Chapter 12- Honest truth
Toothless had been carried by Gobber, to Hiccup's house and placed on Hiccup's bed. Gobber was confused upon seeing a bed made up on Toothless’s stone bed, which was obviously where Kalster had been sleeping.
Gothi had gotten to work while Gobber told Hiccup that Trid was with Valka, and not to worry about him. Gothi had asked Gobber and Hiccup to leave the room, but Hiccup had refused loudly! Gobber was shocked at how emotional Hiccup was being over a ‘friend’ he hadn't really known that long, and no matter how hard he had tried, Hiccup had put his foot down. Gobber had left Hiccup's house - with Trid in his arms, and walked in the direction towards Valka's.
Hiccup had subconsciously taken Toothless's hand and breathed through his anger, forcing his tears back. Gothi wasn't oblivious to Hiccup's actions - or his emotions, but she continued her work. Toothless’s vest and tunic had been cut off revealing the wound, it had stopped bleeding but it didn’t look good. Gothi cut the skin making the wound a little bigger, and eased the arrow out causing it to bleed again. Hiccup winced as he watched her press the wound with clean fabric, she nodded at Hiccup - signalling him to hold it in place with firm pressure. Hiccup did as he was told while Gothi prepared a needle and more materials.
Eventually the wound was cleaned with water and sutured together. Gothi had applied a paste she had made, and applied a bandage which was wrapped around his shoulder and back to keep it in place. After laying Toothless on his back carefully, Gothi had prepared another paste - with more herbs, plants and liquid. She then used her staff to communicate - with drawings in the sand she had scattered on the floor, telling Hiccup that Kalster would be fine; he had lost a lot of blood which was why he was still sleeping. She instructed him to give Kalster a spoon of the paste in warm water when he woke up, and to do this four-times a day until it was all gone. She also advised Hiccup to keep the wound clean, and that she would be back tomorrow to check on the wound. Hiccup thanked her and returned to Toothless’s side, once again taking his hand. Gothi noticed his action, and she smiled knowingly as she made her way down the stairs - leaving with her bag.
Gobber was concerned at Hiccup's actions and had gone to see Valka. He told her everything he knew including the fact that it appeared Kalster was sleeping in Hiccup's room on Toothless bed. That Hiccup cared for Kalster far too much for him to have only known the boy for a short time, insisting that Hiccup must have known him longer and was hiding something.
''I'm telling ya Val, the boy knows him more then he said! In all me life, in all the wounds his friends have received, I ave never seen his act like that!'' Gobber was insisting.
''I will go and see my Son. Hiccup may not be telling us everything, but we have to trust him.'' Valka finished getting up.
Gobber had eventually seen himself out and Valka was getting ready to walk over to Hiccup's with Trid.
Hiccup was sitting on a stool with his arms on the bed and his head down in his arms. He was angry that Toothless had been shoot, and he was trying to gather a list of people in his head that were against Toothless staying on Berk. 'Redburn Wagner and his wife Waiola, Fingal, Spitelout, Tybalt …' He thought to himself clutching his fists so tightly the knuckles turned white. He wanted the person who was responsible for this to get what was coming to them.
''H-how bad?'' Toothless’s horse voice reached Hiccup’s ears as he woke up.
''Toothless!'' Hiccup almost shouted, standing up so fast he almost knocked over his stool. Relief flooded his being, seeing Toothless awake reassured him that he would be okay - just like Gothi had said.
Nearly loosing Toothless again had confirmed to him, that he had fallen for the man before him. It was madness, insane, and totally infelicitous, forbidden, and inappropriate, but he couldn’t help it. He’d excuse it for love like that you felt for a brother, but he couldn’t deny his strong sexual attraction to him either … it was so wrong, so verboten, so reprehensible … but it was there.
''Yep, must be bad if I'm in your bed!'' Toothless spoke, noticing where he was. As he tried to sit up, he winced in pain still feeling dizzy.
''No bud! You need to stay still and give yourself a chance to heal.'' Hiccup ordered.
''Sucks, I wanted to go for a run!'' He teased.
''Are you trying to kill me! I thought I told you not to get hurt again?''
''Nah! You said don't die. I think I held up my end of the deal!'' He replied with an air of smugness.
''If you weren't injured, I'd slap you right now!'' Hiccup shook his head, even injured and in pain, Toothless was still impossible. That was something else he admired about him, how he was so strong - even in his weakest moments.
