Kristoff couldn't remember exactly when and where he'd finally realized it, in all honesty. Maybe it was during one of those silly moments, like the one when they had snuck down to the ice skating rink after midnight, when both of them had ungracefully slipped around, just to ram into each other moments later. Maybe it had been in that moment, when Anna had lay sprawled on top of him, laughing and apologizing for how crazy-bad her skating abilities were, yet still managing to look utterly thrilled, that he knew.
It could have happened during one of those times when they both realized how much they really cared for each other, like when Kristoff gave up a day of ice harvesting to go ballgown-shopping Anna, or when Anna skipped going to a big fancy ball in Corona to spend the day learning how to harvest ice. Those times when they didn't even have to say a word, they could just smile at each other and know how much they truly loved each other.
Or maybe it had been in one of the moments when Kristoff was scared, like that horrible time when Anna had gotten ferociously sick. She had been in bed for days, coughing and rasping for breath. She had trouble eating and talking, and both him and Elsa were terrified that she wasn't going to make it. It was in those moments, when Kristoff sat beside her, clutching her hand and murmuring every encouraging thing he could think of, that he realized that he never wanted to lose her.
Or maybe he knew it during one of their intimate moments, like whenever Anna would smile at him as he walked into the room. How she'd run over to him, giggling and giving him a hug. Or when they'd steal kisses in the early mornings, before Kristoff headed off to do his ice deliveries, giggling and blushing like a couple of children. How she'd smiled up at him, her eyes full of such warmth and happiness the first time she'd said, "I love you."
But whenever it had happened, there was no denying it now; he wanted to spend every single day of the rest of his life with Anna. Realizing that had been slightly scary, in all honesty. He had never felt this way about anyone before. But he knew he had had to do it, she was worth it.
Step 1 turned out to be easier than he expected: getting Elsa's approval. It had come along at a most unexpected time, but when he asked, Elsa seemed overjoyed, which was different, for her. "I expect you and Anna are going to be very happy together," she had said, which caused Kristoff to get this weird fluttery feeling in his chest.
This was actually happening. Kristoff couldn't wait to see the look on her face when he would ask, he could picture it already: she'd probably scream and jump up and down, every part of her full of excitement.
The next step was a little more difficult, but not impossible: getting the ring. He wanted it to be perfect. So, he spent day after day scouring through every ring shop in Arendelle, sometimes even in other kingdoms, but nothing seemed right. It was either too plain or too big, not enough or too much. The whole process was very frustrating.
He eventually decided that he couldn't do it on his own, not if he wanted to propose within this year anyway, so he decided to visit the experts. Also known as the trolls, who were, as always, excited to see him.
"Kristoff! What brings you here?" Bulda asked as they all crowded around him, checking for every ailment imaginable.
"Hey, ow!" Kristoff winced as one troll yanked his arm above his head to check its bending ability. "I'm fine! I just need your help, it's kind of important."
"What's your trouble?" Grand Pabbie asked, shooing some of the trolls off of Kristoff.
"It's about Anna." Kristoff took a deep breath, bracing himself for impact. "I…well, I'm going to try to…propose."
The trolls were silent for a moment. They blinked once, twice.
Suddenly there was a great uproar. Kristoff smiled as his family cheered, each trying to get to him first for a hug.
"That's wonderful!" Bulda said, sounding like she was on the verge of tears. "Oh Kristoff!"
"Can I come to the wedding?" A little troll asked, hanging off of Kristoff's leg.
"I want to be the flower girl!"
"We should have it here!"
"I was waiting for this day to come!"
"We can start making a dress for her! I have some lovely moss that might work-"
"Please, my moss is so much better."
"I've got the menu planned out already-there's some grass down in the valley that would be just lovely for a-"
"Guys! Wait a minute!" Kristoff cried, raising up his hands. "I haven't even asked yet! I don't even know if she's going to say yes!"
The trolls froze again, seeming as if the possibility that she might say "no," had never occurred to them.
"Well, why wouldn't she?" Bulda exclaimed, placing her hands on her sides. "She loves you, doesn't she?"
"I'm pretty sure," Kristoff said, blushing slightly.
"And you love her?"
He nodded. "Of course."
Bulda shrugged. "Then what's the issue? Just go ahead and do it!"
Kristoff bit his lip. "Well, I need a ring, first. I've searched all over for one, but I couldn't find one that I thought she'd like. That's one of the reasons why I came, actually. I wanted to know if you guys had any ideas."
The trolls eyes widened in understanding as they huddled together, whispering to each other hastily.
Kristoff shifted in his place awkwardly, not knowing exactly what to do. Suddenly, the trolls split apart and all rushed off, chattering excitedly.
