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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Alternate Ending to Birth by Sleep

Alternate Ending to Birth by Sleep

This Kingdom Hearts fanfiction was submitted by Miranda Atlas.

Aqua stared horrified at the face of one of her closest friends as he smiled up at her, his once blue eyes a shining gold. She had promised to look after Terra and Ventus, yet here they all were– in the Keyblade Graveyard, their master gone, their inseparable friendship so delicately hung in the balance. In the end, Aqua hadn’t been able to protect them; Terra had fallen to darkness and battled Xehanort out of her reach, and Ventus… it wasn’t him in front of her, Ven was beyond her reach as well. She could not protect them now, but Aqua knew she had to stop Vanitas at all costs. Her friend’s heart, and so much more, hung in the balance. He smirked at her, wearing Ven’s face, and Aqua’s anger and shock flickered silently under a wave of dread.
Glaring at Vanitas disdainfully, she gripped her Keyblade. “Ven, if you can hear me, you have to fight!”
Vanitas sneered. “He can’t hear you where he is. And his fight will not end in his victory” He brandished the unfinished X-blade. “Ventus will play his role. The Keyblade War will begin anew!”
Aqua straightened and raised her Keyblade. “Give back Ven’s heart!” she yelled, charging towards him.
• • •
Ventus breathed heavily as he focused on destroying Vanitas. He would not let Vanitas hurt his friends, and Ven would never agree to forge the X-blade: he had to stop Vanitas from beginning a new Keyblade War, even if it meant his own heart wouldn’t survive the process. He would not let Vanitas win.
His heart filled with the sound of clashing Keyblades as they rolled, struck, and parried one another’s blows. “For Terra and Aqua,” Ven thought as saw Vanitas stumble. He raised his Keyblade for the final strike. “For Terra and Aqua!”
Vanitas staggered back. “But… why…” he gasped, desperately clutching the unfinished X-blade.
Ven watched him coldly as Vanitas kneeled. “Now I’m in control,” he said evenly.
Vanitas laughed bitterly. “You’re not going to finish me off just yet? You… Coward…” he spat, panting.
Ven glared down at him icily. “Not until I know that Aqua is safe. I’ll deal with you soon enough.” Ven looked up. “I’m taking my body back first.”
• • •
Aqua and Vanitas danced around one another, evading and striking. Aqua cartwheeled out of the way as Vanitas swung dangerously close — they were both tiring. “I have to finish this quickly,” Aqua thought. She blocked and countered an attack, and in the opening charged for the last blow. She let her Keyblade fall with all her strength–
When he looked up. Ven’s blue eyes found Aqua’s, and shock and horror flashed across both their faces. “Ven!” Aqua cried, but it was too late to stop her Keyblade in its course, and Aqua watched her friend fall. She rushed forward to catch him as his own Keyblade clattered to the ground, disappearing into light.
He barely reached her arms as he, too, dissolved into a shimmering mist. As he fell, his Wayfinder slipped and shattered onto the stone as Ven shattered into light in Aqua’s embrace.
Aqua gasped in shock and grief as Ven slipped through her hands — Ven. It was Ven, she had met his eyes and seen his terror. “Ventus…” Aqua whispered softly, sinking to her knees. Her breaths shook, and a broken cry escaped her throat. “Ventus, no… what have I done?” Her voice wavered as she knelt, holding the shards of the fractured Wayfinder to her chest. “What have I done…”

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Posted by on June 26, 2014 in *Le Submissions

 

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The Fear Landscape Series: Toothless

The Fear Landscape Series: Toothless

SPOILERS! This landscape takes place AFTER the events of the second movie! Do not read unless you have seen How To Train Your Dragon 2!

