It didn’t take Astrid long to find Hiccup. There was only one place her girlfriend would go when she was stressed or upset, and so Astrid wasn’t surprised at all when she spotted Toothless’s black form lounging near the pond when she and Stormfly reached the cove. Hiccup sat to the side, her back against a rock, her good leg tugged under herself, and her eyes gazing unseeingly into the distance.
After landing, Astrid affectionately scratcher her dragon at her belly before sending her off to play. Then she sauntered over to where Hiccup sat, still lost in her thoughts.
“Hey,” Astrid greeted her as she got closer.
Hiccup blinked before turning her head, then gave her a warm if a little tense smile. “Hey.”
Astrid let herself slide to the ground next to Hiccup. “So… what happened?” she asked. There was no point in pretending nothing had happened; Hiccup had left the village without a word after talking to her father, and Astrid knew Hiccup too well to be fooled.
Hiccup gave a suppressed sigh. She reached for a fallen leaf and nervously picked it apart with her nimble fingers.
“This morning, my dad wanted to talk to me,” she eventually said, and Astrid nodded. She’d noticed that much. “It’s… After what happened with Drago, he wants me to be prepared to take over the village at any moment. Which makes sense, I guess, with how Dad almost got killed in that fight.” She looked up, her pretty green eyes meeting Astrid’s. “And I don’t really mind. I mean, I get it. I need to be prepared and all. It’s just–” She broke off, lips pressed into a thin line.
Astrid reached for Hiccup’s hand, entwining her fingers with her own. “What is it, babe?”
Oh, she had an idea of what Stoick had brought up for his daughter to be so upset. But, maybe, it was something else. Maybe they would have a last reprieve.
Hiccup swallowed. “Dad... He wants me… wants me to get married.” She scratched at her neck and gave Astrid a tense look. “He said that, for the good of the people, I should get a strong partner, someone who can help me carry the burden. Mum returning to live at her sanctuary must have hit him harder than he’s letting on.” Hiccup chuckled weakly, but quickly turned serious again, solemn even.
However, Astrid had barely listened anymore after Hiccup’s first words. Ever since they’d confessed their love to each other two years ago, she’d known it would come to this. Awkward as it had been at first, Astrid was never as happy as in the minutes she got to spend with Hiccup, feeling her touch, her kiss, her body against her own. She loved her, her wit, her intelligence, the way they constantly challenged each other in different ways. But right from the beginning, there had always been an end date for them. The village had accepted their relationship without much irritation, even Stoick. But that was probably because they’d all known it couldn’t last.
Slowly, Astrid withdrew her hand from Hiccup’s, hoping that she wouldn’t notice how much her fingers were shaking. This was going to be hard, for both of them. But she knew it would be even harder for Hiccup if she knew how much their inevitable breakup affected Astrid.
“So, it’s over then,” she whispered, nodding. Gods, why was her voice so brittle? “And I think Stoick is right, Berk will need strong leaders. We can’t only rely on the dragons to protect us. So, uh, did… did he already pick a husband for you? Which alliance would be the most beneficial? Dagur would certainly be interested. Or what about Throk? An alliance with the Defenders of the Wing could help boost your credibility as a female leader. I mean, nobody would ever doubt Mala’s ability to lead her people…”
She trailed off, a weird chuckle dropping off her lips even as she had to avert her face so Hiccup wouldn’t notice the shimmer of tears in her eyes. Gods, she couldn’t start crying now. She was strong and independent, a warrior, captain of the Berk Guard. A broken heart wouldn’t throw her off track, it was nothing.
Even though being with Hiccup was all she really wanted…
“Wait, what?” Hiccup’s words broke her out of her spiralling thoughts. She sounded… off. Confused. Lost.
With a sigh, Astrid forced herself to meet Hiccup’s gaze again. “Well, we always knew it would end that way, right? Us, I mean. And… i-it’s okay. I won’t hold it against you. Berk comes first, and it’s your place to lead them. I just…” She let out a hiccupy sigh. “I don’t know, maybe I’ll ask Atali whether I can stay with them for a while, and—”
Astrid gasped when Hiccup reached for her hands again, a strange urgency in that gesture that made her look up again.
“What are you talking about?” Hiccup asked, confused. Her hands were shaking now, too, Astrid noticed. “I… I won’t marry either of them, no matter what Dad wants. I won’t give up on us! He didn’t choose anyone for me, wanted me to choose a partner for myself. And I already have. I—”
She broke off, biting her lip and her shoulders slumping as insecurity overtook her. Astrid had seen this expression so often on her… Out of reflex, her hands squeezed Hiccup; reassuringly. No matter how much her heart was hurting at the prospect of leaving Hiccup, she would always support her.
Hiccup looked up again, the expression in her eyes so pleading and vulnerable that it made Astrid choke. ”Astrid, I… I chose you.”
Astrid’s eyes grew wide. “What?”
Hiccup pulled up her shoulders, her gaze intensifying. “Everything we accomplished over the years, the Edge, the Dragon Hunters, Drago… I couldn’t have done any of that without you. And I thought… well… that it would always be like that. You and me, together. You’re the only person I can imagine spending my life with. So I choose you. If… if you want me?”
