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There are scratches on his back.

Clean blunt fingernails, trimmed and carefully filed so they don't snag and break through thin sterile gloves, scrape lines of pain across his shoulders and god he loves it.

But that's not the point.

The point is he's in charge, and he didn't give Hiccup permission to mark him.

Dagur breaks the circle of arms locked around him and cuffs Hiccup's wrists, thin wrists, bird bone frail, like they're hollow inside and meant for flying, unevenly above him, one arm stretched too long, the other bent too awkwardly, it can't be comfortable.

Hiccup likes that. He never says it, but Dagur knows his body now, knows his unvoiced desires, and he loves to be bound. He had considered the posibilities of restraints except that would be giving in and he just can't do that, but Hiccup has a way of getting what he wants and when his hands are free they are doing things they aren't supposed to be doing. So Dagur pins them above his head just like Hiccup knew he would and bites

Hiccup loves that too and how is he supposed to punish someone who loves it when he hurts them?

After, he tries to roll off and away, tries to be callous, but Hiccup looks so used, so absolutely ruined that he can't help but stare. Dagur wanted this, more than disheveled or unraveled, a filthy kind of abused. The little saint, with his hair in wild spikes and his mouth raw and ravaged and his eyes narrowed and unfocused.

Then he stretches and curls and looks at Dagur with a smile. Like he just won some great secret game.

Dagur doesn't think he's ever been in charge.

 

*

 

Dagur used to watch him.

When Hiccup had first come to MNU, all hesitant smiles and anxious fidgeting and freckles so many freckles. He was like a spotted bird fluttering about in a cage too small to really really fly so he hopped from one end to the other until the whole setup was swaying on the hook and ready to crash.

It wasn't hard to find informatiom, office gossip circled around him in the backstabbing worship of desk drones. Privileged Icelandic college med student with a small town politician for a father. Couldn't stay and help the poor of his own country. No he needed to volunteer in Africa.

 But black kids aren't as exotic as they used to be. Now there are more prestigious victims to brag about rescuing when he goes back to his own country.

 Now there are aliens.

 Dagur is on escort duty, it's shit work for a soldier because he has to pretend to be civil, threaten and posture and let the fucking creatures go when they back off instead of shooting them until their disgusting faces are paste.

 Hiccup's hands, thin anxious fingers that twisted the papers in his lap to confetti as he sat in first day orientation, are steady as they stitch closed a gash on Dagur's arm. His hands are warm through the medical gloves, independently packaged sterile gloves he keeps in a thick wad like cash bills in the pocket of his cargo shorts because the team was always running out of them on these trips into the District.

If Dagur wasn't on escort duty he would have shot that prawn before it could get anywhere near him with the machete. He wants to shoot it now, wants to shove his gun into those spasming mandibles and watch the body jerk back, watch those bolbous eyes film over in death.

Instead he watches it shove a can of Friskies into its maw and crunch crunch crunch until the catfood splatters like what passes for its brain should have from the pulverized tin. He listens as Hiccup with his warm steady hands chides him over aggressive body language and escalation of force and he can't fucking say anything, can't get another black mark on his file if he wants to get off escort duty and back to patrol.

He'll never make the raid team if he can't prove he can follow orders.

Someone else's orders.

Not his own, not his orders, barked out in a large voice like his father's, like his father's used to be, years ago, a lifetime ago.

Hiccup's eyes have gold in them.

He thinks he might have lost too much blood, but there is gold in the green and some of his freckles, the ones on his jaw and under his eye, look like the markings on a pair of dice. 

Dagur watched Hiccup from day one orientation, the way a large predator watches a tiny active bird; too small to bother with, not enough meat or entertainment to justify a kill, but so much movement triggered the urge, the instinct.

As youths he could see him tormenting the boy. Hunt, pounce, play. A cat catching a small helpless bird, heart thrumming it might just give out, letting it go just long enough to see how far it thinks it can get away.

He wonders how far Hiccup thinks he could get away.

 

*

 

Hiccup can read and write in the alien's language, not just the modified alphabet the MNU uses to decipher their words to english, he has notebooks of symbols Dagur has never seen, diagrams carefully drawn of their biology, not just disections or organs but of natural movement and relaxed postures.

