I managed to get back to the house without anyone spotting us; I would of been in so much trouble if i was out this late with the princess of all people. You see the rules of these games were very strict, with detailed laws threaded through the games, with certain ties that to me made no sense. But I guessed to the Scots they meant a lot.
Slowly, Toothless followed me inside as we crept past the large chairs that created a silhouette by the crisping fire glow.
"Hiccup" My fathers stern voice shocked my system as I met Toothless's eyes who stood to alert as well.
I turned to face the large hunched chair, realising it was my father. Shit.
"Uh...hi dad...what are you doing up so late?" I smiled to him my hands flying behind my back as I pointed to Toothless to take Merida upstairs. Slowly he crept away at a snails pace.
"Well i've been waiting for you" He said as I took in his facial expression; he was not very happy to see me. I gulped the lump in my throat back.
"Me? oh that was nice of you...just checking that i'm safe and..uhh. you know" I said joking with him. He sighed and turned his head away from me rubbing the side of his face before turning to look back at me.
"Hiccup, wha' have yer and Merida been up too today?" He said in a low voice. Panic shocked my system as he turned to face me.
"Who?! me and the princess?! Dad ive been with Toothless flying for most of the day and then she came to find me I...I didn't steal her or anything" I said bewildered at his question.
"Hiccup she was meant to be at 'er mothers lessons this evenin'! and yer both missed dinner! did you not think wed notice two empty chairs!" He hissed in a hushed whisper. My face went red.
"Dad I..I swear I didn't know and even then I would of brought her back, but she didn't want too! I did say we should head back...but then she fell into the water because Toothless was eating her fish! and I couldn't bring her back to the village like that! so I said we made a fire and had dinner! then she fell asleep on me.. but not in that way!.. but now..shes home! and asleep! so every-things fine!" I smiled accentuating my words
Stoics face mirrored the expression of when he first seen me ride Toothless. It was stunned and slightly worried.
"Son, maybe you should get some sleep" He nodded pulling his eyebrows together. I slapped my hang in front of my face.
"I'm not crazy dad, its just been...a long day" I sighed going to sit beside him.
He sighed and lifted his chunky eyebrows of his eyes.
"How so?" He asked. I stared into the warm fires glow letting the heat flood my body, pushing me to feel a little more tired by the second.
"Well I've not been feeling...all to well I guess, I feel...well weird" I told him; my fathers face didn't change as he gestured for me to carry on.
"So today I was flying Toothless, when all of a sudden I loose my train of thought and We plummet into the water; I've never once lost concentration when flying Toothless."
my eyes stared straight into the red flames; they were dancing round creating a certain glow to the room...The way they moved around room in a majestic and sauntering way...
Just like that flame red hair...
"Hiccup?" My fathers hand appeared in front of my face snapping me out of my hazy day dream.
"Huh?" I said turning to look at him. He sighed.
"I was saying, maybe yer just feeling tired, its been a big change having the family move in with us, and with all these games goin on..I know how it feels to be swept up in all this...stuff goin on around yer, yer'l get use to it, nothing stops yer from doin something" He chuckled under his breath.
For a millisecond my eyes flicked to my leg as I pushed down the raw feeling of sadness that sometimes flooded my system. Without my Prosthetic, I wouldn't be Hiccup.
I yawned and Stretched looking to my dad.
"I guess your right, I really need to sleep; early start tomorrow right?" I said sarcastically, My dad smiled to me in a knowing way.
"Don' pretend like yer not makin' an effort, I seen the way yer looked at tha' princess today"
He said, sending me a half smile. I rolled my eyes and slowly trudged up the stairs.
"Goodnight Dad", I called when I reached the top of the stairs as I flung my self down onto the soft, yet hard wooden bed and shut my eyes, the opened for a fraction of a second checking that Toothless was curled up before they re shut tight for the rest of the night.
"Mery we cant go that high!" I whined. Here I was only 4, petite and still a Hiccup.
"Sure we can Hiccup! We can do anything we want too!" A young Merida flew past me jumping from one foot to the other over the small pebbles of water that ran below us. I pulled a worried face.
"I thought you were my hero" She turned round to look at me with big blue eyes. Younger me smiled hugely.
"I am but I cant climb!"
Young Merida danced towards me her hair bouncing up and down in the wind. She stood right in front of my face.
"Il teach you! Come on!" She said taking hold of my hand and pulling me over the pebbles.
We ran to a small rock which both of us pulled our selves up on, I could see Merida standing on her tiptoes trying to see over the mountains silhouette.
"Were still not high enough, come on!" She pulled me onto another huge rock beside us and stood on her tiptoes like before. Her eyes pulled together in thought.
"What do you want Mery?" I asked standing on my own feet as well trying to see over the mountains.
