A/N: Here's an AU Elsana fic.
Disclaimer: As if I'd be writing fiction if I owned Frozen.
How I Met Your Mother
The young foal hobbled on uncertain limbs, his coat still shiny with blood and water as his tired dam got to her own shaky legs, snorting decisively. It had been a long and arduous birth for the pair. The stable master beamed proudly at their newest addition and glanced at the queen and the tiny princess to judge their reaction at seeing new life brought forth in the world.
His queen didn't disappoint. Her wide beaming smile said more than words ever could. She'd grown up in the Winterlands – a country known for only two things; ice and horses. The princess, likewise, looked as entranced as her mother. Her eyes were glazed over in wonder and the giddy grin on her face only grew in size and width when the foal made a little keening noise. She grasped her mother's skirts and gave a tug of excitement.
Queen Anna laughed heartily at her daughter's reaction.
"He's looking for milk isn't he, Momma?" the small girl whispered up at her.
"That's right, Astrid. He's looking for his mother's milk," Anna replied patiently, letting a hand thread in her daughter's unruly blonde hair.
Astrid grinned up at her mother at the validation that she'd been right. Her gap-toothed smile set the groomsmen off in hearty chuckles and Anna felt a hot flash of pride well up.
"We'll get dam and colt settled for the night, Your Majesty," said the stable master kindly. "You can both retire to bed. It's been a long night for you both."
"Thank you for everything, Jasper. He looks magnificent." She nodded to the colt now suckling at his mother's teat.
"Thank Her Majesty Queen Elsa," Jasper said, waving the praise away. "She's the one who somehow got the King of Glimmerton's favourite stud to Arrendelle."
"Still don't know how she managed that one," Anna laughed.
"Momma, what's a stud?" Astrid yawned up at her. Anna could see her daughter was minutes away from sleep. Her thumb had migrated to her mouth and she was sucking on it lazily, eyes drooping with fatigue.
"It's a daddy horse, sweetheart."
Taking this as her cue to bend down and sweep Astrid into her arms, Anna did just so. She thanked the men once more for all their work and kindness and carried Astrid out of the stables and back towards the castle. Kai let her in through the kitchens, tutting reproachfully when he noticed the six year old asleep in her embrace.
"She wanted to see," Anna said defensively. "Don't tell Elsa. Please?"
"You know I won't," he sighed, startling a little when his queen threw an arm around him in thanks.
She'd always been overly affectionate – a novelty the servants of the castle hadn't come across in their royal family until now. The late king and queen had been kind and polite but naturally distant. Their daughter, Queen Elsa, was as reticent as any lone wolf one might encounter on a trip up the North Mountain. She did not stop to converse with the staff and was even more tight-lipped around people of similar breeding to herself. Anna on the other hand exuded a warmth that she seemed to want to share with everyone regardless of social standing. He'd seen her hug commoners on the street, much to his mute horror.
Kai pat Queen Anna's back and let a fond hand settle on Astrid's sleeping head. "How did she enjoy her first foaling?"
Anna pulled back, adjusting the grip she had around Astrid. "She loved it, Kai. You should have seen her little face when the colt was born! It made all the really embarrassing questions she'll ask tomorrow totally worth it."
"So it's a colt then?"
"Yep." Anna smiled proudly down at the sleeping girl. "I'm going to put this one back to bed. See you tomorrow, Kai." She nodded and left the kitchens as he affectionately shook his head and continued on with his tasks.
Anna set Astrid down gently in bed, pulling the covers up under her chin and laying a soft kiss against her forehead. The girl snuffled at the action but stilled rapidly, subconsciously burrowing deeper into her covers. She looked so much like her mother in that moment. Her blonde hair spilled across the pillow and her nose twitched as she dreamed. It made Anna's heart swell with love and adoration.
Astrid had been their miracle baby. Anna was reminded of this every day by merely being in her daughter's presence. They'd been ready to adopt – had picked the orphanage and readied the nursery, hired nursemaids and tutors. She'd never had any qualms about adoption. She'd known what marring Elsa would entail – no biological heirs for one, but absolute all-consuming love for another. Biological children had seemed like a small lost battle in the midst of winning the war.
And then …
Morning sickness. Afternoon sickness. Evening sickness. A small pooch to her stomach she couldn't suck in no matter how much she tried. Cravings for onions. Cravings for Elsa. Crying at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason whatsoever.
Elsa had been mystified by the healer's diagnosis.
Her wife pregnant?
Infidelity seemed like the most logical explanation, were it not for Anna bursting into jubilant tears and crowing on about a gift from Skadi. She'd requested an audience with the trolls and Grand Pabbie had cemented what Anna had known to be true and Elsa had tried desperately not to hope for.
It was theirs. Entirely theirs. Made from magic. Made from love.
This revelation changed something in Elsa. She seemed more approachable, smiling dazedly during meetings and looking over her advisor's shoulders like she was seeing into some imminent future concealed to all but her. Maybe she was. Anna herself had daydreamt of their growing family for months on end.
Anna still remembered the words Elsa had whispered in her ear the stormy night Astrid had been born. "I've dreamed of this since the moment I saw you." Had she not been so exhausted, and had their new little babe not been nursing contentedly on her abdomen, Anna was sure she'd have yanked Elsa down for a bruising kiss. Instead she'd settled for a pleased hum as Elsa nuzzled her cheek and peppered her face with soft butterfly kisses.
"Good night, sweetheart," Anna whispered to Astrid as she slipped out of the room quietly, closing the door behind her.
She made her way back to her own room following the lit lanterns. When she entered she was not surprised to find the bed empty. She couldn't remember the last time she and Elsa had retired to bed at the same hour. She disrobed and fell into bed with a happy groan, twisting in the luxurious sheets despite their missing occupant.