“Toothless!” shouted Hiccup as he fell away from Toothless in the windy, frigid air. “Take control of your fear! Beat it! This is all fake, bud, not real. I can’t be with you this time. Remember, it’s-” Hiccup’s voice abruptly stopped as he hit the water. Toothless didn’t have long to go himself until the water took him.
He flapped his wings as hard as he could, breathing in when they spread apart, breathing out when they folded into him. But he still fell. Hiccup wasn’t there to help him. He couldn’t fly without Hiccup. And Hiccup was still under the icy waters. Hiccup could swim with one leg about as well as Toothless could fly with one tailwing.
Which meant two things. One, Hiccup was going to drown. Two, Toothless was going to fall. And then drown. He didn’t want any of that to happen.
Toothless continued to desperately flap his wings and search the water for any sign of his lost Viking. Any sign that Hiccup was alive. He found nothing to comfort him. The only thing he could remember were the words Hiccup had said as they fell together.
All fake. Not real.
What did he mean by that? Hiccup wasn’t one to speak in riddles. If he said it, if he chose those as the last words he might ever say, Hiccup had meant every one. So how did you beat a fear?
Toothless twisted in the air so that he faced down. He had an idea. An idea so bad Hiccup himself could have come up with it. Toothless closed his eyes, and closed his wings around him.
And Toothless fell.
That apparently worked, because Toothless didn’t feel anything as he hit the water. He felt calm. Peace. He’d beaten his fear. Toothless grinned. That wasn’t as hard as he thought.
He thought again when he continued to drown. Toothless was rapidly losing air and his internal ball of flame was going out. The cold of the water covered him and squeezed feeling from his nose and the tips of his wings. He tried to use his wings and at least get above water, but he couldn’t even do that. His wings were too weak alone and the lack of oxygen was making his head feel dizzy.
As water seeped into his belly Toothless fought to stay awake. He needed to beat this fear. Beat it like the other one. He drew in his wings again and tucked in his tail. And Toothless, despite the cold, despite the water, despite the certain death, relaxed.
Everything disappeared. And then, a second later, it all came back. Toothless was no longer under the water. There wasn’t even any water to be seen. Hiccup was back on Toothless’s back. He spat out a small explosion in contendedness… and winced a second later when Hiccup tensed in pain as they went through it. He always seemed to forget that Viking skin wasn’t as tough as nightfury skin.
A huge pillar of smoke rose in the distance and the echoes of a great roar could be heard. Hiccup tensed again, and Toothless with him. As Toothless hesitantly flew forward, the behemoth was revealed.
Toothless immediately quivered. This was all too familiar. This was the queen of his old nest. The beast that had almost succeeded in killing Hiccup and him, and taking Hiccup’s leg.
Hiccup patted the top of Toothless’s head. “It’ll be ok, bud,” he said soothingly. This was meant to be a calming gesture, but it only made Toothless more scared for his Viking’s safety. Hiccup was just so fragile! Only a tiny bit of flame and game over.
They were now on top of the beast, and flying up just as they had that first time long ago. Toothless flapped his wings hard and flew upward with everything he was. But all too soon, his cloth tail extension burst into flame.
Falling, again. Only this time there was no water at the bottom to save them—only fire. Hiccup clung to Toothless’s back, but eventually lost his grip and was thrown away. Toothless screeched and repositioned himself down so that he was facing the larger dragon’s fire, but despite flying lower in an attempt to reach Hiccup in time, he just couldn’t catch up.
“Toothless!” shouted Hiccup one last time as he was engulfed in flame. Toothless screamed back in return, refusing to believe what had happened. He plunged lower and lower, eyes being forced shut by the fumes, calling out for his Viking. But Hiccup was never going to answer again.
Giant, steaming tears ran down Toothless’s scales and evaporated in the hot air. He was too late. Too slow. Too late to save him. Hiccup, fragile little Viking Hiccup, was dead. And it was all Toothless’s fault.
“Take control of your fear. Beat it! This is fake, bud, not real,” pounded Hiccup’s voice in Toothless’s head. Fear? Toothless was confused. This wasn’t fear; it was grief.
But, thought Toothless as he evaded the behemoth’s mouth and sped towards the sandy beach, maybe it was a fear. A fear of losing Hiccup. Of letting Hiccup slip between his paws.
As he made contact with the sand, Toothless did something he never thought he’d have the power to do. He forgave himself. It wasn’t his fault. His tail was burnt up. He’d tried his best. And Hiccup knew that too.
He was in a forest. Toothless blinked a few times to take in the completely changed scenery. He was alone in an unknown forest, his tail extension back, but useless without Hiccup to guide him. This fear Toothless knew.
He was lost.
This fear Toothless knew had been coming. Sure, he could get himself food. He could find himself shelter. He could survive. But without Hiccup he was grounded. And without Hiccup, Toothless was just as alone as he was before Hiccup had befriended him.
Sitting up straight and still in the woods, Toothless lifted his head to the trees and wailed. He didn’t like being alone. And lost meant being alone for a very long time.
All fake, not real, echoed Hiccup again. It was a small voice, one that Toothless could barely hear, but he still heard it. Not real. Fake. He wasn’t really lost. He was still in landscape.
Toothless curled up tightly in a ball and nestled his head in his wing. Despite his own instincts telling him to get up and to at least try to find his way home, Toothless trusted Hiccup first. And let his fear go.
Once again the world around him disappeared. Toothless was now on a hillside, and Hiccup was only a few great dragon leaps away. Toothless grinned at Hiccup and Hiccup back at him, and together the pair ran to each other. But then something happened. Something Toothless didn’t expect.
A foreign mind entered his and fought with Toothless, winning out easily and caging Toothless’s mind in a tiny prison, completely encased but with just enough window to see clearly what was going on. Toothless’s pupils were slits, and his grin became a toothy snarl.
Hiccup realized what was happening too late, and by that time, this dark Toothless had pounced on top of him, ready to rip him to sheds.
Inside, the real Toothless gnawed at the bars encasing him and frantically hurled his entire body weight into the walls of his cell, trying relentlessly to take control, to come back, to save Hiccup from himself. But the prison was too strong.
“Toothless?” asked Hiccup faintly, clearly scared, confused, hurt, and betrayed. As Toothless stared at his Hiccup, knowing what he himself was about to do, Hiccup changed in his eyes from the young but strong Viking dragon master that Hiccup was now back to the mere child he’d been when he’d first seen his Viking. And that image, that innocence, completely and utterly destroyed by Toothless’s own paw, broke something inside of him.
As the dark Toothless tore at Hiccup and Hiccup screamed and cried his name, Toothless closed his eyes to the sight. He curled up in a tight ball in the middle of his cage and tried to block out the sound. But the damage had been done. Toothless could never unsee or unhear what he had done.
Was this fear? No. Fear was too light a word for this. This was a feeling so deep, so intense, so profound that it defied description. Panic was child’s play compared to this. Toothless’s heart shattered into a million tiny pieces that in turn ripped at his insides, causing him excruciating pain himself. All Toothless could feel was pain. Pain. Anguish. Self-hatred.
The one sliver of light that Toothless clung to in the dark was Hiccup’s voice telling him that none of it was real. The fact was that, real or not, the things Toothless saw now could never leave him. But maybe, just maybe, he could escape it here.
Toothless focused on one of the first moments he’d ever shared with Hiccup. The day Hiccup had turned away and offered Toothless his hand, putting all of his trust in a dragon he didn’t even know. The day Toothless had nuzzled his nose into that hand. And the day their friendship started. Little by little, Toothless forced his heart back to normalcy. And with a start, he woke.
A body clung to his side and stroked him. “Easy, bud, it’s ok, it’s alright, I promise. I promise,” he whispered, voice cracking almost every other word. Toothless twisted his body slightly to see Hiccup lying on the ground with him, throwing himself onto Toothless and quite publicly crying. Toothless felt a twinge of guilt. Had his emotion been really that visible? He must have worried Hiccup half to death! Toothless gently nudged his Viking under the arm.
Sniffing, Hiccup sat up, keeping one hand still on Toothless. “You’re awake. I thought I was going to have to pull you out early,” he said, trying and failing to sound nonchalant. Hiccup laid both hands on Toothless again and buried his face in Toothless’s wing. “I love you, bud,” he whispered. Toothless patted the top of Hiccup’s head in response. He was safe here. He was safe with Hiccup. His Viking.

 

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Kingdom Come, Chapter One

Kingdom Come, Chapter One

This Norse Myth/Marvel/Star Trek Into Darkness AU crossover was created and co-written by HikikomoriTale, aka Kendra N., and Angela Watts. Kendra can be found at http://kingdomcomeknaw.wordpress.com.

Khan bolted across the covered bridge, over the creek, and on down the stone path towards the stables.

“LOKI!” He called, breathing hard.

He ran into the stables, looking around wildly for any sign of the king. He checked each stall, running a hand over each horse’s nose as he passed.  Sigyn’s black mare with white mane and tail, Nightkill, Khan’s own coal black stallion, and the other horses he didn’t know as well. Neither Snow or Sleipnir were in their stables. Khan heaved in a great breath, vaulting over the fence and into the pasture. He knew exactly where Loki would be if not the stables.

