Holly crap is has been way to long since I posted chapter 5! Life and school have just been draining me completely dry recently and I've had so little free time to write that it hurts! Sorry for the weight on this, only have a couple weeks of school left so I don't think I'll be putting anything out during those, but then its like a two month winter break! Can't wait to have free time again! Anywho, enjoy! ^^
Hiccup awoke with a jolt the next morning, his chest heaving, heart threatening to beat right out of his chest, his face, neck, and back covered in sweat, thin streams of wetness trailing from the corners of his eyes down his cheeks. He breathed heavily and lay his head back down, fighting the urge to cry as the old familiar nightmare played through his head, still painfully vivid before his mind's eye. It had been four days since he'd had that nightmare, which was three and a half days longer than his last respite, a small part of him had actually dared to hope the nightmare had finally decided to stop tormenting him...what a wonderful pipe-dream that had been. Sunlight was just starting to trickle into Hiccup's room as he lay there, focusing on controlling his breathing and keeping his eyes wide open until he couldn't feel his pulse in his eyes anymore.
Bringing his hands up to run his palms against his eyes, his right arm giving a small twinge in protest, Hiccup shifted into a sitting position with his knees pulled up to his chest, knowing there was no point in even trying to get any more sleep. Resigned, he settled in for what was sure to be a very long morning more then likely interspersed with depressing thoughts, all to the wonderful undertone of the dull pain from his arm which was throbbing with a renewed vigor. It was just under an hour later that Hiccup's phone interrupted the dark thoughts flowing unwittingly through his mind with a low buzz. Flipping his phone open Hiccup was expecting to see Astrid's name, after all his dad couldn't text and there wasn't anyone else who even had his number, so he started when he saw "Jack :)" on the screen. He starred at the tiny screen for a solid ttwo seconds before he realized what he was looking at, the nightmare having pushed everything out of his mind, the corners of his mouth pulling up ever so slightly as memories of the previous night came flooding back.
His mood increased a little bit Hiccup flipped open his phone. Hey, I hope this doesn't wake you.
Shaking his head Hiccup responded And if it had?
Jack: Well I knew you were up so there's no way it could have.
Hiccup: Oh? And how did you know?
Jack: I knew
Hiccup: Right, you weren't just lucky.
Jack: Nope, totally not luck.
Hiccup: Mmmmhm, so then why did you hope it didn't wake me?
Jack:...so any idea what movie you wantcatch?
Hiccup snorted as he read Jack's response, his chest giving a little flip as Jack's mention of the movie, the movie that they would be seeing during their date that day...he actually had a date! Hiccup still had a difficult time wrapping his mind around the concept that he was actually going on a date that wouldn't be interrupted halfway through by his alarm-clock. After all, not long after the realization that he did indeed liked cock came the resignation that he probably wouldn't be getting any until he was well away from his highly opinionated father. That particular wording had originally been Astrid's but Hiccup found there was a certain bluntness to it that he was rather fond of. He personally hadn't expected to even begin to wade into the dating world until he was safely away at college, and even then he hadn't expected much, after all he didn't really advertise his inclinations, didn't have a lisp (and thank god for that because he father may not have been the most observant person on the planet but that certainly would have earned him some suspicion at the very least), he didn't dress particularly noticeably, sure he talked with his hands but so did a lot of people. All and all there wasn't much to tell perspective dates that he was might be interested, not that he expected many interested suitors, but he'd figured (or more accurately, hoped) that small skinny and awkward must have been someones type.
It was actually the almost complete lack of signs (other then the occasional internet search late at night when his parents were dead asleep and the subsequent fantasies, but he'd managed to pass that off to himself as "normal curiosity" for nearly three years) that had made it so hard for him to finally accept that yeah he really was gay. Of course Jack didn't really exude gayness either, which would certainly be a blessing if this date lead to another, which Hiccup fervently hoped it did. His mind now heading down that path Hiccup wondered if Jack would want to take him clubbing sometime? Hiccup liked music as much as the next guy, but large crowds and flashing lights weren't really his idea of a good time, plus he didn't really want to risk having to explain to his father why exactly he'd been caught sneaking into a club. Hiccup was rather glad actually that Jack had chosen something as simple and tame as a movie for tonight, he wasn't sure he was ready for much more just yet.
Hiccup shook his head as he realized his mind had been wandering and looked back at his phone and reread Jack's text before responding. I'm not sure, don't really have any clue whats playing right now. There was a moment's wait and then his phone buzzed again, the message opening to reveal a screen shot of the local theater's showtimes which he skimmed through, ignoring the horror tittles because no thank you, and after finding nothing that interested him, settled on a rather generic action movie that promised little more then a musclebound hero (always a bonus) foiling a stereotypical villain's even more stereotypical evil plan interspersed with pitiful attempts at character development all packaged in an excessive amount of explosions and gunfire.
