Epilogue (or: How to Make a Perfect Beginning)

As winter enveloped Burgess, Hiccup and Jack continued to grow in life and their love for each other. Jack got to meet Astrid during Christmas break, and managed to escape the encounter with only a few mild (for Astrid at least) threats if he ever failed to treat the little artist right. Without any urging from Hiccup, the white-haired man decided to trade full-time work at the gym for being a full-time student, getting the necessary paperwork completed in record time and managing to enroll for spring quarter; with the goal to major in physical education. The two men still spent quite a bit of time at the gym though, and not always working out. Hiccup continued his artistic exploration—with Jack eagerly attending every exhibit—and saw his boyfriend's band perform in countless venues.

In addition to all the fun times they spent hiking, swimming, and yes—ice skating; Jack crammed in summer classes, working feverishly to catch up with Hiccup. This schedule certainly put pressures on the pair, but the green-eyed man understood how important it was to Jack for them to graduate together. Two weeks after throwing their caps in the air, the blue-eyed man brought Hiccup to the gym again. While most people would not consider this a romantic location, it was here that Hiccup had walked into his life and literally woken him up, and here that Jack wanted to demonstrate how much the aubrunet meant to him. When Jack knelt and produced the ring, Hiccup all but shouted "yes", tackling the older man before he could even start his speech and kissing the air right out of him.

Soon after, Hiccup landed an engineering and design job with one of the largest companies in the city, and Jack got part-time work at the local school district with the promise of a full-time position once the school year started. They moved in together; and four months later they proudly walked down the aisle hand in hand. Astrid served as a surprisingly teary maid-of-honor, and even Aster had a lump in his throat as he gave the best man's speech. And as Jack joyfully spun him around the hall during the first dance of their new beginning, a beaming Hiccup reflected that nothing was beyond repair, no one was too far gone, if only they could come to see themselves as worthy of being happy—and being loved.

~.~