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The wind whipped across the mountain, but the two travelers did not feel the cold. One ran, a purple cloak snapping out behind her. The other traveler floated on the winter wind, just behind her, easily keeping pace with her.
“Hey,” He whispered, “it’s okay.”
The regal woman did not acknowledge his words and Jack floated closer yet.
“Elsa, I’ve watched you grown up. There’s nothing wrong with you.” He said.
Yet, the Queen still did not acknowledge Jack’s words. The immortal sighed, but continued to hover next to Elsa. He reached out and snagged the edge of her cloak.
“Trust me, being alone is not that great. People need other people to be happy.”
Elsa finally came to a stop to catch her breath. The newly crowned royal wrapped her arms around herself and looked over the snow covered mountain. Her raged breath steamed in the air as she tried to catch her bearings.
“You know, having powers really isn’t all that bad. I mean you can cause all sorts of mischief with them.”
To prove his point, Jack summoned up a snowball and tossed it lightly up in the air. Elsa still gave no indication that she heard Jack’s words. He sighed as the snowball came down and landed with a near silent thump in the thick snow covering. Jack twisted in the air and looked Elsa in the eyes. Gently he raised a hand and reached out to her, but he did not touch her. Elsa seemed to look into his eyes for a minute before shaking her head. Drawing in a breath, she unwound her arms and stretched one hand out flat. Slowly releasing her breath she created a swirl of snow and ice to play across her palm.
Jack grinned at her and darted to her other side, “That’s it!”
Elsa grinned and shot the magic into the night, creating a small snowman. Without a care for the cold air that surrounded her, Elsa undid the clasp of her cloak and let the fabric float into the night. She flexed her arms and summoned up more magic.
“Good! You’re really getting it!” Jack said excitedly, floating around her.
Taking a running start, Elsa dashed up the mountain, letting her magic shoot out around her. At the cliff, she did not even hesitated, instead using her magic to create stairs of pure ice under her feet. Jack followed her, his blue eyes wide.
“Wow.” He said, “This is better than my lousy snowball.”
He watched in amazement as Elsa used the magic to create a towering structure of the purest ice. Jack followed her through the great doors and into the palace’s foyer. The trickster look up with wonderment as the ice seemed to take on a life of its own and continued to grow upwards, building the rest of the castle. He turned around and realized that Elsa was no longer standing in the foyer. He looked around, trying to locate her. Then, a flash of color in the corner of his eyes drew his attention to the climbing figure.
Quickly he shot up the stairs, all his attention on Elsa now. She crossed the landing and pulled one of the bands out of her hair, letting the braid fly loose. With a wave of her hand, the ice began to climb up her figure, changing her gown. She sauntered across the landing and slammed the door shut with wave of her hand.
Jack looked at her and felt his jaw drop, “Wow.” He whispered.
Elsa flicked her eyes towards where Jack was floating and then sauntered out of the room. Jack slowly followed her, unable to take his eyes off her.
Jack turned his head as the castle’s main doors swung open. A young woman slowly crossed the threshold.
“Elsa?” She called out uncertainly.
“Anna.” Elsa answers, stepping out from the shadows.
The sisters continued to regard each other with a mixer of caution and awe.
“This place is amazing.”
“Isn’t it though.” Jack sighed in almost envy.
Anna’s head snapped up and she looked around the foyer.
“Who’s there?”
“There’s no one there, Anna. It’s just me up here, like it should be. I think that you should be going.”
“Go, you belong in Arendelle.”
“So do you, Elsa!”
“No, I belong here where I can’t hurt anyone.” Elsa answered calmly, taking a small step towards the stairs.
The sisters stare at each other, both unsure of what the next move should be. Then the door bursts open and a small snowman rushes into the room. Elsa looked down at the creation with bewilderment.
“What?” She whispered.
“I’m Olaf and I like warm hugs.” He said with a grin.
“Olaf?” Elsa asked, the saying the words, but the connection not clicking.
“You created me.”
“I did?”
“Yes, you did.” Jack said, floating up to stand next to Elsa.
“He’s just like the one we built as kids. We can be like that again,” Anna said, her eyes shining bright.
