It started with an innocent peck to the cheek.
Anna was nudging Elsa to the castle's vast ballroom, hands clamped firmly over the latter's eyes.
"Just hurry up," she whined, nearly stomping her foot impatiently.
"Anna…" Elsa laughed amusedly. "Okay, okay. How am I supposed to walk so fast if you're covering my eyes?"
"It's supposed to be a surprise!" she retorted indignantly. "And I'm guiding you, so stop complaining, you stinker."
"Funny way of guiding me," the queen muttered under her breath.
"What was that?" Anna asked absentmindedly, still covering her sister's eyes from where she was positioned (directly behind her), using her petite frame to bump Elsa's repeatedly, urging her forward.
"Nothing - oof!" Elsa bumped unceremoniously into the majestic doors leading into the ballroom. "Was that supposed to happen?"
"Yes," fibbed Anna, unconvincingly. Making sure both hands were still secure over the queen's eyes, she hooked her foot carelessly into the antique golden door handle, yanking the doors open.
"…Anna?" Elsa said uncertainly.
"I'm here," Anna reassured her brightly. "Keep moving, keep moving!"
When Elsa was finally given permission to open her eyes, she was speechless. "Anna. Thirteen layers? Really?"
Anna fidgeted. "You know…for every year we were apart and we never got to celebrate your birthday properly together?"
The queen inhaled sharply, blinking rapidly. Anna chewed anxiously on her bottom lip, peering up at her unfathomable expression. "Not a good idea?"
She squeaked as she was almost thrown off her feet by the sheer force of her sister's tackle. "You're such a dork, you know that? I love you so much."
"I have thirteen presents ready and waiting too," Anna whispered, returning the embrace and nuzzling contentedly into Elsa's slender neck.
The latter laughed shakily. "Anna…thank you." She drew back to look her sister in the eye, squeezing her shoulders. "Not just for the thirteen layers of chocolatey goodness that smells ridiculously good or the thirteen presents you're going to shower me with, I mean. Thank you for being so…you."
Anna beamed, then cast her a suspicious look, eyes narrowed. "That was a compliment, right?"
Elsa said nothing, instead choosing to lay a tender kiss on her freckled cheek. It was Anna's turn to blink, her eyes widening, her hand automatically drifting to where Elsa's lips had touched, a light dusting of pink stealing over her features. This went unnoticed by the queen, whose gaze had fallen to the birthday cake, which was steadily being enveloped in a fine layer of delicate frost: the embodiment of her emotions at present.
Anna followed her gaze, then shrugged. "Ice-cream cake?"
The second time caught them both (and someone else) unaware.
They were giggling uncontrollably over something insignificant; whether about the palace servants screaming at Olaf for leaving noticeable damp spots on the carpet or Sven for bowling over priceless royal antiques, or about her clumsiness on ice and off ice Anna could not remember.
They paused long enough to sigh contentedly, Anna gazing adoringly up into her sister's eyes, marvelling on just how much they had both missed out on during the thirteen years of Elsa's self-imposed isolation.
"I love you," she told Elsa softly.
"And I you," returned the queen, nuzzling Anna's cheek in a rare playful gesture that was more characteristic of her younger sister. She let her lips linger for longer than necessary, her breath ghosting over Anna's skin.
Just as Anna was about to turn and ask what she was doing, Elsa swiftly distanced herself, her lips abruptly leaving the redhead's cheek. Anna's head jerked up to see Kristoff standing not five metres from them, jaw hanging dumbly open. She opened her mouth to say something, but was cut off by the sharp clacking of Elsa's heels as she strode away, muttering something or other about meetings and paperwork.
The third saw Anna still left as flustered by Elsa's regular displays of affection. It did not help, of course, that the blonde now seemed to be able to take it in stride, and that Anna was the only one left confused about the more-than-sisterly feelings she was developing for her older sibling.
Anna was snuggled up to Elsa on the library couch before the fireplace, both sisters nursing steaming mugs of hot chocolate in their hands. Worn out from a full day out with Arendelle's Ice Master and Deliverer, she had let her head drop sleepily onto Elsa's shoulder after attempting to stifle yawn after massive yawn. She trailed off midsentence, in the midst of recounting the day's activities, her eyelids drooping shut.
She stirred minutes later to the comforting sensation of cool, dainty fingers gently easing the mug from her hands.
"Mmph…'m not gonna fall asleep," she slurred drowsily.
An affectionate chuckle sounded indistinctly in her ears, followed by the pleasant sensation of those cool fingers stroking her cheek. Anna leaned into the touch unconsciously, then yelped as she fell face-first into Elsa's lap.
The queen's body shook with barely repressed mirth.
"Moving in a minute…" Anna yawned again, "your legs feel nice."
She cracked open one eye to see Elsa arching a perfectly-shaped eyebrow at her. Was it her imagination, or was that a hint of red on the queen's fair cheeks?
"Heh." Anna giggled sheepishly, righting herself. "Your legs feel nice as a pillow…you know…not that I think you're fat or anything!" she hastened to add, "they're nice in every aspect - I mean - um…"
"Shh, go back to sleep," Elsa soothed, smiling wryly, more than accustomed to her sister's awkwardness by now.
"No, I wanna tell you about my day!" insisted Anna.
Elsa rolled her eyes, still smiling. "You and Kristoff went for a picnic, Olaf tried to butt in on your alone time, you unintentionally beheaded him again, and…?"
Anna struggled to remember; there was something important she had to tell her sister. "Um, alone time, right."
