I was officially, royally, screwed. I had no idea what I was looking for, where I was going or when this thing would end, all because I had my head in the clouds looking for a princess that was nowhere to be seen.
I reached the edge of Firepeak Mountain and began climbing the sloping soft rocks around the area; I figured I might as well go and enjoy the sunset until all this blows over. My weak Hands dug into the rock as slowly and carefully I began pulling my self, rather clumsily, up and along the wall. Thoughts drifted in and out of my mind as I reached one of the near boulders and perched myself there for safety, walking along the boulders like steps. In an odd comforting way it was familiar, not because I came here every other day with toothless, but because of something new which seemed to spare my mind.
I thought back to the dream I had last night, the scene flooded back into my mind like a waterfall of memories...
I remembered Merida wanted to reach the stars. I remembered us spinning round together in circles, both of us dreaming of flying away together at the mere age of 4...
The idea of flying sent my mind whirling onto a new topic; I had been so busy thinking of Merida, when just where exactly was Toothless today? Was he with Merida? Would he keep her safe?
I continued climbing, knowing I had all but given up on the hunt and began my own, searching for Toothless and Merida.
How could I have forgotten about my best friend this morning?! Sure he was a big dragon capable of getting into trouble without me but he was never usually gone from my side for this long.
I felt our bond pull inside me as I tried to stop all the current worries from downing in my mind.
I pulled myself up onto another High rock completely lost in my own thoughts. I felt completely vulnerable. Here, If I fell there would be no Toothless to catch me, no nothing to stop my impending death.
I could understand why they had this hunt; picking out the weak among the brawl of the bunch wasn't a very tough job when given a task like this.
I shoved that to the back of my mind concentrating on just getting to the peak of this mountain on my own. That would be a big enough goal for me. Then at least I could crawl home with my tail between my legs with a shred of dignity left in me.
It was almost too obvious Snotlout would win this challenge; you could see it within the crowd hear it in there chants. It was plastered all over the smug bastards face.
I had never liked Snotlout much, but these past few days something had fuelled my hatred. I detested him. How could anyone act in such a fowl way and expect to get someone as lovely as Merida? How could they even accept him to enter this competition?
Hormones added more fuel to the fire as I imagined him holding her hand, putting his hands on her waist. Gripping her close...
A growl bubbled out of my mouth in a new and strange manor as I felt a strength I had never felt before, my bones ached for me to use them more forcefully as suddenly I began climbing at an alarming rate. Ignoring my own rational sense of safety, I began digging my hands into the small crooks in the mountains side. One movement after another my feet followed on cue till I was no longer stood on a boulder or near any ledge, I just kept going, running firmly on my own emotions and boiling blood. It would have shocked me how fast I was moving for a cripple and a weak Viking, if it wasn't for my own emotions toying with my mind. I had never seen red before; but right now all I could see was blood painted across the mountain as I towered half the side of the ledge. My hands started digging more roughly into the hard soil as I began launching my legs into both side of the rock peaks ignoring the ones closest to me and pushing myself further.
I couldn't feel my breath running out; I didn't even feel an ounce of tiredness as I pulled myself up onto a ledge that ran deep into the side of the mountain. There was a small triangular passage way of darkness embedded into the side of it and a slight running stream of water running through it and down off the Mountains edge.
I stood there trying to grip reality of what I had just done. I looked down at the Height of the cliffs edge which I had easily covered in less than an hour, without any aid or use of my tools. My breath became ragged my shoulders lifting up and down at a recovering rate.
There was something inside of me that gave me more confidence. More than If I were to drink a barrel of mead and suddenly sprout huge muscles. It was something I could have only described as passion and as I stood there glaring down below at the mountain side, I felt my muscles ache again for me to get rid of this looming emotion.
It was like a compulsory need that dug its self-deep into my veins. I needed this emotion in my mind to be strong. I needed to be angry. I had a right to be, after all these years of punishment and toil, didn't I deserve to do something that would bring me happiness? After all my sacrifices and strife, wouldn't it be fair? My thoughts ran away from me as I began questioning what that happiness could be, and why I was so upset by this competition. Gobber seemed to understand. So why didn't I? I think I desperately needed to talk to him when I finished this stupid game today.
