A/N: This initially just started out as a short fluff piece about Astrid's thoughts on Hiccup. Well it grew larger than the Green Death. It is not a scene by scene retelling of the story, but instead more a stream of consciousness of Astrid's thoughts through key points, with a few new scenes to fill in the gaps on her side of the story. I've intentionally avoided simply transcribing dialogue. While I'm sure this is one of a hundred such stories, I beg for your patience and hope you'll enjoy my take on it just a little.
Disclaimer: Do not own any copyrighted materials, no infringement is intended.
ALL OF HIM
She had no patience for boys.
They were loud, vulgar, and only bathed when forced. But in a small village you didn't get to choose your peers, or your potential mates. Even though it was a year or two away, she knew she'd have to get married some day, in the same way that she knew the sun would rise every morning: it wasn't something you needed to contemplate, you didn't even have to like it, it just was. Fishlegs was tolerable if boring, Tuffnut was best off totally ignored, and Snotlout was simply a pest, strutting around, always trying to touch her. She'd broken his nose more than once in their fourteen years, not that it ever changed anything.
There was, of course, a fourth choice. He would have normally been considered dead last among the list of candidates, except for the small fact that he happened to be the son of the village chieftain. Marriage wasn't about love, it was about attaching the family to money or power, and, in this respect, Hiccup Haddock was head and shoulders above the competition.
But Astrid wasn't thinking about that as she tried to free her axe from the boy's shield.
No, she was only thinking that the very angry Deadly Nadder was heading towards them at an alarming rate and that the last place she wanted to die was laying on top of the worst Viking Berk had ever seen. She was thinking that she quite possibly hated Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, he of the goofy smile, the perpetual accident waiting to happen. After all wasn't it his fault they were in this position to begin with?
Once she'd finally wrestled the new axe/shield combo out of his hands, she swung with all her might at the dragon's head, releasing some of that hatred and shattering the shield into splinters. The Nadder staggered away, dazed but alive. Astrid wanted it to be dead. She wanted to finish this class in first place so she could finally kill a dragon. Sometimes at night she thought if she were able to spill enough dragon blood, she could get out of being married off to some useless boy.
She whirled on Hiccup with all her fury. He hadn't even gotten up. He just laid there curled like a baby, no fight whatsoever in him. How could he be so pathetic? How could anyone born of Berk stock be so weak and cowardly? During the fight she'd caught snatches of his endless nattering to Gobber instead of paying attention. In the middle of a dragon battle, he was asking the silliest questions. Sneaking up on a Night Fury! He may as well be asking how to tame a troll. Did he not care at all that they were trying to help save their village?
Things only got worse after that. Hiccup didn't get worse (honestly was it even possible?); no, Hiccup got better. Hiccup started controlling the dragons or even disabling them. What was most perplexing was that he didn't even appear to use a weapon. Astrid's confusion was only matched by her growing fury as the entire class started looking to him, calling him the best, when less than a month ago he'd been the butt of their jokes. And worst of all was that the villagers had started to come out to watch. Watch Hiccup!
She was suspicious, and more than a little jealous. After all, she'd trained for this her entire life, dedicated every free moment to honing all her skills. She wanted to kill dragons. Hiccup just wanted to leave class as soon as possible. Why? Where was he disappearing to? Why was he carrying an armload of…whatever through the woods? And how did he manage to evade her!
Then came the last fight to decide the winner. It was down to the two of them. She told him this was hers. She told him not to mess it up. And what did he do? Exactly what Hiccup always did: what he wanted. She felt like ripping that stupid look off his face, grinding him beneath her boot, but instead she had to wait for the pronouncement. The elder (stupid crone!) chose Hiccup, of course, and he was carried out of the arena on shoulders, cheered as a great hero. Was Astrid really the only one to see something wrong with that? He was hiding a big secret, and she'd find out.
Then he would pay.
So she followed him, carefully this time, far enough to escape notice (not overly hard considering he had no situational awareness), close enough to make sure he didn't make any sudden disappearances. Though he was lugging a large heavy basket and couldn't move very fast. She frowned when she saw him drop into the gully. She side stepped a ways from where he dropped down. There was a tree root that had grown down into the gully. A quick peek told her it was clear and she rappelled down quickly. He was talking to someone. Maybe to himself, maybe he'd gone altogether mad.
