After a few more days Astrid was slowly starting to regain her strength and was finding it more and more difficult to stay laying in bed. It took a lot of convincing for her to get Hiccup to help her out of bed the first time but even a two minute walk around her room or in the hallway seemed to elevate her mood massively and he soon realised that it was good for her to start moving about.
The best part about the progress they had made was that they could finally share a bed together again. It had never felt quite right sleeping without him and she was glad that they found a way to be close to each other again without risking any further damage to her stomach. She kept telling Hiccup how much she was missing the island and how she needed to get back to Stormfly and she knew hat Hiccup felt the same about Toothless. She had planned to talk to him about all of that at some point. He shouldn’t miss out because she couldn’t go.
After another week passed she was glad that she could finally start eating properly again. She had lost some weight in the time that she had been bed-ridden and she could see it in her face more than anything. She just wanted to get back to being herself but she was even more happy now that Gothi allowed her to see their friends. Hiccup had helped her downstairs so that she didn’t have to have crowds of people in her room and she was glad for the change of scenery around her. He still kept her wrapped up in blankets and wouldn’t let anyone sit next to her but she knew that he was just being cautious. It felt awkward at first, seeing everyone, because she knew that they felt guilty about everything but she reassured them that she didn’t blame any of them and that she was glad that she could see everyone again now.
It was still a little strange to her that she had grown to care for everyone as much as she did but it really meant a lot to her that they were all here now. Astrid also enjoyed Stoick’s company for a while. He didn’t mention anything about what he had seen and only showed concern for her health rather than allowing the tension between him and Hiccup affect anything.
After a couple of hours of company Astrid told Hiccup that she was getting tired now and he politely excused everyone so that she could get some rest and when the last person left she let out a sigh. Upon Hiccup’s return she smiled towards him and patted the sofa next to her so that he would come and sit down for a minute. “You know Hiccup...you could go back to the island with the gang.” She paused for a momebt to take in the expression upon his face. “I’m so worried about them. They haven’t been without us for this long before and I can see how much you are missing Toothless. I’ve got my parents and Gothi here...”
Hiccup was willing to do just about anything for Astrid as long as it meant she wasn't in pain. They watched the movie in comfortable silence and eventually Hiccup felt Astrid's breathing slow and her head grow heavy on his shoulder. Even when the movie ended he didn't have the heart to move and wake her.
Once in a while her parents would come to check on them. They seemed to trust Hiccup whole heartedly with their daughter, and Hiccup was glad for that because it meant that they could rest now as well.
With Gothi's help, Astrid healed a little more every day. Astrid got sick of laying down so he took her for short walks in the hallway outside her room. And when he did take her back to bed, he would often help her lay in different positions since laying on her back had become uncomfortable. In fact, they discovered a way of sleeping where they could share the bed and there was no risk to Astrid's wound. He kept her wrapped up tightly in blankets so that there was constant padding. That way he could get however close he wanted to even in his sleep. He would often tell her that it was time to "put on her bubble wrap". He could tell she hated being babied, but once the shock of the entire situation were off, Hiccup was rather enjoying himself taking care of her. And he could tell that she was glad that they found a way to be close.
After about another week, Gothi informed them that Astrid could start eating solid food again and that she was going to be getting better and better every day. It was only then that she allowed the others to come see her. Hiccup had helped her down the stairs and to the sofa for a change of scenery and the whole group came shoving their way through the door. Even Stoick dropped by to see how she was doing. The air was still tense between father and son, but they both shoved it away for Astrid's sake.
The moment he realised she was cold he started to remedy that by pulling the extra blankets around her and he instantly moved towards the television to put something on. When he turned towards her she nodded. “This is perfect babe.” She said with a smile before he crawled onto the bed so that she could lesn against him. It wasn’t exactly the closeness she wanted or needed from him but at least she could feel him besides her now.
Astrid let out a happy sigh and looked up at Hiccup. “This is so much better than laying here by myself.” Astrid snuggled her head into his shoulder and watched the film as long as she could before her body decided that it was time for her to get some more sleep. If she was at all able to control it she would have told herself that she had plenty of sleep but her body was helping and clearly decided that she needed more.
After half an hour she was fast asleep leaning comfortably against Hiccup. She loved him with all her heart and she would be forever grateful for the effort he was going to to make sure that she was looked after.
Hiccup started to pull more blankets from the foot of the bed up towards them as she spoke. He nodded and gave her an apologetic look. "I know you do..." He hated to see her like this. If it weren't for her own good he would have pulled her out of bed himself. He leaned in to kiss her cheek as he pulled the blankets around her shoulders.
"Just- just stay right there. I'll put something on," he told her after she suggested a movie. He moved to her small television and selected a movie that he knew wasn't too exciting. He wanted her to be able to drift back to sleep if she needed to. "Is this okay?"
