Hiccup slowly opened his eyes, relieved to see that Astrid was smiling. He looked at her from under his lashes, not quite knowing how to make this situation less awkward. Fortunately, he didn't need to. Astrid managed to clear the air- at least mostly- with her joke and Hiccup nodded and even added in a good eyeroll.
"Yeah, I know," he told her. They heard his father moving around downstairs. Now it would just be awkward to continue what they had started.
He felt a little empty when she pulled her hand away, but he knew it was for the best. He stood up slowly, offering her a hand up. "Well... it's probably best to call it a night," he told her, chewing on his lip and running a hand through his hair. How on earth was he supposed to face her tomorrow morning without thinking about the fact that he had almost [i kissed] her?
It really sunk in in that moment. He- Hiccup Haddock- and almost [i kissed] Astrid Hofferson. [i Astrid Hofferson]. If Snotlout found out, he'd probably crush his bones with his bare hands.
Hiccup shook the grizzly thought from his head, reminding himself that he'd never been afraid of Snotlout before, so why start?
"Uh- wh-what time should we meet tomorrow?"
So what if she had been the prom queen at school. Did any of that even matter? It certainly didn’t to her but then it was true what people said about high school continuing behind the years of service. She was almost sure that if anyone saw them now hey might have had something to say about it. That didn’t mater to her though. All that mattered was that over the last few days she had gotten to know Hiccup. The real Hiccup and there was nothing she could do to stop herself for liking who he was.
He was funny and honest and perhaps one of the most caring people she had met. There was no one quite like him and while he seemed to see that as his flaw, it was the very thing that attracted her to him. It made her smile when he finally seemed to accept what she said and the silence between them was more intense now. The two had been locked in a stare that could only have one possible ending and as he moved forward, she allowed herself to move closer to him. Even though she hadn’t expected to be say here kissing Hiccup, in that moment that was all she wanted to do.
But it seemed fate had other plans as the two of them were forced back from each other as the sound of Stoic’s voice filled the silence. For a moment she stared blankly, wondering what might have happened if he hadn’t turned up out of the blue. Her heart beat had quickened for a different reason now and when she took a moment to look at Hiccup’s face she could help but let out a quite chuckle. She placed her hand on his as if to let him know that it was okay to open his eyes and she shook her head in humour.
“I think he possibly has the worst timing in the entire world.” Her voice was low, in a reassuring whisper before she took back her hand.
Hiccup laughed at that. Not at Astrid for having said it, but at the thought of them actually being... something... in high school.
"You were prom queen," he told her, looking at her with raised eyebrows. "I didn't even [i go] to prom. And, even if I did, I sincerely doubt the school would consider me your equal," he chuckled. "Besides, I'm really bad at dancing." How had he gotten to this subject so quickly? What was he trying to even say? When she looked at him like that, it's like his mind started to fry and he couldn't think straight.
"I-! What I'm trying to say is... yeah," he gave in, looking back at her with a small smile. "You're probably right." He couldn't look away now. Not with her staring back like she was. [i Oh god, oh god,] he panicked. He was brave, right? He... he could do this. [i It's just...] His heart was going to explode. [i A little...] He leaned in slightly, hoping he wasn't about to make a fool of himself. [i Kiss...]
"Hiccup! I'm home! Are you here?" He nearly jumped right out of his skin. Why did his dad [i always] manage to have the [i worst. Timing.]
"Y-yeah! I'm here! I- I'm home!" he shouted back after he found his voice, though it was slightly shaky and he felt incredibly stupid. He squeezed his eyes shut, unable to face the look that might be on Astrid's face, at least for a moment. She had to know what just almost happened... Right?
She had hoped that she didn’t make him feel uncomfortable with her words and the silence that fell between them for a moment was clearly an indication of his processing of what she had said. Astrid didn’t understand why she couldn’t just be straight-forward with him and tell him exactly how she felt but the very thought of if caused her throat to close up slightly and her heart beat to quicken.
It seemed he found his voice again and started to reflect on the high school version of herself and along with it admitted that he had a crush on her while they were in school. She blushed slightly and laughed as he said it. Her laugh wasn’t one that was directed at him but it was born from the nerves that she suddenly began to feel.
“I’m glad I know you too.” She returned his smile and let her eyes linger s little bit longer than she had expected. “For what it’s worth I think we would have been a great pair.”
When she pulled away, Hiccup didn't meet her eyes at first. Her words sent his heart beating wildly and he was sure that looking at her might give him a heart attack. But she managed to find his field of view and he finally met her gaze.
"Thanks..." he said, almost a whisper. He didn't know what else to say. No one had ever said anything like that to him before. He didn't know how true the words were, but he appreciated them nonetheless. [i Any girl would be lucky to have you,] she'd said. He wrung his hands together. Did that mean what he thought it meant? He thought about making a joke to change the mood so he didn't feel so exposed in this moment, but part of him didn't want to feel safe. Part of him wanted to burst. To tell Astrid that he liked everything about her. Her determination, her drive, her sense of humor. Her love for those around her. Her sense of right from wrong. Her eyes... But that would be insane? Wouldn't it?
