Prompt: Iceland, Sweden - Arguments - 1500s or 1900s
Other characters: Denmark, mentions of Norway.
Content notes: Den/Ice. This is a sort-of continuation of my entry for the DenIce fest last year, although you don't really need to read it.
Summary: Things don't quite go to plan and Iceland doesn't know how to cope
Iceland startled, head jerking up. His eyes were red and puffy, and Sweden could see that he was shivering violently.
“Are y' okay?”
“I…” He sniffed and shook his head, looking utterly miserable. Sweden frowned and opened the front door, beckoning Iceland inside.
“How long’ve y’ been here?”
“Not long.” He followed Sweden into the kitchen and stood awkwardly in the middle of the room until Sweden gestured for him to sit down. “I’m sorry, I didn’t really know where to go.”
“S’okay.” Sweden set the kettle to boil and sat down across from him. “Aren’t y’ supposed t’ be at Danmark’s?”
“I was,” he said, looking away. He tightened his arms around himself.
Sweden waited for him to continue, until it was clear that he wasn’t going to.
“This about you an’ Denmark?” Iceland tensed. “Did somethin’ happen?”
“Denmark didn’t do anything,” he replied abruptly, almost aggressively. Sweden raised an eyebrow. “We… Norway arrived early. We didn’t hear him come in.”
Suddenly, Sweden realised where this was going and winced internally.
“We weren’t really even doing anything,” Iceland continued, sounding slightly desperate. “But he took one look at us and he just… knew. He probably suspected already, I guess.”
Iceland snorted. “Yeah, you could say that. He… yelled. At both of us. A lot. Mostly at Denmark though, accused him of using me, and... a bunch of other stuff. And then Denmark started yelling too, and I just… I didn’t know what to do, I’ve never seen Norway like that.”
It had been a very long time since Denmark and Norway had had any serious arguments, probably not since Iceland was still a child by their standards, so it wasn’t surprising Iceland was a little shaken. Those two could be vicious when they wanted to be.
“How’d y’ end up here?”
“They wouldn’t stop yelling at each other.” He seemed to shrink in on himself, somehow looking even more miserable than he had before. “I didn’t know what to do, so I froze. Then…” And now he looked ashamed. “I ran. You were the only one close.”
“It shouldn’t have… It was my fault, I was the one who didn’t want to tell Norway.” He hiccuped softly. “Now it’s all a mess.”
“Norway’ll come ‘round,” Sweden said, standing back up and grabbing the now boiling kettle, making them both some tea.
“You didn’t hear the things he said,” Iceland replied bitterly. Sweden just grunted. He actually had a pretty good idea of the kinds of things Norway might say in this situation. “What if he’s not just angry because we didn’t tell him, what if he’s angry about everything?”
“Is that why y’ didn’t tell ‘im? Y’ thought he’d b’ mad?”
He place the warm mug on the table and Iceland wrapped his shaking hands around it and said nothing for several minutes.
“Sweden,” he said finally. “Do you think… Do you think Norway still has feelings for Denmark?”
Sweden blinked in surprise. “Maybe. B’ that’s his concern, not yers or Dan’s.” He tilted his head. “He wouldn't’ hold somethin’ like that against y’. Or him.”
Sweden shook his head. “He’s concerned ‘bout y’. Both of y’. That’s all.”
“Okay.” He didn’t sound completely convinced. Sweden sighed.
“Do y’ want to stay here t’night? Since ‘m goin’ over to Dan’s t’morrow anyway, I c’n take y’ then.”
Iceland considered it, then shook his head. “I need to talk to Denmark. I shouldn’t have… abandoned him like that.” He grimaced.
“He understands. Finish yer tea an’ I’ll drive y’ home.”
Iceland flushed slightly. “You don’t have to…”
Iceland smiled, some of the tension leaving his body. "Thank you."
Sweden just grunted. Really, after years of picking up Denmark and Norway after they'd made a mess of themselves it seemed only fitting he do it for Iceland too
It was past midnight when Iceland finally arrived back at Denmark’s house. He watched Sweden drive away before he headed inside, anxiety churning in his stomach.
The front door was unlocked, but the house was cold and dark. Norway was long gone it seemed, but Denmark wasn’t there either. The Christmas decorations that had been all over the floor when he’d left had been packed away, but the tree was still only half done, and the sight of it caused a sharp pain in his chest that grew with every room he found empty, until finally he just shuffled back into the bedroom and curled up silently on the bed, clutching Denmark’s pillow tightly.
Sometime later, Iceland wasn’t sure how long, he heard the front door creak open. Iceland peered out into the living room and saw Denmark standing looking even more tired and miserable than Iceland felt. He froze when he spotted Iceland in the hall, eyes wide and uncertain. He didn’t move as Iceland walked up to him and wrapped his arms around him tightly, and it took several long seconds for him to relax and return the gesture.
“‘M sorry, Ice,” he murmured into Iceland’s hair. Iceland shook his head and hugged him even tighter.
“You didn’t do anything wrong. I shouldn’t have left.” He pulled back and looked Denmark in the eye. “I’m sorry.”
He tugged Denmark’s arm and lead him back into the bedroom. Wordlessly, they striped themselves of their outer clothing and curled up on the bed, holding each other tightly.
“Did you talk to Norway?” Denmark asked after a long moment.
“No. He called but I ignored him.” Iceland clutched tighter at Denmark’s shirt. “I needed to see you first. When did he leave?”
“Not long after you. He just had a few more things to say first.” He laughed humourlessly. “I don’t blame you for going Ice, it shouldn’t have happened like that. You shouldn’t have had to be there for that.”
Iceland looked up at him with a frown. “It was my fault this happened, I should have let him yell at you like that, I should have defended you, or something.”
“It’s Norway, he yells but he doesn’t really mean it. And it’s not your fault, okay Ice?” Iceland grumbled. “You’re his brother and he has every right to worry. And it’s done now, so let’s not worry about it for tonight, okay?” He pressed his face against Iceland’s hair, and said in a low voice, “I was more worried when you didn’t come back.”
“Was at Sweden’s.”
Denmark jolted in surprise, then relaxed. “Good, glad you went somewhere.”
“I’m back now.” Iceland thought of the slightly desperate note in Denmark’s voice when he’d called after him as he’d fled the house and felt a shiver of guilt. Who knows what Denmark had thought then. “I love you.”
Denmark smiled. “I love you too, Ice.” Then he sighed. “It’s gonna be okay, alright? I promise.”
“I know,” Iceland whispered. He pressed his ear against Denmark’s chest and listened to the steady beat of his heart as his breathing slowly evened out and he could hear soft snores above him. He thought about Norway, and about what he and Denmark had once been, or could have been. What they were now.
Sleep was a long time coming.