Chase the Wind
Chapter One; Ready the Ships
Berk was wasting away. Hiccup could see it clearly. Years of stormy weather and ferocious seas, as well as a new group of Thunderdrums settling into the caves near the beach had made the island unstable. The dragons had widened the caves to accumulate their massive bodies and then their nests, and a neat collection of tunnels had been dug out. It meant that the stability of the island was compromised, and it could collapse at any moment. They had already lost one of the older houses when the floor had fallen through, crushing a Thunderdrum nest.
'What're we gonna do?' Hiccup asked himself, instructing Toothless to fly back to the village. Stoick had asked him to check out the island and find out what was going on. Now eighteen, Hiccup was still as scrawny as a fish bone. His voice had deepened, but not by much, and after a very awkward time of squeaking like a Terrible Terror. He also had a house of his own, littered with drawings of Toothless and the other dragons. He had had a hand in the making of a new Book of Dragons, and was the go-to guy when it came to the massive beasts.
Stoick was waiting for him in the Great Hall with Gobber.
'What did you find?' he asked in his thick accent. Hiccup put a hand on Toothless's head and sighed.
'Doesn't look good, Dad,' he replied, running his hand through his hair. 'The island could collapse at any minute. The Thunderdrums have worked their way into the centre of the island, and the foundations are … pretty much non-existent.'
Stoick and Gobber exchanged a nervous glance.
'How long do you think she'll hold?' Stoick asked, tugging on his beard – a gesture that Hiccup recognised as nerves.
'A month, maybe? If there's a serious storm, and this is Berk so that could be any day now, it could take the island down in a matter of hours.'
Stoick nodded, but there was worry etched on his face.
'Thankyou Hiccup. You can go, I'll discuss this with Gobber and Spitelout, and we'll decide what to do,' the chief said, and Hiccup turned and left the hall. He opened the door to his house and a delicious smell hit his nose. Toothless leaped up on to one of the rafters, and Stormfly, Astrid's dragon was directly underneath him, dozing quietly. Astrid herself was setting the table.
'Oh, you're back,' she said with a smile, and Hiccup smiled back. Living with Astrid was... trying. She was beautiful, but he didn't feel the same pull to her as he always had. But he kept it up until he could decide exactly what he wanted.
'Hi. Is that for me?' he asked, sitting at their worn wooden table. She nodded, and he took a bite of the food. He had to hand it to her, the woman could cook.
'That's delicious, thank you.'
She beamed at him, and sat down opposite, and he could tell there was something she wanted to ask him.
'So, what did you find when you examined the island?'
Ah, so that's what she wanted to know.
'Nothing good, I'm afraid. It's been completely eroded by storms and then those Thunderdrums have made it worse,' he muttered.
'So...what do we do about it?' Astrid asked, putting down her fork. Hiccup rubbed the back of his neck.
'I don't think there's anything we can do. If I were chief...we'd be leaving Berk'
'People of Berk.'
Stoick's voice boomed as he spoke, as it always did. He had the attention of everyone in the village, from the elders to the youngest members of the Clan.
'We have lived on this island for many generations, and it is our home. I was born here, and I had always assumed that this is where I would die.'
He really knows how to work the crowd, Hiccup thought with a smirk.
'However, it seems as though Berk is no longer safe,' Stoick announced with a pained expression. The villagers broke out in hushed mutters.
'What do you mean, no longer safe?' asked someone, and others began shouting as well.
'Berk is no longer able to support us. We must leave, before the island collapses into the sea. Pack your belongings, only the things you really need and load up the boats. We need to leave by the end of the week,' Stoick watched as his people stared up at him in horror.
'Leave Berk?' asked one woman – heavily pregnant. Hiccup could understand her insecurity with the idea.
'Aye. We'll head for the mainland, set up there. It won't be easy, that I know. But we're Vikings! We can handle a move like this.'
'What do you want us to do?' Gobber asked, and Stoick visibly relaxed.
'Gobber, you make sure everyone is armed to the teeth. We need to be able to protect ourselves. Spitelout, take some of the men and get the boats ready. Food for everyone – and a boat specifically for the livestock. We need to take them with us,'
Spitelout nodded and picked a handful of men to ready the boats. Gobber had vanished as well.
'Hiccup? Who can you trust to take care of the dragons? We'll need to harness them so they'll pull the boats. We can't stay on the water for too long,'
'Possibly... I don't know though,' Hiccup replied. 'I mean, the larger boats will hold a few dragons, so we can do it in shifts. Astrid and Fishlegs can do that. They know more about dragons than anyone else.' Besides me, of course.
