Chapter 1: Trolls
Hey, I've decided to do a holiday fanfiction for Hetalia, but now that I think about it, this particular story isn't really holiday-ish… But um…It's in the snow…And snows…in the winter holidays right? –is shot-…Anyway just enjoy this story: D SwedenXFinland and DenmarkXNorway
"…His teeth are glistening, crystalline and sharp as daggers!" The young man seethed out, his hands splayed wide, eyes scanning the face of the boy before him. The small boy clutched his crudely made puffin doll, whimpering slightly. The story teller, a tall blonde man, smiled viciously.
"His hair is the color of bright corn, like flames licking up from burned villages! His eyes are the colors of the mighty sea that swallows up brave men's ships. He carries around a great sword that weighs more than ten boulders! He is rumored to be the size of a great ash tree, and he has the temperament of a bear!" The blue eyed blonde gnashed his teeth and snarled like a growling grizzly, making the child in front of him jump and twist with fear; soft tears welled up from his eyes.
The man immediately jumped up and tried to quite the child, placing his hand over the little boy's mouth to keep him from making noise, but instead the child just bit down hard on the man's gloved hands.
"Ouch! Ya' damned brat! I'll feed you to the bears-" The man was about to finish his threat when he heard the soft patter of footsteps and two skinny, pale males walked into the room, one of them carrying a tray of steaming hot mugs, the other holding a basket of small little cakes.
"Mathias, I hope you were not about to do something bad to my brother?" The dull eyed man who brought in the cakes said in a monotone voice. The story teller, Mathias, smiled weakly, dropping the small boy from his grasp.
"Ah…No, Gretel. I would never touch a hair on his cute little head…" The man muttered sourly, scooting over to a low table and grabbing a piping hot mug. He sneakily plucked the ear of the little silver haired boy, a scowl on his face. The little boy stuck his tongue out before nuzzling his toy puffin.
The second male, who had violet eyes and snow blonde hair smiled cheerfully. He handed a small cloth napkin with a spiced cake to the little boy who had stopped crying and was now chewing thoughtfully on the sweet treat.
"Sip the mead carefully Danmark, It's hot." The vapid man said to Mathias, who ignored him and instead took down large gulps of the drink. Once he had his fill he laid back and smiled a lazy smile on his lips.
"Mhhh… Tino you make the best Mead, and Gretel, you make the best spiced winter solstice cakes." The Dane said happily, tugging Gretel's hand and pulling the emotionless man on his lap.
"I might just marry the both of you for your good cooking ha ha." The Dane laughed heartedly, causing Gretel to smack the Danish man on the head with a nearby log next to hearth.
"Ouch! I was kidding Norge!" The tallest of them all growled out, rubbing his sore head. The Norwegian just frowned.
"Denmark, if you suggest anything that stupid again I will kick you out into the cold until your ass freezes off." He said evenly, pushing himself off the Dane to sit next to his brother,Björt. Gretel gave the child another small cake before turning back to the Dane.
"What story were you telling him?" Tino, the smiling male asked, taking a small sip of the warm honeyed drink. Gretel's little brother immediately blanched and coward behind his brother. Mathias smiled eerily, setting his cup down on the low woodened table.
"The Tale of the Sve Troll." He whispered, his eyes flashing. Björt shuddered and closed his eyes tight, his silver hair being patted by Gretel.
"Not that silly tale again…" Tino chuckled, taking a weaved blanket from a small wooden chest and wrapping it around him. Tino remembered the tale well. His father used to tell it to him to get Tino to behave, for if he didn't, Sve the Troll would come and gobble him up. But by Now Tino had out grown the tale and no longer believed a word of it.
"Does Sve really steal children in the middle of the night? Is he really as tall as an Ash tree? Does he really sleep in a cave with bears?" The small Björt asked, his eyes were wide with a mix of fright and curiosity. Tino smiled softly and hugged his small cousin tightly.
"As long as you're a good little boy and help Gretel around the cottage with the chores, the giant Sve will not harm you. You forget Björt, Trolls are only mean and beastly to humans who tease them!" Tino said, patting the Icelandic child on the head. The small boy, seeming to be comforted by the Finn's words smiled and let loose a yawn.
