New Year's Day
"Time to wake up, Aleksander." Canada said as he shook the European nation awake.
"Ugh. It's five in the morning and I'm jet lagged." Slovenia whined.
"i know something that will wake you up, eh." Canada said mischievously.
"The polar bear swim I told you about last night."
Slovenia groaned and buried his face in the pillow. "Ne. Absolutely not."
Canada knelt next to the bed and used one of America's favorite techniques to get what he wanted: he pouted. "Please Aleksander? You came to learn about my culture and New Year's traditions and it would mean the world to me, eh."
Which is how, half an hour later, Slovenia was standing on a dock in a pair of swimming trunks, practically freezing to death. Canada, also in his swim trunks, didn't seem to mind the cold. Instead, he handed Kumajirou his phone. "Take a picture of us, eh."
Slovenia glared at the North American. "This better not end up on Facebook."
Canada chuckled and put an arm around his European friend. Kumajirou held up the phone and snapped a few pictures before handing it back to Canada. "Who are you?"
"I'm Canada; you know, the one who feeds you." he replied as he checked to see how the pictures turned out. He smiled at his bear. "Thanks, Kumajo."
"Who?" the bear asked in confusion before toddling off to sit next to the two nations' stuff.
Canada looked at Slovenia. "You ready?"
Slovenia scowled, not at all happy to be outside in the middle of winter in Canada of all places at six o'clock in the morning before the sun's rays had even appeared in the sky. "I should've gone drinking with Italy instead. I hate him, but at least I wouldn't freeze to death. Let's just get this over with."
"One the count of three." the North American nation announced. "One. Two. Three."
He pushed Slovenia into the water before jumping in himself. The smaller nation coughed and sputtered as he came back to the surface, completely caught off guard. Canada broke through the surface and laughed. "You should have seen your face, eh!"
The Slavic nation glared before climbing back up onto the dock. Canada followed shortly, still chuckling. He picked up a towel and wrapped it around the European before grabbing a towel for himself.
"I hope you're happy." Slovenia said bitterly. "I'll probably catch pneumonia and die now."
"You know," Canada said with a smile, "as melodramatic as you're being, you sound like America. Come on, eh. You can't say you didn't have fun."
Slovenia smiled in spite of himself. "Yeah, I guess that was kind of fun. But expect me to get my revenge."
"You're European. I wouldn't expect anything less. Now let's go inside and get some hot chocolate."
The two gathered their things and Kumajirou before heading back to Canada's house. Once there, Canada went into the kitchen to get some hot chocolate (with maple syrup of course) so they could warm up. They sat by the fire wrapped up in blankets and talked.
"Anyway, she's the scariest woman I know, eh." Canada said, finishing his story about one of his fellow Commonwealth members. "Though Al would argue Rosa, or Mexico, is scarier."
"Belarus is probably the most terrifying woman I know and she's one of my cousin's." Slovenia said.
Canada almost choked on his hot chocolate. "You're related to Belarus?"
"Da." the smaller country said with a chuckle. "And Russia too. The Slavic Tribes was the grandmother of all us Slavic nations. Babica used to take care of Slovakia and I when we were really little and nomadic. Then one day, Rome invaded and she took Slovakia and fled north, leaving me behind."
"She just left you?"
"There was nothing she could do. Rome invaded my land, so I belonged to Rome." Slovenia said with a shrug. "Rome wasn't much of a guardian. He let me roam Hell and Creation. He was such a careless guardian, that I set out on the Silk Road and it was five years before he noticed I was gone. By the time he caught up with me and dragged me back to Europe, I had befriended China. After that escapade, he sent me into the Balkan Peninsula to live with my brothers. The little time I did spend with Rome, however, allowed me to befriend Italy. He was the first nation my age that I had met who wasn't family. We were rather close until Italy gained his independence from Austria."
Canada shook his head. "I never thought I'd meet a nation that actually hated Italy until I met you. Up until then, I thought it was impossible to hate Italy, eh."
A look of distaste appeared on Slovenia's face. "Croatia, Bosnia, and Albania aren't too fond of him either. I don't hate him, per se. It's hard for me to totally hate him as he influenced my culture greatly. And there's also the fact he was my friend throughout most of our childhood. I just harbor a great dislike towards him. My relationship with him has improved since I gained my independence, but I can still hardly stand him. I guess what bothers me about Italy the most is that he has the world fooled. Everybody sees his innocent exterior and they can't imagine him doing anything ruthless. But they forget what he did during World War II and they have no clue what he did to my people during and after the first war. You wouldn't know by looking at him, but he's greedy when it comes to land. Both Oče and I can vouch for that. That's the reason he joined the Allies in World War I, because Britain promised him the land that Oče refused to give up, which in turn affected Croatia and I when we were forming the State of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes because part of the territory we claimed, namely mine, was already promised to Italy."
"I didn't know England did that." Canada commented.
Slovenia shrugged. "It can't be changed; it's in the past. I don't harbor any ill will towards Britain for it." He glanced at his watch. "Well, we better get started with dinner if we're going to be eating."
The two of them got up and began to prepare their New Year's dinner. Canada set to work on the pork roast while Slovenia made the sauerkraut and the potatoes. Once Canada had the roast in the oven, he went over to help with the side dishes. "What are we having for dessert? From what I heard, you, like all Central European countries, are a divine baker. Those are France's words, by the way."
Slovenia blushed in embarrassment. "I'm honored that Mr. France thinks so highly of me and the rest of Central Europe as bakers. But to tell the truth, Oče and Germany are better at baking, especially cakes. I can make a mean potica, or nut roll, though. Which is what I brought along for dessert, since it takes so long to bake."
"Walnuts, right?" Canada asked. "That's what's in it?"
