Title: Sleeping Arrangements
Summary: Stoick and Toothless are at odds as to where an over-protective Night Fury should sleep. Hiccup is at a loss of what to do, until Toothless decides to take matters into his own hands – er, claws.
Author's Note: After I saw this movie for the first time, I knew it was only a matter of time before the plot bunnies attacked. I have become quite enamored with Toothless and his buddies over the past week. I'm sure my annoyed and sufficiently dragon-ed out family can testify to the fact that I am completely and helplessly obsessed with the How to Train Your Dragon movie. Really, has a more adorable film existed?! *hugs Toothless* And so here is one of the many results of my newfound obsession.
The first time, it was downright terrifying.
The second time, it was frightening.
The third time, it made him jump.
The fourth time, it was enough to make him do a double-take.
But by the fifth time that Stoick the Vast had woken up to find a sleeping Night Fury hanging from the living room rafters, it had become downright annoying.
The dragon slept inverted like a bat, which wouldn't have been a problem, if he hadn't insisted on doing so right in front of the front door. All Stoick wanted to do was to get up, get to his morning affairs in the town, and get on with his day. But unfortunately, all this required the ability to get out of the house, which was quite impossible with a drowsy – no, scratch that, dead – Night Fury blocking the way. Toothless didn't snore, fidget, growl, or move in his sleep. In fact, that was the crux of the problem. The beast slept more soundly than a rock.
Cautiously, Stoick shoved the dragon to one side, wondering if this would rouse the creature. It did not, and instead, Toothless simply swayed back and forth like a giant black pendulum until he slowly settled back into his former position, having not moved a single muscle. With a sigh, Stoick shoved the massive black body to one side, holding it there this time, and reached for the door handle with his free hand. He hesitated at the last moment, and glanced at the dragon beside him. Not one of the scaly features betrayed any consciousness. His large eyes were still beneath their lids, and his ears hung limply from his crown. He was altogether too peaceful. Stoick narrowed his eyes at the beast before looking back at his hand resting on the door latch. This was the truly annoying bit. Biting back a hint of what could have been dread (an emotion completely unbecoming for a Viking Chieftain, Stoick decided) he put his weight on the handle and let the door swing open.
Two green eyes snapped open. For quick thuds, a ruffle of wings, and a low, rumbling growl. Within a few seconds, two massive paws were square on his chest with a mouthful of snarling ivory teeth hovering above him. He sighed in exasperation and rolled his eyes.
Hiccup tumbled out of bed and crashed to the floor. It had become a rather routine awakening as of late, but his father's voice never managed to diminish in volume. He scrambled for his prosthetic foot and strapped it into place clumsily. Sleep still lingering over him, he hobbled to his door and looked down from the top of the stairs.
He could see Toothless' back, his haunches raised, ears back, shoulders prominent over a strong neck and, indignantly framed between the bends of his sleek black wings was the reddened face of Stoick, his father. Hiccup would have laughed, if he hadn't been so sleepy and so incredibly tired of having to rescue his father from his over-protective dragon.
Hiccup sighed and grabbed onto a thick rope that fell past the stairs from a pulley attached to the ceiling. It was an invention of his that he'd conjured up after having found out the hard way that it was incredibly difficult to walk up stairs with a prosthetic leg. With a simplistic yet reliable system of pulleys, ropes and weights, he managed to make a means of getting to and from his second-story room without having to clamber his way up the stairs. He set his bare right foot in the rope loop that was at convenient floor height and stepped off the second story balcony to slowly and comfortably drop to ground floor. The rope slowly rose back up to its original position as he stepped off.
"Toothless, we've talked about this." He said to his dragon's back. "He's not going to hurt you." Toothless growled. Hiccup sighed. "Or me. Now get off of him."
The dragon didn't move, but instead whisked his tail back and forth anxiously. Hiccup felt a pang of annoyance towards the Night Fury. Toothless was his best friend in the world, but after just a few short weeks of being officially instated into the Haddock household, Toothless still hadn't quite grasped the idea that it was Stoick who was the head of the house, not Toothless. Despite the apology that the Viking Chief had given the dragon after the battle of the Green Death, Toothless and Stoick were by no means best buddies, and unfortunately, as Hiccup had learned, the dragon's judgment was foggy at best when he was sleepy. Because of this, he often mistook Stoick leaving the house as a vicious intruder who was (quite obviously, in Toothless' mind) out to hurt his human. On this assumption, Toothless took appropriate guard-dragon actions. The incidents would have made Hiccup laugh, if his father didn't always glare up at him like he was now.
