"This time I won't let you bring me down

(Bring me down)

Won't let you shut me out

(Shut me out)

This time I know, I don't want to think about you

Runaway, runaway, don't want to think about you

Runaway, runaway, don't want to think about you"

The group's voices and individual instruments harmonized in such a perfect manner as they matched their rhythms on stage. It was too synchronized, too loose. A hand came up and a shout of "Hold it!" Rang across the small stage of the dimly lit auditorium.

A collective groan arose from all four boys on stage, the second tallest of the bunch taking a step forward and looking to their manager, who sat in the front row and watched them.

"Come on Gobber, we've practiced that song atleast fourteen times. It's got to be perfect at this point." He complained while running a hand through his shaggy auburn hair and giving a glance to his band mates.

The blonde dreaded fellow in the back gave a sigh of annoyance as he walked away from his black Ludwig Breakbeats by Questlove drum set and off the stage "I'm going to get something to eat." He commented

"Be back in ten Travis!" Gobber called after him, before turning back to the auburn boy. "And Hiccup, you missed a step during that last verse, so we'll have to run it just once more to be safe."

There were two members, both with black hair watching the exchange. It was a typical thing, Hayden disagreeing with Gobber on something and Gobber retorting. They'd known each other Hayden's whole life so it was basically like watching a kid argue with his uncle.

The shorter of the two black hairs, a stocky teen sighed as well. "He missed a note, Eret missed a note. I was perfect, so can I leave?" He asks, getting a glare in response.

"No Scott, you can't." Was Gobber's response.

Scott gave an even louder sigh as he heard this and began to set down his black Ibanez SR300E Bass guitar. "I'm gonna go join Tuf- er, Travis in getting some lunch then." He said, quickly catching himself in his mistake before shuffling out of the room. The others lingered on his form for a moment before returning to the current situation.

Eret finally spoke up then, tugging slightly on the strap of his red and back Gibson SG Standard '61 Maestro Vibrola Guitar . "Ya know I think just one more run would do us some good." He commented, getting a look from Hayden followed by a sigh of frustration.

"Alright. Alright, but just one more." He said as he turned to face Gobber again. He seemed pleased by this and nodded.

"Hurry those lads along. Last run." The blonde mustached man confirmed as Hiccup replied with a nod. And moved to properly tune his blue and black 1955 Gibson Les Paul Junior guitar. This was gonna be an annoying session.

5:56 PM

They ran the song over six more times that afternoon. Hiccup was thankful to be free once again, and wasted no time in rushing into his home and up the stairs to shower. He lived in what he considered to be a modest home with his father, a five bedroom country style house in the upper areas of Berk, California.

His father was out at work again- being the CEO of Berk's leading welding company often required a good bit of attention. Hiccup didn't mind it all too much- though the constant workload on both parties did stress their relationship a bit. He knew his dad would be home soon, and that thought kept his mind clear as he shrugged off his oak green tee shirt onto his bed and prepared for his shower. Passing the 32' inch tv that rested on his wall opposite his bed, he ignored the news story that played on it.

"And in other news, the Berk-based Band known as Race to The Edge will be at Dragon's Edge Mall this weekend, performing a few Christmas singles and doing a fan meet-and-greet. Tickets for the event are on sale now."

Hiccup had caught onto the story for a moment, then gave a small smile as heard their band being advertised. He always had a passion for music, it had been that way since he was little. That passion, plus his godfather's status as a music producer, brought him a long way. He went from singing in school plays to performing in front of thousands of screaming fans, and he loved it dearly. Not the attention, as sometimes it got crazy, but just being able to share his voice.

And yet, he still felt something was missing. He pushed those thoughts aside before moving into his bathroom and running the water. Stepping into the shower, the water was at the perfect temperature. The feeling of the water against his skin helped him to ease out of his stress and thoughts.

"What songs should we cover for the cover album?" He wondered aloud as his speaker played "First Date" by Blink-182. His pencil tapped against the unmarked page of his songbook gently, the eraser resting against the side of his mouth as he thought on it.

They were considered a boy band to many, but in reality they never ever actually danced or did other boy bandish things. Majority of the time they played their own instruments and went with the flow of things. Gobber recently had them working with dance moves so as to allow other musicians a chance to gain recognition in some songs, something they'd agreed with.

They were an alternative rock/ pop punk technically speaking, doing many songs in that genre.