Khan finally reached the gigantic apple tree that sat upon the top of the hill, its leaves swaying in the summer breeze, apples glinting red and gold.  He panted heavily, putting his hands on his knees, bangs falling over his face. Loki stared down at him from the branches, munching an apple. The unusual eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, trotted up to Khan and dropped an apple on his head. Khan shooed the horse away.

“Loki! It’s the girls.” He panted, still out of breath.

Loki dropped from his perch and onto the ground, his greasy black hair tucked behind his ears.
“What about them? Is something wrong?” He said, patting Sleipnir’s back.

“They’re gone, Loki!” Khan hissed, standing up straight.

“What?” Loki said, face blank. “Gone? What happened?!”

“I went to take Angela home, but when I got there, the place was a mess! Picnic basket and blankets strewn all over, marks in the ground, branches torn from trees! Blood, little drops everywhere, blue blood, cold blood.” Khan said heavily, sweat pouring down his face.

Loki’s face went white. He stood glued to the spot, mouth gaping. The half-eaten apple slipped from his hand and hit the ground, Sleipnir gobbling it up the moment he saw it.
“Kidnapped?” His words rang hollow, face blank.

“Yes, Loki. They’re gone.” Khan sighed, frowning.
For a moment he thought Loki was going to throw up he looked so pale.

He swayed on the spot, before snapping back into focus and swinging himself up onto Sleipnir.
“Get on!” Loki snapped, eyes flashing furiously.

Khan did so and clambered up onto the stallion’s bare back.
Loki shouted, grabbing hold of Sleipnir’s black mane.
Khan grabbed onto Loki as eight legs sprang into action. He had never ridden on this horse before, let alone bareback. It was amazingly smooth as Sleipnir raced along. It reminded him of cheetahs, fast and springy. Loki leaned low against his horse’s neck, teeth clenched, all the rage in his heart screaming to get out. Khan’s heart had jumped into his throat.

They thundered towards the fence, easily jumping it, continuing on over the bridge. They took the lower path that led away from the castle and villages, and went down towards a smaller bridge that arched over the creek. Sleipnir leaped over it all together, landing with a thud on the other side. Loki kicked his steed in the sides, urging him to go faster. Sleipnir snorted, but galloped harder. They soon reached a small cove nestled in the side of a hill, a forest atop it. There stood several shady apple trees beside the water’s edge, swaying in the breeze.

Loki swung off Sleipnir’s back and ran towards the water, Khan following. Bits of blanket lay here and there, what was once a picnic basket floated on the water, its contents scattered about. The tree closest to the water was mutilated, branches ripped from it and crushed apples around its trunk. The air was silent, no sounds of birdsong or the chomping of horse’s teeth. Loki dropped to the ground, pressing his fingers into a pool of blue. He rubbed the substance between them, face sullen and determined.

“Frost giants… In Asgard?” Loki growled, jumping up and pacing the water’s edge. “When I find the portal they have come through, I swear I will slaughter them all,” he hissed, fists clenched.

“I would love nothing more than to do the same, but we have to find them first. We must get Angela and Sigyn back before we do anything else,” Khan said firmly, looking over the scene.

“Of course we must find them. It is likely the giants have taken them back to Jotunheim. I know of many portals there, including the Bifrost, but there is only one that can be traversed on foot.”

Khan nodded curtly, a glint of gold catching his eye. He reached down and picked it up, a thin golden headband with shiny wings sticking out on either side.
“Sigyn’s tiara,” he said, holding it out to Loki.

Loki snatched it from him, his expression of utmost hatred and fury. He threw himself onto Sleipnir, who was eating more apples, and took hold of his mane.
“Come on. We can’t find them if we’re not equipped to do so.”

Khan climbed up, careful not to get caught in one of four back legs of Sleipnir’s white body. They launched into a gallop, back towards the castle. Underneath all the fury and hatred Loki felt, he was terrified. He couldn’t bear to think of his beloved Sigyn hurt, or worse. He knew Khan felt equally scared, but perhaps not as angry. They would return to the castle and get all they needed for a long and dangerous journey, for Loki knew that was in store for them if they ever hoped to reunite with their lovers.

~~~

The rocking motion woke her, and the sounds of a horse in pain. Sigyn opened her eyes, mind blank. Her vision blurred, she could see nothing but dark trees, a sense of foreboding in the air. She lifted her head to see Angela, cream cloak laced up, hood down. Auburn locks falling around her shoulders, a scratch over her cheek and one on her lip. Other than that, she was perfectly fine, bound to her limping horse by rope. Sigyn, on the other hand, was slung over a huge shoulder, and her mind suddenly snapped awake.

Frost giants had kidnapped Angela and her, and she had the horrible feeling she knew why. She knew not to bother with screaming and flailing about, as that was both foolish and potentially lethal in the monster’s hands. Angela coughed to announce her desire for attention.

“I would appreciate it if you put my friend on my horse with me.” Angela said, glaring at one of four frost giants.

He turned his ugly blue head, twisted dull spikes jutting out around his jawline.
“Ye want yer elvish friend ridin’ on yer whimpering horse with ye?” He said, voice stupid and thuggish.

“Why yes I do.” Angela said, scooting forwards.

“Have er’ then.”

The frost giant stopped and dropped Sigyn onto the mare, glowering at them before yanking on the rope, tugging them along. Snow, the mare, whinnied painfully as she was forced to carry two passengers.

“You alright?” Angela asked, turning to look at Sigyn.

“Fine.” She sighed.

Sigyn’s black cloak had a tear near the bottom where a frost giant ripped her from a tree. Her bow was long gone, lost in the fight. Captured by these oafs and bound with ropes, she had a burning desire to free herself and Angela. But logic and the stupidity of frost giants told her it would be best to wait. Her only hope now was that Loki had found out and was on his way, fighting for her.

~~~

It was the dawn after Sigyn had been taken from him. Loki and Khan rode their horses, Sleipnir and Nightkill, laden with satchels of food and weapons. They reached the first foot-portal to Alfheim, which looked like an ordinary cave inhabited by cobwebs.

“We will come out at the entrance to a forest,” Loki said. “And we will have to go straight through it. The next foot-portal isn’t for miles.”

