Pride of the Heart
Merida carefully ran her hand along the tip of the tapestry, seeing the thread stick out from the seams.
"Mend the bond," she repeats as the others look down her shoulder at the piece of woven art.
"Stitch it up," Merida said with a confident smile. "This will change you back. We just need needle and thread."
Elinor nods and waddles her way to a chest in the corner. Rapunzel looks at her, trying to determine whether to help her or not. While Jack leans next to the tapestry with his staff over his shoulders. Out of everyone in the room, he seems less then confident about this plan.
"Are you sure this will work?" He asks Merida.
"It has too," she said looking at her mother.
He sighs while shaking his head. "I've been around for a long time, and if there's one thing I've learned is that nothing is ever that simple."
"What are you trying to say?" Merida asks with a raised eyebrow, a frown and hands on her hips.
Jack flips his staff so he can get a full grasp of it on his side. He then leans in to Merida so the queen wouldn't hear what he has to say. "What I'm saying is that I think there's more to this curse then just a tapestry. It can't be that easy to break a powerful curse."
"Well, unless you have a better idea on how to do this, I'm all ears," Merida said a little irritated. "Until then, we stick to what we know."
"What do we know?" He asks her. "How will this mend the bond? How will-" he got caught off with a sound of tapping. He backed away from Merida to see
Baby tooth pecking at a window just on the other side of the room.
He quickly flew across the room to the window, but he saw no way to open it. "What is it?" He asks her as he presses his face and hand to the window.
She began to chirp loud enough to hear, but then frost quickly covered the window.
"Ah great," he said backing away from the window. "Why do I freeze up everything I touch?"
"What was that about?" Merida asks as she walks toward him and seeing his handiwork.
"I don't know," he said looking at his free hand. "I didn't let her finish. This isn't good."
The both of them turned to see Rapunzel backing away to them.
"I think it just got worst," she said with a shaking her finger to Elinor.
The others looked at the queen, sniffing the area around her. But it didn't look like she was looking for the needle or thread; instead she was just generally interested of where she was. Knocking stuff to the ground and breaking poetry with her paws.
Merida's eyes widen with horror as she saw her mother's eyes, pure black.
"Oh no," Merida whispers out loud, "not now."
Her voice caught Elinor's attention as she approaches her daughter. But she didn't seem to recognize her. Instead she sniffed her and quietly growled at her.
Merida placed her hands around her mother's mouth and held it shut. "Shhh," she whispers to her, "it's me. It's fine."
Her words somewhat soothed the bear, but not enough to take the tension away.
"What a sight to behold."
Everyone turned to the door to see the human figure of the queen. But everyone knew that wasn't the queen.
"Pitch," Jack grind his teeth as he prepares to shoot Pitch with ice.
"Why so angry?" Pitch said with the queen's voice. "You are all together. Well except for Hiccup, off flying on his dragon I see."
"That is none of your business," Merida sneered as she puts her body in front of her mother. Even if she's not recognizable now, Merida was still willing to protect her.
"I suppose not," Pitch said as he places a hand on the door frame. "After all, this is your home isn't Merida. I see you found your mother, quite the creature isn't she."
His cruel sickening smile made Merida's blood boil. "Because of what you did to her!" She lashed out.
"What I've done?" He asks as if he's completely innocent. "I only made her take the form of what you called her, a beast wasn't it. But she was still your mother. You're the one who placed this curse on her."
"To fix your curse!" She yells at her with Elinor growling behind her.
"Geesh, if you wanted me to reverse my curse all you had to do is ask," Pitch said.
"Like you would tell us!" Rapunzel said to him.
"Of course I would," he said with a smile. "You know, when you got past the king and the angry lords. But you had to go and undo all my hard work. You just keep making things difficult, do you your highness."
Merida growled at pitch, ready to run and take his head off. "Get out of my kingdom," she commands.
He chuckles at her. "Do you think you can order me around like a servant. You may have persuaded the men in the hall but you are no queen. The fire of battle still burns in their hearts and they will break bonds given time. Your kingdom will fall into ruins, and there's nothing you can do to save it, or your mother."