"I want to see the light Hiccup! I want to see over the mountains and climb into the stars! that way Il always be free!" she said her eyes still pulled together as she continued to stretch on her feet.
I pulled my own face together concentrating on her little crazy idea.
"I could come with you some day" I said looking to her with my own big eyes. She smiled.
"I thought you would come anyway" She giggled and jumped down from the rock and began twirling in circles.
"Just think about it Hiccup; we'l go everywhere the stars go! no one will stop us" she said taking hold of my hands and spinning me round too.
I laughed with her joyously.
"Hiccup! Merida!" It was my fathers voice as we both looked to each other grinning and turned to run back to where my fathers voice had came from...
I woke to feel freezing water covering my face making me blubber as I widely opened my eyes and looked around the room. Gobber stood with a bucket under his arm.
"Wha...what was that for?" I breathed out choking up the remaining water that had shot down my throat.
"Morning lad! time ter get started!" Gobber smiled at me as I just stared at him in shock...
I must have only had maybe 3 or 4 hours sleep as the sun hadn't even risen yet.
"Wha...why?!" I asked confused.
"Hiccup, did yer forget about yer quest?! yer have ter go on a hunt!" Realisation hit me again, I moaned into my hands and rubbed my eyes. I didn't want to go on a hunt! I couldn't hunt to save my life!
"Is all this really necessary? Im not gonna win anything!" I huffed like a small child throwing my legs over the side of the bed. Gobber snorted.
"Och come on Hiccup! yer been deein so well!" He said
"But that's because I could do those tasks, I cant do this!"
"yer ride dragons lad, surprise yer sel" He said to me, I found it slightly laughable that he thought I, Hiccup the runt could do this.
I huffed knowing it was easier to just stop arguing and began stretching my muscles
"Have yer got yer two items?" Gobber asked to which my eyes flickered to his in confusion. Gobber's face turned to shock.
"Och Hiccup! Don tell me yer forgot! yer need two pieces of equipment to help yer today!" He gasped I shushed him as best as I could rubbing my neck.
"Its al right! Its fine...what do I need?" I asked him; Gobbers face didn't show any sign amusement or any form of emotion at all. He just stood with his eyes pulled together in a flat look.
"Okay...maybe it is a big deal" I huffed rubbing the side of my neck and cracking it from left to right.
"What are ye gonnea dea lad! the hunt begins in 5 minutes!" He said pacing backwards and forwards.
"Why cant I take Toothless? Can't he be my equipment for this thing?" I asked looking over to the bed, it seemed Toothless had disappeared from his bed which surprised me as he was never one to wake up earlier than normal. I turned my attention back to Gobber who sighed into his hands
"Unfortunately, no. The dragons are no' allowed to compete or be used under any circumstances. Its strictly tradition." He said to me pulling on one end of his long moustache.
I thought carefully for what seemed forever, desperately trying to work out what I could use to take with me on this hunt; I couldn't fight, that was for sure, I couldn't do anything that required strength or lifting. What was I meant to do! I was a sure fail for this type of thing! The all two familiar feeling of panic, sweaty palms and angst flooded me.
"Hiccup, yer look like yer gonnea pass out" Gobber said as I swayed from side to side, realising that it was I that was moving and not the ground beneath my feet.
I looked towards the moving Gobber as he came over and put his hands on my shoulders.
"Easy lad, Yer feelin' alright?" He asked as I took a deep breath in and out.
"Gobber...I haven't been feeling well lately...like at all" I told him honestly and looking towards him for an answer, His eyebrows pulled together looking down to the floor.
"Well whats been happening?" he asked Coming to sit down beside me.
"Just, a lot of weird feelings, not like painful but...weird and...well its like there growing" I told him sighing into my hands before looking back to his face.
"Hmm, well I'm no' to sure laddie, tell yer wha' come find me after this hunt terday and we'l talk about it, see if we can crack what's going on" He told me yawning. "Now what about some weapons ter take wi' ye?" He said straightening himself up.
In the end I decided to go with some of my old gadgets that were deemed off limits to others; they had to be used sometime.
One came in the shape of a rope with a metal claw that looked helpful for climbing, the other was a map of the Island to help me check all the islands nooks and crannies.
I may not have stood a chance with winning this thing, but I could have a try. That way I wouldn't look such an embarrassment against the other suitors.
"Come on Laddie, this is only yer second day, and yer did soo well; it would be ashamed ter no' have a go at it" he nudged me, making me smile slightly to the floor. I stood up straight throwing my rope over my shoulder and brushing down my tunic rolling up the sleeves on it.
"Okay. I'm ready" I breathed out, the feelings of nervousness vanished as I kept breathing slowly. Gobber nodded to me looking slightly worried yet slightly reserved as the screech of trumpets echoed timidly through the wooden walls into my room.
