The Vikings in the Great Hall rejoiced, surrounded by the decorations of the holidays and their returned—as well as new found—dragons. Small fire breathing critters scrambled about the room, searching for the people that their sires and dames trusted so much. Hiccup was walking around, looking at all of the new hatchlings that had arrived at Berk only a few short hours before. He smiled as he watched everyone interact, but there was still that feelings of loss eating away inside of him. Toothless had yet to return to the island, and he had no idea where he had gone to in the first place. He hadn't been with the other dragons, so he could be virtually anywhere. There hadn't appeared to be any other Night Furies on the nesting island, so perhaps he went somewhere else?
He smiled sadly as she watched a young girl walking across the room, a baby dragon in her arms with smoke beginning to pour from its nose in irritation to the way that it was being held. It was an adorable sight and only served to make the pain inside of his chest worse.
"Hiccup," Astrid started as she moved to stand at his side, "I know this must be really hard for you seeing everyone with their dragons." She reached down and took his hand gently, something that was rare for her since she was on the more tough side of the scale of Berk's women. "But you really did a wonderful thing."
Hiccup tried to look away so that he didn't have to look her in the eyes, show that he was near tears with grief, but she slipped a hand beneath his chin and lifted his face up until he was looking directly into her blue eyes. The gentleness was strange to be coming from her, and it momentarily distracted his thoughts as he tried to figure out more ways to keep her this nice.
"Thank you." She pressed a quick kiss to his lips before wrapping her arms around him in a tight hug, wishing only to comfort him. A smile rose to his lips as he hugged her back, glad for the break of watching the happiness of others. He was relieved to have all of the dragons back and knew that the others were grateful, but that wasn't always enough. Toothless had been his first true friend in that village, and now that he was gone there was an aching hollowness inside of him that just couldn't be filled. Even another dragon could never take the place of Toothless.
"Astrid, where did Toothless go?" he asked meekly, unable to stop himself from wondering. He was clinging to the hope that there was somewhere else he may have gone, and would return to the village just like all of the others. There was no way to tell, however, and he tried not to think on that.
"I don't know," the blonde said quietly, feeling guilty that there was no more that she could do for him. Hiccup just tried to push the thoughts aside and be happy that she was being kind to him, wrapped up in her arms without it being prior or post punch. She pulled away suddenly, though, and that left him dazed for a moment. He had wanted to keep holding her. "Wow," she said softly, holding onto his shoulders as she kept a distance between them. He was still smiling, looking into her clear blue eyes. "Man, wouldn't want to be you right now!"
The sudden change in attitude surprised Hiccup and the smile dropped from his face, the pain returning once again as he looked at Astrid with a hurt face.
"I mean; you brought back everyone's dragon except yours." Hiccup drew back from her as he frowned in confusion and slight anger. She had been harsh before, but never when it came to Toothless. Well, aside from when she had blatantly blamed him for Toothless being taken by his father to find the nest. That had only been meant to give him some motivation, though.
"Yea, you know, this is not helping. At all."
The smile that broke out on her face angered him more for a split second before she shoved his right side, pushing him backward and spinning him at the same time. He gasped in surprise from the action, wondering just what in Thor's name had gotten into the woman, before he saw what she had spun him around for.
The sleek black dragon was hunkered down to the floor, his ears immediately standing up on his head at his called name and he began to bound up to where Hiccup was. The tremendous relief that flooded through Hiccup in that moment couldn't have been matched by anything and he rushed forward to greet his once missing dragon in a hurry. The Night Fury stopped and sat back on his hind legs, towering over Hiccup in the process, and looked down at the boy with large, green eyes.
He was snorting and grumbled happily, reminding Hiccup of an excited dog, and the sounds were all welcomingly familiar. Not stopping for more than a moment, he rushed forward to hug Toothless quickly around the neck, which was far too thick for a proper hug but a hug none the less. It only lasted a moment before he drew back and stuck a finger in Toothless's face, between the great beast's eyes, and scolded him.
"Bad dragon! Very bad dragon!" Toothless followed the wagging finger with his eyes, looking foolish with something sticking out of the side of his mouth and his head cocked ever so slightly to the side. He opened his mouth for a moment to adjust what he was carrying, listening to his human rider scold him fairly loudly. "You scared me to death! Don't ever stay away that long again and what is in your mouth?" Hiccup quickly changed topics when he noticed the shiny looking thing inside his friend's jaws, trying to get a better look as Toothless straightened up fully before leaning over Hiccup abruptly.
The watching crowd groaned in disgust and flinched as they watched Toothless take Hiccup's head into his mouth, dropping something on top of this skull that was coated in a thick layer of dragon saliva. The Night Fury's tongue stuck to it for a moment as he drew away, leaving behind a large glob of spit on the front of the helmet that now sat on his rider's head. He didn't seem to notice how disgusting of an action it was and just licked his jaws free of the slimy spit while Hiccup tried to clean off his head.
"Yea, you found my helmet," Hiccup said in mock rejoice, wiping at his eyes as saliva dripped down onto his face and in his hair. The helmet had been full of saliva from being in the dragon's mouth for so long and was beginning to soak his hair and run down his neck. He stopped immediately when he realized what he had just said. "Wha-hey! You found my helmet! That's where you've been?" he asked, taking a hold of his dragon's head to keep him still.
