Jack had said, “Maybe you’re still pumped up from expecting a disaster? Your body can’t unwind, you know? Like, adrenaline’s still in your veins. I bet by the end of break, you’ll feel a lot better. Maybe you’ll be really happy.”
Of course Jack had known he was going to propose to Hiccup and was hopeful it would turn out well. It did. By the time break was over, and Hiccup had moved everything out of his dorm and into Jack & Jamie’s apartment, he was happy. Probably the happiest he’d ever been. He cancelled his housing contract and started to wake up earlier so he could drive to class instead of sleepily wandering from one campus location to another. The hardest part was in the beginning when he first woke up and had a short panic about where he was. As the weeks passed, however, he acclimated completely to living with Jack and waking up next to him every morning.
As February approached, so did Hiccup’s birthday. That meant that Toothless took some time off from his own studies and came to Burgess to visit. After hours of making sure the apartment was perfectly clean, Hiccup heard a long-anticipated knock on the door.
“Hey bud,” he greeted Toothless, who, despite his nickname, had a bright white smile.
“Yo, Hiccup, my man. How you doing?” Toothless entered once Hiccup opened the door wider. “Cool place.”
“Yeah, Jack pays my part of the rent and won’t tell me how much it is. I’m guessing by the area it’s probably enough to make me hit him if I found out.”
Toothless laughed and mumbled about how lucky Hiccup was to be marrying a rich dude. He dropped his bag on the carpet and looked around. Jamie and Jack’s halves of the apartment were split perfectly down the middle— a bedroom and bathroom on either side of a kitchen and living room combo. Jack’s, and therefore Hiccup’s, was the side closest to the front door, so Hiccup took Toothless’ bag and led him straight on.
“I gotta ask. What’s that smell, bro?”
Hiccup laughed. He knew perfectly well what Toothless was referring to. “Hockey. Yeah, that’s the smell of hockey. I don’t even know how to describe it any other way—Jack’s in the Burgess Blizzards, which is our school’s team, so our whole house smells like hockey.” Soon his statement was punctuated by the appearance of hockey gear in the couple’s room. “So you’re in here with me. Jack’s gonna bunk with Jamie so we can hang out and shit.”
“Cool. This is a pretty clean apartment considering three guys live here. I’m a bit impressed.” Toothless spun around slowly to appraise his lodgings and nodded appreciatively.
“That’s all me,” Hiccup confessed. Sure, Jack was made of money so they owned nice things, but Jack and Jamie were not exactly tidy. Hiccup was the best cook out of the group, too, so he made the meals, in addition to cleaning up. “Like, I don’t have to, it’s not some backwards housewife deal or whatever, but since I don’t pay rent, I figure it’s the least I can do, you know?”
“Yeah, well, looks good, Mrs. Frost.”
Jack and Jamie returned together late evening. “Hello, my teacup,” Jack said once he spotted Hiccup, “come, let me smooch you.”
“Augh! Jack, Toothless is here.” Hiccup squirmed. Jack kissed Hiccup’s hair and annoyingly sucked on some of the strands.
“Hey, sup? Good to see you again.” Jack gave a hand to Toothless, who shook it.
“I gotta question for you,” Toothless waved at Jamie but spoke to Jack.
“Yeah? What’s that?”
“Hiccup said that you’re letting us have the room?”
“Yeah, it’s cool, right? Did you want the couch or something?” Jack asked with a sincere tilt to his head, like he was genuinely concerned about the comfort of Hiccup’s friend—and of course he was, Hiccup reckoned, because Jack was a good boyfr—fiancé.
“Nah, thanks bro. Though that is one plush looking thing.” Toothless shook Jamie’s hand as Jamie approached.
Hiccup moved to finish the dinner he had prepared earlier. The other three all babbled at the counter while they waited. It was all so very domestic and comfortable, something Hiccup was still getting used to. He loved his dad, but growing up, Hiccup’s life was usually mellow, if not somber, because of the death of his mother. Now, at almost 21, Hiccup was a part of Jack’s life, a life that was bright and fun and warm. Jack deserved a life like that, though. Jack, who grew up shuffled back and forth between foster homes, had only known stability once he was 15 and adopted, along with his sister Emma. It was fortunate that someone wanted to adopt a teenager, and then gave him enough money to never worry about the small things in life again. Instead of being a dick about it, Jack was such a humble, sweet guy, and well, Hiccup loved him for that.
“So, man,” Toothless pointed at Jack with his cup. “I hear you’re always breaking out into song like a goddamn musical.”
“Of-fucking-course! You have to make your own fun in this life.”
“He likes to sing TI’s ‘Whatever You Like’ to me,” said Hiccup from the stove. “’Cause of his money.”
“He clownin’?” Toothless asked.
“El-oh-el, no,” Jamie said, “I swear that song is basically my alarm clock.”
“Ah, you know I gotta ask—‘cause I know you’re not a racist fool—you don’t—” Toothless had very dark skin, after all.
“Use the N-word? Oh, God no! Never!” Jack laughed wildly. “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m, like, the whitest guy to live.”
“Everyone’s noticed,” Jamie muttered. Jack snorted.
“No, I use ‘ninja.’ Like, ‘tell that other broke ninja be quiet.’”
Hiccup started plating food. “It’s true, which means that song now gives me hilarious visuals.”
“Jack, the ninja that glowed in the dark,” Toothless smirked.
“Hey! Maybe I’m ninja-ing in a blizzard, man, you never know.”
Hiccup waved his hand. “Come get your plates, guys. I’m not gonna cook and deliver.”
It was true that Jack broke out into song at any given moment. Hiccup still shivered when he thought about how Gobber was Jack’s background singer for “Build Me Up Buttercup.” What a dork. Sometimes, for the usually quiet Hiccup, being with Jack was exhausting. Jack was the greatest, sure, but he had so much energy and everything he did was with such elan it sometimes made Hiccup literally sleepy. It was good to know that kinda thing, though, since Hiccup was thinking very seriously about what marriage would be like—sometimes people needed space, and it had nothing to do with the other person. Real love had all sorts of concessions and compromises, and although Hiccup sometimes thought he was crazy for deciding to get married, he knew he’d be a fool not to marry Jack. Hiccup loved Jack in a way he loved no one else.
Presently, Hiccup was emotionally charged-up due to Toothless’ arrival, so happily spent time with the other guys drinking and playing Cards Against Humanity. It was a shock to no one that Jack was in the lead. Toothless had made some wicked cocktails and Hiccup could only sip his drink lest it fuck him up. Jack, because he grew up in foster care and saw what drinking could do to families, was the only one who had his drinks virgin. Jack never drank, nor did he smoke, and Hiccup was proud that Jack decided to live differently than the families he had met, instead of letting the cycle prevail. Besides, the idea of Jack being drunk on top of his already high-octane personality was out of this world horrifying, ha.
In fact, within moments of Hiccup’s musings, Jack sang, “my baby don’t mess around because she loves me so and this I know fo’ sho.”
Hiccup actually gasped when Jamie joined in. “But does she really wanna, but can’t stand to see me walk out that door.”
Then Toothless, “don’t try to fight the feeling, ‘cause the thought alone is killing me right now.”
No, what, wow. Was this really happening? Hiccup had bet on Toothless killing the song, not contributing!
Jack stuck his card into the pile. “Thank God for mom & dad for sticking two together, ‘cause we don’t know how.”
“Hey ya! Heeeey yaaa!”
What was Hiccup getting himself into? Okay, so maybe he was just as crazy as Jack. He didn’t sing, but he had the kinda life musicals were made of. Choices.
Hiccup and Jack, well, they were perfect for each other.