“Wrong word choice.” Jack said as Elsa gasped.
Her vivid blue eyes went slightly out of focus as the memory returned to her. Anna looked up at the balcony curiously.
“Who are you?”
Jack snapped his head down to look at the younger royal. “You can see me?”
Before Anna could answer, Elsa came back to attention. “No, Anna, we can’t.”
With those words she turned and ran up the stairs. Anna looked hurt and quickly followed her older sister.
“Elsa!” She cried out, “Please.”
“Go away, Anna. I’m just trying to protect you!”
“I don’t need you to protect me!”
Jack looked between the sisters. He could see the confusion in Anna’s face and he could see the stress on Elsa’s face.
“Stop pushing her.” He said, but was ignored.
Anna raced onto the top floor, still following her sister.
“Go home Anna, you’ll be safe there.” Elsa pleaded.
“No, I won’t.” Anna answered.
“What do you mean?” Elsa demanded.
Jack landed softly next to her and gently laid a hand on her shoulder, “Elsa, calm down.”
“Arendelle is in deep, deep, deep snow. You set of an eternal winter.”
“It’s okay, though, you can just unfreeze us.”
“No, I can’t!” Elsa cried, “I don’t know how!”
“Hey, it’s okay,” Jack said, “I can help you.”
“Sure you can.” Anna answered, optimism coloring her voice.
As Elsa started to lose control, snow began to swirl around the room. Anna kept pushing forward though, and the more she pushed, the harder it stormed.
“Stop!” Jack yelled, of the gale, “You’re stressing her out!”
His words were lost in the din and then suddenly the storm vanishes. Then the power shoots out from Elsa, striking Anna in the heart. Elsa gasped as he sister stumbled slightly, grasping at her chest.
“Anna?” She whispered.
Elsa whirled around when the doors crashed open and Olaf and Kristoff came through. The young ice man surveyed the scene, his eyes immediately going to Anna.
“You have to go.” Elsa pleaded.
“You really should go.” Jack said, standing next to Elsa.
“No, not without you. I know that together we can figure this out.”
“With what power?” Elsa demanded, fear making her voice quiver, “How can you possibly stop this? Stop me?”
“Anna,” Kristoff said, drawing her in close, “I really think that we should go.”
“Yes, you are.” Elsa said and with a wave of her arm creates a gigantic snowman.
As the snowman escorted Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf out of the ice palace, Elsa stayed where she was.
“What have I done?” She whispered, pulling in on herself.
Jack gently laid his hand on her shoulder, “It’s really not so bad.”
“Oh, what do you know?” Elsa snapped, turning to glare, but all she saw was open air, “And now, I’m talking to myself.”
Wiping away her tears, Elsa closed the balcony doors and then crumpled to the floor.
“What have I done?” She asked again, “Maybe I really am the monster they think I am.”
“No.” Jack denied, “You’re beautiful and amazing, Elsa, and I wish that you could see that.”
“What now?” Jack asked when a rumbling shook the castle.
He and Elsa quietly crossed the foyer. Carefully she opened the door and together the peeked out. Marshmellow was fighting a group of men.
“The Queen!” One of them shouted and Elsa slammed the door shut.
She raced across the open floor to the stairs. The doors slammed open and two of the men rushed after the Queen. Jack narrowed his eyes and waves his hand. A light coating of frost raced across the floor, causing the men to slip and slide into each other. Jack snorted and danced through the air to follow Elsa. He found her on the top floor, arms wrapped around herself, wide eyes looking at the door with fear.
“It’s okay, Elsa. They won’t hurt you while I’m here.”
The thugs burst through the ice doors and leveled crossbows at Elsa. One fired and an ice wall of combined creation jumped up to protect the Queen. The thug grunted and reloaded. Elsa whimpered softly and ice shot out from her. As another crossbow bolt narrowly missed her, Elsa narrowed her eyes. She let loose her magic, pinning one thug to the wall and pushing the other towards the balcony. Temper having given her the edge that she needed to fight back.
“Don’t do this Elsa. Please.” Jack pleaded, “Please. They really will think that you’re a monster if you kill these people.”
Elsa wavered for a second, but then turned her attention back to the men.
