Chapter 1: First Sight
Chapter One: First Sight
The waters of the fjord were churning roughly in the dark night. The people living on the coast of the small inlet were perplexed; no storm clouds appeared in the distance yet the water was choppy and dangerous. The rulers of the small, underwater kingdom of Arendelle knew better. The choppy waves signaled the distress of their heiress apparent. Elsa, the crown princess of Arendelle, was perhaps unique. She was born with the power of hydrokinesis. As Arendelle was located underwater, the weather in the kingdom was always subject to change with her emotions. The kingdom's inhabitants were none the wiser; they simply believed that a storm was brewing in the upper-world. The water was swirling in a maelstrom around the castle, just as the princess's emotions were swirling within her.
"I feel absolutely suffocated in here. I am stuck in this forsaken castle day in and day out. Why can I not leave for just one day?!" The princess shouted at her parents in frustration. She was swimming back and forth across the room, her platinum blonde hair flying behind her in its usual braid. "I think some company is overdue. There is simply no one to talk to besides the servants and the pictures on the walls." She gestured sharply at one of the many portraits hanging on the walls of the throne room. "I am going insane."
"Elsa, you know that it's too dangerous. You could get hurt, or hurt someone with your power," explained the King of Arendelle.
Elsa paused, hurt by his accusation. "It would be nice if you had faith in my control for once, Papa. I learned it from you after all. 'Conceal, don't feel, put on a show. Make one wrong move and everyone will know.'" She took a deep breath, trying desperately to calm the storm inside of her while inadvertently calming the whirlpool outside the castle.
"And sweetheart, what would we do if something happened to you?" asked the Queen in a gentle voice.
"Well, I suppose that you would have to find a new heir," the blonde quipped angrily. This was followed by gasps from both monarchs.
"How could you even think like that? We love you, Elsa," the Queen said, sounding a bit choked up by her only daughter's remark.
"If you loved me, you would not imprison me in my own home!" Elsa's anger overwhelmed her and she lost control of her temper and her powers. The castle was encased in a vortex of the princess's creation. The King and Queen looked to each other in horror, fearful of the daughter they supposedly loved. When she realized that she had lost control, Elsa took a deep breath and once again reined in the storm. She spared her parents only a glare before swimming off to her room and slamming the door behind her.
Of course, the princess could not herself be reined in so easily as her storm. That night she made a plan of escape. When day broke, she locked the door of her room, not that anyone would come looking for her when she was in this bad of a mood, and went to her window. Elsa had looked out the same window for so many years without ever seeing the outside. She quietly sang to herself, a habit developed in her years of isolation.
"Look at the world, so close, and I am halfway to it. Look at it all, so big; do I even dare? Look at me, there at last! I just have to do it. Should I? No." She paused, glancing back into her room before strengthening her resolve. "Here I go." She swam quickly out of the window, not looking back. After ten minutes of speedily swimming away, Elsa could see herself nearing both the shore and the surface of the water. She paused before surfacing to ascertain what environment she was about to put herself in.
The princess heard a voice humming from just above the water. She surfaced behind a tall rock to listen in. As Elsa peered out from behind the rock, she saw a beautiful redheaded girl walking down the dock. She simply sat on the edge of the dock, swinging her legs slightly as her toes skimmed the water, humming quietly to herself. This mysterious girl had her hair in two plaits, one of which contained a small platinum streak. Her face was more freckled than anyone Elsa had ever seen. (Granted, she had not seen very many people in her years of isolation.) In her intense focus, Elsa hadn't noticed that the girl had stopped humming. The redhead heard a small splash; Elsa's fixation caused her to forget the rule about not being seen or heard by surface dwellers and her tail had curled up behind her reflexively. As the girl turned toward the source of the noise, she nearly caught sight of Elsa who quickly dove beneath the water. Her tail splashed above the water just long enough for the stranger to see it.
"What the?" the girl muttered to herself. "Was that what I thought it was? Am I hallucinating?"
Elsa hovered just below the surface, holding her breath with anticipation. She had snuck out of the castle and almost exposed her secret world to a surface dweller. Thankfully, the redhead seemed to think that she was in fact hallucinating from dehydration. She slid her shoes back on and walked away with a second glance at a rock formation just off the dock.
Elsa quickly swam back home and thanked her lucky stars that neither her parents nor the beautiful stranger had caught her transgression to the surface.
As Elsa sat in her room that evening, she could not get the human girl out of her mind. The girl was beautiful, unnervingly so. She had to go back. She had to see the stranger again.
Back on dry land, the redheaded girl's thoughts followed the same line. She had to return to the dock and see what exactly it was she saw earlier that day. It had looked almost like a really big fish tail, but fish do not surface. Whales come to the surface. Maybe it was a fishy-looking whale? She shook her head. It could not be; the tail was too small to be a whale. She resolved to figure it out tomorrow by going back to investigate.
Chapter 2: Friendship
Elsa woke early the next morning and, after changing her seashells and plaiting her hair, sped off to the same dock she had visited the day prior. In her excitement, she managed to arrive five minutes earlier than the day before. She surfaced behind the rock and peeked out, looking for the beautiful stranger. As she looked over at the dock, a pair of ocean blue eyes met her own. Shit. She stuck her head back behind the rock and prepared to dive when a melodious voice called to her.
"Wait! Please don't leave! I won't hurt you or anything. I just want to be friends," the voice called out, almost pleadingly. Elsa poked her head back out hesitantly to see the same girl from yesterday sitting on the dock, dipping her toes in the water again.
"Hi there, stranger. We kind of met yesterday but kind of didn't. I'm Anna Hansen. I live in the next town over." Elsa came out from behind her rock and slowly swam over to the dock, being careful not to let her tail show. As soon as she reached the dock, the questions began to flow from the curious redhead.
"What's your name? Where are you from? What are you?" the redhead babbled. "Is your name Freya? You look like a Freya to me. Or maybe, is it Gerda? I don't know. Are you from around here?" Finally, after an innumerable amount of questions, the blonde cut in when Anna took a breath to answer at least one.
"My name is Elsa. Elsa of Arendelle. It is nice to meet you Anna of Hansen." Both girls immediately noticed the difference in their speaking patterns. Anna sounded carefree, like a normal teenager; Elsa sounded like someone performing a poorly rehearsed part. Anna let a small laugh escape from her mouth.
"You talk like someone out of a cheesy old movie. And it's Anna Hansen. Not Anna of Hansen. I don't live in Hansen. Is that even a town?" She paused, contemplating her own question, before continuing. "I don't think it is. Anyway, I guess you're from Arendelle then? What's your real last name?"
"Of Arendelle?" the blonde replied, confused.
"You don't have a last name? Oh, okay. That's cool. Just Elsa. Anyway, onto more important questions. Why'd you run, well I guess swim would be the better word actually since you were in the water. Why'd you swim away from me yesterday? And did you see that thing yesterday? What was that thing, it looked like it had a whale-fish tail?" Anna was simply being her perky self, but her perkiness was wearing out poor Elsa. The heiress was not used to human interaction, especially not being interrogated.
"I was afraid," she whispered softly. Anna caught the words and had to tease her new companion to lighten the mood.
"Afraid of what? Do I look scary or something?" Anna asked. "If I do, I should know. I don't want to scare people." Now it was Elsa's turn to laugh. She covered her mouth with her hand as she giggled quietly. "Or was the fish-thingy the scary one?"
"No, you are not scary. I just did not want to get caught." Elsa bit her tongue at that revelation and made certain to ignore the last question. She had known the girl all but two minutes and was already about to give up all her secrets. What was wrong with her?
"Caught?" Anna questioned, raising one eyebrow. She seemed to sense the blonde's reluctance to answer and shrugged with a smile. "Alright, we can skip that one. So, where is Arendelle anyway?" Once again, the blonde girl hesitated. Anna asked with a sigh, "Are there any questions you can answer?" Elsa let another small giggle slip as she shook her head slowly. Anna flopped backwards on the dock with exasperation before coming up with another question. "How old are you?"
"I just celebrated my twenty-first birthday this past week. How old are you?" Elsa questioned.
"I'm only eighteen. We're only three years apart! That's cool. Now we totally have to be friends." Anna grinned from ear to ear. Elsa found her face mimicking the redhead's unconsciously. Anna's enthusiasm was truly contagious. It took the redhead a moment to pick up the other important detail that Elsa had said. "Wait, what? Your birthday was last week? I missed it?!" the girl screeched.