Crouching down she watched him go behind a rock, and as he fumbled with the basket's lid, she hopped silently on top of the rock and settled herself down, pulling the whetstone out of her pack. She'd want her axe sharp, she was certain.
He was surprised to see her, obviously, but there was also guilt. She smelled it on him, fouler than the basket of fish he had (and why did he need a basket of fish?). What was he doing here? What was he hiding? She was trying to look around and find it, but he just kept being there in her way. It felt good to hurt him. His whimpering proved just how unworthy he was, as head of their class, even as a Viking.
Then the dragon came. It rushed at them, a black streak with startling white teeth, growling like a devil. Instinct took over and she dove for cover, pulling Hiccup down too. It certainly didn't occur to her at that moment, that he wasn't surprised, or even scared, but when she stood up to face the beast herself, to take her true final exam, he stopped her, pushed her out of the way and threw her axe beyond reach! He was going to take this from her too! But maybe he was mad after all. What sane Viking willingly faced a dragon unarmed?
Then she heard him talking. The dragon had stopped, and he just stood next to it!
His words didn't make sense. She scared him? She scared…the dragon? Hiccup wasn't just insane, he was possibly possessed by something evil. She had to warn the village. This was worse than she had imagined. They had all underestimated him, and all this time he was consorting with their very enemy.
She ran. Faster than she'd ever run before. She pulled herself up out of the gully and dashed for the village. They were all in danger, she had to move. Her heart pounded in her ears as she flew over downed trees and through thickets. Then the world fell away and her feet ran on nothing but air. She screamed as she felt the beast's claws dig into her shoulder lifting her higher and higher. Was this it, was it just going to drop her, denying her even an honorable Viking death?
Instead she was taken to a tall tree. She grabbed a branch for dear life as the dragon released its grip. There, on its back, was Hiccup, pleading with her to listen even as the dragon growled and bared its extensive teeth at her. No, she would not listen to him! Though the very precariousness of her position led her to a difficult decision: stay on the tree and almost certainly plummet to the ground, i.e. death, or climb up on the dragon, and possibly be swept away to Muspelheim itself. At least there was some honor in the second.
So she climbed up - by herself, thank you very much - and settled onto the beast behind Hiccup. Once there she noticed the damned thing was wearing a saddle, as if this were an everyday occurrence: wake up, do the chores, ride the dragon.
And perhaps, for Hiccup, it was. He spoke to the dragon with such familiarity she imagined them doing this hundreds of times. For just a moment, she thought that they might make it safely to the ground. But the dragon apparently had other ideas of what "gently" meant.
She clutched at Hiccup's back for dear life as that dragon flew straight up with speed unheard off. The wind alone nearly pushed her off, while the dragon kept tumbling and diving and rolling, threatening to pitch her into the angry sea below. The world spun around them and all she could do was scream helplessly while secretly plotting the multiple ways she was going to kill Hiccup if they ever reached land in one piece.
Finally she couldn't help herself, she begged him to stop, even though it was apparent Hiccup wasn't even in control. She hated the defeat in her voice as much as the fear in her heart. It felt like giving a piece of herself away. But the words clearly had an effect on the dragon; maybe that's what it had in mind the whole time? She dismissed that silly thought as soon as it came. Regardless, the dragon slowed its breakneck pace, and they began to gently soar through the clouds.
She was so enthralled in viewing the world from above that she forgot all about killing Hiccup. She forgot about his madness. She forgot about his betrayal. There was just the two of them and the dragon, the Night Fury Hiccup had bizarrely named Toothless (she couldn't even begin to count the number of teeth she saw up close and personal!).
He told her how he had shot down the dragon the night of the raid several weeks ago, just like he'd said, though no one had believed him; how he'd freed the injured dragon; and how it could no longer fly alone. Astrid saw how the leather piece attached to the dragon's tail connected to the foot pedal on the saddle with an intricate series of pull-lines, and felt something she never had before towards Hiccup: awe, mixed with a little respect.
He explained how working with Toothless had taught him so much about dragons, about the things they liked or disliked, and that was how he was able to do so well in training. She heard it in his voice: dragons were no longer the enemy to him. Even she had to admit, the start of their flight notwithstanding, the Night Fury was far from the deadly predator as she'd been taught to believe. In fact, she thought he was beautiful.
