bachmanroad: (4000 year old grandpa)
[personal profile] bachmanroad
Rating: T

Pairings: None

Characters: Denmark, Norway, and human characters

Warnings: Historical

Author's Notes: The third chapter is up! I realized I haven't put the dates for chapter two and added back in.

April 11th, 1912

Norway blinks a couple of times before rising from the sheets with a yawn. He scratches the back of his head, smacking his lips a few times and then looks around the stateroom. Across from him lies Denmark’s bed and it is already been made for the day. But the Dane in question is nowhere to be seen, even if Norway waits a little in expectation that he would appear momentarily. For a moment he wonders where the other is before a hard knock at the door pulls him from his thoughts.

“Come in.” he says with another yawn. The door clicks open and Norway sees it’s not Denmark returning from his adventures on board but instead Henrik, whom smiles as he carries a sliver tray into the room. “Good morning sir, I hope you slept well.” the older man asks.

“Quite. I hardly even noticed the vibrations.” Norway replies. Henrik smiles and walks over to the blond’s bed, setting the tray down in his lap. He lifts the lid and Norway sees a plate of scones, fruit, and jelly spread out before him. “I’m sorry if this isn’t enough, but you’re going to have to dine downstairs for the full breakfast menu.” Henrik informs.

“That’s all right. I’ll be satisfied with this.” Norway thanks. The older man nods and then pours him a cup of coffee before turning around to open the windows. A breeze sweeps through the open pane and Norway sighs in content when it hits his face. “Suppose you know where we’re heading today?” he wonders.

“If I remember correctly,” Henrik ruffles the curtains a little before turning his head to the Norwegian. “We have one more stop before heading out to sea.” he said. He then drifts toward the center of the room, looking for anything that might need a little touch up. “Hope that isn’t an issue with you. You know how travel is these days.” Henrik chuckles.

“As long as there isn’t any hold ups like yesterday, I’ll be ecstatic,” Norway takes a sip of his coffee and reaches for the newspaper rolled beside his plate. He unravels it and then scans a few headlines before flicking his eyes over to Denmark’s empty bed again. “Henrik, do you know where Denmark is?” he asks.

“I’m not sure. I did not see him in the corridor beforehand.” Henrik admits. He narrows his eyes at the mirror hung over the vanity and wipes a smudge away with his thumb. “But not to worry; he’s probably just figuring out the layout of this vessel.” the older man suggests.

Norway nods in agreement. He takes another sip of his coffee, “True. This is quite a large ship isn’t?” he adds. Norway then reaches for a scone and bites into it.

“Oh certainly! I’ve been on many liners before, not on one quite like this.” Henrik said in amazement. “It’s quite a floating palace. Such exquisite interiors; you know that staircase we saw while boarding yesterday? It goes straight up to the boat deck, topped with a dome made of glass and iron.” he describes.

“I also overheard a conversation and apparently, there’s a squash court somewhere below us. Wouldn’t that be fun to have a few games in?” Henrik said.

“Perhaps. It might give me the chance to knock Denmark down a few pegs.” Norway smirks.

The older man chuckles as he straightens the sheets on Denmark’s bed. Wiping his hands, he steps back and scans the stateroom closely. It appears everything is in good condition. Well, better condition, now that he’s gotten through his personal check. “Will there be anything else you need?” Henrik turns to Norway.

Norway shakes his head and the older man nods accordingly. He then leaves the blond be, quietly closing the door behind him. Norway finishes the rest of his plate and coffee before swinging his legs over the bed’s side with a grunt. He rises with another grunt and then walks over to the window. Taking a peek outside, he notices how fair the weather is and tilts his head down to see the wake ripple across the placid ocean.

It had been a quiet morning at Roche’s Point when suddenly, a series of masts and funnels appeared on the horizon. At first glance a person could have mistaken them for a fleet of steamers making their way into port. But as the masts and funnels drew ever so close to shore, one could see that they were not from a series of vessels, but a single leviathan instead. The large ship continued approaching the shore until it came to a graceful stop off Roche’s Point and its old lighthouse. With the drop of her anchor and a blast from her whistle, the Titanic had arrived at her last port of call, Queenstown in Ireland.

Denmark steps outside and tugs on his jacket a little before glancing around. The Promenade Deck was quite large and expansive, running the full length of A-Deck with the forward half enclosed by windows to prevent spray from the sea hitting passengers. He waves to couple of people lounging in a few deck chairs and then walks over to the railing. His lips curl into a smile as he looks out to the cliffs and crags of the Irish coast, as well as the rolling pastures that are just beyond the tumbling surf. Eventually, the Dane’s eyes fall on the little town straddling the coast, which he spots a fleet of boats sailing from its direction.

