Tea at the Palace
As Kristian exits the inn, he stops out in the street and takes a sigh of disappointment. He is glad to get away from the Duke, but the Duke had reminded Kristian why he was here in Arendelle. Kristian glances down the street at the palace as he contemplates what he is to be a part of. Kristian closes his eyes and whispers to himself, "Kristian, what have you gotten yourself into? Why did the ice witch have to be Elsa? She is kind and caring and the people here treat her like a beloved ruler."
Now Kristian opens his eyes again and looks up into the mountains. He watches the spot on the mountain where the clouds linger, the spot where Goran's monsters are building a massive mound of snow and ice. "I have to be loyal to Goran," quietly says Kristian. "He saved my life and gave me shelter. I owe him for that. He's the closes person I have to a family. How can I do anything but help him in his mission?"
A short distance away is Sven, Kristoff's reindeer, with Kristoff's ice cart. Elsa is with this reindeer. While outside, Elsa had bought some carrots from a street vendor. Elsa stuck most of the carrots on the cart but she was feeding Sven one of the carrots. After giving the carrot to Sven, Elsa looks towards the inn and sees Kristian standing there looking up into the mountains. So Elsa begins to walk towards him.
"So did your little talk go well?" asks Elsa as she approaches with a smile.
Kristian looks over at Elsa with a blank look on his face. "The talk happened, that's all I really can say about it," says Kristian with almost no emotion. To Elsa, the light and fun had gone out of Kristian's face. Besides a few instances during the day, Elsa thought that Kristian had enjoyed the day. Now Kristian has gone dark on her and Elsa figured it had to be the meeting that Kristian had.
Not sure how to proceed, Elsa decided that it would be a good thing to head back to the palace. "So if you are not too busy at the moment, perhaps you could walk me home?" asks Elsa as politely as she can.
Kristian looks at Elsa with a turmoil of emotions raging inside of him. After a moment, Kristian decides that his job is to keep an eye on Elsa. Without indicating any emotion he says, "Sure, I can see you home."
Soon Elsa and Kristian are walking down the street back towards the palace. Elsa looks over to Kristian and sees him staring straight ahead. For some distance no one says anything. Finally Elsa asks, "So your business is not going well?"
"What?" ask Kristian as he is surprised by the question.
"The meeting in the inn that you had, you said that it had to do with the job that you are on," responds Elsa. "It must have not been very good news to put you in a sorrowful mood."
"Oh," says Kristian. Then after a slight pause he continues, "It was my employer. He isn't happy with the progress that Goran and I have made. Our job has turned out to be a lot trickier than first anticipated."
"Perhaps there is something I can do to help you out," says Elsa.
Kristian suddenly stops walking. He is surprised by the comment. He knows if Elsa knew what the job was there would be no way she would willingly allow it to happen. Elsa stops too and turns around. She is puzzled by Kristian's reaction.
"The offer is genuine," adds Elsa. "I wouldn't have suggested it if I were not sincere about it."
"You would not want to help with this job, Elsa," replies Kristian. "I'm not looking forward to its completion myself, and I'm disliking it more as time progresses."
"Can't you just quit the job then, if you dislike it that much?" asks Elsa. "Especially, since it is troubling you."
"It's not that simple," replies Kristian. "I can't just leave Goran. He is nearly family to me, and Goran is committed to doing this job. Besides, money has already changed hands."
"I know that family is very important, and I would not want you to do anything that would ruin yours. However, one thing that members of a true family have is love for one another. So if you decide to quit the job, Goran should still care about you; even if he doesn't understand your decision," says Elsa as she tries to offer some advice. "As for the money part, I could provide you the funds to pay back your employer if you need it."
"You would be willing to do that without any compensation?" asks Kristian.
"Oh, I didn't say that," says Elsa with a silly lint in her voice. "You could say some of it will be for services rendered and you could do something else for the rest." With that said Elsa turns around and starts walking back to the palace.
"Wait a second!" exclaims Kristian as he starts to run after Elsa. As Kristian catches up to Elsa, he then asks her, "What do you mean services rendered? I haven't done anything for you so far."
"You have done more than you realize," replies Elsa. "Today, you have visited many of the sights of Arendelle with me. Hanging out with you and Olaf brought some real joy into my life."
