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25 days of Hetalia Christmas 2019

Chapter Text

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!
Sincerely,
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.”

Chapter Text

Matthew sighed as he slumped down in his desk chair. Tomorrow was the day he was supposed to give his Secret Santa present to Gilbert, and he still had no idea what to give him. Matthew knew a lot about Gilbert, that comes with being a quiet person, and a good listener, but he still beat himself up about choosing the perfect gift for the awesome albino.

Idea after idea filtered through his head, but all he could think was ‘not good enough’. Nothing seemed like it would work for Gilbert, nothing seemed like it could even begin to express Matthew’s thankfulness towards him.

And it didn’t help that he knew Gilbert also had him for the Secret Santa. It was obvious that Alfred had rigged the entire thing, and Gilbert wasn’t exactly a subtle person, he asked questions that made it obvious he was figuring out what to get Matthew. Even though he was obvious, Matthew knew he would get a better gift. Then again Matthew would probably adore the present no matter what it was.

“Hey bro, do you have your Secret Santa present yet? Gil’ll be really disappointing if he doesn’t get one,” Alfred asked his brother as he entered the Canadian’s room and sat himself on Matthew’s bed.

“No.” Was all Matthew offered in reply. He didn’t think he could describe his inner turmoil no matter how hard he tried.

“Why not? Do you seriously not want to give him a present?” Alfred scooted forward slightly.

“Not that.” Matthew mumbled as he slammed his head against his desk.

“No need to get violent,” Alfred got up and kneeled next to Matthew, putting a hand against his back.

Matthew stayed with his head against the desk, shoulders shaking slightly. He hated himself for not being able to do something as simple as get a Christmas present for his friend. His really good friend.

“Well, I may be able to get some inside information, if you would like that?” Alfred offered, jumping back when Matthew’s head shot up.

“Yes yes, please!” Matthew lept from his chair and tightly embraced his brother. “Thank you so much Alfred, thank you thank you thank you!”

“Uh, yeah, whatever you say bud,” Alfred awkwardly returned the hug.
——
Gilbert was so, so lost. He had no idea what to get Matthew for his Secret Santa present. Matthew meant so much to the albino, and he had no idea how to thank the shy boy for not only putting up with his endless shenanigans, but for being a good friend.

“What do I do? Matthew is so thoughtful, I know what he gets me is going to be so much better,” The “Prussian” hit himself in the face again with a can of unopened, freezing cold, soda. As if that would do anything to help him think.

Just as he was about to give up and decide to just get him candy or something simple and admittedly unthoughtful, like that, he got a call from Alfred. Surprised, considering how Alfred was rarely the one who called him, he answered.

“Hey, Alfred?”

“What do you not have that you want?” Alfred nearly shouted over the phone.

“Um… an idea for Matthew’s present?” Gilbert tried.

“No, something real,” Alfred sighed.

“Then… M-Matthew?” Gilbert stuttered before immediately ending the call and throwing his phone across the room.
——
“So, What did he say?” Matthew asked hopefully, eyes practically sparkling.

“He said he wanted, uh, you.” Alfred stuttered, suddenly finding the floor very interesting.

“M-m-me?” Matthew repeated, red as a tomato and honestly terrified his heart was going to burst and Alfred would have to call an ambulance.

Alfred hummed, getting off the floor and rubbing his arms awkwardly, clearly wanting to be anywhere but there at the moment.

“Well, if you don’t need me anymore, I think I’ll just escort myself from the premise and subject myself to Arthur’s cooking,” Alfred turned to leave but was stopped by Matthew’s whine.

“Come on Alfred, don’t say you’d rather eat Arthur’s food than help me with this!” The Canadian pleaded. “Just help me get Gil what he wants for Christmas, it’s the least you could do for me.”

“No way, dude,” Alfred turned back to face Matthew who was still on the floor, Kumajirou somehow finding his way into his arms, “I am not tying you up naked with some ribbon to give to my friend. I owe you big, sure, but not that big.”

“W-who said anything a-about n-naked!” Matthew whispered, blushing even more and trying his best to bury his face in Kumajirou’s fur. “I just want you to put me in a box during the Secret Santa present giving, okay? Fully clothed please.”

“Hmmm,” Alfred hummed thoughtfully. “Only if you help me with Ivan’s present.”

“Of course!” Matthew lifted his face from the white bear and smiled.

——-

On the day of the present giving Matthew was so scared he was sure he was going to faint or have another horrible panic attack and ruin the whole thing. His only comfort was that if Gilbert had been joking, Alfred was ready to beat him to a pulp and feed him to Gilbird over the span of several months. So really, at least Gilbert couldn’t completely hurt him.

Alfred had made it very clear that he was against the whole “giving his brother to Gilbert in a box with a label that says ‘I love you’ on it”, but he went with it anyways because he knew Gilbert would say yes, and he knew Gilbert and Matthew needed each other as much as he and Ivan needed each other. And they needed each other a lot considering how unstable they both were.

As Matthew sat curled up in the box, counting down the seconds until he would be freed and hopefully not but most likely rejected, he thought of how much he hoped Gilbert would say yes. The albino had done so much for him, had given him the best friend he’d ever had, and he hoped so badly that he would be willing to give Matthew even more.

“Alright bro, 2 minutes until showtime,okay?” Alfred whispered through the small breathing holes they’d stabbed into the box so Matthew didn’t die before Gilbert could receive his present.

“Y-yeah…” Matthew nervously whispered back, only about 2 minutes away from a panic attack. Perfect timing, at least.

Matthew heard Alfred stand up, loudly explain to Gilbert to open the box even though Matthew wasn’t there yet, and then he heard Gilbert begin to tear off the wrapping on the box viciously.

“S-surprise!” Matthew tried his best to shout, only managing to barely reach normal speaking volume as he jumped from the box and immediately hugged Gilbert.

“B-birdie? What were doing in the box?” Gilbert asked even as he hugged Matthew back.

“Um, w-well, you know when Alfred called to ask what you wanted?” Matthew pulled away from the hug and looked down at his feet, face beet red.

“Yeah.”

“I-I asked A-Alfred to do that f-for me, so I w-would get you a r-really good gift!” Matthew squeaked out, barely managing to get the words out of his steadily tightening throat.

Gilbert immediately hugged Matthew tightly, causing the small Canadian to bury his face in Gilbert’s shirt.

“So, the ‘I love you tag’?”

“I-I l-l-love y-you, G-Gil,” Matthew shut his eyes tightly closed, sure his sentence had been more stuttering than actually English words.

“I love you to Birdie!” Gilbert pulled away from the hug to lightly peck Matthew on the lips, making the other boy squeak and blush furiously.

“This was your plan all along wasn’t it Alfred?” A new, heavily Russian, voice spoke, reminding Gilbert and Matthew that Alfred, and apparently Ivan, were still there.

The Prussian and Canadian turned to see Ivan wrapping both his arms around Alfred from behind, chin resting comfortably on Alfred’s head.

“I am the hero, I couldn’t just let my brother live on like this when I knew Gil liked him back!” Alfred answered, smiling a toothy grin.

Everyone burst into laughter, even Ivan, and they all spent the rest of the evening snuggled up together with their lovers, talking, laughing, and silently praying that they could stay like this forever. Comfortable and warm with the ones they loved most.

Chapter Text

Tino was walking around town, acting as one of Santa’s many eyes and making sure to keep note of both bad and good children, when he stopped dead in his tracks upon seeing a tall, admittedly handsome stranger and what seemed to be his younger brother looking into a toy store window.

Now, while Tino was very openly gay to both himself and others, he hadn’t thought he was that gay, more likely bi or pan, but upon seeing the tall man dressing in a long, dark blue coat that flattered all of the right parts, he threw all of those doubts out the window. No one could beat this man when it comes to looks, at least not in Tino’s eyes.

“Excuse me sir, but, uh, do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?” Tino walked up to the strange man and asked, then felt his face burn furiously despite the cold snow falling from the sky.

‘Dammit Tino, your job is to watch kids for Santa not hit on people however irresistibly handsome they may be!’

“Infact, I do believe in love at first sight,” the heavily Swedish accented man spoke, making Tino blush even more. “As well as that opposites attract. My name is Berwald.”

“T-Tino,” Tino smiled as best as he could despite the fact his entire world was exploding 100 times over in his stomach. “It’s very nice to meet you sir, you’re um, a very good brother!”

“Hm?” Berwald hummed, his face never changing expression, though Tino could see as clear as day the thoughts roaming through his head. “Oh yes, this is my little brother, Norge.”

“I told you to call me Lukas, dammit!” The smaller boy spat back, earning a monotonous look from Berwald.

“U-uh, I know it’s probably n-not my place to judge -“

“It isn’t you damn Finn.”

“But should he really be saying all those things at his age?”

Berwald looked at Tino for a while before cracking a small, almost invisible, smile. “Me and Norge are only a few months apart, we’re both adopted.”

“M-me to!” Tino almost yelled, barely managing to contain himself. If he had a way to connect with this handsome stranger, connect he would.

Nodding thoughtfully, Berwald lightly grabbed Lukas’s shoulder to silently tell him it was time for them to leave.

“This was interesting, Tino, you seem like a nice guy, I hope we meet again very soon.” Berwald carefully spoke, as if each word had something important to say itself that would come up later.

Berwald offered his hand, Tino took it, shaking it, and staring wide eyed Berwald man before he eventually let go and the Swede walked off with his brother. Tino looked down at his hand to see a piece of paper with Berwald’s number on it signed ‘call me sometime, if you want’.

“What the heck just happened.” Tino muttered, smiling happily all the same.

Chapter Text

“Lovi, Lovi! We have to get this limited edition tomato ornament!” Antonio shook Lovino awake viciously, causing the smaller to shove him away sleepily with his hands before rolling back over in the hopes of being left alone.

“Pleeeeaaaasssseeee, Lovi,” Antonio begged, leaning close to Lovino’s face with puppy dog eyes.

“F-fine, but only because otherwise you won’t leave me alone.” Lovino grumbled, pushing off the covers and standing up, stretching his arms high above his head.

“Thank you mi Tomate!” Antonio happily smiled, turning to walk away and wait in the living room. “Come to the living room when you’re ready.”

Lovino dropped his arms and felt his face heat up. Not that he would ever admit it, but he really did love the Spanish boy, and he was happy to spend time with him, even if it was to buy something as dumb as a tomato ornament. It meant Antonio cared about him.

Shaking his head, Lovino began to get ready, hurriedly dressing in an okay Christmas sweater Antonio had gifted him last year, brushing his teeth with one hand and combing his hair with the other, trying to get ready as quickly as possible. When he deemed himself at least somewhat suitable to be seen outside, he rushed to the living room, slowing down to a leisurely walk when he neared so as Antonio wouldn’t know he’d just been rushing. Lovino didn’t need to give him any funny ideas.

“Wow, Lovi, that was fast!” Antonio remarked once Lovino entered the small sitting area.

