Summary: Anna does not reach Elsa in time. Elsa dies believing she has killed her sister, and is reincarnated as Weiss Schnee. One-shot.
A/N: This story idea would not leave me alone. I know there's a word for hating an idea but feeling compelled to write it anyway, and this was one of those times. It turned out much better than I was expecting.
I was writing the next chapter of Ice Sorceress while we were marathoning the second half of RWBY, and upon noticing the snowflake on the back of Weiss's jacket, this idea occurred to me. My imagination would not let me make any real progress on Ice Sorceress until I wrote this down. If you aren't familiar with both RWBY and Frozen, I would say don't bother with this story; I don't do very much to explain many of the background details, as it's told from Weiss/Elsa's point of view.
This will be a one-shot. I may write another story in this universe at some point, but probably not (or at least, probably not until at least Volume 2 of RWBY starts).
Schnee and Ice
"She said you froze her heart. I tried to save her, but it was too late. Her skin was ice. Her hair turned white... Your sister is dead... because of you."
That's where the dream ended; that's where it always ended. Those words broke me. They haunted me even after I woke, drenched in a cold sweat, forgetting for a moment who or where I really was. It felt too real to be a dream, like some hideous parody of life that I must watch and suffer night after night. I felt her whole life, felt her isolation, her guilt, her fear. The pain of the dream was as real to me as anything I had ever experienced, and the love she felt for her sister unlike anything I had known.
The tears streaming down my face and the weight on my heart did not abate for some time; seconds or minutes passed, I was unsure. My thoughts began to clear, and I filed this dream away in the back of my head, as I always did. Elsa's life was a fantasy, a distraction. A beautiful, tragic distraction.
I made the mistake, once, when I was younger, of going to my parents with my dreams.
"Dwelling on this dream does nothing more than distract you; it's all in your mind. Put it aside and do not think of it."
A patronizing speech, a pat on the head, and a "run along and study" were the only results. I have since learned to internalize so much that I would never again consider discussing such things with others. The dream would fade with time, as they always had, into a dull ache that I could carry through the day.
Wiping my face with the edge of the sheet, I glanced at the sleeping forms of Blake and Yang on the other side of the room; their motionless bodies, illuminated by a bit of moonlight, suggested that I did not awaken them with any pained cry. I have had this nightmare often enough in my life to know that would not always be the case.
Roommates. I had never slept in the same room with anyone before coming to Beacon. It was a struggle, in these first few weeks, to get accustomed to each of the other girls' habits and foibles. Blake was studious and usually quiet, if opinionated when she did speak. Yang was competent enough in her studies, if boisterous and aggressive outside of class. And Ruby…
Ruby was simultaneously endearing and frustrating. She pushed me in ways no one ever had, even that first day in the forest. Not in terms of combat skills, of course, and I did not know yet if her overabundance of enthusiasm and impulsiveness in combat would result in me throttling her or not. She pushed me interpersonally; I'd never had someone so desperate to befriend me, no matter how much I tried to prevent it. My icy bitch persona had always sent people running before; I don't know if it was her persistence or her naivety that made her continue to push for friendship. She was the first person I had ever met that I thought might follow me up a mountain, if I ever ran away from it all as Elsa did.
That damnable dream again. I shook myself in an attempt to rid all thoughts of it; I'd always seen sentimentality as something of a weakness, and dwelling on fantasies more so.
The clock at the end of the room told me that it was still hours yet before daybreak. I wasn't going to get anymore sleep this morning, which left few options. I slipped out of bed quietly, pausing for a moment when I heard Blake shift in her bed. Even if some of my roommates did not know the meaning of allowing someone to sleep in peace, I would at least make an effort to be considerate. As she did not move again, I assumed she slept on. I threw on appropriate clothing, forgoing my usual bolero jacket. Style was less important when I expected to see no one else about, and I intended to return to change before class.
