I'm baaack…

And thanks so much to Midoriko-sama for all the help!


Three months of Astrid dating Hiccup is monumental at the same time as it's completely expected and wonderfully mundane. Sometimes, it feels like she's been with Hiccup for her entire life.

Other times, it seems like just days, or only hours, and she'll get it in her mind that he's forbidden and drive herself crazy with it. Maybe her absence of mind can be attributed to how they got together and when. For one thing, Hiccup wasn't exactly conscious, but he also wasn't saying no when she claimed him.

And after he woke up, crawling into bed with him to make sure he didn't forget himself and get a concussion on the way to the bathroom was natural, protective. It made sense, and everything was wonderful and new, and every time they said I love you, it was like flying.

It didn't help matters that she was living him while his father was perennially out of town, tragically blurring the line between girlfriend and nurse. Not that Astrid minded, because it was beyond perfect not having to set foot at home, and getting a few well deserved days off of school at the request of a congressman. It just made the first couple weeks of their relationship…unconventional to say the least.

Then came the doctors' appointments, prosthetics offices, and the physical therapists, and long afternoons doing her homework in hospital waiting rooms. Somehow it was suddenly finals, and she was helping him down hallways, and glaring at people who dared to stare at him, playing her new role of bodyguard.

Again, not that she minded.

Then, it was winter break, and Gerard was home, and she was told to act like a guest, whatever that meant, pretending to be family in someone else's house. Well, for all of two days until the man drove himself mad trying to take care of Hiccup and really begged her to take over. It didn't help that Hiccup was stubborn as all hell, refusing to let anyone see his leg, even resorting to glaring her down when he got infection between the second and third trial prosthetics.

She remembers wrestling her hand out of his feverish, completely new strength and wrapping his stump with cautious, medical hands. He lasted days in that horrible delirium, flushed and sweaty, distant and miserable.

He spent a lot of time in bed, denying there was anything wrong with him at the same time as he wallowed in self-loathing, leaving her to spoon up against his back, holding him together. It felt like eternity, her arms invading the bubble of his depression and keeping him close. It'd only taken a week to heal, his immune system still in overdrive, with physical therapy accelerating his blood flow, and they'd both been happy to get back to a routine.

Christmas passed in a blur and suddenly it was school again, this time dealing with actual life, and the full load of his walking, and all of the rubbing and cramping that goes along with it. And then it's the chiropractor, straightening out everything that the prosthetics mess up, and then it's the soreness, and the midnight pacing around the house on crutches because he can't lay down comfortably.

And now it's Valentine's Day, and they're sitting in some restaurant on what feels like some completely ridiculous first date. He even put on a suit, and the thought makes her blush as his hand shyly reaches across the table and grabs hers, thumb stroking across her skin like she's special.

He couldn't look more different from the emaciated boy that left the hospital last winter, all those knobby joints filled in with long lean muscles, filling out the shoulders of his suit jacket. It's decidedly magnificent to fall in love with someone for their mind and then have them suddenly exceed any boyish physical charm he'd ever had. Not in a shallow way, at all, but looking at him is just as great as talking to him, and it's…well, she really loves talking to him. The only thing horrible about his remarkably successful physical therapy is that he's heavy now, and she can't haul him around anymore.

On the other hand, she got in his way in the kitchen last week and he hefted her by her shoulders and put her closer to the counter, nonchalant as he slipped around her to grab a mug out of the cupboard. She couldn't remember the last time she'd been so furious, but it'd somehow dissolved into astonished laughter as she yelled at him and her throat scarcely remembered the sensation.

She's happy.

"…ok?" He looks concerned, eyebrows furrowed as he stares at her, "You ok?" There's something to be said for cliché candlelight, his eyes are positively distracting.

"Yeah," she smiles back, holding his hand more tightly. "I'm just…thinking."

"What about?" Hiccup is nervous, to say the least, he wishes that he'd had the chance to do this months ago, but now it feels…oddly forced.

Or maybe that's just him.

Maybe Astrid's the pizza and beer kind of girl. A too large part of him wants to leave the fancy restaurant and go home. They could start a fire, and she could change into those disgusting sweatpants she loves far too much.

He'd spend the night blissfully clueless as to the true shape of her under the fabric, utterly unable to stop trying to imagine every curve.