Elsa winced at the high pitch the other girl managed to reach and sank a bit lower into the water. "You did not know me last week. It would not make sense for you to have known my birthday before you knew me."
Anna gave the blonde a look that plainly said That is not a real answer. "Yeah, but we're best friends now. So I should have gotten you a present. Don't worry," she reassured Elsa. "I'll find something good."
Elsa was stuck on the first sentence. "Best friends?" she questioned.
"Well, yeah. I mean, you're the only friend I really have. Besides Kristoff, but he's a guy and my almost-boyfriend so he doesn't really count," Anna admitted to her new best friend. "I mean, that's assuming you want to be friends?" the redhead asked, biting her lip in anticipation of the answer.
"I have a friend? A best friend?" Elsa looked down at her hands and whispered to herself in disbelief. "I have never had anyone actually like me before or not be afraid of me, besides…" She trailed off, not daring to finish her thought and make herself sad over the past. "But now I have a real friend." Finally her excitement broke through her icy façade as she beamed up at Anna. "Of course I would enjoy being friends." Underneath the water, Elsa's powers were whipping the water around her tail with the force of the girl's excitement. She could care less about the exposure of her powers. She had a friend!
She let her excitement grow for a minute before freezing up. How could she possibly be friends with a surface-dweller without giving up the secret of mermaids? Would Anna be afraid if she revealed her powers, or her tail? Meanwhile, Anna watched as Elsa's face lit up and then slowly faded to a frozen stupor; her facial expression followed suit.
"Elsa," she started. "Is everything okay?"
It took Elsa a moment to compose herself to the point where she could answer. "Oh, yes. Everything is absolutely fine." Her perfectly practiced mask was plastered upon her face once more. "I do have to go though." The blonde slowly started backing away from the dock towards her rock. She paused before submerging herself and looked back to see Anna watching sadly. "Will I see you again, Anna Hansen?" She bit her lip gently, hoping desperately that Anna's answer would be….
"I'll be back here tomorrow at the same time. Will you come back?" Anna smiled, her optimism already coming back at the prospect of seeing her one and only friend again.
"Of course. How could I stay away from my new best friend?" With that parting remark, Elsa sunk back into the water and took off for her home. Anna watched the water for a moment before wandering onto the beach in search of her shoes.
Chapter Three: Icy Storm
Elsa could not get rid of the smile on her face. It had been there almost constantly for the past two days, ever since she saw Anna for the first time. She finally returned back home through the window and laid herself down on her bed, staring up at the ceiling wistfully. She desperately wished that she could have a friend without having so many secrets separate them.
Suddenly, there was a knock at her door. “Princess Elsa?” Elsa thanked her luck that she had gotten home in time to answer the knock. The servant at the door knocked once more. “Princess Elsa? Are you in there?”
“Who is it?” she called out.
“Just Kai, ma’am. The King and Queen are looking for you. They request your presence in the throne room.” Kai spoke through the door.
“Please tell them I will be there as soon as I am able,” she replied unenthusiastically. Truthfully, she had no intentions of going to meet them. All Elsa wanted to do was be happy, and she knew that seeing her parents would only ruin her good mood.
Kai stuttered a bit, caught between two orders. “I-I’m sorry, Princess. They’ve asked me to take you there myself. Immediately.”
The young heiress sighed. “Give me a moment.” She glanced in the mirror and added a touch of color to her lips using a red algae stain. The color stood out profoundly against her pale complexion. She then swam slowly to her jewelry box and opened it, revealing the small tiara that she had received on her twenty-first birthday. She twirled her flyaway bangs into a twist that went across her head. When she ran out of bangs to twist, she began to incorporate her braid. She twisted the platinum blonde braid into a bun and pinned it into place behind her head. Elsa carefully lifted the tiara and placed it behind the twist atop her head. After sliding on a pair of gloves, she was ready. If it was a princess they wanted, it was a princess they would get. The blonde swam to her door and threw it open, startling Kai who was standing just outside. “Let us go, Kai,” she said with an icy tone in her voice. The servant bowed slightly and began leading her to the throne room.
The simplest way to get to the throne room from Elsa’s wing of the castle was through the hall of portraits. Elsa paused as Kai hurried through. He realized that his charge was not behind him any longer and peered back in the room. “Princess?” Elsa had stopped in the center of the room, looking at one of the portraits.
“Would you mind waiting a bit, Kai? I will be just a moment,” she promised. Kai nodded and let the door close behind him. The heiress looked back to one of the portraits that she had always been fond of. The portrait of Joan of Arc. She swam closer, remembering all the years in solitude when Joan was her only company. She was just like me, Elsa thought. She was persecuted for her supposed powers. I bet all that she wanted was to have a friend.
“I guess it is still just you and me,” she muttered. “It is us against them, trying to keep ourselves alive. Hang in there, Joan. I will try to keep it together, but who knows if I will be able to with them.” The blonde glanced down at her hands, tugging the gloves on further as if they could help her retain some semblance of control over both her emotions and powers. She moved to exit, glancing back at her childhood companion once more before closing the door between them.
The two arrived at the throne room in relatively good time. Kai slid in first. “Now presenting Her Royal Highness, Princess Elsa of Arendelle.” Another two servants then opened the double doors, allowing her entrance to the room. Elsa swam in slowly with her head held high, looking disdainfully at the monarchs seated before her. The Queen seemed taken aback by the coldness with which her daughter treated her. The King may have been surprised by the new air, but he did not show it.
“You are dismissed,” he called out to the servants in the room. Once the door close behind them, he got up off of his throne. The Queen quickly followed suit.
“Your Majesties,” the princess said softly, acting out her part with a small curtsey.
“Elsa,” the King began, “we wanted to see how you were after your little outburst the other day.” He started toward her, looking like he wanted to take her hand. She kicked her tail and shot a foot away from her father.
“As you can see, I am perfectly fine. May I leave now?” Elsa did not want to be with her parents. She wanted to be back in her room, alone, daydreaming about her new best friend.
“No, you may not,” her father ordered. “Elsa…”
“Do not use that tone with your father,” the Queen demanded angrily. Elsa took a deep breath. She was trying desperately to not lose control. Do they want me to lose it? she thought to herself. She brought her arms in around her, almost hugging herself, in an attempt to hold herself together.
“Mama, Papa, I have been your daughter for twenty-one years now. Have you ever seen me shed a single tear?” Both monarchs stopped to think about it before shaking their heads. “I am fine. I am not crying and I am completely fine.” The princess seemed to be trying to convince herself of that fact as much as she was trying to convince her parents. She realized that her control was slipping, turned, and started to leave.
“Elsa, wait!” Her mother made to grab her left hand and her glove flew off into the Queen’s hands. Elsa gasped and held her bare hand close to her chest, reaching for her glove with her other hand in a state of panic.
“Give me my glove!” she commanded.
“Elsa, you can’t live like this anymore,” the King said sadly. “You can open up to us.”
“I opened up to you two days ago and you dismissed me. I have had enough of it.” She brought her arms back around herself, trying to hold in the storm raging within her as she swam for the door.
“Sweetheart-” Elsa whipped around, cutting off the sentence.
“I said, enough!” she yelled, throwing her left arm out as she turned. Ice shot out of her hand and spread into spikes across the floor, separating the princess from the rulers. Her eyes widened and she floated backwards until her back hit the door. She held her bare hand close to her chest. The King and Queen stared in shock at the shards of ice that now defiled their throne room before turning their eyes back to their daughter.
“Elsa…” the Queen whispered. Her eyes were alight with fear. The blonde could not handle the terror in her parents’ eyes; they were afraid, afraid of her.
Elsa’s gloved hand scrambled for the door handle. When she found it, she threw the door open and swam away as fast as she possibly could to her bedroom. Her emotions spawned a snow storm in the room. She barricaded herself in and collapsed against the door sobbing while the storm raged on.
I am dreadfully sorry that it took this long to update, but I like to have the next chapter finished in advance before I post. Please do not expect any updates for at least the next week; schoolwork is starting to demand more of my time. I apologize, but schoolwork comes first. Please let me know if you like the story, if you have any criticisms, if there's a horrible error that was missed in the editing process (there should not be but you never know), or any predictions you might have. As always, thank you for reading.
