Well, here goes one of my odder story ideas: one of my favorite, and one of the least mentioned, relationships in HTTYD was the friendship between Hiccup and Gobber. Those two misfits have such a humorous but also heartfelt dynamic that I figured there was a whole wealth of scenarios I could write about. So why not write about them all?
So basically this is a series of short one-shots, in no particular order, centered on Hiccup and Gobber. I guess I'll stop when I'm out of ideas? XD So here goes the first chapter, centered on none other than the day Hiccup starts working for Gobber. It seemed fitting. Also, I cannot write Gobber's accent and I apologize.
Anyway, reviews are appreciated but certainly not required. Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy!
Gobber still remembered the first day he met Hiccup.
Sure, he had always known of Hiccup, had met him when he was just a baby, had seen some passing glances of him—the boy was his best friend's only son, after all—but he had never actually spoken to the child until the day he hobbled over to meet the figure waiting at his forge's entrance and was confronted with Stoick.
Gobber was a little surprised. It was rare that Stoick, the chief who was always busy running around solving people's problems, came to visit the blacksmith during the day. "Oh, 'ey, Stoick. What's goin' on?"
Never a man of many words, Stoick didn't respond, instead pushing on something behind his legs. A little boy emerged shyly from behind the chief, balling his fists and staring up at Gobber curiously, albeit warily.
"This is my son, Hiccup. You 'member him," Stoick provided, when Gobber didn't ask and Hiccup was too shy to introduce himself. "Hiccup, this is my good friend, Gobber. He runs the forge here, 'member?" He nudged Hiccup's back with his knee, and the boy quickly chorused, voice so soft Gobber had to lean a little closer just to hear it, "Hello, Mr. Gobber."
"… 'Ello," Gobber replied after a moment, a bit awkwardly, before looking back to Stoick, getting suspicious. "What's this, Stoick?" The chief wouldn't have brought his kid down here for no reason. There was definitely an ulterior motive here somewhere.
The man didn't respond for a moment, watching his son's wispy brown head. Never known to mince words, he finally explained shortly, "I'd like Hiccup to work at yer forge, Gobber."
The blacksmith spluttered briefly, clutching the empty door frame with his one good arm. "W-Work at the forge?! Stoick, 'ave ye gone mad?! I can't take yer kid; look at 'im!" He gestured his prosthetic arm hammer at the diminutive child, who managed to look a bit peeved through his terror at the enormous hammer being swung three inches in front of his face, "He'd be killed! Nope, I ain't havin' him. Sorry."
Stoick rolled his eyes, like he had figured Gobber was going to be like this. He probably had. "I'm not sayin' I want him forgin' broadswords on his first day… Ye could take him on as an apprentice. Run small errands, do all the small tasks ye don't want to be burdened with…" When Gobber still looked skeptical, Stoick provided, softer, "I want him to be somewhere where he'll be safe, Gobber; somewhere he'll have someone watchin' him, at least. Since Val... well. Since she... left, I haven't been able to keep an eye on him." He shifted, and Gobber's expression softened ever so slightly in sympathy. "But you... But you could. And he won't be a burden, I promise. He's smart, ye know… and, he has lil' hands if ye have any of those intricate jobs ye hate…"
Gobber had folded his meaty arms to listen to Stoick's proposal, considering, but as soon as he heard the bit about the possibility of those elaborate jobs becoming easier, he quickly interrupted, "W-Well… I guess I can take the kid, but ya owe me one, Stoick!"
The chief let out a breathy sigh of relief. "Oh, Odin bless ya, Gobber. Thank you."
Gobber held up his hand with a theatrical sigh. "Yeah, yeah, just don't make a habit outta it. C'mon, kid, lemme show ya around."
The little boy gave his father a worried glance, subconsciously digging his heels into the ground in preparation of being dragged (as he usually was when his father was involved), but Stoick gave him a little push towards the blacksmith, whispering, "I'll come get ye at suppertime. Gobber won't hurt ye; don't worry. Don't ye want to be big and strong like yer dad?"
The child bit his lip, nodded, and finally began to follow Gobber, who had waited somewhat patiently by the door. With one last, "See ye soon, son," from Stoick, his father left, and the child was left inside a big, dark space with some hulking scary stranger. The heat burned Hiccup's eyes and he coughed into his arm, flinching away when the nearby pile of coals spit out a glowing ember.
Gobber looked at the boy for a moment. He didn't look like any Viking child the blacksmith had ever seen. Most were healthily plump, with slowly developing muscles and no fear of anything. This boy was practically as big around as Gobber's little finger, with wispy gingery-brown hair and wide green eyes that peered into the dark spaces like there was a Night Fury lurking in each one of them. The kid was small and afraid, like a little lamb. But it didn't worry Gobber at all; he'd have the boy at ease soon. After all, he was the legendary Gobber; the cruising, drinking amputee whose war stories made the toughest Vikings cringe in terror—who could be better with kids?
When the child still said nothing, Gobber inquired as a conversation starter, "What'd ye say yer name was, kid?" He knew the boy's name—the blacksmith still remembered his own shock when Stoick told him he had named his first son Hiccup—but hey, it was best to start with the basics.
"… Hiccup," the kid responded in a small voice that resembled his namesake, looking at the ground, fists balling up tighter. Gobber chuckled in amusement.
"Well, Hic, welcome to the forge. It ain't much, but I think ye'll like it—looks like we're in for the long haul, so ye'll get used to it, eh? My name's Gobber. Not to be confused wit' Goober, the Clumsy, mind ya; ye remember him? Yep, never saw another guy trip right off a cliff like he did."
Hiccup smothered a tiny giggle, smiling up at his new instructor shyly and letting his balled fists relax ever so slightly. "… So, what do we do first?"
"Eager, eh? If I put ye to work right now, ye'll end up choppin' yer leg off or somethin' and we're gonna have to call ye Hiccup the Clumsy. Nah, first we have to talk 'bout how everythin' works…"
As Gobber showed Hiccup around his forge and the boy just barely began to crawl out of his shell and ask some questions, Gobber decided maybe this wouldn't be so bad. The boy was quiet and respectful; he didn't seem the mouthy type at all. And after all, with a missing leg and fingers like sausages, how could Gobber not be grateful for an apprentice who could run to get things for him or tinker around with those stupid projects with all the little parts?
No, this seemed it would run just fine. After all, Stoick couldn't keep the kid here too long, right? He'd have to start fighting dragons eventually. In the meantime, it might even be fun here.
Master Gobber and his apprentice Hiccup.
He liked it.