A fill for a request over on Tumblr. Since this is my first fic for this paring, I felt way out of my depth getting it done. However, I admit I had a lot more fun on this project than I anticipated. They had pretty good chemistry, which made writing them much easier.
Genres: Humour, romance, drama.
Rating: T for mild course language and the warnings below.
Pairings: Hiccup x Jack
Characters: Hiccup, Jack Frost, Tuffnut, Astrid, Bunny (Aster).
Warnings: Alcohol Consumption; Nudity.
Hiccup stumbled into his dorm, door slamming, heart racing. He backed up with palms pressed against the cold wood and released a shaky breath. The giddiness would soon cease. It was routine by this point. He just had to wait it out. Though he had half-hoped things would be different this year. That maybe he might finally grow a spine and just-
"In case you're seeing double, I assure you there is but one Nut here today."
Hiccup went to push his scruffy chestnut fringe out of his face, but his hand froze mid-way. It wasn't unusual for his overly enthusiastic roommate to offer him a cryptic and somewhat questionable greeting upon arrival. The two-headed dragon standing in the middle of their joined floor-drobe, on the other hand, was.
"Uhh…what've you got there, buddy?" he asked as he set his book bag down.
"I call it The Belch," came Tuffnut's muffled voice from inside one of the dragon's heads," but the She-Beast wants to call it The Barf, which doesn't even make sense. It should be called The Belch because—check this out-"
"I'm gonna stop you right there," Hiccup interrupted, assuming whatever came next involved a gaseous offence.
"Good thinking. Save it for the party tonight." Tuffnut pulled off his splotchy green helmet boasting a myriad of sharp teeth. "So, what do you think? Great, huh?"
"It is great," said Hiccup. "Really, really great. Really."
"Say 'really' one more time and I'll believe you."
Hiccup grimaced, apologetic. "I just didn't realise it was a costume party, is all."
"Are you chickening out?" Tuffnut thrust an accusing finger under his nose. "You better not be chickening out."
"I'm not," Hiccup said, raising his hands in a placating gesture. "I'm not, I swear. But I don't have a costume."
"Go raid Snotty Jorgenson's closet, then. The guy has more leather jackets than friends. I got most of this stuff from his dorm. See," he gestured to The Barf's two heads, "these are his bike helmets."
"Right," Hiccup scoffed, and shook his head to himself as he flopped onto his unmade bed. "So, who changed the dress code?"
He lurched upright, cheeks burning and eyes wide, much to Tuffnut's amusement. His pulse, already racing, revved into overdrive…again.
"You spoke to him just now, didn't you?"
Hiccup made no answer.
"You did! I knew it. I saw how you came in here just now, all flustered. Wait, no; you didn't speak. For what could words say that a long, lingering gaze across the hall couldn't—" Hiccup flung his pillow across the room, and smacked Tuffnut square in the face. But Tuffnut's mocking grin never wavered. "Throw the lamp next time, it'll draw blood."
"You didn't think to—to mention he was going be there?" Hiccup dragged himself up off the bed, and started to pace around the little floor-space they had that wasn't cluttered with junk. Already, he could feel himself pitching into a nervous spiral. Tuffnut rolled his eyes and went about gluing more spikes into the mouth of his 'dragon'.
"I didn't think I had to. He's only the life of every party that defiles these hallowed halls."
Hiccup groaned into his hands. Going to a party was one thing. When his friends had put the idea to him to him three days ago, he had been apprehensive, but he decided attending was something he could probably handle. Maybe. What he could not handle was Jack, or his own embarrassing, tongue-tied clumsiness whenever he was around. It was a special kind of torture, to which his father's crippling expectations didn't hold a candle. In fact, he would trade his impending night out for a long, agonising conversation with Stoic about "the qualities of leadership", any day.
"Yeesh, Mr. Grumpy Face, it's not that bad," said Tuffnut. "All we need to do is find you a costume. It'll be fun. And if worse comes to worst, I'll let you be my other head!"
— O —
It was with a great deal of protest that Hiccup found himself leaning against the wall of a dimly lit room later that night, clutching his red cup like a vice. He stood amongst the wallflowers while his eyes were assaulted by an array of phallic costumes and multi-coloured strobe lights.
What he would have given to be back in his dorm room one floor below.
His own costume preparations had gone about as well as was to be expected. After a few hours of pointless fashion parades showing off cloaks, hats, a perilous pair of stilettos, and even The Barf's other head, he had finally admitted defeat, and donned his usual baggy green shirt and brown vest. So what if he looked completely out of place? It was only a reflection of the truth. Parties had never been his thing, anyway. He preferred quiet. Calm. Not the thudding base that was reverberating in his chest.
"Have you seen him yet?" Astrid yelled above the music as she adjusted the folds of her Ancient Grecian garb.
