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Everything has changed [Tóra]

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Freyja Stafnsdóttir
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PostSubject: Everything has changed [Tóra] Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:58 am

Things had become… complicated for Freyja recently. One of her sisters had become quite a nuisance, and while this wasn’t exactly new behavior for Sofie, the topic she seemed fixated on was whether or not Freyja had feelings for one of her friends. The blonde had immediately dismissed it as Sofie creating trouble because she was bored, brushed it off as nonsense, and moved on with her day. Unfortunately, she was no longer quite so certain it was nonsense after all.

In an attempt to prank her troublesome sibling, Freyja and Hakon, the friend she most definitely did not have more-than-friendly feelings for, had pretended to flirt with each other after Sofie locked them in a room together, in an attempt to prank her right back for messing with them. Unfortunately, the plan seemed to have backfired on her. Freyja was no longer so certain her feelings for Hakon were strictly platonic. The ‘pretend’ flirting had felt so perfectly natural and despite Sofie’s irritating voice in her head, she was forced to face the fact that she might actually have feelings for him.

This was problematic for a number of reasons. First of all, if she really did have feelings for Hakon, she was going to need to tell him, and that could potentially ruin their relationship. But Freyja wasn’t the sort of person to sit around and wonder ‘what if?’ She was going to need an answer to that question, and sharpish. Second of all, the idea that Sofie had been right, and had seen something Freyja herself had been completely blind to was grating, to say the least. Third, Hakon, along with Sofie and a few of his friends, had gone to Kattegat, and while Freyja had been aware they’d been planning to travel to that village for a while now, she'd overheard someone recently joking around about how the point of the visit was ‘to find women’ and that was simply not sitting well with her.

She knew in the back of her mind that it was a joke, and normally she’d have laughed at the sheer ridiculousness of such an idea. But the moment she’d heard it, she’d simply reacted, and she’d felt like shit because her immediate thought process had been: He clearly couldn’t have feelings for her, if he was travelling to another village for the purpose of ‘finding a woman’, right? And what was she going to do if he found a woman in Kattegat? Could she be happy for him? Could she keep this new development to herself, rather than risk their friendship, or his new relationship? Probably not, she decided immediately. In fact, she rather wanted to stab someone, just thinking about him strolling off a ship that she’d probably built, with his arm around someone else. By the time she acknowledged that it was all nonsense, she’d already come face to face with the fact that she definitely had feelings for him.

She desperately needed to talk about all of this to someone, but she wasn’t really sure who to go to. Obviously she couldn’t talk to Sofie about it, even if she was still in Skagen. The seventeen year old would likely spend more time gloating than listening, and Freyja still couldn’t stomach the idea of letting her sister know she’d been right all along, despite her loudly and repeatedly denying it. Rúna was far too much like Freyja to have any advice other than ‘tell him, and see what he says.’ Visna was a little too interested in falling in love and getting married to be trusted with an honest opinion on a matter like this, and her mother was in the process of planning her own wedding, and Freyja didn’t want to take up her time with this particular problem.

That left her youngest sister, Tóra. Tóra was fifteen, and hopefully not any more knowledgeable about men than Freyja herself was. But at the very least, Tóra could be trusted to keep this all a secret, and give her the best advice she could come up with, even if it wasn’t entirely helpful. And really, she just needed someone to vent to. Opinions were not really as important at the moment. So, one afternoon while Tóra was at the docks and practicing her carving, Freyja approached her. She took a few minutes to watching her sister at work, wondering if Tóra was actually enjoying it at all. Freyja wouldn’t care if she decided it wasn’t really for her, but she was glad she had the opportunity to see her more often.

Hey Tóra, do you have a minute? I just need someone to talk to for a bit. Or rather, I need someone to listen, I guess? I don't know.” This was so uncomfortable. Tóra was fifteen, what kind of advice could she give her twenty-eight year old sister about relationships?
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Tóra Stafnsdóttir
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PostSubject: Re: Everything has changed [Tóra] Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:38 pm

Tóra hated carving, but she had at one point wanted to give shipbuilding a try, and so she was. Besides, it gave her an excuse to spend some more time with Freyja, and she adored her oldest sister. With so many of them running around, it sometimes felt like it was hard to spend any one-on-one time with any of her sisters. Sofie she helped with her pranks occasionally, in exchange for being prank free, so she got to spend time with her. Visna was generally busy with her sewing and designing and didn’t like to be disturbed, and Runa was the most short-tempered of the bunch. Tóra still loved the hothead, but she tended to steer mostly clear of her. She knew Runa loved her, but their personalities were very different and that made it hard to relate to her.

