Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons

Expectations


The girls wait at the cove, bored stiff. Since the boys left and went who knows where, they were left to set up camp and take care of things in the cove. Merida set up a camp fire area with a ring of rocks as seats. Rapunzel clean and descale any fish that Toothless didn't eat. As for Baby tooth, she was picking up any twiggy she can carry to help Merida with a campfire. It took everyone about thirty minutes to get everything ready, now there's nothing to do but wait. Merida lays back to her rock and leans out with her arms, cracking her back. While Rapunzel just paces around and generally look up.

"How long are they going to take?" She complains.

"You never know with boys." Merida answers. "My brothers can run all over the palace and they drive the servants mad."

Then the word palace stuck into Rapunzel's mind. When she goes back to her time she'll be living in a castle. She'll have servants, chefs, advisors and people bowing where ever she goes. That thought kinda scares her. Throughout this journey, Merida kept saying how awful and demanding palace life is. Would that be the same for her? Will her parents expect her to follow traditions she has no clue about? Will her parents even accept her for who she grew up to be? All these things cloud her mind like a fog. What was she to do?

But then she remembers that Merida is a princess. Maybe she can give a few pointers to help make a good first impression to the king and queen. It doesn't hurt to ask.

"Merida," Rapunzel began a little nervous.

"Yes?" She said looking at Rapunzel.

"Well," Rapunzel said rubbing her arm with nervousness. She knows what to ask but doesn't know how to word it right. "As you know...you are a princess..."

"Last I checked," Merida said a little confused.

"...and well... I'm a princess now...so I was wondering...I mean if you could...maybe..."

"Spit it out!" Merida said getting a little impatient.

Rapunzel took in a deep breath before talking really fast. "I was wondering if you can teach me how to be a princess?"

Merida shook her head and opened her eyes. "Wha?"

Rapunzel shrugs and talks a little slower this time. "I was wondering if you can teach me how to be a princess."

Merida didn't know what to say to that request. Sure Rapunzel is now a princess and is going to need to know the rules of palace life, but Merida isn't too sure she's the right person to teach her. First of all, they both live in different time periods. Maybe Rapunzel's rules are different then hers? Another thing to consider is that Merida has lived in a castle her entire life, while Rapunzel lived in a tower. Maybe it's too late to teach her anything?

"Please!" Rapunzel begged Merida with her hands clasp together.

"Whoa whoa whoa," Merida said baking up. "I'm not the type for begs."

"Sorry," Rapunzel said feeling kinda stupid.

"In any case, I know you're a princess now but asking me might be a bad idea." Merida said being completely honest. "You and I are from different times, maybe the rules have changed. Maybe you get to go where ever you want, eat what you want to eat, read what you want to read, paint whenever you like, maybe even have your own say in marriage."

"Maybe," Rapunzel said still unsure of her future. "But I don't know the first thing about being a princess. I don't know how to walk, to talk, to greet, to have everyone look at you and they know you are a princess."

"I'm still a bad example of that,"

"You're my only example."

Merida was taken back a bit, she usually does the opposite of being a proper princess. But Rapunzel seems determined to have Merida as her teacher.

"Please Merida," she tries again. "I at least want to make a good first impression when I meet my real parents."

Merida's mind click. It wasn't enough for Rapunzel to act like a princess for her kingdom or because it's her right, it was more to please her mom and dad.

The only thing Merida can do is at least try, or offer some helpful hints. "Ok,"

"Yippee!" Rapunzel squeals while jumping up and down. But when she realizes she's acting like a fool, she stops and straightens out her dress. "I mean, thank you."

Merida circled around Rapunzel and studies her. Rapunzel stood as still as she possibly can. "Alright," Merida said with a finger under her chin. "Posture is pretty good. Just keep your stomach in, back arched, chin up and shoulders back." She moves Rapunzel's body parts till she looks like a model. "Don't forget to smile all the time when addressing your subjects."

"This is slightly uncomfortable," Rapunzel said through her teeth.

"I know," Merida admits, "this pose hurts a bit, but you'll get used to it." She then steps back a bit to give Rapunzel some room. "Now, show me how you walk."

Rapunzel nods and begins to walk the way she normally does.

"Ok ok, stop right there." Rapunzel stops to look at Merida moving her body parts. "When walking, try to not sway your hips, and keep your shoulders still. you still need to lift your chin and never let your arms droop."

