There'd been some debate among Arendelle's advisors prior to the wedding about who the groom ought to be, but it was unanimously decided that Queen Elsa would be given that she was simply taller. She also had a more regal bearing that complimented well as groom to Princess Anna's bride and it went well, didn't it, that Arendelle, being the larger nation, would be the masculine to the smaller Corona. There was some lamenting among the public that Queen Elsa would not appear in the beautiful gown that her mother had worn before her, but it was a small sacrifice. A royal wedding was going to take place and the celebration that would follow! And all the fine foods and wines that would be distributed! It was all very exciting indeed.
Queen Elsa came dressed handsomely in the same uniform the previous king had worn, with alterations of course, to suit her slighter frame. There'd been some worrying that she might even cut her magnificent white-gold hair to suit the role, but that fear was assuaged when she appeared at the alter with her mane tamed into a braid wrapped into a bun. Queen Elsa cut a very dashing figure, her white gloves contrasting with the dark military uniform, gleaming medals, red sash and silver sword at her hip.
A few eyed her in surprised admiration, especially those who'd never attended a wedding with a royal female groom, rare as they were. It was a very lovely ceremony, everything having been painstakingly planned down to the last flower petal.
The choir began as soon as Princess Anna entered. The princess was resplendent in her cream-colored silk dress and veil. She walked slowly down the aisle on the arm of her father, King Frederick, with a single bridesmaid carrying her train. The princess was visibly nervous, her cheeks and ears pink, eyes downcast. She was still a lovely sight, though, her rich copper hair loose on pale shoulders and a small tiara glinting in the soft sunlight that streamed in from the stained glass windows above.
When they came to the altar, the princess released her father's arm, adopted a look of ferocious concentration, and took the first step.
The sigh of relief was almost audible from the Corona section of the audience.
Princess Anna took another step.
And then on the third step her luck left her and she stumbled on her dress.
Right into the arms of the queen.
Queen Elsa bore her bride's weight gracefully, her hands cupping Princess Anna's elbows. The princess's cheek brushed one of the ornate medals on the groom's chest in her flight and she jerked back in embarrassment, whispering apologies. The queen gave her a small smile, guided her to the bride's place, took the princess's hands into her own, and nodded to the bishop to begin reciting the banns.
The vows were sealed with a chaste kiss. Princess Anna blushed prettily and ducked her head when every person in attendance stood up and clapped. Queen Elsa allowed another small smile and tucked the princess's hand under her arm with remarkable familiarity, as though she was used to taking on male roles, and nudged her new wife.
The princess caught on and held up her bouquet. The audience let out a cheer. The bride grinned, closed her eyes and heaved with all her might.
The bouquet sailed over heads and down almost the full length of the aisle, but was saved when an eager young lord took a running leap and caught it. He trotted down to the royal couple to proudly present his prize. All enjoyed a good chuckle when he bowed with an exaggerated flourish, straightening to declare, "Long live the queens! May you enjoy all the pleasures of the marital coil!"
And the newly joined heirs of House Arendelle and House Corona left, the sound of church bells and the cheering populace trailing after them to Arendelle Castle.
Leaning out the carriage window, Anna waved back at the celebrating townspeople, their joy infectious. Everybody looked so happy. Anna was happy. It was her wedding day. She was married to Elsa.
She was now Elsa's wife.
As they pulled away and the crowds thinned, the horses going at a brisk pace, Anna sat back against the carriage's plush cushions and looked down to her lap and the ring now on her hand. It was just a simple band of gold, an ancient heirloom stretching all the way back to Arendelle's founding when it was a much smaller kingdom and gold was much more precious. She could see the history in that simple bit of metal, the way it carried all the hopes and promises of countless Arendelle queens. She closed her hand over the ring and, to her left, snuck a peek at her new...husband? Wife? Queen?
She wasn't really sure of all the formalities for a same sex marriage, especially a royal one. She could figure it out, she was sure of it. But beyond the formalities...