"Not you too," Hiccup groaned.
"Yes, me." She shoved him. "Is he here?"
Hiccup glanced around, the instinct to do so involuntary, but his reconnaissance was swift and pointless. He resumed staring down the barrel of his empty drink. "Nope, nothing."
God, what was he doing? What was he waiting around for? Another chance to gawk at Jack with all the blankness of a concrete slab? That'd look real good. At the very least, he should have been trying to enjoy himself; drinking, or dancing, whatever people at parties did to pass the time—nope, not dancing. Not while Ruff, Tuff, and Fishlegs were engaged in some dangerous variation of the springar*. It was stupid, the whole thing was stupid. And for some reason, Astrid found this hilarious.
"Are you sure?" she asked him with an elbow jabbed into his side. He looked up.
A knight sauntered through the door, clad in gleaming plastic armour and brandishing an equally plastic sword. A knight with bright blue eyes, a spritely face, and a jawline that could cut through glass.
"He's here," said Hiccup. He tried to sound casual. However, the undignified croak of his voice may have given him away. "Oh crap, he's headed this way." Not only that, Jack was waving, and appeared to be making a bee-line across the dance floor directly for them. "What do I do?" he hissed to Astrid out of the corner of his mouth.
"Nothing. He's talking to Aster, plankton-brain," she snickered. And indeed, Jack stopped in the middle of the room to greet one of his close friends; the vaguely intimidating exchange student from Australia. He hadn't seen Hiccup at all.
"Great…" Hiccup dropped his head into his hand. "Just great." It could have been worse, he told himself. He could have tried to wave back.
"You should talk to him," said Astrid.
"Are you crazy?"
"No. But you are."
"I'm not..." Hiccup trailed off mid-sentence. Because he was crazy. And hopelessly, helplessly… "I can't."
"Not without a bit of liquid courage." Astrid then yanked him from his place on the wall, refusing to let him blend into the background a minute longer. It seemed his protests were yet again to be ignored. "Come on. Let's get you another drink."
As Astrid steered him out of the room, Hiccup stole one last glance over his shoulder. He must have known somehow, because at that same moment Jack was looking his way. A smile crossed the other boy's face when their eyes met. A kind of curiosity gleamed there. Hiccup turned back around so quickly, his head spun.
— O —
The party forged its way into the night. As they do. Hiccup downed a beer, attempted to dance, downed two more, then marvelled at how his moves had improved exponentially. But still, he could not work up the guts to talk to Jack. They had exchanged glances on more than a few occasions, with a few smirks or winks on Jack's part—something both Astrid and Tuffnut agreed was a very good sign. Yet, with each morsel of attention he gleaned, Hiccup retreated further into himself. His time was running short. He had passed that high of outrageous self-confidence, wasted it on karaoke at Snotlout's forceful request, and now his introversion was returning to wrap him sleepy, stifling arms.
He needed some air. A minute to breathe would be good, he decided.
Excusing himself from his group of friends, Hiccup trudged out onto the deserted balcony, and folded his arms against the barricade. The streetlights below burned in hazy golden orbs that lifted into the sky as he looked to the stars. He was drunk. No question about it. So, it would have been of little surprise to anyone that he failed to register the uproarious screams of laughter that came from the party inside. Not until someone burst through the door and into his bubble of quiet.
It was the exchange student, Aster. He held a bundle of clothes and what appeared to be several props, shaking as he buckled over and tried to suppress howling laughter. Jack appeared not a second later, but Hiccup was not prepared for what confronted him.
"You are so dead," Jack growled, marching right up to Aster, who had been reduced to a fit of giggles.
"Here, you can have 'em back," Aster choked, succumbing to laughter again as he handed the clothes over and stumbled back inside. Jack fumbled with the muddled garments, still utterly oblivious to Hiccup's presence. And Hiccup…he didn't know where to look. He could have announced himself, at least have warned Jack that he had an audience, but to do so meant entering a whole new realm of awkward. Of course, if he stayed silent he was no better than a pervert.
In the end, it was Hiccup's leg that made the decision for him. As he tried to make his silent escape, the prosthetic clanged against a ceramic flower pot, causing Jack to yelp in surprise and whirl on the spot. Their eyes met. Jack's armour clattered to the ground, but still he managed to snatch the bundle of clothes to himself. Hiccup could find no words in the stunned silence. He supposed neither could Jack, but to his surprise the other cracked an amused grin.
"Get a good look?" Jack asked.
Hiccup struggled not to stare. Not because Jack, now within arms reach, was so fair and defined in the low light he almost appeared luminous. It was because, after what most would consider fatal embarrassment, Jack had still somehow retained that mischievous zeal which had first entranced Hiccup more than a year ago.
"Should I ask why you're naked?"
