Hi, fellow HTTYD addict! I welcome you to this pretty short story I managed to write within an hour or so ;) (Which could easily be my new record for all I know, lol.)
This is just another one of those scenes I was thinking of using in my upcoming story, but eventually found out that it didn't fit as well as I had planned.
So, I hereby present to you 'The Part I'll Choose To Remember' (It's a pretty long title, I know)!
Timeline: POST-HTTYD2, Stoick lives AU (Outfit from HTTYD2)
Genre/Topic: Comfort/Hurt, Father son bonding, Family
Inspiration: Early HTTYD2 animation test - https/m./watch?lc=Ugg4i7AIqh9p-XgCoAECv=iZdIcMFCZ_U
Hiccup entered the Haddock residence, Toothless following behind. They both yawned, dragon and human way, stretching out for they were completely exhausted. After having spent most of their day cleaning the village up after Drago's attack from last week, they couldn't wait to jump into bed immediately.
It was pretty dark inside, only a couple strays of light coming from the fire pit inside helped them see where the steps to their shared loft was. Hiccup had slowly closed the door behind him as quiet as he could - he truly was trying to not wake anybody up in case they were already asleep. But on the other hand, as he and Toothless were about to walk up to their loft, he found out that wasn't needed.
The dragon had began crooning for Hiccup's attention. His dilated green eyes fixated on the man seated in his big wooden chair, head bowed low as he held his axe in his strong hands.
Silent. Alone. Perhaps even scared.
"Something wrong, bud?" Hiccup asked the dragon, but fell quiet the moment he noticed what Toothless was looking at, actually more like who.
It was his dad whom sat on his large, wooden chair, putting all his attention on the fireplace where he sat nearby.
"Son." He answered, not even daring to look him in the eyes.
"You- you, uuh,—" Hiccup stammered, frantically looking around him for an answer, maybe another person, perhaps his mother. A beat later and it truly seemed like his dad was just here by himself, alone, probably hurt. "—are- are you... alright?" He slowly approached him, stopping right before the chair the chief was seated in.
"Aye... just havin' m'mories..." Stoick sighed as he watched the cracking fire, rubbing his unusually dry forehead with the back of his hand.
"Everyone has those, so what is it, really now?" Hiccup grabbed a chair from the table behind him and slumped down on it, facing his father worried.
"H'ccup..." Stoick's usual booming voice was forced to a silent, soft one. His son could see the grown pain in his face as the man spoke in a rusty voice. "Last week, your mom, the fight, Berk... ev'rything." The dad explained, his grip on the axe getting increasingly stronger the more he had to think back to last week's events.
"Oh, I know... sorry." Hiccup apologized while crunching his nose instinctively, understanding him. He purposely came closer, resting his hands on his kneecaps.
"Don't apol'gize, son, you did n'thing wrong." Stoick lifted his head up, looking his son in the eyes for the first time that night. "And neither did Toothless..." He gave a sorrowful smile to the pitch black dragon below, whom crooned guilty and rested his head on Stoick's lap in an apologetic way.
"Uh, hey... It- it was hard for all of us, dad." Hiccup tried comforting him with a little, soft shoulder pad. "I- I, well, it was just complicated..." He trailed off, rubbing his chin deep in thought.
"That day was me too overwhelming." Stoick noted, starting to stroke Toothless' head softly, listening to the continuous crooning noises that came from the dragon enjoying his touch.
"Honestly, for me too." Hiccup looked down at the Night Fury, a determined expression forming on his face as he spoke his words. "I didn't know how to act with mom before, I- I still don't, actually." He gave a fading smile, his sparkling eyes focused back on the fire.
Stoick looked at him in awe. He wasn't used to hearing so much emotion coming from his son, even though Hiccup was known to be one of the softest vikings to ever be born.
"But, son." The chief interrupted his thinking. "We almost died, all of us. If we weren't distracted, I could've—" Guilt and pain could be heard cracking through his voice as he forced his eyes shut and balled his hands into fists. This made Hiccup clench his fists too, just because seeing his dad in so much emotional pain hurt him too.
The many events that had happened on that day a week ago was agonizing. All of it was completely driving them insane from within. And nobody what the new Haddock, Valka, was experiencing herself either.
Not only was it odd that Stoick was bringing everything up now, Hiccup couldn't imagine how his dad had kept this all to himself. Being chief and all meant that he probably didn't have enough time to rest and wrap his head around everything that had happened recently. With his wife suddenly reappearing and the village covered in ice, Stoick had felt like he wasn't even allowed to rest, he had a job to do first.
For the people of Berk. The people he swore to protect after all.
"Look, dad, listen." Hiccup began, the fire's red glow reflecting in his emerald eyes. "That day, before you and Gobber had found me and mom." He paused for a second, catching his slowed, but deep breath. "Well, when we flew together, uhm... It's like I got back something I didn't know I'd lost." He eventually said in one go, loosening his balled fist carefully, letting his emotion wander off.
Just like that.
"Son..." Stoick saw so much thought and determination in his son's eyes, just so much meaning behind his words. It gave him a new look on the situation he was dealing with.
"That's the part I'll choose to remember." Hiccup continued confidently. "Not the fight, nor the damage, and not our, uh... almost inconvenient deaths." He chuckled lightly, feeling his father's strong hand suddenly resting on his shoulder, comforting him to keep going.
"Not the deaths of the dragons and humans." Hiccup looked up again, from the man's arms to his face and then straight into his dad's green eyes. "Just those moments with mom - the happy moments." He showed a Hiccup-y smile.
"Then I will too." Answered the father simply, still with some pain lingering in his voice, yet hearing his son's talk helped ease that bad feeling.
A beat later, acknowledging what had to be acknowledged to the sound of the cracking fire, they were ready to end the day well. Without even saying a word more, they knew that it was time to let loose of the worries about the past. What had happened couldn't be changed now, so why worry?
"Goodnight, son." Stoick smiled, standing up and giving his son a pat on his back which so conveniently sent him lunging a second towards the wooden stairs.
"Night, dad." Hiccup simply nodded, regaining his posture in the most Hiccup-y, awkward, sarcastic way.
The Rider and dragon tiredly walked up to the top of the stairwell. They opened the door to their shared room and immediately slumped onto their separate beds, instantly falling asleep.
For they have deserved it.
Stoick sighed to himself, walking to get to his own room too. To his wife. To his life, his family. He had to remember the part his son chose to remember too, not the ones that pained him the most.
Tonight's sleep was completely earned. No hurt feelings to cause nightmares, no lingering pain in the backs of their minds, nothing that could stop them from getting to a neutral place in their minds.
Just the Haddock residence full of now three happy Haddocks...
Oh, accompanied by a Night Fury too of course.
I thought about including Valka somewhere in the end but eventually decided not to. I can barely write her character, and even if I could, I still think this is good enough as it is now.
I really hope my story was amusing to read... and not paced too fast. If it was, I'm sorry.