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Summary:  The only time dragons need humans is when they're weak, and wounded.

Berk wasn't the same village it had been a month ago.  It was much more crowded, for one, and mixed in with the soft peaches and greens and browns and grays that made up most of village life were brilliant blues and reds, luminescent gold.  Scales and ridges of all sorts blended in with the fur, wood, and metal.  Some of the houses were even starting to show actual wear from time.

The dragons weren't the same.  It was impossible to overestimate the difference they were adjusting to in every aspect of their lives.  It was good, and they would learn it was good, but for now there were many adjustments to make.

The Vikings weren't the same.  They had always been energetic and volatile, carrying themselves with a larger presence than their stature would seem to allow.  They were hard folk, tempered by war, and they would no doubt soon find more conflicts to fuel them.  But for now their energy was released in merriment, and for once the most common sound in Berk wasn't a whetstone running over a blade, but the clink of mugs of ale raised in celebration.

And of course, Toothless would never be the same.

There was a very concentrated effort now to tame the great beasts that were once only slaughtered.  After seeing their youngest warriors ride into battle, of course many others wanted to tame their own dragons.  And they would, in time.  But it was difficult and chaotic.  That only made sense, given how many more dragons and humans were involved now.  But that wasn't why they struggled to do what Hiccup had led his friends to do in a matter of minutes.

What the humans didn't understand was that there was a reason a group of children had been able to leap onto the backs of these monsters with no knowledge of what they were doing, and only a soft touch and kind words to offer in return.  The dragons they rode that day were unique in that they were among the weakest dragons the young warriors would ever encounter.  Surely to the humans they had still seemed incredibly powerful, and it was true that any of the dragons could have torn their rider limb from limb if the mood struck them.  But long periods of being shut in dark cells barely big enough to hold their occupants had taken their toll.  Muscles had atrophied and reflexes had dulled.  It may have been done on purpose -- after all, it would have been foolish to pit the weakest and least experienced of their warriors against beasts more than capable of slaying even a skilled warrior without giving the youngsters some kind of advantage.

Regardless, the dragons that had carried the newly-minted heroes into battle had been among the weakest of their kind, and they knew it.  They had allowed themselves to be mounted not for the humans' sakes, but because when one can't be strong alone, one must find strength in others.  The dragons had needed the Vikings just as much as they themselves had been needed.

That might be a realization the humans would never make.  Freed from their former prisons at the arena, the dragons were growing stronger everyday.  By the time dragon riding becomes common, it will be as if they had never been weakened at all.  At that point they will no longer need their riders; however, they will have learned the hard-earned lesson that the dragons and humans are stronger together.  The other dragons will learn it eventually as well, but it will take time.

Toothless was different.  He would not one day heal back into his former strength, and he would never not need his rider.  As long as Toothless was alive, his fate was tied to his human.

What few Night Furies were seen around Berk never ventured into the village.  Like some other reclusive species, they elected to stay in Helheim's Gate for the most part.  Even when they did come into the general area, they uniformly avoided Toothless.  There was no concept of 'hero' to a dragon, or 'prosthetic' or 'miracle.'  They recognized only that part of him that was wounded, and turned from it.  After all, a downed dragon was a dead dragon.

It wasn't as though a wound like that had never been seen before.  The Vikings may have prided themselves of their dragon slaying, but they were never a larger threat to the dragons than dragons themselves.  Even the strongest Viking with the best axe couldn't hope to do as much damage as an angry Nightmare.  Toothless was hardly the first dragon to be downed.  He was just the first to survive it.

He should have died in that glade, starved to death.  He certainly would have it the wound had been sustain at Helheim's Gate.  He wasn't a hatchling anymore, and no one was watching out for him.  He either would have been left to die slowly, or perhaps killed as an offering to the Green Death.  There was no cruelty in it.  There was simply no hope.

But he hadn't been wounded by another dragon, or by a bloodthirsty warrior.  He had been wounded by a boy, who had looked at the wound and seen not death, but potential.  He had worked for and realized something no one else could have.  He may have taken Toothless's ability to fly, but he gave it back the best it could.  Of all the ways Toothless could have been wounded, this was the only one that also led to healing.  To Hiccup, being able to fly was a miracle.  To Toothless, it was a gift.

Yes, if he had to be wounded, he was immeasurably lucky it had been by this weak, awkward boy.

His boy was walking towards him now.  "Hey buddy, been waiting long?" he asked, and the hand that rubbed Toothless's snout was sure and confident.  Hiccup had always been weak, and now he was wounded as well, and he would carry some remnants of that pain the rest of his life.  But he and Toothless were showing the village, both the humans and the dragons, that sometimes wounds could be overcome, and the weak could become strong.

"Come on," Hiccup said, settling in his place on Toothless's back, "let's fly."
I kind of want this fic to die in a fire, just because it was so hard to write. Seriously, it's half the length of my others, and took four times as long. Not cool.

Anyways, hopefully this'll make up for not writing Toothless nearly enough.
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:iconsquishmom:
SquishMom Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool
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:icondragon-girl-1995:
dragon-girl-1995 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2011
Awesome, just purely awesome.
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:icondeath-sticky-note:
death-sticky-note Featured By Owner May 22, 2010
AHHH this is amazing!! It's so deep...I love it! Keep up the AWESOME work! :)
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:iconflamehead23a:
flamehead23a Featured By Owner May 21, 2010
succinct, powerful, and it get's the message across. everything a good short-prose piece should aspire to have.
Reply
:iconwriter212:
writer212 Featured By Owner May 21, 2010
Wow, that's insanely deep, but also incredibly brilliant. Fantastic job.
Reply
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May 21, 2010
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