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Staring like a fool in love

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Astrid loathed the hot weather, completely despised it. She couldn’t wait for this heatwave to be over so she wouldn’t be sweating in her own house anymore.

She was up in her room trying to revise for finals but was struggling in the heat rising up to her bedroom. Her windows were open completely and fans on full blast, but she still wasn’t able to cool down.

“Astrid!”

“Yeah, Mum?” She called back to her mother downstairs.

“Me and your father are off now. We’ll be back in a few hours! Oh! And Hiccup is coming over to mow the lawn at the front shortly.”

“Wait, who?”

Her mother appeared in her bedroom doorway, having had enough of shouting. “Hiccup? Stoick and Valka’s boy? Well, I guess he isn’t a boy anymore, he’s the same age as you, in his last year of college. The Haddocks have been our neighbours for years Astrid!”

Oh yeah. Her family had known the Haddocks for years, they’d been neighbours ever since Astrid could remember. She always knew Hiccup growing up, but after high school they both went to different universities. He was always the geek of the class, along with his best friend, Fishlegs. She remembered his thick rimmed glasses and turtle neck sweaters that always seemed too big for his small frame. She always found him kind of endearing in his own dorky way, but they never really interacted that much together.

“Anyways, Hiccup’s back from university and your father asked him to cut the grass. Ever since his knees have been playing up, he hasn’t been able to, and Hiccup was already doing his own so he kindly offered. He’s such a nice young man, Astrid. I don’t know why you don’t spend more time with him. He’s quite the handsome fella too.” She finished with a wink.

Astrid rolled her eyes. “Sure Mum, whatever.” She said turning back to her notes on her bed. “See you guys later.” Saying goodbye without even looking at her mother.

Her mother turned and left muttering under her breath. Probably complaining about her daughter. Astrid heard the front door open and close, before letting out a sigh and leaning back on the headboard of her bed. She really needed to revise but this heat was making it impossible. It wasn’t much better downstairs and she had her own fans up here anyway.

She managed to do a little revision before something or someone caught her eye out the window. Her eyes made out the shape of, who she assumed, was Hiccup making his way over to her house pushing his lawnmower in front of him.

He was taller than she remembered, wearing a loose T-shirt and a pair of baggy blue denim jeans, he arrived at her front lawn. How can someone wear jeans in this weather? His hair was still as unruly as she remembered, however she noticed that, for once, he wasn’t wearing his glasses.

Alright, so maybe he wasn’t so bad looking. Though she’d never tell her mother that.

She did revision as best as she could with the heat, but she couldn’t keep herself from glancing up at him every so often. Watching his movements occasionally, noticing the way his shoulders moved beneath his T-shirt as he pushed the mower back and forth. She also spotted, unsurprisingly, that his shirt was starting to get sweaty and began to cling to his body, to point were it almost looked like a second skin, which couldn’t have been that comfortable. She pulled her eyes away from the young man outside, so she wouldn’t keep getting distracted by the way his shoulders were broadened more now and tried to busy herself.

A few minutes later, she heard him stop the mower. Astrid glanced up as she saw him wipe his brow with the bottom of his shirt. Allowing Astrid to see a lean, yet toned and defined abdomen.

Holy shit.

Astrid’s eyes widened slightly. When did Hiccup have abs? He wasn’t buff but from the second or two that she got to see him, she could tell he wasn’t just a scrawny kid anymore.

She thought he was just going to carry on with the lawn after he’d wiped his face.

She was wrong.

Instead of turning the mower back on, after letting his top drop down again, Hiccup’s hands moved to the bottom his shirt, grasping the edge again with his fingers. But this time, in one fluid motion, he lifted the sweat soaked item of clothing over his head and hung it on the nearby fence.

Astrid could do nothing but stare, as her heart stopped.

Holy shit.

She hadn’t even realised the whispered curse had escaped her lips. She was practically entranced by the scene just outside her window.