"Looks like it's time for someone to get to bed." Gretel said helping pick Björt up in his arms.
"Nn… I'm not tired…" The little boy protested weakly, trying to muster up the strength to sit up from the Norwegians grasp.
"Now, now, don't make me call out the Sve Troll. You don't want me to tell him that you've been a naughty boy who's not listening to his elders?" The Norsemen said warningly, a bit of amusement in his voice as the child's eyes widened. Iceland—as the others call him went to bed without a fuss, leaving the three adults alone in the living room, the Solstice fire now dwindling down to ashes.
"Well, I best be off." The little Finnish man said as he hugged his cousin and his cousin's soon to be husband.
"You're going to go at night? But Finland, there's the beginnings of a storm outside. We have enough deer hides and furs; you can sleep in the living room?" Gretel said his voice spinning with worry.
Tino waved his hands back and forth. "It's fine. I don't want to impose. Plus, I have to get used to living alone in my cottage now, since you two are getting married in the spring." Tino said, smiling to Gretel and the Dane. The Norsemen blushed softly when the tall and broad Mathias wrapped his arms around the Norwegian, kissing his hair softly.
"You know Tino, maybe you should look into the married life as well. It would make living in that little cabin more bearable." Mathias suggested, helping Finland into his wool coat. The violet eyed man laughed softly, a sad sort of laugh before turning to look at the door.
"Denmark, I'm never going to find a husband or a wife by spring for the marriage festivals, and I've accepted it." The Finn sighed and made his way to the door, tugging on the heavy latch. Norway placed a small basket of spice cakes and a jug of mead for the Finn to keep him warm on his short journey down the hill. Tino smiled at the pair before wishing them a happy night and trudging in the snow, hearing the crunching under his feet. Then he heard Denmark's voice over the slowly starting storm.
"Watch out for the Sve Troll, Tino!"He warned the edge of laughter in his voice. Tino smiled and shook his head.
After a few minutes he felt the gnawing hunger of the frost seeping into his wool coat and goat hide boots. Damn if it wasn't the coldest night of the year, he thought bitterly.
He was halfway down the hill from his cousin and Denmark's cottage when he heard a low groan and in an instant a giant tree bow from a pine had cracked under the pressure of the heavy snow and collapsed on top of the Finn.
Tino screamed, shrill and loud, but the blistering wind carried it away into a soundless whisper. Tino desperately clawed at the tight ice, trying to free his body but finding with growing desperation that one of his legs was numb and probably broke under the tree bough. It was a couple of seconds before the pain and reality of the situation took effect and Tino felt hot tears coarse down his chin.
He was going to die. No one was going to come looking for him. Gretel and Mathias would probably find his thawed off body in the spring. Tino let out another guttered cry before letting his eyes roll back, his body shutting down under the coldness of the moon.
Berwald sighed once again at his barren trap. It had been three days now since he caught fresh meat and he was starting to become sick of the taste of dried old salmon and hazel nuts. His stomach growled venomously, making Berwald groan in frustration. The winters were always the hardest for him, as he couldn't go into town and get supplies as he had no money. So, he usually just scavenged silently along the mountains and forests, until, usually coming up empty handed he would return to his little cave at the bottom of his little hill and sleep the cold nights away. He smiled to himself, we was just like a common bear.
Berwald decided he would double back and follow his footsteps to his small cave and see if he could find any food along the way home, who knows maybe he would come across something interesting? Hopefully something like food, he thought with dulled enthusiasm.
He was making his way along the small trail when his foot got stuck in a nearby fallen tree branch and his body was thrown to the floor. He winced and tried to sit up, but looked back over his shoulder and saw that his leg was still caught in the branch. He growled in frustration and with a good sharp tug, got the tree out of the fallen snow and tossed it over behind him.
He then sat up and proceeded to dust the ice off of his pants and long cloak. He picked up his sword that had fallen along with him and slung it over his shoulder. He was about to trudge back down the hill and be on his merry way when he heard a small, faint moan. He turned behind him and saw the sleeve of what looked like a person's coat.
Berwald, instinct taking over him, pulled out his long sword and held it ready while he brushed the packed snow away. What he saw made the breath in his lungs freeze. It was a young girl, or maybe a boy? Anyway it was a person, and they had been trapped in the snow! Berwald put back his sword and hurriedly shoveled the snow off the person. After a few second he had dug out the body, which was ice cold. Berwald frowned. He placed his ear over the person's chest.
