Elsa saw it coming.
She had almost seen it before Kristoff ever showed up; when Anna announced her engagement to Hans, and Elsa knew she would find someone else one day. Else knew when Kristoff came on the scene that he was that "someone else."
He liked to play with Anna's hair absentmindedly while sitting around the fire. They were prone to cuddling on the couch after dinner. Anna liked to tease him about his troll family, and he would tease her back about how she used to talk to paintings as a child. (That was the first time Elsa had ever heard about that, and she felt a guilty pang in her stomach as a result.)
Yes, she had seen it coming.
And when Kristoff entered her throne room that evening, she had certainly known. But she wasn't quite prepared to accept it, as he approached her timidly.
"Queen Elsa," he said, his voice more high pitched than usual. He sunk into a bow, to which Elsa rolled her eyes.
"You needn't bow every time you see me, Kristoff," she said. "It says little of our relationship."
He hastily stood up. eHe hH"Well, actually, that's sort of what I came to talk to you about...you see, not our relationship-but-"
"Yours and Anna's," Elsa said, trying to keep her voice from sounding too stiff. Kristoff nodded.
"I take it you wish to become engaged?" Elsa said. She was not interested in making the poor boy suffer by prolonging this.
"Yes," he said. "And I promise, your Highness, if you give this marriage your blessing...I'll take care of her for as long as I live. I'll keep her warm and make her breakfast when she asks me to and braid her hair without complaint."
Elsa studied his open, honest face. His voice was nervous, but full of conviction. In a moment, she knew what she would have to say.
Kristoff was a good boy. He would take care of Anna, and he was certainly a better match for her than Hans had turned out to be. Elsa would go as far as to say that the genuinely liked Kristoff.
Yet after so many years apart, it was hard to embrace that her sister's attention would now be focused on her husband, and later raising a family. After all those years of shutting Anna out, her greatest fear had become that the same thing would happen to her. Never would it be done intentionally, because Anna wasn't an unkind person. But life often gets in the way of intentions, and just as Elsa had predicted this moment with Kristoff, she could see what was going to happen once they got married. No one would hurt her, but they would leave her on her own. They were going to be part of a family that she would never be part of, made even worse because she had resisted being Anna's family for so long.
Yes, she was going to bless the marriage. For purely selfish reasons, though, she wanted to tell him that he and Anna must court longer, or that a commoner wasn't suited to wed a princess. But looking at his face, she saw the love in his eyes, and the scared expression he wore.
She could not say no, because to do so would be to shut Anna out more than ever before.
"I give you my blessing," she said. She couldn't help but smile at the smile that spread across Kristoff's face.
"Thank you, your Highness," he said, falling to his knees. She didn't correct him this time as he smiled up at her, his gratitude clear. "But...I have to know. If Anna marries me, do we have to move out?"
The thought that they would ever leave had never occurred to Elsa. And despite that it was an impossibility, due to Anna being a member of the royal family, it still made her stomach twist up in knots at the idea.
"Don't be silly," she said, managing to keep her voice composed. "Of course you will stay here."
Kristoff nodded. "Good. I know Anna wouldn't want to leave, even if the ice wanted to take me a million miles away." He paused, and then said quietly, "And I'll follow her over the ice any day."
"Well, Anna certainly makes better company," Elsa said. "And Kristoff?"
"Remember that she's still my sister, won't you?"
At that, Kristoff smiled. "You know, Queen Elsa...that was the first thing I knew about her. And I don't think she'll ever let me forget it."
Elsa dismissed Kristoff quickly after that, and watched as he ran off to find Anna. She wondered absently if he even had a ring, or if he planned on simply asking her in an excited rush. She smiled at the thought.
And she smiled later when it turned out that that was exactly what had happened. She had, once again, seen it coming, but this time, it only took her a moment to take in Anna's joyous face before she realized she had already accepted it.
I haven't written any fanfiction in a really long time. My theory has always been that when a work of fiction is inspiring enough for me to invade that world, then I'll storm in and do with it what I please. I've fallen in love with Frozen, and although Anna is my favourite character, Elsa is such a fantastic character to write about. Dear readers, I say adieu.