But Tóra adored Freyja. Now that she was getting older, she was starting to realize the magnitude of the sacrifice Freyja had made for them, and it only made her appreciate the eldest sister even more than she already did. And so Tóra still came to the docks in the afternoons, although she had begun spending her mornings learning what she could about plants. There was an old man, a farmer, who taught her what he knew about the wild plants that grew in the woods, and about the herbs he grew that could be used for helping people. She didn’t know anything else about healing, but learning the uses of plants was a start, anyway.

She looks up from her carving when she hears footsteps. Her knife stills when she sees it’s Freyja, and she slips the knife back into its sheath. The knife had been a gift from Freyja’s friend Hakon, but she hadn’t told her sister yet about the man who taught her to throw it or how to stab a kidney. She preferred to keep that memory a secret, along with the warmth of his fingers on her skin as he adjusted her grip, and the way his serious face had broken out in a slight smile when she awkwardly tried to help him with a small cut on his hand.

But she pushes these thoughts aside and sets the knife and the piece of wood in her lap, grinning up at her sister and patting the space beside her. “If you need someone to listen, you picked the right person. What’s on your mind?”
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Freyja Stafnsdóttir
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PostSubject: Re: Everything has changed [Tóra] Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:44 pm

Watching as her sister set aside what she’d been working on, Freyja shook her head and rolled her eyes a bit when Tóra started patting the space beside her, but took the seat anyway. She still felt quite awkward about all of this, most of all seeking out Tóra of all people to talk to about it. Her mother probably would’ve been the better option, now that she was face to face with her youngest sister, but it was too late to take it back now. She’d probably hurt Tóra’s feelings, and she couldn’t have that. Plus, her mother really was busy, and then she’d also probably bump into Visna and she didn’t want that.

Thanks,” she replied finally, smiling at her sister. “So…” she started, still trying to figure out how to even phrase what she wanted to say. Maybe she’d start slow. “What would you do if you realized something you probably should have realized like… years ago?” Freyja knew that wasn’t going to be specific enough for Tóra to actually offer any kind of advice, but still wasn’t entirely certain she was ready to come right out and say she had feelings for Hakon. She tried to think of all the different ways she could phrase what she needed to without making it abundantly clear what she was trying to imply, but everything she came up with was either too obvious or too vague. This was ridiculous.

Okay, forget that. Please don’t repeat this, especially to Sofie,” she paused for a moment before adding, “Or Visna either, I guess.” She sent Tóra a look, certain she’d understand Freyja’s hesitance when it came to sharing things with their sisters. “I may, possibly have made a discovery recently. About a person that I may, possibly have more than friendly feelings for.” As soon as she said it, Freyja knew the list of people she could be talking about was pretty short. Sure, she didn’t really have any female friends, but the list of male friends was also relatively short. Maybe five people? If she was being very generous?

And I don’t know what to do. Obviously I should tell him? Right? That seems like the logical option?” But while she knew that, she couldn’t help but think it was also the scariest option. What if she messed everything up? They’d literally sat in that damn closet together for nearly an hour and had a discussion about how ridiculous Sofie was for even thinking they could have feelings for each other. They’d made a joke out of it. How was she now supposed to turn around and tell him she’d been wrong? She’d be risking their entire relationship if she told him and he started to feel awkward and uncomfortable around her.

Consider this: What if I didn’t tell him? What if we just kept being friends and I was okay with that?” She wouldn’t be okay with that, Freyja knew it as soon as she said it. “What would you do?” Immediately she turned back to look at Tóra, and sent her a sympathetic look. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have asked you that. I know this is probably awkward for you.” She really needed to make some more friends her own age. Preferably ones who were not also friends with Hakon.
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Tóra Stafnsdóttir
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PostSubject: Re: Everything has changed [Tóra] Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:46 pm

She returns Freyja’s slow smile with one of her own, immediately feeling vaguely uncomfortable. Freyja has never been the type of person to hesitate, and seeing her a bit uncertain is a weird experience for Tora. She can’t remember the last time she’s seen Freyja unsure about anything, and it’s unsettling. But she pushes that aside and smiles at her sister as she sits down, glad to have an excuse to stop carving because she really doesn’t enjoy it. She can certainly appreciate the skill and patience it takes, but she seems to lack both when it comes to woodcarving.

