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Summary: Families are complicated.

"Bet you I find the biggest rabbit."

"You couldn't find a rabbit if it was burrowing in your boot."

"Jealous much?  Watch close, you might learn something."

"Sure.  I'm always up for adding more 'Hilarious ways Tuff mauls himself' to my mental list."

"Ruffnut?  Tuffnut?  Where are you off to?"

The twins stopped just in front of the doorway and looked over at where their mother was sitting in front of the fireplace, sewing a large something out of light blue fabric.

"We're going hunting," Tuffnut said.

"Hunting?" Marigold Thorston asked distractedly.

"Yeah, hunting.  You know, hitting small fleshy things with large metal things?" Ruffnut said, and Tuffnut snickered.

Marigold looked up at them and frowned.  "There's no need for that tone, young lady."

"Sorry Mom," Ruffnut said, rolling her eyes.

"So, we're just gonna..."  Tuffnut made for the door again.

"Just a moment," Marigold said.  She stood up, and the large blue something unfurled to become a ruffly blue dress.  Ruffnut's eyes shot open.  "Ruffnut, come over here a minute, would you?"

"Why?" Ruffnut asked, frozen in place.  Tuffnut started laughing again.

"I need to do a fitting."

"No you don't," Ruffnut said quickly, and punched Tuff when he snorted.

Marigold sighed and gave her daughter a Look.  "Now don't be difficult."

"Can't we do it later?" Ruffnut begged.  "I want to go hunting right now."

Marigold waved her hands dismissively.  "You don't need to do that.  Let the boys handle the dirty work."

"I like to get dirty too!" she cried, and punched Tuffnut again when he doubled over.

"Nonsense.  Now, I have some matching shoes somewhere..."

Marigold disappeared down the hall, and Ruffnut leapt for the door.  She ran face first into Tuffnut's open palm.  "Now, now, sis, don't be like that," he said with an evil smile.  "You have to do your daughterly duties."

"Get out of my way," she growled, "or I will kick your ass from here to Jötunheim."

"Hm...naw," Tuffnut said, and quickly blocked as Ruff tried to break to the left.  "I don't care how pissed you get, it'll be worth it."

"I'm going to kill you.  No really.  You are so dead."

Tuffnut laughed.  "Hey, you remember when we were little and Mom didn't pay attention sometimes, and you used to make me get dressed up in your place?"

Ruffnut smiled, enjoying the still vivid memories of her brother in a tutu.  "Yeah, that was great."

"Here we are!" Marigold said, sweeping back into the room.

Realized she'd been successfully distracted, Ruffnut glared at Tuff and hissed, "Death."  He just smiled.

"Come along Ruffnut, we don't have all day," Marigold called, and Ruffnut's shoulder's slumped.

"Well, you two have fun," Tuffnut said with a large grin, and opened the door.

"Wait Tuffnut, as long as you're going out, I wanted you to run an errand for me.  You see that basket on the counter?"

Tuff grabbed the large woven basket from its place and looked at it curiously.  "Yeah, what about it?"

"Could you drop that by your grandmother's for me?  And make sure to ask her about her hip, I know she's been having some trouble with it."

His face fell, and it was Ruffnut's turn to laugh.  "Gammy's?  By myself?"

"Don't dawdle.  It's about time for her cats' feedings, and I'm sure she'd appreciate your help with that.  Now, Ruffnut, over here?"

Tuffnut winced and looked at his sister.  "Trade?"

"Nope!"  She clapped him on the back with a wide grin.  "Good luck bro!"  And with that she scampered away to the relative safety of the frilly dress, leaving Tuffnut whimpering behind her.


**********************


"Now, I think we'll have better luck with the spear.  It is, of course, fairly lightweight..."

"Uh-huh, always good."

"...If you keep it balanced properly and you need to, you use it like a javelin without getting too close to your target..."

"Right, don't want to put ourselves in unnecessary danger."

"...But it's got enough range on its own to use for melee without putting yourself right next to your opponent."

"Every advantage helps."

"It does have a pointy bit at the end though, so try not to stab yourself."

"I haven't done that in over a week!  How about celebrating my achievements?"

Stoick sighed.  "Hiccup, if we celebrated every time you almost kill yourself, we wouldn't have time for anything else."