Berwald smiled. The person was still alive. His heart beat was faint, but it was there none the less. Berwald tugged on the throng that held his cloak in place, letting it slide over his shoulders. He then wrapped it up tightly around the body, making sure to tuck it in to keep the person as warm as possible. Once he was satisfied, the giant Swede lifted the person effortlessly, marveling at how light weighted they were.
"Has ta' be a g'rl." Berwald commented to himself. No man could ever be this light! Berwald balanced the person in his arms and made his way to his cave. Well, at least he did find something interesting on the mountain side. It may not be food, but Berwald was a lonesome man, and maybe the company of a cute girl would help him feel happier. Berwald blushed slightly at the thought before shaking him head and rounding around a crag of rocks. He looked up and saw his small modest cave and smiled.
"Home…" Berwald breathed into the cold air, as he made his way up the rocks, balancing his human cargo in his hands all the way.
Chapter 2: Trolls
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
I do no town Hetalia or any of its characters.
Berwald laid the seemingly unconscious person down on a pile of old sheep skins before turning back to a small dug out fire pit. Berwald's big tracks left slippery puddles on the cold stone floor, but with a few flicks of a flint, Berwald had a roaring fine blazing in no time and the cold walls were soon vibrating warmth.
He turned back to the stranger that he had unearthed, and decided that, to keep the girl from getting pneumonia, he had to get a fresh pair of clothes for her to wear. He began to blush slightly at the fact that he would have to undress the female himself, and re-change her with his own hands. Berwald hurriedly shook his head before rummaging through some old wicker baskets.
He was more than positive that he didn't have any skirts or dresses, but he would have to find something for his little guest. Berwald scowled as he was about to reach the end of the wicker basket, so far, no remotely female clothing until…
It was old and worn and smelled faintly like wood shavings and ale, but it was a dress. Light blue with a black stripe around the waist, with cord drawstrings and a white puffy blouse for the…bosom… Berwald's blush took on the shade of deep red.
Clutching the dress in his paw like hands he proceeded to move to the young girl, who was showing small signs of life. There were soft signs of color coming back to her cheeks, and her lips were no longer blue. Berwald smiled; hopefully this lovely girl would pull through.
Berwald turned the girl over so that she was lying on her back. She made a small sound of grogginess before shivering and remaining in slumber. Berwald hesitated as he began to peel off the ice cold clothing. He couldn't help but feel a bit embarrassed as first her coat was removed to show a patch of smooth neck. But this had to be done. She would freeze to death if her wet clothes weren't removed, so Berwald ventured forward, his hands clumsily shaking.
One after the other, a scarf, goat hide slippers, woolen socks, faded blue with small embroidery, and even a small hidden pouch, tied by string. Berwald placed the small pouch on a near bye stool and continued his quest. Berwald then paused as he got to a certain piece of clothing. A jerkin? Only men wore those… Berwald's face took on a puzzled mask as he began to strip away the clothing till he came to a low cut tunic which was sopping wet. Berwald ran his hand lightly over the scratchy fabric before pulling back immediately. This woman was wearing trousers.
Berwald furrowed his brows together. He dipped his hands under the utnic and heaved it up, cautious of the fact that, if he lifted it up too far, her breasts would be exposed. But, wait. Berwald, needing to know once and for all what the trickery before his eyes was, bit his lip and thrust his hands, palms flat, onto the strangers chest, his eyes shut tight as his fingers wandered.
Either this women had a very flat chest or… Berwald made a very, very, big mistake.
The said person immediately thrashed around at Berwald's touch; tossing her-no, his, head back and forth. At once the Swede moved his hands away and just stared at the boy. Berwald rubbed his brow between his glasses. Yes, now he saw it. This stranger was indeed male. Though petite, the hair was short, wet, and clinging to the scalp. The jaw line, though smooth with not a speck of gruff, was masculine in a way, and the body, so frail looking, had glimpses of sinew muscle. This was the body of a peasant boy, weak and mal nourished.