''Nice to know you care so much.''
''I'm going to make your drink. Gothi told me to give it to you when you woke up.'' Hiccup told him, before collecting the small jar of paste.
''What is it?'' Toothless asked, frowning at the jar with a wrinkled nose.
''Not sure, but I think it’s for the pain - and to help with the healing.''
''What pain? I'm fine.'' Toothless insisted, going to sit up again to prove a point, but he couldn't hide the pain on his face or the hiss that escaped his mouth.
''Toothless!'' Hiccup scolded, rushing over pushing him back down. ''Stay! You’re worse than Trid!''
''Fine! I'll stay and be a good dragon, well … human.'' He added playfully. Hiccup just rolled his eyes and went downstairs.
''Mum!'' Hiccup asked in surprised, seeing his mother and Trid sitting at the table.
''I came to see how you were, and to see if Kalster was okay. Trid was missing you too.'' She told him.
''R-r-right. Yeah, that’s nice of you.'' He put the bowl down and gathered some water before starting on the fire. ''He is f-fine, Gothi fixed him up.''
''I see, and care to tell me why you called Kalster … Toothless just now!'' She asked, having heard Hiccup from downstairs. She swore she also heard Kalster refer to himself as a dragon, but it made no sense.
Hiccup was so shocked at the question that he forgot he was placing the water onto hot fire. ''Ow!'' He shouted dropping the water, extinguishing the fire in the process, and holding his hand. It wasn't a bad burn, but it stung terribly.
''Hiccup?'' A worried voice upstairs rang in his ears. Valka rushed over to her son and looked at his hand.
''Are you okay Hiccup?'' She asked, relieved to see the skin wasn’t broken.
''Yeah. It’s just a small burn.'' Hiccup moved over to the water pale, placing his hand inside the cool liquid. ''I'm okay Kalster!'' He shouted upstairs, but he heard a thud followed by a loud groan of pain.
''This day just keeps getting better and better. Stay here!'' He told his mother, before running upstairs and finding Toothless pulling himself off the floor using the bed.
''What were you thinking?'' Hiccup demanded.
''You were hurt! I wanted to make sure you were okay.'' Toothless replied, hesitantly allowing Hiccup to get him back onto the bed.
''I'm fine bud! It’s just a small burn. Mum's down stairs and...'' Valka had walked up the stairs and into the room, ''…now she’s in my room!'' He wanted to bang his head because no one was listening to him.
''Hi Mrs Haddock.'' Toothless smiled. Valka nodded once in acknowledgement.
''Hiccup I want an answer!'' She demanded.
''Answer? Yeah, I-I said I'm g-good'' He replied, rubbing the back of his neck. He lent awkwardly on his table, knocking his pens off and quickly trying to put them all back.
''Toothless, care to tell me why my son is acting so strangely?'' She asked, knowing she had called him Toothless - trying to catch him of guard.
''I’m-. Erm ... my name isn’t Toothless, it’s Kalster.'' Toothless corrected her. Hiccup might be easy to trick but he was far more observant.
''Want to try that again?'' She asked calmly advancing on Toothless. He gulped looking away.
''Mum, I need to do Kalster's medication...'' Hiccup said, walking over to her and pulling her towards the stairs. ‘‘W-why don't you c-come down and we can talk.'' He finished, walking down the stairs hoping his mum would follow him.
Valka gave Toothless a questioning look, before finally following her son down the stairs. Hiccup rushed to get the fire lit again, and get the water on so it could start boiling. He wanted to avoid the conversation his mother was insistent on pursuing. Valka had sat at the table, waiting for him to finish, but she wouldn’t let this go. When Hiccup put his hands onto his lap waiting for the water to start bubbling Valka decided it was time to ask him again.
''So, care to tell me why you called Kalster Toothless, why he is being treated in your bed, and why he said, and I quote, 'I'll stay and be a good dragon, well … human.' Not only that Hiccup Haddock, but you called him bud, and he seems to have given you the nick-name Hicc. A little to cozy for a ‘friend’ you haven’t known long, don’t you agree?''
''Y-you heard that, erm, well ... I don't really have the answers to that mum. But it isn’t what it sounds like… I-it’s a funny story actually but you know, just friends being friends.'' Hiccup mumbled nervously.
