Lightning And Death Itself Chapter 1

A/N: the concept of this story is old and moldy, but I still felt the need to write one of my own, with my own twists on the idea. I've tried very hard to avoid any OOC stuff, especially with Toothless. Most of these stories start with Toothless taking action as payback for Hiccup shooting him down. But what if he did it for more benevolent motives?

o

Night Furies are not supposed to scream in terror. Lesser species do that.

But the Night Fury called Toothless was screaming, and it wasn't a battle cry. He and his human friend, Hiccup, had gone flying with his artificial tail and saddle gear for the first time. After a few exciting but uneventful minutes, things started to unravel fast. Hiccup flew off Toothless' back at the top of a climb, and both of them tumbled out of control until it was almost too late. Somehow, Hiccup got back in the saddle, and they both got pointed in the right direction. But that "right direction" led them straight into a maze of rock towers and tunnels that no sane dragon would try to fly at half-speed, never mind the near-terminal velocity they carried out of their downward plunge.

As they rocketed toward certain injury and possible death, Toothless could feel the human's fear, mirroring the fear in his own heart. Someone's blood was about to get spattered on those rocks. But suddenly, Hiccup's terror turned into determination as strong as steel. He felt the boy lean forward and pull them into a tight curve. Toothless had no choice but to trust Hiccup's untested and unpracticed ability to fly, and unbelievably, he was a natural at it. He turned the tail at just the right angles at just the right moments, threw his own weight into turns and rolls, and gave Toothless the confidence to give it all he had. It was all over in a few terrifying seconds. Somehow, against all possible odds, they made it through unscathed.

They shot into the clear air over the sea, and Hiccup raised his hands over his head with a shout of triumph. Toothless' face was covered with a draconian smile as well. But it wasn't just because they'd survived an impossible ride together. Hiccup had shown some qualities about himself that no one else suspected. He could muster courage to overcome fear; he was determined, not a quitter; he was committed to his relationship with his dragon; and he understood flight. Toothless smiled because he now knew his rider was a near-perfect candidate for the transformation.

He shot out a fireball, not the usual blazing bolt of destruction, but the special one that would become a Vortex. He pumped his Power into it, preparing it for the irrevocable moment. And then, unsure why, he stopped. The Power bled back into him, and the special fireball dissipated into a normal fire that scorched Hiccup's hair and clothing even as he complained, "Oh, come on!" Toothless couldn't understand why he had hesitated. Would there ever be a better candidate, or a better time?

It seemed utterly unlikely. But he'd backed away, and the moment could not be reclaimed. Maybe he might get a second chance.

The next day was the day that changed everything. Toothless and Hiccup were discovered by another human, one called Astrid, whom Hiccup cared about and feared at the same time. He made it plain that her escape was a bad thing, so he and Toothless captured her, persuaded her to go for a ride, and spun her until she begged for mercy. Hiccup didn't see the need for that part, but Toothless did.

As soon as the diving and spinning stopped, so did her terror. Like Hiccup, she had no fear of flying; she delighted in the endless beauty of the clouds. Toothless took them for a ride in the world where dragons dare, enjoying his friend's company and wondering what this other human intended.

He considered her. She was brave and determined. She was no friend of dragons, but she was at least willing to put her hostility aside for a season. And, most importantly of all, she was female. Two candidates at once – a matched pair, yet! A chance like this would not come again in two hundred years! Toothless blessed the weighted ropes that had brought him down, and the destiny that had made him hesitate yesterday, and the luck that had brought Astrid along today. There would be no hesitation this time.

He blew out his fireball and began infusing it with Power. The Vortex began to take shape in front of them, a spinning disc of wildly flowing colors floating in mid-air. Hiccup stared at it and broke their long silence. "Toothless, what is that?"

The Vortex reached full power. It crackled and spun, and Toothless dove straight into the middle of it. At the moment of contact, its power discharged like a bolt of lightning. Hiccup had a split second to remember something he had just read:

"Night Fury. The unholy offspring of lightning and death itself."

The light was too bright. The sound was too loud. The pain was too intense. Alien feelings and sensations flooded Hiccup's mind to overflowing, spinning his senses out of control. It might have lasted for half a second, or half an hour – he couldn't tell. And just as suddenly, there was no light but the fading sun, no sound but the wind whipping past his ears. That, and the scream of Toothless, who was plunging out of control without a rider.

Hiccup reacted instinctively, completely without thought. He quickly swooped down and pulled alongside his friend. There was no way for him to work the tail's pedals, so he flew next to Toothless and jammed his own tail against his friend's, supplying the needed stability. Side by side, wings overlapping, they glided together down from the skies to the lagoon, reducing their speed as they descended. They winged over the water as Hiccup tried to figure out how Toothless could land. He glanced down into the water.

He saw their reflections.

That was when he screamed.

He had been so single-mindedly focused on his friend's need for help, he hadn't realized he was relying on instincts and reflexes he shouldn't have had, and working with limbs he wasn't born with. Now he saw two Night Furies reflected in the still water, and his mind couldn't handle it. He closed his eyes with an incoherent cry, his tail went limp, and he swerved sideways and hit the ground hard, plowing a deep furrow as he painfully skidded to a halt. Toothless splashed into the water as soon as he lost the support of Hiccup's tail.

Hiccup tried to look at himself, but his head didn't turn like it should. He could see his arms, which had turned into strong, stubby forelegs, and he could see his tail, which shouldn't even have been there. He stared at Toothless as the dragon climbed out of the water and shook himself dry.

"Toothless, what have you –" His voice wasn't even his voice any more! It was the same mix of roars, grunts, and growls that Toothless used. The other Night Fury looked up and stared at him.

"It worked!" Toothless exclaimed. "We made it!"

Hiccup's brain shut down. He had somehow been turned into a dragon without being aware of it, he could fly, he couldn't talk like a human, but he could understand Toothless... this was way, way past the limit of what he could handle. He fell over on his side, tried to hide his head in his hands, hid his head with his tail when his front paws didn't reach, and cried like a lost child.

Toothless stood and watched him silently. I hope you learn to appreciate this, my friend, my brother. But please stop crying. Night Furies aren't supposed to cry.