This world and these characters are pretty much not mine. I just like to play with them.
Yes, at the beginning this time! Here is the epilogue. It's not much, but I felt like it had more of a sense of closure than the end of Chapter 7. I am sad to see this fic end, but it had to happen.
And now the thank yous:
Thanks to everyone who has left reviews: Backroads, Sarcasm-the Lowest Form of Wit, Alana-kittychan, aryaneragon4ever, Duchess Delanie, Benji, shelgirl92, ITman496, Toothless-the-nightfury, Sunbitten, Spyden, QuestionDeca, Star-Struck Inu, Silver-ShadowSpark, D, and someone who shall remain nameless.
Thanks to everyone who added this story to their favorites: Animefreak99-06, Blackpassion777, dianateresa, eliasdarklight, Flies With Pigs, lurkerlaine, Pterodactyl, and Roses 'n Horses.
Thanks to everyone who reviewed and added this story to their favorites: Duchess Delanie, Sarcasm-the Lowest Form of Wit, shelgirl92, Silver-ShadowSpark, and Toothless-the-nightfury.
Thanks to everyone who reviewed, added this story to their favorites, and added me as a favorite author: Alana-kittychan, aryaneragon4ever, and Sunbitten.
Thanks to everyone who read the fic period.
Thanks, of course, to the incredible Backroads! What a lovely beta reader she has been.
I think that's everyone... Sorry if I left you out. Anyway, I appreciate these gestures. =) Everything helped motivate me to write. And helped me to decide to do at least one more fic. There could be like five more, I'm sure, but I only have time for one this summer. Maybe two. If I ignore real life...
Anyway, I'll end this here or else it'll be longer than the actual fictional content.
Thanks everyone! See you later! (I hope!)
As I ride with Astrid on the back of her Nadder, people make the effort to call out my name and wave. I nod to them and wave back as we pass.
"Don't mess it up this time," Astrid tells me. "Everything's fine with you and Toothless, now, right?"
"It'll be weird," I reply, "But I think we'll stay on their good sides from now on."
"Hiccup!" Mumbles yells out as she runs up to us. "Hiccup, are you really okay now?"
"Yes, Mumbles. I'm really okay."
"You're not a zombie or anything?" Mumbles says, squinting at me critically as she follows us.
"So not a zombie," I tell her. "I don't think Astrid would let a zombie ride her dragon. She's much smarter than that."
"Okay," Mumbles says. "Can I ride Toothless with you tomorrow?"
"Ah..." I bare my teeth. "We'll see?"
"Hiccup!" Astrid yells.
Mumbles gasps. "Hiccup says I can ride with him!" she calls, running to her mother. "Hiccup says I can ride with him!"
"That wasn't a total positive!" I call out as Hunder glares at me. "Astrid can we go faster?" I ask between my teeth.
Astrid lets out a huff and pats the Nadder's neck.
After Astrid drops me off at my house, I find my dad inside, sitting on the bed.
"Where did you go?" he asks, standing.
"I went to see Gobber. And Astrid gave me a ride back. Don't you have chieftain-y things to do...?"
"I'm taking the night off," he says.
"I'm going to sleep here," he goes on, gesturing to the floor beside the bed, "To make sure you get a good night's rest. And in case you need anything."
"Oh. Dad, you don't have to do that."
"Actually, I do."
"No, Dad, really-"
I sigh. "Okay. But can we not tell anyone about this? Ever?"
"It'll be like when you were a boy. One of those sleeping parties you were never invited to."
"Oh, yeah," I reply with a nod, "Lovely childhood memory."
Someone knocks on the door.
Dad looks at me expectantly.
"I guess I'll get that," I say. A thought creeps into my head as I turn to the door, but it doesn't come into fruition until I see who's standing on the other side. "Fishlegs? Snotlout? Tuffnut?"
"I want a spot by the fire," Snotlout says, stepping past me, "I claim the spot by the fire."
"My sister wanted to come," Tuffnut says as he walks in, "But this is kind of a man-only thing."
"I think I found the father," Fishlegs says as he bounces in. "I think it's a Nadder!"
"That'll be... interesting," I say as I close the door. "And what are you all doing here?"
"It's like I said," Dad says, "One of those sleeping parties-"
"Oh gods, save me," I let slip as my shoulders sag.
"We're here for you in case you need us," Snotlout says. "And we won't disappear this time."
"All right, boys, get settled in," Dad says. He has somehow produced blankets that I never even knew we had.
"Don't tell me," I say, "Gobber's on his way?"
"Don't be silly," Dad says, "He snores."
I blink. "How do you even kno-"
Toothless starts to growl.
"I want this spot," Snotlout says, pointing to the area Toothless is guarding with his body.
"Toothless," I say, "Let Snotlout have that spot."
Toothless thins his eyes.
"Come on," I say, "it's only for one night."
Toothless shakes his head, eyeing Snotlout.
"Toothless," I urge him. "You can sleep next to me."
Slowly, Toothless moves out of the way.
Once everyone's settled in, I change into my sleep clothes and sit on the bed, looking around at the faces staring back at me.
"Are you just going to look at us, or are you going to sleep?" Tuffnut asks.
"Okay then," I say. "Guess I'll just. Lie here. And... sleep. Are you guys sure you want to stay the night?"
"Yes," everyone snaps.
"All right... All right." I drop down onto my back and stare at the ceiling. "This is going to be an interesting night."
I close my eyes. Everything's quiet except for the sound of the fire. I open my eyes.
"You guys can talk and stuff," I tell them. "It's okay."
"But talk quietly," Dad warns them.
"Sure," Tuffnut says.
I close my eyes again. Tuffnut starts to say something, but I don't catch it. Instead, I find myself on Toothless, sitting with him in a suspiciously familiar cold cave.
"I thought we were done with this for now," I tell Toothless.
Toothless flicks his ear and steps forward carefully. We peer out around the corner of one of the cave's sharp turns. Modgud is standing, facing us. She doesn't see us though. She's with a man who is shirtless, and who has no right hand.
"We did it," he says gently. He gently traces his fingers over Modgud's cheek. "Thank you. I owe you everything. Now we have the hero we need."
Modgud looks in our direction. I freeze and hold my breath. Then her gaze slips up to the man's face. She smiles. "Anything for you, my sweet."
Their faces draw closer together. And I think they're kissing.
I wake up with a jerk. It's dark, except for the fire. I sit up and look around. Everyone's asleep. Dad is right next to my bed on the floor, tangled up with one of Toothless's legs and his tail. I grab my book from under my pillow and flip it open so I can catch the moment.
Just as I press my drawing stick to the paper, a thought comes to me. Without meaning to, I say it: