Hiccup chuckled and nodded, agreeing that she could usually put two and two together easier than she had that night. He continued to smile at her as she wiped away the tears leftover.
He laughed once again and shrugged. "'About time?'" he suggested, a smirk on his lips. "I mean... despite how fast this all has been I think they've seen it coming before we even did." He paused a short moment and bit his lip. "Maybe... it'll even be enough to distract my dad from everything... Maybe he'll realize that we're going to make our own choices and live our own lives no matter what happens... He can't keep us away from the island forever. Even if he [i does] station someone at the docks every hour of every day."
Hiccup smiled even as he said this. After asking Astrid to marry him, he felt like he could tackle just about anything. Even his father if he had to and the man was huge.
"Come on," he said, rolling out of bed and gesturing excitedly. "Let's get ourselves together and head back to the island. I could really use a shower and a good toothbrushing."
What he [i really] wanted to do was get on Toothless's back, fly straight into the air, and shout for the whole world to hear that [i Astrid Hofferson said YES.]
Astrid couldn’t even laugh at the fact that he was tracing kisses down her face. If felt too special to spoil by her awkward laughter. Instead, she just allowed them both to enjoy simply being with each other. She kept her eyes on the ring as Hiccup spoke, smiling as he did.
“Well perhaps if I hadn’t been so tired I might have realised what you were making.” She laughed and pulled her eyes away from the ring to look upon his once more. If he had been scared about asking her, he showed no signs of it now but she didn’t doubt the fact that this had not been planned at all. The very fact that he admitted the ring had not been finished suggested that he had not planned to ask her this morning in this way.
She swallowed hard and pulled her hand up to wipe at some of the tears that had started to dry upon her cheek. “What do you think our parents will say?”
They remained like that for a moment and Hiccup let himself replay her last words over and over in his head. It wasn't as if she hadn't told him before... He just wanted to remember the way she said it [i now]... for the rest of their lives...
When she finally spoke about letting her fear of the future go, he let out another deep sigh and traced small kisses down the side of her face. There was something so amazing about this moment... He had known they belonged to each other from the moment he fell in love with her but... there was something added now to that love that told him that there was nothing that could ever take it away now. They had promised their futures to each other. And that meant that they would be there. Through everything.
He nodded slowly, his temple still pressed against hers before he finally willed himself to pull back and look down at his creation. "I tried making so many back on the island... But I could never get it right. Every forge is a little different and... it turns out I needed the one here." He laughed aloud, then. "You were seriously almost seconds away from catching me. I'm surprised you [i didn't] actually."
She never thought that she would be the kind of girl to cry over something like this, but then she never really thought that she would ever find herself in a situation where someone would ask her to marry him. However, the fact that she was unable to control her emotion at all in that moment was all the proof she needed to know that this was right.
When they parted for the second time she heard Hiccup’s words fill the air between them and she smiled before saying it herself. “I love you Hiccup Haddock.”
They let themselves come down from whatever high they were feeling from that moment and when she felt like she could finally breath again she looked into his eyes.
“You know, I think all of my fear about this went away the moment I realised that I hadn’t lost you at all. The moment I woke up and I saw you there. Nothing of the future scared me anymore.” She played with his fingers in her hand and looked away briefly just to look down at their hands. “When did you...” she played with the ring on her finger. “Is his what you were making...last night?”
It felt silly to be sitting there on that bed, laughing and crying all at the same time, but neither seemed to feel worried about what the other would think. When she called it perfect he couldn't help but smile a bit with pride. Even though it was just a simply band, she seemed able to find the beauty in it.
When her hand found his face, he met it with his own, his fingers tracing over the metal he found there as she leaned in to kiss him once more. He closed his eyes and fell into it, feeling their happy tears meet where their lips mingled.
He was glad that the dragons had spent the night with their own kind, leaving the room all to themselves. As much as he loved Toothless, he was glad that this could be as private of a moment as it was.
When they finally pulled away, Hiccup kept his eyes closed and pressed his forehead against hers. "I love you, Astrid Hofferson," he said without thinking that she had just agreed to become Astrid Haddock if she so chose to take his name. That was hardly a concern of his if he was being honest.
Astrid’s breath was starting to quicken as she slowly began to realise what had happened. Hiccup laughed with her and she continued to do so as he seemed to need a third confirmation. “I want to marry you more than I’ve ever wanted to do anything.” She said, more seriously this time so that he would understand that she meant it.
