AN: So, last chapter was a large one, not to mention a bit angsty, but this chapter will be much fluffier and upbeat. As I mentioned last chapter we'll be taking a bit of a break from drama and the main plot to give our main heroes time to bond with the crew…particularly the viking amongst them. We'll see another small time skip this chapter along with the return of a few of the previously mentioned crew members and see how the dynamic has changed as time has gone on. There will also be some bonding time for Hiccup and Elsa…and maybe even a discovery of a hidden talent. And there just might be some mention of dragon mating dances…because even I'm not sure that what Toothless is doing can count as such.
Side note, I thank the reviewer that suggested a name for the Imperium Battleship that Elsa owns. While I chose a different name, I took your idea of combining two languages and finally named the Imperium Battleship the Dreki-Rede (pronounced Dre-key-Red-a) meaning the Dragon's nest after the old Norse word for Dragon (Dreki) and the Norwegian word for Nest (Rede). So, onto the story…
Disclaimer: I don't own HTTYD or Frozen.
How To Befriend A Viking
If there was one thing that Hiccup had learned about the crew of the Imperium Battleship the Dreki-Rede over the past nearly three months he'd been onboard after his wedding, it was that they could be just as rowdy as any crew he had ever encountered. For that first two weeks, the crew had been straight backed and methodical in there work and interactions with the foreign viking in their midst. After the first month however, while they still were a lot more disciplined then most viking crews Hiccup had seen, a certain level of comfortable ease had settled over the crew telling Hiccup that they had finally gotten used to his presence, or at least had lost interest in it, and had gone back to business as usual.
Then about a month and a half ago, something shifted in the crews attitude as one random evening Chief Engineer Gunner Larsen had arrived at the royal couples chambers asking if Hiccup had wanted to join him and a few men from engineering for a drink. While a little tense at first, the hours had quickly slipped by as the men had been fascinated by the concepts of some of Hiccup's early inventions and had been eager to trade notes on some of their own ideas. After that it became something of a ritual to once a week meet up for drinks, but soon other members of the crew were joining in or sitting with Hiccup in the mess hall for meals and before long it was like Hiccup was just another face in a group of off duty sailors.
In fact as Elsa and Captain Mattias stood in the entrance to the mess hall, Elsa could only chuckle as she watched as a small group of clearly half drunk crew members attempted to learn a viking folk dance from Hiccup. From his seat on the actual table top of one of the large bench style table at the far end of the hall Hiccup tried to correct the random flailing of said men, all while Gunner and a few other men laughed unabashedly at the spectacle, but the clear fun of all present was obvious.
"Seems like Prince Haddock's fitting in well enough," Captain Mattias muttered gruffly, though Elsa could see the barest twinkle in the old officer's eyes indicating that he might finally be warming up to the viking prince himself. "Perhaps we should give them a moment to collect themselves before we interrupt my lady. We still have to await Chief Officer Hansen's arrival as well…and I'm sure she'd relish the opportunity to mess with Chief Engineer Larsen."
The words had been as crisp and proper as ever, but for Elsa they bespoke of the Captain's genuine care and understanding for his crew. Despite his military precision and discipline, Captain Mattias was never one to begrudge his crew their fun as long as it didn't interfere with their duties or besmirch the reputation of the royal family. The whole crew was like a family of sorts, and Elsa couldn't be happier with not only the way Hiccup was finding a place amongst it, but also the way her life as a whole had seemed to brighten since Hiccup's arrival.
Elsa had never truly noticed the cold shell she had been living in for years the way Anna had noticed it, though in retrospect it made sense that it was more noticeable from the outside looking in. Elsa had simply accepted her fate and had always kept her distance…even from the rest of the crew despite having known most of them all her life, as almost every officer had been hand picked to serve as Elsa's honor guard during this voyage. Looking back on the woman she had been, and even on the host of worries that Elsa had harbored about the marriage itself, Elsa couldn't help feeling a bit foolish as she regarded the strange viking that had changed her so much in such a short time.
Far from being a sentence to endure, Elsa's marriage to Hiccup turned out to be her salvation in a way. Hiccup had proven to be an excellent partner when dealing with overly self-indulgent politicians and well as a lifeline in dealing with the many reports and duties involved in keeping the ship and the peace tour running. Above all though, Hiccup had been a source of warmth and strength to Elsa personally, a true friend in every way.
Though still hesitant to say anything about the true extent of her powers, Elsa found that after their first major misunderstanding nearly two months ago in the Southern Isles, their relationship had only grown closer…more comfortable. Since then, Hiccup and Elsa have had the occasional spat, but each time they had been able to work past it and in the interim had been able to build up their friendship. It was not uncommon to find Hiccup and Elsa sitting side by side on the fur rug of the main room of their chambers, backs against their respective dragons facing away from the fireplace and Elsa's feet gently tucked under Hiccup's right leg for warmth, as the pair silently read a book or just talked at length about upcoming events or past experiences.
Elsa honestly, couldn't imagine what her life would be like now if the war had continued and she hadn't been forced to marry Hiccup, but she knew that it was not a pleasant picture for anyone involved. For a moment, Elsa could hear the dark whispers in the back of her skull, reminding her that she still could and would lose it all the moment Hiccup learned the truth of how destructive her powers truly were. However, Elsa quickly shook off the dark thoughts in favor of enjoying the moment and trusting in the fact that she hadn't suffered an 'episode' like that in over three years, not even when she had been told of her arranged marriage…though admittedly she had come close.
Perhaps I have nothing to worry about, Elsa reassured herself internally as she continued to examine Hiccup's interactions with the crew and felt an all too familiar warmth settling in her chest and in her cheeks. The war is over, I'm a grown woman now, and Hiccup has been nothing but a huge support to me this entire time. Maybe the worst is finally behind me and I'll be able to properly control myself from now on. I've lasted this long, so maybe Hiccup will never find out and I'll never have to worry about losing him.
"My lady, I apologize for the delay," the voice of Leah Hansen suddenly cut through Elsa's mental musings as she turned to regard the Chief Officer as she entered the mess hall, her uneven breathing the only indication that she had rushed to get there as her long black hair and Imperium uniform was impeccable as always. "A few of the deck hands had wanted to confirm the swapping of shifts for next weeks shore leave. I hope I didn't keep you waiting long."
"Not at all," Elsa replied with a chuckle, dark thoughts successfully banished for the time being, as she angled a hand towards the gathered men around Hiccup. "We only just got her a few moments ago ourselves. In fact, we were actually thinking that you should have the honor of retrieving Officer Larsen. He's over there with Hiccup and few of the men."
"Of course, my lady," Leah returned with a crisp salute, but the savage smile she held showed just how eager she was to ruin the fun of the annoying twenty-six year old male officer. "I will be back with him post haste. It will also give me a chance to thank Prince Hiccup for his suggestions at our last sparring session. The moves my lord showed me proved quite useful against those thugs I ran afoul of last night as I was returning to the ship. The ruffians were nothing worth mentioning, but an elongated fight would've soured the mood of what was quite the relaxing evening."
Elsa could only chuckle as she knew that Leah's definition of a 'relaxing' evening referred to any evening that didn't involve a brawl of more than three people at once. However, what really caused Elsa's smile to widen was Leah's words, though the entertaining banter Elsa knew would be coming between Gunner and her was an added bonus. Leah's words showed the amazing growth the young thirty-two year old woman had made concerning her opinions of Hiccup and vikings in general. As Elsa watched the beginnings of one of Leah and Gunner's normal shamelessly antagonistic flirting sessions, she couldn't help but think back to how Leah's improvements had come about.
