triumph lingere

anonymous asked:

Merintosh being viewed from an outsider's perspective

So this is not exactly the same thing, but it did fit in a tiny bit to a FF i wanted to write anyway, so here you go.

Fandom- Once Upon a Time

Ship- Merida x (Young) Lord Macintosh

Word Count-2000+

All of the credit to qqueenofhades for having the original idea of Merida and Elsa being friends and allies

Summary- Dunbroch holds a tournament to celebrate the visiting monarch of Arendelle. As Elsa and Merida get along, the Ice Queen notices something very interesting about the Highlander Queen ad one of her lords. Also, magic love detection ash. 

Merida and Elsa walked together through the fair grounds. Occasionally they’d pass a party drinking around a table, and the mugs of ale would be raised to them, but for the most part the Queens were observed uninterrupted. Normally Merida hated it, but today she didn’t mind thanks to the presence of the Arendelle monarch.

“And I suppose you’ve been bothered about your succession?“ 

“Ugh, all the time.” Merida told her. She rolled her eyes and imitated “Tis not a question of leadership, yer majesty, but of succession.”

“It is your royal duty to produce an heir.” Elsa continued in her own accent. Both girls broke out in a fit of laughter.

“So, has it been that way for yer whole life also?” Merida asked. 

“Oh no.” Elsa said. “Actually for most of life it was pretty clear I couldn’t marry.”

“Because of the ice bit?”

“Well, because of the being raised in isolation thanks to the ice bit, yes.” Elsa said. “Not that the counselors ever really minded, they took one look at my sister and had their answer.”

“So why isn’t she the answer now?” Merida cocked her head.

Elsa sighed. “Not any reason they can legitimately voice, but in truth most my council considers Anna’s marriage… below her. They aren’t really eager to hand the crown to any children they might have.”

“I thought Prince Kristoff had some sort of title before marryin’ yer sister?” 

“Technically yes, but as I created it just so he could court her.” Elsa fidgeted her hands and shrugged in a ‘what are you gonna do’ way. “They still have some issues.”

“Ye can do that?”

“Of course, I’m the Queen.” Elsa told her.

“I’m gonna hav’ta remember that.” Merida expressed, impressed. This made Elsa laugh again. She slipped an arm through Merida’s so she could lean in closer and say quietly.

“Well, these old men that sit on our councils and mean to tell us how to rule may nag and bother, but at the end of the day it is we who wear the crowns. I’ve found it’s much easier to convince them why they shouldn’t question me then to cause a fight over every disagreement.”

“Here ye to that.” Merida muttered back. They’d been walking aimlessly, but their direction had led them to one of the sports rings. Merida looked at Elsa. “Shall we?”

“Yes, I’d love to se some of Dunbroch’s sports.” Elsa exclaimed, and two headed towards the arena. It had drawn on of the largest crowds yet. In normal Dunbroch manner, people cheered and collided, yet moved out of the way with a bow when the Queens tried to pass. Merida smiled a bit. It’s taken her a while, but she’d finally learned her mother’s art.

“These events certainly are festive!” Elsa remarked when she and Merida arrived in the front.

“That’s a Highlander for ye!” Merida replied. The event happening was javelin throwing. About a dozen men from all different clans were lined up, some having already thrown and some still waiting.

“Next up, Aidan, of clan MacDuffin!” The announcer cried. A short MacDuffin boy stepped up, readied his arm, and threw. The javelin landed just a wee bit farther than the shortest, but still the crowd applauded loudly. 

“Can anyone compete?” Elsa asked.

“Aye, as long their willing to risk losing, any man that shows up gets a turn.” Merida explained.

“Next, Lord Cothric of clan Macintosh!” Elsa, who was watching Merida still, saw the younger Queen’s face light up as she applauded. 

“This is Macintosh, you’ll meet him later.“ Merida told her, somewhat unnecessarily. Elsa nodded and examined the lord. He certainly had an impressive build. His chest was bare and revealed his solid muscles. Blue paint ran up and down his arm, drawing the eye to his powerful throwing arm. 

“He’s certainly impressive.” Elsa remarked before he’d even thrown. Merida released a cross between a scoff and laugh. 

