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Take My Hand

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Arendelle's Courting Dance is not a tradition either of Agnarr and Iduna’s children thought would be forced upon them. They’ve both attended many in the past, with their parents acting as hosts, for nobles and people of status to come together to announce they were looking for a partner. It allowed for individuals meeting their majority to debut and their more established citizens to  reintroduce themselves onto the market. 

It began to help initiate courtships. The expectations for Arendelle’s royalty was another matter entirely. The Courting Dance is used to create political ties, trade deals and alliances. And after losing their previous rulers, just over a year ago and with Elsa’s “coming out” having buried most of the country, this is something that the Council believed was sorely needed. 

‘We must strengthen Arendelle,’ Lord Harris had stated once their arguments were had and over. He was a holdover from her Grandfather’s days and with the chaos of her own coronation, Elsa hadn’t had the time to establish a council of her own. Something that was happily used against her. 

‘I’m afraid we must insist, Queen Elsa,’ Lady Agnas added.

Elsa wasn’t left with much choice. Her own actions required consequences. She had to soothe her people, her neighbours and the Council she’s yet to replace. It was with a hollow stomach she agreed and allowed the arrangements to be made.

Men and women from all over the continent came, though it’s clear that foreigners are far braver at asking for her hand than people of her own country. Still, royalty, nobles and people of providence twirl and swirl in front of the dais, where Elsa watches with her sister and her sister’s intended. 

Sven is off to the side too, nearer the back and away from the lights, sat and happily munching on carrots. Having a reindeer here is unconventional and he’s earnt many a second glance, but it’s worth it. Elsa had - after all, forced Sven’s inclusion, just to be difficult. 

Kristoff insisted that he could stay in the royal stables and the Council were far more accepting of that suggestion. However, they were getting no favours after this. Elsa held every intention of doing everything in her considerable power to inconvenience them, however petty.

It’s obvious to anyone who can see, after all, the truth behind the Council’s actions. They’re hoping having a partner will subdue Elsa. Will force her to conform. Elsa refuses to allow this. 

Anna clears her throat as she subtly gestures to the ballroom. ‘He - he looks...nice,’ she whispers, leaning over the side of her throne less gracefully. Her eyes are stuck to the dancefloor, following its participants. Elsa is directed towards a strutting young man with tanned skin and darker curls. He has a well proportioned face and she can see why her sister picked him out.

‘...I suppose,’ Elsa allows.

Anna wrinkles her nose, expression dubious. It hasn’t changed much since she was informed, though Elsa is relieved she’s less - purple. ‘What about - him?’ Anna points out another, like she has been all evening. She’s trying to be helpful while wanting to shut the whole thing down. 

‘They can’t make you!’ Anna had denied in outrage, voice echoing off and around the walls. 


‘It’s wrong! What about love and your future -! What about the kingdom! You can’t just marry the first person that can dance a little!’ 



‘I can’t stop it, Anna!’ Elsa had finally snapped and only attempted a calming breath when she accidentally blew out the fireplace. ‘I’m a young Queen that almost froze her country. I have no - no political capital. I don’t have a say in this.’ 

Anna deflated then, and hasn’t managed to come back to herself yet. She’s behaved, though the Council’s sudden - “misfortune” is suspiciously similar to the pranks Anna used to play. She behaved and got dressed and arrived on time. She even performed the duties of their mother and introduced Elsa to their guests and performed the Transitional Dance.

None of the things she’s done are things either of them have wanted to do, so Anna attempts to be supportive and encouraging by suggesting people. ‘There, see?’ 

Elsa’s gaze shifts. Pale skin, sharp cheekbones, long golden hair. ‘ She’s certainly pretty.’ 

Anna hesitates as she glances back over. ‘ - is that bad?’ 

‘It’s not good.’ Nobility from Ashor, if Elsa remembers correctly. She’s smug and utterly too certain in herself and the show she’s putting on. Elsa dislikes that arrogance entirely. This palace holds no room for such ego.

Anna seems to silently agree as she selects four more dancers. When each one rebuked, she sighs. ‘Elsie, what type are you even looking for? We...we don’t have long, for you to choose.’ They’ve never spoken about each other’s preferences. Their more meaningful time spent together was when they were children and Elsa held little interest in such things then. No, it hardly seems to matter.

She snorts. It’s not ladylike but she doesn’t care, on this evening especially. ‘Honestly?’ Elsa responds drily, watching out over her guests. Among which number she’d have to dance and marry and crown. ‘A miracle.’ 

