A/N: Chapter 7 is finally up and I must say folks, I have never changed around so much in any of my stories. Mostly I'm reorganizing and moving things around to make the story flow better, but there are things that I am adding and removing. All your review have been of great use and provided me excellent food for thought, so thanks everyone. I hope you all keep giving me such great feedback about what you like and continue to enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own any characters, but I do own my plot.
Through The Storm
Chapter 7: Snow Games and Fun
As the Queen and the Guardian finished eating, Jack suddenly stood up.
"Let's go outside and play." He said. Elsa looked at him confused.
"Yeah, snowball fights, building forts, you know, the usual."
"Shouldn't we continue training?" Jack smirked at her.
"All work and no play, makes me a dull boy." He took her hand, not seeing the blush that appeared on the Queen's face, and led her back outside.
Jack and Elsa stood a few feet apart, facing one another just like when they were training earlier. Elsa continued to regard Jack as if he was pulling a prank on her. Why play now, when there were much more pressing matters at hand? What she didn't know, was that the Guardian had a few theories he wanted to test out, and which would be far easier done when playing than during training.
"Come on, Queenie!" Jack laughed, forming a snowball in his hand. "Just like training!" Elsa frowned then smirked at him.
"Whatever you say, Popsicle." Jack laughed again. They began throwing snowballs, trying to score more hits on the other. Elsa was enjoying herself a lot more this time as she could actually retaliate on Jack rather than just dodging and blocking like in training.
The two played for hours, making forts and ice walls for cover as they ran around pelting each other with snowballs; laughing all the while. Elsa honestly could not remember the last time she had this much fun. It was probably since before that incident with Anna all those years back.
Peeking out from behind a wall of ice, Jack was quickly hit in the face with a snowball.
"Whoohoo!" Elsa cheered and laughed as the Guardian grinned and wiped the snow from his face.
"Two can play that game!" He said, rushing out from behind his cover. Elsa quickly took the opportunity to try to hit him again. Jack leapt, doing a cartwheel, scooping two handfuls of snow as he went. The first he tossed as he was moving, which Elsa easily blocked. The second he waited until he had both feet planted on the ground and threw it with the accuracy he as a spirit of winter was famous for. This second snowball flew true, catching Elsa in the face. Laughing, the young Queen countered quickly. Unlike earlier when Elsa had dropped the snow pile on Jack, this time Elsa didn't think, she just reacted. She raised both arms, creating a giant snowball that hovered over her head and tossed it. The look on Jack's face was like that of a startled animal that had just caught sight of a predator. The giant snowball hit Jack with enough force that he flipped over backwards in midair, falling face first in he snow. Realizing what she had just done, the blood drained from Elsa's face and fear began to rise from her gut to grip her heart.
"Oh my! Jack!" Said Elsa. Praying she had not broken his neck or something, she ran over and rolled him onto his back. Jack's face was red from the impact but he was laughing. Instantly her fears subsided. His eyes, filled with mirth, met her own and her heart skipped a beat.
"Hahah! That was awesome Elsa!" He said. "You never cease to amaze me." Elsa blushed and looked away, hoping he didn't notice how bright her cheeks had gotten.
"Thank you." She said shyly.
Once he was back on his feet, Jack backed up and looked at Elsa.
"Come on, give me the best you got!" Said Jack. Elsa smirked. The best she had? She wouldn't throw it, but she would scare him. And because she wasn't going to throw it at him, she wasn't scared of hurting him.
"You asked for it." Elsa braced her feet and made a pulling motion with both hands, much like when she had first started building her ice palace. The young Guardian turned at the sound of cracking ice to see an incredible, mind-blowing sight. Elsa had managed to break free a gigantic chunk of ice, easily more than fifty feet long and almost as wide, and was struggling to raise it over her head. The ice floated above her open hands much like the giant snowball she had made earlier. Jack put both hands on his head, eyes going as wide as dinner plates and his mouth fell completely open.
"That… that thing is huge! Elsa! How are you doing this?!"
"A lot… of… effort…" She strained. Jack put his arms up to try to help her hold the weight and was almost crushed by the sudden force upon his arms. He managed to hang on though, and helped Elsa maneuver it aside. Once it was a safe distance away, they dropped it. Ice smashed to the ground with an earth shaking crash; it was so big, it hardly took any damage. Both Elsa and Jack fell to the snow, heaving from exhaustion.
"That-" Panted Jack, looking up, "That was amazing, Elsa." Elsa smiled, brushing a stray strand of hair up, out of her face.
"Just- just trying to see what I can do."
