Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to How To Train Your Dragon

A/N: This chapter was influenced by the song "Howl" by Florence and The Machine.


Warmth.

That's the first sensation that rolled into Astrid's half conscious mind when she groggily began to wake up the next morning. It wasn't like the day before though, thank Thor. The air around seemed lighter, still hot, but much less oppressive. But that wasn't the warmth that caught her attention. No, the warmth that dulled her senses and made her feel fuzzy and lightheaded was an altogether different and pleasant variety. Astrid knew it well and felt herself sigh blissfully. She was currently wrapped firmly around Hiccup Haddock. Despite her recent anxiety over spending the night with him, here she was. Granted, they had literally only slept and nothing more.

Oh she knew she should be freaking out right now, waking up in Hiccup's bed and half way lying on top of him, but she simply didn't care, it felt too nice at the moment. For whatever reason, this morning she felt the lightest she had ever felt, like a heavy burden had been lifted off her shoulders. She didn't know what it was, or at least, her half-asleep mind wasn't cranking at its full potential yet and couldn't be bothered to do a whole lot of intellectual reflection. Instead, it just left her with this happy feeling, like she was prepared for whatever happened next in her life.

Blinking awake little more, her eyes focused on the man sleeping soundly in front of her. They must have shifted around in their sleep because they weren't resting against the headboard anymore. Hiccup was lying half way on his side, one of his arms stretched out and beneath her neck, the other draped over her side, securing her against him. His head was tilted toward her, soft, deep breaths, and Astrid noted that he didn't snore, nice bonus. Astrid herself was pressed right up against him, one arm bent between them, fingers lightly gripping his tunic, the other arm wrapped lazily around his waist. One of her legs was between his and the other resting over them, half-way straddling him.

Any more tangled would be impossible for them.

As she began to fully wake up however, she felt a little nervous. It wasn't like she didn't want whatever could happen between them like this to happen, it was just the uncertainty of whatever could happen. Would they just hold each other? Would he try to get lucky? Would she let him? Wait, what was she saying? At this point, with a nearly constant state of arousal around him, fuck yes she would let him! Insecurities, inexperience, fear of pain, and further uncertainties be damned. Maybe she was still half asleep though, as that was about as reckless a thought as she could manage. Deciding it was useless worrying herself over those little uncertainties into hyperventilation, Astrid felt instead that she could take unguarded moment to study him a little better.

Hiccup Haddock was one of those guys that you didn't assume would ever really grow up, at least physically wise, and stay baby-faced and adorable their whole lives. And then in just a few years puberty hit them like a longhouse falling from the sky, or like Mjölnir striking them with all of Thor's might. Which was very much the case for one Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third. If she studied him close enough, she could see traces of 'her' Hiccup in him. He had the same green eyes, thick brows, auburn hair, even though it was now a lot more ruffled and shaggy.

His mannerism were still the same too, the way he couldn't keep his arms or shoulders still when he talked excitedly, his deft fingers -which she strained to keep thinking innocently of, gods damn it- and of course his voice was nearly identical. Hiccup was still Hiccup, just aged, like a damn fine wine. And with that, Astrid realized then that she had always, found him attractive, young or older. Maybe now his natural good looks had intensified with age, but she could still see his younger version in him, and she still found him attractive.

"Do I have something on my face?"

Astrid gasped slightly, her eyes flicking back over to his, not having realized he had woken up. Hiccup was giving her a half-asleep though still very clearly amused look, his lips tilted ever so slightly, eyelids half closed as he observed her quietly. "Uh-" Astrid flushed, completely embarrassed that not only had she been caught staring at him, but he had been watching her stare at him for only the gods knew how long!

Hiccup saw the caught look she tried desperately to hide with a scowl and decided he'd risk his life. "I know I'm extremely good looking, milady-" he began with a cocky smirk, not actually believing it but loving the disbelieving expression she gave him at his smugness, "-but you could at least greet me properly before letting your mind wander to inappropriate places..." he teased.

Astrid flushed deeper if possible. The blasted one-legged Viking actually did know she found him attractive! "Haddock..." she grumbled, still horribly embarrassed, then lost her breath when he leaned into her a little, though held off from kissing her, letting his breath caress gently over her lips.

Hiccup toyed with kissing her, but held back. "No, no, that's not a proper greeting either," he went on playfully.

Astrid tried not to squirm at the look he was giving, or the fact he was now almost laying on top of her. She resisted the little game he was playing, though at this point only for kicks. Speaking of which. "I could just kick you in the balls, would that be greeting enough?" she asked, trying to sound threatening. If this was 'her' Hiccup, he would have blanched and jumped away at her threat, playful or no.

Hiccup tilted his head slightly, which was odd at the angle he was in. "I don't think either of us would like that," he responded smugly.

