raskol: (brushstrokes)
Raskol ([personal profile] raskol) wrote2014-08-21 10:20 am

[httyd] seasons -- hiccup & toothless (pg)

Seasons
~1900 words, PG, Hiccup & Toothless (+ Stoick & Gobber)
a/n: Loose season-based shorts, set sometime between the first and second films. Pure, unadulterated boy-and-his-dragon fluff. Thanks to [personal profile] dragonmoth for the quick look-see.



Summer came and gilded the ocean with gold. In the past when Hiccup had been younger, it had always been that too-short season of indolence, warmth, and leisure; now that he was nearing manhood, it seemed more the season of intolerable closeness than anything else, what with the growing responsibilities that came with being the chief's son and the newly-christened Hero of Berk.

Hiccup wasn't sure he liked the title, really. Sure, it was nice to get some recognition, especially from his dad, but now it meant that he was no longer just the chief's son; he was also the hero, the dragontamer, and that apparently meant he could walk on water. If he had ever thought that exceeding expectations would relieve him of any pressure, he was quickly corrected. If there weren't repairs to be done, then there was training to be had, backs to be scratched, meetings to attend... it left little enough time for himself, much less Toothless, and it seemed more important than ever to be able to get away from it all.

Which was why Hiccup was here now, sheltering in one of the cliff-side watchtowers overlooking Berk. Staring out across the waters, he let the soft murmur of the waves and the warmth of the sun lull him into a pleasant drowse, disturbed only by the distant bleat of the sheep. The charcoal in his hand dipped, his pilfered sketchbook drooping into his lap as he closed his eyes.

Just a few minutes...

He didn't know how long he'd been asleep when a sudden draft suddenly brought him back to himself. He startled awake, snorted, and reflexively pulled all his materials to his chest before he lost them to the wind.

A few arms' length away, Toothless stared at him in open curiosity, his claws digging into the rock of the cliff. Little chunks of it fell to the ground as he shifted, and the whole overhang swayed warningly beneath his weight. He glanced down and hissed at it.

"Uh, Toothless?" Hiccup said, alarmed, scrambling to his feet. He quickly yanked the few sheets of paper closer to his chest as a breeze started up. It felt amazing against his sweaty face, which was -- ow, burnt now. Go figure. "You might want to --"

Toothless flared his wings out and flapped once, twice. Pebbles skittered down the cliff-side, and rocks went flying. So did Hiccup's heart, right into his throat, as the watchtower shook beneath the beating of those mighty wings. Then Toothless was gone.

Briefly.

The sudden shadow that fell over him should've been alarming. Instead, Hiccup sighed and stood up, clutching the sheaves of paper to his chest like the precious treasures they were. "Now what?" he said.

Toothless, hovering before him, jerked his head towards the sun skipping off the water.

"Sorry, I don't have the saddle with me," Hiccup said, spreading out his arms and wondering who exactly was the "tamer" in this relationship. "I was working."

Toothless snorted. His eyes narrowed.

"No, I'm not lying. Here, take a look," Hiccup said. He raised one of the sketches to the sky and waited for approval.

Toothless gave the drawing a bemused look, then tilted his head and hovered closer to see by the light of the setting sun.

"Okay, okay, I'll explain. See these? They're wings. You pull this cord here" -- he gestured with the charcoal -- "and they spring out. I'm thinking that if we go high enough before springing it, I might be able to manage a glide. And who knows? If that works, and if we figure out a reliable way to create some lift..."

Intrigued, Toothless landed on the edge of the platform.

The watchtower collapsed.

---

Autumn overwhelmed the world with rain, and the rain overwhelmed Hiccup with boredom.

"Oh, c'mon. It's not like a little bit of rain's gonna hurt us," Hiccup said, stumbling after Stoick through the forge. "What was all that about Viking bravery and courage?"

"In the face of battle, Hiccup," said Stoick. "Flying out in this kind of weather isn't brave or courageous. What happens if you get yourself killed by crashing into a cliff face?"

"We're not going to crash into a cliff face, dad. Just because I've lost a leg doesn't mean I've suddenly lost the rest of my senses too."

"Ach, it seems to me you've lost your common sense," Gobber said, putting in the usual unwanted word.

"Well, you know me," Hiccup said with a forced laugh. "It's hard to lose something you never had in the first place. Look, dad --"

Stoick rounded on him, his face stormy. "No, Hiccup! I won't be losing you to some stupid whim. No is no, and that's final!"

Final, Hiccup thought as he snuck out of Berk later that day, rather less gracefully than he might've done in the past with two intact legs. Right.

He immediately regretted his decision when his leg got stuck in the mud a short distance into the forest, and he fell flat on his face, the gear that he'd brought with him sprawling over the wet ground, splattering mud and water every which way. Great. Just great. He thought about just giving up and lying there to admit defeat before the weather, but then Toothless appeared, ghosting through the trees. His hide glistened with raindrops, and he was blinking water from his eyes as he crept closer to nose at Hiccup's face.

Hiccup yanked a hand from the mud with a loud squelch and patted Toothless's head. "Boy, am I glad to see you," he said, leaving a brown smear across Toothless's otherwise spotless scales.