“Where exactly are we going? I thought you said the giants were in Jotunheim.” Khan frowned, patting Nightkill’s head.

“Oh, they will be. But since they can only travel on foot, they will have to travel through two realms to get there.” Loki replied coolly.

“Why not take the Bifrost and beat them back?”

“Because frost giants are idiotic brutes who will kill us on sight unless we’re careful.”

Khan frowned, nudging Nightkill towards the cave.

“I’m right behind you.” Loki said. “I promise you that they will pay dearly for what they took.” He added darkly.

The two stallions, their rider’s minds set, stepped into the shadows of the cave, all light and sound dying away like the summer breeze. Their long and dangerous journey to rescue beloved Sigyn and lovely Angela began, neither knowing if they would succeed, but determined to do so, even if it meant their death.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2014 in *Le Submissions

 

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I’m Not Dead, Brother Mine

I’m Not Dead, Brother Mine

This Sherlock (BBC) fanfiction is a submission by Otter.

The ruffling of papers was all that was heard in the silent room. The sound echoed around where no words were allowed. Papers and magazines clashed against one another as their reader set them gently down on his lap. A sharp intake of air came next from the man as he stared blankly at the front page.
“Suicide of Fake Genius” was in big bold letters upon the front page.
This is how he got the news.
The news of his brother’s death.
He brought his hands to his face, his mouth gaping and his eyes wide in shock.
He didn’t mean for this to happen. This wasn’t supposed to be the outcome.
He was supposed to protect his brother, keep him from harm. Keep him safe. But instead he got him killed.
Guilt, pain, and utter sadness welled in the man’s throat, as he struggled to breath. It hit like a ton of bricks, crushing him, breaking him down, shattering his insides.
Once he had finally caught his breath he ran his thin fingers through his balding hair.
After what felt like hours of silence, the papers began to rustle again as the man gathered his things, deciding it was time to leave.
He slipped the papers into his briefcase and slid his umbrella gently under his arm.
He stood up shakily, repeating over and over again, “What have I done?” in his head.
He left with a heavy sigh and approached the sleek black car waiting for him in the driveway.
The driver climbed out as he saw the man strolling up. He then opened the door for him, where his assistant was waiting, sitting silently, completely absorbed in her phone.
The man sat down, and a feeling of melancholy filled the car.
The woman stole a glance at the man, who had his head in his hands.
“Are you alright sir?” She asked, only looking up from her mobile for a quick second.
“Yes. Fine,” the man lied, plastering a fake smile on his face “Just… Family matters.”
The assistant knew this was code for “My brother is up to his shenanigans and I must intervene… again,” and she thought nothing more of the matter. She must not have heard the news yet, which was nearly impossible. The event was circling the news, a huge scandal. The world’s smartest person, the hero to all policemen, was proved to be nothing more than a fake, and then decided to end it all with a topple off a building.
The ride to the man’s house was almost completely silent, except for the on-going tapping of the assistant’s fingers keyboard and a quiet ping from the man’s own phone.
The man’s pocket vibrated and he slipped his phone out of it.
With sad eyes and a long drawn out breath, he read the message.
Guilt seemed to build up inside his throat and his hands shook.
With wet eyes, he reread the message
“How could you?” The message read. The raging anger and pain couldn’t be more clear. It was like the writer was there, his anger and depression filling the room.
“He trusted you. His own brother and you got him killed! You said you said you were worried! You said you would protect him! And he wasn’t just your brother, he was my best friend too! It’s your fault he’s gone. YOUR FAULT he’s gone. You let Moriarty out, you decided that Moriarty was a lesser threat to the government than your own brother. You chose the government’s safety over his. No wonder he wanted nothing to do with you.
-JW”
Remorse shot at his insides, constricting his breath. His face became ghastly white, and his hands shook slightly.
He didn’t blame him for being angry, he did just kill his best friend.
As the car came to a stop, the man’s stomach lurched. He wanted to sit there, locking himself away from humanity. Punishing himself for not caring as much as he should.
But as the driver opened the door he quickly threw on a fake smile. Muttering a thanks, he quickly tried to speed into the house before anything else could be said. But that plan was shot down as soon as the assistant opened the car door and stepped out.
“Sir, are you sure you’re alright?” She looked up at him through her thin rimmed spectacles, setting her phone in her pocket.

“Give it back Mycroft!” his brother would scream, chasing after him.
“NEVER!” Mycroft  would scream, holding his brothers most prized possession over his head.
He tried to get as far as possible, but always ended being caught by their mum at the end of the hall. He would always have to give it back, because she would threaten him with a beating.

The man wandered through the halls, peeking into his brother’s old room. Like a movie playing over and over, he watched as he remembered his brother playing pirates in his room, Mycroft joining along every once in awhile.
“SHIVER ME TIMBERS! YOU LANDLUBBER!” he would yell.
They would play for hours, Mycroft and his brother, hitting one another with broken, plastic swords. Even with wimpy swords, they would both emerge from battle bashed and bruised. No matter how hard they tried to hide it, mummy would always find out.
“Boys! What have I told you about beating each other with those plastic death sticks!?” she would lecture, cleaning their cuts and scrapes.
“To not to,” they would both answer, putting their heads down in shame. With an apology, and a spanking, they would be dismissed, just to go and do it again.
Touring farther into the house, Mycroft walked into the parlor.
“Don’t touch the floor! It’s lava!” a younger Mycroft would call. He and his brother would climb over the chairs, hop on the cleverly placed cushions, and walk over the coffee tables.

