So. Yeah, this is my first fic in this fandom. Since I watched the movie I've become increasingly obsessed with little Hiccup and our Toothless.
Some stuff you need to know: I'm not great at drabbles (my imagination will never let me stop before I've fulfilled my need for words) but I like prompts. Please prompt me. I usually do one-shots (my ultimate fave) but if you want to see me try my hand at drabbles, ASK! And prompt. Please.
I like friendship. Friendship is good. I'm not really a fan of romance, so if you see Astrid, it will mostly be in an antagonistic light. Sorry all you HiccupxAstrid fans, go look somewhere else. So what you'll find here will be good, clean friendship fics (yay for Plato), sometimes a little Hurt/Comfort, okay, maybe a lot, but I'm over the angsty phase of my writing.
Because of the whole romance thing, this will be set mostly mid-movie, before Astrid's discovery, when there was still some nice friction (isn't that a great word) between Hiccup and basically everybody else.
I knew I was forgetting something. Disclaimer: see my profile.
The Unfortunate Being of Sickness
It was cold and he was wet. But it wasn't a new experience, so Hiccup sucked it up and hunched closer to the dragon's flanks as the wind whipped through his hair.
It had been raining non-stop for a week and most of the Villagers of Berk were cocooned up warm and cozy inside their houses. Not this one, though. He had to try out his latest adjustment to the rigging on Toothless's harness, and it couldn't wait. Not even a storm would stop him from getting on the back of the dragon and spending an entire day in the air. It was the most thrilling experience of his life.
But this flight wasn't the best he'd ever had. Even Toothless agreed by being unusually reluctant to take to the air. The wind was making it difficult to tell if the extra fitting did anything useful. So when Toothless decided enough was enough and cut the flight short, it was fine by Hiccup.
The walk home was even worse. The wind threatened to knock Hiccup flying and he had to lean over into the wind to make any progress. The rain stung his face and exposed flesh and when he finally burst through the front door into a haven of heat and dryness, he was so relieved he could cry. He managed to sneak past his father and Gobber who were once again sharing battle scars in front of the fire and crawled into bed, wet clothes and all. Exhaustion overcame him and soon he was snoring softly into his pillow.
It was still raining the next morning when Stoick the Vast jerked awake from his slumber in front of the dying fire. He blinked at the rain outside and wondered whether it would ever stop.
As the large Viking rose from the sturdy chair and stretched himself out to full length, he heard a thump from upstairs. Stoick frowned. Usually his son was a very early riser, especially recently. Stoick started up the stairs to listen again, and a soft moan floated through the thick wooden door.
The father burst through the door, and the son yelped at the sudden intrusion.
Stoic frowned at the strange sight before him. The boy was sitting on the floor next to his bed, the blankets half on top of him and the rest still on the bed, while rubbing his head painfully.
"What are you still doing in bed?" Stoick questioned, a half-concerned expression on his face. The boy frowned, rubbed his head again and shakily got to his feet.
"I don't know. I just woke up on the floor."
"Did you fall out of bed?" Stoick grinned and entered the room with a couple of steps. Hiccup frowned again.
"I don't know."
Stoick placed a heavy hand on the boy's shoulder, lifted it again when he felt the dampness of his clothes.
"Why are your clothes wet? Did you gallivant in the rain last night?"
"Sort of." Hiccup smiled weakly. His father's eyes narrowed and Hiccup suddenly found himself scrutinized meticulously. His father grabbed a handful of hair and tilted his head back to be examined more efficiently.
"You're running a fever." It was not a statement of facts. It was a severe accusation. Sons of chiefs didn't get sick, ever.
"No I'm not, that's ridiculous," Hiccup started, trying to laugh nonchalantly but ending up coughing painfully. Stoick's face was set as he strode to the door.
"You'll be staying inside today. I won't have you risk your death out in this weather." He shoved a thick finger in Hiccup's direction. "If I catch you outside, there will be consequences."
With a last threatening glare, he slammed the door shut with such force that Hiccup's hair was blown away from his face. To make matters worse, Hiccup heard the heavy lock that his father rarely used (except of course when Hiccup had caused the entire village to burn to the ground, or something similar) grind shut.
Despite the protests his body made, Hiccup flung himself at the door.
"No, no, Dad! DAD! Please don't lock me in here! PLEASE!"
