How to train your dragon, Toothcup.
Disclaimer: Cressida Cowell owns the book series, Dreamworks owns the movie. I own nothing but this AU.
Note: I just watched the teaser trailer for the second movie and I am sooo excited about it! Can't wait to watch grown-up Hiccup being smart and epic as only he! Now you know what Hiccup will eventually look like in this fic, right now we must picture him still with the innocent aura from the first movie.
Well, I'm not inspired to write a comment right now, so I'll just let you read and hope you enjoy it. ^^
Chapter 2: Chemistry.
The first weeks Toothless became quite a talking subject, no one forgot the courage he'd shown before Green Death, and many thought it was really cool. Green Death had terrorized everyone for too long, having a little change of habits was entertaining.
However, Toothless' rebel behavior was the only attractive thing he had. Of course most of the girls thought he was handsome, but his personality was so repellant that all of them had already given up in the attempts to catch his attention. In other words: no one could stand this guy. He sat alone at the cafeteria every day, and talked to no one during classes, professors thought he was weird, even Hiccup lost his admiration for him.
But nobody would've dared to deny that Toothless' mystery was… appealing, come what may, so everybody kept watching him discretely. Hiccup somehow started to imagine a hundred sceneries including a green deathly beast and a black triumphing warrior.
Toothless had the very same schedule of Hiccup and Fishleg's, including the handmade-craft classes with Professor Gobber. Of course, Gobber was the only teacher who, three weeks after Toothless' arrival, still tried to start a conversation with him. Sometimes he seemed to succeed, but if Toothless said something he did in such a low voice even Gobber had trouble listening.
And suddenly, one day at chemistry class…
- Alright – said Professor Cowell -, I want you to pair up and pick a subject from the list you got on the blackboard. Next week we'll have our very own small, classroom-sized science fair.
- A science fair? – moaned Tuffnut - Could this be more boring?
- Alright, thanks to Mr. Thorston, now I will choose who you team up with. Say "thanks" to Mr. Thorston.
There was a general complain and some death-threats to Tuffnut. Professor Cowell, smiling to herself, wrote down the names of her students and made the pairs. Just one tiny little detail, what to do with the new guy?
- Mr. Haddock? – she called Hiccup by the time class was over - Do you have a second?
- Sure, Mrs. Cowell.
- I need to ask something from you. I know I have no right to because you already have the best exams I've ever graded, but this is a task I would trust only to you.
- What is it? – Hiccup felt suspicious, Mrs. Cowell praised him that much when she was about to do something really… mischievous.
- I want you to team up with Mr. Night.
- The new guy? No, no way. He doesn't talk to me and I don't talk to him… well, I actually don't talk to many people, but still- - -
- I know he's not all-charm, but I'm intrigued with him. He doesn't do his homework and yet his exams are good, and I believe you are the perfect person to show him how important it is to do an effort in this last year. Or in case he doesn't feel like cooperating you are the only one who won't be affected, after all you got the best grades and work better on your own.
- But… Mrs. Cowell…
- You are going to pair up with Dean Night – she sentenced.
- Toothless? Really? – Fishlegs was amidst astonishment and amusement - How will you manage to team up with him? Are you standing in Green Death's way to see if he finds you cool and talks to you?
- No way – Hiccup almost shivered at the simple thought of it.
- Then what are you going to do?
- Just… uhm… Go up to him in Gobber's class and tell him we must team?
- Let me know if that works.
Hiccup spent the rest of the day observing Toothless, trying to decipher if he was in a good mood or not, which was an impossible task, because Toothless really had a stone face: no emotion could be read there! Hiccup just became more nervous as time to the last class, Gobber's class, passed by.
And finally there they were, in Gobber's classroom, surrounded by tools, hammers and drills that Toothless seemed very comfortable handling. "Damn, if he wanted he could just dig a hole in my head" thought Hiccup, and he had a reason to, because Toothless was just having a wonderful time drilling pieces of wood.
