Disclaimer: I own nothing that you recognise from either fandom. Most importantly, this fic is a translation of the fascinating Almas cruzadas by Sandy97 and is uploaded here with her permission; any edits to the material are only what is required to make the translation flow appropriately.
Feedback: Always appreciated.
AN: As stated above, this fic is translated from the original Spanish with permission of the original author. I will aim to upload a chapter every few days until we 'catch up' to Amas cruzadas itself, after which I will upload the translation as soon after the original fic is updated as possible.
AN 2: To put these events into the appropriate context, this fic will start some time after the events depicted in Frozen and How to Train Your Dragon 2; the only clear difference from canon is that Stoick survived the confrontation with Drago and Hiccup was never reunited with his mother.
AN 3: To avoid any questions, this fic will explore a polyamorous triad relationship between Hiccup, Elsa and Astrid. Hiccup's feelings for both Astrid and Elsa will be given due attention and development, as will Elsa and Astrid's thoughts and feelings for each other, but if the final planned triad is not to your taste feel free to simply not read this. With that in mind, the fic will start out as T but will likely be 'upgraded' to M as the narrative unfolds.
Chapter 1: The Night the Fire Flooded the Ice Sky
Elsa looked thoughtfully at the night sky of Arendelle leaning against the railing of the balcony of her room, while in the background the laughter of Anna and Kristoff could be heard. She couldn't help but smile when she heard them, even though her gaze kept a sad glow. She was lost in the night sky, so tame and calm, so dark and mysterious. Looking at the sky always distressed her, as if she were stripped of all greatness and was reduced to a perishable moment in eternity. She sighed, stirring her thoughts, where her head betrayed her over and over again. She didn't like feeling this way but she couldn't help it. Anna would soon marry and this idea, although it filled her with happiness also gave her an immense feeling of sadness. And the worst thing is that she felt very selfish about her feelings but she couldn't help being afraid of being alone again.
Suddenly, a line of fire pierced the night sky, putting an indent in his thoughts and giving rise to a tremendously beautiful and bewildering glow. Elsa sat up taking a step back and looked up at the sky, fixing her gaze on that beautiful reddish line. However, the enraptured expectation was replaced by terror when she saw a second brilliant trail fall from the sky, this time over the town of Arendelle, setting several trees on fire.
The rest of the night, nobody remembers it clearly.
Only the songs for posterity harbor told some truth in what happened. However, no one could ever express the horror that the kingdom of Arendelle experienced that night; nor the souls that were lost, the houses that were burned or the lives that changed forever.
Ruffnut and Tuffnut fought in the large dining room over which of them both would die earlier in an attack by man-eating yaks.
"Of course I would die," Ruffnut shouted defiantly, spitting out breadcrumbs, "I'm much tastier than you."
Tuffnut was not going to be intimidated by said accusation, rising from his seat and placing both hands on the table as he defended himself.
"Tastier than you? I drink much more mead, my blood is sweeter," he declared. "Besides, everyone knows that man-eating yaks love the taste of sweet blood."
"What, do you think you can drink more mead than me?!"
Ruffnut also got up from her chair to imitate her brother. Their foreheads could almost touch each other and they were sitting across from each other at the table. "I don't believe you! I challenge you to a duel of drinking mead, whoever falls unconscious first loses."
Tuffnut head-butted his sister as if accepting the challenge and Ruffnut responded in the same way. Snotlout, who was watching the whole scene in the middle, yawned sleepily while trying to finish his breakfast. Stoick watched the scene in the background, smiling and fearing the worst from the twins. He also noticed a detail that should not be a surprise to anyone, but in which he should start to intervene: Astrid and Hiccup were not present.
Stoick rose slightly to approach to ask about his son when suddenly Fishlegs entered the great room very agitated.
"Chief!" he yelled.
Stoick sprang to his feet, swaying his plate on the table and directing all eyes.
"Fishlegs! What happened!"
"The… the beach…" he managed to say as he tried to catch his breath.
"The beach? What happened?" Stoick hurried over to the boy.
Several Vikings also approached him trying to help him.
"I went… I went for a walk with… with the kids, as I always do and then…" He paused for a moment, "then I saw a boat…"
"A boat? Enemies?"
Stoick didn't need to say more for everyone in the great hall to rise up in war and taking their cutlery they ran towards the beach. Stoick walked past Fishlegs and squeezed his shoulder in appreciation. The boy turned around in a hurry, trying to follow the Vikings and explain what he had really found on the beach.
