It took only a short while to get to the other island and before they knew it they were diving down through the large openings in the earth. They climbed off their dragons backs and Valka was already there, arms open to take Astrid into her arms.
Astrid updated her on the news about Gyda and as they embraced Hiccup watched fondly. He had never stopped being grateful that the two had found friendship years ago.
Upon her remark to Astrid's diet, Hiccup nodded before Valka turned to hug him as well. "I tried to get her to eat more, but... She's stubborn as always." When they pulled away, she offered him a kiss on his forehead, moving the hair away for a moment. He offered her a soft smile.
He thought about telling her just how they had come to cure Gyda. How Hiccup's hours in the library copying everything he could get his hands on for Fishlegs turned into the key for her survival. But he knew that she might take issue with them having taken something they couldn't explain away back to Berk, even though he knew she wouldn't have complained for long since it meant Gyda was alive. He chose to stay silent, however. What she didn't know wouldn't hurt her. Words she had said over and over about his father not knowing she was alive even though he saw him hurt every day he was back on Berk.
"Anything happen while we were away?" he asked her and together they stepped up to the drop off to look at the sea of dragons there. He was trying to work up his courage to tell her that they were going to set a date. In about a year... they would be married. God, why didn't they set the date first?
He realized that Valka was talking and he tuned in too late, but it seemed like she was just giving him the normal updates anyway.
"Hiccup?" She was suddenly concerned. "You look... distracted. What's wrong?"
Hiccup swallowed and his mouth became a thin line as he thought for a moment.
"I-um... Astrid and I-" He looked over to her for support. "We... we're going to set a date. We're giving it a year."
At first she didn't seem to understand what he was talking about. And then it all clicked. Her eyes went wide and a huge smile came to her face. "Well, that's wonderful! It's about time!"
Hiccup had to avert his eyes. He didn't know what he was expecting or hoping for. But this... He nodded and tried to seem pleased with her response.
The four of them took to the skies as soon as they were able to and Hiccup ensured that the rest of the group new exactly where they were going. It was a common occurrence for them to go to the island where Valka resided but none of them had been. They had all decided that the island where The Protectors were, remained protected. Even from their friends.
Astrid was sure that Valka would be happy to learn that Gyda was no longer sick and that she was recovering well thanks to some of their ancient history but she felt nervous about telling her that they had finally decided they were going to set a date. Hiccup was right, she knew that Valka never really expected to be at the wedding, even though she had spent a lot of time talking about it with them and it saddened her to think that there was still the potential that she might not be there. However, even though Hiccup [I said] they would get married with or without her, a small part of her felt as though they never would if she wasn’t there.
When they arrived on the island, Valka was already waiting for them after seeing them in the sky and as she jumped off Stormfly’s back Valka moved towards her, embracing her as though she were offering her emotional support.
“She’s okay Valka. She’s better now.” She said with a smile but leaning into her. Astrid enjoyed their relationship now. Once they had gotten passed her anger they really bonded. She was a good friend and a second mother to her and she knew that Hiccup also appreciated that. When their embrace came to an end she placed her hands on her shoulder and stepped back slightly, looking her over.
“You’ve not been eating properly.” She said simply before moving towards Hiccup and pulling him into an embrace now.
Hiccup listened as he finished eating and he shrugged. "I... don't think she ever thought she'd [i be] at our wedding, Astrid. That's why it's been so hard to convince her to just tell Dad she's alive... But... I know she wants to be there."
His mother was something else entirely. She always had been, but ever since they found her again, her thought processes hardly seemed to make any sense to them. Hiccup and Astrid had long since stopped trying to understand her.
It wasn't long before Hiccup and Astrid were showering and changing into casual clothes for such a simple visit to his mother's island. Toothless and Stormfly returned and Hiccup was sure that they had some kind of sixth sense that told them when they'd be taking to the skies. Hiccup adjusted Toothless's harness and nodded. "Ready."
And with that, he took off through the door in the roof. When they were airborne he hovered a bit over camp looking for their friends. When he found their familiar faces he waved, shouting that they would be back soon. When the message was received, he and Astrid took off in the direction of the Protector's island.
After a very normal breakfast for the two of them Hiccup finally flare aside his project and brought up his mother. Astrid finished her last bit of food and nodded as he spoke before setting down the empty plate on her lap.
“I think she will want to know that my mom is okay.” She said as she lost herself in thought for a moment. “One thing I’ve never quite understood was how she kept pressuring us to hurry up and get married. Did she ever think how this might work...what with her wanting to keep pretending that she isn’t alive?” She knew that neither of them had the answer and neither of them seemed to understand why she wanted to keep things this way.