Hiccup shrugged.  "Hey, nonstop party.  I know a few people who would be up for that."

Stoick thrust the spear against Hiccup's chest.  "Focus, son.  Today we're going to practice throwing."

Hiccup looked up and down the length of the spear.  "Sure, sure, that sounds like a plan.  But uh, maybe you could demonstrate first, so I'll know --"

Stoick grabbed one of the extra spears he had jabbed into the ground and flung it across the field.  It streaked forward in a perfect arc, quickly disappearing from sight.

"-- okay, wow, that's..."  An animal cried out from within the forest, and Hiccup's jaw dropped.  "Wh -- how -- how did you even see that?"

"You have to be aware of everything that's going on around you.  You'll learn as we go."  Stoick looked sharply at him.  "As long as you pay attention and don't wander off."

"Come on Dad, I'm not six anymore."

"Or fourteen."

"Or fourteen.  I'm completely focused."

"If you say so, son.  Now, give it a try."

Hiccup looked back at his spear.  "Are you sure you don't want to give another demonstration first?  I mean, the more I know about the technique, the more --"

"Quit stalling."

"But I'm so good at it!"  Stoick gave him another look, and Hiccup sighed.  "Okay, fine."  He turned to the side, widened his stance, and drew his arm back.  He tried to feel the length and weight of the spear and balance it correctly in his grip.  When he decided it was as good as it was going to get, he flung his arm forward and let go.

The spear traveled about ten feet before clattering to the ground harmlessly.  A high-pitched gurgle came from the trees above them, and Hiccup glared at Toothless.  "No one asked you," he said.  Then he looked at the spear, and his shoulders slumped.  "See, I don't know why people think I can do that stuff now.  Just 'cause I can ride dragons.  It's not like I gained magical warrior abilities too."

"No, it's not," Stoick said, and clapped a large hand on Hiccup's shoulder.  "But it's something you should know all the same.  That's why I'm teaching you.  Now, go get it and try again."

An hour later they had made marginal progress.  Hiccup was about to give it another go when Stoick suddenly looked around sharply, then grabbed Hiccup's arm and dragged him into the bush.  Hiccup knew enough to keep quiet.  A few seconds later a fox stepped cautiously out into the open.

"All right Hiccup, there's your target," Stoick whispered.

"No offense Dad, but I think you're overestimating your teaching skills."

"You best hope not, because that's your dinner tonight."

"Seriously?"

"Yes.  Now kill it."

"You want me to kill the fox?"

"Sometime before winter ends, Hiccup."

"All right."  Hiccup looked into the branches over their heads, then said, "Go Toothless!"

The dragon darted out of the tree and was on the fox before it could move.  Stoick turned to look at Hiccup.

"What?  It's dead.  I figured I should go with my strengths."

Stoick rapped him sharply on the head with a knuckle.  "Bad Viking.  Lazy.  Now get your weapon and go drill some more."

"Oh goody," Hiccup muttered, and headed back to his practice position.  Toothless, busy gnawing on his catch, purred sympathetically.  "Thanks buddy."


**********************


"Yeah, so this cute girl was checking me out in the tavern."

"Mind the rigging."

"I bought her a couple drinks, you know.  Made small talk."

"Wind that rope."

"But that was the night before I was supposed to meet Hiccup and the rest early so we could fly out to the peaks, so I told her I'd have to look her up later."

"Are the nets secured?"

"So, you know, if I don't come home one night..."

Spitelout sighed and leaned against the ship's railing.  "I've told you before, Snotlout, as long as no one leaves a baby in a basket on my front door, I don't care what you do."

"Right, right."  Snotlout nodded sagely then looked out at the waves.  After a couple seconds he turned back to his father.  "I'm just sayin' though, she was pretty hot.  Like, you could compare her to the other girls our age, and she'd be up there."

"Congratulations."  Spitelout turned to take the helm.  "That's the nice thing about being married, son.  You don't have to obsess over who the most beautiful woman in the village is anymore."

"I thought that was the bad thing about being married."

Spitelout looked at him sharply.  "Who told you that?"

"Uh, you did.  Remember a few months ago when you and Mom got in a fight, and you got drunk and ended up sleeping on the front lawn?  You were kinda ranting and raving."