"I would have thought Olaf alone could have done that," interrupts Kristian.
"Yes, he can be quite fun to be around," replies Elsa. "However, you provided something that Olaf could not. You provided me with hope."
"Hope?" questions Kristian. "I wouldn't think you would need hope for anything. Your life seems to be filled with anything anybody would want."
"My life has been blessed in many ways," replies Elsa. "But I was beginning to feel like I would never be able to find someone who would want to be with me. You have shown me that there might be someone out there for me, for that I am very grateful."
"I wasn't trying to give you that kind of impression," says Kristian as he is a little surprised by the comment.
"I know you weren't," replies Elsa. "You made it clear last night that you weren't interested in establishing anything long term. Yet you have made me feel like I could get close to someone; even if this time, with you, it is for only a short period."
As Elsa and Kristian were talking, they had walked to the front gates of the palace where Kristian had stopped walking. Elsa stops as well. "I should probably take my leave then," says Kristian as he is unsure of what to say or do.
"Yes, I suppose so," replies Elsa. "It has been a full day, hasn't it? I do hope you enjoyed it as much as I have."
"These last few days have been far and beyond anything I had expected," replies Kristian. "There certainly were some enjoyable moments in all of that time."
"I am glad to hear that," says Elsa. "Maybe you could show up at the palace tomorrow. I mean, if you aren't too busy or anything," says Elsa as she is uneasy about the suggestion that she made.
"I don't know, I will see what tomorrow brings," replies Kristian. Elsa's idea makes him uncomfortable after the argument he had with the Duke of Weselton. "Well, good bye then," says Kristian as he slowly turns away to leave.
"Good bye," says Elsa as she waves farewell. Elsa watches Kristian walk away, but after he takes a few steps she speaks up. "Maybe you would care to come in and have a cup of tea," inquires Elsa. Kristian turns around and looks back at Elsa with some surprise. "There still are a few hours of daylight left in the day and I thought that you could rest and relax in the comfort of the palace."
"Are you sure you're not just trying to spend more time with me?" replies Kristian partly in jest.
Elsa smiles devilishly and replies, "Well, that might be part of the reason too; but would that be such a bad thing."
"No," sighs Kristian as he looks back towards the mountains as he contemplates his next move. After a short pause he continues, "Alright, I guess you've got me for a little while longer."
Elsa smiles brightly as she says, "I am certain that we will find something to help us wind down the day."
Elsa steps sideways to Kristian as she makes a gesture for him to walk onto the palace grounds. Elsa doesn't want to make the mistake of last night by grabbing onto Kristian. The physical contact of last night seemed to be too much for him. This day, Elsa tried to avoid any contact initiated by her.
Kristian begins to walk by, and as he does Kristian places his gloved hand on Elsa's shoulder and motions for her to walk alongside of him, which she does. As Elsa and Kristian near the front doors a figure appears in the doorway. It is Anna coming out to greet them.
"I am so glad that you made it home," says Anna. "I was beginning to worry a little about you."
"Oh Anna," replies Elsa. "I'm fine and I am quite capable of taking care of myself. You really shouldn't worry."
"I know I shouldn't," adds Anna. "But ever since the comments the Duke made, I've been a little edgy about your safety. You're my sister and I would like to keep you around a little longer."
"Don't worry, I plan on being around for some time," reassures Elsa. "And I appreciate the concern, but the Duke's comments were just hollow statements."
"They may not be so hollow," quietly says Kristian as he listens in on the conversation.
"What was that?" ask Elsa as she turns to look at Kristian.
"Oh nothing," replies Kristian as regrets his two cents. "I just wouldn't put anything past what the Duke might do."
Anna then steps forward and greets Kristian. "Hello again, Kristian," says Anna. "I see that Elsa got you to go on a trip through Arendelle. So did you enjoy the journey through our little place in the world?"
"It's a pleasant little village; and in some ways, it was really remarkable," replies Kristian.
"Then you did have fun," says Anna. Then in an apologetic tone she says, "Kristian, I am sorry about what happened last night. I didn't like seeing Elsa upset like that and I took my anger out on you."
"Don't be too apologetic. Your anger was warranted," replies Kristian. "I did upset Elsa but that evening was a misunderstanding from the start."
"The misunderstanding would be my fault," interjects Elsa as she turns to look at Kristian. "You did say that you would be leaving when your work was done, but I tried to make your visit to the palace something more."
