The moon had risen quickly, and Hiccup had found himself nestled comfortably against Toothless’s flank, eyes closing calmly as he subconsciously pressed closer to the warmth at his back, a tail curling loosely around his waist. His muscles slowly relaxed, one by one as the hunger in his stomach quickly disappeared, allowing him to focus on rest, a pain that resonated from deep within his bones forcing him to adjust how he was sitting to have the Night fury lay a wing carefully over his cold form, the rhythmic rumbling the the reptile’s throat lulling him into a dreamless slumber.
His bones burned, muscles screamed, and his mind clouded, heat rising in his throat as a familiar shriek of a Night Fury preparing to fire came to his ears. Snapping him out of the stupor to look around, only to see Toothless was watching him with a wary gaze, and for some reason, they were the same size.
Hiccup managed to suppress the heat in his throat after feeling it leak further into his mouth. Trying to stand up, he stumbled, losing balance immediately as he collapsed to his side, pain rushing through his side as a roar ripped through his throat, the sound startling him enough to make him roll away from the rock he’d landed on.
He barely looked at Toothless as he managed to half-stumble over to the pool of water in the cove, to stare down in distress at the reflection of a Night Fury staring back up at him. Its pupils narrowed to predatory slivers, and teeth bared in a threat. His tail smacked the water, erasing the image, only to replace it with another Night Fury, eyes widened in confusion, and ears laid back in a defensive concept.
A quick glance down at his body, confirmed that the reflection was not in fact, a hallucination like he expected, rather he was indeed a Night Fury. And Toothless had been steadily creeping closer, the sound of the footsteps on the rock snapped him into a defensive positions, wings flaring open as he roared a subconscious threat to the Nightfury.
Toothless said something, he wasn’t sure what, he couldn’t understand him.
His eyes darted around the cove, wings only opening wider as Toothless tried to calm him. His tail flicking about as his ears flattened, teeth baring at the night fury in front of him.
He had to get out of here…
He wasn’t thinking when it happened, ignored the roar from his companion as his wings unfurled to their full size, and thrashed against the air, throwing him into the sky just enough that he could get himself closer to the edge of the cove before falling out of balance, and crashing back to the ground. Dirt scattering around him as he managed to haul himself back to his feet, repeating the action to try again, motions panicked and flighty. He had to get away.
He had to
The flying lessons were cut short as a roar tore through the air, Cloudjumpers head shooting up as he peered off in the direction of the cove. Pupils narrowing with a growl that told Valka all she needed to know.
Hiccup had lost to the instincts.
”Lets go Cloudjumper, we’ve got to try and put some sense into him.” Valka said, opening the quadruple wings at her sides, mimicking the Stormcutter’s actions as she lifted herself into the air.
”He’s afraid, confused.” Cloudjumper informed her, keeping close in the event she stumbled, to catch her before she fell to the ground and hurt herself. ”A cornered Nightfury, is a dangerous one.” The reptile said simply, trusting that Valka would follow as he dove into the cover of the trees.
Hiccup tried once more, his wings beating against the air as he managed to get a few feet off the ground, only to lose balance and drop to the ground in a graceless heap of black and navy scales, giving a very similar sight to the times Toothless had attempted to fly off, and crashed to the ground.
His entire body ached, screaming from the torture he was putting it through, as well as the pain from the change. Dragging himself back to his feet, he whipped around as Toothless gave a concerned coo, only being answered by a hiss as he forced himself to try and fly once again, only to crash back to the ground once more, water scattering as his wings smacked the rippling surface.
The Night fury tensed as he heard approaching wingbeats, momentarily forgetting about Toothless to glare up at the air, the telltale shriek of a flame preparing in his throat tore through the air. A wing flashed into his sight, he fired.
Cloudjumper weaved through the trees as though they were the cave he’d come to know as home, dodging under branches, and twisting through small spaces between trunks. He could hear Valka mimicking his movements, wings beating in unison with one another as he drew nearer to the cove. The loud shrieking had him speeding up, he knew it was Hiccup, he could smell the fear wafting off of the boy in waves.
His wing broke through the canopy of trees, a plasma blast shot past him, barely giving him enough time to duck under it, though sadly a tree beside him wasn’t spared, a thick space burned through the tough wood.