They flew together even as the sun set and it seemed as if they were close enough to reach the stars. It was pleasant but cool, so she wrapped her arms around him tightly and leaned her head against his shoulder. She'd always thought him as feeble when compared to the burly Vikings in their village, but up here alone on the dragon that he had tamed, he felt very strong to her. And he didn't smell as though he hadn't had a bath since last winter.
They saw Berk from above and were amazed how beautiful their little village actually was. She almost didn't want the night to end. But then she saw the training arena, and reality crashed around her. Only this time, instead of being angry at Hiccup, she was fearful for him. He didn't want to kill a dragon, that much was obvious. What would he do? What could she do to help him?
There was no time to discuss it. Toothless had become agitated and picked up speed moving far away from their home. He ignored Hiccup's appeals, and they soon found themselves surrounded by Nadders, Gronckles, Zipplebacks, and more, all carrying something from a recent raid of a nearby village. She gripped Hiccup tighter, leaning down to make themselves less noticeable. Maybe they shouldn't have trusted the dragon so much?
She was growing increasingly frightened as they cut through the deepening fog, until they finally reached an island with a narrow but tall mountain in the middle. As one, all the dragons flew into the mountain and Astrid could only gasp as the heat hit her. Thick liquid, red and smoldering, covered the inside of the mountain giving the cavern a sick illumination, and every nook and cranny was filled with chattering dragons. Toothless set them down on a ledge and they watched as the dragons they flew in with dropped their catch into the seemingly bottomless hole in the center.
Their confusion at the dragons' behavior didn't last long when a lone Gronckle's offering of a measly regurgitated fish caused a deep rumbling from within and the largest mouth she'd ever seen arose from the pit to ingest the small dragon.
The mouth belonged to something monstrous, something no one had ever dreamed of, much less inscribed in the dragon manual. With a last final urging from Hiccup, Toothless finally took flight, just as the monstrous thing spotted them, its teeth only missing them by mere seconds. All the dragons in the cavern flew into a panic and raced towards the top, where moonlight could be seen around the fleeing bodies. Toothless joined them, flying with his innate speed to outrun the dragon in the pit even as it launched itself at them, faster than Astrid believed anything that size could be.
Finally they were clear of the nest and headed home. She held onto Hiccup, pressed herself against his back to ward off the shivers that just wouldn't stop, while thinking about that monstrous thing at the dragons' nest, and how it reminded her of bees. As Toothless returned them to the gully she told Hiccup about her theory. It made sense considering Hiccup's insistence that dragons were not themselves malevolent. Once this thing was gone, the raids would stop. They had to tell the chief immediately…
He stopped her, told her to wait. They couldn't tell yet. He was afraid for Toothless.
Her anger flared at him again. Was he really choosing this dragon he'd known for weeks over his own people? Could he really be that selfish?
Then something astonishing happened. He turned to her and simply said, "Yes." Strong, clear, resolute. In that single word Astrid glimpsed something in him: just like the dragon emerging from the pit, she saw the man Hiccup would become someday. A leader, a voice of reason, a force to be reckoned with. Seeing that, she immediately deferred to him, trusted him. And, under the moon, still terrified and exhilarated from their adventure, she thought she loved him a little.
Astrid's life had just gotten infinitely complicated by this strange feeling. But he was still a boy, and she had to show him he didn't have all the power, so she punched him in the arm, really more of a tap. That confused him enough that she felt safe in giving him a quick kiss. It was her first, and, she was certain, his as well. Just a quick touch of lips, but more intimate than anything she'd ever experienced. She turned and ran home, lips still tingling.
There was no sleep that night for her. Tomorrow was going to be too important. Everything she knew was changing. Either something horrible or wonderful was going to happen at the arena, and she felt helpless to which it would be.
At the arena the next morning she was there for him, supporting him, even agreeing to look after Toothless should the worst happen. That was unthinkable; she couldn't lose him, not now. Watching him put on his helmet and step into the arena, she was again aware of his small stature, but she didn't think him weak at all, she thought he was the bravest person she'd ever met.
