Behind Closed Doors
Author's Note: Given such a good response from my last one-shot, I decided to keep trying this! So thank you all for the support and reviews (fire elsa, iamgoku) so here goes a new one, hope you all like it!
It was the afternoon again, and Anna didn't know the whereabouts of her sister. They had been closer lately, after the incident that had occurred months ago, everything seemed to be going smoothly between them both. Elsa even gave her a duplicate from her bedroom's key as a prove that she didn't intend to push her away any longer, but still, something felt odd. Anna hadn't used the barely gained power of the key, since she thought she might push her a bit too far if she did so early in her new relationship and she was afraid Elsa could still shut herself out. But sometimes she just wondered what happened behind those closed doors.
Today was no different. She knew her sister was overloaded with treaties and queen duties she had to attend, and after her misadventure with her power she had long way to go before everyone truly trust her again. Even though the townspeople adore her, she didn't have the same welcoming arms from many other countries and trade agreement were becoming rare.
After exhausting her patience, Anna went for a walk trying to find where might her sister be now, she was about to miss dinner…again. She skipped thru the empty halls until a small figure appeared in front of her and offered a well-known, warm hug. Anna didn't hesitate and knelt to hug him.
"Hi Anna!" he said brightly
"Have you seen Elsa?"
"Yeah, she was with some people from another place"
"The dignitaries? They are still here? No wonder she hasn't come for supper yet"
"Well, I better get going; me and Sven are going to the lake"
"Sure thing, Olaf, have fun"
"You too" he disappeared thru the door and the sound of another one being shut caught Anna's attention. Turning around she found her big sister walking towards her own room with her eyes fixed to the floor.
"Elsa!" she said overjoyed "there you are"
The queen looked up before smiling lovingly towards her "Anna" she greeted "sorry, I was just attending some visitors, I will join you for supper as arranged"
"No worries" she shrugged, then noticing the tiresome expression in her face "Are you alright?"
"Yeah" she smiled trying to convince more herself than her sister "just give me a moment and I will be with you" she stepped inside her room and swiftly close it.
Anna just stared at the wood in front of her. Of course her sister didn't slam it on her face, but still it felt rather hurtful to be reminded of that image. She walked a few steps back and walked to the dining room. "Perhaps she just needs a change of clothes" she told herself and that made it all better for a while. She sat and waited again.
True to her worth, Elsa appeared minutes later, same dress on, no big change, but somewhat she looked better, which took Anna a little aback, just moments ago she thought she might be feeling sick.
"What are we eating tonight?" she asked taking seat in front of her.
"Well…" she inspected her carefully "soup…tomato soup" she then answered.
"Wonderful" she said delighted as some servants delivered the hot plates "So, how was your day?" she asked while blowing at her plate, cooling it down with the touch of her hand.
"It was good" she mumbled "I mean, I went with Kristoff to the fjord and visit the town and spend most of my time there so, it was really fun…you should come with us sometime"
"I will be glad to, as soon as I am done with meetings" she promised.
Anna thought that maybe the odd behavior before was nothing and continued to talk to her gleefully until another strange gesture was unconsciously made by her sister. Elsa held a hand up to her head, pressing slightly at her temples as if though this suppressed some sort of pain. Anna noticed she constantly rubbed her forehead with her fingers and made an attempt to smile while listening to her closely.
Anna didn't say anything at first, it was until dessert was served, that Elsa promptly excused herself. "I am sorry, Anna, but I have to finish some letters that have to be send early in the morning" she raised to her feet "I hope you enjoy dessert"
"Wait, what? But is chocolate cake, can't you stay?"
"It will be just this once, promise; I really need to finish them"
Anna exhaled, "Alright, just this once"
"Thank you" she reached to her and laid a kiss on her head "I will see you tomorrow, good night"
Anna watched as she disappeared thru the door "Just this once" she reminded herself.
But just once was not what happened. Constantly, Elsa absented herself to attend work and whenever she was free she would lock herself in her room, which felt exactly like the last 13 years of her life. She knew she shouldn't be so harsh on her sister, after all she was Queen of Arendelle, but also, she was her only living relative, which only made Elsa's burden much harder.
Elsa would always be with some distinguished guest that would keep her busy all day or have assemblies with dignitaries or even urgent meetings that would come out of nowhere and needed to be rapidly solved. And Elsa would attend them, all of them. No matter how many they were, at what time of day, how exhausting they could be or how time-consuming. And she would attend them all, with the outstanding pose and dignity of a true and fair Queen.
In any other condition, Anna would have applauded these qualities, but it had lasted too long and they never seem to end. She couldn't do this any longer and she didn't know if her sister could.
