Chapter 4: A Daughter's Love
Chapter 4: A Daughter's Love
Chapter 4: A Daughter's Love

23rd Aug 2012, 8:33 PM

by inhonoredglory

The wind whipped through her hair, smacking her face. She looked back down from the sky, her heart simmering at the sight of that black beast and its rider. She flinched. Oh, how she hated him. She willed her fired heart to calm, for how else could she command the ship? She put her hand on the bow, ran her fingers on the wood. She'd never seen him before in her entire life. She peeked up again, saw the black shape disappear into the storm, her eyes wavered. She wondered how such a stranger could consume her so completely… so passionately. She looked down the ship, at her father, hobbling on the deck, that look in his eye. That look which had never left him since he found her so many years ago, that emptiness, that pain, the bouts of insanity that struck him at night and in his dreams.

That was why.

She tightened her grip on her personal sword, the one just smaller than her father's glorious saber. Her eyes narrowed and she inhaled. How she longed for the day she could run its blade through that boy's heart.

Oh…

Hervi suddenly cleared his throat before her. "Master?" he spoke, knowing he was intruding on deep thoughts.

She shook her head of its ponderings, looked at him. "Hervi… what is it?"

"Your father wants to advance to Berk."

She sighed, exasperated. "Why?"

"The Master did not say." Hervi shifted his weight, shook his gray-haired head inadvertently. A spasm of age.

She whipped her bear's cape into her right hand, gathered it. "I'll have to see him." She stepped down from the upper platform by the bow, stopped in front of Hervi. "Did you get word from the rear ships?"

"Oh, yes. They've confirmed it. A dragon. A very large one caused the boom."

"Mm," she hummed, put that information into one of the categories in her mind. So many things to think about, so many things to consider… She put a hand to her forehead.

"Heather?" Hervi whispered.

She looked up. "Not now, Hervi. I need to speak with Dad."

Hervi quieted, got that look in his eye like he was holding back advice, thoughts. This mission had made him jumpy recently, more than all the raiding expeditions of before. Somehow she wondered if his loyalty was going to be broken. But he has no one to go to. She put the thought out of her mind.

She looked ahead, at her father, his large, yet weakening form marching to the stern of the ship, the curved sword hanging from his waist, walking towards the far end, the glistening helmet on his head, black and obsidian, made of wild dragon scales, and the white bear's cape that she feared was getting too large and too heavy now for his back to carry.

She reached him. "Dad? Why should we advance to Berk now? We talked about this before."

His fired eyes gazed at her. "I'm tired of waiting so long."

"But it's only three days now until his Induction."

He grunted impatiently. "For two years they've gotten away with it. I should've found out earlier, I should have-- but now it's almost too late. I don't, can't…" He started mumbling, and Heather stepped forward quickly, knew this could be the start of another attack of the mind. "Dad, Dad!" She looked into his eyes. "It's not too late--"

He gazed at her suddenly, dark and seriously, that spasm gone, cold reason in his eyes. "Heather, you know I'm dying."

"You're not," she whispered.

"And when Stoick hears about it," he continued deftly, ignoring her, "he'll think he's won again."

"He's not going to win."

He gazed down, the passion of hate and bitterness festering inside of him making his body slump and sigh. Heather smarted, hated seeing him destroyed like this, hated the toll of eighteen years, and the sharp lethal news they'd so recently received that his brother's son was no more the cursed offspring he should always be. She looked into his eyes, tried to distract them. "Dad. I know we've found out about this whole mess two years late, but that doesn't mean we can't still do something now."

He lilted a sigh, not believing her.

"Dad, it's true. You're not going to die like you think you are."

"That last battle?" His eyes were clear again, matter-of-factly. "You know what it did to me."

"Of course I know," she whispered, rose her voice with that conviction again, needed him to believe her. "But life is not in your body, Dad, it's in your mind. You're going to live, this will make you live."

He looked at her again, considered her words, stood looking at her a while, the wind flowing gently through his graying beard, the lightning afar casting glints of purple on the dragon scales of his helmet, the dark shadows on his face from the storm that still raged above them. "I've never seen myself when my mind…"

Her brows crossed. "Don't talk about it." She hugged him, looked up to his face.

He patted a big hand on her back, pressed the bear's cape into her long black hair. "What if they never call on us, like we planned?"

"They will. I can feel it. What they did to you on Stoick's Induction, the comeuppance now. Fate has to be on our side. They will come."

He set her eyes on her, smiled gently. "You're always so confident, so… sure. Just like your mother."

She smiled, knew what that meant in his eyes.

He reached into his big belt suddenly. The metal wrap was too heavy for him in his condition, she knew, but he was still chief and he had pride. He took out a round stone carving, handed it to her. "I want you to have it."

"I can't."

He took her hand and placed it there, looked at her with that pride again. "It's true, you're not my daughter by birth, everyone knows that. But you are in my heart, and therefore, what is mine is rightfully yours, and she is yours as well."

She looked down at the smoothed flat stone. The delicate etching on it, marks lovingly laid down by hands that were once strong and proud. She looked at the image, the carved curls of hair on her long face, the smile that shone brightly, even in stone.

If only she had met her.

She looked up at her father, his face calm, his breathing steady. She glanced up at the sky, the clouds roiled by the lightning and gales, churning the sea, drowning the light of the sun. She felt his arms caress her softly and she pressed her body gently into his large frame. Words of love ran through her mind. But they had pride and she left them unsaid. But she knew, she felt, he was saying them, too. She closed her eyes, felt his warmth against the storm.

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