This is a three-way crossover between Tangled, Brave, and How to Train your Dragon. I am not the first one to come up with a crossover like this, but this is an original plot line and is in no way connected to anyone else's story. I don't own the rights to these movies, their creators do. All I own is two DVDs and a wishlist with Brave on it. But anyway, now that the disclaimer is done, onward!
Prologue: Following the Wisps
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the third. His name was beginning to become something almost famed. Honestly though, the irony was not lost on him. He was always exactly what his people were not supposed to be. He was tall and thin where he should have been short and stocky. He had long arms and long legs, making him look clumsy and awkward next to other boys his age. Sure, there were other kids who ended up with his unfortunate body shape, but at least they made the most of it. Somehow, even though they were just as willowy and weak-looking as he was, they were stronger. Though, he supposed he had to admit it wasn't about them. It was about him.
He was the one everyone avoided, like they could have caught his failure by sitting too close. He was the one that was weak, simpering, little . . . he didn't even know what they thought of him specifically. He just knew they hated him because he was . . . different.
So when he hit and actually downed a Night Fury with one of his 'bizarre and stupid contraptions', he really wasn't surprised that no one believed him. So desperate for recognition, he'd made up stories like it before. He couldn't really be faulted for that though, right? Growing up like he was, where all the best people were everything he exactly wasn't, would make any kid just want to fit in. That's all he wanted. To fit in.
But he didn't kill that damn dragon when he should have. If he had, then maybe now the two of them wouldn't be in this mess! His father would have been proud, his village would have been impressed, and all his problems would be poof! gone. Out of sight and out of mind.
Then he went and made happy-nice-nice with a Night Fury. The same Night Fury he should've killed in the first fricking place. And for a little while, it even seemed like that would have been helping him- he got better in dragon training. He got friends. He got fans!
But now, because he'd gotten better at dragon training, he had to kill a dragon. A Monstrous Nightmare. Tomorrow. Kill a dragon, a dragon very much like Toothless, who was now his best and only real friend. Which made his little problem a little bigger than a little problem. Yeah.
Which leads, directly, into this stupid situation. His father wasn't home- he was down in the meeting hall or something. Planning the great honor his son was about to receive tomorrow. Hoo-ray . . . But anyway, that's why he had to do this now. Because if he didn't, then he'd never get the courage again. And this is the only chance he was going to get. Because he couldn't do it. Because he just had to be the only Viking who just couldn't kill a dragon.
Hiccup set the basket filled with all of his few favorite possessions on the ground with a sigh. "Leaving." He muttered to himself, looking around. "We're leaving. Looks like you and I are taking a little vacation. Forever."
He looked around for the black body of his Night Fury, who was looking at him curiously from the other side of their little valley. He blinked his big green eyes and lumbered to his feet, coming around the lake toward him. Hiccup watched the sleek dragon move before he sighed and turned his attention back to the basket, opening the top to be sure he hadn't forgotten anything he'd miss. There were a few of his tools from Gobber's workshop, the woolen blanket off his bed at home, a few changes of clothes, and some food from the meeting hall's kitchen. It wasn't much, and rational thought told him he'd need more. Then again, rational thought told him he shouldn't even be thinking about doing this- let alone even remotely planning it.
And yet here he was. Running away. Like a coward.
Hiccup shook his head and tried to focus. He had to make sure he didn't leave anything behind. Having to go back into the village would kill any resolve he'd managed to muster up. Sure, he was being a coward, but what other choice did he have? He couldn't kill the dragon. That was it. The bottom line. The final nail in his coffin. His father would realize he was a failure and had been betraying the entire village for weeks. And if, by some miracle he did manage to kill the Nightmare, then where did that put his relationship with Toothless? Odin, his life was just so, so messed up!
Hiccup sighed and pulled his helmet out of his things. He fixed the crooked horn and stared at the dull metal and old leather. His mother's breast plate. Yeah. That still squicked him out, but . . . it was really the only piece of his mother he had left. And after this, it would be the last connection to his family he'd have at all. Toothless wouldn't be happy that he'd brought it, but Hiccup figured the dragon would just have to get over it.
