Gift of the Night Furies, Chapter 3

Finally, his latest drawing was complete. A black egg covered the page, shading showing the light caressing the scale-like texture. Javelin grinned as he examined it.

He flipped back through the journal. There were several charcoal paintings of his sister and brother-in-law. One captured them sleeping, curled around the hidden eggs as a barrier against anything hostile. Another saw Toothless and Twilight's kiss, snouts together in love.

His favorite was the first one he had done. It was when she had revealed their unborn offspring. Twilight made up most of the background, the dark cave wall behind her taking what was left. Her left wing was stuck in mid-air, half a second away from resting on her body. The two eggs rested peacefully against her belly, their bottom halves covered by her tail as it went past them to barely touch her front paws. The mattress of moss and branches spread out from her tail, falling towards the bottom of the paper. The dragoness' head was a small distance above her legs, conveying her desire to rest. Her eyes were mostly open, rectangular black pupils filling an even third. The ends of her lips were raised, a satisfied smile visible.

This, this was his masterpiece. He had remembered every single detail, despite the green overlay of night-vision. This is what artists spend their entire lives looking for. The beauty, the grace... It is these moments that must be treasured.

Three days since Toothless got his automatic prosthetic. Three days since he had seen Hiccup. Three days since Twilight laid her eggs. Javelin and Toothless spent much of that time caring for her.

In the nest, she grinned, examining her work. Even when she first felt them inside her, she always kept wondering about who they would be. Twilight already knew that at least one of them would be named after her parents. Greln for a boy, Trena for a girl.

While it had been at least a season since the death of her mom, dad, and friends, she had come to terms with it. Sure, there were still nightmares, but they were barely an occurrence now. You would have liked him, Dad. You both would have loved them.

Twilight carefully kissed one of the eggs. She didn't know when they would hatch, but she did know that time would be one of her best.

Toothless was over the ocean, searching for Hiccup's helmet. It had been knocked off his head by a dragon when the massive flock headed to the island where they would lay their eggs. The Night Fury dove after it when he heard the concern in Hiccup's voice. But then the boy had told him they could find it later, the dragons taking first priority.

He knew how much that helmet meant to his soul-brother. Hiccup had relayed the story about how it belonged to his mother and was the last thing he had to remember her by. Toothless sympathized with him fully, having never known or found out about the fate of his own parents. The dragon had nothing, not even a memory of them.

Toothless did not want his rider to experience that. And so, when he wasn't fishing for Twilight and staying at her side with their eggs, he was flying around his last flight path with Hiccup.

Not seeing it from the skies, he dived into the water several times to try his luck there. Deep down, he was thankful that there weren't any underwater ravines or canyons in the area. If the helmet had descended into the deep, there would be no way for the dragon to get to it without drowning.

His head breached the waves, his lungs taking large gulps of air. He swam farther down the trail, then went back under. As he dove, the dragon constantly looked around, his sight reaching far into the distance.

While he did not hear it, nor see it when he came back up, a certain Gronckle had flown overhead.

He repeated his procedure many times, until he found it. Resting on the sea floor was a metal helmet, two small horns curving out to point above it. He grabbed it with his mouth, then high-tailed it out of there. He coughed out some water when he saw the sky clearly again, but didn't drop the object in his mouth. Toothless got back into the air and flew back to Berk.

He arrived past midday. Javelin was on his rock in his human form, resting. Upon hearing the beats of his wings, the soldier woke up. Sitting up to a cross-legged position, he spoke. "So you're back. Find what you were looking for, Toothless?"

Toothless chuckled as best he could before placing the saliva-covered helmet on the ground. "Yeah. Finally found it today. Hiccup will be happy to have it back."

"Oh, trust me, he will. Twilight's waiting for you, you know." He nodded towards the cave, then laid back down.

The dragon galloped to the nest. Upon seeing his mate, he went to her and exchanged a kiss. "How is everyone?" he asked, taking a look at their two eggs.

"We're fine," Twilight answered sweetly. Then she glared at him. "Where were you?"

"Sorry. I was looking for Hiccup's helmet. It got knocked off his head when we encountered the flock a few days ago."

"You don't have to say anymore. But, please, be a little more careful next time. Javelin went through two transformations today and he is exhausted."

"I'll make it up to you."