It was worse than he thought.
Valka visibly recoiled as the plasma blast shot past Cloudjumper, nearly hitting his wing, though the Stormcutter had quickly dove to avoid it, she heard the searing sound of the shot burning through the bark of a tree. She spared a glance over at the crackling wood, to gauge how long it had until falling.
Her tail whipped around behind her as she darted past the tree, to catch up with Cloudjumper, who had taken shelter behind the thicker foliage near the cove, peering down to try and see if he could figure out how to approach without scaring Hiccup any further.
”How bad is it?” Valka asked quietly, landing carefully beside him to peer into the cove, watching intently as Toothless maneuvered to keep the artificial fin from being hit by the plasma blasts that were shot at him. ”... Never mind, I answered my own questions…” she whispered. Ducking down as Hiccup’s attention shot towards the foliage, watching.
”There is something that we might be able to do…” Cloudjumper whispered, turning his head towards Valka, carefully lowering his head to nudge at her shoulder, ”But it is dangerous, and I cannot guarantee it will work.”
”If it can help get Hiccup back to his senses, then I don’t care for the risk, just tell me what it is.” Valka hissed quietly, peering at the Stormcutter through the corner of her eye.
His wings lowered slightly at the voice, craning his neck a bit to see Valka slowly descending the rocky slope, her staff helping her on the way down to keep hold of the cracks and holes in the boulders. The Nightfury only remained still, slowly lowering his head to watch the woman’s movements.
“Can you hear me?”
He growled, almost as if anticipating an attack as she drew closer, momentarily disappearing behind Toothless as the other Nightfury darted in front of her, to shield her from any oncoming attacks he might decide to throw at her. Hiccup only rolled his eyes, backing up slightly to put a bit more distance between he and the two near the opening to the cove, ignorant to the steadily approaching Cloudjumper.
“I’ll take that as a ‘yes, I can hear you,” Valka sighed, lightly patting Toothless’s neck as she carefully moved around him, staff left abandoned on the rocks as she held her hands up, to show she had nothing of danger on her.
Hiccup still remained defensive, tail whipping violently behind him as he stumbled slightly, quickly peering back at his hind legs to try and figure out what the issue was, only to growl aggressively as he glared at the scarred leg. And while it didn’t hinder his movements that much, it was still a slightly annoying thing to be reminded of.
Slowly, Valka continued to approach, her steps light and careful to avoid startling him any further than he already was, watching Cloudjumper through the corner of her eye as well was quite a task, to try and keep the Stormcutter from approaching too early, though Toothless was determined on moving after her, not that she could blame him, he and hiccup were practically inseparable since she’d returned to Berk.
Her eyes widened slightly as Hiccup seemed to have finally noticed Cloudjumper, barely blinked before the shriek of fire tore through the air, and a thud reverberated through her very core.
“Cloudjumper!” She called, forgetting about the threat of her currently-night fury son, and rushed over to the Stormcutter, struggling to stand back up. Her eyes immediately drifting to where the plasma blast had hit, the scales broken and bleeding from the force. Her worry must have been clear, as the Stormcutter carefully adjusted to where standing wasn’t so painful, and gave an assuring coo.
“Don’t tell me that, you’re not fine!” Valka said, ignoring the confused chirping from Hiccup as the Nightfury stepped closer, heard only the threatening snarls from Cloudjumper as a wing folded over her, shrouding her from the world.
Hiccup wasn’t certain what had happened, for a moment he’d heard his mother, saw her coming close in what seemed like wariness, with her hands at her sides. Only something had forced his mind back, a heat building dangerously in his throat until something got too close, releasing it in a single blast, the telltale sound of something falling echoing through the air, and the shriek of his mother.
He wasn’t sure why Cloudjumper was bleeding, or why the Stormcutter was snarling at him as though he’d tried to attack his mother, … he didn’t right? His confusion was voiced through chirps and clicks, something he didn’t seem to notice, even as he heard his own voice as he normally would.
”What- what happened? Why are you bleeding?” he’d tried to ask, though cloudjumper only flared up at him, made him dodge to the side as a flurry of flames were shot at him, singing part of his face with a hiss
Why was Cloudjumper acting so hostile? He hadn’t done anything wrong, had he?