But looking back on it, Hiccup would much rather be up there strumming his guitar than prancing around on stage with a mic on his ear. He did enjoy it, don't get him wrong. Kept him somewhat active.

Hiccup, or Hayden to the world, was a simple young man. Or at least he considered himself to be. He wanted to do things in a consistent manner, but sometimes they were recent single, Like Nobody's Around is more pop centered and required them to dance along to the beat. But knowing Gobber, that would most likely be put on the back burner and never be used- washing out the boy band vibe rather quickly. Something that they were honestly thankful for. It didn't fit their vibe, nor their style.

He knew that they'd be performing with their instruments on a different genre tomorrow, and he was okay with that for the most part. He didn't like all the work they'd put into the day to be cast off and in vain, but he loved Gobber and owes the man a lot.

Gobber was a great manager, an amazing producer and a great friend, and he'd never turn his back on his direction. Even if he questioned it from time to time. For now, he supposed he'd just stand back and go with the flow of things.

"For the last time, no." The blonde haired girl said in annoyance as she cast an ice cold glare across the table at her younger sister, a brunette with hair that flowed down to her shoulders

"Astrid pleeeeease!" The thirteen year old begged as she clasped her hands together, her blue eyes even watering slightly. "You know I can't go because I'm sick. I begged mom and dad but they won't let me! But you can!" She said.

"Look, Freja, I have better things to do with my time than wait in a long line for some gimpy band to sign a CD and take a picture." Astrid responded dejectedly , turning back to the open book in front of her.

"Gimpy?!" Freja asked, an offended look upon her face.

Astrid shot her a condescending look. "They wear eyeliner DON'T they?"

Freja rolled her eyes at her then. "You just don't get them. And besides, what else could you have to do?"

"Plenty! Too much even!" Astrid replied, while trying to focus on her history report.

"Like what?!" Freja shot back.

"Like studying for the winter semester finals? Practicing for soccer? Christmas shopping?" Astrid responded, her little sister giving a long and dramatic sigh.

"Finals aren't for another two weeks! Christmas too! You're just making excuses!" She shouted before letting her head hit the table, laying her face there in frustration.

"Alright look...if I go, if I head there and do this stupid band signing thing, you'd better not ask me for anything again- AND you have to do my chores for a week." Astrid said, watching as Freja snapped up and smiled at her

"Deal!"

Astrid sighed before resting her face in an open palm. "Sometimes I really hate living in Berk."

Saturday 12:27 PM

The mall was flooded after the opening of the doors. Every corner was filled with people, and immediately the boys of Race to The Edge knew that this would be one long day. They took the stage immediately, Hiccup strumming his guitar first. They wore punk styled Christmas outfits, Hayden wearing a green tee shirt with Santa's face on it under a red leather jacket and red jeans, black combat boots.

Scott wore a black leather jacket, a green tee shirt and a pair of black jeans, an image of Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer upon his chest.

Eret wore a similar outfit, except his shirt was a red short sleeve with the Little Drummer Boy front and center, and a black leather vest.

Travis wore a simple green and red checkerboard Christmas sweater, with an image of Santa punching the Krampus sewn onto it and the words 'Yule Rue the Day' above the image.

Instead of his usual electric, which was resting on a stand nearby, Hayden held a Fender Redondo Player - Calironia Series Acoustic Guitar - With a Jetty Black finish. He began to strum a few open notes before sliding his fingers in between the second, fourth and fifth frets.

He leaned towards the microphone and spoke. "How ya doing Berk?! We're Race to The Edge and we're gonna sing a few Christmas songs to get you all into the holiday spirit! This first one is Last Christmas by Wham!"

"One, two, three." Travis called with a tapping of his red and green drumsticks, before playing the backbeat. Henry and Eret then began to strum some actual chords, the acoustic mixing perfectly with the subtle electric rhythm. Hayden's voice began to carry through the mic and across the crowded venue then.

"Last Christmas I gave you my heart

But the very next day you gave it away

This year, to save me from tears

I'll give it to someone special

Last Christmas I gave you my heart

But the very next day you gave it away

This year, to save me from tears

I'll give it to someone special"

As he performed, he looked over the crowd with a subtle smile- his eyes moving over each form they met. But then they stopped and locked into one unfamiliar face. She was a blonde, her hair cascading down her shoulders like a sunset over a beach- her ocean blue eyes helping to complete that image. She dressed so simply too, a red tee shirt and a pair of blue bell bottom jeans, along with a necklace around her neck with some sort of bronze head hanging from it. Hayden's mind had painted a crystal clear picture at that point- soon being drawn from his thoughts by the rest of the song.