Chapter 4: Family Ties
Anna eventually found her shoes. How they got all the way on the other side of the beach was beyond her comprehension. She slid the flip flops back onto her feet.
"Ew, sand stuck in my shoes," she muttered. The redhead pulled the shoes back off and resigned herself to carrying them home. She didn't live too far from the beach anyway. Anna began skipping home. She went about half a mile through the sand before going up to one of the shore-side houses and scraping the sand off of her feet. Father would kill her if she tracked sand through the house.
"Dad!" she called out as she entered. "I'm home from the beach!" Footsteps were heard coming down the main stairway and Anna hurried over. Her father stood at the foot of the stairs. A grin spread across her face as she ran up and hugged him tightly.
"Good morning, my sunshine," he said with a chuckle, wrapping his arms around the girl. "How was your walk across the beach this morning?"
The tiny redhead promptly twirled out of his arms with a laugh. "It was wonderful! I made a friend Dad. A real, live friend." Her smile lit up the room.
Her father, Hans Hansen, felt a pang of guilt in his heart. It was his and his wife's fault that Anna had never gotten the chance to make friends. His wife's business led them to travel all around the world, never staying in one place for longer than a year. He was content to drift around. They always lived near a port where the fish bit and he made a hefty profit with his catch. But Anna… Constantly moving was not good for friendships and they had first started moving when she was five.
When she was just a child, he watched her make friends and then be crushed whenever the family had to leave. The other children promised to keep in touch, but children are notoriously bad at keeping promises. By the age of ten, she stopped trying to make friends. In her own words, "It's better to be lonely than to get hurt when they all break their promises anyway."
This, however, was the last stop on the journey of world traveling for the Hansen family. Anna's mother had passed away almost a year ago. That was when they moved to live on the fjords, back in Anna's childhood home. They had only been back for six months now, but Anna already had more friends than ever. This new friend and that Bjorgman boy.
"Congratulations sweetheart. I knew you would. You're too lovable to not make friends," he replied with a smile.
"Oh, and Daddy? I'm going to go visit Kristoff later. He wants me to meet his family now that we've been sorta-kinda going out for a few months," she remarked.
"That's fine with me; just don't be home too late," he said, raising an eyebrow. He wasn't aware that they were dating, or even almost dating. He thought they were simply good friends. There would most definitely be a talk about this later. "Anyway, I'm off to work. The fish don't catch themselves." He bent down slightly and kissed the top of her head. "I love you. Call me if you need me." He picked up his bag and slung it over one shoulder. As he left out the back door, Anna called out to him.
"Bye Daddy! Love you more! I'll leave lunch in the fridge in case you forgot yours, again." She chuckled at her own joke before going up the stairs to her room. She chucked the sandy shoes into the back of her closet and dug around in the shoe pile for a pair of sneakers. "Aha!" she cried out, dragging one sneaker out from the bottom of the pile. She fished around for another minute before triumphantly pulling out its pair. A pair of socks was pulled from the dresser. She pulled on the socks and shoes and glanced in the mirror. She was a bit sandy, but still presentable.
Anna undid her hair and brushed it out before putting it into two braids. She put on a little bit of lip gloss and eye shadow and decided she was ready to go.
Anna picked up her house key off of the island in the kitchen and stuffed it into the small purse type thing she grabbed off of the back of a chair. She went out the front door this time and locked it behind her before starting off down the street. Thankfully, the Bjorgmans didn't live too far away. Anna got bored of walking pretty quickly and her thoughts drifted to her new best friend Elsa. She wondered why the blonde girl only stayed in the water and didn't come out to bask in the sun on the beach. Maybe her fingers and toes were all wrinkled and she was too embarrassed to come out, she thought. Maybe she only has one leg and she's self-conscious about it. Oh, maybe she's training to swim across the ocean and wanted to practice floating. She looked like a decent swimmer so that could totally be it. She got bored of her theories eventually and decided to sing herself a little song to pass the time. Elsa was still on her mind, so she came up with a little tune about meeting her new friend.
"Meet me by the sandy shore," she quietly sang to herself. "Down by the rock at our favorite port. I'll chat you up on the bank." After a few moments, she laughed at herself. She had known the blonde for two days, technically one but who's counting? she thought. Why couldn't she get the girl off of her mind? She was so distracted that she almost walked directly into a lamppost. She tapped it with her hand lightly, feeling the hard metal beneath her fingertips. "Yeesh, good thing I didn't hit that. That could have seriously dented my face." The redhead carefully stepped around the lamppost and continued walking until she reached a cute, pale blue beachfront shack. It wasn't the biggest of houses, but it was by no means small either. Anna took a breath to calm her nerves and stepped up to the front door of Kristoff's house.
Coincidentally, Kristoff was also arriving at Kristoff's house. "Hi Kristoff," she said, looking up at the tall dirty-blonde's face.
"Hi Anna," he echoed back with a grin, looking down significantly to actually see her face. "Welcome to my house. Just a warning though, my family can be a little bit inappropriate. And loud, very loud. They're also stubborn at times, and a little overbearing. And-" Anna cut him off.
"Kristopher, don't worry. They sound wonderful," she reassured him. He grumbled a bit at the Kristopher part; he absolutely loathed that nickname.
"Thanks feisty-pants," he said, smiling. "Oh, just one more thing?"
"Shoot," she said, sticking her tongue out at him.
"I may have forgotten to tell them that you were coming…" Kristoff said sheepishly.
"What do you mean you forgot?!"
After Kristoff managed to calm down the feisty redhead, he opened up the door and strolled confidently inside. Anna trailed behind him, unsure of herself. "Hey everyone, I'm home!" shouted Kristoff. Bulda Bjorgman stuck her head out from the kitchen where she was preparing lunch for everyone.
"Kristoff's home!" she hollered, smiling at him. Four little ones came running out from all corners of the house. One slid down the railing of the stairs; another two came from a bedroom down the hall, and the last one slid out of the kitchen from behind her mother.
"Kristoff!" all the kids yelled excitedly. The twin boys both jumped on him simultaneously, one on his back and the other on his front. The youngest boy started running up to his big brother but tripped and rolled over instead. The baby of the family, a little girl, slid over and hugged Kristoff's leg.
"Guys, guys, one at a time," he said with a chuckle. "Behave, we have company." He gestured with his head toward where Anna stood. She waved a little and mumbled a hello.
"He's brought a girl!" Bulda shouted enthusiastically. She threw down her sandwich-making utensils and rushed over to see Kristoff's friend. The twins dropped off of Kristoff in shock and hit the floor with a small thud. Upon hearing that there was a girl, her husband Cliff came bounding down the stairs.
"Kristoff," he muttered to his son. "You never mentioned that you would be bringing a girl home."
Kristoff gave an uneasy laugh. "I forgot?" That was not a good enough answer and his father lightly slapped him upside the back of the head. "Anyway," he said, sidestepping away from his father. "Let me introduce you to everyone. This is Mom and Dad. They adopted me when I was eight. They're the best parents a kid could want." Both parents smiled at the glowing commendation. The oldest son stepped up behind the twins and wrapped an arm around each of them. "And these two trouble-makers are Sebastian and Peter. They're nine years-old." The twins stopped looked at Anna like they'd never seen a girl before.
Kristoff bent down to help the youngest boy up off of the floor where he lay. "This clumsy little one is Pål. He's five." The small boy waved with chubby fingers at Anna, smiling shyly.
"Aww…" she whispered to herself and then to Kristoff. "He's such a cutie." Kristoff nodded in response before turning to the last child, the little girl.
"And this little ray of sunshine is Lina. She's three and the only girl in the house. Besides Mom of course." The tiny child looked up at Kristoff's friend, her emerald eyes alight. She grabbed onto Kristoff's leg and hugged it tightly. "Everyone, this is Anna."
"Hi," the redhead squeaked out as all eyes went to her; her face went bright red with her blush. She never did like being the center of attention.
"Well, who's hungry?" Mrs. Bjorgman asked, going back to the kitchen to make an extra sandwich.
