Disclaimer: I own nothing except the plot and any unrecognizable characters.
I keep hearing people wanting her with Hook and Jack, though I do appreciate the feedback, it's absolutely lovely.
Now, a reviewer asked if Jack is invisible right now and, I decided to make it so that Jack can now choose when he is/is not invisible to people. I know that doesn't really fit into the whole 'Spirit of Winter' thing but that's the beauty of fanfiction: the creative license. Another reviewer asked why I deleted my story 'The Cursed Games' and I decided to delete it because I felt that I didn't have enough time to properly dedicate myself to it and, it did needed a lot of time. I might go back and finish it but, for now, it's going to remain simply as a draft idea.
Now, thank you to all of the people who have read, reviewed, favored and followed this story.
"I can fake a smile,
I can force a laugh.
I can dance and play the part."
-Only Human, Christina Perri
"Queen Elsa, of Arendelle" Kai gestured to me as I walked onto the raised dias in the ballroom, a small, serene smile on my face. "Princess Anna of Arendelle." I held back a large grin at the sight of Anna nearly sprinting through the opposite archway, stopping off to the side where she waved nervously at the guests.
An exasperated Kai moved to her, clearing his throat as he gestured to the spot next to me and gently led her there, ignoring her protests.
"Oh, here?" She began babbling. "Are you sure, 'cause-" He neatly deposited her next to me. "Oh."
He walked away as the guests bowed to us before clapping once again, the music starting up soon after. I caught sight if Anna sending me short, unsure glances, biting her lip before she ran a hand over her hair.
Taking pity on my sister, I turned my attention to her and smiled faintly.
"Hi." I whispered softly and she nearly jumped back, her wide eyes locking with mine.
"H-hi...hi me?" She clarified, pointing to herself and I nodded. "Oh. Umm...hi?" She smiled and I felt another shard enter my heart when the fact that my own sister, the only person I loved in this world, was taken aback by me saying 'hello' to her.
Holding back the pain, I looked away as the awkwardness settled back in and I quickly said the first true thing that entered my mind.
"You look beautiful." I offered and she snapped her gaze back to me, delight in her blue eyes as she smiled.
"Oh, thank you." She laughed nervously and gestured to me. "You look beautifuller! I mean, not fuller, you don't look fuller." I bit my lip as she began amending her statement, waving her hands around as she did so. "B-but more beautiful."
I laughed softly, finally unclasping my hands and gently touching her shoulder, causing her eyes to grown even wider.
"Thank you." I said sincerely, before I looked towards the crowd, my hand dropping from her shoulder to resume being clasped in front of me. "So, this is what a party looks like."
Several heartbeats went by as we both struggled how to communicate after all the years of distance, not counting the one time I'd allowed her in after our parents' deaths.
"It's warmer than I thought!" Anna randomly stated, clearly at a loss for what to say and I nodded in agreement, my long-sleeved dress and cloak actually quite warm.
"And what is that amazing smell?" I finally asked, causing us both to sniff, circling our heads before we were leaning towards each other, matching smiles on our faces.
"Chocolate."We turend our heads towards each other, giggling together softly, though I brought up my hand to almost cover the sound, deciding at the last moment to not stifle it. I quickly straightened up, still smiling and I caught Anna gently tapping her knuckles together as she opened her mouth, only to have Kai accidentally cut her off.
"Your Majesty, the Duke of Weaseltown." He announced, causing the old man at his side to snap at him.
"Weselton!" His features softened as he addressed me, sounding considerably more polite. "Weselton, Duke of Weselton, your Majesty." He came forward placing his gloved hands on his chest. "As your closest partner in trade, it seems only fitting that I offer you your first dance as Queen."
I then watched, inwardly flabbergasted as the clearly elderly man did a flitter of his feet, a hitch-kick, and a deep bow, one hand extended as his toupee flopped out of place and revealed his bald spot.
Anna covered her mouth, snickers still escaping from behind her hands as I attempted, and failed, to hold back my own before I cleared my throat.
"Ahem," he straightened up and I placed a hand on my chest, pointing the other towards him. "Thank you, only I don't dance." I apologized gently as his brow furrowed in disappointment.
"Oh." He mumbled, clearly offended and I held back a smirk.
"But, my sister does." I gestured to her and she rolled her eyes, waving her hand as she laughed, sobering quickly and turning to look at me.
"Wait, what?" She asked just as the Duke hooked his arm with hers.
"Well then," he smiled at her, one leg bent up as he prepared to launch himself at the dance floor. "Lucky you..."
"Oh no, I don't think-" Anna started before she was dragged onto the floor by the overzealous Duke before she could even protest.
"If you swoon, let me know, I'll catch you!" He announced as she waved her hand in my direction, clearly trying to get back to me and I giggled lightly, waving weakly as she was pulled.
