Tauria: I'm a little iffy about posting this, as this is my first How To Train Your Dragon fic, and I don't think I got the characters right. Mainly Stoick. He was harder to write for then I thought he would be... I hope you enjoy it regardless though. Who knows... maybe I'm imagining things! Oh, and I hope that I got the quote in italics right... I did it from memory because it was easier then going through the movie just to find it. XD
Disclaimer: I don't own HTTYD...
Stoick the Vast was the chief of the Hairy Hooligan tribe. He was every Viking yearned to be – rightly so, after all, he was the chief – he was strong, muscled, fierce in battle... What more could a Viking want? The only thing he lacked was the ability to tell his son how he felt. Sure, he had told him that he was proud of him... but it just didn't seem like enough. Especially after all of these years of all but abandoning him.
Hiccup was the clumsiest, most un-Viking-like teen to ever have set foot on the island of Berk. How this could be possible was confusing to all of the Vikings that lived there... After all, Stoick and his wife, Valhallarama, were the perfect match. They had been the best Vikings of their age group... The top dogs... The pick of the litter. It only made sense that their son would be one of the best Vikings to grace the village of Berk.
Nope. Unfortunately not.
But Stoick loved him. And how could he not? He was his son for crying out loud! He was the only living reminder of his wife that he had...But Stoick was a Viking. Vikings are not good at showing emotion. Now, as he watched his son soar in the sky on the back of a dragon he regretted that. He should have been a more open with his son. He should have been a better father to him.
The worst part is, was that it took Hiccup nearly dying – nearly sacrificing himself for a tribe that had done more wrong to him then right – for him to realize that. And now? Hiccup had defied the odds and defeated the Green Death, a monster more then twice the size of their village. Hiccup was the 'Dragon Whisperer' with the ability to tame a dragon with the mere touch of his hand and a fish.
What was it he had said to Gobber all of those nights ago?
'When I was a boy, my father told me to bang my head against a rock. I thought he was crazy, but I did it. And do you know what happen? That rock split in two. It taught me what a Viking could do, Gobber. He could level mountains... Tame seas! Even as a boy I knew what I was, what I had to become... Hiccup is not that boy.'
Oh, how wrong he had been. Hiccup was that boy, even more so then he had been. Hiccup had known what he was to become... After a dragon had showed it to him, just like Stoick's father had shown him. And Hiccup had done much more then tame seas, or level mountains. He had done things Stoick had never thought possible. First, he had met a Night Fury and lived. Second, he had ridden and trained (somewhat) said Night Fury. Third, he had defeated a terrible monster. Fourth, he had brought about peace between humans and dragons.
To think that this was the same boy who every time he stepped out the door a disaster had followed in his wake. To think that this was the boy his peers relentlessly mocked. To think that this was the boy who he had told he wasn't his son only a few short weeks before. It was all so confusing.
And now, Stoick regretted all of those things he had said and thought about his son before. He regretted never telling his son how much he loved him... and how proud he was of him. He regretted that Gobber and Toothless had taken that from him. They were closer to his son then he could ever be.
Toothless because he cared about the boy... He loved the boy like he was his own hatchling almost, and he treated him as such. Stoick felt a pang in his great, burly chest as he watched his son go to a dragon for things that he should go to a father for. And it was all Stoick's fault.
Gobber because he had listened. He had been there when Stoick has not, and was often the go-between for the two males. That hurt Stoick. His best friend had been more of a father to Hiccup then he had been... all because he had listened to him.
Stoick was so deep in thought, he didn't hear the dragon land beside him. He didn't hear his son scramble off said dragon's back. He didn't hear the squeak of the prosthetic at the end of the boy's leg as he walked over to him. "Dad, are you okay?"
Stoick jumped slightly, startled at his son's sudden appearance. He smiled at him, not wanting to put any stress on him. "Of course."
Hiccup gave his father a suspicious glance over. "If you say so... but it looked like something's on your mind. Care to talk about it?"
"I'm just worried about how we're going to have enough food to take care of Vikings and dragons this year."
Hiccup gave his father one last unsure look before he said, "Well, I'm sure the dragons will be okay with settling for fish, and they can catch that easily enough, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem..."
Stoick nodded. "You're right."