It had been a little over two weeks since the gala where Hiccup and Elsa had made up, and the crew had been traveling for the better part of the past two days straight, for the most part through an unexpectedly harsh and large storm system, before coming across a small uninhabited island. With the picturesque little island being small enough to nearly walk the length of within an hour, Hiccup and Elsa though it would be a nice spot to let the crew rest for the day in peace after that whole ordeal. So, Captain Mattias had immediately setup a guard rotation as a safety protocol, the first shift of which he had assigned to himself to allow all his men and women to get a breather, but otherwise had left the majority to simply relax shore side.
Most had simply changed into swimming attire before collapsing in the sand alongside the resident snowman who had already laid out his towel and was sipping at some type of fruity drink under the burning rays of the sun, with a few others taking to wading out into the gentle waves for some light swimming. Elsa and Hiccup decided to do a little exploring of the island with Toothless and Breen, so without any real worry they had set out to give the island a more through look than the once over they had done from the air. For that first two hours or so everyone was simply content to relax and do their own thing, but as was often the case with soldiers, they quickly grew board with the down time.
Predictably, a number of the crew cleared a small area on the more solid ground just off the beach and formed a battle circle for some light sparring…and invariably placing bets on said sparring. At first, Leah hadn't paid the sparring much mind, content to rest under the sun's rays and let her tanned skin soak in the warmth after all the rain, that is until Gunner had taken to the ring and won three consecutive bouts. Unable to pass up the opportunity to flirt…or rather spar with Gunner, Leah had taken to the challenge and subsequently laid the slightly taller young man flat without breaking a sweat, much to the pleasure of the female members of the crew, especially Mia Olsen whom idolized the Chief Officer.
Twenty minutes and nine bouts later and the bets were turning from who would win to how long Leah would keep her streak alive for. Deciding she had enough for the time being, a preening Leah had strutted to her spot on the beach and savored her streak along with the drink that Mia had brought her with more then a little awe written across her young face. The matches continued, but even though Leah was facing in the other direction, she knew that no one would be breaking her winning streak record today.
A half an hour later Hiccup and Elsa returned, and though Elsa moved to do some light reading in the shade, Hiccup invariably found his way to the gathered crowd of men and a few scattered women. Though it took some major coaxing, a groaning Hiccup found himself in the circle about to face off with a member of the crew in a spar. Fifteen minutes later Hiccup had successfully matched Leah's nine streak record, but as he turned to leave a smirking Gunner with a mischievous look in his eyes placed a hand on his chest and, taking the wooden sword from Hiccup, simply said, "Just one more Hiccup. Go rest up, because this one is for the championship."
With a sigh, Hiccup resigned himself to his fate and simply sat beneath the shade of a nearby tree to rest himself for the next bout as he tossed his shirt to the side, sweating under the combination of the physical exercise and the intense heat of the day. Less then ten minutes later, Gunner returned with two wooden practice swords and a confident Leah at his side, a curious Elsa trailing behind them. Standing and moving to retrieve his shirt, Hiccup was interrupted as Gunner tossed him one of the two practice swords, before pushing the protesting viking into place.
With all eyes on him, Hiccup noticed how the faces of the gathered women seemed to be redder then the gathered men, though why the heat of the sun was affecting the women more was unclear to Hiccup. Simply assuming that it must be an Imperium trait, Hiccup suddenly paused as he noticed that Elsa's face looked to be the most red of anybody's as she starred at him. So, despite the protests, Hiccup moved immediately to lead her over into the shade he had just vacated and out of the sun, not noticing how her face had actually gotten redder as he had gently placed his hand on the small of her back to lead her.
Moving back to his spot, Hiccup noticed the smirks of the gathered men, but could also see the approval in the crews eyes and knew that he had gained some points in each of their books for looking out for their princess. Hiccup had no clue what the men could be smirking about, but shaking off his confusion, determined to end this quickly so he could make sure that Elsa didn't overdo it, Hiccup took a ready position across from Leah and awaited the start of the match. Leah, for her part, could barely hold back a chuckle at the actions of the oblivious viking before her as she discreetly gazed at the still blushing princess, but she was still grateful for Hiccup's efforts to care for princess Elsa.
"I'm impressed that you were able to match my record Prince Hiccup," Leah began with a respectful nod, before smirking widely as she herself entered a ready position, hazel eyes shining in anticipation of victory. "I'm also grateful that you are so intent of looking after my lady's health. However, your winning streak ends here as despite your position I will not be holding back. As a viking I'm sure you have a lot of warriors ability when it comes to power moves, but my technique isn't one that is easily overcome and that is why I am the best fighter her, save for Captain Mattias and of course Princess Elsa herself."
Hiccup could only smile at Leah's words, already knowing how this bout would turn out, but rather then respond verbally, Hiccup merely gestured for her to come to him as Gunner signaled the start of the match. Not wasting any time, Leah charged forward with precise movements, intent on eliminating any chance of Hiccup being able to use the power swings that seemed to make up all viking fighting styles, only to discover that this was exactly what Hiccup wanted. With a speed that Leah could just barely follow, Hiccup's right hand shot out his sword for a quick jab right at where Leah was going to be, causing Leah to quickly correct her movements, while keeping her in an unbalanced position.
Not giving her a chance to recover, Hiccup stepped forward with an extremely precise series of feints and stabs that had Leah backpedaling just to keep her footing. Once he had pushed her back almost to the edge of the circle, Hiccup did a quick slice to Leah's left forcing her to dodge right, and that's when Hiccup made his move. As he had sliced, knowing Leah would dodge, Hiccup had dropped his sword only to catch it with his left hand and immediately swing at the base of Leah's blade with an even grater speed then Hiccup had been using up to this point. With a precise movement Hiccup flipped Leah's blade right out of her hand and touched the wooden blade to her neck, making her fall backwards and onto her butt.
Belatedly, both Leah and the gathered crowd realized that Hiccup had not only won the match against Leah, in under thirty-seconds no less, but that Hiccup was apparently left handed and that he had won all of his previous bouts using his off hand. From her spot over by the tree, unnoticed by all others in attendance, Elsa could only stare in awe at the spectacle her husband had just put on, her tongue darting out to lick her suddenly dry lips and the heat returned to her face once more, though Elsa knew it had nothing to do with the heat of the sun's rays. Suddenly, a cheer went out, followed by the rest of the gathered men and women, save for Mia who could only glare at the ground as she couldn't bring herself to stare directly at the shirtless viking without going completely red and a little lightheaded.
Leah for her part could only stare wide eyed at the viking before her, unable to believe how quickly and soundly she had been beaten. The level of skill and control needed for the movements Hiccup had just displayed was staggering, as it was a technique that Leah had been working tirelessly at for weeks and still had yet to truly be able to utilize even semi-effectively. Up till this point Leah had always just assumed that vikings focused on little more than overpowering their opponents with simple brute force, but it was clear that Hiccup had learned quite well from someone.