He crawled back onto the bed beside her, wrapping an arm around her and the blankets he had covered her in so that her head could rest on his shoulder. He didn't even care that it might put his arm to sleep.
Astrid laughed and watched as Hiccup took away the left over food from in front of her. She thought that she was doing a good job of hiding how much all of this frustrated her but Hiccup detected it in an instant.
“I guess I’m a little cold. I hadn’t really noticed.” She said as a shiver ran through her. Astrid smiled towards him as he spoke. “I hate this. You have no idea how hard this is for me. I just want to get out of bed and go about a normal day.” Astrid let out a sigh and moved her hand to her eye to wipe at a tear that had threatened the corner of her eye.
She smiled and shook her head and she tried to stop herself from showing her emotions. “I’m sorry.” She sighed and looked into his eyes. “Anyway, Let’s stop this pity party. What had we got in here to help pass the time? Any films you haven’t seen?”
Hiccup was glad he had managed to put his foot in his mouth in time. And he was relieved that Astrid didn't ask about his strange words. He had no idea where the thought had even come from. They had had an entire conversation about it before... he thought they were on the same page... but almost losing Astrid like this... It made him want to prove just how much he wanted her in his life. As if she might forget.
When she spoke, his worry washed away for the time being and he smiled at her. "And your mom wanted to make you a ten course meal," he said with a soft chuckle. He set his plate aside and helped Astrid do the same with her bowl so she didn't hurt herself in the process. "Just take it easy for now." He gingerly felt her forehead and face with his long fingers. "Are you cold? You feel cold." He could sense her emotions and he looked at her, brows furrowed. "Astrid. Let me take care of you. You spend so much time taking care of the rest of us, it's time I did the same."
For a moment, their kiss deepened as far as it could without the two getting too close. She didn’t even care if she got hurt in the process, she just wanted him to be pressed up against her. Maybe then everything would feel right again. When they finally parted she let out a sigh and looked into his eyes as his forehead was left rested against hers.
He joked with her for a moment and she laughed with him, knowing that she could not take offence to what he had just said. It was so obvious that he was merely joking with her. After a minute or two, his smile faded and there was a new intensity left in his eyes. The two stared into each other’s eyes for a moment and her breath caught in her throat and her heart quickened as it always did when she [i felt] the love coming from him.
When he started to speak again she was overcome with confusion for a moment, wondering what could possibly make him sound crazy. He had a seriousness to her voice that worried her slightly but she wasn’t about to find out what he was going to say. Instead, there was a knock at the door and her mother interrupted them. Astrid smiled towards her mother and Hiccup pulled away from her so that she could bring in their food. She made a fuss of the two of them for a minute, claiming that they both looked better for having a good night sleep.
When she left Hiccup didn’t hesitate to eat his food and she laughed at him. She wasn’t going to press him for what he was going to say. Instead she enjoyed the food her mother had brought in. By the time she was done she noticed that she had only managed a few mouth-fulls. “I guess that it’s going to take a while for me to get my appetite back.”
Hiccup smiled a bit wider as she spoke. He knew she was right. He didn't think he could ever give up Astrid [i or] the island. When she kissed him again he sighed deeply and wanted nothing more than to pull her close. He opened his eyes once more when they parted and he pressed his forehead against her.
"For life? Forever? I dont know... now that I think about it..." he was smirking again, obviously joking once again in an attempt to lighten the mood. But the smile faded and he was left looking into her eyes with all the love that he possessed.
"Astrid... I-I know this might sou d crazy. An-and maybe I am! But... I've been thinking..."
[i Knock knock.]
Hiccup swallowed his words. Astrid's mother poked her head inside and held a tray of soup for Astrid and some eggs for Hiccup. After a long while of her mother fussing about and making sure her daughter was fine, she left them to eat. Hiccup's face was burning and he looked down at the food, his appetite gone. Was he really just about to ask Astrid to...? He decided to shove the food into his mouth despite not feeling hungry. That way he wouldn't be able to speak any more and make a fool of himself.
She barely felt Hiccup push her back onto the bed so that she was no longer sitting up too far but she did feel the pressure release from her stomach that told her she was no longer in too much pain. By the time they pulled apart Hiccup was just above her, holding his weight above her so that he couldn’t possibly hurt her. She shook her head as he spoke and brought her hand up to his face.
“Stop.” She said softly. The last thing she wanted was for Hiccup to give up on the island and the dragons. She wasn’t sure what she would do herself if he threw it all away because she got hurt once. “But...I didn’t die. I’m still here. Hiccup what happened...it was an accident. It could have happened anywhere. Maybe not getting impaled by a dragon but...accidents can happen anywhere. You are not going to lose me. I promise.” She pressed his lips against his again.