Anna traced the outline of the queen's profile with her eyes. Elsa was just so... so... Well, everything. It was hard to even think of all the words to describe Elsa. Beautiful. Even in her uniform that was supposed to make her handsome, which she was, but she was also beautiful in it. The clean military cut flattered her as well as any ball gown could have. The collar emphasized her slender throat and the graceful line of her jaw. Her complexion was snowy, but not sickly-she'd heard many ladies comment enviously on Elsa's skin. Anna wanted to reach out and touch her cheek, to make sure this was real. Her fingers twitched in her lap.
Elsa noticed her looking and turned to face her, her expression solemn. "I promise that I will do my best by you," she said softly, like an oath.
It wasn't the most romantic thing she'd ever heard, but Anna was old enough to know not every single thing described in novels was real. Coming from Elsa, though, she knew the queen meant every word. She offered her a crooked smile. "I know. I promise, too."
The moment was perfect, just perfect for a kiss. Elsa was looking at her with those gorgeous blue eyes and they were almost touching, Elsa's gloved hand resting on the seat between them, fingers almost brushing her thigh. Anna angled her face up for it, her breath already quickening in anticipation. Just like she'd imagined it as a girl, a lovely wedding, a lovely prince-or queen in this case, but Anna was flexible-and a lovely first, private kiss as a married woman.
Elsa's lids lowered, eyes falling on Anna's mouth. She breathed in deeply, trying to ignore the butterflies in her stomach. Anna, she thought blissfully. Anna was hers. Her queen. Her ring was on her finger and she was hers. Her mind was still reeling from the reality of it. She could kiss her all she wanted, bury her hands in that glorious fall of molten copper and... do all manner of things that was not appropriate inside a carriage.
She tried to quell the surge of possessiveness. It was vulgar how much she wanted Anna, but she would not turn into an animal, a slave to her desires. And the wedding night, oh god. It filled her with equal parts of shameful lust and dread. She would... she would... she had no idea what the hell she was going to do, and kissing Anna (her wife, her beautiful wife, hers, hers, hers) was not going to help control these urges. Elsa was certain moving too quickly would ruin everything. Anna was innocent.
Then she saw the way Anna was looking at her and her mind went blank.
It started out chaste. A meeting of lips, slightly clumsy from inexperience. Elsa didn't mean for it to be anything other than that. She had expected Anna to pull back. Instead, Anna's lids slid shut and the younger woman leaned into it and Elsa was lost. Anna's lips were soft, so soft. She couldn't help it. She let the kiss deepen, shifting in her seat to cup Anna's cheek with one hand, the other hand clutching at the seat cushion, fingers digging in. Her knees went weak.
Anna's lips parted, puffing out a quick breath against Elsa's mouth. She felt the taller woman tremble and, emboldened, she placed shaking hands to Elsa's chest, trying to find purchase. The uniform was too finely made, though, not a single loose fold to hold and, sadly, no lapels. Elsa released a soft groan at her searching touch and held her more firmly, cradling the curve of Anna's jaw against her palm, gloved fingers sliding through auburn hair to rest against her nape. Her tongue brushed Anna's lower lip and the younger woman gasped, her hands finally finding a place on Elsa's shoulders to grip.
Warning flashed among the stars behind Elsa's closed lids as she coaxed Anna's mouth open. Her right hand, the one that'd nearly torn holes in the velvet seat trying to contain herself, had found its way to the small of Anna's back. Her fingers spread to span her wife's slim waist, greedy to touch as much of her as possible.
At that moment, Elsa despised the barrier on her hands, and found herself wishing the beautiful wedding dress to hell, even if Anna looked like a goddess in it, just so she could feel warm bare skin. And the thought of Anna naked, good god. She shivered. I am not an animal, she chanted. I will not... The effort was wasted as soon as she felt Anna's fingers dig into her shoulders, coherent thought dissipating like smoke.
Anna clutched at Elsa's epaulettes, not caring at all that she was wringing the fine silk beneath her fingers. If she'd known where Elsa's thoughts were going on her current clothed state, she'd have complied with scandalous rapidity. The carriage interior felt stifling, the air thick, and she'd like nothing more than to yank the dress up over her head, so long as Elsa could keep kissing her like that. Her lips felt swollen and too sensitive, edging on pain. And when they had to part for air, foreheads pressed together and noses touching, Elsa's warm exhales slid over her mouth and made her wonder dazedly what cruel god made people choose between kissing and breathing.
