Astrid got lost in conversation with her parents while they waited for Hiccup and when he emerged a few minutes later she smirked towards him, knowing the reason behind his late arrival. She looked down at her plate and started to eat and the four of them conversed for the entirety of their meal. A few times she looked up at the three of them talking and found herself feeling very lucky to have them in her life. She wouldn't change any of this for the world.
Her mother looked Astrid over and smiled, noticing that the colour was beginning to return to her cheeks and that she was starting to look more like herself. She seemed to change since that morning and she could only assume that having Hiccup home had helped her.
"You know, she's been quite the handful while you've been away Hiccup. She's practically been racing up and down these stairs ten times a day for the last three days. I hope you know what you are getting into with this one. She won't be an easy wife you know?" Her mother laughed and Astrid looked up towards her and shook her head.
"Yes, because you've been such an easy wife yourself." She mocked and ate another mouthful of food. "Besides, easy is boring." Astrid looked towards Hiccup with a smirk and then turned her attention back to her parents. "Anyway, I was thinking that now that Hiccup is back...you two should go out tonight! You've been looking after me everyday and you deserve a break!"
Hiccup's lips spread into a smile. "I love you, too," he assured her, as if his current state wasn't enough to prove as much. He returned the peck of her lips and sighed softly as she stood up. He watched her gently pull on her shirt, glad to see that she was careful when changing. After returning her smile and watched her leave the room.
He came downstairs a few minutes later and pretended like nothing had happened. He tried to ignore the look that Astrid gave him as he took his place at the table and started loading up his plate.
The food was delicious and Hiccup was so glad to be back. Of course he missed the island and Toothless and if he had a choice, he would still be with them. But not without Astrid.
He listened to the family banter. It used to make him miss his mother and the moments he had with his own family, but that faded away months ago. Astrid's family was also his own now. He didn't need to live in the past anymore...
She knew that Hiccup would understand why she was finding all of this so hard. Astrid was usually the one taking care of everyone else and now the tables had turned she was barely coping at all. Perhaps sending Hiccup away had not been her best idea but it had given Hiccup some time to stop feeling as though he had to take care of her and it gave Astrid some time to gain some independence. Now all she could think about was all the time they had lost together.
When he spoke towards her she couldn’t help but smile. She had almost forgotten how good they were at lifting each other’s spirits when either one of them was down and Hiccup was doing a good job of bringing her back around to her normal self. With ever single word he spoke, her heart quickened and she knew that he meant ever single word. He was right about everything. They were so perfect for each other and she didn’t want anything to take that away from her. Suddenly all those conversations that had scared her in the past, seemed silly. Astrid knew that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Hiccup and she was going to do whatever she could to make him happy.
The kiss had caught her off-guard slightly and it took her breath away in an instant. It was almost as though her heart stopped beating as she melted into the kiss. It was a lot more passionate than she had expected and as his hand travelled down her thigh she wanted nothing more than to allow the kiss to develop into something more. Something that would show him just how much she needed him. Her mind had become blurred and she was no longer thinking about anything other than the feel of his lips on hers and his hand resting on her thigh. She adjusted herself slightly so that she could get that little bit close to him and she sighed as the kiss came to an end.
Astrid laughed quietly as his head rested against hers and they gave themselves a moment to catch their breath. “I love you.” She whispered as she pressed one final kiss to his lips. When she got up she found a new shirt and pulled it over her head and smiled warmly towards him before making her way downstairs to way.
He shook his head slightly when she thanked him. There was nothing she needed to thank him for, after all. He was only doing what anyone else in love would do. It took all his strength not to just bury his face in her neck so he was thankful when she slowly turned herself around and took his hands in her own. He sighed softly when one of those hands came up to touch the scar on his chin. He smiled softly at her observation.
He opened his mouth to reply, but she was speaking again and he smiled softly at her words. He didn't want her drive and spirit to die. He just wanted her to be safe.
"Astrid... you're the the strongest person I've ever met. I-I know that this is hard for you... resting and letting people take care if you. But that doesn't change how strong you are." He leaned into her hand that was still on his face. "We... [i I]... just need you to get better. You are... so important to me. And I feel like we [i just] found out how right for each other we are. And then to almost lose that... I can't..."
He looked back up into her eyes and smiled sadly. His free hand found the side of her own face and he brought himself nearer to kiss her. He made sure to pour all the proof of his love and affection into that kiss and it was hard to not wrap his arms around her and pull her close. Instead, his hands moved to find her sides once more and one ventured down her leg and over her Jean's, squeezing the side of her thigh lovingly. This kissing went on longer than he had planned. Their breath mingled and he felt desire deep in his gut. They only stopped when they heard her mother holler that food was ready.
