Fun fact time! Fragonard's name was originally 'Thagur' but I decided that sounded too much like Dagur, so I changed it. His name comes from a famous French Rococo Artist, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, who is famous for the painting 'The Swing,' which makes a cameo in Frozen.
Kyleeadams123- I get your reviews, and I want to say thank you! Now, you just need to make an account so I can answer your questions!
BTW, you can find me on Tumblr by the same name!
Please read the Author's note at the bottom!
For the first time since the incident, Astrid arose with the sun. She heard Toothless' soft crooning and turned to the bed next to her, prepared to see her best friend tucked in bed.
His absence perturbed her.
"I bet he fell asleep at the forge." She rolled her eyes. She got up and stretched, then looked closer at her bed. It was still made, so he really never came home last night. With a shrug, she began to get dressed.
Toothless heard her get up and followed, in prospect of food.
Downstairs she went, only to hear Stoick still snoring away. She snuck out the front door, beginning her man hunt.
It started at the forge, where she expected him to be, but when he was no where in sight, her concern rose. "Hiccup?" She asked. She pulled back the curtain to his back room, and found it empty.
"This is so odd…" She whispered to herself. Her eyes scanned the room, looking for any sort of clue to his whereabouts.
A gleam caught her eye. A gold piece sat on the table, out in the open. Why would Hiccup do something so negligent as to leave a piece a gold out? Then again, why was it still in a raw state? Shouldn't it be melted down by now? He was supposed to be working all night. Next to the ore was the concept drawing, fully sketched.
Where was Hiccup?
"Good morning, lass!" A goat like voice chirped. "I thought you'd be preparing for your wedding!"
Astrid glanced over to Gobber and acknowledged him. "I thought I would be too, but my husband to be is missing, I'm afraid."
"Really? You 'aven't seen im?"
"No, have you?"
"No, not since last night when you made your proclamation."
Oh, that's right. She told everyone off. Well, she would worry about that later, right now, she had to find Hiccup.
"What's this doing here?" Gobber muttered as he picked up a sword lying on the ground. "I've been fixing this for Shamus, but now it's all dented."
Possessing the keen eye of a fighter, Astrid's gaze fell to the ground. Hints of blood littered the dirt and the edge of a table. Her eyes widened.
"I'm going to look elsewhere," she spoke, her eyes riveted on the mess. "Tell me if you see him."
"Will do lass!" And he went to work, blissfully unaware of her discovery.
She took Stormfly to the cove, assuming that would be the next place he would be. She called for him, but there was no answer. It was the same result on the beach and at the arena. Desperate, she went back home.
"Good morning, Astrid." Stoick greeted.
She didn't miss a beat. "I can't find Hiccup."
"Did you check the—…"
"I checked the forge, the cove, the beach, and the arena. Gobber hasn't seen him either."
"Well, I bet he's around here somewhere. Toothless is here, so he couldn't have flown off. I bet it's just some pre-wedding jitters."
"I have a very bad feeling that it's not."
Stoick sighed. "Everything's fine, Astrid. Did you check the Great Hall?"
She opened her mouth and then snapped it shut. She hadn't. without another word, she turned and left.
The Great Hall was at it's normal occupancy, people congregating for breakfast and the like. When she entered, glances were made her way, but no one said anything to her. There were a few smiles, as a result of her sticking up for herself yesterday, but that was about it.
Women of the village were hanging garland from the rafters and converting the room for a wedding. She sighed.
She spotted Fragonard and his brothers merrily chatting and scarfing down breakfast. They were in too good of a mood for her comfort.
A quiet table of four teens was the next thing to grab her attention, and she hurried back to them.
"Have any of you guys seen Hiccup?" She asked, without so much as a greeting.
No one replied, as guilty looks crossed their faces.
"Look," She snapped, irate. "I know I'm 'unclean' or whatever, according to the law. I'm sure you're parents told you to stay away from me. But didn't they also tell you to stay away from dragons? Because according to the law, they were evil? I thought we were pioneers."
The teens shared glances with each other.
"This isn't about me right now, I'm really concerned for Hiccup."
"Why?" Asked Tuffnut.
"Because I can't find him anywhere and no one has seen him. Toothless is back at the house, where he's been all night, and Fragonard is in a frightening good mood."
"Well, if Toothless is here, he has to still be on Berk." Fishlegs offered.
"That's what Stoick suggested. Could you guys help me look?"
