Well, this is going to be the first HTTYD fanfic I've done, and I'm suddenly in the mood to do it, what with the Christmas mood and all (not sure how that counts?)
I'm not sure if I should do a multi-chapter, since college severely restricts my amount of free time after the holidays…do tell me what you think of my writing, yeah? It'd be so nice of y'all. =)
And yeah, this fic is set after the Legend of The Boneknapper short flick that Dreamworks came up with. Twas fun, I tell ya! =D
What Is In a Name?
Parents believed that hideous names for their children would frighten off gnomes and trolls.
That wasn't the case for all parents in Berk, so it seemed.
Although Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III long accepted his stellar name to be completely troll-proof, one name always bothered him.
Astrid, if directly translated, simply meant Divine Beauty, which Hiccup entirely agrees with, but what has the boy thinking recently is why she was named so.
Hiccup knew he had better things to do, yes, but this was the only pet project of sorts that he had, now that most of his time was taken for training the newest batch of dragon riders, or designing the new dragon roosts.
It all still needed some getting used to. The greetings people now gave him to replace the years of silent stares or hushed gossip, his father now actually having more father-son bonding time with him, the dragon training gang actually taking him in as one-of-them, and his favorite, Astrid actually having straight conversations with him.
Hiccup honestly thought that he and the blonde Viking would hit it off after that sudden, albeit welcomed, kiss he got from her the day he woke up, but found it gruelingly anticlimactic that the most he's got -3 weeks after- is the occasional kiss on the cheek.
Astrid never said anything about what their relationship was, and although he knew scarcely little about girls, it was common sense not to go around saying they were an 'item' or something. That was what frustrated Hiccup the most.
He wanted an ultimatum, he wanted a final say from her, just for her to say "We're dating, Hiccup, just so you know," or something of the sort.
With that, he got up from the dining table where he has been rooted for the past four hours, grabbing his vest on his way out the door. This was it, he decided. He'll ask Astrid, straight out, how she got her name.
As he shut the heavy door behind him, Hiccup let the cool breeze and warm sunlight hit his face, indulging in them. Spring was a blessing in Berk, and the auburn-haired lad felt that even Freyja herself must have given this day as a sense of encouragement for him.
Instead of walking the beaten stone path that lined the village, Hiccup treaded lightly across the grass, his single leather boot crunching against the ruffling grass. The metal prosthetic that was his left leg only thudded dully against the earth, the faint squeak of the spring going in rhythm with the other leg.
He already memorized the Hofferson house's location by heart. His merry shortcut meant he'd reach the house at half the time it would've taken if he walked the path.
When the house fell into sight, Hiccup realized his heart was thumping faster and faster. He knew even if it was 10 years from now, Astrid would still make his heart race. She's already been the cause of it since they were 12, when Hiccup first started to see her as a girl.
Taking a deep breath, he walked up to the front door, ready to give it a firm rap or two. But before he even landed a knuckle on the solid oak, it opened from the inside, and in its place, stood a man almost as tall as the door reached upwards.
"Odin's beard!" the man half-gasped, half-bellowed, his blonde wall of a beard almost sweeping Hiccup in the face. The boy himself moved back a couple of steps.
Arkin Hofferson was a man not to be taken lightly. Almost as large as Stoik the Vast himself, Arkin was one of his best war lieutenants. And one of the best warhammer-throwers in the village.
And not to forget, he was the father to the very girl Hiccup had occasional dreams of. Not the kind he'd like to share with Arkin over a cup of mead, though.
"M-*cough*-Mister Hofferson, good afternoon." Hiccup cursed himself as his voice initially came out as a meek squeak before he adjusted his pitch, and it came out slightly deeper than normal.
Arkin blinked, before answering. "Hiccup, goodness, lad, didn't see you there."
Not a surprise…Hiccup mused. It wasn't the first time someone almost ran over him.
"Now what can I do for you, lad?"