"Sorry," I apologized, covering my mouth as a wide smile began to form at the sight of his dancing and how dazed Anna seemed by it. I watched him dance around, mimicking animals, even making noises like one before he dipped Anna low, our eyes meeting as I desperately tried to hold back my laughter. She sent me a mocking angry look before she was yanked back up, the Duke now pretending to be a...cross between a chicken and monkey?
As another couple bowed to me, Anna came limping back towards the dias, the Duke's words floating behind her.
"Let me know when you're ready for another round, Milady!"
Anna, panting and making sure the strap of her gown was in the correct place, joined my side and I smiled at her, slightly concerned for her feet even as I laughed.
"Well, he certainly was sprightly." I teased and she nodded, wincing as she moved.
"Yeah, especially for a man in heels." She lifted a foot, adjusting her shoe as I continued to smile at her, the expression liberating.
"Are you okay?" I asked, still chuckling and she nodded brightly.
"Ah, I've...never been better, actually." She held her hands together, twisting her fingers. "This is so nice! I wish it could be like this all the time, with you here."
Another smile curved up my cheek and I nodded along with her, the hope and happiness in her eyes causing ice to pierce my heart once again.
"Me too." My smiled faded, the memory of me hitting her with my powers flashing back to me and I looked away, stiffening. "But, it can't always be like this."
"Well, why not?" She asked, clearly emboldened and reached for me, causing me to pull away and turn from her. "I mean, if we-"
"It just can't!" I snapped, keeping my back turned to her as I inhaled deeply, pushing back the ice that attempted to cover my hands. I heard her harsh intake of breath before she spoke, her tone soft and subdued.
"Excuse me for a minute."
I sadly watched her after she'd walked away, my gaze narrowing as she stumbled on them hem of her gown and the man she'd been staring at the coronation caught her, leading her into a waltz around the room. I lost track of them after several minutes but pushed it to the back of my mind as more people approached me, clearly excited that I was home and available to them.
I glanced over to where Anna was, swallowing when I saw the smile on her face as she waltzed with the man.
"Hey, Ruby?" She 'hmmed' in response, continuing to rifle through her closet as I adjusted my skirt, grateful to have the weekend off work for once and I twisted my fingers together. "Is there...someone in the town named Anna?"
"Anna?" She repeated the pronunciation, twisting her lips. "I'm not even sure I've ever heard the name Anna pronounced like that." She huffed, her attention quickly shifting to the clothes in her closet and she turned to me, her lips set in a pout. "We need to go-"
She broke off when the ground began to shake violently, causing me to nearly fall into the off the bed. I grabbed ahold of the bed post, looking around when the shaking stopped.
"What the hell was that?! Ruby?" I righted myself and, after catching sight of her, I held back laughter and reached down, grabbing her hand to pull her up from her position on the floor.
"What was that?!" She brushed her clothes off and I shrugged, grabbing my sweater from the bed and yanking it on before I rushed to the door, Ruby at my heels.
"Let's find out." We rushed out into the street, which was currently swimming with nearly every other resident of the town, flooding towards the outskirts and I headed towards them, Ruby at my side. As we came upon the old mines, jerked to a stop when I caught sight of a rather large sinkhole where the entrance once was.
"Is that a crater?!" I heard Ruby shout but I was staring at it in shock and didn't look up until she grabbed my arm and shook me lightly. "Erin!"
I snapped my head away from the sight and looked at my friend, startled before I realized I'd been staring at the crater while Regina shepherded everyone away from the sight. I caught sight of Emma next to Graham, a deputy badge on her belt and blinked once, then I looked over and caught sight of Henry approaching his mother as Regina addressed the crowd.
"People of Storybrooke, don't be alarmed." She raised her hands, attempting to soothe the obviously shaken crowd. "We've always known this area was honeycombed with old mining tunnels, but fear not. I'm going to undertake a project to make this area safe, to rehabilitate it to city use. We will bulldoze it, collapse it, pave it-"
"Pave it?" Henry repeated loudly, drawing the attention of everyone. "What if there's something down there?"
Regina went to him, leaning down to his level and lowering her voice to a whisper, though the stress in her voice made it entirely too easy to hear her.
"Henry, what are you doing here?" She nearly snapped, gently tugging him to her and he glared up at her.
"What's down there?" He shot back and she sent him a look.
"Nothing." She straightened up and raised her voice. "Now step back. In fact everyone please, please step back." The crowd hastened to do as she said, Ruby tugging me along. "Thank you. Let's go boys"
I watched as she reached down, picking up what looked like piece of glass and Henry noticed as well, whispering to Emma.
"Henry, enough. Listen, this is a safety issue now wait in the car." Regina snapped at the sight of him next to Emma. "Deputy Swan, Sheriff, cordon off the area." She ordered and they both nodded as Ruby pulled me with her away from the sight, her eyes wide as she looked back towards the sinkhole.
