Hello, hello!I know I've been neglecting this story for a while now, so I'd better get it updated before I forget about it entirely. Special thanks goes to KATANNGFOREVERanEVER, for making some artwork for this story. I'll put links up, as soon as she deems that they are worthy (though I think they're pretty good already).
Disclaimer: Don't own!
Rating: Still T!
Warnings: My punctuation! For the record, I don't find Nadders' to be a very "pretty" breed, though stunning work on deviant art has started to change my opinion. Astrid is a very pretty human and I was wary of making her a Nadder in this story, because I don't think a Nadder is as graceful as she appears in the movie, then I realized Nadders kind of look like Raptors (the dinosaurs not the bird) and I find them very beautiful soooo…
It's not so much aesthetics, as I don't feel that she would be a Nadder if she were to become a dragon, but I couldn't find any dragon I like better for her, so I did my best!
Oh look! More guests!
"Oh, will you please choke on your sheep and leave off!" Astrid snapped her jaws producing a sharp clacking sound. She unfurled her wings and hopped, incredibly bird-like, a few paces away. She was making a faint hissing noise, like a current of lightning and turned her head slightly to view the Nightmare more closely.
"No! I've had enough! Every day you come around here and strut about my nest! I have told you everyday that I have no interest in being your mate, there are more important things to worry about." She cocked her head and thought about it some more, "And we've only just fledged, catching the wind a little too quickly, aren't we?"
Snotlout, in his rather optimistic way, took the rejection in stride. He puffed out his enormous chest and put back his head, his deep red and banded black color standing out all the more boldly, "Yes, I do strut rather well, don't you think?"
Astrid gave a heated snort, "Besides, I don't mate outside my breed, I think I already told you that as well."
The large male leaned back onto his front claws, his former posture was too awkward to maintain for very long, "And I most would most certainly agree with you whole-heartedly my darling Astrid," Astrid made a rude gagging sound, "But surely, with your beautiful conformation and my own stunning handsome self, our offspring would be most beautiful." He seemed quite pleased with himself as he finished this long speech, "Come now darling, don't be so churlish, I'm quite the catch."
Astrid looked skyward, she'd had quite enough of this male and all of his presumptuous showing-off. "Look, Snotlout, I'm sure you are quite a… uh, catch. You must understand though, I just could never compete with your stunning good looks, so really, I must resist. Surely there must be some dragoness out there for you to pursue, one that would be much better suited to you and all that lovely…stuff?"
While the male puffed back up again, Astrid took the chance to escape. She unfurled her wings with a great snap. Pumping her muscular legs, she easily took to the sky and heaved a sigh as she tilted her head to view the ground she'd left behind. Idiot, she thought.
The entire island was spread open in front of her and she felt the anger and annoyance falling away, none could remain angry in the presence of such beauty for long. The water hole came into view in front of her, gratefully she descended upon it.
For a long moment, she stood at the edge of the water, her frustration of not being able to look down and see her image without tilting her face in either direction evident. Such a pity that her eyes, which could see for so many miles and almost completely behind her, were set so they were nearly on either side of her head.
Giving in, she tilted her head a little to the right and gazed at her reflection. She was pretty enough she supposed, her wings were shaped right and her lower jaw was not so large as other Nadders' which perhaps was more flattering. Her coloring was mostly average, she was a uniform blue from her lower body up to her shoulders, her underside was the pale creamy egg-shell color that was evident through-out her breed. Her wings were blue on top, and scalloped neatly on the edges as they should be, but perhaps the deep speckles of green and aqua blue were not on very many of her breed. Nor the deep red color on the back of each point of wings. Her horns were a flower-yellow color, rather than the normal bone-yellow that other had as well, but honestly, nothing that should drive members of other species to asking for her affection.
"Oh Snotlout, I couldn't possibly be your mate!" A voice called from her left, a perfect mocking mimicry of her own. Her eyes searched, but she knew already who it was. "I don't mate outside my own breed and I'm not so nearly pretty as you."
