First Frozen fanfiction, introducing bandwagon jumping, how ever much Elsanna you want to see and a headcanon. See notes at bottom for potentially spoiler-y trigger warnings.
Elsa thinks – and has always thought – that Anna's smile was the best. It's like a little golden ray of sun, literally beaming from her round face as the sun beamed down on Arendelle in Summer. Elsa didn't get to see the smile very often, now that she had dinner alone more often than not, and any time the two sisters were in the same room there was only tension, sadness and fear.
Every time Elsa lost control of her powers, her mother and father would be there, at a distance, but there was no smile there, either. None quite as happy and bright as Anna's, only sad smiles, fake smiles, but mostly grim faces. There was no such thing as the bright happiness that Anna so readily exuded, not in Elsa's world.
Occasionally she would watch the ice she had created, watched it thaw, watched her reflection. Her reflection, which was the only thing which wasn't afraid. Sometimes, she would smile, just so she could see someone smiling back, but it was never Anna's beaming smile.
Despite being mostly isolated from each other for 13 long, gruelling years, the sisters shared so many common traits it was impossible for anyone to say they weren't in sync.
For example, both sisters always rolled over the same way when they woke, though the princess was well and truly less graceful in doing so. They both loved the rich aroma of chocolate, especially hot chocolate. They were also both fairly ambidextrous. Even if Princess Anna was a complete klutz most of the time.
There were other things too – sometimes you might have caught them exchanging glances over the ice rink, wordlessly communicating to each other, and then they would glide atop the ice, Anna all enthusiasm and Elsa all grace, and Elsa would catch Anna before she even tripped, and Anna would keep Elsa's smile on her face the whole time.
But most of all, was the careful, easily missed detail: every time on sister walked past the other's room, there would be a slight hesitation in their step, and a flicker in their gaze, as if they meant to open the door right then. Even years of separation couldn't prevent them being so synchronised.
Perhaps it was a dangerous hobby, this gardening phase of hers. Anna had never been much of a gardener. Then again, Anna hadn't been much of anything before the coronation day. What better way to try something new then to garden?
Of course, by now, Anna had already caused two fires, made one gardener cry, and made such a mess of the soil that the cobblestone pathway was no longer visible.
Her lip quivered a bit. Not just out of sadness at the deplorable state of her "garden", but because she knew that when Elsa found out, Anna would find herself outmatched. Embarrassingly.
Queen Elsa's coronation may have been her first real party since she was eight, but it was Anna's 19th party which proved to be the first real celebration. At first, the earlier party guests were hesitant. Elsa felt her heart sink, because it was her fault Anna's own birthday party - her first in a long time – was going to be ruined. Even months after Elsa's coronation, people were still wary. They were still afraid, Elsa could see it…
Something grabbed at her glove, and the Queen looked, startled. It was Anna, warm-as-sun Anna. Guiltily, Elsa realised there were a few stray snowflakes in her hair. Her anxiety must have been plain as day. Another party ruined.
Anna didn't think so. "Is that it?" She asked, fingering the light flurry of snow which was now dissipating fast. "I said I wanted a winter wonderland themed party! Or are you not the 'true queen of the ice and snow'?"
Everyone was surprised, to say the least, when they heard a peal of unfamiliar laughter, and the whole ballroom was covered with snow.
"Help!" Came a call from the castle. "Elsa! Help!"
Said Queen was in her infamous ice rink at the time, gracefully smiling, hands clasped together, watching children happily skate around, idly chatting with some boy's mother about nothing in particular, when suddenly her ears perked.
"Y-you're majesty? Is there something-"
Elsa was already gone, skating down the street with aid from her ice powers. Anna was in trouble. She had to help.
The castle doors slammed open with the force of a whirlwind, and the whirlwind in question nearly froze over the staircase in her haste to reach her sister's room.
"Anna, what-" Elsa was stunned to find that Anna was not, in fact, in any mortal danger, and then ashamed to have caused such an icy mess for no reason.
"Need help picking an outfit again?"
Sometimes, the skies were grey. Most of the time, this could be attributed to the common winter phenomenon known as rainclouds, while sometimes, it was a completely different phenomena.
Today was the anniversary of the late King and former Queen of Arendelle.
The day was slow, and dreary, as it was every year, and even more so now that Queen Elsa had taken the crown. Sometimes, the skies reflected the Queen's very thoughts.
Now, unlike most times, the clouds parted, letting the sun peek through and warm up the countryside. Elsa was so lucky to have a sister like Anna.
It wasn't the first near-death experience either sister had faced, but it was certainly the nearest to death they had been. For several days after, Queen Elsa was forced to stay in the royal physician's care, and her fear of horses never quite went away after that incident.
What the doctor's expected was a few weeks out of service, and then a month or two in a cast and sling. What they were completely unprepared for was a miraculous recovery within just a day.
They say her body was cold as ice during that time. Perhaps it was her powers, closing over her wounds with ice.
Either way, Elsa was forced to face a strange reality – she really was a cut above everyone else.
Gloves. Anna was so used to seeing gloves. It was nice now that Elsa didn't feel the need to hide her hands anymore (and they were beautiful hands) and after Elsa had finally found the secret to controlling her power, Anna thought she would never see them again. The people were no longer afraid, mostly, and Elsa had almost complete control over her power, so why would Elsa ever have to wear those darned gloves again?
