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[personal profile] nrgburst
Title: Treacherous
Fandom: How to train your dragon/Dreamworks Dragons
Characters: Ruffnut Thorston/Eret son of Eret, Tuffnut Thorston, Astrid Hofferson, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III
Word Count: 5000
Rating: T
Summary: Because the most important person in her life has always been him.


 

 


This slope is treacherous


This path is reckless


This slope is treacherous


And I, I, I like it


 


Ruffnut’s a girl on a mission and she’s been on the hunt all morning. So when she finally spots her objective, she makes a beeline through Meade hall, plopping herself down determinedly.

“Hey Astrid. You’re a girl.”

“Uh- yeah?”

“And you have a boyfriend."

Astrid is trying to bolt down lunch as fast as possible, but this makes her stop and look up with disbelief.

“You know we’re getting married, right? I just spent the whole morning getting pinned and measured instead of doing something actually useful,” she grumbles.

Ruffnut rolls her eyes. “We’re making your bedspread, duh. Just… how’d you get him to, you know- like you?”

Astrid’s eyes widen. Oh.

“Well, we were friends for a long time before… things changed.”

“Yeah, but what did you do?”

Astrid flushes. “I- it’s kind of-“ She shrugs uncomfortably. “I confronted him about what kind of friends we were.”

Ruffnut slouches, frowning. “So he already liked you.”

Astrid smiles tenderly, remembering. “I guess.”

Ruffnut groans. “I’m not as pretty as you though!”

Astrid frowns, giving her a sharp look. “You’re pretty! But that’s only part of it anyway.”

Ruffnut gives her a disbelieving look. As if Hiccup’s not been making moon eyes at her since they were kids.

Astrid tilts her head, arching a brow dangerously. “You think Hiccup wants to marry me because I’m pretty? Or because I’m me?”

Ruffnut makes a face. Astrid is always so touchy about the Hiccup thing. But she supposes the two of them are always blahblahblah-ing about something or other even when the rest of them had tuned out ages ago. “Both?”

Astrid shrugs, frowning. “Well, the way I see it there’s two parts. The liking and the… wanting. And the first is really important- Hiccup and I liked each other a lot before we… got to the second part. I know you think Eret’s attractive.”

Ruffnut sighs dreamily, thinking of those amazing arms. “He’s the hunkiest piece of man on the island.”

Astrid smiles indulgently. “Well… that’s a matter of opinion. But maybe try to find out if you even like each other. Who knows- maybe you’ll hate him. He used to be a dragon trapper; his men are…” Astrid rolls her eyes. “Well, sometimes they say things that make me want to punch them. Or maybe you’ll realize you like Snotlout or Fishlegs better. Both of them are pretty sweet on you and you like them.”

Ruffnut snorts. “Yeah, but I don’t like like them. They don’t make me feel things, you know?”

Astrid nods. “Yeah. So… hang out. Figure out if you can be friends. If he can see you the way you see him. And-“ She scrunches up her nose. “Dial back the grabbiness. I mean, it skeeves us out when Snot does it.”

Ruffnut pouts. “But Eret’s so muscle-y! And the accent…and the arms…”

Are his. You know how we don’t touch dragons until they give the go ahead? It’s the same thing.”

“So if I’m too pushy I won’t be able to train him.”

Astrid opens and closes her mouth before nodding firmly. “Right.”

“Huh. Okay.” Her brow smoothes- dragons she can handle. “Think if I bring him some fish it’ll help?”

Astrid laughs. “You know? It couldn’t hurt.”

Ruffnut nods, giving Astrid a crooked smile before swinging her leg over the bench to leave. “Thanks.”

Astrid shrugs and shakes her head, smiling. They really are all growing up.

Well, mostly.

“Maybe cook it first!” she calls out, and exhales with relief when she sees Ruffnut’s hand wave in acknowledgement.



 

 


A couple hours later, Ruffnut wraps a dish of baked salmon seasoned with sea salt, onions and dill in a red kerchief. Eret and his men are off with Astrid getting another installment in their crash course in living among dragons, so she’s unaccosted when she climbs on board their ship. She cautiously opens the door to the aft section, looking around at the unmade bunks before stepping inside. There’s a table bolted to the floor, so she shoves aside a couple half empty mugs so she can set her dish in the center of it, hesitating only a second before adding the note.