"So should I just wait here?" Kristoff called to their retreating backs.
"Yes!" They all cried.
"Alright then," Kristoff muttered, sitting down on a stray rock that he hoped wasn't one of his relatives.
Minutes passed, and Kristoff was seriously starting to fear what the trolls were up too, but soon they all came back, looking even happier and more excited than when they had first left.
"Take this," Grand Pabbie said, placing a small object in his hands. "We think that it will fair you well."
Kristoff looked down and smiled. "It's perfect!" He exclaimed, reaching down to hug as many of them as possible. "Thank you all so much!"
"Yes, yes, now go!" Bulda said, pushing him away. "Get a move on!"
The trolls all cheered as Kristoff walked away, still thanking every one he passed. "I owe you guys!" He called.
"You getting married to Anna will be payment enough!" Bulda hooted back, sparking up another round of cheering.
And now came the final step: actually proposing. This would soon prove to be not only the hardest, but nearly impossible task of all. Kristoff spent a good week or two planning it out, something that bothered Anna as she never really saw him around during that time. One time she had accidentally walked in on him practicing his speech, and Kristoff had to quickly cover it up by saying that he was just rehearsing for a recital he was in.
"A recital?" Anna had asked, furrowing her brow in disbelief. "For what?"
"Oh you know," Kristoff babbled, backing out of the room with a smile plastered on his face. "….Recital-y things."
"Wellgottagoseeyoulaterbye!" Kristoff had stammered, rushing out of the room. He pressed his back up against the hallway wall, panting. He had to get this done, before the sheer stress of it all killed him.
His first attempt was pretty simple. He wrote down everything he wanted to say in a small note, and in the middle of the night, snuck it onto her pillow. The plan: she would find it, read it, and would rush out the door, right into Kristoff's awaiting arms, where they would kiss and cry and do whatever newly engaged couples do.
The problem? He'd forgotten how messy of a sleeper Anna was. When morning finally came, he went to her room, he even brought some flowers he'd picked outside. When the door opened, a huge smile spread across his face, and he opened his arms for a hug.
"Oh hey Kristoff-o-pher!" Anna had yawned, stretching her arms out. Her hair, as always, was a huge, disheveled disaster. She eyed him tiredly. "Oh hey, are those for me?" She said to the flowers while stumbling over to Kristoff. "You cutie," she yawned again, throwing herself into his arms for a sleepy hug. She then took the flowers out of his hand and trudged down the hallway. "Mmmm…I want some food."
Kristoff stood there, shocked, his arms still outstretched. He blinked wordlessly for a few moments before rushing into her room. The sheets were a huge, tangled mess, and Kristoff spent a good half-hour digging through them before he found the note, which had somehow gotten sandwiched between her mattresses. So she obviously hadn't seen it, meaning that this plan was a no-go.
It was time to go to Plan B.
This one was a little more thoughtful, but it was nothing too extreme. He'd gone into Anna's room one Saturday afternoon, when she had been taking a small nap. "Hey," he'd whispered, shaking her awake gently.
Anna smiled up at him. "Kristoff!" She'd exclaimed, rubbing her eyes. "You're a sight for sore eyes!"
Kristoff blushed. "Thanks." He crawled into bed beside her, pulling her up so she sat in his lap. "Watcha up to?"
Anna snuggled up against him. "Nothing now," she said, turning to kiss him on the cheek.
Kristoff took a deep breath. "Well, do you want to play a game?"
Anna giggled, a knowing look in her eye. "What kind of game?" She asked, snaking her fingers around his neck.
Kristoff reached behind himself and pulled out a pad of paper and a writing utensil. "Hangman."
Anna paused, looking at him with a puzzled expression. "Uh…hangman?"
Kristoff nodded. "Yeah-you know, it's good for the mind, and all that."
Anna shrugged. "Well, okay then."
Here was Kristoff's plan: they would play a few rounds first, and then, when he was ready, he would leave enough blanks for Anna to spell out, "Will you marry me?" Then she'd gasp and cry and they would hug and everything would be perfect. It was simple, nothing could go wrong.
Or so he thought.
This time he'd forgotten that, much like him, Anna didn't like sitting in one place for too long. And after 10 minutes of being unable to guess either 'm', 'r' or 'y,' she had given up. "Will ou a e?" Anna said, cocking her head to the side. "I don't get it."
"No, wait! There's still 6 more blanks!" Kristoff exclaimed frantically.
"Mph," Anna snorted, pushing the paper away. "I'm tired of this, anyways. Why don't we just do something else?" She asked, crawling up to him with a mischievous glint in her eye.
