It was true. He always had a plan. But as she crept closer his mind became a blank void, pure white noise. He had been so confident about this the night before. Where did all that go? Before he knew it, her face was so close he was sure she must have felt the heat radiating from his cheeks. This was really going to happen. He was going to kiss Astrid Hofferson.
The breeze picked up and the trees formed a kind of tunnel to channel the wind. The next thin he knew is there was hair where Astrid's lips used to be and then everything went dark. There was silence. And then...
"Are-are you freaking [i kidding] me!?" Hiccup exclaimed, arms stretched out towards the fire, then up to the sky like he was asking why it would do something like that. "Is this gonna happen [i every time!?]"
His raised voice woke Toothless and he grumbled, annoyed. The dragon looked from them to the extinguished fire, rolled his emerald eyes, and let out a blue burst of flame. Instantly the fire was alive again. Toothless lowered his head again and closed his eyes, going back to sleep almost instantly.
Hiccup had never seen Toothless light a fire like that and he was instantly wondering why he was so afraid a moment before. They were on a secluded, unknown island. They had lied to their parents about this place. And they were surrounded by [i dragons]. He had a lot more things to fear than kissing the girl he liked. Especially when she so obviously wanted to kiss him, too.
He made up his mind in just seconds after the fire was lit again. He turned back to Astrid and reached out to gently move the blonde hair out of her face. He smiled, exasperated, then leaned in before anything else could interrupt them. His lips met hers, timidly at first, then with meaning. He felt her return the gesture and when he pulled away, his smile had widened.
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Astrid couldn’t hold back a laugh at his initial reaction. She might have known that Hiccup would find it hard to believe, especially since he didn’t appear to have the confidence that most of the Berk jerks had. When he spoke, she nodded as if to confirm that she did in fact have feelings for him. If there was something she liked the most about him, it was the way that he always seemed to try and hide his emotions with humour. It was true they hadn’t known each other very long really, but there had always been something about him that she found endearing.
“You are not a joke Hiccup.” She whispered her words now. Her heart had start to beat a little faster, knowing that she was going to kiss him. It hadn’t unnerved her before, but now knowing that he had very little experience with it, she couldn’t help but wonder if she had expectations to fulfil. As his eyes met her own, she allowed hers to linger while she gathered the courage to lean in closer to him.
She adjusted her body slightly so that she didn’t find herself in an awkward position before she started to lean in towards him so that she could allow her lips to collide with his. She could have sworn that her heart beat echoed around them but she tried to ignore it. When she was close enough that she could feel his breath on her face, a heavy gust of wind found its way through the glen, blowing her hair in front of her face and taking away their only source of light from the fire.
Hiccup swallowed hard when Astrid stood and approached, and he couldn't help but bite his lips when she sat down next to him. This could go one of two ways. She could return his feelings or... She would tell him she didn't feel the same. Just when he was sure it was going to be the latter, he felt her hand on his chin and he was forced to look at her. His eyes moved between her own, his heart pounding.
Hiccup would have laughed if he hadn't been so surprised by her honestly. She liked him, too? "I- [i really?]" he asked, unable to stop the disbelief before it passed his lips. A huge weight lifted off his shoulders. "But- I mean... We haven't... [i really] known each other that long at all. If that even matters," he looked down to his hands. "I mean, Ruffnut's with a new guy every week, so maybe it's not that important," he joked, hoping humor might get his heart to stop beating so hard. It didn't work. "Sp-speaking of which, in middle school Tuffnut dared her to kiss me and that's just about the only experience I have with... you know... I'm so used to being the butt of jokes it's hard to believe someone would actually... [i want] to- to-" he swallowed again. "You know."
Slowly, he let his eyes wander back to hers. "I have no idea what I'm doing, Astrid," he confessed. "And... that's not normal for me. I [i always] have a plan."
She had no idea what she was expecting to hear from Hiccup and while she waited for his response she couldn’t help but feel as though she had been waiting longer than a few short seconds. His response seemed to demonstrate that he was also feeling nervous. His hand nervously running through his hair and the words he spoke were more than enough to prove that. Perhaps he had such a response because he was hoping to avoid talking about this. Maybe he was about to tell her that it should never have happened in the first place and that they should simply forget about it and move on.
As he continued to speak, he seemed to stutter slightly, trying to get his words out but once he had admitted his feelings the rest of what he had to say simply fell out. He was avoiding her gaze now and she wanted him to look at her when she said what she had to say. Astrid stood from opposite him and sat next to him, allowing her hand to find his chin so that she could guide his eyes to her own.
“Hiccup, you have no idea how happy I am to hear that you don’t regret it. It’s the only thing I have been worrying about ever since it happened. I…I think you are amazing Hiccup and I like you too and I think that we have both been avoiding saying such things for a couple of days now.”
