Author's Notes: Hello! I'm just as surprised as you are that a new chapter has come out so quickly.

This chapter is mainly just filler. The next couple chapters will also be filler and will lead up to what I'm sure you're all waiting for. These chapters you can consider 'one-shots' with in this AU. They will all be connected and may help build up the relationship between Astrid and Hiccup and maybe even their other friends. I think I'll leave that somewhat up to you. If you have an idea on how this story should go, or if you have requests to see the characters in a different light, see them interact in different ways, now is the time to make those requests. Keep in mind that they need to stay with in the main plot. So, no requests for Hiccup's miraculous recovery or their strange visit to mars. But I'm sure you guys get that. I'm a subtle, realistic writer (most of the time). I'm not good with drama either. This story is the best I got with that. I just can't break apart a hiccstrid romance because it'll break my heart. *Sniff*. And I will NEVER reach an M rating so stay away from those requests. I'm not sure if I'm wrong to assume that most of my readers by this point will know that. I haven't had one of those requests so far, so that's good. I trust y'all.

I have had a recent reviewer give me an idea for how to resolve the issue between Hiccup and Bjorn. I am taking it into consideration. I like the idea. So, thanks. You know who you are. I'll be sure to give a shout out when the time comes.

Anyway, WARNINGS: Fluff and angst my friends. Lots of it. Hiccup may be a bit OOC. Probably a lot more than a bit. Astrid is just as comforting if not more so than in the Race to the Edge series. Bring tissues.



Summer had finally started. Astrid's summer anatomy class had started, and Hiccup was picking up extra shifts at Gobber's Shed. Almost a month had gone by since Mr. and Mrs. Hofferson flew back to New York with a promise to visit for Astrid' twentieth birthday in October. Bjorn Hofferson's blatant refusal to accept Hiccup as someone worthy of Astrid still hung over the couple's heads, but they were able to put that stress aside in favor of spending quality time together. They refused to let such disagreements to stop them from being together. Though, while they continued to date and have a good time, the subject of the father's judgement to not "bless" their relationship was not completely ignored.

"You're saying I need to actually listen to him!?" Astrid scowled at her boyfriend as they sat in the living room of his home. "After all my dad had said to you, how he treated you, he some how still deserves respect? Are you serious?" Her homework lay completely forgotten on the raised coffee table before them as she aimed her shocked gaze in the direction of the seated ginger.

"Yes! No, ugh. J-Just hang on for a second and listen. Okay?" Hiccup raised his hands in a placating manner. The fierce blonde's brow did not lose tension, but her lips were temporarily closed. Hiccup continued calmly saying, "I know this is a stupid saying you've probably heard a million times, but we need to 'kill with kindness' here. Hear me out, Astrid." He laid a warm hand on her clenched fist that was pressed into the arm of the couch between them. When her fist loosened, he spoke. "We need to show him that we're serious about this relationship and that we can handle this in a mature way. If we retaliate; if you refuse to talk to him, he'll call us immature. We'll handle this like the adults that we are. Nothing has changed from before this all happened and now. We are still Astrid and Hiccup. There will always be an Astrid and a Hiccup. Okay?" He smiled softly and reassuringly to his girlfriend.

Astrid's shoulders lowered as she let out a soft sigh. She smiled back at her boyfriend. "You're probably right." She smacked the boy in the shoulder in response to his humorous eye roll before admitting, "Okay! You are right. He's still my dad."

Hiccup chuckled lightly before taking a more serious tone. "And he cares for you. He may be going about the whole 'protective father' thing in the completely wrong way but at least you know he cares," explained Hiccup.

Astrid did her own eye roll before saying, "That still gives him no right to treat you the way he has been but, I'll do what you ask. I'll respect him." Though she agreed begrudgingly, she knew her boyfriend spoke with a bit of wisdom that could not be ignored or dismissed.

She leaned forward and met the lips of young man with her own in a soft kiss. She pulled away gently to rest her forehead against his own. "This is why I love you, you know," she whispered.

"Oh?" Hiccup questioned quietly as he began to blush.

Astrid hummed in reply. "You bring out the best in me." She smiled. "You make me see things in a different light."

