A/N: Um, yeah. This is my newest fanfic. It is rated T because I am a paranoid little bleep like that, but I don't suppose it's angsty enough to be rated T. I'm really proud of this! Hiccup angst! xD I love writing Hiccup angst xD Oh, yeah, the dialogue's a little rough, so to help you guys understand who's speaking, I'll give you a rough guide.
"When somebody's speaking."
"When Hiccup's bully is speaking."
'When Hiccup is speaking through thoughts, normally to his bully.'
"Oh, c'mon, Useless. You really think touching a dragon's nose is gonna get you somewhere? Look around. These people will never accept you. And they're right not to. You're worthless."
There it was.
The voice I hated the voice I feared, the voice that made me dread waking up each day. Despite all the changes in the village, my bully never went away.
I closed my eyes against his mean, hateful words.
"You're the useless one here, not me," I wanted to say, only he said that first, a light whisper in my ear. I could almost feel his breath tickling my skin when he spoke.
"How can you believe that things are going to change?"
I wanted to speak up, but I'd never had the courage. Would I ever have the courage to face this bully inside me?
It had started out small.
I never knew such a hateful creature lay dormant inside me, a harsh critic, an unlovable individual.
I never knew simple words could make me hate myself as much as it made me hate myself.
They were the words of a bully, a bully much harsher and crueler and far, far braver than Snotlout. Hewas the only person still against me, the only person who didn't practically bow in the streets whenever I walked by – er, stumbled by or limped by, as of right now, but I was getting better at it.
It started out when I was smaller, about six, maybe seven. I'm not sure of my exact age. It's so hard to remember now, to remember how subtle it used to be, now that it's reached such a point that I can escape it only in sleep.
I had Toothless now, of course and he made things slightly better. I had my dad and his pride in me, I had Astrid's dazzling smile and Snotlout's pats on the back.
I had Gobber's proud looks, as if he was my uncle and I was his personal favorite nephew.
I had everything. Yeah…and that included my bully. No matter what, he never went away.
That was the worst part of it, you know? It was that he never went away.
I couldn't escape him when he first came, but I trusted that he would leave soon.
Only, he never did.
The first time he came, it was my first day in the forge. Gobber was teaching me how to make a dagger and my hand slipped on the tool I was using and I ended up tearing a long slash down my thumb, almost reaching my wrist.
As Gobber sighed sadly and bandaged me up, muttering, "What would Stoick say? We will tell him nothing. Yeah, that's it. Your father hears none of this, Hiccup, you hear me?" the voice spoke up.
"Oh, wow. Look at the Useless over here who can't even make a simple dagger."
When I heard the words, I wasn't sure where the thought or whatever it was, had come from. He reminded me of the kids in the village and I bit my lip against his harsh angry words.
Gobber finished bandaging my thumb and went back to work. Simple as that.
But he didn't go away.
He came back a few weeks later, when Snotlout stuck his foot out and tripped me. I fell flat on my face in front of him and the other kids and as I turned to try and get away, my bully's voice resounded in my head, speaking so plainly it was as if he were there beside me.
"Nice going, you klutz. Get up, idiot."
I'd stood up, dusted myself off and tried to blink the tears back as I walked away, but my bully's words didn't stop echoing in my head until long after I was home, sitting in my bedroom, my sketchbook open on my lap.
I'd tried drawing something that night and I heard his voice again.
"Thor, you're terrible at this. You're terrible at everything, Useless. Can't you do anything right?"
My bully never called me by my real name – just 'Useless', as if it was all I deserved.
It was like my bully didn't know how to build anyone up – as if his sole goal in life was to tear me down.
For a time, I tried ignoring him, but that just made him get worse.
"Going to ignore me, are you, Useless? Oh, don't be like that. You know you want to let me in."
So for awhile, I would take long walks in the forest alone, trying to figure out who he was and why he was so intent on making my life hell.
He led me around in circles for hours at a time and I'd come home flushed and sweaty and frustrated enough to scream, but it wasn't like my dad ever noticed. If it wasn't a dragon or the food on his plate, he didn't bother looking at it.
My bully never told me who he was or why he decided to torment little old me, but I soon found out, even without him telling me.
He was no more than mere thought, created, shaped, molded by all the hurtful things Snotlout had said and done, every insecure thought I'd ever had made him, it called my bully into being and now, here he was, ready to make my life hell and see if I could withstand it, if I was stronger than I looked.