As they drew closer to the idle ocean liner, Denmark could see two of them were in fact tenders, no doubt bringing passengers and luggage aboard. He leans over the rail a little to get a better look at one tender easing itself underneath Titanic’s shadow and then waves to the people crowding the boat’s upper decks. Some do notice him and wave right back, much to the blond’s delight.

“Oh there are you are sir!” Denmark looks over his shoulder to see Sissel darting over to him with a smile. He stands properly and then turns around to meet her smile with one of his own. “’ey there! Am I in trouble or somethin’?” he chuckles.

“No, no, at least to my knowledge.” Sissel says a little out of breath. She pauses for a moment to catch her breath again. “It’s just that Norway has been asking for your whereabouts this morning.” she explains.

“Now don’t tell m’ he’s been makin’ ‘ya run around decks just to find m’!” Denmark chuckles. He pats her on the shoulder and then gestures to the railing. “Well Norway has nothin’ to worry about; I’ve been doin’ fine by m’self, been watchin’ the tenders come in!” he points over the rail.

Sissel looks over the rail and feels the smile on her face make an abrupt exit. Until now she never considered the disparity between Titanic’s decks and the ocean’s surface. It seemed like a fifty foot drop from where she stood, and that was just her being on the Promenade Deck. For a moment her eyes focus on the ocean sloshing against the ship’s hull, her mind imaging herself falling from such a great height. But the young woman manages to swallow her fear of going overboard and then turns to see the tenders alongside.

“Yes, yes… a great way to spend a morning…” Sissel said slowly, almost detached. She takes a step back from the rail and lace her fingers together in an attempt to regain calmness. She turns away when Denmark raises an eyebrow and eyes her warily. “Um… shall we have a walk toward the bows?” Sissel suddenly suggests.

The Dane opens his mouth to say something but then at the last moment keeps quiet. He takes the other’s suggestion and they both start walking toward the bow with Sissel leading him at first. Their pace slows down eventually, and Denmark offers his arm which Sissel takes accordingly. “So, how was yer mornin’?” he asks to break the silence.

“It was fine. Nothing out of the ordinary.” Sissel replies. They pass an elderly couple lounging together in a few deck chairs. Upon seeing the two, the wife whispers into her husband’s ear and then compliments Sissel on her ‘good’ taste in suitors. That makes her blush in embarrassment while Denmark shakes head with a chuckle.

“Well that’s good to hear. I’ve been havin’ a great mornin’ if I say so m’self; got up early, had a few stretches, ate a hearty breakfast. I’ve also been learnin’ the ropes of this ship; port ‘n starboard, bow to stern, where the purser’s office is, that sort of thing.” Denmark lists off.

“Sounds like you had a productive morning. But pardon me, ‘learning the ropes’ you say?” Sissel smirks and then pokes Denmark’s arm. “Shouldn’t an experienced sailor like yourself already knew where port and starboard is?” she giggles.

They walk past the windows pertaining to the First Class Lounge. The curtains are open, letting them both peer into the elegant room where scores of passengers are mingling about with one another. Denmark scratches his head at Sissel’s remark and then shrugs.

“Nothin’ wrong with goin’ over the stuff ‘ya already know. Plus I got to keep m’ old mind sharp. Can’t risk goin’ senile now!” Denmark laughs.

“Right… right! I almost forgot; you’re quite older than you look. In fact, you’re probably the oldest passenger onboard! I hope Copenhagen is giving you a considerable annuity when you retire.” the young woman said with a nod of guarantee.

“But let me ask you; do you ever think about your predicament? What I mean by that is, how does your body react to injuries or even losing a tooth if you don’t age?” Sissel wonders.

Denmark scratches the back of his head before leaving Sissel’s side to open the door to the First Class Entrance. “Confusing isn’t it? I don’t know the answer m’self really. I’d guess it’s just how things are.” he answers while letting her inside first. “At least, that’s how I’ve been going’ with it.” the blond adds while closing the door behind him.

Sissel nods again and then decides not to pursue Denmark anymore on that particular subject. It’s probably something she’ll never truly understand, even if someone did give her a reasonable explanation.

While the pair made their way from the vestibule and into the First Class Entrance proper, Norway was quickly climbing the steps of Titanic’s fabled Grand Staircase. Upon reaching A-Deck he stood near the landing momentarily before spotting Denmark and Sissel coming from the outside together. He smirks when seeing them and then walks over with his arms crossed. “Almost thought I’d lost you on this floatin’ palace. Thanks for findin’ him in one piece Sissel.” Norway says with a hint of tease towards the Dane.

