A/N: Hope you enjoy! Plus, Frozen and its characters don't belong to me.
Blame It on the Fondue
"So much for love being an open door," Anna grumbled, her feet beginning to get sore after walking around in circles for nearly half an hour. She had been on the familiar path to the Valley of the Living Rock until she had taken a wrong turn and ended up discovering a creepy moss-covered stone formation instead. Said stone formation was creepy since it bore an uncanny resemblance to Kristoff whenever she squinted at it. When she had come across the formation (dubbed "Kris Rock", in honor of her loveable lug of a friend) for the fifth time, she stomped her foot in frustration before slumping next to the hulking stone figure with a scowl.
Maybe setting out to meet Granpabbie by herself wasn't such a good idea after all. She probably should've waited for Kristoff to return from his trip to the mountains, or she could've at least asked for Olaf's company upon deciding to meet with the trolls.
Mindlessly, Anna twirled her finger around the closest blade of grass she could find as she silently berated herself for her impatience.
But then again, it could take days, perhaps even weeks, for Kristoff to finish whatever ice harvesting business he had to take care of; it would take her hours to find Olaf who was probably meandering somewhere in the woods, cataloguing the various species of flowers he could find. She simply didn't have the time to look for them, to wait for them, and she most especially did not have the time or the patience to wait for Elsa to start talking to her – really talking to her, not just exchanging stiff greetings, curt nods and awkward glances with her – again. Even a minute longer of detachment from the person she loved so sincerely had become unbearable to her.
With Elsa running on the forefront of her mind once more, all other thoughts (mainly of hunger and exhaustion) were abruptly forgotten. Even her feet didn't seem to ache anymore. With a huff, she pulled herself up using Kris Rock for support before dusting off the dirt from her dress.
"You'll see," Anna said, with a slight poke to Kris Rock's side to accentuate her point, "she'll start noticing me again in no time." After smiling up at the rock formation and giving it a good-natured pat, she began to make her way out of the small clearing she was in when she paused in her tracks.
"Let's just hope we see each other again after that happens. Okay?"
Taking Kris Rock's silence as a sign of agreement, she proceeded to navigate her way across the clump of treacherous-looking brush that she had tried to avoid at first. Muttering under her breath, she braced herself for the onslaught of twigs, thorns, thistles and brambles.
"The things I do for love…"
Elsa was getting worried. She was feeling more than a little guilty, too.
For the past week, she had pulled up every cunning trick, every justifiable excuse, and every clever ruse from her sleeve to avoid Anna.
"Not now, Anna. There's an urgent meeting I must attend."
"Sorry, Anna, but today's forum has exhausted me."
"The sun's a little too bright for my liking, Anna."
"The meatballs in my stomach are revolting …"
Oh, who was she kidding? The tricks, the excuses, the ruse - they were all sloppy and lame, with some of them even bordering on the absurd. The hurt and disbelief reflected in Anna's eyes were more than enough to convince Elsa that no amount of pretense on her part was ever going to fool her younger sister. Still, Elsa knew she had to keep up with her efforts to avoid Anna, futile as they may end up becoming…
To begin with, it wasn't like Elsa hated or disliked her sister in any way. Oh no, it was actually quite the opposite. Elsa loved her sister very much. Very, very much. In fact, her love for Anna was so great that she dreamt about the redhead each night, and then spent every waking hour afterwards thinking about her. She would steal glances at Anna, and every morning she would breathe in the lovely floral scent that lingered on the pillows that belonged to her younger sister. Of course, she did all these in secret. Just like how she would always leave a flower in Anna's room during the early hours of the day, carefully placing it in a different area each time, hoping that the redhead would eagerly search for it the moment she woke up.
Elsa would indulge herself in these and several other displays of affection, and they were really starting to make her feel…sick. Of herself. She felt shame, disgust, and several other words synonymous to these towards herself, too. How much longer could she deny the possibility that maybe, just maybe, her love for Anna is already tinted – no, tainted – with the darker shade of romance?
Elsa scoffed at herself, her hands pausing for a moment from adding the finishing touches to the doll-sized Anna statue she had unconsciously crafted. It was already her third sculpture for the day, which was three more above the limit she had set for herself.
Unable to resist the urge, Elsa brought the sculpture closer to her face as she examined it with as much indifference as she could muster, but her impassive mask instantly fell the moment her brain registered the surprisingly brazen pose her creation had assumed.
