She was roused by the sun and the screeching of Terrible Terrors singing from the rooftop.

The female Viking extended her arms behind her head, stretching leisurely, exactly like she would do on any other day. She rubbed her sleepy eyes; although there was nothing she wanted less than to leave the comfortable bed, which itself seemed to be persuading her to stay in for a little bit longer, she knew she couldn't succumb to those imaginary whispers.

No matter how much she desired to avoid the meeting she'd promised to conduct, she wasn't going to let her laziness win over her natural sense of duty. Astrid Hofferson would not be late.

Astrid Haddock wouldn't either.

She turned her head, expecting to see her sleeping husband, peacefully breathing through his parted lips. To her surprise, it appeared the man wasn't there at all. She frowned, dissatisfied. Hiccup never got up first.

Only then did she noticed the soft pressure put on her own belly. She raised her eyebrows and smiled piteously as her mind had been lightened by a few potential explanations of that state. As gently as she could, she lifted the edge of the blanket that was covering her and she peeked under it.

Of course, her intuition was right; arrayed in the most unnatural position, the young Chief of Berk was lying by her side, with his head rested exactly at the level of her stomach. Initially, she was sure he was asleep – it wouldn't be the first time when, after the night spent on tossing in his sheets under the influence of the old nightmares, Hiccup would find solace in her presence, embracing her petite silhouette, and snuggling onto it. Besides, the way in which he was lying made it impossible to see his face, only showing the thick locks on the back of his head; and those weren't easy to spot either, as their covering was still separating him from the daylight.

Astrid understood her mistake almost immediately. As soon as she raised the blanket, her husband's steady breathing stopped, expectantly. It returned to its normal pace right away, sounding exactly the same as before – but the blonde woman knew, that it was nothing more than a window dressing. Her smile widened, and her eyebrows went even higher.

"What on Thor's name are you doing?"

She was responded by silence, slightly disturbed by the regular inhaling of the accompanying Viking. She rolled her eyes, and very slowly, she slipped her fingers in his hair.

"I'm sorry, Babe, but you're a terrible liar." She threw in, jokingly, playing with the tangled strands. "Stop playing dumb and answer my question."

He mumbled something under his breath, making sure Astrid wouldn't understand the meaning. She snorted.

"Alright, this is it. Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, your wife demands your attention, and she orders you to turn that oversized head of yours towards her. Now."

The Chief groaned miserably, but he obeyed. Leaning on his elbows, he managed to turn his face in her direction – and to lay it on her waist again.

"Hiccup, that's not what I meant."

"Shhh." He interrupted. "I'm listening."

"You're what…?" Astrid pulled the blanket a few inches higher, staring at the man in disbelief.

"Listening. Stop talking, you're distracting me."

"I'm distracting..." she stammered incrediously. "Now you've got to be kidding me. What can you be listening to down there?"

"Quiet. I felt a kick, I'm waiting for another one."

Astrid's astonishment reached the top after she'd realised what her beloved was actually doing. She blinked repeatedly, not knowing how to respond – only to burst into loud, sonorous laugh in the very next moment. The cloak which she had loosed, heavily fell down on her husband's face.

"You mutton head, it's way too early for that." She remarked, unable to hold the giggling. "You must've been dreaming."

"I know what I felt." The offended answer came from below the thick material, effectively muffled by it.

"Or you felt what you wanted to feel. Instead of being stubborn again, you'd better get out from below that blanket and lie in a normal position. I know it may be shocking, but I'd prefer to have you next to me."

Hiccup relaxed notably, undoubtedly content of her declaration. Astrid felt a gentle kiss pressed against her waist. She shook her head, amused.

"But I am next to you. To both of you."

His voice was a lot softer now; there was a kind of languor in it, the feature that had appeared in his tone more and more often recently, independently from the news she'd shared with him just a day earlier. The warrior couldn't deny that she liked being addressed in this manner – and she certainly wouldn't say that his words had made no impression on her. However, as much as she loved his dorky-romantic answers, she wasn't at all intending to undergo their charm.

Without much thinking, she grabbed the blanket's edge once more and threw it off with a sudden move. Hiccup's reaction was exactly what she hoped it to be.

"Arghh!" The Chief exclaimed, thrusting his face into her shirt. "Why is it always violence with you?"