Berwald, still feeling awkward about the removal of clothing, be this person male or female, began to heave up the tunic, lifting the boys arms up to get the sleeves off. The boy whimpered, his stiff limbs making groaning sounds. The cold was not kind to this lad, Berwald thought bitterly, looking to the mouth of the cave and hearing the winds howl.
After the last of the boys clothing was removed, with furious blushing, and covering of innocent eyes on Berwald's part, the humble Swede disregarded the worn dress he had prepared, and instead placed a, two sizes too large, Chemise on the boy's body. Though Berwald did take a few looks at the young man's body, he only got a look at the silken chest.
Berwald didn't know if it was the coldness of the storm that made the boy's body gleam pale and fair, or a trick of the eye, but Berwald marveled in it. His fingers longed to brush away that insipid blonde hair and lay a sweet, prince-like kiss on this boys lip. Berwald stopped in mid thought. No. The mountains have been whittling away at his sanity. Though the Gods did not frown upon such a union, Berwald was incapable of being loved, be it by male or female. That's why he was here in the first place. Berwald frowned.
As if forgetting the reawaken memories had never resurfaced, Berwald busied himself by hanging the wet and ruined clothes on a wooden bough next to the fire, Berwald made a makeshift bed out of sheepskins and nestled the boy in the wooly warmth.
After the boy was tucked in, Berwald went about scavenging something to eat. He had gone without breakfast this morning and his stomach was growling loudly, the sound drifting to his ears. He scavenged around the cave for anything, any bite of rye bread, some potatoes, or even a bit of pickled herring. Nothing.
Berwald decided, if there was nothing to be found in the comfort of the cave, he would have to venture outside. Berwald, making sure that the fire would still be going when he got back; he bundled up in a scarf and heaved his heavy blue cloak over his shoulders.
Then, as he was about to head for the entrance to the cave, he heard a small whine, almost a cry. He turned around and saw that the boy had rolled around on the skins and was moaning softly. Berwald quickly stepped over to the wriggling young man.
"M'st be fev'r." Berwald murmured to himself. He shuffled around the rocks of the cavern before bringing back a small clay jug. Holding it outside the lip of the cave, he quickly filled it with packed snow. Walking over to the restless man, Berwald hastily let the snow melt into cool water, dowsing it with a scrapped rag and gently pressing it against the boy's forehead.
The boy's face was flushed bright red as his eyelids fluttered. Berwald panicked. This young man couldn't die, Berwald needed a friend, and he needed a human being to talk to. Berwald sat the boy up on his lap and wrapped him up in any bit of cloth, any bit of warmth he could find, and yet the boy still trembled.
"Intedö." He breathed into the shivering strangers hair. Then Berwald remembered something that his father had taught him. If someone had a high enough fever that was life threatening and there was no medicine to be found, there was only one thing to do. Berwald's glasses fogged up and a heavly laddened blush settled over his cheeks. Body warmth. The wonderful act of sharing body heat in the nude.
Berwald sighed. It had to be done, he only hoped his little friend wouldn't think Berwald was a pervert or anything. So, at once Berwald began to strip off his cloak and his simple tunic. By the time he was done, he was shiverig violently in a wrapped up sheepskin with only thin trouseres to keep him from the nipping cold. He trotted over to the fire and stoked it with new timber till the flame danced heartedly against the cold grey walls of the cave.
Next, the giant Swede dragged the still twisting and moaning boy closer to the fire, yet not too close to the flame, as to keep the sheep's skins from catching fire. Berwald then, instead of just stripping the boy naked and having the lad wake up to being cuddled by a giant Swedish man, decided to tell the sick man of his treatment. Berwald was sure that would just make things increasingly awkward if he didn't at least warn the stranger. So, instead, being the polite person that he was, he decided to wake up the smaller man and inform him of what Berwald was going to do for the sake of his life.
"Hnnn… W'ke up, boy…" Berwald shook the man gently, only having the blonde smack his cheek with his hand. Berwald sat their stunned, but not defeated. He gently held the man's frail arms with one hand, as the other gently patted the boy's cheek.
"Sve…" The person's pink lips breathed out. Berwald froze. Sve? As in…him? Berwald blushed slightly. Berwald tapped the person's cheeks again, only this time to have the person's eyes fly open. They were the most beautiful thing the Swedish man had ever seen. Delicate, violet orbs that took his very breath away… and they looked scared as Hel*.
