Okay this is unabashed fluff because I want to write it and because while the pacing of BLAS is really good, I'm going through freakin HiccupxAstrid withdrawals. Also just to make this clear this story does not tie in with any of the others.
SO here is unabashed, unashamed HiccupxAstrid fluff.
Which was inspired by "Hey Soul Sister" by Train which has been stuck in my head for a week.
It takes place in the future. They are in an established relationship. So they act a bit differently.
His arms ached with the force of the blows.
Hiccup had long become accustom to being a blacksmith. He was a full viking, the next Clan Chief and the most well known dragon rider but he had never given up on the craft his father had shoved him into--nor on the man who had given him a chance when the rest of the world did not see fit to do so. As Gobber had gotten older, Hiccup had taken on more and more of he responsibilities of the shop. Now instead of people muttering about having the first screw up as a Clan Chief, they were chuckling about how Hiccup was going to be shouting orders from inside the blacksmith's shop while he repaired their weapons. Inspecting the red hot metal he was working with, Hiccup turned and plunged the iron into a vat of water nearby where it cooled with an immediate hiss. Picking it up, he transfered the metal back to the fire where another project was also being worked.
It was well into the night. A few years ago and Hiccup knew his father and Toothless would be at each other's throats without him there to talk them apart. Of course now he knew that back at home his father was sound asleep in his favorite chair and Toothless was equally unconscious by the fire, identical expressions of exhaustion and being stuffed full of food on their faces. Hiccup knew Toothless had taken him as his human but sometimes he wondered if the black dragon hadn't adopted his father as well--not that either would ever admit to such a thing. They were both very good at holding grudges.
"How long does a girl have to wait to get an axe sharpened here?" a voice called to him.
Hiccup turned his head, his eyes wide at having been jerked out of his thoughts. Leaning against the counter of the shop, Astrid watched him with humor glinting in her eyes. Her hair was half out of its braid, her cheeks still pink from the wind and he could see the lines on her temples where tears had broken free from her fast pace--all tell tale signs she had been off with Bluebell. Her trusty axe was on the counter between them. Hiccup had a feeling it was perfectly sharp as it was--Astrid wasn't the type to go out without a sharpened axe--and that what the blonde viking was there for had little to do with weaponry. The years had changed her as much as they had him. She bore the same lean muscle and she too had garnered her fair share of scars from their lifestyle. But her blue eyes still held the same spark and, Hiccup knew, her throwing and punching was still the best. The main difference, however, was that now he was taller than her--something he liked and she loathed.
"Sorry," Hiccup said ducking his head and coming over towards her.
His leg no longer ached when he moved but the prosthetic he wore still taped against the ground, the sound of metal unmistakable against the stones beneath his feet.. Once upon a time the sound had seemed alien. Then it had seemed sad, the wound of the foot that he had lost when to the flames and the teeth of the dragon. It had also been inconvenient. He had never realized quite how much he depended on being quiet or being able to just disappear before both became quite impossible. His movements as well had changed since the first jerky steps that barely had him put any weight on the missing limb. Now his limp was minor, most people said it was the prosthetic itself that gave away his missing limb rather than his gait. He was still thin though, the last vestiges of boyhood awkwardness clinging stubbornly to his body. But Astrid knew that soon those too would be gone. Hiccup had grown up a lot since his days as a skinny boy who dreamed of fighting dragons.
"I take it training went well?" Hiccup asked, standing behind the counter. Astrid raised an eyebrow, "not that you and Bluebell need it or anything--" he trailed off hurriedly as Astrid laughed and shook her head.
"It went fine," she said, her lips curving into a bright smile, "training's a part of getting better," she continued, "and besides, flying never really feels like training."
"Even when pitching an axe into--" he frowned and picked up the weapon, "Astrid is this tree sap?"
The amber gunk had dried from tacky to hard along the edge of the axe, something revealed to him when he scratched it with his pinky nail. Hiccup looked from the blade of the weapon to the blonde viking standing there. Astrid me his gaze evenly, perhaps a bit defiantly and instantly Hiccup knew what happened. she had pitched her axe--and Bluebell her spikes--at a target and probably hit a large tree instead. Astrid, being Astrid, would pursue the prey until she caught it. Especially when she was on her dragon.
