Author's Note: Went to Frozen Sing a-long today and it brought a huge smile to my face. Here's the next chapter! I'm glad people enjoy this bromance as much as me. Please enjoy!
"And one, two, three," Olaf counts as he watches from his spot in the middle of the ballroom and Kristoff sighs. After stepping on the metal bar that held the wheels of his dance partner for what seemed like the millionth time, he stops. He runs a hand through his hair and pushes the mannequin he had been dancing with away. It rolls for a bit and the talking snowman frowns slightly, confused. "Kristoff? What's wrong?"
"I can't do it." It pains him to admit it, but he knows he's not cut out of this. Who is he kidding? He can't be the royal consort! He can barely be himself around Anna as it was and now he had to learn how to dance and bow and not be incredibly awkward. It's hard and though he loves Anna and he would do anything for her, he has doubts. What if he's not meant to be with her? What if he just brought her down in the end? So much is expected of him and he doesn't want to let her down, but he can't keep deluding himself into thinking that he can do this.
He's an ice harvester, not someone of noble birth.
"It just takes practice," Olaf assures him, clearly chipper. "Would it help if I got you another dance partner?" At that, his eyes widen and he claps his hands together. "Oh! I know! I'll get Anna!"
"Wait, Olaf—" He reaches out, but it's too late. The snowman is out of the ballroom before the young man can catch him. "Great." The last thing he needs is Anna to see him failing miserably. She would never say anything, but her eyes would widen ever so slightly and her face would wrinkle up just a tiny bit, like it always does when she tries to suppress a laugh. It's a cute expression—of course anything Anna did was absolutely adorable—but it would just serve as a reminder of how over his head he is in all of this business.
"Kristoff?" The soft voice takes him off-guard and he nearly jumps across the room before his eyes come to rest on Rapunzel's kind face. Her wide, green eyes take in his dejected expression and the mannequin and he sees realization dawn in her eyes. "Ah, dancing lessons?" He bows his head, ashamed.
"Rapunzel. Call me Rapunzel." She interjects kindly. She's dressed casually today—a pale pink gown with imprints of Corona's sun embroidered on the bodice—and he can't help but notice how she seems to brighten every room she steps into. Rapunzel has this thirst for life; this joy of visiting new places and meeting new that is almost infectious. She grins at him as she grabs the mannequin and chuckles quietly. "Dancing lessons not going so well?"
"Ah, n-no." He stutters, embarrassed.
"Well then," She faces him, determined. "Shall I help?"
"H-help?" He echoes, slightly confused. "I couldn't possibly—" At his worried face, she laughs heartily, which somehow eases his worries about this.
"You know, boys have it easy," She remarks casually as she comes to stand before him. "When I had to learn how to dance, Eugene basically just got to stand there, but turns and all that?" She places a hand over her heart. "That was all up to me."
"I had it easy?" From the shadows, Eugene emerges, a bemused smile tugging at his lips. "Shall we tell him about how hard it was for me to learn how to waltz? All you had to do was let me lead!" She grins and offers her hand to her husband who takes it immediately within his own. She glances over at Kristoff and then back at Eugene, the two seemingly having a silent conversation. After a few moments, Eugene nods and Rapunzel beams.
"Kristoff," She begins excitedly. "We're going to teach you how to dance!"
"You really don't have to—" He rushes, worried and embarrassed. He didn't want them to see how bad he is at this.
"It's the least we can do," Rapunzel informs him with a polite smile, but her eyes flash with sheer determination. It's evident that she's going to do this whether he wants her help or not. "Eugene?"
"Ready." Husband and wife come to stand together and Kristoff moves to the side to get a better look. "First things first," The former thief begins. "Take her hand within your own and then place on hand on her waist." He watches as Eugene tenderly grabs his wife hand and then snakes an arm around her wrist.
"You want to make sure you keep about a half an arm's length between you," Rapunzel explains as she demonstrates with her free hand. Kristoff nods and tries to picture Anna in Rapunzel's place. Would she be grinning up at him the way Rapunzel was to her husband? Would she be thrilled to have him lead her around the dance floor?
"Okay, next step," Eugene glances over the at the ice harvester checking to make sure he's paying attention. "You will be doing the box step and you're leading." Kristoff nods his head. "Step back, then left," He watches as the Prince of Corona does this flawlessly. "Then forward, then to the right," He stops suddenly. "And that's it—the box step."
"It's that easy?" Kristoff scoffs, disbelieving. He's been practicing that with Olaf for nearly an hour and he couldn't even come close to how effortlessly the two of them pulled it off.
"It helps to have a partner," The Princess of Corona informs him with a lazy grin. "Here, try it." She offers her hand, but he hesitates, afraid he'll step on her feet or do something worse. "Don't worry. You want to be able to dance with Anna, right?" Grudgingly, he gives in and steps to where Eugene's place was. The former thief helps him place his hands in the right place and then begins to count. Staring down at his feet, Kristoff slowly completes his first square.
"Look at her eyes," The former Flynn Rider orders. "Anna will want to see your eyes." He meets Rapunzel's expressive eyes and keeps moving, only to step on her feet. Stopping suddenly, he lets her go.
