Summary: Elsa discovers that her powers can give her everything she thinks she deserves.


Reviews and concrit always very welcome.

1 - It Just Can't

By the time her coronation arrives, Elsa has forgotten what hope feels like.

She knows she knew, once upon a time. As wrecked with guilt as her child self had been on That Day, she'd fostered sparks of hope that she could learn; that one day her powers would be under control, would be safe. One day she would explain everything to Anna, and they would play again, just like they had before. After all, she'd had a natural knack for geometry from the very first time she'd picked up a book on the subject. How different could this be?

Weeks had passed. Then months. Then one day she had looked up to find it had been almost two years, and she had gotten nowhere. Every footfall still brought forth splays of frost across the floorboards, every sudden gesture sent ice shooting out in all directions. And still, her nights were haunted by the sight of a lock of white hair and her sisters crumpled body.

She'd long ago lost count of the number of times she had screamed herself awake, begging her past self to stop.

Not long after she'd realised that it would never get better. The image of the bright, Anna-filled future that had supported her for so long had withered and turned to ash in her mouth, and suddenly she could no longer bare to look at herself in the mirror. In a fit of rage she wrenched it from the wall and hurled it to the ground, watched as it shattered across the icy floor into a thousand fragments.

For a long, silent moment she stared down at the shards, light dancing off the jagged edges. How easy it would be, she thought to herself, to simply fall to her knees in the midst of her carnage, to land heavily on the broken glass and feel it rip through the thin material of her dress and tear her skin, to be aware of the blood seeping through onto the floor. It would look like an accident, mama and papa would never have to know. God knows it's far less than she deserved...

The door had chosen that moment to burst open, and the bubble was broken. Suddenly shaken, Elsa pretended she'd knocked into the mirror, stood silently as a servant was called to deal with it. The only though on her mind was did I really mean that?

She didn't have to wait long to find out the answer. Because shortly after, the snow fell, and Anna came calling once more.

The mere sound of her sister's voice was enough to fling her into a downward spiral of guilt, but then she'd heard the age old plea of "do you want to build a snowman?" and her head was filled with the memories of That Day. Before she knew it she was on her knees, tears leaking from her eyes and the temperature in the room plummeting. She could feel the ghosts of all her mistakes baring down on her, yelling curses and hurling insults. How could you Elsa? They cried, How could you be such a monster? Your own sister. You don't deserve her, you never deserved her, just like you don't deserve mama and papa. How do you live with yourself?

She'd clamped her hands over her ears and screamed at Anna to go away, to leave her alone. She did, her footsteps moving in the half-shuffle that she always moved in when she was upset. Elsa realised that not even here, locked away behind closed doors, was Anna safe from her. Her breathing became shallow and rapid, thoughts spiralling off on an uncontrollable tangent of what on Earth do I do I can't control this I can't control any of this how can I be so pathetic, her mounting terror swirling around her in a storm of razor-sharp hail. She fought to get herself under control but only succeeded in making the tempest more violent. Is there nothing I can do?

Suddenly a frozen flake whipped sideways, slicing across her cheek. She fell backwards in alarm, one hand rising to inspect the wound and coming away smeared with red. For a moment she stared down at the droplets of blood in surprise. Then a savage voice whispered inside her head good, you deserve it, and all she could remember was that summer day when she'd broken the mirror. She realised that she really had meant it.

Shakily, she clambered to her feet and mustered up all her strength, focussing it on directing the gale around her. After several minutes of breathless struggle, another shard flew across, opening a second gash on her face, just below the first. Then another. Then another. Before long Elsa was hunched in the middle of the room, pounding herself with hail, tearing her clothes and scoring grazes and cuts all along her arms and torso. She stung and burned all over, but the voice at the back of her head kept on whispering words of encouragement, reminding her over and over of everything she'd done that warranted the assault. It hurt, but oh it felt good to finally get what had been coming to her for so long.

Sometime later, her willpower ran out and she sank to the floor, panting and sweaty. She inspected herself – most of the cuts were shallow, hardly anything, but a few had managed to draw blood. The room became calmer as tiredness crept into her senses, the storm fading away. For the first time in living memory, Elsa hadn't cried herself to sleep.

It had been so easy to hide from mama and papa. Even before, she'd never let them come near her, for fear of hurting them the way she'd hurt Anna. They never saw the battered skin beneath her dresses.

That was probably what made it so easy to continue.

As the years passed she discovered new ways to damage herself. She turned her powers inwards and tore at herself as though she could break free from her useless, pathetic body and sore away into the ether where there was no one to ruin. She often wondered what it would be like – lying on her bed in the dark with blood trickling down her arm or her leg – to not be bound the world, to know oblivion. And sometimes, just sometimes, she craved it.

A/N: This story is currently filed as complete, but may well be continued at some point in the future. So if you enjoyed it, keep an eye out.