Hiccup definitely wasn’t skinny.

As the lifting of clothing revealed more and more skin, Astrid was almost certain her jaw had dropped onto the carpet of her bedroom.

The contours of his lean and yet well defined muscles, were highlighted perfectly by the sunlight beaming down. His lightly tanned skin was glistening with sweat and Astrid was suddenly extremely thankful she was sat down. Hiccup’s chest was far more toned than she imagined. His shoulders and arms followed the nature of his shape, but held a strength that was unique to him. She also spotted a trail of dark hair just below his navel and quickly forced her eyes upwards, already feeling the heat rising in her cheeks.

Her eyes traveled across his body shamelessly, her gaze roaming until it landed back on his face. Even from a distance, she could make out the gorgeous forest green of his eyes, and that chiseled jawline only made Astrid feel hotter in her already rather warm room.

Before she could look at anything else, Hiccup’s eyes flickered up. Praying she wouldn’t be caught staring, Astrid flung herself forward and dived onto the floor.

Hiccup quirked an eyebrow, wondering if he was seeing things, but shrugged it off and turned back to the task at hand.

Holding a hand to her head and groaning slightly from the the impact, Astrid sat up and chanced a peak over the edge of her window to see if Hiccup was still looking and was relieved to see he was back mowing the lawn.

Should she go out? She should probably be polite and offer him a drink or something, because he was clearly hot. Like, really hot. Cursing at the heat still rising in her cheeks, she dragged herself up off the floor and out of her room.

Once downstairs Astrid made her way into the kitchen, sneaking glances at Hiccup through the windows where she could be discrete, along the way. She went to the fridge and grabbed some lemonade and poured out a glass for him.

Now all she had to do was give it to him.

Calming herself and taking a breath, she opened the front door, however after she stepped across the boundary, she found that she really wasn’t calm at all. Closer up, she could see his jeans were hanging dangerously low on his hips and now revealing the thin strip of his underwear.

Shit.

‘Pull yourself together Astrid.’

She walked towards him, his back to her as she approached, praying he would turn round. She was getting nearer to him when he turned the mower around and glanced up. Surprise obvious on his face, but a small self conscious smile tugged at his lips, as he killed the power on the mower and walked the little distance over to her.

“Hey.”

“Hey.” She cleared her throat, her voice sounding a little high. “Um, this is for you.” She held out the glass of lemonade for him.

“Oh. Thanks! You didn’t have to do that, I could have popped home.” He took the glass off her, his fingers brushing hers briefly and making her stomach flip. She just hoped he couldn’t hear her rapid heart beating from where he stood.

“It’s fine,” She waved it off. “you’re really hot so-“ she stopped as she realised exactly how that sounded. Not that it wasn’t true but...

He gave her a slightly shocked and surprised look, although the blush forming on his cheeks was obvious.

“I-I mean temperature hot, you-you know with the crazy heat today and all...” She trailed off. She was silently cursing her brain for being a stuttering mess and not thinking the words through before they left her mouth.

The light blush still visible on his face, Hiccup gave her a little lopsided smile. “Uh yeah I-I know what you meant.”

There was a fairly short, but awkward silence that followed, as they both stood there not quite knowing what to say, until Hiccup broke the quiet.

“So, how’s college? You’re in your last year right?”

Sighing inwardly with relief at the change of topic, she quickly remembered her painful revision.

“Ugh yeah I am. My course is great! I just have so much to work on before finals. It never seems to end, you know?”

“Oh yeah, I’m in my last year too, I know exactly how you feel.” He said with a small laugh. His chest moving as he spoke.

‘Stop looking at his chest.’

Before she could really process her words, she blurted out, “Um, do you wanna come in? We’ve got some ice cream in the freezer. After you’ve finished the lawn obviously. If you want?” She added rather quickly with a small smile, not wanting to sound too eager or desperate.

