So, I've realized that I have OVER 100 REVIEWS. ::awkward silence:: I FREAKING LOVE YOU PEOPLE! I'm so flattered that you guys love these ficlets so much, and I'm incredibly grateful to you for reading and reviewing and supporting them. You are AWESOME. I know I haven't been able to reply to your reviews individually, like I used to, because there are now so many of them, but I just want to let you know that I appreciate them all and that I really do love your feedback. You make a poor college student so happy. ::sniff::
Anyhoo, finally, this is the FINAL part of "Breaking Point" ::cue joyous cheering:: It's incredibly sappy, and I apologize. But I guess it'll be a nice change from all that drama in the last two chapters. ::lol:: I hope you enjoy it. Thanks again!
Best regards from a dragon-loving bookworm,
Miss Pookamonga ;p
PS: If you haven't seen The Sorcerer's Apprentice yet, go see it, because Jay Baruchel (aka Hiccup) is awesome. Yay.
VII. Breaking Point, Part Three
I felt it next to me, and I shifted closer to its source, wanting to feel more of it. So much warmth. My body tingled with it as I tried to move even closer, and I curled my hands around something in front of me and sighed as more warmth flooded through my skin…
My eyes shot open, and I found myself lying in my bed.
Instantly, I realized I wasn't alone. I froze in terror. Something—someone was right next to me. Someone who wasn't supposed to be there. Someone foreign was in my bed, pressed right up against me, holding on to me tightly—
"Stop, Toothless. Sheep can't fly," I heard coming from just above my head.
That voice was unmistakable.
I looked up, and my eyes suddenly met the dozing face of none other than…
At the sound of his name, the boy in question stirred, and his deep green eyes blinked open groggily.
"As…trid?" He blinked again, his face clearing. "Astrid?—Astrid!" He started suddenly, his arms tensing around my back and pulling me towards him.
I gasped in surprise at his reaction and flattened my hands against his chest, trying to push away from his crushing grip. What in Odin's name—?
"Oh, Astrid," he continued, clutching me to him. I could barely breathe. "Thank gods you're okay. Thank gods you're okay."
I shook my head, confused. "Hic…cup, you're…agh…I can't…breathe…"
He immediately loosened his hold on me. "Oh, gods, I'm sorry!"
I gulped in a deep breath of air and found his eyes again. To my shock, they were wide with fear. I wracked my brain for some kind of explanation as to what was going on.
"Hiccup, what…what are you doing in my bed?" Not that I really minded, but still…
At that, he blushed beautifully, brilliant spots of red blooming on both his freckled cheeks. I couldn't help but savor the swooping feeling in my stomach that came upon my seeing his sheepish, flushed face.
"I…uh…kind of…I wanted…to make sure you were okay…" he muttered awkwardly.
I furrowed my brow, trying to make sense of what he'd said. "And…why wouldn't I be?" Something tugged at the back of my mind—something I was forgetting. But I couldn't quite figure it out.
"You mean…you don't remember?"
Hiccup's expression had returned to one of fear, and he was staring at me with those unnerving, widened eyes again. I felt the odd tug once more. What piece of this mystery was I missing? "I…"
And then it all came rushing back.
The darkened alleys. The gang from the other village. The chase. The big one, throwing me to the ground and launching himself on top of me. My terror of what was going to happen to me, and my feeling of helplessness. Then, the screams, the dragons, and…Hiccup. Hiccup, beating up that boy, trying to protect me…
I snapped out of my trance, feeling Hiccup's hands clenching my shoulders, shaking me. I gazed up at his face, which was frozen with concern. Hiccup. My Hiccup. My Hiccup had saved me…he had protected me…
"You rescued me," I whispered, reaching up to touch his cheek. I felt a sudden rush of some unidentifiable feeling surge through me, and it compelled me to scoot back towards him. "You rescued me," I repeated.
To my surprise, Hiccup's eyes suddenly filled with tears, and they began spilling down his face, trickling over my fingers and splashing onto my pillow.
"Hiccup?" I brought my other hand up to cup his cheek. "Hiccup…what's wrong?"
He slid his hands down my back to rest against my waist again, and then he pulled me against his body. I could feel his heart pounding against his ribcage.
"Oh, Astrid," he whispered, lifting one hand to brush it against my cheek and thread his fingers through my hair. "Astrid…"
He couldn't say anything but my name. He kept mumbling it over and over through his tears as he ran his fingers through my hair and traced the contours of my face with his thumb.
Then it hit me.
He had been terrified. Terrified that he'd…lose me.
Instantly, I brought my hands away from his face and wrapped my arms around his shoulders, hugging him. "Oh, Hiccup," I breathed. "It's okay. I'm safe now. I'm safe because of you."
"I know, I know," he replied, still crying. "But I…it was awful…I was so scared for you…"
And then he told me everything. How Cloudbreak had found him and Toothless in the cove and how the two dragons had led him to me. How he'd seen the gang of boys and how he'd flown into a rage. How the crowd had found him and how he'd had to be dragged away to Elder Gothi. And how he'd finally ended up here, with me.
"I've never been so furious in my life, Astrid," he sniveled, trembling. "It was like…it was like I'd reached my breaking point. If it hadn't been for my dad…I would've tried to kill that guy. I wanted to kill him for what he tried to do. Really, I just wanted to…"
He trailed off, biting his lip and leaning his forehead against mine. I had never before seen Hiccup like this. So terrified, so vulnerable, and yet so…protective. It shocked me to know just how passionately Hiccup wanted to keep me safe. He'd never been this emotional over anything before, yet now here he was, telling me that he'd nearly lost his mind trying to defend me.
Tears suddenly sprung to my own eyes.
He really, truly, unconditionally…loved me.
"Oh, Hiccup," I sniffed. I brought a hand back to rest against his cheek. "I love you. I love you so much."
He leaned forward then and captured my mouth possessively, as if he were still afraid of losing me. His arms clenched even more tightly around my waist as his lips and tongue feverishly conveyed his answer to me.
I love you too, Astrid Hofferson. You are MINE, and I promise I will do anything and everything to keep you safe.
He finally pulled away after the longest time, but only barely. I could tell by the look in his beautiful green eyes that he was reluctant to let go of me. "I love you," he breathed with words this time, running one hand back through my tangled hair. "I'll never let anyone hurt you. Ever."
"I know," I whispered back, staring into his eyes. "I know."