Thank you, God, for everything.
DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own How To Train Your Dragon. Hello! Thank you for reading! God bless you!
The Vikings on the Isle of Berk were very serious. They were stern warriors, always ready to fight, determined to save their village and their honor; to spill blood. They did not regard anything of worth unless it went with their Viking code. They didn't like people who didn't try to always fight someone, or prepare for war, or who didn't know how to handle a dragon. They were demanding, ruthless cutthroats without a playful bone in them.
"Would you doofuses hurry up?" Snotlout demanded.
"Yeah, we're trying to. Ruffnut is taking forever," Tuffnut said, sounding bored.
"Hey, how about you shut up?" Ruffnut said, glaring at him and throwing herself on him.
Yes, completely mature.
Hiccup looked to Astrid, a wooden stick in his hand with a pair of shedded dragon claws at the end of it, and leaning on it, said, "Why, exactly, are we doing this again?"
Astrid smirked as she used one of the contraptions to scrap up leaves toward a larger growing pile. "Because, Hiccup, making leaf piles are one of life's great joys." She added her leaves to the pile and said, looking quizzical as she leaned against her own stick, "Wait, no. Jumping in leaf piles is one of life's great joys."
"Yeah, that's why I'M going to be the first one jumping in," Snotlout said, pointing a thumb at himself. He nodded and added some more of the dark brown, red, orange, and auburn leaves to the monstrous pile they were all working on. It was on the edge of the woods, near the village. It was a white fall day, the cold wind blowing throughout, promising a cold winter. Neither of the six Vikings or the Night Fury really cared as they worked on their leaf pile.
Fishlegs put up an index finger and said, "Um, and why exactly should you be jumping in first, Snotlout? You've barely done anything."
"Hey, I've done more than THEM," Snotlout said, pointing to the twins, who were wrestling into the small pile of leaves they were working on getting into their bigger one.
"Well, that definitely doesn't just mean that you can jump in first," Fishlegs said, starting to rake leaves once more.
"Yeah? And who should jump in first? Huh?" Snotlout wanted to know, and he started to argue with Fishlegs, making Astrid roll her eyes and turn to Hiccup, saying, "Well, what do you think?"
"What do I think about what, Astrid?" Hiccup asked, shoving some leaves in the pile. Toothless came around him and using his tail, gently shifted a pile over and patted it into the new pile. Hiccup smiled and patted Toothless's back, saying, "Hey, thanks, bud."
"Who should jump in and ruin our hard work first?" Astrid said, sweeping back her bangs from covering her eyes.
Hiccup shrugged, not really having an opinion about it. It was just a leaf pile, wasn't it? And, unfortunately, it was his first. The younger kids of Berk used to always make leaf piles when fall came around. They'd make these guhugic things that'd take tons of kids to make. Nobody ever invited him to join their group, and so he'd sit on a log in the forest, drawing things in his book and glancing around if he heard a noise, presuming it to possibly be a troll.
So Hiccup didn't care so much as who entered first as long as he was part of the process and fun. Toothless bumped him with his scaled body, and Hiccup turned back to him, saying a little irritably, "Hey, what, bud?"
Toothless nodded toward the pile of leaves, and Hiccup and Astrid turned to see that Snotlout and Fishlegs were in each other's faces, pointing fingers and calling out names and determinations. Ruffnut and Tuffnut were still trying to bury each other's faces into the mud around their leaf pile. It was pretty open, and Hiccup looked to Astrid, who smirked and looked at him with a mischievous gleam in her eye.
"Oh, waittttt, what are we doing now?" Hiccup wanted to know, immediately looking a bit wary. Sometimes Astrid got an idea. It always wasn't a bright idea (and that was the reason Hiccup never brought up the baby dragons on Snoggletog), which made Hiccup on edge.
Astrid laughed and her slim arm reached out and grabbed his rake and threw it from him and said, "Well, go in!"
Astrid rolled her eyes. "Of course not, Hiccup. I meant on New Year's. Hiccup!"
