Soul of a Dragon Chapter 46

"speaking"- human language

"speaking"- dragonese

thinking- human thoughts

thinking- dragon thoughts

I do not own How To Train Your Dragon or any of its characters

I am guilty of many things… not updating my fanfics enough is one of them. I apologize and appreciate those who have continued to follow my stories and me. My life has been pretty hectic and depressing lately, as I'm sure many of us can understand. But rest assured, I am not abandoning any of my fanfics. Thank you all!

Astrid and Hiccup bore into each other's eyes. Blue against green, green against blue. Two colors that seemed to match so perfectly… colors that could blend together and no one could complain about the end result.

Blue as the sky and green as the land, two domains that would forever be bound to gaze upon the other's beauty for all eternity.

Astrid wouldn't have minded if this lasted forever. She had lost this boy so many times before in the past, and now, he was here. He was sitting right before her. This was the longest time he had been in her presence and she didn't want it to end.

And he seemed to feel the same. At least, he didn't deny the connection they shared. It was something that went beyond just being strangers. Their fates had been forever entwined with one another the day she first set her eyes on him.

How time had changed the both of them. No longer was he the skinny little boy who could easily be a target amongst the children of their generation. His wild and unkempt appearance had shifted into something more human… something so familiar to her. And yet, he still seemed to possess the same feral features that had captivated her all those years ago.

She let out a small sigh as she continued to admire such attributes.

There were plenty of men in her village who could easily tame a young woman into their submission. Truth be told, looks weren't the aspect that were emphasize when it came to courting. At least, that logic seemed to apply to the men more so than the women. What a man lacked in appearance, he could more than make up for that in strength and power. And that's what attracted a good portion of female Vikings.

After all, strong men produced strong heirs… and strong heirs made a strong village. Which is what her kind needed now more than ever.

But despite that, Astrid couldn't help could be captivated by Hiccup's looks. Shades of green and brown and a hint of black summed up his entire person. That's when she realized something… black… that color. Her eyes wandered to the armor he wore, he had been wearing the same one ever since his arrival here on Berk, but she never really paid much attention to it.

Until now.

Vikings typically wore armors that best suited their personalities and attributes. It was not uncommon to see them designed with multitude of colors and shapes. But Astrid would be lying if she said she had ever seen such an armor like this before. This shade didn't look like the average black color she had seen a daily basis. And the appearance… something seemed different about it as well. At least compared to the other Vikings that is.

It looked more feral… just like him. It suited him… and it couldn't belong to anyone else.

Astrid leaned closer, but not to Hiccup's face, rather to his body. Almost as if she was observing a specimen rather than another human being. This didn't go unnoticed by the wayward Viking either. His gaze followed hers, and he couldn't help but blush once he noticed where her attention was now located.

His body. His face was one thing, but his body, that was a whole other story. Besides, he couldn't understand why that would warrant such attention. Compared to the average male Viking, he was a walking fishbone. He lacked the muscle and raw power to make people fall under his submission. Granted, Hiccup wasn't entirely helpless, over the years he had acquired some skills thanks to his dragon family. They had taught him the basic survival skills, but he would never claim to be stronger than an actual Viking.

Which only made it all the more confusing for Astrid to be giving his body such attention.

She paid no attention to Hiccup as she gently, yet slowly, ran her fingers over the armor. The very touch of it sent a small shiver down her spine. Even the material didn't seem to be of this world. It felt sturdier and rougher than the normal armor she had worked with. Upon closer inspection, Astrid noticed the small dents, tears and scars it bore. It looked to be years' worth of damage, but it didn't ruin the cover's appearance. Rather, it accented it.

This armor told a story… one she was very much interested in hearing someday. She could only imagine the adventures this guarding experienced because of its owner. However, before she could observe the piece of equipment anymore, a familiar voice interrupted her thoughts.

"Um… Astrid?" Hiccup addressed. "What are you doing?"

It was then that the female teenager realized what she had done, she caught herself in a compromising position. Her eyes turned upward to meet Hiccup's gaze, once again green met blue. However, her face flushed to match Hiccup's. Her fingers were still tracing over Hiccup's armor once she finally allowed herself to retreat from the awkward spot.