Mycroft smiled, reminiscing the old times with his brother. Not a fake smile like the last time. A real, genuine smile. His tour brought him to the foyer and to the stairs leading from the base of the house to the third floor. A balcony overlooked the layout of the room, standing tall upon white marble pillars.
“Come on you filthy sea rat!” would call Mycroft’s younger brother, a crooked tri-cornered hat sitting cock-eyed on his mop of raven, curly hair. He had managed to climb the balcony, and placed himself on the other side of the white railing.
“Get down from there!” Mycroft called, worried about the stupid stunt his brother was about to pull.
“look Captain Skully!” the little pirate wanna-be said to the inanimate skull sitting carefully on the banisher. “My’s a scaredy sea rat!”
“Am not! I just don’t want you hurt!” Mycroft retorted, crossing his arms.
“It’s safe! I piled pillows at per… per-cise-ly where I wanted them,” the little boy said, making sure he pronounced the word correctly
“That doesn’t mean anything!”
Before Mycroft could stop him, the brave little pirate boy took a step off the railing, falling quickly into the pillows. Everything seemed alright, like he was going to hit his mark, until there was a large Ther-Wack! and a sharp, painful cry.
“SHERLY!” Mycroft called as he ran over to his brother, who was curled into a tight little ball, buried amongst the bed of pillows.
He rolled him over, revealing a disfigured arm, and a waterfall of hot tears
“I-I dunno what happened!” He cried, bawling as he clenched his arm, which had begun to turn purple, and swell.
“You forgot to move the table. I was going to tell you that, but you wouldn’t listen to me!” Mycroft answered his brother, sitting him up.
After hours of excessive pain, a fractured radius, a shattered olna, and a trip to the emergency room, the little pirate emerged, with a newly casted arm, and his hat still firmly on his head

As Mycroft reminisced about this, he began to think of how ironic it was. That this is how he perished.
A long drop, and a quite sudden stop.

Mycroft pushed tears from his eyes, remembering the incident. He forced himself to move forward, with one last stop on his journey. He shuffled his feet as he came across a door. The door had been shut for many years. Ever since their father died.
Being a young man, of the age of 17 at the time, he remembered it well. Almost too well.
“My boy,” his father said weakly, grasping Mycroft’s small hand. His face was cadaverous , his eyes glazed over just slightly. “You’ve always been so good. Listening to what I say, obeying everything,” he smiled as he spoke softly. Mycroft began to tear up at his father’s words.
“Take care of your brother, he’s always getting into things, always in trouble. Protect him. I won’t be able to do that, so do it for me. If that’s all you ever do, do it well.” His father’s words were quiet, and faded in volume as he spoke.
With his mother waiting in the corner of the room, her face swollen from crying and her eyes red with tears, Mycroft looked at his father, and with a strong nod of his head said “Of course I’ll protect him. Make sure he’s ok.”
“That’s a good boy.” And that was the last thing he said to Mycroft before he passed.
Mycroft walked out of the big, solid oak doors, over to his brother, to tell him it was his turn to get his last moment with his father.

At this memory, Mycroft was undone. He sat at the edge if the unused bed, guilt, pain, remorse, and any other possible feeling welled inside him.
“I’m so sorry,” he sobbed. He sat, his head in his hands, and cried. That was all he could do. Nothing could bring his brother back.
A light echo of footsteps was faintly heard over the uncontrollable sobs of Mycroft Holmes.
The door opened, but Mycroft didn’t seem to notice until a familiar voice was heard.
“Mycroft…” the figure spoke. As he did, his deep voice rang, quieting the sobs, as he placed his gentle hand on Mycroft’s shoulder.
He gasped in utter shock at the figured clad in a black coat. His mop of raven hair, free of any pirate hat, his thin figure pale and stick like, same as it was when Mycroft last saw him in the morgue, on a slab.
“S…S-Sherlock?” Mycroft started.
The figure nodded, his curly locks bouncing in sync with his movements.
Without hesitation, Mycroft nearly tackled the man in a hug.
“I am so sorry,” Mycroft repeated as the man soothed him.
“You said yourself, caring is not an advantage,” he said, his voice flat and calm.
“Nor is it optional sometimes.” Mycroft repeated.
“It’s alright,” he said, in a calming manner. “I’m not dead.”

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2014 in *Le Submissions

 

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The Fear Landscape Series: Bucky Barnes

