Hey guys, so I haven't written a fic in a realllyyyy long time so I wanted to try this out and see how it goes.
My beta and Co-writer, LivingLamb aka Demi, helped a lot with this chapter and hopefully we'll be working together to bring you this angst filled story.
And no, we don't own anything Frozen, all rights go to Disney obviously.
It was a bright afternoon. The sun, towering high in its clear blue skies, settled its rays over the kingdom of Arendelle. Kids were playing in the streets, merchants packing their things for the night so no thieves or animals could steal their goods, and adults, heading towards taverns to drink the rest of their day away.
A regal man dismounted his horse, looking every bit like the royalty he was. With peace, he patted his horse down softly and headed toward the main entrance of his castle. His cape was long and luxurious, tinted with the finest hues of a vibrant red. The fur was elegant, enchanting to stare at, and it's thickness slid along the path to his castle, leading a trail of beauty behind the King. As he approached the large wooden doors, two guards stationed there saluted him and moved to grace the castle with their king's presence. Just as he passed the threshold, he noted a series of footsteps clacking down the grand hallway, lined with paintings and artifacts.
A blur of red flashed across the King's vision just before a giant weight barrelled into him. The King chuckled as he patted his daughter's head, savouring in the contact after being away from home for diplomatic reasons. He missed his precious girl, the pride and joy of his kingdom, his heritage. What a fine achievement. He grinned happily, his eyes gleaming with pride.
"How is my little Sparrow?" He smiled fondly at his little girl, relishing in her bright teal eyes, the same color as his late wife's.
"Gerda was making me do all these stupid things Papa- Like sitting up straight, and telling me what utensils to use when really all I want to do is just eat with my hands!" She toyed with her braids carelessly, "Also I tried to put worms in her tea but Kai stopped me. Papa, tell her to go away. I don't like Gerda all that much…" Anna pouted and crossed her arms.
The King chuckled as he bent down to meet his twelve-year-old daughter's eyes. "Now, now, you must learn proper etiquette, Anna. Who will want to marry a slob, hm? Just put up with Gerda a little bit longer and I'll make sure there will be a little bit of chocolate for you after every lesson, yes? Now, go apologize to Gerda for giving her a hard time." The King turned Anna around and patted her butt. Watching as she scampered off into another room, he chuckled warmly and then strode to the throne room, closing the door behind him as he went.
Poking her head from the doorway, Anna stared after him longingly. She definitely did not want to apologize to Gerda for teaching her proper etiquette. It just wasn't fair. Why couldn't she be a normal child, the type of girl to play outside and get a bit dirty; the type to wistfully waste the day away without a care in the world? Why did she have all these stupid responsibilities? Acting like a lady and learning how to eat with stupid, useless utensils, had its troubles too.
It's not like she even wanted to inherit the throne.
That all fell to her older brother, Kristoff.
She sighed and moved toward the office where she last saw Gerda, preparing her half-hearted apology, already crossing her fingers behind her back.
"Elsa!" A shrill screech rang throughout the small house, startling Elsa out of her reverie. She looked toward the door in her room with panic and then scrambled for the papers on her desk and quickly shoved them underneath her cot, just as the door swung open.
A beautiful woman, tall, stiff, stern, strutted in. Her blue eyes glared at the little girl and teeth bared in a sneer. The expression turning her once beautiful face into something more ugly and sinister.
"What did I tell you about leaving the windows open for more than an hour? Are you an idiot?" The woman yelled, swinging her arm and hitting Elsa across the head with ease. More stunned than hurt, the young girl stumbled backwards and fell, looking up fearfully towards her mother.
The woman's eyes flitted toward the corner of Elsa's bed then, catching a corner of one of the papers Elsa tossed. Growling, she pointed and yelled, "What is that? How do you expect to become part of the royal staff with junk lying underneath your bed? Give them to me!" She held out her hand, waiting for Elsa to retrieve them.
Shaking, Elsa crawled to the side of her bed, taking the papers and handing them to her mother. Her eyes were cast dejectedly toward her feet, bare against the hardwood floor. Head ducked, arms thrust out before her, Elsa grimaced as she felt the papers being ripped out of her grip resulting in the papers slicing her palms.
"What are these? Snowmen? Palaces-," Her mother's eyes widened at the drawings. She seemed disgusted, as a thin bony hand came shaking up to her mouth, as if to supress a scream of fear. "Elsa, you do not have time to draw stupid doodles. You have to be a lady, poised, royal."
"How can you ever be a servant if you're too busy drawing?"
"Yes mother, but-"
"How will you ever be able to leave if you can't just listen to what I tell you?" She thrust the papers downwards, sending them swirling, "God forbid I have to continue my days like-"She glared at Elsa, grimaced in disgust. God what a sight. What a mistake. An absolute failure.
