"Anna, calm down." The Queen pleaded, laying a gentle hand on her daughter's shoulder.
The young princess cringed and pulled away. Her fists were clenched so hard they shook at her sides, her delicate fingernails digging into the soft skin of her palms. Anna felt her heart pounding furiously against her ribs, adrenaline coursing through her veins. She wanted to run. She wanted to just throw her tiara on the ground and stomp on it.
"Please, Anna," her mother's voice sounded once more, "Try to be more reasonable about this."
Anna whipped around, her wide teal eyes filling with angry tears. "Reasonable?" she repeated with outrage, "You're the unreasonable one, mother! You and father are sending me across the ocean to marry some prince that I've never even met before, and for what? Some treaty?"
The tears began to spill over her slender lashes to slide down her freckled cheeks. Anna bowed her head to obscure her face. She'd be damned if she let her mother see her cry like this. "I..I'm not…" she tried to keep her voice from cracking, "I'm not a bargaining piece, mother."
Of course, if she were willing to admit it to herself, that's really all she was. Her mother and father never spared her a second glance, never took the time to talk to her, to get to know her better. They spent all their time grooming her older brother Andrew for the throne. She was just the spare, an extra piece to be used in whatever way necessary.
The thought made Anna sick. She wanted to believe that her parents were good people, that they loved her and wanted what was best. After all, she loved them with all her heart. Unconditionally. They were her family, and she would stand by them no matter what.
So why are they doing this? Why are they sending me away?
The Queen sighed, her patience wearing thin. "Enough of the theatrics, Anna." She ordered firmly, "You are going, even if you have to be escorted by the guards."
Anna wiped her eyes and crossed her arms defiantly. "You may be able to force me onto a ship across the sea, but I will never marry him."
The Queen rolled her eyes. "You say that now, but your father and I firmly believe that you will grow to love the young prince." She lightened her tone, "And the Southern Isles is a lovely country to live in."
Why couldn't her mother see how cruel this whole thing was? Growing to love someone? It sounded forced no matter how you looked at it. Anna looked out the palace window at the beautiful fjord, the deep blue waters and lush greenery. No place will ever be as lovely as Arendelle, she thought to herself bitterly.
It was then that Anna became bound and determined find a way out of this, no matter what.
"Now, go get ready to leave," her mother commanded, "I had Gerda pack your things this morning during breakfast."
Anna sighed loudly to show her mother how upset she was with the whole thing. "Fine." She grumbled, trudging out of the room.
The palace halls were bustling with servants as always. Many of them gave the redhead sympathetic looks as she passed. Like always, it seemed that Anna was the last to know of any royal business happenings. Even when they involved her directly.
She closed the door to her chambers and leaned back against it. Her mother hadn't been lying when she'd said that her handmaid had packed up all her belongings. The room was fairly barren, save for her bed and her desk.
Anna's sketchbook was still in the topmost drawer, hidden beneath a thick guidebook for table etiquette; a guidebook that she'd never actually read all the way through, much to her parents' annoyance. She ran her fingers over the leather cover and sighed. They're probably happy to send me away…
She picked up her little sketchbook and flipped it open. Gerda had secretly given it to her when she was small because the old woman noticed that she liked to draw and scribble. Anna had loved it so much that every year the maid would get her a new one on her birthday. The pages were filled with all sorts of pencil sketches; birds, trees, playing children, and much more littered the parchment. Anna loved to capture whatever she saw and immortalize it in soft graphite. Drawing was one of the few things that allowed her peace.
A knock at the door startled her, and she quickly shoved the small book into the folds of her dress.
Her father strode in. "Anna darling, the ship is ready to depart," he stated, "A carriage is waiting downstairs to take you to the port. Please do not make them wait long." He left without another word.
Anna clutched her dress and took one last final look around her room. I…guess this is goodbye. She shook away the melancholy and straightened her posture. For now, anyways.
"Yes," Anna agreed with herself aloud, "For now."
The salty sea wind kissed Elsa's face and played through her braided hair and wild bangs. She closed her eyes and smiled, taking in the warmth of the sun and the sound of the waves. There was nowhere else she'd rather be right now.
She felt so full of life, so very…free.