He studied Mr. Hofferson's tone. After years and years of seeing how people reacted around him, Hiccup could have been able to tell if he was unhappy to see him here, and so far, it wasn't the case.
"I was wondering…" he said, shuffling his only good foot. "Is Astrid available for a chat?"
Hiccup prayed to the gods that it did not come off like "Can I talk to your daughter, who I really have a crush on, by the way?"
However, it did make sense to ask the father. Almost all dealings came from asking the girl's father. Especially marriage contracts….
"Well, she's out in the back with that Nadder of hers," Arkin said, pointing back at the unseen rear of the house. Nope, no scathing undertone regarding the dragon, either. Hmm.
"Arkin, who are you talking to?" came a voice from the inside of the house. Hiccup was used to hearing Astrid's mother's voice as she was the village seamstress. His fur vest was made by her several years ago, and it was built to last.
"The Haddock boy's 'ere. He's lookin' for Astrid," Arkin said, before hefting a sizeable, but empty rucksack on his left forearm. "I'm off to the market for more fish, dear. Thor knows we'll need it," he mumbled past Hiccup as the boy tried his best not to grin.
Astrid's Nadder, the vain thing, was proficient enough to hunt for its own food, but Astrid had complained to Hiccup several times how Cloudbreaker would just conveniently procure some of the household fish. It wasn't exactly big news, but Hiccup held that memory dear to him because at that time, Astrid actually shared her problems with him.
"Well are ya gonna come in?" Ingrid Hofferson asked as she appeared from what Hiccup assumed was the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron.
Hiccup stepped in nervously, greeting the elder Hofferson. Ingrid was almost what Hiccup imagined Astrid would look like in her mid-40s. Her hair, though slightly graying in some streaks, was the same sunset blonde as Astrid's. Her eyes were hazel, though, so Astrid's sliver-blue eyes must've been from her father.
Hiccup suddenly imagined himself staring at Mr. Hofferson's eyes, trying to find that same ethereal twinkle that her daughter had, and he shuddered excessively. Eww.
"You cold, boy?" Ingrid asked again, this time examining the thin Haddock. She mistook Hiccup's shudders of disgust for something else entirely.
"Err, not really," Hiccup shuffled.
"Hmph. Wouldn't be surprised if you were. Haven't changed a bit since the last time I made you clothes. You gotta put more meat on those bones of yours," she said encouragingly, Hiccup blushing slightly.
"I've been…putting on some weight. Weight-lifting and all," Hiccup said, trying to sound nonchalant about his measly biceps.
He could've sworn he heard Ingrid snort in retort as she walked to the back of the house and called out "Astrid! Hiccup's here for you!"
He flinched ever so slightly as his presence was announced that bluntly. He was thinking of smoothly approaching Astrid from behind and suavely greeting her in an octave lower than his regular voice.
"Send him over to the back, Mom! I'm still busy cleaning Cloudbreaker up!" he heard the disembodied voice coming from outside the house. Even when she's hollering she sounds so pretty…
"Well, you heard the girl, off ya go, then." Ingrid said, gesturing Hiccup off.
The boy slowly walked his way to the rear of the house, his prosthetic clinking and squeaking against the hard stone floor. It sounded foreign to the solid hardwood floor that lined his own house.
The house soon gave way to a rather sizeable back door and Hiccup gingerly made his way out, half expecting another large Viking to almost ram him off.
He spotted Astrid over at the makeshift den that was built to house Cloudbreaker right outside the Hofferson household. Astrid herself was lounging by a very large stack of hay that looked like it threatened to just swallow her in, her Nadder preening herself by the sunlight.
"So this is what you call cleaning Cloudbreaker up?" Hiccup asked, crossing his arms while smirking.
"Oh shut up. You know as well as I do that Breaker can clean herself. She does it almost every minute of the day, y'know, besides eating, or sleeping," she said, casting one skeptical eye at said Nadder, who only squawked in defiance.
"So what brings you here?"
Hiccup took a moment to gather his thoughts. He didn't really plan out how he was going to ask Astrid about her name. He just planned on doing it.
