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Summary: Three years after the events of the movie, Astrid makes a choice.

Ruffnut sat alone in the clearing, occasionally poking the ground unhappily.  That had been an unmitigated disaster.  Although really, what was Astrid's problem anyway?  Didn't Ruffnut perform in bed?  Wasn't she as loyal to Astrid as she was to anyone, or even more so?  Wouldn't she drop everything if she thought her friend needed her?  Wasn't that enough?  Why did the whole 'exclusive' thing have to enter into it all?

And she still didn't understand what Astrid was getting at, with the whole confession thing and breaking up with Hiccup.  So she didn't like boys.  There were several women like that in the village -- and Ruffnut was pretty confident she had managed to suss almost all of them out -- but no one went around making big declarations about it.  To be fair, telling your best friend wasn't exactly screaming it to the village, but she had broken up with Hiccup too.  Which, really?  What was up with that?  It's not like he would force himself on her or anything if she didn't want to.

Because in the end you could talk about liking girls (or boys on the other side) all you want.  But the fact of the matter was that good Viking woman married strong Viking men and made strong Viking babies.  That's just how it worked.  Just because Hiccup had changed the world a few years ago didn't mean the rest of them didn't have to follow the rules.  And Astrid was the best Viking of them all.  She ought to know that.  Ruffnut knew that, and there was no way she was smarter than Astrid.  She knew one day, probably one day soon, she'd have to stop fooling around and get married and be forever devoted and blah blah blah.  But one day hadn't seemed to matter as much when she had Astrid right now.  And it wasn't fair for Astrid to decide to cut that time short because she grew some stupid fucking morals or whatever.

Ruffnut had realized fairly early on that Hiccup was, in fact, the perfect boyfriend.  Not because he was the future chief, although that was a major plus, or because he was a famous hero who was gaining acclaim for his dragon handling not just in Berk, but other nearby villages as well, or even because he was smart and funny and he and Astrid got along well.  All that was secondary to the fact that he had never tried to stop Astrid from seeing Ruffnut, even when he knew what was going on.  And when would that happen ever again?

Ruffnut had sometimes entertained the notion that, if she played her cards right, marriage wouldn't matter too much in the end.  If Astrid married Hiccup and Ruffnut married...well, none of the men of Berk were particularly observant, but someone she could succeed in sneaking around on, there would be no reason for her and Astrid to stop doing...that.  Astrid had her whole honesty thing, but Ruffnut had no such scruples.  They could make it work.  And Ruffnut really would stop with other people then.  She just didn't want to rush that part because she knew once it was over, it was over forever.  Astrid had never understood that, but she had seemed to accept it.  Until TODAY, apparently.  Ruffnut jabbed the ground angrily.

Maybe it would help if Ruffnut went and told Astrid she was special.  That she may fool around with a lot of people, but she only opened herself up to one.  Or would that just give her the wrong idea?  Forgetting sex -- which was definitely nice and something Ruffnut still hoped she could bring Astrid back around to eventually -- no one understood Ruffnut as well as Astrid, not even Tuff.  The twins tended to not connect so much as collide with people, short, painful encounters that usually left someone hurt.  It wasn't something they did on purpose, but dealing with the Thorstons required a highly specific and fairly rare skill set.  Snotlout gave Tuff a run for his money on the 'Oh, I'm a manly Viking!' thing, Fishlegs seemed to deflect everything they did by either pure obliviousness or pure bulk, Hiccup was so far outside of traditional Vikingness that nothing seemed to touch him, and Astrid could take anything any of them could dish out and give it back double.  She was the only girl in the village who could, really.

Ruffnut sighed and leaned back on her hands, letting the sun warm her face.  She could admit it.  Astrid was special.  And that had nothing to do with whether or not they shared a bed.  So if she wanted to stop that, it sucked, but it was her choice to make.  Ruffnut could roll with the punches.  She was tough, and so was Astrid.  They'd just have to get back to where they were before, when they were only ever just friends.  Ruffnut could do that.  There was no reason for things to get weird.  There were lots of potential bedwarmers in the village, but only one Astrid.  It'd probably be awkward at first, but Ruffnut would make it work.

After all, what choice did she have?


**********************


Hiccup watched Astrid and Ruffnut from a distance.  There was something strange going on there, and he still didn't know what.  After the breakup Astrid's mood had been uneasy, but for the past week and a half it had been downright foul.  Since he obviously wasn't in the primary pissing-Astrid-off position anymore, he assumed that pleasure had fallen to Ruffnut.  But Ruffnut, in contrast to Astrid, was acting perfectly normal, as friendly and boisterous as always.  She may even have been a little more so, like she was trying a little harder than usual, but maybe it just looked that way compared to Astrid's scowl.