"You could throw some of the blame my way as well," adds Anna. "I was very insistent about the dinner and wanted to see Elsa happy. I just thought you could provide her some happiness."
"If you want to keep the apologies going, I could apologize for coming to Arendelle in the first place," says Kristian partly in jest but it also was with a serious nature.
"There is no need to go that far with the apologies," says Elsa with a smile. "It has been an adventure since your arrival, both good and bad. I, for instants, have enjoyed your company today."
"I can't really complain about today either," replies Kristian with a smile. "It is not every day that I get a guided tour of a village that is unknown to me."
Kristian and Elsa are looking at each other, and both of them have grins on their faces. Anna sees this and begins to smile as well. She knows this means that Elsa has made a connection with Kristian. In Anna's mind, maybe things can still work out between the both of them.
"So what are your plans now?" asks Anna. "Are you going to have dinner in the palace tonight?"
"We already had a meal at Vidar's inn," replies Elsa as she looks over at her sister. "Right now, I've invited Kristian for some tea. You are welcome to join us."
Anna looks over at Kristian and with a devilish smile she replies, "That's all right, I'm waiting for Kristoff. You two can go off without me and have some fun."
Elsa begins to lead Kristian into the palace when Anna calls after them. "It certainly looks like it was a terrific spring celebration for the both of us!" exclaims Anna cheekily.
Elsa looks back at her sister and sees her smiling and waving. Elsa gives Anna a silly scowl to indicate her disapproval of the comment, but also not totally denying it either. After seeing Elsa's reaction, Anna giggles a little at the face that her sister has made. Shortly, Elsa closes the front doors of the palace; leaving Anna outside and once again Elsa is alone with Kristian.
"So where to now?" asks Kristian. "Are we heading to the kitchen first?"
"No, the private dining room often has a kettle brewing this time of day," replies Elsa. "We will head there first."
"So back there with your sister, what did Anna mean? When she said it looked like a terrific spring celebration," asks Kristian.
"It's nothing really," replies Elsa. She is worried about making Kristian uncomfortable about its true meaning. "It is something Anna was saying when we both were getting ready for the spring celebration. Anna just wanted to make this one special for her and decided that she would try and include me in it too."
"So Anna thinks that this celebration was pretty great," comments Kristian.
"It had its ups and downs; but I would say that for the most part, it was pretty good," replies Elsa.
Soon Elsa and Kristian reach the dining room and Elsa proceeds to head to a glass cupboard and pulls out two cups for them to use. Next, Elsa moves to the kettle and swings it away from the fire. Without thinking, she picks the hot kettle up and proceeds to pour two cups of tea. Kristian comes up behind her as she is about to turn and place the kettle back on its hook. "I can take that," says Kristian.
Elsa is a little surprised to see Kristian right behind her and that close as well. "Thank you," replies Elsa to Kristian's gesture as she hands the kettle to him.
Kristian proceeds to hang the kettle over the fire. This time it is Elsa's turn to surprise Kristian. As Kristian turns around, Elsa is standing there holding the two cups of tea. She stretches out one of the cups to offer it to Kristian. "Thanks," replies Kristian to the offering of the tea.
"You're Welcome," replies Elsa. "Why don't we head up to the sitting room in the family quarters? There is a comfortable couch up there and a good view out the window overlooking Arendelle."
"The family quarters?" questions Kristian. "Isn't that more for private guests and family?"
"You are my guest, and besides the family quarters are not always isolated from the rest of palace life anyway," replies Elsa. "I've sometimes socialized with royal dignitaries up there, but only with ones that I like and that I have a good rapport with."
"And you think I fit into that criteria," replies Kristian with a smile.
"We do get along well. So yes, I do think you deserve the same kind of opportunity as any other favored dignitary."
Kristian smiles at this comment and says, "Calling a mountain man equal to a royal dignitary is not fair to the dignitary."
"Some could also say that it is not fair to the mountain man," replies Elsa with a smile. "After all, some of these royal personages are all too full of themselves, many not realizing how unimportant they really are. The average laborer has more effect on a kingdom than they do. So shall we go then?"
"Lead the way, your royal majesty," says Kristian sarcastically as he gives a bow to Elsa.
