Spoilers here and there for Frozen
It had been two weeks after the great thaw. Two weeks since Kristoff had met Anna. And this was about the 11'th day where the ice harvester, who exhausted himself carrying and cutting ice every day, could barely breathe after a day out with Anna.
Sven barely got him back into the royal barn, dragging him into his stable one hoof at a time. Naturally, Anna was just about skipping nearby, without a care in the world. Still, she was nice enough to let Kristoff slide off Sven and rest for two minutes – her previous record was 90 seconds last week.
"So, who's up for drawing pictures on the permanent snow? I can sketch Joan with my eyes closed! I'll bet I could teach you to do it with one!" Anna bragged.
"Uncle….aunt….pabbie…..second cousin…." Kristoff babbled for mercy. "Second cousin's sister….wait, that's it!"
Kristoff tried to leap up, but promptly fell on his back. Nevertheless, he got off, leaned on the stable door and spoke with a deadpan, "Let's see if your sister's an artist, shall we?"
"Oh! Um, well, she's read a lot about art. I'm sure it would bore her," Anna brushed off.
"I thought she was Queen Boring. Your words from when she was in the….library last week. Remember?" Kristoff play whispered, impersonating Anna's horror from last week.
"Well, it brings her joy, so who am I to judge? Let's let her have her fun and have some of our own!" Anna said with cheer. However, Anna had shown Kristoff every kind of peppy cheer known to man and troll – and that wasn't one of the 300 kinds.
"Did she tell you she was too busy to play?" Kristoff asked, getting some energy back now that his "protective of Anna" powers were revived. "What is that, the fourth day in a row she hasn't come out with you?"
"Uh….I think it's still three-and-a-half," Anna nitpicked quietly.
"How is it a half anything? Why should I have to suffer alone – I mean, um, hey, ah….hey, why isn't she here?" Kristoff lamely covered up.
"She's busy. She's the queen, she can do that," Anna said, not sounding angry at Kristoff. However, this didn't make him as relieved as he thought. Not with the un-Anna way she actually sounded.
"She already did things like shut you out for 13 years. You'd think she wouldn't want to do it again for 13 hours. Especially 13 hours for four days!" Kristoff objected.
"Hey, we still talk when we're eating! Even when I'm actually eating! The point is we still talk, whether we're chewing at the time or not," Anna assured.
"Talking's not the same as playing. She should play with you and actually see what it's like. Whether I'd wish some of those games on anyone or not," Kristoff let slip again. This time he covered it up by continuing, "Maybe once I can bend my knees again, I should talk to her myself."
"No, don't do that! It's not her fault!" Anna spoke, more passionately than before.
"Well, it's her old habit, not mine! Or yours, or even Sven's!" Kristoff rose to the occasion.
"Yeah, well this time it's mine, okay!" Anna let get away from her. Unlike all the other times she let words get away from her, this time she looked pretty guilty. "Elsa hasn't been avoiding me. I'm the one who hasn't bothered her."
Kristoff wasn't so exhausted to have imagined Anna saying that. Right? Otherwise, that really didn't sound right coming from her. "You're….not pestering her?" he asked with a puzzled frown.
"Cause that's what I do, right? Pester people?" Anna made Kristoff nervous. He just got sensation back in his feet again, and they would have shaken if Anna hadn't added, "That's the problem right there."
"My head barely stayed on during the 'cartwheel down the hill' game. You're gonna need to dumb it down for me," Kristoff proposed. Instead, Anna just sighed and looked less like herself.
"No, that's the problem. I made you play with me all day….because I'm afraid I'd make Elsa play with me all day. I'm sorry," Anna depressed them both. "You were still sweet enough to keep going. I don't know if Elsa would have put up with it that long."
"I guess you don't, since you're just getting to know her again," Kristoff pointed out. "Wouldn't spending time with her solve that problem?"
"Don't you think I want to? Did the tree almost take your head off that much?" Anna objected. "I just got her back after 13 years! If I could, I'd spend every second of every day with her! I'd bug her and guilt her and take up all the free time she has! But I can't! I can't do that to her!"
