She always loved fairy tales. The magic. The princesses. The princes. Even the villains. The worlds were so mysterious and different from her own. She never thought her life could become like the underbelly of such tales.
Anna slid through the halls of Arendelle castle, the guards laughing at her frantic movements and some of the maids eyeing her tiredly.
'Late again, Princess Anna?' One of the workers called out to the speeding girl.
'Not late! Just arriving with style!' Anna sprinted, already becoming out of breath.
'Be careful, Princess!'
'I know! I know! I know!' Anna rounded another corner, praying she didn't fall, for that would be the epitome of embarrassment. Her hair was longer, tied into a ponytail that nearly touched her waist. The silver that wove its way through her mane remained, growing alongside the rest of her locks.
'One more hall!' Anna encouraged herself, sprinting in a fashion only she could get away with. She made it through the sector of Arendelle palace and cut the final corner with a practised slide and pivot, almost knocking over a maid as she did so. Anna grabbed hold of the girl's wrist instinctively, helping the small worker to her feet.
'Whoa! Sorry, um…Gerda?'
Gerda blinked rapidly, unsure of what had just happened.
'P-Princess Anna! I apologize for getting in your way.'
'No, no! It was definitely my bad.' Even to this day, with a new summer before her, Anna felt her stomach turn when she interacted with Gerda. She had done nothing but be the most supportive soul for Elsa, and yet Anna couldn't dismiss what had happened quite some time ago.
'You are supposed to be at the council meeting?'
'Yeah-huh! I was super tired, I guess?'
Gerda laughed, covering her cute little mouth. Was this jealousy Anna felt most of the time? Did she suspect Gerda still longed for her sister even after being on a couple of dates with Kristoff since then? She didn't seem overly interested in the poor man to begin with, but that was another story altogether. Still, Anna's exhaustion was the result of the insurmountable affection Elsa and Anna shared for one another. The queen of Arendelle had more mastery over her powers than ever before, and the night prior marked the first time Anna had the courage and mindset to "switch roles" with Elsa.
A chill ran Anna's spine, and she visibly quivered, remembering the way Elsa's smooth, pale body looked and felt as the bizarre addition to Anna's form slid into her…
'Ah! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!' Anna slapped her cheeks, startling Gerda. Any more recollections would make it impossible to focus.
'A-are you okay?'
'I'm fine. I'm good.' Anna sighed. 'But I'm also super late. Sorry, Gerda! Talk to you later!'
'Be safe, Princess.'
The staff had changed dramatically. Arendelle itself had changed dramatically. Everything had changed since that day.
Anna stood before a large pair of doors, and the guards parted for her, bowing as they granted her access. Anna sheepishly entered the room, and she reconfigured her mind to the new council before her. It had changed dramatically as well. Vegard and a couple of the old members remained, but otherwise, Daryun, Mr. Iversen, and even Kristoff were new members alongside Anna herself. Despite the fact Kristoff was helping Grand Pabbie to the seat reserved for special guests, Anna's eyes fell to Elsa almost immediately.
Enchanted. It was always how Anna felt the first time she saw Elsa every single day. Even now, in this moment, with a room full of important individuals, the only person Anna could see was Elsa. She had let her hair grow a little longer too, and she was all the more beautiful with the way it shaped her perfect features.
'You're late, Princess Anna.' Something tugged at Elsa's lips, tempting her to smile. Anna personally loved when Elsa called her "princess" almost sarcastically. It was a form of play, and Anna could only bow, ensuring her sister was given a partial glimpse down the neckline of her dress.
'My apologies, Queen Elsa. I'll accept my punishment later.'
She had always disliked fairy tales. The princesses were always so weak. The princes were unappealing. And she sympathized with the villains more often than not. She never thought she herself would become something akin to a villain at some point in her life.
'She's late again.' Leonard groaned, rubbing his bald head nervously.
'She'll be here. I sent a maid to fetch her moments ago.'
'I thought she had grown out of this.'
'She was up late last night.' Elsa caught herself. 'Reading.'
'You should invite her to our training sessions in the morning more often, Queen Elsa. It may help.' Daryun suggested, and Elsa didn't mind the idea, but she also knew Anna simply struggled with mornings to begin with, let alone ones that came after such physically taxing acts with her sister from the night before.
'I'll consider it.' Elsa looked about the council room, a vacant seat next to her. She had cleaned out her councilmen as well as those who no longer wished to serve her. Half of her staff had to be reorganized, and despite how many months had passed, it was still jarring to Elsa at times. Arendelle was the same but different now. In the end, with Leonard's advice, Anna and Elsa had agreed not to make a spectacle of their relationship. Thanks to the fact that they were sisters, it wasn't terribly abnormal, even when guests were visiting from another kingdom, to see the monarchs act so close. Linking arms, hugging, and even small pecks here and there weren't seen as incredibly odd. The people of Arendelle knew the truth, but even that found some normalcy in the face of everyday life. It was ever the intriguing topic of discussion, but it ended there, and Elsa's refreshed army of guards, led competently by Lord Daryun's incredible example, had no tolerance for gossip-filled conversations that bordered on slanderous.
