Disclaimer: This is another 4 am one-shot that I decided to write instead of sleeping :)))
Elsa stared at her sobbing cousin. Rapunzel looked absolutely broken. Her hair was a mess, which wouldn't have been as big of a deal if it wasn't for the fact she always took great care of her hair. Furthermore, she was still in bed despite the fact it was already 2 pm; the blonde normally got up at 7 am.
Elsa searched her brain for words of comfort, knowing now wasn't the time for an 'I told you so'. Though, to be far, Elsa had warned her cousin. "He's an asshole." Okay, not comfort, but Rapunzel chuckled slightly through her tears. "He didn't deserve you to begin with and this more than proves it. You deserve so much more than a guy who only gives you a week of his time."
"I know I do," the girl replied hopelessly. "I just- I thought he was different. And I know you told me he wasn't, but it didn't feel that way." She groaned into her pillow. "Guys that hot shouldn't be that awful. He treated me perfectly all week only to say it wasn't meant to be."
The blonde wanted to roll her eyes. "It wasn't meant to be because you are a warm, artistic, amazing individual and he's a player."
Rapunzel nodded, still crying. That was why Elsa settled for rubbing her back reassuringly and pulling out the ice cream she had brought. The pair watched movies and yelled at romantic comedies for being unrealistic. The blonde was glad to see her cousin smile a bit.
When Elsa left that day she had only one goal: Jack Frost was going to stop hurting girls.
Jack was sitting by the edge of a lake in his neighborhood, just letting himself think. There had been a girl with him about two minutes prior but he sent her away after she started crying. The boy really didn't think it was his fault; he had warned Quinn up front that he wouldn't fall in love.
Honestly, telling a girl he wouldn't fall for them seemed to be the fastest way to get them to fall for him. It was as if girls were trying to get their hearts broken, chasing what they couldn't have. And, well, it wasn't Jack's fault if that worked in his favor.
"When I saw a girl walking away crying I figured you were here." A tall blonde came and sat down beside him, a look of mischief on her face. He immediately recognized the girl as Elsa Winters, the sure-fire candidate for valedictorian. "I feel sorry for you, you know? That girl is far closer to finding her true love than you will ever be."
The sure-fire candidate for valedictorian and the person who seemed to like him the least. She was constantly reassuring girls after he dumped them, assuring them that Jack wasn't worth it, even when the boy was in earshot. He had received more than one glare from the girl; right now, Elsa was smiling.
"And what makes you say that?" He'd humor the girl.
The senior let out a gentle laugh, turning to face him. "She let herself be vulnerable; she let herself feel affection. Even if it was for you, that's still bold. She's willing to put her heart out there and that's why she is so much closer to finding the one who will give her his heart in return." The blonde raised a brow. "Tell me, how lonely is it being you?"
The boy scoffed. "Lonely? I have more company than anyone." A new girl every week. He was never bored and he was definitely never lonely.
Elsa merely rolled her eyes. "Don't confuse lonely with alone; you can be in a crowded room and still feel lonely if the company means nothing. I know the girls you go out with don't mean anything to you. I wonder if anyone does." The blonde calmly looked away, watching the water flow.
Girls often got upset at Jack. They yelled at him, called him names, sometimes even slapped him, and the boy never even flinched. Right now, though, the white-haired boy felt angry for the first time in years. He clenched his fist, annoyed at Elsa for her calm words but also annoyed with his reaction to them.
"Of course I care about people! I care about my friends!" He didn't know why he felt the need to prove something to the girl. He just did. "I love my parents!"
His anger didn't phase the girl at all and it infuriated the boy. Elsa just kept looking at the water, shrugging her shoulders lightly. "Maybe." She placed her hands in the grass behind her, leaning back. "You're friends all seem like they're at shoulder length though; I'm sure you'd care if they died, but if they moved or something I doubt you'd be affected. I can't say anything about your parents since I've never seen you with them. I can say that you spend very little time at home though, so I doubt you make them a priority."
