A/N: I apologize for the tardiness of this chapter! School takes a toll on the ol' muse. I want to once again thank my wonderful beta, John, and I want to thank all of you beautiful people reviewing, following, and favoriteing. Don't change. I hope you enjoy the M-rating. ;D
A/Update: I really want to apologize for not updating, especially when the story is so near completion. Life and school and a lack of willpower has left me rendered unable to write much, but I assure you I'm not dead and I will update as soon as I can.
Anna awoke the next day in utter agony. Alright, maybe that was a bit excessive, but she certainly wasn't comfortable. Rolling over onto her side had only made it worse, and she groaned out, flopping back onto her back. Her hands clutched at her side, she tried to lie still until the thudding pain stopped, and was able to gasp in a few breaths. Maybe one of the blows had actually cracked a rib? She had no idea. She had been hit twice in the same area, so that was a distinct possibility; a possibility that she didn't really have time to worry about because she had another fight today. Maybe if she just stayed perfectly still, she would heal enough by late this afternoon to be perfectly okay.
"Haha, fat chance," she said softly into the empty room. "Augh, it feels like Sven did a tap-dance on my ribs."
She'd just have to power through it. Yep. This would be fine. Just.. shift a little over towards the edge of the bed and get up. Easy peasy. She inhaled gently and started to do just that, but she was stopped by a throbbing in her head, as if her body was reminding her that she had also been hit there. Haha! This whole plan was a terrible idea in the first place, and now I'm going to make you suffer for it! And suffer she was going to, for when she let out a whimper and went to grab her head, she realized—too late—that she was basically on the edge of the bed. With a graceless, painful flop, Anna fell right off her bed and onto the floor and cried out at the unpleasant sensation.
She'd thought she'd be fine today. Climbing up the roof had been easy, she'd barely hurt at all! Sure there was some tenderness from being hit, but when she had gone to scale the castle once more, it had only been a mild inconvenience. Clearly, the bruise had just needed to set, like a cake freshly taken out of the oven. The only exception was that this was a cake of pain. A pound cake, maybe? Anna laughed at her own joke, then immediately regretted it as pain erupted in her side and midsection. Bad idea, bad idea. Just stay calm and get up like a normal person. You can do this. You were born ready to do this. Standing. You were born to stand!
The Princess struggled and tried to force herself up again, giving herself a mental pep talk the whole time. Trying to force herself up on her arm wouldn't work, since that was hurt too. Rolling around didn't work because, you guessed it, pain. As her mental pep talk slowly died down, she ended up just sort of lying on her face in a mass of sheets and her comforter, which had fallen down upon her by this time. Anna gave up, resolving that she was just gonna lay here awhile. At least until someone found her and forced her to get up.
She couldn't help but ponder her current situation as she lay there, slightly curled over against herself in pain. A few months ago, she would have never imagined this is where she would be now. A few months ago, she had all but completely given up on Elsa. A few months ago, she was certain that Elsa wanted nothing to do with her and Anna had stopped wanting to have anything to do with her in turn. She had reached out, and Elsa had pushed her away, just like she did when they were kids. Thrown out of her ice castle, chased down a mountain, Anna had found herself unable to put any more faith in Elsa. Their bond had been broken, weakened by time and isolation. It wasn't until Elsa had nearly been killed that Anna had remembered how much she loved her, how much Elsa meant to her, and in that moment she was willing to die for her.
Now, here she was, fighting, literally fighting, to strengthen and deepen that bond. She never wanted it to break again. That's what made all of this worth it. Smiling, she huddled up a bit more, simply thinking about everything that had happened up to this point, and trying to ignore the throbbing pain in her side. Time did funny things to people.
Sleep had been elusive for the young Queen of Arendelle. So many thoughts were running through her head, all revolving around one, very important, facet of her life. Anna. For once, they were not about her own thoughts and feelings towards her darling little sister. No, these past months had been perfectly capable of showing her that the feelings she had developed for her sister during her years of isolation had become anything but sisterly. Her thoughts were focused on her sister's feelings, her intentions. A plan had been forming in the Queen's mind, a plan based on well-supported theories.
