October 24th-Secret Injury

Toothless and Hiccup flew over the ocean, landing on the beach where the other riders greeted him with sighs and smiles of relief. He was happy too, having thought for a moment there he was actually going to die.

There had been injury of course. When Toothless had shot his plasma blast at Hiccup just before the hit the water, the fire grazed his right thigh. Only a small burn at first, but the impact of hitting the water had caused his skin to tear more and the wound to grow an angry red color. He also had bruises up his right side from the angle he'd hit the water.

Deciding right now was far too great of a victory-well with the riders saving their dragons from the effects of the Grimora and all-Hiccup didn't want to bother the others with his injury. The flight home left a searing pain in his left thigh, and with how much throbbing his bruises were causing him he was surprised he didn't have any broken ribs...well from what he could tell anyways.

No one noticed Hiccup's hidden wounds, far too occupied either playfully scolding or cooing over their well dragons to notice.

All, except one Hofferson.

Later, after everyone had headed to their huts after dinner for an early, well deserved rest, Astrid and Stormfly walked up the ramp to Hiccup's hut. Astrid had her ax attached to Stormfly's side, but lacked her shoulder pads and leather arm bands. She was trying to rest before becoming restless with worry for her friend.

Hiccup was surprised when Astrid entered his hut without knocking. She had a stern look on her face with her arms folded over her chest.

Somehow, he knew he was in trouble.

"When were you planning on telling me?" Astrid questioned with an almost disciplining tone to her voice. There was also a little bit of worry and even hurt hidden somewhere in there. Hiccup found a part of his own mind growing guilty at his actions of hiding his wounds from the others, especially her, but he still tried to play it like nothing had ever happened.

"Telling you what Astrid?"

Astrid frowned deeply, not liking that her friend was keeping things from her. She roughly punched him in the right shoulder, making Hiccup grimace and rub his now tender limb. He was so used to this he didn't yelp in surprise or ask her why she did it.

He knew why.

"Telling me that you're hurt!" Astrid didn't mean to shout, but she was hurt herself that he was keeping secrets from her. "We're both soldiers here Hiccup! We're teammates! We don't keep secrets from each other! We're best friends!" She put emphasis on the last part and Hiccup found himself ducking his head in shame. Astrid sighed deeply, deciding she needed to reel herself back in a little.

"Just...let me see it Hiccup." Astrid said in a lower tone of voice, dropping her hands to her sides and softening her facial expression a little more. Hiccup suddenly blushed a little, turning his head so he wasn't able to see her even out of the corner of his eyes.

Confused and afraid she'd sent the wrong message and made him think she was mad at him, Astrid placed her hands under Hiccup's chin and made him look at her. His eyes widened and they stayed there for a moment, before both pulling away suddenly and coughing awkwardly.

"Wh-why are you so afraid of letting me see it?" Astrid's voice was a little higher for a moment there and she found herself hating this...mushy feeling inside of her. Hiccup was her team mate, not someone she should be shy about just looking at!

Hiccup shrugged his shoulders and looked back at Astrid, a hint of worry in his eyes.

"I-It's not that bad, and umm...well it's a bit..." Hiccup sighed and shook his head, reaching out a hand so Astrid would give him hers. He guided her left hand to the top of his right thigh, blushing a little and looking away. Astrid now knew why he was so shy. He was injured in a more sensitive area and it made him feel vulnerable to expose that much skin to her.

Deciding not to state her thoughts out loud, Astrid simply sat beside Hiccup and looked at him reassuringly.

"I'll be careful." Hiccup smiled warmly and nodded his head. He knew that she knew that wasn't why he didn't want her inspecting his wounds. He liked that she was reassuring him without being so blunt about it.

Astrid turned her back while Hiccup removed his leggings, replacing them with a pair of green shorts that could count as under clothing. He also removed his shirt so she could see the bruising on his side. He shivered as a cold gust of air hit his freckled, tanned skin, wrapping his blanket around his mid torso but under his armpits in an attempt to cover himself some.

"O-Okay. Just uh...Just don't judge. Alright?"

Astrid smiled to herself and nodded her head, whispering "I won't." before turning around to look at her friend.

The burn mark on his upper thigh surprised her. A dark red, angry burn that he had covered by lifted the leather that usually covered his right knee so it covered the small hole in his leather armor was gruesome. Peeling skin around the edge, and bruising above it higher up his thigh where the skin was mostly hidden by his shorts. She could also catch a glimpse of the now black and purple bruising at his right side.

Moving slowly as to not startle him, Astrid sat on the bed next to Hiccup and pushed on his shoulder so he would lay on his back with his legs dangling off of the side. She coaxed him into unwrapping the blanket from himself and placed a gentle hand on his bruised side.

He shivered self consciously at the skin on skin contact.

"It's just you and me here Hiccup. It's alright."

Somehow, her voice had a soothing effect on him he'd never experienced before.

"I wish you would've told me about this sooner."

As Astrid's hands went to work pulled an anti-swelling cream from his desk drawer that he usually used on the bed, Hiccup closed his eyes and reveled in the feeling of her taking care of him. She was right. He should have. He could trust her to allow him to let his guard down.

Astrid rubbed the cream on the bruises before moving down and beginning to wash and bandage his leg with a determined look in her eyes. Hiccup tried not to, but whimpered when she moved too high up and made him feel even more vulnerable.

He didn't like being exposed like this.

Thankfully, Astrid believed it was just because of the pain.

"Once the bandages are on it'll hurt a lot less I promise."

Hiccup nodded his head, breathing through his nose as the water stung his burn wound. He found it hard not to hiss in pain at the contact. She was right though, when the bandages were finally on the pressure eased the pain.

Astrid stood and began leaving the hut so Hiccup could get changed and they could both go to bed in their respective huts.

Before she left, Hiccup called her name.

"Hey Astrid?!"

Astrid raised an eyebrow and turned to look at him expectantly. Hiccup blushed again and ducked his head slightly.

"Uh...thanks for everything. I'm sorry for not telling you sooner."

Astrid knew she should've said 'your welcome' respectfully, but she couldn't help the snarky comeback she let out.

"Damn right you should've."

As she was shutting the door Astrid sighed deeply when she heard her friend chuckle loudly with his Night Fury at the playful tone in her voice.