Oh my freaking gosh, I loved writing this. I'm quite proud of it, if I do say so myself. This turned out pretty long actually, longer than I intended it to, about 4500 words! Anyways, I hope you enjoy some High School AU Hijack. Take two lonely kids, add some sadness, a dash of laughter, a pinch of earnestness, and a whole heaping of feels. At least, that's how I'd describe it. This was my submission for Hijack Week Day 6: Secret Admirer. I hope you enjoy. Please leave a review!
Disclaimer: I don't own 'ROTG' or 'HTTYD'
A brazen bell sounded, reverberating around the small classroom with an earsplitting clang. Chairs scraped and screeched against wood floor as students desperately clambered from their seats and raced for the door. Shouts and exclamations were traded off with ease as plans for the spring break were bounced around. As the door shut and the noise was secluded to the hall, two figures remained behind in silence, diligently working.
Soon the ruckus died down in the hall and a rational thought could be created with ease. The older of the two stood from her desk and began to erase that day's lesson from the board. "I would ask if you're having trouble with a lesson, but I trust you understand the material," the woman said over her shoulder to the remaining student.
The teen raised his verdant eyes from the sketch he had been doodling in, his eyes unfocused as he struggled to return to the world around him from what he had been creating.
"So, since I doubt you're still here for help, it begs me to ask the question of whether or not something is bothering you," she continued, turning her warm eyes back to her prize pupil.
"No, nothing," he said hastily as he added last minute shading to the dragon on his paper. "Just don't want to be jostled around in the hall more than necessary."
The teacher laughed lightly as she dusted her hands off, making her way towards him. She stopped at the desk in front of him and sat down. "You do know that if something is bothering you, Henry, I'm always here to listen," she reminded.
"Yeah, I know," he mumbled.
A trying silence fell on the two before the woman cleared her throat. "No one's giving you a hard time because of….," she trailed off.
"No," he answered shortly as he began to stuff his notebook and pencils into his bag.
"Alright," she said, her face full of a forced smile as she waved good-bye to her student and wished him a good spring break.
"You, too," he mumbled, readjusted the strap of his backpack higher up on his shoulder as he stepped out of the room.
The hall way was a ghost of its past self. Silence pervaded its white walls and green lockers, and papers lay abandoned as they scattered the floor. The stray student appeared now and again: a couple locking lips, a group of friends chatting away about what they would talk about tomorrow, a student or two in the same boat as Henry: not wanting to be seen.
The teen blew stray strands of copper hair from his eyes as he made his way through the halls to his locker. He'd always been an outcast: skinny and wiry lead to a failed athletic career which was the only thing that matter at this school, wits and creative thinking which were scorned by his fellow lead to being deemed a teacher's pet. He was too quiet, too socially awkward, too sarcastic, too different. Then there was that horrid nickname. One case of bad hiccups in second grade, and he was screwed for life. The car accident a month ago hadn't helped either. He hadn't needed any more reason for them to separate him from the group, but now he had a plastic and metal leg strapped to his thigh. He found long pants minimized the scorn, but everyone knew it was still there.
"Hey, look, it's the fishbone," came a cocky male voice he knew all too well. A beefy arm slammed around his shoulders and he wobbled off balance for a moment.
"Ha ha, very funny, quite original. Now let me go," he mumbled less forcibly than he had hoped as several more intimating figures circled him
"Aw, Hiccup, not feeling very friendly today?" a blonde girl asked as she stepped in front of him, her well-muscled arms crossed over her chest as a smirk pulled at her lips.
"Hey, Astrid, do me a favor and get your oafs off me," he replied, smiling inside that he had managed to remember that line. He always flubbed at times like this. Was it crazy that he practice what to say in such instances? Most likely…
She blinked in surprise at his retort before she started laughing. "You think you can just rehearse lines and make your way through things?" she questioned with a raised eyebrow.
The teen was saved from stumbling over an answer when a loud laugh rang through the halls. "Jackson!" a male voice bellowed in anger.
He struggled to look over his shoulder but was unable to see anything, and was forced to rely on the sound of racing footsteps to assure himself that someone was barreling towards him. Suddenly, cold water slithered into the copper haired teen's ear. He his body twitched as he furiously rubbed his ear on his shoulder. His discomfort, however, was made worth it as he witnessed the attack now assaulting the group around him.
