That's What People Say

Mathias Køhler; country of Denmark, oldest kingdom in Europe, master of building lego structures and not giving a fuck.

Songfic about APH Denmark; Shake it Off by Taylor Swift.


1. Shake It Off

I stay out too late
Got nothing in my brain
That's what people say, mmm-mmm
That's what people say, mmm-mmm

It's gotta be something like three AM when Mathias stumbles into his flat in Copenhagen. It's just a good job that the other Nordics were staying at his place for the monthly meeting the five of them had (of course, they could afford proper Hotels and they wouldn't have to deal with how noisy the Dane is, but last time they all decided to get hotels they found Mathias sobbing at his chair in the meeting room, and no one could deal with a sad Mathias very well). And it was even better that Berwald was such a light sleeper when not in his own home, or Mathias would be stuck outside until the morning.

His younger brother doesn't say anything, and silently helps Mathias onto the couch. They've gone over this routine for years, so Berwald knows exactly what to do when Mathias is totally pissed. He returns with the items required and puts them on the coffee table in front of Mathias, pushing him to take the painkillers for the morning and get some water in him.

"Y're an idiot, Mathias." The Swede mutters; everyone's constantly telling the alcoholic to calm down or he'll continue to make an arse of himself, and at this point Berwald is convinced Mathias is incapable of shame or embarrassment. Nothing ever seems to bother him.

Mathias stays quiet, rather uncharacteristically for him. He's very used to being called an idiot by everyone, so really he's stopped caring. Though his intelligence is incredibly high, he's always intended to ignore bad moods and do what makes him happy; resulting in the assumption he's dumber than a bag of rocks.

"Nah, I'm smart. C'mon, I've been around longer than any of the other nations in this place. I'm old as hell. Just 'cause a guy is happy doesn't make him stupid." He mutters, shifting in his place on the sofa to lie down. "I'm not the smartest in the group, but that doesn't mean I'm an idiot."

Mathias falls asleep once he finishes the sentence, leaving Berwald to take a blanket from Mathias' room and tuck it over him. Needless to say, Mathias' hangover the next morning hurt like hell (and they ended up having the monthly meeting in his living room with all the curtains shut).

I go on too many dates
But I can't make them stay
At least that's what people say, mmm-mmm
That's what people say, mmm-mmm

Every week, Mathias seems to be interested in a new girl. "I met the One!" he'll say when he hangs out with the Nordics, and talk about her the whole time (with only very short breaks to chew food or take a sip of his drink). His friends suppose they'd be happy for him if he didn't loose interest after such a short amount of time. Alas, he 'loves' a new girl after just a few days. Though he's constantly going on dates, he hasn't had an actual relationship since that English girl he'd met back in his Viking days as a teenager.

"God, she's so great! You saw her, right? Bet she's not single. D'you think I should ask her out, Lukas?"

"Shut the hell up for once, you stupid Dane." The Norwegian says, standing in line for Rutschebanen with Emil and Mathias. Mathias had invited the two out to Tivoli, and unfortunately for his friends and brothers, he'd quickly developed a crush on the pretty brunette who worked at one of the game booths.

"C'mon Lukas, do I ask her out or no? I dunno if she'd say yes, I mean she was way too pretty. But hey, it might be worth a try!"

"If it'll get you to shut up and go somewhere else, be my guest and ask her out." Lukas says, stepping forward in the line with Emil, who's cleverly chosen to stay out of the conversation between his elder brothers. Instead, he's staring at his phone and holding onto Lukas' coat sleeve.

"Y'know what, I'm gonna do it! You guys go ahead and get on the ride without me. Wish me luck!" He yells, quickly running through the line to get out of it and back to the game booth (he was fairly sure he remembered where it was).

"She's not gonna stay around, you know." Lukas mutters, mostly to himself but in part to Emil. His brother shrugs and replies with a "At least try and get excited for the guy."

Mathias pretends he doesn't hear what Lukas says, and simply smiles once he finally gets out of the line; of course she'll stay around, after all he is the King of Northern Europe. He's just been a bit wrong with which girl is the 'One' before. He's sure he's found her this time.

Spoiler alert: He didn't find the One yet.

But I keep cruising
Can't stop, won't stop moving
It's like I got this music
In my mind
Saying, "It's gonna be alright."

He doesn't really have time for negativity. He's all about fun times, not sad times (and he refuses to fall back into the pit of depression like back in the 40s, and all the times before then). And if that gives off the impression he's stupid and careless, so be it. To him, one lives for themselves and their friends/family. Frankly, he'd much rather seem like an idiot than to be sad. But if there's one thing he focuses more on being happy, it's making sure others are happy. Just the possibility of any of his brothers being sad puts him in a state of fear.

For Christmas, he refused to let the family spend the holiday away from one another. So here they are, sitting at the dinner table in a certain Dane's apartment eating together and not bickering even slightly. Lukas, Emil and Berwald are still quiet as per usual, but Lukas is calm, Emil is actually smiling, and Berwald is actually talking to Mathias comfortably. Timo quietly sips from his glass, rather happy that Mathias called them all here (he would have invited them to his own home actually, but it's incredibly messy with all the preparations for Christmas). Luckily he had help to get all the presents out so he could spend time with his family. Even Santa needs a break!

"Hey, you guys like being around me, right?" He says. His confidence in the fact they all love him rarely ever falters, so the question is unexpected. Any time he does get concerned they dislike him, he won't bring it up and keeps the feeling to himself. But he says it before he can stop himself, and he nervously looks at the others. "Sorry, that's dumb. Ignore that, I guess I made things pretty awkward, huh?"

"No one hates y', Mathias. Y're a bit hard to deal with sometimes, but you're important to all of us." Berwald is the first to speak, looking to his right and seeing Mathias obviously struggling to keep the smile that's almost always on his face.

"Yeah. You're an awesome guy Matt. Could calm down a little once in a while, but you're still our brother." Emil says, then turning expectantly to Lukas.

"You're annoying, but that's probably why we like ya. So shush and don't get so worried, alright?"

Timo is the last to speak. "We could never hate you Mathias! Never doubt how much we all care about you, yeah?" He ends the sentence with a smile, and immediately after Mathias pulls them all into a hug over the table, actually crying for once.

"Tusind tak!" Gets yelled over and over again, and his family doesn't mind how loud his voice is, nor how much he's crying or that the hug is a little too tight for them. All that matters to them is family.


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