‘Well…’ Anna hesitates, voice horribly muted. When was the last time Anna sounded so quiet? Probably the day of their parents wake, when it became apparent that Elsa would not be leaving her bedroom. ‘Well, we’ve had a few of those. And hey - we’ve created at least one, yeah?’ 

Elsa feels herself smile, though it's weak and fades just as quickly as it arrived. ‘Careful, Sister,’ Elsa warns lightly, ‘those arrogant enough to wish for something better are often burnt.’ 

Anna sighs. ‘Wanting things for yourself isn’t - it’s not asking too much, Elsa,’ she says with a voice not unlike their mother when she was particularly exasperated.  ‘Wanting luck in love is a pretty standard thing to want.’ 

Elsa swallows and feels something bitter swell in her. ‘It’s not just about me.’ It’s about the kingdom she’s responsible for. The people she has to protect. The family that stands beside her. Hans has proven what people will do for power and Elsa - as Queen, is at much greater risk. She’s got to be careful.

There’s a beat of silence. ‘What about that one?’ Anna asks a gentleman sedately dipping his dance partner. He’s older than the others she’s selected, but poised and utterly impassive about everything going on around him.

‘Disinterested.’ Elsa exhales softly, long and tired as she shifts stiffly on her throne. It’s been hours and the heat from the lighting has begun to burn her. She’s getting overheated and starting to feel dizzy from the pressure. 

‘....yeah, no - I can see that,’ Anna states after a moment of contemplation, squinting at the individual in question. ‘Maybe if you just dance with a few, you can start...picking them off?’ 

‘You know the hell hole a Courting Dance can devolve into if the partner trials their dancers.’ Elsa has been to more than Anna has, but they both have experienced enough to shudder at the thought.

‘Elsie… we only have tonight.’ 

Elsa grits her teeth. She understands that. Just like she understands that she probably should have moved by now. Invited one or two people to dance, inevitable chaos aside. Instead, she’s stuck, silent and staring. ‘’s so…’ heavy. Elsa trails off, unable to finish.

‘Elsa?’ Anna prompts and when Elsa remains quiet; ‘Elsa, are you okay?’ 

Elsa feels the blockage in her throat widen. She’s been holding onto her composure by her fingertips for months and now it feels like it’s finally shook free. She stands abruptly. ‘I think I need a walk.’ She needs to breathe. She needs to cool off before she cools things off.

Anna jolts. ‘Elsa -’

Elsa shakes her head, and thankfully, Anna quietens. She looks over to Kristoff. Sweet, well-meaning Kristoff, who’d disliked the thought of the Courting Dance as soon as Anna explained it to him. She looks at Kristoff, whose wide eyes have been tracking the dances uncomfortably, and how sympathetic and pained his regard is. ‘Brother,’ she addresses softly, ‘make sure to look after her.’ 

Kristoff blushes. He’s got a heart and has been trying his best to perform in his new position, despite how ill-equipped he is for it or how out of place it makes him feel. From experience, Elsa understands how difficult that can be.

‘O-of course, Your Majesty.’ 

‘Elsa,’ Elsa insists with an indulgent expression. Kristoff’s so formal with her, his unease undeterred by his engagement with her sister or what he’s done for their family. Kristoff really has no need being so reserved with her.

Kristoff swallows and offers a shy smile. ‘Elsa,’ he says agreeably. Elsa wonders if he’s only giving in because of the situation they’re in, or if he actually wants to address her informally, but that’s an issue she’ll have to get back to. 

Elsa nods and not a moment later, disregards her flustered footmen and glides off of the dais. She ignores how on the everyone dance floor slows. Her skin is prickling and the quiet expectation is enough to rankle her further as she begins to walk forward. Elsa cuts through the dance floor to get to the entrance doors and the guards are obviously taken aback when she draws near. 

‘The doors, if you please,’ Elsa asks even if she’d much rather open them herself. The guards hurry to comply and she walks steadily through them, listening to her heels clicking against the tiles as the doors begin to creek shut behind her. 

The corridor is lit with candlelight and it’s as beautiful as it is hot; a humidity that just makes Elsa sweat further. Her speed slowly begins to increase as panic burns through her. The apprehension and anxiety are like iron. Are like death. She runs. Sprinting in heels too high to be accommodating, until she reaches the west hall’s largest balcony. Bursting through the doors, in a feat of inelegance that is more akin to her sister.