Elsa and Jack took almost a full ten minuets just to catch their breaths after the overexertion. Elsa had never done something so big, with the exception of freezing Arendelle and that came through her emotions, not through strength. Jack on the other hand was surprised it took him so long to recover. Sure it was a huge effort, but he was a winter spirit! As such, he should have recovered by now. He glanced at the sky to see it was orange with the setting sun. It would soon be dark. There was however, still time for a final snowball fight. There was always time for one final snowball fight.
"One more round of snowball fight before we call it a day." Said Jack getting up and placing some distance between him and the Queen who was still recovering.
Elsa looked around. She was exhausted and though she wanted to continue playing, she knew didn't stand a chance and that she'd have to end the match as fast as possible if she were to have any hopes of winning. Fortunately, Jack himself inadvertently provided her solution as he maneuvered under a snow-laden tree. Smirking triumphantly, the Queen tossed a single snowball, hoping it would find its target. It did. Elsa's snowball hit a branch that broke, instantly dropping a large pile of snow on Jack. For the second time that day he was knocked to the ground, only his shins and feet visible from under the snow. Elsa cringed when she realized much of the snow pile had been frozen solid; Jack had taken a good blow to the head.
"Oops! Jack? Jack?! Are you okay?!" She asked grabbing his feet and pulling him out. Jack tried to look at her, but his eyes couldn't seem to find her, as if his vision were spinning.
"Game called on account of rain." He said causing Elsa to giggle.
It was a few minutes before Jack regained his senses. In the meantime, Elsa had put one of his arms around her and was trying to help him back to the palace.
"So I guess I won the snowball fights, huh?" Asked Elsa. Jack looked at her, amusement in his face.
"You mean, I won."
"What?! No way!" Elsa laughed. "It was obvious, I was the winner."
"You won? I don't think so."
"I clearly hit you more times!" Elsa retorted. Jack chortled.
"Oh hoho! Not so fast, Queenie! You are clearly having math problems!" The two just grinned and laughed, continuing their back and forth arguing over who won.
"Hey Elsa, I've been thinking." Said Jack, as he straightened up when he could finally stand without getting disoriented. The Queen had both good aim and good luck. Elsa sat in the snow to rest and he sat in front of her.
"Well, I was thinking about how you asked if I couldn't make anything soft. I was thinking, maybe while I train you to use your powers like I do, maybe you can teach me how to use my powers like you do."
"Yeah. Sure, that's a good idea." Said Elsa. The Queen stood up before him. "Let's start with something simple; making clothes." Jack balked. That was simple?!
Elsa made an upward sweeping motion with both hands, palms up. Jack studied her gestures closely. As the Guardian watched in surprise, flowing ice patterns spiral and rose up the Queen's dress, like blossoming flowers. Her gown changed to a much more formal looking dress, which had a large collar that fanned out behind her head, puffier shoulders, a cape that looked fuller like it was made of snow instead of the thin flowing ice. This dress went up to her neck, rather than the low cut on the shoulders of her old snow gown. It was darker blue, without the cut that exposed her right leg and the sleeves weren't transparent. While more regal looking, Jack didn't really like it as much. It was beautiful, sure, but not as beautiful as her first snow gown. Plus, it didn't look as 'free' and unrestrained as the other dress, which Jack though represented Elsa a whole lot better.
"See?" Asked Elsa. "It's simple really." She repeated the motions to don her original blue snow gown. Jack was secretly glad she chose to return to that one instead of remaining with the new one. He raised an eyebrow, a small smile on his face. It didn't look too overly complicated and he was the winter spirit after all.
"Alright, I can do that." Said Jack. He repeated Elsa's gestures. Nothing.
"Hmm." He said. The Queen stood before him, her fingers on her chin in thought.
"You're trying too hard." Elsa offered. "Relax. Just, let it go." Jack grinned.
"Okay." Once more, he repeated Elsa's gestures. This time something happened, but Jack immediately realized something had gone wrong. Elsa blinked, mouth open in shock. He had encased himself, up to his neck, in a solid block of ice! "Uh-oh." Said Jack as he toppled over backwards. Elsa laughed so hard, she doubled over.
Anna, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf had gotten off of the North Mountain and were clear of Father Time's magic. The four walked in silence, the only sound coming from the snow crunching under their boots and Sven's hooves. Kristoff was in the lead, with Anna a few feet behind. Sven brought up the rear, with Olaf was lying on his back, taking the opportunity to relax. The snowman decided he was bored with the silence and decided to lighten the mood.
"I spy with my little eye, something beginning with s." Said Olaf.
"Snow." Anna and Kristoff said at the same time.
"Wow! You guys are good." Said Olaf, impressed. They had gotten it on the first try! "Okay, how about this one? I spy with my little eye, something white."
