[identity profile] gelaecter.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] nordicromance
Title: Crush
Author/Artist: gelaecter
Assigned prompt: Den/Ice - Crush
Other characters and pairings: Denmark/Sweden, Norway
Rating: PG
Extra notes: Human AU - Mathias=Denmark, Lukas=Norway, Kristjan=Iceland. Also, warning for mentions of homophobia
Summary: In which everyone grows up and has lots of feelings


Mathias met Lukas when he was 10 years old.

He'd just moved to Oslo from Roskilde to live with his aunt and uncle, although they didn't want him any more than his parents did. He'd been to smart and too hyperactive for them to deal with, and the only reason his relatives had agreed to take him in was the promise of money in return. Mathias didn't care, he got used to it. Lukas, with his serious demeanour and icy glare, was almost familiar, something he knew how to deal with. But Oslo was not Roskilde and Lukas was not his mother, or his uncle, and Mathias found that his attention was rewarded instead of brushed off, even if that reward was just an irritated glare. And besides, Lukas stood up for him when one of the other kids made fun of his accent, so he obviously didn't hate him that much. He'd never actually told him to go away, after all.

Lukas was also used to being ignored. Not by his family though, certain parental figures notwithstanding. Mathias was quite good with people even at a young age, vibrant and charming, while Lukas was... not. He didn't have any friends among his classmates, and all this made Mathias' attention even more baffling. He could never figure out at first why Mathias had latched on to him instead of one of their friendlier classmates.

He just decided he must have offended the Allfather somehow and left it at that.


Kristjan met Mathias when he was 6 years old.

It was a few weeks after Mathias started school in Oslo. Kristjan's brother spoke about him a lot, more than he'd spoken about anyone. He knew that Mathias was Lukas' friend, and Kristjan wanted his brother to have friends, friends like Alex and Lily, but ever time Lukas talked about something he and Mathias had done that day, or something he'd said, Lukas felt his stomach churn and his chest tighten. He was so used to being the only one Lukas really paid attention to, it just felt wrong to have someone intrude on their time together, without even being there in person! Kristjan decided he didn't like Mathias, he was obviously not a good friend for Lukas if he was as annoying as Lukas said. Lukas could do better.

The first time Mathias came to their house Kristjan was on an overnight visit at his father's house and wasn't home until the following evening. Their mother spent the whole of dinner chattering about what a sweet boy he was and how Lukas should invite him over again soon (Lukas just ate very slowly and deliberately, not even looking at her as she spoke. Kristjan glowered into his salad), and even made extra lunch before school the next morning (because “he's a bit thin dear, we have to make sure he's eating properly” to which Lukas just snorted and muttered something about being able to out-eat a horse. Kristjan sulked some more). He huffed loudly and stomped out of the room. He didn't even need to turn around to know that Lukas was rolling his eyes at him.

The first time they met for real, Kristjan didn't even realise at first. It was Thursday, Lukas had violin lessons after school and their mother had appointments and couldn't get there until late. Usually Kristjan would play with Alex for an hour before Lukas came to get him, but today Alex had been picked up early by his older brother so Kristjan just sat on the swings by himself. Then it stated raining.

He huddled miserably under a tree, which did nothing to keep the water off. He refused to go sit inside the school – it would serve Lukas right if he got sick. He didn't even hear the sound of someone approaching until water stopped pouring down on him and he looked up to see a bright red umbrella, held over him by a blond boy about his brothers age. He leaned away suspiciously.

“Who're you?”

“It's too wet to be standing out here.” The boy eyed him curiously. “You're Lukas' brother, right? You look like him.” He had a funny accent. “And I s'pose you gotta be since you're the only one out here,” he continued with a wide grin. “I'm Mathias.”


“Lukas sent me to make sure you get out of the rain,” Mathias said, ignoring the way Kristjan had wrinkled his nose and turned away. “Come one, lets go inside.”