Dagur looks through his sketchbooks some days, when he spends time after a fuck in Hiccup's little appartment. The sketches are not scientific or medical, prawns lounging in filth, walking around in discarded human trash, wearing odd bits of clothes; they are animated, relaxed, social. The images give feeling. Not jarring, the way photographs of the District are, where looking at them brings the smell of burning garbage and filth and urine, why does everything filthy smell of urine?

"It's the amonia." Hiccup informs him from the kitchen, which is only a counter space away in this city appartment. "It can last for weeks." He's making dinner. Dagur wonders when he started staying for dinner.

The pictures make the aliens look less grotesque, like they are at home in the ghetto that makes up the District, like they are not crawling over human refuse like scavenging vermin.

The whir of an electric can opener has the nest of blankets on the bed shifting. A small bipedal body struggles out of the mass, disoriented from sleep and tangled in sheets. It scrambles into the kitchen.

In red dragon print pajamas, clutching a battered stuffed animal that may have once been a bear, maybe a dog, it almost looks human, a bald deformed little African child.

The oil slick gloss of its black exoskeleton gives it away before it's antenna or mandibles do.

It sits in it's spot next to Dagur, who stacks the set of notebooks to the side, and watches out of yellow-green eyes as Hiccup sets a dinner plate in front of them both.

It trills pathetically, as if it has some right to whine about its dinner, and Hiccup admonishes it like it was the child you could almost pretend it could be.

"You'll get it after you finish your plate."

There is a whine, high and shrill that sets his teeth on edge. "Just fucking give it to the thing."

"It's bad for him." Hiccup snaps and scolds the little monster. "You will get some after your meal, or you get none."

"It's the same thing, isn't it?" It bugs Dagur. Why chicken on a plate is less appetizing than chicken in a can of catfood. Why the creatures go so apeshit for processed mashed up meat that they let themselves be sold, degraded, killed.

"It's the preservatives." The chicken on the prawn's plate is raw and bloody, warmed only to body temperature, and cut in large enough chunks for the creature to pick up and place in its mouth parts on its own. It does so at Hiccup's urging. "They're addicted to it, but it's bad for them."

Dagur picks at his own chicken, Hiccup is a good cook, in comparison to himself, it's better than the fast food places near his appartment, or the cafeteria at MNU.

The sounds of the alien eating are disgusting. Like smacking lips. Dagur hates lip smacking. His father did that. Every night at diner he talked and ate and smacked his lips and licked his fingers and it grated. So. Fucking. Much. His talks weren't even interesting, not anymore. No war stories, no talk of battles or firefights or skirmishes. More and more it was "what are you planning what are you doing with your life what school will take you with those grades?" And Dagur wished that if he was going to talk with his mouth full the least he could do was choke on it.

Hiccup talks while he eats, but it's between bites, he's gone into teacher mode and it serves Dagur right for asking two whole questions today.

He wonders why he's here. They can't have sex with that thing here, they do that at Dagur's apartment now. Dagur can't eat here, not with that thing slurping and smacking and chirp trill talking next to him.

Hiccup reaches over and laces their hands together, he's standing on the opposite side of the counter, there's only two bar stools for seats, it's easy to hold hands and eat since he's left handed.

A calloused thumb slides along the back of Dagur's hand, over veins and scarred knuckles, and the temper in his gut soothes.

He didn't give Hiccup permission to touch him. To hold his hand or calm his agravation. He needs to remind Hiccup whose in charge.

Hiccup forgets. Forgets himself. Forgets his boundaries. Forgets that his entire world would completely fall apart, all his plans and his secrets and his treacheries, if Dagur decided to end this little game of theirs.

It's not just smuggling medical supplies and computers and forging breeding permits anymore, no more I'll fuck you if you look the other way just this once. Because once became twice became an operation and a network and a command module hidden like a coffin under the earth in the darkest hour of the night during a staged riot distraction and if they were caught it wouldn't be charges and trials and jail but dissapearences and firing squads and the last hope of outer space bottom feeders gutted in the labs of MNU.