"Oh, y'know, I was walking by this part of the village when I thought 'Hey, why don't I pay Astrid a visit?', so…here I am," he said. If he honestly said he walked all the way from his house to see her, he wouldn't be sure how she'd take to that.
"Liar," she scoffed lightly, and that caught Hiccup. Was she trained to detect lies, too?
"Ruffnut saw you walking straight from your place over to mine while she was passing my mum a couple of things from hers."
Hiccup scowled. The Thornston twins always had a penchant for teasing Hiccup and Astrid's not-quite-a-relationship.
"Well she should learn to mind her own business…" he mumbled, but loud enough for Astrid to hear.
"I think it was a sweet thing to do," Astrid said, still half-asleep in her tone.
"What, tattling on me? Thor's hammer, you girls sure have some whacked-out sense of what's sweet…"
"I meant you, idiot."
Hiccup blinked. Oh.
"But there's a reason why, isn't there?" Astrid asked. She was wide awake now, and intently looking at Hiccup.
He didn't immediately answer, instead walking over to where Astrid was. "Is this spot of hay taken?"
"No, go ahead," she muttered, scooting over a little to give the boy some space.
Hiccup plopped himself down a good forearm's length from her, not too close for her to feel uncomfortable about it, not too far for her to feel distanced from.
"So? What brings you here, Hiccup?" Astrid asked again, this time turning herself to face him. He found himself fidgeting nervously, avoiding direct eye contact with her at all costs.
"Astrid, I-I've got a question," Hiccup said, trying his best to maintain his regular tone of voice instead of that fiasco he had with her father earlier. No reason to further bring down his manliness scale among the Hoffersons.
"Then shoot," she simply said. That was one thing Astrid always found amusing about the boy right next to her. Hiccup was always so self-conscious when he was around her.
"Astrid, I was wondering-" he began, for the first time today trying to make face-to-face contact with here. He ended up getting dry in the mouth.
Astrid's right arm was tucked under her head to support herself on the hay, and her fingers had been playing with a few locks of that beautiful hair of hers. Hiccup just realized that she wasn't wearing her trademark metal headband, so more of her hair cascaded down her face, contrasting so much with those blue eyes of hers.
Hiccup found it so odd that Astrid can still look so beautiful without her trying most of the time
.He wasn't complaining, though.
It just meant he couldn't really finish his sentence.
"…Yeah?" Astrid asked, her tone a little lower, almost dream-like. She smiled softly when she saw the boy start to sputter for Odin knows what reason, and took her time to revel in it all.
His passionate green eyes, always entrancing her no matter what time of the day she looked at them, those freckles dotting his face, his lips, gods she wished she could remember how they felt. It had been close to a month since the impromptu euphoria-fuelled kiss she gave him when he recovered, and she just wished she could taste them again.
"Well…I wanted to know how…" Hiccup stammered, bringing Astrid back to the present. How I taste? Why Hiccup, all you had to do was ask.
She blinked. Did she really just think that? While he was there?
Astrid felt the heat rising to her cheeks as she turned away for a second. Hiccup stopped talking when he saw that. Astrid? Blushing?
He then noticed that the distance between them was much closer than when they first started out. He was close enough to see the small telltale scar above her left eyebrow that was usually hidden by her hair's length.
"…Astrid? You okay?"
No, I'm not okay, on account to you, idiot…
"I-I'm fine, Hiccup. Just thinking about something," she said, sounding more business-like as she placed a poker-face mask.
"Something," she said in a tone that meant it would be the final answer, or Hiccup would risk bodily injury, again. The blush never left her face, though.
"Okay then," Hiccup muttered, looking away. Great, the momentum he built to ask her that simple question was gone faster than a basket full of fish around Toothless.
Was he going to drop the question he was trying so hard to ask? Astrid thought through squinted eyelids.
"You were in the middle of asking me something?" she asked.