"Do that to her? Like she'd think it's a crime to be around you?" Kristoff frowned. "Didn't she do that already?"
"And I didn't make it easier," Anna came back. "Now that I know what she was going through, every time I knocked on her door…..every time I made her feel more miserable and alone….Kristoff, I tortured her," she said with a more strained voice. "I wouldn't leave her alone and I acted like I had it worse than she did. Now that I know I didn't…."
Anna didn't finish that line of thought – she just went on to another. "And what about the coronation? I made Elsa lose it, not her! I wouldn't leave her alone and it almost got her killed! I did that to her because I didn't know better!"
"And you made Elsa feel free, stopped a sideburns loving lunatic, taught her love will thaw….oh yeah, and you met some mountain guy, reindeer and snowman! I'd say not knowing better worked out for a few people," Kristoff reminded her.
"That time. What about the next time?" Anna questioned. "I have to think about these things now. I hurt my sister and almost destroyed Arendelle because I didn't. Now that I have her back, it's time I thought ahead before I acted that stupid again. And I can really act stupid."
"Okay….what stupidity does your future telling powers foresee, Grand Annbie?" Kristoff chose the wrong time to joke. Instead of laughing, Anna sunk further into an Elsa-like circle of fear.
"What if I bug her too much into spending time with me, like I do with you? What if she only puts up with me out of guilt? What if we just have nothing in common anymore? I mean, you saw that library of hers! Not a fairy tale or true love's kiss in sight! Her books have graphs in them! Graphs!" Anna gasped in exaggerated terror.
Kristoff was almost relieved to see her go that extreme, like regular Anna. Unfortunately, sad extreme Anna barged back in.
"But she needs those graphs so she can be Queen. She has so much she needs to do. I….I have to accept how important that is. I can't just think about what I want from her, I did that for 13 years. I have to be selfless for once….like she was for me all this time," Anna sighed.
"With the same side effect of not seeing her again?" Kristoff asked.
"No! Didn't you hear me three rants ago? We'll still see each other this time!" Anna reminded. "We still spend some time together! I just can't make her spend too much of it! I will if I don't watch out, and then she'll resent me!"
"You said you're just getting to know her three rants ago. For all you know, maybe she wouldn't resent you," Kristoff offered.
"And maybe she would!" Anna kept being too out of character for Kristoff to like. "I have to think about what would drive her away again! What if I'm too annoying? What if I'm too pushy? What if I ruin some big work thing? What if we're too old for our old games? What if she doesn't like our old games? Heck, we don't even know what games we like anymore! Or anything about each other!"
If Kristoff didn't know any better, he thought Anna was shivering worse than when she was freezing. Sadly, he knew too much. And her next question had way too much information he hated – to say nothing of Anna. It was way too quiet and sad too.
"Kristoff….what if she doesn't like me?"
The only good thing was that she asked this seconds after Kristoff could walk again. He used his first steps to go over and hug her, although she didn't hug back. She just stayed in his arms and stared, tears not quite escaping her eyes, which was almost worse.
"You know she loves you. She proved it in….really extreme ways, you know," Kristoff said.
"She has to make herself love me. Otherwise the last 13 years really weren't worth it," Anna spoke.
"Well, there you go!" Kristoff dared to think that was reassuring.
"Doesn't mean she has to like me. The whole palace has to like me because I'm a princess. Even if they really don't. I could easily do that to Elsa too," Anna admitted. "Really….the only human person in my life who's ever liked me just for me….might be you."
"I wasn't looking to keep the job myself, you know," Kristoff hoped she knew.
"I know," Anna smiled just a little. "That's what makes you great. And….I'm sorry that it's not enough."
"Okay, back to sad stuff, thanks for the heads up," Kristoff sighed.
"No, I'm not attacking you!" Anna promised. "It's just….I'd rather have a little bit of Elsa than push her away and lose it all. If that happened…..Kristoff, I can't do it again," she let a tear out this time.
"I can't get shut out again, and I can't let it be my fault this time. I….I'm not strong enough to lose her again. No matter what else I have now," she got more and more guilty.
