A/N: The note in this chapter will be underlined.

Story rating: M

Chapter rating: T

This chapter: Oh dear. It's gonna hail. Better find somewhere safe, don't you think? Also, Astrid reads the note good ol' daddy wrote her.

Chapter Four: The Note

The pieces of falling ice were small, as it always was at first. But we both knew that wouldn't last long. We were about two hours out; I had never flown out this far before, and it was nice.

"We need to take shelter," he said over the rain and light hail. I agreed, and told him so. "There's a cave over there," he pointed downwards. We decided it would be best to stay in the cave 'till the hail let up; no way could we make it back to Berk in the five minutes it would take for the hail to become dangerous.

My arms tightened around my friend as we soared downwards. We landed quickly and softly, and I dismounted with ease. Hiccup followed swiftly. I looked around the small cavern.

"I've come to use it fairly regularly, so I've set it up for things like this." That explained the blankets, furs, firewood and pit, as well as the spare clothing and what appeared to be a makeshift place to dry one's clothes.

"Excellent. This is perfect." I decided. "I walked over and grabbed a shirt.

"Uhhh... What're you doing...?" He trailed off.

"Well I can't very well stay in these wet clothes, now can I? I'll get sick. Now turn around so I can change." I said.

He turned around, and I missed his reluctance to do so. Little did I know that the sound of my wet clothes rustling as I peeled them from my body was driving him insane from needing me.

I pulled the shirt over my head after drying myself off with one of the blankets, having left my breast bindings and the cloth I wrapped around my lower half (neither article of clothing was that wet). "Okay, you can turn around now. I'll make a fire and you can change, too." He nodded his assent, and I turned to make a fire.

Shortly after the flames started up, he informed me that he was finished, and I shot him a brief smile over my shoulder to let him know I heard him. I picked up my clothes, and moved past him to hang them by the fire. As I hung up my skirt, the paper my dad had given me fell out. It had been spared the rain, it seemed, and I was grateful for it.

"What's that?" Wondered Hiccup.

"A paper my dad have me shortly before telling me they'd be marrying me off. The wedding's supposed to be in just a few days, you know. On Freya's Day." I said with a miserable sigh.

"Well, all weddings are on Freya's Day. She's the goddess of love, fertility, and, um, sexuality. So it makes sense." He said nervously. He certainly is nervous a lot, isn't he? I thought to myself.

I shuddered. "How horrible it's going to be to be married. I don't even want to think about it." I missed the sad look that passed over his face; an expression of longing. "Although," I continued, "I probably should read this, since my dad wrote it. He was much more sensitive about it than my mom. I owe it to him to read it."

"Alright." He said, his voice still nervous. He certainly is nervous a lot, isn't he? I thought to myself.

I began to read.

I know that this will be hard for you to accept. I also know you and your mother very well, and I know that both of you will be too busy screaming at each other to bother with who it is you're marrying.

"I think it's about who I'm supposed to be shackled to!" I gasped.

He gulped. I didn't notice.

I continued reading, with Hiccup nervously looking over my shoulder.

It is for this reason that I have taken it upon myself to write you this, so that when you run off -or fly off, rather-, as I know you will, when you calm down enough to find out who your husband will be, you will be able to find out and stay where you are.. Your mother didn't express it in the best way, I'm sure, but there is no doubt in my mind that he loves you. This is a man who will devote himself to you completely. I know that he wants nothing more than to spend his life with you, and to have children with you. I have been told that he has no desire to change you, or ask you to stop to cease fighting. It is for this, and many other reasons, that I implore you to not only look past your determination to remain unmarried, but also the age difference between you.

I gasped. "I knew it! He is an old guy!"

"He might not be..." Hiccup mumbled.

"I guess. But he probably is," I replied, glancing at him.

Hiccup remained silent.

My eyes returned to the page.

He is younger than you, Astrid. Significantly younger than you. Two years younger, in fact. I know that you will feel that a fifteen-year-old is much too young for you, but I promise you that there is no one out there who could be better for you than him.

I scoffed. "Yeah, fifteen is way too young," I said, not thinking about the fact that I was around a fifteen-year-old at that very moment. "There's no point in even reading the rest. It's not happening."

"Don't you think you should at least find out who it is?" Asked my friend. Having finished reading it (unbeknownst to me), he had moved in front of me.

"I suppose. Not because I'm going to marry him, of course. Just so that I know who to avoid."

I missed Hiccup's nervous gulp as I looked back down to the note.

I have waited until the end to give you much of an idea of who he is. I am sure you will be near him when you read this, and I don't want you running away from him, as I know you will do, once you have enough information to figure out who he is.

I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, like I would hang out with some weirdo who's set on marrying me." My statement was quite contrary to the truth. Of course, I wouldn't know that until I read what I was about to.

And so I think that now is a good time to tell you his name. Remember, Astrid- he loves you. I see it in his eyes when he looks at you. We all see it. And this is when I tell you. His name is Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, and he is to be your husband.