"Oh.  Well, don't tell your mother I said that."

"Come on, I know better than that."

The two fell silent for a few minutes, then Snotlout said, "Can I ask you something?"

Spitelout grimaced.  "Maybe."

"Well, Tuffnut was telling me that sometimes, when he takes a hot bath --"

"No."

"What?"

"No.  Whatever that boy says, don't listen to him."  Spitelout looked at Snotlout meaningfully and tapped his helmet.  "He's not quite right in the head.  You just watch, he's going to grow up to be the next Gobber."

"Huh."  Snotlout thought for a minute, then chuckled.  "I can totally see that, actually."

"There's one in every generation," Spitelout said, nodding wisely.

"He's totally fun to get drunk, though."

"They always are."  Spitelout's eyes lit up.  "Have you ever put him out to sea?"

"What?" Snotlout asked, tilting his head in confusion.

"Next time you're drinking by the docks, see if you can get him to pass out.  Then you just put him on a raft, and..."  Spitelout made a pushing motion with his hands.  "...shove off."

Snotlout laughed.  "Oh man, that's epic!  We are totally doing that next time.  You did that to Gobber?"

"No, Stoick, actually."

Snotlout's jaw dropped.  "You did that to the chief?  No way!"

"Well, technically he wasn't the chief then.  It was for his bachelor party."

"I bet he was pissed."

"You could say that."  Spitelout tugged his collar down to reveal a scar on his collarbone.  "That's where I got this one."

Snotlout snorted.  "Nice.  Hey, what did you get for your bachelor party?"

Spitelout winced and placed his hand gingerly over his rump.  "You don't need to see that."

"Well, what happened?"

"You're too young for that story."

"Come on, I'm old enough to warn about babies but not to hear the story?"

"Son, there are boulders around the village that shouldn't have had to witness that particular outing."

"Wow."  Snotlout fell into a contemplative silence for a few moments.  Then he said, "Bachelor parties sound awesome.  I can't wait to do that."

Spitelout gave him another sharp look.  "If you turn up engaged in the next month just so you can have a party, I'm going to kick your ass."

"All right, fine, geez!  No getting married for the parties."

"And no babies."

"You don't want me to have any fun, do you?" Snotlout said, pouting.

"See, now you're starting to understand what being a parent is," Spitelout said with a smile.  "Check the nets, would you?"


**********************


"It's pretty interesting, because they're so tough, but they spend so much of their time sleeping."

"I know yours does."

"But they sleep in this big communal heaps.  And they're already all brown and pebbly, right?"

"From what we've seen.  They look like big rocks to me."

"Exactly!  So it's like, if another dragon were to crash into that heap, it'd be like running into the side of a mountain!  Except the mountain wakes up and it's all like, 'Rawr, feel my wrath!'  And then it separates into lots of little mountains, and they spit fire at you, and you're all like, 'Oh no!'"  And --"

"I think that's about as far as you can go on that metaphor."

"Yeah, probably."  Fishlegs sniffled.

Swanhild ran over.  "Are you all right?  What's wrong?  Are you sick?"

Hookeye looked skyward.  "He's chopping onions, Swan."

"Oh, right, of course."

Hookeye dumped the meat into the pot of stew, then slid it towards Fishlegs.  "About done there?"

"Yep!" Fishlegs said, and dropped in the vegetables he had been working on.

"Go wash your hands now," Swanhild said.  "And don't rub your eyes."

"Swan, he's been helping me cook since he was two.  Give the kid a break."

"I'm on it, Mom!"  Fishlegs quickly washed his hands in the nearby basin, then sat at the table and pulled out his notebook.  "So the gang and I are going to Helheim's Gate the day after tomorrow.  I want to take some more notes."

"Who's 'the gang?'" Swanhild asked, sitting across from him.

Fishlegs shrugged.  "Just the usual.  Me, Hiccup, Astrid, Snotlout, Ruff and Tuff."

Swanhild pursed her lips.  "I don't like those kids.  They're too rough."

"Hence the names.  Oho!" Hookeye said, stirring the stew.

"Oh yes, very clever," Swanhild said dryly as Fishlegs laughed.  "I mean it though, you remember when you were little and they pushed your face in the dirt?"