"Excuse me?!" Jack hit his fist against the ground, willing himself to calm down. "Are you stalking me or something? Of course, you are; girls always do." It wouldn't be the first time a girl paid a little too much attention to his actions. Even Elsa Winters couldn't resist his charms.
He expected the girl to flush or show some signs of embarrassment; she didn't. "Stalking seems like a strong word." She laughed slightly. "Maybe appropriate to a degree though. I've been watching you for about a month trying to figure out why you broke my cousin's heart. Rapunzel is a wonderful girl who didn't deserve your treatment. None of the girls ever do and I wanted to figure out why you do what you do."
"I do it because love is a game," was the easy reply. It was true, after all. If he could tell a girl his true intentions with her and still get her to fall for him then that proved something. Besides, they all got over him eventually. Rapunzel was already dating one of his friends, Flynn Rider.
Elsa laughed, turning to face him. Her eyes twinkled mischievously as she reached out her hand and said, "Then let's play."
Jack raised a brow, staring at her outstretched hand. "Excuse me?" What was this girl getting at?
"If love is a game, then let's play," Elsa clarified. "First one to fall in love loses, okay?" She smiled at him. He had no idea why she would want this. Elsa had, as far as he knew, never been in a relationship or taken much of an interest in any guys. She was also practical.
Jack shrugged. If the girl wanted to try, so be it. He could use a challenge. "Deal," he replied, shaking her hand.
When Jack left the lake that day he had only one goal: Elsa Winters was going to fall in love with him.
Dating Elsa was easy enough. People had seemed surprised at first, especially the girls that she had comforted. Even she admitted it seemed hypocritical of her to date him. That was why the blonde had explained the truth to anyone who questioned her: they were playing a game.
Jack didn't mind that everyone knew. He had always been honest about his intentions with girls, so he didn't mind being honest about Elsa. He didn't have feelings for her, but he was trying to get her to fall in love. It would seem cruel if it wasn't for the fact they both agreed to it.
At this point, the entire school was betting on them, studying their relationship. Most people figured Jack would win. However, Elsa had her supporters, especially since she hadn't fallen for a single person before as far as everyone knew. She was known to be logical and intelligent; some claimed Elsa was too smart to fall in love with him.
Their relationship had gone longer than a week. In fact, it had been two which Jack had never allowed before. It was fine though, considering this was different circumstances. Besides, Elsa was hot; he didn't mind being with someone so sexy, even if she rarely let him touch her.
He looked over at the blonde beside him. She was biting her lip slightly as she read her book, indicating she was intrigued with what she was reading. Jack could tell, of course, because he came here with the girl nearly every day.
At first, Jack had only gone because Elsa wouldn't fall in love with someone who couldn't handle her library addiction. However, he rather enjoyed it now. For one, Elsa made the perfect expressions when reading. Mostly, though, it was just peaceful here. Who knew the library was actually a good place to work on schoolwork? Elsa knew, apparently, and they were often alone since the rest of the school had yet to learn this.
"You're staring." The blonde looked up from her book, smiling. "I suppose I should be flattered you like watching me read so much."
"More like you're just more interesting than this impossible Calculus homework." Which was true. He had given up trying to solve the problems, especially since he wasn't even sure what the homework was even over. It had made so much sense in class.
Elsa set her book down, peering over at his worksheet. Her eyes lit up as she studied the content. "Antiderivatives! I love these!" She grabbed the pencil out of his hand, starting where he had left off in a problem. "You were on the right track with this one. You just forgot to increase your exponent right here, so it threw things off later in the problem." She corrected the exponent, finishing the problem.
Jack hadn't expected Elsa to be so kind to him, especially since he was sure she had hated him before. The girl treated him the same way she did her friends though; the exact same way actually. While Jack tried to be romantic, Elsa was merely friendly. He didn't know how she thought that would help her win; maybe she just didn't have enough experience to be romantic.
He glanced down at the problem, studying what she had done. "Thanks." Jack had a feeling that even if he hadn't used the wrong exponent, he still would have had problems getting the right answer. "You really are smart, aren't you? I'm dating a genius."
