A Matter Of Time

After the events of the movie Merida is shocked to Find Mor'du still roaming the woods of her homeland! When the great bear sees her she fear the end but oddly it merely turns away. Intrigued Merida follows him into destiny.

Chapter 1

Discovery

Dawning beautifully Bright golden light shown through the slight parting in the curtains. Merida sighed rolling over before her eyes popped open, that's right! She sat up and quickly tossed off her covers running quickly to dress, pausing to look at the elegant tapestry that hung on her wall, reaching out to pass her fingers over the messy stitching she herself had done to save her mother from a fate she'd caused.

After all had been said and Done Merida had asked her mother if she could keep the tapestry. Something had passed between them, something only a mother and daughter could understand and with a nod Elinor Merida found herself in possession of the repaired tapestry, she swore that it would remain ever a reminder to be happy with what she had, and to never try to change anyone… but herself.

Securing her quiver and grabbing her new bow, a good and proper one that Elinor herself had gifted Merida as an apology for destroying her beloved bow from her father. She smiled glancing at the mirror flicking at her hair and sighing shaking her head with a smile, as much as she did want to keep a good relationship with her mother, her wild fire hair would always be proof of her untamable nature.

Satisfied Merida rushed from her room snatching an apple from the breakfast table and casting a smile at her parents "I'm going out today." She declared Elinor nodding indulgently as she reviewed the lessons of the last week and the needs of the castle while her father King Fergus was regaling his sons of his fight with the demon bear Mor'du. Rolling her eyes Merida waved and slipped through the door feeling at peace with her mother's acceptance, for now, of her free nature. In exchange Merida was making a real effort with her lessons 9that wasn't to say however; that she didn't still get bored and frustrated with them at times) But she felt at least she owed it to her mother to make the same efforts.

Running out vaulting over the banister and dashing across the dewy grass Merida smiled apple held securely between her teeth as she Grabbed her saddle dancing playfully out of the way as Angus made a bite for her apple waving a finger as she settled the blanket and saddle on the back of her beloved mount securing the straps before heaving herself up shaking out her hair and pulling on the rains taking the bite finally and grabbing it tossing it out grinning as Angus caught it with surprising delicacy and munched gleefully on the sweet fruit before following the nudges of his mistress and with a whinny galloped out of the sables and through the gate. The sky was a brilliant blue clouds shining early morning gold as she rode like the wind laughing delightedly as angus leapt over a fallen tree riding on through open clean morning air.

Pulling the bow from around her she notched her first arrow and let it fly grinning with delight but no time to be arrogant she moved on to the next and the next each arrow flying home hitting dead center it's respective target. She grinned as Angus approached the beautiful circle of stone drawing him up short as he shuffled making his displeasure know, he didn't like this place.

Merida had long accepted whatever power held in this stone circle was something that didn't sit well with him. So she dismounted watching the clearing with dubious eyes before stepping slowly inside. Looking around just in case, on the unlikely occasion someone had followed her. No one to her knowledge had approached the circle since that terrible dawn when she'd almost lost her mother, and her life to the bear Mor'du. Looking at the fallen stone she frowned creeping closer the stone had been moved flipped she frowned but… that couldn't be right, she knew that night she'd seen the blue spirit of the prince rise and nod to her hadn't the bear died, hadn't the prince been freed of his curse?

She touched the cool stone as if it might hold some answer as to why it was turned over and no bear lay beneath but nothing came. She let out a long slow breath she hadn't realized she'd held. The bear was gone… had her father taken it? As some trophy? No surely he'd have boasted it about surely had have the head on that plaque in the main hall where he had so often before proclaimed her would hang the beasts head! How could this have happened then if not her father, who had taken the body of the demon bear?

After a moment of thinking Merida realized why this whole place seemed so strange, she looked up confused, there wasn't a sound… no morning birds sag their heart to the glorious morning. Fog, which had parted the morning her mother had been freed rolled murky and deep between the stones. Standing quickly Merida moved quickly drawing notching and arrow and looking around. What good it would do her. No she was being silly the bear was dead long dead! Staggering back she looked around something wasn't right, the air felt wrong. Something was here her whole body felt tense on edge aware of the energy that crackled in this magical place invisible in the air before her.

A twig snapped and she whipped around letting out a breath she could just make out Angus shifting near a tree as far as he dare go from her. The acute sense of being watched seemed to flar like fire at her back, whipping around she felt a scream bubble as die in her throat loosing the arrow she watched it sink into the inky hide of the demon bear. "Mor'du!" she finally managed as if somehow saying the name would cast away the illusion, No! it couldn't be possible. Stumbling back against one of the magic stone she felt heath radiate out at her touch and watch as rather than advancing the bear shook it paw moving large and heavy knocking free the arrow from it hide. Before looking up with a growl, she quickly notched another arrow but something in her whispered, something bid her

Wait

Her hand stilled watching the bear as it watched her. And she saw it, the eyes once black as pitch where clear and green eyeing her with suspicion before the bear seemed to snort turning and with great strides lumbered from the ring of stone growling and moaning in ways she recognized, her mother own attempts at speech had sounds just the same!

