Monday, April 16, 2012

How To Love Your Dragon-Epilogue: Part 3 (Finale)

Posted by BlackGargie at 10:00 PM 0 comments

HOW TO LOVE YOUR DRAGON: GIFT FOR THE NIGHT FURY

Three days had passed since Toothless left with those brief 'I'll be right back' last words. During those days, Hiccup almost couldn't sleep at night and he would always wake before sunrise, hoping to hear Toothless back on his usual spot, thumping away at the roof to wake him up for their flight exercise for their baby. He had been feeling a little restless these days as his belly had stopped growing and been having slightly more backaches than he usually did, and all the while he worried if Toothless would ever bother to come back when the time comes or if he were ever want to come back after finally earning his freedom. He knew he couldn't think so lowly of Toothless, but he couldn't help it either.

Suddenly he heard the familiar thumping on the roof. Excited, but unable to move as quickly as he did before, he waddled as fast as he could outside, eager to reunite with his mate.

"Toothless! I knew you'd come ba…"

"Morning, son!"

Hiccup's elated face dropped as he saw that it was not Toothless, but Stoick who was helping out with fixing the roof tiles and decorating his home.

"Oh, hey, Dad."

"Glad you're up," Stoick beamed as he came down the ladder off the roof. "I was looking for your helmet."

"M…M-M-My…My helmet?" Hiccup stammered, remembering that he had lost it during their flight exercise.

"Would need a place to put your goodies."

"Yeah, well, I'll, uh, I'll get on with it…Great…" Hiccup muttered as he turned away, knowing that he would never find that helmet anyway, what with it probably sitting in the bottom of the ocean. Even if he knew where it fell, he would need Toothless to get him there—or at least a dragon—but neither was available. Stoick noticed his unenthusiastic tone and stopped him short.

"Hold on," Stoick waited till Hiccup faced him before continuing. "Hold on. What's in your mind? Come on, out with it."

"Well…" Hiccup sighed. "It's been three days, Dad. I just thought Toothless would be back by now like he said he would."

"I'm sure he's with the other dragons."

"Maybe, but he's the last one left. I'm the only one he bred with, and I'm right here. He didn't need to leave. I wish I could be that sure."

"Listen," Stoick sighed as well, feeling his son's sadness. "I know what it's like to miss someone this time of year. But what can we do when they can't be here for the holidays? We celebrate them, and that's what I imagine that's exactly what Toothless would want you to do. And I know he wouldn't miss the birth of his child for the world. He will be back, and you will be one big happy family again. Right?"

"You're right," Hiccup replied, knowing that his father spoke the truth.

"Good, now get that helmet," Stoick patted a little too hard on Hiccup's shoulder as he walked back to the village. "We have enough disappointment around here."

You and me both, Hiccup thought as he rubbed his shoulder painfully.

-:-

Hiccup, seeing that his dad was pretty much pre-occupied with other things, decided to let the helmet issue slide until he could work out an excuse. Due to his condition, he was not able to lift or carry heavy things around, so he was put in charge of supervising the kitchen of the Great Hall instead. Since he was pregnant and living his own life in his own house with Toothless, he had to learn to how to cook for himself, and it turned out that he adapted and mastered cooking in the kitchen as well as he did with mechanics. Like finding the right tools for an equipment, he could find the right ingredients for a dish, though he did need a little help from pointers, cookbooks and old-school housewives.

He was going to the docks to get someone to bring more fish for the stew when he bumped into Fishlegs who just so happen to be carrying a whole basketful of fish with him.

"Oh, are those for the kitchen or are you that hungry?" Hiccup noted at the amount of fish he was carrying. "There's enough fish there to feed a dragon."

"Huh…Oh…Huh, a dragon…That's…" Fishlegs laughed nervously as he trailed away, turning around and walking away quickly. Curious, Hiccup quietly followed him to which Fishlegs led him to the storage barn at the far end of the village. He secretly watched as Fishlegs went into the barn for almost 10 minutes, then came out empty-handed but happy and content as he left, making sure no one saw him. As soon as he was gone, Hiccup's curiosity got the better of him as he went in to investigate. The moment he stepped in, he felt something with glowing yellow eyes came towards him in the dark, sniffing at his belly and licking at his face. When Hiccup tried to gain composure and held onto whatever was slobbering him, a loud clank, like the sound of chains breaking, was heard and Hiccup found himself entangled onto the chain, indirectly tying himself onto the creature before it zoomed out of the barn and flew into the air.

"Meatlug?" Hiccup exclaimed as he recognized the creature once it was out in daylight. The dragon looked at him for a second, then continued flying with Hiccup tied around his side. They flew through the village and zoomed past Astrid, who was just about to look for him when the kitchen staff noticed he was being gone too long.

"Hiccup?" Astrid ran after the duo. "Where are you going?"

"I have no idea~!" Hiccup replied as he was taken further and further away from the village. As he tried to maneuver himself onto Meatlug while undoing the chains, he saw that they were heading towards the foggy area of Helheim's Gate. Barely missing a couple of rock pillars and a boat mast, Hiccup tried to ask Meatlug where it was taking him, but unfortunately, his bond only extended between him and Toothless and he couldn't understand what Meatlug was thinking even if he tried.

Meatlug soon flew higher up to avoid anymore unwanted accidents within the low visibility fog and went up above the clouds for a clearer view. Before they knew it, it was almost midday before Meatlug finally got to the end of the cloud cluster to reveal a huge reddish-brown crescent-shaped island surrounded by big rock pillars and small hills in random patterns. The sea collected in the center of the island like a huge bottomless pond, and the beach sand that connected it to the island shore gave out a rainbow-ish colour to it. Slowly Meatlug and Hiccup descended onto the island and the dragon gently let Hiccup get off before it went on its way to join the crowd.

As Hiccup stood at a high point to get a clear view, he saw dozens upon dozens of dragons of all species, all of them surrounded by newly hatched baby dragons of their own. There was a Zippleback grooming its young, a Gronckle napping at the side while its young were play-fighting with each other, and a Nadder who just got back from gathering food and was regurgitating it out for its young to feed. He finally found himself standing on top of the mysterious nesting grounds of the dragons Toothless was trying to tell him about.

"So this is where you guys come to have babies," Hiccup said in acknowledgement. He turned and saw a Gronckle pushing something into one of the small water pits around the beach area of the island. He went down to investigate and saw that the Gronckle was actually pushing its eggs in there and, as he peered into the water pit, the eggs glowed for a moment and exploded in the water before tiny little Gronckles swam their way out of the pit and made their way to their mother. Hiccup aww-ed at the cute little hatchlings, then saw an egg that the Gronckle missed.

"Hey, look, you missed one…"

Before he could reach down to pick it up, Meatlug lunged over and pulled him out of the way. Without warning, the egg exploded, almost throwing Hiccup back and blasting shards of egg shell shrapnel everywhere. The hatchling that burst out of the exploding egg fell down to earth with a plop, but it yawned as if it didn't bother him one bit before joining its siblings. Hiccup heaved a sigh of relief, grateful that Meatlug had pulled him away before he got blown off by the little dynamite, finally understanding what the water pit was for.

"Man, it's a good thing those don't hatch on Berk," Hiccup regained composure, wondering if this applied to all dragon eggs or just Gronckles, and wondered if his baby, if born an egg, might be that way too.

Hiccup continued to explore the island, calling out Toothless' name just in case he might actually be there with the dragons like his father said. Unfortunately, no such luck. Fortunately for his tired swollen feet and his backache, he found out that the bottomless pond was actually quite lukewarm to the touch, most likely because the island itself was volcanic in nature. He took off his clothes and submerged himself slowly into the pond, letting the warm water eased his aches and pains.

"Oh, Toothless, where are you?" Hiccup whispered worriedly as he soaked in there for about 10 minutes before getting out, drying himself and got dressed before continuing to explore. If he's not here…where could he be?

Soon he found himself on the other side of the island and saw all of Berk's dragons gathered there. Hookfang recognized him almost immediately and purred, letting out a chirp, catching the other dragons' attention.

"Hookfang!" Hiccup half-ran towards the Monstrous Nightmare, then went to Stormfly, who in turn nuzzled and purred at Hiccup's belly. "Stormfly! Oh, you have no idea how happy I am to see you guys. And you have…babies?" he knelt down to caress and stroke her three new hatchlings, "Aww, look at you guys all happy and together. Who knew you're leaving to celebrate your own…holiday…" he looked down a little sadly, the thought of Toothless crossed his mind again, but he tried to cheer up as he got up slowly, "I should be getting back to my holiday. So whaddaya say, Hookfang? Think you can get me a ride back home?"

Hookfang was only too eager to please as it let Hiccup climb onto it. The duo soon took off and was up in the air, pointing towards the direction of Berk.

"I'll see you all back on Berk when you're good and ready, OK?"

Somehow his actions spurred all the other dragons to follow, even those that did not belong to Berk. All the adult dragons opened their wings and started taking off, while the hatchlings soon followed suite, chirping and growling after their parents.

"Oh! No, no, no!" Hiccup protested, realizing what he had just done. "I, uh, I think I just started the return migration."

He looked down to see the dragons were all ready and good to go, not deterred by Hiccup's protests.

"Well, if you insist."

The adult dragons soon demonstrated to their hatchlings how to take off and take flight, but while all the dragons managed to show them just how it was done, the hatchlings weren't able to follow them as they were too light to withstand the undercurrent of the wind from the cliff and were blown back onto the island, leaving them stranded.

"Ah, this is never gonna work," Hiccup muttered as he watched the hatchlings trying it over and over again in vain, then he remembered something he saw in Helheim's Gate. "Oh! Hold on, I got just the thing."

He hoped this would work as he guided Hookfang to where he wanted to go.

-:-

Berk was in total disarray as everywhere looked like it had just been hit by a dragon invasion like they used to before the co-existence. Everyone was going about trying to fix their homes and property as tiny little Gronckle hatchlings gathered and lazed about at the barrels of vegetable produce. Astrid, in her sad attempt to lift Berk's spirits, found out from the storage barn where Fishlegs kept Meatlug in order to keep it from following the migrating dragons that Meatlug was actually female and had laid her eggs in that barn. She, along with the team, decided that they should gift the eggs to everyone in the village, but unfortunately, without knowing that the eggs have the tendency of spontaneous combustion when they hatched, ended up blowing up or burning everything in sight, including the Snoggle Tree. Needless to say, there was a lot of explaining to do on Astrid's part.

"Ahh, Gobber, this is a disaster," Stoick, after days of trying to keep his optimism up, sighed in defeat.

"Oh, it's not so bad," Gobber noted, thinking that this was small fry compared to the usual dragon invasion back then.

"Not that bad? The village is destroyed, the dragons have gone and left us, and I don't even know where Hiccup has gone to right now or what's happening to him or if he and my grandchild are OK! Face it, Gobber, this holiday is a complete…What are these people looking at?"

