A/N: for the second Jelsa Project at Jelsa Haven on Discord! The theme was Soul Mates- I chose number on wrist. I had a lot of trouble with this one. My play list for this was Nightwish's My Walden, Alpenglow, Élan, ghost love score and Endless forms Most Beautiful , the band Sabaton, and Amaranthe's Amaranthine, and Endless, some Delain, the song Ghost of a Rose (who I can't remember the artist's name oops). Also a smattering of Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC's sappy love songs. Enjoy the ride!
This was finally it. After all this time, he was meeting her. The one whom his numbers planted on his left bicep in a very light glacial blue with elegant calligraphy counted down to.
His steps were in the low thousands now. His heart pumped lifeblood fast enough to make him dizzy. Running a hand through his silver hair, he took a steady breath.
The forest was calm and unlike anything he had ever seen. A cold mist of light sleet covered the sky, while causing a barrier between the nearest city, Arendelle, and the northernmost mountain on this stretch of coastline, this forest and prairie to the turbulent sea beyond, to escape the ravages of the great war. It seemed like the indigenous people and those who had escaped the invaders were glad for the seclusion.
Though, no one could see him.
The blasts of canon fire could still be heard down the canon beyond the fjord.
The North Wind started to pull at him, trying to guide him through the mystical Aspen forest he found himself in.
Pulling his blue trench coat back into place so it laid across his back like it was supposed to. "Ok, ok, I'll follow you." He had never seen the wind so playful before.
The forest cleared, revealing standing stones with shapes carved into them. Before he could touch the runes, the wind pulled him towards the prairie again.
Riding the wind, he flew over the refugee camps within the odd clouded wall until he reached a Plateau.
Light reflected over the mountains in front of him, blinding him momentarily. There in the Alpenglow of the mountain, stood a glistening castle.
Tugging at his sleeve, Jack looked at the numbers again. He was getting closer. His heart beat a stuttering tune. Ever so slowly he traversed the wide open grasslands, scattered with lichen and moss.
All around him was an ecosystem nearly untouched by man, like it used to be before technology started to take over. As he made his way to the castle, a small village—reminding him of centuries past— was busy with life. There was a mixture of various textiles, from leathers and furs, to wool and cottons in the fashions beyond the miasma.
Still, no one saw him.
Standing in awe for what seemed like hours, he realized the structure had been made of ice.
He followed people up the steps of the palace. he couldn't help but touch the railing, where he felt a hint of old magic. Inside surprised him. It was a market; sheltered from the weather.
He felt a tingle from where his number was. Where is she? He? Whoever they were, please just let them just see him.
"Amazing isn't it?" a low female alto said behind him. Jack's breath hitched. Slowly, he turned. There, in front of him, was a beautiful woman.
Clear alabaster skin with a light smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. Glacial blue eyes with a ring of cobalt on the outer rim, almost the exact opposite of his. Blonde Hair as pale and fluffy as a fresh mound of snow.
"You can see me?" The words came tumbling out before he could have stopped them.
A light chuckle came from her Vermillion lips. "And you can see me." She stood tall, though only a couple inches shorter than him, and had an aura of royalty around her.
A slight cough to recover from his faux paux, "I'm Jack, and you're gorgeous….wait, what?" He shook his head, he did it again. He received another chuckle from the beauty in front of him, "I mean, you're her, my…" His words failed him.
"I'm Elsa, and apparently so." She replied, patiently waiting for him to regain his baring.
He felt a smile slowly spread across his face. Elsa, "Beautiful."
Another laugh escaped from her lips, "did I say that out loud."
"Yes." She eyed him keenly. "You haven't done this before, have you?"
Jack scratched the back of his head, his Shepard's crook was tucked between his neck and shoulder.
"Yeah, you're the first person, other than other spirits and the Guardians, who can see me. So yeah, I'm more than a little rusty."
Elsa nodded in understanding. "You're also the first person over the age of nine who's been able to see me in a century."
Jack froze, that explained a lot. She was also a spirit.
"So what is this place?" Jack asked, changing the topic.
"Well, you're currently standing in my old sanctuary. Then once the war started to plow into my old kingdom of Arendelle, I raised the barrier mist to protect those who needed to escape. The Royal family, my sister's descendants, were lucky to be in Britain during the siege."
"So you made your own refugee camp?"
"Not really, they did that themselves. The children, who could see me, followed me when they were running, and their parents followed them. Some of the men know how to work the land and survive as they taught others. The Northuldra, who can also see me, did the same, especially once they realized what had happened."
"Where do you stay then?" He was curious, was she a nomad like himself? Or was she one of those spirits that stuck to one area?