She tilts her head at Freyja’s unusual question, brows wrinkling in mild puzzlement as she tries to come up with an answer. The problem is, the statement is so vague it can literally be referring to anything. Besides, Tora is young enough that she hasn’t had the time to realize yet that you can realize things years after you should have. She’s beginning to think maybe this conversation is over her head, but then Freyja speaks again and she relaxes. This, she can deal with. “I won’t tell either of them. I swear.” And then Freyja speaks again, and Tora understands her hesitance.

It’s a delicate situation, one that immediately sends her peace-keeping mind spinning off into ways of solving this in a way that’s beneficial for everyone. And she can’t help it, but her mind starts ticking off the list of people Freyja could possibly be talking about, but as soon as she realizes, she forces herself to stop. This isn’t about finding out Freyja’s secret, it’s about helping her solve a situation she doesn’t like. She nods slowly when Freyja says she should tell him, and she’s about to agree when Freyja talks again, and the next suggestion is so ridiculous that she actually giggles a little as she shakes her head.

“I don’t think not telling him is an option, Freyja. It would eat you up inside, it’s just the kind of person you are. So,” she gives her sister a small, hopefully comforting smile and stretches her legs out in front of her. “What you should do is tell him, as soon as you can. Maybe he feels the same? You’ll never know unless you tell him. And what if he doesn’t?” She sighs, shrugging. “At least knowing is better than always wondering, isn’t it?” This time the grin she gives her sister is genuine and warm, no hint of her former timidity in it. “If it were me, I probably wouldn’t tell him, but I’m not as brave as you are.”

She waves off her sister’s apology, shaking her head a little How is it that people always come to her for this type of advice? Not that she minds, of course. Everyone in their family has their own role, and Tora is the peacekeeper, the calm one, the one with the good head on her shoulders. She isn’t brave and strong like Freyja or hotheaded like Runa, she isn’t grumpy like Visna or….. Whatever Sofie was. She was just herself.
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Freyja Stafnsdóttir
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PostSubject: Re: Everything has changed [Tóra] Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:59 pm

Obviously Freyja trusted Tóra to keep her secret, or she wouldn’t have come to talk to her in the first place, but actually hearing her sister say she won’t mention anything to the rest of their sisters does help her relax just a bit. After all the meddling Sofie had done, and all of Freyja’s adamant insistence that Sofie was wrong, it was going to take her quite a while to get around to telling Sofie she’d been right all along. Just the thought of it had her growing irritated.

Tóra giggled at her idea about just not saying anything at all and while Freyja had known as soon as she’d said the words that that would never be a solution she was comfortable with, she raised an eyebrow at her sister. Sending her a look that she’d hopefully read as ‘I’m glad this is fun for you,’ Freyja had to admit, Tóra had a point. Not telling him would never be a real option for her. “You’re right. I know you’re right. I’m just… nervous. It’s not a feeling I’ve had a ton of experience with. My stomach kind of… hurts? I don’t like it.

She was torn when Tóra said ‘what if he feels the same’ because she couldn’t imagine that was very likely. But she was trying to be optimistic and nodded at her sister. “I would rather know for sure. I just don’t want to make things awkward or uncomfortable between us?” Because what was the point of telling him about her feelings if it meant losing him because of it? But Freyja knew herself a bit too well for that. She wouldn’t last a week without eventually blurting it out.

Raising another eyebrow at Tóra, Freyja shook her head at her. “You’re plenty brave. Just because you don’t want to spend your life fighting doesn’t mean you’re not brave. You wanted to help with Sofie?” Trying to take a moment to break away from this incredibly awkward topic, Freyja turned to inspect Tóra’s carving. “How are you feeling about it?” she asked, nodding towards what she’d just been working on. Tóra wasn’t exactly great at hiding her feelings, and Freyja didn’t want her to stick with it just because she thought she might be upset if she gave up. It certainly wasn’t a hobby for everyone.

They chatted about carving for a few moments, and Freyja used that time to think. Without taking her eyes off the carvings Tóra had done, she blurted out, “It’s Hakon, by the way. I imagine you’d figure it out soon enough, if you haven’t already. And that’s why you can’t tell Sofie.” Of course, if things worked out the way she wanted them to, Sofie would find out sooner or later, but she’d deal with that problem when it came.
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Tóra Stafnsdóttir
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PostSubject: Re: Everything has changed [Tóra] Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:50 pm

Tóra had at first been surprised when her sisters came to her for advice, but in a twisted sort of way, it made sense. She was far from old and wise, but she was patient and thoughtful and was good at considering all the alternative solutions. She knew her sisters very well, and so she was a pretty good judge of when a course of action wouldn't be feasible--like Freyja simply keeping her feelings inside. She knew Freyja was far too honest for that. By trying to keep it inside, she would simply torture herself into revealing it anyway, regardless of her fears. At least planning to tell him, she had a choice about when and how she told him, instead of just blurting it out and possibly even surprising herself with the timing. Planning to tell him gave her some control of the situation, and hopefully that would ease her nerves.