An awkward silence descended upon the two before Hiccup finally said, "Well... I, uh... had better get to the arena to teach the others how to properly care for dragons..."
"Right... I should probably get to finishing up the rest of my duties as well..." Both headed in opposite directions and once they were out of reach, both let out a long, heavy, sigh.
That night in the Mead Hall, as Hiccup sat talking and laughing with his peers, Stoick sat with Gobber deep in conversation about Hiccup.
"I'm just a loss of what to do, Gobber. Every time I go to talk to him, I just can't. Somehow, I can't tell him how I feel." Stoick sighed heavily, his problem weighing deeply on his mind. "I just can't express how proud of him I am... I can't tell him how much I love him."
Gobber looked at his friend with wise eyes (how someone the same age as he could look so much wiser was lost upon Stoick). "Someone once told me that actions speak louder then words... Have you tried that?"
Stoick frowned. "Yes."
Gobber raised an eyebrow, waiting for elaboration.
"When the dragon raids came in, I always claimed that keeping him in was for the sake of the village... But really and truthfully, if I was completely honest, it was so that I wouldn't lose Hiccup like I lost his mother... Village be damned(1). It's not the prettiest truth, but that's why I did it." And it wasn't that he didn't care about the village... It was more so the fact that he cared about his son more, and a Chief wasn't supposed to play favorites.
Gobber thought about that for a moment. "Ever tell him that?"
"Maybe if you give him the reason behind your actions, it will explain to him what you've been trying to all of this time."
"I suppose you're right, Gobber. I'll give it a try." And Stoick left.
Stoick waited for his son to come home, so he could try out Gobber's advice. He couldn't believe how nervous he was. He had never been this nervous before an upcoming battle.
Staring into the flames, trying to work out his nervousness, he almost missed his son walking in. He almost missed his opportunity to talk with Hiccup. Luckily, he noticed in time (he had Toothless' loud purring to thank for that).
Turning to face him, he said, "Hiccup, there's something I want to talk to you about."
Hiccup turned to him, surprised. "Yeah dad?"
Stoick gestured to one of the chairs. "Have a seat."
Hiccup took one of the chairs, and his father took the one opposite him. As he searched for the right way to begin, he thought about how he had never been this nervous when facing down a dragon... or an enraged Viking... or even heading straight for Helhiem's Gate. He had also never met a Viking with the patience Hiccup seemed to possess.
"I wanted to talk to you about... about the way I acted... before." He finally managed.
Hiccup was, once again, surprised. "Look, dad... it's no big deal... really... I mean... I'm not holding a grudge over it, or anything..."
"It is a big deal..." his father replied, and when Hiccup opened his mouth to protest, he added, "To me, at least." There was another silence between the two, before Stoick let out a long breath. "You see... Everything I did... Not letting you out during raids... Keeping you away from most weapons... Everything, was because I was worried about losing you like I did your mother. It was for your own protection. But... at the same time, I wanted you to be a Viking. The son I had always wanted. And so... I expected you to stay indoors, but be able to defend yourself. To keep away from sharp items (unless you were working in the shop) yet know how to wield them. It was too much to expect of a boy I had kept sheltered. I didn't realize that it got you ridiculed by your peers... I didn't realize a lot of things. I also didn't want it to seem like I was playing favorites, so I ended up ignoring you, instead of being the father you really needed. And for that, I'm sorry. Hiccup, I have always been proud of you... I have always loved you." All of this came out in a rush, and Stoick wasn't certain if it came out clear or not, but judging by the shocked, but still happy, smile on his face, Hiccup had obviously understood.
And even though Vikings weren't one for being to emotional, Stoick didn't find himself minding the hug that Hiccup enveloped him to. Well... until Toothless wanted to be a part of it too and knocked them over, and covered them in dragon drool.
Tauria: This didn't turn out half of what I thought it would be... For some reason when I got the idea, I pictured it longer :) -shrug- I still don't think I got Stoick right, but no matter how many times I go back and edit it, it still doesn't seem right... -sigh- I hope you enjoyed it anyway! Please leave a review, and any advice on how to improve this would be great!
1- I don't normally cuss in my stories, but it seemed appropriate for a Viking to curse... I really can't imagine them saying "Village be darned". I know most you probably won't care, but I'm putting this here anyway xD