Her first thought had been that Anna had feelings for the young Prince Edward. He was handsome, yes, but unpleasant in attitude. At least that's where she knew he differed from Hans; Hans had hid his cruel plots, while this man allowed his less-than-pleasant side to be seen. He was more a pompous jerk rather than one looking to overthrow her kingdom, which was comforting in two ways. One, she knew he would not purposefully try to kill either of them, as he was already perfectly content being first in line for his own throne. Two, she knew Anna would never be interested in someone who treated people as disdainfully as he did.
Thus, her originally theory had been shot, leaving only the second, much more plausible, one. Elsa brought her hand to her forehead as she lounged in a chair, snow fluttering around her as she was hit by a sudden flash of worry, of a desire for her to be wrong. What she was doing, if she was correct, was just so dangerous. Elsa had no idea why Anna would even be doing it in the first place. She ran her fingers through her hair, letting out a groan. She'd have to talk to Anna about this, about everything. She had to see if she was right; but she also needed to explain her own feelings about.. all this. Elsa's cheeks flushed. Maybe not all of it. She feel quite confident enough to spill everything yet.. if she ever would.
Sighing heavily, she went to stand, pacing across the length of her room as she wrung her hands. Would she be upset? Would she get angry like she had before when she confronted her about her bruises? Probably. Anna's temper had been odd recently, the normally carefree and optimistic girl slightly changed by.. something. Something was eating at her, but Anna had told her that people don't really change though, right? She had learned that from the Trolls, and that had made her able to finally, truly understand Elsa. It's what had helped save her after Elsa's horrible mistake.
Elsa couldn't let her mind linger on this too longer, she had to act. Hesitating would allow doubts, so many doubts, to form in her mind and paralyze her completely. That's what had happened when she was locked in her room all those years. Doubts about her ability to keep her powers in check. Doubts that Anna would still love her after so many years of forced isolation. She had to overcome them. After all these years, and more recently these months, of separation and anxiety, she had to be straightforward with her sister; and she had to get answers of her own. Perhaps she didn't deserve it, she certainly didn't feel like she did, but Anna had said no closed doors. No secrets, on either side.
Steeling herself, Elsa opened her door and started down the hall, making her way to her sister's room. Alright, she could do this. Just.. just do it. There wasn't really an easy or subtle way to bring any of this up, so the plan was to wing it, she supposed. Winging it was never really her strong suit, that was Anna's thing. The only time Elsa ever 'winged it' was when she had to flee from her castle and that had been based purely on fear and panic. This was not a time for either of those things. One final, measured breath, and then she rapped her knuckles on the door.
"Anna? I'm coming in. I need to talk to you."
I'm doomed. The thought flashed through Anna's mind as she heard her sister's voice, then the slow creak of her door opening. Maybe if she just stayed perfectly still and tried not to breathe, Elsa would think she'd gotten up already and leave. Playing dead worked on bears and stuff, right? Not that Elsa was a bear but.. maybe, for some reason, her tracking sense was like a bear's. Nope, that didn't make any sense at all. It was also increasingly futile, as she heard her sister moving closer to the bed, softly calling her name, voice laced with confusion and worry. And now you're making her worry. Good job. Anna groaned in response to her own thoughts, which instantly alerted her prowling older sister to her location.
Elsa had rounded Anna's bed swiftly when she heard the groan, hands raised like she was expecting there is be an attacker. In her defense, he sister's sheets were disheveled like she had been dragged off, plus she was nowhere to be seen, plus her sister had very manly groans in the morning. The Queen's posture relaxed when she saw it was Anna, her expression shifting from hostile to confused as she approached, being careful not to get her foot caught in the dangerous mass of bedding. Crouching, she reached out towards Anna, expecting her to take her hand so she could be extracted from this mess.
"Why are you on the floor? Are you alright?"
"Who? Me? Oh, yeah! I'm great! Just enjoying the feel of rug and hardwood on my back."
