Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Welcome Rest and an Unwelcome Guest

Ok, so in the midst of all this AMAZING Skrill excitement, here is the next bit to my Dsplash chronicles! If you liked the Skrill in the episode, I will tell you that quite a lot of my plots STRONGLY feature a Skrill known as Skari (who is from Inhonoredglory's and Toothlesslove's web novel and is also responsible for the death of Toothless's parents to some degree). He gets some interesting character development in this next chapter. Compared to most of these, this one is REALLY pleasant! I loved writing it! I let myself step right into the characters and feel what was going on, feel what they were feeling. It was a ton of fun to write, and I hope you enjoy it. However, I will say that the plot is mostly pleasant and angst free... not completely! If you have thoughts or questions, feel free to comment, I like hearing from you all!

Dimension Splash Chronicles
Event: A Welcome Rest and an Unwelcome Guest
Pov: Hiccup, Link, Toothless, Skari
Time: Year 10.12 of Hiccup and Link’s existence in the game

     Water trickled down into the river from the mountains of Icanar, and Hiccup, Link, Toothless, and Skari walked up to the the rushing current to get a much needed drink. The dragons slammed their heads into the froth and gulped the water down frantically. The shock of the cold slapping them in the face was a welcome feeling. They had left the labyrinth, crossed the freezing planes of Icanar, and passed through the ancient Goblin tunnels before finally finding a rest spot. It was early morning and the weather was sunny but cool. Hiccup and Link both knew that traveling during the day and out in the open would be nearly suicidal, so they both agreed to find a secluded spot to relax in until evening. The group had found a comfortable little grove of small, gnarled trees and large boulders shielding the river from unfriendly eyes. Hiccup and Link both fell to the ground and laid facing upwards in the short, mossy grass. Link smiled, and then chuckled. “You need a bath.”

     Hiccup looked over at him, and smiled back. “Technically, that never happened, right?”

     “Historically that never happened. The paradox undid it. Physically, you better believe you went through it! Technicalities don’t improve your scent.”

     “Huh, I guess you are right. I’ll wash up. You get some rest, it has been a long, long couple of days.”

     “No arguments here.” Link said, and he leaned up, unhooked his sheath and belt, tossed them to the side, and then slumped back down comfortably into the grass. He laid his head back, breathed in the chilly, crisp air, and closed his eyes. He liked to think that he was heroic enough to push through anything without a break, but Hiccup had taught him some things, little things. One of the best lessons he had learned from that funny, freckled boy was to enjoy the quiet moments, and Link was going to do that now. 

     Hiccup walked to the edge of the water. Toothless and Skari both followed right behind him. Toothless had just finished having a good roll around in the dirt and grass while Skari had just finished picking something unpleasant out of his teeth with one of his talons. Hiccup took off his boot and then his vest and tunic, folded them, and wisely put them a fair distance from the water’s edge. He had seen Toothless rolling around, and he could tell that his buddy was feeling overly playful. Hiccup smiled at both of them, but he noticed Skari looking very uncomfortable, and then there was a deep, guttural moan vibrating from the dragon’s stomach. 

     “Oh, I’m sorry guys.” Hiccup went over to his satchel and pulled out his iron fish trap. “I completely forgot. You must both be starving.” Hiccup carefully placed the trap several hundred meters upstream and then returned.

     Skari cocked his head and then looked over at Toothless, “Did he just set a fish trap? Oooh, I certainly hope he did. I’m famished.”

     “Yes, he set one. This time don’t eat all the food he gives us. We are going to share, or do Skrills not grasp that concept?”

     “You already ate today, and your meal was bigger.”

     “Very funny. That is going to get old fast.” Toothless moaned in annoyance.

     “Not for me.” Skari vibrated his jaws and warbled a laugh. 

     Toothless sighed and looked back over at Hiccup. Then an idea snuck into his head. “Now, Skari, if you actually want to see something funny, watch this.” 

     Hiccup stepped his one good foot slowly into the stream. It was icy cold, but he expected that considering it was coming from the mountain slopes. The tiny, smooth pebbles rubbed in between his toes and the sensation was marvelous. He looked around himself and took in a deep breath. This spot really was beautiful, and it felt almost like the whole world of wickedness and cruelty that he had been submerged in was washing away. Hiccup looked behind his back to see if Link was sleeping, but something else caught his eye. Toothless was stalking slowly up behind him. “Oh, no you won’t.” Hiccup muttered under his breath while smiling. 

