I love ice bros! I honestly think that they’re my favorite relationship- but I don’t think I could ever do it justice because they’re so perfect. This is the closest I could come. Please note that I have taken writer’s liberties, as I have with my last Frozen Fever fic- Elsa’s sneezes do not make snowgies, but snow instead. Also, I’ve made it so that not the entire town saw what occurs when Elsa is sick- I think her delirium was exaggerated for the purposes of the movie and I like to think she’d have been a bit more private about it all once she realized she was releasing her powers.
“Now remember, Anna, the Baron’s quite set on his changes to the treaty so you have to make sure to-”
“I got it, Elsa, stop worrying! Just relax, okay? I got this.”
“But you also need to show them the evidence behind the budget for the-”
“I know, Elsa, I know!”
“Can you at least just go over with me again how you’re going to bring up the-”
“Elsa! C’mon. Stop. This is just one meeting. I’m not going to screw anything up. Well, heh…not too badly, that is…..kidding! Kidding, yeesh!”
“Elsa. I got this. Everything will be alright. The kingdom won’t go to ruins from one little meeting without you in attendance.”
“…I know. I trust you. I do.”
“Good. Then lie back in bed, relax, sleep. Drink your tea and eat your soup. We’ll be in to check on you every so often, alright? I’ll see you later.”
Anna flounced out the door, full of energy from the excitement and anxiety of running her very first council meeting on her own. Elsa knew, ultimately, that everything would be fine. She laid back into her pillows, trying to stifle a fit of coughing, then relaxed and closed her eyes.
Suddenly, they shot back open- “We?!”
Later that day….
Wrapped up in her masses of work that she had to make up from missing out on precious work time and meetings, Elsa nearly missed the soft, timid knock on her bedroom door. She sat hunched over in her seat, back aching from the tireless work and the muscle aches that came with her fever.
She pressed a hand into the small of her back, working her fingers into a knot that had formed there, but it didn’t seem to help much at all. Being sick was something she was not very familiar with, and definitely never would get used to. She felt awful- the fever was making her feel like she wanted to crawl out of her very skin; she was suffused with a strange heat that seemed to radiate everywhere despite any cooling she attempted. It burned internally, and though she didn’t sweat she felt sticky and uncomfortable.
Every muscle in her body throbbed, and paired with working at her desk for the better half of the day she felt sore and stiff. The weight of her head felt as though it would soon crush her neck- she was sporting an excruciating headache that wouldn’t go away no matter what she did. Any movement, no matter how sudden, seemed to rattle her brains inside her skull and make her wince. The bones felt tender, raw, and something repeatedly pulsated behind her eyes and in her temples. She pressed cooled fingers there- thumbs above her ears, her remaining fingers across her forehead and the bridge of her nose- yet the pounding continued.
Not only was the headache there, but the congestion made her head feel full, her voice sound thick and her thoughts fuzzy- she found it was extremely difficult to move her watering eyes across the pages and to clarify her thoughts. Compounded with those difficulties while she attempted to get any bit of work done were the constant distractions of a running nose, plaguing coughing fits, and constant sneezing. Despite Anna’s efforts to keep her pile of handkerchiefs stocked, she always seemed to be using up the last one. Her nose had turned red and raw from the attention and it now seemed to burn even when she wasn’t touching it. Similar to her throat, which now was stinging constantly and seemed to rebel every minute with another fit, despite her constant drinking.
But the worst, oh the worst- the sneezing. Not just because it was annoying- because, hell, it was. Nor that her nose tingled constantly now, another sneeze always threatening to burst forth. It itched and stung, but no matter how much she rubbed, flared her nostrils or twitched, the pricking would never go away. But no, it wasn’t the annoyance of it, or the constant need for handkerchiefs or the worry that, heaven forbid, she would spray someone.
It was the embarrassment!
With every sneeze she felt the leak of her powers; watched the cold and ice and snow flee from her being against her will. And just as it was impossible to close ones’ eyes during a sneeze, so too was it impossible for her to hold back the release of flurries let loose from the nasal irritation. And for others to see her slip-ups in power in addition to her very visible illness? …Well. That was something which she couldn’t allow to happen. No one could know besides those closest to her. What would people say, if word got out? The controlled, domesticated animal would once again be seen as the feral, uncontrollable beast.