From the other side of the door, he heard the metal key slip out of the lock, and then his father's voice, slightly more concerned than earlier.
"I'll have Gobber check up on you later. Get out of those wet clothes, and into bed."
Then there were heavy footfalls on the stairs and silence.
"This might have been a little extreme, locking the boy in his room," Gobber muttered as he let himself into the house of the Chief.
But then again, last time Hiccup had shown signs of an illness, it was only a couple of hours before he was violently sick in the village square and fainting soon after. It had given Stoick quite a scare and the large Viking had been a little over-protective of his son since then. Although Stoick didn't like to share his concern, Gobber himself had picked up on it.
Gobber sighed at the dying embers in the grate, vowing to do something about that as soon as he let Hiccup out of his room to loaf around the house for a few minutes before re-confining him again.
"Okay Hiccup," the older Viking said as he hobbled up the stairs and pulled out the key. "Your father sent me over to check that you're still alive. Are you hung-"
He stopped in mid-sentence as the door swung open and revealed an empty room. The window was open and the rain and wind was pelting at the banging frame. Gobber peered into the almost-darkness outside and saw what he suspected. A rope twisting and dancing in the wind - the perfect escape.
Hiccup was running through the rain. The three fish he had stolen from the neighbors kept spilling out of his arms, and it was very uncomfortable. He had to get to Toothless and back before Gobber showed up and saw that he went AWOL. If that happened, there will be all hell to pay.
Finally, stumbling down the rocky slope, he let the fish fall to the ground and peered, still heaving with exertion, into the curtain of rain, searching for the dragon. He didn't search long. Before Hiccup could even call the Night Fury's nickname, a dark shape loomed through the rain and gazed down at the meager meal laid out before him. Toothless looked up with something like surprise.
"Sorry – buddy." Hiccup placed his hands on his knees and tried to control his breathing. "It'sallIcouldfind."
Toothless seemed to shrug and dug in with fervor. Then suddenly the smell of fish and blood and guts was too much for Hiccup.
Stumbling blindly through the rain, Hiccup felt for a bush, a tree, anything. When his head made contact with the bark of a tree, he fell to his knees and rid himself of what little was in his stomach.
The dragon had never heard that sound before. Even with the rain drowning out most noises, it was brutal and violent. Was the human hatchling making that noise?
Toothless picked up the last fish and chomped on it as he neared the sound. The child was on his hands and knees, doing something behind a tree. Toothless sat down to watch and cocked his head. When the boy sat back on his knees and heaved a couple of deep breaths, the two made eye contact. Toothless didn't recognize that look in the hatchling's eyes. Maybe he was hungry.
The Night Fury generously offered what was left of the mauled fish in his mouth to the boy. The hatchling gasped, and for a moment Toothless thought the boy was choking and slinked forward to inspect, but then the child leaned back behind the tree, and Toothless saw what was happening to Hiccup's intestines. That can't be good.
The first thing that went through the dragon's head was that his little co-pilot was dying. Then there would be no more flights and Toothless would be permanently grounded. So for the moment the only thing that could be done was to stop the boy from removing his insides.
Toothless gently nudged the boy to his feet and gave him a strict look, but Hiccup slipped back to the ground, sitting down hard. Toothless brought the hatchling back onto his feet again, a little more harshly this time. Hiccup swayed slightly but stayed up thanks to another butt from Toothless.
"Sorry, Toothless," Hiccup said, his voice shaky and unnatural. "You didn't need to see that."
The boy started walking back up the slope, but his legs gave away once again. Toothless was slowly starting to get worried as he once again had to help Hiccup to stand up. This time the hatchling didn't stay up but fell limply onto his side before Toothless could catch him.
Once again, he was soaked and chilled to the bone. Hiccup opened his eyes to see two glowing green orbs blink back at him. He was still lying on his side. Somehow he must have passed out for a few seconds. He was still gasping rather than breathing, and this seemed to scare the dragon.
Toothless let out a whine and hauled the hatchling up once more, this time allowing him to lean heavily on the dragon's flank. The Night Fury's scales were slimy when they were wet, and Hiccup felt himself slipping again. Toothless growled in frustration and kept the boy half-supported with a wing. To him, a human lying down was bad, and standing up was good. He'd seen it before. Standing up meant they were alive.
