Warm Hugs

An Unexpected Alliance

It was only three in the morning when there was a knock on Elsa's door, "Your Majesty, its Gerda. I brought the clothes you requested." Elsa had called for Gerda earlier to come to her bedroom so she could help the Queen find some appropriate non-royal clothing to help her blend in with the towns people of Sperca.

Elsa quietly opened the door and ushered in her lady-in-waiting, "Thank you, Gerda, come in." The queen softly closed the door behind her, "Did you find anything?"

Gerda placed the clothes delicately on her bed as if it were her coronation dress, "Yes, Your Majesty. I have for you here a simple dark blue dress with an even simpler black bodice, no embroidery or design. I also found a casual light brown coat for you to wear during the cold evenings, even though I know you don't need a coat to keep warm, I figured that you would stand out too much if you were to not wear one."

Elsa kindly smiled at her friend, "Yes that is very clever of you, Gerda. Thank you."

Gerda bowed as Elsa picked up the dress and started to change, "Your Majesty?"

Elsa called over her shoulder, "Yes?"

Gerda cautiously questioned, "Are you sure you don't want someone to go with you?"

Elsa finished buttoning up the buttons that ran down the front of her dress, and turned thoughtfully to her friend, "No, I need to go and do this alone."

Gerda helped Elsa put on her bodice, "But, Your Majesty, what if something should happen to you?"

Elsa grabbed the coat off her bed, "I have written a letter to Anna explaining the situation and what to do if something should happen to me…" Elsa took off her crown and placed it on a pillow that rested by her nightstand. She looked at her servant, "Please take good care of her."

Gerda bowed, "Of course, Your Majesty."

Elsa gave her friend one last small smile, quietly opened her door, and silently made her way down the hall.

Hans woke up with a start and quickly jumped out of bed. Something isn't right, something's happening. He jiggled the door handle but it wouldn't budge, Shoot! I keep forgetting that Elsa locks me in at night…I feel like such a child. Before he started knocking, he decided it would be best to change into some decent clothing in case someone important should open the door. Once he finished changing, he started quietly tapping on the door, not wanting to make a commotion, "Hello? Is there anyone out there? A guard, perhaps?" No response, so he started knocking a little louder, "Hello? Kai? Anyone?" He started feeling silly, nobody is out there…I'm just wasting my time-

He heard the sound of someone coming down the hallway, "Excuse me? Hello! Can you get the Queen for me? I think there may be something wrong-"

He heard the lock being played with and then the door slowly creaked open. Hans's eyes widened and his jaw dropped, "Queen Elsa? Is that you?"

Elsa shushed Hans as she stepped into his room and quietly shut the door, "Could you possibly be any louder? I could hear you all the way down the hall!"

Although she was whispering, Hans took tell that Elsa was ticked. But he couldn't help but stare at the peculiar outfit that she was wearing, "Why are you wearing that?" He noticed that she was also not wearing her crown, then it clicked, "You're going to Sperca, aren't you? You're going to go try to find the magic ingredient to save Kristoff!"

Elsa shushed him again, "Yes! But nobody knows except the doctor, Kai, and Gerda…and well now you. But could you please keep quiet! I want to leave before Anna wakes up."

Hans smiled, "Sure." He turned and walked towards his wardrobe, "I won't say anything."

Elsa was pleasantly surprised, "Really?"

Hans pulled out a similar light brown coat and stood before Elsa, "Yes, because I'm going with you."

Elsa furrowed her brows, "No, I don't think so." She turned to leave but Hans stepped between her and the door, "Move Hans, I don't want to do anything I'll regret later." Although if I froze him here, there would be no chance of him causing any trouble when I'm gone…

Hans smirked, "I'm sorry, Your Majesty, I'm coming with you…Unless you want me to start causing a scene that will most certainly wake the entire castle?"

Elsa hissed, "Are you threatening me?"

Hans defensively raised his hands, "No, I'm just trying to protect you."

Elsa narrowed her eyes, "I can protect myself, thank you. Now step aside."

Hans stepped aside and opened the door for Elsa. As she was about to step out the door, Hans quipped, "If I recall correctly, I was the one who saved your life, long ago, back at the ice castle. So, although you may be able to protect yourself, you still need an extra set of eyes watching your back."