"Oh! Right," Hiccup said, turning back to face her again. They were still the same distance as earlier, and Hiccup could hear her inhaling and exhaling.
Now or never.
"I wanted to ask…"
Here I go…
"…about your name."
There, off my chest.
He took a second to study how she'd react, and all Astrid did was blink.
"I'm sorry?" she asked. She clearly couldn't make head or tail of that question.
Great, of course she wouldn't get it.
"I meant, I wanted to ask how you got your name?"
"Uhh," she stammered for awhile. Okayyyyy, interesting topic for small talk….
"I got it from my parents? My mom gave me that name?"
Hiccup mentally facepalmed himself. Irony was a bitch.
"I meant, why you, y'know, were named Astrid?" he asked again, praying to every single god up in Valhalla that she wouldn't find this a stupid question.
"Why was I named Astrid?" she repeated, digesting that question.
Hiccup nodded quietly. The awkwardness between them was slowly building up with the silence.
"Well that was an…intriguing question," Astrid said with a half-hearted laugh, trying to alleviate the situation. No, long periods of awkwardness with Hiccup around wasn't uncommon, but it was better to avoid it, whenever possible.
Hiccup managed a laugh of his own. "Yeah, I know, strange of me, right?" He was about to try have another go at his usual self-deprecating humor when Astrid spoke up.
"Why do you wanna know?"
He turned again to see her looking at him with a very different expression. It was the same look she gave him about a month ago, when they were on one of the lookout points, Hiccup watching the Vikings heading for the Dragon Isle.
"Because I want to remember what you say, right now."
It was the same look she gave him when she made that statement. It was the look of sheer determination.
"I dunno. I was thinking why your name's so…" Hiccup trailed off, looking away again.
Hiccup's neck almost cricked from him turning his head so fast to her direction. She wasn't looking at him either, this time finding her fingernails to the most interesting things in the world.
Astrid didn't say it as a question. It was a statement. An answer. Not the one Hiccup was looking for, though.
He honestly didn't know what to say to that. How to react to Astrid's statement about herself. It was the closest she ever got to insulting herself indirectly, even if all she said was 'different'.
Vikings didn't take to difference well. They liked what they had, and difference would mean adaptation. Sure, it could be done, but the Hairy Hooligans were a tribe known for its stubbornness issues. So much could be said about the Viking-dragon truce.
"I'm sorry, Astrid," Hiccup weakly said. Great, he goofed up yet again. He could have just sat next to Astrid and spent the whole of the day like that, ditching the damn question behind. Couldn't his curiosity take a hit just for a day with Astrid?
"Why are you apologizing?" she asked, looking at him again. He noticed she wasn't looking angry or anything, just…inquisitive.
"Because I asked you such a stupid question, s'all," he said, shrugging.
"It wasn't a stupid question," she said, shaking her left hand to dismiss it. "I asked my parents the same thing when I was eight."
Oh, so if she asked a question like that herself once, it's not stupid anymore? Hiccup thought with some inner snicker.
"Mommy, Daddy, why was I named Astrid? It doesn't sound troll or goblin proof," she mimicked what Hiccup could have imagined was an eight year-old Astrid, and found himself laughing just ever so little. Younger Astrid must have been just adorable.
"Mommy? Daddy?" he asked, eyebrows raised as a devious smirk ran across his face. He couldn't imagine Astrid calling out for her parents in that manner now, no matter how cute she might've sounded.
"Oh stop laughing. I was eight, for crying out loud," she said, softly elbowing Hiccup in the ribs. It didn't hurt like it normally would have, but it was still Astrid-worthy.
"So you know what they said?"
"What did they say?" Hiccup really wanted to know, all the more now that Astrid felt like it was okay sharing this with him.
"My mom decided on giving me that name. It was the name of one of Odin's top Valkyries in Valhalla."
Hiccup took a moment to take that in. "Your mom named you after a Valkyrie," he repeated. He then looked at Astrid once more, took her whole form into his mind, from her heavenly smile to the way her clothes often seem to compliment her curves in all the right places, to those long, creamy legs of hers, that were today thankfully unhindered by the thick boots she usually wore.