“Sorry you take forever, dumb Spaniard,” Lovino muttered, walking past Antonio and heading straight for the door. “Let’s go.”

Antonio happily walked beside Lovino, sliding into the driver's seat and turning his key in the ignition. “Off to find the perfect tomato ornament we go!” He shouted, laughing even when Lovino lightly slapped his arm, laughing with him despite his best efforts to cover his mouth.

———

Lovino didn’t realize he’d fallen asleep until Antonio was shaking him awake, that large grin still on his face.

“C’mon Lovi, if you sleep any later they’ll all be gone,” Antonio complained in such a happy voice that any attempt to sound ‘dominant’ was completely lost.

“I’m up, I’m up!” Lovino batted Antonio’s hand away and got out of the car, closing the door, then strutting off, leaving Antonio to rush after him.

The two walked in comfortable silence beside each other, Antonio completely captivated by the displays, and Lovino for once joining him in his awe. If there was one thing America could do right, it was Christmas decorations, that was what the two had agreed years ago, and they stuck by that belief.

“Here,” Antonio suddenly cried out, grabbing Lovino’s hand and rushing him into some random store. Lovino didn’t even have enough time to read the stores sign before he had been dragged in and was stuck looking at the incredible lights and ornament displays staggered around. “This is where we’ll find our tomato!”

Antonio was still holding Lovino’s hand and Lovino was not about to tell him not to. The entire store had a relaxed yet joyous mood, and it reached even Lovino with his tough walls, making the small Italian boy reluctant to ruin the fluttering in his heart with some offhand comment.

“Are you sure?” Lovino was brought back to reality by Antonio’s voice of pure disappointment.

“Yes sir, we sold our last one five minutes ago.” The cashier Antonio was talking to apologized, and Antonio nodded before turning and leaving, dejection clear on his face as he released Lovino’s hand.

“Who’s buying out limited edition tomato ornaments?” Lovino ruminated aloud, annoyed that Antonio wasn’t able to get the ornament he’d been so excited about.

“It’s okay,” Antonio suddenly looked up with new found determination. “We’ll just check some other stores until eventually we find it! It can’t be sold out everywhere, right?”

“Yeah,” Lovino agreed. “It can’t be sold out everywhere.”

———

It was sold out everywhere.

Lovino and Antonio had been walking around for 3 hours, going to store after store, and none of them had the damned tomato ornament. Antonio honestly looked close to tears, and Lovino realized he had to take initiative and get them out of that mall before Antonio had a mental breakdown in front of a fake Santa Claus.

“Hey, Toni, we have to go,” Lovino put a hand on the Spaniards shoulder. “Nobody has the tomato ornament.”

“Fine.” Antonio sighed, completely depressed, as they walked out of the grand doors. Not even extremely extra Christmas decorations could make him smile.

“I’ll drive, you just relax, okay?” Lovino took the keys from Antonio before he could protest and slid into the driver's seat, waiting until Antonio took his seat on the passenger's side before heading back home.

The drive was silent, with Antonio distraught, and Lovino confused as to why he was so upset over an ornament, but trying to be respectfully quiet anyways. He’d been doing a lot of that lately, being respectful when he normally wouldn’t have been. It was all just to make Antonio like him as more than a friend.

When they arrived home, Antonio went straight to his room and stayed there the entire day, not even coming out for dinner. Lovino had tried to enter, but had been dutifully shooed away before he could even see what Antonio had been doing. He hadn’t tried again.

———

On Christmas Day, Lovino woke up at 7 am and rushed to the living room, where the tree sat with all its presents. Antonio was in the kitchen, singing softly as he made breakfast, and Lovino decided to sit on the couch and wait for him.

“Merry Christmas mi Tomate!” Antonio happily greeted him, setting a plate of cookies in front of Lovino. The perfect Christmas breakfast.

“Merry Christmas, Toni,” Lovino replied, smiling softly. “Can I open a present now?”

“Yes, please open this one first,” Antonio nodded, grin widening impossibly as he pushed a box into Lovino’s hand.

The box wasn’t very large, it fat comfortably in Lovino’s hands, and it didn’t look very remarkable with its candy cane wrapping. Still, Lovino couldn’t slow his racing heart as he began to slowly unwrap the present and open the box with care.

Lovino was met with a present that made him both eternally pleased and confused. It was a handmade tomato ornament.

“I couldn’t find one at the store for you, but it seemed so perfect… so I had to make you one!” Antonio explained in such a quick voice Lovino was almost unable to make out his words. “I hope you like it.”

“I love it,” Lovino smiled from ear to ear. “I love you.”

Lovino’s eyes widened when he realized what he’d said, it had slipped before he could stop it and now it was too late. But Antonio merely pulled him into a tight hug, then pecked his lips chastely.

“I love you to, Lovi!”

Laughter bubbles up in the two of them, and soon they were holding each other and laughing like it was their last chance to laugh.

“Te amo tomato bastard.”

Chapter Text

Kiku sighed softly, trying his best to keep his normal polite composure. He was stuck working through the holidays at 7/11 with Yao, a coworker he knew nothing about aside from polite greetings, all because he was too ‘polite’ to explain there was about a million places he would have rather been.

“Excuse me Kiku, but may we do something to help us pass time?” Yao suddenly broke the silence they’d been standing in behind the cash register.

“Do you…” Kiku turned to Yao with stars in his normally blank eyes. “Do you like anime?”

“Um, I would not know as I have never watched any,” Yao explained, startled by the newfound emotion in Kiku’s typically emotionless eyes. “But I have heard of a Junjou Romantica, may we watch that?”

Nodding enthusiastically, Kiku pulled out a tablet from god-knows-where and started pulling up the anime (yaoi) that Yao had requested. “Can you grab some chairs for us?” The short black haired boy asked as he continued pressing keys on the tablet.

Wordlessly, Yao rushed off in search of the chairs, and soon enough they had created a comfortable handmade theater with snacks courtesy of their manager, who at least had the sympathy to give them a bag of sour jolly rancher gummies. They could get up and work if they needed to, though they both doubted anyone would be coming to a 7/11 at 11:00 am on Christmas.

“Four months left until the center test,” Misaki Takahashi began speaking as the show started playing, and both Kiku and Yao became entranced. “This grades kind of bad, no matter how you look at it…”

Everything went well in the beginning, Yao and Kiku stayed silent except for the occasional crinkle of the gummy bag, and the show played with reasonably normal commercials at the beginning. And then stuff got really gay really fast and things went downhill.

“Wait, wait, so that boy likes that boy?” Yao stuttered, blushing heavily.

“Yes Yao, this is boy love, it is all about boys loving one another,” Kiku explained politely, then added suspiciously, “You are not against homosexuality, are you?Because if so, I do not believe I should be sharing with you the beauties of anime.”

“No, no, I am definitely not against homosexuality,” Yao put up his hands defensively. “I am… well I am gay myself. I was just making sure I was not misunderstanding the plot of the story, that is all.”

“Ah, then I apologize!” Kiku exclaimed, though still in his usual quiet voice. “I am also gay and just did not want to have any… upsetting conversations, so I wanted to know if I should leave.”

They both laughed it off lightly, apologetic towards the other, before they continued watching the show, though this time Kiku felt a flight flutter in his stomach. The entire rest of the episode he kept feeling the urge to look over at Yao and just watch him. The Japanese boy shook it off, thinking he was just so excited to be able to share his love of anime with someone else, especially when he otherwise would have been bored out of his mind.

Naturally, he abandoned that naive thought the moment he caught Yao looking over at him, and his heart exploded. He’d fallen for the Chinese man.

“This is quite enjoyable Yao, I-I am glad I got to spend this time with you.” Kiku looked to his lap and felt his face heat up, he only hoped Yao was as oblivious he himself was.

“Me as well, it would have been unfortunate to stay strangers,” Yao turned to look at Kiku, smiling as he did so. “You are a very pleasant person, Kiku.”

Kiku nodded quickly, turning back to the tablet and trying his best to focus completely on it. Which worked horribly, as now Kiku could think of nothing but Yao.

“Hey, what… what do you think of me?” Kiku suddenly asked, eyes still fixed to the screen, trying his best to keep his expression blank, which was easier than it should have been.

“What do I think?” Yao repeated, putting a long sleeved hand to his face, covering his lips. “Hm… well I guess I think you are a good person. Or at least polite and tolerant of others.”

The two then faded back into silence, and Yao put his hand down and returned his focus to the screen in front of him. Kiku just sat there, debating whether or not he should confess on the spot. He’d only just realized these feelings, so obviously they could just be by products of the mood created by such and anime as Junjou Romantica, and confessing could turn into a large mistake. Then he’d never be able to enjoy the story of Misaki Takahashi and Usami Akihiko ever again! That would be horrible but… if Yao quit tomorrow and Kiku never got to see him again, he’d never forgive himself for not confessing.

Then it was decided, in an odd way of self guilt.

“D-Daisuki!” Kiku stuttered out in a half-shout at the exact same time Misaki claimed the same thing. An odd coincidence if Kiku had ever heard one.

“U-uh, K-Kiku?” Yao stuttered, blushing furiously as he had learned basic sentences in all Asian languages as a rule of thumb for himself. I.E. he knew exactly what Kiku had said. “You… you like me?”

“Hai,” Kiku replied, reverting back to his Japanese speech in his nervousness.

“I… I like you to Kiku,” Yao leaned closer to him. “I-I l-love you.”

By this point they were both stuttering, blushing messes stumbling on their words as they tried to convey their feelings. Lucky for them, they both understood stuttering idiot. Eventually, after a bit of silence, Yao stood up and walked to stand just in front of Kiku. Kiku slid over as much as he could, and Yao sat down, trying his best to decide was just the right amount of PDA.

“Is this okay?” Yao asked.

“Y-Yeah, this is good.” Kiku replied as Yao wrapped an arm around Kiku’s shoulders.

Kiku then laid his head on Yao’s shoulder and let out a sigh of relief. This was definitely up there in the odd nights he’d had, along with binging certain… interactive anime’s until the crack of dawn. But this night was far, far more rewarding than those others had been.

“Are we dating now?” Kiku suddenly asked, scared this was one of those one night stand things he’d about from his friend Alfred.

“Do you want us to be?”

“Do you want us to be?”

“Well, yes.”

“So then we’re dating?”

“I suppose so, yes we’re dating,” Yao replied with a smile, giddy with glee and some other emotions we need not touch upon. “Me and you are dating.”

“We don’t know the first thing about each other, though…”

“We can learn, and besides what’s the main foundation of any functional relationship?”

“Communication.”

“Yes, but above that feelings. Deep feelings that you can’t really explain, but you know how to act upon anyways.”

Kiku nodded at Yao’s words, melting into the Chinese man's side. “So I guess that makes this our first Christmas together.”

“In that case, merry Christmas, love.”

“Merry Christmas, Yao,” Kiku closed his eyes contentedly. “I love you.”

