A/N: Didn't have much time to write, so this took a bit longer. So here is a longer chapter than usual.
Elsa ran into Kristoff on her way back from breakfast.
"Kristoff, what are you doing here? If you're looking for Anna, she just left with Olaf to the kitchens. Something about noses and emergencies," she said, looking away. She felt awkward being alone with Anna's boyfriend, the man who was allowed to do what she could only dream of. Though she felt no animosity towards him, there were still twinges of jealousy and discomfort.
"Actually, I was looking for you," Kristoff said, rubbing the back of his neck shyly. "-Your Majesty," he added quickly.
"Well, I'm all ears. I hope it won't take too long, though. I've actually got quite a bit or research to do," replied Elsa.
"It's about that. Anna told me about the problem you're having, so I came to help. I know that my family helped you guys when you were younger and Grand Pabbie seems to know more about your magic than anyone else in Arendelle. So I was thinking…maybe he could tell you what you want to know. I could take you whenever you're free."'
"Let's go now. The sooner we solve this problem, the sooner we can get on with more important matters." exclaimed Elsa. She walked as quickly as she could toward the gates, trying to contain her enthusiasm as best as she could. If she could find a way to have a child, then Anna could be hers for just a little while longer.
The familiar sound of tumbling rocks alerted Kristoff and Elsa that the family saw their arrival. After dog piling Kristoff in a warm welcome, the trolls bowed to Elsa before making way for Grand Pabbie.
"Greetings, Queen Elsa, what brings you here?" asked the elder troll.
"I have questions about my powers that I was hoping you could answer."
The troll waved for Elsa to follow while Kristoff stayed behind to catch up with large family. They walked some ways until they came upon a cave entrance at the base of a large rock formation. They entered and found themselves in a rather cozy looking place, complete with a fireplace, stools, a table, and shelves. Knickknacks and small toys covered the rather high up shelves. It seemed a bit odd to the queen how a race of creatures that spend most of their time rolled up like boulders have such commodities.
"This place was mostly for Kristoff when he was growing up," said Grand Pabbie, answering Elsa's silent question. They sat on the stools quietly as the troll waited for the young queen to speak. She fiddled with her fingers nervously before speaking.
"I'll try to be as straightforward as I can. You know more about my powers than anyone. Do you know if it's possible for me to have children?" Elsa asked, her body rigged as she waited for the answer.
"Yes…and no," answered Grand Pabbie. "Should your child inherit your ice powers, then the baby would be able to withstand the fluctuations of magic and temperature within your body. If the child does not, then I fear there is a large possibility that he, or she, will not make it. Are you willing to risk it?"
"No," sighed Elsa, slumping back on the chair, her whole body deflating in defeat. Maybe there was no solution. Maybe Fate was telling her that she is not meant to have Anna and that they should be as far away as possible.
"Is there no way?"
"There…might be," said the troll slowly. Elsa's eyes lit up with the sign of hope.
"I heard from Kristoff that you had created life. A snowman, in fact. We may be able to use that to our advantage," he continued.
"But the point of an heir is to take over the kingdom after I pass on. My powers won't be able to keep a snowman alive after death," Elsa argued. Grand Pabbie hopped down from the stool and began to pace slowly around the room.
"Your ability to create life, it could be your solution. The only real problem was creating life. If you could build something sentient then transform it into a human, using your genes, then your problems will be solved! In theory, if humans could be turned to animals, then other living things could be turned human."
"Could we do that? How?" asked Elsa, catching Grand Pabbie's excitement. If she could create a human that had the Arendelle blood flowing through their veins, then tradition and the council of advisors would be satisfied. They wouldn't care where they came from. After all, blood was the only think that seemed to matter to them.
"I can't do it myself, but there are powerful witches and wizards living among the mountains that create the no-man's land between our country and the next. I will send for my old teacher to come. I'm sure she could find a solution."
Elsa strode over to the elder troll and wrapped her arms around his rough, fine-grained body.
"Thank you, Grand Pabbie. Even if this doesn't work, you have given me hope once more," said Elsa. "I've wronged Anna for years by neglecting her, especially after the death of our parents. If I could have a child, or rather, create one, it would be the least I could do for her. She should not have to be ruled by obligation and should love who ever she chooses."
"And what of you? Do you not want to find love?"
