Summary: Three years after the events of the movie, Astrid makes a choice.
"We should do this more often," Ruffnut said.
"Agreed." Astrid's eyes were closed as she enjoyed the secluded hot spring, but they blinked open as Ruff pulled her onto her lap and wrapped her arms around Astrid's waist.
"You know what I think we should do?" Ruffnut murmured, her fingers dancing on Astrid's thigh.
Astrid smiled. "I think I can guess."
"Are you saying I'm getting predictable? I need to step up my game." She slipped her fingers down, and Astrid bit her lip.
"Wait, I think I hear them," Hiccup said from a little ways off.
"Seriously?!" Ruffnut yelled to the heavens, and Astrid let out a deep belly laugh. "I'm going to kick their asses, I really am."
"Be nice," Astrid said through her giggles.
Hiccup and Tuffnut stepped around the natural rock barrier separating the spring from the forest at large, Hiccup with a sigh and Tuffnut with a smirk. "Hello ladies," Hiccup said gamely.
"Thor's hammer, can't you two find your own places?" Ruffnut demanded as Astrid sank a few more inches into the water.
"Hey, it's not my fault you two," Hiccup gestured to Ruff and Tuff, "think alike. I'm just along for the ride."
"And what a ride it is!" Tuff said, thrusting his hips.
"Oh gods." Astrid covered her face with her hands. "Don't start that again."
Hiccup smiled, then looked at the other boy. "Tuff, should we --"
He didn't make it any further before Tuff's pants hit him square in the face. "Cannonball!" Tuff cried, leaping to the spring and sending a large wave over the shrieking girls.
"What is wrong with you?" Ruffnut cried, spitting out water.
"Anything's more fun if I get to annoy you while doing it," he said with a grin. Astrid laughed, and Ruffnut kicked at him futilely.
Hiccup, having disrobed, leaned his prosthetic against a rock and slipped in. Ruffnut was glowering, and he made sure to give her a wide berth as he drifted over near Tuff. "Well, isn't this homey," he said once he was well clear of the Thorston girl's reach. Tuffnut snorted.
Ruffnut leaned her chin on Astrid's shoulder. "You don't like them that much do you?" she asked. "Like, if they were to suddenly turn up dead or something? Hypothetically."
"I like them well enough," Astrid said, running the back of her fingers over Ruff's cheek. "And we're all friends here."
Ruff groaned and tipped her head back. "I know we're close and everything, but this is ridiculous."
Astrid laughed. "Ruff, your girlfriend's ex-boyfriend is dating your twin brother."
"Yeah," Hiccup chimed in, "I think we've moved past close and right into incestuous." Ruff and Tuff both made faces, and he smiled.
"So..." Astrid said, trying to ignore the fact that the twins were trying to kick each other under the water.
"So..." Hiccup replied, ignoring the same thing.
"How's your dad?"
Hiccup rolled his eyes. "He brought out an axe when Tuff was over last night. It was actually kind of funny."
"That was terrifying!" Tuffnut suddenly said, and winced when Ruff scored a hit to his shin.
"He was just messing with you."
"No way man, he's going to kill me. Ruff's gonna come get me for breakfast one day, and all that'll be left is a bloody smear and maybe like, an ear."
"Works for me," Ruffnut said cheerfully.
"So he's..." Astrid trailed off and gave a half-shrug.
"I don't know," Hiccup said with a sigh. "He still won't acknowledge anything, but I think he's calming down. Unspoken death threats aside," he added, patting Tuff's leg. "I think he realized it could be worse."
"Whatever," Tuff said. "I'm still giving it a few more days."
"If he hasn't killed you yet, he's probably not going to."
Tuff shot Astrid a doleful look. "You'll check it out if I get murdered, right?"
"Sure," Astrid said, her lips quirking up in a half-grin. "We'll have the ear for evidence after all." Satisfied, Tuff leaned back.
"Well our mom loves you," Ruffnut said, giving Astrid a squeeze. "She says you're a good influence on me or some crap like that."
"It's not like I could have inspired you to be any worse," Astrid said a laugh.
Ruff shot her a sultry grin and buried her nose in Astrid's neck. "I dunno, Astrid. You don't exactly inspire me to be good either."
"Call it even?" Astrid asked, a squeak in her voice.
"Control yourself, woman," Tuffnut said, turning up his nose. Ruffnut scowled at him, and he stuck out his tongue. Then he looked at the side of the pool where their clothes were piled with a thoughtful expression on his face.
"What?" Ruffnut asked, then her eyes widened.
Astrid was suddenly thrown across the spring as Ruff and Tuff both lunged for the clothes at the same time. "Hands off!" Ruff snarled as they fought over a pair of leggings.
"We owe you for stealing our pants!"
"Well it's not happening today!"
Astrid shook her head and drifted over next to Hiccup. He shot her a grin, and she rolled her eyes skyward, but her expression was affectionate as she watched the twins. "I guess it all worked out," he said.
"I guess so," was all Astrid said.
He studied her face carefully. "Was it worth it?"
This time Astrid dropped her head forward before leaning it back to look at Hiccup. "Yes," she said with a sigh. "I wouldn't have started it if it wasn't worth it. But I may jump off the dock if I ever have to do that again."
Hiccup chuckled. "Then I guess you'll just have to stick with Ruff."
"Damn straight," Astrid muttered. She smirked as Ruff shoved Tuff under the water. "At least it'll never get boring."
Hiccup nodded and looked back at the twins. "Should we separate them?"
"I'm not getting in the middle of that, but feel free."
"...they'll work it out."
Astrid smiled as she watched her girl. No, it hadn't been easy, any of it. But there was easy, and there was right. Sitting there now with her friends and her lover, Astrid knew there had only ever been one choice. It hadn't been easy, but it had been right, and that made it worth so much more in the end.
Her girl. Her lover. Her choice. She wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.