A/N: My new story! (Any ROTG fans that read my work in that as well, I politely ask you to ignore my gigantic absence from Our Duty is to Protect and Shattered.)
The original title was When the Sun Goes Down and it might get changed back to that. Warning this story is kinda heavy it is not happy at all.
Hiccup stared at the forge, wondering when he would ever see it again.
He hadn't told anyone anything…except for Gobber.
"Do you think…" the words tumbled out of Hiccup's mouth before he could stop them. "If I were to die or run away, would I be missed?"
"Hiccup!" Gobber's indignation should have been clue enough; yet Hiccup plunged on, finally ready to say what he had been thinking these past few weeks. "I mean, sure, maybe people would notice that the screw-up isn't here anymore, but who would miss me, really?"
So Hiccup had left a long letter in the forge for Gobber to see the next day.
It had thanked Gobber for all he had done for the boy, but at the same time, Hiccup had been honest with Gobber: He couldn't do this anymore.
So Hiccup set out alone, only a few clothes and precious belongings in his pack.
The village was asleep, the snow glistening softly in the moonlight.
Hiccup knew it would be cold out there by himself, but he also knew he was used to being cold.
And physical discomfort was so much better than what he had to endure on Berk.
He walked deep into Raven's Point Forest, knowing he mustn't stay on the island for any longer than he had to. He would find a way off the island through Raven's Point Forest; he had found it before.
Though that time, it had been dusk when he had.
He threw himself forward, watching the dazzling sun, setting slowly behind the water, like nature's own version of peek-a-boo.
"Hiccup, come back." The voice had been stern and severe and he suddenly remembered he was not alone.
Astrid Hofferson watched him, long blonde hair trailing down her back, hands on her hips. "Hiccup, get back here!"
"Look, Astrid," Hiccup said softly, leading her out into the sunset and showing her the perfect little meadow, leading off the island. It trailed into the water after awhile, but you could walk for miles without reaching ocean.
"Do you realize what this means?"
"Yep," Astrid said with a smile. "The end of the forest."
"Of course not!" Hiccup said with a chuckle. "It's a way off the island, we could run away! We could—
"Get killed by dragons, drown ourselves trying to swim away, fail trying to build a boat and besides that, leave the only place we've ever called home behind? I don't think so. Come back here and stop spouting crazy ideas."
Astrid had tried to discourage Hiccup from running off, but though they were still on friendly terms, not even Astrid could stop the idea that had taken hold of Hiccup.
He went back to the meadow, walking on the moss and walking…walking…
Suddenly, he became aware of someone – or something – dogging his footsteps.
Yet every time he turned around, there was nothing there, save for the utter blackness.
Eventually, he turned and kept walking, telling himself that if this was how he was going to react to everything, he was going to go right back to Berk and forget the idea of ever leaving.
Yet the idea made him want to cry.
He couldn't stand being told he was worthless anymore; he was done hearing that he was a mistake.
So he plunged bravely, recklessly on, until he found the cove. Then he called, "Toothless! Toothless!"
And a fully-grown Night Fury launched himself out of the thick canopy of trees, pinned Hiccup to the ground, and eagerly licked his face.
Hiccup chuckled and shoved him off. "Yeah, I missed you, too. Well, c'mon, it's time to go!"
Toothless was ecstatic; he and Hiccup had been planning this for weeks and now the moment had finally come.