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Snowflakes Fall And So Did I

Chapter Text

Things would have been different if I had only just said no. If I did, I would have had a relationship with my sister, cousin, and our friend Olaf. I would have never given up ice skating. I would have never had to go to therapy for a year. And most importantly...that man would still be alive. On Christmas Eve it will be exactly six years since the accident happened. Anna doesn't remember any of it, and I had to swear not to ever tell her. I sometimes envy her for having no knowledge of what really happened. She forgot, but me? I'll remember that day until the day I die.

I'll never let it go. Ever since that day, my life has been nothing but pure self torture. My parents told me it wasn't my fault, but I know it was. I was the one who said yes. I was the one who helped my sister, cousin, and friend sneak out. I was the one who spun Anna on the ice and accidentally let her go. She got hurt under my care. She lost her memories from the previous three days, and the man that saved her...died. All because of me.

We're lucky it wasn't her entire life she forgot, but the man's family...they weren't so lucky.

I had just turned 12 on the 21st of December, three days before the accident. My birthday party was the last thing Anna remembered. My aunt and uncle, Arianna and Frederick, were hosting their annual Christmas Eve party for everyone in town to attend. As usual, the party bored my sister, cousin, and I. For the majority of the night, I stayed by my parents' side, so they could introduce me to their business partners and their children. It was my responsibility as the heir to my father's Architecture Industry. Rapunzel was supposed to do the same since she's also the heir to an industry, and she did stay by her parents' side for while, but that only lasted probably about 30 minutes before she snuck off to play with Anna and Olaf. Her parents let it slide though. Her family runs the Corona Beer Company. What child wants to listen to adults talk about improvements to beer?

Anyway, I remained glued to my parents for much longer than that, probably for about two or three hours. I had my reasons too. Reason one, I didn't have Rapunzel's courage to up and leave. Reason two, I wanted to make my parents proud. Reason three, I was genuinely curious at first before it became boring. Reason four, as I had said before, it was my responsibility and I knew that I needed the learn everything that I could before my father started teaching me himself.

Eventually though, I was sent to play with the other children, and I was happy to do so. Anna, Rapunzel, and Olaf didn't like the other kids due to them being snobby and begged me to take them outside to play in the snow. I said no the first few times, but then gave in. We snuck out and played in the backyard of the mansion. However, it didn't satisfy Anna. She wanted to explore the woods. I told her no again, but just as I had done before...I gave in.

The moon was our only source of light as we traveled deep into the snowy forest behind my aunt and uncle's mansion. Very, very deep. We eventually came across a frozen pond. Being the curious children that we were, we decided to play on it. Olaf, being the only boy, wanted to show off how brave he was and got on the ice first to test it. When it didn't crack, my sister and cousin were quick to get on it too. I was the only skeptical one. However, I soon gave in to my playful side.

Everything was going perfectly fine at first, but then I asked Anna something that I regret. I asked her if she'd like for me to spin her. She agreed, and I went slow and careful the first few rounds. Anna, however, wanted me to spin her faster. I gripped her wrists tighter and tried my best to keep my balance as she lifted off the ground. Unfortunately, I lost my balance and I accidentally let go of her, sending her flying. I fell hard on my rear, but Anna fell hard on her head a few feet away from me.

She fell so hard on the ice that she ended up bleeding from her head, and also cracking the ice. She wasn't moving or saying anything. She was unconscious. At the time, I thought she was dead. Seeing her laying in front of me unconscious and bleeding scared me so bad that I didn't even bother to think of the consequences of dashing toward her. Due to my extra weight when I ran toward her, the broken ice underneath her fell apart and my sister fell into the water.

I screamed out her name, and out of nowhere an older man came sprinting toward us and dove into the water. I remained frozen in fear on the unbroken ice, staring at the hole my sister fell through with wide, scared eyes. Rapunzel was crying from a nearby tree, and Olaf was calling out to me, but I ignored him. I couldn't focus on anything but the ice my sister fell through and...and the blood.

I was only able to snap out of it when I felt someone grab my hand and drag me away toward land. He was a boy around my age. He had white hair like me, and blue eyes that sparkled like snowflakes. When we were both on land, he kept calling out for his father. I was confused when his father didn't arrive, but I then realized it was his father that dove into the water. It was the boy's father that dove in for my sister. And it was the boy's father who died saving my sister's life.

The boy's father resurfaced with my sister in his arms. He performed CPR on her, and she coughed up a lot of water. I was so happy, but she was still unconscious. She was breathing though, and that's all that mattered. The boy's father wasn't doing too good though. He was shivering worse than my sister was due to him taking his coat off and putting it over her and his fingers began to turn blue.

I told Rapunzel and Olaf to follow the tracks we made and get help. They ran faster than lightning, leaving me with my sister, her savior, and his son. I held Anna in my arms so tightly that I'm sure I gave her bruises. The boy didn't say anything to me at all. He just kept watching his dad with sad eyes, telling him that everything was going to be okay. It was the most awkward and most terrifying situation I have ever been in.

Rapunzel and Olaf soon came back with help, but the man was barely awake. They were then taken to the hospital. Anna suffered from a minor concussion and slight memory loss. The doctor, Dr. Stone, said that there was a chance she wouldn't remember what happened to her and he was right. We figured that out the following day when she woke up and had no clue what was going on. My family agreed to not tell her what had happened. We didn't want to overwhelm her so we made up a lie. We told her that she fell down the stairs during my birthday party.

The man though...he died of hypothermia and frostbite.

His death still haunts me to this day. It's my fault my sister got hurt, it's my fault that man is dead. It's all my fault!
Being the oldest, I should have been more responsible. Anna got hurt under my watch. She could've died!

Anna will never know the truth of what happened, and for six years the secret has brought me nothing but mixed feelings. By not knowing, she won't have to feel the guilt that I've been feeling these last few years, but at the same time...it's killing me that she doesn't know the truth. That she thinks I shut her out for no reason at all. I shut her out because my guilt was so strong. I shut her out because I was afraid that I'd accidentally tell her the truth. I also wanted time for myself. The accident was very traumatic for me. After a year and a half of isolating myself and therapy, I realized that I was being ridiculous. However, I was 13 at the time and felt that it was too late to rekindle my relationship with her and my cousin. This caused me more grief and guilt. I didn't know how to handle my problems at such a young age. I still don't. Therapy never helped either.

And going back to Burgess after 6 years is certainly not going to do me any good as well. Burgess, Pennsylvania...where the accident took place. What's worse is that, after being home-schooled all my life, my parents have enrolled my sister and I in a public high school. Burgess High, home of the Rowdy Reindeers. I've never had a mascot before, just the family crest. Everything is going to be so strange. The new environment, the classes, the people...just...everything! I'm trying so hard not to be nervous, but I'm failing miserably.

And to be honest, when I say people, I only mean one person: the dead man's son.

His cries for his father haunt me just as badly as my own cries for my sister. I can't get them or his sad eyes out of my head. I can't get the whole night out of my head. No matter how hard I try, I just can't forget.

I sometimes lay awake and wonder what he's doing now, six years later. I wonder if we will attend the same high school together now that I'm moving to Burgess. There's a possibility that he doesn't go to Burgess High, that he moved to a different town, school, or state after the death of his father. However, there's also a possibility that he's still there. I hope he's not. If he is, I don't know what I'll do. What will he do? What if we have classes together? Does he even remember me? I hope not. If he does, it would be for the best if he didn't say anything about it. Actually, it would be best if he didn't say anything to me at all.

Oh god, just thinking about seeing him again after 6 years makes me want to throw up. I'm more nervous about seeing him than I am about attending a public school for the first time in my entire life.

One thing is for certain though. I'm leaving for Burgess tomorrow, and I know that once I start school things are going to change. I just don't know if it's for the good or bad.

And it genuinely scares me to death.

Chapter Text

Today is the day. I want to get it over with, but I also don't want to leave. My mansion, more specifically my room, has been my home for years, and now...I'm being thrust into a new world. A world that has always been there. A world I don't want to be a part of. I know it's not forever, just ten months, but ten months is still a very long time.

Which is why I am currently standing outside on my balcony, taking my last few pictures of the scenery below. I had already taken pictures of everything else hours before. I saved the best, the garden below me, for last, and now as I stare at the picture...I can see that it's nothing compared to the real thing. I'm going to miss it.

I looked at my surroundings one last time before I turned around and walked back inside my bedroom, closing the balcony doors behind me. As I did this, I heard a knock on the door.

"Miss Elsa?" A maid asked from the other side. "Your bags are packed in the limo, and your parents are waiting for you."

"I'll be right there." I say and watch her shadow from under the door walk away. I look around my large room one more time before walking to my door. I grip the doorknob, and take a deep breath in.

You can do this, Elsa. You can do this.

I open up the door and made my way downstairs. At the end of the staircase, I saw Anna hugging mama and papa. They hugged her back and said their goodbyes and love. I wanted so desperately to be a part of that hug, but knew it would be too weird. I haven't hugged my parents in so long. I don't even remember the last time I hugged them. I wish I never pushed them away like I did with Anna, Rapunzel, and Olaf. I haven't seen or spoken to Olaf in six years. I hope life is treating him well.

When I make it to the bottom of the stairs, Anna was done hugging our parents and was heading out the door, sneaking a quick glance at me. I thought nothing of it as I greeted my parents. "Mother, father," I say in the formal tone I've always greeted them in.

"Elsa," Papa greeted with the nod of his head.

"Do you have everything?" Mama asked. Her eyes were red with tears, which made mine begin to sting. I already cried earlier. I do not need to start again, especially in front of them. I need to be strong. I need to conceal my emotions. Conceal, don't feel.

"Yes, I do," I reply, and without meaning to, I blurt, "Do I have to go?"

Mama and Papa both sigh, and it was mama who answered me. "Elsa, this'll be a great experience for you."

I never talk back unless I'm desperate...which I am. "But I'm not so sure this is such a good idea. I mean, what if-"

"You'll be fine, Elsa," Papa interrupts, reassuringly. "Try to be more like your sister. This is the most I've ever seen her excited." Mama nods in agreement.

But I'm not her. I can't even try to be like her.

I knew there was no point in arguing. The time has come, and there's nothing I can do about it. With pursed lips, I nodded in 'understanding', and walked out the door without saying 'goodbye', 'I love you', or giving them a hug. One of our butlers was holding the limo door open for me and I hesitantly climbed inside. Anna sat in front of the food bar, munching on some snacks, while I sat right next to the door I entered from. She said nothing to me as she munched away, and I said nothing to hear as I listened to her loud crunching. It hasn't even been a minute yet and things are already awkward. Great.

I look outside the window as the limo starts and watched as mama and papa stood on the marble steps of our porch, talking to each other. They then turn their attention back to the limo as it drives away. I then suddenly jump out of my skin when Anna suddenly shouts.

"Bye you guys!" She was standing now, her upper bodysticking out of the sunroof. She was waving frantically at them and I couldn't help but smile.

I watched them wave back, and I even noticed mama wipe away her tears. It was then that I was hit with a pang of guilt. I should have told them goodbye. I should have told them I love them. I should have hugged them. I should have done what any loving daughter would have done.

Before the guilt could really sink in, I shook it all away. I need to get a hold of it before I start crying in front of Anna. It's not like I'm never going to see them again. I'm just being emotional due to my stress and nervousness. I plug in my earphones to my phone, put them in my ears, and played my music for a much needed distraction. I then close my eyes and leaned against the window.

When we get to the airport it's gonna be a long flight to Burgess. I'm not ready, but...I guess all students feel that way when the school year begins. But then again, not every student knows what it's like to be me.

~*~

The plane ride from California to Pennsylvania lasted six hours, and the limo ride to the house lasted another hour. For the entire seven hours, Anna and I didn't speak to each other at all. Granted, she did sleep for the majority of the time. The sun was setting when we make it to the Corona Mansion, and as we pulled into the driveway, Anna sticks her body out through the sunroof again. She cheered as the limo drove up the hill, and cheered even louder when we approached the house.

"We're here!" She exclaimed. "Elsa, we're finally here!"

I was taken aback when she said my name, but still smiled. "I can see that." I say, speaking to her for the very first time this day. "It looks exactly as I remember it." I haven't been here in six years. Holiday gatherings were always held at our house after the accident. I've never been hit with such a strong wave of nostalgia before. The memories are pleasant, but also sad.

Anna looked down at me and smiled. "I know, right? I wonder if the inside is the same."

The limo circled around the fountain that stood in the center of the main driveway and parked in front of the large mansion doors. A Corona butler was already waiting outside, and he opened the limo door for me before I could even touch the handle. "Welcome home," he said, smiling.

"Thank you," I say as I exit the long vehicle and ignored the homesick feeling I felt when he said home. It hasn't even been a day yet, and I'm already homesick. As the butlers gathered our bags, I walked towards the stairs, but dared not to walk up to the doors. If I did, then that would mean that this really is happening. I just need a few more moments. Just a few-

I jump when the doors suddenly fly open and my cousin came into view. She gasps when she saw me and grins. "Oh my gosh, you're finally here!"

"Rapunzel!" I hear Anna exclaim from behind me, and next thing I know she's running fast me and skipping up the stairs. My cousin meets her halfway and they both embrace each other in a tight hug. I couldn't help but smile at the adorable sight.

"Oh my gosh," Anna said, "I haven't seen you since the fourth of July."

Rapunzel giggles. "That was literally last month."

"Oh shush! August is nearly over, so technically it's been two months."

"Whatever you say, Anna."

Just then, Aunt Arianna walks through the door with a huge smile on her face. "Well, if it isn't my favorite nieces."

Anna squeals in delight and removes herself from our cousin to embrace our aunt. "Aunt Ari," she said, "the aunt who I was partially named after. It's so good to see you again. Where's Uncle Fred?"

"He's still working," Aunt Ari answered. Her eyes then connected with mine and her smile widens. "Wow," she said as she and Anna pull away from each other, "I still can't believe how much you resemble your mother. You're like her twin."

I smile, suddenly feeling shy under Rapunzel and Anna's stares. "So I've been told," I then gesture to Rapunzel. "Your daughter looks exactly like you too."

Rapunzel grins at me as she pulls her ankle-length golden blonde braided hair to her front, over her shoulder. "The only thing that sets us apart from our moms is the hair color. I find that weirdly cool."

I nod in agreement. "Indeed."

"Well," Aunt Ari starts without missing a beat, "let's get you girls inside. The butlers will put your bags in your rooms. You two also made it just in time for dinner. You're probably starved."

Just then Anna's stomach growled, making Ari and Rapunzel burst into laughter. I laughed too, but it was quiet and was covered up by the laughter of my cousin and aunt. Anna giggled before saying, "Yeeaahhh, I could definitely go for an actual mean and not snacks."

And I could seriously go for a long nap. However, not wanting to be rude, I decided to pull through with the dinner. I am a little hungry anyway.

I feared the dinner was going to be extruciatingly awkward, but luckily Anna and Rapunzel spoke the entire time. I'm glad they're bond is still intact, but sometimes...sometimes I can't help but feel jealous of Rapunzel. She was there that night. She went to therapy too. She was also sworn into secrecy. And yet she recovered quicker than I did. Hell, I think I'm still trying to recover.

"So Elsa," Aunt Ari says when dessert was brought out. It was the first time since dinner started that my name was mentioned, "Are you excited for school? It's yours and Rapunzel's Senior Year. How exciting!"

"I'm more nervous than excited," I confessed. "Anna and I have been homeschooled all our lives. When I was told that I'd be going to an actual school for the first time in my entire life for my last year of high school, I honestly felt like I was going to throw up."

"Did you?" Anna asked, genuinely intrigued.

"No," I answered. "But I almost did. Many times."

"I felt the same way when I started high school as a Freshman," Rapunzel said, joining the conversation, "but I was more excited than nervous. Try not to worry, though. It really isn't that bad. Nothing at all like how the TV shows and movies portray them to be." I completely forgot about Rapunzel being homeschooled. She was homeschooled up until a few years ago.

"So no high school parties?" Anna asked, pouting. "Or love drama?"

Rapunzel giggles. "No, there's parties, and there's definitely drama, but it's not as extreme as it is in show, movies, and books. However, maybe that's because I don't associate myself with those who always love drama."

"Which is good," Aunt Ari joined in, "Drama is...pointless." She sighs and her eyes seemed to glaze over as though she was having a memory.

"So Rapunzel," Anna began, jumping into a different topic, "How many cute boys are at the school?"

Rapunzel burst into a fit of giggles, while Aunt Arianna merely shook her head. "Oh Anna," my aunt said, trying not to smile. "Education before boys. Maybe sending you to a public school is a bad idea."

Anna pouted again and threw herself backwards against the dining chair. "Oh come on! I promise I'll be good."

"To an extent," Rapunzel teased, smiling as she sipped her drink. "But to answer your question, there's a lot. I think I'm going to have to give my guy friends a warning about you."

"No! Don't do that!" Anna pleaded then giggled.

"Just promise not to rush into a relationship, okay?" Aunt Ari said to Anna. "And remember: Just because he's cute, handsome, sexy, whatever it is you kids are saying these days, it doesn't mean he's the one. There's so much more to love than just appearance."

Anna rolls her eyes teasingly. "You're a stinker."

Aunt Ari laughs. "No, my dear, I am a concerned aunt."

Their words continued on, but I zoned them out as I began to lose myself to my thoughts. The thought of Anna having a boyfriend doesn't settled well with me at all. She's only 15. She's my little sister. She doesn't need a boyfriend, especially at this age when hormones are at their highest, specifically for the boys.

I can already tell I'm going to have a lot of trouble with her and the boys she's interested in. I just don't know if I should intervene or not. I want to protect her, to be the overprotective older sister, but...do I even have the right to? After all, I lost that right as a sister the day I pushed her away.

"Well," Aunt Air says as she stands up, snapping me out of my thoughts, "it's starting to get late and I know you girls are exhausted. We have a big day tomorrow, so get as much rest as you can, okay?" Anna and Rapunzel start to get up, but I remained in my seat, confused.

"Wait," I say, "what's happening tomorrow?"

Aunt Ari's eyes go wide. "Oh my gosh," she said in disbelief, "I can't believe I forgot to tell you. You three have Open House tomorrow."

"Open house?" Anna questioned.

"It's when you meet the teachers and get the list of supplies you'll need for each class," Rapunzel answered. "You also get to look around the campus, which is something you'll definitely need to do. Wouldn't want you to get lost on the first day."

I couldn't stop the grimace that appeared on my face at the thought. Anna voiced my thoughts. "Ew," she said, "I'd hate that. Talk about embarrassing."

Rapunzel and I both nod in agreement. "Exactly," my cousin said.

After that, we all leave the dining room and head for our bedrooms. Aunt Ari's bedroom is on the bottom floor, but she walked with us upstairs to our rooms. Rapunzel's room was the first door in the hallway to the left, mine was the second one in the middle, and Anna's was the very last one. Each door also had painted designs in our signature colors. Rapunzel's was light purple, pink, and yellow. Mine was light blue, medium blue, and dark purple. Anna's was magenta, dark blue, and green. Our names were even painted at the very top.

I knew before I even walked inside my room that I would love it, and I was proven right. Everything about my new room put my old room to shame. Periwinkle rosemaling wallpaper covered the walls and a gorgeous violet rosemaling rug was placed on the center of the wooden floor. To my left, on the wall, hung a giant flatscreen tv, and next to it, in the corner was my walk-in closet. On the right corner of my room was a large white fireplace. My bed was a couple feet away from it, placed along the wall in the very center so it could be right in front of the tv. On the other side of my bed, was my desk with a large mirror attached to it. However, what really caught my interest was the large triangular window that came with a window seat.

It wasn't until I walked toward it that I noticed the two handles. The windows open up. When I peered outside, I noticed a very large balcony. "It stretches from my room to Anna's," I hear Rapunzel say from behind me.

I could hear Anna and Aunt Ari laughing in Anna's room, so when I turned around, all I saw was my cousin. "Anna and I have the same window and window seat, " she continued as she slowly made her way to me, "and since it's one large connected balcony, we can all sneak out in the middle of the night to star gaze or whatever. Have you ever slept outside on your balcony before?"

