MysteryWriter175: Not alone.
Dragonrider's Fury: Sharpshot is a nice character. With Heather I still need to get certain things done that I have no idea how to make things go.
Atomic R4y: Sorry for the wait.
erikatyusharon: Hiccup doesn't need a plane, he got Toothless... then again Toothless got caught so plane might be useful, not that they have an airfield.
Proofread by 3DPhantom
Hiccup crouched behind a grouping of bushes, moving frustratingly slowly while carrying Heather's axe along with his spear, shield, and the little dragon that refused to leave. At least the knives he had hung from his belt and didn't have to carry in his already full hands. Heather herself followed him with nothing to carry, but at least she was moving just as stealthily and hadn't done anything to expose Hiccup, so far. He peeked over the bush and into the village, especially towards one building, the Chief's house. There was no one out. Even those villagers who didn't join the rebellion wouldn't wander around with how tense things were.
For Hiccup that was just fine.
"How long are you going to keep my axe?" Heather complained.
"What are you going to do if I give it to you? Try to strike me in the back?"
"You are such an idiot, you know that? If I wanted to kill you, I would not have dropped it in the first place."
"Maybe," Hiccup muttered and continued moving. "Stay quiet."
"Where are we going? You never bothered to tell me what you're planning."
"I know," Hiccup said. "We are going to break into the Chief's house."
"To get the keys to the arena and its dungeons. I just hope Hakon has kept them where Chief Hemming did."
"And how do you know where that is?"
"Ivar once stole them to see Shortclaw.
"And now we are doing the same. Great."
"No, this time Shortclaw isn't in the arena, but freeing the people should help us get to the dragons."
"And which are more important to you?" Heather asked. Hiccup stopped for a moment before continuing.
"You might have learned about dragons, but you still see them differently from people, like animals. I don't see that difference, just how each of them has treated me and what responsibility I have accepted for them."
He hurried alongside path walls to the large house, crouching low to avoid detection. Heather's footsteps followed. Once there, Hiccup looked around. There was an open hatch on the second floor. Hiccup sighed. Maybe there was some good in Sharpshot coming along. He turned his head to look at the little dragon standing on his shoulder. No spoken words were needed as Sharpshot hopped off and flew into the house with tendrils of Hiccup's thoughts following and guiding him. Soon the little dragon flew out of the hatch with the set of keys in his mouth. Hiccup tried to pick them up with the hand already holding his spear, but crouching for the keys turned out tricky with a shield and an axe in the other hand.
"You know it would be easier for you to just give my axe back. If I wanted to hurt you, I could just start shouting."
"Fine, I need you for the next part anyway," Hiccup responded and let her take the axe before kneeling to pick up the keys.
"And what exactly do you need me to do?"
"Oh, just go tell the guards you found me but couldn't catch me, pretty much the truth, or part of it anyway. There is no way to free people through the open arena front, but with these I can try to sneak in through the back, if the number of guards is as low as you said. There should be weapons too."
"That's your plan? Do you actually think it will work?"
"Maybe, there is only so much two people can do with no time to prepare."
"You do understand that failure means death?" Heather asked.
"You can still try to pretend you were on their side the whole time. I could have come here on my own after getting away from you."
"How thoughtful of you. Do you think the Grimborns are going to buy that?"
"It's no less likely than this succeeding in the first place."
"You'll have to practice your motivational speeches more," Heather said.
"No time for that and I doubt I could lie well enough to convince you this isn't a near suicide mission."
"That's for sure. So, I'm on distraction duty," Heather weighted her axe in her arms. "Ryker might actually believe you acted on your own, so I just need to get out before Viggo comes if things get bad."
"Maaybe… Just try to get the guards' attention to the front of the arena. You should be a good enough actor for that."
Heather grinned back at him and walked away. Hiccup held onto the keys and a bit awkwardly scratched Sharpshot's head to calm them both down before heading out. He stuck to the buildings near the outer edge of the village, sneaking around like… well, like a Night Fury, or as close to that as Hiccup was able to manage. At least in this he had the size advantage over Toothless.
Just the thought of his dragon brother made Hiccup freeze for a moment, but afterwards he continued with even more determination. The arena and walled off area behind it were straight ahead. Hiccup hid behind a cart, seeing two Hunters walk past the locked gate to the closed off area. There didn't seem to be any other guards coming behind them as far as Hiccup could see, but there had to be more than two guards.
"HEY!" Heather shouted as she ran to the front side of the arena and stopped, leaning against her knees, looking way more exhausted than she had any real reason to be. Hiccup hadn't been wrong about her acting ability.
"I found him!" She shouted between gasps, still loud enough for Hiccup to hear exactly what she said and that meant the Hunters also heard. The two that had passed Hiccup ran to her and a few others came from behind the arena audience stands to listen to what she had to say. Hiccup waited for a few seconds to make sure no more were going to surprise him and then bolted. If any of the Hunters around Heather had turned their heads they would have seen him running across the open space, but none of them did and the gate was just narrowly out of their line of sight.
With Sharpshot watching his back Hiccup pushed the key in, wincing with every creak and click that the heavy lock and door made. He sneaked in through a narrow gap and closed the door again without locking it. He saw no one within the walls but there could still have been people in the buildings.
The place had changed a bit since his last visit. There were more buildings, like Hakon had expanded to support a larger army, or perhaps it had been the Grimborns. Hiccup didn't care if it meant there were more weapons around. He stuck next to the wall, jogging to the entrance to the underground and widdled with the keys, trying to find the right one. A click of the lock confirmed when he made the right choice.