"Looks like its time, Come on 'iccup, time ter show em what yer made of" He said to me winking before he turned to run out of the house.
I looked around my room once more before turning to head down the stairs. It was only when I felt my heart stop; that I froze where I was stood and looked to my left.
Where was Merida? How come I hadn't heard a slight movement or a deep breath, or anything as such from her. I moved slowly, quite worried as I pulled back the curtain that separated our beds.
She wasn't there. Panic flowed through me as I tried to reason with my concious self. She was already probably awake waiting outside for her suitors. Suddenly my illness came flooding back into my system shocking everything in its wake and winding my lungs. The breath rushed out of me and I could hear my heart beat in my head. I swallowed closing my eyes trying to balance the feeling of incompleteness. I felt like there was something missing in my system; something that deeply disturbed myself and my body. I felt like I needed something. Something to kick start my body into functioning properly.
Suddenly a loud cheer interrupted my state as I breathed in and out slowly stopping my current dizzy spells. I continued my journey down the stairs and outside putting my thoughts of Merida into a box inside my head and concealed it there for a while.
Again the turnout was spectacular just as before with these things, even for a dark frosty morning, everyone had turned out; large fires stood glowing atop of the huge stands we had made for the dragons lighting up the area around us, while people had gathered in a large circle cheering.
I made my way over to the centre of the circle where the other suitors were stood. Kicking there feet and talking amongst them selves.
"Morning guys" I said yawning at the same time.
"Some morning this is! I want to still be in bed!" Tuffnut complained stretching his neck. I squinted in confusion. Hadn't they put themselves up for the games?
"I thought you would be interested in these games?" I asked him a little unsure of the answer.
"Paha! No! Who wants to get married! I just want to smash things and fight! My stupid dad put me up to this" He said kicking his feet.
"Yeah mine too, as much as I think the princess is lovely, I really don't wanna be married, but my father says its all about honour not love." Fishlegs sighed rubbing his arm
"Well that makes me feel a little better knowing that I'm not the only one whose been forced into doing this" I said rubbing my neck. Deep down I felt some kind of relief in my system; and not in the way I would of thought. I was relieved due to the fact that these boys wouldn't try their best in these games; yes they would try to win these games, they would try for their fathers, probably try their hardest, but their heart wasn't in the chase.
Did that mean my heart was?
"Oh please, your all just wussys! I'm going for the hand of the princess and her kingdom! A life of riches with that gorgeous thing by my side to do whatever I wish! perfect life style for me!" Snotlouts obnoxious voice filled my body with rage as he barged past Fishlegs. I shared a look with Fishlegs before I turned to face him.
How could he speak about her life that! she was very much her own person and she didn't need to be bossed around by Snotlout that was for sure. I wouldnt alow it! My sudden power shocked my system causing my heart to jump start, where was this confidence coming from?
And then the fear spread through my system. Snotlout was huge! he could easily win this thing with time to spare and without having to break a sweat, and here I was mentally squaring my self up to him
Always a hero, aren't you Hiccup...
"And Haddock! Stay out my way today!" he said coming over to lean down closely to my face before he took off to where his father was stood, stomping by as he went.
"Wow talk about getting up on the wrong side of the bed" Astrid's voice appeared out of nowhere as she was suddenly beside me.
"Morning to you to" I said sarcastically as she laughed slightly.
"How you feeling? You ready?" She said to me looking slightly worried.
"When am I ever ready?" I told her looking to her with a sarcastic look. She just smiled and hit me on the arm
"You'l be fine! just... keep away from Snotlout" She said uneasily as I looked towards where he was stood. His father was holding rocks in front of him as Snotlout smashed them with his head.
"His fathers such a bad influence" She mumbled shaking her head in disbelief at him. I looked towards Snotlout and His father, both of them seemed to be getting psyched up for the event...It was quite disturbing to watch.
"Well any ways, I'l see you later! Good luck Hiccup!" She said putting her hand on my arm and smiling towards me, before she turned on her feet and began walking back to her family as I took my place next to Gobber.
He nudged me slightly in order to make me stand straight.
"Yer got yer stuff sorted?" He asked quietly. I looked down for my rope and map, and nodded. It was only then I noticed the other suitors choice of weapons. Some were understandable, using axes and knifes, Fishlegs carried a large book; probably one covering the island similar to mine, while Snotlout carried...well nothing I could see. From what It seemed, It appeared he was going to face this challenge all alone, quite literally with no weapons or armour.
As if i needed any more reasons to be embarrassed.
Like before, the trumpets rose into the air in the royal salute. I found my self looking for Merida, searching for any sign of her fiery curls or the sound of her thick accented voice, but to my surprise she was no where to be seen.
I felt my eyes pull together and my lips purse to the side, I looked over to where my father stood next to King fergus, but again their was no sign of her. I swallowed deeply and turned to Gobber.