The blonde flushed slightly, as she often did with praise. Jack might have taken that as a good sign if not for the fact she did that when her sister Anna complimented her too. Elsa just struggled with compliments in general which was ironic considering how much there was to compliment. "So am I," the girl smiled fondly. "You're smarter than you give yourself credit for. Most seniors aren't even taking Calculus."
The boy supposed that was true. He wasn't that smart though. "Eh, I guess. I get by." He had always done fairly well in school. He was certainly smart enough to pass. Still, school wasn't his strong suit.
"That's a joke, right?" Jack was surprised to find his girlfriend was staring at him intensely. "Oh, wow, you're not joking. Maybe you aren't that smart then, because only an idiot would say what you just said."
"Was that supposed to be a compliment?" Elsa slapped his arm. "Ow! Now you're attacking me?!"
The girl rolled her eyes. "You deserved that, honestly. I can't believe someone with your confidence can't see their own intelligence. You realize you're good for more than just picking up girls, right? I know we've only been dating for a couple of weeks and not under normal circumstances, but I've seen enough to know you're smart."
She sighed slightly. "That essay you were writing last week was practically flawless. You finish your physics homework in about 10 minutes and, again, you're in AP Calculus!" She grabbed his arm, her eyes growing more sincere. "You're an asshole for hurting so many girls, but you're not a bad guy. I honestly consider you a friend. And, as your friend, I cannot stand to let you go one more minute without acknowledging you're a genius too."
For the first time, Jack couldn't find the words to reply. Girls complimented him often; he was used to that. They liked his messy hair, his sparkling blue eyes, or his abs. Sometimes they even said he was funny or thanked him for opening the door or picking up the check. This was different.
"You're something else." He smiled fondly at the girl. For once, Jack thought he might keep a girl around after they broke up. They really were friends, weren't they? Though maybe she wouldn't still consider him a friend after he inevitably broke her heart.
Elsa grabbed his hand as they walked into school, surprising the boy. They held hands every once in a while but he always seemed to initiate it. Besides, it was never in school. The blonde seemed to think nothing of the action though, merely smiling at the boy.
She didn't even seem to mind when whispers spread throughout school that she was losing. No matter how many girls gave the blonde concerned looks, Elsa seemed unaffected, keeping her hold on his hand. Her ability to ignore public opinion was impressive.
"This has to stop now!" Anna Winters was storming down the hall towards them, looking angry. "You're holding his hand now too? I know you're the last person who would ever fall for Jack." Ouch. "What if you do though? Just end this stupid game; it isn't like you to get involved with something like this."
Elsa gave her sister a sympathetic smile, tightening her grip on Jack's hand. "That's partially true, I agree. However, consider this: Jack and I are two friends playing a mind game together. You know I enjoy games with some strategy."
Anna shook her head, seeming more annoyed. "You're playing a game with each other's hearts; I don't want you to get hurt." The girl seemed desperate and Jack couldn't blame her.
"If I get hurt, then so be it. Betting our hearts is what makes this interesting." Elsa leaned closer to her sister, talking so quietly that Jack almost missed her next words. "At least it'll prove I have one."
Jack waited until they had walked away from Anna a bit before questioning Elsa. "What did you mean back there? About having a heart?" Wasn't he the one Elsa thought was heartless? "You're the most empathetic person I know."
The girl looked around slightly as if making sure no one was listening to them. He noticed that her cheeks had flushed slightly, a shy smile on her face. "I love my parents, my sister, and my friends; I know I can love platonically." She turned her head to look him in the eyes. "I've been asked out several times. Many of the guys were attractive and sweet; there was no reason not to like them. I just didn't. I love the idea of love; I want to feel it. I envy the girls that fall for you, even if I don't envy their pain. They're so much closer to finding their true love than either of us."
Jack considered what she said carefully. He knew Elsa didn't like what he did to girls. He knew that was a big reason she had agreed to this; was there more to it though. "Why did you propose this bet between us?"