The young woman nods and then politely eases out of Denmark’s grip. “It was no trouble sir. We had a good time walking back.” Sissel remarks. She smiles at the taller man and turns to Norway. “I’ll leave you gentleman be then. Have a good day.” she beams.

Denmark waves as Sissel goes off on her own, only to yelp when the Norwegian reaches up and gives his cheek a pinch. “What was that for?!” he whines while cooing his reddening face.

“You 'ought to be careful now. The two of you were actin’ a little too close for comfort. Do you want people to think you’re another couple on their honeymoon?” Norway warns with a frown.

“I don’t see a problem with that. We look cute as a couple.” the blond chuckles before Norway pinches his other cheek. Denmark yelps again and then holds his face with both hands. “No need to be so harsh!” he cries.

Norway shakes his head and sighs. He then glances around the room, his frown softening. “Quite an entrance hall, isn’t it?” he comments. Denmark nods in agreement and looks around himself.

Indeed, the room was probably the apex of shipboard elegance, and the Grand Staircase was the crowing jewel of it all. Beaded chandeliers hung from the ceiling, which gave ample lighting that complimented the oak paneling and the banister’s iron grillwork. There was a bronze putti adorning the central banister and above the half-landing a clock was mounted on the wall, surrounded by an intricate wooden carving. A large, oval glass dome dominated the room with its wrought iron and chandelier that hung in the center. Truly, no other place on board captured the magnificence that was First Class.

Norway starts climbing the staircase with Denmark following close behind. The Dane pauses to get a better look at the clock and the woodwork encasing it before meeting the other on the Boat Deck. “So how was yer mornin’?” he questions.

“It was fine. Had breakfast in bed. Talked with Henrik a little.” Norway recalls. He looks over the rail at passengers mingling about and then walks towards the vestibule leading outside. “Seems like you and Sissel were having a grand time together. At least, until I ruined it.” the blond reaches for the door and opens it.

“I swear, ‘ya sound so jealous right now.” Denmark says while stepping out. “Ya know that right?” Norway raises an eyebrow while closing the door behind him.

“You’re bein’ ridiculous. Why would I be jealous?” the Norwegian frowns. He watches as the other shrugs and then sees that goofy grin of his stretch across his face.

“Well, ‘ya do have a history of bein’ rather… peculiar, whenever someone takes interest in m’. Now I’m not sayin’ Sissel has the hots for m’ but –” Denmark gets shut up by another pinch to his cheek.

Norway rolls his eyes in annoyance. He walks past the windows to the First Class Gymnasium on his right and the lifeboats on his left. “If your ego was any bigger, you’d capsize the Titanic.” he said. Of course, he pretends the flush he feels in his cheeks is caused by something else than Denmark’s instigation.

Walking further along the deck, their drawn to the rail when seeing other passengers waving from it. Peering over the rail they discover the tenders and the little flotilla of crafts were sailing back to Queenstown. It wasn’t long before everyone on deck heard a blast from Titanic’s whistle, signifying her time in port was over. The anchor was raised soon after and the ocean liner slowly turned itself seaward once more. For those on board, it would be the last glimpse of not only Ireland, but Europe as well.

Denmark and Norway stood top deck and watch as the coast gradually shrunk from sight. “Looks like it’s goin’ to be us old men ‘n the sea again.” Denmark sighs with a hint of melancholy. Norway nods slowly and then turns his sight seaward, where the weather is fair and the ocean welcoming.

Seven days out on the calm sea. This should be quite easy.

Further Notes

Titanic’s last port of call was Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland. 113 Third Class and seven Second Class passengers came aboard while seven left. Among the departures was Father Francis Browne, a Jesuit trainee, who was a keen photographer and took many photographs aboard Titanic, including the last-ever known photograph of the ship.

Titanic had its own newspaper printed on board called the Atlantic Daily Bulletin. It provided passengers with the latest news and gossip.

Ocean liners can experience vibrations from their engines. While the Olympic and the Titanic were noted for their minimum vibration, their Cunard rivals however were not. In fact, the Lusitania initially experienced vibrations so severely that her Second Class accommodations in the stern were rendered uninhabitable because of it.

The Promenade Deck was on A-Deck and it was exclusively reserved for First Class passengers, with the majority of the First Class public rooms found on this deck. Unlike her sister ship, the forward part of Titanic’s Promenade Deck was enclosed with retractable windows.

The intricate wooden craving surrounding the clock on the Grand Staircase depicted a scene called ‘Honor & Glory crowing Time’. While Titanic’s clock was lost in the sinking, her sister ship’s, the Olympic, survives to this day.


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October 2015


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