Author: QuixoticQuest PM
SEQUEL TO FLY AWAY HOME. That day five ships set out for the Land in the Mist, three months later, only four returned. Time heals wounds, but some feelings will continue to live on. "What is lost, is never meant to be found to begin with... " A/H. OCs.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Family - Astrid & Toothless - Chapters: 16 - Words: 44,110 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 24 - Updated: 10-31-10 - Published: 10-04-10 - id: 6374881
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Lives We Live
A/N- Hey Guys! It's been a while since my last update, so I humbly apologize for that.
I've been busy with many things for college: 1. My animation project 2. My paintings for my painting class (which had such a loose guideline that I made it into three HTTYD themed paintings) and 3. Life in general. I have classes, papers, and almost no time to update during the next few weeks.
Also, a head's head for the next few weeks, I am thinking of doing the novel in a month (NaNoWriMo) so any free time I have will be dedicated to that.
I'll be posting my paintings and the novel on my DA when I'm finished. But I wanted to let you guys know ahead of time that I'll be MIA for a while.
Oh! If you like my stories please vote in the FFN Author of the Month Contest hosted by Facebook. I'm number 11. =) The contest ends tonight, so I'd appreciate your votes if you do like my work.
Thanks for reading!
Stoick the Vast received many a shock when he saw not only the ship he'd seen leave Berk days before, but an entire fleet of ships flying the symbol of a sword shrouded in mist and a bone. The pirates of the land of the mist: Stoick knew them well. He'd had a run in with them when he was a lad and just beginning the traditional journey onto the sea as a newly minted Viking.
To say the least, they weren't nearly as violent or hostile as some of the stories chocked them up to be. But they weren't Vikings and thus weren't to be tarried with. Yet here they were, disembarking from their ships onto Berk's docks.
"Thunder of Thor!" Stoick exclaimed and pushed his way through the crowd that had begun to mass around the docks. He stood there, his bulk blocking any of the crew from passing onto Berk's shores. "Just what do you think you're doing here?" He demanded, drawing himself up to a height that even he hadn't known was possible.
"It's okay, Father," Astrid said, stepping in between them. "Riggs, Scarfin, this is Stoick Haddock." Riggs inclined his head respectfully and held out his hand. Stoick took it, nearly crushing the smaller man's hand in his.
"Captain Jorgens Wildfin the Second," Scarfin said, holding out his hand and nearly matching the gruffness of Stoick's handshake. "But that's Captain Scarfin to you n' everyone else."
Stoick nodded and turned to his daughter in law, "Am I not still Chief?" Stoick questioned, narrowing his eyes.
"Former Chief," All eyes turned asa black dragon landed with a thud on the ground and its rider slid down. Stoick took in the dragon, who he knew to be Toothless, the only Night Fury in Berk and then his eyes rested on the rider.
"You've got some nerve," Stoick said with a growl, "Coming back here after fifteen years and expecting to find me happy with you." Stoick's mouth twitched into a smile and he crossed over and gathered his son into a bone crushing hug.
"What were you doing for fifteen years?" Stoick demanded. Hiccup felt a hand on his shoulder as Astrid stepped up next to him.
"We'll explain that later, Father," Astrid stated. "Right now we have to make battle plans." Stoick glanced back at the pirates and then at his son.
"What's going on, Son?" Stoick asked. Hiccup sighed. He hated for his first return to Berk in years to be such a sordid affair, but they didn't have much of a choice in the matter.
"The bandits of the land in the mist are on their way over," Hiccup said, "And we have only a day at most before they arrive." Stoick stiffened at the news and nodded.
"Then we'd best get to planning," Stoick turned his head to Scarfin and Riggs. "You two and the rest of your leaders should join us at the meeting."
Hiccup let loose a ragged sigh. He had hardly gotten any sleep on board the ship because all his memories from the past fifteen years as well as those from before were swimming in and out of his mind at random intervals. The Green Death wasn't the worst of his nightmares now. Something touched his arm and he turned to find Astrid frowning at him.
"We'll be right back, Father," Astrid said and pulled Hiccup away from the group. She continued to lead him until they were in the cove. Then she let go of him and turned to face him straight on.
"Okay, Hiccup, what was that all about?" She demanded. Hiccup faltered under her gaze before he rubbed the back of his neck.
"What was what?" Hiccup said. Astrid scowled even deeper.