She nods when Freyja says she's nervous and that her stomach hurts, and she gives her sister a little shrug. "I think the only way to make that go away is to tell him." She pauses to think a moment before answering her sister, her head tilting to the side as she considers. "But what if you accidentally make things awkward without even telling him? What if you start acting differently and that makes him uncomfortable anyway?" She gives her sister a quick smile. She has a pretty good idea who her sister is talking about, but she does her best not to focus on it. She giggles, rolling her eyes, when Freyja says she's brave. "There's different kinds of courage, sure, but we can talk about that some other time."

She's momentarily derailed when Freyja asks her how she likes carving, and she sheepishly looks down at the lump of wood in her lap. Finally, she looks back up at her sister with a shrug. "I don't think I have the skill for it. I've started learning about herbs for healing, though." She feels just the slightest bit guilty, but she knows Freyja will understand and not give her trouble for choosing to follow a different path. She became a shipbuilder so her sisters would be able to do whatever they wanted, and Tóra knows that Freyja will never be angry with her for following what she wants to do.

She's slightly surprised by Freyja's outburst, not because she's surprised by the information, but simply because she wasn't expecting it to be said right now. "Of course I won't tell Sofie, although she's never going to shut up if you and Hakon do get together." She tilts her head, her curiosity getting the better of her. "Did the stunt she pulled actually help you to realize this? Because even if it did, you should deny that for the rest of your life. It's the only way she'll ever give you any peace about it." She's simply taking for granted that Hakon will, in fact, return her sister's feelings. She has nothing to back up her belief except optimism.
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PostSubject: Re: Everything has changed [Tóra] Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:41 pm

While Freyja hadn’t exactly been expecting much in the way of actual help or advice from Tora, she discovered she hadn’t been giving her sister enough credit. Everything the fifteen-year-old was saying was accurate, and Freyja knew it, and it made her feel even more ridiculous than she previously had. But, she needed to get over that, and quickly, it seemed. “I think you may know me too well,” Freyja answered with a reluctant smile. Because she most definitely would start acting differently around Hakon. She wasn’t Sofie; She was no good at deception. She’d likely give herself away fairly quickly. "You're right, obviously. I need to just tell him. It sounds so simple, doesn't it?" she added, shrugging a little.

She really hated this uncertainty that she was feeling. It wasn’t something she was accustomed to and she wanted it to stop immediately. Freyja knew Tóra’s advice was sound, and would be the easiest way to approach the whole thing. But it was very different, talking about telling him, versus actually having a face to face conversation with him about this.

Her attempt to change the subject worked it seemed, as they turned towards Tóra’s handiwork. “Well, you’ve only just started,” Freyja answered, not wanting to discourage her if she was enjoying it but thought she should’ve been better at it already. But when she mentioned learning about herbs and healing, Freyja grinned at her. “Are you enjoying it? I think you’d be good at that. I’ll ask around if you want? See if anyone knows any healers in the area?” Freyja couldn’t recall any healers in the village for at least a few years now, other than Ylva, who was also self-taught, and currently missing. But if that’s what her sister wanted to do, Freyja was going to help if she could. “If you don’t like to carve, you don’t have to keep going,” she added with a smile. It certainly wasn’t for everyone.

After she admitted to Tóra that it was Hakon she had feelings for, Freyja couldn’t help but roll her eyes. “I know. She’s going to be insufferable. If she finds out. Or if...” She didn't need to finish the thought, she assumed. Though, she had to admit, Sofie had claimed she was just trying to help, so maybe she wouldn’t be too bad, but Freyja wasn’t going to hold her breath. Sofie rather liked being right.

At her sister’s next question, she had to think for a moment. “A bit? It wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be, I guess. But then…” she trailed off, not wanting to admit that being jealous over something ridiculous was what had finally really tipped her off. It didn’t make sense, at this point. Clearly Tóra was now fully aware that Freyja wasn’t the perpetually confident person she wanted people to believe she was. “He left for Kattegat, and I let my mind wander, and it… became pretty obvious. Sofie doesn’t get all the credit.” She shot Tóra a smirk. “But no, I’m not going to tell her it helped. She’s never going to let it go as it is.
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