"W-what's going on here?" The princess breathed sinking to her knees as shock took hold, biting her lip. The demon bear Mor'du was alive but… it's eyes where clear and green as any mans. She'd shot it! But rather then attacking her it had… it had scoffed! That noise suddenly it made sense and Merida felt a flare of indignation how dare he scoff at her! Didn't he understand how frightened she was facing him?! Oh, oh boy Think? What was she thinking wondering if a bear was thinking?

She looked up frowning, she knew the path the bear had taken, mist still swirled in his wake. That path had lead to the fallen kingdom. Where Mor'du made his home. Curiosity burned in her heart and against her better judgment Merida followed pausing seeing a blue wisp alight on the path yes she knew as she saw it gesture, she was meant to follow.

As She slipped from between the stone Angus trotted up to follow, moving Merida hauled herself into the saddle and trotted along after the wisp bracing herself, no birds sang and slowly the trees became sparse and bar wiry branches reaching out like boney fingers, on snagged in her hair and she flinched somehow this path seemed far more foreboding, what destiny awaited her this way following a dead, living bear?

She looked up as they approached the arch of the fallen kingdom studying the crossed axes of the emblem before angus toed past carefully growing jittery the farther he went. Felling mercy for the poor beleaguered horse Merida dismounted patting the side of his face gently reassuring before continuing on passing her hand over fallen tones of the wall her mother had toppled in an attempt to slow him so many months before.

As the fog parted and the ruins became clear she saw what had lured her. Haunches up the black bear watched her with suspicion and weary fear eyeing her bow with distaste so clear it shocked her. Again against her better judgment she carefully set the bow down. The bears ears perked as it watched her tilting it

S head eyes narrowing in obvious question as the red haired maiden stepped forward hands up in a gesture of peace. Dubious the bear stepped forward great paw giving Merida pause, what was she doing?! Taking a calming breath she took another hesitant step forward and slowly reached out. Mor'du watched but accepted her approach eyes on her hand as gently, so gently, she settled it on he head finger passing through sparse fur touching the worn rough skin of the bald patch where his scar dominated his face.

"You are Alive… Your… Mor'du… B-but… You're not." She murmured pulling her hand back slowly her eyes meeting the watchful eyes of the bear.

"So… what do we do now?" she questioned the bear snorted shaking it's head the moment between them broken as it sat abruptly it's heavy weight shaking the ground beneath her feet she sighed sitting

"I don't understand We dropped a great stone n your head, I saw your spirit you died!" she exclaimed with her usual lack of tact the large animal snarled reproachfully and she glared right back

"No good growlin' at me you great beast You're the one who kept trying to eat me!" she snapped the bear looked affronted before shaking it's head Despite the lack of words Merida understood the insult

"Skin and bones? That's not what you thought you liar, You where quiet ready to chomp down on me that day and every other day I came across you, even when I was a child you beast." She said sighing chin in hand why had the wisps lead her here what was she supposed to do? The bear glared at her snorting and gesturing but this time it's meaning was lost she glanced up arching a brow

"Forgive me I'm still not fluent in bear." She said sarcastically unable to keep the confused annoyance from her tone "I don't know why I followed you here, if you're alive, you're alive but why am I involved!?" she demanded standing and throwing up her hands marching back and forth thoughtfully the bear watching with an unreadable expression.

"Well if nothing else, You'll have to stay here, if My father learns you're still alive he'll set out to slaughter you for keeps this time." She warned pointing a finger, Fur on end Mor'du growled snout curled Merida growled back "Cut it out! You're the one who bit off his leg beat up my mother and tried to eat me! He has more than one reason to want his revenge Be glad I'm willing to hide you then offer you up to him!" she said exasperatedly. This seemed to give him pause as he sat back eyeing her thoughtfully before letting out a guttural questioning grunt.

"The wisps lead me to you. There has to be a reason. They've led me before, I'm sure even you've followed them before, Until I know what this Fate is they've lead me to… I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt… for now anyway until we know this purpose… if nothing else we have to wait a few more months, if we can wait till the witch returns surely she'll know something!" she said as it dawned on her, she turned but Mor'du looked doubtful it took a moment for Merida to realize why

"I understand she's the one who got you like this but Unless you have a better Idea she's out best bet." She said watching him exasperated the bear looked thoughtful before finally nodding in an infuriatingly regale way "Ohh you are a prince aren't you?" she said rolling her eyes and shaking her head, how had she gotten herself mixed up with another bear?