"Just…you, honestly." She answers, looking too beautiful in her blue dress. This is the first time that she actually went out of her way and dressed up for him, and it's odd. The absolute best kind of odd.

Maybe the slightly awkward change of pace is worth it for a day without losing her to those too big sweatpants.

"Well, what about me?"

"I'm just glad that…ugh, have I mentioned that you make it hard to talk?" She spits at him, tearing her tingling hand away from his grasp, still not entirely ok with how off-balance he sometimes makes her feel. He cocks his head and his eyebrows are fantastic, sharp and thick.

Horrifyingly expressive.

"No, not today," he smiles, her sharp tone making everything a little more normal. She's the only one who's not so falsely nice all the time.

"This is my first Valentine's date," she admits, flushing at his rakish smirk. Scott's idea of ultimate romance was a three dollar box of chocolates from Walgreens, that he demanded her to share and she could never really thank him enough for. And then it'd come up for months and months afterward, it'd be June and he'd be reminding her about that time he got her candy.

"This is my first date," he says and it makes her laugh. "But, you're laughing, so I can't be doing too badly."

"You're doing fine," she consoles him. "I mean, I didn't know you owned a suit." He flushes, ducking his head before taking a deep swig of his coke.

"It barely fits anymore, I thought I was going to rip it pulling it on," he admits and she laughs. The cliché hits him over the head like a cartoon frying pan and he groans, "God, it's too much isn't it?" He looks around the restaurant, from the tuxedoed waiters to the other couples, ducked over candlelit dinners kissing too passionately for public. "I knew it would be too much."

"It's fine, really," she smiles at him, "I'm just kind of tired, with track starting up an all."

"I know," her foot touches his under the table and he can't help but grin, "how's that going, anyway?"

"Good, but the double practices are murder. I'm going to be so glad in three weeks when Worlds are over and I can stop worrying about Cross Country. I mean I think we've got a chance at state this season in at least the four by eight," She turns his palm over in her hands and traces lines across it, glad to touch him in a way that isn't medical. He's glad that she's talking, it's a snog-free opportunity to catch up. Not that making out is bad…just distracting. "Lindsay really has potential, if she just lengthens her stride, maybe gets a little more competitive. Ally is already there, she just needs someone to tell her that she is."

"It's good to hear you involving yourself a little more," he admits, and she groans.

"You sound like Gobber," she glances over her shoulder as a too drunk woman in a too tight dress knocks down a chair. Her date looks positively sleazy as he slides an arm around her waist, and drags her out of the restaurant. The scene leaves a bad taste in her mouth and she turns back to Hiccup.

"Probably less Scottish though," he says, before launching into a completely accurate impression of her coach that has her bent over laughing so hard she's snorting as she holds her sides together with cramping fingers. "…ge' tha' dog offa the track!"

"Stop stop stop…" she urges as people around them start to stare.

"What? You normally like that." He grins cheekily, and she tries to glare at him, but she's laughing too hard, bent over the table.

"Stop making me laugh…jerk," She giggles, struggling to pull herself together as a waiter appears from the eaves and sets the dramatic chocolate dessert that she chose on the middle of the table in front of them. The waiter shoots her an odd look and she puts on a too serious expression before picking up a spoon and digging in, laughing around her first spoonful of cake.

"And then there's that guy, wondering what you're doing with me." He takes a small bite, fully knowing that he'll be lucky to get a quarter of dessert.

"I'm pretty sure he was wondering how you got laughing gas into a fancy restaurant," she takes another bite of the cake and positively moans around it, and Hiccup flushes, "that's awesome."

"I was trying to compliment you," he admits, and she glares at him.

"By insulting yourself?" She finds his toes beneath the table, and rubs her shoe against the side of his foot. He drops his fork. "Has that ever worked?"

"Guess not," he takes another flustered bite and shifts away from the attention, but she follows, foot sliding around to his calf. He can feel the tip of her heel against the side of his pants and he exhales sharply. There are a lot of positives to dating Astrid Hofferson, and her absolutely ridiculous level of allure is one of them.

So is her absolute irreverence, and the fact that she's not afraid to yell at anyone who might look at him funny. Not to mention the fact that she walks his dog, and gets him out of bed in the morning and loves him.