Yes, she was indeed fitting to be called Astrid.
"My dad initially thought of giving me a different name like Frostbite or something, but my mom went all 'No way am I naming my first daughter something so common around here. Go pick something else for me to consider.'"
Hiccup chuckled. Were her parents really that funny?
"So my dad said 'Odin help me, I've got nothin' for me tah' think of,' and my mum went 'Wait, Odin, huh? Let's name her after something from Valhalla. How 'bout Freyja?'"
Hiccup couldn't help but laugh at that. Not only because of the name suggestions, but how Astrid was able to imitate her parents' accents rather accurately.
"Oh don't give me that. That doesn't even begin to cover the other names they thought out. They almost tried from Bryhildr all the way to Skogul."
Hiccup laughed some more and he could have sworn Astrid was joining in ever so little. Her eyes were twinkling, for one thing. "And how did they come up with Astrid?"
"They actually had a book of all those names, you see. By some miracle, my mom came across that name and found it fitting." Astrid said.
"Well…" she continued, but was turning several shades darker. Hiccup was curious why.
"My name has a meaning to it," she said sheepishly, biting her lower lip ever so little, and Hiccup fell in love all over again. The brash, strong-willed, confident Astrid was one thing, but this, the slightly shy, blushing, lip-biting Astrid, a side Hiccup has never seen before, was a new crush, a new pursuit for him.
"Divine beauty…" he muttered, in no way replying to Astrid's earlier statement.
Astrid snapped to and looked at the boy. "How did you know that?"
"I –uhh- I have my ways," he said casually, trying to sound nonchalant, again. It often helped him to get out of trouble in the past.
Astrid dismissed that, and went on. "Yeah, it means divine beauty, sure. And add that to the fact that she was one of Odin's top Valks, voila, both my parents came to an agreement. Beauty and status in one name."
Hiccup smiled. He couldn't agree more. She had the beauty, hands down, and with her being known as one of the youngest elite fighters in Berk , her status in the village had no challenge.
"So does that answer your question?" she asks with a half smile.
Hiccup nodded. He can't help but smile in return. Seeing Astrid smile, for him, was a blessing on its own.
"Yeah, it does. Thanks, Astrid," he replied, a slight emphasis on the thanks, and she picked that up right away.
"Thanks? For what?"
"For indulging me in this. I know it's not exactly prime topic for small talk, yeah, but-"
"I think it was nice of you ask me. At least you got the guts to doing it this time," she said, elbowing him again. She often chastised him about being so squeamish.
"Yeah, well, I learn to man-up every once in awhile," he said, trying to flex the non-existent biceps he had.
Astrid giggled as she pushed him on the shoulder. Hiccup's heart practically soared. He wasn't going to let this one go anytime soon.
"I made Astrid Hofferson giggle? Wow, that's like, an even greater accomplishment than taking down the Green Death!" he said with mock enthusiasm, but careful enough to not come off as being his usual sarcastic self.
Astrid knew there wasn't any offense to it, but she still gave him a firm swipe to the arm, for good measure.
Hiccup saw the smirk on her face when she cause his left arm to go numb for a second there, so he knew she didn't mean anything harmful by it, but by Thor, did it still hurt.
"Ow! Hey, I'm gonna need to use that arm later," he said, Astrid scoffing.
"I know it's your day off from the forge, Hiccup, so what else can you be possibly using your left hand for?" she asked, lowering her eyelids at him.
Hiccup flinched. Did Astrid just ask him a very subtly suggestive question?
"Uhhhh…some other things, I guess," he said, scratching his cheek.
'Give an obscure answer to throw off a suggestive question.' Something Astrid herself once told him regarding Snotlout's previous constant efforts on trying to woo Astrid.
When Astrid didn't reply after shrugging herself, Hiccup sought to try and milk as much he could from Astrid's supposed forwardness.
