Disclaimer: I do not own anything but my life.
"You are going to become into frost, Bjorgman!"
Kristoff looked up startling. Until that precise time, he had been trying hard to focus his thoughts on the ice: on making the perfect cut, on getting a polished result which made him proud of, and, most of all, on not falling into the icy waters under him. Whatever that distract his thought enough to clear his mind from the constant coming and going of ideas and doubts about what happened.
Nevertheless, there, in the middle of nowhere, his eyes met Elsa's; those of a visibly angry Elsa. The ethereal and pure look that always emanated since she had found her fifth spirit identity had been replaced by a spiny and electric aura which make clear that there was no room to take not even a single wrong step.
"You are going to tell me right now what are you doing here in the middle of the mountains while mi sister cries alone in her bedroom if you don't want to be one more icicle of the landscape."
The boy gulped.
The image of Elsa in those moments was intimidating enough to cloud his thoughts a bit. Carefully, he mentally reviewed his words, trying to make his explanation understandable enough so that she didn't unload her powers on him. Clearly, the first thing to do was to get out of the frozen lake before causing an accident.
Elsa's patience was wearing thin with the long time that this reflexion was taking him.
"Let us go to a safer place and I'll explain why… Wait!" He finally reacted. "You've said cries? Is Anna crying?
A sincere expression of concern and regret was reflected on the boy's face, calming Elsa's anger a bit.
"Ok. You have a chance" she snapped sharp and cold.
Kristoff carefully collected his gear and put them on the sled where his friend Sven was enjoying the caresses that Elsa had for him. In some awkwardness, they both got on and Kristoff led them to a wooded area free of ice. There, on some large boulders, they sat facing each other; she dignified and angry and he downcast and thoughtful.
The warm air of that summer morning blew through the trees and gave Sven a good relaxing time with his partner.
"I'm listening," Elsa said hurrying him.
"I love Anna," he began to say petting his friend's head. "I've never had any doubt. From the beginning, I realized that she was crazy," A wistful smile spread across his face until he realized how the girl was frowning. "In the best way! She's brave and funny, honest, very spontaneous, optimistic, strong, tender, and sometimes a bit childish. She's capable of giving everything to others; she always defends her ideas to the death and fights with everything she has; nothing stops her.
A slight smile escaped this time from the corner of Elsa's lips, giving him a breath to continue speaking more calmly.
"In addition, she is showing day by day that there is no better queen than her: she is close and kind to the people of the kingdom, she looks out for the good of her people more than anyone else and she tries very hard to make sure everything goes well."
Elsa cleared her throat, making him uncomfortable again and he felt foolish for trusting himself and talking too much.
"Don't get me wrong, It doesn't mean that you didn't, it's just that... fine, she..."
Kristoff rubbed the back of his head with some desperation not knowing how to get out of that mess and Elsa laughed.
"It's ok. Continue, please. What happened?"
He was relieved and thanked her with a nod and a grimace for the truce. Then his eyes fell on a small pebble that was at his feet, and he continued while tried to play with it even with the difficulty that it represented because of his huge boots.
"It's been a while since I've realized that I'm not good for her."
She arched an eyebrow in surprise.
"You are not going to tell me that at this point you are having a complex because you are an ice harvester and she is a queen, right?"
This time was the boy who frowned.
"Well, it wasn't that, but thank you for putting such a clear emphasis on that idea. Now I feel much better," he replied with a sarcastic tone.
"It's not like that. I think your work is honest and difficult, and it has helped you to be the person you are. I just don't want you to be ashamed of it. To be king it's also important to know what needs people have and, for that, you are better prepared than we are."
The boy looked at her really surprised and a little flushed.
"I feel good with who I am as long as I can make her happy. I'm proud of how I carry out my work, and of self-making me as I have, although I owe much of it to Sven and the trolls; I am also not especially scared of being king if she is next to me. I don't mind changing my life; I already thought about it a lot before proposing to her and I always came to the same conclusion: it's worth it. The trouble is another one," he said looking down again.
Elsa cocked her head trying her best to understand the words of that boy who danced attendance on a woman he had left alone.
"I wonder if I can really make her happy. I think she likes me, but I don't know if she really loves me. Before, I was quite clear about it. She always had that wonderful smile for me, she spoke to me frankly, sometimes too much, we spent a lot of time together and it was really fun, we supported each other, we talked non-stop for hours... I felt that we understood each other, that we were a team. It was also quite clear that I couldn't rival you on her priority list, she adores you and also she lives marked by the fear of losing you again."
Elsa ducked her eyes with some guilt.
"You are her only family, she feels very close to you and I know that I will never reach that high; but I don't aspire to do it either."
"No, It's ok. I'd settle for second place," he smiled between sad and understanding. "But, when we came back from the enchanted forest…" he added, "I began to wonder if I really meant anything to her. I know she's a bit thoughtless and impulsive, but she has risked her life over and over again without a moment of doubt in her mind. Without spending a moment thinking about what would happen to me if she disappeared. My feelings didn't count. I understand that she wanted to protect you, that she was afraid of losing you, and let me tell you that she was not so much wrong… "
"Yeah…" Elsa said with a guilty smile, knowing that that time she let herself be carried away.
"But, I would have liked that our possible life together existed in his thoughts at some point before deciding, for example, that the best way to drop a dam was to let a bunch of giants crush her…"
There was a silence that they both took to do a little introspective reflection.
"I can live with that. Everyone has their traumas and I always knew that this was hers. I'd have always been there to help her fight it if I felt that I was the right one."
"And what makes you think you are not?"
"Since the coronation day, she's made me void."
"What?" Elsa was puzzled to the point of believing that Kristoff was lying. That was not her sister's style.