For a minute, Astrid could only stare, stunned. Then laughter broke out of her, and she nodded eagerly and stammered, “I… Yes! Yes, of course, I do.”
But no matter how happy Hiccup’s words made her, the feeling only lasted for a brief moment , only until reality caught up with her again. Her shoulders slumped, her smile falling off her face. “But… it’s impossible,” she murmured.
“What?” Oh, Hiccup sounded so hurt.
It tore Astrid’s heart to pieces. Inwardly chastising herself, Astrid pushed her own pain aside, and said, “Oh, Hiccup… I’d love to tie the knot with you and stand by your side, you know that, right? But we can’t do that. Stoick won’t allow it. The traditions and rules are clear.” Her eyes were burning, and she looked away; she didn’t want Hiccup to see how sad she was. “Your father will insist on you marrying a man, someone to forge a political alliance, if possible. And you’d need an heir anyway. I won’t be in your way to fulfil your duty.”
Swallowing, Astrid tried not to think about it. Unlike herself, Hiccup had never been with anyone but her. Hiccup wasn’t even interested in men. The thought of her being forced into a marriage she didn’t want… it wasn’t fair!
“So-so you would reject me? You’d leave?” Hiccup’s voice sounded hollow, forlorn. So small and lost.
Weakly, Astrid nodded, shrugged. “I hope that you’ll be happy. As happy as you can be. But… I don’t think I have the strength to stand by and watch, at least not right away. And… maybe it’ll even help you settle in more easily, if I’m not around to remind you…” She paused, pulling away. “I hope you can forgive me one day, but–”
Astrid looked up, scared of what she would see. She’d never wanted to cause Hiccup pain.
But to her relief, there was no pain in her eyes. All she saw there was the typical Haddock stubbornness, mixed with traces of excitement and joy.
“No, ‘but’, Astrid. If this is what you want too, if you’ll accept me… then nothing will come between us.”
“But your father—”
Hiccup shook her head, her long auburn locks flying around, wild and untamed as always. “I won't let him come between us. He likes you, that much I already know. And he told me he’s happy to see me happy with you. So, if he still wants to separate us… then…” She took a deep breath. “Then he’ll have to train another heir.”
Astrid’s eyes widened. “You’d give up your birthright?”
“For you? Yes. I want to lead our people and I’m prepared for this duty. But only on my terms. I’ll do it with you, together. Or not at all.”
Astrid needed a second to let Hiccup’s words sink in. Then she let out a weak laugh and threw herself around her neck, knocking them both down into the grass. They kissed, an overwhelming sense of giddiness making them both giggle against each other’s lips.
When they came up to breathe again, Astrid’d mind was consumed by overwhelming happiness. Never had she even dared to hope for this outcome, but here now they were, and with this new assurance, she wouldn’t let anyone get between them, either.
She noticed that Hiccup’s hands were trembling, though, so Astrid took them in her own. She could sense how agitated she was, and breathed soft and calming kisses onto her knuckles. Sometimes, Hiccup needed a minute to get order into her thoughts.
“What’s up?” she eventually asked, looking up at Hiccup with a reassuring smile.
Hiccup smiled back, though hesitantly, and her hands tightened around Astrid’s. “I was… pretty nervous, to be honest,” she said with a shaky laugh. “I wasn’t sure how you’D react, and… “ She shook her head, but then suddenly became serious. “Astrid… Why did you say that? Earlier, I mean. About how we always knew it would end that way? What was that about?”
Astrid bit her lip and averted her face. After Hiccup’s vehement confession just minutes ago, this felt silly now. With an embarrassed shrug, she said, “It’s… what I thought would happen, what I was prepared for. I love you, Hiccup, you know that, and these past two years with you have only deepened my feelings for you. But… well, I always expected we’d have to part one day, that this happiness I felt with you would only be temporary. That to become Chief, you'd enter a political marriage, or…” She trailed off, shrugging helplessly.
“Oh,” Hiccup said.
She needed a minute to process, time Astrid used to battle down her own worries. She didn’t want for Hiccup to step down, knew how much the people of Berk meant to her. But that she was willing to risk her father’s anger for her meant a lot to Astrid. And maybe it wouldn’t even have to come this far. Maybe they’d be able to convince Stoick…
“So…” Hiccup eventually said. ”Throughout all this time, you thought we’d have to break up, eventually?”
Slowly, Astrid nodded. She looked up, searching for what to say, but never got the chance. From one second to the other, Hiccup was right in front of her, her hands cradling her face and her lips pressed to her own. Astrid gasped, happily surprised. Usually, Hiccup was much more timid, shy even, so her starting anything was rare.
“So that’s why you sometimes acted so reserved,” Hiccup murmured against her lips. “And here I feared you wouldn’t want to stay with me.”
But Hiccup interrupted her with another kiss. “Doesn’t matter. You spent two years thinking we couldn’t last. That I would leave you at my dad’s command. That I wouldn't do anything to stay with you.” She came closer, one hand caressing along Astrid’s face while the other landed on her waist, holding her in a light embrace. “Astrid, these past two years have been the happiest of my life. I can’t even put into words how much you mean to me, how empty my live would be without you. But while I was happy, you always worried, and I didn’t even notice.”