One awkward lunch later, Kristoff and Anna stepped out into the backyard of the Bjorgman house. Anna sat down on the soft grass and crossed her legs, watching as a large Norwegian Elkhound came bounding over to his owner excitedly. The dog pounced and managed to knock the blonde on his back before sitting on him and licking his face. Kristoff smiled brightly and laughed.
"Anna," he attempted to say around the dog's frantic licking of his face. "This is Sven."
"Hi Sven," she said with a little wave. Sven looked over at the tiny redhead and ran over to her, tucking his head under her hand to signal that he wanted to be petted. Anna threw her head back laughing but obliged the command of the hound and began to pet him, much to Sven's enjoyment. Kristoff looked puzzled; the redhead gave him a questioning look.
"Usually Sven doesn't take to strangers so kindly. He really likes you," he commented. Anna looked confused and her hand stilled on the dog's head.
"That's a good thing right?" Her almost-boyfriend nodded slightly in response and stood up from where he lay. Sven looked at Anna as if to tell her that he must be petted, again. Kristoff picked up a ball from the grass near the doghouse and held it near his dog's nose.
"You wanna play, Sven?" he said with a chuckle. Sven immediately stopped bothering Anna and began salivating over the idea of catch. The blonde threw the ball high in the air and it began to drop near the other side of the yard. The elkhound ran as fast as he could in an attempt to catch the ball before it hit the ground. "Faster, Sven!" Kristoff called out, knowing Sven's ultimate goal. Sven leaped up and snatched the ball out of the air before tumbling to the ground and rolling around with utter contentment. The redheaded girl giggled at Sven's antics. The dog rolled back onto his feet and ran back to Anna, nearly grinning.
She rubbed his head as he rolled onto his back. "Who's a good boy? You are!" she said in a baby voice as she scratched the cute dog's belly. She caught sight of the time on her watch and jumped up. It was almost three o'clock! "Kris, I have to go. I said I'd cook dinner tonight."
"Alright. Should I walk you home?" he asked.
"No, no; it's fine, I'll be fine on my own," she replied. The tall boy reluctantly accepted that answer. He gave his almost-girlfriend a hug and kissed her on the top of her head. A blush spread rapidly across her cheeks. She wasn't sure how she was supposed to feel when getting kind-of kissed, but she was sure it wasn't supposed to feel this awkward or wrong. She gave him a teeny hug in return and quickly backed away from him. Kristoff seemed a bit taken aback by her distance but tried his best not to show it. The two walked through the Bjorgman house once more. Anna said goodbye to everyone; Bulda and little Lina hugged her tightly and both made her promise to come back soon. As she started walking home, one thought crystallized in her mind no matter how hard she tried to push it away.
If Elsa kissed me, I wouldn't feel as awkward.
Author's Note: I am terribly sorry that this chapter is so late, but I hope that the length makes up for the delay (this is almost twice the length of my usual chapters). A huge thank you goes out again to my beta, Lexei, and Frozest/Secretly Geek for writing the inspiration for this story. The final thank you is to the readers; this story passed 2,000 views on FF.net a few days ago and 200 hits on here and you have no idea how happy that makes me feel.
Chapter Five: Special Snowflake
The next morning, Anna woke up extra early. At seven in the morning instead of her usual nine or ten o'clock. She dusted off her mother's old bike that was left in the garage, bringing back some bittersweet memories, and took a quick trip into the main town square to make a few purchases. She was back home before her father even realized that she was gone, or woke up. She waited impatiently for the next couple hours until it was time to go for her walk on the beach, and to go visit Elsa again.
The redhead tried distracting herself with a book, but that was too boring for the feisty girl and she couldn't make it past page ten before she started dozing off. Instead, she began to obsessively clean her room. Her shoes went from a heaping pile at the bottom of her closet into nice rows, with the pairs being placed next to each other. Anna then hung up or folded the piles of clothes that were strewn across the floor and placed the dirty ones in the hamper. She found her favorite shirt, a Little Mermaid shirt with Ariel on it. That had been missing since the move back to the current Hansen home. She even started doing her summer homework; that lasted about as long as the book reading.
Finally it was the time for her usual walk on the beach and time to see her new friend again. She packed up her new things and a camera in her bag and started sprinting toward the dock. She arrived in no time at all and sat down on the dock awaiting Elsa.
After a long night filled with tears that froze as they fell, Elsa realized that the light was filtering through the water. Anna, she thought. I have to go see Anna. She paused and looked at her own hands. "Get it together," she muttered. "Control it." It's not like having a power is a new thing. Now it's just more than one type. She made to put on a new pair of gloves and then stopped herself. "Surface dwellers like Anna do not wear gloves in the water. She would know that something was different..." With shaking hands, Elsa replaced the gloves in their little drawer. She grabbed her head with her hand in exasperation and noticed that her hair was still in place.
She pulled the crown off of her head and threw it onto her bed, displeased with all that is currently stood for in her mermaid drew the pins out from behind her head and her bun fell back into a braid. She ran her hands through her loose bangs to slick them back and the hair froze slightly, just enough to secure it into place. "Well, I suppose that this is useful for something after all," she said softly with a slight bit of mirth coloring her voice. The blonde took a bit of clean cloth and wiped down her tail scales to clean off the feel of the snow that had melted on it in the night. She decided to dress up a bit and put on her fanciest seashells that had a halter strap made of strung pearls and a small skirt made of a lost fishing net; Elsa wanted to dress to impress, even if the redhead wouldn't see it.
As she was lost in thoughts about Anna, she forgot about trying to control her newfound power. Without her fear being present, it stayed hidden. Once she felt presentable enough, she froze her door shut to better prevent people from coming in. She swam out the window and made her way to the rock.
Anna heard a small splashing noise and looked over to the rock where she had first seen Elsa the day prior. Elsa had just surfaced behind it. "Hi Elsa!" Anna cried out with excitement.
"Hello, Anna," Elsa said with a smile. "How are you this morning?"
"Good, and super excited. Guess why?" Anna was literally bouncing up and down with her excitement.
Elsa covered her mouth with her hand and laughed. "I do not know; why?" she replied.
Anna huffed. "No, you have to take a guess. Three wrong guesses and I'll tell you," she bargained.
The blonde stifled another laugh and grinned. "I suppose that is fair." She paused to think for a moment before answering. "Did you go for a swim?"
Her companion gave a big sigh. "Elsa, that is not something to get so super excited over. Try again."
Elsa frowned. Being able to swim around freely was something that made her the happiest mermaid in the ocean. She thought again. "Is it because you woke up early and got a head start on the day?"
Anna just gave the girl a look. "Why would waking up early make me happy?" Elsa shrugged her shoulders; it was something that made her happy. "You are closer though, so one more guess!"
Elsa decided to tease her friend a bit with her last guess. "Is it because you got to see me?" she asked sarcastically.
"That was actually a lot closer! Good job," Anna said excitedly. "It's because I got you..." She fished around in her bag for a minute before setting her hand on the right object. "This!" She whipped out a small box adorned with a sea foam green bow. She set the box down in front of Elsa.
Elsa froze. "A present, for me?" She whispered.
"Open it, open it!" Anna squealed with delight.
Elsa pushed herself up slightly to rest her arms on the dock, being careful not to expose more than her torso to the fresh air. She leaned on her arms and slowly, carefully lifted the lid off of the box. Inside was a silver chain. There were some small beads attached along with a piece of sea glass that matched the bow on the box. Attached over the sea glass was a silver snowflake charm. She lifted it out of the box by the clasp and stared at it in disbelief. Anna's voice permeated her musings.
"I saw it and thought of you. You seem like a snowflake type of person. Do you like it?" the redhead asked.
"I love it," Elsa breathed out, still so enraptured in staring at the gift that she didn't notice the irony of the snowflake and her newfound power. Her head snapped up to look at her friend. "Would you help me put it on please?" she quietly asked, partly because she couldn't get the clasp by herself and partly because she wasn't entirely sure if it was meant to go on her neck, wrist, or head. Anna nodded enthusiastically and beamed as she fastened the bracelet around the blonde's wrist. Elsa twisted her wrist and the bracelet made a jingling noise as the sea glass hit the metal charm and the beads clinked together. Anna watched Elsa as she played with her new gift and bounced up and down, pleased that she liked it.
"I told you that I should have gotten you a present," she said with a grin that bordered on a smirk.
Elsa smiled shyly and sank back down in the water. "Thank you," she replied. "This was unnecessary, but greatly appreciated."
