How would the first movie play out if Stoick from the Second movie walks up in the past and has a second shot of stopping Drago. I just imagine how confused everyone at Berk would be to changes in his personality and behavior especially to Hiccup.
That would be an awesome story.
Adrenaline and terror coursing through his veins, Stoick feels a second of white heat, the hard impact from every side, and then it all goes black.
He awakens with a shout, sucking in warm, dark air. It takes him a moment to register the bed beneath him, the walls around him… Another moment to hear the screaming outside. The alarm bells. The flashes of red flame and bleating of terrified sheep.
He’s in his room. He’s on Berk. His skin isn’t cold and raw from ice caves, but warm and sticky with dried sweat.
He stumbles out of his bed, smacking his shin on a clothings’ chest (hadn’t he moved it against the wall last spring?), and with a pounding heart throws open his shutters.
Starlight had been replaced with wings and fire. Braziers cast violent shadows across the chaotic grounds as Vikings vault and sprint and swing, all glinting blades and bellows. Rage and excitement tainted the air, swallowable, invigorating.
Stoick shakes the addictive sensations from his body and tries to focus. A dragon attack. On Berk.
How is it possible? Where is Hiccup?
Hoark’s scrambling up the hill, dried blood on his cheeks.
“They came a day earlier than we thought, Cheif!” the man puffs. Stoick barely hears him.
Why is Hoark’s beard at full length? He’d lost half to scarring in that Zippleback incident three years ago…
“Aye,” Stoick hears himself say absently, “I’ll be out in a mo’…”
On autopilot, déjà vécu occluding his mind with every movement, Stoick throws on his cloak and shoulder pads and bracers. His hand reaches for an axe he hadn’t kept by the hearth in five years, but something about this moment moves his body. Like a play he had rehearsed too many times.
He’d…he’d done this before.
He takes the time to race up to the loft: Hiccup’s bed is empty. There’s no roof-hatch in the ceiling. No large, flat bedstone for Toothless.
He thunders down the stairs, the grip on his axe dangerously slick with sweat.
“Where’s Hiccup?” he roars at Hoark. The man appears taken aback. Even with only blazing fire for light Stoick sees how much younger the man looks. Less scars, no grey.
“What? Ah, he’d run off to Gobber’s last I saw. His house, mind, not the forge.”
Stoick nods shortly and beelines towards Gobbers hut, navigating a battlefield, feeling at odds with not participating. He wants to shout to stop hurting them! To lay down their weapons. But he sees their stores being ravaged and their sheep carried off. These dragons are hurting his village and if he has to choose…
“What’s the plan, chief?” Phlegma shouts from atop the cleaved body of a Gronkle. She has a rescued sheep under one arm and is yanking the buried half of her double-bladed axe from her kill. Her braid style is an old one. She has more muscle on her than Stoick recalls.
Stoick slows and opens his mouth, unwitted. What can he say? What is happening?
He can see Hoark mouthing something to Phlegma that Stoick can only assume has something to do with his uncharacteristic blank expression. He must seem a fool to them.
Distraction comes in the form of a small and gangly blur.
Stoick snatches Hiccup from a raze of fire so quickly it shocks the both of them.
The brume recedes to make room for clarity; his mind ready to accept the impossible turn of events.
Because now, with his tiny (tiny!) son swinging petulantly from his grip, Stoick understands. It had been years since he’d been able to pick up his son with one hand. That, more than anything, told Stoick this wasn’t a dream (how could it be? With all the blistering heat and choking, frenzied atmosphere?).
He had died.
Stoick had died with his last sensation being his son in his hands, much like this. His much heavier, much taller boy in his grip, being thrown out of Death’s path.
But now he’s alive.
Stoick sets Hiccup back on the ground, but doesn’t release the scruff of his vest. He doesn’t shove him off with a harsh “Get back inside!”.
He pulls Hiccup to his chest and hugs him. Hiccup muffles something into the fabric of his tunic but suddenly Stoick can’t bring himself to let go.
The gods were playing a game.
They’d shown him everything: the Nest, Dragon’s nature, his son’s potential, his wife….
This time he’d play to win.
This time, he’d do things right.
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