Astrid wanted to object, to assure her that she’d been happy, too. But before she could get out even one word, Hiccup kissed her again, more energetic than usual, and it left Astrid breathless, happiness fluttering in her chest. Her hands came up to pull Hiccup closer, wandering along her soft curves, exploring her. Hiccup was always shy, hesitant about carrying things further, so it had become their routine that Astrid was the one to take the initiative. But when her hands reached Hiccups breasts, palming them through her tunic and playing with her covered nipples, she shook her head.
“Today is my turn,” she breathed, joy and confidence dancing in her green eyes when they met Astrid’s. “Can I do this for you? Please?”
A little overwhelmed, Astrid nodded. She enjoyed taking the lead in their lovemaking, but seeing Hiccup like this, confident and eager to take over? It was something else. It meant that Hiccup trusted her enough to allow herself to make mistakes, and that was possibly a greater gift than anything else.
They ended up lying in the soft gras, kissing, groping. Astrid revelled in feeling Hiccup’s soft curves beneath her hands and against her own body, the same as it had been yesterday, and yet, everything felt so new. More meaningful. Complete.
Only slowly, they discarded one piece of clothing after the other. There was no hurry in Hiccup’s motions; she thoroughly appreciated every bit of revealed skin with kisses and caresses, leaving Astrid tingling all over. She tried to return the favour, at least a little, but Hiccup was too thorough, too distracting for her to do much but take her attention. Prior to being with Astrid, she didn’t have any experience with sex and intimacy. But she’d always been observant in everything, a quick learner, and this was no different. Hiccup knew which spots on Astrid’s body were sensitive and how to best stimulate them, had memorised her like a map, and it didn’t take much for her to turn her into a helpless and needy mess.
“Hiccup…” she mewled, hardly able to do more than cling to curvy hips or clutch at the grass beneath them.
But there was no reprieve. Hiccup was kneeling across her left leg, the right lifted and loosely wrapped around her waist. She was leaning down to distract Astrid with kisses, hot and open-mouthed, while her hand worked between Astrid’s thighs, slowly buy relentlessly. Long and nimble fingers caressed along her folds and brushed over her clit, making her body tremble with desire.
If Astrid had had the mind for it, she might have regretted teaching Hiccup about teasing and edging, about how to drive her lover insane with building pleasure. But as it was, Astrid’s mind was entirely empty safe for the wonderful, amazing, merciless things Hiccup made her feel. By now, her fingers were inside her, moving in and out in a pace just quick enough to keep her from calming down. She barely managed to open her eyes and look up into beautiful green eyes, Hiccup’s long auburn curls falling around them like a curtain. There was a flash of eager satisfaction in those eyes, a smirk tugging at full lips as she curled her fingers. Her aim was perfect, hitting Astrid’s g-spot and drawing a cry from her lips. Her back arched at the burst of pleasure, but it wasn’t enough to reach her climax, and it soon became clear that Hiccup wasn’t planning to let her soon, either.
Astrid lost all sense of time, writhing and bucking beneath Hiccup’s confident ministrations for what felt like hours. It felt so good to give herself up and into Hiccup’s care. Astrid trusted her with no exceptions, and so she did the only thing she could, took it all until she felt like she would combust any moment now.
“Oh, please,” she whimpered as Hiccup shifted the angle once again, just a tiny bit but it was enough to push her away from that edge once again. “P-please, Hiccup. I…”
She couldn’t even form coherent words anymore, but it seemed to be enough nonetheless, Hiccup sensing that she couldn’t take much more and showing mercy.
“Yes,” Hiccup breathed, her mouth at her ear, lips nipping at sensitive skin. Her movements sped up, fingers thrusting into her and always hitting the mark. Her thumb rubbed at her clit, over and over, until Astrid’s body became rigid, and the waves of pleasure broke above her.
A cry tore itself from Astrid’s throat as she came, back arching and toes curling. Her hands clutched at whatever they could find, and her head rolled uncontrollably from one side to the other, the intensity of her climax almost too much for her to bear. It consumed her, head to toe, a sensation like lightning shooting through her body. It made her arms and legs shake, made colourful lights explode behind her eyes, and made her scream and yell without any filter.
Once it was over, she only slowly found her way back into reality. Around her, the world was spinning and swimming out of focus, her body not fully reacting as it was supposed to.
“That was… oh, wow. Amazing!” she gasped after a minute, still catching her breath. She finally managed to focus her gaze on Hiccup who was leaning over her, with a smug grin on her lips and her eyes beaming.
“Well, I had the best teacher.”
They both laughed, then Hiccup laid down next to her, both entangled in a tight embrace.
“Just give me a few minutes, then I’ll get back to you,” Astrid murmured. She felt heavy, sleepy, but it wouldn’t be fair to leave Hiccup hanging like that.
Hiccup chuckled, but it sounded strained. “No need for that now,” she said, her voice a little tense.
Her arms tightened around Astrid, her finger digging into her arm as if to hold on to her. “First, he should talk to my dad.”