"Well, you don't [i look] gross," he told her with a soft smile. "But, I could use the same treatment, honestly." He looked down at himself. He'd been working half the day and it showed. His fingers were dirty from working with them and he didnt know what the rest of him looked like.
"If you do go, just be sure to take Stormfly with you. It's not safe to be alone with that dragon lurking about." The more he thought about it the more he worried. He knew the lake wasn't that far away from them, but that didn't help ease his mind. "Just... be safe, okay? Stick to the trees where it won't be able to attack if it does come around." He started to clean up the bits and pieces of his project before turning to her again. "And if you're not back in an hour, I'll come looking for you." He knew he was worrying way too much. Astrid had proven that she could take care of herself. But he still felt parially responsible for her being there in the first place.
Astrid wrinkled her nose as Hiccup when he started to laugh at her and she crossed her arms sarcastically. She wasn’t angry at him really hit she found humour in teasing him. She couldn’t keep up the charade for long as he reached out to move her hair from her face. All it took was his touch and she practically melted. She smiled towards him instead, allowing her arms to fall back to her side.
“We definitely shouldn’t let them get bored.” She said nodding in agreement and within seconds she was laughing hysterically at Toothless who decided that Hiccup should also find himself in a similar situation. “Serves you right for laughing at me.” She said laughing towards him as the water dropped from his hair onto his cheek.
“Yeah, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind. I was thinking of head down to the lake. Bathing properly and getting changed into something that I didn’t sleep in. Eh I feel gross.”
Hiccup didn't mean to laugh so hard when he saw what condition Astrid was in. Her bangs were plastered to her face, clothes dripping wet. His laughs turned to chuckles that seemed to have trouble dying away. "Look at you," he said through his laughing. He put the saddle down and reached out to move her dripping hair from her face. "I guess we found a new rule of dragons. Don't let them get bored." As if in response, Toothless used his tail to splash him with what water was left, laughing as well as a dragon could deep in his throat. Hiccup wasn't in nearly as bad condition as Astrid, but he laughed all the same. "Copy cat," Hiccup shouted, amused.
He shook the water from his hair. "Well, you did say you wanted a bath," he told Astrid with a laugh. He knew this hadn't exactly been what she had in mind and hardly counted, but it amused him all the same.
Instead of helping his directly with his project for the rest of the morning, she was advised to help out by keeping the dragons distracted instead. While Hiccup worked she had played a series of games with the dragons, and the most recent was her childhood favourite; hide and seek. She hadn’t laugh so much in a long time and the only thing that was missing for her was Hiccup.
Toothless seemed to notice his absence too but as he looked over towards him he seemed to notice that he was finished with his project. Toothless left Stormfly and Astrid playing near the water as he pounced towards him to check out the saddle and tail. She watched from a distance for a while before she found her way back to them, dripping wet from the fact that Stormfly as splashed.
“You’ve finished?” She asked, walking breathlessly, stopping just before him. “Stormfly got bored of hiding and decided a water fight was the best way to go.” She said with a smile, looking down at her drenched form.
"Thanks, Astrid." Even if she couldnt help, he knew she was sincere in her desires to help. Just when he thought he might be able to steal another kiss, Stormfly broke the moment. Hiccup laughed at her jealousy. She'd been left alone far too long, it seemed. "These dragons are spoiled," he said through his laughter. "You're probably right, though." Working with a hot blow torch wasn't helping him, either. "I'll finish making the saddle and get it connected to the tail fin. Then I think it'll be time to take a break. It can't be all work and no play while we're here, right?" Though if Hiccup was honest, he loved making things and it hardly felt like work at all. He just didn't want to bore the others.
He got back to work, advising Astrid to give the dragons some attention while he did so. Before too long he had everything connected and set up to work. All he needed was a leg to go with it. He helD up his inventing proudly.
"Voila! One dragon saddle and tail fin!" Toothless bounced around in circles, looking at it from all angles. By now, he knew it was a gift to him. And might be for Hiccup as well. He knew he'd have to fly with Toothless, but he hadn't taken in exactly what that might mean. He wondered what it was like to soar through the sky and he couldn't stop smiling. Maybe he [i was] insane. So be it.
Perhaps it was a silly question for her to have asked. After all, she had asked the most resourceful man she had ever met if he was going to be able to complete a new project. Astrid smiled and listened as he explained how each part of the leg would work as he drew a diagram in his sketchbook. All the while, she shook her head with amazement.
“Hiccup you never fail for amaze me.” She said as she looked up to meet his eyes. “If there is anything I can do let me know. I can’t promise that I have any idea how I might be able to help you make a [I leg] but I can try.” Astrid smiled as she looked towards him before Stormfly decided to hop around the two of them to get some attention. She laughed as Stormfly licked her face. “Oh come on! I think when we are done here I’m going to be in serious need of a bath.”