Elsa climbed a little higher out of the crow's nest, her body effortlessly slinging itself around the side of the main mast. She watched her crew bustle about below; checking the riggings, polishing the railings, etc.
Elsa had inherited The Snow Queen from her father, the great pirate known as "Frost Beard" who was also the ship's previous captain.
To be able to do this, however, she had to conceal the fact that she was female and go by the alias of Elric. She gladly did so. Her crew respected her, her enemies feared her, and she was free to do as she wished. Pretending to be a boy was a small price to pay for all of that as far as she was concerned.
It wasn't even that hard; she wore men's clothes, squared her shoulders, lowered her voice a bit, and presto! She looked like a normal, if slightly (very) pretty, boy.
"Cap'n!" a gruff voice shouted over at her, snapping her out of her reverie.
She swiveled around to face the stern, hanging off the side of the main mast. "What is it Hawkeye?"
The man was at his post atop the mizzen mast, a sextant gripped in one of his meaty hands. "A royal galleon off to starboard at 8 o'clock."
That caught Elsa's attention. She dropped back into the crow's nest and reached into her blue coat pocket, pulling out a silver spyglass. The blonde proceeded to scan the horizon for the ship.
Sure enough, the tiny figure came into focus. It was a large ship with sails of deep purple and spring green. "It's flying the colors of Arendelle, eh…" Elsa mused to herself, "They don't usually stray into these waters…" And alone, too. Must be something important…
"What are your orders sir?" Hawkeye called.
Elsa folded the spyglass and shoved it back into her pocket. She grinned. Today would be a fortuitous day, she could feel it.
The blonde captain leapt from the crow's nest and slid down the footropes. Boots hit the wood with a light plunk, her landings always graceful. She whistled loudly to call her men to attention. "Alright, men. Ol' Hawkeye spotted us a nice, fat galleon sailing all by its lonesome," she announced, "What do you say we give it some company?" she offered a conspiratory smirk.
A loud raucous cheer resounded.
Elsa nodded, getting her game face on. "Alright then! Give me full sail, men!" she ordered, making her way up to the helm, "We're going to ride the wind and hit 'em fast!"
"Yarrrggghhh!" The loud cheer resounded throughout the ship.
She smiled at the energy she was receiving. The chase was always such a rush.
"Finally some action, eh captain?" her quartermaster commented lightly by her side.
She smiled at her childhood friend. "Aye, Kristoff. It's been long overdue, if you ask me."
He smirked. "No arguments there. My sword arm was gettin' flabby, to be sure."
Elsa rolled her eyes. "Hopefully we won't need to resort to killing, Kristoff."
That was one of the things she never wanted to do. She secretly hated violence.
The scruffy man snorted. "Yeah, yeah, I know…I just wanted to rough 'em up a bit."
Elsa chuckled because she knew that he was just as soft-hearted as she was.
Two weeks. Anna had been stuck on this dumb boat for two weeks. Normally she would have relished being on the ocean and enjoyed the wonders of the open sea, but the looming fate that awaited her at her destination dampened her mood.
She found ways to pass her time, though. She wandered the ship, talked to the crew members, and sketched various things above deck.
Anna was currently working on drawing the floor plan of the boat. She'd figured that she had seen enough of it to have a good idea of what the layout was supposed to look like. The sun was hot on her back as she bent over her little sketch pad, her dress scrunched up around her knees for use as a makeshift drawing table. Mother would scold me for how I'm sitting, Anna thought ruefully, Too bad she can't 'cause she isn't here.
"Captain Westerguard!" a man above her shouted in panic, "A frigate approaches at breakneck speed!"
Anna got to her feet and tucked her book back into the folds of her dress. The captain was at the helm, but as she got closer she noticed that he looked worried. "Whose colors are they flying?" he questioned, his eyes locked on the horizon.
There was no reply, and the captain glared up at the man. "I asked you a question!" he barked.
"N-None sir!" the man on watch shouted.
Anna dashed over to the railing to try and get a glimpse of this boat. As the vessel drew closer, Anna could see each little detail come into focus.
The hull was composed of rich blue stained wood and silvery trimming. Everything about the ship was elegant, Anna noticed, from the railings to the rudders, the slender and sinewy shapes and forms were very carefully crafted. Throw in a beautifully carved figurehead and pristine blue sails marked with a large white snowflake, and you got yourself a fine piece of artwork. Whoever owned that ship had good taste, Anna thought.