Her torso violently meets the stone railing. The impact is almost enough to make her retch as she sucks in the evening air. ‘Keep it together, Elsie,’ she whispers to herself, lips barely moving. Her hands tremble as she grasps her hair, to attempt to anchor herself. She senses that she’s partially dislodged her crown and doesn’t care. ‘Be as strong as they think you are, as she thinks you are.’ 

‘ lady?’ 

The voice almost makes Elsa jump out of her skin. She feels her powers almost answering her panic, temperature shifting rapidly before she looks over. A man stood out of the way, in the shadows with another, hovering over his shoulder. An attendant, possibly? Watching her with wide eyes.

A guest. The man’s military dress uniform tells her as much, colours of whites and greys and golds. Elsa peers at him and his shoulders, decorated in accolades and honours and the thin-bladed sword sheathed to his belt. A soldier, a warrior - and an uninjured one, at that, if the strip of material covering his eyes are any indication. 

Elsa feels her stomach twist uncomfortably, knowing a wounded soldier loses their worth as soon as they step off of the battlefield too damaged to return to it. Sight is hard to replace, too, far more complicated than the loss of a limb and she knows that with the covering of his eyes, that this man is completely blind

Arendelle, though peaceful now, hasn’t always been, nor have they always been kind in return for their people’s service. It changed with her Grandmother’s reign; allowing for benefits and aid but…

‘My - my apologies,’ Elsa stutters, still startled as she straightens. Just because her guest cannot see her breakdown, doesn’t make it acceptable, besides his attendant witnessed it just fine. ‘I did not realise this balcony is occupied.’

‘I feel like I should be the one apologising,’ the soldier says with a voice that sounds too contrite for someone who’s done nothing wrong. ‘For shocking you.’ 

Elsa huffs a breath. It’s all she has the energy for. ‘Not at all. I - should have been more aware.’ She needs to stay on her guard, to avoid situations just like this one. Elsa can’t tell where these men hail from, but it could definitely put Arendelle in an uncomfortable position if the Queen is seen so unsteady. 

‘It’s a dance. Everyone’s always distracted at ceremonies,’ the soldier excuses kindly. The man’s wide grin is soft, on his face with his developed jaw. He has a crooked, pink mouth and pale skin with even whiter hair, which seems to have been tamed for the occasion.

‘Yes.’ Her throat is tight but she swallows through it. ‘Yes, quite right. They’re always so - large.’ A ridiculously tiny word to attached to the insurmountable task of picking her consort. 

The soldier laughs. ‘Stuffy things. They always mean too much.’

‘Highness,’ the soldier’s attendant begins to warn. He’s a pooka, unbelievably, but Elsa doesn’t want to be identified so soon. She shakes her head and watches tensely as the attendant hesitates in indecision. 

Elsa knew not to push her luck when the pooka - wearing traditional dress in a colour that compliments his periwinkle fur and green eyes, glares in warning at her. Queen or not, pooka are a warrior race, diplomatic only to the extent of their own loyalty and they protect what is theirs fiercely. The boomerangs attached to his hips weren’t for show. 

Elsa attempts to clear her throat. ‘You are one of title, then?’ 

The soldier huffs. ‘It would really depend on who you’re asking, I suppose.’ 

That’s - unexpected. Or, maybe not. Society does not treat the disabled well and they’re not always given with their due.  ‘I’m asking you.’ 

The soldier pauses. ‘...then, if you’d really like to know, I was disinherited. Whatever title I have now is just a decoration.’   

Elsa hums. She doesn’t want to dismiss his words, however... ‘You’re noble to have even been invited.’ 

The soldier considers that for a moment. ‘That’s - mostly the war’s fault.’ 

To Elsa’s knowledge, there weren’t many present conflicts on the continent. Unfortunately, she wasn’t as up- to-date on current events as she should be. ‘Well, there’s more than one type of nobility.’ 

‘Awful nice of you to say, milady. But I’m not in need of such pity.’ 

The soldier’s grin is sharp, his teeth glint at her. His attendant tenses. There’s no need, however, if Elsa wanted strict formality, she would have announced herself. ‘That’s good, as I’m not in the habit of offering it.’ 

The soldier pauses, head tilting. ‘’re awfully generous to a stranger, milady.’

‘You’re here, aren’t you?’ Her own words are just as pointed and she doesn’t feel bad about it. The soldier has already proven to have a thick skin. ‘I need no further proof of your character.’

The soldier hums, doubtful. ‘I suppose looks can be deceiving.’ 

Elsa isn’t naive. ‘Of course, but less so is the metal decorating your shoulders.’ 

‘You take stock in that?’ 

‘I know how difficult it is to earn each of those, ser.’ At least, the ones she recognises. The few Elsa does, is enough to earn this man her respect. Never mind seeing he’s sacrificed for his country. 

‘...have - has your family earnt its stripes?’ 

‘My parents,’ Elsa responds eventually. Their passing is still recent and raw. ‘They were two souls of different lands that were warring and yet, somehow still met and married. I’m...told it’s quite the love story.’

His voice becomes gentle. ‘Were, milady?’ 

‘They are no longer with us,’ she answers and can’t help how uneven she sounds as she does. With how scared she’s been of herself and her powers, it stopped her from grieving. Now, it makes managing the loss of her parents that much harder.

The soldier’s face creases in sadness, a strong sense of sympathy overcoming him. ‘You have my condolences.’ 

He means it too. Elsa inclines her head but pushes those feelings away. She still has an evening to get through. She can’t afford it for it to overcome her now. ‘Thank you. It’s still - difficult - but, I am proud to be their daughter.’ 

‘Their own history is certainly - fantastical.’ 

‘Yes,’ Elsa breathes wistfully. ‘I suppose it was. To emerge from all that hatred and chaos and find love there…’ 

Mother was young then, the Crown Princess with two younger brothers. Both of whom, Mikkael - named after their Grandfather, and Sindri, perished during that time of conflict. Iduna, grief stricken, but determined would not leave the battlefield despite being their only heir left. 

The War of New Allies lasted two years before Thiar Streau surrendered. During that time, Mother was bested, her mount killed. She managed to wrestle free from its weight and escape to a ditch. With a broken leg, it’s as far as she managed to flee. She waited for either death or rescue when a Thiar soldier discovered her. 

Mother told her once, that she was sure that was it. That she would die like her brothers before her and fail her country, when the Thiar soldier did not kill her, but clumsily healed her instead. He couldn’t do much, not for a broken limb, but he did enough that when he left and she was found again by her general, she would survive

Mother never forgot the Thiar soldier so when she saw him again at her Introduction into society as a Lady, she asked for his hand immediately. It was improper and caused quite the stir before their story was romanticised. For all the doubt, the country they built was strong and would be strong still if Elsa had managed to keep from icing Arrendele over. 

‘Love seems to find a way,’ the soldier murmurs. 

The bitterness finds her again. Elsa’s always found some hope in the story of her Mother and Father. Now, however, it makes her doubtful and worried. ‘If there is love to be found.’ 

The soldier tilts his head ‘ you not think there’s hope for everybody, in that way?’ 

Elsa closes her eyes. ‘I - try not to presume.’ 

The soldier laughs. ‘Forgive me, but - aren’t you an example that the world isn’t so lonely, after all?’ 

Elsa clears her throat. What she wouldn’t give for a drink. ‘Maybe. Maybe I’m just - intimidated.’ Of picking wrong. Of ruining not only her life but further hurting her country. 

The soldier nods. ‘Well, that’s understandable.’ 

Elsa inhales sharply.  ‘You - think so?’ 

‘Sure. Love at it’s most bare is - it’s One leading promise after the next, and there’s nothing that's quite as scary as that.’ 

Elsa feels her heat give an almighty thump. That’s - a good philosophy. Realistic but still sincere. She can respect that. She certainly agrees. ‘Is that why you’re here?’ 

‘No, no,’ the soldier dismisses with a small wave of his hand. ‘Disinherited, remember?’ 

‘Then…’ Elsa pauses before rallying. ‘You were invited.’ 

‘It’s not somewhere I belong.’

‘I fear I don’t understand.’ 

‘Out there, with all the pleasantry and nobility.’ 

‘I thought we’d already discussed your nobility.’ 

The soldier smiles but it’s not as bright or as real as before. Hopefully, Elsa isn’t making him too uncomfortable. ‘Ah. Forgive me. You probably think I’ve a big head.’ 

‘Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps a big heart. You’re a soldier, aren’t you?’ 

‘I was.’ 

Elsa winces. ‘Ah. My - my apologies. You’re...discharged?’ 

‘Honourably,’ the attendant states as the soldier begins to open his mouth. 