Hiccup pulled back and rested his forehead to hers, eyes still closed. "Go... I'll... catch up in a minute." His face was a bit pink, but he wasn't ashamed at what their affection had done to him. "I need to-to uh... have a cold glass of water," he said with a soft chuckle. Being unable to touch her like that for a long time had obviously made him weak.
She waited for the scolding to come but it never did. She expected him to tell her that this was exactly why she wasn’t supposed to leave the house or that she wasn’t allowed to leave her room again until Gothi said so but he seemed to let it go, at least for now. While she could very easily call Gothi and ask her to come and change the bandages, that would mean she would have to explain to Gothi and her parents how she had managed to make herself bleed again.
Hiccup agreed to help her and offered her a smile in return to her own and she shifted her body on the bed so that her angle was appropriate for him to wrap the bandage around her. First he helped her by removing the one she was desperate to remove. By the time it was gone she looked down to check on the wound. For quite some time she had avoided looking at it. She didn’t want to know what damage had been done or what kind of scar would remain on her body for life, and until now she had managed to avoid it. Gothi has always been the one to clean her up and change her bandages so she never had the need to.
Astrid swallowed nervously and allowed her head to drop slightly so that she could check if she needed to do anything to the wound. It was a lot bigger than she realised. It was clear now that the thicker end of the spine had entered her stomach so it had gone in a few inches. In fact, she was surprised she didn’t have an exit wound on her back with how deep it had seemed to penetrate. Her breath hitched and she took a deep breath as she whispered towards Hiccup. “Hold on.”
She reached out for the ointment on the bed side table so that she could clean away the blood and she nodded when she was finished so that Hiccup knew he could start wrapping the new bandage around her. This time she tried to focus on something else, not wanting to think about what had happened or what it left behind. This time she focused on how close Hiccup was to her and how much she had missed him. As he moved, his breath could be felt on her neck and it almost sent a shiver down her spine. Her eyes closed and she allowed her lips to curl up into a smile and suddenly her sadness melted away.
He asked for confirmation about the bandages and she looked down once more, happy that she no longer had to look at the ugly scar that was beginning to form. “Perfect, thank you Hiccup.” She wasn’t just thanking him for helping her, but for not using it as an excuse to tell her off again. When they were both satisfied that he was finished, his hands came to rest on her bare skin. The feel of him was so familiar and it made her heart race as he always did. She had been awake for over two weeks now and she had been asleep for a week before that. This had been the longest either of them had been without being able to have some kind of intimacy between them. She hadn’t realised until now, just how much she had missed him in that respect. Neither of them had been thinking about that before now.
Astrid let out a sigh and turned herself around to face him, taking the hands from her sides and into her own. After a moment of just looking into his eyes she brought one of her hands up to his jaw and ran a finger along the scar on his chin. “I guess we both had scars from the island now.” She said light-heartedly. “Hiccup, I-I...” She shook her head and looked away before continuing to speak. “I’m sorry, for everything. For scaring you like that and for refusing to rest. I promise...whatever you want from this point on.” She meant what she said. As frustrated as she was about not being able to do [i everything,] she would do anything to stop Hiccup from worrying about her.
When he stepped inside and saw her holding her shirt to her chest, his suspicions were confirmed that she was hiding something from her parents. He shut the door as she seemed to relax knowing it was him.
Gothi had been the one to change her bandages before he left for the island. He hadn't done it himself and he hoped he wouldn't botch it. He took the bandage from her with a gentle smile. He would let this one go. She had had enough scolding for one day.
"Turn around," he told her and waited for her to shift on the bed. He sad behind her and gently started to remove the bloodied bandage. He moved slowly, wrapping his arms around her to unwind it so that he wouldn't hurt her further. Her back was bare now except for her bra and Hiccup eyes the back of Astrid's head for a short moment before he reached around her to take the new wrapping from her. He started to circle it around her which was difficult considering her neck was right in front of him. She smelled like home...
"Is this okay?" His voice was quiet and almost hoarse. When he was done, his hands found her sides, touching her skin with his finger tips. He had never thought that he would ever be the kind of guy to pine, but it had been over two weeks and he had been unable to even think about touching Astrid in any way that wasn't helpful to her injury.
As she peeled up the shirt she noticed a small stain of blood on her bandage and she cursed under her breath. While it was normal for that to happen every now and then, she knew that this would just be fuel for those around her to keep telling her that she was doing too much. The worst part was that she couldn’t really change the bandages herself since it was in an awkward position but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t going to try.