“Aye, perhaps, but don’t go telling him that. Damn lad’s head is big enough as is.” Merida warned. On the field, Macintosh’s muscled flexed as he raised the javelin, exhaled, and launched it across the field. It stuck the ground much further than any other. The crowd hollered wildly, and Merida and Elsa joined in the fun. The young lord turned to the masses triumphantly, his signature smug smile clear on his face. As he turned, he caught sight of the Queens, and just a bit of the smugness slipped way to be replaced by genuine friendship. Even so, Elsa caught Merida quickly avert her eyes, still smiling as she pushed her hair nowhere. A glance at Macintosh showed that though he continued in his triumph, his gaze lingered on his Queen. The crowd quieted as the next competitor was announced, and Elsa took the chance to lean in.

“So Queen Merida, you never did say why you don’t marry? Lack of interest?”

“What? Oh no.” Merida replied, hastily as if she’d been pulled out of a daydream. She straightened her shoulders and avoided Elsa’s look by watching the field. “I’ve just always believed marriage should be for love, not alliance.”

“I see. And no one has caught your interest?”

This time Elsa swore she saw Merida’s cheek redden. “Nay.” she said.

“Ah.” Elsa nodded, trying to smother the smile that was creeping up. She too turned her eyes to the field. When enough moments had passed, she asked, “What about Lord Macintosh?”

It was a good thing Merida hadn’t been drinking, for she would have choked and that would not have looked good in front of all her subjects. She did seem to temporarily lose the ability of speech.

“Wh-wh-why would ye ask that?” Merida said in a rush. This time her face had turned as bright red as her hair. “I mean, he’s a friend, an advisor, certainly a lad a parts, but he’s not, I mean, we’re not, I mean, no, no why do ye ask?” Merida looked at her pointedly, and somewhat cautiously.

“Oh, no particular reason. I merely thought, considering how very handsome he is, maybe there was something there.” Elsa assuaged her. “I mean, just look at the way he smiled at you.”

Merida seemed to relax. She risked a glance at the lord, before turning back to Elsa. “Mac’s a friend, but truth be told, he once tried to usurp me. Even if there was something there, I’m not sure I really trust him like that.” Eager to change the topic, Merida pressed on. “What about you? Why don’t you marry?”

“Oh, just waiting for right one, like you.” Elsa explained. This was enough, and both queens grew quiet.

In the end Macintosh won the tourney clearly. As soon as the last thrower had gone Merida and Elsa filed out of the crowd and back towards the stands and vendors, beating the rush as everyone would wait and watch Macintosh receive his medal. 

“Most medals at the end of the day wins 50 gold pieces.” Merida explained. “The last tournament is archery, so everyone shows up to see the crowning of the victors.”

“Do you compete?”

“Of course. I’m undefeated.”

“Elsa!” they were interrupted. A bit ahead of them, Princess Anna jumped and waved in front of a stand. She ran over to them, arriving out of breath and very un-princess-like. Merida liked her immediately. “There you are, this place is amazing, you would not believe the food, and you have got to come see this an oh- hi.” She said, noticing Merida. “I mean, hello, Your Majesty.” Anna bobbed down in a curtsy that wobbled just a bit. 

“Hello Princess Anna.” Merida gave her own curtsy.

“Oh just Anna’s fine. I really don’t do the title thing very much, I mean, I do, of course, but sometimes it just feels so formal, and I’m really not used to it yet and I guess…” the princess rambled on a few more lines and Merida glanced at Elsa as if to ask ‘Is she always like this?’ Elsa smiled in reply. 

“Well ye should call me Merida then, jus’ so we’re all comfortable with one another.” Merida told her. If possible, Anna’s smile only got brighter. 

“Thank you, Your Ma- Merida. Oh, Elsa, you have to come see this. A woman makes a special ash that changes color when you blow on it and she reads the state of your love life from the colors.” Anna explained excitedly. She grabbed her sister’s hand and began to pull, Merida following behind until a low, breathy voice appeared in her ear.

“Just Merida, eh?”

