Only You, Astrid
The sun was just beginning to rise when Astrid found him, sitting atop his rooftop; staring off at the horizon that was brightening with the light of a new day. Hiccup had taken up the hobby not long after he had first been named Chief of Berk. She supposed it helped him clear his mind and focus on the new day, but she had never asked him directly.
The blonde hesitated in her step momentarily as she approached him, feeling as though she might be intruding or something. She wouldn't have normally gone to see him during the time he sat upon the roof, watching the sunrise, but she had noticed him growing quiet and a bit withdrawn. Her concern had taken a voice and convinced her to check up on him.
"Hiccup," she called softly, so as not to startle him, "mind if I join you?"
He remained still for a moment before shaking his head.
Astrid carefully approached, taking a seat beside the young chieftain. She sat in silence for a bit, merely enjoying his presence before she finally decided she needed to ask. With a small sigh she peered over at him. His brows were furrowed slightly, his thumb absently placed at his lip; he was thinking. "What are you thinking about," she asked.
Hiccup glanced her way and gave a small breath, "A lot of things… Mostly about the things have changed since.. well Drago."
"That's a lot of things to think about," she replied.
"Tell me about it," he muttered quietly. Silence elapsed yet again, until at length he spoke again. "I.. I miss him," he admitted.
Astrid nodded in understanding, "I know, we all do, Hiccup. You're not alone in that feeling."
He gave a sigh, "I just wish he was still here so he could tell me all the things I'm doing wrong, there must be quite a few."
"I don't think that," she replied firmly, "everything you've done so far has only done good for Berk, Hiccup. Not once have you made a decision and had a bad turn out in regards to the village. You can only expect so much of yourself…"
The young chief remained silent, a slight disbelieving look on his face.
"Can you think of any choice you made where it ended with bad results," she challenged.
It gained her a very small smile as he shook his head.
She smirked, "Exactly because you're doing the right things, making the right choices. The village understands you still need time to heal after losing Stoick so suddenly, heck we all do. But that doesn't make you weak or whatever, it means you're human. You're only one man." Astrid grasped one of his hands suddenly, making him look at her directly. "Don't think that you can't or won't make bad calls here and there, think though that your father did too; it's inevitable. But you need to know that whatever happens, the village will stand beside you."
He finally seemed to accept her words as his gaze drifted back towards the rising sun. "I've uhh.. also been thinking about something else," he continued eventually.
"Okay," she said, "what about?" She felt proud that she had seemingly helped him get over one mental boundary, perhaps she could help with a second.
Hiccup took a deep breath before he spoke, "Well it's just that I've thought that I need someone to be there for me… Someone who I can vent all of my, dare I say, feelings to. I need someone who can support me in my darkest moments, someone who I can trust with anything…" He looked directly at the blonde beside him, his eyes soft, "I need someone to spend the rest of my life with."
Astrid's heart leapt into her throat, she couldn't speak.
"The only person I want is you, Astrid," he said a bit sheepishly, "whenever I imagine getting older with someone, perhaps even starting a family with… Or even someone I can trust with anything and everything, someone I am willing to protect and love with my life… I always come back to you. It has always been and will always be you, Astrid." He glanced away nervously, "I know I'm not the best with wor-"
A finger to his lips stopped him.
Hiccup looked up and the finger dropped.
"You've said more than enough…" Astrid said with a brilliant smile, eyes shining with tears.
He blushed lightly, "So… will you accept? Will you spend the rest of your days with an oddball like me?"
She laughed, "I'd absolutely love to Hiccup."
He beamed at her and embraced her, sighing happily. "Thank you Astrid.." he murmured to her. He pulled away to gaze at her lovingly, eyes softened. Eventually he gave a laugh and stood, pulling her up alongside him. He wrapped his arms about her and looked out towards the sunrise once more.
