Disclaimer: I don't own Ragnarok, and I have never been to Norway so there might be some places where the setting details are wonky.
This was written for Jubileen on AO3 for the 2023 Battleship Exchange.
It was a long trek from Edda to their destination. It was even longer, since Saxa and Isolde were travelling on foot. They had initially been sharing a bike, but after a recent crash the bike had been wrecked. Maybe, if they had been able to stay in one place for a month, they could have gotten it back from a repair shop. It would have taken too long, though. They were being tracked despite their efforts. They had needed to leave the other Jutuls' sphere of influence so that Isolde would be safe and Saxa wouldn't be dragged back.
It wasn't easy. Saxa's back hurt from sleeping on the hard ground. She missed her nice, large, fluffy mattress. Maybe she had gone soft, but she was not looking forward to sleeping on the ground again tonight. Maybe, if they made enough progress on the hike today, they could stay in a hostel tomorrow night.
Saxa knew she wasn't the only one the walking was hard on. Isolde's shoes were wearing thin. Isolde would protest and claim that she was fine, that they didn't need to dig into what savings Saxa could take with them. Isolde didn't usually complain for herself, just other people. As it was, right now her teeth were chattering.
Saxa wrinkled her nose in confusion. Wait, what?
"Are you cold?" Saxa wasn't cold.
She's human, and humans are weak and short-lived, Vidar had said after Saxa had intervened, after she had told Isolde to run. We're the only ones who understand you, and you're going to give all that up for her?
Isolde turned to her. "How are you... right. You're not human."
Saxa took Isolde's freezing hand, listening to her girlfriend sigh at the warmth. "Yes, well, I'm sure you're happy for my nonhuman hands right now. Come on, let's go find a place to set up camp."
"Are you sure? There's still a few hours of daylight.
"It's just going to get colder. If we keep walking in the cold, you might get sick."
"Okay, okay. Beans for dinner?"
"I'll gather firewood."
An hour later, they were laying down together between two blankets that did little to keep Saxa from feeling every single piece of gravel. She didn't know how Isolde managed to fall asleep so quickly. As frustrating as the gravel was, at least Isolde wasn't cold anymore. Saxa's hand trailed up Isolde's chest, resting over her heart and feeling its steady beat. If Saxa hadn't been there, if she hadn't intervened, then it wouldn't be beating right now. She hadn't meant for their relationship to grow so close. It had just a way of keeping an eye on a potential threat to Jutul Industries. Now Saxa was a threat.
Isolde was human, and like all humans she wasn't as strong as a giant, nor was she as long lived. And yet, she was the strongest person Saxa knew, with a heart big enough to fit both the planet and Saxa in it.
And no one but time would take Isolde away from her. Not even the cold.
Fun fact: the alternate title to this was "The Soles of Your Shoes Are All Worn Down (the Time for Sleep Is Now)". I felt that it was too long, and more importantly, using an "I Will Follow You into the Dark" lyric for an AU where Isolde lives gave off the wrong tone.
As of 8/27/23 I haven't finished season 3, so please don't spoil it for me in your reviews!