"Hiccup," She said, "We both know that that sigh back there wasn't normal."
"Since when have I ever been normal?" Hiccup asked and when he noticed that she wasn't amused by his rebuke, sighed again. "Look, Ast, I haven't been here in fifteen years. It's…"
"Overwhelming?" Astrid filled in and he simply nodded. She softened her gaze and fixated him with a firm stare. "I don't think I can ever understand what you went through with Dengar, Hiccup. But I do know that here on Berk you don't have to worry about ever being hurt like that again."
Hiccup shrugged, "You don't know that."
Astrid grunted. When Hiccup wanted to be, he could be harder to argue with than she was sometimes. "Hiccup, there's no way we could know anything. What's really bothering you?"
He looked away for a second and then met her eyes. "I feel like a stranger here now. It's not the Berk I left behind."
Astrid folded her arms across her chest, "So? Did you expect things to stay the same?" She lifted her gaze to the sky, watching the clouds as they passed overhead. "Things change. Whether or not we're there to see it happen, they will move and turn until we don't even know what they are anymore." She turned her head around at looked at Hiccup.
"You changed too, you know," Astrid said calmly, "Right before you left, you were more confident than I'd ever seen you before. I liked that," She breathed a heavy sigh and lowered her eyes to the ground. "Autumn grew up without a father and I raised her knowing you would never come back. She's a strong headed girl, but she has a heart like you, Hiccup." Hiccup stood still, silently watching Astrid as she rubbed her arm. "Life went on without you. As much as I didn't want it to, it kept going," She lifted her eyes and Hiccup could see that there were tears in them now. "Autumn doesn't know you like I do, so it's like she's meeting an old friend rather than her father."
Hiccup smiled, "You did a good job, Astrid. I couldn't ask for anything more." She nodded and Hiccup crossed over and wrapped his arms around her. Astrid buried her face in his shirt. It was strange that she wanted to be the one to comfort him, but he ended up comforting her in the end.
But that's just how their relationship was. It wasn't at all traditional and constantly defied the expected.
"Still," Astrid said, pulling back slightly, "I'm sorry you didn't get to see her grow up." He shook his head.
"There's still time to," Hiccup said softly. "I missed the first fifteen years, but I'll be here for the rest."
"If you could disappear for fifteen years, who's to say you won't go away for the rest?" Astrid asked and Hiccup let out an elongated sigh. She really was asking the wrong person these questions. He didn't know the true answers any more than the next person. Despite that he may have gone through hell and back, he was still standing here. Time didn't stand still for anyone, but it would always be there.
"There's nothing we can say or do to change what happened, Love," Hiccup said gently, "But know that there will always be something that stays." To Astrid, who was a little overwhelmed by her sudden flood of emotions and crying, his words sounded a little more disconcerting than it might have otherwise. Even then she had a distinct feeling he was being vaguely wistful on purpose. She hated riddles. They often beat around the bush when the obvious solution was to strike hard.
But Hiccup wasn't like that. He didn't have the same impulsively harsh attitude towards solving problems. Instead he would try to figure out a way around the actual question that no one else had thought of.
"Do you believe that?" Astrid asked finally. Hiccup's signature toothy grin spread across his lips.
"Yes," He said and leaned his forehead against hers. "I really do." Astrid let herself relax and found that she believed him for one nonsensical reason or anything. Maybe she had a few screws loose as well or she'd just gotten used to how Hiccup thought about things.
"Mmm?" He blinked as Astrid's fist connected with his abdomen. "Ow, why would you do that?"
"That," She said, flicking her braid back, "Was for dying." Hiccup still hadn't recovered from the punch and was doubled over. He'd forgotten what Astrid's punches felt like until now.
Boy, did he remember. He lifted his head, breathing deeply so he could work through the pain. If she had planned for him to double over, he couldn't tell because the moment he was standing fully she grabbed a fistful of his shirt and brought his lips onto hers.
Yes, he remembered this part as well.
"Have you seen Lloyd?" Fishlegs turned his head in surprise as he finished chopping the last of the logs for his fireplace. Autumn was standing there with her eyes furtively glancing around as more pirates and Vikings milled about. Fishlegs left his axe in the log and stood up straight so he could face the young girl.
