Hello readers, and welcome to the first story on this account!
This is a Big Four one-shot based off a gifset I came across on Tumblr. You can check it out here: childrenofseasons . tumblr post/44541672734/bellona-dancer-the-big-four-bad-end-and (without spaces)
(The original creator of the gifset is sifberg, but I'm linking this particular reblog because the comments below the gifs are what really sparked this story.)
I'll be honest, this fic is quite sad. Be prepared for the feels, for if I've written this right, they should be numerous!

I don't own anything from the movies Brave, Tangled, How to Train Your Dragon or Rise of the Guardians. I also do not own the gifset I linked to above.

"Flower, gleam and glow."

Rapunzel clutched desperately at Hiccup's hand, tight enough to turn her knuckles white. She pressed his palm against her hair as she choked out her song, but her voice broke when she noticed his chest began to rise a bit slower. Opposite her, Merida watched Hiccup like a mother bear would her cub, her hands forming small fists on her knees. Jack appeared by the window and stood, still as a pole, concern painting his features.

"Let your power shine."

This was no longer just a line in a tune Rapunzel had sung thousands of times. This was now a prayer. As Jack stared at the jagged mess of brown that now didn't even graze her shoulders, he began to drown in thoughts of all the things he should have, could have, would have done. And without thinking, he found himself whispering the prayer as well. Merida reached out and clutched Hiccup's arm in spite of herself.

The young Viking's deep breaths became shallower.

"Make the clock...reverse..."

Merida flinched as Rapunzel sobbed, and she felt a quick yet strong wave of anger rise up within her. The fate Pitch had met was not nearly enough for her. To be cast into the ground, weakened and broken, was too kind in her opinion. She wanted him destroyed. Ripped apart. She scowled and rose from her chair, moving towards the window.

Jack frowned as she stood by him. "Merida," he muttered, "what happened when I left to help Sandy?"

The redhead sighed and crossed her arms, watching Rapunzel as she continued to sing. "Hiccup said he'd heard Toothless and rushed into Pitch's lair before we could stop him," she said softly. "We followed him and sure as day, there he was."

Jack's eyes bugged. "You found Toothless?" His heart rose with a bit of relief, but quickly sank once more when he saw Merida's eyes water. He went rigid. "He can't be," was all he could say.

"He wasn't," Merida whispered. "He was alive. But he would've been better off dead." She wiped at her eye harshly and turned to face Frost. "Pitch sliced off his tail, Jack. The entire thing. And left the poor creature to bleed to death."

"Bring back what once was mine."

Merida turned away from Jack before she could see his reaction and kept speaking. "Hiccup went bloody mad. Flew into a fit, cryin' and screamin'. I held him down and Punzie rushed to heal the wound. At least to get it closed up."

"Heal what has been hurt."

Jack made no movement or sound, too far deep in shock and misery to respond. Merida continued undeterred: "Punzie was puttin' all she had into savin' Toothless, and I had my hands full tryin' to keep Hiccup from tearin' his own hair out... None of us noticed him."

"Pitch," Jack gasped.

Rapunzel let out a shuddering breath, choking on her air.

"Yeh," the young DunBroch breathed. "Pitch snuck in while we were distracted and went after Punzie. Hiccup noticed him first and wrestled away from me, and he went after him but..."

"Change the Fate's design."

"He chopped off Rapunzel's hair before any of us could stop him."

The winter spirit stood as frozen as the ice beneath his feet. Unable to think, unable to find his voice, unable to console Merida as she finally let a tear fall down her face. "Hiccup..." she forced out, "lost his mind. He sprang for Pitch, and I should have stopped him, but Pitch..." She wiped her eyes again. "He was merciless. Pitch destroyed him."

Across the room, Rapunzel gave Hiccup's hand one more crushing squeeze, as if it would infuse some life back into his skin. "Save what has been lost..." she whispered, a quiet beg.

HIccup's jaw went slack and though he continued to breathe, it was unclear how many breaths he had left in him.

"It's not working..." Rapunzel whimpered. She let Hiccup's hand slide down her hair and back to his side on the bed. She cried out and kept her fingers firmly wrapped around his. "I can't heal him. I can't heal him!"

Merida rushed back to Hiccup's side, eyes wide, searching his face for signs of life. Jack's knees gave and he crouched down, staring blankly at his friend.

"I'm so sorry, Hiccup," cried Rapunzel. She curled inwards and sobbed, helplessness engulfing her. She never let go of his hand. "I can't save you, I'm sorry."

Jack found his legs again and rushed to the foot of the bed, gripping one of the posts and trembling. "You can't," he began to ramble. "You can't, you can't do this." Merida grabbed his cold wrist, silently comforting him, and he moved to crouch next to her, never taking his eyes off the Viking.

He was barely breathing now. Hiccup was dangling on the last threads of life. And it was in this moment, watching the scrawny auburn-haired Viking die, that the trio around him truly realized how much he meant to all of them. He had no magical abilities, and he wasn't skilled with any weapon other than a small dagger. But he was intelligent, courageous and a true Viking legend. There were times where the others in their little quartet had looked past him because of what he lacked, but at this moment, they could think of nothing other than how incredible he was, and how they all desperately wished they had told him that more often.

Slowly, Merida took Hiccup's other hand, and Jack placed a hand on his shoulder. A silent farewell to their comrade and friend.

Then, with his last bit of strength, Hiccup squeezed Rapunzel's hand. She let out a little shriek and the group stared at their hands, wide-eyed and numb. Hiccup continued to grip her hand, as if it were a task given to him by Odin himself. The brunette clasped her other hand over his and sputtered a bit, stroking the back of his wrist.

Hiccup sighed, his head fell to the side, and his fingers went slack. The dragon-tamer's chest rose no more.

Jack bowed his head, allowing himself to cry silently into the sheets by Hiccup's side. Merida brought the still hand up to her forehead and wept aloud, while Rapunzel leaned forward towards the Viking's face. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she bit her lip, trying to keep herself from completely dissolving. Bring him back, she pleaded to whatever power above might be listening. Bring back what was ours. Bring back what once was mine.

Teardrops rained onto Hiccup's face. The first one quickly sunk into his skin.

And his chest began to rise.

Thank you again for reading! I hope you enjoyed, :)