You guys all deserve a HUGE apology. I'm sorry I haven't updated in over year, I'm appalled with myself, and the crappy writing skills I used on the rest of this story…they've improved over the year, lucky you guys, so…here we go…
Stoick's meaty hand smashed the blade of his knife into the wood of the table, he continued showing his aggravation by sitting on his chair with a heavy thump and resting his tired head in his hands. The hall was deathly silent as the entire village watched their chief mourn over his son, his meaty fingers rubbing his temples sluggishly. Gobber stayed right beside him, looking at the ground with a distant look, and the rest of the trainees were huddled into a corner of the hall, the aura of anger and sadness seeming to scare everyone else a way.
A stained, torn around the edges letter lay in front of Stoick, the loopy handwriting and ink-splotches strewn across the parchment mocking him.
"It just doesn't make any sense…" he whispered to himself, gazing at the letter. "Why would they think…?" He left his thought unfinished.
Astrid slowly slid down the wall she was leaning on, resting her chin on her knees.
"Somebody should have gone with him…"
Ruff slid down next to her, resting a gentle hand on her should and looking at her with drained eyes. "Would it have mattered?"
The hall stayed frozen, quiet as a cemetery, until Stoick dreadfully lifted his head up and stood with a new found confidence, his piercing glare swooping across the hall.
"I'm declaring a war against the Bog Burglars." His tone was dry and unarguable, colder than the arctic tundra.
"Agreed!" Gobber said determinedly, the rest of the villagers nodding their heads and adding low mutterings of agreement. "Aft'r all, 'iccup saved us from the Red De'th, we should save 'im!"
The crowd cheered in approval, hands lifting into the air with excitement at the thought of going into battle. The teens had a different reaction, knowing full well that their friend wouldn't want an entire war broken out over this, and if anything make the resentment between the two tribes more taut.
"Stoick!" Astrid shouted through the cheering, springing up from her position on the crowds and shoving her way towards her chief, nearly slamming into the table with the force she had used to push her way through. "Can't we think about this? I know you're angry, all of us are! But…a war? Hiccup—"
"Is the only family I have left!" Stoick bellowed, cutting the girl off as she stepped away from the enraged father, bottom lip trembling. "Accusing us of stealing their heir is an insult in the first place, and then they go and take ours!" he paused, composing himself somewhat. "They have offended our tribe, and like Hel I'm going to just stand here while they have my son!" Another cheer erupted through the crowd, making Astrid flinch. "I declare war," he finished simply, gritting his teeth, a ferocious, sharp violent look in his shadowed eyes.
I couldn't tell if it was morning or not; all I knew was that whatever time it was it was still dark out, my back killed, and the slow rise and fall of the black lump I leaned against proved that my friend was still alive—if he was alive and well, I don't know, he hasn't spoken yet.
Said black lump let out a low whimper, his whole body trembling against my small frame. I crawled out from under the giant wing and stroked his head, not saying anything but showing him I was there. The whimpers quieted eventually and his breathing pattern started to fall back into a steady rhythm. I smiled contently, but a sad sigh still left my lips. Shivering against the chilled breeze coming from the tiny hole they called a window in this hel-hole, and rubbed Toothless's head one last time and then scooted back under his wing, thankful for the heat radiating off the dragon's body.
The small, smooth but confident voice came from a corner the right corner of the cell. I glanced over to meet the glowing green eyes of Camicazi; they looked almost like dragon eyes in the darkness, the rest of her body being nearly invisible.
"How…what?" I questioned, not moving from my place under the wing but still giving her my attention.
"Well…" she blinked, the corner of the room going dark for a moment with the absence of the glowing green eyes. "I have a lot of 'how' questions…" She stared at the ceiling of the prison, as if she were gazing at the stars. Through the faint shadows I could tell she was gnawing on her bottom lip in thought.
"Ok, start with one, and work your way up," I encouraged half-heartedly.
She smirked, blinking again then staring back at me. "How did you two come to trust each other?" she inquired, lifting herself up with her hands and sitting Indian-style, preparing for a long collection of stories it seemed.
Oh I see…what is she, some type of fangirl that wants her facts straight? I thought bored-ly, with a hint of amusement.