Chapter Text

Tino and Lukas were sitting next to each other on the cold, hard seats of the emergency room waiting area. Emil had managed to hit his foot with a nail gun, and Berwald and Matthias were in the room with him, Tino and Lukas having been kicked out after having a breakdown over Emil.

The worst part? It was Christmas, and the nail gun had been to hang a puffin themed wreath.

“Do you think he’ll be okay?” Tino asked nervously.

“He isn’t a toddler,” Lukas snapped back, then added quieter and calmer, “but I’m sure he’ll be okay. He’s strong, he is our brother, remember?”

Silence hung between the two for a long while, both worried about their younger brother. Eventually though, Lukas was tired of the silence and spoke up.

“Kind of sucks that Christmas was ruined like this,” the magical nation chucked.

Tino turned his head to look at Lukas, suspicion clear in his gaze.

“I’m not blaming Emil though,” Lukas put his hands up, suddenly extremely serious. “It wasn’t his fault our father passed down his clumsiness to him.”

“I know you aren’t,” Tino sighed, “I’m just really stressed. Things haven’t been great lately, and I was looking forward to relaxing on Christmas. Then this happens and… well you know the rest.”

"It's okay, I know how things have been, we've all been stressed out lately," Lukas scooted closer on the bench they were on, so his side touched Tino's. "But it gets better. Matthias won't always be like this."

Tino nodded, smiling in a melancholic way. That was what they all always said; that Matthias would be better someday. The words had become so empty and meaningless, a bland mantra just to calm the pounding in their heads.

"I'm just tired of waiting, you know? I'm tired of this pointless back and forth, of never winning, of even the days I'm meant to enjoy being stolen from me!" Tino began crying in his anger. "Why won't it ever change?"

"Because life sucks, it won’t be easy for a long time. It will get better, just not anytime soon,” Lukas suddenly jumped up, turning and walking so he was standing just before Tino. “But in the meantime, it is still Christmas, we can have some fun here! Who says ER waiting rooms are no fun?”

“Anyone who’s been in an ER waiting room.”

“Fair point, but we can make it fun!”

Lukas ran over to the wall, grabbing a large stack of books from the bookshelf filled with books for small children. He then plopped them down in front of Tino, repeating this process until there was a small walls of books surrounding the Finish boy.

“We can build a Christmas tree out of books,” Lukas smiles as he spoke enthusiastically, and when met by Tino’s skeptical, tear filled, gaze he added, “oh c’mon, it won’t kill you to try and have a little fun!”

“Fine,” Tino grumbled, standing and moving to sit on the opposite side of the wall, so as he was no longer trapped. “What should we do first?”

“Well first we need a base,” Lukas replied, grabbing books and making a circular base. “Then we build them up, overlapping, making the rows smaller and smaller as we get up, until we reach just one book on the top! It’ll look like a weird sloped tree in the end, okay?”

The two set out to work, stacking books up slowly, their covers making the “tree” look vibrant and colorful, even better than a normal tree in Lukas’s opinion. Silence greeted them both, but in an odd way it was welcome. They didn’t need words to comfort one another, just the mindless action that placing the books gave.

“Thank you,” Tino whispered, wiping his eyes before lifting his head and looking at Lukas with a smile. “I needed this.”

“Me to,” Lukas smiled back, continuing to place the books. “I’m glad I have a brother like you around. You help me see better, if that makes any sense.”

Tino nodded, placing the final book on the faux tree. “We finished.”

“Not quite,” Lukas stood and walked over to a large fake plant, and began removing the fake flowers carefully. He then walked back with both hands cupped to hold the flowers. “We can’t have a tree without ornaments!”

“Fake flowers for ornaments?” Tino scoffed.

“Hey! It’s either fake flowers or pens, which do you think looks better?” Lukas cry of indignation filled the room.

For about 5 seconds they stared at each other, dead serious, before they burst into laughter.

“Fake flowers it is.” Tino agreed between laughing fits.

After they’d calmed down a bit, Lukas set the flowers on the ground and they began placing them on the small ledges between books. Again, they fell into a comfortable silence, not bothering filling the space with empty words. The task was finished quickly, and Lukas ran out of the room for 5 minutes before returning with a small golden star. He handed the star to Tino, smiling widely as he did so.

“The star for the top.” Lukas explained once met with Tino’s confused gaze.

“Where’d you find a gold star?” Tino asked as he placed on the top of the tree.

“There may have been a small fake tree in the lobby,” Lukas explained, avoiding Tino’s scrutinizing gaze. “Our tree needed it more than theirs! Besides, we can give it back later, it’s not like we’re really stealing.”

Tino sighed, but smiled regardless. He then got up to stand beside Lukas, and the two admired their hard work. Soon though, Lukas perked up, raising a hand to cover his mouth thoughtfully.

“We forgot lights, we can’t have a Christmas tree without lights!” Lukas exclaimed loudly.

“Hmmm…” Tino ran a hand through his hair before rushing over to his bag, which was still sitting on the bench he and Lukas had been on previously. “I have Matthias, Berwald, and Emil’s phones, plus my own. We can pull-up pictures of Christmas lights and put them on full brightness.”

“Brilliant, I have mine as well,” Lukas pulled his phone from his jean pocket. “Give me Matthias’s and Emil’s, I know their codes.”

“Okay, I know Berwalds.” Tino complied and handed him the two phones, unlocking his and Berwalds and finding a good picture of some lights.

Carefully, they spaced out the phones as best as they could between the “ornaments”, then sat down and leaned against each other as they sighed in relief.

“Thank you, Lukas. I wouldn’t have been able to have a real Christmas without you.” Tino rested his head against Lukas’s shoulder, eyes threatening to close.

“Merry Christmas, Tino.” Lukas replied softly, pressing his face into Tino’s soft hair.

“Merry Christmas.” Tino whispered back, slipping away into sleep.

Chapter Text

Francis sighed as the loud music from the two Italian brothers in the apartment above him blared on. You would think after hearing “jingle bells” for the thirtieth time they’d get bored, but apparently not.

Now, Francis wasn’t completely against Christmas, he just preferred to save his festivities for Valentine’s Day, when he could gift his beloved Arthur chocolates and host grand parties. The Italian twins who lived above him, however, seemed to be quite the opposite. Francis knew they celebrated Valentine’s Day as he had seen them leaving for a date with their partners, a blonde German and a tanned Spaniard who happened to be Francis’s friend Antonio, after exchanging potatoes, tomatoes, and more pasta than any one person should be allowed to consume at one time. But they seemed far more into Christmas, with their door being heavily decorated, them both seeming to always be wearing some Christmas sweater, and loudly blasting Christmas songs at all hours of the day, and occasionally night.

No one had complained about them because it just seemed like a normal, festive thing to do. Francis also suspected they pretended like they didn’t speak English to the few people who did complain. But the French man had had enough, if he never heard another Christmas song again, it would be to soon, and normally Francis was all for any type of music.

He threw on a navy blue jacket, grabbed the keys to his apartment, and marched up the stairs to Lovino and Feliciano’s apartment. Knocking on the door harshly, he tried to calm down so he could speak to the twins in a civilized manner, and the red haze calmed a bit when Feliciano opened the door with a large grin, and a candy cane striped sweater that said “it’s not going to lick itself”.

“Ciao Francis, why did you come over?” Feliciano asked happily, his smile turning more relaxed.

“I came over to tell yo-“

“Who’s at the door, fratello?” Lovino’s shout cut off Francis.

“Francis, you know, Antonio’s friend,” Feliciano replied, stepping aside and motioning for Francis to come inside. “You should come inside, Antonio and Ludwig are here right now as well.”

Francis nodded and stepped inside, not wanting to be rude. ‘You’re supposed to tell them to turn off the damn songs, not come inside their apartment to make small talk!’ He internally scolded himself.

“Hola Francis!” Antonio greeted him from his place on the couch, Ludwig nodding in acknowledgment beside him.

“Bonjour, Antonio, Ludwig,” Francis greeted them back.

“Lovi, turn off the music so we can talk,” Feliciano had left to talk to his brother who was in the kitchen, but his voice carried out to the living room.

“Fine,” Lovino grumbled, and Francis felt himself relax once the music had been turned off. “The cookies are almost done.”

Antonio, Ludwig, and Francis began chatting, but Francis’s mind was only partially on the conversation. He was mostly thinking about spending Christmas with Arthur, and how they would probably just watch one of his favorite tv shows then exchange presents, then fall asleep by the fireplace. Somewhere in his daydream the twins must have come back because when he snapped back to reality Feliciano was sitting on Ludwigs lap, talking to Antonio, and Lovino was leaning against Antonio’s side.

“What are your plans for Christmas, Francis?” Feliciano asked in his usual hyper manner.

“I’m spending the day at my lovers apartment,” Francis explained, twisting a strand of his shoulder length hair with his finger at the thought that Arthur had actually accepted his confession. “We’re just going to hang out for the whole day.”

“Wait, you mean you’re just going to watch TV all day and not enjoy the true meaning of Christmas?” Feliciano gasped in shock.

“W-well yes, I’m not exactly a “Christmas” person.” Francis stuttered, surprised by the Italians reaction.

Feliciano frowned and opened his mouth to speak, but Ludwig interjected before he could speak. “Feli just gets really excited about Christmas.”

“I noticed,” Francis nodded, thinking about the loud music. “That reminds me, I wanted to tell yo-“

Francis was cut off by the beeping of an oven, and Lovino shot up and rushed to the kitchen. “The cookies are done!”

Sighing in defeat, Francis opened his mouth to ask about the music when he was interrupted once again, this time by Antonio. He was starting to feel like Matthew.

“Francis, didn’t you say you had a manuscript deadline today?” Antonio’s face lit up in recollection.

“Crap!” Francis stood up and rushed towards the door. “I do, sorry but I have to leave now, thank you for the hospitality!”

Rushing back down to his apartment, he threw open the door, tore of his coat, opened his laptop, and started furiously writing his story. After about 15 minutes he stopped everything and mentally kicked himself black and blue.

“I forgot to tell them off about the music.” Francis groaned, putting his head in his hands.
———

The next day, Francis woke up, stretched, and went about his daily routine. It wasn’t until he had sat down to eat the pancakes he’d made from the batter Matthew had given him for an early Christmas present, that he noticed something was off.

“Normally at this time I would be listening to “all I want for Christmas” but…” Francis suddenly smiled from ear to ear. “There’s no music! Well, they’re probably still playing Christmas music, but I don’t have to hear it 24/7!”

Absolutely giddy, Francis ate his pancakes quickly and went to the front door to go to the Italian brothers apartment and thank them from the bottom of his heart. Once he opened the door, he was met with a small note taped to his door mat.

“‘I told Feli to turn down the music for you, sorry for any inconvenience he caused you,’” Francis read aloud. “‘Sincerely, Ludwig Beilschmidt.’ Ludwig asked Feliciano to turn down the music?”

Shrugging, Francis turned and locked his door before continuing on his way to Lovino and Feliciano’s apartment. Never again would he underestimate a Germans stoic intuition.