"What? So no kiss to make up for the bodily damage you might've caused me?" he asked with a teasing tinge to his voice. The blonde girl blinked. This was a tone Hiccup rarely took to.
Still, she couldn't let go the fact that he was challenging her, tease or no tease.
"You big baby," she said before edging closer to him. If Hiccup needed an excuse this bad just to get her to give him a kiss, she'd gladly oblige.
Before Hiccup could react, she softly placed her lips to his freckled cheek, and took in the smell of faint burnt wood that always seemed to be there. She liked that.
Instead of moving away from there a second later, she just continued to remain there, Hiccup now able to fully feel the tenderness of her lips to his skin. He was too fazed to regret it wasn't his own lips that were coming in contact with hers.
When she finally let go, Astrid could hear that his breath was slowly quickening. That made flared her ego a few notches up, knowing that she had that kind of effect on him, even it was just a kiss to the cheek.
"I don't care what you call me as long as I can get more of those," Hiccup finally said, half-nervous.
"Don't push it," she said, threatening to hit him again. He couldn't help but flinch away from the incoming blow. One hit was enough for his left arm, thank you very much.
But in all his wisdom, Hiccup managed to move so far back that the hay gave in from underneath him, causing him to fall backwards as the hay cascaded down. It cushioned his fall, yes, but it meant he was on his back rather awkwardly, arms and legs flailing for awhile. Astrid thought it made him look like a turtle on its back.
And that was all it took for her to burst out laughing. She found turtles to be comically cute when they went belly-up. A belly-up Hiccup was even cuter.
The green-eyed boy, however, didn't like how his manliness-scale with the youngest Hofferson took a nose-dive. "Yeah, sure, make fun of the guy who tried to dodge the mighty blows of Astrid Hofferson," he said with a light tone to his sarcasm. It wasn't her fault entirely that he ended up on his back, anyway.
"I just thought that you looked like a turtle goin' belly-up. They're so cute like that," she said, edging herself closer to him until she was next to his legs.
"Well surely I'm cuter than some turtle, right?" he asked. Now where did that bold-ness come from, suddenly?
"I told you, no pushing your luck, Haddock," she said with a smile, crawling over him to hit his freckled nose with a finger. Only then did she realize that her proximity with him were the closest they had gotten to in weeks.
It didn't take Hiccup long to come to that conclusion too. He'd had one too many thoughts about how Astrid would've insisted to be on top for whatever reason, but never had he envisioned she'd look this beautiful, her hair now flowing down from her face like curtains, tickling his cheeks, her eyes now wide, allowing Hiccup to take in the color of them fully.
His heart was thumping painfully against his chest now, his voice caught in his throat. His breath was ragged and quickening even more, and Astrid could tell as much. Her own heartbeat was beating in her ears now as she tried to think what to do next. None of those thoughts, however, involved moving away from him.
Kiss him. Cuddle up to him. Jump his damn bones. Just do something!
Hiccup could see the hesitance in her eyes as she looked away, that strawberry shade of red coming back to her cheeks as she bit her lower lip, again. The shy Astrid was back again. Hiccup had to make his move now.
He gingerly brought his hand up to cup Astrid's cheek. By the way she jolted ever so slightly, he could tell she didn't see it coming. She didn't move herself away from his hand, though, so that was good enough of news for him.
He slowly brought the whole of his hand to cup her face as she slowly closed her eyes, only to just as slowly open them back to gently gaze at his own green ones, her full and still bit lips cascading into a pout of the sexiest kind.
By the *gods*… Hiccup almost gulped. Who was this shy, blushing goddess and what was she doing in Astrid's body?
He slowly edged himself forward as he tried to tenderly bring her head down to meet him own. He had to have her now. Three weeks was way too long of a torture for him.
In silence, both of them closed their eyes as their lips tenderly, gingerly met in the softest of grazes, both of them still too nervous to come into full contact.