Hiccup chuckled softly as he lay his hand tenderly on her cheek, the other still enclosed around hers. "I could say the same thing about you." Another kiss. And another. And-

"I'm a Viking through and throooooouuuuugh! Oh, hey Hiccup. Have you seen your father?" In busted Gobber Belch through the Haddock's front door with no preamble or warning. The couple separated quickly and blushed madly. The hefty mechanic chuckled heartily. "Oh-ho-ho! Who's this? Is this that lass you were going on about when you should have been working? Am I uh, interrupting something, lad?" He raised a knowing, yellow brow as he twirled his long mustache with his one remaining hand.

The two were blushing to the tops of their ears as they both groaned out at the same time, "Noooo…," much to the amusement of the man who was a Viking through and through.


A ring for the shop's door alerted Hiccup to an incoming customer and drew his attention away from the book he had been reading. He lifted his head to greet the new comer to see that he knew this guest. "Dad?"

"Hello Son!" greeted Stoick excitedly. He smiled broadly down at Hiccup as he approached his counter. "How are ye lad?"

Hiccup smiled hesitantly before replying, "Uh, I'm good. J-Just curious, Dad, but, uh, w-why are you here exactly?" He was happy to see his father, but it wasn't every day that Stoick the Vast would walk into his workplace to see his son.

The large man chuckled. "What? A father can't visit his son while he's working?" he asked innocently. He laughed at Hiccup's well expected eye roll in good humor. "You caught me. I'm here to get a new bulb for the light in Astrid's dorm room. She says it's been blinking for a while and the RA hasn't fixed it yet. Gah! I bet she'll be glad to move into that new apartment come August. It sounds to me like those RA's don't really do all of what they're suppose to." He stared down at his son as there was a short pause before the seated clerk replied.

"Oh. I knew that light was bothering her, but uh, w-when did she ask you for help?" He wasn't exactly bothered by the fact that his girlfriend had asked his father of all people for help. He was just… surprised. To be completely honest, he had entirely forgotten about the offending flicker in her room because he'd never been in her dorm room. She lived on the second floor in a building old enough to not have an elevator.

Stoick waved a dismissive hand as he spoke. "Oh, it's Saturday so, she must have known I was off. She called not too long ago this morning saying she had had it with that light and she couldn't do her homework." He chuckled as he recalled the conversation. "Something about not being able to memorize the difference between a hammer and a stirrup in an ear." He leaned for muttering in a low voice, "I don't really see what business a hammer and stirrup have in an ear, but she's the one taking a composition class." He chuckled to himself.

Hiccup didn't bother to correct the man as he leaned back in his chair thoughtfully. Astrid hadn't called him for help for obvious reasons. She had called his father. After directing Stoick to where the light bulbs were kept he continued to contemplate on what this all meant. He knew he may be looking at the situation a bit too closely. He laid no blame on anyone for anything. He was simply disheartened by the fact that he was incapable of doing something so simple as changing a light bulb for his girlfriend. He was angry at the unfairness of it all. He had come to accept fate, as Mr. Hofferson would have so eloquently phrased, but some days, like a lot of the days before he met Astrid, he needed to feel upset and hurt by the way of the world. He did not want Bjorn Hofferson to be right in his claims.

He was, however, very happy that his father and Astrid got along so well together.


"Did I tell you that my apartment is going to be on the first floor?" Astrid smiled over at her boyfriend as they sat at a diner for a lunch date. "It'll definitely make things easier when furniture needs to be moved in. It's partially furnished already, but-. Hey, Babe?" She placed a hand on Hiccup's shoulder to gain his attention. He hadn't really been listening and she started to worry as she took notice of how he hadn't eaten much of his meal in the time they'd been at the diner. She was nearly done with her own. Hiccup slowly lifted his head to give a small smile that didn't reach his eyes.

"I'm listening. Sorry." He glanced back down to his food before his attention was grabbed again by a gentle squeeze on his shoulder. He looked into the blue eyes of his girlfriend and saw concern emanating from her soft countenance. He sighed deeply as he looked down at his lap. Hiccup knew Astrid's talent for reading his emotions. "I-I just…." He was at a loss. He couldn't hide his insecurities from a woman who seemed to know him more than he knew himself. He felt her hand grasp his own. "Y-You find me worth the effort to be with, right?" Astrid was taken aback by the question. Surprise and concern swept through the face of the blonde. She opened her mouth to speak but before she could, Hiccup continued. "I mean, yea. I guess you do because, well…," he rubbed the back of his neck and forced an awkward chuckle. "You're still here. A-And I'm still here, obviously. I love you. I-I, oh man." He took a breath. He hated his nervous stutter more now than ever. When push comes to shove, he'd defend Astrid without so much as a stammer, but to defend himself, he didn't know where to begin. "Astrid," he started. "What if your father was… right? At least partly."

