Astrid smiled towards him as he took her hand and she felt herself relax just a little bit at the contact. They really knew how to ground each other when they were worried about anything and it was no different in this situation. “I don’t think we should wait. I don’t want to keep anything from them Hiccup. I know you don’t either. This island has been hard enough as it is.” She said with a smile. “You’re right, we are in this together and we will get through it together.”
The two parted again so Hiccup could steer the boat and when it came to a stop the two of them started to gather their things in silence. She half expected Stoick to be standing there waiting for them already but as she glanced around the docks were just as empty as they always were.
Astrid reached for his hand and getting two of them stepped back onto land together. “Whatever happens we are in this together. We face your father together no matter what the consequences are.” After that they made their way towards Hiccup’s house. She could feel the tension from him as they walked but she just squeezed his hand tighter to offer some comfort.
They passed the rest of the ride in silence, though it wasn't awkward or uncomfortable. Both just seemed to be with their own thoughts. When Berk finally came into view on the horizon, Astrid broke the silence and Hiccup looked over at her. He understood her concern and he shrugged in that nonchalant way he did even when things were stressful. It wasn't a lie that Hiccup fought stress with humor so it came to no surprise when he said, "At least we didn't come back already married," with a chuckle.
When she admitted how nervous she was he nodded and reached over to take her hand. "Me too. But we're in this together. That's what this means right?" He took her hand with the ring on it. "I'll always have your back, Astrid. Even if you wanted to wait to tell everyone. We could avoid it altogether for now." It was just a suggestion. He knew Astrid didn't often back away from anything, but he wanted her to know the option was there.
Berk was ebbing closer and closer and eventually it was time to steer the boat straight and into the harbor. Hiccup took on this role so that Astrid could try to relax but he was starting to feel the lump in his own throat grow at the thought of facing his father. After he parked he closed his eyes for a moment, gripping the wheel tightly in his hands trying to calm himself enough. He told himself that there was nothing that could happen that he hadn't faced before. They'd find a way back to the island if he still felt content banning them from it... what's the worst that could happen?
Finally he opened his eyes and sighed, standing from the seat and starting to gather his things.
It was clear that Hiccup didn’t really know what to do about his father and it wasn’t as though she really know the answer. On this occasion she wasn’t really sure how she could help him. She simply nodded and let out a sigh while she lost herself in thought again.
The rest of the journey the two remained quiet until Berk can into view and then she found herself filled with nerves. Her right hand played with the ring on her left finger and slowly started to realise this was partly why her nerves had begun to surface. Astrid looked up towards Hiccup and let out another sigh.
“I have no idea how are parents are going to react to this.” She said as she held up her hand and gestured to the ring on her finger. “We literally disappear for nearly three days and then come back engaged.” She laughed quietly and shook her head. “I guess I never thought I’d have this kind of news to share with my parents...I’m nervous.”
Hiccup never liked saying goodbye to Toothless, especially when he got to spend so little time with him compared to his usual trips. But the dragon seemed to understand and let him leave without much fuss the next morning when he and Astrid set off.
After a while of letting the boat carry them back to Berk, Astrid spoke. She seemed unsure and Hiccup didnt understand where she was going with her words for a moment. When she finally finished her idea, Hiccup thought deeply about this before replying.
It had worked with the others in getting them to fall in love with dragons, but they hadn't been brought here... he couldn't see his father willingly coming along, and even if he did, he couldn't imagine him not making a mess of things. But then again, perhaps he was being unfair...
"I dont know," he finally answered, honestly. "He's seen a dragon now, but... not close up. I'm afraid he'd go berserk and... I don't know. If-if we could even get him to come with us. He doesn't even want [i us] on the island. But... it might be worth a shot..." Eventually he shrugged as if to tell her that he was at a loss.
Astrid smiled as he placed a kiss on her jaw and the two of them spent some time preparing food and talking. At some point they had both agreed that it made sense for them to go back to Berk the next day. While they didn’t want to, they didn’t want to hide from their problems and they needed to resolve the conflict with Stoick. Besides, they also had some news to share now.
Astrid managed to sleep well that night but assumed that Hiccup wouldn’t particularly get a good night sleep again until everything had been smoother over with his father. The next morning as she packed her hints she bought carefully about what might happen and before long they were saying goodbye to their dragons and their boat was moving away from the island and back towards Berk.
“Hiccup...do you think...if we brought him...would he?” She stopped for a moment and thought, wondering if what she was trying suggest would make him angry. “What if we brought him to the island?” She asked, trying to read the expression upon his face.