I was intent on accomplishing something this morning, even if my mind was too distracted for study or sleep. It was still technically outside of curfew, although the rules as written left some ambiguity for waking up early to train or exercise. Working through forms with Myrtenaster would clear my mind, and I set out for the lockers, desperately trying not to dwell on my dreams. It was difficult; Elsa's pain was my own. After these nightmares I often found it difficult to discern where Elsa ended and Weiss began.
The episodes had grown more frequent in recent years, I thought. It was hard to judge, as I somewhat unsuccessfully tried to suppress thoughts of them each time. I had no idea where the dreams originated, or why, and always assumed it was a creation of my subconscious, a metaphor for my own life. I'd never had difficulty seeing myself in Elsa, with superficial details like our platinum blonde hair, my icicle tiara, the Schnee snowflake, and that same snowflake in my glyphs. More meaningfully I recognized her isolation, her yearning to break free from expectations and restrictions. I recognized the pressures her father placed on her, to carry on his legacy while simultaneously pressured to suppress, to hide everything that made her unique.
Recognizing those pressures in Elsa's life influenced my own. When the option was presented to me to run from my problems, to train as a huntress, I took it without hesitation. Dreams of Elsa's life had even influenced Myrtenaster's design.
I had arrived at the lockers and removed Myrtenaster, briefly verifying all the dust levels. Light blue in particular; I often felt compelled to train with ice after my dreams. When I was much younger I tried to summon ice without dust as Elsa did. It was silly, in retrospect, but as a child I wanted to believe that I could do so. I learned to replicate many of her abilities through dust, but it was never quite as satisfying as Elsa's ice powers. Conversely, not so dangerous, as I recalled vividly how those same powers threatened and ultimately ended Anna's life...
No. These dreams would not control me. I forced my feet into motion, making my way to the nearest training room.
I arrived and noticed the door was slightly ajar. A bit of noise coming from within suggested that I was not the only one having trouble sleeping. I would normally have moved on to a different training room, but I sorely needed a distraction from my recent nightmare and my curiosity got the better of me. I swung the door open, and witnessed Ruby walloping the life out a training dummy with the tang side of Crescent Rose.
"You should be in bed." My words surprised Ruby, as she lost her footing and ended up face first on the padded floor. I suppressed a smirk; it was not entirely intentional that I chose that moment to speak up. Really, Ruby should be more aware of her surroundings.
Her glare from the floor was not surprising, nor was the petulance in her voice. "So should you."
I raised a single eyebrow. Right, not left - the scar makes raising just the left brow somewhat uncomfortable. "Exceptions can be made to curfew for students whose routines include specific exercise or training regimens to begin their days. So I'm perfectly allowed to wake up early as part of my routine." My tone bordered on officious, but the bitch mask was comfortable. I needed a distraction from my recent nightmare; banter would suffice, and an argument would be even better if I could goad Ruby enough.
Any annoyance in Ruby's face was gone in an instant, becoming far too perky for the early hour. "If you can be awake, then I can be too. Would sparring count as your morning exercise?"
Sparring was the sort of distraction I was looking for. I gave a sharp nod and Ruby was instantly on her feet and on the other side of the training room, a cloud of rose petals in her wake.
"No semblance," I said. I would forego my glyphs if she gave up her speed; if nothing else, it would prolong the fight. I set Myrtenaster to ice, readied myself in a proper stance, and beckoned Ruby with my free hand. She was in motion immediately; I had to jump to dodge a swing of her scythe before I could blink. Even without her super speed, she was incredibly fast. The move brought her inside of my reach, though, and I made a sharp lunge to prevent her from following through with a second large swing. She parried with the grip end of her scythe and swept the sharp end at my head to try to force me backwards. I ducked, and after a quick feint on her left side to keep her off balance I used a bit of stored dust to raise familiar icy spikes from the ground on her right. My dream, Elsa's life, was even influencing my style of fighting.