She was startled awake by said 'missing occupant' hours later. The moon hung low, battling the lights in the sky for dominance of the night. Elsa smoothed her rebellious hair down and scooted into the bed, letting her long limbs circle around Anna's slight frame with a happy sigh. Anna smiled sleepily into her wife's collarbone in response to the contented exhale she felt against her forehead.
"Tighter," she murmured.
She felt Elsa smiling against her cheek before the queen acquiesced and brought her closer – tighter – against her chest. Anna whined in gratified pleasure and let herself drift off once more.
The following morning the awkward questions did arise as Anna had predicted. Astrid spooned her porridge in between the flurry of inquiries, never halting for an answer, but steadily ploughing on regardless. Anna smiled fondly back at her daughter, glancing occasionally at the Head of their family who looked absolutely baffled by the child sitting opposite them.
Elsa cleared her throat and let her clasped hands rest on the wooden table. It was the same pose she adopted in her trade meetings and it made Anna hold in a snort. Their six year old made the Queen of Arrendelle, mistress of snow and ice, nervous. It was almost laughable. "Astrid, why all the sudden questions this morning?"
"Momma took me to see the foal," Astrid explained. Elsa turned her head gradually to glare at her wife who only looked back at her with a pleasant smile. "And then I wanted to ask you 'bout how babies are made."
Elsa coloured magnificently. She was almost as red as the jam Anna was spreading on her piece of bread as her wife tried valiantly not to laugh. The queen coughed awkwardly and closed her eyes to regain her bearings.
"Yes … well," she said slowly, clearly at a loss. Astrid merely looked at her with her wide crystal eyes, large and pleading and she cursed internally at her own weakness. "I think that's a question to be answered when you're a little older." She sounded much too desperate to her own ears and winced internally.
"Hmm, okay," Astrid replied amiably, completely unperturbed. She finished her bowl and looked to Elsa. "May I be excused?"
Elsa nodded wearily. "You may."
Astrid let out a happy whoop of delight and slid off her chair, bounding first to her Momma to kiss her cheek and then to Elsa who leaned down gratefully for her own little peck. Together they watched the girl take off out of the dining room. Then, Elsa rounded immediately on Anna who had dissolved into a fit of rambunctious giggles.
"I thought we spoke about waiting until she was a little more mature before bringing her foaling!" Elsa hissed at her wife.
"She wanted to see," Anna said cheerfully by way of explanation. "And don't tell me you don't absolutely melt when she uses those big blue eyes on you."
Elsa rolled her own eyes. She refused to answer. That in itself said enough.
"Anyway, I was her age for my first foaling. It's a rite of passage for us Winterland gals." Anna flexed an arm with a lewd expression that made Elsa raise an eyebrow. "We're the hearty rough and tumble type."
"You're right about the tumble part." Anna smacked her arm and Elsa feigned hurt, whining pitifully. "Oww! A coup! A coup! Guards, we have an uprising on our hands!"
Anna tugged the queen in for a hard kiss, silencing her quite affectively. They smiled against each other's lips and let themselves get lost in the contact for a few snatched moments of bliss before the day officially began. And it began in the form of Kai and Gerda arriving with the day's agenda forcing them to part.
Elsa groaned into her wife's neck at her staff's untimely appearance. Anna let her hands curl in the woman's hair, giggling.
"Morning, Your Majesties," the two chorused readily.
"Good morning." The sound was gruff as it tumbled out of Elsa's mouth.
"Now, Queen Elsa, here is today's meeting schedule and you'll be pleased to know that …"
Elsa hummed and hawed appropriately without truly knowing what it was she was agreeing to. Her eyes kept unyieldingly to Anna's before her wife placed a delicate kiss on the tip of her nose with a whispered promise to see her at supper. Then she left Elsa to her work.
Astrid showed up at supper with her braids undone and her skirts sullied with what Elsa hoped beyond hope was mud. She cantered in with her bright easy chatter, regaling them with her heroic feats of the day as the meal was served by the staff. They too were enjoying the little princess's yarn. It contained what all great tales so often did; intrigue, dragons, knights, towers and happily ever after's.
"Sounds like you had a busy day," Anna said helping the princess to cut up her meat.
"Yeah! It was the best. And I went to see Joff in the stables after lunch with Gerda – that's what I called the new foal, Mom—" Astrid told Elsa with a staunch nod. "And Jasper let me pet him a little."
"So that's why there's a horse smell in here," Elsa mused, ducking her wife's hand when it soared dangerously close to her unbruised arm. She smirked playfully at the other woman who grumble around her fork.
"Momma," Astrid said suddenly. "How did you and Mom get married?"
Anna chewed thoughtfully before answering. "Hmm, well Mom asked me for one. Then there was a priest - although Olaf was very adamant about being the one to marry us - and we had to say our vows and kiss. And tada! We were married."
"Why do you ask, Astrid?" Elsa probed.
"Just wanted to know." She speared a piece of broccoli with her fork. "And how did you and Momma meet, Mom?"
Elsa frowned delicately at her daughter. Anna was grinning widely and fidgeting in her seat like she wanted to regale them all with an over-exaggerated tale of how Queen Elsa of Arrendelle amassed what little courage she'd had at the time, and decided to court the very sophisticated and not at all clumsy Princess of the Winterlands.
"You want to know how I met your mother?" Elsa echoed back vacantly.
Astrid shrugged. "Sure."
Elsa stared at the little girl expressionlessly before her wife dug an elbow into her side. She yelped at the assault before scoffing and admitting defeat.
"Alright then." She put her knife and fork down and took her wife's hand in hers. Anna was beaming at her now. Well and truly. Elsa smiled back reflexively despite the growing bruise. Anna's happiness was her happiness. "Well it all began when I was eighteen years old …"