Working on the remaining picture post from Europe, finding I'm getting a tad too verbose; have an interview meme to finish; have apps to write and more fics waiting in the wings -- not bad things at all.
Until then.. uh. HAVE..... THIS. (With my apologies it's not... honeycomb or anything.)
Germany wonders how to tell one land from another. All of Europe smells burnt, and from one land to another a barrage of bullets and barked ordinance, running with hands stretched forward, blinking feverishly when the sun rises.
The trick, Finland clarifies, is to distinguish which place feels like Hell and which like home.
"Sometimes," Finland says, "it’s about adapting to who you've become."
"This is just a means to an end," Germany reminds him, having heard this line from Austria in a rare pragmatic moment. He liked the way it sounded then; out of his mouth, it wilts.
Finland looks at him as though through unseeing. "In one hundred years, I will still be Suomi, who tucked a gun into bed beside him each night."
Morning: Finland shoves the butt of his gun in the backs of twenty, thirty German soldiers, roars at them vicious and indistinguishable words until they are all jumped to their feet and marching faster, hasty. Rain shows imminent over the hills. Finland shoulders his gun, turns his head toward Germany with a sudden smile.
Germany takes a step backward.
"It's a shame I can't shout in German," he sighs, winsome. "Do you think they'll learn to take me seriously someday?"
"Well." Germany clears his throat. "Well. Who says they can't learn Finnish? It works both ways." Here his lips flatten, lengthen, consideration of a smile.
Finland surveys the scene, the snow thawing into unyielding ice, as if he has lost something. "I would." His gloved hand dips under his collar, above his heart, he pauses. "I would, but then you'd all understand me. Then," slight smile, "you'd all realize that when I speak Finnish I have a dirty mouth."
They settle near a farm, settle for Germany’s banal stories about what he remembers home to be, settle for watching the reindeer graze, and Finland enjoys it as he always has.
There's a part in their long exchange where he can see straight through the interest, see Finland sick with misery; and then Finland looks at Germany like his own misery is showing, and hastily they tuck those hard seeds away behind the wall.