"Ohmygosh, look at all the snow!"
Was the first thing Anna squealed upon stepping into the courtyard. Her eyes went wide, and immediately, she jumped into a snow-bank. She laughed through a mouth full of snow.
"Elsa, you've got to try this!" Picking herself up, Anna raced back to where her sister was standing, still giggling like a madwoman. "It's so much fun, like jumping into a really cold pillow!"
"It's not becoming of a Queen to jump." She mumbled in response, hands clasped behind her back. "And you're lucky that the snow was deep enough; you could have broken something."
Childishly, Anna crossed her arms in front of her chest and stamped her foot. "I don't like Queen Elsa."
Her sister raised an eyebrow, a frown settling across her features. "Excuse me?"
"You heard me!" Anna declared, moving her hands to her hips. "Queen Elsa is boring."
"I'll be sure to inform Her Majesty of your feelings." Elsa replied dryly, almost rolling her eyes at the very thought of it. "Honestly, Anna, you know I'm not one for all these," she waved her hand, a few snowflakes drifting lazily from her fingertips, "…antics."
"Fine," Anna pretended to sulk, pouting, "but just do me one favor."
Warily, Elsa nodded. "If it's within reason…"
"Good. Just turn around and stay—stay right there, okay? Do not move a muscle, like don't even sneeze!"
Elsa's quirked a worried brow, asking carefully, "What are you planning?"
"Nothing bad, honest!" Anna chirped, far too gleeful for a person who just a moment before was annoyed. "Turn around and do not move. I have a surprise! Please, just trust me, it's nothing bad, I swear!"
Sighing, Elsa did as her sister instructed, figuring that the sooner she complied the sooner she could go get properly dressed. After all, going about in a robe was not exactly appropriate attire for a Queen.
"If you throw a snowball at me again, Anna…" Elsa warned, almost exasperated, and listening to her sister's footsteps fading into the distance.
"Don't move!" Anna replied, her voice sounding farther away than Elsa had expected. What was the girl up to?
Suddenly, there was a fast crunching of running steps. Elsa's brows scrunched together in confusion. Was Anna running? Why was she running? Unless she was…
Just as realization made it into the Queen's mind, something literally slammed into her. A cry left her lips as she was tackled down into the snow, face first. Something, someone, warm was pressed against her back; she elbowed them off almost immediately as she sat up, spitting out the slush.
She turned to stare at her sister in shock, spluttering out an angry, "You…you attacked me!"
Beside her, Anna flipped onto her back, out of breath with howling laughter. "Your…face…" she gasped out, clutching her hurting sides.
Elsa narrowed her flashing eyes, a hot fury sweeping over her as she hissed out, "Have you lost your godforsaken mind? I am the Queen! Your Queen! I am reserved the status of respectability and demand a sense of decorum at all times!"
Anna's laughter died away, her features sobering up when she noticed that her sister was not in a joking-type mood. She sat up, hands raised in surrender. "Elsa, I was just…"
The wind picked up, and a chill went down Anna's spine. Elsa eyes turned murderous. "You were just acting like a child! Don't you think of anything else but playing? You are almost nineteen years old; you're practically a woman, Anna, act like it!"
It went quiet for about a minute, while Elsa tried to calm her anger, and Anna mulled over what she had been told. The Princess bit her lip, truly feeling sorry as she noticed her older sister rub at her probably sore shoulder.
"Elsa?" She squeaked, softly, hesitantly. "Are you still mad at me?"
Her sister pinched the bridge of her nose, still lying in the snow, sighing. "No, Anna, I'm not mad at you any longer."
"You still sound mad."
"That's because I'm actually rather annoyed with you at the moment." Elsa replied, still pinching the bridge of her nose. Anna nodded, before an idea reached her mind.
"I know how to make you not-annoyed with me! You're still ticklish, right?" She asked, shuffling closer to her sister.
Elsa's eyes popped open immediately, and she released her nose. "What? Anna—no!"
Without warning, Anna's fingers started to move to her sister's sides, each finger moving individually, like the nursery song about the spider. Elsa was unable to hold it back: she had to start laughing. Even if it was against her own will.
"Stop…st-stop!" Elsa continued to laugh, unable to control herself. Anna was grinning above her with a rather evil smile, her own giggles hard to control. "I can't…this…"
"I knew I could make you happy again!" Anna declared, pretty pleased with herself as she ducked one of Elsa's arms trying to push her away.
"When...I g-get away…you are...in so much trouble!" Elsa breathlessly declared through her mirth, unable to sound serious because Anna still had control over her sides.