With hands on hips that seemed to be caught mid-sway, bare shoulder raised in a teasing manner, and clad in the ball gown she wore during Elsa's coronation party (with the slight modification of this current gown being rather tight-fitting and revealing more skin along the chest area), mini Anna gazed back at Elsa with the most seductive expression to ever grace her younger sister's otherwise innocent features.
Elsa could've sworn her jaw dropped to the floor at that moment, so she was, at the very least, extremely relieved that she was alone in her private study. Her private study whose walls and floor were currently covered in a thin layer of frost.
Elsa sighed, but she didn't bother thawing the ice she had generated. No, the cold never bothered her anyway. Eyeing the bold little statue once more, she gently ran her fingers across its delicate features as she felt a powerful rush of heat spread all over her body. Heart pounding and cheeks flushing, Elsa gulped and fiddled slightly with the collar of her dress as her eyes continued to devour the evocative image that she had unknowingly captured in ice.
The cold never bothered Elsa, but the heat surely did. That new-found heat that seemed to consume the very fiber of her being whenever saw, touched, or thought about Anna.
Indeed, Anna bothered her. Anna very much made her hot and bothered.
And all it took was one look at Anna in her undergarments to ignite the insatiable flames steadily growing within Elsa.
Anna could never forget that gaze.
It was so deep, so intense, so moving that she felt like a chord was struck within her the instant her eyes locked with those searing blue ones.
Yet, there was also a predatory quality to it. It had given her the vague feeling like she was about to become the main course in a twelve-course meal. Did that scare her? Maybe. But definitely not as much as it excited her.
What made the gaze all the more memorable, though, was the person who had given it to her. The…circumstances under which it was given was quite the factor, too.
It had happened a week ago, at night, when Anna was changing into her sleeping clothes. In her rush, she had forgotten to lock the door. She had been wearing a corset then, and impatient to get it off, she fumbled with the laces when all of a sudden, Elsa walked in on her. For a few seconds (they seemed like hours though), Elsa just stood by door, hand still on the handle, her eyes raking over Anna's body. And as those eyes roamed her body, Anna felt as if the last of her clothes were slowly getting peeled off from her. It seemed like she had blushed the hardest then, her hands moving on their own to shield her own indecency, as she forced her eyes to meet that heated gaze. When her eyes finally connected with Elsa's own blue, she was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of emotion her sister's eyes conveyed. But their connection didn't last long; Elsa dropped her gaze to the floor the next moment, her head hung low. After mumbling an apology, she hurriedly left Anna's room without sparing her another glance.
The following morning, she had found a lily atop one of her dressers, and Elsa had been avoiding her since.
"So what should I do, Grandpabbie?" Anna cried, hands thrown in the air as she paced in front of the aged troll king. She had finally made it to the Valley, with twigs and tears adorning her dress to mark her success. She was warmly received by the trolls upon her arrival, and they were very eager to hear news of any new developments regarding her relationship with Kristoff. Bulda, however, had caught the pleading look in her eyes, and after really taking in Anna's disheveled appearance, she had pulled the redhead away from the other trolls who had been crowding around her. After only relating half of her story to Bulda, the female troll had immediately escorted Anna to Grandpabbie without saying another word. Once Grandpabbie had prompted her to begin her tale with a nod, she had managed to do so calmly, at first. But the further she got into telling her tale, the more emotional she became, the tone and volume of her voice matching her growing passion as she recounted the events of the past week. Pretty soon she was flailing her arms around in all directions as she gestured (for emphasis), her voice no softer than a yell.
"She would make up all kinds of ridiculous excuses to avoid me, keep away from me like – like I had the Plague or something, but then every day when I wake up, like what I said, I would always find a flower waiting somewhere in my room, ready to greet me! And just this morning, when she thought I was asleep – she probably thought I was still asleep since she never would've done that had she known I was actually awake – sh-she...right here…"
Anna's voice softened then as she pointed at a spot on her cheek, her face tinged with red as she remembered the tender kiss Elsa had planted there, right beside her mouth. She remembered the feeling of Elsa's breath ghosting over her cheek, the nervous anticipation that filled her when she thought Elsa's lips were actually going to touch her own…
"That's quite the assortment of signals she's been sending you," Grandpabbie remarked, his gravelly voice breaking Anna from her thoughts. "Quite the fixer-upper too, that one."