"Not while we're here," Jack said, "we will save everyone."
"Including your friend?" Pitch said as he raises his hand. Inside his fist was Baby tooth, struggling to break free.
"Baby tooth!" Jack cries as he charges at pitch.
"Uh,uh,uh," pitch said using his other hand to make Jack halt in his tracks. "You wouldn't want me to squish her do you? I have about a million of fairies like her under my control, so it's easy to get rid of just one."
"No!" Rapunzel cries out, her eyes focused on the little fairy.
Jack groaned as he tightly grips his staff, knowing he can't attack Pitch without hurting baby tooth.
Pitch smiles a triumph smile, knowing that he has the upper hand in this situation. "Poor children, nothing seems to go your way."
"We will stop you," Merida said with determination. "I will protect my kingdom and save my mum. Just you watch."
"Oh how I would love too," Pitch said as he walks backwards out the door. "But I have much to prepare for. It's almost Christmas back in my time and the children are almost perfectly ripe with fear. It will be spectacular."
"No," Jack whispers with fright. Fearing that Jamie and the children are hurt and he's stuck here to do anything to change a thing.
"I would invite you all to come, but it seems you have your hands full, he said as he got to the hallway. "So before I take my leave, I will single someone to help."
"Someone to help?" Merida asked curiously. But then the true meaning of those words sprouts fear into Merida. "No! Stop!"
But it was too late. Pitch screamed very loudly and sinks into the floor, taking baby tooth with him and leaving the queen's dress behind.
"What was that about?" Rapunzel asks as Jack leaps out of the room to examine the dress. Tears and shreds tore apart the cloth in various places, making it looked like it was attacked by something with claws. He moved the dress to examine the floor, seeing no sign of shadows of marks anywhere of Pitch or Baby tooth. He slammed his fist down, feeling terrible that he allowed Pitch to take his friend away. While looking up, Jack saw the hall was full of big claw marks that lead down from the queen's room.
Curiosity got him to check the room out, but became horrified seeing the state of the room. Everything was torn and broken. Curtains were slashed, feathers were flung out of the pillow, and...well...there was no bed anymore. The pillars were broken and the mattress was flattened to the floor.
Looking at this scene, pitch's plan quickly came into Jack's mind.
The queen is dead, and the bear is to blame.
As Jack backs away from the room, he could hear commotion coming from the throne room. It got worse when he heard the voice of the king in a panic.
"Elinor!?" He cries out, "are you alright darling?!"
Panic filled Jack as he race to the others, "we need to get out of here now!" He yells to his friends.
"Why?" Rapunzel asks him with her own kind of fear.
But it didn't take long for anyone to react. Soon enough, the shadow of the king came into view. Without thinking, Merida ran to the door and slammed it shut.
This was the worst thing that can possibly happen; she can't let her father see the queen like this. He will no doubt try to kill her.
"Quick we need to hide!" She said in a panic.
"How do we hide a 300 pound bear?!" Jack yells frantically.
"I...I don't know?" Merida said clutching her hair. "But we need to do something!
The tension made Elinor uneasy, growling out a warning to feeling threaten. Merida saw this and rushed to her to try to ease her. But Elinor growled at her to back away, even lifting her head to make herself big and powerful compared to Merida.
Everyone froze on the spot, hearing the king's teary scream of sorrow from outside the door.
Before anyone could do anything, the door swung open and the king lunged his way through the door. His shocked face quickly turned to rage seeing a giant bear near his daughter.
"Merida!" He cries out as he drew his sword to attack the beast.
Elinor roared at the king, ready to attack if needed.
Merida looked at the both of them with fright. She pushes her hands between them, trying to be the barrier to keep them from attacking each other.
"No dad!" She cries out in horror. "It's not what you think!"
But he pushed her out of the way and making her slams hard on the floor. "Get back Merida!" He said to her.
Elinor bellowed at him, ready to charge in for an attack. He responds by swinging the sword at her and cutting
"No!" Rapunzel cries out, trying to stop the fighting but not getting in the way.
