Dragons are dragons. Boys are boys. This is a simple fact of life, a line that should never have to be blurred. But sometimes, the realities that we come to know disappear. The unknown becomes feared, and enemies are made among friends.
It started out like any normal day. Hiccup was in chief training with his father. But just like everyday, the two bull headed vikings came to a disagreement and began to argue. Hiccup's arm movements were always present and noticeable, but even more so when he was annoyed and frustrated. It was when he threw his arm back to gesture at his father's chair, that it happened. His hand slapped Goði straight across the face, and knocked her staff out of her hand. It tumbled and hit a mug of mead and a candle that sat on the table. The flames ignited the alcohol and soon, the whole table was on fire.
Hiccup was dismissed from training for the day.
The boy felt awful. Not just for causing the fire, but especially for slapping the frail elder. His face was still tinged pink.
"Ugh, the gods hate me." He muttered to his faithful companion as they strode beachside. "I manage to bring pride to my tribe by ending the war with dragons, but I still cause more destruction to our village then our enemies."
Toothless warbled in reply.
"Hiccup!" A pleasant voice called out for him. He glanced behind to see Astrid sprinting towards him up the beach. Finally, someone looking for him other than to yell at him. "Hey, what happened? I heard Stoick shouting from my house!"
"Oh you know, the usual."
"That bad, huh?"
"I slapped Goði and set the Great Hall on fire." He resumed his meandering down the beach. She caught up to him easily and took his hand.
"I'd say that's a new record. Very impressive."
"At least I got away from dad."
"Some would say you did it on purpose."
"I hope Goði doesn't curse me or something. Do I look green?"
"You're fine, Hiccup. And you're perfectly normal. You're just…growing into your limbs, that's all. You're so used to being small and limber, you just don't know your own strength yet."
"Well, it's annoying. And I don't remember you going through this."
"I did." She shrugged.
"Yeah right. You've always been a graceful swallow, but me? Nah, I'm a klutz. Always have, always will. And this doesn't help." He gestured to his leg.
"But isn't that part of what makes you, you?"
"It's a part of me I could do without." He sighed. "I'm tired of being such an embarrassment for my dad."
"Hiccup, you make your father very proud. Believe me. He just…doesn't know how to show it."
"Yeah yeah, you've given me this pep talk before." His shoulders heaved with a frustrated breath.
Astrid scrunched her nose up. "Maybe you could blackmail him."
"What?" He asked incredulously.
"The next time he gives you a hard time, just get him back with a jibe like," She made her voice nasally, impersonating him, "'Oh dad, remember when you disowned me and took away my dragon even though I warned you about the dragon the size of a mountain?' or 'Hey dad, remember when I lost my foot because I had to save your sorry butt because you didn't listen to me in the first place? Yeah good times.'"
"What?! I'm not going to say that to my father!"
"It would work!"
"Am I? Really?"
He rolled his eyes. "Thanks for trying to cheer me up, but I really need to be alone for a while."
She squeezed his hand in consolation. "Okay…just, don't get lost in your thoughts okay? You tend to get depressed and then I'm the one that has to bring you out of it."
Toothless trilled in agreement.
"Okay." He smirked. He leaned in and left a kiss on her cheek. "I think I'll go do some exploring. That should keep me occupied."
"Be back by dinner." She scolded.
"I'll try." He chuckled back. Easily, he mounted his noble friend, and they were off into the sky.
As the world disappeared below, Hiccup let the weight of disappointment melt from his shoulders. There was no responsibilities up here. The fresh air whipping his hair around and stealing his air was like the most refreshing thing in the world. The sensation was like Astrid's kisses. Not the quick pecks either, but the slow and meaningful caresses she gifted him in secret. Yes, the weightless feeling was a favorite of his. He craved it, and so he flew as often as possible, and did whatever Astrid asked of him, just to be rewarded.
The sky was an old friend. Near and dear as Toothless, as it knew his secrets and desires. After all, the air stole them all when he ascended. He basked in the warmth of the sun, reclining as Toothless sailed lazily up in the clouds. The only sounds were the wind in his ears and his contented hums. A man once said that laughter was the best medicine. That man never flew a dragon.
"Where do you want to go today, bud?" The young man asked, rubbing his side.
Toothless banked to the left just a tad.
"Down south? Yeah, sounds good. There's plenty of little islands to meander through." He sat up and clicked the rigging into place.
So on they flew. Hiccup's arms out at his sides, reveling in the currents that waved them about. To ride on the back of a magnificent beast was magic, to say the least, but for once, the teen wished to feel the power of flight himself.
They landed at an island they had only passed before. It was puny, overlooked every time, but just for a few hours, the duo could at least romp around. The island was mostly rocks and trees, and few shrubs here and there, but it looked mostly uninhabited.
"Totally alone." Hiccup nodded. He didn't count Toothless, since the Dragon was an extension of himself.
It was when they reached the denser part of the woods that everything changed. He had overlooked this island, and yet, it was utterly fascinating.
"Whoa…" The boy said, glancing in every direction, trying to take it all in. Everywhere, from the trees to the ground, white eggs were wrapped in silky threads and stuck to different surfaces. They almost looked like spider eggs, but twice the size of the boy's head.
"I wonder what kind of eggs they are…" Hiccup stepped closer.
Toothless snagged the back of his tunic and pulled him back.
"What? What is it bud?"
The dragon whined low, in warning, laying flat to the ground.
"Oh, it'll be fine. I'll be quick, I just want to get a closer look." He stepped closer again.
Toothless barked in refusal, but wouldn't go after his boy.
"Fine! We'll go." But as he turned, he heard a soft crack. Looking down at his feet, he came to realize that his prothetic had punctured one of the eggs, and it was now leaking.
Hiccup's heart sank instantly. "Oh no…" He tried to step back, but the amber goop was taut like rope. "What the—…" He reached down to wipe it off, but it stuck to his hand. He shook it, and the slime scattered, making thin lines with each splatter. "This stuff is worse than dragon spit," he said as he wiped his hands on his shirt. It only proved to make him stickier. To his horror, Hiccup noticed the more he moved, the more the slime covered him.
"Toothless, help me out buddy?"
The dragon whined and covered his face with his paws.
"Toothless!" He insisted, by the dragon didn't move. Frustrated, he tried to walk away, and grab a tree branch to collect the sticky substance. But as he took a few steps, the glop reached it's elasticity and snapped him back. He landed on his rump, right on the center of the egg.
"Great." He moaned. The gunk was like glue, as it stuck to everything on him. He tried to wipe it off on the grass, but bizarrely, it didn't even stick to the blades.
He stretched out his slowly coating arms, only for them to snap back and hit him in the face. The more he fought, the more he became swallowed by the ooze.
"Toothlmm—!" He tried to shout, but the sludge had crawled up to his mouth. His arms were trapped against his chest as his body folded together. In his last moments, he saw Toothless watching with desolate eyes. The mass oozed over his eyes and sealed his lips shut. His prison grew harder and darker as he tucked himself into a ball. He needed to breathe, but the muck was in his nose.
A warm feeling blossomed in his chest and pierced his heart. Dragon's fire nipped at his skin and seared his lungs. He didn't know what was happening, but as he passed into darkness, he realized he'd find out soon enough.