The Fear Landscape Series: Bucky Barnes

You’d think that after a while the novelty that is pain would have worn off. Well, you’d be wrong. Every second of his handler’s procedures hurt just as much as they had the first day, despite the sensation being as familiar as the back of his one organic hand.
The Asset’s eyes burned as he locked them in position, open and unyielding while his handlers worked on his prosthetic arm at the shoulder. Every muscle screamed in unison telling him to fight back and hurt those who hurt him. But the Asset ignored the urges. He knew better than to fight back now.
As the machines and knives did their work, the Asset experienced a new sensation: the sensation of a memory. The Asset did not have memory.
And yet here was one. Just a quick moment, an instant. A needle being injected into his skin and a voice telling him to overcome his fears and make it through the simulated landscape. And then nothing. The Asset concentrated hard on that moment, willing the rest of that time to surface and the confusion to be made clear. All he knew for sure was that none of this was real. Overcome fear? The Asset wasn’t supposed to have any fears to overcome.
Faintly, the Asset caught a sound, a yell, a voice he recognized. Colors. Red, white, and blue. “Bucky!” the voice shouted. The Asset didn’t know what any of it meant. But he felt like… like that man was a friend. Which shouldn’t be. The Asset had no friend.
He couldn’t remember. Why couldn’t he remember? The pain of the procedure paled in comparison to this, starting to sweat, his mind frantically spinning. He had to remember. Had to remember. Had to. Bucky? Who was Bucky? Red, white, and blue? Why red, white, and blue?
Suddenly the Asset’s thoughts slowed to a crawl as he thought of one thought that slammed all other thoughts to a stop. What if Bucky… was his name? The Asset had never had a name. But Bucky was as close to one as he’d ever gotten.
The voice, Bucky screamed at himself. You know that voice. You know that man. Who is he? Why is he important? Why can’t you remember? What fears do you still need to overcome?
Bucky’s eyes moved for the first time, blinking quickly twice. The gesture was small enough that his handlers didn’t notice, but that motion meant a lot. It meant he’d lost control, at least a little bit. He’d never lost control.
Why was he losing control? Who was the man? What fears did he need to overcome? He had to know. It had to be in there somewhere. That’s how memory worked, right?
Bucky tensed suddenly. Memory. This sensation, the sensation of pain that wasn’t connected to any real pain, had started with the memory. Was that pain… fear?
That made sense. So he was afraid of something. He was afraid of losing the one memory he had.
Okay, so he’d identified his fear. How to overcome it?
Let it go, Bucky realized. He would have to let it go. He’d been through a lot of pain, but somehow none of it compared to the pain of letting go of his one and only memory. But, to overcome the fear, he did. Bucky envisioned the memory as a bullet. A bullet he loaded into a gun. And shot far into the distance. Gone.
Bucky experienced a moment of peace. He’d remembered his name. Good. Even if everything else came crumbling down, that was the one thing Bucky would always have. He’d have a name. Bucky. And in that knowledge Bucky relaxed.
A moment later everything came back. Everything. Apparently overcoming the fear of memory loss was rewardable by memory. Bucky was thrown back in the memory, living it again in full color, everything making sense.
Hydra had captured him again. He was being dragged along, made immobile by a drug, as his best friend Steve ran at full speed behind him, in his Captain America suit. Hydra had slammed him behind the giant, metal doors of their workshop right as Steve had shouted his name.
Once inside, his old handler tied him down to the table he lay on now. “You belong to us,” he hissed into Bucky’s ear. “And we are not finished with you yet.” Stinging in his neck told Bucky that he’d been injected with something. As he blacked out, his handler instructed, “You will wake in a simulated environment that will landscape your fears and force you to move past them. Overcome your fear. Become fearless. Do not disappoint.” And that was where the memory ended.
Bucky’s eyes, still open and devoid of emotion, didn’t move. His muscles, still tensed in every way possible and locked in one position, didn’t move. His mind, working at all the different things that could happen from this moment forward, surged at a tremendous pace. He’d conquered one fear. Which one was next? How many were there? What would happen when he passed?
His handler stepped forth again, a large syringe in hand and filled with a dark blue liquid. He walked nonchalantly up and placed the cold tip of the needle against Bucky’s neck.
No. No, not another one. Never, ever again. The last time he’d seen that liquid—well, suffice it to say that wasn’t a moment he wanted to relive. As the tip of the needle rested against his skin in preparation for the injection, Bucky recognized this for what it was. His second fear.
And he was going to get past it. Bucky’s mind went into overdrive and everything surrounding him disappeared except for the metal bindings around him, the metal needle on his neck, and the human eyes staring into him. Bucky ripped off the bindings on his arms in one great motion and immediately rolled off the table and under it, where he had more protection. His handler, not expecting a fight, hastily drew a small concealed pistol from his coat pocket and aimed it right where Bucky had wanted to attack next.
“Try it,” taunted his handler. This was meant to dissuade him, make him think his handler was winning. But cheap tricks didn’t work on Hydra’s secret asset. Bucky rolled to the other side of the table, picked it up by the legs, turned it into a shield, and slammed it against his handler. The gun went off and dented the table, but didn’t get through to Bucky.
His handler was down. Bucky took his time stepping onto the bottom of the table that now trapped his handler against the floor. He positioned his feet to be approximately where his handler’s head would be and pressed ever so slightly down. He heard a satisfying groan in response. Bucky smiled.
But then the smile faded. He was still here. He’d won the fight. Didn’t that mean he’d conquered his fear? If his fear was of needles, then didn’t defeating the needle mean he’d defeated his fear?
Wait. Bucky recalled the memory he’d just remembered. “Become fearless,” his real-life handler had said. Winning one fight against a needle only meant that he’d bought more time before facing the fear again. It didn’t mean the fear was conquered. Bucky allowed emotion to show on his face by slowly closing and opening his eyes. He’d got it wrong. He knew what he had to do.
Bucky stepped to the side of the table and pulled it away. He picked his handler off the floor, stood him up, brushed off his lab coat, and laid down on the floor beneath him.
His handler was confused by this gesture. “I designed a super soldier. One who would win every fight. Why is it that he now gives up after he has already won?” Bucky didn’t respond. He had slipped back into Asset mode, silently awaiting whatever torture came next. His handler shook his head and picked up the syringe again. “It is because my creation answers only to one. Me.” With that, in went the syringe. And away went the landscape.
Instead Bucky found himself at the top of a towering cliff, overlooking desolate, snowy peaks. Bucky knew this mountain. This was where he had died. Or, well, should have died, anyway. This was where Steve had watched him fall to his death, and where Hydra had picked him up out of the snow and forced him to live their nightmare.
Bucky looked down and shivered. Not the tingling shiver of being in the snow too long, but the deeper, more encompassing shiver of fright. His third fear was seemingly of heights, and honestly, it was worse than Bucky was afraid it’d be.
The bottom was a long way away.
But if this fear was anything like the others, there was only one thing to do. One thing he could do. Bucky stepped off the cliff.
And fell. Quite a way’s down. He thought he’d seen enough of the mountain to appreciate just how far it was to the bottom; he was wrong. Time moved much more slowly when one was falling to one’s doom. As Bucky hit the ground, he expected pain. It never came. He blacked out just before he made contact.
Only to wake in a modern, American bed with red sheets and a blue comforter. Even though Bucky realized that there shouldn’t be anything left to shock him after everything he’d been though, the total and complete morphing of his surroundings did in fact baffle him. He laid there limply for a few seconds before standing up and opening the door on the opposite side of the room.
On the other side of the door was Steve, wearing a white tee-shirt and jeans and looking pretty normal, considering all that super-soldier packed inside of him. “You’re awake!” he said happily, shutting off whatever program he’d been watching on the television and moving towards Bucky. As he got closer Bucky made one small step back before even thinking about it.
Steve’s eyebrows furrowed. “You alright?” Bucky nodded an affirmative. But when Steve gently moved his arm to connect with his, Bucky shied away and tensed his muscles again.
Inwardly he was furious at himself. He’s trying to be nice, shouted Bucky to his body, trying in vain to get it to relax. It’s not like he’s going to hurt you. He’s the only person out there who really wouldn’t try to hurt you! His body refused to listen, and the peice of him that wanted to touch back was beat back into submission.
His fourth fear. Touch. That made… That made sense. Bucky swallowed hard like he’d just tasted something sour. Touch wasn’t supposed to be a thing to be feared. It was supposed to be a positive.
“Are you ok, Bucky?” asked Steve again, more quietly this time. Bucky swallowed again, and, forcing his muscles to obey him, gingerly placed his organic hand on Steve’s forearm.
“Yeah,” he said confidently. “I am.” He smiled slightly, and Steve followed his lead.
But then something happened. Something snapped. Bucky’s body reverted to factory setting and drew back to punch Steve while he was off guard. The one sane bit of his mind ran frantically around, trying to find a way out of the cage his body had put him in and stop this. But his training had been too good.
It was a surprise attack. The punch connected to the middle of Steve’s chest, making even the mighty Captain America stumble back a few steps and gasp for air before turning to stare at Bucky again.
Even though he had no control over his own body, Bucky got a front row seat as he watched Steve’s face. The hurt, the pain, the betrayal evident there was almost too much for Bucky to watch. “Bucky?” Steve whispered again, questioningly, but already hurt. And not because of the punch.
The Asset stepped back again and silently kicked Bucky’s best and only friend in the shin. Inside Bucky screamed at himself, “Stop, stop, please just stop!” But the Asset wouldn’t listen.
“It’s a fear, it’s your fifth fear, it’s just one of those fears,” Bucky chanted. He defeated the other ones by ignoring the pain or the emotion. That wasn’t working here. How to get out? There wasn’t any way out! Bucky was near to panicking as the Asset used his knuckles to jab into Steve’s throat, momentarily choking him. Steve was fighting back, definitely, but the Asset was winning and Bucky could tell how much Steve was holding back.
The fight went on, the entire apartment being destroyed in the process. Bucky was reduced to pounding on the walls of his mind prison, trying in vain get out. He lost all sense of sanity and sunk into pure panic, not thinking of anything but how his one and only friend was going to die by his own hand, and even if Steve survived, would never want to have anything to do with him again.
Bucky opened his eyes in a small, cold, grey room, tied down to a table like he’d been before. Above him he could just start to make out a face as his vision cleared. “Bucky?” Steve asked.
Bucky lifted a hand to his forehead. “Steve? What… What happened? Am I out of the landscape? But I didn’t pass the fifth fear. I failed.”
“You were in some sort of a coma when I got here. I woke you up with a little help from Tony,” Steve explained, holding up his cell phone.
Bucky moved to the other side of the table and came within a few inches of Steve. Finally able of let the emotions run free, Bucky let the tears come and wrapped his arms around his friend. “Thank you,” he muttered. “Thank you.”
Steve returned the hug just as intensely. “You’re welcome, Bucky. You’re always welcome.”