Sorry about the touching. Hope you like Berk.



 


I’ll do anything you say


If you say it with your hands


I’d be smart to walk away


But you’re quicksand


 


Tuffnut glares but doesn’t get up from his sprawl in the corner when Ruffnut saunters into their stable in the Hanger. “Where have you been?”

Ruffnut shrugs, glowering before looking away. “I had something to do, okay? You got all the stuff?”

Barf and Belch crane their heads toward Ruff, mouths falling open in their happiness to see her, and she smiles and offers caresses, unfazed by their malodorous breath. They sniff eagerly and bump their heads against her pockets expectantly.

“Sorry guys. I cooked it. We’ll find you each a fat one later, ‘kay?”

Tuff frowns. “You were cooking salmon? We’ve got like, a billion batches of dye to make. I had to load Barf and Belch up by myself, you know.”

“Oh, boohoo. Like it killed you to do a little work.”

Tuff makes a disgusted face. “Were you cooking for that Eret guy?”

Ruffnut glares and clambers up onto Barf. “Why do you care? I’m here now and you’ve just been sleeping or whatever anyway. Let’s just go.”

Tuff narrows his eyes, climbing reluctantly to his feet. “You know, some of his guys are talking about leaving Berk anyway. All the free roaming dragons freak them out. Sissies."

That gets her stunned attention. “What? But they’re in orientation with Astrid right now.”

Tuffnut shrugs.

She tries to ignore the sinking feeling in her gut. “Whatever. Eret said he’d take care of Skullcrusher.”

Tuff sneers. “As if Hiccup couldn’t just ask his mom to do it. I bet she’d do a better job than some former trapper guy anyway. Plus Eret’s got to take care of his men first, right?”

That completely deflates Ruffnut’s bubble, and she slouches in the saddle, frowning.

Seeing her so unhappy just irritates Tuff more. “Why don’t you just settle for Snot or ‘Legs and stop wasting our time? We’ve got a job, you know. And he doesn’t like you anyway.”

She glares rebelliously. “He could! He just doesn’t know me yet.”

“Yeah, right. I know you better than anybody and most days I can’t even stand you.”

Ruffnut leaps off of Barf and punches her twin in the stomach, making him double over before she shoves him back into the straw. “Fine! I’ll work on my own, then. I’m doing yellow!”

“How? I’ve got all the onion skins!” he points out, gasping.

She smirks back at him as she strides out and his jaw drops.

“Hey- did you get the saffron from Hiccup? But that belongs to both of us!” he shouts, scrambling after her. “Tricky, conniving little… c’mon guys! That stuff is worth like, half a dozen sheep.”

Barf and Belch look at each other resignedly and slink out after him. Typical.



 



I can’t decide if it’s a choice


Getting swept away


I hear the sound of my own voice


Asking you to stay


 



A few hours later, Ruffnut sits outside, venting her frustrations constructively by shredding a pile of madder root. Tuffnut is inside stirring the yarn so that the dye takes evenly. She’s still pleased that she’d managed to get Hiccup to part with it: the brilliant yellow/orange that had immediately bled out of that precious, crumbly ounce had made them grin and high five over the vat, despite their lingering annoyance at each other.

The strong odors that go with making and fixing dye have never bothered her or Tuff. Even as kids they’d always had that- others might get lightheaded or start coughing or crying upon entering the workshop behind the Thorston sheepfold, but the two of them actually kind of like the powerful stimulation. Ditto the colors they produce- sometimes so unlike the constituent ingredients or even the pungent contents of the vats.

It makes sense that Zippleback gas has never fazed them; that Barf and Belch seem to be made for the two of them. Very few Berkians even attempt to train Zipplebacks- two heads make for double the amount of training.

