A brief A/N: Hello, hello! After getting an earful by a couple people about hoarding all my drabbles on Tumblr, I've decided to post a collection of them here (my other works are still in progress-fear not). Most of them are HTTYD with a few crossovers. Some are pure canon, others might dip into the Hitchups universe. I'll give an idea of what the drabble contains at the top of each page. Enjoy!
Title: The Choice
Characters: Hiccup, Astrid, Guest
Astrid Hofferson stepped out of the Mead Hall and paused at the brow of the stone steps. The sun touched her face as it dipped in the sky. She inhaled the crisp autumn air and took a moment to drink in her surroundings from her high perch.
This was Berk.
Houses lined the hills, the foundations old but the roofs barely chipped, each crested by a dragon carving specific to the family within. Astrid could name every family's chosen breed. Vikings milled in between the structures. Some just returning from a quest, others hanging laundry or dried meats, and yet more piling their daily collection of lumber or kills in sheds or lean-tos, each grimy from a hard day's work and ready to get their náttmál fill.
Astrid's own hands still ached with blisters from her morning workout, her arms were pleasantly sore. She'd work out again tomorrow morning. Then she'd do her chores, feel the satisfaction in her own polished reflection of her weapons, or in the fresh scent of clean stables, and then she would practice improving Stormfly's dive speed. Every day began with piping tea and dawn-lit chores and ended with a tankard of mead in hand. It was a ritual she took comfort in.
She took in another breath and gauged that she had just enough time before sunset for an evening fly. Unlike Night Furies, Nadders preferred to fly in the daytime, when their reflection could be seen over any body of water. Astrid didn't mind; Stormfly's dazzling reflection just gave the Nadder the added incentive she needed to reach the water faster.
A small smile came to Astrid's lips at the thought of reaching the water before Hiccup for once. She loved having goals and she loved reaching those goals even more. She wasn't like Hiccup; she didn't want to push the boundries of their world or explore the unknowns or leave tasks half-finished in scatter-brained form as something else randomly struck her fancy. She liked the security of her home and her routines and perfecting what she had. It could take a lifetime, but she would beat Snotlout in the Thawfest games. She would become the best flyer of her age-group. She would maintain her calming morning rituals and work on securing the best backhanded swing in Berk and someday win the chug-a-mug contests held every Sondag.
Her lips still pulled in a grin, Astrid began her descent down into the footpaths of Berk.
Yes, this was her home. She would happily spend her life here. A perfect, diligent, planned life of hard work and rewards. Because that was the viking way, and she couldn't imagine a better way to live.
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock stepped out of the Mead Hall and paused in the spot Astrid occupied just moments before. His gaze glided over his village.
This was Berk. This was where he had spent his life.
He could see the pier of Hooligan Harbor, the tide glinting orange in the fading sun, where vikings moored their ships from a day on the waters and hauled in their daily catch. Just as they had done the day before. The SealHunt still needed repairs on her hull. The Ingermans and the Gunlaugs were still in competition over who managed the greatest net-worth of catch each week.
The Mead barrels were being rolled along the same path they were at the end of every day since Berk was established. The ground beneath was hard-packed, over-trodden dirt where grass would never grow again. Hiccup could see Stallwort shaking out and staking animals furs on the same lines his father used to before he fell to sickness. Stallwort's son would someday do the same.
Hiccup's eyes trailed to his home—the chief's home—where his father governed from the same chair his father's father governed from. Probably settling down for his evening mead drink. He glanced to the Gyðja's home, then to the læknir's. They were always in the same place, so that no one would ever have trouble finding them. Fishing families resided near the harbor while those skilled at hunting tended to settle near the forest's edge. The tanner was two hills over and the potter was at the left of the village square. In spite of specific skill sets, everyone helped with everything. It was how their community worked.
They sheered the sheep in Einmánuður and slaughtered the pigs in Gormánuður. Weddings were held at summer's end and death tallies were counted at winter's. It was the same, every year. Hunts happened in seasons and fishing was year-round. The Thing was held three times a year in the Barbaric Archipelagoes and hosted on Berk every other Heyannir.
Fishing, hunting, fighting, eating, drinking, gossiping, trading. This was the viking way. The only way.
His stomach clenched.
This was Berk.
Coldness spread from the pit of his gut and up his spine.
This was his life.
It settled in his throat like a hard lump of reality.
This is what the rest of his life would be.
Hiccup turned away from the scene.
The usual clank of metal-on-stone was absent and Astrid knew that she was alone. When she turned around to call for Hiccup to hurry up, she was met with an empty set of stairs.
Hiccup felt a bit stupid talking to the unnatural blue box. The strange, otherwordly thing seemed even more out of place dug into the earth, lopsided among the trees, like it had been dropped from the sky. It made an alarming, repetitive sound—like the shrill echoing warble of elderly Terrible Terror rocking over waves.
The door of the box opened in response to his voice and a woman's head popped out. The same woman who cornered him days before with an offer that left him distant and distracted toward his fellow Berkians.
Hiccup couldn't begin to describe her clothes; they were none he'd ever seen on any other before in his life. Her hair was dark strawberry and tied sloppily to her head. A pair of "spectacles" dangled at the edge of her nose as though constantly under the threat of slipping off.
"You've thought this through?" she asked in that strange accent.
Truthfully, Hiccup was half delirious with his rash decision—giddy even. But for all his failings, Hiccup could alway, always recognize opportunity. Especially once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
"Yeah," he answered while trying to keep his mind blank. He had to jump in with both feet with this, like he did when he decided to release a wild, injured Night Fury. Like he did when he decided to kidnap the most combative, dangerous Viking of his generation. Life-changing opportunities couldn't be over-thought. They just had to be done.
Besides, she promised hardly any time would pass here on Berk. Few would acknowledge his absence for too long if everything went to plan (no altogether reassuring).
Hiccup had set Toothless up with his self-powered tailfin and told the dragon to behave. Just in case.
The woman's face broke out into a wide grin and she gestured for him to follow her into the blue box, babbling all the while.
"Excellent! I've really missed human companionship, you know. In you go now. We have much to do, much to do. Mind the buttons…"
Hiccup followed, unsure if they could both fit inside (which he personally thought might be a very vibrant outhouse).
She called herself The Doctor, in her "first female body", as she cheerfully told him earlier (whatever that meant). She promised him worlds and adventures and for his curiosity to always, always be sated.
Of course Hiccup couldn't say no. He ended a war. He tamed dragons. He touched the skies.
He couldn't stop now.