Hetaloid!Canada x Reader
The windows from outside were almost completely frosted in snow and ice. Intricate little patterns weaved around the frame and served as an interesting barrier between the warmth of the small cafe and the chilly world outside. Inside, friends and family shared warming drinks, and lovers played gentle battles with their feet beneath the tables. Outside, though it was too foggy to see, folks scurried through newfallen snow while couples huddled together for warmth and an excuse for intimacy in public. That itself reminded you of someone back at home, and a small smile tucked the corners of your lips.
"So how've you been with your Canada model?"
The sudden turn of conversation found its way over and spotlighted on you, taking you by surprise as you nearly burned your tongue trying to gingerly sip at the (favorite hot beverage) in your hands. You quickly recooperated and stared at two of your friends sitting before you. You cleared your throat and blinked a few times before answering with a, "Huh?"
The friend sitting closest to you brought a manicured hand to her lips and chuckled lightly into it. Her beautiful blonde hair bounced as her shoulders shook, reminding you of the blonde locks at home. The gorgeous friend brought her hand back down to wrap itself around her cappuccino-to-go, beaming at you with her winning smile. "I was asking you about your Hetalia model. How've you been handling it so far?"
"It's been a few months, hasn't it?" your second dark-haired friend, though usually more soft-spoken, piped up as she adjusted her glasses. She was not only the quietest but also the smallest, and she served as quite the contrast to the other.
These two were a couple of your closest friends from college: Lottie and Genevieve, respectively. Not only that, but they were a couple of owners of Hetaloids themselves. No surprise, really, since they were the ones to convince you to save up for you own model in the first place. Sure, you wanted to have one regardless, but they were the final push that got you your first model.
You glanced between the two, fumbling over your interrupted thoughts for an answer to give them. What were you supposed to say? You racked your brain, thinking maybe you could mimic a response they gave when each of them got their first models. This didn't help much, since they became owners years ago. What models did they buy again? Lottie was on her fourth Hetaloid right now, if she even kept the others. You think the latest one she bought was an Austria model, but you weren't positive. She did like her posh gentlemen, you knew. And Gen? You think she had at least two - one of them being a Japan model - but you weren't sure. Though it was difficult for her, Gen kept a lot of her fangirl tucked away, especially in public. She was probably one of the biggest otakus you've ever met. You've seen her room.
They noticed you taking your sweet time coming up with an answer, and, with nothing else to say, you let out a small sigh. "He's holding up okay," you mention nonchalantly with a shrug.
Lottie leaned forward curiously, making you want to lean back a tad in your seat. You furrowed your brow at her and chuckled lightly and a little nervously. "What?"
The blonde stunner shrugged and returned to her comfortable position in her seat. Her eyes never left you, however. A small smirk tugged at the corner of her painted lips. "Have you pulled it yet?"
This question caused Gen to bring a hand to her mouth and muffle a sudden giggle. You blinked and darted your (eye color) eyes back and forth between them. What was so funny? "'Pulled it'? What?" You felt a little dumb as you asked, but you couldn't help it. Your mind was just off in the clouds thinking about what to make for dinner just a moment ago when you were suddenly bombarded with questions. Now they're laughing at you.
Lottie snickered, her dark chestnut eyes gleaming suggestively. "The curl."
It took a moment for her words to sink in. Once they did, the burn rising from the collar of your sweater to your cheeks was unmistakeable, and you stared at her incredulously. "N-No!" You stammered in a hiss, trying to keep your voice low. Why would she ask something like that out in public!? Geez, Lottie!
Once Gen had recomposed herself, she lowered her hand from her face, though a wide knowing grin was still plastered there. "It's okay, (first name)," she comforted softly, wringing her hands around her mug of hot chocolate. "I didn't try doing anything like that until I was good and ready." She lifted her mug to her face, her grin replaced with an innocent smile to a not-so-innocent statement. "And boy was it worth it..."
Oh, God, Gen, TMI... You sighed and sunk your face into the crossed sleeves of your sweater and tried waiting for the blush to wear off. Or maybe you could wait for this whole moment to go away. Or maybe this conversation. Yeah, that would be good. Just go away.
A little bit of luck smiled on you as the conversation took a small turn. "So have you fixed him yet?" Lottie's honey voice spoke up. The spotlight was still on you, of course.
You lifted your head back up and blew a few strands of (hair color) hair from your face. "What do you mean, 'fixed him'?"
"His vocal software wasn't working, right?" Gen asked quietly. "Did you know if you bought him used or not?"
"I might have, I don't know." You didn't want to have this conversation anymore. You brought your (favorite hot beverage) to your lips, hoping that'll be the end of it.
"You might have?" Lottie sounded dubious. "That's a little vague. Shouldn't you get him checked out anyway?"