She'd never, ever been kissed like this before, like she was going to be consumed by it and didn't care if she survived. Anna edged herself closer -to her wife? Spouse? Did she even care what it was called?-and half-crawled into Elsa's lap with the same disregard for her precious silk wedding dress as Elsa's uniform. She wanted to feel Elsa against her. Her back arched, her body knowing exactly what it wanted and Anna didn't understand it, but she followed her instincts. When her breasts brushed against Elsa's front, they broke apart with a gasp.
They stared at each other, both panting. Elsa gazed at Anna, then swallowed as reality seeped in.. Anna's dress was noticeably wrinkled and there was an enticing blush that colored her cheeks. Her breasts strained against the silk bodice with every breath she took. Her hair was mussed and it was obvious, so obvious, what they'd been doing. No, what Elsa had been doing.
Elsa closed her eyes in deep mortification as some shred of sense returned. We're still in the damn carriage and I've already assaulted her. Her brain was still muddled from that intoxicating kiss, so Elsa couldn't quite remember who started it, but was certain it was her fault.
The pair suddenly became aware of the outside world as the tenor of the carriage wheels changed from cobblestone to wood. Anna glanced out the window and the fjord's sparkling water greeted her. They were crossing the bridge from the city to the castle. Realizing where she was-namely, on Elsa's lap-she started with a panicked sound and scrambled off to her side, frantically straightening the wrinkles on her dress.
Elsa covered her face with a hand, embarrassed beyond belief and disgusted with herself.. Not an auspicious start for our marriage, she thought. She looked down at herself and while the uniform was a little rumpled, it was nothing compared to the mess she'd made of Anna's dress. And the whole world would see and know she couldn't even keep her hands off her from the trip between the altar and the bloody castle.
I've already dishonored my wife, she thought with a grimace. Elsa was humiliated on Anna's behalf. She glanced out the corner of her eye and nearly offered to help, but reconsidered at the last second. She doubted Anna would appreciate her hands anywhere near her person given that she was the cause of the mess.
They both avoided looking at each other. The rest of the ride was suffocating in its awkwardness, but was thankfully short.
As the carriage rolled through the freshly paved drive, Anna cleared her throat.
Elsa steeled herself, expecting a cold admonishment for her behavior. She deserved it.
Anna touched Elsa's shoulder and made vague gestures. "Your uniform," she whispered. "They're... ah..."
The queen frowned, confused. "I beg your pardon?"
Anna gave up and leaned toward her, straightening the mangled tassels on her epaulettes. She was blushing again when she pulled back.
The coachman announced their arrival and liveried footmen appeared at the doors. Ordinarily, the groom, or husband, would remove himself first to help his lady out. But the occasion was special and the quandary just now occurring to the servants-what to do if the queen was now considered a king? She was still female, of course, was she treated now with the deference and customs as a man?
Elsa would have laughed if she weren't trying to escape the carriage as soon as she was able. She waved off the waiting footman's proffered hand and disembarked. She waited just an instant to see if Anna expected her to help her off, then wanted to slap herself. Again, Anna probably didn't want her to touch her. She was an idiot. She rounded the carriage and stood at her side patiently, waiting for Anna to straighten her dress. The servants didn't appear to notice anything amiss, but good servants were discreet.
She sighed, still berating herself. She was an idiot. A great, big idiot with the finesse and libido of a teenage boy.
Anna looked up at Elsa. The queen had her gaze fixed to one of the larger turrets, her cheeks still a little pink. She wasn't certain what she ought to be calling Elsa in front of others now that they were married. She and Elsa hadn't discussed it before. In fact, she hadn't even seen Elsa for the past almost four years before the old king died, living in Corona, waiting to come of age and fulfill the betrothal Elsa's father, King Alexander, had arranged.