"H-Holy shit!" the captain suddenly cursed, "I-It's The Snow Queen!"
Anna watched as the rest of the crew began to run around in a frenzied state of panic. She heard someone scream of pirates. Pirates? She wondered, does that mean they're coming to loot our ship?
Anna didn't really know how to feel about that, nor did she have time to decide before the frigate was upon them. The ship was even more beautiful up close.
Everything happened so fast after that. One minute, she was watching grappling hooks tearing into the deck planks, the next minute, she had her wrists tied tightly together and was standing in a line with everyone else on her ship.
"That was almost too easy." A pirate with messy copper hair and an eye patch complained, "I didn't even get to draw a single lick o' blood."
"Really Hawkeye? I thought it was fun!" a short pirate with black hair and a cheery face replied.
Anna strained against her bindings. The ropes were digging into her wrists uncomfortably. "Um, excuse me?" the two pirates looked at her questioningly, "Could you loosen these ropes a bit? They're chaffing my wrists."
The short haired pirate nodded, and was about to untie her bindings when the taller man stopped him. "No, Olaf." He scolded, "We can't have the wench escapin'."
Anna's eyes widened incredulously at the insult. No one had ever dared to refer to her in such a manner before. She pouted indignantly, wishing she could cross her arms for emphasis.
"Look alive, men! Captain's on board." A voice shouted.
Anna turned her head, trying to catch a glimpse of this infamous captain. A lone figure stepped into view.
All of her preconceptions of what a pirate captain looked like when she laid eyes on their young leader. He was handsome, no, beautiful even. Hair as light and radiant as sunbeams was wildly swept back by the wind and fell into a thick braid down his shoulders. His eyes were calm, yet endlessly deep and blue as the ocean. Anna noticed a tiny pink scar at the edge of his jaw, marring what would have been perfect snowy skin.
He didn't look dirty like she'd thought pirates to be; as a matter of fact, the rest of his crew was pretty well kempt too. He was dressed in black leather boots, tan breeches, a loose white shirt, and a dark blue jacket lined with silver thread. Anna found it amusing that the captain's clothes kind of matched the colors of his ship.
"Good day, I'm Captain Elric," he greeted, his voice soft and velvety, "Who's the captain of this ship?"
Mr. Westerguard, who been placed next to Anna, straightened nervously. "That'd be me, sir."
The pirate captain nodded. "Good. I'd like to have a word with you." He turned to the copper haired pirate, "Hawkeye?"
The big man grunted and picked Mr. Westerguard up by the hair on his head, earning a wince.
The blonde strode forward, eyes sharp. "What are you doing so far from home, captain?" the pirate captain interrogated, "Surely a ship like this isn't just for carrying idle cargo?"
Mr. Westerguard eyes flashed with defiance. "T-That's none of your business, pirate!"
The blonde sighed, running slender fingers through wild pale locks. "So, it's going to be like that, eh…?" he snapped his fingers.
Hawkeye slammed the man's head into the deck roughly, causing Anna to inwardly cringe. That looked like it hurt…
"This is your last chance," the pirate captain said wearily, "What are you doing out here?"
Hawkeye yanked the man's head up from the wooden planks and Anna gasped. The man's face was oozing blood. His nose was most certainly broken.
Anna's gasp, however, had drawn attention. The blonde's deep blue gaze fell to her. Anna involuntarily held her breath as the captain's eyes studied her intently. Suddenly, the blonde's eyes locked onto something on Anna's head—her tiara. A smirk of recognition passed over his features.
"Well, well, now I know why," he suddenly turned to her, "It looks like we are in the presence of royalty, gentlemen."
Anna tried to back away as he drew closer, but a pale hand stopped her. Suddenly the blonde had gotten close enough to whisper to her. "Relax." It was one nearly inaudible word, but for some reason the princess obeyed.
The pirate captain took her hands in his (they were surprisingly soft), then turned to face Mr. Westerguard. "I'll be taking the princess now," he stated casually, "I trust you know your way back to Arendelle?"
Mr. Westerguard grit his teeth, but nodded. Anna's heart dropped. Was she being kidnapped by pirates?! Gods, this was terrifying.