"Totally necessary. But why don't you come out of the water? We can walk on the beach or something. And your bikini top is totally cute. It's like in The Little Mermaid, Ariel's seashells," Anna commented. "That's one of my favorite movies of all time." Elsa simply shook her head in response. The redhead sighed. "Why not?" she whined.
Elsa wrapped her arms around herself. "I just cannot."
"Can you tell me why?" The blonde shook her head once more. Anna thought back to her earlier theories. "Is it because you only have one leg and you feel self-conscious about the stump?" Elsa looked startled by Anna's guess and slowly shook her head, holding back a laugh about the ridiculous notion. She did have one leg type thing, but no stump, so she wasn't technically lying.
"I will explain eventually, but for now, please do not ask me to explain. I will do so when I am ready..."
The feisty girl reluctantly agreed to that condition and they remained talking for an hour before Anna had to leave. She recalled the little song that she made up on the spot the day prior on the way to Kristoff's house and sang it for Elsa.
"Hey Elsa, meet me by the sandy shore. Down by the rock at our favorite port. I'll chat you up on the bank," she sang quietly. Elsa smiled.
"I will see you tomorrow Anna." With a smile and wave, the blonde sank below the water and headed for home, playing with her bracelet the entire way home.
Thank you again for reading and giving kudos to Shore. It truly means a lot to me. I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please review and let me know what you think!
Chapter Six: Secrets Spilled
A month passed by. July faded into a hot August. Anna and Elsa met up every morning and talked, laughed, and enjoyed the company of each other. The mermaid girl consistently wore her favorite piece of jewelry, the snowflake bracelet that her best friend had given her, every day without fail.
During this time, Elsa began to feel guilty. Anna had trusted most, if not all, of her secrets to the blonde yet Elsa was hiding a key part of who she was from her best friend. Anna did try a few times to get her “fish out of the water,” as she put it, not knowing just how close to the truth she came; Elsa always refused to come out and refused to give any sort of explanation, only saying, "I will explain another time." The princess realized that Anna did not quite accept this answer, but trusted that Elsa would eventually explain. (The redhead was a bit too naïve and trusting, not to mention feisty, but those were some traits that Elsa had come to love about her quirky friend.)
Elsa’s guilt was eating her up inside and manifesting itself outside of her mind. Anna was truly the only person that the mermaid could talk to in confidence and with any semblance of trust. Anna was the only one, mermaid or human, who had ever listened to what Elsa had to say. She had never made any other friends, couldn't leave the castle, and refused to speak with her parents ever since the fateful day when she saw her own fears magnified in their eyes. She felt her control slipping more and more as her guilt grew stronger and stronger. Miniature maelstroms would start up in the corridors of the castle as she made her way through them, mirroring the storm raging inside of her. Things around the young heiress would freeze at random as she touched them, gestured towards them, or simply looked at them too intensely. She was out of control, and getting worse.
"Get it together," she muttered to herself and swam back and forth across her room, in a frantic state of mind. Her hands were running through her hair, as if fixing her uncontrollable hair could fix her control. Her long bangs froze to the back of her head, creating a windswept look. "Control it. Do not feel." Frost crept up the walls of the room. As she caught sight of the growing rime, she looked down at her hands in horror. "Do not feel!" she yelled with exasperation as she threw her hands away for her. Icicles began sprouting from the walls and grew increasingly larger until they were mere feet away from her body. There was nothing Elsa could do to stop it. She didn't know how to thaw the spreading ice or how to stop the shards from sprouting; she barely had control over the hydrokinesis she was born with let alone over the newer developing cryokinesis. She could only see one solution to end her raging guilt and stop the ice. Tell Anna.
She had done some exploring over the past month near the dock and found a small cave that was accessible by water and land. It was filled with enough rocks and sand for Anna to sit on and contained enough flowing water to allow her to breathe through her gills without a problem. It was beautiful, and it was perfect for what she had in mind. The next day before leaving, Elsa asked Anna a question. "Do you know of a cave nearby here? The one that connects to the ocean and contains a small pond?"
Anna nodded. "You mean the cave with the tide pool? Yeah, why?"
"Meet me there tomorrow instead of here."
"Why?" the redhead asked, perplexed.
"I have some explaining to do..."
The next day, Anna was early. She wanted to know what exactly it was that Elsa was to be explaining. Maybe she'll finally tell me why she won't get out of the water, she thought to herself. I bet it's the one leg thing. She waited for Elsa, thinking maybe she would come on land for once. The connection to the ocean was too far underwater for anyone to reach, even if he or she were to hold his or her breath. She kicked off her sneakers and socks before stepping up onto a rock. She hopped across a few rocks before settling onto one and kicking her feet around in the water.
Elsa was running late, but she needed everything to be perfect. She decided to wear the same shells that Anna compared to a Little Mermaid that the blonde didn't quite understand. The heiress had gotten quite good with channelling her cryokinesis, if she was calm enough, and was now able to create objects out of ice. She fashioned for herself a little skirt of ice along with some drop crystal earrings and a snowflake necklace to match her favorite bracelet. The blonde twirled her plaited hair into the same style that it was in when she had the blowout with her parents a month prior. To represent her status, she made an icy hair ornament that tucked behind her bun and looked like a combination of a snowflake and a starburst. She also slipped on a pair of gloves. She would need the extra control today, just in case. The princess looked in her mirror and thought to herself, I look like some sort of horrible Ice Queen… Speaking of queen, what would she say about the throne? She resolved to tell Anna the whole heiress situation at a later date; there would be enough secrets spilled that day.
Elsa swam quickly to the new meeting place and slowly surfaced. She made enough of a splash that Anna looked up from her musings to see who was there. “Elsa? Hi!” she said excitedly before reason kicked it. “Wait, what? How did you manage to swim through there?” the feisty redhead asked. “It’s literally impossible to even swim deep enough to get to the opening, let alone to hold your breath for that long.”
The blonde took a deep breath and steeled her courage. “Well, that is partly why I wanted to meet in here. As I said yesterday, I do have some explaining to do.” She glanced down at her covered hands in the water and wrung them out nervously. Please do not hate me after I tell you, she thought.
“Alrighty then, shoot!” Anna said with her trademark wide-toothed grin.
Elsa breathed in deeply. “Before I can allow myself to say anything, I need you to promise that you will not reveal any of this to anyone. This includes your dad and Kristoff. Do you understand?” Anna nodded her consent to the conditions and Elsa took a moment to mentally prepare herself to tell the truth.
“Anna, I have not been entirely honest with you. I am not exactly who you believe that I am…” She bit her lip and kept wringing her hands. “I do not know exactly how to explain this, so I suppose show and tell will work well enough.”
The redhead shook her head in confusion. “I’m sorry, I’m confused. What do you mean?”
“Close your eyes, Anna,” the blonde mandated cryptically. Her companion did not seem to understand what was going on, but she obeyed the command anyway. She trusted that Elsa wouldn’t lead her wrongly. Elsa swam to the bit of shore that was the closest to Anna and slowly but surely dragged her body onto the sand until her tail was mainly exposed. She took a deep breath to steel herself for the redhead’s reaction. If proper behavior in meetings had not been drilled into her since childhood, she would have shaken like seaweed in the currents and her words would have failed her. As such, she said, “You may look now.” Anna’s eyes flew open and soon appeared as if they would fall right out of her head. Elsa delicately flicked her tail and an arc of water shot overhead; a few droplets fell on Anna’s forehead. “I am what you surface dwellers call a ‘mermaid’.”
This chapter is un-betaed so I apologize for any glaring mistakes that I may have made. I did try to re-read it, but it's incredibly difficult to notice jarring errors in your own work. I wanted to get this out before I run out of free time for the month. Hope you like it! Please review and let me know what you think. As always, thanks for reading!
Chapter Seven: Wait, What?
“Anna, I have not been entirely honest with you. I am not exactly who you believe that I am…” She bit her lip and kept wringing her hands. “I do not know exactly how to explain this, so I suppose show and tell will work well enough.”
The redhead shook her head in confusion. “I’m sorry, I’m confused. What do you mean?”
