Dragon Claims and Human Change
Disclaimer: I do not own How to Train Your Dragon. This is a piece of fiction and all persons and events are fictional. There is no profit being made from this work.
Summary: Hiccup didn't know it, but he's been chosen as a Dragon Mate. The world as he knows it changes, leaving him to decide – does he stay with humans or move on with dragons?
Pairing: Toothless x Hiccup (Anthro-Toothless)
Selim Edit: 1-28-12
Beta Edit: -
Even though his father had all but begged him to stay inside, Hiccup knew he couldn't stay locked in the protective shelter with the other, weaker Vikings. There was just something about today's aura that told him he needed to be out there – had to be. Wrapping the bundle in his arms tightly with blankets, he slipped out the door, past the whimpering masses and towards the newly appointed battlegrounds. This was perhaps the worst dragon attack ever…
Taking a deep breath, he slid past Gobber, who had probably been assigned to babysit him, and into the crisp, fiery air. His bundle mewed, shifting to escape its unbearable confines. Hiccup was unrelenting of his decision to keep the infant, his son, bundled from the fires outside. His own skin already had a twinge of soft red from the heat, promising to blister if he stayed out any longer. He winced at the thought.
A low wing had him ducking from cover, taking towards the smithy. The open archway gave him ample time to look into the lit night sky, taking in all the dragons. Zipplebacks, with their long two heads, set houses ablaze while looking for…something. The Nadder flew overhead, directing the attacks with a low growl. Gronckles tended to distract the villagers, riding low and looking more bulky than they actually were. A Terrible Terror scuffled around under his foot, looking small and forgotten. It glanced at him with its beady yellow eyes, hissed lowly before darting through the town like an annoying rat. Above head, the night sky lit up as a Nightmare made itself look imposing.
No, Hiccup realized, it was being a signal.
The attacks lightened up and the little Viking made his way past other Vikings who only gave him an annoyed look. Some even tried to jostle him back to safety, reminding him that the outside was no place for someone so small and clumsy. "He's coming." Hiccup whispered, pushing past them to the center of town where a lookout was. He stumbled up the wooden panels, trying to reach the top while the random dragon darted past him, never touching.
"Hiccup! Get back to safety!"
"This is my fault!" Hiccup cried out, continuing up. "I'll get them to stop!"
"Boy!" His father was on his trail, moving faster than Hiccup could ever dream of being. Big arms wrapped around his waist, picking him up before he could reach the top step. "Gobber!" He wrestled to get his only son back down the pillar but Hiccup was adamant. He has to get up there; the dragon leader had to see him and his precious one. "I won't lose you again, son!"
"You have to do this!" Hiccup cried out. "I'll be all right – trust me!" He brought his elbow up, hitting his father upside the chin. Like always, it did little to deter his bigger father but it did draw attention to the pillar from the one dragon that was barely seen in the night. The pillar rocked at the big dragon's weight as it came to a stop at the top, watching them with big yellow-green eyes full of anger. Hiccup broke out of his father's hold, repositioned his bundle in his arms and made his way up the final stairs.
His father's hand fell on his own but was shaken off as Hiccup approached the beast that was so much smaller than some of the other dragons now pillaging the village but so much more powerful. It made his heart flutter, his nerves shake and his body wanting more. He opened the blankets, letting his bundle out into the open for the first time. Besides his father and midwifes, no one had seen his little boy and he doubted the people of Berk could see the baby this late at night.
"So you've finally come to take us back, Toothless."
Hiccup the Useless had encountered his first dragon when he was ten. He'd been down by the river, tossing sticks into the sky and trying to feel more like a Viking warrior than a painful sore on his father's hide when he hit something. Jerking back, he gazed over the green foliage, looking for what. Yellow-green eyes gazed back at him, but he didn't notice. His senses weren't as trained as the warriors in his village and, although tense and sure he'd hit something, he continued through the woods to his favorite cove.
He didn't see the dragon when it jumped him, pushing his small body into the mud and muck. Trying to crawl out from under the heavier body, he screamed and fought, yelling as many obscenities as he could to make it not want to eat him but he knew words would get him nowhere as a mouthful of sharp teeth came towards his head with a dangerous growl.