Despite his lack of experience in really comforting people – especially human princess girls – Kristoff knew when not to talk. If he could, he'd never need to talk at all, so this worked well for him. However, he hoped to Pabbie that hugging Anna tighter and reminding her of what she did have, no matter what, helped a little.
Anna seemed to relax, and she wasn't on the verge of crying anymore. Nevertheless, she still didn't sound like Anna when she could talk again, so it was a mixed blessing.
"I'll be okay. I'll still see Elsa….I'll just take it slow. We probably need to, anyway," Anna figured. "It's not the perfect, fairy tale ending I always wanted. But I've paid enough for wanting that stuff already," she only let herself remember for a second before she could throw up.
"I'll let her do her job and I'll let her relax too. I have to be…..prac-ti-cal," Anna had to sound the unfamiliar word out. "I'm going to be the good girl I have to be. I'm going to put her needs first for once."
"Even if you won't ask her what they are?" Kristoff couldn't stop himself.
"She's been arguing with those royal council people for days. She doesn't need me to ask her anything right now," Anna conceded. "If that's the best thing I can do for her, then I'm doing it."
Feeling somewhat calmer and clear headed – a rare feeling after her rambling – Anna broke from Kristoff's embrace. "And I guess the best thing I can do for you is let you rest. Finally."
"Yeah, you could. After one more game," Kristoff cursed his chivalry and other….still too weird feelings….for a half-second. Yet this was the best thing he could do for her.
"No, that's all wrong. I don't want to force you or Elsa to do things with me. That's the point," Anna sighed.
"Sorry, but that's the bedrock of our whole relationship. Too late to change that now. Way too late for me to fight it," Kristoff admitted. "Way too late for me to want to," he made himself admit further.
As Anna started to shine a little like usual, Kristoff still couldn't help but brush aside the sap. "Come on, I can walk for at least a half hour now. What do you got for me until then?" he tried to stay light.
Anna thought to herself, deciding that Kristoff deserved to do something very special. Maybe….something she had only wanted to do with Elsa.
But her life wasn't just about Elsa anymore – it couldn't be, or she'd make Elsa take it all away again. Unless someone else was there for the important stuff too.
"Actually….I do have one question," she brought herself to say. Then she brought herself to sing, "Do you wanna build a snooowman?"
Kristoff was back to being puzzled and confused by Anna's weirdness again – which made him kind of relieved. And puzzled and confused as usual. "Why did you have to sing that?" he wasn't clear on.
"Long story. But you're an ice man who's never built stuff with snow! We gotta change that story!" Anna proposed.
"And….we don't have to make this snowman talk, right?" Kristoff made sure.
"Oh….yes! Yes, we can get Olaf to help!" Anna got off topic. "A snowman building another snowman! Has that ever happened?"
"I feel pretty good about saying no," Kristoff predicted.
"Not anymore! Come on!" Anna encouraged, smiling and jumping and helping Kristoff to walk in a straight line again.
Kristoff willed himself to forget that Anna's smile and happy voice was more forced than usual. But not as much as Anna tried to.
Eventually, they were both out of the royal barn and all was quiet again. Especially with Sven nowhere near ready to move around again.
All stayed nice and still – until a gust of wind and flurries blew in from the east.
Followed by the sounds of light sobbing.
Followed by a phrase that had been sung inside someone's mind for 13 years. Now the owner of that mind was finally singing it out loud – when it was too late.
"But I wanna build a snooowman….."
Elsa had been ready to build one for 10 minutes, ever since she cut her latest debate/argument with the council short. She figured she'd find Anna at the stables eventually and surprise her – yet she was the one who was surprised. And it was far from the happy surprise Elsa planned.
She hid away when Anna said she was afraid to make Elsa play with her. Naturally, Elsa assumed it was all her and her powers' fault. However, Anna made it a lot murkier than that.
Elsa felt offended that Anna thought so little of her ability to endure her. Then she felt guilty. Then she felt so very terrible. Then she felt so, so sad once Anna sang her question to him.
