Hetaloid!Canada x Reader
The gross feeling of drool sticking to your chin was the only way you knew that you'd fallen asleep.
Your (eye color)-tinted eyes fluttered open lazily and just stared at the slow rotation of the ceiling fan for a good minute. You must have dozed off on the couch, and sitting upright, no less. Ugh, your neck was going to be stiff, but since there wasn't any ache to think about yet, your mind was free to roam. What were you just dreaming about? You couldn't quite remember - like a heavy fog had settled over your head like a thick blanket - but it must have been a nice dream. You felt much calmer than when you got home only a while ago. But, how long was a while ago? Should you get up and check?
Was time really that important right now?
You slowly closed your eyes, shrouding the room in a red darkness. It was so quiet in the apartment that you could hear the soft whoosh of the fan blades almost effortlessly. You stared a little at the red of the light seeping through the flesh of your eyelids, and, too distracted now to fall back asleep, you reopened them. You squinted your eyes a little at the dull glare from the ceiling lights; you realized you were going to need to get a new bulb soon.
You blinked a few times to rid your sight of the post-nap bleariness, bringing the sleeve of your favorite (neutral color) hoodie to relieve an itch from your face. Your arm stopped short, however, when something heavy had already trapped your sleeve under its weight. You realized that if you pulled hard enough, it still would give away, but the sudden stop caught your attention. You began to lift your head, but sleeping in a strange position for several hours immediately took a toll on your neck. The ache struck suddenly enough that your next inhale was short and sharp.
"Ouugh," you groaned softly.
You kept your eyes closed and sat still until the ache faded enough to be bearable. A small sigh of relief grazed past your lips, and you finally opened your eyes.
Down, past the fabric of your hoodie and resting on your lap, facing away from you, was a full head of thick, dirty blonde hair. Noticeably-longer tufts draped over your legs and your trapped sleeve, and an unusually long thread of curled hair drifted from the others and stuck out like a sore thumb. Further down were the familiar curves of relaxed shoulders, noticeably broad even under the thick burgundy turtleneck that wrapped snugly around his taller frame. His jean-clad legs were curled in comfortably at the other end of the love seat; one foot was tucked in the cushion, the other hung limply off the edge of the armrest. You couldn't see it, but you could also feel a hand resting gently on your knee.
As if responding to your sudden movement, his head moved slightly only to nestle more comfortably in your lap. A tinge of warmth reached your cheeks, and you stared curiously at this stranger. In normal circumstances, you wouldn't have thought twice about shoving this man from this breech of personal space. Yet... it didn't seem impersonal. When you looked down at the tousled blonde hair, a sense of vague familiarity settled in. However, the slight burn in your cheeks must have shocked away the drowsiness, and a sudden moment of clarity hit you. Turning your head, you saw some stapled sheets of paper in the grip of your free hand, covered with fine print and bulleted sentences and... instructions? You squinted your eyes and just managed to read the bold print near the top of the first page:
Taking Care Of Your Canada Hetaloid
You read the line once. Twice. You blinked.
You took a deep breath and sighed heavily, silently scolding yourself. How could I forget? Your thoughts were more annoyed than angry. Really, how could you forget? Hetaloids had been all the rage only a few years ago, and with no money to call your own, you became one of the very few who didn't have one. How could you forget the determination you felt to call one of these models your own? You'd just finish spending the money you saved up just to buy it, and you don't even need to remind yourself how rare these Canada Hetaloid models were nowadays. You were lucky that it was even in stock, since they seem to tuck the Canada models in the deepest, darkest places of the Earth.
You weren't quite finished with your internal rant when you felt the Hetaloid shift its weight. Your attention faltered and fell upon two soft lavender eyes staring back at you.
Its stare caught you off guard, causing you to jump and let out a small squeal. Startled, the Canada Hetaloid vaulted from the couch and tumbled to the floor. You winced as it hit the ground hard flat on its back with an unceremonious THUD. You quickly hovered over the edge of your seat in concern, and before you could think, you blurted, "A-Are you okay?"
The Canadian model squeezed its eyes tight, brow furrowed, and sat up, rubbing the back of its neck as if in pain. The strange, almost gravity-defying, curl hung low over its soft face, and you couldn't help but stare and wonder how in the world that could be natural. This musing was short-lived, however, when you suddenly caught it staring wide-eyed back at you. You stiffened as the model quickly turned away, your face flushed slightly in embarrassment.
Wow, they make 'em really realistic... You thought meekly, rubbing your face in odd hope that the unwelcomed warmth will dissipate as quickly as it came. As you stared at the wavy blonde hair, wondering just how realistic it actually was, you were suddenly struck with realization and strong curiosity. You were so exhausted from the night before that you couldn't remember ever actually turning the model on; you couldn't really remember unpacking it or how this thing wound up with its head in your lap. Admittedly, it was something rather nice to wake up to, but you were a little frustrated at the idea that you hadn't properly examined your merchandise before activating it. For all you know, it could be malfunctional - first appearances can be deceiving, you know.
