Like the thawing of a wintertime's expanse,
As emerges the enigmatic, true nature of beauty,
Love is the soft fire that melts the ice of any heart.
- Dorothy Ginger Tu -
Elsa kept telling herself that this was crazy. On a whim she and Hans had run out of the castle, the moon shining overhead, as they headed for Elsa’s old ice palace. She hadn’t been back there since the fiasco with Hans and the guards, but he had thought it would be fun to go back, to see what had become of it. It was a chillier night than usual but while Hans was bundled up and shivering from the cold and his excitement, Elsa didn’t notice it at all.
Over the past month they had become quite close. She was still wary of him, but this wariness was slowly being replaced by affection. Although she would never admit it she found herself seeking his company more and more often. When she was around him, she felt both at ease – like she was exactly where she was supposed to be – and apprehensive.
“Are you coming Elsa?” Hans called out.
She looked up and realised that he was already far ahead of her, looking at her with an amused smirk. Her heart did a series of acrobatic flips in her chest as she looked at him, his auburn hair glowing in the moonlight, his cocky grin that held the slightest suggestion of sincerity, and his eyes....oh his eyes.
Elsa shook herself, ‘Stop it, Elsa....He’s a condemned criminal, you have no business thinking about him like that.’ she half-heartedly thought as her face began to turn pink.
“Yes I’m coming”, She called as she rushed to catch up with him.
“Im sorry my Queen”, he bowed, his voice thick with mock formality, “You were just going so slowly. I had expected you to be much swifter in your element.” He gestured to the deep snow they were standing in.
“Don’t make me freeze your feet, then we’ll see who’s slower.” she teased, as she conjured a few snowflakes in her hand.
“I hate to disagree, but I am much faster than you.”
Elsa smirked, “We’ll see about that.” Without looking back she dashed away, laughing as she ran. She heard Hans gasp and laugh as he gave chase.
“You’re going to have to do better than that!” He called, his voice closer than she thought.
She turned and shot some ice at the ground, creating a glassy sheen under his feet. Hans yelled out as he slipped and shot forward, his momentum carried him forward and straight into Elsa, knocking them both into a snowbank.
Elsa closed her eyes the moment she was hit She slowly opened them and looked up. Her face turned red when she noticed that Hans was on top of her, his face as red as hers. She thought about screaming or pushing him away, but the look on his face kept her there. She was embarrassed and nervous, but she also felt strangely excited.
“I...I’m sorry...” She whispered, looking away.
Hans said nothing. His face was inches from hers. His eyes were half-lidded and he looked mesmerized. As he kept eye contact he slowly began to move his face closer to hers and she found herself doing the same.
‘Stop!’ Her mind was screaming at her, but she found herself not listening. Something in her wanted this, wanted him, and she couldn’t help but listen to it.
Thier lips met and Elsa immediately felt a warmth flood through her. She felt calm and at peace, but she also felt a desire flow through her, with each movement of their lips she felt herself need more and more. She brought her hands around his neck to pull him closer, but Hans reluctantly pulled away. She had to stop herself from letting a disappointed groan escape her lips. Her eyes met his and she saw that the longing was replaced by sadness and regret. He stood up quickly and dusted the snow off of his jacket. He then extended a gloved hand to Elsa and she took it gratefully.
“If we don’t hurry we won’t reach the palace before sunrise.” He turned away from her and continued walking. Elsa, though confused, decided to drop the subject.
They walked in silence for at least an hour, as they thought about everything that had happened between them.
Elsa knew that she shouldn’t feel the way she did about Hans, but she found herself no longer caring. They had spent so much time together and she knew that she had fallen for him.
She stopped for a moment and looked behind her. Arendelle sat nestled in the fjord, peaceful and dark, not knowing that its queen was so far away. Elsa knew that when she returned there things would be different, Han’s brother would still come back for him, he still faced execution. Then there was Anna and Kristoff to convince of Hans’ change of heart. She doubted that would go over well with either of them. But just like Arendelle, all of those things seemed so far away.
‘When I go back tomorrow I will be Queen Elsa again....but tonight.....tonight I’m going to leave her behind. I’m just Elsa right now. And I love Hans. Thats all that matters.’ Elsa stood a bit straighter and turned back to Hans, only to find him looking up in awe.
The castle looked as glorious as it had the last time she had seen it. The ice glittered in the starlight and though the balcony was a mess and the staircase was missing a few parts she found herself smiling. This place still felt like a safe haven to her, and she wondered why she had never come back, at least to visit.
“It’s beautiful.” Hans said, as he fully appreciated the castle’s beauty. Elsa placed a hand on her hip and tilted her head, as she examined the balcony once more.
“It...could use some work...” she said, “But thats nothing I can’t handle.”
She gave Hans a quick smile before she ran over to the stairs. As she dashed up it she added new and more lavish decorations to the rails. She even fixed the broken section so well that Hans could hardly remember where it was. Once reached the top she ran her hands over the doors and added more carvings and decorations to it. Hans couldn't help but marvel at her grace and beauty. Surrounded by the ice and starlight she looked like an angel. Elsa caught him staring at her and a blushed.
“Well come on”, she shouted to him, “we still have the balcony to fix up!”
Elsa swung the doors open and rushed inside. Hans shook himself out of his stupor and took the stairs two at a time to catch up to her.