What? Astrid had been here for about two, maybe three month now, and she still couldn't figure out where all his sass was coming from. He had been sarcastic and witty when she knew him, but this was ridiculous. "You're certainly full of yourself," Astrid huffed, barely holding back another blush.

Hiccup chuckled then. "You're setting yourself up for these jokes a lot lately, it's not my fault," he began with a twinkle in his eyes.

Astrid lifted a brow. "What jokes?"

Hiccup shrugged awkwardly in his position, laying across his bed with his lady tucked against him. "You say I'm full of it. Well, I say you're not full enough," he grinned lewdly. "Ah- of it, I mean... of me..." he trailed off awkwardly with a laugh.

Astrid gaped slightly, unaware that he could make such dirty jokes. The admittedly adorable mess up at the end aside, Astrid couldn't stop blushing hard once again. Alright, that did it, she attempted to kick him right where she had threatened, only for her knee to get caught between his legs. "Let me... hurt you..!" Astrid growled, almost fuming at the fact that he was practically giggling.

Hiccup tightened his hold on her in an attempt to save himself, and his family jewels. "Astrid, please don't, I need my balls," he half laughed, half begged, not putting it past her from actually kicking him. He leaned in again, effectively stilling her when he placed a feather soft kiss on her cheek. "It's very difficult not to tease you, milady, you're so very beautiful when you get angry," he murmured completely truthfully.

Oh gods, how was she supposed to react to something as cheesy and at the same completely charming as that? Would she ever get how he worked? "That's... extremely..." Astrid bit her lip, still blushing hard, her heart hammering away like a miniature blacksmith in the forge that was her ribcage. How could his words always seem to stimulate her in so many different ways? "Sweet..." she sighed in defeat, earning a happy grin from him. Sometimes, Hiccup was exhausting.

Hiccup pulled her a little closer and Astrid nearly lulled blissfully against him, unable to believe how amazing it felt being wrapped in his embrace. "So, can I have that proper greeting now?" he asked softly. Astrid hummed in agreement, tilting her head back to very happily welcome his lips as he closed the gap. Their lips slid open as soon as their mouths pressed together, sighing contentedly into the kiss, the angle making it easy and comfortable to deepen the kiss. As was becoming a habit, at least for Astrid, the second their eager tongues slid over each other, they lost all semblance of control. With Hiccup's blinding agony over the dry spell he had been under, and Astrid's surprisingly lax reservations, they soon found themselves in a familiar position, although again, more so for Astrid at that point.

Astrid gasped in pleasure, arching up against him as he kissed his way to her neck, his hands sliding down her body where he pinned her beneath him, his chest nearly brushing hers. "Is it too hot today?" he whispered against her.

"Mm?" Astrid mumbled, much too inebriated by his nearness and his mouth, drugging her senses, to understand what he meant.

"You stopped us... yesterday..." Hiccup clarified between hot, wet kisses.

Astrid flushed, realizing what he meant by it then. She had stopped them the day before from actually well and truly having sex because of the terrible heat. A heat which was lacking today. "I... I uh... I guess it's not..." Astrid murmured, heart racing, cheeks darkening, nerves tied up.

Hiccup's mouth found hers again, grinning against her lips. "Good," he sighed in relief and let his hand slide right where he wanted it, straight down her leggings with very clear intentions.

Astrid took a breath to relax and slid her legs around him, brushing them against his narrow hips as she trapped herself beneath him, shifting to give him more room. Hiccup hummed in pleasure and slid his hand under her bindings, over her center. He stroked her gently while leaning over to capture her mouth with his as his impatient fingers slipped further in. As her legs trembled around him, Astrid swept her hands over his arms, feeling their hidden strength, feeling the one that had his hand down her bindings tensing with each delicious brush of his fingers over her. Her hands traveled up to his shoulders, her thumbs sliding down to brush over his prominent clavicles, one hand gently sliding to the base of his neck, holding onto him. She lost herself into the kiss, pushing her body into his probing digits eagerly, breathing hard as he systematically lit her nerves on fire.

Just as she began to ache almost painfully, pulsating hotly at his insistent touch, he pulled his hand away. Hiccup smiled reassuringly at her questioning look and began pulling her skirt and leggings off. Astrid bit her lip but helped him, kicking out of them. She watched him slide back to unbuckle his breaches, his knees between her parted legs. He slid his pants down enough for her to see his badly tented erection against his covering, but did not yet remove it, moving back over her. It was clear he was taking things nice and slow, and enjoying every minute.

Astrid shook with both anxiety and anticipation, re-wrapping her legs around him, trying not to think about what was about to happen. Her arms slid around his shoulders again, clasping him tightly when he began to thrust his hips teasingly into her, letting her feel how much he needed her. She arched up again, gasping at the familiar, undeniably pleasurable sensation. And then his hands slid down to her bindings, unwrapping them while still keeping a constant sway of his hips.

