I need more Jelsa in my life, so I've been toying with a plethora of ideas for a one-shot/two-shot these last couple of days. In other words, here's this; obviously an alternate universe where human!Jack lived in Arendelle before he died and was made a Guardian. I'm going to attempt to keep it in character as much as I can (or at least the way that I see Jack/Elsa would be); advice is always greatly appreciated, though.
(And if you're wondering, this is obviously before Elsa's coronation. I'm going to try and make this a two-shot for the Jelsa feels, if not more~ Sorry this became so lengthy.
Also, I named Jack's sister "Pippa". I hope that's cool since I know people are argumentative about it being Emma/Pippa... Just let me write my Jelsa in peace, okaaayyy?!)
Drawing in a breathy inhale, the eldest princess of Arendelle felt nervous as she slid neatly out of her bedroom door within the castle. The young woman was dressed significantly down, despite her royal title that preceded her. Unlike her normally very heavy dresses and rich fabrics, Elsa had chosen - quite exquisitely - to attire herself as nothing more than a commoner. Clad in a simple dark gown, complimented by a hooded cloak (and a pair of clothed gloves, of course), she was cautious to click her bedroom door back into place; cringing slightly, as she looked down the corridor to where her younger sister's room was, petrified at the thought that her schemes could be potentially thwarted by waking Anna up.
Although Elsa hadn't been close with Anna in many years since the two had been children, she hoped that her heavy sleeping routine hadn't changed since then. And with a little huff of relief, the soon-to-be queen was off, carefully moving down the narrow hallway until she hit the grand staircase. It wouldn't be her first occurrence - much to anyone else's surprise that might have known her within the castle walls - that Elsa had sneaked out of her tower early in the morning while the maids and the guards slept or became lax on their duties. The first time had been during her teenage years, before her parents had died, and it had become a monthly habit. But since then, Elsa couldn't remember repeating the actions for what felt like a very long time.
Regardless, the princess had felt smothered by the individuals who resided in the castle. In just one week, she was going to be crowned the Queen of Arendelle, and the thought suffocated her. It felt as if all of the worry and fretting that her late parents had made towards her powers - making the extra precautions to keep her safe, even closing off the castle to Arendelle's people - had been for absolutely nothing. As the pressure of her coronation grew quicker to the date, Elsa decided promptly that morning that she needed a breath of fresh air. Especially if it meant being relieved of the confined castle walls, as long as she could keep her abilities under check...
Tiptoeing down to the first floor, Elsa gave out a brief exhale as she moved through the darkened room. It was early enough that the sun wasn't quite out yet, but she didn't know how much time that would actually give her. Conscious to keep her purse held tight underneath her cloak, the blonde girl moved further throughout the first story of the castle until she found the desolate passageway that her father had once shown her when she had been a child. "For safety", he had called it, which was ironic considering that Elsa had used the door mostly for escaping the castle unnoticed... But what her father had never known couldn't hurt him, could it...?
So long as she kept her powers under control, of course.
Finally, Elsa found herself in open air for the first time in what must have been months. At first, the only thing that she could focus on was the fresh air that flowed through her lungs, grateful for the cool summer wind that blew on the back of her hood. But as soon as she remembered that she was running out of time, Elsa quickened her steps again. She maneuvered out through the courtyard with her azure eyes focused on the task at hand, slipping easily through a broken shaft of brick that she and Anna had once discovered as children. Sadly, Elsa wondered if Anna's memories had been revoked of that, too; but decided it didn't matter, as much of her childhood with her sister had been taken, and she would never dare to ask.
All things set aside, the princess was very pleased with the walk that was offered to her. As she strolled down the rocky pathway, she kept her eyes aware of her surrounding despite that she knew Arendelle as well as her own hands. And as Elsa entered the town again, she felt herself engulfed with emotions; recalling many instances of her childhood when she and Anna had once been gushed over for being members of the royal family. Once the reminiscence began, however, she felt her fingertips tingle with a familiar cold sensation rippling up through the flesh of her hands. Biting her lip warily, Elsa fought to keep her gloved hands at her sides, refusing to further indulge herself in the memories that brought on a mixture of emotions that she had abandoned.
The young woman instead found that the town was still mostly asleep, despite that this meant that there weren't many options that she could visit. Frowning some, she looked around at the titles of the stores, wondering if she should dare show her face towards anyone who might recognize her. It had been thirteen years since the castle had been locked down to keep her safe, but Elsa was still as wary as ever, keeping her hood around her face. Finally, after her gaze had scanned the familiar area, she found that a bakery was open judging by the lit candles and the smoke up ahead coming from the chimney of the parlor. With a sigh, she attempted to keep her head high as she moved towards the little shop. It couldn't hurt, could it, to get something to eat before going back to the castle for the next dozen years...?
Bells clanked together as soon as Elsa pushed the wooden door of the bakery open. Instinctively, she froze on spot, eyes widening when she was spotted by a young man strolling out to the front counter. He looked just like any baker would, she surmised, despite his unruly brown hair and the fact that he didn't look quite like someone who would be opening a bakery... Especially since he was so young, surely Anna's age, or younger. But she thought his floured apron might have done the touch. It hugged his very slender, lanky frame.
