Author's Note: I know many others have done this angle of the story as well, but the alter ego I wanted to explore about Elsa was when she was 18 (when her parents passed away) because I don't think they give enough impact over how she must have felt.
Elsa's hands were shacking, although she wasn't cold. The unsettling feeling in her stomach and the knot in her throat just made her mouth go dry and her eyes watery. Anna had once asked her how she mourned her parents passing…and she had no answer. Then she realized she had never been at the graveyard, she had never said goodbye. She didn't hug them goodbye when they departed; that was a privilege only Anna had.
And Elsa questioned herself to when had she felt the lonelier…and now her answer was standing right in front of her.
Before, she thought that the loneliest years were the first ones, when she was adjusting to her powers and the gloves, but that little girl wasn't completely alone. Perhaps she didn't had her sister as a companion, but still she had company; her parents. But after the shipwreck she spent three years completely isolated and that's when she was finally broken.
And now it was all playing before her eyes. There she was curled up against the door hearing one last time her sister's plea to build a snowman. That had been the last time ever Anna knocked the door. She had let her little sister burry their parents alone, because she wasn't brave enough to leave the room, because her powers were out of control, because she was a threat…because if she opened the door that one time she would be afraid of closing it again…she didn't knew any better…
She had her face buried in her knees, just hearing Anna standing up and leaving, she was just there and she couldn't touch her of comfort her…and no one was there for her either, because she had shut them out.
Elsa saw her old room covered in frost and her younger self crying so hopelessly it broke her as well all over again.
She knew what was going on her head, she had recited that mantra countless times, and those were the real chains that tied her to the room. She walked silently towards her and took a deep breath kneeling in front of her. The younger girl hadn't noticed her presence, she was self absorbed in pain. So the queen held her breath and reached to her, resting her hand over her elbow.
Her younger self was startled and look up as if thought she had seen a ghost, she tried to back away, but was already against the door "Who are you?, how did you came inside?" if the room had been cold, now it was completely frozen over, but the lost girl couldn't control it. So she looked closely "Mother?"
Elsa couldn't help but smile tenderly "No" she answered softly.
"Then…who-who are you?" she clenched her fists towards her chest protectively
"Its alright, I won't harm you" she reached again but the teen girl retracted "I am…I am you" she chuckled softly. "Some years into the future"
"But that-that can't be"
"I know, but…" she exhaled, she knew she wouldn't believe it herself either "Pretend what I say its true, even if just for a minute, after all magic does exist" she said raising an eyebrow
The younger girl stood still just looking at her, she had to admit the similarities were plenty, but what caught her eyes was something entirely different "If…if you are me, where are the gloves?"
"Long gone" she smiled letting a couple of snowflakes escape her fingertips. The amazed look her younger self expressed could have lighted up the kingdom in that day of gloom. Elsa couldn't help but stare; she knew it would be a long while before she could truly smile again. When the snowflakes disappear the doubtful girl stared at her as well.
"How?" she asked just above a whisper.
"It took practice, patience... and lots of love" she saw the covered hands of the girl and felt ill for all those shred tears and years of confinement.
"Love?" she echoed unconvinced
"It is a lesson you will learn at your respective time…I just wish this made it much easier" she exhaled soundlessly allowing a silence settle in the room for the girl to take it all in, but there was just one thing she wanted to know if all this were true.
"Is…is Anna alright?" she could hear it on her tone and see it in her eyes; the worry and fear of loosing her beloved sister.
"She is…thanks to you"
That's when the young soon-to-be queen frowned in disbelief "I am the reason she was once in danger" she could feel her distress as the temperature dropped a little.
"I-I know" she held her hand up to sooth her, but her alter ego flinched back so she retracted "But… it was also you who finally protected her, even if at first it didn't look like it. She will do so much for you too" 'basically save you' wanted to say Elsa, but perhaps saying too much could be bad "She will forgive you because she still loves you, she always will love you"
"Why would she? After all the things I have done…"
"I know it doesn't make sense now, and that you are scared but…I promise, you will see a bright new day"
"When?" her eyes were cristallyzing
"When you finally learn how to let it go" she smiled despite herself.
The girl passes the heel of her hand against her eyes "Why-why are you here?" she looked away pressing her knees against her chest.
"Because I know how much it hurts and…how lonely you really are…" her voice was about to crack, but she caught herself in the act "If there was a moment in which I really needed someone…it would be this"
"I am fine!"
