This fic actually has a story behind it, but it's long and kinda spoils what happens in the fic, so check the ending note for that!
What I'll say for now is that Hiccup may be a little OOC, and you can learn the reason why if and when you read the story behind the fic.
HTTYD has been my favorite movie EVER ever since it first came out way back in 2010. (Tangled being my second favorite). That is a high honor in my book. And despite the fact that my favorite tv show has changed over the years, HTTYD being my all-time-favorite movie has never changed, no matter how many movies I watch, or how many years go by. Even today I still remember exactly how it felt sitting in that theater, and I still experience many of the emotions I first felt when I watched the movie, (despite the fact that I've watched it so much I memorized much of the movie and soundtrack XD).
And when the second movie came out, I was sure it would never live up to my expectations…but it did. (In some ways I actually like the plot of the second movie more than the first, but nothing will ever beat the start of Hiccup and Toothless' relationship). I'm not kidding when I say I went to see it in theaters eight times. (And the first time I saw it was the only time I've gone to see a movie pre-opening night). And of course I watched all the shorts and shows many times, and went to see the live action thing XD Any HTTYD content that showed up I gobbled up.
It's always been more than just a movie to me…Hiccup and Toothless…this franchise…it all has become a part of my soul, (in a way few other franchise's have). I don't know if that sounds melodramatic, but honestly that's the only way I can describe it.
I've certainly written fics for the franchise before, but most of them were from when I was younger, so the writing I don't feel is good enough to post/indicative of my style today. (Though, needless to say, if I started posting my work online earlier, my profile would be chock full of HTTYD fics XD). When I started posting online, it was a few years after the second movie came out, so my obsession wasn't as strong, and we were nearing the HTTYD3 days…and you can learn a little more about why that dampened my desire to write for it in the second note.
I'd absolutely love to write more for this franchise, though, so if you've got any prompts, send 'em over! I just don't know what to write on my own XD
I'd really really appreciate if you could leave a comment! They really do make my week, and motivate me to keep writing!
"There were dragons, when I was a boy." Hiccup tells his children dramatically.
"There were great, grim, sky dragons that nested on the cliff-tops like gigantic, scary birds." He stands up holding his arm up high. "Little brown, scuttly dragons"—he scuttled his fingers along their legs, making them laugh—"that hunted down the mice and rats in well-organized packs."—He mimicked a dragon chomping down on a mouse, by tickling their stomachs—"Preposterously huge sea dragons that were twenty times as big as the big blue whale." He held his hands far apart.
"Did you have a dragon, daddy?" Nuffink asks softly.
He grins at the question. "Yes, I did."—And behind the words is a joy unlike anything they've seen in their father before before—"He was the rarest of all. He was a Night Fury." As the words rang, the wind seemed a little louder outside. "I called him—"
Everything is blue; deep and navy, almost black; the sky, dotted with sparks, the waves below bouncing moonlight back up to them.
The wind plays with his hair, and it seems the man in the moon is laughing. Hiccup lays on the dragon's back, breathing out, staring up at the stars, and for a moment he is…perfectly happy.
But that's the thing about moments, about happiness.
His breath is snatched from somewhere deep in his gut.
The fall. Abrupt, and unending. Navy and white flashing by, and the dizziness is not from the spinning, but the fact that somehow, his best friend isn't there to catch him.
And as his dragon shrieks, looking, panicked, down at him, trying to catch up to him and, for once, failing… the two getting further and further away, until the dragon is but a black speck in the distance…it feels like Hiccup's very heart is what's being pulled from him. The strings between them unraveling, and they'll surely sever.
And somehow he knows he'll never see him again.
When he wakes up it is in a sweat that is somehow cold, and that breath that he couldn't find seconds ago is back with a fervor. And for a brief second he… wishes it wasn't. That he wasn't breathing, wasn't here, wasn't now.
"You have the heart of a chief, and the soul of a dragon."
That's what his mother told him. One day. So long ago now.
There were dragons when he was a boy, but dragons…they're not around anymore.
What is he now? The last of the dragons, left alone in this winter, unable to breathe the fire that will keep the cold at bay. It's so very cold within this skin.
He wishes he could be there, with him.
He thought he was human. Once. Bred to kill dragons, when all this started, so long ago; on that night, when he shot down the most prized dragon of them all. That boy, all scrawny and weak, shaking as he held that knife, thought he was a killer. The thought is laughable now.
Though perhaps it is less laughable than the truth.
He thought he was human. He was wrong.
Maybe that's what brought them together, what saved them both—(and perhaps it was what became their downfall too? Just how much he loved them, loved him—too much…)
He never thought their adventures would end. He didn't think Neverland would come crashing down. …He was so young then.
Their lives were built around dragons. Killing them, then caring for them, befriending them, riding them. Without them their foundation cracked, their lives came crashing down. And he's left here alone with a dragon's soul, crying out for for his lost species. His thunder* left him here alone. The last of his kind.
And he wishes with everything inside him, that he could be human, for just one single day. Because it isn't worth the way his soul burns.
"Sometimes I think I can hear him," he says to his children, with a far-off look in his eye—which he casts out the window and into the night, hoping he'll reel something in—telling them fairytales and ghost stories in tandem before bed. He hopes they don't hear the pain lurking behind those words, the desperate longing fused to his irises.
He wants to introduce them to the dragons more than anything. He wanted them to grow up befriending the stars, and unafraid of the fall, too. This is perhaps the greatest tragedy of all; not what he lost, but what they never had.
Sometimes he thinks he can hear that fire and lightning, building power, violet in his throat, until it explodes. Sometimes he thinks he can hear that in the middle of the night.