I closed my eyes taking deeper breaths and feeling the slight breeze dip around me. All images of Snotlout had disappeared and only a happy smiling vision of Merida and Toothless rested in my mind.
She was there again. In my mind, making me think and feel this powerful emotion. I had never felt like this in all my life, so why now? Was I coming of age when the other Vikings felt like this, sure my voice was deeper a little nasal if not but still everything was where It should be for a Viking my age. The healer had said so. So why only now was this happening to me?
Was this some kind of Scottish disease?
I swallowed deeply and looked as far out as I could, thinking of how far Dunbroch was and where it may lie.
Suddenly I felt my body jerk to the left as I flew from one end of the peak till the other my head landing over the side of the cliffs edge. I looked down for a brief second and gulped before looking back.
Snotlout's sneering eyes fell upon my face as all in one instant he grabbed my collar in his fist.
"I thought I said stay out of my way Haddock!" He said pulling me closer to him and tightening his grip.
"Get of me!" I snapped at him elbowing his face and wiggling out of his grip.
Inside I could hear my conscience yelling at my stupidity. I knew that standing up to Snotlout was a losing battle waiting to happen but it seemed so instinctual now. Like second nature.
Snotlout's eyes went wide for a fraction of a second before he buffed himself up and began striding towards me.
I backed up against the end of a rock and watched him tread towards me.
I closed my eyes waiting for my black eye or broken nose to happen...but it never came. My eyes stayed closed as I listened to what sounded like a large thumping noise before silence filled the air.
Slowly, one by one my eyes crept open to see Snotlout knocked out on the floor in front of my foot.
A large boulder was split in two either side of his head.
I looked up and around me to see if anyone was about, the silence filled with an all too familiar noise.
Toothless's cry. But it was distant, and hazy. It would have been difficult to recognise if I hadn't heard it every single day for the past 4 years of my life. I had mastered it myself and used it many times on location before.
I stood with my legs apart and pushed my vocal chords backwards to make a loud whooping scratchy noise similar to Toothless's.
I waited a few seconds for an answer, but there was only silence. I looked around again, but there was nothing. Just the waves, and the clouds and the Silence. Panic flooded my system; Toothless was near, which meant he was awake and up to something dangerous.
My head whipped backwards and forwards as suddenly, an arrow flew in front of my vision sparsely missing my nose by a few inches and dug itself into the rock's edge.
I took a few deep breaths calming my adrenaline as I brushed off the shock attack.
I moved over towards it, instantly recognising it as the one I had made Merida, the carving of Toothless faced towards me. I pulled it out of the rock and look across the water to where it had been shot. I couldn't see anything but clouds and rocks in the distance.
Toothless's cry filled my ears again as I looked out towards the rocks.
Was he out there?
What would Toothless be doing so far out there? Was Merida with him?
As questions raked through my mind I tried to somehow force myself into finding another rational explanation as to why I was hearing Toothless's voice in the ocean, and why would he even be the one out there?
I clutched the arrow in my hand and pierced my eyes further out into the distance.
I knew there was a small area of land out into sea, not too far off the coast, but it was difficult to see.
It was definitely reachable by arrow shot...
Merida. Was Merida on that Island? Had she gotten herself stuck there? Had Toothless been the one to fire the rock that knocked out Snotlout?
I had to get to that scrap of land; I knew where it was located and how far it was hidden into the clouds.
But how could I, hiccup the weakling, get to that Island and back with time to spare to join the hunt?
If I was Honest, the hunt never really concerned me much anymore, my mind clouded with worry over Merida and my best friend. A thousand questions seemed to flood my mind; why would they be out there? What were they doing out there? What would I do if they weren't?
I moved fast my hand twitching towards the rope around my shoulders. Running my fingers down it I guessed the length was at least a good few meters, maybe enough to get me over to the island. But then again I couldn't see through the fog and my direction wasn't exactly the best. So there was no hope of me throwing myself across attached to a thick piece of rope that looked unsteady as it was. Heck, I found it lying by the side of my bed for crying out loud, and who knows how long that had been lying there for.
