Hi! I'm back with chapter 19 =) IMPORTANT: this was a double update, so make sure you read ch 18 first or nothing will make sense ^^; Alright, part 2. Again i have no beta and its approaching 2:30am so I apologize for any nonsense/errors. Please let me know (via review or pm) if you're confused by anything and I'll do my best to explain. I own nothing but the plot and I hope you enjoy reading!
Jack spotted the car as it turned the corner and dashed to the center of the street, his free arm waving wildly. The car squealed to a stop. The whitette ran to the side of the vehicle as the two thugs approached, ready to kill another innocent in their effort to get at the two meddling teens. He pulled the gasping brunette closer to himself, wrapping one arm around his friend and pounding on the door with his free fist. The driver's door opened and a black shadow leaped out and then onto the hood of the car, hissing at the men. A man rivaling the height of North exited the vehicle next, looming above the two teens.
"Sir, please help us, they have a knife and they're trying to–" Jack began his explanation, only to stop when the stranger grabbed Hiccup's arm.
The whitette almost yanked away from the man, preparing to kick out his knees and carry his friend if he had to, but Hiccup spoke up first, "Dad?"
Jack wasn't sure, but it looked as if the man smiled, before gently pushing them to the side and pulling out a shotgun. The bewildered whitette dropped to the ground, wedging Hiccup between himself and the car.
"Put yer hands up before I shoot," the man, the scrawny teen's father, growled with more venom than either of their pursuers, "Drop yer weapons and then don't move a muscle. Trust meh, ye donnae want tah give me any more reasons tah shoot yer brains out."
The two thugs cursed and did as demanded, glaring at the two teens.
"Eyes front an' centahr. Ye so much as look at my son again and it'll be the last thing ye do."
Toothless, assured that the two threats were neutralized, hopped to the ground and nuzzled against his freckled teen, whining and mewling at the him until the boy responded.
"You boys gettin the car. The rest of meh squad'll be here soon," Hiccup's father spoke without moving his gaze or slackening his grip.
Jack nodded and opened the back door, lifting his trembling friend into the backseat before sliding in beside him. The whitette threw his head back against the seat, panting from his exertion and emotional ordeal. After turning and seeing the state of the freckled teen, he pulled Hiccup onto his lap and curled about him in a protective embrace. Toothless didn't protest so long as he remained on Hiccup's lab.
Icy blue eyes glanced at the unchanged scene out the front windshield before looking down to his friend, "W-what the hell just happened?"
Hiccup ran unsteady hands through dark fur, locked within the comforting embrace of his friend who apparently didn't hate him, with two ghosts twirling around the car.
"Are you okay Hiccup? I'm sorry it took me so long to find him, but it was hard to open the door–" Caleb rambled on, crouched in front the freckled teen.
"Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry I left for a moment, if I had stayed then maybe–" Mrs. Frost spoke simultaneously, making it hard to decipher any meaning from either's words.
"W-what the hell just happened?" Jack's voice joined the throng and Hiccup's headache grew worse.
"Could everyone please just be quiet for a moment?" the freckled teen raised his voice, but it came out weak and wavering.
The two ghosts froze and Jack stiffened, "Oh, uh, who all is here right now?"
The question was hesitant, but sincere, so Hiccup responded in like, "Caleb and your mom…"
The whitette's hold tightened around him almost to the point of discomfort and he whispered to himself, "Okay, okay, this is a thing, okay…alright, I can handle this…"
"Wait, you told Jack about us?" Caleb asked, brown eyes wide in astonishment.
Hiccup nodded as the elder teen questioned in a louder voice, "Okay, so, uh, what exactly just happened? I mean, after I ran off like an idiot, I'm so sorry Hiccup, I just couldn't handle all of that information at once, and I ran off like a coward, I'm–"
The freckled teen buried further into the protection of his friend, still wondering how they had made it out alive, "It's okay Jack, I-I shouldn't have pushed that on you so suddenly. It wasn't fair of me to rehash those memories…I'm sorry."
"No, I was the one being an idiot, I'm sorry Hic. I'm just really confused right now," he spoke with a humorless chuckle.
Before Hiccup could rebut the whitette's apology, for it really was all the freckled teen's fault they were in this mess, Caleb jumped in, "Apparently you were both being stupid. So get on with the story already."