Astrid relaxed in his arms, resting her head upon his chest with a smile on her face. It was the moments like those that really lightened her heart and made her love him ever more. He wasn't brash, he wasn't burly, he wasn't Viking-like really but he was her Hiccup and she loved him for that. He was quirky, playful, brave, intelligent, loving and a bit awkward at times - just the way she liked him. And now she had the knowledge that she would get to spend the rest of her days with him and it brought her to Cloud 9.
When Hiccup shifted, she knew he was feeling anxious to start the day and his chiefly duties but he didn't want to leave the moment much like she. She pulled away and planted a soft kiss on his cheek, "Go if you need to honey," she said with a knowing smile, "I can wait until you're not busy to spend more time with you." She blushed slightly, "Besides... we'll have a long time together from now on... right?"
His hand found her cheek, cupping it tenderly. "Yes," he replied firmly, "a long, long time." He kissed her chastely and then pulled away, winking at her as he slid down the roof onto Toothless's waiting back below.
She watched him fly off in pride, giving a whistle to call for Stormfly.
It was later in the day, while she was overseeing a flying lesson at the academy, when Hiccup showed up. She was surprised to see him as it wasn't often he got a break from his duties in the middle of the day. She broke away from her position to stand beside him and Toothless, "Hey you," she greeted warmly.
"Hello m'lady," he returned with a smile. He observed the lessons going on for a moment before turning his gaze back to her, "I decided I should come over and check in since I haven't had the chance to in awhile."
She quirked an elegant brow at him suspiciously.
Hiccup flushed slightly, "Okay, I wanted to see you again too."
It was such a simple statement but it made her blush to think that he had taken time out of his busy schedule to come see her. "Glad you came then," she said quietly.
"Me too," he said with a grin. "Also I wanted to give you something, to make our... agreement from earlier more official," he said sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head absently. He reached into his satchel and pulled out a small leather pouch which he handed to her shyly.
Astrid laughed lightly at his antics before opening the pouch, turning it upside-down to reveal the contents. Only one thing fell out, a single silver ring encrusted with a circular shaped gem. Half of the gem was blue colored while the other half was pitch black. "Hiccup," she breathed, "it's beautiful..."
He smiled and took it from her palm to slide it onto her ring finger, "With this ring I promise to wed thee, Astrid Hofferson."
"Oh Hiccup," she gasped, immediately bringing him into a tight embrace. The sudden rush of emotion brought tears to her eyes. She hadn't thought it possible to love someone as much as she did, but Hiccup kept proving her wrong again and again.
He held her now embellished hand in his own gently. "I made the gem from dragon scales I got from Toothless and Stormfly. A few came off and I snatched them up, figuring I could make something with them," he explained in a hushed tone.
"Well," a new voice spoke behind the couple, "I s'pose this means Berk has a wedding to gear up for, then?"
The duo turned to find Valka smiling at them knowingly, arms crossed in a challenging posture as if daring them to correct her.
"I guess so Mom," Hiccup replied easily, a proud smirk on his face.
Valka laughed, "Good! I was beginning to think Mrs. Hofferson and I would have to conspire together and plan your wedding without your knowing..." She walked off with a wave, "Stay tame you two! Wait until the wedding night!"
"Mom," Hiccup exclaimed, flushing pink at the mere suggestion that he and Astrid... would...
Astrid blushed as well, not dignifying the suggestion with a response.
His mother laughed loudly, flying off on Cloud Jumper's back.
With her out of the area, they both fell back into their relaxed moment.
"I'd better go," he said hesitantly, "I need to go check some things out and see what Gobber wanted to show me..."
She nodded, "Okay, I'll see you later then." Astrid kissed him before he headed over to Toothless and climbed onto the saddle.
He didn't fly off immediately like she expected him to, he seemed as though he wanted to say something.
The young chief blushed before saying, "I love you... Astrid.."
It was unexpected but definitely not unwanted. She beamed at him, "Love you too, babe."
He gave a hearty laugh at the pet name as Toothless flew off and they left the academy behind.
Astrid called over Stormfly, eyeing the ring on her finger. She had some news to tell her mother...