"H-how did you do that?" Leah question in a state of shock, desperately needing to know if Hiccup was simply a special case, or if she had been wrong in her assumptions about vikings in general. "I…I had always thought that-"
"That vikings were all about power and nothing else?" Hiccup finished Leah's statement for her, shocking her and causing the gathered men to pause in worry, but based on the easy going smile on his face each man breathed a sigh of relief as Hiccup continued good-naturedly. "I won't lie and say that there aren't some who do, because many vikings do in fact focus on power above all else, but even then it's usually after they've mastered a specific kind of fighting, usually with their preferred weapon of choice. Plus each tribe usually has a particular style that they are known for that they try to instill in their warriors in addition to whatever personal style the individual might choose. For instance, the Meathead tribe is known for their expertise with broadswords and…carving knives, while the Bog-Burglars are usually masters of swordplay and daggers. Many vikings like myself actually travel between the tribes and learn a large varieties of styles, which they then mix and match aspects of until they find the perfect style for them. Typically it's larger vikings that focus solely on power moves and shields as their larger size doesn't exactly give them much room to maneuver, so they make up for it with raw overwhelming strength."
The explanation was so simple, and yet Leah felt like absolute dirt for not having seen the obvious in front of her face. Far from being mindless brutes vikings were simply people and warriors like herself, striving to better themselves in their individual crafts. In retrospect it shouldn't have been so surprising, but Leah was actually ashamed to admit that it had come as a total shock to learn this.
How biased have I allowed myself to become, Leah couldn't help but wonder to herself as she struggled to pick herself up off the ground in her depressed state, only to find Hiccup's hand extended out towards her in a silent gesture of goodwill.
Shaking herself out of her stupor, Leah accepted the offered hand and allowed the smiling viking to raise her off the ground as he complimented her display of footwork from before. As the gathered crew seemed to ask question after question of the victorious viking, Leah could come to only one conclusion as she thought, It doesn't matter how I got to this point…only that I fix it, and I'll start by swallowing my pride and asking for help.
"My lord," Leah began softly, somehow catching the attention of all those in attendance despite…or maybe because of how meekly the words had been said by the typically boisterous and confident young woman. "I-I apologize for my assumptions, as well as underestimating you. So…if it's not too much trouble, would my lord be willing to show me the correct way to perform that technique? I've been trying to work on it for weeks, but I haven't been able to figure it out, and…"
Just about everyone could only stare in shock as the most prideful and skilled fighter on the crew, asked for help like a novice. Even Elsa, though undeniably proud of the Chief Officer, had been surprised to see the usually headstrong woman push past her pride and bias, in favor of improving herself. A smiling Hiccup was the only one that seemed unfazed by the display, having already recognized Leah's skill and knowing that this was the hurdle that she had needed to overcome to continue to improve her abilities.
"No apologies necessary Officer Hansen," Hiccup returned easily with a gentle smile reassuring the nervous officer before him. "An old friend of mine used to tell me that it's not so much what we look like, but what's inside that defines us. Of course, the context of that conversation was more about why certain people couldn't stand me, but I digress. In any case, it's a warrior's ability to move past bias and assumptions and focus solely on ability and skill that allows a warriors to grow past where they come from, and into who they want to become. I'd be happy to help you with your technique."
Leah could only offer a genuine smile and a respectful bow as she absorbed Hiccup's words, determined that she would do her best to live up to them. From there the rest of the day had gone by mostly normal, with a number of crew members trying to learn the techniques that Hiccup showed them. Before long the sun had finally set and it had been time to depart, and so the day had ended with a grateful Leah thanking Hiccup.
As happy as he had been about the surprising circumstances, Hiccup had figured that things would continue on as normal after that. However, a few days later, while on deck observing some basic drills being run by the crew for training and exercise, Hiccup had been approached again by Leah and asked if the sparring practice could continue, a sentiment echoed by a few different members of the crew. So it had become a typical sight to see Hiccup joining in on the occasional training session, both on and off the ship, and over time it had become clear how much respect Leah had developed for the lone viking aboard the Dreki-Rede. Slowly, as the days continued on, Hiccup was starting to endear himself to the crew the way they were to Elsa…one member at a time.
"I think you just can't get enough of me and that's why you always insist on messing with my fun," the smug voice of Gunner Larsen suddenly broke through Elsa's mental reverie, with a loud painful cry from the same man soon following it.
Captain Mattias could only shake his head in exasperation, though Elsa could see the slight crinkle around his eyes that spoke of his mirth over the scene. Elsa could barely contain her own giggles as a blushing Leah lead a grumbling Gunner towards the pair as he nursed the small bruise on the back of his skull. It was always a bit of a spectacle to see the normally prideful Leah and logical Gunner act so differently when they were around each other. Despite how antagonistic the two could be, Leah and Gunner were an absolute perfect pair when working on a project, with Leah's focus and aptitude and Gunner's meticulous nature and innovative spirit.
Elsa could also clearly see the care that the pair had for one another beneath the surface…in fact most of the crew saw it as well. The crew may or may not even have a betting pool going on involving when the two would finally admit their obvious feelings for one another, not that they would ever let the subjects of said bet know about that fact for fear of bodily harm. Even Elsa, though she herself had nothing to do with the bet, still found it entertaining to watch Leah and Gunner interact and Elsa cared enough about her makeshift family to want them to find happiness, so silently she wished the two the best.
"I apologize my lady, Gun-, I mean Officer Hansen here was being difficult as usual," Leah muttered as she tried to will her blushing face to cool, with limited success. "I do hope his bad habits haven't been rubbing off on Prince Hiccup. I'd be more then happy to personally oversee Officer Hansen's punishment if he has caused you any undo stress or anxiety."
"Well, I apologize on behalf of my colleague here your highness," Gunner returned sharply, a grimace just barely masking the obvious enjoyment that Elsa could see in his eyes over the verbal sparring that he was having with Leah. "How you put up with her naturally abrasive and judgmental mentality simply proves to me how your patience and wisdom know no bounds. I also applaud you Captain for keeping your sanity and actually being able to reign in her overbearing tendencies."
"Give it a rest you two," Captain Mattias commanded with a bark, but with a gleam in his eyes and without any real venom as Elsa smothered her giggles behind her hand. "As of right now no one is getting punished or needs to apologize, but if you two don't straighten up fast I promise you that will change in the very near future! Now, this should be a rather short meeting so if we can stop wasting our lady's precious time, as well as what little of my sanity remains, then you two can be on your way and shouting at each other once again to your hearts content within the hour. Incidentally your highness, I forgot to ask, will Prince Haddock be joining us for this one as well?"
"No Captain, I spoke to him about the issue early one on one," Elsa replied simply with a smile as her eyes automatically drifted towards the table Hiccup had been seated at. "He already shared with me his thoughts on the matter and since the issue is so minor I see no reason to…"
Elsa suddenly trailed off, much to the confusion of the gathered officers, as her eyes darted back and forth across the mess hall, each glance growing a bit more confused. Curious, the other three members of the small group looked around the room for what had captured the princess' attention so completely, but nothing struck them as out of the ordinary. Elsa stepped forward a bit and made a more obvious display of looking around the room, making it clear that she was actually looking for something, rather then at something, but before they could ask her about what was wrong Elsa spoke up.
"Did anyone see where Hiccup went? I don't see him anywhere around here and he was here just a second ago. He usually says something before just taking off and he knows better than to worry me like that. Not to mention he didn't even stop to say goodb-…"
Elsa suddenly trailed off again, but this time it was out of embarrassment as she realized the implications of her word choice just know. Trying to think of a way to back pedal without making it worse, a red faced Elsa missed the knowing smirks on both Leah and Gunner's faces, but a quick glare from Captain Mattias quickly reminded the two that they should remember to mind their place and show more respect towards their princess. That being said, Captain Mattias also made a mental note of Elsa's little slip and resolved to keep it in mind for future reference.
