Didn't think I'd update this fic again, did you?
I thought about making this a new fic but I thought it would be better to post it at the end of this fic since it doesn't really belong anywhere else. HTTYD 2 has a lot of people writing Hiccup angst and I thought I'd throw in my own contribution.
In this canon (which follows Little Miracles up until the confrontation scene), Hiccup doesn't think to mime the bite motion so they are unable to save Adrianna. She's killed and this happens probably that evening. I don't say what happens to Trista but I think it's safe to assume she's been executed at this point.
"It wasn't your fault."
The words were oddly garbled in Hiccup's ears but he knew what he was hearing. The four words he had heard dozens of times. Hundreds of times. Probably a thousand more times. He felt a surge of fury at this genuine attempt to ease his conscience. To take away the agony in his soul for a second. Like the fact that he wasn't to blame for what had happened would ease the pain. A tiny part of him almost wanted to laugh at the sheer pointlessness of it all. As if four little words would ever take away the anguish. As if any words could ever make anything okay again.
Sudden pressure on his shoulder. Someone was trying to comfort him. To wordlessly support him. The anger within stirred, dearly wanting to explode out of him. But not at her. Not at them.
A man he had once admired was now the most filthy, disgusting creature on the planet. A man he was proud to be so close to was now someone with whom he hated to be compared. A hatred so deep, so vile, so all consuming grew inside of him, enveloping the monster who had done this to his family.
He shook the hand off, barely looking at his wife as he stood up. He couldn't glance at the casket in front of him. Small... too small. Decked in the purple flowers she would pick for him or her mother. Oddly deceptive in appearance. As if the little girl had merely died peacefully in her sleep instead of in a puddle of her own blood. As if he hadn't watch the life leave her eyes as he held her, pleading with the gods for just one more miracle. As if her last expression hadn't been one of terror and excruciating pain...
Tears poured down his front as he slammed the door behind him. He took a deep breath of the chill, crisp air around him, his exhale raising in a cloud in front of his eyes. He didn't know where he was going, where his legs were taking him. But he marched as if he had a purpose. Kept moving. Kept crunching through the snow. Each and every step made it slightly easier to clear his mind. He focused on the noises he was making as he broke through the little pieces of ice below his boot and his prosthetic. The freezing air made him shiver but he couldn't bring himself to notice this even for a second.
Suddenly his prosthetic hit a wooden plank. Hiccup looked up. His house stood before him, sturdy as it had always been. The young father trembled as he stared at it. He would have to go in eventually. He would have to face the emptiness. A house he had built with his own hands in anticipation of the pitter-patter of little feet. Now silenced too soon.
Sand was still scattered in the corner of the room, shards of glass and splinters of wood embedded within. He turned his eyes away... he would have to clean that up... remnants of a sick woman's sense of humor. The woman who would kill a child without a moment's remorse.
He took a deep breath and slowly ascended the staircase. The silence was deafening, as if all noise had been sucked out of the house. His eyes finally rested on the ajar door of his little girl's room. A room to which she would never return.
But the room didn't know that. It awaited its occupant the way it always did. With butterflies painted upon the walls so that she would smile. With clothes hanging in the closet or folded in drawers that she would never wear. The empty bed that would never cradle her for one more night...
He trembled so hard, he nearly collapsed. But he slowly took several steps forward, a shaking hand finally gripping his child's sheet. The blankets were gone, presumably used to carry her away just three nights ago. Three nights. The Snoggletog Eve party was a lifetime ago. The laughter, the hiccups, the singing... all long ago in another life. The life of a happy, proud father of two.
The echoes of the memories died within his head as he remembered that he was now the father of one. One child and no more. No more hiccuping giggles. No more flower petals scattered throughout the house. No more cheerful singing. No more bright green eyes sparkling with excitement...
The ripping noise startled the young father as the blanket suddenly split apart. His fists gripped it, making the tear bigger until the blanket was completely ruined. But that didn't matter because it wouldn't ever keep his baby warm again. And the dresser in the corner, it didn't need to be standing for easy access to the clothes his daughter would never again wear. It crashed to the ground, causing the floor to shake. Hiccup barely knew what he was doing anymore. He watched his hands rip curtains off the walls, knock over chairs and sending lamps crashing to the floor. The din he was making barely registered. He had to destroy it all, he had to turn the room into the black hole of his heart. He had to remove the ghost of the good days so that he never had to think about them again.
