In Which Elsa is Bored, Anna is Confused, and Elsanna Abounds.
Anna was confused, she did not like being confused. The source of her present befuddlement was, unfortunately, no where to be found. It had all started when she woke up that morning.
“Elsa?” Anna’s voice rang with the puzzlement that she felt as she woke up to discover that she was alone in the bed. Anna looked around the room as she sat up, nothing seemed amiss, apart from the absence of her sister et lover. As she leaned back on her hands something crincked underneath them. Startled, Anna shot out of bed, shivering slightly in the cold morning air. The crinkling sound, it transpired, was a note, a note that she hastened to read, hoping that it provided some clue as to where her erstwhile partner had gone.
“Anna,” the note began,
“Begin now your journey, which might be quite the hassle.
To begin, find the place where the silent crowd lives in the castle.
There beneath La Pucelle d'Orléans will you find the next clue. -Elsa”
Anna stared at the note, tracing the gentle curves of her sister’s signature with her eyes. “Great… a puzzle.” Anna groaned. “It couldn’t have been something simpler, just a simple, ‘hey gone to do queenly things. back later, love Elsa’ couldn’t it.” Done grousing for the moment, Anna sat back upon the comforter, trying to figure out the riddle her sibling had left.
“The place in the castle where the silent crowd lives… What crowd is silent? Mimes?” Anna shudders. “Thank goodness we don’t have any mimes… Not mimes then what? The only people I know that are silent was Elsa before everything.” A large grin appeared on Anna’s face then. “No, decidedly not silent now.” Anna muttered as she recalled last night. “What then. I mean, I guess the suits of armour never talk, or for that matter the… paint… tings…”
Moments later the door was slamming shut behind the quickly retreating back of the Princess of Arendelle as she sprinted for the portrait gallery.
Meanwhile at the end of The Journey™ Elsa paced back and forth, her hands wringing as she muttered to herself. “What if she gets lost? What if she doesn’t find the note? What-” She cuts herself off there, shaking her head. “No don’t think that, things will go fine… Oh god… What if they do go fine? What do we do when-” She cuts herself off again, this time because she noticed that her current anxiety is causing spikes of ice to form around her. “Ok Elsa, calm down, think of Anna.” A warm smile and a faint blush forms on her face as she makes the ice recede, leaving the room perfect once more. She looks down at her hands, specifically the thing she’s been fiddling with the whole time. “I’m sure everything will work out… I hope” her brow furrows as she wonders how Anna is doing with her little… quest.
Anna, was confused, she had been wandering the gallery for ten minutes and was no where nearer to the solution than she had been in the bedroom. “La Pucelle d'Orléans, great… french, it had to be in french.” Anna huffed as she looked around the gallery, hoping something would catch her eye. “She couldn't have just written it in a language I spoke could she. No she had to choose the one my tutors said I, and I quote. ‘Have no aptitude for in anyway.’” Anna humphed looking at it again. “I’ll show her, I’ll figure this out in no time. Anna sat on a bench, waving absently at Joan of Arc who looked triumphantly out at her. “Well.. d’Orléans means ‘of Orléans’ I know that much, and La is the. but what is Pucelle?” Anna sat there and thought for what seemed like hours, “The something of Orléans… why does that sound familiar?” She tapped her hand against her chin as she laid back upon the settee. “The something of Orléans… What do you think Joan?” Anna looked up at the painting, before jumping up in shock. “The Maiden of Orléans. That’s it, that’s was your nickname. Oh Joan I could kiss you… if you know… you weren’t a painting… and if I wasn’t with Elsa…” Anna coughed into her hand, kneeling down to look under the bench that she had so suddenly vacated. There, clear as ice, was the next note. Clear as ice was an appropriate phrase it turned out, as the next clue was a small sculpture. Formed out of the perfect flawless ice that her inamorata was renowned for was a small, beautifully formed… Olaf, standing amidst a grove of willows. “Olaf? How is Olaf a clue? He’s with Kristoff delivering ice to the southern province.” Anna looked at the sculpture, hoping to divine some other meaning from it’s crystallized depths. As she looked, some of the swaying tendrils of the willows tinkled, ringing out in a beautiful waterfall of sound. Anna gasped. “Of course, the willows, where I found Olaf. Elsa’s next clue must be hidden there.” Grinning in triumph, Anna set the statuette down gently before dashing off once more, her confidence renewed.
