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Baby Steps

By shine

Fantasy

Chapter 1

Silence overwhelmed the Haddock household. All you could hear was frequent squirming, the twitching and groaning from a boy with a fever giving no signs of breaking. The damp locks of his reddish hair sticking to his flushed cheeks, the chapped lips revealing difficult breathing. The boy then let out a harsh cough causing his small body to shudder.

A large hand gently stroking the moist locks, along with a crooning sound bringing the boy back into a calm state. Stoick the Vast and his boy's beloved nightfury Toothless are powerless to help their precious person that changed their worlds in less than 24 hours. The colourful horizon spreading light around Berk, indicating early morning has arrived. Even now the screams filled the man's ears and heart. All because he didn't listen to his son.

Spreading out his cloak upon the ashes, rubble ground. Stoick carefully placed his unconscious son on top and repositioned himself so he was above the head with his hands engulfing Hiccup's thin shoulders. Stoick felt his age catching up to him knowing he is the reason his delicate boy would have to lose his leg. The redheaded father looked at the blonde blacksmith who raise the sword a few inches below the knee.

He prayed to Odin Hiccup would not feel the agony during the operation.

Stoick nodded in confirmation.

The sharp swift of the sword swung down in one loop. The after effect was too great. Gobber held down Hiccup's right leg as his screams echoed around the volcanic island. Stoick panicked seeing his child's back arched, writhing from the pain. "Shh Hiccup it'll be alright, it's over now shh". The shame and the guilt watching the tears weeping from Hiccup's eyes.

"D-dad it hurts. P-please s-stop".

His tiny boy started coughing, before he blacked out from the torture.

Stoick rubbed a hand over his face. His weary eyes feeling the underline from lack of sleep. But he will endured many nights without slumber if it means his only child will recover due to his horrific deed. He stared into the sharp emerald eyes of Toothless who hardly moved from his little human's side. The dragon ears were flat against his head tilting to softly nudge his hatchling.

Hiccup moaned quietly, his little body trying to resist the fur quilt trapping him into a cocoon.

"D-dad"

Stoick removed himself from the tree trunk of a chair feeling the numbness in his bottom due to long periods of sitting.

"Hiccup? Son?" The red-bearded father leaned over his teenager son smelling the heat, the sweat and cold surrounding his injured boy. Even when touching his cheek the vibration was as hot as the fireplace. He moved his hand over Hiccup's forehead. His fever is still high.

A harsh cough escape Hiccup's mouth. His glossy, forest eyes looking up at his massive father showing bewilderment and hurt. He struggled removing his hand from the blanket so Stoick lifted the covers away taking the little hand envelope inside his huge calloused one. It never occurred to him how much of a toothpick his child really was.

"Dad d-don't". He raised his eyebrows opening his mouth but closed it hearing the next slurry words.

"K-kill Toothless. P-please my d-dragon". Toothless began purring, his black scaly head resting near Hiccup's body. Stoick saw one of the dragon's enormous wing dab over the bed swallowing the boy's whole body frame.

His own green eyes reflected into his son's swelling tears spilling down his face, his breathing labored.

"P-please dad, please d-don't kill T-Toothless, h-he my only f-friend, m-my best friend, d-don't take away my d-dragon away". Stoick's heart was breaking at the pure pleading words. None of this should have happened, this was his fault and the price has been made by the boy who was officially known as the worse Viking on Berk. He soothed his crying child by caressing away the flowing tears.

"Shh my boy. Toothless is here, nothing will happen to your friend, I promise".

Vikings are meant to be tall, sturdy full of muscle, strength and certainly stubborn. They never back down from a fight. They care for their young like their parents have done for them. But most seem to forget the love and emotional contact all children need in early life and for the future. With the frequent dragons attack all children from an early age learned to control their fears and face challenges head on. They were given physical support on how to swing a weapon but no comfort zone when a child is hurt in training. No parents want their offspring weak, that is why they tell them not to cry for it does no good in up-coming battles.

For Stoick the vast, chief of Berk. This was how he was taught by his father and his father before him. To have a child so completely uncharacteristic non-viking type. It is only natural Stoick simply did not know how to be a father to the boy. But despite this he still should have been there, he should have seen the signs when Hiccup was just a wee lad. Instead of trying to pick up a sword he would gather belongings around the house and start building a stack of blocks. No matter how many times it fell, Hiccup would start again.

Stoick could not comprehend his son mentality. Not realising the child wanted to learn and be creative. For years he shoved Hiccup to the side for not seeing a man who should become like a Viking. And now due to his own negligence, stubbornness, and hatred for the ferocious beasts. He led his entire village to their deaths. But they were saved by his calamity, irony of a son who showed every bit raw Viking-ness he had inside of him all along.