"I can't say that I have," I reply with the shake of my head as I sat down on the window seat.

Rapunzel smiles. "It's awesome. We should do it sometime."

"Maybe," I say, and quickly went on before an awkward silence could greet us. "So...did you paint the designs on the doors?"

My cousin nods. "I did! Aren't they pretty?" She did a little twirl and giggled.

"They're gorgeous," I correct.

"I even helped out with your room," Rapunzel continued as she took the liberty to sit next to me. She did it so casually too. As if it's something she's never stopped doing. "Your mom and dad, of course, picked everything out. They picked things that they knew you'd like, hoping it would make your stay here more comfortable. More...at home."

"They did?" I asked, surprised.

Rapunzel nodded and pushed a few stray strands of hair behind her ear. "Yeah. They're definitely good at what they do."

"Yeah," I smiled fondly, "they are. Papa designs the buildings, but mama decides what everything on the inside should look like. They make quite the team." My smile turns into a sad frown. I should have said goodbye. I should have hugged them. I should have said I loved them.

"Hey," Rapunzel said, bringing my attention to her. She took me off guard when she wrapped an arm around my shoulders. "I know you're sad and scared, but...it's not forever, okay? You'll see them again. I'm sure they'll call or skype whenever they can. Plus, I have a feeling they're going to come home early to see you at our graduation. God, can you believe it? We're finally Seniors!"

I flash her a weak smile, only half-way cheered up. "Yeah...it's crazy."

"Everything is going to fine," she said, reassuringly. "I promise, and when I promise something I never ever break that promise. Ever. Right, Pascal?" She looks at her shoulder, and it was then that I noticed her green chameleon. Rapunzel giggles at her pet and says to me, "Pascal agrees." She surprises me again by hugging me.

For a moment, I did nothing, too frozen in shock. Rapunzel sensed my discomfort right when I decided to hug her back. She pulls away before I could and sends me an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry. I just...I haven't hugged you in such a long time. We see each other during the holidays, but we haven't hugged each other at all these last six years since you...since you always distanced yourself. I thought...well I thought you really needed a hug since that was such a deep moment and-"

"It's fine, Rapunzel," I interrupt before she could start rambling, "I...I liked it. It brought back memories."

Rapunzel's worried features soften. "It did," she said, smiling. "Hopefully," she nervously tugged at her hair, "we can make new ones?"

"We...we can try. I'll try." And I meant it. All these years, I feared it was too late to rekindle my relationship with my family. But now, after having this touching moment, perhaps I was wrong.

Maybe moving here won't be so bad after all. Maybe...maybe it's not too late to fix what I've broken.

Chapter Text

I woke up an hour before noon, and stayed in my room the entire time before we had to leave. I was too nervous to eat anything, and when we make it to the school, my nervousness increased. God, I'm going to be way worse on the first day of school. I don't know how I'm going to manage. I'm not even inside the building yet, and I'm already feeling crowded. There are so many cars in the parking lot, with probably more people inside.

"Okay," Aunt Ari says as she brings to car to the front doors, "I'm going to drop you girls off while I go look for a place to park. Rapunzel will show you everything."

The three of us get out of the car, and as my aunt drove away, my sister and cousin started to walk towards the doors. I stayed at the very edge of the curb, looking up at the large black letters on the building above the doors. Burgess High School. Next to the words was a smiling, cartoon reindeer. The Mascot. He's no family crest, but he's still cute.

"You coming, Elsa?" Rapunzel says, her body halfway through the doors.

"Yeah," I say and hurridely make my way to her. Once I was inside, all I saw was people, and without meaning too, I immediately started to look for a boy with silvery white hair. I shook my head at my ridiculousness as I followed my cousin around. Even if the boy does go to this school, he probably doesn't look the same as he did six years ago. His hair is probably dyed, and he probably wears colored contacts now.

"Oh Mary," Rapunzel says in a sing-sing tone when she walks into the office. "I'm here with two very special guests, and we're here for our schedules."

"Oh, Rapunzel!" An auburn hair, plump woman says from the desk, happily. "It's so good to see you! And you two," she casted her gaze to my sister and I, "you must be Rapunzel's cousins! Oh it's so wonderful to meet you."

"And you too," Anna responds, just as cheery, "I'm Anna and this is my older sister Elsa."

"I'm Mary, the official office lady" Mary said as she opened up a file on her desk and began flipping through the papers, "Arendelle is both of your last names, correct?"

"Yes, ma'am," I say, nodding in unison with my sister.

"Aha! Here we are," she pulled two papers from the file and handed them to my sister and I. She then continued going through the file until she pulled out Rapunzel's schedule. "Alright, girls," she said as she handed the paper to my cousin, "I look forward to seeing you this year. And stay out of trouble." She ended her sentence in a serious tone, but still smiled sweetly.

"Don't worry, Mary," Rapunzel says, "they're related to me, which means they're good kids."

"I dont doubt that." Mary said, making me smile. I like her already.

When we walked out of the office, the first thing Rapunzel wanted to do was look at each other's schedules. "Let's see," she says as she takes a moment to scan through both of ours. She squeals happyily at the results. "We have 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 6th hour together!"

Thank God. "Four out of six classes," I comment, "that's awesome." I'll only be alone for two classes. Not too bad.

"I know, right?" My cousin says, then takes my sister's schedule. "Now let's see if we have any classes with Anna. She's a Sophomore, but some classes are mixed so we might." She looked over the papers and squealed again in delight. "I only have one class with Anna, but Elsa, you have two. One class is better than nothing though."

"Which classes?" Anna asked as she peered over Rapunzel's shoulder to look.

"You and Elsa have 5th hour together, and all three of us have 6th hour." Rapunzel answers, which makes my sister bounce in excitement.

So I'll only be alone for one class. Unless Anna makes friends in 5th hour. Even so, at least I'll still have that sense of familiarity.

When Rapunzel handed back our schedules, the first place she decides to take us is to our lockers. After that we visited the teachers, and of course many of the students we passed by either stared at my sister and I or said hi to Rapunzel. She's actually pretty popular. Anyway, the majority of the teachers we met were very nice, but unfortunately for Rapunzel and I we only met four out of six teachers. Our history and math teacher, who apparently are new, didn't show up.

"You'd think," Rapunzel said, as we walked down the stairs to the first floor, "that with them being new teachers, they'd be here for Open House. Oh well then. I guess we'll just have to see them on Monday. If they even show up. Now there's one more person we need to see before I show you the rest of the campus."

"And who's that?" Asked Anna.

Rapunzel stops walking to look us each in the eyes and grin. "The principal."

Anna and I look at each other in confusion, and once again Anna voiced my thoughts. "Why the heck do you look so happy about that?"

Rapunzel giggles as she contniues walking again, saying, "Because Principal North isn't like your cliche principal. For one, he's not bald. Two, he's actually really, really nice. You can say he's downright jolly. Three, he's Russian. Four, he has tattoos on his arms. One saying naughty and the other saying nice. And five, he looks just like Santa Clause!"

Anna gasped. "No way! Okay, now I definitely want to meet him."

"Just wait until December comes," Rapunzel says, "He dresses up as Santa every day while we're in school and during Christmas Break he'll go around town on his eight-reindeer sleigh, giving free rides to anyone who wants them. He owns a reindeer ranch and toyshop too."

"Whoa," Anna breathed out, impressed. I'm impressed too.

"How does he manage his ranch and shop?" I asked, very intrigued with this person who is apparently my principal. I'm not gonna lie...I thought he was going to be mean, scary, and bald. A jolly, Santa Clause looking man is not at all what I expected.

"His family helps out," Rapunzel answered, suddenly looking nervous. "His...uh...his grandson and adopted daughter and son are seniors too. We'll probably run into them. Toothiana and Edmund are the adopted kids. Tooth is Indian and Edmund is Australian. We call them by their nicknames too, by the way. Toothiana is 'Tooth' and Edmund is 'Bunny'."

Anna laughs at the nicknames. "Okay, Tooth I can understand since it's in her name, but where on earth did bunny come from?"

Rapunzel smiles. "North's youngest granddaugter, Sophie, calls him that and it just stuck."

"And who's the grandson?" Anna asked.

"Oh, um," I see my cousin tense, and when she glances at me, I noticed that she looked nervous again. But why? Rapunzel quickly removed her gaze from me and looked at the floor, "His name is Jack. He's one of my best friends." She lifts her head up and smiles at my sister. "He's very mischievous too. I think you'll like him a lot."

But will I? She specifically spoke to Anna when she said that. Which means that she doesn't think I'll like him. That's very...suspicious.

I was so consumed in my thoughts that I didn't realize I had turned the wrong the way until I heard my cousin call out my name from behind me. It was too late though. As soon as I turned into the corner, I ran right into someone. We both grunt in surprise, and to my horror the person's papers fall to the ground, scattering everywhere.

"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!" I apologized in a panicked rush and immediately started to pick up the mess I made.

I was too embarrassed to look at the person, so I didn't. I kept my focus entirely on the scattered papers, even when the person chuckled and said: "It's okay. It was an accident. No harm done." From the corner of my eye, I saw the person, a boy, bend down to pick up the papers that were closest to him.

"Still," I went on, "I should have been paying attention to where I was going." There was one more piece of paper left to pick up and when I go to grab it, I was unaware that the boy I bumped into had the same idea. Our hands touched and as soon as they did, a bolt of electricity surges though me, shocking me. "Ow," I say as we both suddenly jerk away from each other, or maybe it was just me, and without meaning to I snap my head up to look at him.

My heart stopped at the sight. Silvery white hair and a pair of familiar blue eyes stared back at me. No dyed hair or colored contacts at all. It...it can't be...

"You okay?" The boy asked with worried eyes. Eyes that I haven't seen in six years. Oh my god...is this...is this really him? It has to be! His hair alone is all the proof I need. But his eyes...his eyes are what really gave me my answer. He's the only person I've ever met that seems to have a different snowflake design in each eye. "Didn't mean to shock you there. I guess you can say we're even now." He chuckled a little, but then his eyes suddenly narrowed in confusion. "Hey, wait. Have we-"

"I'm sorry, I have to go. Here," I quickly shove his papers into his hands and took off walking without another word.

"Uh...thanks!" The boy called out to me, and luckily he didn't try to follow. I could feel his eyes on me though, and I didn't dare look back.

As I walked away, I noticed that my sister and cousin were peeking behind the corner. They had watched the entire thing. Now they're going to tease me about it. That's the least of my worries though. That boy that I ran into was THE boy! The boy who's been hauting me for the last six years. I knew there was a chance he'd be here, but it's still so shocking, especially since I actually talked to him. Oh my god, I talked to him. Oh my god, I bumped into him. Oh God, of all the people I had to run into it just had to be him. Why did it have to be him? Does he remember me? He didn't look like he did at first, but then...then he looked confused. He was going to ask me a question too, and I know exactly what that question was going to be.

Have we met before?

Yes, Mystery Boy. Yes, we have.

School hasn't even started yet and I already met him, and because of this, the chances of seeing him again are high. It's inevitable. Which means he's probably going to try to ask me his question again. What am I going to do when or if he does? Do I lie or do I tell him the truth?

"Wow, Elsa," Anna says as she tries to hold in her giggles. "And I thought I was the clumsy one. That was also the most cliché thing I have ever seen." She pauses for a second before leaning forward and whispering, "I loved every bit of it."

"C-Cliché?" I stammered, still in a daze. What on earth made any of that cliché to her? Oh god...if that boy does remember me then he surely must remember my sister. And what about Rapunzel? Does he remember her too? Does she remember him? Is she even aware that he's the boy from our past? She's been coming here since she was in 9th grade. Do they even know each other at all? Are they friends?

I could feel my heart pounding rapidly against my chest. I could HEAR it, and I knew that I needed to calm down before my sister or cousin caught on.

Conceal, don't feel, I say to myself. You need to stay calm before you lose your sanity. You need to breathe. Everything is going to be fine. Just...breathe.

"You know," Anna explained, oblivious to the obvious panic in my eyes, "cliché as in when person A bumps into person B, making person B drop their things, then person A helps person B pick their things up when suddenly they accidentally touch hands. Electricity is felt and when they look into each others eyes a connection is made."

"Oh," was all I said when I realized she was right. Everything that just happened really was a cliche. Except the connection part. Everything else though was accurate.

"I can't believe you just took off like that too," Anna scolded. "Did you even introduce yourself?"

"No, but I'm never going to see him again," I defend, hoping for that to be true, "so it doesn't matter." And if I do see him again, then I can only hope to at least not interact with him again. "We should get going anyway," I quickly add, hoping to change the conversation. "Aunt Ari is probably wondering around the school looking for us."

"Knowing my mom, she's most likely talking to Mary," says Rapunzel as she began walking again. I made sure to pay attention this time. "But you're right, we need to keep moving. It's over at 2." And so, my cousin led my sister and I back to the front of the building.

As we walked away, I glance behind me to see if Mystery Boy from my past was still there in the hall. Fortunately, he was gone. Anna had looked too, and when she noticed I had done the same thing she did, she smirked. "Aww do you miss him already? The connection is already working!"

"Anna, don't be ridiculous." I reprimanded, starting to feel annoyed with her. "There is no 'connection'. I literally just met him."

Anna laughs at me, and it was then that I realized what she was doing. She was teasing me. She's doing what every younger sibling does. She...she hasn't done that in so long. Is she starting to feel comfortable around me now? Or is she only comfortable because teasing me because Rapunzel is here too? If it was just the two of us would she still tease me? On our way here, we didn't speak to each other for the entire seven hours until we finally arrived. Hmm...

"Too bad he left," she continued, "if he was still there I would've introduced you to him myself." She wiggles her eyebrows, which caused me to roll my eyes.

"Oh, Anna." I shook my head and said nothing more as I smiled fondly at her playfulness. I don't care if she's only comfortable teasing me when Rapunzel is around; I'll take what I can get.

"Hey, what's his name anyway?" Anna asked Rapunzel. "You've been coming to this school for four years. You must know him. Unless he's a new student like Elsa and I. Is he? Do you know? If he's not a new student, do you know what grade he's in? Is he a Senior? Or even better, is he a Sophomore like me?"

"Geez Anna," Rapunzel interrupts, laughing, "remember to breathe. Yes, I know who he is. I'm not going to tell you his name though because that would spoil the mystery. You'll have to figure it out later if you see him again. And as for what grade he's in, he's a Senior like Elsa and I."

So she does know him, which means he knows her. Most importantly do they both know they share a past? I then realized that she said he's a senior. That means I'm going to have classes with him. You've got to be kidding me. I'm not all that surprised though since deep down I saw it coming. I'll be fine as long as we don't sit next to each other.

Rapunzel was right when she said that her mom would be talking with Mary, and as we walked by the office the two ladies waved at us when Anna caught their attention. Rapunzel quickly informed her mother that she was taking Anna and I to see the principal, and when she got the 'okay', we continued. A few steps later we're approaching a large man whose back was facing us. He stood right outside his door and despite the fact that all I saw was his backside, I could already tell that my cousin wasn't lying about him looking like Santa Clause. And from looking at his body language and posture, it looked as though he was talking to someone. When I caught a glimpse of white hair, hair that didn't belong the the old man, my stomach dropped.

You have got to be kidding me. Twice in one day?! It hasn't even been an hour yet!

"I swear on my life, North, she-" That was all I heard of the conversation before Rapunzel suddenly shouted: "Santa!"

Principal North turns around and when he does, I'm able to see the boy, which causes us to lock eyes again. He looked surprise to see me, and I couldn't help but mentally laugh. Yeah, same here, stranger. I casted my gaze away and turned it to the large, Santa-like man who was grinning ear to ear.

"Rapunzel!" Principal North greets, looking as though he was going to hug her. He probably would have if it wasn't against school policy. "How wonderful to see you again. Did you have a nice summer?" I found his Russian accept pleasant, and when I saw the tattoos on his arms, only one word came to mind: Badass.

"I did," Rapunzel answers, then links her arms through mine and Anna's, "but I'm so ready to start the new year. Not only am I Senior, but my two cousins will be joining us as well!" She squeals in delight, nearly breaking my ear drum.

"That's wonderful news!" North cheered then goes to introduce himself. "I'm sure Rapunzel has already told you who I am, but I'll refresh your memory. My name is North and I'm your principal. I'm not your typical principal either, I'm probably the most jolliest one you'll ever see in your entire life, but don't be fooled by my cheerful nature. When punishments need to made, I'll be sure to make them happen." I didn't doubt that for a second. He looks like he could be the leader to the Russian Mafia. I wonder if he ever was at some point in his life. Despite how intimidating his appearance is though, he really does seem very nice.

Anna was practically bouncing where she stood in excitement. "My name is Anna Arendelle, and I just have to say...WOW! You really do look like Santa! Oh my gosh, I feel like I'm meeting a celebrity. Rapunzel told us about what you do during Decemeber. Is it true? I mean, I'm not saying you're a liar, Punzie, but..." Her voice trails on, and as she continued to speak, I found myself zoning her rushed rambling out.

I kept my gaze on her, but I couldn't pay attention to anything she was saying or doing because Mystery Boy wouldn't stop staring at me. I could literally feel his eyes all over me. Not in a sexual way, but in a curious/confused way. I still felt ucomfortable though, and as I shifted my feet, I boldly, but slowly, move my eyes to look at him. As soon as I did, I noticed that his eyes suddenly looked away to my rambling sister. The confusion, however, never left his eyes.

I turn my attention back to North, who was answering Anna's question, when suddenly, I felt Mystery's Boy's eyes back on me. I didn't look back though. If I did, it would just turn into an annoying game of back and forth. I didn't have to worry too much about it though because North decides to speak to me. "And who might you be?"

"My name is Elsa, sir," I answered, fighting back the urge to look at the boy at his side.

North beamed at me. "Such beautiful names you three have, and I can definitely see the beautiful resemblance. Can you see the resembalance between my grandson and I?" He wrapped a very large arm around the boy at his side and patted his shoulder, grinning proudly.

The boy looked embarrassed, and I...well I probably looked shocked beyond belief...again.

"Wait," Anna said, sounding just as surprised as I felt, "that's your grandson?"

North nods. "My most naughty one."

"Oh my god," the boy said, mortified. He ran a quick hand through his hair as his face began to turn pink. He looked up at the ceiling and continued, "How many times have I told you to stop saying that?" I would have cracked an amused smiled if it wasn't for my shocked nerves.

Before North could reply, Anna continued. "Wait, so," she points to North, "you're the principal," she then points to the boy, "and you're his grandson. That means...your name is Jack!" She then turned to me, looking as though she just won the lottery. "Elsa, the boy you ran into earlier is Jack! He's the principal's grandson who Rapunzel told us about!"

I merely nodded, too embarrassed to say anything. Jack and North both chuckle at my sister, and it was Jack who spoke next. "So you've been talking about me, huh?" He said to Rapunzel. "You better not have said anything bad about me."

Rapunzel leans against the wall, arms crossed, and smirks. "Like how you suck at every sport except hockey?"

Jack copied my cousin by crossing his arms too. "You're just jealous that you can't skate." Jack retorts.

"Hmm, touche"

Rapunzel had mentioned that Jack was one of her best friends, and from their comfortable bickering it was obvious that they're close friends. However, while her closeness with the boy from our past took me off guard, what surprised me the most was that he's a skater. Like I used to be. I don't know what came over me, but I lost control over my mouth, and found myself asking him a question that I only meant to ask in my mind. "You skate?"

Skating became an activity that I became obsessed with when I was 5. Years before the accident, father was generous enough to let me skate as a hobby, and whenever I had the chance I would take it. With practice I became a professional. I had no coaching, just the Internet, some educational skating books, and myself. I taught myself how to skate, and it's my proudest accomplishment. By the time I was 10, I was a professional. At least, in my eyes I was.