And that is its own frustrating conundrum: having to always, always share. That connection they have is handy: their parents had been the first to capitalize on the way they spin and weave with enviable synchronicity. But any payment always has to be split and they’re as good as grounded without the other around to co-ride. Getting separate rooms after puberty had been a battle; even their individual contributions to the family business are linked and impossible to separate: Tuff’s eye for color and design is surely as valuable as Ruff’s skill at bargaining and creating dyes.

It’s so hard to feel like more than half a person sometimes.

So it’s weird that they’re finally out of sync.

She wonders sometimes why Tuff seems so unaffected by the growth spurts that have made them all taller and hairier and much more interested in pairing up. Hiccup and Astrid fell for each other pretty much as soon as they started sprouting, and Snotlout and Fishlegs have been annoying her with their stupid overtures for months.

But Tuff just seems uninterested, even baffled.

She doesn’t get it- doesn’t he feel the same things? They’ve never not developed at the same pace- they’re still the same height, same helmet and boot size.

For all the chafing to be recognized for herself, it’s lonely somehow to be out of step.

Plus the way he acts like she’s betraying him by wanting someone at all?

Actually upsets her more than thinking about Eret leaving.

She grits her teeth and shreds some more root.

“Hey! Uh- Ruffnut!”

She looks up, blinking owlishly in surprise. And straightens, grinning delightedly. Wow, Astrid’s advice totally worked.

Eret puffs as he climbs up the hill, eyeing her warily. But he swaggers a bit once he gets a bit closer, tilting his chin up.

“Was that fish from you?”

She shrugs and leans her chin on her hand, heedless of the red stains down her palms and the dagger. “Thorston family specialty.”

“Yeah? It was good- I wanted to say thanks. We --my men and I-- enjoyed it.”

She keeps smiling, enjoying the view immensely. “Oh, my pleasure.”

He eyes her appraisingly before smiling, putting a hand rakishly on his hip. “So- I hear you Thorstons are the ones to come to for dyeing and weaving.”

She tilts her head, eyes narrowing slightly. “Yeah, that’s us. Wool or linen, any color under the sun. We’re working on a commission for the Chief now… but I might be able to squeeze you in, depending.”

Eret nods and leans forward, all confident charm. “Well, seeing as how your Zippleback tore our sail, I was… hoping you wouldn’t mind replacing it.”

Ruffnut blinks and shakes her head, snorting. “Free sailcloth? Sorry. No way. That’s like, three weeks weaving for me and Tuff, not to mention the prep and the dye. We were rescuing Hiccup under the Chief’s orders- you were the bad guys, remember?”

His eyebrows knit together in consternation. “Well, that’s a matter of perspective, isn’t it? All on the same side now, but we’ve still got a bum sail.”

She makes a face, unconvinced. “Didn’t your guys fix it anyway? Managed to make it here.”

He shakes his head, lips pressed together. “Torn too badly for the stitching to hold permanently. It needs replacing or we could lose the whole sail while out at sea. And the bottom has sort of dropped out of the dragon market and we’re eating from your Chief’s table, so…” He sighs and looks at her imploringly. “Some of my men just want to get back to where they have family. Start over. And that journey will take weeks and require a proper sail.”

So Tuff was right. She chews her lip and looks down- she hadn’t thought about Eret having a hard time here. A family somewhere. Obligations.

Pretty lousy to be stranded far from home.

She looks at him, eyebrows knit together. “I guess… there’s one ingredient we need that will be easier to get if we have a boat.”

Eret’s face relaxes in relief. “Yeah?”

“Sure. Way easier to find a Scauldron with a ship.”

Eret blinks and double takes, giving an exasperated laugh. “An actual Scauldron? Is there any dragon you Berkians don’t train?”

Ruffnut shrugs. “Ahhh, I’m the only one who’s trained one. It’s not like, common or anything. Even Hiccup hasn’t done it.”

He smiles with grudging respect. “Is that right?”

She gives him a lopsided grin. “I think he’s just not crazy enough, but don’t tell him.”

That makes Eret grin. “Bit of a straight arrow for sure, that Chief of yours.”

Their eyes meet and they smile with a kind of newfound understanding before the door behind her suddenly opens.

“Hey. Who’s-“ Tuffnut’s eyes narrow at the tableau before him. “What are you doing here?”

