Disclaimer: I wrote this at 4 am and I'm not always sane at that time :)
"If you'll please follow me, Mr. Frost." The tall blonde smiled kindly, gesturing to the door. Jack had to remind himself that this was an 18-year-old girl and not someone twice his age. In fact, the boy was certain he was actually older.
He raised a brow, humor making its way onto his face. "Oh, please, Mr. Frost is my father," the boy replied in a lighthearted manner. "You can just call me Jack."
The blonde frowned at this, seeming far from amused. "I'll stick with Mr. Frost." She headed out the door, checking behind her to make sure Jack was following.
"So should I call you Ms. Winters then?" He teased. "Because you introduced yourself as Elsa, so I thought we were on a first-name basis."
Elsa merely shrugged. "Either name is acceptable." She continued walking, pointing down a long hallway. "Down there you'll find the majority of history classes." She pointed the opposite way where another hallway was. "Science classes are that way."
Jack was hardly listening to the tour. Sure, it could be helpful, he supposed. The boy wasn't stupid though. Finding his classes would be the easiest part of transferring to a new high school in the middle of his senior year. In fact, the white-haired boy thought this was pointless; there were signs directing him to different room numbers.
Therefore, the boy found no harm in focusing more on the beautiful blonde than the school; she was much more interesting. "Do you call everyone by their last names?" He tilted his head slightly. "Because I really don't think that's necessary. We're the same age."
The blonde had the audacity to shrug again, leading him towards some stairs as if he really couldn't locate them on his own. There were several signs indicating their location; did every student have to take this tour or did Jack just come off as incompetent? He worried it was the latter.
Elsa continued talking, saying something about math classes and mentioning that they had a Calculus class together. At least he was going to see her again, even if she seemed uninterested in being friends. People don't call friends by their last names, after all.
"So you really won't call me Jack." The girl's glare made him realize he had cut her off. "Sorry, I just don't understand. I prefer Jack and you seem nice; why won't you use my first name. Mr. Frost is so formal." Jack's nose scrunched in disgust.
The girl had the courtesy to look guilty, stopping awkwardly in the hallway while avoiding eye contact. "What about just Frost," she asked hopefully, finally meeting his eyes. There was something in them that Jack couldn't place, something pleading. And, well, her eyes were gorgeous. How could he not agree?
He sighed slightly. "I'll take what I can get, I suppose." He gave the girl a weak smile and the two continued the tour. Jack decided then and there he would get her to say his first name if it was the last thing he ever did.
Jack turned away from his friend, Flynn Rider, to look over at the blonde calling his name. Well, his last name at least.
Flynn chuckled slightly. "It's kind of cute, you know? You're the only one she does it with so it's almost a pet name."
Almost. Jack didn't understand what the problem was. He and Elsa were friends. She was the only reason he was even passing Calculus and Jack knew she relied on him for help with Biology, even if he wasn't in that class. Why wouldn't she just say his first name?
"Hey, Els." Jack smiled at his friend, realizing he had an actual nickname for her. He resisted the urge to groan because he knew how distressed Elsa got when he mentioned it. However, the annoyance must have been on his face.
Elsa frowned at him. "What's wrong?" She looked genuinely concerned, but he knew that would fade soon.
"Why do you keep calling me Frost even though we're friends?!" The question came out harsher than he meant it to, enough so that Flynn slowly backed away. Coward. It just hurt that after all the time they had spent together she still wouldn't say his name. Elsa said the first names of the other students she gave tours to. It was just him that Elsa had pushed away from the start.
Maybe he wouldn't have been so angry if it wasn't for one tiny detail: this wasn't a game anymore. At first, Jack had just been messing around, trying to trick the blonde into saying his name. It never worked and, even worse, in the three months he had been there they had gotten too close for it not to start hurting. If she would just say it once then Jack would be okay.
He looked back up at his friend, noticing the tears shining in her eyes. She was trying to hide them, of course, averting her eyes while fiddling with the charm bracelet Jack had given her. And, well, Jack was weak. Love did that to a person though, didn't it? It hurt she still called him Frost after they became friends, but it hurt even more now because he knew he didn't view her platonically.