The moment she finished speaking Hiccup had taken her cheek in his hand and the two were lost in a kiss that seemed to seal the promise they had just made. Their kiss was filled with all the love they felt for each other and she knew in that moment that she had made the right choice when she agreed to marry him.
When they finally pulled away from each other, she smiled. Both of them were elated but there were tears hat had left her eyes at some point. She didn’t even remember when she had stared to cry but they fell gently as they both put the ring on her finger. Her breath caught in her throat at the sight of it. Oddly, it didn’t feel out of place or uncomfortable. It was as though it was exactly where it belonged.
Astrid shook her head as he spoke and looked up towards him. “It’s perfect Hiccup.” She took her newly jewelled hand to his face and smiled towards him, kissing him once more mostly because that was all she wanted to do in this moment. While most girls would have wanted some big gesture, this was exactly what she wanted. To spend the rest of her life with the man she loved.
There was a long silence that hung in the air. He could almost feel it. Thick and heavy and it made it hard to breathe as she took his hand in hers. And then she spoke. It was barely even a breath, but he heard the simple reply. His brows were no longer knotted, but raised as if he were surprised at her answer. When her eyes met his own she repeated herself and he was glad she did because he couldn't quite believe what he had heard.
He let out a breath he hadn't even been aware he was holding. The air was no longer heavy. In fact, he felt like he could float now. He laughed with her this time before biting his lip. "You... you will?" he asked, just to be sure. When the third confirmation came he couldn't help but move his free hand to the side of her face to pull her in for a kiss that lasted much longer than he originally planned. When he pulled away there was a soft gleam in his eye though he wasn't sure why he felt like crying. If anything he felt like singing. Like flying.
Her hand moved in his own and the ring was revealed once more. His hands were still shaking, possibly worse now with the excitement her answer had caused. Together they slipped the ring onto her finger.
"I-I hope it's alright. It's not finished... I was hoping to add a sapphire or something... because it would match your eyes... and then I wanted to carve some runes in the band but... I can do all that later... I just- I couldn't wait any longer. Apparently." He let out another self-conscious chuckle and he wiped at the corner of his eye.
The whole time she spoke she was looking down at their hands intertwined. She was so sure that he would be interested in every word she had to say, especially since he seemed to enjoy their history as much as she did. She started to talk about some of their old weapons and how they made them and she even suggested that the two of them try and make something like that together and at that point she looked up at his face and suddenly she became confused noticing that he seemed distant.
“Are you listening to...” her question was cut off quickly by one of his own and for a moment she stared blankly at him, trying to fathom what he was asking her. Her expression was confused at first, then her lips curled up into a smile and she laughed. “Very funny, if you want me to stop talking you could have just...” Astrid was cut off again by a flooding of words that told her almost instantly that this was not a joke. As if to confirm it he held out a ring, one that he had clearly made himself. She looked over the ring that he held in his hand and saw his hand shaking.
Astrid took his hand in her own, feeling the ring press against her skin as she did. The motion was an attempt to stop him from shaking so much but she was not sure that she was any help because she was shaking herself now. “Yes.”
There was silence between them once more as she processed her thoughts. She hadn’t even realised that she had given her answer until she saw Hiccup’s expression hangs slightly. Astrid laughed again, but nervously this time. “Yes, I will marry you.”
Hiccup let her take his hand, noticing their size difference with a small smile. His fingers ended squarely and bluntly and showed his years of working with him. Her own were long and came to soft tips that made him smile when she ran them over his own. He heard her words, but he wasn't exactly listening. This was one of those moments. One of those moments when he felt his heart well up. When he could practically [i feel] her love wrap around him like a warm blanket. He wanted so badly to return that emotion to her, but he didn't know how. How do you give the person who has given you all the support you'd ever need everything they ever wanted? How did one [i do] that?
His brows were knitted now, but she was looking at his hand and so she didn't see. He felt his heart pounding hard and he wasn't sure why. His free hand came up to grasp the ring her family had given him to wear around his neck.
She was going on about something. He tried to focus. He really did. Something about a war and... battle axes? But she sounded under water. God, he hadn't had a panic attack like this in a long time. [i Was] this a panic attack? [i Why] was he having a [i panic attack]? His breathing came faster now, his thoughts fueling his anxieties. He tried to focus on her voice, but suddenly he was hearing his own.
"Will you marry me?"