“Close your eyes, Anna,” the blonde mandated cryptically. Her companion did not seem to understand, but she obeyed the command anyway. Elsa swam to the bit of shore that was the closest to Anna and slowly but surely dragged her body onto the sand until her tail was mainly exposed. She took a deep breath to steel herself for the redhead’s reaction. If proper behavior in meetings had not been drilled into her since childhood, she would have shaken like seaweed in the currents and her words would have failed her. As such, she said, “You may look now.” Anna’s eyes flew open and soon appeared as if they would fall right out of her head. Elsa delicately flicked her tail and an arc of water shot overhead; a few droplets fell on Anna’s forehead. “I am what you surface dwellers call a ‘mermaid’.”
"Please do not, oh what is it that you humans say?” Elsa paused and thought for a few seconds. “Freak out?" Elsa half asked, half spoke. She closed her eyes and held her arms out in front of her face to protect herself from the backlash that she anticipated from the feisty ginger girl.
"I'm not freaking out," Anna said somewhat calmly, before squealing, "This is the coolest thing that's ever happened to me!"
Now it was Elsa's turn to utter her companion's catch-phrase. "Wait, what do you mean?" Her eyebrows shot up as her eyes widened in shock.
“I’m meeting a mermaid, Elsa,” Anna said, looking at her friend incredulously. “How do you not see how cool this is?!”
Elsa cocked an eyebrow as she responded, “Because I am a mermaid?”
“Touché.” The redhead grinned. “Well my best guess was that you were missing a leg anyway. Technically I was right; you only have one leg type thing.” At this, Anna began laughing hysterically. “Wow, I crack myself up. That was a good one.”
Elsa stifled a grin and a laugh. “I suppose you were partially right.” She paused for a moment before asking, “How are you so calm about this Anna?”
“Well, I guess I’ve always believed in supernatural things and myths. Now that you’re proving me right, I’m just so excited.” As if to prove her point, she was nearly bouncing. Elsa was surprised that her companion hadn’t fallen off of her rocky seat yet. “Alright, now I have a few questions for you.” The blonde rolled her eyes, but the smile on her face showed that she was not truly annoyed. “In Atlantis, did you ever need to drink? I mean, you’re surrounded by water obviously. But, people need to drink water so maybe mermaids and mermen do too?” Anna thought about her question again for a moment before realizing how ridiculous she sounded. With a sigh, she said, ”I don’t know; this question was stupid.”
With a small chuckle, Elsa replied, “Atlantis is a myth.”
“Oooo no, that’s just what you want me to think,” Anna said in the most serious tone she could muster. Elsa couldn’t keep her composure any longer and began cackling hysterically. She laughed so hard that she ended up rolling back into the water. “It wasn’t that funny Elsa,” the redhead said with a pout. Although your laugh is adorable , she thought.
“Yes, it was.” Elsa managed to pull herself together and stop laughing after a full two minutes.
Anna rolled her eyes at her friend’s antics and began to compare and contrast the two of them, without stating the obvious (being tail and legs), in hopes that Elsa might give her a bit more insight into the mermaid's life, or mermaid life in general. She began by listing some of the things she actually knew about her friend. “Well, your hair color’s great. Your seashells are hot. You only talk a little-” Elsa cut her off there.
“And you talk a lot,” she shot back with a small eye roll, the comment’s bite dimmed by the smile shining on her face.
“Your home is the sea. My home is the land.” Well, maybe she did state the obvious just a little bit.
Elsa sighed wistfully as she reached out to grab a handful of sand and let it fall through her fingers. “I would give almost anything to step in the sand.”
Anna continued her list, noting the sad look on Elsa’s face as she spoke about the land. “I’m young and homebound. Where I live now is my childhood home. I haven’t been back here since I was five.”
“I am stuck in line for the throne,” Elsa countered, looking away from her friend. She hadn’t quite meant to spill that secret yet.
“You’re a queen?" the redhead exclaimed in shock, wondering how this had not come up in conversation before now.
The mermaid sighed and responded, "Well, not technically. Not yet at least. I will be queen one day. For now, I am simply the heiress apparent, the princess of my kingdom.”
"That’s so cool!” Anna gushed, her childhood dreams of being a princess all coming back to her.
“I would rather be disowned,” Elsa confessed softly, staring into the depths of the water. “It romanticizes isolation. The only things I am permitted to do are stay in my tower alone and go to my lessons." The girl paused, unsure of how to phrase her thoughts. "You are the first real person I have ever spoken to, aside from parents and servants.”
“I guess I know how you feel.” Anna looked down, not wanting to meet her friend’s eyes as she suddenly poured her heart out and bared her soul. “I've been traveling for almost my entire life with my parents. I’ve spent my life basically on vacation, trying not to think of what hurt me and what was real.” She shook her head slightly as she tried to get out of that sad mindset. “I don’t particularly like reality. It’s a bit of a downer.”
“Yeah, life can really get you drowned,” the mermaid replied ironically.
Anna laughed at the irony. “Drowned? How do you even know what drowning is? You’re a mermaid for goodness sakes!”
Elsa rolled her eyes and changed the subject. “So, a girl as pretty as you must have a mate. Who is the lucky merman?”
The redhead blushed furiously at both the compliment and the insinuation. “Well, I have a semi-almost boyfriend. His name is Kristoff. But, I’m not sure if he’s the right guy… well, person for me.” I prefer you, she thought. “What about you?”
“As I previously said, you are the first real person I have ever spoken with,” Elsa replied patiently.
“You did say that a minute ago, didn’t you?” Anna sighed. “Sorry.”
“It is alright; I understand perfectly,” the blonde said.
Anna decided to ask the question burning in her mind, manners be damned. “Do you like guys or girls? Well, mermen or mermaids?” she blurted out.
Elsa’s cheeks flushed a brilliant red that contrasted sharply against her pale complexion. “I do not have much experience, but I believe that female mates are my preference.” You are my preference, Anna, she thought. She paused, asking “Is that something that others find strange?” Not that I am not already strange enough , she thought.
“No, not at all. I mean, it used to be. But now that’s how a lot of people are.” Including me. Wait, what?
The blonde smiled softly. Good. I am not so much of a freak, she thought. “Good.” She glanced away from Anna and fiddled with the snowflake that hung at her collarbone.
Anna was watching for her friend’s reaction and saw a small detail that had escaped her notice earlier. “Wait, why the gloves?”
Elsa froze. This explanation thing was much more difficult than she had ever imagined it would be.
Thank you to everyone who is reading this. We passed 5,000 hits on FFN and 500 hits here on AO3! I couldn't finish writing this without your support. The fact that I have gotten such a big response on my first fic is truly inspiring. The Elsanna is starting to push its way into the story, if only these two idiots would realize it.
In other unrelated news, I graduated high school last week. Updates should (hopefully) be more frequent over the summer with the extra time to work. Also, I am currently on the hunt for a new beta reader. Please comment or PM me if you are interested.
Please do not forget to comment. Tell me if you like the story, your predictions (I may just use some of the ideas in future chapters), and suggestions you may have to my writing style. Also, if there is a typo or a glaring grammatical mistake, please do not hesitate to let me know so that I may fix it.
Thank you again, til next time!
Chapter 8: Frozen Fractals
Chapter Eight: Frozen Fractals
Anna was watching for her friend's reaction and saw a small detail that had escaped her notice earlier. "Wait, why the gloves?"
Elsa froze. This explanation thing was much more difficult than she had ever imagined it would be.
Elsa hesitated before slowly slipping off the gloves and setting them delicately on one of the rocks in front of Anna. "Before I tell you this, I must stress that everything that has happened and will happen in this cave today must remain a secret." The redhead nodded her head once; she understood just fine. "In addition to being a princess, and a mermaid, I also have one other secret. No one knows this aside from my parents." She muttered to herself, "And I would prefer that they did not know either."
"This is not something that is common among my people, the merpeople. This is actually highly unusual. There have been no records of this before, and we did search for years to see if the old legends had anything to offer." Elsa clasped her hands together tightly, fighting the ice that flooded through her blood.
Anna sighed. "I get it, you're a little weird. That's okay, so am I," she said with a smile. "You can trust me, Elsa. If I didn't freak out at the whole 'I'm a mermaid' revelation, I don't think anything else you can throw at me will."