"I lost Strip Beer Pong." Jack chuckled and mussed up the crown of his already-dishevelled, white hair. "As you can see, it was pretty brutal."
Hiccup laughed, a splutter of disbelief more than a laugh, but it shifted the atmosphere surrounding them nonetheless. "Why do you have to be naked to play beer pong?" he muttered to himself.
Jack threw up his arms in a shrug. "Why does anyone have to be naked?"
"Whoops." Jack snatched the clothes back again. "Wait a second, I think I have pants here."
Hiccup obliged and turned around while Jack redressed, resuming his earlier stance of leaning against the balcony railing. Little by little, his drunk brain managed to process the reality of what had just occurred, and what was occurring behind him right then.
Jack is here. He's outside, here, with me. And we're alone. And oh my god, he's buck-freaking naked. I don't know if this is a dream or some crazy ass nightmare…
"So." Jack propped himself up against the railing by an elbow, startling Hiccup out of his resolve. He had found a pair of brown jeans. Which was a start. The rest of his clothes were wedged under his armpit. "What kind of person comes to a costume party without a costume?"
Hiccup felt his cheeks begin to burn, not for the first or second time that night. He should have known he would regret not putting in the extra effort. "I couldn't find anything on short notice," he said, "nothing decent, anyway. So I just kind of came as myself. And I know, that probably wasn't good enough but-"
"I disagree," Jack interrupted. "If you're you, it's always enough."
"Yeah, sure," Hiccup said on a mirthless laugh.
"It is! You just gotta own it."
Hiccup quirked a brow, but said nothing to the contrary. He couldn't have, even if he'd wanted to.
"You know, I feel like I know you," Jack continued, "but it's weird. I'm sure I would have remembered your face or something."
"Yeah, you know me…" Hiccup rubbed the back of his neck self-consciously. "History 101. We were in the same tutorial last year. And my dorm is three down from yours."
A look of realisation dawned on Jack. He grimaced. "Shit."
Hiccup waved a dismissive hand. "Ah, don't feel too bad. A lot happened over the summer and-" He stopped himself short. There was information, and then there was too much information. None of which Jack needed (or probably wanted) to hear. "Point is, I don't blame you if you didn't recognise me. It's Hiccup, by the way."
"Hiccup… Sorry, I'm usually way better than that."
"It's okay. Not like we've ever really talked before."
There was a beat of silence while Jack picked flaking paint off the railing. "Of course, it doesn't help that you were way scrawnier last year than you are now."
Hiccup swivelled out of indignation, poised to fling back a retort of some kind. But there was no need. The joke was in the effervescent twinkle of Jack's eyes. He meant it as a compliment. What were you supposed to do, then, when someone took a good-natured jab at your expense? Laugh along with them? Probably. What Hiccup should not have done was attempt a playful shove, as well. His woeful attempt to flirt knocked Jack's clothes out from under his arm. They both watched as the bundle plummeted to the street below and landed with a series of soft thuds, sprawling Jack's shirt, socks, and hoodie across the pavement. Hiccup could have willed the ground to open and swallow him whole.
"I'm so sorry," he rasped, not daring to look Jack in the eye.
"Honestly, at this point I think you're trying to keep me naked," Jack said, deadpan, only to break into a soft chuckle a second later. "Don't worry about it. We are well and truly even by now. I mean, I didn't even realise who you were. If I were you, dealing with an ass like me, I would already have tried to lob that shit onto the powerlines."
"I don't think you're an ass," Hiccup said through bubbles of laughter, "but okay, we're even." He glanced at Jack, taking him in as if he hadn't already committed his athletic form and moonlit skin to memory. He realised then that Jack was shivering and peppered with goose-bumps, only adding to his guilt. Regardless of being forgiven, he needed to make things right. "Hey, my dorm is right below us. Can I find you a sweater or something? I think I might owe you one."
"I don't really feel the cold," Jack replied, lying through his teeth as he subconsciously wrapped his arms around his torso, "but I wouldn't say no to that."
— O —
While the crowds of responsibility-shirking college students were distracted by an impressive keg-stand performed by none other than Snotlout Jorgenson, Hiccup and Jack made their escape. They took the stairwell down to Hiccup's dorm rather than the lift. The fewer people they ran into, the fewer questions they would have to answer. He was by no means nimble, but out of nervousness, giddiness or both, Hiccup flew down the two flights of stairs. Thankfully, Jack didn't mind keeping up.
"You're quick I'll give you that," Jack said as Hiccup let them both inside. "How do you manage?"
"Manage?" Hiccup's brow furrowed.
"With the, you know…" A pink tinge brightened Jack's cheeks. He mussed his hair. One of his few nervous habits, Hiccup noticed. "Sorry, I probably shouldn't have-"
"Oh, you mean with the prosthetic," he realised. He peered down at his leg to contemplate the dull foot of silver himself. "No, you can ask, I don't mind talking about it. Half the time I just forget it's there. You should have seen me when I first got it, though. I was all over the place."