If Elsa still wasn't sure she could control her powers….well, the fact Arendelle wasn't buried by five feet of snow right now proved it.
It wasn't Kristoff's fault. He earned quite enough good will to last a few more months, provided there were no proposals. It was only barely Elsa's fault, as weird as that was. It wasn't even Anna's fault for being so scared around Elsa – especially since no one had been scared of her like that before.
Yet that's what she was. Scared. Like Elsa.
This should have been a time where they finally came together again. It looked like it would be, as soon as Elsa finally cleared up all the "What to do without Weselton and the Southern Isles" issues. And as soon as Anna asked her to build a snowman again.
But now it might be too late. All because….
Because Anna was as terrified of hurting and losing Elsa as Elsa was of hurting and losing her. Of course, these were different hurting and losing circumstances. Yet they still felt just as painful.
Anna saved Elsa in more ways than anyone ever had in a lifetime. And she was still willing to settle for mere scraps of attention from her, rather than lose all of it. Because she actually thought that was putting Elsa first.
Being someone other than Anna was supposed to make life easier for Elsa. That was what Anna really made herself afraid enough to think.
This should have made Elsa blame herself. This should have proven to her that they really couldn't mend the past after all. It should have made Elsa feel like a fool for thinking otherwise. It should have proven that Anna was right to be scared of her, as Elsa always knew she would be.
But as Elsa thought about it, one word went through her head.
That word made her stand her straighter than years of posture training ever did.
Because she had plainly, simply had enough.
When Anna was as scared of loss as she was, then she dammed well had enough.
Enough of debating trade with politicians who tolerated her at best, when her heart was set on the only person alive who loved her.
Enough of not doing more to celebrate that she was alive to begin with.
Enough of letting Anna settle for anything less than what she deserved – what was cruelly taken away from her.
Enough of cruelly taking anything from her. Enough of letting her think she had to be anything less than Anna to keep Elsa in her life.
Enough of letting Anna suffer in silence ever again.
Elsa wanted to march over there, get to Anna and spend every minute possible with her. But that would be good for just one day. Then she'd be right back to work tomorrow and leave Anna with only a little taste of the good life – with no idea when she'd give her another again.
That would not do. Elsa needed to give her more than that. Something that would never make Anna doubt her commitment. Something which would permanently show that Elsa loved her, and would rather die than shut the door again.
Being a little less morbid might be good for starters. A little less Elsa.
No, this required a little more Anna. The real Anna. Something crazy, reckless and filled with such love….
And like that, something just that crazy began to come together.
It was absolutely insane, showed a lack of foresight, would probably cause disaster before long, and was utterly unwise in reality.
It was utterly perfect.
However, it would require a bit of Elsa like maneuvering. It would take at least a few days to put it all together and flesh it out– and to pass muster with the council. Not much suggested that they would approve of this very easily.
But they fought tooth and nail with Queen Elsa. Big sister Elsa would not be so easily challenged.
Not when she had her greatest royal decree to draft into law.
The next few days went as planned and expected for Anna – no matter how it made her feel. Elsa was in some big round the clock negotiation with the council, which was over something super secret. As much as it betrayed every instinct in her, Anna respected Elsa's secrets enough not to ask about it at dinner. No matter how worn out and exhausted Elsa looked.
The fact Anna didn't annoy her anyway was a big step forward. No matter if they didn't really talk as a result.
In any case, Anna was looking forward to a nice, long, distracting sleep on Saturday morning. It was certainly a good one, as her elbows were hanging off the bed – and she had no clue someone had entered her room.
Elsa already had a smile on her face when she made her way in. Seeing the way Anna slept for the first time in years – and how she still couldn't keep her elbows in bed – could have kept her entertained for hours. However, she had royal business to attend to.
"Anna?" Elsa practiced, knowing that wouldn't do the job. "Anna?" she asked louder, grabbing a hold of her elbows. "The sky's awake. You should be too."
"Gah, five more hours…." Anna stirred, but didn't open her eyes. To speed it up, Elsa let a tiny gust of flurries fly under Anna's nose, which made her sneeze loud enough to wake up.
