Merida closed her eyes breathing the steady fresh air drifting through the castle of Dunbroch. Her dress of dark green decorated with the clan tartan drape that curled around her hips and swung over her shoulder was pinned with the royal seal had been made especially for this day. She had been waiting for it for so long that she couldn't quite believe it was here already. Her brothers sat on her bed, playing with her bow and arrows as she began to tame her tangled mess of hair into a more manageable state.
"Excited?" asked a voice.
Merida glanced up to see her mother standing at the door in all her finery. She gulped and nodded, her heart jumping out of her chest. Elinor waved Hamish, Harris and Hubert out of the room and took the brush from Merida's hand.
"I want it in a braid," Merida said.
"We'll see," Elinor said trying to be as gentle as she could.
"Where's dad?" Merida asked.
"He's talking to some of the clans who've come to see the event,"
"Oh," Merida felt her knees jiggle up and down in excitement. "Will I be a good Queen?"
"You'll be a wonderful Queen," Elinor said. "Your father and I will be here to make sure you know what to do, then we will let go completely."
"Looking forward to not having to worry about the Kingdom?" Merida joked, her voice catching in her throat.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how well you rule," Elinor said kindly. "That's why your father and I decided to do it now. So that you wouldn't be thrown into the sweep of confusion if we die and still ruling. There would be a lot of noblemen looking to take your place because they don't see you fit to rule."
"Because I'm a woman,"
"Precisely," Elinor said. "Despite you having wisdom and the right to chose who you want to marry when you feel ready." She tucked the hair brush under her arm and sectioned Merida's hair into three and began to braid them to one side. "Chief Stoic the Vast and his son will be coming to the ceremony,"
Merida's mouth hung open. "Hiccup? Mum! Why did you invite Hiccup? Don't you remember what happened last time we met?"
Elinor screwed up her face in mock concentration. "You called him a fishbone and made him ride Angus which led to him being thrown in the river... Of course I remember Merida. Thankfully his father is overlooking that because he recognises what an important alliance we could have."
"Merida, Vikings are not our friends. We're in danger from them all the time. The Alliance from Berk could save our clan from being destroyed. Isn't that important," Elinor said. "Please, try and be pleasant towards Hiccup, he'll inherit his fathers village and we need this. So just, get along. For today at least."
Merida let out another groan as Elinor finished off the braid. She glanced in the mirror and smiled feeling good. Elinor stood behind her smiling and looking a little tearful.
"You look beautiful darling," She said.
Merida stood up and gave her mother a soft hug, breathing in the soft oils that she was wearing on her skin. Elinor held her close before pulling apart and wiping her eye tearfully.
"Oh look at me," She said with a faint smile. "I'm getting all emotional. I have to go check on your brothers. The procession will be arriving any minute."
"Mum," Merida grabbed her mother's hand. "Don't make me say anything stupid okay?"
"I promise," Elinor smiled kissing her forehead before exiting the room. Merida looked back at the mirror and began to pick at the hairs in her braid so that they would look a little messier and more to her tastes. After a brief moment of going over herself, she got up and made her way over to the balcony to watch as the visitors began arriving. The clansmen that she met when she was sixteen had already arrived and were talking ernestly to King Fergus. Hubert, Harris and Hamish were causing misery for some of the guests, including the women who were finding them underneath their skirts.
Merida shook her head and leaned on the banister, watching them below. Her excitement was now mixing in with fear and dread. What if she was a bad queen? What happened if she did something? What if she wasn't wise? What happened when other kingdoms decided they didn't want to deal with a female ruler?
Her dread was drowned out quickly by a huge rumbling above the castle. It didn't go unnoticed by the other members of the court, who all stared up to see what was going on. The noise stopped and the doors opened to show Stoic the Vast, tall as he was large entering. Merida was never used to seeing Stoic because he was just such an impressive person. He took off his horned helmet and handed it to one of the other Vikings. Merida stretched, trying to find Hiccup, wondering how much the years might have changed him, but she couldn't see him.
