I've been struggling with prompts lately, trying to figure out which one would be fun to do or feels inducing. Then I thought to myself, I've made you cry (or at least mist up a little) too many times before so I decided to bring our friends Espen and Anton back into the story.
Last we saw of them, they were discovered by many people in a pub, their true identities of Elsa and Anna being revealed after Anna almost got into a fight.
This was brought up by… someone. It might have been a Tumblr user but it also might have been someone I was chatting to on this site. I don't remember but I wanted them to come back since I've been having a hard time with ideas.
SEND IN MORE! Whether it's via Tumblr or my email or this website. I want to hear what you got!
Disclaimer: Disney owns FROZEN
"No, no, no! Absolutely not!" Elsa snapped, shaking her head.
"Why not!?" Anna whined.
The two sisters were having a little argument, bickering back and forth about something that the servants didn't understand. It wasn't a big fight but it was annoying enough that frost was gathering on the tips of Elsa's fingers and along the carpet in her wake. She had been at ease not five minutes ago, heading to her room to retire for the day. But Anna had bounded over and proposed something, leading to their current predicament.
"Because we got caught last time," Elsa reminded her in a low hiss.
"So?" Anna said, throwing her hands up in the air with exasperation.
"So?" Elsa repeated incredulously. "Anna, if anyone catches us this time… It'll be the biggest scandal in Arendelle history."
"That's not true. The biggest scandal was when our great, great, great, great Uncle married that fifteen year old girl. That was a weird story in my history book." Anna scoffed and crossed her arms. "Two girls dressing up as boys is hardly a scandal compared to that. And besides, we were caught by a bunch of drunk Ice Harvesters and Kristoff. There hasn't been any news of it so they most likely forgot about it."
"That, or Kristoff told them to keep their mouths shut," Elsa pointed out. "But I'm not risking it again. Anna, if you need an extra wake up call: we were flirted with by two girls!" Elsa's face turned pink. "I don't want to be hit on by the same gender!"
"But, Els, it meant our outfits were convincing!" Anna spread her arms encouragingly. "We should totally do it again because it would be fun to let loose."
"When we let loose, as you so eloquently put it, we end up getting in trouble," Elsa said hotly. "No means no, Anna. I'm not becoming Espen anytime soon. That's final." She quickened her pace and continued on down the hallway, leaving a sulking Anna behind.
"'No means no, Anna,'" the princess mocked, adjusting her pitch to be high and bossy. "Tch, whatever. You can be a stuffy queen for all I care." She turned on her heel and headed to her bedroom. "If you don't mind, I think Anton is gonna have some fun instead. Without stupid Espen."
She burst through the doors of her room once she arrived and slammed them behind her, locking it just in case Elsa decided to check up on her. With a malicious giggle, she skipped over to her wardrobe and pulled out the boy outfit she had tucked away in a corner underneath a basket of cloth for sewing and embroidering.
It was the same as last time: white collared shirt with long sleeves, black vest, cream colored pants, and black boots. The newsboy cap and chest bindings were right below them. Anna removed her dress and did up her hair, binding her chest and nearly suffocating herself by accident again. She tugged on her pants, threw on the shirt, buttoned it up and pulled up the sleeves past her elbows and the vest followed, loose and hanging around her figure. She tucked in her shirt and made sure her boots weren't scuffed before she put those on, too.
Finally the cap went on, hiding her long, red hair. She checked herself out in the mirror and nodded firmly.
"Perfect," she said to herself. "Say no to this, Elsa! Ha!"
Anna smirked heavily and strutted over to her window. She threw it open and leaned on the frame, breathing in the cool autumn air. She hoisted herself out of the window and sat on the edge before leaping off fearlessly, landing clean on her feet. Looking up, she saw the window shut by a breeze and she scowled.
"Great… I'll have to sneak in later," Anna mumbled, kicking the grass beneath her feet moodily. "Whatever."
She continued on, not letting her one way of returning home discourage her. She snuck around the perimeter of the castle before she reached the stables. Anna peeked inside and found, to her dismay, Kristoff as he tended to Sven. They were having a 'conversation,' the Royal Ice Master speaking in that goofy voice he gave his best pal in response to everything he said beforehand. Anna rolled her eyes endearingly before clearing her throat.