Hiccup: Mission Unlikely 11sounds alright.
Jack: Really? Not gonna lie, I'm kinda judging you right now.
Hiccup: Don't judge me! I said 'alright', not much out right now.
Jack: What about Creepy Happenings 6?
Hiccup: Ugh, no thank you.
Jack: Why Ugh? I heard it got really good reviews.
Hiccup: Cause...horror movies kinda freak me out...
Hiccup: Hey! Don't patronize me!
Jack: That wasn't a patronizing awwww, that was a "your cute" awwwww
Hiccup felt his cheeks burn red even as his chest gave a little happy flutter at Jack's comment and he once again had to take a moment to believe what was happening before responding. I'll take that as a compliment
Jack: Good, because it was meant as one ^.^ you are ARE cute
Hiccup: Whatever you say crazyman
Jack: lol, and why am I crazy?
Hiccup was about to reply that anybody who thought he was cute must have been crazy when a sharp knock on the door caught his attention. A moment later the door opened and Hiccup's nurse walked in accompanied by, much to Hiccup's shock, his father.
"Oh good, you're already up then." She said in the usual voice that had somehow become less annoyingly happy during Hiccup's visit, maybe it was the change in his mood that made her perky tones more bearable, or maybe he was just building up a resistance. Either way, the nurse bobbed around the room disconnecting Hiccup from the various tubes and wires that had been attached to his arms all the while talking animatedly about how happy Hiccup must be to be going hope and how he would be back to normal in no time. Hiccup payed little attention to her, his gaze focused on his father, who he hadn't expected to see until that evening at the earliest. "There we go sweetie, you're all unhooked, they already taught you how to do your bandage yesterday and your dad sighed you out, so you're free to go."
"Uh, thanks." Hiccup said somewhat awkwardly as he pushed himself toward the edge of his bed, throwing his legs over the edge and getting shakily to his feet. It had been nearly a week since Hiccup had walked more then the three feet from his bed to his bathroom, and he'd never exactly been the most coordinated person to start with, so it wasn't much of a surprise when his foot caught on a sheet that had trailed to the ground when he stood and pitched forward, heading straight for one of the small tables set against the wall. The anticipated impact never came as a large hand closed around Hiccup's shoulder, steadying him.
"You alright Hiccup?" Stoick said, his voice concerned as he made sure Hiccup was steady before lifting his hand.
"Yeah, I'm fine dad." Hiccup said as he reestablished his precarious sense of balance.
"Don't push yourself son."
"I won't, really dad I'm fine, falling over isn't exactly a new thing for me." Hiccup said as he moved in the general direction of the door, hands out to steady himself as his legs slowly remembered how they worked.
Checkout was pretty simply, his dad having already filled out the paperwork to sign him out, Hiccup just had to listen to a rerun about how to change his bandages and schedule several follow up appointments and before he knew it he was sitting silently in the passenger seat of his father's truck. Hiccup had been taken by such surprise by his sudden release that he completely forgot about the conversation he'd been in the middle of until his phone buzzed, the sound unusually loud in the silence of the truck.
Jack: well fine, maybe I'll go talk to the lamppost then, as least she answers me! Hiccup couldn't help a little snort as he read the text, which earned his a sideways glance from Stoick. Worry suddenly settling in the bit of his stomach Hiccup typed a quick response.
Hiccup: Sorry, my dad came to bring me home just now.
"Astrid?" Stoick asked, gesturing to Hiccup's phone.
Hiccup hesitated for a split second before answering "...yeah. Just let her know that I was heading home."
"Ah. Well actually were not heading straight home. I thought, since its still early, we could stop at Lohikäärmeen's for breakfast. If you feel up to it?"
"Uh, yeah, sure." Hiccup answered, surprised by the suggestion. Lohikäärmeen's had been Hiccup's favorite restaurant ever since he was young, but neither he not his father had gone back since his mother's death.
"Alright." Stoick said giving Hiccup a smile, which he returned cautiously, and turned the car toward their new destination.
As they drove the phone buzzed againJack: Really? I thought you said he worked today?
Hiccup: He usually does. I was pretty surprised when he showed up.
Jack: Oh...so are you busy tonight then, or...?
Hiccup felt his stomach drop slightly, suddenly worried that Jack might think he was trying to blow him off, which certainly not the case.
"Ya?" Stoick glanced to at Hiccup quickly before returning his eyes to the road.
"Would it be alright if I went to the movies this evening?" Hiccup stared out the window as he asked, knowing the request would sound odd at the very least. There were several seconds of silence before Hiccup glanced back toward his father to find him starring with a raised eyebrow. Not that Hiccup could blame him, it had been nearly a year since he'd gone to the movies and even before that he was never much a movie goer. Combining that with everything that had taken place over the last week and, well, it didn't exactly create a 'going to the movies with friends' kind of mood. Not wanting any questions Hiccup quickly amended "Its kind of as like a...celebration for going home thing, with...Astrid."