He remembers staring at her from afar, taking in all those still captivating lean curves and telling himself how it would never happen, and how it was time to get over it and get on with his life.

But now…

Well, he wouldn't even say that it happened. It's more like it happened to them. An unavoidable personal attack

It's like they got sucked into a black hole and dumped out the other side into an alternate universe. He's still getting a hang of the new reality, still accumulating data on his surroundings and filling his suddenly empty catalogue of observations.

"So how was your week, anyway? I feel like I didn't see you at all," Astrid comments, focused on finagling a particularly gooey bite of ice cream onto her spoon. She eats the too big bite and Hiccup smiles at the melting vanilla that attempts to escape.

"It was fine. Just school," he answers with a shrug and she swallows and frowns.

"Nothing interesting happened?"

"Well, Ruff is in my woodshop class, I assume she told you about the fire?" Astrid sputters around her food, laughing too hard as she forces the bite down her throat. "I tried to stop her—"

"But she really wanted to use the grinder?" Astrid finishes in a fake drawl and Hiccup laughs.

"She couldn't be convinced," he laments jokingly and she rolls her eyes.

"Besides the fire, nothing exciting?" She asks with a laugh and he shrugs.

"Relaxing and uneventful," he grins and gets in a few more bites of dessert before she finishes it off, scraping the plate too loudly with the side of her spoon. When she's satisfied with the cleanliness of the plate, she turns back to Hiccup, her foot resuming stroking along his calf. He coughs and she looks at his baffled but happy expression, smiling to herself.

She really never thought she'd get such a bang out of touching someone.

Just touching. Nothing dirty or scandalous, just running her fingers over his shoulders when she walks by, or playing with his hair when he puts his head in her lap while they watch TV. There's something powerful and warm about the way he never fails to lean into the small touches, and shy away from the big ones, like he's still trying to be polite.

Polite is the best change.

"At this point, uneventful is phenomenal," she grins feeling wonderfully flushed as she reaches across the table and plays with the edge of his sleeve, gently brushing against the electric tendons of his wrist.

"I've had enough exciting for a while," he agrees, staring at the miracle of her hand smoothing over his.

He doesn't even know how long this relationship seemed impossible. Sometimes he'll wake up in the morning to her shaking his shoulder like a human alarm clock and be absolutely sure that he's dreaming. But three months is an eternity, and he's so genuinely happy that counting barely seems necessary.

He'd like to think that why guys are constantly getting a reputation for forgetting anniversaries. They're so happy that they lose the urge to keep track.

Well, some guys.

"What do you say to getting out of here pretty soon?" Astrid suggests, staring at the tributaries of bluish veins winding across the back of his hand.

"What? You don't want to not let me have any of 3 or 4 more desserts?" He jokes and she thwacks him on the forearm with an amicable glare.

"No, I want to get to bed," she yawns at her own suggestion and Hiccup blushes at the unnoticed implication.

Not that they've…done it. He's not even really expecting to do it, or maybe he's just dreading his imminent failure.

Honestly, he's happy that he gets to kiss her, and hold her hand, and talk to her. He's never felt so remarkably in tune with someone other than Toothless, and even there, the language barrier eventually becomes somewhat of an issue. Imagining someone responding in the way he hoped is nowhere near as good as when the last person he ever expected retorts in a way he'd only ever wished to hear.

He and Astrid…well, they couldn't be further from each other some of the time, but there's harmony in their differences, like bass and treble winding and thumping in time.

Or it's like they're sine and cosine. Same wavelength, same period, echoing each other in well-oiled cycles, just out of phase enough to keep it interesting.

Not that the physical aspects aren't nice or important. They make out more than anyone should really need to. On the couch, in the back seat of her car before practice, against her bedroom doorframe when she's saying good night.

And there was that one time he caught her walking back from the shower in her towel. He pressed her up against the bathroom door and left three painfully obvious hickeys along her sharp collar bone. He'll never be able to forget the fantastic suggestion of softness beneath the terrycloth, and the way her bitten rough fingernails scrabbled against his shoulder while she tried and failed to chew him out, panting against the top of his head.

"…cup? Hiccup, are you in there?" Astrid asks jokingly, flicking the back of his hand as he stares off into space, flushed and miles away.