Anna and Elsa were forced to reject what they had between one another when dealing with outsiders. They wouldn't offer any proof if a singular citizen of Arendelle decided to betray their kingdom. Overall, the residences of Arendelle almost functioned as a trusted entity that knew the truth but could do no more with it. For the sake of her kingdom, Elsa wouldn't flaunt her "deviant" fixations. When the odd accusations came her way from a suspicious, neighbouring kingdom, she would deny it all in a roundabout way with careful use of rhetoric and wordplay, never outright lying, for that could spell trouble in the future as well. Some allies were lost due to this elusiveness, but Arendelle remained mostly unaffected, with only minor, mostly negligible changes in their political standing and trade practises in the grand scheme of things.
What Elsa couldn't actively dance around was her sexuality. Princes and kings would never be a topic of interest for her (unless she was talking of the regal Arthuria). And she slowly made it clear that she had no intention of getting married. This, of course, created more rumours surrounding her preferences, and Elsa eventually chose to leave the pointing fingers as they were, shrugging at the naysayers who proclaimed her to be a tainted queen who preferred to enjoy a woman's company over a man's any day (which was true). Again, some political shifts occurred because of this, but Elsa's relations with a core group of kingdoms (including Daryun's, Arthuria's, Maxwell's, and her cousin's) helped influence most of the others, with barely a quarter of her network requiring reconfiguring.
As it was, Arendelle would be fine, and as her people realized this, their affection for their queen only grew by the day. There would always be those who actively exclaimed their disdain, and some even went so far as to leave Arendelle altogether, but as that fateful day had exemplified, despite Elsa's apprehensions, the people of Arendelle had universally decided to stand by their queen and princess, and this support remained to the present day, if not more so.
The door to the council room was knocked upon, and Elsa's heart fluttered. Unfortunately, it wasn't her sister, but the purpose of the meeting being led in. Grand Pabbie and Kristoff had arrived, and the troll didn't look terribly happy to be in Arendelle again after such a long absence. Kristoff's official duty on most days was to facilitate the distribution of ice and the like throughout all of Arendelle. However, Elsa and Anna had welcomed him on to the council as something of a liaison between them and the trolls. After many discussions and encouragement, Grand Pabbie was convinced to hear what Elsa had to say regarding their future relationships. Burning bridges was never ideal, in Elsa's mind, and the trolls were too powerful to keep at an arm's length as festering future enemies.
'It is good to see you are well, Grand Pabbie.' Leonard began, using the most diplomatic tone available to him.
'Thank-you.' The older troll managed, if a little gruffly.
'A seat is reserved for you, Grand Pabbie. Please let me know if you would like a beverage beyond the water provided.' Elsa continued the hospitality being put forth.
'That I can do.'
Kristoff was beginning to ease Grand Pabbie into his seat when the doors parted slowly once more, Anna slipping in as stealthily as she could.
Breathless. It was always how Elsa felt the first time she saw Anna every single day. The queen had to forcibly make herself intake air in order to function normally. Anna had become more beautiful to Elsa the more time marched on. She was growing up, but she still was every bit the little sister that Elsa had staked her life on.
'You're late, Princess Anna.' She didn't want to smile. If she did, it would be obvious how lenient she was with a fellow council member…even if everyone knew it anyway.
'My apologies, Queen Elsa, I'll accept my punishment later.'
Anna's eyes twinkled, and Elsa's toes curled in her shoes. That tease. She knew precisely how to cover Elsa in goosebumps of anticipation. It was bad enough the older sister simply couldn't focus this later morning because of what had happened the night before. She was always resistant to the idea of giving herself to anyone in such a way, but as time had went on, and as Anna expressed some interest in the act, Elsa's curiosity got the best of her. The queen's heart quickened as she replayed the moment Anna became a part of her, and despite Elsa's magic faltering for a second, she couldn't quite recall much after that other than the fact her mind turned blank with pleasure.
Daryun coughed into his hand, and Anna winked to her sister, proceeding to her seat next to the queen and staying somewhat quiet, as she had learned to do on occasion.
'We have called you here today to discuss the trolls' future relations with Arendelle, Grand Pabbie.' Elsa started anew, pushing away the lewd thoughts that wouldn't release her.
'So Kristoff has claimed.' The frail, older being sighed.
'What are your current thoughts on the matter?'
'Understandably.' A prick in Elsa's mind made her irritable by the audacity of the reply, but she would choose her battles wisely. 'However, I am extending an offer of friendship and unification between our people once more. I am willing to put any previous speculations and accusations behind us. Kristoff is confident that some form of error in judgement took place in the past, and I wish to leave it there if you would let me.'