"Oh, I apologize my lady," Leah suddenly piped up as she pulled a small slip of paper from her pocket. "While I was over with the men, Prince Hiccup asked me if any of the crew members were heading ashore for supplies since apparently he needed some more ink and a few others miscellaneous items. I informed him that I was sending Petty Officer Olsen ashore for some items and so he said that he would accompany her. He left just a few moments before I returned here with Officer Hansen, but he told me to give this to you whenever it was convenient as he didn't want to interrupt the meeting."
Elsa's eyes widen a bit at the mention of Hiccup accompanying Petty Officer Mia Olsen on a supply run. Ever since that first meeting, Hiccup had been making attempt after failed attempt to convince the young girl that he wasn't a bad guy. Elsa had thought about explaining the situation to Hiccup, but after the very loud denial Mia had given of her feelings after one of the deckhands had teased her about it, along with Hiccup's habit of poor word choice, Elsa had decided a more delicate approach was needed.
A slightly uncomfortable Captain Mattias had offered to handle the situation, or preferably force Chief Officer Hansen do it, but Elsa had already resolved that she would be the listening ear once Mia was ready to talk. Elsa had also made it clear that this was to be handled delicately and that Mia should be allowed to resolve things at her own pace. As the one to admit such a young woman aboard, Elsa felt a measure of responsibility to help the young teen with this normal coming of age moment…the same way she had helped Anna a few years back.
Mia for her part was adamant that she had no such feelings of attraction for the resident viking, and that was not even considering, as Mia put it, that Hiccup was her lady's husband. Of course, everyone on the crew knew that this was a lie as her little crush on Hiccup was obvious, except to Hiccup himself. However, the crew also thought the whole situation was cute and, per Elsa's clear orders, agreed that it would be best to allow the young woman time to work out her own emotions at her own pace and without giving her a hard time about it…the fact it was a good source of entertainment on the long and often dull sea voyages didn't hurt either.
The whirlwind of emotions and reactions never ceased to strike humor into the crews day, as at a moments notice Mia would go from focused and collected, to ditzy and uncoordinated, to angry and flustered, and back again. Despite no longer running away from Hiccup, Mia had grown rather bitter towards his presence, often speaking with clear irritation, though she remained respectful enough that Captain Mattias saw no reason to intervene, as per Elsa's orders. So, with a sigh, Elsa could only shake her head in exasperation and resolved to go out after the meeting to find the pair before poor Mia suffered an emotionally fueled mental breakdown from Hiccup's well meaning intentions and adorkably charming demeanor.
As the quartet made their way down the hall, Elsa finally allowed her mind to turn its attention back to the note in her hand and gently unfolded the paper, before reading the nine simple words over twice, her heart hammering in her chest as her cheeks turned rosy. The note was nothing special, but the effect Hiccup could have without even trying was exactly why Elsa needed to help Mia out before she was overwhelmed. Still, as Elsa cleared her throat and continued leading the small group towards the meeting room, she couldn't help but smile contentedly as she fingered the note gently and mentally recited the simple words.
Don't work too hard Els, See you later - Hiccup, Elsa mussed to herself with a silent chuckle and a twinkle in her eye as her spirits lifted. That adorkable viking always knows just what to say to a girl…no wonder Mia is so starstruck…and I suppose why I sometimes am too.
Petty Officer Mia Olsen was not in the best of moods and the reason for said foul mood was the insufferably charming viking that was casually strolling beside her chivalrously carrying the few bags of basic supplies that she should've been carrying, as per her assignment. Despite the kind gesture, Mia just couldn't help but grumble internally at the interruption to her perfect and precise little world. It was a simple assignment, but ever since meeting the viking prince Mia had found that her life had become anything but simple.
Routine inspections and the cataloging of inventory now took her longer as she often had to fight against her own traitorous mind for fear of it drifting to deep green eyes and a certain crooked smile, an image that was most frightful. The delivering of reports was now nerve racking as invariably Mia would find herself tense at he thought of accidentally running into Hiccup; the rush of heat, no doubt from anger, when she saw him, and oddly enough even if she didn't see him there would be a hollowness in her chest, no doubt from the increased stress and anxiety. Even simple trips to the market for supplies were now a hassle as the wicked viking's presence in her head had Mia sometimes wasting valuable time looking at frivolous things like perfumes or clothing or sweets, though most certainly not because she valued his opinions on such things.
"Hey Mia," Hiccup called out as he moved towards a nearby booth selling large sweet buns with a cream filling, trying once again to bridge the seemingly insurmountable gap with the young petty officer. "Since we have everything on the list, why don't we stop for a snack? My treat."
Oh you think you're so clever, a lightly blushing Mia grumbled internally as she dutifully followed behind Hiccup as he began talking to the stall owner, mentally forcing her arm to remain at her side and not play with her hair as had become something of an annoying habit lately. You have everyone fooled into thinking you're such a nice guy, but I know deep down you're a conniving manipulative womanizing viking brute. Well, I won't let you get the best of me, and I certainly won't let you get away with trying to harm my lady. One way or another, I'll find proof of what you really are Haddock, even if I have to spend every waking moment with you…I mean, even if it takes me a while. You hear me, I know that you're up to no good as no man could be as sweet and charming as…I mean as seemingly perfect as…I mean…oh whatever. I'm onto you Haddock!
"Here you go Mia," Hiccup interrupted her mental rant with as large a smile as he could muster in an attempt to prove himself to the young girl. "One cream filled sweet bun, freshly baked."
"Oh, I love these," Mia suddenly gushed with wide sparkling eyes, completely forgetting herself and her previous thoughts as she took the offered treat with a wide smile. "These are my absolute favorite! My grandma used to make them for me all the time when I was little. I haven't had them in months, not since I joined the crew. My mom knows how to make them and though she's part of the royal guard back in Arendelle, she promised to teach me how to make them the next time I was home. Ha, wow I missed these!"
"Well, how about that," Hiccup said with a genuine smile as he paid for the treat and took his own from the woman behind the counter. "These were always my favorite too. I never really knew my mother, but both my dad and Gobber used to tell me that this was the one thing my mom knew how to cook. They always used to say that her fish was simultaneously burnt and raw, her bread was like stone, and her meatballs were better weapons of mass destruction than anything mankind has made, but her sweet buns were perfection. Her's were never filled with cream, because apparently the council actually forbid her from ever being allowed to make cream again after the incident at the gathering of chieftains before I was born, but I prefer the cream filled ones and it lets me feel closer to her, you know what I mean?"
"Wow…" Mia muttered in awe with a smile, before realizing what she was doing and, face burning in embarrassment, took a large bite of her sweet bun, chewing slowly as she attempted to school her expression into a disinterested one before replying. "I-I mean, t-that's interesting I s-suppose. H-Having a connection t-to ones family is i-important. A-Anyway, thank you Prince Haddock…for the b-bun."
"Your welcome Mia," Hiccup returned amiably, happy to be finally making some progress, before noticing that in her haste Mia had started walking right towards an exposed tree root to the left of the path. "Uh, Mia you might want to watch where you're going, you're heading right for that-."
