At that particular moment in time, there were at least three dozen facts revolving around in the world of Hiccup that he could classify as 'a problem'. This one, however, managed to win the Problem of the Century Prize with its eyes closed.
Toothless was asleep. Rather normal, really. It was midday, they were in their favorite cove, it was warm, and although Toothless had changed his living habits drastically in accordance with Hiccup's schedule, he was still an essentially nocturnal creature, and enjoyed nothing more than an afternoon nap. To add to the normalcy, Toothless was a very peaceful sleeper. Hiccup had often theorized that it was some sort of survival instinct that all dragons shared in common, that they remained completely unmoving in sleep. If it wasn't for his breathing, Hiccup might have taken him for dead. Also, although Hiccup might not ever confess it to another soul, he often liked to watch Toothless sleep because the dragon usually slept with his face smashed up against his paws in a rather adorable puppy-like manner that made Hiccup smile.
All this taken into consideration, it was not actually Toothless' state of unconsciousness that was the problem. The problem, as Hiccup tried to understand it all with a gape-mouthed expression, was the inescapable conclusion that this was, in fact, Toothless. At least, so far as he could figure, it had to be Toothless. How? He hadn't the slightest idea. There were black scales lying around him, and that subtle smell of fish, and some nagging logic in the back of Hiccup's mind told him that it had to be, because really, what other explanation was there? Still, it was hard to believe.
Cautiously, Hiccup shuffled over and poked him in the shoulder. Toothless shrugged him off with a murmur that didn't really sound right, and Hiccup quickly rebounded with another poke. Eventually, Toothless roused with a displeased groan and turned. Hiccup stared back and didn't have the presence of mind to check his shocked expression as Toothless looked up at him.
Green eyes, weathered skin, freckles everywhere and hair black as night. And very, very human.
"Toothless?" Hiccup squeaked out experimentally. The bleary-eyed man lying on the ground blinked up at him and moaned a strange affirmative. "Y-you alright there, bud?" Another growl, this one sounding almost like words, but ones that Hiccup didn't understand. The man's face grew confused when he heard his own voice, and turned to alarm after a few experimental non-Norse words. Then, in his confusion, he bothered to look down at himself. He stared for a long moment, and Hiccup wasn't entirely sure what he was thinking. He was about to ask, but then Toothless attempted to move his right leg, and the human body underneath him did it instead.
The screaming wasn't so disturbing for the fact that it was screaming as it was for the fact that it was so human. Toothless jumped up and Hiccup wished he hadn't because he didn't know how to work a bipedal body, and stumbled haphazardly, managing to slice open a cut on his calf in the process.
"Toothless, Toothless!" Hiccup waved his arms out like he normally would with a dragon, this time with a human who was supposed to be a dragon. "Stop! Stop, just calm down, bud, it's alright!"
Toothless fell over again, but stayed down, his head flying up to look at Hiccup with wild eyes. Hiccup met them, and there was a pause as they settled, Toothless near to hyperventilation but gaining control over himself slowly. Hiccup forced a reassuring smile and stepped closer. As he did, he finally realized something else. His eyes bugged and he looked away.
Of course, dragons didn't wear clothes, so he supposed it made sense (in a strange sort of way that he feared would become typical) that Toothless would be stark naked. Hiccup gave a longsuffering sigh and rubbed his eyes. When, exactly, had his life devolved into messes like this? Eventually, he looked back up at his friend, despite the burning in his face.
"Alright there, bud? What happened to you?"
Sprawled out awkwardly on the ground as he was, Toothless flicked his eyes over to Hiccup. He opened his mouth and then closed it again. He squinted through a very messy mop of hair, his expression a perfect human replica of the look that Toothless had given Hiccup when he'd first mimicked a smile.
"Shhhhhhhhrrrwaaallll…" He tested, moving his lips and tongue around experimentally. He tried to look at his own mouth as he spoke, and ended up cross-eyed (which really looked rather ridiculous) "Loorrrssssssssstarnnngguul." He huffed. "Slllfffff. Ff- ngg. Thhh? Nngg. Hhh. Hhh! Hiiiiiiinnng. Nnng!" He huffed angrily, clenching his fists. Hiccup was watching him with a sort of befuddled expectancy, and Toothless turned big green eyes on his friend, almost begging some sort of help. "Hhhiiiirrrr… hiiiii…chhh..ccckk. Ck! Hiicccccckhhuuuhhh." And then he stopped and pursed his lips, squinting hard. He took a deep breath, and looked directly at Hiccup. Then, all at once,
"Hiccup!" He said, popping the 'p'.