Chapter Text

Alfred sighed in resignation as he walked into the clothing store, ready to buy his 25 ugly sweaters and be done with it. He’d lost a bet against Matthias and Gilbert, and now he had to wear a different sweater every day until Christmas.

In all honesty, Alfred wasn’t that bothered by the thought of wearing the sweaters everyday until Christmas, or even really the looks he would get buying the sweaters. What he did mind, was that he’d have to spend his own money on all of them, which was even more devastating when he thought about how he would have to spend a lot of money on gifts as well. Shaking his head lightly, he focused himself back to the task on hand.

The store was filled with cheerful music, lights decorating nearly every corner of the store, and each and every aisle filled with colorful clothing. Alfred immediately spotted some sweaters and began piling them into his cart, trying to pick out as many food puns as possible. Eventually, he reached a Russian themed one with a Russian flag that said “Merry Russian Blue Christmas”, and Alfred chuckled at the thought of his lover, Ivan, wearing it. He chucked two into his cart so he and Ivan could match and headed to the checkout, ready to find out the damage done to his wallet.

“Alfred, is that you?” A small voice asked him from behind.

“Eh?” Alfred turned to see Toris, one of Ivan’s friends, standing behind him in an employee uniform. “Toris?”

“Yes, Alfred it’s been so long, how have you been?” Toris asked with a smile, small and subtle yet also obvious to Alfred’s trained eye.

“I’ve been well,” Alfred smiled back, now fully committed to the conversation. “Just doing hero stuff and all that, chilling with Ivan. How have you and Feliks been doing?”

“Oh, we’re pretty good now. We started out a bit rough after some drama with Raivas, Eduard, and Elizabeta, but we’re steady now.”

“I’m glad to hear that. You two are really good for each other, which isn’t always true with a lot of couples nowadays.”

“Mhmm, I’m also very happy for you and Ivan, you two are like a role model couple for me and Feliks,” Toris glanced at his watch and his face lit up with realization. “I have to go now, but have a good day.”

“You to!” Alfred waved goodbye, then turned and continued on his quest to the checkout counter. He hadn’t been expecting to see Toris working here of all places, he seemed too nervous around strangers for this kind of job, but Alfred wasn’t about to tell him what he could and could not do.

The store seemed far too large for a simple clothing store, and Alfred was starting to worry if he was going in circles, when he noticed two more familiar faces, more of Ivan’s friends.

“Eduard, Raivas, hey guys!” Alfred called out to the uniform wearing employees.

“Hello Alfred, fancy seeing you here,” Eduard responded, extending his hand in greeting.

Alfred shook his hand and accepted that it would be a while until he was able to checkout, instead deciding to focus on the two friends of his lover. Social interactions had always been a strong spot for him.

“How have you two been?” Alfred asked kindly.

“We’re doing good, we’ve mostly just been trying to help Ivan’s sister, Natalia, with her anger issues. She’s really trying lately, which is a relief after how harsh she used to act in the past whenever someone brought up her short temper.” Eduard replied, taking over the conversation for both him and Raivas, as per usual.

“I’m glad to hear that, Natalia’s a good person, her temper’s just a little terrifying.” Alfred agreed wholeheartedly.

“I have to ask though, what is all that for?” Eduard pointed it his cart filled to the brim with horrid Christmas sweaters.

“I lost a bet,” Alfred explained wearily, “now I have to wear one everyday until Christmas.”

Eduard nodded sympathetically before glancing at his watch and excusing him and Raivas just as Toris had done previously. Alfred continued to the checkout, still hopelessly lost, and beginning to wonder if he’d wandered into Narnia by accident.

Eventually he was able to find the checkout counter and was surprised to see Ivan’s other sister, Katyusha, behind the counter. It seemed everyone working in the store was somehow related to Ivan, which was an odd thought indeed.

“Hello Katyusha, how are you today?” Alfred greeted her, trying his best to not show how creeped out he was at the fact that every employee in the store was related to Ivan to some degree.

“Hello Alfred, I’m doing well,” Katyusha replied as she began scanning the sweaters Alfred had placed on the counter. “What are all these for?”

“I lost a bet, now I have to wear a different ugly sweater every day until Christmas.”

“That must suck, though I know Ivan’ll have a good laugh when he hears about it.”

Alfred sighed, running a hand through his hair wearily. “I know. I’m not excited to be mocked by my lover for 25 days straight. Somehow I’ll get back at Matthias and Gil.”

“Somehow,” Katyusha chuckled softly. “That’ll be 124 dollars and 69 cents.”

“Here’s my card,” Alfred handed her his debit card and felt a part of him dissolve into the air as she scanned it. Looks like people were getting McDonalds for Christmas this year.

“Have a nice day, I’d love to chat but I have to go,” Katyusha checked her watch again and rushed off.

‘What is it with people and their watches today?’ Alfred wondered as he grabbed his reusable bags filled with sweaters and started to leave the store. He pulled on one of the sweaters, the Russian one, over his jacket, as it was December 1st and the dare was now valid.

All of a sudden a bag was placed over his head and he was dragged away from the store, to some new location. He kicked and twisted in his captors hold, but it was to no avail as they were far stronger than Alfred and his McDonald's diet.

Soon, he was sat down at what felt to be a table and a chair, in a rather cold room. The bag was taken off his head, but a hand was quickly clamped over his mouth to keep him quiet.

"Shhh, you'll ruin the surprise," the person behind him quieted him in a small, and vaguely familiar, voice. "Will you be quiet if I take off my hand?"

Alfred contemplated for a while before nodding his head, looking around the dark, cold room to try and find some escape route. The hand was removed, and Alfred practically snapped his head back to get a look at his assailant.

He was extremely surprised to find Toris just behind him, having been the one clamping his hand over Alfred's mouth, and Eduard and Raivas just behind him holding his bags filled with sweaters, which he had dropped after the bag had been placed over his head.

"What is this?" Alfred asked in a hiss of a whisper, confused and rather angry that the three had kidnapped him.

"A surprise party for Ivan, his birthday is the 30th, but it's more of a surprise to celebrate it now." Toris explained in an even quieter voice than before.

Nodding, Alfred contemplated why he had been kidnapped for this. "And you put a bag over my head and dragged me to a cold, dark room because?"

"Because Toris didn't think you'd come if we just asked you." Raivas explained, speaking up for the first time.

"Okay then, but I'm not prepared for any sort of birthday,” Alfred explained, still confused as to why he had to be kidnapped for this all to happen.

“Just give him on the sweaters, I’m sure he’ll love anything that comes from you.” Eduard offered one of the bags and Alfred sighed and took it.

Digging through the bag, he tried to come up with the Russian sweater he’d bought for Ivan, he could give him a proper birthday present later, and was happy when he found it lying at the bottom of the bag.

“Now throw the bags under the table and duck down, Katyusha and Natalia will be here with Ivan any moment now,” Eduard spoke quickly, helping Raivas shove the remaining bags underneath the table. “And please keep quiet this time.”

Alfred nodded, placing the bag beneath the table, then ducking down so he was just out of sight. He could only hope his cowlick, which he had nicknamed Nantucket, wasn’t sticking out above the table. Raivas, Eduard, and Toris took their places crouched beside Alfred, well enough out of sight as well.

They didn’t have to wait long, as soon Katyusha and Natalia we’re bringing in a blindfolded Ivan, they then removed the blindfold, turned on the light, and everyone jumped up and yelled surprise, Katyusha and Natalia moving to stand in front of their brother.

“Happy birthday, Vanya!” Natalia happily congratulated him, handing him a pair of white knit gloves.

“Happy birthday, Vanya.” Katyusha calmly smiled as she handed Ivan a white knit hat.

The room filled with congratulations for Ivan, and Alfred waited towards the back of the room for everything to calm down before walking up to Ivan and handing him the sweater.

“Here, I’m going to give you another gift since I was kinda kidnapped here, but I wanted you to have this,” Alfred smile awkwardly, a smile only the Russian man before him was able to bring out, “happy birthday, love.”

“Thank you Alfred,” Ivan pulled a Alfred into a hug, then broke away to look at everyone. “Thank you also much.”

“It’s no problem, Ivan, you deserve this much.” Toris smiled as he spoke.

“You always deserve this much,” Alfred agreed, soft smile replacing his awkward one as he took Russia’s hand in his own, meeting his deep violet gaze. In an odd way he was happy he’d been kidnapped after spending a hundred dollars on sweaters.

Chapter Text

Lovino swore that gift wrapping was out to get him. There was a secret mafia organization somewhere dedicated to making it impossible for him to wrap a damned gift no matter how hard he tried, and he swore when he found those fuckers he would put them in their rightful place and make sure they never-

“Fratello! That’s not at all how you wrap a present,” Feliciano chastised, stopping in his tracks and sitting down beside him to help. “Here, I’ll help you. Take off that wrapping and I’ll start rolling out some new wrapping.”

Ducking his head so his blush couldn’t be seen, Lovino began to angrily tear off the wrapping. The present was a small, round tomato ornament, for Antonio, his Spanish childhood friend, and was one of the few presents he actually wanted to be wrapped semi-well, hence why he allowed Feliciano to help instead of yelling for him to screw off.

“First, let’s put the ornament in a box so it’s easier to wrap,” Feliciano stood up and walked out of the living room for a moment, returning with a small-ish cardboard box. Lovino carefully placed the ornament inside and was pleased when it fat perfectly. “Now we can cut out the paper so it’s a good length to wrap around the box.”

Feliciano grabbed the box and placed it on the wrapping paper he'd begun to roll out, and measuring it so it was perfect. Lovino watched carefully, trying to take in the technique so he wouldn't need his brothers help for every present.

"Now we need to wrap and tape it, do you have any Scotch tape right now?" Feliciano asked, eyes still on the box he was wrapping up carefully, folding it expertly.

"Yeah, here," Lovino handed Feliciano the tape and continued to watch his brothers movement carefully as he wrapped the box.

"Thanks," Feliciano quickly taped down all of the edges, then handed the wrapped box back to Lovino. "Do you think you can wrap them by yourself now?"

Nodding, Lovino got out the next present and tried to copy Feliciano, immediately failing at said task.

"No, no, Lovi, do this side like this," Feliciano put his hands over Lovino's and guided his fingers over the paper, folding the side to look like two triangles, one over the other. Lovino was guilty to admit he was kind of disappointed when Feliciano took his hands away.

“Okay, I think I’ve got it,” Lovino stared intensely at the box as he wrapped it, not wanting to disappoint Feliciano, even though he knew his brother wouldn’t say anything. Silent disappointment was just as upsetting as loud disappointment. “Done!”

“Better,” Feliciano looked at the box seriously, before turning to Lovino with a large smile. “You’ll be a pro in no time!”

Nodding, Lovino ducked his head to once again hide his heated face. He was really starting to hate the way his body was reacting today.