He armed himself and stood at the ready. Then the Monstrous Nightmare burst out of its cage, pure fire and rage. It spat at the spectators above before climbing down to approach Hiccup with a snarl. Astrid tried not to be afraid, she trusted his instincts on this, but it was hard, so very hard. He threw his shield and sword down. The crowd murmured in confusion, even as Astrid watched helplessly, waiting. She heard his words – not one of them – as a punch to the stomach. He was separating himself from his people for good, no turning back. His hand was out and he was speaking to the crowd, telling them, "We don't have to kill them." For its part, the dragon appeared to accept the offering and Astrid felt hope fill her. Surely if the Vikings could see this…?
But Stoick couldn't see it. He'd only heard his son's denouncement; nothing else mattered. He shouted for the fight to be stopped, hammering the protective railing loud enough to raise the dead. Or at least loud enough to rile a dragon. The Nightmare didn't respond well to the commotion and roared angrily at Hiccup. The boy at least wasted no time running from enraged dragon. Astrid called out his name in panic and wrenched the gate open enough to crawl under. She had to help him, he had no defenses, and he certainly wasn't the dragon fighter everyone thought he was. She grabbed the dragon's attention only to have it turn on her. Well that was all right, as long as it wasn't chasing Hiccup anymore. At the other end of the arena, Stoick called to them from an open gate. She sprinted towards it with every ounce of power she possessed and the chief pulled her through, but the dragon was too quick for Hiccup, blocking his path with massive fireball. Stoick threw himself between her and the dragon, so she lost sight of Hiccup, fear twisting her stomach into knots as she tried to move around the large man. When she could finally see again, her heart leapt into her throat: the dragon had him pinned down by a massive claw.
She was preparing to leap at the dragon, do anything to get it to release its hold on Hiccup, when a terrifying whistle-like cry pierced the air above and the cage roof blew apart in a white explosion that left the arena floor covered in dense smoke. But she didn't need to see to know what was happening. All of Berk knew that scream. Astrid closed her eyes as the sounds of two dragons fighting viciously assailed her ears: growls, screeches, gnashing teeth. How Toothless had gotten here by himself was a mystery, but now the Night Fury was challenging one of his own to save his boy. Correction: their boy.
The smoke was clearing and the Nightmare obviously the loser in battle as it backed away from the snarling Night Fury, hurt and confused. Hiccup ran to Toothless even as Astrid saw Viking after Viking leap into the arena. This was going to be very bad. Hiccup was futilely trying to get the Night Fury to abandon him as the men closed in. Stoick ran through the gate shouting in challenge and Toothless took up the gauntlet, tossing aside any Viking that approached him as he raced for the chief. Man and beast rolled over the ground until Toothless came out on top, roaring with fury, dangerous tendrils of smoke collecting in his mouth.
Only Hiccup's plaintive cries stopped him. Toothless looked at the boy for one heartbreaking moment before Stoick seized the opportunity to disable him while the men piled on. Astrid ran to Hiccup and held on to him to prevent him from interfering. The time for that was over. She held him close as he pleaded for Toothless' safety. She couldn't bear to hear the dragon's pained cries as the men roughly bound him and then hauled him away with the other dragons. She tried to get Hiccup's attention, to draw him away from it, but he wouldn't hear her, wouldn't stop calling for Toothless, begging them not to hurt him. Then Stoick, face hard and seething with rage, walked over and grabbed Hiccup by the back of his vest, pulling him roughly out of her arms and marching him out of the arena.
The air around her erupted into chaos as news of the Night Fury spread out. Astrid attempted to follow Stoick, so she could plead on Hiccup's behalf, but by the time she'd gotten out of the arena hands grabbed her and spun her around. Her parents.
"Did you know about this?"
"Of course not, she's a sensible girl, she wouldn't keep a secret like this."
They ushered her home, speaking rapidly. She didn't listen, she only wanted to know what was happening to Hiccup and Toothless. All morning people were in and out with news. The ships were to be loaded to set sail for the nest. The dragon would lead the way.
Astrid moaned into her hands. So Hiccup had told about the nest. Would that earn him leniency?
Her parents began to gather their gear; they would be going on the journey. She could hear them chattering away excitedly. A sliver of hope. What could she tell them to make them stay?
More visitors. More news.
"…denounced by the chief himself…"
"…not welcome anymore…"
The tears came finally as she stood in her empty home. She'd managed to remain impassive as her parents bade her a hasty farewell as they left for the boats. But now, alone, she let the sobs come freely. Astrid hadn't cried since she was five years old, after Snotlout had thrown her rag doll into the sea. Her father had taken her onto his lap, and very sensibly told her that tears did nothing for anyone. He told her that she needed to identify the problem and figure out if it could be fixed. If it couldn't, then forget about it; if it could, then get to fixing.