I took the rope off of my shoulder and gave it a quick inspection; it was defiantly old, and strong given its wear, and had a Hook at the end of it. In a way, it was Ideal for a grip.
A thousand thoughts and suggestions flooded my mind as I tried to find some way to get to the Island.
Toothless's cry had stopped, but in a way I could almost feel him nearby, it was a bond that Him and I shared. Something that was so familiar and recognisable, that I couldn't misplace it. I could have been 100% certain that he was over there, if it wasn't for the fact it was the most ridiculous place for him to be.
There was no way he could of Gotten over there on his own, even Merida couldn't fly him, she had no idea how to.
Maybe she'd been exploring and gotten stuck on the island and Toothless had come to help...
No that wouldn't make sense as Toothless never wakes from his sleep unless it's by me or he had been provoked or bribed.
Did Merida Bribe Toothless to come exploring?
I shook my head trying desperately to work out what was going on.
This was all too much for a Monday...
I squeezed my eyes shut and rubbed them listening to the sound of rustling leaves and branches.
My eyes flew open in confusion at the noise.
I was on a mountains side, so just where exactly was the trees? I looked up from the cliffs edge and above me maybe 8 or 9 feet above me lay a huge old oak tree with crocked strong branches and swaying leaves.
Strong enough branches to fire something heavy...
"Well, I might as well die trying" I huffed as I made my way over to the ledge.
I tried to reason with myself as I began climbing the small side of this stretch of mountains ledge. I could hear fragments of my rational thinking breaking into my mind. But I pushed it all behind; if Toothless was in trouble, I would go to him.
I couldn't even think about Merida, it seemed too much a distraction.
Once I hauled myself up onto the Mountains higher ledge, I felt the breeze whip my shaggy hair out of my face. I lay on my stomach looking down from where I just was. Snotlout lay passed out below me on the ledge which meant I'd have to work quickly before he would wake up (I knew my cousin all too well, and there was no way a blow to the head would keep him down for long).
I moved closer to the ledge trying to see past the clouds which were now slightly parted. I stood up and tiptoed my way closer.
I pulled my vocal chords back and growled as Loud as I could alert Toothless. I waited for a short while before I heard the slight echo of his voice.
It seemed soothing that I had found one of the two things I cared for.
My mind raced into gear again as I hooked the rope into a large tree branch and gave it a sharp tug. It defiantly wasn't going to budge any time soon. Once this was complete I attached the other end around in a loop, which pulled the largest branch down for me, creating a giant sling
I sat on the pulled back tree branch totally prepared for failure as I held the end of the rope in one hand, knowing that I was, in reality, waiting to fly on my own.
"What am I doing?" I sighed shaking my head. There was a very good chance that I could Die doing this, or drown, or become decapitated. All of them were in fact death waiting to happen.
But I couldn't not do this; Toothless was out there, or at least I thought he was. And what good was I without Toothless? He needed me more than I needed him. I swallowed deeply and shut my eyes.
"Well here goes nothing" I breathed out as I let go of the rope in my hand and felt gravity throw my body forward...
It didn't seem real at first; I felt as if I was flying on the back of Toothless with no saddle, except there was no Toothless or saddle here. I tried not to think about it as my face made impact with the wind and all at once I felt weak, yet the most powerful I had ever been.
It was like free falling vertically, except there were no safety nets here except clouds that certainly wouldn't catch my fall. I kept rising up higher into the sky until clouds parted and I could see the small Island in front of me. There were two figures below moving at an alarming rate as all of a sudden I realised that it was me moving at an alarming rate and not the other way around.
My free falling vertically suddenly became Horizontal as I felt myself being pulled towards the ground.
"Oh noooo!" I yelled as I tried to keep steady. Once the small patch of land came into view I could quickly make out a black blur running around in a circle before I closed my eyes and waited for death to come.