All of a sudden Feliciano jumped up and rushed out of the living room, leaving Lovino to try his best to concentrate on wrapping presents, no matter how much his mind wanted to wander back to that smile… ‘no Lovino!’ He mentally chastised himself. ‘Focus on the gifts! Who’s this syrup for? Matthew… wait, who’s Matthew again?’

“Sorry for rushing off, I had cookies in the oven,” Feliciano reappeared with a plate filled with sugar cookies shaped like trees and presents, slightly blackened, but not much. “They’re a little burnt, but they should still be edible.”

Feliciano handed Lovino a tree cookie, and Lovino took a small bite, then felt his entire face light up. “Feli, these are great!”

“I’m glad you like them,” there was that damned smile again, “I’m trying to get better at sweets, instead of just pasta. Pasta is great, but dessert is pretty great as well.”

Lovino shoved the rest of the cookie in his mouth before continuing wrapping presents, Feliciano sitting beside him and reading a book he’d grabbed off the couch. The two sat in silence for a long while, quiet except for the rustle of paper and sound of tape being cut off the dispenser every once in a while. Eventually, Lovino leaned back and sighed, back aching from leaning over in concentration.

Taking this as a sign, Feliciano laid down beside Lovino and wrapped his arms around his brothers waist, attaching himself to the others side. Lovino grumbled, but made no move to shove him off.

“Feli, I still have gifts to wrap.” Lovino protested quietly, slipping into sleep already.

“And you can still wrap them,” Feliciano stated matter of factly. “Just after a siesta.”

Sighing, Lovino turned to face Feliciano, wrapping his arms around his brother. Despite his complaints, he was happy for them to be this way, safe in each other’s arms without a worry in the world. It was nice, even if Feliciano only did this because he loved Lovino as a brother.

Lovino could live with that, because even if only platonic, it was still love.

“Merry Christmas.” Lovino whispered softly after Feliciano had fallen asleep. “Te amo, Fratello.”

Chapter Text

Arthur swore to the queen if he had to stay at that party any longer he would gouge someone’s eyes out. Alfred, Arthur’s ex-lover, was standing only 5 feet away, laughing with their mutual friend Ivan.

“You should just go over there and talk to him, Angleterre,” Francis appeared beside him, making the Brit jump a bit and snap his head to look at the Frenchman. “I know things didn’t end well between you two, but this is just is all just suffocating, watching you stare at him intensely whenever he’s around.”

"You idiot frog," Arthur muttered, then added slightly louder, "if I go over there he might think I'm hitting on him or something, or he might just think I'm pathetic for talking to him again."

Francis laughed slightly, smirk growing ever mischievous. "What if I posed as your fiance?"

"Wait, what?!" Arthur exclaimed, shock clear on his face.

"Hear me out," Francis continued. "If I was your fiance, it would be obvious you weren't trying to hook up again, and Alfred might think you were just trying to tie up some loose ends, maybe apologize and wish him the best."

Arthur considered this, biting the nail of his thumb in thought. Finally, he put his hand back down to his side and sighed in resignation.

"Fine, you can pretend to be my fiance so I can talk to Alfred." Arthur agreed.

"Thank you, mon ami! You won't regret this," Francis smiled and wrapped an arm around Arthur's shoulder.

"Under one condition," Arthur continued, waiting for Francis's nod before continuing. "You do most of the talking."

"Well that's all fine with me, now come in let us go talk to Alfred," Francis began walking over the Alfred, practically steering Arthur beside him. "Hello Alfred, how are you today?"

"Hm?" Alfred turned around to meet eyes with Francis. "Oh, hi Francis, I'm good, you?"

"Me and my fiance Arthur are doing very well," Francis explained, drawing Alfred's attention to Arthur for the first time. What surprised both the Brit and Frenchman was that Ivan tensed up much more than Alfred did, the American stayed rather relaxed.

"Good job dude, I know you've pining after him for years," Alfred gave Francis a thumbs up, which in turn made Francis rethink this plan and Arthur give the Frenchman an inquisitive glance. "Me and Ivan just got together, like two weeks after me and Iggy broke up, so we've been together…"

Alfred looked over at Ivan for help, and the Russian smiled softly before answering, surprising the faux fiances once again. "9 months, Sunflower."

"9 months? Why did you never tell me Alfred?" Francis pouted, looking to Ivan and then back to Alfred.

"Sorry dude, I didn't want you to butt in to much, and I knew you were kinda busy with Arthur. You're flirting game grew like, ten times as much once we broke up," Alfred laughed, leaning in Ivan's taller figure. "But I mean, now we can just hang out and catch up!"

Ivan nodded, but Arthur barely registered the movement, to occupied trying to register the information Alfred had just given him. Francis had been pining for him for years, had apparently been outright flirting before, after, and while Alfred and him had been dating, and Arthur had never noticed, yet apparently Alfred had? Screw gouging someone's eyes out, he would just stab a sword up their arse at this point.

"That sounds lovely, but first me and Francis are going to go get some snacks, we'll be back in a bit," Arthur excused the two of them, taking over as the one to steer Francis into the kitchen, ignoring the Nordic and Baltic nations greetings.

"Now, now, mon ami, no need to get angry. You aren't that jealous of Alfred and Ivan, are you?" Francis laughed softly, though inside he was screaming and trying to find any way out of this situation.

"You've been trying to court me for years?" Arthur accused him, trying his best to stay calm, and failing miserably at said task. "You were flirting with me while I was still dating Alfred, and now you've suggested pretending to be my fiance? I'm not that dense Francis, I see what you're doing."

"You…" Francis smiled awkwardly, then sighed and let his face go slack, restarting his sentence. "I know you're not that dense, I suppose a part of me was hoping you'd realize what I've been doing for the past few years and say something. Accept me or reject me, it doesn't really matter, I'd just like an answer."

Arthur took a deep breath, closing eyes before answering.

"I don't want to be your fiance right now," Arthur started, putting a finger to Francis's mouth when he tried to speak. "Hear me out. I don't want to be your fiance right now, but maybe in a couple of years I will. I've been single for almost a year now and I… I think I'm ready to try again. With you, this time. You're loud, overbearing, absolutely and utterly flirtatious, and a total frog, but… you can be kind, and I know you really care about me. Francis, I want to be your lover, and maybe eventually become your fiance and then your husband."

Francis stood speechless, mind and heart racing, after years of trying to make Arthur like him back this was happening. It was really happening. "Oui." He spoke breathlessly.

The two stood still for all of 5 seconds before hugging one another tightly, Arthur happy to find comfort in the arms of another for the first time in nearly a year and Francis scared that if he let go Arthur would change his mind and leave. Eventually, the two did pull apart, but only just so their faces were mere centimeters apart.

“So we’re actually going to do this then?” Arthur asked, both worry and affection etched into his features.

“Of course, unless you wish to back out now, in which case I totally understand,” Francis replied, trying his best not to overstep any boundaries.

“No way!” Arthur smiled softly. “It’s kind of funny seeing you actually trying to be nice and respectful of my boundaries for once. But, I’m not going to just up and leave you if you do something minor, or even kind of major, wrong. We can talk about things now, okay?”

Nodding, Francis smiled giddily, still on cloud 9 over the fact that Arthur and him for freaking dating. Arthur smiled back at him and pecked him lightly on the lips before pulling away from his hold and instead grasping his hand and leading him back to Alfred and Ivan.

“Let’s go hang out with them, now shall we?” Arthur suggested, before quickly grabbing a bowl of chocolates left out so their excuse of grabbing snacks wouldn’t fall through.

The two couples greeted one another, then moved to the living room where they both sat down on a couch, Arthur under Francis’s arm and Alfred in Ivan’s lap, and made small talk about meaningless things. Arthur and Alfred were satisfied with being friends, though not extremely close ones, and Ivan finally let his guard down around Arthur slightly.

But above all, they were happy to have their significant others, ones who truly understood the good and bad sides of them, and who accepted it all.

“Merry Christmas, Frog,” Arthur mumbled once they were finally walking out of the party, back to their cars.

“Merry Christmas, Angleterre,” Francis replied, giving Arthur one final hug goodbye, before capturing his lips in a passionate kiss fueled by years of pent up emotions and unrequited love. “Merry Christmas.”

Chapter Text

‘This is so dumb,’ Lukas thought with a grumble, whilst he was fixing Matthias a sandwich. ‘Out of all the things Tino could have dared me to do, this is what he chose.’

Thanks to an intense game of truth or dare-as most games are with the Nords-Lukas was stuck doing nice things for Matthias from December 1st to the 25th, courtesy of Tino. It seemed fine to Lukas, until he quickly discovered being nice apparently meant being Matthias’s slave.

“Thanks, Norge,” Matthias smiled as Lukas sat beside him in the couch, sandwich in hand.

“Your welcome,” Lukas’s voice was grating in his ears as he handed the sandwich to Matthias. It was only the 10th, Lukas knew he wasn’t going to be able to keep doing this.

“Hey, I’ve been wondering, why have you been acting so nice lately?” Matthias asked, picking up the remote and turning on the TV to find a channel about golf. Not the sport golfing, but a documentary about the history of the sport of golf.

“Uh, no real reason,” Lukas explained, trying to ignore the odd choice of television show. “Just felt like changing things up.”

“Come on,” Matthias chuckled, eyes still focused on the TV. “You know you suck at lying. Especially to me.”

Lukas opened his mouth, then shut it just as quickly. There was no way he was going to risk saying something stupid and messing up the whole dare. He would not let the last few days be for nothing.

“Was it that game of truth or dare you played with Tino and Emil?” Matthias asked, and when Lukas tensed up he chuckled. “I knew something was off. You don’t have to keep being so nice to me, I know it’s killing you. Just say you were nice, I’ll agree if asked, and we can go about things like normal.”

“I…” Lukas trailed off, gaze focused on the floor. Sure, he didn’t want to keep being nice, but it hurt in an odd way to hear Matthias tell him that he didn’t expect anything from Lukas, that he didn’t need Lukas to be nice, especially after he’d tried so hard.

They sat in silence for a while, Matthias happily thinking he’d resolved the situation, while Lukas sat in confused agony. Eventually Lukas couldn’t take it anymore and stood abruptly, then quickly walked back to his room, slamming the door maybe a tad to loud.

“Stupid Lukas, he didn’t even mean anything,” Lukas berated himself, but deep down he knew he wasn’t just upset about Matthias saying he didn’t expect him to be nice. It was everything the stupid Dane said, everything he thought was being helpful but wasn’t. “I’m such an idiot. He’s such an idiot, we’re such idiots.”

Lukas hated the fact that Matthias was always adjusting to suit the Norwegians needs, always being the bigger man. He hated it, because he knew that it meant Matthias only really thought of him as someone he had to make exceptions for, someone he had to change for, someone he couldn’t feel free around. And that, in turn, meant that there was little to no chance of Matthias wanting to be in a serious relationship with him, because serious relationships were give and take, not just take or just give.