"Is this really necessary?" Rapunzel ask.

"Yes," Merida nods and walks the way her mom wants to. It wasn't her way to walk, but she has to try to be an example to Rapunzel. "You need to appear regal and wise."

Rapunzel sighs and walks the way Merida instructs her to. But it didn't feel right at all. It was like trying on someone else's skin and it doesn't feel right at all.

"Now when you talk," Merida continues, "make sure you voice is loud enough to be heard everywhere. When you eat, make sure it's small bite sized piece with the fork on the left hand. There is no nagging, bragging, burping, slurping or snorting allowed. When you now or curtsy, you should keep you back arch. When you have meetings with neighbouring kingdoms you should..."

Merida's voice became muffled in Rapunzel's mind. She had no idea that palace life that strict with rules. Over the years she's hasn't followed anything like that. What if her parents wouldn't look at her because she doesn't have what it takes to be a princess? What if they don't love her?

"Arg!" Rapunzel screams. She undoes everything. Merida is teaching her and storms off and sits near the lake.

Merida sort of expects this would happen, she was surprised that Rapunzel lasted this long. Still, being concerned for her friend, she walks to her, sits downs beside her, and puts a caring arm around her.

"Hey," Merida said in a voice of kindness. "You did pretty good."

"Pretty good? That was awful!" Rapunzel said gathering her knees together to her chest. "I'm never going to get this."

"Well no one gets it the first time, if you practice..."

"Well I can't do it, I will never be like you your majesty, you were born into this. I can't handle all the demands and lessons you're forcing into me!"

Rapunzel eyes shot wide at what she just said, realizing that i was more hurtful then she meant it to be. She looks at Merida moving her arm away and looking into the water near their feet.

Rapunzel felt so guilty and tries to look Merida in the eyes. "I am so sorry, I didn't mean..."

"It's ok."

Rapunzel was both surprised and confused at Merida's forgiveness.

"Because you are right, I was quoting my mum back there. I've told my self a million times that I would never be like her, and now look at me, I practically acted just like my mum. I'm the one who should apologize."

"Oh no," Rapunzel said trying to be a good friend. "You weren't bad at all, I'm the stupid one who thinks she can pull this off."

"First of all, you're not stupid," Merida assures her. "You are the sweetest, kindest person I have ever met. Your parents will be lucky to have you back."

"But what if I can't do this princess thing? Would they accept me?"

Merida thought deep before speaking again. "I think... They will be more happy to have you home then for you to be a proper princess."

"Really? You think?" Rapunzel said feeling a little better.

"I guarantee it," Merida said nodding her head. "Besides, who needs a stuffy proper princess, when you can be you? A princess that everyone knows and likes. You remember how the people warmed up to you while you were dancing, and they didn't even know you're the princess."

"I didn't know-"

"It doesn't matter. They liked you just for who you are. You not just an average everyday princess, you're you."

Rapunzel smiles a bit. "Just like you, you try to break from tradition. You're not an everyday princess."

"You better believe it," Merida said. She twirls up and jumps on a rock to tell Rapunzel a lesson of her own.

"Some stories start "once upon a time

Like a dreamer's dream, but theirs aren't mine

I just worked hard

I wasn't the kind for wishes

You can safely say I'm not your everyday princess"

She jumps down and picks up Rapunzel to her feet and they walk away from the lake to near the campsite.

"Now life isn't always what it seems

If you make a tapestry with all the seams

It's a work of art, to stimulate your senses

Not your usual take, not your everyday princess"

Rapunzel listens attentively and soaks in every word Merida is saying. Baby tooth flies around and chirps out a beat for the girls to dance to. Merida stops Rapunzel and makes her turn to look eye to eye.

"Now life is what you make it

We can all be royalty

It's a prize for you, so take it

You never know what you can be

It sure is great having breakfast in your bed

With a sparkly crown sittin' on your head

But that's not you, you wear yours makin' art and dances.

Because you'll never be an everyday princess"

Rapunzel instantly felt better about her insecurities. If her parents won't accept her not acting like a princess, then that's their problem. She is who she is, and she loves it. When Baby tooth picked up a beat, Rapunzel's toes found themselves taping to the music. Merida got the same feeling and grabs Rapunzel's arms and the two of them start to dance. They laugh and have fun just being themselves.

"Life is what you make it" Rapunzel said with glee

"We can all be royalty"

"It's a prize for you," Merida said with a smile. "so take it"

The two of them let go of each other and said the next line together. "You (I) never know what you (I) can be!"