"No," Elsa replied, simply. Grand Pabbie knew not to continue so he gestured toward the door. They walked back in without saying a word, though there was plenty of noise to fill up the silence. The chirping of birds filled the air along with the scrabbles of some passing woodland creature. In the distance, small thunder-like sounds were heard of the playful trolls rolling around and having fun. The world was alive, or as Anna would say, the world was awake. It was a perfect description to describe the elation Elsa was feeling, not just because Anna wouldn't have to marry a prince from some far away land (Elsa crossed her fingers that she would stay with Kristoff and always be near) but also for the very fact that she might have a child. A child. Her second chance. She could not have Anna, but she might be able to have a child to hold and to give all her love to. All the love that had nowhere else to go but build up inside her over a slow period of time. Yes, she would love her child to dim her past sins and pave way for a happier future.
Anna was in the library surrounded by books. Anna was in the library surrounded by books. It surprised her to think that she would find herself in a situation where she was researching and reading pages upon pages for personal reasons, not for obligation. Yet there she was, sitting in the library, basking in all the information she didn't think she would need to know. Olaf was right. Fairy tale love was much more different than real love, if the romance novel she was skimming through was any indication.
While she was still planning to go to Elsa for help, Anna felt better that she had some sort of foundation to work with. All the things she read so far varied—a slow building love, a quick love, unrequited love—but they all attempted to describe the indescribable feeling that caused the characters to blush, stumble on their feet, to push themselves beyond their capabilities and to want and feel. It made her feel strangely empty when she realized that she couldn't relate. Not to the intensity described between the bound pages. They were just stories, too, right? Perhaps they weren't a clear indication of what it really meant to love.
Olaf had left a while back after reading bits about some lands so far up north that it was always cold and snowing without magic and some lands down south that were always warm. He had taken his new cherry nose in the leather drawstring bag that he carried around his neck as he hadn't had the opportunity to ask Elsa for pockets, but he assured Anna that for now it would do to carry his few possessions. The small snowman was a good friend and a fantastic person to lend an ear, though he was a bit clueless sometimes. He was great company when he was there, but in that empty library, surrounded by books, Anna wished for Elsa to show up.
The queen didn't arrive until sometime after dinner. She was clearly in higher spirits when she arrived than in the morning during breakfast. Anna assumed some of her research finally paid off. Perhaps Kristoff had come over and given her advice? Either way, Elsa had a lighter spring to her step and slight smile on her face, giving Anna the 'go' to find time to ask her sister about love. Perhaps Elsa wasn't the best person to ask, now that she thought about it. She quickly shook the thought away. If Elsa didn't know, then she could always ask someone else.
"Elsa, can I talk to you about something?" asked Anna hesitantly.
Elsa immediately took in Anna's unsure look and motioned for her to follow. They arrived in Elsa's room and Anna sat down on the edge of Elsa's bed while biting her lower lip—a habit she unconsciously did when she was nervous.
"What did you want to talk about?" asked Elsa.
Anna looked down at her hands as she spoke. "W-well, you see, I was doing a lot of thinking. Um, I'm not exactly sure if I love Kristoff."
"Why would you?" asked Elsa, confused. "You just met him."
Anna sighed with relief. "So then it's normal to not really like his kisses and get kind of awkward when he gets too affectionate?"
Elsa shook her head rapidly. "No, that's something different entirely. If you can't even stand physical intimacy…perhaps you might one of the people who don't like those things. Though rare, I've actually stumbled upon some interesting literature about the community as a whole…" Elsa shook her head to keep herself from trailing off into some tangent. "Regardless, as long as he still continues to make you feel those butterflies inside, you'll be fine. Just talk to him about it."
"Um, what if…they aren't exactly butterflies? What if they're more like…mosquitoes?" Anna said, blushing with embarrassment.
Elsa silently chastised herself for the sudden leap inside her when she realized what Anna was telling her. Anna wasn't attracted to Kristoff. She gave a quiet sigh of relief at the implication that she no longer had to have that sinking feeling in her chest whenever she thought of the fact that other hands were allowed to roam Anna's body. For now, at least.
"Anna," began Elsa, as calmly as she could. "I don't think you have romantic feelings Kristoff."
Instead of the argument and denial that Elsa was expecting (much like during the Hans incident), Anna grabbed her head in frustration and leaned forward until her elbows rested on her legs. Her usual bouncing braids hung limply as if reflected the princess's worry.
"First, Hans, now Kristoff? How many more mistakes am I going to make? How do I know? I've read books, Elsa. Books. I could've been doing other fun stuff, but instead I'm in the library trying to learn what love is. So tell me, how do I know when I'm in love? Heck, how do I know when I like someone?"
Elsa placed a gentle, gloveless hand on Anna's shoulder, something she took great pleasure in now that she could touch things with her skin.