"Present," he mumbles and she smiles, yawning again in spite of herself.

"Then did you hear me?"

"Hear you what?" He asks, glancing down in spite of himself to that collarbone. He swallows a mouthful of drool he doesn't really remember producing.

"I'm tired?" She asks reaching across the table and putting her hand on his forehead like she's testing for a fever. "And if you don't have any other grand date plans, I'd kind of like to head home." She grins, and he shakes her hand off.

"Right, I do remember that," he smiles and looks meaningfully across the restaurant at the waiter who gets the hint to bring the check.

"Are you ok?" Astrid asks, leaning back slightly and trying to restrain the discomfort that wells in her stomach when Hiccup puts his debit card with the check.

No matter how many times he insists on paying, it still makes her feel like a commodity.

"I'm fine," he laughs to himself. "I was just thinking about…" the discomfort grows temporarily as his eyes flick down and back to her face. She frowns and crosses her arms, sliding out of her side of the booth and standing, tottering slightly in the heels she's grown unaccustomed to.

Suddenly, this is all so remarkably and overwhelmingly familiar.

She remembers dating Scott, in the beginning, when he was focused on being impressive. She remembers feeling far too dressed up in the back seat of Scott's mom's SUV as she drove them to Macaroni Grill. She remembers learning about the mechanics of dating.

Date in…reciprocation out.

Rinse and repeat.

God, is this how it's going to happen? Is this when Hiccup is suddenly going to act like a guy?

"Ready to go?" She callously reaches down and snags the car keys from his suit jacket pocket.

"I kind of have to wait until they bring my card back…" he reminds her, furrowing his eyebrows. "Are you ok?"

"I'm fine," she shrugs, the concern in his voice toning down her panic at least momentarily.

"I promise we don't ever have to go on a date again," he laughs miserably and she sighs, suddenly feeling impossibly strange for acting this way.

"We can go on more dates. This was seriously fun."

"Oh? So fun you can't wait to leave?"

"This is all very smooth, you know?" She asks awkwardly, crossing her arms and pretending not to notice the waiter who sets the card back on the table between them. Hiccup pockets it and stands with a slight bobble. Astrid bends down and picks up her jacket, tugging it over her shoulders and feeling the exact opposite of smooth.

"I can honestly say you've never called me that one before," he jokes, and is suddenly incomparably Hiccup. She grins.

"I think this is the first time it's happened."

"What, you don't like smooth?" He asks and she shrugs.

"I guess I like…this better," she gestures and he shakes his head.

"And the gesturing to all of me. Come on, you must actually be tired, let's go." He leads the way towards the front of the restaurant, and she follows, compulsively reaching forward and grabbing his hand.

It's still disheartening when Astrid climbs into the drivers' seat, perennially against him driving when she's there. He stretches out in the passenger seat, glancing sidelong at her profile and smiling to himself. She bites her lip and backs out of the spot carefully, glaring at him as she shifts into drive.

"You're staring."

"You're pretty," he shrugs and she can't help but smile.

"Thanks for the date," she submits awkwardly, pulling onto the freeway and risking a glance in his direction.

Sometimes, she still expects to see the Hiccup who befriended her, skinny, two-legged and almost handsome. Other times, the image of him emaciated and struggling is permanent in her mind.

When she lets herself look at him, really look, his transformation is almost always shocking. In her mind's eye he's just Hiccup, goofy and gangly. He loves her, and that's what she focuses on. But sometimes, when he walks around in his boxers or stretches out in an almost ill-fitting suit on the way home from a date, she can't believe that her first impression hadn't been something along the lines of attraction.

Maybe she was too used to perfection. Too used to glitter and gloss to notice the allure of granite bedrock. She chose perilous status over steady happiness, and it shielded any sort of wayward magnetism.

She wonders if it's going to convey the wrong message if when they get home, she curls up in bed with him instead of across the hall. Or is that going to seem like an invitation? Given that he just paid for a date and everything.

She's not exactly sure why she doesn't want to invite him, it shouldn't be a big deal, should it? Nothing new, nothing she hasn't done before.

Anyway, she's just tired. She doesn't want to think about that.

"Thanks for going on a date," Hiccup responds after a moment and she shrugs. "Then again I didn't exactly have to pull your leg."

