From Life After They Left
Hey guys! Little bit of a shorter one today, but with this quarantine stuff going on in the US I’m going to have plenty of time to catch up on all the chapters I have outlined for you guys both here and in MTI. So enjoy, I’ll see you soon, and as always, let me know what you think or want to see!
Hiccup and Astrid: around 31 years old; Zephyr: 7 years old; Nuffink: 4 years old
“What’s wrong, Nuff?” Zephyr asked, spotting her brother pouting in the corner of the sitting room.
Nuffink didn’t answer. He only turned his body to face the wall, crossing his arms over his chest.
Zephyr giggled and shook her head. She joined her brother in the corner on the floor. “Daddy said we can go to Uncle Fishlegs and Aunt Ruffie’s hut. We can play with Nutmeg. Daddy said he’ll send Grandma Valka for us when the new baby is born.”
Nuffink turned his body away from Zephyr again, still staying silent.
Zephyr sighed. “Come on, Nuff, what is it?”
Nuffink mumbled something too low for Zephyr to hear.
“What?” Zephyr asked.
“I no want Momma to born a new baby!” Nuffink cried.
That’s not how you say that, Nuffink, Zephyr thought. But she’d correct him later; now wasn’t the time. “Why not? Then we’d have a new baby brother or sister. Aren’t you happy?”
“No!” Nuffink said, pulling his knees to his chest and burying his head in his arms.
“Well, Mommy and Daddy are happy. They’re very happy,” Zephyr thought out loud. “I am, too.”
“Well me not.” Nuffink stood up and stormed outside, forgetting to grab his furs in the process.
Zephyr sighed, corrected, “Not me, Nuff,” under her breath, and pulled on her own furs while grabbing her brother’s before following him out the door. “Nuffink!” She cried, running to catch up. “Nuff, where are you going?”
“Nutmeg,” he huffed.
“You know, Nutmeg is kind of like a sister,” Zephyr said, trying to change his mind about the new baby.
“No. Nutmeg is friend.” He snatched his furs from Zephyr’s hands and threw them around his shoulders, angrily shaking off the cold.
“Well, yeah, I guess. But having a brother or sister is like having a friend that lives with you!”
“No it not! It stinks!” Nuffink stomped down the path and crossed his arms.
Nuffink groaned and turned to look at Zephyr. “What?!” But Zephyr wasn’t walking next to him anymore. He turned around and found her standing on the path behind him. Her eyes were watery and she was hugging herself.
“We’re not friends?” she squeaked.
Nuffink suddenly felt very bad. “Well… That…”
“Why… Why do I stink?”
“That’s what you just said!”
“Well… Well, not you!”
“I’m your sister, Nuffink. You just said having a brother or sister stinks. You can’t take that back.” Zephyr scrubbed her eyes with her fist and walked past Nuffink, heart still sunk in her stomach and chest aching. “Let’s just go see Nutmeg,” she muttered.
Now Nuffink froze in place. “But Zephie-”
“Let’s go, Nuffink.” Zephyr kept trudging on.
Nuffink huffed again, more out of frustration than anger. He ran after Zephyr and grabbed her arm. “Zephie, I sorry.”
“Why don’t you like me?” Zephyr spun around to ask.
“I do! I love Zephie!”
“Then why did you say that?”
“I…” Nuffink blushed and looked to the ground. “I…”
Zephyr’s eyebrows stitched together as she watched her little brother digging his toes into the ground, arms locked behind his back. He mumbled something that she couldn’t hear. “I can’t hear you, Nuffink,” she said, but her voice was softer than she intended.
“I no wanna share my Zephie…”
“Share me? With the new baby?”
Nuffink nodded shyly.
“Nuff…” Zephyr pulled her little brother into her arms and gently squeezed him. He buried his head in her chest and squeezed his arms around her midsection.
He mumbled something into her chest, but Zephyr couldn’t make it out.
Nuffink lifted his head and looked into Zephyr’s eyes, his own swimming in tears. “Zephie protect me. What if you no protect me no more?”
Zephyr smiled. “I’ll always protect you, Nuffink. I’m not going anywhere.”
Nuffink sniffed. “Promise?”