Toothless drew back, shaking his head, then snorted water right into Hiccup's face in wild indignation.

"Thanks," Hiccup said, blinking. He watched blearily as Toothless disappeared out of his field of vision and sighed. First the weather, then his dad, and now this. Really, could this day get any worse?

Something caught at the back of Hiccup's shirt -- something that felt suspiciously like teeth -- and yanked.

"Wha--? No! No, bad dragon!"

Toothless ignored his protests and jerked him free from the mud, before dragging him along for a few bumpy yards and depositing him unceremoniously onto a grassy patch. Then he sat back on his haunches expectantly.

"Ouch," Hiccup said. He winced as picked himself up, his leg trembling beneath him as he tested his weight, then reached around to check the back of his shirt. His fingers found three large ragged holes. He dropped his arms. "Did you have to do that? I could've gotten out myself."

Toothless blinked innocently, licked his nose, and cleaned the mud from his face with a delicate claw. Then he stood and leapt from boulder to boulder, deeper into the forest. He glanced back over his shoulder at the top of a shallow rise.

Hiccup rolled his eyes. "Show-off," he muttered, but he was smiling and, after gathering up the fallen equipment, started off after him.

---

The chill of winter gnawed at his leg like a graying wolf at a bone -- or maybe a dragon at a piece of gristly mutton. That seemed more the right kind of simile in Berk these days.

It was a bad winter. Hiccup wasn't a stranger to pain or cold by any means -- this was Berk, after all, and he was a Viking (of sorts) -- but he had to admit he hadn't known just how awful it could get. The first real day of snow, he woke up in sheer agony, his foot throbbing in time with the rhythm pounding in his ears. It was like someone had wedged his now-missing foot between an ice-cold anvil and hammer and was now proceeding to beat on it with all the enthusiasm of Gobber straightening a bent sword. Or sawing off a bad foot.

It was probably a good thing he hadn't been awake during the amputation, he thought fuzzily through the pain. He was pretty sure he'd have cried, Viking honor be damned.

He lay in bed, curled up and shivering. Today was not his day, he decided. He wasn't going to do anything. Nope. Not at all. Come rain or high fire ... or an avalanche, which was far more likely

Then the blasted dragon dropped from the rafters.

Hiccup groaned. He pulled his covers over his head. "Morning, Toothless," he said. "Sorry, bud, but I think I'm staying in today."

Toothless snorted and poked at him with what must've been a claw.

Hiccup rolled over. "Nope, not gonna happen." When teeth closed around the covers and began to tug, he swatted at the offending nose. "Gerroff."

Toothless sat back and huffed, then leaned in for another go.

Hiccup turned over and grabbed Toothless's jaws, just barely avoiding his teeth. "No," he said firmly into Toothless's nose. "No means no. Got it?"

Toothless rumbled and gave him a hurt look before pulling away, nearly dragging Hiccup from the bed. He sniffed disdainfully at Hiccup's yelp.

"Hey, don't you make that face at me," Hiccup said. "I think I'm allowed one sick day."

Toothless glared at him scornfully, hacked out a half-digested hunk of meat onto Hiccup's bed, then slunk out the door with nary a backwards glance. Hiccup kicked the gob of flesh off his covers and flopped back over. He'd apologize later, he thought guiltily, then sank into a deep, troubled sleep, where he dreamt that he had to amputate his own limbs and offer them on a spit to a ravenous Night Fury.

But when Hiccup awakened next, it was to a gentle fire warming the hut and Toothless curled up at the foot of his bed, his breathing as tranquil and steady as the swell of the waves against the cliff.

---

With spring came the promise of something new; Hiccup could smell it in the air, fresh as the scent of newborn shoots after a spring shower. The potential for change trembled on the edge of his fingertips, precarious and exhilarating, and Hiccup felt the tug of that promise like a gentle but insistent breeze nipping at his shirt. Far below him, the light danced off the water; it dazzled him, and the vastness of the ocean beckoned.

Go, roared the waves as they broke against the cliff. Fly.

At his shoulder, Toothless shifted impatiently and snuffed, scoring the rock beneath his claws in restlessness. Hiccup wondered if they saw the same thing, felt the same thing here before this vast vista. Probably not. Dragons encountered the wondrous every day -- were the wondrous, as far as Hiccup was concerned -- and this must've been a familiar sight.

Still, it must be amazing, to stand here and look out over the ocean and know that you can go there.

He could go there now. They could go there. The thought caught at his imagination, sent it whirling and spinning through the air like a feather blown by the wind. Nothing held them back. Inevitability washed over him, and he felt the acute sense of being caught up in something larger than himself.

"So, Toothless," he said without turning. "What do you think? Wanna go out there and take a look?"

Toothless huffed, and suddenly, there was a nose in Hiccup's back, nudging him towards the cliff. He laughed -- "Hey!" -- and reached back to wrap an arm around Toothless's neck. His hand smoothed over the dry, warm scales. They thrummed beneath his palm to the rhythm beating in his own chest.

"Sounds like a yes to me," Hiccup said, grinning. He clambered up into the saddle. After checking his footing, he patted Toothless's shoulder.

"Let's go," he said, and they took off into the vast unknown.