"Nothing else seems to work."

"But it's cold! And the sun is blinding me!"

"Oh, you poor little thing." She teased and sighed. "Do we really have to go through the same scenario every single morning?"

"All would be well, if you didn't get up so awfully early."

"All would be well, if you didn't go to sleep so awfully late. Stop the sulking and come here. I want to see you properly at last."

Hiccup murmured and reluctantly, he got up to his knees. In the same way as his wife had done before, he rubbed his closed eyes and then raised his eyelids, immediately fixing his gaze on the woman lying by his side. He smiled weakly.

Astrid gave him a dreadfully sceptical glare.

"Have you slept at all tonight?" She asked, carefully examining the bags under his eyes.

"Thank you, my love, you're looking great, too." Answered the Viking, laughing. "I didn't get a wink. Did you really think I would?"

And, ignoring another of the girl's snorts, he shifted towards the bedhead; then, he plunged on his back, as near to Astrid, as possible. He reached out his arm, inviting her to move even closer. She picked up his offer without hesitation, resting her cheek on his chest and covering them with the blanket she'd pulled away a moment earlier. Finally, everything was just how it should always be.

"I definitely prefer sharing the bed with you in this way." She murmured, quietly.

"Does it really make a difference?"

"Let's just say I got used to the thought that our heads are more or less at the same level."

"Well, that would be a great argument, unless I weren't taller than you."

"I said more or less."

"Still, that's not very convincing."

"Tough luck."

"Oh, and by the way, my head isn't oversized, thank you very much."

"Your hair is, so it works out the same."

"Ha, ha. Still doing that one?" Using his free arm, he tickled her mildly, joyfully noticing that his wife's reaction for the gesture was as intense, as every other time. She found his hand at once and squeezed her thin, yet strong fingers on it. She frowned.

"Stop it. You know how I hate that." She opposed, and wriggled her neck in a way that allowed her to look at him. "You really haven't slept? Not even for a while?"

"No. But what is one night compared to everything we've been doing so far? It wasn't the first, and certainly won't be the last one. There's nothing to worry about."

"I thought you were happy."

"For Odin's sake, Astrid, of course I'm happy. But have you ever heard that people have problems sleeping, because they're too excited for something? Because they're too happy to fall asleep? I spent the whole night imagining things, not able to focus on anything that wouldn't be connected to you… to us. All of us. It's impossible to just doze off in a situation like this. Plus-" He chuckled nervously. "I won't lie, no matter how I love that 'parenting idea', I'm pretty much terrified."

"You too?" Astrid smiled feebly.

"Absolutely. I guess I'll need the help of all the known and unknown gods out there if don't want to fail completely. But, for now… I'd rather focus on the more pleasant part." He bent his head and kissed her hair. "The truth is, it has only been a night and I'm already unable to imagine our life changed to what it was before."

"I'm glad you think so. And... it's good to know I'm not the only one who's afraid."

Not giving Hiccup a chance to respond, she tightened her grasp on him, burying her forehead in his neck. She groaned when she remembered their talk would have to end – and how soon it would be.

"I don't want to go there." She mumbled wearily. "I don't want that meeting. I'm good where I am."

"Hey, did I just hear Astrid Hofferson trying to shirk from her duties?"

"You heard Astrid Haddock putting a morning with you above the endless skirmishes with the Council, who will – as always – find hundreds of reasons to decline my ideas, never mind how good they are. But you're right, I shouldn't be doing that. Thanks for reminding me of my priorities."

As she had said that, she got up and smoothly turned to the edge of the massive furniture, ready to leave it at the same moment. Having this done, though, she felt the strong arms enfolding her from behind, making it impossible to follow her plan. Leaning backwards, she met resistance in the shape of Hiccup's torso.

"It doesn't mean you're supposed to jump off the bed like that." The man stated firmly. "It's still terribly early, the sun has just risen."

"Exactly. That means I have no more than half an hour left before everyone shows up in the Hall. I'm rather short of time, if you think about it."

"Are you kidding me? Who would be meeting the Council at such an hour?"

"Let me guess… I would?" She turned her head and pecked him on the cheek. "That's what I usually do."

"You're insane. It's like assassinating your own common sense."

"Well, it's all your fault. I simply assumed you'd be sleeping at this time and I'd be free to sneak out, noticed by no one. Seriously, it's impossible to get up when we're both awake."