Merida whipped around, hair flying about her as she spun to face Macintosh. He stood inches away from her, close enough she had to tilt her head back to look up at him, despite him only having a few inches on her. In less than a second she got over her initial surprise, and breathed out a short laugh. 

“When ye become the visiting royals ae Arendelle, ye can call me by my given name as well. Until then,” she tapped him on the medal that hung around his neck, “Its yer Majesty to ye.”

He quirked his eyebrows, and both tried their best not to smile. It was a ridiculously easy friendship. They lost around the same time, and so he reached down, grabbed her hand, and brought it to his lips. 

“As ye wish, M’lady.” he said cheekily, before planting a light kiss. Merida rolled her eyes at his purposeful ignoring of her order, and turned away to continue following the Arendelle royals, mostly so Macintosh couldn’t see the blush spreading across her cheeks. 

Like she’s told Elsa, it was just friendship. 

At the vendor, an old woman in Dingwall colors tended a blue-ish fire. She’d scraped some ash onto a small cloth and handed it to Anna, who was just blowing on it as Merida arrived. She ash flew forward and turned a bright pink.

“See?” Anna said. “Tell them what you told me.” She asked the woman. The crone smiled indulgently at the girl, before gathering a small heap of ash and showing it to the Queens. 

“This pink signifies a love grown from understanding and trust. It means though the Princess and her love may not have had instant, uncontrollable love, they have a deep connection based in the purest and most innocent of devotion.” Anna squealed next to them. Merida smiled even though she eyed it warily, and Elsa just laughed and exclaimed.

“Well at least now I know I was right to never doubt Kristoff’s intentions.” That got a laugh out of Merida.

“Would Yer Majesty’s like to try?” The crone asked. Both immediately started to protest.

“Thank you, no.” Elsa said.

“Nay, I need not know such things.” Merida told her.

“Oh come on, Elsa please?” Anna urged her sister. To Merida’s surprise, she was encouraged as well.

“Go on, Yer Majesty. We all want to know.” Macintosh called from a few pace behind her. He’d drawn a small crowd, all eager to see.

The look Merida tossed back at him said a few words not fit for a Queen. The gathered clansmen all laughed, and some even broke away, but enough stayed to make Merida sigh and turn to Elsa. “I’ll do it if ye will?” she offered. Elsa looked at Anna, ash, crone, crowd, Queen, in that order. 

“Well, what’s the harm?” Elsa finally admitted. They were both handed cloths with ash on it. They positioned themselves to blow it back at the fire. “Together then?”

“Aye. One.”

“Two”

“Three.” they said together, and both blew. A cloud of white blew from Elsa, and a brilliant red from Merida. 

“Now this is interesting.” The crone cooed, gathering mounds from both samples. Soon she had miniature mountains of white and red on her counter. “Ye first then,” she said to Elsa. “The white shows Yer Majesty has no romantic love in her life, not at this moment anyway. Ye’ve never been heartbroken over a lover, nor in a committed relationship, have ye?”

“No, I haven’t” Elsa replied, seeming a bit perturbed the woman knew this.

“Don’t worry m’dear, white only means yer still waiting, not that it’ll never come. Think of it like a canvas, waiting for a worthy artist.” That seemed to come across better to Elsa.

“Now for ye, Queen Merida.” the crone moved over to the red pile. “Ye’ve already experience love. Ye feel a deep, passionate romance for someone yer close to.”

For a moment, Merida stared at her in shock. She could feel multiple pairs of eyes on her, and physically restrained herself from turning around to see what one pair of eyes thought. Finally she said the only thing she could think of. “Ye must be joking?”

“The ash doesn’t lie, my queen. See these tiny specks of black mixed in with the red?” The crone moved the ash with her finger to pull such specks to light. “They mean whoever yer in love with, your relationship started out rocky, maybe even disliking one another. But now, an inexhaustible flame burns between you two.”

Mutterings started behind her, and Merida rushed to damage control. “You’ll have ta forgive me for not being a believer, but I think the only thing your ash has picked up is what is clearly too much ale on my breath. My true love is my bow, and I am married to my kingdom.” That quieted the onlookers down, but Merida still felt irked by the knowing look the crone shot her. 

“If ye say so my queen. If you say so.“