"You already are." She rested her head against his own. They stayed like that for a long moment until the dragoness felt a small vibration. She immediately turned her head to the eggs, Toothless doing the same. They stared at them, unblinking.

There. One of them wobbled slightly.

Toothless glanced at Twilight, who leaned her head closer to the objects.

Another one.

Instinct took over. "Toothless, grab one. I'll take the other. Follow me outside."

Toothless made sure his teeth were retracted, then moved to an egg. Picking it up with his gums and securing it, he lifted it out of his mate's grasp. Twilight grabbed the remaining egg the same way, then got up. The two exited the cave and, the first time in a while for Twilight, entered the open cove. She went straight to the lake, not stopping until she was chest-deep in the cold water. Then the female Night Fury placed the egg in the ripples, the black submerging beneath the blue. Toothless, close behind, did the same and accompanied Twilight back to the shore.

They sat down and waited for what seemed like an eternity. Javelin, having been half-asleep, ignored his body's demands once again and joined his family. On the golden sand, bathed in the sun as it began to shine its best colors, the trio watched the water.

A muffled explosion sounded, quickly followed by small bubbles rising to the surface. A second explosion happened a few seconds later. The suspense could have been cut with a knife.

A small black form broke the water's surface. The hatchling opened its eyes to show two beautiful emeralds, a wide, soul-searching black void filling their centers. "Mama! Papa!" she chirped, swimming over to her parents on instinct.

Another small hatchling appeared after the firstborn began her movements. He squeaked out the same two words his sister did, his eyes copies of his father's except for a slight touch of faint blue on the edges.

No one said a word, lest the spell of the moment be broken. Both Twilight and Toothless stepped forward to accept their son and daughter. Greln and Trena instinctively went to their mother, but the latter joined her father shortly after, rubbing her tiny snout against his.

Twilight regurgitated a pile of half-digested fish in front of the two new Night Furies. As they dug into their first meal, Toothless spread a wing over his mate, who returned it by leaning against him. They watched their little ones with joy and unending love.

Javelin had knelt down and watched as the two hatchlings, his niece and nephew, came up and swam to Toothless and Twilight. His eyes had also seen Twilight's hatching as well, the preserved memory coming out and revealing itself. He saw both events side-by-side.

Their beauty is surely graced by God, he thought, watching as the family nuzzled each other. Greln and Trena clung close to their mother and father, then began eating the pile of fish. Twilight had never physically told him, but he knew the two hatchlings would be named after their own parents.

His mind drifted to his journal, but he pushed it away. This moment is far too important for something so trivial.

An inquisitive squeak was heard in front of him. Javelin looked down and saw Greln staring at him with his acid green eyes. Smiling, he carefully picked up the baby dragon and held to him to his chest. "Hello, little one."

Little One. The caring and loving nickname he had called Twilight for most of her life. Now, he had given it to his nephew, as well as his niece. He grinned and stroked Greln's head with a finger, before gently placing him back on the ground. He ran to Twilight, his tail dragging behind him.

All Javelin could do was smile. He- they- were now complete. Two new parents who loved each other with all their hearts and souls, as well as their children. And he was now an uncle, who would always be there for each of them; Twilight, Toothless, Trena, and Greln.

A tear of joy slid down his cheek as he repeated the words, the oath he had made fifteen years ago:

"I swear to protect you all. I will fight to my last breath to see you all live."

It was night time in Berk, and everyone was in the Great Hall, both Vikings and dragons. Hiccup watched the many reunions as he strolled through the building. He was happy that he had gotten the dragons and their babies back to Berk in time for Snoggletog, but it was bittersweet for him. On his travel with Meatlug and Hookfang, not once did he see even a glimpse of Toothless. It was the same with Twilight and Javelin.

Astrid came over to him. "Hiccup, I know this must be really hard for you seeing everyone with their dragons. But you really did a wonderful thing. Thank you." She gave him a quick kiss and a hug.

"Astrid, where did Toothless and the others go?"

"I don't know," she answered as she heard the door crack open. It was already in her vision when moved to reveal Toothless, trying to sneak in.

He was looking around as he crept inside, remaining low. His mouth was slightly open, as his pink gums were visible. Twilight peeked her head in.