Astrid then made the initiative, moving her head mere millimeters downwards, but that was all it took to come into full contact with Hiccup's lips, and she completely lost herself within him.
Hiccup, however, could only get one coherent thought into his mind.
Astrid tasted like strawberries.
The previous kiss was too quick, and too long ago for him to remember how they tasted like, but goodness, he'd never forget after today how Astrid's lips tasted of the freshest cream of strawberries.
He felt long, soft fingers rake their way up to his hair, burying themselves within it as Astrid supported herself on her elbows, her torso leaning against Hiccup's. She straddled him around his hips to make herself more comfortable, and he gasped into her mouth as her pelvis grinded against his own.
She moaned ever so slightly into him as a response. This was all so stimulating to her.
The hand that Hiccup used to cup her face was now blanketed by her luscious golden locks as it covered the base of her neck, feeling the soft creamy skin her hair shielded.
It sent shivers down her spine as Hiccup's other hand daringly held onto her hips, partially to support her, mostly because Hiccup's a healthy, regular 16 year old, with a very wide spectrum of imagination.
The kiss seemed to last for minutes, if not hours when Astrid had to break off for some air. The way she gasped huskily for air, though, did not help Hiccup in the least with a certain problem down south.
"Hiccup…" she crooned.
"Hmm?" was all he could say as she lowered herself down again until they were mere centimeters apart from each other.
"I've missed this," she said, before kissing him again. It was slightly more aggressive this time as she slowly, but boldly began to prod her tongue in, searching for his own.
Hiccup, not expecting that, reacted by bringing his hand lower to grab a handful of her bare thigh, a handful of seemingly endless pure, milky tender skin that could only belong to the fairest of goddesses.
Astrid moaned sharply as she only pushed herself further against him, the sensation of body against body doing nothing to help themselves.
Oh gods, Hiccup….When did he ever get this good?
Astrid figured if absence was what made the heart grow fonder, she'd have to stop making out with him for the next month, then. She then mentally shook her head as she realized, a month not doing this with Hiccup, not after today, was impossible.
Hiccup took the moment to press his own tongue against her own, earning yet another muffled open-mouthed groan from the girl.
They were openly fighting it out, a duel that both teens never imagined they'd ever participate in. Sure, in a spar, Astrid would undoubtedly crush the poor Haddock, but here, they were on equal grounds.
Eventually they both had to come up for air, and Hiccup began to gently kiss the base of her jaw, gentle, loving kisses that let Astrid know that she was cared for by the young chief-to-be.
"Hiccup?" she asked as the boy proceeded to begin kissing her neck, sending more jolts of lightning down her spine. She couldn't help but purr to it, Hiccup relishing in the vibration of her neck against his lips.
"Hmm?" he repeated yet again.
"My mother's still in the kitchen, you know," she said, although she didn't really care.
"Guess I've got some explaining to do if she catches me, then," he said non-commitedly, and it made her giggle. This was the closest that Hiccup could get to sounding like a 'bad boy'.
Astrid then decided to rest her head at the crook of his neck, resting her hands on his chest. It wasn't muscle-loaded, but it was firm, and she could feel his warmth and the steadying beat of his heart. It seemed to lull her as she traced circles around his right pectoral.
Is this really happening? Hiccup thought critically as he began to stroke Astrid's hair with one hand, the other firmly secured around her back.
The blonde girl, on the other hand, never felt more comfortable than she ever did, right now. Though they were practically the same height now, being wrapped around Hiccup brought a sense of protection to her.
She knew that Hiccup could never oust her in a fight, but in truth, every girl, no matter how tough or capable as they are on their own, wanted to feel loved and protected. In Hiccup, she felt the security that he could provide her. With the soft, loving strokes to her hair and that faint kiss to the top of her head that he just gave, she knew that she was loved.
Hiccup, who only came here to ask Astrid something so simple, odd, but simple, today turned out to be a revelation of sorts. She does care about him, she does have feelings for him. He could tell by the way she was now nestled so securely against himself, showing Hiccup the only side that he was yet to see of her.