Astrid panted beneath him in an attempt to remain calm, feeling him strip her of her last barrier, and feeling both aroused and nervous about it. With herself now once again freely exposed to him, he braced himself over her, both hands on either side of her, and rocked forward, pressing harder, the thin material of his covering allowing him to slip just barely into her. The tight tension she felt in her body at his eagerness made her gasp chokingly, gripping his shoulders tighter as boiling fibers of wiry pleasure shivered through her, brushing away the anxiety by the second.

"Astrid..." Hiccup whispered against her, his voice completely stripped of his usual control, desperation heavy in the air as he bore suggestively into her.

"...Y-Yes..." Astrid answered breathlessly, eyes shutting as her legs tightened around him.

To both their surprise, and Hiccup's rage, Toothless and Stormfly decided to come bounding in then, roaring impatiently for breakfast. Hiccup felt fury fill him the likes of which he had never felt before. "Can't you useless reptiles see we're kind of busy right now?!" he roared, rearing up from the bed to kneel over his calves and snarl at the dragons. Astrid lay there, sprawled beneath him, gaping in shock, both at his uncharacteristic and utterly frustrated outburst, and at how unbelievably arousing it was. Maybe it was a Viking thing, but primal rage and power over dangerous beasts like that just made her quiver with desire for him, all over again. Astrid was again torn between being now very slightly alleviated at being interrupted again, and at once completely sick of all the interruption.

The dragons whined regretfully, not at all used to seeing the human alpha, who was usually calm and friendly, snap at them like that. Stormfly stood back, watching warily, but Toothless, knowing his human best, approached cautiously, warbling in question, pupils wide and head tilted in a way he knew Hiccup would find cute. Toothless was a big, strong male, he didn't think he was cute, but if it got his human to calm down, he'd try anything. Fortunately, it worked.

Hiccup felt his shoulders slump slightly in defeat, seeing the worried and confused look on the dragon's face. "Toothless, bud, come on, can't you see you're killing the mood? Don't you know what mating...is..?" Astrid flushed hotly at the blunt term to describe what had almost happened between them. Mating? Was he planning to rut her like an animal or something? Oh gods, why did that thought have to make her so much more aroused? "Well... uh, well, sorry, bud, I guess I forgot you can't... you haven't exactly..." Hiccup trailed off, now properly subdued.

Astrid on the other-hand, was still very much pinned beneath him, completely exposed, and a stone's toss away from going out of her mind. "Hiccup... do you mind? You're still..." she bit her lip, glancing down at how closely his tented arousal rested near her curls. She jerked her eyes away from his package and huffed in irritation at the renewed tingling all along the now tenderized bundle of nerves between her legs.

"R-Right! Sorry, sorry," Hiccup apologized, slipping off of her and the bed, pulling his pants back up. Astrid sighed, once more torn, though very quickly discovering she was more disappointed now than anything else, funny that. She pulled her own clothes back on, trying not to be completely miffed by the dragons and by how easily Hiccup's mood could flip.

After they got themselves together again, they glanced at each other, casting a mirrored look of frustration before leading their impatient dragons out. The flight over the ocean helped to cool them down a little, at least. Astrid gasped slightly when Hiccup dove into the water with Toothless, ignoring the Night Fury's irritation at the sudden cold splash. When they surfaced after a few minutes, Hiccup was drenched but looked at least a little better. They flew a little more, so Hiccup and Toothless could dry off a little, before heading back. By the time they got to the clubhouse, the tension was still thick enough to keep them mostly silent. Sooner or later, something had to give. They fed their dragons while greeting the others who were there already. All but one, at least.

"Why are you so wet?" Snotlout raised a brow at his cousin.

Hiccup shrugged nonchalantly. "I was hot," he snorted. Snotlout stared for a few seconds, but decided he didn't really care one way or another what was going on in his cousin's head.

After eating for a few minutes, the missing rider stumbled in, completely out of breath. "Hiccup! Hiccup! Oh Thor!" Fishlegs cried in a panic.

Hiccup jumped up from his seat and ran over to him. "What- what is it? What's wrong?" he asked in a rush.

"Death. Song! On. The. Island!" Fishlegs puffed out breathlessly.

"Yes!" Tuffnut shouted gleefully.

"I want it as a pet! -I call first dibs!" the twins said at the same time.

"No way! It's mine!" Tuffnut snapped.

"Hey! No fair!" Ruffnut complained. "We each called it, we each get half!"

"...Ugh, fine," Tuffnut grumbled, glancing down at the chicken by his feet, who clucked, ruffling its feathers. "You said it, Chicken."

Snotlout groaned, completely ignoring the twins. "Oh Thor, not again..."