Elsa smiled at him, stopping as they were right outside his first hour and the girl insisted on walking him to classes. She claimed they could both practice chivalry. "You said love is a game and I want to play. Besides, you're a loyal boyfriend. Even if you've broken up with every girl you've ever dated, you still haven't cheated on them." She smirked slightly, surprising Jack with how well it suited her. "I don't think you'll cheat on me either. As long as we're together, you're not hurting any girls."
The boy couldn't help chuckling at this. He never knew what to expect with Elsa and a part of him enjoyed that. She was empathetic and compassionate. She was logical and calculating. She was sly and mischievous. Elsa Winters was everything all at once and that added spice to his life.
Jack was sitting on his floor, just staring at the wall when he heard the gentle sound of footsteps. He figured it was his mom who had tried several times to talk to him today. There wasn't anything to say though, and he wished she would leave him alone. At least she had let him skip school for the day.
"You weren't in school," came Elsa's gentle voice as she sat down beside him. "I collected your assignments from the teacher."
He noticed she didn't seem mad at him, even though he had ignored her texts all day. "How'd you get in here?" He asked, even though the answer was obvious. His mom probably thought she could help him. His dad would have let her in too, most likely, but he always worked late on this day, immediately going to sleep when he did get home. His mom seemed to be the only one who actually cried.
"Your mom let me in. She tried to tell me why you missed but I stopped her." Elsa placed a hand on his shoulder, giving him a small smile. "I don't need to know, but I would like to be there for you in whatever way you need."
Jack didn't know what he needed. He just felt like staring at this wall until it was time to go to sleep. The boy just wanted to be empty until this day passed and he could push it out of his mind.
"Let me know if you want me to stop," Elsa whispered. Before he could even ask what she was talking about, she had him wrapped in her arms, one hand rubbing his back in a steady rhythm.
She didn't say anything else and didn't seem to mind that Jack wasn't talking either. Elsa just kept holding him, even as hours passed by. He knew she had to be uncomfortable sitting on the floor, but if she was she didn't show it.
All of a sudden the emptiness left and Jack felt everything crashing down. He didn't know why but the incident he swore he would forget just started playing over and over again in his head. The boy felt tears coming to his eyes, his heart pounding painfully.
Jack frantically grabbed Elsa, forcing her lips onto his, kissing her like it was the only thing keeping him alive. He needed to feel something else, anything else. He slipped his hand into her shirt, pulling her closer.
The girl began gently pushing him away. "Jack, stop." She kept pushing, carefully getting herself out of his arms.
The reality of what he had done hit Jack. They hadn't kissed before, let alone more than that. They were friends and he was going to touch her just to escape the pain; a part of him still wanted to do so. "Shit! I'm sorry! I'm so messed up." He shook his head frantically, trying to keep all the thoughts out. He hurt everyone.
Elsa smiled softly at him, pulling him close once again. This time she placed his head on her chest, one hand on his back and the other running through his hair. "It's okay to cry."
Tear bursts out of him at her words, as if he had just been waiting for permission. He didn't usually cry, even on this day. Jack felt he couldn't hold back though, sobbing into his girlfriend's chest. The girl didn't seem to care about her shirt, pulling him closer as she continued to run her hand through her hair.
"I could have saved her." The words escaped Jack's lips once his tears had slowed down. His voice was rough and shaking but Elsa didn't comment on it.
She pulled him back slightly, making eye contact with him. Instead of pity, her eyes held warmth. "Who?" Elsa asked softly.
For the first time in three years, Jack let himself talk about her, about the girl he could have saved. "My little sister, Emma." He could picture her angelic smile, her laughter, and her bright eyes in his mind. "She was my everything. A brat, yes, but I loved her more than anyone." He remembered the way she always begged him to play with her, calling him the best brother every time he agreed.
"I was so stupid. She had begged to go outside to the lake that was in the backyard at our old house. It was frozen over and she wanted to ice skate." He paused, leaning forward to sob into Elsa again. She didn't rush him. "I should have known the ice would crack. I should have grabbed her when it did. It should have been me." He let her die right in front of his eyes.