"Cause you can have it all" Merida shouts

"Just look at me!" Rapunzel said shooting her hands to the sky.

They bring it back together and dance together with the next line.

"You're (I'm) Makin' (my) your own dreams come true

Not your everyday princess, still a princess every day!

Ooh, ohh!"

The two of them smile and laugh at the moment. The two of them are princess, but they're acting like BBFFs. Baby tooth stops her music and flies on between them and joins in with smiling and giggling.

"Thanks Merida," Rapunzel said trying to recover from her laughter.

"You're very welcome," Merida said trying to heal her sore sides.

"Hey ladies,"

The girls look up to see Jack hovering a few feet from the ground. But the sight of Jack's shirt covered in soot send the girls hollowing with laughter.

"Let me guess," Merida said holding her stomach, "you lost the race."

"That's not important right now," he said really concern. The girls stop their foolishness and concentrate on Jack. "You need to see this."

Not wanting to waste any time, Jack grabs Rapunzel and gestures Merida to get on his back. When he felt they could hang on good, he flew high and race to meet Hiccup. The weight of the girls was no problem; he was a spirit after all. But it did feel weird to have to carry people. Baby tooth flew right beside them to see what the problem is.

Jack flew like a busy bee to get to where Hiccup and Toothless were hiding, on a hillside by a bunch of bushes. Jack carefully lands near them and the girls quickly jumped off and run to Hiccup. Rapunzel went to his side while Merida went to the other side. Unfortunately Toothless was also there and still wouldn't let her anywhere near him. He growled, grinding his teeth at her. Merida quickly backed off and went to the other side with Jack.

"What's going on?" She asks as she passed Hiccup. When she and Rapunzel look over the bushes, they're eyes widen with fear and horror.

They can see Hiccup's village on fire. The houses were bearing red hot flames on the roofs and explosions happening left and right. Vikings screaming in anger and fear can be heard miles away. They clang their metal swords and launching rocks from their catapults towards the enemy.

The enemy, which the others couldn't believe, were huge reptiles flying through the sky. They roar with a fire more powerful then what they can spit out with their breath. They were reptiles with a lot of different features, one had spikes on its tail, one was big and fat, one had two heads with long necks and one was on fire! No kidding, a reptile's body was on fire! Only one word could dis robe what these creatures are...

"Dragons," Hiccup said.

Everyone observe the fight between the dragons and the Vikings, but it was impossible to tell who is winning. The Vikings are doing everything they can to keep the dragons away, while the dragons keep swooping in and taking livestock and Vikings away. It almost seemed like a fight no one was going to win.

The group watch from far away to see all the action, and hear the battle cries in the wind.

"This is horrible," Rapunzel said shaking with her hands close to her chest.

"Does this happen a lot?" Jack asks Hiccup.

"Yep," he answers while holding Toothless close to him. "We get dragon attacks daily. They come in and try to steal our supplies and livestock."

"And you guys defend your home against them," Merida said trying to piece everything together.

"Pretty much," Hiccup said while looking at the battle. "Sometimes my father along with some of the best men goes out to find the nest where the dragons live, in hopes of driving them away."

Toothless pulls back from Hiccup and starts shaking his head. His eyes widen with fear and he groans with a said morn. But it just confuses everyone.

"What is he saying?" Rapunzel asks.

"No idea," Hiccup said putting his hands around Toothless to calm him down. "Easy bud, easy..."

As everyone pays more attention to Toothless, Merida continues to look at the battle. War was something new to her. Sure she's been taught about war and her kingdom is on the brink of it, but to see it first hand was an entirely different experience. When you can almost feel the heat of the flames and hear the cries of those you love; war was defiantly something you want to avoid, especially if it can kill the people you care about.

"How long has this been going on for?" She asks Hiccup.

He sighs before answering her, "about 300 years now."

"300?" She blurts out, not believing that this war had been going on that long.

"I don't get it," Rapunzel said. "If it's been so bad here, why don't you just leave?"

"We're Vikings, we have stubbornness issues." He answers with his usual sarcastic flair.

While the others were a little confused, Merida knew what he means, with all the lessons she had about Vikings, stubbornness was brought up a lot.

