Ragnar Lothbrok dies, and there is nothing but light. A blinding fog that chokes his eyes and tastes like ashes on his tongue. There are no valkyries, no angels. Time has lost all meaning. He lies there for hours or days. The cloud of white surrounding him in comfort and agony.
Then, suddenly, the light gives way to dusk, though darkness does not come. Ragnar is in a field of green not far from Kattegat, the air thick with the promise of rain. In the distance, a familiar voice is echoing in prayer.
Ragnar groans as footsteps approach. He blinks against the overcast sky. “I won’t lie,” that same familiar voice says, closer now, their feet padding through the muck, “I’d expected you sooner. Do you know how long it’s been?”
Another groan. Ragnar turns his head, seeing him then. Athelstan, exactly as he appeared his last day on Earth.
“Where am I?”
Athelstan smiles. “Does it matter?” He kicks Ragnar’s side gently. “Get up.”
Ragnar expects his bones to ache as he makes it to his feet, but his body is new again. No pain, no scars. In front of him, Athelstan continues to smile.
“Am I in Heaven?”
“No. And yes. You’re in Valhalla, too. Everywhere and nowhere. Turns out we were both right, both wrong.”
Ragnar’s eyes dart around, the clouds above parting to the sun. “I don’t understand.”
“I still don’t either. All I know is…” Athelstan moves close, taking Ragnar’s hand in his own. “You land where your heart belongs. That’s what God is. The truth of your love eternal.”
Ragnar’s face twists with emotion. He thinks of pushing Athelstan away, certain it’s a trick of his dying mind. Instead, he bundles him close, grips the soft hair of his nape and holds him tight against his chest.
“Is it really you?”
Athelstan laughs. “I knew you wouldn’t believe it.”
“You should know, I lost all sense of faith at the end. In my Gods and in yours.”
Athelstan pulls back, eyes shining. “And what about in me?”
Ragnar pulls in one shaking breath, thumbing at Athelstan’s cheek. “Never.”
Drinks All of the Coffee: Michiru’s not much of a coffee drinker but after they move in together and she sees Haruka go through a pot and a half in two hours she thinks she might have to start just to save Haruka from herself.
Brings up adopting a pet: It’s all fun and games until Haruka get the toddler in on the idea of a puppy. Michiru asks if Luna can stay with them for the week and they call it good.
Kills the Bugs: Haruka is definitely the bug killer. It’s not that Michiru doesn’t like bugs, it’s just that Haruka thinks it’s her duty to kill them. And Michiru’s not exactly going to tell her any differently.
Cooks the meals: Out of the two of them, Michiru is the better cook. Haruka pretty much survives like a college student who’s only kitchen is a microwave and a toaster but even still she can manage most things. Michiru is just better with the stove top.
Starts getting into holidays way before they should: Oddly enough, Michiru. Haruka is incredibly specific about when holidays can start being celebrated because each holiday must have equal time being celebrated you can’t leave any out Michiru. Michiru starts thinking about holidays in the approximate month no matter if it fits Haruka’s schedule or not.
Initiates the couple selfies: You would think that Haruka would initiate them more, but actually Michiru does it under the guise of checking her make up or something - “Haruka do you think this lipstick looks good?” “wha?” click - so Michiru’s Instagram is full of Haruka being cute and unsuspecting and practically candid because that’s how Michiru thinks she looks her most handsome.
Forgets the birthdays and anniversaries: Michiru’s never had a good grasp with dates, if only because for so long she was concerned with the world ending and who knew when that was going to be? Haruka on the other hand forgets until the day of and then it’s like a switch in her head.
Always ends up with too much junk food after grocery shopping: Definitely Haruka are you kidding? Haruka’s not allowed to go shopping by herself for a while - Michiru always sends Hotaru with her because Hotaru is more likely to inspire Haruka to remember to eat nutritiously.
Nicknames the other: They both have nicknames for each other! Haruka thinks she’s clever when she calls Michiru her “siren” when she’s feeling rather affectionate or exasperated and Michiru specifically reserves “Speed Racer” for when Haruka’s being stubborn or particularly hard headed.