"Hello stranger," He greeted enthusiastically, tilting his head a bit. He grinned at her, a gesture that Elsa wasn't so sure that she knew how to respond to. "You're up early."
It was too late for her to back out of a conversation now. And with determination, the young princess cleared her throat and entered the bakery door. She was instantly engulfed with the smell of sweets and pastries that lingered within the shop, suddenly feeling hungrier than she might have in years. But she kept her ground, eventually lowering her hood as she stepped closer to where the counter and the young man were positioned.
"Not from around here, I'm guessing?" His voice was friendly, despite that his eyebrows were waggling at her playfully. Another expression that again, Elsa wasn't accustomed to returning, especially since she thought that for some reason he might see right through her visage.
Somehow, she managed to find her voice.
"No, I'm rather far from home, to tell you the truth..." It wasn't an entire lie. Anywhere outside of the castle boundaries seemed far away at this point. Either way, her gaze was instantly drawn to every little item displayed around the bakery, feeling somehow like a child again as she stared at everything that was in her wake. It was difficult for her to focus on the young man once more until he spoke.
"Really? Where are you from?"
Stomach sinking, Elsa slowly looked up at him again, taking in the appearance of his disheveled dark hair. Their eyes met, and she was very aware of his slightly crooked smile, bronze-colored eyes, and spirited demeanor. He seemed like someone that she could trust, but she wasn't going to even test those waters. Not today, not ever, despite that she could agree that he was somehow... Dashing.
"Norway." Elsa answered after a small silence, clasping her gloved hands together in front of her. She was quick to continue in case he seemed suspicious of her. "From Bergen, I'm here visiting my family for the next couple of weeks."
"Oh?" The boy didn't seem to skip a beat. "Who are you staying with? Bet I know them."
Elsa felt the color rising in her cheeks.
"They don't live in the village here." Her lie wasn't getting any more intricate, but she knew that she had to try if it was going to keep him from asking questions. "But maybe - do you know... The Waldau family?"
Heart beginning to race, she felt her breathing return to her when the baker boy scratched his head and looked stumped.
"Can't say that I do..."
"They don't get out much." She attempted to smile, growing a bit closer to the counter. "My uncle is... Well, not very friendly to say the least."
That must have done the trick, because he eventually chuckled and changed the subject.
"Oh, I meet people like that all of the time. It's the pleasure of working in customer service on a daily basis." He responded humorously, serving to make Elsa's smile a little more genuine before glancing around. "Anyway, dear lady; what can I get for you today? I recommend the cinnamon buns, they just came out. They're top notch, I promise; I made them myself."
It was strange to Elsa that the boy seemed to glow the more that he talked. But it wasn't long before she was clearing her throat and agreeing that a cinnamon bun would do just fine. The only time that she faltered was when she dangled her purse out from beneath her cloak, causing the boy's amber eyes to widen.
"Wow, that's a nice thing you've got under there..." He leaned against the counter, looking impressed. "How much did that cost you?"
Managing to keep a straight face, Elsa attempted to look innocent, despite that she felt herself grimacing.
"Is it?" She asked naively, gloved fingertips nearly dropping a coin from inside of the confinement within the bag. "It was a gift from my mother, so I wouldn't know."
"Looks like it... You must have rich family in Bergen, then." His assumptions were strangely accurate coming from someone that she had only just met. Either way, Elsa kept her mouth shut as she slid the coin out for him. And in return, the boy spun around and disappear beyond the doors behind him, returning only a moment later with the plate of cinnamon bun that she had requested; complimented by his typical grin and a wink.
Breakfast in hand, Elsa felt the dire need to escape but suppressed her urges. The sun still wasn't peaking over the valley yet, but she didn't know how many more questions she could be given by the bakery boy. What if she slipped up and he figured out who she was...?
Gripping the plate hard, she eventually found herself wandering to a table near the creaky door. At least if she had to make an abrupt escape, it would be nearby. Regardless, as soon as she was settled and her mouth came in contact with the warm pastry, she was grateful that she didn't leave. It was just as delicious as the boy had promised it would be.
She was so engulfed in the taste that she didn't even notice the boy coming back to her again, laughing heartily as he approached.
"Ha, your family must be rich, little dove... Just look at the way you eat that, you'd think you were sitting in Arendelle's palace eating with the princesses themselves."
Flushing yet again, Elsa tried to look around her to see if she had done anything wrong by the way she sat up straight and ate her pastry carefully with a utensil rather than with her hands. But the young man was quick to laugh again, distracting her.
"I'm only joking." He insisted. Elsa's eyes fell to him curiously, noting that he had the intention of joining her at the table she had picked with one plate of the aforementioned pastry in hand himself, holding two mugs potently.
"Oh, I know." Elsa attempted to chime, watching him carefully.
"Mind if I join you?" The boy asked, sliding the mugs onto the table. "I brought milk, if that gives me any points... Despite that I'm a lowly baker boy, your highness."
