Ruffnut and Tuffnut fought. Everyone knew this. They had been fighting since the womb, a time full of lots of kicks and Ruffnut pressing against her brother resulting in a noticeable lack of neck for the first year of his life. Their formative years were full of it, hitting and pinching and crying. Their parents encouraged it, declaring it a sign of proper Viking warriors.

The fighting was not fueled by hatred or animosity; rather, if anyone so much as looked at one of them wrong the other twin would be quick to pound the offender into a bloody pulp.

In fact, they both liked the fighting.

To Ruff, it was an adventure, one that did not necessarily require them going out to the depths of the forest or the rocky cliffs or the sharp rocks of the beach. Fighting was a release of energy, the various energies that made up the growth spurts of childhood, the imagination of the same, the idealism of becoming the perfect Viking, and as she grew older the energy that came from exploring her identity as a kick-ass warrior.

When she fought and wrestled with her brother, she was her truest self, being the most Ruff she could possibly be, and she enjoyed the play-on-words that was her name. Rough Ruff. She liked living up to that name. It was so poetic. The kind of fighting they did was fighting in its pure form as well, not all this planned, brainy stuff Astrid liked. Ruff could place a good choke hold on her brother, smash his shins, and feel like she was the most awesome she could be.

Though sometimes, occasionally, she felt bad about it. Not way bad, but there was some guilt. This was her brother, after all, and sometimes when she seriously injured him she would go somewhere and almost consider crying, she felt so bad. Maybe it was part of being a girl, this guilt, this need to nurture even though Tuff was a big baby. Was she meant to cause harm like this? Of course she was! As a Viking, she had to preserve herself and her people! That was a form of nurturing! But was practicing on her brother the best form of practice? She thought about it all the time as she clawed his face and twisted his arm around his back with her knee on his head.

But it had so many other perks! When she fought, she could clear her mind, or in opposition use that time to think about all the millions of things Viking life never gave her time to think about, like how to do her hair or sharper her knife or carve a giant statue from a dead tree or who in the village was cute or if she'd ever become a great Viking warrior or what someone had said that had made her feel bad/good about herself and if she should be worrying about that and if that person's opinion really mattered or what she would wear in the arena or how she should swing an axe and all these other things.

And, well, fighting with her brother was very stress-relieving. Unless she felt bad about it. Then it became stressful.

Such a mess.

Tuffnut also liked fighting. It was fun, and it didn't require any thinking.

The End!