A/N: Written for the Tumblr community fortkristanna's Week #1 prompt, "Comfort".

[KristoffxAnna, K+ hurt/comfort/romance]


"Night Shift"

Anna is, quite possibly, the world's worst sleeper.

She tosses. She kicks. She flails, tangles, drools, mumbles. She winds the blankets tight around herself and leaves Kristoff's side of the bed cold and open to the twisting bite of cool night air. And then she flails some more and ends up pressing her cold toes to the bare skin of his calves.

It's remarkable the things a man in love will endure, Kristoff often thinks, and tonight is no exception, as he stares up at the sloping pink canopy pinned too-high above them (he idly wonders at how the servants reach it) and Anna snores loudly beside him.

(He'd never thought a human could ever snore as loudly as Sven. He was wrong.)

Kristoff sighs, reaches up, tucks his hands behind his head, the backs of them settling soft and snug into the goose-down pillow, and he's still not used to the luxurious softness of it. It would be easier, he thinks, to retire to the barn, feel the familiar dry scratch of straw scraping against the back of his neck. He's certainly had worse through the years — at least the barn is dry and comfortable, with warm, hazy lantern-light, carrots and sugar cubes in ample supply, and he's never woken with a start in the middle of the night at Sven's hooves ice-cold against his legs.

Anna's snoring falters into a short, troubled whimper, and suddenly he remembers why he's here.

Kristoff turns, props his head up on his elbow, and watches carefully as Anna's brows twitch, as her eyes move rapid-quick behind closed lids. The blankets are tangled around her shoulders, her waist, her hips, and she frowns, starts, wriggles against them.

It's agony to hold himself still when he knows what's coming, but he does.

Anna's brow creases as she twists within the blankets, breath coming short and sharp, and she struggles, rolls to one side, then the other. Kristoff watches as one of her hands shoots out from underneath, clutches frantically at the thick fabric and pulls, tries to disentangle herself.

She's whimpering.

She's scared.

Kristoff's made of strong stuff, but he's not that strong. He reaches over and gently, as gently as he can manage, untangles the blankets from around Anna's sleeping form (he marvels, distantly, that such a small person could manage so many complicated twists, and just from sleep alone, but there are far more important things to worry about than that).

She's still thrashing, limbs threaded tight with tension, hair a tangle of wild flame against the pillow. "Anna," he says, as gently and evenly as he can. He doesn't touch her, even as his fingers burn with the desire to. "Anna."

Her eyes open, wide, unfocused, and he doesn't move fast enough to avoid the flailing hand that connects sharply with his jaw.

It stings — she has a strong right-hook, this one, even when it's unintentional — but he'll handle it later.

"Anna," Kristoff says again, still gentle, reminding, and he rolls to the side, pushes up onto his hands, looks into her eyes, steady, insistent. "Anna."

Her eyes swim for a moment, dilated, frightened, before they finally focus. "…Kristoff?" she says, and her voice is a faint, dry whisper.

Kristoff nods, and he lets his fingers graze over her cheekbone, just barely. "You're safe, okay? You're safe."

Anna's eyes are still wide with fear, but her breathing has begun to settle. She tilts her head back, over, around, takes in the darkened trappings of her bedroom, and she exhales on a shaky, broken sigh. "Kristoff," she repeats, and she winds her arms around his shoulders and pulls him down to her.

Kristoff nuzzles into her hair as Anna curves her face in against his neck, inhales, sighs. "You stayed with me again?" she asks, and he can feel the shape of her lips against his skin.

"You fell asleep," he says. He tries to pull back, ease his weight off her, but she pulls him closer, winds her arms and legs tight around him. "Didn't want to wake you. Figured you could use the rest."

"Mm." Anna presses her fingertips into his shoulderblades, squeezes gently. "I sleep better when you're here."

Kristoff doesn't want to think that this is 'better'. He closes his eyes and nudges aside a wayward lock of strawberry-blond hair, lays a gentle kiss against her temple. "Wish I did. I think you may actually be even crazier when you're asleep than you are when you're awake."

He feels the faint curve of a smile. "You should see my hair," Anna says, and Kristoff is sure her too-light tone is just her way of being brave (he can still feel a faint tremor in her shoulders), but he loves her for it just the same.

"Oh, I have," Kristoff says, nudging her gently. "You look like a muskox."

"…a muskox?"

"A cute muskox," he amends with a smile that fades as Anna falls quiet, tightening her grip on him.

"Can you stay?" she asks quietly.

She's cutting off his circulation a bit more than he'd like, and she's wound tight around him like a climber vine. Her toes are cold against the bare skin at the base of his spine.

Another tremor shakes her narrow shoulders, and Kristoff closes his eyes, nods his assent and rolls the two of them to one side so he can wrap his arms around her. Anna untangles her legs from his waist and straightens them along his.

"Do you want to talk about it?" he asks, finally.

Anna lays her head against his heart, pressing her palm flat beside it. "Maybe later," she says, and her voice is warm, sleepy. "Right now I just want to try and get some sleep." She's quiet for a moment, threading her fingers through the tight curls of fine blond hair against his chest. "I never have nightmares with you," she says finally. "I wonder why that is?"

He knows it's a rhetorical question. Which is good, because he doesn't have an answer. But he loves her, cold toes and flailing limbs and all, and he'll take every sleepless night in stride if that's what it takes to keep her safe, to keep whatever dark dreams lie within her empty bed at bay.

"Kristoff," she murmurs against his skin. Her breath is warm against his breastbone. "Thank you."

He brushes a faint, ghosting kiss against her hair as her breathing evens and deepens.

When she wakes, hours later, rested and warm, Kristoff is tangled tight around her, one hand threaded through her hair, head lolled heavily against her shoulder as he snores loudly.

Anna sighs fondly and strokes a hand through his hair, and the arms around her tighten as Kristoff mumbles something in his sleep.

He really is such a difficult sleeper, she thinks.