Throw at you… An idea formulated in the blonde's head and a mischievous grin grew on her face. She lifted a scoop of water in her hands and as it hit the air the liquid transformed into snow. With a small smirk, she threw the ball of snow at her friend. Anna was caught completely off guard; the snow hit her directly in the face, the impact nearly knocking her over. Her jaw dropped and Elsa couldn't help the giggle that escaped her lips.
"What did you… How did you… Wait, what?" Anna could not manage to form an articulate sentence in her snowball-induced stupor.
Elsa held a hand in front of her mouth and let loose another peal of giggles. "I tried to warn you." She smiled shyly and pointed her index finger at the water before raising her hand and arm up above her head. A small stream of water rose from the area and climbed steadily upward with her pointed finger. She spun her finger around and the water rose into a circle of small droplets above the two girls. She drew both hands together overhead, crystallizing the droplets into an icy snowflake. It shimmered in the diluted light that filled the cavern. Elsa's hands shot outward and the snowflake spread out and dissipated into the air, with a few small, sparkling ice crystals falling back into the water. "I have these strange powers… I can manipulate water and create snow. I can freeze things at will. I have not a single clue as to where these abilities came from; I was simply born with them, I suppose.." She glanced down into her tightly folded hands, waiting for Anna's response.
Anna couldn't formulate a complicated reply; she was too stunned. Her eyes were bulging out of her head as she stared up at the roof of the cave where the crystal snowflake hovered just moments before. "Elsa, this is amazing." She looked to the water where her friend floated. "Why do you look so sad? This is amazing!"
Elsa gave a small sad smile in response, ignoring the question. "Thank you. I never knew what I was capable of…" She trailed off.
Anna tried asking the same question, but in a different manner."If you can do these amazing things, why do you hide them?"
"Because…" Elsa mentally debated whether to tell her companion the real reason or not, but in her heart she trusted Anna more than she trusted anyone else. She decided to speak the truth, saying, "I do not yet have enough control to trust myself to always use my powers properly. I stay alone, where I can be who I am without hurting anybody." Anybody but myself, she continued mentally.
"That seemed pretty controlled though," Anna countered.
"I can control them some of them time, with the exceptions of when I am afraid, stressed, or angry," Elsa replied. "Around you, I feel at ease. That makes everything much more simple."
Anna's cheeks filled with red coloring as her face lit up with a bright smile. "You just need to get comfortable around people. You should try meeting some of the people who live around you. That could make your life a whole heck of a lot easier."
The idea made sense in Elsa's mind, but she slowly shook her head. "Mother and Father would never allow it," she said dejectedly. Her eyes were downcast and her hands began to tremble delicately.
The redheaded girl looked confused. "How come? Shouldn't they want you to meet everyone if you're going to be a queen one day?" Elsa muttered something that Anna couldn't discern. "Huh?"
The mermaid sighed dejectedly and repeated herself. "They do not wish for me to ascend the throne, Anna." When Anna opened her mouth to argue, Elsa continued. "They do not trust me enough." Her voice dropped in volume and her entire body shook imperceptibly. "They fear me…" she whispered, her eyes glistening with unshed emotions and the ghosts of her past. Her breath hitched in her throat as her mind flashed back to the night when she first realized that her parents were truly afraid of her. She curled in on herself and floated away from Anna, trying to isolate herself. The water began to freeze around her.
Anna reached a hand out to her friend. "Elsa, it's okay. I'm here for you. They should love you for who you are, not fear you for who you're not. They aren't right… Not at all…"
The mermaid's voice was shaky as she requested, "Please give me back my gloves." Anna looked around for a moment and located the gloves, delicately throwing them back to Elsa. As the gloves went back on, the blonde's face looked visibly more relaxed. She was back in control. The ice that had begun to freeze around her receded.
Anna had little experience with friends, let alone friends in need, and had no clue what to do. She decided to change the subject to safer territory. "So, Elsa… Being a mermaid, you probably don't eat the same food we do, right?"
Elsa shook her head slowly, still calming herself down after the episode. "You would be correct in that assumption."
"So, all this time when I've been talking about different chocolates and cakes, you've had no clue what I was going on about?"
"That is correct." She cocked an eyebrow, confused about where her feisty friend was going with this line of questioning.
Anna gasped melodramatically. "Never had chocolate?! That's like blasphemy!" She attempted to feign a faint but fell off of her rock and slipped into the pool of water below, nearly landing on top of the mermaid taking up residence there. The loose bits of hair not contained in her twin braids were plastered across her face. She huffed, annoyed at her constant clumsiness. Meanwhile, her companion could not hold in her chuckles any longer and peals of laughter echoed through the cave. "Not funny Elsa," Anna muttered. She then caught sight of her reflection in the water and tried to stifle a laugh to prove her point. The two girls made eye contact with each other; their giggles paused for a moment. Elsa looked at Anna's "fabulous" new hairstyle and Anna saw just how pink Elsa's face had gotten from her laughing fit. Both girls looked ridiculous and they both knew it. They burst out laughing again and each time one caught sight of the other, the giggles were renewed. It took a grand total of fifteen minutes for the two to stop their laughing. Elsa, the ever mature of the pair, steered Anna back to where the conversation left off.
"What were you speaking of before? Chocolate?" The word felt foreign coming off of the mermaid's tongue.
"Oh yeah! Chocolate," the redhead mused with a smile. "Will you be back here tomorrow, Elsa?"
"If you would like me to be, I can arrange to meet you here just after the midday meal. Does that sound appropriate?"
Anna grinned. "Totally. But come for lunch instead of after it. And bring your favorite mermaid food. We can have a picnic lunch!"
"What is a picnic?" Once the explanation was finished, Elsa was excited for the idea of her first picnic ever. The sun was lowering in the sky by this point and it was time for goodbyes.
"Thanks for sharing your secrets with me. Your powers really are beautiful, Elsa," Anna said with a shy smile. "And the whole mermaid thing is pretty awesome too."
Elsa covered her mouth with her hand as she let out a small laugh. "Thank you, Anna, for being wonderful and accepting and for being the best friend a mermaid could have." She leaned over and gave the other girl a kiss on the cheek. The girls both blushed madly. "Goodbye, Anna. Have a lovely evening!"
"You too, Elsa! Bye!" As Elsa started her journey home, Anna stayed in the cave. Two revelations occurred to her as she squeezed the water out of her hair. "Elsa kissed me!" she squealed. "I was right about it not feeling as awkward," she murmured to herself, referring back to her thoughts at the Bjorgman house a month ago. "Shit, Kristoff!" Anna froze and bit her lip. "I'm more in love with Elsa than I am with my own semi-almost-boyfriend… Oh, what am I going to do?!"
Author's Note: Thank you again for all the reviews and hits. I cannot thank you all enough! This chapter is also unbetaed and I'm in search of a decent beta to catch my grammatical mistakes so please let me know if you're interested. Also, feel free to point out any wording issues. Thanks to Man of Constant Sorrow on FFN for pointing out an issue in the last chapter! Please keep reading and reviewing!
Chapter Nine: Fixer Uppers
Elsa covered her mouth with her hand as she let out a small laugh. “Thank you, Anna, for being wonderful and accepting and for being the best friend a mermaid could have.” She leaned over and gave the other girl a kiss on the cheek. The girls both blushed madly. “Goodbye, Anna. Have a lovely evening!”
“You too, Elsa! Bye!” As Elsa started her journey home, Anna stayed in the cave. Two revelations occurred to her as she squeezed the water out of her hair. “Elsa kissed me!” she squealed. “I was right about it not feeling as awkward,” she murmered to herself, referring back to her thoughts at the Bjorgman house a month ago. “Shit, Kristoff!” Anna froze and bit her lip. “I’m more in love with Elsa than I am with my own semi-almost-boyfriend… Oh, what am I going to do?!”
It was still early enough in the day at this point for Anna to visit Kristoff’s house. How she was going to break the news to him, she didn’t know. The only thing she did know was that she couldn’t remain almost dating him if she was in love with someone else.. I’m not in love with just someone else though, I’m in love with someone Elsa, she thought to herself with a laugh. She nearly forgot to stop and change out of the drenched clothes into something warm and dry. When she stepped into the house, her father stopped her.
“Alright, I’ll bite. What happened this time, Krumkake?” Hans said with a laugh, picking a piece of seaweed off of his daughter’s head and tossing it back out the door.