She shook her head and her rat's nest of hair for a few seconds, then finally noticed Elsa – and barely stopped herself from falling out of bed. "Elsa! What, um, you…..afternoon?" she asked nervously.
"8 a.m., actually," Elsa corrected, making Anna groan instantly.
"Ugh, did you pass some pro-torture law? Put it off till tomorrow and let me sleep, please," Anna groaned, too sleepy to know what she was saying – or savor who she was talking to. Elsa was still undeterred, however.
"I did pass a law late last night, as it turned out. It took two whole days of negotiating, but I got it through. It actually went into effect right now," Elsa informed, though most of it went over Anna's head.
"Great. I'll hear all about it when I'm up at 2. Like a normal person on a Saturday," Anna still muttered.
"Actually, I don't think this can wait. I'll let you read it and see for yourself," Elsa offered, holding up an official, rolled up parchment.
"This is pro-torture, isn't it?" Anna grumbled. "Fine. I open my eyes under official protest," she qualified as she made herself sit up.
Anna made a real effort to open her eyes and get this over with. When she did, she actually looked at Elsa for the first time today. She had a weird smile on her face, like the one she had when they met at the coronation ball.
Then again, it only looked weird because Anna never had the chance to see her smile that….lovingly before.
Why was she doing it now? And why did Anna need to read first? Sighing, she took the parchment from Elsa's hand and opened it up.
The minute she saw the two words on top, Anna was fully awake. In fact, she was glued to this piece of paper more than any other in her life.
These are the historic words that did this, and were officially enshrined in Arendelle law.
This law prohibits Queen Elsa of Arendelle from all official duties every Saturday, and every other Sunday. She is bound to spend every minute of these days with her sister, Princess Anna of Arendelle, until the end of her reign and beyond. During these minutes, the royal council will assume all official duties in the Queen's place, for all but the most extreme circumstances.
Otherwise, from this day forward, Queen Elsa and Princess Anna are not to have their time together interrupted on any Saturday, and every other Sunday, ever again. Afterwards, the Queen will resume her duties on every other Sunday, or Monday at the latest, until the next Anna day that Saturday. Any attempt to interfere will result in the most severe ice related punishment the royal family can devise.
Conceived and signed into unbreakable law on this day, for all time, by Queen Elsa of Arendelle.
Anna was in confused disbelief. Not because of the fancy words – she understood them all for once. That was the whole problem.
And there Elsa was with that smile on her face. As if she didn't…..didn't…. "Elsa, what did you do?" Anna finally asked.
"Passed the most important law of my reign. It took me two days to work out my new schedule, and get it approved by the council," Elsa explained. "They aren't fond of a queen who'll only work five days a week most weeks. But I don't care what they're going to say," she said with thrilling déjà vu. "After the 12'th vote, there weren't enough of them left to mind."
"Five days a….what?" Anna was no less confused.
"That's why it took an extra day," Elsa went on. "But I finally worked out a schedule to get all my weekly duties done in five days. And leave enough free time for you, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven if you need me. It's not as hard as it looks after a while."
Anna was slowly becoming awake enough to grasp this. The first thing she grabbed onto was, "You're doing all that stuff in five days? You….won't you be too tired for Anna Day?!"
"That's why I have a royal curfew, from 8 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday. Strangely, there's no curfew for Anna Day itself," Elsa noted. "Technically, I broke curfew early today. But I figured the first Anna Day should stand out more."
"The first….today's Saturday," Anna remembered. "Today's…." Instead of using words, Anna could only read over the parchment again, in her most serious studying to date. As she did, Elsa finally took a seat next to her on the bed.
"Elsa…." Anna trailed off again. Her every instinct told her to jump for joy – something Anna would always do. But instead, she made herself do something she never did – think things through.
"Elsa, you…..you can't do this," Anna made herself say, in hopes she'd believe it before Elsa did. "You can't….kill yourself Monday through Friday, just to be with me on Saturdays!"
"And every other Sunday," Elsa said like it was no big deal.