Sex isn't worth getting killed over.

And they can't even have sex because an illegal alien child is sleeping in the bed with them.

 

*

 

Hiccup watches him back.

He thinks he may have always watched him back. Now though, when he looks to where he feels a gaze, those green eyes don't look away.

When did they stop pretending they weren't watching eachother?

Probably when Koobus killed that prawn.

Koobus is an asshole.

He's usually the kind of asshole Dagur likes. He enjoys killing, as much as Dagur, and when they worked raids together it had been with a companionship Dagur had not felt since he had been a teenager, climbing out of windows in his father's house to join his gang and climb into other people's windows and ransack the place.

During night raids there are no rules but the orders your commanding officer gives you. Not Dagur's orders, not yet. There are no human rights activists or office drones to write you up. There is only curfew and closed gates and shacks on your list for "inspection".

There are warrants of course, loosely defined terms on paper, but oversight isn't a thing for MNU when it comes to its mercenaries.

And prawns are so fucking stupid.

But this wasn't a night raid. This was an escort. Dagur had begun to enjoy escorts, at least when a certain medical team requested him. When he could feel those gold veined eyes on him. It was a good mark on his file, MNU liked when their mercenaries played nice with the human rights assholes. It got him back on patrol again, and back in the raid lineup.

It'd been a year, he could turn them down if he wanted, but there are no warm steady hands to tend his wounds on patrol, no green eyes watching him when he's not watching back. So when they request him he accepts, even if it takes him off the squad lists for a day or two.

The other soldiers joked about his playing politics. He'd be promoted soon, they were all sure. It was good PR. MNU was all about good PR.

He didn't get promoted though.

Koobus did.

Asshole Koobus.

Koobus, who was on patrol, coordinating air support, barking orders, not Dagur's orders, but Koobus's own, in a loud voice like his father's. Strutting around like a fucking peacock.

Koobus who had ordered Dagur to fire at a prawn threatening the medics.

But Dagur knows how to be civil, to threaten and posture and let the fucking creatures go when they back off instead of shooting them until their disgusting faces are paste.

He knows about aggressive body language and escalation of force.

He has cans of cat food in his bag where too much ammo used to be. He wonders why it works. Why they let their guards down, it's almost suicidal, for the promise of a can of the processed unwanted parts of a tuna.

Koobus points his rifle and fires. The creature, huge, monsterous, so fucking stupid, knocks Dagur aside and charges.

He hits a shed with such force it collapses, but these things were never built to really hold up.

He's not out long, but when he wakes it's to warm hands.

Hiccup's warm hands, anxious twisting fingers combing back loosened hair, without gloves, brushing across his face. His eyes are so green, but they have those viens of gold.

Like fields of barley just beginning to ripen.

Johannesburg sometimes has green in it. Outside the city can be beautiful, and there are houses with lawns and gardens. Dagur doesn't see it much. Dagur associates Johannesburg with buildings and ghettos and the filth of District 9.

Dagur remembers a small fishing town with aging naval officers, decorated war heroes with stories of battle and victory and honor.

There is no honor here. Only blood and greedy sadistic violence.

He wonders if a real war would have been any different.

Asshole Koobus is shouting, he can't hear over the ringing in his ears, but he can see him red faced and angry standing behind Hiccup like a looming disaster. Dagur's head is full, like someone is over stuffing it, it's going to explode if they don't stop. Hiccup's eyes are furious, but he can't fucking SAY anything. Not to Koobus.

So he strokes with his warm hands, unsteady, shaken, as if something precious was almost taken.

 

*

 

"It's not like a hive."

Hiccup's voice interrupts the documentary they are watching.

Dagur had taken to staying over after sex. Hiccup says it's nice, cooking for someone else, and the food is better than the takeout he usually eats.

The history channel is playing something about the aliens. Sometimes Dagur forgets they once came from the skies. That something so vile and self distructively stupid built technology so advanced it crossed stars.

Hiccup's face is twisted, the way it gets when someone is obviously wrong and he needs to correct them. "They may have been, once. Not like a 'queen rules all' hive, but a commune."