Hiccup gently squeezed Astrid’s hand, combing his fingers through her sweaty hair. “Just keep breathing. You’re doing great, Ast.”
“Do you think… The kids… Are okay?” She spoke between panted breaths.
Hiccup chuckled. “I think we need to focus on this one right now. Zephyr and Nuffink are fine.”
Astrid cried out before clenching her teeth together. “Hiccup! Where’s Tuffnut? Or Valka?” she groaned.
“Do you need to push?” Hiccup asked, jumping to his feet.
“No! Not without help!”
“Astrid… I don’t think this baby is going to let you wait-”
“I can’t, Hiccup, I can’t! What if-” Her argument was cut off by another contraction that took her breath away. “What if something goes wrong?” She continued as it slowed. “Like when Nuffink…”
“It won’t,” Hiccup said firmly, leaning over his wife.
“You don’t know that!” Astrid cried, tears flowing freely down her face.
“Astrid, hey, look at me. Ast, look at me!” Hiccup gently cupped his hands around her face to pull her attention to him. She grimaced through another strong contraction before she was able to settle her eyes on his. “We can do this,” he started, keeping his voice level and calm. “You can do this. You haven’t had a single problem this whole pregnancy, and you’re zipping through this birth like a Timberjack clearing a forest.” He leaned in closer, his forehead touching her’s. “I am right here. I won’t let anything happen to you. We can’t stop it. We know what to do. It’s going to be okay. Okay?”
Astrid locked eyes with Hiccup, seeing nothing but determination and resolve. She took a few deep breaths and nodded her head.
“Okay.” Hiccup firmly grabbed Astrid’s hand and kneeled on the bed at her side.
Not 4 pushes later, Hiccup scrambled to catch his newest child and bring him (another boy!) to Astrid’s chest as she gasped in shock. Her arms immediately wrapped around the child, eyes wide and pouring tears as she looked between his face and her husband’s.
Astrid and Hiccup pulled Astrid’s open tunic around the small boy, as Astrid noted that he wasn’t near as small as Nuffink was. Hiccup immediately began rubbing his back. “Come on, little guy, show Momma how you can breath…”
Astrid didn’t even have time to worry that something was wrong before the babe sputtered and coughed, followed shortly by a strong cry ringing through the room. His face bloomed red and his arms and legs scrunched strongly against the new cold surroundings.
When Hiccup lifted his eyes, bright with a prideful smile, back to his wife, he found her own eyes to be wide, frightened, and overwhelmed. Grabbing a damp cloth nearby, he gently patted the sweat from her face as she sputtered nonsense, focus shifting frantically from her new son to her husband and back again.
“Astrid,” Hiccup chuckled, holding her face steady in his palm.
She slowed for a moment and allowed her gaze to settle on her husband.
With a soft smile, he whispered, “You did it, love.”
Astrid sniffed, followed by an incredulous laugh. “Don’t say it,” she breathed with a tears and a growing smile of her own.
Hiccup chuckled. “I wasn’t going to.”
Astrid looked down at the new babe in her arms, happily suckling away already on his first meal.
Hiccup kissed her forehead as he reached over to stroke the baby’s head. “Nuff was just a fluke. Just like me.”
Astrid scoffed playfully. “A fluke that changed the world.”
Hiccup shook his head and smiled wider. “We should be afraid of what Nuffink will do, then.” They shared a quiet laugh until both their gazes fell lovingly back to their boy.
After a stretch of silence, Astrid whispered, “Maybe you’re right, though.”
Hiccup sat next to her on the bed and wrapped her up in his arms. She gladly snuggled into his chest, keeping their child secure to her own. “What do you mean?” he asked quietly.
She paused for a moment. “Maybe… Maybe I just needed someone to…” She laughed to herself. “I don’t know, bring back my hope, or something.”
Hiccup smiled to himself, admiring his son over Astrid’s shoulder. “Tu renovas nostra spes.”
Astrid’s brows furrowed in confusion. “What’s that?”
He chuckled at himself. “Rough Latin. I’ve been trying to learn it for the last year from some of Fishlegs’ books.”
She shifted slightly to look at him better. “Well, what does that mean?”
“You renew our hope,” Hiccup translated, stroking their son’s cheek with his finger.