"Not that either! I didn't ask you to do this!" Anna forced herself harder to argue. "You can't keep sacrificing all this stuff for me! Without even talking to me!"
"This is the first sacrifice I've ever gotten right for you," Elsa said calmly somehow. "I don't plan to stop after 13 years. This law can't be repealed for the rest of my life. Or yours. Until then, every Saturday is Anna Day for me."
"But, but…." Anna was running out of reasons not to jump up, hug and play. Yet this….was still so unfamiliar to her. The very idea of someone doing anything to make time with her was still so weird. Let alone putting it into law.
She couldn't get carried away. If Anna got carried away, she'd do something to ruin it. She'd get too impulsive and do the stupidest thing. She'd put her sister and kingdom in mortal danger if she didn't think things through – that was a proven fact. Then Elsa would suffer, Arendelle would fall….
….the gates and doors would all close. Then no Anna Days, no anything….another 13 years with just paintings…..why was everything shaking?
"Anna!" The voice of Elsa finally made her stay still. So did a cold feeling on her face. Two cold feelings.
At that moment, Anna focused enough to see what was happening. Elsa was not only sitting next to her, she was holding her face in her hands. Her bare hands. "You….you don't have the gloves," Anna realized.
"I don't want to use them with you. I don't want to hold anything back from you ever again," Elsa confessed. "I guess I aimed big right off the bat. I was only trying to prove I liked you, but it got out of hand. Sometimes that's a really good thing, though. I learned that from you."
Anna let herself take those last two things in, but found herself going back to the thing before that. Prove she liked her…..why would she use those exact words….?
Oh. "You were – " Anna gasped, unable to finish and not really needing to.
"Oh, I wanna die now. Not for real, don't panic!" she tried to cover for Elsa's sake. It was no use though, as Anna laid down and hoped the bed would swallow her, as she thought it could do until she was three.
"I made you feel guilty enough to ruin your schedule. Now you'll – " Anna was stopped before dreaming up her worst case scenario, as Elsa laid down next to her.
"I didn't do it because I felt guilty. Or obligated, or annoyed, or anything like that," Elsa stressed. "I felt something else. Something far worse. It has nothing to do with you!" she tried to make Anna understand – despite how it technically did.
"Why not?" Anna asked.
"Because I've felt this for 13 years. And you weren't even there to make me feel it," Elsa made herself go forward. Go forward with something she hadn't said to anyone but herself since she was eight years old – despite the thousands of times she did say it alone.
"Anna….I missed you."
This was the smallest sentence Elsa could say. It wouldn't be so hard for a normal person. A normal person wouldn't have to practice saying this to a mirror, for two whole nights, to get the courage to admit this to Anna. Or the rest of what she had planned.
If this little part was hard enough, then how could she pull off the rest? Maybe this was too big for Elsa off the bat. Maybe after 13 years of denying every feeling imaginable, she couldn't just jump in.
"You did?" Anna's small voice interrupted Elsa's thinking. It was small, but it spoke volumes – some of which utterly crushed her.
Anna had made so much drama and noise over missing Elsa. But even right after the great thaw, it never once occurred to her that…..Elsa might have missed her as much as Anna missed Elsa. How could it have, really?
"You missed me?" Anna repeated, in her kind of ridiculous but kind of logical disbelief.
The very fact Anna couldn't believe it – and that she had a right not to – destroyed Elsa's heart.
Then like in the barn, it put itself back together like never before. And made Elsa brand new along with it. New enough to admit everything else without any fear – even if her voice broke a few times.
"Anna, I love you," Elsa told her with barely a hiccup. A few more came when she made herself accept and say, "You are….the only thing I've ever loved for the last three years."
It was the closest they had come to actually talking about their parents' death. Yet Elsa still made herself power on and ignore her watery eyes – and Anna's.
"That won't change, no matter how many times you pester me. You do it as much as you want on the weekdays," Elsa ordered. "I won't always say yes, but you have to know that I will always want to. And if I can't, then we will always have one whole day together that week to make up for it. Forever."