"How would you know?" Dagur mocks.

"I talk to them."

Hiccup knows their language. He's learning more and more each day. More than the modified alphabet they all learn, but the full language. He comes home with notebooks filled with new symbols and different ways they can be translated into earth based linguistics. He's substituted full phrases with a single rune, and filled an entire page with alien text to discribe the nuances of sarcastic slang, body language and inflection and the bite of teeth to a consonant.

Dagur wonders who in the District was smart enough to talk to, to teach and be taught.

"Their history is altered. Mass education. A single ruling class has always governed, the drones always worked, always, no class wars, no wars at all, just do what you're told and everything is fine." His hands are twisting in his lap, like the thought of it upsets him.

"Considering how smart the drones are it sounds like a nice setup."

Hiccup shifts under his arm, and when did he start putting his arm around the man when they watch tv?

"But they shouldn't be!" Hiccup insists, and Dagur knows he's going into lecture mode. He needs to beat a hasty retreat if he doesn't want to be bombarded with textbook terms for the next hour.

"I've studied their biology, their brains, their genetics. I've read through everything given to me. Nothing indicates that they should be so stunted. It's like their not developing right." And he's biting his nails and looking towards his notebooks. Like he has a theory and Dagur is kind of a little maybe terrified of Hiccup's theories.

But he's interested in where Hiccup could possibly have gotten information like this because "read everything given to me" didn't sound like MNU approved papers and dissections.

"Why would an illness wipe out the entire governmental power on the ship if they were all one hive?" He asks and Dagur knows he's no longer talking to him. "Then you have their tech. It's all biologically integrated. Their genetic coding is in the ship, not just weapons but vehicles and computers and kitchens. It's not a scan. Not a genetic fingerprint for specific individuals. It's for the whole species. Nothing is locked for them, a drone could command the ship, but they dont, because it isn't done. It's not their approved job."

"Come oooon." Dagur cackles at the idea of a drone with a job. "Those creatures? They can't decide what road to take without throwing a tantrum." Fighting to the death over who lets the other pass when they go opposite directions. Angry spoiled children.

"Maybe that's the problem. Maybe they can't handle choice." Hiccup is looking at him like he's supposed to contribute to the conversation but it's soooooo boring and he doesn't want to think about it when he's not at work. Isn't it enough that he let's Hiccup sneak extra supplies or pretends he doesn't see the stash of contraband in the corner of the shack where Hiccup is tending to a weeping juvenile whose criminally stupid parent was taken by the human gang when it tried to trade weapons for food.

"You expect me to buy that those things are only stupid juuust enough to do one thing?"

"One thing at a time. Like a trick. Trained to follow commands and not question it."

"Like a dog? Push that button get a treat?" Pull that trigger, be a good soldier.

"I think it was a type of fascism." Hiccup chewed on his thumbnail, looked at the tv. "I think when the ruling body took over they did something. Not at once, maybe over time. Or after an uprising? Something to the eggs. They need to be cared for in a nest, they need nutrients from a living host, like wasps laying eggs on a paralyzed spider. They changed their tech to be biological. I think they could do a selective retardation on their working class."

"Whelp." Dagur sprawled out, more than finished with this conversation. "Now they're dead. So they must not be so smart either."

"Unless." Hiccup knows the signs of his bordom, but he keeps pressing, like putting this idea in Dagur's head is important. "Unless there's like a, a safety measure? Like pheromones or maybe...?" He bites his lip and Dagur wants to bite it too. "Do you think?"

"No. I dont. You make no sense."

"Forget it." He huffs and slouches down, arms crossed. He has this air of dissapointment and frustration that doesn't belong to his usual theories.

It feels like they had an argument.

 

*

 

He's shy.

It's kind of adorable. He doesn't know why it's suprising. Probably because it was Hiccup that suggested going down on him when he caught the newly promoted physician palming extra pain meds.

MNU's little saint. Perfectly groomed, always polite, graduated from med school early Hiccup with his small town mayor father and his 'I want everyone to be my friend' smile. Stealing packets of pills like a little drug addict.

It was hilarious.