"I-I'm not a writer, Anna. I can't describe love. All I know is that you think to yourself 'it's worth it'. If you find someone who makes waking up in the morning exciting, who makes you feel good and right, who makes you feel like you're always home even if the world feels like it's falling apart because it probably will since you're in charge of everything-" Elsa quickly caught herself before Anna realized she was talking about herself. "What I'm saying, Anna, is that you will know when you're in love when it feels like they've touched you with magic."
"In a good way," Elsa hastily added. "Not in a 'I-hit-your-heart-with-an-ice-beam' way."
Anna scooted next to Elsa and buried her head on her shoulder as she giggled slightly. The tension seemed to melt out of Anna as she mulled over Elsa's words while being slightly distracted by the scent of the woman with the ice powers. She smelled of mint and winter and her skin was a comfortable cool temperature. Anna snuggled a bit further but failed to notice Elsa tense up at the feel of Anna's hot breath against her. Even with a high collar, the queen could feel the heat seeping in and caressing her skin. She cleared her throat and interrupted Anna's musing.
"Yes, well, I have a book that maybe you'd like to read. I've found it describes the process of liking and falling for someone fairly well. I think I've got it in one of my desk drawers…"said Elsa. Anna stood up, immediately missing the refreshing smell, and walked over to the said desk.
"Um, I don't actually remember which drawer I put it in. It might be the left one," Elsa said to her as she remained sitting on the bed. Anna opened the right drawer of Elsa's desk.
"Your other left, Anna."
"No worries, Elsa. I got the book," said Anna as she tucked the book under her arm. "I think I'll go read it now. I need to think of what to say to Kristoff soon. Did he talk to you yet?"
"Yes he did. I went to visit the trolls and they were extremely helpful."
"Did you find what you were looking for?" asked Anna, her eyes widening with surprise at the thought of a solution being found.
"Maybe. I need to prepare some notes for a meeting to explain the situation. I'll tell you then, once I've found how to go about this. It might be tomorrow or the day after depending on how long it takes to gather the information I need, but I'll see you at breakfast tomorrow."
Anna nodded her head and turned to exit the room. "Thank you for listening to me Elsa."
Elsa tilted her head slightly as she acknowledged her sister, a soft smile on her lips and her eyes looking even softer. For some strange reason, Anna's breath hitched and her heart skipped a beat. The platinum blond hair of her sister was slightly less than perfect, probably from traveling she had done earlier. The look in her eyes was not the usual controlled look she carried around, but the look she reserved for Anna and Anna alone. Perhaps it was all the talk of love, but in that moment, when Elsa spoke her parting words, she had never before sounded so perfect.
That night, Elsa dressed for bed and remembered that she had a bit of time to catch up on some reading before going to bed. She reached beneath her pillow for that particular book she kept hidden, but found nothing there.
"I thought I left it here. Maybe one of the maids moved it when cleaning," Elsa mumbled to herself.
As she wondered where it could possibly be, her eyes drifted toward the desk. A thought suddenly appeared of where it might be. She bolted to the desk and opened the drawers. There, in the left drawer, was the book Anna should have taken. Meaning the book her sister took was…
Elsa tried to keep calm as she walked to Anna's room to see if she could retrieve the book before she reads it. Her body betrayed her thoughts as Elsa's steps quickened and left a trail of slightly frosty footprints. She tried to softly turn Anna's doorknob, but it was locked. Frustrated, Elsa went back into her room as she tried to reason with herself. She could ask for the book early tomorrow. Maybe Anna didn't read it. Or, maybe she did and wouldn't think much about it.
Who was she kidding? Anna would definitely find out exactly what sort of things make the ice queen's heart melt.
Dawn's light was creeping through Anna's window. The chirping of birds slowly grew into a crescendo as the world began to sense its time of awakening. At least, a time of awakening for those who were asleep in the first place. Unlike Anna, whose sleep deprived eyes feasted on the pages of the book in her hands. Her cheeks were bright red and her breath was a little heavier than normal. During the small moments of that night when her attention deflected from the book momentarily, she would notice her thumping heart and slight tingles in her stomach. As the night wore on, the answers to many of her questions began to make their appearance. The reaction of her body briefly caused her astonishment as it was new to her. The heat of her body and the urge to quench the strange want in her body would have startled her more if it weren't for the book showing her exactly what it was that she wanted quenched. Nothing else had done that, not even the other books in the library.
Now, it was a new day. With the rise of the new sun, Anna realized her sister was far wiser than she once thought. How else would Elsa have chosen the perfect book to make her come to the conclusions on her own? Bound between the two covers, the young Arendelle princess was able to find her answers within the story of a girl who fell in love with a girl and proceeded to show exactly how much.
A/N: The way things seem to be going, I'm going to change the rating to M. Just in case.