Hiccup smiled at her words, though a bit sadly. His thumb worked circles on her hand. "For a while there I wasn't so sure... it's been over a week and I- I was..." he struggled to find the words and his brows knitted together as they always did when he was worried. He swallowed hard. "I thought I might never hear your voice again..."
He moved himself then, growing from siding cross legged to getting on his knees. He leaned in to press his lips to Astrid's forehead. "Do you need anything? More water? More blankets?" He spoke so softly with nothing but care in his voice. "Should I get Gothi? Or you parents?"
He obviously was at a loss. It's not like he had ever cared for a wounded girlfriend before.
Astrid detected movement to the side of her and watched as Hiccup moved closer to her. His sigh was enough to tell her that he wasn’t exactly over the moon to find her sitting up in bed by herself. Astrid reaches out and ran a hand across his cheek when he rested his chin on the edge of the bed.
“You were asleep. I wasn’t about to wake you up to help be sit up.” She smiled for a moment and processed what he said about her accident. It hadn’t come back to her yet but at least now she had a slight explanation about the pain coming from her stomach. She sighed and watched Hiccup as he started to wake up a little more.
When his eyes met hers again, his gaze was intense and was full of love. It was so clear that he had been so worried about her this past week. If she had any doubt of his feelings for her, they would have been completely eradicated now. Astrid looked down at his hand as it took hold of her own and smiled as his words.
“I love you too. I’m never going to leave you. I hope you know that.”
Hiccup lay there for a moment, eyes closed against the sun pouring through her window. He almost drifted back off to sleep until he heard Astrid's angry mumbling. He opened his eyes and lifted himself up off the floor. He turned to face her and discovered that she had somehow propped herself up against the headboard. He sighed heavily, scootching closer to her bed and rested his chin on the edge of it.
"You know... you really shouldn't move without help. A spike to the gut isn't exactly a mosquito bite," he scolded her, though softly. He knew it was in her nature to fight back against whatever was holding her down.
He yawned widely and went to rub one of his eyes, resting his arm on the bed to do so. When he opened his eyes again, he looked at her. He couldnt see it himself, but that gaze held all the love and concern he had to her. He reached out to take her hand in his and looked at them, twined together. Like they were meant to be.
"I love you, Astrid Hofferson..."
Even though she had been asleep for over a week, her body was still healing and she slept almost as long as Hiccup had. She woke up just before him and tried to look over at him only to remember that she couldn’t really move on her own just yet so she just lay there staring up at the ceiling wishing that she could just get up and take herself to the bathroom and shower. She let out a frustrated sigh and tried to sit herself up. Even though it hurt a lot she managed to get herself resting with her back against the headboard and she reached out for the glass of water Hiccup had left on the bedside table for her.
She was sure that if Hiccup was awake yet he would be telling her off for doing too much in her ‘fragile’ state. She grimaced as she leaned over but managed to get herself some water either way and it went a long way to satisfy her thirst. Astrid leaned her head back up against the board and looked up towards the ceiling again, wondering how long she would have to wait before someone came to check on her or how long it would be until Hiccup woke up. She wanted to get out of bed more than anything but she doubted anyone would let her.
Astrid looked to the side to see if there was any kind of book or magazine or [i anything] that would keep her occupied but the closest thing to her was on her bookshelf which was as the other end of the room. “This sucks.” She whispered to herself with frustration and took another sip of water from her glass.
Hiccup slowly lowered himself to the floor. He wished more than anything to hold Astrid, now that he knew she was going to be alright. But the last thing he wanted was to hurt her further. So he closed his eyes instead and willed sleep to take him. It still didn't come easy.
He hadn't spoken to his father much the past week. He had gone back to being cold and distant. He hadn't mentioned what he had seen and he wasn't about to talk it over with Hiccup apparently. Perhaps he was still in disbelief. Whatever it was, watching over Astrid wasn't the only reason Hiccup was practically living with the Hoffersons lately.
Sleep finally claimed him a short while later when he pushed the thoughts of his father from his mind. Even on the hard floor with no blankets, Hiccup slept deeply. His exhaustion from the past week finally made him give in.