Astrid frowned in confusion, subtly looking to Hiccup and Fishlegs for answers. Hiccup was focused on calming Fishlegs down. "Fishlegs, take deep breaths and explain clearly what you saw," Hiccup instructed as soothingly as he could.

Fishlegs leaned against Meatlug, trying to do as he suggested. "M-Meatlug and I were... out cataloging the dragons around Dragon's Edge when... when we saw the orange... amber stuff, covering a few of the dragons. It was impossible to remove. I've only ever seen that stuff from a Death Song, Hiccup!"

Hiccup frowned in confusion. "What is a Death Song doing on our island?" he mumbled to himself, having no reason to doubt Fishlegs' claim.

"Who cares what it's doing here?! How are we going to get it out?" Snotlout demanded.

Hiccup huffed in frustration and rubbed his chin. "Give me a minute," he said, going into 'planning' mode.

Snotlout threw his hands in the air in exasperation. "A minute could cost us our lives!"

Fishlegs shook his head then. "It was a ways away, on the northern-most tip of the island. I don't think it noticed us. At... at least I hope it didn't... we didn't hear it," he whimpered fearfully.

Astrid frowned in increasing alarm, wondering how a simple dragon could put them all in such a panic. Was this thing really that terrifying? She hadn't ever heard of a 'Death Song' before, but if the name was any clue, she didn't think she'd want to hear it either. Thinking about what they could do, ignoring the argument going on around her, Astrid thought back to when Hiccup had mentioned hunters. Hunters of dragons. That meant they must have had cages, right? "What about-" they all turned to her then, Hiccup glancing up from his usual hand-over-chin pose. "The hunters, they have cages, right? Why don't we get one and lure it in?" she suggested.

"Are you crazy?" Snotlout shouted again, waving his arms in disbelief.

Tuffnut smacked his hand over his fist with determination. "Yes! Crazy! Crazy enough that it just might work!" he cried dramatically.

"Then we can tame it and make it work for us!" Ruffnut grinned with an excited cackle.

Hiccup rolled his eyes at the twins, then turned and nodded to Astrid, smiling. "Brilliant idea," he praised her, then turned back to the twins. "Alright, since you two are so eager to claim it, you'll go get a big enough cage from the ship graveyard," he spun around then. "Fishlegs, you try to find a big enough and heavy enough tarp and some rope. Once you have it, keep your distance but follow us," he turned to Astrid and his cousin next. "Snotlout, Astrid, and I will look for it and keep an eye on it, make sure it doesn't do too much damage," he paused and looked at all of them. "Once we have what we need, we'll carefully lure it into the cage, cover it with the tarp, and fly it away." When none of them questioned him, he nodded. "Okay gang, let's move out!"

They split up to do their assigned tasks. While the twins bickered on their way to the hunters' wrecks, Fishlegs scoured Dragon's Edge for a large tarp, big enough to cover a large cage and rope to tie it up. Hiccup, Snotlout, and Astrid flew to the northern side of the island and landed. They crept along the forest floor, their dragons quietly following as they looked for signs of amber encased dragons. When they found them, Hiccup signaled them to hide behind any kind of cover they could get. The dragons were trapped in a cutout, a small little meadow in between thick trees, much like Astrid's training grounds. There was a cavern and a stream nearby, providing it food, water, and shelter, having chosen their island as its new home apparently. That wouldn't do.

"Where are they?" Snotlout whispered in agitation.

"They'll be here..." Hiccup answered, keeping his eyes darting around the trapped dragons for signs of the Death Song.

"What if they can't see us in these trees?" Astrid asked them, nervously glancing up at the thick canopy above them.

Hiccup took a calming breath and tried to figure out the best way they could rendezvous. "Alright, Astrid, head up to-" he was cut off then by the familiar high pitched sound of the dragon's song. Toothless, Stormfly, and Hookfang shook their heads, groaning as they tried to shut out the hypnotic noise. "Don't listen to it you guys!" Hiccup told the dragons in a panic, rushing over to cover Toothless' ears. "Shut it out, bud," he told him.

"Stormfly? What's wro- Stormfly!" Astrid gasped, trying to stop her dragon from bounding off toward the noise. Having no idea what the mystery dragon was capable of and risking it, she hurled herself on top of the Nadder, trying to cover her ears while Stormfly took her right in the direction of the deadly siren.

"Astrid! No! Stop!" Hiccup yelled, then jerked around to see Hookfang with Snotlout dangling over his neck bounding off as well. "Snotlout! Damn it!" he yelled in frustration, getting on Toothless and following.

Stormfly and Hookfang stopped in the center of the clearing, looking up toward the sun in a complete daze. And then, having used the glare of the sun to hide it, the Death Song swept in and spat right on them, hissing at the Night Fury that tried to knock it out of the sky. "Come on! Over here!" Hiccup cries, waving his arms at the beast, trying to distract it from his now trapped companions. The Death Song reared back, snarled at them and catapulted itself toward them.

