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Six words:

How To Train Your Dragon 2. *cries* How could they? *sniffs* That was beautiful and it hurt so much…

No spoilers.

Anyway, having seen Dragons: Riders/Defenders of Berk, I couldn’t help it. I had to write this. Enjoy, if you can…

The rest of this post contains SPOILERS. Read on at your own peril.

Hollow Homecomings

                It started out as a normal day.

By now, Hiccup had fallen into a rhythm, a routine. It was predictable enough to give him just a hint of a sense that he knew what he was doing. Repair the homes broken in Draco Bludvist’s attack. Patrol the coasts and farther afield with the dragon riders. Make sure you stay in touch with the people of your tribe (Valka had advised him on that account; apparently early in his life Stoick had alienated and distanced some people, and that had made a stink.)

But now, any pretense of normalcy he could claim had just… stuttered to a halt.

A dragon (a seadragon, his mind mechanically simplifies) is flapping down towards Berk. This shouldn’t have alarmed him, would not alarm him on any other day. Dragons just didn’t randomly destroy everything here any more. But now, he’s just… standing. Staring at the sky. Frozen in place.

The dragon flaps down to land by his feet. He blinks at it. “Thornado?” he croaks. “Is that you?” The thunderdrum is gazing about, as frantic as a dragon can look. And suddenly, all the frantic pain Hiccup had felt when he realized that his father wasn’t breathing came rushing back. The dragon rumbles something at him, a question, and by now Hiccup understands the creatures well enough to know what Thornado is asking, though he wishes he didn’t.

He falls to his knees under the weight of his shattered world. “He’s… gone.” And suddenly, he is crying, with the dragon curled partway around him, sobbing his heart out into the rough scales, grateful for the warmth underneath them but hating himself for being so weak, for not being the son his father wanted. Tears stream down his cheeks and Thornado licks at them, seemingly puzzled by the phenomenon of human tears. “I’m sorry,” Hiccup sobs, “I am so, so sorry. This is all my fault…”

Somehow, Valka, Cloudjumper, and Toothless find them like this, it seems like eons later. Hiccup is still crying, unable to stop. Toothless nudges up against Hiccup, trying to make him feel better; Valka wraps an arm around his shoulders; Cloudjumper wraps all his four wings around them. “Why?” Hiccup whispers. “Why?”

“We don’t always know the reasons, son,” Valka whispers, clutching him like she’ll never let go again.

“This is my fault. I never know when to get out of the way.” Hiccup replies. His ribs and head ache, but he still can’t stop crying.

“That’s not true. It’s not your fault and it’s not Toothless’ fault, either. It’s not your father’s fault. He died to save you, son. It was his last statement of how much he loved you. If you must blame someone, blame Bludvist.”

“I hate him!” Hiccup hisses fiercely. “I hate him!” He doesn’t specify who. It’s so muddled, he could hardly say.

“For how he makes you feel? For making you feel weak?” Valka presses, softly. “You have a big heart, love. To feel this less would make you a lesser man. You’re strong, but you feel deeply in a way your father never did. You’re everything that was good in him. You will get past this. The grief will never truly go, believe me, but the rage will die down and you’ll be able to bear it better.”

“I miss him,” Hiccup confessed. “I always used to be so angry, to feel like… I was continuously disagreeing, butting heads with Dad. But now he’s gone…” He sniffed, swiping at his eyes. “I don’t know what to do.”

“You have us,” Astrid said, pushing under Cloudjumper’s wing. Stormfly snipped her protests from outside the huddle, mostly ignored. “And you’ve always been great at improvising. You’ll figure it out. You may be the chief, Hiccup, but don’t forget, that also means that your tribe has your back.”

“Even if it doesn’t feel like it,” Valka added. “You’re not weaker for crying, Hiccup. You’re just compassionate.”

“You’re right,” Hiccup said, quietly. “All of you. I suppose I can do this. For Dad.”