The king and queen of Corona, who had always been close with Arendelle's own royal family, had been devastated at the news of King Alexander and Queen Marina's passing. Many had expected the betrothal to be broken after the last remaining Arendelle had disappeared from the public eye entirely, her presence prior often compared to a blue moon.
But then a messenger had arrived in Corona bearing Elsa's seal a year ago with a short missive two years after the disastrous voyage: Let Arendelle and Corona join families.
King Frederick had been overjoyed and had Prince Hans's all-but-official engagement with his only daughter broken at once. Hans had been none too pleased about that. Anna had felt the same. She had liked Hans, though she supposed her ire was directed more at how her future was so completely rearranged with all the nonchalance and eloquence of a greeting card. She'd even been making plans about which of the Southern Isles she'd visit with Hans for their honeymoon and that letter-wholly unromantic and not even signed! Or addressed to her!-had decided Anna's life for her.
She'd thrown a royal tantrum about it, of course. It'd been about the principle of the thing, but even if she was a descendent of one of the oldest noble families on the continent, she was still beholden to her father. Her sire had sent her to her room and forbade her to even consider walking past the dining hall, well aware of the possibility his daughter might elope if her temper took deep enough hold.
To this day, Anna thought Elsa should have at least had the courtesy to write her, especially if the matter was regarding matrimony. It wasn't like Elsa didn't know how to. They'd spent many years of their youth communicating by letters, the distance between Arendelle and Corona preventing frequent visits, but near enough for shared holidays. Though the letters from Elsa had stopped after the storm had taken her parents' lives.
Well, at least she hadn't married a perfect stranger like some of the less fortunate ladies at court. To her understanding, it was usually financially motivated. Arendelle was so far removed from that particular characterization that it was laughable. Extremely laughable. Maybe to the point of tears and rude hooting.
She at least knew Elsa. They'd almost grown up together, to a certain point.
Though that kiss in the carriage was… shocking. Hans had never kissed her like that before. His were… she couldn't believe she was thinking it, but they were actually proper. At the time, she hadn't thought of them as such, fancying herself quite worldly and experienced afterward. But the truth of it was staring her in the face and Anna was forced to admit that Hans's kisses were suited for courtly wooing. Not a passionate romance.
And proper was not the word that could appropriately describe what had occurred between herself and Elsa. Her skin still tingled where Elsa's hands had been. Anna pressed her lips together, savoring that delicious kiss.
Yes, unless one was looking for another grand laugh, that was not a proper, virtuous kiss.
Elsa turned to see Anna watching her with a speculative look. She felt a trifle uncomfortable under her scrutiny and unconsciously fiddled with the sword at her side. Aware of the small army of servants around them, Elsa offered her arm.
To her relief, Anna took it without protest or declarations of annulment and they walked together into their new home.
"YAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSS and one million bonus points if the more powerful person's attempts to convey respect and allow the other person some measure of autonomy/boundaries (AKA NOT JUST CROWDING INTO THEIR MARRIAGE BED AND DEMANDING ALL THE MARITAL RIGHTS) come off as teeth-gritting vague dislike, and the less powerful person's attempts to just stay the fuck out of the way and not be a bother come off as YOUR TOUCH—WHICH I'M OBLIGATED TO ALLOW—DISGUSTS ME and everyone's stewing in misery while being excruciatingly polite and lusting sadly after each other from afar.
OR THE REVERSE, where they have an instant sexual connection (TREMBLING BREATHLESS KISSES IN THE CARRIAGE ON THE WAY BACK FROM THE WEDDING) but both (MISTAKENLY) believe that the other one married them as a last resort and thinks they're . so the same with the distant stiff politeness during the day, but punctuated by NIGHTS OF TENDER PASSION after which both stew in misery that it's just opportunistic sex, nothing more, despite the secret feeeeeeelings they are both developing."
So, basically, there will be a lot of terrible misunderstandings and resulting angst. Please let me know what you think, I would appreciate constructive criticism!
UPDATE-I've recently decided that the story here will no longer really adhere to the prompt and will likely drastically go off into a different direction. You can ignore the prompt for the purposes of the story, but I want to keep it here to show where the original inspiration came from for posterity.