Jack also had no idea what to do too; he can't use his ice powers here. Not only that there are too many people in one small room, he doesn't want to hurt anyone.
Merida shook off the impact of the floor as she rose from the floor and to the fight. She's seen her parents fight before, but they both look like they're going to kill each other.
"No!" She said as she got to her feet. She grabs her father's sword arm and tries to pull it away. "Don't hurt her."
"Merida?!" He said trying to pry her away from him. But in his jerk he moved her forward, just as Elinor swipe with her claws.
"Ah," Merida gasps with pain as she felt her mother's claw slashing her arm, making a permanent scar on her shoulder.
"Merida!" The King gasps in horror. Enrage he jumps on Elinor to stab her, but she was easily tossed off and flung to the other side of the room.
"No!" Merida yells at her mother, hoping that she would stop.
Elinor roared with force, but as she did her eyes returned to normal. She got on her hind legs, and looked around the room. Horror struck her face seeing her husband dazed on the floor.
"Mum?" Merida quietly said to her, relieved that she is back to normal.
She looked at Merida, but her eyes darted to the scratch mark on her arm. She quickly looked at her claws, realizing what she did. She hurt her family.
Sensing what her mother is fearing, Merida quickly covered up her injury with her hand. "Mum, I'm alright," she said trying to calm her down. "It's just a wee scratch. Rapunzel can heal it."
But fear clouded the queen's mind. Not wanting to hurt her family again, she headed straight for the door and left the room.
"Mum! Wait!" She yells as she races to catch her mother with Jack and Rapunzel right behind her.
As they pop their heads out the door, they heard more commotion from downstairs and see Elinor freezing on the top of the stairs.
"BEAR!" They heard lord Macintosh scream out loud. Soon the hall down below was full of angry voices.
Elinor looked at Merida really scared. Panic also got Merida.
"Run!" She screams with fear, "RUN MUM!"
Without thinking Elinor ran in the opposite direction, trying to find any exit she could get through.
Merida quickly looks to Jack, with her fears and worries still being shown on her face. "Go with her," she commands him. "Protect her please."
Jack quickly nods as he flies over the girls and race to catch up with the queen.
Merida and Rapunzel backed away from the door as they witness the clans' race by the door and charging down the hall with their weapons high.
Groans from the king got Merida's attention as she raced to see her father.
"Dad," Merida began with her hands around her dad's shoulders.
"Merida," he said place his large hand around her. "Thank your stars lass, it almost had you. Are you alright?"
Merida didn't have time for him to worry about her, not when it's her mum that's in real danger. "It's mum, your wife, Elinor that's in danger," she said with haste.
"What?" He asks with confusion.
"She was the bear!" Merida yells at him.
He drew back and looked at her as if she was daft. "You're talking none sense!"
"It's the truth sire," Rapunzel said from behind Merida. "There was this evil man, and he trade places with the queen. We then had to go and fix it and-"
"The point is," Merida said, not wanting to waste time to explain everything. "That's not Mor'du!"
"Mor'du or not, I'll avenge your mother!" He declared as he gets up off the floor and charged his way to the door. "And I'm not risking losing you too." He grabs the door handle and slams the door shut and locking it.
"No!" Both girls yell as the scramble to the door.
They heard the door lock click, making the door stuff as stone, not budging an inch. Merida managed to push her face through the tiny window of the door, see her father's determination and fire in his eyes.
She knew she had to get him to change his mind, but he's as stubborn as Hiccup's dad. It would be impossible to do. Stopping a tidal wave would be easier then stopping the king of DunBroch. But she had to try. "Dad! Just listen to me! You have to stop! It's your wife, Elinor!"
Fergus walks away from the door and headed straight down to the throne room, but not without passing the key to Maudie.
"Keep this and don't let them out!" He commands her.
"What about the bear?" She asks out of fright.
"Just stay put!" He shouts as his dogs gather around him. He was determined to catch and kill this bear, once and go all.
Jack had no trouble catching up to Elinor, keeping her safe was a different thing entirely. The clans kept throwing their spears and swords at the bear as she charges away from the men.