Kristoff jumped and turned to find Anna poking her head into the area. He gave her a once over before sighing.
"You're cross-dressing again?" he asked blandly, feeding Sven another carrot.
"Yes! Elsa's not coming this time, though," Anna said, stepping fully into the stables and shutting the door. "She's being a prude."
Kristoff chuckled. "I see. That's too bad. What are you planning on doing?"
"I dunno," she said. "Maybe I'll find a group of kids my age and hang out with them. Do whatever normal people do when they're not royalty… what do you do?"
"I wouldn't know," Kristoff said with a shrug. "I didn't play with the kids around town too often. I was home with the trolls or learning how to harvest ice."
"Oh… well, I guess I'll figure it out as I go along, right?"
"You always do. Have fun and be safe, okay?"
Anna blinked. "You're not gonna stop me?"
"Clearly Elsa's word didn't stop you so what makes you think mine will?" Kristoff pointed out. "If you want to go be your male alter-ego, go ahead. If you screw up, you screw up. But I'm sure you'll do fine."
"You didn't… tell anyone, did you?" Anna asked cautiously.
"What? No! I convinced everyone in the pub that it was a trick of the light," he said. "They believed me. They were too drunk to argue anyhow. It was one little mistake. Just avoid the place so you won't get questioned."
"Right… good— great!" she said with a cheeky grin. "Thanks, Kristoff." She approached him and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "You know, out of context, this would seem really weird," she said after she lowered herself to the ground.
He laughed. "Yes, it would. Go on."
"Don't tell Elsa!" Anna called as she rushed off.
"I won't," he promised, watching her go.
With newfound elation and assurance, Anna bounded into the streets of Arendelle. The crowd rolled along, not paying any attention to the new boy that had wandered into the city. She slipped by a few shop vendors and a group of gossiping women, one hand on her hat so it wouldn't be blown off and her secret revealed in front of everybody. She skimmed the marketplace with her eyes, looking for a group of people that she could blend into with ease.
That was when she saw a few boys and a couple of girls, seeming to be around her age, loitering by Kristoff's ice stand. Holding her head high, she strode over to them, trying to mimic the way her boyfriend walked to be more convincing. She approached the kids and waved as un-flamboyantly as possible at them.
"Hello," she said, deepening her voice just as she did last time.
They turned to her, curious to find some random guy strolling up to them.
"Hey," said a boy. "Who are you?"
"I'm Anton… just moved here from Aspergard," Anna tried, grinning. "My parents sent me here to… uh… help out with… the Ice Harvesting business!" Anna said. Wait, what?
"Oh, yeah?" said the same boy. "Well, I'm Harald. Over there is Roger, Vidar, and Jens. This here is Mona and Ruth."
Each of them greeted Anna warmly, accepting her into the group with ease. Anna folded her hands behind her back and shifted from foot to foot, at a loss of what to say.
"Since he's new here," started Roger, "we should show him around."
"Yeah, totally!" Vidar agreed.
"Let's go, Anton," Harald said. "Arendelle is really great. I think you'll like it here. C'mon."
"Don't push him around," Mona said, giggling, as Harald smacked Anna hard on the back to guide her forward. The princess attempted not to wince at the amount of strength the boy put into his hand.
"Eh, he's fine!" Harald said loudly. "Anton, let me show you the town."
Anna was led towards the slums of the city, Harald and the rest of the group talking her ear off about Arendelle. She tried to appear interested since she knew practically every detail regarding her kingdom after countless lessons with her tutor and, after the thaw, Elsa herself. But hearing it from a citizen's point of view was what piqued her interest.
The group journeyed through the slums, the country side where a longer path led to Oaken's, and back to the marketplace. They spoke of the culture Arendelle offered, said hello to a couple of kids around ten years old as they walked by, and laughed with Anna, as if she were some normal teenager off the street.
It was something Anna had always wanted— friends who treated her like their equal. Not that Elsa didn't do such most of the time. But when they argued, Elsa often played the I-am-your-big-sister-and-the-queen card that took a blow to Anna's feelings. So it was hard to live up to be Elsa's equal. If her new friends ever found out she was Princess Anna… she didn't know what they would do.
But it wasn't a time to think of such things. She was having fun and that was all that mattered.