Hiccup gulped. "Alright, here I go…"
- H-hi… Toothless – strike one: the black-haired guy just glared at him coldly and a little bit irritated -. I mean… Dean…? Mr. Night?
- What do you need Mr. Haddock? – answered Toothless, but Hiccup didn't manage to figure out if he was being sarcastic/funny or sarcastic/upset.
- About chemistry class… you know, the next week's project…
- Let me guess: we're team – Hiccup nodded, and Toothless dropped the drill (for the other boy's relief) and observed him seriously -. I'm sorry, I don't work in teams.
- Well, we have to or Mrs. Cowell…
- I can't work in teams, sorry. Guess you'll just have to work on your own and tell her I didn't cooperate. I'll sink alone, you may still float.
Hiccup froze due to two things. First: had he heard Toothless Night sort of apologize? Second: had Toothless Night heard his whole conversation with Mrs. Cowell?
- I'm afraid I must insist – from where did Hiccup gather the courage to keep talking?
Then he immediately had to place his hand before his mouth to dissimulate the hiccoughs now threatening to appear. His weird nervousness reflex would certainly not help him convince Toothless of giving in and working in teams as they were meant to.
- I told you I can't teamwork. I don't have the time. Now please go back to your table and continue cutting glass. I'll go back to drilling if you don't mind.
Completely disappointed by his failure, Hiccup turned around and walked towards Fishlegs. The poor fellow was busy trying to remove some glue from his hair.
- Stupid bullies – he blurted, forgetting that he could be heard -. How did it go with Toothless?
- I think that he thoroughly and belligerently said "no".
- Thorough, belligerent… Love those fancy words – at last, he managed to unglue his hand from his head -. So, you're working on your own?
- I think so.
- Lucky you, I'm team with Ruffnut Thorston… Let's hope she finds me a little bit entertaining, otherwise I might have the entire Viking club against me for a month. I wouldn't like that.
- No one would, but Ruffnut is friends with Astrid, she can't be that bad – Hiccup solaced -. Now come, let's tell Mr. Gobber about this bad joke.
- No, thanks – Fishlegs refused -. I like my head upon my shoulders, even if it's dripping glue.
Now, we must say that Hiccup had regained his former interest in Toothless thanks to that failed conversation. Because, awkwardly, but the new guy had at least talked to him, had focused those big green eyes on him, and for a second, when saying "sorry", had really looked as if he felt sorry. Perhaps if they did work together for the chemistry project Hiccup would manage to learn a thing or two about this mysterious stranger.
"Besides, if I can't convince him Mrs. Cowell will be disappointed" and Hiccup couldn't handle the disenchanted look of a professor. He had enough with the looks of his father every morning.
So that day, Hiccup did something he had never done before: he spied Toothless. He waited outside the school until the boy in question headed home. Toothless walked all the way across Berk, giant black headphones on. He walked slowly, as if he were thinking of something else, and delayed almost two hours to reach his house. All this time Hiccup was after him, hiding as well as he could behind cars and lampposts, and wondering why today, of all days, Toothless disdained the bus and decided to actually walk.
Toothless finally arrived at an old-looking house with a huge but dry garden. He climbed the steps to the door, opened it and disappeared inside. "So he lives here… he mustn't have much money, maybe that's why he avoids everyone. I bet he has a scholarship like I do and doesn't want bullies to bother him because of that".
- Well, whatever, I must get him to work in the project.
Determined to knock on that door until Toothless himself opened, Hiccup headed to the house, when his ringing phone interrupted his mental arguments.
- This is Hiccup – he said on the phone, and heard his father's voice.
- Where are ya? Ya're supposed t'be here, uncle David an' Jonah're comin'.
Oh, no! Hiccup had completely forgotten about them! That's right, his uncle and cousin were visiting that day!
- Right, right! I'm on my way, dad, I… I had to stay in the library because of a project, I'm coming!
The arguments for Dean "Toothless" Night would have to wait.
