Hiccup tries to rebuilt what was left of his life after the dragons left.
When I thought about writing in this fandom I had completely different story in mind, but this baby came without warning.
I hope you enjoy.
That's what he knows the best. That was how he was raised. To take the ashes of what once was, mix them up with good old clay and build anew. Fast, because there is no time for mourning when there is nearly always winter nipping at your heels and hunger drilling holes in your stomach if you laze about feeling sorry for yourself. Vikings stubbornly dig their feet in and survive no matter how poor is the soil they've been planted in, and no matter what anybody would say on this, he was a Viking through and through.
He does not realize how many times he steals his mother's breath from yearning for things and people long gone.
It's the way he tilts his head when he is intent on listening.
His silent anger makes the raise of his chin achingly familiar. The furrow of his brows. Press of his lips.
Sometimes it's just the tone of his voice, or short bark of too quickly cut laughter that touches just the right notes.
He does not realize how much he resembles his dragon…and his father.
Now more the ever.
Hiccup of the New Berk stood on the ground so firmly, achingly afraid that if he would jump up it would disappear from under him. He used to throw himself of the cliffs, headless of the depths of dangers awaiting below, pulling himself up and soaring under the stars with only his own power and the heat of dragon's fire. Hiccup would no longer leap when he was made of too many shards and twine to not let him shatter on impact. He haven't looked at the skies for longer then to foretell the weather in months, because he makes himself stop looking for someone who is not coming back. Hiccup of Berk, the Old Berk had his eyes trailing through the clouds, watching the endless colourful dance of sun glittering in dragon scales. He tripped over his feet so many times for not paying attention and now all who knew him wished that his legs would tangle again for the same reasons.
He was a kind man. Stayed kind man.
A good Chief who ruled with his heart. And, like many, wished humans were as simple as dragons in their desires and less fragile for all the love they held.
But the grief succeeded where years of neglect and pressure didn't, and he did what he was once taught. Even if it's heavy, heavy, heavy.
Hiccup walked with determined strides among his people, never pausing in his duties. He kept on walking because stopping meant regret and regret meant…
He was relentless in his desire to secure the future where none of his people would lack anything and so his mind turned into calculations and probabilities and the fire in his smithy never had a chance to grow cold as it never was sparked to begin with.
He worked and didn't think about things coming from under his hands and sometimes it's enough to forget. There were always things to be done, no need to be wasteful.
His journals rested under the never worn armour and leather saddle inside a chest kicked in the corner to gather dust. He made his metal leg 'serviceable' enough that it didn't need his constant attention. His hearth didn't smell like sulphur but nights were colder then he remembered. There weren't any tails on the walls and it's strange to live with so little colour inside, but who needed such frivolities anyway. So it was bare, So what? His roof was build with his hands and he had splinters to prove it. There was no need for a latch to open walls or windows to fit anyone big enough to not fit through the front door. No complicated designs for windmills or pulleys. The village had plenty of swords and maces and Gobber was more then enough to take care of them all. Even if they are not the flaming ones, anymore.
His people had seen enough war and strife to last them for lifetimes.
Enough grief and longing to carry with them till Valhalla will welcome them with open gates, song and horns full of mead.
Hiccup lost half of his people to this world and he hopes, that when the time comes, Odin will treat the other half well in his absence.
He doesn't keep black scales under his shirt.
Berkians know well that their Chief gives them his whole heart but doesn't keep mementos of the half of the soul he had lost. They swallow his prolonged silences. Blink off afterimages of great hulking shadow full of teeth and mischief that lurks when he sweeps his cloak closer. Don't comment on the clicks of his tongue, intensity of his stares and the low hums that rumbles in his chest when he forgets himself.
They don't ask for miracles when those all went away carried on the back of the dragon with the last dregs of fire that lived in Hiccup.
He was a good Chief. He even might, one day, be called Great.
But not a Dragon Master.
And when Gothi draws in the sand, the message from the gods is clear.
He will grew to leave legacy that will not leave the legends for centuries to come. He will build them a future of prosperity and plenty. He will raise above all that their history remembers and leave his voice to echo over the world.
He will walk on the road planned by Fate, he will find himself again, but he will never reach the happiness he seeks walking that path alone.
Hiccup doesn't need to know of the whispers over the maps. Or the boats that disappear over horizon and what secrets the fishers spill into Astrid's ear. She pats her stomach and remembers warmth, strength. The explosion of blues over the grey-cast seas. Taste of the air above the clouds.
She puts a bowl closer to tiny pair of grasping hands.
He will want to know. Not now, when he is scrapped raw even as he clutches his daughter with nothing but a besotted smile across his face. Not when he jerks away at the kids imitating growls or when memories take over his body until he is limping, unconsciously trying to lean on the weight that was not there anymore.
Soon, they will know.
Soon, few years at most.
Their children will not grow up without knowing who their parents were and it will never be good enough story without two main characters.
Time to prod her husband about Knarr*.
* Knarr is a long sea voyage cargo ship.