Hello again! I'm back with the second chapter.
Thank you very much for the reviews. They really made my day, and I'll try to improve in everything I can.
Hope you like the chapter!
"Merida, you know this man?" Fergus asked utterly confused and changing his gaze between her daughter and the stranger.
"No!" Merida quickly replied "I mean yes." she let out a frustrated sigh at the even more confused look on her father's face "He sort of... Attacked me."
"What?!" cried both, the newcomer and her father. The men inside the room began to grab their swords, ready to defend her honor if it came down to it.
"I did no such thing!" shot back the man sounding outraged "It was you who attacked me! You shot a bloody arrow at me!" he added pointing at the scratched wood of his mask to prove it.
"Oh please, I barely touched ye!" she snorted while crossing her arms over her chest "And I only did it because ye tackled me first!"
The man seemed to become more and more flustered by the minute, partly because of the embarrassment and outrage he was currently feeling. But also, because he was well aware of the increasing amount of armed men that had started to surround him. He had to say something before they chopped him in pieces.
"It was your fault!" he blurted out, only to mentally face-palm himself for sounding so childish. Really smooth Hiccup.
"How could it have been my fault?!" Merida retorted feeling her face blushing with annoyance.
"You were threatening Toothless!" he pressed on, also becoming slightly red on the ears.
"Toothless? Who the bloody hell is Toothless?" she said utterly confused.
"My dragon!" he cried in the heat of the moment.
The entire room fell in a stunned silence at his words before bursting again into whispers and suffocated gasps. Fergus stood up from his seat with his eyes fixed on the young lad before him. There was something about him that looked awfully familiar, and it bugged him to no end not being able to point it out.
"And who are ye supposed to be?" asked Elinor from her seat, her voice ever so calm and controlled. Everyone in the room stopped gossiping, way too interested in the man's answer.
"My name is Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III." he replied, turning his gaze towards the woman and bowing "Your Highness." he quickly added.
"Blimey boy! Hiccup? Stoic's son?" blurted out the king, his mood changing so rapidly it took everyone by surprise "It's been years since I talked to yer father. How's the old crank doing?"
At his words, the newcomer's eyes seemed to darken with sorrow as he replied with a sad smile "I'm afraid he passed away about three months ago."
The king's smile faded "I'm so sorry to hear that lad." Uncomfortable with the heavy silence, he added "Why don't we take this conversation somewhere else?"
"I'd appreciate it very much your Highness." the young man replied.
The king excused himself and urged the crowd to continue with the feast and celebration. Not without more than one whisper of protest.
"And just where do ye think ye're going young lady?" asked Elinor without even taking her eyes off of the crowd. Merida had stood up from her seat with the firm resolution of following her father and the newcomer. She needed to know more about him.
"I'm going to my room. I'm not feeling very well" she stated trying to sound as tired and innocent as she could.
"No you're not. You're gonna stay put like a good lad and eat your dinner." Elinor replied in a tone that left no room for any other possibilities.
"But mom!" she pleaded fed up with everything and everyone "Ye can't make me stay! I'm not a kid anymore for ye to boss around!"
"Sweetie, I get that you don't like to follow orders, believe me I do. But if I say you stay here; you'll stay here and do as I say." and with those final words, both mother and daughter resumed their meal without saying anything else.
Meanwhile, at the other part of the castle, Fergus and Hiccup sat before the lit fireplace. The flames moving before them in a mesmerizing dance.
"What happened lad?" the king asked, deeming better to just get straight to the point.
"He– He died trying to protect me." Hiccup said, feeling a growing knot on his throat as the subject was still way too painful. He proceed then to retell to the king the whole story of how he had changed everything thanks to his friendship with Toothless. And how they had fought to free the dragons and ultimately, to protect everyone on the island.
"I came here to ask for your help, your Highness." he finished, staring into the older man's eyes with a determination that took both men by surprise.
"You can stop with the formalities, son. After all, we're equals now and I'd like to consider ye a friend." the king replied with a gentle smile.
"Thank you, sir. I'd be honored to accept your friendship."
"Well, now that that's settled, why don't ye tell me exactly what would ye need from us?" and so, Hiccup began to explain to him how after the battle, Berk was left far too damaged to produce anything at all. Nothing grew on the island, the fishes were still too scared to come back, and the number of food supplies was dropping fast.
"If Berk is so unrepairable as ye describe, why wouldn't ye leave?" Fergus asked, genuinely confused.
"Have you met my people?" Hiccup replied good-heartedly "They're strong-willed, and stubborn as a mule. But furthermore, they're loyal to their own. And Berk is ours, no matter how messed up it might be." Fergus couldn't help the approving smile that spread across his bearded face. Wherever Stoic was, he could be more than proud of his son.
"Alright, so I guess that what you're asking me, is for food and supplies." Hiccup nodded "And I'd be more than happy to give them to you, believe me." Fergus turned his gaze towards the fire before adding "But I'm afraid that with the southern invaders lining up at our borders and ready to fight, I can't give our army's supplies to ye."
After his words, both fell silent. Fergus felt for the lad and his people, specially after everything they had been through. But he was the Scots' king, and therefor his duty was first to his own.
"And what if we helped you fight these southerners?" Hiccup asked after a while. Fergus blinked several times taken aback by his offer.
"And how are ye planning on doing that exactly?"
"Well, we've got fire-spitting dragons that I'm sure would come in handy to dissuade them from bothering you and your people." Hiccup replied with a playful grin that oozed confidence. When it came to his people, he'd go from snarky and socially awkward to confident; turning into someone fit for leadership.
Fergus leaned back on his seat with his arms crossed and thoughtful eyes. He'd be lying if he said he hadn't thought about that same possibility himself.
"We could win your war before it even starts." Hiccup pressed on, encouraged by his pose "Think about it, sir. No blood shed, no orphaned kids and broken families."
Fergus closed his eyes, weighting up the advantages and disadvantages of what he was offering. It all sounded so good, in fact, it sounded too good to be true.
"I'll need to speak with my wife and the rest of the head clans before I can agree to anything. I hope that ye can understand that." he finally stated, to which Hiccup nodded hardly suppressing an excited smile. He hadn't said no, which was more than he had expected. "In the meantime, ye're more than welcome to stay here at the castle with us." the king added as he patted Hiccup cheerfully on his shoulder, almost knocking him down of his seat.
And so, both men exited the room and headed back to the dinning hall. However, before entering, Fergus turned around with a subtle frown "By the way, I need to ask: did ye really attacked my daughter?" the frown on his face deepening ever so slightly as the man waited for his answer.
"No, no of course not. I just pushed her aside to stop her from shooting at my friend. And of course, she shot me instead." Hiccup let out a relieved sigh when the king's expression changed again into a softer one before letting out a loud laugh as he entered the hall.
He could have sworn he heard him say "That's my girl."
And well, this is it. I know it's shorter than the previous one but, sometimes it's difficult to write and honestly, I'd rather not push it. Otherwise I'd end up writting some shit and not even enjoying it.
Again, hope you liked it and please let me know if I had too many mistakes (English is not my first language, I Know it's no excuse but still, I feel like I should say it)