"Astrid?" he asked, noticing she was beginning to doze off. Was he really that comfortable? The thought of it made his lips curl involuntarily into a smile.
"Yes?" she asked, now looking up to see her own hair all over her face, her half-awake expression so endearing to him. He could imagine waking up every morning to that face, and never, ever, getting bored of it.
"Are we…an item?"
He still had insecurities, then. Astrid thought as much before laughing lightly.
"As if the kissing and cuddling wasn't proof enough?" she asked, an eyebrow raised.
"I…had to make sure. I dunno how these things are supposed to work out," he said.
"Neither do I, Hiccup. Y…you're my first," she admitted, burying her head again into his neck. Coming into eye contact with him now would only turn her into a pink pile of blushing fluff.
"Well, it may come as a surprise to you, but you're my first girlfriend too," he said with that false tint of light-hearted bravado. Astrid giggled at that again.
"Could've fooled me," she said, as she looked up. "And you called me your girlfriend."
He did it. He stated it before she did.
But didn't she say just seconds earlier that he was her first?
She however, didn't say what he was her first for. First snog? First cuddle?
"Was…I not supposed to call you that?" he asked, half dreading the answer she'd give.
Her expression neutral, she raised a hand, and Hiccup shut his eyes, anticipating the blow to wherever she'd strike. He reckoned he deserved as much.
He however, did not expect that hand to gently cup his own face.
Hiccup slowly opened his eyes to see Astrid smiling at him.
Poor boy thought I was going to hit him again. Maybe it's time I stopped doing it.
"I don't mind, Hiccup. You should do it more often, you know. I like seeing you stand up for yourself," she said, edging her own face closer to Hiccup's again.
"You're sexy like that."
Hiccup's eyes went wide as Astrid softly purred those last few words into his ear as she then got up, dusting hay off herself and adjusting her hair and clothes.
Hiccup just dumbfoundedly watched as she then sauntered herself back into the house, but not before taking one last look at Hiccup with that sultry look in her eyes that disappeared, instead to be replaced with innocent, doe-eyed ones.
"You coming in? My mom's making sweetbread," she said in a deceivingly neutral voice that didn't bear any lead to what they had been doing only minutes prior. She then disappeared inside.
Hiccup figured it was to throw any suspicion off from her mother about what they were doing in the hay stack, and decided to play along with it as he shook every last bit of hay from his clothes, readjusting his hair.
He took one last look at Cloudbreaker, who had been sleeping through the whole thing, and went in, walking back into the kitchen.
Astrid was obediently sitting on the family table, gesturing silently for Hiccup to take the seat next to hers.
"So, did you two manage to clean up after Cloudbreaker?" Ingrid Hofferson asked, her back turned to them as she took the sweetbread out of the oven.
Hiccup flinched and fidgeted, not sure how to respond. Astrid, however, laid a gentle hand on his to calm him down.
"We did, before she made a mess in the haystack, mom," Astrid said, her face stony and neutral. Hiccup decided it was wise to follow suit.
"She's a little playful like that, Mrs. Hofferson."
It took quite awhile for Astrid's mother to reply, and it worried both teens ever so little.
"Really now? Well, that dang Nadder's gonna need some more tamin' now, doesn't she?" the eldest Hofferson said as she turned around with the sweetbread in her arms, all smiles.
She plopped the already-cut bread down onto the table as both teens happily grabbed a piece, silently smiling to themselves at how Ingrid Hofferson was none the wiser.
"Oh, and Astrid, dear," her mother said as she was taking out a few pieces of preserved salmon, what she was going to say next making both teens sputter and choke on their sweetbread.
"Next time you want to tell Hiccup how you like him taking the initiative, do remember to close the back door beforehand. This house has very good acoustics."
There. This took several days to piece together since I did not think the plot through-and-through, and I *really* hate that the Facebook and the such pose as such sweet distractions….
Do tell me what you guys think, yea?