And like that, the creature was gone, off his back and moving towards the water. Hiccup rolled over on his back, looking over the dragon that had just spared his life. All black and catlike, it was something he'd never seen before – and that scared him. There were only a handful of known dragons in Berk and this wasn't a listed one in the book. He held his fur vest for dear life, watching the dragon as it moved around the lake, watching the fish swim. His long tail slithered back and forth before he dived under, returning only seconds later with what looked like he had a full gullet.
Hiccup could only watch the thing as it regurgitated the food before happily working through the array of fish, mouthful at a time. He moved around the content dragon, watching his footing as he made his way closer to the unknown reptile. Think little thoughts, he told himself as he got within the dragon's attack range. It didn't do anything, just watched him irritably, a fish dangling from its lips. It sucked the up trout in before going back to eating his pile.
Not even a tail length away from the dragon, Hiccup jerked away when a fish skidded in front of him, the thing coming to a dead stop at his boots. He raised his arms back, unsure if this was an attack or an offering. Judging by how the dragon went back to eating, contently, he was going to say an offering. He bypassed the fish, however, and made it a few steps closer, almost able to touch the dragon. It turned over its shoulder, a deep hiss escaping its lipless mouth.
Hiccup slid back, tripping over his feet as the next sound towards him was a screech, directly in front of his face. A Night Fury, his mind cried out. He was going to die. He hadn't even told his father he loved him when he left, too mad to even talk to the bulking Viking who had implied that they village could do without Hiccup being so 'Hiccup-y'. He bit his bottom lip, trying to prepare himself for the onslaught of attacks. Nothing happened, leaving him to crack open his eye and watch the dragon stalk away to his food
He'd been warned about Night Fury's of course but this one wasn't playing by the rules. It was watching him but out of interest. Hiccup fell to his knees in front of the fish gift he'd been given, looking over the meal. The big dragon perked up, watching Hiccup and the fish. Putting his hands under the fish, Hiccup picked up the item, alarmed by its size. He'd seen fish in the cove, sure, but never this big! He carried the item to the dragon's pile, dropping it on top.
The dragon's head turned back, its mouth opening some.
"Hey! Where'd all your teeth go?" Hiccup leaned forward.
The dragon snapped at his fingers, teeth suddenly there. When Hiccup jumped back, the dragon returned to eating his pile, his large wings raised behind him. Hiccup rolled his shoulders, trying to relieve the fear deep within him. So far the dragon hadn't done anything to him that should warrant all this fear. He'd been territorial but not scarily so. All smoke and no fire, Hiccup decided as he approached the dragon again. This time he came in from the side, reaching for the large wings.
One folded back before suddenly pushing out, knocking the little human to the side. Hiccup grunted when he hit the ground, equally surprised when the weight remained on him, the dragon's wing flopped back to keep him pinned. It was heavy and warm, like a comfortable blanket. He wiggled and rolled, trying to escape from under the dragon. His back slid across rocks and dirt, his shirt riding up, his vest falling open. After a few attempts, Hiccup found himself giggling.
All fear of this Night Fury disappeared as he called out, mockingly, from under the wing, "Toothless! Toothless!" The wing disappeared and the dragon rolled on him, heavy and bigger than the wing had ever been. The creature bared sharp teeth, contrasting to the nickname being given to him but Hiccup was having way too much fun to back down. Sharp nails raked along his form, leaving a coil in the child's belly.
Laughter escaped from his lips. His sides! He forgot how ticklish he was! He squealed in delight when the dragon repeated that nail motion purposely.
"Ha! Toothless! Toothless!" The child screamed out again, shaking like a leaf from all the excitement.
Sharp white teeth bore again, this time nipping at his chin. It didn't scare him; it left another pleasant feeling around him. The growl of the bulky dragon, the scratching of claws along his side, the breath against his collarbone, it was too much. He was doubled over with laughter, begging the creature to let him up – he couldn't take it anymore. He squealed when sharp teeth clamped against his collarbone. What should have been painful only made him laugh. A wing tip brushed against his neck and the child wheezed heavily. The teeth retracted, brushing its gums along his collar.
Panting, the child plopped against the ground. His senses returned, his fingers moving to his collar awkwardly. "Y, you bit me." He whimpered, suddenly. He thought they'd been playing…
He and the dragon jumped. The creature retracted his wings, growling at the Viking running towards them. Hiccup tightened his vest around his small frame, trying to hide the bite his friend had given him but it was too late. His father had seen enough to draw his own conclusions. The mallet slammed forward, towards the dragon's skull but it missed as the Night Fury took off into the air, leaving the child and his meal behind.
