Their first official argument did not go well.
Since Elsa's first coronation ball had ended so abruptly, there was to be another one. And Kristoff had to attend this one.
Which he had agreed to do…before he had fully comprehended that that entailed.
In his defense, he had just spent an hour being yelled at by a dancing instructor.
"How am I supposed to move in this?" he asked.
He was dressed up in some yellow confection. It pinched under his arms. And he couldn't move without the jacket pulling uncomfortably across his shoulders. The buttons across the front of the waistcoat were straining. And the starched collar of the shirt was digging into his neck. Although, even without the stiff piece of fabric he couldn't have looked down without his face being buried in the ruffled cravat. The tailor was eyeing him critically.
"It's not so bad," Anna said. "What if we…"
"No," Kristoff said. "I am not wearing this thing."
"Give us a minute," Anna said as the little man turned shade of red that suggested steam would be coming out of his ear soon. She grabbed Kristoff's arm and pulled him out of the room. She crossed her arms and gave him the look. Not The Look. But the look that the dancing instructor had given him. The same look that the pesky tailor had just given him. The look that made him feel like a massive, ungainly five year old. "Kristoff…"
"No. No. I'm not wearing this get up." Kristoff wanted to get the stupid shirt off. But his former shirt was in the back in the room with the rat man and Anna was standing right there. So he turned and head to his room. Where the rest of his meager wardrobe was located. Anna was right behind him.
"Well, you can't wear your normal clothes to the ball. We could…"
Kristoff spun on her.
"And why not?" he said, even though he knew exactly why his normal clothes were not appropriate for a ball. He knew that courting Anna meant he had to meet certain expectations. And he had made his peace with that. But right now, he felt so out of place and he was tired of all the looks and the statements made when he turned his back. Anna may not think he needed to change, but he knew there were many people who did.
Anna took a step back as he crossed his arm and looked down at her. She blinked.
"I—You—Nobody wears normal clothes to a fancy party."
"I am not going to that ball looking like a turkey trussed up for Yuletide," he said and he started heading for his room again. Anna was still dogging him.
"Fine. Maybe this isn't it. We'll try something else. We can—"
"No." Kristoff stopped at his door.
"Don't Kristoff me," he said.
"Well that's your name? What else am I supposed to call you?"
Kristoff wasn't quite sure how to answer that one. But it didn't matter, Anna kept going.
"We can figure something out, let Roald try…"
"I am going as myself or I'm not going at all." Kristoff leaned opened the door.
Anna threw her hands up in the air. "So what? You want to go in worn out clothes that smell of dirt and sweat and reindeer? Are you trying to look like a bumbling country oaf?" Anna stopped.
"Gee, thanks. Tell me what you really think."
"No, Kristoff, I'm sorry. Wait…" She reached out and took his hand.
Kristoff jerked away from her, stepped inside the room and slammed the door. He leaned back into the door. Trying not to replay Anna's words in his head.
"Kristoff," she said. "Please, come back out. Let's talk about this."
"Go away, Anna," he said. He heard her gasp and then her footsteps running back down the hall. He sagged. He'd done it this time. Better change so he could go apologize for yelling at her.
Kristoff did not rip off all the buttons as he tore the waistcoat apart. He took the time to unbutton every button. As much as he hated the thing and as mad as he was about the whole damn day, he knew that the tailor had probably been very proud of what he'd made. It wasn't his fault that he and Kristoff had very different tastes. Or maybe the man was just so used to dressing princesses. He tried to be careful as he took the jacket off, but he still heard a seam pop in the back. He crumpled it up and threw it in a chair, right in a beam of sunlight. A glowing, golden reminder of how much is day had sucked so far.
As he pulled a new shirt and vest out of the mostly empty clothes chest that Elsa had put in the room and put them on. Then he sat down on the bed, facing away from the golden doublet that had started this whole mess. He just needed a minute to cool down.
It was weird having an actual room and a home that wasn't out under the stars. If he was honest, he still preferred sleeping out with Sven and some nights he did. But he was making a definite effort to get used to sleeping in a bed. He couldn't really see Anna being okay with sleeping in the stable and if things went the way he wanted them to go…
He groaned and flopped down on the bed. He wasn't sure she'd want to speak to him after he'd slammed door in her face. Did Anna hold grudges? He guessed he would find out soon. There was knock at his door.