Fix it or forget it.
It was sensible advice that she'd kept to her heart as she grew into a very sensible girl. But here she cried, cried for Hiccup and for Toothless, and a little part cried for herself as well. She already couldn't bear the thought of living here without him.
What had happened to the sensible girl? The answer was crystal clear: she'd been lost among the clouds when a boy and his dragon took her for a ride.
No, not lost. She dried her tears. Fix it or forget it.
She wasn't going to forget, that was sure.
The door banged loudly as she burst through running, searching. Not at the forge, it was closed up tight. Not at home, or at least not answering, but she really didn't think he would ignore her. The village was eerily quiet, so many wanted to take part in finally destroying the nest. She ran down the empty pathways, all the way down to the cliffs overlooking the docks, now completely empty of boats. There he stood, just staring at the horizon where everything he knew in the whole world had sailed off without him. Did he intend to stand there till the boats returned so his father could throw him out properly?
Fix it or forget it, by Odin.
She went to him, the rest of the stupid village be damned.
She couldn't think of any other way but to be blunt. He'd lost everything, she told him. She didn't want to hurt him like this, she just wanted him to talk, to act. She asked him about Toothless, about why he didn't kill the dragon. It was painful and he became angry, which bothered her more than she could say, but he talked, until finally, "What are you going to do about it?" Of course what she meant was, What are we going to do?
He ran off and Astrid smiled before gathering up the rest of the class. They were surprisingly receptive to helping. As she'd suspected, Hiccup had gone to the arena and they walked in as he was inspecting the dragon cages, likely deciding which one he was going to take. She asked him what the plan was, but she was pretty sure she knew.
Hiccup released the Nightmare. The other kids were obviously apprehensive. Why wouldn't they be? They'd never ridden one before. Hiccup took Snotlout's hand and placed it gently on the dragon's nose and they all saw what Hiccup had seen all along. The rest of the dragons came out and surrounded them, curious.
The Deadly Nadder was thankfully forgiving of the beating Astrid had given her, choosing to only inspect Astrid's golden hair for imperfections rather than seek revenge. Astrid ran her hand gently down the Nadder's neck, feeling it purr in response. It really was amazing.
From behind, Hiccup asked in a low voice, "I'd like to ride with you, if you don't mind." He was looking at her so earnestly, as if she'd consider refusing. As if the very idea didn't raise gooseflesh up her arms in anticipation. He'd already helped the other teens onto their mounts and they were all eager to go. He leapt onto the Nadder first, and then extended his hand to her. Smiling, she gladly took it this time, then they were off and flying. The dragons would find the way again, he had said. She held onto him as she did the night before, trusting in him totally.
The dragons did find their way back to the nest, though they realized they were too late to prevent the worst from happening. The dragon from the pit was now the dragon on the beach. All the ships were in flames and Vikings had scattered around the edge of the island, with several unlucky bodies laying still at the water's edge. Astrid scanned the ground quickly hopefully to see some sign of her parents, but they were nowhere in sight, alive or dead.
But there was no more time for that. The dragon was readying its next attack. Hiccup immediately began issuing orders to the teens like a born leader. And why shouldn't they defer to him? Who in the last 400 years knew as much about dragons as he did? Who had bothered to truly learn about them?
The rest of the team given their assignments to distract the dragon, Hiccup veered off towards the boats looking for Toothless. He quickly spotted the chained and helpless dragon, and moved aside so Astrid could take control of the Nadder and then leapt down into the flaming deck.
Taking the Nadder back up she saw that Fishlegs had gone down, and Snotlout was on the dragon's head yelling at it and trying to blind it. For a moment she forgot about their troublesome past, and giddily called out in encouragement, but he became so distracted by her he lost his footing and slid off. She gasped as he caught himself on one of the beast's thick spikes, hanging on for just a moment before finding safe footing again. From the shore she saw Toothless take to the sky, with his rider safely on his back. It was going to be all right, she knew, Hiccup and Toothless were reunited. She called to the twins to get Snotlout off the dragon. The three of them flew away safely as she and the Nadder crossed in front of the dragon's large maw to join them. It suddenly began inhaling with such force the Nadder couldn't pull away from it, instead they were being sucked inside towards certain death.