Eret coughs, wheezes and steps back as the fumes from inside the workshop billow out. “Just bargaining for a bit of sailcloth.”

Tuff frowns, giving his sister a warning shake of the head and Ruffnut glares back. As if she’d bargain like an idiot just because Eret’s arms are so nicely shaped.

“We can use his boat and crew to help us collect whelks with Scauldy. Would take us days otherwise to get a decent amount,” she argues.

“For sailcloth? As if making Hiccup’s artsy fartsy thing isn’t enough for the next few weeks! When are we going to have time to do the beetling and scutching and spinning for sailcloth too? ‘Sides, Snotlout would give you a ride for free just to like, be near you or whatever.”

Ruff rolls her eyes, shuddering, and pointedly ignores the last bit. “Well, we tore the stupid sail! Who else is he going to ask?” She looks at Eret and lifts a shoulder reluctantly. “Tuff’s right, though. Sailcloth is an awful lot of work.”

Eret gestures placatingly. “Look, we’re happy to join the queue. The wedding’s in a few months, yeah? Should be done by then? And I’ve got a bunch of men happy to do whatever it takes to get home. Just say the word and we’ll help with your beetling and scutching and spinning.”

“We do all the spinning,” they both interject automatically.

Eret blinks.

Tuffnut waves a hand dismissively. “Waste of fiber if anybody else even tries.”

Ruffnut nods. “But it would be nice to have help with everything else…” She gives Eret an appraising look. “You have ten men?”

Eret nods. “And myself. We need to work for Hiccup too- we’re eating from his table. But we’re almost done rebuilding the last few houses so...”

Ruffnut shares a look with Tuffnut. They enjoy beetling- who doesn’t like whacking stuff, even if it’s just some innocent flax? But scutching is tedious and retting will take time anyway. Plus they do need the whelks.

Eret looks from one to the other. “So do we have a deal?”

Tuffnut rolls his eyes and shrugs, looking away.

Satisfied, Ruffnut smiles and spits into her hand, stretching it towards Eret.

Eret can’t hide his surprise, but he only hesitates a second before he spits into his palm and grips her hand.



 


All we are is skin and bone


Trained to get along


Forever going with the flow


But you’re friction



 


They set sail on what should be a rest day, but it can’t be helped- Hiccup and Astrid have bumped their wedding date up rather precipitously and the whole village is scrambling to get everything in place in time.

Everybody knows why even if nobody talks about it beyond the meaningful raises of eyebrows, grins and shakes of the head. And Ruffnut’s never been one not to make the most of an opportunity: the extra concessions she’s been able to squeeze out of Hiccup are making the project extremely profitable.

Still, it means they have to get a really good crop of whelks as soon as possible- it will take time to process the dye and get the yarn the proper shade, and Tuff insists that they need purple.

So they all keep a sharp eye out: Scauldy’s territory is vast, but tidal class dragons have a tendency to check out ships heading to and from Berk now. Offerings of fish make it a fun game of sorts for the normally reclusive dragons.

“Head! Off the starboard quarter!” calls Teeny. Eret nods approval, acknowledging first spotter.

Ruffnut runs aft and grins: it’s a Scauldron.

It breaches enthusiastically upon spotting her and she whoops and waves her arms. “Scauldy!”

Eret signals Ug and Starkard to reef the sails, and Scauldy closes the distance between them even faster as the ship slows.

In the meantime, Ruffnut shucks her boots and leaps overboard.

Tuff snorts and saunters to the fish buckets when the other men shout at the sound of the splash, watching her swim towards the massive Scauldron bearing down on them.

Scauldy scoops her up a moment later and she wraps her arms around as much of his head as she can, all smiles. “Aww, I missed you too, you big lug!”

“Incredible,” Eret breathes, shaking his head.

Girl and dragon greet each other enthusiastically for a couple minutes, with her exclaiming proudly over his new growth and him sniffing constantly at her hair before she clambers onto the back of his neck and pats his cheek. “Come on closer to the ship. There are some guys I want you to meet.”