Stoick snapped out of his thoughts feeling Hiccup tighten his hand. The widening of his eyes, his face more flustered breathing in sharp intakes.

"I promise, I-ill leave a-and never come b-back".

Confused by the statement, he swiped the hair from Hiccup's face. "What do you mean leave? You don't have to go anywhere Hiccup. Your safe now".

This only caused more tears.

"But y-you said I-I w-wasn't your s-son". The shock implanted on Stoick's face seeing his son bawling, the pillow becoming soaked.

"Y-you d-disowned me d-daddy". Hiccup shifted his arms to protect his face like a defence mechanisms. Viking are strong, fearless and most defiantly do not cry.

But the tears were coming. Stoick's heart repeatedly stabbed for he has caused this catastrophe upon his boy. To make Hiccup believe he was truly worthless, useless.

"Hiccup" Stoick reached for his son, who flinched moving to the edge of the bed near Toothless.

"No" he whimpered.

Heart-broken by his son's rejection Stoick sat down on his chair burying his head in his hands. No parents wanted their children afraid of them. A child's first role model is a parent who they dearly look up to. Stoick wanted a son that Hiccup tried desperately to fulfill. Took him fourteen years to discovered Hiccup was his desired child. What he did not show on the outside was all in his brain. So brilliant, selfless, full of courage, leadership, kindhearted underneath all the self-destruction by his inventions. Yet another reason to protect the village. It was right under Stoick's large nose and he was to self-absorbed to acknowledged it.

Stoick swallowed thickly, feeling the lump in his throat as the water began to emerged down his cheeks. How do you accept an apology for neglect, treated like an outcast and eventually disowned? What words could Stoick say to his teenage son to make things right?

"I'm sorry Hiccup, I'm so, so sorry". He whispered not noticing the surprised, dumbfounded look Hiccup was sending his way.

The tears kept raining down his hands as he choked a sob. "I am sorry for everything".

Hiccup had always been a forgiving person. But will he forgive his own flesh and blood for all the hardship he had endured because of him? Stoick startled when a hand clutched on to his clothing.

He mirrored his son. Hiccup tried to calm his tears by wiping them away but more kept coming. Toothless watched in curiosity as Hiccup push his arm out for his father. Stoick wasted no time picking up his sobbing son, who curled into his massive chest. Tiny intelligent hands grasp tightly on his bushy beard as his hands held the head and back. Stoick rocked his little boy (who hardly filled up most of his waist) back and front, whispering in his ear.

"Please believe me Hiccup, everything will be alright from now on. Oh my dear boy I love you so much and will absolutely prove it to you". Rubbing circles on his back with his index finger, he felt the sobs turned to snivel. A few minutes passed when Stoick felt Hiccup relax. His shoulders not tense and settling against his bulky arm. Hiccup brung his arms and knee to his chest, digging deeper into his father's warmth. Stroking the brownish hair his darling boy cried himself to sleep.

Stoick continued rocking Hiccup until the sound of deep breathing reached his ears. Placing a tender hand on his forehead he was happy to discover the fever has gone down a bit. Stoick cleaned away the tear-stains from his blotchy, pinky face. He smiled when Hiccup shifted slightly hiding his face in Stoick's clothes causing the large man to tighten his grip as well.

He then felt a bumped against his side as Toothless came over. His expression look satisfied at the results. Stoick could swear the nightfury was smiling.

Stoick placed a hand on Toothless's nose. The dragon crooned, his emerald eyes that matched his new family showed compassion and possibly forgiveness?

"I-I have made many mistakes. Especially towards my son. I never was there for Hiccup when he needed me the most. Maybe that's why he resorted to a dragon. That's why I- thank you Toothless".

To say dragon are mindless creatures is completely incorrect. Toothless's eyes widened, his ears perked up at the apology.

"Thank you for giving my son the benefit of the doubt. For being there to protect him and for loving him for who he is. I was always looking for my Viking boy when he has been here my whole life. But now I have to make things better. To be Hiccup's father. Toothless will you help me emend the relationship that I destroyed?".

Patiently was also not on the Viking list. But nonetheless Stoick sat waiting for the unholy offspring of lightning and death itself to agree. The soften cat-like eyes and a dip of the head was Stoick's answer.

He felt a small weight lift from his chest. He still had a long way to go. Caressing his son's cheek (which is now turning into a nice pale colour). Stoick the vast, chief of Berk, but most importantly a father will do everything in his power to redo all the wrongdoings in his son's life. He is determined to do his best.






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