"I didn't even know we still had mines here." I nodded, not sure why I was so bothered by this and I allowed her to hook her arm with mine as we headed back into town.
I caught sight of my Uncle and narrowed my eyes at the pleased expression plastered on his face.
"Me either, Ruby."
"I'll see you at home." I called out to my uncle, who simply nodded and raised his hand without ever looking up from the merchandise he was cataloguing. I let out a soft chuckle and slid out the door, letting out a gasp when Henry barreled into me, his small hands gripping shirt tightly.
"You believe me, right?!" He asked, his voice thick and when he looked up at me, I let out another gasp at the tears filling his eyes.
"Henry," I wrapped my arms around him and looked around, seeing nothing that could have caused him to act like this. "What's wrong-"
"He said I'm crazy!" Henry cut me off, pressing closer to me and I hugged him back, gently soothing a hand through his dark hair. "He said-said they'd lock me up and-" He broke off, hiccuping and I tugged him closer, sending a short sneer to the curious looking people before leaned down to his level.
"Henry. Look at me." He did so, his eyes wide with fear and hurt and I gently brushed away the tears from his cheeks. "You are not crazy." I looked around quickly and lowered my voice to a whisper. "Honestly...it'd be kinda cool to be the Snow Queen."
He looked up at me, his pale features miserable and terrified and I felt something in my heart clench, anger rushing through my veins before I tucked him into my side and began walking from the diner.
"Where are we going?" He mumbled from beside me and I tugged him closer.
"To your mom," I raised a finger when his mouth opened. "Ah, ah, ah. You're real mom." His face brightened up like a Christmas tree.
"Really?" He nearly squeaked, his face still miserable but I was glad to see some happiness breaking through.
"Yup." I marched him towards where Mary Margaret's loft was located.
"If anyone can scare Archie more than Regina, it's Emma."
We reached the flat and I knocked loudly on the door, gently hugging Henry as the reminder of Archie had sent him into fresh tears that tugged at my heartstrings.
Emma opened the door, her smile fading at the sight of Henry in my arms, crying and sniffling.
"Kid, what happened?" Her gaze flickered to me before she reached out for him and Henry left my arms, going to his birth mother. "Come on.
I followed when she jerked her head and me and, after Emma handed Henry off to his teacher, she rounded on me, her hands on her hips.
"Erin, what the hell-"
"Archie." I snapped out angrily and her eyebrows raised. "He threatened Henry. Told him that if he didn't stop 'imagining', he'd get locked away in a fucking psych ward."
Emma's expression rapidly switch from confused to anger and her gaze narrowed.
"There's only one person that would make Archie treat Henry like that." I hissed and she looked at her still crying son, her eyes snapping back to me, her expression hard.
A bit later, as I was speaking to a few dignitaries, Anna's voice came from behind me. Her voice was excited and happy, the polar opposite of what it had been a few hours ago and I nodded my goodbyes to the men before I turned to face her as she curtseyed, the man from before at her side.
"Elsa! I mean-Queen Elsa." She corrected herself as I turned to face her completely. "Umm...me again," she waved lightly at me and reached for the man's arm, pulling him to her side. "May I present, Prince Hans, of the Southern Isles."
"Your Majesty." He bowed lightly to me nad I nodded my head back, suspicion gripping me as they hooked arms with each other, holding on to each other like a pair of...young lovers?
"We would like," they started together, looking at each other and laughing as Hans continued.
"Um...your blessing," they looked at each other, giggling again as Hans placed his hand on Anna's arm and she leaned her head on his shoulder as they spoke in tandem again.
I blinked at them rapidly, still seeing the same image when I opened my eyes, and I repeated the word in disbelief.
"Yes!" Anna squealed, nodding rapidly and I stared at her like she'd gone crazy.
"I-I'm sorry, I'm confused." I managed to utter politely, now looking between the lovesick fools like they were both crazy.
"Well," Anna pulled her head away from Hans' shoulder and waved her arm around. "We haven't figured out all the details ourselves," she looked back towards him, placing her hand on his arm again. "We'll need a few days to plan the ceremony, of course we'll have soup, roast and ice cream." She listed off, her eyes widening before she turned to the Prince at her side. "Wait! Would we live here?"
"Here?" I parroted, frowning when they completely ignored me.
Hans smiled widely, taking her hands in his.
"Absolutely!" He agreed and I tried again.
"Ooh, we can invite all twelve of your brothers to stay with us-" Anna started and panic seized me at the thought of any more people being put in danger because my naïve, sweet sister decided she wanted to get married to a stranger.
"What? No, no, no, no, no." Again, they ignored me and I held in the urge to scream and/or create a blizzard.
"Of course we have the room. I don't know, some of them must-" Her attention finally turned towards me and her words died down as I spoke.