"So'd you catch it?" he asked, picking up the axe and moving it off the counter.
"Of course I caught it," Astrid said, her tone defensive at even the prospect that she had failed in her hunt, "and then Bluebell ate it," she added, her tone a bit quieter.
Then she heard him chuckle.
Astrid's head flew up as she glared at Hiccup. He was chuckling, trying to look as though he was inspecting the axe but she could see the humor in his green eyes. She knew that he knew she caught what she had been hunting but he always found it funny that she got upset when Bluebell acted, well, like a dragon should act. That was the problem. Nadders liked meat, more than the other dragons, and Bluebell had the bad habit of gulping down everything. Her jaws were made for it, her dragon was a hunter through and through. Astrid just wished that every time they went hunting she didn't have to catch double what she would have if she had been riding a dragon that preferred fish. Bluebell was quick too. Barely a minute after she killed something it would be gone so cleanly it was like it never existed.
"Its not funny!" Astrid said defensively.
"Its a little funny," Hiccup said, his laughter slipping into a smile.
"Yeah, well, next time you're gonna have to come with me and we'll see how funny it is."
Hiccup's smile slipped for a moment as he turned to the tools spread out in the workshop behind him. He had wanted to go hunting with her but once again his duties had kept him in Berk. Stoick had decided it was time for Hiccup to begin to assume his duties as the Clan Chief. As more time went by Hiccup was taken further and further away from the friends he had fought so hard to have. It was necessary, after all Hiccup was going to be the Chief of everyone, not just a small group of vikings, but just because it was necessary didn't mean that it was fun. Long flights weren't half as entertaining without Hiccup's dry sense of humor and Toothless's penchant for tricks in mid air. They had their jobs to do, Hiccup had his, but Astrid couldn't help but wish that a few more of those tasks brought them together instead of pulling them apart.
"Yeah, I was hoping that I could come with you today," the tall young man admitted, reaching up and picking a tool from the many spread out, "but that war meeting came up--"
"Its not a big deal," Astrid cut in quickly, "all part of being Clan Chief, right?"
Hiccup's hands paused, any remnants of a smile dropping off his face.
Mentally Astrid kicked herself.
Hiccup had spent a good deal of his life believing that his father's duties would go to someone who was--well, not so like him. And now that he was actually facing becoming Clan Chief, things were tense. He struggled so much to seem strong that half the time it worked and half the time Astrid felt like she was looking at the lost boy standing on the docks watching his only friend in the world being hauled off by his father. Astrid was sure that she was the only one who saw it and in spite of her best efforts to tell herself that everything was fine, that he was fine, every time she saw the shadow of hopelessness in his eyes she wanted nothing more than to throw her arms around him--that or beat him until he cheered up. More often than not she couldn't do anything because she could not reach him. Not emotionally, literally.
It was easy to forget when the skinny, awkward screw up had shown up at class that he would one day be Clan Chief. It was impossible when now during meetings she and the other young vikings stood in the middle or the back while Hiccup was next to his father in the place of the Chief. Most of the time Astrid could catch a glimpse of him, but to actually be close enough to touch him, that was impossible. Saving the world had given them more rank then they would have had at their young age but they still weren't high enough--or big enough--to get to the center of the war room where their friend stood. Astrid hated it. She hated the fact that they were separated, she hated how far apart they all were forced to go. But most of all she hated feeling so helpless. Maybe it was part of his training that the most he'd get from his father was a slap on the back and an order to stand taller but wished that there was something more that they could do--something that she could do.
Placing her hands on the wood, Astrid pushed down and nimbly vaulted over the counter that separated her from Hiccup. Her thick boots barely made a sound as they connected with the stones. Hiccup did not turn to at her, but then again she didn't expect him to. That was another peculiar thing about Hiccup. He was polite to a fault. Certainly polite enough to let her come forward and sneak up on him, though Astrid was certain he already knew she was coming towards him. He kept his back to her as she approached him. Carefully Astrid leaned against the wall next to him, waiting for him to move. A few years ago and she would have just beat the answer out of him. But years of dragon riding, and of seeing how patient Hiccup could be had taught her a bit of her own.