Once it was such a terrifying sound; the sound of their doom, of houses exploding, of men and woman running for their lives, because this one wouldn't come for the sheep…it would just shoot its blasts, and knock their world down, and glide away with the wind. Like the wrath of the gods. The fury of the night.
That sound became so comforting it makes his chest hurt to think of now. That longing becoming daggers through him.
So each time he hears it, he shoots up in bed, calling his name, only to find that it's nothing. Just a figment of his yearning imagination.
Of course it's nothing.
Sometimes he thinks he can feel it too—feel that fire burning in his own throat.
Until he realizes that's just his own voice, burning out from screaming so long. And that his breath can create no more fire than words.
And make no mistake, words can be more flammable than a spark in a dry forest.
Sometimes he thinks he can feel him underneath him. His wings around him. Wind and fire and awestruck power. Chasing the daylight.
And everything is perfectly alright.
Until he falls. And falls, and falls. He falls a long time—and surely he will catch me, he always does… before he realizes…he's not there. So he wakes up, trying to ignore the sting in his eyes, the tracks that have surely stained his cheeks after so many of these nights.
That's how all his dreams end now: falling.
He never feared that before. With the dragon by your side, there isn't much to fear. Falling was once exhilarating—at least it is when you know you have someone to catch you. Now he knows what it is to really fall.
And he wishes the dragon was still right there in front of him, to comfort him, nudge him out of his sadness. Make him laugh, no matter how sad he is. Wishes he would wake up to see him laying on that rock he would light up with his breath so it would be warm. Wish upon the stars that can't surround him anymore. To say it was all a nightmare and they never left.
Is this what growing up is? Is childhood but a dream, to be so harshly severed by the sunrise?
Then he looks down at his leg, like he did the first day they made a difference. The part of himself that's gone. And it reminds him of too much. Of how they broke each other—(after all, they were supposed to be enemies)—and fixed each other all the same—(but they knew they didn't have to be).
But he can't fashion the missing piece of himself out of metal and good intentions this time.
(Now he'd sacrifice the rest of his limbs, if only he could get back his wings.)
Some nights it's too much to bear, and as the memories tear him up from the inside out, he holds tight to the empty sheets, and finally whispers aloud, to the tempo of hollow heartbeats, and the name he gave him;
*A group of dragons is called a "thunder." (Just learned that, and I love it XD)
Sometime after watching HTTYD2 I found this interview with the director, in which they mentioned some things about the 3rd movie. They said that the dragons would disappear in it, that the books started with this line "there were dragons when I was a boy" so they had to capture that somehow (i.e. the dragons had to go away.) (Keep in mind they didn't specify if they all were going to die). I'd never read the books, so I had no idea about that, and that there was even a chance the dragons would disappear. (Considering what I said about this franchise becoming a part of my soul…) I was beyond devastated to learn Hiccup was going to lose Toothless, and cried very real tears for more time than I should have over /
In my grief I messaged my friend, ladynephthyss about it, and wrote this little stream of consciousness fic to her to vent out my negative emotions, which was the precursor to this fic (it was more jumbled, and in first person, though). After that interview, what I wrote was basically the feeling I envisioned the movies were going to leave us with, which I could barely stand, so I had to get those emotions out somehow.
As I mentioned above, due to this fact, I don't know that Hiccup's character is completely accurate. He's not usually this angsty, of course. The reason being, I wasn't necessarily intending to be accurate at the time, as I was just getting my iown/i emotions out. Despite all this, I still think Hiccup would grieve deeply over the loss of Toothless, even though we don't get to see it in the third movie, and I thought the writing was good enough to post, so I decided to even so.
When I found this fic in my emails years later, I was surprised the writing wasn't half bad, (as I said, many of the HTTYD fics I wrote in the past are fairly cringeworthy XD) and thought maybe I'd polish it up before I went to go see the third movie—maybe get those emotions out a second time. I did polish it up, but didn't post it, for a number of reasons. Then after I went to see the movie…my emotions were too on-high to return to this immediately.
For a long time I was glad that I found that interview, so I knew what was coming—(I'm the kind of person who likes to know negative spoilers beforehand—such as who's going to die)—but now that I'm thinking about it more…I wonder if it would have been better if I hadn't found it.
In the movie, them going away wasn't nearly as sad and emotional as I thought it would be, and, after spending years with my own pent-up fears and sorrows…that actually ended up being one of my main problems with it.
When I found the interview I was devastated by the thought of how sad it was going to be…but when I actually saw the movie, in a strange turn of events, what bothered me was the fact that that made it out like it iwasn't/i sad. I honestly didn't like that they made it out that things were supposed to be like this, that it was better for everyone, that they each had romances to keep them company, and that nobody was all that angsty about it. (Actually what bothered me more than anything, was that they made it seem like Hiccup and Toothless' relationship was secondary to the romances, when they've spend two movies + multiple shorts and tv shows proving that Hiccup and Toothless' relationship is the iessence/i of the franchise, but if I start on that I'll get genuinely angry, so that's all I'll say here). It may seem counterintuitive, but that's honestly how I feel. Now I wonder if I ihadn't/i known what was coming, or hadn't know for so long, if I would have appreciated their approach in the movie more. We'll never know.
In the end, due to all this…I actually was really glad I wrote this fic. At the time I thought it was getting my fears and emotions out, and that I'd never return to that fic, but now that I've actually watched the movie, I'm glad I have something to return to which injects those emotions I so desperately missed and needed back into the story. And it's kinda nice I wrote it way before the third movie. I'm sure most people will just find this overly sad and melodramatic…But I hope anyone else who feels the same way about the third movie is able to read this fic and find some solace.