Hello, all! Guess WHAT! I have decided to take up the 50 prompts challenge using How to Train Your Dragon. For the next fifty days, to the best of my ability, I will be posting short (or maybe even long!) ficlet responses to each of the fifty prompts, starting today, October 10th and ending somewhere around November 29th (GOD, do I hope my math is right).
This'll be a tough challenge, but I'm willing to give it a go. Wish me luck, and I hope you enjoy what I'm going to be farting out for the next fifty days.
Oh, and as for the mistletoe thing, it's actually quite fascinating; the long and tall of it is that, in Norse mythology, the goddess Frigga made every living thing on earth to swear not to do any harm to her son, Baldur. The only thing she missed was mistletoe, and it was with that that Loki managed to kill Baldur. The gods eventually resurrected Baldur, and Frigga declared that mistletoe was sacred, and was to be considered a symbol of love and peace. (Her thinking is inexplicable, to say the least.) The Norse also considered it to be an aphrodisiac... but that, loves, will come later. ;)
For now... enjoy!
This takes place in the winter before the film (which looked like it might've been in summer or spring), so Hiccup and Astrid are approximately a year younger than they are in the movie. DO NOT CORRECT MY MATH IF IT IS FAIL~


"Loki be damned for this," Hiccup growled under his breath.

It was the twelfth night of Jul, and Berk was not about to let anyone forget it. The bonfires burned bright in the indigo bruise of the evening, the smell of burning logs and warm mead wafting over the sea cliffs. Orange smoke twisted toward the stars and the laughter with it; everyone in the village was circled around some fire or another, their smiles painted gold by the firelight, seeming warm even in the bitter cold of the surrounding December. Songs were being sung and merriment was being made and many a Viking was being joyfully inebriated. It would have been a wonderful celebration, were it not for the fact that Hiccup had found himself slouching beneath a sprig of mistletoe with none other than Astrid Hofferson.

She was staring at him with the kind of intensity he couldn't tell implied murder or excitement. To be honest, he was leaning about more toward the murder outcome, because it was Astrid, and Astrid liked to murder things, particularly him.

He thanked the gods that there was no one else around but the two of them. The sprig was hanging at the top crook of an opened garden gate that led to the grazing field for the sheep. He wasn't entirely sure how he'd gotten there, but he'd never been one for parties of a larger scope than the simple birthday celebration, and so he had slipped away to find some much-needed space. Astrid had appeared to interrupt him a few minutes later, and here they were, both pairs of eyes briefly fixating on the mistletoe over their heads and then on each other.

Astrid tossed her bangs out of her eyes, still squinting suspiciously at Hiccup, as though she were expecting him to suddenly morph into Snotlout. Hiccup felt his cheeks growing hot beneath his freckles, and he cleared his throat more loudly than intended, bowing his head nervously.

"Should we just... ignore this, and, er, walk in extremely separate directions?" he ventured, his voice inexplicably hoarse. "That's probably what you want to do, and frankly it just might be what I want to do, if of course you don't want to do it – the tradition... thing – in which case I definitely don't want to do it; that is I'll walk away, off a cliff if I have to, and then you probably won't murder me and wear my entrails as a necklace, and then we—"

"No," Astrid said abruptly, her tone crisp as it would be with one who had made up her mind completely, and then she reached forward, grabbed his shirt, and yanked him into a lip-lock that would put the gods themselves to shame.

Hiccup trembled against her, his knobby knees growing as weak as a newborn lamb's, and he let out an entirely involuntary whimper, trying to keep from grinning beneath her lips. All too soon, however, it was over, and their faces parted without a sound. Astrid's eyes were downcast, and Hiccup could not imagine why; she had seemed perfectly firm in her convictions a second ago.

"By Thor," he croaked, stiffening to keep from crumpling at her feet.

And then she punched him, hard, in the stomach, knocking him clean off his feet and into the snow. He gasped at the freezing touch of it soaking through his clothes, finding himself unable to scramble back up. He stared at her in complete consternation, inwardly marveling at how utterly divine she looked in the pale glitter of the moonlight.

"Don't tell anybody about this," she said firmly, pointing one mittened finger threateningly at him, "or I'll chop your bony knees off."

"Well," Hiccup gulped, "I... can't imagine losing those."

She nodded triumphantly at him, and Hiccup swore he saw a smile hiding beneath her blonde hair and the darkness of the night. And, seeming satisfied with her accomplishment, she turned and began to stomp away through the thick mountains of snow.

"Astrid!" Hiccup called after her, stumbling to his feet and tripping after her. She turned, looking surprised.

"What?" she retorted defensively.

"Was I, uh," he swallowed, not really believing he was going to say it, "I mean, was that... better than kissing Snotlout?"

She blinked, staring at him, looking completely taken aback, before replying, as though it was perfectly obvious, "I've never kissed Snotlout. I've never kissed anybody but you."

As though that was the end of any necessary conversation they would have at that moment, she resumed her walking, her braid tossing over her shoulder at her sharp turnabout, and as Hiccup watched her go he was so mesmerized by her he nearly didn't notice that it was starting to snow.