“Elsa.” Jack whispered, “Please.”
Elsa wavered again, just as Hans and the rest of the men rush into the room.
“Queen Elsa, don’t do this. Don’t be the monster they think you are.”
Elsa let her rage fade away and gasped at the sudden emptiness. Her magic began to fade and one of the thugs set his crossbow sights on her.
“No!” Jack and Hans yell at the same time.
Hans rushed forward and disarmed the man, the bolt shooting skyward. Jack froze as he heard the sound of ice shattering. He looked up and saw the chandelier beginning to fall towards an unmoving Elsa.
“Elsa.” He cried out rushing towards her.
He came up behind her and shoved her out of the way as the chandelier crashed to the floor, exploding outwards.
“Elsa. Come on, Elsa. You have to wake up.” Jack whispered, gently shaking her pale form.
With a soft groan, Elsa’s eyes fluttered open. Confusion crossed her features as she took in her surroundings.
“No don’t!” Jack exclaimed when she started towards the window.
Before she got there, her chains pulled taunt causing her to lose her balance. Jack caught her before she could hit the cold floor and helped her stand back up. Elsa looked at him in confusion. Then she shook her head and looked out the window and gasped. Hans entered the dungeon and she turned to look at him.
“Let me out, please.” Elsa pleaded.
“I can’t. Maybe if you could undo the spell.”
Elsa’s shoulders shook, “I can’t. You have to let me go, I’m a danger to Arendelle.”
Hans nodded, “I will see what I can do.”
Jack narrowed his eyes, “I don’t trust him. Don’t get into any trouble. I’ll be right back.”
Carefully Jack slipped out the door before it closed all the way and followed Hans back to the upper levels. Hans went to the library and met with the counselors. Jack sighed, and leaned on his staff.
“Is there anything more boring than a bunch of old guys discussing what to do instead of doing?” He asked, not expecting any response.
After several long hours, Jack was about to give up hope and go back to the dungeon and Elsa when the door burst open. Two guards brought Anna in.
“This is bad, very bad.” He said.
He watched from his perch as the counselors paraded out, leaving the three of them alone.
“Only an act of true love will unfreeze my heart.” Anna said, trying desperately to stop shivering.
“True love’s kiss.” Hans said and leaned in to kiss her, then he stopped and smirked, “If only someone truly loved you.”
“What?” Jack demanded after falling off his staff.
“What?” Anna asked with her voice weak with cold.
Hans stood up and began to walk around the room, doing his best to make it even colder in the process. Jack looked at the prince in shock as he began to monologue. Jack followed Hans as he left the library and went to the council chamber.
“Can’t you see that this is wrong?” He demanded as Hans told his side of the story, “Can’t you see that this man is lying to you?”
“And it is with a heavy hear that I charge Queen Elsa of Arendelle of treason and sentence her to death.” Hans said, letting his head hang slightly.
Jack froze to his spot, “What?” He whispered, “No, you can’t. She didn’t do anything wrong!”
He watched as two guards left the room, obviously heading towards the dungeon. Jack moved with a sudden frenzy, he flew out of the chamber and blew past the guards. The only thing that he could think about was getting to Elsa before the guards did. He reentered the dungeon and found Elsa in the same spot he left her.
“Okay, Elsa. I need you to use your powers.”
“No, no more.”
“You’re life depends on it!” Jack yelled.
With a growl he wrapped his hands around the iron cuffs and began to use his own powers. Elsa looked down in surprise as her bounds began to freeze over. Then she heard the guards outside the door and her fear spiked, speeding up the progress of the ice on the chains and on the walls. The guards shoved the door open and Elsa jerked backwards causing the cuffs to shatter. The guards started forward just as the weight of the ice overwhelmed the walls and the room fell in on itself.
“Run!” Jack yelled and the back wall blew apart.
Elsa ran into the vicious storm without hesitation. Jack followed her close behind, trying to figure out what to do next. Soon enough, the snow had blown them in a multitude of directions and they were lost. Elsa raised a hand to protect her eyes, but was still unable to see through the storm. She stumbled forward, trying to find a way out of the gale. Jack followed close behind her, having no more luck in locating the edge of the storm.