That's why Anna felt her heart stop for a second when her sister clasped two gloved hands together with a smile.
"Elsa!" She reached for the gloves and was successful in pulling one of them off. Her sister gave the most heartbroken, shameful look, not bothering to try and retrieve her stolen item, her protection.
"It's only a week."
"I know, but-"
"You'll be fine, Elsa."
This was the wrong thing to say, Anna knew, so she let Elsa wear the gloves, just this once. Next time the Queen was summoned, though, Anna wouldn't be so easy on her.
Many people thought that the Queen was icy, cold, aloof. At the very least, she was calm, and cool, and for the most part she was gracious and kind. Memories of an eternal winter have long since been pushed aside.
The queen always spoke gently, some thought it was with disinterest, while others thought it was just her status. After all, she was Queen, and they should be lucky to even look at her and speak with her at all.
There were still a few people who have stayed uprooted and poor since the eternal winter, some even from before that, some for many more years. Children did not often run through the streets, but once, a small crowd of them plucked up the courage to swarm around the queen. Her faint smile was present as usual, a little strained as always, expression mostly unreadable. The townsfolk hadn't expected anything different, until the young Queen placed a hand atop a little boy's head and asked where his parents were. Of course, the rest of the townsfolk around knew the answer; little Heinrich's mother was long gone and his father was sick, his crops not having recovered from a year ago. The story was similar among most of his friends.
Something strange happened to the Queen, who recoiled as if stung.
She was crying. Her hand was pressed to her mouth and she cried silent tears, eyes filled with sadness and longing and regret.
Maybe she wasn't such an Ice Queen. Or maybe her heart was just thawing.
As people get older, their voices mature. Princess Anna was no exception to this rule. While still remaining bouncy and bright, her voice had mellowed over the years, and so had her body. She was married, happily so, and planning a family. She was still five at heart, though, as she earnestly asked if Elsa would like to build a snowman, please and thank you, and also make a snow castle.
Elsa would have remarked on how an adult like Anna shouldn't have been asking such silly things, not when the Queen was knee-deep in paperwork, thank you, but her own voice caught in her throat.
She did relent in the end, and Elsa built them a small castle, and watched with fondness as her little sister who was taller by a pinch called out for an echo.
Elsa didn't reprimand her with her own voice. If she heard her voice echoed back, Elsa knew Anna wouldn't take it seriously anyway. She'd always been the bigger sister, but now, Anna's voice was the older one.
Elsa snorted in the irony and, once they were finished, watched as the ice castle melted away into a puddle of slush, save for a single, lonesome, snowflake pattern.
Thirteen years of not being able to touch your sister tend to make you want to repay in double. Both Elsa and Anna would savour ever hug, touch hands with bare skin and no fabric, until they no longer watched in amazement as the skin remained unharmed and ice never formed.
Everyone could see just how much one sister loved the other in these small little gestures. These very real and very human gestures.
Sometimes, Elsa would purposely freeze her hands to give Anna a little shock, and in revenge, Anna would press her hot chocolate against Elsa's cheek and watch her flinch. It almost became routine for many years, until it came to the time when Elsa could no longer tease Anna like that, and Anna could no longer lift the mug high enough to touch her sister's cheek. They were only human, despite being royalty, and were entitled to a bit of fun every now and then.
Elsa has kept her magic touch. In fact, the magic is innate, flowing through every blood vessel in her body. She was always very careful, and only grew increasingly more careful, in case her magic touch was too much for Anna's frail body, hiding in case the people caught on, and touched her with fire at the stake.
If only Anna wasn't so very human, because then Elsa might have touched her too.
Elsa has been waiting all her life.
She waited when she was young, waiting for her sister to jump on her bed. She waited when she was a teenager, waiting for the day when her powers would be controlled. And she waited for a good part of her adult life, albeit reluctantly, for the reprise of death.
Elsa, having controlled her powers, shared many days and nights with her beloved sister and all that waiting proved to be worth it.
Now there is only one thing she is waiting for. She knows it is hopeless.
Her magic is flowing throughout her body, unlocked and relinquished years, decades, centuries ago, on one fateful and unforgettable day. Love will thaw. The message she had waited for, for what seemed like a lifetime. A lifetime that was countless lifetimes ago. The sky is grey once more.
The sun hasn't been seen since the day Princess Anna died, a smile on her wrinkled face as Elsa clutched at her with hands far too cold to be human. Far too cold, far too young.
So, Elsa waits, with eternal patience, and trusts that her beloved sister and her husband and children wait too. The Snow Queen sits, watching her kingdom fall, rise, and fall again. Still, she waits.
She will always wait, hoping, sighing, by her sister's grave.
All of time is stretched before her.
So she waits.
TW: Death, Surprise ending angst just like Hans.
My headcanon: After mastering her power, Elsa is practically a god. Her ice powers allow her to just regenerate flesh and basically stay young forever, even healing injuries superhumanly fast. This is a subconscious effort, though, and isn't controlled by emotions or anything, it's just a defence mechanism. As a result, her skin becomes colder and colder as ice replaces actual flesh, because the cold never bothered her anyway.
And it was going to all be random happy fun until I pulled out the prompt "Touch" and my hand slipped sorry.
I hope this was satisfactory.
See you, bye!