"Toothless, come on, buddy. It's just dad. I'm right here. Alive, intact, healthy. Now get off of him." Hiccup held back a yawn.
The dragon turned his head around to look at Hiccup with bright eyes. His growl turned to an inquisitive sort of whine, and he looked back around to Stoick, then to Hiccup, and back again. After a moment of internal debate, the dragon finally decided that the apprehended intruder was, in fact, Hiccup's father, and therefore could be set free. He sat back and watched the man heave himself upright in a slightly clumsy, undignified way. The dragon offered no apology, but simply looked the man up and down, nodded with an indifferent snort, and meandered back towards the large hearth before plopping himself down by the fire.
"Hiccup, you can't let him go on like this. I won't allow it." Stoick told his son. Hiccup sighed.
"I'm sorry, dad he's just trying to protect us-"
"Trying to protect you, Hiccup."
And once it was said, both knew it was true. Toothless was quite indifferent towards the Viking chief, but Hiccup? He would protect Hiccup until his final breath was torn from him at the blade of an axe. Hiccup made a few attempts to answer his father, but couldn't come up with anything credible to say, and so simply rubbed his neck anxiously and averted his eyes. Stoick sighed.
"Hiccup, if he keeps this up much longer, he's sleeping outside." Stoick said, before turning towards the door once more. After once glance back towards his only son, the chief left.
As the door shut closed, Hiccup sighed and turned to glare at the heap of black scales by the smoldering fire.
"Toothless, I know you want to protect me, but he's my dad. He doesn't want me harmed any more than you do. You can't tackle him every single morning – he carries an axe with him!" Hiccup sighed and moved closer to Toothless, who had his back turned. "His patience is wearing thin as it is… Buddy, I don't want him to hurt you."
Toothless snorted, as if this notion was amusing. Hiccup glowered at the dragon.
"It's not funny. And for the record, I don't want you hurting him, either. You need to find some other place to sleep, buddy." Hiccup finished and waited for some response from the dragon.
Hiccup counted to fifteen before the beast let out a small shot of blue flame to re-light the embers in the fireplace. He dug his chin between his paws, pulled his wings closer to him, and did no more. After another long stretch of silence, Hiccup sighed and turned away. Now that he was up, he might as well get ready for the day.
If he had bothered to look at Toothless' expression, however, he might have noticed the thoughtful look that crossed the dragon's face as he gazed into the fire.
Later that evening, Hiccup stumbled back into his house, worn out. He worked hard each day to familiarize the people of his village with dragons, but, still in the process of adjusting to his prosthetic leg, even the simplest exercises were taxing. But he loved the dragons, loved the opportunity to teach his people about them, and Toothless was always there for him with a supporting shoulder and an encouraging croon any time his leg began to ache.
Speaking of Toothless, where was he? Hiccup glanced about the large house, but saw no sign of his friend.
"Hey, dad." Hiccup said weakly, lifting a hand in greeting to his father, who sat by the fire, roasting fish. Stoick smiled at his son, and lifted his pike of fish. "Evening. Like some?" He said, motioning with his fish. Even from where he was, Hiccup's nose told him that the fish would taste horrible. Not that Stoick would notice. His pallet could recognize only one flavor – food. His son, on the other hand…
"No thanks. I already ate." Hiccup bluffed. His father shrugged.
"Suit yourself." He went back to roasting the skewered cod.
Trying to be discreet, Hiccup went behind his father and grabbed a hunk of bread from the small basket of food that rested next to him, and bit into it. He munched on it in silence, all the while casting about his home for any sign of Toothless. Finally, after swallowing the last bite, he turned to his father.
"Have you seen Toothless anywhere?" He asked casually. Stoick shrugged without turning around.
"Nope. Haven't seen head or hide of him all day. Well, except this morning, of course." Stoick said, in a way that told Hiccup that he wasn't too concerned for the fact.
"Well, alright." Hiccup said with a sigh. "I'm gonna go ahead and turn in. Good night, dad."
"Good night, son."
