A friend of mine ( whatlonghair.deviantart.com) made this awesome story about my art
It’s been two months since Helena threw herself into literal fire for the sake of Arendelle. Two months since the Southern Isles broke off all trade with Arendelle and abandoned their youngest and most powerful princess upon Arendelle’s shores. Even though the royalty of the Isles had been conniving and villainous, their much put upon people stood by Queen Adelaide.
They didn’t care to even leave a letter or forewarn the dock crew when they dumped Helena’s comatose body overboard and a nearby fisherman had to pull her out and deliver her to the castle.
The fire had badly burned her, and when Elliott brought in a doctor to look the former princess over, the doctor had grimly told the Snow King that Helena probably would not make it through recovery, as her wounds had been left unattended for so long that they were starting to get infected. Elliott, still in a storm of emotion and conflict over his feelings towards the princess, had asked the doctor to at least TRY to save Helena.
And he did. And just as he stated, Helena’s health was not improving. She just kept getting worse and worse until even Andy came around and heroically declared that he wouldn’t let Helena die! Not when she’d almost thrown her life away to save the prince and the king.
Krista had been their savior. It was she who suggested that Helena be taken to the trolls. She said that if anyone could heal Helena, then it would be her adoptive family. So the group had brought Helena before Pabbie, asked him the favor, and spent five agonizing hours for Helena to show a brighter sign of life. And when she did, clad in a shift and blankets, Elliott had been the first to embrace her in relief, much to the ill princess’s hysteria.
Helena became a resident of the castle at this point. She was confined to a comfy bed by a determined and hell bent Andy and Krista, whom, much to everyone’s surprise, were received tentatively by Helena. She’d never had anyone make such a fuss over her in all her life. She let them touch her hair, pull at her clothes, and bother her in late hours with concerned check-ins and whatnot to be sure she wasn’t going to suddenly get ill again.
But even such surprising patience could go so long before Helena stormed into Elliott’s office one afternoon, a quilt wrapped about her shift-clad body, demanding that she be placed in the dungeon because if she had to endure Andy’s coddling one more minute, well, she’d certainly throw herself into the fjord (much to Elliott’s amusement, and he’d said, “Again?”).
Following Helena’s sure recovery (she promised to remain in her recovery bed as soon as Elliott removed a much guilty Andy and Krista (although Krista seemed to be smug, rather than apologetic). Helena was left to recovery in peaceful, pristine solitude that was only temporarily interrupted by visits from the doctor and servant who brought Helena food and helped the doctor change her wraps. As soon as the doctor gave Elliott the final report, Helena left bid adieu to her sickbed and promptly left the castle grounds without so much as a warning, aching to be free from the walls in which she’d been confined for the past month.
She only realized later that she should have waited to be escorted by Andy or Eliott (even Krista’s presence would have made a blasted difference!) as she was almost immediately overwhelmed with well wishes and passionate thanks from the people of Arendelle. It happened like this – Helena had been much beloved during the fiasco now known as The Big Freeze from when Elliott had unintentionally frozen over Arendelle. When she attempted murder of Arendelle’s king, however, she was placed under speculation and was the center of many nasty remarks. But by throwing her life into fire (literally!) for the sake of Arendelle’s royalty, she’d redeemed herself.
Helena tried to maintain some grace under the duress, but after several children (ones she’d personally bundled in blankets during The Big Freeze) approached her with freshly plucked flowers and weeds (oh the thought counted!) Helena had burst into tears before all of Arendelle, and for the life of her, she could NOT stop the tears from falling.
Never in all her life had she received such love and on such a large scale as an entire kingdom. And it practically exhausted her all at once. She near collapsed at the center of town before Elliott appeared, parting the crowd reverently with his kingly presence, and took Helena into his arms and back to the castle, thanking his subjects for warmly welcoming Princess Helena, and that the princess was overcome with emotion and would properly receive their gratitude later when she recovered.
While Andy and Elliott were both confident they could comfort Helena, they soon found they were woefully inadequate with encouragement and relegated the task to Krista. She’d rolled her eyes and shaken her head – “Big babies” – and then went to Helena’s side. While Helena and the Ice Mistress were not exactly “peachy” (as Krista put it), Krista did succeed in calming down the former princess of the Southern Isles, and two days since the commotion, Helena finally left her room (Andy insisted so) and greeted Arendelle with a light dusting of makeup and regal decorum.
This time, when Helena greeted the public, she smiled and happily accepted their gratitude, appreciating their care to not become too excited, lest she suffer another emotional moment. She let the children pull her aside and show her how to weave flower crowns and play a silly hopping game that made Helena glad she’d chosen to wear flat shoes. The families she’d helped during The Big Freeze introduced themselves to her and again gave their thanks, as well as invitations to their homes for sodd and warm glogg.
Helena never looked more free and wild than when she was down ten pints of glogg, auburn hair undone, cheeks, legs, and arms flushed, dancing under the glogg’s influence in that old, rickety tavern after escaping the castle for the hundredth time without telling anyone where she was going.
