I cannot believe how much everyone liked my little one-shot! It's amazing, really. Just a little exercise to get my creative juices flowing, and for some reason, you guys seem to love it.
So, as a thank-you for the staggering 3,000+ hits, the 140 favorites and the 33 wonderful reviews, I give you:
Six Years Later…
It was a peaceful morning in the small village of Berk. Well, as peaceful as a Viking village can be. Sure, there was the stray axe thrown here, and the occasional dragon shooting flame there, but overall, the streets were quiet, the air calm. The sun was casting beautiful purple and pink rays across the clouds that lay against the horizon, and the sheep were grazing peacefully on the sloped hillside with no fear of dragon abduction. All in all, with the clear, serene skies and the refreshing wind that wound around the houses, the morning could be best described as-
Well, on second thought, the full extent of the morning's peacefulness may never be known in its entirety, because the reverie was abruptly broken by an enraged cry sounding from the tall house at the top of the hill. The Chieftain's house, to be precise, though anyone listening would note that it was not the chieftain himself who was presently sounding various expressions of his frustration towards a certain someone.
Something, actually. A dragon. A black dragon, who was currently lying, as motionless and heavy as a rock, asleep against the door.
Hiccup shoved for all he was worth against the huge beast, but the Night Fury didn't move a single inch, and his sleepy dragon smile didn't so much as twitch. Grunting, groaning and letting slip the occasional curse, the decidedly frustrated Viking heaved at the dragon's sides, trying to get him to move. He tried to open his door again, but the situation seemed to have worsened rather than gotten any better than before. Turning, Hiccup glared down at his dragon with as much detestation as he could muster.
Late. He was going to be late! What horrible thing had he done to make the gods hate him so much as to make him late for his own wedding?! And all because of a stupid dragon! Sure, said dragon had saved his life multiple times, and served as an integral catalyst in the peace between Vikings and dragons, but at the moment, all the dragon was doing was being an enormous pain in the neck.
Toothless had been sleeping upstairs in Hiccup's room for the better part of six years, ever since the dragon and Hiccup's father, Stoick, had butted heads over where a Night Fury (an over protective one, at that) should sleep at night. For a while, especially when Hiccup was having trouble with his leg or dealing with painful memories of the battle, the boy would sleep next to Toothless, tucked under his wing. However, as time wore on, this happened less and less and Hiccup occupied his own bed while Toothless contented himself with the floor. Still, that didn't mean that Toothless was going to let his human out of his sight any time soon. Ever since the slight shift in sleeping arrangements, the black dragon had taken to sleeping near Hiccup's bed, by the door. Normally, though, he spared enough room for Hiccup to pass him in the morning.
Apparently, today (of all days under the sun) things were going to be different.
A few more minutes of shoving and grumbling and hitting and cursing, and Toothless still hadn't budged. Hiccup stood and ran frustrated hands through his hair. With an angry shout, Hiccup drew back his right foot and swung it as hard as he could to contact the dragon's side. This didn't seem to effect Toothless in the slightest, but the movement caused Hiccup to loose balance off of his metal leg and he very suddenly and very painfully fell to the floor on his rump.
"Ow! Oh, for the love of… Toothless!" He hissed menacingly, which had no perceivable effect on the beast's slumber, "So help me," Hiccup's voice was rising in volume, "If you do not move your black-scaled, useless excuse for a reptilian hide out of my way in the next three seconds, I swear I'm going to-"
"Hiccup?" A voice sounded from the other side of the door.
"Astrid?" Hiccup looked up, the anger in his voice replaced now by confusion.
"What are you doing? Your father said you were running late. What's taking so long?"
Hiccup sighed and glared down at his dragon. "Toothless won't let me leave."
"He's asleep. He won't move away from the door."
There was a silence, and then… Wait, no, she wasn't – she couldn't be – she was. Astrid was laughing at him. Giggling, more like, but Hiccup didn't care – the two were both just as humiliating. Blushing half out of embarrassment, half out of anger, he let out a sigh and crossed his arms in a sulky, childish way.
"Yes, it's all very funny. Just hilarious." He said, his voice reeking of dry sarcasm.
Astrid just laughed harder. He rolled his eyes and then glared daggers in Toothless' general direction.
Once Astrid had calmed down enough to talk (though Hiccup could still hear the smile in her voice) she said:
"Asleep? Oh, and here I was thinking that something horrible had happened… Oh, Toothless…" She then switched tones, and Hiccup could hear a rustle of fabric as she knelt down by the door. "Toothless? Hey, bud, you need to wake up so Hiccup can get out and start getting ready, okay?"
Oh, right. Hiccup thought, Like that's going to work. I spend all morning shoving and shouting, and she thinks she can just come over here and-
And then, to Hiccup's utter shock, bewilderment and ultimate chagrin, Toothless casually opened his eyes as he recognized Astrid's voice, stood, sniffed and the bottom of the doorway, looked up at his master, and courteously moved out of the way, as if nothing was at all amiss.
He was so taken aback that all he could do was sit there and stare at the space where Toothless had been, his mouth hanging open like an idiot. In fact, he couldn't even bring himself to open the now accessible door. It was Astrid who finally turned the latch and let the wood door swing open.
"Why, that favoritist, disrespectful overgrown lump of-"
"Aw, he's not so bad, is he?" Astrid said, cooing as she scratched under Toothless' chin. "No he's not." She smiled at the puppy-like eyes of the dragon and then looked back up at Hiccup.