"Caleb!" Mrs. Frost reprimanded, arms crossed and tone strict, "Neither of them are at fault here. Not one of us considered the possibility of the Stabbington brothers hiding out here. Apologize!"
"Sorry," the boy shrugged sheepishly.
"Hic? You still with me?" Jack questioned with concern.
Freckled fingers paused in their petting, earning a slight head-butt from Toothless, "I-I'm fine, just uh, just got distracted for a second. So, right, what happened…"
Hiccup sat there alone, wishing for the forest floor to open up and swallow him whole. A loud snap caught his attention, eyes searching the clearing for any sign of a deer or wolf. He didn't expect to see two large humanoid figures slinking out from the tree line.
"Well, well, well, look who we have here. The little snot-nosed brat who ratted us out to the police," eye-patch snarled with a sickening sneer.
The other brother stood at his side, a thick branch held in one hand, "You're right! We never thanked the little shit, now, did we?"
Hiccup was already stumbling to his feet, his left leg throbbing in protest after all the running he did earlier. He glanced around wildly for an escape route.
"Why don't we thank him now?" eye-patch growled, removing the dagger from his belt.
The freckled teen dashed around the lake, the brothers taking chase behind him. Oh gods this was not what he wanted. Hiccup wasn't ready to die yet. His only chance was the cave, whose twists and turns he had memorized after weeks of exploration. He would lose them in the caves and exit next to Whittler's shack. Then he would double back past the lake and towards town. The two adults were far faster and fitter than Hiccup, but he had a head start. He dashed through complete darkness, one hand sliding along the wall for guidance, curses and jeers echoing behind him. Heart beating a mile a minute, palms sweaty, adrenaline coursing through numb limbs, he kept going. The voices faded behind him and were almost nonexistent as he burst out of the cavern, almost crashing into Whittler's shack. Hiccup stumbled forward, hands resting upon his knees as he gasped in the night air.
"Your mom left to make sure you were okay. I sat there for a while before they came out of nowhere. I thought I lost them in the caves, but…" he trailed off, eyes glossy and unfocused.
"But wait, who are these guys and why are they after you?" Jack cut in, head resting atop his friend's.
"Oh, uh, they're the Stabbington brothers. I guess I forgot to tell you that they saw me when I was taking the video of them. Toothless distracted them long enough for Caleb to show me the way out, but he was locked in my room this time, to stop him and dad from fighting. Sorry Bud," he apologized, nuzzling the feline.
Toothless wacked the bulbous nose with his tail, before nipping at it playfully. This earned a grateful smile from the freckled teen. The arms around him tightened and he could feel the glare sent out at the brothers.
"So they're the ones who…Caleb?" the deep voice questioned.
"Yeah…" the ghost boy answered, "But hey, I'm okay, they can't hurt anyone else now! Tell him Hiccup!"
The corners of his mouth twitched as he relayed the message, "Yeah, but right now Caleb's just happy that they can't hurt anyone else. He, uh, he wanted me to tell you that."
"Thanks…you're a great kid Caleb, we all, we really miss you," the whitette stumbled over his words before coughing slightly, "So how…how did you get away?"
"I doubled back but they were waiting at the cove. Caleb found me…" he mumbled quietly and the ghost boy's smile saddened.
Crunching leaves, snapping twigs, gasping breath. He tripped over another branch, knees protesting and hands thoroughly scratched.
"Hiccup!" the brunette jumped up in alarm, "Mrs. Frost passed me on her way back and asked me to wait with you, but I couldn't find you so I came here. Why are you all dirty? What happened?"
"Th-the…Stabb…ington brothers…They're…here and…b-but I-I…I lost them i-in…caves," he panted out as he leaned against a tree for support.
Brown eyes widened in fear, "Oh no, come on, we better get out of here."
"Yeah, yeah…just…just a sec," Hiccup paused, trying to regain his breath, "Okay, let's go."
Caleb flew before him, pointing out logs and brushing away twigs from their path. Soon they reached the cove and moonlight illuminated two dark figures next to the cave.
"There's the brat!" one yelled and the freckled teen would've screamed if his lungs had enough oxygen.
"Keep going!" the little ghost shouted, fire gleaming in his eyes.
Hiccup pushed his legs harder, hearing the crashes of many rocks hitting the earth and curses spewing for the air.
"Caleb distracted them so I could make it to the street," he recounted, smiling at the beanie-clad child.
The boy grinned smugly, "Yeah, I knocked one 'a those humongous boulders loose and sent 'em crashing down."