The water in Elsa's eyes got harder to ignore – and to keep as mere water – but she still endured. "I wanted to give you so much more. Then and now. If there was anyone else that could have the throne, I…." she stopped herself from going that far yet.
"But this is all I have. It's nowhere close to enough, but I'm giving it to you. Not a scared little clone of me," she said as seriously as anything she ever said. "If I'm doing this, I'm doing this with Anna. The real Anna. My annoying, oblivious, impulsive, foolish, annoying…..perfect sister Anna. And my….my only friend I've ever had Anna."
Anna sat back up, followed quickly by Elsa. Both of them were drained by this unparalleled moment together. Elsa from never embracing her feelings like this before – not even at the ice palace – and Anna from never receiving such feelings before.
For someone who waited so long to say these words, and for someone who waited so long to hear them, they should have been giddy with relief. Anna certainly should have, anyway. It was getting way, way too hard not to.
With whatever restraint she still had left, Anna forced herself to hold back a moment longer. At least until Elsa fully understood what she was getting into. She deserved that much. She deserved so much better from the entire world…..but she could only give her these warnings.
"I don't like being in libraries," she warned Elsa.
"I'll get all my reading done before Friday night curfew," Elsa came right back.
"You don't know any of my favorite games," Anna raised.
"I'm a very fast learner," Elsa responded.
"I'll probably bug you so much, you'll yell at me," Anna had to tell her.
"And I'll always knock on your door with a mug of hot chocolate once I'm calm," Elsa promised.
"I….I'll want more than you're ready for," Anna hoped she understood.
"Not as much as I do," Elsa promised.
There was so much hope, faith and….a new hint of courage in those often impenetrable blue eyes of hers. How was Anna supposed to doubt that?
She knew the answer 10 minutes ago. And letting herself dare to believe it….
"Elsa….I don't know what to say," Anna said tearfully.
"You?" Elsa doubted without skipping a beat. It made Anna let out a laugh she hadn't let herself feel in days. Yet it felt so real and genuine.
She missed letting those laughs out. She missed dreaming of the days she could share that with Elsa. But she supposed she just shared it today.
On Anna Day. The first of a lifetime of them. By Elsa's law.
"Actually….I do have one thing," Anna let herself say. She paused one last time to gather strength – and found it in Elsa's unusually hopeful eyes.
She hadn't had hope in 13 years. If Anna was really putting her first now….crushing that hope probably wouldn't cut it. That left one option.
"Race you to the ice rink!"
Anna leapt out of bed, running and storming out of the bedroom, in a way that was decidedly not princess-like. But today, she wasn't a princess. There was only one thing she was supposed to be today.
I am Elsa's little sister.
Just saying that in her mind, and really accepting that it was true – in every way now – was almost too much. But she let it wash over her again.
I am Elsa's little sister.
A little sister who seemed to be way ahead of the race. Suspiciously ahead. But far enough ahead to come back into the bedroom – and see that Elsa hadn't moved.
"Elsa?" Anna came back towards her, wondering why she wasn't running. Was it the way Anna ran? Was it too embarrassing for her?
Elsa knew there was no decorum in it. As Queen, she had to set a better example. But she was really frozen in place because of a simple realization.
Today, she didn't have to care about stuff like that.
Now that everything had worked, today she was only one thing. Not a queen, a freak, a magical creature, a politician, not anything else but –
I am Anna's big sister.
For someone so repressed, it was really getting easier for her to be on the brink of tears. Because for the first time in forever – this statement was really, truly true in every way.
I am Anna's big sister.
And this is Anna's day.
But it's not her race.
Anna lost the right to it the second she walked up to Elsa – who smirked and dashed past her before she could see her own trap.
"Hey! Oh, so you're still a big cheater!" Anna realized, to which Elsa gave a mocking pout before running out of the bedroom. Sputtering, Anna chased her, determined not to lose on her own day.
Yet the sounds of a 21-year-old girl and her 18-year old sister running through the halls, with carefree, childish abandon and laughter – the likes of which this castle never even heard 14 years ago – didn't have a shred of defeat in them.