Not paying any attention to her surroundings, Mia kept moving even as she turned towards Hiccup in curiosity over what he had been calling out about. As she turned, her foot caught on the tree root, causing her to spin slightly on her ankle and begin to fall backwards towards the ground. With no time to react, Mia simply shut her eyes as she awaited the pain that was to come, when suddenly Hiccup dropped the bags and, using his flames for extra propulsion, launched himself forward in a quick dive. Twisting at the last moment, Hiccup angled himself in-between Mia and the ground with his arms opened wide, pulling Mia's back firmly against his chest as he let out a grunt of pain as he slide across the dirt back first, a little battered but otherwise unharmed.
At first all Mia could process was that the ground beneath her was a lot softer and warmer than she initially thought, but an instant later as she opened her eyes to stare at the blue sky above her, she began to feel the ground beneath her shift in an odd way as she felt a pair of arms adjust their grip around her torso. For a moment Mia simply laid there frozen in shock, before moving her hands over the arms that she had just realized were there, confirming that it wasn't her mind playing tricks on her, but that it was actually a body that lay beneath her. As she lay on Hiccup's chest, Mia's face suddenly matched her hair color perfectly as she nearly began to overheat from embarrassment and some other emotion that she couldn't really understand, placing a hand to her racing heart as she contemplated the light fluttery feeling in her chest and stomach.
With a groan, Hiccup began to crane his neck to call out to the young officer that still lay unmoving on his chest, until Mia suddenly burst into movement. Unable to contain her embarrassment or process her emotions, Mia quickly let out a startled squeak as she pushed herself off Hiccup, eliciting a pained grunt from the downed viking, and shuffled away from him towards the bags. With Mia's weight now off his chest, Hiccup slowly began to rise into a sitting position, only to realize how red faced Mia appeared as her bangs hung low, covering the blushing girl's eyes from view.
As Hiccup finally got to his feet and took a step towards Mia, ready to ask if she was alright, he stopped as she started to noticeably tremble. Unable to contain herself any longer, Mia glared sharply at the ground as she approached Hiccup, lifted the bags off the ground, and gave him a deep bow in gratitude before grumbling out an unintelligible thank you. With her gratitude expressed as best as she could given the circumstances, Mia quickly turned on her heels, hissing slightly in pain as her ankle protested the sudden movement, before staggering away from Hiccup in a random direction with her head still bowed and shoulders tense. Said direction ended up being towards the forest in the opposite direction of the ship, but Mia was far too distracted to notice that, her focus solely on getting away from Hiccup and not collapsing under the strain of her weight on her right ankle.
Great, Hiccup groaned internally as he immediately started to try and follow the clearly distraught young woman towards the forest. I was finally making some progress and then I had to go and mess it up. She's clearly frazzled and her face was so red that I can't even imagine how nervous and uncomfortable I just made her feel. No doubt she's still nervous about dealing with male vikings and then I go and invade her personal space…even if it was just to save her. I'm such an idiot!
I'm such an idiot, Mia berated herself as she rushed through the forest as fast as her throbbing ankle would let her, tears threatening to spill down her face, though from shame or anger Mia wasn't sure. Why did I react that way? Why did I feel so overwhelmed? Why did I run?
Hobbling along as best she could, Mia found the answers just refused to come to her, which only added to the feelings of shame and worthlessness that were threatening to overwhelm her at the moment. Deep down, Mia knew that the answers to her questions were actually quite simple, but despite being rather intelligent for her age, Mia's inexperience in matters of the heart refused to allow her to puzzle it out just yet. So…Mia ran, as she had been doing for nearly the past ten minutes, and would've continued if her ankle didn't choose just then to finally give out on her.
With a startled cry, Mia dropped the bags as her whole body lurched forward, her right ankle refusing to support her weight and keep up the rigorous pace anymore. Reflexes, honed over years of practice, allowed the young petty officer to blast a soft layer of snow beneath her hands right before she hit the ground, but her knees still took the brunt of the fall and a sudden white hot pain ripped through her right ankle, making her see spots for a moment. With an intense effort, Mia grit her teeth and forced herself not to cry out in agony, but after a moment the pain slowly subsided and her vision cleared, though a few stray tears finally managed to escape as Mia crawled her way to the nearest tree of the small clearing she'd just stumbled upon.
Plopping herself down at the base of the tree, Mia gave out a silent whimper as she rested her back against the rough bark and gently stretched out her aching leg, wanting to examine the injury and distract her mind from the mess of emotions that was hanging over her head. Before she could so much as remove her boot however, Mia heard the unmistakable sounds of something approaching through the brush at a rapid pace. For an instant Mia worried that in her haste she had stumbled too close to the nest of some predator or wild dragon that was now coming to defend their turf, but when Hiccup stumbled into the small clearing instead, Mia wasn't sure if she'd rather have taken her chances with a wild dragon.
The minute Hiccup's eyes landed on Mia, she could see the relief clearly, but they immediately hardened as they took in her state. With her head bowed, Mia clenched her eyes shut tight as she awaited the coming onslaught of rebukes and reprimands that she knew she deserved after the stunt she had just pulled. However, silence was all that greeted her, so growing curious Mia opened one eye and was surprised to find that Hiccup had already retrieved the bags of supplies and was setting them down by her side.
With his eyes narrowed in concentration, Hiccup set to work gently removing Mia's right boot and lightly running his fingers over her swollen ankle. Hiccup's eyes darted to Mia's face and watched her reaction for any signs of pain as he gently pressed and squeezed in a number of spots before slowly rotating her ankle checking over the injury. Though the pain was clearly uncomfortable for Mia, Hiccup looked satisfied that it was merely a sprain and not a break, so he reached into one of the bags and set to work using the supplies on hand to clean and bandage Mia's ankle.
The entire time a blushing Mia simply awaited for Hiccup to begin his lecture over how foolish she had just acted, but as he worked nothing ever came. Despite the pain, Mia felt a pleasurable tingle where Hiccup's calloused fingers gently brushed the sensitive skin of her ankle…it gave her the feeling of being cared for, like her mother used to do when she fell. As Hiccup finished wrapping her ankle, Mia watched as he silently stowed the remaining supplies back in the bag, before his eyes locked with her's once again, seemingly searching for the answer to a question he hadn't voiced. With a slight grunt, Hiccup stood, only to move to a spot right next to Mia and sit himself there with his back against the same tree.
"I know what you're going to say," Mia's distressed voice suddenly cut through the silence of the moment with her bright green eyes downcast, the suddenness of the words surprising even her, though Hiccup didn't even twitch as his eyes remained fixated on a spot in the distance. "How could I have been so stupid…so careless? How I should've been watching where I was going, but even more then that, I shouldn't have run off like that. What was I thinking? Or, how could I be so rude as to not thank you properly or check on your own wellbeing after what you did to try and save me? And that's not even touching on what must have been going through my head to make me run away on a bad ankle into the forest. So, go ahead…tell me how juvenile I've been. Lecture me, reprimand me, or something! I deserve it…I…"
"I'm glad you're ok," Hiccup's voice was soft, yet held such power and sincerity as he spoke that Mia's breath caught in her throat as her glistening eyes widened and her face flushed. "Mia, I'm not going to sit here and lecture you about how you acted…you're already fully aware of it, so no need for me to reiterate it to you. Besides, telling you that you did something stupid would make me a hypocrite…as I usually pull some kind of crazy stunt almost every other week. No, the fact is, though I don't know exactly what you're going through, I do know what it feels like to be overwhelmed, to just need to…run. However, I will say that whatever it is you're facing…running only helps but for so long and anyway you have people that care about you, that can help you. I know for a fact that both Elsa and Leah would be there to listen if you wanted…and though I know I'm not your favorite person, I'll be there for you as well, to help you in whatever way I can. Look Mia, I know that…"
Hiccup abruptly trailed off as he eyes caught the sunlight glinting off something shinny stuck to the tree across the clearing. Ignoring the confused look on Mia's face, Hiccup quickly stood and held up a hand in a silencing motion just as she was about to speak up, carefully edging towards the curious object. Not even halfway across the clearing, Hiccup froze in sudden trepidation as his brain finally processed the situation that the two of them were in.