Hiccup nodded and turned towards the stairs. He set his foot in the loop of the rope at the floor, and pulled a latch set near the wall. A turning of gears cloud be heard, and he gracefully ascended to land at the stair balcony. He hit another latch, and the gears reversed to return the rope to the first story. He absently rubbed his face with his hands as he entered his room and softly shut the door behind him. Sighing tiredly, he collapsed on his bed, not bothering to remove his prosthetic just yet, and sighed into his pillow. A soft breeze blew across his face, and he could hear the trees rustling just outside his window.
Wait, a soft breeze?
His green eyes flickered over to the open window on the other side of the room, which he could have sworn he'd locked closed just earlier that day. Curious, he rose and slowly walked over to the window, his uneven gait breaking the evening's silence with a soft thumping noise on the wooden floor. He reached the window and leaned out, peering this way and that, looking for any sign as to why the window had mysteriously opened itself. He saw nothing out of the ordinary. Bushes. Houses. Fields of sheep. A pair of glowing green eyes watching him from a nearby tree.
Before he could even react, a huge shadow propelled itself through his window and tackled him into a rolling summersault. Suddenly, he found himself pinned to the ground by two familiar paws. The only thing he could see in the darkness were those two green eyes watching him, until a pink mass appeared just below them and Toothless licked his master with his huge forked tongue, covering Hiccup in dragon saliva and causing half of his hair to stick up at an odd angle. Hiccup chuckled.
"Toothless! What are you doing up here? Where have you been?" He asked, clambering up from the ground and wiping the spit away from his eyes and mouth. Toothless rumbled a response that only Hiccup could understand, and the boy put a hand to the dragon's snout.
"Well, it's time for bed, now. I guess you should get back downstairs." He sighed. "I hope dad doesn't get mad again…" He opened the door and stepped aside for Toothless to pass. Toothless looked over at his master confusedly and planted his bottom down where he was, his gaze telling Hiccup that he had no intentions of leaving. The boy sighed.
"Toothless, it's bedtime, now. That means you have to go to sleep." Hiccup motioned emphatically towards the door again. Toothless blinked and remained where he was.
Hiccup sighed. "Fine." He said, swinging the door shut. "I am going to bed. If you want to go downstairs, feel free." Hiccup sat on his bed and worked at getting his prosthetic foot unstrapped. "But I will be sleeping up here, so you can just – AHH! Toothless, what are you doing?!" Suddenly, the skinny boy was floating in mid-air, his shirt hiked up awkwardly around him as Toothless effortlessly lifted him by the collar of his tunic.
"Toothless, put me down!" Hiccup tried to glare up at the black beast, who looked down at the boy calmly, and then, with him still hanging from his mouth, started over towards the window.
Hiccup's voiced protests and flailing about of his arms and leg-and-a-half amounted to nothing, and he soon found himself on the floor by the window with two lamplike green eyes watching him again.
"What has gotten into you?" Hiccup asked his friend. He attempted to rise, but found himself without his prosthetic. He unsteadily rose to his one foot, glaring at his dragon the whole time, and slowly began to inch-hop over to his bed. "I told you." He huffed between hops. "I.. Am going… To sleep. It's too late for play time, buddy."
Toothless tilted his head in a way that said: 'Now why would you do a silly thing like that?'. As his master traversed his room one inch at a time in a remarkably determined way, Toothless rose and twirled around in circles, finding a comfortable spot on the floor before laying down. He watched his hobbling human for a moment more, before lunging a few feet over to grasp the boy's collar in his teeth once more and yank him backwards toward him.
His one unsteady leg torn out from under him, Hiccup flew backwards and was dropped unceremoniously against Toothless' side. A one-finned tail curled around him and he could feel the dragon's shoulders shift so that his head could turn to rest comfortably in the boy's lap. A contented rumble vibrated against his back, and the Night Fury sighed happily against his human, a dragon-smile on his scaly lips.
Taken aback, Hiccup simply sat there for a moment while Toothless shifted around him, making himself comfortable for the night and doing what he could to nestle Hiccup even further into his grasp. A black wing dropped down to blanket the boy snuggly against the dragon's belly, and Toothless snuggled his large black head affectionately against his favorite Viking.
Hiccup found himself chuckling once he realized what Toothless was doing. "I suppose you think you'll just sleep up here with me, huh?"
Toothless looked up at him with big dragon eyes and cooed an affirmative. 'Easier to protect you that way.' His gaze said.