The appearance of the ice shook her more than I was expecting, and she made a careless swing across her body, easily dodged, and left herself far too vulnerable for a counter attack. I pressed the attack and quickly had her scythe knocked from her hands and sailing across the room. I was set to gloat, to call her out on her poor form, when I noticed tears in her eyes as she stared at the ice spikes. Whatever grief I saw there morphed into anger a moment later as she turned to me.
Ruby's heated ramblings were fast and bordering hysterical. "You followed me down here, and then I thought you were actually being nice for once, and now you're just using my nightmares against me. Did Yang tell you? Of course she told you; I've never told anyone else. This is low, even for you Weiss." Her tears were flowing freely now. I had never been one to cry in front of others except intentionally, but Ruby was too kind and naive to manipulate in such a way. I did not know precisely what had upset her, other than the appearance of the ice.
I was unsure what to say, and so went with the obvious. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
Ruby stared at me for a moment, I assumed to judge my sincerity. The silence was unnerving; Ruby's usual bubbly demeanor made her angry, tear-filled image all the more concerning. After a moment's thought she seemed to deflate. "You... you weren't making fun of me?"
I rolled my eyes. "Ruby, I was going to make fun of you for your poor form. I didn't, so unless you're reading my mind, I don't know what you're talking about."
She blinked a few times and swiped her hands at her eyes to clear the tears, before the rambling started again. "It's just that you sometimes remind me of her, and then I had the nightmare again and then you were here and then you did the ice thing and I thought you'd found out about them from Yang and were just here as some elaborate joke and..."
I cut her off. "Slow down, Ruby. Yang hasn't told me anything about you having nightmares. I could assume that was why you were down here, since you normally don't wake up until you're nearly late for class." I tried to bring some levity to the conversation, but it didn't seem to help. I had resolved to be the best teammate I possibly could be. What would a good teammate, or even a friend, do in this situation? "I can listen, though, if you'd like to talk about it."
She nodded timidly, and we walked together to the edge of the room and sat.
She said nothing for a few moments, and then it all came very quickly, a torrent of words that she seemed to have pent up within her. "All my life I've had these dreams, right? Except they don't feel like dreams, and I'm like this other person, or she's me, and I live her life. And it's not a happy life. I mean, there were a few good times in there, but mostly pretty miserable. It's the same dream every time and I live everything up until her death and then I wake up. And it should have been a good life! She was a princess and she was really close to her sister, well, when they were little, but for most of her life she was completely alone. And up until a few days before her death, she didn't know why, 'cause like her sister had ice powers and..."
Ruby kept speaking, but the buzzing in my head that had been growing throughout her explanation overwhelmed me when she said ice powers. I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe. Ruby's words kept playing themselves over and over again in my head, followed by the last words Elsa ever heard, "your sister is dead... because of you."
I don't remember moving, but Ruby was in my arms. I don't think I had ever initiated a hug with another person before. It was... nice. As I had interrupted her story, Ruby was startled into silence for a moment, but shocked at my actions she seemed to need to babble once more.
"Weiss, I'm okay, really. I've had these dreams all my life and I came to terms with them a long time ago, and I appreciate the hug, but you're sort of squeezing too hard, and..."
I shushed her. "Ruby, Anna, for once in your life... or lives, stop talking."
She pulled back so quickly I would swear she used her semblance, save for the lack of petals. She stared at my eyes, before quietly, fearfully, uttering one word, "Elsa?"
The buzzing in my head had stopped. I could not remember feeling this happy, ever. Ruby might not have realized it yet, but I knew exactly what this meant. A second chance.
I gave Ruby a quick wink, extracted myself from her arms, and, wielding Myrtenaster, expended a bit of dust to cause snow to start to fall all around us in the training room.
Ruby's silver eyes had not blinked since I uttered her other name. The grin on my face had grown into the largest genuine smile I could remember in this lifetime.
"Ruby, do you want to build a snowman?"