Then came that shrill whistle-scream and she saw Toothless charging at them, firing a blast of lightning at the great beast. It hit its mark, but the Nadder was so close to the mouth she was blown off in the concussion. Astrid fell, frightened and screaming until the big black dragon snatched her from the air, grabbing her by the foot. He looked down at her and Astrid was never so happy to see anything in her life. She smiled at the dragon, and it grinned back in response, then flipped her over so he could deposit her safely on the ground.
She was gasping in relief and excitement as Toothless and Hiccup sped off to end the battle one way or another. This was Hiccup's destiny, she thought. This was who he was meant to be. As she watched them engage the dragon in an effort to get it in the air, away from the rest of them, she knew she loved Hiccup. She loved all of him, every silly freckle, every goofy grin, every self-conscious stutter. She loved his heart and his courage and his mind. She loved the man he was going to be as well as the boy he still was.
She just hoped she'd get a chance to tell him.
The battle raged unseen in the clouds, with only the lightning flashes of Toothless' blasts visible. On the ground, survivors began helping each other, treating the wounded and taking stock of the casualties. Astrid heard her name being called, and though she was loathe to take her eyes off the sky, she turned to see her mother, kneeling on the ground next to a prone body. She ran over, afraid of the worst, but her father's eyes opened weakly at her steps. She gasped in relief as she hugged them both. She felt like she owed them an apology, but before she could begin, a voice cried out and she looked up.
She blinked as she saw the dark spec shoot out of the clouds followed closely by the giant dragon. Despite the Night Fury's speed, the larger dragon was gaining steadily. In her mind she willed Toothless to go faster, to just be away from the horrible thing. It opened its jaws, readying for the final kill, when Toothless abruptly spun around in mid-air. Lightning shot into the great beast's mouth, and then it was no longer flying, it was falling, hurtling towards them, burning from within. She tried to keep her eyes on Hiccup and Toothless, but the larger dragon obscured her view. Finally it hit the ground with an explosion the likes of which the Vikings had never seen before. They shielded their faces from the bright fire ball, and retreated from the smoke and earth that had been kicked up. Astrid looked up and thought she saw the tip of a black dragon tail, then nothing.
Quiet had settled over the island as if the lingering smoke had snuffed any sound it came in contact with. The only thing she could hear was Stoick calling for his son. Astrid ran towards him, pushing herself through the crowding Vikings. There on the ground was Toothless, quiet and still. She futilely scanned the area around him for any sign Hiccup. Stoick sounded heartbroken as was she felt.
The dragon moaned and shifted onto his side with considerable effort. His eyes opened and looked at Stoick as if asking for forgiveness, but what would he need to be forgiven for? Then with a groan, Toothless slowly unfurled his great wings, exposing Hiccup's body that he'd held in his paws protectively. Astrid realized Hiccup must have fallen off and rather than have the boy fall to his death, the dragon had grabbed him, covered him, and took the brunt of the fall on himself. She held her breath as Stoick took the boy into his arms and, after listening to his chest, pronounced him alive! He had survived after all. But he still lay limp in his father's arms, unresponsive. And he was not unscathed: the lower half of his left leg had been mauled and burned.
Astrid had no patience for boys, but back in Berk, while the rest of the village mended the wounds of battle and adjusted to their new residents, she patiently sat by Hiccup's side every day, sometimes reading, sometimes just talking. She wiped his forehead with a cloth, cleaned the dressings on his leg, and, when she was sure no one but Toothless was around, took his hand in hers, lovingly stroking each finger and sometimes even bringing it to her lips, praying to Freyja for him to wake up soon.
She had been headed to his house that morning to sit with him, when she heard people exclaiming that he'd woken up. She couldn't help the happy grin as she raced towards the house where a large crowd had already gathered to greet their hero. He was talking to his father and Gobber, so she waited for a moment to see if he noticed her. When he didn't she stepped behind him and slugged him in the shoulder, just a small payback for the fear of losing him before she even had him, which was, in fact, kind of embarrassing. Nothing said he would have her.
"Is it always going to be this way?"
Always going to be.
She kissed him. More than just a peck this time, but not as much as she would have liked to considering they weren't alone. Later, when she got him to herself, she'd show him exactly how it was going to be. Always.