Stocik's expression cleared quickly and shifted to a smile that Hiccup would almost call excited. "Oh, of course you can go." Hiccup was surprised by the enthusiasm with which his father gave his consent, until he spoke again. "Its good to see you out with friends again." Hiccup nodded, unable to speak over the sudden lump of guilt that had grown in his throat as he thought about blatantly lying to his father. Not wanting too think about that any more Hiccup pulled his phone out and tapped a quick response to Jack.
Hiccup: Were still good for tonight, looks like we'll have to hit the 7:45 showing.
Jack: Awesome :D I can't wait! I'll pick you up at 7:15 then, give us plenty of time to get to the movie?
Hiccup: Sounds good :) Don't know If I'll be able to text for a while, I'm stating to get that 'father son talk' vibe.
Jack: Well have fun with that :P, I'll se you tonight Hic!
Hiccup had to fight to keep the smile off his face as he read Jack's responses, but he must have failed at least partially because his father looked over at him as he snapped the phone shut and slipped it in his pocket.
"Astrid say something amusing?"
"Wha-oh, uh, well amusing for Astrid, so, you know, sarcastic and mean." Hiccup spoke quickly before offering a weak smile. Thankfully that seemed to satisfy his father and the rest of the short drive passed in an only slightly awkward silence.
As they pulled into the parking lot Hiccup started feeling a strange mixture of emotions. The sight of the rather small building, sided with weatherd wood planks fit together to resemble the hull of a boat stirred a reflexive scene of excitement, the feeling that he was accustomed to when visiting Lohikäärmeen's. Along side the excitement was the irrepressible feeling that something was missing, and Hiccup was painfully aware of exactly who that something was. Hiccup did his best not to think about that as he got out of the car and followed his father to the double doors with porthole windows, up to the bright eyed waitress, not one that Hiccup remembered, waiting at the ship's wheel themed podium, and to a seat at one of the many booth's lining the outer walls of the restaurant. Hiccup attempted to smile back to the waitress as she handed him a menu, though jugging by the slightly concerned look she gave him he hadn't managed more then a grimace.
"Hello, I'm Tracy and I'll be your server today, can I start you out with anything?"
"Water thank you." Stoick said from behind his menu.
"Uh, yeah water for me too please." Hiccup wasn't sure his stomach could handle anything else at the moment. The silence stretched out as both Hiccup and his father stared pointedly at their menus, not meeting each others gaze until Tracy returned with their water.
"Here you two are, now are we ready to order or do you need a minute?"
"I believe we are ready, I'll have the seafarer's breakfast with the bacon, eggs sunny side up and a coffee, black thank you." Stoic said as he handed her his menu.
"You got it, and for you?" Tracy asked, looking over toward Hiccup.
"Uh, I'll have the same as him. Eggs scrambled and a glass of milk." Hiccup doubted he would be able to eat the first bite, but he didn't want to cause an issue before they even started talking.
"Alright," Tracy said as she took Hiccup's menu "I'll go put this in then, shouldn't be to long."
As she walked away Hiccup looked over at his father only to wish that he hadn't. He was sitting there, straight as a board with his large hands folded on the table in front of him, Hiccup only recognized the apprehensive expression on what little of his father's face was not covered by beard because he'd grown up doing so. Sounding like he had to search for every word before saying it, Stoick began to speak. "Hiccup...I know things have been...hard since your mother...but...why didn't you tell how bad before...before this...incident?"
Hiccup's thoughts flashed with several possible answers. 'Why didn't I tell you? Oh, I don't know, maybe if we spoke more then every couple days in the last few months, maybe if you weren't working seven days a week, maybe if you actually bothered to try and talk to me..." Hiccup let his angry feelings fade way, knowing they wouldn't do him any good at this point. Unable to find an answer he just shrugged.
His brow creasing in a frown Stoick leaned forward toward Hiccup "Hiccup, I can't help you if you don't tell me whats doing on. I know...I know I'm not the easiest person to speak to. If you don't want to talk to me would you feel better talking to someone else...a professional?
"I'm not going to talk to some shrink." Hiccup said flatly, he wasn't exactly surprised by the course this conversation had taken so far and he'd already decided that he didn't want to have some stranger try and tell him to get over things and explore 'how that makes him feel', no thank you.
"It could be helpful Hiccup, talking about these things-" Stoick continued, his voice earnest as he tried to sell Hiccup on the idea of seeing a therapist.
"I said no." Hiccup cut him off, his voice just a flat as before. "I'm not crazy."