Dagur couldn't help teasing him over it. "What. Are you dealing now? Gotta pay off that med school debt."

He looked flighty, like he did those first few months, little anxious bird in a too small cage.

Or sneaking around a house with cats in it.

He doesn't like to think that Hiccup really believed he would rat him out. They had known each other two years, casual coworking passing each other in the preverbial hallways known eachother. Dagur picked on him, and sometimes Hiccup snapped back, little sarcastic comments that made him LAUGH. Nothing made him laugh like Hiccup.

Except night raids, but he wasn't supposed to laugh at that, it gave away positions and made his teammates uncomfortable. Koobus used to chuckle quietly with him, and they laughed loud and roudy on patrol, but Koobus was an asshole now and Dagur didn't laugh with assholes.

So he laughed at Hiccup.

And sometimes Hiccup laughed back.

He wasn't laughing now, he was watching as Hiccup fiddled with his keys, slim anxious fingers twisting, watching the way he used to when he didn't know Hiccup watched back, with a predatory instinct.

When Hiccup propositioned him in the medical supply closet he had brushed it off as teasing back.

Hands unbuckling his pants proved that Hiccup was very serious.

He hadn't really known what he felt, just that he felt something, a kind of kinship, like the brotherhood his father and the other vets spoke of. It was stronger than with his gang, stronger than with Koobus and the other mercenaries. Hiccup was unique in his hold over Dagur, above all else. His brother in arms, because wasn't a field medic just as honorable as a soldier? Just as necessary?

Braced against the counter, staring down into those green eyes he understood that there was nothing brotherly about what Hiccup was currently doing to him.

But only now, weeks later, did he really understand.

Hiccup didn't trust him.

Or he did, he trusted him to keep his word, but not enough without leverage.

Dagur wouldn't have ever betrayed his caring, confident in his field brother, but this person? This calculating little man with an agenda and secrets and "I know how you look at me" reasoning?

He didn't know this man.

"I'll do anything you want," he had said as he pressed himself against Dagur in the lower levels of the building where other people Dagur knew in passing were frozen in terror at his discovery of them. All of them employees of MNU, all standing over one of the alien corpses collected from last night's raid.

Hiccup hadn't looked shy then. He had looked desperate and afraid.

Afraid Dagur would go running to the nearest superior officer. As if Dagur had any superiors. As if he had one who outranked his loyalty.

Loyalty to a brother who saw him as a pawn, a means to an end, or worse an obstacle.

He was a fool. He was so monumentally STUPID.

Hiccup, oh Hiccup was more so.

He hoped they had more than a handful of pills and a monster's cadaver on their list of demands, because now Dagur knew exactly what he wanted, and he wasn't about to let it go.

He was going to make Hiccup pay for humiliating him. If he thought, for a second, that the embarrassed act would stir pity in him he was mistaken.

Dagur was going to destroy him.

Mind, soul, and body.

 

*

 

He was supposed to be in charge.

He wondered when that stopped.

When he went from being bribed to part of the group.

Not the core part. No that was Hiccup. Hiccup who made the plans. Hiccup who gave the orders, never barking them, never louder than he needed to be, always 'okay gaang' and 'any questions' and 'what do you think'.

 Dagur stands watch as they slip in and out of the District. It's been a year since he first read Hiccup's notes and corrected his assumptions on patrols and security, since he told them about the night raids, and he still feels off. Still feels like he's only Hiccup's little plus one. The others are more casual around him now, but he feels like the girlfriend.

If the girlfriend was being bribed with sex to not sell them all out.

"There's a leader," Hiccup had told him once, sleepily running his hands over Dagur, like he was holding something precious. "An alpha, in a way. One who... evolved."

It clicked then, who else but a member of the ruling class had the intelligence to study their alien histories, their alien language and alien technologies.

"They call him InDuna." He whispered, like the title was a greater secret than the existence of the alien who held it. "We teach them so many languages, and then, then they choose words and terms and structure for themselves. They don't like to be called Poleepkwa, they like Outlanders. It's amazing." Even muted by sleep his excitement is obvious. "I want you to meet him."