"You have no idea," Anna said, plopping down on an empty log. All other logs were already occupied by overly helpful members of the Troll family who insisted on staying with Anna in case their advice might come in handy.
"Seems like Kristoff's got some competition," a voice suddenly quipped from Anna's right.
"A pretty tough one, at that," added another voice from behind her.
"And she hasn't even realized it yet," joined in another.
It wasn't long before the small crowd that had gathered around Grandpabbie and Anna broke into a murmur, causing her head to spin in confusion as she tried to take in the remarks she had just heard.
What did they mean when they said Kristoff's got competition? Someone who's "tough"? And what hasn't she realized yet? The trolls obviously knew something she didn't. But what? What was she missing?
Detecting Anna's unease, Grandpabbie raised his hand and effectively silenced the crowd. He gestured for Anna to follow him as he made his way to what appeared like a small depression on the ground. Anna threw questioning glances around her, which earned her a smile of encouragement from Bulda. Not wanting to keep their king waiting, a few of them gently prodded Anna towards the depression Grandpabbie stood before. Curious, Anna peered inside upon reaching it, and saw a hollow wicker bowl embedded there. Lining the inside of the bowl were the glossiest leaves she had ever seen, with a touch of gossamer layered upon its rim.
The trolls regrouped around Grandpabbie and Anna, with a certain distance from them this time. Muttering something under his breath, Grandpabbie made a single wave of his hands above the bowl. Almost instantly, a light blue mist appeared inside, never leaving the bowl, swirling around endlessly as it emitted a soft glow. Grandpabbie then began to chant in a strange tongue, and one by one he was approached by members of the crowd who each gave him objects he tossed into the brewing mixture.
With wide eyes, Anna watched Grandpabbie drop a luminescent feather, a sprinkle of crystal powder, some roots with fine hairs sticking out, a five-colored leaf, an entire dried-up lizard, three plump berries, and a droplet of golden liquid into the bowl, the color of its contents changing with every addition to the mix. Someone then handed Grandpabbie a branch which he used to stir all the ingredients together.
Anna felt the excitement bubbling within her, almost like the way Grandpabbie's mixture was doing. Magic! They were going to use some magic to resolve whatever it was that was going on between her and Elsa. Granted, most of her magic-related experiences haven't exactly been peachy (froze completely and lost some memories because of it), but countless thrills often went along with the mysterious force. And when used in the right way, Anna knew that magic could work endless wonders.
Like create majestic ice palaces or bring snowmen to life.
"Anna," Grandpabbie said unexpectedly, causing the redhead to jump a bit.
Leaning in toward the troll king as he motioned for her to come closer, she cried in surprise when a strand of hair was yanked from her head. He quickly added it into the mixture, oblivious to the small frown Anna was giving him.
The last ingredient then made the mixture sizzle, producing sparks before causing it to bubble violently. The bowl began to tremble as purple fumes erupted from it, and a collective gasp sounded through the crowd. Anna instinctively stepped back, bracing herself for an explosion, when Grandpabbie gave a single, powerful clap of his hands. A small flash of light emanated from the bowl, followed by a puff of smoke. Cautiously, Anna approached the bowl and looked inside when the trembling had stopped. The fumes and bubbles had disappeared, leaving behind a richly purple liquid, smooth and thick, that gave off a delicious smell of Anna's favorite treat: chocolate.
"I don't have to drink this…or something, right?" Anna suddenly asked, remembering the lizard that was dropped in earlier. But if the strange liquid actually tasted as good as it smelled, then maybe she wouldn't mind adding reptiles into her diet.
Grandpabbie scooped some of the liquid into a tiny vial, and handed it to Anna. "It is to be ingested, yes."
Anna examined the liquid, holding the vial up to the light. "Um, who is it for exactly? It smells really good, by the way. "
Grandpabbie smiled fondly at Anna as he clasped his hands behind his back. "Dear, that is especially brewed for a pair of fixer-uppers that really need fixing. I suggest you pour it into her favorite food or drink to make sure it gets into her system."
Anna paused for a moment's thought, lightly tapping the vial against her chin. It wasn't long before an idea popped into her head, and she happily returned Grandpabbie's smile.
"I think I know just the thing that will do the trick."
A/N: So…my knowledge on trolls is really, really, reeeeally limited, but I hope my portrayal and take on them in this story is believable, even just a little bit. Thanks for reading! Please share your thoughts on this story or offer any advice on how I could improve my writing by leaving a review. Part II to follow.