Not but a handful of moments later, the teens were spread out over the island. Astrid rode on Toothless's back, deciding and admitting that Hiccup's dragon was faster and a better tracker than her Nadder. Not able to work the rodder, the two raced through the woods on land.
Climbing rose on the wall, pick it now, before the petals fall. Apple ripe on the bough, take it, for the time to take is now.
"Toothless, let me down." She coaxed the dragon to a halt. "Let's spread out and cover more ground. You take the north, I'll take the south."
Toothless snorted and darted into the trees.
So my love, oh, my love. We'll watch the showers, that kiss the flowers. Perhaps we'll do the same. And I am hopin', your heart will open, like roses in the rain.
"Hiccup!" She called, her voice echoing emptily through the trees. This was bad. There was no sign of the boy. Then again, he might not even be on the island. He could be out on a boat…well, Snotlout was checking the water. Maybe Hiccup had gone fishing for Toothless and fell asleep.
That was optimism, for sure. Snotlout would have found him by now if that was the case. On the other hand, if Fragonard was behind his disappearance, it could be a whole other thing. Would they even find Hiccup? Could Frag be so demented that he threw Hiccup into the sea, from a cliff? That was horrific and gruesome to think about, and probably a worst case scenario. "Hiccup!" She called again. Still no answer, and she pressed on.
Nothing is forever, always is a lie. I can only love you till the day I die.
If anything happens to him, she knows she'll blame herself. He got involved because of her after all. If he had just acted like everyone else and stayed out of it, he might be playing with Toothless or something right now.
But then, she might not even be here.
Hiccup was a grown boy. He could take care of himself. He carried her home last night, in fact. But without Toothless, she feared he was defenseless. And maybe, he sort of was. She called out for him again.
Before the rain goes, we'll look for rainbows. That bloom in lovers lane, till sunlight settles, upon the petals...
Of roses in the rain…
There. A soft scratching sound hit her ears. She listened closely, trying to discern the direction. It was something big. Too big for a woodland animal, but too small for a dragon. Rocks rolled across the ground, down a slope.
"Hiccup?" Astrid cried.
A loud thumping sound came from just over the ridge, and she hurried to find it.
Her heart fluttered in her chest like a caged bird, as her blood ran cold.
Hiccup lay on the ground, mostly naked, and mutilated. He cradled a hand to his chest and used his elbow to support himself. With the other hand, he beat the ground to make noise. His head lulled forward as he lacked the strength to raise it.
"Hiccup!" She meant to scream it, but her voice caught in her throat. She ran to him, grasping his arms and face. The dark blotches, she noticed, were not dirt, but in fact bruises, inflicted with crude weapons. Carefully, she rolled him over and propped him up so he could lay across her lap. His eyes gazed up at her, fighting for sight but so completely blurred with tears, and swollen with contusions, he was nearly blind.
"A-A….A—As...ss…tt…" He pushed for words, his lips trembling, but he remained mute. She knew it had to do with the blossoming black mark across his rib cage, or maybe the hand-like bruises that decorated his neck.
"Oh my dear, sweet Hiccup…" She whispered. "What have they done to you?" Her hand cupped his scraped cheek and moved upward into his hair, where it became coated with a wet and sticky substance.
She already knew it was blood.
"F-F…Fra…g…" He muttered.
"I know. I know." She sniffed, allowing him to rest against her breast. "TOOTHLESS!" She cried, hoping to the dragon to be nearby. "Toothless we need you! I found him!"
She brought one leg up to better support him. "I'm so sorry, Hiccup. This is all my fault. I—I shouldn't have gone in that armory!" She berated herself.
Weakly, Hiccup lifted a crushed hand and a crooked finger to her lips. He slowly shook his head. He took a long breath before biting out, "N—noth…ing…is your…fault." He gasped as his mouth trembled. To save Astrid embarrassment, he pushed away from her. He managed to roll away just enough so he could vomit on the grass and not on her. He coughed up blood, and then got sick again. He panted harshly, then sunk back into her arms.
Astrid chewed her bottom lip in an attempt to quell the emotion stinging her eyes. Instead of responding, she shouted. "Help! Somebody help! Snotlout! Fishlegs! Ruff! Tuff!" Her voice was gravelly. "SOMEBODY! Anybody…" She touched her temple to his forehead and listened to his asthmatic breathing.
Her wits were starting to come back to her as she realized that the young man in her arms was in fact, bleeding profusely and she needed to survey his injuries and try to staunch the flow.