 
 

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Clean Fangirling: Submissions!

Clean Fangirling: Submissions!

Yes, the entire point of this post is to advertise. Or, to put it in a more favorable light, to market.

I’ve had an extra feature for a while now, and it occurred to me lately that I’ve never really said anything about it, and so people probably don’t know about it. So I’m writing this post to fix that.

I take submissions. You can see up in my menu bar that the last page I have, in the upper right hand corner of your computer, is titled “*Le Submissions.” Here’s what that is and how it works.

If you go to that page, you’ll find a form with boxes for you to put your name, link of your choice, fandom, whether or not you want proofreading, a fun non-related question, a check-box for rating, and a text box for your fanfic. That’s my submissions form. All you have to do to have your fanfiction published on this blog, giving you full credit and in my “*Le Submissions” category, is fill out that form and click send. Oh, and have a clean fanfic. That too.

For those of you unwilling to give the world too much of your information, let me explain what’s optional on this form. You do have to put a name, however, I don’t care what that is. It could be first and last, just first, a username, a pen name, or even simply “anonymous” for all I care. I just need to have something to put down with the fanfic so that I don’t take credit for someone else’s work.

Optionally, you can add a link to a site of your choice. The idea behind this one is to let people go see more of your work if you want, but it’s totally optional. You could do your Pinterest, Instagram, tumblr, blog… again, I don’t really care. I mean, keep it clean, but it’s there if you want to bring more traffic to another site of yours. Totally, 100% optional.

You have to include which fandom it’s from. Since I can’t be in ALL fandoms, I like to have that so I know approximately what to expect and whatnot. Obviously it’s not personal info, so it’s not invasive.

I wanted to have one fun, non-related question on the form, and right how it’s asking you your opinion on the Oxford comma. Completely optional, just fun.

A new feature is proofreading. It’s always nice to have a second pair of eyes look at your writing before it goes up on the Internet, and I happen to really like proofreading, so if you click that box I’ll go ahead and proofread your work before posting it. I won’t change any of what you’ve written besides grammar correction, spelling, and formatting. It’s not editing, it’s just proofreading.

You have to check the box saying your fanfic has a rating of PG or lower. No, it has no real effect. I just figure people are less likely to lie if they have to, well, flat-out lie. It also states exactly what my boundaries are.

And lastly, the text box for your fanfic is obviously a required field. If you want to add a title, put it at the top of your fanfic. If you don’t include a title, I will have to choose one for you. Every post has to have a title, after all.

That’s it. That’s the whole form. You’re not giving me an email, because the form just tells me it’s from Clean Fangirling when I receive it in my own email inbox. The only personal information you’re giving me is whatever name you want to give me and any link you decide to include or not include. Other than that the only thing I’ll know about you is your writing style.

So there’s the marketing post. I built the submissions part of this blog so that other fangirls who, like me, are tired of the constant immorality of most fanfiction could post their own on a site that they know is clean. So if you have fanfic you’d like to post but don’t want a FF.net account or your own blog, why not consider submitting to this one?

I’ll be looking forward reading your work. 🙂

With love in fandom,
Marie

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in *Le Personal

 

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The Fear Landscape Series: Hiccup