"Hiccup," Astrid whispered as she tried to escape the Viking's arms.
Hiccup only growled something unintelligible and hugged her tighter, drawing the girl's bare back to his chest.
"Hiccup," she said softly again, trying to turn to the boy, "it's dawn, you have to go."
Hiccup hid his head on her shoulder as he tangled his legs with the Viking.
"Just five more minutes…"
Astrid let out a soft laugh at his most recurrent excuse.
"Hiccup, you have to go, your father must already be in the great hall wondering where we are."
The boy didn't respond, he just started to kiss her shortly on the shoulder, going up to her neck and ear.
"It's not worth playing dirty, Hiccup."
Astrid shrugged her neck as she felt his skin stand on end and taking advantage of the fact that Hiccup had loosened his embrace, she turned to face him. However, the Viking hugged her again in this new position, hiding his head between her breasts.
"Just two minutes and we're leaving," the Viking sighed as she stroked his copper head.
Astrid knew that what they were doing was not right, and she was undoubtedly jeopardizing her honor, though deep down none of it mattered to her. She had been in love with Hiccup for years and that had been nothing more than a natural evolution in their relationship. At first they had shared only fleeting kisses, but as they grew, a strange hunger seized them every time they saw each other. A hunger that they didn't know how to satisfy and that was simply moving in a direction that they both knew although they didn't want to admit it. Astrid still remembered that awkward and confused first time, where no one knew very well what she was doing. From there came respect and complicity in furtive nights, and, over time, more intimate pleasures.
However, they both knew that everything was getting out of hand and that their night visits were beginning to be anything but discreet. Half a village must already know of their encounters. The Vikings weren't great friends with decorum and manners, but the situation was beginning to make some uncomfortable and they might soon be thinking about taking the next step, even if they were both terrified.
A noise at the front door made Astrid's heart race. Hiccup must have noticed it too because he straightened up confused, searching Astrid's knowing gaze.
"They're calling?" he asked.
"I think so…" Astrid couldn't hide her worried face. "I'm going to see who it is, you got dressed."
Hiccup released Astrid from his embrace and she quickly sat up, getting out of bed and looking for something to wear. Hiccup did the same, sitting on the bed as he put on his prosthesis and searched for his clothes on the floor.
Astrid managed to put on a long woolen robe that covered her bare ankles and, opening the door to the room, went downstairs to the main entrance. They knocked on the door again when Astrid opened it, her hair down and her dressing gown. It was Gobber.
"Astrid!" The older man blushed when he realised the state he was seeing her in. "Excuse me… this..."
"What happened?" Astrid asked worried, since Gobber never knocked on her door at that hour.
"They found a boat on the beach, apparently it was shipwrecked," he said in a rush.
Astrid nodded understanding the emergency.
"I'll get dressed and go down right now."
The Viking was about to close the door when Gobber's voice interrupted her.
"This…" He cleared his throat. "Tell him to hurry up… his father is looking for him."
Astrid nodded blushing and closed the door, leaving Gobber's embarrassed face on the other side. As soon as it closed and with some nervousness, Astrid hurried up the stairs, colliding head-on with Hiccup at the door of the room, almost giving him an unintentional head-butt.
"Hiccup, what a scare!"
"Sorry," said the Viking, holding Astrid by the hip in a reflex act. "Who was it?"
The Viking was already dressed and looking perfectly cool, as if ten minutes ago he had not been in the deepest of dreams.
"It was Gobber," she said. "Apparently they've found a wrecked ship on the beach."
"A shipwreck? Are there survivors?"
"I don't know, they haven't told me."
Hiccup furrowed his eyebrows, trying to think before Astrid pushed him away.
"I'm going to get dressed," she explained, indicating the room behind him. "Go and I'll catch up with you in a moment."
Hiccup was going to question her to tell her he was planning to wait for her when Astrid, beginning to bandage her chest, said:
"Your father is looking for you."
The beach was splintered by the various pieces of wood that flooded the coast. The waves caressed the wet and painted wood under the symbol of a saffron flower. Along those pieces, there was a boy lying on the sand. His face was pale and a black furrow under his eyelids gave his expressionless face an adult appearance. His clothes were also torn and his body was bruised. However, despite his appearance, he was still breathing.
Stoick was the first to reach the cove and spot the boy in the rubble. Without hesitation, he approached the blond boy and gently picked him up from the wet sand, bringing his chest close to his ear to check gratefully that his heart was still beating.