She couldn't believe what she had allowed herself to do. She had humiliated herself in front of this boy once again! Why did this always happen to her whenever he was around? Wasn't she supposed to be the the calm and collected one? Isn't that why people turned to her in their time of peril? And yet here she was, reduced to an uneasy mess… all because of this stranger.

He was the only one who had this kind of control over her. And she both hated and was interested in it.

Her heart started to beat erratically, and she decided to put some distance between herself and Hiccup. She took some seconds to compose herself before answering the question. However, she didn't know how to phrase it in a way that didn't sound crazy or creepy. The last thing she wanted was for this boy to gain a negative perspective of her.

"S-sorry," she stuttered. "I-I was just admiring your armor."

She immediately wanted to slap herself right there and then.

So much for not being crazy or creepy… what must he think of me now? Dang it Astrid, keep it together!

She shook her head several times before gazing at him once again. However, much to her surprise, Hiccup didn't seem to be disgusted by the statement. Embarrassed, yes. Confused, definitely. But disgusted, not at all.

"Oh," was his simple response. "I-I see."

Hiccup took the liberty to observe his guard again. It had been years since he had acquired it from his dragon family, a gift bestowed upon him to match that of his beloved brother. To the untrained eye, it was nothing more than a means to protect a body. But to Hiccup, it meant the world to him. It was one of his most prized possessions.

However, he supposed that compared to other armors, this wasn't exactly a typical one. In fact, it was composed of a multitude of parts from a variety of armors. But it was crafted in a manner similar to that of a dragon. Hiccup couldn't help but smile once he recalled how much thought went into such a gift.

Nevertheless, the young man turned his attention back to Astrid. She still looked somewhat flustered over the matter. And it was then that he recalled how embarrassing this must have been for her, he hoped to alleviate that uneasy feeling. He had to break the tension, although he didn't know if he was capable of such a task.

"S-see anything you like?"

Of course he wasn't capable of it, now it was Hiccup's turn to be humiliated. That was not in the way he intended to say such a statement. He choked on the air he breathed and took the chance to slap his cheek. He shook his head.

"I-I mean… not like that… I mean… i-it's not… I didn't… it's just..."

Now Astrid was the amused one, although she was still embarrassed from her earlier stunt. However, she wouldn't deny that this somewhat lessened the blow. The roles had been switched to where they both understood what the other was going through. And as a result, Astrid couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of it all. How had things always come to this whenever it was just the two of them?

They seemed to awaken something new within one another, something that she hoped no one else had been able to do. She knew that was the case for her, but she didn't know if it was true for him.

However, his reaction made it seem like she might have some control over him as well.

He is special kind of fool… but I suppose I'm a fool too if I find this so entertaining.

She laughed some more before gazing upon his confused features. She gave him a small wave of her hand before finally managing to compose herself. She rubbed her face, fixed her armor and tucked back her loose strands of hair before giving him her undivided attention yet again. Her smile seemed to match that of the Sun's as Hiccup could feel the warmth emitting from it. It was enough to finally make him feel comfortable as the tension seemed to disappear within an instant.

"It's alright," she spoke. "Really… if anything, I should be the one trying to better explain myself."

Her body became more relaxed as she took the chance to admire the boy before her once again. Even though that was the reason she had gotten embarrassed before, she couldn't help herself. It was almost like a forbidden fruit calling out to her to just take a small sample of its wonders… and worry about the consequences later.

"Your armor," she addressed.

Her eyes traced over the many crevices of the covering.

"It's so different, I can't believe I never noticed it before."

Hiccup sheepishly scratched the back of his head as he gave her a small smile. He looked to be more relaxed as well, happy to see Astrid at ease now. This girl had so much control over his emotions, and she didn't seem to realize that.

"I suppose so," he answered. "I've seen all kinds of armor in my life."

He gazed upon the guard that matched his brother's appearance, this was something that couldn't be replicated even if they tried.

"But I wouldn't be surprised to know that there wasn't another like this out there," he remarked. "My family… they made this for me."

That certainly caught Astrid's attention as her form perked up a little.

"Your family made it for you?" she questioned.

Hiccup merely nodded his head.

"Indeed. It was a gift made for me when I finally came of age," he explained. "We don't have as many resources as others so they had to scavenge the areas for certain parts. And with some time and effort, they managed to craft this masterpiece."

