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Fulfilling

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As a parent, you want many things for your kids. You want them to - of course - be happy and healthy…but another thing on that list is you also really want them to get along with their siblings.

And so it was completely heartwarming to see how fond Zephyr and Nuffink were of one another.

Sure, there were days the two would yell and bicker and say things they didn’t mean, but even then it was certain those two would always have the others back. No matter what.

It was getting late, they Haddock’s had finished dinner, and the house was growing quiet signaling the end of yet another busy day.

Astrid strolled up the stairs after she finished washing the large pile of dishes that her family of four managed to gather after just one day. Expecting to find Zephyr nose deep in a book or scribbling in one of her many notebooks when she walked in her room to get her ready for bed, the Chieftess was taken back by the emptiness of her daughter’s small bedroom.

“Zephyr?” Astrid called out and when she got no response in return, she turned out of the room and went right down to the study. It wouldn’t be the first time their young daughter was found sitting next to her father or in his lap while watching him draw plans and prepare speeches. The young girl always enjoyed watching her father and the way his pencil would glide over the papers with such ease.

But the office was only occupied by a tired man hunched over the desk and writing on the papers spread out in front of him. There was no eager and curious little girl to be seen anywhere in the cluttered study.

“Have you seen our daughter?” Astrid asked from her spot in the doorway.

The Chief finished writing whatever it was in front of him before turning in his seat to face his wife, “Not since dinner, no.”

Astrid huffed, “She’s not in her room.”  

Hiccup furrowed his brows and thought for a moment before replying, “Did you check Finn’s room?”

Of course…Astrid thought and turned out of the office, leaving her husband without a word.

And when Astrid pushed open the door, she was expecting the two to be playing with the dragon toys that Hiccup had made them for birthday’s and Snoggletog’s over the years but the room was quiet. And yet again, she was taken back by what she found when she walked in.

They must’ve fallen asleep mid-play because the two children were sound asleep on the floor surrounded by their toys.

But that wasn’t what was making Astrid’s heart feel so full of love and joy. The reason for the wide smile on her face was because not only was Nuffink’s head pressed right up against his older sisters stomach, but Zephyr’s hand had somehow found her brother’s tiny hand lying in between them and was gently resting on top of it.

It was a sweet moment that Astrid couldn’t look away from because she wanted to remember it tomorrow, next week, and twenty years from now. Her children were growing quicker and things were already moving faster than she ever thought they would or even wanted them to which is why she made sure to treasure these moments as best she could before they were gone.

Knowing Hiccup would want to treasure this moment just as much, she quietly turned out of the room and stood at the top of the stairs, “Hiccup, come here.” She called loud enough so he’d hear her but not disturb the sleeping children in the room behind her.

She heard a shuffle and then he popped his head out of his study and looked up at her, “What’s wrong?”

“Just come here…” Astrid spoke, waving her hand to get him to come towards her, “and be quiet.”

He did as he was told, taking the stairs slower than usual so his metal leg wouldn’t bang against the wood as loud as it usually did. And when he stepped quietly into his young son’s room, all the stress from the day behind him and in front of him completely washed away at the sight of his children snuggled up against one another as their small chests slowly rose and fell.

Hiccup felt his wife intertwine their fingers, nestle up close to him, and rest her head on his shoulder. He squeezed her hand and rested his own head on top of her hers as they continued to look at the sweet moment in front of them.

Being a parent was so rewarding. Everything about it…watching them grow, hearing their laughter fill the home, and seeing them learn new things each day were only a few of the things that made it one of the greatest experiences.

But this…this image in front of them, their children feeling safe and loved and comfortable and happy was the most fulfilling in all the world. Both him and Astrid thought that nothing could get better than riding on the back of a dragon high above the ground as the clouds flew by them at crazy speeds.

And while that was still an indescribable feeling - one that was missed every single day - this feeling as they stared at their young children asleep next to one another on the floor was just as great and helped fill that void that was created when the dragons flew away years ago.

It was why they stood there for only the gods knew how long looking down at the two people they loved more than anything else in the world.

“We should probably put them to bed, right?” Hiccup asked, glancing over at Astrid still standing snuggled up next to him.

“Probably,” She sighed softly, never tearing her eyes away from her children, “How about just a few more minutes…”

And Hiccup wasn’t about to argue. He kissed the top of his wife’s head and then looked back at one of the sights that made his heart feel fuller than it ever had before.