A dragon seemed to almost slither from the undergrowth nearby, Ruffnut, a Zippleback. Her two heads were playing out her last conversation with Snotlout with perfect diction.
"Can I help you Ruffnut?"
The dominant head, or at least the one that did most of the talking, pulled away from the theatrics and bent low so she could face Astrid more directly. "I can't believe he fell for the lines you fed him! Draco, it was beautiful."
The second head drifted down and merely echoed the last word of beautiful before pulling away and keeping a look out, a habit all the Zippleback breed had. "Well, what was I supposed to tell him? I've already told him no at least a hundred times."
Ruffnut shrugged and idly eyed a her own coloring. Covered from head to toe in non-uniform spots that were blue, edged in yellow and surrounded by red. "Do whatever you like, provided or course," she pulled back to eye her other head, "you do it entertainingly."
Astrid sighed and turned her head sky-ward, "And where is your charming egg-mate?"
Ruffnut's two heads gave simultaneous hisses, "Far away from us, we should hope!"
"You four have another spat?"
"When aren't we having a spat?" Ruffnut entwined with her more reserved head, it was kind of like having a friend that could never be apart from you.
Astrid chose to remain silent and instead spread her wings, "Come one, let's take a look at our new island!"
The month that Toothless had spent with Hiccup had undoubtedly become the strangest of the dragonet's life. Given, that not much happened on his island and the fact he was only one winter old aside, but it was really strange.
It was strange to Hiccup when Toothless flamed the ground in a neat circle, or flamed rocks and curled up beside them when he slept. It was summer and the air was warm, surely the earth was already warm enough? Or maybe it was just the sheer amount of fire the black dragon seemed to possess.
When he'd been much younger, the kindly Nightmare had told him about how each dragon had a limit to how much fire they could produce, some breeds only have a few shots, such as Timberjacks which only had four shots. Hiccup was unsure where he fell into this though, for he didn't know which breed he was and truly, whenever he tried to flame, he felt a part of him wither in fear. This dragon, however, seemed to flame almost constantly and with little regard as to whether or not he'd run out.
Toothless also sometimes slept upside down, quite like a bat, which truly alarmed Hiccup when he first stumbled upon the Night Fury for the first time in such a strange position.
There were other, smaller, little things that made Hiccup more and more aware that he must be a strange dragonet. There was no doubt in the half-breed's mind that before him, Toothless, was what every dragon should try to be. The Night Fury, which was what Toothless's breed called themselves or rather Fury of the Night, was strong, poised, elegant, well-spoken, and incredibly intelligent. He had something that he called pride and honor and a warrior dragon's code, which meant absolutely nothing, not a whit, to Hiccup.
From what the other had described, honor and pride seemed to be nothing that Hiccup wanted anything to with. Honestly, pride sounded like something that would get in the way, for what shame was there in asking for help? Shame, that was also a new emotion that Hiccup was coming to know very well. Every time Toothless gave him that look, the one that seemed to look so bewildered, Hiccup felt a pang deep in his stomachs, was he truly not a proper dragon?
Hiccup curled in on himself as he thought more and more on it, his tail scuffling in the dirt, cool and comforting against his scales. He tucked his wedged head beneath a wing and let out a soft keening sound. Was he a bad dragon? Could he even call himself a dragon?
Toothless had said that he'd learned to fly a two seasons out of shell and that most breeds learned to fly before their first winter. The gleaming dragon had not meant to be mean, Hiccup knew that, but the shame that the dragonet had felt…
Heaving a sigh, Hiccup writhed a bit, his long neck feeling suddenly cramped and he stretched it out, his green eyes peering out of the mouth of the cave. It was such a beautiful day, birds were singing everywhere, their musical notes were soothing. The sunlight was beaming down hard, even through all the dense forest, the normally shadowy parts of the undergrowth was lit. It was a perfect day for sunning.