"Oh shut up," she grins and shakes her head.

The remainder of the drive home is peaceful and Astrid pulls the SUV into the garage with a grateful yawn, stretching in her seat before climbing out and waiting by the hood of the car for Hiccup. He rolls his eyes, internally grateful at her ready to help positioning as he clicks inside, unusually conspicuous on the concrete of the garage floor.

He's getting used to the foot, as miraculous as that is.

It still hits him every morning, when he tugs on his sock and buckles the newest prototype to his knee. His therapist and prosthesist insist that this is normal, and that someday, probably sooner rather than later, he'll wake up and get ready without lamenting his foot's absence, and the empty space will be a simple part of him.

"Oh hi!" Astrid greets Spike as she walks inside, tottering back on her heels under the onslaught of rough canine love. Toothless trots over and pushes past Astrid to lick Hiccup's hands, wagging asymmetrically. "Ok, ok…love you too," Astrid pushes the pitbull off of her with a laugh, clacking past her on impractical stilts to sit on the couch, bending down to pull off her heels and stretch her toes. The seat is impossibly comfortable and she leans back, lazily petting Spike's ears as the dog sits on her feet.

"Thought you were going to bed," Hiccup comments as she tugs a pillow onto her lap, resting her chin on it and relaxing.

"But now I'm comfortable," she complains, idly patting the cushion next to her. "Movie?"

"You're not going to stay awake for a movie."

"Nope," she grins as he sits and turns on the TV. "You can take off the suit jacket if you want."

"I feel classy," he laughs before following her advice and wiggling out of the too tight sport coat and tossing it onto the chair across the room. Astrid's jacket joins it as she curls into his side, warmly resting her temple against his shoulder. "What movie do you want to watch?" He asks, picking up the remote. She shrugs and presses closer to him.

"Are you wearing cologne?" She inhales experimentally and her hand finds its way to his good knee, thumb stroking over the unusually smooth fabric of his slacks.


"Who taught you how to date?" She laughs awkwardly, looking up at him.

"I don't know, no one?" He flushes, and it's not even a decision when she's kissing him.

He must know what he does.

He's completely ridiculous, so cute and gangly and nice. It's confusing and overwhelming and persistently intriguing, even after three months of kissing him whenever she wants.

She should be determined to sleep. Even now, with his lips as physical caffeine, she can't help but feel her fatigued muscles and overwhelmed, exhausted mind. His hand cups the back of her neck and she gasps into his mouth, sucking his lower lip in between her teeth and letting her hands slide up his subtle chest to cling at his shoulders.

She definitely doesn't want to pivot and sit across his lap, it's just something that happens. Her arms wrap around his neck and his hands slide from her knees to the smooth curve of her lower back. The way her skirt rides up her thighs is terrifying and she holds him close.

"Aren't you going to start a movie?" She pulls back impossibly briefly, posing the bizarre question before diving back in, her tongue tangling eagerly with his.

"You aren't really—urf," he gently pushes her back with thumbs hooked in front of her narrow strong waist. "As I was saying—ow," her fist connects jovially with his bicep as he reluctantly holds her back, laughing, "You aren't really making it easy to start a movie."

"It's fine," she mumbles, cutting him off with a distracting kiss. He pulls back with a laugh she feels vibrating against her lips. "What?"

"Nothing," he says quietly, and looks at her the way all girls want to be looked at, wide green eyes a laser to her very core.

"You're being distracting," she insults scooting more solidly onto his lap as her fingers latch onto his collar, thumbing the crisp cotton.

"Being distracted is fine, it's not like there's anything we have to do." The openness is terrifying, impossible horizons stretching out in unimaginable directions. Hiccup shifts, wincing as his tailbone takes more pressure than it's used to. It's really not comfortable, but he'd have to be a complete idiot to kick Astrid off of his lap.

"Well, I have to check my e-mail before bed," she supplies weakly and Hiccup laughs, his hands sliding down to rest on her hips. She bites her lip and fidgets.

"So busy…" He tugs her closer, voice positively smoky. He pecks her on the lips and her arm wrap around his neck without her consent. Her free hand fists in the front of his shirt, holding him captive.