Hiccup paled at the sight of clear intentions to kill and led it off toward the cavern. He sped into the dark cave, asking Toothless to light the way. They dodged left and right while Toothless rolled away, trying to keep away from it's snapping, hungry jaws. They reached the end of the cave much sooner than they hoped and Toothless was forced to pounce onto the wall directly in front of him. He jumped off it and over the very closely pursuing dragon. He unfurled his wings and tries to expedite his exit. The Death Song was right on their trail however.

They shot out of the cave and tried to turn quick enough to blast the entrance, but the Death Song was right on top of them. It's furious snarling, saliva spitting, teeth gnashing visage greeted them as they stumbled back. Toothless screeched in surprise as the other dragon barreled toward him, bulldozing into him with enough force to knock him back. "Toothless!" Hiccup shouted behind clenched teeth, trying all his might to hold on tight to the saddle. Toothless groaned in pain but got back to his feet, jumping back just in time to avoid being doused with amber. "Come on, bud, lets try to tire it out at least!" Hiccup directed Toothless into the forest, weaving with him through the trees while having Toothless fire at the dragon to keep it interested in them.

Meanwhile, Astrid strained against the orange substance, her breathing difficult where she was pressed tight against Stormfly, on her side where they had fallen, her leg all but crushed beneath her. Luckily, the amber provided a barrier between her leg and the ground, so at least Astrid was fairly certain it wasn't broken. "There's no use struggling..." Snotlout muttered morosely, his eyes blank, face devoid of color. Astrid stared in surprise at how panicked he looked. Just what in Thor's name was this creature? Hadn't they faced scary dragons before? Like the Screaming Death for example?

Fortunately, all she needed to do was let him talk and he'd tell her exactly the answers she was hoping she'd get. "It's... it's going to get us... Hiccup won't be able to outrun it for long. It's almost as fast as Toothless!" he swallowed thickly. "It's going to take us one by one and eat us alive... it's going to rip and shred us out of this... this... death prison... and we'll be powerless to stop it!" he shut his eyes, not even hearing Hookfang's attempts to calm him down. The Murderous Nightmare sent out instinctive purrs and soft trills to his distressed human. He might have liked to tease him, but he was still his human and he would do everything he could to soothe him.

Astrid felt his words get to her too, fear gripping its ice-cold boney fingers over her heart, sending chills down her spine. She wouldn't let that dampen her fighting spirit though, she was much too stubborn for that. Besides, her family was fearless, after all! If that thing wanted to eat her alive, then she'd give it a reason to get very bad indigestion at least. The thought wasn't very comforting, but at least thinking of ways to get back at the beast helped keep her a little more focused. Maybe if Stormfly used her free tail to strike at one spot for long enough, she could weaken it?

"Never fear!"

"We are here!"

"Hah, that rhymed..."

Astrid and Snotlout craned their heads as much as they could to look over, seeing Barf and Belch flying over to them with a large cage in its claws. "Get... Barf and Belch... to call to Toothless!" Astrid shouted, straining harder in the resin.

"You heard her, come on boys, do your thing!" Ruffnut said, patting her beloved dragon encouragingly. The two-headed dragon took a deep breath and roared into the air above the clearing, then listened. After almost a minute of silence they began to panic, but soon heard Toothless' answer, closer than they expected.

"Come on!" Tuffnut, nudged them down to the ground with the cage. Once on the ground they hopped off the Zippleback.

"What are you doing?! Stay on your dragon! We can't all get caught!" Snotlout shouted.

"Hiccup told us to lure it into the cage. We'll annoy it and make it follow us," Tuffnut answered with a careless grin.

Astrid huffed in irritation. "He said to do so carefully, you knuckleheads don't know the meaning of the word!"

Tuffnut tilted his head. "Which word? Knuckleheads? I assure you, A, we know the meaning of that word quite well," he chuckled.

"Gods..." Astrid sighed.

The familiar screeching whistle of a Night Fury alerted them to the arrival of their target. As Toothless ran over to them, heading right to the cage, the Death Song was right behind him, fury and a crazed look in its eyes. Toothless jumped up on top of the cage, just on time for the Death Song to pounce toward him again and slam inside. However, before they could get the door closed, the dragon shot out of it and whipped its head around. "Jeez! Up, Toothless!" Hiccup yanked on his saddle straps, pulling his Night Fury away from a steam of orange goop.

"Hey! Hey hey hey! Over here, you over grown iguana! Come at me, bro!" Tuffnut called, flailing his arms about.

"No! Come get me!" Ruffnut cried on the other side.

