Here's an old draft I found and dusted off a bit - hope you like it!
It's Just A Spark
"Oh no no no - shit - not again!"
Those were probably the most common words coming out of Astrid Hofferson's mouth. Ever. Why? Oh, she set her stove on fire. Again. While being only dressed an oversized jumper, leggins and mismatched socks. Again. Also, it was 2 am. Again.
Cursing, phone in one hand, already dialing 911, a wet towel in the other hand, she desperately tried to put out the fire. Her frantically screeching parrot digging her didn't help much either.
"Stormfly, could you just - get - ugh - oh yes, hi! Hi, it's me again, my stove's on fire, yes, I know- what? Uh, the ... third time ... I know. Thanks. Thank you!"
Her wooden chopping board set on fire.
Gobber let out a whoop of laughter. He and Hiccup exchanged a quick glance and Hiccup shot him the look. "No."
"Yes," the older man confirmed, flashing his collegue a toothy grin.
Hiccup groaned, dragging his hands over his face.
"Don't tell me it's that time of the week again. I mean - come on, Gobber, you're messing with me. Please be messing with me - tell me this is a joke and I will laugh and pretend it's funny."
Gobber grinned at his partner and just handed him his helmet while the younger man got up.
"What is this woman even doing? I mean, she should have figured out how this blasted thing works by the time of three months, but noo! She just has to set her stove on fire thrice a week!"
Gobber chuckled and watched his still ranting friend climb into his uniform.
"But you think she's pretty."
"I said, she's pretty okay by the time the fire is out."
"If I remember correctly, your correct words were, 'Gobber, that girl is gorgeous but she can't cook for shit'."
Hiccup huffed. "Whatever. As long as she gets out of there in time and doesn't forget to put her bird into its cage again-"
"Now, come on, don't be so hard on her. You'd panic too if your stove would catch fire on a daily basis and threaten both you and Toothless."
Hiccup's head re-appeared out of his locker. "Yeah, but there's a difference. First, Toothless doesn't have wings and secondly, I am a firefighter, Gobber! I don't panic in a fire! That's my job!"
Gobber laughed and leaned back in his seat, arms crossed behind his back. "Whatever you say, chief. Now go and save your lady in distress."
"She's in distress, my lady - not so much," he deadpanned and stopped mid-action of putting his helmet on, noting Gobber still hadn't moved from his spot.
"Wait, you're not coming?"
The older man shrugged. "Somebody's gotta keep an eye on Snot, who knew what might happen if he's alone - also, I trust you with this and it's no big deal. You can handle it."
Taking notice of his friend's scowl he chuckled and added, "Just think of this as your exam."
The auburn-haired man in front of him sighed but mumbled, "Alright, see you later."
Astrid really had tried not to panic. Really. But not panicking proved itself to be difficult when the old wet-cloth-on-fire trick didn't work out as she'd hoped. Mainly because the fire had spread.
She heard someone open her front door. Footsteps hitting the floor.
"Why are you still not outside?" she heard the familiar voice of the firefighter yell.
Granted, it was the third time she saw him this week. Yet Astrid had never seen him this annoyed with her. But then again, it was 2 am.
"Miss Hofferson, please leave your apartment so can put this fire out and argue later about why we've seen each other more than I have seen my own father this week."
Quickly the young woman grabbed her coat, parrot and fled the scene, all the while being angry at herself and her failed safety measures.
Five minutes later, an exhausted looking fireman stepped out of her apartment.
"You can come back in," he mumbled and together they went back into her flat.
They stood in silence for a while until Astrid finally got out, "Thank you. And - I'm sorry this keeps happening, really."
"What are you trying to do, I mean - how many times do I have to come in until you learn how to use your stove?"
"I'm really sorry," she whispered, fiddling with her sleeves, "it's just ... I had to start pulling night shifts and-"
"No, I ... listen, I should be sorry," he interrupted her and took a step towards her, his face softer now. "This is my job and you're just a bit," he hesitated, then grinned lopsidedly. "inexperienced with the gas cooker."
Astrid returned his smile almost involuntarily. This was the first time they really talked after one of these incidents. She found out his smile was infectious. She also realised that pretty much everything about his face was gorgeous.
Hiccup's heart was beating up to his throat, so loud he wondered if she heard.
He had tried to push that feeling down and pretended to be exasperated anytime they received her call, but that act dropped pretty fast as soon as she looked at him.
Hiccup looked into her eyes and wondered if it was really possible for the sky to be caught in someone's eyes. Looking at her made him remember that the only reason he hadn't asked her out the first time he'd seen her had been because of the fire.
Then, he'd hoped to see her somewhere else, to pass her on the street maybe, or in a café, anywhere but at a place with a fire.
But then she called - again. And again.
And they had never seen each other outside her apartment.
After a while he finally realised all they had done in the past minute had been stare at each other, and he blushed, clearing his throat.
"I, uh, guess I should get going now," he mumbled, quickly making his way out of the kitchen, already regretting he hadn't said anything. "goodnight." He felt like a coward.
Putting out fires regularily and facing death on a certain basis? No problem.
But asking out a woman he had a crush on? Impossible.
He'd just have to accept it. He'd never have the courage to ask her out, he would continue to put out her fires for the rest of his life. Or until she moved. Which would mean he would never see her again. Great. So much for a shared future.
Maybe he shouldn't have let it come this far, just remain professional. That had turned out to be really, really hard. People shouldn't be allowed to be this beautiful and funny and resilient - because, really, causing fires this regularily really said something for her reliability - and confusing.
Astrid panicked again the second he had turned around. This is stupid, she thought. I mean, look at him. He'd never. Oh, she had thought about giving her his number. She'd made up entire scenarios and conversation starters for just in case they met out on the street for heaven's sake!
She could just ask him.
Or she could just let him leave. And wait until next time. Next time she set her kitchen on fire and would again be too scared to ask him. But what was she even scared of?
Rejection. Because he didn't seem to be interested in her, like at all.
But he was leaving, almost out the door.
Astrid wasn't really thinking.
But before she knew it she had already exclaimed, "Wait! Um, can I - do you ..."
"Can I have your number?" they both blurted out simultaneously.
Then a grin started blossoming on his face.
"I'll give you mine if you give me yours."
And Hiccup couldn't help but think it sounded like growing flowers on a balcony in the city somewhere.