Hiccup almost laughed at her reaction to his idea. He'd made plenty of prosthetics in his past, admittedly none like he was now imagining... they'd all represented a normal leg for the most part. That might have been due to his reluctance to think about the past or seem even more weird to people on Berk. But they weren't on Berk anymore. And he had a good reason to break the norm.
"Yeah, of course!" He replied, smiling fondly at her. "You can make a leg with pretty much anything if you try hard enough. And we have plenty of supplies I can use. Here, I'll show you..." he pulled his sketchbook towards him again and went to the next blank page. He started to sketch out his idea and explained it as he went along. He explained how it would attach to his leg and how the foot would be nothing more than bent metal rods- if he could manage to shape them right- and how he would make it so that it could switch between a a lever of sorts to control the tail, and a foot of sorts. "It's not like anything I've made before, but... then again I do like a challenge.
She laughed nervously. “I wouldn’t call it amazing.” She said as she finished the stitching up and handed it over to him when she had finished. She watched as he inspected it and let out a sigh of relief when he seemed to accept the state of it. “You are more than welcome.” Astrid hadn’t expected that he would lean over and kiss her on the cheek but she smiled towards him and bit her lip as he pulled back from her.
Astrid genuinely found the next stage of his creation interesting and she made all the right movements and sounds to let him know that she was enjoying everything that he was telling her. Along the way she asked a few questions and by the end of his talk she was genuinely excited by what he had created.
His demeanour seemed to change almost instantly and she looked towards him with confusion before he started to tell her what the issue was. “Wait…you can [I do] that?” She looked down at his leg before meeting his eyes again. “Do you have everything you need to be able to do that here?”
"Wow," he said, taking in the sight of the flat leather saddle. "That's amazing, Astrid! You're natural. And better than I am," he said with a laugh. When she finished up the stitches, he took it from her and examined it closer. "This is going to be perfect. Thank you. For helping." He swallowed his little bit of fear and leaned over to press his lips against her cheek in gratitude. When he pulled away he looked back down at the saddle. "Now for the hard part... finding out how to make it all fit together..."
He pulled his journal towards him, opening up to all the diagrams he had drawn. They were practically blueprints. But drawing them and making them work off paper were two completely different things. He started explaining it to Astrid, hoping talking aloud might give him a spark of inspiration. He showed her how the fin would be connected to the saddle with a series of pulleys. How there would be a stirrup for his foot so that he could change the position of the wing. Except there was a problem, there.
"Shoot. It's his left tail fin... which means it would have to be connected to [i my] left leg. And that ankle hardly moves." He chewed on his lip for a moment, but let out a soft laugh. The way that he and Toothless mirrored each other was still astounding. "I guess it's time for a new leg," he said. He hadn't realized how much work this was going to be, but he wouldn't have it any other way. He loved a good project. He loved solving problems and drawing up plans. "I'll make a leg that [i can] move how I need it to."
It made her smile to know that Hiccup was enjoying her food and while she was all too keen to finish it quickly, she also wanted to enjoy it a little bit longer. He didn’t really need to tell her that he was enjoying the food because his actions were more than enough for her to know that he had enjoyed it. “It’s just breakfast.” She said with a laugh as she started to clear up some of the pots that she had used to make it. Hiccup seemed to be keen to get back to work.
She watched him get to work as she started to pack some of their tools away and when he addressed her she smiled towards him. “Of course I still want to help.” Astrid was so keen that she couldn’t help but stand all too quickly, making herself a little dizzy. “Oops, I probably should slow down.” She said with a laugh before moving over to where Hiccup had set himself up.
She willingly accepted the leather and the tools that he had given her. “Alright, along the line. Sounds easy enough.” She smiled and got to work as soon as Hiccup sat beside her. When she had finished cutting it, Hiccup set her off on stitching after he showed her what to do. Astrid happened to enjoy the way her had to lean over her to show her. She might have even made up and excuse if he meant that she could have some contact with him. After a while, Hiccup moved to a different station and left her to work when she seemed to get the hang of what she was doing. By the time he was finished she was just about finished.
“I’m just about done. Is this alright?” She asked, holding it up towards him.
He was thankful for the belief she had in his skills, but he was less than sure about the matter. Not that that was going to stop him. A little danger never put him off, especially when he was knee deep in a project.
"You're telling me," he said between bites. "And that's being humble. This tastes amazing." And it was clear he wasn't lying. He shoveled the food into his mouth like he hadn't eaten in a week. When he was finished, he leaned back, sighing happily. "Don't let Gothi get wind of your cooking. She might hire you, but she might also kill you out of fear of competition," he joked. He washed it all down with a bottle of water and when his fullness wore off, he stood again to start getting the things he would need to start working on his project.
He set up a place on the dirt in the middle of the clearing, far from anything that could easily catch fire. The last thing he wanted was to burn the whole glen down with his blow torch. He filled one of the pots with some of his water, hoping it would serve well enough for cooling metal.