"I really don't need to know about the alone time you two share."
"Not that kind of alone time! We talked."
"Good kind of talk or bad kind of talk?"
"Good…bad…neutral? Depending on your perspective?"
"No, I mean - it was bad for Kristoff, good for me…"
Elsa waited patiently.
"We broke up," finished Anna matter-of-factly.
"What?" her sister shifted to look at her. "What happened?"
She sighed. "I've known for a while now that I don't feel the same way he does. I mean, sure, I like him - he's Kristoff. Loyal, unwavering, wonderful Kristoff. My best friend. But I don't think I can like him the way he wants me to, and I definitely don't want to lead him on. It wouldn't be fair to make him wait while I figure myself out."
"You've grown," said Elsa softly, letting her thumb cruise over Anna's cheek.
"No, really." The queen pressed her lips to where her the pad of her thumb had been moments ago. "I'm proud of you."
And Anna was left once more in wide-eyed surprise as Elsa returned her attention to her hot chocolate, heat creeping up her neck. She stared at the back of the oblivious platinum blonde head with poorly concealed frustration. If Elsa wasn't going to stop anytime soon, there was no telling when Anna would snap.
The fourth was initiated by none other than Anna herself.
She found herself staring down at the elegant sleeping form of her sister, wondering just what she was doing in the older girl's room. After being properly reunited, Elsa had promised that her door would always be unlocked for Anna; this made creeping in in the dead of night rather convenient.
Anna flushed crimson, mentally chastising herself. Elsa didn't make that promise just so you could watch her while she sleeps like a total stalker!
"I'm just returning the favour," Anna told herself firmly. God knows how much she inadvertently infuriated me over the last few days…
Slowly, she crouched down, admiring how the silvery light of the moon kissed Elsa's ethereal features, highlighting every delicate contour of her face and her smooth alabaster skin. Her sister had always been impossibly beautiful…
"Returning the favour, returning the favour," Anna chanted quietly to herself, brushing her lips to Elsa's cheek. She'd be lying to herself if she said she wasn't curious about how kissing Elsa felt.
The queen stirred briefly at the contact, lips pressing together as she mumbled something inaudible in her sleep. Anna's gaze was drawn to her lips - the pair that always seemed to be curled in a perpetual smirk that was almost sexy, the same pair that had kissed her a grand total of - who was counting? she most certainly wasn't - three times.
Anna licked her own unconsciously, unaware of herself leaning in until Elsa murmured hazily in her sleep again, this time more coherently.
She turned and fled the way she had come.
The fifth and sixth, she really couldn't help.
A week had gone by, and Elsa had not resumed kissing her on the cheek for even the littlest of things (as she had grown so accustomed to doing as of late). Inexplicably, Anna missed the little stolen pecks of affection. What she was feeling was societal taboo, she knew. But how could something labelled wrong feel so right?
She didn't know the answer to that. Neither did she know why she was hovering uncertainly over Elsa's bed for the second time, craving to touch the queen's satiny skin with her lips again.
Before she could stop herself, she pressed a rather hurried, clumsy kiss to her sister's cheek. This time, Elsa didn't stir. Anna paused, before quickly kissing Elsa on the corner of her lips, her own tingling pleasantly at the contact.
Her cheeks burned. What was she doing? She scurried out of the room, missing the way the queen's eyes flew open and followed her on her way out.
The seventh left her absolutely speechless and no less, if not more, flustered than the previous ones had made her.
They were snugly wrapped up in a single duvet "like a giant burrito" as Anna had aptly put, watching the sun sink below the horizon. For some reason, Anna had contracted a stubborn case of the hiccups.
"I don't - hic! - know why it - hic! - won't go away," she complained.
"You know what they say," Elsa reminded, "you need a scare."
"Psh," Anna scoffed, "I'd like to see you try and scare me."
She had no idea what she was prepared for, but it definitely didn't include Elsa's soft, cool lips working passionately against hers. Anna pulled back and stared at the older girl, completely stupefied, her hiccups absent and forgotten.
"That - what just -" she spluttered.
"You know," whispered Elsa in a husky undertone, her lips pulling up in a familiar sultry smirk, "if you wanted one, you could have just asked."
"You - you were awake?" demanded Anna. The blanket felt much too small and much too stuffy all of a sudden; she tried wriggling her way out, but Elsa hooked a lithe leg around her waist, effectively trapping her. Anna's face felt as if it were on fire.
"You're noisy and I'm a light sleeper. Close your mouth, you might attract flies."
She clamped her mouth shut and narrowed her eyes. "You know there's only one way to remedy this, don't you?"
The queen paused, tilting her head with an adorable look of confusion Anna would've squealed at if she weren't so bent on getting back at her sister and trying to one-up her. "…Remedy?"
Anna pounced on her, eyes dark with desire, crushing her lips to Elsa's and pouring all her pent-up frustration into the kiss, small hands tangling in the queen's luscious locks of hair. With a grunt of dissatisfaction, she tugged Elsa's braid free, running her hands feverishly through the sea of platinum blonde, barely aware of Elsa's hands roaming reverently over her own body, reaching places that made her squirm.
"Anna," the queen groaned, her breaths coming in short gasps and whimpers that drove the younger girl insane.
"Elsa?" she replied mock-playfully, stilling her hands. Elsa glared up at her, crimson in the face, loose golden tendrils falling into her eyes.
"You just had to, didn't you."
"I love you," was all Anna sang in reply, beaming innocuously at her flustered sister.
"I love you too," said Elsa grumpily, "but a little less right now."