"He saved my life. I met your mom when I reached the edge of the forest. She checked each house to see if anyone was awake, but everyone was sleeping, so I had to keep running…"
"Hiccup? What's the matter dear? Are you okay?" Mrs. Frost hovered about him, eyes wide in concern.
The freckled teen shook his teen and kept running, "St-Stabbington brothers...in the woods."
She gasped flying after him, "Oh no. How far is your house?"
"Too far," he gasped, clutching at the cramp forming in his side.
"Keep going, I'll check which houses to knock at," she flew off.
The brunette only made it five houses before Caleb flew up behind him, "Hiccup, you gotta hide! They're almost out of the woods!"
The freckled teen dashed between two houses and collapsed, one hand slapped against his own mouth to quiet his gasping breaths. Caleb hovered next to him as Mrs. Frost continued to check houses. This was it. He was going to die tonight. Tears threatened to pour once more but Hiccup blinked them away. He glanced to the ghost child hovering next to him, fear haunting those coffee-colored eyes. The freckled teen couldn't put Caleb through this again.
"C-Ca-Caleb, th-thank you for your h-help, but I-I need you t-to go home, o-okay? I-I'll s-see you later," he tried to force his quivering lips into a reassuring smile, but failed miserably.
The boy was shocked, "What? I can't leave you. What if they find you?"
That's why Hiccup couldn't let him stay; Caleb may be able to manipulate some physical objects, but there was no way he could fight off the two murderers long enough for him to escape, "No, I-I need you to go, okay? I…I don't want you to-to see whatever they're going to do to me. Do you understand? You need – you need to leave."
"No!" the boy shouted with more force than Hiccup expected, "I'm not leaving you. I-I can help…I don't want you to be alone if it happens!"
The freckled teen rubbed at his eyes frantically before whispering hurriedly, if Caleb wasn't going to give up on him, Hiccup wouldn't either, "Caleb, I need you to go to my house – okay? – and find Toothless. Do whatever you can to get him out of my room and lead him here. He can help us, please, can you find him?"
The ghost child looked conflicted, but narrowed his eyes in determination, "Okay, but you better not be a ghost when I get back!"
"I'll do my best," Hiccup managed a smile before the boy flew off.
He huddled against the building, burrowing his head in his knees and wishing he were anywhere but here.
"I sent Caleb to go find Toothless and then your mom came back to sit with me. She was, uh, really surprised to see you running down the street. I grabbed you and you kinda know the rest from there," Hiccup shrugged, rubbing his face against Toothless.
Jack was quiet for but a moment, "Wait, my m-mom was surprised to see me? Wasn't she the one who told me you were in danger?"
"What?" Mrs. Frost spoke simultaneously with the freckled teen as they glanced at one another.
"Then was it my d-dad?" the whitette lifted his head to look down at his friend in question.
"What do you mean, Jack?" Hiccup asked, peeking up at his the elder teen.
"When I got back, well a while after I got back, the paint flew out of the drawer and painted 'help hiccup' on the mirror. I figured it was my mom since you said she was there with you, you know, before I ran off," he trailed off, glancing off to the side.
Mrs. Frost seemed to pale, if that was possible and Caleb just looked between them with confusion, "Well, it wasn't me. I was busy trying to get Toothless out."
The cat sent the boy a grateful yip.
"Uh, Jack, your parents can't manipulate physical objects…it couldn't have been them or Caleb," Hiccup said slowly, digging through his memories for any other possibilities.
The whitette cocked his head in befuddlement, "Well, then who was it?"
The freckled teen bit his lip, "Well, all the other ghosts I've met have crossed over…except, well, but it couldn't be him…I-I really don't know who it was, but I guess I owe them my life, and you, all of you really, if it weren't for all of you I-I-I would've b-been–"
"Shhh," Jack cooed, holding him tighter as the brunette began to tremble once more, "We were here and you're okay and that's all that matters. Those bastards are going to jail where they belong, where they can't reach you or anyone else."
"Yeah! We've got your back, Hiccup!" Caleb grinned, floating to the ceiling of the car.
The sound of sirens cut off whatever Mrs. Frost was about to say. The group sat in silence as they watched the Stabbington brothers being loaded into flashing squad cars and driven off to the Burgess police headquarters. Stoick finally lowered his arm, slumping slightly before entering the car.