Suddenly there was a new blooming of a lighter green coming from my right direction. I looked over to see Toothless now widely awake, watching the girl with zero interest, but listening intently to see how I would answer. He felt my stare, and looked back at me for a moment before crooning me to continue with an answer, he wanted my opinion. His gummy smile smirked.
"Well..." I rubbed the back of my head, scooting back more into the warmth. "It was a series of events really, I had to approach him carefully and show him I was good. I brought fish, and once he understood that I was going to help him fly again, the trust between us was sealed…but, when I think about it…" Now it was my turn to look up at the ceiling, remembering fondly of the times Toothless and I spent in the cove, and both of our situations at the time. "We were both alone." I petted his flank absentmindedly. "I was a disgrace to the village, my own Father didn't seem to acknowledge even my presence, most of the time, at least, and nobody really wanted me around…Toothless was being controlled by this inferior being, didn't even have the luxury of making his own choices or having his own thoughts. Not to mention he was the only one of his kind, and the rest of the dragons seemed to…fear him, and kept their distance. We both needed someone to trust." I was rambling before I knew it. Toothless grumbled in agreement, it seemed, tightening the wing around me.
Camicazi giggled, her crazy and wild hair bouncing with each laugh. "How sweet…" The Bog Burglar stared at us with admiration, thinking of her next question. "And how does the powerful Night Fury feel about that?" she asked innocently.
"Uh…" I looked to Toothless, who still had a smirk adorned upon his face. The dragon huffed smoke from his nostrils, before nudging my prosthetic with his snout. Not understanding what he meant entirely, I cocked my head to the side. Toothless shook his head and then pulled his tail around me, and setting it right next to my prosthetic. I stared at the two for a while before finally understanding. "He says…that in a way we're the same. We're different from the people around us, and need someone to rely on. He relies on me for flight, I rely on him to help me walk. There was…a silent mutual understanding when I lost my leg, and if anything it made our bond stronger, well I think it did…" Toothless chirped, showing me I got it right.
Camicazi nodded. "Alright, just one more question," her voice lowered to a hush, which seemed like a rare occasion, and it was almost shy-sounding, "how do you think they could break the spirit of a dragon like Toothless so easily?"
This left me quiet for a while; Toothless's face fell at the question, and with an annoyed expression he lowered his head back down and closed his eyes. I petted him, biting my lip. "I don't know…"
We sat in stillness for a while after that. There wasn't much to do but wait, and think about the horrible things to come, if they decided to even pay us that much attention or let us die of neglect. I finally took in my surroundings; the cell kept a dark gray hue most of the time, due to the storm clouds that hovered in the air outside. The air was always chilly and my skin was always speckled with goose bumps, and in the night you could almost see your breath. The smell was absolutely horrid; it was fetid, old, and dusty, with a hint of urine in it. The odor was suffocating, and I woke up more than once at night gagging on whom on earth knows what. I eventually stood up and began massaging Toothless's tight muscles again, which now were weaker and frail with lack of exercise. He whined when I pressed too hard a few times, but other than that he stayed silent. With a long, over-done sigh, I crawled back under the safety of the Night Fury's wing and tried to sleep. Sleep, however, seemed to be a lost cause.
The cell door slammed open, jolting all three of us out of our stupors. A beefy Roman Guard entered with his shoulders held high-and-mighty. His nose was flicked up with distaste as he eyed the dragon and Vikings huddled in opposite corners of the room. Camicazi seemed somewhat bored and irritated with his smug presence. Toothless let a low rumble escape his throat, and I felt his fragile muscles tense under me. I put a hand on his flank, but kept my dark green eyes on the guard and my face emotionless.
The guard said nothing, but stepped to the side to allow the one and only Alvin the Treacherous to enter, an even smugger look on his face. He humph-ed at us, setting his beady sharp eyes to stare at Toothless and me. Toothless growled lowly, but I kept my face an emotionless mask as Alvin and I stared at each other roughly, saying nothing but intimidating the other with silence. The pirate's thin colorless lips pointed at one end into a sneer, and with a breathy cackle he took off one of the chains around his neck; attached to the dulled gold chain was a tiny vial filled with a liquid paler than Alvin's lips, a bark colored cork keeping the liquid in the vial and the glass curled around itself at one end.