An hour later, Astrid's parents came in to check on them and unknown to him, her mother fetched a blanket and draped it over his curled body.
When he woke it was the next day. He had slept almost a full 20 or so hours. He slowly blinked before closing his eyes again and turning his face into the pillow after pulling the blanket up to his neck. He couldn't convince himself to move yet. No matter how bad he needed to pee.
Astrid looked over towards Hiccup who was seemingly biting her tongue about her talking again. She wasn’t doing it on purpose to upset him but Astrid’s way of dealing with things like this had always been to find humour in something but this time she could see the worry in his eyes and she decided to keep her mouth shut for the rest of the time that Gothi worked to change her bandages and unhooked her from whatever it was that she had been attached to.
Soon enough Gothi was ready to leave and had communicated that she was not yet allowed any solid food. While she knew she was not ready for that yet, she had to admit that she had been starving from the moment she woke up and parted of her willed herself better simply so she could just eat something. Gothi’s final not seemed to make Hiccup chuckle and he showed her the message and she nodded in agreement. Now that he knew she was alright, perhaps he would get some rest. She knew that she wasn’t going to be able to stay awake much longer anyway.
Moments after Gothi had left her parents rushed into the room and she couldn’t help but smile towards them. She could see the relief on their faces and the same fatigue that plagued Hiccup was so clear upon her face. Astrid hated that she did this to them but at least now they could all rest easy. Hiccup did most of the talking and Astrid did a good job of following his instructions not to talk.
When they were alone again Astrid let out a sigh, hoping that she could get some sleep now. She watched as Hiccup took to the floor and found herself wishing that he could curl up in bed with her. She missed his touch and would give anything just to feel him arm around her. Astrid fell into a sleep only seconds after Hiccup was out of sight and she slept for the rest of the day, all the way through to the evening.
Hiccup wished Astrid would stop using her energy to speak, but he also knew that he had almost no control over her.he sighed as she was talking and Gothi started to look her over. Hiccup watched her change the bandages as she had several times now and he might have chuckled at her comment about the tattoo of he wasn't still so worried.
Gothi finished with the wrappings and pulled a notepad from her bag. She scribbled some things onto it before handing it to Hiccup. He read:
[i no solid foods]
[i only wa ter drink]
[i minimal movement]
When he looked up, Gothis was taking Astrid off the equipment and rolled it all into the corner just in case. Then she turned back to Hiccup and scribbled one more thing before ripping that off too and walking back out the door. As she left he read her new note and chuckled softly. He showed it to Astrid and rolled his eyes. [i GET SOME REST] it read and Hiccup knew it was directed at him. He set the papers aside and listened to voice outside. Astrid parents were getting home and they had run into Gothi on the way. They came up to see their daughter immediately.
When they were finally up to date on Astrid's well being, they agreed with Gothi, telling Hiccup that he could rest easy now. The worst had passed. And that they promised they would be ba k to check on Astrid soon.
Hiccup didn't even entertain the idea of going home. But he had to admit that now that he knew Astrid would be okay. He felt exhausted. He took a spare pillow and laid it on the floor, telling Astrid she should get some shut eye too. As much as he wanted to hold her, he knew it was too soon to share a bed in case he elbowed her wound or something.
She was lucky to have someone that cared for her as much as he did. She knew that he probably hadn’t left her side for more than a few hours at a time to sleep in the past week or so and she figured that now she was awake, he would be making she that she had everything she needed. She smiled as he left the room again to get her some water and was surprised at how quickly he returned to her with it.
He helped her sit up enough to take in some water and she was grateful for that but she knew that she would quickly grow to hate the fact that she couldn’t do everything for herself at the moment. The moment the water found her lips she let out a contented sigh. It certainly helped to clear her throat.
The moment he pulled the glass away from her she lay back down and felt her eyes growing heavy again but she fought it, knowing that Gothi would be here soon and she would likely want to see her awake. Her eyes closed for a moment but opened again when Hiccup pressed his lips against her hand. She squeezed his hand gently and turned her head as she heard the door open downstairs.