Elliott had decided to fetch Helena himself this time, as Andy was just out the door with Krista for sled racing when one of the serving ladies appeared in a flurry of anxiety, saying she couldn’t find Lady Helena in her rooms. This was followed by a messengers arrival, his hat askew, as he reported that there was a commotion happening down at the tavern by the shipping ports of the fjord. Trusting his instinct, Elliott visited the musty tavern, stepping in with the decorum for which he was raised, and colliding with Helena as she spun about the room, skirts swirling.
“Your Majesty!” she laughed, hair whipping, face red of alcohol. Elliott could smell the pints on her breath. “We were just talking about you!”
‘We’ being the tavern thugs who, just moments before Elliott’s arrival, had been hooting, hollering and clapping to the Celtic tempo so beloved of the Southern Isles. The tables had all been pushed to the walls with the chairs stacked to give the tavern a proper dancing floor, and even as Helena giggled drunkenly in Elliott’s arms (she was heavy in his arms, alcohol robbing her of her perfect posture) many men and women continued dancing in jogs and jigs, hopping and stomping on the tavern floorboards with passionate strength.
Elliott looked down at the former princess. But she was trying to stand on her own, pulling at his coat and swinging around, back to the dance floor
“Hey e'ryone! This ist the Snow Ding!”
This is where an annoyed Andy and Krista found Helena four hours since her unannounced departure from the castle, and this is where Helena sheepishly bid the people adieu before being thrown over Krista’s shoulder (“Stop your whining, Sassy Pants.”) and taken back to the castle. Elliott lectured Helena on remembering that she couldn’t just run off whenever she liked without telling anyone, but was relieved that Helena was in better spirits.
He decided to host a celebration for their triumphant return from the Southern Isles (well, Andy decided it, and told too many people before Elliott could say “no” and then had to go through with his overly excited brother’s plans) and invited everyone in Arendelle, as well as several dignitaries and particular royalties outside the country. He expressed sentiment that everyone was welcome to celebrate Arendelle’s prosperity, and insisted children attend as he would make another ice rink for ice skating.
Everyone dressed in their best, terribly excited that moonlit occasion, and looked quite ridiculous skating about the rink in their frumpy dresses and coats and absolutely preposterous sliding around the polished ballroom floor in their socks. It was a jolly, over joyous celebration that even got many of the out of town visitors joining in, save for those few who found the entire merrymaking too “improper” for a party hosted by the King and Prince of Arendelle
And that was when Helena arrived alongside Krista, having forced the Ice Mistress into a simple red dress and herself into a blue gown that befitted her person splendidly and reminded Helena that she WAS still a princess.
Those of Arendelle greeted Helena kindly, asking her to join in their play, but it was the visitors who turned up their noses, and frowned at Helena’s presence. “The Traitor” they called her. “Murderer” they hissed. “Villain” they whispered in the corners of the ballroom where they thought Helena could not hear them. But she did, and so did Krista, Andy and Elliott.
The height of the night was when a visiting dignitary accosted Helena. The mead had just been served an eighth time and one visiting duke got it into his head that it would be acceptable to ask Helena if she would be bothering any other royalties with her presence once she finished in Arendelle. That had frozen Helena and drew the attention of many party goers, but rather than rebuke the duke, Helena declined to answer and left the party, wandering away from the excitement and commotion until she found herself in the solitude of the royal gardens.
She found herself a stone bench to sit down, and after checking to be sure she was alone, crumpled into herself, wallowing in self-misery. So distraught, she didn’t notice Elliott entering the gardens, and it wasn’t until he was in front of her that she realized she wasn’t alone.
“Go away,” she’d said, wiping at her face, smudging her powders and reddening the skin about her eyes. “I just want to be alone.”
“Haven’t you had enough of being alone, Helena?”
“No. I need it.”
“Do you want to talk about what happened in the ballroom?”
“Not really, no.”
“You’re not a villain, Helena. You more than proved that by saving mine and Andy’s lives.”
“That doesn’t erase the mistakes of the past.”
“No. It doesn’t. But you don’t have to let your mistakes rule you.”
“You would know.”
“See? There’s the Helena who charmed my kingdom and threatened to throw herself into the fjords because my brother and future sister-in-law were mollycoddling her.”
"Are you ready to tell me what’s wrong?”
Helena sighed. “Only to stop your pestering.”
Helena smoothed her dress’s skirt and scooted over on the bench, allowing Elliott a spot to sit. Elliott took it gratefully and waited, looking at Helena expectantly.
She gave up. “Why do you have me here, Elliott?”
Elliott was confused. “What?”
Helena gestured to the castle. “Here. Arendelle. Why didn’t you leave me in the fire where I belong.”
Elliott’s brow furrowed. “You don’t deserve to die, Helena.”
“Oh come off it! Do you remember the morning that you and Andy saw me off on my ship back to the Isles? IN CHAINS? I was APPALLING. Wretched!”