“Don't wanna go with you,” Kristjan murmured, pulling his jacket closer around himself and putting as much effort as possible into giving Mathias the cold shoulder. Mathias snorted loudly, and Kristjan bristled. The idiot was laughing at him. “Go away. You're stupid and annoying and Lukas doesn't need you.”

“Aww, don't be like that,” said Mathias, not sounding the least bit insulted. He leaned against the fence and nudged Kristjan with his elbow. “ Lukas told me you were a bit jealous.”

“I'm not jealous!”

“But Lukas is your brother, and I'm not trying to replace you.” Kristjan twisted to look up at him. He looked awkward. “And I know he doesn't need me, but I kinda need him, so is it okay if I share him with you?” He was gazing hopefully at Kristjan, and Kristjan puffed his chest out slightly.

“Fine! But only if you play Vikings with us.”

The was a slight pause before Mathias burst out laughing.

“I would love to play Vikings with you,” he forced out between fits of laughter. Kristjan scowled at him.

“You're still annoying.”

Mathias eventually managed to get control of himself and the two of them stood under the umbrella, shivering, as Kristjan still was not the least bit inclined to move.

“You ever heard Lukas play the violin?” asked Mathias after a minute. Kristjan shook his head, and then felt jealousy burn in his stomach as Mathias continued, “He's pretty good.”

“He won't play for us,” said Kristjan sullenly.

“Probably embarrassed,” replied Mathias. “Tell you what, maybe I can get him to play for you, if I play with him.”

“You play the violin as well?”

“No, not the violin.” Mathias rubbed the back of his neck. “I'm trying to learn guitar but my uncle won't let me have lessons.”

“Can you play for me?”

“Of course! I'll bring it next time I see you.”

Lukas came to find them then, and Mathias had to go home, but he remembered what he'd said. He had only just started teaching himself, and even though he played at half speed and missed several chords Kristjan still thought he was the best guitarist he'd ever heard.

He was still annoying though.


Mathias met Berwald when he was 13 years old.

They met on their first day of secondary school, Berwald had just moved over with his parents and didn't speak proper Norwegian yet, but Mathias took an immediate liking to him. He was similar to Lukas in a lot of ways, which is probably what attracted Mathias to him in the first place. Mathias and Lukas had been all but attached at the hip for several years at that point, and Mathias may as well have lived at Lukas' house for most of that time. It didn't take long for Berwald to be invited along too (by Mathias, even though it wasn't even his house), and even though Berwald spent most of the time eyeing Mathias warily like he could never quite figure out if he was for real or not, he settled in quite comfortably.

Kristjan did not like this development.

He'd matured a lot since he'd first met Mathias (although not even remotely as much as he thought he had), but that didn't mean he wasn't still annoyed by having yet another person to share his brother's attention with. Or Mathias' attention, which he gave far more freely. Lukas was very cool towards Berwald, not unfriendly but it was obvious he put up with him mostly for Mathias' sake. Mathias seemed oblivious to this; he only had eyes for Berwald. Kristjan, who was used to receiving Mathias' attention frequently, even when he didn't want it, couldn't help but feel a bit jealous at the way he poured it on Berwald. The frequent touches, a hand on his arm or a nudge of his shoulder or knee which made Berwald look slightly uncomfortable but which he did nothing to discourage, the glimmer in his eyes and a particular soft smile he gave no one else. Kristjan had complained about it to his mother, but she'd only laughed softly at him and shook her head. His brother was no better, even though he got a slightly pinched look whenever Mathias and Berwald where in the same room.

The first time Berwald leaned into Mathias' touch instead of pulling away, and returned his smile with one of his own, Kristjan locked himself in his room and refused to come out until Mathias personally came to beg him. He was not above such tactics, and it pleased him that he had at least won this round.


When Mathias was 15 he got three weeks of detention for hitting one of his classmates and breaking his nose.