Someone wearing heavily clad armour, something she didn't know Viking's wore walked over to Stoic and said something. She realised that he had a metallic fake leg instead of a real one then presumed that he was one of their mightier warriors. Stoic nodded before walking over to Fergus and bowing respectively. The warrior bowed too and Fergus said something unrecognisable over the murmur of the crowds.
Merida hid behind one of the posts, watching the warrior. He was well built, with dark hair poking out from underneath his helmet and stood like he had been in Dunbroch before. She didn't know who he was though. He pulled off his helmet and her jaw hit the floor.
It was Hiccup. Hiccup the Horrendus Haddock the Third. He was taller and not so skinny with broad shoulders. He still had his freckles and some bits of his hair were pulled back into tiny braids. Most of his childish demeanour had completely evaporated. Fergus laughed and they began to compare fake legs. Fergus seemed taken with the mechanisms of Hiccup's leg and Stoic proudly saying something about Hiccup's skill with making things.
"OH COME ON!" Merida cried a little too loudly.
Some of the court looked around to see where the noise had come from, including Hiccup who just stared at the banister, catching a glimpse of Tartan hiding behind the wooden post. He smirked before finding a seat next to his father.
Merida stood with her back to the wooden post, fuming slightly. Hiccup was handsome. She could no longer poke fun at him for being a wee lamb. She let out a groan and hit her head on the wood before looking around again. Hubert was talking excitedly to Hiccup for some reason.
"May I have your attention please?" Elinor asked, stepping up from her throne as Fergus went to sit down. The murmur of the court settled down as they watched the Queen respectfully. "As you all know, at the age of sixteen, Merida chose not to take on marriage, waiting until she saught the throne before considering it. Today is the day where she takes our place as ruler of Dunbroch. She has made herself known that she doesn't look to take on a suitor until she's ready or at all. She will be an exceptional Queen. May I present Princess Merida of Dunbroch."
Merida knew that was her cue, but she couldn't get her legs to move. She stared for a moment, feeling weak and dizzy and sick.
"MERIDA!" Elinor tried again.
Merida took a deep breath and began to make her way down into the court room, her legs shaking nervously as she climbed down the steps. Elinor pulled her forward. Merida could see Hiccup a little more clearly as he looked around Stoic to see her. He gave her a small wave and suddenly she was nervous again.
"Merida," Elinor said. "Are you willing to uphold the people of Dunbroch, to care for them, to protect them, to give them what they need as their queen?"
"I am," Merida stuttered, determined not to look at Hiccup.
"And are you willing to do what it takes to be a good queen, by which continuing the line of Dunbroch and creating alliances between clans for the protection of your people,"
"And are you willing to let live the kingdom in peace and harmony and only go to war if the occasion strikes for it?"
"I am." Merida tilted her head looking at her mother, now not really caring about what was happening amongst the members who had gathered to witness her coronation. "You know I'd be the first one into battle if need be."
Elinor shook her head but didn't argue. "I Queen Elinor of Dunbroch."
"And I King Fergus of Dunbroch," Merida's father had now joined his wife's side. "Bestow upon you the crownship of the clan."
Elinor opened a small wooden box and pulled out an ornate crown placing it on her daughters head. "Arise for Merida, Queen of Dunbroch."
The entire room erupted into a screech of cheering that took Merida back slightly. Elinor smiled and pulled her daughter close before letting her sit on the throne that had once previously been her fathers. Merida felt herself swell with pride as the entire room began to celebrate in traditional Scottish manners; drinking and debuachery. Stoic nudged Hiccup and he laughed, getting up and moved towards Merida.
"Your majesty," He said with a grin, bowing slightly.
Merida jumped on him, wrapping her arms around his neck. She wasn't sure if it was just because she had become Queen and wanted to hug someone, or if she was excited to see him.