As far as she could tell, his nose was bleeding the most, as his face was a tell tale sign. She rubbed it off with her arm wraps, careful not to knock the tender cartilage. Dirt clung to his chest and pants, with hints of green pigment from the grass staining his skin. Under the mud, an abrasion covered his torso, looking to be inflicted from the ground. His prosthetic was missing as well. Then it hit her.
He had been crawling back to the village. For how long, she couldn't tell.
His battered chest rose and fell with each painful breath.
"It's going to be okay, I promise." She spoke, her voice hallow.
Maybe it was to comfort him and put him at ease, or maybe it was because she needed to, but her lips laid gently on his forehead. "Just hang on..."
An echoing call of a Nightfury pierced through the air.
"Finally! Toothless! Over here!" She screamed.
The ground shook with the panicked bounds of the Nightfury before he cleared the area and came to a shrieking halt in front of them. Immediately, he let out a low slow whine and licked the blood and dirt from his rider's body.
"We'll worry about that later," Astrid calmed the beast, "right now we need to get him back to the village."
Toothless rumbled lowly and laid flat to the ground, allowing Astrid to more easily lift him up.
She struggled because he was completely limp from exhaustion. He winced as her fingers grazed open wounds.
"I'm sorry, I want to help you as quick as possible."
He nodded shakily as she looped his arms around her neck. In order to keep him from jostling around, she pulled him close to her chest and held him one arm under his legs, the other securely around his lashed back. With some difficultly, she was able to slide up onto Toothless' back, as she leaned forward and kept Hiccup pressed against her.
"Go, Toothless! Go!" She urged.
Like Lightning, the dragon was off.
Astrid didn't bother steering or directing, she just focused on the hurt young man in her arms, as he struggled to hang on to her.
In time, they made it to the village. Toothless bounded across the landscape, nearly knocking people over. The villagers saw the state that Hiccup was in and immediately felt sick for gossiping. Astrid's shame was put out of the way as worry and concern took place.
"Stoick! Stoick come quick!" She shouted. Vikings rushed around, looking for the chief. With a huff, Astrid urged Toothless up to the house.
Upstairs, Astrid was able to ease the boy down onto the bed, without jarring him. His breathing was still very harsh, but he was starting to get some color back. Toothless nudged his hand and let it rest on his snout.
"What's all the ruckus?" Stoick shouted from downstairs.
"I found Hiccup, and just in time too." Astrid called back.
The chief ascended the stairs and stopped short when he saw his son. "Oh no…" he muttered. His eyes raked over his feeble state and drank in the lacerations. Without tearing away his gaze, he asked the girl, "Was it Fragonard?"
"That's what Hiccup said."
The injured boy peeked his eyes open and attempted to raise a hand. "Ah—As…"
"I'm here. I'm here Hiccup." She gently took his hand.
"We need a healer." Stoick stood and with a flourish, disappeared from the room.
Astrid noticed a bucket on the floor from a few nights ago, when he wiped away her tears. She withdrew the cloth and began to clean his face, doing her best to be delicate, which was not her strong suit. "What a mess."
His mouth twitched in a grin.
"Not you. I mean, you are a mess, but…this whole…thing! Why does he feel like he has to top us every time? You didn't even do anything!" She parted the hair away from his forehead. "What a jerk."
Hiccup muttered something in agreement.
She swallowed hard as she took in more of his wounds, now that she could. "It's a good thing he didn't know you were left handed. Though, you might not be working for a while." She gestured to his obviously broken hand.
Astrid wished he would just pass out. Seeing him lying there in pain made it so much worse. Again, she took up the rag and started to clean the dirt from his chest. "I know you told me not to touch you like this, but I'm going to ignore it."
"S—Sss…Stin…Stinker…" He cheeked, trying to hide his wincing.
"I'm sorry." She started. "When you and I became friends, the thing I did the most for you, was try to give you some encouragement, and maybe some companionship. I wasn't really good for anything else. But you've done so much for me. I can't even begin to explain how grateful I am, even for the little day to day things." She cupped his cheek. "Your love for me shows in everything that you do, and I'm sorry I didn't see that before."
The front door opened and footsteps were heard.
"I'm going to make it up to you, starting now, I promise." She quickly leaned in and delivered a quick kiss to his cheek.
She stood, right as the healers came into the room. She spared one last glance before she took her axe off the wall and left.
She met a worried Stoick outside. "Where did you find him?"
"In the woods," she supplied, "I believe he was crawling his way back here. I don't know where from."
"Son of a—…"
"What's going to happen to Fragonard?"
