Don't let the intro fool you; this is an Elsanna fic, but it will have a good story as well. Give it a chance...it should prove to be a hell of a ride.
Once upon a time, there were a brother and a sister...the first brother and sister. In the shapeless, desolate wastes of the cosmos, these were the first two opposites, the first true differential energies in creation. And as most siblings are to do, they disagreed on many fundamental issues. However petty, these disagreements led to conflicts, some small, some monumental. The perpetual disparity between these two powerful but immature energies had unforeseen consequences. From their squabbles grew the first violent but defining attributes of our universe...warring words bred the first fiery crucibles of white hot gasses and solid matter, which, over time, gave rise to the first stars and planets. Horrible cruelty filled the void with a great cold which encompassed all and spread these elements thinly across time and space.
Finally, the energies which were so powerful and condensed between these two belligerents began to ebb and bleed into every corner of existence, breeding new, more complicated forces. Some were shapeless and wild, condemned to wander the eternal ether with no defined purpose or destination. Others blazed into existence for a fleeting moment of stunning power and annihilation, only to be swept away by the constant appearance of other, more significant eruptions of entropy.
However, some were more fortunate. Always in pairs did they appear, just like their progenitors. Always contrasting, always at odds, to one degree or another. Some learned to coexist, recognizing the folly of their creators' constant conflict. Instead they attempted a complimentary expression of their inherited abilities, with varying degrees of success. Some prospered...while others brought destruction upon themselves unimagined in the billions of years before their existence. Two such energies fell to the planet we call Earth several hundred million years ago. A pair of wayward siblings, angry and scared, they ravaged the world until even their physical forms were long forgotten in tremendous expressions of upheaval and turmoil. But surprisingly, a byproduct of their cataclysmic interactions, totally unforeseen, managed to spring forth and prosper upon the damaged and unforgiving surface of the young planet...Life.
Complex, varied and continuously changing, this new type of energy spread far and wide across the globe, infinitely reproducing and interacting until the once bleak world was vibrant and overflowing with organic possibilities. The siblings looked upon their adoptive home and were struck by how beautiful but unorganized and crowded their creations were, and while they both tried to bring order to the chaos, their own inner natures brought them into yet another battle of wills. This particularly devastating mêlée reduced life on Earth significantly, but not before bringing about their most controversial, unintentional creation up until that point; Mankind.
Baring their two likenesses, both in appearance and behavior, mankind was a wholly new and powerful energy, equally as creative and destructive as the brother and sister that had brought them upon the world. As such, the siblings reached a truce through one simple truth about mankind: their power to choose their own destinies was absolute, for they were endowed with three gifts previously withheld from all life...consciousness, conscience and compassion. Nature, in all its fierce glory and untamed splendor, would forever fall under the sway of the brother and sister. Though they would occasionally fall into the same traps of hatred and jealously again and again, they held true to their pact that mankind should never be directly influenced or interfered with.
At least, that was the way it was supposed to be...
A multitude of millennia have passed since mankind first began establishing its dominion over the Earth. Savagery and barbarism have given way (for the most part) to reason and logic. Of the twenty-five great kingdoms to grow and spread across the territories of Europe, three in particular were experiencing unprecedented growth and prosperity. First, there was Corona, Kingdom of the Gracious Sun, wealthy and beautiful, a shining example of a monarchy and its people in perfect sync, a land led for ten generations by a succession of benevolent and just rulers. Then there was Ludenor, Wellspring of the Stars, affluent and rich in natural resources wrought from deep within the Earth, a land of commerce, alchemy and progressive thought.
Lastly, there was Arendelle. A seafaring nation at the foot of a massive mountain range stretching towards the arctic circle, Arendelle was a welcome site to those brave enough to travel the icy ocean currents of the North Atlantic. Foreboding to some, the tiny nation was bestowed with an enormity of incredible, almost supernatural gifts...medicines and tonics unlike anything ever seen in Earth's history, strong, resilient textiles, timbers of unparalleled beauty and potency, fishing grounds that never seemed to empty and wild game in huge abundance. Northernmost of the great kingdoms, it was known by many names and titles...Gem of the Aurora, Frontier of the Fjord, Thrown of the Frozen Crocus. Recently however, another title was added, however unofficially, to this roster; Realm of the Ice Queen.