"Woah," Hiccup fell back onto the ground. "OUCH!"
"Sorry," Merida got up and grabbed his hand hoisting him
"Okay," Hiccup said wiping himself down. "That's two strikes. You still owe me for throwing me into the river."
"You remember that eh?" Merida said blushing.
"Oh yeah," Hiccup nodded.
"Sorry," Merida said sheepishly, she caught herself glancing at Hiccups fake leg. He glanced at her and smiled.
"You can ask." He said.
"Okay, what happened to you?" Merida asked.
Hiccup kicked the ground. "A dragon. You?"
"Other than the one that chased after you when you were 4 years old?" Hiccup asked.
"Well same bear, different adventure,"
"Really?" Hiccup asked, frowning, not sure why she had said that since he had asked out of nervousness. He hadn't really expected Merida to have had her own adventure, but it made her seem all the more enlightened as a person.
Merida's eyes widened. "Oh you don't know about that do you?!"
Hiccup shook his head. "No,"
"Oh," Merida smiled. "Dragons? Really? Hiccup have you been eating those odd mushrooms you sometimes find at the roots of trees?"
Hiccup gave her a condescending stare. "Oh yeah," He said sarcastically. "Me and my friend Astrid eat them whenever we're bored."
"Astrid is she..."
"Just a friend." Hiccup said. "No one back at Berk sees this," He pointed at himself. "As the rough muscular strong Viking that it is. I'm still a fishbone back at home."
Fergus spotted Hiccup and Merida conversing and nudged Elinor, pointing and smiling. Elinor clasped her hands together feeling overwhelmed. Merida spotted this from the corner of her eye and rolled her entire head in exasperation. Hiccup looked over at Elinor and Fergus and nodded understandingly. "Ah," He said. "Do you want to go outside? Get away from all of this?" He asked.
"Like you wouldn't believe." Merida said. She pulled off her crown and went to put it in the wooden box. Hiccup stopped and looked at her.
"Don't you need an escort?" He asked.
"Nope," Merida said. "Just pretend you're my escort."
"Is that allowed?" Hiccup asked.
"I'll let you have one of my maids dresses if it makes you feel more comfortable," Merida joked.
Hiccup stared at her. "I'm good," He said after a minute. "My dad will kill me if he sees me acting any less than a Viking than I already do." He took Merida's hand and helped her down from the podeum before leading her through the mesh of people who were drinking and dancing. Once outside in the cool crisp air Merida took a deep breath and gazed up at the starry night.
"So," Hiccup said, moving down the hill. "Tell me about your encounter with a bear,"
"Oh," Merida followed him down, watching him as he manouvered on the dirt, worried that his leg would get caught and he'd go flying. "Well, I accidentally met a witch and she turned my mum into a bear,"
Hiccup stopped as Merida marched forward.
"Okay," He said clearing his throat. "I guess I can believe that,"
"What, no questioning if I've been on those mushrooms?" Merida asked. "Either you are mad, or you do have slayed a dragon."
Merida turned and shrieked as a black shape bounded towards her, bigger than a bear and with wings. She jumped behind Hiccup who raised his hand to the animal.
"Well," Hiccup said, as the dragon stopped dead in front of him and stuck out his tongue like a dog did. "Not this Dragon you understand."
Merida looked around his shoulder at the black shape that blinked at her with luminous eyes. "That's a dragon," She said unable to breathe. "You have a dragon. Is that what made the noise before you arrived?"
He nodded. "Sorry about that, Toothless," Hiccup said. "This is Queen Merida. Merida, Toothless." He glanced over at her and smiled. "What, you think I'd believe witches and wizards and magic in an instant and not question it? I know there's magic and stuff out there because Toothless is proof of it." He took Merida's hand and guided it onto Toothless's nose. Merida gulped heavily letting herself touch the scaley skin of the animal. Toothless drove his head into her palm, letting her scratch him around the neck and ears. She smiled and began to laugh.