"There are people who would disagree with you." Stoick snapped before seeming to catch himself. "I don't know how you expect me to deal with this then Hiccup, you won't talk to me and you refuse to talk to anyone else. I can't help if I don't know anything is wrong." Stoick clenched his fists and let out a deep breath before continuing one. "How do you propose I deal with this?" The questions seemed only partially rhetorical and Hiccup couldn't stop himself from answering.
"I don't suppose 'just pretend it didn't happen' is an option?" He said dryly.
"So what, you want me to just sit around like everything is fine until you...until you have another...incident?"
"You mean until I try to kill myself again?" Hiccup had meant his words to hurt his father, he himself was a little hurt at his father's apparent refusal to acknowledge what had actually happened. He was not expecting for his father to physically flinch, like Hiccup, or more accurately someone much large then Hiccup, had hit him. Hiccup could not remember ever seeing his father react like that too anything before, he looked almost scared for the briefest moment as he looked back at Hiccup. Before Hiccup could completely process the scene it was over and Stoick was once again looking at him with a stern expression.
"Yes." Stoick said, his voice even deeper then usual. Looking closer at his Father Hiccup wasn't sure if he was imagining the harder then usual sat of his jaw or the slightly harder then normal breathing as they sat starring at each other for several long moments before something seemed to snap in Stoick and he deflated ever so slightly. "I know that I am not the most approachable person, and I've been even worse since...since your mother's death but...please Hiccup if you need to talk about something, about you, or school, or your friends or...or your mother, or anything, talk to me. I'm your father and I'll be here for you." Having finished speaking Stoick looked suddenly very self conscious as he waited for Hiccup's reply.
Hiccup found that he suddenly had difficulty speaking past a lump in his throat, surprised by the sudden rush of emotions he was feeling. Swallowing hard he spoke quietly "I...I can do that I think."
His face relaxing into a smile small Stoick reached across the table and clapped Hiccup on the shoulder "I love you son."
Hiccup started ever so slightly, surprised to hear his father, never one to openly express any sort of emotion, actually say that.
"I love you too Dad."
The rest of the meal went remarkably well by Hiccup's usual standards for time with father, and even by just time spent in general. They talked casually, if a little awkwardly, Hiccup telling his dad about what little he'd bothered to pay attention to in school the last week hes attended, and lamented how much work he would have to make up which drew a small laugh from Hiccup and a cautions smile from Stoick. Stoick told Hiccup how he'd traded shifts with someone on the evening shift so he could pick him up early today, which meant he would be leaving for work at six that evening, a fact that Hiccup was guiltily relived to here, he'd worried what he would say tell his father when a car that clearly wasn't Astrid's showed up for him. After breakfast they made their way home, Tracy waving them a cheerful goodby which they both returned, Hiccup with his good arm. Hiccup was feeling pleasantly full after eating far more then he would have guessed he'd be capable of after a talk with his father, but then the talk had gone far better then he had expected. Combine that with the fact he was going home finally, and his plans for later that evening and today was looking like it would be pretty great.
Hiccup felt a sense of excitement growing in him as they pulled onto their street, which surprised him slightly after all he was just going back to the same house they'd lived in for years. Still he found himself waiting impatiently as his father retrieved his bag from the car and unlocked the door to the small one story house. Hiccup took nearly three whole steps into the house before a large black blur launched itself off the back of the couch, resolving itself into the shape of a large black cat which Hiccup just manged to catch with his good arm.
"I missed you too buddy." Hiccup said to the cat, which was purring nearly loud enough to drown up the freckled teen's words, as he made his way to the couch and sat down in order to hold the cat more easily. "Toothless!" Hiccup exclaimed with a slight laugh as, the moment he was seated, the large cat pressed himself flush with Hiccup's chest before truing around and running his other flank him. The cat froze there for a moment before going to nose at the bandages on Hiccup's arm which the brunette lifted away from the feline quickly. No quickly enough however, as when green eyes met emerald Hiccup could, as crazy as it sounded, practically feel the accusation boring into him. He'd long since grown custom to the sometimes off-puttingly intelligent actions of his cat, but never before had they made him so self conscious. Hiccup grabbed the remote and turning on the TV, flipping to some documentary about the ocean. He proceeded to spend the next several hours petting Toothless and trying to keep his thoughts in more pleasant places, at task that proved harder then he would have hoped but easier then he feared. He must have fallen asleep because Stoick woke him at six on his way to work with an only slightly awkward hug. His father's departed having snapped Hiccup back to the world of the waking, the brunette teen suddenly realized that it had been nearly a week since his last shower, and he'd spent most of the day asleep, and he had a date in little over an hour. It helped slightly that Jack had seen him just the previous day in his disheveled state, but still one should at least try and look good for a date, and Hiccup had a lot of work to do it he wanted to look presentable.