So she hid behind a door once again. At least only temporarily, this time. And it was kept unlocked. People knew to knock, at least.
Speaking of which- there was that knock at her door again.
“Come in!” She called weakly, her throat protesting. She smoothed back her hair and sat up straight in her chair; threw the used handkerchiefs off of her desk and into a collecting basin for laundry. Anything she could do to make herself look presentable. Though, in all likelihood, this was Anna, eager to share her stories of the morning’s meeting, and her appearance ultimately wouldn’t matter.
The door creaked open slowly, as tentative as its knock. So not Anna, Elsa realized. It must be Gerda, then; concerned she’d woken the ailing queen in bed. Elsa smiled at the housekeeper’s consideration and began to rise from her chair, back protesting.
But instead she saw the floppy head of dirty-blond hair, prominent nose and woolen working clothes. “Kristoff?!” She exclaimed with a gasp, drawing her hands to her chest in surprise and breaking into a violent fit of coughing from the sudden intake of breath.
Kristoff’s apprehension seemed to leave him then, and he rushed into the room to approach Elsa, who had lowered herself back into her chair to try to stall her coughing fit. It didn’t seem to help, however, and Kristoff merely stood by her: hands outstretched towards her as if to help somehow but completely at a loss for what to do.
As Elsa tried to recover, Kristoff took in her appearance and his eyes widened in response. Now he understood Anna’s overbearing concern for her older sister- she couldn’t stop fretting about Elsa, even when she was alone with him.
Redness crept up the back of Kristoff’s neck and ran across his cheeks- the queen had relinquished her usual regal dresses for her dressing robe which was secured on top of her long undergarments. He and Elsa had grown quite a bit closer over the past year, yet there had always been some sort of propriety between them; a reminder of their difference in status. Though she asked him to treat her as he would family, as that’s how she viewed him, he could never quite get past every layer of royal blood that lay between them. Despite their familiarity with each other, he could see that this whole interaction would take things to a new level, and sincerely hoped they both were ready for it.
“K-Kristoff, what are you doing here?” Elsa asked, surprise and shock evident in her voice. “You should go- you’ll catch whatever it is that I have.” She pulled the edges of her robe tighter together, though Kristoff wasn’t sure whether it was subconsciously or if she was concerned about the inappropriateness of her attire.
Her face was flushed- though Kristoff thought some color looked good on her. He noticed that her cheeks and her neck just below her ears were swollen- more so than yesterday; he had thought something looked different about her when he presented Anna with her cake. He found that, for some odd inexplicable reason, he had to resist the temptation to cup his large palms around the swelling for comfort.
He tried to hide his surprise and think logically. “Um, I think that by this point it won’t matter,” he said. “I spent the entire morning with you yesterday and even before that, to help set up for Anna’s party.” He paused for a moment, suddenly recalling yesterday’s events. “You- you even put your saliva on me.” He blushed at the memory just as he had when she had done it- that had certainly taken him by surprise- she, the queen!
Elsa’s eyes widened in recognition. “I did…” She sunk in on herself. “I’b so sorry…I didn’t know, I-”
“Elsa!” Kristoff said, interrupting her. “Stop! It-it’s fine. You couldn’t have known and I don’t care if I get sick- that’s why I’m here! I wanted to make sure that you…that you were alright.”
Elsa looked up at him, surprise evident on her face.
“What?” Kristoff asked. “As you said, we’re family. And family looks out for each other.” He hesitated, brought his arm up to rub behind his neck. “And….Anna might’ve also threatened-er-sent me- to check up on you while she’s away,” he admitted.
Elsa shook her head in disapproval at her sister’s overzealous fretting, but got an odd look on her face suddenly. Kristoff waited, confused, and was finally about to ask what she was thinking before her expression changed and she shot forward, doubling over with a sneeze. “Heh-choo!”
