A/N: This is it. I hope you enjoy! Thank you all for reading, reviewing, following, and the favorites. :)
Merida slowly opened her eyes, turning to her still open window. The patch of sky was beginning to lighten as the sun ascended. She lay for a moment, listening as everything outside her window came to life. She heard shouts and footsteps, doors opening and closing throughout the castle. And suddenly she remembered the task she must complete before those all too familiar noises ceased.
She threw off the covers, and ran to her wardrobe. The princess seized the first dress she touched, not bothering to care about the color, or fit. She slipped the gown over her nightdress, hurrying as fast as she was able.
The sound of shutting doors became fewer and less often as she dressed. She still heard shouts and footsteps outside, but as she was fastening the last button, there was a final slam, and the castle was still. The commotion outside continued, which gave her hope that they could wait just another few minutes, just long enough for her to get down to the docks.
She put her shoes on as she ran, slamming doors and leaving confused servants in her wake. 'Please wait, please still be there!' she thought to herself with every beat of her racing heart. There wasn't an option. He had to know. He couldn't leave her without knowing. If he did… She didn't want to think about that.
Her insufferable impulsiveness had once again caused great damage. Possibly lasting, this time for both herself and Doyle.
She reached the main hall, and with a determination that could not ever be matched, she swung open the large door and continued to hasten to her desired destination. The docks were finally insight, and she could see the last few passengers getting ready to board, and her family saying farewell.
Once they were in earshot of her, she called out, "Doyle! Doyle wait, please!"
The young lord had been about to board, right behind his father. He heard the princess and turned to see her.
She was running at full speed, with windblown hair and her dress hanging strangely, her nightdress visible in places, her shoes were on the wrong feet. And it all took his breath away as she always did.
She began to slow, as she neared the ship, trying to catch her breath. She realized suddenly that she looked absurd, her hair still tangled from sleep, nightdress tucked underneath her gown. And for a moment she thought about the fact that her family was going to witness her pour her heart out to the man she loved, and she nearly rethought her decision. But she threw caution and care and thought to the wind.
"Doyle, please." She came to a stop before him. "I'm sorry for last night. I- "
"Merida there's no need-" he tried to cut in, but she wouldn't have it. He needed to know, and he was about to board a ship to leave, possibly forever. This was her only chance.
"No, listen! I – was scared. And, I didn't think- I didn't want to think I was ready." She looked up and met his eyes. Those brilliant blue eyes, that could say so much with one look. They could make her nervous for absolutely no reason. And they were doing so now.
Her heart pounded, and her words rushed, "I'm not scared anymore and I know that you probably don't want me anymore and that the last thing you want at the moment is the lass that ran from you to now, on her own terms accept-"
Her next words died in her throat, as his lips captured hers. It was much more pleasant than she ever thought it could be. A few catcalls sounded from the ship, and she vaguely heard Lord McGuffin's hearty laugh and her father's rather reluctant chuckle. But mostly, she felt Doyle, her Doyle embrace her, his smile into their kiss, the love he felt for her and the love she felt for him. For a split second she was scared again. Scared of the future and unknown, scared of having a family of her own, scared of this new and foreign adventure. However, she was tired of being scared, tired of that holding her back.
She pulled away and looked at him for a moment. "You forgive me?" she whispered so that only he heard.
He chuckled and rested his forehead against hers. "Aye," he said. "Will ye have me?"
She leaned up, kissed his cheek and said quietly in his ear, "Aye. I love you."
"An I you."
She looked to her family; her father looked happy, but she could see tears streaming down his cheeks. Her mother was dabbing at her eyes with her handkerchief while her brothers only seemed to want to get back to the castle. Fergus had his arm around Elinor as she leaned into him.
Merida had grown up seeing her parents love for each other. She'd always, against her own will, dreamed that she would have that kind of love. And now she knew that she could. She knew that she and Doyle's love would be as strong and beautiful as her parents'. She knew it would be able to stand the test of time, and she knew Doyle know also.
They would have their happily ever after.
A/N: I know it's a little short... But I'm pretty happy with it, and I hope you are too! Thanks again!