'Right. Everyone else ready the ships. We sail at the end of the week!' Stoick roared, punching the air. The villagers gave a little half-hearted cheer and then disbanded.
'What about me?' Hiccup asked, desperate to help in some way. Stoick beckoned him away from the rest of the villagers who hadn't yet dispersed.
'I've been to the mainland once, it was a four day boat trip. On Toothless, you can make that journey in a day if you fly non-stop.' Hiccup frowned. Where was his father going with this?'
'I need you to fly to the mainland. I need to know if it's safe, if there's a place to set up a camp until I can speak with the authority of the land,'
'Authority of the land?' Hiccup repeated, and Stoick's face set into a grim expression.
'I can't barge on to the land of another chief, or perhaps King...without asking their permission. If a stranger came to Berk, I would expect them to submit to my rule, and I will give that same respect to the King of the mainland,'
'Be careful,' Astrid warned, and Hiccup rolled his eyes for the third time. Toothless wriggled beside him, eager to get going.
'Astrid, I'll be fine. No one is going to attack a fishbone like me, and if they do...Toothless will eat them, right buddy?'
The dragon growled affirmatively, and Hiccup gave Astrid a look that said 'so there'. She kissed his cheek lightly, and he looked up at Stoick. The chief had also come to see him off, and Hiccup could tell he was nervous.
'Dad, we'll be fine,' Hiccup assured him. 'Toothless and I have been flying together for a long time, okay? A day is nothing,'
'It's not the flying I'm worried about,' Stoick said. 'We, uh... we attacked the mainland once when I was a wee lad. Younger than you are now. I didn't go, of course, but we lost a lot of good vikings. They told tales of how the Clans united and fought with the strength of ten armies. We never attempted to take the mainland again, but I don't think they'll like to see us back again, especially with the dragons on our side...'
The sight of the endless sea made Hiccup feel strange. On one hand, it was beautiful, like the world would just go on forever, but on the other hand, it seemed as though Toothless could never fly that far. Not without tiring and crashing into the ocean - a fall that would surely kill them both. He chided himself for being pessimistic and patted the dragon's neck, making Toothless purr. They were simply gliding, keeping an eye out of any sign of the mainland.
'Hungry?' Hiccup asked, leaning forward on the dragons neck, and Toothless licked his chops. Hiccup pointed out a tall rock that jutted out of the water, and Toothless landed on it with ease, folding his wings and lowering his body so that Hiccup could slide off. In the last few years, Toothless had grown to his full size, almost twice as big as he had been. Hiccup took a moment to get his balance - the replacement leg couldn't really match a real one for balance on an unstable surface - then sat himself down and watched as Toothless started to catch fish for himself, and for later. He wrapped the smaller ones up in some thick fabric and tucked them into one of the bags he had made to attach to Toothless' saddle. He'd cook them up once they reached the mainland.
'C'mon bud, we've got a long trip ahead of us' Hiccup said, climbing onto the Nightfury's back, and they took off once more.
'Don't be dramatic' Hiccup playfully scolded the dragon, who sprawled his body out on the soft grass in a display of exhaustion. He unpacked the bags, set himself up a makeshift mattress stuffed with sheep wool, and started a fire. He cooked up a fish for himself, and leaned back against the warmth of Toothless' hide to watch the stars. They were on a steep cliff, but there was an old disused boat dock further down that the Vikings were able to tie their ships to, and a path that led to the top of the cliff. There was also a worn trail a little further in, worn down by horses over a long period of time. There was a large castle off in the distance as well that blocked out the setting sun. It was a very long way away, but Hiccup couldn't help but wonder if it belonged to the King of the mainland. He wondered if the stories were true - that he sat on a throne made of the bones of dragons, and that he drank wine from the skull of a Viking infant. And other such nonsense - of course he didn't do that. But Hiccup still didn't want to be caught out here by himself without his Viking family to back him up.
The sun disappeared, and the only light was that of the tiny crackling fire. Hiccup lay down on his sheep wool mattress, and Toothless covered him with a big black wing, blocking out any wind or rain, should it decide to fall. A living breathing tent, with an in-built heating system. Hiccup smiled to himself - it didn't get better than this.
Hello strangers, remember me? If not, well then dayum, I have been gone a while :S
I've not written a crossover before, so this should be very interesting, but I have the greatest love for both of these movies, and I can't get this idea out of my head, so here it is. Chase the Wind.
Every chapter is named after a song from either How to Train Your Dragon or Brave, because the soundtracks sound so amazing - especially when they're played together. So yes, the song for this chapter is 'Ready the Ships', from HTTYD.
Please leave a lovely review on the way out, it would make my day. Let me know if I can improve anything, or if you liked something, I will always answer every review personally.
Stay Shiny x