Stoick pushed past the slack-jawed villagers to look up at what they were seeing. At a distance, there was a group of silhouettes flying towards them.

"What is that?" Stoick squinted his eyes to get a better look.

As the silhouettes closed in, it revealed that it was Berk's dragons returning with something in tow. Flocks of other dragons that didn't belong to Berk had moved on to where they came from with their own tows but the ones that were slowly descended towards the village with it. As the light illuminated them more, Stoick saw that Hiccup was on Hookfang, leading the Berk flock home.

"It's Hiccup!" Stoick exclaimed.

"And our dragons!" Astrid exclaimed as well as she came down from the roof she was fixing.

The villagers cheered as the dragons slowly put down their tow, which revealed to be the Viking boat that Hiccup and Meatlug almost hit, and once it was fully grounded, the boat revealed to be all of Berk's hatchlings, scampering out and starting to explore their new home. One of the villagers helped Hiccup down as he was heavy with child and the travel kind of wore him out. Snotlout was the first among the villagers who made the move to reunite with Hookfang. Fishlegs was glad to be reunited with Meatlug, glomping her before she had the chance to watch her hatchlings that she left behind feed from her catch. Astrid was just glad and relieved that Stormfly was back, and cooed excitedly at her three little hatchlings. All in all, everyone was glad to have their dragons back, and having some additional little bundles of joy in the process.

"Well done, son!" Stoick said proudly as he hugged Hiccup, careful not to crush him though. "Are you alright? Is the baby alright?"

"Thanks, Dad," Hiccup chuckled as he was put down. "And yeah, it's fine. Don't worry. Strong as ever."

"That's good. I was getting a little worried when you disappeared," Stoick then turned to the villagers. "Everyone, grab your dragons! To the Great Hall! We finally have something to celebrate!"

No one needed to be told twice. The Great Hall was soon jam-packed with the villagers of Berk and their dragons. The decors were all colorfully illuminated by the hanging lights and the food and drinks were as good as any Viking feast would be. Hiccup walked around to inspect the food and, satisfied with them, looked around the Great Hall to see everyone young and old all happy, contented and gleeful, celebrating as if the dragons had never left, while the younger ones were having the time of their lives playing with the hatchlings who were getting to know their new surroundings. He could hear Fishlegs claiming that this was the best holiday ever while cuddling Meatlug's hatchlings, Snotlout laughing as Hookfang's hatchling blew fire at him (turns out Monstrous Nightmares have one or two hatchlings at most) and the twins fighting over guessing which ones were Poisonbreath/Firespark's hatchlings, since their Zippleback was male.

Everyone was into this joyous occasion.

Except him.

Hiccup looked at everyone sadly, his heart breaking into a million pieces even though his face tried to keep that smile and tried to feel happy for everyone. This was supposed to be where he and Toothless would be sitting at a corner, sipping mead or munching on a chicken drumstick or squabbling over who gets the fish or just enjoying each other's company while watching the festivities. Instead, here he was, heavily pregnant, surrounded by family and friends, and yet no one to share it with. Had Toothless really gone for good? Had Toothless really abandoned him? What if something had happened to him? What if Toothless decided that he liked being single after all and left him to fend for himself and the baby? What if…

"Hiccup," Astrid's voice called out as he looked up to see her coming towards him with a sorry look on her face. "I know this must be really hard for to see everyone with their dragons, but you really did a wonderful thing. Thank you."

Astrid leaned in to kiss Hiccup on the cheek before hugging him to comfort him. Hiccup hugged back, glad to have a best friend who understood him and encouraged him, but it wasn't enough.

"Astrid…where did Toothless go?" Hiccup asked, trying to fight back the urge to cry. "He should be here with me…with our baby…"

"I don't know…" Astrid said, but then suddenly turned around and spoke in a lighter mood. "Wow…Man, wouldn't wanna be you right now. I mean, you brought back everyone's dragon except yours."

"Yeah, you know this is not helping…at all…"

Hiccup was about to ask her why the sudden insult when Astrid suddenly turned him around to face the entrance of the Great Hall. To his shock and surprise, there was Toothless, alive and well and happily galloping towards him.

"Toothless! Hey, bud!"

Hiccup couldn't be happier as he ran towards him, forgetting that he was carrying a heavy bundle in his belly. Almost immediately, as everyone watched that touching scene, Hiccup lunged forward to give Toothless a bear hug, hugging him as tightly as he could, as if afraid that if he were to let go, Toothless would disappear forever. He was going to kiss him too when he felt an apologetic vibe through the bond, reminding him about how long he was gone and how worried and sad he made him feel.

"Bad dragon! Very bad dragon!" Hiccup scolded him, mad at him for leaving him behind just like that without a word, while Toothless just allowed himself to be scolded. "You scared me to death! Don't ever stay away that long again and…what is in your mouth?"

Toothless grinned and spat the thing he was holding in his mouth onto Hiccup's head, covering him with slimy dragon spit. In the midst of everyone cringing in disgust, Hiccup saw an image of Toothless flying around to the area where he dropped his helmet and realized it was the same helmet he had lost.

"Y…Yeah, you found my helmet…Wha-Hey! You found my helmet! That's where you've been?" Hiccup asked, in which Toothless, as he purred and nuzzled his mate, showed a series of images where he dived, swam, hunted, foraged and looked everywhere until he found the helmet safely buried under a whole pile of snow and mud in the middle of a dense yet small uninhabited island just miles away from where Hiccup lost it. Hiccup smiled and cupped Toothless' jaw. "Buddy, thank you. You are amazing."

Hiccup finally leaned in to give Toothless his dragon kiss, causing everyone to say 'Aww' at this sight. Toothless returned his kiss, glad that he was back with his mate and being together again. Suddenly, Hiccup felt like as if he just peed himself, and when he looked down to see what happened, he realized that his water had broken. Blood drained from his face as he knew what was going on.

"Oh gods…Oh gods, I think it's…"

Hiccup doubled over before he could finish his sentence, and as Toothless caught him before he fell and roared worriedly at him, Stoick started yelling for the midwife.

-:-

"That's it, Hiccup, that's it. Take a deep breath and push."

Hiccup whimpered as he held onto Toothless' underarms tight, pushing down as hard as he could, leaning back his head against Toothless' chest while the midwife held Hiccup's legs apart. 4 hours had passed since Hiccup had his first contraction and he was finally dilated enough to push the baby out. When the midwife was called, Toothless became defensive, as all dragons do when their mates are about to lay their eggs. It was his instincts as a male dragon to keep predators away from his mate during the egg-laying process, but since Hiccup was not a female dragon like all the others, he needed help. If it weren't for Hiccup's cries of pain and Stoick's gentle but firm words to explain the situation, Toothless would've not allowed anyone near Hiccup. Toothless refused to leave Hiccup's side though—he was very insistent about that—so the midwife had no choice but to allow the dragon to be with Hiccup.

"You're doing very good, Hiccup," the midwife encouraged as she helped to stretch Hiccup more to ease the delivery. "Looks like it's gonna be an egg. I can see the tip."

Hiccup waited for another contraction before he pushed down again. Tears streamed down his cheeks and his whole body was littered with cold sweat as he struggled to bring the little one into the world. He whined loudly as he could feel his womb stretching to expel the egg, in which Toothless purred and tried to comfort him by licking his tears and sweat away.

"Oh gods, Toothless, it hurts…It hurts…!"

Toothless purred some more, his voice rumbled near his ear, trying to send a calming, soothing vibe to Hiccup through the bond.

"Come on, Hiccup, you're halfway there. Keep it going, Hiccup."

"Oooww…" Hiccup whimpered as he held onto Toothless tighter as he pushed along with the contractions. His legs were going numb from the pain and were trembling with fatigue, and he could feel blood staining his inner thighs.

"That's it, that's it," the midwife coached as she got a hold of the egg and slowly helped him inch it out. "You're doing very good."

"I can't…I can't do it anymore…" Hiccup shook his head, gasping for breath. "It hurts…it hurts too much…and…and I'm tired…"

Toothless looked up at the midwife worriedly, wondering what was wrong with his mate.

"I know you're tired, boy," the midwife patted Hiccup's knee gently. "But if you don't do this, you're going to lose much more blood and you might risk endangering your baby's life as well as yours."

"But…But it hurts…"

"It usually does, but you've survived worse injuries than this. This is nothing. I know you're a strong boy. You're a hero to Berk, so be a hero to your child."

Toothless purred in agreement, licking his cheeks and giving him encouraging vibes through their bond, using his underarms to give Hiccup a helpful squeeze, as if telling him that he was there for him and he will be strong for the both of them. Hiccup, encouraged by both the midwife and Toothless, finally nodded and waited for another contraction before pushing down. The midwife quickly got back to work to pull the egg out.

"That's very good, Hiccup. Just a bit more."

"How…How much more…?" Hiccup grunted between pushes, feeling like he was going to black out sooner or later.

"Alright, this is it. One last push. Give me a big one, Hiccup."

Hiccup took a deep breath and pushed down his hardest, screaming out Toothless' name as the last and widest part of the egg finally slid out of him. His head was spinning as he felt the pressure and lump between his legs was finally gone, leaning back against Toothless and panting breathlessly. Toothless looked expectantly for more eggs to come but it looked like this was it. It was over.

"Sorry, Toothless. Only one egg. A human can only carry so many kids, you know."

Toothless sighed a little in disappointment, as he remembered being born in a batch of four when he was a hatchling, but one look at Hiccup who had passed out from the birth and his peaceful-looking face as he slumped against Toothless, exhausted and worn out, he knew it would be alright. Hiccup had been through a lot, and this was enough for him.

-:-

Hiccup slowly woke up to see Toothless sitting near the fire, the egg safely nestled within the burning embers. Ignoring the midwife's instructions to stay bedridden, he got out of bed and slowly walked towards Toothless before sitting down on his forepaws, watching the egg along with him.

"Is it almost time?" Hiccup asked, and Toothless nodded in reply. He sighed in relief, "Finally. These past three days felt almost like forever."

It was a double celebration for both Hiccup, Toothless and Stoick as the proud family welcomed the new addition to the Horrendous Haddock family, even though it was still an egg and yet to determine the gender of the hatchling within. Stoick, the proud grandfather, showed off the egg to the villagers waiting outside Hiccup's house with him (he practically wore a hole on the floor pacing around during the birth), much to Toothless' chagrin, and as all midwifery traditions go, Hiccup was to be bedridden for at least a fortnight to heal from the birth. Toothless took over babysitting the egg, his instincts kicking in as he kept the embers burning to warm the egg, letting it incubate till it was time to hatch. He wasn't sure exactly how long it would take for the egg to hatch, and Stoick came in every chance he got to see whether or not his little grandchild has hatched, but the dragon just let instincts guide him and today was the day his instincts told him might happen.