He obeys, although he hisses and bares his teeth, rearing back from the strangers after he deposits her back onboard.

Tuffnut shoulders Eret’s men aside. “Hey, Scauldy.”

He flips some mackerel up and Scauldy happily snatches it mid-air before looking down again expectantly.

They all hastily grab their own buckets and follow Tuff’s example.

Ruff wrings water out of her hair and clothes, wrapping herself in a blanket before she joins in, constantly crooning reassurances until the dragon has visibly mellowed, lulled by both her presence and a full stomach.

“Hey Scauldy. I got a favor to ask you,” she says, reaching her hand up.

He nudges it, trusting.

“Think you could help us hunt down some more of these?” she asks, pulling a few empty whelk shells out of her pocket for him to inspect.

He sniffs, nods, and then ducks down so that she can clamber back onto his neck.

“Your boat goes pretty fast, right?” she calls to Eret. Scauldy turns and the ship sways as the water churns around him.

He smiles, exasperated. “She’s built for speed, but you really want us to race a Scauldron?”

She grins back. “Just try not to lose us!”

Eret shakes his head, but immediately signals his men, who hurry to their positions. “Well you heard her, men! Ready about, watch the boom. Damned if we’re not going to make a good show of it!”



 


Scauldy leads them to a tiny island with rocky beaches, and they dig and dive for dog whelks and take turns gutting. All they need from the whelks is a certain vein, which they carefully remove and place in salt before putting the rest of the flesh aside to feed Scauldy. He accepts the offerings gladly after dragging himself ashore and disgorging the whelks he’s found in deeper water from his pouch with a clatter.

Everybody’s in good spirits- Eret’s men are happy to be out on the water again, and working with a dragon as massive and wild as a Scauldron impresses even the most jaded of them. Plus Ruffnut can’t help feeling smug over how fast they’re collecting the veins: it usually takes her and Tuff several days, a lot of sunburn and equally inflamed tempers.

The view is awesome too-- they’ve all taken their furs off to work in the water and wet linen doesn’t leave much to the imagination. It’s a shame she’s too busy to gawk at Eret’s hot body the whole time but she’s not giving Tuffnut any more reason to complain. Besides, Eret walks into her line of view enough that she can afford not to crane her neck away from her work.

It also makes her laugh when Scauldy emerges and the men all go scrambling out of his way so he can wiggle and flop his way over to her.

A tidy profit, a hunky man to look at and undivided dragon affection: what more could a girl want?

But within a couple hours they have enough salted and sunning, and Eret organizes his guys into making a fire on the beach and getting some food caught and cooked- skewered fish and grilled shellfish. Her and Tuff share their bread and cheese and they all have a good meal before they start the journey home.

Scauldy keeps pace with the ship until they reach the edge of his territory. They’re both feeling a bit sad so she sings him lullabies, rubbing his head reassuringly. It’s like this every time she visits- she wishes he lived in like, the harbor or something.

You’re my Scauldy and I love you so, so glad to visit but it’s time to go.

He’s gentle when he deposits her back on the ship and she sighs when he turns and submerges.

They’re all feeling pleasantly tired as they sail back with the wind humming gently in the lines, trading dragon stories and tall tales while they relax on deck. A couple of Eret’s men bring up a keg from below, and they all grab a mug.

Ruff doesn’t know what Astrid was talking about: Eret’s men are great. She and Tuff fit right in- their jokes and stories are appreciated and they all let off steam in much the same way.

Working with them is actually fun.

“Ruffnut.”

“Yeah?” She’s feeling pleasantly buzzed, and she smiles lazily at Eret as he approaches.

“That was amazing, how you handled that Scaul- Scauldy. You’re one of the best dragon wranglers on Berk, I bet.”

She blinks and tucks her hair behind her ear, confused and pleased. It’s so weird to get a compliment about herself rather than her looks. And it’s not even half an insult.

“Uh- thanks. You’re pretty good too- Scauldy actually let you touch him. He didn’t even let Tuff do that for ages, even when he’d beached himself pretty bad.”

Eret grins, shrugging modestly. “Ahhh, I think it was the consistent bribery. Noticed he seemed to prefer the sole.”

