Anna was staring at Arendelle High School from the inside of Elsa's BMW, watching the students walk by, busy talking amongst themselves.
"I'm seriously dreading this." Anna finally admitted, her eyes flicking from one student to the next as they strolled by.
"Why?" Elsa reached for her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, keeping her gaze forward.
Anna shifted in the leather seat. "Everyone is going to ask questions, I just want to get through the day without being bothered. I want things to go back to the way they were before people started pitying me."
The blonde's lips hitched up into a smile. "How far back are we talking here?"
Anna rolled her eyes as she glanced at Elsa, "Not that far," she began, but Elsa was leaning towards her and planted a quick kiss on her lips.
The auburn failed to contain a smile and bit her bottom lip, "See you at lunch?" she asked softly, eyes locked with Elsa's.
"You're leaving now? Am I not walking you to your first class?" The blonde stuck her lip out in an exaggerated and uncharacteristic pout before Anna rolled her eyes again.
"You're not one of those obsessive girlfriends, are you?" Anna laughed, then instantly caught her mistake, her face reddening with embarrassment. "-Wait, that's not what I meant-"
Elsa let out a small laugh, "It's OK," she paused, considering asking Anna a question, the question, but something held her back. At that moment, the school bell rang and students began to rush by them in an attempt to get to class on time.
Both girls stared at each other for a moment, and Anna finally cleared her throat. "Well uh, we better get going."
"Yeah..." Elsa watched Anna step out of her car and the blonde mentally slapped herself. Why didn't she ask her? Why couldn't she ask her if she wanted to be her girlfriend? Annoyed, the blonde let out a puff of air and sighed heavily, slipping out of her car and slamming the door shut behind her.
"Anna, don't look right now, but Hans has been staring at you for the past twenty minutes..." Merida whispered, her mouth full of pizza.
The auburn sighed internally and glanced at Elsa, who pulled out her phone.
Elsa: Are you OK?
Anna felt her phone buzz in her pocket, but before she could pull it out, Merida practically choked on her food. "Oh my gawd, he's coming over here!"
Anna sat up straight and listened, hearing Hans heavy steps approach from behind her.
"Hey Anna, do you have a second?" he asked gently, his hand sneaking onto her shoulder for a moment before pulling away.
Everyone at the table froze, confusion etched in their faces as their eyes bounced between Anna and Hans.
"Oh, uhm, hi Hans," Anna said shyly, turning her head to look up at him. His eyes were sincere for once, and Anna instantly felt a pang of guilt grow in her stomach. She turned away from him for a second and rose from her seat, "I'll be right back guys," she announced to the stunned-silent table, and walked away.
"...Is everything OK?" Anna asked as Hans reached for her elbow to lead her out of the cafeteria. It seemed the entire school's eyes were on them, and Anna could feel the stares boring into the back of her neck.
Once they were out of earshot, Hans quickly turned to face her, "Anna, why are you ignoring me?" he asked, reaching for his phone and holding it in front of him.
"I uh..." Anna was at a loss for words, crossing her arms over herself protectively. "I've just been really busy, you know that."
The man sighed, his green eyes falling to the floor, "I know..." he couldn't seem to keep his gaze focused, his eyes bouncing from the floor back to Anna, "...but it's weird that you went from seeing me almost every day to nothing at all."
"Hans, we aren't even dating..."
"I know, but...I was hoping we could be."
Anna blinked, digesting his words. "Wait, seriously?" She looked up at him then, and for a moment she saw the old Hans she knew, innocent in a sense, the geek who could quote Star Trek and ramble on about the most efficient way to beat Ocarina of Time. He shuffled his feet and tossed his phone back and forth between his hands nervously, and if she wasn't so surprised by his last sentence she probably would have found it endearing.
"Anna..." he licked his lips and looked at her finally, "...will you go out with me? Will you be my girlfriend?"
The auburn couldn't believe what she was hearing, and suddenly the hallway seemed to grow very, very warm.