"I wonder why." He whispered right in her ear, just to kiss it at a following moment, not loosening his embrace a bit. He kissed her cheek, her jaw, her neck. Astrid winced, feeling the itchiness on the delicate skin, but she didn't protest. However, as soon as Hiccup's mouth touched her chin, clearly aiming for her own lips, she moved away gently.

"I really must go. I can't hope the Council will excuse my lateness if I give them such a poor explanation."

"I'm sure they'll be understanding. I'll order them to be."

"It doesn't work like this." She sighed, leaning on him. Hiccup's hands found their way to her waist again. She covered them with her own immediately, resting her fingers of his rough skin. "Oh, not again. The 'dad mode' needs to wait."

"As if I could turn it off. I'm sorry, M'lady, it means too much for me to put it aside just like that."

The warrior rolled her eyes.

"Aha. Here we go."

"What do you mean?"

"You care. Before I know it, you'll make me promise that I won't lift, train or even fly Stormfly. Now for your information, I have my own mind, and that's why I'm going to ignore all of your bans. Just so you know."

Hiccup frowned, not fully understanding the girl's accusation. He shook his head in negative and, most seriously, he answered. "I would never dare to do so. I mean, I will obviously worry about you, just as I have until now – the only difference being that I'll worry about two people instead of one. But I can't imagine imposing any kind of bans on you, mostly because you wouldn't follow my orders anyway." He added more casually. He remained silent for a while, giving her time to interpret the news, simultaneously resting his head on her shoulder. "I just don't want you to run away already."

She seemed surprised by his little speech. She'd been ready for a fight, a dispute, ready to defend her statement; convinced, that she'd be forced to take part in a serious discussion, she'd had more than one argument prepared on her side. Yet, she was met by the trustful understanding. Again, she dipped her hand in the Viking's dark, thick hair, smiling a lot softer that she'd used to do.

"I… Thank you, Hiccup. But, either way, I need to go. And you must let me do it."

"And there's no chance you'd change your mind?"

"Look, we still have a village to look after. Please allow me to remind you who's the Chief on this island – and who's their General. This is our job, Babe."

"I am no Chief. And you are no General," he protested. "Not as long as we're both in bed."

Astrid's eyes flickered when the solution of their problem crossed her mind. Since Hiccup's clasp had loosed significantly, she slipped out of his embrace and jumped onto the floor, not bothering to give him the slightest warning. The thick woollen covering was hauled after her.

She laughed, seeing the dumbfounded stare of the young Leader, who was gazing at her with puzzlement. Her success was total.

"General Hofferson, ready to get the job done!" She called out pluckily, as proud of herself as she could ever be. "Gods bless the Island!"

Hiccup was capable of doing nothing but sending her a disbelieving glare, while Astrid kept smiling, waiting patiently for his further reaction. He slapped his hand against his forehead and slowly shifted it all the way down to his chin; he collapsed on his back.

"Good Thor, Astrid. I truly believed it to be a serious relationship."

She giggled, approaching him and knelt on the bed's edge. She bent over him, pressing a light kiss on his lips – and moved back on her former place at once.

"A serious relationship?" She asked rhetorically. "With the two of us involved? That thing wouldn't live a day."

Author's note: Et voilà! Here it is! Another silly Hiccstrid story, written because... I couldn't go on with another Hiccstrid story. Yeah, that would pretty much sum it up.

Anyway, with the Hiccstrid week behind us and the RTTE wait prolonging, I want to share my little work with you. I know it's nothing special - nothing very original, deep or anything of the kind. But I'm glad to be able to share it with you finally, and I sincerely hope it will make your smile a little bit wider. Who knows, maybe it will make the wait a little sweeter for you all.

Big thanks to water-star and Oncie Punzie, who helped me with the editing part. I owe you a lot :)

And to you, dear Readers - as always, I'll be grateful for your reviews. They matter a lot, not only when they show your enthusiasm for a story (although they always make my day for sure), but also when they're filled with constructive criticism or any general opinion. Is the story interesting? Is it original? Are the characters IC?

Oh, and as the description says - this story may (but doesn't have to) be considered a sequel for my old story "I am."
Some of you may know it - if you don't, you're most welcome to check it out now :)

God bless!