Jack looked back at the men, not sure how his ice powers can stop them. Sure he can put up an icy wall, but would just complicate things even more. These people have their tradition rotted with myth and magic, seeing magic might just want to make them want to kill Elinor even more. The only subtle magic he can door is making the floor slippery. It's worked a number of times; the people at the front slipped on the ice and made them fall, slowing down the group a bit.
Elinor finally made it to the front doors and ran them with her head to get them open. Not wanting to stop for anyone, she race to the only way out of her kingdom. The other took noticed of the great bear and began to charge at her with their weapons.
"Close the gate!" A guard yells to the person in charge of the gate.
"Oh no," Jack said looking ahead at a person at the gate, racing pull a lever. Jack can only guess that he's going to shut the gate. Wasting no time, he flies fast and blasts ice at the man until he was frozen like a statue.
Jack looked at the man, feeling kinda guilty doing that. "Sorry bout that," he said. "Trust me, you'll thaw, eventually." He then looked down to see Elinor running past the gate and racing over the stone bridge. He then saw that the men are not far behind. With a big gust of wind he pushed the level and made the Iron Gate fall down just as the men reached it.
Satisfied and knowing that gate isn't going to hold them there for long, Jack flies over the bridge to find Elinor.
He looks over his shoulder to see Hiccup flying over to him with Toothless. "Should I guess what happened in there?" He asks.
"The King is hunting the queen, that's it in a nutshell," Jack told him.
"What about the girls?" Hiccup asks as Toothless glides closer to Jack.
"Lock in the tapestry room, but they're fine," he said.
"And what of Pitch?"
"Disappeared with Baby Tooth," Jack answers with regret.
"Oh no," Hiccup said really disappointed. He was the one that let her go to warn the others, now she's gone.
"We'll worry about her later," Jack said staying focus. "Now we have to make sure the queen is safe."
"Agree," Hiccup said as he looks to forest down below. He easily spots Elinor running into around the trees, letting fear guide her.
No matter what, she had to get away from her family. Not only because the men are planning to hurt her, she's afraid she might hurt her family.
Rapunzel fists kept banging on the door, trying to make it move. But Merida was less patient then her friend. She picked up a chair and threw it at the door.
Rapunzel ducked out of the way before the chair broke in impact. "Watch it!" She yells at anger.
But Merida wasted no time for apologies; she instead grabbed a fire place poker and jabbing it to the door. But the door bent the metal.
"Oh come on!" Merida groans in frustration. Her anger builds as she jabs the door with the poker, trying with all her might to get the door open.
Rapunzel backed away from the door to get out of Merida's way. But she also saw that just banging the door isn't going to solve anything. Merida was going to tire herself out, and her frustration is only going to get bigger.
"Merida," she calls out to her. "It's no use! Stop!"
But Merida didn't stop; she kept banging the door, trying to get it to move.
Rapunzel sighs as she sees no other option. She rushes to Merida's side, grabs her arms and pulls her away.
"What are you doing?" Merida yells as she tries to break away from her friend.
"I need you to stop and think," Rapunzel said as she struggles to hold on to her friend. But Merida was easily stronger than her, and pulled away. But she didn't go back to the door; she instead looked at Rapunzel with desperation in her face.
"We are not getting out like this," Rapunzel said to Merida, trying her best to calm her down. "We're not going to save your mom this way."
"If we don't hurry, my mom won't be around anymore!" Merida yells.
Suddenly, they can hear cries coming from outside. They both rush to the windows, but can hardly see thanks to Jack's frost. Merida used her poker to break the ice and the window to get a better view of what's going down below. She saw her father; the lords, their sons and other men mount on their horses with torches in hand.
"No," she whispers in fright. Her fears grew worst when she saw all the men charge on their horses through the gate and into the forest.
"No!" She cried out. "MUM!"
She felt her body being drain of any emotion, except despair. It hit her harder than any punch, any injury that she's ever had. Even the news about her betrothal was less painful then what's she's feeling now.
