The ice cold wind cuts across Hiccup's face as he and his sleek, black dragon race through the cold winter skies. He likes these chilled outings with Toothless, they help to clear his confused mind. So much has happened in so short a time. He had shot down a dragon after years of trying, only to find he couldn't finish the job. Then, he befriended the stricken creature, learning all that his people believed they knew about dragons was wrong. He managed to use that knowledge to earn the respect of his tribe in Dragon Training, only to lose it at the end because they didn't want to accept what he tried to show them. Afterwards, he saved his people from a monster that was actually fitting to their mistaken beliefs of the creatures' devilish nature, and along the way through all of this, he had managed to capture the attention of the girl of his dreams.
He still doesn't believe it's all real. Yet, it all is so clearly real...except for the part about the girl. She had kissed him twice, once by the lake after their first flight together, then again after he woke up from his recovery. Although Astird's kisses had left him ecstatic, the emptiness of what followed, or rather, what didn't follow, has left him wanting, empty, and confused.
A couple of days after Hiccup awoke, Astrid and her father went on a hunting trip that lasted over a week. After she came back, she was distant, aloof. For the last couple of weeks since then, she avoided him. The few times they ended up running into each other and he tried talking, the conversation had been awkward, jilted. Each time she quickly excused herself, begging off with some excuse of chores, duties to her parents, or gave no reason at all.
Toothless wheels in the clouds as Hiccup's mind whirls with confusion as he thinks about it. After she kissed him, the boy had thought things were finally going his way, that he had gotten the girl. Now it seemed to be a complete disaster.
To add to the confusion, Hiccup had many times caught Astrid watching him from afar. Whether it was while he worked at the forge, training others to fly dragons, or as went his way about town, Hiccup would often catch her staring, only for her to look hurriedly away, usually leaving after being discovered.
Hiccup scowls as he turns Toothless back toward Berk. He wants to stay out longer, hoping the cold would numb the hurt he was feeling, but his fingers are too numb to push it any further. The sun is on its way down, and he didn't want to be in the air at night, during the dead of winter. That was a good way to lose his fingers, or maybe his other foot.
Flying over the quiet town, Hiccup guides Toothless towards home. All the boy wants now is a mug of hot tea and an end to another frustrating day of being the hero who didn't get the girl. As such, he's stunned to see Astrid sitting in front of his house when he and Toothhless make their final descent. She hops up and waves at him with a big smile as the boy and his dragon pass over his house, flying around towards the back.
The dragon flaps a few times as they land, sending gusts of wind whirling about. Hiccup glances over in confusion as Astrid comes around the house from the front. His heart races with excitement while his gut churns nervously.
"Did you have a good flight?" the girl asks him eagerly with a smile as he unhooks himself from the saddle. Toothless shows his excitement to see her, bouncing over while still carrying Hiccup. The boy yelps and quickly grips the saddle with both hands to keep from falling off, causing Astrid to giggle. Hiccup dismounts, sliding off his friend's back and watching Astrid with a perplexed expression as she starts to scratch the dragon under his neck.
He tries to answer casually, but ends up stuttering in his nervousness. "I-it was a little cold, but, uh, nothing I can't handle."
*Why is she here?*, he wonders, watching with a small, reluctant grin as Toothless rubs up against her while she happily scratches him. The lizard snorts and quickly collapses into a heap with a contented purr once she finds that same spot that Hiccup had, back during Dragon Training.
"Oh, is that why your cheeks are so red?" she asks with a grin, turning her attention back to him and stepping closer to the anxious boy.
Hiccup clears his throat, shifting nervously as she smiles at him. "Red? Am I red? Really?" he asked self consciously, reaching up to rub the back of his neck as he feels his cheek burning at her attention.
"A little, yeah," she answers with a giggle, watching him with amusement. Why is she giggling? Astrid doesn't giggle.
"So, uh, what brings you over?" He asks, anxious to change the topic. He then realizes how that sounds and blurts out, "not that you need a reason to come see me, I mean I'm perfectly happy to see you whenever for no reason..."
As Hiccup starts to sputter again and worries about how lame he sounds, Astrid saves him from digging himself any deeper.
"I broke a couple of straps on my saddle for Stormfly, I was hoping you could fix it for me tomorrow?" she answers his awkward question.
"Oh," Hiccup replied, trying hard to hide his disappointment. "Yeah, sure," he answers, then furrows his brow in confusion. "So why didn't you just bring it by the forge?" he asks.
"Well, I was kinda hoping you'd do it right away," she answers somewhat hesitantly, looking away from his gaze, before adding sheepishly, "I didn't want to ask you for a favor in front of everybody, I know you've got a lot of work to do with all the saddles still being made and adjusted."
Hiccup frowns slightly. He had been happy that she's talking to him, but with how much she's avoided him for the past few of weeks since he awoke, her reason makes it feel like she's only using him.
"Yeah, sure," he replies sullenly with a shrug, "bring it by first thing tomorrow, I'll take a look at it." Half turning to go, he pauses before looking back to ask, "So why the rush?"