Grabbing Elsa by the arm, she dragged the fifteen-year-old girl out into the kitchen, swiping the rolling pin off the counter and belting Elsa across the back with it. The girl howled in pain, collapsing to her knees in anguish. It is then, there, where her mother continued her endless flogging.
Every hit was like a stab in the back. Elsa's shoulder blades were burning, aching for some sort of relief. Her nails scraped along the wooden floor, lip bitten so hard the taste of blood stung her tongue. God, it seared. It bruised. It stung. Bits and pieces of her skin felt numb, while all the others just felt like they were being ripped off. But Elsa endured the pain; she lived with it and followed wherever it went.
And after the harsh cruelty and senseless beatings, Elsa laid on the hardwood floor. Her ragged puffs of air echoed throughout the darkened kitchen. Trembling and feeling her back pulsate through a fresh wave of pain with every inhale she took, Elsa pushed herself off the stone cold floor and gripped the counter to help herself up.
Grabbing a rag from the sink, she dampened it and started scrubbing at the floor, cleansing it of her blood and sweat. A sob racked her body as she continued scrubbing. Even though the pain flared across her back with each motion, she pushed herself, gritting her teeth against the pain. If she didn't clean after herself, she would be receiving another flogging soon.
When she finished, then came the daily ritual of eyeing the newly laid scars strewn across her back. Elsa staggered into the bathroom and peeled off her shirt carefully, hissing as it went. She was skinny, lanky, a bit bony, and after turning to observe her back she winced in absolute disgust. Her back was seeping with dark hues of red, disgusting, pustules of blood, dripping down along her backbones. She had circles of black and blues, inching their way around her ribs. Yellow spotted her pale shimmering skin, purple ran deep within her veins. She was disgusting, yet again, and a coward, an absolute humiliation, wiping her tears away with a shaky hand.
She then counted all of the markings on her back, the old and the new, forty-four. Forty-four marks of her harsh punishments laid out before her, facing her in the mirror, with agony.
Having enough of the view, Elsa limped back toward her bedroom and begrudgingly slipped a new shirt back on. She grabbed her coat and headed out the door with no destination in mind, just to get as far from her damn house as possible, for as long as she can, before being summoned again.
After she finished apologizing to Gerda, Anna made her way toward the dining hall. Gerda had been exceptionally kind with her for some reason that escaped Anna. She probably realized that she was dealing with a princess and shouldn't trifle with her. Anna grinned and skipped the rest of the way through the halls.
Once she reached the dining hall, she saw her father already seating at the head of the table, sipping something out of his gold encrusted goblet. She smiled at him and found herself seated right next to him, already grabbing things from a variety of plates with her hands and dumping them on her plate.
The King cleared his throat and looked at her pointedly and she sighed in exasperation. She took the napkin, placed it neatly on her lap and, after blowing a raspberry at her father, she licked her fingers clean of the offending liquids.
Groaning, the King shook his head and began eating. "Anna, there are matters I wish to discuss with you." Using a very diplomatic tone, Anna knew she was either in trouble or something important came up and her father would have to leave again. She hoped it was the former because her father just got back and she didn't even get to spend time with him. Looking up from her plate, she placed her utensils down and waited silently for what he had to say.
The King was a tad bit too fidgety for their dinner to seem normal. No, even the King, proud and honourable, had his tendencies for nerves, and showed them accordingly. Anna stayed in her seat, a bit restless, staring at her father's fingers twitch and toy with the ring around his pinky finger. That ring was her rock at the moment, the only thing stilling her from the thoughts shooting off the radar.
"Sparrow, when you come of age-"
"In six years." Anna interrupts.
"Yes, six years- you will be married to Prince Hans of the Southern Isles." The King did not blink, or stutter, he continued to speak, watching Anna's face turn sour by every word, "We are in need of supplies from the south and this would be a great way for both our kingdoms to unite and for you to keep an eye out for anything suspicious that may be going on that may affect Arendelle negatively, understood?"
Anna couldn't believe what she just heard. Her father, the King, was selling her off like some piece of meat to vendors. She felt confused. Hurt. "But Papa! I haven't even met! What if I don't love him? What if I don't like the way he eats or... or the way he picks his nose?"
The King just stared at her, his eyes a bit soft.
She continued relentlessly, standing from her seat now, "Papa, please I don't want to leave- When I said to get rid of Gerda, I didn't think you'd side with her and get rid of me instead! Please Papa, I'll do anything!" At this point Anna started tearing up, both hands clasped to her chest in a pleading motion.
Her father was just going to give her away to some stranger in an unknown town without her even meeting him! This wasn't happening. This wasn't real. This was probably just some cruel horrible joke.
"Anna, darling, this is for the betterment of the kingdom. The best way to serve your kingdom is by helping them get provisions they need from other kingdoms. You would be of no use just loitering around here," he waved his hand frivolously, ducking back towards his food, "And besides, you have four years to prepare yourself, yes?"