‘May I…’ 

‘Yes?’ The soldier prompts but the smile says he already knows where Elsa thoughts have headed.

‘May I ask what happened?’ It’s none of her business and it’s - a terrible thing to enquire after, but she wants to know this man and she doesn’t have a lot of time to do it in. 

‘Carelessness,’ the soldier responds flippantly but there’s an old hurt there he can’t disguise. His hand slides against the hilt of his sword before realising what he’s going and his arm falls limp again. ‘...during the war, got in the way of a curse. Too slow, wasn’t paying proper attention. If that’s what you wanted to know. People always ask.’

‘...I’m being intrusive.’ It’s not her attention and she’s never been in the habit of poking at past hurts. People’s weak spots. But Elsa doesn’t have a lot of options open to her. 

‘No more than anyone else. Hardly traumatic, anyway. Things - happen in war.’ The soldier is convincing enough; that none of this matters, if not for how pursed his lips are or how his attendant is responding. 

His attendant’s jaw clenches. ‘It wasn’t just war , and yer were payin’ plenty o’ attention. Yer saved me life,’  he refutes with an accent Elsa knows is from down under, far below the earth's crust. His nose twitches while his bright green eyes jump between them. The fur under his eyes ruffling like his skin is tightening. Shoulders flexing under his robes and it looks like the pooka is restraining himself from interrupting again, before defiance propels him forward. ‘Don’t go playin’ down what yer did that day. Milord.’ 

The soldier doesn’t turn towards his attendant. ‘And yet you still address me like you’re chewing on glass.’ He grins and leans in towards Elsa. ‘It’s so hard to find the staff.’ 

‘I’ll show you “staff” -’

‘You can’t show me anything - ‘

‘Oh, so that’s how it is -’

‘So, a Lord, then?’ Elsa asks, to avoid this fight escalating and heading off the pooka from strangling his lord, which looks like a real possibility as the man continues to tease; liking to wind his attendant up. Playful though it is. ‘Might I get milord’s name?’ 

‘Ah, where have my manners gone?’ the soldier asks with manufactured shock. He bows though, faintly her way, just a little out to the left but his movements are smooth and unembarrassed. ‘Jokul Frosti of Burgess, disgraced son of King Gunnbjorn.’ 

‘’re not a prince?’ Elsa asks tentatively. She’s heard of the kingdom of Burgess but isn’t familiar with them enough to recognise the emblem on Jokul’s belt. It’s to the north of Arendelle, on the edge of the continent. They're a tough kingdom, battered through neighbouring with the Nightmare Realm, to the degree that there’s whispers that think they’ve been corrupted themselves.

‘No.’ Jokul’s denial is immediate and sharp. ‘No. I was stripped of that title. My Lord Brother is Crown Prince now.’ 

‘Is - I’m afraid I don’t understand.’ 

‘It’s ta do width their funky rules of succession’, milady,’ the attendant states lowly. ‘Allota other countries allow the “spare” ta be a prince or princess too. It’s not like that in Burgess. Jack’s still technically part o’ the nobility so he’s a lord, but -’

‘But that’s all I am.’ 


Jokul inclines his head. ‘A nickname. How you’d say my name in this land. I prefer it, if you’d do me the kindness of addressing me with it.’ He pauses as his attendant clears his throat. ‘Ah, and this one is E. Aster Bunnymund.’ 

‘I’m pleased to meet you both.’ Elsa smiles and hopes it translates to her voice. ‘You seem close.’

‘Yeah. Yeah, Bunny assigned himself to me long ago.’ Himself? How interesting. Pooka aren’t known to get close with outsiders easily and if they’ve known each other for a great deal of time, Jack must have been young. ‘He’s always trying to take care of me.’ 

Bunny looks towards Jack, expression settling into something fonder but horribly sadder. “Try” held tens of stories. For a Lord to risk so much for an attendant, too, spoke a lot of their bond.

‘And what is Lord Jack of Burgess doing at Arendelle’s Courting Dance?’ Elsa asks, before the silence could settle, as she brushes a stray strand of hair out of her eyes. Before the silence could settle.

‘King Gunnbjorn decided that since I am not useless to my own country, I might as well try and build bonds here. My Lord Father doesn’t expect Her Majesty to choose me, and neither do I.’ Jack shrugs, seemingly without a care even as Bunnymund’s ears droop. ‘Queen Elsa has enough to worry about, so I tried talking to some of the nobles Bunny pointed out, but no one’s here to really chat. So I figured I’d get out of everyone’s way.

