I've returned! I've been working and sort of lost inspiration for a while, but I am back now! Yay! I shall do another two chapters on this one and that will be the end of Third Crisis! I have plans to write a story for each of the Haddock children though, so never fear! The Haddocks will return!
"Hiccup, I need your help!"
"You've already robbed me of everything I own."
"That's not true." Tuffnut said defensively. "No!" His hands flapped either side of his head, clearly despairing. "How do you dad?" Hiccup blinked at him. Tuffnut surged forward and gripped his friend's shoulders, giving him a slight shake. "How. Do. You. Dad?" He punctuated each word with a shake.
"OK." Hiccup detached Tuffnut's hands and pushed them back, holding them for a moment against the blond's chest. "Firstly, breathe." Tuffnut inhaled sharply and then held it. "That means breathe out too, Tuff." He did. "Secondly, do you mean how to dad Vadik or-?"
"No, no! How to dad Vadik, we haven't... Ada's... well, what happened with Dagur-"
"Yeah, that's OK. I get it." Hiccup patted Tuffnut's shoulder and directed him to a seat. "What's happened with Vad then?"
"I dunno, H. Like, before the wedding, he was up for a good banter, we could have a good laugh. Now I'm his stepdad and he's just... I don't know, just..." Tuffnut threw his hands out in front of him, tipping his head back. Hiccup rubbed at his jaw. "Did I do something wrong?"
"No. I think it's finally sunk in for him though." Tuffnut frowned in confusion. "Right- when you were just dating Ada, it wasn't a permanent thing, was it?" Tuffnut shrugged. "It wasn't set in stone, right?" Hiccup nodded. His friend did too. "Now you're married. Following?"
"I think so."
"You and Ada are married, officially; you live together, officially; it's all officially now and it's caught up with him. He's realised that this is the way things are going to be now and he's still processing it."
"Oh. Is that bad?"
"He might just be shocked."
"I'm not that bad to live with, am I?"
"It's debatable." Tuffnut's expression crumpled. "Hey, it's alright. It'll take some getting used to- look how long it took Eret to adjust to living with Ruff."
"She's horrible to live with. Fish oil and clothes everywhere." Tuffnut grimaced and shook his head, shuddering. "Is Vadik like that? Is he... adjusting?" Hiccup nodded and Tuffnut relaxed slightly. "So, do I need to dad?"
"Not necessarily. He may be a bit conflicted; look at who his real dad was, that's not exactly a good role model."
"But neither am I."
"You or Dagur?"
"Me. Obviously." Hiccup bowed his head and Tuffnut realised he had his answers. "Let me get this straight, H. I don't need to dad. But I can still be his friend?" Hiccup inclined his head, smiling. "And if I did have to dad him at some point in the future, you'll help me, right? Please? You're the one with the most dadding experience; if you can get Snotlout to dad, surely you can get me to dad?" Tuffnut searched the chief's face anxiously.
"Worth a shot. Admittedly, Snotlout was looking after babies and he had to start from scratch, but Vadik's, what, seventeen now?" Tuffnut nodded. "Then just keep an eye on him. You've got experience in, uh, stupidity, so... try and keep him from being stupid."
"Does that include any little ventures into the forest with a certain daughter of yours?" Hiccup's reaction was gradual, jaw clenching slowly, eyes boring into Tuffnut's. "Would you like me to go?"
"About fifty miles off a cliff. No dragon."
"Well, that's a shame." Tuffnut sighed. "I usually quite like our little chats."
"So did I."
"You do realise if they get married, we'll be officially related." Tuffnut beamed at him. "I will be Ingrid's stepdad-in-law!"
"That or dead." Hiccup smiled innocently, but it didn't reach his eyes. Tuffnut had seen that look a million times on Astrid and realised that, over the years, Hiccstrid had worn off on each other and now both of them were capable and experienced of killing a man.
"I think I hear Ada calling me. Lovely chat, H, I hope we can resume this some day." And just like that, he was gone. Hiccup moved to the door to see him sprinting down the hill, yelling for his wife that the lunatic chief had just put him on his hitlist.
"Am I hearing that right?" Astrid called from upstairs. "Are you going to kill Tuffnut?"
"I'm considering it!" Hiccup called back.
"May I join?" He looked back to see her at the top of the stairs, Fenrir bundled in her arms.
"Of course." Hiccup smiled. "I wouldn't dream of leaving you out, milady."