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Rated: ASR · Draft · Fanfiction · #2240581
Hiccup doesn’t believe hatchlings are unsafe, so Toothless uses Stoick as backup
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The Night Fury lay against the wall, supporting Hiccup’s back. Toothless had located the helmet with the assistance of a curious Thunderdrum; he promised she could meet the dragon-friendly human in exchange for finding Hiccup’s Treasured Thing. The flight back, after days of searching for Hiccup’s metal hat—helmet, his rider called it—tired Toothless. When he arrived, Hiccup had charged to him and gripped as hard as his puny arms could. Toothless placed the helmet on his rider, and Hiccup had shouted for joy. His rider insisted he eat, and told the Night Fury he’d already eaten and Toothless didn’t need to share. The excitement ended, and now they rested together.

A few minutes earlier, Hiccup’s sire—dad—had visited with them. He talked about Toothless returning, and celebrating, and that the metal hat Toothless retrieved was like his. Stoick had touched his helmet and Hiccup copied him, looking at Toothless all the while. Stoick smiled a little, and left.

“Come on, Bud.” Hiccup patted his side. “Let’s go see the others.”

Toothless muttered. He had missed Hiccup, had not seen him for days, and was not liking the idea of sharing. Hiccup touched the helmet many times since Toothless returned, and the mission was worth it for that, but Hiccup was his. The rest of them could vanish, and he wouldn’t care.

“Toothless. Are you just going to stay there all night? It’s Snoggletog—everyone celebrates it. I’d like to join them.” Toothless ignored the persuasive tone. “No, huh? Okay, you stay there and miss out on the fun; I’ll be back later, Mr. Grumpy.”

Toothless gave in, and followed Hiccup, hoping he’d avoid the bigger idiots of the tribe, especially that dark-haired kid. The ones that were kin were weird, but at least they had some respect for his friend and rider. Toothless wouldn’t abandon Hiccup, no matter how annoying the other humans became.

He was going to see the dark-haired kid. He walked right up to...wait. Hiccup walked up to Hookfang, placing a hand on his neck; the boy was wasting time with a Nightmare, when he could have Toothless t9 be with.

This was so wrong.

“Hey, big guy. I wanted to say thanks for the ride back. I know you had the babies to look after and everything, but you were a big help to all of us.” A thank you—that was permissible, and Hookfang had hatchlings to keep in line, so there was no risk of losing his rider to that flaming show off. “Y’know, these kids of yours are cute. Do you mind if I take a look?”

Hiccup squatted down in front of a yellow hatchling and spoke as if the little pest could understand him. “Well, looks like your one of Hookfang’s family. Are you going to grow up to be like your Dad? He’s really fierce.” Toothless watched the exchange. Hiccup thought the hatchling was cute; Toothless would free him from that ridiculous idea soon enough. At least Hiccup was done with his thank you’s, and they could do something better than this.

“I’m going to get a little closer to you, okay?”

Toothless snarled, and Hiccup said, “I’ll be with you in a moment, bud.” Toothless knew what his rider was about to do, and jumped between the two of them. Too late; it was on his rider’s shoulder. He growled at the scrap of scales; it jumped down to a tabletop and ran to its sire. Good. It could stay there, not threatening his rider.

“What was that about? He liked being held, and it’s not right for you to scare him off.” Hiccup furrowed his brow. “Hookfang gave me permission.”

I didn’t give you permission. That thing is dangerous. Toothless huffed. Stay away from it.

Hiccup straightened up. “Fine, I’ll leave him alone.” Hiccup turned his neck sideways. “Look, he has a brother. Maybe there’s some fish I can feed him.”

Toothless blocked his path, and head butted him backwards. No Nightmares. You have no idea how risky it is to get near one. They can shoot flame a day after being born, and you’re not fireproof. He shoved Hiccup backwards a second time. We are leaving.

“Fine, fine. We’ll go see Astrid. There shouldn’t be anyone threatening there—Astrid’s probably the scariest person in the room.”

Astrid sat on the floor, cooing over an infant Nadder. “Hiccup, look at Stormfly’s babies. They are just adorable. This purple one keeps climbing on me, and that one,” she pointed to a red and gold hatchling, “wants to know everything. She had to sniff me all over, then chewed on the spikes on my skirt; she’s going to be a bold one.”

He is teething, and if he grabs your axe to teeth on, it will be destroyed. Those mouths are built to bite things into pieces, and Hiccup needs his leg. Do not encourage him. Toothless watched in horror as Hiccup started scratching it under the chin. No! He knocked Hiccup to the floor, and several small spines flew overhead and embedded themselves in a post. He barked at the little pest. Leave him alone. He’s not a toy. Toothless growled at Hiccup, who was trying to draw the hatchling toward him. Don’t touch them. They will use your scrawny hide for target practice.