This is where our story truly begins.
Said Ice Queen, Elsa, was on this particular October morning experiencing a dilemma of sorts. The young woman of twenty-one was gazing out her window as the dawn began to break. Normally she would rise with the sun, as was her custom. But her body was pinned to the bed by some unseen weight upon her back. As she tried to roll off of her stomach, she suddenly realized what (or rather who) was weighing her down. A lock of copper-red hair came swinging into view, startling the queen while simultaneously making her groan.
Anna had pulled this little stunt before; crawling into Elsa's room in the middle of the night under the pretense of reading or sharing tea together before they turned in for the evening, only to have the princess forget herself and fall sound asleep upon the queen's side-chair or bed. Since the events of the previous summer, Elsa had maintained an 'open-door' policy, for lack of a better term, regarding her sister. Her door was still locked at night, but now Anna had a key, specially made just for her, as a sort of reconciliation gift from sister to sister. Anna was of course encouraged to knock first, but Elsa was suddenly so excited at the opportunity to have her sister back in her life that even she couldn't admonish the young woman if she occasionally forgot to wrap her knuckles against the door.
But there were some unanticipated side-effects of this arrangement. At the moment, Anna had somehow sprawled herself over her sisters back, not unlike when they were children, arms wide and her body a dead weight across the queen's shoulders as she snored upwards at the ceiling.
'This is getting old,' Elsa thought as she playfully blew her sisters hair out of her face. 'Need to find a way to get her to stay in bed before she accidentally suffocates me one night.'
"Aaaaaaanna..." Elsa cooed softly, wiggling her shoulders underneath her sister for emphasis, "it's time to wake uuuuuup..."
"Oh sister, dear, you need to get up now..."
'OK...plan B then...'
Elsa slid both arms under her chest in a prayer-like gesture, trying to get leverage as she rolled her body under her sisters smaller but surprisingly hefty form. As she turned, her sister seemed to mimic her movements, her shoulders spinning in tandem with the queens'. As the young monarch finally managed to right herself upon her bed, she found herself face to face with the princess, the unkempt sprawl of her hair almost cocooning Elsa's head and face.
The queen was contemplating a new strategy when something suddenly struck her. The last time her face had been this close to Anna's had been just after her miraculous thaw from a state of frozen oblivion some three months prior. The relief she had felt at seeing her sister slowly return from a statue of fear and valiant heroics to her original state was unparalleled. The rush of the moment, the sudden warmth of her sister's embrace, the fact that she was breathing and moving and awake...it was all Elsa could have hoped for and more. But now, face to face with her again in such a quiet, serene moment...she noticed something different. Something unusual.
'I didn't know Anna had a tiny scar next to her nose. If I wasn't this close I doubt I would have ever seen it...but there it is. Just below that one sizeable freckle. I wonder what gave her that little nick...'
Elsa's train of thought was interrupted by her sisters voice. It was sudden but soft, slurred slightly from between her sleeping lips as she spoke to some phantom in her dreams.
"Mmmrmn...who...who let Sven intuh the pantry...? He's gonna eat us out of house and hoooome..."
Elsa smiled a bit, her nose crinkled as she smirked. 'Sven would be on her mind. Anna is adorable but just a wee bit predictable.'
More weird sounds broke the silence as her sister spoke again. "Why...why's he here? Not supposed to be...we senthimwaywayway far away..."
Elsa arched one eyebrow slightly. 'Sent who away? What's she talking about?'
Elsa watched with steadily growing anxiety as the look on her sleeping sisters face changed from one of neutral unconsciousness to a pallor of what looked like dread. The princess was suddenly sweating, her cheeks flushed red and then white as if a plug had been pulled and all the color had drained from her face. The once faint swell of her lips was gone as she began to pant in her sleep, her lips now dry and thin. Her forehead was wrinkling profoundly, her voice a ragged whisper.
"Get...out of there...no no no he's right behind you...Elsa...oh god NO...please...he's right there...!"
Elsa was finding it difficult to stay quiet during all this. "Anna...? What's going on?"
Her whispered voice went unacknowledged by her sister, who was pulling her legs up to her chest subconsciously and jerking her arms as if running in her sleep.
"Elsa! No...get away from her Hans! God please stop this...Stop him! Elsa run PLEASE...!"