Elsa was now bored, bored and nervous, and a bored Elsa was a curious thing in and of itself. She had decided, in her boredom, to try and make as many dirty words as she could out of flurrys, so far she had managed to make all the usually ones that she heard floating from the street when people stubbed toes or banged fingers. And had moved on to more esoteric and refined forms of cursing. She giggled as ‘a pipe for Fortune's finger to sound what stop she please.’ floated through the air before fading and falling to the ground as normal snow. Snow which she absently ran a finger thorough, doodling as she waited. “I must have made the clues to hard.” She sighed. Before shaking her head. “No, Anna is a smart girl, maybe she was delayed by some duty, Guard inspection or… something.” Elsa didn’t think so, brilliant though her sister maybe, she did have problems with riddles. “I just have to wait, that’s all” Elsa looked down at her doodle, before flushing scarlet, realising that, in her idle doodling the devil had had his fun. As revealed before her, gorgeous in it’s clarity, was her and Anna in a rather… compromising situation. Elsa quickly brushed her hand though the doodle. “I’ve got to get my mind out of the gutter.” Elsa sighed again, settling down to wait.
Anna was frustrated, she had reached the glen, she had searched the glen, she had cursed as she paced up and down the glen, now she was pouting in the glen. “Stupid Elsa not giving me a better clue. What if it washed away? What if a squirrel took it?” She glared balefully at a squirrel in a tree across the pond, before sighing. “Where could Elsa have hidden it.” She mumbled to herself idly playing an eye across the surroundings. She paused, looking around again, her eyes stopping on an odd glint coming from the waterfall. She squinted at it, trying to make it a shape. “Is that… Marshmallow?” And indeed, hidden behind the waterfall, was a crystalline sculpture of her least favorite snolem. Granted that category was filled with a grand total of two people, but in any case. Anna stood up chewing on her lower lip, “OK… so she wants me to go to the Ice Palace, that much is obvious. But what on earth could she want me to go there for?” Anna paced as she mulled this over, before sighing. “Well, there’s no point staying here at any rate. Onward and upward I suppose.” And with that, dirty, drained, and determined, Anna set off for the North Mountain.
Elsa was bored again. She had managed to work out her ‘frustration’ earlier, and was now just sitting, idly making snow that she was swirling around in an attempt to amuse herself. She stiffened suddenly, as she heard the distinctive tap tap tap of shoes on ice. “Oh my god, she’s here, she made it.” Elsa started panicking again, before calming and making sure everything was ready. Sequestering herself away in an alcove she gave one last look over the room, before nodding. “This will work, it has to.”
Anna hesitated before the door, she was always doing that nowadays. Years of doors in her face would make anyone hesitate. Gathering up her gumption she knocked, a simple beat. The doors opened again, but there was a difference. Last time she was here she was sure there wasn’t. “Another door?” Anna was confused, she seemed to be doing that a lot lately. There was an envelope attached to this door at least. Taking it, Anna retrieved the note inside, which stated in Elsa’s clear precise hand.
“Congratulations, you have deciphered the penultimate clue. I always knew you could do it. Now though, we come to the last.
Within these halls you must revisit the past, and opt for the path not taken.
For at the end, hidden within, is a message that can’t be mistaken.
Good luck my love. -Elsa”
Anna goggled at the note. Before sighing. “More riddles, wonderful.” Shaking her head ruefully, anna opened the second door.
Elsa’s breath was coming in quick gasps as she heard her sister enter the foyer of the palace. Putting a hand over her mouth she tried relaxing, lest her sister hear her. Visibly calming, her breathing relaxing, elsa settled down. Every fiber of her being straining to listen as her sister puzzled out the final clue.