When Gothi entered the room she offered her a smile. “Gothi, thank you. I-it sounds l-like you...saved my life.” Her words were coming a little easier now but it still took a lot of effort to speak. The woman nodded and started to check her over and Astrid looked down at the tattoo that had become exposed by the fact that she was wrapped in bandages.
“Well...I guess my p-parents know about that now.”
As soon as he sat, Hiccup was springing to his feet once more. "Yeah- yes, of-of course." He rushed out of the room again, wondering why he hadn't thought about getting her water before. He was so caught up in her being awake that he hardly had a moment to think. Once he found a cup and filled it with water he almost spilled it jogging up the stairs.
When he was back he leaned over her, helping her lean up just far enough to sip at the water. He didn't let her drink too much in fear that it might upset her stomach.
He set the cup aside and took her hand once more, kissing her knuckles. He heard the door open downstairs and knew that Gothi had let herself inside. He heard her small footsteps as she climbed the stairs and her walking stick against the steps.
"In here," he called for her and she found the room easily.
She kept her hand there for a minute, trying to remember what happened or figure out why she seemed to have layers of bandages around her stomach but it only frustrated her further when she couldn’t remember anything. She nodded towards Hiccup as he pulled the blankets around her, almost as though it was something he had been doing for some time now but she still had no idea how long she had been out for.
Astrid wasn’t kept in the dark about that for much longer since Hiccup told her that it had been over a week now. That scared her slightly, to know that she had lost a whole week of time and knowing that likely meant that everyone around them had also lost that time too. She tried not to let her guilt or her worry show as Hiccup moved out of the room to call Gothi.
Even though he told her not to move, she needed to adjust herself slightly because she was not entirely comfortable. It was difficult to move and it hurt to do so and she found herself gripping her stomach several times as she used her arm to move her body to a more comfortable position.
When he returned he sat in the chair next to her and just looked at her as though he was at a loss for what to do. Astrid coughed again, one hand over her mouth and another clutching her stomach. “C-ca you..get some w-water?” She asked ass he continued to cough again. It seemed that waking up had put some strain on her body and she was already feeling exhausted. There was no doubt in her mind that she would soon be asleep again but at least Hiccup knew that she would be waking up this time.
Hiccup smiled at her response, though sadly, and it immediately went away when she grimaced in pain. "Shh. I told you not to speak." He moved his hands from her and pulled the blankets up higher over her. After a moment of silence he shook his head.
"I should call Gothi. She'll want to know you're awake." But he couldn't bring himself to move yet. "You've been unconscious for over a week," he told her softly. "I don't think I've ever been so afraid." After his confession he finally stood up. "Don't move a muscle."
He knew it was almost impossible for her to with all the things she was hooked up to, but he knew she was a fighter and might have tried. He moved for the door and went to the phone to call Gothi and inform her that Astrid was awake. He had never called the woman before and it was strange to talk to someone who didn't talk back, but he knew that when she hung up, she meant that she was headed over.
Hiccup wondered how he could tell Astrid's parents that she was awake, but he didn't want to leave to find them. He supposed they would just have to find out when they returned.
He returned to Astrid's room and let her know that Gothi was on her way to check on her. He lowered himself back into the chair and rubbed his tired eyes before opening them to watch her as he had been for the past week.
Hey eyes were not quite fully open yet but she could see enough take in the sight of him. As he looked towards her, her heart filled with the love she felt for him and she felt her own tears sting her eyes. She hated to see him like this. Part of her was angry with herself for causing him any heartache but the rational side of her knew that it was something that was out of their control.
His hand took her own and she managed a smile at his touch and when he took her face in his hand she managed to open her eyes a little more so that she could focus on his face. Both of them sat there with tears streaming down their face now but she couldn’t bring herself to tell him that she couldn’t remember what happened. He had already been worried for her life and she didn’t want to cause him anymore worry if she could help it.
Her eyes closed as he pressed a kiss against her forehead and she shook her head. “Please. Stop.” She said, hoping that he would realise that she was trying to tell him that she had nothing to be sorry for. Astrid brought her hand up to his face and smiled faintly again as she locked eyes with his.