"I hate it," Hiccup said finally, cutting her off. Astrid watched him carefully as he dropped her axe and the tool to the table in front of him, bracing his hands against the wood, "I hate everything that I have to give up to do a job that wasn't even supposed to be mine."
He looked utterly miserable standing there, her axe tossed in front of him. The years had taught her how to read Hiccup but even if she could not she knew that anyone with two eyes would be able to see just how miserable he was. Most of the time he hid it so well that it was hard to see the weight he carried. Hiccup had spent most of his life covering his emotions with sarcasm and dry wit, just like Astrid had been too wrapped up in fighting to understand or care about what she felt. Over time they had come to see that even if they were different people, they did have a lot in common. Learning to let down their guard around each other was the hardest part of their relationship, resulting in many stony silences between the two of them. But like every other obstacle they had faced, somehow they came through the other side, stronger for the struggle.
"You're the only one who can do it," Astrid told him, the softness of her tone taking on a no nonsense edge, "you were leading us when you were a kid who figured out that dragons weren't evil."
"I had help with that," he said.
"Hiccup its not like we're just going to abandon you," Astrid said, rolling her eyes at the melancholy expression on his face, "we're at every meeting. Who knows, by the time you make Chief we might actually be able to stand up there with you."
"The others are huge," he said after a moment of quiet.
"They are huge!" Astrid agreed with a smile, "i thought we'd be as big," she shook her head, "but then I'm guessing flying would be harder if we were."
Hiccup looked over at her, feeling his lips tug into a smile. Astrid was even more beautiful when she smiled, her blue eyes looking up at him through her bangs. Hiccup broke their eye contact to look at the axe. Astrid pushed herself off the wall and walked over to where he was standing. She placed one of her hands against his back, covering his other hand with her own. He was warm from the heat of the fire, his skin, his clothing, even the metal of his prosthetic. He smelled like the fires of the forge, like the tang of metal. But underneath that she could smell the trees that Toothless had clearly taken him through and the whisper of salt from the sea they flew by. She felt him tense at the touch before his body relaxed against hers.
"When the time comes, you're going to be a great Chief," Astrid told him firmly.
Hiccup turned his head to look over at the blonde girl. If someone had told him that he would one day be standing like this with Astrid, he would have asked them if they were crazy. There were still days when they were flying together and he would look over and wonder what in the name of the Gods he had done to deserve her even wanting to spend time with him. He remembered back when he had first had a crush on her, when he had thought that she would be wonderful to get to know. But even his boyhood dreams weren't preparation for what she really was like. Now as he looked at her he realized that he knew her, almost as well as he knew himself--and that she knew him in that way too. Somehow they had gone from being kids who liked to steal quick, clumsy kisses to two people who knew each other inside and out. Who really understood each other.
Who loved each other.
"Its a good thing I've got a bit of time," Hiccup said. Astrid smile against the fabric of his shirt.
Setting down the axe, Hiccup turned around and faced her. She moved with him, her hands seamlessly settling on his shoulders. The first time they had made out in the blacksmith shop, he'd spent half the time apologizing for getting soot on her until she had hit him upside the head and told him if she cared about getting soot on her she wouldn't have very well come to make out with him in a blacksmith shop. Now as her hips and chest pressed against the apron he wore, he simply enjoyed the feeling of her body against his--yet another advantage of growing up. With a smile, Astrid looked up at him.
"Feel better?" she asked. He nodded, "see, Hiccup? You're stuck with us."
"I could get used to that," he said. Astrid's face broke into a wide grin, "And what do you want?" he asked, leaning forward until his lips a breath from her own.
"This," she said, pulling him against her, her grin turning devious.
"You just gestured to all of me," he said, his voice soft and rough and sending chills racing up and down her spine.
"Now you're getting it," she said, pulling him down and kissing him.
He met her lips eagerly, parting them with his own. Astrid had kissed Hiccup many times before but it never ceased to amaze her just how he made her feel. His lips were heated and perfect against hers. Astrid had kissed other boys before, but their lips were sloppy and greedy. Even when he kissed her so soundly that she couldn't think strait, Hiccup was still gentle with her. He still kissed her like she was an actual person, not a thing to possess or dominate. Astrid smiled into the kiss, pulling him even closer as his hands moved to her lower back, his fingers sliding easily over the buckle for her skirt.