I haven't been on the ice in forever. Almost five years. I'd probably be a horrible skater now. The last time I skated, I was 13 years old. It was a year after the accident with Anna; my first time on the ice in an entire freaking year. It wasn't even my idea; it was my parents'. I was really reluctant until we got to the rink. Then I became excited...until I got on it. I was so rusty. I'd definitely be horrible at it now.

At first, everything was going somewhat smoothly, but then I ended up falling and hitting my head pretty hard. Not to where I bled like...like my sister, but to the point where it scared the hell out of me. The pain scared me so bad that I ended up giving up on skating forever. I was too scared, especially with what happened to Anna the year before. When I fell...it traumatized me more than what I already was.

I know a skating rink is different than a frozen pond, and I know you can't fall through it, but it's still the fact that both are frozen ice. Both can kill. Both are deadly. If you make one wrong move and fall, there's a good chance it can kill you. And yet, while I still do fear it, I still yearn to be back on it. To connect with the ice once more. I used to be good at snowboarding too, but I gave that up as well. I was never a pro at it like I was with ice skating, but I still enjoyed it. Snowboarding was what Anna loved to do, and of course...I loved it too.

But skating...that was my ultimate dream. I always wanted to become a champion ice skater; to compete in the Olympics. It still is my dream despite my fear of the ice. Before the accident, I used to beg father to let me sign up in competitions, but he would always refuse. He wants me to take over his business. That's his dream for me. That's what he wants me to do. I was lucky he even agreed to have skating become a hobby, and while I'm not opposed to the idea of being an architect like him, I still want to achieve my dream first. I know that's selfish though, especially since I absolutely refuse to ever get back on a rink again. I say I want to achieve my dream first when I don't even have any intention of actually pursuing it. They're not going to wait for me either. When the time comes for me to take over the business, I'm going to have to play my part and do my duties.

Skating...it was the only way I could find peace. It was the only way most of my stress could be relieved. It was the only way I could find any happiness and feel...free. Now it's gone. It's been gone for years. The only thing I still do now that involves ice is ice-carvings.

"Yeah," Jack answered, the curiousity still lingering there in his eyes as he studied me. He then smiles proudly, lowers himself, and gestures with his hand to a small height. "I've been skating since I was this big. If I had to guess an age, I'd say at least 4."

"Wow," Anna says in astonishment, "Elsa was around that age when she started skating too! Right, Elsa?"

"Yep," I say, not liking the memories that flashed through my mind. I was at my happiest when I was on the ice, and now my happy memories are...well...depressing. All they do is make me yearn for a time that is no longer here. A time that I can try to get back, but...that's easier said than done.

"Really?" Jack asked, becoming more lively. "You skate too?"

I shook my head. "No, I, uh, I used to, but I...I stopped."

"Why? Did something happen?"

Maybe I was looking too deeply into it because he's the boy from my past, but there was something in his tone that made me believe he knew EXACTLY what had happened to cause me to stop skating. I felt as though he was trying to make me confess. To admit that I am indeed the girl from his past. If he even remembers me, that is. Is that what he's trying to do or am I being paranoid?

"I'd rather not say," I answered, without skipping a beat as I tried not to squirm under his stare. "I just had my reasons, so please respect that." I didn't mean to sound bitchy, but that's exactly how I heard it come out to be, and so did he.

He holds his hands up in defense and says: "Okay, okay. I didn't mean to pry or anything. I was just curious."

What else are you curious about then?

I felt bad for suddenly making things awkward, and just as I was about to apologize, North stepped in. I was both relieved and disappointed. I really did want to apologize, but after he spoke, apologizing was the last thing I wanted. What I wanted was to get the hell out of there.

"And curiosity," North said, a hint of a warning in his tone, "killed the cat. So stop being so nosy, Jackson."

Jack rolls his eyes before he mocks a salute. "Whatever you say, Mr. Clause."

Rapunzel spoke up next and said words that nearly made me cheer. "Well, I'm going to take that as our cue to go. I still have to show these two the rest of the campus. We'll see you on Monday."

North smiles brightly. "Dosvidaniya, Miss Elsa, Anna, and Rpunzel. I look forward to spending the school year with you." Anna smiled just as brightly as he did, but my smile was weak and forced.

As we walked away, I felt eyes on me again. Jack's eyes, no doubt. I didn't even fight back my curiousity; I looked behind my shoulder to see. North had retreated to his office, and Jack looked as though he was about to too. But instead, he stood in the middle of the doorway with one foot inside the office and the rest of his body out. He didn't look away when our eyes connected, but I did after a few seconds.

When I was no longer in his sight, I found it easier to breathe...until Rapunzel whispered a three words in my ear.

"He doesn't know."

I heard and understood her perfectly clear, but just in case I was being delusional, I said: "What?"

Anna was rambling on and on about how awesome North was that she didn't take any notice of the two of us trailing behind her and whispering. My cousin glances at my sister, making sure she was still in her own little world, before answering.

"Jack doesn't know-"

"So you know he's the boy from our past?" I interrupt without meaning to.

Rapunzel nods. "I knew since the moment I laid eyes on him in 9th grade. Just as you did earlier when you bumped into him in the hall." Her eyes soften a bit. "I was there too that day. I was traumatized just as you were. I remember every detail just as clearly as you do. It didn't take me long at all to know it was him. But the thing is, he doesn't remember me being there." She pauses, looking unsure if she should continue. She went ahead anyway. "He only remembers you."

My heart either pounded so fast that I couldn't feel it, or it stopped. "He...he what? Rapunzel," I hated how desperate I sounded, "you have to tell me everything. Why didn't you tell me you were friends with him? Why didn't you give me any warning?"

"Because I didn't want to freak you out," she responded, guilt flooding her voice. "I didn't want to cause you any stress, anxiety, or paranoia. I was just looking out for you."

I sighed in defeat, not blaming her for even a second. I can understand where she's coming from, but at the same time it might have helped it I had a warning. And yet, a part of me always knew he'd be here. A part of me always knew there'd be a chance I'd run into him. (I didn't think it'd be literally). The feeling in the pit of my stomach was all the warning I needed; the warning I've always had.

"Just promise me you'll explain everything later. We can't say anything more or else Anna might-" As soon as I said her name, she calls out to Rapunzel and I from a few feet away, causing me to jump out of my skin.

"What are you two slow pokes doing?" She asked, giggling. "Were you even paying attention to anything I was saying? Also I shouldn't be leading us when I have no idea where I'm going." She turns back around though and continues to lead the way. "Oh well though. I'm the leader now and I must say that I like it a lot."

"Anna," Rapunzel said, "knowing you, you might lead us into the boys' locker room."

My sister laughs and says, "Dang it. You caught me. By the way, you know what you should have done? You should have asked North about your two teachers who didn't show up today. I'm genuinely curious about them and I don't even have them for a class. I also find it funny, Elsa, how you and Jack ended up indirectly introducing yourselves to each other when you said an introduction didn't matter since you would never see him again. Looks like Fate had other plans." She keeps walking and speaking, still completely oblivious.

One word from her sentence stuck out the most ot me though. Fate. Is that was this all is?

I didn't dwell on it for too long because Rapunzel had leaned close to my ear as we walked and said, "I'll text you everything I know later tonight. I promise."

I nodded in agreement, but was left unsure if it was a promise I really wanted to hear.

Chapter Text

~Monday~

The weekend was a blur. Nothing much went on. I didn't get much sleep because of my nerves and because of the memory of the accident that would play in my mind as a dream. A nightmare actually. It's like the memory would wait until my nerves were settled before it would play, getting my nerves all riled up again as I would jump awake with silent tears.

Rapunzel had also kept her promise too and told me everything that had happened when she first met Jack four years ago. She said that she knew immediately that Jack was the boy, and said that he mentioned to her that she looked familiar but that he could never pinpoint it. That was when she told him he probably saw her on TV for a Corona Beer commercial since her father is the owner of the company. This is a lie though; Rapunzel's father doesn't want her to have anything to do with the business until she's 21, but Jack apparently had believed her. Months later, in December, Jack confessed to hating Christmas because of his dad dying on Christmas Eve. Rapunzel had asked what happened and he gave her a very brief summary.

"He died of hypthermia and frostbite after saving a girl from drowing in a frozen pond. There were three other kids too, but out of the four that were there altogether, I can only clearly remember one." Rapunzel said in her message that this is what Jack had said to her.

"Was it the girl your dad saved?" Rapunzel had asked.

She told me that Jack said no. "No. The only one who I can remember clear as day is the girl's friend or sister. She was standing on the unbroken ice, looking more frozen than the ice itself. I had to drag her back to land."

"So you only remember her? Not the others?" Was what Rapunzel had asked.

"Just her. The other kids, even the one my dad saved, are kind of a blur. I don't know why I can only remember the one I helped. I just...do." Was what he had told her.

"Do you think if you were ever to run into the girl again, the girl you helped get to land, that you'd know she's the girl from your past?" Rapunzel had asked.

"I don't know. Maybe. Hopefully. Probably not though. I only remember her as a kid. She probably looks totally different now."

"What did she look like then?"

"Pale skin, platinum hair, and a pair of blue eyes that give mine a run for their money."

"Let's say she hasn't changed at all, she's just older now...do you think you'd remember?"

"I think so. Ugh, I really don't know, Zel. Can we talk about something else now?"

And of course, after Rapunzel told me this, I completely malfunctioned. He must know that the girl who he remembers is me. Despite looking a bit confused when he saw me, he must have known who I was as soon as our eyes connected. And if he didn't realize then, surely he must have realized later? What will he do? Hopefully nothing. It's killing me though not knowing if he knows me or not.

And now as our butler pulls up into the school, I wish I was actually dead. I know that's a horrible thing to say, but I can't help it. I've never been so nervous before. Ever since I woke up I had butterflies in my stomach, and when we got out of the car (thank god it's not a limo), I felt those butterflies turn into a raging storm. I fought back every urge to throw up. There's no way I'm going to embarrass myself on the first day of school.

Anna sighed in satisfaction. "For the first time in forever-"

"Your lives can begin!" Rapunzel interrupted with an excited jump.

"Yeah," I say in a shaky voice, "It's agony to wait." I looked down at my outfit one more time, praying to god that people wouldn't think I was too under or over dressed. It took me forever to choose an outfit, but I eventually settled for a pair of light blue skinny jeans, a white blouse, and a matching light blue jean-jacket. I wore black flats and my hair was styled into an elaborate bun. I wore makeup too, but if I keep nervously sweating it's going to be ruined by the time I walk into the building.

"Alright," says Rapunzel, as she gives me an encouraging smile, "here we go."

Anna and I follow her inside, all the way into the cafeteria, where everyone always meets up in the morning before going to class. From the moment I walked inside the building to the moment I sat down next to my cousin in the cafeteria, I received nothing but stares and whispers. The same thing happened during Open House, but it was worse this time since there are more students here. I ignored the stares, knowing that if I looked back I'd end up unintentionally searching for Jack. So instead, I kept my gaze on my entwined hands, which were placed on the table next to my school bag.

"Man," Anna says from the other side of Rapunzel, who was seated between us. "A lot of people were busy in the '90s. If you know what I mean." She winks and Rapunzel burst into laughter.

"Anna get your head out of the gutter," Rapunzel playfully scolded.

"But I like it there," Anna responded, giggling.

They continued to talk, while I remained silent, debating if I should look out into the crowd like they were. I eventually gave in, but it was mainly due to the stares going down a lot. As my eyes scanned the room, I was relieved to see that no one was staring at all anymore. At least from what I could see. I was also relieved when I didn't see Jack anywhere. At the same time though, I was kind of disappointed. The last thing I want is another surprise encounter.

The bell suddenly rings, making me jump, and as everyone got up to leave, I took a moment to breathe and collect myself.

Everthing is going to be fine. I can do this. I just need to breathe.

As my sister, cousin, and I get up and follow the crowd, I couldn't help but smile at Anna when we parted ways. She looked so happy, and it partially bewildered me. Not fully because if Anna wasn't excited then she wouldn't be...well herself! She's always happy and excited when it comes to new things. It's an adventure to her. I know how much she hated being cooped up inside. It's just like how I hated being locked up inside my room. However, I'd much rather be there than here. My point is, while I'm not all that shocked at her behavior, I'm still a bit surprised that she doesn't even look the least bit scared at all.

I'm currently terrified. I'm also a bit envious. I wonder what it's like to have her courage.

When Rapunzel and I make it to our first hour class, there were only a few people already in there. Rapunzel wanted to sit in the back because apparently that's where the "cool" kids sit, and luckily for me the back row was the first row you meet when you come through the door, which is where I wanted to sit by. The closest I am to the door, the quicker it'll be for me to leave.

I sat in the last seat of the first row by the door, while Rapunzel sat in front of me. For the first time since I walked into the school, I felt content, and hoped that my seat in my other classes would bring me satisfaction as well. Hopefully there won't be any assigned seating.

"Rapunzel!" A voice exclaims from the door. Rapunzel and I turn and see an Indian girl, smiling the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. She had a pixie-cut hair style that had blue, green, and yellow streaks, purple contacts, and from her ears hung purple feather earrings.

"Tooth!" Rapunzel exclaimed right back then hopped up from her seat to hug the beautiful Indian girl. "You excited to be a Senior?" Rapunzel asked after she pulled away from their hug.

"Of course I'm excited!" Her eyes then gazed over my cousin's shoulders and she gasped when she saw me. "Oh my gosh! You must be one of the new girls and one of Rapunzel's cousins. North said he met you and your sister during Open House and Jack said you ran into him in the hall." (Of course he did. Did he tell her who that I might be the girl form his past?) "I wish I could've been there to meet you, but hey, here I am now. I'm Toothiana Faye, but you can call me Tooth. Are you Elsa or Anna?"

Her energy reminded me of Anna, and I couldn't help but smile. "I'm Elsa. It's a pleasure to meet you."

"The pleasure is all mine." Tooth said then another voice joins in.

"Don't even think about putting your fingers in her mouth, Tooth." The voice was Australian and when I turn my head in the direction of the voice, I saw a tall boy with tan skin, green eyes, and dark grey hair make his way toward us.

Tooth rolls her eyes and sits down in the seat across from Rapunzel's. "I wasn't going to, Bunny. Elsa, this is Bunny by the way, and Bunny this is Elsa."

Bunny, or Edmund as I remember Rapunzel saying was his real name, takes the seat in front of Tooth and says, "Nice to meet ya, Elsa. Anyway, Tooth, I saw the yearning in your eyes. I'm just trying to look for you and your victims. One day you're going to get arrested if you keep doing that."

"That's another reason," Rapunzel said to me as she returned to her seat, "why Tooth is called Tooth. She has a weird obsession with teeth. She has a bad habit of sticking her hands in people's mouths, making sure they're clean and whatnot."

"I want to be a dentist, and I haven't done that in a while," Tooth defends. "So stop giving Elsa something to worry about."

Rapunzel and Bunny said something in response to her, and as they spoke I noticed that the room started to fill up with more people. I kept glancing at the door just a few feet away from me, and suddenly hated the spot I chose. If I have Jack in this class, I'll be the first person he sees. However, as the minutes drag on, he never showed. The only thing of him that I had were his adopted relatives, which I don't mind at all. I'd rather have them than him.

The late bell rings and the school day officially began.

~*~

Clarion Hollow, or Mrs. Hollow as I should call her, is my first hour English teacher, and is definitely someone my parents would have liked very much, along with my fourth hour Biology eacher, Tara Haven. When I met both women during Open House, I knew immediately that I would end up liking them the most. Both women are the definition of sophistication and elegance, something I strive to be at all times.

When Mrs. Hollow walked into the room, closing the door behind her, she wore a big smile on her face, and said, "Goodmorning, class. I trust everyone had a great summer?"

Responses flew across the room as she made her way to the front, listening to every person who spoke and commenting. This lasted for a few minutes before she went to take roll. I prepared myself, knowing that I would be one of the first few people called.

"Elsa Arendelle?" Mrs. Hollow says.

"Here," I say, raising my hand so she would see me, and ignoring the stares some curious students gave me. Mrs. Hollow smiles when she sees me and marks me off her roster. I had expected her to move on to the next person on the list, but unfortunately, she keeps the spotlight on me.

"Are you liking everthing so far?" She asked, sweetly.

"Um...yeah," I lied, nodding as I tried not to shy away. "It's only first hour, but so far so good."

"I'm glad to hear that," she tells me and then says to the class, "In case any of you were wondering, Elsa is a new student. She's been homeschooled all her life up until now and she is also Rapunzel's cousin." It looked like she was about to say more, but much to my luck someone suddenly knocks on the door.

"Oh, Elsa," Mrs. Hollow says, "can you please get that for me?"

"Uh...yeah, sure." I say in a rush, then get up to do as she asked. Getting up in front of everyone did not help stop the redness in my face due to her introduction over me, and the person on the other side of the door didn't help at all either. My breath caught in my throat when I saw who it was on the other side.

Jack looked surprised to see me too. "Elsa? I didn't know you were in this class."

"Um...that's because I didn't tell you." I blurt out in a panic, then turned around in a hurry to return to my seat. Oh my god, why did I say that? I guess it's better than saying nothing though.

I could barely hear Mrs. Hollow speak over the thundering of my heart. "Nice of you to join us, Mr. Frost." She said. "Am I to believe you got lost?" I was surprised to see that she was teasing. Shouldn't she be writing him up for being late?

"No, I didn't get lost," Jack said, and to my horror he sits in the empty seat behind Tooth...which was right beside me. "I just forgot to set my alarm clock and woke up late."

A few students chuckle at this, including Mrs. Hollow. "Well, it's a good thing you were named Jack Frost and not Father Time. I'll let it slide today since it's the first day back to school, but try not to make a habit of it. I don't think your grandfather would like that very much."

Jack laughs. "I don't think my mom would like that either. I'll try though." From under his breath I heard him whisper to himself: "But I make no promises."

Tooth heard him too and giggles. "Jack," she whispered to him, "stop being naughty."

He didn't like it when his grandfather had used the word before, but when Tooth said it, he smirked. "I can't help it. You know it's in my DNA."

I don't know why I glanced at him, curiosity maybe, and when I looked over at him, I saw that he was already looking at me. I quickly look away and avoided all eye contact with him for the rest of the hour.

~*~

When first hour ended, I bolted out of the room faster than lightning, not even waiting for my cousin. She quickly caught up to me though and said, "Geez, earlier I could tell that you could barely walk, but now you're practically running. You okay?"

"Obviously not," I say in a defeated tone. "Oh my god, I met his adopted relatives. Do they know? What about North? I never bothered to ask the other day if he knows. And oh god, Jack sits right next to me. What if he sits next to me in our other classes? Ugh I hope I don't have any other classes with him."

"Elsa," Rapunzel says, jumping in front of me so I could stop speed-walking, "everything is going to be okay, alright? Tooth, Bunny, and North never saw you that night or in the aftermath. You don't look familiar to them. Jack may have told them what you looked like all those years ago, but his description describes thousands. And if he told them after Open House about you probably being the girl from that night, I doubt they even believed him. Why would they believe in a mischievous trickster who plays pranks on them all the time? He doesn't have any confirmation. All he has are his thoughts; his own unconfirmed beliefs. Plus, we're not even sure that Jack 100% knows it's you. Yeah, he could be suspicious about your identity, but that doesn't mean he knows for sure."

"Trust me," I say, exasperated. "He knows." I looked around, making sure no one was listening in on the conversation. Rapunzel took that as her chance to pull me to the side of the side of the hall so we weren't in anyone's way.

"He would have came to me demanding answers if he knew for sure," Rapunzel continued, her tone hushed but laced with frustration. "He would have came to me even if he was suspicious, but he hasn't. At least, not yet. We've been friends for awhile, and he now knows you're my cousin. If you were him, you'd have asked me questions by now, right?"

I hesitated in my response. "...right. But what if he's does know for sure, and a reason why he hasn't come to you is because he's in denial?"

"Being in denial also means not being sure," she said, "And the only thing we can really do is wait for his next move. We'll just go with the flow until he eventually confronts one of us."

