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Where It All Started

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Where It All Started

Disclaimer: I own only my own story plot and nothing else.

Astrid found him sitting on the small island, shivering in the winter air. Itchy Armpit had a beautiful view in fall, but in winter, the snow and ice made everything glitter like gems. Small rays from the sunset peered though the clouds. It was a beautiful sight, one that she had not seen since the first time Hiccup and Toothless had crashed into the island all those months ago.

She had been looking for Hiccup for a greater part of the day. She had woken up early and had gone to feed Stormfly when she had hear Gobber telling Bucket that Hiccup's mother, Valka, had firmly told her son, "Today and tomorrow, I am chief and you are going to be a free young man. Now get going."

Astrid had searched the cove, the twin's stupid boar pits, the dragon rider academy, she had even flown in desperation out to Dragon's Edge and back which took her hours and made Stormfly give her dirty looks. Astrid had still pushed on, promising her three legs of chicken. When she had just about run out of ideas and go back to Berk, she suddenly wondered if he had gone back there.

When she had found him, he was leaning against Toothless for warmth, a shadow of a beard across his chin. Even with Toothless wrapped around him, Hiccup, Chief of Berk, looked so lonely. She approached him slowly. Toothless pricked up his ears and cooed at her. She smiled and patted him as she sat next to Hiccup.

"Hey," she said. "I was looking for you." Stormfly flew off to fish.

"Astrid," He paused for a second as he turned to her. "Do you know where we are?"

Astrid frowned. This was not the Hiccup she knew. Even as he had become chief he had still been so full of energy. Hiccup was always making things or doing things. This Hiccup sounded so tired. His body sagged against Toothless. "We're on Itchy Armpit. Are you okay? Have you eaten at all?"

"I'm fine. Is the village alright?"

"Of course, your mother is a fierce woman. I think even Spitelout is afraid of her."

Hiccup laughed dryly, "Yeah, it's great to have her."

The silence that followed conveyed all the things that had happened that led to Valka becoming part of the family again. "So what are you doing out here?"

"Thinking. I haven't been back to this place since discovered it. This was the start of it all you know." He made a gesture with his hands indication the whole scene in front of them was the issue.

"Um, not really." Astrid said, "What are you talking about?"

Hiccup made the gesture again. Even now showing he was still the goofball she had fallen in love with. "This is the place where we saw the smoke rising and then flew off to discover the ruined trappers camp, which led to finding my mother and facing Drago..." He trailed off.

Astrid looked around at the beautiful wintery Itchy Armpit with new eyes. Now she understood why he had never gone back here. Usually Hiccup revisited newly discovered lands, to chart the landscape and look for new dragons but not this place. It held painful memories of the time when he was free, and had a chief, and had a father.

"So why did you come back?" Astrid probed. Hiccup turned away from her and looked out into the distance, not seeing anything. His face was full of exhaustion. As though he were finally letting himself feel He had been so busy for so many months, she guessed that being the selfless man that he was, he had never given himself time to internalize everything that had changed in his life. A Chief protects his own.

"Because I need to move on Astrid. I keep looking back and wondering if what I did was right? If there had been another way to save him? And if not, am I the right person to lead? Are all these changes good for the tribe? Everything happened so quickly, and I'm making all these drastic changes that could harm everyone later in the future. I was hoping to come to some sort of conclusion here, to where it all started."

Astrid punched him as hard as she could in the shoulder. Hiccup toppled over. Toothless didn't even budge. He probably agreed with him.

"What?!"

"You idiot. You silly, lovable, idiot." Astrid crossed her arms angrily. "Why didn't you come to me sooner?"

"Ow! What?"

Astrid sighed and offered her hand to him and pulled him back into his seated opposition. He could be so smart yet so thick. "You should have come and talked to me. I know you have Toothless, but sometimes you need to talk to a viking about viking problems."

"I know. I should have done that. You always seemed to busy though, running the academy, helping me build the village defenses," he ran his hand through his hair nervously.

"I'm always here for you. You know that right? Share your burdens with me." She took his hand and he turned to her.

"Thank you Astrid. I have no idea what I would do without you."

"Neither do I," she bumped his shoulder with hers playfully.

"No. I mean it Astrid. I don't think I could have done any of the things I did for the village this past year without you. You have always been so supportive. From the time we had the dragon academy and Dragons Edge, to back on Berk, you've always been there for me. I never want to lose that. I don't think I could survive all the pressures put on me. I don't think I could now." He took her other hand. He now had her full attention. "I've always wanted you back when I was the oddball-"

Astrid laughed.

"Okay I'm still an oddball," Hiccup amended. "I mean when I was just perceived as the useless, clumsy boy, I admired you. I wanted you. Now I realize I not only want you, but I need you. I truly can not imagine a world without you." He

Astrid was only slightly ashamed as tears started to prick behind her eyes.

"I think I was secretly hoping you would find me here. We are way past the traditional marriage age. But we said we wanted more time, and our generation had not really been one for traditions anyway." He smiled ruefully. "Now, I think I'm ready, and I was wondering if you were too?"

Astrid look at Hiccup. She saw her chief, her best friend, and the love of her life. She smiled "When the last ice melts on Berk let us be wed."

Hiccup leaned into her slightly, so that just their foreheads touched. There they sat with each other feeling each other's light breaths on their cheeks. Then he kissed her lightly, then a little harder on her mouth. She returned his love with all the ardor in her own heart. When they parted her eyes were still closed. He was still smiling as she opened her eyes. Very slowly he stood and offered his hand to help her stand up. "Shall we go, my lady?"

"On to the next adventure," she replied whistling for Stormfly. She reappeared with in seconds.

The two of them sped off back to Berk.