The Death Song pulled its attention from Toothless and snarled at the irritating little creatures keeping him away from his meal. It rounded on them, trying to snap at them, catch them, maybe make an appetizer out of them, but they were quick to jump out of the way. The dragon decided to focus on one of them and chose the one that smelled the tastiest, almost like fish. "Uh, help!" Ruffnut cringed and tried to dodge its hungry jaws.

"Hey! You stay away from my sister!" Tuffnut cried and began tossing rocks at it.

"What are you doing?!" Hiccup called, exasperated by the twins' attempts to draw its attention. "Get it in the cage!"

"On it, H!" Tuffnut agreed, and began running back over to the care, zig-zagging to avoid the sharp teeth snapping at him. "Over here! Ooh, I look tasty don't I? Here you go!" Tuffnut waved his backside at him. "Get your rump-roast!" The enraged dragon sprinted toward him at full speed. "Can't catch- oh my Thor!" Tuffnut squealed in shock and agony as the Death Song clamped down on one of his waving arms. "Oh my Thor! I am hurt! I am very much very hurt!" Tuffnut howled in pain, craning himself around to hold on to the dragon's snout.

"Tuff!" Ruffnut screamed. Barf and Belch snarled angrily at the Death Song, snapping their own teeth, threatening it if it didn't let their human go.

"Oh no," Astrid gasped.

Hiccup stared in shock at the gruesome sight of the Death Song trying to rip Tuffnut's arm off. "Scratch it under its chin! Near the neck!" he suggested, trying to think of the quickest way for Tuffnut to avoid that fate.

"This is..! Not the time..! To pet the fucking thing..!" Tuffnut yowled back, being jerked back and forth by the beast, his arm barely kept from being torn apart by the grip the male twin had on the dragon's snout.

Hiccup snapped back angrily at him. "Just do it!" he raged, frustrated over the guy's stubbornness, even though it could save his life.

"F-Fine!" Tuffnut whimpered, but did as he was instructed. He angled himself over the face of the dragon, trying to find leverage so he could still hold on and be able to scratch at the dragon. The Death Song whipped its head in irritation, trying to get the little creature off its face, but then it felt a very pleasant sensation over a very sensitive, vulnerable spot on its neck. "I think... it's working!" Tuffnut groaned, feeling the dragon relax its bite. Once he was sure he wouldn't rip himself apart, Tuffnut yanked his arm off and pushed off the dazed dragon.

Just then Barf and Belch with Ruffnut came charging in, all three of them head butting the beast right into the cage. Toothless shot at it then, slamming the door shut. Fishlegs had been hovering above them as quietly as he could the entire time, stressing over wanting to help them, but knowing he needed to stay out of the way. As soon as the dragon was in the cage, he directed Meatlug to drop the tarp over it. The Death Song rattled the cage back and forth in fury. Fishlegs took the rope he had found and wrapped it tightly around the cage, making sure it wouldn't fly off, so it wouldn't be able to shoot amber through the bars.

Tuffnut rolled in agony over the floor, clutching his shredded, blood slick arm as he moaned in pain, painting the grass. Ruffnut shot out toward him, ripping part of her tunic off for a makeshift bandage, trying to hold him still while she tied it around him. Meanwhile, Hiccup got off Toothless and ran over to Hookfang. He cupped his hands over him and instructed him to drool. Hookfang opened his mouth and let his flammable saliva drip. Hiccup gathered as much as he could and slipped it over the amber encasing them. He didn't have his shield this time, but he did have another source of metal to create a spark. Removing his own metal foot, Hiccup relied on Toothless to help him balance and took a rock, striking it sharply against the prosthetic to create the spark. The spark lit the saliva, setting it on fire and rolling over Snotlout. "Come on, let's get Astrid free," Hiccup said, directing the now free Snotlout and Hookfang to the trapped Nadder and axe-wielder.

Once Astrid was free, the Death Song was secured, and they got Tuffnut onto his dragon, they shot out toward the clubhouse to try and treat his injury. When they all got to the clubhouse again, Tuffnut tiredly but firmly insisted he was okay. "It's just a bite! It's not going to kill me!"

"We don't know if the Death Song isn't poisonous, Tuffnut," Fishlegs frowned.

"That was very reckless of you, Tuff. You could have been killed," Hiccup scolded softly, frowning at how pale and tired the male twin looked. "Are you sure you're alright?"

"Serious you guys, I feel fine! A little tired, I could go for a nice boar leg, but fine! -Hey! Watch it, sis," he grunted as Ruffnut tied a proper bandage over his arm.

"Quit your bellyaching," Ruffnut grumbled, irritated beyond measure over her brother's recklessness.

"I know a mixture of herbs that can help ease the pain and quicken the healing process. He should also eat something... I think he lost quite a bit of blood," Fishlegs suggested.

"If it'll get him to shut up," Ruffnut growled, yanking purposefully on the bandage and smirking at her brother's pained yelp.