"And what if he doesn't confront you?" I asked. "What if he only confronts me?" I couldn't stop the grimace that appeared on my face when the scenario played in my head.

"Then you better prepare yourself for it." Rapunzel said, which brought me no comfort.

"That's a horrible response." I bluntly say. "And if he does end up confronting you..." I took a deep, shaky breath in before continuing, "what will you say?"

"Whatever you want me to," she answers with a shrug. "I just..." she breaks off to release a tired sigh. "I just hope that you'll want me to tell him the truth if/when the time comes. I don't like keeping this from him. I've been keeping this a secret from him for 4 years. The secret we've been keeping from Anna has been for 6 years. I just...I hate it so much. I've nearly told him about me being there that night so many times. I nearly told him that the girl who he keeps wondering about is a relative of mine. I've nearly told Anna-"

"What?!" I hissed, then winced when I realized how loud I was.

Rapunzel shushed me and said, "I said nearly. That doesn't mean I did. Now I have a question."

I already didn't like it. "And that is?"

"Let's say that neither of us tell him the truth," she started; I already hated where it was going, "but he doesn't believe it. The only other person he can go to for answers...is Anna." My entire body stiffens and my brain short circuits at the thought.

"W-Why on earth would you say that?" I stammered out, eyes wide.

"I'm just saying," she said, sighing as she ran a hand through her hair. "If we don't give him the truth, he may go to Anna, which would then probably lead to her finding out what really happened."

Oh no, no, no, no, no.

"So..." I start out as I processed everything. "You're pretty much telling me to tell him the truth when he asks for it or risk him going to Anna and revealing what really happened to her that night."

"Pretty much, but we can worry about it later. We're about to be late for our second class." She links her arm through mine and quickly leads the way to our next class.

I don't even remember walking as my thoughts took over my mind. It never occurred to me that he could go to Anna for answers. I always thought it would be me. It never even occurred to me that Rapunzel might have known him for all these years too. I have known about her going to Burgess High ever since she started four years ago, and I have always wondered if Jack had attended the same school; it never clicked that if he did go to the same school that they would be seeing each other. And now look...they're apparently best friends.

They didn't talk in first hour though. However, that's probably because Mrs. Hollow was speaking and the whole class silenced themselves as she spoke. The respect she has is really impressive. Mrs. Haven probably has the same amount of respect too.

I also want to know why Rapunzel never told me that she went to school with him. Yes, I know I barely talked to her and Anna after the accident, but this is something she would have normally told me about. Was she trying to spare me or something? Has she told her parents? They would have warned me about him, right? Or would they have kept it a secret like Rapunzel did? I wonder how differently things would have gone if Rapunzel had told him everything four years ago. It sure would have made things easier for me since I would never have been there at the time.

When Rapunzel and I make it to our second hour, Tooth and Bunny were already there, sitting in the back, and of course, Rapunzel and I sat with them. Rapunzel greets them again while I searched the room for Jack. He was nowhere to be seen again, but that's how it first started out in my pevious hour until he unexpectedly showed up late. Rapunzel must have read my mind because she asks: "Is Jack in this class too?"

"No," Tooth replied, "He has Bio this hour." My entire body relaxed at those six words and I found it so much easier to breathe.

"What about the rest of his schedule? I know you know it too." Rapunzel went on, teasing her friend a little bit. "I had two classes with him last year and it sucked, so I hope we have more." I knew that that was partially a real reason, but it wasn't the main true reason why she asked; the main true reason was so I could know what other classes I should expect to see him in.

"Well," Tooth begins as she starts to count off her fingers, "His first hour is English, second hour is Biology, third hour is Math, fourth hour is History, fifth hour is Foreign Language, and sixth hour is Hockey practice."

I mentally cursed. I, obviously, have first hour with him, but now I have him in third and fifth hour too. That's half of my classes.

"Dang it," Rapunzel says, genuinely looking upset. "I only have two classes with him again. English and Math."

"It's better than nothing," says Tooth.

"I wish I had no classes with him," Bunny grumbled, annoyed. "I have three, so I count you lucky for being one class short. He's so freaking annoying."

Tooth smacked his arm. "Be nice," she sternly said, her eyes narrowed into a threatening glare. "He only bugs you so much because he likes your overreactions. Whether you like it or not, he's family."

Bunny sighs as he leaned back against his seat, eyes closed. "I never said he wasn't, Tooth." His eyes then shoot open and he snaps his head over to Tooth, obviously offended. "Hey, wait, I do not overreact!" His exclaimation caused a few kids to turn around.

Tooth and Rapunzel giggle, and I admit that I even cracked a smile, but then the loud sound of the classroom door slamming causes the three of us to jump in surprise. Everyone goes silent as heads turn to the front. Standing in front of the door, examing us with an unimpressed expression, was who I suspected to be our teacher. Every teacher I have is new, but from what I have been told, she, along with my math teacher who I have next hour, are new to the school. So the scary woman I'm curently looking at is new to everyone. She wasn't even here during Open House, so this is the first time all of us are actually seeing her too. For all I know, she might not even be my actual teacher.

As she slowly walked towards the board, I studied her features. She's a slender woman with curly black hair and appears to be middle aged, however her outfit definitely didn't match her age. It was too revealing for my taste, something a woman 20 years younger than she would wear; however, it's a free country and I shouldn't judge. I just don't think it's exacty professional. I bet the boys are loving every bit of it though, considering she's showing a lot of cleavage and a lot of leg. If the boys in her classes ever pay attention it definitely isn't the lesson they are paying attention to.

My schedule said her name is Miss Gothel, and as she wrote the name on the board, I knew then that she really is the new teacher I'd be having for the next 10 months. When she turned around to face the class, she said in an unhappy tone, "Hello class. My name is Miss Gothel. I will be your new history teacher for the year. I have been teaching for many years, but this is my first time teaching at Burgess. So hopefully, you won't give me a hard time. Or else."

Rapunzel and I look at each other, and just from her expression, I knew she was thinking the same thing I was: This woman is scary.

Miss Gothel goes to her computer, clicks on the screen a few times, and starts naming off kids on her roster. When she gets to me, she stutters on my last name and looks like she just received the the shock of the century. "Elsa Are...Are-Arendelle? What?" She leaned forward and squinted at the screen, reading over what I guessed was my name.

Rapunzel and I look at each other again and her confused face mirrored mine. Does she know me? Maybe she knows my parents.

Miss Gothel clears her throats and looks into the class, "Do I have an Elsa Arendelle?"

"Here," I hesitantly say as I raised my hand. When Miss Gothel noticed me, her eyes widened again, and when I saw her eyes glance at Rapunzel I swear the color in her face vanished. She looks as though she was seeing ghosts. However, not even a second later, she quickly looks back at her computer and continues on with the list. She stammered over Rapunzel's name too, and didn't even bother looking at her like she had done with everyone else before.

When she was done taking roll, she immediately jumps into our first lesson, but I couldn't focus at all and it finally wasn't about Jack. Why did Miss Gothel react that way? She has to know Rapunzel and I, or at least our parents. Why else would she react the way she did? She could barely control her shock. I wonder if Mama and Papa know her, or Aunt Arianna and Uncle Frederic? She didn't act like a shocked fan either (I don't know why she'd be a fan anyway. Yeah, we're rich as hell and very famous in the business world despite being private a lot of the time, but we're not celebrities). No, her shock was more like...like a victim seeing their offender after a very long time.

Thankfully, the class went by a lot quicker than it did in first hour, and as Rapunzel and I gather our things to head to third hour, I felt someone watching me. I glance up and noticed that it was Miss Gothel. I had only looked at her for a split second, but our eyes connected, and I felt very uncomfortable. There's just something about her that's...off.

My body tensed up when Rapunzel and I walked past her desk, and it took all my might not to look back at her again. She never took her eyes off of us, and I had a feeling that she knew I was well aware of it. When we were finally out of her sight, I found it easier to breathe again, and Rapunzel says, "Okay, you felt her eyes on you too right?"

I nodded and sighed in relief that she felt it too. "I did. Thank god, you noticed it too. I was afraid I was being paranoid."

"Me too! I legit got goosebumps," she raises her arm and, just as she said, the goosebumps were there. "It was weird," she continued as she lowered her arm back to her side, "Not as weird as her only stuttering over our names and looking at us as though we were a pair of ghosts though."

I nodded in agreement. "Yeah, but I think she might know our parents. Maybe that's why she acted like that."

"Maybe," Rapunzel said, shrugging, "I honestly hope so. I would feel less creeped out if that were the case. Hopefully, our third hour teacher isn't weird and scary either like she is."

"Don't jinx us."

Unfortunately, she did.

Rapunzel and I were the first students to enter the classroom, but already in the room, erasing the board, was a tall, lithe man. He wore a black suit that blended perfectly with his pale skin, and his hair matched his outfit. Actually, it was darker than his suit. Never have I ever seen glossy black hair as dark as his; it was the darkest black I have ever seen and it was slicked back, creating sharp spikes on the back of his head. On my schedule, it even says that his name is Mr. Black. What a weird coincidence. I didn't catch his eyes though, but I didn't need to to already feel intimidated.

"Take a seat wherever you'd like," he said, without looking at us or stopping his task. He sounded like he didn't want to be here, just as Miss Gothel had sounded like earlier, and I knew immediately that I wasn't going to like him either.

Rapunzel and I take our seats in the back, and as soon as I sat down, I heard the chime of a phone notification go off. It came from the front, and it wasn't until another chime went off a second later that I noticed it was coming from Mr. Black's phone on his desk. He ignored his phone until a third chime was heard. With an annoyed groan, he angrily turns around and clicks on his phone. While he was distracted, Rapunzel took the opportunity to whisper to me.

"Geez, what is up with our new teachers looking so shady. He seems off to you too right?" She says, and I nod.

"Yeah," I whisper back as I carefully watched him. Now that he's facing the front, I noted that he had a very angular face, and that his eyes were an abnormal golden yellow color. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. "He looks meaner than Gothel."

"More like scarier." She slightly turned her head to look at Mr. Black, but as soon as she did, Mr. Black suddenly snaps his head up. My heart jolted as Rapunzel and I quickly averted our eyes, but during that split second, I saw his expression. It was the same shocked expression that Gothel had. He too, looked like he had just seen ghosts.

I sat anxiously in my seat, keeping my gaze down on my fidgeting hands, and had waited for him to say something. For some reason I expected him to say something, even though Gothel didn't. He looks like the kind of man that isn't afraid to speak his mind. However, Gothel looks like she isn't afraid to speak her thoughts too. Hmm...

Anyway, instead of hearing his voice, I hear the squeaking of the markers on the board. Curiousity made me boldly look back up, and when I did, I saw his back facing us; he was going back to his task, writing more roughly than before. Perhaps it was my eyes playing tricks on me, but even from all the way in the back where I sat, I could see how very tense he looked. Luckily for us, more students walked in. He says nothing to them, and once again Rapunzel grabs my attention.

"Okay, first," she whispers, sounding very on edge, "they both look mean and scary, and second they both looked at us as though they've seen us before. What the heck is going on? Do you think him and Gothel know each other? They look like they could be siblings. They were probably friends with our parents. How else would you explain BOTH of the new teachers giving us surprised looks when they saw us? As soon as we get home, I'm telling mom. This is too weird, and I need answers."

"Answers to what?" A voice asked behind us, right by our ears. I jumped out of my skin, while Rapunzel yelped.

"Jack!" She exclaimed and reach over to smack his shoulder, "Do you want me to have a heart attack?"

Jack laughs when she hits him and sits in the seat across from me...again. "Stop being so dramatic, Punzie. I think Hiccup's dramatic flare is rubbing off on you." Before she could protest and before I could even question who this Hiccup person is, Jack's attention went straight to me and he asked, without skipping a beat, "So how's everything going so far?"

I almost choked. "Oh...um...okay I guess." I replied, shrugging, and of course avoiding his eyes.

"Except for the fact that the two new teachers somehow know us," Rapunzel added, making her voice low again as she stared at Mr. Black, who was still writing on the board.

"Wait," said Jack, pointing to the front, "you mean Mr. Boogeyman over there and the old lady who dressed like a slutty teen knows you?"

"Well we think," Rapunzel explained, "They both looked at Elsa and I in surprise. Like they couldn't believe in what they were seeing. We think they might know our parents, and if they don't...then I'm seriously freaked out."

"Maybe they were blown away by yours and Elsa's beauty?" Jack teased, making Rapunzel giggle. The only thing I did was blush. Did he just...flirt with me?

"I seriously doubt that," says my cousin. "But thank you for the compliment."

Jack sends her a wink. "Any time, Princess." Princess? She lets him call her Princess? Her nicknames have always been either Rap, Zel, or Punzie. "Seriously though," he continued as he leaned back in his seat and made himself comfortable, "they probably do know your parents. Whether it's personally or not. I haven't had the lady yet, but I saw her in the hall earlier. They both look like drinkers, the woman especially. So if they drink your dad's beer, they're probably a fan of him, and know what you look like because they're creepy stalkers who looked you up on the internet."

Rapunzel and I look at each other, sharing the same uncomfortable expression. "That sounds-"

"Unpleasant," I interrupt, grimacing. I'd rather they know us by knowing our parents personally; if they know us simply by looking us up on the internet, then I'm going to transfer into different classes. That's just too weird for me. God, the day isn't even over with. Can it get any weirder?

Jack chuckles. "Life's unpleasant. You just gotta learn how to deal with it." That's easier said than done.

How the hell am I supposed to deal with two strange teachers who somehow know me? And most importantly, how the hell am I supposed to deal with him? The boy from my past. The boy who's name I finally know after all these years.

The mysterious Jack Frost.

Chapter Text

Just as Miss Gothel had done, Mr. Black assigned our textbooks and dove right into our first session, paying the class no attention as he put all of his focus solely on the lesson he put on the board. When the bell rings for the end of class, he did another thing that Miss Gothel had done: he watched mine and Rapunzel’s every move from the moment we stood up to the moment we walked out. It honestly felt like he was watching me more than he was watching Rapunzel. Gothel had made me tense and gave my cousin goosebumps, but this time, it was the other way around. I was the one who had the goosebumps while Rapunzel was merely tense. Gothel had indeed creeped me out, but not as badly as Mr. Black did. I had found it hard to breathe with Gothel, but Mr. Black pretty much suffocated me.

Tooth, who was also in the class, had thought the same. “I don’t like math as it is, but he’s definitely going to make it more uncomfortable. He’s so...intimidating.” She said this as she, Bunny, and Jack walked with Rapunzel and I to our lockers for lunch.

"Well, it's not school without that one weird teacher," Jack commented.

I didn’t say anything as Rapunzel and her friends chatted away. I kept my attention on what was being said and tried my best not to think about Mr. Black, Miss Gothel, and of course Jack. I didn’t even look back at him whenever he would glance at me as we walked, which he did a numerous amount of times. Once all of our things were in our lockers, we made our way to the cafeteria, and much to my relief, Jack and Bunny split and head to their table.

As I followed Rapunzel and Tooth, going deeper into the large room, I felt very uneasy at all the eyes that were on me. Anna didn’t help either when she shouts mine and Rapunzel’s name. When Rapunzel and Tooth notice my sister, who was waving frantically at us, they waved right back. I merely forced a smile that probably looked like a grimace. When I lowered my head, I actually did grimace in embarrassment.

As the three of us walked towards the circle table where my sister is at, I noticed three other girls that were sitting with her. One was a redhead with wild curly hair, one was a dark-skinned girl with black curly hair that was in no way as crazy as the redhead, and the last girl was a blonde whose hair was in a braid. As soon as Tooth, Rapunzel, and I make it to the table, Anna jumps up from her seat and links her arm through mine, making me stiffen. If she noticed, she didn’t say anything of it.

“Girls, this is my sister Elsa,” she introduced, “Elsa, this is Merida, Moana, and Astrid. They’re Rapunzel’s friends she told me about.” The three girls waved and each said their hellos.

“And I’m Tooth,” Tooth says to Anna, flashing her that beautiful smile, “You must be Anna.”

“I am,” says Anna, “and whoa! You’re teeth are so white! They’re gorgeous!”

Tooth’s smile widens. “Thank you! I try to take the best care of them.”

Merida snorts. “Tooth, you treat them as if they’re your children.” Her Scottish accent is thick, and it took me off guard. I was not at all expecting it.

Tooth sits down, followed by Rapunzel, Anna, and me. “You’re just jealous.” Tooth remarked, teasingly.
Merida waved her off. “Yeah, yeah, whatever. So,” she leans back in her seat and puts her feet up on the table. Thank god none of us had any food out, or else there’d be flakes of dirt going in it. I don’t mind though. She’s being her comfortable self. “Rapunzel told me you two were homeschooled like she was. Do you think you’ll miss it?”

Anna shook her head. “Definitely not.”

“It’s…” I begin, unsure of what to say. I will miss it, but at the same time I won’t. I’ll miss the familiarity of it. “It’s different. Definitely going to take some time to get used to.”

Merida nods. “Aye. I was homeschooled too. All my life until last year. Those two right there were homeschooled as well. They joined the school with me last year,” she points behind me and when I turn to look, I see a goth and another red-headed girl in leopard print who were sitting next to two boys. “The goth is Mavis and the girl in the leopard print is Eep. With them are their boyfriends, Johnny and Guy.”

At the word boyfriend, I knew Anna was going to react. “Boyfriends, you say?” She says, curiously. “And do you have a boyfriend by any chance?”

Everyone, minus my sister and I, laughs. “The day Merida has a boyfriend,” says Moana, “is the day the world ends.”

“More like,” Astrid began, “the day she actually forms a crush.”

“Says the girl who vowed that no one is ever going to be kissing her on the lips,” Merida said to Astrid.

“By no one, I meant your cousin Snotlout,” Astrid explained.

“And what about my other cousin?” Merida inquired, wiggling her eyebrows. “Come on, why don’t you give Hiccup a chance? You know he likes you. He’s a really nice guy. Plus, I want you to officially be a part of my family by marrying him.”

Astrid scoffs. “He doesn’t like me Merida. He’s just awkward around girls, and you don’t make it any better for him when you tease him around me.”

“He’s never awkward around me,” Moana pointed out.

“Or me,” Tooth and Rapunzel say together.

“He’s weird around girls with blue eyes,” Astrid said, lamely, and she blushes, probably because she knows how lame her response is. Or maybe it was for some other reason...

Merida snorts. “That was a pathetic excuse and you know it. Plus, I have blue eyes and he acts normal around me.”

“You’re his cousin!”

“It was a joke,” Merida laughs again then points to Anna and I, “But hey, maybe you’re right. Now that these two blue eyed beauties are here we can test your theory.” She goes to stand up but Astrid puts a hand on her friend’s shoulder and keeps her in place.

“Do not bring him over here,” Astrid warned. “Let him eat his lunch in peace.”

“Peace?” Merida repeated. “You think sitting with Jack and Flynn is peaceful? Those boys never shut up when they’re around each other.”

“Speaking of boys,” Anna started again, “what boys are available to date?”

The girls laugh again while I shook my head and suppressed a smile. Oh, Anna. “Well, you see those boys over there,” Tooth says and points to the table that sat Jack and Bunny. “You already know Jack and Bunny, but the boys sitting with them are Hiccup, Flynn, Kristoff, and Eret. Hiccup is the one drawing, Flynn is the one in the blue shirt, Kristoff is the blonde, and Eret is the black-haired boy whose shirt has no sleeves. He loves to show off his muscles.”

“They’re all single,” Moana took over, “but Hiccup has a crush on Astrid--”

“No he doesn’t!” Astrid interrupts, but Moana continued.

“--Flynn flirts with every girl he encounters, Kristoff is kind of a grump, Eret has a stalker that would destroy you, Bunny tends to send off this vibe that he’s better than everyone, and Jack likes to tease so much that you’re never sure if he’s being serious or not.”

Just the thought of Jack, the boy whose father died saving a young girl, and Anna, that same girl who was saved, getting together, dating, made me sick. The thought of my sister dating anyone is disturbing. Despite her being fifteen, she’s still a child in my eyes.