"Wh-who are you?" Was the sharp question that made Berwald's heart stop. This male's voice was beautiful, smooth, and sweet. It took Berwald a minute to realize he had been asked a question, and a very serious one at that.
"You… C'ld in sn'w. Me s've you…" Berwald mumbled out, pushing his glasses up on his face and giving the man some room.
Tino drifted his gaze from Berwald's stony face to look around the cave. It wasn't the most lavish shelter in the world, but it was nice and snug and the warm fire that breathed at Tino's back was heavenly after being in that storm. Then Tino remembered. He was making his way to his cabin when he blacked out.
"The tree branch!" The Finn gasped out. Berwald nodded before sitting up and making his way to the ceramic jar that was perched upon a woodened table, he held it up to the now conscious man. The boy, who looked more handsome than before now that Berwald could see his gorgeous eyes, took the cup gratefully, sipping the cool water. After the man had had his fill of the cool liquid his stomach growled feverishly. Berwald raised his brows, as the stranger blushed.
"I'm sorry… I didn't have much to eat today." The Finn admitted. Berwald nodded and sat up; deciding that he would go back outside and search or some food, but a cold hand on his unusually hot skin stopped him. It was then that Berwald realized he had no shirt on, and it seemed his guest had noticed it to.
Tino only paused for a second at looking at the man's sculpted muscles. They were chiseled and rigid, a sight that took Tinos breathes away. The Finn, for some unknown reason had the urge to splay his hands and explore that expanse of skin, that is, until he looked at the body's head. The man that had saved him had a scowl that was deeper than any river, and wider than any valley. Tino suddenly did not feel so safe in his care.
"I um…I have food I my knapsack." The timid Finn explained his eyes wide at the evident glare in the giant's eyes. Then it hit Tino. Giant… Tino swallowed hard. Tino remember the sheer size of the tree branch that toppled over him not but a few hours ago. The tree was huge; gigantic in length and width, and the bough that had brought the Finn down was no mere twig.
Either this man had uncanny strength or… He was the Sve Troll. A shock ran through Tino that kept his eyes wide, breath erratic. And then it hit him like a ton of bricks. The fever, the repressed sickness that had been steadily getting better in his system, leap at his frail body.
Berwald was about to bring the knapsack back to the stranger when all the sudden he heard a pained moan and saw Tino, his head lulled back, body spasmodically turning. His fever was back. Berwald cursed the damn storm that had done this to this poor boy.
In an instant Berwald had the wash cloth to the boys head and was pleading for him to wake up. After much shaking and murmuring from the Swede, the blonde finally opened his eyes, his face flushed, lips pursed. Berwald tried his best to calm him down.
"Yoo be a'rig't. Let me h'lp c're fev'r?" Berwald asked, cupping the males face with his hands. Tino, a bit frightened, nodded. He felt like he was on fire, if he could he would run out into the snow and bury him in the snowy crystals, it was too damn hot!
"T-Tino…" The Finnish man breathed out. "My name…is Tino." Tino's breath was now erratic.
Berwald let out a softening smile. "Berwald. I'll s've ya' T'no. Yoo h've tr'st me? Ok'y?" Berwald could feel the Finnish mans strength waning. Tino nodded, laying his head back in the sheep skins. Berwald nodded to himself, and proceeded to lift off the Finn's chemise. Wide eyes greeted Berwald as the clothing was removed.
"Heat good. Th's only way." Berwald said in his broken accent. Tino, understanding the Giant meant no harm, allowed his only clothing to be thrown into a wicker basket. Tino, ever the shy one, wrapped himself up tightly in a fur, trying to hide his manhood.
Tino watched with a blushing curiosity as his savior, the Sve troll began to strip of his trousers, leaving himself in just his long underwear. Tino knew that under those was the sex of the great beast. Tino shivered with what emotion he did not dare name and hid his now more reddish face in the folds of pelts.
In a few seconds, Berwald had slipped into the pile of skins and clutched blindly for the small male. Discarding his glasses, Berwald slipped his arms around Tino's waist and held him close. Tino let out a very unmanly yelp as he was pushed closer to the Trolls…well… Tino couldn't dare say it let alone think it.