"Listen Hans, you're a great guy..."
He shook his head, "Don't bullshit with me Anna."
"-No please, just listen." Anna watched Hans' calm demeanor turn suddenly angry and she instinctively reached for his arm, trying to catch his gaze, "We aren't kids any more Hans. We, you and I, don't work together, and you know it."
The man took a deep breath and slipped his phone into his pocket then took Anna's hand gently. "We used to work," he added, finally looking at her again.
"I know, but things are different now. And I'm sorry, I didn't mean to lead you on, I just thought...I thought I was just another one of your-"
"-another one of my flings?" he interrupted.
Anna bit her lower lip nervously, "Yeah..."
Hans dropped Anna's hand and took a small step back, "Honestly I can't say that I blame you, I deserve this." He nodded to himself, as if processing what he was going to say next, his eyes unfocused.
"Listen," he took a deep breath and straightened his shoulders, "I know you're going through a lot right now, but just know that I'm here for you, if you want me to be." He looked at her curiously, trying to judge her response. When she said nothing, he took the opportunity to continue, "And just know that I'll wait for you, if you want me to."
Anna had a heartfelt speech ready to lay on the man, but he didn't give her a chance to speak. He simply took an optimistic breath and planted a short kiss on her cheek before walking away, disappearing behind the cafeteria doors.
It took the auburn a moment to gather her wits. She leaned against the wall for a moment, absorbing everything that Hans had said and decided she would have to deal with him later. Now she had to go back into the cafeteria, to Elsa, and everyone else who was going to hammer her with questions.
With a deep breath, Anna pushed herself away from the wall and gently pushed open the cafeteria doors. She was careful to keep her eyes on the floor as she made her way back to her table, but couldn't help but glance at Hans, who flashed a grin in her direction. She turned away quickly and slumped back down in her chair, trying to keep her expression as nonchalant as possible.
"So, how was everyone's weekend?" she asked the silence that awaited her, stabbing her spaghetti with a plastic fork and shoving it into her mouth.
"What was that all about?" Kristoff asked suddenly, and everyone nodded curiously in unison.
Anna shook her head, "Oh it was just about my mom, his dad is her doctor."
Everyone seemed to accept this answer except for Kristoff, who continued to push.
"Isn't that a breach of patient confidentiality or something? Doctor Isles shouldn't be telling Hans anything about your mom."
"Kristoff it's really not a big deal..." Anna said with a full mouth, but he shook his head.
"It is! You and your mom deserve some privacy, Hans is in no place to get wrapped up in your life."
"Kristoff, just lay off." Merida interrupted, elbowing the man next to her. "God, sometimes you're worse than Hans."
"I am not!"
Everyone seemed to have an opinion to Merida's comment all at once, and the table exploded with chatter. Anna rolled her eyes and glanced at Elsa, who had been sitting silently the entire time, picking at her salad.
The auburn pulled out her phone and caught Elsa's earlier message.
Anna: Sorry about all this, my friends suck.
Elsa: They're protective.
Elsa wanted to question Anna about Hans, and was more than curious about the conversation that just went down behind closed doors, but decided to keep it to herself. Anna would tell her when she was ready, but she couldn't help but notice the confident smile that seemed to be permanently plastered on Hans' face every time he glanced at Anna from across the cafeteria. His self-assured smile and almost flawless features irritated her, and she suddenly felt protective of the young girl next to her. Without a second thought, she linked arms protectively with Anna and turned away, trying to focus on the conversations at the table before her.
Mulan jogged up to the blonde in the school hallway, Elsa pulling books out of her locker and shutting it firmly.
"Hey Mulan," the ice skater greeted, feeling slightly awkward talking to her alone without the presence of the majority of Anna's friends around them.
The fencer had her foil in her hand, nervously tapping it against her shoulder. "Hey, uhm, I had a question I wanted to ask you."