"No!" Kristoff yelped, reaching out to grab the paper. "We have to do this!"
"Maybe later," Anna said, pushing him back. "Maybe never." She leaned up to kiss him sweetly, wrapping both of her arms around his waist.
Kristoff sighed. He knew that trying to steer Anna back to the game would be futile, and by the way things were headed, it didn't look like she was going to be interested in it anytime soon.
So that was a bust. Time for Plan C.
Kristoff decided it was time to make things a little more obvious. He chose to do something that he'd sworn against: baking. He knew how much Anna loved sweet things, so he decided to attempt to bake her a cake. In the end, it came out looking just as messy as he did (which was very), but it would have to do. He coated it in chocolate frosting, and finished it off by writing, "Will You Marry Me?" in pink icing. Once done, he was actually quite proud of it-especially considering his baking skills.
The new plan: He'd find Anna, show her the cake, she'd be all happy because it was chocolate and marriage and all that, then they'd kiss and cuddle and eat it together. It was foolproof.
Carefully, he took it in his arms and went to search for Anna, being cautious not to drop it. The castle was quite big, and after walking around for an hour, he was getting quite tired. Maybe he'd just wait until dinner, he mused as he turned a corner.
Unfortunately for him, he was too occupied looking around for Anna that he wasn't keeping an eye on where he was going, and tripped, falling face-forward, right into the cake.
He heard an outburst of laughter and looked up to see, but of course, Anna rushing towards him. "Are you okay?" She laughed, leaning down to wipe some of the frosting off of his face. She licked her finger. "Mmm, chocolate!" She beamed.
Kristoff didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe the universe just hated him. Yeah, that sounded about right. "Yeah, I'm fine," he muttered, sitting up. "I'm just peachy, actually."
"That's wond-erf-full," Anna said, her mouth now full of the cake as she dug in. "Hey, do you mind if I fin-ush this off? It's so good!"
Kristoff shook his head, feeling deflated. "Not one bit."
Things didn't get better from there. Kristoff tried everything. One afternoon, he took her to the beach. He'd written his request in the sand when she hadn't been looking, but of course, by the time he dragged her over to look at it, the tide had washed it all away.
Then he tried leading a trail of chocolates throughout the castle. The trail ended in the library, where Kristoff sat awaiting with flowers. But no, even that didn't work as instead of luring Anna, it was Sven who wound up meeting Kristoff, a happy grin on his face as he sniffed Kristoff for more chocolate.
Kristoff then decided to go even bigger. He took Anna out to one of the fanciest restaurants in Arendelle. They spent the whole night laughing and talking, but of course, his plan once again failed. He had just been getting up from his chair, about to get down on one knee and ask, when he'd accidentally knocked into one of the servers, causing plates and dishes to fly everywhere, getting Anna covered in pea soup in the process.
That kind of killed the mood, and Kristoff wound up storming back to the palace, completely frustrated.
Olaf happened to stumble upon him in the garden, where Kristoff had been venting out all his frustrations by plucking the petals off of flowers and muttering various curses against soup. Kristoff was surrounded by piles upon piles of multicolor petals by now, not that he even noticed.
"Kristoff? What's wrong?" Olaf had asked, coming to sit beside him. Sven trailed behind, and both exchanged worried looks. "Why are you so upset? Is it because Sven and I took a ride in your sled yesterday? Because if it is, I'm sorry! We only almost died once!"
"You guys did what?" Kristoff exclaimed, sitting up. But all and any anger he had quickly vanished as he remembered why he was even sitting out here in the first place, and he sighed. "Never mind, it's not because of that…I just…things aren't going the way I planned," he muttered, dropping another stem by his feet.
Olaf placed his hand on Kristoff's elbow, the highest place he could reach. "What kind of things?"
Kristoff sighed, running his hands through his hair. "I…I've been trying to propose to Anna," he explained. "And nothing's working."
Kristoff winced and covered his ears. "Ow!"
"Oh, that's amazing!" Olaf exclaimed, jumping on the spot. Sven stomped his hooves in excitement, leaning over to lick Kristoff's cheek.
"It would be-if I could just get it done." Kristoff smiled half-heartedly, unable to keep the pain out of his voice as he rubbed Sven's ear. "No matter what I try, it always seems to get messed up. "
Olaf thought for a moment. "Well, maybe you just have to try harder!" He said, smiling encouragingly at him. "Go bigger! I can help you! I'll help you plan the biggest, bestest, most wonderful proposal in the whole world! I am a love expert, you know!"
Kristoff frowned. "What? No you're not."