Jack caved in, brushing an escaped tear off of Elsa's face. "I'm sorry, Els, I didn't mean to sound upset." He forced a smile on his face, in hopes Elsa would match it. He hated when she frowned. "You don't have to talk about it." Even if Jack desperately wanted to know what made him different, he couldn't push her. The boy never could, not when it seemed that Elsa was just as upset as him.
She obviously possessed the physical ability to say his name but, for some reason, the girl seemed to be unable to make herself. The first time she had broken down in tears and kept repeating that she was sorry but she couldn't call him anything else. After that Jack found it too difficult to ask again, not when that was her reaction.
Anna seemed to know what was going on. Jack supposed that made sense though since she was Elsa's sister and the only one who seemed to be able to see completely through the girl.
"She's stubborn, isn't she?" Anna smiled fondly at her sister who was filling up her water bottle on the other side of the cafeteria.
And boy was Anna right. Jack nodded, resisting the urge to rant to the strawberry blonde about how frustrated he was. It was just a name. What reason could Elsa have for not saying it?
"Our parents are pretty successful," Anna continued, turning away from Elsa to look at Jack. The boy didn't understand why she was telling him this; everyone knew of Winter's Enterprises. "And they have raised Elsa to be the perfect businesswoman."
The girl laughed slightly, shaking her head. "I'm glad Elsa was the firstborn and not me. My parent's business bores me to death and, well, that's a lot of pressure that Elsa has had on her since birth."
Jack still had no idea why Anna was telling him this. They were friends, developing a relationship similar to siblings. Normally when Elsa left to fill up her water bottle during lunch, Anna would just tease the boy about his crush on the blonde. However, Elsa had called him "Frost" before heading over and Anna had seen the way his face fell. This conversation hardly seemed relevant though.
"Elsa has been going to events since she was five years old. Mother and father taught her how to address important clients and business partners in order to keep the relationship successful. For example, she calls their closest business partner Mr. Storm." Anna shakes her head slightly. "It's meant to be professional and avoid getting too personal due to the last name."
Was this meant to make him feel better? Elsa addressed him the way she would business acquaintances. That didn't make them seem like friends let alone more like Jack wanted.
Anna seemed to sense he wasn't happy with what she was saying. "Not to say she thinks of you as a business partner or something. She took off the mister because that's what acknowledges the age difference between herself and the adults involved in the business."
Jack groaned. "But she still has to avoid using my first name because that's- what were the words you used again- 'Too personal'." The boy let out a bitter laugh. "That's just perfect." A relationship would be much too personal then, even a friendship was.
"You're missing the point. That's how Elsa keeps people at arm's length; she's just-"
Anna stopped talking as Elsa approached them, eying the pair suspiciously. It didn't seem she had heard her sister though, and Jack supposed he was relieved.
Jack's heart ached though, clenching in the most painful way. Anna was implying that Elsa was keeping him at a distance and boy did that sting. The strawberry was rarely wrong when it concerned Elsa which meant her theory was likely spot-on. From the moment Elsa met him, she had put him in the same category as those she did business with.
The white-haired boy pushed his food away, his stomach in knots. He felt the overwhelming urge to just curl up and cry. Instead, he smiled at the two sisters even though he knew they both saw straight through it.
Jack hadn't gotten the nerve to talk to Anna more about that day, not when he doubted he could handle hearing anymore. Elsa did seem to care about him and that was going to have to be enough.
"Get off me!" Jack's attention shifted from Elsa and onto her sister. They were in the parking lot outside of school and Anna was standing about twenty feet away. The boy's vision went red; Anna's ex-boyfriend Hans had his hands on the girl.
Jack and Elsa lived nearby so he often gave her rides. He'd give Anna rides too if the girl wanted but she insisted on driving herself, mostly because she had a very active social life and rarely came home after school. Normally she left school much faster than Jack and Elsa did.
It looked like Hans had stopped her at her car as the girl was pressed up against it. Anna's face was a mixture of anger and fear. Despite how many times the junior pushed him away, he always seemed to come crawling back. Right now he was slipping his hand under her skirt.
Jack was over there within seconds, not remembering how he got there and also not caring. He was out for blood as he threw his fist at Hans' face. He punched him over and over again, not caring that Hans had curled up in a ball on the floor.
He didn't stop until two gentle hands tugged on him. "Thank you, Jack, but I've got it from here." Anna looked down at her ex-boyfriend, nothing but hatred on her face. She pulled her hand back and punched him hard, his nose cracking in a way Jack hoped was painful. "I hope this teaches you to actually stay away from now on."
