fanfiction: sidelines

Anonymous said: Can you do the promt number 66, please? 

66.  “Look, I don’t have much time, but I wanted to say I love you.”

This is the last one for the night. It’s getting late and I’m tired and I’ve got work in the morning.

Set some point after httyd 2.

“Look, I don’t have much time, but I wanted to say I love you.” They clung to one another, ignoring for the moment the shouts calling Hiccup down to the boats. The other riders were already at the water’s edge waiting with their dragons.

“I- I love you too!” Astrid pulled her husband close, tangling her fingers in his hair and pressing her lips to his.

Hiccup pulled away reluctantly. “I have to go Astrid, I can’t keep them any longer.”

“Ugh! This isn’t right!” Astrid glared down at the ships as if her stare alone could will them away. “I should be going with you! I don’t want you going on your own.”

Hiccup skimmed his hands up Astrid’s arms to rest them comfortingly on her shoulders. “I won’t be on my own. I’ll have Toothless. I’ll have the dragon riders.”

“But not me.”

One hand dropped to rest, fingers spread, on the swell of Astrid’s belly. Hiccup could feel the curve of the baby’s head pressed against his palm.

“You know you can’t come with me.” He let his fingers linger, committing the feeling to memory for the long flight ahead.

“You should take Stormfly then.”

Hiccup met Astrid’s steady gaze. “No,” he told her. “Stormfly won’t leave you. And I wouldn’t ask her to.” The dragon had become extra protective of her rider before they’d even known Astrid was with child. The Nadder had refused to let Astrid out of her sight for the last eight months.

“It’s not fair,” Astrid realised she sounded like a petulant child, but she didn’t care. “Promise me- promise me that you’ll come back safe.”

Hiccup hesitated on the words.

Astrid balled the front of his shirt in her fist. “Don’t you dare leave me without saying those words.”

With a shaky breath, Hiccup promised.

Astrid released her grip on his shirt. “Go get them babe.” She stood on the dock and watched the dragons disappear over the horizon, the boats trailing behind.

She stood on that dock every morning, despite the cold and Valka’s protests. Stormfly would sit with her, preening her beak through Astrid’s hair and fussing over the young woman. Pregnancy had not been kind to her, the queasiness lasting much longer than expected. For the first time in her life, Astrid found herself at odds this this new body of hers.

But despite the bone deep lethargy that had kept her in bed for much of the previous month, Astrid would force herself up to go and wait on the docks and watch for the speck on the horizon that would herald Hiccup’s return.

Five days passed and no Hiccup.

Berserker Island was a full days flight from Berk. A return trip would take just over two days. That left Hiccup three days to help Dagur sort out his Dragon Hunter problem.  More than enough time.

Unless something had gone wrong.

No, Hiccup would have sent a message, one of the Terrible Terrors if he was delayed.

Unless something had gone really wrong.

The baby kicked, startling Astrid out of that destructive thought process. She rubbed her belly, feeling the press of tiny feet against her hand.

One of Hiccup’s favourite games at night was to place items on Astrid’s bulging stomach and watch as the baby’s movements sent them flying.

Lost in thought, Astrid did not notice the dark smudge against the distant horizon. It was Stormfly’s squawk that drew her attention to it.

“Is that them?” She squinted against the light reflected from the ocean. “Stormfly, go see if it’s them.” When the dragon made no move to get up Astrid tried again. “Please girl. I’ll be fine here for a few minutes.”

Stormfly took to the air, glancing at her rider.


The Deadly Nadder took off.

Time seemed to slow as Astrid waited. The smudge on the horizon gradually sharpened to become distinct figures. Six, including Stormfly! All the dragon riders were accounted for!

It was all Astrid could do to sit and wait as the dragons drew closer.

Stormfly was first back, having gone just far enough to verify that it was Hiccup and the others who were approaching the island.

Astrid forced herself to remain sitting as Hiccup and Toothless approached.

The young Chief was leaping from Toothless before the Night Fury had even touched the ground. He swept Astrid up into his arms and held her close.

Astrid tucked her head under Hiccup’s chin and breathed in the scent of him. “You came back.”

She felt, rather than heard, Hiccup’s soft snort of amusement.

“Of course I came back.” His breath ruffled her hair. “I promised you I’d come back safe.”

More writing


Jacko Hooper: Sidelines