Disclaimer: I own none of these characters. I'm not sure I even have the creative balls to give a character a name like 'Hiccup'.
For as long as he could remember, Hiccup had known he was different from all the other people of his village. From what hand he naturally used when he wrote or drew, to the way that anyone his age seemed to be taller or stronger –or a deadly combination of the two- than him. Knowing he was different from everyone he'd ever met, he'd always felt isolated in his big Viking village. Like one of the large rocks that jutted out of the ocean by Berk's shoreline. They were close enough that you could see land if you stood atop of one, but now where near close enough to harbor the thought of ever touching it.
The feelings got progressively worse as he got older. They became downright unbearable after his mother passed away. She had been the only person who seemed to accept the fact that he would probably never end up being like the other children of the village. She had still loved him, just as he was.
These feelings, like a dark center in his heart, would rear their head at any given moment. The feelings shrouded his heart whenever he saw his father shake his head in disappointment, which was nearly every other day. The dark mass even sometimes pulsated with life when all he did was step outside. At times like these, he wondered if other Vikings his age felt like life might just be the biggest waste of effort.
It's not until his father sent him to Gobber that Hiccup finally found a way to cope with the ugly, dark mass that sat in his heart. His father was, and would always be, blunt. With no more then a "If you don't have the strength to pick up a weapon, then you can at least learn to make them for those who can", Hiccup found himself thrust into an apprenticeship that he hadn't really liked the idea of. His first few days as a blacksmith were not easy, and Gobber made it a point to take no pity on him because he was his best friend's son. Gobber treated him to the same good natured, if sometimes crass, teaching methods he'd used with everyone else who had come before him. Hiccup found a strange sort of happiness in this fact; being treated like everyone else was a bit of a change for him.
Soon that novelty faded as Gobber found that even his time tested ways of teaching needed tweaking when it came to Hiccup. Once again being dubbed the boy who could do no right, the dark mass of feelings in Hiccup's chest came back full force and settled themselves back into their well worn spot in his heart. It was two weeks into his apprenticeship that he finally, finally, found a more lasting way to deal with the ever growing darkness in his heart.
It had started when he hadn't been careful around a piece of hot metal and had burnt his wrist. He'd yelped and nearly toppled the piece of metal Gobber and he had been forming.
"Shake it off Hiccup, a few burns never hurt anyone."
For the rest of the day the spot had throbbed with an intense, white-hot pain. But, for no reason Hiccup could think of, he found the throbbing to be more of a comfort than a nuisance. He found through out the day that he is comparing the throbbing another's heartbeat, thumping along with his own in a gentle way. After a few minutes of letting his mind focus on that heartbeat, he realized that the dark mass that had sat heavily on his chest like some great stone for most his life has been lifted the slightest bit. At this realization, he almost cried out in joy.
The fact that he found the painful little mark to be a comfort also scared him though. For several nights after, he found himself wondering if maybe there wasn't something wrong with him at his core. What kind of person thrives on pain?
Soon though, much sooner than he had hoped, the dark mass was sitting on his chest once more, heavier than ever before. Days go by and Hiccup found himself desperately trying not to think about the little mark on his arm or the sense of relief it had brought him. But, eventually and unwillingly, he had to give into the temptation of relief.
With the small dagger that he had cast and sharpened himself – the first thing he had ever made with Gobber and not messed up- he traces the same little mark on the side of his wrist that had been left behind from the burn. The blade was sharp enough to break his skin with the slightest of pressure and drew small droplets of deep red from his body. Hiccup found himself fascinated. He'd seen blood before many times, had seen people with far graver injuries than the one he stared at now. It was the fact that he, Hiccup, the boy who could do no right and had no authority, was deciding to do this to himself, was what made it special. That was what made it his dark, precious little friend. That night, hand still grasping where his blood had bubbled up from the wound, Hiccup slept better than he could remember.
In the Viking village of Berk, any and all minor cuts went unaddressed and wholly unnoticed. For this, Hiccup was grateful.
If anyone had noticed the small amount of tiny nicks, scrapes, and scars that crawled over his arms whenever he happened to roll up his sleeves, no one said anything. Soon, with his new found little friend, Hiccup found that he began to grow a bit more confident around others, even if it was in a way that no one quite understood. He found that he got much more amusement out of having a sharp tongue and a witty mind around some of his more dimwitted peers than when he sat quietly and took any sort of barbs they threw at him. He found that he began to think, plot even, of how to show his father that he could be a good Viking. If he could not lift a hammer, swing an axe, or properly throw a bola without causing harm to his surroundings or to others, he could make things that could do it for him.