Hiccup arrived at his house completely soaked in his own sweat, because the bus was too slow, so he preferred to run to make it on time, and run he did. At least he managed to reach the house before his father went mad.
- Where were ya? Ya knew uncle Spitelout was comin'.
- Yeah, I'm sorry, this project is for next week… and it's about the DNA research, so it's complicated. I didn't notice it was so late, sorry – excused Hiccup.
- A' least ya arriv'd before ya' uncle.
Said and done, in that very moment the doorbell rang, and Stoick went to the door to receive his cousin and nephew: David "Spitelout" Jorgenson and Jonah "Snotlout". Yes, one of the Vikings who occasionally obeyed Green Death's bullying commands, the one who was completely crazy about Astrid, was Hiccup's cousin. They never spoke in the school, because that would kill Snotlout's social life in less than a second, but yet every blue moon they would meet and have a good time together, after an hour or two of uncomfortable silence. Luckily, the silent time coincided with the eating time, so there was not much to be said unless you praised the food. Later, Stoick and Spitelout would go to a near bar and spent hours talking about gods-know-what (probably their childhood and some other family issues), leaving Snotlout and Hiccup in the house to watch movies or play videogames. It was like a secret and familiar friendship.
- So, Hiccup – said Snotlout -, what new videogames you've got? Because I'm dying to play "Street fighter 4", mine sort of… died.
- Let me guess: you accidentally stepped on it when you entered your disaster-zone-bedroom.
- Why to clean if it's getting messy again? – Snotlout shrugged.
- Because if you don't you might step onto something important, like a videogame – Hiccup enjoyed watching the defeated expression on his cousin's face -. Well, I don't think I have any videogames you like, then.
- What you got?
- Skyrim, Fable, World of warcraft, Legend of Zelda…
- Got anything about only kicking somebody's ass?
- Well, I… I've got Super Smash Bros!
So they spent the whole afternoon killing each other continuously, Hiccup switching between all the characters and Snotlout sticking to Bowser (damn, he was a killer). Until eventually they grew a little bit bored and started talking about some other subjects.
- So… how's football going? – asked Hiccup.
- Good, sort of… I mean, we're winning every match and everything but…
- Green Death?
- Yeah, he's becoming more… deathly since the new guy defied him – then a couple seconds of silence -. So-sorry about the other day, Green Death made me do it.
- Don't worry, I'm used to have my lunch thrown at me. If it's not you is Tuffnut or somebody else, there's a long list of haters out there – Hiccup shrugged, trying to make things less dramatic. Snotlout felt terribly guilty though.
- I heard the other day Green Death sank your head in a toilet…
- He tried to, but Fishlegs went to my rescue so he ended up in the toilet. I was thrown in Green Death's locker instead.
- How do you stand it? Don't you get tired of being treated like that? If you wanted you could become a Viking.
- Snotlout, we both know there is no physical thing I can do. Nothing at all. If I as much attempted to join a sport team I would just humiliate myself in the trials and everything would be worse afterwards – Hiccup had seen too many nerds fail on their efforts to become Vikings, and they were all treated worse than he was. He didn't want to join them in their disgrace -. I'm surviving, and it's just this year I have to stand. Soon everything will be over.
- You'll graduate – Snotlout delayed a bit in understanding.
- We will – corrected Hiccup.
- Have you seen my grades? You will, Hiccup. I'm staying here another year.
Next day, after finishing his homework, Hiccup gave another try with the "Official Toothless Issue" (OTI, for short and to make Hiccup feel like he was indeed in a secret spying mission), so he went to the new boy's house and this time knocked the door until somebody opened. And it wasn't Toothless.
- May I help you? – an old and gentle woman said - I have no rooms available right now so, are you here looking for someone?
- I… I'm looking for… Dean Night.
- Toothless? – the woman understood, and suddenly her face just brightened -. That's wonderful! You're the first visit he's ever received. What a pity he's still working.
- Working? Like… in a job? – that was something… well, surprising. And Hiccup felt a little bit sad: it was dark already… and cold, and Toothless had no car.