"Alright," he said, rubbing his hands together as if wondering where to even start. After a moment, he traced out a pattern on a large piece of leather he had, layering it up nice and thick. "You still want to help?" Hiccup asked Astrid as if she had good reason to change her mind after finding out what he was doing. He chuckled before handing the leather over to her along with some large sheers that would cut through them easily. "Just cut along the line. That's going to be the saddle." He turned back to his bits of leather, finding one dyed red. "And no more prototypes," he told Toothless who was watching them curiously. "This is going to be the real one." The dragon sniffed at the leather, as if saying, [i that doesn't look anything like my tail.]
Hiccup smiled and sat next to Astrid as they both began to work, cutting the fabric. Hiccup showed her the best way to stitch leather together by hand and while she was sewing the saddle, he moved on to making the rods that went into the tail fin. He wish he had his metal work table like in his work shop. But the ground served as a place to heat the metal with his blow torch and hammer it into shape. Every now and then, he would dip the metal into the water, cooling it so that it wouldn't get misshapen as he worked on the next rod. Before long, he had the tail fin ready. He held it up to admire his work. "The red will suit you, bud," he told Toothless with a grin. He turned back to Astrid to check on her progress. "How's it going?" he asked, lowering himself back down beside her.
She could tell that he was more than distracted with Toothless and she laughed when he seemed to give her his divided attention for a moment. It was obvious that he hadn’t quite registered that she had made food for the two of them but instead focused on the question she had asked him about the prototype tail he had made from Toothless.
She laughed as they started to walk back to the camp. She waited until he got some food in him before she started to talk to him again. Astrid had worried that if she continued to talk to him the food might have gone cold. When she watched him take the first bite she judged his reaction before eating herself.
“I don’t think anything seems crazy or impossible anymore. I know you are talking about riding a dragon but if anyone is able to do it, you would be the one to do it. You’ll figure it out. I know you will.” She spent the rest of the time eating the food she had prepared, enjoying every last bite.
"Well this was certainly better than the food we were living off last time we were here."
Hiccup was pulled from his thoughts when he felt Astrid's hand on his arm. He turned to look at her after tearing his eyes away from Toothless and nodded once. He hadn't noticed the delicious smells wafting through the air until that moment.
Astrid seemed to put two and two together and he nodded again. "I can't think of any other way to get it to do what we want. But even if I [i could] somehow make some kind of saddle to maneuver it, I'd have to learn all the positions and when to change between them and..." He paused, looking back at her. "I'm thinking about riding a [i dragon] and you're not going to try to stop me?" he asked with amusement.
They both turned back to the camp. Hiccup didn't realize how hungry he'd become until there was food in front of him. The first bite he took, his eyes widened at how good it was.
Astrid distracted herself for quite some time with the food, only looking up occasionally to check the progress he was making with the tail for Toothless. She smiled at the way the tuna seemed to act as a perfect distraction for him before checking on their breakfast. It was not until Toothless decided to test out his new tail that she looked up again. The sight of Hiccup running after him and shouting made her laugh. While she was worried that he might have hurt himself, she knew that he would bounce back quickly.
It was not long before Toothless was stalking his way back to the tuna. At least he seemed content. The way Hiccup began talking to himself while he made notes caused a smile to break out across her lips. He would never know just how much these odd qualities made her like him all the more.
When breakfast was ready, she moved over to Hiccup who seemed to be contemplating something. “Breakfast is ready if you want to take a break for a minute?” She said placing her hand on his arm as though to pull his attention elsewhere. For a moment, she looked over Toothless and it clicked what he was thinking. “You will have to control it manually won’t you?” She asked, more out of curiosity but with a tiny bit of concern that he might hurt himself.
Hiccup smiled as he watched her start to work, taking that as a sign to get started on his own project. He dug out some tuna, pouring quite a bit of it onto the ground in front of Toothless so that it might prevent him from moving too much. When he was sufficiently distracted, Hiccup started working on attaching the prototype to his tail, jotting down adjustments that had to be made in his journal. At one point, Toothless seemed to sense that there was a whole tail there again and he raised his head, blinking. And then suddenly he was gone, bouncing off of trees, trying to get some height. The leather side of the tail instantly folded in on itself and Toothless came crashing to the ground, grumbling in his strange growls.
"It's not ready yet, bud!" Hiccup shouted, chasing after him. "I'm sorry. But I gotta find a way to keep it fanned out. And... to make it mirror the other side..." Toothless gave him a look before stalking back to the camp and his tuna. "There's gotta be a way," Hiccup mumbled to himself, following after. He always had a bad habit of talking himself through his inventions. "Maybe... no." He scribbled something out in his sketchbook, frustrated. "I could connect a rope to the end, but without anything to hold it open it would be pointless... And besides, holding it open isn't going to help him fly if it can't tilt..."
He pulled the prosthetic off of Toothless's tail, dejected. [i Unless...] he thought, looking at his dragon's back. No, that was crazy. Right? Then again, what part of being on this island [i wasn't] crazy?
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