The Fearless Tribe was having a chaotic yet merry celebration; it was chaotic as they were Vikings, and merry as the whole tribe was having a huge feast in the mead hall for an announcement of a grand alliance coming soon.
Though the same couldn't be said for a certain clanless not-so-Viking named Hiccup Horrendous.
Instead of being gloriously drunk on mead like a normal Viking, Hiccup was baking, like he always did his whole life and all he was going to amount to. Baking. Hiccup only knew how to bake, while other Vikings lived their lives constantly seeking and fighting for glory and honor—rightfully fighting for their place among the Gods in Valhalla.
A place Hiccup had no business with—after all, he was a mere bread-making Viking.
Speaking of bread-making, the honey-glazed bread the Larson family ordered was now ruined. He wasn't paying attention and now there was too much water on it. He tried tasting it hoping that he could still somehow manage to remedy it. But it tasted too salty, its texture too clammy—not with water... but with tears that dripped from his eyes that he didn't notice.
"Dammit all!" Hiccup cursed, as he frustratingly tried to rub the tears flowing on his face with his apron, only to smudge his face with flour and egg whites. When did things all go wrong? Not just about this stupid bread. His whole life as Hiccup—as a hiccup—from the moment he was born up to now.
It all began with a misplaced courage; he perfectly knew it was not his place but still he dared to ask.
("Astrid Hofferson, the slayer of the Flightmare, heiress to the Fearless tribe, and the most beautiful and stunning Valkyrie in all Midgard, will you honor me by being my partner for the Midsummer Festival–")
She said yes. Yes.
Hiccup couldn't believe it. He was a mere bread-making Viking, and by status alone; his stupid deeds could cost him his own head. Many in the tribe believe his actions to be an act of dishonor to Astrid – he agreed with them.
Hiccup was the son of late Valka, the crazy dragon pacifist. His mother and he were not true members of the Fearless tribe. The known story was, Valka was found unconscious and near dead on the shores of Fearless Island—she was pregnant then. Ever since, they were permitted by Hofferson clan, the leading household, to live in the island. They were lucky that the Hoffersons were honorable Vikings, they took them under their protection, gave them an unoccupied shelter which was owned by a Flandre, a baker, who had been declared missing, and had no relatives to inherit his property.
Nobody questioned the decision of the Hoffersons, but they weren't fully embraced and honored or treated as equals by most of the tribe folks either. Hiccup and Valka were clanless. Nobody knew of their origins, and the whole story—not even him (Hiccup suspected that Brunhilda Hofferson, the current chieftess knew, or recognized his mother, but kept her mind.) It didn't help that many thought that Valka died like a coward, simply because of her refusal to carry a weapon against dragons.
So Hiccup was an orphan and a low status, clanless bread-making Viking.
But none of that mattered to Astrid Hofferson—after all, she agreed to be his partner for the Midsummer Festival.
That night was Hiccup's most treasured memory.
Falling in love with Astrid Hofferson; then actually asking her to be his midsummer dance partner to secretly dating her for two years. Foolishly believing—clinging to all their stupid promise of freely living their life together. Not like they had any chance of having a life together, to begin with—because all those times, deep down, Hiccup always knew this was bound to happen eventually. She was the heir to the Fearless tribe; a Viking of high birth. And what was he? The son of a deceased village pariah Valka, the dragon pacifist.
If only he had a father—or at the very least knew his father—then things would be different for him. But then, his Viking-like father would probably want an extra large Vikings with beefy arms and extra glory on the side. Even if Hiccup had been born to another tribe, what tribe would want a toothpick anyway? Hairy Hooligans? Judging by the name of their Chief Stock the Vast he doubted that—
The creaking sound of the wooden door interrupted his train of thought.
"Hiccup?" It was Astrid's voice.
"What do you want!" He tried to sound cold but hearing her voice made only made his voice cracked more.
"It's fine, Astrid."—It was not—"I understand. It was foolish of me to believe in you... to believe in us."
"You don't understand—"
"No, you don't understand! Everything was a mistake! Like me! I shouldn't have deluded myself with hopes and dream that things would be different!"
