"You want me to go with you?" Anna asked, shocked.
Elsa nodded enthusiastically.
"Yeah, sure! It'll be fun!"
"A whole weekend?"
"Free! VIP Access!"
Elsa nodded again, rolling her eyes. She reached out and grabbed one of Anna's hands, only to find that it was quivering.
"Hey, are you okay?"
"Um… yeah!" Anna withdrew her hand and laughed nervously. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"You're shaking like it's freezing in here."
"I'm fine, I promise," Anna said, giving a bright smile.
Together they stood in silence in the empty school hallway.
"Hm… alright," Elsa sighed. "By the way, I saw your painting."
"That's good, that was the plan," Anna said, red jumping to her cheeks as she grinned insanely.
"So… about the trip to the mountain?" Elsa's shy smile went unnoticed by Anna, who was staring at the ground.
After what seemed like an eternity, Anna returned her gaze to the taller girl.
"Yeah, sure! Of course!"
She's still shaking.
Elsa put the thought at the back of her mind and put on the brightest smile possible.
Anna jumped at the outburst.
Jesus, she's jumpy.
The bell signaling the start of class rang, startling both girls.
"Oh, I gotta go," Anna murmured. She gave Elsa a brief hug and sprinted down the long corridor, leaving Elsa to sit in boredom during her free period.
The snow-tipped trees danced in the golden sunset light as Elsa gazed out the car window. The forest vegetation whisked by.
"Elsa? You're going to burn holes into that window," Anna said, prodding the platinum blonde.
Elsa jumped and turned her head towards Anna.
"Huh? Oh, sorry. Sometimes I just get distracted by the sheer beauty of this place." She returned her icy stare to the window.
Anna sighed. "This is sooo boring. How do people sit in cars for so long?"
Elsa's father chuckled from the driver's seat. "You should try enjoying the scenery. It helps to pass the time."
Anna sighed again and took a moment to look through her own window. She found herself staring at a blank, rocky cliff-side.
"There's nothing there."
"Patience is key, Ms. Delle." He flashed her a smile through the rearview mirror.
Anna sighed for the third time and again looked out the window. She was staring at the dirt colored rock when suddenly the car turned around a bend and Anna's cliff wall transformed into an ethereal landscape.
Her voice – and her breath – left her as she stared in awe through the window dusted with snowflakes.
She was looking at a vast dip between the four mountains, North, South, East, and West. It was comparable to a beautiful oasis in the center of a desert, unfathomable in size. There, on the opposite mountain glistened a great frozen waterfall. It split into three smaller ones about halfway down.
"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Elsa whispered into Anna's ear, startling her.
"Yeah, it really is."
"This is probably one of my favorite places on Earth."
"One? What are the others?" Anna asked, curiosity sparkling in her teal eyes.
Anywhere with you.
"Oh, just other nice, natural places like this," Elsa played it off.
"Oh, okay. I love nature too," Anna beamed, giggled a bit, then turned her attention towards the window again.
I don't know how much longer I'll be able to put up with her adorableness.
Two Hours Later
Elsa heaved yet another heavy duffle bag onto her shoulder and brought it through the front doors of the grand ski lodge. She put it in a pile with the other luggage.
Elsa turned to see that Anna had somehow gotten her hot pink duffel stuck in the shut double doors.
Elsa watched as she continued to struggle and pull on the unyielding bag. After a moment, she gave up and plopped herself onto the floor where she stuck her bottom lip out in a pout.
Elsa burst out laughing.
"Honestly Anna, how do you manage on your own?" She said through fits of giggles. She walked past Anna and opened the door ever so slightly, causing the ensnared strap to fly free.
"Oh," Anna said simply.
Elsa gave her a look.
"Don't look at me like that," Anna whined, curling into a ball and falling backwards.
"Uh… is everything going okay?" Elsa's father asked, observing the scene with a curious look on his face.
"Oh," Anna sprung up off the ground. "Yep! We're fine, I mean she's fine too, wait, not fine fine, well yes, but she gets that from you! Well I'm not saying that you—"
Elsa put a hand on the now trembling girl's shoulder, a worried look etched upon her face.
"Are you okay?"
She shaking so bad now.
Anna took a shaky breath.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"No, you're shaking like crazy."
"We're on a freezing mountain, Elsa."
"We're in a warm lodge, Anna."
Anna averted her eyes to the floor.
"I'm going to return to my quarters, if you need me," Mr. Aren stated. "Kai will take your things up."
A silence settled around the two girls.
"Seriously, what's wrong?" Elsa attempted to take one of Anna's trembling hands in hers, but she flinched away at the contact. "Please talk to me?"
Oh my god. I bet something horrible happened! Wait, what if I did something? Well, she didn't seem to want to go when I asked her a couple days ago or whatever.
Anna shrunk in on herself.
"I just… I-I can't talk about it right now."
"Was it something I did?"
"No, you're fine."
"A-are you sure?"
"Yeah, I promise."
Anna would still not meet Elsa's eyes.
"Hey," Elsa said softly. "You know you can tell me anything, right? And I mean anything." She reached out and carefully placed a hand on the trembling girl's shoulder, who didn't flinch away this time. "Whatever it is, know that I'm here for you, and I always will be."
Without warning, Anna enclosed Elsa in a tight hug.
It took Elsa a moment to realize that the smaller girl was crying. Without questioning anything, she hugged her back.
They stayed like this for a couple of moments.
"Elsa?" Anna whimpered, her voice muffled by Elsa's shirt. She looked up into Elsa's eyes, tears swimming in her own.
Elsa could see a million emotions reflected in those teal eyes. Anger, sadness, angst, fear, embarrassment, grief, loneliness, they were all there. That, however couldn't prepare her for what she was about to hear.
"Elsa, my mom is dead."