The scarecrow of a man held it up with his index finger and thumb, the miniscule bottle no bigger than his eye.
"This should be enough to help cure the devil," he mumbled, still examining the, what I'm assuming, antidote.
He flicked the delicate flask into the air, and darting out from Toothless's wing, I was barely able to make the catch, cradling the medicine in my hands, knowing that it held my dragon's life. Alvin's hissy voice didn't make a single comment, the only sounds he left were that of his shows smacking against the stone floor, as he wrenched the heavy bolted door open and left, letting it clash behind him.
I slowly let my chilled palms reveal the antidote, and letting out a weighted breath I turned back to Toothless. His pointed head held a solemn look, his jaded eyes furrowed and mouth in a straight line. He huffed, shaking his head back and forth like a dog and cooing to me. I bit my lip harshly; making my way over to him cautiously, we never lost eye contact until I offered the medicine to him.
"Ok, Toothless…" I started, feeling my own hands wracking with nervousness, "Just, open your mouth buddy, ok? This will make you feel better…" I comforted, which was probably about as helpful as shoving the antidote down his throat whether he liked it or not. The Night Fury's teeth pierced through his gums and let out a malicious hiss; his eyes were thinner than the lead at the end of a pencil, and his claws screeched across the durable stone as he tried to advance backwards, shunning the medicine all together. His familiar green eyes held so much distrust in them, flowing with apprehension and an inimical attitude; he might as well of bit me with his needle sharp teeth.
I recoiled back, hiding the vial once again in my hands. I stayed silent at his low growl, trembling slightly at the sight of the foreign way my dragon was treating me. "Toothless," I said, a bit of a whine in my voice, "this is going to help you buddy, please take it…" I begged, moving an inch forward timidly. His snarls turned into a roar, surprising both of us I believe. Toothless never acted so harsh or threatening towards me. The Romans shattered him. My mouth twitched into a frown, and I dug my nails into the side of the fragile glass flask in my hand. I grit my teeth together, mirroring the dragon's expression and looking straight into his eyes.
"Toothless you're going to take the medicine," I avowed, letting no sympathy drip into my voice. Toothless's eyes dilated for a moment at my firmness, but then his nose scrunched up and his pupils conical, a vicious snarl sputtering from between his teeth. Keeping my composure, I stared back at him with no emotion but determination—he knew as well as anyone that when I decided to do something, no burly Viking or pissed off dragon was going to stop me.
Rubbing his fangs back and forth on each other, his eyes mildly grew softer and his voice came out husky and dark. "It's not that I don't trust you—I don't trust that damn medicine."
Smoke flitted from his nostrils, and I clenched my fists. I couldn't tell whether to feel relieved that he had finally spoken or frustrated at his resistance. Whether I trusted the medicine as well didn't matter—it either his death came nearer, or it put off the inevitable. In a twisted sick way, I wasn't sure if either was a bad option; I couldn't stand seeing him suffer and this antidote was going to end his pain one way or another.
"Tooth…just try it, for me?" I tried again, trying to sound as pitiful and pathetic as I was feeling. A cloud of dark ash sprouted from his nose once again, giving me the answer I was looking for. My teeth split skin and I tasted copper in my mouth—he wasn't going to get away that easily. I heard my metal prosthetic drudge against the stone, the bottle held out in front of me in a firm grasp—and I pounced.
Toothless growled unexpectedly, his teeth shooting back in his gums quickly to avoid any 'accidental' bites. I flung my arms around the top of his head in an attempt to keep his mouth open, just long enough for me to slip the medicine in. And, of course, a scraggly fourteen year old against a muscly powerful dragon, didn't amount to much. In fact, my attempt to get him to take the stupid antidote was probably about as useful as me trying to get him to eat eel.