Hiccup sighed happily at her reply. It was just like her to believe they'd find each other eventually. Hiccup's mind was too practical, too mathematical, to believe in fate or destiny But he couldn't deny the pull he felt toward her. Or the dragons. Somehow, some way, they would have found themselves here.
He leaned over and kissed her jaw before he set to dedicating himself to helping her cook as best as he could. Not long after, their dragons returned from their hunt and together they decided that it would be best to head back to Berk soon, no matter how much Hiccup wanted to avoid his father.
Stoick would still be angry. But perhaps by now it would have ebbed. Perhaps when they returned unharmed he would see that Astrid's injury was a rare occurace that wouldn't happen again. Hiccup was already working on a strict set of new island rules that would hopefully stop these accidents before they happened again.
All he knew was that there was no way he was going to be kept away from Toothless. Even if he had to fight Gobber.
It would have been much easier to convince Stoick if he could just tell the man the truth... but be had given his mother his word. He would have to find another way.
The next morning they set to gathering their things once more. He felt angry that they had barely spent any time on the island at all, but he knew he needed to smooth things over with his father before it festered into something bigger.
Hiccup’s smiled still seemed to have an affect on her. The moment he displayed one she could not help but return her own and she did then in the moment. It was then hat he decided to get out of bed and join her and she was glad of it. Even thought they had spent the last few hours completely wrapped up in each other, she was sure that she would never be able to get enough of him and even being near him made her the happiest girl alive.
Astrid slapped at his hand playfully when his finger found its way into the sauce. “Hey, keep your hands to yourself.” She said with a laugh and sighed as he leaned against the side next to her.
His question was followed with a moment of silence while she thought. Before she set off on the boat she never really believed in fate nor did she really believe that she would ever feel this way about anyone but now that she had this in her life she liked to think that it would find her regardless of what they were doing.
“I think that we were meant to be together if that is what you mean. If I went off to college and you stayed on Berk I think that somehow we still would have found our way to each other. I would like to think that when two people are as perfect for each other as we are, that the universe would find a way to make this happen.”
Hiccup grinned as she turned around to face him and reply. He was starting to get used to the idea that she liked him just as much as he liked her. After all she would have to if they were going to get married some day.
He swing his legs out of bed and pulled on some sweatpants. As overjoyed as he was that his mother was alive, the stress of it all had been extreme and it had been amazing to escape with Astrid for the last couple of hours and not have to think about anything for a while. When his mind strayed to his parents and when he might see them again and what that might entail, he shut it out immediately and turned to Astrid for a distraction thought he hardly even noticed he was doing it.
He stood and made his way over to her and where she was waiting for their foot to heat up. He stuck his finger into the sauce to taste it before leaning against the counter next to her.
"Do you think... if none of this ever happened... If we never found this island or the dragons and we never set off on the boat... do you think we would have still wound up together?"
He mostly asked out of curiosity. But he also wanted to know if she hoped as much as he did that in another life they would still be together. That if things were somehow different that they would at least still find home with each other.
Astrid laughed at his response as she quickly reflected on just how different their lives apart could have been. As much as she would have loved a career in medicine, this is the life she would have chosen over that if she was ever to have the choice. Hiccup took hold of her hand and the ring caught her eye once more and she smiled at it. Never in a million years would she have thought that she would [I ever] get married. It was never something she thought about and until her accident she was sure that marriage was still off the cards for her but something had clearly changed. Perhaps she finally understood what marriage meant.
The two of them spent most of the day lost in each other, showering together closely and affectionately. Their new promise to each other seemed to spark a new need to be close within them and even when they finished showering the two made love for longer than she had ever remembered doing so before. It was the first time that she was able to completely give herself to him since the accident but he was still careful not to hurt her.
Eventually they realised that they needed to eat and Astrid pulled on one of her over-sized shirts and moved to their kitchen area to cook while Hiccup remained in bed. She laughed as she stirred some sauce and shook her head. “I don’t know how either of us got so lucky.” Astrid turned to face him for a moment and leaned against the counter with her hands either side of her. “I still don’t know how it happened exactly.”
When they found their way back to their island and landed, Hiccup was barely off of Toothless's back before he was letting out a deep sigh and taking his helmet off, tucking it under one arm. He watched Toothless bounce after Stormfly to go hunt, happy to be back on familiar ground.
Hiccup smiled and nodded at Astrid's words. "At least there's that," he agreed. "And to think... you could have been in a boring class about anatomy right now and I could still be stuck at the pub serving drinks." He chuckled softly, taking her hand in his. It was her left hand and he could feel the ring that rested on her finger there.