Elsa felt a pinch at the back of her neck, the tell-tale sign that her cryokinetic abilities were threatening to manifest. As she attempted to pull herself up in bed and her sister along with her, the steadily cooling air in the bedchamber pulled an ominous veil over the two sisters.
Then the dam broke with a horrifying shriek from Anna's throat.
"ELSA NO! RUN! ELSAAAAAA...!"
The young woman awoke like a cannon and kicked her legs backwards like a horse being branded. The action catapulted Anna into her sisters arms with such ferocity that Elsa dropped all control she had over her abilities in one subconscious surrender. As Anna clung to Elsa with a strength not her own, the room darkened suspiciously, as if the sun itself had retreated behind the mountains at the sound of Anna's wail.
Elsa cradled her sister in her arms, her nightgown now slightly damp from the tears rushing down Anna's face. Elsa was wide eyed and frightened, not only for her sister, but because she had no idea what had brought upon the night terror. She had seen her sister anxious or maybe even a little afraid in the past few months, sure, but to see her scream like that...it clenched every muscle in her chest and almost paralyzed her lungs. She didn't blink for what seemed like ages before she realized that Anna was stroking her hands up and down her back as if to make sure she was real, saying her name softly but firmly over and over again into her shoulder.
"Elsa thank the Aurora you're alright...Elsa, Elsa I'm so sorry! I wasn't fast enough...wasn't fast enough...!"
"Sssshhh...Anna, sweetheart...what happened? What did you dream?" the queen asked, stroking her sisters hair and back, as much to slow her own heartbeat as Anna's.
Anna didn't pull back at first, since wasn't entirely convinced that she had woken up yet. This could still be part of her dream, a sick twist near the end that allows her to tell her sister all that she is sorry for, only to watch her fade away again. When she did finally allow her grip to slacken, she still refused to let go of her sisters shoulders, using them as an anchor to ensure her grip on reality. Thankfully, Elsa held on good and tight as well.
They beheld each other in the dim room, barely making each other out in the dark blue light around them.
"Your castle...on the North Mountain..."
"Yes," Anna replied, "You were standing just inside the doors, in that beautiful ballroom near the ever-ice fountain...but you weren't alone. I was running up the stairs towards you when I saw something walk up behind you, it was dark and I couldn't tell at first what it could be...then I saw his face. That handsome, smiling, awful face just leering at me as he walked towards you...and then there was the fire..."
"Fire?!" Elsa asked, somewhat startled.
"Yes...he was holding a giant torch, too large to be real...but it was burning so bright and the heat was filling the citadel so quickly...and the stairs were beginning to melt and they became so slippery and I fell on my hands and knees so I started to crawl...but the water was so cold and so strong, it was like a waterfall coming straight at me and I couldn't climb fast enough...then he...he...!"
Elsa was trying to remain calm for both their sake's but it wasn't working. Anna's voice was becoming more broken and choked with tears by the second, shaking Elsa to her core with the pure helplessness she felt. The young queen held fast to her sister, since it was all she could do.
"He put the torch to your hair! That demon, that bastard lit your beautiful hair on fire and you fell to the ground, grabbing at your head, trying to put it out...but it just kept growing and growing...and the walls of the castle began to fall over and there was this horrible shattering sound like a thousand mirrors being smashed and the doors swung shut as you reached for me...but I wasn't fast enough! I missed the doors and the water was so strong and how you looked at me...I screamed and screamed your name but I couldn't make it in time...I was too late...I was too late...I...I'm so sorry Elsa...so sorry...!"
Elsa wrapped her sibling in a blanket and pulled her close, placing a lingering kiss on her forehead, laying her sisters' ear to her chest. The princess cried anew, fresh tears running in torrents down her cheeks and onto the queens collar-bone. Doing her best to keep her composure as well as her own tears in check, Elsa tried to think of a solution to this horrible state of fear and helplessness her sister was in, but nothing came at first.
As she stroked the back of her sisters head affectionately, Elsa's mind found its footing. The queen undid the French braid her hair was tied in, letting it play down over her left shoulder so it would dangle in front of her sisters face for when she opened her eyes.
"Anna, sweet Anna...please look here, OK? Please look and see what I see..."
