Summary: Not every story needs a villain. What if Hans wasn't trying to steal the throne? What could fulfil the act of true love if there was no one trying to kill the queen, and no need for Anna to give her life to protect her sister? This story is set in the first frozen movie and starts right were Anna asked Hans to give her a true love's kiss.
AN. I've lost count on how many times I've watched frozen these last couple of weeks during this physical distancing period. My son is obsessed with it, at the moment at least. As a result, this story just stuck in my head. Bear with me, there was no beta for this story. Also, English is not my native language. Constructive criticism is always welcomed. Hope you enjoy.
He kissed her softly.
This was her first kiss. She expected to feel something, some spark, some tingling, anything. All those books she had read made it seem so glorious. But now, all she could still feel was the coldness encompassing her. She waited for the coldness clenching her heart to subside.
But it never did. The cold stayed, her whole body still shivering.
He pulled back and looked into her eyes. He looked nervous, as if already expecting this plan to fail. A look of regret crossed his features, realizing he was right.
"I thought you loved me?" Anna asked brokenly. Every minute made it harder for her to speak. The reality of her freezing to death gripped her heart more painfully than the cold itself. She thought this would all work out with him being here.
"I …" he said hesitantly, "I'm sorry."
"But why did you propose to me then?"
"You are a lovely woman, Anna. You are sweet and full of life, but…" he stopped, unsure of how to proceed.
"But you don't love me. You proposed to me, but you don't love me!" Her voice rose despite the cold she felt inside. It all didn't make sense.
"Do you love me?" Hans questioned back. "How can you say that you love me either? We hardly know each other Anna."
"But why did you propose to me?" Tears started to well up in her eyes.
He slowly stood and started pacing in front of the fire. He stopped and faced her again. He knelt before her and took her hands in his.
"Anna, I admire your innocence but I am a prince and you are a princess. Love is like an unreachable dream for most of people like us. Having a compatible companion is a blessing enough, whether there is love or not. I was desperate to leave my kingdom. I have nothing there that I wish to come back to. When I met you, I jumped at the chance of staying here. Anything than going back to the Southern Isles. We were both lonely, Anna. I thought… at least two lonely souls can be a companion to each other."
She hiccuped, tears slowly sliding down her cold cheeks. Hans sat beside her and took her in his arms. They stayed there for a while, lost in their own thoughts.
"Hans…" Anna softly called out.
Just then, she shivered even more and all of her hair turned white. He hugged her closer to himself, as if willing some of his warmth to radiate to her cold form.
"I'm right here Anna" He said, trying to give her comfort in any way he could.
"I'm sorry I put you through this." She started again. Despite everything that had happened, that was still happening, she can't take off her mind from the one that started this all. "But please Hans, can I ask you favor?"
"Please… if you find my sister, please give her a chance. She didn't mean to do this. She's afraid"
She can't help but worry for her sister. This eternal winter had gotten out of hand. They never went through a winter as cold and harsh as this one. The princess worried that her people would take desperate measures on Elsa.
"Queen Elsa? Anna, she's in…" but before Hans could finish his sentence, the door burst open, revealing a small white form.
"Anna! There you are, I made it!"
Hans just stared dumbfounded. He was sure the cold had got to his head. He could see a snowman, but a talking and walking snowman. He shook his head, willing for the fake vision to disappear. But the creature was still there.
He looked at Anna who was smiling softly at the creature. "What is that?" Hans asked.
"Hi! I'm Olaf, and I like warm hugs." The snowman said cheerfully to Hans.
Despite the serious situation, Anna gave a soft giggle seeing Hans confused face. "He is a snowman that Elsa built. We used to build Olaf when we were little"
"Elsa created him?" said Hans in wonder, the gears in his head was turning with this information. Despite this harsh winter, the queen's abilities were quite a wonder.
"Oh, you must be Prince Hans!" Olaf said, interrupting the Prince's thoughts. The snowman quickly ran up to them. "Well, come on now, you should kiss Anna to thaw the frozen heart."
Olaf stared expectedly at the couple, getting really close in their faces while Hans and Anna looked awkwardly at each other.
"Olaf, it didn't work" Anna finally said to him.
"What? But I thought an act of true love, a true love's kiss, would break the curse?"
"Oh, Olaf… what do I know about true love." She said despairingly.
"That's okay, I do." Olaf said innocently, softly rubbing his wooden hand through Anna's white hair. "Love is putting someone else's needs before yours. Like, you know, how Kristoff brought you back here to Hans and left you forever."