"It certainly it a work of art," Astrid commented. "So unique and original. Plus, it looks like it's seen some glorious days judging by all those markings."

Hiccup let out a small chuckle, if only she knew how true that statement was.

"You have no idea," he remarked. "Plus I don't think I could have pulled off wearing a loincloth any longer than I could have."

While it might have been embarrassing to some, Hiccup couldn't help but find his younger self's fashion choices to be amusing. For a long while, he sported nothing but his loincloth and made it a habit to walk around in his bare skin whenever he was home. But to be fair, it's not like he was raised in an environment where clothes were an emphasis. As a result, no one ever gave him a hard time concerning the matter.

However, it wasn't until he started growing and venturing more into the outside world that he began to question his outfit. He didn't think he could get away with it as easily as he would have in the Dragon Sanctuary. Needless to say that the armor had been an upgrade, and Astrid seemed to agree as she let out a small chuckle.

"Oh yeah, I remember that," she said. "You mean you actually wore that thing for a long while after we met?"

Hiccup nodded.

"In my defense, my tribe doesn't put too much of an emphasis on looks," he argued. "It's common for children to wear things like that for a long time. It's only when they started going through their growth periods that they sport better attires."

Astrid's head titled with interest as she placed a cheek into her palm.

"Really? Your people seem to have a lot of strange customs," she commented. "But I can't say that they're that different from regular Vikings."

That's when she motioned to her homeland.

"Looks aren't emphasized too much here, at least for the men it's not."

Hiccup gave her a puzzled expression.

"What do you mean by that?"

"Well, what defines a relationship between two people are the attributes they possess. It's what they bring into the courting process," Astrid explained. "Men are supposed to be these powerful protectors, unstoppable in the face of danger. They have to be the image of strength and valor."

Hiccup nodded his head as he understood the concept, Viking men seemed to be the embodiment of raw intensity and vigor. It was rare for Hiccup to see a man that didn't possess some kind of muscle on their bodies. All the more reason why he probably wouldn't have fit in too much with the general male population. Not that such an idea appealed to him anyway.

Throughout his years of living, Hiccup had learned to appreciate brain over brawn. His mind was an endless race of infinite possibilities, ideas that he was sure no Viking would ever consider. Hiccup always attributed his mind as being the reason for his survival.

Now if only he could get the other Vikings to such an example, rather than simply relying on brute strength.

"And there's the women," Astrid continued.

Hiccup's thoughts were interrupted once she emphasized such a statement. He was more than eager to hear the kind of mindset they had when it came to their daily lives. To him it was easier to understand a man than a woman. After all, he hadn't interacted with one to the degree he did with Astrid. And he was a man himself.

So to hear such a perspective would be a fascinating case of study.

"They're the ones who have to put an emphasis on appearance and apparel," she added.

That's when she turned to him.

"Don't get me wrong, girls and women are encouraged to train and defend themselves just as much as the boys and men are. But they also have to learn about those other things as well," she explained. "And at the end of the day, it's all to attract another… in order to continue the lineage of great Vikings."

There was a pause between the two teenagers at such a statement. However, it only took seconds for Hiccup to finally react.

He blushed, clearly understanding the implication now. He was no stranger when it came mating rituals, he had seen them time and time again back at his home. But to hear that humans had something similar was both educational and somewhat strange.

He supposed humans really weren't that different from dragons after all.

"Men and women coming together to create the perfect offspring," he commented.

Astrid simply nodded her head.

"Everything a Viking does is for the sake of future generations," she stated. "Creating a home, cultivating lands, fighting foes… or finding the perfect mate…"

That's when she stood from her spot, catching Hiccup off-guard at the sudden action. But nevertheless, his eyes followed her as she sauntered over to a specific part of their hiding place. Brush stood in her way, but she didn't hesitate to remove them from her sight. Carefully and slowly, an image of the village could be seen now.

Despite the unwanted guests here at the moment, Astrid couldn't help but gaze in awe over how much work went into crafting her homeland. This was her domain, the place she had to defend… then her eyes turned to meet Hiccup's.

And the place where she hoped she could make a future for herself and those she cared for. She gestured to the sight before them.

"We do it all for this."

This was her home.

But she didn't realize that it wasn't just hers to claim.

It also belonged to the boy sitting before her, the young man born with the soul of a dragon.

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