Hiccup smiled at the sight of the dragons curled around each other, sleeping. He nodded at her observation. "Yeah, I think so," he agreed with a chuckle.
After another moment of silence, he could feel Astrid grow tense and he worried about what was going to be said next. When she started to talk again, his nerves were only heightened. [i About last night...] Did she regret what hadn't even happened? Was she about to tell him that she didn't want him to get his hopes up? Instead, she asked him a question and his hand instantly went to his hair.
"Oh, jeez," he said nervously, looking away from her. How did he answer that? "I-I'm really not good with this stuff," he finally said, glancing up only for a second to meet her gaze. "I mean, it-it-it's obvious that... well... I like you. A lot. And not just in that middle-school crush kind of way. I've gotten to know you... the real you... over the past couple of days and- I- I guess I just kind of got swept up in it all." He looked at the fire. He still didn't know if she had regretted their almost kiss. He didn't want to say anything else that might make things even more awkward. So he left it at that, hoping she understood what he was saying. That he would have followed through with it if his father hadn't come home...
She had barely noticed that darkness was threatening to surround them. It was rather saddening that their first day here was already coming to an end. Maybe a week here would be over before they even had the chance to realise.
“Tomorrow.” She said with a smile, nodding towards him. “I will hold you to that.” Astrid smiled as he began to pack his things away and before long the four of them played as though they were back in pre-school. None of that seemed to matter. Al that mattered is that they were all enjoying themselves and there was no one else in the world that knew about this place. This was their special place, and theirs alone.
After a while, they had settled around the first and as he added another pile of sticks to keep the fire burning she looked over at Stormfly and Toothless who were sleeping curled up next to each other. “I think we tired them out.” She said, tilting her head towards them to indicate what she was talking about. She shook her head and looked down at her hand that had started to nervously play with the other.
Astrid had planned to address their near-kiss the night before but she had not anticipated it making her nervous. “Hiccup…about last night…” She took a breath and looked over his face, lit by the fire, for any clue about how he might feel about her bringing this up. “What almost happened between us…what did that mean to you?” She looked away from a moment, checking that the dragons were still sleeping peacefully next to them.
Hiccup appreciated the offer and he wanted nothing more than to have her work by his side. Maybe he could show her a few things. He pictured his hand on hers, showing her the right way to shape metal and such and couldn't help but smile to himself foolishly. But he looked to the darkening sky.
"Well, maybe tomorrow," he offered. "It'll be too dark before long to see anything well, even with the camp fire." He stood and gave Toothless's back a couple of pats. "But we've got plenty of time," he told the group, happy to think that this was only their first night on the island.
Hiccup packed up his things to keep them safe and the rest of the night the lot of them played like children. They even managed to teach the dragons how to play tag, though they seemed to think they were always the ones to do the tagging. Before too long it was too dark to keep it up and they found themselves by the fire, content and happy.
At first, she hadn’t thought about what she was doing. Kissing him on the cheek felt natural to her but then she had remembered many of the moments they had shared over the past two days. Just last night they had almost kissed on the [I lips] and neither one of them had decided to bring it up or talk about it. Perhaps she would find some courage to talk to him about it later.
She also noticed the way that he turned away from her. Perhaps she had overstepped or maybe he was simply trying to pay some attention to the dragon he had helped. The heat rose to her face when he mentioned that he would do anything for them. Yet again the wonder of their closeness played on her mind. Stormfly moved towards Astrid when Hiccup turned to Toothless and she spent some time comforting Stormfly as they both watched Hiccup work.
“Do you need me to do anything? I feel pretty useless sat here watching you work your magic.” Astrid smiled before Stromfly circled around her and wrapped her body around her back. Astrid stroked her head as her eyes closed and soon enough she was comfortably sleeping, breathing steady and heavy breaths.
Hiccup chuckled when Stormfly pressed her face against his. Her skin was rougher than toothless's and it tickled. He ran his hands across the sides of her face. "You're welcome," he told her with a huge grin.
Before he knew what had happened, Astrid had pressed her lips against his cheek. He bit the inside of his lip and shrugged a bit bashfully. "It- it was nothing. Really!" He said, turning away so she couldn't see the heat rising to his face. "I mean... anything for you two." He reached out again to pet the horn on Stormfly's snout.
After a moment, he turned back to Toothless. "Alright, bud. Your turn. I think your problem is gonna take a little longer to fix, though." He dug around once more, finding his second prototype for the dragons tail fin. "Alright. Keep still."
He approached with it, letting Toothless smell it before circling around to see if he had all the measurements correct, comparing it to the other tail fin. Hiccup put a hand thoughtfully on his chin before nodding. "Not bad," he said to himselc. "Now I just have to make it match the weight and tilt of the other one and find a way to attach it..."
Toothless was looking back at him curiously and Hiccup gave him a small smile. "You'll be flying again in no time."