Warmth; that was the first thing I felt. And someone was touching my head. It felt wonderful as I groaned.
"Am I dead?" I mumbled to which a delightful soft laugh filled my ears. The ground from which I lay on moved too as if the earth was laughing at me.
My eyes shot open at an alarming rate looking round, there was grass and plants and waves crashing against the small patch of land. I wasn't dead. I'd made it to the Island like planned.
"yes! I did it!" I breathed out feeling proud of myself as I lay my head back down on the warm ground.
Suddenly it seemed to shake beneath me as I was forced to roll off what I lay on. My heart sped up in panic as I felt my back hit the cool grass.
What had I been lying on?
And then he was in front of my face nudging my side and wiggling from left to right excitedly.
"Toothless?" I questioned already knowing the answer as I sat up slightly. He moved away and sat down in front of me, his yellow eyes pleased.
"Oh Toothless! Thank god!" I said as I wrapped my arms around his scaly black neck. He purred in return as I hugged him tightly.
"Oh Bud, you have no idea what a nightmare this thing has been...What are you even doing out here on your own?! How did you get here?!" I asked my voice raising higher pitch. He purred a light sound moving his head backwards and forwards.
"I'm not angry Toothless, You just scared me bud. You never take off like that!" I said rubbing his snout as he smiled to me.
"Sorry, that was partly my fault" An all too familiar Scottish accent filled my ears and my body as I felt my stomach twist into a pleasant uncomfortable state.
My eyes twisted away from Toothless for a second and turned to see fiery curls and her lovely face.
"M...Mer...Merida...H..Hi Merida" I said standing up and brushing myself down. I could feel my bones creaking. She eyed me with those huge blue eyes as she walked closer to me with humour in her tone.
"yer al-right hiccup?" She said
"M...Me? Oh yeah..yeah I'm fine...never better" I said stretching to which she laughed.
"Yeah okay sure yer fine" She laughed coming over towards me and placing her hand behind my neck.
Oh no this was too much contact, she was in front of me again looking at my face with a huge smile on it.
My neck hairs rose and goosebumps spread all through me. Sweat followed on cue and I could no longer feel myself breathing. I felt the incredible urge to grab her close, to run my hand through her hair to lean down and brush my lips against hers...
She looked at my face for a fraction longer before she pulled something that was attached to my neck making me wince. It was something painful however as my sudden attraction blew out of my mind and swam away in the sea. I gulped regaining my sensible frame of mind.
"Ouch! What was that for!" I said as she removed her hand and walked a few steps away.
"Tha' was a nettle tree Hiccup! Hell o' a nasty plant these buggers. Yer dinnea think they would get yer from over there?" She laughed lightly holding the sticky stinging plant away from her and threw it into the water.
I rubbed the back of the neck feeling a small sting and itch where it had been.
"Am A Always gonnea be the one to take care o' yer?" She giggled again, her eyes soft and caring.
I felt my insides turning to goo but I retained it. I had plenty of questions ready for her, all of them needing answers.
"Merida, what in the world are you and Toothless doing out here?!" I asked. She bit her lip looking nervously at me.
"I mean, do you not think it's a pretty bad Idea to come all the way out here where there are no boats or way back?"
"Hiccup..." Merida sighed as I continued to rant.
"What if I didn't see you, how would you have gotten back?! I mean it's nearly impossible to find you out here!"
"Hiccup...SHUT IT!" she yelled angrily to which I froze mid stride. Her eyes glued on my face with temper behind them.
Big mistake Hiccup, anger the trained archer who still has her bow in her hands.
I closed my mouth and kept silent.
"Can we no' talk about why am out here, please. I get tha' yer dinnea wannea do this but its no' ma first choice either. I dinnea wanna come all the way out ter this scrap o land on ma own early in the morn. I practically fought ter ha' Toothless wi' me!" I looked to her in pure confusion and shock.
Without holding my tongue the words seemed to come flying out.
"What are you talking about?!" I asked my arms flying out to the side.
Merida stood with her face scrunched up in confusion, the anger lifting slightly by the second.