Fishlegs shrugged.  "They did that the everybody.  And we're not little kids anymore."

"But still..."

"What are you worried about?  He's built like an Ingerman!"  Hookeye slapped his own broad chest, then tasted the stew.

"How's it coming, Dad?"

"Not bad.  Those herbs you're going to go get are really going to bring it together."

"I don't see why we absolutely need them tonight," Swanhild said fretfully.  "Can't we just do without?"

Both Fishlegs and Hookeye looked at her.  "You can't half-ass stew, woman," the older man said.

"Hookeye!  Language!"

"It's okay Mom, Lout and Tuff say way worse stuff than that, all the time!"

Swanhild pursed her lips, and Hookeye grinned a bit.  "Well," he said, looking at the stew again, "we have about an hour before this is done.  Think you can be back before then?"

"Sure thing," Fishlegs said, and stood up.  Swanhild stood with him.

"Now, I put some extra padding on your saddle.  Those things Hiccup makes are much too utilitarian.  You're going to get sores," she said as she followed him outside.

"Thanks Mom!  Now my gear's a rank above everyone else's!"

"Anything for you, sweetheart.  Now give me a kiss."  Fishlegs gamely leaned forward and kissed her cheek.  "Oh!" she said, and ran back inside.  When she returned, it was with a small bundle.  "Snacks!"

"For the love of Baldr, woman, he's only going to be gone an hour!" Hookeye yelled from inside the house.

"You never know!  He could get lost, or hungry..."  She was looking worried again, so Fishlegs quickly took the package from her.

"Thanks, Mom," he said, stepping back towards where Horrorcow dozed lazily.  "Don't worry, I'll be back before you know it."

"Be careful on that thing," she said, eying Horrorcow distrustfully.

"We'll be fine," Fishlegs said, mounting his dragon.  "Won't we, girl?"  Horrorcow snorted and shook her head.  He leaned down closer to her and whispered, "Try to watch where you're going this time, okay?"

Horrorcow grunted and took off, managing to hit the side of only one building.  "Good job," Fishlegs said, patting her.  Then he turned to wave to his mother, who was watching them intently.

As the duo gained altitude, Fishlegs tore open the snack package.  "Ooh, cookies!  You know, girl, I don't care what anyone says, we've got it good."  He crammed one in his mouth, then tossed another forward, and Horrorcow put on a rare burst of speed to snag it out of the air, rumbling happily as she did.


**********************


"Oh, I don't mind waiting.  She's still so thin, you know.  It might be for the best if they wait for her hips to fill out.  Healthier, you know."

"Oh, of course.  But you don't want to wait too long."

"Of course not.  But the way they go at it I'm sure it'll happen sooner or later.  She never brings him over, you know, but Stoick told Rotgut that sometimes he has to take a blanket to the forge and sleep there!"

"That's why I saw him there so early last week."

"Oh yes.  She's spending two or three nights a week with him now, but apparently they still haven't quite gotten the vocals under control."

The helmet Astrid had been looking at fell to the ground with a clatter.  Her eyes wide and face panicked, she whirled around until she saw her mother in conversation with one of the female bakers, then raced over.

"Mother!" she cried as she came to an abrupt stop.

"Oh hello, dearie," Bertha Hofferson said easily.  "We were just talking about you."

"Yes, yes I heard.  Please stop."

"Oh, nonsense.  This isn't even your conversation," Bertha said, and turned back to her companion.  She gestured towards Astrid while simultaneously ignoring her.  "See, this is what I think the problem is.  Poor impulse control."

"Well, they're both young yet."

"Very true.  Although, from what Stoick was saying, there's at least one impulse Hiccup can --"

"Mother!"  Astrid grabbed Bertha's arm, and for one of the very few times in her life she physically manhandled her mother, pulling her away from the baker.  Realizing what she was doing, she let go and instead clasped her hands in front of her.  "Please.  Please, I don't ask you for much.  And I won't ask you for anything, ever again, if you just stop.  I'm about to go throw myself from the dock.  The upper walkway of the dock, even.  Please."

Bertha looked thoughtfully at her daughter's earnest face, then said, "All right, Astrid, don't be so dramatic.  You only ever had to ask."