Elsa raised her eyebrows curiously, and when Mulan glanced around the hallway nervously, the blonde could feel her stomach drop, already dreading whatever question was going to come out of the girl's mouth.
"This is really none of my business, but…" Mulan struggled with what she wanted to say next, and Elsa laughed, just wanting to put the poor girl out of her misery.
The blonde let her books rest at her hip and smiled at the raven-haired girl, who looked at her curiously. "Are you heading to the gym?" Elsa asked, eyeing the foil in her hand. "Let me walk you to your next class, and we can talk on the way."
Mulan nodded at this and let Elsa lead the way, and became more grateful when the blonde spoke first.
"I'm assuming you're trying to ask me if I'm gay?" Elsa asked, paying no heed to the other students who glanced curiously at them in the hallway.
"Uhm, yeah, actually."
"Why does it matter to you?"
Mulan blinked, absorbing the aggressive question then stopped in her tracks, looking up at the blonde with a serious expression.
"Because Anna matters to me."
Elsa only looked at her curiously, and since she said nothing, Mulan continued.
"Listen, I see the way you look at each other, and it's pretty damn obvious that something is going on, even if the majority of the school is oblivious to it." The fencer bit her lower lip, carefully forming her next words in her mind carefully. "I think you've been really good for her, and really good to her, but she's been through a lot of shit lately, you know?"
Elsa did know, and she took a deep breath, exhaling slowly as she considered what she wanted to say.
"And…" Mulan continued, "She has a lot of people who love her, and would do anything for her. Kristoff, Hans even, and me included. Everything was sort of set up and taking its course before you came along."
That last sentence surprised Elsa, and the girl cocked her head to the side, "What do you mean?"
Mulan let out a small laugh, "Kristoff and Anna, they're practically destined to be together."
Confusion swept over Elsa as her jaw dropped slightly. "Kristoff and…Anna," she repeated, as if trying to fully register what Mulan was saying, and shook her head. "Listen, if you want to talk about their relationship, then you're speaking to the wrong person. I'm in no place to tell you how Anna feels, you should ask her yourself."
"I know how Anna feels." Mulan was getting nervous, tapping the taped edge of her foil on the ground. "…and you should take her feelings into consideration."
Elsa held her books a little tighter. "What are you trying to say Mulan?"
The fencer took a deep breath. "What I'm trying to say is…think long-term. Where will you be in a few months? Graduated? Off to some other state with a full scholarship? Doing some figure-skating thing? Travelling to another country to compete in the Olympics? And where will Anna be? Here. Still in school, working at the rink, taking care of her mother. She isn't going anywhere Elsa, so just think before you start anything and end up breaking her heart later."
Mulan lifted her foil and rested it on her shoulder before eyeing the blonde one last time and walking away, disappearing behind the double-doors of the gym.
Elsa was shocked, surprised by Mulan's words, always thinking that the fencer was somehow, even indirectly, on hers and Anna's side. Now she stood frozen in the hallway, gripping her books tightly and staring out a window, watching threatening, gray clouds roll over the surrounding mountains.
The clears skies Arendelle saw over the past few days were long gone as snow began to fall again. It was a light dusting at first, which grew into angry, snarling clouds by the time Anna's hockey practice came about. Since they carpooled, Elsa took the opportunity to run a few errands while Anna practiced, and the blonde could hardly battle the heavy snow that dumped on her when she tried to return for her own.
"Tighter Elsa, tighter!"
Emma called from the stands as Elsa attempted another triple lutz, barely finishing the last rotation and landing low. The blonde managed to stay balanced and upright as she glided in Emma's direction.
"Yelling at me in the middle of a jump isn't going to make me any better," Elsa rolled her eyes, staying on the ice and allowing the wall to stop her.
Emma skipped down the stands and met her there, a sly smile on her lips, "You never used to complain before, who is this new Elsa before me?" she asked, her hands gliding over the blonde's fingers before resting next to them.