A thought and screech from Sharpshot were his only warnings. Hiccup jumped out of the way barely in time to avoid a sword swung his way, slicing right through the air where his shoulder had been. Hiccup spun around to bring his shield and spear against the attacker.
"Well-well, what did the dragon drag in," Ryker said, a devilish smirk on his face. Hiccup could barely breathe. His missing foot hurt just from seeing that smirk. Ryker moved closer. Hiccup struck with his spear, trying to remember everything he had learned in training. Ryker easily redirected the spear and forced Hiccup to pull back. The counterstrike only glanced Hiccup's shield and it still shook his bones. The sun reflected from Ryker's sword like hot embers in the shipboard forge. Hiccup shoved with his spear again but this time it lacked whatever technique he was able to show the previous time. The same happened with a third and fourth strike that seemed to only entertain Ryker. It was only a small fire blast from Sharpshot that kept Ryker from charging at him straight away. Hiccup did the only thing he could.
He turned around and bolted. If there was anything he might be better than Ryker in in a fight, that was running away. He rammed at the gate shield-first, pushing the unlocked gate open with his whole meagre mass. He stumbled out with Sharpshot flying over his head. The gate hit the wall with a clang as Ryker charged after him.
"Get back here shrimp or I'll cut off your other leg too!"
Hiccup tried to not listen to the man, unsuccessfully, and darted to the side when a pair of Hunters tried to catch him.
"He's mine!" Ryker shouted. "Get the girl. She's a traitor."
Hiccup didn't need to look back to see how close Ryker was. Sharpshot had gained some altitude and was keeping an eye on Ryker from the rooftops.
"And someone get that rat of a dragon."
Hiccup spun around and slashed towards Ryker with the spear like he was using an especially long sword. It didn't even hit of course, and he only lost his lead. He ducked away from the swing of a real sword. Was Ryker trying to capture or kill him?
Quickly bolting to the side Hiccup jumped over a cart left in the middle of the path, gaining some distance on Ryker who took more time to get past the obstacle. Hiccup used the opportunity to pick up and throw one of his knives. He hadn't really trained at that so it unsurprisingly failed as Ryker leaned to the side and the knife tumbled harmlessly past him. At best it slowed the man a bit and scared the Hunters following behind him.
It wasn't enough, and with Ryker's next swing his sword grazed against Hiccup's shield. Hiccup instantly retaliated with rapid strikes from his spear. It actually held Ryker back briefly and slashed a small wound on his arm, drawing blood. Hiccup turned around and leaped into a building through an open hatch, too small for Ryker to easily get through. Sharpshot was still in the air and saw the man run to the door. He rammed at it and broke through, barely slowing down, but by then Hiccup was climbing out through another hatch.
He bolted downhill along a narrow path between buildings to avoid getting surrounded by nearby Hunters proceeding towards him. One caught up to him and tried to block his path but Hiccup had come too far to surrender to some nameless Hunter. The man, despite being armed, was holding his arms quite open like trying to catch a helpless child. As Hiccup continued charging forward the man's grin disappeared and he swung his sword. Hiccup evaded the strike and sunk his spear in the man's gut. He twisted around a bit and moved to the side to pull the weapon from the man without stopping. He kept running, doing his best to shut out the man's screams.
As soon as he got away from the wounded and out of Ryker's sight, Hiccup hid behind a corner that didn't have other any other Hunters too close by. Sharpshot saw Ryker approaching his hiding spot.
A searing pain struck Sharpshot's wing, and he crashed on a nearby rooftop, twitching in pain. Hiccup lost his breath like someone had hit his stomach with a war hammer. Ryker ran past the corner.
Hiccup screamed and struck forward. Ryker barely avoided getting the spear in his stomach.
Ryker didn't get a chance to finish his insult as Hiccup attacked again with a nearly dragon-like roar. For a few seconds he was pushing Ryker back before the man got over the initial surprise and with a single swing cut Hiccup's spear in two and loomed over him.
"I am going to make you watch as I skin that Night Fury and make myself new boots, just to make sure you understand that runts like you should not challenge those stronger than yourself. HEY!"
Hiccup threw another knife at the man's face, almost hitting this time. It was still enough for him to start running again. He was unarmed except for a few small knives and couldn't track the Hunters through Sharpshot's eyes. Even while running his eyes spent half of the time scanning the rooftops even as his vision got blurry from tears. He knew he shouldn't have allowed the little dragon to come. He could have forced Sharpshot to leave. At least he could have protected one in his flock. Now he was the last one left and soon not even that. He could hear Ryker charging after him and he had nothing to really fight back; he could have just as well surrendered. Would have been easier for everyone.
Yet he didn't.
Maybe it was his Viking blood or Toothless' influence that had rubbed on him, but if he was going down he wanted the Hunters and especially Ryker to suffer, or at the very least work for his suffering as much as possible.
Hiccup needed a new weapon. With Ryker between him and old Torbjorn's forge, which was probably out of weapons anyway, he started running back uphill towards the arena. There would be weapons behind it. He'd just have to get past the Hunters guarding Heather. By the time he got back up the hill he was gasping for air. He tried to control the noise he made and glanced around to look for any sign of the Hunters, but there was no one by the arena. As Hiccup approached the door to the arena's backside he noticed a man laying on the ground near the gate, one of the Hunters was unconscious with a line of blood coming from under his head. Heather was nowhere to be seen.