Still holding the glass with his arms across his chest, a wide smile spread across Hiccup’s features and Astrid thought its brightness could rival the sun. “Uh yeah, that would be really nice. I’ll finish up and come back over?”

She nodded, not really trusting her voice to reply and turned around to walk back in the house. His smile still fresh in her mind.

After she’d closed the door, Hiccup let out a sigh. Damnit, his teenage crush was still going strong. She practically looked like a goddess on earth in her high waisted shorts and slim fitting check shirt. Although he could swear he saw a dusting of red rising on her cheeks when she saw him too.

Shaking his head, still smiling, he continued his task and finished the lawn, before heading back to his house to put on a clean shirt and freshen up a little.

A short while later, Astrid heard a knock on the door. Almost sprinting to the hallway, she quickly checked her appearance in the mirror before opening the door to reveal, both to her sadness and relief, a fully clothed and smiling Hiccup.

She smiled back and stepped aside to let him in.

They talked over ice cream and laughed about old times at school. Conversation was surprisingly easy, Hiccup was actually a really funny guy, in his own sarcastic way and Astrid found herself being constantly drawn to his smile. And the way his eyes practically sparkled when he was talking about something enthusiastically and gesturing wildly with his hands. She really loved his eyes.

So engrossed in their conversation, she hadn’t quite realised how much time had passed, until she heard her parents stepping through the door and walking into the kitchen. The pair of them looked up to find Astrid’s parents staring at them in surprise. Astrid’s mum was first to come out of her shock.

“Hiccup! Thank you for doing the lawn, dear, it was such a help.”

Hiccup waved his hand dismissively, “It was no problem at all Mrs Hofferson, I was doing ours anyway so it was fine honestly.”

There was a short pause and Astrid’s mother gave her a pointed look. “Astrid?”

“I uh, asked Hiccup if he wanted to come in for a bit and have some ice cream...as thanks for the lawn.” She replied a little timidly, looking everywhere but her mother’s knowing eyes.

After a slightly awkward silence, Hiccup spoke. “Well, um I should probably be going.” He said whilst standing up from his seat, he turned back to Astrid and a genuine smile lifted his lips. “Thanks for the ice cream, Astrid and um, nice to catch up.”

“Oh yeah, no problem.” She quickly stood up and followed him to the door. Her parents were watching the exchange a short distance away with amused expressions. Damn her mother.

He opened the door and turned back to face her, putting his hands in his pockets and hovering a little awkwardly, as if he was trying to find the words to say something else.

Astrid played with the end of her braid with her finger and stared at the floor before lifting her eyes. “Thanks again, for the lawn, I know Dad really appreciates it.”

The lopsided smile she was becoming more and more addicted to, appeared again and his his gaze met hers, “Really, it was no problem at all.” He replied, before his eyes returned to the floor.

A few more moments passed, before they both suddenly broke the silence between them simultaneously.

“Do you wanna go out some time?”

Both of them blurting out the words they’d been wanting to say for a while. Shock written on their faces, as their heads snapped up at hearing the other speak. They both stopped.

A grin blossomed on Hiccup’s face then and Astrid thought her heart might melt as he spoke, “Um yeah I’d love to.”

He could swear her answering grin was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen, but before he could say anything else, Astrid had grabbed a pen and then his arm, hauling it towards her, causing a small yelp to escape him. She scribbled some numbers onto his wrist, but before letting go, using her grip on his arm and in a moment of confidence, she yanked him close and rose up on her tiptoes to press a quick kiss on his cheek.

When she dropped back and pulled away, she saw the shock in his eyes and the pink blush rising on his cheeks, certain she had a similar tint to her face.

“What was that for?” He asked still dazed, a dopey smile tugged at the corners of his lips. Astrid Hofferson had not only given him her number, but also kissed him. He silently pinched himself to check he wasn’t dreaming.

“The ice cream was a thanks for the lawn.” She said shyly, eyes flickering between his and ground. “That was for, everything else. Text me if you wanna meet up.” She added quickly before stepping back through her door and closing it behind her.