"Find more survivors! Quickly!" He ordered the rest of the Vikings invading the beach.
Stoick carried the boy carefully and hastened to take it to Gothi. At that moment Hiccup reached the beach, sliding down the dune towards where his father was.
"What happened?" He said hurriedly, barely breathing.
"Where were you?" his father asked.
Hiccup looked down and twisted his face. His father sighed, his eyes tired.
"Come on, help me and go warn Gothi," Stoick broke the silence, "we'll talk at home."
Hiccup nodded and ran up the hillside to warn the old woman. Astrid arrived at the beach at that moment, crossing with Hiccup. They both glanced at each other, fleeting with Hiccup's departure. Astrid went down to Stoick, who was making his way up the slope with the boy in his arms.
"Are there more survivors?" Astrid asked, who couldn't identify the Viking's gaze.
"I'm afraid not… go help the rest," he ordered.
Astrid nodded and obeyed, coming to meet her companions. The surf had brought pieces of what was a ship. Wood. Ropes. And the torn sail that had swum rolled into a piece that must have been the ship's master. It was beautiful and creepy to see her sway in the waves trapped between the rocks on the shore. Bypassing that, Astrid could sense that nothing else had reached the island. There were no more survivors on that shipwreck.
"Put him on his back," Gobber said as Gothi gestured with his stick.
Hiccup helped his father place the boy on the wooden table in Gothi's living room. The old woman knocked them aside with a stick, and the young man lay down, climbing on the table and resting his ear on the boy's chest. Quietly, she pulled out a wooden conch-like object and repeated the same action. Hiccup and Stoick were waiting for the old woman, who was now tearing the boy's shirt and feeling his chest. Gobber bit his nails nervously as the old woman seemed unable to find what she was looking for. Then, raising his stick, he pointed at Hiccup and asked him to come over to lift the boy's chin. It didn't take a second for Hiccup to obey and as if by magic, the old woman gave a sharp blow with her hand to the boy's chest and a sprout of water and earth was thrown from his mouth. Hiccup held his head and when he saw that liquid come out he tilted it a little, to avoid drowning. The boy then took a deep breath and began to cough agitatedly. Gothi nodded pleased and got off the table, heading for a small shelf full of herbs.
Stoick approached the little boy and raised him up a little.
"It's a miracle!" Gobber shouted with joy.
Stoick looked at him with a worried look as he sighed in relief.
Gothi, with absolute speed, approached the boy and gave him to drink a green concoction that he had just prepared and that smelled of fresh nettles. The boy was still unconscious when he started vomiting violently after ingesting that concoction. Hiccup and his father cocked him as they tried to control his jerking movements as he was still unconscious.
Gothi signaled to Gobber and he spoke for her.
"She says the boy is out of danger," he said on behalf of the old woman. And that, with a little rest, tomorrow he will be fully recovered." He paused and added: "She says he was very lucky and asks about the origin of the ship."
"We don't know yet," Hiccup replied to the old woman.
Gothi frowned. Stoick sighed, his eyes weary.
"I think I know where it comes from," he said flatly, to his son's surprise.
The great hall had been shut down to avoid the rumors of war that were already spreading throughout the island. With the help of all the residents of Berk and his dragons, they had managed to transport all the remains of the ship to the great hall, where they had been placed on the table, trying to find out the causes of the shipwreck. And this was undoubtedly the triggering element of all that general fear. The ship had heavy dragon burns, and that certainly couldn't be a good sign. Hiccup paced from side to side in the room, running his hands restlessly over his head, trying to understand how a dragon had been able to attack a ship. None of his dragons could have done such a thing, let alone a fishing boat. It was impossible.
Astrid watched him from the other end of the table. She knew that look of his and she knew something was wrong. She also sensed it. Never before has a ship been shipwrecked on Berk's shores in such strange circumstances. The sea was calm these days so it could only be due to a deliberate attack.
Stoick, presiding over the table on which all the Viking council and the dragon riders gathered, looked thoughtfully at the book of insignia and flags that Fishlegs hurriedly reviewed. On top of the table was a piece of wood from the little that was kept in good condition. And in it a symbol: a saffron flower.
"I found it!" Fishlegs exclaimed with satisfaction.
Hiccup was the first to make room for himself among the Vikings seated at the table to examine the symbol that Fishlegs had found. They did indeed coincide.