The heavy, spiked skirt dropped to the floor.
Easily Hiccup picked her up, settling her on the work table without even breaking the kiss.
Astrid opened her legs as he stepped in between them, his hands sliding from her sides to her hips to finally rest on the table beside her. Astrid's own fingers found the laces of his blacksmith robe, pulling the worn leather tie apart. Hiccup broke the kiss only to let her pull the thing off him, throwing it aside, Reaching up she pulled the tie out of her hair, letting the blonde locks fall around her face before she grabbed his shirt and yanked him back towards her. More of their clothing hit the ground as Hiccup trailed heated, havoc-wreaking kisses along the line of her throat and shoulder, his hands heavy with the weight of her blonde locks. It was a good thing that it was so late because if there had been people around--well, Astrid was sure that they would have been in for an eyeful.
"Wait--wait a second," Hiccup said pulling back.
"Hiccup!" Astrid groaned as he pulled away, leaving her cold and trembling.
Hair and clothing askew, Hiccup moved quickly over to the forge where the iron and embers were being heated. Glancing at both of the red hot metal items, the blacksmith swore, quickly grabbing gloves and pulling them on. Plunging the iron into the water, he grabbed tongs and picked up the worn cup, filled to the brim with hot metal. He turned over to the press nearby, pouring the red hot liquid into it before quickly closing it so that it would set properly. Moving the cup back to the place near the fire, Hiccup made sure everything was alright before turning around to face the table where Astrid had been sitting, only to find it was empty and the blonde viking was much closer to him than he had thought.
"Hiccup you'd better have a damn good reason you had to run back here--" Astrid began.
"Uh--you're not wearing any protective gear--"
"Don't 'protective gear me'," Astrid said, glaring at him as she crossed her arms over her chest, "what are you--"
"Hiccup? Son? Are you there?"
Hiccup and Astrid stared wordlessly at each other, identical expressions of horror on their faces. Hiccup looked a mess but Astrid was halfway to being disrobed and the man approaching them was not her father--though it could be argued that if it was, the situation would be far worse. Instantly the two jumped apart. Astrid had no time to think about getting her cloths and getting out of there before Stoick came up to the window. Somehow the idea of the Clan Chief seeing her half naked was more than Astrid could stand.
"My workshop," Hiccup said pointing to a door in the wall, "hide in there. I'll get rid of him quickly."
Astrid practically threw herself into the small space, closing the door tightly behind her and praying that Hiccup was able to get rid of his father quickly. Exhaling, she leaned against the door and closed her eyes, resting her head against the wood. In spite of what had just happened she couldn't help but smile. That was Hiccup alright, leaving a half naked woman to go running off to finish some kind of invention. Opening her eyes, Astrid looked around the workshop. It was a tiny room, barely big enough to fit the small table against the wall. But every inch of space was covered in pictures, all drawn in charcoal, all done by Hiccup's careful hand. She recognized some of the sketches on the walls, inventions that he had created and places he had visited. His artwork was known around the village, half the dragon manual was his work ad all the sketches were. Carefully Astrid walked over to the stood pressed against the table and turned towards the desk.
The corner of the desk bore a sketch of her hand, one she clearly remembered making with Hiccup one night when he jokingly said he wanted to see if she could draw--which she could not. She had obliged him but hadn't thought anything of it when the sketch disappeared. Next to the sketch of her hand were what must have been hundreds of sketches of bluebells. Blossoming, budding--there were even a few that showed the flower cut in half. Reaching forward, Astrid wordlessly picked up the sketch in the center of the desk, the place where Hiccup placed the design for the project he was currently working on. Resting there was a perfectly sketched out design of a bluebell twisted into a circle. Swallowing thickly, Astrid moved her hand forward and placed it over the sketch.
It would be a perfect fit.
"Sorry about that--"
Astrid gasped, jumping to her feet. The stool knocked against the wall before it clattered noisily to the ground, the piece of paper she held fling out of her hand. Astrid didn't need to look down to see the charcoal smudge against her hand. Hiccup's eyes widened as he looked at the ruined drawing that fluttered to the floor before his shocked green eyes met her own. Astrid opened and closed her mouth, but no words came out. Much to her shame she felt her eyes begin to sting. Quickly she tore her eyes away, bending down and picking up the drawing.