"If this was any normal man, he'd be killed. It's attempted assassination on my heir! But, Fragonard is the heir of the Shivering Shores, our good friends, and they can be very hostile. We can't afford a war."
"What do you want to do?" She asked, a frightful calmness in her mien.
Stoick looked at her with wrath in his soul piercing gaze. "I want to kill him."
She raised her axe. "Then let me."
Sudden realization came over the chief as he made a determined nod.
"Where is he?"
"Probably hiding. Try the hall, maybe he's even drunk."
"Oh, goody." She rolled her eyes.
She headed in that direction as the image of Hiccup from last night came into the forefront of her mind. He was giddy and all smiles, and so tender. His kiss even still lingered. But then, his image faded to that broken body, that shell of a soul. All her happiness dissolved. This wasn't about her anymore. Fragonard made this into something much bigger than he should have. Something much bigger then he could have imagined. Toothless of course would love to have a piece of the action, but in this situation, Astrid was perfectly content taking care of him herself. The dragon just needed to stay with Hiccup, and comfort him.
Astrid's rape had been a catalyst to stir and awaken feelings that had long since stayed dormant after her friendship with Hiccup. A streak of timorous shame came bounding forward and struck out her pride and confidence. If Fragonard hadn't dragged Hiccup into this, it was likely that he could have gone on with his merry life and Astrid may or may not have healed from the psychological wounds he gave her. But, by injuring Hiccup and giving her a reason to fight back, not out of revenge, he was in for the wrath of Astrid Hofferson. All of her hurt, rage and grief started to simmer and boil, turning into hard, blackened rage.
She pushed into the Great Hall, scanning the tables for the obnoxious pain in the ass. Indeed, he had a frothy mug in his hand as he chatted with his brothers. For the first time, she noticed that he was the only happy one. The other two looked to be guilt ridden, and slightly terrified.
At the older boy's face, her teeth grit and her blood boiled. She clenched her axe with white knuckles and stormed over to the table.
She was still a few feet off when she screamed to get his attention. "You evil, conniving, disgusting worm!"
The room was suddenly at attention.
Fragonard met her gaze with a smile. Nothing could deter his good mood. "Well, hello bitch."
"You think you can get away with what you've done!? Well, forget about it!"
"So you finally came out of shock, huh? Now, haven't you yelled at me enough? Why don't you get lost. I'm tired of looking at you."
"You keep digging your grave, now stay in it!" She snarled.
"And what are you going to do? Cut off my penis? Oh wait, you already did!" He snapped.
"I challenge you to an Einvigi!"
The crowd burst into frantic chattering. An Einvigi was a duel, but with no rules, just two warriors facing head to head. They alone would judge the winner.
Fragonard glanced around and then chuckled. "Really? You're going to pull a card like that?"
"You're a murderer." She hissed. "These laws aren't working for me."
"So, know you want to fight me? I think it's highly unfair, considering what your little boyfriend did to me. I think the score is even."
"The score is far from even. You should still be serving for your first crime. Hiccup didn't deserve what you did to him."
"Hell yeah he did! The original terms were just for me to never return to Berk. I was okay with that. But that kid kept arguing and arguing until my final sentence was delivered, just to shut him up!"
"You really have no remorse for what you've done..." She stated bewildered.
"What's wrong with a little fun?" He grinned.
Her face spoke volumes.
His smile fell. "Fine. What are the terms? My banishment for your hand?"
"No." She bit, raising her axe. "This Einvigi…is to the death!"
So, I have most of this story written. I'm just pacing with the uploads so I can be regular (I have a busy life). So, my dilemma is what to do next. I have three ideas that I want to do equally, but I can't figure out which one I want to do first. I can't do them all at the same time. So, I want to hear what you guys have to say! Here are the options:
1. What the Water Gave Me "Mer!AU. Cerulean met Viridian, like the sky meets the earth. Blue was threatening, green was terrified. 'L-Look,' whispered Fishlegs, breaking the trance. 'His-His fin...'" Hiccstrid Drama/Romance
2. Parasite "Soulsnatch dragons are rare but deadly. But as Hiccup finds out the hard way, it's the eggs you have to watch out for." Hicctooth bromance, sprinkled with Hiccstrid. Drama/Friendship
3. 320 State Street "Modern AU. It was just a job. Sandwiches. Easy. A simple way to get money. But that stupid brunet with the silly name just has to go and make things complicated." Hiccstrid Drama/Romance
So friends and followers, send in your votes! You have until this story is complete to chose!