Anna groaned. “Dad! I thought you dropped the whole ‘Krumkake’ thing. It’s so embarrassing!”
Hans raised one eyebrow. “So you don’t want to have some of the delicious krumkake I made for dessert?”
“Of course I want to eat the krumkake; I just don’t want to be it,” she countered with a roll of her eyes. “Anyway, I’m going to go change into something dry and then I’m heading to Kristoff’s house for a little bit,” she said as she made her way to and up the staircase. “I should be home in time for supper,” she called down.
Her father slowly strolled over to the foot of the staircase and shouted up, “You haven’t mentioned much about that boy lately. Are you two still-”
“Not for very much longer, Dad,” Anna said as she stomped down the stairs, squeezing a towel around her hair in an attempt to dry it out. She brushed the knots out as she continued, “That’s what I’m going to see him about. He’s a nice guy but I can’t keep dating him if I’m in love with someone else.”
Mr. Hansen’s eyes nearly popped out of his head at that revelation. “You only ever told me about that one other friend that you made. Who is he and how did he get your heart?”
Anna sighed a little bit and she finished rebraiding her fiery mane. She grabbed her keys off the counter. “Please don’t get mad about this Daddy…”
“What do I have to be mad about?” Hans asked, starting to get irritated with his daughter’s lack of details. The redheaded girl started to slide her way out the door. “Anna, what do I have to be mad about?!” He asked, getting increasingly irritated.
“It’s not a he, it’s a she.” With that, Anna popped out the door and closed it swiftly behind her, running to the Bjorgman house.
Hans couldn’t even begin to process the newly acquired information. His baby girl liked girls. She was a lesbian. He stormed off into the kitchen to pour himself a glass of akevitt. “I’m getting too old for this,” he grumbled, tossing back the liquor.
Anna turned to look behind her as she continued running. When she deemed herself far enough away, she stopped to take a deep breath. “Man, I really need to get in shape,” she panted. She resumed walking toward Kristoff’s house, trying desperately to figure out how she should tell him the truth. “I’ll look it up; that should help somehow, right?” she said, trying desperately to convince herself that this would be easy when she knew that this was one of the most difficult things she would ever have to do. Anna stopped and sat on a bench under a streetlight and typed into her phone ‘tips on how to break up with your boyfriend’ and clicked the second link, a wikihow article that had steps.
“Let’s see here…” she muttered as she scrolled down. “Pick a good place, do it in person. I’m already doing okay here.” She continued down the list. “‘Be honest.’ I can do that. Just tell him that it wasn’t his fault, but I fell in love with someone else? No, that isn’t right.” She chewed on her lip before skipping to the next step. “‘Give him space.’ But Kristoff and I are friends. Does this mean we can’t hang out anymore?” She sighed. “You know what? Just go do it. Nothing I’ve ever planned out has gone the way I planned so I might as well just wing it. I mean, what could go wrong?” She would regret that statement in an hour, but blissfully unaware of that fact, Anna started heading toward the Bjorgman house again.
Knock, knock, knock-knock, knock.
The front door opened. “Anna!” yelled a small voice as the redhead felt a child slam into her legs and latch on before she saw Lina smiling up at her. Anna leaned down and picked the girl up, giving her a big hug. Anna stepped inside and kicked the door closed behind her before setting Lina down.
“Hiya sweetie,” she said with a smile. “What’s up?” The small girl immediately launched into a detailed monologue of every moment that had happened since the last time she saw Anna. Kristoff walked in mid-soliloquy.
“Feisty-pants!” He lifted Anna up into a hug. She laughed and immediately felt disgusted with herself for being happy when he pulled her into his arms. She wasn’t supposed to acknowledge that just before she broke up with the poor guy.
Hem-hem , came a little cough. Lina glared up at her brother for the interruption. “Sorry Li-li, I’m stealing Anna for a bit.”
Oh no , thought Anna as she and Kristoff made their way to the backyard. Here it comes. I have to tell him.
“Kristoff, we need to talk,” the redhead said once they got outside.
Kristoff looked puzzled. “What is it feisty-pants?”
“It’s about us…” The blonde’s face fell. He seemed to know what was coming. “I don’t think we can be together anymore.” Kristoff opened his mouth to say something, but Anna cut him off. “It’s not you. I still totally wanna be friend’s with you. It’s just….”
His voice was cold when he stopped her. “Spare me the bullsiht, Anna.” She looked shocked as he continued, mocking her. “‘It’s not you, it’s me.’ Really? I thought you would have enough respect for me, at least as a friend, to tell me the truth.”
Anna’s eyes glistened with tears. “I fell in love with someone else, Kristoff,” she said, voice breaking. “I’m sorry.” Neither noticed that they were gathering an audience consisting of the Bjorgmans peeking out the windows.
Kristoff didn’t respond immediately. After a few minutes he whispered, “I’m sorry too.”
Anna rose and started to walk away, wiping a tear from the corner of her eye. Bulda ran out and stopped her. “What’s the issue, dear?” she asked, giving the girl a tight hug.
“It’s over,” Anna whispered. “Kristoff and I can’t be together anymore.” The rest of the family trickled out to listen.
Bulda frowned. “Why are you holding back from such a man? Is it the clumpy way he walks?”
Cliff, Kristoff’s father, asked, “Is it because he talks like a grumpy old man?”
The twins, Sebastian and Peter, said together, “He does always end up sort of smelly.”
Bulda hushed them “But you’ll never meet a fellow who’s as sensitive and sweet as my Kristoff here,” she said, beaming at her eldest son.
Lina tugged on Anna’s arm and Anna bent down to her level. The little girl said, “I get it. He tinkles in the woods, and that’s icky.”
Anna stood up stick straight and grimaced. “I did not need to know that.”
Cliff asked another question. “Is it due to his unmanly blondeness?”
Anna blushed a bit, thinking to herself, It’s most definitely not the blondeness considering Elsa’s a blonde.
Bulda commented. “He’s just a bit of a fixer upper, dear.”
Kristoff had had it. “ENOUGH!” he screamed. “She is in love with someone else, okay?!”
Cliff whispered to his wife, “Maybe she a fixer upper too.”
Pål muttered to Peter, “I don’t see no ring.”
Anna blinked a few times. “Wait, what?”
Once Kristoff managed to shoo his family away, he asked Anna some questions.
“What is the purpose of this again?” Anna asked indignantly.
“I need to make sure this chump is good enough for my best friend. Now answer. What’s his last name?”
“That is so not a real last name. What’s his favorite food?”
“Fish?” Anna could not see the point of the interrogation. She also couldn’t answer all of the questions accurately because she either didn’t know the answer or because she couldn’t say the answer without giving something away.
“Best friend’s name?”
“Anna.” Kristoff glared at her for that one. “What? It’s true. We’re best friends,” she said angrily.
“A dreamy cerulean blue that reminds me of the sky and snowflakes…” she said dreamily.
“Foot size doesn’t matter.” Plus she doesn’t have feet… Anna chuckled at her thought.
“Have you had a meal with him yet? What if you hate the way he eats?”
“No, but we’re having a picnic tomorrow,” she stated matter of factly. “We’re going to have food from both of our cultures.”
“What if you hate the way he picks his nose?”
“Ew, no. That doesn’t happen,” Anna said, wrinkling her nose.
“What’s his first name?” Kristoff asked, realizing that he didn’t even know the name of the guy who was stealing his feisty-pants.
Kristoff stopped. “Elsa?” When Anna nodded, he asked, “A girl?”
Anna glared at him, but nodded again.
“Well, this changes things.”
“It changes nothing. I love her and that’s all that matters,” Anna quipped defensively.
“It means foot size doesn’t matter,” Kristoff said dryly. Anna giggled. It didn’t matter if her dad couldn’t accept it as long as she had someone on her side.
Anna went home late that night and took her krumkake in her room instead of waiting in a place where her dad might confront her. She knew he was angry about her liking another girl, but there was something else that was keeping her away from him. She just didn’t know what. She decided to follow her gut for now and sleep on it.
When she woke up the next morning, she remembered everything.
Author's Note: Thanks for putting up with the horrendously long update time. I like to have the next chapter done before I post in case I need to correct any discontinuities. Thanks for getting Shore so many views! Please review and tell me what you think!
Also, this chapter is unbetaed as I currently have no beta reader. If you're interested, send me a PM!