Astrid stopped as his large and calloused hands covered her own. Hiccup had bent down next to her, his hands catching her own in his. Astrid looked down at their hands, at the ruined drawing between them, at anywhere but his eyes. She couldn't look at him, not right then. Instead she closed her eyes tightly, trying to fight back the burning that threatened them. Though for the life of her she couldn't say why she was on the verge of tears.
"Astrid," his voice was soft.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to---I should---"
"Astrid," he repeated her name, his voice almost desperate and slowly Astrid looked up and met is eyes. With a miserable sigh he hung his head, breaking their eye contact, "I didn't think. You weren't supposed to find out this way."
"But I ruined your work," she began, "I--"
"Its not important," he said, his fingers tight against hers, "it was just a sketch."
"I cast it tonight," he said, "that's why I had to leave you sitting there. Thats why I came here this late," he looked down almost angrily before looking back up at her, "I had a more romantic thing in mind--and I thought I'd have time think of what I was going to say to you--" he stopped, looking at her dazed expression, "Astrid I love you. And even if the elders weren't saying things to me, I'd still be asking you to be my wife."
Astrid stared at him, feeling strangely out of her body. He was asking her to---to be his wife. A small part of her reminded her that she would be the wife of the Clan Chief, that even with everything a regular marriage entailed theirs would be infinitely more complex. Any children would be in line for Hiccup's job, any decision would be made with the Clan in mind. Their lives would not just be their own. And then there were the dragons, not just the Clan's dragons but their dragon's as well. There were so many things to think about, but all that Astrid could do was stare at him, filled with disbelief that the words had actually left his mouth.
"You want me to marry you?" she asked, her voice little more than a whisper.
"Yes," Hiccup said, looking her right in her eyes.
"Yes," she repeated.
"Yes?" he questioned, his eyes widening as his heart pounded.
"Yes," Astrid said, freeing her hands to throw her arms around him, taking them both to the ground, "yes of course I'll marry you!s"
Hiccup wrapped his arms around her, looking upwards and thanking whatever God saw fit to make her say yes before closing his eyes and burying his face in her shoulder. She smelled like wind and embers and Hiccup realized that somehow, impossibly, she had agreed to always be like this. To be with him. To always belong in his arms, in the workshop, by his side. When she had stared at him he had been so sure she would say no. That she'd grab her skirt and run like the wind and the subject wouldn't come up again. But she hadn't. She had said yes, to him! He felt a few of her tears drop onto his shoulder, dampening the cotton of his shirt.
"Hey," he said, "why are you crying?"
"I'm not!" Astrid protested, tightening her arms around him. Hiccup didn't force her back, his arms remained around her, "I've never been proposed to, okay?" Astrid said into the fabric of his shirt, "and I saw that ring design and I knew it was for me but I--I didn't know what to think."
She heard him let out a breath, his arms tightening around her before loosening.
"That ring is what's in the press, isn't it?" she mumbled into his shoulder.
Slowly Astrid drew back to look at him. His eyes were bright, happy even and his gaze was tinged with disbelief, as if he couldn't quite comprehend that she had agreed to be his wife. The look was so adorably Hiccup that Astrid felt tears threaten her eyes all over again. One of his calloused hands reached up and cupped her cheek, his thumb wiping away the tears that Astrid hadn't even known she shed. Astrid closed her eyes, ducking her head and wishing that she could either smile or cry but not the combination of the two. Her emotions were all jumbled but all she saw was understanding in Hiccup's green eyes. Understanding and relief.
"Did you think I was going to say no?" she demanded, looking at him.
"Yes? No--I mean--" he let out a breath, "I told you, I thought I'd have more time! I was going to--"
"Make it romantic?" she supplied with an arch of her eyebrow. He nodded, "and you thought it was going to work out?"
"I'd hoped," he said as she pushed herself to her feet and offered a hand down to him.
