Dagur huffed, sitting back in his seat, he pulled out a rag and did as Baby said and gently wiped Koll’s face. Koll fussed lightly letting out a dragged out ‘no’, before he gave into his father’s want to clean him, laughing as Dagur made a game of it. Dagur chuckled at Koll before scoffing at Baby’s words. “They won’t have to think it, it’s easy to see. Right Koll?”
“Yep!” The small two-year-old responded happily, looking up to his mother with a sweet smile.
Dagur groaned at the abuse before finally growling and lashing out. He got a hold of every sheep in his adrenaline rush and hogtied them up together before tossing them at Moose and Yak’s feet. “They do that again, I’m killing them.” Dagur threatened as Astra jogged over to make sure he was okay.
After she was sure her brother was okay she gave the twins a small smile. “Hello Yak, Moose, it’s good to see you two again.” She greeted lightly, the twins being the only ones besides Baby she actually cared for in their family and kept in contact with.
Red didn’t even have time to blink before she was thrown over Teeth’s shoulder. She giggled lightly as the boys fought over her before she started to play with Teeth’s hair which looked better then even hers. The word ‘cursed’ didn’t seem to fit this-even if he looked like a girl. “I missed you both, last time the game was cut short…” She mumbled before laughing again as he ran off with her again.
Sid growled and was about to strangle the two when Rosemary held her hand up. “Calm down, love. Red can handle herself. Besides, I think it’s sweet.” She said with a dreamy sigh. “It reminds me of when you kidnapped me. Don’t you remember, dearest?”
“Ay.” Sid answered. “I still have the nail and bite marks to prove it.” He added receiving a smile and a sweet kiss.
As soon as the boar stepped out Ryder shot towards the area, knowing that if his sister got hurt, no matter what, he would be blamed and punished. As oldest it was his job to watch the youngest. Lucky for him he made it in time to catch her as she was thrown like a rag doll.
“Oof…” Red groaned before grinning up at Ryder and wrapping her arms around his neck. “My hero~” She cooed dreamingly and jokingly, cupping his face.
“Cut it off!” Ryder snapped and set her down on her feet. “Are you alright?”
“Yes mother.” Red droned.
“That’s not funny! If you get hurt it’s my head!”
Red sighed and hugged her brother close. “I’m fine you meat head. I’m not five anymore.”
Ryder sighed and brushed her hair back lightly. “…I know…” He had never believed Dagur when he said that he’d miss his sister depending on him until now. It’s like he went off on a patrol and came back to a grown girl who could easily kill someone five times her size and strength.
"Hi Astra," Yak and Moose dreamily greeted in unison. "We got all your letters." Yak said. "And we’ve kept every single one!" Moose added.
Baby rolled her eyes at her brothers. They loved Astra because she was the only woman in the entire world who would give them the time of day.
"C’mon, Koll." Baby said, walking up the rickety stairs to her house. "Hi, Grand Pop, how are you doing?"
The old man removed his smoking pipe from his mouth, before crossing his arms. “Fine enough for a man whose a hundred. Whose this little guy?” Grand Pop poked Koll in the forehead with his cane.
"This is Koll, my son." Baby explained, shifting him into another arm.
"Ah, so my Great-Great grandson. C’mere, let me see him." Baby placed Koll on the lap of his Grand Pop. The man took ahold of the child and placed the pipe in his mouth. Koll sucked in air to scream, but began to cough as smoke filled his mouth.
"First time smoking from an original Honeybee pipe." Grand Pop laughed, handing the kid back to his mother. "He reacted way better than any of your brothers did. They all threw up immediately and cried for a week."
Baby laughed slightly, watching as Koll smacked his lips and spitted, trying to get the horrible taste out of his mouth.
"Your momma is in the kitchen." Grand Pop said, jutting a finger towards the house. Baby gulped. "Good luck." Grand Pop said as Baby walked inside.
Her mother was in the kitchen, furiously chopping up rats and squirrels before bending down and grabbing one from a tin bucket next to her. Her brother Nose sat at the table, skinning the small animals and tossing them into the bucket. Nose carefully watched his frantic mother out of the corner of his eye, just in case her knife accidentally slipped and it went flying.
"Baby!" Mern screamed. Baby automatically placed Koll on the floor. Mern flew in and squeezed her only daughter to death. Baby’s face started to become a shade of light blue before Mern released her.
Baby gasped, refilling her lungs back up with air. “I missed you two, Mom.”
"I’m so happy you decided to leave that retched island and come home." She said happily, going back to her rats.
Baby felt her heart drop all the way into Hel. “No, Mom. I’m here to help you get back into the Marble.” Mern dropped her knife, letting it clatter loudly on the floor. She gripped the side of the counter till her knuckles went white. Nose looked up from his work with wide eyes, before softening.
"I’m sorry, Mom. But Berserk-"
"It’s not that, Baby.” Mern whispered, shutting her eyes tightly. “I don’t want to talk about the Marble right now.” Mern resumed her work with a happy face, like nothing.
