I was fooling around with the Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald soundfonts and I found it funny how pretty much everything sounds cool with those trumpets. People make fun of how every song in RSE has trumpets but I love them.
- The only reason why I became friends with you is because it’s a really hot summer and you have a pool.
Astrid cringed when Tuffnut up and said it out loud the ninth time they went. ‘You have a pool, it’s a really hot summer, can’t afford pool fees, so here we are, friend!’
Hiccup’s face hadn’t even flinched; he’d just kept looking on at the mess his peers were making of his therapy pool with folded arms and a sour expression, then sighed and went into the kitchen to make lemonade for everyone.
Throughout the entire exchange, Hiccup had never looked at Astrid, and she was now stewing in her own heat, guilt almost forbidding her to enter the pool on principle.
‘Come on babe, don’t be shy,’ Snotlout called out, trying to be coy and only sounding creepy as fuck as his eyes ran the usual gamut below her neck. It always made her want to gouge them out.
‘Shut up and concentrate!’ Tuffnut replied, balanced on his sister’s shoulders. Snotlout, sitting on Fishlegs’, turned back to the epic pool battle. Water splashed everywhere, and the sun shone down even harder on all the noise and laughter.
‘You’re not in yet?’
Astrid almost jumped, but masked her reaction just on time by turning to look at their returned host. He was carrying a tray with a jug of icy, condensed, sweet-smelling lemonade and plastic cups stacked on it, which he carefully put down on the table beside her. He raised his eyebrows at her, pointing at the jug, and she nodded quickly, restlessly tugging at her t-shirt. Even the light cotton of her shirt and shorts were feeling like fire against her skin with how hot it was, but being this close to Hiccup was making it worse. Only she couldn’t quite bring herself to take them off, either.
She’d been like the others at first - well, not exactly like the others. She’d liked the idea of her friend having a pool they could go to with how high the temperatures were and hadn’t minded when he’d invited them. She’d jumped right in every other time, clearing the pool a few times before the others started jumping in and made swimming the length impossible.
She hadn’t expected to enjoy talking to him so much. They’d been friends for some years now, but he’d always been so quiet around her that she’d always thought he hardly ever spoke. After his mum’s accident and his loss of a foot, he’d been much more relaxed around them all - he’d even joked about feeling like a ‘weight had been taken from him’ once, and Astrid had been forced to punch him at the bad joke. Snotlout had been booed out of school when he’d tried to keep his bullying up as Hiccup tottered on his crutches. When Tuffnut had been wailing about the heat, and he’d invited them to his pool, all of them had jumped on the offer.
‘Dad dug up the garden,’ he’d explained to her one time, bobbing in the sizable pool as they leaned on a lilo. ‘Moment the whole ‘pool therapy’ thing was out of the physio’s mouth, he was calling Gobber to get a shovel and start planning this thing. And mum still feels so guilty she can’t say no to anything he comes up with anymore.’
They’d laughed, and that had been the first time Astrid had noticed how long his neck was. And how nice. And that his eyes reflected the water.
And then she’d realised that she liked him. When she’d gone back home she’d had a small freak out in her bedroom about it, before realising that all the objections she had to liking Hiccup had been someone else’s opinion on the boy, and having formed her own opinion now from knowing him better, she found she could easily shake it off.
Which led to her falling more, and more, and more for him. Just last week she’d caught herself daydreaming about him during class, and then she’d starting trying on fifteen different outfits before going out if she knew he was going to be there, only to culminate in today.
She’d agonised on her new bathing suit. Her behaviour was unacceptable, really. But she’d changed back into her old one-piece swimsuit three times before psyching herself enough to wear her bikini again, and had only not changed back again because Ruff had nearly broken the bell downstairs, and she’d had to fling the t-shirt and shorts on quickly before her dad murdered the twins.
So now she was sitting on the pool-side table, tugging at her clothes, trying to psyche herself into taking her damn clothes off. Hiccup’s shoulders had freckled considerably from all the hours he’d spent in the pool with them, and there was a reason she knew he had sixty-seven freckles on his right pectoral.
Because he had one, thin, cut and lean like the rest of him. Bless pool therapy.
‘Hey, you alright today?’ he asked her now, offering her the cold glass. She took it and hid her face in it, trying to delay the inevitable.
‘My swimsuit was in the wash,’ she lied, crunching down some ice to keep her mouth busy.
‘Ah, so you can’t swim? That stinks,’ he replied, stirring his lemonade absently. Toothless was sleeping in a patch of shade, shaved fur showing off his pink tummy, and Hiccup flicked condensation from his glass at the dog’s belly, smiling when he wriggled.
‘Well, no, I have ‘nother one.’ She mumbled that. And this too. ‘It’s skimpy.’
Astrid’s heart near beat out of her chest when Hiccup blushed. He blushed; that was a good sign, right? Gah how she wished she had a female friend other than Ruffnut right now! Her advice was usually ‘wrestle him to the ground and take what you want’ on practically everything. Astrid had to admit that she was so tempted to follow it right now.
‘Ah,’ he replied, scratching his red cheeks.
‘You’ll have to come in with me,’ she blurted out suddenly, ‘to stop me from killing Snotlout. You know how he’ll get,’ she finished lamely. She covertly eyed his t-shirt, which he also hadn’t removed yet, and prayed for the best.
‘OK,’ he agreed, removing the shirt stiffly. All the others came out of the pool for lemonade, and Astrid took her chance to shuck her clothes quickly before jumping into the water. Her luck held - Snotlout was too engrossed trying to cheat everyone out of more lemonade than was his share, and Hiccup slipped in behind her after unlatching his prosthetic, so he wasn’t there to regulate this latest bout of childishness. He did look flustered, however, and that cheered her up considerably.
‘It suits you,’ he said, looking straight ahead. Score! You can bag this, girl!
‘Thanks, you too,’ she replied before she could stop herself, and then wished she could drown herself. What the heck, keep it together, Hofferson!
‘Me in a bikini,’ he said, considering the idea in mock seriousness. ‘Now there’s a sight I hope I’ll never see.’
Astrid had to keep herself from making comments on how she wished she could see him in speedos instead.
‘How about a race!’ she called, and stroked away, hiding her flaming face in the cool water.
‘Hey, no head-start against the one-legged man!’ he called after her. If only he knew, she had one heck of a head start on a massive crush.
This one happens to be one of my favourites. Hope you enjoyed.