"I wonder what we would get," Hiccup thought out loud, then looked up at Toothless. "Do you think our baby will be dragon or human or hybrid? Or will it a girl or a boy?"

Toothless nuzzled Hiccup, telling him through their bond that whatever or however their hatchling would turn out, he would love them just the same. He then gave Hiccup a 'I wanna tell you something' look.

"What is it, Toothless?"

Toothless shifted a bit to drag out his old prosthetic fin and Hiccup's saddle, pedal and harness, putting it in front of Hiccup.

"Toothless, why'd you pull this out for?" Hiccup asked, surprised to see it before him, and even surprised at how the dragon managed to find it. "You don't need this anymore."

Toothless shook his head as he pushed them closer towards Hiccup, the bond urging him to put the old fin back on his tail.

"Toothless, quit fooling around. You have your new tail now…" Hiccup felt something was up as Toothless looked back at him expectantly. "…Toothless?"

That was when Toothless showed him his tail, and where the new fin was supposed to be was gone, no longer attached to him, and Hiccup saw a flash of image from Toothless that he had requested Stoick to take it off and keep it at Stoick's home for safekeeping.

"Toothless, what did you do?" Hiccup was shocked at what he just saw. "Wh…Why did you do that for? I made that just for you, I…"

Toothless brought the old gadgets even closer to Hiccup, nuzzling him, growling affectionately a little, telling him his reasons through their bond. He didn't need a new tail. He didn't need a substitute. He wanted Hiccup. He wanted Hiccup to be his tail. Hiccup was his tail, and nothing could replace that.

He chose to be grounded. He chose to stay.

With Hiccup.

Hiccup was at loss of words. All he could do was cry happy tears as he hugged Toothless, kissing him all over. Toothless cuddled him back and purred, licking his face and giving him dragon kisses too. In the midst of their making out, a small sound of crackling could be heard. They turned to see that the egg was beginning to hatch. Thankfully through Toothless' memories as a reminder, Hiccup remembered that Night Fury eggs do not explode like the Gronckle's did, so the exploding eggs were pretty much a Gronckle trait. Both of them looked longingly as the egg slowly cracked open piece by piece when Hiccup got it out of the fire embers so as not to burn the hatchling when it comes out.

The new parents were surprised to discover that there wasn't one, but two hatchlings inside the egg as they fully revealed themselves. One was a female pure dragon and a spitting image of Toothless, but with Hiccup's eyes, the other a hybrid boy, with skin the colour of his father with his father's eyes, ears, wings and tail, and his mother's mop of hair and facial features. Both of them squealed at their first breath of air, but the hybrid cried longer, like a normal baby would. While Toothless licked their daughter off all the egg goo and pieces of egg shells stuck on her, Hiccup gently picked their son up and quickly undid the top of his night robe he was instructed to wear during the bedridden period before giving him his first feeding of the day. Yes, Hiccup was also developed at that area, it seems, and his motherly instincts soon kicked in the moment their son latched onto his nipple and suckled hungrily.

"What shall we name them?" Hiccup asked as he nursed their son, while giggling at the way their daughter tried to crawl her way around Hiccup's feet, instinctively knowing that he was her mother.

Toothless purred and shrugged, allowing him to choose their names.

"Then I'll name our son…Valiant, and our daughter…Meteora, after my mother."

Toothless thought for a while and nodded, already liking it.

As they waited for Stoick's inevitable entry to their home, Hiccup and Toothless shared a tender kiss. This year's Snoggle-tog Hiccup had given Toothless a pretty great gift.

Toothless gave him a better one.

How To Love Your Dragon-Epilogue: Part 2

Posted by BlackGargie at 9:59 PM 0 comments

HOW TO LOVE YOUR DRAGON: GIFT FOR THE NIGHT FURY

Hiccup was awakened by the strong, deep thumping of the rooftop and an impatient roar. He groaned and went under the covers, trying to ignore it but it persistently continued, the dust flakes from the ceiling falling onto him. Finally, after a few nagging thumps, Hiccup surrendered and got out of bed.

"Alright, alright, I'm up…" Hiccup mumbled as he slowly pushed himself up, moaning a little at the weight of his belly and the slight strain on his back before he reached over towards the helmet to put it on. It had been a considerable few months since their wedding and they had recently just settled into their new home. Everyone chipped in to build the newlyweds home the week after the wedding, and it was built about a few blocks away from his old home with Stoick's.

Every day was like a new day for the newlyweds as they continued to play their role in educating the village on how to handle and train dragons, and everyone, though a little awkward at first, slowly eased in to the fact that Hiccup was 'different' than them, physically speaking. Due to his condition, he was not allowed to do any rigorous flying but he did coached at the sidelines as he and his fellow peers taught new recruits how to ride their dragons, and since now the dragons' manual "Book of Dragons" was considered obsolete due to their new discoveries, Hiccup and his team would gather at night in the Great Hall to rewrite the manual, adding new information to the book about the dragons they learnt.

Hiccup's pregnancy went pretty smoothly as the months progressed. He didn't have much of a morning sickness (it only lasted for a week) but he did have a big appetite, eating probably thrice the usual helping he usually did, which was fine with Stoick and the others, since Vikings have always had a healthy appetite and, well, Hiccup much less than most. He wasn't sure how long does an actual dragon pregnancy last, or whether or not it would follow a human's pregnancy or even a mix of both, and unfortunately since Toothless was not female (as all female dragons are born with the instinct to know these things), he couldn't tell exactly the duration of the pregnancy either. But by far, the midwife has been giving him and the baby a clean bill of health, and its growth was pretty much as normal as it could be, though Hiccup would sometimes feel like he was some kind of beached whale.

After freshening up himself, he went outside, yawning as he rubbed his arms for warmth. Looking up, he saw Toothless waiting up there on the roof, looking very excited as he felt it through their bond.

"Well, good morning, Mr. Bossy," Hiccup greeted humorously, in which Toothless replied with a dragon chuckle. Hiccup copied him sarcastically before coming closer to him, "I know our baby needs the regular morning flight exercise, but do we really have to wake up so early to go flying…!"

Hiccup's prosthetic foot lost friction on the ice and he slipped, but thankfully Toothless got down just in time to hold onto Hiccup before he fell. He held onto Toothless for support for a moment before he tried to regain balance.

"Stupid leg," Hiccup complained as he shook it a little to see if nothing was bent out of shape.

Toothless nuzzled Hiccup's belly worriedly, sniffing at it and purring, asking him through their bond if he was OK.

"Thanks, buddy, I'm OK," Hiccup smiled tenderly as he kissed his forehead. He preferred to call him 'buddy', his way of calling him 'honey' or 'hubby'. "Yeah, we can go flying now."

Toothless chirped happily, accidentally burping out his breakfast he had beforehand at Hiccup's face.

"Eew, wait, what, eew~!" Hiccup groaned disgustingly as he waved the smell of fish away, pouting. "Toothless~!"

Toothless gave his toothless grin, as if he didn't think it was any problem.

-:-

Everyone in Berk was getting ready for the upcoming Snoggle-tog, the celebration of snow and ice and tributes to the gods of winter. The Snoggle Tree was in place along with its decors and hanging candles, the outdoor and home ornaments were hung, the helmets were all laid out in their fireplaces for the upcoming presents and the Snoggle Feast was on its way in the kitchens of the Great Hall, amongst other things. This was just like any other Snoggle-tog preparation day, but this time they were not alone in celebrating it. This year, they had dragons to celebrate it with and the dragons were not exempted in experiencing the holiday mood as they helped out with the decors and also entertaining the young ones while the adults were busy.

"By Odin's beard, Gobber," Stoick said in amazement as he walked with the peg-legged blacksmith, making his rounds to see the progress of the preparations. "Vikings spending the winter holiday with dragons. What would our fathers think?"

"They'd think we lost our minds," Gobber laughed along with Stoick. "So how goes Hiccup and the Devil? Excited to be a grandfather soon?"

"Well, I dunno what to think of it actually," Stoick replied. "I must admit I am a little worried, since Hiccup is quite young to be a mother. We're not sure when's the due date, but I have a feeling that it'll be any day now, and Hiccup's a little too small and weak to handle a birth."

"Aww, give the lad a little more credit there, Stoick. What he lacks in strength and size, he compensates with spirit. He tamed that ol' Devil now, didn't he?"

Stoick chuckled, knowing that Gobber was right. Hiccup had been through things no Viking had ever imagined to face, and came out a hero and a man. And with Toothless, he would be sure to pull through. Taking another look at the village, he soon addressed them.

"Well done, well done, all of you," Stoick praised his villagers for their effort. "I never thought I'd see this day: Peace on the island of Berk. This will surely be the greatest holiday we've ever seen."

All the villagers laughed and cheered in agreement, concurring with Stoick's statement. It was definitely a holiday to be remembered for generations to come.

Suddenly Stoick felt a strange atmosphere in the air. He looked up and saw that there were flocks upon flocks of dragons in the sky, flying away to the direction of the South, all seemingly anxious to go somewhere. All the Berk dragons seemed to react the same as well as one by one, they growled and chirped excitedly and started taking off into the air without warning. Hookfang, Snotlout's Monstrous Nightmare, flew off in the middle of helping him to nail in the decors on the roof. Meatlug, Fishlegs' Gronckle was already halfway there racing towards the cliff. Stormfly, Astrid's Deadly Nadder already started flapping her wings and lifting off. It was a strange and alien sight to behold, and only one thought came to everyone's mind.

"Where's Hiccup?"

-:-

Hiccup and Toothless were gliding effortlessly through the clouds. Though tempted to do some daredevil stunts while they're at it, they had to think about Hiccup's condition, so other than flying through the clouds, weaving in and out through rock pillars and outrunning numerous birds through canyons, their flight exercise was practically safe and sound.

"Whaddaya say, buddy?" Hiccup asked as he patted Toothless' head. "Wanna go up higher again?"

Before Toothless could reply, they saw the incoming dragons ahead of them. Hiccup exclaimed in surprise as he and Toothless weaved around to avoid hitting any of them. In midst of it, one of the dragons clipped Hiccup's helmet and it came off, plummeting a couple thousand feet below.

"Oh no, my helmet!" Hiccup said, which prompted Toothless to go after it, as the dragon knew that it was a keepsake from Hiccup's mother and precious to his mate. Hiccup was taken by surprise as Toothless went after the helmet like it was the Holy Grail and shouted, "Woah! No, no, no, no~! Toothless, stop!"

Toothless heard him and opened his wings, stopping and flapping his wings in midair, the bond asking Hiccup why they stopped as his eyes darted around to see where the helmet dropped down to.

"We'll get it later, bud," Hiccup said, emphasizing it with his feelings through the bond. "We need to get back and find out what's wrong."