Hiccup didn't know if something had happened -- okay, that was a lie, something had obviously happened, but he didn't know what -- or if it was simply in response to his overtures of friendship the day before Astrid's mood had gone downhill, but Astrid had started seeking him out again.  These encounters, however, typically consisted of Astrid showing up at his door and saying, "Let's go flying," or, "Let's go hunting," or, "Let's go fishing," and then spending the whole time more or less ignoring Hiccup while she stewed in silence, occasionally muttering angrily to herself while Hiccup tried and failed to work up the nerve to ask her what was wrong.  He still didn't know where the boundaries were.  "Hey Astrid, I know we just broke up a few weeks ago, but something seems to be going on with that girlfriend I'd thought you'd have by now, and I was wondering if you wanted to talk about it."  Well, there were certainly less interesting ways to commit suicide.

Abandoning the girls for a moment, Hiccup looked around the square.  He noticed Tuffnut just a little ways down, sitting on an open windowsill and idly picking at his fingernails with a dagger, and paused.  Hm.  It was worth a shot.

Tuffnut looked up as Hiccup walked towards him, then jumped down from the window and pocketed his knife.  "What's up, man?"

"Hey Tuff."  Hiccup paused, then looked over at the girls.  "I, uh, I was just wondering if you knew what was up with Astrid and Ruffnut.  'Cause they seem a little off to me, but I'm kinda scared to ask."

Tuffnut looked at Hiccup, looked at the girls, pursed his lips, and finally looked back at Hiccup.  "I guess I can tell ya, since you and Astrid aren't together anymore --" Hiccup blinked at that, because it still seemed like most people hadn't put that together, "-- but Ruff and Astrid have been like, getting it on for a long time now, but the other day Astrid told Ruff she didn't want to do it anymore."

"Wait, she told her to stop?"  Hiccup furrowed his brow and tried to put everything right in his head.  "That's...kinda the opposite of what I was expecting."

"Wait, you knew?"

"Well, yeah."  Tuffnut was staring at Hiccup in shock now, seemingly struck speechless.  Apparently more explanation was required.  "I mean, Astrid's not a cheater or anything.  She told me."

Tuffnut still looked awestruck.  "And you were okay with that?"

That's exactly what he'd been asking himself for the past few weeks, and he still didn't have an answer.  "Well, it was Astrid's choice, wasn't it?  At least she was honest.  And..."  He spared one more glance at the sullen girl.  "...I wanted her to be happy."

Tuffnut regarded him for a long minute, then solemnly clapped his hand on Hiccup's shoulder and said, "Hiccup, I hope I find a girlfriend like you one day."

"...Thanks, I guess?"
I figured I should mention Snotlout, since I've been going over the timeline and he doesn't really appear in this fic at all.

Hey, I remember what I was going to say! I usually go back and reread things I've posted several times. I've already read this one a few times, like I did the first part. But I've found I dislike reading the second part. I don't know if that's because it gave me so much trouble, or because I'm still not happy with it, but it's the first one of my postings that I just don't want to read. I hope that's more a weird tic on my end than a reflection of its quality.

Links:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Epilogue

Into the Forest - a Ruffstrid prequel
Add a Comment:
 
:iconhumanprotecter101:
HumanProtecter101 Featured By Owner May 8, 2016  Student Writer
HA, the last part dhough.
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:iconciutterfish:
cIutterfish Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014
Firestar from warriors series
4C2H0H7000F78214FFC49D0060000BA06UI1D3100001000000FE8400FF7FFF0U00F28713004CB2
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:iconciutterfish:
cIutterfish Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014
i have all princesses but here is Merideth
492R0062103A8BBA17C1000060145A050UN183700300000380D60202FEE38733107F3FCC004CB2
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:icondkdragonlover13:
DkDragonLover13 Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014  Student Artist
Wow I'm mind blowned never would of thought of tuff beging a good friend to hiccup
Reply
:iconkekebel:
Kekebel Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013
"'I wish I could have a girlfriend like you one day."'