"I really should…something," she trails off, burning warmth curious in the pit of her stomach as his lips find the line of her jaw, tongue flicking against the rise of bone.

"Something," he mumbles, slightly drunk with the sweet-smelling, baby fine arm hairs tickling the back of his neck.

She nudges his chin, shoving her tongue in his mouth and tangling it with his, entrancing and imprisoning. Even now, months into this storybook rollercoaster, his confidence is fantastically fluid, surging around like a fickle tide. It stretches into his fingertips, and his hand rubs up her thigh, inching away from her knee as she gasps into his mouth, tugging him closer. His mouth takes over, nipping her lower lip while his other hand slides shyly between her shoulder blades.

"You're…" She tugs herself closer, her knees bumping against his hips with absolutely electrifying contact. His hand slides over the hem of her skirt, hot on her silken thigh. He dares to squeeze lightly, and she gasps, torn between elated terror and falling into the waves of heat radiating from her core. "Distracting…" A hand tentatively slides down around her ass, glancing over the curve with finicky contact and she jolts forward, heart racing. Her hand tugs him closer until she has to pull back for horribly required oxygen, and his lips latch onto the column of her neck, nipping just enough.

"And you're totally innocent," he clarifies, painfully warm. She laughs, voice uncharacteristically gravelly as she reclaims his mouth, settling her hips down against him and wonderfully assaulting his senses.

She has to know what she does. She has to know how completely…overwhelming she is.

It's not even really a conscious decision when his hand slides down from the nape of her neck, slipping under the back of her dress. He's throbbing like a wound, every twitch dragging him down a path he'd been at least subconsciously avoiding. Somehow, even her shoulder blades are hot and she exhales, breath panicked against his cheeks.

Hiccup moving her clothes is definitely new, but not entirely horrible and she slows her lips, mulling over the development. Half of her knows it's because of the date, the unsigned, unwritten contract that bonded her into this physicality. But…well, she can't say that she's not enjoying the feeling of his fingertips dancing across the sensitive skin stretched over her spine. Goosebumps break out across her ribs as gentle fingers trace down, sliding beneath the clasp of her bra and resting against the intimate patch of skin.

She freezes and her lips pull away from his with a wet pop.

That feels…she is...

Her stomach churns ominously.

"It's too warm in here," she announces, out of breath as the pit of her stomach throbs ominously. Hiccup frowns, his hand sliding out her clothes as she lets go of his now tremendously wrinkled shirt. Her eyes are wrong, clouded like when her father texted her on Christmas.

"Sorry," he mumbles, and she climbs off his lap, sitting on the couch next to him. She fiddles with her skirt, smoothing it near obsessively and tugging it down to her knees, wiping a palm over her forehead and busying herself with checking her hair for split ends. It's horribly vapid and she groans in quiet frustration. "You ok?" Everything is calming down at an alarming rate and he shifts, tent in his pants chilled and awkward.

What? He's 18, it happens, he can't…help it.

He shudders, the poignant physical memory of lace against his fingertips momentarily overwhelming.

"Fine," she fidgets, flinching away as her thigh bumps scaldingly against his. "Stop twitching," she snaps, pushing her bangs irritably away from her face. "Why are you so—" She catches a glimpse of his situation out of the corner of his eyes and smirks, clouding eyes unkind. "Nice."

"Well," he crosses his legs, hunching forward and grabbing his cold laptop off of the coffee table, pulling it over his lap. When she finally said something about his problem, he was hoping it wouldn't be quite so disdainful. "What exactly do you expect to happen?" She sneers and he recognizes a sliver of the wide eyed girl who glared at a cast all those months ago, practically on a different planet.

Sometimes it's like Astrid Hofferson is a third person in their relationship, interjecting at the worst possible times and laughing victoriously at their failures.

"I don't know," she shrugs, feeling unusually out of control. She doesn't spin out the same way anymore, and she hasn't missed the hectic feeling. "Not that."

"It's not a gnome, it just—"

"Look, Hiccup. I love you. I just don't think of you that way."


Toothless whines and Spike's tail thumps nervously against the floor.

Astrid shrugs violently, guilt swirling in her stomach as she glares at the wall, daring it to collapse in on them and end whatever this moment is.

Hiccup swallows.