Toothless looked up at the dragon knowingly and looked around again for the helmet, then relented and followed Hiccup back to Berk. Hiccup could feel that Toothless knew something about this phenomenon through their bond, but he thought it would be best to know about it once they were in solid ground. If this were happening right now, Berk would probably be affected. As it turned out, he was right. He saw the last of Berk's dragons leaving the village with frantic villagers chasing after them in vain. Astrid begged Stormfly not to go but it fell on deaf ears before she noticed Hiccup touching down.

"Astrid!" Hiccup called out to her as he got off Toothless, running towards her.

"Hiccup, what is going on?" Astrid asked in panic. "Where are they going?"

Before Hiccup could answer, the villagers, driven by panic and confusion, surrounded him.

"Why did they leave?"

"What's happening?"

"What if they never come back?"

"Wait…stop…" Hiccup was overwhelmed by all the bombarding questions before he was saved by his father's booming voice.

"Calm down! Give him a chance to speak!" Stoick commanded as he pushed through the crowd. "Are you alright, Hiccup? Is the baby OK?"

Hiccup could only nod. He barely had time to catch his breath.

"Hiccup, where have our dragons gone?"

"Dad, I…I don't know…" Hiccup admitted sadly, but then saw Toothless conversing with Stormfly before the latter left to join the flock. "But I think Toothless does. Toothless!"

Toothless roared a goodbye to Stormfly before turning towards Hiccup, purring as he nuzzled his belly.

"Toothless," Hiccup took Toothless' cheeks and made him look at him face to face. "Talk to me. What is going on?"

Toothless purred a little in a reassuring tone before pressing his head against Hiccup's forehead, speaking through their bond. After almost 15 minutes, Hiccup got the message and stood up, facing Stoick and the villagers of Berk.

"What's going on? What did Toothless say?" Stoick asked eagerly.

"You might wanna gather everyone in the Great Hall for this," Hiccup replied.

-:-

Everyone was both relieved yet downcast at the same time. From the images through the bond he got from Toothless, Hiccup explained that it was the dragons' nesting season, which was where all the dragons, after their mating season, have went off to build their nests and lay their eggs. It was a homing instinct thing, though Hiccup was not sure where exactly they were having their nests and eggs, and he assured that they would be back soon, though he, too, didn't know how long they were going to stay gone, since Toothless never really told him, only gave images for him to interpret.

"But how long will they be gone? That's the question," one villager asked worriedly.

"Will they ever be back?"

"What if they're gone for good?"

"Snoggle-tog is ruined~!" one of the villagers moaned sadly.

"It's not ruined," Stoick protested as he took over the public speaking. "We're Vikings! We've been perfectly celebrating without dragons for generations, and there's no reason we can't do it again. Now we don't know where they've gone off to, but we know why they left, and we have to have faith that they will be back again soon. Am I right?"

"He's right! We are Vikings! We're tough!" Gobber supported Stoick, though the decors all over him was not exactly convincing. "Most of the time. Let's sing some Snoggle-tog songs…"

Hiccup and his teens had enough of that sad sight. Prompted by Snotlout, they left the Great Hall quietly without anyone noticing they were gone. Hiccup felt really bad and wanted to stay to see if he could help, but Astrid shook her head and took his hand, leading him out. There was nothing else he could do. He had already explained what Toothless told him and it was up to the villagers to take the news. As they walked back to their homes, they gloomily lamented about their plight.

"That was depressing," Ruffnut groaned.

"I know," Astrid agreed. "I was looking forward to spending the holiday with Stormfly."

"Yeah, now we're not even sure whether Hookfang would even make it in time to celebrate Snoggltog," Snotlout grumbled, though soon he and the others seemed to notice that Fishlegs didn't seem too bothered with it as he was whistling away like nobody's business.

"What are you so happy about?" Tuffnut asked suspiciously. "Don't you miss Meatlug?"

"Me?" Fishlegs was caught by surprise at first, then saw all eyes were on him before he cleared his throat and started 'sobbing'. "Well, yeah…I…I miss him so much…Well, good night."

The gang watched him tottering off with a slack-jawed look and shook their heads in a 'Why do we even bother' way. Fishlegs was always the weird one next to Hiccup anyway.

"I got an idea!" Astrid gasped as she turned to the team. "Let's come up with some new holiday traditions, you know, to bury the sadness."

The team groaned. Things were depressing enough as it was. They didn't need to come up with lame ideas to remind people that having dragons was a better tradition than theirs. Astrid turned to Hiccup for support.

"Actually Astrid might be on to something," Hiccup said, trying to be supportive.

"Easy for you to say," Tuffnut said as he gestured to Toothless who was at the front porch of their home looking out to the horizon. "You're here and having his kid, so you don't need a nest or anything, and your dragon can't go anywhere without you."

"Must be nice," Ruffnut agreed in a jealous tone as she walked off with the gang grudgingly, leaving Hiccup behind.

Hiccup laid his hand on his belly and looked up at Toothless sadly. Tuffnut was right. Toothless couldn't go anywhere without him. He had to be riding him and controlling his tail before they could go anywhere else. He had grounded him for life, and his promise to help solve Toothless' flight problem was still not yet kept since the day he made it.

It was time he fulfilled that promise.

-:-

"Yak-nog! Get your Yak-nog! Get a frothy delicious cup of cheer!"

Hiccup could hear Astrid's voice at a distance as he buried his head in his latest work. After what Tuffnut had said to him last night, he couldn't really sleep and decided to screw it and made his way to the workshop, busily sketching and designing and building. By the time he did most of the work, it was already morning and he hadn't slept a wink. To his midwife, if she were to find out, it would be disastrous to her, like telling her he went skinny-dipping in the cold sea water last night, but what she doesn't know would hurt her.

"Hiccup?" Astrid's voice was soon heard inside the blacksmith stall.

"Yeah, I'm over here, Astrid," Hiccup said as he grabbed a pair of pliers. "Coming."

"Here, happy holidays," Astrid said as she was holding a tray (technically a shield) towards him. There was a jug and two cups, containing some sort of mead-like frothy beverage. "I'm not sure whether it's OK for you to drink while pregnant, but I can assure I didn't add anything alcoholic in it."

"Thank you, milady," Hiccup said as he took one that was already filled for him and was about to drink it when Astrid noticed his work.

"What are you up to?"

"OK, you're gonna think I'm crazy but I couldn't stop thinking about what Tuffnut said last night," Hiccup said as he set his drink down and showed her his work. "Toothless can't come and go like other dragons, and, well, that's just not fair. And I did make a solemn promise to him that I would fix his tail for good. So I was up all night and I think I found a way to fix that."

"No way! You built him a new tail?" Astrid said in admiration as Hiccup sipped her drink, oblivious to his reaction towards the taste of her so-called Yak-nog. "So he's gonna be able to fly without you!"

"Mm-hmm~" Hiccup hummed, trying hard not to swallow but trying hard not to spit it out and offend her.

"Wow, what a great gift!"

"Hum-hnnh."

"What if he never comes back?"

"Hnn…" Hiccup hadn't thought about that.

"Pssh! What am I saying? Of course he will."

"Mm-hmm."

"Well, I'm gonna spread some more holiday cheer," Astrid said as she turned to leave, much to Hiccup's relief. "You're amazing!"

Making sure that Astrid was absolutely gone, Hiccup quickly spat out the Yak-nog. It really tasted like yak milk—the kind of rancid-tasting milk that Vikings would go for as a last resort if their livestock were not producing enough milk—and raw eggs and a combination of spoilt curd and fermented cheese. If they weren't best friend, he'd thought she was trying to murder him and his baby. After managing to get the filthy taste out of his mouth, he turned to the finished tail. Hesitation lingered a little in his heart as he thought of the possibility that Astrid was right, that maybe after getting his new tail, Toothless would relish the freedom of no longer being grounded and fly off into the sunset and never come back, but he shook that thought away as he carried the new tail.

Toothless was his mate, his husband, his love, and he was carrying his child. He had to have faith that Toothless would never do such a thing.

-:-

"Toothless! Come on down, bud. I've got something for ya. It's a surprise."

Toothless came down the roof, surprised to see that Hiccup was not coming out of the house as usual from his frantic thumping, but from the direction of the village. He saw his mate carrying something quite big and heavy and berated him through their bond for doing such things in his condition. Hiccup smiled his worries away and showed him what he had.

"Whaddaya think of that?" Hiccup asked as Toothless sniffed curiously at the tail before looking up at Hiccup questioningly. When he made his way towards Toothless' tail, Toothless was still wary of the odd contraption and circled away from him, as if trying to avoid him, making Hiccup chuckle. "Toothless, come on, bud. Lemme put this on you."

Feeling the reassurance in their bond, Toothless slowed down to a stop and let Hiccup do his thing, watching him curiously.

"Yeah, you are going to love this," Hiccup said albeit slightly reluctant as he finished fixing it on him.

Once the tail was fully strapped onto him, Hiccup got off his tail and stood a slight distance away. Almost immediately Toothless could feel that there was something different, something wrong, about the tail as he tried to shake it off, growling anxiously. He spun around in circles, chasing his own tail, growling and roaring at it to get it off. He didn't like it. It felt weird, it felt foreign, it felt…un-Hiccup.

"No, no, no, Toothless, please stop…"

When Toothless flared his good fin to try and snap it off, the new fin flared along with him in perfect unison, catching the dragon's attention. He then realized that Hiccup had modified the fin in such a way that it would work in cohesion with his good fin when the mini joint was strapped on and attached to it. As he lowered his tail and brought it closer and flexed his good fin, the new fin followed as well as if it had always been there, as if his tail had never been damaged. A feeling of comprehension was evident in their bond.

"There you go," Hiccup sighed in relief as his mate finally got the idea. "See? Got it?"

Toothless turned to Hiccup with a heartfelt look in his eyes, as if asking 'You did this…for me?' Hiccup smiled back and reminded him through their bond of the promise he made to Toothless when made the first prototype fin: that he would fix his tail for good. The dragon looked almost like he could burst into tears as he stared longingly into Hiccup's eyes, and Hiccup was glad to see that his mate was really touched over this gift.

"Toothless…" Hiccup reached out to give him a hug but Toothless withdrew from him all of a sudden. When Hiccup came even closer, wondering what was that about, he only got 'I'll be right back' vibe from Toothless before the latter immediately took off, flying away alone on his own for the first time in months and leaving Hiccup down on the ground, looking up in confusion.

Though the bond did not tell him so, Hiccup felt the worst.

How To Love Your Dragon-Epilogue: Part 1

Posted by BlackGargie at 9:58 PM 0 comments

HOW TO LOVE YOUR DRAGON: LEGEND OF THE DRAGON-RIDER WEDDING

"Girls, how long is this gonna take? I told you I don't wanna wear a girl's dress. I'm a guy, for Thor's sake!"

"Oh, stop your whining. You're the one carrying babies, you know."