Elsa couldn't help the laughter that bubbled up in her throat, coming out as a giggle. Her hand hovered in front of her mouth as she stood back up. Her sister was clearly fine if she was able to snark, correct? Hopefully a good mood would help this all go smoother. She was even laughing now, amused at her own expense. Then she flinched and stopped, and Elsa looked back down at her sharply, her amusement fading. Anna starred back up at her, looking nervous now, mouth opening then closing in response to the scrutinizing look Elsa was now giving her. Her eyes darted about the room.
"Your bruise is still bothering you. Let me see."
"What? No! No, no it's fiiiine. I'm good. Great, actually."
Elsa did not like that answer, and made her opinion very clear when she simply began to push up Anna's nightshirt, the younger girl too stunned to react before Elsa was able to push it up to just under her breasts. What she saw made her gasp, but it also strengthened her resolve. Her bruise had gotten worse. Hit again in the same spot, the right side. Still taking advantage of her sister's shocked state, she pushed up an arm of the gown, to find them littered with bruises as well. Her hands then traveled to Anna's head, touching tender spots where she knew a blade had met Prince Andrew's helm. Anna flinched and whined in response, and it seemed to force her out of her stupor. Embarrassed and a little angry, she went to shove Elsa off of her.
"I knew it."
"Anna, do you know why this tournament is going on?"
Anna felt like she was experiencing whiplash of the mood. She'd thought this conversation was going to go down a completely different and very worrying road. Instead, now Elsa was grilling her about the tournament. Well, she had thought she was going to do that, but more about her involvement in it, not if she knew what Elsa why letting this stupid show even be a thing. As she said, it was stupid, and her sister was smart. She had to have a good explanation. Carefully, slowly, pushing herself up to a sitting position, Anna let out a tiny whimper that made Elsa spring into action. Well, more gently lean into action. She carefully helped Anna to sit up on the bed, but remained standing herself. Pacing had become a habit while she was alone in her room, and she preferred to have the ability to do so when having a serious discussion.
"Nope, but I bet you're gonna tell me! Or, I hope you are. Aren't you?"
"Yes, Anna. I am. Be a little patient while I collect my thoughts."
"Did you drop them?"
Elsa shot Anna a look coupled with a wry smile that quickly faded away. "Shh. I'm being serious, Anna."
Anna shrunk back a little bit, rubbing at her side. The smile had given her the slightest bit of hope that this wouldn't be too bad, but that hope was extinguished when it disappeared. Whatever Elsa wanted to talk about, Anna could feel that it wouldn't be comfortable, or pleasant, or easy.
In fact, she could almost feel that it was going to be the exact opposite of all of those things. Even so, she remained quiet, letting her sister prepare herself before she began to dig into her. She hadn't even started, and Anna already wanted it to be over. Her lower lip was taken in between her teeth as she watched, watching her sister start to move smoothly back and forth in front of her.
"I'm doing it because I have to, not because I want to. You know that much."
"Why do you have to? You're the Queen!"
"As the Queen, there are things... expected of me. Things papa- our father tried to prepare me for. This includes getting married and having an heir-"
"It's still dumb."
"Don't you think I feel the same way?" Elsa rounded on her sister, her voice taking on a tone of desperation. "I don't have any interest in them, these Princes. I don't have any.. any interest in.." Her voice trailed off, before she started again. ".. in men. That's why this is so hard."
"Oh?" Confusion. "Oh!" Realization. "Oooohh.." Relief? Anna blinked rapidly as it hit her, and she almost seemed to relax more with this newfound knowledge. "Well, that's good!"
Now it was Elsa's turn to be confused. ".. Good?"
"Uh! Um. I mean. It isn't bad, right?"
"It is bad, Anna. .. But it's also unimportant."
"But they're your feelings!"
"And they don't matter."
"Yes, they do! Feelings always matter. Love matters! It's stupid that you have to go through with this-"
"Is that why you're doing it?"
".. Wait, what?"
"Fighting in the tournament, 'Prince Andrew'. Is that why you're doing it, because you think this whole thing is stupid?"
