Legacy of the Fire-bearer

Chapter 18

12 hours ago, Hiccup had the Operation. The teens were now asleep by a campfire, using their dragons as pillows. Well, almost all teens. Ferno and Astrid couldn't sleep, they both watched from their dragons the unconscious figure lying near the fire. It was too dangerous to transport him to Berk tonight.

Ferno got up and sat down next to Astrid, by her Nadder.

"Can't sleep either?"

"What are you doing here? You of all people should be asleep."

"As should you," Ferno argued. "What is it? Talk to me. Why wouldn't you be able to sleep?"

"Wh-what? ... He's lying there unconscious, without a leg and we don't know if he'll even wake up."

"But why would you care if he wakes up or not?" Ferno said, not taking his eyes off his brother.

Astrid looked completely surprised. "B-but, h-he ... he just saved our lives ... he trained dragons ... isn't that a good enough reason."

"Astrid, look at the guys and Ruff, they're grateful for all those things that Hiccup did for them. But look, they can sleep. So why can't you?"

Astrid's ocean blue eyes searched for an excuse. "Be-because ... be-because ... I ... I love him!" She whispered harshly.

"What's going on?" Tuffnut woke up, rubbing his eyes.

"Nothing, go back to sleep," Ferno said.

"Don't have to tell me twice." Instantly Tuffnut banged his head and started to snore again.

Ferno turned to Astrid, who still had her hand on her mouth and was a brilliant shade of red. On Ferno's lips danced a smirk.

"Why do you think I jumped into the arena to save him ... why do you think I almost exploded when you gave the order to chop his leg off ... why do you think I can't sleep?"

Ferno shook his head. "All it took Hiccup for you to notice him, was train a fearsome beast, defeat the largest dragon in history and lose a leg. Yeah, piece of cake."

Astrid face-palmed herself. "I'm an idiot." Then Ferno felt an axe on his throat. "If you tell anyone about this conversation. Your fight with the Monstrous Nightmare will seem like a play date."

"I promise, on one condition." He dared. "After Hiccup wakes up, you have to express your feelings to him."

Her eyes narrowed at him. "I hate you ... deal."

Ferno chuckled to himself. "I bet Thor's Hammer that one day you'll thank me for this, probably after your name changes to Astrid Haddock," He smirked again.

"Get out of here." Astrid visibly went pink, blushing.

Ferno stayed unmoved. "The Great and Fearsome Astrid Hofferson is blushing. There's no way I'm missing this." He laughed.

Astrid rolled her eyes and buried her head in her knees that were tied together by her arms. "Why did you stick by him all these years? I mean, it was great of you, but why? You, like the rest of us, could have left him in the shadows, but you didn't."

"I don't know ... it always felt so right ... I guess, our mother had something to do with it ... her last words to us before she passed away were 'keep each other safe, if you don't I'll be disappointed in you for eternity' ... I took it too literally, Hiccup took it in a different way ... he knew he couldn't keep me safe physically, so he kept me safe from our father. He redirected all of Stoic's anger at himself, so that our father wouldn't be angry at me."

"Why would Stoic be angry at you? You were his prodigy, his kind of Viking."

"I don't know ... ever since I could remember, Stoic hated something inside me ... always ... before Hiccup began to mess up badly, I was his least favourite son. Since I was a boy, I trained my sweat off, to be the buff, skilled and glorious son he dreamed of ... but no matter what I did ... he always treated Hiccup as more of his own. Then came Hiccup's inventions that attracted Stoic's anger. I was ... safe from our father. Hiccup stopped Stoic from hating me so much, I stopped Stoic from hurting Hiccup. Now I failed."

Astrid was shocked by his confession. "Well, if it makes you feel any better ... I think you both failed ... neither of you could have stopped your father."

"Not helping." Ferno deadpanned.

"No, I meant that Hiccup got you both disowned and there was nothing he could have possibly done otherwise ... and you failed, because there was nothing you could have done for Hiccup's leg."

"Thanks ... you'd make a great sister-in-law someday."

"Your never gonna live this down, are you?"

"No, I will. After Ragnarok." Ferno laughed. Astrid rolled her eyes at him. He was so immature some times.

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