Author's Note: Sorry for the wait! My focus has been on other things.

Please send me ideas on how to continue this story. I have no intention to end due to lack of ideas. I have plenty but a few of these chapters have been inspired by reviewers. Your ideas may often be better than my own. They offer inspiration. I'd like to continue this process. It feels good to work with others to get this out there. Fun too.

WARNINGS: Underlying moral and/or religious themes (pretty minor to non-existent in this chapter). A character that was introduced in the last chapter may piss you off. Sorry. Also, some prejudice is in this chapter (not mine obviously but a character's). I don't mean to be insulting to anyone out there. This is purely for the plot. Someone is gonna say some mean things to others based on their choices and disabilities. You can probably guess who.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy!

-ET

Silence was all that was heard at the table until Ingrid growled, "Bjorn Hofferson," while glaring at her husband. Said husband simply shrugged, eyes not moving from his seated target. He gave a blank stare, waiting for the young man's response.

"W-What do you mean… sir?" Hiccup asked hesitantly. He knew exactly what Bjorn meant but desired time to collect his thoughts. He stared back, dumbfounded and mouth gaping slightly.

"How can a man like you provide for and take care of my daughter?" Bjorn crossed his arms, scowl unchanging. Despite the man's earlier praise for the young graduate, he obviously still held doubt about his daughter's relationship with Hiccup and how they would progress with the obvious disadvantage. "I'm not sure how useful you are anyhow. All I see is a hindrance for Astrid's life."

Astrid was fuming next to her boyfriend. Her father's concern about her well being was somewhat understandable but never would she allow him to talk of her boyfriend in that way. "Dad!" She gained his attention as she gripped tightly onto Hiccup's hand. "You can question and doubt, but you will not degrade him into nothing! He is worth effort and all the love I've given him and will give! You don't think we've discussed this!?" She was surprised at this point that Hiccup has yet to try and calm her. She glanced at him briefly to see that he was also fuming. "I love him," she proclaimed softly yet firmly.

Bjorn looked her way as she spoke, but he still waited to hear the voice of her so called beloved. Hiccup squeezed Astrid's hand comfortingly before speaking. "We may not be a typical couple and not meet the standards of the average, but I can assure you, Mr. Hofferson, I would do anything for your daughter. There are no limitations in that claim as far as I am concerned. Astrid and I can live life together just as any other only different. And that difference, I believe, exemplifies our real care and love for one another." His voice was steady and confident. He continued to stare back at Bjorn. "We are aware of just how different we'll be and we've both decided it was worth a shot. I lover her Mr. Hofferson."

Silence once again took over the group as Bjorn took in his words. Ingrid sat tentatively to the side, quietly observing and waiting for her husband to speak. Bjorn cleared his throat roughly before replying. "I approve of what you're saying," he said slowly before leaning forward. He placed his clasped hands on the table and continued to look at Hiccup fiercely. "But you do not have my blessing until I see proof that you can stand your ground and protect and care for my only daughter. Do you understand boy?"

The use of the term boy had Hiccup's chest tighten in anger. He stared back, unblinking at Bjorn and replied tightly, "Yes sir."

o0o

Stoick arrived back at the table shortly after completely unaware of what transpired in his absence and the group decided to disperse. They said their goodbyes, some sweetly and some bitterly. Astrid went with her parents to their hotel, still fuming from their previous discussion. Stoick took his son home. By the time they were headed towards their front door, Stoick finally noticed Hiccup's sour mood. After letting him in through the door, the bulky father decided to act on his concern.

"Henry?" They made their way into the living room before he continued. "Are you alright son?"

"I'm fine," Hiccup said flatly before heading down the hall to his bedroom. All the father felt he could do was stare after his son in concern.

o0o

The Library. The Library. That's where Hiccup runs into him again. Who checks out a book from a library in a town you're only visiting for vacation? Those were the confused, bitter thoughts that passed through Hiccup's head as he stared down an isle of Crime Mystery novels to see Bjorn Hofferson reading the back of some James Patterson book. He looked away and made his way down to the Historical Fiction section quickly as Bjorn placed his book back on the shelf.

Astrid had informed him that her parents were staying the week with her at a nearby hotel. He was hardly able to speak with her as her mother and/or father took all her time. He supposed that was to be expected when parents visited their child who lived out of state. What he did find concerning was the mention of heated discussions between his girlfriend and her father. Over the phone Astrid hadn't gone into detail but Hiccup could tell she was bothered by her father's disapproval of him.

Hiccup browsed the titles on the book shelf before him. He rolled his chair back to peer at the top of the shelf. A spine to a novel caught his eye on the third shelf from the top. He wheeled closer and angled himself along the wall of books. He reached as high as he could. He didn't want to be on a hunt for the old librarian on duty. He reached helplessly toward the book of interest. After a moment he let his hand fall and he let out a huff. He was about to roll away to look at lower shelves when a hand reached up and grasped his book. The hand lowered the novel down to him. Hiccup took the book from the hand as he followed the arm attached up to the face of Mr. Hofferson. His eyes only widened slightly as he looked at the man. "T-Thanks," he muttered.

Mr. Hofferson made a grunting noise in response as he looked toward the book shelf. He held an air of indifference, but the young high school graduate knew better. Bjorn had something to say. "It's not expected, you know." He didn't look to Hiccup as he spoke. "For a boy like you to be with a capable girl like Astrid." Hiccup ground his teeth at the comment. Bjorn turned to face him as he continued. "You're not going to take advantage of her. She's not going to be someone's crutch for the rest of her life."