With a sigh, Astrid moved to the other side of her room where she kept some of the spare bandages and started to look through them to find one that was a suitable size for her. When she found one she moved back to the bed and took off her shirt and looked down again as if trying to figure out how she was supposed to do this.
When she heard a knock at the door she picked up her shirt and held it up to cover herself until she realised that it was Hiccup. She almost laughed to herself before shaking her head and placing it back down again. Astrid turned to look at him and smiled.
“Actually, yes. I need to change these bandages but I can’t do it myself. If I didn’t have to wrap the whole thing around my stomach then I’d be able to do but...I can’t.” She sighed and held out the bandages to him, hoping that he wouldn’t scold her again simply because he had a new reason to.
Hiccup was quick to help wherever her mother needed a hand. It was only about ten minutes later when her father returned and poked his head in to see what his wife was cooking up. When he saw Hiccup a smile spread across his face and he pulled Hiccup in for a hug. Hiccup couldn't very well return the gesture with his food covered hands, but he tried his best.
"Where is Astrid?" The man asked, thinking they would know.
"She was in the living room," Hiccup replied, but the other man shook his head. "Probably went to her room. I'll go check on her."
Hiccup washed his hands and left the two of them to talk about their day while he headed upstairs. He knew Astrid was most likely fine and that she just wanted a change of scenery, but he wanted to check on her anyway. He knocked twice on her door before opening it.
"Can I help with anything?" He asked her softly.
Astrid watched the exchange between the two and rolled her eyes once more when Hiccup told her that he had already made sure that Astrid has received a grilling about her actions. While she didn’t need to know exactly what, she knew that Astrid had been doing far too much lately. In fact, if either of them knew what she had actually been doing that morning, she would probably be barricaded in her room until the wound had completely healed.
Astrid loved the fact the her mother was so accepting of Hiccup and she knew before she even said anything that he would have no need to thank her. Her mother loved having him around and as far as she was concerned this place was his home too. Although, Astrid knew that their [i real] home was back on the island and she missed it so much. Astrid let out a sigh as her mother disappeared into the kitchen and when Hiccup started to move her legs she lifted the weight and placed them on the sofa so that he could stand up.
When she was left alone she rose to her feet and started pacing the room for a moment, feeling restless for sitting down for so long. If she didn’t think she would get kicked out of the kitchen straight away, she would be in there helping herself. Instead she disappeared upstairs for a moment. She had pulled on her wound a couple of times and she wanted to check that everything was alright.
Hiccup nodded in agreement. They didn't need to worry about all this right now. Not while he had just got back. He drew small circles with his fingers on her leg as they sat in silence. When he heard the keys in the door, he smiled at Astrid's comment. He still felt rather guilty that her parents didn't know the truth behind their daughters injury, but he knew it was for their own good.
When her mom found them, he went to stand to greet her, but she was already beside him and Astrid's legs were still on his lap. He wrapped his arms around her as she embraced him before standing back upright. The way she said "home", as if their house was his too, made him smile wider. Their place felt more like home lately than his own house, that was for sure.
"I've already given her a strict grilling," he told her mother with a soft chuckle. She didn't have to know what about exactly. He kept his promise to not tell her that Astrid had left the house. "I... wanted to thank you again for... letting me stay here so much."
"Oh, nonsense." She waved a hand at the thought. "You've helped us loads with everything going on. It's my pleasure."
Hiccup smiles at her once more as she moved to the kitchen. He could hear the woman getting things ready for dinner. Hiccup gingerly moved Astrid's legs out of the way, careful not to twist her, before jogging into the kitchen to offer her a hand with cooking. He had done this a couple times before when Astrid was able to start eating solid foods again. He was actually learning quite a bit of cooking tips from her mother.
As much as Astrid wanted to fix whatever was happening between Hiccup and his father, she knew that it was not something that she could do. While she could help Hiccup by talking to Stoick with him, she couldn’t control how he might react. He was right. It was very likely that Stoick would try and stop them from going back to the island and when he said that, the two stewed in the silence for a moment simply thinking.
“He can try. I’m sorry Hiccup but nothing is stopping me from going back to that island.” She thought for a moment before speaking up again “‘Let’s not think about this now. I just got you back and I don’t want us to sit here thinking about maybes and making outselves all depressed.” Astrid tried to smile as she adjusted herself again, trying to find a comfier position.
Minutes later, she could hear keys in the door and the sound of her mother’s voice echoing in the hallway. “In the living room Mom.” She called back as she smiled as Hiccup. “She is going to be so happy to see you.”