"What?" questioned Astrid alarmed. "Right about what? That we're not meant to be together? That we need to-."

"No!" Hiccup was quick to reassure her. "No, I feel and know that we are meant to be together. We are worth the effort." The Valkyrie calmed only slightly at his words; enough to listen to what he had to say. "I'm just thinking how he may have been right when he said that I'm not able to care for you as I should. Let's face it. I'm not able to do a lot of things." Astrid's concern grew more and more as Hiccup continued. "I'm in a wheelchair. I know we've talked about what that meant but, sometimes I just wish I had more for you; that I could do more for you. I want the world for you, Astrid." The sad smile she gave in response to his words nearly made him stop talking, but he went on. "I want to be the one to change a light bulb when you need it done. I want to climb the stairs to see and visit you in your dorm room. I want to sweep and mop floors for you. I don't want to struggle over shaggy carpet or struggle to reach for something fallen on the floor. I want to hold the door open for you, not the other way around. I-I want…." He knew some of what he said belonged in some sappy, romantic, foreign movie, but he knew his words were true. He struggled to say them despite his awareness that holding in such despairing feelings could only end in misery. His green eyes glistened, and Astrid's heart tore itself apart in anguish at the sight of his despair. "I want to hold your hand and walk down the sidewalk with you." With those words he broke. No one looked at their corner of the small diner for which Hiccup couldn't be more grateful for.

Astrid took him in her arms and allowed his tears to soak through her blouse. She rubbed circles into his back in an effort to comfort him. She slid her other hand through his auburn locks and quietly shushed his crying. His arms encircled her waist as he held her close. Astrid allowed him to quietly sob a while longer before whispering into his ear, "I want to be the one to sweep floors for you." As Hiccup's tears slowed at her words, Astrid recalled her childhood when she claimed to her mother that she would play sports forever and not ever have to clean a house. How ignorant she was to the importance of life and love. She knew she loved the boy in her arms and would do anything for him, just as how he desired to do the same for her. "I know that this all must be hard. To pursue a relationship in which you're seemingly enable to return favors and to love me in a way that's expected."

Hiccup gave a dry laugh smothered by the shoulder his face was currently pressed into. "Thank you for summing that up."

Astrid chuckled in return before saying, "But I want to be the one to help you across the room. And Hiccup…." She released him and looked into his eyes swollen from tears. "You love me in ways that are unexpected; in ways that I cherish and create memories that I will never let go of. You may not be able to hold my hand down the sidewalk, but you hold it when it matters; when we're still, when we hit an obstacle, when I don't know what to do, when I'm frustrated, sad or even when I'm happy. You hold my hand in moments where it counts. I've never been able to rely on someone as much as I have with you.

"You've helped me to see the value in myself and in the world around me; the value in moving forward and being happy in the moment. Hiccup, when I first met you and we had coffee together, you said you saw determination in me, right?" With his nod, she continued, and he was raptured. "I was determined to make you see how valuable you are, but in doing so, you've shown me the same. That determination has not diminished, nor has it been redirected but you've also given me a reason to have the same determination in everything I do." She smiled softly to him. He smiled in return, in genuine trust and love. Astrid knew she couldn't erase all his anxieties, but she was sure to keep trying anyway. She also knew that his desire to care for her in ways he can't possibly accomplish won't simply go away either. She knew more days like these would come to visit them again, but as she will always claim, he was worth it.

AN: So, this chapter was still not as long as I had hoped. I'm always expecting to write something lengthy, but I just find the perfect ending so quickly. As you can see, I decided to do the time jump. I think this will allow Astrid and Hiccup to grow a bit closer in the story. Also, it'll make it last longer too.

How sappy was it? Too sappy? A lot of the story had been pretty fluffy and this one definitely has the fluff but more of the angst that was at the beginning of the story. I hope you liked it.

Again, ideas are always welcome. The next one or two will be more filler until the resolution between Hiccup and Bjorn is resolved. Ideas for these filler chapters are welcome. If you have a request you want to see fulfilled in this AU, now is your chance.

Thanks Again! Please Review!

Reviews = inspiration = more chapters!