She sniffed, recovering, and brushed her bangs out of her eyes. “You don’t have to do that,” she said. She felt so guilty! First Anna felt forced to spend her birthday yesterday with her, which surely ruined the special day, and now Kristoff had been dragged into taking care of her as well! “Just tell Anna that you came and stayed with me, and I’ll tell her the same- she doesn’t- heh- have- hatchoo!- to know any better if our stories match.”
Her last words were rushed- she had clearly felt that the urge to sneeze hadn’t abated, and grabbed a handkerchief (Kristoff was quite stunned at the number in the laundry basin) to press to her face as she doubled over once more. “Eh-tchoo! hehTschh!” She brought her hand up, twirling her fingers oddly, and the snow that had nearly reached Kristoff’s ankles evaporated into thin air.
Her sneezes had been heavy and wet and she groaned thickly- and Kristoff realized that as odd as this moment between them was, he didn’t want to leave- he wanted to fulfill his promise to Anna and care for her sister- for she was his sister too- almost, anyway. After taking just one look at her he realized he wanted to help all along. Not only that, but Kristoff immediately sensed that despite her words, she wanted him to stay- either her poker face skills had sharply plummeted in the past year, or he had begun to read her with surprising acuity.
“No,” he stated simply, with gumption.
“No?” She parroted, shocked by his response.
“You clearly need someone with you,” he said. “Otherwise you’ll stay here at your desk all day, working and not getting any rest, which is clearly what you need.”
“But I deed to get the work done,” she explained, her congestion affecting her speech. “If I don’t, the people-”
“If you don’t get rest,” Kristoff interrupted again, “the people won’t have a ruler that’s well enough to do anything for their sake ever again.”
Elsa sighed in defeat- she could tell Kristoff wasn’t going to let this one go- besides, she could use a break.
“Fide.” She crossed her arms over her chest and Kristoff had to bite his tongue to hold back his laughter at the change in her voice and her attempted haughtiness in her sickened state. “But only for a little bit. I have things I need to get done.”
Kristoff held up his hands in mock submission, palms facing outward. “Alright, alright, easy,” he said, placating with a chuckle. “That’s all I ask.”
“So what do you suggest then?” Elsa asked.
“Well,” Kristoff responded, looking around. He spotted a tray propped up on a nearby side table, clearly untouched. “You can start by eating or drinking something. You probably haven’t had a single bite all day.”
Elsa’s face reddened further, confirming his suspicions. “I drank the tea,” she protested weakly, her voice rough and cracking on the last word. She tried to clear her throat.
“Well clearly you could use some more,” Kristoff said. “And some food, too.”
“Big words from someone that lives off of carrots,” Elsa shot back, amusement shining in her eyes.
Kristoff rolled his eyes, pretending to be offended, and left the room briefly to call up for some more tea and a fresh lunch.
“So…” he tapered off, upon coming back into the room. He pulled up a chair diagonal to Elsa’s at her desk. He needed to keep her from her work, he knew. But how? It was rare that the two of them had moments together alone, and while conversation always came easily when Anna was there, this time he held himself responsible in leading their afternoon together. “…how…are…you doing?” He floundered.
Elsa shot him a dry look. “I’m fide. Obviously.” Her narrowed eyes dared him to argue otherwise, fully knowing that her voice, dripping in sarcasm, demonstrated quite the opposite.
Kristoff looked around the room, grasping at straws for something to talk about. Books and papers were scattered about across the desk and her bed, papers lain everywhere and ink splotches dotted the immediate area. Though the room felt a bit chilled from Elsa’s occasional snow, the room felt stuffy. Besides her work and the furniture, the room was quite barren- certainly no conversation topics here- at least not out in the open, anyway.
Kristoff sighed. “Why don’t we go somewhere else for a bit- maybe the gardens?” He suggested. “Get some fresh air. Might make you feel better too; clear your mind and head.”
Elsa’s expression darkened suddenly, eyes downcast and Kristoff became concerned when she clasped her hands together in her lap and took a deep breath in and out before responding. She twined her fingers together. “I can’t.”
“What? Why?” Kristoff was confused. He couldn’t think of why she couldn’t leave- she was the queen, after all.