“Hmm,” Anna hums in thought, “tell me more.”

And so, each girl tells us everything there is to know about the six boys. Hiccup’s dad is the Chief of Police, he’s very clumsy, sarcastic, and not sporty at all. His talents are more creative and artsy. He gets picked on a lot by his cousin Snotlout, his mom went missing when he was a baby, and the relationship he has with his dad isn’t the greatest.

Flynn is a football player and an orphan. He helps North during the holiday season by giving him the Christmas lists of every orphan he lives with, and even helps deliver them. Kristoff helps with the Christmas gifts too, but he mainly attends to the reindeers. He works at North’s reindeer ranch, and even owns one named Sven. He used to be an orphan too with Flynn, but was adopted when he was five by a doctor. Kristoff also plays hockey, along with Jack.

Eret plays football too, and he’s a very well known hunter. Whenever hunting season is here, he and his father Drago, are always out in the woods. All of their equipment comes from Merida’s dad’s hunting shop too. She works there and hates seeing him there all the time. Bunny is also a football player, and according to Tooth, he paints in his free time and hosts Burgess’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. Merida claims Hiccup is jealous that Bunny is both sporty and artistic, while Hiccup is only artistic. He also has a soft spot for Jack’s youngest sister Sophie.

Lastly there’s Jack. He’s very mischievous and has been in detention loads of times. Tooth says that Principal North doesn’t care if Jack is his grandson, he’s going to punish him like every other student. He has three siblings, two of them twins, Jamie and Emma, and, as mentioned before, the youngest one is Sophie. Then there are his extended family members which are North, Tooth, Bunny, and Sandy. Sandy was the first one to be adopted and he’s mute. He can hear perfectly fine, but he was born with no vocal chords, therefore he can’t speak. Bunny was adopted when he was seven, and Tooth arrived a year later. None of them attended the same orphanage that Flynn does; theirs were out of state. And of course, the topic of his dad came up.

“He died due to hyperthermia and frostbite,” Tooth explained, sadly, “He had jumped into a pond on Christmas Eve six years ago to save a little girl who had fallen in. The girl lived, but he didn’t. Worst of all, Jack witnessed it all.”

Rapunzel and I glance at each other, and I wondered if she was as tense as I was. Anna puts a hand on her heart, looking utterly destroyed. “Oh my gosh,” she said, “that’s so sad. I can’t imagine what that must feel like. To lose a parent. It must be awful.”

“That’s why,” Tooth says, reluctantly, “I’m kind of glad I have no memories of my parents. I won't ever feel that pain with them, but with North...North is the only parent I have ever known, so if he were to die…” She trails off, so Anna took the floor again.

“My parents aren’t...dead,” Anna started, slowly, being cautious for once, “but they are overseas and I miss them terribly. I don’t know what I’d do if they actually died.”

I don’t know what I’d do either.

“You’ll mourn and move on,” Astrid said, causing everyone to look at her whilst becoming silent until she speaks up again. “My parents died in a car crash when I was 8. I’ve been living with my aunt for 8 years. She’s Hiccup’s dad’s second in command. Officer Tamora Calhoun. The role used to belong to my uncle Gobber, her brother. He and Chief Stoick have been best friends since they were kids. He’s a teacher here now. Lost too many limbs to keep his job.”

“WHAT?!” Anna exclaimed. “How did he lose his limbs? Which limbs exactly? Oh and...I’m very sorry for your loss.”

Astrid manages a small smile. “Don’t worry about it. As for his limbs, those are stories I doubt even happened. He’s always telling tall tales. Now can we please talk about something else?”

And we did. The rest of lunch finished in a lighter tone. Jokes were made, laughter was heard, information was gained, and...and I think a bond was formed.

~*~

The rest of the day flew by quickly. I only had one more class with Jack, which was 5th hour, but nothing different had change from the previous classes I had with him. He did his normal staring, and I did my best to avoid him. When 6th hour came along, I was reunited with my sister and cousin in music. While there I also properly met Mavis and Eep, the girls who were mentioned earlier at lunch.

I also met Fiona, Marianne, MK, Elena, and Audrey. They were the only ones who bothered to talk to Anna and I. Everyone else did whatever since the day was a free day. Mrs. Robinson, our music teacher, is just as caring, sophisticated, and laidback as Mrs. Hollow and Mrs. Haven. She knows that a lot of us are in her class because there was no other class for us to be put in, which is why she isn’t going to force us to do things we’re uncomfortable doing. Her class is a mixture of choir, band, and theater, subjects she knows most kids don’t enjoy being a part of. Which is why she gave those of us who are uncomfortable the option to do worksheets and whatnot.

It came as a huge relief to me. I’m not necessarily shy, I just like to keep to myself, I’m reserved, introverted. I have the normal stage fright that a lot of people have, and sometimes it doesn’t seem that way because of how calm and collected I am whenever I present myself. I’ve done it many times with my father; I’m the heir to his industry after all. It’s my responsibility, and a thing that helps me the most is knowing that if I’m not professional and calm I’m going to make a fool of myself and make everything worse.

So even if the worksheets weren’t an option, I’d still perform in whatever way Mrs. Robinson would like me to. That’s just what I’m used to doing, whether I want to or not. I’m just really glad I finally have a choice, and who knows, maybe I will perform because now, as I just said, I finally have the choice to do so.

And yes, I can do all three: sing, play an instrument, and act. Ice skating wasn’t the only talent I had. It was just the one I loved the most.

Anna and Rapunzel had talked the most during the car ride back, and as they talked my mind kept going back and forth between their conversation and my own repeating thoughts. Thoughts that are probably going to keep repeating themselves for a while. When we finally arrive home and are inside the mansion, Rapunzel took no hesitation in calling out for her parents.

“Mom, dad, we’re home!”

Aunt Ariana's voice was heard from the living room. “In here girls! I have a very big surprise.”

Of course, that caught my sister and cousin’s interest. “Oooh a surprise!” Anna squealed. “I wonder what it is.”

“Hopefully food,” says Rapunzel.

When we make it to the living room, Aunt Ariana and Uncle Frederic were sitting on the couch, and the other people in the room I was not at all expecting to see. My parents.

On the TV.

“Hello my loves,” said my mother, smiling through her glistening eyes.

The very large flat screen tv hung right above the equally large fireplace, and as I saw my parents’ faces on the screen, my heart burst with happiness. Sadness also lingered in my heart due to them not actually being here, but...I’ll take what I can get.

“Mama! Papa!” Anna exclaimed and suddenly took off in a run towards the tv. For a moment, I thought she was going to run right into the fireplace. “It’s so good to see you! I thought you’d never call. Did you reach your destination?”

“We did,” says our father. “We just arrived a few moments ago and called as soon as we knew you’d be coming out of school.”

“Speaking of which, how was it?” Asked mother, thoughtfully. “Did you like it?”

“I LOVED IT!” Anna exclaimed and went into a full on ramble on how her day went.

As she spoke, Rapunzel and I sat down on the couch next to her parents, and waited patiently for Anna to get everything out. I smiled through the whole thing, but was also anxious to ask them if they knew about Mr. Black and Miss Gothel. When Anna finished, I got my chance.

“That’s wonderful my dear,” father said when Anna finally caught her breath. “And what about you, Elsa? How did your day go?”

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” I said, the lie easily sleeping through my lips. See? I told you I can act. “However, the school gained two new teachers and, well,” I sighed, ready to tell the truth this time, “they creeped Rapunzel and I out a lot.” I look over at my cousin, hoping for her to take over.

“Yeah,” Rapunzel said, nodding. “It was weird.”

“How so?” Asked Aunt Arianna. “What happened?”

“Yeah,” says Anna, worried and confused. “What happened?”

“Nothing bad,” Rapunzel continued, “they just acted weird around us. They looked at us as though they saw ghosts. They looked at us as though they’ve seen us before. Elsa and I were wondering if they probably knew you in your youth.”

“Well,” Frederic begins, “we knew a lot of people back when we were age. You’ll have to be more specific. What are their names?”

“On our schedules,” I say, taking over again, “the woman is only named Gothel, and the man,” I shudder at the memory of his eyes on me as I walked out of his class, “his name is Pitch Black.” I was hoping for their eyes to be filled with shocked recognition at the names, just like the eyes of Miss Gothel and Mr. Black when they saw Rapunzel and I. Instead, the four adults looked confused.

“I don’t recall ever meeting anyone with those names,” said my father. He turned to my mother. “Do you?”

She shakes her head. “No, I don’t.”

“Neither do we,” said my uncle, gesturing to him and my aunt. “Are you sure your uneasy nerves just weren’t messing with your eyes?”

“Dad,” Rapunzel jumped in, annoyed, “I witnessed it too, and I’ve been attending the school for a few years now. Why would my nerves be uneasy?”

“If they made you uncomfortable,” Ariana jumped in, “would you like us to switch out your classes?”

As much as I wanted to, not just because of them but also because of Jack, I knew it meant getting used to a whole new schedule, which I didn’t want to do. “No, that’s fine. We were just curious if they knew us because they knew you. If they knew you,” I gestured to my mom and aunt, “then seeing us must have surprised them since we’re pretty much your twins.” That put a smile on my mom and aunt’s faces.

“Plus,” Rapunzel added, “we’d still have them even if we did do a schedule change. They’re the only teachers who are doing senior math and history, and I don’t want to go back to doing the online thing. Having online classes and actual classes would be too much of a hassle.”

I agreed, although to be honest I think I would be able to handle it. However, not wanting to be any trouble, I voiced my agreement. “She’s right. Besides," I thought back to what Jack had said earlier today, "it’s not really school without that one weird teacher.”

“And in our case, we have two,” Rapunzel said, giggling.

“Well,” my mother speaks up, her expression worried, “if you girls ever do feel too uncomfortable around them, be sure to tell Ariana and Frederic. The same goes to you, Anna.”

“Yes, mama,” Anna says.

“Well,” father says, releasing a tired sigh. Hearing it made me realize the tiredness in his eyes and that it must be night time where they’re at. “It’s late, and Iduna and I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. We’ll call whenever we can. Be sure to keep up with your studies, girls. Alright?”

“Yes, father,” Anna and I say together, while Rapunzel says, “Yes, Uncle Agnarr.”

He smiles. “See you soon.”

“Bye everyone!” Mama says as she waves. My sister, cousin, and I wave back. Everyone was smiling sweetly, but my smile was tight and forced, trying to hide my sadness. I wish we could talk a little longer. Who knows when I'll get to see them again. Designing buildings and bringing them to life is not an easy job. They’re going to have their hands full.

When the screen goes black, I suddenly realized that I missed my chance to tell them I love them. I didn’t tell them when I left for Burgess, and I forgot to tell them now.

And for the rest of the day, I isolated myself in my room, drowning in my guilt, and praying they’d call back soon.

Chapter Text

By the time the first football game arrives, school had already been in session for a month. Surprisingly, not much had happened. I don’t know what I was exactly expecting, but I thought more would happen with Jack, Mr. Black, and Miss Gothel. I also thought public school would be more lively. Then again, we’ve only been having classes for a month. People are probably still trying to fix their sleep schedule.

However, this week, Homecoming Spirit Week, has been the most lively I have ever seen the school. And it’s all because of the first game later on tonight. I don’t really understand why football is such a big deal, nor do I have any interest in the sport, but I’m going--more like being forced to go--to the game later on tonight. I wanted to stay home, but Rapunzel and Anna had begged me countless times all this week.

I managed to resist their puppy eyes and told them no over and over again, something I should have done to prevent the horrid accident years ago, and I was doing really well on my word too until Anna finally got to me. And it wasn’t her pleading eyes that made me give in.

It was her hurtful words.

“I don’t even know why I bothered,” she had whispered to Rapunzel as I had walked to my room yesterday after coming home from school. “She’s never going to change.”

I know she didn’t want me to hear because her voice was a soft, also inaudible whisper, but because I’m so good at staying quiet and listening to everything going on around me, I heard her loud and clear. Her voice dripped with sadness, and it caused my heart to ache with guilt. When we first moved in, I had told myself that moving here wouldn’t be as bad as I thought it would. I had told myself that it’s probably not too late to fix what I’ve broken, and here I am doing not doing anything about it. It’s as Anna said...I’m not changing.

And I really, really want to, but I know it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be hard, stressful, and definitely scary. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the girl I once was. I’ve hidden myself away inside a sad, reserved persona that I’ve come to believe is the actual me. But is it really? I sometimes think it is because I’ve only ever been “extroverted” with my sister and cousin. Before everything changed, whenever I wasn’t with the two of them or if the three of us were on playdates with other business kids, I was always introverted. I was just never that way around my sister or cousin because I was comfortable with them and only them. Plus, those business kids were total brats.

The difference between my introvertedness then and now is that, back then, I never felt lonely or sad or...depressed. I took time to myself whenever I wanted to, but I never felt any negativity. Now, all I ever feel is lonely and sad and depressed. I forced myself to stay away even when I wanted to be around my favorite people because at 12 years old I thought I was a danger.

I know now that I was being ridiculous, but the damage had already been done. I didn’t think there would be any way to fix it, I still don’t, but now...now that Anna and I are in a new environment I have more hope than I did before.

So when she said those words, it made me realize that my chance to fix everything, or at least try to, is now.

I thought about it long and hard for the remainder of the day, and this morning I told them that I had changed my mind. Which resulted in her squealing and giving me a big, tight hug. It took me by surprise so badly that I didn’t react fast enough to hug her back, but she didn’t seem to mind. Honestly, I don’t think she noticed. I don’t think she even noticed that she hugged me too.

As of right now, I’m going through my closet, trying to figure out a good outfit to wear. What does one even wear to a football game? Should I just stay in the outfit that I’m in, which expresses our school colors? I’m already in jeans, and I can bring a light jacket in case the night gets cold. This would be the safest way to go. If I were to dress up I might get weird looks. Besides, I did enough dressing up this week.

Since my silky icy blue nightgown wasn’t appropriate for school, I had to buy pajama pants with a matching shirt to wear on Pajama Day, which was Monday. Tuesday was Career/Business Formal Day, which a lot of people didn't really participate in, but my sister, cousin, and I did. The three of us each wore plaid double-breasted long blazers with high waisted plaid pencil skirts. Anna’s was magenta, dark blue, and medium green; mine was light blue, purple, and white; and Rapunzel’s was yellow, light purple, and apple green.

Wednesday, everyone wore pink, Thursday was Whacky Mix Match day, and today was School Colors.

“Elsa, it’s me. Can I come in?” I hear Rapunzel say as she knocks on my door, causing me to look away from my reflection in my full body mirror next to my dresser and say, “Come in.”

I walk over to my bed as my cousin walks inside my room, but I stopped in my tracks when I noticed her nervous reaction. “Uh...what’s up?” I asked, unsure if I was ready to hear her response.

She closes the door and leans against it as she tugged at her hair and avoided eye contact. “Okay, sooooo,” she starts, “Anna’s in the Gallery room right now with mom, and mom told me to tell you that she and dad won’t be able to drop us off to the game because their dinner reservations got messed up, so now they have to get there an hour earlier than intended. Don’t freak out, but the only person who I knew I could count on to give us a ride is...Jack.”

I didn’t know which happened first: my jaw dropping, my eyes popping, or my breathing stopping. Either way, they all happened. “Wait, WHAT?!” I exclaimed then started to pace around.

“Please don’t freak out,” Rapunzel said, but I zoned her out.

“I-I already see him enough at school,” I continued, panicky, “I don’t want to be in his car! Nope, this isn’t happening. I’m staying home. I knew this would be a bad idea. Oh my god kill me now.” I quickly sat down on my bed before I could possibly faint, grabbed the closest pillow, covered my face with it, and flopped back dramatically.

Am I being a bit dramatic? Probably, but I think I have a perfectly good reason to be.

“Oh come on,” says Rapunzel. I hear her footsteps and felt my bed dip a little when she sat down. “It’s not like you’re going to be alone with him. Anna and I will be with him too. Tooth most likely will also. You also promised Anna and I, and you know how I feel about promises. You never ever break them. Ever. Also,” she giggles, “you’re acting almost as dramatic as Anna.”

Despite the horrible news, that manages to make me laugh. “Almost,” I repeat when I removed the pillow. I then realized something. “Wait, so Jack’s coming here to pick us up?”

“Yep.”

“So he’s been here before?”

“Yeah, loads of time to take me to games or to hangout with him and some friends at the Mall or movies or wherever. He’s never been inside though.” She pauses to giggle again. “I think he’s afraid he’ll break something or get it dirty just by looking at it. He acts as though it’s some sacred place. I know it’s a mansion, which doesn’t compare at all to his home, but it’s not like it’s a castle.”

So he’s been here multiple times after school or on weekends to pick her up so they can hang out. She said with other friends, but has it ever just...been the two of them? She said they’re best friends, and they do seem pretty close when together, and while I know a guy and a girl can be best friends, there are some cases where one always falls for the other. Does Rapunzel like him? Does he like her? Are they both secretly pining after one another? Oh my god, are they secretly dating? What if they get married? The last thing I want is for him to become a part of my family. Of course, if it were to come to that, I would never do anything to jeopardize Rapunzel’s happiness.

“So do you,” I start, trying to keep it casual, “like him? As in romantically?”

Rapunzel groans and flops back on my bed, laying in the opposite direction of me. For a brief second, I felt a little awkward, since we haven’t laid back in a bed like this in forever just talking, but then I felt beyond happy that she still feels comfortable in doing so. She just flopped back as if she’s never stopped doing it. Maybe if Anna didn’t act so awkward around me, it wouldn’t make me feel so awkward when I’m with her. Actually, it’s most likely me being awkward around her which makes her awkward around me. I can’t blame her either for not coming to my door anymore like Rapunzel just did because for years all I’ve done is ignore her pleas. She probably thinks there’d be no use to it.

If she were to ever seek me out again, I vow to not ignore her. I vow to change. Which means...I’m getting in Jack’s damn car. Ugh the things I do out of love.

“Why does everyone always think that?” Rapunzel complains, snapping me out of my thoughts. “I admit we’re very close for a straight guy and girl who aren’t related, but I only see him as a brother and he’s told me before that he only sees me as a sister. Also,” once again she giggles, “you totally sound like you have a crush on him.”

And once again, I was left in shock. “What on earth made you think that?” I demanded as I sat up to look her dead in the eye.

“One,” she stuck up her index finger, “you were freaking out about being in a car with him when you knew damn well there’d be others with you. And two,” she stuck up another finger, “you asked me, another girl, if I had a thing for him. Sounds like a crush to me. Wouldn’t that be ironic? You falling in love with your sister’s savior’s son. I’m using that word ironic correctly, right? Anyway, one would think Anna would be the one to fall in love with him. Then again, she probably already has.”

I shook my head at the ridiculousness of her words. I’ve already considered her crushing on him, and I do not want to have the thought back in my head. But me falling for him? Ha, not likely. We’re both out of each other’s leagues. He’s not even my type...whatever that type may be. I certainly don’t know what it is, but I know Jack doesn’t qualify. Honestly, I don’t even see myself being in a romantic relationship. I’d like one, but I don’t see it coming true. That’s okay though. I won’t have that constant fear of hurting them or them hurting me.

“I do not, nor will I ever,” I stated, loud and clear, “form a crush on him. And please, can we not discuss the possibility of Anna falling for him? I’d rather not think about.”

Rapunzel sighs as she sits up. “Okay, okay, okay.” She heads for the door but turns her head to smugly look back at me when she grasped the handle. “But just so you know, you and Jack would make a really cute couple.”

“Cute does not equal compatible,” I retort, which makes her giggle. I then remembered a thought I had a while back. “Hey, wait, does Aunt Arianna know that Jack is...the boy?”

Rapunzel shook her head. “No. I...I was afraid if I told her, she’d do something about it. Like...bake a pie or send money or something out of gratefulness. Just like with you, I didn't tell her about him because I was afraid she'd freak out. I didn’t want Jack to know that I was there that night in case she said something, and was afraid it would cause problems with our friendship.”