Hiccup chided himself, Look at you, he thought, curled up like a sulky hatchling. Toothless would never be caught dead in such a position. That thought stirred the depressed dragonet into standing, dragging his paws through sifting dusty dirt until he was swaying slightly on his feet.
As he made his way from his den, Hiccup felt the melancholy fall away. It was so hard to stay upset when the entire outside world was bright and alive with the heat of summer.
There was one place on the entire island that was perfect for sunning. It was a rather large clearing nearly in the middle of the island that had several large rocks that were positioned just so nicely. He'd showed Toothless this spot about a week ago when the weather had turned so fair, much to the older dragon's pleasure.
Now, as he approached the clearing, he caught sight of Toothless. The dragon was nearly blinding in the full sunlight, his scales were all so clean and polished that he practically gleamed like metal. Hiccup made to move forward, but hunkered down curiously as he watched Toothless observing a tiny song bird on a branch.
The stocky dragon was sitting up on his hind legs, his upper body neatly balanced. His eyes were focused with curiosity and wonder as the mother bird chirped in its nest, little babies that were nearly ready to fly themselves cheeped quietly at her feathered breast.
Hiccup couldn't help a soft snuffling laugh at the endearing sight, which the long ears of Toothless picked up. He startled and turned to give a half-hearted glare that made Hiccup snuffle all the harder.
"If you say anything about that, I will eat you." The dragon skulked to a rock and threw himself upon it, trying to convey nonchalance about the whole situation.
"I wasn't going to say anything, it was rather-"
"If you say cute, I will flame you."
Hiccup felt his tail curl in a mock innocent posture, "I wasn't going to say anything like that at all, I'm even mildly offended… I think…"
Toothless rolled his eyes, crazy hatchling, his eyes watched the clear blue skies. "I think my wing is mostly healed."
The question had no overtones, but Hiccup felt like he'd just been told that his island was burning. A desperation and sudden fear swept through him, he would be alone again. As uncomfortable as he sometimes was in the older dragons presence, at least he wasn't alone!
"A-are you sure? Best to give it another few days before I check, the bone was broken, after all."
Toothless turned on the rock, his talons scratching white lines in the stone. He said nothing for a few seconds and Hiccup squirmed under the heavy gaze. "I am a Night Fury."
Hiccup gave a little shake of his head, "Yes, thank you, because that clears everything up."
Oh, sarcasm! That was another thing he was quickly picking up on from the elder dragon, and you know, Hiccup kind of liked it.
Toothless's tailfins suddenly snapped out, in one smooth motion he leapt from the stone without so much as a little noise. Hiccup felt himself crouch instinctively coiling his neck a little to put it out of harm's way, before him was a predator, a breed of dragon that seemed to have come into existence solely to hunt and dominate.
Toothless stopped when he saw Hiccup go into a defensive posture, it made a guilty twang in his stomach, because he was not all that upset. He became aware of the way his one free wing was mantled and made a conscious effort to seem less menacing. Sure, they'd known each other for a month and had learned a lot about one another, but it had just been only a month.
"It's alright, I'm not angry."
For a moment Hiccup wondered why on Earth the Night Fury thought he cared, but was surprised to when he felt the tension in his body slough away. Why would I be so worried that I'd upset him? Well, he was powerful, and older, and stronger… Hiccup felt his innards twist, best not to think about all the ways the other male could kill him.
Before this month, Hiccup had not known what it was to fear anything. Nothing scary had ever breached his island's boundaries and nothing on the island was anywhere near his size. Before Toothless, Hiccup had not known any subtleties to conversation, nor posture.
Hiccup felt a little wonder at it all, in one month Hiccup had learned more than he had his whole life. He knew now, why you did not turn your back on another dragon. He knew now why size and breed did enter into how you spoke to other dragon. This didn't mean that Hiccup stopped turning his back on Toothless, or stopped speaking whatever was on his mind, but now he knew what the elder Nightmare had been so worried about.
