It was difficult for Denmark to pinpoint exactly when these strange new feelings had begun, but if he had to take a guess, it was probably in the summer of 940. At first he had thought it was indigestion, or perhaps some civil unrest in his country, but no matter how he traveled his lands looking for the cause, he could not find it. The child wasn't sure what he would do when he found the source of his ailment, if one could call it that, but he at least wanted to find out what was responsible for it.

He wasn't even sure that he wanted to make it go away. That was the really puzzling thing about these feelings. They weren't always pleasant; sometimes they reached such a pitch that it made his tummy and chest hurt, but most of the time they were tender and sweet like a hug from someone he cared about. Well, first he would figure out what was causing this curious phenomenon, then he would decide whether to get rid of it or not.

"It's weird, Norge," Denmark said with a frown as he kicked his feet in the cool, calm river water. "No matter what I do, the feeling won't go away. I've tried everything! Even when I'm sitting here and not really doing anything, my heart is pounding like crazy."

"Maybe you're dying," Norway replied stoically. He scowled at Denmark's kicking feet which were creating a disturbance in the water where the two of them were trying to fish. "If you kicked the bucket, I might actually catch something instead of having to sit here and waste my time with some idiot who doesn't even know that kicking in the water will scare all the fish away."

"But I told you, Norge, a lot of the time, it feels kind of good," Denmark reminded him, ignoring his friend's scolding and continuing to kick his feet. "It wouldn't feel good if I was dying… Oh, wanna know the other weird thing about it?"

"Not really," Norway said.

"When I start feeling like that, I can't stop thinking about you." Denmark looked up from the river at his companion, ceasing his kicking at last. "When I'm not with you, I keep thinking 'man, I wish I could see Norge right now'. And when I am with you, I keep thinking 'I wish Norge would smile', or 'I wonder if Norge thinks I look cool right now'."

Norway looked down at his own feet, which were dangling in the water, his cheeks pinking slightly. "I can answer that last question so you can stop worrying about it: 'no'… Did that help?"

Denmark's eyes turned skyward, waiting for Norway's words to take effect. After a moment, his shoulders slumped in disappointment. "Nope, it's still the same."


"Hey Norge?" Denmark began hesitantly. "You didn't curse me or anything, did you?"

Norway's expression grew thoughtful. "No, but thanks for the idea."

"Hey, c'mon! Noooo," Denmark whined, clutching fearfully at Norway's tunic. "You can't curse me! We're buddies! You wouldn't curse your buddy, would you?"

"I won't curse you if you shut up," Norway offered.

Denmark pressed his lips together and made a gesture like he was locking them shut and tossing away the key. Norway rolled his eyes, wondering whether Denmark's silence would last a whole five seconds or only three. He let go of his fishing pole with one hand, resigning himself to having to find some other means of feeding himself that night. When he set his hand down, he accidentally put it down on top of Denmark's. Denmark started and looked at Norway with wide eyes, his cheeks warming. That set Norway off blushing. Before he could jerk his hand away, Denmark turned his own hand over and closed his fingers around Norway's slowly. He ran his little thumb reverently over Norway's soft skin as if he had never felt someone else's skin against his before.

"I wish you could feel what I'm feeling now, Norge," Denmark breathed. "It's like flying…"

Norway swallowed hard. He thought he might have somehow understood what Denmark meant. Norway wasn't sure he liked the feeling. The summer sun was hot enough without all this extra heat rushing to his face. Norway pulled his hand away and stood up. Denmark looked as if Norway had just slapped him, but Norway had his back to him so he didn't notice.

"I… I have to go now," Norway stammered.

He clutched the hand that Denmark had been holding to his chest as he made a hasty retreat. Denmark watched him go in sad confusion, wondering what he'd done wrong.

It took a few days after the hand-holding incident before Norway was willing to see him again. Denmark spent an unusual amount of time during those few days worrying, mostly about whether Norway would ever play with him again. Though he thought and thought about it, Denmark hadn't the slightest idea what he'd done wrong, but it was obvious that if he wanted to continue to be friends with Norway, future hand-holding was out of the question. That was a shame because Denmark had quite liked holding Norway's hand.