I nodded. “Okay.” That was all I could think to say, and when she left, I laid back down on my bed.

I stared up at my ceiling, sighing as I felt so incredibly...stressed? Nervous? Tired? Worried? Sick? I guess overwhelmed is the appropriate term to use.

So incredibly overwhelmed.

~*~

My aunt and uncle were gone by the time Jack arrives, and every step to his car felt like I was walking in cement. He watched as my sister, cousin, and I walked to him, side by side with me in the middle, but his eyes felt like they were directly on me and me alone. Luckily, Tooth was in the passenger’s seat, so I kept my focus strictly on her and not at the white hair boy who was watching us over her head.

“You girls ready for your first football game?” Tooth asked Anna and I as we climbed inside the backseat.

“Aaaahh I was born ready,” Anna declared, making the Indian girl laugh.

“Ready for our team to win or ready to check out the players?” Jack asked, teasingly, as he looked at us through his rear-view mirror. His question made my sister blush, either because the second option is the truth or because he, a cute boy, had asked.

“Jack,” she responded, humoring him, “don’t ask questions you know the answer to. We all know my real reason for going.”

Jack shook his head as he laughed. “I thought so.” His eyes then glance over to me, and I look away. Just the usual routine. Nothing new.

When the three of us buckled up, we were off, and luckily no talking was necessary because Tooth had turned on the radio. However, while there was no talking, there was a lot of singing. It mainly came from Tooth, Rapunzel, and Anna. Their karaoke session actually made me feel a little more comfortable being in Jack’s car. And as the girls sang, he and I just sat back and silently listened to our own private concert, smiling and laughing whenever we couldn’t stop ourselves. Eventually he joined in with them, and let me just say...damn. The music was loud and he wasn’t singing as loudly as the girls, so I couldn’t really hear every ounce of his voice, but from what I did hear, I couldn’t deny that it was beautiful. I wonder what he sounds like when he fully uses his voice without any music to cloud over it.

And of course, as soon as I heard his voice, I stared in astonishment. What else is there to him? What other secret talents does he have? The easy way is to simply ask rather than wait to find out, but the easy way is actually hard for me. So that’s a big no.

When we finally make it to the field, the bleachers were already packed. Luckily, Merida and Moana were saving our seats in the very front. With them was Hiccup and Kristoff. I haven’t spoken to them yet, so hopefully I make a good first impression.

“Well, if it isn’t loser one and loser two,” Jack says as soon as we approached them. I knew he was talking to the boys, but Merida didn’t.

“Boy, you better not be talking about Moana and I,” she warned.

“I was talking to Big Mountain and Little Pebble,” Jack clarified as he gestured to the two boys who sat behind them. Rapunzel, Anna, Tooth, and I were already sitting with Merida and Moana when Jack walked up the step to sit with the boys, and as he does this he says, “Not everything is about you, you know. Plus, Moana isn’t a loser. You on the other hand...”

She turns around to reach for him, but Hiccup stops her. “Merida, you’re only encouraging him.”

“Calm down, Hiccup,” Merida says to her cousin, “I’m not gonna hurt him. I just want to talk.”

Kristoff chuckles. “I didn’t know talking meant beating the other up. Hey, by the way,” he says this to me only. “Elsa, right?”

“Correct,” I reply. “And you’re Kristoff.”

He nods. “Yeah, but your sister keeps calling me Christopher. Hopefully, you have better memory.”

Anna scoffs. “And what’s that supposed to mean?” Her voice dripped with pure, heavy annoyance; there was no playfulness at all, and it took me off guard. Did something happen between the two of them? They’re in the same grade, so they must have some classes together where words were exchanged. I should ask her later; it might be good for some bonding.

“It means,” Kristoff begins, his tone matching hers, “that you’re forgetful. It’s not that hard to understand.”

I don’t know what came over me, but I didn’t like his hateful attitude towards her, and without even thinking, I blurted out, “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t talk to my sister that way. And Anna, don’t feed into it either. We’re here to support our team and have fun. Not to quarrel like children.”

Everyone fell silent and the atmosphere turned awkward, making me blush and suddenly feel insecure. They probably all think I’m a bitch. Luckily it only lasted for a few seconds before Jack and Merida both burst into laughter, breaking the awkwardness and heaviness that I felt.

“Damn, Kris, you just got told off.” Says Merida.

“That was awesome. Didn’t know you had some fire to you, Elsa,” Jack says, and his praise--their praise--put a small smile on my face. However, it didn’t erase the guilt I felt for embarrassing Kristoff. So much for a good first impression. I'll apologize later.

Much to my relief, he didn’t seem all that offended. He merely rolls his eyes and smirks, saying, “It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been scolded. Plus, it’s what I get for not being careful with the older sibling around.”

Anna wraps an arm around me and says to him, “Yeah, so you better be careful next time.” She turned to gaze to me and smiled brightly. “Thanks, sis.”

I smiled back, feeling complete joy to see her smile at me in such a way. “You’re welcome.”

Before anyone else could speak a word, the cheerleaders make their way to the front of the bleachers and begin stretching. When Merida sees Astrid, she stands up, walks over to the railing, and says, “If you’re wondering if the skirt makes your butt look big, I’ll be happy to inform you that it does.”

Most of the cheerleaders had looked at Merida with pissed off expressions, probably thinking that she was talking to them, but Astrid knew the comment was for her and smiled brightly as she flipped the redhead off. “The real question is if it looks good,” Astrid had called out. She turns around to show us her backside. “Does it?”

Merida holds her thumbs up. “It looks fantastic.” She looked back at the group and I to give Hiccup, who was blushing at the sight of the blonde, a mischievous smirk. “Doesn’t it look great, dear cousin of mine?”

“I...I...um…,” his face had become even redder, a little sweat had formed, and he gulps, loud enough for me to hear, “It...it doesn’t look bad.”

I couldn’t stop the amused smile that had formed on my face while everyone else had burst into laughter. Merida turns back to look down at Astrid, “Hiccup agrees. He said that you really put the ass in Ass-trid.”

Hiccup’s eyes widen in horror. “What?! No I didn’t!” He exclaimed, loud enough for other people to turn their heads in his direction. He stood up so Astrid could see him from where she stood on the ground. “Astrid, I did no such thing. She’s lying!”

Astrid laughs. “I know, Hiccup. I’ve been friends with her for years to know. Plus, you’re more respectful than she is. It’s one of your great traits.” The coach then calls for her. “Gotta go. I’ll see you guys after the game.” She turns around and gets in formation with her squad.

Hiccup sat back down as Merida returned to her seat, the smirk never leaving her face. When she sits down, Hiccup was quick to say: “You are so not funny.”

“Hey, she called you respectful and said that it’s one of your great traits. She wouldn’t have done that if not for me. One day you’ll thank me.” Merida remarks.

“Well, that day certainly isn’t today,” Hiccup mumbles.

“Redheads,” says Jack, shaking his head, “they’re really are insane.”

Hiccup chuckles. “I’m well aware.”

Merida says, annoyed, “I am literally sitting right here and can hear every word. I’d appreciate it if you stopped talking.”

She got her wish, because as soon as the words left her mouth, both football teams made themselves known on the field, and the game officially starts.

Chapter Text

Sometime during the game, Anna had asked the question I was asking myself all night. How does football work? Hiccup, of course, didn’t have the answer, but Jack and Kristoff did. Their explanations still didn’t help, but they had their reason.

“We know more about Hockey than football,” Kristoff defended.

“And we’re the best ones on the team,” Jack boasted. “Well, at least I am. Kristoff’s okay.” Kristoff shoved Jack at his tease, making the white hair boy nearly fall out of his seat.

"But you have the perfect body for football. I think you'd do perfectly well in the sport, Kristoff." Anna argued, taking me off guard, along with Kristoff. Did she just basically admit to him being hot?

"Um.....thanks?" Kristoff said, unsure of what else to say, and blushed.

"Wow, Anna," Moana teased, "I didn't know you had a thing for Kristoff's body."

Anna's eyes go wide at the realization at what she had said. "Wait what? Th-That's not---I didn't mean---Ugh whatever!" Her face was red from embarrassment, and it took all my might not to giggle at her. I did smile, fairly wide, however.

“Don’t worry, Anna,” Merida took over, “Hiccup has a thing for Astrid’s body too. He thinks she’s the hottest girl in the world.”

“First of all,” Hiccup started, definitely fed up, “She’s not a temperature. She’s beautiful, not hot. Secondly, will you quit with the teasing? You always do this when Astrid is in her uniform.”

“Hey, she wore her uniform during school too. I could have teased you then, but I was being considerate.” Merida defended. “I have to get it all out of my system now that Snotlout isn’t anywhere near.”

“Sorry to jump in,” Jack starts, stopping to laugh, “but was that really your response, dude?” He was talking to Hiccup. “ ‘She’s not a temperature’. I’m sorry, and I know you’ve heard me tell you this before, but you’re really, really lame.”

I frowned at this. Wow. That was kind of rude. And Rapunzel actually thinks we’d be cute together? What on earth was she thinking?

"I’m well aware," Hiccup replied, unphased by the insult. "I just feel that calling a girl 'hot' is lame and kinda inconsiderate. Girls should be complimented with actual words like 'gorgeous' or 'beautiful' rather than 'hot' or 'smokin'. Sorry, if I'm more of a gentleman than you."

Well said, Hiccup. I completely agree.

"Oh shit," Merida commented. "He sure told you."

“Hiccup 1,” Moana starts.

“Jack 0,” Rapunzel and Tooth say in unison.

I was afraid that Hiccup had unintentionally ticked Jack off, but Jack laughed and reached over Kristoff to shove Hiccup, gently. "With a smart mouth like that it's no wonder Snotlout keeps picking on you. But seriously, you need help with the opposite sex. When are you going to let me help you out?”

“Maybe,” I found myself boldly saying, defending the poor boy, “he should seek help from someone who is in a relationship, or who’s a love expert.” Not me though. Oh no definitely not. I am not at all an expert to romantical love.

“And what makes you think I’m not in a relationship?” Jack asked, sounding offended. . “Or that I’m not a love expert?” I was unsure if he was being serious or not. I can’t always tell with him.

“I didn’t mean to offend you if I did,” I start, taking the safe route, and hoping this wouldn’t take a bad turn. He is my ride home after all. “I’m just saying that...well…” I didn’t know how to say my next words without offending him even more.

You’re not exactly mature enough for girls to want to be in a relationship with you or to be an expert at love.

That’s what I wanted to say, but I knew it would offend him. If I was told that, I’d be offended too. I was raised to keep my mouth shut if I didn’t have anything nice to say, and that statement isn’t exactly the nicest. I was also told to be honest, so this is where I’m stuck at. Plus, I’m assuming. He could be in a relationship and a great love expert. I have no proof that he is or that he isn’t.

Tooth quickly came to my rescue though before I could finish my sentence. “Jack, leave her alone. He’s just playing with you, Elsa. Ignore him.”

Yeah, she doesn’t have to tell me twice.

~*~

When the game finally ends, the Burgess Reindeers were deemed the winners. They won the Homecoming game, and never in my life have I ever seen a large group of teens and adults freak out. My ears are still ringing from all the screaming, especially from my cousin. Flynn was the one that made the winning point, and Rapunzel was eager to show her happiness.

As the group and I headed to the field to congratulate Flynn, Eret, and Bunny, Astrid found us and said, “Hey, Eret just told me he’s throwing a party at his lake house. That’s where everyone’s going. You guys up for it?”

And of course, everyone was all on board. Me? Not so much.

“Let me text my mom real quick,” Rapunzel says and quickly pulls out her phone to do so. I silently prayed that Aunt Arianna would say no, but unfortunately, a minute later, she had texted back her approval. “We’re good to go.”

Anna squealed in excitement, while my stomach churned in discomfort. Coming to the football game was a big stretch for me, now I have to go to a party? Maybe this will be good. Maybe this is God’s way of helping me out. I sure hope so.

A few minutes later, Anna, Rapunzel, Tooth, Jack, and I were all back in Jack’s car, heading to Eret’s god forsaken lake house. Another karaoke sessions broke out between everyone in the car, but this time I was not in the mood to listen and enjoy the silliness. I was tense earlier when I had first climbed inside Jack’s car, but now I’m even more tense than before. This time it’s not even because of Jack; it’s all because I’m attending a last minute party. I have very limited time to prepare myself for the craziness that I know is awaiting me. Oh my god, what if Anna gets drunk?

What was our aunt thinking? It’s a high school party. There’s going to be alcohol, and Anna is a very curious individual. She is responsible sometimes though. Should I just...trust her? Should I just...chill out and relax? What if some guy sexually harasses her? I don’t think her fiery spirit will be enough for her to take him on. Oh god what am I going to do? I don’t want to smother her, I want her to have fun, but I also don’t want her to get wasted or harassed.

My anxiety is extremely high right now, and so many scenarios keep playing in my head. They won't stop and I'm internally freaking out. No one seems to notice, and I’m glad. I don’t want anyone to worry about me. I don’t want to ruin their night.

When we arrived at Eret’s lake house, I was surprised to see so many people already there. I could hear the music blaring in the house from the car, and when I exited the car the music was even louder. I wonder how it sounds inside the house. Most likely deafening. We're surrounded with trees and there isn't another house for miles. It's perfect because that way no neighbors will call the cops. Which doesn't help with my anxiety at all.

"Alright," says Tooth once we were all out of the car. "I'm gonna go to the bathroom before I explode. I'll see you girls inside."

"Sounds good," says Rapunzel. Tooth smiles and salutes us before she takes off running to the house.

"This place looks amazing," says my sister as she looks around.

"Oh yeah," I say, sarcastically. "It looks very...wild."

“Wait until you see the inside,” Jack comments, nearly making me jump when I realized he was standing right next to me. “It may not be as glamorous as the inside of your castle of a house, which I have yet to see, but it’s freaking amazing.”

Anna then took me by surprise when she suddenly grabbed my hand and dragged me forward, taking Rapunzel along with her as well.

“Okay,” I hear Jack call out to us. “Just leave me behind. That’s fine. It’s not like I have feelings, Anna.”

“Hurry up then, Jack,” Anna replied to him as she dragged my cousin and I faster towards the house.

"Anna, slow down," says Rapunzel, laughing. "The house isn't going anywhere."

Anna giggled her response and only let go of us once we were inside. I noticed how a few heads turned to stare in shock upon seeing Anna and I. I knew it wasn’t at Rapunzel. She must have been to Eret’s parties before for her mom to simply just allow her to go at the last minute. Everyone’s probably shocked because Anna and I don’t seem like the kind of girls who would waste our time at a high school party. Or at least I wouldn’t waste my time here.

"So this is what a party looks like," I say as we walked deeper into the house full of partying teenagers. The movies, shows, and books were right. This is exactly like all those fictional parties I would read about. I just hope Anna and Rapunzel don't make a stupid mistake like the main characters in those movies, shows, and books always do. I know I can trust them. But still.

"It's warmer than I thought," Anna comments.

"And what is that amazing smell?" Asked Rapunzel.

All three of us took a sniffed the air deeply. My mouth couldn't help but water at the realization. "Chocolate." I say in unison with my sister and cousin. We giggled together and my heart soared. It reminded me of the good old days.

I frown as the memories of my old happy life came rushing back. I miss those days so much. Things wouldn't be the way they are if I had just said no to them that night. No. Nothing would have happened had I not suggested to spin my sister on the pond. Nothing would have happened had I not accidentally let her go. Things also wouldn't be the way they are if I hadn't had pushed them away. I've wasted so many years. If I told Anna the truth now she'd probably think my reasons for pushing her away were the most stupidest reasons ever and be, well, pissed. Things are, somewhat and slowly, becoming better between us. I don't want to ruin that. I want to fix it, to make it better. God, I don't know what I'd do if she ever became extremely mad at me. I'd probably go back avoiding her, and truth be told....I don't want that, especially now that I have a chance to rekindle my relationship with her. Perhaps it'll be she who will deliberately choose to avoid me.

"I don't know about you, but that chocolate is calling my name," says Rapunzel. She took off toward the smell like a hound dog with my sister following right on her tail. I stayed where I stood. Anna suddenly stops and turns back to me.

"You coming?" She asked, a hopeful look in her eyes.

"I'll catch you later," I say, deciding to do some snooping around before I followed her around for the rest of the night like a duckling to its mother. "I need to check the surroundings." At the same time, I want to get away from all these sweaty and possibly drunk teens. Just for a little while before I come back to her.

Anna playfully rolled her eyes. "You worry too much."

"I think I have every right to worry,” I defend myself, “This is our first high school party, and a lot of bad things can happen. Please, please, promise me you won't--"

"Take any drugs, drink any alcoholic drinks, or sneak into a bedroom with a guy," Anna interrupted, sounding only slightly annoyed. "I know, I know, I know. I promise you all of this, only if you promise to let loose and have a little fun, okay? You can trust me, Elsa."

I opened my mouth to tell her that I do trust her, but she turned around to follow our cousin before I could even speak a word. I let out a sigh and followed her, making sure that she made it back to Rapunzel’s side. She’ll be safe with our cousin.

Luckily for me, following Anna led me to the back doors that were right next to the chocolate fountain, along with the rest of the food. I open one of the doors, and stopped to look at my sister and cousin, who were happily piling up their plates with all kinds of treats. They didn't even notice me. Honestly, it kind of hurt that I was so easy to forget and ignore, but that was a goal of mine for the longest time, I suppose.

A second later, I pushed the door open and was right back out of the house, walking toward the lake.

I heard the people laughing before I saw them in the water. As I walked toward a nearby tree to sit down at, I noticed that Moana was among some of the people. She and the others were having a swimming a competition, which really wasn’t much of a competition since she kept winning, and as I kept watching them from where I sat on the ground, I was unaware of the figure that suddenly stood beside me.

"Well, you look like you're having a blast." It’s voice says, causing me to realize that they were standing there at my side and to jump out of my skin.

"Jesus!" I say, placing a hand over my heart as I whirled my head around to look up at the owner of the voice. My eyes widened at the sight.

"Close, but not quite. However, I always did think of myself as a holy man."

"Jack?!"

Chapter Text

"Jack?!" Did he follow me out here? He certainly wasn’t here a moment ago. Why did he follow me?

"Yep, the one and only. Well, I guess there are millions of Jacks out there, but none of them will ever be me." He says, chuckling softly. "Do you mind if I sit here?" He points to the spot right next to me, and while I wanted to say 'no' I didn't want to be rude. I'm sure he already thinks of me as cold hearted.

"G-Go right ahead," I say, hoping he didn't notice my stammer. My body stiffened when he sat next to me. He wasn't sitting so close to where our arms or legs were touching, but he was still close. The space between us is a mere few inches.

We sat together under the tree in silence, just watching the people in the lake have a good time. The awkwardness was so thick that it could be cut, and I hated every second of it. What is he doing here? What's his purpose? Surely there's a reason for him sitting here with me. I doubt it's because he wants to. Unless...oh my god. Is he finally going to ask if I’m the girl from his past?!

"So are you enjoying the party?" Jack suddenly asked, making me jump.

"Oh, um, well...." I let out a nervous chuckle. "To be honest, no. I know I just got here a few minutes ago so I suppose I should still give it a chance, the night is still young after all, but...I don't know. I'm not used to these kinds of parties."

"Let me guess," he says. "You're used to the rich, fancy, glamorous, proper, and formal types of parties, right?" There was no sign of bitterness in his voice as he spoke these words, but I could detect a hint of playfulness. Is he teasing me? Then again, when does he ever not tease?

"Um....yeah," I answered, feeling my cheeks go red. "My parents would probably disown me if they saw me attending a party like this. I'm still surprised my aunt granted us permission to go."

"Where are your parents again? I heard that they went overseas for business," says Jack, really trying to keep the conversation going.

I nodded. "Yeah. My father is an architect and my mother does the interior design. They're helping to design and build new medical centers and schools in countries that need them. So in the meantime, my sister and I are staying with our aunt, uncle, and cousin."