"And... for the record," he started again, hoping he could get the words out, "Snotloud [i is] an ass. But even [i he] can see that you're someone special. I think- I think you were so popular in school because you always seemed to know what you wanted. And every boy wanted to be a part of that," he said, shrugging and looking at the rug. "I don't know a single kid in middle school who didn't have a massive crush on you." His mouth turned up in a grin. "In...cluding myself..." he admitted. "Of course at the time I hardly knew you but... I'm glad I do now," he said, turning to her, his smile still on his face.
Astrid laughed as he started talking about how stagnant and shot him a look that told him to stop talking. His sarcasm did make her laugh though so it wasn’t as though she had actually frustrated or annoyed with him. At this point, with her head resting on his shoulder, she couldn’t really see his face so she couldn’t quite see the face he pulled. As she listened, she pulled her own face. She didn’t like the fact that he seemed to put himself down so much. Maybe people didn’t take him seriously but that was mostly because the people of Berk were ignorant and barely had time to get to know anyone.
Before she could say anything in return he cleared his throat and threw the question back at her. “Okay, you don’t remember me being with anyone because I haven’t. Most people around her are exactly like Snotlout and as we have already figured out…he is an ass.” She laughed for a minute before continuing to speak, still allowing her head to rest on his shoulder. “Secondly, I for one think that any girl would be lucky to have you. Any girl who isn’t willing to put up with every little quirky aspect of you is not worth your time anyway.” She smiled before lifting his head and looked towards him. “I hope you know that I take you seriously.” Astrid paused for a moment, looking into his eyes so that he could see her sincerity. “You are pretty special. At least to me.”
Hiccup chuckled as they looked outside. "Weeeell, technically no one can make time pass any faster or slower, it's pretty stagnant. Unless you're in space and-" he laughed again at the look she gave him. He was glad that their time together had managed to actually ease his nerves with her instead of heighten them. But that didn't stop the heat from rising to his face when she rested her head on his shoulder.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/Wrkre0R.gif]] "O-oh, I-" he hadn't expected that question. Somehow they had gone from simple, easy questions to this... He shrugged, making a face. "Weeell, uh. For one, I'm not so good at talking. And no girl would probably want to deal with all... [i this]..." he gestured to himself with an awkward chuckle. "Also, it doesn't help that I haven't been taken seriously since fifth grade," he added, joking at his own expense.
He cleared his throat. It also might have had to do with the fact that no one seemed to ever be interested in him romantically. If they had, Hiccup might have had at least a decent dating resume. He wasn't the kind to really confess how he felt. Which is what made the night before in his workshop so strange to him. It was so out of character, but being with Astrid made him feel a lot more courageous than usual. Except for right now. Right now he was wondering why she asked. Surely, she didn't feel anything for him in return... right?
"Uh, wh-what about you? I don't remember if you've ever- uh- you know... been with anyone."
It had been a long time since she had so much fun, especially since she usually got bored of games rather quickly. It seemed that she beat Hiccup at most the games and at one point she thought that he was perhaps letting her win but when he started his act. Astrid laughed hard as he started to laugh and the remained on the floor even after they had finished playing their games.
They spent time talking about anything and everything that came to their mind and she asked him lots of random questions about silly things like his favourite movie or band. By the time they finished talking she noticed that it was starting to go dark outside and she smiled and pointed towards the window.
“We succeeded. We made the time pass!” She said with a laugh as she brought her head to rest on his shoulder. They seemed to have shifted next to each other as they spoke. “Okay, last question. Why have I never seen you with a girl huh?”
Hiccup smirked at her response, trying and failing to ignore the contact their knees made. "Me neither," he confessed before laughing. "Not if I kick yours first," he threatened, choosing a game at random and setting it up.
They spent the next couple of hours playing the games. Astrid beat him at almost every one. He found himself complaining at one point, pure humor in his voice. "What will my dad say?" he asked, feigning worry. "Son!" He put on a deep voice, throwing a finger up in the air. "How dare you lose Sorry! [i and] Trouble! That hasn't happened in a [i thousand] years! Your viking ancestors would be so ashamed!" He could hold up the facade anymore and he leaned back, laughing.
When they finally exhausted their choices of board games, they pushed the boxes aside. They managed to keep the music going, putting in a new CD any time one ended and they resorted to simply talking to pass the time. Hiccup learned a lot about Astrid in that time. Even small things, like her favorite color and food. When the sun started to set outside his window, he couldn't help but be rather disappointed. Even though he was excited to leave for the island the next day, he also didn't want his time with Astrid to end so soon.
The truth is that he had rarely ever talked so long with someone. He usually started to feel like he was annoying someone when they asked about his interests, but Astrid had seemed intrigued and he hope he returned the favor in kind.
Music was always something that she was interested in. She watched as he moved towards the closet and pulled out some music. She closed her eyes and quickly selected something to put on in the background, not really caring too much about what the music was. Anything would have been fine at this point.