Dagur wants to demand why, but the weight on his chest is still and the hands are no longer panamiming little gestures as they trace through his chest hair.

He usually leaves after they eat, sometimes they watch TV, sometimes they talk, but he always leaves.

Tonight he stays because Hiccup asked him to. It's the first time they actually sleep together, and when Hiccup initiates sex it's somehow both gentle and desperate.

Dagur runs a hand through Hiccup's hair, for the very first time in the months since they reached a bargain he soothes the disheveled spikes down into the usual smooth bowl and tortures himself with slow exploring strokes down a thin soft back. Feels where what he thought were all freckles has some dots raised into almost moles.

He traces the shape of Hiccup's fingers with his own, feels the rough and the soft and the little scars. He holds it to his heart and aches a little.

He understands now that he's in love, knows it by the hurt in his chest because for a moment he tricked himself into believing it was Hiccup who was in love, that wanting him to stay and holding him and resting his head on his chest as if it was just so natural, so meant, was a sign of affection or longing.

But Hiccup still has so many secrets. Months like this and he only now mentions anything, in the vulnerability of post sex sleep.

He decided then that enough was enough. If Hiccup wasn't going to invite him into his confidence, Dagur was going to have to find something they needed, something only he could supply.

Now he watches as they slip easily in and out of the holes in security only he knew and wished desperately he had not given Hiccup a chance to take so dangerous a risk.

Because there was no MNU oversight in District 9 after curfew.

And prawns are so fucking stupid.

 

*

 

When Dagur meets the InDuna he is both awed and dissapointed.

Christopher Johnson doesn't sound like a name that inspires respect among giant savage insect aliens, and hunched over his little chemistry set with Hiccup and the fat man nicknamed Fishlegs he is anything but aggressive.

But the shrewd intelligence behind those striking eyes as they assess him has him alert.

This is a creature who understood violence, even as he held the delicate glass container of chemical in his dexterous tentacled hand.

When Hiccup introduces him Christopher trills in greeting, and Dagur has been trying to learn the language but he's never been very good at focusing on anything but strategy. His strategy now is to stay silent, and loom menacingly at the door next to a prawn whose job seems equal to his. One soldier for each side sounds fair, the others, trusted inner circle to Hiccup and the InDuna, are not a threat.

Prawns work best with clear simple instructions, and humans, particularly these humans, are soft and weak.

He doesn't bother listening in on the plan as it is laid out for the others, prawn and human alike, Hiccup has already informed him of the staged riot. The carefully excavated hole in the ground hidden beneath false piles of trash, and the wreckage of the comand module, secretly, painstakingly peiced back together from thousands of broken pieces, many of which were... liberated from an unknowing MNU archive of "salvaged and siezed alien tech".

The prawns will instigate the violence, far away from where the real work takes place, while the humans move the module from the trash heaps to the place it will rest.

It seems so simple, prawns need it to be simple, but so many things can go wrong.

That's why Dagur is there. Noone knows the night patrol like he does. Asshole Koobus likes to put him there when he gets mouthy. If he could he'd take Dagur off escort duty, but Dagur is the poster boy for MNU when the human rights groups follow Hiccup into the District to document his team's medical treatments for the aliens.

They are very interested in his findings on alien biology.

If only they knew.

They head out, but as Hiccup moves towards him Christopher holds up a 'hand'. There is a change. Hiccup will go with the prawn guard.

Dagur will walk with Christopher.

Hiccup wants to argue, his face is all scrunched up like it gets when someone is wrong and he needs to correct them, he's not concerned over the prawn, he knows this prawn, he's concerned over Dagur. Over whether or not Dagur will behave himself.

Dagur just grins, mad manic grin with too much teeth, and follows the InDuna out into the night.

The District smells like burning garbage and filth and urine.

Why does everything filthy always smell like urine?

They walk in silence for much of the distance. Dagur knows who is on the list tonight, where the patrol will go, which house is slated to be "searched", but nothing is ever certain. Will someone run? Will a fight start? Will a merc find the look of a prawn offensive and decide to torment the creature?