''In other words, you won't tell me but you’re hiding something.''
''I would … tell you, but I can't. You wouldn't believe me anyway!''
''Try me! I’m your mother.'' Valka insisted.
''I can't mum. I'm sorry but … I just can't.'' Hiccup said felling rather guilty, but he started to get angry at the questioning.
Hiccup noticed the bubbles in the water appearing, and carefully removed it from the fire. He took the water to the table and added enough to the cup before setting the rest down. He added a spoon of the paste and stirred it into the water. When he noticed Valka just starring at him - still waiting for answers, he sighed.
''I'm sorry okay! I'm going to leave the fire for Trid's bottle. You can do it for me if you like. I have to give this to Kalster!'' He told his mother, still torn between guilt and anger. With that, Hiccup went upstairs.
''Hey, I have your drink.'' Hiccup said, but Toothless noticed something was bothering him.
''What's wrong Hicc?'' He took his drink, eyes never leaving Hiccup. Hiccup leaned forward to whisper into Toothless's ear.
''Mum is on to us. I think she can hear me so play along okay.'' He stood up. ''I'm fine, just a small burn, don't worry about it Kalster.''
''I see, thanks for the drink.'' He sipped it and made a disgusted face.
''You have to drink it, it will help.''
''Fine, but it’s disgusting. If I puke, you’re cleaning it up.'' Toothless smirked.
''Yeah, yeah. I have to go back down, stay in bed and I will come speak to you in a bit okay.'' Hiccup finished and went back downstairs. Valka had started boiling the milk and Hiccup sat at the table. ''Listen Mum. I'm sorry okay but you're going to have to drop this and just trust me.''
''You’re as stubborn as your father, but this time I won't drop it Hiccup. I'm your mother! I have a right to know.'' She insisted sternly.
''Well you’ll be waiting a long time!'' Hiccup shouted, letting his angry get the better of him, but he’d had enough of being pressured.
''Hiccup Haddock! Don't speak to me like that!'' Her voice was raised, shocked at his audacity to yell at her.
''I told you to drop it! If you can't do that then leave!''
''No! I will stay here all night if I have to, I want to know what’s going on.''
''You wouldn't believe me if I told you. I'm not going to tell you!'' He insisted, clenching his fists.
''You're behaving like a child!'' She scolded her stubborn son.
''Oh, Really? You're the one who won’t drop it!'' He slammed his fists into the table, startling his mother.
Hiccup stood there breathing heavily, and Trid had started crying. Valka went across to the other side of the room, calming the baby and herself down. Hiccup had developed a short fuse ever since Astrid had died, but his anger was becoming worrisome. Valka was so shocked at Hiccup’s behavior. Toothless had heard the commotion and had pulled himself off the bed. He was now at the top of the stairs, sitting on the third step down.
''Hiccup!'' Toothless shouted down to him, getting his attention.
''You should be resting!'' He told him, about to order him back into bed.
''Don't speak to your mother like that Hiccup! J-just tell her.'' Toothless told him. He stood up, slowly making his way down the stairs.
''No, you need to rest!'' Hiccup tried, but Toothless forced himself down the stairs insisting it was just his shoulder. Hiccup sighed, helping him into a chair at the table. Hiccup then stood up straight, allowing his mother to take the chair at the opposite side.
''Hicc, I don't want to come between you two. She has a right to know!'' Toothless told him gently.
''Tell me what?'' Valka said. She was grateful that this boy seemed to agree that she had a right to know, he had more effect on her son than she did.
''But bud? She won't believe me … us, and I don't want the village knowing. I don't want you to get hurt.'' Hiccup pleaded.
''To late … already hurt!'' Toothless said, pointing to his injury.
''Would you be serious!'' Hiccup demanded.
''Okay! but I am being serious. Don't worry about me Hicc! You need to tell your mother the truth, and trust she will keep it a secret too.'' Toothless told him.
''Whatever it is, I will keep your secret.'' She promised. Hiccup gulped.
''Hiccup, Trid's milk is boiling over.'' Toothless told him. Hiccup ran to get the milk off the fire, and Toothless looked at Valka. ''Sort Trid out first, then we’ll tell you.'' Toothless told her and she nodded, agreeing that Trid was priority.