"Really, maybe if you tried asking nicely, he might listen to you once in a while." She said, looking back up at Hiccup. Toothless followed her gaze with an agreeing look.
"What? That doesn't even- AHH!" So caught up in being aghast, Hiccup hadn't bothered to look at Astrid yet, but when he did and caught sight of the formal, traditional Viking dress she was wearing, he suddenly remembered why exactly he was supposed to be leaving the house in the first place, and just how many traditions they were breaking in that moment. "What are you doing here?! You can't be here!" He was extremely alarmed – after all, the groom was never supposed to see, much less talk to his bride so soon before the ceremony. He planted a hand over his eyes. "Out! Out out out!"
Astrid would have very much liked to stayed and tease him endlessly for his comical behavior, but, despite her rebellious streak, she did respect tradition, and so satisfied herself with a dramatic roll of the eyes and a shake of the head, before she turned on her heel, patting Toothless on the head as she left.
"I'm going, I'm going. Just don't let him fall asleep again." She paused at the door and grinned at Toothless.
"Good boy." She told him. She opened her mouth to say something to Hiccup, but was interrupted by a bellow from downstairs.
"ASTRID! So help me if your mother finds out about this, she'll have my hide! I was supposed to keep you indoors!" Ruffnut's voice carried up the stairs.
"I am indoors!" Astrid protested.
"Oh, that's not- Just get your butt down here before I come up there and drag you down myself!"
Astrid sighed. "Well, alright…" She turned towards her fiancée. "Hiccup, I'll-"
"Wait, what?! Hiccup is up there?! Why by Thor's hammer aren't you with your father at town hall? And why in Odin's name are you talking to Astrid?!"
"I tried to tell her to leave," Hiccup cried, hand still over his eyes, "But she won't-"
"HICCUP HORRENDOUS HADDOCK III, do you realize what your father will do to me?! Astrid, get your tradition-breaking butt down here and Hiccup, get to Town Hall before your father comes and finds you chatting with your fiancée before the ceremony!"
Hiccup sighed, but Astrid gave a snort of laughter.
"Oh, tradition. Gotta love it." She then left, and Hiccup could hear Ruffnut lecturing her on tradition as they walked out of the house. Only after he heard the front door shut did he dare open his eyes. Toothless was off to one side, with what could be best described as a smirk plastered to his scaly mouth. Hiccup narrowed his eyes at the dragon.
"Don't look at me like that. This is all your fault, you know." Hiccup thought he'd glared enough daggers at Toothless that the dragon would be suitably chastened, but as he walked out the door, he could have sworn he heard deep, rumbling laughter.
Astrid let out a yawn as she walked out into the main room of the house, wrapping her arms around her waist as she watched the sunrise from the large window. She could see her Nadder stretching and beating her wings as she rose from her sleep. The sight made her smile, and she sighed contentedly as she continued to watch the sunrise.
She and Hiccup had been married for several weeks now, and were falling into the new routine and order of married life. A 'new normal', as Hiccup had called it. Along with growing used to the fact that she was now a wife, Astrid was also growing accustomed to a new living space. She and Hiccup, along with their families, had been hard at work for months before the actual wedding building a new house for the couple to move in to once they were wed. It was close to Hiccup's childhood home, and had a beautiful view of the east sea. It was a very large house compared to the home she'd grown up in, though she knew that it was smaller than the Chieftain's home. Though she had initially assumed that Hiccup would build the house with only one floor, because of his leg, there were two stories to their home, and a permanent set of weights, levers, ropes and pulleys sat side-by-side with the stairwell to hoist Hiccup up to the second floor whenever he liked. It was one of the things she liked about her knew house – Hiccup had drawn up the entire floor plan, and so naturally, the entire place was ridden with touches of 'Hiccup flair'. Gadgets and thingamabobs sitting about the rooms, strange mechanics built into the walls, and a whole room, dubbed as the 'drawing room', with a desk and chair, already overflowing with Hiccup's sketches for multiple ideas on who knows what.
Astrid had decided very quickly that she liked this 'new normal'. She breathed in a breath of the brisk morning air. Yes, she liked it very much. From her viewpoint at the window, she could see her dragon start towards the house. She'd be hungry, Astrid knew. Smiling, the Viking walked calmly towards the door so that she could go get her dragon some breakfast.
As she walked, Astrid considered her new life. She loved her new normal – every bit of it. In fact, Astrid thought, there wasn't a single thing about her new life that she would change. She reached the door and opened it, regretting the fact that she did so just a second too late.
Then again, there was that one, little, tiny thing…
Before she could even think to move or resist, Astrid found herself pinned to the ground by her shoulders with a snarling black face just above her own. She glared fearlessly into the green eyes above her and sighed.
Stoick had told her horror stories about this kind of thing. She'd never thought that she'd have to deal with it herself, though. Honestly, she was Hiccup's wife. She had been for several weeks now – plenty of time for Toothless to realize that she wasn't going to maim, kill or destroy the man she now called husband. In all truth, she didn't think that Toothless would ever mistake her for a threat. She was mistaken, it seemed.
Some things, she supposed, never changed. In a similar way, the solution she employed to solve her current problem was rather similar to that which Stoick had used – or at least, so she'd been told. With a heavy sigh, Astrid huffed up at her bangs, turned her head towards the room where Hiccup was still sleeping, and drew breath.
Well, there you have it. I hope it somehow measured up to the original, though I personally enjoyed the first installment more. :P Thanks, guys, for the great reviews and all those favorites! I'll love you even more if you review this one, too!