‘Do you not wish to...find intimacy?’ Elsa phrases delicately because balls were at least a good opportunity to try and have a night of passion or look for prospects. 

Jack chuckles. However mocking, or forced he seems to do it a lot. ‘Not with anyone I’ve had the displeasure to dance with.’ 

‘I - am sorry to hear that.’ And Elsa is. She can’t imagine how hard it must be for Jack to try and socialise with people. ‘Did - I’m sorry, am I asking too many questions?’ 

‘I’m not as interesting as it probably seems and I’ve already wasted enough of your evening, Milady.’ 

‘It doesn’t seem a waste to me.’

‘You flatter me.’ Jack eventually gets out, cheeks warm. It looks sweet on him, Elsa absently notes. ‘...should you not be at the ball yourself?’ 

A funny question, if unintended. ‘At the moment I want to be here. If I am not bothering you.’

‘’re not.’ Despite her line of questioning being inappropriate, Jack isn’t lying. Though he sounds uncertain, unsure of her motives. Which is fair, this entire conversation could sound like an interrogation to some. 

‘You have my thanks.’ Not many would have bothered with her, not when she hasn’t been introduced. ‘...still, are you not tempted to go back out?’

Bunnymund’s eyes are burning bright with warning as understanding begins to take root for him. Do not play with him, they say and Elsa has no problem silently inclining her head.

Jack laughs lightly. ‘It’s hardly a battlefield. I don’t see what they’d need me for.’ 

Elsa thinks back to her coronation and Anna’s brief dance with Duke Weaselton. ‘I have it on good authority that the dance floor is a dangerous place.’ 

Jack snorts. ‘Yes. I suppose, but I’d only add to the hazard.’ 

‘Maybe with the wrong partner.’ 

‘No, no. I’ve perfected it,’ Jack insists with a devious hint to his voice. His smirk grows an inch however furrowed his brows are. Elsa blinks, not sure if he’s denying her offer, or if he just didn’t register it. Bunnymund looks particularly constipated. 

‘Highness,’ Bunnymund sighs, exasperated.

‘It’s all fun and games. After all, what do you expect from a blind man?’ The words are sour, like curdling milk. Elsa can’t help but wonder what he’s experienced and if there’s anything straight forward about this man.

‘Yer and yer mischief,’ Bunnymund mutters in obvious disapproval, eventually. 

‘Serves them right.’ 

Elsa can’t truly fault him for that. So in the spirit of companionship, prompts: ‘What’re your favourite tricks?’ 

‘Step on their toes, guide them into other dancers, trip,’ Jack enumerates idly. 

‘So,’ Elsa hesitates, because this will be embarrassing if she can’t get her request across or if she’s the one not understanding a refusal. ‘you cannot dance?’ 

‘I wouldn’t say that.’ 

‘You don’t like to, but you can,’ Elsa theories after all she’s heard and seen; the man’s playful yet defensiveness and how determined he is to not let people see the hurt.  ‘People look down on you, so you choose to prove them right.’ 

The soldier shrugs, palms open to her. She can detect slivers of scars. ‘Pettiness comes part of the territory. And hey, I lost my self-respect long ago. It’s no skin off my back.’ 

Elsa blinks, folding her hands tightly in front of her. ‘...are you not tempted to step on someone’s toes?’ 

‘Only when I am the only one I’m embarrassing,’ Jack says with a crooked grin, ‘and perhaps my partner. But from what it sounds like, Queen Elsa has been through a lot recently. She deserves the chance to find - her own dance partner without any distractions I may cause.’ 

Elsa releases a quiet breath. Mind made up. ‘...and if I invited you?’ 

‘Pardon?’ Jack says, word tumbling out of his mouth like a stone.

But Elsa refuses to lose her nerve now. Jack’s shown her courtesy in humouring her, strength in character in retelling his ordeals and kindness in how he’s treated her and his attendant. ‘You never asked of me my name,’ Elsa says, a non-sequitur to those not paying attention

‘Did I not?’ Jack breathes as Bunnymund moves to put a paw on his lord’s shoulder. ‘Then, forgive me, milady. May I ask after your name?’

Elsa wets her lips. ‘I am daughter of Agnarr and Iduna, Elsa of Arendelle; Snow Queen,’ she announces though she’s never had to present herself before. It feels oddly appropriate now. ‘By chance, ser, may I ask after your hand?’