"I don't think I could imagine," said Jack.
Hiccup shrugged. "You get used to pretty much anything after a while, but like you said, it hasn't slowed me down. Now, how about that shirt?" He pivoted on the spot, turning to face the interior of his room. His jaw hung on its hinges. Somehow, in time since he'd been gone, the piles of junk and day-old clothes had multiplied, spreading from the floor to both beds. The wardrobe was rather empty in comparison.
"Roommates," was his feeble explanation.
"Can't live with them. Could definitely live without them," Jack agreed. He too surveyed the room, but his expression was one of intrigue rather than disgust. "Hey, what's that?" Jack climbed across the junkyard over to the tank shelved above Hiccup's bed. It glowed softly by the light of a heat lamp.
"That would be Toothless, my bearded dragon," he replied, and picked his way over to the wardrobe to retrieve a (clean) grey hoodie.
"Nice. Is he supposed to be black like that?"
Hiccup sighed and went to join Jack by the tank. Toothless was snoozing on a rock, pancaked beneath the lamp. His scales were a shade of charcoal. "Uh, not quite. They just do that when they get cold. And he's always cold."
Jack pressed a finger to the glass. "Yeah, I feel you, buddy."
Hiccup took the opportunity to steal glance at the profile of Jack's face; concentrated brows, a ski-jump nose. There always seemed to be a smirk playing at the corner of his lips. It was such small thing, yet Hiccup could have sworn the ground fell away when he did it unknowingly.
"I like him," Jack decided, and an intense warmth bloomed in Hiccup's chest.
"He… He likes you too."
Of course, being asleep, Toothless couldn't have cared less.
"He should make it more obvious then," Jack said with a small, sly smile.
Hiccup's heart was hammering away. His pulse thrummed a steady beat. Somehow, he remembered the hoodie clutched in his hands. "Oh, r-right. This is for you," he stuttered. He held it out, hyperaware of how close Jack was now. Jack's pale fingers brushed against his as he took the offering. There was an electric spark between them that had Hiccup's breath catch in his chest.
"Thanks," Jack said, his hand lingering for just a moment before he pulled the hoodie over his head. He looked much more like himself with it on. Why only now did he realise he had never seen Jack otherwise?
"Not a problem," Hiccup replied, though his voice threatened to croak. They had drifted to the middle of the room. Around them was a clutter, a mess, a crowd. But in that centre, they could allow their eyes to meet. Hiccup saw that Jack's weren't just blue. There was more to them; flecks of gold and brown.
"I should probably get going."
"I just wonder…"
And suddenly Jack had closed the distance between them. A ghost of a breath beneath his nose; firm hands clasping his shoulders; impossibly silken lips; the thudding of combined heartbeats…Hiccup barely had time to register the plethora new sensations before the burst of sunlight that kiss inspired disappeared. It was gone the instant Jack pulled away. He wanted it back. Craved it. But he was shell-shocked and too stunned to move. The room was swimming about him. He could still taste the sweetness. Jack searched his wide-eyed face, looking for something, anything that might tell him he had read the signs right.
"Sorry. I guess I was wrong," he muttered.
In slow-motion, Hiccup saw Jack turn away. His face was riddled with hurt, embarrassment, confusion. Wait. Questions and self-doubt built a blizzard from Hiccup's thoughts. What did I do? What did I do? What did I do? Jack's hand was reaching for the door. His fingers curled around the handle. Nothing. I did nothing.
Then he realised.
I did nothing. Idiot.
Almost tripping over his own feet, Hiccup ran the length of the room just in time to close his hand around Jack's and shut the door.
"No, you're not," he said.
Before Jack could even form the question on his tongue, Hiccup sealed his lips with a kiss of his own; a declaration as fierce as the unspoken words he had kept secret all that last long year. Jack froze beneath that touch, but he soon abandoned his reservations, gladly, and slid his arms around Hiccup's waist. Hiccup tangled fingers in Jack's hair, pulling him closer as the kiss deepened. They stumbled against the door, intoxicated by the scent of cologne mixed with spiced rum. Jack tugged on the back of Hiccup's shirt, and Hiccup pressed himself against Jack's abdomen. It could have lasted anywhere between forever and a second, but all the while Hiccup's thoughts ceased to race. He permitted himself to drift on that plane where time and space suspended. He anchored himself only the heart that raced alongside his own. With one last graze of his lips upon Jack's, Hiccup pulled away and opened his eyes.
"Was that obvious enough for you?" he asked on a breathless whisper.
Jack grinned, relief, ecstasy and excitement brightening every feature of his face. "Absolutely," he said.
* The basic (running) form of a Bygdedans (village dance), a regional, traditional dance of Norway
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