"Once bitten and twice shy

I keep my distance, but you still catch my eye

Tell me baby, do you recognize me?

Well, it's been a year, it doesn't surprise me

"Merry Christmas" I wrapped it up and sent it

With a note saying "I love you", I meant it

Now I know what a fool I've been

But if you kissed me now, I know you'd fool me again

Last Christmas I gave you my heart

But the very next day you gave it away

This year, to save me from tears"

The blonde seemed unmoved by their show so far, a scowl subtly hinted at in her features. Hayden couldn't help but to feel flustered as he saw this, deciding to raise his pitch a bit for the next part in order to truly catch her eye- and her ear.

"I'll give it to someone special

Last Christmas I gave you my heart

But the very next day you gave it away

This year, to save me from tears

I'll give it to someone special

Oooohhhh

Oh oh baby

A crowded room, friends with tired eyes

I'm hiding from you and your soul of ice

My god, I thought you were someone to rely on

Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on

A face on a lover with a fire in his heart

A man under cover but you tore me apart

Oh oh now I've found a real love

You'll never fool me again

Last Christmas I gave you my heart

But the very next day you gave it away

This year, to save me from tears

I'll give it to someone special, special

Last Christmas I gave you my heart

But the very next day you gave it away

This year, to save me from tears

I'll give it to someone special

Special

A face on a lover with a fire in his heart (I gave you mine)

A man under cover but you tore him apart

Maybe next year I'll give it to someone

I'll give it to someone special

Special

So long…"

The song concluded, and the group was met with an uproar from everyone present- even the blonde seemed to smile a bit. Most likely from seeing how excited everyone had been than her own amusement. Hiccup would make sure to fix that with this next song.

"Alright, let's kick it up a notch huh?" He asks with a smile as he slides off his acoustic and picks up the electric resting nearby, sliding it over his shoulder, gently before strumming a few loose strings at finally playing an E before transitioning to a B and then a G#m.

"They told me I was lucky

To have my chance with you

Now last year's summer romance

Is this year's winter blues

I treated you so nicely

To jewelry and champagne

But you left me empty handed, yeah

You left me feeling played

And I hope you're happy with yourself

'Cause I'm not laughing

Don't ya think, it's kind of crappy

What you did this holiday?

When I gave you my heart

You ripped it apart

Like the wrapping paper trash

So I wrote you a song

Hope that you sing along

And it goes Merry Christmas

Kiss my ass"

He locked eyes with the blonde that time, and found a smirk upon her face. Oh yeah, it was definitely time to kick it up a bit more. Now he could tell she was actually enjoying their little showcase.

His band mates didn't question his sudden excitement, not that much. Eret found it a bit odd, but soon found himself joining in the excitement with each strum of his guitar.

"They say I'm losing my mind

I thought that for a while

I tear down decorations

They remind me if your smile

I hate that mistletoe

It makes me think of our first kiss

You bit my lip, and pulled me close

Then you taught me how to quit"

The blonde had begun to sway along with the rhythm, just as everyone else in the crowd had, making even Scott smile at their antics , and leading the boy to pull of a subtle riff on his bass,

"And I hope you're happy with yourself

'Cause I'm not laughing

Don't you think, it's kind of Crappy

What you did this holiday

When I gave you my heart

You ripped it apart

Like the wrapping paper trash

So I wrote you a song

Hope that you sing along

And it goes Merry Christmas

Kiss my ass"

At this point, people were slightly scared that Travis would tear through his drums with how much force and energy he'd been pounding away with. It was something of a spectacle- like a controlled frenzy before their eyes. They played even louder as the third verse came along.

"So sick if calling

You won't telephone me.

No, fuck you girl, I'm going out

I gave you my all

But our love hit a wall

Now, I'm jingle belling

And everyone's yelling

We'll drink 'til the bars shut us down

Ain't that just what Christmas is all about?

And I hope you're happy with yourself

'Cause I'm not laughing

Eret:(not laughing)

Don't you think it's so damn trashy

What you did this holiday?