Hiccup's head was filled with rain and fog and a dull throbbing pain, and his body seemed to be disconnected from his mind somehow. He could barely open his mouth to say something reassuring to the obviously worried dragon.
"I'm okay… buddy," he finally managed to utter, though the words were empty of emotion or anything resembling a voice. His eyelids were heavy and threatened to shut him off from the world, but he bravely clung to the dragon's side and hoped the feeling of utter helplessness would pass, that he could run home, climb back up the rope and be warm in bed before Gobber unlocked the door and said something scathing.
Eventually Hiccup pushed himself up off the dragon and tried out his feet again. They were weak and he wasn't even sure if he could walk, never mind run. He managed a few feet up the rocky slope, then stopped to catch his breath and let his head stop spinning. Toothless was next to him instantly, hovering just within reach, those yellow-green eyes watching him like a hawk. Hiccup smiled and started to move again, slipping almost immediately on a muddy rock. Toothless caught him once again, holding him between shoulder and wing.
Hiccup muttered a thanks, then tried to push off again, but the dragon's wing clenched at him tighter, lifting him off his feet. Toothless' ears were twitching, as if he was hearing something far-off. Hiccup felt the Night Fury start to creep across the ground, then suddenly they were moving at high speed. The movement lulled Hiccup and his eyelids started to droop again. He fought hard to keep them open, but it was a losing battle and soon he was an immobile body squashed between the wing and the flank of a dragon.
Toothless was nearing the sounds. He could hear human voices calling, he could hear them trampling through the woods like bumbling trolls. He slowed, not wanting to get too close, and gently lay his quarry down onto the muddy ground. The hatchling's eyes were closed, a sure sign that there was something very wrong. Toothless hunched down close to the boy, watching his own warm breath blow the hatchling's wet hair across his face. He knew humans got cold very easily, especially when it was raining. Maybe the warmth of his breath could wake him up.
There was someone very close now. Toothless crouched, saw the movement between the trees and blew one last warming breath into Hiccup's face before retreating a few hundred feet to watch from a better vantage point. He saw how the burly man almost fell over the hatchling, how he yelled in excitement to his comrades.
"Stoick! I found him!"
Then there were people all around who obscured the Night Fury's view of the boy, and the dragon decided to vanish. His own kind would take care of him now.
It was warm and cozy and Hiccup was finally in some dry clothes.
Stoick stood by the now-barred window and looked out into the looming darkness. He could hear his son breathe peacefully behind him, still asleep. It was a reassuring sound. The boy had come to a couple of times, like when Gobber doused him with a pail of hot water to wash off most of the mud, but then Hiccup had babbled incoherently about someone called Toothless. Stoick had written it off to the fever.
All that mattered is that Hiccup would pull through, like he always did. Although he was grounded for a month after he had recovered.
Stoick sighed and sat down on a stool next to the bed. The light of the fire danced across his son's face, and Stoick brushed some hair out of Hiccup's eyes. The fever seemed to have broken, but the healer had said that he'd have to rest quietly for a while before he was even allowed out of bed. The weather and the fact that Hiccup had insisted on enjoying it hadn't helped one bit.
Stoick gazed into the fire for a very long time and wondered what his wife would have done in this situation. It was getting more difficult with each passing day to remember her face, and occasionally he caught himself going weeks without thinking of her. He wondered whether Hiccup still missed her.
"Dad?" Hiccup blinked a couple of times at his father, then started to sit up. Stoick pressed down on his son's shoulder, making him fall back onto the pillow.
"Easy, son." Stoick felt relief washing over him, and it showed on his face. Hiccup blinked again and frowned sleepily. "Close your eyes, go back to sleep."
"I'm sorry for worrying you." Hiccup's words were slurred and awkward, and he blinked furiously to stay awake.
"We'll talk about that later. For now, you need to rest."
Hiccup watched his father return his gaze to the fire. He blinked again, feeling his eyelids take over once more, then they slid closed and he was off again.
Stoick watched from the corner of his eye as his son gently slipped back into sleep, then tiptoed to the door, closing it as softly as he could.
Well, there's the first of the one-shots! Please review and leave a prompt, seeing a couple of reviews in my inbox always gives me an extremely warm and fuzzy feeling…
Oh, post-script: you've probably noticed that this hasn't been to a beta. Please volunteer if you have some time!