By the time I was twelve, I started going back to the forest, but instead of trying to get him to talk about himself, I sat there and listened to his constant torrent of verbal abuse. I let him in for a few months, lonely enough that even mean company determined to annihilate and devastate me was better than no company at all.
Every day that he came back was a day I breathed a sigh of relief, because at least somebody was speaking to me.
When I turned fourteen, he was still there, but it was as though he'd been muted for a long, happy stretch of weeks in which I remembered almost nothing but Toothless and the lies I'd told to be able to race off and spend time with him.
I finally had somebody that genuinely made me happy and that made my bully very, very mad.
He gloried in my devastation and grief, he thrived on my losses and woes.
My black moment was his moment of triumph.
He had a field day the day my father found out about Toothless and disowned me, gloating about how I should've seen it coming, how I wasn't good enough, how I was never good enough.
He laughed at me when I was in pain and dangled the fact that I'd lost everything in front of my face. I'd stood on the docks and let him laugh and abuse me, because, really, who the hell cared?
I was too upset to care that I was letting him in with my apathy.
By the time he realized I wasn't going to respond, he quieted down a little bit and I sensed danger. "Useless?" he rasped quietly. "You still there?"
I didn't respond and this made him even angrier.
"I deserve an answer!"
"What do you want from me?" I whispered. I knew it was a bad idea to engage him, but I did anyway. "Everything I care about just sailed away with that ship. It's gone now, bully. You've won."
And I listened to his cackling in silence.
But I was fourteen now. I had a better life ahead of me, if only I could stop listening to my bully sneer whenever I tripped over my prosthetic or felt a slight spasm of panic when I saw my father, because that spark of fear I'd felt when he disowned me had never actually dissipated.
He grew muted around Toothless, but almost unbearable around my dad, constantly belittling me, telling me I was useless, worthless, no good, that my dad only loved me because I was the hero of the hour.
He'd reject me again soon enough.
I tried blocking him out, but in the past few months, I'd begun to realize I couldn't ignore him anymore.
I had to take matters into my own hands and I had to fight back.
I locked myself in my bedroom, waiting for my bully to come back and taunt me.
When nothing happened, I prodded a little, fear threatening to choke me. "Bully? You there?"
No answer. Of course not.
I had to wait a long time for him to come back and when he did, I was looking out my bedroom window, enjoying the breeze.
Toothless was a few feet away, eating his dinner for that night. I think he understood I needed him here for moral support, because he didn't express surprise that I was feeding him up here tonight.
Then again, he had heard the argument about how Dad wasn't allowed to feed him under the table.
"You been waiting for me, Useless? I'm flattered."
'Give it up, bully,' I spoke between clenched teeth. 'This ends now.'
He gave a sickening chuckle. "Useless, Useless, I'm the best thing that ever happened to you. Do you really want to throw me away?"
'You're not the best thing that's ever happened to me. Toothless is,' I responded stubbornly in my head, knowing what a big risk this whole fighting back idea was. I knew my bully held the power to destroy me. But not if I didn't give it to him.
'And you're going to leave me alone,' I continued, hoping I sounded more confident than I felt. 'Because I know what you are. You're just a pack of ugly lies that you think you can hurt me with but you CAN'T. Not anymore.'
"You can't get rid of me that easily." he argued. "You try standing up to me, I show you what pain really means. I control you."
'No,' I argued. 'It's the other way around, bully. I control you. I control how much power you get and I'm done giving you any.'
I turned away from the window, smiling at his shriek of outrage. My turn to gloat over his misery.
Since that night, it hasn't exactly been easy to ignore him, especially around my dad, whom he still likes to go haywire around, but ignoring him is easier.
He's quieter now, not completely back to what he started as, but pretty close.
His voice is still my wake-up call, telling me how worthless I am and how nobody will ever accept or love me, how I'll always be a misfit.
But there's a certain kind of triumph in hearing words you know aren't true, because all it takes to defeat the liar is shoving them right back at him and telling him no, to take that pack of lies back because you know it isn't true and you're done accepting those words for the truth.
He still likes to bully me, but he's no longer that of someone speaking in an empty room. Think more like one voice among many, the only one booing while the rest are cheering.
He depends on my guilt, my self-loathing, but I don't depend on his lies.
He is no longer a constant source of my misery. Now, he's something I can ignore easier.
But to him, I am the whole world.