[personal profile] akinohikari posting in [community profile] nordipalooza
Title: Things that change and things that don’t

Author:  Aki-no-hikari

Prompt: Norway, Denmark: Transformation – [Optional: Viking Age or 1500s]

Other characters: Mentions of England, Sweden, Germany, Iceland and Finland.

Rating: T

Content notes: Cursing, mentions of death, violence and war but nothing explicit. Historical inaccuracies abound.

Summary: Norway and Denmark were siblings, born of the same father and of the sea they both so loved. But more than siblings, they were best friends.

As his sibling and best friend, Norway was in a prime position to watch Denmark. The same similarities and differences that made them fight and get on each other’s nerves made Denmark fascinating to observe.

Norway and Denmark were siblings, born of the same father and of the sea they both so loved. But more than siblings, they were best friends.

One might be quiet where the other was loud, one might be thoughtful where the other was impulsive, but they shared the same love of drinking, of sea-faring, of fighting. They had the same pride, the same stubbornness even the same glare.

As his sibling and best friend, Norway was in a prime position to watch Denmark. The same similarities and differences that made them fight and get on each other’s nerves made Denmark fascinating to observe.

-/-/-/-

“Fuck England,” Denmark cursed as he spat blood on the floor “He looks like a wimp but sure can pack a punch.”

“I’d punch you too, if you tried to take over my stuff” commented Norway as he threw a wet rag at his brother.

“Nice stuff though, ouch,” answered Denmark as he dabbed at his bloodied nose. Norway couldn’t help but snort and sighed as he shook his head.

“Ain’t that the truth.” He said as he reached for the Akevitt. Denmark was easier to heal when he was full of it.

“Whatcha say brother? Wanna help me beat up the brat?” Norway looked at Denmark, all bright eyes and cocky grin. Even with the blood still seeping from his nose, he looked excited. Annoying things happened when Denmark got excited.

“Pass.”

“Ehhh? But whyyy…”

“Don’t whine, you sound like a baby” Norway snapped before sighing and turning, to the west. Lately he did nothing but look west, further than England, further even than his little brother Iceland. West.

“I feel like travelling. You go back to beating up children. I have better things to do.”

“Buuu, you’re such a bore. But fine! More gold for me~”

-/-/-/-

“Fuck Sweden” Denmark cursed, eyes red and swollen, as he took a swig out of a bottle of alcohol. Norway pretended not to notice as he carefully sewed shut the large gash on Denmark’s arm.

Sometimes, it was better to be blind, deaf and mute. Especially when Denmark got in one of his moods… Once upon a time, Norway would have cursed back and punched Denmark out of his pig-headed stubbornness.

Once upon a time, but not now, not when he could still feel the emptiness the Black Death had left in him. Not when he had to cover his entire body to hide the bruises he got just from lying down in a position for too long. He could manage short bursts of fighting, he was a nation and he had his pride, but he had to conserve his energy for things that were worth it.

Putting himself on Denmark’s bad side was not worth it. Not when Denmark’s anger was already evaporating to be replaced by a deep melancholy.

“Hey, Nor.”

“Yes?”

“Remember when we went sailing, way back then? With Sweden and even little Iceland sometimes?” Norway paused in his work and looked up through his fringe. Denmark wasn’t looking at him, instead staring far to the horizon, eyes clouded with memories.

“I remember.”

“We will never go back to those times, will we? Not with Sweden leaving us.”

Norway thought very carefully about what to say, any slip could send Denmark into a rage… or even worse, down a depressive spiral from which only death and the following revival would get him out of.

“Many things can happen as the years pass.”

Denmark’s eyes snapped back to focus and he looked at Norway with such hope it made Norway want to believe as well.

What a pathetic pair they made, one crippled of body, the other of spirit.

-/-/-/-

“Fuck Germany” Denmark cursed as he rolled a cigarette with the last of Norway’s tobacco. Not that Norway could blame him; they all needed a cigarette these days.

“Big words for one who rolled over and showed his throat so quickly,” he teased his brother as he cleaned his pistol. There was no heat in it; he knew better than most how low one had to bow when a clearly superior opponent demanded it so.

Besides, the pistol had been a gift from Denmark.

“Details, details.” Denmark waved away Norway’s tease with a careless flick of his wrist. He took a deep breath from the cigarette and let a cloud of smoke envelop him. “Do you know anything of my guys?”

“The ones you shipped off to Sweden? Last I heard they were ok.”