She wasn’t wrong. The moment she walked into the room and saw Hiccup sitting with her daughter she beamed and moved towards him, holding her hands out so that she could embrace him. He didn’t need to move because she came down to his level and threw her arms around him.
“Oh Hiccup it’s so good to have you home.” She said as she squeezed him affectionately. “Maybe now you can help us make sure this one slows down.” She said as she gestured towards Astrid who roles her eyes in response.
His fidgeting was interrupted by Astrid's legs finding his lap. It was a familiar position and his hand found the side of her calf easily as she got comfortable. Hiccup nodded as she spoke, then rolled his eyes as she brought up his father.
"Well, he certainly lives up to his name," he told her, a little bitterly. It makes sense that he wouldn't talk about any of it with anyone. Stoick was as stoic as they come. He wanted to pretend like nothing was wrong. Until he was alone with Hiccup, that is. Hiccup grimaced just thinking about going back home and having another so-called talk with his father.
He only felt a little guilty for how he left things with his dad before he left for the island. But not enough to apologize. Not yet. Until his father had seen the island for himself- which he never wanted to happen- then he couldn't talk about it. He had no idea what was happening out there...
Hiccup sighed. "He didn't want anyone to go back to the island," he told her. "He tried to stop me from leaving. He might even try again..." He stared ahead of him, lost in thought and worry.
Normally, it was Hiccup who would be the one to ask questions about the dragons and the island but she missed them so much that she could barely contain herself. More than anything, she wanted to make sure that Stormfly was alright. She must have been concerned when Astrid didn’t take the trip to the island with him and she wondered if she understood that her absence would only be temporary. If it was up to her, she’d be going back to the island with Hiccup next time he went.
She seemed to release all the tension from her shoulders when Hiccup told her that Stormfly was okay and she smiled when he told her that he had managed to use the suit successfully several times now. Astrid reached out for his hand and squeezed it gently. “That’s amazing Hiccup. I bet it feels…incredible.” When he talked about training other dragons she nodded. “We’ll be back to it in no time.”
She let go of his hand and brought her legs up and lay them over Hiccup’s lap and leaned herself back slightly. “Things have been…quiet. I’ve not really had anyone to talk to beside my parents and Gothi and she doesn’t exactly talk.” She laughed and shook her head. “Your Dad has come to see me a few times. He kept telling me that you would be so proud of the progress I made this week. He hasn’t said anything to anyone but it’s not my place to talk to him about any of this either. I’m surprised that he hasn’t asked me any questions.”
Hiccup's heart races when she kissed him back. He had intended it to be short and quick but wasn't about to complain when she deepened the kiss. He still, even after these last few months, was completely unaware of how he had come to be the one to kiss Astrid. Him! The premature runt. The dragon obsessed, geeky child who grew up wanting chemistry sets instead of video games. How did Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third wind up locking lips with Astrid Hofferson?
He leaned into the kiss, smiling through it until she finally pulled away. He glanced at her with a worried expression, but she seemed to be fine. And then the questions came and he laughed.
"They're fine. Stormfly misses you. I gave her extra attention, though... plenty of chicken. And- yes. I've used it successfully several times now. Turns out I just needed to make adjustments to the wing span and Toothless's tail fin. I... didn't do much else. Didn't want to start training anything again too soon..."
He leaned his head against the back of the couch and looked at her. "How are things here...? Had my dad completely disowned me publicly yet?" As he asked this his fingers started to play with a frayed hole in the knee of his jeans.
Astrid was just glad that her being out of the house had not turned into an argument and she was also glad that he had not asked how she knew that he was even pulling in to the harbour. While he had been upset with her for simply being out of the house, she didn’t want to think about how he might react if he knew that she had tackled the huge hill that they had climbed together around New Year.
“I can walk Hiccup. I just wanted to be outside for a little while. No damage done.” She smiled towards him as they approached her door. She felt slightly nervous in case her parents were home and already panicking about where she might be but when she called out, it was clear that she had managed to escape their anger. She let out a relieved sigh and the two made their way into the living room after she removed her jacket and hung it in its usual spot.
When they were both settled into the sofa, Hiccup told her that he wouldn’t tell her parents that she had left the house as long as she promised not to do it again. She nodded and allowed their kiss to act as the binding clause of their agreement. Astrid spent the next few minutes just kissing him as though she was making up for the entire week that they had spent apart. She only pulled away when her stomach punished her for leaning over too much.
“How are they? Toothless and Stormfly? Did you manage to perfect your suit yet? Tell me everything.”
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