Hiccup replaced the helmet and closed the lid on the basket. He sighed and stood up, fixing a strap on his leather riding vest. He looked up into the late sunlight peaking through the leaves in the trees on the cliffs above. For a split moment he felt like something was odd, or different. Something was wrong with what he was seeing. Something was supposed to be here. But it wasn't. It was like deja vu, but . . . nah, he was probably just nervous. He'd never done something like this before. He could just chalk the feeling up to the jitters.
Toothless growled a confused noise from behind Hiccup, and the young viking shook his head. "It's nothing buddy," He assured the dragon, shaking his head clear of the stupid feeling. "C'mere you," he chuckled and grabbed the basket. "Lemme fasten this to your saddle."
It took a bit longer than he would have liked, but none the less he managed to keep Toothless still long enough to get the basket situated on his back. Toothless gave Hiccup a 'look' once he was done and was about to climb on, and Hiccup forced a smile. "Heh, don't worry bud," He said, not sure if he was trying to calm the dragon or himself. "I'm good."
He sat himself down in the saddle and hooked himself in, gripping the reigns white-knuckled. He looked around the forest, animals and birds making their usual noises. Noises he'd been hearing since, well, since birth. 'It's not too late,' He told himself. 'You can still just stop . . . and go back home.'
Home. Where his full-of-pride father was waiting to gush about the kill. No. Hiccup would rather leave being his father's pride than to stay and become his worst shame.
So Hiccup put his foot on the pedal that worked Toothless' prosthetic tail fin, and together the unlikely friends took to the skies. As they flew toward to coast, they went by the village. And down in the village, Hiccup could have sworn he saw the blonde head of . . . (sigh) Astrid. She didn't look up and she didn't see him, sitting on a rock while sharpening her battle axe.
She was always beautiful to him. Like the shining blade of a brand new sword. Cold, sharp and quick; dangerous and deadly.
She set her sharpening stone down and wiped sweat off her brow. He saw her head move and for one terrifying second Hiccup thought she saw him. But she didn't start screaming or grab her axe. She didn't freak out and call for the rest of the dragon-slayers.
So Hiccup didn't worry. He didn't change his mind or loosen the grip of his fists in the reigns. He forced his head away from the only home he'd ever known and faced the wide open ocean.
Toothless roared and flapped his wings, taking off fast enough to leave nothing but the burst of the sound barrier behind.
Merida hadn't meant to ruin the tapestry. Not really. In fact, she'd rather liked the damned thing. It was made out of thick cloth and thread, lots of greens and earthen colors. Mum had slaved over it daily. Every night after supper without fail. She loved it so much that sometimes Merida honestly believed her mother wished the girl in the tapestry was her daughter instead. She looked quiet. Obedient. Tame. Everything Merida wasn't.
But her sword had been so sharp, and Merida had been so angry. She'd twisted the blade into the cloth like it was her mother's heart, tearing a rift between them in both the tapestry . . . and in her heart.
And her bow- och, her bow! She- that monster- threw it into the fire! Merida swore she could still hear her beloved weapon crackling and popping among the coals as she raced out of the castle. And for what? Some stupid age-old tradition? Who cared about some stupid legend! How could she? She knew Merida wasn't some . . . some . . . princess!
Her, now ruined, silver and gold silk gown was as easy to move in as her favorite green dress. She ran out the door in the kitchen, not even bothering with grabbing Angus' saddle from the storehouse. She climbed onto her favorite horse's back, gripped his mane and commanded him: "Out! Out out out!"
Angus whinnied and stormed out of the stables, carrying Merida past the walls and off the grounds in moments. She pressed her face into his neck and let herself go, heaving great wracking sobs into his neck. She was incoherent and uncaring, trees rushing by in a big messy blur. Merida felt she could care less about the speed they were going, so long as they got away. Far, far away. As far away as she could get!