Hiccup groaned as he was in Astrid's room with Ruffnut and the village weaver and dress-maker, standing on a stool, feeling like an idiot while Astrid and the girls measure him. He should've known better when Stoick had tasked these girls to make his wedding garments. A week after Hiccup's return to the world of living, Stoick had been very insistent that his grandchild not to be born out of wedlock and that a wedding to be held between Toothless and Hiccup as soon as possible. Hiccup had tried to explain that technically he was already married to Toothless after being given the mark, but Stoick insisted that if he were to acknowledge Toothless as his son-in-law, he was going to learn how to respect human customs, thus Hiccup's predicament right now.

"You need to relax," Ruffnut said as she measured Hiccup's head so that they could decide on what kind of tiara he should be wearing. "You're not getting cold feet now, are you?"

"I'm not getting cold feet," Hiccup protested. "I just thought that maybe I should actually dress like a guy, since, you know, I'm technically a guy!"

All the girls present giggled at his statement.

"You can't dress like a guy when you're the bride and you're the mother in this outfit," the village weaver laughed as she jotted down the measurements. "You're technically one of us now."

"That's right, laddie," the village dress-maker said. "Or should I say, lassie? If you wanna be a man so much, be a man and suck it up and take the dress like a man."

"Thank you for summing that up," Hiccup rolled his eyes and groaned, staying at his spot, praying that this would get over and done with.

-:-

Toothless was not in good mood either as he was surrounded by the guys and the assistants of both the village weaver and dress-maker, wrapped over and over again with measuring ribbons and poured over through designs like ties and collar binds so that he look like a proper groom. He didn't know what the heck was the fuss about for all this human bodily decors when all he wanted was to be by Hiccup's side and enjoy a nice flight in the open sky, and he couldn't understand why must he go through this human ritual to do what he had already done for Hiccup in the first place, but Stoick was very adamant about it. As much as he hated this, he had to comply if he were ever to be peacefully together with his mate.

"Stay still, Toothless," Tuffnut complained as he wrapped another measuring ribbon atop the previous one. "We need to measure your neck!"

"Wow, I never thought there'd be so many different kinds of colours to choose from for a groom's outfit," Fishlegs commented as he looked through the designs. "There's even black as well."

"Black?" Snotlout looked at Fishlegs incredulously as he measured Toothless' paws. "Toothless is as black as he is! He doesn't need any extra black or he'd be absolutely invisible in the dark! Pick another colour, white or something."

Toothless let out an impatient snort and a long groan.

"I know you're complaining, ya little devil," the weaver's assistant said as she patted Toothless sign. "Even if we don't understand what you're saying. Just hang in there."

Toothless grumbled. If he hung anymore in there, he was gonna choke.

-:-

Hiccup sighed as he leaned against the window, looking out at the night sky. He was supposed to be holed up in his house, avoiding Toothless for the day as tradition stated that it was bad luck to meet the bride a day before the wedding. He was also supposed to wait for the girls to show up as they were going to celebrate their bachelorette party at his house. The fire has been lit and the preparations on the dining table have been set, and he figured Toothless and the guys, including his father and Gobber are probably in the Great Hall right now celebrating his bachelor party...

Suddenly he blinked for a split second and found himself in the middle of a mysterious fog that came out of nowhere. He looked around for any signs of life before he heard the sound of pitter-pattering of feet. He followed that sound and soon saw that he was chasing himself. Instead it was himself when he was not yet pregnant, still had his good leg, and he was pushing the wheel barrow-like device towards the cliff where he shot Toothless down on that fateful day.

He watched as the familiar scene unfolded itself: cranking the lever, cocking the bowed arms of the contraption, dropping the bola, the works. He watched as he saw himself muttering, looking at the sky to find Toothless in the dark. He knew what was going to happen next, but he was powerless to stop himself. He tried to yell at himself, telling the past Hiccup to stop and not shoot, but it fell upon deaf ears as Toothless came into view and the past Hiccup shot at him.

Another split second and another blink of an eye later, he found himself being the past Hiccup. He watched as the bola flew towards Toothless and hit the mark. But instead of making out a silhouette of Toothless being bound by the bola and his piercing shriek, he was much closer, almost above his head, and instead of just binding Toothless, there was something about the bola that drew blood. Droplets of Toothless' warm blood sprayed out of him and fell like rain, splattering all over Hiccup's face, before he fell like a meteor towards Raven Point.

"No…" Hiccup whimpered, falling to his knees. "No, no, no…! No, what have I done…? What have I done? Toothless…!"

Before he could make his way to Raven Point, he was held back by a strong grip on his shoulder. He turned around to see the villagers, fresh from the fight of ridding another dragon invasion, and they were all smiles.

"Great work, Hiccup!"

"You took down a Night Fury all by yourself!"

"You're the man, Hiccup!"

"That's my boy!" Stoick emerged from the crowd, pride brimming on his face. "I knew you were cut out to be a Viking!"

"Congratulations, Hiccup!" Gobber joined in happily. "You deserve it!"

"Now let's follow Hiccup to Raven Point and get that Night Fury once and for all!"

"Hurrah!"

Hiccup was lifted up and paraded towards Raven Point. The villagers were armed to the teeth as they cheered over Hiccup and searched for Toothless. Hiccup was horrified. This was not the way! He'd admit that at that time, he would do anything to catch their attention and get them to believe that he had caught a Night Fury and give him the recognition he deserved, but that was the past. This was not the way he wanted to gain their recognition! Not when it involved killing Toothless!

"No, no, it's my mistake!" Hiccup shouted desperately. "I don't think it went anywhere! Please stop! I don't even think I hit anything! Please, I beg you, stop!"

His screams fell on deaf ears. They were gaining closer and closer to where Toothless had fallen.

"Please, please don't hurt him! Don't hurt Toothless! Please, NO…!"

"NO!"

Hiccup came to his senses as he blinked his teary eyes open. The hand he held out to stop the villagers was found touching a set of cold scaly skin and felt the vibration of a purr. As his vision cleared, he saw that Toothless was before him, his head stuck through the window Hiccup had fallen asleep on.

"A…A dream…?"

Toothless purred, asking him through their bond if he was alright.

"I…I think so…" Hiccup said as he double-checked himself to see his baby bump and his prosthetic leg before sighing in relief. "I…I think I just kinda dozed off waiting for the girls and had a nightmare."

Toothless purred comfortingly at him and licked Hiccup's cold sweat away, nuzzling him.

"What are you doing here, Toothless? Shouldn't you be with the guys at the Great Hall for your bachelor party?"

Toothless gave him a puppy-eyed look, their bond telling him that the dragon missed him after haven't seeing each other all day.

"Ah ha ha, I guess you don't believe the superstition about bad luck meeting the bride the day before the wedding, huh?"

Toothless shook his head. He couldn't care less about human customs. To him, they were already married, they were already mates, and that was all that mattered.

"Oh, Toothless, you're such a gentleman," Hiccup leaned in to give him a kiss. The past was the past. His dreams were just that: a past that had already happened and nothing to be dwelt upon. If he had not done what he did, as naïve and reckless as it were, he would never have met Toothless, he would never have understood dragons the way he understood Toothless, he would have never fallen in love with the legendary Night Fury and he wouldn't have helped Berk achieve the peaceful co-existence they had now. He would've still been the runt of the tribe and a disappointment to his father as well as continuing to slaughter thousands of these misunderstood creatures, and there would never have been peace. As he cuddled and nuzzled against Toothless, he showed through their bond how much he loved Toothless and how happy he was now than he had ever before in his life, and Toothless reciprocated that feeling. Unfortunately their moment was short-lived when Hiccup heard the front door of his house opened.

"Toothless!" Astrid was the first to catch sight of Toothless at the window when she entered. "Bad dragon! Bad, bad dragon! No looking at the bride before the wedding!"

"Yeah, what are you doing here?" Ruffnut chided. "You should be at the Great Hall! Go on, shoo, shoo!"

"Aww, c'mon, girls~!" Hiccup protested as the girls came forth to shove Toothless out the window.

"You know the rules. Go on, git!" Astrid shooed Toothless and closed the shutters of the window, barring the dragon out while Ruffnut went and closed all possible exits and entrances to keep Toothless out.

Both Hiccup and Toothless groaned. This was going to be a LONG night.

-:-

All the villagers and their dragons were gathered in the cove. Food, drinks and decors littered the place as the ceremony was about to start. Everyone was dressed to the nines and was chattering away excitedly at how extraordinary and special this occasion was going to be.

Hiccup and Toothless endured through all the traditions and superstitions, but they had one condition for Stoick if they were to marry: their wedding must be held at the cove where Hiccup and Toothless' relationship first began. It was a special place for them and they would not have it any other way. The day had finally come and Toothless, who was dressed in his groom outfit—which consisted of a wooly sheep scarf, leather leg cuffs and thick Viking belt and a sword in its hilt—was waiting in the front line nervously.

"Take it easy, Devil," Gobber, who was the best man, said as he patted Toothless' head. "Hiccup is coming soon. Now, the tradition of this village is that Stoick will hand over Hiccup to you, and you must lead the bride to the altar where the village Elders. You got it?"

Toothless nodded and chirped, showing that he understood.

Soon, the sound of pan flutes, horn pipes, stringed instruments and lur could be heard from a distant, coming closer and closer as Hiccup's convoy made their way to the cove. Everyone looked up to see Stoick with Hiccup sitting on his shoulder, as how Berk tradition does for generations.

All eyes were focused on Hiccup who was balanced carefully on Stoick's shoulder as Stoick and the wedding march convoy and music players climbed down the cove slowly, making their way towards the ceremony venue. Hiccup was dressed in white and gold, with a long beautiful skirt and modestly spread frills, and a pretty veil over his head adorned with a dragon-motif golden tiara. He wasn't wearing any make-up, but his cheeks showed that whoever dressed him up did put a little colour on them to bring out the glow in him.

Toothless gulped and blushed as he watched Hiccup being brought closer to him. He wasn't sure if it was the dress or the colour on his cheeks or that pregnancy glow he had, but he was absolutely stunning. He had never seen Hiccup any more beautiful than this.

"Hang in there, Toothless," Gobber said as he grinned at Toothless' reaction, but secretly he was also blushing a little at how pretty Hiccup was.

Once Stoick reached Toothless, he picked his son off his shoulder and slowly lowered him onto Toothless' back. Because Hiccup was wearing a dress, he had no choice but to ride Toothless side-saddle. Hiccup looked up to see Stoick looking a little teary, like he was going to cry.

"Aww, c'mon, Dad," Hiccup smiled kindly. "I'm not gonna be gone forever."

"I know, son, I know," Stoick sniffed as he secretly wiped a tear away. "Now you be good to my son, you devil, and take care of my grandchild while you're at it."

Toothless nodded, understanding what he meant. He leaned close to lick submissively at Stoick's hand, a sign of respect and a promise that he would keep his word.

