Hiccup flinched as the knife came near him, but it didn’t cut into him. Not yet. He was chained up standing without his prosthetic, as his captors liked to take that from him. That infuriated him, that they could take his ability to walk just like that. He didn’t usually mind being an amputee, not unless he was taken advantage of like he was now.
Dragon Flyers had been the ones to capture him, and how he was here, in this dismal cave, with Krogan. The man scared him. He was taller than him and there was a cruelty in his eyes that even Viggo hadn’t had.
“You know why I brought you here, Hiccup,” Krogan said. He used the knife to move some hair out of Hiccup’s eyes.
“The Dragon Eye lenses,” Hiccup confirmed. He was terrified, certain that he was about to be tortured. He knew where the lenses were, and Krogan wanted them. He didn’t see a way out of this.
“Yes, the lenses.” Krogan circled around him, making Hiccup flinch when he tapped the knife against his shoulders. “You know where they are, and I need them.”
“No you don’t,” Hiccup tried. “You don’t need to do any of this.”
“Oh, Hiccup, if only you understood. You see, there are men more powerful than me that want the King of Dragons.”
“You mean Johann?”
“No. I don’t mean Johann. He’s a silly man who thinks he can trick everybody to get what he wants.”
“So you’re working for someone else,” Hiccup realized. “And Johann doesn’t know.”
Krogan came to face him again. “Alright, that’s enough chit chat. I’ll make this simple for you. Give up the lenses and I won’t have to hurt you.”
Hiccup swallowed hard, met Krogan in the eye.
Krogan smiled. “You know, I was hoping you’d say that.”
The knife cut through skin now, over his right shoulder, and Hiccup screamed. The blade was bitingly sharp. Krogan had prepared it for this.
Krogan didn’t ask him again, because he knew he’d get the same answer. He just kept cutting, making a path of blood down over Hiccup’s chest and abdomen.
Hiccup pulled hard on his chains, yelling at the pain, wishing for it to stop. But it wouldn’t stop, not unless he gave up the location of the Dragon Eye lenses, which was something he couldn’t do.
Krogan sighed in what sounded like contentment when he pulled the knife away. It dripped scarlet onto the cave floor.
“You have such a nice scream,” he told Hiccup. Then he was cutting again.
Hiccup could feel parts of his body going cold. Krogan had just left him there to bleed out after not getting an answer out of him. He’d told Hiccup that instead he would use his dead body as ransom to get the lenses from the Dragon Riders.
Hiccup didn’t want to die, but he could feel his blood leaving him from multiple wounds. He had gashes across his back, his shoulders, his abdomen. They hurt to Hel and back and he wished they would stop.
Hiccup couldn’t figure a way out of this. There was no way for him to get out of his chains, and his head was feeling fuzzier by the minute, like it was filled with cotton. Or clouds. Yeah, clouds were nice. He was drifting through them with Toothless, but this time he had his own wings. They were big and black and leathery, like a dragon’s.
No, he had to snap out of it. This wasn’t real. Hiccup forced his eyes open, groaning. Then he saw something that couldn’t be real. Astrid was running towards him. There was blood on her, but it didn’t look like her own, not like his was.
“Fuck, you look horrible.” She had keys, was unchaining him. Maybe this was real.
“Real?” Hiccup asked.
“Yeah, Hiccup. I’m getting you out of here.”
Hiccup felt like he couldn’t hold onto consciousness much longer. He was still bleeding.
“Where’s everyone else?” he asked.
“We’ll see them. Don’t worry.”
Except Hiccup was worrying. He could hear fighting now, wasn’t sure why he hadn’t before. Maybe it was the blood loss.
“I know, I know.”
Hiccup came down from the chains, fell, but Astrid caught him. She helped him down towards the ground. It hurt, but there was nowhere else for him to rest.
“What are you doing?” Hiccup slurred out, watching Astrid through bleary eyes. She was heating one of her daggers in a brazier nearby.
“You’re still bleeding,” she told him. “I have to cauterize your wounds.”
“Fuck,” Hiccup muttered, closing his eyes. He’d been tortured already. He didn’t want this.
He needed it though, desperately.
Hiccup closed his eyes as Astrid came back over, resigning himself to this. He felt heat near one of his wounds, a gentle hand on his unwounded skin, and then he lost himself to agony and burning.
Hiccup woke slowly, feeling like he was being pulled from sleep by hooks in his skin. He moaned, tilted his head. There was a fresh, salty breeze coming from a window, warm blankets over him keeping him from the cold of it.
So he was safe, wherever he was. That much he could tell. Where he was? He didn’t know.
Snuffling, breath that smelled like fish, then a tongue over his face. Hiccup smiled in happiness and relief. Toothless was here with him, safe as well.
“Where are we, Toothless?” Hiccup asked, opening his eyes. He looked around, saw pendants and herbs hanging above him, realized that he was in Gothi’s hut. He looked under the blankets to check his wounds, found he wasn’t wearing a shirt. Everything was bandaged, and underneath that maybe stitched. Astrid had only cauterized the worst of it. He could remember that much.
Hiccup lowered the blankets, laid a hand on Toothless’ nose.
“Hey, bud, do you mind getting my friends?”
Toothless wiggled, licked his hand, and then took off, barging through the door of Gothi’s hut. Hiccup didn’t know how he was alive, but he was happy to be despite the pain he was in, so he smiled.