Hiccup stood still for a moment before grinning and turning round and walking back towards his house.

Astrid walked back into the kitchen to find her mother already looking at her, eyes glittering knowingly. “So, you invited Hiccup to come in for ice cream?”

Rolling her eyes, Astrid quickly spoke, “It was kind of him to offer, so I asked if he wanted to come in. And he was hot..”, her cheeks heating up as she finished. “Anyway, I’m going to revise, let me know when dinner’s ready.” She quickly got out before heading upstairs to her room.

Astrid’s mother just shook her head. A smile lifting her lips as she turned back to her sink and glanced through the window, Hiccup’s forgotten shirt still hanging on the fence. She chuckled lightly. Yes, she’s sure he was.

Once Astrid got back into her room, she breathed a sigh leaning with her back against the door, before returning to her bed and the dreaded revision.

A beep sounding from her phone a short while later brought her out of her focus. An unknown number lighting up the screen. A grin blossomed on her face as she quickly grabbed it and started typing.

Maybe the heat wasn’t completely bad after all.

Fin.

Chapter Text

Astrid hated painting. She loathed anything artistic actually.

But then she said the same about the heat 6 months ago.

She had asked Hiccup if he minded popping over to help her with painting her new living room. She had just moved into her new apartment in town and it was in desperate need of redecorating. But it was fairly cheap to rent, so she wasn’t going to be too picky. It got her out of the family home where she was constantly under the feet of her parents, and as much as she loved them, she was grateful for being able to finally get her own place.

Even if it did have fluorescent orange walls and ceilings.

Ceilings which were currently in the process of being painted over, with a much nicer and more neutral white colour by Hiccup.

He’d been so willing to help her and she couldn’t help but smile when he said yes to helping. The past six months had been amongst the best in her life, getting to know Hiccup, knowing the real Hiccup, and spending time with him had been amazing. He was amazing.

Astrid had been falling for her dorky neighbour more and more over the past weeks and months. And she was falling hard.

The domesticity of painting walls together in her apartment, gave her a feeling of contentment she’d never felt before. A few years back, she had travelled and seen amazing things around the world, searching for whatever it was she was looking for, like most young people did. The half a year Astrid had been with Hiccup, felt like a lifetime. And in her heart, with him, she had found it; she felt at peace.

Well. Her heart was at peace until the moment a certain auburn haired dork clearly decided it wasn't practical to paint a ceiling with a shirt on. Because when she turned round to refill her brush, she saw a green shirt tossed on the back of a chair and Hiccup was reaching up with his roller and resuming painting the ceiling.

Shirtless. God help her.

He’d taken up the challenge of painting the ceiling for her; with his added height he was able to use the roller without the need for a step ladder.

So he was stretched out. And in all his half naked glory.

Astrid had to mentally shake herself as her brush was still hovering above the paint tin, but she was struggling to think of anything remotely related to painting and her orange walls now.

Completely oblivious to his girlfriend’s state and what he was doing to her, Hiccup continued the task at hand and moved the roller across the ceiling.

God, Astrid get it together. You’re a 22 year old woman, not a teenage school girl.

She chided herself for getting flustered and tried to return her attention to the wall with her brush.

But she can’t help herself from glancing at him. He was just too lovely not to look at.

Almost completely forgetting what she was doing, she shamelessly let her eyes trail over his form. Damn, she was lucky. She could see all the muscles in his back flexing, as he reached different sections of the ceiling, giving her an excellent view of his backside as her eyes continued to move down.

In her own little world, she hadn’t realised Hiccup had finished a patch of ceiling and suddenly looked over in her direction, Astrid quickly averted her eyes, praying she wasn’t caught just openly staring at him.

She could feel Hiccup’s eyes still on her, so she chanced a glance at him and saw him looking at her. He’d brought his top lip between his teeth as if he was struggling to contain himself, gazing at her like something was funny.