He'd always had a bit of a temper, but up to this point it had been kept firmly in check (at least in part because of Lukas' influence) and his behaviour had shocked a lot of people. None of the teachers knew what had started the fight, as everyone involved kept their mouths shut, and so they had no choice but to punish him. Mathias didn't care, in fact he showed no hint of remorse. He stayed back after school with no complaints, even though his uncle refused to come get him any more and Lukas and Berwald weren't talking to him so he had to spend most nights sitting on the couch watching television with Lukas' mother while everyone else pretended he didn't exist.

“What'd you hit that boy for?” Kristjan asked a few days after it had happened. He didn't like it when Mathias and Lukas were fighting, but he did enjoy having Mathias to himself. He still didn't like Berwald.

Mathias looked over at him from where he was lying on the floor. “He said some nasty things about me and... someone I care about.” He trailed off, cheeks turning pink.

“Hitting people isn't nice.”

“I was trying to protect him,” Mathias replied haughtily, “Didn't want him to get hurt.”

“Was what he said... bad?”


Kristjan considered this for a moment. “Well I guess maybe it's okay if you're protecting somebody. If someone said bad things about you, I'd want to protect you. Hitting people is still bad though.”

There was a brief pause before Mathias rolled over and pulled Kristjan into a hug, ignoring his yelp of shock and his attempted to push him off.

“Thanks, kid,” he said softly, releasing him and letting him retreat to the other side out the room, face bright red.

Mathias wouldn't tell him what it was the boy had said, and neither would Lukas or Berwald when he asked them. But he overheard things, words whispered behind their backs or to their faces when no one realised Kristjan was around. Words like “faggot” and “abomination”, and others that he didn't need to know the meaning of to know that they were intended only to injure, and when he saw Lukas' tense, furious expression after one boy, the same boy who's nose Mathias had broken, yelled slurs at them across the road, and the way Berwald's face had closed off entirely and how Mathias had just looked pained, he decided that maybe hitting people wasn't always bad. Some people just deserved it.


When Kristjan was 13, something changed.

It wasn't as if he didn't know what was going on between Mathias and Berwald. He'd known for a long time that it was different then the relationship Mathias had with Lukas, and he knew the meaning of the words they still got thrown at then sometimes (it wasn't nearly so bad now that their main tormentor had left). He knew that there were men and women who preferred the company of the same sex, and it didn't bother him at all that Mathias was like that too.

But knowing it is one thing. Walking in on your brother's two best friends necking on on your brother's bed while said brother was at a dentist appointment was quite another. Not to mention is just seemed rude somehow.

Berwald sprang up from the bed at the sound of Kristjan's unmanly squeak and retreated to the corner of the room, before realising there was no way to escape from your own embarrassment and just stood there awkwardly. Mathias made a soft groan of protest as Berwald rolled off of him, before turning bright red when he noticed Kristjan, but he made no move to get off the bed or even cover himself. Kristjan just stared, red faced and wide eyed.

“Hey kid,” said Mathias, “What's up?”

“Err...” replied Kristjan dumbly. Mathias had no shirt on.

It was not the first time he'd seen him without a shirt of course, but it was different this time. He was panting softly, body covered in a thin layer of sweat, all muscle from years playing sport. His mouth was bruised and his eyes were dark, there was several darkening splotches on the side of his neck where Berwald's face had been buried just moments before. An unfamiliar heat and tightness spread through the pit of his stomach.

Mathias swung his legs around and sat up on the bed. Kristjan jerked back slightly.

“You alright?” he asked, more amused then concerned. Kristjan swallowed heavily and nodded, fighting not to turn and run. “Good thing you came in when you did,” Mathias continued, grinning, “Another fifteen minutes and things would have been really awkward.”

Berwald made a strangled noise, and Kristjan gave into the urge to flee as fast as he possibly could, pausing only to slam the door shut behind him.


Mathias was 17 when Kristjan started avoiding him.

It was impressive how well he managed considering it was such a small house and Mathias was always there, but even when he could not possibly avoid him any more he suddenly turned into the world champion of cold shoulders (he did learn from the master, Mathias supposed). Nothing Mathias did could make him so much as glance in Mathias' direction. Mathias was actually fairly hurt by it, especially since he couldn't figure out what on earth he'd done to deserve such treatment (Lukas was no help, he seemed torn between laughing and rolling his eyes, although eventually he got tired of it and began ignoring both of them, which just distressed Mathias even more).