“The sneezing.” Elsa stated simply. “My powers? The snow? You haven’t noticed?” Her eyebrows came down low over her eyes- was he serious?
“Well of course I did,” said Kristoff, now even more confused. “But…forgive me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t it already been revealed to the entire kingdom that you have control over ice and snow?”
“Exactly,” Elsa pronounced. “Control. Does it look like I- heh- have it right now?” As if on cue, she turned away with another fit of sneezing. “Etchoo! Hih-hetchoo!” Flurries materialized with each sneeze, springing into action with her emphatic sneezes and swirled around their feet. “Ha-etchoo!”
“Well, no…” Kristoff agreed, once she had finished, “but we all know that you can control it otherwise. And you take it away right after. It’s not like this is in danger of hurting anybody. What’s there to worry people?”
“You know I can control it otherwise,” Elsa said, dissipating the snow that appeared once again. “But to everyone else, especially the other officials, lords and dignitaries around the castle- I’m a threat once again.
“As much as they accept me now,” Elsa continued to explain, “I’m on thin ice, no pun intended. I have heard, and still do hear, the things that people say about me. If they were to see this, all they would think of is how I could turn on them at any moment, or something could go horribly wrong and how I’m a terrible danger to the kingdom. I can’t allow any signs of weakness. Or any signs of lacking control. Do- do you understand?”
“I do,” Kristoff solemnly nodded. “I get that. But some people have already seen the snow from when you sneeze- aren’t you worried about them?”
Elsa nodded. “A little, but for the most part those that saw me were only castle staff the morning of Anna’s birthday. Since then, the only people I’ve allowed to see me are you, Anna, Kai and Gerda, and you all know to keep a secret. As do the rest of the castle staff, I’m hoping, and they shouldn’t have the opportunity to spread word around to the people I’m concerned about.” She cleared her throat, looking around her bedroom.
“In the meantime… I stay in here.” She looked down again at her hands, sniffling to stave off a sneeze, and realization hit Kristoff.
He now saw through to the true Elsa- not the queen- but the girl inside that every day struggled to crawl up through the weight of the snowdrifts; through the pressure and prejudices held against her. But most of all, he saw the frightened girl that he had been told stories about who had been confined to her room. He looked to Elsa and met her eyes. Pleading with him for genuineness and understanding, she needed him to understand, he saw. She was asking for a confidante. And that startled Kristoff, because…
“You haven’t told Anna.”
“What?!” Elsa’s eyes widened in shock, then darted around to look anywhere but at Kristoff. Her next words were soft, nearly a whisper. “What are you saying? What haven’t I told her?”
Oftentimes Kristoff would grow exasperated with Elsa. He couldn’t understand her behind the walls she erected; she would never let him in. Most times when he was with her she was “The Queen”; the others, those rare moments when he caught her and Anna joking and playing, he was shocked at her joviality and momentary immaturity. The last few weeks planning Anna’s birthday with her had shocked him into realizing he really didn’t know the hopeful young woman that lay inside. He couldn’t read her, and couldn’t understand why she often pulled away- even from Anna, at times, and that made him mad. No one should ever hurt Anna.
But this time, after seeing her undying devotion to Anna these past weeks, he understood how she worked and thought just a little more. He knew of her history, of how she had locked herself away, had thought, had been convinced that that was the best thing to do. And now here she was once more doing the same thing. Probably reliving the old, dark memories with nowhere to go and little to do to distract her mind from the past. A forced regression, of a sort.
Kristoff chose his next words carefully. “How this is affecting you, making you feel. Having to stay in here and not leave. Again.”
Kristoff expected Elsa to either admit begrudgingly that he was right in the face of the truth, or shrivel in on herself and ignore the question. She did neither.
Her eyes met his own sharply, boring into them. They narrowed, and her mouth split open in a snarl. “I’b not having this discussion with you,” she spat. She stood up suddenly. “You’ve come to see me; you’ve done your assigned charity duty. Now leave.” Her face, flushed with fever, turned even redder and her glassy, watering eyes grew harder. Kristoff noticed, however, that she clenched her chair tightly once she stood, eyes closing momentarily as she swayed a bit. She must have gotten up too fast than her body was ready for, Kristoff realized.