Hiccup smiled, and relaxed against the black body. "Well, alright. Have it your way." He smiled, and settled down against the warm nest his dragon's body formed. It was very comfortable there, made even more so by the clear affection that Toothless had for his master as he purred contentedly and further curled himself around him. Hiccup smiled and laid down beside the warm belly, his body cushioned and blanketed by two massive black wings. He closed his eyes and laid his head near Toothless' heart. As he drifted towards unconsciousness to the sound of the dragon's heartbeat, Hiccup decided that something about the familiar, warm presence made Toothless' embrace an even more comfortable place to sleep than his own bed.
He sighed as he walked into the living room, rubbing his eyes with a large hand. Mentally, he prepared himself for another attack from Hiccup's resident bodyguard. It really was ridiculous, he thought, and completely inappropriate that a Viking chief would be attacked each morning, in his own home, by a Night Fury, of all things. His son's Night Fury. Casually, he fingered the axe that he carried with him at all times, and his instincts told him to 'take care' of the beast the easy way – a good bashing upside the head to knock some sense into his dragon brain. But he immediately dispelled the idea. Annoying or not, the dragon had saved his son's life, and he had a feeling that whacking it about with the flat of his axe wasn't exactly a good way to repay him – much less give him any reason to trust the Viking any more (or less) than he already did.
With a sigh, Stoick resigned himself to the inevitable, and opened his eyes to glare over at the sleeping black dragon that he knew would be dangling from his ceiling, inconveniently in front of his door, right over… There. Stoick stared confusedly at the spot where Toothless should have been hanging, sleeping. But strangely, the dragon was nowhere to be seen. Now curious, the large man went over to the door and opened it, for some reason expecting the dragon to be snoozing right outside the door like a giant guard dog. Still, no Toothless. This was strange indeed. Had his son left with the dragon already? Stoick glanced up the stairs to see that Hiccup's door was still closed. No, the boy was still sleeping. So then, where was the dragon?
Hiccup awoke with a jolt, and he immediately started wondering where he was. Something black and fleshy covered him, and could feel a pulsating thump against his back. The mystery was solved when Toothless heaved a huge breath and his ears twitched in his sleep. Hiccup looked down at the dragon's head for a moment and recalled the events of last night with a small smile. He shook if off quickly, though. His father had called him, which meant he should probably be downstairs as quickly as he could, and so he worked to disentangle himself from Toothless' grasp. Well, he tried to, at any rate. The dragon, however, had different ideas. Still sleeping soundly, Toothless tightened himself around the boy, a drowsy reptilian smile on his face.
"Toothless, wake up." Hiccup whispered to the dragon. No response. He huffed. "Come on, you overgrown lizard, move!" he heaved at the large tail that blocked his way with all his might, but his meager strength did nothing to move the mass of scales more than a few inches. Toothless hummed in his sleep. Hiccup glared. "Wake up, you useless reptile! I need to go see what dad wants before he-"
"Hiccup," His door opened suddenly, and Stoick pushed his form through the doorway, "Do you know what happened to-" The man stopped short as he caught sight of the heap of black curled around his son.
Hiccup waved nervously at his father. "Uh… Mornin', dad." He said, and looked down to try and shove Toothless' tail out of the way again. "Sorry… Kinda… Stuck…" He grunted between shoving and pulling and pushing vainly at the thick tail. At last, he sighed and sat back. "Is there something you wanted?" He asked awkwardly, Toothless purring next to him.
Stoick took a moment to answer. "I was just wondering what happened to… Him." The man gestured towards Toothless. "But… I suppose I have my answer."
Hiccup mustered a crooked smile. "Well… He doesn't have to sleep in front of the door anymore." The boy said optimistically.
Stoick nodded absently, and considered how Toothless had held Hiccup in a similar grasp when he'd fallen through the flames from the sky after downing the Green Death. Of course, Hiccup wouldn't remember that, but Stoick remembered the sight as clear as day, and noted how, even in sleep, the dragon guarded Hiccup like his own hatchling. In that moment, Stoick realized just how protective the dragon was of his son, and felt a strange emotion bubble up inside him – respect.
"Well." The Viking said after a moment of thought. "I suppose that solves the sleeping arrangements."
Hiccup looked down at the great black head resting halfway on his lap, and patted it affectionately. Toothless cooed contentedly, and Hiccup smiled back up at his dad.
"Yeah, I guess it does."