"Arendelle…" Hiccup read almost in a whisper the name attached to that symbol.
Everyone at the table suddenly muttered. Everyone except Stoick.
Hiccup wasted no time and went to a bookshelf to remove a large rolled-up piece of paper which he carried to the table, where he laid it out. A map. Fishlegs helped him identify the place they were looking for.
They had all been silent expectantly when Hiccup unrolled the map, but the news brought the murmurs in the room back to life.
Hiccup's gaze locked on the spot his friend had marked. Northeast of the archipelago, far from their lands and practically in the polar fjords. It made no sense. The Viking archipelago had no trade agreements in those territories and the remoteness of those lands made it impossible to maintain any kind of friendship or enmity. Hiccup kept wondering what a ship from those lands was doing on its beaches and more shattered by dragon fire. He didn't even know if dragons inhabited those lands.
"It doesn't make sense…" he said to himself.
"What are we going to do, Chief?" Spitelout asked.
"What do you think has happened?" asked Alea, Berk's captain of navigation.
Hiccup didn't know what to answer despite knowing that those questions were being thrown at his father. He sought Astrid's knowing gaze and found that the Viking was as puzzled as he was.
"Because of the humidity from the burns on the wood, I would say that the ship must have sunk tonight," said Fishlegs, trying to find answers, "that means that they have been attacked on our shores."
"And what were they doing on our shores?" Snotlout countered. "Perhaps they were enemies and our dragons decided to act."
"That is impossible," Hiccup defended flatly, addressing his cousin. "Our dragons do not attack ships, especially if they are unarmed."
"And how do you know that?" he replied. "Perhaps the weapons were lost in the ocean?"
That raised a stir among the Vikings.
"Silence!" Astrid asked, noticing that this was rising in pitch.
"I insist," Hiccup replied, "that they are not enemies. Whoever they are, those dragons that have attacked them are not ours and this undoubtedly puts us in the spotlight."
People looked at him in bewilderment, which urged him to continue.
"If these people were in our waters in peace and were attacked by dragons, they may think we have been responsible," Hiccup clarified. "We have to find the real culprits right now, for our safety and for that of the archipelago."
This didn't seem to convince the council too much, which returned to their own debates. Hiccup sought his father's supportive gaze, but what he found was a serious and taciturn Stoick.
"Dad?" Hiccup caught his eye.
Stoick came out of his reverie, rising from his chair and silencing the entire room with this simple fact. Everyone expected the chief to clarify what was happening.
"We'll wait for the boy to wake up," he said solemnly. "Until then we will not do anything else."
Hiccup was going to complain, but his father raised his voice to silence him.
"Tuffnut, Ruffnut and Astrid," he called, "go stand guard around the island and if you see anything strange come back to report it. With that said, I end the council meeting until tomorrow, when we know what happened."
The Vikings rose, making noise. Hiccup was staring at the map. He didn't understand that indifference of the chief of Berk. Nothing made sense and something told him that his father knew more than he had shown the council. He needed to talk to him.
Hiccup grabbed the symbol book and decided to face his father, who was already leaving the great hall.
"Hiccup, wait," said Astrid suddenly, who grabbed his arm as he started to follow his father.
"Astrid, what's wrong?"
The girl looked at him with a worried face.
"I don't like this Hiccup…" she said. "If our dragons haven't done this, I'm worried that someone else is using dragons to frame us."
Hiccup had the same bad feeling as Astrid, but he knew that without his father's approval the Vikings would not go looking for any enemy.
"I'm going to talk to my father," he confessed, "I think he hasn't told us everything he knows about that symbol..."
Hiccup looked down, then looked at Astrid with some concern. "Be careful on patrol." The girl nodded and Hiccup gave her a short kiss on the cheek.
It didn't take long for Hiccup to catch up with his father, who was already close to their house, although he had to deal with several night terrors that were frightened by children and an old woman he almost knocked to the ground.
"Dad," Hiccup called when he caught up with him several yards from home. "I need to talk with you."
Hiccup was sweating lightly from the walk, book in hand. His father continued to look the same.
"I wanted to talk to you, too, son."
That answer completely baffled Hiccup, who was struggling to keep up with his father's fast pace.
"Okay…" replied the Viking, "then in that case… Look, I wanted to ask you about…" Hiccup opened the book as he walked, looking for Arendelle's page.
"Where did you sleep tonight?" Stoick asked without changing his expression, but stopping short, causing his son to almost trip over him.
