Hello there! Well this is my very first attempt at crossover and mericcup so please bare with me. Also please do no hesitate to point out any mistake I'm sure you'll find.
And well, that said I really hope you like the story as I plan to have many plot twists ;D
"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legends. Legends fades to myths, and even mythsare long forgotten when the Age that gave them birth comes again."
It had almost been two years now since the events that changed, not only Merida's fate but the kingdom's as well.
However, as days became colder so did the unwritten accord between the four lords. Everyone at the Dun'Broch castle knew it, and Merida was no exception.
She was well aware that each day she failed to make a choice, it resulted in the heads of the clans growing more and more impatient.
'After all, it's one thing to give a child a certain sense of freedom, and another to let a 'grown' woman roam around without a proper husband' Merida bitterly thought with her blue eyes fixed on the horizon outside her room.
Letting out a tired sigh, she shifted her eyes towards the piece of paper lying before her. For the past couple of hours, she had been racking her brains trying to make what would probably be the worst decision of her life.
She had written a list, naming all the good and bad qualities of her suitors. Suitors that she had come to know slightly better throughout the last two years. Unfortunately, and in spite of that, she could not see herself chained to any of them.
The soft yet firm knocks on her door brought her back from the depths of her mind. And before she could say anything, the door opened revealing the regal figure of her mother. Looking at her, Merida felt a sudden twinge of jealousy as she knew she'd never be like her. The Queen had the kind of calm beauty and restraint that she could never dream to achieve.
Eleanor had all the qualities a queen should have whereas her, on the other hand, didn't even resemble to a fine, young lady. There were times in which she even pitied the poor bastard who had to marry her.
"Evening, Mother." she said with her eyes still locked on the paper "To what do I owe the honor of this visit?" the mockery in her tone made the other woman wrinkle her nose with disapproval.
"Merida..." she began with a warning voice.
"I know, I know, I'm sorry." Merida interrupted in a slightly bittervoice "I forgot that a princess is never sarcastic." she tried to push back the guilt she always felt whenever she spoke like that to her.
After her "transformation", the queen became softer and less strict, reminding her of another time in which things were far less complicated. However, neither that nor the agreement to freely choose who to marry lasted more than a year or so.
Merida knew that the other lords were giving her father a hard time. Saying that he was no longer fit to rule over them as he couldn't even tame his own daughter. And perhaps a couple of years ago, she would've been furious about that, probably even yelled and destroyed anything she could find.
But she wasn't a child anymore. And she knew, that with the upcoming war against the southern invaders, the last thing her father needed was an uprising withing his lines.
Therefor, she now knew what she would have to do, even if it meant giving up on everything she believed in and loved.
"What is it that yer writing?" asked her mother, suddenly uncomfortable with her daughter's silent attitude. If there was something the queen knew about her daughter, it was that nothing good came from her silence.
"Nothing really, just..." she began and handed the piece of paper to her. The queen began to scan over it, hardly suppressing a chuckle. She took in a deep breath and put on her stern face again.
"I assume that you're still working on it as the column of good qualities is yet to be filled."
"Aye, although I hardly think that being able to flex your muscles at will could be considered a good quality." Merida replied, sarcasm drooling from her voice. Her mother tried her best not to show any kind of sympathy towards the comment.
"Well, I'm sure that many ladies would find it...charming." the last word sounded more like a question than an actual statement. "Of course there must be something you find attractive or the very least appealing."
"Truth is Mother, I can't see myself with any of them. I don't think I'd ever be able to love them because, whenever I look at them all I see are chains and a future without laughter or adventure." her voice had dropped an octave and her eyes were now fixed on her clenched hands.
The queen's heart ached for her daughter. She had always known how free spirited she was. There had been times in which she had seriously considered her to be part wolf, or something like that. Everything about her screamed of freedom, wilderness and fierceness; which was exactly what this marriage would tear away from her. She'd become a shadow of what she once was. A hollow shell.
"Merida..." she began, unsure of what to say. She just knew that she wanted, no, needed to give her some sort of comfort.
At the queen's tone, Merida's eyes lightened up a little hoping to hear the words that would release her from her sentence. However, instead of that, her mother just closed her mouth and gently squeezed her shoulder before leaving her room.
She never saw the lonely tear that crossed the queen's cheek.
The next morning, Merida awoke to the piercing sound of bagpipes and drums.
Jumping out of her bed, she wrapped herself with a kilt and began to go down the stairs fuming and ready to maim and kill whoever had dared to awake her -most likely the triplets-.