Once they tied a large prawn to a truck and drug it behind for the whole patrol because it had knocked over a pile of scrap and made a soldier jump.

Dagur does not worry over Hiccup anymore. Even the stupid prawns respect him, protect him. He is a healer, and he smuggles them tradable goods and forges them papers.

Christopher speaks, and his words are carefully simple. The word he uses for Dagur's name is a prawn weapon, a dangerous one, he knows it because he is trained to recognize it's use in conversation. Trained to find any of them in the district he can. That it is his new name equivalent in the prawn tongue is meant to stoke his ego, and he let's it, Hiccup would have corrected the mistranslation, suggested a prawn term for 'Day', but he likes this name.

"Your leader has much confidence in you." He says, and it's obvious Christopher doubts this confidence.

"He is not my leader" is not what he means to say but there it is .

He wants to ask how Christopher knows Hiccup trusts him. What proof, what act, what conversation hinted to him that Dagur was anything but a necessary addition.

Dagur had forced Hiccup to include him. All but threatening to expose them all if he wasn't made part of it. Hiccup had fought him the whole way.

Some days he still did.

"What is he if not your leader?"

What indeed?

What is a man you follow and fuck and fight with?

"My lover." He says, and for all its simplicity it feels good to say it, like its some normal relationship. No blackmail required.

Christopher studies him with interest and... amusement?

They continue on in silence. There are prawns and humans about, stinking fires and arguments, gunshots two shacks over. It is not a silent night, but between them it feels like it is.

"Your lover has promised me a legal child."

Yeah. That sounds like Hiccup.

"Then you'll get it."

He didn't know prawns could smile, but he doesn't know how else to describe the way mandibles and tentacles and other alien mouthpieces aranged themselves on this InDuna's face. "I have one. But he is not legal. Always a risk to have him out, but he wants to play. Wants to help. He is growing, and I want to encourage him." He looks sad and scared and proud. "He is... smart."

Not like the other prawn. Another alpha. Another InDuna.

"Not very smart to tell an MNU cowboy this is it?" Dagur smirks cruelly.

Christopher watches him with that amusement again. Like he finally understands the missing variable to an equation. "Your leader trusts you."

'And so will I' hangs unspoken.

Those words were everything Dagur needed and he wraps himself in them and floats through the violence and anxiety of the night.

And when he faces another mercenary, a friendly familiar face that joked about his playing politics and insisted he should have been promoted over Asshole Koobus, stumbling upon their little half burried comand module, he's grinning as he shoots them.

 

*

 

There's a child in their appartment.

Dagur wonders when he stopped paying rent on his own. He didn't have much there, everything important slowly migrated to Hiccup's little home, but MNU sent him a notice about updating his current address in his files and he can't exactly say he's sharing a single room with a male coworker in the city.

Its been five years since they started sleeping together and Hiccup talks about going back to his little Nordic island where his father has once again won mayor by overwhelming majority.

Dagur insist the brat needs his own room in whatever place they live if they are going to have a regular sex life. Hiccup and he are a they now, and maybe he can admit that the tiny deformed alien with mutilation scars from canibalistic Kenyan gangsters is also part of They but he doesn't really want to yet.

He and Toothless have an understanding, and it is that it is their sworn duty to fight as loudly and childishly over Hiccup as they can. It would be lonely without the constant war in even a smaller home than this tincan they currently reside.

And if Dagur slips him catfood when Hiccup isn't looking then that's their secret.

He never asked how Hiccup found the little Outlander, but he recognizes an InDuna in the inquisativeness and bright intelligent eyes.

He wonders if all future children in District 9 will be so. Christopher and Hiccup have their hopes.

But Hiccup wants the Outlanders to integrate into Earth society, and Christopher dreams of a fairytale planet that sends out ships filled with biologically enforced cache system societies that travel for generations.

Maybe if things change enough there can be factions, but Dagur doubts Johannesburg will ever welcome them.

So they are moving to a tiny Nordic town, where Hiccup assures them all the group of prawns they smuggle out will eventually be welcomed.

If only in secret.

Dagur maybe kind of wants to believe in him, but would follow anyway because...

Well he's in charge.