“Y-ou can’t...get r-rid of me that ea-easily.” Id she had the energy she might of laughed, instead she coughed, causing her to pull her hand away from his face to her stomach and she grimaced as the pain finally hit her.
He sat in the silence that surrounded them and sighed deeply into his hands. It was only when he heard her voice that he lifted his head quickly, eyes wide. Her own eyes were barely open but she was looking at him. He could hardly take in what she was saying because he was so happy that she was awake.
"Astrid!" He reached out to take her hand in his and found the tears rimming his eyes once more. "Don't speak. Please. You need your energy." He leaned over her, his free hand finding the side of her face. "I- I was so afraid I might never hear your voice again," he said, and suddenly he was overcome with affection for her. If he didn't think he might hurt her in the process he would have kissed her over and over again, but he settled for kissing her forehead instead.
"I'm so sorry." The tears were present now, rolling down his face silently.
The thing that worries Astrid’s parents was how dehydrated Astrid would get in her state. She was looking rather thin by the end of the week as though the weight was simply dropping off her but Gothi had managed to hook her up to some sort of drip so that she didn’t get dehydrated while her body was recovering.
On this particular day her parents had told Hiccup that they needed to run some errands. They had been avoiding work and had barely kept their house stocked with food over the last week and they realised that they needed to start to get some order again because they hoped that Astrid would wake up soon. Her mother had made a joke about the fact that she would have to cook up a feast when she finally did so that she could help her out in the weight that she had lost. Her mother looked down at Astrid, looking upon her frail looking body and traced a hand across her pail cheek before leaning down to kiss her forehead before checking that Hiccup was alright o be left alone now.
Astrid felt her mother’s lips brush across her forehead and she wanted nothing more than to open her eyes and tell that she was okay but she didn’t seem to have enough energy to do that just yet but for now, she was fully aware of everything that was going on around her for the first time since her accident, not that she remembered what happened. It was rather common to lose the memory of trauma after an accident and she told herself that she would likely remember in time. She was just grateful that she knew who she was and remembered those around her.
Although for a while, Hiccup didn’t speak she could feel his presence there. As if to confirm it, he spoke quietly repeating an apology that she was sure he had spoken hundreds of time over the last few days but then she was still unsure of how long she had been lying in the bed unable to communicate with anyone. It seemed his final words were enough to give her the energy she needed to open her eyes.
When she took in the sight of him with his head in his hands she knew that she had been asleep for quite some time. He looked exhausted and as though he hadn’t been eating properly. She would have to fix that when she could get out of bed. She tried to lift her arm to reach out to him but she failed. Instead she tried to lubricate her mouth so she could speak, knowing that it would be difficult for her to do so.
“Hey...” Her voice was hoarse and broken several times as she tried to get out her words. “Y-you and I...both know that island...I-is that best thing...that ever happened to us.” She took a deep breath as though that sentence was the hardest thing in the world for her to say. “Take that back.”
The flight back to the island was short enough that Hiccup wasn't given much time to think. He landed at camp and was glad to see that the others had made their way back there as well. When he landed, they all wanted to know how she was doing and what the news was.
Hiccup told them that he didn't know. He wasn't sure about anything. He just told them that she was with his father now and that he would get her to Gothi as soon as possible.
"We're going back to Berk," he told them, gathering up anything he might need as quickly as possible. He turned to Toothless and Stormfly who stood there looking lost without Astrid. "I'll come back as soon as I can. With Astrid." He hugged Stormfly around the neck, trying to comfort her, before moving on to Toothless and held him close. "Thanks for helping, bud..."
Within the next ten minutes, they were all aboard the boats. He and Fishlegs took Astrid's family boat while the others took the one they arrived in. Fishlegs knew that Hiccup was too worried to drive so he sat behind the wheel, not needing to steer much, but just to make them feel safer.
Clouds were starting to cover the sun which only reflected Hiccup's mood. After a while, Fishlegs offered Hiccup some food he had packed, but Hiccup just shook his head. He couldn't eat. He could hardly even [i breath]. So he just sat in the cabin, willing time to move faster.
