Gift of the Viking
"Love is...putting someone else's needs before yours."-Olaf
Astrid dug through her chest hoping to find what she needs. Tearing through clothes and family drawings she reached the bottom, but she didn't find it. Her eyes welled up but she refused to let the tears fall. She sighed in defeat and turned at the messy pile that was made from the contents. Silently and carefully, she just returned the items to their place in proper order before closing the chest and resting her arms on the lid.
"What am I going to do?" she sighed. "Snoggletog is coming soon and I've got nothing."
She contemplates through the valuables she threw in her room. The clothes are only of use to her and those drawings are of value to Hiccup as they are to herself. She opened the chest with a more gentle touch and picked up a drawing of Hiccup and herself with their families surrounding them. She smiled and looked up at the shield that bears the same image, courtesy of Bucket and his art skills. That day was the best of her's and Hiccup's lives.
At the center of the shield Astrid saw a reflection of her axe, casually leaning against a wall. She turned and gasped as an idea was planted in her mind.
No you can't!
But it may do.
It's your mother's Astrid!
And it's mine now. I'll do what I want with it.
Astrid scowled in frustration knowing what her answer is. She glared at the axe that she bore since her youth and nodded at her resolution.
You may never get it back!
Astrid walked to the axe and took in her hands. She stared at her reflection as memories of herself and her companion flashed in her mind. She shook her head and turned away with small tears.
This isn't about me. It's about Hiccup!
With her head held high she carried her treasure down the stairs and grabbed her cape that hung by the door. She went outside into the white snow and looked for her dragon, who is currently playing with cold element. Stormfly turned and greeted her rider with a squawk before coming to her and giving a friendly nuzzle.
"Hey girl." Astrid stroked her dragon's snouthorn and smiled with affection.
Stormfly eyed Astrid's axe with curiosity, giving it a sniff.
"There's someplace we have to go to, ok?" Stormfly stared at Astrid who looked longingly at her axe before shaking off her sad look. She nuzzled again in concern but her rider just shook her head with a solemn smile, patting her blue scales. Astrid climbed onto her dragon and the pair took off to the cold, snowy, wind.
They landed on the docks by Trader Johan's boat and Astrid slid off, giving Stormfly a pat before stepping over to the merchant.
"Ah Astrid, one of my best customers! I was almost going to close up for the holiday, and might I say that I wish you and your husband a happy Snoggletog!"
Astrid gave a small smile. "Thanks, I hope you have a great one as well."
Trader Johan lay a hand by a barrel casually. "So what can I offer ya today? Anything special for Hiccup? I have this new exotic spice that shall make any of your meals to die for." He held up a jar of the spice with a hopeful smile.
Astrid laughed a little. "No, I'm hoping to get the gold dust I saw last time that you were here." She gave a look around for the dust, praying it hasn't all been traded.
"Well I just happen to have the last jar." He took said jar from a hidden spot and Astrid thanked the gods. "But it will cost you an arm and a leg. Literally, the Viking whom I got it from lost both finding it." He eyed the jar with amusement, recalling the anecdote.
Astrid breathed deeply and held out her axe. "Will this do?"
Trader Johan settled the jar on a barrel and inspected the double bladed weapon, winging it occasionally in test. "Hm, sharp. A good blade. Not bad to look at. Still in good condition I see. Well this is something of great value, I believe it shall do perfectly. Astrid, you've got yourself a deal."
Astrid sighed in relief as she and Trader Johan shook hands.
"This axe is weapon fit for a fine warrior like yourself." he stated in amusement.
"It's my mothers." Astrid admitted sadly, not looking at the weapon she's giving up. She turned to the merchant, who looked at her in concern. "Just give me the jar."
Trader Johan handed it to her and she took the jar and smiled without changing her mind. "Thank you, and happy Snoggletog." she nodded to Trader Johan before slipping it into her skirt pouch and climbing on her dragon. Trader Johan waved goodbye to her before settling the axe, on the starboard his ship, in front of a Viking helmet.
Astrid covered her face from the strong wind that bit her cheeks. She blinked her eyes until she could see her home through obscure vision. She smiled at it, oblivious to the snowflakes until a sharp pain hit her eyes.(*)
"Ah!" she gasped, covering the injured eye. Her dragon looked up in concern.
"It's fine, we just need to get home." Stormfly nodded and the two landed by the frost covered house. They marched through the hard breeze as it wrapped around them, Astrid shivered at it's cold. She mustered up some strength and pushed the door open, coming inside, and her dragon followed. Once they were in the wind pulled the door to a slam.
"Gods!" Astrid breathed, still shivering. "Is Hodhr angry or something?"(*) She wiped her injured eye and looked at her hand, but didn't see anything.
