Clamor and gaiety filled the house of Tino Väinämöinen as traditional holiday glögg was poured and presents were exchanged. The annual gathering assembled so many people in one place, that the house--lively as it normally was--was busier and louder than ever. December twenty-fifth was Tino's favorite day of the year and he loved sharing it with every single country in the world. Sure there were many that did not show up for one reason or another but it was always a fun event that he thought made everyone seem just a little bit more forgiving, more joyful by the start of the new year.
"Hey, Finland, great party, yo!" America yelled through a mouthful of the stollen that Germany brought.
"Don't speak with your mouth full, you pig!" England yelled, already tipsy, from across the room.
Tino was in the center, literally, of the din, laughing as the two went back and forth. Sweden helped him with everyone's needs--more wine, more food, where was the bathroom again?--but it was still so busy that it was hard to keep track of where everyone was. Finland had found over the years, that the best way to avoid disaster happening at such a big hullabaloo was to know where the biggest trouble-makers were. America and England were still in the living room, obviously; France was in the family room, flirting with a lamp; the Netherlands and any other smokers were restricted to the backyard; Prussia was challenging everyone in sight to a drinking match but no one was taking him up on his offer. Usually Denmark was there in a heartbeat but he was oddly missing...
Ah. Speak of the devil.
"Hello, Denmark. Are you enjoying yourself?" Tino asked his friend.
"Ja, great party as usual, Fin!" Denmark replied with a slap on the shorter country's back. "Just one thing though, I can't seem to find Norge anywhere! Have you seen him?"
Tino tilted his head to one side in thought. "No, I'm afraid not, Den. Have you tried asking Iceland?"
"Yeah, I found Iceland but he didn't really help."
"I'm sorry to hear that, but I really haven't seen him. I have so much to take care of tonight, I can't really keep track of everyone." Tino said with finality, attempting to hint to Denmark that he was busy.
"Well, then you should help me look for him! No one is helping me!" And Denmark, of course, didn't take the hint. Tino rolled his eyes but smiled.
"Like I said, I'm very busy. But I suppose I can spare a few minutes helping yo--"
"Great, let's go!" Denmark grabbed the shorter nation's arm and started dragging him through the crowd. He left no time for Tino to ask where, exactly, it was that they were headed.
Norway sat reading in Tino's office. Normally, this was among the few rooms of the house that were prohibited for the annual Juletide party, but what Tino didn't know wouldn't hurt him. The quiet nation was trustworthy, after all, so he was sure that even if Finland found out he wouldn't be mad. It was, without a doubt, the quietest room in the house. However, it did get lonely. Iceland was usually his only companion, if he was successful in avoiding the walking, talking annoyance that was Denmark, but this year Iceland had decided to socialize more. It was fine, Norway supposed. His brother was probably advertising to get more tourists, anyway. There was no harm, especially since the Northern countries tended to be popular winter vacation spots.
Norway sighed and realized that he had been reading the same line over and over for the past few minutes. Marking his place, he closed the book, stood up, and exited the room, closing the door softly behind him. He leaned over the balustrade that lined the second floor and looked down at all the nations below. It certainly was a spirited party. Everyone was milling about or dancing, going from room to room, inside the house then out again. And yet no sign of the one person he always felt like he had to avoid. Where is Danmark? Norway mused to himself. Probably off pickling his liver with Prussia. As usual. Not that it's any of my business.
With a harrumph to his own thoughts, Norway made his way downstairs and into the kitchen. He poured himself a glass of glögg, which he sipped slowly.
"Gleðileg jól." Iceland walked up to Norway, having come to refill his own glass.
"Glædelig jul, bror."
"Where have you been? I haven't seen you most of the night? Avoiding Danmark, I presume." The white-haired boy raised his eyebrows and took a sip.
"I admit, it hasn't been much of a challenge this year. He must be up to something..."
"He hasn't even taken up Prussia's offer for a drinking competition."
The brothers fell into silence between each other, though the kitchen was not entirely silent itself. People still bustled through and every so often someone staying for several minutes. Eventually, Iceland left his brother to his own devices and Norway only stayed for a minute or two more before seeking out the downstairs family room. Adjacent to the living room but still relatively out of the way, there was a chair in the furthest corner of that room of which he was quite fond.
To both his pleasure and disappointment, there were several of the known "party nuisances" all together in one room. France, America, Spain, and Prussiawho gave up on getting everyone else blind drunkwho was sitting in Norway's chair. Norway did not want to sit between Spain and France on the sofa across from Prussia. America was sprawled, dead asleep, all over the loveseatthe only other sitting place. The Nordic settled for hovering in the corner near the doorway and hoping none of them realized he was there amongst their conspiratorial whispering.
If the trouble-makers noticed him, they did not make it known and so he closed his eyes and rested there. For nearly a half hour, though it felt like just a few minutes, his relative tranquility uninterrupted, but all too soon, someone decided to barge into the room.
"Hey, Den, where the hell have ya been?" Prussia yelled from across the room. "I looked all over for ya!"
Denmark trudged over to the trio and explained his plight. "I've been looking everywhere for Norway! I can't find him. What if he got trampled by someone like America or Russia? I'll bet it was SviI knew he was still trouble. He'll never change!"