Elliott closed his eyes for a moment. “Well…I cannot argue with you there.” He opened his eyes to see Helena’s widen, shaking with self-hatred. “But!” he stated, “You’ve done your repenting, and you’ve proven that you aren’t as wretched when you’d been standing upon the fjords with your sword raised.”
Helena winced at the memory.
“You don’t deserve to die,” Elliott repeated. He then stood up. “Come with me.” He put out his hand – ungloved and bare under the glow of moonlights from up above. Helena stared at his hand for a moment, unsure of how to respond.
Elliott pushed his hand forwards. “Helena.”
And she took it.
She let him lead her through the gardens, winding around Andy’s carrot patches, and past stone immortalizations of the late King Adgar and Queen Idun. Helena’s feet were just starting to ache when they finally arrived at their destination. It was a smaller alcove of the garden, with bordering shrubs and an archway covered in vine that looked to be starting to choke the wood base.
“Through here,” Elliott said, pulling her through the archway.
A gasp of awe popped from Helena’s throat. “Oh.”
It was a private array of flowers that Helena knew were foreign to Arendelle’s land. She saw mums and daisies and posies and several more plants, all arranged beautifully in color and composition with breathtaking result. Before Helena could stop herself, she was down to her knees in the daisies, pushing her face into the flowers and breathing in their perfume. They smelled better than she’d imagined.
A chuckle came from behind.
Helena practically sprang to her feet, face red. Elliott just smiled, worsening Helena’s embarrassment.
“You enjoy flowers, Princess?”
Helena turned her head, hoping to throw her red cheeks into obscurity of the shadows. “I do.”
“So do I,” Elliott agreed, walking further into the garden. “This was my mother’s private gardens when she needed to get away from it all.”
Helena looked at the posies with appreciation. Ah yes. She’d heard that Arendelle’s late queen had had a particularly green thumb and encouraged beautification of Arendelle’s landscape, helping Arendelle remain one of the Five Most Beautiful Countries In the World, only second to Corona, where, interestingly enough, Queen Idun’s sister was Queen.
“She did a wonderful job.”
Elliott smiled softly – a sweet look that made Helena’s cheeks heat so strangely and she fought the gooey smile threatening to pull at her cheeks.
“I used to help her,” Elliott said proudly. “Before…my powers became a burden.” He said the last part not so proudly.
Helena smiled wryly. “Now who’s moping.”
Elliott glared at her.
Helena laughed, warmth bubbling once more in her small body.
“My apologies, Your Majesty.”
“You don’t mean it.”
“I do not.”
Elliott sighed. “This WAS a nice night.”
Helena shook her head once, chuckling. “It still is.”
Elliott gave her a faux dubious look. “Oh?”
Helena abandoned her wariness, throwing caution to the wind and taking Elliott’s hands. “Come here.”
She let go of one of his hands and placed it at her hip, before putting her hand at his shoulder, and smiling sweetly. “Apologize with a dance.”
“You wouldn’t rather have chocolate?”
“Cold feet, Your Majesty?”
“I’m not letting you get away with that.”
And he spun her about the gardens, grinning when she gave a gasp of surprise as he swept her expertly off her feet.
“I…can’t forgive you.”
Helena doesn’t know why her heart is cracking. She expected this – she’d prepared for this. What she’d done to the King and Prince of Arendelle was reprehensible and if she’d been in their place, she’d be refusing apologies all the same.
She nods mutely. “I understand.” And then bows and turns to go but…
Elliott’s hand wraps about her arm. “Wait.” She does. “I can’t forgive you for what you’ve done – I don’t think I ever will, Helena.”
“Please. While I can’t forgive you, I CAN put it behind us. I can let you repent for your transgressions against Arendelle.”
Helena’s heart clenched. “But would it be enough?”
Elliott smiled softly. “If you truly mean it, then it’d be enough.”
Elliott’s mind was a snowstorm. In DECEMBER. He’d never thought he’d actually FEEL something as intimate as romantic love some day, and certainly not something Andy sweetly called a “crush”. Infatuation. That was it. That was what led Elliott walk Helena to his mother’s private garden, let her pull him into a dance, and then when they parted with the final glance of the full moon above them, it was what led Elliot to pull back a smirking, smug, sashaying Helena back, misjudging that she’d whip around, and instead of shockingly kissing her cheek, he’d locked his lips to hers.
The air had suddenly dropped in temperature. Helena’s arms had gotten cold where Elliott held her. And Elliott felt a contradictory sensation of warmth shooting through his body that confused him greatly.
Before he could try to discern the sensation, Helena had broken away, eyes wide, face shocked. There’d only been a brief moment of their eyes meeting – her red face, his red face – but it’d been enough to take the sensation to a different level.
Because Helena’s eyes were no longer that cold, unknown green he’d remarked upon to Andy the last summer. They were also intelligent and curious and playful and so very enraptured.