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[APH] Family Secrets 4/4

By the time they made it back to Sweden and Finland's house, Norway had either fallen asleep or passed out; they weren't really sure which. Sweden carried him upstairs to one of the spare bedrooms, while Finland went to the phone to call Denmark and Iceland. It was still very early in the morning, but Finland knew that they needed to be told right away that Norway had been found.

About half an hour elapsed between the call and when Denmark and Iceland arrived. During that time, Sealand had woken up, so Sweden was downstairs with Sealand while Finland was upstairs watching over Norway. When Denmark and Iceland arrived, Sweden let them in and directed them upstairs.

Norway was still asleep when they entered his room, but it was obviously not a peaceful sleep. Finland had pulled a chair up to side of the bed; he looked up when Denmark and Iceland entered the room.

"Tanska, I need to talk to you about something," Finland said. He needed to tell Denmark about the promise he would have to make.

Denmark and Finland went out into the hall to talk, and Iceland was left alone with Norway. He approached the bed, and sat down in the chair. For a moment, he studied his brother, before reaching out to take hold of his hand. "Bróðir. I'm sorry," Iceland whispered. He had had five months to regret what he had said to Norway when they had argued, but he knew that he couldn't unsay it. All he could do was hope that he could convince Norway that he hadn't meant those words.

For several minutes, Iceland merely sat there, holding his brother's hand and watching him sleep. He could hear raised voices from outside the room, and was able to tell that Sweden had apparently joined Denmark and Finland, and they were arguing about something. He couldn't tell what through the closed door, though, and anyway, his attention was focused on Norway.

As the voices from outside the room grew louder, Norway's sleep grew more restless. His eyes were moving behind his closed eyelids; he was obviously dreaming. A look of distress was on his face, even in his sleep. A soft cry escaped him, and soon he was actually crying in his sleep. Even though he was safe back with his family, the nightmares that had troubled what little sleep he had gotten in the past months, would not loosen their grip on it. After several moments of increasing restlessness he awoke, and looked around the room, not really seeing it, and not fully out of the grip of the nightmare. There was something off about the way he was breathing.

Iceland squeezed Norway's hand, trying to draw his attention. He could feel his brother's pulse racing, and he didn't like seeing his normally emotionless brother so terrified.. "Bróðir, please calm down."

Norway looked at Iceland, seeming to notice him for the first time, but he did not calm down. "Island, you shouldn't be here. He might hurt you, too. Please . . . I don't want you to be hurt, too."

Iceland tightened his grip on Norway's hand, as he tried to reassure his brother. "He's gone," he said. "And he won't be coming back. If he ever comes anywhere near you again, Danmörk and Svíþjóð will kill him."

Norway seemed to calm down a little, and his breathing returned to normal. His eyes drifted closed, and it seemed like he might fall asleep again. But, after a few minutes, he opened his eyes again and looked at Iceland. "You don't have to stay in here," he whispered. "I know that you hate me."

"Noregur . . ." Iceland started to say, then stopped. Calling his brother by his country name seemed to impersonal for the situation. "Haldor-" But that name wasn't right either. Iceland knew that he would have to say what he had tried so hard to avoid saying since he had gotten the DNA test results. "Bróðir, I don't hate you. And I am sorry about what I said to you. You have always been the person I cared most about . . . you . . ." It was so much more personal than anything they usually talked about, and they had grown apart so much since being separated from each other. But he knew that he needed to say it. "You have always been the one person I could count on. You are the home of my heart, and I don't want to ever lose you." There was more that he would have liked to have said, but the words wouldn't come, and silence fell again.

Norway weakly squeezed his brother's hand, and his eyes drifted closed again. He could hear the others talking out in the hall; although they were now talking too quietly for any words to be made out. For the first time, the knowledge that he was safe and with his family really got through to him. Anchored by his brother's hand, and letting the sound of the others' conversation wash over him, Norway drifted into his first peaceful sleep in months.

When the rest of the family looked in on them a few minutes later, they found that Norway was sleeping peacefully. Iceland was still sitting in the chair next to his bed, and the two brothers were still holding hands. That sight brought a bit of relief to the worry they had all been feeling. They knew now that although there still might be a long road ahead, their family was together again; and they would get through whatever might still be ahead as a family.

1Norway, did our father hurt you? (Danish)

2Yes. (Norwegian)

3Finnish word for the twenty-four hours of darkness during the winter in the Arctic Circle.

4Sweet brother (Norwegian)-This a name that Norwegians sometimes use to refer to Swedes.

5Brother, I'm sorry. (Icelandic)

Author's note: Just wanted to put a quick note at the end about the human names, and how I used them in my story. I actually had more uses of the human names in an earlier draft, but took them out while editing. According to my headcanon, human names are used in two situations. When there are humans around, the human names are always used. The other time human names are used are to show that what is being said has nothing to do with national issues. In other words, using a human name shows that what is being said is addressed towards the person, and has nothing to do with politics.

Also, the human names that I used for Norway and Iceland are names that I have seen used in various stories. When I was writing this story, I made a list of all the human names I saw used for the characters that did not have official names, and then looked up the meanings and picked the ones I liked best. Oh, and Iceland's human name is actually Eirikur, since that is the form of the name used in his country, but the others call him Eirik.



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