“You are pretty much stuck with me for life. I’m yours forever. I already promised you that.”
"Hey, you were asleep for most of it," he joked and leaned in to let their lips meet. He gently pushed her back so she would stop hurting herself just to kiss him and when they parted, they remained close. She whispered against his lips and he closed his eyes, knowing what was coming. When she finally pulled back to finish, he averted his gaze.
"But it's true isn't it?" His voice was soft. Almost a whisper itself. "If I had never..." He stopped himself. He knew that if they had never gone to the island then he would never have met Toothless. He and Astrid would never have realized they were a perfect pair. Hiccup would have never found the proof that he wasn't insane... "If you had died... I dont know what I would have done. Astrid, I-I can't lose you. But I also cant give up the island... so just... do me a favor and don't scare me like this ever again," he said with an unconvincing scolding voice and a soft smile.
She didn’t believe him for a second. She knew that even though the gang joked about a lot, they still cared and she was sure that they were all worried about her and it sounded as though they were all blaming themselves. “I know Gothi only means well but...Hiccup I need to see them. I need them to know that I’m okay and this is not their fault. I can’t imagine what you have all been through this week.” Astrid had tears threatening the corner of her eyes but she blinked them back so that they didn’t fall down her cheeks.
When he made his way towards her she smiled and laughed at his comment and met his face with her own hand. “I missed you so much. I never want to be apart from you every again.” Astrid couldn’t stop herself from moving towards him. She worked through the pain and pressed her lips against his. Astrid whispered against him, “I love you so much. Promise me something?” She asked as she pulled back from him. “Promise me that you will stop feeling guilty about this. It’s not your fault.”
Hiccup sighed again. Somehow, even in her weakened state, Astrid still managed to give Hiccup confidence that everything would be alright in the end. He shook his head.
"They're... fine," Hiccup lies, but he could tell immediately that she didn't buy it. "Gothi said you're not supposed to have visitors for a couple more days. Too much excitement and all... Snotlout and the twins have been playing it off with jokes as usual, but I can tell they're worried. Fishlegs has been... well he hardly has any fingernails left after biting at them for a week. He feels the worst about all of this..."
He looked back at her. Even with her dark circles and shrunken face she was still beautiful. He got into his hands and knees and worked his way up the bed to sit beside her. He couldn't bear to not have her in his arms anymore.
"I miss those round, rosy cheeks," he said softly with a smile and a thumb over the side of her face.
“I need a wash though. I feel disgusting. I’m getting to that bathroom in the next couple of days whether you like it or not.” She said with a laugh and he pressed a kiss against her head before disappearing into the bathroom to get her some more water. When he returned he handed her the glass and she drank the whole glass in a matter of seconds as he took a set on the bed. She wanted nothing more than for him to curl up next to her and hold her close.
She nodded when he asked about her memory. She didn’t want to worry him but she wanted to know what happened. It made sense and as he spoke she could vaguely remember some of what he was saying. She shook her head slightly. “I would never leave you. I’m sorry I put you through that. I...” She sighed and bit her lip. “You don’t have to tell them anything. I will talk to them. As for your Dad, we will talk to him together.”
Astrid squeezed his hand again and looked up towards him. “How are the rest of the gang. They don’t blame themselves do they? I want to see them.”
Hiccup smiles and shook his head as if to tell her that she was right about being unable to take a shower. "I guess the good news is that I love you even when you stink," he managed to joke. He squeezed her hand and stood up the rest of the way before taking the cup on the bedside table in his hand. He kissed her forehead once more before heading to her bathroom to get more water, but not before using the bathroom.
When he returned and handed the glass to her, he sat back down next to her on the bed. He bit his lip for a moment, playing with his hands before looking at her again. "So... you dont remember what happened?" When that much was confirmed, Hiccup sighed and began to walk her through all that had happened, hoping that it wouldn't catch her off guard. "I-I thought you were going to die. And now... now my dad knows about... well, everything. And I have no idea what to tell your parents..." his hands found his face again and he heaved a heavy sigh.
She couldn’t imagine what he must had been going through while she was asleep and she couldn’t help but feel guilty. “I’m so sorry Hiccup. I didn’t mean to scare you. I-I still don’t really know what...happened.” Astrid let out a sigh and looked up towards him as he moved slightly, listing lots of things that he could possibly do for her.
She let out a laugh and shook her head. “Honestly, I just want a shower but I know that’s probably out of the question. I’m really okay babe.” She smiled as he pressed his lips to her head. “More water would be good though.”
Astrid squeezes his hand gently and told him that she loved him again. She felt so lucky to have him in her life but she couldn’t even explain how frustrating she found it to have to have someone to look after her.
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