Hiccup sighed and rubbed his head. "Snotlout, will you go with Hookfang to free the other dragons? Astrid and I will take the Death Song as far away from here as we can."

"I have a better idea," Snotlout smiled. "Why don't I get you some Nightmare juice, and you free the dragons while I go with Astrid to ship off the Death Song?"

Hiccup pretended to think about it. "Hm, well, as long as you want to risk the Death Song shredding the tarp apart, spitting at you, getting you coated by rock slime, torn apart, and eaten alive, bit by bit?"

Snotlout stared at him for a second. "I uh... I see the logic in your earlier suggestion," he grinned nervously and hurried off with Hookfang.

Hiccup rolled his eyes, smirking in satisfaction. Once he figured out how to handle Snotlout, it was really quite easy to get him to do what he wanted. "Come on, Astrid. Let's hope with two dragons we can fly a little faster and get that thing as far away from here as we can!" he said, leading them out with Toothless. Once they reached the clearing again, they were both relieved to see that the Death Song was still trapped and the tarp hadn't been shredded. Even so, the dragon heard them, and no doubt smelled their own dragons and snarled viciously. "Whoa, whoa, easy does it," Hiccup spoke softly at the caged dragon, seeing it still rattling angrily.

"I don't think it cares much for soothing words..." Astrid deadpanned.

"As long as my voice isn't threatening, it should calm him a little-" the cage nearly tipped over then as the ferocity of the beast. "Alright, let's just get it out of here," Hiccup grimaces, directing Toothless to lift a side of the cage while Astrid did the same with another side.

Hiccup and Astrid flew the dragon off to a far enough island. The flight was a little quite and awkward between them, but it wasn't the right time to bring anything up anyway. Once there, they carefully lowered the cage and tied the rope onto the latch on the door, beneath the tarp. The tarp remained over it, giving them the chance to not be seen when they took off. Once it was secured, Hiccup took it and silently directed them out. They flew up into the air, the long rope tightening with the distance until it tugged. Hiccup yanked on it, hearing the door beneath them creak open. The dragon shot out of the cage, whipping around and blinking in disorientation. Fortunately they were up high enough and now far enough so that it didn't see them. The Death Song looked around in confusion, sniffing at its new surrounding, but didn't seem to notice them flying away. Astrid and Hiccup breathed a sigh of relief.

The flight back was silent again for the most part. Now that things were more relaxed now though, Hiccup decided he'd speak up. "I'm sorry for the interruption earlier... and for snapping like that," he apologized.

Astrid glanced at him, trying to keep her flush away at his reminder of their morning activities. "You have nothing to apologize for. It was the dragons' fault anyway," she said, patting Stormfly over the head when she trilled indignantly. "You know it's true, girl." Toothless huffed back as well, unappreciative of the blame.

"I might have spoiled Toothless into morning flights..." Hiccup smiled, ignoring Toothless' testy warble. "You can't just sleep in like the other dragons, can you bud?" Toothless snorted in response.

"So what? You think Toothless wrangled Stormfly into ganging up on us?" Astrid raised a skeptical brow.

Hiccup shrugged. "I wouldn't put it past him."

Astrid nodded in agreement, staring straight ahead again. "Well, in any case... I guess there's always... next time..." she said, biting her lip.

Hiccup grinned at her. "Absolutely," he agreed wholeheartedly, chuckling at the blush on her fair cheeks.

Once back, they returned to the clubhouse to relax. "Tuff, did you even know what you were doing? That was an extremely dangerous stunt you pulled," Hiccup lectured as he and Astrid sat down with everyone else. Snotlout had his head rested on the table, an unmistakable ashy burn over his tunic on his back, no doubt from one of the less than thankful wild dragons he and Hookfang had liberated. Fishlegs was busy looking over notes and crushing herbs into a paste of Tuffnut. Ruffnut was poking meanly at Tuffnut's bandaged arm.

Tuffnut jerked his arm away from his sister. "'Course not, what fun would that be?" he answered.

Hiccup rolled his eyes. "You could have saved yourself a lot of pain. That dragon nearly ripped your arm off."

Tuffnut snorted then. "I'm a Viking, am I not? We like pain! I hope I get a scar from this," he grinned.

Hiccup chose then to slap his hand over his head. "Well... just, try to be more careful next time, alright? Both of you," he suggested.

"But that's boring," both Tuffnut and Ruffnut whined. Hiccup sighs in defeat. After a few minutes of relaxing, they all noticed Tuffnut more dazed and out of it than usual. It was early evening by then, but Ruffnut decided that, despite how many times they put up the show of loving pain and misery, she was actually worried over her brother. "Come on, bro, you're turning in early," she said, nudging him off the seat.

"No... I don't want to... you can't make me... you're not our mother..." Tuffnut protested sleepily, making no effort to stop his sister from guiding him out.