Never had the journey back to Berk seemed to take so long. And there was no decent way to pass the time. So Hiccup took to chewing his nails or sharpening his pencil with his knife down to a stub. After a while, he started to remove the leather armor, not wanting to have one more thing to explain. He was left in his jeans and his long sleeved shirt. He didn't even feel the cold.
There was absolutely no way to know if Astrid was alive. That's what worried Hiccup the most. He had no idea what kind of state she was in. No idea if Gothi could even [i help]. He didn't way one word the entire trip. It felt like it might drag on forever. And then, finally, they saw Berk in the distance. Hiccup didn't even wait for them to pull up properly against the docks before he was jumping off the boat and running for Gothi's diner. The others would secure the boats.
By now the sun was starting to set. It was still light enough for him to see, but in an hour, the sun would be gone completely. His feet hit the gravel as he with heavy thumps, one sounding natural, the other metallic.
Even when he was out of breath and his legs were burning, he continued to run. Nothing was going to get in his way. He ignored the looks of those who hadn't heard the news. And even moreso the ones who [i had] seen Stoick pass through with Astrid.
He finally reached Gothi's diner which had been closed early due to the circumstances. He had been upstairs in the diner to where Gothi took patients only a couple of times in his life, but he knew where to go and he took the stairs two at a time. There was a door at the op of the stairs and he opened it probably too hard. It bounced against the wall as he took in the scene. Everyone looked up at his sudden appearance. Hiccup didn't have time to worry about what Stoick had told her parents. He didn't even care.
He couldn't remember Astrid's mother taking him into her arms, but the moment she did his eyes filled with tears and the corners of his mouth were pulled down. "I'm so sorry," he said, though she could hardly hear it through his breathing. He was still out of breath from running. He swallowed hard and looked at Stoick and Astrid's father. "How- how is she?"
No one replied and the rest of the gang came through the door after him, all asking different things about Astrid. Hiccup turned to them and shook his head and they all seemed to understand that even after their hours on the boats, there was no news.
Hiccup took a seat in one of the chairs and looked at the door that led to where he knew Astrid and Gothi were. No one said another word for two hours. It was so quiet that it almost seemed loud.
When Gothi finally emerged, Hiccup had the same reaction as Astrid's mother. Gothi only allowed him and her parents to enter the room and what he saw almost made him sick. He looked down at his hands and saw the same red that was all over Astrid still on his own hands. He didn't want to cry. Not in front of her parents. So he let the tears fall as he walked to the sink in the corner of the room to wash himself off. The blood didn't want to come out from under his nails.
That night, none of them moved from the room. None of them left Astrid. And none of them spoke. They knew better than to berate Hiccup with questions so soon after it happened and he was thankful.
Eventually her parents fell asleep, but Hiccup didn't get a wink. He stayed awake the entire night. In fact, Hiccup didn't sleep much for the entire week. Every time he looked away from Astrid he was afraid that she might die. As if his gaze was the only thing keeping her here.
He helped move her back to her house eventually. Gothi made regular visits to change the bandage and treat her. Astrid's parents were glad to have Hiccup to help them oversee her healing process. They could all get a little more rest that way. They had tried to asked about what had happened several times, even bringing up how Stoick had come to have Astrid while it took the others so long to get home. But Stoick always seemed to be there to save the day. He would have to talk with his father about what to tell everyone. But he still didn't regret doing what he had to to save her life.
It had been a week and three days since the accident and Hiccup had never felt so lonely in his life. Her parents were out running errands, mostly gathering things they needed for Astrid. He was left to look over her. He looked terrible, all bent over in his chair next to her bed. The bags under his eyes were red and puffy. He clearly wasn't eating or sleeping.
"I'm so sorry," he found himself whispering to her as he had many times before. "I'm sorry, Astrid. This- this was all my fault. If... if I had never taken you to the island in the first place... I should have never..." He trailed off and buried his face in his hands. He wasn't sure that Astrid would ever wake up. And it was his fault.
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