Hiccup stared, and slowly, blinked.
"Hiccup." Toothless said again, making sure he'd gotten it right. "Hic-cup!"
Hiccup wasn't sure what do to. But he was beginning to feel a bit faint, so he decided to sit down, across from Toothless, who, in his master's distraction, had drug himself somewhat upright into a sitting position against a rock.
"You can talk?" Hiccup blurted suddenly.
The expression that Toothless gave him could only be described as thoroughly offended.
"Well, no, I'm sorry, of course you can talk, I know you talk, you've always talked in a sort of… dragon-y way… I mean you guys obviously must have your own language, but I mean… you can… understand me? You know Norse?" And of course in the back of his head, all Hiccup could process was oh my gods I'm talking to – with Toothless, I'm talking to my dragon who is a human oh gods, Toothless is human! Why is he human? What in all of midgard is going on?! Toothless, immune to his master's fervent thoughts, was concentrating on his own words, muddled as they may be.
"Hhhnnnoortse?" Toothless tilted his head.
"Norse. The language of Vikings. Humans."
"Norse!" Toothless' eyebrows raised. "Norse," he said strongly, and nodded his head. "Hnnuuundersteend. Nnggot eevar ables to spek. Spik. Speak. Speak!" He smiled at his own success and revealed a wide shining row of whites: on the short side, but no less charming when bared.
"You mean you've been able to understand everything I've said? All this time? As a dragon?"
"Unnderstandeden," Toothless nodded. "Nnnot can spek assss dragon. Dragon." Toothless' face grew troubled, and he looked back down at his human self. "Dragon!" He leapt up sideways and started panicking again, legs uncoordinated beneath him.
"No no, Toothless, stop! You'll only hurt yourself! Calm down!" Toothless did, and was once again on the forest floor within seconds, but this time turned to glare up at Hiccup.
"Whhyyyhen ggnoot dragon? Norse. Vi-kingr," He moaned confusedly.
"I don't know, bud," Hiccup came nearer, forcing himself to ignore Toothless' nakedness and instead focusing on the blood pouring down his calf. "I was hoping you could tell me. But, right now, you need to be careful, you don't have scales to protect you anymore." He reached out and touched the cut. Toothless hissed and pulled away, looking down to see the blood for the first time. His eyes widened, but he made no noise. Hiccup fetched some water from the lake with the kit he'd brought to eat lunch. Toothless allowed him to wash the wound, and said nothing as Hiccup looked vainly around for a bandage. Eventually, he sighed, looked down at his own clothes, shrugged in resignation, and used his dagger to cut out the seem that connected his sleeve to his tunic. He pulled it off, leaving him awkwardly one-sleeved, and used the material to bind up Toothless' injury. Just as he was tying off the makeshift bandage, Toothless grabbed Hiccup's arm around the bicep.
"What the- Toothless,"
Toothless ignored the protests and laid his arm out alongside Hiccup's, examining the difference in shade, size, and texture. Toothless was several shades tanner than Hiccup, like he'd been living in the sun his whole life, (which, he had) and he was older and leaner, but behind all the differences, it seemed as though Toothless' human form was just as prone to freckling as Hiccup's was, and it was this that Toothless seemed to have noticed most.
"Hiccup, sssssame." He looked up at Hiccup to see if he'd understood. "Ssame. Sprrol…" he huffed, having lost his words. "Spppooots. Spots. Same spots." He pointed, and looked up at Hiccup for an explanation.
"Freckles? Uh, yeah," He pulled his arm away. "Sunburn and pale skin will do that to you," he complained dryly. Toothless didn't catch the humor, and appeared thoughtful instead.
"Same. Same… speecities?" He frowned. No, that wasn't right. "Speeciees."
"Species?" Hiccup asked.
"Species! Der Vi-kingr," He looked excited.
"Species of Viking?" Hiccup repeated dubiously. Toothless nodded, proud to have communicated, but Hiccup shook his head. "Toothless, there's only one 'species' of Viking. We're all human, and there's not really more than one breed of human."