It was when he had hit the Night Fury that he let out a long awaited sigh of relief and thought 'Finally, something went my way'. But, despite what he had thought, things had not turn out like he had hoped for when he downed one of the most rare and evasive Dragons to ever live.
Not but a week or two after having met the downed Night Fury, appropriately dubbed Toothless, Hiccup took his first, if unexpected, flight. Despite being flicked off into the small pond of the grove towards the end of it, Hiccup had been ecstatic. It had worked, the tailfin he had made actually worked! It wasn't that he had expected it to fail; it was still nice to see your hard work come into fruition.
For all his celebrating, Hiccup was soon to realize that it would be best to try and dry his clothing off before he even thought of heading back into Berk. He made a small fire out of the fallen tree branches and leaves he found scattered around the rock walls. Soon after he had coaxed the flames into a gentle roar, he stripped to his undergarments and carefully hung his clothes in front of the fire. He sat reveling in his own small success, mind already thinking a million miles a minute about how to make it so the tailfin worked without him hanging onto the Dragon's tail for dear life.
He only snapped out of his thoughts when he heard a soft chirping noise he now knew belonged to Toothless. He looked to where the Dragon had sat near the fire, eyes wide and ears perked in interest at something. He quickly followed the Dragon's stare, finding that it was resting upon his bare arms. Hiccup swallowed thickly and tucked his arms into his chest and out of sight as best as possible.
He doesn't know why it bothers him so much that Toothless was staring at his scars and shallow cuts. Maybe it was because no one had done so before. Maybe, and this was the silliest thought that popped into his head, it was the way the Dragon stared at them, like he knew that they hadn't appeared there on accident.
Again, Hiccup is snapped out of his thoughts by the Dragon when a puff of hot, smelly breath hits his face. He hadn't realized that Toothless had moved to sit right in front of him, big green eyes staring down at him in an intense manner. Hiccup doesn't move when the Dragon quickly sniffs at his hairline, then his face, his neck, and shoulders. But he tensed, ever so slightly, when the dark nose came to rest against the abused flesh of his arms. Toothless breathed deeper here and remained sniffing at the scar tissue and red cuts for sometime. He nudges Hiccup's forearms at one point, before looking back up at the young Viking.
The look the Dragon gave him stopped all of Hiccup's thoughts for a moment by the sheer magnitude of emotion it carried. It was a look that said so many of the words that he'd wanted to hear come out of someone's mouth: Are you alright? Where'd those come from? Are you hurt? What happened? Did you do this? Do you need help? ARE YOU ALRIGHT?
Hiccup let out a heavy gush of air that he didn't know his lungs were holding, bit his lip, and stared blankly down at his arms.
Silently and without much warning, Hiccup allowed himself to do something that he hadn't done since his mother died. He cried. He let the salty, abrasive water flow freely from his eyes, his hands unable to wipe it away quickly enough. Century's worth of Vikings had told stories of how heartless Dragons were, mindless in all regard except for their need to eat and their love of violence.
Yet, Hiccup thought grimly at the irony of it all, here was the supposed most deadly, most vicious of all Dragons, silently doing for him what no other human is his village would. The damn Dragon was worried about him, was worried for him, and that was so much more than even his own father had ever managed.
His crying is silent, except for the occasional sniffle. Toothless was still staring at him with concern and confusion in his eyes. The Dragon sniffs at his arms one last time, before he brought his face up to Hiccup's. Face to face with Hiccup, Toothless cocks his head in curiosity; his ears limp in a sad looking way along his head. He sniffed at the boy's face, nudged the pale forehead in a knowing way, and quietly began to lap up the tears that wouldn't stop running down Hiccup's face, trying his best to comfort the small Viking.
Edit 4/16/2012: Fixed the tense issue as best as I could. Hopefully the story flows better now.
I've been wondering why Hiccup seems to be able to take the way people criticize him in the movie so well (and yes, I understand it's a kids' movie so, therefore, it isn't exactly going to have characters be dripping with "psychologically-messed-upness"). I mean, it's established that he's never fit in with the other Vikings, even since he was a baby. Think about it, wouldn't you be even a little bit messed up too if, for most of your life, you knew the people around you didn't approve of who you were as a person? This little fic is the result of those pondering thoughts of mine.
And, yeah, I went and wrote the one type of fic every growing section of this site seems to have without fail: the "main-character-cuts-themselves-and-it's-super-angsty!" type of fanfic. I will not deny it…in fact, I'll even go and say that I at least didn't write something where Hiccup decided it was high time to just GTFO and off himself.
That all being said, I hope you enjoyed this piece as much as one can enjoy a Self-Harm!Hiccup piece. Toodles.