"Hm" she thought to herself and wiped her eye again, this time feeling no injury.
Stromfly shook the winter off her scales and then saw it spread around the room and on the furniture. She turned to Astrid, who crossed her arms and rose an eyebrow.
Her dragon gave an innocent look and Astrid just shook her head in amusement. "Never mind Stormfly. I'll just clean it up and you can stay by the fire."
Stormfly perked up and licked her rider for the forgiveness before lighting the fire and settling down. Astrid smirked at her dragon before going upstairs and changed out her cold wet clothes.
She sat on the bed and sighed with content at the warmth and dryness. Turning to her wet clothes she opened her pouch and took out the jar that bared no scratch on it. She sighed in relief before settling in on the trunk.
"All I need is the helmet." Astrid dug through Hiccup's chest but to no avail. She frowned and looked through her own, the closet, and under the bed.
"What the Helhien's Gate?" Astrid swore under her breath and frowned. Where is it? She hadn't seen Hiccup wearing it when he left, surely he wouldn't in this raging storm. She looked around for any place the helmet could be but there was no other. She went through the house while her dragon watched but the helmet was nowhere.
"Is this some kind of trick sent by Loki?" Astrid frowned, looking up to the god of mischief. "Because if it is I swear I'll..."
The shieldmaiden wiped her head around to see a Viking wearing riding gear with a Night Fury by his side. His headpiece was carried in one arm while the other wiped the snow off his hair. He rubbed a sore eye while his dragon companion shook the snow off himself before settling by the fire with Stormfly.
"Hiccup! Umm...hi. I was just wondering when you'd be back." Astrid laughed nervously, leaning against a table in a casual matter.
"Well I'm here now." Hiccup gave a crooked smile before looking at her hopefully. "Astrid, may I have a look at your axe?"
Astrid's eyes widened. "My axe?"
"Yeah, only for quick inspection at the forge."
Astrid turned away to hide the panic showing on her face. Hiccup wants my axe. Why?
She turned to her husband who waited patiently. Think Astrid! Think!
"Why...would you want my axe Hiccup?" she blurted.
Really, that's the best excuse you can come up with?
Hiccup bit his lip nervously, shifting his eyes from her gaze. Astrid frowned at the sight. What is Hiccup hiding this time?
"I ugh I just need to see it. That's all, and don't worry. I won't break it." Hiccup gave a reassuring smile. In fact, I think you'll love even more.
Astrid crossed her arms. "For what?"
Hiccup's smile fell. He nervously rubbed the back of his neck. "Oh you know for... something."
Astrid raised an eyebrow. "Something?"
She gave a curt nod. "Okay then, tell me what it is."
Dang it, why doesn't she just do what I ask! Hiccup sighed and looked at his wife who still waited for an answer.
"Just...Just some project at the forge you know."
"And what does my axe have to do with it?"
This time Hiccup frowned impatiently. Why is asking me all these questions? Doesn't she trust me?
"Don't you trust me?" Hiccup stepped closer to her and settled his headpiece on the table, crossing his arms right after.
Astrid's frown turned to a glare. "Yes, but I'd just like to know exactly what are you planning to do with my axe." Why couldn't you just tell me Hiccup?! What are you up to this time?!
Hiccup frowned deepened. "Maybe I don't have to tell you everything I do in my life."
His wife's anger grew at the stinging words. "What?! Are you keeping secrets from me?!"
"Why should I have to tell about everything I do in the day?!"
"I don't ask you about everything! I just want to know what's going on!"
"Oh! So you don't trust me."
"What? Yes I do Hiccup! You always have my full trust. Maybe you shouldn't abuse that by keeping things from others!"
Hiccup looked away, hiding the hurt on his face from Astrid. "And maybe you shouldn't pry into everyone's business."
Astrid gaped at his words before walking up to her husband and standing next to him. they looked briefly at each other, Astrid glaring and Hiccup with sadness, before Astrid gave a hard punch to his stomach.
Hiccup gasped in pain before clutching his abdominal. Toothless, sensing his rider's distress came to the two Vikings. He looked at Hiccup in concern and then Astrid. His eyes shifted to his rider before widening in realization, and then he snarled at Astrid, who stood back with a look of guilt.
"No Toothless. Don't, it's my fault bud."
Toothless looked at Hiccup in confusion, and then to Astrid. She shook her head with a "Just forget it." before walking up the stairs.
Hiccup sat by the table, his stomach still in pain from the hit, before sighing and looking at his dragon.
"Sometimes I feel like an idiot bud."
