Jack pulled the curtains shut and then turned to his daughter, who was sitting upright in her bed with round, begging eyes. He knew the look well enough to know what she wanted.
"Jess, it's late. We haven't got time for a story."
His daughter stuck out her bottom lip. "A quick one? Please-e-e?"
That was all it took. Elsa had often commented that Jessica had Jack wound around her little finger, and he was in no position to argue. He sat down on the end of her bed with an unimpressed look.
"Okay, a short one. Shall I pick or do you want to?"
"Tell me about how you met Mum!"
"That isn't short!" He protested.
"But it's my favourite!"
Jack sighed and gave in. Making sure she was comfortable and that Jack wasn't going to suddenly go back on his word and leave, Jessica propped a pillow behind her back and gave him an expectant look as Jack started to speak.
"At the beginning, when Elsa was fleeing her kingdom, she kept accidentally letting bursts of ice magic fly in all directions. She was terrified that she was going to hit someone and hurt them like she hurt Anna, so she tried to suppress them, but this only caused them to get stronger… Then she came to the mountain path, where there wasn't a soul to be seen. 'Surely,' she thought, 'I'm safe now? And everyone is safe from me?'
"As she thought this, however, a figure stepped out into her path. Elsa stopped in her tracks and asked the stranger to move out of her way so she couldn't hurt him…"
Jessica interrupted gleefully. "It was you, Dad!"
Jack put a finger to his lips but failed to conceal his smile.
"Don't you want me to finish?" he asked lightly.
She fell silent with a cheerful nod.
"Anyway, this stranger smiled at her. With a friendly hand held out to her, he told her that she wouldn't and couldn't hurt him. 'I've just come from Arendelle too,' he said. 'I've heard about you, Snow Queen Elsa. Relax, everything will be okay.'
"Elsa didn't believe him, and got more and more upset. Her powers were freezing the ground around her. When she noticed, she buried her head in her hands. The handsome and charming stranger—"
"Fine, fine." He stuck his tongue out. "The stranger walked towards her to calm her down, but this made her jump. She accidentally fired her icy magic straight at his heart."
His daughter began to grin widely - a gesture that would have been strange to anyone who didn't know who her father was.
"And then?" she prompted, eager to hear the end of the story.
"And then Elsa ran over to him, horrified. She was sure she'd killed him. But, to her shock and confusion, the stranger sat upright and smiled. Elsa didn't understand what was going on. Anna had passed out when she'd hit her as a child, so why wasn't this man also unconscious? The man gave her a cheeky smile, and patted her on the shoulder. 'Ice can't freeze a heart already frozen' he said. Naturally, she wasn't impressed. She pulled a face - and not a very ladylike one at that! Then she turned away and continued on her way, muttering about silly snow powers and cheeky men. The stranger just laughed."
Jessica smiled. "And then he followed her up the mountain?"
"He did indeed. All the way up he tried to convince her that it wasn't her fault, but she wouldn't listen. Only when she got to the very top of the tallest mountain did she finally talk to the strange man."
"That's when you made the ice castle together!"
Jack chuckled. "Yes, the magnificent ice castle. It was mostly Elsa's doing, but the stranger helped a little bit."
Hearing Elsa's footsteps on the stairs, Jack motioned for Jessica to pretend to be asleep. Jessica knew the routine, and quickly pulled the covers up to her neck. Jack dropped his voice to a whisper as he said the last few sentences.
"It was up there, on that lonely mountain top, that Elsa finally asked the stranger's name. And, sweetheart, you know where things went from there…"
Even in the semi-darkness, Jack could see Jessica's smile. Elsa softly called his name from outside, so he stood up, ruffled his daughter's blonde hair, and walked towards the door. He was just closing the door when he heard Jessica faintly say his name.
"Next time, I want to hear about you punching Hans."
Jack smirked and left the room. Oh, that had been a satisfying moment…
A/N A little different from my usual writing style, so I'd appreciate your feedback! Any errors being pointed out would be love, because even though I checked through, human error is a heartless bitch. Until next time!