Finally though, Norway sent him a message saying that he was planning to pick bilberries [1] and Denmark could join him if he wanted. Denmark was puzzled by the message (usually if one of them wanted to do something with the other, they would invite each other in person), but relieved that Norway was at least willing to see him again. The strange feeling that had been present in him lately flared up happily. It had been hurting him since Norway had left after the hand-holding incident, adding to his misery at being rejected.

The next day, he and Norway were journeying into the forest together, alone, much to Norway's chagrin. His refusal to have anything to do with Denmark for the last few days was not out of any particular dislike or anger at the other boy (not any more than what was normal, at least), but because of uncertainty.

He had been made acutely aware on the day of the hand-holding incident that his feelings for Denmark were undergoing some worrying changes. This confused and kind of scared him, and he had needed some time to sort through his thoughts without Denmark present to make them muddled and fuzzy the way he was prone to do.

Unfortunately for Norway, taking time away from Denmark hadn't done a whole lot to soothe his nerves. He was experiencing symptoms similar to the ones that Denmark had described and this only made him more uneasy. For some inexplicable reason, Norway just couldn't get Denmark out of his head and being apart from him only made the symptoms stronger and more uncomfortable.

Unlike Denmark, however, Norway was not completely clueless as to the cause of these strange new feelings. He had a sneaking suspicion about what they might be, and if he was correct, he could only conclude that though his body at least was fine, his mind was sick. There could be no other explanation for having such thoughts about Denmark of all people. A naïve and optimistic part of him still clung to the vain hope that he was mistaken and that the feelings were caused by some bad meat that he had eaten.

Norway had attempted to gather some human children to join them on their berry-picking excursion so that he wouldn't have to be alone with Denmark, but none of them had been able to make it. All of them had had some excuse: "I have to babysit," "I have to help my parents on the farm," "My mom is sick and I have to help take care of her," "I'm grounded". Traitors, all of them.

"Hey Norge!"

Damn, there was Denmark now and Norway hadn't managed to round up a single ally. The taller blond boy bounded over, a basket for the berries in hand, his characteristic ear-to-ear smile firmly in place. Norway swallowed hard when Denmark kept approaching until he was close enough that Norway could see the cute little sprinkling of summer sun-induced freckles across his friend's nose and cheeks. And he was only getting closer.

"Ahh, I'm so glad I finally got to see you again!" Denmark cried, wrapping his arms around Norway in an enthusiastic hug. "For a while there I thought you were super mad and never wanted to play with me again!"

"Let go of me or I'll send my troll after you, idiot Brother," Norway warned in the calmest voice he could muster, trying to control the color rising in his face.

Denmark's eyes went wide as he remembered that this was exactly the kind of thing that had gotten Norway so angry at him last time. He quickly released him. "Sorry, sorry! I forgot!"

Norway, who had turned his back to him to hide his blushing as soon as Denmark let go of him, took a deep breath and released it slowly. He couldn't lose his cool this early in the game; it was the only defense he had against Denmark's sunny smiles and overflowing affection.

"Alright! Let's go pick some bilberries!" Denmark proposed enthusiastically. "I haven't had any in forever! Which way are we going?"

Norway didn't bother with a verbal reply but began to lead the way toward the bilberry patch in the forest. Denmark followed like a faithful puppy, chattering incessantly as they went about the whale he'd seen on his way over to Norway's house. Norway was hardly listening; he was too distracted by the way their hands kept brushing as they walked.

He tried to put a little space in between the two of them, but whenever he would move over, Denmark would follow obliviously. Every time Denmark's hand grazed his, he felt the strongest urge to take hold of it and lace their fingers together. It didn't make any sense to him. Denmark was an annoying idiot; why did he keep getting these nearly overpowering desires to touch him?

Denmark, for his part, wanted to hold Norway's hand more than anything, but Norway had gotten angry at him for that very thing mere days ago. He didn't want Norway to be mad at him. But being so close to Norway and not being allowed to touch him was making his chest start to ache again. It was a relief when they finally reached the berry patch so that he would have something to distract him from his illicit longings.

"Wow, they look awesome this year, huh?" Denmark commented, plucking one of the plump deep purple fruits from the bush and popping it into his mouth. "Mm, they taste awesome, too. Try one, Norge!"

Denmark held one out for Norway to taste, trying not to look like he was hoping as desperately as he was that Norway would eat it from his fingers. Norway ignored the one that Denmark was offering him and plucked one from the bush himself, taking it into his mouth. The round, full-flavored fruit popped between his teeth, filling his mouth with sweet juice. Denmark pouted and ate the berry that Norway had refused.