When Hiccup finished with his plate she took them both into the kitchen and started to ready herself for a journey to his mother’s island, starting with a shower and when she finished up there she changed into some comfortable jeans and suitable attire for the sun that they were experiencing.
Just as she finished getting ready Stormfly and Toothless returned as though they knew that their presence was required. “Just in time.” She said with a laugh, rubbing her hand down Stormfly’s nose as she rubbed against her.
“You ready Hiccup?”
Hiccup shrugged as he worked and chuckled. He didn't really have an answer for her, so he left it at that. She was right enough. He could never imagine himself growing to resent Astrid for anything. He just hoped it was the same for her.
When she finally returned to bed with two plates, Hiccup had her set his beside him so that he could keep working on his project. Every once in a while he would pick up a piece of sausage to bite into before licking his fingers and going back to tinkering. Eventually, two pieces soon became one and he was satisfied enough to lay the project aside and pick up what was left of his plate.
"We should probably so see my mother today," he said between bites. "Just to let her know that everything is alright back home. And to... let her know the news, I guess."
Just before she walked away she caught sight of Hiccup looking st her as though he was regretting letting her get out of bed in the first place and she shook her head as she walked away. “Don’t look at me like that or we might never leave this cabin again.”
Astrid set to making some food, something that would serve as breakfast and lunch since it was now past a suitable time for breakfast. She was just glad that the others didn’t seem to bother them. Perhaps leaving him alone on the island for a while helped them become a little less reliant on Hiccup. As she tinkered in the kitchen, Hiccup tinkered with one of his many projects in bed and conversed with her to pass the time.
She let out a laugh when he asked his question and she stopped what she was doing for a moment to look at him. “I’ve not grown to resent you yet and I don’t think that’s ever going to change Hiccup. As long as I have you I will be happy for the rest of my life. How could you even ask that?” Although she knew that he asked the question more to humour himself rather than it being something he was genuinely concerned about, she couldn’t see any time when they might come to resent each other.
Astrid tutted and got back to making food and before long she had served up two plates and they sat in bed enjoying the food and the company, trying to make the moment last as long as possible.
"Please go with flattered," he begged jokingly after their kiss. Apparently that's what she decided to go with because she let him trace kisses across her jaw and without a word spoken about it they fell into a morning a romance. Neither seemed to mind the heat, even when they made love. In fact, they didn't seem at all bothered because they spent most of the morning wrapped up in each other, taking breaks only long enough to get their stamina back.
They hadn't been able to act like this for some time. Since before Astrid's mother had taken ill. Of course there was no one to blame for that, but with the plans for their wedding on the horizon and how much they missed this... it was no surprise that Astrid didn't make it out of bed until well past noon.
He watched her throw on one of his larger shirts and smiled, biting his lip at the sight. He sat in bed still, covering himself up with one of the sheets before pulling out a small project from the bedside table to tinker with as she set about making food.
"We're... not gonna be one of those old married couple's that grows to resent each other, are we?" he asked, mostly because the thought was humorous. He worked on his small project, whatever it may be this time, and glanced up at her every so often.
Astrid chuckled as Hiccup complemented her. He always found a way to tell her she was beautiful and she had grown to quite enjoy the compliments now where she had once been so unused to them. Within a matter of second he was pulling her hands away from his eyes so that he could look at her once more and she met his smile with her own before he pressed his lips against hers.
“Careful, all the thinking will hurt your head. It’s all you seem to be doing lately. As for spacing out at my face, I’m not sure if I’m offended or flattered.” She giggled just before her closed the distance between their lips once more. These were her favourite kinds of mornings. Normally she would have left the bed and got up to make breakfast but on that particular morning she seemed to have an appetite for something else and the two fell into each other and made love for some time before they finally decided that they couldn’t lock themselves away in their cabin and make love all day, even if that’s all they wanted to do.
She placed a final kiss on his lips and pulled on one of Hiccup’a oversized shirts before she made her way to make some breakfast.
The next morning Hiccup slept in a bit longer than usual. When he woke, he wondered if all wedding planning was going to be that exhausting. Astrid was still asleep beside him and he debated on getting up to tend to thing around camp, but found himself wanting to simply lay there with her for a while longer.
Toothless and Stormfly had already taken off through the roof to go hunting, leaving them alone. Hiccup used the opportunity of privacy to watch her, unabashed, their wedding still on his mind. A few moments later and she was stirring. Her eyes opened and met his gaze.
He chuckled and let her place her hand over his eyes for a moment. "Don't you know it's a sin to be that beautiful when you're asleep?" he replied with a smirk before reaching his hand up to wrap around her wrist and pull her hand away from his eyes. He leaned in slowly to give her a morning kiss. "I was just thinking is all," he finally confessed. "And I just happened to space out at your face." He kissed her again.