"Let's go to the altar," Hiccup patted Toothless' side. "Slowly now. Follow the beat of the music."

Toothless chirped and went up with the beat of the Viking wedding march music. The dragon tried his best to match the music, since dragons were not known to understand human music anyway. Gobber walked in front of the pair, serving Toothless as his guideline, and the bridesmaids (namely Astrid and Ruffnut) at the back of them, until they reach the altar, where the village Elders officiated the wedding. Once they reached there, Gobber helped Hiccup get off Toothless before he and the bridesmaids made their way to their respective spots.

"We are together here to bring this dragon, Toothless the Night Fury, and this rider, Hiccup Horrendous the III, to lock their love forever in the eyes of Odin and Thor Almighty. If anyone objects to this union, speak now or forever hold your peace," the village Elders, after chanting a little sing-song prayers and traditional blessings, started the ceremony. When there were no objections, they continued, "We shall start with the drinking of honey mead."

The bridesmaids brought in the huge chalice to the Elders, in which one of them brought out a huge jug and poured in the honey mead into the chalice. Another Elder took the chalice from the bridesmaids and held it before Toothless and Hiccup.

"We shall now commence the drinking of this honey mead to bless this couple a long and happy marriage, sweetness till the end."

The Elder then came close to Hiccup and Toothless to feed them the mead. Hiccup leaned in to drink half of it first, then Toothless leaned in to lap up the rest. Toothless had to admit that this drink tasted great as he licked his lips in content.

"Now the time for exchange of vows and rings," the leading Elder said as Gobber brought in the rings to pass it to her. She took the first ring, which had a dragon and fire motif design to it, and turned to Toothless, "Toothless the Night Fury, do you take Hiccup Horrendous the III as your lawful wedded wife, in sickness and health, till death do u part?"

Toothless chirped and nodded happily, in which the Elder helped put the ring onto Hiccup's finger. She then took the other ring, which had a Viking-ish motif design to it, and turned to Hiccup.

"Do you, Hiccup Horrendous the III, take Toothless the Night Fury as your lawful wedded husband, in sickness and health, till death do u part?"

"I do, till the end of time," Hiccup replied, and the Elder took a small hot poker and gestured Gobber to hold Toothless in place. Since Toothless did not have a finger to put on the ring, the ring was fashioned to look like an earring and they decided to put it on Toothless' ear instead. Toothless was a little apprehensive at first, but after Hiccup comforted his mate through their bond, reassuring him that everything was alright, Toothless tried his best to stay still as the Elder punched the hot poker through the tip of Toothless' left ear before fitting the ring through it. Toothless tried to resist the urge shaking his head from the sting, but his ear couldn't help twitching now and then. After a few more blessings, the Elder ended the ceremony.

"I now pronounced their love locked forever as long as they live and may the gods of Valhalla bless them. You may kiss the bride, Toothless."

Hiccup had to crouch a little to allow Toothless to part his veil, and Toothless stared in wonder at how beautiful his mate was. There was no words either of them could express their feelings for each other, but they could feel it through their bond. They were in love, they were mates both body and soul and they will be together as long as they lived, and that was enough for them. Straightening himself so that he was level with Hiccup, Toothless leaned in and gave Hiccup his favourite dragon kiss, in which Hiccup reciprocated passionately. Everyone cheered and clapped at the background, whooping at the happy newlyweds as they threw lovely white flower petals that they brought along over them, raining down on their heads like pure, white snow.

"I love you," Hiccup whispered between kisses. "I love you so, so much."

Toothless purred a reply, and Hiccup understood what that meant as they broke the kiss to lead the guests to the reception.

I love you too, forever and ever.

How To Love Your Dragon-Chapter 15

Posted by BlackGargie at 9:58 PM 0 comments

Hiccup laid asleep, his head on a pillow. A couple of scars littered his face, but showing signs of healing much better than before. Toothless hovered over him, whining and grumbling a little impatiently, but when there was no response, the dragon sat back down sadly, waiting for his mate to wake up.

It had been almost a month and a half since the battle between Berk and the Red Death. The Vikings almost could not believe that the huge monster was defeated by a mere boy and a dragon, but it was there, dead and gone and burnt into a crisp. As the Red Death's head was too big and heavy to be hacked and hauled in as their trophy, the Viking troops decided to take some of its teeth and gouge out all its eyes as proof that they had taken down probably the mightiest of all beasts. After managing to salvage some working ships, everyone made their way back to Berk with the help of Astrid and the gang with their dragons. Using ropes to secure the masts of those ships, the gang's dragons as well as the wild ones dragged the ships across the sea, much to everyone's amazement, and made it safely back to Berk without any hitch.

During the entire journey back to Berk, Toothless never left Hiccup's side. He ignored his own wounds and pain and stood vigil over Hiccup all the way home, only resting when he was too tired to keep awake, wrapping himself protectively around his mate and allowed no one except Stoick and Gobber near him. In fact, Hiccup would unconsciously reach over to grab onto Toothless' tail in his slumber, holding tight and would not let go. Stoick, who witnessed this scene each time he came over to check on his son's condition, was touched by this heartfelt connection and love between them and was finally convinced that the bond between them was real, and that their relationship was serious, and he knew deep down inside, there was nothing he could otherwise to tear them apart.

Hiccup had, due to the hit from the Red Death's tail that caused them to freefall into the inferno, smashed his left leg in many places and, coupled with the fire that charred him just before Toothless managed to grab him, had become broken beyond repair. They had no choice but to amputate that part of the leg before the infection spread to the rest of his body. Toothless did not take to this decision kindly at first. When Stoick took Hiccup from Toothless to the medics to be amputated, Toothless went into a fit, more so when he saw the medic carrying the axe that was meant for surgical amputation. It took almost 5 grown Vikings to hold Toothless back and Gobber to try and convince Toothless that Hiccup needed this surgery to save his life and promised that no harm would come to him, proving it by showing the dragon his own hooked hand and peg leg. The midwife was also brought in to check on Hiccup's child (subsequently revealing Hiccup's family secret that he and his father had guarded their whole life) and said if it weren't for Toothless taking the brunt of the fall during the battle, they would've permanently lost their child. It was a little worse for wear, but it will survive, so long as Hiccup does not do anymore dangerous stunts like that again.

After the surgery, Toothless again would never leave Hiccup out of his sight. Every day, he would pace or sit around Hiccup, giving him dragon kisses and licking his face, sometimes bringing in some of Hiccup's favourite cooked fish for him in hopes that the smell would wake him up. He would purr quietly at his ear and watched cautiously whenever Stoick, Gobber or the midwife came in to nurse his wounds and feed him liquids to keep him hydrated or to clean him. He would make sure Hiccup's visitors did not overstay their welcome and growled protectively at anyone, other than those allowed, who tried to touch him. He would nuzzle at Hiccup's baby bump and purred sweet nothings to it, telling it to stay strong for him and its mother. And every night, he would carefully climb onto Hiccup's bed and curled up around his mate, hoping that his body warmth would help to minimize the damage the cold might do to Hiccup's amputated leg.

Finally, after a month and a half of being comatose and recharging his batteries, Hiccup slowly stirred and opened his eyes, and the first sight to greet him was Toothless' ecstatic face.

"Oh, hey, Toothless," Hiccup said groggily.

Toothless excitedly nuzzled and nudged Hiccup, a wave of happiness and relief washed through the bond, telling Hiccup that he was so glad to see him awake, alive and kicking.

"I'm happy to see you too, bud," Hiccup smiled, reaching up to kiss Toothless muzzle. As he slowly sat up, he looked around to see that he was in his bed, moved beside the fire pit on the main floor of his house. "I'm in my house…" he turned to look at Toothless and realized the significance of his presence. "You're in my house."

Toothless tore around the room excitedly as if telling him 'Yup, that's right. I am in your house', at the same time knocking things over, far too big for the space.

"Uh…does my dad know you're in here?" Hiccup's eyes darted around nervously, afraid that at the next moment the Chief of tribe would suddenly barge in and shout in horror at a dragon in the house.

Toothless paused at the foot of the bed, tongue wagging. He spoke through the bond as he leapt up onto the rafters, telling him that everything was alright and that they didn't have to worry about Stoick anymore.

"Uh…Okay, what exactly does that mean?" Hiccup asked in distress. "Aw, come on…"

Hiccup shifted to get out of bed, then paused, sensing that something was wrong. He peeled back the covers slowly. What he saw startled, horrified, and overwhelmed him all at once. What was supposed to be his leg was replaced with a mechanical prosthetic in its place. It's an ingenious spring-loaded replacement, made of wood and iron, and it stung him a little as he tried to step onto it.

"My…My leg…W-What happened to my leg…?"

Toothless landed by the bed and approached him calmly. He pressed his muzzle against Hiccup's temple and spoke to him through his bond as Hiccup did when he told him about their child, calmly explaining to him that it was for his own good. Slowly he raised his eyes to meet Hiccup's, seemingly aware of what Hiccup is going through, and purred. He then leaned down to nuzzle Hiccup's baby bump, which seemed to have grown a little over the past month, as if saying that at least their child was safe and sound and that was all that mattered. Tears of both relief and sadness trickled down Hiccup's cheeks and Toothless licked them away, all the while giving him encouragement through his purrs and through their bond.

After calming down some and letting the reality sink in, Hiccup braced himself on the bedpost and tried to stand on it. He winced and stifles the pain but stumbled with the first step. Toothless caught Hiccup's fall with his head and slowly lifts him up, stabilizing him.

"Thanks, bud," Hiccup tried to smile as he kissed Toothless' forehead.

Carefully, he leaned on Toothless like a crutch. They took a few steps together, their missing parts form a poetic silhouette as they made their way towards the door. Hiccup pried it open and suddenly saw a Monstrous Nightmare flapping outside the door. He yelped and slammed the door closed, thinking it was another dragon invasion again and that nothing had changed since his battle with the Red Death. He turned to Toothless, alarmed.

"Toothless? Stay here, bud."

Hiccup paused and cracked the door open again. He peeked outside, his eyes widening in surprise as he saw more of what was going on. He swung the door open to get a clearer view, only to see that the Monstrous Nightmare was the one they had in the training ring and was carrying an excited Snotlout on its back, guiding a class of newbie dragon riders as they followed him through frame on a variety of dragons.

As Hiccup came out to see the whole picture, he was met with an astounding sight: Vikings and dragons milled about by the dozen, basking on the rooftops, weaving along the plaza. No one seemed upset; there wasn't a sword in sight. Under the framework of a massive barn, a Nadder blasted fire onto a metal brace. It stepped back to let a Viking hammer it into shape. Nearby, a Gronkle landed, carrying a tree trunk in its mouth. He shows a Viking what he's found, in which the Viking patted its head. Another Viking backed a Zippleback into a stall to check it for size. Hiccup takes a step out to the front steps, finding Stoick waiting for him there.

