Astrid turned her attention back to the view, eyes widening at it in almost the same way as they had for his transformation. She really did love it out here, didn’t she? It gave her something that four walls and a roof never could, it seemed to him.
She was getting nearer to the edge, though, and that had him worried. Sure, she was still a couple meters from the drop-off, and seemed aware of the risk, but he didn’t want to leave anything to chance. Or… maybe he was looking for an excuse.
“You look like you’re rearing to get rescued again,” he chuckled, taking a step closer behind the seated human.
She looked up and cocked a brow. “Well it’s a good thing you’re right here, then. Besides, can’t really blame me for wanting to soak in as much of this as I can.”
“What if I said you could get an even better view than that?”
Astrid seemed skeptical, but intrigued. “And how might you do that?”
A little burst of excitement filled his spark as he reached down, worming his fingers under her arms and hoisting her up into the air.
“Sh-shit, oh my god! What are you -?”
And before either of them knew it, Hound had her safely perched on his shoulder, secured on one side with his head, her back with one of his tires, and her other side with his hand, with which he was trying to steady her as unobtrusively as possible. He could feel her heart race, her face flush and her breath come out in carefully controlled gusts of warm air.
But a thought occurred to him and he was suddenly worried. “You’re… you’re not afraid of heights, are you?” She was almost five meters off the ground and with her leg in a cast to boot.
Astrid blinked and swallowed, shaking her head and looking him over. “N-no, but… I’ve never sat o-on a giant’s shoulder before.”
He smiled a little. “I’ve never had a human sit on my shoulder before.”
It’s kind of nice, he noted. “Feel free to hold onto anything up there if you’d like.”
She wrapped both arms around his head – still not quite long enough to meet each other on the other side – but it seemed to him that she’d positioned her arm directly over his optics. What was more, though, was her chest was pressed into the side of his helm, and he could feel, with his own plating, her heartbeat. There was a funny feeling in his spark.
Hound, you’re like, 45,000 years old in this story and you still haven’t learned what getting a crush feels like jfc you’re too precious for this world