So caught up in curling up at the foot of his bed, trying not to cry, Lukas didn’t realize Matthias had entered his room and was even kneeling beside him until a hand was carefully placed on his shoulder.

“Did something I say upset you, Norge?” Matthias asked carefully and Lukas felt his blood boil, grief being replaced by cold, hard anger.

“You didn’t do anything, it’s just me, so go away, okay?” Lukas shouted, shoving Matthias’s hand off his shoulder.

“Wait, we can talk about this, can’t we?” Matthias persisted, now sitting beside Lukas, barely two centimeters of space between them.

“Go. Away.” Lukas hissed, curling in on himself further.

“I won’t go away until you tell me what’s wrong.”

“Why are you like this?!”

“What do you mean ‘like this’?”

“You’re always adapting to suit my fucking needs, I’m never the one doing anything, and I’m always guilty but I keep acting like a spoilt brat because a part of me hopes you can just go ahead and reject me already, but then you stay, and I don’t know what to think!”

Lukas is panting by the end of his shouting blowout, on the verge of a breakdown, when Matthias grabs the sides of his face with his hands and pulls him in for a kiss, quick and chaste, but perfect in Lukas’s opinion.

“Wha-“

“You think this is just a one way relationship?” Matthias looked at him with determination clear in his eyes. “I gain so much from you. You are kind sometimes, like when you fix us food because we’re hopeless when it comes to cooking, when you sit and talk with Emil about puffins for hours even though you don’t understand half of what he’s saying, when you play pointless games with Tino and Berwald, or when you watch Hanatamago for the day while they go out for a date, and so much more. You are a kind person, you just aren’t aware of how many things you do for us, all of us.”

For a long while all Lukas could do was stare before eventually smiling sheepishly and asking, “s-so does that mean we’re a c-c-couple now?”

“It does. Because we both give and we both take,” Matthias opened his arms in invitation and Lukas happily melted into the tight embrace.

“I’ll have to thank Tino for this dare sometime.” Lukas sighed happily.

“Yeah,” Matthias chuckled lightly, careful not to disturb the smaller man in his arms.

For the remainder of the days until Christmas, the dare Tino had given was much, much easier than Lukas had expected.

Chapter Text

Alfred was scared shitless as he walked down the street to the airport. He lived so close, it wasn't worth calling up a taxi to drive over.

"Come on Alfred, hero's don't get jitters like this for no good reason," Alfred tried to give himself a pep talk, but even he could see the bullshit he was spewing.

The reason Alfred was nervous was really quite simple, he was meeting up with his long time Pen Pal, Arthur Kirkland, for the first time. On Christmas Eve.

Alfred wasn't really worried about Arthur turning out to be some creepy old guy, they'd exchanged so many pictures to the point that Arthur had to know Alfred wasn't exactly pretty enough to spend years tricking. What he was scared about was Arthur being disappointed at what Alfred did turn out to be in the ways letters and texts could not convey, just some obnoxious McDonald's addict.

Stopping to take a moment to calm himself, Alfred reminded himself that he had nothing to really worry about because Arthur wasn't exactly the best looking either, with his giant eyebrows, and constant frown, and horrible fashion sense, and adorable eyes, and-

"Nope!" Alfred shout-whispered to himself. "Don't do that Alfred, you're not helping anything."

Taking one final deep breath, Alfred stepped into the airport, checking his phone again to make sure he headed to the right baggage claim, then set off to find the angry Brit who had stolen his affections so easily.

When Alfred finally reached the baggage claim he began scanning the area, trying to find the familiar head of blonde hair for the first time. Finally, he spotted someone wearing a black coat, green shirt, black pants, and red plaid scarf. But above all else, there was the familiar head of blonde hair he'd scene so many times, and yet never before. And of course, his caterpillar eyebrows.

"Arthur?" He called out as he approached the Brit. "Arthur, it's me, Alfred Jones!"

Arthur turned to fully face him and the effect it had on his heart was lovely and fatal all at once. He was so much more beautiful in real life than he had been in the pictures they'd sent, and Alfred was in no way mentally or physically prepared for this.

“Hello Alfred,” Arthur smiled softly, and Alfred felt his face practically catch on fire. “It’s nice to finally meet you, I’m just waiting on one more bag.”

“Cool, dude,” Alfred tried his best not to sound like a child going through puberty. “Then we can just head back to my place and do the whole Christmas thing.”

“Yeah, the whole Christmas thing,” and Arthur’s small giggle of a laugh was the most beautiful thing Alfred had ever heard.

Eventually, the navy green suitcase came around, Arthur picked it up, and the both of them left the airport to walk back to Alfred’s house, suitcases in tow. When they got to Alfred’s apartment complex they struggled, surprisingly succeeded at dragging the bags up the stairs and into Alfred’s 2 bedroom apartment.

“Okay,” Alfred huffed once he’d set down the last bag. “Do you want the guest room, or do you want my room and I can take the guest room?”

“Can we…” Arthur was blushing furiously at this point, Alfred told himself it was just the exhaustion from dragging bags up stairs. “Can we, share a bed? And do the whole Christmas thing where we wake each other up ridiculously early?”

Nodding viciously, Alfred grabbed a bag and booked it to his room, leaving Arthur to hurry after him with a bag of his own. They set the bags on the ground and soon had them all in the room, where Arthur began to unpack them.

“I’ll go, uh, cook dinner, or do you want take out?” Alfred’s words were jumbling in his mouth as he spoke.

“Take outs fine, but if you want to cook, by all means go ahead,” Arthur replied, focus never leaving the bags.

So Alfred, naturally, ordered pizza because he did not trust himself to make something even slightly edible, much less good for Arthur. The whole thing was timed perfectly, with the pizza arriving just as Arthur had finished unpacking.

They sat down to eat on the couch, and Alfred’s brain began screaming at him to make a move, something, anything, so that Arthur would be sure of how he felt. Gathering up his courage, he waited until Arthur had taken his first bite of pizza before placing a quick peck on his cheek.

Both men just sat there, faces completely red down to their necks, before Arthur carefully set his pizza down on his plate. Despite his burning face he was acting calm and collected, and Alfred immediately regretted the kiss.

‘Alfred, how could you be such an idiot, of course he wouldn’t like you back, you didn’t even know he was into guys for sure, much less you!’ He mentally kicked himself.

Yet still, all his fears were put to rest when Arthur grabbed Alfred’s chin, turned him so they were facing each other, and kissed him deeply. It was a kiss filled with passion, and, at least on Alfred’s side, filled with years of seemingly unrequited love.

“I love you,” Alfred whispered when they finally pulled away, faces only mere centimeters apart.

“I...I love you as well,” Arthur replied, smiling softly like he had done at the airport, though now there was something more intimate and calming about the smile.

“Merry Christmas!” Alfred spoke at a normal volume as he pulled Arthur into a tight hug.

“Merry Christmas, you git!” Arthur laughed as he hugged Alfred back.

And what a merry Christmas it was.

Chapter Text

Roderich glared at Gilbert, halfway across the room talking and laughing with Matthew, from his own spot huddled in the corner. Elizabeta had left a long while ago to talk with Feliciano and Ludwig, so now the only thing he could do was glare at the self proclaimed Prussian.

“You should talk to him,” Francis pointed out as though it was obvious, appearing out of nowhere beside Roderich.

“And what makes you think I’d listen to an old pervert with no real love life such as yourself?” Roderich spat, already annoyed that Francis Bonnefoy was trying to get him to talk to his ex-lover, Gilbert.

“Ouch,” Francis fake winced and out a hand to his heart, smiling all the same. “But you know I have had many lovers, I know how these things work. And I’m French, to top it all off.”

Roderich rolled his eyes, but still turned to fully face Francis all the same.

“Fine,” Roderich grumbled and crosses his arms. “I’m listening.”

“Yes!” Francis clapped his hands. “You won’t regret this! First you’re going to have to lighten up a little, smile, unfurrow those bushy brows, maybe cover up that mole-“

Roderich put a hand up to silence Francis. “I will smile, I will act flirtatious, and happy, but I. Wil not. Cover. The. Mole.”

“Okay, okay,” Francis put his hands up in surrender. “Then I have only 3 things to tell you. Despite what I was staying just now, be yourself, even if that means being a grumpy old man. Make it obvious you aren’t trying to get back together- he’s with Matthew now anyways- and above all else, talk, don’t just stand in silence and wait for him to make the first move, because trust me, he won’t.”

“Mhm,” Roderich nodded, drawing himself up to stand tall. “Well, what should I even talk about then?”

“Anything really, as long as you don’t beat around the bush… like you are now. So get going, no more stalling, and clear up any conflicts! You’ll feel better Rody, trust me.” Francis placed his hands on Roderich shoulders, turned him to face Gilbert, then shoved him towards the Albino man.

Quickly, Roderich caught himself before he fell, brushed himself off, righted himself, then continued on his way, swallowing his fear for the time being. Gilbert was talking loudly while Matthew smiled almost nervously, and where Roderich had expected to feel envious he only felt an odd sense of happiness,

Then he realized it. Why he kept staring at Gilbert and wanting so desperately to talk to him. It wasn’t because he wanted them to get back together, they both knew that would end badly. No, it was because he wanted to know the Prussian was happy with someone, even if that someone wasn’t him.

With that new conviction, Roderich approached Gilbert and Mathew, a small smile playing on his usually frown turned mouth.

“Hello Gilbert, Matthew,” Roderich greeted the two with a smile. “How have you both been?”

“We’ve been good,” Gilbert happily spoke with Matthew beside him nodding and smiling quietly. “Birdie here’s been all over the place lately though, doing some work with Lovino and Arthur.”

That’s good,” Roderich took a deep breath before continuing. “But I didn’t come here to exchange pleasantries. I wanted to clear up some things.”

Gilbert looked at the older man with intrigue. “Okay…”

“I don’t mean to get back together with you, but I want to put us both at ease. I am sorry for all the times I ignored you in favor of my piano, and I’m sorry I never could get over Elizabeta completely. I know I put you through a lot, a lot more than you deserved and for that I’m sorry. I wish you the best of luck in your relationship with Matthew, you’re good for each other.” Roderich sighed in relief after his speech, it felt good to have the words off his shoulders and instead into the open.

“Thank you,” Gilbert whispered, tears in his eyes as he spoke in a horribly cracking voice. “I… I wanted to apologize and wish you the best as well, but I was never able to find the time or the words. Thank you.”

Matthew smiled, and seeing that this was a private moment, walked off to talk with Lovino and Arthur, who were currently in the kitchen.

“Hey, Rody, can we still be friends?” Gilbert asked carefully, his own red eyes steeled with determination meeting Roderich’s calmer purple ones.

“You know what, that would be nice. I know I can’t be even a half-decent lover to you, but maybe I can be a good friend,” Roderich agreed.

Gilbert smiled wide, then in a moment of pure euphoria, took Roderich in a bone crushing hug. Roderich smiled, because even though the hug was platonic where it used to be romantic, that was better for the both of them. It was easier to the both of them.

