Author's note: For those who do not know already about it, I am known as 'Bintavivi' on DeviantArt. And this was actually a request from Gumdrop Boo/Ch4rms who who requested: "Could you possibly write a one shot based off that one clip picture you did of Astrid in Hiccup's shirt? How did that happen?". So, here you are! There is some slight graphic description of Hiccup's and Astrid's bodies and, I guess, a bit of innuendo in here. Enjoy yourselves! =D
Having Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III for a boyfriend had its drawbacks. For one, it meant having to listen to him when he started rambling enthusiastically about his latest ideas and inventions which no one understood a word of until they were actually real and usable. Then again, Astrid knew she could always shut him up with her most effective weapon: her lips. And there was much to bet that Hiccup had figured this out a long time ago, but anyone who would be caught saying the son's chief complained about it would immediately be considered an absolute idiot and a filthy liar.
Astrid didn't mind. For having Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III for a boyfriend also had a fair number of advantages. He was very smart, very sweet, very brave, intuitive, perceptive, honest and polite to a fault, persistent, had a good sense of humor - which proved to be pretty contagious once you got the hand of it –, could design and fashion almost everything out of leather, metal and wood, had become very good-looking indeed in her opinion, was utterly in love with her and practically worshipped the ground she stepped on…
…and last but not least, he was clean.
Yes, that was definitely one of the best things about Hiccup. Astrid perfectly remembered the time she had burst in on him when he was having a bath – she did not know about that, mind you – after getting out of a long day at the forge. The young man had been totally horrified and while the both of them had felt their respective cheeks burst into flames, she had had the time to secretly enjoy the sight. It's not like he had been standing naked in front of her; no, she had only seen Hiccup's upper body emerge from the steaming water – apparently he had had Toothless warm up the water for him-, and merely imagined the rest. Hiccup had been the first one to snap out of it and had started to yell at her for intruding on what he called his 'private space' without even knocking on the door, something she could not exactly disagree with. After blurting out a rather amused apology, she had exited the room and patiently waited alongside the equally amused Night Fury for him to be ready and come out. Out of pure curiosity, she had asked him how many baths a week he had, and had been positively struck speechless by his shy answer: three of four times a week. Feeling like he needed to justify himself, he argued it was all part of being a blacksmith, and she had laughed uproariously, pointing out that she was pretty sure it had been a rather long time since Gobber had had a bath for the last time, before kissing him deeply and telling him that she really, really had no complaints.
Snotlout and Tuffnut had also found out about Hiccup's bathing habits, and seemed to take great delight –especially Snotlout- in making fun of him, telling him that he was being girly, to which Hiccup invariably retorted that, as far as he was concerned, he didn't smell like a crate of two-years old fishes that even dragons would not consider edible. And that he was the one who had Astrid for a girlfriend. Snotlout usually visibly deflated at that.
Yes, Astrid thought as she smiled to herself and let all the muscles of her body relax into the warm ,welcoming water of the hot spring she and Hiccup had discovered a couple of weeks ago and made a point to keep secret, definitely no complaints.
It was Laugardagur, and Astrid had spent most of the day practicing her axe-throwing skills and sparring moves with her precious, beautiful sword known in Berk as Dagmar. Hiccup had planned to come with her in the first place, but Stoick the Vast had wanted his son to accompany him to a meeting that had been set up in order to plan the next trips to the mainland. Astrid knew her boyfriend was probably bored to death by now, and she couldn't help but sympathize with him. Learning to be a good chieftain sure didn't look nearly as exciting as a single flight with Toothless. However, Astrid also knew it was necessary for Hiccup to learn all that Stoick could teach him about his future responsibilities to the village, and she was sure the young man would turn out to be an extraordinary leader when the time would come, although she hoped it would not come too soon.
But for now, she simply enjoyed soaking in her own bath. Wash-day was a tradition for all Vikings, and although some of them had obviously broken with it, Astrid was not one of those. It suddenly occurred to her that it might even be the one and only tradition Hiccup had never broken with, up to the point that he probably had had more baths in his whole life than all people his age put together. Astrid chuckled and began humming an old song that told about dolphins she had learned as a child, all the while brushing the soap she had brought with her against her smooth, soft skin. Looking up, she noticed the sun was setting. She would have to get back to the village soon.
The wind blew softly, and she shivered slightly. From the corner of her eye, she took a look at her Deadly Nadder, Starkad, who patiently waited for her on the spring's shore, eating a bunch of fishes they had caught earlier. She smiled, not noticing how the wind suddenly blew stronger until a colorful movement in the air caught her eye. And then, Astrid's jaw simply dropped as she unbelievably stared at her own shirt as the fickle wind carried it away. There was a moment of silent before the young woman started barking swears words and orders to Starkad. The dragon took flight immediately, beatings her wings as powerfully and quickly as possible, and deftly caught the fabric between her jaws. Her sharp jaws.
Astrid simply looked at the torn shirt Starkad had brought back to her, covered in saliva and completely un-wearable.
"Thank you very much, Starkad."
The dragon crooned happily, not discerning the sarcastic tone in her human's voice.
"By all of the Gods of Asgard, this is just what I needed! How am I going to get back to the village now?"
Starkad tilted her head in confusion, squawking.
"I wasn't talking about HOW we will fly there, you overgrown lizard! I was talking about-
"Astrid?" a voice the blonde Viking knew all too well echoed suddenly from the other and of the hot spring, "Are you over here?"