Her eyes hardened and her cheeks flushed in anger. "Well- What if I say no?" She crossed her arms defiantly and stared him squarely in the eyes. Her napkin, free from her grasp, fell to the floor in a crumbled heap. "You can't force me to do it."
To this the King stood, finally and placed his fork and knife down with care, although his eyes screamed defiance. "As King, you will address me with respect, young lady." His hands braced against the table, back hunched a bit. His voice thundered from out of his throat, boomed and crackled along the floor tiles and banisters. "And yes I can force you. It is either you marry into another family or you are banished. I will not have you waste your time in my castle, do you understand?"
Banished? Banished? What does that even mean? It almost sounded as bad as execute but her father wouldn't kill her, right? All Anna knew was that it did not sound good. She had to get out of here. The air felt thick and suffocating as she clutched at her chest. The room was spinning. It was dissolving right before her very eyes. Was her only reason for existence to be a trade? Some sort of pack mule? Bolting out of her seat and running for the door, Anna vaguely heard her father calling out to her.
She rushed out of the castle gates, not caring for the startled guards leaping from her path as if dodging an arrow. Anna saw them, as flash of blurs, moving back inside the castle to fetch her father, but she didn't care. She ran faster than she ever ran before, tripping over rocks that jutted out of the cobblestone road and stumbling over the hem of her dress. She ran past taverns, houses, turning this way and that, getting lost in the streets of Arendelle. She startled many people, almost running into an old woman, but not paying it any mind. She just needed to run. Run as fast as her feet could carry her. The objects around her became blurred, colors mixing and blending into one. She headed down alleys, avenues and streets until finally slowing to a stop once the feeling of fire in her legs and lungs became unbearable.
The sun had finally set, and Anna watched it soundlessly peak past the distant trees, before disappearing behind the horizon all together. Kicking a stone as she walked, she stared out before her, watching the sun cast a warm glow over the fjord and waterfall. Wait. The waterfall? How did she run all the way here? It was an hour away on a horse drawn carriage. Shaking her head, Anna walked toward it, never actually been out this far before.
She wasn't near the port, this much she knew. Turning her head to the right, she could see the silhouettes of the ships swaying and bobbing on the water. To the left were some houses, fir trees and snow-capped mountains. The grass turned to moss the closer she got to the falls and she heard the rushing of water and crashing of waves against the rocks. This place was so tranquil, why did she never think to come here? Oh that's right, she thought dryly, Father never lets me leave the castle grounds because it's too dangerous. She scoffed. I'm perfectly safe here.
And just then, she slipped on a damp, moss-covered stone and found herself sliding toward the water. She shrieked and tried to find purchase on something but the closer she got to the water, the slimier things got to the touch. Panicking, she pinched her nose with her hand and closed her eyes, readying herself for the frigid temperatures of the fjord.
Just as her feet touched the water, Anna gasped, her eyes snapping open as a thought hit her. I can't swim. Not a second later, she was plunged into the water, the cold wrapping around her like death's embrace and she knew that if she didn't do something, she would die. Kicking her feet and flailing her arms, she managed to breach the water's surface and gasp just as a wave from the falls crashed over her. Again, she was flung underwater, being tossed this way and that like a rag doll.
Breaching the water's surface a second time, she inhaled as much as she could before another wave can hit her. Her dresses weighing her down, and the cold freezing her already tired limbs, it was getting harder for Anna to claw her way for more air. Her lungs burned as she inhaled the salt water, spluttering and heaving in the darkness that surrounded her.
Just as she was reigning herself to her fate and hating Gerda for not teaching her how to swim, she felt a hand grab the collar of her dress and drag her out. Banging and scraping herself against the rocks, Anna finally found purchase and helped the stranger pull her up, often slipping on her dress. She coughed, each one burning her lungs more than the last but she successfully got most of the water out of her system.
Her savior slipped on Anna's dress and fell causing Anna to fall down too, landing right on a pair of… breasts? Scrambling off of the girl in a hurry, Anna let a string of apologies flow through her mouth as she tried to untangle her legs from the damp dress that clung to her and weighed down heavily on her hips.
Looking up to see if the girl was okay, Anna found herself looking at an angel, or as close to an angel as someone can get with bruises on her arms and face. The girl looked out of breath, her arms shaking from the exertion of pulling Anna and her heavy clothing out of the water. Her clothing was wet but she didn't look like the cold really bothered her. Her platinum blonde hair, shining like snow in the setting sun, clung to her damp forehead, long eyelashes casting shadows on her high cheekbones. If Anna found her breathtaking before she was not ready for when icy blue eyes met her own teal ones. Her eyes wide, silver streaks in her eyes making intricate patterns that looked like… one giant snowflake marked around her pupil on a blue canvas.
Anna stared, and Elsa mirrored her expression perfectly, in wonderment.
So there it is. Tell me how you like it in the review box or on my tumblr ( spellcheckalways . tumblr ).
Tata for now!