Olaf stomped his foot. "Yes I am! And I'm going to help you whisk Anna off her feet! You two will ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after and have beautiful, wonderful snow children!"
"But I don't want to ride off into the sunset!" Kristoff protested. "That sounds…weird! I just want to get married!"
"It's an expression!" Olaf said, slightly exasperated. "Now c'mon, let's go!"
"Right now?" Kristoff exclaimed as Olaf grabbed him by the hand.
"Yes! We have so much to plan!" Olaf squealed. "Trust me, this is going to be unforgettable!"
The 3 of them spent the next week strategizing the perfect proposal plan. There were many late nights, hushed conversations, and complicated arrangements, but soon they had it all figured out.
"It's perfect!" Olaf beamed, looking down on the list of everything they had to do.
Kristoff was uneasy. "Are you sure? It looks like it's a little…much."
Sven and Olaf gave him a look.
"Okay, okay!" Kristoff said, raising his hands in self-defense. "Well, when should we do it?"
"Tonight!" Olaf insisted as Sven nodded.
Kristoff suddenly felt very nervous. "Tonight? Don't you think that's a little soon?"
"It's now or never!" Olaf cried, sounding like he was about to head off into war. "You must woo your maiden, oh king of reindeer!" He collapsed onto Sven, both of them laughing hysterically.
Kristoff rolled his eyes at them, smiling at their eccentrics. He let out a sigh that was meant to come out as calming but instead sounded slightly delirious. "Alright, let's do this then," he said, the nervousness practically oozing out of him. "I-I'm ready."
"Kristoff? What's going on?" Anna asked as Kristoff lead her down the hallway, his hands covering her eyes. "Where are you taking me? Why do I have to be so dressed up? Are we going to a ball?" She sniffed the air. "Oooh, is that chocolate?"
"Well you're just full of questions tonight, aren't you feisty-pants?" Kristoff said, smiling down at her.
Anna blushed. "I want to know what's going on!" She pleaded, tugging on him. "Please, just tell me!"
"One more minute," Kristoff said, leading her into the dining room.
"Alright," he said, removing his hands. "You can look now."
Anna's eyes snapped open and she gasped as she took in the scene before her. Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven had decorated the dining room in a romantic splendor. Rose petals were scattered across the floor and table, and a candlelit dinner sat awaiting them. They had even enlisted Elsa in creating a gentle snowfall, making the whole room look even more magical.
Anna's mouth opened and closed, her eyes full of complete joy. "K-k-kristoff this-this is-"
"Here," Kristoff smiled, pulling out a chair for her.
Anna sat down, still smiling in disbelief. "This is incredible!" She squealed as Kristoff sat down across from her.
"So you like it?" Kristoff asked, smiling at her nervously.
"Like it? I love it!" Anna beamed. "This is perfect!"
Kristoff let out a sigh of relief. "I hoped that you would."
Anna nodded enthusiastically and smiled as she turned to see Olaf, who started up a string quartet. "I didn't know Olaf was a conductor," she whispered to Kristoff, giggling.
"Er…he isn't." Kristoff said, smirking as Olaf flailed his arms around wildly, looking more like a chicken running around without its head than anything else. Luckily, the musicians had sheet music in front of them, and seemed to be functioning well despite this distraction.
Sven walked in, pulling a tray of food behind him. Anna looked simply delighted as Kristof removed the two trays of food, setting one in front of each of them. He removed the lids to reveal a very ordinate dinner, complete with one of each of Anna's favorite foods.
"Wow!" Anna beamed. "Did you make this yourself?"
Kristoff blushed. "Uh…maybe."
Anna raised an eyebrow.
Kristoff smiled. "Okay, I had a little help, maybe a lot, from your chef."
Anna laughed and began to dig in.
Kristoff did as well, but he could barely concentrate on eating, the thought of what he was about to do made him so incredibly tense, he could barely think. In his nervous haste, he accidentally launched a mass of mashed potatoes across the room, right into Anna's face.
"Oh god, I'm so sorry!" Kristoff exclaimed, getting up to wipe the food off of her.
"It's okay," Anna chuckled, moving her hand around to reach for a napkin. In her blind state however, she accidentally knocked over one of the candlesticks, which fell onto the table, setting not only the rose petals which lay on it, but the tablecloth, on fire.
"Sweet Monkey Molasses!" Olaf screamed. He leapt forward and grabbed a bottle of wine. "Here, let me-"
"No wait!" Kristoff exclaimed, reaching out to stop him.
But it was too late. Olaf doused the flames with the liquid, which only, of course, made them grow higher.