"Mia can you stand?" Hiccup's voice was barely a whisper as he turned only slightly to look at her, his eyes hard with worry and the force behind his words demanding obedience, while the tone clearly conveyed his worry.
Mia had no idea what was going on, but the concern reflected in Hiccup's eyes was enough to urge her into action. Decided to play it safe, Mia simply nodded as she struggled to stand slowly. The pain was still there, but the binding helped a lot and so Mia was able to force herself to her feet without a word, as she carefully looked around the clearing, wary of what had Hiccup so uptight and worried.
"Good, now listen to me carefully," Hiccup continued the moment Mia was up, his eyes now fixated on a point in the distance, as if focused on a threat Mia couldn't see, one that required his full attention. "When I tell you too, I want you to slowly turn around and carefully make your way back to town. Just leave the bags for now, your safety is much more important. That stuff on the tree over there is Death Song amber. It hasn't noticed us yet, but there is no way we'll get away before it does. Stay as quiet as you can, but once you hear it starting to make a lot of noise, I want you move as quickly as you can without hurting yourself back towards town. I'm going to distract it, while you go get Elsa and Captain Mattias. Let them know that they'll need to plug up their dragon's ears with moss so this dragon can't take control of them."
Mia moved to protest, but as if sensing her rebellious thoughts, Hiccup sharply turned to look at her. However, Hiccup's eyes were far from harsh, instead they held a pleading nature to them, begging Mia to just trust him and do as he said. Despite wanting to stay and help, despite not wanting to leave Hiccup alone with a potentially hostile dragon, Mia couldn't bring herself to say no to those eyes. So, with her cheeks slightly flushed, Mia could only nod as Hiccup smiled and held up a hand with a closed fist in a silent signal as he turned back towards the direction he had been staring in.
The moment grew tense as time seemed to slow, Hiccup standing at perfect attention, his back towards Mia and his fist raised, as Mia's heart hammered in her chest. Suddenly, Hiccup swung his fist down indicating it was time to move, before he launched himself forward and to the left, making as much noise as he could as he ran. Mia was left alone for a moment, unable to move, but just as quickly instinct took over and she quickly turned around, quietly making her way through the trees.
For thirty-seconds all was quiet as Mia slowly worked her way through the trees, when suddenly an ear piercing roar destroyed the silence of the forest. Mia's heart leapt into her throat as she immediately started limping along as fast as she could, eager to find help before it was too late. Suddenly, Mia heard Hiccup yell out in a weirdly purposeful way, his voice rising and falling in a deliberate fashion almost like he was trying to roar like a dragon, but in a more melodic fashion. Curiously, it sounded like the Death Song had actually responded with a resonating roar, like it was trying to copy Hiccup, but Mia had no way of knowing if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
I assume with a name like Death Song it might respond to music, Mia mentally tried to reason so as to keep herself from worrying about Hiccup as she continued to make her way closer to town. Could Hiccup be trying to tame it or at least calm it down? Ugh, I just wish I knew more about all the different types of Dragons. Why didn't I ever take the time to study more then just the major ice types found in the heart of the empire? Hiccup needs help…and I want to help him.
Suddenly, Mia ground to a halt as she heard the faint sound of the air ripping in two off in the distance, a sound Mia knew only two dragons were capable of making. With wide eyes, Mia knew that that could only mean that Princess Elsa was flying over the town on Breen, and that meant she was close enough to help. Taking a deep breath, Mia closed her eyes and focused her powers as best she could in the circumstances before sending a large ice blast straight up into the sky as hard as she could.
When the blast reached a decent height, Mia sent a second blast in the air and when the two collided, the resulting ice explosion was both large and loud. Stopping to listen closely, Mia heard the sounds of a roaring Death Song nearby, but she could also here the telltale sound of a Light Fury roaring from further out, followed by the sound of an exploding ice blast in the distance. Knowing that Elsa was on the way, Mia didn't hesitate to head back towards Hiccup, now determined to do her part in helping Hiccup to hold off the Death Song until Elsa arrived.
In a matter of moments Mia had returned to the same clearing as before and was about to try crossing in an effort to find Hiccup, when suddenly a blast of Death Song amber struck the ground hard a mere arms length in front of her. Freezing in shock, Mia's head jerked up as Hiccup dove out from between the trees on the far side of the small clearing, before jerking to the left and diving back in between the trees just as a large yellow Death Song rose into the air from among the trees, roaring angrily. Mia could only stare in both awe and fright as the large serpentine dragon with multicolored wings landed hard in the center of the clearing, its head whipping back and forth as it searched for Hiccup.
Suddenly, from further down, Mia heard Hiccup let out another string of melodic roars as he rushed into the clearing and made odd jerking movements with his body, like he wasn't sure which direction to run. Too confused by Hiccup's actions, Mia completely missed how the Death Song seemed to pause in surprise before trying to match Hiccup's movements with a responding melodic roar. The roar itself was what finally snapped Mia back to attention and, with Hiccup seeming to have no set plan given his odd flailing movements, Mia decided to risk letting Elsa know their exact location. Mia once again shot off two blasts of ice into the air, signaling their location, but in doing so broke the tentative hold Hiccup's actions had on the Death Song.
"No!" Hiccup shouted in apprehension as he saw the wild look return to the Death Song's eyes, before said eyes fixed themselves right on Mia, whom froze in horror.
Before Hiccup could move a muscle, the Death Song had already fired a blast of amber right at the petrified petty officer, just missing her body, but succeeding in grazing Mia's arm, pinning her to the nearby tree as the amber quickly solidified. As the Death Song reared up for a second blast, Hiccup wasted no time in intervening by launching himself right towards the dragon, gaining its full attention as it instead shot the blast of amber at Hiccup. Timing it just so, Hiccup sent a blast of flames right at the amber holding Mia hostage, melting it as the Death Song's second blast succeeded at encasing him in solid amber and pinning him to the tree just behind him.
"Mia, stay back!" Hiccup shouted forcefully, hard green eyes glaring at the approaching Death Song, before sucking in a breath and forcefully blowing a steady stream of fire out of his mouth at the Death Song, forcing it back. "I need its full attention on me. I can handle myself fine, but only you can get help. I know it's hard, but I need you to trust me on this Mia. You may not realize it, but I've already entrusted my life to you. I know you won't let me down."
"No, she hasn't," Elsa's voice suddenly cut through the air just as Breen dove into the clearing and shot out a trio of cold ice blasts at the ground all around the startled dragon which formed an ice pen keeping the Death Song in place.
Breen landed hard on the ground in between the encased Hiccup and the wild dragon, glaring hard at the Death Song, a cold mist still wafting from her glowing mouth and almost daring the wild dragon to try something. Taking in the scene of an injured Mia and Hiccup encased in amber, though the steam wafting from his skin indicated he would be free any moment, Elsa quickly decided on her next move. In a move that surprised Hiccup and Mia, though for very different reasons, Elsa took a single calming breath before waving a hand at the ice pen surrounding the Death Song, melting the ice right as Elsa started to vocalize.