"Huh?" Hiccup replied, caught off-guard by the question.
"Where have you spent the night?"
Stoick's gaze had become austere and for the first time in a long time Hiccup felt a certain fear of his father again. Hiccup didn't know what to say and before the evasion of his son, Stoick started walking again. Hiccup followed him in silence, trying to organize his ideas.
It wasn't long before they got home, where Toothless was still sleeping next to the nearly extinguished fire in the fireplace. When he saw Hiccup arrive, he raised his ears, ready to receive him, but when he noticed the strange tension between father and son, he decided to ignore them and continue sleeping.
Stoick removed his helmet and laid it on the table. Then, in silence, he went to the fireplace and bent down, picking up a pair of tongs to move the embers and fan the fire. Hiccup, for his part, closed the door of the house and placed the book on the table, next to his father's helmet. It was not the first time that father and son had fallen silent, and he knew that if they didn't speak now, they could stay for days without speaking to each other.
"Dad," the Viking called.
Hiccup sighed and brushed the hair from the nape of his neck. Stoick didn't answer.
"Okay, I'm spending the night with Astrid," he confessed.
Stoick just let out a snort.
"I know it's not right…" he started before being interrupted.
"You have tainted Astrid's honor, Hiccup," her father said roughly.
Hiccup didn't know where to go before such an accusation. He couldn't help but blush as a strange rage began to invade him.
Deep down he didn't know what to say.
"Think about what some villagers say about her…"
"Dad," Hiccup complained, "my intentions with Astrid are firm and sincere."
"I know," Stoick was still staring at the fire, "but I don't see you thinking with your head, son."
Hiccup pinched the septum of his nose as he crossed his arms.
"Do we have to talk about this now?" he complained. "Dad, a castaway from a distant land has just appeared on our island, can we talk about that? Or that unknown dragons are attacking ships on our shores? Or that I think there's something you're not telling me about the town of Arendelle?
Stoick rose to his feet and without looking at his son began to rummage through the small shelf in the living room.
"Dad… are you listening to anything I say?"
"What would happen to Astrid if you died tomorrow or had to marry someone else?"
That phrase completely baffled Hiccup, who didn't dare answer.
"You've put it out there, son," Stoick pulled a scroll from the books, "and I know you think Vikings are tolerant of promiscuity, and they may be, but not women like Astrid." Stoick approached the table and pushed back his helmet slightly to put down the parchment. "She is too rebellious and is such a good fighter that sometimes I think we don't deserve her. She is not a woman who can run a home at all and so you should know that not just any Viking would want to marry her, especially knowing that she has lost her honor. I'm not going to live forever son, and whether you want to take up my duties or not everyone watches what you do."
His father untied the rope that bound the document and spread it on the table. In other circumstances, Hiccup would have pounced on that piece of paper, but at the moment he could only try to hide his shame. He didn't feel like they were doing anything wrong, until he heard his father's words.
"Are you at least taking precautions?" Stoick said, looking up at his son for the first time.
Hiccup wanted to die and all he could do was nod while looking away. Stoick seemed to appreciate that silent confirmation.
Hiccup felt that somehow he had to apologize to his father. It was clear that his intentions towards Astrid were formal. His father more than anyone should know what that girl meant to him. Astrid was not only a beautiful Viking, she was his best friend, his companion in war and adventure and in some way the only one who managed to see in him something that he didn't allow himself. But as clear as Hiccup and Astrid were in their relationship, deep down the Viking knew what the world they lived in was like and what everyone expected of him: that he marry Astrid and take over the leadership of Berk. However, neither of them was prepared for that. Hiccup didn't want to give up the freedom he enjoyed, much less wanted to take it away from Astrid too. She had good command and fighting skills, was the perfect leader and he knew that asking her to marry now would mean giving it up in order to start a family. And he, on his side, would have to hang up the saddle and start training to be a true leader. Somehow that was giving up their ambitions, and they certainly weren't ready for it.
His father was still absorbed in that piece of paper, quickly moving his eyes from one side of the parchment to the other.
"Dad…" he began hesitantly, "I'm sorry, I know I'm not doing things well and I know that you expected something better from me; I… I want to marry Astrid and someday I will, I haven't had anything clearer in life, but we're not ready yet... I..."
"Arendelle is a cursed kingdom…" broke the speech of his son the Viking chief.
Hiccup suddenly fell silent, surprised by those words. Stoick's gaze had turned somber and his gesture seemed to hide a certain fear.