"I wish we could grow these at my place," Denmark said wistfully. "I'd eat 'em every day. I tried planting some once but they wouldn't grow."

"My people can't plant them, either," Norway confessed. "They only grow wild."

"I wonder if they'd be good with honey," Denmark mused. "Or porridge. You ever eat 'em with porridge, Norge?"

"All the time." [2]

"I wanna try it. Will you make some for me?"

Norway blushed slightly at the mental image of himself preparing food for Denmark like a good little housewife. It was a simultaneously humiliating and alluring image. "Make your own, stupid Brother."

"Or we could make juice," Denmark yammered on, apparently not aware that he'd just been rejected. "And then, and then, ooh, I just got an amazing idea! If these things grew in the winter, we could eat the juice on snow and it would be awesome! Doesn't that sound awesome, Norge?"

"Not really," Norway lied. He was pretty sure he could have given a completely nonsensical answer and Denmark wouldn't have even batted an eye, too caught up in his own senseless chattering to pay attention to anything else.

"Hey, hey Norge, look!" Denmark stuck out his tongue, showing off its stained purple coloring. "Is it purple?"

"Obviously," Norway replied, completely unimpressed.

"Let me see yours."

Norway hesitated briefly, then poked his tongue out at Denmark. Denmark leaned in much too close in order to examine it. Norway could have kissed him at this distance if he wanted. Not that he wanted to, of course, but it was an option. Feeling uncomfortable, Norway pulled his tongue back in and backed away. Denmark helped himself to another berry, seeming not to notice the opportunity he had just missed. Norway huffed in mild annoyance, though he wasn't entirely sure why he was irritated.

"What was the point of bringing a basket at all if you're just gonna eat all the ones you pick?" Norway asked peevishly.

"I'm just gonna eat a few now and bring the rest home," Denmark said. "I know they get rotten pretty quick in this heat but I figured it was worth a—"

All of a sudden Denmark's eyes grew very wide and he stopped speaking abruptly, cut off by a strangled yelp of pain. Startled by the way the color drained from Denmark's face, Norway leaned in to examine him nervously. He saw a large bee flying out of the bush from the general area where Denmark had been plucking berries and he understood what must have happened. Denmark held his injured finger up for closer examination and saw that the bee's stinger was sticking out of it. His eyes began to fill with tears. Norway grimaced; Denmark had always been a very loud and messy crier. Just as expected, Denmark burst into noisy tears.

"Calm down!" Norway shouted over his sobs. "It's just a little sting! Here, let me see it!"

Norway began to reach for Denmark's injured hand but Denmark swatted him away, shielding his hand by hunching his body over it.

"Don't be an idiot! It's only gonna hurt longer if you don't take the stinger out!"

"It huuuuurts!" Denmark sobbed. "I'm dying, Norge! I'm dyyyyying!"

"You're not dying! Calm down already!" Norway demanded. For some reason his heart was pounding, as if he was scared. But that would be stupid; it was just one little bee sting. It wasn't as if Denmark's life was really in any danger. He took a deep calming breath and repeated this to himself in his head a couple times. "Jeez, you're annoying. Give it here; I'll take the stinger out for you since you're such a baby."

"Don't touch it!" Denmark wailed. "It'll hurt even more!"

"Look, I'll… I'll let you hold my hand while I pull it out, so…" Norway swallowed, trying not to blush. "Anyway, quit crying. You're noisy."

"R-really?" Denmark asked, his whimpers quieting. "Can… can I really h-hold your hand?"

"I said it was ok, didn't I?" Norway replied with a frown, disguising his embarrassment for irritation. "Let me see it already."

Denmark hesitated for a moment, tears still rolling down his cheeks as he shakily offered Norway his injured hand. Norway took hold of it, cradling it gently in his own and tilted it towards him so that he could see the protruding stinger.

"Don't look; it'll make it hurt worse."

Denmark sniffled and buried his face in Norway's shoulder. Norway swallowed hard as he felt the taller boy's tear-streaked cheek nuzzle against his neck. This was no time to let himself get distracted. Norway took a deep breath, took hold of the stinger between his fingernails and ripped it out. Denmark gave a strangled yell and hugged him tighter, new tears tumbling down his cheeks and wetting Norway's tunic, but he didn't pull his hand away.