"Interesting." He replied, but I wasn't sure if he meant it or not. “So for how long will they be gone? How long will you and your sister being staying here?”

“For about a year,” I answered, surprised at how well the conversation flowed. “I’ll finish senior year and figure out what to do for college when the time comes.”

Jack chuckles, “Yeah, I still have to do that too. I’m already stressed out.”

“So am I,” I agreed.

This is where the conversation stops. We sink into the pit of awkwardness that starts to swallow us, and after only one dreadfully long minute, I couldn’t take it anymore. I took a deep breath to calm my nerves and asked my question. "Jack, what....what are you doing here exactly?"

He looked over at me, his blue eyes connecting with mine in confusion. "What do you mean? It's a party that I, along with everyone else, was invited to.”

"No," I shook my head and looked away. "I mean, what are you doing here....right now....with me?" I dared to look back up at him. "Last I checked, we....don't exactly...talk much. Is there something you need?”

He stared at me for a few seconds, which felt like years, before letting out a tired sigh. "There is actually."

I knew it. "And what would that be?"

"Answers."

I freaking knew it. Why else would he just pop up out of the blue and sit next to me? He wants answers, and since no one else is around I guess it's the perfect time he gets them. It’s just as Rapunzel had told me before; if neither of us do it he might go to Anna and I can’t let that happen.

"Alright," I say, trying to sound confident like my father. "What are your questions?"

Jack looked at me in surprise. "Wait what? You're serious?"

Now it was me who was confused. "Um....yes? Why wouldn't I be?"

Jack rubbed his neck and chuckled nervously. "I just...I didn't think it would be this easy. I thought you'd....well...not want to talk. You’re not exactly social. If I had known you’d be willing, I would have came to you a long ago.”

Thank you, Captain Obvious, for stating my social issues that I’m already well aware of. “Well,” I start, nervously picking at the grass, “I still don’t want to talk, especially since I know where this conversation is going, but...I want to get it out of the way. It’s way overdue and I’m done waiting. I’m tired of it.”

Jack released a shaky laugh that was filled with disbelief rather than humor. “It really is you then, isn’t it? You’re the girl I helped off the pond six years ago.”

My heart sped up, beating faster than lightning in the span of one second, and my palms feel sweaty as I tried not to fiddle with them. I knew he knew. I knew it all along. I nodded and said, “Yes, I am. And you’re the boy who helped me get off the ice. The boy whose father…” I didn’t finish. I didn’t need to. We both know what happened.

“So you knew it was me?” He asked.

I nodded once more. “I knew it was you as soon as I saw you at Open House.” I pause to swallow, hating how dry and tight my throat is. “I’m guessing you knew right on sight too?”

A small smile tugs at his lips and he nods. “Yeah. You’ve kinda…” he rubs his neck and chuckles nervously, “You’ve kinda been haunting my dreams.”

My eyes widened. “Really?”

“Yeah,” Jack nervously chuckles again and removes his hand from his neck to his lap, “I only remembered how you looked as a kid though. I tried imagining you older, but it didn’t quite look right in my mind. But as soon as I saw you during Open House...I just knew it was you.”

When he stopped talking to let me speak, I found myself blushing at the words that escaped my mouth. “I’ve dreamt about you too.” I wasn’t sure about him, but my mind went straight to the gutter. Not the perverted gutter, but the lovey-dovey gutter. He better not have interpreted it that way like I had. Before I could even see his reaction I quickly kept talking. “But...uh...anyway. Rapunzel never told me about being friends with you or about you attending the school. A part of me, however, always knew despite there being a chance that you wouldn’t be there. That’s why I wasn’t all that surprised to see you. I was surprised, but not entirely. Deep down I was expecting you.”

This time there was no nervousness in his chuckle. “Well, I hate to break it to you, but I was not at all expecting you.” I softly laugh at this as he goes on. “For as long as I’ve known your cousin, Rapunzel has never mentioned you to me. Well, I mean, she would talk about you and Anna from time to time, but she never told me that the three of you were there that night.” He pauses to sigh and lean back against the tree. He crosses his arms and legs and shakes his head. “She never told me that it was you I had helped, or that it was Anna who my dad had saved. I can’t believe she didn’t say anything. Unless she didn’t remember me like how I didn’t remember her. I mean, I remember there being other kids, but I don’t remember them as clearly as I did you. It didn’t click that she was one of the people there until I finally came out of my short denial and accepted the fact that you’re the girl from my past and her cousin.”

So he was in short denial too, huh? For how long? My denial only lasted for a few seconds before I accepted everything. Actually, I still don’t accept it. Even now, after a whole month of attending school with him, it’s still so very surreal.

I shook my head at his thought. “No, she remembered you. She told me she knew it was you as soon as she saw you, and it’s like I said earlier; she didn’t tell me you’d be here either. Don’t be too upset with her. She didn’t know what to do and was just doing what she thought was the best choice.”

“Yeah, but you said deep down a part of you knew I’d be here,” Jack reasoned, “I, on the other hand, didn’t have any clue whatsoever.”

“If you knew as soon as you saw me or highly suspected me,” I began, “then why didn’t you ask Rapunzel for confirmation once you found out we were related?”

Jack shrugs. “Multiple reasons. I didn’t want her to turn it into a big deal. I didn’t want her to tell you about me in case you didn’t know about me. In case she didn’t know about me, I didn’t want her to freak out. Etc, etc. Mainly though, I was waiting for you to come to me. After a while, your weird, silent, awkward behavior around me was enough proof for me to know that you knew or suspected me.”

“Did you ever consider that perhaps I acted that way because--”

“Because you don’t know how to act around insanely hot boys?” Jack interrupts, sending me a wink that made my face heat up.

“I don’t like boys--” I nearly laughed out loud when his eyes widened in surprise “--I like men.”

Jack tilted his head back and laughed loudly. I nearly laughed too, but I felt a little embarrassed when some nearby people noticed. Moana, who was still in the lake, was one of the people who heard him, and when I caught her eye, she grins at me. It looked smug, but I was probably seeing things. She is a distance away and it’s really dark outside despite the lights; Eret has Christmas lights in all of his trees near the house, and they’re really dim. They’ll probably die by the time Christmas actually arrives.

I turn away from Moana’s gaze right as Jack says, “I was not expecting that response. Anyway,” he breathes out one more laugh, “what were you saying?”

“Um…” I totally lost focused, taken aback by my witty comment that slipped out without me having any control, and breathed out a laugh as well. “What I was trying to say was: Did you ever consider that perhaps I acted that way because that’s just how I am with people?”

Jack smirks and shakes his head. “Nah, I like the idea of you being awkward around me due to my hotness. I bet you never expected 12 year old me would get this sexy, huh?”

I laughed again, but this time in disbelief. Is he serious right now? This is supposed to be a serious conversation. “No comment.”

He nudges me and the playful seemed to spark even more in his eyes. “Don’t lie, don’t deny. I’ll take your ‘no comment’ as a ‘yes’ though.” He chuckles one more time and shakes his head before he releases a long sigh. “This is just...too unbelievable. I can’t believe that the girl from my past and who has been on my mind for all these years is actually attending my school and is a cousin to one of my friends. I mean, it's gotta be fate right?"

I nodded in agreement. “Indeed."

“So why didn’t you come to me if you knew?” He asked, more seriously. “Was it because you thought I wouldn’t know?”

“Well, it was that, but it was also mainly because of the opposite,” I explained, finding it easier to look him in the eyes longer, “I was afraid you’d remember and I didn’t have any idea on how to confront you about it. I honestly thought it would just be best to not do anything at all. I was...waiting for you just as you were waiting for me.”

“Well, it’s a good thing I got tired of waiting and finally confronted you,” the smile he gives me is small, but genuine, “If not, then we’d still be waiting for each other, which would lead to this conversation to never come to be. We’d continue to ignore each other, and I don’t know about you, but I’m really glad we’re finally getting everything out and off of our chests.”

“Yeah,” I say, nodding, “It’s starting to feel...pretty good actually.” And it baffled me. There’s still so much to be said, but so far I already feel better. I think it’s because his playful attitude so far is really helping me settle with the fact that this is even happening. “And now that we have that out of the way," I continue, trying to sound optimistic like my sister. "I'm one of the girls from the pond. The one you helped move to land so I wouldn't fall through the ice."

"And I'm the boy that helped you." Jack says, taking me off guard when he suddenly extended his hand out for me to shake. "The name's Frost. Jackson Frost. You can just call me Jack. It's a pleasure to meet you."

I look at his hand and then back up at him. "Um....what are you--"

"I'm trying to shake your hand and properly introduce myself," Jack interrupts, chuckling. "A new introduction is very much needed, and don't worry, I don't bite."

The mischievous look he gave me made me blush, and the wink he just sent made me blush even more. I hesitantly lifted my hand to shake with his, but as soon as my hand touched his, my memories took me back to the first time I met him in the hallway. We had shocked each other when our hands accidentally touched; I had jerked away so fast that I didn’t get to feel the softness of his skin, which is really freaking soft.

"It's a pleasure to meet you too, Jack,” I say as we shook hands, “I'm Elsa Arendelle. You can call me Elsa. Now, I do believe you have some more questions? Surely there’s got to be more besides my identity." Because as much as I like that we're actually talking, I'd really like to get this sensitive topic completely over with.

"I do." He said, then paused, taking a deep breath. "What were you doing out on the pond that night? Where were your parents?"

I knew even before he asked his questions that I wasn't going to like them, and now actually hearing them just proves that. A sigh escaped my lips before answering. "Okay, here's what happened."

I told him everything. I went down memory lane, and turned my memories into spoken words. My voice cracked on certain parts, and I fought back to urge to cry. While no tears fell, they did form. Jack had stayed silent the entire time, and because I had avoided his gaze I was left unsure of what emotion he portrayed on his face.

"Okay, so let me see if I have this all together," says Jack after I was done speaking. "You, Anna, Rapunzel, and Olaf were attending your aunt and uncle's Christmas party, but they were bored and basically forced you to take them out into the woods to explore. You couldn't say no to them. Upon doing so, you came across the pond and stupidly decided to play on it. You asked to spin Anna, accidentally let her go, she hit her head, the ice broke, and then she fell." He stopped so I could answer.

"Yes," I say, quietly as the guilt took over. My head was hung low, still avoiding his gaze. "And then your father came to her rescue. And Jack," I finally looked back at him this time, and without thinking, I boldly took his hands and held them in mine. "I will be forever grateful for his sacrifice. No words can express how grateful I'll forever be."

Jack was avoiding my gaze now and was looking down at his hands, the hands that I was still holding. Instead of jerking my hands away as if they were being burned, I slowly removed them, so he wouldn't think I was embarrassed or something, which I totally am.

When Jack didn't speak, I spoke up again. "My whole family will forever think of your father as a hero. Anna would too, if she remembered."

That got Jack's attention and he snapped his head back up to meet my gaze so fast that it honestly looked like it hurt. "If she remembered? What do you mean by that?"

"Anna suffered minor amnesia from hitting her head on the ice." I answered, finding it extra hard to talk now. "She doesn't remember what happened to her that night or what happened the previous days. Nothing more than that.”

"So she doesn't know what happened to my father?" Jack asked, incredulously, making me wince. "Even now? After six years?" He sounded pissed, causing my guilt to instantly grow.

My throat felt even tighter, my stomach twisted, and I felt uncomfortable under his stare. I guess the playfulness is gone now. He’s finally serious. The conversation is taking the turn I had expected it to, and now I feel sicker than a rat. “No. Even now she still doesn’t know. My parents wanted everyone to keep it a secret. They didn't want to overwhelm her or make her feel guilty. God," my voice cracked again, and tears suddenly started to fill my eyes, "If anyone feels guilty it's me, Jack. It's all my fault. I--" I had to stop myself before I went into a full on crying fit. I blinked them away and forced myself to quickly stop. None of them have fallen yet and there's no way that they're going to with Jack right here. I'm not going to let him see me cry.

Conceal don't feel. Conceal don't feel.

"Elsa, what happened wasn't your fault." Jack assured me, placing a hand on my shoulder, but I'm certain he's just saying that to comfort me. Genuine or not, it still surprised me. He’s supposed to be angry. Why isn’t he angry? Or perhaps he is, and is just not showing it?

"Besides, it's my fault." He said, removing his hand, and surprising me again. Why on earth would he think it would be his fault? "I told him to follow you that night.”

My breathing came to a halt, stopping in my throat, which nearly sent me choking, and my eyes popped out of their sockets. My jaw was slightly agape and everything else seemed to have just stopped altogether. What did he just say? “You...what? I don’t understand.”

Jack shook his head. “Of course you wouldn’t. You never noticed me. Well, you sort of did, but I was in a disguise. You never noticed the real me, but I...well...I noticed you right away. I was 10 when I first saw you at your aunt and uncle’s annual Christmas party, two years before...well before everything went to hell.” He pauses, waiting for me to say something and when I didn’t he continued.

“We were all in the kids’ area,” he explained, “and you were standing by yourself along the wall, watching a certain group of kids. You looked sad and lonely. I had wanted to talk to you, but you didn’t really seem up for a conversation, so I left you alone. I kept watching you though. There was just something about you that compelled me to just...keep looking, and yes,” he chuckles, “I know how creepy that sounds.”

I would have awkwardly smiled if I still wasn’t in so much shock. He’s known of me for two extra years?! He was a mere few feet away from me two years before our first official meeting. This just became even more unbelievable.

“But I did end up talking to you,” Jack goes on, “It was about two hours later. We had came back to the playroom after eating, and when I saw you standing by the wall again by yourself, I finally decided to put you out of your misery.”

I stopped him before he could go any further. “But Jack, I don’t remember you at all. Surely I would have--”

“Do you remember a boy who wore a thick ass coat that looked way bigger than him, almost like it was swallowing him, had his hair covered in a winter hat, and had his face covered with a scarf? All you could see were his eyes.”

And just like that, Jack’s description opened up memory lane, bringing forth the exact moment he’s talking about, a moment I had forgotten long ago. "Wait...oh my god,” I breathed out, “That was you?!”

I remember how his coat did in fact look like it was swallowing him, and how not a strand of hair was showing since it was all hidden under his hat, and how his eyes were all I was able to see of his face. I never did really get a good look of them though. I've always hated direct eye contact. I remember being completely weirded out by him, but also a little amused at how ridiculous he looked. Anna, Rapunzel, and Olaf were playing with the other snobby kids, and since I didn’t want to play with the rude kids I glued myself to the wall, watching them all play and making sure to stay alert in case one of them said or did anything rude to my sister, cousin, and friend. When Jack approached me, my attention was fully on him. I couldn’t exactly look away, not only because of how funny he looked, but also because it would have been rude to not talk back to him when he was so determined to talk with me.

We never exchanged names though.

“That was me,” Jack confirmed, laughing, “I figured talking to you would be easier for you if you didn’t have to see my face, so I snuck into the coat closet and grabbed what I needed for my disguise.”

“You snuck into the coat closet?” I asked, believing but also not believing a word he said. “You were really that determined to talk to me?”

Jack shrugs as if it was no big deal, but it felt like it to me. “Like I said, you looked sad and lonely. I wanted to change that.”

“And so you thought talking to me dressed as a coat monster was a good idea?” I questioned, giggling a little as I stared him down with raised eyebrows. “I was really concerned for not only me, but also you. I thought you were one of the extra weird kids.”

He flashed me a mischievous smile. “What makes you think I’m not anymore?” He asked. “Also playing dress up was never a talented gift of mine, so excuse me for looking horrid. That shit is hard to do. I do remember making you laugh and smile though.”

“Yeah,” I admittedly agreed, as the old memory played in my head, “now that you’ve brought the memory back I remember it too. This is a lot to progress. I can’t...I can’t believe that our paths crossed two years before the accident. Jack, we’ve known of each other for eight years. That’s two extra years from what I’ve always thought.”

Jack nods, causing me to notice the Christmas lights’ reflection in his hair. “Yeah, it’s crazy, but it makes sense as to why my father’s death is my fault and not yours.” I was about to protest, but he quickly kept going before I could even open my mouth. “I didn’t see you again until the next Christmas party a year later, but when I had arrived and found you, you were all smiles. I figured that you didn’t need me to cheer you up, so I left you alone, vowing to only make myself known to you only when you appeared upset. So...whenever I had the chance I would watch you. Again, I know how creepy it sounds and I apologize.”

“You seemed happy the entire time,” he continues, “so when it came to an end, you didn’t see me at all that night. I doubt you even remembered me, but I certainly remembered you.”

He’s right. By the time the next party had came, I didn’t remember him at all. I was busy with my life, specifically my skating, to remember him. It was just a moment that I had thought would never happen again. He was just a weird, but funny stranger who I thought I would never see again. He wasn’t...well...important enough for me to remember. However, the memory isn’t gone, so a part of me must have thought it was important enough to lock away.

“The party after that of the next year is when everything went down,” Jack goes on, his voice a little shaky, “I didn’t approach you because you didn’t need me to, but when I saw you leave with three other kids, I knew trouble was bound to happen. I saw you guys head into the woods, and that’s when I thought it would be a good idea to get my dad. We were way behind, but we followed your tracks until we came to the pond and...well you know the rest. Had I not told him about you guys leaving the party, had I not been a snitch, we wouldn't have gone and he'd still be alive. But your sister....she would have died." I saw tears in his eyes and I swear my heart shattered.

Oh my god, I was so worried about myself crying this entire time when really I should have been worried about him! I've never comforted a crying person before in my entire life, not even my sister or cousin before and after the accident. How am I supposed to comfort a crying teenage boy?

"I-I should have told my sister, cousin, and friend no. I guess....I guess we're both at fault," I say, hoping it somewhat comforted him. "Me more than you, of course."

"Has it ever occurred to you," Jack says, suddenly, "that maybe it was their fault?" I could hear the anger building up in his voice, and it made me stiffen.

"What?"

"I mean, they were the ones that wanted to go outside into the woods so badly, and it was this Olaf guy who got on the ice first, as you said. No offense, but I kinda blame them." He started to roughly pick at the grass, while I remained silent, contemplating his words.

The thought that everything was their fault never occurred to me. I just assumed that it was all me. I should have said no to them, and if I hadn't had spun Anna, I don't think anything bad would have happened. It was all my fault. Wasn't it? Or was it not? Was it really their fault all along? Who's idea was it anyway? Rapunzel's or Anna's? Olaf merely tagged along, but he did get on the ice first. If it was Anna's idea then she's the one at fault, right? It'd be the same if it was Rapunzel's. But I can't blame them, especially Anna. She was the one that got hurt. Besides, I'm already used to blaming myself. Blaming someone else is just....weird. I don't want anyone else to feel guilty. To feel what I'm feeling. I've endured this guilt for so long. I'm used to it. What's wrong with another 70 years?

"Why don't you blame me?" I asked, genuinely curious. "When you think about it, it really was all my fault."

"No it--"

"Yes it is!" I interrupt, feeling frustrated with him. "I spun Anna and accidentally let her go! She wouldn’t have gotten hurt if it wasn’t for me. How can you blame them and yourself, but not me?”

Jack looks at me once more, his hypnotic blue eyes staring at me for a few short moments, as if he was trying to figure out the answer for himself. He then let out a laugh. "I honestly don't know. I just...don’t feel okay blaming you. You already seem as though you blame yourself enough, more than anyone else probably ever has.”

“How about,” I start, hoping this would ease the both of us, “we agree that the blame isn’t on one person? Instead, it’s on all of us. You, me, Anna, Rapunzel, and Olaf. We are all to blame. But you know...I know I never knew your father, but I don’t think he’d blame any of us for even a millisecond.”

A soft smile tugs at Jack’s lips. “Yeah, you’re right about that.”

Silence finds us, and for once I welcomed it with open arms and stared out into my surroundings again. Moana and the other people in the lake were no longer swimming; in fact, the only people outside was Jack and myself. The night critters also accompanied us, but I doubt they were having a good time due to the loud music. I wonder if Anna’s having a blast. I hope Rapunzel is watching her. I still need to check the house for safety reasons, but despite the awkward atmosphere I don’t want to go yet. I feel like there’s still a little more to be said.