He threw me to the side and I skidded across the slick stones, my back slamming into the prison walls not far away. His eyes seemed apologetic but his demeanor was still hostile, back hunched up in the air like that of a cat's and his ebony darker than night scales glinting off the very little light in the room. I sprang back up and planned my moves more carefully this time; with a cautious posture I stared down the dragon, which did likewise. I slid my foot across the rocks silently, waiting for a good opportunity. An idea came to mind; I let my body slump forward and my determined attitude drop with it—Toothless cocked his head, confused. I blinked sadly, sighing, and letting the antidote fall from my protective grasp. My body fell with it, and I sat on the ground in a defeated position, looking up at my friend conquered.
"Fine," I muttered, barely moving my lips as I spoke. My gaze drifted to the droplets of rain outside the cell, our little hole into the outside world seemed appeared to be defeated as well. A blink; a stare. Toothless laid his head on the ground and whined to me apologetically, eyes now innocent and wide. "Have it your way," I finished, not looking him in the eye, and waiting. I was waiting for some ounce of guilt to set in, for his guard to crumble.
He flicked an eyelid and I was on top of him. My toothpicks I like to call arms wound around his neck and I tried to force my hand in his mouth, the vial clenched within it. Now he was shaking with irritation; in a swift movement he flicked his head to the side, sending me hurtling towards the hard floor like a pitiful crashing baby bird. Somehow my left leg managed to twist at a peculiar angle, landing upright on the ground while the rest of my body continued to fall. I heard the end of my half-leg crunch against the prosthetic in an agonizingly gradual process; and Hel that hurt. A pained, hoarse cry emitted from my throat as the injured leg finally fell flat against the floor along with the rest of me. My dirty nails gouged into the stone in an attempt to with stand the pain, but it only made me feel more uncomfortable. I noticed a mass of blonde standing in the corner, hands clenched together and being held to her mouth, sparkly green eyes eclectic with shock and nervousness. She watched the entire thing, knowing not to get in the way and that it was between my dragon and I.
Toothless let out a displeased screech, finally going back to his usual worrisome self and hurtling his nose to my let. The coolness eased the sting slightly, his breaths chilling the warm pain in my leg. I fisted my hand around the medicine and dragged myself away from the dragon, whose cat-like eyes were brimming with concern. An ugly scowl replaced the expression on my face, both from the pain the how my dragon was acting.
"That's not fair," I choked out, bringing my left leg up with my hands and trying to keep some form of pressure on it. "You don't even care about your own well-being; no way will I let you care about mine." My voice sounded a little too blunt, but it needed to be said.
Yes, I have reverted back to acting like a six year old. And it felt good.
His expression darkened for the slightest moment, but then softened. He pattered his way over to me, nudging the injured leg caringly before meeting my eyes again, our noses inches from each other.
"Where is it?" he asked grimly. My own expression now relaxed, and I held out my trembling palm to reveal the little flask that started it all. He huffed at it, hard enough to make the object move back slightly in my hand. The Night Fury hesitantly poked my hand with the tip of his nose, opening his mouth slightly to indicate that he would finally take it. I felt like I cheated him, the way I finally got him to take the measly liquid, even though it wasn't my fault I got hurt. Though it kind of was, learning from a young age not to jump creatures very clearly bigger than you, I had ignored the golden rule. But as long as he got better, and his prideful spirit came back to his fallen cracked eyes…
The cork made a plopping sound as I pulled it off. The translucent liquid poured from the tiny vial quickly, and in less than a second Toothless swallowed its entire contents. Not even taking the energy to put the cork back on, I chucked the bottle across the room, hearing a satisfying miniscule shatter. We stayed silent for a moment, Toothless examining the damage done to my leg. I gingerly hugged his head, my cold cheek resting against his warm forehead.
"Thanks," I mumbled miserably, now feeling the guilt weld an icy metal stone in my chest. A tongue flicked out and licked the spoiled stump, a heavy head resting itself in my lap.
"Me too," I whispered, only audible to Toothless and myself.
The cheesy, yanked out of a movie moment was interrupted when a previously nervous girl walked her way over to us, a small new confidence growing leisurely. I followed her with my eyes, curious. She sank to our level, petite knees up to her chest and balancing carefully on her feet. Her eyes held a gentleness only a woman's could, and her voice was timid but sounded very tactfully planned.