"You have a dragon," She cried getting excited. "An actual dragon." She looked back at him and then glanced at his leg. "Oh, Hiccup,"
"It's all right," Hiccup gave her a smile. "It wasn't Toothless. It was something called the Red Death." He scratched his head. "You want to have a ride?"
Merida glanced up at Toothless. "Of course I do!" She cried.
"Well better go change," Hiccup said.
Hiccup growned. "Well, wearing a dress may be a little difficult for you to actually-"
"I'll have you know, that me wearing a dress doesn't mean I can't do anything less than you." Merida snapped.
"Okay, okay," Hiccup held up his hands in mock surrender. He bend down, clasping his fingers together to make a step. Merida hoisted up her skirts and put her foot into Hiccups hands before he pushed her up onto the dragon. Balancing precariously she folded her dress so she could ride normally on the animal instead of side-saddle. Hiccup went to the back to do something Merida glancing around to see what was up. Hiccup bent over Toothless' tail and was making adjustments and she saw that the dragon had a make-shift tail instead of a real one. She moved her foot, hitting mechanisms that had been placed on the left side of the dragon underneath his wing and arm.
"Was this Red Death too?" She asked.
"Mm?" Hiccup asked moving back over to the front. "Oh, no," He said. "That was another incident altogether." He pulled himself up and let his leg hit the mechanism. With a click the metal connected together. "Might want to hold on,"
Merida pulled herself closer and wrapped her arms around Hiccup as he leaned forward. Toothless jumped into the air and within seconds they were soaring. Merida cried. She clung to Hiccup, her ears popping loudly as the pressure around her changed. Hiccup pulled further up on Toothless' harness and they waded into the skies and clouds abouve Dunbroch. Once level Merida looked up.
She began to scream in joy and reached up to touch the clouds above her head. "THIS IS AMAZING!" She shouted.
"Toothless," Hiccup said sounding as if he was giving the Dragon a warning. Toothless didn't seem to regard the warning and began to pick up speed. "TOOTHLESS!" Hiccup shouted as the Dragon pulled his wings in, letting them drop down. "THANKS BUDDY EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED!"
Toothless stopped just before hitting the waters edge. He flapped his wings out and soared. Merida stretched out and her fingers spread across the water. She began to laugh as Hiccup sat up a little straighter. Her braid had come out and her hair flew in the wind. Hiccup turned his head as they flew, watching her.
Toothless soared back towards the land, over the hills and the trees and the stone circles. Merida pointed down at the land. "That's where I met the witch," She said. "And that's where Mordu died."
"Mordu?" Hiccup asked over the wind.
"Bear king. Turned from a human to a bear years ago and we couldn't kill him." Merida said.
Hiccup rolled his head, some of his braids in his hair flying up. Merida edged closer to him, wrapping her arms around his waist. Hiccup's eyes widened, a little shocked, but he seemed to enjoy her touch. He smiled and guided Toothless back down towards land. Toothless landed with ease and Hiccup leaned to his left, hitting the metallic gears and sliding his foot out of place. He smiled widely at her before pulling himself off of the dragon and taking her hand to help her down.
"I'm fine," She cried, pushing him off. "Just a little dizzy from all that,"
"You get used to it," Hiccup replied, catching her as she tried to take a step forward. Merida blinked up at him, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "Feels a bit sickening the first time around, trust me."
Merida stood again and walked from Hiccups arms. Hiccup patted Toothless, offering the dragon a piece of meat from the pouch that hung around his waist. Toothless took it greedily and went to go eat it on his own. Merida had walked off towards, taking off her pinned tartan drape and flinging upside a rock. Hiccup pulled off some of his leather armour shields and went to join her at the waters edge.
Once there he nestled down beside her and removed his leg, rubbing the stump for a moment.
"That was amazing," Merida said.