- Yes, he works at Hotel Nordic, didn't he tell you? He'll be back by midnight. I don't think you can wait for him, so do you want me to give him a message?
- Are you his grandmother? – the boy asked, suddenly feeling very comprehensive to Toothless and his hostile behavior.
- Grandmother? – the woman burst out laughing -. Oh, no, not at all. I'm his landlady, he rents the room in the attic.
Hiccup remained silent for a whole minute, staring in disbelief.
- Rent? Like… by himself? And his… his family?
- Well, he hasn't any as far as I know, it's just him. Want to give him a message?
- No… no, thanks – decided Hiccup, it was better to leave before he asked something really stupid and messed everything up.
- I'll tell him you came by.
- No! Just… don't tell him anything, ok? Thank you very much.
He simply turned around and walked away. Thinking and thinking and thinking about Toothless. So he lived alone in a tenement house? All alone? Completely? And worked at nights in Berk's best hotel? He was alone and had to work and was alone? "That must be terrible – thought Hiccup -. I now understand why his personality is so… so… Toothless".
The Haddock boy then remembered how Toothless had mentioned the classical "I don't have time" excuse, but he had said it for real. Only Odin knew how much he worked every day to pay his school, his house, his food, his clothes… Now it was no surprise to see Toothless wanting to be left alone at BHS.
- And all the people think he's a selfish idiot… We've been the idiots all this time.
At that time Hiccup decided to do something nice for Toothless. Something simple, but that might help. He worked on the project by himself, but tried very hard to make it look as if two people had made it. He would distract Mrs. Cowell for a while, give Toothless a good grade and release him from the stress of both working and studying for a week.
On Sunday evening, after he finished the project, he went to Toothless' house and left a package for him in the mail. The landlady saw him do it, and when Toothless arrived…
- You got mail, Toothless.
- Me? – the black-haired guy was beyond surprised, almost shocked.
- Yes, you – the woman smiled -. Someone came to deliver it personally.
She handed the package to Toothless, but before he opened it he checked his pockets and fished out his wallet to pay that month's rent. The landlady received it, proud to see that her youngest tenant was always the first to pay.
- Did he say something when he delivered this? – inquired Toothless.
- Didn't say anything to me… How do you know it was a he? I didn't mention that.
- Well, this doesn't exactly smell of girl perfume – said Toothless, smelling the package. The landlady laughed, patted his back affectionately and afterward she went to bed.
Toothless opened the package once alone and found inside a dozen printed pages containing the simplified version of everything that there is to be known about DNA. "The science fair project?"
The black-haired boy discovered a handwritten note that came along the package.
I did the project but if you read this you can make Mrs. Cowell think you helped.
Sorry if I bothered you, won't happen again. I know you're busy.
- - -Hiccup Haddock.
Toothless froze on the spot, his green eyes the reflection of amazement. No one had ever (ever) said that to him: I understand you, no one had ever tried to. And here was this Hiccup boy, actually doing something nice for him, without even knowing him, without a reason. Toothless read the note about ten times before he smelt it again, and he memorized the scent of that boy, making sure he would never forget it. He felt a comfortable warmth flood his body and went to sleep with that beautiful sensation.
He would never forget that day, or the wonderful thing that had been done for him: I understand.
Another note: So, this was chapter two and it's only the beginning. I guess I can say that epicness starts in the next chapter, you know, with all the dragons and stuff... Oh, who said that?! Squirrel, watch your mouth! This is almost a school AU, how could there be any dragons?
Squirrel needs to get a hold of himself. He's tired of running that tiny wheel in my head that makes my brain work, I guess.
Oh, and if you want to know what Toothless looks like in my mind, search for nechy0 on DeviantArt, and that's more or less what I picture. As soon as I gather the money to buy my digital camera I'll draw my version and get my own DeviantArt account, yay!
Thank you so much to the reviewers and everyone who has favorited and subscribed. I hope we go on together!
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