Dropping to his knees in front of his son, Stoick gathered his child in his arms, looking over the damage caused by the dragon. Hiccup's fingers grazed over the bite, unsure how to handle this. The dragon's mouth looked powerful, why didn't he just take the entire shoulder? His father didn't answer that, firmly telling him that dragons never played by the rules. He clung onto his parents bulking shoulders as the man brought him back in the villages to be thoroughly inspected
It would be months later before the next dragon attack. While his father bought with the Viking Warriors, Hiccup was ordered to stay inside – incase that dragon came back to finish what he started. Hiccup shook his head, as if the Night Fury would waste time looking for a weak Viking who couldn't even pass Dragon Camp. The little Viking curled up on his bed, arms wrapped around his body. He was supposed to take shelter in the armory but he didn't want to leave his home. All he could think about were the others, the kids who had passed their exam and were now out with their parents, protecting the village. Didn't his dad understand his worries?
How was he supposed to become a man if he would always be seen as a kid? A woman didn't want a Viking who couldn't defend against their ever-present enemy, the dragons.
Something dropped on the roof. Eyes snapping open, Hiccup looked towards the ceiling, waiting for it to collapse or set fire. He was too scared to move even though it was vital that he get out of that house. He screamed when he saw yellow-green eyes at his window followed by the shift of the night. Something scuffled in his room, becoming apparent only in contrast to his small room. Camouflaged no more, the Night Fury sat on its hind legs, looking at Hiccup with interest.
"Toothless!" It growled lowly but Hiccup ignored the wing trying to slap against the top of his head. "No, wait, you're a dragon-!" He tried to get around the creature, to grab his battle axe still leaning against the wall. He only accomplished having his body thrown back against his bed, the large reptile scuttling on his floor to get closer. Scared, Hiccup waited for teeth to snap at him but it never did.
Opening his eyes, Hiccup frowned when he saw – clamped in the Night Fury's toothless jaw – was a toy. Reaching out, the child took the wood carving from the dragon, looking over the intricate design. "It looks like you." He whispered, dumbly. The dragon sat back, looking pleased. "I, is this for me?" The child asked. When the dragon nodded, Hiccup felt his jaw hit the ground, the animal understood him! His grip on the toy tightened. "T, today's the start of my eleventh summer." He smiled, hugging the toy to his chest. His father had given him that battle axe he wanted earlier and now the dragon had given him a toy. "Where did you get this?"
The dragon made a purr noise, head flicking back in pride.
If Hiccup didn't know better, he would think the dragon was trying to tell him he made it. "Yea, well…thanks. This is nice." He tucked the toy in his hands. The dragon cooed and pressed its flat nose against Hiccup's face. Unsure what to do, Hiccup allowed it, holding his toy in the air. He climbed out of his bed, shuffling through the room, the wooden dragon raised gracefully high in the air. "Ah! It's another Night Fury!" He moved around the room, swinging the toy around while making small 'whooshing' noises.
Toothless danced around him, jumping from various objects to join the play. Every so often his tail would flick around, swatting at Hiccup, but it went unnoticed as the two played games. The village being attacked made no connection with Hiccup's mind as he enjoyed his time with his new friend until the creatures head shot up to a loud roar in the distance. His tongue lapped at Hiccup's face before he flew out the window, cooing in the sky before disappearing in the night.
Hiccup giggled, clutching the toy to his chest before rushing to get his boots on when the village sounded the horn that the dragons had all fled.
His father remained unaware of these visits.
At sixteen, Hiccup was on a mission. He only had a few hours before nightfall and he didn't want to miss out on his window of opportunity. If experience had taught him anything, wherever he was, Toothless was sure to follow – especially on the eve of his birth. Grabbing a sack from the pantry, Hiccup ignored the questioning gaze of his father as he went about the houses collecting items.
"You're in a rush." His father watched him. "Perhaps, instead of playing out in the woods, you should stay back and train with the kids for the next dragon exam." His words seemed neutral enough but for Hiccup they were an attack on how he'd failed that exam again – for the fifth time. He was tired of it all, no longer feeling the urge to fight dragons like other Vikings wanted to. After meeting Toothless, he didn't feel like he was much of a Viking to begin with. His father was the only thing keeping him in this village instead of going out to find other villages.
"I told you, I'm going to be a blacksmith." His designs and inventions had won a lot of respect where his fighting skill had caused nothing but ridicule. One of the items in his bag was a saddle he specifically created for Toothless. The dragon didn't know it, but they were going to fly tonight.