She didn’t understand why hearing her full name like make had such an impact on her but it did. Maybe it was because in the space of a year he would no longer be calling her Astrid Hofferson. She smiled at the thought and nodded. “I want to set a date.” She spoke confidently, wanting to make sure he understood that she wanted this too. Astrid wanted to be his wife more than she wanted anything else.
When they go themselves comfortable once more she let out a sight and nestled herself into him, allowing her breathing to become heavy and her eyes to close, taking her into a deep sleep. Somehow, talking about such things had brought her some peace. Clearly she had these things on her mind without realising it before now.
The next day Astrid slept in, enjoying the feel of being tucked up next to a Hiccup and she was glad to find that he was still laying next to her when she woke that morning. There had been too many occasions recently where Hiccup had decided to get himself out of bed and out of the cabin early. He still resfused to wake her up when she seemed to be enjoying her sleep and if he could avoid it he would.
Astrid stirred slightly, opening her eyes only to find his already looking at her. She laughed and pulled her hand up to cover his eyes and spoke sleepily. “Don’t you know it’s weird to watch people while they sleep?”
Hiccup swallowed when she said his full name. Usually she saved that for moments when she was very in love with him or... when she was very upset with him. His heart stopped for a moment because unlike usual, he couldn't quite tell which one this was at first.
When she finished, he sighed softly and met her gaze. "Yes. Yes, it would make [i me] happy, Astrid Hofferson." He gave her a small smirk. "But only if you're alright with setting a date. We're a team."
When it was apparent that she was on board with this idea, he nodded and rolled onto his back once more. "Good. Then it's settled." He pulled her closer into his side and closed his eyes, letting out a deep breath. Now that some of his thoughts had been said aloud, he felt lighter. Ready to sleep. And sleep he did, deeply and happily.
As he reached out to move her hair, her heart skipped a beat as it always did. No matter how many years they have been together now, he still managed to take her breath away and affect the pace of her heart and she was glad for those small signs of their love for each other. She was sure that they would never fade and the thought of that brought a smile to her face.
When they lips met she let out a content sigh and her eyes closed in an instant. As much as she could have stayed like that, it was only a short kiss and Hiccup was talking again. A silence fell between them for a moment and her eyes flickered open once more, searching his.
“Hiccup Haddock. Always wanting to do things to make others happy. Would it make [i you] happy if we set a date?”
Hiccup laughed, knowing that everything she said was true. It was just like her mother to be eager about the dress. Sure, they could buy one off the rack, but they didn't exactly have many premade. It was tradition after all to have most of the dressmakers come together to make something for the bride-to-be. Hiccup knew that Astrid would be very particular and he enjoyed the thought of the women struggling to make the right dress.
"I'm sure you're right," he replied, knowing that his father especially would not have his son getting married in a soot covered apron, joke or no joke.
"Small it never possible on Berk," he agreed, moving a bit of hair from her face before sighing happily. He leaned in and kissed her lips softly. "Let's set a date tomorrow. It'll make everyone happy... And it will make it seem all the more real."
As usual, without even thinking about it, her legs seemed to become tangled with his and she wrapped herself around him like they did most nights. She could barely remember a time that he wasn’t there with her. In fact, they hadn’t spent so much as a night apart since she made Hiccup come back to the island when she was unable to herself.
“I know Berk isn’t exactly used to us being traditional...I mean we moved away [i and] we have been engaged longer than most people expected but I think my mother would have something to say to me if I didn’t wear a dress. It’s one of the reasons she is so excited about us getting married. Every time we see them she is asking when we can start shopping for a dress.” Astrid laughed and pressed a kiss onto his cheek. “I guess I won’t be keeping her waiting much longer. As for you wearing you blacksmiths apron...I think both of our parents would kill us if we allowed [i that] to happen.”
She laughed at the thought of her dad and Stoick hiding him from Gyda and Valka and trying to get him into a suit. “I suppose we don’t have much choice when it comes to what kind of wedding we want. I don’t think small is possible.”
Hiccup chuckled softly at her reaction and watched her go through the stages of accepting this news as she got up and got herself ready for bed. He propped himself up on his elbow as she set about getting changed.
"You... don't [i have] to wear a dress," he told her. It was strange to finally be talking about these small details. Like a normal couple getting married. [i Finally.] "I mean. It's not as if Berk isn't used to us breaking tradition," he joked once more as she climbed back into bed.
Though the summer heat kept them both hot, neither one could seem to stay away from each other. He didn't care about the added warmth. He wrapped his arm around her once more and lowered his head to the pillow.
"I-I mean, I was having trouble picturing myself in a suit. I'd just as soon wear my blacksmith's apron."
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