"Hiccup...yer do know what was happenin' terday?" She asked her eyes worried. My own face scrunched up in confusion now. From out the corner of my eye I could see Toothless becoming just as Confused as well.
"Sure, the hunt was happening, to which I've completely failed. I'm sure my father's going to be so proud of me" I sighed sitting down in front of Toothless and stretching my legs out far in front.
Merida stayed standing, looking down towards me with a crazy look in her eye. Pity fell behind them.
"Don't look at me like that, I know that I screwed up, I didn't even know what I was meant to be looking for" I sighed feeling ashamed. I turned my head away from Merida and out towards the ocean.
I struggled to remember a time when I didn't have tasks to do, but this time It didn't Look good in my favour. There were no dragons involved. No easy way out. How could I fight for something that I couldn't have. I sighed and dropped my eyes down to the grass.
I felt Merida's Warm body scoop down beside me, but I couldn't look at her face. She seemed so quiet for once. That wasn't something I usually expected from her by this time.
"Yer don' have a clue der yer?" She whispered and I shook my head to the side, my eyes fixed on the ground.
"Why should I? I screw everything I do up. Apart from Toothless here; He's the only good thing I have in my life." I put my hand on Toothless's snout revelling in the love that I held for my best friend. He purred in content.
Merida breathed out loud in one long wisp as she slowly shook her head from side to side in disbelief.
"Hiccup, yer the most remarkable boy Ive ever met" I could hear the smile in her voice. Shock tumbled out of my system. She was facing away from me now as slowly I turned my head round to see her.
"Yer jus' towered tha' mountain on yer own! wi' no aid and then flew o'er here wi' no dragon, wi' nothin but hope and luck ter run on." She said as matter of factly.
I shrugged unsure to what she was getting at
Her face turned to face me then shock embedded deep in it.
"Are yer mad?! Der yer No' understand wha' yer jus' did?"
"Well, yeah, but I do this stuff with Toothless all the time" I laughed and shrugged towards her.
"Yes, with Toothless yer do this stuff, but no' on yer own! I take it yer never flew o'er here on yer on before from a tree branch!" She exasperated,
"Well...no but I don't..."
"Yer don't what?! Der yer no think what would happen? How can yer be so...so…Brave" She said, a worried look crossed her thoughtful face.
I thought deeply about what she was saying, and just looked to the floor. To me it was second nature, I'd done plenty of dangerous stunts with Toothless before, all of which kept me alive till now. I had never been called brave before, by anyone. Not even by Astrid...
"I just..don't think about it I guess" I shrugged. Merida huffed her eyes wide and wild. My mind began questioning how she seen me all the way from this island. How did she know I towered the side of the rock? Was she watching me?
I tried to push back the loose thoughts as I watched her shuffle slightly next to me, almost leaning into me as she looked out into the ocean.
"Well..Its official" She sighed.
"What Is?" I asked a small smile gracing my face.
"Yer completely nuts!" she nodded agreeing with her statement.
I chuckled and nudged her slightly with my shoulder, to which she laughed lightly. It was so easy, so simple to be with her, better than I had ever imagined and more confusing than anything I had ever been through. Even when you revolutionise your people, when it comes to hormones and women, I was still just the runt of the tribe, the 18 year old who hadn't been taught lessons in how to deal with these things. But like dragons; women held a good poker face, were extremely fierce, and in this instance, a lot more attractive.
It was something I was unsure of how to win, never mind the games.
Maybe these games weren't so bad, especially if it meant I could sneak some alone time with Merida on my own. My eyes landed on her again; her eyes were closed and her lips slightly open, the sun kissed her pale skin and caressed her hair turning it all new shades of orange and red.
I was speechless again, and in that instance I decided that it didn't matter if I felt confused or sick or excited. It mattered that Merida would always be happy during her stay here, it's what she wanted. But deep down I knew that it wouldn't only keep Merida happy, Or even Toothless.
As this was something that I wanted.
Thanks to everyone who is still keeping up with the story! Let me know what you think! :) I know its been a while since an update but keep with me! Thanks Again