Hiccup had asked himself that many times in between the moment when Toothless had opened his wide mouth and swallowed him and now. He wanted to believe that the dragon had done it for his own benefit but now he wasn’t certain. The doubt gnawed at his mind while the dragon’s hot stomach juices worked at his skin.
It had happened so quickly that he had only been able to give a few feeble twists in protest and then he was down. It went against him to hurt the dragon, his best friend! But Toothless had swallowed him! He was scrunched up, nice and tight in the dragon’s warm belly.
It had been hours but it felt like days in the dark, bitter, stomach.
The way it squeezed him reminded him of how Toothless had, in the past, held him between his front legs to slurp at his hair.
“…Toothless…?” His voice was soft, a low, croaking moan. The strength seemed to have left him. He had struggled and now he was losing.
But giving up wasn’t in his nature! He couldn’t give in now. …So tired. The air itself was heavy and it made his breathing hard and gaspy.
“Toothless…please.” Could the dragon even hear him? There was a low, content purr and Hiccup wondered then if Toothless had made a simple miscalculation. Perhaps he had just wanted to keep him warm and safe! It was warm in here, cozy even though his knobby limbs jutted out and were pressed in at odd angles.
What was most soothing was the sound of Toothless’ heart. Oh, he knew that sound! There was nothing else that could lull him to sleep so easily as that. And that’s what this felt like! Falling asleep.
In the end he was filled, almost, with euphoria and a bubbly, dreamy memory of lazy afternoons spent with the dragon. They had been rare and cherished.
It was just like falling asleep.
A soft mumble fell from his lips that may have been the dragon’s name or perhaps a ‘good night’. He was too tired to feel fear. Too cramped and cozy, comforted by the sound of the dragon’s heart to think of what might come next. His eyes closed and his fists curled into little balls against his chest.
There was darkness and then there was darkness.