The atmosphere was murky and awkward while Hiccup fed and changed Trid. Hiccup had gone to get Toothless’s drink so he could finish it, and the pain had settled in his shoulder. Valka had asked Toothless if he was okay, and he’d nodded. Hiccup was worried about how his mother would react, if she’d believe them or just think they were crazy. Trid was now sitting comfortably on Hiccup lap on the floor, and Toothless got up and slowly made his way over - sitting down next to him.
''So, Mrs Haddock. I believe we made you a promise.'' Toothless said. He wasn't as confident as he seemed, but he hated seeing Hiccup and Valka argue. He would rather have to leave then for Hiccup to lose his mother over this, especially knowing that she was all he had left as family.
''A-Are you sure bud?'' Hiccup asked him, bursting full of nerves. Toothless nodded and looked down, he took a deep breath before looking back up at Valka.
''The things is Mrs Haddock ... I-I…'' Toothless struggled to finished, and looked at Hiccup. They exchanged glances and Toothless nodded at him.
''Mum, Toothless did the night of the battle.'' Hiccup started.
''That's insane, of course he didn't. He left with the other dragons.'' Valka almost laughed at how ludicrous that sounded, but Hiccup looked so serious.
''If you’re not going to listen to me and take it seriously then-.'' Hiccup started angrily, but Toothless touched his shoulder.
''It's true Mrs Haddock. I did die! I died and woke up a human, a person. I can change between Dragon and human forms. Only, right now I’m stuck like this or the pain will force me to leave too. I am Toothless.'' He explained nervously.
Valka wasn't sure how to take the news and started laughing. She wanted to believe them, but logic told her it was more likely she was being lied to, made a fool out of; her troubled son and his strange ‘friend’, had simply made up some ridiculous, elaborate story… a joke to simply throw her off guard. It was the most absurd thing she had ever heard.
Toothless felt Hiccup's body shake in anger, but before he could do anything Toothless stopped him.
''No Hiccup! You said she wouldn't believe us, let me show her!''
''No! You can't, you’re hurt and ... what if I lose you too! What if you can't get back to me and you leave? I won’t let you do this Toothless.''
''I have you to bring me back don't I? Like when the Bewilderbeast tried to control me. I know I want to stay, so I’ll change back. If I don't, I will change back when I can and swim back to you as a human if I have to.''
Valka had stopped laughing now. She could see the genuine fear in her son’s face. She had heard the conversation and was telling herself it couldn't be true; it was all total madness. She watched as Hiccup placed Trid into his crib - leaving him to cry. Hiccup collected a blanket and laid it on the table.
''For after, I don't think mum needs to see you naked.'' Hiccup told him; his voice cracked with worry. Toothless couldn’t help but laugh though as he went to removed his trousers. ''It’s okay, leave them on. I have another pair and I can make you more.''
''I'm going to need a new bandage after this too!'' Toothless told Hiccup seriously.
''I have spares, and I know what to do.'' Hiccup told him. He took a deep breath, still uncomfortable with this. ''You sure you want to do this bud? You’re already injured and-.''
''Yes! I'm doing this Hiccup. Here goes…'' He said, giving Hiccup a wink. Toothless looked far to confident, but Hiccup stomach dropped - he didn’t like this at all.
Valka stood up, about to question what the hell the boys were going on about, when before her very eyes Kalster changed into a dragon - into Toothless! She watched in fear - backing into the wall as Toothless started banged his head into various items. He was growling at Hiccup, and obviously out of control.
''Whoa easy bud … It's me … Hiccup! Change back now and it will all go away. Just change bud, please! Come back to me. Come on Toothless! It’s me. Listen to me bud, listen to my voice.'' Hiccup pleaded, ordered, soothed. Toothless continued to growl as he tried to smash his way out of the house. ''Toothless please calm down! I need you! You told me you could fight this, you said it would be alright! You just need to be a human again, you just need to listen to me!'' He ran between the door and Toothless who was about to smash into it. He couldn’t let him leave. Toothless powered up a plasma blasts and was aiming it at Hiccup! ''No bud. It’s me. Toothless please!'' Hiccup begged. He was scared, but he didn’t move an inch. Instead, he placed his hand out towards Toothless and closed his eyes. Toothless had to come back now, or he’d be killed. ''Please bud, please!''
''Hicc?'' A weak voice barely whispered before a loud thud echoed through the house. Hiccup opened his eyes to see a naked Toothless sprawled on the floor unconscious. He had new bruises, and his shoulder was bleeding slightly again.
