Summary: Fang and Hiccup are warriors-in-training in rival clans. Fang is shaping up to be the perfect killing machine; Hiccup is just a disappointment. But after Fang spares Hiccup's life in the Death Line, they forge an unbreakable friendship. Hiccup will forever call him "Toothless." But how will they retain their friendship with their clans warring against each other?
To clarify, this is an alternate universe fanfiction which takes place on the island shown in the movie with a few alterations. Firstly, the island is bigger, to accommodate two clans of people, although they compete for resources. Secondly, in the middle of the island, splitting it into almost equal parts, is a large, craggy valley. Oftentimes, this is were the battles between the clans occur.
The Death Line by SilverstarsEbonyskies
Fang swung his sword in complicated arcs, his whole form an indistinguishable blur. Dart here, swing, thrust, step back, block. He slashed to the side and blocked another blow with his shield. He sparred with his invisible partner like it was a beast from hell. In a sense, it was. His thoughts attacked him more viciously than any real foe ever could. He snarled as his blows became stronger and more erratic.
He had thrown a knife at Falcon just a couple hours ago. It hit true, of course. That bastard had the gall to insult his father; he deserved it. It was his fault, not Fang's. He should be grateful he only aimed for the shoulder. And yet...something else Falcon had said clung persistently to the forefront of his thoughts.
Demon child. He had called him a demon's child.
Fang charged forward, cutting the air so fast that he almost lost control of his sword. He swore and corrected himself, moving back to more orderly strikes. Mistakes like that could cost him his life on the battlefield. He was going to be a warrior. The best the clan had ever seen. He would never allow himself to do otherwise.
But it might be true. He could certainly fit the part of a demon. His hair was dark black, almost competing with the pitch of the night. No one else in the village had dark hair, all sporting various shades of red and the occasional blond. His eyes too were highly unusual, a piercing yellow-green. A predator's eyes.
And a predator he clearly was. No one could deny that. He was blessed with unnatural grace and ferocity. His teeth, even, were formed into slight points. People became uneasy when he smiled. He looked nothing like his father and acted nothing like him either. People often whispered, in those temporary stretches of time when the battles had ceased and when people were restless, that he was a changeling.
But no, no. He would prove to them that he belonged. He would show them all. He was his father's son; he had a rightful place in his clan. He would earn the right to be a warrior, and would take the heads of as many enemies as necessary to gain their respect, their approval.
Fang charged again and sliced down, slicing a thick branch off of a nearby tree. The hunk of wood thudded to the leaf strewn ground and Fang inwardly reveled in his victory, satisfied. He would win. He always won. He could outsmart, outpace, and outfight any of the Berk Clan. He could kill anyone set against him. They wouldn't be able to stop him.
He wouldn't let anyone stop him.
Hiccup collapsed into a heap, gasping. His arm and legs shook with exhaustion. He struggled to stand up before-
"Hiccup!" Gobber growled, "You've got to do better than this, boy!"
Hiccup hurriedly threw his shield up just in time to block the blow from the ax, but his concentration was shot and his admittedly scrawny body wasn't up to this sort of task. He slammed backwards into the dust, and the shield was kicked out of his hand. Hiccup scrabbled backwards, just missing another swing of the ax by mere inches. Snotlout sneered and rose the ax up for another blow.
"Snotlout, that's enough," Gobber sighed, hand over his face, "I've seen enough."
Snotlout sported a look of bitter disappointment before shrugging and turning back to Hiccup, who was very obviously relieved beyond measure. "What are you even doing here?" He jeered, "I didn't know they let such losers into the arena. Next time, try to last more than a minute."
Hiccup's cheeks burned red with shame. He could feel his peers' stares sear into his neck. And he knew without looking what their faces all looked like. He couldn't turn around for fear that he'd see Astrid's unimpressed frown. He had wanted so badly to prove he could do this, if only to make her like him, just for a moment. Was just one moment of being capable too much to ask for?