The red-eyed ex-nation rolled his eyes and waved a hand toward the doorway. "What the fuck are you talking about Den? Norway's over there, brooding in the corner."
Norway's eyes shot open in a flash and he made eye contact with the wild, Nordic man he'd managed to deter all night. He kicked himself off his wall perch and made to leave; Denmark, on the other hand, made a dash to his "best friend".
"Norge! I haven't seen you all night! Where have ya been, buddy? It's like you were avoiding me or something," Denmark laughed earnestly. He held Norway by the wrist and smiled like a child. Norway hesitated a second, but then pulled his arm from the other's grip. Or... tried to. The taller, blond man had a vice-like grasp even when he was drunk, so there was no escaping the completely sober Denmark.
"Let go, idiot," Norway commanded. "I'm not in the mood." Denmark did not respond right away, and so a certain red-eyed German took a chance to impede on the conversation by letting out a loud wolf whistle. All nations in that room, except the still-sleeping America, as well as a few meandering nearby in the living room stared attentively at the duo standing in the doorway. France, who had been banned from the glögg and was thus much more sober than earlier that night, cooed at the two.
"Oh, my~ It seems these two are having a lover's spat underneath the mistletoe. What poetic irony!"
"Ja, Den, why don't you two kiss and make up!" Prussia added brashly.
That particular doorway, like a few other strategically chosen places, had a sprig of devious mistletoe hanging from it, directly above where the two Nordic nations were standing. Both Denmark and Norway looked up at the offending plant and then back at each otherDenmark with a somewhat sheepish yet candid grin; Norway with an indescribable expression, as if torn between scared, angry, and embarrassed. His face filled with a pink blush and he turned his body as far away from Denmark as he could seeing as his arm was still being held captive. Denmark reached out and grabbed Norway's other arm, with the shorter man still twisting his neck and face away.
"Aw, come on, Norge. It's a Christmas tradition!"
At this point, more than just a few bystanders stopped to watch the struggle under the mistletoe. Norway realized he was making a scene, and fought with himself between either not caring or retaining his dignity by simply giving in. He stopped struggling so much, though he kept his eyes looking away, at anything and everything other than Denmark.
The taller nation snaked an arm around the other's waist and pulled him closer. Cobalt eyes glanced up and hardened stubbornly. With a pout, Norway muttered, "Don't act like I'm made out of glass, idiot. I'm not going to break." A million-watt smile flashed with more playfulness than before, conceding to the shorter man's wishes. Denmark pulled Norway up close, dipped him with a flourish that had everyone looking, and kissed him with unrestrained vigor.
All the on-looking nations applauded, whistled, and hooted as in the case of Prussia and the now-awakened America. On instinct, Norway had wrapped his arms around Denmark's neck and kissed him back, his heart beating fast from the unexpected dip. Slowly, he relaxed and let himself be held, admitting, stubbornly, that he was in fact, enjoying himself. Eventually, the couple realized they both needed to breath, and so Denmark brought them both back to standing upright. Norway's arms were still draped on Denmark's shoulders and Denmark's hand were likewise, still holding Norway's waist.
Finland and Sweden had just put Sealand to bed when the ruckus had started. They both hurried down the stairs to see what it was about, to arrive right as Denmark had dipped Norway into their kiss. Finland smiled and nudged Sweden with a laugh. The two slowed their pace and made their way over to the doorway of the family room. When the couple broke for air and to regain their senses, the two hosts took that moment to shoo the peanut gallery from the scene. Finland urged everyone outside, with promises of fireworks via Hong Kong; Sweden stared down any who tried to linger, namely the trio of trouble-makers that had helped start the commotion.
"Danmark," Norway started. The two had taken to sitting side-by-side on one of the sofas in the family room. The shorter blond was using his taller counterpart as a head-rest.
"This doesn't change anything."
"Of course not, Norge! We're still best buddies, after all."
"Nei... I mean..." Norway shook his head. After a moment, he leaned up and gave his "best buddy" a light kiss on the cheek. "Annoying..."
Denmark laughed, and returned the favor on Norway's forehead. "You're cute when you're flustered, Nor. I'm glad that it's my fault."
"Flustered? Who said anything about me being flustered?" Norway crossed his arms indignantly. "And it is your fault. It's always your fault."
"Ja, ja, everything is my fault!" Denmark parroted. He pulled at Norway's cheeks to try and pull his mouth into a smile, earning him a slap on the hands. "So you wanna know why I was looking for you all night?"
Denmark pulled something out of his pocket and reached up to pull out the bobby pins that held back stubborn locks of hair. Ignoring Norway's "Hei!", Denmark fastening something in their place.
"There," he said with finality.
Norway looked confused for a moment, until he felt what Denmark had put in his hair. "My cross pin? I thought it had gone missing."
The other shook his head. "Last time you were over, you fell asleep with it on again. I took it out and forgot to give it back before you left." Denmark laughed sheepishly.
"Ch'... of course. Idiot." Norway paused. "But... thank you..."
"No problem, Norge!" He leaned over and gave Norway another chaste kiss, on the lips this time. Norway began to blush from his neck to his ears, and punched Denmark in the shoulder, but nuzzled his head on the very same spot right after with a happy sigh. They both relaxed and soon the excitement of the night took its toll and both Nordics fell into a peaceful sleep on Finland's couch.