Nightshade6265 here to bring you a new fic! I am writing this with my friend You are right...NOT. This is my first collab fic and my first venture into this particular fandom so I hope you enjoy!
Oh, and as per usual I OWN NOTHING!
Hiccup really wished things had panned out as he had hoped.
While his dad and the other teens seemed willing to give Hiccup's ideas of peace a chance, almost no one else in Berk was willing to believe that the Dragons could be forgiven for the years of conflict even after it was uncovered that the dragons were slaves to the Red Death. Those that did seem willing to accept having dragons among them seemed to think of them as potential weapons for the village or opportunities to increase their political might in the archipelago. As much as Hiccup wanted to say he didn't understand, he got exactly why.
Dragons were immensely powerful and any village that could control them would be unmatched by any other.
This didn't do much to restore Hiccup's faith in the people in his village. All he saw around himself, all he had ever seen around himself was cruelty, plain and simple.
The dragons were being treated the same way he was treated in the past by the very same people.
Knowing this, it didn't surprise him when Mildew and many other villagers who distrusted dragons demanded that the dragons leave and that they resume their old way of life. Unfortunately, these demands were presented not only to his father, but to him, as he was supposedly the "Dragon Master". Even more unnerving, was that these demands came with threats of violence against both he and Toothless.
The last straw though, was when he saw a viking bring a gronkle who had been deemed disobedient and tortured it with eels, claiming that it was the dragon's master. The dragon attempted to defend itself and was killed by a group of men who had accompanied the self-proclaimed "master" of the dragon.
It was in that instant that Hiccup decided that he couldn't stay on Berk, that he could no longer bear to see the cruelty of vikings whether directed at him or others.
The following night he wrote letters to his father and Gobber, explaining that he simply couldn't stay anymore and that he would return, hopefully when things had improved. He considered writing a letter to Astrid as well, but decided instead to talk to her in person, telling her to meet him in the cove at dawn.
Having already packed everything they needed into what few bags they had, Hiccup and Toothless were already at the cove.
"Feels like we've come full circle, eh bud?" Hiccup joked as he finished securing the last of the bags to Toothless' saddle. Eventually they heard footsteps, and turned to find Astrid making her way into the cove. Toothless immediately put on his signature smile, gave off a happy warble and bounded over to Astrid, eager to get some attention from his second favorite person.
She just smiled and began scratching Toothless' neck, much to the dragon's delight, reducing him to a puddle of bliss at her fingertips.
"So Hiccup," She began, "What's this whole meeting about?"
Hiccup froze for a moment as a million thoughts ran through his mind.
'Where will I go? What will I do?' He thought, 'I mean it's not like I have so much experience living outside of Berk.'
Which was true, Hiccup had been raised to live on the island's relative safety (dragon attacks notwithstanding) he really didn't know exactly what to do or where he should go if he left at all.
All the same, he knew he just couldn't stay here.
He took a deep breath, mustering up some courage, "I'm leaving."
She paused in scratching Toothless, who warbled in displeasure, blinking, "What do you mean? For how long?"
Hiccup gestured in the general direction of the village, "Astrid, the whole village, it's... I can't do this any longer! The queen, the Red Death is dead and the dragons are free, but haven't you seen how the dragons are treated by most of the villagers? It's probably just as bad and if not worse than before, and that's because too many people don't see that the dragons were forced to do this against their will! I am leaving, hopefully the dragons take the hint and follow suit. I can't force the vikings to change, but by Thor's hammer, it doesn't mean I will sit by and watch this! I am going to leave for, I may return, but it won't be for a long time, at least until I can find proof that Dragons can live alongside people without either side doing harm to the other."
Astrid glared at him, "So what do you expect us to do? You can't just leave Hiccup! It'll only get worse if you go!"
Hiccup scratched the back of his head, "I want to show the dragons they don't need to live here, I'll be setting them free of this place."
He nodded inwardly. He wouldn't be responsible for this, the dragons only came to Berk because he defeated their queen. If he left, they might follow.
Astrid seemed to want to object, but nodded, "Ok... Can I come with you?"
Hiccup blinked, staring owlishly at her, "Do you really want to?"
She pursed her lips, staring at the ground, "Yeah, all of the teens, Fishlegs, Snoutlout, Ruff and Tuff. They've all seen it and they don't like it any more than you do. We didn't know what to do; in fact we were planning to ask you anyway. Besides, we're dragon riders too."
Hiccup couldn't help but sigh as he thought over the possibility of the others joining him.
He had guessed that Astrid would want to accompany him on his trip, but he hadn't counted on the fact that the other teens might want to as well.
The more he thought about it though the more he wanted to travel alone.
"I...I don't want anyone to come with me. I'm leaving as much for myself as I am to learn about dragons and possibilities for peace." He said, choosing his words carefully.
"What do you mean you're leaving for yourself?" Astrid all but screamed before becoming sullen, "Am I not enough?"
Hiccup sighed, trying to think of how he could explain why he felt the need to leave.
"Astrid, my desire to leave has nothing to do with you. You know exactly who you are and what you've had to be. You've always known. It's been different for me though. I've spent my whole life being hated and picked on by the whole village for being different, and now half of the village hates me for changing their way of living while the other half sees me as some great warrior. That's not who I am, Astrid. I...I don't know who I am, but I know that I need to find out, and I can't do that while I'm here. I can't do it while surrounded by people who treat me like something I'm not." Hiccup stated, his voice burning with conviction.
Astrid just stared at Hiccup, hurt evident in her eyes, but she understood what he meant. The villagers of Berk had always put him down, and now they were putting him on a pedestal. It was long past time that he grow into his own person, and he had begun doing so by befriending Toothless and coming to understand Dragons. He had taken his first step by making his own choice, a choice that defied hundreds of years of viking history. It was time that he really found out who he was, and if he had to leave behind his home then so be it.
"Alright," Astrid said, her eyes downcast "Is there anything you want me to do while you're away?"
"If the dragons don't leave, I want you to help the villagers get used to them. Help improve things for both sides so that when I return it'll be to a better Berk," Hiccup said, giving Astrid a small, hopeful smile, "Who knows? Maybe you'll have more success than I did."
Astrid took a deep breath and nodded, "Okay. Promise me you'll come back though."
Hiccup gave her a smile, "I promise, I'll be back one day. I need to do this alone though. I'll see you again Astrid, I promise."
Astrid smiled back, but one thought stood out in her mind, 'Who will you be when you come back though?'
He kissed her forehead and mounted Toothless, "You ready bud?"
Toothless trilled a acquiescing noise, nudging his nose one last time into Astrid's chest before crouching and readying himself.
"Let's fly!" Hiccup yelled.
Toothless flapped his wings and the two shot into the air.
'This is it. I need to find myself.' Hiccup thought, 'It's time.'
There's the first chapter folks. We hope you enjoyed it and we look forward to your feedback. The more reviews we get the more motivated we are!