Hiccup shushed both of the snickering boys as he shut the back entrance to his house.
“Hey, you two idiots want to wake up my dad, be my guest,” he hissed, probably louder than their now stifled laughter had been.
“How’s your nose?” Tuff teased. “Still sore?” Self consciously, Hiccup rubbed at it.
“Fine. How’s yours?” Before the blond could respond, the taller boy made a swipe for him. Tuff just barely saved his face from being clipped by the right hook. He staggered back and started snickering again. It was harmless rough-housing, they both knew it. Hiccup was grinning again before his hand was dropped from its fist. “C’mon.” He rolled his shoulder in invitation and started for the woods. His friends followed.
“Astrid can pack a punch,” Snotlout ventured. Apparently they weren’t done making jabs.
“You <i>would</i> be the expert on that, wouldn’t you?” Hiccup shot back.
The black haired boy’s eyes glazed, expression dreamy. “<i>Yeah.</i>” Well, that didn’t have the desired effect.
“Whatever.” He shoved a branch out of his way, then pointedly let it snap back in one of his companion’s faces, not really caring which. From the high whine of surprise followed by hissed snickering, it’d gone for Tuff.
“Look at him, he’s so—”
“Oh wow. Would you look, we’re here.” Hiccup motioned grandly to their impromptu camp site. “And we have so much to do. There’s now absolutely no time to talk.” Tuff kept up his snickering, but thankfully took the hint.
The next few minutes were passed setting up and settling in for the night. The boys built their fire, scattered their bed wraps and of course, cooked some good ol’ meat.
~*~Thinking mushily about Astrid goes here.~*~
“Wh—what was that?”
All three of them sat frozen for a long minute. The rustling returned. One of his friends managed a syllable before Hiccup promptly shushed him. He mouthed ‘get your blankets ready’ the best he could before getting up and slowly slipping back out of their clearing. He wasn’t heading towards the noise; he was trying to circle around it. From the confused looks and various gestures he caught from his friends, he hadn’t quite made that clear. Still, it seemed to work well enough. As he neared the underbrush that was being disturbed, something began to growl. It was not an impressive growl. Defiantly, Hiccup decided he could take it, or at least scare it where he wanted it to go.
The young Viking slipped his dagger out of his belt and rushed the bush, yelling at the top of his lungs. A Terror—all alone, thank Thor—scurried out of it’s hiding place and he kept on it’s heels, herding the dumb animal towards the firelight. Soon his battle cry was echoed. It was Snotlout. In an act of brave stupidity, the stout boy threw himself at the dragon, brandishing his blanket as an impromptu net. The Terror screeched and started to thrash beneath him. Snotlout “Woah”ed, but held fast.
For all of a moment, Hiccup grinned at the apparent success of his <i>very</i> stupid plan. Then the Terror blasted a hole through the blanket and set it on fire. Hiccup remembered he had a reason to be afraid of even a Terror.
Snotlout yelped in fright, instantly letting go. “Did it get me, did it get me?!” he asked, panicked and frantically patting at his arms and clothes in hopes to smother any possible fires. Luckily, it <i>had</i> missed him. It was also still writhing around in a blanket in the middle of their freaking camp, and none of them knew what to do. The dirt it and Snotlout had kicked up was quickly putting out the fire, leaving enough of the blanket intact to keep it contained. It’s claws and scales had caught on the rough wool, keeping it trapped, at least for the moment. They all looked at each other, and then the other two looked to <i>Hiccup.</i> It was obvious they were expecting him to fix this.
Peer pressure, much.
Heart pounding in his ears, Hiccup went back to watching the Terror. It’d managed to free its back feet and tail, but the stupid thing hadn’t taken the hole it’d made with its own fire breath. This time, Hiccup took special note of how the blanket glowed just a second before the fire ate a ring from it, and then began to spread and grow. He realized that it’d get free this time. Next, it’d escape, or retaliate. He couldn’t have that.