He twisted to look into the back seat, seeing his son huddled in the arms of the whitette, "Hiccup, are…are you hurt, son?"
"I'm okay dad. C-could we go home now?" the freckled teen requested, voice low and strained.
Stoick nodded, "Is yer friend spendin' the night?"
Hiccup glanced up at his friend, pleading for the whitette to stay.
Jack thought for a moment, before giving the freckled teen a light squeeze, "Yes, if it's all right with you, sir."
"Perfectly fine," he grunted and started up the car.
"Can I stay with you tonight too?" Caleb asked, settling behind the two teens on the backseat.
Hiccup gave a slight nod of his head, earning a smile from the boy.
"Once we get to your home, I'll go check in with my husband and then return," she paused, glancing at the feline, "You'll look after my boys, won't you Toothless?"
The feline growled, taking offense of her needing to ask such a ridiculous question.
"Of course, my bad," she chuckled lightly.
Hiccup continued to listen the banter that his father and friend could not hear. Soon the car squeaked to a halt and Stoick exited the vehicle. He opened the back door, reached in, and ever so gently lifted his son from Jack's arms. Hiccup immediately curled into his father's chest, shaking with suppressed sobs. Stoick the Vast rocked his only child, surrounding him in a hold that promised love and protection. Jack silently slid out of the backseats. He followed them to the door and opened for them. Caleb circled round and round them while Toothless did his best not to complain in his current position, squished the father and son. Hiccup had just about fallen asleep by the time his father set him on his bed upstairs. The adrenaline and exertion left his mind and body utterly exhausted. Toothless curled around his head, the concerned purring lolling him more quickly to slumber. Stoick silently removed his prosthetic to see the stump red and swollen.
"I'll be righ' back," he grunted to Jack before leaving the room.
The whitette knelt beside the bed, unable to stop himself from glancing at the scar tissue surrounding the area where a foot should've been attached, "Oh, Hiccup, are you okay?"
The brunette nodded dazedly, "Th-thanks Jack fer savin' me an…an believe-velievin-in in me."
Jack just shook his head, fatigue overcoming him as well, "I'm just glad you're okay Freckles, now get some sleep."
Stoick entered a moment later, a bag of ice in one hand, a pile of blankets and some extra pillows under his other arm. He set the blankets down then knelt at the foot of the bed. Cautiously, he lifted Hiccup's left leg and placed the bag of ice beneath it. The brunette hissed, but then relaxed, exhaling in relief. Stoick gently wrapped the stump in a cloth then covered his son in one of the blankets, tucking him in.
"Thayss daa," Hiccup slurred, eyelids fluttering.
The behemoth grunted in reply, worry creasing his eyebrows.
He turned to the whitette wearily, "Thank you for helpin' Hiccup. I'm guessin' yer one of his friends from school? There's a phone in the next room to the right if ye need tah call yer folks."
"Thank you Mr. Haddock. My name's Jack, uhm, thank you for letting me spend the night. Everyone's already asleep, so I'll give them a call in the morning…" he trailed off, uncertain how to deal with man before him.
Stoick nodded, "Alright, I'll see you boys in the mornin'. Goodnight."
"Goodnight," the whitette responded, exhaustion seeping into his voice.
The door shut and Jack glanced about him, unsure what to do. Hiccup was barely conscious as the teen arranged the extra blankets into a makeshift bed.
"G-goodnight mom…Caleb…Hic," he said before snuggling into the covers, reaching a hand up and flopping it around until it found a freckled one.
The whitette didn't care if he would lose all circulation in his arm by morning. He squeezed the other hand earning a weak one in return. He smiled, reassured that they were both safe for the night, and fell into a much needed slumber.
Thanks for reading! aslk;dfsfjl;skdfjslkf oh my gosh these two chapters, just, my heart. So much happened, i hope it wasn't too much and the pacing was okay, I'm afraid it's really rushed, and I hope I managed to keep everyone in character/realistic for this situation...but Jack is a believer! He's Hiccup's first living believer! I'm sooo happy and I hope it was worth the wait. Caleb's hanging around for one more chapter =) And for all those who saw httyd 2 please be careful not to leave any spoilers in comments, I mean, I know no one will, but I felt the need to ask, just in case. I saw it and if you want to ask me about it or talk about how certain parts may or may not influence this story please use a private message (pm). Alright, I think i've rambled enough, so I bid you all adieu until chapter 20, thank you all for reading this story!