It's traditional for the boys of Berk to get a tattoo when they turn 16. Their fathers, their grandfathers, their great grandfathers, their dead ancestors all have them. They got it from voyages hundreds of years ago to Europe. Gobber does them; he even did himself, back in the day. His first one.
"That's why you've got that purple blob on your ankle?" Tuffnut exclaims.
Hiccup looks indignant. "You told me that was a burn from a battle!"
"Ay, lad. You were nine and would believe it."
"What you getting?" Tuffnut nudges Snoutlout.
"A Nightmare. On my face!"
"Yeh might wan rethink tha'," Gobber calls.
"I want a male symbol," Tuffnut says. "To emphasize my masculinity."
"I was thinking the Tree of Life," he says. "What about you, Hiccup?"
Hiccups shrugs. "Still thinking?"
"A bunny?" Snoutlout asks innocently.
Hiccup rolls his eyes. "I'd be taking yours."
"C'mon, I haven't got all day!" Gobber barks. The boys look back at the smirking girls and file into the smithy.
Astrid's a tad bewildered when Snoutlout, laughing, tells her Hiccup got a flower.
"It this true?" She turns to Fishlegs, who nods, but he's smiling in a very different way.
"Why?" she demands.
"Why don't you ask him?" he suggests. "He'd know better than me."
She finds Hiccup with Toothless in the cove. Toothless is in the semi-napping state he always is when Astrid and Hiccup are alone together. It gives the illusion of privacy to them and if she tries to hurt him Hiccup's still covered. Hiccup is sketching a bird and comparing it the body of a dragon. He mutters something about aerodynamics before he notices her and smiles. "Hi, Astrid. Look at—"
She cuts him off. Now is not the time for him to get involved in something inside his head.
"You got a flower, Hiccup? Doesn't Snoutlout have enough ammunition?"
Hiccup grins from where he's lounging on a rock above her. "Yep."
"Hiccup, it's not great for my reputation if you look soft." He flops over, still smiling.
"Why?" she cries.
"No one mentioned where I got it, huh?"
He unbuttons the top two buttons of his shirt and pulls over the fabric. A tiny flower is on his chest.
"It's directly over my heart," he says.
She stares at him blankly.
He gestures her closer.
She leans forward and realizes. An astrid. A little astrid, over his heart.
She blinks. "Hiccup…"
He falters. "Please tell me you're not about to dump me, because just so you know these things are permanent, and I think that could get awkward explaining to another girl, and I'll have to make it an eye or something."
"No. It's…sweet," she admits.
He signs. "Oh, thank Odin."
"Creative," she adds.
"Oh, actually, I borrowed the idea."
"Wait, who else has a flower tattooed to their chest?!"
"No one," Hiccup exclaims unconvincingly.
She crosses her arms.
"Promise me you will never, ever tell anyone I told you this, because my dad would hit me over the head with his hammer."
"YOUR DAD?" She shrieks.
"SHHHHH!" Hiccup cautions. "My mom loved wild roses. Her mom used to call her that: 'Wild Rose'. Anyway, when my dad was courting her, he got a rose tattooed on his chest. She loved it. She told me the story, against my dad's wishes, I might add. No one, not even Gobber knows, except me. And you."
Astrid bent over, laughing. "Your dad. Has a flower tattoo! Your dad!"
"I want to live. Please don't ruin that for me," Hiccup begs. "Secret. Very secret."
She finishes laughing and takes his hand. "Deal."
Hiccup grins. "I bet Snoutlout neglected to mention something else." He yanks up the hem of his tunic. There, on his pale skin, is a Night Fury, curling around his side. The tail stretches almost across his back. Toothless' eyes look at her, eternally feline. He drops the shirt. "You know, have to represent the real first girlfriend too." She smacks him. Then a thought hits her:
"Why is his so much bigger than mine?!"