As he lowered himself to the floor she moved to sit in front of him and the boxes. Their knees met as she crossed them and she tried to ignore it. “No, I love board games.” She smiled as she reached for one of them. “I must warn you though, it’s been a ridiculously long time since I have played any of these.” She looked up into his eyes and smiled. “Ready to get your ass kicked?”
Hiccup laughed awkwardly. "Well, no, not exactly." He spun in his computer chair, looking for something to do. Racking his brain, he finally stood.
"I've got tons of music," he told her, gesturing to a cardboard box under the small table that held his boombox. He turned away to move to his closet and pulled the door open. "You can put something on if you want." He reached up to his top shelf, pulling down several large, flat boxes, hoping she might take him up on his music offer. It might make the silence less deafening.
He turned back around and sat cross legged on the floor, dropping the boxes in front of him on his rug. "Voila," he said. "It's not much... but it's just about all I got." The board games were dusty and hadn't seen the light of day for years. It wasn't as if he and his father ever played together, anyway. "Unless you've got a better idea. Which I'm really all ears," he said with a chuckle.
She nodded, understanding exactly what he meant. Astrid looked around for somewhere to sit and since he was sitting on the chair the only place she could sit was his bed. She looked back towards Hiccup before lowering herself on the bed, waiting to see if there was any objection to her doing so.
“My room hasn’t changed either. I got a bigger desk and a bigger bed a few years back but other than that it’s just a room.” She placed her hand either side of her and sat back a little bit, trying to relax slightly. She looked around the room once more, taking in the little trinkets that were scattered around the room.
“So, you said we could find something to do in here?” She asked with a raised eyebrow. “Are we planning on reading?” Astrid laughed as she looked towards the books. “I can do that at the library.”
Hiccup watched nervously as Astrid's eyes wandered his room. He took another long sip from his can to distract himself until she spoke. "Oh, uh... thanks," he said with a bashful grin. "I mean. Home is home, I guess." He had no idea what he meant by that. But he was just realizing that Astrid was the first girl to ever step foot inside and that made his thoughts a little blurry.
He couldn't believe he was acting like a middle school boy. He was an [i adult] now! Why should it matter that there was a girl in his room? Perhaps it was because he had become so wrapped around this specific girl's finger in the last couple of days. But he wouldn't admit that to himself. And especially to her.
"To be honest it hasn't changed much," he admitted, sitting on the chair in front of his drawing desk. "This is pretty much what it's looked like my whole life. Just less toys and more books, now."
He sneaked a look at her, hoping she wasn't going to find anything she hated.
“I could not work in that kind of environment. I am surprised you lasted as long as you did. Pouring pints and listening to drunkards is literally one of the last things I would ever want to do. Drunk people suck and believe me I have had my fair share of experiences with those type of people.” Astrid’s friends often liked to drink a little too much and that was never really her style. She didn’t mind the odd beverage but getting wasted not something she had ever experienced or wanted to experience.
When they arrived at his house he went straight to the fridge to get a couple of drinks and she thanked him before taking a sip herself. A sigh escaped her lips as he mentioned that the only things they would find to do would be in his room. The moment he said that her cheeks flushed a light shade of pink. She knew that he meant that perfectly innocently but she couldn’t help but smirk slightly, find the humour in what he said even if he hadn’t realised. Instead of dwelling on it she nodded and followed him.
The room pretty much mirrored Hiccup’s personality, slightly cluttered but so sort of order to it. She wasn’t quite sure what she was expecting to find but she was always convinced that a boy’s room would usually be covered in dirty clothes and stink of gym socks. This was the exact opposite.
“You’ve got some cool stuff in here.”
Hiccup couldn't help the grin that came to his face when she agreed. "I can't promise it'll go by any faster, but at least we can watch the hours tick by together," he joked and soon enough they were on their way to his house.
On the way, Hiccup updated Astrid on quitting his job for this. "To be honest, I'm relieved. I don't know how many more pints of beer I could pour before I just wanted to drown myself in one," he confessed. "And [i Gobber]. Always talking to the regulars and leaving everyone else to me. He'll have trouble without me, but maybe that won't be such a bad thing."
Soon enough, they arrived and he pushed open the door. Just as he had suspected, his father was off at work. Hiccup made his way to the fridge and pulled out a couple cans of soda. He tossed one to Astrid, a smile still playing on his face.
He cracked it open and took a long swig before wiping his mouth on his sleeve. "I-uh... My room is upstairs. If we're going to find anything to do, it'll be there. Down here is really my dad's territory..." he said with a shrug.
[i What were you thinking? Bringing her to your house? To your ROOM?] Hiccup was ready to die and he hoped he hadn't left his room in complete disorder. Luckily, it was only about as messy as his workshop. And at least he hadn't left his clothes lying about like usual. He had a large bookshelf that was overflowing. He had to start stacking them beside the shelf since he ran out of space. In one corner was a tilted drawing desk with a half completed skyline drawn in charcoal. His bed was the one he'd had since he was in his early teens. He was far too cramped in it, but it wasn't something he bothered complaining about. The rest of his room was full of knick-knacks he'd made, an old boom box, and a trunk full of sentimental items he hadn't looked at in years.
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