Hi. I have decided to do a sequel to "Disasters in Childrearing" (highly recommend you read that first) This will take place during the movie, so it won't have the broad span of time as the other story. Still, I hope to keep that piece-by-piece feel, so the chapters here might not flow smoothly between each other.
Stoick really hated it when other people were right. Especially in messy situations where no one deserved to be right. The entire village had been there, they had all witnessed the disaster Hiccup caused. A ridiculous amount of lost food, half the docks, multiple burn victims—and all because Hiccup had disobeyed the instruction (from half the village, no less) to stay inside.
Was it really that difficult for the boy? A dog could be taught to stay inside. An intelligent teenager should definitely be able to. But it was like Hiccup did not know the meaning of the words.
So it should not have been right that Stoick should just give up and let Hiccup join dragon training. Was that Gobber's only idea? Stoick was the only person who knew Hiccup better, so shouldn't Gobber be more aware of Hiccup's accident-prone nature? "Put him in training with the others". That was his brilliant piece of advice?
But as much as Stoick argued back, he could not shake that horrible and sneaking feeling that Gobber was right.
Technically, Hiccup was old enough. Technically, Hiccup wanted nothing more than to fight dragons. Technically, it might be a good idea for him to know how a Viking actually killed dragons. Technically, nothing would make Stoick more proud than to see Hiccup slaying the devils, one right after the other.
He finally stopped arguing.
Plans were made. The ships would leave in a matter of hours, warriors ready for one more desperate attempt to find the nest. If it worked, the dragon problem would be over. Hiccup could stop his obsession with dragons. Maybe Stoick could, too.
Maybe Hiccup would stop trying to get himself killed every time one appeared.
Maybe Stoick would stop wishing Hiccup could kill one.
He returned to the house. It was dark and cold. He had tried over the years to make it look like a home, with food supply and furniture and a nice arrangement of family shields and weapons along the walls. It was practical, comfortable, and suited his and Hiccup's needs. Plus, it had been an impressive number of years since the last time it had been burned down. But the truth was that it hadn't felt like a home in more years than he could count. Well, it was just a house. What more could a man want?
Though the absence of a fire suggested exactly what Gobber had thought.
Stoick sighed and slipped his helmet onto a rafter. "Hiccup!"
No answer. He was probably upstairs pouting. If he was anywhere.
"Hiccup!" he bellowed again. "We have to talk!" About what? Was he really going to allow Hiccup to go into dragon training? He hadn't exactly made up his mind about that yet. He went up the stairs. No Hiccup.
That settled it. No dragon training. Stoick had flat-out told him to get back to the house. No excuses for not being there. "Get back to the house" did not mean "get back to the house and then leave again without begging permission of your father". It meant "get back to the house and stay there, not touching anything, not doing anything, until you had a little chat with your father." He should have told Gobber to barricade Hiccup in.
Stoick stomped back downstairs, grabbed a basket, and began throwing supplies into it without any thoughtful regard of what he was doing. He should go out and look Hiccup, drag him back here. Stoick was not going to tolerate such blatant disregard of orders.
Dragon training. Yes, it was a bad idea. If Hiccup couldn't listen to directions, he was going to get killed.
He had promised his wife he would protect Hiccup and keep him safe.
It was far too cold and dark inside. He tossed the basket to the floor and went for wood. Hiccup should have started the fire. What was the point of having him work as a blacksmith if he couldn't be bothered to start a fire?
And just where was Hiccup? Off wandering in the woods? Pestering someone? Looking for the Night Fury he had insisted he had shot down? Wouldn't that just tickle fate if Hiccup really had managed to hit a dragon with one of his crazy contraptions, then get to close to it and have it roast him?
Which was maybe why he needed to know what to do around dragons.
Maybe Gobber was right.
For years Stoick had thought Hiccup would make a great Viking. When he was bigger. When he learned to pay attention. When he learned to follow orders. When he was strong enough to wield a decent weapon. When he stopped causing so much trouble. Maybe those "whens" were never going to come.
Which meant Stoick could shamefully raise a son he couldn't trust to be let of the house or take a deep breath, say a prayer to every god who would listen, and let Hiccup become a true Viking.
Valhallarama would have wanted a son who made her proud.
Besides, Hiccup was smart. He could pick it up, the art of dragon killing. Maybe. Hopefully. And it was just training. Somewhat controlled. Not too much could go wrong.
Stoick felt sick just thinking about it.
But there was almost an image in his head. Hiccup the Viking. It was a good image.
No. The risk was too terrifying. Hiccup could not handle it, not the way he was.
But the ships were leaving shortly. His own command. They would be gone a few weeks at the shortest time, would be sunk or eaten in the worst case scenario. He really was going to be leaving Hiccup alone for a long time. That couldn't be bad. The last time he had been gone had been for a week. Nothing too bad had happened. But this was longer. Potentially suicidal.
After so long, Hiccup would wander outside and try to kill a dragon. And Stoick would not be there to protect him. He would be far away, trying to stop the dragons that wanted to come to Berk and try to kill Hiccup.
Stoick had no choice.
He would have to let Hiccup going into dragon training.
He wiped panicked sweat from his brow and tried to calm his racing heart. He had been hit by a wave of terror, pride, and resignation. Did other parents feel this way when they sent their children to train? Was this normal?
He would just have to handle it the best he could. He would be calm when Hiccup tried to sneak back into the house. He would not bring up the fact that Hiccup should not have run off in the first place. He would not even bring up the incident that morning. It would just be a calm, normal father and son talk, all past transgressions forgiven. He would show Hiccup he was proud of him, that he trusted him, that he felt he was ready to become a man.
He felt sick all over again.