"Go get your father, it’s almost dinnertime. Your friends can eat at the table with us. I’ll just kick your cousins off to their own table at their part of the house.”
Baby nodded, walking past Nose who whispered to her. “This behavior has been common for the past couple weeks. Ever since we left the Marble, she’s been really sensitive when you try to talk to her about it.”
Baby listened, before nodding at his warning. She’ll have to be careful about discussing it. Baby walked up the crooked steps that leaned dramatically because of the sinking. The stairs weren’t very long, but once she got to the top she was panting heavily. Baby leaned her back against a wall, taking slow and deep breaths. She wiped off the sweat that built on her forehead before walking into her parents room to wake up the sleeping bear.
It took a few good pushes and stabs with the sword underneath the bed, but her father did get up. They walked down the stairs together, before going to take their seat at the table. Koll was already sitting in the family’s old highchair, whining for his mother. Baby sat next to her son, patting his head.
"Dammit, where’s my soup, woman?!" Grand Pop yelled from his chair. "I already gave it to you, Daddy!" Mern responded, pointing to the wooden bowl in front of him. Mern rolled her eyes, continuing to stir the pot. In the middle of the table sat the large pot. Inside it, pieces of visible rat and squirrel bobbed around the surface. Baby dunked her son’s bowl into the soup, making sure to get a few tails and heads since they were the best part. "Here, sweetie." Baby said, placing the bowl in front of him. She also grabbed a piece of burnt bread. She smashed it against the table a few times till it finally cracked. With all of her strength, Baby ripped it apart into two. "Here’s yours." Baby placed the rock hard bread next to his bowl. Next she filled a smaller bowl with porridge, with what looked like squirming worms squirming through the burnt surface. Last but not least, Baby filled up a bottle with Bertha’s milk, the only thing that was remotely fresh on the table. Baby began to make her own plate, watching as her sweat-drenched brothers, Teeth and Toenail, walked in.
"I’m sitting here." Teeth announced, taking the seat. Toenail sat one chair away from his brother, the middle for Red. The rest of her brothers took their respective seats. Baby counted the remaining, and there was just enough for the rest to sit.
Astra couldn’t help but smile brighter. “I’ve kept yours too.” She said happily. She kept them for a different reason, for documentation, but that’s what she thought they meant.
Dagur knew their meaning and fought back a smile. Yes, Dagur was protective of his sister and after their visit he’d be keeping Astra close, but it was cute how oblivious she was to anyone liking her. Besides…a part of him knew that if the game had continued and the twins did win they would have let Astra go. And that’s what he found sad.
With the healer vow his sister could never have any kind of relationship with anyone. Yes, she could break the vow and forfeit like their mother did, but Astra felt this was her job to continue where their mother left off and she wouldn’t give up. Not to mention that because of her oblivious behavior any person would have to point blank tell her and risk her becoming scared and hiding or her yelling or poisoning them.
Dagur and the other Berserkers looked as they were called, Rosemary huffed as she broke her and Sid’s kiss, remembering where she was and the deal she made with Dagur. She was only allowed to come with if she held herself back until they were done because Dagur didn’t want Sid distracted. Everyone headed in, only Sid had trouble getting through the door because of his height and not letting go of his wife, and they began to sit around the table. Dagur sat next to Baby and Astra next to him, Sid took a seat, sharing it with Rosemary which luckily didn’t break, the boys not taking seats as they decided to stand.
“Hello Mern.” Dagur greeted, still feeling some anger towards the woman but hiding it to give a friendly manor to her.
Red watched as Nose tried to pull Teeth and Toenail out, not offering help since she wasn’t asked and because Ryder wasn’t letting go of her.
“Let’s go.” Ryder said, finally letting go of his little sister who smiled up at him and followed.
“See you inside boys!” Red called over her shoulder and not seconds later the two ran past her and she giggled again as she knew they were claiming seats.
“You enjoy their attention, huh?” Ryder questioned and Red nodded.
“I thought Astra gave you medicine to try and fix that?” Ryder questioned.
“She did and she said it’s working, but it’ll take a surgery that she can’t do unless I remain inactive for a week.”
Ryder snorted. “Don’t tell mother that. She’ll tie you down and make sure you don’t move a muscle.”
Red laughed nervously as they entered the hut and once again smiled brightly as her assumption was proven correct. “May I sit here?” She asked Toenail and Teeth before pulling the seat out and sitting down.
Ryder rolled his eyes and joined his brothers standing against the wall. “Ever wonder who’d win if mother and father got into a fight?” He questioned quietly to his younger brothers.
“All the time.” Ross answered only to be slapped outside the head by Rock.
“Don’t.” He hissed.
“Why do you ask?” Ronald asked raising an eyebrow.
“Because I think Red’s serious about those two.” Ryder said and the others’ paled. They’d see a fight all right. Sid would want to murder the two and Rosemary would rejoice and protect them. Needless to say, both were dominant people and the siblings were sure this could cause a war that the gods themselves wouldn’t want to be involved in.