"Yeah, I'm also not the one to lose that much blood... this time," she added with a grin. The twins left the clubhouse bickering as usual.

"I'm going to go try the herb mixture on him before he passes out," Fishlegs announced, following them. "Hey guys, wait up!" he called, Meatlug trailing after him.

Snotlout snorted at the wounded idiot and rolled his eyes, hiding his own concern for his friend. "Later," he muttered, guiding Hookfang to go clear his mind over the events of that day.

Soon night fell over the clubhouse where Hiccup and Astrid stayed a little longer, simply sitting by the hearth, talking quietly. "That was crazy today, finding a Death Song here of all places," Hiccup mentioned.

This was the first time Astrid had seen one, so she didn't exactly know what to say to that. "Yeah... it sure was," she agreed weakly.

Hiccup leaned against the table a little, resting his chin on his palm. "Maybe... maybe it was looking for the other one?"

"The other one?" Astrid questioned, hoping she wasn't being too obvious about her cluelessness.

"Yeah, the one we trapped. Maybe it was looking for a mate, maybe that island was where they went? Maybe it stopped here on its way?" Hiccup theorized.

Astrid cleared her throat awkwardly. "Yeah. That sounds about right," she shrugged. They spoke a little more about that theory, with Astrid becoming more and more uncomfortable with the topic. Gods, it was like he was trying to be suggestive. Mate this, reproduction that, Hiccup was more frustrated than she had ever seen him thus far, and it was leaking into an otherwise casual conversation. It was very obvious how much he was suffering and Astrid had just about enough, not able to bear torturing him like that. "Hiccup..." she interrupted him, taking a deep, calming breath.

Hiccup lifted his head up. "Hm?" he blinked over at her.

Astrid shifted a little uneasily, surprised by how willing she was to propose this. "Would you... like to... retire?" she asked carefully, trying to keep her blush off her face. Oh Thor, was she really going to let him...? Yes, yes she was... Freyja help her, she was.

Hiccup stared blankly for a second. "Retire..?"

Astrid let out a frustrated breath, did he really need her to spell it out for him? "I mean, head to your hut..?"

Hiccup frowned a little. "Are you kicking me out?" he asked, his lips tilting up slightly, now letting her see that he had known all along what she was suggesting, the unmistakable twinkle of mischief making itself known.

"Hiccup," Astrid groaned in exasperation, too embarrassed and anxious to put up with his playful teasing.

The one-legged Viking chuckled then, deciding to end his little game for now. "Sure, sounds good. Will you join me..?" he asked, a look of hope in his brilliant green eyes.

In answer, Astrid hesitated for only a second before offering him her hand. Hiccup grinned jubilantly, relief like a blinding beacon in his eyes as he readily took it, standing with her and tugging her to his side on their way out. They paused for a second by Toothless however and Astrid watched in mild amusement as Hiccup all but bribed Toothless with more fish for him to sleep at the stables that night, then begged him not to wake them up so early the next morning. Astrid felt her heart sprinting in her chest at the suggestive connotation of his request.

Soon they were off again and Astrid did everything she could to calm down, knowing there was essentially no getting out of it this time. Well, not that she honestly wanted to anymore... no, Astrid was sure that she wanted this, she wanted him, all of him, not just... what they were about to do. This time, this was her choice. Astrid had proposed it, invited him and all but led him to his bed. That morning might have been very tense, but this time, this time she was ready. Astrid's hand tightened slightly in Hiccup's, relaxing at the soft look her gave her.

As long as he was with her, Astrid was at peace, ready for anything that might come her way.


End A/N: Death Songs, am I the only one who thought of dilophosauri from Jurassic Park (even though the real dinos didn't actually spit anything)? Also, woohoo, cliffhanger! Yes, I am evil, I know lol. Yes, the next chapter will be... uh, well, let's just say you better keep a bucket of ice nearby, haha.

Shout-Outs

Mia: That sounds hilarious! I must read that story lol, what is it called? Do you remember? And yes, confidence is extremely sexy. Don't worry, Hiccup won't suffer for too much longer.

Mr. Flight: What do you mean I made you piss? I made you use the bathroom? Or is it that you mean I made you angry? Or maybe horny? I'm confused about the first one, sorry for the second, not at all sorry for the third lol.

Sapphire: Well I mean it can't be pure smut... or, well I guess it can actually lol, but my story does have a kind of plot, sort of (jk, it totally does), so yes, snuggle time is very necessary. I actually went back and enhanced that part after you pointed it out. I think it's much better now, if I do say so myself lol.

Resisting-Moonlight: Oh yes, they're totally ready for some love'n!

GreenBlueCat: Lol why in the world would he turn into a dragon? Humans nuzzle each other too, you know. It's something both instinctive and cute. Glad you like it anyway.