"Oh stop," replies Elsa humorously. "You're almost as bad Kristoff."
Elsa then leads Kristian through the palace and up the stairs to the sitting room. Once they arrive, Elsa is disappointed. The fire had not been lit yet. Normally the fire would be set ablaze after the evening meal was served, but Elsa and Kristian had eaten early and arrived before the normal meal time.
"I had hoped that the fire would be going in here," says a disappointed Elsa. "I'll have to go see the servants to have them get the fire going."
"There's no need for that," replies Kristian. "Starting a fire is a simple matter. I can do it in no time."
"Then will you do us the favor?" asks Elsa politely.
"Of course," replies Kristian as he hands his cup of tea to Elsa.
Elsa moves over and takes a seat on the couch as Kristian walks over to the fireplace. Kristian takes some of the wood nearby and positions the wood in the fireplace. Kristian then takes off both of his gloves and lays them down on the hearth stone. Now Kristian lays both hands on one of the larger logs and slowly emits a flame from both hands. The fire flickers lowly from his hands. Then shortly, the fire begins to creep from each hand towards the other hand. Once the small flames reach each other, they combine and grow in strength. Now Kristian releases his hands from the log and the fire is going.
Elsa, who has been sitting on the couch, could not see what was going on. All that she could see was the back of Kristian. However, Elsa was intrigued by the small amount of movement that Kristian was using. Once Kristian was done, he picks up his gloves and puts them back on. Kristian then starts to walk over to Elsa to take his cup back from her.
Outside, Anna had walked out onto the bridge that leads away from the palace. She is waiting to see if Kristoff will show up. While she waits, Anna takes in the scenery. A few ships are at the docks, one of them is being unloaded. Also most of the fishing ships have moved away from the pier. A few of the fishing ships can be seen moored along the bank of the fiord. However, most of the fishing ships have gone to private wooden piers located elsewhere. As Anna takes in the view, she enjoys the warmth of the sun and the fresh smell of the air. Anna closes her eyes as she allows her other senses to take in all that is around her. Anna smiles as she does this. Seeing her sister enjoying herself has lifted Anna's spirits, and now Elsa is safe inside the palace as well. Now Anna sees no need to worry about some idiotic threat from the Duke of Weselton.
Just then, Anna hears a male voice. "You seem to be very happy this evening."
Anna looks in the direction the voice has come from and sees Kristoff walking down the bridge towards her. "Kristoff!" exclaims Anna. "I am always happy when I see you, but I am also happy about the spring weather today and I am happy for Elsa. She has found a guy that she can hang out with."
"You are talking about Kristian aren't you?" inquires Kristoff.
"Yes, he has been perfect for Elsa," replies Anna. "I rarely see her enjoy herself with anybody besides you, Olaf, and me."
"I'm afraid that her enjoyment with Kristian is going to be short lived," says Kristoff seriously.
"Why, what do you mean by that?" asks Anna as she becomes concerned by Kristoff's tone. "Is there something that you know about Kristian?"
"I don't know everything; but while I was delivering ice to Vidar, I overheard the end of a heated discussion between Kristian and the Duke of Weselton," replies Kristoff.
"The Duke?!" exclaims a confused Anna. "Why would he be talking to the Duke of Weselton?"
"I'm not entirely sure what they are up too, but Kristian is apparently working for the Duke," replies Kristoff.
"That means that..., Elsa," says Anna as fear enters her mind. She turns and begins to run towards the palace.
"Anna, wait!" shouts Kristoff as he starts to run after Anna.
Anna looks over her shoulder as she is running and replies, "If Kristian is working for the Duke then that means that Elsa is in danger!"
"Not at this moment!" says Kristoff as he partly catches up to Anna. "Elsa will be fine for the time being."
"How can you be so sure about that?" asks Anna as she stops near the main door to the palace. "You don't know about the threat that the Duke made. Kristian has to be here to fulfill that threat."
"Maybe he is or maybe he is not," replies Kristoff. "All I do know is that Kristian is working for another guy, and that guy is working for the Duke. Right now, all Kristian is supposed to be doing is to watch Elsa. So right now, Elsa will be safe."
Anna calms down as she accepts Kristoff's explanation, but her concern still remains. "Elsa still needs to be told about this, and I will feel better if we tell her as soon as possible," says Anna.