Anna momentarily stopped her panicked panting to open her eyes and look. The silver-white strands of her sisters hair lay in wavy patterns upon the queens' chest, long and delicate and shimmering brightly. It was slightly longer than she remembered, but the patterns in the hair were the same as the first time she saw them on that cold summer day so many months ago. She had seen it since of course, but never this close, never this vividly. While subtle, the waves and soft curls were still striking and Anna found herself eagerly taking her sisters long hair into her hands.
Gingerly, she combed her fingers up and down the silvery-white follicles, the stimulation proving very satisfying and reassuring for the queen and herself.
"You see?" Elsa said, "It's all here. Nothing burned off. Nothing even damaged. Every hair where it's supposed to be. You have nothing to be sorry for, Anna. Your dream was only that; a bad dream."
Anna continued to let the hair soothe her fingers and her heart. "But it all felt so real to me..."
Elsa sighed with a deep sadness. "Night-terrors can seem excruciatingly real. I had so many of them when I was younger, made all the more horrible because of how they manifested through my powers. You never really get used to them. And freezing your sheets and furniture into solid blocks of ice can be a significant reminder of that truth."
"Elsa," the young girl whispered, "I'm sorry..."
"No no NO! No sorry!" the queen interrupted quickly, holding Anna's cheek firmly and supporting her body with her other arm, "you did NOTHING wrong! It was a dream. You haven't failed me or surrendered me...you're a wonderful sister and you would NEVER abandon me, this I know. Do you understand?"
"I think so..."
"That's how the night terrors get you. They make you believe that it was somehow your fault for having the dream in the first place. Take it from me, you don't need that kind of negativity in your heart. It eats at you until you...you j-just can't t-take it and...and..."
It was Anna's turn to reach for her weeping sister and pull her close. Her small arms encircled the queen with a power she scarcely knew she had, laying her cheek next to Elsa's to catch the few, chilled teardrops that escaped her wondrous blue eyes. For a few seconds, they couldn't have cared less about the world around them. There was only this moment, this need, sought and fulfilled in each other.
"You're right," Anna said, "They can't put anything in my heart. Not with you here to protect it. Thank you Elsa...thank you..."
Her words trailed off as Elsa hugged Anna close, breathing deeply and freely for the first time in what seemed like hours. The morning had just begun but both felt so drained from the ordeal that their only strength seemed to come from each other, endlessly circling between the young women, taking and giving and refreshing one another.
There was peace upon them both, if only for a few minutes.
Anna pulled back slightly, much to Elsa's dismay, but reassured her sister with a gentle stroke of her palm on her cheek...a very intimate but welcome gesture.
"Are you alright?" they asked in unison.
Both laughed slightly at the way their voices sounded together before Anna scooted further down and lay her head back upon Elsa's unbraided hair. Leaning against the headboard, Elsa allowed herself three deep breaths before Anna broke the silence.
"I'm much better now...like night and day...and you are entirely to blame..."
Elsa giggled just a little under her breath. "I'll shoulder that blame any time."
"Speaking of which...what happened to the sun? Isn't it almost 7?" Anna asked, sitting up slightly.
It was then that the two realized that their surroundings were slightly...off.
"What happened?" Anna asked, her voice suddenly a hushed whisper as the nearby clock struck the hour.
The two sisters beheld an enormous growth of ice surrounding their bed. Giant chunks of ice, thick but still surprisingly elegant, had grown up from the floor to surround the bed. The individual pieces looked to be centered around the queen and her sister, jutting upwards sharply only to curl back downwards slightly near the edges. The ice was blue-green and nearly two feet thick on all sides, muffling the light of the rising autumn sun. It appeared as if both young women were sitting in the middle of a giant flower, whose petals had sprung forth and protected the two during Anna's sudden outburst. It was mystifying but also beautiful, in a strange, awe-inspiring kind of way.
"How did you do it?" Anna asked, equally as transfixed as the queen. Her breath came in gentle puffs of steam, surrounding both young women in a small fog.
"I didn't know I had," Elsa replied, looking about her surroundings with unblinking eyes.
"Was it something I said?" Anna asked, slowly gliding her hand over the encapsulating walls of ice.
Elsa could only shrug. "Possibly. More likely it had to do with something I felt."
"What do you mean?"
