Summer Nights, Unexpected Frights
In which Astrid’s father confronts Hiccup.
It was a clear, warm night with a bright moon and several thousands of stars twinkling down at the two riders. They sprawled out on the grass atop a flat sea stack, counting constellations and enjoying each other’s company. Toothless and Stormfly were behind them, dozing off since it was the dead of night and there wasn’t much room to play.
Astrid and Hiccup held hands as the breeze tickled their cheeks when they watched the sky. They made short conversation every now and then, but it was mostly a comfortable silence spent pointing at shooting stars or trying to identify the shapes of dragons that flew in front of the moon. They were comfortable and at ease, the first they had felt in a long time.
It was nice that they got to spend time relaxing together, but it got to be stressful, in a way, because they could only spend time together when the sun was long down. It was a week or so after the explosion on the Edge, and they decided to take a rest on Berk before returning to their outpost. Everyone was always swarming around Hiccup, congratulating him on his victory or coming to him with something or other. If he wasn’t talking to villagers, he was with his father in the Great Hall or with Gobber in the forge. All he wanted to do was spend time with Astrid.
“We should probably get going,” Astrid murmured, breaking the silence as she delicately brushed his knuckles with her thumb. “We’re going back in the morning, remember?”
Hiccup only sighed. He wanted to get back to work, of course, but he had come to treasure these moments he had spent with her under the moonlight. It was a pattern of crawling up her house on Toothless and rapping softly on her bedroom window (only because her parents would kill her if they found her sneaking out at night) and stealthily flying away from the island to where no one would disturb them.
Hiccup knew the work on the Edge had to be done. By this time, the ash from the explosion would probably be clear enough to start clean-up and rebuilding, if there was anything left at all. Though he and Astrid would find themselves alone much easier, it wouldn’t be as fun or exhilarating or special as this week had been. But there was work to be done, so he pushed himself off the ground with a grunt and helped his partner up as well.
It took only a couple of minutes to ride back to the main isle. The couple landed, as quietly as they could, next to Astrid’s house. When Stormfly was back in her stable, where she was before they left, they bid their goodbye’s in front of her house.
“Congrats, another successful date,” she whispered teasingly. The torches around the village illuminated her face so Hiccup could see the pink tint of a blush that crept onto her cheeks.
“Wha- you doubted me?” he replied with a goofy grin. Honestly, they were both surprised how well the week had turned out. Hiccup was a huge romantic, but he wasn’t very smooth. The two of them were equally aware of this. He pressed his lips together as he stared at her, pulling her closer. “Hey, it’s a learning experience.”
She bit her lip with a giggle as his eyes dropped to her lips. He leaned in gently and kissed her, which she welcomed as she grabbed a fistful of his tunic and pulled him closer. He sighed happily into her mouth as she deepened it, their heads tilting and his arms wrapping around her waist.
A sudden light and a door slamming open broke them apart. A large, burly figure equipped with an axe stood at the doorway, light streaming in from behind him.
“What in Thor’s name is– Astrid?”
“Dad!” yelped Astrid as she jumped away from Hiccup.
Arvid Hofferson stepped out into the darkness, bushy eyebrows raised high and his eyes wide with confusion. “What’s goin’ on here? I hear racket on the roof, enough to get me outta bed, and I come to see my daughter snoggin’ some random boy in the middle o’ the night! By, Odin, I should… great Thor, that’s Hiccup!”
Hiccup grimaced as Astrid’s father barked his name. He cringed further when Toothless slinked off of the Hofferson’s roof right in front of her father.
“Got anything to explain to me, boy? Why you’re out with my daughter, why your dragon is up on my roof, scarin’ the livin’ daylights out of me wife?”
“I– uh… I’m really sorry… sir…” Hiccup spluttered. “We… I, didn’t mean to– to disturb you in any way!”
“That’s an apology, not an explanation!”
“Ah… well… Astrid and I wanted to… we, uh… kinda… ” Hiccup cleared his throat, anxiety bubbling up in his stomach and making him feel sick.
“Out with it!”
“We’re… sorta… no, well- we are…” Hiccup pursed his lips and straightened his posture, holding his chin up higher. “We’re– ah…. courting.”
Arvid’s eyebrows shot up again. “Courting?” he echoed. “You two… courting?”
Hiccup nodded as he held his breath.
“I don’t recall you askin’ for my blessing,” he rumbled in a low voice, stroking his beard and eyeing the two.
“I-I’m really sorry about that!” Hiccup stammered quickly. “It- ah, well, we… started… courting when we were away at the Edge, and I had full intentions of asking for your… your blessing, but things got caught up when we were here and I never had the chance to ask.” He hung his head. “I’m sorry Mr. Hofferson.”
“With this irresponsibility, what makes you think you’re good enough for my daughter?”
Hiccup couldn’t catch a break. “Well, sir, I- uh… I’m not good enough. For her, I mean. I do try my best, though, for her. When I’m with her, I want to make myself the best I can possibly be… um… well, because she really deserves the world… and so much more.” Hiccup’s face was beet red, visible in the light coming from the house.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, Dad,” she murmured. “I should have known better.”
“By Thor, Astrid, you couldn’t have chosen better!” he slapped Hiccup’s back, which made the thin boy stumble forward as Arvid came out to embrace the two. He crushed them with a monster hug. “The chief’s son? Ha! I knew you’d be the pride of our clan!”
After a long squeezing, the large man pulled away and pointed a finger at Hiccup. “When you’re with her, you’d better take care of her, hear me, boy?”
“Ah– yes! Yes. Yes, sir.”
A hearty chuckle later, and Arvid was pulling Astrid through the door of their home. “Oh, wait till Stoick hears this!”
Astrid craned her neck to look back at Hiccup, her eyes wide and mouthing an apology. When the door slammed shut behind them, Hiccup could swear the only other time his knees felt that weak was when he had first met Toothless and the dragon had screamed in his face.
He paused for a second, replaying what had just happened in his mind, and sprinted back to his house as fast as his foot could take him.
In which I try to write and be funny but ultimately fail