DISCLAIMER: How to Train Your Dragon belongs to Cressida Cowell and DreamWorks and other associated parties. I only own a golden retriever who reminds me of Toothless.
I don't normally do ships, but I totally love the Hiccup/Astrid dynamic and wanted to write something about it. It came out longer and more rambly than I wanted it to, and I'm still not entirely sure about it. But here it is.
A TRULY UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL
By Christina TM
Like every other Viking, Astrid was tough and tasteless and had stubbornness issues. It was the way things were on Berk. Even with the era of the dragon attacks nearly forgotten, Berk was still nestled between Hopeless and Freezing to Death. Life was tough here, and Astrid had to be tough to survive it. Just like every other Viking.
Well, almost every other Viking.
Astrid smiled softly as she watched her husband and his dragon sitting on the grass, enjoying the rare sunny day on Berk. Toothless lay on his side, his catlike eyes closed in bliss as his master scratched him behind the ears. Astrid could hear Hiccup talking to the scaly beast, but she couldn't make out his words.
As she picked up baby Kristensa, Astrid let her mind wander to Hiccup pre-Toothless. The scrawny messed-up not-really-Viking who she wouldn't give the time of day. Astrid had thought he was a dreamer with his head in the clouds. She'd seen his kind spirit and gentle heart as weakness. Weakness unfitting a Viking.
He'd changed so much since then. Eight later he was taller—now he towered over his wife. Hiccup would never be the mountain of a man that his father was, but lean muscles had replaced the skinniness of his youth. His famous awkwardness and stammering had vanished, leaving in its place quiet, steady confidence.
Some of the changes hadn't been so positive. Astrid knew all too well that her husband still dreamed about the battle with the Green Death. He had warned her about it before their wedding. While the nightmares didn't come often, it was harrowing when they did. A nightmare left Hiccup drained and melancholy the next day, and he would complain that his leg hurt. Even holding Kristensa and caring for Toothless would, at best, elicit a weary smile.
And some things hadn't changed at all. Hero or no hero, Hiccup still existed in some sort of alternate dimension. He was still perfectly capable of losing track of time while discovering some waterfall or fjord with Toothless, or carrying on for ten minutes about some new dragon-training method he wanted to try, or spending hours sketching. Astrid didn't understand his leaps in logic, and by now she'd learned he didn't care. She needed only listen in silence and within a few minutes, he'd probably be onto something else.
Kristensa gurgled and squirmed in her mother's arms, straining her neck toward the bright sunshine. "You want to go outside, don't you," Astrid shifted the baby higher on her shoulder and reached for the doorknob. "Can't say I blame you. We may not see another day like this until you have your own babies."
Toothless perked up as Astrid exited the house, and Hiccup twisted backward to see what alerted his dragon. "Hi," he said.
"Hi yourself." Astrid greeted. Toothless stood from the ground and sniffed at Kristensa, eliciting delighted babbling from the infant.
Hiccup bent over and looked into his daughter's eyes. "Hi there," he cooed. "Want to come see Daddy?"
Kristensa reached her tiny arms toward her father, and Hiccup lifted her off Astrid's shoulder. "Want to play with her, buddy?" He asked the eager Toothless, who gave a soft whine in agreement. "OK, OK." Hiccup settled on the ground and placed Kristensa in his lap. "Go easy. She's not a dragon, you know."
Toothless gave his rider a look that clearly said, "You think I'm an idiot?" While Kristensa pawed at his broad nose.
Looking at him now, Astrid couldn't believe how flippantly she'd once disregarded the man who had become her husband. Hiccup was the bravest, strongest Viking Berk had ever seen. Not because of a sword or brute force, but compassion and an outstretched hand that had tamed an entire army of dragons and brought two worlds into harmony. Sometimes Astrid wasn't sure Hiccup even understood the impact of what he'd done.
Hiccup was a truly unique individual. And Astrid wouldn't change that for anything in the world.