"Son, you can do that when the dragons have ripped off your limbs—"
"Like Gobber?" Hiccup grabbed his elbow. "You want to wait until I'm nothing but a stump of a torso and then go into something I'm actually good at?" He didn't mean it. He still looked up to his father but he no longer wanted to give up his morals to be like all the other Vikings. His father sighed, running a hand through his long red beard. He always spoiled his son, especially after his wife passed on but there were some things he would never slacken on.
"Go tonight. You have another exam in two days with the kids." He brushed off his son. As Hiccup was leaving the room, he heard his father whisper under his breath, "I just don't know what's wrong with that boy, Valhallaram, but may Thor look out for him."
Shifting his bag, Hiccup darted into the woods. His green eyes focused on the ground, watching the dirt being kicked around by his feet. His eyes stung, tears tucking in the corner. He skidded into the cove, throwing his items to the ground before releasing a rough scream. "I hate him!" He kicked the ground. He panted and screamed, pacing the area like a hungry dragon before he finally found the will to cool down.
Dropping to his knees by the stream, Hiccup began fishing, collecting enough trout to tide the dragon over so he could slip the saddle on the unsuspecting dragon. He was pulling out the first collection of trapped fish when he felt a heavy weight bump into him, pushing his small frame into the water.
Spitting dirty pond water from his mouth, he glared at Toothless, out hours before he usually was. "You ruined the surprise." He spat climbing out of the pond, his clothes weighted down by water and a stray fish. Plucking the annoying animal from his tunic, he tossed it haphazardly in the air, no longer impressed that Toothless caught it mid-fall. Opening his burlap sack, he pulled out the leather saddle he'd been working on for months, the design constantly changing as he watched Toothless body move. No need to make this uncomfortable for the dragon, he hummed softly.
"Toothless!" He cried out joyously. The dragon looked up from his private fishing, watching the teen with some annoyance. At least, Hiccup giggled to himself, he wasn't as sensitive to the nickname. "Come here for a second, I have something for you." The dragon did. "Stay!" He held his hands up, signaling stop. The dragon did, playfully. His paw remained in the air, just above Hiccup's head while Toothless slowed his breathing to become a statue. A chuckle escaped from Hiccups mouth, enjoying the dragon's antics – they never ceased to amuse him.
Ducking around the dragon, the Viking snapped the harness on. He worked fast at the task, especially as he felt the dragon stiffen under him. "There!" Hiccup jumped back, watching with a pleasant smile as Toothless sniffed at the new accessory on him. He shook his form, trying to throw the item off but it didn't work. "I want to ride this summer." He grabbed his friend by the side of his face, rubbing the scales just under his chin. The lizard cooed, dropping to the ground, giving the human plenty of time to try mounting.
One foot in the harness, he felt the reptilian attempt to shake him loose, tossing him aside. Hiccup grunting as his body hit the ground and two black feet stamped over him. Toothless leaned in, his fangs glistening in his mouth. Hiccup's heart pounded in his chest. Run, idiot! He kicked back, pushing away from the dragon. His next move was to twist and prepare to thrust himself out from under the heavy reptile. Feet ready, he sprang forward – only to have his body pushed into the dirt, sharp fangs against the nape of his neck.
"Get away from him you devil!"
"Dad!" Hiccup felt his heart quicken. The teeth ripped into his vest, grabbing him up and stuffing him in the saddle. Instinctively, he grasped on the leather handles when he felt the wind rush to his head.
The ground disappeared under him. He was flying!
Reaching for the dragon's neck, he winced as Toothless narrowly dodged his father's weapon, shooting back a fireball that was easily extinguished by the powerful Viking leader. The dragon hissed and started high in the air, his passenger clinging on for dear life as the clouds rushed beneath him. He was going to die! He clenched tightly to the harness again, just feeling his body slide out from under. The ground was too far away, he'd be nothing if he fell from this altitude. "Toothless! Take me back!" He kicked his legs wildly but the dragon ignored him, straightening out along the clouds with a screech into the heavens.
Faintly Hiccup could see Berk under them, disappearing as they went farther away, to the rigid north that all the dragons seemed to flood after battle.
Knowing he was stuck, Hiccup kept close, pressed against the warmth of the dragon as he was taken away from society and through a magical field he barely noticed existed.