Toothless blinked at him, understanding but not, and his face cleared like this was a cosmos-altering discovery that couldn't possibly be true. He shook his head vigorously. "Nooo. Nooono. Aren many-an Vi-kingr specieees. Aren bushy browen vikingrs ander knotted rellow vikingrs, ander thickens dotted vikingrs…" It appeared that, in this sort of curious excitement, Toothless' mouth could work more efficiently in Norse, so Toothless proceeded to rattle off a long list of names for various 'Viking species' in quick succession. As he did so, Hiccup realized that the dragons, while learning of their new neighbors, must have classified the Vikings of Berk into 'species' of Viking, much as the Vikings did with the various breeds of dragons. He found himself smiling, and only came out of his internal amusement over the whole idea in time to hear Toothless finish off his listing.
"Ander courses, hiccupsrn vinkingr."
"…Hiccupsorn?" Hiccup was almost afraid to hear the explanation.
Hiccup frowned. "I… have my own species?" He asked, not sure if he should be insulted or flattered.
Toothless nodded like it was the simplest thing in the world. "Hiccup issn only off kind," He poked a finger on Hiccup's chest. "One off kind. Hiccupsrn vikingr." His mouth quirked up in a grin, and he carefully pointed back to his own chest. "Same, Toothless," (he looked proud when he got his own name right on the first try) "Onlyn off species Nightfurers en Berkn, Toothless." He smiled wide again, and the grin was so disarming that Hiccup found himself smiling back.
"Oh. Well…" He sighed, wanting to correct Toothless, explain how Vikings weren't species, but then there was that smile, so pleased and friendly, and those eyes, bright and full of that happy-to –please fondness reserved only for his best friend. Hiccup couldn't bring himself to correct the misunderstanding. "Right. Species of Vikings. That's one for the books. Now, look…" Hiccup shook himself and turned a serious face on Toothless. "Now that you can talk… more or less… what happened to you, bud? Why are you…" He gestured up and down, "Vikingr?"
Toothless squinted hard at the ground, and shook his head. "Nott… remembering. Wass in sleep. Went into sleep in dragonskins, came out of sleep in vikingrskins. Feeled not anything in the sleep, not except… sleep." Toothless' expression was growing troubled again, and breaths were beginning to come shorter again. "Why… why not remembering, Hiccup? Why not dragon? Not remembering, not remembering, wanting to remembering…" He brought his hands up to his head in despair, and made some strange noises like moaning, using the same non-norse words that Hiccup had heard him use earlier.
Just as quickly as he'd descended into his panic, Toothless calmed down again, but did not move from his bent position, head in his hands. Hiccup watched, unsure and tense, as Toothless allowed his new fingers to play through the black hair on his head, and although Hiccup couldn't see the man's eyes, he could tell that he was frowning in concentration, studying his new body in touch and sight. His shoulder blades bobbed and his feet squirmed, but he remained curled up over himself, fidgeting but not really moving, utterly silent, right up to the point where he looked up at Hiccup, and briefly back down at his own naked body, before asking in complete seriousness,
"Is Hiccup looking same strange as Toothless unders vikingr fake-skins?"
It took a few seconds to gather Toothless' meaning (seconds which Toothless took to further examine his strange body) but after Hiccup finally deciphered Toothless' syntax, he closed his eyes and then he was the one bent over with his head in his hands, moaning.
He had the distinct feeling that that it was going to be a long, long day.
A/N: I have no excuse or explanation.
I think it's something to do with how intelligent the dragons seem, combined with their very human-esque personalities. Of course I've wondered what they might be like as humans, Toothless especially. The dragons are able to speak in the books, and the absence of this interaction is perhaps the only thing I dislike about the movie.
Human Toothless is a really interesting concept to me, but in my experience, fanfic authors only ever turn Toothless into a human in order to use him as a sex object, which is as perverse as it is irritating. Assuming I pursue this story further, I have no intentions of putting any romance in it whatsoever, save for the canon Hiccup/Astrid ship, but that will be a sidenote if anything. Bromance is probable, but really, I started this as a pure character study. I don't even have any idea where the plot would take me.
Anyway. I'm not really sure why I wrote this (much less why I'm posting it) but I'm feeling some potential from the idea, so let me know if you guys thinks it's worth continuing.