Summary: Anna finally learns the truth about the day that changed her life, and Elsa starts off on the path to banishing her demons. An untold moment set between the Great Thaw and the final scene.
Reviews and concrit always very welcome.
Elsa stood by the window, looking down into the courtyard bellow her. Countless blurred years of staring out of the very same window had taught her that she could observe the comings and goings in the square without fear of being spotted. For as long as she could remember that one pane of glass had been both a blessing and a curse – showing her everything she wanted and everything she could not have. But now... now it was just that. A pane of glass. Transparent blasted sand that meant nothing more than a place to let the sunlight in.
Suddenly there was a flicker of movement in the window, and Elsa's eyes flickered up to find the reflection of her sister hovering on the edge of the frame. Elsa felt her heart staccato, the old ingrained panic of no Anna, you can't be here, it's too dangerous. She forced it down and turned to the young woman, a smile alighting her face despite her tremors. Oh God, had she missed her baby sister.
Anna was bouncing on the balls of her feet, her hands clasped together in front of her. "All of Arandelle's down there." she said, "All desperate to meet their beautiful new queen."
"So I see." Elsa replied, glancing back down into the bustling courtyard, "Though I'm sure they'll be just as eager to meet the princess who saved them all."
Anna smiled a timid smile, glancing down at her feet. "Who me? It wasn't all me, I mean I just..." she hesitated for a moment, then glanced back up at the older woman, "Elsa?"
"Why didn't you ever tell me about your powers? Why did you have to hide away for so long? I – I would have understood, you know that, right? I mean, it would have been a surprise sure, but it's actually pretty cool, that is, when you're not setting off eternal winters obviously. Not that I'm saying you did it deliberately or anything, but–"
Elsa turned back to the window, eyes screwed shut. She'd felt this moment, this inevitable conversation racing towards her like an avalanche ever since the last of the snow drops had thawed. She wished she could postpone it, just a few hours. Just a little bit more time with a little sister who didn't remember what she'd done.
"Elsa?" she realised that behind her Anna's rambling was finished. She took a deep breath, steeling herself, knowing that she could never ask for forgiveness. Not about this.
"Anna, do you remember when we were kids and we used to play in the winter snowfalls and go ice skating?"
"Of course." Anna replied, and her enthusiasm cut through Elsa like a knife. "We were so close. Those winters were the best times of my life."
Elsa pushed errant strands of hair out of her face, eyes locked determinedly on the sky outside. "Well," she continued, "A lot of that never happened during winter. It... it was just you and me, in the castle..."
She heard Anna gasp behind her. "You mean..." she asked, "You mean we used to play together? With your magic?"
Elsa nodded, closing her eyes and remembering her old carefree self, that had giggled uncontrollably as she pushed Anna across the icy ballroom and flung snowballs from behind fortresses of white. Then images of Anna crumpled on the floor, a streak of golden hair losing it's colour came unbidden to her mind. The day her old, gleeful self had died.
"What... what happened?" her sister asked.
"We were playing." Elsa told her, a lump rising in the back of her throat, "I was conjuring snow heaps for you to jump onto. But you were going to fast for me to keep up, I... I slipped on the ice and tried to catch you but..." her vision blurs with tears as her words bring back the clarity of that moment, the rush of panic, the paralysing terror. That night had been the only night of her life she'd ever felt cold. "I missed, and I... I hit you instead. You would've died if mama and papa hadn't saved you."
She stares down into the courtyard, tiny specks of colour moving on the other side of her tears. She feels more than sees Anna approaching her, and every muscle in her body goes tense.
"You... you didn't have to hide this from me." Anna tells her hesitantly, "It wasn't your fault, I know that. I – I could have helped you, we could have worked through this together. Elsa, you're my sister, you think that–"
"Don't you get it, Anna?" Elsa interrupts, whirling to face the younger woman for the first time. Tears spill out of her eyes and run burning tracks down her face. "Don't you see? I almost murdered you! That's twice now that you've nearly died and it's been my fault." she sniffs, wiping her nose indecorously with the back of her hand. "I couldn't let you be around me, not when I was so dangerous."
Anna takes a step forward, reaching for her sister. Instinctively, Elsa flinches back, shying away from the contact and Anna drops her arms, clearly making an effort not to look hurt. Elsa's heart twists painfully. Will I never stop damaging her?
Then Anna looks up. Her eyes are wide and honest, just as they were when they were children, and right then they showed know fear. "Maybe you can't forgive yourself." she says slowly, "but I forgive you. You didn't know how to handle your magic back then, we were both so young."
"Love will thaw, remember?" the redhead takes a very deliberate step forward, and this time Elsa manages to stand her ground. "You unfroze the winter, you could be so powerful. Just... let me in. Please don't shut the door on me again."
Elsa feels her eyes welling up again. She could live a thousand lifetimes and not deserve a sister like Anna. Cautiously, she opens her arms, and the smaller woman pulls her into a rib-busting hug.
"I missed you." Elsa says, all of a sudden finding herself sobbing, "Every day I missed you."
"I missed you too." Anna replies, voice muffled by her sister's shoulder. For several moments they cling to each other, as though trying to make up for over a decade of lost contact. Then Anna pulls back and puts her hands on Elsa's shoulders. "Elsa." she asks, with an air of exaggerated earnestness, "Do you want to build a snowman?"
The blonde let out and unexpected snort of laughter. A snort that rapidly turns into a fit of joyful hysterics that Anna is quickly dragged into. Both women double over, clutching onto each other and giggling harder than either of them have in years. Right on the edges of consciousness, Elsa feels the tingling of the old careless mirth that had come so easily to her once upon a time. Of course, the past couldn't simply be erased, and Elsa knew that as wonderful as this moment was, it didn't fix everything. In fact it barely fixed anything.
But it was one hell of a place to start.
The new queen straightened up, wiped tears of merriment from her eyes, and finally let go of the words that have been bubbling up inside her, clawing to get out for as long as she could remember.
"Oh Anna dearest, I would love to build a snowman."