Eret: (so trashy)

I gave you my heart

Eret:(heart)

You ripped it apart

Like wrapping paper trash

Eret: (wrapping paper trash)

So I write you a song

Hope that you sing along

Here it goes Merry Christmas

Eret: (bitch)

Kiss my ass"

The band needed that song there, Hiccup playing away a quick riff to properly round out the extreme Christmas song. The crowd's cheers following this were phenomenal, and raised the question of just how many people were present. They'd find out at the signing table, that much is for sure.

Three Hours Later

Three hours. She'd been there for THREE HOURS. Not even in the mall, which she'd been at for about five hours now. No no, she'd been in LINE for three hours. God, the things she did for her sister. The thought rolled around in her head, several times, to just turn and leave. But she'd already come this far, and Astrid Hofferson was anything but a quitter. Hoffersons never quit, and she refused to be the first.

At Least she was almost there now, just a few people ahead of her. Knowing that seemed to calm her down, cause she swore that if someone bumped into one more time before she reached this table, there would be Helheim to pay. She peered last a few shoulders and heads to see the group. They sat at a gray table, with shirts and various accessories lining the long table and giving them about two feet of space in between their chair from one another. The auburn haired one, what did Freja say his name was again? Henry? Hanson? No, wait! It was Hayden. Hayden was giving a smile to a young fan who'd just approached, wearing a black tee shirt that obviously featured their brand.

She couldn't help but to smile at the goofy grin he gave, moving on from him to glance over the other three members. Eret has shed his leather vest and allowed his large arms to move freely, giving a hug to a pair of brown haired twins who asked for a picture. He gave a smile- a genuine one at that, and gave both of them a tee shirt seemingly free of charge.

Scott watched him and scoffed slightly as he signed his name onto a young man's CD case and gave him a fist bump, while Travis gave an impromptu drumming lesson to a red headed teenage girl that approached him.

This is certainly an...interesting bunch. Astrid's eyes shuffled forward, her feet doing the same. She could literally hear their voices now, the sound of Hayden saying "Hey, how ya doing?" As the next person approached seemed to soothe her ears somehow. It was weird, but it was a good kind of weird.

Finally, that person moved aside- and time itself seemed to slow down as she looked into those forest green eyes. Hayden dropped his marker onto the table upon seeing her- she seemed to be quite the sight up close. This was her- the same blonde that had challenged him onstage with just her eyes and her lips. And now he was finally going to-

"Hi, I'm Scott." Scott said with a smile as he strode over and offered a hand to her, which she took a bit nervously and shook.

"Astrid." She replied, giving a smile out of courtesy.

"So..you're a fan?" Scott asks, hopefully. Hayden brought a palm to his face as his cousin spoke "Of course she's a fan Sc-"

"No, I'm just here for my sister." Astrid replied while withdrawing her hand and sliding a CD case onto the table in front of Hayden.

"Well that's...unexpected." Hayden said as he exchanged looks with Scott, both of them being a bit dumbfounded. "But uh...n-nothing wrong with that I suppose." He said, signing his signature onto the bottom left corner before sliding it over to Scott to sign.

Scott have a subtle wink , which made Astrid put on a fake smile and look the other way as he passed it along for Eret and Travis to sign. Finally, each member signed the cover and handed it back down- Hayden being the last one to hold it.

"So, Astrid. If you're not a fan- would you maybe considering becoming one?" He asked with a hopeful smile as she took the CD back and seemed to mull over the thought.

"Hmm...maybe. But you'd have to convince me." She says, knowing they didn't have enough time to do so with a whole line of people still behind her.

"Alright...how do I do that then?" Hayden asks, Astrid shrugging as she walks away.

"Wait! Can I atleast know something more about you?" He asks, trying not to sound desperate, but also desperately wishing to keep this Valkyrie-like young woman in his presence.

"Such as?" She asked, moving aside a strand of blonde hair to look back at him.

"Um...your sign? Age? Education? I- I don't know." He said then, Astrid giggling softly.

"I'm a Taurus, and I'm 17." She replied, Hayden's mouth dropping slightly as she walked away.

"Did she say-" Scott began, his eyes widening as he moved back to his seat.

Hayden was certain he'd just found the girl of his dreams- but she was 17 and he...he was 19.

He was flung out of his thoughts by the annoying vibration going off in his pocket, scooping up his phone and finding the caller to be none other than Heather Bezerk- famous pop singer and his girlfriend of two years…

This is gonna get really complicated.