     Skari flapped up onto one of the tallest rock formations so as to get a good view of what happened next. Hiccup darted behind a boulder that was very near the edge of the water, and Toothless crept slowly around the corner. He sniffed around, surprised that Hiccup had moved, but then he heard a little metallic click from the other side of the boulder. So that is where he went. Toothless bounced happily around behind the rock only to find that Hiccup was not where he was supposed to be. Skari hummed to himself, pleasantly surprised to see how easily confused Toothless could be. The Night Fury put his nose down to the ground and took a good long sniff. He paced back to the other side of the rock and stood about three feet away from the water. Then he heard the little metal noise again, and a few pebbles bounced down and clicked off of his claws. Oh, now Hiccup was in for it. Toothless did not need to look to the side, he knew what Hiccup was doing, and a quick click of the Night Fury’s sonar confirmed his theory. Hiccup was perched up on top of the rock, and if Toothless was guessing correctly, his boy was going to try to jump down and knock him into the water. Toothless laughed inside of himself and shook his head. How ridiculous. He let his neck loosen up and prepared for the unsurprising surprise-attack. It did not take long, and Hiccup came sliding down with his best attempt at a war cry. Pebbles skidded in all directions and Hiccup grabbed onto Toothless’s neck using all the momentum of the slide to try and shove the dragon over. Unfortunately for Hiccup, Toothless had prepared for just that.  As Hiccup reached and grabbed him, Toothless swished his head quickly to the side and up, Hiccup’s hands slipped off of his neck, the boy’s feet flew out from under him, and with a great sweeping arch Hiccup went crashing into the water as Toothless used his own momentum to send him sailing. Toothless looked with delight to see Hiccup stand up out of the water spluttering, “Cheap! Cheap move, bud. Oh that wasn’t fair!” Toothless gargled and gave him a gummy smile in return. Hiccup would need to grow a lot before Toothless would let him win any wrestling matches. 

     Hiccup shivered. The water certainly was not warm, and Hiccup pulled his bangs out of his eyes and tossed them to the side. “What? You not gonna come in too?” Toothless gave him a mocking sideways glance. Hiccup splashed at him in return, and Toothless jumped back with an objecting yelp. “Fine, you keep all warm and dry, but at least I’m not being sissy.” Hiccup started to rub the water against his face and hair trying to get the fish and Toothless’s inside smell out as Toothless meandered off. Hiccup laid down on his back and let himself float in the river. He closed his eyes and listened to the gurgling, muffled, bubbling sound of the water flowing by. It really was a lovely noise, but then he heard a sort of thumping, and he knew that thumping. That was Toothless’s gait. Hiccup opened his eyes just in time to see a huge black shape with wild green eyes come soaring to land on top of him. There was a colossal splash, and then Hiccup felt the scaly legs and stomach of Toothless press up against him. He got his head above water to see the Night Fury looking very pleased with himself. He was right on top of Hiccup, and he had fooled him twice in the space of three minutes, so Toothless was definitely feeling in the zone. “You’re just playing for keeps today aren’t you, bud?” Hiccup asked as he tried to get up. Toothless knocked him over again with a quick shove. “Hey!” Toothless put himself back on top of Hiccup, and then he stuck his head down into Hiccup’s bare chest. Toothless was actually rather warm, and as Hiccup’s legs bumped against him in the water it was a comforting sensation, the dragon’s warmth mixing with the incredible chill of the water all in one place. Toothless’s nose was especially nice, but also sort of ticklish. “Um, bud...” Toothless closed his eyes, pushed Hiccup’s tummy under the water with his snout and exhaled through his nose. Warm bubbles shot across Hiccup’s skin, and he snorted a laugh. “No--no, bud!” Hiccup tried not to completely lose control. “Agh! You gotta stop that!” Toothless hummed and continued to blow. He had not had this much fun with Hiccup in ages. Then he stopped, he looked up at Hiccup, and Toothless’s heart wanted to melt for joy. He had gone through so much to try and keep Hiccup safe, he had challenged monsters beyond imagination, he had faced pain and torment, and he had even cheated death. Toothless looked at that boy, he thought about all he had gone through for him, but every pain was worth it. Every grief and every sigh seemed insignificant now as Toothless looked at Hiccup’s little green eyes and smiling face. Toothless wished that the moment could go on forever, and Hiccup could tell. The boy kept smiling, kept looking into those big, watery eyes, but eventually Hiccup started to get intensely cold. 