Everyone continued to watch this fight and watch as more dragons attack the village down below. Even though they are seeing this with their own eyes, they still couldn't believe that Hiccup lived through this. Hiccup on the other was more focused on other things. Through the roars and the screams, he can still pick out his father's booming voice commanding the men. But then something dawned on him, the dragons usually don't attack this early. Maybe they're changing their routine or bring in as an element of surprise? But as far as normal attacks go, the dragons seemed to be more frantic than usual. Maybe because he's further away to now observe the dragons' behavior. One thing is for sure, this isn't a normal raid.

"Guys," Rapunzel said turning her head away from the battle. "Can we leave now?"

Jack flew beside her and puts he arms around her for comfort. "Don't worry, I'll fly you-"

"It might be best if we all go back now," Hiccup said standing up and brushing the dirt off.

"Are you sure?" Merida asks looking back to the fire.

"Yep, I'm sure." He said getting Toothless's attention.

The way back to the cove was a little more trouble than it should be. Since Toothless still doesn't like Merida, he wouldn't let her get on him to fly back. Jack didn't want to carry both girls again and Rapunzel was too shaky from viewing the battle to get on Toothless. So Hiccup flew on Toothless to the cove, while everyone else walked. During the walk, they can still hear the roars and screams from the village, it unsettled everyone to the edge of paranoia, fearing something could pop up at any time.

When they got back to the cove, Hiccup and Toothless were there finishing setting up camp, making the fire and cooking any fish Toothless hasn't got his paws on. Everyone sat around the camp fire and began to eat. Merida was still getting a glare from the dragon and sat back on her rock.

"Forget Vikings, it's dragons that have a stubborn nature," she said as she takes a bite of her fish.

Toothless didn't like that comment and growled again.

"Just ignore her bud," Hiccup said swallowing his bite.

Jack, who didn't take any fish, got back to the topic of the village. "So these dragon attacks, they're a common thing around here?"

"Yep," Hiccup answers. "Pretty much."

"How did it start?" Rapunzel asks next.

"Well, no one really knows for sure," hiccup said lowering his fish on a stick. "A lot folks say that they started it. But that was about 300 years ago so there's no way to prove it."

"I still can't believe that this is your life Hiccup," Merida said with care. "If this war turns men into monsters, you are defiantly not like any of those Vikings."

"Yeah, I've been told that a number of times," he said with a hint of hurt, remembering his people telling him that in a mean way.

"I remember you said that you were being picked on and ridiculed like a football jock against a scrawny nerd." Jack said, completely forgetting no one gets his references.

But that being said, it made Merida remember what Hiccup told her earlier. "Is that why you wanted to leave?"

That question was new to Rapunzel. "Wait, you wanted to leave?" She repeated.

Merida silently cursed herself, totally forgetting that Rapunzel wasn't a part of that conversation.

"Well..." Hiccup started while rubbing Toothless's head. He knew that he would have to tell his friends the whole story, thought he secretly hoped that he didn't have to, at least not this soon. But now it's too late to back out now, they've seen the dragons and the relationship he has with Toothless, might as well come clean.

"...that's not entirely true." He said almost feeling ashamed.

The others lean on as he starts telling his story.

"In the village, we have an arena where we learn how to fight dragons. Whoever is the best of the class has the honor of killing their first dragon in front of everyone. I was pretty much force to attend class thanks to my father. He wants me to stop being all...this." He said as he gestures to himself.

"At first, I was really pathetic. I couldn't pick up a shield, I was terrible at stealth and I ask a lot more questions then I ought to."

"There's nothing wrong with asking questions," Merida pointed out. "How else are you supposed to learn?"

"The Viking way is charging first and ask questions never," he replied with a spark of humor. "Then I met Toothless in the cove, and curiosity got to me. When I was growing up, I was told that a dragon always go for the kill. But every time I visit him, he's never had the urge to do that. That's when I started to think that everything I knew about of him…about dragons is wrong. That maybe there's more to them than meets the eye."

The others listen well, feeling Hiccup's story. After all the years of his people being mean to him, it made sense for him to see another side to the dragons.

"Anyway, after Toothless and I became friends, I started to learn new things about dragons. I observe his behavior, his habits and even his drawing skills. I learned things you can't find in a book, and I used what I learned in the arena. While everyone went charging in with an axe or hammer, I used my wit to only subdue the dragons, not kill them. But that kind of tactic put me to the top of the class, and the honor of...of..." He couldn't finish that sentence. Just the thought of what he had to do made him sick to his stomach.