He could see Gobber to the side, hand still over his face, ashamed and disappointed in him, he was sure. Hiccup bit his lip to keep himself under control while he shakily stood up, and head hung low, he exited the arena. Gobbler intercepted him at the gate.
"Hiccup, what were you doing? You can't just drop your weapon like that," He lectured exasperatedly, "And you've got to learn how to use your shield properly! How can I make you get this?"
There was a pause before Hiccup answered, "You...you can't." Hiccup's shoulders sunk in defeat.
"But you have to. What are you gonna do if there's a raid? If the Draconis Clan gets past the Death Line? How are you gonna defend yourself? Or other people? What if Adder the Deadly has her mace ready to crack your skull open? Tell me, what are you doing to do, Hiccup?"
Hiccup had no reply to give.
"Do you know the type of recruits they've got over there? You have to've heard the rumors. They've already got one who's entered into battle. He's killed two of our own. Strikes before you can even see him, and nothing can ever hit him. Leaves battle blood-soaked, but it's never any of his own. His name's Fang, which you should know if you ever leave your house."
"The Night Fury." Hiccup whispered.
"Aye, that's what some have taken to calling him now. Only fights during the night, and slays with the fury of a pack of wolves. I won't deny it suits him," Gobber sighed and his voice softened, "Look, I'm a friend of your father's, and I can tell he's worried about this whole business of your warrior training. To tell the truth, so am I. I can't do anything else to help you. You just aren't enough of a Viking. You need to grow into your own. You need to change....this." Gobber waved his hand in Hiccup's direction.
"You just gestured to all of me." Hiccup pointed out, a little put out.
"Hm, yeah, that's about right. All of of that." Gobber nodded, completely unaware of how absurd Hiccup thought that was, "I know you can be a proper Viking. You just need 'ta work on it."
"...work on it," Hiccup muttered, "Right."
"Good," Gobber slapped him on the back, "Glad that's all worked out. Go and rest up for training tomorrow. We've gotta get started working the Hiccup out of you."
Hiccup trudged up to his house, gnawing on a piece of sheep meat he scavenged from the mess hall. He didn't feel like staying there to hear the people snicker over him. He was getting so tired of this. This same failure, the same people making fun, and the same inability of his to just...just fit in. Why couldn't he wield something like a mace or an ax or a sword? He was stuck with a stupid little knife. Why couldn't he be vicious and fight? What was so wrong with him that he failed doing what all the others found so easy? So second-nature?
He tried to open the door as quiet as possible so he could sneakily slip into his room without his father noticing. No such luck. His father was right by the door, about to head out just as Hiccup was coming in. Hiccup stood there awkwardly.
"Hiccup, you're early!" his father exclaimed.
"Uh, I-I can explain," Hiccup stammered, "Y'see, I-"
"Did you actually beat someone? Did Gobber send you back because you're actually, finally starting to get somewhere?"
Hiccup opened his mouth. His dad looked so excited, so unburdened by the thought that his son might actually start to be good at something that mattered, "U-uh, well he's optimistic."
"Great!" His father boomed, "I have to start a town meeting about the plans for the raid tomorrow night. When I get back you can tell me all about your battle. We'll finally have something to talk about!"
His father brushed past him, leaving Hiccup open-mouthed. "Uuuugh, what am I going to say? 'Yeah, I put up absolutely no fight against Snotlout, isn't that so Viking-like?' I am so screwed. There's no way I can make it sound any less than me making an idiot of myself like I usually do."
He shook his head in defeat and entered his house, making a beeline for his room and falling face first into his bed. Everything seemed so hopeless. He sighed and rolled over onto his side. His eyes fell onto his latest idea he had been tinkering on. It shot weighted nets, so people wouldn't have to throw them. It was portable too. Although a bit heavy and bulky, you could steady it on your shoulder. To be honest, it hadn't worked correctly any of the times he had tried it. Once, he'd even managed to get himself entangled in the net, but all it needed was a few minor adjustments really. He was sure he could get it to work.
In fact, he just might even be able to perfect it by tomorrow night.