     “Hey, bud.” he said quietly with a shiver in his voice “Do you mind if I get up and wash off? I’m cold.” Toothless stepped off of him, suddenly feeling a little guilty for making Hiccup uncomfortable. Hiccup splashed water into his hair again, but unfortunately it seemed like it would take a good deal more than water to get his hair back to its ordinary scent. He rubbed the icy cold waves against his chest and under his arms as quickly as he could, and then he waded to the shore and stood shaking in the sun. His twiggy pale figure was quite a sight with his green pants clinging to his legs, his chest and arms shivering, and his hair dripping wet and in his eyes. Hiccup was glad that Link was sleeping because he always hated when Link pointed out ridiculously thin he looked. Toothless waded out after him and the water danced off his wings in hundreds of glimmering droplets. Hiccup went to his satchel and pulled out one of his spare blankets. He did the best he could to dry himself with it and then laid it out on one of the many large stones. Hiccup put his tunic and vest back on and went to get the fish trap. 

     Skari had watched the whole scene, and his own emotional response surprised him. At first he had craned his neck out from his perch so as to watch Toothless be fooled by the little boy, and as Skari had watched, he had contemplated some possible insults and jabs with which to tease the Night Fury afterwards. But then he had watched them, watched Toothless playing so happily with Hiccup in the water. Skari had never seen Toothless like that before, and it was a shattering blow to his mental image of Night Furies. Toothless, Toothless the dragon who had been the bane of his existence, the enemy of his species, the Unholy Offspring of Lightning and Death Itself, that very same Night Fury was playing around in a stream with a tiny human boy in ridiculous happiness.  Skari did not know how to handle this, seeing such a dreadful foe act in such a silly and immature manner. As the Skrill watched his sarcasm and snark turned first into shock, then into wonder, then into hope. If Toothless, who Skari knew had lost so very much, could live an ordinary life, a life without bitterness and absolutely full of love, maybe Skari could as well. He thought back, he remembered his children and how he had coached them, taught them to kill a Night Fury, and he suddenly felt guilty. Why had he not spent time showing them love, playing with them, being close to them? Seventeen years had passed since he last laid eyes on them, and after watching Hiccup and Toothless stare happily into each other, Skari longed to express love, longed to be near to someone and let them know he cared about them. He had felt the tickle of affection stir in his chest for Toothless’s remarkable boy, but he knew that he would never be able to replace the Night Fury in Hiccup’s eyes, and he didn’t want to. Skari was growing very fond of Hiccup, but he intended to respect Toothless, and he knew he could never have Hiccup the way the Night Fury did. It pained him as he thought about it, but at least this was a good pain. Hiccup did care for him, he knew it, and he was so incredibly thankful for it as he watched Hiccup head off to check the trap.

     Skari slipped quietly down the rock and walked up to Toothless who was still dripping  great puddles of water from his wings. Both dragons cocked their heads sideways when they heard the loud grinding clank of Hiccup opening the fish trap. Skari looked over at Toothless and hummed, “Well, you had fun.”

     Toothless did not know exactly what Skari meant, but he did not much care, “Yes. He’s great isn’t he?”

     “I believe he is. You’re very lucky Toothless.”

     “Trust me, I know.”

     Hiccup walked back with two large baskets full of fish. He laid both of them a reasonable distance from each other and then cheerily said, “Chow down boys.” The dragons knocked the baskets over and with a slimy, disgusting noise several dozen fish went slipping onto the ground. Skari sliced his to bits with his teeth before they even hit his tongue. He had, in his moment of emotional surprise, forgotten how hungry he was. Toothless was slightly slower, but only just slightly. He pushed the fish around seeking out the cod and the particularly good looking salmon. Hiccup stepped back and watched for a minute. He was very happy to see the dragons enjoying themselves, but it did not really matter how much he liked both of them; listening to the two dragons gorge themselves was nauseating. Toothless was usually fairly quiet and polite, letting off the occasional hum, but Skari made a gross amount of grunts and gulps. Hiccup decided to leave them alone, so he walked back over to Link who was still laying in the grass.

     Link sat up and stretched as Hiccup plopped down beside him. Resting for this long felt unusual for him, so he had been thinking about possible plans. He turned to Hiccup and asked, “So, where did you put the shard?”

     Hiccup looked over at him and sighed. He had almost forgotten that they were all fugitives and on the run. He pulled Endeavor out of his bag and pointed at the tip. “There is a small compartment here. All we need to do is get it moving fast enough, and we should be able to cut the dimensional fabric.”

     “And you are sure about that?”