How? How could she? Her mother had always been a tat unreasonable, sure, but this? Marriage? A competition over her? It wasn't fair! Merida couldn't even choose which of them she wanted! Those three lads, like wee children they were! Even if she had the opportunity to choose a husband, he wouldn't be any one of those three! Merida had standards for men, and those three? They fell a right side short!
Merida hid her eyes in Angus' black hair. She still just couldn't wrap her mind around it all. It was one thing for her mother to try and mold her after herself all her life, but this was another story completely. Why? Why couldn't . . . for once in her life, why couldn't that woman just listen to her-
Angus whinnied shrilly and suddenly, the wind that was tangling Merida's already wild hair switched directions. Her horse planted his hooves and skid to an abrupt stop, pitching poor Merida clear over his head. She rolled across the grass and the dirt, tearing up her silk gown even worse than it already was. "Angus!" She wailed. Oh this was just perfect, wasn't it? Now she could add scrapes and bruises to the list of today's trauma.
Merida carefully picked herself up, sniffling and wiping her stinging palms against her knees. The stupid dress was already ruined beyond saving by now anyway. What was the point in worrying about a few more stains? "What a joyful day this is," Merida muttered to herself bitterly. She brushed aside one of her curls and finally took a look around. All around her were large carved standing stones, reaching up high into the air. Each stone was place the exact same distance from each other, settled into a perfect circle. Some were tall, taller than her and taller than the gatehouse at the castle. Others were short and squat, smaller than her but wider than Angus.
She furrowed her brows, turning in a small circle to take it all in. The forest around her was completely silent, which was strange. She spent so much time out in these woods; the sounds of all the critters going about their days was such a usual backdrop to her outings that without it, she felt suddenly very uncomfortable. But even with the oddness of the trees around, she couldn't control the wonder and awe she felt. Something about this circle felt almost . . . sacred. However, there was still something slightly off about it all.
"Angus," Merida whispered to her horse, who was hiding behind one of the stones. "Come on!"
Angus snorted and flipped his mane, looking suspiciously like he was shaking his head. Merida huffed. Only her horse would end up being a chicken. She rolled her eyes and looked around again. Now where was she supposed to go? What was she supposed to do? She didn't have any of her weapons-
Her poor, poor burned bow . . . that monster was probably laughing as it burned, wasn't she? She'd be standing there over the fire, using the poker to keep her bow in place as the flames turned it to charcoal. She was probably standing in the ward, eating her cakes like a dainty lady and waiting all smug and prideful for Merida to come crawling back. But no. Merida would never go back after what she'd done! She wouldn't ever give her that kind of satisfaction! What had Merida even done to deserve it? So she fired some arrows and won her own hand in the competition! Was that really worth the complete destruction of her favorite-
A soft whispering sound, like a child singing, reached Merida's ears from over her shoulder. She turned and there, across the circle from her, floated a little blue bit of smoke. It floated there between the stones, waving at her with its whisper arms.
"A wisp," Merida whispered, eyes wide. She started toward it and suddenly the trail behind it was lit up by a whole long line, leading her off into the deeper parts of the forest. Behind her, Angus snorted and galloped around the stones to catch up with her.
There was a time, when Merida was a little girl and her family had gone on a trip into the forest for her birthday, she'd managed to wander away from her parents. While wandering around, blissfully and obliviously lost, she'd spotted one of the wisps. Her little five year old self toddled after it, but when she reached it, it vanished. Another had appeared, and thus she chased the little smoke beings all the way back to the campsite. But thinking back on that day just filled her with more anger. That was the day her father gave her her first bow. The very same bow her mother destroyed. Merida really hoped the wisps weren't about to lead her back to the castle.
The two of them walked for a long time, going deeper and deeper into the thick untouched forests by the minute. As they went along, Merida spotted a little cottage sitting in a small clearing. It was cute and looked cozy, and for a moment Merida was tempted to go and look at it a bit more.
But the wisps weren't leading her toward the cottage. They went around it, leading off even farther. Merida had to admit her feet were tired . . . maybe she could look around the cottage a bit and come back once she'd rested?