"Not so fishbone now am I?" Hiccup laughed.
Merida shook her head. "No, not really." She turned to look at him and then with both hands shoved him into the water. "I can still do this though!" She laughed.
"NOT FAIR!" Hiccup cried, hopping on his one good foot. He grabbed her by the waist and pulled her into the water with him until they were both soaked through to the skin. Merida sat up and looked annoyed.
"HICCUP THIS IS A NEW DRESS!" She cried. Hiccup didn't reply. Instead he sprayed water through his teeth at her.
"This is new armour," He replied. "Also, I have a disadvantage,"
Merida frowned at him.
"Consider it pay-back," He said grabbing the bank edge and trying to haul himself onto dry land. Merida sighed and got up, taking her wet mess of skirts in one hand. She held out her other to Hiccup who shook her away. "Oh, no," He said. "I can manage, big strong Dragon slash Viking king, y'know, all that,"
Merida rolled her eyes and grabbed his hand anyway, hoisting him onto dry land. He hopped over to where his leg was and sat down, clipping it back into place.
"Thanks." He muttered.
They didn't look at each other for a long moment, then they glanced back at their soaking wet forms and then burst out laughing at each other. Hiccup leaned forward and rested his hand on her cheek and let their lips touch gently for just a second. Merida backed away.
"What are you doing?" She asked, confused.
"I'm kissing you," Hiccup breathed softly, his eyes flickering. "Is that allowed your majesty?"
Merida blinked. "I..." Hiccup leaned closer and gently kissed her again. Merida's heart leapt unexpectedly into her throat and she kissed back, her teeth accidently knocking against his lips. She paused and pulled back again her hands clasped around her mouth.
"I'm so sorry!" She cried.
"Merida, calm down," Hiccup pulled her back into his embrace, laughing slightly. "It was just a tooth bump, means nothing, it happens to everyone." He kissed her again, this time moving across her cheeks and her nose towards her lips. She blushed furiously.
"What's wrong?" Hiccup asked, raising an eyebrow, wondering if he was doing something wrong.
"Is this what kissing is?" She asked.
Hiccup laughed feeling a little relieved.. "Yeah, it is."
"I like it, maybe it's not so bad," Merida said moving onto her knees and kissing him back. Hiccup moved his hand onto hers and she didn't pull back. Hiccup stopped it this time.
"We should get you back to the castle," He said.
"Oh," Merida said. "Can't I kiss you some more?"
Hiccup shook his head and pulled himself up. He took Merida's hand and they gathered up their things before walking back over to Toothless who was playing with a squirrel. Hiccup fixed his leather straps and hoisted Merida onto the back of the dragon. Merida fastened her drape over her shoulders and pushed her still wet hair out of the way. Her heart was still in her throat and her head pounding from what had just happened. Hiccup got in front and clipped into the mechanism before taking Merida's arms and wrapping them around his waist. He glanced around and gave her a toothy grin before patting Toothless. Toothless bounded on the grass for a moment and took flight.
Merida was much more at ease now that she knew what to expect. The flap of Toothless' wings filled her ears and they soared through the sky together. before landing just outside the castle walls. Outside was a few of the court members, including a few from the clan of McIntosh who were obviously too drunk to comprehend what was happening. Hiccup took Merida's hand and together they walked into the court where the party was coming to an end. Toothless wandered off towards the back of the castle.
"Oh," Merida said. "We've missed the entire thing,"
"What are you talking about?" Hiccup said. "They're still playing music, the party's still going!"
"They're playing A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal," Merida pointed out. "Its the song mum likes to play or sing to when it's getting late."
"Oh," Hiccup said. "What does it mean?"
"It means Noble Fair Maiden," Merida replied softly as she began to sing along to the tune. "It says; I'm beside you, O maiden fair, our young Lady, grow and see, your land, your own faithful land, sun and moon, guide us, to the hour of our glory and honour, little baby, our young Lady, noble maiden fair,"
"Oh," Hiccup breathed suddenly seeing how well it fit the mood.