Anna was confused, again, she was making a habit of it it seemed. She strained her mind, trying to figure out her paramour’s puzzling poem. “Revisit the past… So, she must mean the last time I was here. Opt for the path not taken though… what could she mean by that?” Anna looked around the foyer, realising for the first time what a architectural genius her sister was. “This place is amazing, I realize what Kristoff was talking about now.” As she looked around something caught her eye, there at the top of the central staircase, was the doorway, and through that she spied the steps she ascended last time. She shuddered as she recalled the encounter that had left her with a frozen heart. But, opposite that, was another staircase, one that she vaguely recalled, hadn’t, met up with the other. “Opt for the path not taken… So the end of The Journey™ must be at the top of that other staircase.” Elated, her heart thudding in her chest, anna sprinted towards the steps. And immediately slipped and fell on the ice.
Elsa winced as she heard and felt the thud as Anna fell, then blushed as she heard the curses that followed. Anna got back up again, this time gingerly, but still quickly, heading for the step. Ascending she noticed footprints outlined in the ice, leading up the forgotten staircase. She hastened her steps, still being careful not to fall, remembering her recent tumble all too vividly as she climbed up the steps.
Elsa was meditating, trying desperately to keep her emotions, and breath, under control. Her mantra was, unorthodox, but it worked. “Anna loves me.” Was repeated in her mind, keeping her from doing something she would regret.
Anna followed the footsteps through an unfamiliar hall, eventually arriving at another door. Hesitating again, she raised her hand, and knocked. The door, obligingly, though unfeelingly, opened. Warely Anna peered through, looking at the unfamiliar room, there were more footprints, that seemed to terminate somewhere within, along one wall was a bed. Which explained where Elsa had slept during her self imposed exile. Anna continued into the room, following the footprints until the last pair. Standing in the them she looked across from her, and saw an arrow pointing down, figuring out what it meant she obligingly looked down at the floor in front of her and gasped, her hands flying to her lips as she stepped back slightly in shock.
Elsa had quietly, with almost ninja like levels of stealth, followed behind anna, stopping when she stopped, and smiling, as Anna gasped.
There on the floor written in rime in a calligraphic script so welcome, so very welcome, were two words she had never expected to see.
and below that, written in smaller, but still beautifully
Shaking, heart fluttering, Anna turned. There, in all her beautiful perfect glory was her sister. Tears in her eyes, Elsa kneeled, taking out the box that she had been fiddling with earlier, she opened it. Revealing the beautiful silver ring, set within which was what appeared to be a ruby the same shade as Anna’s fire touched locks, in the shape of Elsa’s snowflake.
“Anna, I’ve loved you for what feels like a lifetime, and I want to love you for a lifetime more. Would you do me the honour of making me the happiest girl in Arendelle and take me as your wife?”
Anna was in tears by this point, so overwhelmed by the unexpected proposal, the beauty of the ring, and the events of the day, that all she could do was nod.
Elsa, smiling wider than Anna had ever seen gently took an unresting arm, sliding the ring onto Anna’s trembling hand. Elsa admired the way the “gem” sparkled on her sisters finger, before standing up and sweeping her into an embrace. Her laughter pealing out of her throat as her exuberance of Anna saying yes overtook her.
Anna, for her part, was still in shock, she returned the hug absently, but all she could do was stare in awe at the gem, which she now realized was made of ice that elsa had, no doubt, shaped herself. And not with her powers, though they undoubtedly made the original crystal. No, Anna could see the scuff marks, the areas where the tools had scraped the ice. Elsa had painstakingly carved this beautiful snowflake by hand.
“This must have taken her ages.” Anna said absently, not realizing she had spoken out loud until Elsa responded from her shoulder.
“Two Months.” Her slightly rough voice answered. “One month to formulate the crystal, another to carve it.”
Two months. The words resounded inside Anna’s head. Elsa had been planning to propose for two whole months. Longer she realized, as she would have had to come up with the idea in the first place. Breaking into tears anew, Anna squeezed her sister tightly as she sank slowly to the floor, Elsa following. Pulling back slightly, Anna stared into her, now fiancé’s stormy blue eyes. The embracing couple smiled, sharing without speaking the depth of their love for eachother, before slowly, tentatively, as if for the first time, they kissed, and within that kiss they poured all their hope, their fear, and most importantly of all, their love. The future stretched before them, and what a future it would be, but for now, they were content within eachothers arms.