Toothless looked slightly awkward when Hiccup hugged him once again, looking around at the people as he tried to think of what he was supposed to do at that time. He grumbled loudly as he waited for the boy to release him, remembering what else he wished to present to his rider. Hiccup was dumbfounded when his dragon pulled away from him and began making those same excited snorting sounds before he roared loudly and turned to the still open door of the great hall. Everyone—once cheering—when quiet and looked over to see what the dragon was fussing about.
Everyone watched in awed silence as a sleek black head poked inside the doors, bright green eyes looked around hesitantly. As soon as Toothless was spotted, the long black ears atop the dragon's head lifted in happiness. Hiccup was at a loss of what to say as the second Night Fury ducked out of the doors again for only a moment before reappearing. No one in the great hall moved as they watched the black dragon step into the Great Hall, carrying with her a baby Night Fury. The tiny black hatchling was hanging by its tale from its mother's mouth, looking at the crowd upside down. A long 'aww' left many of the women and men as the tiny thing grinned toothlessly, just like its father—as well as being adorably foolish. Before long, small gasps sounded as the female stepped in fully and revealed a second hatchling, curled up on her spread tailfins and getting a ride across the floor as it blinked sleepily.
"Toothless…you…you're a dad?" Hiccup asked stupidly. Toothless began making excited clicking and cackling sounds and rushed over to the other Night Fury; she purred as he approached, the rumble filling the silent hall.
The female was slimmer than Toothless was, and appeared to have a slightly longer tail as well. She didn't reach the same height because of her thinner body, but was still quite tall. Her lack of height was made up for in length, nearly three feet added on to her because of an extended tail and long tailfins. Toothless ducked his head down to press beneath her neck for a moment in greeting as he purred in response before he moved back and plucked his child from her fins and rushed back over to Hiccup, the upside down baby looking disoriented as he was woken up.
"Oh Odin, now we've got four of 'em?" Gobber asked as he looked over to Stoick, who was still watching in shock as the Night Fury presented his new family to Hiccup.
"Looks like he was getting more than just your helmet," Snotlout remarked with a smirk in place, cradling a dragon in his arms as he watched the entire thing alongside the twins.
Hiccup didn't respond but instead reached forward hesitantly to scoop up the tiny dragon in his hands. Because of the small size of a Night Fury as an adult—compared to other dragons—the hatchlings were absolutely minute little things. It was smaller than his hands when he had them cupped together to hold it better. Astrid looked over his shoulder in awe, wanting to see the baby as well. Toothless moved backward to sit beside his mate, who was cautiously looking around as she kept a hold of the dozing hatchling in her mouth, and watched Hiccup carefully. He may trust the human male, but that didn't mean he was going to let his guard down where his babe was concerned.
"This one's a boy," Astrid commented loud enough for everyone to hear, watching as the baby boy yawned widely and revealed his tiny teeth and then proceed to curl up in Hiccup's hands and went to sleep, wrapping its miniscule wings around itself to block out the light and sound. Hiccup was reminded of the times that he had seen Toothless wrapped up and hanging like a bat from a tree.
"I'm going to have my hands so full," he mumbled at last. Even then, he couldn't take his eyes off the small being in his hands.
The room went silent again as the female Night Fury dropped the other babe on Toothless's head, the dragon minding not one bit, and rose up to walk toward Hiccup. She was watching him warily as he held her baby, but didn't act threatening toward him. No one moved in fear of setting off the protective mother. A couple of strides later and she stood before Hiccup, rising all the way onto her back feet so that she was standing in the same fashion that a human would.
She let out a hot huff of air at his face before leaning forward to nudge his cheek, ducking down and doing the same to her child. The baby boy made a squawking sound as she woke him up, before he climbed up onto her head and curled up again, just as the other had done on Toothless's head. The flat top of the skull was perfect for the job and allowed the babes to sleep without worry of rolling off one side.
Once the young one was in place she leaned into Hiccup's face for a moment, inspecting him. The crowd around them watched with bated breath before snickering as she greeted Hiccup with a long, wet luck from chin to helmet. She looked pleased at the trail of saliva she had left behind and turned to move back over to Toothless, who appeared as proud as a peacock with a baby dragon sleeping on his head.
"I like her, what are you going to name her?" Astrid asked as she moved over to stand beside Hiccup, grinning at the slime that was covering his face. He looked disgusted as it dripped off his chin, but he also knew that if he had the trust of two Night Furies than he was the luckiest Viking alive. "Or do you want to get to know her a bit better?"
"I've got an offer, if you'd hear it," Stoick said as he marched over to his son, his eyes looking over the smaller dragon. She was watching him as well, but with Toothless so relaxed she wasn't as alert as she would have been on her own. Hiccup nodded his head, unable to think of a name that would suit the female. Toothless's name had just kind of fallen into place. "All of our other dragons came to us in the warmer seasons; this one, however, joined our family during the winter. What about Eira, meaning snow?"
Hiccup looked over to the female, seeing that she was watching the conversation with her head tipped just slightly to the side and the baby on her head completely undisturbed. "What do you think, Eira?" he asked. She perked up slightly, her ears snapping up to stand straight on her head. Toothless let out a road of happiness as his tail pounded on the ground. Laughter and cheers filled the room as the new Night Fury received her name.
They still had two more names to come up with.