She remembered Kristoff's last glance at her before the gates were closed. She remembered his look of concern and also of longing, as if he was giving away something precious to his heart. She paused in realization "Kristoff loves me?" She asked in bewilderment.
"Wow, you really don't know about love, do you?" Olaf said.
"Wait," Hans said, having connected the dots," Where is this Kristoff? We need to find him."
Just then, the window was blown open by the harsh wind outside.
"Don't worry, I've got it!" Olaf rushed to the window. He was trying to close them against the wind when he realized a spec from far away, rushing down the hill towards the kingdom.
"Hang on. I'm getting something here." He said. He broke an icicle off the window and used it as a telescope. "Guys! It's Kristoff and Sven! They're coming back this way!"
"They… they are?" Anna said, her hopes were rising up. She tried to sit straighter and tried to stand, but her motions were weak and slow.
"Let me help you." Hans started carrying her, bridal style. He realized she was heavier than before. Is she starting to freeze already? He thought.
"Wait, where are we going?" Olaf asked, abandoning the open window.
"We need to get to Kristoff" said Anna.
"Why?" He asked. His expression changed serious, trying to figure out what was happening. Suddenly he smiled wide. "Oh, I know why! There's your act of true love right there! Riding across the fjords like a valiant, pungent reindeer king! Come on!"
They were rushing to the door when suddenly the temperature dropped drastically. Sharp menacing icicles started sprouting from the center of the hall. They backed up away from door.
"To the window!" Shouted Hans.
They ran towards the open window that was barely hanging on the hinges. The wind was so strong. They somehow managed to climb through the window and started running towards the gate.
Once out of the gates they found themselves pushed heavily by the open environment. The wind was getting even stronger.
"Can you still see them Olaf?" Shouted Hans to the snowman running right behind them.
"Yes, just keep heading straight ahead. They're coming fast and right this way." Olaf shouted back.
They kept pushing forward. After minutes of painstakingly trying to run forward, Hans saw, from the corner of his sight, a blur of blue and white running ahead of them. He was sure it was the queen. She must've broken out of her prison somehow.
Just then, all hell broke loose. The wind became even deadlier and they could barely see ahead of them. They were forced into a slow walk by its sheer force. At this point Olaf was hanging on to the prince's leg as to not be swept away by the wind.
The wind was so strong, and the burden in Hans' arms became a lot heavier. It almost felt like he was hefting a block of ice. The prince stumbled and fell to his knees, still holding tightly to the princess. Olaf's hold on his leg faltered and he was swept away by the wind.
"Hans! Olaf!" Anna cried.
"Keep going, I'll be fine!" They heard Olaf shout in the distance.
"This won't do," the prince shouted. "Can you stand?"
He helped her up, she could stay upright but her motion was very slow. He took off the outer layer of his clock and draped it around her.
"I think I saw the queen ahead of us, slightly to our left"
"What? Let... let's get to her then!"
"No! She'll be too far ahead. You need to keep going forward. Kristoff will get to you, I'm sure. I will try and reason with the Queen. This blizzard will become too deadly if not stopped"
All Anna could do was nod. She found no other alternative
"Wait!" Anna shouted just before he went off. "Please don't hurt her."
Hans nodded and with one last look at Anna, he turned to the direction he last saw the Queen and trudged forward.
Anna tried her best to keep walking ahead, but never in her life had she felt the cold to be so painful. It was so cold she could barely think. All she knew was that she needed to get to Kristoff.
"Kristoff" she called out weakly. She swore she heard him answering her call.
Meanwhile, Hans kept pushing forward as fast as he can. His thoughts were in a whirlwind. A blizzard this hard could become deadly and this fjord was full of tall ships. It would be even deadlier if the wind blew them and broke the ice. He needed to find the queen and fast.
Just there, he could see her silhouette.
She didn't turn and kept walking ahead. "Stay away from me!" She shouted.
He kept moving forward, not heeding her warning.
"Please, you need to stop this!" He shouted back.
"I told you! I can't control this! I need to leave!"
"You can't run away from this! You've tried already, it didn't change the eternal winter here with you leaving. You need to try to control this!"
"Arghhh," She screamed in frustration. She turned around to face him." I can't! How many times have I told you already! This is a curse I can't control. Please…" Her tone turned desperate. "Please, just take care of Anna." She turned around again before the prince could reply.
"Stop! Elsa. This is about Anna!" shouted the Prince. But his voice was buried in the strong wind.
Despite the blizzard getting harder, somehow Hans managed to catch up with the queen. He grabbed her arm and twisted her around.
"Let go of me!" She struggled.