"Ah Ah…Ah Ah," came the most beautiful sound Hiccup had ever heard as Elsa continued to vocalize with an immediate effect on the Death Song.
Almost like it was a different dragon, the Death Song suddenly calmed as its roar copied Elsa, sound for sound, and it began to dance in an odd flailing way similar to the movements Hiccup had been making before. Suddenly, the Death Song stopped and, with wide docile eyes, lowered its head in submission to Elsa, a large purring rumble coming from its chest. Elsa slide off Breen and with a gentle smile, placed a hand on the Death Song's snout just as the amber encasing Hiccup gave way under the increased heat of his skin, freeing him and allowing Hiccup to approach the princess and the two dragons. At the same time, a stunned Mia hobbled over towards the scene, gaining the attention of both Hiccup and Elsa
"Mia, are you alright?" Elsa suddenly called out in worry as she approached the limping girl, Breen and the Death Song just looking on curiously as Hiccup rubbed the back of his head in thought, before Elsa turned her gaze on him with a mildly reproving stare. "Honestly Hiccup, did you have to drag poor Mia into one of your adventures? She's not as used to these things as you are and it looks like she got hurt in the process. Do I even want to know what you dragged her into before this that resulted in that sprained ankle?"
From behind Elsa, Mia absolutely froze as she realized that Elsa was about to find out about her foolishness in the worst way possible, but as she held her breath and shut her eyes in preparation for the coming disappointment, she was surprised by what she heard next.
"Drag is such a strong word," Hiccup returned with a chastised bow of his head, eyes locked on Elsa as he set about taking the fall for this little encounter. "It's not like I went out looking for a wild dragon, one thing just seemed to lead to another. I've been wanting to check out the forest for a little bit now, but I certainly didn't plan to run into a Death Song out here and I defiantly didn't foresee Mia twisting her ankle by tripping over an exposed tree root. However, I'm sorry for worrying you Elsa…and Mia, I'm sorry that I didn't warn you fast enough about the tree root and that this whole thing spiraled the way it did."
Mia was speechless as she processed Hiccup's words and realized that Hiccup had told the full truth, while wording it in a way that would focus attention on him and off Mia's little moment of foolishness, allowing her to save face in front of Elsa. Once again it appeared that Hiccup was looking out for her and Mia could feel her heart swelling with both joy and another feeling that was become an increasingly familiar occurrence around the crew's resident viking. As Hiccup and Elsa discussed the next step in getting Mia back to the ship and relocating the wild Death Song, Mia could only shake her head with a gentle smile, allowing herself a moment to appreciate the amazing man that her lady called her husband.
Maybe, Mia mussed to herself with a slight blush as Hiccup carefully walked her over towards Breen as Elsa continued to soothe the Death Song. Maybe…at least to myself, I can admit that Hiccup is a little bit charming.
"You do know that you're not actually my least favorite person, right?" Mia murmured all of a sudden as Hiccup helped her onto Breen's back, eliciting a raised brow from said viking. "You can actually be quite…nice…Prince Haddock."
Hiccup could only smile in return and say, "Why thank you Mia. It was nice going shopping together…but hopefully next time it's not quite as eventful as this one."
Mia couldn't help but wholeheartedly agree.
A few hours later, the warmth of the day now fading into the cool of the night, found Toothless cautiously eyeing Breen from a distance as she got a drink from a nearby lake, contemplating his next move. Hiccup and Elsa were over by the cave near the far tree line settling the Death Song into its new home, but Toothless' was only interested in the white scaled beauty before him. Deciding that there was no time like the present, Toothless silently slinked over the ridge he had been hiding behind and made his way down the slope, only to end up slipping on a loose rock and tumbling down the rest of the slope before he could catch himself.
Startled, Breen whirled around, maw open and teeth bared in preparation of an attack, but her gaze quickly turned puzzled as she took in the sprawled form of Toothless, his tail flipped over his face due to the fall. With a sheepish whine, Toothless righted himself and ran his high paw over his head in embarrassment, before steeling his nerves and puffing out his chest with his head held high in an attempt to salvage the situation. As Breen continued to stare at the Night Fury in confusion, Toothless took the opportunity to try and showcase his worth as potential mate, deciding to start with a simple display of his plasma blast.
With a meaningful look directed at Breen, Toothless turned his attention towards the lake and shot a precise blast of super heated plasma right at the center of the water causing a large geyser of water to shoot into the air, followed by another two blasts into the air. As the watered rained down on the lake and the shockwaves of his air blasts rushed over the pair, Breen turned a slightly impressed look Toothless' way causing the dragon to strut around the watching Light Fury in an attempt to further entice her interest. Unfortunately, Toothless was still unaware what kind of dance he was supposed to perform to accomplish this, so after having taken the time to watch some of his fellow dragon's perform their own mating dances, Toothless was taking a lesson from his rider and…inventing his own.
Utilizing his agile body, Toothless began imitating an ocean wave by hunching his back and then leaping forward as he circled a confused Breen, before moving into a gallop and jumping into the air with a twist and landing on his feet. Toothless continued this for a few moments, and though Breen still seemed a bit confused, she also seemed a bit captivated by the display. Wanting to continue the momentum, Toothless next decided to stand on his hind legs, wings spread out for effect, and shuffle around Breen, eliciting an amused snort from the female.
Starting to get a little more confident, Toothless next tired to rapidly twirl around on his hind legs, but this proved to be a bad idea as Toothless quickly lost his balance and collapsed onto the sand causing Breen to jump in surprise. Embarrassed and now a bit unsure, Toothless next tried to prance around lightly on the claws of his paws, his wings stretched out around him flapping rapidly, but the action only succeeded in kicking up a lot of sand causing Breen to hiss in irritation. Now feeling a little desperate, Toothless quickly looked around the area in search of some form of inspiration when his keen eyes suddenly landed on Hiccup peeking over the same ridge he had descended.
With pleading eyes, Toothless silently begged for help and as always it appeared as if his rider understood the silent request. With a nod and a smile, Hiccup tapped his chin in though before his face lite up it inspiration and gestured in a swaying manner with his arms. Toothless took a moment to study the movements and then worked at imitating them as best he could be flapping his wings to push himself into a hover and then proceeded to twist his front paws and his tail in a similar manner as Hiccup, before landing again. Doing this a few times all around Breen seemed to bring a thoughtful look to the Light Fury and boosted Toothless' confidence once again.
Looking once more to Hiccup, Toothless could see his rider giving him a bright smile and a thumbs up, before Hiccup stood and started to flap his arms like wings and jumping backwards, folded his arms into his sides and seemed to strut. Getting the meaning behind it, Toothless decided to go all in and strut his stuff. Flapping his wings hard Toothless pushed himself into the air above Breen and then forced himself backwards to create some distance as he landed. Back on the ground, Toothless spread his wings out fully and brought his tail forward over his head to try and seem as flamboyant as possible to his potential mate as he hopped from side to side making a strange deep rumbling purr.
Despite hoping for a more positive reaction, Breen seemed almost frightened by the display as she actually started to growl at the hopeful Night Fury. A bit distressed, Toothless once more looked towards a still dancing Hiccup only to see an unamused Elsa standing next to him with a glare of her own. Belatedly, Toothless realized that Hiccup must have been trying to dance for his own potential mate as well, with about as much success as Toothless himself was having.