'Hm.' Grand Pabbie didn't confirm nor deny what Elsa implied, and that felt like a small victory. From what Kristoff had relayed over the months that had passed, Grand Pabbie was fearing his age was beginning to get the better of him, and his concern for his tribe became paramount in his mind. Not only that, but Kristoff suspected a certain visitor had had words with the elderly troll, and that was when the true change in the leader's mind had begun. Elsa could only think of one rather dark individual who could have such influence, and her chest hurt.
'I have conditions.' Grand Pabbie began, and Elsa suspected no less. 'Firstly, my boy here will not discuss what took place in your kingdom almost a year prior. Devil had a hand in things, surely, but we trolls have also witnessed a change in Arendelle that can only be explained by the rumours even our ears have perked upon hearing.'
'If you seek confirmation regarding myself and Anna then you may have it. We are, indeed, in a romantic relationship that extends beyond familial. We are in love, and I tell you this in confidence.'
Grand Pabbie's expression was worth it. His eyes widened, and the millions of cracks and wrinkles about his face creaked through the sudden transformation. Elsa treasured knowing her council stood behind her no matter what now, and she could almost feel the entirety of their mental support.
'Elsa…' The troll wheezed. 'No. Queen Elsa. You have…changed dramatically.'
Elsa could only smile confidently, knowing how the talk would end now.
'Love has the tendency to do that.'
The enormity of the dark, empty room still made Elsa realize how small she was in the grand scheme of things. As a child, during that fateful night when Anna's hair had gained a strip of platinum, Elsa recalled thinking how large this room was then as well.
'Sneaky, sneaky…' Anna joked, creeping along the floor dramatically.
'The guards know we're here. It's not like we're children anymore.' Elsa laughed.
'But isn't it more exciting to think we're sorta rebelling like we used to?'
It was late. The moon was high in the sky. It was another day of work and continuing to solidify Arendelle's new place in the world. Grand Pabbie had been won over once again, the alliance between Arendelle and the trolls re-established. His other condition had been to allow himself onto the council. Although Elsa had reservations, she submitted to the desire, knowing she would still be keeping an eye on the elderly being regardless. Kristoff assured Elsa Grand Pabbie had changed, but the queen could never be too careful.
Elsa watched Anna for a moment, ever finding herself doing so when given the opportunity. Anna was in a simple nightgown, and her hair was tied in those adorable braids on either side of her face, but it had a certain messiness about it indicating that her day had been full as well. Not only was she part of the council now, but her primary duty was public relations, and that meant dealing with the citizens and their needs almost all day everyday. She was very good at it. Elsa, on the other hand, handled the political, managerial side of things, which wasn't nearly as interesting, but suited her personality better. Overall, Leonard praised how well the sisters balanced one another, and Arendelle, for the most part, was running quite smoothly…especially considering the circumstances leading up to this point.
'Were you told that you're beautiful yet today, Anna?' Elsa's pulse quickened, but she needed to say it.
'Actually, I was!'
Elsa's eye twitched. Unless it was a visitor to the kingdom, not a soul should openly flirt with Princess Anna. At least, that was the unreasonable side of Elsa's thought process.
'Oh…?' The queen attempted to remain calm. Even after all this time, her jealousy was a tempest; perhaps more so as the sisters had grown closer than ever.
'Yep. He was totally into me. Guess he didn't care that you and I are sort of a thing.'
'He lives in Arendelle?'
'I-I see.' Elsa crossed her arms, waiting to hear the whole story but knowing she was visibly annoyed.
Fortunately, Anna swooped in and took her sister's hand, spinning around with her like they were dancing.
'He was, like, five, Elsa.' The younger girl winked, and a flood of relief washed over the elder sister. 'Heheh! Sorry! But you're too cute when you're jealous. Plus, it makes me feel great when you get all possessive like that!'
'Oh, how lovely for you.' Elsa rolled her eyes, still pivoting around with Anna.
The sisters embraced, and Anna cupped Elsa's face in her hands.
'Here. As an apology I'll give you one of these.'
Elsa's whole body felt a surge as Anna's soft lips found her own, the meaningful contact and perfect connection making Elsa's knees weak.
'One more and I may forgive you.' Elsa huffed playfully.
'If I have to.' Anna giggled, and they kissed again, and again…and again. Elsa held Anna's back, stroking it lovingly and absorbing the sensation of her sister's form so close to her own. How did she never tire of this? When would the excitement fade? Perhaps never. Elsa had loved Anna for so many years that she knew this was where she needed to be.
Elsa cast a simple spell beneath their feet, turning the entirety of the floor space to ice, holding Anna steady as her slippers began sliding.