"You can always return him," Gen offered. "Get a new version of the same model. It happens all the ti--"
Your sudden upheaval wiped any other expression off their faces, replacing themselves with evident surprise. It wasn't an outburst or a fit of rage, but the statement itself was the strongest opinion you've made since the three of you met up all day. The table went silent, the air now filled with an awkward stillness save for the low murmur of the crowded cafe.
Lottie and Gen took their eyes off you, but it didn't make it any less awkward. You bit your lip and let loose a sigh. "Sorry," you said softly. You fidgeted a little with the mug in your hands, watching the steam roll from the surface of the liquid and dance over the mug. "I've just... saved up for a long time and I'm not ready to spend a lot of money again right now." You lifted your eyes to meet those of the others, the awkwardness dissipating, if only a little, as you continued your clarification. "Plus, it's not a big deal. We've pretty much got the nonverbal communication thing down pat, and if he needs to, he writes it down."
The taller blonde leaned forward in her seat and rested her chin in the palm of her hand, lifting a shaped eyebrow at you. Gen only fiddled with the handle of her own mug and had begun staring at the mini marshmallows floating in her drink. After a moment, Lottie let out a soft sigh. "You're right, we're sorry." Gen looked up and nodded in meek agreement.
Sorry you're so stinkin' wealthy, you mentally backlashed, but it really wasn't her fault. It wasn't fair to be angry at them, you knew, but you were just feeling a little miffed and hurt, especially at the immediate assumption that you'd go out of your way and replace your Hetaloid without a second thought. You weren't rich. Sure, you lived comfortably in a small one-bedroom apartment, but that was pretty much the extent of it. And buying your own Hetaloid came out of money you'd been saving for one anyway, so it didn't affect your lifestyle. But it wasn't any 'repairs' or the like that you worried about funding. It was the idea of replacing him at all.
You quickly shut the door with a satisfied click and let out a deep sigh of relief. Thank goodness for indoor heating! The temperature just somehow plummeted while you were out and you could barely feel your face once you had made it back to the apartment. Your back pressed to the door, you slid down against the wood and landed on your rear, deciding the best idea right now was just to sit and snuggle warmly in your thick scarf and winter coat, eyes fluttering closed.
From the kitchen, you could hear the soft footsteps of bare feet to the linoleum flooring approaching. Once they dulled out to the familiar sound of shuffling carpet, you peeked open one eye and gazed up the tall figure standing before you.
The young man before you looked utterly comfortable in those snug faded jeans and generally warm attire. He was wearing one of the new holiday sweaters you bought him for Christmas just recent, covering his chest with silhouetted reindeer, brightly-colored Christmas trees, and dancing candycanes. Though you admitted to yourself it was ugly as sin, he wore it nonetheless. Secretly you enjoyed the ugly Christmas sweater tradition enough to go and buy yourself something similar as a guilty pleasure. Something to wear around the house, at least.
You lifted your eye further until they met with that familiar violet gaze, its only barrier the pair of wire-framed glasses, a cracked vein still prominent across one of the lenses - something you needed to take care of sometime, despite his lack of complaints. His curl bounced slightly as he tilted his head at you, looking at you in curiosity. Almost as if he was asking what you were doing on the floor. Thankfully he wasn't worried, like he used to be the first month. It was more like now he's getting used to these little quirks that seem to show up from time to time. With that thought, you giggled to yourself and beamed at the Canadian.
That alone brought a bright smile to his handsome face, and he bent over and extended his hand. You took it, and you were hoisted back on your feet. You and the mute Hetaloid kept a hold on each other's hand for a brief moment before he pulled away and brought out a dry-erase board you bought him for Christmas. It must've been something he wrote beforehand, because he almost immediately turned it over to you.
You grinned as newfound warmth rose to your face and started to thaw the chill on your cheeks. "Thank you, Mattie," you beamed.
The Canadian's shyness once again showed through as his cheeks were dusted with pink at the sound of his nickname, and he bowed his head a little to allow his long wavy locks to hide his face. This elicited another giggle from you, and as you began to kick off your snow-caked boots, Matthew hastily erased and shakily scribbled something else with a black marker. Before you could relieve a boot from your other foot, he'd lifted the board back up to your face.
[Do you like poutine?]
"Pou..." You tried to wrap your head around the word, but failed miserably. You glanced back up at his face and gave him an odd look. "What's that? Is that a type of food?" For the three months that he's been living with you, you've yet to have much of his national food. Well, you had to convince him a number of times that you couldn't always have pancakes and maple syrup, so he's been trying his best as of late to widen the household palate.
Matthew was trying so hard, and it just made him so much more endearing. Sometimes you wish you could just scoop him in a big hug, but you knew self-control was pretty important here - especially with someone as timid as Matthew. You didn't want to break that trust.
Most likely unable to really explain it on the board, the blonde gently took your hand and led you to the kitchen.
Sitting atop the counter was something you honestly can't say you've really seen before. In a large serving dish sat what looked like a pile of medium-sized fries (did he make them himself?) mixed with white cheese curds, all of which was slathered in what looked like gravy. At least, you kind of hoped it was gravy - it certainly didn't smell like the sweetness of maple syrup, at least. Then again, you really wouldn't be surprised if he added that, anyway.