Elinor saw them holding hands and couldn't help letting out a little shriek of excitement causing Stoic to spill his drink down his beard and look around widely expecting some massive threat to appear. Fergus bellowed into a laugh and fell over falling asleep on the floor. Merida pulled Hiccup into a dance with her. He tripped and stumbled but eventually managed to get into some sort of rhythm.
Hiccup wrapped his arm around Merida's waist and gently kissed her as they turned to the tune. That's when Elinor fainted.
"I think," Fergus said trying to force away a burp. "That's my cue to get rid of you all."
Merida pursed her lips and let go of Hiccup's hand going over to help her mother up to he feet. Elinor waved her off as she began to come around. "I'm fine, I'm fine. Go,"
Merida rolled her eyes and turned over to Hiccup. "Well, I suppose I should..."
"I'll accompany you," Hiccup suggested, then he went very red. "I mean, to your room. Not into your room, that would be improper. I mean, I'll walk you to... I'll..."
Merida laughed and took his hand gently walking up the wooden stairs. They stood outside her room for a moment, Hiccup looking at his feet meekly. Merida pecked him on the cheek. "I loved tonight." She said.
"Yeah?" He asked, looking at her with a small smile. "Not many people like riding dragons,"
"Well I'm not one of them," Merida said taking Hiccups hands into hers. "Thank you for coming to my coronation,"
Hiccup smiled and let his hands curl around her cheeks before pressing his lips against hers. Merida couldn't get over the feeling that his kisses gave her. She blushed furiously as he pulled away.
"Queen Merida," Hiccup said bowing his head a little.
"Dragon King," She replied. Hiccup kissed her again before pressing his lips against her forehead before climbing down the stairs. Merida dipped into her room and let out a little shriek before falling onto her bed.
"NOT MARRIAGE!" Merida cried. "NO!"
"But Merida!" Elinor tried to reason with her daughter.
"Mum, this is a good thing, please don't interfere with Hiccup and me. It might not even work. He's got an entire clan to herald himself," Merida slumped agaisnt her bed coming to the realisation that maybe last night would come to nothing.
Elinor sighed. "You could merge Kingdoms, or perhaps ask him to give up his title."
"I couldn't do that to him!" Merida cried.
"Then you may have to renounce your rulership to your brothers," Elinor said.
"I can't do that mum, you know I can't do that." Merida said. "I'm a Queen, at least give me a chance to rule."
Elinor sighed as Merida finished off pulling her tartan drape around her shoulder, dressed in formal wear. The clans were leaving today. MacIntosh, McGuffin and Dingwall were leaving by boat along with the members of Berk, Hiccup was the only one who had actually ridden a dragon to Dunbroch. It was her duty as Queen to send them on their way and bid them safe travel. Even though Merida was determined to to say goodbye to Hiccup just yet.
"Mum," Merida said, holding onto the edge of her bed. "What happened when you married dad? Did you leave your clan?"
"I did," Elinor replied. "i have not seen them since."
"Mum I can't do that. I can't say goodbye to you,"
Elinor dropped her shoulders. "Darling, I can't help you. You have to talk to Hiccup."
Merida sighed and sat on her bed as Elinor moved beside her. "Tell me about you meeting dad for the first time."
Elinor sighed. "Well, it was an arranged marriage of course," She said. "We were both sixteen, had no idea how to talk to men or in general anyone outside my own clan. I was at the castle and we were having dinner. And my escort was a short fat and very old sleepy woman, who was very light to her drink. I may have slipped some whiskey into her soup and within ten minutes she had fallen asleep."
Merida's jaw dropped. "Mum, you sneaky devil,"
Elinor chuckled. "That got Fergus to talk. And we talked and we haven't stopped really. He's my best friend. I love him with all my heart."