Now, Toothless had crossed the wispy grass, to stand in front of him. Hiccup uncurled a little and with a playful gleam in his eyes, he snapped at one of the long ears. Play, how incredible it was to have someone to play with now!
Toothless gave a humored snort, after all, Hiccup was still an unfledged dragonet and was allowed to have relapses into such hatchling behavior. Hatchlings among the Night Fury breed were special and revered because so few were clutched, the adults humoring the dragonets in all their young games. Night Furies matured fast though, and often hatchling-hood was left quickly behind, so it had been a while since Toothless had played any dragonet nest games.
Good-naturedly, he allowed the narrow snout to nearly come into contact with his ear, before he neatly twitched it out of the way. Hiccup continued to sway towards him, trying to get a nip in, before he gave up and started after the Night Fury's tail.
He was young and Toothless felt an protective urge sweep him, it was why he allowed the mixed breed to chase after his tail like a kitten, or to try and pounce on him when the younger though he wasn't looking, or to even play tag. All were good games for Hiccup to play as he matured, Toothless was surprised to find he cared enough.
Maybe it was just Hiccup though, for Hiccup wasn't the only dragonet that Toothless had seen in his life, and he'd felt no urge to play or protect any of them. And though he'd never admit it, for all his pride, he owned this lesser breed dragonet quite a lot for setting his wing so properly. He would fly again, with just as much accuracy and speed as before the accident.
"Hiccup," he started, trying not to sound to stern. For the life of him, he couldn't understand how much he'd changed in the last month, "I can't teach you to fly if my wing is still injured."
Hiccup stopped abruptly, his eyes growing wide at the thought of flying. He raised his head to track the progress of many sea birds that wheeled joyfully in the blue sky. "W-will I be able to fly like them?"
Toothless's eyes flickered to the birds above, then swept his eyes over the dragonet. His wings were huge, perfect for getting up in the air and staying up for quite a long time. His body was small, about the size of a mountain lion and he had the same structure as well. Four limbs, good for climbing and perching, and a long tail that was good for balance.
"I should think you'll fly a good deal better than any little seagull."
Hiccup practically glowed as the statement, excitement over learning to fly over-ruling his earlier reluctance. "Alright, keep still and let me check."
"There! Do you see that island? It looks like a perfect place to land!" Ruffnut called over the winds to her companion.
Astrid cocked her head to the left, her incredibly keen eyes narrowing as she looked at it in the distance. "We haven't been flying all that long, are you tired already?"
Ruffnut snorted, her head swiveling to look at Astrid, "Of course not, but it looks like a nice quiet place for a nap, you aren't the only one with overzealous "suitors"."
Astrid winced in sympathy, "All right, it'll be a few more minutes till we're close enough to land."
Ruffnut turned both heads back toward the visage of the island, "Don't suppose there would be anything there… dangerous?"
Astrid rolled her eyes, "What in this area is dangerous to a Nadder and a Zippleback?"
With Toothless and Hiccup
"No, no, no you need to straighten your neck and tuck your legs!" Toothless sighed as he watched Hiccup again try to leap from the rock and glide. Gliding would be a good start for the dragonet, best to get that down before they moved on to actually flying.
And it was a good thing too, the dragonet was completely uncoordinated, nearly embarrassing to see. It wasn't the young thing's fault either, the winds were stronger in the air and Hiccup had never tried to glide before.
Toothless had been pleased when Hiccup reluctantly gave him the all clear. Dragons healed fast, but of course, Night Furies healed faster than all! In his own opinion, of course.
A few pre-flight flappings to clear out the lingering ache of disuse and Toothless had took one bound to reach the sky. Now, he was making tight circles and gliding neatly to where Hiccup had climbed back up again.
Toothless gave the dragon equivalent of a frown, his ears lying flat against his head. "We should probably go to higher ground, to give you more of a chance to get your wings out straight. Every time you jump, they're never fully open."