Jack immediately began fussing over Anna, not noticing that Hans had picked himself off the floor. He pulled something out of his jacket, jabbing it into Jack's stomach. The boy looked down in horror to see a knife in him, red liquid pouring out. "That can't be good," Jack tried to joke, but the fear in his voice ruined it. He went to grab it out when Elsa started screaming.
"Don't take that out! You'll bleed out faster!" Elsa had out her phone, dialing 911 no doubt.
Meanwhile, Hans seemed to have collapsed after stabbing him. That was good at least. He wouldn't be able to run away. Sexual assault and stabbing someone? Jack would have punched him again if he had the strength. It'd have to wait since Jack was leaning against Anna's car, feeling seconds away from collapsing.
Anna was switching back and forth between looking at Hans with disgust and looking at Jack with concern. The latter seemed to win when Jack fell onto the floor, his legs giving way. On the bright side, the throbbing pain went away as Jack's world went black.
"You can go in now, dear."
"Thank you." Jack wanted to smile at the sound of Elsa's voice but his body felt too tired to do so. Was this what dying felt like? All Jack knew was that he was in far too much pain; maybe that's to be expected when you're stabbed though.
There was a bright light and Jack humored himself by pretending he could run into it. Elsa would kill me if she knew I was making jokes about dying. Jack knew he was being dramatic and that he was just in a very bright room. He didn't want to open his eyes, not when it already seemed too light.
"Jack," a voice sobbed as a hand clutched his own.
Forget death; Jack couldn't die. The boy's eyes shot open, a smile lighting up his feature using energy he didn't realize he had. "You said my name." The boy felt like shouting from the rooftops how happy he was. "You said my name!" And it sounded so perfect rolling off her lips, momentarily distracting him from the fact he was in the hospital.
Elsa was just staring at him, shock evident on her face. "The nurse didn't think you'd be fully conscious for at least a couple more hours." Her eyes were wide as she kept staring.
"As if I wouldn't wake up to that!" Despite his immense pain, the boy felt overjoyed. "Now I can die happy!" He sighed happily, letting his eyes close. Well, until a hand hit his arm. "Ow!"
Elsa glared at him. "You're not going to die!" Jack resisted the urge to smile at the fact she had reacted exactly as he expected. She did care about him, didn't she?
"You said my name," Jack repeated, finding it hard to focus on anything else.
She flushed slightly, averting her eyes. "I didn't mean to; I've never done it before. I was just so afraid, Jack." There it was again; Jack smiled while Elsa frowned. "I-" She shook her head, looking somewhat scared. "I can't get used to using your name."
"Why not?" The boy questioned softly.
"Because there isn't anything else holding me back." Elsa wasn't looking at him, seeming interested in a nearby wall. Jack waited, hoping she would elaborate. "It's just that, well, um-" She shook her head again. "I can't do this, can't get rid of the distance."
Jack's gaze softened as he realized how close to tears she was. "Els?" She kept staring at the wall. "Els, look at me." Hesitant eyes met his. "Just tell me what's wrong. You've been using my last name since we met; why did you need to keep distance?"
The girl's face blushed red and Jack knew she was struggling to keep looking at him. "I didn't mean to the first time. It's a reflex. When people are intimidating I automatically treat them as business partners."
The boy scoffed slightly. "I'm intimidating?"
Somehow, her face got even redder. "No, you're, you know?" The girl awkwardly gestured to him, seeming to hope that would somehow suffice as an answer. "You're hot!" She blurted out suddenly, immediately seeming to regret it. She didn't even let Jack respond, throwing out more words. "And all of a sudden I was calling you Mr. Frost and you were giving me such weird looks like I was being crazy and I was being crazy because who calls someone their age Mr. Frost? I just stuck with it and you were being all adorable and making jokes and, I don't know, what was I supposed to do!?"
Jack tried to hold back his laughter, he really did, and not just because it hurt like hell to laugh. He knew it was the wrong reaction, especially since Elsa shrunk back at the sound of his laughter. How could he hold himself back though? They had gotten into this whole mess because she found him attractive? That thought alone made the boy giddy enough to laugh. "I'm sorry," he tried to apologize, though the wide smile on his face probably ruined the effect. "It's just that I've come up with so many horrible reasons as to why you called me that the first day and your real reason is so adorable! I mean, I'm flattered, of course, but I never would have guessed that as the reason."