"Don't you mean, 'if'?" Anna smirked, giggling just as madly as her sister. Elsa took her momentary distraction to use motion her hand slightly, letting a harsh wind literally push Anna onto her back.
"Oomph! Hey!" The princess cried out, obviously not expecting such a move.
Still trying to control the remnants of her laughter, Elsa sat up, smiling and completely out of breath. "No, you heard me right, I said when, as in now!"
"No way!" Anna cried out, narrowly missing Elsa's dive at her.
She jumped up, still giggling as she started to run in the opposite direction, gathering up her nightgown in two fistfuls so that her bare feet wouldn't trip. Her sister stared after her for just a second, before finding herself shrieking with laughter and running as well, loose platinum-blonde hair whipping behind her like a flag.
"Wait!" Elsa skidded to a stop, her uncovered feet curling pleasantly into the cold sludge that covered the ground. "Don't come any nearer!"
"Why shouldn't I?" She demanded, almost grateful that she was given a moment to rest.
"This is my snow fort! Any attacks on these walls will be," Anna gathered as much snow as she could, building up her battlement while she spoke, "considered an act of war!"
"Really?" Elsa wondered, a mischievous sort of excitement churning in her chest as she reached down to grab two handfuls of snow.
"Yes, really! So if you don't want to face my, uh, wrath, you'd better run away now, because once I start, I can—"
Plop! A snowball the size of her head was directed to a section of the still-in-construction fort, knocking down about half of it. Anna gasped, looking up to see Elsa running away, laughing loudly.
"This means war!" Anna declared, calling after her sister. "You are so going down!"
"No, that's just your fort!" Elsa cried back, grinning wolfishly at her own cleverness.
She stopped running finally, far enough that she was safe for the time being, but once the snowball fight got started, it would be a free-for-all. Immediately, she dropped to her knees, doing like Anna had done and starting to construct her own fort as quickly as possible.
Then, she paused, blinking. "Wait, what am I doing?"
She stood quickly, not bothering the brush the snow off her. Then, with practiced movements, she started to construct her own version of a fort, complete with three snow cannons, all facing her sister.
"Ready yet?" She called to Anna, lifting herself so that she sat on the fort wall, prepared for a war.
"Almost!" Anna called back, still trying to fix the part of her fort that Elsa had knocked over. She looked up, and her jaw dropped.
Elsa's fort looked like an actual fort. It was a single ice-wall, a good foot thick, and about five feet tall. There were even cut outs along the wall, with…were those cannons? Aimed at her?
Anna gulped, looking down at the pitiful gathering of snow she had put in a few pathetic lumps around her. It would barely be enough to cover her head. Still, she reached down, patted a snowball into her hands, took in a deep breath, and decided to face her fate.
The first snowball was thrown, or rather shot, from Elsa's side. She laughed happily upon seeing that her cannon's aim was true, hitting Anna dead center, like she was a target. The younger girl staggered back up, but immediately dropped back to the ground to avoid a repeat snowball.
"Elsa! At least let me get one throw in!" Anna whined, finding that fighting against the Snow Queen was not the greatest idea in the world.
"Just because I'm so nice…not a chance!" Elsa declared, laughing again as another snowball hit Anna in the arm.
Anna gritted her teeth, looking down at the snowball still clasped in her bright red, raw hands. Another snowball almost took out her legs. This was impossible! The only way she could possibly survive would be to attack Elsa directly on—but that meant venturing out into no-man's-land!
A snowball whizzing by her ear made up Anna's mind almost immediately. She clutched her snowball tightly to her chest, took in a deep breath, and let out a war cry.
"Roarrr!" She ran forward, eyes focused steadily upon Elsa, who only raised a brow at her.
Without any warning, Anna let her left hand fly, and the snowball was released from her grip. Elsa had no time to react, no time to see what was happening. The ball of slush hit her face dead on, knocking her off her perch on the fort wall.
"Ha! I got you! I hit you!" Anna laughed, feeling a giddy feeling overcome her. "I am the greatest snowball-er in the entire world! I am the absolute best—whoa!"
Not noticing where she was going, Anna literally slammed into the fort wall. Immediately, she fell back, groaning and clutching at her head. Hitting ice-head on?
"That was not a great idea," she mumbled to herself, standing up, wincing, and walking towards the fort.
"Stay away!" A rather female voice, deepening to pretend it was much more sinister, called out from behind the wall. "Unless you come with chocolate, there is no entering this sacred place!"
"Elsa, lemme in!" Anna complained, pounding against the ice wall, only to hiss in pain as she moved her fist away. She stamped her foot once more, immaturely. "No fair! I want to be in the good fort too!"
