Sixteen months, it’d been sixteen long months since Astrid fainted and fell into this never-ending sleep with no change and still, no one had any idea what caused this and now, the entire village was sick.
People were dying left and right and Hiccup was terrified.
At first, they thought it was Eel pox, but as time passed the symptoms took a turn for the worse and within hours, the infected would die.
Not even Gothi knew what it was…or how to cure it.
“Hiccup!” Fishlegs bursting into the door followed by Halldora and Trista broke him from his reverie.
“What’s going on?”
“The dragons…” Fishlegs huffed.
Trista humphed and shoved past Fishlegs, “The dragons are gone!” She enlightened their chief, who didn’t take the news well.
“What do you mean gone? When did you notice they were missing? Toothless was here just this morning!” Hiccup ran past them and into the stable attached to his house, coming up short when both Toothless and Stormfly were missing.
“Just a few hours ago. Mom said they ran from the disease.” Halldora piped up, squeezing past Fishlegs and Trista to talk to her brother.
“Shit. This is bad.”
“Uh huh.” Fishlegs agreed with him.
“Dada.” A little voice cried from inside the house, followed by a violent cough.
The group standing there felt a sense of dread and went running towards the children’s rooms.
“Oh god, Loki.” Hiccup swooped his little boy into his arms and felt his feverish skin against his own. Seeing the blood on Loki’s lips, Hiccup knew that his son was on death’s doorstep.
“Hiccup!” Trista cried, running into the room, an unconscious Lief in her arms.
“Lief.” Hiccup felt the tears fighting to fall, but forced them back.
“Hiccup, we have to get them to Gothi. We don’t have much time.” Halldora urged him, trying to get action.
“Camicazi.” Hiccup carefully laid his son in his sister’s arms and went running into his daughter’s room.
What he saw brought him up short.
Fishlegs stood there amongst a turned over toy box looking bewildered. Completely alone.
“Hiccup…she was gone when I got in here, but look…someone knocked over the paint bucket and left behind footprints…” Fishlegs gestured towards the corner shelf where they’d always kept the paint for the children to use.
“Those look like dragon foot prints…” Hiccup scratched his head, thinking and carefully studying the foot prints, wracking his brain for who would dare…”Toothless!”
“What? Why would Toothless take Camicazi?” Halldora questioned standing in the doorway with Loki in her arms.
“Because she wasn’t sick.” Hiccup answered, dead serious turning and taking Loki from his sister.
“And he knew that Loki and Lief were.” Fishlegs continued, following his friend who ran out of the house and towards Gothi’s.
“So he took her before she got sick too.” Halldora finished the thought, easily bypassing Fishlegs.
Hours later and they’d only gotten worse. So far they were the first two children to be effected, but others were already being brought in. And still no cure.
“Hiccup…” Fishlegs approached his friend, not sure what to say. What do you say to the man whose wife was permanently asleep, sons were dying, and daughter was missing with his best friend.
“We have to find a cure for this Fishlegs.”
“I-I can, maybe, go talk to your mom and together we can put something together that may help?” Fishlegs stuttered, unsure how to really stop this.
“Yeah…that sounds good…go do that.” Hiccup never looked up from his hands.
“Valka’s at home, at her alchemy station already Fishlegs, if you want to go join her.” Trista volunteered the information, coming to sit beside her brother-in-law.
“Thanks.” Fishlegs murmured, hurrying out the door.
“Halldora volunteered to go be with Assa, I guess sh isn’t doing so well lately…especially since Asgear left her and I’m going to go home as well and see what more I can do to help mom. Unless you want me to stay?” Trista gently rubbed Hiccup’s shoulder, peering down to look at him through the cracks in his fingers.
“No, go.” Snotlout interrupted. “I’ve got him.”
“You sure?” Trista whispered as she passed her cousin heading towards the door.
In response, Snotlout sat next to his cousin, slapping him on the shoulder.
“They’ll make it and hey, maybe Astrid will wake up? That’d be nice. I’ve missed her sarcastic remarks all the time when I do something stupid.”
“You’re being sensitive Snotlout.”
“Yeah, well…it’s a sucky time.”
Hiccup sighed, slumping back against the wall.
“Did you know I had two sisters?” Snotlout randomly blurted.
“What?” Hiccup sat up straight, staring at the far away look on Snotlout’s face.
“Yep, I’ve apparently got an older sister and a little half-sister too. Know how I never met my mom? Well apparently she’s from another tribe. Her and dad had a kid before me and afterwards she left, taking my sister and leaving me. Then she shacked up with another dude and had another daughter.”
“Holy…wow Snotlout, I don’t know what to say to that. That’s just…wow. How’d you find out?”
“Dad’s sick. He told me last night. So he knows I still have family.”
“You’ve got us though. I know that dad’s gone, but we’re still cousins. That’s family.”
“Probably closer to us then you would be them.”
“Yeah right.” Snotlout snorted. “Like I need anyone, anyways. I’m a warrior! A man! I need no one.” Snotlout declared, the sad laughed that followed showed his hollow heart.
“Yeah, well, you’ve still got us.” Hiccup continued, just as the door to his family’s room opened and Gothi walked out with her head hanging and Hiccup felt his heart stop and his stomach drop.