"So are you guys alright, now?" she asked, her higher than natural voice barely making itself clear over the rain. I nodded in reply, tiredly resting my head back on Toothless's. The dreary atmosphere and previous fire in my leg made me want nothing more than to sleep. However, a particular eccentric, bipolar bog burglar would have none of it. She sprang up like a jack in the box, her hands clapping together with a child's delight. Her smile sparkled like her eyes, her shaggy coarse hair splaying out in her face. "Good! It's about time we get to work!"
"Work?" Toothless and I both raised our heads and stared at the girl, confused. We shared a glance for a fraction of a second, coming to the same conclusion.
This chick was nuts.
"Yes work," she said, sticking out her tongue and roaming the cell in a circle, milky green eyes studying the small space. "We're going to get out of here…nobody can keep a bog burglar under lock and key," she added as an afterthought, not intending us to hear it.
"Uh," I started, standing up and leaning on Toothless as support, eyeing the blonde curiously. "you do know there's probably twenty Roman guards just outside this cell, and you think we're actually going to be able to get out of here, unharmed?"
She paused, a bored look on her face. "Yeah," she replied, hands resting on her hips and voice as bored as her face.
"…whatever you're on, can I have some?"
Camicazi smacked her hands together, as if rubbing off dirt after a long day's work. "Very funny."
"Not really," I cringed, rubbing the back of my head. Toothless snorted amusedly.
The Vikings back on Berk were getting out of hand in the hall, all acting like animals ready to attack their prey. Shouts of revenge and fighting for the dragon tamer rang like thunder during a midsummer's storm, Astrid's head spinning like the tornado that followed said storm.
"Stoick, just listen!" she tried again, using the loudest voice she could muster to scream over the crowd. His statue-like face turned its glare towards her, and she stepped back surprised, however did not back down. "Forgive me chief Stoick," she began, voice overcome with emotion and holding a heavy tone, "but you need to listen to your son sometimes!" The crowd slowly ceased their cheers, burly arms lowered as angered but curious faces turned towards the short girl. "Don't tell me Hiccup didn't mention anything about the Romans to you…did he Stoick?"
The whole room paused with the speaker, attention now on the chief. He thought about it, but then looked down ashamedly, muttering something about a couple of mornings ago. "So he did," she finished, voice having no mercy on the heart broken father. Her small steps made their way toward the table, dainty but strong hands picking up the frayed letter and holding it in his face. "Open your eyes Stoick! Look at this letter…the vocabulary, the handwriting, the parchment itself. It's so…elegant compared to us Vikings!" Some grumbled at the statement. "Just saying…" she mumbled.
Stoick snatched the letter out of her hands, looking at it thoroughly. To his slow becoming horror, he realized that it was more proper than most Vikings are accustomed to; just the loopy signature in itself suggested fraud. His anger had blinded him. The chief's mouth parted slightly, his fat lips barely visible through his thick dark red beard. The room cradled an airy silence that buzzed with anticipation and wonderment; even the dust particles seemed to have slowed and halted their movement in the small sunlight as the father felt terror speed through his veins.
"Stoick, just please, just consider that maybe this is all some scam…Hiccup could be in trouble, and we could possibly be fighting the wrong people as he waits alone in a cell somewhere, probably scared…" her voice drifted now, becoming consumed with the worry for her friend's safety. "Please," she pleaded for a final time.
The chief's gaze drifted to the parchment, his stare so hard and filled with thought that it's a wonder that the paper didn't burst into flame. Then he let his eyes drift to the pleading girl, her eyes that could take on a river's shimmery blue wide and so filled with hope that he was surprised that he couldn't see it dripping out of her. He quickly glanced back at each thing now, meaty lips forming a hard line and bushy brows angling down in distaste.
"I'm the chief, I decide what to do."
A/N: Heh…this is so crappy. Especially compared to the time I made you guys wait! T_T Again my apologies, this is going up without a beta (to begin with, considering the long wait) so please have mercy on my crappy grammar and writing skill. To tell you the truth my fandom for HTTYD is dwindling as I've found new things, and its SUPER, SUPER, SUPER, tough to focus now, but I'll do my best. I apologize. Deeply. Helpful reviews would be nice, and by all means, if you just want to yell at me for making you wait, go nuts…