She slums to the floor, not bothering to dry away the tears flowing down her cheeks. She felt defeated, like there's nothing she could do to change the date of her mother. She was going to die because of her. She's now responsible of a death of a family matter.
Rapunzel looked at Merida, not entirely sure what to do. She's never gone through what Merida's going through now. But she knew she had to help.
"Merida," she said while looking at her friend. "I...we...we need to focus. We-"
"It's all my fault," Merida said quietly.
"What?" Rapunzel said in surprise.
Merida tries to speak straight, but her tears and her numb body made it impossible for her to speak straight. "My mum...she...no...she wouldn't...be like this...I...dad..wouldn't want to...to..."
"Merida! Don't feel like that!" Rapunzel said as she kneels down to look at Merida. She placed her hand on Merida's chin to make her look at her through her watery eyes. "This isn't your fault."
"It is!" Merida shouts at Rapunzel. "She wouldn't be like this if it wasn't for me. If I didn't go to that witch, or ran away. Maybe...maybe this wouldn't have happened."
"Don't talk about that," Rapunzel said as softly as she could, like a mother trying to calm a child. "What happened in the past is in the past. You can't change it."
"Just like I can't change the fate of my mother," Merida said. I just...I didn't want any of this to happen. I just wanted to change my fate, not to have anyone else get hurt. But now, I may have killed my mother."
"Do say that, Hiccup and Jack will make sure she's alright."
"If they do, then what? The curse will still take hold of her and I loose my mum!" Merida was past the point of being broken. She would give anything not to feel again. She looked up at the window, seeing the moon high in the sky. "I just...I don't know what to do mum; I don't know what to do."
She pulled away from Rapunzel and hugged closer to the cold stone wall. She closed herself off from her friend to try to consult to herself, to try to get some of her mother's wisdom that she's learned all these years.
"This is a fine mess we're in,
I don't know what to do,
I went and let the bad guys win,
Look what they did to you."
She eyes a shield hanging just above the fire place, having the symbol of DunBroch, her family, the mighty sword. But does she have what it takes to bare that crest again?
"I thought I was a warrior,
But still, I failed somehow,
So tell me, what do I do now?"
Rapunzel watch as her friend talked, though she's not sure how to answer. She then watches as Merida found the strength to get up off the floor and pace around the room.
"I thought if I did my best,
I'd never make mistakes,
I'd always win the battles,
No matter what it takes,
I keep my friends from danger,
That's my sacred vow,
So tell me, what do I do now?"
Merida looked out at the window again, seeing her kingdom below and the moon high in the sky. She then remembered that Jack and the other guardians told her that there's a man there, and he served as guidance to everyone. Maybe he can help her trying to figure out what to do next, how to help her family.
"Can you hear me man in the moon?" She asks.
"Shinning in the blue,
If I had wings to fly away
I will fly to you."
Merida hanged her head down, looking at the trail of hoof prints down on the ground. She then thought that it wouldn't be any use to pray for a myth, even after everything she's gone through. There was no way he would answer to her.
She then felt a hand on her shoulder, pulling her back into the room. She turned around and saw Rapunzel smiling through her red eyes.
"But that's not what warriors do," she said with an assure voice.
Merida became stunned that her friend can still stay calm with what's been happening. How can she be like her mother in the throne room? Maybe because she's her friend? That's she really trying to help her? Either way, Merida was stunned and touched that Rapunzel was listing to her and cared about her.
Rapunzel continued her own teaching lesson for Merida.
"Maybe there's more to being human,
Then acting brave and strong.
Maybe is listening to your heart,
And knowing when your wrong."
Merida looked down, and to herself. Thinking back to this adventure. She would always lead the path, showing her fighting skills. And whenever she lost at something, she would fight back. Only with her friends that she truly apologized, but she never said that to her family, or her kingdom. If she didn't let her pride and anger get in the way, and saying that she's sorry, her family would be safe.
"It's keeping the faith and trusting," Rapunzel continued.
"That you'll come through somehow.
And maybe, that's what we'll do now."
Merida looked at her and smiled, letting one last tear fall down her face. She knew what she has to do, she has to fix her mistakes and mend her family bond back together.