“Thank you Hiccup I really appreciate it.” She said as she watched him empty his bag. For a while she played with Stormfly and Toothless, keeping the two distracted so that neither of them knocked or bothered Hiccup while he worked. Occasionally she looked over, admiring his work and assessing his progress until he had finished what look like a much more professional splint than the one she had made for her.
Slowly she ran her hand over Stormfly’s head and told to hold still. “I don’t want this to hurt alright. Try not to move okay girl?” She said as she stroked her once last time before moving towards her wing and removing what she had made for her slowly so that she didn’t make any movements that might hurt her. When she was finally finished she let out a sigh, glad that she hadn’t managed to cause her any pain and watched carefully as Hiccup attached the one he had made.
“Hiccup that’s perfect!” She said with a smile, moving round to help secure it properly and she looked up at Stormfly. “Is that better huh?” She asked, and almost in a reply she nudged her with her head before turning to Hiccup to do the same. “I think she is thanking you.” She said before stepped around to stand before him. “Thank you, this will help her so much.” Astrid placed her hand on his shoulder and pressed her lips against his cheek to show her gratitude.
Hiccup nodded, licking his fingers when his food was gone. For being burnt it wasn't [i that] bad... but he still thought he might take Astrid up on her cooking.
"Yeah, I can do that," he said, jumping up with her. Stormfly approached them when Astrid spoke to her and Hiccup took a quick look at the makeshift splint Astrid had made so he would know what he needed to replicate.
When he was done studying, he turned to his duffel bags of gear. "Alright," he said, determined, before pulling out the things he might need. Astrid kept Stormfly distracted while he conjured up a splint. It was rather easy for his first project on the island. He had plenty of metal rods and leather. After putting them together, he asked Astrid to remove the original. Then he slowly slipped the new one on. The leather held the rods in place and kept her from moving her wing too much. "Does that look alright?" He asked.
Astrid didn't really need to say anything to Hiccup to let him know that she was just as grateful that he allowed her to be apart of this. She was sure that her smile would be more than satisfactory in letting him know that. She inhaled as she allowed her gaze to linger before he tugged on her to let her now that she should move to make some food.
"That's actually the best idea I've heard all day. I am so hungry." She said excitedly before moving to make their food. They each decided to make their own and she couldn't help but laugh at the fact that Hiccup had burnt his. He still seemed happy to eat it though. She shook her heard as they both settled to eat. "I guess I should cook for the both of us tomorrow night or you might find yourself starving while you are here." Humour was evident within her voice.
"You're right. We can take a look at it as soon as we have finished eating. I think you might need to make a splint for her after all. Those sticks I used the other day won't hold out for much longer." As soon as they had finished eating Astrid jumped to her feet ad clap here hands together to indicate that she was ready and Stormfly seemed to notice that her attention was no longer focused on the food before her. "Are you ready for us to take a look at that wing again?"
Together they stood looking at their hard work with proud smiles on their faces. "Yeah," Hiccup replied fondly before turning to look at her. "[i Our] secret." He nudged her back. "Thanks again... for sharing this with me." They shared a small, contented silence before Hiccup tugged at her sleeve. "Come on," he said, tilting his head toward their new camp. "After all that, I'm starved."
For the next hour, Hiccup attempted to cook. Astrid gave him pointers and he still wound up burning his food, where hers looked perfect. He didnt care though. With the dragons playing beside them, he ate happily next to Astrid's side. He couldn't stop smiling.
"There's so much to do," he said between bites. It wasn't anxiety in his voice, but excitement. "With what daylight is left, maybe we should look at Stormfly's wing," he suggested.
“That might be why you were struggling then.” She as she looked over towards Stormfly who seemed to be looking towards her with pride. Astrid smiled towards her before looking back at Hiccup. “Why is it that men never feel the need to look for directions?” She shook her head before they decided to set up the rest of the camp.
When they were done she took a step back and looked around at their new camp and she couldn’t help but smile. “Yes we are! I’m so excited that we are here.” She moved closer to him and nudged him with her elbow. “We did it. We got away from Berk and we found this amazing place.” She looked towards him and smiled. “And we found the one thing you were looking for and it’s our secret. This is something that is going to be special to us for a long time; something that’s just ours.” Her smile widened as she allowed her eyes to linger on his for a moment longer.
Hiccup watched in asonishment as Astrid built the tent with ease, his mouth hanging open. "I wasn't reading the directions at all, actually," he admitted with a small chuckle. He hadn't even thought to look for instructions. It should have been a cake walk! Toothless was looking at him with amusement in his green eyes. Stormfly was looking proudly at Astrid.
Together they started setting up the rest of their camp. Hiccup shoved all the blankets he packed into the tent. They got all their food together and set up everything they might need to cook. Hiccup felt accomplished when it was all done and he gave Astrid a wide smile.
"Well, we're officially moved in."
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