He accepted it, pushing himself to his feet. Like all things going up and down had become easier with one leg but it still required a bit of maneuvering. The hand in his was warm and calloused and smaller and perfect. Even when he had gotten to his feet, Hiccup held her hand as he pulled her out into the shop. Astrid's eyes immediately went to the press but were drawn back to him as Hiccup released her hand and walked over to the press. Astrid bent down and picked up her skirt, fastening the garment around her hips before locating the few other items of clothing that had been removed by Hiccup's rough, yet careful hands. Doing up the fastenings, Astrid walked over to the counter as she heard the familiar hiss of metal. A moment later, Hiccup walked over.
"Its still hot," he worned, placing the small circle of metal in between them.
Astrid nodded before glancing down at the ring. Hiccup watched her reaction carefully. Her eyes widened at the metal that looked cool but was not before she looked at the ring fully. Hiccup had altered the press, making it so that all he had to do was mold the ring. Any hammering would have damaged the perfect craftsmanship. It had taken a few failed attempts but he'd finally made a prototype that worked before he'd found the metal that he wanted to use. There were no stones on the ring, just a simple band made of pure, rosy gold that reminded him of the sunset when they had first flown together. He knew she thought the same thing, it was written all over her eyes left the ring to look up at him and Hiccup found that he could breath again.
"Its beautiful," she said softly.
"I'm glad you like it," he said, moving to stand next to her so that their shoulders were pressed together.
"You do realize my parents are going to kill you for not asking first, right?" Astrid asked. Hiccup looked at her, seemingly fighting down a smile, "you asked?" she demanded, "when did you--" she stopped, "the meeting," she realized.
"I wanted their permission before I made the ring," he said.
Astrid smiled and shook her head, only Hiccup would have run off to make a ring the night of getting permission.
"So your dad was here because of that?"
"Yeah," Hiccup nodded, "he wanted to ask me when I was going to ask you so he could negotiate with your father."
Neither was sure who moved first but somehow they wound up sitting side by side on the ground beneath the counter. Astrid sighed softly and leaned her head against Hiccup's shoulder. She felt his lips press to her head in a brief kiss before they lapsed into a comfortable silence, both watching the starry sky through the slats in the forge. The emotions that had tumbled through her had ebbed and now all that she felt was an odd sense of contentment. She knew that Hiccup would have to take a wife and somewhere deep inside she had known he would ask her. But an epic, romantic proposal was just so unlike them she was surprised he had even thought of it. This, though, the clumsy, accidental proposal in the middle of the blacksmith shop, that was just right.
More than right, it was perfect.
They must have dozed off. When Hiccup opened his eyes it was still dark outside but he could see a light tinge to the sky. He looked over to see Astrid with her head on his shoulder, eyes closed and breath lightly tickling his neck. Her hair was still down and mussed from his fingers, the blonde locks falling unbound past her shoulders. Something inside Hiccup leapt at the knowledge that soon he would get to wake up every day and see her like this. Careful to keep the shoulder she rested on still, he reached up and felt for the ring on the counter. His fingertips touched the metal. It was warm still but more from the heat of the shop than the fact it had been liquid metal a few hours ago. He ran his thumb over the circle. The press he designed worked efficiently, doing a day's worth of work in a matter of hours. He had managed to design it so that the metal would cool and set much more quickly than normal as well.
Holding the ring in his hand, Hiccup looked down. Astrid's hand rested on his knee. She was a light sleeper but the day had been exhausting. Keeping his movements gentle he carefully picked up her hand and slipped the ring onto her finger. She stirred. Hiccup froze, his hand still holding hers. Astrid mumbled something that brought a smile to Hiccup's face before she shifted slightly to get more comfortable and then proceeded to fall back asleep. Hiccup looked over at the sky. It would be light out and they would be up soon. But for the next hour or so, they could stay there. Just them and the blacksmith shop. Leaning back against the wood, Hiccup placed Astrid's hand back on his knee, resting his own over it before closing his eyes.
"Love you too."
Okay okay before everyone freaks about vikings and engagement rings and historical accuracy, I did say they're going to be entering negotiations. So they are going to do the whole bride price thing. Think of the ring as a present or something. And yeah it should take longer for metal to cool but hey, he can figure out a way to speed up the process because he is just that awesome.
Sorry about the OOC-ness. I wanted this story to be in the future when they know each other a bit better and are less awkward then they are now. I also wanted fluff.
Hope you liked it! I'll consider doing a followup if people are interested. Now if you'll excuse me I've got some updating to do!