Elsa held him close. "It wasn't your fault. I know it's hard to see that, but it was a terrible accident. It wasn't your fault." She ran his fingers through his hair again. "And your mom adores you. She went on and on about you when she let me in. She's glad you're alive. So am I, Jack. You more than deserve to be alive."
Elsa held him for 3 more hours that day as he cried on and off. She didn't once complain or make him speak. She just held him until he felt drained enough to fall asleep. Even then she sat next to him, still playing with his hair until he fell asleep.
It had been a month since he had started dating Elsa, making this his longest relationship. He wasn't in love with her but it was also his most sincere relationship. He genuinely enjoyed spending time with the blonde and wanted to make her happy.
He approached the girl nervously, sitting in the chair beside her. "Hey, Els," he greeted, trying hard to keep his voice neutral. "Do you know what today is?"
The girl looked up from her book, smiling fondly. "Thursday?" She laughed slightly as Jack frowned. "Oh, you meant our one-month anniversary, didn't you? Your longest game yet," she teased.
The boy felt his heart clench at the words: game. They were playing a game. He shook his head, ignoring the sadness that had washed over him. "I got you something." He grabbed the present from his backpack, practically shoving it into her hands.
Her smile brightened and the boy felt himself smile in return. "You didn't have to, Jack." She reached into her own bag, pulling out a present. "I suppose we both had the same thought though."
Now that was unexpected. He stared at the present in his hand. "Uh, well, open yours first, okay?" She had gotten him a present? Was Elsa trying to play the game or did she genuinely want to?
He watched nervously as the girl reached into the sack, pulling out the contents. She gasped. He had gotten her a soft, fox stuffed animal as she had told him she regretted getting rid of her stuffed animals and she loved foxes. Additionally, he had gotten her dark chocolate as Elsa was addicted to the stuff. "You're amazing! Thank you!" And then she hugged him tightly making the boy's heart leap. "Open yours!"
He had no clue what she would have gotten him, but the fact she had gotten him anything at all was more than enough. Jack reached into the bag, surprised when his hand was met with soft material. He pulled it out, nearly gasping himself.
She had gotten him a dark blue hoodie that had white lines across it, reminding the boy of frost. He had no doubt the girl had chosen it due to his last name. Furthermore, she had told him he needed a new hoodie since he currently wore a black hoodie that had several holes and stains.
"Do you like it?" Elsa's eyes were scanning his face apprehensively. "I went with blue because it'll bring out your eyes. Not that you don't already get enough compliments about them."
Jack bit back a laugh. "Some of those compliments are from you." She merely shrugged as Jack took off his black hoodie and slipped on the new one. "What do you think?"
She smiled fondly at him, before looking into his eyes. "I was right; it brings out your eyes, your gorgeous, blue eyes." And then she laughed slightly and Jack had never heard a better sound.
They were sitting on a bench at the park, holding hands while watching different people pass by. Jack felt content sitting there and Elsa seemed to agree. At least, they were content until someone plopped down beside Elsa.
"Oh, hey, Mark." The blonde seemed surprised to see him. "What are you doing here?"
The boy, Mark apparently, smiled at her. "I was just on my daily run when I saw you sitting here. And, well, I thought it'd be the perfect chance to talk to you." He rubbed the nape of his neck, averting his eyes slightly. "I'd love to take you on a date, Elsa."
Jack nearly punched him right then and there. Instead, he cleared his throat. "I'm right here." He lifted up their conjoined hands. "And I'm her boyfriend."
Mark honestly seemed surprised, looking between the pair in confusion. "Well, um, of course I know you guys have that bet or whatever. It's been over a month though; isn't it time to give it up." He focused back on Elsa. "I don't want to play a game with you. We can go on actual dates, have an actual relationship."
Jack was surprised to find his fury overpowered by something else, something painful. He supposed it was Mark's use of the word 'actual', implying everything between him and Elsa meant nothing. Maybe it didn't and that hurt to think about. It hurt that Elsa might just see him as a friend. She treated him like a friend, minus the handholding.
The boy didn't realize how tightly he was gripping Elsa's hand until she winced slightly. The girl studied him a moment before turning back to Mark. "No thank you," she replied simply.