"Killing a dragon," Merida finished for him, feeling a little sad that he is out into this position.

"And I can't do it!" Hiccup blurt out, barring his face in his hands. "I just can't. If I go in that arena and don't kill the dragon, how can I face my father and tribe again? And if I do kill it, I'll be killing a piece of myself and everything I believe in. not to mention I wouldn't have the heart to face Toothless again. There was no winning situation for me."

"So your plan was to fly away on Toothless?" Rapunzel asks.

"Pretty much," Hiccup sighs. "But then North found me and..."

"We can guess the rest," Jack said cutting him off.

"So that's you didn't want to say hi to anyone in your tribe," Rapunzel said putting her fish down and moving towards hiccup and sitting down beside him. "You were worried that they would drag you to this arena."

"Yes," he said. "Also I didn't want you guys to get in trouble or killed."

"Don't worry about us," Merida said taking the last bite of her food. "We can take care of whatever comes our way."

"Yeah," Jack said playing with his staff. "We are up against Pitch and an army of Nightmares. A few Vikings and dragons seem like a nice change."

"Still-" hiccup began.

Before being shushed by Rapunzel. "And we handled my evil mother and her two lackeys. We can stand up against anything. So don't worry Hiccup, we'll be with you through this time."

Jack walked closer to Hiccup and put a supporting hand on his shoulder. Toothless joined in, wrapping his wings around the three of them. As Merida was about to jump off the rock to join them, toothless gave her a nasty look, making her stay where she is.

Hiccup took in the care that his friends are showing. It was more then he's experience his entire life. "Thank you," he said being close to tears.

As everyone, except for Merida, hugged it out, Toothless turned away and looked into the night's sky. The fins around his head vibrate a bit, as if he's sensing something.

"What's up with him?" Jack asks.

"My guess is that the raid is over," Hiccup answered a little unsure.

"At least we can get a good night sleep tonight," Rapunzel said while getting and finding a nice patch of grass to sleep on. Merida quietly slips down off of her rock and just lay next to it.

"They're right," Hiccup said getting Toothless to focus on him. "We should probably go to bed, tomorrow is going to be interesting."

Toothless quickly got the idea that it's time to sleep and made himself a burnt grass bed to sleep on. Hiccup payed down next to him prepare himself to drift into slumber.

"I got night watch," Jack said while sitting next to the fire. He and Baby tooth watch as everyone was soon fast asleep.

They continue to watch over them throughout the night. Minutes soon turned to hours then to boredom. Jack and Baby tooth kept each other company and talked a bit. Mostly about what to do now, how to find Hiccup's stone and where Pitch is. Pitch was defiantly a big concern, who knows what he's up to? It could be anything. This world seemed almost perfect for fear. Dragons were a big reason for that. On occasion Jack would look up to the sky to find Sandman's dream sand flying around like normal. But only one or two strains will make their way to the village. There really was no use in dreaming in times of war, which was sad. Jack couldn't help but think about those kids earlier. They looked like they were almost excited to fight and to be in this crazy war.

"If only there was some way to help the kids have fun here," Jack said to himself. He sighs and assumes his duty.

Then he heard a moan, or a muffle coming from Hiccup. Jack quickly got up to see what the trouble was.

Hiccup was tossing and turning, with his eyes open.

"You ok?" Jack whispers trying not to wake everyone else up.

Hiccup slowly sits up and looks down to his feet. "Yeah, just have trouble sleeping."

"Got a lot on your mind?" Jack asks concerned.

"Yeah," Hiccup said while rubbing his eyes. He then got up off the floor and walked away from the campsite. "I just need a minute to clear my head."

Jack didn't dare to follow, from the sound of Hiccup's voice told him that the kid needs some time alone. But Hiccup's walk accidentally woke up Merida who watches him walk to the other end of the cove. She quietly got up and followed him. When he stopped near the pond, she hid behind a rock to observe him.

Hiccup sank down to his knees and cup some water in his hands and splash it on his face. He shook the water off and looked at himself in the pool's reflection.

"What am I gonna do?" He asks himself. "I should be happy, I'm home. But honestly this is the worst feeling I've ever felt. If my friends are discovered, if I'm discovered, what is father going to do to me. I thought this whole quest thing would make me wiser or stronger. But I'm still the same scrawny Hiccup. How can I possibly find my stone?"