“Merry Christmas!” Gilbert exclaimed once they’d eventually pulled apart.

“And to all a good night.” Roderich continued with a content smile.

Chapter Text

Character A is stuck working in a coffee shop on Christmas Day and Character B is the lonely soul spending their whole day there. Franada, where France is the barista and starts blatantly hitting on Canada. At the end of Frances shift they end up going out together for Christmas dinner. Somehow I also snuck Allan into here, don’t know how that happened.

 

Matthew sighed as he sat down at a small table in the only cafe open on Christmas. The table was hidden away in a small corner, so if his brother, Allan, come into the cafe it wouldn’t be obvious he was there.

“Why hello,” Matthew tensed up in surprise as the French waiter/barista greeted him with a large smile. “And what brings you to a cafe like this on Christmas of all days?”

“I-I could ask you the same thing,” Matthew shyly replied, voice barely above a whisper.

“Fair,” the Frenchman laughed. “I’m here because my family doesn’t exactly want me home for Christmas. I’m gay, and they’re very religious.”

“Yeah, that’s part of the reason I’m here to, though it’s really just my brother,” Matthew smiled in a melancholic way. “Um, anyways, may I order some hot chocolate, or are you out?”

“Of course I can get you some hot chocolate, how many other people do you think come to a cafe on Christmas just to order hot chocolate?” The Frenchman pulled out a small notepad. “Can I get your name?”

“M-Matthew,” Matthew replied.

“That’s a cute name, Matthieu,” The blond man winked and Matthew felt his face practically catch on fire. “I’m Francis, and I’ll be back with that hot chocolate in a bit.”

After Francis left, Matthew took a few deep breaths to calm himself down. He knew he’d was getting excited and flustered over nothing, but still, it felt nice to have someone notice him after such a long time of painful and lonely isolation within his own family.

‘He doesn’t mean anything’, Matthew tried to convince himself, lightly shaking his head. ‘He’s just being a good salesman, nothing more. Don’t do this to yourself again, please.’

“Here’s that hot chocolate for the hot Canadian,” Francis places the hot chocolate in front of Matthew, interrupting the Canadians train of thought.

“Thank you,” Matthew quietly spoke, eyeing the heart of whip cream floating in the brown liquid cautiously. “But how did you know I was Canadian?”

“Your accent and demeanor is quite obvious,” Francis smiled. “I should get back to work, but I’ll be back around soon enough. If you need anything come up to the front counter. Bye for now, Matthieu.”

Five minutes after Francis had walked away, Matthew grabbed the cup of hot chocolate and gulped half of it down in one swig, all out of embarrassment. And then he immediately regretted that decision when his mouth began to burn up, clearly the hot chocolate was fresh and had had absolutely no time to cool down.

‘Hot, hot, HOT!’ Matthew opened his mouth, trying to fan it with his hands.

He shot up and rushed to the front to get some cold milk, but stopped in his tracks when he saw Allan at the counter, talking in an angry voice to Francis, who stood just behind the counter, a confused expression clear on his face.

Matthew ducked into a booth that was slightly hidden behind a wall, with his back facing Allan and Francis. He tried every breathing except use he knew, but nothing would calm him down.

“I don’t want any damned coffee, I want to know if my brother, Matthew, is here.” Allan
practically growled at the poor barista.

Francis sighed, opening his mouth to answer before spotting the shaking, red-hoodie-clothed shoulder just behind the wall, and he remembered what Matthew had said about his family. Burning blue eyes turned to cold blue eyes, now with newfound determination.

“There’s no one by that name here at the moment,” Francis answered in a cold, distant voice. “So if you aren’t going to buy anything, I highly suggest you leave.”

Allan scowled, as though he didn’t believe what Francis had said, but he turned and left the cafe regardless, flipping Francis off as he did.

“He gone now, Matthieu,” Francis called out softly once he was sure Allan had left. “I’m not going to rat you out to him.”

Shakily, Matthew stood and walked over to the front counter, nerves only slightly calmed.

“T-thank you.” Matthew quietly thanked the blond.

“No problem,” Francis patted his shoulder over the counter. “What kind of barista would I be if I didn’t value and therefore protect the safety of my customers?”

Matthew shrugged, and though he wanted to join in Francis’s smile and soft laughter, he couldn’t bring himself to try and put some emotion, any emotion, on his face.

“I know it sucks when you lose your families trust,” Francis smiled in a melancholic way, sensing Matthew’s unease. “They’re supposed to always be there for you, and they are always there for you, until one day you realize they’re not. Maybe they never truly were.”

“Yeah,” Matthew agreed, tears spilling down his cheeks as he spoke, opening up to someone for the first time in what felt like forever. “I love my brother, he was always there for me and he never treated me like I was invisible. Then things happened, he learned things… and all of a sudden he wasn’t there for me anymore. The brother that had loyally stood by me and had protected me was gone.”

Francis moves from behind the counter to stand in front of Matthew and pull him into a tight hug, one that gave promises of protection and warmth.

“I’m sorry, but it’s okay to be sad, to cry. I used to have a nice family, but we clashed often. The final straw was when I finally gathered up the courage and came out as gay to them, and they just couldn’t accept that. Couldn’t accept me.”

“Families are overrated anyways.” Matthew pointed out, burying his face in Francis’s chest.

“That they are,” Francis sighed, before adding in a more cheery tone, “Merry Christmas. We don’t need a family to have a good Christmas if we have each other here and now. So, merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas,” Matthew replied, lifting his head to plant a soft, chaste kiss on Francis’s lips.

Francis smiled giddily before pulling away from the hug and softly kissing the back of Matthew’s hand. “Wanna get out of here and have a proper Christmas dinner?”

“That sounds nice,” Matthew smiled softly and took Francis’s hand in his own.

The two were smiling widely as they left the cafe, pressed against each other comfortably, because they’d realized after all the hardships they’d had to face they could find comfort in one another, even if they weren’t genetically family. They could choose their own path in life, and with it their own little family.

Chapter Text

Alfred and Matthew were completely out of breath by the time they reached the library where the famous, and foreign, Kiku Honda was holding a book signing. The only thing Matthew had asked for for Christmas was to go to the book signing, so of course Alfred came through.

And then, of course, they had both mixed up the location and ended up running horribly late.

“Do… do you think we can still…make it?” Alfred huffed, completely out of breath.

“15 minutes.” Matthew replies after a quick glance at his watch.

They slowed to a fast walk once they’d entered the building, trying to be respectful of the fact they were in a library despite their panic. Finally Kiku’s table and sign came into view and the brothers let out a sigh of relief, perfectly in sync with one another.

“Hello, I think you’re my last fans for today,” Kiku greeted them with a polite wave and smile.n”it looks like you ran here in quite the hurry, I hope you’re okay?”

“W-we”re fine, t-thank you for t-the concern though,” Matthew replied, also completely out of breath. “We mixed up the l-locations.”

The conversation continued between the two, there were stars in Matthew’s eyes even as he stuttered horribly, but Alfred barely registered what they were saying. All he could do was stare at Kiku and think ‘cute’.

‘Alfred, what the hell?!’ Alfred mentally screamed at himself. ‘Have you learned nothing about how looks can be deceiving? Because it sure seems like you haven’t!’

“Would you also like a book?” Kiku’s question brought Alfred back to reality.

“Um, sure.” Alfred sounded very unsure.

“I think it’s quite kind of you to rush to a library for a signing with an author you don’t even read, all for you brother,” Kiku smiled as he signed the book with writing that flowed beautifully. “You seem like a kind person.”

“Y-you to!” Alfred blurted as his face began to heat up. “You seem kind as well…”

As Kiku handed Alfred the book he gave the blond a soft smile. Giving his own nervous smile, Alfred accepted the book and said his ever polite, and ever awkward goodbyes.

“Thank you so much Alfred,” Matthew thanked his brother once they’d left the library and were on their way home, more leisurely this time. “Uh… Alfred?”

Alfred was caught in a love struck daze as he walked beside his brother. Wordlessly he opened his book, pointed to where Kiku had signed, and handed the book to Matthew.

Carefully, Matthew accepted the book and read what was written, instantly understand Alfred’s daze.

‘I couldn’t say it out loud, but you looked really attractive. Call me? XXX-XXX-XXXX.’
-Kiku Honda

“Alfred, are you sure about this, about him?” Matthew closed the book and turned to his brother sceptically. “You know how upset you were after Arthur, or did you block all of that out?.

“Kiku seems nicer, and this time I’ll be more careful,” Alfred snapped out of his daze to protest. “I’ll end it the moment I think he’s… like Arthur was.”

“Okay,” Matthew sighed in resignation. “But don’t you dare say I didn’t warn your ass.”

———

The phone shook in Alfred’s trembling hand as he entered Kiku’s number. He took a deep breath before pressing call, not having to wait even a full ring before Kiku answered.

“Honda Kiku speaking.” Was the polite greeting.

“Hey Kiku, it’s, um, Alfred. You put your number in my book. You said I was attractive…” Alfred trailed off awkwardly.

“Alfred!” Kiku’s voice took on a happy, yet still somehow extremely polite, lilt. “I was really worried you wouldn’t call, or you’d throw out the book, so thank you for calling.”

“O-of course, dude! So… did you mean it? Do you really think I’m, uh, a-attractive?”

“Yes, I do. And it helped that you seemed really nice, and that I knew you hadn’t read my books so there was low chance you’d be after my fame. I mean, you still might be, but at least I know you’ll talk about more than just my books. I can’t even begin to tell you how many dates I’ve been on where all the other person talks about is how much he loves my books.”

“Yeah dude, I mean I like books and all but a hero such as myself has to have a ton of other interests!”

“A hero, huh?”

S-Sorry! That was dumb, wasn’t it?”

“No, not at all! It’s endearing, you know, to think someone you enjoy is an actual hero.”

The conversation continued on much the same, with the two of them docking out about space, boats, horror movies, anime, and everything in between. Eventually Alfred decided to interrupt the conversation to ask what he had meant to ask 3 hours ago when the call had begun.

“On a completely different note, do you wanna come over to my house? We could watch some horror movies of anything else you wanted to do…”

“Sure, text me the address and I’ll be over by 8.”

“Sounds good, bye then.”

“Farewell.”

Alfred hung up and hastily sent Kiku the address, then sat in still silence for 5 minutes, phone placed on the bed he was sitting on. Matthew entered the room leisurely and plopped down beside Alfred on the bed.

“Kiku’s coming over, so can you go to Gilbert’s house for the night?” Alfred asked Matthew, suddenly jumping up and reving to go.

“Sure, I’ll text Gil real quick,” Matthew pulled out his phone, texted Gilbert, and headed to Alfred’s doorway. Just before he left he turned back to Alfred and winked, saying, “good luck. Remember to use protection.”

“Leave already!” Alfred shouted, rushing around his room to finish getting ready, face bright red.