Out of his own desperation, he did the only thing that he thought would get her attention.
He slapped her.
He swore the blizzard decreased in her shock. She had stopped struggling and had her full attention on him.
"Your sister is right behind us. She is freezing to death! You froze her heart!"
"What? No…" Elsa said in disbelief.
"She said an act of true love can thaw her frozen heart. Her love is trying to get to her right now, but if you don't stop this blizzard, you will end up killing them both!"
His words didn't really register in the Queen's mind. Only the fact that her sister was on the brink of death and it was all her fault.
Hans could see the rising hysteria in her eyes. He shook her hard.
"No, stop! Listen to me!" He said with the most commanding voice he could muster. "You can do this! You can help her!"
"I can't!" She screamed back, "I'm a mon..."
"No! Who said you couldn't! No one but yourself! Think... Think! You managed to make an ice castle, you could fight guards, break out of prison and even build a living snowman for heaven's sake! You can control this!"
"How?" She said desperately, "All my life, I've been keeping this hidden. Don't feel it... don't let it show. Now it's all broken loose. I don't know how to control this." In her hopelessness, she sagged to the ground.
The wind had slightly died down in their conversation. A fact that the prince picked up immediately.
"Look, this blizzard is dying down already. Your emotions are controlling this, I'm sure."
The prince kneeled before her. He gently took both of her hands in his gloved ones, a move that shocked the queen even more than his slap before. She tried pulling her hands away but he kept his hold firmly. She stopped trying and looked into his eyes instead.
"I can't save her." She said brokenly, "she's the only person I have, and I can't save her…"
"It's not too late," he replied as softly as he can. "She was still standing, waiting for her love to come to her. An act of true love to thaw the frozen heart. We just need to make sure they make it."
"How? I don't... "
"Do you love her?" He interrupted.
"With all my heart"
"Then prove it! Prove your love for her. Stop this blizzard. Give them a fighting chance. Cast aside your doubts, your fears!"
She froze, her eyes widened after hearing his words. She was suddenly thrown back to the night of the accident that tore her from her sister years ago. The night they traveled to the trolls. The troll's words echoing in her thoughts.
Fear will be the greatest enemy
"My fears... fear will be the greatest enemy" she whispered against the wind.
She let go of the prince's hands and stood up. She needed to save Anna, the sister who had always loved her. There was no space for doubts or fears. Just the fact that her sister needed her to do this. She took a deep breath and held her arms out. Willing the blizzard to die down.
The blizzard died down instantly.
And sure enough, Elsa could see Anna from afar. Standing bent and shivering. She was slowly walking forward. Not far ahead of her sister, was a tall blond man, running towards Anna as if his life was depending on it.
The blizzard suddenly stopped. He could see her not far away and it was also at that moment that he realized they were going to meet beside an enormous ship. A ship which was starting to tip on its side.
"No, Anna, stop!" Kristoff shouted.
He knew it was too late, she was already halfway through the length of the ship. She will be crushed under the ship or the ice would break and the deadly waters would claim her.
Whatever the chances were, he would try to save her. He didn't have time to think how she became so important to him, but not knowing that she was safe was something that he could not live with. Whatever the outcome, he would not let her go through with it alone. He kept running despite the consequences.
After what felt like forever, he reached her at last. The ship was falling on top of them. The ice beneath them shaking and breaking. He knew they could not escape the wreckage so instead of running he hugged her and let his body fall forward from the momentum of his run. He encircled his hands around her head and back, making sure she was beneath his body when they would fall, hoping to take the brunt of the ship falling on top of them, and the impact of breaking the ice beneath them.
She could feel warmth spread from her heart the moment he reached her. She could breathe freely at last.
But there was only a split second of relief before she realized what was happening. She was falling backwards with him and instead of the sky, she saw the wreckage of a ship descending upon them.
"Kristoff…" she managed to say his name. Her voice interlaced with fear.
"Anna" He replied back. His voice was so soothing, full of love and acceptance. She knew right then and there that he chose to be with her, despite the deadly fate that awaited them.
Knowing this she hugged him back and closed her eyes. Content to have him here with her at the very end.
"No!" Elsa shouted.
They were going to be crushed by that ship! She realized
She directed her hands towards the ship and willed her powers to help them. Instantly, pillars of ice grew and held the ship in its tilted stance. She tried righting the ship but realized in doing so she would shatter the ice beneath her sister.
Instead, after making sure the ship was secure. She put her hands on the frozen fjord beneath her feet and willed the ice to be thicker and harder under her fallen sister's form.