''Toothless!'' He shouted as he scrambled to help him, he knew this was a bad idea.
He looked over to his mother who was breathing heavily against the wall, staring at them both. Hiccup raced over to grab the blanket, covering Toothless’s naked body. Hiccup could hear Toothless breathing, he was okay. He raced upstairs to get the bandages and a pillow, and After racing back down, he had carefully cleaned the wound and wrapped it in place identical to the last one. He gently, tenderly, laid Toothless's head down on the pillow.
Valka was still in shock, staring at Hiccup as he worked, watching. She had finally let it sink, she had seen it with her own eyes, but she felt guilty for not believing them like she wanted to. Hiccup was sitting next to Toothless, when his cold, angry eyes looked up at her. In his mind he blamed his mother for this. He wanted to get Gothi, but there would be to many questions and he knew, hoped, that Toothless would be just fine. He looked away from his mother pointedly, and took Toothless hand gently in his own.
''Please wake up!’’ Hiccup whispered to him. ‘‘I'm sorry, I shouldn't have let you done this!'' Tears fell down his cheeks silently, and he closed his eyes. It was all just such a mess. He didn’t want to speak with his mother right now, but she slowly came over, kneeling down beside him.
''I'm so sorry son. I should have believed you.'' Her voiced was filled with guilt, but Hiccup looked up at her with contempt and hatred.
''Just go mother! You couldn’t just leave it could you. You have done enough!'' He ground through gritted teeth, turning back to look at Toothless. His mother didn’t matter, especially not right now. He only cared about Toothless.
''Please son, let me help!'' Valka pleaded.
''No! You did this. I told you to drop it. He was willing to give up everything to prove to you I was telling the truth. You … you did this!''
''I'm sorry Hiccup! I was a fool. Please see it from my point of view though, would you have believed it?'' She asked him.
''Yes! I would have believed my own son!'' He shouted. His father hadn’t believed him when he took down Toothless, hadn’t believed him that dragons were not heartless beasts … and now his mother hadn’t believed him. No one every listened to him, no one … expect Toothless. Hiccup didn’t even have the energy to register his guilt when Valka's eyes filled with tears. She got up and made to leave.
''I won't tell anyone son, I promise. Do you want me to get Gothi?'' She asked, deciding to give her son time to calm down. She hoped he would come to her again when he was ready to forgive her.
''No! She will ask to many questions. Just go mother!'' He closed his eye tight, fighting back the sobs. His anger was melting, fading and being replaced with pain. Valka nodded sadly … and then left.
Hiccup cried now that no one could hear him, the tears streamed down his cheeks. He looked at Toothless's face; he had been through so much already, and all for him. To protect him, save him, help him, please him, comfort him. Toothless would do anything for him, and he’d always loved that about him. The honest truth was that he’d always loved Toothless. It didn’t matter if he was a dragon, or a human … he loved him! Only now that he was a human, it made it possible for him to fall in-love with him. It was easy, too easy, but it was the truth. No matter how wrong or unrequited it was, or how crazy and inappropriate it was … he loved him! He would never be able to act on his feelings, and it confused the shit out of him, but he couldn’t deny it was the truth.
''Please wake up bud! I promise I won't push you away anymore. I - I love you t-to much. I need you! Gods you don't know how much I care about you!'' He told Toothless squeezing his hand, and wiping his eyes on his sleeve. ‘And you never will.’ His mind added silently, painfully.
Toothless didn't respond. It looked like he was just sleeping. Hiccup laid his head on Toothless's waist, laying on his side and looking towards his face. He placed his hand on Toothless's chest feeling his heart beating. Hiccup closed his eyes, just feeling his heart, his breathing. He didn't care that Toothless was naked under the blanket, it was the last thing on his mind.
Trid was crying, but Hiccup knew he was okay. He wasn't screaming, just his fussy cry that he made when he was tired and being ignored. 'He might settle down soon, it was nearly his sleep time.' He thought. Hiccup lay there dozing off, occasionally looking over to the crib. Just as predicted, Trid soon fell to sleep. Hiccup felt bad leaving him to cry, but Toothless needed him more right now. He couldn’t leave him, not when his own emotions were so raw and painfully conflicted.
It wasn't long before Hiccup feel asleep as well. The sounds of Toothless breathing, his heart beating under his hand, it was calming.