"Just...wait. Slow down." I commanded, ready to rip our my hair in frustration. "No one's brothers are staying here. No one is getting married." I stated firmly, prepared for the confusion that filled Anna's face.
"Wait, what?" She asked, her wide eyes staring into mine and I steeled myself for what I was going to have to do.
"May I talk to you, please." I twisted my hands together. "Alone." I shot a meaningful glance at the man flanking her side but she simply drew him closer, looking into his worried face.
"No." She refused firmly, gripping Hans' arm with both of her own. "Whatever you have to say, you-you can say to both of us. "
"Fine." I shot back cooly, keeping my face blank and icy. "You can't marry a man you just met, especially when you're only fifteen."
"You can if it's true love." She insisted and I held in a sigh, looking at her almost coldly.
"Anna, what do you know about true love?"
"More than you." She nearly hissed back, clearly upset with me and her next words caused another dagger to slice into my chest. "All you know is how to shut people out!"
I felt my eyes widen at how calmly she delivered the statement and I swallowed thickly, retreating behind the wall of icy indifference I'd perfected long ago.
"You asked for my blessing, but my answer is no." I inhaled, looking sadly at my sister before I closed my eyes. "Now, excuse me." I turned to go, freezing when Hans held out his hand.
"Your majesty, if I may ease your-"
"No, you may not." I cut across him harshly, unclasping my hands as I sent him a short look over my shoulder. "A-and I think you should go." I passed a guard, speaking quickly as I felt my powers building inside me, trying to control my near volatile emotions. "The party is over, close the gates." I commanded and he hastened to do what I said.
"Yes, Your Majesty."
"What?" I heard Anna ask breathlessly and before I knew it, she was gripping my left hand tightly, tugging insistently. "Elsa, no, no wait." I let out a gasp at her touch, aware I could hurt her and I tried to tug my hand out of her grip to no avail.
"Anna, let go of my hand." I ordered desperately and she held fast, her grip tightening.
"Elsa, please, please! I can't live like this anymore." She begged desperately, her eyes filling with tears, causing the pain inside me to grow as I immediately cursed myself for the words that tumbled from my mouth.
"Then leave." I muttered, relieved when she let go of my hand, clearly taken aback by my words, though the pain that filled her face caused more to fill me and I turned to leave, unable to take anymore of this, crossing my arms around my chest as I walked to the doors.
"What did I ever do to you to make you hate me like this?!" She questioned loudly and I tightened my arms around me, breathing hard as I tried to ignore her words.
"No! Why, why, do you do this to me? W-why did you shut me in here while you got to go out? Why do you shut me out, why do you shut the world out!?" She demanded and as I reached the door, my anger at her reaction, though I knew it was justified, and my self-loathing reached a boiling point as she yelled at me again. "What are you so afraid of?!"
"I said, enough!" I spun from the door, waving my hand in an angry arc and ice shot out from it, causing spikes to form in a crescent shape on the floor. Gasps of shock met my ears as everyone jumped back in shock, and I held my left hand to my chest, gripping it tightly with my right as everyone stared at me in alarm, Anna included.
"Elsa..." She breathed out and, it all became too much for me, I reached behind me, blindly grabbing at the doorknob before I opened the door.
And I ran.
I slumped into the doorway, wincing when the hallway light flickered on and sheepishly raised my eyes to meet my Uncle's displeased ones.
"It's quite late, dear." I nodded, reaching down and slipping off my shoes with sigh before I straightened up.
"Sorry," I offered contritely, aware that the only thing he truly disliked that I did was if I broke our 'deal'. Which was, I wouldn't stay out later than midnight unless he knew about it. I winced at his expression, unsure as to why he was so miffed about it as he had to have heard about Henry and Archie getting trapped in the mines. "We were celebrating-"
"Young Henry and Dr. Hopper's successful rescue, yes I'm aware, dear." He smiled faintly and I sent him a flat look, walking towards him and hooking my arm through his.
"I hate it when you do that." I accused playfully and he chuckled softly, aware that his uncanny ability to know everything that happened in this town was a bit unnerving, even to me and I'd lived with him almost my entire life. He gently steered me, to my surprise, not the stairs but the living room and I gave him a wierd look when we entered the spacious room. "What's going on?"
"There's a reason I was so...displeased that you stayed out so late tonight." He slid his arm from mine and went towards the mantle, gesturing for me to sit on the couch and I did so, primly tucking my feet underneath me. "You see," he began when I'd settled, his brow creased. "We have a guest."
I blinked at the sound of footsteps and, after shooting my uncle another unsure glance, I twisted in my seat towards the door that lead to the kitchen, my eyes widening when I saw the tall, lanky man standing in the doorway, his icy blue eyes locking with mine as a smile lit up his pale face.
"Erin, this is Jackson Bellcove."
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