Paige can see what the locals mean when they complain about Ivarstead. There’s just simply nothing to do here. After all, she’s the Dragonborn. She needs thrill, excitement, something more than just cutting wood or collecting bear pelts for a few septims like these people want of her.
Still. That doesn’t mean she’s completely accepted the fact that she’s expected to slay dragons or talk to dragons or whatever it is that she’s going to be told when she arrives at High Hrothgar.
At least she’s got AJ, though who even knows why exactly AJ’s so adamant to take care of her.
She supposes it’s because AJ’s meant to be – housecarls are supposed to stay close to their thane, which Paige apparently is now, after what happened at Whiterun – but it feels like more: AJ’s loyalty is even fiercer than that, and she’s always ready with an arrow or a remark just as sharp.
There’s a sudden poke to Paige’s chest. AJ. They have to share a bed at the inn, not wanting to spend any more coin than they have to. (Paige doesn’t mind.)
“I can practically hear you thinking from here,” AJ tells her. “Get some sleep, huh? We have to head up the mountain in the morning.”
That they do. Paige lets AJ nestle into her shoulder, into her chest, and finally closes her eyes. She doesn’t quite know what this is between them, but she knows she’ll have AJ beside her every step of the way.