So finally one afternoon, after a long overdue meeting was concluded, Anna caught up to her sister, whom kindly greeted her with a hug "Hey Anna" she said, her voice was slightly weak and tired, but her posture was straight and proud.
The younger sibling just held her, without releasing her tight grip around her. "I've missed you" she murmured
Elsa chuckled "I haven't gone anywhere"
"But I haven't really seen you in a while"
"I know" she answered nonchalant "I will make it up to you, I promise"
"You already promised…" Anna interrupted herself
"What?" asked Elsa freeing her from the embrace to have a better look at her sister's face
"You…you promised you wouldn't miss more dinners"
Elsa smiled heartbrokenly "I am aware and I really regret not being true to my word, but it's been a harsh couple of weeks"
"Could you…just take a day off?"
"Not such thing for the Queen" she said naturally noticing how her sister flinched at her statement "Not right now anyways, there is much to be done at this moment"
"Well…when are you going to be owner of your own time?"
Elsa stared at her blankly for a second, then she just shook her head slightly "Soon, promis-" she saw her unconvinced and hurt look "I will try my best to schedule some free time just for the two of us" she smiled one last time before letting go of her hands "however I need to…attend something else, I will see you at dinner, alright?"
"You better be" said Anna a bit bitterly.
"I will" she gazed over her shoulder before exiting.
So Anna waited at the table. Couple of minutes passed… Then half an hour… then an hour. And finally, she knew she wasn't coming. Her heart ached, Had Elsa deliberated missed this? Did she not recall she had promised twice already? So finally she couldn't take it any longer. She knew perfectly where she was, and by all means she was getting inside.
So she took the key, not knowing if she was abusing her power or not, just guided by this feeling of emptiness, hurt and a bit of rage, she opened the doors. She wasn't sure what she was going to find in the other side, but definitely, this wasn't the sight she had expected.
Her always powerful, immortal, perfect sister was sitting on the edge of the bed facing the window, her shoulders humped forward, her hair falling loose evenly on her back, her posture was so lax she could easily had though she had just waken up or was about to faint. Her hands were clenching the covers as an ice crust crept over them. The overall of the image was that her sister…was only human.
"Elsa?" she whispered, but it was enough for the young queen to know she had been caught with all her defenses and walls down, this was as vulnerable as she could get.
"Anna!" she stood up straightening her posture again "what are you-?" the she shut her eyes remembering "I am so sorry, I forgot about dinner" she passed a hand thru her hair "We can go right now" she offered about to walk to the door, but her sister stopped her, racing to her side.
"No, it's fine" she grabbed her shoulders driving her back to the bed "Are you ok?"
"Yes I just…needed a minute" she gazed at the clock on her wall "seems like I took 74 of them" she sighted "I am sorry, Anna, I really wanted to make it up to you, I will be more considered next time, I will make it to dinner"
"That doesn't matter, I'm not upset…anymore" she said sliding a hand on her sister's shoulder driving her close to embrace her "Tell me, what's bothering you?"
"Nothing" she said out of breath "I-I just…" it was still hard for her to express her feelings. After 13 years of concealing and not feeling the mere idea of opening up for a dialogue seemed odd "I can't always be the queen the people need to see…" she trailed off "Whenever I get too overwhelmed with it, I just come here, is the only room in which I don't have to pretend to be… unbreakable" she admitted "No one to stay strong for, no expectative, its just my…space to…" she shrugged without finding the words.
"You can let your guard down here, Am I right?"
"Feels like it" she nodded exhaling
"Oh Elsa, you could have told me this" she held her closed kissing her forehead tenderly "I understand, ok? I do" she caressed her loose hair "You don't always have to be that perfect girl, it's alright to admit you need some rest and time for yourself"
"That would have shown weakens"
"That would have shown you are human" she remarked softly feeling her sister relax under her embrace. They stood like that for a couple of minutes, Elsa just being held by her sibling, who tried to sooth her.
Anna then looked down taking a deep breath "So this is what happens behind closed door?" she said mostly to herself "For a minute I thought you were shutting me out again, that you…"
"I would never" said Elsa sitting up to have full eye contact with her "I know I take my distance and that lately I have been unable to keep my promises, but that is one I would never dare to break" she held a timid smiled on her lips "you are my sister, you have saved me multiple times and… I love you" she said the last with such conviction and care that there was no doubt.
Anna launched forward and hugged her tighter than ever. Maybe so she had missed a couple of dinners, but they had lost 13 years worth of time together. And perhaps Elsa would close the doors, but that didn't mean she had shut her heart or her sister out. It only meant that her powerful, fair, and wise Queen was only human, and that she was barely learning how to express herself and her emotions, and she was doing that, all behind closed doors.
Author's Note: Ta-Da! I hope you liked it, your thoughts are always welcome! Until Next time (hopefully!)