(sad little one shot thing about Toothless and Hiccup, enjoy!)
It was the morning of an early spring day in Berk when my world changed dramatically, strangely enough eight years to the day when Toothless and I defeated the mighty menace to dragon kind.
I went out into center of the village, the way I usually did when I made my morning round before heading up to the dragon's nesting place, a ridge above the village. I headed up the path, through the turns of high sharp rocks and was surprised to find Toothless, who had more recently wanted to sleep late into the morning was awake and waiting for me.
He walked towards me slowly, warily, as if it was the first time we had met all over again but as I offered my hand he pressed his muzzle against reassuringly. He was quiet today, an unusual sight for my typically happy Night Fury.
"How 'bout a ride, bud?" I asked him as I rubbed behind his scaly ear, happy to hear a soft purr despite his solemn greeting. He chuffed quietly at me and shouldered me, motioning me to get on. I checked the saddle and the rudder, as I always did and patted his flank softly.
"The ridge?" I asked him, watching his face for any sign of excitement. It was his favorite place to dive from before a flight but there's nothing today.
"Hey?" I ask him quietly. His large green eye flicks back at me, somewhat bored.
"You feeling okay, Toothless?"
I hear a rumbling from him, but he doesn't move other than dipping his shoulder, coaxing me again to get on.
"stay here." I tell him, starting a quick pace down to the village where I intend to get Astrid. Toothless doesn't seem to be his normal self and Astrid has learned a great deal of healing arts in the time we have spent with our dragon companions. She'll know what to do.
As I turn my back on the dragon, I hear him rumble his lowest growl. I face him just in time to see him behind me, grabbing me up by the shoulder of my shirt and flinging me to his saddle.
He takes off at a run, headed for the cliff. I hurry and put my foot in the metallic stirrup, just in time, as he launches himself from the cliff face. The wind rushes past us and I feel the exhilaration of the flight pulsing through me.
But as we round the island to the north, a path we often take when inspecting the island, Toothless takes us down past Raven Point in a sheltered thicket area, resisting my directions as I try to coax him on. And though it's been awhile, when we land I recognize the place to be our old training grounds.
"Home sweet home, eh buddy?"
His chuffed heavily, as if exhausted from our brief flight, and let me slide from his saddle.
I should have figured it out then. But I was blind to what I hadn't wanted to see.
"brings back memories, doesn't it?" I marvel quietly to myself, gazing at the small lake, listening as he moves around quietly behind me.
There's a quiet rumble from behind me and I turn to find my dragon crouching close by but he doesn't look up at my questioning gaze. He seems to be staring at something on the ground.
"What do you got, bud?" I walk closer and my answer is instant. Toothless is staring at small hole in the ground where a smooth, perfect egg is centered, roughly the size of a melon.
"An egg?" I sit cross legged at his side, gazing in disbelief at it. He doesn't look away, simply continues to stare at it, a look somewhere between adoration and sadness.
"Toothless? Is it yours?"
His sharp green eyes regarded me solemnly and he trills quietly deep in his throat.
I knew Toothless had left some years ago for a mate, many dragons had, sometime during the summer when Astrid and I had married, the same year I had taken control of Berk as their leader. And though I had often wished to meet his mate, I'd never seen her but I was certain I had heard her calling him somewhere in the distance of the island because a soft light would fill his green eyes and he would sneak away in the evening, returning only just before dawn.
"The mother?" I asked, feeling a prickling at my conscience. He had never brought me here before, never attempted to join his outside life to the one we shared in Berk. If he needed me here now, I feared it wasn't a good thing.
He turned away abruptly, a low feral snarl rising then choking off in a soft moan. His eyes drifted skyward and I could feel his sadness as if he been human enough to break down into tears.
"I'm sorry." I bowed my head, imagining briefly that his sorrowful eyes would match mine if I were to lose Astrid.
He stands suddenly, folding his wings gracefully and walking so that he stands behind me. Before I can guess at his action, he pushes me forward with his muzzle so that I'm almost in the nest with the egg. He chuffs, a demanding sound, and looks down again at the egg.
Toothless and I have always had a connection from the time we first began training, but as I sat here in front of his only egg, I couldn't make myself understand it fully.
Was he asking me to care for his egg? In place of its lost mother?
"Toothless, I can't… I just can't." I tried to move to stand up but he nosed me again and growled low in his throat with a determined look. He shifted his gaze from me to the egg back to me and trilled quietly, a pleading in his eyes.
"Oh alright…' I sighed as if I had been asked to do the laundry. I leaned down using my furred cloak to scoop it up, marveling at its weight. "but the first time he lights Astrid's closet on fire, it's your head she'll be coming for."
With a look of happiness he trilled with something close to an amused chortle, and nudged me happily, sniffing at the egg tucked carefully in my cloak.