Together they headed back for the cabin. Once inside, Hiccup instantly started pulling off layers so that he could give himself a proper shower. He felt like the bath he'd had had been ages ago. As he got himself undressed, he tried to process everything that had happened. Everything he had uncovered and seen. He knew it would take much longer than a day to truly grasp that his mother was still alive. Something else that was hard to understand was how he and Astrid had come to be promised to each other in such a short time when he hadn't even planned on asking her.
They spent probably too long in the shower being affectionate towards each other and when they finally convinced themselves that they should get out, they spent even longer making love while the dragons were away. Of course that just meant that they wanted another shower and the process repeated itself.
"How did I get so lucky?" he finally asked her when they tired themselves out and decided it was time for dinner. He sat naked under the sheets, watching her cook with a stupid smile on his face. Her hair was loose from the shower and fell down her back in golden waves. "I'm still trying to figure that out."
Astrid took a step back from the pair and allowed them some time to say goodbye. She was rather proud of herself for allowing her anger for Hiccup but then she was sure that she could do anything for him. It wouldn’t help him if she behaved any differently so she would support him in any way she needed, even if that meant putting her own feelings aside.
When the time cam she climbed on Stormfly’s back and after their final goodbyes the two took to the sky. She felt relief wash over her the moment the island was out of sight. Astrid didn’t necessarily feel any negative feelings towards that island in particular but knowing that she was finally going back to the place they now called home made her feel relieved. She thought that after months away she would get time to enjoy their home but no longer that 12 hours after their arrival they had been taken away from it again.
Some while later they arrived back on their island and a smile came to her face the moment her feet touched the ground. “Home sweet home.” She said with a smile, petting Stormfly who was now walking towards the wooded area to find some food. Toothless seemed to follow shortly after and she smiled towards Hiccup now they were alone. “Well, at least we can’t say our lives are boring.”
Astrid's reply warmed Hiccup's heart. This was just one of the many reasons he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Sometimes she could say the things he was unable to. He just wished that he could offer her the same comfort down the line...
Hiccup turned to Toothless, adjusting his saddle so that the stirrups were in place. He swung himself over, flipping the lever on his prosthetic to fit into place into the mechanism that controlled the tail fin connected to it. He felt Valka's hand find his own a moment later.
"I love you, son."
"I love you too, Mom," he said softly, never thinking he would mutter those words directly to her again in his life. He squeezed her fingers in the palm of his hand. "I'll be back soon."
When Astrid was saddled up and ready to go on Stormfly, he finally got up the courage to take off. The only way he could convince himself to was to keep telling himself that he would be back soon. He would see her again.
They shot up through the huge underground cavern and through one of the many large holes in the earth above them. The sunlight was brilliantly bright and he squinted against it before pulling on his helmet in hopes that it might shield some of the light from his eyes. Once he got his bearings and checked the compass on his gauntlet, he set off across the sky, back towards their island. Back towards home.
Astrid loved the fact that nothing seemed to changed. She figured that was what she had been afraid of before; that everything would change between them the moment that they committed to something else but in reality, everything remained the same apart from the ring upon her finger. She was certainly glad of that and as the thought crossed her mind she looked down at the ring on her finger and smiled to herself.
Soon enough Hiccup joked back and started to approach her. “Damn it, I wish I had thought more carefully about my answer!” Astrid smiled and leaned into his kiss until it was over and she looked into his eyes the moment they separated. “I’m glad that you don’t want to rush into a wedding.” She admitted, hoping that it didn’t sound as though she regret anything. “It’s just... we have so much to do and learn. I don’t want to pause our lives to plan a wedding just yet.” She placed her hand in his and squeezed it gently before the two began to make their way to say goodbye to Valka.
Astrid didn’t know why she felt nervous about seeing her after the events of the morning but she figured that she still craved her approval even if she was not yet sure of her feelings towards the woman. All the mattered is that Hiccup seemed happy and he had his mother back, perhaps she would simply need to forget her anger and move on for him. Soon enough they found her with the other dragons and she couldn’t help but smile at the sight of Toothless and Stormfly who had made themselves at home amongst the other dragons but that didn’t stop them from pulling away from their kind when they saw that Hiccup and Astrid were approaching.
Hiccup and Valka had an exchange that she could tell hurt to the two of them. While they both promised they would see each other again, that didn’t mean it was any easier for either of them to say goodbye. Before long, Valka was turning to her to say goodbye and she breathed in deeply before holding her hand out to her. Their hands never did meet because as soon as she caught sight of the ring she had turned to Hiccup.