Soon, his shaking hands made their way to the beautifully crafted Night Fury he had spent weeks working on, agonizing over, making sure it was absolutely, completely perfect for his little girl. And now she would never see it. He wrapped his fingers around the toy he had so lovingly crafted and ripped it in half. Wool fluttered to the ground beneath his feet. But then he stared at his work, the beautiful craftsmanship, the details that made the toy almost seem alive, how he had destroyed something he had worked on so hard, so lovingly because he wanted his little girl to smile...
And now she would never smile again.
His knees hit the wooden floor as the howls of misery finally tore from his throat. He held the destroyed toy to his chest, his loud sobs echoing in his little girl's room. It felt like his heart had been ripped out of his chest and bled all over everything he had once held dear. He couldn't look at his wife without seeing the roundness of her face, the beautiful blonde hair their little girl had inherited... he couldn't look at his son without the memory of holding the twins within hours of their birth... and he couldn't look at himself in the mirror. Not ever. Because one look at his eyes would put a knife through his heart.
He rocked back and forth, the stuffed Night Fury smashed to his chest, as his tears continued to pour out of his eyes. He couldn't stop. Even when his voice finally gave out, he continued to scream. He could almost taste blood in the back of his throat. But he couldn't stop screaming.
A voice he hated more than anything pierced through his ears. His head whipped around and his eyes settled on his father. Stoick stood in the corner of the room, his grayish blue eyes fixed on his son. Suddenly, a rush of fury permeated his body and he leaped to his feet, charging at the man, making a fist, and slamming it into his stomach.
"YOU!" he screamed hoarsely. "YOU KILLED MY BABY!"
"GET OUT!" Hiccup clutched his father's tunic and yanked on it as hard as he could. "GET OUT OF HER ROOM! GET OUT OF MY BABY'S ROOM!"
Stoick obeyed, taking a few steps back into the hallway and allowing his son to punch and kick every inch of him. He deserved it. The foolish mistakes of his youth, mistakes he should have atoned for long ago had ripped his family apart, had taken the sweetest, most beautiful little girl Berk had ever seen from them far too soon. He knew what it was to love someone so much it hurt, to be willing to put down his life for another human being... and he had killed the very person about whom his son had felt the exact same way. There was no forgiving this. There was no second chance. He hadn't just lost his granddaughter... he had lost his only child. His only family. So he took the abuse. He took the screams and the punches. He took the bruises he knew would develop. He took them because he knew that this was likely to be the last interaction he would ever have with his son.
They ended far too soon. Hiccup, finally out of energy, collapsed into his father, crying so hard his tears soaked through the man's battered tunic. Stoick put his arms around his son and held him, allowing his son to weep into him for what he knew would be the very last time.
And then that too was over.
Hiccup suddenly pushed his father away, his puffy leaking eyes looking at him with pure malice.
"Hiccup, I am so sorry." Stoick choked out, his heart pounding with the effort to keep tears of his own contained within his eyes. "I am so sorry."
"Don't you ever talk to me again." Hiccup croaked through his damaged vocal cords.
"I don't need your comfort!" the young man spat. "I don't need you. Get the Hel out of my life."
Stoick had no time to respond before his enraged son slammed his granddaughter's door in his face. He could hear fresh sobs emanating from behind the door but knew better than to push it in and force his presence on him. With a quivering hand, he reached up and stroked the little butterfly Hiccup had painted on the door. Such bright, happy colors. Colors that now made him ache inside.
"It's not your fault." Stoick whispered, his fingers tracing the butterfly's wings.
He took a deep, trembling breath as a tear finally leaked from his eye and slowly dripped into his beard. He shut his eyes tight as he took in the sound of his son's anguished sobs from inside a room that had once belonged to his precious little girl.
"It's not your fault." he repeated, each syllable ripping through his heart. "It's mine."
Guys, I'm really proud of this fic so please let me know what you thought because it was a really fascinating fic to write and it was also very challenging. I don't think I'm going to make it a habit of uploading extra chapters to stories or random AUs but would you read them if I did? Because I do get a lot of ideas about deviations from my own canon.
Just so you know (just in case you didn't know already), at the time of posting this, there are currently 2 completed sequels to this (not this AU, I mean Little Miracles in general) and another in the works. So check those out if you haven't already. They're called Under Pressure and Stowaway.
Don't forget to review!