Elsa fiddled awkwardly with her charm bracelet, looking down at her lap. It didn't seem like she planned on saying anything else without prompting.
"Why didn't you start using my first name afterward?" It sounded like Elsa had merely made a mistake the first time.
"Being with you is like being in a business meeting," was the soft reply.
Jack had always considered himself to be, well, fun. He laughed easily, even if the joke was about him. He constantly came up with different games to play even if they were childish because he loved being childish sometimes. Yet, for some reason, Elsa had just compared him to a business meeting and Jack was fairly certain those weren't fun. "What does that mean?" Jack pouted.
"Business meetings make me-" Elsa paused a moment, sighing softly. "They make me nervous. I'm always the youngest one and I'm really just there to observe but they always talk to me anyways and ask for my input. I know they're trying to be polite and get me more accustomed but it's scary every time, especially with my parents there."
"I don't understa-"
"You make me nervous too," Elsa interrupted. She glanced up at him a moment before looking back down. "And the only way I get myself through business meetings is by forcing myself to talk calmly to everyone and refer to them formally. It's like I slipped into my business zone when I was around you and I just couldn't stop it, especially once I got to know you more."
Elsa locked eyes with Jack, surprising the boy. She seemed determined to keep his gaze, despite the way her face turned a darker shade of red. "This doesn't feel like the right time to say this." She gestured to his current state. "And honestly, I don't want to do this, but I know it hurts you that I call you Frost. I wanted to stop and maybe I would of if you weren't so perfect. You're always so kind to me, offering to take me to school or helping me with Biology even when you have other homework. And you don't even seem to realize that what you're doing is amazing. That day I couldn't stop stressing over our big Calculus exam you came over and watched movies with me while running your finger through my hair until I fell asleep. I never used to be able to fall asleep on days before big tests, yet you didn't seem to think you had done anything special."
"And you're funny too. You make me laugh constantly; you make everyone laugh. I know it comes naturally to you but I also know you slip humor into serious situations not because you're immature but because you want to ease the tension. When other people are feeling down or stressed or whatever you make it your personal goal to make them smile." Elsa bit her lip, breaking eye contact for the first time. Her hesitance was obvious as she opened her mouth. "I call you Frost because it's my natural reaction when I don't know what to do. And I really don't know what to do, because I love you."
Jack's heart stopped. It already had enough trouble staying in his chest when Elsa was going on and on about how great he was but now it seemed fully broken in the best way possible. He could have a heart attack right now and he wouldn't even care; it would be worth it to hear what Elsa had just said. "You love me?"
Jack admired how strong Elsa was. The way she forced her eyes on his once more even though he could so clearly see how hard it was for her to sit here and say this all to him. "I love you, Jack." And then she smiled softly, if not a bit sadly.
Jack wanted to say something sweet, something as beautiful and eloquent as her speech. Instead, he blurted out, "I should get stabbed more often!" The enthusiasm in his voice made the boy want to stab himself again and not just because it led to a very positive result the first time. "I mean, no, I don't want that. I just, well, this worked out well?"
Now was really not the time to lose his speaking abilities. It was clear Elsa wasn't sure whether or not she was being rejected and he just needed to say something, anything, that showed her he wasn't. "I thought you were beautiful from the moment I saw you!" Jack's face flushed, but he supposed it was a start. "And then you turned out to be more beautiful on the inside and I thought I was going to die." The boy laughed slightly, realizing he was in a hospital, resisting the urge to make a joke about that. Love confession first then he could make jokes.
"And I highly doubt I can make a speech as good as yours but you're perfect at just about everything so it really isn't my fault. I don't know, I love you. No, Elsa Winters, I am in love with you."
The girl's eyes widened, cautious optimism in them. "Are you sure?" She searched his face as if looking for signs he wasn't being honest.
"I am 100% sure; never been more sure of anything in my life." He raised a brow, almost humorously. "I love you, Winters."
And how couldn't he love her when the girl was willing to humor him, after a slight sigh of course. "I love you too, Jack." The boy knew he would never get tired of hearing his name leave Elsa's mouth.