Not sure if compliment?
Reply
:iconthislifesend:
Thislifesend Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I try commenting on every single one of your ingenious story, but I dunno what to write really ^^'
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:iconblackdistraction:
BlackDistraction Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I absolutely love this so far! (I apologise for not commenting on each chapter I hope you can forgive me... I never know what to say =3) That last comment from Tuff is just epic!
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:iconstmemmerson121:
stmemmerson121 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2011
Just that last line makes me cringe, cause now I keep playing in my mind, "Tuff's the pitcher, Hiccup's the catcher, Tuff's the pitcher, Hiccup's the catcher", and the awkwardness IS KILLING ME!!!
Reply
:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2011
Well, not all the time. Tuff's just being slightly oblivious there.
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:iconstmemmerson121:
stmemmerson121 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2011
Doesn't stop me from thinking it, and it's kind of mentally scarring me.
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:iconartofmars:
artofmars Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2011
lol having that conversation with tuff at the end made me fall off my chair laughing
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:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2011
Tuff's a lot of fun!
Reply
:iconmissblossomutonium:
MissBlossomUtonium Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010
OMG I LOVE YOUR STORY SO EPICALLY MUCH! IT ROCKS MY WORLD!! xD Lol, I sound like a hippy :P Im not normally one for yuri as ive said many times :lmao: but i LOVE this couple!! Oh, and can I just say, YOU SUBMITTED THIS ON MY BIRTHDAY, I LOVE YOU DUDE!! xD Keep on rockin' while I keep on readin', happy new year! :D
Reply
:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010
Did I really? Well, too bad you didn't get to read it on your birthday, but I'm glad you found it! Happy New Year!
Reply
:iconmissblossomutonium:
MissBlossomUtonium Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010
Aww thanks! :D You too!!
Reply
:icondying-here:
dying-here Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010
I take it this will be the boyslash pairing? I hope so, since it's my second favorite... *lovesforeshadowing*
Reply
:iconflamehead23a:
flamehead23a Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
that was the perfect Tuffnut closing line. just saying.
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:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
He's just so earnest.
Reply
:iconflamehead23a:
flamehead23a Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
that, and he doesn't think about what he's saying beyond how anyone other than him can interpret it.
Reply
:iconfallenazarathangel:
FallenAzarathAngel Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, Tuff got an intelligent moment. I guess the law of statistics would be required to throw him one at some point. :P
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:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
There's a first time for everything!
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:iconilikehats:
ilikehats Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
Plots! Thickening like a good custard!
Whereas the last part was quite satisfying this one was very cliff-hangery.
I read Into the Forest, by the way (printed it after my exam and read in the school library). Good fun and cleared up the timeline nicely for me :)
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:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
Custard is good! Figuring out where to put chapter breaks is hard. This was the place that made the most sense.

I'm glad that cleared it up for you. I should have mentioned it up front, but I forgot.
Reply
:iconjenkristo:
JenKristo Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2010
Astrid has really treated Hiccup like shit. telling him she wasnt going to stop messing with ruffnut when they got together was horrible, but it was also hiccup's fault for not saying no, but then she dumped him and isn't giving him space to get over it. I love this story but I'm not so keen on astrid's decision making thus far... I almost cried in chapter 2, I felt so badly for Hiccup. Maybe it's worse because he's such a good guy. I want someone to make him happy again!!!
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:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
If you have a very traditional view of how relationships should be, maybe this isn't the story for you, because I like the unconventional. Astrid was honest, and that's literally all she could do in that situation. Also, I think you're overestimating how broken up Hiccup still is. You have to realize too, this is at least partly a coming out story, and people make shit decisions when they're struggling with that, not on purpose, but because they're trying to shoehorn themselves into a role that just doesn't work.

Trust me, everything will work out in the end, and Hiccup will end up happy. The first few chapters are just devoted to the mess everyone's making, then we spend the rest of the time sorting it out.
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:iconjenkristo:
JenKristo Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
I apologize and I understand. I've had concrete morals about how to treat a partner ever since I was little. That's why it's hard for me. But I want to see what happens and I'll be more open minded.

Truly, I'm learning from your story. I'm writing a book and I always have trouble with characters who take a path that I don't agree with. But your writing is incredibly rich and heart wrenching, and I know that if I want that I'm going to have to loosen up.
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:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
I wasn't trying to snap, so sorry if it came across that way. My view is that there is no wrong way to approach a relationship, as long as it's done so honestly and all parties involved know about and agree with what's going on.

One of the reasons I like writing about unconventional relationships is exactly because I know I wouldn't make the choices the characters make, so I get to explore something that would otherwise be completely outside my experiences. It's really very interesting, and I highly recommend it as an area to be explored in writing. If you can take the characters as developed persons in their own right instead of just a figment of your imagination, it becomes a lot easier to view what they do objectively.
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:iconjenkristo:
JenKristo Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
that's a really good idea... I'll definitely try that. thanks!!
Reply
:iconsushizuzoru:
Sushizuzoru Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2010
Tuff made me laugh, just because he would do that to poor Hiccup. :lmao:

Good job~! They're all fairly in character, and there's nothing grievously wrong with the time line so <3
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:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
Yus! My minimum requirements met! :D

This is my first fic with major Tuffnut. I'm going to have fun with him.
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:iconsushizuzoru:
Sushizuzoru Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
Congrats |D

And I'm sure you will. The twins in general are just fun to write XD <3
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