"It was different!"
"Oh really!? How was it different? How are you any different- "
"And what would you have me do? You know that I don't want this any more than you do, Hiccup! I loved you! I still do—"
"No, you don't. I loved you... I risked and wasted everything I had to be with you... Time, energy, gold..."
"Really Hiccup gold!? That's what you call love—For gold!?"
"Yes! Gold, silver, bronze, sheep, money—where do you think I got all those fancy gifts from."
"I..." she faltered, taking a deep breath. "I thought you made them for me... I wouldn't have accepted them if I knew!"
"Yes I made them for you... I'm a baker. Where do you think I get all those materials for the crafts!" Hiccup sneered. "Oh right, not everyone's a chief's daughter with all the resource on the island not worrying about having them."
"I can pay you back!"
"Really Astrid, Pay me back?" Hiccup said, "Keep it! I don't need your money! I should have stuck to my original plan... Save enough coins for me... Maybe one day have enough coins to leave this goddamn island where my mom and I never belonged, and embarks on an adventure, journey for myself... follow my dreams..." Hiccup didn't even feel like being angry anymore, he just felt tired... and empty. He unconsciously clutched the Horn Necklace his mother had given him. His only living memory of her.
When he was a boy, his mother always told him stories about the idea of possible peace between human and dragon. His mother always told him that when he was still inside his mother's belly, A stormcutter nuzzled her belly and looked at her in the eyes. It was the proof of everything his mother believed in. So she left her birth island in search of a plane outside the archipelago where she was hoping she could find a place where dragons and humans coexist. But then he was born too early and she was forced to settle down here in Fearless Island.
Growing up, Hiccup shared the same dream as his mother; until he had a misplaced courage asked Astrid to be his Midsummer Partner. She became his new dream—and it was just a dream.
"I sacrificed everything for you. That's love... and really I loved you—so don't you dare tell me you love me cause you don't!" Astrid was rendered silent, but he was not done yet. "Do you even see yourself right now... The pity in your eyes. The same eyes the whole tribe looked at me—and now you're looking at me all the same as everyone goddamn Viking in this village. I don't need your pity!"
Hiccup turned away, his back facing her, his eyes shut tightly in fear that if he looked straight into her eyes he would die. "If you don't have any business with me... Please leave... I have a whole lot of bread making to do... Probably for the rest of my miserable life."
"Hiccup... just let me talk-"
"Please... don't make this any harder-"
"No, I won't leave. Not until you look at me, Hiccup. Look at me straight in the eyes. Tell me that you really want me to leave. And I will leave."
He was determined to show her that he was perfectly capable of saying it to her face—spitting it at her face. He wanted to appear perfectly calm, collected, cold, maintained, emotionless...—that he wanted to tell her to leave. But the moment he turned to face her, he was met with a fierce and determined gaze that reminded him of the girl who was supposed to be out of his reach.
Astrid closed the distance between them. She grabbed him by apron roughly, forcing him to look at her in the eyes, challenging him to make her leave. "Say it."
He wanted to say a thousand things but none of it would change anything anyway. Instead, he looked at her right into the eye, trying to collect his voice, and immediately failing when he couldn't maintain his gaze.
He couldn't do it. He didn't want her to leave. He doesn't want her to leave.
When he tried to look away, Astrid let go of her hold on his apron, grabbed his face with both her hands, forcing him to look at her.
Then she was kissing him—not the usual gentle, warm, and relaxed kiss, but rough and hard and rushed as much as it was passionate.
"I knew you wouldn't say it," Astrid muttered into her mouth, then was she pushing him until he was almost leaning on the counter. "I knew you can't—"
He took her by surprise while she was talking by grabbing her shoulders firmly and gracelessly shoving her beneath him, effectively flipping their positions. Placing his arms on either side of her, he pins her body under him. Just as he leans down to capture her mouth, he suddenly froze—
He couldn't do this to her. She was supposed to be betrothed—she already belongs to someone else.
"What are you hesitating for?" Astrid asked, wrapping her arms around his neck, pulling him down for a kiss.
Maybe, just for tonight; for one last time...