She tilts her head appreciatively. “Yeah, he does. It’s cool of you to notice.”

He shakes his head. “Just my job. Well- former job.”

He looks away and she eyes him, frowning. “How’d you get into dragon trapping anyway?”

“Ah- it’s a long tale. Dark and depressing to boot.”

She sits up, non-plussed. “So what? I wanna hear it.”

“Yeah?” He's wary- most Berkians give them a wide berth still.

“Yeah. Not going to judge or anything. Just curious where you all come from.”

He studies her for a second, his expression softening before he settles next to her. “Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Hey Tuffnut- fill us up, will you?”

Tuff takes their mugs and complies, albeit reluctantly, giving Ruffnut a warning look and almost imperceptible shake of his head as he hands her back her mug.

She frowns back, shrugging, and turns to Eret. What’s Tuff’s problem anyway?


 

 


Your name has echoed through my mind


And I just think you should (think you should know)


That nothing safe is worth the drive


And I would follow you (follow you home)


 



Ruffnut’s reluctant to leave Eret and his men once they’ve got the hang of beetling, but dyeing and weaving take priority- time’s running out.

It’s just annoying being alone with Tuffnut again after enjoying a morning with the guys. He can’t bug her while they’re weaving: they both have to focus on line counts and colors to the exclusion of anything else. But while cooking dye?

She can’t force him to shut up; can’t even really hit him since they can’t risk knocking over any containers. Every vat in the workshop has a purpose, even the ones holding stale urine. And she needs him to keep the coals giving steady heat while she does the stirring.

Story of her life: she just can't escape him.

“You get that we’re making the sail so Eret can leave, right? Like, what’s the point of being all nice to him?”

“Uh, duh. I like him. And it’s just talking- why do you care so much? You have a good time hanging out with the guys too.”

Tuff scowls at the coals. “I don’t know. You’re… acting weird. I don’t like it.”

That makes her stop stirring and smack at him, annoyed. “Well, it’s not up to you!”

“Didn’t say it was! But you get that pretty much everything you do affects me too, right?”

She rolls her eyes and slouches over the vat. “So you want me to be miserable. What else is new?”

“It’s not about you all the time! It’s about me, too!”

Shut up! What does my love life have to do with you?”

Tuffnut fans the coals a little harder than he should. “Let’s see- you’re late cause you’re cooking for ~Eret son of Eret. You’d have bargained sailcloth –sailcloth!— for practically nothing if I hadn’t been there. You’re supposed to be the smart one of us, okay? But you’re acting really stupid and... he could hurt you real bad. And not in the fun, cool way, with blood and stuff. He’s not some goody-two-shoes like Hiccup. Like, if you were Astrid he could just leave you. Or- take you away on his stupid pirate ship. …And I don’t want either of those to happen, okay?”

She just gawks, speechless. He’s obviously thought about this. Like, a lot.

She shakes her head and starts to stir slowly again, trying to think of an explanation. “I know. But… it’s like being with Scauldy. Like I know I can’t see him all the time. But we have such a great time when we’re together that it doesn’t really matter. And I like that he’s not…totally tame, cause I’m not either. Besides, we haven’t done anything except hang out.”

“Yeah, but you want to,” he says, troubled.

She rolls her eyes and throws up her hands. “So?”

He jerks his shoulders restlessly.

“Since when do you play it safe anyway?” she demands, sighing. “Look, I’m not going to run off with him or whatever. We kick ass at weaving and dyeing- I’m not giving that up. But I can’t turn off what I feel. And I don’t want to- I think he kinda likes me now.”

She looks her brother square in the eye. “No fun without a good chance of mayhem, right?”

Tuffnut makes a face. “Yeah, I totally didn’t mean with like, feelings and stuff.”

She pouts and stamps with frustration. “Oh come on, Tuff!”

He rolls his eyes. “Fine, fine! But if you end up crying like some girly girl, I get to say ‘I told you so’ and you can’t hit me.”

She makes a hideous expression. “If I say ‘fine’, you’ll get off my back?”

Tuffnut snorts and spits into his hand, holding it out.