With that in mind, you slid off the edge of the couch and plopped yourself on the floor, earning some attention from the timid-looking model before you as its head turned only slightly. Could Hetaloids even be timid? They're not real people after all... Though as you try to reassure this to yourself, you couldn't help the warmth that resurfaced to your cheeks as you scooted closer to the Canadian. Hey, you couldn't help that this thing looked so stinkin' real! You haven't had a guest at your place in a long time, much less a guy!
You kept repeating reassurances in your mind: This is something I bought, it belongs to me, I have every right to inspect it and do what I want!; There isn't a real guy in the apartment, just a fun toy I bought so I wasn't left out... But all these harsh, logical thoughts were dulled as soon as you sat behind the model and touched your fingers to its thick blonde hair. You just about gasped.
It... felt so real!
You quickly brought your hands back, your face turning redder with each passing moment. The Hetaloid hadn't moved, even as you touched its hair, but its shoulders had stiffened, and you noticed. Did he... Did it feel that? You just sat there and stared at the back of its head for a long moment, trying and waiting for all of this to register, wringing your hands together as you tried to process how its hair felt against your skin. It really was like you had just run your fingers through the mane of a living, breathing young man, and that alone shocked you.
Your Hetaloid-owning friends would have a blast teasing you right about now, getting all flustered over your first model. I have every right to be flustered! you thought. It was just so bizarre how surreal this all felt. You weren't used to this. At all. What were you supposed to do? Could this thing act just as real as it felt? Could he... could it possibly par with living with a real human being? Could it give artificial thoughts and programmed feelings? Could they ever be genuine? It was a toy, for pete's sake! Why were you overthinking all of this?
You closed your eyes and took a deep breath. Okay. Calm down. Just inspect it for anything unusual and then you can stop acting so weird, you chided yourself. It's just a model. It's not a real person. You reopened your eyes, noticing how the Hetaloid has remained still this entire time. Was it waiting on you?
It's just a model. The thoughts repeated assuringly as you again reached forward, touching its hair. A shiver went down your spine. You had to remind yourself that right now you had to focus on finding anything out of the ordinary. Maybe dents or bumps or something, namely from its earlier fall. It's not a real person. You parted its hair in the back and ran the flat of your fingers searchingly over the 'scalp' of its head. You hesitated, hands trembling slightly. It was... soft. And warm. Like a real human being's!
It's. Just. A. Model! You inspection quickened, and, once you hastily concluded that there weren't any dents from the fall, you brought your hands down and tucked them deep in the pouch pocket of your hoodie. You knew you probably should check for anything else, but this alone brought a new level of shyness to your chest and you just had to sit back and relax for a moment before proceeding. You did, scooting back to lean against the couch a reasonable distance from the Hetaloid, feeling a little silly for getting so worked up. Though you moved away, you couldn't keep your eyes off the thing.
Its head finally turned back to look at you in timid curiosity - it was balled up, hugging its legs close to its chest much like a child. Or a shy teenager. No, definitely not either - not with the body mimicking that of a healthy young man. The way it looked at you, though, with those gentle lavender eyes... you could feel something lodge in your throat, and your cheeks burned. He... it... was rather... cute. You couldn't help but smile awkwardly at the model before you, and as a result, the model lifted its head a little and smiled shyly back.
Well, now's a good a time as any to... get to know it, you thought. Something to break this awkward silence. The sudden thought of this Hetaloid possibly feeling awkward popped in your head. Could it actually feel awkward?
"I'm, uh..." You stammered. Geez, this was hard. What were you supposed to say? Thinking of nothing else at the moment, you said, "I'm... sorry for kind of... throwing you off like that."
The Canada Hetaloid's head rose higher, revealing more of its face. It looked down timidly, quietly staring at the ground. Then its shoulders shook lightly as its face lit up in a good-natured smile. Was he... was he laughing? He... It was really quiet, even for a Canadian model. Or maybe you were just used to louder people. At least it didn't seem to be angry at you. ... Could Hetaloids actually get angry? Oy, all these questions...
The silence lingered on for another moment, though it was significantly less awkward. You still found the urge to break it, however, since this model didn't seem to aim for it himself. ... Itself.
"Um... My name is (first name)." Well, at least you're getting somewhere. You think. ... You hoped. ... Okay great, you just made yourself feel a little more awkward.
The model seemed to slacken its grip around its legs, looking a bit more comfortable still sitting on the floor. The antigravity curl slightly bounced again, drawing your (eye color) eyes down the strange strand of hair and to those soft flower-tinted irises. Though... something seemed amiss. You squinted your eyes, furrowing your brow as you racked your brain. What's missing? Did you forget something? You touched your own face for a second and then it hit you.
He was missing his glasses.
Oh crud, you thought, and you turned around to search the top, beneath and between the cushions of the couch. He won't be able to see without them. You brain process halted, and then you mentally kicked yourself. I'm sure he... it can see fine without them. They're an accessory. You should be more ticked off if you didn't have the entire assembly like you ordered!! Regardless, you had to find them one way or another. You flipped over the cushions, searched under the couch, checked your pockets, and even went back to the packaging the model arrived in, but to no avail. They were nowhere to be found.