He heard a chirp. They all turned to look at Stormfly. Toothless, you worry too much. He won’t die from petting a dragonet.

“Look Astrid, they’re talking to one another. I hope that’s an apology for his attitude; he was just as rude to Hookfang’s kids.”

Do you hear him? This is the kid who decided to set me free. He jumps out of the saddle to fall through the sky. He fought Her, Toothless shuddered, because it was the right thing to do. He has a death wish.

He tried to play with Hookfang’s hatchlings? Toothless nodded; Stormfly called her babies to her, and tucked them under her wings. Good luck with protecting him.

“Are you jealous of these little guys, Toothless? You’re more important to me than any of them—you know that.”

Toothless helped Hiccup stand, then grabbed him by the sleeve and hauled him across the room. He needed reinforcements. Toothless marched through a flick of Terrors, stopping short in front of Stoick and Gobber; Hiccup stumbled to a halt.

“Happy Snoggletog, son.” Stoick raised his brow. “To you as well, Toothless. Is something wrong? I’ve not seen Toothless drag you with such force before.” Toothless and Hiccup answered together.

“Yeah, something’s gotten into Toothless; it’s like I can’t go anywhere without his permission.”

Your son is an idiot.

“I tried to play with one of Hookfang’s hatchlings, and he pitched a fit.”

Nightmares breathe fire a day after they hatch, and set themselves on fire two days later.

“He chased the little guy off, and wouldn’t let me near any of the others. I asked Hookfang, and he was fine with it.”

He would have shown off for you, and set himself on fire. I want you unhurt; it’s not too much to expect. Toothless glared at him, and Hiccup glared right back.

“Astrid had one of Stormfly’s babies—they’re so cute, Dad, you’ve gotta see them—but when I scratched one, he knocked me to the ground and yelled at her.”

Him. You almost got punctured by the little pest. He snorted at Hiccup. Twice. He looked at both men, and jerked his head toward Hiccup. I’m trying to keep him alive, and he’s complaining. I could use a little help.

“Toothless isn’t any happier with you, Hiccup. You’re upsettin’ him for some reason.” Hiccup spluttered, indignant, and the three of them ignored him. “When was the last time you saw them argue like this, Stoick?”

“Hmm. I am certain this is new. Toothless does not become upset without cause, and I am not convinced he is in the wrong, Hiccup.”

“Dad, you can’t be serious. He’s being ridiculous. There’s no chance any of the babies can replace him, and he knows that.” Hiccup waved his hands, exasperated. “This jealousy
isn’t needed, bud. I’m yours.”

If you survive. He added a half bark, half exhale, hoping to get his point across.

“I swear I heard the dragon “harrumph” at us, Stoick. He’s got some point to dragging the lad over; you’re Hiccup’s father and I think Toothless wants your help.”

Stoick studied them. “Aye. I only see one solution for this. Toothless,” he turned his full attention to the dragon, “I have questions I want you to answer as fully as you can. Is that acceptable?” Toothless nodded. “Good. We can begin.”

“Toothless, my son believes you are jealous. Is this true?” Toothless shook his head. “There’s no chance whatever?”

Toothless laughed, and Gobber joined him. “I’m calling that a ‘no,’ Stoick.” Toothless nodded at Gobber, and he grinned back. “Next question.”

Toothless, are you angry at Hiccup?” Toothless thought about a good answer, then glanced at his rider and chuffed. Stoick said, “You are not angry.” It was a question, and Toothless responded by thwacking his rider with an ear flap.

“I don’t think he’s angry, exactly, but something like it. Annoyed, maybe, or fed up.” Toothless nodded. Gobber was speeding things along nicely; he would have to hack up a fish for him as a thank you.

“What have I done to upset you?” Toothless heard the concern in his rider’s voice. “Tell me, bud, and we can fix it.”

I did. You decided I was jealous of a bunch of clumsy dragonets. Toothless glanced around the room. Terrors were nosy and quick to gossip, and could be relied on to tell the other dragons about this. Yes, other dragons were looking their way. Stormfly locked eyes with him, and deliberately walked toward them. Thank you.

“I believe Toothless is frustrated, son. I have questioned him and Gobber has understood him; you have done neither. Toothless,” Stoick addressed him, “are you fed up?”

A nod. Oh, yes.

“With my son?”

You have no idea. Another nod.

“Is he refusing to listen to you?” Stoick’s lip twitched. “Thor knows he's good at that.”