They fell hard on the frozen fjord below them, the ice still rumbling from the movement of the ship but luckily still intact. Kristoff swore that they should've been crushed by the ship by now, but the impact never came. He dared to open his eyes. To his fascination, he saw pillars of solid ice grow from the fjord and stabilized the ship before crushing them. The ice beneath them suddenly lay still and even hardened under their bodies.
Fascinated by what was happening, he just lay there in shock, but years of instinct in the wilderness taught him to move quickly. He shook himself from his daze. Not taking any chances, he scooted Anna, and ran away from the tilted ship. The further away they were from the ship, the better.
As he ran, he saw two figures ahead of them. One was the queen herself, kneeling with her hands on the ice below her and the other a slender man with auburn hair.
He also saw Sven from a distance away, running towards them. He was beyond relieved knowing Sven survived. He truly did love that reindeer.
Adrenaline was leaving him making him suddenly tired and weak. Kristoff stopped running after he was sure that the danger had passed. As gently as he can, he bent down and kneeled on the ice, making sure Anna was still secure in his arms.
He looked down at her and realized that warmth had come back to her cheeks. She was smiling up at him. He gave her a lopsided smile in return.
"We made it" he said breathlessly.
"Yes, we did." She replied. She lifted up her hand to stroke his cheek. She felt weakened still, but the cold did not bother her any more.
"Thank you" she said as sincerely as she could. In a boost of sudden strength, she pulled herself up in his arms and kissed him.
He kissed her back.
They broke up their kiss, smiling at each other.
Just then, Anna realized someone approaching them. If she was happy before, she was even happier now, seeing her sister running towards them, unharmed with no blizzard in site.
Kristoff helped Anna stand and she opened her arms wide, welcoming Elsa into her embrace.
"Are you all right?" Elsa said to Anna. She stepped back and took a good look at her sister. She was no longer shivering from the cold. She was definitely warm to the touch, her cheeks rosy with warmth.
"I am now, Elsa." She replied, smiling at her sister.
"Hans said that I froze your heart… I… I don't know how you will ever forgive me."
"Hush now!" Anna said, she embraced her sister again. "I know it was an accident, and I did push you to far. So, you could say it was also my fault, partially of course. So, no hard feelings okay?"
They held their embrace. After a while, Elsa spoke, "Thank you, Anna." She said. She didn't know what made her deserve such a beautiful soul as her sister. She remembered the day that her sister was born, Elsa knew on the first time that she held Anna in her arms, that her sister had her heart in her tiny hands. The moments of joy they spent together as children flashed through her memory. Her eyes started swelling with tears. "I love you Anna, thank you so much"
"I love you too, Elsa."
At that moment, Olaf came running towards them. His smile wide as usual. "You did it! An act of true love will thaw a frozen heart!"
Elsa let go of her sister and smiled down at Olaf. It had been so long since she had a true smile on her face. She looked back at her sister. Anna was still smiling at her, love shown on her face. It gave Elsa a warm feeling in her heart, a feeling that made her feel as if she was capable of doing anything, nothing seemed impossible.
Everything suddenly made sense. "Love..." Elsa said out load. "Of course!"
"Elsa?" Anna asked her sister, wondering what made her so excited.
Elsa smiled fondly at her sister. "Love will thaw" she repeated. With that, she rose her hands once again.
The ice around them started to melt. The fjord steadily released from its icy state. Luckily, they were standing on top of a ship. The air around them became clear, the sky warm with the sunlight. All around the kingdom, snow and ice was lifted to the sky, creating a beautiful enormous snowflake in the sky above. With a wave of Elsa's hand, the snowflake dissolved in a show of wind and lights.
"I knew you could do it." Anna smiled at her with pride.
But Olaf had started to melt in front of their eyes. "Hands down, this is the best day of my life..." Said the melting snowman, "and quite possibly the last." Despite melting, he still had a small on his face, his arms waving goodbye at them.
"Wow. Hang in there Olaf!"
Elsa swirled her hands, and Olaf started forming solid again.
" Oh, thank you, Elsa! I can enjoy summer at last! " Said Olaf overjoyed.
From afar, they saw people coming out of their homes, rejoicing in the warm sun. Dignitaries, staffs and guards clapped from balconies of the unfrozen castle.
All around her, Elsa could see joy. Olaf was running around with a big smile on his face. The Prince, not far from them was looking at the sky above, inhaling the deep scent of summer. Her sister was beside her, smiling, the man who saved her life not far from her side.
In this moment, she knew her fears and doubts would not clench her heart any longer for she knew how it truly felt to be in love.