And then there was silence. He was sure his heart had ceased beating. He was dead. Or close to. She was looking at him again but he was so scared that he couldn't make sense of her expression. His mouth opened again and the words kept rushing out. "I- I know we agreed to wait to talk about it but we both said we're in this for the long haul and lately I've just been thinking that that maybe everyone is right and- and maybe it all makes sense and if- if you want to say no you- you can but-" as he spoke, he fumbled into his jeans pocket trying to grasp the ring he left inside. It wasn't finished, but he could add stones later, right? "We don't have to any time soon, but just knowing that we will would be enough. After- after almost losing you I really started to think about it and I..." He held the ring out to her with a shaking hand and wide eyes.
Astrid moved over slightly as Hiccup loved towards the bed and she smiled up towards him, glad to see that he appeared to be in a good mood despite the fact that he had clearly been awake for hours. She listened to him talk about the time he spent with his mother and she was glad to hear the happiness in his voice. It was typical that he would find an opportunity to fly, especially now that there was someone new to show off his mechanism to. Astrid smiled and looked down at his hand before taking them in her own.
“I know what you mean. But remember...she said we were welcome here any time. When we leave today it’s not as though we are never coming back here.” She said with a smile and pulled his hand up to her lips to kiss it gently. At that point she started to pour out everything she had leaned about their history the day before, telling him all the thing that school never had.
Hiccup barely got four hours of sleep before he was climbing out of bed as gently as he could as to not wake Astrid. He lit a candle and found himself at the small table in the middle of their room, poring over the book his mother had given him and sketching in his own journal. He didn't much feel like wandering the halls, so he stayed where he was. This was enough to grasp his interest until the morning. In fact it held his attention better than sleep ever could that night.
Before he knew it, he heard Astrid rousing from her sleep and her tired voice carried over to him. He lifted his head from his work and he smiled at her. "Morning, M'lady," he replied with a small smirk. His notes had put him in a better mood despite the lack of sleep. "It was amazing," he told her, getting up and heading back over towards the bed to flop down next to her, explaining everything he had done with his mother and everything he had learned about both her and the dragons. "This place is so appealing. A part of me never wants to leave," he admitted. "But... it's not home, either." He picked at a scab on one of his knuckles as he spoke.
Astrid spent most of the day reading through the mounds of books, learning more about their Viking ancestors. It was exciting to learn about her heritage in this way, especially since much of what they were taught on Berk didn’t seem to go in much depth and clearly there were parts of their history that they left out. Whether there were gaps since in their knowledge or whether they had purposely erased that part from their history lessons, she didn’t really know.
She had not even realised that most of the day had passed by until Hiccup came back to collect her. The two of them were pretty tired at the end of the day and went they went to bed almost as soon as they got back to their room. While she seemed to sleep perfectly fine, she noticed that Hiccup looked tired when she finally woke up in the morning. He was already awake making sure that he wasn’t doing anything that could wake her up.
“Good morning babe.” She said with a smile as she turned over to face him properly. She simply looked at him for a moment and took in his appearance. They hadn’t really talked much the night before but they never really felt the need to fill the silences. “How was your day yesterday?”
When they left the small library Hiccup wasn't worried about Astrid. He knew she would find plenty of entertainment in the lines of text she found. He followed his mother back out of the room, the dragons in tow, and they spend a good portion of the morning meeting the many dragons that stayed in the cavern. They fed some of them together and Hiccup sketched a few that he had never seen before as Valka told him all about them. He couldn't wait to share them with Astrid.
Toothless and Stormfly walked around the large area making friends as they went. Hiccup and Valka talked about anything and everything that came to mind from the dragons to Hiccup's inventions and anything else he had been up to in the past decade. He tossed a piece of meat to a nearby dragon that caught it out of the air as he spoke about the therapy trips to the main land. Both physical and mental. He felt her hand on his shoulder. He knew she felt guilty for making him go through the loss of a mother when she had been here the whole time. But he find that relevant. What had happened was done...
A short time later and they had taken to the skies. Valka was eager to see how Toothless's tail fin worked, but they both knew it was just the cover story to fly together. Before they knew it, they had been all across the island. Valka would point out different areas of the island. Watchtowers. Old boats they rarely used. The crops they grew behind the mountain. Livestock. They had it all. Their own small community.
Valka's personal dragon was very owl-like. She called him Cloudjumper and he was rather moody and took to Toothless much like an old grumpy man might take to an affectionate toddler. They warmed up to each other eventually and by the time they got back to the Protector's base, they were good friends. Hiccup felt like he knew his mother... [i this] version of his mother... much better now. And he wanted nothing more than to drag her home, show Stoick she was alive, and continue living like a happy family. But he knew better... So at the end of the day when he went to retrieve Astrid, he told her that they would return to their island the next day. He wanted to show Valka what they had managed to build. And from there... well that was still to be decided. That night, Hiccup had more trouble sleeping. He thought a day with his mother would ease his mind, but it only made it race faster...