A section of ice disappeared, and a pair of familiar blue eyes appeared. "What's the password?"
"The password?" Anna questioned, unable to comprehend what her sister was playing at.
"The password to enter the fort!" Elsa hissed through the other side, but her happy, shining eyes told a different story than her tone.
Anna frowned, thinking hard. "Can you give me a hint?"
"Is the password," Anna paused, searching her mind for something, anything, "…Olaf?"
The eyes on the other side blinked, obviously taken aback. Anna started to smile at her victory, but just as quickly, ice replaced the section where the eyes had been. Anna frowned.
"Elsa, is the password Olaf?"
"No, it is not."
Anna's eyes narrowed at the wall. "Yes it is! You're just not letting me in, aren't you?"
"It is not!" Was the only reply she received, a stubborn one at that.
"Is too! Why won't you just let me in? What's the big deal?" She called, already starting to back away from the fort.
"The big deal is, because it's mine! It's my fort! Is not!"
"Is too, is too, is too!" Anna shrieked, running straight to the fort and trying to jump over it.
Unfortunately, her jump was not high enough, and she got stuck about halfway on the top.
She huffed in annoyance.
"Would you like some help?" An overly amused voice asked, and Anna looked down, right into her sister. Elsa wasn't even trying to hide her smile, and Anna discovered that it was infectious.
"Yes, please." Anna sighed in defeat, realizing who the ultimate winner of the snowball war was. She may have hit Elsa, but her sister's cannons took the cake.
"Alright, hold on," Elsa gripped her sister's hand, keeping a good hold on her. Then she reached out a bare foot, gently touching the fort, and watching as it disappeared before her into the wind.
Anna fell, for once, on her feet. She grinned, although she had long since stopped being able to feel her nose, or ears, or toes, or really anything. She had other things to occupy her mind.
"Come on, we've still got to build a snowman!" Anna fell to her knees, starting to gather up bundles of snow, trying hard to make a ball out of them.
Elsa joined her on her knees, frowning. "We've built plenty of snowmen already, Anna. Why can't it be a snow-woman for once?"
Anna gasped, covering her mouth in shock. "Elsa, you're a genius! Okay, I'll work on the head—you do the body, you're better at the body than I am."
"Sounds like a plan," Elsa agreed, rubbing her hands together eagerly. She was going to have some fun with this.
"What should we call her anyway?" She asked, while snowflakes drifted from her fingers, creating the outline of the body.
"Fluffy?" Anna offered, hopefully.
Elsa actually snorted at the idea. "No, you're definitely saving that one for your firstborn."
"What's wrong with Fluffy? I think it's a cute name!" Anna defended, her tongue coming to stick out of the corner of her mouth as she patted down the head of her future snow-woman.
"You also think "thingamajigger" is what a thermometer is called." Elsa smirked, holding back her giggles.
"Okay, that was one time, I was ten, and Papa teased me for weeks! Sheesh!" Anna huffed, still focused on her snow-woman's head.
"The part I never understood was that you weren't even sick, and you were looking for a thermometer for some reason." Elsa declared, lazily turning her snow-woman's body this way and that for inspection.
"I wanted to do a science experiment!" Anna complained. "But I made a mess of Mama's things looking for it—she was so mad! I even got spanked!"
"I remember," Elsa smiled at the memory, "I felt so horrible that you were sent to bed without dinner too, so I brought you my dessert."
"Yeah, but you forgot the spoon! And I was so upset, I couldn't eat without a spoon, because if I dirtied my new dress Mama would be even angrier. And you promised to go to the kitchens to get me a spoon." Anna mused, a half smile lifting up the corner of her mouth.
"I did try to go to the kitchens," Elsa grinned even wider, "But Mama asked me where I was going, and I had to fib that I was heading to the portrait gallery because I was positive I had left my ribbon in there."
"But you had stopped wearing hair ribbons by that time, you were thirteen already! Did she believe you?" Anna asked breathlessly, because it was the first time she was hearing this part of the story.
"You know, I don't know." Elsa said thoughtfully, shrugging. "She let me go, so either I was a very good liar, or she was too upset to try to foil my schemes."
"Well, you did make it to the kitchens eventually, right? I mean, you came back with a special spoon made of ice!" Anna smiled at the good time, a few of the happy times she and her sister had been able to share throughout their childhoods.
Elsa nodded. "Right, the kitchens…or the hallway right outside your room."
"Right, right…wait, no—what?!" She asked, confusion overtaking her features.