"Snow." Said Kristoff as Anna decided to just listen, knowing where this was going.
"You got it again! Are you psychic or something?" Olaf asked, looking excited. Kristoff rolled his eyes while Anna had covered her mouth to stifle a laugh. "Okay this next one is much harder. I spy with my little eye, something col-" Before he could finish, Kristoff cut him off.
"Snow again. And just a guess, the one after that, snow." Anna giggled while Olaf just stared at him.
"Okay, now that is just scary." Shaking his head, Kristoff slowed his pace to fall into step beside Anna.
"So, how are you holding up?"
"I'm fine." Kristoff raised an eyebrow. "I mean, I'm fine for now; but we don't know if it will get any worse. Maybe it will just stay like this and the only effect is that I'll have more white hair." She finished optimistically. Kristoff didn't reply, weighing how much he should reveal.
"I guess now, we know why you had that white streak in your hair to begin with." He said tentatively.
"Yeah, I guess." Said Anna. "Maybe it was an effect from Elsa's powers. But, I don't know why I don't remember it. What could this mean?" Kristoff sighed. He wanted to tell her, but Grand Pabbie had removed her memory for her safety as well as her sister's. Even if the secret was out now, Kristoff still hesitated, as it wasn't his secret to tell. She had to know, but could he be the one to reveal it? Hadn't everything changed now that Anna knew about Elsa's powers?
Anna noticed the blond man staring at her funny and became suddenly self-conscious. Was there something on her face? Was her hair okay? Well, the white parts aside.
"What?" She asked. Kristoff seemed to snap out of his thoughts.
"Uh, nothing! Just counting how many streaks of white are in your hair." Kristoff mentally slapped himself for the stupid excuse. Anna gave him a weird look.
"It looks good on you!" He mentally slapped himself again. He had been fine the whole trip; why couldn't he come up with something smart to say around her now?!
Jack stretched and rubbed his tired muscles as He followed Elsa up the frozen stairs to the upper part of her palace. Elsa looked even more exhausted then him and every so often she would sway slightly. Jack kept a close eye on her to make sure that if she should lose her balance, he'd be able to steady or catch her. He accompanied her all the way to her room, ever vigilant over her, until she was safely inside. Elsa turned at the doorway and smiled at him.
"Night." Jack smiled back.
"Goodnight." Elsa gently shut her door and Jack went to his own room. Yawning, he sat down on a misshapen ice couch he'd created and pulled out the journal. He tapped the end of the pen on the journal for a moment as he collected his thoughts about what he had learned
"Journal Entry Day 2. Today I trained Elsa in dodging. I'm proud to say the Queen is an incredibly fast learner. We also got confirmation that thawing is indeed within her capabilities; we just have to figure out how to control it and replicate it on an Arendelle-sized scale. After eating, I decided we should have a snowball fight, not only for the Queen to relax, but also so I can gauge her abilities a bit more in a more comfortable environment. It's odd but from everything I've seen so far, Elsa's powers while the exact same as mine, are also radically different, and not just appearance-wise. I don't know how to explain it just yet, and will require a bit more study. Overall, I'd have to say that if Elsa and I ever had to fight each other (Manny forbid), I'd surely win, not just because I can control my powers, but also because I have centuries worth of experience, including actual combat experience, which she lacks. However, with time and proper training, I have absolutely no doubt that one day Elsa can surpass me." He paused and went back underlining absolutely no doubt. "The funny thing is, I have often wondered what it would be like if someone else had my power as well, and had oft concluded that while I'd be happy for the companionship, I'd also be extremely jealous and worried that I might lose my job. But now that I'm actually here with Elsa, I find that's not entirely true. Yes I do fear a bit for my job, however with her I feel incredibly happy and even immensely proud that she shares my powers." As Jack closed the journal, he reflected on what he had just written. Why did Elsa make him feel different? Why did she make him feel proud and not jealous? He filed it away in his mind as more things that he'd have to look into, before climbing into the hammock.
"Elsa, you are a mystery but I will figure you out." Jack thought as he let himself drift off to sleep.
A/N#2: I thought we were due for a little Kristanna moment (don't worry that it was very small, there will be more; that was just to whet the appetite). While Jack and Elsa grow closer, poor Kristoff is dealing with his changing feelings for Anna and she will eventually have to deal with hers as well. Also, Jack's journal entry of this day will be of great importance (as what both have learned in general), however I won't say anything else until the moment is right in the plot. Finally, I hope I did Jack and Elsa justice in that they can argue freely and call each other names without it becoming a fight, and in fact their arguing having flirtatious undertones.