"Spring break!" a blue sweatered teen yelled, as he continued to shoot the water gun in his hands. Once satisfied with his work, he dashed off down the hall catching the dwindling students and innocent bystanders. He was soon followed by a serious looking man who Henry knew to be the vice principal.
"Shit!" Astrid exclaimed as she forced her damp clothes away from her skin as they clung to it desperately. She turned and hollered at the retreating figure. "You'll have hell to pay for this, Jack!"
The bleached hair teen looked over his shoulder, his near white hair falling across his dark eyebrows and bright eyes. "Wouldn't expect anything less!" he yelled back. "I'll be waiting!"
As he disappeared, the girl grumbled as the beefy character who was holding on to Henry's shoulders moved away to go and comfort her, despite her harsh words at his offered help.
At some times, in some places, being small was a good thing. This was one of those times. The green eyed teen, slipped from the babbling group and dashed away as quickly as his leg would allow him too. Once he had snuck into the staircase, he gave a sigh of relief and began to take his time moving upwards.
When he reached his locker, he felt a knot form in his stomach the moment his lead stained fingers touched the combination lock. Swallowing the rising feeling, he twisted the combination out and pulled the door open, his precognition proving correct.
As he opened his locker he spotted yet another. Snatching the offending object before anyone could walk by and see it, he shredded it before stuffing it into the front pocket of his backpack. He had only needed to read part of one to learn the cruel joke someone insisted on drawing out. It never failed. After the last class, sitting atop his books in his locker: a letter. To be more specific: a love letter from a secret admirer.
He scoffed to himself as he transferred his books. It wasn't hard to figure out who the culprit was. Astrid enjoyed picking on him, but—even for a laugh—she would never hint at anything romantic. The kids in her gang were too big of idiots or scared followers to do it themselves. That left only one person: Jack Overland.
The class clown. The prankster. He enjoyed a laugh and this most certainly would be giving him just that. The copper haired teen had caught the sparkling glances directed at him recently. That delinquent was waiting for him to slip up, assume it was some well-known girl fearing a forbidden crush. Problem there, he thought wryly with satisfaction, I don't really go that way.
A small part of him wished they were real…especially if from Jack. He had always been a fun kid to hang around, and his teasing never focused on him until now. He was always so open, so eager, so—
No. Stop that, Henry scolded himself as he shut his locker. He returned his bag to his shoulder and headed outside.
The warm sun tore at his skin and he was quite thankful for the cold water that still dampened his upper body. He shifted his bag and made his way to the sidewalk, ready for the weary walk home.
"Hey, 'Hic!" he heard and flinched, both at the voice and the name.
"What?" he snapped as he looked over his shoulder at the blue sweatered teen jogging towards him. How is he not hot in that thing?
His blue eyes widened as he slowed to a stop, his hands flew up defensively. "Woah there," he said. "I was just saying hi."
The copper haired teen rolled his eyes and continued on his path. The white haired teen fell in stride with him.
"You sure can be a spitfire when you want to," Jack said with a smirk.
"Yeah, well, I'm not a fan of scorn and abuse so I tend to not be," he responded, his eyes trained ahead of him focused on the path home.
"I'd think it'd get them to back off."
"I'm pretty sure it'd just cause me more trouble than it's worth."
An awkward silence fell on the two, and Henry watched as the blue eyed teen rubbed the back of his neck as he craned his face skywards.
Why is he still here?
"So…'Hic—" he stared.
"Don't call me that."
"Sorry. I didn't know—"
"Yeah, because you never ask. Just like everyone else in that damn school."
A small chuckle passed Jack's lips as they curved upwards slightly. "You prefer Henry then?" he asked.
The green eyed teen halted and stared after the form that continued walking in front of him. "You know my name?" he asked.
"Well, yeah. Why wouldn't I?" was his response as he spun around, his hands stuffed in the pockets of his sweater, an eyebrow arched.
Henry shook his head and continued walking. "I thought everyone forgot about it after second."
"Sorry about that," Jack mumbled.
"Who's the one forgetting things?" he asked with his signature grin before he grew serious again. "I was the one who started it, remember?"
For a moment the teen was lost to the memory from so many years ago.
His chest seized again painfully as the air was expelled from his lungs. He winced and felt his throat tightened as his eyes fell on the stray crayon mark that had been scribbled in the brief moment of a lack of control. It was the first day. He wanted the teacher to think he was actually good at something and his picture was ruined now.
The young boy with an unruly mop of brown hair sitting across from him leaned over and asked, "You okay, Hiccups?"
