Hiccup had more long days than short days. And more hard days than easy days.
And the work never stopped. He’d trudge up the hill to his warm house every evening, knowing that he’d be met with the same amount of work tomorrow.
But none of that mattered the second he pushed open his front door.
The meetings didn’t matter.
The animal (and even Viking) wrangling didn’t matter.
The upcoming winter didn’t matter.
The only thing that mattered was what he was met with every day when he walked into his home at the top of the hill.
His wife who was sitting at the table and starting on the paperwork that never ended.
His son who was reading in the chair three times his size.
His daughter, who every evening ran straight towards him and jumped into his welcoming arms.
“Daddy!” The tiny voice squealed and then was followed by the pitter patter of a toddlers feet.
Her small arms wrapped themselves around his neck and he kissed the top of her auburn hair. He heard the sweet child giggles that cured every ounce of stress in his body.
He carried her over to where he ruffled the blond hair on top of his sons head, who complained but still laughed nonetheless. And then over to Astrid, where he bent down to brush his lips against her soft cheek.
And the small child, who was a mini Hiccup minus the bright blue eyes, sat next to him at dinner. He’d always help her cut her food into bite-sized pieces while he listened to the kid’s recount every single detail about their day.
And it always amazed Astrid how he’d listen to every word so intently and patiently, no matter how silly the conversation got. He hung on to them like he was wanting to make sure he’d remember the conversation tomorrow and even twenty years from now.
And when their small daughter finished dinner, she’d climb in Hiccup’s lap, the full belly always leading to a yawn and heavy eyes. A smile on her face as she held onto Hiccup’s tunic, her small fist full of the fabric.
They’d both put her to bed, tuck her in, and kiss her on the forehead before heading to their son’s room to do the same. Except he always wanted a story. Usually one about the dragons and the adventures the two went on together when they were just kids.
And then the two would head back downstairs to finish up the things they needed to complete before the next day. Astrid snuggled up against Hiccup, helping him write speeches and sign papers and draw plans.
And the next day would be long and tiring like they always were, but they were hard to dread when he knew just what he’d be coming home to at the end of each day.
The people he loved more than anything else in the world.