Kristoff stood up slowly to meet her, his heart beating wildly in his chest. Looking directly into her gaze he saw that he was correct in his assumption; she had attacked not out of anger but out of defense- she had been seen; was wounded, and had to protect herself. Someone had seen past her outward defenses, and now she was made vulnerable once more.
Kristoff once again found himself making a conciliatory gesture with palms out. “Wait,” he started. “I don’t mean to read into you or anything, try to make weird connections and tell you what you should be doing instead. I just want to know why.”
“Why?” Elsa deflated, then, like a balloon- it seemed she had used up the little of what remained of her reserves of energy getting riled up. She sat back down, this time on the side of her bed, and her glance shot over to Kristoff. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have reacted so strongly. I just…I don’t like when people bring that up; presume to understand.”
Kristoff nodded. “I get it. It’s alright. I’m not saying I know anything about you or what it was like. I just want to know why you’re keeping this all from Anna.”
“You can’t tell Anna. Promise me.”
“This is between you and I.” He gave his word, sitting down at the opposite corner.
“That is at least some of the reason why I keep working,” she admitted. “It keeps my mind off of things. Of trying to hide what I am from people. Having to stay in here…it makes me feel like I should be hiding away in here again.”
She paused to cough and blow her nose. “And I can’t talk to Anna about it. S- she’s-I’ve-” Elsa struggled to continue, looking as though she was going to cry. “She’s spent her whole life thinking about why I’m in here, and not out there with her.” She sighed and looked up at him, eyes alight. “It’s been a wonderful year.” She gave a small smile, which quickly fell. “But it’s not enough, never will be enough. There will always be reminders of those times. And I don’t want to make her remember them any more than she already does.” She groaned. “Heaven knows I’ve already ruined her birthday enough.”
Kristoff was shocked that he had gotten so much out of her, to actually talk to him about what she was feeling, for goodness sakes. But he understood. He didn’t like discussing feelings either. “It’s not just a girly thing!” Anna repeatedly nagged him when he was upset but wouldn’t talk about it. “It’s what human beings do! Talk to me!”
But, surprising him even further, Elsa kept going. Maybe in her ill state her filter had been loosened. Or maybe she had continued to bottle everything up for so long that the opportunity to admit everything set her free.
She brought her hands up, cupping them over her nose so they covered everything but her eyes, as if she wanted to hide. “I just wanted to give her one perfect birthday. But I ruined it. Just like I do everything.” Her eyes closed momentarily. “And then she felt obligated to spend the whole rest of the day with me, even when I was in bed and sneezing and gross.” She brought her hands back out in front of her, questioning. “And now she probably regrets ever wanting to spend it with me. She’s just too selfless to leave me and just too nice to tell me she wanted to go to you the whole time. I made her stay with me to celebrate and see all the things I planned, but that was all about me wanting to be with her! It was so selfish and she doesn’t deserve that from anyone and I ruined it- so I can’t bring her down even farther with me stuck in here!”
Kristoff thought if he grew any more shocked at her words his eyes would fall out of his head. “Whoa, whoa, whoa there!” He said, as if he was talking to some of the horses and reindeer he helped care for. He smiled, then, a placed a hand on her shoulder. She turned to look at him, eyes streaming and face even redder than it had been. “I think you’ve got it all wrong.”
“What?” She nearly whispered, brows drawn.
“Anna loved yesterday,” Kristoff started with a grin. “She still won’t stop talking about it- about all you did for her and how amazing the whole day was.” He took on an excessively high and girly voice, imitating his girlfriend. “Oh my gosh, the sandwich was sooo good!” He squealed. “And the picture- how did she find someone that could do that?! Ooh, ooh, and we went to the docks and Elsa was conducting the children,” he gushed, “She even wrote the song!”
Elsa giggled thickly, trying to stave off the few coughs that came with it. Her eyes had dried, and they shined up at him, hopeful. “Really?”
“Yeah!” Kristoff could see that he was getting through to her. “But even more than that- it wasn’t just what you gave her- she kept mentioning how you kept going the whole day to make sure that her day was great, even though it was obvious you were sick and struggling. She feels guilty because she thinks that she made you stick around with her all day when you should’ve been resting in bed!”