Toothless nuzzled his rider in concern and Hiccup placed his hands on his friend's head. "I mean...I just wanted to see her axe. She could've just said no right?"
Toothless looked at his rider. And you could've told her the truth.(*)
"Toothless, I know what you mean but this was suppose to be a surprise."
Hiccup's friend just crooned back. But was it worth this?
The rider just looked away solemnly. They sat in silence together thinking about the event.
Astrid sat on the bed with her arms crossed, refusing to let the tears fall. Her lip quivered but she only let out a sigh.
Astrid, why did you have to pry in to Hiccup's business.?
It's my axe! Why couldn't he just tell me?
Why couldn't you just trust him?
Astrid looked down in shame and growled. Now she wished for her axe to throw at the wall. In the end she resolved to her boot. She sighed and looked at the jar with the gold dust. Taking in in her hands she examined it, opening to see the shimmering specks.
Smiling fondly at the thought of her gift for Hiccup she closed the jar and walked down the stairs with it in her hands.
Just talk to him. Don't leave him with this between you two.
Astrid went to the kitchen to see Hiccup and Toothless still there. She see him place two spearheads that have been attached together with one ring between them and decorated with shimmering jewels.
Astrid gasped in marvel at it their beauty and Hiccup, hearing her voice, turned to her direction.
"I was going to attach this to your axe, and I didn't tell you because I wanted it to be a surprise."
Astrid walked to the tale and settled the jar on it. Taking the spearheads in her hands she gazed at the gems that bear her reflection in multicolors. Turning to her husband she letted her eyes well up with a look that begged for forgiveness.
Astrid Hofferson of course he would do this for you! You know how much he loves you!
As do I.
Astrid settled the gift, feeling unworthy of holding it.
Tell him the truth. He told you it and now it's your turn.
Hiccup stood up to leave but Astrid grabbed his arm with a "Wait" and he did.
Astrid took the jar and slipped it into Hiccup's palm. He opened it and sees the gold dust. Looking up he gave his wife a confused glance.
"I wanted to design the Hooligan symbol on your helmet as a decoration with this. I'm sorry for ruining your surprise." She looked his gift again. "It's beautiful."
Hiccup's eyes widened at her statement. He bit his lip again and settled the jar by the spearheads. He took his wife hand and she turned to him. He gave a sad smile before kissing her forehead. "I'm sorry."
A warm tear ran down Astrid's eye. She smiled in compassion be fore kissing his cheek. "Yeah, me too."
A warm tear ran down Hiccup's eye and the two held eachother. The storm raged on outside but they didn't care. Their dragons came to the lovers and greeted them with licks and purrs. Both laughed and hugged their dragons with love, before putting an arm around eachother. They stood in silence, enjoying the warmth. Finally the wind silenced, after one strong howl, outside and the snow stopped falling. A warm sunshine glowed to the window.
Hiccup chuckled in thought and Astrid looked to her love asking "What's so funny Dragon-Boy?"
"It's just that, your gift wasn't easy. I mean the spearheads were pice of cake to forge, but the gems would've cost me an arm and a leg. The only thing of value I got was my helmet and that's what I traded away for them."
Astrid pulled away from his embrace. "Wait...what?"
Hiccup shrugged. "Trader Johan thought it was a great treasure since it belongs to the future chief of the tribe and I got nothing else."
"So, you traded away your helmet to get the gems for my axe which I gave away to get the gold dust for."
Hiccup gave a nervous chuckle. "Yeah, I guess."
Silence filled the room, and them bursts of laughter came strongly like a gust of wind. The dragons shrugged at their humans behavior before joining in. The two Vikings laughed so hard more tears streamed down their cheeks. In the end they wiped eachothers tears settling with small chuckles.
"Tell you what" Hiccup stated "Why don't we just put these gifts away and have Snoggletog dinner. I'll help you make the Yaknog."(*)
Astrid nodded in agreement. "Sure Hiccup, with you the Yaknog a little less tasteless." She gave light punch to the arm, with affection this time, as Hiccup took the gifts to their room.
That night they feasted on chicken, cake, and the improved Yaknog, while their dragons had Icelandic Cod, before they all curled up together by the fire. Astrid and Hiccup turned face to face and shared a kiss, their foreheads lay together as they enjoyed the warmth. Enjoyed the love. The sunlight shone around them, but their smiles couldn't be brighter.
(*) This is a reference to the original Snow Queen, not the cool Disney movie Frozen.
(*) Hodhr is the Norse god of winter who was often manipulated by Loki and accidentally killed his brother, Baldr, by throwing a shaft of mistletoe.
(*) This story was suppose to be a Christmas one-shot, despite it publishing at a late time.