“Wait, you knew about this?” She asked looked between the two of them but she got her answer in an unexpected and very physical way. Rather than the hand gesture, Valka had pulled Astrid into a hug and she had squeezed her tightly with excitement, perhaps a little too much but she didn’t let on. Instead she looked towards Hiccup while embracing his mother and smiled. At least one parent was happy about this. She could see the tears in her eyes and for a moment she seemed to spark her own, even more so when Valka reflected on how much of Hiccup’s life she had missed. Astrid moved Hiccup’s side and took his hand in her own and smiled towards Valka.
“Just...don’t miss out on any more of his life.” Her tone was not harsh, in fact it was comforting as if offering her hope that she might be able to make up for all the time she [i had] missed.
Hiccup started gathering up his armor and tugging it on while Astrid got herself ready, glad to know that she was as willing as he was to keep taking things in stride, especially when it came to his father. Stoick had a huge soft spot for Astrid, and Hiccup hoped that would help things, though.
Hiccup chuckled and looked over his shoulder at Astrid as he adjusted the piece of leather over his shoulder. "As if we don't already?" he joked back, his cheeks growing a bit pink at her admission of their proposal. He still couldn't believe it had really happened. "Besides," he added as he clasped the buckles. "I have a feeling that a wedding is a long ways a way." He paused and turned to take in the sight of her, a smile on his face. "But I'm still glad you said yes. Now I can stop worrying that you'll run off with Snotlout the next chance you get," he teased before wrapping an arm around her waste and pulling her close for another kiss.
When that was done and they had collected their things they left the room they had slept in the past couple nights. He couldn't agree with Astrid more. He wanted to get back home. To their cabin.
They made their way back into the great hall which was empty save for a few Protectors here and there. Some of them waved awkwardly. Hiccup returned the gesture and looked around for his mother so that they could say their goodbyes. He found her below with the dragons, feeding some of them and petting others. They surrounded her like she was their queen. Even Toothless and Stormfly were there seeking her attention until the two of them approached. They broke off from the rest to come say good morning. Hiccup smiled and ran his hand over Toothless's head.
Valka looked up as they came closer. She could tell by simply looking that they were ready to head out. "Time to leave, is it?" she asked them. Hiccup looked a bit guilty, but he nodded.
"We have our own island to look after. Things to talk over... And I've got to talk to Dad eventually..." Valka nodded and took her son in her arms. He wrapped his own around her in return and he mumbled into her shoulder, "Just promise me you'll be here when we come back?"
"I'll be here." She said firmly, knowing how much he needed to hear it. "Just... promise me you'll come back."
Hiccup smiled. "As soon as I can."
Her hand found his face and she kissed his forehead gently before turning to say goodbye to Astrid. She held out her hands for Astrid to put her own into. "Keep an eye on him for me, would you?" she asked her softly before getting distracted by something. Her fingers found the ring on Astrid's finger and she looking down, eyes growing wide.
"You weren't kidding, were you?" she asked Hiccup, smiling wildly.
"It just kind of... happened," he confessed with a shrug and a smile. Valka embraced Astrid in that moment and Hiccup hoped that she wouldn't hate the gesture. When she pulled away she had tears in her eyes.
"All this time... I've missed out on so much of your life... and where have I been?"
Hiccup approached and put a hand on her shoulder. "Well... you're the first to know this." It must have been the comfort she needed because she wiped the tears from her eyes and nodded.
"Right... Now... off you go. And come back soon."
Astrid laughed hearing the words he expected from their parents. He was most likely right and it might have seemed fast to everyone else but they had fallen hard and fast. There was no doubting that they loved each other and it wasn’t as though there would ever be a right time to ask. There was no rule book that stated how long you had to be with someone before taking that step and she knew that agreeing to marry him didn’t mean that they were going to get married tomorrow.
Astrid smiled and nodded. “You are probably right. Just...don’t worry about your dad right now. We will handle everything when the time comes.” She said with a reassuring smile, not wanting to allow any sadness to creep in and ruin their elated moods.
As Hiccup rolled out of bed Astrid nodded in agreement. “I need a change of clothes. Of all the things hey have here you would think they might have some clothes to spare!” She laughed and climbed off the bed, pulling on the same cloths she had worn the day before. “I will be glad to get back to our cabin. I’ve had this nagging feeling that I left the stove on.” She jokes as she pulled on her last bit of clothing and looked towards Hiccup. “What? I just agreed to marry you...aren’t we supposed to be all domesticated and talk about mundane things now?”
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