"My name's Henry," he said with a scrunched nose.
A young blonde girl who sat at the table to his left laughed as she turned to him. As another hiccup passed his lips, she sneered and said, "I like Hiccup better. Hey, Hiccup!"
He felt the corners of his mouth pull down as several other people around him began greeting him as Hiccup. Biting his lip and looking down at his ruined drawing, he blinked back tears as he set to work.
"You okay, Henry?" the boy asked again, but he wasn't in the mood. He ignored that earnest question and focused on his paintings. Even once the kid decided to loudly announce random jokes to the class, to the annoyance of the teacher, he refused to look up.
"I forgot you used to have brown hair," Henry said once he finally resurfaced to the current world.
Jack laughed. "Yeah, that's been gone for a while. Wanted a change and I liked it," he said as he fingered a bleached lock of hair.
"Who's attention were you trying to get?" the copper haired teen asked and this time is was the white haired teen's turn to fall behind.
"Where you get an idea like that?" he asked hopefully to the teen's retreating form.
Green eyes looked back, an eyebrow arched in imitation. "You're adopted, right? Add prankster and hair so bleached its almost white, what other explanation is there? So the only question left is: whose attention were you trying to get when you did it?"
Jack let out a nervous laughed as he caught up to his companion. "You sure are something else," he muttered.
The two walked in silence a bit longer before Henry dared to ask again. "Well, you going to tell me who?"
A blue hood snuck up over his head as he kicked a stray rock in his path, his hands shoved deep into the sweater's pocket. "Any one, I guess," he admitted quietly, his thin lips pursed tightly together.
The smile soon returned to his face though as he jumped ahead and began walking backwards. "You liked my prank today?" he asked with pride glinting in his eyes, the blue hood falling from his hair.
"A bit annoying, but it was helpful," Henry admitted.
"Glad to be of service."
The next question out of his mouth—though it confirmed his suspicions—set the teen for a loop. "Have you gotten my letters?"
Green eyes darted to the ground as he struggled to figure out what to say. He hadn't rehearsed anything that would apply to this. He pursed his lips and settled for a mumbled, "Yes."
"And?" the teen prompted.
"And you must be getting quite the laugh," Henry replied tersely, never raising his eyes from the cement.
His lack of observation of his current path caused him to roughly collide with the teen that had stopped walking. He mumbled an apology and began to walk around him, when long fingers clamped around his shoulders and forced him to stay in place. Green eyes met blue with reluctant defiance.
"Let me go."
"You haven't actually read them, have you?" Jack questioned.
The copper haired teen rolled his eyes. "After the first one I kind of stopped. I've been tricked enough to recognize a prank, even if it's one of yours."
"Ya know, for being so smart and all, you sure as hell can be an idiot," the white haired teen snapped back.
"Thanks for the wakeup call!" he shouted as he shoved the hands off him and stormed away, silently cursing the slow hobble his leg reduced him to.
"What did you even do with them?" he heard called after him.
"They're ripped up and stuffed in my bag to be tossed out with the other pieces of trash!" he yelled back.
After a few steps, his body pitched forward and he was only stopped from a cruel make-out session with the pavement by a lithe arm that circled around him, a long finger hand splayed across his chest. He felt heat rapidly pour into his cheeks at the intimate touch. Shit. If Jack figures that out, I'm screwed when I go back to school.
"The small front one," he bit out as he stood up, brushing the hand from him and straightening his clothes. His head never raising in fear of the blush being noticed.
A sharp tug pulled him backwards as he heard his backpack unzip. A dull pressure pulled it down on his shoulders as a hand dug around, grasping at each shred of paper. His body righted itself as the hand retreated and the pocket was zipped shut.
Jack stepped in front of Henry, his eyebrows scrunched in concentration as his eyes and long fingers shifted through the jagged strips of paper. His eyes brightened once he finally found what he was looking for. The unneeded strips fluttered to the ground as he smoothed out one and held it out.
The teen hesitantly took hold of it and looked at was written on it. The paper held words written in blue ink, unreadable and no longer understandable after their removal from their fellows. Except one. One word had no need of the others to be understood. And that word was the scrawled signature at the bottom: Jack.
"Why would I put my name on it if it was a prank?"
The copper haired teen simply stared on in amazement at that one word, straining against every fiber in his body to keep his hands still.
Feet shuffled and nervously kicked at the ground. "I actually just got the nerve to put my name on it."
