Anna would not usually describe herself as a very paranoid person. Just the opposite, actually. She would have liked to think of herself as fearless. She wasn't the kind of girl who would scream at the sight of a snake or cower in corner over a spider (unless on the special occasion in which said spider was larger than the size of her fist, then she'd have to call over the assistance of the nearest person to dispose of it).
Despite what Elsa might say, Anna would not call herself a "scaredy-cat." Even though at this current moment, she was admittedly lying awake, at 2 o'clock am, with her eyes wide open, clutching her sheets, and staring at the ceiling. And her heart may or may not have been racing. And she may or may not have gotten absolutely zero sleep.
But she wasn't afraid. No! Of course not. Being afraid the of dark would be ridiculous.
She was just a little nervous, that was all.
Either way, it didn't help that at this exact moment there happened to be the biggest thunderstorm of the year going on outside. Every time lightning crackled, the bright light cast shadows all over the walls. And did she mention that they were creepy shadows? If such a thing existed.
She bit her lip. Okay, maybe she was a little afraid. But only a little!
And hypothetically speaking, even if she was afraid—which shewasn't—she wouldn't be to blame anyways. It was all Kristoff's fault, really. It had been his idea to sneak into the library so they could…er…"study." At least that's what they told Elsa. But anyways, they had just been curled up on a chair, talking about completely normal, non-scary things, when Kristoff had come across an old book of horror stories. And of course, he just had to go and pick out the creepiest, spine-chilling-est, eeriest one in the whole book to read. She hadn't been scared.
It had just started out as a completely normal story, it spent the whole first part talking about this small village, and how every year the townspeople went down to the cemetery to honor the deceased. That part was fine.
But then Kristoff got to the next part where it graphically described how at night all those dead bodies rose up from the grave and started eating the townspeople.
That was a little creepy.
And by a little-she meant a lot.
Not that she let him know that. "Wow," She had said simply as Kristoff closed the book. He had an impish grin on his face, and a look of excitement in his eyes. "That's really…awesome." She forced a grin onto her face that she prayed came out as believable.
"I know right?" Kristoff had grinned, placing the book back in its place. "There's nothing like a good thriller every once in a while."
"Of course!" Anna had exclaimed, a little too loudly.
Kristoff didn't seem to notice. He had instead said something about going to feed Sven, kissed her on the forehead, and left.
Things would have been completely fine…except for the fact Anna could stop reliving those scenes in her head. The ones with all the blood, brains, and other unmentionable gore. She kept telling herself that it was just a story. Dead people stayed dead. Not only was that was common knowledge, it was fact. They couldn't get up and walk around, let alone eat people!
But no matter how many times Anna repeated this in her head, she still couldn't get rid of that shaky feeling in her chest, that jumping her heart made every time some thunder boomed. She wrapped her fingers even more tightly around her blanket and squeezed her eyes shut. Only a couple more hours to go. She could do this. She was confident, she was fearless, she was the princess of Arendelle for crying out loud. She wasn't a child anymore. She could survive one night in the dark, alone. It wasn't like she'd never done it before.
But there was still just one more thing: at the end of the story, there had been one final passage, printed all alone on a faded, wrinkled page. It warned that whoever reading the story must always be cautious, because on the full moon of every month, the undead would come back, looking for more mortals' flesh to prey on.
And guess what it just so happened to be tonight?
This little tidbit did not help her situation. But she wasn't afraid.
Maybe just minority terrified.
Just stay calm, Anna instructed herself. Just take deep breaths. Nothing is going to hurt you, there is no such thing as the undead, and that was just a story, something someone made up. For fun. Really stupid fun, but fun.
She breathed out, trying to think of more calming things. Like Olaf. There was nothing creepy about Olaf. Well, except for the fact that he could separate his limbs at will, but other than that, nothing at all. Nothing scarring, anyways.
A few moments passed, and Anna finally found herself starting to calm down. Her heart wasn't pounding anymore, and she had relaxed her hands. Yes, this was good, this was progress. She was going to be fine.
Except for two little details.
The first was that there was a loud crash outside her door, something that immediately caused her to sit up, her mind instantly switching into overdrive. The second was that a moment later that exact same door started opening, very slowly, very calculated. She could hear the soft footsteps, almost (but not completely) muffled by the creaking of the door hinges.