"Maybe not the void… I don't know… I know that being a queen has her very busy and she's tired, but… when we have some time to be alone, she hardly speaks to me and immediately looks for an excuse to go elsewhere. Olaf told me even after she became queen, she went on taking long walks with him talking about their things. He spoke really happy, feeling important to her."
"Furthermore, since the wedding theme was postponed to prepare the coronation, she's not returned to broach the subject. It's been half a year since she was crowned… I don't think she really wants to marry me."
Elsa rubbed her chin thoughtfully and with a serious face. Suddenly, she was encouraged to speak.
"Kristoff… Have you thought that maybe there is something about marriage that might be worrying her?"
"Of course there is something, the groom."
"No. Not that," Elsa searched carefully for her words, trying not to hear herself saying things she didn't want to hear. "You know, with the marriage comes..."
"What? I don't follow you, Elsa."
"C'mon, Kristoff, don't make me say it. We're talking about my sister!
"M… Monotony?" he said trying to guess her thoughts.
"The wedding night, Kristoff! What happens on the wedding night!"
Elsa's cheeks flushed and she felt so hot on them that she had to cover them with her icy hands.
"Ha? Ooh! Pfff… Hahahahaha!" Kristoff couldn't help laughing at how ridiculous that conversation seemed to him and at Elsa's expression that made him realize that she was a lot more innocent than he thought. He wiped away a tear that escaped from the corner of his eye and tried to stop laughing. "I… I don't think that worries her anymore."
"Excuse me?" Elsa jumped up from her makeshift seat and glared at the boy who felt his clothes and hair start to frost.
"C'mon, Elsa, you wouldn't expect that…" Her look made it clear that she was expecting it. "We've been dating for four years!" he said spreading and waving his arms trying to express how logical that seemed to him.
Elsa closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and sat down again.
"That's not my problem, I suppose…" she dropped it coldly as he brushed off the frost. "Have you tried talking to her?"
Kristoff noticed how she changed the subject to stop thinking about what she had just discovered and it seemed like an excellent idea.
"Of course. At first, I thought I might have offended her in some way, that she would be mad at me. I was trying day after day to talk to her to clarify it, to tell me what I had done wrong. But she never gave me room enough to ask. I tried until the last day, but she always runs away with a forced smile. In the end, I assumed she wasn't going to give me a chance, so I wrote her a note that I gave to Kai to give to her and went back to where I belong."
He combed his bangs back with his fingers keeping his head lowered in a mixture of despair and hopelessness.
"At least here I won't see how she rebuilds her life with someone else…"
Elsa smiled tenderly.
"It never ceases to amaze me how far you can go for her."
"As far as she would be willing to go for you," he said with a grimace of resignation.
The girl got up and sat a little tight next to the boy. She put her arm over his shoulder and rested her head on the shoulder beside her.
"You know what?" He didn't even raise his head. "I hadn't received a reply from Anna to my letters for two weeks. At first, I assumed she was busy; I know what it's like to be a queen. But she always answered me religiously to each one of them in a maximum of two days, so by that point I was already very worried and I decided to come to see if something had happened. When I arrived, as soon as I crossed the gate, Olaf received me with open arms, and that gave me the reassurance that nothing serious was happening, but his expression wasn't the same as always. I asked him about Anna and he told me with tremendous concern that it was two weeks since you left the palace with Sven right after asking him to take care of Anna. He told me that he ran to see Anna to understand what was happening and that he found her in the hallway, in front of her room, reading a piece of paper. Then, before he could address her, she darted into her room and locked herself inside. He called her again and again, but she didn't let him in, nor did she open the door, nor did she let anyone in again."
"Anna…" he sighed regretfully. "Will she be angry for leaving without saying goodbye?"
"Let me continue and you will understand it better."
He nodded and she continued with her story.
"When he told me that, I was the one who ran to her room. On my way, I saw Kai, who informed me that the queen was having a difficult time and that she didn't agree to show her face, but that she was still fulfilling her basic duties from her bedroom. I thanked him for the information and rushed to meet her. I knocked on her door and…"
"What she said? How was she?" asked the boy raising his head with some impatience.
"She didn't open the door," she added slowly shaking her head.
The girl smiled again at the boy's surprise.
"Aha… I insisted a lot, a lot; I yelled at her angrily; I even threatened her! And she didn't say a word. Scared if something had happened to her and she was feeling ill, I was about to freeze the door hinges to break them and break in there, but then I heard her sob. There was no anger or pain in her crying, I could only feel a very deep sorrow…"
He felt a twinge in his chest and began to tense every muscle.
"In that instant, I knew that you were the cause and I ran with all my strength and my anger to make you pay for making my precious little sister suffer. And here we are." She made a brief silence. "Now I understand you better, but I think you are wrong."
"What do you mean?" he asked hopefully. "Anna hates being alone. Not even the death of our parents made her isolate herself; she needs human contact. She's warm and the warmth of the other feeds her. For her to isolate herself, the pain she must feel has to be greater and heavier than she's ever experienced. More than losing our parents; more than losing me."
They both stared into each other's eyes, discovering a connection between them. Words were not necessary; they both knew exactly what was going to happen.
"Go ahead," she said nodding.
"Are you not coming?" he answered, surprised.
Elsa shook her head as they both got to their feet.
"Not this time. You two need to be alone. You will let me know how it goes."
She winked at him and started walking in the opposite direction from the castle. Then a tremendous bear hug from her back surprised her.
Before she could say a word, Kristoff was already running with all his might down the mountain while Sven was trying to catch up with him carrying the sled with his back.
"Anna, you're a lucky girl," Elsa whispered as she watched the two of them disappear down the trail.
Sven made it to Kristoff, and he climbed on a jump onto the front of the sled.
"C'mon, boy! Let's get to Anna!"