When Alfred had finally finished getting ready, he sat down on the couch and waited anxiously for Kiku to arrive, heart pounding furiously in his chest. The doorbell rang and Alfred sprinted to the door, hurriedly fixing his hair as he ran.

Opening the door, he was met with Kiku dressed in more casual clothing, smiling softly. “H-hiya Alfred.” Kiku nervously greeted him.

“Yahi!” Alfred grinned from ear to ear. “Come on in.”

“I was wondering if, instead of a horror movie, we watched a happy Christmas film? Horror gets a little boring after it becomes your career.” Kiku asked as he slipped off his shoes.

“Of course,” Alfred walked over to the living room, Kiku following close behind, before taking a seat on the couch. Eventually he had to grab Kiku’s hands to pull him down to sit on the couch when the Japanese man just stood there awkwardly.

“T-thank you,” Kiku scooted so his side was pressed against Alfred’s.

The movie began and the two sat quietly for a while before Alfred finallly interrupted the silence, face on fire.

“Are we dating now?” Alfred blurted out.

“I think yes,” Kiku turned to face Alfred with cute eyes that made the Americans heart melt. “Unless you don’t want to.”

“I want to!”

“So we’re dating.”

“Yeah.” Alfred smiled happily.

They were both smiling now, in that dorkish cute way only cute dorks like them could. Kiku buried his face in Alfred’s shoulder and slipped into a content sleep, allowing Alfred to carefully card his fingers through short black hair,

In his sleep, definitely completely accidentally, Kiku’s head fell off of Alfred’s shoulder and into his lap, causing Alfred’s smile to grow tenfold.

“Merry Christmas, love.” Alfred whispered fondly.

Chapter Text

Feliciano was sad he couldn’t visit his family for Christmas, though it did lead to some rather enjoyable experiences, such as his neighbor, Ludwig, coming over to spend Christmas with him.

Ludwig was horrible at the whole Christmas thing, having never really celebrated it, and Feliciano was determined to teach him how to holiday. Hence his 5 step plan centered some of the best-in his opinion-Christmas traditions.

Step 1: decorate a tree.

A task far easier said than done when it came to the stoic German.

“You see this hole?” Feliciano pointed the metal loop on the top of one of the ornaments. “You stick the tree branch through it, like this.”

Feliciano demonstrated the placement of the ornament and Ludwig watched raptly, memorizing every movement. Though he apparently hadn’t watched closely enough as when he tried to place his own ornament it hung for all of 3 seconds before falling to the ground and shattering.

“Sorry, sorry,” Ludwig immediately dropped to his knees and began to pick up the glass with his bare hands. “I didn’t mean to drop it, I’m sorry.”

“Hey, it’s okay,” Feliciano softly comforted him, dropping to his knees as well to help pick up the shards. “But your clumsiness sure does make you seem like Gilbert.”

“Yeah, I guess so…” Ludwig trailed off sadly, picking up the last piece of glass and walking over to the trash can, Feliciano following suit. “Should we try that again or…?”

“Let’s take a break from the tree,” Feliciano grabbed Ludwigs hand and led him into the kitchen. “We can make some cookies instead!”

Step 2: bake cookies.

Ludwig nodded sceptically, clearly not trusting himself after the ornament fiasco.

“Here’s the recipe, I’ll get the bowls and measuring tools if you can get the ingredients,” Feliciano hurriedly handed Ludwig the recipe before rushing around the small space of the kitchen to get the supplies.

Trying not to get in the smaller males way, Ludwig opened the fridge and grabbed all of the ingredients at once, despite Feliciano’s protests. Fueled with confidence, he did the same thing with the ingredients in the pantry, almost dropping the flour when Feliciano dove to catch it, scowl on his face, though his eyes were filled with fond kindness.

“That’s why don’t try to carry everything at once,” Feliciano huffed as he stood up and walked over to the counter.

“Where should I set these?” Ludwig asked when he saw there was no more space where the other ingredients and tools were.

“Right ther-“ Feliciano turned and lifted a hand to point at the opposite counter, dropping the flour in the process. “Oh no!”

“It’s okay,” Ludwig crouched beside the exploded bag, trying to sweep the flour into a more condensed pile. “We can still salvage some of this, we can still make cookies.”

“No, Lud, stand up,” Feliciano pulled him up and walked him over to the sink. “Just clean yourself off, I’ll put the baking things away, and we can do something different, okay?”

Ludwig nodded and began to wash his arms thoroughly whilst Feliciano rushed around the kitchen with the same energy as earlier to put everything away. When both had finished their respective tasks, Feliciano strode into the living room, Ludwig in tow, and began digging around a large plastic tub.

“Let’s put up some lights, that should be easy enough.” Feliciano offered as he pulled some lights on a long string from the box and handed it to Ludwig.

Step 3: Christmas lights.

“Where?” Ludwig asked as he began to untangle the lights.

“In the hallway,” Feliciano answered absentmindedly as he pulled out another bundle of lights and began to untangle it. “You’ll grab one end and I’ll grab the other, and we can duct tape it to the wall.”

They mad quick work of the tangles in the lights and began to string up the lights, succeeding surprisingly well. The lights stayed up and they both smiled as they looked at their work. Feliciano walked over to the outlet where the lights were plugged in and turned them on, but nothing happened.

“Aren’t they supposed to light up?” Ludwig asked obliviously.

“That’s right!” Feliciano jumped up as his eyes filled with recollection. “Last year the lights burned out, I kept meaning to buy new ones.”

“So the lights won’t light up?”

“No, not unless you can magically make them turn on.”

“What should we do instead then?”

Feliciano paused for a moment in thought, trying to remember the next part of his plan.

Step 4: presents.

“Presents,” he smiled once he’d remembered. “We’re going to wrap and then exchange presents, it’s really fun and I doubt anything could go wrong!”

“While that does sound fun and easy, I don’t have anything to give you,” Ludwig pointed out guiltily.

“You brought a bag here with some things for your stay, there must be something in there,” Feliciano whined. “Or you could just dig around the house and give me something random, I don’t care as long as it’s something you can wrap.”

Ludwig nodded and set out to find something to wrap while Feliciano sped to his room to grab the silver wrapping paper he’d bought for him and Ludwig the day before. The two met back up in the living room, Ludwig with a small box made of cardboard and Feliciano precariously balancing the silver wrapping paper on top of his own large cardboard box.

“Let’s wrap!” Feliciano happily exclaimed once he’d set his items on the floor. “I’ll have you know that I’m a master at gift wrapping, just ask mi fratello!”

“I usually use bags so I’m not very good at wrapping,” Ludwig admitted as he set down his own present. “Would you mind helping me out?”

“Of cour…” Feliciano trailed off as he looked at the wrapping paper he’d begun to unroll. The silver had apparently just been clear plastic wrap wrapped around the cardboard roll enough times to appear silver. “Not again!”

Feliciano felt tears prick his eyes as he let go of the plastic wrap. He quickly tried to wrap the cascading tears with his sleeve. “I’m sorry, all I’ve done today was mess up and waste your time, and now I’m crying like I’m the victim! I’m sorry…”

“Don’t say that,” Ludwig sat beside Feliciano and interned the fingers of their hands. “I messed up as well, it wasn’t all you. I wasted your time as much as you wasted mine, we’re both to blame for this huge mess of a Christmas.”

“But you had a family to spend time with!” Feliciano protested as he leaned into Ludwig’s side. “I stole that from you…”

“You didn’t steal anything, my only family is Gilbert and he’s with Matthew for Christmas.”

“But-”

“It’s okay, I wanted to spend the day with you,” Ludwig grabbed the small box he had brought for Feliciano. “When I said I hadn’t brought anything for you, that was a lie. Here, open it.”

Carefully, Feliciano accepted the box and began to open it. When he finally did manage to get it open, the largest played upon his lips.

“Thank you.” Feliciano looked to Ludwig as the Italian placed the gift, a clearly handmade tomato ring, on his own finger.

“I wanted to ask if you maybe sometime wanted to go on a date?” Ludwig asked nervously.

“Of course!” Feliciano hugged Ludwig from the side tightly.

“Ich Liebe Dich.” Ludwig smiled as he hugged Feliciano back.

“Time for the last thing!”

Feliciano sprung up, dragging Ludwig with him. “Christmas movies!”

Step 5: Christmas movies.

The two moved to the couch, sat down, turned on a movie and relaxed, content with how things were and how it seemed they’re Christmas would finally be normal and cheerful.

“Merry Christmas!” Feliciano smiled.

“Merry Christmas.” Ludwig replied.

Chapter Text

Natalia smiled as she watched Lili run around, trying to expertly decorate the entirety of their shared house.

“Do you want to take a break, love?” Natalia asked as she carefully approached her ecstatic lover.

“No, I have to decorate the entire house before our families come over,” Lili protested, stretching her arms in a poor attempt to hang a wreath far above where her arms could reach.

Sighing, still with a smile on her face, she walked over to Lili and lifted her up by her waist so the Liechtensteinian could reach. Lili pouted slightly, but reached up so she could place the wreath on the hook all the same. Natalia set her down so her feet were touching the floor but moved her hands from Lili’s waist to wrap around her middle, so as she couldn’t rush off to continue decorating.

“I know you want everything to be perfect for Ivan and Vash, but it won’t do any of us any good if you pass out from exhaustion.” Natalia softly yet sternly chastised the smaller girl.

“I’m not going to pass out,” Lili disagreed even as she leaned back into Natalia’s chest. “I’m not even kind of tired.”

“Sure, whatever you say Lils,” Natalia sighed and scooped Lili up in a bridal carry, taking her to the living room and laying her down on a couch. “I’ll be right back.”

Lili merely grumbled in reply as she rolled over so her back was facing outward. Natalia rushed to their shared room and dug around for the items she needed to make what she needed to cheer Lili up, have her continue decorating, and allow her to rest simultaneously. While Natalia wasn’t exactly one for bragging she had to admit it was a pretty good plan.

When Natalia got back Lili was on the ground, apparently she had made one more desperate attempt to continue decorating.

“We’re going to make something for our brothers,” Natalia explained as she set the materials down and helped prop Lili against the couch, still on the floor. “Don’t worry, it’s a decoration I know they’ll love.”

“Fine,” Lili huffed tiredly, seeing this was a battle she could not win. “What is it then?”

“We’ll paint wreaths for the flags of their nationalities, you know how patriotic they are,” Natalia replied as she began to open the paint bottles and hand Lili some paint brushes. Lili begrudgingly took the brushes, grabbed a wreath, and began to paint.

“I’m sorry,” Lili whispered as her paint laden brush flew across the wreath.

“For what?” Natalia asked as she herself began to paint a wreath.

“For going into overdrive and worrying you,” Lili quietly replied, brush faltering.

“I know you didn’t mean to worry me, you just wanted to make sure everything was perfect for our brothers. That a part of you and I knew it was a part of you when I started dating you.” Natalia comforted Lili softly.

Lili smiled softly and leaned over to quickly peck Natalia on the cheek. “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas Lils,” Natalia replied with a warm smile.