"Go sleep. Yoo get b'tter." Berwald murmured atop Tino's head. Tino, not able to keep sleep from his body any longer, let the giant troll embrace him in warmth, as his fever slowly subsided well into the night.
*Hel- Norwegian version of a beast that guards the gates of Hel in Norse mythology.
Chapter 3: Husband?
I'm really starting to like this story haha! And for those who are interested, this story is actually an idea based off of an old Swedish ballad about a Troll who asks a knight to marry her called "Herr Mannelig". Reviews are always appreciated(damn it review!) :D I do not own Axis Powers Hetalia.
Tino awoke to the soft sound of pattering of water. He softly opened one of his eyes, wincing at the sputtering light that boldly flooded through his messy bangs. He yawned and wrapped himself back up in his furs, reasoning with himself that a few more minutes of rest couldn't hurt him. So, curling back into the frothy warmth that surrounded him he shut his eyes tight and lulled back to sleep. That is, until he felt something shift next to him. Tino, eyes opened immediately, his instincts taking control.
He sat up in with cold fright, hugging his arms to his warm coat, only realizing that it wasn't a coat, but a pile of sheep skins, scratchy and warm. Tino flashed his eyes around his new and unfamiliar surroundings. His violet eyes met with cold stone and flickers of a dying flame in a small fire pit. He sat up, huddling in the skins, teeth chattering. He tried to crawl out from under the skins, only to realize with horror, that he was completely naked.
"OhmyGods…" He breathed with utter terror. Where was he? Had he been kidnapped? Was he being held hostage in Antero Vipunen's grave? Was he going to be eaten? Tino felt tears streak his cheeks. He was in some unknown hovel, and by the Gods he was probably going to be cooked and eaten! He sobbed quietly in the slowly chilling cave till he heard a low growl.
In a flash the little Finn turned his head down towards the sound to see the froth of sheep skins split and crumple open to reveal a pale shoulder, the color of a sleek white bone. And then the shuttering mass erupted into what Tino guessed was a man, a very large man! Whose hair was in an upturn of throws, looking like a lions mane, and whose gaze, dizzy with sleep looked like it could kill any man by just one glare. Tino fell deathly silent.
"Hnnn…Fe'v'r g'ne?" The now awakening giant asked Tino. Tino's eyes widened. Fever? What fever- Tino's mouth was left agape. Of course, last night, he had an accident in the snow, and a man, no; the Troll saved him and tried to help him with his fever. It was all coming back to the Finn.
"Ah…Yes. Sve-Ah, Ber-Berwald. Thank you." He mumbled out, wrapping a pelt across his shoulders. Berwald nodded once before sitting up and rummaging around him till he sat himself down again and placed a large wicker basket in his lap. He then shifted and waded his fingers through the contents of the crudely made basket before whisking out an old patched up blue tunic. Pushing it over his head, he let the wrinkled clothing hide his wide frame.
Tino watched with both caution and curiosity as the giant of a man stiffly walked along the cave before unhooking Tino's now dried clothing. Placing them neatly before the Finn, he nodded to the pile and turned his back, giving Tino what privacy he could.
Tino stared at the clothes for a brief moment before hurriedly placing his long underwear, trousers, and tunic over his now once again cold body. While the Finn was changing Berwald had added fresh fuel to the fire and placed a tin kettle over the flame, stuffing it with fresh snow from last night's storm Tino guessed.
Once Tino was dressed, he allowed his eyes to wander over the cave. Finding nothing of great interest, only the remains of a lonely hermit. Tino smiled softly to himself. Trolls will not hurt a human unless provoked. He remembered his own words. Maybe the Sve Troll was just lonely, if he saved Tino from the storm, then surely he was a friend, right? Tino nodded to himself. Sure he was a bit…scary…. And disturbing…Monstrous, dogmatic looking, and down right frightful. But the fact that he had enough kindness to take Tino in made the little Finn want to give this great brute of a man some kindness.
"Here. Foo'" The sudden sound made Tino jump.
"Ah!" He yelped, scrunching up his shoulders. Berwald frowned, down casting his eyes.