Elsa raised a brow, looking over at her younger sister. "Anna, it was a spoon made of ice. Must I say more?"
"But you had gloves on!"
"I wasn't going to allow you to starve to death, though!" Elsa retorted, defensively.
Anna looked up at her, making eye contact for the first time this entire conversation. Elsa did the same. Then they both started to laugh.
"You still think I was going to starve to death!" Anna declared, falling
over herself with giggles.
"It's better than thinking it was a "special spoon" from the kitchens!" Elsa
bursting with chuckles herself.
"We're a pair of fools, aren't we Elsa?" Anna laughed, wiping away tears from her eyes.
Elsa giggled, trying to smother them with her hand for a more refined persona. "You speak only for yourself. Have you finished that head yet?"
"Just about!" Anna declared, lifting up her head proudly. "Now to put it on the body…um…where's the body?"
Elsa raised a brow. "It is literally right in front of you, Anna."
"No it's not, there's just these two lumps of snow in a dress." Anna replied back, still looking left and right for the body.
Elsa gave her a heavy look. Her eyes went wide, turning back to the two lumps of snow. "Oh man, I didn't even…why is she so…"
"I figured if she was a she, then she would want a nice figure, don't you think? Then I thought, why shouldn't she be dressed as well? After all, we don't want an unladylike snow-woman. " Elsa twisted a strand of platinum hair around a finger, almost nervous for Anna's response.
In reality, the princess simply looked down at her large, lumpy head, before sighing and placing it on the body. "Well, she can have a great body, but she'll have a big head."
"A misshapen head, at that." Elsa responded, warily eyeing the snow-woman's crater for a head. Anna bumped her with her shoulder.
"Hey, I did this all by hand, not like you, cheater," she declared, crossing her arms. "But nice touch on the ice arms. It totally matches the ice on her dress."
"Thank you, but I did this by hand as well."
"Waving your hand around does not count, Elsa." Anna retorted, falling back into the snow bank with a soft thud.
"Your knees are showing." Elsa pointed out dryly, distracting Anna from the conversation at hand.
"How scandalous," Anna snorted, laughing a little at herself. "We should call the local press—I can just see the headlines, 'Her Royal Highness's Adorable Knees in Full View, See Sketch on Next Page'."
"Let's avoid that headline from showing, shall we? The last thing we need is for Kristoff to see that very sketch and get unfortunate ideas about your reputation." Elsa answered, moving to shove Anna's nightdress back down to her cover even her calves.
"Oh, he's seen worse, trust me." Anna smirked at the thought, but then went as red as a tomato when Elsa leaned over her, one eyebrow raised in that dangerous look that meant business.
"No, no—I mean, we haven't done—we've just kissed a lot, and then sometimes, my skirt—it just, it moves on its own, and it's hard to focus when—"
Elsa held up a hand, effectively cutting her off (and saving her) from saying more on the subject. "Anna, as…enjoyable as this conversation is," she cringed at the very thought of what she was going to say next, "I believe it's better saved for later. When I don't know where Kristoff is and he'll be gone for longer than two or three days."
"Right, got it." Anna breathed, focusing on the here and now.
That conversation would not be a comfortable one, although she did realize, unfortunately, that it would have to happen eventually. With her mother having passed away a few years before, Elsa was the closest thing she had to guidance on this issue. Although, her sister was much less experienced than she, so it was pretty easy to assume that the conversation would be rather painful.
"Erm, Elsa?" Anna wondered, sitting up on one elbow as she watched her sister, who had flopped into the snow, start to move her arms in every which direction.
"You're not making a snow-angel right." Anna replied, pursing out her lips.
Elsa looked over at her for a moment, one brow raised, before she shrugged and continued on from before. "That's because I'm making a snow-Anna. See, she has to be completely uncontrollable, with just the right amount of crazy."
"Oh, is that so?" Anna asked, narrowing her eyes at the thought. Elsa laughed, continuing to perfect her snow-Anna. "Well, in that case, I'm going to make a snow-Elsa."
"Don't you dare steal my idea, " Elsa warned, narrowing her eyes at her younger sister.
Anna tilted her head to the side, asking, "Why not? It's not like it's even that original of an idea."
"Because it's mine, thank you very much, and I worked very hard on my snow-Anna."
"Whatever," Anna rolled her eyes, "I'm still going to make my own snow-Elsa."
Elsa looked over, now much more interested. "And what does that entail?"
"Well," Anna started, grinning, "snow-Elsa starts out really proper," she demonstrated by becoming very still, hands folded over her stomach, "but then, then she gets really excited by the snow, and she stops being Queen Elsa, and becomes Fun Elsa." She finished by splaying in every direction in the snow, laughing as she did so.