It went on for several months until eventually even Kristjan got tired of it, but even after it stopped their relationship just wasn't the same. Kristjan didn't let Mathias touch him any more, barely speaking to or spending more than five minutes alone with him. He'd turn bright red and leave the room whenever Mathias spoke to him directly, but he was speaking to Berwald far more than he used to and this stung far more than Mathias liked to admit.

Lukas seemed to take a huge amount of pleasure at Mathias' hurt and confusion, but Lukas had always been a bastard.


Mathias and Berwald broke up 2 months before graduation. They were both 18.

It wasn't the first time they'd broken up. They're relationship had been on and off for years, fights and personality clashes causing a few rough patches here and there, but this time it was for real and they both knew it. To say it made things extremely awkward was an understatement.

Mathias in particular took it pretty hard. In some ways Berwald had more to worry about then Mathias did, knowing that if it came to choosing between them Lukas would choose Mathias without pause, but neither Lukas or Mathias that cruel. Mathias and Berwald did their best to remain civil with each other, but they would never been quite so comfortable in each other's company as they used to be. Mathias , though, was far more emotional than Berwald, and while Berwald responded to their break up quite rationally, Mathias spent more than a few nights curled up on the couch (Lukas' couch, of course) with his favourite movie and maybe even ice cream. Lukas had joined him the first few times before declaring he would no longer put up with Mathias' sulking and ignoring him. Not that Mathias was sulking or anything, no matter what Lukas said.

It was one of these nights, where he'd fallen asleep on the floor, that he'd woken to find an awkward 14 year old plastered along his back with one arm thrown over his waist.


“You looked sad,” Kristjan replied defensively.

“Aww, and here I thought you didn't like me any more.”

“Shut up and go to sleep,” Kristjan grumbled, tightening his hold. Mathias huffed and closed his eyes. He fell asleep with Kristjan's warm breath on the back of his neck. It was the last time he saw him until the day they drove off to Malmö, and they didn't see each other again until Kristjan came to join them.


Mathias was 22 when Kristjan started university.

He had a passion for engineering, and he would finish up his study at the end of the next year with at least a couple of job offers, which was certainly something to be proud of. What he was looking forward to most at the start of the year though was seeing Kristjan again. He hadn't seen him in years and they'd barely spoken, which if Mathias was being honest with himself hurt a bit since the kid was like a little brother to him, but that was okay since Kristjan couldn't get away from him now they were at the same university. He made sure to volunteer to go and show him around the campus, despite not living there any more.

Kristjan had grown a lot since the last time Mathias had seen him, and not just physically although he'd certainly done quite well there (Mathias deliberately didn't think to much about that. Thinking about your best friend's little brother in those terms was just not something you did, and anyway Lukas would kill him). He held himself with a lot more confidence, which was a good look on him, and could actually meet Mathias' eye without turning bright red. Mathias gave him a quick tour of the campus before whisking him off to lunch. Kristjan was as non-talkative as he'd ever been, perhaps even more so, and Mathias did most of the conversing but he was used to that so it didn't bother him. He had not, however, enjoyed being ignored.

“You never returned any of my letters,” Mathias said after they'd eaten.

Kristjan shifted uncomfortably. “I'm not very good at writing letters.”

“You could have called.”

“I...” He actually looked regretful. “I should have, I know,” he said, laying a hand on Mathias' arm. “I'll make it up to you, okay?” He smiled, small but it was there, and it was beautiful. Mathias' stomach gave a jolt, and he swallowed heavily.

Ah, fuck.


Finally it's done! The whole reason I joined this fest was in hopes of getting a Den/Ice prompt and then I did and it was perfect, but then life decided to kick me in the face and I've had barely any time to write at all, let alone edit. I'm still not happy with it but I'll have to fix it up later when I don't have a deadline.
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August 2012

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