Astrid doesn't mean it in a horrible way. She just…she loves kissing Hiccup. She loves holding his skinny solid shoulders, and catching his too dazzling eyes following her.

Sex is…it's always been a tool, a crutch, a…punishment, bereft of feeling, calculating and useful. Scott always said he needed it. It would suddenly be her fault if he lost a game or failed yet another test and she hadn't given him what he wanted.

It's a prop, a substitute for the raw emotions that she never had a use for before Hiccup.

Now, she's in a constant fluctuation, embracing warm, rushing, tingling, happy emotions in turn. The way he kisses her, it makes her ache, makes her want to fly. He's the anti-sex, and that's one of his best qualities.

She wishes he'd say something.

And now his…interest is finally stepping into the middle of everything wonderful that they have. Obviously, she knows it's a reaction, physical and unintentional. Of course she's felt it before, it jabs her in the back almost every morning she wakes up with him. She's grown to like the warmth during too heated make outs, inspiring a mirrored physical response.

Physical response, she sounds like Hiccup.

She glances at him out of the corner of her eye. He's staring at her like she just kicked Toothless, expression vacant and churning.

"Hiccup?" She asks and he snaps out of the trance, eyes flashing angrily like she's never seen before.

"Oh." He snarks, sarcasm like a mudslide over his words. "Oh, you don't think of me like that."

"I just haven't thought of it."

"So you've been with me for months, and you love me, but you haven't thought about it?" He snaps, "But you know, you having sex with Scottwas common knowledge." He laughs bitterly, standing with his laptop under his arm. "You practically rented a billboard to broadcast it to interstate traffic."

"What's your problem?" She crosses her arms across her chest, fingernails digging into her ribs with piercing pain.

"So I'm not supposed to have a problem? Alright, no fucking problem." He subconsciously tries to tap feeling back into his left foot, cringing at the clanking on the hardwood.

"I don't know, why would I possibly think you had a problem?" She quips, shrugging near violently. "Maybe that insanely low blow."

"So it's a low blow to notice that you only have sex with people who aren't me?" The plural stings like salt on internal wounds, and even when furious, Hiccup can't take the way her eyes falter. "Look, I'm so—"

"Leave me alone," she stands, dodging around him in an attempt to storm off. He steps in her way and she reels backwards, fists clenching.

She should just punch him, but that seems impossible. Her fist on his arm might tear her apart.

"So you're allowed to say stuff like that, but I'm not allowed to get mad?" He can't quite decide what to do with his hands. Why doesn't he let her leave? She obviously doesn't want to…to…

"Stuff like what?" She asks, faking cluelessness. Hiccup snaps, roaring.

"Stuff like saying you don't want me!"

"I…I love you," she defends, clutching at the sides of her head, dizziness plaguing her brain.

"Sure feels like it!"

"Urgh, what do you want from me?" She shoves past him, throwing her shoulder against his with enough force to send him stumbling backwards as she stomps to her room, loudly slamming the door. She hates herself when Spike whimpers from the hallway and she ignores the sound, punching her mattress furiously.

Goddammit. Who the fuck—what is—Urgh!

She could kill him when she hears Hiccup's quiet voice summon Spike and Toothless to his room and shut the door. Now he's taking her dog?

That utter asshole. That is her dog.

She has half a mind to run over there and…and…and…

Her hand freezes on the doorknob before groans, kicking the bottom of the door in a frantic tantrum.

It's absolutely miraculous that she doesn't break anything valuable in the next twenty minutes.


Disclaimer: Remember you guys, this all takes place between chapters 37 and 38 of Chasing Thunderstorms. You all know how this ends, eventually, so it's all going to be ok! I promise!

Ok, y'all I know this is rough. I know.

It's here because I saw Chernobyl waiting to happen in these characters. So Chernobyl here we come.

I'd really really love to know what you guys think, even if it's hating me, which I will completely understand. Any feedback anyone has would be so far beyond appreciated, and I'm going to at least attempt to keep up on responding to reviews here…as long as they're thoughtful. I can never figure out how to respond to the 'Update Soon.'

Also, this ended up being…well, really freaking long. I've got 115,000 words on the backburner here, so I'm going to up my updating speed to thrice weekly.

This means I'll see you guys with chapter two on Monday!