     “Well, it’s more of a hunch.” Hiccup stopped as Link raised his eyebrows. “I mean, it is an educated guess. I watched the Gemnodes carefully when I was trapped with them, and I think this will work.”

     “And that is why we are going to Gale Peak, right? You’re going to try to pilot Toothless in those winds so as to reach the speed.”

     “Exactly. The only problem is... well, I don’t know how everything works. I don’t even know what dimension the rift will lead to if we make one.”

    “Oh...” Link thought for a moment. “Well, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Right now we don’t even know if it will create a rift at all, so let’s not get panicky over details.” Both boys leaned back and exhaled nervously. This plan sounded great when Hiccup first came up with it in the Haven of Light, but now that they were just hours away from trying it, it felt awfully risky. Link broke the mood by asking, “Are you going to try to sleep? I imagine you haven’t gotten any decent rest in days.”

     “Yeah, until recently I’ve had horrible nightmares, but they are getting better...I’m going to try and get a nap, and when night falls, we’ll head to Gale Peak.”

      “Good, you get some rest. You really do need it.” Link got up to pace about and survey the area, and Hiccup leaned his head down slowly and closed his eyes. He hoped he would not get any flashbacks, but he was very thankful that they were coming less frequently. He let his mind focus on Toothless, on that happy feeling they had both just had in the cold rush of the river, and with that thought he drifted into sleep. 

     Skari polished off the last of his fish and looked around hoping for more. Toothless noticed this and quickly swallowed his three remaining cod. Skari gave an annoyed moan and looked back in the direction where Hiccup had walked. “I’m still hungry.”

     “You could fish for yourself.” Toothless suggested as he licked some cod juices of off his own snout.

     “Personally... fish are boring. I’d rather hunt something else.” Skari looked out into the distance. He had seen a large grove of pines just a few miles back. 

     “Suit yourself. Personally I can’t find much better than cod, but we all have different tastes. When should we expect you back?” 

     “Well, I can’t be certain, but I shouldn’t be long. Just a quick flight. No one will think twice about me if I get spotted. I just need something bigger and meatier than fish.”

     “Fine. I’m going to find Hiccup. Just be careful.”

     “To think we are actually concerned about one another now...” Skari shook his head, unfurled his beautifully patterned wings, and soared high up into the air. He cut through the currents of wind, slicing them into submission. He was floating above the grove of pines within minutes, and he circled slowly down. Skari landed stealthily on the forest floor and began to stalk through the shadows. It did not take him long to find a scent, and he followed it with frightening speed, silence, and efficiency. The scent grew stronger and stronger, and Skari began to think that his prey must be lying down... or at least not moving. All the better in the Skrill’s mind, and his mouth watered as the musky smell of mammal drifted through the air. Then he saw it, the reddish brown coat of a doe lying on her side. She was out in the open, completely vulnerable, and apparently asleep. Skari walked up to his prey with unnerving stealth, and within seconds he was feet away from her. The deer did not stir, and Skari took the last two steps. He eyed the creature’s exposed neck and opened his jaws slowly. His tongue curled up in anticipation, but before he clamped down, something caught his eye. There were more deer, more deer lying out in the grass, but there was something else, something or someone groaning very nearby. And then Skari looked down at the doe he had planned on eating, and he jumped back in surprise. The creature was going into spasms, it was thrashing around and there was an eerie green glint in its now open eyes. This was no ordinary disease, this was something sick, something cruel. Skari turned his head to see that many of the other deer were in the same plight, and then there was that moan again. Skari darted quickly towards the noise, waited for it, and then rushed towards it again. He leapt to the edge of the grove and found a man, a Grecian hunter by the looks of him, lying on his back. Just as the Skrill approached him, the man thrashed wildly into a spasm. His body shook intensely, and his eyes flickered open and shut. In those eyes was a green light, and suddenly Skari recognized a smell that sent fear crawling up his spine and twisting its cold fingers into his heart. This man was hallucinating, he had been thrown into a world of nightmares and forced to see himself or his friends commit the most awful atrocities or suffer the greatest of tragedies. Skari knew that sight, knew this smell, and knew the one being cruel enough to do this to anyone and everyone who crossed his path. This was the work of Sardilic, and if the Gemnode was nearby, he must have found some way to track Hiccup... 

     Skari panicked. He had to warn the others, they had to flee before that monster found them, but it was far, far too late. Even as Skari rocketed into the sky, Sardilic crept  within fifty yards of the sleeping Hiccup and Toothless. There would be no time for warnings, and no time to say farewell. 


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