Hiccstrid drabble. I'd place it around four years after the first movie events.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own How to Train Your Dragon. Only the story ideas I write, and any possible Original Characters I may spew from the back of my mind.
It was a cold, cold morning; even the sun seemed unwilling to rise from the horizon. Her fingers and nose were like icicles, yet a fuzzy warmth fuelled her towards her goal. Behind the Haddock household stood the young man she sought, all clad in his riding leathers, preparing his Night Fury for take-off.
"Hi Astrid!" Hiccup greeted the blonde Viking cheerfully, his cheeks flush against the icy air, "What brings you here this early in the morning?"
She watched as he removed his hands from Toothless' saddle device and ran them through his head, a bit of a habit he'd gotten into. Absurdly, she wished he'd tangle his fingers in her hair.
"I've come to say goodbye," she replied, fixing her stare on the small scar across his chin, scarcely bearded with soft stubble. It's just that last night we didn't have a chance to be alone, she added in the back of her mind.
There had been too many people in the Great Hall when Hiccup announced he was leaving on a fortnight-long trip with Toothless. He'd been talking about it for months; his desire to explore the Barbaric Archipelago on his own, to fully taste the freedom of the skies while gathering precious knowledge. They were all surprised when he finally made up his mind about it, though. Astrid most of all.
"Well," he said, tilting his head and resting his hands on his hips, eyebrows closing in together, "o-kay then. I'll, uh… see you in two weeks?"
Astrid shrugged, unsure of how else to express herself. Words were so tricky. She mumbled something and bit her lower lip.
He crossed his arms over his chest, befuddled. "Say what now?"
"I said I'll miss you," she repeated, louder, "Maybe if you got that mop of hair under control you'd have heard me!"
Hiccup laughed, filling the air around his face with a cloud of billowy breath, filling her stomach with those all-too familiar butterflies. He walked closer to her, beaming that insufferably adorable smirk.
"I know you enjoy my mop, M'lady." He teased, tousling his hair even further just to make a point. Astrid shook her head in denial, but kept the smile on her lips. What he said next took her by surprise.
"You could come with me, you know? It'd be fun to go on a trip together; just you, me and our dragons…" He flourished his hands across the air dramatically. "Flying off into the sunset together. Well, sunrise, in this case."
She gawked at him, unsure whether to laugh at his craziness or blush at his offer. It's not that she hadn't entertained the thought once or twice, but… What would she say? She couldn't go. Not while she was yet a maiden. She hid her hands behind her back to hide her nervous fingers.
"Nah, I won't" she hoped she sounded nonchalant enough, "I've got… stuff to do."
"It'd be fun." He could be really determined... Not to mention convincing when he wiggled his eyebrow like that.
"I can have fun here in Berk." She look over at Toothless – half for reassurance, half to try and get Hiccup's distracting stare out of her field of vision. The Night Fury scoffed at her and arched a scaly eyebrow: Yeah, keep telling yourself that, sister.
Hiccup's arms flailed about in the air, gesturing his disbelief in that particular little sign language of his. "You kidding me? Just the other day you said you were bored out of your wits!"
"I don't remember saying that. You sure it was me?" Well, that was lame. If only he could stop getting closer to her – he was making her feel oddly uneasy.
"Hah, that's the worst comeback ever. Hello? Midgard to Astrid?" He waved his hand in front of her face and she swatted it away, giggling when he threw his hands up in the air in mock offense. Ugh, she felt like some silly southern girl, like one of those roman maidens who fainted at the sight of blood and donned dresses of fine silk and expensive perfumes to attract suitors. She needed to Viking-up.
"Stop being so pushy. I told you I can't go."
"You said «can't» that time," he replied, scratching his chin with his left hand. He was being so distracting again. She blurted out the words before she could think about them.
"My parents won't let me…." She stopped, but the damage was done. He looked at her quizzically, certainly finding her statement somewhat laughable.
"Your parents won't let you? What? But why –"
Well, she might as well say it now.
"They won't allow me to be away for such a long time."
He still seemed lost. She rolled her eyes exaggeratedly, groaning.
"With you. Alone." She stressed that last word, just in case. Well, that seemed to do the trick. He mouthed a surprised "oh!" – his cheeks turned a deeper shade of cherry as he comprehended the implications. They stood in silence for a while as he worked out his response; he balanced himself on the ball of his foot, skittishly tapping his prosthetic on the ground.
"It's not like we're… kids anymore. We can behave." Gods, this was all forms of awkward. Toothless snorted heartily, revealing his pink gums in a clear display of hilarity. Both Hiccup and Astrid shot him a glare, to which he replied with even more pink and a vigorous nod.
"I think that might be the problem. We're not kids anymore," Astrid said. She looked at Hiccup, who was now intently staring at the rising sun, his outline delineated against the white-blue skies. There was an amused smirk on his lips; the nerve! She squeaked with indignation as she delivered a half-hearted punch to his lower ribs. He merely pretended to be hurt, rubbing his sides with overly-enthusiastic vigor.
"But you'll behave, right?" She asked, wondering why she was so doubtful all of a sudden. Hiccup turned and smiled that goofy smile of his, eliciting that familiar flutter in her chest. It increased tenfold the moment he grabbed her hands and pulled them up to his mouth, planting a firm kiss on her fingertips.
"Of course I will." It was the way he looked at her right then… That was all the reassuring Astrid needed. She felt like she'd taken her hands from an ice-filled bucket and plunged them into the furnace at the forge. She could almost hear them sizzle and she could have sworn there was vapour wafting from them.
"What are you doing?" He asked when she removed her hands from his, but quieted when she hushed him. Hiccup stood unmoving while her fingers dug into his hair, brushing it softly until she found the right spot. He kept his inquiring eyes on her as she worked, making her feel a little edgy. When she finished, she rummaged through the pouch at her hip from where she pulled two small strings, bringing them up to his hair.
"All settled," she announced. Hiccup ran his fingers over his hair, feeling the two small braids she had just made. There was a flash of a smile on him before he dipped his head and placed his lips upon hers, effectively rendering her breathless.
He kissed the tip of her nose sweetly. "Thank you. I'll miss you, too."
Hiccup took her in his arms and held her there for a moment, and in one tight squeeze he drove all the cold away from her. He backed away slowly, dragging his fingertips across her arms and hands to the very end of her fingers, prolonging the contact between their skin as long as possible.
Her arms then wrapped around herself, unconsciously trying to reproduce Hiccup's embrace. She watched him straddle Toothless and smirk at her again before putting on his leather helmet, his face disappearing behind the head-piece.
Astrid managed to find her voice again just before they took off. "It's not that I'm worried, you know. You look pretty silly with all those straps and contraptions attached to you anyway." She knew, even if she couldn't see his face, that he was still smiling. She could hear it in his voice, muffled behind the leather.
"It's a good thing my girlfriend likes silly, then!"
With one flap of black wings man and dragon were up in the air; she gazed at them as they gradually melted into the skies, until they were but an indistinguishable blur in the horizon against the rising sun.
Astrid blushed at her own thought, but weighed the idea in her mind nonetheless: when he returned, she would make sure to give him a good reason not to stay away for long so soon.
Continuation for this one on chapter 13 - Allure .
Reviews are much welcomed and gladly accepted. :)