Chapter 79 - Thunderstorm Part X
Summary: Continuation of 'Thunderstorm'.
A/N: Hey, guys. I finished Camp. And I discovered that I have written 300k this year so far. I'm hoping to hit 500k before the year is up, but I might fail miserably at that endeavor. Is this chapter even any good? Does it even add to the plot?
The statue didn't appease Thor.
In fact, the storm that raged that night was fiercer and stronger than ever. I could hear the rain pouring and the wind howling outside the window, driving me to distraction. I put the sketchbook down and pulled the covers over my head, listening to Toothless moan sadly, trying to nuzzle me out.
I was grateful that he hadn't left my side all day, but I couldn't help feeling guilty, too; Toothless loved rain and thunder, and he wouldn't even play in it anymore because of me. I was taking happiness away from everyone, no matter which way I turned. And this storm just proved that. This storm proved I didn't belong here.
I was so distracted that I didn't realize Stoick was home until the bedroom door opened suddenly, interrupting my thoughts. "Hiccup?" He whispered as he crept slowly into the room. "Are you alright?"
I pressed my head down harder on the pillow. "Fine." My voice came out muffled thanks to the blanket.
Stoick gently pulled the quilt away. "Get out of there. You'll suffocate."
I sighed, studying the darkening sky outside, because I could feel Stoick watching me and I really didn't want to acknowledge him. "I'm sorry."
Stoick raised an eyebrow. "What have you done wrong?"
"I…these storms…Thor's mad at me." My voice grew smaller and smaller the longer I talked, until finally I sounded more like a small child than like myself. "I know how much stress it's causing you, and I'm sorry."
"Hiccup, no, that's not…you're not the cause of these storms. Okay? I don't know what is causing them, but whatever it is, we're going to find it."
I wanted to argue with him. My emotions were all over the place from my decision to leave if the whole statue thing didn't work out. And, seeing as it hadn't, I wasn't in a particularly great mood. And I wanted to yell at Stoick, to scream at him, to prove to him that I was inadvertently causing these storms and I needed to get away from the island as fast as I possibly could. He could pretend all he wanted, but even from up here, I could see that the lightning was growing so bad that it had been setting houses on fire all day.
Of course, the storm had grown noticeably worse after the statue…
I closed my eyes, groaning inwardly. Mildew was completely right.
"I promise." He gave my shoulder a light squeeze.
I nodded without replying.
I felt him drop a light kiss onto my forehead, and my heart ached with how much it hurt to know I was leaving. I hadn't said a word to Toothless, not yet, but ever since the storm had started up again, he had looked at me strangely, as if sensing my plan.
"Do you want to sleep in my bed tonight?" Stoick offered quietly, but I just shook my head.
"I'll be fine."
"Hiccup, you don't have to pretend around me."
"I'm not pretending." God. I didn't want to leave.
"It's okay to be scared."
"I'm not scared." Every flash of lightning sent another rip of fear hurtling through me, and every boom of thunder made my stomach give an unpleasant jolt, but I wasn't really afraid of the storm anymore. The comments of the villagers were a lot worse than a noisy black sky.
He sighed. Softly, and to himself. "Alright. Come downstairs if you do start to get scared, okay?"
I nodded listlessly. Alvin had always gotten mad at me whenever I woke him because I was scared, or asked to crawl in bed with him. The memory made my eyes sting, although I had long since stopped feeling pain about his rejection of me; I knew it was just my emotions from leaving. But still, the memory was strong in my mind, and I knew I would not be going to Stoick, no matter how scared I got. I woke him quite enough by screaming my head off or crying like a baby due to nightmares. I wasn't going to wake him during a rare night when I was perfectly calm.
It took forever, but Stoick finally left me alone. He finally went downstairs and shut his bedroom door. I listened for a few extra minutes, making sure he wasn't going to come back out again, and then I dropped down to the floor. I didn't bother packing anything. I'd run away from Alvin that last time with nothing but the clothes on my back and the sketchbook in my vest, which he never even knew was there; otherwise, I'm sure he would have taken it away from me and burned it.
I didn't have very many possessions added to that when I arrived on Berk, except…my mind strayed to the Viking helmet Stoick had given me on Snoggletog night, and then the clothes he had sewn for me. No, I wouldn't bother taking those things. The clothes were in the closet, and the Viking helmet was downstairs, next to his. I didn't belong in nice clothes. I belonged in rags.
Toothless watched me curiously as I sat there, indecisive, and I tried to force a smile for him. "I don't want to leave you," I whispered.
He nuzzled me gently with his nose. You won't ever have to.
"No, Toothless," I gently pushed him away, looking him in the eye. "It's not fair of me. I don't deserve a home on Berk, but you do. You don't have to come with me, not if you don't want to. You can stay here, if you want."
Toothless growled as he finally began to understand what I meant, shoving me down onto the wooden floor. He pinned me there, glaring down at me with bared teeth.
I offered him a small, sad smile. "You should at least consider the merits," I told him, reaching up and patting his nose consolingly. "No more running after some stupid kid, and no more having to deal with Alvin because of me. No more thunderstorms because I'm cursed."
Toothless once told me without words that he accepted me, flaws and all. This time, he did much the same thing, except he wasn't as nice about it. He glared menacingly down at me, growling to shut me up.
"Hey, I'm only saying. I mean, you couldn't fly for a bit once I was gone, but once somebody figured out how to work the tail fin…the merits greatly outweigh the disadvantages, once you think about it."
Toothless growled again, nuzzling me gently.
I gave him a tiny, grateful smile. "You're coming with?"
But I could tell that he thought leaving was unnecessary.
"Look, I'm just gonna leave for a few days, and, if the storm clears, I'll be back, okay?" I tried to kind of stretch the truth and make it sound like I still wasn't sure whether the storms were because of me or not. Call it a hunch, but I thought Toothless might take that outlook better than my real one.
He fell silent, considering it. While he did this, I stripped off my vest and grabbed the riding one, beginning to buckle it on. "In fact, we might even only have to stay gone for a couple hours to test it," I added. I worried that I was laying it on too thick by the way he looked at me after that, but he allowed me to climb on his back nonetheless.
I put my feet in the stirrups, wincing a little when the prosthetic found its pedal. The stump was still tender and sore, especially during bad weather.
"Alright, bud. Let's go."