"This place is okay," Jens said as they walked by a chocolate shop. "But I see the princess and the queen hang out here a lot."
"Do you really?" Anna asked.
"Oh, yes!" Ruth spoke up. "They're big fans of chocolate."
"Queen Elsa is gorgeous," sighed Mona, slightly envious. "I really admire her."
"But Princess Anna is a total babe," laughed Harald.
Anna tried to force down an angry, flustered blush. She didn't know if she was supposed to be flattered or smack that smug grin off his face. One of his friends did the latter for her instead. Vidar slugged him in the shoulder.
"Don't be a disrespectful jerk," Vidar snapped.
"She is pretty, though," Ruth said truthfully.
"No match for her sister," Jens said.
Anna felt hurt. Gee, thanks, she thought bitterly.
"Awh, come on," Mona said. "That wasn't nice. I think they're both equally pretty."
"What do looks have to do with anything?" Anna found herself blurting out.
They all turned to stare at her. She fidgeted with her fingers nervously.
"I mean… just because they're pretty doesn't define who they are on the inside," Anna said quietly.
"Anton's right," Roger chortled. "On the inside, Queen Elsa's a big scary snow witch!" He laughed and wiggled his fingers ominously at his friends, who pretended to cower in fear.
Anna's brow twitched and rage bubbled up inside her stomach. So many conflicting feelings were clashing around her being. One was happy to find some normal friends, one was both angry and flattered at being called pretty, one was jealous to being second best to her sister, and the other was furious at them for making fun of Elsa. She didn't know what to do.
"She isn't that scary," giggled Mona. "Her powers are pretty."
"That's right! Anton, did you know Queen Elsa covered Arendelle in an unending winter for a few days?" Harald said, grinning at Anna.
"No. I didn't," Anna replied shortly.
"Bummer," Vidar said. "It was pretty bad. But she fixed it in the end. Now we can enjoy her powers when she plays outside with her sister."
"What's the princess on the inside?" Anna couldn't help wondering.
"We… we don't know," Harald admitted.
"Princess Anna doesn't come out much," Mona said sadly.
"Which is odd considering she was holed up in the castle for years," Roger said, shrugging.
"But when we see her, she seems like a caring and compassionate person," Ruth said with a smile. "Always laughing and having fun with her sister."
"She's never without the queen," Vidar pointed out. "Those two are inseparable. Either with Queen Elsa or with Ice Master Kristoff and that funny snowman Olaf."
"We'd like to talk to Princess Anna," Mona said.
"Totally!" Ruth sang, nodding vigorously. "She's around our age and I think she'd be fun to hang out with!"
Anna felt all the negative feelings be pushed aside, replaced with a warm, excited emotion that made her want to reveal herself to them right then and there. But how would that look? Elsa warned her that exposing her secret would cause trouble for them both and that was the last thing she wanted to do. Getting in trouble with Elsa was not a desirable thing. Her latest punishment— for breaking three suits of armor in a row— was to help clean the ballroom until it was spotless. And if Anna tried to skive out of it, she wound up into further trouble, Elsa always being the decider of the consequence.
The princess shivered at the thought of Elsa's disapproving face if she were to be caught sneaking back into the castle after the day was through.
"Well…" Anna said slowly. "Perhaps you should approach her next time."
They looked at her again, questioning her words with raised brows and cocked heads.
"You never know a person once you actually say something, right? Don't judge a book," Anna said with a pleasant shrug. "At least, that's what my brother always says."
"Your brother?" said Harald.
"Yeah, my older brother Espen," Anna said with a nod. "He's around somewhere…"
Lies. But Anna didn't care. 'Espen' wasn't around to confirm nor deny his existence anyway. Too busy being stuck-up and probably reading in her study. Anna smirked in her head. Elsa was missing out on—
"Excuse me!" a familiar voice shouted from behind Anna.
"Who's that?" whispered Ruth.
"I don't know but he's cute," Mona whispered back.
Anna felt goosebumps shoot up her arm. The air had gotten colder… unnaturally colder for an autumn's day. She turned slowly to find, to her absolute horror, Elsa in her full boy uniform, marching over to the group.
"Anton, I told you not to run off," she growled, lifting an eyebrow icily and crossing her arms.