"See, that didn't even hurt. You were a big baby for nothing," Norway said.

Denmark sniffled again and another sob slipped out. Norway sighed and rolled his eyes. Honestly, what a child. Not that he expected anything different from Denmark. If he was going to act like a child, perhaps Norway should comfort him like a child. Norway's cheeks reddened steadily as he brought Denmark's hand to his lips. After a brief uncertain pause, he brushed a tiny kiss to the area near the sting. Denmark started at the gentle touch, pulling his face away from Norway's shoulder in surprise. His cheeks were flushed and tear-stained, and his nose was running. Norway wrinkled his nose in distaste, trying not to look as embarrassed by his own actions as he felt.

"Norge… did… did you just…?"

"I thought if you were going to act like such a baby, the only way to get you to be quiet was to treat you like one," Norway explained as calmly as he could. "That's all."

Denmark stared at the place where Norway's lips had touched his skin as if he was praying that he hadn't imagined it. Then he looked up at Norway in hopeful disbelief. Norway blushed and looked away.

"If you're done being such a kid, we might as well-"

Denmark cut him off when he threw his arms around Norway and buried his face in his shoulder once again, hugging him tightly. Norway gave an exasperated sigh, making sure it was loud enough so that Denmark would know how annoyed he was by his behavior and that he was only putting up with it because there was no other way to shut Denmark up. He curled his arms uncertainly around Denmark's shoulders and rested his chin on top of the taller boy's head.

It was then, as Norway held and comforted him, that Denmark began to understand something about the strange feelings that had been bothering him lately. It wasn't a sudden epiphany; it didn't all become clear to him in a flash as if he had been struck by some lightning of knowledge, but he was on the road to understanding. Denmark was fairly certain that no one but Norway could have soothed him so quickly. Norway was special.

Not only that, but Norway had kissed him. Sure, it had just been a little tiny brush of his lips, but that counted as a kiss in Denmark's book. You didn't kiss someone you don't care about, right? He wondered if this meant that there was a chance that he was special to Norway too. This definitely merited further exploration at a time when his brain wasn't being turned to happy mush by Norway's hugs.

By the time they had finished picking bilberries, neither one of them wanted to part with the other. Something had happened between them today, something significant. Norway's suspicions about his feelings for Denmark had been confirmed, but it was such a relief to finally know with certainty that he couldn't even muster the anger and disgust with himself that he thought he ought to feel.

Denmark's mind was in a joyful haze, replaying the moment when Norway had kissed his finger over and over in his head. He could still feel the sensation of Norway's arms around his shoulders and the gentle pressure of his uncertain embrace. There was nothing he wanted more than to experience that hug again.

"So… I'll see you later," Norway mumbled.

"Yeah… I guess so," Denmark replied, glancing sadly over his shoulder at the ship that would take him home.

Neither one of them moved.

"You'd better hurry or they'll leave without you, stupid Brother."

"Hey Norge… Um, if you're not busy, maybe you could… I dunno, sleep over at my place or something," Denmark suggested hopefully. "I was thinking about staying in Møns Klint tonight… What do you think?" [3]

Norway mulled this over. He really didn't have any obligations for the next few days, so there was no reason why he couldn't sleep over at Denmark's place. Besides, if he was completely honest with himself, he really didn't want to part with his friend.

Denmark awaited Norway's response with bated breath. Already his mind was filled with daydreams of him and Norway going to bed that night, sharing a blanket and cuddling together for warmth. Norway would fit perfectly in his arms again, just as he had that afternoon, and when Denmark was sure that Norway was asleep, he might steal a kiss if he was feeling brave. Denmark could feel his face growing warm at the very thought.

"I guess I could," Norway said eventually, once he deemed that he had taken enough time to decide so that he wouldn't look too eager. "It's not like I have anything I have to do tomorrow."

The giant grin that spread across Denmark's face in response to his acceptance almost made Norway smile in return. Almost.

"C'mon Norge, we better get on the boat or they'll leave without us!" Denmark warned cheerfully.

This time when Denmark took his hand, Norway blushed but didn't pull away from his touch.

It was early when Denmark awoke the next morning; so early that the sun hadn't even come up yet. A little grunt of disappointment escaped him. He couldn't recall what he'd been dreaming about just now, but the warm, fluttery feeling in his chest that always accompanied thoughts of Norway was in full swing. It wasn't even time for him to get up yet.