With a frustrated sigh, you turned back to the Hetaloid, and you saw him pull out a pair of spectacles from his pants pocket. As he held them in his hands, turning them over, you could see a vein of glass splitting across one of the lenses. You stopped in your tracks, and you let out a groan. They must have broken from the impact of his earlier fall. Today just keeps getting better and better.
Unable to think of anything else, you walked towards the Canadian model and sat before him on your knees. Those long tufts of dirty blonde hair hung in his face as he seemed to inspect the damage, obscuring any expression he had to offer. Could he be sad? Upset? Frustrated? You finally decided to ignore those nagging thoughts in your head about artificial emotion, at least for now, and tend to the present. Silently, you reached forward and gently removed the glasses from the model's hands - trying your best to ignore the fact that his hands were incredibly soft and warm, like your first encounter with his scalp - and you turned the lenses over in your palm to determine the damage.
It was cracked enough that it would be awkward to see through, but it wasn't falling out of the wire frame, so that generally was a good thing. They will eventually need to be replaced... but how would you do that? Do any parts of the models come separate? Would you actually need to schedule an appointment with an optometrist? The thought seemed ludicrous, but it was better than nothing if it comes down to that. Hopefully you wouldn't have to explain the situation with too much detail. Or maybe others had to deal with this sort of thing before, and not just you. There are those America and Sweden Hetaloids, after all. Austria Hetaloids wear glasses, too. So you can't be the first. You hope.
During your musings, you found that the glasses weren't the only thing being inspected: This whole time, the Canadian model hadn't kept his curious eyes off of you. Once you noticed this, you jumped in surprise, causing him to jump at the startle as well. To anybody else, this would've been quite the comical scene. But to you... you just wanted your stupid cheeks to cool down.
"I'll see if we can't get these fixed," you quickly assured him, once again breaking the weird silence. "O-Or get you a new pair. Does that sound okay?"
The model looked at you in surprise, and then his face broke out in an embarrassed albeit warm smile. You halted a moment - You could be mistaken, but... were his cheeks turning red? Not only that... You furrowed your brow at him, and the Hetaloid's smile disappeared as a look of surprise mixed with worry and slight apprehension replaced it. There was something else you noticed about him that seemed odd. Sure there was the missing glasses, but... there was also something else that was missing.
You blinked. He blinked. You blinked again.
"... Say something."
The Hetaloid stared at you for a moment, and then he opened his mouth. Though you two were unusually close, and in normal circumstances you'd be blushing like crazy, but your curiosity and search for affirmation was greater than any feeling of embarrassment. Though his mouth opened, and he looked as if he was trying to say something, nothing came out. Not a sound. Not a peep. Not a whimper. Not even a groan. Oddly, you would've also imagined maybe the turning of gears or an exhaust, but there was nothing. At this revelation, the Canadian model looked away in shame and embarrassment and rewrapped his legs close to his chest. Through his body language alone, it was if he was apologizing for existing. This brought an ache to your heart.
You placed a hand on his, all thoughts of artificial anything completely dissipating. His body tensed slightly at the sudden touch, and he peered up at you from his hiding place behind the sleeve of his burgundy turtleneck. You cocked your head and dared to move a tuft of his hair from his eyes, tucking it behind his ear. Once both of those lavender eyes could look straight back at you, you gave him a reassuring smile.
"I'm not sending you back anywhere," you soothed him gently. You stroked your thumb over his fingers, reveling in how warm and real they were. You no longer cared if he was 'artificial'. Everything about him was more real to you than the average human interaction outside. Something about this model... something about him was just so... so genuine. "You're staying here, with me."
The Hetaloid's face grew into a beaming smile, as wide as his small mouth could stretch. It was endearing, and it made you just want to hold his face and feel that smile stretch against your hand. Seeing him smile made yours stretch even wider, and you blushed at the warmth of his glow. This feeling was something you couldn't quite describe - a feeling that a lonely, empty hole - one that you didn't even realize was there to being with - had just started to fill. Right now, it was only filling by the trickle... but it will build over time. You were sure that as long as you could see this model - this person - smile, then all the problems in the world will vanish. This unrecognized loneliness of living alone in an apartment all these years... will vanish.
You didn't need any more of the instructions in the manual that lay on the cushion. You knew just what you needed to do. And over time, you'll learn just what else he has to offer. What surprises he has in store. You stood from your spot on the floor and offered your hand to him. He shyly took it, and he hoisted himself up. You were surprised just how tall he was - at least a whole head taller than you. He seemed so small bundled in a ball just a moment earlier.
He kept hold of your hand, and you gave his a gentle squeeze. You grinned at him, the biggest and most genuine one you've managed for weeks. "What do you say we make some pancakes?" His face lit up at the offer, and he nodded meekly. With that, you both started for the kitchen, and before you decided to mull over the most effective pancake recipes you knew, you asked, "Is it alright that I call you Matthew?"
Matthew squeezed your hand in confirmation.