However, never would she had expected the vast crowd awaiting on the main hall. There were probably a bit more than a hundred men, seating, talking and fighting with each other. The different colors of their kilts marked them as warriors from each clan, and they had all fallen in a stunned silence at her sudden entrance.
All the attention now placed on her and her barely appropriated attire. She felt her cheeks heating up with embarrassment and fury as she felt their eyes roaming over her. The thin fabric of her night gown barely hid the shapes of her now grown body, and the kilt around her shoulders didn't really do much to cover her.
Nevertheless, however embarrassment she might have been feeling, she forced herself to remain calm and avoid storming out of the room. Or killing each and every one of them for that matter. With her chin up, she squared her shoulders and said:
"I'd appreciate if ye could, gentlemen, refrain yerself from any more music until a more suitable hour." Or I swear to the Gods I'll shoot an arrow through yer worthless eyes. And with that, she left the hall and practically raced to her room.
"Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" she told herself while smacking her head against the door. 'I need to get out of here'and went over to her drawer and pulled out one of her dresses.
Once ready with her bow and quiver in place, she left her room and walked through the nearly empty corridors until she reached the kitchen. Grabbing two apples, one for her and another for Angus, she headed to the stables with quick steps. The happy snort of her horse brought a genuine smile to her lips.
"Hey there lad. Did ye miss me?" she affectively whispered while stroking his head. The horse began to sniff her hair and arms, clearly looking for something "Well aren't ye a smart lad? Is this what ye were looking for?" she said chuckling as she gave him the apple.
She mounted with the confidence of the skilled warriors from the legends, and with a simple whistle the animal began to trot out of the castle's boundaries and into the woods.
For hours, she rode as wild and fast as Angus could, the cool breeze of the morning freeing her mind of any worries.
After a while, Merida finally dismounted from anexhausted Angus. "Stay put lad, I'll fetch ye some water"
Pacing through the forest, she allowed her mind to think about what had happened in the morning. Leaving aside her mortifying episode, she couldn't understand why so many men from the different clans were there. The last gathering had happened two years ago when...
"Oh, bloody hell." she cursed when she realized what it all meant. The presence of all those men could only mean two things: either her suitors had come or war had begun. And frankly, she wasn't sure which one of those options she preferred.
The mere thought sent a shiver down her spine. And not a pleasant one.
With her bow, she moved aside some branches until the sight of a small clearing appeared before her. It was so peaceful and quiet that she didn't dare to make a sound, fearing it might vanish as part of a dream.She moved towards the small stream to gather some water lost in her thoughts.
However, the sudden feeling that something wasn't right snapped her out of her thoughts. She looked up and before her but found nothing out of place. It felt as though something was missing 'The birds!' she thought, finally realizing it. The birds should've been chirping in a place like this but instead, only silence surrounded the clearing.
A deep and low snarl coming from behind startled her. With her heart in a fist, she quickly turned around, only to find herself facing something she had always thought to be a legend.
"Dragon." she gasped, her brain still trying to process the situation she was currently in "A bloody dragon."
She felt paralyzed as her eyes took in the foreign creature. It was big, although not as much as she would've expected; her books used to described them as fire breathing giant demons, with sharp claws and wings so big that when they spread them, the sky would go dark.
However, the creature before her seemed far too...harmless, to put it somehow. It's dark scales seemed to reflect the rays of sunlight, it's eyes were wide and free of wickedness and it's tail moving like a dog's didn't make him look very demon-like.
Of course, bears had always seemed cute and huggable to her, but she sure as hell did not wanted to be hugged by one.
For that reason, she slowly reached for an arrow and placed it on her bow and took aim. She wasn't going to shoot at it unless she deemed it necessary of course, it was just for precaution. With careful and slow moves followed by the creature's eyes, she began to make her way around it, never taking her eyes off of it.
Suddenly, she heard someone yell "Toothless!" and before she could turn her gaze to where it had came from, she was tackled to the ground.
"What the bloody hell?!" she said startled by the unexpected attack. Before her, or more precisely on top of her, was a man with his face hidden behind a mask. With her body pinned down against the ground by his, she blushed with embarrassment and outrage.
"Get off of me, you fool!" she yelled as she smacked him, connecting her knee with his belly andearning an 'Ouch!' from him. She wriggled free from his weightand ran to grab her bow and quiver. She turned around with an arrow ready and aiming at him.
"Wait! Wait let me explain!" said the young man while he got back on his feet and approached her.