Astrid smiled as Hiccup spoke. Although neither of them had expected to find out about all of [I this] she supposed that they had perhaps been a little naïve to think that they were the first humans to find the dragons and document them in the way that they had. She figured that he would already be thinking of some kind of plan to combine the two books and when he spoke of a title she couldn’t help but laugh.
“Maybe you should include a chapter about how [I not] to train your dragon.” She said with a laugh, holding on to her stomach. She didn’t want to make a further joke about it just in case it upset him but she felt like she had made peace with her accident now. She let out a sigh and shook her head as he looked down at the book in his hand and she resumed looking around the room, avoiding the obvious fact that Valka had her eyes on her.
Astrid nodded as she spoke, glancing towards Hiccup who was now asking a question. Astrid already knew the answer, knowing that it wasn’t likely that a mother would be able to stay away from her child upon learning that their death never really took place. She detected the sadness from him almost instantly, especially since he had been so happy the moment he found out his mother was still alive. She turned towards him and placed a hand on his shoulder as his mother confirmed that she didn’t plan on letting Stoick know that she was alive. It was not her place to question her, at least not now, but she couldn’t help but feel that Stoick had the right to know about this. However, if Hiccup promised to keep her a secret, she would have to as well.
Astrid removed her hand from his shoulder and turned away from the two of them as they exchanged whatever understanding there was between them and she only turned back again when his mother called her name. Astrid looked towards her as she spoke and looked over at Hiccup when he cut her off and she smiled.
“You two go and get reacquainted. I’ll be fine in here. Take Stormfly and Toothless to meet some of the other dragons so I don’t have tom worry about them breaking anything in here.” She said with a laugh and took to book from Hiccup as he approached her. She smiled softly towards him as he placed a kiss on her cheek and returned the declaration of love before looking towards his mother and nodded.
“I’ll see you later.” She said, looking back towards Hiccup. Soon enough she was left alone with the ton of books that could keep her more than occupied for several days, never mind several hours and she threw herself into reading some of the texts.
When Astrid joined them once more and looked over his shoulder and at the scribbled title, he smiled. "Can you believe I thought I was the first one to document dragons?" he asked her, amazed. "There's a few revisions I need to make. And a few notes in here that don't matter much anymore now that we're not fighting them. I could... join the two. Make a whole new Book of Dragons. I'll call it... How.. How To Train Your Dragon. Or something like that," he said with a softly chuckle, looking back down at the book in his hands.
Valka smiled at that and looked at Astrid. Her amazement with the room had not gone unnoticed. "You two are welcome here any time. All I ask is that you're gently with the books. And... unfortunately we haven't made copies of the other texts, so we don't let them out of this room... but please... Feel free to come here whenever you like."
Hiccup beamed at his mother, then turned to Astrid, knowing her fondness for books as well. When he turned back to Valka, he had a question on his lips.
"So... we're able to come back here? Not just... the library but... this island? Any time we want?"
Valka thought a moment and shrugged in a similar manner to Hiccup. "I don't see what harm if could do. In fact it might even put some minds at ease. And... I would like to see my son again."
Hiccup nodded slowly, a sadness overcoming him. "We have to go back, though. Not just to [i our] island... but to Berk. Dad and I... didn't part on good terms. I have no idea how I'm going to convince him to let us see the dragons again but..." He looked up at his mother. "You... you really won't be coming back to Berk, then? You really don't want Dad to know that you're alive?"
Valka's eyes moved to the floor. This didn't seem like an easy subject for her, either. "I can't see what good it would do. My place is here now." The line sounded rehearsed. As if that's what he had told herself for the last ten years. "Promise me, Hiccup." Her hands found his shoulders. "Promise me you won't tell your father."
It took much longer than he intended to get up the courage to agree. "...I promise."
Her thumbs traced his shoulders. She looked defeated and for the first time he could see how much she had truly aged. But it was gone in an instance. "Astrid," she said abruptly. "It looks like you could entertain yourself for hours in here. Do you mind if I steal my son away for a while? We still have so much catching up to do and... Well, you're more than welcome to explore if you get bored. And- and if-"
"Mom," Hiccup cut her off, taking the hand that was on her shoulder. He turned to Astrid, knowing that she would be more than willing to give them the time. He held out the Book of Dragons for her to hold onto. He leaned into her to place a kiss on her cheek as he did so. "I love you," he whispered to her softly.
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