Note: I'm sorry I was late! But here you go! The final prompt. I did my best to make this one kind of an emotional closure to this oneshot collection. I hope that worked out. AND THANKS TO YOUR MANY REQUESTS...I've started "Frozen Solid" a collection of oneshots that I'm continuing. Send me one word prompts (or with pairings and characters, it doesn't just have to be one word) and I'll upload them. And finally...
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING, FOR REVIEWING, AND STICKING WITH THIS (even after my eff up). I LOVE YOU ALL.
"Stardust," Anna said.
"Sorry?" Elsa responded.
It was late Christmas Eve, actually it was probably early Christmas morning. The high from their Christmas Eve ball hadn't worn off and the two of them had taken to sitting together on Elsa's balcony in the cool winter air, drinking hot cocoa. Kristoff had gotten into a drinking contest with the Russian ambassador. It was currently drooling into the carpet in one of the guest rooms.
"I was looking up at the stars and I just thought—it reminded me of your magic," Anna said. "And I thought, well not quite, so I was fumbling in my head for words to describe it that were like stars and I decided: stardust."
Elsa raised an eyebrow.
"Fascinating…." Elsa said, "Exactly how much wine did you drink tonight?"
"Oh come on!" Anna groaned, "I was trying to be poetic."
"It was never your strong suit," Elsa said.
"Few things are," Anna mused.
She looked off, back up to the stars that sprinkled the sky. Elsa watched her watching the sky.
"You've got plenty of strong suits I could never hope for Anna," Elsa said. Anna shook her head.
"Oh please, you were always the scholar, the poet, the historian, politician," Anna said.
"Well you can accomplish a lot when you apply yourself."
"Studies were always boring."
Anna shrugged and stood up, carrying her hot cocoa with her over to the railing and leaning her elbows against it. Elsa got up and followed suit, standing next to her for a few minutes before nudging her in the shoulder.
"You're a better dancer than me," Elsa said, "You're better at talking to people, you're better at—"
"Tripping over everything, walking into things, knocking things over," Anna said.
Elsa's brow furrowed. Anna had to have been drinking tonight, her mood had gone from elated to the exact opposite far to fast to be normal. She never was one for holding her wine anyway, the few times Elsa allowed her to drink at parties.
"What's bringing this on?" Elsa asked.
"Just something someone said to me at the party," Anna said.
"Clearly it is."
"Leave it Elsa."
"I'm the queen, I demand you tell me."
Elsa meant it as a jest but Anna was not in the mood for that and she turned away in a huff to the other end of the balcony. Elsa rolled her eyes and followed over. Anna turned her head the opposite direction when Elsa came over.
"Tell me who upset you and I'll have their head on the castle gate tomorrow," Elsa smiled. She could tell from the exhale of air that Anna smiled too, though it may have quickly disappeared.
"Do you think…I mean…how to ask this," she mumbled, "When Mama had me, was I born just to…hang around in case…in case….in case something happened to you? Like a….spare?"
"Who called you that?" Elsa's voice was immediately dark.
"I never said anyone called me anything," Anna said.
"Anna," Elsa said, "Who called you 'the spare'?"
"Why? What does it mean?" Anna snapped, quickly turning to face Elsa.
Elsa swallowed. How to explain without upsetting her more? And how to get through the conversation without finding the person who said it to her and impaling them with icicles?
"It means….it's…it's an old saying. A very, very stupid saying," Elsa said.
"Go on," Anna said, mimicking Elsa's tone perfectly.
"The heir and the spare," Elsa sighed, "It's this…idea, that if there are two children in a royal family then…one is born to inherit and the other…is sort of….an…extra, to make sure…should anything happen to the first one….the dynasty continues."
Elsa cringed with every word she got out. And she got quieter too. She didn't dare look Anna in the eyes.
"So I'm your extra button, in case you pop loose," Anna said.
There was no malice in her voice, it was only disappointment. And that hurt worse than anything. Elsa grabbed Anna's shoulders and forced her to turn so they were facing one another.
"Anna, it's a very old idea," Elsa said.
"Then why did they have me? After they had you, why not just stop there," Anna said.
"Because they wanted more children."
"And why didn't they have any after they filled their quota with me?"
Elsa felt stung but it was probably nothing compared to what Anna must be feeling. Elsa knew about the saying, she knew it may very well apply to her and Anna and that many people thought it did, but that didn't mean she agreed. They were always sisters first, princesses second.
"Anna, no one thinks you're a spare," Elsa said.
"Of course they do. You're made of stardust, and I'm just dust floating around, waiting to settle in my place," Anna said.
Elsa tried to hide her face. Anna could be poetic when she truly wanted to be, after all. But Elsa took her sister's hands and pulled her over to the chairs where they'd been sitting. She kept her grip on Anna's wrists, rubbing the top her hand with her thumbs.
"If I'm stardust," Elsa said, "Then you're the sun it came from."
Anna looked at the ground and began gently nudging her toe into the ground.
"So I can recite lines from plays, so I can speak other languages or play music," Elsa said, "That doesn't mean a thing—"
"No, listen. It doesn't mean a thing because anyone can do that. Anyone can learn those things just like I did. But you have something that can't be taught, that can't be read in a book, or memorized: a heart.," Elsa said.
"Elsa everyone has—"
Elsa placed a finger to Anna's lips.
"Anna, you saw something in me I could never, ever see in myself. You believed in me when no one else, not even I, did. You loved me enough to step between me and an executioner's blade. You died so I could live. Everything in me that's worth having, everything I'm proud of myself for came from you," Elsa said. She never broke eye contact with Anna.
Anna had tears in her eyes but sooner blinked them loose than let herself actually cry. A very, very small smile played on her lips.
"I'm the better queen, yes. I was always better at being a princess," Elsa admitted, "But you…you're the person I aspire to be like Anna. A spare could never do what you do."
Then Anna launched herself at Elsa who instinctively caught her and held her close as possible, crushing ribs together and burying faces in necks and feeling hot tears on skin. Cocoa forgotten, stars watching over, they held each other for a long time. It was quiet. And they were warm together.
And all the while they both thought repeated the same mantra over and over again in their heads: I love you, I love you, I love you.