Hiccup was a little distressed, it wasn't like he was trying to keep them shut, but he was scared to hit the ground and kept them in tight in case he hit too hard. He straightened his neck though and raised his head high, "I will fly today."
Toothless's ears perked forward with humor, "Oh, I'm sure you will. One way or another. So, come on, I'll race you to higher ground."
He turned tail and was like a flash, Hiccup felt his own ears perk up in joy as he watched the finned tail disappear into the woods. "You won't win, 'cause I kn~ow a short cut." He gave a cheerful chirp.
Toothless was laughing as he reached the highest point on the island he knew of, hopefully it wasn't too high so that if Hiccup messed up he wouldn't break his neck. Toothless looked left and then right before he sat down heavily, "Well, where are you?"
"HERE!" chirped Hiccup as he pounced down at Toothless from a branch above him. Toothless went rigid in shock and managed to keep himself from snarling at the young dragonet, "Oh, that was good, you're getting better at sneaking."
Hiccup practically flounced about, a warm feeling in his heart, was this what pride was? Maybe it wasn't bad…
"Come on then, hop up on this rock beside me."
As Hiccup came astride, he peered over at Toothless and was pleased to find the dragon was quite focused. "Now, let me make sure you're in the right position."
Hiccup stood perfectly still as Toothless looked him over, his breath catching when the tip of a snout poked his wing up a little further, or using a talon to raise his head. "Alright, now, see how I'm standing?"
Hiccup searched over the elder dragon and eagerly mimicked him, "Am I standing right?"
"Yes, now, on the count of three, I'll leap up. I want you to leap with me. Remember, pretend that you are leaping to a rock above you, you always want to aim up or you won't get enough lift."
Nodding furiously, Hiccup waited as Toothless counted.
"One, two, three!"
With a whoosh of wings, they both surged forward, faith in the dragon beside him, Hiccup felt no nervousness.
It was exhilarating, and a moment of oh-what-did-I-just do, the dragonet reached his peak in the jump and let out a nearly breathless gasp as gravity took hold. He flailed in sudden panic, because he was falling and the ground was looking closer each second and thoughts of those poor birds splattered and splintered and-
"HICCUP! You NEED to open your wings. Damn you! Open your wings!" A black blur flashed in front of him, and he felt a solid body rush up beneath him, "I can't stop us from falling, but I can give you time, now spread your wings!"
Hiccup felt his eyes slide shut and he tried, honest he tried, it was like they were stone and the wind was pushing in on him, he just couldn't get them clear.
Toothless went into a mid-air roll, to avoid the sharp wings of Hiccup as the younger male tried to open them fully.
Distressed, Toothless flashed in front of him again, "Come on Hiccup! You don't have much time!"
Hiccup felt a tremor run through him as he managed to completely open his left wing, but it caused him to spiral sharply toward the ground. Knowing he would regret it later, Toothless surged in, his tail entwining with Hiccup for purchase and throwing the both of them into a roll. It was the last technique that Toothless knew of to get a descending fledgling to open their wings. The shock of the roll would, hopefully, be enough to get the wings to unfurl. When they separated there was only a few more feet before they hit the water. Both fell in separate directions and Hiccup breath in sudden relief and pleasure as his wings finally snapped out, a shinging sound like a sword pulled from a sheath signaled the unbroken edge of steel scales as his wings were completely straight.
Toothless heaved his own sigh of relief as those huge wings finally were open, the scalloped edges were set with beautiful green and opalescent turquoise. Pulling out his nose-dive Hiccup gave a roar of accomplishment. He was home! The sky was opening before him and he was lighter than air, this was his element, this was right!
Toothless flew in to fly above him, instinctively taking the higher spot which allowed him to exert control over both of their flights, for the fragile wings were beneath him and he could put pressure in either position.
If he were pursuing Hiccup or in a fight, Toothless would have the advantage by being above Hiccup, but Hiccup was no threat and the dragonet was doing delighted spinning loops in the sky, "Toothless, Toothless look! I'm flying."
