Elsa retreated from her work right when the sun was about to disappear into the sea. With a grateful smile, she went to her quarters and immediately got ready for dinner.
After a full day of 'queenly' duties (as Anna calls it), which is inclusive of negotiating trades, signing papers for the court, planning future events for the people of Arendelle and keeping Anna and her fiancé in line, it was an understatement to say that she was tired. Despite her exhaustion (and growing fatigue from sitting too long in her seemingly-endless meetings), she still had higher priorities to take care of— though she wished that she had more time for her highest priority. But, she had now, and that was all that matters.
Hair in a bun and her in a simple turquoise dress, she headed out to the hallway to look for her daughter.
Daughter. The word was still foreign, but she knows that she'll get used to it in time.
"Elise? Elise, where are you?" Elsa's voice echoed through the empty hall, hearing for little pitter-patters or high pitched giggles. Walking around two doors from her quarters, Elsa spotted a moving curtain by the window, tiny feet peeking from underneath. Wanting to play along, Elsa chimed, "Oh, dear. Where could my little love be? I think I will just have to give my dessert tonight to Anna. I am sure that she would like that."
Elsa heard a startled gasp and Elise finally revealed herself, running, or more like toddling, towards Elsa. "No, Elsa! I want, I want."
Without another thought, she lifted the small girl in her arms, carefully spinning her around. It was enough to make her happy. A light flurry of snowflakes danced in the air, making Elise laugh loudly in delight.
Elsa adopted Elise three months ago, after a nearby orphanage had a field trip to the castle. Elsa and Anna even made sure to visit them during their tour. While the children were listening to Anna tell a few stories about the paintings (well, more about what she thinks about the paintings), Elsa spotted a small girl trailing behind. She had wide blue eyes, rosy red cheeks from the cold and light brown hair pulled back by a headband. She looked to be around two, possibly three, and she was trying her best to keep up with her older peers.
Trying to help, Elsa moved next to the child, kneeling down as she gently placed a hand on her back and nudged her forward so that she too can listen in to what her sister was saying. The child was surprised at the touch, but toddled forward obediently, looking to her side to see who was assisting her.
"Hello, dear." Elsa started, slightly awkward, but very polite. The girl looked at her and grinned proudly with her incomplete baby teeth. Elsa couldn't help but smile back, crinkling her nose at her cheekiness.
"Hi," The child smiled, not bothering to curtsy or bow, nor address her as 'her majesty', and that made Elsa even more at ease. The headmistress saw this and frowned, slightly disappointed and downright embarrassed at the child's blatant behavior.
"What is your name?" Elsa prodded on. The group was now moving, following both the tour guide and Anna. Not wanting to be left behind, Elsa stood up, her gloved hand taking the child's small one, walked a few steps behind the group, knowing that the child couldn't keep up with the long strides.
"Elise." She answered, stumbling a bit but never fell down due to Elsa's firm grip on her hand. The group was now slightly far ahead and Elsa noticed that Elise kept tripping on her own little feet. She debated whether or not to carry her, but she decided to take a leap of faith.
"Alright, up you go." Elsa announced, lifting Elise in her arms, surprised at how at ease she was with the child. Elise giggled and reached her arms up, looking at the high ceiling, "I fly!"
"Oh, your majesty," the headmistress of the orphanage finally intervened. "You do not have to trouble yourself with her. You may put her down."
Elsa bounced Elise, twirling a bit and laughing when the child squealed and giggled in delight. "It is alright. She seems to be enjoying herself."
Walking forward, Elsa asked cautiously, "Elise, are my hands cold?"
Elise nodded. Her heart immediately clouded with regret, but she was able to control the frost that threatened to spread through the walls. She shouldn't have been too forward with her. But before Elsa could apologize and put her down, she added, "I like."
"You like the cold?" Elsa asked, relaxing a bit. Elise simply nodded and proceeded to marvel at the intricate patterns on the walls. Elsa carried on asking Elise questions, mostly about how she is in the orphanage and random things such as her favorite color and food. She would usually answer in short, clipped sentences with her chime-like voice and then direct the question back at her with, 'You?'
Elise was treated not so nicely at the orphanage since she said she was two and couldn't speak with sentences longer than four words, therefore being picked on as stupid, although that was the normal rate at which she should be progressing. Elsa shot a dirty look at the children ahead of her when Elise had revealed this little fact. On the other hand, she liked the color blue, loved bread, fruits and cream and chocolate (a fact which Elsa smiled at). She loved to draw, and promised Elsa that she would draw her soon.
When they caught up to the group, and when Anna spotted her sister with a child in her arms, she left the tour guide and didn't waste a minute going (more like sprinting) towards them.
"Elsa, she's so cute!" Anna gushed, and her excitement seemed to mirror Elise's.
'Thank 'ou!" Elise lisped out, smiling cheekily. Anna laughed at her confidence.
"I like you." Anna said to Elise, tapping her nose. Instead of thanking her again, she blushed and hid her face from Anna. She looked at Elsa and she was now smiling down on Elise, her hand resting on the crown of her head. "Say thank you, Elise," she heard Elsa whisper to the girl, but she simply shook her head and hid her face behind her braid, making the sisters chuckle at her little antic.
Elsa never looked so much at ease until now. Anna saw in her face how much love she's been holding back.