They turned when they heard the sound of soft footsteps behind them. Hans slowly came into focus. His face was a mask of patience and sincerity. Elsa took a small step away from him.
“You can’t run from this.” He said.
“Just take care of Anna.” Elsa asked, taking another step backwards.
Hans raised a perfect eyebrow. “Your sister? Anna came back from the mountain weak and cold because you froze her heart,” Elsa shook her head in denial, “I tried to save her, but it was too late.”
“No!” Jack yelled over the storm, “It’s not true Elsa. Don’t believe his lies.”
Elsa looked at Hans in shock and then crumpled to her knees.
“ELSA!” Jack screamed as the storm stopped in midair.
Hans smirked and drew his sword out of its scabbard. Jack struggled to move, but he too was frozen in the middle of the storm. He pleaded, trying desperately to get free. Just as Hans brought his sword down, Anna was in front of him. The sword met solid ice creating a pure ringing sound. Hans was blown off his feet by the backlash.
“Anna!” Elsa cried and rushed to her sister.
“Oh, no.” Jack said, Elsa magic finally losing its hold over him.
He flew over to the sisters and saw what had happened.
“It’s not your fault, Elsa.” He said, gently placing his hand on her shoulder.
Elsa sobbed and collapsed onto her sister.
“No, no.” She repeated it over and over, hoping that it would bring Elsa back.
Neither she nor Jack heard Kristoff and Olaf walked over. Elsa was still sobbing over her sister’s form.
“Elsa.” Jack whispered, “You know that this isn’t your fault.”
“Yes it is.” Elsa cried, “This is all my fault. If only I had tried harder to control it and not show it.”
Jack looked at Anna when he heard the sound of ice cracking. The younger woman gave a shake and the ice separated from her. He smiled widely.
“Elsa.” He said, “Look.”
Elsa looked up just as Anna enveloped her big sister in a hug.
“Anna?” She asked not believing her eyes. Anna smiled widely and Elsa shoulders slumped in relief, “Oh, Anna.”
“I’ll just give you two a moment then.” Jack said and floated a short distance away.
“I love you.”
“An act of true love will thaw a frozen heart.” Olaf supplied.
Elsa looked up and smiled as the answer to their problems hit her, “Love, of course.”
“Elsa?” Anna asked.
“Love.” She answered.
Jack smiled as she stepped away from her sister and raised her arms. The ground rumbled slightly and then all the ice and snow where lifting into the air. Elsa manipulated it into the shape of a large snowflake and then let the whole thing dissipate into the air.
“That’s my girl.” Jack said, smiling proudly.
Elsa lowered her arms and turned to face him. She cocked her head, but then turned when Olaf began to melt. Quickly she summoned up a small storm just for the snowman.
“I knew you would get it.”
Jack stood in the ballroom and looked over the festivities in the courtyard. Elsa had completely covered the open area in ice and people were ice skating and laughing. He smiled down at the scene, happy that Elsa had finally found her place.
“I told you that no one likes to be alone.”
“Whose there?”
Jack turned; he had not heard the ballroom doors open. Elsa walked into the ballroom, her vivid blue eyes watching him closely. Jack swallowed and started to fade into the shadows.
“Wait.” Elsa said, extending a hand towards him, “I know you.”
“You can see me?” Jack asked, surprise widening his eyes.
“Of course I can see you. Why wouldn’t I?”
“Because you didn’t believe.”
“Well, I believe now, Jack.”
Jack looked at her, completely stunned. Elsa blushed slightly and tucked a wayward strand of hair behind an ear. The trickster grinned suddenly.
“Would you care for a dance your majesty?” He asked bowing low.
Elsa bit her lip and smiled, “I would like that very much.”
Jack unbent and offered her his hand. She placed on of hers in his and he spun her in close. As they danced together ice spread across the floor, covering the entire room in a thin layer. It began to snow gently, leaving a faint dusting of the fine white power.
“Elsa?” Jack asked.
“Yes?” She replied, blue eyes meeting blue eyes.
Jack smiled and leaned in close, “Welcome home,” He whispered in her ear.
Elsa smiled widely and laid her head on Jack’s shoulder, “It’s good to be here.”