The Fear Landscape Series: Hiccup

A slight, unnatural breeze. A sharp intake of breath. Hiccup’s eyes widened, his body went cold, and he suddenly had to fight to stand up straight. He knew those warning signals. It could only be one thing.
Nightfury.
Glancing to the right and then to the left, Hiccup searched for someone else—anyone else!—to tell him what to do. But Hiccup was alone in the forest. And he was defenseless.
As the nightfury flew closer, still invisible against the night sky and barely audible between the rustling of trees, Hiccup forgot how to breathe. Pure instinct found him curled up on the dirt, face against the grass and eyes shut, silently willing death to come quickly and painlessly.
“Leave it to me to die in a simulation. The first fear of the simulation. Heh,” whispered Hiccup in such a small voice that the sound never reached his own ears. Leave it to him. Hiccup. The coward of cowards. Afraid—not ready to fight, but just downright scared—of his tribe’s longstanding enemy. Afraid of a dragon.
Not that death by dragon was a bad way to go. Honestly, around Berk death by dragon was one of the best, most honorable ways to go. But that was only if you went down fighting. And Hiccup wasn’t fighting.
But it didn’t have to be that way. As the nightfury descended and let loose its blast of lightening and death, Hiccup did what was for him unheard of. He would conquer his fear.
Hiccup stood up.
Clenching his fists and pressing his lips together into a tight line, Hiccup stared up at the Nightfury just as the blast exploded and all became flame. The fire tingled against his skin, but Hiccup hardly had time to feel it before being plunged into icy waves.
Hiccup kicked and fought to get on top of the water. He kicked off his fur boots and, against all odds, made it to the top of the water, where he found himself gasping for breath.
“So,” he panted, trying his best to keep his head above water. “I guess I passed the first test. That wasn’t so hard,” he reasoned, suppressing his shivers as the frigid water took it’s toll. “Still, out of the frying pan and into the fire. Well, out of the fire and into the frozen, anyway. There isn’t actually any frying pan.”
Hiccup looked around. Nothing but water in every direction. His legs started to kick more slowly and his arms became more lethargic. His strength gradually gave out, and again Hiccup found himself below water, with no way to get back up, and no air.
Wriggling his body every which way Hiccup tried to get above water. He didn’t float, he was frankly too weak to propel himself upward, and he didn’t know how to swim. He may have only been in a simulation, but it sure felt real.
He had to breathe. He needed air. His lungs took on water and the fiery feel of suffocation took over.
Will it to be over. Will it to end. That’s all there was to it, right? It was just a little mind game.
But mind games didn’t feel like that.
Conquer it. Control it, Hiccup ordered himself. His mind was willing, but his body was weak, and he continued to struggle for breath, his breathing much faster than it should have been. If you’re not going to cooperate, he ordered himself, then you’ll have to go down.
With the last of his energy Hiccup forced himself lower into the water. Letting go he went limp in the water and allowed the liquid to fill his lungs. This is it, were his last conscious thoughts.
Before waking up in bed. He immediately sat up and coughed up water until he could cough no more. Even then it felt like he needed to cough, but that was easily the result of going that long without air. While allowing his throat time to rest before the next coughing fit, Hiccup breathed in from his nose, filling up his diaphragm with air, and letting it out. He’d survived. He’d made it. Was it over?
No. It couldn’t be. No way did he only have two fears.
Hiccup wiped his mouth and stood up next to his bed. He’d gotten his boots back, and none of his clothes were wet. Dragons, check. Drowning, check. He wasn’t scared of his bed. So what would the next fear be?
In, out. In, out. Hiccup stood in his dark room for a minute more, simply breathing and enjoying the sensation of air entering his lungs.
“You never know how good you have it until it’s gone,” Hiccup muttered. The saying apparently went for oxygen too. When his body felt as close to normal as it was going to get, Hiccup walked slowly and cautiously into the living room, out the door, and into Berk. Normal. So far so good.
The Vikings all went about their business as usual, pushing past Hiccup and generally just ignoring him completely. Until the “peers” showed up.
As Snotlout, Ruffnut and Tuffnut, Fishlegs, and Astrid came closer, Hiccup braced himself. Even though these guys usually just left him alone, this was a simulation. He’d found his next big fear.
“What are you doing here?” asked Astrid accusatorially.
“Um, I…” Hiccup gulped.
“You don’t belong here,” she pressed, raising her axe the tiniest bit and thrusting her face into his.
“I live here,” he squeaked out. Why was he acting this squirrly? It’s not like any of this was real. Of course, a lot of good that had done him, back in the water.
“Oh? Did you here that one, guys?” Astrid called to the rest of the group. “He says he lives here!” She laughed a light, airy laugh and then waiting for the group to finish, staring Hiccup down with a soft smirk the whole time.
“He has no idea!” chuckled Snotlout quietly as he stopped laughing. The rest all nodded, like they were all in on some great joke.
Not real, not real, not real, not important, not real…
“You wanna get in on the big secret?” asked Astrid in a stage whisper. “You won’t be around for much longer. I hear your dad’s finally doing it. Exile. We all knew it was coming, and now the day is finally here.”
What? No. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. Dad wouldn’t actually… No. Just a simulation. Not real. Conquer it. Control it.
“Haha, that’s a good one,” laughed Hiccup in as strong a voice as he dared. Astrid’ smirk slowly changed as Hiccup’s control broke that stage of the simulation. The Viking teens disappeared, as did Hiccup’s front yard. He was back in the common room of his house, and Dad stood on the other side of the room.
“You are a failure!” yelled Dad, slamming his fist into one of the wooden walls for emphasis and leaving a large mark in it. “A disgrace to this tribe!”
“Dad, I-”
“No! I’ve heard enough,” Dad roared. “There’s nothing you can say that could make me love you, Hiccup!”
Even though Hiccup had been forming a heated reply as Dad spoke, the words caught in his throat and all he could do was stand there, empty. He’d said it. He’d actually said it. And now there was nothing Hiccup could ever say to patch it up.
So he said nothing.
Stoick sucked in a few deep breathes, leaving the silence hanging in the room. Hiccup remained standing, but slouched a bit more and brought his arms in closer to his body in an attempt to become even smaller than he even was. “You are not a Viking. You are not my son,” said Stoick, simply.
Outwardly, Hiccup did nothing immediately. Inwardly, he screamed. Not that. Not that. He was afraid it was that, but he’d never really thought it was that. He was that much of a disappointment. So much of a disappointment that Stoick would give up his only heir.
Dad was the last person who had cared about him. And now Dad was gone. The word slipped out before Hiccup had a chance to catch it. “Dad.”
“Don’t use that word around me,” growled Stoick back. “Now get out of my house.”
Hiccup turned and ran.
Ran out, down the street, and into the woods, where he kept on running. Running, running, running until his legs gave out. He was far away from Berk now. He’d never be going back to Berk. He was a failure. He’d always been a failure, sure, but now it was real. It was spoken. So much a failure that Stoick wouldn’t even have him for a son.
Vikings weren’t allowed to cry. But Hiccup was no longer a Viking. He curled up in the tall grasses under a few pine trees, and he cried. It may have only been a simulation, but Hiccup was beginning to think that that’s how Dad felt anyway.
But no. No. Hiccup stood back up and sniffed once. It wasn’t like that in the real world. It was just like that in the simulation. Little by little Hiccup’s breathing became regulated and his heart beat became normal.
A bright white light flooded the area and erased the forest around him. In it’s place was black, from his eyes being shut. Hiccup was too weak to open them.
“You have passed your simulation,” stated a woman Hiccup’s didn’t recognize. “With only four fears. To date there is only one other person with that record.” Only one other? But, that would mean… that four wasn’t normal. He’d expected to have way more than your average person. He couldn’t possibly have only had four fears.
“We did not expect this of you,” continued the woman. Hiccup had to agree. “But then again, sometimes the people we think are weakest are actually the bravest of all.”

 

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