"I knew it. I'm dead," Hiccup said in disbelief at what he had just witnessed before him.

"No, but you gave it your best shot," Stoick laughed, putting his arm around Hiccup, steadying him. He gestures to the transformed village. "So? What do you think?"

"Wow…" Hiccup breathed, amazed. "What…What happened…? What did you do?"

"Oh, nothing much, really. The whole village was already convinced enough that the dragons were not a threat when they saw them bringing us back to Berk and didn't go fire-happy on us. All I had to do was tell them and the village Elders exactly what happened during the battle, and what you have done to save us all. Your friends helped too by demonstrating to us how it would be better for us to ride them rather than kill them."

"You mean Astrid and the guys?"

"Yup, and the rest just slowly fell into place. The older Vikings were a little apprehensive and a little resistant to change, but the young ones adapted to it like ducks in water," Stoick smiled as the villagers took notice of Hiccup's presence and surrounded him with a hero's welcome. "Turns out all we needed was a little more of…" he gestured non-specifically at Hiccup, "…this."

"You just gestured to all of me," Hiccup said humorously, playing along with him.

"Well. Most of you," Gobber said as he pushed through the crowd, beaming proudly. "That bit's my handiwork. With a little Hiccup flare thrown in. Think it'll do?"

"I might make a few tweaks," Hiccup replied in a bittersweet tone, coming to terms with his condition slowly.

"By the way, our family secret is no longer a family secret," Stoick said as he squeezed Hiccup's shoulder gently. "After what happened to your leg, there was no room for hiding anything anymore. They know about you and the little devil…as well as my upcoming grandchild."

"You…You're…You're OK with it? Everyone's OK with it?"

"Well, let's face it," Gobber said good-naturedly. "It's not like you're gonna get a date with any girl since you're a bit of it yourself, and with that mark the Night Fury gave you, I don't think you'd be having any other suitors anytime soon. Look at the bright side, at least you're gonna give your father strong heirs for grandchildren."

"Thank you for summing that up," Hiccup rolled his eyes as everyone around him laughed humorously at Gobber's wise-cracking. Astrid appeared through the crowd and jabbed Hiccup in the arm. Hiccup recoiled with a grumble.

"That's for scaring me."

"What, is it always going to be this way? Cause I…" Hiccup's protests were cut short when she grabbed him aggressively in her arms and hugged him tight, relieved that he was alright, causing 'Aaw~' to follow. "…I could get used to it."

After a heartfelt hug between the two friends, Gobber presented Hiccup with a rebuilt saddle, rigging, and tail.

"Welcome home," Gobber said, earning a thankful smile from Hiccup.

Toothless soon pounced on the crowd, crushing several unsuspecting Vikings under his weight. He looked warily at Astrid at first, wondering if she was trying to seduce his mate, before he eyed the new tail excitedly, tongue wagging. Amidst the groans and grumbles, Hiccup and Astrid exchange an amused grin.

"Shall we go for a ride?" Hiccup asked.

"Are you sure?" Stoick asked, a little worried. "You just got out of bed, and with your condition right now…"

"Don't worry, Stoick," Gobber eased Stoick's worries. "He had a month and a half of recuperation that could make even that little bairn inside him bored to death. It survived a battle, it can survive this. Besides, he's got Toothless."

"And us," Astrid assured.

"Alright," Stoick sighed, relented. "But if anything happens or if anything feels wrong, you bring him right home, you got it, Devil?"

Toothless nodded, knowing that Stoick called him 'Devil' out of affection, not malice.

Hiccup was soon on Toothless, his prosthetic foot snapping into the modified stirrup. The two pieces clicked together, forming a single shape. Astride Toothless, he was and felt whole again. He rotated the pedal to test it and the new tail opened, revealing it to be bright red with a skull and Viking horns emblazoned on it. Hiccup smiled, approving of the design. As the pair saddled up and ready to fly, Astrid quickly backed her Nadder into position, joined by the rest of the gang who were waiting for them in mid-air.

"You ready?" Hiccup asked.

Toothless snorted an excited 'yes', his ears twitching impatiently.

From his mount, Hiccup looked out over the changed world. Taking a deep breath, he debated a little in his mind as to how long this would last. But for now, as he caressed his baby bump before setting off into the air with Toothless, he knew that no matter what happens, he and Toothless will always be together.

Till the end of time.

How To Love Your Dragon-Chapter 14

Posted by BlackGargie at 9:57 PM 0 comments

The battle was a total disaster as the Vikings fought in vain to conquer the Red Death. They have hurled every weapon that had in hopes of coming close to even denting the massive dragon but nothing seemed to work as it was just as aggressive as ever.

It did not start off like this. When they were on their way to the nest's location, their visibility dropped dramatically once they coasted toward a shroud of heavy fog, hung like drapes from a low-hanging, ominous sky. Massive, jagged sea stacks emerged around them during their maneuvers, threatening to rip the ships to shreds. They would've been lost like the last time they went nest-hunting if it weren't for Stoick noticing Toothless' ear plates at the alert, quietly reacting to inaudible sounds only his dragon ears could catch. Covertly following Toothless' head movements, Stoick was able to sailed through the gauntlet of rocks, making their way closer and closer towards their destination.

Once they were closing in, there were met with a clicking buzz, growing louder as they went closer, filling the sky, converging in one general direction. The buzzing sound led them to into shallow black sand, with pebble-like black rocks littering everywhere on the sprawling beach. A craggy volcano towered into the gloom as everyone got ready for the fight. Tree trunks were sharpened and planted into the sand at angled rows. Boulders were loaded into catapult baskets. After making a couple of war plans, Stoick led the troops by going first towards the base of the volcano wall, back by several hundred warriors.

After signaling for the catapults to launch their load into the cliff wall, everyone was taken by surprise when the flaming bushel they prepared beforehand to be launched into the cavity revealed that the cavern was choked with dragons. Stoick pulled his hammer and rushed into the cave, brazen as he tried to slash at the dragons, and in a chaotic flurry, the dragons suddenly rush out like bats from a cave. They took to the air, bypassing the axe-swinging Vikings and fleeing the island in a mass exodus. Above the island, dragons poured from every crevice, fleeing to the sky. Once the sound of screeching dragons faded, everyone rejoiced as they thought they had won the war against the dragons and drove them out of their home, but Stoick saw that Toothless did not look happy and he still heard a distant roaring within the dark throat of the cavern.

Before he could tell everyone that it was not over, all hell broke loose as the gargantuan Red Death emerged through settling debris of ground cracking and stone tearing away, cascading like an avalanche. The troops tried everything. They launched their catapults and scored direct hits, but the burning stones bounced off the dragon's skin and were smashed and crushed within seconds. They tried taking cover at the ships but the dragon saw through it as it blasted the ships like a mile-long flamethrower, the sails torched. Vikings who got on those ships dived overboard for their lives and masts came down on them. All spears and axes and hammers thrown at it barely even made a scratch and they had no means to escape with all the ships destroyed.

Stoick and Gobber decided to become the distraction while one of the Viking Generals led the troops to the far side of the island. The Red Death seemed to be able to tell that Stoick was the leader of the troops as it focused on Stoick instead of Gobber, despite the blacksmith trying to get its attention. It reared back and inhaled, amassing the gas and was ready to fire when suddenly a blast exploded against the back of The Red Death's head. A little dazed, it turned to see a Nadder punched through the flames, banking across the sky, followed by a Monstrous Nightmare, a Zippleback, and a Gronckle.

As they rolled in unison, they revealed the recruits riding on their backs. Hiccup was leading the team, with Astrid clinging to his waist. Gobber and Stoick watched slacked-jawed in awe.

"Ruff, Tuff, watch your backs!" Hiccup shouted. "Move, Fishlegs!"

The monster shook off the blast and snapped in their wake. Hiccup directed his squadron out of harm's way. They climbed out of reach and circled each other.

"Look at us, we're on a dragon!" Tuffnut shouted to the crowd proudly. "We're on dragons, all of us!"

"Up, let's move it!" Hiccup called out as the dragons climbed past the Red Death.

"Every bit the boar-headed, stubborn Viking you ever were!" Gobber said as he hobbled over to Stoick.

Stoick is speechless, only nodding in agreement as the group circled over the dragon's head.

"Fishlegs, break it down," Hiccup said, addressing Fishlegs as a tactical member of the team.

"Okay. Heavily armored skull and tail made for bashing and crushing," Fishlegs started. "Steer clear of both. Small eyes, large nostrils. Relies on hearing and smell."

"Okay. Lout, Legs, hang in its blind spot. Make some noise, keep it confused. Ruff, Tuff, find out if it has a shot limit. Make it mad."

"That's my specialty," Ruffnut said proudly.

"Since when? Everyone knows I'm more irritating. See?" Tuffnut demonstrated by making irritating sounds at Ruffnut.

"Just do what I told you," Hiccup groaned exasperatedly. "I'll be back as soon as I can."

"Don't worry, we got it covered!"

Hiccup and Astrid peeled away. The teens banked and dived toward the monster, splitting up. The twins raced alongside the monster's head, taunting it.

"Troll!"

"Butt Elf!"

"Bride of Grendel!"

The Red Death unloaded a spray of fire at the twins. They barely dodged it, while Fishlegs and Snotlout hung behind its eyes, banging away at their shields, making a racket. The Red Death opened all six of its eyes, spotting them.

"Uh, this thing doesn't have a blind spot!" Fishlegs announced worriedly.

Unfortunately Hiccup was away from earshot as he and Astrid went searching for Toothless. Hiccup spotted him among the burning ships, still tied in his restraints.

"There!" Hiccup exclaimed as he steered the Nadder over the deck and handed Astrid the reins. He lined up his jump, making sure the Nadder was close enough, and hopped off, guarding his face from the flames and landed on the burning deck. He turned to Astrid, "Go help the others!"

"You sure you're OK, Hiccup?" Astrid asked, worried. "The baby…"

"The baby will be fine. I'm fine. Just go!"

As Astrid and the Nadder took off, Hiccup fought his way to Toothless. He unbuckled the muzzle and Toothless shrieked at him, as if demanding what was he doing there when he was supposed to be finding some place safe to care for their child.

"I'm sorry, okay? Just hold on. Hold on," Hiccup said apologetically as he got to work on the chains.

Behind him, the monster's tail swept across the burning ships, snapping masts like twigs, as it tried to shake off the rest of the teens who were trying to bring it down and find its weak spots. One of them crashes onto a deck near the ship where Hiccup and Toothless were on. Try as he might, he couldn't budge them and Toothless was begging him with his shrieks and growls to get to safety when he saw fire licking at his mate's clothes. The Red Death blasted at the teens, enraged at their persistence. The monster's giant foot crashed through frame, smashing the bow under its impressive weight.