"Maybe an arranged marriage may have prevented this mess," Merida sighed, putting her hands to her knees and slumping sadly.
"Perhaps," Elinor said kissing her daughters forehead. "But we wouldn't have the relationship we have today, and that is more important to me than some silly marriage. Now, come on, you have to see the clans off."
Merida sighed and slumped onto her bed. "Give me five minutes."
Elinor nodded and left the room, closing the door behind her. Merida sighed and pursed her lips. Hiccup would go back to Berk and forget her. She moved towards her dressing table and found her locket. Stringing a bit of dried heather into the necklace for luck, she tied her tartan ribbon around the chain and placed it in her pouch before moving from her room down the stairs.
The clans were in the court room, waiting for her arrival. They bowed their heads as Merida began to speak. Her voice unclear at first, but then she saw Hiccup in his full armour and she couldn't help but feel confident. "I want to first, thank you all for attending my cornonation. It has been a dream of mine for many years to lead my own Kingdom. I hope this new rulership does not interfere with the alliances that we have maintained over centuries." She paused and let her eyes focus on Hiccup, who was now standing next to Stoic, who playfully nudged his son.
"And the alliances we can forge from this day forward," Merida finished. "I believe that the clans of MacIntosh, McGruffin and Dingwall... And Berk, will soon too have strong confident leaders who are ready to to change and make their own destiny. Wherever it may lead. Travel safe, clansmen,"
The clans applauded her and cheered and she felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment as they all filed out of the court to head to their boats. Hiccup followed his father out towards the shore as Merida led her father and her mother out of the castle. She climbed on top of Angus and led the Dunbroch procession out of the castle and down to the lake edge where Toothless and four ships waited.
Merida sat watching as each clan embarked onto their ships - many of them hungover and unable to stand. Hubert, Harris and Hamish were standing in front of Toothless in absolute awe and Toothless was sat on his hind legs staring down at them with amusement.
Dingwall was the fist ship to cast off, it's flag sailing high on the mast. The second to leave was the McGruffins. Merida jumped from Angus just as MacIntosh set sail and headed over to Hiccup who was adjusting the harness on Toothless, showing off a little to Merida's brothers.
"Hiccup," Merida said.
Hiccup stopped what he was doing as Stoic boarded his own ship, watching his son and the Queen interact. Hiccups hands dropped to his side and he raised one, leaving it on his stomach as he bowed. "Your majesty," He said.
Merida went towards him, lifting his chin so he could look up at her. "Look," She said. "I'm not sure if we'll see each other after this." She said. "Especially when it took is several years last time. I just want you to know, that I enjoy your company. And you and your clan are always welcome at Dunbroch."
Hiccup stood straighter and smiled, taking Merida's hand. Merida fished her necklace from her pouch and tucked it into his hand. "This is so you don't forget me," She said.
"I could never forget you," Hiccup said accepting the gift and placing it around his neck, tucking it under his collar, so that he would not lose it when he took flight. His hand stroked her cheek and he leaned forward giving her a gentle kiss. Stoic sort of yelped with excitement, almost causing the boat to entirely collapse. Hiccup climbed onto Toothless, not letting go of Merida's hand.
Toothless began to flap his wings, ready to take flight and Hiccup let go of her hand. He nodded towards Elinor and Fergus and waved at the triplets before catching the wind and using it to give Toothless a nudge. The dragon roared in triumph and flew off as Berk's ship cast its sail and flag. Merida jumped back onto Angus and chased as far as she could to the edge of the cliff tops to watch the black clad Dragon King and his dragon fly into the sunrise.
Hiccup looked behind him and saw the tangled mess of hair and smiled as he flew around his fathers ship back to Berk. Maybe they'd never see each other again, or maybe they'd end up spending the rest of their lives together. Hiccup knew that he had no true certainty of what tomorrow would bring. But he hoped with all his might that it would involve Queen Merida.