The riders find out why Hiccup is only ever seen with long sleeves

RTTE timeline

~O~

It was one of the hottest days the riders ever had, and ever will, experienced. They all sat in the clubhouse, the doors wide open to allow any breeze that happened to be passing by inside, hoping for an escape for the suns blazing fury.

"Why does it have to be so hot?" Complained Snotlout for the umpteenth time that hour.

He had stripped down to the bare minimum of clothes - a simple, thin shirt and short pants - like most of the riders. The heat was driving them mad, well, madder.

Hiccup leaned against the table in the middle of the room, drops of sweat sliding down his face. He had stopped trying to wipe them away - the second he did more replaced them. Out of all the riders, Hiccup was suffering the most. It made sense, he was the only one who hadn't removed some of his normal attire. Even Astrid had long shed her armbands, boots and leggings.

The one-legged Viking, however, refused to remove some of his clothes to allow whatever sweet breeze to wash over him, or bask in the amazing feeling of water washing over his bare skin. He would happily change into some shorter pants, possibly remove his copper chestplate. But his tunic, that simply could not be changed.

Why he hadn't changed everything but his tunic even Hiccup didn't understand fully. At the moment all he could think about were the riders finding out why he refused to change and trying to escape the neverending heat. Guess that's what heat does to you.

Suddenly Tuffnut spoke, pulling Hiccup away from his thoughts. "Hey Hiccup, why haven't you changed yet?"

Then question Hiccup had dreaded for most of the day finally surfaced. Throughout the past hours, Hiccup had come up with several believable excuses in case the question was asked. However, all the well thought words vanished from his mind.

"It's comfy." Were the only words he could muster.

Immediately, Hiccup mentally kicked himself. Of course, he wasn't comfy. The amount of sweat that was dripping off him could easily create an ocean.

The others looked up after hearing Hiccup's bizarre comment.

"What?" He inquired, knowing very well what they were so surprised at.

"Hiccup I can hardly say you look comfy." Astrid's voice of reason was laced with slight concern. She started to think that maybe the heat was really getting to him.

Fishlegs spoke next. "You should at least change your tunic and remove your armour, Hiccup. You can get sick from this type of heat."

Hiccup looked away at the mention of changing his tunic.

"I'll pass." He murmured.

The other riders were now really starting to worry. Usually, Hiccup would be the one encouraging the riders to try and keep cool, taking any necessary precautions to keep everyone well and healthy in any type of extreme weather. But now, he was acting like Snotlout. While he was stubborn, even Ruff and Tuff agreed it was a bit far to refuse to change your tunic for no apparent reason.

"Hiccup," Astrid began, "at least remove your shoulder guards and armour. We can't have you getting heat sickness."

The first time the riders discovered this 'heat sickness' was a day a few months ago almost as hot as today. Tuff and Ruff had been out all day in the heat when they came back the two were bedridden for the next two days. While with the twins, it was more a relief than worry, even Hiccup knew he couldn't afford to get sick, not with Johann and Krogan still looking for the Dragon Eye lenses.

Hiccup sighed knowing he couldn't disagree with that logic. So, slowly he removed his shoulder guards and copper chestplate.

The landed on the floor with a slight thud. "You happy now?" He asked not bothering to pick them up.

Astrid nodded slowly, obviously confused with the sudden change in attitude.

Once again the room fell into silence. Hiccup shut his eyes, able to relax more with some of his armour removed. He wondered what it was like on Berk right now. Where they suffering insufferable heat as well or was it the usually chill that Berk was known for.

Once again Tuffnut spoke to pull Hiccup away from his thoughts. "Hey Hiccup, how come we've only ever seen you with long sleeves?"

Now this question was a question absolutely hated being asked. Gobber used to tell him to change his shirt all the time when he worked in the forge. Several times he had asked why Hiccup only ever wore long sleeves tunics, instead of the more comfortable short sleeved ones, but he would always pass it off with his dry sarcasm. Now, however, Hiccup felt - no, knew - he wouldn't be able to get away with the excuses he had thrown at Gobber over the years.

"That's none of your concern," Hiccup muttered loud enough to be heard.

Everyone was surprised at the comment.

Putting his head back down on the table Hiccup was begging the Gods to not allow his friends to continue. If they found out how would they see him? Would they see him differently? Shun him? He loved having actual friends opposed to the years he spent alone, he couldn't let something as small as an old bad habit ruin that.

Suddenly Ruffnut spoke. "Hiccup you're hiding something under those sleeves, aren't you?"

He was so taken aback by the comment he completely missed the mischief in the girl's voice. Of course, he was hiding something, but the twins finding that out? Hiccup struggled to comprehend it.

Suddenly, he realised by the looks on his friend's faces that his sudden change in expression had made the answer very obvious. Doing his best to cover up the uncoverable, Hiccup looked away and shrugged.

"I knew it!" Tuffnut exclaimed. "So are you gonna say or are Tuff and I gonna reveal it?"

That was when Hiccup finally noticed the twins faces. The mischief was plastered right on them, Hiccup relaxed a little knowing that whatever the twins said next was going to be a lot of rubbish.

"Your arms," Tuffnut began.

"Are not normal arms." His twin continued.

"They are dragon arms!" The two said in unison.

Snotlout laughed. Astrid rolled her eyes. Fishlegs completely ignored them. Hiccup just shook his head.

Worried for nothing. He thought to himself. There's no way they could find out.

"It makes so much sense." Ruffnut further explained. "Your arms have scales all along them, making you seem like a dragon. That's why you can train them so easily!"

"That's one of the stupidest things you've said. And there's quite a list." Snotlout remarked.

Ruff quickly retorted. "Like you have room to talk!"

"So are you denying it Hiccup?" Tuffnut questioned approaching the Dragon Riders leader.

"No Tuff, you've seen through me. My secret has been revealing to the world." Hiccup said his voice laced heavily with sarcasm.

The twins did not seem pleased with the answer.

"If you will not simply tell us, we will have to rip off your sleeves and prove it!" Tuff exclaimed throwing his fist in the air, his sister copying the pose.

Hiccup face fell, "Y-yer guys, t-that's n-not really n-necessary."

Next thing he knew the twins had pushed him off his and he fell to the floor. The Twins jumped on top of him, Ruff grabbing his right arm and keeping it up straight, while Tuff worked at pulling the sleeve away from Hiccup's skin. All the while, Hiccup was constantly trying to fight off the twins. Panic was invading him now as the sleeve reached the middle of his forearm.

They were going to see it. After so many years of hiding it from his dad, Gobber, the Dragon Riders, pretty much all of Berk, his efforts were going to go to waste because of the idiotic twins. He was sure he heard Astrid say something about stopping, but by the time the words left her mouth, it was too late.

The Twins had successfully pulled Hiccup's right sleeve down and everyone gasped at the sight. Tuffnut and Ruffnut looked less than pleased with themselves, Snotlout stared mouth agape, Fishlegs dropped the book he had been reading and Astrid went rigid.

"Hiccup..." She said quietly as she stared at his arm.

Etched in scar tissue into his right arm, in large, capital letters, was the word:

USELESS

Feeling the sudden slack from the Twins hold he pushed them off and stood up, rolling his sleeve down as he did so.

"I'm... I-I'm going to... Make sure the... The dragons... Have... Have enough water."

With that, he ran out the clubhouse followed by the confused and slightly frightened stares of the other riders.

Hiccup needed to leave, and fast.

~O~

That was the first chapter of this two-shot. Hope you liked it so far. Feel free to leave reviews and tell me what you think!