'Care for a skate?' Elsa distanced herself a bit, still holding one of Anna's hands and guiding her.
'Do I care for a skate? What kind of question is that? You know it's basically one of my favourite things to do with you!'
This wasn't a completely uncommon occurrence anymore. Although the days were busy, and sometimes the sisters seldom saw one another, they always made time in the late evening and night to be together. They shared a room once again, and slept in each other's embrace constantly…until Anna began flailing.
'Ready?' Elsa asked, and Anna nodded, allowing herself to be taken for a ride by her older sister. Elsa could move on the ice as if she were a part of it, and this made for an invigorating exchange between the siblings, Anna mostly being spun, slid, and held through every transaction.
'Faster…!' Anna screamed, feeling like a kid again. She laughed joyfully, and Elsa could only do the same.
The great hall was aglow with magic and mutual affection, the sisters' voices ringing in the halls of Arendelle, their feelings aligned eternally at last. Elsa's undying winter, Hans' betrayal, Devil's attack, and the relationship that was thought to never be all felt so far away. Elsa met Anna's eyes, and there was only pure, innocent, undaunted love between the royal sisters of Arendelle.
'Even faster…!' Anna shrieked, gasping for air she was so elated.
Elsa created a ramp for her sister, and Anna went flying, manipulated through a path that the queen orchestrated with ease. As Anna took flight, her eyes closed and arms stretched out in complete trust of her older sister. A flash of a past traumatic experience attempted to thwart the Ice Queen, but Elsa shirked it away with her newfound confidence, easily cradling Anna back to the ground in a moving pile of snow.
Anna was laughing, kicking her feet as the snow evaporated in silver specks of dust all around her. Elsa helped her to her up, and the younger girl held Elsa almost aggressively, digging her face into her sister's bosom and gripping her back desperately.
'This is life now, right?' Anna asked quietly, and she didn't need to say more, for Elsa had the same thoughts almost daily. Their relationship and the "acceptance" of it always felt fragile, as if a singular wrong move could destroy it all despite how much time had passed.
'For now.' Elsa spoke softly. 'We have earned this happiness, Anna. Let's just try to enjoy it.'
'I know. But…do you ever think everything will just be okay?'
Elsa sighed, holding her sister's hand and gliding about the ice slowly.
'No. What we have will never be okay, I'm afraid. We can only be thankful that what was once a dark, desolate impossibility…' Elsa waved her free arm, covering the ceiling of the great hall with sparkling snowflakes that looked like gems. They reflected what little light there was, painting the hall full of colours and luminescence like it had become the aurora itself. 'Is now, for the first time in forever, a shimmering rainbow of opportunity and adventure for the both of us.'
'Heheh! True enough.' Anna agreed, and in another second the ice rink was gone, with only the gorgeous reflectors above remaining of Elsa's influence. 'It couldn't have worked out better, huh?' Anna stepped in close, looking up at her sister and sighing thankfully.
'I don't think so.' Elsa held Anna's waist, her heart full and her mind dizzy with infatuation. Her moon bracelet slid down her wrist, and she could only hold back her tears of relief, reminding herself over and over that she wasn't dreaming. Her cool, sometimes awkward persona broke around Anna's ray of light, and the older sister was ever at the mercy of her sister's glow.
'Can I be with you forever, Elsa?' Anna said quite suddenly, but Elsa recovered quickly, staring deeply into the blue eyes that were so like her own.
'You know what my answer is, Anna. Forever and ever. I am yours so long as I draw breath. It may have taken quite a few years, but there is no other way for me now. You are my everything. You, the same girl who happens to be my sister, my best friend, and my lover all at once. You, Princess Anna, who inspires, excites, and influences me. I am honoured to have you in my life, and I am thankful every morning when you are the first person I see.'
Anna's visage flushed, and she held Elsa's face, stroking her cheeks with her thumbs and beaming with that slightly crooked smile of hers that was too charming for words.
'That's what I like to hear.' Anna whispered, kissing Elsa slowly. 'Just say that every so often and we'll be good, Elsa. You've always been so much better with words than me.' Another kiss. 'Because that's exactly how I feel. Word for word.' More kisses.
There was a brief pause, unspoken truths and promises passing between the girls. Worries of marriage, heirs, political standings, and their relationship were dismissed for this perfect finality. A source of strength was just an arm's length away, and the queen of Arendelle, alongside the princess of Arendelle, remained inseparable forevermore.
'I love you, Elsa.'
'And I love you, my Anna.'
Elsa and Anna. Anna and Elsa. Their hearts had finally thawed, and beneath it all, lay the most profound, mysterious, and beautiful love of all.
The sisters may have always had differing opinions regarding fairy tales, but neither would ever deny that theirs was a very special type of story, and one that they would cherish above all else, come what may, come what may. Happily, ever after…