When he made it to the second floor he noticed that Elsa had stopped. Her hands hung loosely at her sides as she stared at the mess around them. The chandelier lay scattered at their feet. The ice spikes that had nearly impaled one of The Duke’s guards were still there and so was the block that had nearly knocked the other off the cliff side.
Hans could tell that she was regretting her actions that day. The air around them grew colder and the ice gained a darker hue. He walked over to her and put his hand on her shoulder. “Its ok, Elsa. You’ve proven a million times that you are better than what happened here. It doesn't matter anymore.”
She sighed and looked up at him. Her eyes were weary but grateful as she nodded.
“What do you say we return this room to its former glory?” He put both his hands on her back and pushed her forward lightly, “Work your magic.”
Elsa took in a deep breath and stepped forward, then slowly raised her hands. Parts of the chandelier began to fly back together and the ice that had almost killed the guards dissolved slowly, adding to the ice that was reforming the light fixture. Elsa’s hands shot up in the air and the ice began to swirl faster. Seconds later the was chandelier reformed quickly and the walls re-gained their golden glow.
Elsa even added new details to the room. A table and two chairs popped up, a carving of Anna found its way into one of the walls, accompanied by two that he assumed were her parents. The ground gained new snowflake patterns and the balcony railing changed to a much grander and sturdier state. Elsa finished with flourish, turning the remaining ice into a snow flurry that blew out over the balcony and out of sight.
“That was amazing.” Hans said, his eyes scanning the now clean room.
“Thank you.” Elsa whispered, “You should see the balcony, it has quite the view.” Hans walked over to the doors as Elsa followed closely behind. When he saw the icy mountains glowing in the moonlight surrounded by clouds he let out a gasp. Even Elsa couldn’t help but look amazed at the sight. They leaned over and gawked at the sight together.
“Its...its...incredible.” He said clearly at a loss for words.
“Isn’t it?” Elsa replied, her voice wistful.
They both stood quietly and admired the view, neither of them spoke as they didn’t want to break the peaceful moment. But as Elsa looked out over the mountains a crazy idea came to her. She knew it was possibly the worst decision she could make at this moment but she told herself that it didn't matter.
“Hans.” Elsa said turning to him. she reached out and grabbed his hands to pull him closer to her. He refused to meet her gaze, but she pressed on.
“Hans, look at me.” she continued before he raised his eyes to meet hers. She smiled. “Marry me Hans.”
“What?” Hans stepped back slightly but Elsa kept a grip on his hands. “Elsa we can't...we can't just....my brothers and...” Elsa reached a hand up to his lips and silenced him.
“It doesnt matter. Up here nothing can get us, no problems or titles, no brothers or sisters. Right now I’m just Elsa and you are just Hans and I want you to marry me.”
Hans looked down at her, his eyes awash with emotion. He looked away and blinked, as if trying to stop himself from crying - before his grip on her hands tightened.
After a moment he said, his voice thick, “Elsa.......We....we don’t even have a priest.”
“Who cares?” Elsa said with a light chuckle and Hans let out a small laugh in reply.
“Well then”, he said wiping his eyes, “How do you want to do this?.”
Elsa smiled and quickly conjured up a veil and a beautiful arch for them to stand under. Hans smiled warmly at what he saw. Elsa looked stunning under her veil, made of the same cloth-like frost as her dress and was adorned with ice flowers. The arch stood on the balcony and was decorated with flowers, ribbons and even a few carvings. Hans noted that the topmost carving was of Elsa and himself, holding hands and smiling.
“Oh Elsa...”, he whispered, “You look amazing...”
Elsa blushed and smiled, “Thank you.”
Hans removed his gloves and extended his arm to her. She took it gratefully. “Shall we?” He asked and Elsa nodded.
They walked to the arch,hand in hand, smiling like they had never been happier. Hans couldn't think of a time when he had. As they reached the arch they saw the slightest hint of golds and reds break over the mountains and light up the sky. Elsa beamed, the sun perfectly lighting up her face with a heavenly glow. They faced each other and Hans gently lifted her veil.
“Would you like to start?” Elsa asked.
“O-ok.” Hans said, trying not to let the nerves get to him.
“I Hans, do take you, Elsa, to be my wife. To love you and cherish you from this day on, For all our life and until death, together shall we be until the end of our lives and into the next.”
“And I, Elsa, do take you, Hans, to be my husband. To love you from this day on, For all our life and until death, together shall we be until the end of our lives and into the next.”
Elsa grinned then, and Hand took her chin in his hands. “I love you Elsa”, he whispered.
“And I you,” she replied sweetly.
He then reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a ring. It was small and simple, silver with a ruby in the middle.
“I know its not much, but this was my mother’s....she gave it to me before she passed. I want you to have it.” He whispered as he gently slid the ring onto her finger.
Elsa simply stared at her hand for the longest time, unable to speak. When she finally felt that she could move again she threw her arms around his neck and pulled him into a kiss. His arms tightened around her and her cheeks felt wet. She couldn't tell if they were her tears or his.
When they pulled away they both smiled and laughed through the tears, both feeling a joy like no other. They turned their gaze to the mountains where the sun was finally coming into a full rise. Their hearts fell, knowing soon they would have to return to the real world. Where there were titles and problems, wars and executions. Neither wanted to go, to leave the small amount of peace they had found. but at least they could postpone the inevitable for a few hours more.
They sat and relaxed in each other's arms as they watched the sun grace the sky and enjoyed their newfound unity, wishing that things could be this simple in reality.