"Oh… hey, Espen," Anna said, waving weakly. "I thought you didn't want to come with me."
"I didn't but since you deliberately disobeyed me, I had to come finding you after going into a panic when I discovered you were missing," Elsa hissed coldly. Her icy eyes were flashing horrid images of snowstorms and avalanches behind them.
Anna gulped. "Sorry! I just wanted to meet some new people! I was just—"
"You were just trying to give me a heart attack," Elsa mollycoddled.
"Hey, give him a rest!" snapped Harald suddenly.
Elsa was very taken aback. None of her subjects ever spoke to her so forcefully before. She was, of course, unrecognizable in her outfit and appeared to be someone who was very obviously not the queen, but it was still surprising nevertheless. She stepped back from Anna, her hand that was about to grab her sister's in order to drag her back home, retreating to her side.
"He was just trying to fit in," Vidar jumped in. "New to Arendelle and all."
"Don't be so mean," Ruth whined.
Elsa blinked and looked from Anna to the teenagers. She sighed and rubbed her temple tiredly.
"Anton—" she tried but Anna cut her off.
"I'm sorry. I should have listened to you, you're right… but I was having a good time with these guys." Anna smiled at her friends, who smiled back. "I'd like to spend more time with them…"
Elsa realized that Anna was being genuine. There was a different kind of smile that graced Anna's features that she had never seen before. A friendly, upbeat smile that she gave to her subjects when she talked to them… trying to befriend them and be… be normal. She felt guilty for yelling but was still steaming over Anna's disobedience.
"I see," was all Elsa could say.
"I'll come home… in a little bit, okay?" Anna said, her voice as pleading as it could get in the deeper tone.
Elsa submitted. "Fine… but you're in big trouble once you get there, young la— uh, man."
Anna grinned. "Thanks, bro!" She punched the air with her hand enthusiastically.
The teens grinned, too, and patted Anna on the back, leading her to one of their hang out spots. Elsa was left behind, sighing to herself. She turned on her heel and walked back home, hands deep in her pockets.
Anna returned home with ease, sneaking back through the stables and finding her window open. She climbed up the walls and entered her room, a note in Elsa's handwriting waiting for her on her pillow.
I opened the window for you. Change at once and see me in the royal study.
Anna sighed and shrugged out of her vest, removing her hat and allowing her locks to fall free around her shoulders. She changed into a plain day dress and followed Elsa's orders, her feet heavy as they dragged her to the study. She was dreading the punishment she was sure to receive as soon as she opened the doors. Expecting to feel to cold front Elsa pushed towards her and the motherly glare she reserved only for Anna when she was misbehaving— a glare that she hauntingly picked up from their mother that the princess was very familiar with.
But when she opened the doors, she was shocked to find Elsa calmly sitting by the fire, two mugs of tea on the end table, the queen curled up on the edge of the couch, reading a book. Anna scrunched her brows, looking this way and that for any signs of a chore she had to do or lines she had to write over and over— like her tutor would make her do if she was being unusually fussy and uncooperative.
"Sit down," Elsa said smoothly, not gazing up from her reading material.
Anna did so, on the edge furthest from Elsa. Never in Anna's life did she ever want to be as far away from Elsa as possible. She was waiting for an explosion from the stoic queen… something to ensure her that she was in deep trouble.
"Uh…" Anna let out, eyeing her sister wearily. "What's my punishment?"
"What punishment?" Elsa said, still not looking up.
"You said that I would be in trouble when I got home," Anna reminded her. "Do I have to clean the kitchen? No chocolate for a week? Scrub the armor in the West wing?"
"Then… why am I here?" Anna said, incredulously.
Elsa finally glanced at her, smiling faintly. "I wanted some company. And we can't have you traipsing about the castle as Anton, can we?" She grabbed one of the mugs and handed it to Anna.
"You're mad at me, though," Anna said hoarsely, timidly taking the mug from Elsa. Is it poisoned?
"I was," Elsa said, shifting her position on the couch to get more comfortable. "But I got to thinking: maybe you deserve to act like a normal teenager. Sneaking out, making friends, doing things that someone your age would do naturally. Perhaps I was too harsh on you… after all, it was my fault for your inability to socialize with your peers ever since the gates closed—"
"Don't go blaming yourself," Anna said, taking a tentative sip of her tea.