Maybe sooner than he thought.
Kristoff got up. Any question of if being Anna was cleared up as he saw the mist creep under the door.
"Hi, Kristoff," Elsa said. She braced one arm against the door frame. Ice spread up and down the wood. "You wouldn't happen to know why my sister is crying, would you?" She smiled and Kristoff was pretty sure he was about to spend the rest of the day as an ice sculpture. And granted, he loved ice. But there was only so far a guy should go for his job.
"Um, probably?" he said. He looked and the floor and rubbed at the back of his neck. "Unless she's gotten into a fight with another tall, bumbling blonde."
"Really?" Still leaning on the doorframe, Elsa crossed her arms and lifted an eyebrow. The command was obvious.
Kristoff very quickly told her about his day and the fight. Right up to him to slamming the door.
Elsa rolled her eyes. "I'll be the first to admit, that Pierre's main talent seems to be ruining people's day in less than fifteen minutes. I don't know how Anna put up with him."
"I thought you didn't dance."
"I'm learning." Elsa sighed. "Did you really tell her to go away?"
Kristoff nodded. "Anna doesn't really understand the concept of being alone."
"That's because she spent fourteen years staring at a closed door." Elsa looked down. "I used to tell her to go away at least once a day. She's terrified of being shut out again."
Kristoff winced. And he'd slammed the door in her face.
"I should go…"
Anna was not in her room. A fact that Kristoff discovered after knocking twice, waiting outside her door for half an hour and then finally learning from a passing servant that she was back with Roald. Kristoff hovered outside the door for several minutes, listening to the unintelligible sound of their conversation. When he opened the door, they were both leaning over the table as Anna sketched something for the tailor. Kristoff cleared his throat.
Anna whirled around. Roald took his time turning around. Kristoff noticed that the princess wouldn't quite meet his eyes. He decided to tackle Roald first.
"It's very nice," he said, holding out the ensemble, which he had taken the time to fold neatly. "I'm just—my preferences are a little simpler. I apologize for not expressing that civilly."
The tailor harrumphed. But he took the clothes and left the room. Anna had turned back to the table. She was going over and over one line of her drawing with the pencil.
"I was just talking with Roald about that," she said. She pointed to the drawing. "I thought this might be little more to your taste. Um, maybe in a darker color, like blue or green. You were right about the gold. It completely washes you out. And I was thinking that we could put a couple of discreet pleats in the back, just to give you more movement for your shoulders and…"
"Anna," Kristoff said. He put both hands on her shoulders, turning her to face him. Her gaze stayed on his shoes. Moving his hands to cup her face, he brought her gaze up to his. His stomach wasn't sure whether it wanted to do the normal flip flop it did whenever they were this close or to twist in knots at the look on her face. Her eyes were puffy and red-rimmed and she was biting her lip. Not in the cute way like she did when she was concentrating. But in the hard way that usually meant someone had brought up something painful and she was trying very hard not to cry—until now that usually meant she was thinking about something with Hans or Elsa. Closing his eyes, Kristoff leaned down, pressing his forehead to hers. "I am so sorry."
Her hands came to rest on his wrists. She nodded.
"Your idea sounds great," he said. "Forgive me?" He felt her cheeks puff out as she smiled. When she didn't pull away, he kissed her. Goosebumps trailed up his arms as her hands moved to his shoulders. And then she was leaning into him as her arms snuck around his neck.
Kristoff pulled away. She blinked those fjord blue eyes at him. Thankfully, he was learning the habit of holding on to his train of thought when she looked at him like that. He succeeded about half the time.
"I can't promise that I won't need you to go away every now and then. But I will always, always come find you when I'm done being alone. Okay?"
He could tell she didn't like it, but she still said, "Okay."
"Are we entirely finished?"
They turned to find Roald standing at the door, several bolts of fabric in his arms. Anna leaned back against the table as the man held the fabric up for Kristoff's inspection. Kristoff pointed to one, a nice, dark green and Roald unrolled a few lengths and draped it over Kristoff's shoulder. The tailor looked to the princess for approval. Anna grinned.
"I like what that one does with your eyes."