"I'm so sorry!" He exclaims but the Princess of Corona waves off his concern.
"It's okay," She assures him. "You're still learning."
"Learning what?" In the doorway, Anna stands there with Olaf, her gaze darting from Kristoff to the future King and Queen of Corona. Cheeks flaming, he lets his head falls as Anna enters the room.
"We were just having a dancing lesson," Rapunzel explains and Kristoff wants nothing more but to disappear. This is so embarrassing! What is he going to do if Anna decides that she wants to dance with him? "Would you like to help teach Kristoff how to waltz?"
"I would love to." He meets Anna's gaze and sees nothing but love and respect in her eyes. She moves to him and waits patiently as the ice harvester fumbles with where to put his hands. He looks over at Eugene.
"Y-you'll dance with us, won't you?" It's a plea for help because if he knows another couple is dancing, he won't feel as pressured as he does right now.
"Of course!" Rapunzel exclaims and she takes her husband's outstretched hand.
"You'll be fine," Anna tells him in a whisper and for the first time since he began to practice, he believes her. "We've faced harder things, right?" He laughs at that, because yeah, facing an ice storm or a monster made out of snow is certainly harder than this. With Anna by his side, he could do this just as easily as he did the other things. Anna is his strength.
She's what keeps him going.
"Okay!" Olaf begins, grinning. "And one, two, three."
And they're off.
He only steps on Anna's toes three times and she's such a good sport about the thing that he doesn't feel completely awful. After a few mores hours of practice, he feels pretty confident in his waltzing skills and seeing just how happy Anna was being spun around the dance floor makes his worries and fears melt away. Maybe he can actually do this. Maybe he can become the kind of man that she would need as her Royal Consort.
"You did well." Eugene comes to stand beside him as they watch Rapunzel, Anna, and Olaf debate what kind of soup is better—hazelnut or tomato. Seeing the two princesses animatedly debating this topic makes him huff out a laugh. "They're something, huh?"
"Yeah," He agrees. "We're pretty lucky."
"Hey, they're just as lucky to have us!" Eugene retorts, which brings a grin to Kristoff's lips. "In all seriousness though," The former thief's expression sobers. "You did great. You're going to be fine as her Royal Consort."
"You don't know that." Kristoff shakes his head.
"I know you though, don't I?" Eugene challenges and the young man hesitates. Sure, he's been talking to the former thief for a few weeks now, but in that time, has he learned anything substantial about who Kristoff is? We're they friends? Kristoff isn't used to having friends—in fact, Sven and his troll family were really the only people he could call friends. But now, he has Anna, Olaf, Elsa, Rapunzel and Eugene. He could trust them, as much as he hoped they knew that they could trust him.
After all this time . . . is it possible he finally made a few friends?
Eugene nudges him, breaking off his reverie.
"Huh?" Kristoff mumbles, trying to focus back on the here and now instead of letting his thoughts carry him away.
"What's with the whole solemn expression?" Eugene presses, brows furrowing up ever so slightly. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." The ice harvester answers much too quickly.
"Liar." The former thief retorts and Kristoff opens his mouth to protest only for Eugene to sigh. He steps away from the ice harvester and then comes to stand by his wife's side. "C'mon Blondie, we're going to be late." Rapunzel's eyes widen and she quickly nods her head.
"For the trade talks!" She shouts. "I almost forgot. Anna," She spins around to face the Princess. "We will finish this discussion tomorrow, okay?"
"Maybe you could make me some hazelnut soup?" Anna suggests casually. "I've never had it before—"
"Deal!" Rapunzel exclaims, clearly thrilled. "I made it when you were getting Elsa. A lot of the townspeople enjoyed it so you should too—"
"Rapunzel, two minutes." Eugene reminds her, pressing a kiss on the top of her head.
"Right. Bye!" She waves to Anna and then quickly scurries out of the room, her husband trialing behind her. Laughing, the young woman comes to stand beside him and he hesitantly holds out his hand for hers. They've never really held hands before—never really had a chance with how busy Anna is due to the gates being open for the first time in years—but seeing how easygoing Eugene is with Rapunzel makes Kristoff want to try harder. Maybe this is all new to him and maybe he's having a hard time adjusting, but if he puts his mind to it, he will succeed.
"Kristoff?" Her voice is so quiet, unlike her usual boisterous self. This is a huge step and yeah, they've kissed once before, but that was before Elsa told him what he would need to do and before Anna had to actually fulfill her role as a Princess. They're together, yes, but he's pretty sure only Elsa, Rapunzel, Eugene, Olaf, and Sven know about it. The palace staff didn't have a clue and holding hands within the palace walls would start the gossip and the prying eyes that he had been warned about.
But he's ready now.
"I just—I mean, if you want to, we can—"
Without a moment's hesitation, her warm hand slides into his. Together, they walk into the hall, three different pairs of eyes on them.
And for once, Kristoff can't bring himself to care about what other people might think. Because this—being with Anna—this is what he's been searching for his entire life.
This is home.
Author's Note: Next chapter, Eugene and Kristoff visit his troll family! Please review if you have a second. Thanks!