Recognition lit up Elsa's eyes. "Ah, so that's what you meant by you didn't like Queen Elsa. I suppose it has to be rather annoying at times, having a boring older sister."
Anna frowned, titling her head to the side, and lifting back up on her elbow, like Elsa had done, to look at her sister. "I don't think it's annoying. It's just a different side of you. You have to be Queen Elsa—"
"Because the kingdom expects it." Elsa cut in, smiling grimly.
Anna shook her head. "No, because you have to balance me out. If Fun Elsa was always around, nothing would ever get done, and I'd always be in the infirmary because no one would hold me back from my half-crazy ideas."
"Half-crazy?" Elsa repeated, raising her eyebrow once more.
Anna sheepishly looked away. "Okay, maybe sometimes their a little—just a little—wacko."
"Mhm, if you say so," Elsa agreed, not wishing to point out that most of the time it took freezing Anna's feet to the ground to keep her from doing anything that could end up badly.
They stayed quiet a few moments, before Anna broke the silence. "Hey, can I ask you something?"
"If you must," Elsa replied, wary.
Anna shifted slightly, frowning. "What's it like, being twenty-one?"
That question came out of nowhere, it seemed. Elsa's brow scrunched, and a frown appeared on her own features. "I suppose, it's a lot like being eighteen, except you feel much more mature."
"Oh?" Elsa picked up on the note of disappointment in Anna's voice.
The teenager sighed. "I just thought it would be much more…grown up, you know? Like, not as young."
"What's bringing this on?" Elsa asked softly, worry marking her tone. She wasn't used to hearing her younger sister asking such serious things.
"I just…sometimes, I wish I wasn't the baby of the family. Everyone always treats me like I'm five, and you said it yourself, I'm almost nineteen. I'm almost a woman."
Elsa sighed, her heart heavy. "Oh, Anna. You aren't practically a woman, you are one."
"But you said—" She was cut off by Elsa's hand again.
"Let me explain," her older sister said, gently, "When I think of you, when others that have known you all your life think of you, we all picture you as this little girl in pigtails, ruining priceless paintings with crayon markings, and a gap-toothed smile."
"I don't understand," Anna confessed, frowning at herself for not grasping the concept so quickly.
Elsa decided to try a different approach. "I was angry that you tackled me into the snow, and I told you to grow up, because you were practically a woman."
"Yes…" Anna answered, not knowing if that was a question or not.
"Well, it's hard for me to think of my baby sister as all grown up, you have to understand that, Anna. I still remember holding you the day you were born, all red-faced and screaming." Briefly, Elsa smiled at the memory, trying to reign in her unnecessary tears. "So, even though you are very much a young woman, already, it's difficult for me to think of you as anything but a little girl."
"I don't want to be a little girl forever, that's the thing. I do want to grow up, like you said. But no one gives me the chance." Sighing, Anna blinked back her own tears, not quite sure why she was so sad.
"It's not your job to grow up, Anna, that's what the baby of the family is for. If you were grown up, then who would give me a much-needed break? Who would bicker with me, and get me to act as though I'm seven all over again? Who would sneak into my room late at night, saying you're afraid of the storm, but we both know it's just to comfort me?" Elsa cleared her throat, brushing back her tears.
Very quietly, she added, "Who would be my best friend?"
"I never…I never thought of it that way." Anna gasped out, freely letting her own tears run. Elsa reached over with a watery smile, wiping them away with her thumb. "You're my best friend too, you know. You've always been."
Elsa choked back a sob, nodding her head because she didn't trust her voice. They laid there in the morning stillness for awhile, both lost in their thoughts. Then, the waves of drowsiness started to kick in.
Elsa started thinking of all the work she still had to do, but before her thoughts were able to get very far, something warm pressed against her. Anna was curling up against her, snuggling into her arm, in the middle of the snow. The elder of the duo smiled, leaning over to push a few strands of damp hair away from her sister's forehead.
"You know what?" Anna breathed, sleepiness overtaking her as she wrapped her arms around Elsa's neck.
Anna pressed her lips into her sister's cheek, delivering a sloppy kiss. "I love you, even if you are a bossy big sister."
Elsa grinned, settling herself deeper into the snow. The work could wait. Being here, now, with her sister was more important than any stuffy old room any way.
"Would you like to know something as well?" Elsa asked, yawning.
Anna managed a sleepy murmur of, "Yeah?"
"I love you too, because you're mine."
Well, that's it folks. Hope you enjoyed this ficlet, please don't forget to review!