"Shall we head home? Introduce the newest member of the family?" I asked him and he lowered himself quickly for me to mount up. And like every time before, we sailed into the air like it was the place we had always belonged.
We made it back, somewhere close to noon, and after recounting our little mission everyone took a turn at wondering over the little hatchling to be. It would certainly have an army to keep it safe, that was for sure. All the while, Toothless just watched it being patted and cooed at by every soul in Berk, seemingly content with its future family.
That night I set it in a "nest" of fur cloaks and sheep skin by my hearth and went outside to bid Toothless goodnight. He was waiting for me outside, like always, and he looked ready to turn in for the evening as well.
"quite a day, huh bud?" I stifled a yawn.
He yawned as well but glanced back at the house, his gaze I'm sure still on the egg visible through my window.
"You know I'll protect your egg with my life." I vowed casually, but I meant every word and he glanced at me briefly, knowingly.
"I swear, he or she will be safe, always. As all dragons will be forever till the end our people."
Toothless leaned into me carefully so that I could rub behind his ears, and he purred and trilled happily as I scratched him all over. Astrid called for me, somewhere from within the house and Toothless, I noticed, was staring at the egg again.
I had to chuckle, I had never seen a dragon gone so mother hen. It was charming, to say the least.
"it'll still be here tomorrow, I promise. Get some rest bud, you need it." I leaned in and wrapped my arms around his neck and squeezed, feeling his head rub up and down my side quickly. "Goodnight, Toothless. See you tomorrow."
If I had known, or hadn't been so blind at least, I might have thought to say something better to him.
I would have told him it meant a lot to a skinny boy eight years ago to have someone who could understand him without a word.
I would have told him having him by my side was an honor and that I was blessed to have been allowed to share his flights.
I would have told him he was my best friend.
But I guess he already knew that or I don't imagine he would have let me see that egg.
I found Toothless the next morning curled up on our favorite ridge, cold and still. He was facing the eastern horizon, but his eyes were closed in a way that looked like he was simply asleep.
And though perhaps it might have been dishonorable for the tribe leader to break down and wail in grief, it didn't matter to me who might hear and what they would think. I collapsed with sobs breaking in my throat, no longer chief of Berk but rather just Hiccup, minus one best friend.
As I thought back on it, in the clear hindsight one has with grieving, I could remember all the signs I hadn't noticed. My friend hadn't been able to fly as swift as he had before, he hadn't eaten nearly as many fish as usual, and he had been sleeping longer, and resting more often. Toothless had been getting older and weaker and at last the sun had set on his time in the world and i hadn't paid attention to a single sign. I was a fool.
But I was also a fool with a purpose. I had sworn to protect my best friend's only offspring, and Odin willing I would find a way to raise the hatchling to be with all the honor its father before it had.
The evening of Toothless' death, after we had given the honored Night Fury a Viking's pyre burial at sea, I returned home with a somber Astrid on my arm.
"Things won't ever be the same without him." She whispered to me softly as we went inside.
"I know, we'll manage though." I tried to smile for her but I felt it frozen on my face.
Astrid patted my shoulder and made a move to go toward the bedroom but gasped instead and grasped for my shoulder.
I followed her gaze and saw that my makeshift nest was empty, save for a few egg shell remains, Toothless' hatchling nowhere to be found.
"Oh no, it loose!" I grabbed Astrid and pushed her toward the kitchen, "start on the bottom floor, I'll search the top."
I took the stairs two at a time and raced to my bedroom, when I got there though I wasn't sure how react.
My bedroom was totally wrecked, the decorative hangings and paintings scratched or broken, and most of the room had small char marks in every directions. But the scene I was mainly focused on was the lamb sized ball of dragon curled up on my bed, tucked neatly between the pillows, looking like a large cat at a passing glance. And though I knew what I was seeing I couldn't make myself act all the same.
Toothless' hatchling was laying on my bed, and though it had destroyed my room, I couldn't feel anything but total awe.
Astrid came running up the stairs, "Did you find …" she paused at my side and sighed, "Oh thank goodness. Wow…. What a sty… this will be fun to fix." She muttered but I was hardly paying attention.
I went to the bed and sat down, the little creature rousing from slumber like a kitten from its nap, before making a slow crawl to inspect me. It glanced up at my face and our eyes met, those piercing green eyes unbearably familiar. I carefully picked it up and set it on my lap, rubbing under its jaw feeling my heart swell as it rumbled out a soft purr, my sadness not vanished but numbed by the happiness growing inside me.
"Welcome to Berk, little Night Fury." I whispered, Astrid joining me on the bed gazing in awe at our newest family member. "Welcome home, son of Toothless."
(A/n: ok random one shot is random. please enjoy free cyber cookies next to the review button *wink wink*. thanks again)
wolflover7 howls at moon