Unfortunately, Mark didn't seem to think that was good enough. "You're not going to fall in love with him." The boy kept talking, but Jack couldn't even hear it, not when his heart was pounding this violently.
It had been over a month and she didn't love him. Maybe she never would. Why did that hurt so much? Jack felt tears threatening to fall and blinked rapidly. The realization hit the boy like a ton of bricks: he had fallen in love with her.
Jack had been so sure he would win that he hadn't even considered the possibility of him falling for her, yet he had. Elsa was perfect. She was funny and intelligent. The girl held him accountable but was still comforting when he made mistakes. She was the perfect girlfriend and he didn't want their little game to ever end.
"I was trying to be nice, but clearly I have to be harsh with you." Elsa's voice snapped him back to the present situation, and Jack realized the girl was glaring at Mark. "I'm taken." The blonde turned to Jack, leaning forward and connecting their lips. And, well, if he wasn't in love with her before he sure as hell was now.
Her lips were soft and comforting, yet Elsa kissed with a passion that almost contradicted the gentleness of her lips. She kissed him like there was nothing she would rather be doing. She kissed him like she loved him.
Jack pulled away, his heart clenching. He couldn't handle a kiss like that, not when it wasn't real. Jack noticed Mark had finally left, thankfully. That didn't make the boy feel much better though.
He was vaguely aware of the fact that Elsa was looking at him in concern. "I'm sorry, I should have asked before launching myself at your face." She laughed in a self-conscious way. "Are you mad at me?"
Jack shook his head, unable to meet her eyes. "You win," he mumbled, still staring at his lap.
"Win what?" Elsa sounded genuinely confused.
The boy would give anything to not be in this moment, to not have to feel this. "You win the game; I'm in love with you." He felt his cheeks flushing at the vulnerability of his words. He was seconds away from breaking down; is this how he had made all those girls feel? He wanted to apologize a million times for not realizing how hard it is to put your hurt on the line and how awful it feels to love someone that doesn't share your feelings.
To his surprise, the girl laughed in response. She actually laughed at his love confession. She truly had been playing a game. Elsa reached forward, using her hand to tilt Jack's head up, her blue eyes locking on his. "Let's call it a tie." The girl smiled at him.
Cautious optimism filled Jack. "A tie?" He searched her eyes for any signs of her feelings.
"A tie," the girl confirmed. "It only seems fair considering I love you too." She laughed.
Jack couldn't seem to wrap his head around this all. "I don't understand. You wouldn't fall in love with me." The words hurt to say, mostly because they were true.
Her gaze softened as she gently grabbed his hand. "I did fall in love with you. You're smart and funny and kind. What's there not to fall in love with?" She smiled at him. "I watched you for about a month before approaching you and that was long enough to see you weren't the bad person I had you pegged as. You just feared love. You weren't letting anyone close, not even your parents. It wasn't until after we started dating that I realized why."
Emma. "Why'd you play this game?" He couldn't help but ask. He thought she wanted revenge, that Elsa sought to teach him how all those girls felt.
Elsa smiled softly. "I wanted to show you love. I didn't plan for it to be romantic. I was going to be there for you as a friend because I figured if you got close to someone again you wouldn't want to date a new girl every week anymore. You would want a genuine love connection." She bit her lip. "I didn't think you'd want it with me, but I'm glad you do. I thought I might fall for you, might get hurt. I'm glad I didn't."
The blonde had come up with the idea of the game because she planned all along to love him, just possibly as a friend instead. And, as the girl had stated weeks before, when he was dating her he wasn't hurting anyone. She had put her heart on the line for him.
He glanced back at Elsa, realizing she was getting closer. Jack let the girl connect their lips once more. This time Jack could properly enjoy it because Elsa was, in fact, kissing him with love. The boy had kissed many girls before but it had never once felt like this. This was full of raw emotions and Jack loved every second of it.
Their game truly had ended in a tie. Elsa had gotten Jack Frost to stop hurting girls, as he was now dating his future wife. In turn, Jack had gotten Elsa Winters to fall in love with him. If love is a game then they both won.