It was 2 am. No one would be visiting her at this hour. That meant…it had to be…
Anna's eyes widened. Her heart sped up to 1,000 times its normal speed. She looked frantically around her. The story had made no mention of how to defend oneself from the undead, not to mention she was completely defenseless in her bed! The only potential weapon she had was a candlestick that sat on her bedside table. It would have to do.
She quietly crept over to the backside of the door, clutching the candlestick in her hands. Her chest was heaving up and down, but she tried to stay as focused as possible. Right, she could do this. She was fearless, she was confident, she was the princess of Arendelle. "Scared" wasn't even in her vocabulary.
The door was almost fully open now, and a silhouette was sneaking past her. Anna winced. It was now or never. She raised the candle above her head, shut her eyes, and brought it down as hard as she could.
"Jesus Christ!" The figure exclaimed, followed by a slur of curse words.
Anna froze. Wait. Oh no. It couldn't be…
"Kristoff?" she exclaimed, now completely horrified with herself. "Is that you?"
"God, who else did you think it was?" Kristoff huffed. He was now crouched on her bedroom floor, rubbing his head and looking up at her, clearly annoyed.
Anna bit her lip. "The undead?" She said weakly, now realizing how completely insane she must sound.
Kristoff stumbled over to her bed and collapsed, still muttering under his breath.
Anna rushed over to him, leaving the candlestick behind. "I am so, so, so sorry!" She said, sitting him up so she could examine his face. "I was just…I don't know what I was doing, actually. I was being stupid."
Kristoff sighed. "It's not so bad, I guess-it just stings a lot. I never would have guessed you could pack such a punch. I really shouldn't have expected anything else, really, for sneaking in here."
Anna smiled warily. "Yeah, what were you doing up so late anyways?"
Kristoff smiled, embarrassed. "I couldn't sleep. The storm was too loud. I just wanted to check that you were okay. You seemed really freaked out at dinner. That book thing didn't scare you too much did it?"
Anna straightened up defensively. "Of-of course not! Why would I be scared? I…it's just a story!"
Kristoff raised an eyebrow at her.
Anna turned away, thankful that it was too dark for him to see her bright red cheeks. "Well, okay…maybe it did…but only a little bit."
"Ah, your little stunt back there makes it seem like more than a little." Kristoff smirked, rubbing the back of his head again.
Anna blushed and grinned. "Yeah…have I mentioned how sorry I am again?"
Kristoff smiled back. "Don't be, it's my fault. I should have known you wouldn't be into that kind of horror stuff."
Anna wrung her hands together. "I-I just don't like the idea of dead people walking around, that's all." She said feebly. "It's kind of gross."
Kristoff gave her a guilt-ridden look. "Come here." He didn't give her much time to even consider anything before pulling her up against him in a soothing hug. Not that Anna minded.
"Have I mentioned how amazing you are?" Anna mumbled, resting her chin on his shoulder.
"Not today." Kristoff chuckled, earning himself a playful nudge.
Anna kissed his cheek before laying back on her bed, a silly smile spread across her lips.
"Well, it's really late, or early, whatever." Kristoff said, starting to stand up. "I should be getting back."
"Or you could stay, maybe?" Anna said, twisting her fingers together and smiling up at him coyly.
Kristoff gave her a look. "Your sister would kill me."
"What she doesn't know won't hurt her." Anna said, waving the comment away. "Besides it's..ah…chilly in here."
"Really?" Kristoff asked, giving her an incredulous side-grin
"Yeah, I'm practically freezing, all alone in here." Anna nodded, smirking right back. She knew she already had him.
Sure enough, Kristoff rolled his eyes and complied, crawling up beside her.
Anna snuggled up close to him, resting her head on his chest. She could feel his strong arms wrapping around her again, holding her near. The storm had died down by now, and the gentle sound of rainfall was gently soothing her to sleep. She could hear the sound of Kristoff's heart beating, and she found it was extremely comforting.
"Have I ever told you how much I love you?" Kristoff mumbled, his voice suddenly sleepy. He was so quiet, Anna had almost missed it. But when she heard his words, she grinned.
"Even though I bludgeoned you with a candlestick?" She asked, giggling softly.
"Even though you bludgeoned me with a candlestick." Kristoff repeated. He leaned down and kissed her on the top of her head.
Anna smiled, trying to stop herself from squealing out loud. "I love you too," she murmured, shutting her eyes as she drifted off into a blissful sleep.