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Hetalia: Grasp all, lose all (Sweden x Finland)

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Summary: Finland, as stubborn as ever, wants to see how Sweden reacts when confronted by something else than a paper.

Status: Complete

Warning: Not exactly yaoi, more of a historical short story with just a few bl hints


Author's Note: This one, like my last fic, is also a bit dusty, but I hope you all enjoy it! Historical SuFin, because I'm both a sopping romantic and a history geek.




In this period, in these times, Sweden often feels as if he’s balancing on ice. Not the type that he has been on once on a lake in Finland, where he can stand without worry on the centimeters thick sheet and see the water that has not yet been frozen glint with the low sunlight, but the type where even a slipping piece of gravel falling from his boot could shatter the already visible cracks in the thin veneer into pieces underneath him and plunge him into the frozen metaphorical lake.


The thing is, though, there are people who wait on the other side for him, depending on what makes the ice snap. If it snaps one way, Germany will reach for him; another, France. Britain. In any case, one side will be against him and he cannot break his stillness, his neutrality, and risk any sort of loss. Already people look down upon him and scorn him for keeping the same stance he has kept for years and years, and if he changes it?


Sweden does not want to know the afterword of this story.


However, a plot twist ends up written one day whenever Finland winds up in his parlor, breath frozen on the edges of his nostrils and in the corner of his lips and on the front of his scarf where his breath has immediately frozen in the cold air, and the warmth in Sweden’s house makes him cough a few times as he gets used to it. But Finland is Finland and is still stubborn despite how he shivers and declines the tea Sweden offers him.


Whenever Finland’s breathing becomes less ragged and accustomed once again to above zero temperatures he looks up at Sweden and says, “Why.”


It’s not a question or a statement but an understood demand laden in his voice, eyes sharp like cut amethyst and mouth set. It takes Sweden aback for a moment at the firmness but not so much that he can’t reply. “I’ve got no control over it, Tino.” Finland should know that, being a country as well, but he is also not Sweden and thus does not understand Sweden’s standpoint so the Finnish nation’s tone seethes a bit whenever he speaks.


“But you have a voice, as much as you don’t use it, and a very important one considering that you are the country your bosses are trying so desperately to quiet.” As he talks, Finland gestures quick and short, lacking the patience and energy to make elaborate ones in order to get his point across.


Besides, speech seemed to have more effect on Sweden than gestures as of late.


“I’ve asked you, implored you, I’ve pleaded with you—we’ve pleaded with you—and you still have the nerve to allow someone to decide such things and speak like that?” he loosens the scarf from around his neck, because he’s starting to heat up with irritation—Sweden’s just standing there taking as he continues on, “I’d think that, for someone with such strong feelings against Ivan you’d help your neighbor just this once—just,” Finland holds up a finger, “this once, especially when your people are clamoring so eagarly for it but all you can say is,” with said finger he jabs the Swede in the chest; he does not falter, much to Finland’s chagrin. “Nej.”


Finland wants to see if Sweden will waver even just a little bit now that he has been confronted with something other than a sheet of paper asking him to please help, something other than his people’s voices but all the Swede does is look down at Finland with the expression of a tired man, steel rusting but not in need of tossing to the side yet.


The thick wool of Sweden’s pullover makes the skin on Finland’s finger itch a bit as he pushes it further into Sweden’s chest, as if he can somehow press the issue with force into Sweden, because he is not backing down. He has not backed down for Ivan, as Sweden’s bosses thought might be possible, sweeping Finnish dust underneath a Soviet rug, so he certainly won’t back down to this man of stone silence and a still infuriatingly firm stance.


Much to his surprise, another kink in the plot, Sweden takes Finland’s hand away from his chest, holding the smaller wrist in his grip and turning it palm up to examine it.


The tips of Finland’s fingers are reddened, not just from the cold but also from minute burns, small scratches and pinches and now that his hand is eye-level with Sweden’s gaze he cam smell the faint traces of gunpowder and earth embedded underneath his dirty fingernails.


“What’d you do to make this happen, Tino?”


“Gun barrels are hot if you’re not careful, Berwald,” Finland snaps back lowly. Blue eyes darken as they shoot down to meet with the Finn’s icy stare, and there’s a minute tightening around his wrist. “I haven’t blown off a finger yet, thank goodness— or maybe that should’ve happened just to show you the gravity of exactly what’s happening to us while you just read and listen and not—”


“Tino.” Sweden interuppts, voice low and firm and resolute. Finland hushes but keeps his lips flat and his brow furrowed. “M’not my bosses—” the Finn opens his mouth but snaps it shut, thinking better in spite of himself, “—m’not my people, m’not my army, but even in spite of that I can’t—”*


“Yes you can,” Finland interjects, clenching his fists even if one arm has yet to be let free of Sweden’s grip. Sweden might has snorted shortly had he anything left in his humor reserves. “With what tools, Tino? I have nothing in my arsenal.”


“But you have men.”


“I do have men. Many of them who want to fight on your side. But Tino,” Sweden pauses to dip his head a bit and press a scar on the side of Finland’s index finger to his lips, a forewarning and an apology, “I’m on ice as it is, between a rock and a hard place.


“If I take your side against Ivan, he’ll go after me. If I take any side, I don’t know what I’ll be doing after so long and I’ll lose control of how my country—I—am now. Y’see?” He would lose either way. And Finland did not and could not understand because this was happening to him.


“I just need help, Berwald,” Finland says softly after several moments of absolute quiet, the only noise being the rustling of Sweden’s sleeve as he moved his free hand to cover Finland’s so that it became clasped between the Swede’s own two, still resting in front of his face. “I just need help, because I’m fighting so hard and I can’t get anyone else right now, nobody else will.”


In a silent asking of please please pleasepleaseplease because his talking is making him sound so pathetic right now, Finland leans forward and rests his forehead against the scratchy feel of Sweden’s, letting his eyes close momentarily and his fists unclench. He’s just so tired, tired of having to literally struggle against Ivan yet again, tired of all these negotiations and his nerves are practically fried from the emotional lethargy.


“All I want is a little help.”


Sweden will give him help. He will give him men and he will give him his support as indirectly as he can because he is still teetering on the ice but in the here and now he helps by letting Finland rest his weary head where he stands. Because he is classic Finland, stubborn and will not lie down and stop when he needs to get up and go, but he is also Tino, with clear eyes and a still strong voice contrary to how he feels and still comes to Sweden after all these years to lay his troubles out flat and to allow his body to tell itself “enough”. Because in the here and now it is all that Sweden can do.




Final notes: I really dislike writing Sir Surströmming’s verbal tic during fic—it throws off my entire writing I feel—so if you’ll forgive me for that. During the Winter War in ‘39, Finland was pretty much struggling to keep its head above water as it fought against the Soviets, even asking Sweden for help thrice. Of course, Sweden being king of neutrality said no despite a large majority of Swedes wanting to help their neighboring country. *The king finally basically said screw it to shut his people up.

As it turns out, though, in Sweden declared itself “non-belligerent” and lent the most volunteers to Finland out of the Nordics, somewhere between 8k — 10k in total.

When Sweden mentions ‘what tools?’ he is being 100% serious: Sweden had about 16 tanks in total at its disposal in ‘39.

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