"Of course you are not" she cut in "no matter how many times you repeat that to your self, you won't be, because you don't believe it. You were taught not to feel, how could you deal with loss if you weren't allowed to express any?"
"Why would I?" she almost hissed tying to conceal her emotions.
"You just lost your parents!" she said coldly realizing how that simple phrase almost broke down the frightened girl but she had to say it, she needed to "They were your only company, your soul friends, asides from them you had no one else. They were the only ones that knew about the magic, the only ones that would pass that threshold. Now they are gone and you wonder…who will stay by my side?"
Every word was true, and as Elsa said all those things feeling the knot in her throat finally disappear, it only got tighter in her younger self.
Her lips were quivering, and her eyes fought to usher the tears back as she held herself tighter, trying not to tremble as she buried her face between her knees.
Elsa knew then, she had finally cracked thru that hard shell of hers and now she was exposed and vulnerable. She was witnessing the sight of defeat and surrender; she was giving in into her own emotions, something she didn't permit herself to ever let another soul see. Something that even now she was afraid to express in front of others.
Snowdrops started to fall around them, enough sign of her loosing a hold of herself. When the girl in front of her started to shake a bit more, Elsa knew she was fighting not to cry, or not to do it too loudly. Taking advantage of her fallen walls, she finally rested a hand on her shoulder caressing her back to coo her ever so gently.
Containing herself the best she could, the young girl looked up at her, to which Elsa just smiled pressing a hand against her cheek to clean a tear with her thumb.
"I know my biggest regret has always been the mistake of not hugging them good-bye" she whispered, then extended her arms tentatively towards her.
"I-I can't touch people" she breathed in unevenly "The ice might-"
"I know, but I am probably the only person in the world you can't possibly harm" she offered still both arms extended "I know just how much you desperately need to"
The young girl knew inside her how she missed an embrace, how she wished to have hold her parent even for just a second before she lost them "But-"
Elsa saw the troubled expression in her face, deciding weather to do it or not "Pretend I am mother" she said "hug her good-bye, Elsa. Don't regret not doing this" she warned looking into her eyes, feeling odd about scolding herself.
Slowly, the trembling figure uncurled raising her arms doubtfully leaning in just to be embraced by her future persona. Soon a pair of arms held her tight against her body as soft hands stroke her hair lovingly. It had been so long since she had last allowed anyone to be near her, she had forgot how good it felt to be held, how reassuring and nurturing it was. As Elsa embraced her former self, she felt her relax in her arms until the point her posture wasn't stiff anymore and her shoulders fell. Then, the figure started shaking once more; they were genuine and muffled sobs against her shoulder. Elsa didn't stopped her, she needed to express her feelings, so she just hummed softly against her ear never stopping the caresses as she rocked them in short motions to sooth her. Several minutes passed before Elsa felt the girl shift her position to try to speak properly.
"I miss them so much" she finally heard her hushed voice admit.
"I know you do, it's alright to miss them" she answered "I still do" she laid her head against her shoulder still rocking them.
"Does it ever stops? The pain, the loneliness…the shut door" she asked slowly drifting into slumber already exhausted due to the confrontations.
"Yes, it does"
"When you decide its time" she replied affectionately.
The younger one exhaled "I am… tired" she yawned quietly closing her eyes.
"I think it's time for you to finally reconcile with sleep" stroke one last time her hair and laid a tender kiss on her forehead closing her eyes as well finally feeling peaceful within herself…
"Elsa? Elsa!" she snapped her eyes open gazing around just to find her sister staring worriedly at her "Are you alright?"
"What?" she noticed she was in the graveyard, she had fallen asleep in front of her mother's memorial.
"I went outside looking for you, someone told me you had come here about three hours ago, I was worried you wouldn't come back, what are you doing here?"
Then Elsa understood, perhaps it could had been a dream or maybe not, but at least she could ease the grieving pain of her greatest mistake, even if just for minutes, she had amend her bond. Glancing at the landmark she laid a hand on the cold rock "Nothing, I… just came to make peaces with myself"
Maybe Anna couldn't understand what she was talking about, but she could read it on her sister's face. Something had been restored in her inside; the sight of her parents' graves didn't affect her any longer.
Anna smiled and lend her a hand to stand up "Come on, it's time to go home"
Anna intertwined their fingers keeping her sister close. For years Elsa was denied any physical contact, display of emotions or mention of her powers and true being. But now, she was finally free and no longer prisoner of her own fears. Now she was sure she would never have to shut the door again...