"All right Legs, your turn."
"Okay, okay. Never have I ever -- "
"And I swear to Odin it better not be another one of those lame R-peewee things or whatever. None of us have done any of that crap."
"All right, I got it! It just took me a while to get used to the system." Snotlout nodded and leaned back, satisfied, while Fishlegs thought.
"Okay," Fishlegs said, "never have I ever...stabbed myself with a dagger."
Tuffnut, Astrid, and Hiccup took big gulps of their mead at that. When they had placed their tankards back on the table, Astrid looked at Hiccup and asked, "Accident at the smithy?"
"Yep," he said. "You?"
"Playing with my father's weapons. All right," she directed her gaze back out to the group at large, "my turn? Let's see. Never have I ever..." She got an evil grin. "...had my shield taken out by Gronkle fire."
All around the table there was a chorus of "What?" "Oh, come on!" and "Cheat!" as everyone else took a gulp of mead.
"Hey, that's the rules of the game," Astrid said, looking perfectly smug. "Hit as many as hard as you can." She jerked her head towards Hiccup. "Go."
"Okay," Hiccup said, rubbing his chin in thought. "Never have I ever..."
The game continued for several rounds, each Viking getting more inebriated as time went on.
"Never have I ever fallen off the dock."
"Never have I ever gotten run over by a sheep."
"Never have I ever gotten my helmet stuck to my head."
"Never have I ever had a fishing hook stuck in my face."
"Never have I ever kissed another boy." Followed by: "Oh come on, I was three!"
At some point Hiccup noticed that the empty tankards were practically spilling off the table, but no one seemed to have any inclination to stop, and he was enjoying himself too much to mention it. It was Astrid's turn, and she had a look of intense concentration. "Never have I ever...been bitten by a Terrible Terror."
Tuffnut and Fishlegs drank at that. Astrid nodded happily, and Hiccup found himself enamored by her smile all over again. Really, everything about her was gorgeous. It may have just been the mead, but he realized right then he was probably the luckiest guy in the village to have a girlfriend who was so very beautiful, with such pretty eyes, and such full lips, and such nice --
Astrid poked him. Hard. "Earth to Hiccup. It's your turn. Say something."
"Wha? Oh, um..."
"I've never touched a girl's breasts," Hiccup burst out. Astrid's eyebrows leaped almost up to her hairline, and the table was enveloped in complete silence. Until Ruffnut started cackling.
"Way to go, sister! Make him work for it!" she crowed, reaching across the table for a fist bump. Astrid obliged her, then looked at Hiccup, thankfully looking more amused than annoyed, although again it might have been the mead. Ruffnut, Tuffnut, and Snotlout took a drink.
"It doesn't count if it's your own breasts," Tuffnut protested when Ruffnut lowered her tankard.
"Um, d'oy, I know that, lizard brain."
"Really?" Snotlout said, leaning over Tuff to look at Ruff in interest. "Do tell."
She snorted. "You wish. Okay, let's keep it going people! Who's turn is it?"
"It's yours," Hiccup said.
"Oh. Cool. All right, never have I ever woken up with a woody!" she said loudly. Hiccup winced even as Tuffnut laughed and Snotlout sneered.
"I could say something," Lout said as he and the other boys raised their tankards. "I'm not, but I could."
"Yes, and we admire your restraint," Ruff said, rolling her eyes. She punched Tuff in the arm. "Go."
"Hmm," he said. "Never have I ever ridden a Night Fury."
"Getting a little specific, are we?" Hiccup asked as he and Astrid made to take another drink.
"Maybe," Tuff said with a smile.
Snotlout was smiling too, and not in a pleasant way. "Never have I ever been the blacksmith's apprentice."
"What?" Hiccup said as everyone laughed. "Not cool." He took a drink.
Fishlegs looked excited. "Never have I ever been the chief's son."
"Oh come one!" Hiccup cried. "That's not fair."
"That's the rules, buddy," Snotlout practically gloated. "Drink!"
Hiccup sighed, and did. Then he looked at Astrid suspiciously. She was trying unsuccessfully to hide a smile.
"Hmm," she said, tapping her lip in pretend thought. "What should I say?"
"Astrid, I'm warning you..."
"Never have I ever..."
"This is treason!"
"...placed first in dragon training." And she gave him a triumphant little smile.
"Treachery!" Hiccup cried as their friends laughed. "Betrayal!" He stuck an unsteady finger in Astrid's face. "Bad girlfriend! You're s'posed to have my back, you're, you're s'posed to -- "
Astrid bit his finger.
Hiccup yelped and fell backwards off the bench as his friends howled in laughter. Astrid looked absurdly pleased with herself.
"What. The crap," he gasped.
Astrid chuckled and smoothly reached down to pull him back up by the neck of his shirt. He glared at her. "Bad girlfriend," he said again, but kept his fingers to himself.
"Drink!" Tuff cried. "Drink, drink, drink, drink..." The other quickly joined in the chant, pounding on the table in time to their voices. Hiccup rubbed his hand across his forehead, sighed, and chugged the last bit of mead in his tankard. His friends cheered.
"Bar wench!" Ruff cried, shooting her hands into the air. "Another round!"
"Wait wait wait wait wait," Astrid said, waving her arms at the other girl. "I gotta pee." She quickly stood up, and just as quickly dropped like a sack of potatoes. Everyone except Hiccup, predictably, laughed. Hiccup reached down and helped her back onto the bench, where she looked around, wild-eyed and confused, as though she expected to find the person who had pushed her over and punch them in the face.
"Smooth," Tuff chortled. "Looks like someone can't hold their mead."
"Guys, wait, shh, shh," Hiccup said, waiting until he got everyone's attention. "None of us have stood up in a while. Does anyone think they can stand up, right now, without going, you know, splat?"
Everyone looked at each other quietly. Apparently not.
"I still have to pee," Astrid announced.
"So just use a tankard. Bar wench!" Ruff called again.
"Please don't use a tankard," Hiccup said.
Astrid made a face. "I'm not that drunk." She still looked unsteady though, and Hiccup knew he would be no better. He wondered if he could call Toothless in here. He had been able to hear him when he was attacked by the Nightmare all the way from the glade, after all.
"I'm gonna try and call Toothless," he said.
"Dude, yes!" Snotlout burst in. "We have got to get that dragon wasted!"
"What? No -- " but everyone was already cheering in support of the plan.
Astrid was looking at him. "Bathroom first?"
"Yeah, bathroom first, and then..." He looked back at his inebriated friends, and shook his head. "We'll just see what happens."
Astrid shot him a thumbs up sign. "Sounds good."
Hiccup smiled at her, then took a deep breath to call his best friend.