Toothless wished Hiccup understood him this well. An emphatic nod.

“I’m not that bad.” They ignored Hiccup a second time, and Toothless heard Stormfly laugh.

“You’ve my sympathy, Toothless. He’s no better in the forge.” Gobber never took his eyes off Toothless, but said, “Have you noticed how many dragons are watching, Stoick? They’re mighty interested in the four of us. Have been for a while. I don’t think saying there's nothing to see here will work on this lot, either. You’ve an audience now.”

“Fine. I can handle this.” Stoick scanned the crowd. “I cannot stop you from watching, but you are free to go. If you remain, you may not interrupt these proceedings. Keep your youngsters under control, or I will make you leave. Are we clear?” Stormfly gave a mighty squawk, and the rest responded after her. “Good.”

“Toothless, is Hiccup acting unfairly?” Toothless shook his head. Hiccup meant well. He might be stupid, but he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone.

“Is he being stubborn?” Gobber’s eyes were merry. “Acting like he doesn’t have a thought in his noggin? Is he being a muttonhead?”

Toothless rose onto his back legs, looked Gobber in the eye, and dropped his chin twice. Both men laughed, and half the nearby dragons joined in.

“Thanks for that, Gobber. I thought,” Hiccup stabbed his first finger at Toothless, “you were supposed to be on my side.”

“He is. That is why he brought you here.” Stoick’s attention was fixed on Toothless. “Is Hiccup risking himself?”

Toothless answered in the affirmative.

“With the hatchlings?”

Yes.

“Can you demonstrate, Toothless? Perhaps someone in the audience could help.”

Stormfly stepped forward, carrying one of her clutch. She set the terror-sized dragon in front of her and groomed his forehead; he wriggled in excitement, and Toothless tapped his paw on the ground.

Three. Two. One.

Five spines released. Stormfly caught four of them, allowing the fifth to zip underneath Hiccup’s nose.

“Whoa!” Hiccup lurched backward. Toothless retrieved the spine—it had gone straight through someone’s tankard—and delivered it to the men. Gobber tested it; the point drove halfway into the tabletop. Hiccup’s stared at the spike, his expression awed. “I don’t know if I’ve ever sharpened anything to this level. Are all her spikes like this?”

Stormfly turned her head and chirped at Hiccup. His. Yes, and some are sharper.

“Wow.” Hiccup stared into the distance, then looked from Stormfly to Toothless. “These would be great for crossbows. I could cut them in half and tip the bolts with them. It should remain balanced enough to use, at least at closer ranges.”

They responded as if they'd trained: Stoick lifted his son by the collar, and Toothless snarled at him, before whacking him with a wingtip.

“Aaand you’re ganging up on me. Fantastic.” Hiccup turned his head toward Stoick. “Could you put me down, Dad?”

“Fine.” Stoick dropped his son in front of Toothless, who wrapped his tail around his rider.

“Do you think you could help us out, lass?” Gobber spoke to Stormfly. “I’m not in a hurry to touch that spine, but it shouldn’t hurt you.” She nodded, and delicately plucked it out of the tabletop. She tossed the spike on the floor, and Toothless incinerated it. “Thank you. Keeping Hiccup breathing is a full-time job, and I’ll not refuse help.”

Stormfly cocked her head at him, considering. She opened her jaw wide and held her fire in her throat, then walked toward Hiccup. Hiccup took a step back, and Stormfly snapped her jaw shut. She pointedly stared at her hatchlings, who were trying to blast the stone floor. She turned her back on Hiccup, gathered her errant offspring, and stomped off.

“It looks like you have two dragons annoyed with you, lad.” Gobber teased his moustache with his hook, extracting a bit of carrot from it. “Still think Toothless is in the wrong, do you?”

“Yes. Yes, I do. I don’t know what got into Stormfly—I wonder if she’s training her babies.” He got the faraway look again. “Maybe she’d let us watch.”

“That was the demonstration I asked for, son.” Stoick broke in. “If that spike went through you, you would be badly injured, possibly poisoned. Nadders are quick to move, with sharp beaks, and they fire magnesium blasts.”

“Stormfly’s not dangerous, Dad. She’s powerful, and I wouldn’t want her mad at me, but there’s no risk.”

“Stormfly would not hurt you, but she is a Deadly Nadder, and far from harmless. She is an adult, knows who you are, and can control her reactions. Her babies cannot control themselves. You are not a person to them, but a plaything. Toothless has experience with hatchlings and you have none; he is trying to keep you alive, Hiccup.”