It was difficult for her not to smile at his words, but she didn't suppress the urge. His words were a joke, and she knew that much, despite that the social setting made her nervous. So instead, she nodded, suddenly acknowledging how very dry her throat felt was.
"Well, thank you, lowly baker boy. Keep this up and you'll be my personal squire by noon." Her words were deadpanned and sarcastic. She wondered silently whether he would catch on, but thankfully, he did. His dark eyes lit up with laughter.
"Very funny. I might be a baker, but I'm no squire." He leaned one of his lanky legs up against the table, an action which caused Elsa to blink curiously at him. It certainly wasn't how she had seen anyone act at the table back in the castle... Ever.
"By the way, my name is Jack." He suddenly reached out one hand towards her - evidently in a formal greeting, but Elsa had never shaken hands with anyone before - while shoveling part of the cinnamon bun into his mouth.
Gingerly, Elsa brought one of her gloved hands to his, grateful that he did more of the initiating to their "hand shake" before letting go.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mister Jack." Elsa started, forgetting momentarily that her name (or at least her real one) shouldn't be uttered within the vicinity of anyone at that moment. "My name is Elsa."
As soon as the words were spoken, she felt the color drain from her face. Fortunately, baker boy Jack was too busy choking on his pastry with laughter to notice before he composed himself again.
"Elsa?!" Jack sputtered, laughter roaring out of him. It would have been amusing to watch, if it hadn't been for the fact that she had slipped up. "You're kidding!"
"No, I'm not." Elsa continued, brushing a piece of blonde hair behind her ear that had escaped from her braid. "Why? Is that the name of your squire? I didn't know that bakers had them."
Jack seemed to take the bait, gawking a bit, as if he might have been surprised by her lack of knowledge... If she truly had any.
"More like the princess of Arendelle! You didn't know that?!" He asked at once, leaning up in his chair. Elsa kept her smile frank as she reached for the mug he had laid out for her.
"Can't say that I did, but I do now." Elsa responded calmly, unable to resist teasing him as she took a deliberate sip out of the mug. "Is that where all of this monarchy monologue is coming from? Your infatuation with a princess named 'Elsa'?"
Jack offered her a comical look with a roll of his eyes.
"Nah, I haven't even met her before. I don't think many of us have, to be honest... Her coronation is next week though, they're making her the queen of Arendelle. You didn't know that?"
Another reminder of the upcoming seven days sent a slight shiver rippling down her spine, but otherwise, Elsa kept her face free of any terseness that might have been warranted.
"I heard. Is the castle far from here?" Her questions were as naive as they had been before, resting the mug back on the table, feeling very grateful towards Jack for having thought of it for her. He was turning out to be something else...
"Not far at all. Did you want to see it while you were here?" It seemed as though he might jump at the opportunity to give her the tour himself. But Elsa was calm, shaking her head firmly at his question.
"No, no... I have no interest in anything like that." She murmured, unable to rest asking him, "Why, do you plan on attending...?"
Jack briefly shrugged his shoulders, reaching for his own mug again as he pressed his knobbly knees against the table.
"Probably, Arendelle's citizens are always invited to that sort of ceremony, I guess. Even if there hasn't been one in years..."
Silently, Elsa hoped that he wouldn't show, knowing that he would recognize her there. But she managed to keep her face flat as her eyes continued staring at him, shoveling that cinnamon bun down his throat again...
"They sound boring." Elsa commented, unable to prevent herself from teasing him further. "Are you sure that you would want to attend that?"
Jack suddenly leaned forward once more, grinning yet again; somehow looking more mischievous than he had before.
"Says who, you? Miss Fancy Bag and Perfect Hair?"
Chuckling, Elsa glanced away momentarily, unsure of how to answer the question when her gaze fell away towards the counter again. Instead, the inquiry was only brought with another question, since the princess no longer wanted to discuss Arendelle or the possibility of him figuring out who she was.
"Have you worked here long, Jack?" She asked, looking over the bakery silently.
"No, only for a little while... My dad passed away a few years ago, so this is just what I'm doing to help my mother and my sister out." His answer was simply and informative. Elsa found her eyes traveling back to him again.
"You have a sister?"
"Yeah, little Pippa..." It was impossible not to see how proud he seemed at the mention of his sister. Jack practically beamed, grin as intact as ever. "We're eight years apart, but we're pretty inseparable... I've taught her a lot of things, especially since it's mostly just me and her at home..." He ran a hand through his already tousled hair, looking at Elsa with an additional smile. "She loves ice skating, but there isn't much of that around this time of year, if you can believe it."
Elsa didn't know what she should say, but she did find it endearing that he was so close to his sister.
"I have a sister too, but..." Her stomach clenched slightly, as her eyes drifted towards the mug that she gripped in her hand. "We're not close."
(That's all I can get in for the night. I will add more later, I dunno if this is going well or not... Lololol. Alternate universes aren't my specialty. But hey, Jelsa; Jelsa, Jelsa... Sorry if I have a more adult-like relationship between them. I just have a particular way that I think Elsa should be played, but that's just meee.)