Anna was awestruck, dumbfounded, all of those words that mean that she was rendered speechless. Her sister knew. Panic rose up inside her, burning her throat like bile. She wanted to retch, to flee, to burst into an unsupported barely-convincing explanation for her actions; but she couldn't. She was trapped, rooted to be bed by her sister's gaze. Her silence seemed to answer something for Elsa, as she sighed and broke eye contact, starting to pace again, a distance put between them so that her shoulder was nearly grazing the wall with each turn. Anna's mouth worked up and down silently like a fish, and Elsa carried on.
"I don't know what possessed you to come up with this.. plan of yours, but it's dangerous, it's foolish.. and I'm worried."
"I know what I'm doing-" Anna had found her voice again, only to be swiftly rebuffed by Elsa.
"No, you don't. You keep getting injured, and for what? Because you disagree with me? Petty jealousy? My feelings, our feelings don't matter in this Anna-"
This time, Elsa found herself the one cut off, not by speech, but by action. Anna had stood, face beet red, as Elsa had started to try and divulge her reasoning. She was wrong. All of it was wrong, and that's what made Anna so angry. Moving on instinct, Anna had surged forward and ended up trapping the other woman against the wall, hands grasping forearms, locking the limbs to either side of her. The temperature swiftly dropped as Elsa was filled with confusion and worried, icy blue eyes meeting near-teal ones, lit by a righteous fury. For the first time, Elsa could feel, really feel, Anna's newfound strength as her own drained away with the close proximity.
"They do matter, Elsa. They've always mattered. They saved you, saved us.."
"And my jealousy isn't petty. I don't just want them to leave.. I want.."
Simply explaining it wouldn't work. She'd have to show her. So she did. Taking advantage of her dominate position, she slowly titled her head to the side, eyes not leaving Elsa's. Elsa's breathing had picked up now. Leaning in, she brought her lips near Elsa's, jolting forward at the last minute. The kiss was awkward and forceful and their teeth clicked painfully together but Anna didn't seem to care and, judging by the hands now slowly moving down Anna's sides, Elsa didn't either. Slowly, Anna pulled away and their eyes met.
All was silent except for their heavy breathing, gazes locked and faces red. Anna slowly released Elsa's arms, the tension in the room palpable. Then, three months' worth of strange feelings and thirteen years of separation suddenly exploded into action, Elsa and Anna gripping at each other almost in unison.
Their lips reconnected, more cautiously this time but not without the same passion, the same desperation, as before. Elsa was reciprocating and Anna found herself loving her, her eager nature visible in the way it almost looked like she were trying to devour Elsa's face. Her hands moved shakily down Elsa's side before she found purchase in the curves of her hips, drawing Elsa closer in the same motion. The deep kiss turned into swift, rapid pecks, trailing from the corner of Elsa's mouth down her jawline, becoming slower and lingering longer the further she moved down Elsa's neck. Moving on instinct, the kisses turned hot and open-mouthed, teeth and tongue grazing across her sibling's pale flesh.
Elsa had lost track of all thought by now. Head tilted up and to the side, she exposed her neck to more of Anna's clumsy but pleasurable ministrations, a breathy whimper escaping her lips. It was hot, hotter than she thought she would ever be capable of feeling. It was like somewhat had lit a flame in her gut, perhaps slightly lower, and it was threatening to consume her. It hurt, but it just felt so good. She felt lips and teeth latch to her shoulder, and she found herself thankful she had not decided to wear a high-collared dress today. Pleasure mixed with pain lanced up from where Anna bit down, then soothed the mark with a hot tongue. Elsa gasped again, a hand sliding up Anna's back to grasp her cropped hair, the other hand resting against the wall.