Hiccup and Toothless were immediately thrown into the water in a maelstrom of burning planks and rigging. Hiccup, after getting his bearings, swam toward Toothless. They were both caught in a mess of rigging, being dragged down, the heavy palette settled into the rocky bottom like an anchor. Toothless has stopped struggling, but Hiccup was not about to give up. He did not come all this way to watch his mate drown and he refused to allow his child to be born fatherless, not while they were this close to being together again. Hiccup took one more hopeless tug at the chains before he slowly started to blackout as he was almost out of air. Toothless let out a watery roar, worried out of his mind as he watched Hiccup loosening his grip on the chains…

Suddenly, a meaty hand grabbed Hiccup and pulled up to the shoreline through flaming debris. Hiccup was overwhelmed to see that his savior was Stoick, who lay him down under the shelter of an overhanging rock before diving back into the water between flaming flotsam. A few tense moments later, Toothless landed on the shore in an explosion of sea water, setting Stoick down and releasing him. Hiccup was awed as he realized that Stoick actually went back to get Toothless and released him from his restraints for him. Toothless immediately went to Hiccup, licking and kissing him, nuzzling at his middle to see if he and their baby was OK. Hiccup returned his kiss and hugged him, having that brief moment of respite where he and Toothless were finally in each other's arms again.

"I'm OK, bud," Hiccup whispered as he sobbed a little in relief. "I'm OK. I'm sorry I didn't listen to you. I just couldn't…I just couldn't leave without you…I'm sorry…"

The ground suddenly rumbled underfoot, bringing them back to the situation at hand. The monster screeched, its massive claws stomped around in the smoke. Toothless quickly mounted the rock and raised his wings. He turned to Hiccup and snorted, as if telling him to get this over and done with, and the bond telling Hiccup that he would trust and protect him and their child and get through this so that they will be a family again. Hiccup smiled happily as he made his way to him.

"You got it, bud," Hiccup said as he climbed onto Toothless and buckled himself in. Suddenly Stoick reached up to grab his arm.

"Hiccup. I'm sorry…" Stoick said regretfully. "For everything."

"Yeah…me too," Hiccup replied, equally remorseful.

"You don't have to go up there. I didn't mean to call you cursed. You don't have to prove it that much to me."

"Hey, we're Vikings. It's an occupational hazard."

They exchanged smiles. Finally they had something in common. Stoick pressed his other hand on top of Hiccup's.

"I'm proud to call you my son," Stoick admitted, earning a beam from Hiccup.

"Thanks, dad," Hiccup said as Stoick let go of Hiccup's arm. "Oh, and by the way, you're gonna be a grandfather."

Before Stoick could respond to that, Hiccup spurred Toothless on, charged with his father's belief in him. They rocketed into the sky as Stoick watched, a little flabbergasted at what he just heard, but mostly hoping that Hiccup would pull through and win this. Astrid soon saw Toothless streaking through the sky, gaining altitude.

"He's up!" Astrid announced as she turned to Ruffnut and Tuffnut, who are arguing and throwing punches at each other. "Get Snotlout out of there!"

As usual, the twins fought for the right to save Snotlout who was stranded on the monster dragon after playing whack-a-mole with its eyes, arguing as they race each other to the monster. Snotlout saw the Zippleback diving toward him and dashed down the Red Death's head, running up the end of its horn. As the twins sweep past, both missing him but perfectly snatching him where the necks merge. Ruff and Tuff eyed each other, surprised and impressed.

"I can't believe that worked," Tuffnut noted.

The Red Death then spotted Astrid and inhaled, preparing to blast. She and her Nadder got caught in the suction, pulled toward the monster's gaping mouth, but a massive blast jolted the Red Death's head sideways. Astrid was thrown clear of its mouth and her Nadder from the projectile of the halted suction. She tumbled through the air, closing in towards the ground before she was suddenly caught by the leg in the mid-air. She looked up to see Toothless with his front claw holding tight onto her ankle.

"Did you get her?" Hiccup asked.

Toothless looked under him to see Astrid smiling at him, in which he smiled back at her with the toothless grin, telling Hiccup through their bond that she was fine. They flew over the crowd of Vikings and set Astrid down, mid-run. They circled back to reengage the Red Death, rocketing past the Red Death's head and climbed, higher and higher.

"That thing has wings!" Hiccup told Toothless as he reached a certain altitude. "Okay, let's see if it can use them after eating up all that mass!"

Hiccup pulled Toothless into a turn. They plummeted, gaining tremendous speed. The wind buffeted them as they target the Red Death at supersonic speed. On cue, Toothless unloaded a fireball against the Red Death's head. It went down with a rumble as they climbed anew while the Vikings shielded themselves from the dust of the fallen monster as its wings finally unfolded and extended. Once they saw the enraged behemoth rose into frame, flapping its wings furiously, the pair dived into the tangled sea stacks, weaving through the rock like rabbits through a briar. The Red Death snapped at them, but couldn't reach them. Hiccup and Toothless pulled ahead, causing the monster dragon to smash through the canopy of rock and pulled in behind Toothless. He burst through fifty-foot formations like they were saplings as the Vikings continued watching the battle both in excitement and terror.

Hiccup and Toothless realized that they couldn't slow the monster down. Hiccup eyed the clouds above. An idea hits him. He locked eyes with Toothless.

"Okay, Toothless, time to disappear."

Toothless, feeling Hiccup's thoughts through their bond, pulled into a steep climb, heading toward the clouds. The Red Death followed, closing in fast. They heard the sound of gas build-up and narrowly dodged a column of flame and smoke. They reached the low-hanging clouds and pierced through them. The monster followed, immediately losing them in the hampered visibility as it roared irritably. Blending into the darkness thanks to Toothless' hide, the pair dived at the huge dragon, blasting and puncturing a hole in its wing. From the ground's point of view, the sky was littered with the resounding booms and flashes lighting up the clouds.

The pair dived in again and again, using the clouds to hide and surprise as they punctured the monster's wings. The Red Death bellowed in frustration and whirled around, unleashing fire blindly, in all directions in its effort to illuminate the pair and reveal their whereabouts. Hiccup saw the glow of fire cutting towards them.

"Watch out!"

The random blast clipped Toothless' tail, heavily damaging the prosthetic tail.

"Okay, time's up. Let's see if this works," Hiccup said as he pulled Toothless into a turn. They flew directly into the Red Death's face, taunting it. "Come on! Is that the best you can do?"

Toothless uttered an insult too in dragon language, and they jackknifed into a steep dive. The Red Death pursued, hot at their heels, as Toothless pumped his wings, racing faster than he's ever gone before. The pair stayed just ahead of the Red Death, no longer trying to evade it. Hiccup glanced back to check the tail and saw that it was disintegrating and knew it was now or never.

"Stay with me, buddy. We're good. Just a little bit longer."

The Red Death closed the gap. Hiccup tucked in and held Toothless steady, allowing the monster to set its sights on them.

"Hold, Toothless," Hiccup said as Toothless prepared his ignition gas in his throat. From the bond, Hiccup himself could almost taste the gas in his own mouth but he held on tight, waiting for the moment.

The Red Death opened its mouth, the familiar gas hiss emanating from its throat. That was the cue.

"NOW!"

Hiccup hit the pedals hard as Toothless extended one wing. They pivoted in place, hurtling directly into the Red Death's mouth. Toothless fired point blank down the monster's throat, igniting the amassing gas and backfiring into the monster, erupting in a chain of blasts throughout its body. Hiccup and Toothless burst from the clouds, the Red Death hot on their tail, exploding from within. It glanced forward and saw the ground rushing up. It quickly threw open its wings, attempting to put on the brakes, but the punctured, damaged wings couldn't stop its momentum. As the Red Death choked on the expanding fireball, the last thing it saw was Toothless suddenly pulling out of the dive, streaking up, past its head as it hit the ground, head-first, and exploded like the Hindenburg.

The pair weaved through the monster's massive back plates, wings, and flailing legs—a high-speed recall of the free fall slalom run. The expanding fireball raced toward them, about to swallow them, but they managed to clear the obstacles. Hiccup glanced back to see them having outran the fireball, only to look forward just in time to see the monster's massive club tail careening toward them. He tried to shift their direction but the last shreds of Toothless' tail tore away due to the fire the Red Death shot at before, causing Hiccup's pedals to go dead.

"No! No!"

Hiccup and Toothless couldn't maneuver; they were dead in the air. The giant club tail clipped Toothless, tearing Hiccup from the harness and sending him tumbling against the backdrop of the fast-approaching fireball. Toothless let out a horrified shriek and struggled with all his might to reach the unconscious Hiccup. They have gotten this far to be together. He almost lost him once, he was not about to lose him again. His life and his child's life depended on him, and there was nothing in the world that could do to stop him, not even the gods of Valhalla. Hiccup was his master, his best friend, his mate, his love, his heart and soul. He was not going to lose him, not now, not ever.

As the fireball swallowed them both, Toothless made one last effort to reach for Hiccup…

-:-

The Vikings watch in horror as Hiccup and Toothless disappeared into the boiling inferno. Once the fire died down into a whiteout of ash, Stoick ran through the thick fog ahead of everyone else.

"Hiccup? Hiccup!" Stoick searched desperately. Everything was scorched. Even the ground was smoking from the terrible heat. "Hiccup! Son!"

Through the ash, Stoick saw the motionless silhouette of a black dragon. As the ashy fog cleared a little, he realized that it was Toothless. Gravely, he hurried to the dragon's side. Toothless was roughed up, but conscious. His scorched saddle, however, was vacant. Stoick looked everywhere within Toothless' vicinity, but he was nowhere to be found. He looked up to the sky in despair, fearing the worst. Stricken with grief, he buckled at the knees, overwhelmed by the loss.

"Oh son…I did this…"

Astrid and the gang pushed through the crowd, their eyes welling up, followed by Gobber. They flanked Stoick as he knelt, slumped over. Behind them, a ring of Vikings formed, keeping a respectful distance. As the dust and smoke cleared, a ring of wild dragons can also be seen, gathering just behind and between the Vikings.

Slowly, Toothless stirred and groggily rolled his head toward Stoick. Their eyes met, just like they did when Stoick rescued him from drowning after coming to a respectable understanding.

"I'm so sorry…" Stoick said remorsefully, thinking that Toothless was clueless that Hiccup was gone.

Toothless responded by unfolding his wings, revealing Hiccup, unconscious, clutched safely against his chest. Stoick's eyes widened.

"Hiccup!" Stoick exclaimed and scooped Hiccup into his arms. He held Hiccup's chest close to his ear and listened to his heart, then burst into relieved laughter. "He's alive! You brought him back alive!"

The crowd roared in relief and triumph, followed by the dragons. The Vikings looked around to find themselves surrounded, not sure how they should react to that. Stoick leaned close to Toothless, meeting him eye to eye.

"Thank you…for saving my son."

"Well, you know…most of him."

Stoick glanced back at Gobber who made that statement, in which Gobber shrugged in a matter-of-fact way.

 

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