He yawned and considered rolling over and going back to sleep when he noticed Norway's head resting on his chest and his arms draped loosely around his neck. Suddenly Denmark felt wide awake, and so did the butterflies in his tummy.

Norway had refused to share a blanket with him when they had gone to bed last night and had insisted on sleeping on the other side of the room. Yet here they were, cuddled together in the middle of the room as if they had both rolled toward each other in the dark until they had met at last and been able to sleep soundly once they were nestled comfortably in each other's arms.

Denmark smiled softly as he brushed Norway's hair gently out of his face. His bangs hung in his eyes once he removed the cross-shaped clip from his hair. Norway's skin was so soft that once Denmark stroked his cheek for the first time, he couldn't keep his hands away from it. He kept running his fingers over it tenderly, trying to memorize by heart the way it felt; he didn't know if he would ever get the chance to do this again.

Denmark was just starting to contemplate Norway's soft-looking, pink lips when somewhere in the distance a rooster crowed, announcing that the day was beginning. The taller boy jumped. He had had a specific purpose in mind when he'd brought Norway to sleep over in Møns Klint and if he didn't hurry and wake Norway, they were going to miss it.

"Norge!" Denmark hissed, patting Norway's back. "Norge, wake up!"

Denmark's heart seemed to sputter when Norway's stunning blue eyes fluttered open reluctantly. Norway smacked his lips and rubbed his eyes blearily, too tired to even care that he was basically sprawled out on top of his friend. He scowled mutinously at Denmark.

"What is it?" he grumbled. "Can't you even let me sleep without annoying me? Idiot Brother."

"Sorry Norge, but there's something you gotta see," Denmark insisted, sitting up and forcing Norway into an upright position as well.

"You can show me later. 'M going back to sleep."

"It has to be now! You'll love it, I promise!"

Norway continued to grumble and rub his eyes as Denmark pulled him to his feet. "Moron. Knowing you it's probably something stupid like a rock that's shaped like a dog."

"That would be cool," Denmark admitted with a small smile, snatching up his cloak and draping it around his shoulders. "But nope, it's even better than that. Well, it will be if we make it in time…"

Norway yawned, stumbling slightly in the dark when Denmark pulled him from the hut and out into the surprisingly cold summer morning. Denmark led him near the edge of one of the high cliffs, scrambled up into a tree, then reached down to offer Norway some help in climbing up onto the branch beside him. The shorter boy allowed himself to be pulled onto the tree bough and sat at Denmark's side in grumpy, groggy silence. What was he even doing here? He just wanted to go back to bed.

Denmark licked his lips anxiously and glanced over at scowling Norway. The poor child was beginning to shiver, having forgotten his own cloak in his half-asleep state. Denmark pulled Norway closer and opened his cloak to share with him. Norway snuggled into his side unabashedly, hardly aware of what he was doing. All that registered in his sleepy mind was that Denmark was warm and that he wanted to be warm also.

Norway's head was beginning to nod on Denmark's shoulder when the sun peered up over the horizon. Its blinding rays caught the sea, causing it to shine brilliantly. The brightness helped wake Norway up a little. Wispy, faint clouds were dyed pink as the sun continued its steady ascent into the sky, staining the whole thing a brilliant mix of yellows, oranges, and pinks. The sun's light fell on the stunning white-faced cliffs, shedding a gentle orange glow on the white-sanded beach at the foot of the bluffs.

Norway, as chronically unimpressed as he was, found his breath taken away by the gorgeous view. Denmark grinned proudly at his country's spectacular landscape and glanced over at Norway to see if it was impressing him. Norway's eyes were wide and round, reflecting the sunrise in a way that Denmark found even more beautiful than the real thing.

"Hey Norge," Denmark said softly.

Norway tore his eyes away from the picturesque scene before him to look at his friend. He barely had time to register the blush on Denmark's cheeks before he leaned in and covered Norway's lips with his own. Norway could feel his own face going red and almost jerked away from Denmark instinctively. But Denmark was holding him tight so that he couldn't really flinch away, and as soon as the initial knee-jerk reaction had passed, Norway was very glad that Denmark had held him steady. He didn't want to pull away.