"Not to shock anyone but... where's Merida?" I asked Gobber quietly. He chuckled under his breath.
"What yer after her for? a gud luck kiss?" he said making a smacking sound with his lips. I rolled my eyes at him continuing my search. In the background I could hear the formal music pipe up and the crowd gushing over with excitement. But nothing registered with me.
I thought hard for a short time in worry...where was she?
After all, this was for her.
"Morning to you all! and welcome ter the second day of the games" My fathers voice boomed over the crowd making my head spin towards him, secretly hoping Merida would be hidden behind his shadow.
"As all of you know, yesterday the firs' task was announced to our suitors, and they have been training all night, in preparation of terdays hunt..." My fathers voice seemed to echo out of my head as my eyes skimmed around the area looking for anything that even symbolised Merida, but I found nothing.
My breathing slowed down to a long deep hush as my mind ran into overdrive to try and find some sign of Merida among the crowd again, this time checking over again to see if she had crouched down before and Id missed her.
But again no such sign.
I tried to get my mind to agree with the fact that she wasn't here but my heart wouldn't accept it. She wouldn't be aloud to miss an event like this, she couldn't miss an event like this. Was she ill?
"Hiccup!" Gobber shook my shoulders bringing me out of my loose thoughts. I blinked a few times gaining recognition of my surroundings.
The area was silent, completely dead, and yet everyone remained in the same place with one exception; there eyes were glued on me. Including my large fathers whose were now in front of me. Fire spread to my face in sheer embarrassment. I had missed him asking me an important question...In front of royalty. I was going to be killed later on.
"Um...sorry...what?" I asked shaking my head. My fathers face looked a mixture of emotion crossed with anger and panic.
"I said... Hiccup, are you ready?" He gritted through his teeth. I stared at him for a little while longer unsure of what he meant till Gobber nudged me.
"For terday Hiccup! The hunt" He hissed under his breath as I sucked a breath in.
"OH! Right the hunt! ..y..yes sure I'm ready" I nodded swallowing down the air I just sucked in. A wave of relief seemed to spread through the unsteady crowd as my father sighed before moving down the line to the next suitor.
Gobber moved closer to me.
"Wha' was all tha' about?" He exasperated.
"Sorry I was just...just distracted" I told him looking to the floor. His eyes narrowed with amusement hidden behind them.
"Yer were lookin' fer her again werent yer?" He whispered as i felt the blush rise to my cheeks. Stupid blood.
"Aha! I caught yer!" He laughed under his breath as I huffed and dug my prosthetic into the soft ground below.
"Lets just get this thing over with" I sighed looking forward.
My father travelled down the line of suitors all asking whether they were willing and whether they were ready. To which all of them grumbled a yes. That is with the exception of Snotlout who stood with his chin pointed to the sky and a heroic look spread all over his smug face. Of course Snotlout would be up for a chance to show the village what he was capable of. I felt fire burn within my stomach turning my slurry tired mind into one of anger and alertness. I wouldn't let him try to control my friend...if that was what she was to me..
It seemed when we spent time together our formal status's blurred, and if I was honest, I liked that. I liked the fact she didn't see me through her mothers eye. She just seen me as a whole person. Not a suitor.
Maybe on some level I knew it was because we were friends in a past life, but maybe, just maybe it was something else. Something much deeper and different...
Something which I couldn't concentrate on now.
Once the rest of the suitors had agreed that they were indeed ready for this hunt, we were all moved to the side of the cliffs edge waiting for the sun to just appear around the peak of left mountain side. If I was perfectly honest, I would of much rather preferred to have been curled up inside my bed dreaming again.
I thought back to last nights dream of my self and Merida, remembering her small self laughing and giggling as she went...I remembered her self confidence and innocence, how she took the world in her stride. I remembered her. I remembered sitting outside my house drawing while my father watched over us. Early dinners sat round our table, picnics and running and laughing...it was a happier time.
Suddenly a loud whistle alerted me making my eyes flick round the place, Snotlout, Fishlegs and Tuffnut had all took off running at a fast speed towards the cliffs edge, Gobber started pushing me.
Panic flooded my system. It had begun.
"Wait..wait Gobber what am I looking for?" I called to him as he shoved me in the direction. I started to jog slightly as I turned to look at him. He shouted something that I couldn't make out as I stopped and looked back to him with my head tilted
"WHAT?" I yelled
"GO!" Gobber, my father and the King and Queen yelled at me, even a few in the crowd...
Did they support me?
I took off running with no hope in the world. I watched as the other suitors ran off in all directions, I could feel myself having an internal argument about which way to go, but I let my legs do the running as I bounded off in the direction of the hills.
Hey Guys sorry its took soo long for an update, hope your all enjoying the story :) please review! Let me know what you think Hiccups Looking for ;)