinking about how to approach Iceland best, but it was still hard.
“Tino,” Iceland said, making Finland’s head jerk. It was rare for Iceland to call him by his real name. “Is everything alright?”
He hadn’t realized how much time must of past to make his quietness alarming. “Yep, everything is fine. I was just thinking.”
“About what Mr. Puffin said last night.”
“Seriously, Finland, Mr. Puffin was just annoyed.”
“I’m sure.” Finland said quietly, worried that may just be the case, but determined to at least try. “But, I kind of want too.”
“Want to what?” Iceland asked as he put the food on the table.
“Ask you out, on a date.” Finland said, watching Iceland.
Iceland stared at him with shock. He slowly turned beet red and eventually turned away. “Come on Finland, be serious.”
“I am.” Finland said, “I think we might be good together and I want to give it a try, don’t you?”
Iceland was silent for a moment. “I…I don’t think Sweden would be very happy if we went out on a date.”
Finland’s confidence grew. It wasn’t a ‘no’. “Sweden doesn’t get an opinion on this, it’s our lives.”
“He is my friend too, you know.” Iceland said sitting down. “He has been pretty nice to me throughout the years, even if we don’t always agree on stuff.”
Finland hadn’t thought about that. Sweden might have been terrifying, but he always liked children and he had treated Iceland well. Iceland never found him as scary as Finland did as a child, probably because Sweden used to bribe Iceland with sweets. He never thought what could have been holding Iceland back was some lingering loyalty. Finland looked down when Iceland’s hand touch his.
“Tino,” Iceland searched his face for something, before sighing, “Yes, I want to date you as well but can I let Sweden know? Make sure he isn’t too upset by this?”
Finland smiled and squeezed Iceland’s hand back, “Yes, but seriously Einar, it’ll be fine. I haven’t been with him for a number of years and a couple years back, when I started this tradition without thinking about how it might be taken, he was uncomfortable with the idea I might have feelings for him again. We actually had a long conversation about it were I had to convince him I really only saw him as a friend.”
“Really?” Iceland asked hopefully.
“Yes,” Finland said, with a smile. “So go and talk to him, it would be a good thing to do, but I think it’ll turn out just fine.”
Iceland smiled at him. “Alright…so…yes, alright, I will go out with you.” The younger man finished nervously.
Finland laughed, “Great, go call Sweden and then let me know when you are free.”
Iceland nodded, the blush having faded a bit, but still bright on his cheeks, and walked out of the room. Finland smiled down at his coffee. Perhaps the romantic side of Valentine’s Day was not so bad.
(The two sites listed below are were I got the information on Valentine's day in these countries