She spits and they shake before Ruff shoves his shoulder affectionately. Stupid brother.



 


Put your lips next to mine


As long as they don’t touch


Out of focus, eye to eye


Until the gravity’s too much



 

The wedding is a big freaking deal- ships from other tribes have been arriving for a week; Meade hall is packed at all times now; Hiccup’s even had a couple Chiefs flown in on dragonback.

They finish the bedspread just in time, and Hiccup actually looks kinda teary eyed when they unroll it for him.

“Wow… guys- this is… perfect. You even got the undertones on her wings,” he says, stroking the soft nap of it reverently as he studies the design.

Tuff grins, shrugging and scuffing his boot on the ground, pleased. “Well, you said the two of you in flight, so. Tried to make it look cool.”

Ruffnut looks over with a smirk- she knows how he sweated over treadling sequences, counts and colors. But even she has to admit the design is pretty cool- it’ll look fine from either the foot or head of the bed, with Toothless and Stormfly chasing each other in a circle and Astrid and Hiccup facing each other in between.

Practical but pretty, and extravagant enough to be part of a morgengifu from a Chief.

The wedding itself is lots of fun- there are decorations, musicians, plenty of mead flowing and tonnes of food. It’s like an extra fancy Fest with VIPs and Astrid and Hiccup dressed up and doing ceremonial stuff in the center of it all.

Vikings love a good party, and everyone’s dressed up for the occasion: it’s not every day that their Chief gets married. Ruffnut notes with pride the number of people wearing fancy clothes made with Thorston yarns and linens. She’s sporting a new dress in her signature purple herself, accented with a red belt.

She’s all set to get wasted with Tuff, but Eret spots them as soon as they enter the square.

“Well, aren’t you a vision? Would you care for a dance?” Eret asks, offering her his hand.

Tuff jerks his head, smiling resignedly. “I’ll get drinks and meet you guys later, ‘kay?”

She grins and takes Eret’s arm with a thrill of delight. He’s still so freaking perfect.


 


This hope is treacherous


This daydream is dangerous


This hope is treacherous


I, I, I…


 

 


First, reference/credit for lyrics from Treacherous by Taylor Swift from “Red” (2012). Writer(s): Daniel Dodd Wilson, Dan Wilson, Taylor Swift

Copyright: Chrysalis Music, Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Sugar Lake Music, Taylor Swift Music, Sugar Lake Music LLC

Inspiration for the blanket design from this fanart. What can I say- practical art makes me happy.

I know, I know. Ruffret is a ship with ZERO fics and barely any fandom support. And a songfic to boot: can’t even put it on ffnet. An actual rolling snowball of unpopular choices: NRG WTF?

Well, one of my LJ friends wrote meta on Reign and female roles in romantic tropes and it lit a fire under me about turning my nagging Ruffret idea into a full blown fic.

Female characters usually have constrained roles in romance: unless a guy likes you first, it’s wrong to chase after him. Who wants to be the cougar, the seductress, the harpy? The scorned, desperate woman?

Rejection from a man is absolute; unsolicited female desire is seen as this gross, predatory thing- and yet the converse is not. If a man likes you, you WILL come around. So stop fighting; give him a chance even if you find him repugnant. Once you get to know what a Nice Guy he is, you will change your mind. (Even Hiccstrid is arguably based on this, so I’m sort of glad the TV show tore it back down to friendship/mutual crushing.)

So I wanted to do a little trope flipping since Ruffnut’s desire for Eret is merely played for laughs in HTTYD2, to write a story where Ruff just might win Eret over by being herself; discover there’s more to both of them besides what you can see on the surface. (This is HTTYD fandom after all.)

Bonus: the differing needs of co-dependent but individual twins-- how does that not push a writer’s buttons?

Plus the song, with its air of frustrated longing, of the insistence on “I, I, I like it”? Is so Ruffret from Ruffnut’s POV that I couldn’t not.

I tried to avoid typical rape culture trope standards, but if you think I’m being gross as all get out, do let me know. Or you know, if you actually enjoyed the fic, I’d love to hear that too. :P

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