As Hiccup finally noticed Elsa, he stopped his helpful dancing and rubbed his head sheepishly as Elsa drummed her fingers against her arm in exasperation. Toothless could only watch as Breen sharply turned away from him and head towards where Elsa was currently gesturing at Hiccup in what was obviously a negative way, if Hiccup's bowed head was any indication. A minute later, Elsa shook her head as she mounted Breen and the two confused and exasperated females took to the air, heading back towards the ship.
Letting out a pained groan Toothless collapsed onto the sand of the beach in defeat, as he watched the pair slowly disappear into the night sky. Toothless didn't move until Hiccup slowly ambled up beside him and sat down with a defeated sigh of his own, leaning into Toothless' side. Man and dragon turned to one another with a simple look passing between them as Toothless put his head on Hiccup's lap.
"Well, I enjoyed your dancing bud," Hiccup murmured in a comforting one as he rubbed Toothless' head and scratched under his chin. "I guess there are just some things we'll never understand about women."
Both Hiccup and Toothless let out matching sighs of frustration and in that moment Toothless couldn't help but completely agree with Hiccup.
AN: Poor Toothless, but you'll get another chance don't you worry. So, it wasn't pure fluff, but it was still filled with good feelings and bonding moments, and of course it was still much more upbeat then the last chapter. One could say that this chapter was nothing but filler material, but to me moments like this are just as fundamental to a good story as the plot focused ones. If your characters don't show realistic growth or give you reasons to care for them and their interactions, then what's the point of the story? At least that's my view point and why I thought it important to show character growth chapters like this one.
Now, to start with it's been almost two months since the little spat in the Southern Isles and Hiccup and Elsa have come a long way. But so has the rest of the crew and their views on Hiccup. I wanted to show how Hiccup's interactions with Chief Engineer Gunner Larsen and Chief Officer Leah Hansen have progressed and the friendships that have grown. And of course since I'm a sucker for love and I hate wasted potential, I figured I give my two OCs a little love hate relationship just to add some flavor.
I also wanted to showcase both Hiccup's skills with a sword, like he has in the books, and how Leah begins to deal with her Bias. It also served as the starting point that led to more of the crew really starting to accept Hiccup into the fold. However, it seems one teenage drama queen isn't quite ready for that just yet.
Petty Officer Mia Olsen is easily a favorite of mine among my OCs, partially because she has so much potential for interesting character growth and interactions. I would like to be clear, that in no way shape or form am I trying to set her up as a rival to Elsa or simply as comic relief, she does have a bit of a purpose to her. As I hinted in this chapter, Elsa and Mia will be having a talk about Hiccup in the future and this same talk might be something that helps Elsa put some things in perspective as well. Mia's main purpose is to help Hiccup and Elsa grow as people and as a couple, but in a fun and emotional way, like in many anime's.
Mia's convinced herself that her feelings are because she doesn't trust Hiccup and is wary of him, despite it being obvious that she actually likes him. It allows for coming of age journey, but it also allows for interesting moments like what we learned about Hiccup's mom'c culinary abilities and of course the incident with the Death Song. So, to be clear on that, Hiccup was in complete control the whole time and his melodic roars and odd flailing were done purposely to tame the Death Song before Mia interrupted.
We also got to see Elsa save the day and showcase a hidden talent…hidden from Hiccup, not us as we all know that Idina Menzel (and by extension Elsa) can sing! And of course we all saw Toothless trying to woo Breen with his moves. I took some aspects from the actual dance scene in HTTYD 3, but I didn't want to copy it completely so I did some original stuff too. I hope it all came through well, as I tried to be as descriptive as possible.
I also know some of you are disappointed that we didn't get to see Hiccup's reaction to Elsa singing, or what exactly was said between Hiccup and Elsa when she caught him helping Toothless with his mating dance. However, at least concerning the first one, we will get to see Hiccup bring up Elsa's singing ability in the next chapter. As for the conversation during the mating dance fiasco, I though it would be funnier and more appropriate to do the whole event from Toothless' perspective, but basically the conversation between Hiccup and Elsa amounted to Elsa asking Hiccup what in the world he though he was doing and how ridiculous he looked, along with how he wasn't helping Toothless and Breen get closer at all. I just found it funnier to leave it to the reader imagination as we focused on Toothless and Breen.
So, next chapter things take a turn for the intense once more as the heroes discover what the villains have been up to all this time. But how will this first move affect all those involved, particularly the resident ice princess. The next few chapters will be strong with reactions and emotions…both good and bad, as reality now starts to catch up with the newlyweds. As Hiccup said last chapter, ' the honeymoon phase is over'!
Now to answer some reviews:
To LotusbIte94: Thank you very much for your kind words. I'm glad that you are enjoying the story and I love hearing the reviews of my readers. It lets me know that people are enjoying my story.
To Jman17: Thank you very much for your kind words. I'm really glad that you're enjoying this AU. I find that the details and character growth is what really changes the whole experience when it comes to stories you read, versus movies you see. So I'm glad you've enjoyed it so far, and hope you enjoyed the bonding and fluff of this chapter. The next two are going to get a bit intense for Hiccup and Elsa, but it'll be important for their relationship. I also agree, the first year of marriage is the hardest…I know that from personal experience, but it is worth it in the end.
To inFamousSlyMonkey: I'm glad you like the reunions last chapter and hoped you liked the bonding and fluff of this one. To an extent you're correct in how Elsa will feel initially once she learns that Heather knew who she was from the start. However, I will mention that Elsa doesn't exactly have the moral high ground since she did lie about who she was. Not to mention that Heather hasn't been false about anything since they met and has been nothing but helpful. So, Elsa's initial reaction might come back to bite her pretty quickly once she realizes that same fact. It'll be fun in any case, but it's still a bit aways before that happens so it'll be something to look forward to.
To Lovepeaceandwar: I'm glad you enjoyed the last chapter and of course for all your reviews. With Heather and Elsa I wanted to showcase how background as well as perspective play a large role in how we act and react to things. Concerning Elsa and Hans past together, I don't want to give too much away just yet, but I can say that Elsa was never truly fooled, she just didn't realize how bad he truly was until nearly the end of the summer when she finally confronted him about everything that she had seen.
The conversation between Hiccup and Camicazi, I'm sorry if it didn't seem as good, but honestly that conversation was more about them. Hiccup had already figured out at that point that he needed to be there for Elsa he just needed the kick in the pants to do it. Honestly, the conversation was more of a staging ground for the future interactions between Elsa and Camicazi, as I realized that I had never actually had Hiccup and Camicazi talk about where they stood with each other. Also, I'm sorry if my word choice was confusing, but the line, "Now, with my marriage to Elsa, things are different and the possibility of it being romantic is gone," was actually referring to the relationship between Hiccup and Camicazi. I was trying to make it clear that Hiccup is the loyal type and, arranged or not, he would not be willing to have another relationship on the side.
And it's not weird that you feel Elsa's above feeling jealous, I personally think the same thing, however I realized that technically there's two types of jealousy. There's the typical being angry and possessive, but there's also the feeling insecure type where you envy the advantage of the other person. Elsa suffers from low self esteem and still hasn't admitted to how much Hiccup means to her. So, maybe jealous isn't the best word, but lets just say that Elsa is going to feel insecure when faced with the history and synergy that Hiccup has with Camicazi and even more so with Astrid, both of whom are beautiful, skilled, are from the viking culture, and have known him a lot longer. Anyway, thank you so much for your continued support and reviews. I always look forward to them.
Thank you all for reading and remember to Fav., Follow, and Review below.