Smiling shyly, Astrid looks down. "Well," she says, "I was kinda thinking you and I could go flying tomorrow, after it's done." She glances back up at him shyly through her bangs, "I was hoping we could get an early start, maybe spend the day out together."
Hiccup's jaw falls open as his heart races with excitement at her answer. His mind goes completely blank as he stares at her. Astrid shifts uncomfortably under his gaze, starting to blush. Looking away from him, she adds hastily, "that is, if you want to go, I mean, I can understand if you don't, it's okay..."
"No no no, I'll go!" Hiccup eagerly blurts out before he can think about it, cutting her off as he turns to face her again. Astrid stops talking, looking back at him with a slow smile blooming upon her lips. The boy immediately flushes red again, clarifying, "I mean, I'd really like to go flying with you tomorrow."
As if suddenly realizing how vulnerable she is, Astrid straightens up and nods curtly. "Good," she says in her more typical, stern voice. She hesitates, as if not sure what more to say, then adds firmly, "So, I'll see you tomorrow morning at the forge."
Hiccup nods, smiling happily at her. "First thing," he tells her.
Astrid nods again, then moves to go, her way taking her near Hiccup again. She pauses as she starts to walk by him, her shoulder nearly touching his. The boy watches her with a confused gaze as she clenches her jaw. He then gasps in surprise when she quickly leans in and kisses him chastly on the lips.
The world spins as he feels her press against him, his eyes closing with a wimper.
Astrid pulls back just as fast, looking into his eyes with an anxious stare and a shy smile. Opening his eyes again, Hiccup marvels at the sight of her blushing. Astrid never blushes.
"See you tomorrow," she mutters hurriedly as she tucks her hair behind her ear, then looks away, sprinting off back around Hiccup's house. The boy glances back at Toothless with an excited expression. The resting dragon only tilts his head and makes a confused sound.
Smiling with a goofy grin, Hiccup dashes around the house as quickly as he can, hobbling on his artificial leg. As he clears the building, he could see Astrid as she jogs down the hill. He then notices his father coming up the other way. The boy furrows his brow as he sees the mountain of a man stop her in her tracks by virtue of being in the way, calling out a greeting with a loud voice.
Hiccup can't quite make out what they say, but the blonde answers the chief's salutation. The large man smiles as he answers her, then Astrid runs off while saying a few last words in reply, the two waving at each other as Hiccup's father starts up the hill again.
"Hello, son!" the bulky warrior greets his son upon coming within shouting distance, which isn't very far from where he started walking again.
"Hey, Dad," the boy calls back, waving weakly. "So, what were you and Astrid talking about?" He asks, unable to resist his curiosity.
"Oh, I was jes asking what brought her here," he answers with a wide grin as he crested the hill.
"What'd she say?" Hiccup asks anxiously, immediately feeling silly.
"What, ya don' know already? She was jes' here," the big man answers with a chuckle, clapping the boy on his back. "So yer goin flying with the lass tomorrah, eh?" he asks in a conspiratorial whisper with a knowing grin as the two of them walk back inside.
"Yeah," Hiccup answers nervously. Talking with his Dad always made him uncomfortable, and now that the subject was girls - especially THIS girl - he was douby so. "She needs me to fix her saddle first, then she wants to go flying together."
"Well there ya go, lad!" Stoic booms excitedly as he takes off his helmet, hanging it on a well worn hook by the door. The two had talked about Astrid's apparent lack of interest since her hunting trip after the boy had woken up. "See?! I tol' ya she'd come around!"
"Yeah, I guess," his son answers hesitantly, sitting down on a bench.
Stoic sighs heavily. His son certainly knew how worry about even the best bit of good fortune. "What's wrong, son?" The large Viking asks with a weary voice, his exasperation readily showing.
"Well, why did she wait this long?" Hiccup asks with a frustrated whine. "It's been weeks since she kissed me! Why has she been so distant?"
The large man chuckles at his son. "Ah, m'boy," he tells him. "Women're mysterious, fickle creatures! Ya'll be much more happy if ya don' try make sense of their motives..."
Hiccup frowns. "That's not helping, you know," he replies with an exasperated tone.
"Well what d'ya want, son?" His father chuckles. "She's come around, it'll be fine tomorrow, ye'll see!"
The boy doesn't share in his father's optimism, but he realizes he'd gain nothing by arguing the point. "Sure, Dad, I bet you're right," he answers in his typically sardonic manner.
"That's the spirit, son!" Stoic answers enthusiastically, missing the biting sarcasm, as usual.
Hiccup rolls his eyes and then slips into a yawn and a stretch. "Well, I guess I'll just go get some shut eye," he says. "Big day tomorrow, ya know..."
Stoic nods eagerly as Hiccup makes his way across the room, "Right, right, you get yer rest, and have fun with Astrid tomorrow!" A pause, then he adds while his boy starts hobbling up the stairs, "well, not too much fun..."
Hiccup stops in his tracks to stare back at his father with wide eyes.
Stoic just laughs at his Son's reaction. Hiccup looks away and tries to hurry the rest of the way up the stairs.
Parents could be so awkward!