"I didn't poison you," Elsa said, smirking, reading Anna easily. "I have no idea how to even acquire such things anyway… Anna, listen, please. I was mad because you disobeyed me. I didn't want you to get into trouble or be found out. It wasn't so much about reputation but your own safety. I don't like the idea of you missing, do you understand?" Anna watched her from the rim of her cup, nodding lightly. Elsa went on. "I really was worried about you when I discovered you were gone. After breaking into your room when the door wouldn't budge, seeing your bed empty, you gone, and no note… I almost assumed the worst.
"I ran to Kristoff and asked if he knew where you were and— don't get mad at him— after seeing my distraught expression, he told me what happened." Again, Elsa shifted herself on the couch. "I donned in my Espen clothes and went on the search, putting two and two together. And what do I find? My sister having a wonderful time with a bunch of kids her age… Anna, I realized you were making friends. Even as Anton, you managed to find a group of peers that accepted you no matter what. I couldn't tear that away from you.
"You looked so happy… and I was nothing but rude and misunderstanding."
"Elsa, it's okay," Anna assured. "First of all, I was in the wrong for going against your word and doing the exact opposite of what you told me. I shouldn't do that and I'm really, really sorry. You were mad and you had every right to be. Second, I was happy. In fact, those kids told me that they'd like to be friends with Princess Anna… so I was thinking of actually talking to them soon and explain—"
"Be careful of how you word it," Elsa said. "They might not understand."
"Okay but Anton can't just vanish," Anna argued. "Not anymore. He exists in a way…"
Elsa pursed her lips thoughtfully. Anna had a fair point. Now that people knew Anton was alive— taking over the form of Anna— they would be suspicious to know why he suddenly disappeared. After a moment of silence, Elsa sighed and let her eyes fall onto the carpet, feeling a small pang of jealousy.
If Anna found friends, then she wouldn't spend as much time in the castle as she normally did. Elsa was feeling possessive and part of her wanted to shoot down the idea that was forming in her head. But her practical, caring side fought back and came out victorious.
"Anna, I will allow you to explain yourself and become friends with those kids as you," Elsa said. "Anton shouldn't be anymore… not for those purposes. If you want a day of freedom to blend in, then become Anton but if you want to continue your friendship, go as Anna." She looked at Anna, feeling tears sting her eyes. "It's better than being stuck in here with me."
Anna stared at her and let the words register. Elsa was going to be left alone if she went off to hang out with her friends— as Anton or Anna alike. She felt a mix of guilt and thankfulness overwhelm her as she reached over and took Elsa's hand tenderly.
"It's not like they're gonna replace you as my best friend," Anna told her firmly. "Besides, they'd only be seen on days I'm not busy." She smiled brightly. "I promise!"
Elsa watched from the open gates as Anna bounded towards her new group of friends two weeks later, the kids welcoming Anna with grins and hugs, about to head into the town to shop and hang out. Anna was about to press forward, her hand in Ruth's, who was trying to guide her over to the chocolate shop, but she wouldn't budge looking over her shoulder at her big sister. She seemed so lonely standing there, seeing Anna off.
With an expression of determination, Anna strode over, grabbed Elsa's hand and dragged her along, declaring that Elsa needed time to act like a kid, too. Elsa tried to argue but Anna raised an expectant eyebrow at her. With a submissive smile, the queen allowed herself to be pulled along.
She never knew how Anna explained the whole Espen and Anton situation to her friends but they seemed to understand without question. Elsa was grateful Anna was actually inviting her to hang around them, feeling that maybe their male alter-egos could come out every once in a while when they wanted to blend into the crowd, as she had suggested earlier.
But for now, Elsa was perfectly content with spending time with Anna as themselves, with a gang of kids who treated them just like everybody else.
They have some new friends (who may or may not appear in the story again, I don't know).
Thank you for waiting patiently. Now that I'm out of high school (graduated!) I will hopefully get more chapters out faster but no promises.
SEND. IN. PROMPTS!
I am having a serious case of writers block and your idea really help. Via Tumblr, email, PM, or review, I don't care! Just send 'em in and I'll do my best.
Some may be shorter and more drabble-y-er than others but that may be just for prompt sake. I dunno but you'll get it… I think.
See you next time!