Tino turned around to see the Tall man, holding a wooden bowl full of the small cakes Tino had made with Norway earlier, and a clay mug of the Mead. Tino took them with much eagerness, and began pushing the food in his mouth and gulping down the scorching liquid.
Berwald smiled as he watched the little man gobble down the sweets. Berwald would have to ignore his growling stomach for now, letting the little one eat his fill. And boy did he. Berwald chuckled softly as he watched Tino stuff the almond covered cakes in his pale little cheeks, making him resemble a cute little squirrel.
After the fifth cake Tino suddenly realized that eyes were on him. He paused in his mad eating to turn his head up to face the Sve. Tino, blushing slightly at the fact that he must look like a glutton, pushed the woodened bowl to Berwald.
"You must be hungry too." He did his best to smile at the glaring man. Berwald twitched his eyes to the bowl before shaking his head.
"Yoo sick. Need foo. I f'ne." He reasoned, pushing the plate to the younger male. Tino frowned, his eyes stubborn.
"There is enough here for the both of us!" The Finn said, shoving the bowl back in front of Berwald. Berwald sighed. He was hungry…
Reaching out clumsy hands, he plucked the smallest of the cakes and popped it in his mouth, ignoring the crumbs that fell freely from his lips.
Tino couldn't help but giggle at the scene portrayed in front of him. Berwald looked like a bad mannered bear, munching on the food with clumsiness. He laughed again when Berwald asked what the small Finn was laughing at.
"You look like a bear!" He smiled simply, taking another long draught of his mead and offering it to Berwald. Berwald took the cup and frowned, not sure if he should take the bear remark as a compliment or not. When his lips touched the warm honeyed liquid, his eyes widened and his tongue tingled. It was like nothing he had ever tasted. Actually, the cakes themselves were very delicious as well.
"Is good. W'fe make?" Berwald asked shyly, watching Tino's expression. Berwald really hoped the Finn wasn't married. He rather liked the idea of this little lad being single and all to himself. A man gets lonely up here in the mountains, and well….Tino sure was nice to look at.
Tino coughed on the Troll's remark.
"Ah, no. I'm not married. To neither man nor women. I made these with my cousin, just yesterday." Tino whispered carefully, his cheeks tinting. Was it the fever that was making his ears grow hot and his stomach twitch? Or was it something else… Tino shook his head. Whatever it was it had to wait.
"So Berwald…" Tino broke the seemingly thick silence. Berwald looked up from his half eaten cake.
"You live up here? All on your own?" Tino asked, wiping his clothing free of the crumbs. He sat up and started folding all the foul smelling pelts and placing them in a corner of the cave.
"Not all t'me. Bear Sleep w'th me some t'me." He said, gesturing towards the back of the cave were there was not sunlight nor flicker of the flame. Tino's stomach lurched. Bears? This man-no, Troll, slept in the same cave as bears?
"No Bear now. But l'st year I had f'm'le 'n cubs." Berwald piled on a few more twigs on the roaring fire, dispelling all the coldness of the stone shelter.
Tino's mind started to wander, conjuring up seemingly cute pictures of Berwald snuggling with a whole pile of grizzly bears during the cold weather. It brought a smile to his face.
After a few minutes of comfortable silence, Berwald stood up and began to arm himself with various types of clothing. Tino watched curiously as a dark blue coat was draped across the troll's shoulders. For a Troll, Tino thought, he sure is handsome when he's not giving me the death glare…
"Me Go. F'nd more foo." Berwald said in his broken accent, which Tino had already gotten used to.
"Are you sure, the sun won't hurt?*" Tino asked, a worried tone to his voice.
Berwald looked quizzical at the young man. Why would the Sun hurt him? Berwald furrowed his brows. Tino, sensing the confusion, cleared his thoat and tried to smile.
"Ah…Never mind." He murmured, turning away, his face flushed in embarrassment. Berwald, still left standing as confused as ever, grunted and turned back to the exit of the cave. Tino, still clutching his piping hot cup of mead between his fingers to get warm watched as the Giant stomped out of the cave and into the bright sunshine of the blinding snow. The storm had stopped, so maybe some food might be found, Tino hoped.
After the first few minutes alone in the cave, the silence and boredom finally got the better of the Finn, and Tino felt that he just had to investigate the cave! After washing out the dirty mugs and bowl with the quickly melting snow, the blonde made his way further into the deepening cavern.