Shoving down his shock, Henry dared to look up at the earnest teen in front of him. He couldn't believe it. He was always the punch line. Why would this time be any different? There was probably a hoard of kids from school with their phones out ready to record his newest downfall to watch and laugh at for years to come.
"Your name doesn't prove anything," he said as he pushed the paper back into Jack's hands and swerved around him, ready to get home to Toothless. He'd understand. With him, he could be silent, he could cry, he could finally relieve everything he bottled up and dare not reveal.
A long fingered hand snuck into the crook of his arm and spun him around. He looked up at fragile crystal eyes. "It's not a prank. I've never been more serious."
Henry felt the water burning at the back of his eyes, and he struggled to calm his ragged breathing. Why? Why did he have to do this to him? Only Toothless knew how damn much he wanted to press his lips against Jack's and wipe away that ever present smirk. Only Toothless knew how much it would kill him if he actually did. He had suffered so damn long hiding this and here the kid in question comes, prancing along as he proclaimed his deepest wishes only for a laugh. He was done with it. He was tired. Why did he always have to be the punch line?
And this joke.
Why did it have to be so effing cruel?
He had feelings, too.
No longer able to keep the cap tightly screwed on, he burst. "Shut up!" he screamed into Jack's face, no longer caring about spies, about the proximity, about the torment he'd get when he returned to school. He was pissed and Jack would know it. Hell, everyone could know it now. He didn't care anymore. "Even if that were true why the hell would you been interested in me? Talk to anyone and they will be sure to tell you just what a worthless fishbone I am."
"Henry," the white haired teen chocked out in shock, "you honestly don't know, do you? Are you really so self-depriving? For one thing, your drawings. Have you seen that talent? Your talent. Any art student would kill for it. Your effing brilliant. Any honors kid would slave away in hopes of beating you on one test. And yet, you chose to focus on what you don't have?"
"Well, when what I don't have outweighs what I do it's kind of hard!"
"Who the hell told you that?"
"My dad!" Henry yelled back before he shut up, turning away as a nervous blush crept up his neck and across his cheeks.
"Well, no offense to your dad," Jack implored quietly, "but that bastard doesn't understand his son at all if that's what he thinks."
"He's right though," he responded, his ears burning.
A cold finger flicked sharply against his forehead. He batted it away and turned burning green eyes to blue. "What was that for?" he bit out.
"I was hoping to knock some sense into you."
Henry scoffed and turned away. Cool hands wrapped around his face and brought it back. His mouth gaped open in a question that never had the chance to be uttered.
"I was planning on being a gentleman and not trying to do this until at least the third date, but," the white haired teen continued with a smirk, "you force my hand."
Cool lips brushed against flushed ones, and the copper haired teen felt his heart triple its pace as he stood frozen with shock. The lips became harsher and more insistent on his until finally he relented. His hands found their way to Jack's forearms and gripped them tightly as he arched into the taller teen's touch. He felt the taller teen smile into the kiss as his thumbs traced gentle, lazy circles on his flushed cheeks. As the kiss deepened, Henry felt himself give in and finally hope. Hope that maybe this was real and he wasn't just the punch line.
Their lips finally parted, their staccato breaths matching in rhythm as they hovered close, not wanting to pull away too far and ruin what had been built up.
The copper haired teen swallowed as his eyes met gentle blue that smiled so lovingly. "You—you really meant it didn't you?"
Jack's hands slipped from his face as his arms wrapped around his thin frame, pulling him tightly into his firm chest. He pressed a soft kiss on the teen's head. "Oh course, Henry," he whispered.
The teen smiled as he buried his face into the blue sweater. "You can call me 'Hic," he mumbled into the fabric. "I don't mind it from you."
A chuckle shook the chest he leaned against, and he took great pleasure in the feel and the sound.
The two stood quietly entwined for several minutes before, they slowly pulled apart.
"I'm still having trouble believing it," Henry admitted.
"Well, you better, 'Hic," Jack said firmly.
Stepping away the two continued their walk side by side, their arms brushing each other occasionally. "But how? When?" the copper haired teen stumbled over, still struggling to accept the fact that maybe someone liked him just as he was, quirks and all.
"Well," Jack began, sticking his hands back in his sweater's pockets. "Like you said, I wanted someone's attention, and when I acted up everyone gave it to me. Except you," he said with a smirk, bumping his elbow against the teen in question. "It was kinda frustrating at first.