Elsa stopped and without looking back at him, she sighed, "Fine." She turned towards him, her eyes cold and dark, "But you will listen and do everything I tell you to do. The last thing I wanted is extra baggage so you better keep up with me at all times. Returning home safely to Anna is more important to me than you are to me, so if you fall behind…you will get left behind. Got it?" Hans nodded and Elsa wrote a quick note explaining that Hans was going with her as backup and left it on his bed. Then she and her new accomplice tip-toed down the halls, through the courtyard, and out of the castle gates.

The two remained silent as they reached the docks; there Elsa had Kai deal with finding them passage to Sperca via trade ship. Elsa muttered to Hans, "I had to find a more humble way of transportation-"

Hans methodically crossed his arms, "I understand…your usual ship would have been way too obvious. And a normal passenger ship with only two passengers aboard would also be conspicuous."

Elsa raised her eyebrows and looked at Hans, impressed by his quick critical thinking, "Yes…that's correct."

He sensed her surprise and looked down, "Hey, don't act so shocked. I think you forget, sometimes, that I used to be an intelligent and clever prince-"

Elsa started to walk away, "Yeah, don't get ahead of yourself, I didn't mean to inflate your ego."

Hans let out a low whistle, "You wound me, Queen Elsa."

Elsa stopped short of stepping onto the gang plank and took in a deep breath,

"Do you have to go?"

"You'll be fine, Elsa."

Hans walked up behind Elsa and put a gentle hand on her shoulder, "Is everything okay?"

No… Elsa cleared her throat, "Yes…it's just been a while since I've been on a ship." And by a while I mean never. She shrugged his hand off her shoulder and made her way up the gang plank, there the crew and the captain were all lined up for the Queen's voyage.

The captain stepped forward, took off his hat, and respectively bowed, "Your Majesty, it is an honor to transport you to the Kingdom of Sperca. As our royal guest, I would like to offer you the captain's quarters as your room during your three-day voyage with us."

Elsa warmly smiled, "Thank you Captain, I gratefully accept your chivalrous hospitality."

The captain outstretched his arm, "Right this way, Queen Elsa."

As Elsa and Hans approached a door at the stern, the captain opened up the door for them, "It's not much, rather humble I'd say, but it's far better than the sleeping quarters for the rest of the crew. At least you have privacy here, my Queen."

Elsa graciously bowed her head, "Thank you, it's perfect."

The captain bowed one last time, "Only the best for my Queen. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a ship and a crew to attend to."

Once the captain left, Elsa and Hans stepped into the room and closed the door. Elsa placed her coat on the bed while Hans hung his up on a hook by the door. Neither of them said anything but they knew what the other was thinking. There's only one bed.

Hans cleared his throat, "I will sleep below deck, with the rest of the crew-"

Elsa sat on the bed, her posture stiff as a board, "No, you will remain under my supervision at all times."

Hans suspiciously eyed the Queen, "Then where will I sleep?"

Elsa threw Hans a smug smile, "The floor seems comfortable, and you can tell me what you think in the morning. Now…" She looked around the room; from the door the bed was placed in the left hand corner of the room and in the right corner was a large desk, along the entire back of the room as a huge window that held an amazing view of the ocean. Elsa strode across the room and opened up the closet that was directly to the right of the door, "Wonderful…" She pulled out a stack of blankets and handed them to Hans, "Here you go, make yourself comfortable."

Hans sarcastically laughed, "I don't think I'll need all of these blankets."

Elsa guided Hans towards the corner farthest away from her bed, "Sure you will, stand right there…" She waved her hands and with a quick flick of her wrist, Elsa created an ice cell around Hans, making sure he stayed in one place while she slept. Satisfied, she crossed her arms and admired her work, "See? I told you the blankets would come in handy." Elsa strode back to her side of the room, unmade the bed, and comfortably snuggled in her blankets, "Get some rest, Hans. You may find yourself helping the crew tomorrow, or technically later today, I suppose."

Hans looked at the clock, "It's already four in the morning…How much sleep can I possibly get?"

Elsa turned in her bed, facing away from Hans, "You'll get enough so that you won't be a burden to the crew or to me. Now, go to sleep, Hans."

Hans narrowed his eyes at the Queen and huffed out an agitated breath. He set out the blankets and tried to form some sort of mattress, and once he was satisfied with his handiwork, he laid down and quietly whispered, "Goodnight…Elsa." As his eyes started to feel heavy, he could have sworn that he heard Elsa reply, "Goodnight, Hans." But he was pretty sure he just imagined it.

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