"I believe we'll all come through," Rapunzel said to Merida.
She nods and places a hand on Rapunzel's shoulder. "I think that's true."
They both smile as they spoke together. "That's what we'll do now."
They pull in together for a warm hug, feeling at peace again.
"Thanks Rapunzel," Merida said with a smile.
"Hey, you pulled me up when I was down," She said. "I'm happy to do the same for you."
As they both broke away from each other, Merida notices the tapestry still having that rip. Then an idea formed, if she could fix the tapestry, maybe she can change her mother back before it's too late.
"Come on," she said as she raced to it, "we've got work to do."
Rapunzel nods and runs to the other side of the tapestry. They both pulled hard on the woven piece of art until it broke free from the wall.
"Alright," Merida said. "Now we need needle and thread."
"Any idea where it is?" Rapunzel asks.
"No clue," Merida said scratching her head.
As the girls wonder where to look, Rapunzel got an idea. "I'll start searching here, while you get the maid with the key. If we're lucky, she might be dumb enough to open the door for us and help us look for the stuff we need."
"Maudie is not dumb," Merida insisted. "She gets overwhelmed sometimes but she isn't stupid."
"We have to try something," Rapunzel said going to the area Elinor was in before and looking for anything that can help.
"Fine," Merida said as she races to the door and pushes her face through the window.
"Mauldie!" She yells. "I need you! NOW!"
Suddenly, she heard small footsteps walking towards her. To her surprise, she sees three little bear cubs walking into the light.
Three guesses on who those would be.
"Oh no," Merida groan seeing her mischief brothers in their new form. She quickly jumps away from the window and looked into her quiver, realizing that the cursed cake is gone. Somehow, those three must've found it and ate it.
She looks out the window again, not liking the situation now. But then she spots Maudie making her way to the room, but stopping as soon as she saw the three cubs.
The woman nearly had a heart attack seeing them, and began to hyperventilate.
But Merida saw her brothers, knowing they are and willing to help her. "Get the key," She said.
The triplets nod as they look at Maudie. Seeing no other choice, she put the key in her bosom and ran for dear life screaming. The triplets quickly followed behind her.
"The boys got our way out," Merida said as she ran to join Rapunzel. "We just need to focus on this."
"Are you sure they can handle it?" Rapunzel asks her.
"I'm positive," Merida said opening a chest. Inside the cheat was a lot of yarn and sewing supplies.
"Got them!" She cheers as her picks up a tiny needle and a spool of white thread.
"Let's get started," Rapunzel said as she pulls the tapestry to make it easy to work with.
"No," Merida said looking at her. "This is my fault; I'm the one that needs to fix it." With that, she began to see the rip back together. It didn't have to be a perfect mend, but it hand to be strong for the bonds to connect.
Rapunzel didn't utter a single word against this. She understood that Merida wanted to fix her own mistake, and she wants to mend the bond herself. Rapunzel respected that decision and hang by the door, waiting for the key.
Suddenly, furry black paw came through the window with a long key, nearly scaring Rapunzel. She was even more freaked out when a tiny bear cub head piped up and smiling at Rapunzel.
"Ummm," Rapunzel said a little nervous. "Is that-?"
Merida looked up and saw the bear cub, "my brother, yes."
"How?" Rapunzel asks.
"No time," Merida said looking down. She wasn't finished with the tapestry yet, but the key was here. Looks like she'll have to finish it on the road.
"Open the door!" She commanded her brothers on the other side while she gestured her head to Rapunzel. Their minds instantly linked to what Merida had in mind. They grabbed the tapestry by each end and dragged it to the door. By the time the brothers opened it, they were ready to run.
But not before Rapunzel got a good look at the bear cubs in front of her. "Cursed cake?"
"Yep," Merida answer as she ran out the door, dragging the tapestry with her down the stairs. Rapunzel and the brothers quickly followed her, hoping it's not too late.
But Merida knew she had to make this right, to mend the bond.
Song: What do I do now (xena's song) from Hercules and Xena: The Battle for Mount Olympus