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Bragi, God of Interior Decorating

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"Erm," says Bragi, staring at the bare walls and floors and furniture in Idunn's hall. "Honey?"

Idunn comes up behind him with a basket in her arms, her smile bright and sparkling, like the apples in her care. "Yes? Do you like it?"

"It's—" He shrugs and glances down at his lyre. For all that he's a poet, he's never really mastered the art of delivering bad news, and that only during his time around mortals. Now that he's married to a goddess—well, maybe she'll take it well, but what of the others? There is so much fighting and bloodshed in the stories, tales he's known and sung for years.

He takes a breath and tries again. "I very much like it." When her smile widens, he adds, "Would it be all right if I contribute to the look of your hall?" Are gods sensitive about this sort of thing? Did he think this marriage through enough?

"Our hall," she corrects, nodding. "I would be so glad if you did. I spend so much time tending the apples that my hall is lacking. Wait until you see some of the others. Mine is simply put to shame! Only Loki seems not to mind. Well, only Loki ever really stops in now and again."

Sweet Idunn is so forgotten? She grows the apples of vitality but gets no visits for her trouble? Bragi's heart fills with purpose, his mind spinning verses that will make this hall shine. "I'll make this such a hall as bards will be at a loss to describe it," he declares.

Idunn beams and kisses him. "I'm off to the orchard. Anything you need for your task, you may have."

Good, he thinks as he watches her go. He'll show everyone just how much Idunn deserves.

 


 

Flowers, apple blossoms, carvings of harvest scenes and endless bounty—Bragi sings them all to life. He becomes a god through the gift that drew Idunn's attention to him in the first place. He hangs garlands over thresholds and twines flowering vines along beams and table legs. He inscribes into the wood, with his own hand, lines that praise Idunn's kind heart and strong arms, the rhythm of her work, the dance she performs every day with the trees and the grass and the clouds' gentle, life-affirming rain. Radiant Idunn, benevolent and loving, foremost in his heart, great lady over life itself.

The trees lend him support, offering him branches and blossoms in abundance. He weaves her baskets and crowns and bracelets, sets them everywhere around the hall. It seems to take him days, but time changes, he thinks, from what he's always known. Asgard will take getting used to.

When he is done and Idunn comes in from her work and sees it all, she sets down her old basket and looks at him with shining eyes. Bragi fills her basket with flowers, saving the most delicate one for her hair.

In the morning, when the Aesir stop by for the day's apples, Idunn has them come in and see what Bragi has done.

"Lovely," says Frigg, regal and sincere.

She is the first that Bragi decides he likes.

Thor clears his throat and says, "You've done well. Idunn is pleased."

"Ah, Thor," says Loki. "Always so eloquent."

"Well," huffs Thor. "I'm no bard. That's his job!" He motions to Bragi. "That, and, er, decorating, it seems."

The other men nod their assent and quickly shuffle out. Freyja gives Bragi a long, scrutinizing stare, then heads off after giving what Bragi thinks may, possibly have been a fraction of a smile as she goes. He'll take it.

"Thank you," Idunn tells him once they've all gone, her embrace covering him with the scent of crisp apples and blooming blossoms.

"For you, anything," he tells her.

Spring and sunshine fill his heart. Today, he'll write her a song.