"All right," Hiccup said quickly, and he backed away to the road to the village. He turned to face the leaf pile, only one other teen noticing him. He bent to one knee, his metallic leg bending at an angle with him, and he let out a breath. He sucked in another breath, and looking determined, burst forward on a strand of speed. His prosthetic only slowed him down slightly as he ran over the sparse grass and took a leap into the leaves.
It wasn't a very big leap, and it wasn't very graceful or well planted, but it launched him into the leaves, and actually produced a satisfactory CRUNCH! that sent leaves flying into the air all around him. Toothless teasingly sent out tiny wisps of fire that caught the leaves and singed them, sending them to the ground in crumbled ashes.
"Whoo hoo!" Astrid said, and she dropped her rake and jumped in after him, making Hiccup let out a laugh and back up. She landed and flung out her arms and legs, laying on her back amongst the damp and stinky leaves.
"Ohhhhhh, yes," she said, letting out a breath. "This is great."
Hiccup softly smiled to himself, and looked around him, and he too fell on his back. He opened his eyes to see the white but grey skies of Berk, a dragon flying overhead, and he instantly said, realizing, "It's not three o'clock, is it?"
"Nah, Hiccup, it isn't," Astrid said.
"Oh, good. 'Cause then we'd have to dash for it," Hiccup said.
Astrid smiled, and the two of them lay there for a moment before they heard Snotlout yell, "Hey!" The two teens turned and looked to see that Snotlout had quite finished arguing with Fishlegs and was looking mad at them. "I was supposed to jump in first!"
"Missed that opportunity, Snotlout," Hiccup said.
"Should have jumped when you had the chance," Astrid said.
"Well," Snotlout said, straightening and rolling up his arms, "no time like the present, hey?" and he let out a whoop as he jogged and then tucked his legs in front of him and held on for dear life as he landed in the leaves. His jump caused more leaves to fly off than Astrid and Hiccup combined.
"Wait? We're jumping in now?" Tuffnut said, looking up from where he was sitting on Ruffnut's back.
"Sweet!" Ruffnut said, and she instantly stood up, making Tuffnut slid to the ground, and he quickly stood up and ran after her, and the two whooped as well as they jumped in feet first, stomping the leaves down satisfyingly.
Astrid shifted the edge of the pile and called out, "Hey, Fishlegs, hurry up!"
"Yeah, jump in, Fishlegs!" Hiccup said.
Fishlegs let out a breath and said, "Well, all right," and sucking in a breath and closing his eyes, he ran toward the leaf pile, making Snotlout say, "Whoa, back up everyone," and everyone shifted to the edge like Astrid, and Fishlegs landed with a fantastic THUMP!
"Is it over?" he said, tentatively opening one eye.
"And you wanted to go first," Snotlout said, folding his arms over his chest as he shook his head in Fishlegs's direction.
"Yes, and now I'm in the leaf pile, so there is no more need to discuss it," Fishlegs said.
Ruffnut picked up a few leaves and let them fall from her hand, saying, "Wow. It's like this is what we did when we were kids."
"Yeah, it was TOTALLY childish then," Tuffnut said. He sat up from where he was leaning on his arms and said in a serious voice, "But it's cool now."
"It always WAS cool," Hiccup said. He drew his knees up to his torso and hugged them to himself. He looked around and said, "This was really, really fun."
Astrid smiled and gently punched his shoulder, not even enough to hurt him. "Hey. Glad you had fun."
"At least one of us is," Snotlout said begrudgingly. Toothless shot him a look, making Astrid and Hiccup smile. Hiccup reached over, near his shoulder, and patted Toothless, who settled down, like a cat, next to Hiccup, snuggling his head in between his two arms, which he folded over.
Astrid proceeded to joke with Snotlout, who shot back sarcastic answers. Ruffnut and Tuffnut ripped leaves apart and threw them everywhere, and Fishlegs was tentatively trying to tell them not to do that. As for Hiccup, he just fell back and leaned against Toothless, who let out a snort and closed his eyes. Hiccup let out a contented sigh and thought wistfully of how this made up for nearly every time he didn't get to do this when he was younger.
Thank you for reading! God bless you!