"Elsa, I think she likes you." Anna mused, watching Elise curiously staring at Elsa's face. As if to further prove her point, Elise stretched up and planted a sloppy kiss on her cheek. Elsa looked at her, trying to suppress the flurry of emotions coursing through her right now. It was a puzzle to her, really, how her parents could leave such a sweet little girl in an orphanage.
Elsa still had no courage to reciprocate her kiss, but she held her tighter in her arms. Halfway through the tour, Elise had dozed off to sleep, her cheek now resting on Elsa's shoulder, and both legs on either side of her waist. She rocked her gently as she walked, Anna right beside her, smiling at how . . . motherly Elsa was. Sure, she was like that to Arendelle and to her as well, but this was different. She was extremely at ease, no trace of worry that she would lose control of her powers.
Elsa's arms were starting to get tired, but she powered through up until the end of the tour and the children were supposed to go back to the orphanage.
"Your majesty, allow me to take her," the headmistress said, reaching for Elise but Elsa jerked away, holding Elise protectively. It was a maternal instinct, she was sure, but she wasn't even aware that she possessed it until now.
"No!" She said sternly, and then realized that the child in her arms was not hers. She straightened up and looked back at the headmistress apologetically. "I mean, she is asleep. I would not want to wake her."
"It is quite alright." Headmistress replied, not wanting to get on the queen's bad side. With a heavy heart, Elsa carefully passed Elise to her, trying not to jolt her awake, but once she was in the headmistress' arms, her eyes fluttered open. Elsa took this time to remove her gloves.
"Elsa?" Elise muttered groggily.
The headmistress snapped to correct her. "It's Queen Elsa."
"You have to go, Elise." Elsa said regretfully, a sad smile on her face. "Did you have fun today?"
Ignoring the question, Elise's hands shot out and reached towards Elsa, her eyes starting to brim with tears. "Elsaaa," she wailed, her voice shaking and her tears pouring out. Elsa took all of her courage not to snatch her back from the headmistress. She clenched her hands as she watched them walk away, and the walls behind her started to frost.
Once the children and the headmistress were already by the gates, and the cries from Elise grew louder and louder, Elsa yelped out, "Wait!"
She ran towards the crowd, very un-lady like for a queen, but she did not care. When she finally reached them, she plucked Elise from the headmistress' arms and cradled her in hers, wiping her tears away. "I'm here now, Elise. Stop crying, dear, shh," Elsa immediately soothed, and after a while, Elise was now reduced to a few hiccups.
"Thank you, your majesty." Headmistress said, grateful that she had quieted her down. She was about to take her again when Elsa took a step back.
"She is staying with me." Elsa announced, tightening her hold on Elise. She cleared her throat before continuing. "I would like to adopt her."
She learned during the whole adoption process that she had a rough background, but it was nothing too traumatic that would cause long term damage. Although it was extremely difficult to accept, it urged her to give Elise all the love she was starved of. Elsa didn't mind teaching her basic things; it actually thrilled her that she would still be able to experience a few of her firsts.
"Are you hungry, little love?" Elsa asked as she walked down the stairs, Elise still in her arms. She nodded furiously, licking her lips as if to prove her point. When they arrived at the dining room, Elsa set Elise on the high chair that she used to have when she was little next to her seat. One of the servants placed a bib on her, something that Elsa tends to forget to do.
"Thank 'ou!" Elise smiled at the servant, and he nodded his head in return.
"You are welcome, little miss."
Elise was served mashed potatoes, bits of shredded meat and a bottle of warm milk. Elise quickly got a fistful of the meat and shoved it in her mouth, more ending up on the bib rather than in her mouth. One of the servants offered to feed 'little miss', as the servants fondly called her, but Elsa smiled at her politely and declined her offer.
"Work with me on this one, Elise. Say 'aah'," Elsa urged, demonstrating by opening her mouth. She put the spoon of mashed potatoes between Elise's lips and then Elsa demonstrated chewing in an exaggerated manner, which Elise copied. "There we go, little love!"
Anna stared at her sister, giggling as she nibbled on a piece of meat. She had completely lost it over this little girl. The only noises in the dining room were the clinking of utensils and Elsa's 'eating demonstration' sounds.
"You're making weird faces again, Elsa," Anna chuckled, watching Elsa from across the table as she cleaned Elise's mouth with the bib, and then taking another spoonful of mashed potatoes from Elise's plate.
"No," Elsa drawled out, opening her mouth wide, "I'm not." And once again did the exaggerated chew.
Once Elise was done with her food, Elsa cleared her dish quickly so as not to delay the dessert. Elise drank her milk as the two sisters shared a small tray of various chocolates.
"You know, I really don't give you as much credit as you deserve," Anna started, popping a chocolate in her mouth. She finished chewing before she continued. "I mean, you run the whole kingdom, manage to spend time with me, and you manage to be such a good mother to Elise."
Elsa wasn't really fond of such praise, so she simply smiled at her sister and shrugged. "It's nothing."
"It's not nothing," Anna interjected. "It's amazing."
Gah. It's been a while since my last story, so I deeply apologize since I believe this came out pretty rusty. This has been churning in my head for a little while. I've always pegged Elsa as a mother, but never as a wife. She's independent, and I like her as she is. I might add on to this, if a tiny little idea comes to me. Ideas are welcome, by the way. No angst, no anything. Just pure mother-daughter fluff, with a hint of Anna, Kristoff and probably Olaf.
Please do tell me what you think. Wishing you all the best! Happy New Year!