Elsa rubbed her arm self-consciously, looking away for the briefest of moments as her sister leaned closer. "When I saw you talking in your sleep it had a rather...startling affect on me. I'm not sure how but seeing you distressed like that, hearing you in pain and not being able to do anything about it had a pretty serious influence on my abilities. And when you leapt into my arms like that, looking so frightened I guess my body just kind of...read your need, and mine, to be safe. So my powers kind of burst, I guess. I'm not sure how else to describe it..."
Anna smiled a slow, understanding smile, her face finally returning to its normal rosy color. She reached her hand across to her sister and wiped away a single tear that had escaped during Elsa's explanation.
"Elsa, it's incredible. I know some of your abilities are still developing but this, something created out of pure will, pure need...it's amazing!"
"Yeah," Elsa said, frowning slightly as she looked away, "unless that need suddenly freezes an entire summer and covers all the lands in ice and snow..."
Anna was a little taken aback, but felt she understood her sister.
"Losing control over my abilities is a dangerous gamble, Anna. I can't afford another surrender like that...another slip...who knows what could happen?"
Anna thought on that for a minute or so, keeping her sisters hand in her own, enjoying the cool texture of her skin. When she spoke next it was with a smile.
"Elsa, do you love me?"
Elsa cocked her head and frowned again, her chest suddenly tight but warm as she sighed softly. "Of course I love you...you know that, right?"
Anna nodded. "I do. So when I see something like this, this shield you've created around you and I, I choose to believe that it was created-whether you knew it or not-out of a need to keep me safe. Not out of duty or curiosity...not from fear, not a loss of control...but because you love me. 'Love will thaw a Frozen Heart', remember?"
"Yes I do," Elsa said, finally smiling back.
"Well I have to imagine love can do a lot more than just that. Look around us. It's...intimidating, yes. But also exciting and so, so beautiful..."
Elsa did look around at her at the impressive petals of her giant ice-flower, but couldn't help but notice how Anna's gaze had fixated on her face when she described the exciting, beautiful nature of their surroundings. It filled the queen with an unusual sensation...warm yet hidden, happy but unsure, like the last fleeting images one grasps of a dream before the waking world wipes all memory of them clean.
'I'm so lucky to have her in my life...she always knows what to say, always knows when to push and when to listen...I don't know what I'd do without her.'
"Elsa? Are you alright?"
It occurred to Elsa that she had been starring at her sister for some time now, smiling contentedly, their hands still clasped. As much as it stirred her up inside, it was time to pull herself back...she couldn't keep them there all day, tempting as the idea was.
'Tempting? Is that what this is doing? Am I being tempted?'
"Elsa, are you still in there?" Anna laughed.
Elsa pulled Anna into another brief hug before waving her arms upwards and disintegrating the massive structure around them. The particles of ice floated deftly into the air before evaporating in large puffs of steam, allowing the sunlight to fill the room.
"Pity," Anna pouted, "I really liked that little hideaway. It was one of a kind."
"Yes it was...unfortunately reality is back, with a vengeance. You remember what today is, right?"
Anna did, but she didn't want to speak it aloud for fear that it might destroy the good mood brought on by her sister. "Do we have to do this?"
"I'm afraid so. The castle is finally renovated, the harbor rebuilt, the kingdom restored thanks to several weeks of hard work and massive investments of time and energy...now there's just the little matter of the bill."
Anna grimaced but nodded her head. "Well...it's gonna be a long day. Meet you in the library in an hour or so? I'll have Kai bring us some tea and chocolates. We're going to need it."
"Sounds good," said the queen as the younger woman stood to leave, "and Anna?"
"Thank you for what you said. I needed to hear that...more than you know."
Anna nodded and smiled as she leaned against the open door, gazing at her queen. "Any time," she whispered.
With that she was gone, skipping down the hallway, the memory of her sisters creation bringing a foolish smile to her face. Her heart was elated for the first time in forever, even if the rest of the day looked troublesome. Anna was determined to keep this feeling for as long as she could; her sisters flower may have disintegrated, but the comfort it had instilled lingered on.
"After all it's just bills," Anna thought aloud, "How bad could it really be?"
I haven't written fanfiction in years. I hope you like and review. I already know where this story is going, but having feedback always helps. Until later.