I'm so sorry, this is the second or third time I have deleted and re-uploaded this story! D: But I have decided not to include Time into the story anymore, it was just getting too complicated, because somehow she didn't really interact with the HTTYD characters ... so this is a "pure" HTTYD fic now (maybe Time will appear later in the story, but only on the sidelines).

If you still want to bear with me and the story and my horribly long ramlings/slow updates, then ... be my guest! ;)

DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters appearing in the story, except for Time Winters, they belong to Dreamworks and Cressida Cowell! (Believe me, if they would, you'd have an entirely different plot ... without all the completely unnecessary deaths *glares at Stoick* and much more fluff!)

Chapter 1 - Late Night

It had been a rough night. But he'd live, Hiccup thought when he slowly opened the door to the bedroom, not wanting to make any sound. He was sure she'd be waiting for him, wide awake, like she was used to when he came home late.

"You're predictable", he whispered, half smirking, half grimacing. She rose from the bed, jumped over to him and hugged him, gently, as if she was afraid she'd break him.

Bad night?, her crystal blue eyes told him and he nodded, shrugging. Astrid smiled faintly and sweetly kissed him on the cheek. "I'm glad you're home", she whispered and gracefully unbottoned his shirt. The young man smiled as she gently pulled the shirt off of him and neatly folded it together to lay it down on a chair. "Me too", he mumbled and pulled himself together once more to quickly change and then climed into the warm, inviting bed.

Humming, he pulled Astrid to his chest, wrapping his arms around her. She snuggled against him and closed her eyes, giggling when he attempted a sleepy goodnight-kiss but missed and kissed her nose instead.

Hiccup sighed mentally. His whole body was aching and it felt so good just to lie in the darkness, with her in his arms; just waiting for the next day filled with new problems. And yet, no matter how long he slept, there would be this exhaustion, settled somewhere in his chest. It made him give curt answers to her questions and feel the urge to just break down and never get up again. He felt so lost in that moment he held her in his arms and yet again, she was there and he just could pray she would never leave him, because she was real in this moment and nothing else.

"Goodnight, Hic", Astrid's voice floated towards him from somewhere under the warm, cozy blankets. He couldn't reply, no matter how badly he wanted to. But he didn't want to say something, because then she would have noticed the tears in his voice, how it trembled, how thick and broken it sounded. So he just pressed a kiss onto her soft, fragrant hair, taking in her familiar, warm scent. It was all that surrounded him now, in the few hours of rest, where he wasn't forced to think and to remember. Her lips curved to a smile against his chest, where her head rested, in response. Her thumb absently stroke the back of his hand.

All she ever did was pulling him through.

And he would hold on.

Okay. That was short. Again, I'm sorry! D:

The next chapter will be up soon! :D

Please leave me a comment, I'd love receiving some critique! :D