"Years ago, when you were still very young, I traveled to those lands to establish diplomatic relations," he began. "They were a strange people, much more peaceful than the Vikings and very advanced in medicine. They also worshiped another god and have a strange cult of nature and the beings that inhabit it. However," he paused, "what caught my attention there was the king's eldest daughter, whom they always hid. He never expressly let me know, but the villagers rumored legends about her, about her being cursed. A few months later after my return to Berk, a good friend I made there wrote to tell me a terrifying account of how this girl almost killed her sister, apparently by witchcraft. I didn't believe him, but a little over two years ago we reconnected and he told me about strange events that had taken place in recent years. Apparently the girl, who is now the queen, is a witch with ice powers who froze the entire kingdom and fled into the forest. He told me that in the end they managed to find her and that after a crisis caused by her powers, the queen has taken the throne and keeps all that kingdom protected and governed with her ice magic."
Hiccup didn't know what to think about this story. It seemed more like a children's story to scare children than something that could really happen. Stoick continued recounting under the incredulous gaze of his son.
"I know that you probably think it's just a crazy legend." The chief went back to the shelf where he took a small chest, pulling out a piece of cloth that concealed a small sharp object. "I felt the same way myself, but as chief my job is to protect our own, so I kept digging into this queen, fearing that she might jeopardize the safety of our people."
"You said that the kingdom was peaceful, right?" Hiccup asked uncertainly.
His father grabbed the small sharp object and lifted it up to show his son. It looked like a simple piece of clear glass.
"It may be peaceful now," Stoick replied, "but if wartime comes, we don't know if we are prepared to face a witch with ice powers and even more if she decides to conquer our lands."
Hiccup was thoughtful for a moment and understood where his father wanted to go. If that ship was a sign of war, they were possibly in great danger.
"Take it," his father said as he handed the piece of glass to his son.
Hiccup took the object in his hands and checked to his surprise that it was frozen. This was not glass, but ice. This puzzled him.
"How come..." began the Viking.
"It doesn't melt?" his father finished, taking the crystal from his son's hands again and bringing it closer to the fire. "Because it is the product of the magic of the ice queen."
Stoick placed the piece of ice between the tongs and put it into the fire. Instantly, he took it out to show that it was still intact and gave it to his son. Hiccup couldn't give credit. No further words were needed between them; the boy perfectly understood his father's fear.
Night had fallen over Berk when Hiccup was still watching the horizon from the cliffs. Toothless was lying next to him while the Viking stroked his head abstractedly. The dragon could notice a certain conflict in his friend.
Hiccup for his part still held the piece of ice in his hand, which he kept playing between his fingers, as if by getting to know it he could really get to understand the magic. He sighed in defeat. He felt like his head was going to explode. There were too many emotions in one day.
He was so distracted that he didn't even pay attention to how Stormfly descended on the cliff. He turned his head to see her land and decided to quickly hide the piece of ice so as not to worry her.
"I've been looking for you," she said as she touched his shoulder and sat next to him.
"Sorry," he apologized. "Today is one of those days when I don't want anyone to find me…" said the Viking, more to himself than to the girl.
"You're good?" Astrid asked worriedly, getting closer to the boy and placing her hand on his knee.
"Just a little tired," he replied, taking his girlfriend's hand and smiling slightly.
Astrid sighed and pulled Hiccup up to her to hug him. The Viking didn't resist and clung to the body of his girlfriend, welcomed by her embrace. Instantly he could smell her, that mixture of metal, earth and flowers that characterized her so much. She stroked his hair gently.
"Were you able to speak to your father?"
Hiccup wanted to avoid the subject, but he knew that sooner or later he would have to speak to Astrid; not only about the danger Berk might face, but also the nature of their relationship and his father's warning.
"Yes…" he confirmed, lowered as he got rid of his hug with Astrid, "although to be honest, it wasn't an encouraging conversation."
Astrid saw again that look of concern in Hiccup, but also something else. A conflict in him. The boy lowered his gaze and began to play with the grass they were sitting on, pulling it out and breaking it with his fingers.
"We… talked about you..."
This caught Astrid by surprise.
"Well, about us," Hiccup corrected. "He said that what we're doing isn't right, and… I think people are pressuring my father to marry us."
Astrid couldn't help but blush, feeling a mixture of shame and modesty.
"Wow…" she blurted, losing her gaze to the night horizon. "I guess I wasn't ready for this conversation..."