Norway wished he could do something to show that he wasn't a passive figure in this experience, but he wasn't sure what would be appropriate. He'd never kissed anyone before. Frustrated by his own lack of experience and knowledge, Norway merely maintained the contact, not sure how else to show his approval.

Denmark, in the meantime, was putting the last pieces of the puzzle together in his head. He may have been a child and a generally unobservant and occasionally thick-headed one at that, but he wasn't an idiot. If kissing Norway was making him feel this amazing, there could be only one logical reason for it. To be honest, he felt a bit silly for not having figured it out sooner. Denmark broke the kiss slowly, pulling away so that he could gage Norway's reaction. He couldn't help smiling faintly when he saw how red Norway's cheeks were. He caressed one of them fondly with his thumb.

"I think… I think I'm in love with you, Norge," he breathed. "And I think I have been for a while… only I didn't get it until just now."

Norway wasn't sure how to respond to this declaration. His pride and his true feelings were having a fierce battle in his head; his pride pushing for a cold and detached reply while his true feelings vied for one just as sweet and mushy as his heart felt. But before his mind could come to a decision, his body began to act on its own. There was an unfamiliar upward tugging sensation at the corners of Norway's lips.

"N-Norge… are you… are you smiling?" Denmark gasped, his eyes going as wide as golf balls.

Norway's cheeks reddened even further and he hurriedly turned his face away from Denmark. "No. Don't look, stupid Brother."

"Aw, c'mon Norge! Let me see!" Denmark begged, leaning forward on the tree branch as far as he could in an attempt to get a look at Norway's face. "Just one little peek! Pleeeeease?"

Denmark's fingers were clutching at his tunic as he attempted to turn Norway towards him. Whatever Norway said about the other boy's intelligence, he had never been able to deny his strength. If he didn't do something quick, Denmark was going to see him smiling like a doofus.

The worst part was that Norway couldn't stop. The harder he tried to force his expression back to its usual deadpan setting, the harder his own muscles resisted him. He had to act quickly. Norway whirled around and kissed Denmark for all he was worth, hiding his irrepressible little smile against Denmark's lips. Denmark's eyes slid shut in sheer bliss as Norway smooched along his mouth from corner to corner. The taller boy smiled widely, deliberately stretching his mouth so that Norway's lips would have more ground to cover. Perhaps this was what heaven felt like.

By the time Norway separated, he had managed to rein in the rogue smile, though his face was still brilliantly red. Denmark was doing enough grinning for both of them.

"That means you love me too, right?" he asked hopefully.

Norway swung his dangling feet, watching them as if they fascinated him, and gave a tiny, shy nod. Denmark let out a sudden loud victory whoop and punched the air joyfully, startling Norway so badly that he almost fell out of the tree. His friend steadied him with an enthusiastic hug. First he'd been granted the bliss of waking up with Norway in his arms, then they'd kissed and he'd caught a brief glimpse of Norway's ever elusive smile and finally Norway had returned his feelings. Today was shaping up to be one hell of an awesome day.

A/N: I had to do some research for this story so I figured I share some of my findings with all of you in case you're interested in learning some stuff. If not, then just disregard this.

[1] Bilberries- Often confused with blueberries as they look similar and translate from some European languages as "blueberry". They grow in many places in Northern Europe (though not, according to my findings, in Denmark) and were a common source of fruit for people during the Viking Age. As mentioned in the story, bilberry bushes are very difficult to grow in captivity so even nowadays most bilberries come from wild plants.

[2] It can't be said for certain since little info or samples remain of Viking Age foods, but it is surmised that porridge may have been a staple in people's diets at the time.

[3] It is 279 miles from the southern-most Norwegian city to Møns Klint, a journey which, on the fastest type of ship available in the Viking Age, would have taken a minimum of 21 hours to complete. However, according to Google maps, it would take three days to run to Waldshut, Germany (one of the southern-most cities in the country) from Brunico, Italy (one of the northern-most cities in the country) but Italy did it in one night in that one strip (I used the shortest possible distance I could find between the two countries because we don't know exactly where the starting and ending point were in the strip. If we used the capitals, Berlin and Rome, the run would take eleven days). Therefore, even though it was confirmed in this year's Christmas bloodbath that nations can't teleport, they obviously have some faster means of transportation. I hope you'll forgive me for fudging the time it takes to travel between these two places a bit.

[4] The title, Áðr ástir, means "first love" in Old Norse.