“The thing about babies,” Gobber added, “is they don’t pay attention to anyone. You can’t expect their parents to keep the youngsters contained, not when the little imps are able to run off. Saying no doesn’t work on ‘em, either.”

“Okay, okay, I get it.” Stoick folded his arms. “And I’ll keep away from Stormfly’s babies.”

“Continue.” At Hiccup’s incredulous look, Stoick said, “Staying away from a handful of hatchlings does not negate the risk of being around the rest of them. Correct?”

“Dad, this conversation is really one-sided.” Hiccup blew his hair out of his eyes, the action a tell for his frustration. “I’m fine, Dad, really. Stop worrying so much—I’m saf3 with Toothless beside me. Isn’t that right, bud?”

Toothless swiped his tail at Hiccup’s legs, taking them out from under him. He stood over his rider and gave a low rumble. This is keeping you safe. You aren’t winning this argument. If you don’t cooperate, I will sit on you.

“If you want your dragon to stand guard over you to separate you from danger, I do not object. If you want freedom, give us a better answer. You are the only person on your side, Hiccup. Think about that.”

Toothless needed reinforcements. He made an ‘arr’ noise, and Meatlug waddled over, followed by all nine of her hatchlings. Toothless moved aside and helped Hiccup to stand. Hiccup was about to thank him, when he hit th3 floor with a thud. One of Meatlug’s clutch had crashed straight into Hiccup’s leg, with another force to fell Gobber—Hiccup didn’t stand a chance of staying upright. Toothless knew his rider was the most fun the hatchling had all day, and soon Hiccup was surrounded by curious Gronckle hatchlings. They explored Hiccup, while Gobber and Stoick traded comments.

“I’ve got to admit, they’re fun to watch. I never knew the young’uns could roll themselves into a ball.”

“Aye. They move quickly, too. If he,” Toothless grumbled, “I mean she, was heading downhill, the force would be powerful. Hiccup’s fortunate she was on level ground, or he would have a head injury.” Stoick stroked his beard. “Is the green one chewing on his leg?”

“Never expected to see that, but it’s not surprising.They eat rocks, so they’re eating ores. Give the youngster enough time and with the strength of that jaw, Hiccup’s leg will be bitten clean through.”

Hiccup struggled with the onslaught of dragonets. One was attacking his prosthetic and a second was licking his wrist, in case he was rocky and edible. His moving chest made for an intriguing surface to roll over, and several were using him as a hill. Meatlug watched indulgently, as Hiccup was pinned down, tasted, climbed, and sniffed. One made itself into a ball and rolled straight between Hiccup’s legs and onto his chest. Stoick, Gobber, and Toothless winced.

“Oww! Ohhh,” he moaned, “don’t do that again, okay? It feels bad.” He looked at Toothless, his eyes pleading. “Will you help me up?”

No. You wanted hatchlings, and Meatlug agreed. Talk to her. He sat, making a show of listening to Stoick and Gobber. Right now, they were better company than his rider.

Several minutes passed. Toothless was having an easier time of communicating with the two men, and some of Gobber’s jokes crossed the species barrier. He was chortling at one when Hiccup joined them.

“Hi, Dad.”

“Hello, Hiccup. Did you have an enjoyable time? The babies certainly had fun playing with you. Toothless was right there, protecting you from danger.”

“Yeah, it was fine, just... great.” He fidgeted. “Not as great as I expected, but still good.”

“I am glad to hear it. Perhaps you might help watch them for their parents, since you have had success with it.”

He threw up his hands. “Okay, it wasn’t what I thought. Picking them up to hold them is different from actually playing with them.”

Toothless nudged him, then indicated Stoick. Apologize.

“Sorry, Dad.” Toothless prodded his rider. “I should’ve listened, and you were right.”

“Accepted. Now apologize to Toothless. He had to drag you over here and get our help,” he indicated Gobber, “because you did not pay attention to his warnings.”

Hiccup slumped. “I shouldn’t have ignored you, Bud. You were trying to protect me, and I thought there was something wrong with you. I’m sorry, Toothless.”

Toothless blew a breath across Hiccup’s hair. Good. Now be safe.

“I’ll be careful around the hatchlings. I don’t want to be a Gronckle toy again, ever. Come on,” he spoke to Toothless, “let’s find something to eat.”

“Hold up.” Gobber looked at the three of them. “There’s something you’re all missing here. The youngsters have found out Hiccup’s a fine plaything; what’s going to stop them from looking for him?”

“I’ll shoo them away, I guess.”






Mead Hall echoed with the noises of revelry. The Hooligan tribe celebrated with vigor at any event, but Snoggletog surpassed them all. Mead was consumed, then spilled, to be investigated by nosy terrors.

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