Sighing, Alfred put down the letter Ludwig and Feliciano had addressed to him. It was a sort of tradition between the large group of friends that every year for Christmas two people worked together to put on a Christmas party, though it was more just a general celebration of all holidays because of the broad nationalities of the friends. Somewhere down the line they had decided that the people who held it the previous year would choose the next two people, and often these people were either in a committed relationship or seemed like they would make a good pair. Which is why Alfred wanted to go over to Feli and Lud’s house and strangle the former.
Grumbling Ivan set down his copy of the letter, which had obviously been mostly Feliciano’s doing, as the writing was to flowy in a way to possibly have belonged to Ludwig. And Ludwig wasn’t much of one to like setting people up with each other.
Dear Ivan and Alfred,
We’re so happy you came to last years party, and we decided that you two can hold the party this year~ Goodluck! And remember that you can’t kill each other, and only minor injuries if you must, okay? Have fun!
Feli and Ludwig!
The two decided to meet at Alfred’s house, as it was snowing but not painfully cold as Ivan’s was. Alfred, despite being a tad salty at being paired up with Ivan, he was still excited to finally be hosting the party for once. He could show everyone a Christmas party worthy of a true hero!
Ivan was happy to be hosting it with Alfred, as he knew the boy would take care of most everything decoration wise. The albino boy didn't celebrate any sort of holiday, but he knew very well that Alfred did, almost aggressively so.
"Welcome to a true hero's house my friend!" Alfred exclaimed loudly after opening the door of his humble abode to allow Ivan entrance.
"Thank you for having me… but friend?" Ivan questioned in his heavily accented voice.
The two were in the same large group of friends, but they themselves were rather far from being considered friends. They fought often, Alfred finding Ivan to creepy for his innocent face, and Ivan simply finding Alfred extremely disagreeable.
"For the whole time me and you are hosting this party we are gonna be best buds!" Alfred explained, still extremely cheery.
Nodding, Ivan entered the house and walked to the living room to take a seat. The house was fairly plain in his opinion, considering how every other time he’d come here with friends it had been completely decked out for one holiday or another.
“Like what you see? Well we’re gonna decorate the entire thing, you won’t even be able to tell it was the same house!” Alfred exclaimed proudly as he stood in front of Ivan.
Again, Ivan nodded his answer, sceptical about how they were going to accomplish such a feat in the single day they had before the party. He had long accepted that what he said had little effect on Alfred, so he knew there was no hope of pointing out the obvious.
“Hang tight, I’ll be right back,” Alfred rushed out of the room, leaving Ivan to sink further into the couch cushions. He’d been up all night after Natalya woke him up, claiming she had a horrible nightmare where he left her to die, so now he closed his eyes and began to slip out of consciousness.
Ivan woke up 30 minutes later to the sound of someone loudly singing along to “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, and he immediately noticed something was different. The usually soft, comforting fabric around his neck now felt scratchy and uncomfortable. Reaching a hand up to touch his neck, he felt his blood boil when he realized it wasn’t his scarf around his neck, but a piece of tinsel.
“Alfred, where is my scarf?” He growled as he got up and walked menacingly over to where the singing was coming from; the hallway.
Alfred was stringing christmas lights all the way across the hall, but when he heard Ivan’s tone he dropped it and turned around slowly. Ivan could practically smell the fear he was emitting, and he knew Alfred would not be making the mistake of messing with his scarf twice.
“H-hey Ivan, what do you mean?” Alfred tried to sound joking, but failed miserably.
“My scarf, Alfred. Where is it?” Ivan repeated, in the same low growl of a voice.
“U-um, you mean you d-don’t have it?” Alfred backed away slowly, and Ivan noticed that Alfred was wearing something around his neck. Ivan’s scarf.
“Why do you have my scarf?” Ivan asked, trying to keep his voice calmer, recalling Feliciano’s warning to not hurt each other.
“Well it looked so soft, and you were sleeping so I thought I could wear it for a while, you know?” Alfred answered, trying not to shake as he removed the scarf from his neck and handed it back to Ivan.
Ivan merely grunted in response, tearing the tinsel from his neck and replacing it with his scarf. He loved his scarf dearly, his sister Katalya had made it for him, and though he knew Alfred was unaware of just how much it meant to him, he still felt furious that he would touch something so precious to him.
“I’ll go cook,” Ivan turned and walked away, wanting simply to leave the situation behind and do something to help Alfred out. He knew the boy would probably end up overworking himself some way or another.
Cooking turned out to be a far harder task then Ivan had first thought it would be. Not only did he have to cook for their large group of friends, he also had to make something everyone would like. Which is easier said than done.
Especially when a certain American refuses to leave you alone for 5 minutes.
“You’re sure you’re fine?” Alfred asked for the umpteenth time and boy was Ivan struggling with the “don’t kill each other” rule.
“I am good Alfred, and if you want to stay good you should leave this kitchen and finish decorating,” Ivan bit out through clenched teeth.
“Okay…” Alfred finally turned and left, leaving Ivan to cook.
“I swear he is an unbearable human being.”
“We’re finally done!” Alfred was slumped on the couch, the couch decorated with ribbon and tinsel, and Ivan sat next to him, equally exhausted and relieved.
“Finally. But the house looks amazing, you have serious decorating skills,” Ivan smiled, tired and starting to see the good qualities in the man he used to think was nothing but annoying.
“And the food looks great,” Alfred returned the tired smile. “You know… you’re not a half bad guy, when you’re not trying to strangle someone.”
This made Ivan laugh and Alfred joined in, both delirious with exhaustion, relief, and glee.
“Same to you, when you’re not jabbering on about heroes.”
The smiles and laughs were cut short as a knock at the door signaled the guests had arrived, and both Ivan and Alfred lept to their feet to greet their friends. When they opened the door they were greeted by the smiling face of Feliciano and the scowling one of Ludwig.
“Hi Ivan and Alfred!” Feliciano happily exclaimed. “How did setting up the party go?”
Ivan and Alfred exchanged a glance and a smile before answering together.
“We learned a lot.”