Hiccup was appalled at the idea that he had gotten along with this man at their first meeting. By the end of said meeting, the man seemed to have had an about-face. Hiccup couldn't understand how Astrid could ever be related to the man before him. "I would hope not," replied Hiccup. This took Bjorn by surprise. He took a step back to gaze down at the seated boy in confusion. "I don't intend to use her as a crutch Mr. Hofferson," the boy continued. "I intend to take care of her."

The man scoffed at Hiccup's proclamation. "Do you not understand fate, boy?" he asked incredulously. His mouth set in a grim line as he leaned forward to say in a lowly voice, "Fate threw you your hand of cards already. Astrid isn't one of them." He lowered his voice even further. "How would you even 'take care' of my daughter when you can't take care of yourself?" he asked cruelly.

Hiccup's face remained unmoving as he replied, "We would take care of each other just as every other couple would."

Another scoff from the taller man. He shook his head slowly. "That's not how it works. Fate didn't give you Astrid." He stood straight as aimed his empty gaze back toward the bookshelf. "You need to accept that life isn't fair. Go your own way. Fate is natural, and you need to face the facts. Fate is -."

"Why do you defend fate!?" shouted Hiccup. He found he was grateful for the late hour in the library and the lack of faculty. He spoke quieter as he looked straight into the shocked eyes of the man before him. "Fate took my mother and gave me a chair with wheels." He didn't blink. He didn't look away. "But God gave me Astrid." He grabbed the wheels of his chair and started to turn himself away. "And I intend to cherish and care for what He's given me." Only then did he brake eye contact.

He left the man, frozen. Bjorn stared after the boy in complete bewilderment. He stood there until the boy was long gone before looking to the ground. He shook his head as if to clear his mind. "Huh. Well, he's confident at least." He took one last glance in the direction Hiccup went before heading the other way, head still shaking.

o0o

Soft laughter could be heard in Mr. and Mrs. Hofferson's hotel room. Astrid laid back on one of the two queen sized beds with her feet hanging over the edge and a cell phone pressed to her ear. While she laughed along quietly with her boyfriend on the phone, her father sat at the desk with his laptop. Her mother had just left to see the hostess about checkout proceedings for their departure in a few days.

While his daughter talked on the phone Bjorn worked on his company's weekly reports to send to his colleagues. His concentration was broken time and time again as he listened in on his daughter's conversation.

"No, Toothless could be a dragon and you could be a Viking," he heard Astrid say lightheartedly into her phone. "Because I want to be a shieldmaiden for Halloween!" She laughed softly. She let out a sudden bark of laughter before saying, "Don't even suggest a princess! No way!" She laughed at her boyfriend's teasing. "Oh, will you? My knight in shining armor? Come to save me?" Her laughter was then cut short as she heard Bjorn scoff and turn back to his screen. Astrid sat up, phone still to her ear, to watch as her father pretended to have nothing to do with the interruption. "Hey Babe? Can I call you back in a bit?" She spoke into the phone once more before hanging up. She placed the phone beside her as she continued to look towards her father as he worked.

Silence reigned for a while longer before the tension was built thicker and stronger with Astrid's blunt and true words. "I care more for him than your opinion." Bjorn turned in her direction, face red.

"I don't approve Astrid," He said heatedly. "He'll be a burden. You have so much ahead of you! He'll just hold you back!"

"He won't! He—"

"He will!" Bjorn plowed over his daughter's responses. "He's too different! It is fate that he is to be on his own! He comes with a world of problems! How will he even raise a family with you? How can you both even make a family!?"

Astrid sat back suddenly as if she had been slapped. "Excuse me? How ignorant can you be?"

That's when the man stood, looking down at his only daughter. His face was now puce. "Do not insult me girl!"

"Then don't insult Hiccup!" she shouted as she also stood before her father. "And I'm not just a girl anymore. I can make my own choices. You're my dad and I want to respect your opinions but-." She was cut off once again.

"Then do so! Don't tie yourself down with that boy!"

"JUST LISTEN!" At this point, they were both somewhat surprised no one has come up to tell them about a noise complaint. Once Astrid got Bjorn's full attention, she continued saying in a slightly quieter tone, "I want to respect your wishes, but when you are basing those wishes off prejudicial views, I can't follow through with them. Hiccup is a capable man, Dad." The man scoffed at this which went ignored by the college student. "He was valedictorian for Pete's sake! He's smart but also caring. He's looked out for me Dad! He lived life without me before we've met. Now we want to live life together! He didn't need me." She took a breath before she softened her voice. "Do you not think that we've had those conversations? We know it'll be different but that doesn't necessarily mean it'll be more difficult. Of course, I want to take care of him. That's what you do in a relationship. And he'll take care of me." She saw the disbelief in his eyes. "Dad, a few weeks ago, we went to the movies on a date. A man had been messing with me and when he went to far, do you know what Hiccup did? He punched him. Knocked him clean onto the floor."

Bjorn's disbelief hardly dissipated. He leaned forward to say tightly, "I'll see it when I believe it. Until then, this relationship will not have my blessing."

They broke their glaring match and stood straight as the hotel room door opened to reveal Ingrid Hofferson. She glanced at her family, oblivious to the tension, and said with a smile, "I'm back! Did I miss anything?"

o0o

AN: Not as long as I hoped it would be, but it was pretty tense anyway. The next chapter may have a bit of a time skip. I haven't decided. The Hofferson's have a few more days with their vacation. Just wanted to keep my options open.

Please let me know if you have an idea for a resolution! I have the beginnings of a few ideas. I haven't completely decided.

Again, you may not see another update for a while. Job hunting has been a pain and I still have yet to land a second one. I'm also dealing with some personal issues. I appreciate your patience and your support. Thank you.

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-ET