As much as Merida didn't really want to get involve with Hiccup's struggle, she can't watch her friend sell himself short like this. She got up from her hiding place and walks behind him.

"First of all, you shouldn't be talking so loud that everyone can hear you." She said with a smile.

Her surprise appearance in the water's reflection made Hiccup jump in shock. He quickly turned around to see Merida's hand offering a help up. He took it and rose to meet her eye to eye.

"And second, you shouldn't doubt yourself." She continued. "I mean, you outwitted the guards at the dam and when they had us in chains. That's something I couldn't do. You are smart and with a bit more practice, you can be stronger."

"I get what you're saying Merida," he said still uneasy. "But back then we were up against people I didn't really know. Everyone knows me here, and I know what they think of me."

"Well, then I guess you have to prove them wrong, just like you proved me wrong." Merida said trying to cheer him up.

But it wasn't really working, he still felt deflated of emotion.

"Hey," Merida said jabbing him the shoulder, "let do some more fighting lessons. That'll cheer you up."

"Oh great," he said sarcastically while rolling his eyes. "Pain, love it."

The lesson really was painful for Hiccup. Merida tries to show him how to block attacks and anticipating the opponent's next move. But every time he tries, he always gets hit in the arm or stomach.

"You need to focus Hiccup," Merida reminded him. "Judge your opponent, know their weaknesses and strike." She punches him again on the right when he thought she was going for the left.

The noise from their sparing reached everyone's ears. Rapunzel quietly stir while Toothless was on full alert. He jumped on the boulder and sees Merida beating Hiccup.

Hiccup was in no way enjoying this, but then he had a thought. If he was caught in the village, he could say that he was training to be stronger like his dad. It may be the worst excuse ever, but it might be the one that can protect his friends.

Merida quickly did a swift kick and made Hiccup fall to the floor. She watches as he raises his head to her. "Remember the lesson Hiccup; you need to keep your guard up."

As she offers a hand up, she felt a wind pushing her away from Hiccup and making her fall face first. When she recovered she saw Toothless taking a protection stance between her and Hiccup.

Hiccup quickly got up and tries to calm the dragon down. "It's alright bud, she was teaching me how to fight." He quickly looked back at her to see if she was alright. "Sorry about that, he can be a little overprotected at times."

Merida got up off the floor and brush the dirt off her dress. "I guess I should include this rule, don't attack a guy who has a dragon for a friend."

"I guess," Hiccup said while trying to hold in a laugh. But seeing Merida doing the same thing didn't help. Soon they both laugh at their predicament.

"I think that's all we can do tonight," Merida said eyeing the pissed off dragon.

"Really?" Hiccup said a little surprised and disappointed.

"Well I can't do much with your nanny dragon giving me the evil eye." Merida points out.

"Alright," he sighs. "Can you at least give me some pointers, maybe teach me verbally and not physically."

Now Merida was surprised. "Wow, first Rapunzel now you. Why do you need me to teach you like that?"

"You said I needed it," Hiccup said.

"Yeah, but that was a number of days ago." Merida said. "You've gotten a lot better since then."

"Yeah but still, I need to grow stronger," he said determined.

"Whoa whoa," Merida said trying to get him slow down. "You can't expect to grow muscle overnight. Besides you have other qualities besides strength."

"Yeah but everyone one in the village relies on brawn." Hiccup said with force. But then quickly curses himself for saying that.

"So that's it then," Merida said putting the pieces together. "You're trying to prove something to your tribe. What is it? That you can be big and strong like them?"

Hiccup's mind was racing, trying to think of a good excuse. "I was just think that... Just incase... Not that we would ever...but IF we got caught... I could say that I've been practicing in the woods this whole time."

But Merida didn't really buy that story. "There's more than that, is there?"

"I was hoping that excuse would be good enough for my father, and seeing some muscle would prove it true." He said pretty downward.

"So that's it," she said finally getting the bigger picture. "It's more than just the village; it's proving yourself to your father."

That wasn't the idea at all, but at the back of Hiccup's mind, there was a bit of truth in what she said. All his life his father never even talked to Hiccup with pride. But if Hiccup can at least say that he's trying, maybe it would get his dad to smile.

"Maybe," he admits.

Merida walked a little closer to Hiccup, which only made the dragon let out a warning growl. But Hiccup ignored that and stepped closer to Merida.

"Why would you put yourself through that?" She asks. "Why would you try to change yourself just to please him?"

