As the smoke cleared, Hiccup stared in confusion up at the Night fury standing protectively over him, barely seeing the pulsating blue rushing down the split fins in the reptiles tail. Even as he’d launched onto one of the large icicles, roaring a challenge to the massive aquatic dragon. His heart hammered in his chest as he watched the event unfold, had to remind himself to breathe when the tusk had nearly hit Toothless.
He barely heard his mother tell him what Toothless was doing, that he was challenging this… bewilderbeast with the title of alpha in order to protect him. (He couldn’t help but feel flattered at that)
Even as the dragons migrated from around the Bewilderbeast, to roaring in unison with Toothless, even to firing shots off at the enormous dragon. He acted out of habit when Toothless lept down from the icicle to stand just in front of him, shoulder lowered slightly for him to climb onto the saddle. He did so with practiced ease, metal gears hooking into the prosthetic foot to keep it from sliding free.
He wasn’t stopping himself from talking, he didn’t think of the words as he spoke to Drago, about earning a dragons trust. Even watching the bewilderbeast cower, and sink back into the water, without a trace.
His mind was almost on autopilot, getting him through the day with minimal focus on his part, helping with the beginning rebuilding projects, even as he internally grieved. Next thing he knew, he was staring up at the dark ceiling of his house, Toothless laying on the blanket beside him, as if trying to help with something… Hiccup didn’t pay much mind to it. Only shutting his eyes to try and sleep.
Ignoring the faint ache that slowly presented itself in his back.
He started having suspicions that something was wrong when he’d woken up that next day with a searing pain in his shoulderblades, and when he reached back to try and see if he was sleeping on something, that there was bone sticking out from his back. Hiccup yelped in surprise, startling the Night fury from where it was laying peacefully on the slab of rock in his room, (he wasn’t sure when Toothless had relocated to the slab of rock to be honest.)
His head was pounding, though it was probably because he’d fallen off his bed, and instead of landing on his back, he’d twisted around and gone face down on the floor for some reason. The coo from Toothless was the only thing that made him look up, to see the worried gaze of the reptile peering down at the lumps in the back of his shirt.
“I’m fine, bud.” Hiccup managed, pushing himself slowly to his feet so he wouldn’t hurt himself any more than he already had, mentally thanking that Toothless had decided to ignore his words and just shove his face under his chest to help him stand. Toothless only let out a worried warble, that Hiccup only waved his hand around to.
“I swear, theres nothing wrong. Just a little sore from last night is all… Those baby Scuttleclaws were harder to steer than you might think.” Hiccup said, twisting himself to keep the risen areas in his shirt hidden from the Dragon’s disbelieving gaze.
Before Toothless could grunt anything else, Hiccup had already managed to walk down the stairs, and to the front door. Pushing the door open only to stare at the face of the only Stormcutter he knew, looking almost guilty for something. But that thought had quickly faded away when he realized that it was only Cloudjumpers’ normal facial expression.
“Hey, Cloudjumper” Hiccup greeted, trying not to sound too tired he was bored of sitting in his house all day anyway, even though it had only been maybe five minutes since he’d woken up.
Once he managed to get past Cloudjumper, everything went as normal, just with more breaking ice from where it’d been blasted, and pain in his shoulders, as if the bones were trying to move. But that was quickly written off as his shirt just beating against them. Even as the winds would blow, and cause the ache to return with a vengeance.
Even when the other vikings gave him strange looks, Gobber especially. He ignored it, focused on the task at hand.
His next suspicion came when he’d gottenToothless to go take a break, the Night fury hadn’t let him out of its sights since he’d gotten outside. Astrid sat herself down next to him with an exhausted sigh, Hiccup could barely see Stormfly messing with Toothless from the corner of his eye.
“Hiccup,” Astrid’s voice made him turn his head over to the blonde viking, only to see she was staring at his hands.
“What?” Hiccup asked after a moment, looking down at his hands to see what she was staring at didn’t occur to him, even when she asked her next question.
“Is Toothless shedding or something?” She asked, and Hiccup only shook his head.
“No, he’s…” A pause to look over his shoulder at the Night Fury (now laying on the Deadly Nadder with a stick in his jaws) to look at the dragon’s scales. “He’s just fine, why?” He asked, turning his attention back to Astrid.
“... You have scales on the back of your hands Hiccup.” Astrid told him, lifting his hand so he would actually look.
Glancing down to see what she was talking about, he froze. Small black scales ran over the backs of his hands, covering parts of his fingers, and when he flipped his hand over, they were spreading to his palm, a small cluster seeming to spring up out of nowhere. Hiccup only felt confusion rush through his mind. Was he hallucinating or something? Did he eat a bad fish or was this all from exhaustion?
His silence must have been a concern, seeing as Astrid pushed against his arm to get his attention, he was barely able to hear her words over the sound of blood rushing through his ears, and the pounding of his heart.
“You should go talk to your mom, Hiccup.”
“... yeah…” Hiccup agreed quietly, mindlessly pushing himself to his feet and walking off in the direction he somehow knew the Stormcutter and his mother would be.
Toothless had quickly joined him, sniffing at his hands curiously before the dragon had stopped to stare at his face, nearly tripping Hiccup with his tail.
Though before Hiccup could say anything, The sound of Cloudjumper’s roar alerted him to Valka’s arrival, tilting his head up just enough to see her hopping down from the four-winged dragon’s back, lightly patting the reptiles’ crest.
“Morning Hiccup,” Valka said after a moment, not seeming to catch the concern on Toothless’s face, or the lifeless motions from her son.
“”rning, hey, mom” he said, making the woman stop where she was, looking over her shoulder at her son in confusion,
“yes Hiccup?” She asked, though hiccup didn’t respond, simply walking closer at a pace that one could describe a tired gronckle of having.
When he was close enough, he held out his hands, palms facing up for her to see the scales rippling across the pale skin. Cloudjumper’s knowing coo was enough to make him talk.
“... What is this?” Hiccup asked her, voice quiet as though he was still processing the information he knew.
Valka’s silence only made him dread the answer before she finally spoke.
“Toothless must have shed a few scales on your bed last night, thats all.” She said, though her voice spoke that she was hiding something…
Hiccup didn’t have the energy to ask her what it was. He simply nodded his head, and accepted the answer. He’d figure out what it was after he took a nap. For some reason he felt like he’d been running around all day without a break of any sort.
“... Go take a nap, you look tired.” Valka said, glancing at Toothless quickly, even as the Night Fury slightly dipped his head and managed to somehow worm himself under Hiccup to where the small viking was sitting on the saddle. Carefully wandering back towards the house, though slower than usual in an attempt to keep from making Hiccup fall from the saddle.