She tried to sound ironic and in other circumstances Hiccup would have laughed, but at that moment silence came between them.
"Do you want us to talk about it?" She said more seriously.
The boy shook his head, lost in thought.
"Hiccup… you know I don't care what people think, right?"
Hiccup sighed and stopped playing with the grass to look his girlfriend in the eye.
"I know Astrid, it's just that…" he tried to find the words, "I don't want them to hurt you, much less to question your worth for…"
"For not being a virgin?" Astrid finished the sentence, with a certain annoyed tone in her voice. "Do you think I care if I am judged for that?"
"But what if something happened to me… or…" Hiccup repeated his father's doubts.
"Or what? I could knock half of the Vikings off this island on my own," Astrid said, moving slightly away from Hiccup. "Do you think I need to be looked after?"
"No!" Hiccup replied quickly. "It's just that... I don't know... We are in the crosshairs of many people and..."
"And do you expect the chief's wife to be an example of decency and obedience?"
Astrid couldn't help but get up angry and Hiccup did the same when he saw the Viking preparing to leave.
"Wait Astrid!" he asked, grabbing her hand to keep her from leaving. "I don't think any of that, you know that better than anyone and you also know that I don't want to get married yet either."
Astrid sighed, looking unfriendly.
"I just wanted to apologize if I exposed you in any way or led you to do something you didn't want," he continued, "or I'm pressuring you to do something you don't want, like seeing us at night or getting married or..."
Hiccup's voice trembled slightly and Astrid knew she had rushed. She knew Hiccup well enough to know that the boy didn't share that backward and denigrating opinion of Viking women, but she also noticed that something in him had changed, perhaps because of the conversation with his father.
"Hiccup, you're not pressuring me to do anything I don't want to…" she said more conciliatory. "And I understand your father's position, but don't worry; I don't feel that we're doing anything wrong. I love you and I know you love me."
Astrid never used to verbalize her feelings out loud, let alone outside the privacy of her room, which caught Hiccup by surprise. The Viking used to show her affection through gestures or actions, even through sex, but she had rarely confessed her love directly.
"And I also know I want to marry you…" that made them both blush slightly, "but not now. I'm not ready and neither are you. And I don't mind stopping our encounters if that reassures your father, but please," she said urgently, approaching Hiccup and placing a hand on her cheek," don't think you've condemned me or something like that, because that's not true."
Hiccup appreciated the physical contact with her and brought his hand to hers, on her cheek. Astrid smiled and relaxed.
"Yes," she said amused, "promise me that what you have hidden before was not a jewel of commitment or anything like that, because then I really screwed up with this speech."
Hiccup couldn't help but smile at the comment. She also laughed. The Viking hugged her again, this time tightly.
"I love you Astrid," he confessed, burying his head against her neck.
"And I love you Hiccup," she clung to his back.
"And take it easy," said the Viking, releasing his embrace. "I haven't hidden any family heirloom or anything like that."
After saying this, the Viking rummaged in his pocket and extracted the ice tip his father had given him. Astrid frowned at the strangeness of the object.
"Is it a crystal tip?"
"It's ice," Hiccup clarified as he handed the sharp object to Astrid, who marveled at its icy contact.
"It's beautiful..." she answered in wonder as she turned it in the air. "But how come…?"
"It doesn't melt?" He finished. "It's a long story…" Hiccup scratched his head. "Come on, let's go back and I'll tell you on the way.
When Astrid and Hiccup landed in front of the smithy, they could see a great uproar in the town, too much for the current hour. Gobber, who was preparing to leave the smithy, was surprised to see them.
"Hiccup, Astrid!" He shouted. "By the gods, I was looking for you."
"What happened?" Hiccup asked, coming down from Toothless.
"It's the boy," Gobber replied as he adjusted the hook on the stump. Woke up a moment ago.
Astrid also jumped down from Stormfly and approached Gobber.
"Did he say something?" She asked anxiously.
Gobber nodded, showing his concern openly.
"And?" Hiccup asked.
"You better go and talk to your father," Gobber suggested. "It's not good news. Apparently the boy was traveling under minimal crew to send us a message of help from his queen."
That news somewhat relieved Hiccup, as it ruled out a war with the ice queen. However, Gobber's gaze hid a greater fear.
"It was Drago Bludvist," revealed Gobber. "He has gathered an army of dragons again, only this time he has an immortal dragon."