Anna screamed as a flame jumped onto her braid, setting the tip on fire. Sven ran around spastically, crashing the kart he had been pulling into the table and sending dishes, plates, and food everywhere.
Kristoff grabbed a pitcher of water that sat in corner and threw it over everything, getting everyone soaked, but successfully managing to put the fire out.
"Is everyone okay?" He panted.
They all nodded. Smoke billowed from the table, and Anna spit out some water that she'd accidentally swallowed. The smell of burnt flowers and hair filled the room, causing Sven, the quartet, and Olaf to flee.
"Are you okay, Anna?" Kristoff exclaimed, going over to hold her in his arms, feeling mortified.
Anna nodded. "Other than the fact that I almost just caught on fire, then yeah," she laughed dryly.
Kristoff wanted to disappear. His plans had failed before, but this had to be the worst of them all. All he wanted to do was ask her to marry him, for Christ's sake! Why was that so insufferably hard?
And then it hit him. All he wanted to do was to ask her to marry him.So why not do just that?
He took Anna's hand in his, looking into her eyes with the greatest sincerity. "Okay listen, I know you probably hate me right now, but I need to take you somewhere."
Anna smiled at him weakly. "Kristoff…I don't hate you. I could never hate you. And if you need to take me somewhere, then I'll go, alright? Just as long as it doesn't involve any more candles!"
Kristoff beamed. "Great!"
The night was cool as the pair rode through the forests of Arendelle. Sven was jumped over another stray log and Anna squeaked, gripping Kristoff tighter.
"You okay back there?" Kristoff asked, turning to look over his shoulder.
"Yup!" Anna called.
"We just have a little bit further to go, we're almost there," Kristoff said, smiling softly at her.
They rode on, past ditches and creeks, over gaps and hills. The crickets were chirping merrily, and up above the stars seemed to twinkle with excitement.
Finally, they were there. Kristoff helped her off Sven.
Anna looked puzzled. "Why are we at Oaken's?" She asked. "What, are you in need of his special sun balm?"
"No," Kristoff smiled, taking her by the hand. "I just need to talk to you."
"And you had to do it all the way out here?" Anna exclaimed as Kristoff lead her into the barn.
"Well, this is where we first met," Kristoff explained, blushing as he lit a lantern.
Anna opened her mouth to say something, but froze, a silly smile spreading across her face.
Kristoff smiled back and brought her to the middle of the barn, taking both of his hands in hers.
Anna smiled dreamily up at him, and leaned up to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. "Alright, what do you want to talk about?"
Kristoff breathed out slowly, trying to collect himself. "Anna-I love you. You're honestly the greatest person I've ever met. When I'm with you, I just…" He paused, trying to think of the right words to say. "I'm just so happy. And when you're gone, I feel like part of me is missing, you know? Like you're my other half, or whatever."
Anna opened her mouth to speak, but Kristoff immediately placed a finger over it. "Wait, just let me finish," he said, "Please."
Anna pouted but nodded.
"I think you're amazing," Kristoff continued, "You're outgoing and smart and silly and beautiful, and I don't know what I'd ever do without you." He took another deep breath as he reached into his pocket, pulling out the ring. Praying not to make a fool of himself yet again, he got down on one knee.
Anna gasped, placing her hands over her mouth. "Kristoff?" She whispered, her voice cracking as her eyes filled with tears.
Kristoff smiled up at her. "I want to spend every day of the rest of my life with you, Anna. I want to wake up every morning and see that crazy bedhead lying beside me, I want to have a family with you, and have like a bunch of little Anna and Kristoff Jr.'s running around, and grow old together, and always be there for each other-"
Anna wiped the tears out of her eyes. "Kristoff, are you asking me to marry you?" She whispered.
Kristoff blushed. "Yeah, kind of…I mean, I'd like to, if you want to. I mean…may we?"
Anna rushed forward, tackling him to the ground in a gleeful hug. "Yes!" She shrieked, "Yes, yes, yes a million times yes!"
With a shaking hand, Kristoff sat up, and placed the ring on her finger. It sparkled in the light of the firelight, and Anna looked at it like she was at a loss for words. "Wherever did you get this?" She exclaimed in awe.
"The trolls made it," Kristoff said, laughing lightly. "You do like it, right?"
The ring was made of an ordinate silver, laced together in intricate circles. In the middle was a diamond from one of the troll caves themselves, and it shown like it had been conjured up from some other-worldly realm.
"It's perfect, you're perfect!" Anna said, placing her forehead against his. They laughed, both slightly teary. "I love you," she added, whispering to him in the dim light.
Kristoff smiled and placed a light kiss on her lips. "I love you too."