Suddenly I found it impossible to contemplate walking away without Reuben. To do something so feeble—so flaccid and pathetic—would be hard to live with. Even a bullet in the gut might be preferable to a never-ending sense of worthlessness. Being a vampire was bad enough. Being a skulking, cowardly, apathetic vampire would be hideous.
Although he wasn’t your usual mindless thug of a Hooligan, Hiccup wasn’t a wimp, either. Being frightened is not the same as being a coward. Maybe he was as brave as anyone else there, because he went to catch a dragon despite knowing what dragons are like. And, when he had climbed perilously to the mouth of the cave and had found that inside there was a long, twisty tunnel, he still went down it, despite not being too keen on long, twisty tunnels with dragons at the end of them.