"I can't say I have," Fishlegs said, his own worry over his son's behavior had been overridden by his need to be there for Ruffnut. He had already informed Hiccup that Fishlegs was going to be defending his home during the siege and therefore couldn't be one of the leaders of the main defense. This was his only reason why he was scarce from the meeting taking place in the great hall. "I think he may have gone to the meeting." Autumn was up and running the moment the words left his lips. Fishlegs watched her go and lifted his axe once again to commence chopping. It was troublesome to see Autumn and Lloyd so distant from one another.
It was also odd that she'd taken to calling her friend by his actual name. That immediately told Fishlegs that something was up. He knew his son well enough that if he saw Lloyd, Fishlegs would be able to tell that something was going on.
Autumn skidded to a stop in front of the great hall and walked up the stairs and into the meeting room. Several of the leaders looked up as she walked in and she briefly met the eyes of her mother, who was scowling in disapproval. Over on the far end of the table, his face cast into darkness by the lighting in the room as well as his helmet, stood Lloyd Ingerman. For some reason his expression was serious and if he had an ounce of fear in him, he wasn't showing it.
Someone in the Ingerman had to fight, Lloyd knew and since his father wanted to protect his younger children, Lloyd had volunteered to go when Hiccup brought it up.
"Then Scarfish will take the dock defense," Hiccup stated, "I need someone to help to lead the strike team who will be protecting the entrance to the village. I don't think I need to remind everyone that those who volunteer for this will be on the frontlines the entire time and will be the force standing between the docks and the village. They will also be the force that raids the enemy ships when the time comes."
"I'll do it."
All heads turned, eye fixated on the speaker. Autumn's breath caught in her throat. Part of her wanted to scream opposition but she wouldn't let herself. She was a Viking, like many of those in the room and she had to support the defense of the village. It wasn't her choice what others did.
Hiccup's eyes rested on the younger Viking boy, "Lloyd," Hiccup said, "You do realize that there are older Vikings who can take care of this raid team."
"I know, but I'm doing it," Lloyd stated, "I'm an Ingerman, Chief, but first and foremost I'm a Viking."
Astrid looked over at Hiccup, who seemed to be debating this with reluctance. "He's of age," Hiccup looked over at Stoick. "The boy can decide for himself."
Hiccup held back a sigh and turned his head to face Lloyd once more, "It's your choice, Lloyd." He nodded.
"I want to go," Lloyd stated and Stoick smiled, clapping the younger Viking on the shoulders.
"Good! Then we'll divide up the forces," Stoick then began to bark out names as Hiccup's eyes never left Lloyd's form as he stood with his eyes on the ground. What was bothering the boy, Hiccup couldn't tell, but he did know that it was troubling him. No one did something this brash unless there was a driving reason.
As the meeting adjourned and all teams were assigned, Hiccup waited by the door and held Lloyd back. "Can I talk to you for a moment, Lloyd?" The blonde nodded and Hiccup waved to Astrid, indicating that he would meet her at home. Astrid took Autumn and lead her out. As soon as the large doors banged shut, Hiccup leaned against the table, his arms folded across his chest as he scrutinized the younger Viking.
"I want to know something, Lloyd," Hiccup said carefully. "Did you volunteer because you wanted to fight or because you wanted to avoid facing something else?"
Lloyd opened his mouth and then shut it. He swallowed and then said quietly, "Both, Chief."
Hiccup nodded, "I thought that might be it," To Lloyd's surprise, the Chief smiled. "I can't stop you from fighting in this any more than I can tell you what to believe in. But I will offer a bit of advice if you're willing to listen."
Lloyd was surprised that Hiccup, the newly reinstated Chief of the tribe and Autumn's father, was giving Lloyd a choice in what to do. Hiccup could easily have forced Lloyd to remain behind, but the Chief hadn't done that. Not knowing what else to say, Lloyd nodded.
"There is something you should know about dying in a battle," Hiccup continued, "It's not pretty and most of the time you end up leaving behind a lot of pain and suffering," Hiccup smiled and looked down at his feet, "Not everyone lives through their first fight and not everyone intends to die in the first place. My point is that you should remember who you are and what you can do without killing others to get there."
Lloyd nodded, expecting that this was the end of the lecture, but Hiccup spoke up again, "And know that sacrificing yourself means you won't come back. Remember that." With that Hiccup pulled away from the table and walked out the door. As it banged shut it left a heavy silence and as Lloyd stood there he found himself unable to look anywhere but at his hands as they useless clenched and unclenched themselves.
A/N- Next Chapter-The siege! =) Thanks for reading!