“What?” She tried to keep her eyes on his face and forces herself to try and maintain control.

An amused smile begins to stretch across his face, “You do realise you’re just painting the same spot, right?”

Her cheeks start to turn pink without permission, she can feel it. She turns back to look at the wall and realises what exactly she’d been doing.

Shit. She’d literally been brushing the same tiny patch the entire time.

Cursing herself for allowing him to distract her, she attempted to compose herself, “Uh, yeah, I knew that. I was just-uh, making sure I covered all the orange? You know, gotta layer up the white so the orange doesn’t come through?” It sounded like a question but she hoped it would satisfy him.

“Really? So you’ve intentionally painted the same spot like ten times?” A knowing smirk starts to make its way onto his face. His eyes twinkling in amusement, as he crossed his arms over his chest.

Astrid’s eyes almost instantly dropped down to his chest and the display of his lovely arms for half a second, before she dragged them up again. And then she realised; he knew.

Not one for backing down, Astrid turned back again to the wall and lifted her brush, “Yes. It’s completely intentional.”

“Completely intentional?”

“Yep.”

“Uhuh.”

Determined to prove him wrong, turning her back to him, Astrid continued painting that small area and tried to focus on the wall and brush in her hand.

That was until, however, she felt two warm hands encircling her waist from behind, making her jump a little, tingles shooting down her spine at the touch, as he gently pulled her back to his chest.

“Hiccup,” Shooting him her best attempt at a playful glare over her shoulder, Astrid tried and failed to concentrate on the painting, “get back to work, you’re distracting me.”

“I can see that.”

She quickly turned her head to find Hiccup grinning at her mischievously, chin resting on her left shoulder.

Her cheeks were turning pink again, she could barely keep up the facade.

“Stop it, Hiccup.”

“Stop what?” Still grinning, he pressed a soft kiss to the curve of her neck, his breath tickling her skin and making her shiver.

“This.” She tried to wave her hand that wasn’t holding the brush back at him.

“You just gestured to all of me.”

“Yeah, well if it wasn’t for you, the wall would actually be more painted by now.”

“I thought you were covering up the orange with a million layers of paint?”

“Oh shut up, you.”

She’d had enough. Spinning round in his arms, Astrid didn’t give him a chance to reply. Slinging her arms around his neck she rose up and captured his lips with her own. Silencing whatever sarky comeback he was about to give her. He was still smiling even after she had pressed her lips to his.

Hiccup’s hands slid round to settle on her back, pulling her close till they were flush. His lips were soft and warm as they moved with hers, gentle, yet passionate, as he kissed her with such love and tenderness, Astrid thought her heart might burst.

She was revelling in the feeling of him pressed so closely against her. One of her hands moved down from his neck to his front and she was promptly reminded of his state of undress. Her palm slid across his chest and she was unable to resist scraping her nails lightly over the bare skin. And she couldn’t get enough of the low groan he made from the back of his throat or the way his arms tightened around her, when she did.

His lips massaged hers in a way that made her spine arch and toes curl. He drew her upper lip between his teeth, pulling on it gently as he nipped and teased, before sliding his tongue along the soft flesh in a soothing apology. Astrid’s mind blanked from there. Her hands had made their way into his soft hair and she tugged at the strands a little harder unintentionally.

Screw the painting, there were more important items on her to-do list now.

Her lip slipped out of his hold and he was about to pull away so they could catch their breaths, but she wasn’t having any of it. She kissed him again and he made a muffled sound of surprise and tried to speak in between kisses.

“What.” Kiss. “About.” Another kiss. “The painting?”

Astrid pulled away just enough to look up into eyes, their panting breaths mingling in the minute gap between their mouths. She saw the humour in the endless pool of green, but the desire and longing in his gaze couldn’t be denied.

“The painting can wait.” And her lips were on his again.

Okay, so maybe painting wasn’t so bad after all either.

Fin.