Toothless rolled his eyes but was happy all the same, there was nothing quite like flying and he couldn't blame the younger for being so happy.
The sudden mid-air collision was unexpected, perhaps if the pair of dragons coming from the north weren't upwind, Toothless would have been able to scent them.
Hiccup had be so absorbed by the new sensation of flight, that by the time he'd seen the Nadder flying straight at him, it was too late.
Shrieks and squalls filled the air as the two fouled each other's flights. They went into heart-stopping dive, a mock mating embrace which Toothless couldn't help by find ironic.
Astrid was snapping and snarling in rage, "What do you think you're doing? Get off of me!"
Hiccup cried in panic and pain, her spikes sliding against his scales and breaking them, he'd never been bodily slammed before. "I'm not on you! You're dragging us both down!"
Their flight was thankfully on a slant, Toothless noticed, their present trajectory was with the North Beach and he surged in that direction. It looked like the two would stay entwined for the whole crash, but at the last moment, Hiccup got his front limbs up and scrabbled at the thin scales of the Nadder's chest. It was enough to separate them and they both crashed apart on the sand.
Groaning weakly in pain and dizziness, Hiccup could hardly make it to his feet. Toothless had gone into a controlled dive right after him, landing at his side and nuzzling him over, checking for wounds. Besides some the natural soreness, Toothless could find no real damage done to Hiccup besides a few displaced scales.
Abruptly though, it was like a war had broke out as a Zippleback landed, both heads spitting in rage. The Nadder had managed to make it to her feet and was clacking her jaws in blood-lust.
Toothless stood proudly in front of Hiccup, his ears back, snarling in rage. His entire posture was sent to leap and tear apart anything that gave him a target. "What is your problem?" Astrid screeched.
Hiccup gave a weak moan and fell to his left, his shoulders were sore and his wings were dragging across the sand, he had been knocked quite silly by his landing. Toothless answered instead, "You're my problem. He," Toothless gestured at Hiccup, "has an excuse for not paying attention, what's yours?"
Astrid felt her spikes raise up of her neck and she leapt forward, "I don't need any excuse, that dragon collided with me."
Toothless felt a rage building higher inside him, like the blue fire that was building in his mouth. It would come to blows very soon, "How disgusting, don't you know your place?"
Astrid paused, for the first time noting that the dragon facing her was unlike any breed she'd met. She felt her spikes quiver, at her side Ruffnut swung down to speak to her, "Astrid be careful! That's a Night Fury!"
Dread dropped into her stomachs, a Night Fury, a breed that was whispered to hatchlings at night to scare them into behaving. She didn't back down, but she did put her spikes back to her neck, slowly stepping away. She snarled, just for good measure, "What's his excuse then?"
Toothless did not relax, but he tilted his head, "This was his first flight."
Astrid felt a little disappointed in herself, she had been so irritated since she left the nesting grounds that she'd been itching for any fight she could get. The little bundle of scales was just a fledged hatchling!
Hiccup had recovered enough to stand and shake his head, "It's alright Toothless, really!" He stepped forward, his shaking was hardly noticeable, "I am Hiccup, I'm so sorry for flying into you, please, let me make it up to you."
Toothless gave the younger male an incredulous look, yet another un-dragon like thing to do!
Astrid, herself, did not seem to know what to do. She looked to her side where Ruffnut was brooding, "Well perhaps," she started, "We are a little hungry…"
Hiccup nodded, "Please stay for a meal, as a way of me saying sorry."
Toothless's eyes glowed as he watched the two dragonesses in front of him, "But you'd better be on your best behavior."
Hiccup gave him a look.
Okay all, that's it! Um, hoped you liked it. If Hiccup sounds a little whiny, he's supposed to, but don't worry he'll turn into the Hiccup we all know and love. He's just a little out of his depth right now. Toothless is supposed to sound arrogant, this will change later. If you see any mistakes, please let me know so I can change them right away, If anyone has any ideas that they think would be cool to add to the story, I'm always up for them.