Seeing what the dragon was planning, Astrid pulled away from Hiccup. "Wow, man, I wouldn't want to be you right now!" Hiccup's face immediately flattened in confusion. "I mean you brought back everyone's dragon except yours!"

The boy glared at Astrid. "Yeah, you know, this is not helping, at all," he said coldly. Astrid grinned and turned Hiccup around.

Both rider and dragon saw each other.

"Hiccup!" Toothless growled, his mouth full.

"TOOTHLESS! Hey, bud!"

They met halfway and stopped a few feet from each other, then Hiccup leaped forward and hugged Toothless, who put a leg around him in return.

Stoick was laughing with a villager when Gobber prodded him with his hand. "Stoick, look!"

Hiccup ended the embrace and began chastising Toothless. "Bad dragon! Very bad dragon!" Toothless followed Hiccup's fingering, grinning like a maniac. "You scared me to death. Don't ever stay away that long again, and what is in your mouth?"

Toothless placed the helmet on Hiccup's head. Much to the teens' disgust, it was completely covered in Night Fury spit. "There you are, brother," he said as Twilight and Javelin came over to his side.

"Yeah, you found my helmet," Hiccup replied, wiping away the drool. He paused in realization. "What-hey! You found my helmet! That's where you've been?"

"You're welcome, Hiccup." Toothless leaned forward to feel his rider's touch.

"Thank you, Toothless." Hiccup hugged the dragon again, only to feel something else touching his hand. He again pulled away to look at Toothless' face.

Before the heir could say anything, a tiny chirp was made and a small black head poked out from beneath her father's ear flaps, emerald eyes gazing with curiosity. Everyone who saw gasped in amazement.

Javelin put a hand on Hiccup's shoulder. "That's not the only reason we stayed away. He gestured a hand to Trena, then to Greln, who was coming out from between Twilight's legs. "Meet the two newest members of the family, brother." He brought Hiccup into his own hug.

The next morning, Toothless woke Hiccup early, as usual. However, this morning was for a different reason. Before him lay his old saddle and prosthetic.

Hiccup had come outside and seen it as well. "Toothless, what'd you pull this out for?"

"Hiccup, I need to talk to you."

"Sure, bud. Go ahead." Thank gods I remembered to put it on this time.

"I-I'm grateful for the new tail fin, brother. Really, I am. But... it's not a part of me."

"What do you mean, Toothless? I built it for you, for you to be able to fly on your own."

"I know. That's why I've decided to do this." The dragon raised his tail in the air, then slammed it onto the ground. To Hiccup's protests, he did several more times, each stronger than before. With the straps unbuckled, he threw the contraption far into the distance. "Ever since our first flight, I knew I would never be in the sky without you. Then you gave this, and I used it until I no longer needed it. We're part of a whole, Hiccup, and we'll never be apart. When I fly, we fly together."

He grabbed the saddle and placed it closer to Hiccup, letting his words sink in. "Now," the dragon continued, "hurry up and gear up. Or do I have to put this on myself?"

Hiccup grinned, and within five minutes, the duo were in the air. Javelin and Twilight quickly joined them. They soared through the air, above the small spots of cloud that had lingered. Hiccup unhooked himself and looked at the group. "You ready?"

Javelin nodded and the two Night Furies roared their approval. Hiccup somersaulted off and in front of Toothless, his blood-brother doing the same with Twilight. All four of them dived down, each pair across from each other, laughing in excitement. Weaving through each other, the riders reconnected with their dragons and pulled up, shaking a few trees free of snow.

(AN) - Yeehaw! There you are, faithful readers; the end of the first act of The Crimson Rider. I hoped you enjoyed this story as much I have enjoyed writing it. I highly suggest going back to Greln and Trena's hatching and reading it while listening to the Romantic Flight track. That music piece is perfect for that scene.

For any of you artistic types, feel free to try and draw Javelin's "masterpiece". I'd love to see what you can come up with.

Shoutout to Adipose169 and xKeyBladeWielderx for their reviews. Feel free to follow their example and comment on what you have read.

"I regret to announce this is the end." - Bilbo Baggins. For now, anyway. I'm going to take a break from this and focus on my Destiny stories. Be on the lookout for Dragons' Destiny, guys. And if you want a tear-maker without the angst, read Memory.

Have a wonderful day/night, guys. See you next time...