This was Berwald's lucky day. He had managed to catch a small rabbit that was bounding up the hill close to the river near Berwald's cave. It was a skinny thing, but it would be able to feed the small boy. Berwald smiled. It felt good to be able to care for someone again. After his parents died when he was young, Berwald had been alone. With no kin to take care of he just took to the mountains. Wandering until he found a cave that was big enough to house him.
By the time he was a teen. Berwald could hunt, fish, carve, and take care of himself as well as any man. He was strong and big, broad and tall, and he caught the eye of whoever saw him. That's why he lived like a hermit. People around the village started making nasty rumors. Rumors about him being a monster. A monster who stole children in the night, or who ate peoples live stock. It hurt Berwald, Just because he was different, taller than most, and quieter than all. He was labeled a jætte or vitterfolk. Berwald cringed. Troll.
He stomped more violently in the snow, careful of the rabbit in his knapsack, trying to not damage the carcass. They needed all the meat he could get. Berwald smiled. They… The Swede could not help but blush at that word. Berwald had to face it. His stone cold heart was beginning to soften. And it was all because of that beautiful gift from the Gods. Berwald had to do everything in his power to keep Tino by his side. He would not let something so cute slip out of his grasp. No way in Hel.
All Tino had found in the cave was a few saved trinkets, some old musty chests that held nothing of particular value, and a few old pots and pans for cooking. Tino frowned. Weren't Trolls supposed to have mounds and mounds of gold lying around? He stamped his foot in annoyance.
Tino sighed and plopped his body down on the comfy sheepskin. He felt his head swirl with all his might as he tried to calm down. He was in a Trolls cave. And nice Troll, but still a Troll. Tino bit his lip. He started to miss his nice cottage, with the blue door and the small barrels of flowers blooming in his garden. Spring was drawing near, and the foxgloves would be sprouting soon. Tino sighed. Spring was just around the corner and still Tino was alone. With no wife or husband to show for it. His youthful bloom wasted.
This would be another year that he would have to sit out as the young couples gathered around the spring bonfire and leap over the coals for good luck, and then they would eat a wonderful feast of jams and jellies, honeyed bread and crisp big and venison. Tino grumbled sourly. And this year it was Gretel's turn. How come his cousin had found a husband (no matter how stupid mind you,) but Tino still had no one.
This only angered the Finn more, as he slammed his fist into the rickety table that decorated the cave.
"I want a husband, damnit!" The little man huffed.
Tino looked up with a squeak. Turning around he saw Berwald, his clothes soaked from the melting snow, holding up a small brown rabbit by the ears.
"Ah…Sorry Berwald. I was just…Talking to myself." He said shyly, taking the scrawny animal from the giant.
"Want me to cook this for you?" he offered, already heating up a big pot of water on the coals. He sat a plank of wood on his lap and began to skin the rabbit with ease.
"I live alone too, so I'm good with cooking." He explained, busying himself with the meal.
"Husband?" Berwald questioned, still in the cave entrance, ignoring his dripping clothes.
Tino twitched in his seat. Oh Crap… He thought. Now he's going to think I'm insane! Tino thought with grief. Tino began to chop up the meat, being careful to not get any of the blood on his clothes.
"I-I was just feeling a bit jealous. Because, well, because my cousin is getting married at the Spring festivals and I always get a bit sad at those times because I've never been proposed to, let alone courted! And I've just always wanted to have a crown of flowers on my head, my spouse by my side as we sing and dance and eat, and then retire to the beds-"Tino abruptly stopped. Had he been rambling? He turned his head to see Berwald, who had the same stern face as before. Then, the sharp blonde uttered a small sentence that made his hear lurch.
"I could be husb'nd…" It was said simply, obviously. And yet it made Tino fall flat on his ass.
Oh I love Berwald and his awesome ideas.
Antero Vipunen's- A giant who appears in Finnish mythology who the god-hero Väinämöinen tries to awake from his grave.
"Are you sure, the sun won't hurt?*"- In Scandinavian folklore it was said that if a Troll went outside in the sun he or she would turn to stone.
jætte or vitterfolk- Swedish for Giant or Troll