“Good, that’s good.” Another cloud of smoke hung between them. “You?”

“Could be better, could be worse,” he said, making a sign with his fingers and receiving the cigarette on his extended hand. He took a puff and returned it to Denmark. “Fucking Quisling, I’m of half a mind to just shoot him myself.”

He closed the pistol with an ominous click and heard Denmark’s following chuckle loudly in the quiet of his cabin.

“You’re not gonna kill him Nor. Killing your own leaders is a slippery rope to go down.”

Norway huffed, feeling his jaw tighten with annoyance, even if he knew Denmark was right.

“Yeah well, someone has to do it before he falls and drags us all with him. Same with Germany’s boss.”

“I hear you bro, I hear you.”

Norway stared at his sibling. Denmark was exhausted. He kept a cheerful façade of cooperation, but he was running as dragged as Norway’s sabotage teams.

“Heard your King has been showing off,” he commented as he rose up to see what he could prepare to eat. He didn’t have much, but Denmark was looking so pale and haggard it made Norway itch with the need to fatten him up.

“Riding around the capital without an escort, yes. Christian has his faults, but no one can call him a coward.”

Norway snorted.

“As long as his courage does not lead him to an early grave.” Denmark groaned at Norway’s words and rubbed his face tiredly.

“I swear I lose years every time he leaves the castle grounds. I love him, Gods know, but I’d love him more if he kept at least an honor guard.”

Norway abandoned his plans for a meal and reached for the whiskey instead.

“A drink?”

“Hell yes.”

Norway filled two glasses and passed one to Denmark.

“To stubborn Kings” he offered with a sparkle in his eyes, Denmark threw his head back with a laugh and clinked their glasses together.

“And to even more stubborn Nations. Cheers.”

“Cheers.”

-/-/-/-/-

“Fuck Iceland!” Denmark cursed as he threw his arms up. He had lost all of his money, his pants, shirt and shoes to the younger nation, who was giving him the wickedest smile. “When you smile like that, you look like Nor,” he teased and snorted as it immediately made Iceland stop smiling, he was so easy sometimes. “Well, I’m out. Gotta get another beer.”

“Beat him for me, Sve,” he whispered as he patted his sibling’s shoulder. Sweden grunted and focused back on his cards.

Norway was watching all of this from his place near the cooler. He had pulled out of the game long before he lost too much to his little brat of a brother; he had enough pride and good sense to not end up like Denmark.

Not that the older nation was complaining, it was summer after all, and clothes were optional as far as he was concerned.

Even full of beer as he was, he walked easily over the swaying deck of the sailboat they had all absconded in as soon as they had a free moment to hang out. Not that Norway expected anything less, Denmark could steer a rowboat all the way to England while full of Akevitt… under a storm.

“That was laaame,” he teased and smirked as Denmark blushed a little, it was visible even under his myriad of freckles.

“Shut up Nor, and move your gross feet off the cooler.” Norway moved his feet away before Denmark decided to kick them. Better safe than sorry.  

“Sooo lame, being beaten by a brat,” he continued, amused by Denmark’s predicament. Denmark snorted and sat down with a beer in his hand.

“At least I stayed till the end. Unlike the guy that ran away as soon as he started losing,” Denmark teased him, Norway rolled his eyes.

“I know how to cut my loses.”

“Yeah right. You chickened out from your little bro, who’s lame now?”

“Shut up bro.”

“Heh.”

They fell in silence and watched as Iceland won another round and Finland had to take off his shirt and put it on the table.

“He’s totally cheating, right?” asked Denmark after a few moments, making Norway chuckle.

“Totally. Don’t tell the others. I wanna see their faces when they lose.”

“You’re evil, Nor.”

“Hypocrite, you wanna see them lose too.”

Denmark laughed and winked, lifting his bottle to clink it with Norway’s.

“My lips are sealed.”

They quieted down, enjoying their beers and the comfortable silence that came from being utterly content with the company of another.

Norway looked at Denmark from the corner of his eyes.

He had a happy smile and watched with crinkled eyes as Iceland worked his magic on the table. His hair had lightened under the summer sun until it was so golden it almost hurt to look at, his skin was covered in freckles and he looked healthy and well-fed. He lifted his face to the sky and closed his eyes to feel the breeze better… he was at peace.

Norway took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Waves crashed softly against the hull and he let the song of the sea take him back, centuries past, to simpler yet more dangerous times.

“What a change.”

“Said something Nor?”

“Nothing.” 

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