"It's easier to explain there, than here." She walked over to a pond, where a horse appeared out of the water.
A horse made of water.
"This is Nokk, he's been a good friend of mine for a long time." The stallion pranced around the woman in white, as the people around them went about their business, unseeing. "He is the local water sprit." Elsa pressed her forehead to Nokk's muzzle and he frosted over.
Leaping into the horse, "Need a lift?" Jack just shook his head.
"Nah, I have my own," He smirked. "Let's go, Wind."
The North Wind picked up and tossed Jack into the air playfully.
"Gale, look, you have a friend." Elsa said as Nokk started to trot. Leaves tussled around Nokk's legs and through Elsa's hair in response.
Both Jack and Elsa raced through the forest, though he was surprised by a little fare ball following after them on the ground. The pale blonde just laughed.
"Again, Bruni?" She created a small snow pile as the fire ball, manifested into a salamander, leapt into the snow, melting it.
"Fire spirit?" Jack asked.
Elsa returned his grin with a smug smirk of her own. "You catch on quick. Watch out for Earth Giants."
The rock formation Nokk had raced down causing Jack to pause. The giant looked at him and nodded.
Jack moved his hand as if he was tipping a hat and continued following his ethereal, mysterious soulmate, traveling through this enchanted forest taught him a lot about her.
This was her home.
They stopped at a black sand beach for a short rest.
"So," Jack spoke as Nokk pranced around, preparing for a long ride ahead. "Any other secrets you need to tell me?"
Elsa gave him a playful smirk. "Yes, but it's easier to explain when we get back to Ahtohallan."
"Alta-who-whattya?" Jack her a confused glance.
"Hop on, it will be easier to explain without shouting." She patted, Nokk's rump signaling for Jack to hop on, "We have a bit of a ride ahead of us."
Jack hesitated before easing himself upon the water- based horse.
"Ok, Nokk, behave. We're still getting to know each other so don't try to kill him." The aquatic equine just snorted in response.
"That's encouraging," Jack griped rolling, causing Nokk to swat him with his tail.
With Elsa's urging, Nokk took off, making Jack grab a tight hold on to Elsa's waist.
As Nokk seemed to fly over an azure ocean, due north, the blonde began to explain. " Ahtohallan is the place where the memories of the world are held. I am the fifth spirit, also its guardian."
"Kinda like the Tooth Fairy then."
Elsa let out a laugh. "Kinda, only that she holds everyone's important childhood memories. Ahtohallan is on a much larger scale. Before I even knew I was the fifth spirit, I had heard the lullaby about this place from my mother."
"Can I hear it?" Without even missing a beat, her mezzo-soprano voice stunned him into silence.
"Where the north wind,
Meats the sea,
There's a river,
full of memory…"
As she sang, Jack became mesmerized by the sound of her voice, lyrically telling him about where she lived.
"Dive deep into her sound,
but not too far,
or you'll be drowned…."
It also told him about how she had become a spirit. He looked up as the dawn broke upon the horizon. "We're close." She said. A peak of orange and white jutted over the ocean. Another alpenglow.
Upon the glacier was a palace nearly identical to the one back on land. "A glacier!" Elsa nodded.
"Yes this is my walden, my home, Ahtohallan"
They reached land. Easing himself off Nokk, Jack stretched and gave the stallion a pat. The beast melded seamlessly back into the dark cerulean waters.
"Elsa's home! And she brought a friend!" A light male voice called from within the glacier.
"Hold your ground and, don't panic." Elsa whispered as she turned.
Turning with her, Jack saw a mound of snowmen rushing towards him. Elsa held her hand up and the horde of animated snow people stopped.
This is the weirdest thing Jack had ever seen.
"Olaf," the one with the carrot nose perked up, "Marshmallow," the largest one gave Jack and Elsa its full attention, the largest one gave Elsa and Jack its full attention with a glint of light showed a tiara on his head, "And Sno—" Hundreds of tiny snowman started to gather around the female spirit, causing a small havoc inside the palace sitting upon the glacier. "Hey, knock it off!" Elsa gave them a pointed look as they all grinned innocently. "Pay attention."
It seemed like all focus was on her she began to speak. "This is Jack. He is a winter spirit like me. He is also my numbers were counting to."
Olaf, the traditional snowman, Elsa had mentioned, changed his entire demeanor in .02 seconds.
"WE have a daddy!" He and the rest of the snowmen circles around Jack as they all wanted to meet him.
Jack took a deep breath and decided why not. He had a home now. His numbers lead him to Elsa and she lead him to a place that was going to be theirs. Eventually. They weren't there yet.
Elsa put her palm to her forehead at the snowman's exuberance."Oh, Olaf…"