The closest wisp beckoned to her. Merida looked from it to the cottage, then back. With a firm breath and a defiant set of her jaw, she turned herself forcibly away and continued on, leaving the little tempting cottage behind. After all, Will o' the Wisps were said to lead you directly to your fate. A fate Merida prayed would not involve a marriage of any sort.
Rapunzel lounged in the window seat of her tower, lazily braiding her hair. She'd already cleaned the floor. Twice. She'd painted the walls. She baked. She'd danced. She'd sang and sewed and played chess and now? Well, she was just bored. She supposed she could have read her books again, but by now she could already recite every page of it from memory alone. Still, it was better than nothing.
Mother had already left for the night, going . . . well, Rapunzel didn't know exactly. Mother never told her and she'd never thought to ask. But that was fine, really. She didn't mind so long as Mother came home in the morning. So really there wasn't anything to worry about.
Still . . . sometimes she did get lonely. But that was what Pascal was for! Her little chameleon was sleeping comfortably on her stomach, her best and only friend. She didn't need other friends though. Pascal and Mother were all she'd ever need. All she'd ever want! So being lonely was pretty pointless. She was perfectly happy up here, with all her paints and her toys and her drawings. What more could she want?
She gazed out the window, her fingers still working with her hair. Her bright blonde hair always looked the prettiest color in the fading sunlight, always reminding her of Mother's lullaby.
"Flower, gleam and glow," Rapunzel hummed, feeling the tickle of the magic as it flowed from her scalp into her roots and made her hair glow an even brighter gold. "Let your power shine . . . "
She braided with the colors, rushing through the braid and down, down and down, all the way to the ends . . . wherever it was. Rapunzel sighed and let the song carry off in the breeze, mingling with the roar of the waterfall behind the tower. Pascal twitched on her stomach and rolled over, blinking his little eyes open. He yawned and stretched, then froze.
Rapunzel stopped singing, looking down at the chameleon curiously. "Pascal?" She whispered, feeling the magic fade. "Is everything all . . . "
The petite girl followed his gaze and found a little blue light to be sitting on the windowsill beside her. At first she was afraid, but the little thing didn't look like it was trying to hurt her, or steal her hair, so . . . "Hello there," She whispered to it, reaching out her fingers to try and touch the smoke coming off of the little glowing ball.
When she touched it the glow vanished, making Rapunzel leap away a little bit. She lurched to her feet and stumbled from the window, staring at the windowsill with wide eyes. Pascal scurried up her dress and hid behind a lock of her hair. The two of them stood there in tense silence. Rapunzel looked down at Pascal, who shrugged. He didn't know what it was either.
She heard a soft whisper and there it was again, waving little smoke arms for her to come back. Cautiously, Rapunzel tip toed forward, and when she got close the little smoke-thingy vanished all over again. This time she didn't back away in fear though. Instead, Rapunzel set her knee and stuck her head over the windowsill, looking down at the ground oh so far away.
"Oh!" Rapunzel gasped. All the way down from the windowsill to the ground, the little blue wispy-things were waving at her. They were all in a line, leading down to the bright green grass and across the field, into the dark little cave that Mother always went through when leaving or coming back. There was a world out there- the world where Mother always brought her things from, like new paints or more food or cloth to make dresses. Rapunzel wanted to see it, wanted to see it all so badly!
But there were bad people out there. Ruffians. Thugs. Men who would use her gifts for selfish and evil reasons. They would hurt her. Cut off all her hair and sell it- or even sell her! Sell her like some kind off- . . . off . . . she couldn't remember the word. But it was bad. And scary! She couldn't. She could never!
Frightened, Rapunzel clutched Pascal close and protective against her heart, backing away. The smoke came back and started to beckon her again. Anything that wanted to lead her out into that big scary place just couldn't be good! Desperately, Rapunzel grabbed the shutters and slammed them shut, hoping to keep the smoky thing out.
Then Rapunzel gathered up as much hair into her arms as she could and sprinted up her stairs to hide under her blankets until Mother came home in the morning. Who knows what kind of scary things where out there? And after all, who knows where those things were going to lead her?