Elsa looked wearily towards the offices at the top of the stands, knowing that Anna was behind the glass, either immersed in paperwork that had stacked up from the last week or homework. She knew it irritated her that Emma was still involved in her practices, but she needed her help, and Anna at least understood that.
"Yeah, about that," Elsa gently pulled her hands away and crossed them in front of her chest. "Emma, we really need to talk."
Disappointment washed over Emma's face instantly and the girl slowly curled in on herself. Her hands retracted from the wall and were gently placed in the pockets of her coat, where Elsa knew she had them in tight fists.
"I knew this was going to happen," Emma said, her head down and eyes unfocused. Elsa said nothing as the brunette shifted her weight between one foot and the other, then returned her gaze to the blonde. "I knew this was going to happen," she repeated, tossing a dark curled strand out of her eye, "...but I really hoped it wouldn't."
Elsa bit her lower lip nervously, taking a deep breath and preparing the words she had been practicing in her head all day.
"Emma, you know that you and I..." she faltered at the sight of Emma's dark eyes glossed over with tears, and the girl sniffed as she motioned her head towards the offices behind her. "It's her, isn't it. You're picking Anna."
Elsa shook her head, "I'm not picking anybody other than myself," she paused and looked down at her hands, "I loved you once Emma, but this just isn't working."
The brunette took a shaky breath and ran a hand through her hair, "Elsa, I came all this way for you…"
Emma seemed to grow angry, not ready to let Elsa speak. "I dodged your father the entire weekend and now here I am, helping you without payment, not because you asked, but because I want to."
Elsa was stunned silent for the second time that day, her hands dropping to her sides as she gazed upon Emma with guilty eyes.
Emma took a step forward, hoisting her bag over her shoulder. "I'm risking everything to be here, do you realize that?"
The blonde's cheeks reddened as she leaned back, as if trying to avoid being within Emma's space. "I know, but you do realize I'm also risking a lot as well."
The brunette was ready to counter, but at the sight of Elsa's confused eyes, she calmed herself, letting her words sink in. She took a deep, soothing breath and shook her head, her brown curls bouncing around the frame of her face.
"Elsa…what has happened to us?" She asked, her eyes peering into hers, "…we never used to argue like this. Things used to be so easy…"
Emma leaned forward, her hands open for Elsa to take. When Elsa didn't respond, the elder girl let out a heavy sigh and turned away, gripping the strap of her bag.
"Emma, wait-" Elsa skated to the edge and almost stepped off the ice but the brunette whirled around, stopping her.
"I don't believe for a second that you don't love me still," and with that she turned away and briskly walked out of the rink, leaving Elsa's mind whirling as her eyes followed the figure to the door, Emma's form disappearing behind the glass.
Ooops, sorry for the extremely late update.
More violence from my fellow reviewers:
"But Emma can still have her throat accidentally slit open with a skate, right?" - Nik the Dinosaur
"Fuck everything about this story! I really wanted to see Anna just go fucking ballistic and tell Elsa and Emma to go fuck each other in a gas chamber. Fuck Elsa. Fuck Emma. Fuck Hans. And I'm not sure why but Kristoff can go get fucked too because his love for Anna's annoying me." - Guest (this review was actually longer and they said 'fuck' a total of 10 times, pretty fab).
"fladsjfl;djksfadlm;sfadsfdsfdfkd;ljfkds" - Skij Leonhart
"I so want a dwarf to punch Elsa's dad in the balls." - Rae Moore
"HOLY FUDGING MEATBALLS ELSA YOU DUMB CRUMPET WHY CAN'T YOU JUST STAB YOUR DADDY AND RUN OFF INTO THE RAINBOWS WITH ANNA?!" - Ze Chocolate Assassin (Dumb Crumpet? I'm stealing that for real-life use).
"I ship Emsa. Elma? I SHIP IT." - Guest (WTF IS WRONG WIT U!?)