"Maybe because I want my father's approval," Hiccup snaps. But realizing his tone left him in a sadden desperation mood. "I know you and your mother don't get along, but you've said that she at least shows that she cares. My father has never done that. He is ashamed that I'm his son. What he would've give to have a different boy to call son."

"Hiccup," Merida spoke softly, almost heartbroken that Hiccup thinks this way of his father. even Toothless heart was breaking at the thought of his own people treating him like that.

"My whole tribe thinks the same thing," Hiccup continues. "Who would want someone scrawny and weak, who can't even kill a dragon? What kind of big, strong father wants someone like that to call his boy? No matter what I did, it would never amount…

"When I was just a kid

everything I did, was to be like him,"

He looked down at his own hand, wondering if any of his father's genes were in there.

"under my skin,

My father always thought,

if I was strong and fought

not like some albatross, I'd begin

to fit in"

He slowly walked back to the lake and sees his reflection in there. At the back, it felt like the shadow figure of his father was looking down on him. Merida and Toothless watch him with concern and sympathy.

"Look at me powerless and holding my breath

trying hard to repress what scared him to death

It was never easy to be his type of man

to breathe freely was not in his plan

and the best part of me

is what he will not see"

He looked up at the dark clouds above, mostly smoke from the raid that still haven't moved on. But it made Hiccup think that his mother was watching from Valhalla, equally disappointed.

"I'm not my father's son

I'm not the image of what he dreamed of

With the strength of Odin and the patience of Hlin,

still couldn't be the one

to echo what he'd done

and mirror what was not in me"

Hiccup turned back to Merida and Toothless with water staring to fill his eyes; Barley seeing that they were on the verge of sadness too. He thought back to all the times in the village where he was picked on, and pushed aside as a nuisance. But then the day came when he met Toothless, his first real friend.

"So I jumped to my dreams to found an escape

maybe I went to extremes in finding peace

but the world seems brighter 10 feet off the ground

and the air seemed lighter

I was profound

and I felt so proud

just to live out loud"

Hiccup knows that being friends with the so called enemy would make him a traitor. But should that really matter? This dragon has treated like a human being. That's better than his own tribe. He shouldn't really think like that, but it can't be helped at times. Every chance he had to prove himself they shut him down. What was he to do?

"I'm not my father's son

I'm not the image of what he dreamed of

With the strength of Odin and the patience of Hlin,

still couldn't be the one

to echo what he'd done

and mirror what was not in me"

He pushes himself to let the tears stream down his cheeks. His legs felt shaky and weak, and began to feel lightheaded. But at the same time, in his core was a strength he's never known and needs to let his voice be loud and strong.

"The endless story of expectations swirling inside my mind

wore me down

I came to a realization

and I finally turned around

to ask

Why couldn't I just be me?"

He fell to floor and sank his head low. He let the tears fall to the floor, wetting the grass. He didn't care that this scene is making him weak, it's what he's feeling now.

Suddenly, he felt arms being wrapped around him, and tears wetting his shoulder. He pulls his head back to see Merida's eyes red and soak with tears. This surprised Hiccup, he's never seen this side to her. He's pretty sure no one has.

"I'm so sorry Hiccup," she said through her short breaths. "I know you've told me a number of times, but I can't believe the people can be so cruel."

He wraps his hands on her shoulders to pull her close to calm her down. He then thought of the stories Merida told him about her family and the expectations she endures.

"I guess we both have more in common than we thought," he said with compassion.

She nods her head on his shoulder. "I guess so," she said feeling safe in his arms.

"I'm not my mother's girl

I'm not the image of what she dreamed of"

"With the strength of Odin..." Hiccup said to her

"and the patience of Hlin," they said together. They pull apart to look at each other in the eyes, finding comfort and safety in them.

"still couldn't be the one

to echo what he'd (she'd) done

and mirror what was not in me."

Merida and Hiccup held each other close in comfort and understanding. Seeing these two friends being so close, it made Toothless rethink of what he thought of the girl.

"We're the same," Merida said. "Hiccup, you and me."

He smiles his goofy smile as he and Merida felt a tiny moment together. "Thank you." He said softly.

As they were about to hug it out, Toothless's head came in between them. At first Merida thought he was trying to push her away, but instead of growling at her, he gave her an apology look. Slowly, she rose her hand and reach for Toothless's snot.

He then came closer to her, making contact.