"You interested me, I guess," he continued after a deep breath. "You could put so much focus into a drawing and you were so smart. I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to have you as a friend. I thought maybe if we were, you would focus on me as much as one of your drawings. I liked that idea: having your attention. Ya know," he interrupted himself, "if you had actually read one of the letters, you might know this."
"I did," Henry protested. "I read the first one."
"The first three lines," he admitted sheepishly.
The white haired laughed before pressing on. "Somewhere along the line I stopped wanting you to just be a friend. I tried several things to get you to notice me, to laugh—hell, I would've settled for a smile. There's a reason most of my pranks were aimed at Astrid's group."
A small smile tugged at the corner of his mouth.
"There we go! I finally succeeded."
"Shut it," Henry exclaimed weakly as he shoved the teen next to him over.
Jack stumbled off the sidewalk with a laugh but soon righted himself and returned to match his companion's pace.
A new thought dawned on the small teen, and he abruptly stopped. The taller one turned to glance back at him, curiosity and worry vying to be the main emotion.
"What's up, Hic?"
"I asked you whose attention you had been trying to get earlier," he stated.
"You didn't know that I hadn't read the letters yet."
"Oh God, how did that have to sound?"
A small smile crept across Jack's face. "Honestly?" he asked.
The white haired teen shrugged and continued walking. "I wasn't sure if you were playing hard to get or if you were just being a dick. That's why I ended up asking you straight up."
A nervous laugh escaped the green eyed teen's lips. "Sorry 'bout that."
"Eh, no worries."
A silence fell on the two until the copper haired teen's house came in view.
"I'd better be going," he mumbled. "Have a nice spring break, Jack."
"Woah there!" the teen exclaimed as his hands held Henry back. "If you think I won't make a point of seeing you now over the break, you lack more common sense than I thought."
"Thanks," he mumbled sarcastically. "But really, I don't know. I—I haven't been put in this position before. It's...It's a lot to take in."
"That someone would like me. I mean—look at this," he said exasperatedly as he gestured down at himself.
"Hey," Jack said, stooping to his eye level. "What I said back there was true. You're talented. You're brilliant. And, honestly, those freckles," he finished as he tapped a cold finger lightly on one that rested on the bridge of his nose.
"You're hands are cold," Henry complained with a laugh.
"Yeah, I've been told…Is it…" Jack stumbled over. "Is it because you don't feel the same? I know I can be a bit annoying—"
"A bit," he asked with an arched eyebrow.
The white haired teen laughed as his head shyly dipped to the ground.
"It's like I said: this is a lot to take in. It's a new experience. I want to sort through things. Work it out before—"
His ramblings were stopped by cool lips pressing gently against his. "I don't hear anything that sounds like you don't feel the same," he whispered against Henry's lips.
"Because I do," the green eyed teen returned softly. "I just need to work—"
"It out," Jack finished. "You need to learn to just run with things."
"You need to learn to think through your actions," he countered.
The two fell into a moment of quiet laughter. The white haired teen was the first to pull away. "C'mon, I'll be a gentleman and walk you to your door."
Copper hair danced over freckled skin as he shook his head and followed. As they stepped in front of the large house, Henry pulled out his keys and unlocked the door. He paused on the threshold and looked over his shoulder at Jack. "My dad won't get home 'til later. You can stay a little while if you want to," he offered sheepishly.
The teen grinned widely and followed him into the house. "Shame. I had a few words of advice for him."
Laughing, the smaller of the two responded, "Knowing what you'd say, that make a horrible first impression on your boyfriend's dad."
Bright eyes widened in enthusiasm. "I though you wanted to work it out?" he asked tentatively.
Henry shrugged. "Might as well just run with this one," he answered with a smirk.
Jack laughed and followed him into the kitchen where a black cat with vivid amber eyes sat on the countertop. The creature perked up and swerved through appliances and food to the copper haired teen.
"I didn't know you liked cats," he responded to the expected answer.
Henry shrugged. "There's a lot you don't know about me."
Jack smirked at his words and stepped closer, leaning against the counter next to where he stood scratching the cat behind the ears as it constantly tried to bite him. The copper haired teen expertly avoided the snaps until his fingers reached a spot right under the jaw. The cat froze and began to purr, pushing its entire small mass against the hand petting it.
"I believe he honestly thinks he's a dragon though, the way he hisses and bites," the teen acknowledged about the cat.
The white haired teen laughed as he stood up and wrapped an arm around the other's shoulders. "You're something else, Hic. God, I love that."
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