Bodies pressed flush against each other, the firm press of her back against a wall the only thing keeping Elsa rooted in reality. Eager to feel more, a hand slid up the front of Elsa's stomach, while the other moved in tantalizing patterns down the monarch's spine until it ended up grasping a nice handful of Elsa's rear. The foreign, intimate touch made Elsa yelp and shiver, hips involuntarily rolling forward against Anna's. The impossible had happened; it had gotten hotter. She felt like she was melting, her legs shaking as Anna's hand repeated the grasping motion with Elsa's breast, kneading the pliable flesh under pining fingers. The rustle of cloth, pants and moans filled the air, mostly soft, mostly restrained, the two of them experimenting with touch and taste.
Abruptly filled with a desperate need, an urge borne from simple want and far too many romance novels, Anna forced Elsa closer while pressing a knee up, grinding it against Elsa's center. It was like she'd been struck by a thunderbolt, a shiver racing up her spine and causing Elsa's back to arch as she cried out. Elsa slid down the wall slightly, struggling to keep upright as Anna began moving herself against Elsa's bent leg. Her arms now needed to anchor Elsa to her and keep herself propped up against the wall, Anna had found herself relying more and more on her mouth. There wasn't time to remove clothing, so Anna simply began dragging her tongue across Elsa's collarbone once more.
Bracing herself, Anna used one shaking hand to simply pull down the front of Elsa's dress until more skin was exposed, leaving the top of her dress awkwardly slid down her arms with her bra-covered breasts exposed. Sticking out her tongue, she brushed it over a covered nipple, wetting the fabric, the peak hardening as Elsa shuddered. Bracing herself had had the added effect of pressing her knee harder against Elsa, which in turn made the elder sibling start to rock her hips against Anna's leg, sending delicious wave of pleasure through both of their bodies. Wanting to feel more, needing to feel more, Anna got the bra cup out of the way, and instead brushed her tongue across heated flesh.
Grazing her teeth and tongue across the flesh of Elsa's breast, she stopped when her mouth hovered above the peak, before taking it into her mouth. Like an infant with a nipple, she suckled on the tender bud, making Elsa jump and moan in response, body covered with a thin sheen of sweat. Pearly teeth flashed a moment before Anna gently bit down, shifting her prize around between her teeth. The wonderful noises Elsa made reassured her that she was doing something right, and that reading romance novels was not simply for the bored or the desperate. Practical application was always an important facet for any book to have.
The wonderful torture continued as Anna switched her attention to the other breast, Elsa's hand clenched painfully in her reddish hair. She didn't seem to mind it, though. If anything, it egged her on. Love bites began to be marked against the tender flesh of Elsa's breast, Anna's mouth moving back up as her bodies shifted, hips jerking against Elsa's leg while Elsa did the same, both of them desperate for that friction that sent waves up their body and made the muscles in their pelvis and stomach clench. Every cry, soft or loud, that her lover made spurred Anna to greater heights, hands roaming over her body as the two slide further down the wall, their own need for contact and their combined willpower the only things keeping them from collapsing into a help. Head tilted back, Elsa cried out, a name ringing in the air.
Just like that, everything stopped. Movement, breathing, it all stopped as realization sunk in. Anna. Her sister. Her little sister. Elsa. Her elder sister. Siblings, they're siblings and here they are, tangled in the heated embrace meant for lovers, meant, traditionally, for a man and a woman of different families. Anna swallowed hard as she slowly pulled back, extracting herself from the desperate hold. Still dressed in her nightgown, the slightly predatory young woman was replaced by a scared little girl, lifting her eyes to stare in wide-eyed shock at her sibling before her gaze went downcast. Elsa slid down the wall, body trembling in shock as the once scalding temperature of the room fell rapidly.
She bolted. Turning on her heel, Anna ran from the room like she was being chased by a monster, running down the halls and swiftly disappearing into the nearby bathroom, where she sunk to the floor against the wall. Elsa was left in the room, Anna's room, alone. Flakes of snow filled the air above her, dropping in out of nowhere to create small piles near her as Elsa pulled her legs up to her chest; a familiar position. She did not cry. She wasn't even upset, at least not in a way that she yet felt. She was confused, aroused, distressed and.. happy. Her feelings were reciprocated, eagerly. Yet, in her joy, why did she feel like more things had been broken than were fixed?