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[personal profile] tinediserp
Title: Passenger Seat
Characters: Denmark and Norway
Rating: PG
Warnings: Not much.  Norway internal monologue.
Notes: Yuu’s Ficmas gift!
Summary: A drive has become tradition, and Norway wants to know why.


Under normal circumstances, Norway did not venture to know how Denmark’s mind worked. At times he was curious, this was for certain - but it wasn’t his business, and he wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to know, at any rate. If he understood, he might just sink to that level, mightn't he.

And as such, here they were again, driving to Sweden’s place on Christmas Eve, as they’d done for years. Norway was driving, hands slightly chilled against the steering wheel as the sun went down – he didn’t trust Denmark behind the wheel of a ship, much less a car – and again he wondered how this tradition had come about.

For it was a tradition - every year, for the past few decades, they’d made the trip by car. And every year Denmark paid. And every year Norway drove.

This year he ventured to ask, as night fell and they lost whatever radio station it was that had held Denmark’s attention, as Denmark began to chatter about everything and nothing and Norway paid attention to the road, not bothering to answer because either way the oaf would keep talking.

The radio fell into static and he turned it off, momentarily warming his hand against the heat filtering out of the vents. After a half-hour of Denmark’s blathering about treaties, bridges, the scenery – of which he didn’t have much to say, merely nodded and hmm’d – he interrupted the deluge of words.

“I’m supposin’ ya like the trip.”

Denmark stopped in the middle of his rant about something and grinned over at him.

“Nor! Thought ya weren’t listenin’ at all!”

“I weren’t.”

He got a laugh and some comment about him being a sourpuss, before Denmark leaned back and turned to him in his seat, mouth open and ready to say some other thing that likely didn’t matter in the scheme of things.

Norway noticed the movements, both of them. Decided to comment on one, at least, before Denmark could speak. “An’ buckle your seatbelt, if we hit a moose I ain’t pullin’ ya outta the windshield.”

“Aw, a moose ain’t – “

A glare, before he turned his attention back to the road.

“Alright, alright, geez, ya sure do worry in yer old age,” Denmark groused even as the seatbelt clicked.

By that time Denmark had started on an entirely new tangent, and Norway mostly tuned it out, for they were words to fill up the space the heat didn’t reach - saw fit to try again later.

---

Night came early, here, this time of year. He knew it, Denmark knew it, but Denmark always acted like it was new, every single year, and had for as long as he’d known him. How something so old, so predictable, could be so fascinating every single time, Norway didn’t understand. He’d ask, but again, he wasn’t sure if it was worth the bother. He could get a genuine response, or he could get one he didn’t care to slog through.

Denmark kept chatting, and Norway kept driving.

He’d wait.

---

After the third mention of the moonlight upon the road, he decided that he’d waited long enough.

“Denmark.” It cut through the chatter and silenced Denmark, that one.

“Yeah?”

He didn’t say anything, just drove, and soon enough Denmark was laughing about something – and soon enough he cut him off again.

“Well if yer gonna say it, Norge, ya gotta say it!” Denmark fiddled with the dials and came up with nothing, then grinned over as always. “Life don’t wait forever.”

“’M stuck in a car with ya fer the next – “ Norway looked at the odometer – “300 kilometers. I got time.”

“Y’don’t know that! Howbout that moose-a yourn?”

Norway blindly reached over and swatted him for that.

“’f I’m lucky it’ll be on th’ left side-a the road.”

Denmark laughed, Norway drove.

---

And when the chatter was over with, and Denmark sat back in his seat, finally quiet and intent on dozing off, Norway asked.

“How come we always drive?”

“Whaddaya mean? We always drive!”

Norway rolled his eyes. “Think ya mean t’say I always drive.”

“That’s ‘cause ya say somethin’ all Norge-like, like ‘If ya drove, we’d end up -’”

“M’not askin’ why I drive. M’askin why we drive at all.”

“Jus’ said, you - “

“Was wonderin’ why we take a car. Ain’t useful. S’downright wasteful.”

“Oh!” That ‘oh!’ that said Denmark thought it was the most obvious thing in the world, and Norway’s fingers tightened on the steering wheel as he glanced over. “I just gotta make sure ya get outta the house, Nor!”

He looked over, full-out, at that. “I get outta the house plenty.”

“Nah, s’not what I mean! Ya walk ‘round an’ lookit things. An’ y’know, I wancha t’live a little - do stuff!”

“If I gotta be stuck in a car with the likes a you, that ain’t no life I wanna live.”

“Aw, y’like it!”

Norway only flattened his lips, made sure the car took the next curve at a reasonable speed.

“Jus’ you an’ me, spendin’ some quality time together - “

“It’s a right pain in th’ ass.”

Denmark laughed; Norway didn’t see what was so damn funny. “Life’s a pain in the ass, Nor!”

“With that blockhead of yourn, I doubt ya think anythin’s a pain in the ass.”

“Sure I do. We’re goin’ to Sver’s!”

Norway sighed and kept driving. That wasn’t what he was asking, but he didn’t think the idiot would understand anyway.

---

Later, much later, as they were nearing Sweden’s house - Denmark was asleep and snoring, neck awkwardly bent against the passenger side door, and he had to pull aside in the middle of nowhere. He tried to shake Denmark awake, got no response for that action - he thought that perhaps Denmark might want to smoke, or get mauled by a bear, or whatever havoc Danes caused when let loose into the wild - but the idiot kept snoring, and he had to piss.

There he was, car behind him, shuddering in the cold just as he was, as he shivered and looked up through moonlit trees and tried to ignore how loud the car was in the silence.

Thought over Denmark’s words, before.

As much as he hated to admit it, maybe Denmark was right, in that blockheaded way of his. Maybe it was the drive getting to him, or maybe, just maybe, they worked like that - Norway pulled him in, Denmark pulled him out.

He wouldn’t be pissing on a Swedish roadside otherwise. Those years were long gone.

The moonlight filtering through the trees, staining them black and silver, was wonderful. Driving through the flickering shadows and anticipating the warmth, the low chatter of old family, being able to escape to a quiet, cushioned corner - that was nice, too. He’d be there, but maybe the means were more important than the end, in this case. The task of getting there only made him appreciate the destination more.

He took a moment, after, to shiver in the cold, in the bright, harsh moonlight - hearing nothing but the car but imagining he heard the sound of Denmark throwing themselves right into the middle of the festivities, imagining he heard the clack of silverware being set for the two of them, an hour away - stood in the light snow and took a deep breath, enjoying how the crisp air nearly seared his lungs on the way down.

Fresh and light, sharp but not overbearing. The scenery was calm, didn’t move - frozen as he looked at it, waiting for him to act before it reacted.

Nothing like Denmark.

---

When he got back in the car, it was too warm and full of Denmark’s snores, but it wasn’t so damn annoying this time around.

---
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