"Da. And honey. Walnuts and honey make up the paste."
"It sounds pretty good. I can't wait to try it, eh. It has quite the reputation to live up to, the way France praises Austria's marzipan, Hungary's beigli, Germany's kuchen, Switzerland and Belgium's chocolate, among other things. He says that your potica was divine, which wasn't surprising considering you were part of Austria-Hungary. He then declared that all Central European countries must be bakers sent from God himself. And believe me, Papa doesn't give out compliments like that lightly, especially when it comes to food."
"I don't ever remember giving him any." Slovenia said in confusion. "I don't know how he'd know it was good."
"He said Austria gave him a piece once when they were having a meeting." Canada explained.
Slovenia returned to working on the side dishes, his cheeks red.
"How did that topic even come up?" the European asked curiously.
"I made him pancakes one time when he came over and we got up on the topic of food. He then began to list dishes that he thought I would enjoy since my taste buds aren't, and I quote, 'as badly damaged as America's are from the poisoned, radioactive rocks that Angleterre calls food.'"
Slovenia started laughing and Canada soon joined in. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Slovenia looked at Canada in confusion. "Were you expecting someone else?"
"Non. I just invited you." the North American replied before going to the door. "Speak of the devil, eh."
He returned momentarily with France in tow. The Romance nation's wavy, shoulder length blond hair was pulled back into a low ponytail. His blue eyes were bright with merriment and his cheeks were red from the cold. "Matthieu! Bonne année!"
"Bonne année, Papa." Canada replied.
France noticed Slovenia, who waved weakly. "Srečno Novo Leto, Gospod Francija."
France smiled warmly. "Bonne année, Slovénie. Just Francis, s'il vous plaît. Today is no day for formalities."
"Well then," Slovenia said with a smile filled with equal warmness, "call me Aleksander."
"What are we making in here?" France asked curiously.
"New Year's dinner." Slovenia and Canada said in unison.
"Oh? You two haven't been causing too much trouble, non?" the Romance nation inquired.
Canada smiled wickedly. "Non, Papa. We just went for a polar bear swim and sat by the fire and talked afterward."
"Oui, I saw the picture you posted of the two of you."
"Posted? Where?" Slovenia demanded.
"Facebook, of course." France replied. "Matthieu posted it earlier and I saw it after my plane landed."
Slovenia scowled at Canada. "I'm going to kill you!"
The two took off, Canada running away from Slovenia. France chuckled as he took over where the other two left off. It was comical, seeing someone of Canada's tall stature being chased by someone as small as Slovenia. But France did not doubt that the Slavic nation would get revenge on his former colony. After all, short people were fierce and stubborn.
France called the two other nations inside for dinner. They had gotten into a mud slinging fight, much to France's disapproval.
"You two will change before you come to the dinner table." France said sternly as he pointed upstairs.
Once they were cleaned up, they helped France set the table. When the table was set, the three nations bowed their head in prayer before digging in. The three of them ate a lot and France ended up cracking open the champagne, with the warning not to get carried away. Once the main meal was cleared, Slovenia brought out his potica and cut it.
"Ah, so I finally get this legendary dish from the source himself." France said as he too went into the kitchen and brought out a cheesecake.
"Your words are too kind, Francis." Slovenia said humbly.
"Divine desserts are to be expected from Central Europe." France said. "Just as divine entrees and wines are to be expected from my own country."
"I'm the only one that didn't bring a dessert, eh." Canada commented as he shook his head. "If I had only known you were coming, Papa, I would've made a pie or something."
"I think the cheesecake and the potica are enough, mon petit fils." France said sympathetically. "Besides, you can make it up to us by making some of those delicious pancakes of yours in the morning."
They ate their dessert before cleaning up and gathering around the fire. Slovenia sighed. "This was much better than going out drinking with Italy and getting into a fight or listening to Croatia bitch about Serbia over a bottle of Rakia."
"It's better than going partying or bar-hopping with America, even though he's technically not legal in his own country." Canada agreed.
"Oui. If I hadn't come here," France said, "I would be bar-hopping with Angleterre."
"I feel bad for Germany and Bosnia, though." Slovenia said. "Germany has to deal with Italy and Prussia both and Bosnia's probably in the middle of one of Serbia and Croatia's fights."
"I'm sure they both will find a way to enjoy themselves." France replied as he took a sip of champagne.
"You're probably right." the Slavic nation agreed. "Well, I'm going to bed considering someone woke me up at five o'clock in the morning to go jump in a fucking, freezing lake. But I won't name names."
Canada laughed. "Good night, Aleksander."
"Lahko noč, Francija. Lahko noč, Kanada" Slovenia said with a yawn before disappearing up the stairs.
France smiled at Canada. "You have an excellent choice in friends. Hungary was complaining about how he needed more. You two do each other good."
"What do you mean?" the former French colony asked.
"I mean, Matthieu, that is not healthy that you live in your brother's shadow. And it is not healthy that the only people he spends time with are his dysfunctional family that he can't get along with and Italy, whom he's not fond of. You both needed a friend. And that is what you found in each other." France checked his watch. "I think I'm going to bed too. Bonne nuit, Matthieu."
"Bonne nuit, Papa." Canada said as France headed upstairs before he got up to put out the fire and head to bed himself. As he gathered Kumajirou and shut off the lights, Canada decided that was the best New Year he had in forever. Normally, America ended up dragging him all over Hell and Creation before forgetting him in some bar. It was nice to spend New Year with France and Slovenia. He looked forward to spending it next year in Ljubljana.
I wasn't going to post today but I decided I had nothing better to do. Anyway, Happy New Year again! I apologize for any of my language errors. I don't speak French or Slovene. I don't own Hetalia but Slovenia is my OC.