His nose felt warm and wet in her hand, but she also felt a heartbeat pulse. It was strong, and in means one thing...

Toothless liked her.

"Wow," she said quietly while having her jaw hanging down.

Hiccup wiped away to tears, and smile to see these two finally getting along.

"Wow, this is priceless!"

Everyone turns their heads to see Jack, Baby tooth and Rapunzel sitting on a nearby rock. Hiccup and Merida immediately push each other away and hide their awkwardness from each other.

"What are you-?" Hiccup said rubbing his arm.

"It wasn't-" Merida moves away with her hair covering her face.

Realizing what they've done, Rapunzel hit Jack's arm. "Way to go! We ruined the moment!"

Baby tooth totally agrees and pecks Jack's head a few times.

"No! We didn't-" Hiccup said standing up.

"We weren't-" Merida said very defensive.

"Sorry, my fault there," Jack said rubbing his sore arm, But then muttered something under his breath, "Geesh, Ant man got off easy."

Hiccup and Merida laugh at Jack's pain and along with Toothless walked towards the others. Jack's interruption did lighten the mood a bit, making everyone feeling better.

Soon the sky was starting to show colour again, the dark blue starting to fade into pink and light blue.

That gave Hiccup and idea to fully make himself and everyone around him even better. He quickly glances behind to Toothless, eyeing an idea.

Toothless seems to read his mind and kneels down. It caught the others attention.

"What is he doing?" Merida asks as Hiccup gets on the dragon's saddle.

"Jump on and we'll show you," Hiccup said with a smile.

"Wait, jump on?" Merida said a little nervous about what's going to happen. A few hours ago, Toothless hated her, now he's willing to let her get on. This adventure is just full of surprises.

Hiccup nods at her as Rapunzel jumps on and becomes comfortable on Toothless. Merida sighs as she gets between Hiccup and Rapunzel on Toothless's. Jack hover a few feet in the air, claiming that he doesn't need to get on a dragon to fly.

As toothless prepares to take off, Hiccup calls out to the people behind him. "First time flyers, hold on tight!"

Rapunzel grabs Merida's waist while Merida grabs Hiccup. But then Toothless took off and flapped his wings hard and fast. The girls nearly let go of each other while feeling the g force on their bodies. But then, Toothless levelled off, and just glided in the sky.

The girls quickly recovered from the ascendance and looked around. It was an unbelievable view from on top of the dragon. Jack joined them, laying on his staff for fun. As everyone looked around them, everything they've seen on ground level felt so new. The forest was about ten feet below them and the mountain that used to tower over them was just magnificent. The village that they traveled through looked so small compared to the rest of the island. The sea sparkled with a deep blue shade with the sun peeking out of the water's reflection.

Everyone had different emotions while being up where the gods are. Merida has traveled through the forest of her home, and climbed the cones tooth and drank from the fire falls, but that fails in comparison of being on top of a dragon and seeing a whole different world. Rapunzel spent her entire life high in a tower, seeing the world through her window about 30 feet off the ground, now she's even higher off the ground, and she's seeing a brand new light to her life. This view is nothing new to Jack, but seeing what is island endured last night and now it's peaceful morning, that's something you rarely see. As for Hiccup, he's just so happy that his friends are here beside him. They support, understand him and are willing to help him through this tough time.

The sunrise proves two things in his mind. One is that Berk does have some great views of the sun rise, and second is that today is a new day. With the help of his friends, he could find his stone and save his home. And maybe, just maybe, his father could finally be proud of him.

Only time will tell.


Down by the cove, Pitch peeked out of the shadows and observes the children on the dragon above him. He giggles like a child at the sight of them at peace.

"Oh how foolish they are," he said to himself, "To think that dragons and Vikings will be their only problem."

He then thought back to what Hiccup said out loud about what his tribe thinks of him, and Hiccup's father.

"Maybe I can use Hiccup's insecurities against him. And then the children will be out of my way for good." He continues to look up, especially at Hiccup, hatching an idea that is too perfect to pass. If it works, the children and Vikings will be no more, if it doesn't work, the Vikings would punish Hiccup in a harsh way. It's a win win situation that Pitch became excited about.

"Watch out guardians, who know what can happen when you mix Vikings and dragons with fear..." He smiles as he disappears into the shadows.


Songs

Everyday Princess from The Princess and The Frog Bayou Boogie

Not my father's son From Kinky Boots


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