“Oh, Anna!” Elsa looked horrified. “It’s anything but that! I would’ve given anything to not be sick so I could have done more for her!”
“I know that,” Kristoff laughed. “But I think that you two need to realize that you both want to be together- no one’s making someone do something that they don’t want to do.” He paused, not wanting to push his boundaries. “And that maybe she would want to be there for you too, to talk about anything difficult that you or she is going through.”
Elsa nodded once, pensive, and bit her bottom lip. “I’ll think about it. Keep it in mind.”
“Good,” Kristoff said. “You should.”
Just at that moment, there was a knock on the door- Gerda had come up with a tray of tea and some food. Kristoff took the tray from her, his attention focused on not spilling or dropping anything as he brought it over to the queen. She, however, met Gerda’s eyes and they shared a secret smile over Elsa’s new dedicated caretaker.
After finishing her tea and nibbling some of the sandwich (which Kristoff polished off rather happily), Kristoff noticed that Elsa seemed to be struggling to keep her eyes open- her eyelids had seemed to grow heavy, and she was drained from the physical symptoms of her illness.
“Why don’t you head over to bed?” He suggested. “You look like you’re about to collapse.”
Elsa’s half-lidded eyes slid over to the piles on her desk. “But I’ve taken a long break,” she started. “I should really-“
“Nuh-uh,” Kristoff interrupted. “You’re not doing anything but climbing into that bed and sleeping.” He looked around, spotting something. “C’mon,” he said, eyeing a book that was clearly not work-related from its decoration along the spine. “Why don’t you get under the covers and let me read to you- I’ve been practicing!” He seemed proud and excited, and Elsa found that she couldn’t deny him- she was also interested to see how his reading had progressed, and, if she could admit it to herself, was eager to have someone read to her- no one had done it for years.
“Fide, then.” Elsa responded, her congestion coming back despite the hot tea. She sighed- it would take time, not just tea, before she was back to normal, she knew. Might as well enjoy what she could. She slid herself under the light sheet. Leaning back into her pillow, she smirked. “Proceed.”
Kristoff rolled his eyes, stunned yet pleased by her teasing attitude and acquiescence. As Elsa watched, he began, slow yet steady as he read.
After a few minutes, he watched as her eyelids began to fall, but at times would open as she kept herself awake to listen. Going back to the page, he paused. “Wait, what’s…how do you say this one?” He scuttled over to the head of the bed, next to her, so she could see.
“Physique.” She told him. “The form or size of someone’s body. As in, ‘that’s really heavy to lift, but your physique helps, I’m sure.’”
“Ah,” he said, continuing on. He didn’t move from his spot next to her above the covers. He lowered his voice so she could sleep as he read, and found he was drawn into the story line, his voice taking on different tones and dramatic tendencies, changing his pitch to match the atmosphere of the story. He became so involved that it took a gentle yet sudden pressure on his shoulder to break him out of the words on the page.
Elsa’s head had fallen to rest on his shoulder. Kristoff started; shocked that such a thing could actually happen. Her hair lay draped over his arm, and he noticed with surprise that Elsa actually had freckles just as Anna did, but much less visible. He could just barely feel her breath graze his upper arm.
He tried to softly slide her head off of him, wrapping his strong arms around her frame to guide her back to rest against the pillows. He was afraid of waking her, but it appeared that her poor body had had enough of being awake for the day and she slept deeply. He pulled the sheet up around her chest and carefully stood up from the bed, placing the book on top of the many piled high on the night table.
Walking out of the room, he took a quick glance back at his girlfriend’s sister- his sister. She would be okay, he knew. She just needed to give it time and rest. He was family, after all. He would make sure of it.
Tagging people from the last one and those that seemed interested- let me know if you don’t want to be tagged!! makingtodayaperfectday blunaowl thearendork raksha-the-demon hathor-aroha insectoid5 obsessedwithfrozen42 gemel-dreamer hogwarts-is-frozen drybananahippyhat geometrynerd pascaldragon prfxn