Shock, embarrassment and horror plastered on her features, Astrid desperately tried to find a way she could hide from her upcoming boyfriend, but she already knew it was useless. So, she did the only thing she could and sank further down in the steaming water while Starkad – damn that stupid dragon!- emitted a series of squawks that would inevitably lead Stoick's son towards her naked form. Gods, Astrid all of a sudden perfectly understood how Hiccup must have felt that day, when he had been in the very same situation, and certainly did not laugh at the irony of it. And he was getting closer.
"Astrid? Where are you?"
Do not respond, do not respond, do not respond.
"Astrid? C'mon, I know you're somewhere…around…here…"
Why is he hesitating? He hasn't seen me, so…Oh, crap.
And Hiccup found himself staring at the pile of clothes of the spring's shore, clothes he knew belonged to the one Viking he loved more than anyone else, and time got slower and slower and slower as he lifted his head up and his gaze met what he thought was the most beautiful thing he had ever, ever been given the chance to even glimpse. He was as speechless as she was, and suddenly nothing in the world existed but the naked form of Astrid. He could only make out the curves of her glorious body surrounded by water and steam, the way her long golden hair he loved so much to swipe his hands through cascaded down her shoulders, the breasts she hid with her arms crossed in front of her chest in a vulnerable, typically feminine attitude, and how her skin glistened, droplets leisurely travelling down it as if it was nothing exceptional, and he silently cursed them for not revering the woman they dared to touch as they should, as he would, as he was.
Astrid did not dare to utter a single word, feeling herself burn under Hiccup's intense gaze, although a tiny voice at the back of her mind told her to take pride in the pure admiration that had filled the forest-green orbs that observed her. She would never know how she did, but she did hear him swallow thickly and mutter something under his ragged breath. The wind blew softly, and she wasn't quite sure if it was really responsible for the shiver that ran down her spine. And suddenly, unexpectedly, Hiccup turned his back on her.
"What happened?" was the simple question he asked. She sighed audibly.
"My shirt was carried away by the wind. Starkad caught it, but…"
"…But you can't wear it."
Hiccup's body became rigid, and Astrid didn't know what he was going to do. Sure, he was adorable, but he was still a boy.
No, her mind corrected instantly, he's not a boy anymore. He's a man.
As countless scenes began to play in her head about what was going to happen now, Astrid sucked in her breath as she watched his fur vest fell to the ground. Hiccup gripped his tunic and pulled it over his head, and it was her turn to swallow. Yes, he had definitely become a man. How was it that she hadn't noticed before the way his shoulders had broadened and looked strong enough now for her to rest her head upon them and feel absolutely protected? Why hadn't she paid attention before to toned muscles of his arms, or to the slightly longer hair that caressed the nape of his neck, or to the bulging muscles of his shoulder blades, or to the way his back, also broader than before, narrowed slightly around his waist?
Her contemplation was shattered when he began to take cautions steps backwards, not looking at her, and she suddenly felt a rush of love for him, for the way he respected her no matter the circumstances, and a pang of guilt shot through her as she dubbed herself stupid for thinking even a second that he, out of all people, would take advantage of her. He remained silent, carefully knelt beside the rest of her clothes –a maneuver that she knew was difficult for him because of his prosthesis- and slowly deposited his tunic on top of them.
"You can wear this. I'll just…take my fur vest and go behind that boulder over there, and you tell me when I can come out, okay?"
Yep. The biggest idiot in Viking history, that's me.
"…Okay. Thank you, Hiccup."
Astrid watched as he disappeared behind the boulder he'd mentioned, limping slightly, and a tender smile spread across her face. She stepped forward, emerging from the warm water, and started putting her own clothes on, and eventually the green tunic he'd given her. It was a strange, pleasing sensation to feel the fabric that usually covered his skin on hers, even if it left one of her shoulders bare. The tunic smelled like him, was soft and warm like him, and, on her, it was a proof of utter respect and love.
She went to him, and he smiled his lopsided smile at seeing her like this, not caring about how cold he himself felt with only his fur vest on. He was pretty sure Astrid would beat him up for having burst in on her, but she simply laced her fingers with his and brushed her lips against his, mumbling a 'thank you' against his slightly parted ones. He smiled again, and buried his face in her bare shoulder, taking in her scent, telling her how beautiful she looked to him, no matter what clothes she was wearing and hearing her suck in her breath. Astrid felt him smile against her skin as he trailed soft kisses up her shoulder and collarbone, until his lips finally came back to her own, and she knew he was the one she'd always wanted, and the only one she'd ever want.
The flight back to Berk was a pleasant one.
Hiccup walked Astrid home and waited on the threshold of the Hoffersons' house for her to put something else on and come back with his tunic. She thanked him once more, kissed him goodnight, told him she loved him, and headed back inside. Hiccup smiled to himself for a second, and then groaned.
"C'mon, buddy, let's get home, too. I need to have a bath."
The black, slender dragon looked inquisitively at his human.
"I know, I've already had one today, but I really need another right now. A cold one."
As a footnote, As historians unearth Viking relics, they discovered that they used hygienic tools for grooming. They have seen Viking remains such as combs, tweezers and ear spoons. The unhygienic image is also far from reality since the Vikings actually make their own soap. They use soaps to clean and bleach their hair. They try as they might to keep their hair blonde in color. Blonde is actually the ideal shade and the customary hair color of Vikings. Also, a comb is something that they are familiar with, since most of artefacts found, that relates to Vikings, are actually combs.
During the era when bathing is seldom done, bathing once a week is already considered as good amount of hygiene. Vikings who settled in England are even known for their "excessive cleanliness" because of their habit of bathing every week. One particular tradition was even related to the said regular hygiene of the Vikings. Laugardagur, a term referred to as "wash day", is related to the Viking's routine of taking a bath every Saturday.
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