Bull, Astrid thought, but she made sure her face contained only gratitude.  "Thank you."

Bertha turned and waved to her companion.  "I'll see you tomorrow," she said, then linked arms with Astrid and began walking leisurely through the marketplace.  "Help me with something, dear.  I want to get Hiccup a present."

Astrid grimaced.  "It's not a crib or anything, is it?"

"Don't be silly, Astrid, that boy ought to be able to build one of those on his own.  I was thinking maybe a nice pair of boots, or a new vest.  Oh!"  She let go of Astrid and stopped at one of the stalls, picking up a purple shirt with brightly colored embroidery that was well across the line of gaudy.  "Look at this one, dear.  And it comes in a matching set!"  She picked up the same shirt in a smaller, more feminine cut and held them up for Astrid to look at.

"They're lovely," she said.

Bertha beamed.  "Do you really think so?"

"Oh yes.  He'll definitely appreciate that."  You never know when you'll run out of dry kindling and need something to start the fire.

Bertha happily paid for her purchases, then took Astrid's arm again.  "There now, your old mother isn't so bad, is she?"

Astrid sighed.  "You're not bad at all, Mom.  I'm just not sure everyone in the village needs to know what Hiccup and I do."

"You should know, dearie, that everyone in the village has known what you and Hiccup are doing almost since you started doing it."  She leaned in close and in a stage whisper added, "It's not that big of a village."

"Okay, but for my sanity?  Maybe let me remain blissfully ignorant."

"Whatever you say, dear," Bertha said, and Astrid decided, for her sanity, to pretend like she meant it.
I was bored, so I found a random number generator and the fanfic 100 listing, and this is the result. I forget what number it was. 27? Anyway, I always love using Astrid's mother to embarrass her.
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:iconryuujinwolf:
RyuujinWolf Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Lol I always go for the loopholes too ;) and I hate it when my mom does that same exact thing like Astrid's
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:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010
If your mom is discussing details of your sex life to random acquaintances, you have my deep pity.
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:iconfortheloveofpizza:
fortheloveofpizza Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2010
Oh goodness dear, have I laughed and giggled while reading this. I think you've created characters that fit extremely well as parents of the kids. They're all similar enough to the characters that it makes sense as well as different enough that they seem their own people. Astrid's mother makes me LAUGH, because I don't know anyone that prim and proper-seeming and yet that casual about sex and I wish I did. Love it! I must draw her! XD
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:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2010
I have no idea where Bertha's characterization came from, I just know she popped into my head fully formed with lots to say! I would love if you drew her, so that I can have a face to go with the voice in my head!
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:iconilikehats:
ilikehats Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2010
so cute. Astrid's mother is especially hilarious :D
Reply
:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2010
One day Astrid is going to figure out how to get out of the fics and come kill me for the things I do to her.
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:iconsmooksdelight:
SmooksDelight Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010
This is cool! More, please?:eager::love:
Reply
:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010
We shall have to see what gifts the random fic muses bring next.
Reply
:iconsmooksdelight:
SmooksDelight Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010
:w00t:Can't wait! I :heart: your fics - I feel like I am reading future script concepts:love:
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:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2010
The sequel would be amazing if the writers threw in more drunk shenanigans and embarrassing parents. Clearly I should be hired as a consultant.
Reply
:iconsmooksdelight:
SmooksDelight Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2010
No doubt! It would be a fabulous sequel - you should totally get a job for the next film :w00t:
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:iconflamehead23a:
flamehead23a Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010
spear-hiccup?

:iconiseewhatyoudidthere:
Reply
:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010
Hush, you. S'not my fault you took one of my preferred weapons. We both just have good taste, how about that?
Reply
:iconflamehead23a:
flamehead23a Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010
agreed.

I really enjoyed the 'Lout's dialog. very well-done. Of course, my favorite parent would have to be the Mrs. Hofferson. If only because that's every young person in their first relationship's nightmare.
Reply
:icongeneralzoi:
generalzoi Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010
I wasn't sure what to do with Spitelout, since unlike most of the parents (with the obvious exception of Stoick), he kinda sorta exists in the movie. But I got the impression Snotlout would be the one annoying him instead of the other way around.

I have too much fun with Astrid's mom. Much, much too much fun.
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