As you were taking in the sight and smell, Matthew hovered nearby, slight apprehension written on his face as he clutched the dry-erase board in his hands. After a moment, you turned to face the timid cook and blinked. Then you gave him an encouraging smile. "I've never had it, but I'll give it a try!"
This seemed to relax him a bit, but you couldn't help but notice that he still seemed a little nervous. Honestly, you would be, too. You're no connoisseur yourself, but you're willing to give anything a try.
Before you made it to the table, Matthew had taken it upon himself to take your coat and your scarf and hang it in their usual spots. He could be such a gentleman, and it had honestly taken you some time to get used to this kind of treatment. You weren't helpless, of course, but it brought a warm feeling inside you when he catered to you like this. As you seated yourself at the dining table for two, you wondered about just what he could be thinking. Or... processing. Or whatever. Regardless, you were happy he was around. Not just for his chivalry, but also for his company. He may not have been able to speak, but... actions spoke volumes over words. You smiled to yourself, the blush growing even more prominent in your thawed cheeks the longer you thought about him.
Matthew had come around and placed equal portions of poutine in two plates, and he set yours down before he seated himself. You picked up a fork and prodded the meal curiously. Where should you start? You quickly decided on one of the gravy-slathered fries, skewered it with your fork, and lifted it to your lips. You noticed the young model observing you hopefully as you bit into the fry.
The warm flavor burst on your tongue, taking you a little by surprise. This was... really good! Was this a common dish in Canada? You took another bite, this time of a fry covered in gravy and cheese curds. Everything was so good, and you knew this reflected clearly on your face when you saw the Canadian beam happily in response.
You may have just found a new favorite dish, made none other than your personal Canadian chef.
No matter how used to his company you were, you still couldn't quite get over the fact that you had suggested that you both share the same bed.
The first month, Matthew had secluded himself to the living room couch, something you felt sympathetic to. It may be comfortable sitting on, but not so much with sleeping. If anything, you didn't want him to run into any back problems, and since it was a bad idea in the long term to sleep on the couch anyway, the only solution was to move him to the single bedroom of the apartment.
Owning a Hetaloid hadn't crossed your mind when it came to renting an apartment in the first place. In fact, you'd have thought that they could simply deactivate and plug in somewhere to recharge. That wasn't the case. In fact, these Hetaloid manufacturers wanted to go the extra mile in realism and force them to recharge while 'sleeping'. You weren't exactly sure if they exactly 'slept', per se, but you knew it was a way to recharge, much like real people.
If he hadn't come in a box, you would've almost been positive that this young man was a real human being.
Of course, that thought didn't help much with him laying next to you in your (thankfully) Queen-sized bed. Though the lights were off, you eyes adjusted enough to the darkness to make out some details of his sleeping form - the way his wavy hair tousled over the pillow near your own head, how his shoulders sunk in as he laid on his stomach... You've come to learn that he was a free-falling sleeper - that he fell asleep most comfortable on his stomach, his arms tucked and crossed underneath the pillow. You couldn't see his face, as it was turned away from you, but you could only imagine just how peaceful he looked while he slept.
You turned your body to face his, just watching his shoulders rise and fall with artificial breaths. Though there was a generous amount of space between your bodies, you found yourself heating up at the prospect of closing that space. Would that be so bad...? He must be really nice and warm to cuddle up next to... maybe if...
NO! You shook your head to clear away those thoughts, mentally kicking yourself. You're such a lecher! You're not like Lottie or Gen! That isn't the reason you got him! Your face burned at the fact that those ideas swam in your head. Your friends words echoed in your head, one of them being about Matthew's curl. That itself caused you to blush even harder, knowing exactly what happens if you did something like that.
No. You could not take advantage of something like that. There was a blooming trust between the two of you, and you wanted nothing to do with abusing your authority as his... as his 'owner'.
That word sounded like profanity in your thoughts. Like a dirty word. Owning Matthew.
Owning this sweet person laying beside you. It left a bad taste in your mouth.
You twisted around until your back faced the Hetaloid, burying your face into your pillow in shame. After a moment, you backtracked and a thought repeated in your mind.
Why did I buy him?
That's a good question...
Why? What did you intend to do once you got him? Hetaloids were really popular nowadays, but... was that the only reason? To fit in with the others? To fit in with your friends? Up until now, you had no idea how to take care of another person, much less an artificial one. Even then, you still didn't really know. What did you really know about Matthew aside from what you read about and what the instructions manual told you? He was a mute. He couldn't tell you much about himself without having to scribble it on that board - that lone bridge of verbal communication. And even then, there were still going to be things he couldn't explain with markers.
Maybe. Just maybe. These thoughts will go away. Maybe you won't be kept up much longer. Maybe, just maybe... you can get some sleep.