The blonde smirked. "Good. I have a message for you: I, Captain Elric of The Snow Queen, hereby ransom Princess—what's your name, dear?" he looked at the redhead, who appeared to be trembling.
"A-Anna," she stuttered nervously, "My name is Anna."
The captain smiled at her. "What a pretty name." The compliment was so genuine that Anna actually felt a blush rise to her cheeks. Was he trying to comfort me because I was scared? Even Anna knew how ridiculous that concept sounded.
"I hereby ransom Princess Anna of Arendelle for the price of one million chests of gold."
The rest of the pirate crew all howled in gold-thirsty cheer. Even Anna was impressed by the sum requested.
A gentle hand at her back began guiding her towards the boarding planks. "Right this way, your highness." His light voice instructed behind her.
"Hey captain?" a scruffy blonde man approached them, "They've got a ton of good stuff down below, can we take it?"
Anna watched the captain ponder this for a moment before nodding. "Take all the valuables, but leave all the supplies be," he ordered, "There are women and children on this boat, Kristoff. We want to make sure they make it back to port in comfort."
The scruffy man nodded. "Aye, captain." He gave Anna a friendly wink before leaving.
"That was my quartermaster," the captain explained as they began to cross the narrow wooden plank to the other ship, "He's a good man, I promise."
Anna could only nod in response. She was still in shock that the captain had been so lenient with raiding the ship. Maybe he's not so bad after all…What was she thinking? Of course he was bad! He was a pirate, for crying out loud! This man was kidnapping her for ransom!
Suddenly, the ships swayed and Anna lost her balance. She stumbled a bit before a steady hand held her shoulders and kept her from falling into the ocean.
"Careful," the blonde cautioned, "I'd rather not have to dive in after you, your highness."
Anna grimaced. "I'd be able to balance better if my hands weren't bound, captain." She quipped back, harsher than intended. Even she wanted to cringe at how bitter she sounded.
There was a pause as they continued across. Finally the captain spoke, his voice a quiet murmur next to her ear. "I'm sorry I can't untie you just yet, it would make the men uneasy," he said, somewhat apologetically, "Wait until we get inside."
Anna bit her lip, partly in irritation and partly because no one has ever whispered in her ear like that before. She hated the butterflies that currently inhabited her stomach.
Once aboard The Snow Queen, Anna was led to an ornate door on the main deck. A small silver plaque above it read "Captain's Quarters". He's taking me to his room? Oh no, oh no….Her mind began to whirl with all sorts of crazy and terrible scenarios. She'd heard the tales of pirates and how vile and ruthless they were. Was he going to take advantage of her? Steal her innocence? Her heart began to pound erratically against her ribs.
None of that happened though, because as soon as the door closed, the captain untied the ropes around her wrists.
"I apologize for being so rough, your highness," he apologized, examining her wrists, "I do have a reputation to uphold."
Anna didn't know how to respond to that, so she remained silent. She watched as the blonde captain walked over to his desk and removed a small jar of salve. He held it up like a peace offering. "This should help with the chafing."
Anna took it and cautiously applied it to her wrists. The blonde watched her the entire time. He hadn't been lying, the cooling effect took place almost instantly, and Anna sighed with relief.
"Better?" he asked.
"Good," he said with a slight smile, "Now, if you'll excuse me, I must check on my crew."
Anna's brows furrowed in confusion. "Wait, you're just going to leave me here? What if I just walk out?"
The blonde chuckled wryly. "I do not recommend that, your highness," he advised, "While I am respectful of a woman's virtue, some of my men are not."
Anna flinched at the veiled threat. So the stories were true after all? She was being held hostage on a ship with potential rapists. That was very reassuring. Not.
"Do not worry," the captain told her, "As long as you are in here, no harm will come to you."
Anna nodded, hoping she didn't appear as uneasy as she felt.
The captain stopped at the door. "Oh, and welcome aboard."
I'm back! With another Elsanna fic! (Big surprise, right?) Anyways, this idea just hit me while I was playing Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. I was sailing along in the game and just suddenly thought "Hey, I wonder what Elsa would be like as a pirate?", and of course my brain gave birth to a crazy Elsanna plotline. And now we have this. So, uh, let me know what you think?