"I'll put an arrow between yer eyes in ye take one more step!" she warned agitated. Her chest quickly moving up and down with each breath she took.
The man halted his steps and raised his hands in silent surrender. "Please, I mean no harm I swear." he told her in a pleading tone, trying to calm her down. However, the dragon beside him sending her low snarls and the evil eye wasn't very helpful.
She couldn't help but let out a skeptic and nervous snort "Yeah well, excuse me if I don't believe ye." and with that, she shot her arrow making it fly just a couple of inches away from his face.
Using that as a distraction, she run into the woods without looking back and hearing the young man calling for her. She didn't know how long she ran until she spotted Angus grazing peacefully.
Sensing her distress, the horse began to move jittery. She whispered a couple of soothing words before mounting and urging him to ride back to the castle.
By the time she arrived, she had managed to calm herself down a little bit, or at least enough to keep her entire body from shaking.
She took Angus back into the stables and absently stroked him as her mind went back to the depths of the woods. To the formidable creature and his mysterious companion.
She wasn't really sure whether or not she should tell her parents about it. She feared her mother would ban her from going into the woods ever again if she told her. Or that she'd deemed her crazy and ban her from going out of her room all together.
"Maybe I shouldn't bother her." she muttered to Angus "After all, she's got enough on her plate already." the horse let out a snort that sounded strangely skeptical to her ears.
She left the stables and entered into the castle walking through the hectic amount of people that were going from one place to another.
Amongst the crowd, she identified more than one member of the neighbor clans merrily talking between each other and completely oblivious of her agitated state.
With quick steps, she went up the stairs to her chambers and locked herself in. Once her back touched the king' sized bed, all the adrenaline from her previous adventure left her and exhaustion took its place.. Letting out a tired sigh, she covered her eyes with her arm and allowed herself to reminisce about the odd couple until she fell asleep.
The constant knocking on her door mercilessly brought her back from her world of dreams. The room was darker and colder due to the gray clouds outside, blocking the sun.
"Princess, the king and queen are waiting for ye at the dining hall." said one of the maids with a soft voice.
"I'm coming." Merida lazily replied bringing herself up. She sent her comfortable and warm bed a longing look before leaving her room.
She walked through the corridors, unable to suppress more than one yawn on the way to the dining hall. And once she arrived she found both, her mother and father seated on their thrones facing a crowd of people.
She avoided making any kind of eye contact with her mother for fear she'd read her like she'd always had. So trying to be as stealthy as she could, she slide on her seat with her eyes fixed on the murmuring crowd.
The soft cough of her mother shushed everyone at once, which was both impressive and annoying if anyone asked her.
"My lords," Elinor addressed opening her arms "we're happy to open our doors for ye and yer men." at that there was a loud cheer that quickly faded to let her continue. "And we hope that, in spite of the difficult times we're facing ye'll join us in the celebration of our daughter's eighteenth birthday."
Merida eyed her mother with a suspicious look. Her birthday wasn't in almost a month and they usually celebrated it with just a few relatives. They had never made a circus like this out of it before, so why know?
"Also," Elinor said making Merida swallow hard "we'd like to use such happy moment to finally announce the name of the one to whom our daughter shall marry." the hall burst into cries of joy and cheers. Cups clashing with glee and excitement.
Everyone seemed too busy celebrating to see the stunned face of the princess, who was know opening and closing her mouth still too shocked with the news to say anything. Next to her, her father leaned on his side to whisper an "I'm sorry laddie." filled with guilt before raising his cup as well.
Merida took in deep breaths, trying to tame the wave of anger and betrayal at her mother's words. She hadn't even bothered to ask her or the very least warn her about it. No, she had just decided to do whatever the bloody hell she wanted as though it was her life to decide.
However, before she could dwell on the matter any further the main doors of the hall burst open letting a cold and sudden current of air sweep the entire room.
Everyone fell into a confused and stunned silence that immediately changed into loud whispers as they gathered around the newcomer.
Merida stretched her neck as much as she could to try and see who it might be without any luck. The men in the room slowly moved aside letting the newcomer make his way up to the front with confident steps. Within seconds, she found herself facing the person she never thought she'd ever see again.
"YOU!" she said, loud enough for it to echo throughout the silent room. The mysterious man, still wearing his mask looked at her before taking it off.
"Hello...again." he said with a confused and nervous smile.
And that was it. I do hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writting it. And reviews are always welcomed (wink, wink)
See you soon