"Hey, this isn't going to affect your friendship with my sister and cousin right?" I asked him, worried that it would, as I brought my knees up to my chest to hug them. "They really like you and it would break them, especially Rapunzel.”

Jack shook his head. "Nah. Besides, they're both pretty cool chicks. Whether they're partially at fault for my father's death or not, I can't stay mad at them. They both remind me of my sister. Plus, it was my father's choice to save Anna. While I hate that he died, I'm glad he did what he did. It just proves how much of a great man he was. And Anna," he laughs. "She's pretty hilarious. She's reminds me of myself sometimes. I'm glad to be friends with her; the girl my father saved. Seeing her alive and bubbly as ever is proof that my father's sacrifice wasn't wasted."

I smiled. "His sacrifice will never be forgotten either."

“I just want to know if you'll ever tell her." He said, going back to the most sensitive section of the topic. "Are you really going to keep it a secret from her forever?"

I frowned as I fidgeted with my hands again. "I admit that Anna deserves to know the truth, but I think it should be my parents who tell her. They're the ones who wanted it to be kept a secret in the first place. I'm just...afraid."

"Of what?"

"Of what she'll think.” I answered. “We've kept it a secret from her for so long. If she finds out she's going to be pissed. We've slowly started to become closer again in the one month we’ve been here and I don't want to ruin what's slowly rekindling." I knew he'd be confused so I continued. "After the accident, I pushed her away because of my guilt. I thought that I was danger to her. When I finally realized how stupid that was it was already too late. We weren't as close and it was because of me. That right there was my fault. But now I have a question.”

"Shoot."

"Have you told anyone in your family about me, Anna, or Rapunzel?”

Jack nods. “Yeah, I told everyone in my family. Just about you though, and of course they didn’t believe me.”

“Would you mind if we kept it that way?” I asked, feeling guilty. I’m just adding on to the secrets. “I don’t want everyone to know that we were the girls from that night. It might change their perspective of us, and even it doesn't I don’t want to risk it.”

He nods in understanding. “Yeah, okay.” I wasn’t sure if he himself was actually okay with it though. “So who all in your family know about me?”

"Just Rapunzel." I replied. "Who knows what my aunt and uncle will do if I told them about you. Same for my parents. They'll probably invite you to dinner every day or send gifts to your family to show you their gratitude."

Jack laughed. "Hey both of those ideas sound great. I don't mind those at all, and I doubt my family would too."

I giggled. "You know, I was so worried about us confronting each other. I don't know how I honestly expected this conversation to go, but it definitely wasn't this. I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off of me."

"I know right?" Jack nods in agreement. "And to think we could have had this over with sometime during the first week of school."

"Better now than never, right?"

"Right. I feel like we really bonded too," he teased.

"Is that so?" I questioned, but silently agreed. I do feel like a connection was made. A small one, but still a connection nonetheless. It’s crazy to think that he’s not only the boy from the pond, but he’s also the mystery coat boy as well. He was right when he mentioned fate. What else could it possibly be? A coincidence? I think not.

"Most definitely." Jack answered. "It really helps me boost my ego too. I gained another friend today. One step closer to  even more popularity. I can't wait to tell mom."

We laughed at this, and it was then that I realized that the previous awkwardness and tension was just....gone. I don't know how or when it exactly vanished; it just...did. I didn't even know it was even possible. And this moment right here is proof of that. I...oh my god...I'm actually comfortable around him. Well, maybe not entirely, but definitely way more than before. And it's literally all just because we talked. Was it really that easy?

All of my internal panic attacks were for nothing. All the times avoiding him and worrying was just time wasted. Had I known that this would be the outcome, I would have spoken to him a lot sooner.

I hadn't realized that Jack and I were smiling at each other, saying nothing as we studied each other's faces, until another voice interrupts.

"Jack! There you are."

Jack and I both jump and turn our heads to see Tooth walking toward us. She had two red cups in her hands and a bright smile on her face. "I was looking all over for you." She gracefully sat down next to him. "Hello again, Elsa."

"Hi." I say, but kept it at that.

"I’ve been here,” Jack answered. “Enjoying the beauty of nature.” He turns his head to look at me. “And Elsa.”

I held back a laugh, but could not control my blush. Meanwhile Tooth rolled her eyes. "The nature part is total BS, but the Elsa part is understandable.” She looks over at me and smiles. “You’re a sight for sore eyes. Anyway, here's your drink, Jack. The one you told me to get while you ran off and left me.”

"It was a last second thing, and let me guess," Jack said as he took the red cup from her. "It's water." He looked inside and sighed in disappointment. "You had one job, Tooth."

"And you only have one set of adult teeth." She argued. "You have to take care of all 32 of them as if they were your children."

"That's a lot of children," Jack remarked.

"Alcohol, just like any other sugar drink, is bad for your teeth," Tooth continued, ignoring his comment.

"And your liver," I added, helping her out. I'm honestly glad someone else is wanting to stay sober.

"Exactly," Tooth agreed.

"Not you too, Elsa," Jack groaned, making Tooth and I giggle.

"Anyway," says Tooth. "What are you two doing out here? The party is inside and the lake is over there."

"Sitting down and talking can be just as fun, Tooth," Jack says, crossing his arms. "Not everyone is a party animal like you. Plus, Elsa and I really needed the bonding time. It was long overdue."

Tooth looked surprised while I was embarrassed. She's probably interpreting that in the wrong way just as I am. "Bonding time? Is that what you're calling it these days?" Tooth tried to hold back a smirk, and shook her head. My blush grew deeper. "I'm ashamed of you, Jack. You dirty, horny dog. What would your mother say?"

"She'd say 'That's my boy'," Jack said, trying to mimic his mother's voice, and burst into laughter. "Man, I'm too good."

"Elsa," Tooth says to me. "I am so sorry for him. Was he annoying you the entire time? I'll be sure to punish him."

"Oh you'd like that wouldn't you?" Jack teased, making Tooth blush hard and giggle.

"J-Jack, shut up! You're so nasty." Tooth gave him a shove, and shyly looked away. "And so embarrassing."

"He wasn't annoying me," I assured Tooth while Jack laughed.

"But if you still want to punish me then go right ahead," Jack said to Tooth, wiggling his eyebrows.

Was he always this flirtatious? How have I not noticed? Well, I do supposed that's because I've always tried not to focus on him. He already clouded my mind way before I saw him at open house. After that moment, I always fought hard to get him out of my head. It was always difficult since I had classes with him. Focusing on how he acted and what his personality was would not have helped me get him out of my head at all. I wonder if he'll still cloud my mind now that we've finally spoken to each other about everything.

"Like I said, Elsa," Tooth said once again. "I am so so sorry. Anyway, do you guys want to go back inside and dance?"

"I guess a bit of movement would do me good," Jack says then turns to me. "What do you think, Elsa?"

I shook my head. "No thanks. I don't dance." I'm still trying to recover from our long conversation.

"Oh come on," Tooth urged. "At least come back inside. Maybe you'll be in the dancing mood once you see everyone dancing, and if not I promise that watching everyone dance like fools is just as fun. Plus, I don't want to leave you out here alone. Please?"

The way she was looking at me with hopeful eyes, eyes that reminded me of my sister and cousin, made me give in. And seeing people dance like fools didn't sound too bad. I could definitely use a distraction. "Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt."

Jack stood up before Tooth and I could and extended both of his hands out for me and Tooth to take. "Alright then let's get going." He said.

"Ever the gentleman," Tooth teased as we both took his hand.

When we got to our feet, I immediately let go of his hand, but Tooth kept holding on.

"Oh Jack," she said in a playful voice. "If you wanted to hold my hand so badly all you had to do was ask."

Jack rolled his eyes as a smirk formed on his lips. "And you call me a flirt? I think I'm rubbing off on you. Elsa, I'm am so so sorry for her horrid behavior."

I giggled and as we walked back inside, I couldn't help but wonder: what now? 

Chapter Text

Rapunzel's POV

I could hardly move. My stomach was stuffed with nearly everything Eret had set out and I was afraid that if I moved I'd end up throwing it all up. People would probably blame the alcohol that I'm pretending to drink. It's really water, but they don't know that, except for Anna. I made sure she got some too. Elsa, their parents, and my parents would kill me if I let Anna drink alcohol. Lucky for them, I'd never let that happen. They're also lucky that Anna is smarter than that.

I just wish she was smart enough to know that her sister truly does, with all her heart, love her.

“I don't know,” she had told me as we got our food earlier, “I definitely feel that things are finally, but slowly changing between Elsa and I for the better, and I'm so happy about that, but I feel like she doesn't trust me. Do I really look like I'd drink or do drugs? Our parents and yours, especially your father, have told us the dangers of drinking and doing drugs so many times that I can quote them word for word backwards.

“Well, Anna,” I had said, being completely honest with her. “Can you really blame her? You're a very curious person and you're 15. Curious teenagers are sometimes easily persuaded, peer pressure can really get to you. She's just worried. It means she cares and is doing her job as your older sister. This is after all both yours and hers first high school party. Crazy things can happen.”

“I know, I know,” Anna had replied, sighing. “But still.” She then smiles, brightly. “It is nice though. Seeing her worry. Knowing that she cares.”

“She's always cared,” I had said, making sure she knew. I didn't like how she made it seem that Elsa never cared for her. However, I know that's how she sees it because of Elsa shutting herself out. I would have thought the same if I was in Anna’s shoes.

“She had a weird way of showing it,” Anna had replied under her breath, but I heard it perfectly clear.

Instead of responding, I had said nothing--I didn't know what to say--gathered the rest of my food on my plate, and led Anna to a place to eat. The only available place to eat was on the top second floor, which is the designated eating area. No eating whatsoever on the first floor. Drinking and dancing is allowed though. Eret has always made it that way. People dance on the second floor too, but it's not as many. Other than eating and dancing, the second floor is also the designated gaming area. It's like an arcade.

Astrid and Merida were playing Mario Kart when Anna and I had made it upstairs, and of course the two of them released many curse words at each other as they competed. A small crowd was around the couch they sat in, Hiccup and Kristoff included, watching intensely, and the money that I saw in the hands of the multiple individuals who were watching told me that there was even an actual bet going on.

Watching them and eating was what Anna and I did for the next 30 or so minutes, and as I mentioned earlier, I can hardly move.

But of course, my bladder had other plans.

“Be right back,” I tell Anna, who was watching the race between our two friends so intensely that I don't think I even saw her blink.

“Oki doki,” she says, still not looking at me and I left without another word.

The master bedroom is the only bedroom that has a bathroom built inside the room, so I don't have to use either of the two extra bathrooms that probably have long lines due to drunkies, druggies, or lusties occupying them. However, the problem that I'm currently seeing right now as I walk passed it to find Eret’s key, which is hidden in the plant he has at the end of the hall, is that the door to the master bedroom is creaked open. It's supposed to be closed shut. Few people know where Eret hides his key, so either he's in the room right now or someone else is.

And of course, me being nosy, I have to investigate.

What I did not expect to see was the infamous Flynn Rider talking to someone on the phone in a hushed tone and rummaging through Eret’s stuff. Or rather, his father’s stuff.

“I'm telling you guys,” I hear him say once I peeked my head further inside, “there's nothing here that's valuable.” He pauses to hear their response. “Yes, I'm sure. Unless you want some shitty--” I didn't realize he was turning around until it was too late. Our eyes connected and he jumps. “--Jesus Fucking Christ!!”

I jumped too and squealed before taking off, running downstairs to lose myself in the crowd. Oh my god oh my god oh my god!

“Hey, wait!” I hear him call out to me, but I kept going, picking up speed, too embarrassed to face him. I mean, not only did he catch me eavesdropping but I had also squealed and took off running like a fool. Can't stop now. I'm not even going to look back to see if he's chasing after me, which he's probably not, but I'm not going to risk it. It would just slow me down.

Leave it to me to make a fool of myself in front of one of the hottest guys in school. My first and only crush. Ugh what's wrong with me?

My nervousness made my urge to pee increase and I had to walk funny in order to contain it.

I ignored my bladder and the rapid pounding of my heart the best I could and kept my focus mainly on my speed walking. Last thing I want is to pull an Anna or Hiccup and fall in front of everyone. Although they'd probably be too drunk to notice.

I pushed past everyone and made it to the kitchen, which I knew would be empty since that's another one of Eret’s rules. One time his entire refrigerator was raided, leaving no food but one hell of a mess. That's why he goes big on the snack bar.

There's no door to the kitchen, but he does have caution tape blocking the doorway. I easily slipped through the open space, and walked over to the island countertop. I tried to calm down my heart, but it went into another fit when the frying pans above me gently hit each other due to the breeze that came from outside. The window by the sink was open, so without a further thought, I took the frying pans off their hooks, keeping the last one in my hand because I had grown impatient, and stalked to the window. I set the pan beside me and tried to shut the window.

It wouldn't budge at all, but my struggling came to a complete halt when I saw a very surprising sight outside. Sitting down by one if the trees near the lake was Jack and Elsa. They were sitting together… alone. Well, they were alone until I noticed Tooth walking toward them. Is she just now joining in or has she been with them the entire time? I hope it was just the two of them. Tooth or no Tooth, they were talking and oh my god I never thought I'd see the day where they'd talk one on one or sit so close together. I wonder what they're talking about.

My eyes suddenly widen and I gasped.

Oh my god oh my god oh my god! Did he finally go to her to speak about that night? Oh my god Elsa must be freaking out!

“Need some help there?” A voice says from behind me.

I screamed and before I could even properly think, I quickly grabbed the frying pan, swiftly twirled around, and hit whoever it was behind me. It wasn't until his body hit the ground that I realized it was Flynn who I had hit.

Oh my god...OH MY GOD!

“Oh my god! Flynn!” I dropped the pan from shock, wincing at its loud bang when it hit the floor, and dropped to his side.

He landed on his stomach and was unresponsive. No noise or movement came from him. Not even when I rolled him over to get a better look at him. “Flynn! Flynn wake up,” I gently tap his face but all I received was silence. My heart beat increased by the second and I was finding it hard to breathe. “Flynn please,” I begged, my voice in a full on panic. “Oh my god, I killed him. Flynn! Flynn wake up! Please stop messing with me! Don't be dead”

I stopped being gentle and slapped him so hard that my own face hurt. It hurt more than my stinging hand. When that didn't work, I let out a dry sob, and stood up, stepping away from his body, and looking down at him through tearful eyes.

I had told Anna that crazy things can happen at high school parties; I never expected murder to be on the list. I don't drink, never have, but now I could seriously go for one.

I can't believe I did this. I killed him. I killed my crush. But wait...where's the blood? Well, death doesn't always have to be bloody. Maybe his head is internally bleeding. Ugh but that's no better!

What am I going to do? I just murdered someone! I'm a criminal! I don't want to go to prison, but...but it's what I deserve. I'm not going to be that rich white girl who's going to get away with murder. But what do I do with his body? Do I just leave it here or--

“Hey, Punzie!” Jack’s voice reaches my ears and I scream again. I whirl around and see him, Tooth, and Elsa looking through the open window with wide eyes. “Whoa sorry. Didn't mean to scare you. Wait, are you crying?”

Before I could answer, Elsa says: “Rapunzel what's wrong? Are you okay? Did something happen?” Worry was heard and seen in her voice and face, and it only made me feel worse. She already feels responsible for the death of Jack’s father; I don't want to drag her into this, into another accidental death.

“Y-Yeah,” I stammered out as I wiped my tears away. I forced a smile and noticed that they couldn't see Flynn over the sink. “I-I accidentally poked my right eye, but the left decided to act up too. I'm good though.”

I knew they didn't believe me. Not only was my lie totally lame, but my voice's pitch was high, I was  avoiding eye contact, and tugging at my hair, which probably gave it away that I'm lying if the other two didn't.

The three of them gave me skeptical, unamused looks. I don't even know why I bothered to lie, and just as I was about to burst out the truth, Tooth says: “We're your friends, Zel. You can tell us anything.”

“Yeah,” Jack took over, “Unlock the kitchen door and let's find some ice cream that I know Eret has hidden in the freezer. He keeps saying he doesn't have any, but I know he does. Damn liar.”

Tooth lightly laughs as Elsa asked, “I'm guessing you're a kitchen raider?” Her question was serious but also playful. She looked...almost comfortable. Not completely, she still looked a bit tense, which is probably my fault since she caught me crying and most likely knows I'm lying, but she looks more comfortable than what she usually is around Jack.

“Oh Snowflake,” Jack starts, his tone a bit flirty, “I'm the whole reason why he has the caution tape blocking the kitchen entrance.” He points over to the doorway and when Elsa sees it she looks surprised.

“Oh my.” Was all she said.

Wait, hold on. Did he just call her Snowflake? He only gives nicknames to his friends. Oh my god, he considers her a friend now! Yes!! I so need to know everything that they talked about!

I then remembered Flynn’s body. Lying to them will be pointless. If they miraculously don't find out now, they'd find out later anyway. I might as well come clean. At least this way they can help me move him to a bed. I don't care if we're not supposed to move the body; dead or not, the floor does not look comfortable at all.

I released a shaky, heavy sigh, and said, “I'm barely holding it together, so please don't freak out.” I looked at Elsa, specifically talking to her, and of course telling her to not freak out did the opposite.

“Start talking,” she says, eyes filled with more worry, “Is it about Anna? What happened? What--”

“I murdered Flynn!” I quickly blurt out before she could ramble on.

Elsa was the only one who reacted the way I expected. She widens her eyes and yells out: “WHAT?!”

Tooth merely shoots me a confused look, while Jack burst into a laughing fit. “Well it's about time,” he says, jokingly. “He had it coming. I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner. I'm also surprised Astrid or Merida didn't do it. Good job, Punzie.”

I know he was joking and that he couldn't see the body of one of his best guy friends, but I couldn't help but burst into tears. “This isn't a joke, Jackson!” I snapped, using his full name, which I only do when I'm being dead serious. Pun intended.

I continued speaking through my tears to explain what happened since I knew they were going to ask questions anyway on how it happened. Might as well get it out of the way “I-I had to go to the bathroom so I went to use the one in the Master Bedroom. Flynn was inside, but he was going through Eret’s stuff and was talking to someone on his phone. He saw me, so I took off, trying to lose him. I come to the kitchen to catch my breath, thinking that I was good. However, he snuck up on me, which ended up with me hitting him in the head with a frying pan.”

Tooth and Jack’s expressions now mirrored my cousin's, believing me now, and I swear Elsa and Jack’s pale skin became even paler.

“Holy shit,” Jack starts as he runs a hand through his hair. “You're fucking serious.”

“Of course I am!” I exclaimed, not meaning to be so sharp. “Why would I joke around like this? Only you would pull a prank like this.”

“Is…” Tooth starts, gulping. “Is there blood?”

I shook my head. “No.”

“Did you even check to see if he's breathing or has a pulse?” Elsa asked, eyes still wide and full of panic. “He could still be alive just unconscious, and if that's the case we need to get him to the hospital now!”

I was silent for two heartbeats, drinking in the knowledge of her words. I mentally scolded myself for not doing either. No, instead I slapped him.

“Uh...One moment please.” I finally say, a bit embarrassed, but also very hopeful. I dropped to Flynn’s side again, grabbed one of his wrists, and felt around for a pulse. After a moment, I finally found it. I breathed out a sigh of relief mixed with a laugh. “He's alive!” I exclaimed as I kept my gaze on Flynn’s very handsome face.

My vision became blurry again due to happy, relieved tears filling my eyes, and as I blinked them away so they wouldn't fall, Jack’s voice reaches my ears: “Quickly unlock the door and we'll help carry him to one of Eret’s spare rooms.”

I rushed to my feet and unlocked the kitchen door. When the three of them were inside, they took no hesitation in helping me pick Flynn up off the floor. I was on one side of Flynn, tucked under his arm, while Jack was on the other side. Tooth stood in front of us, leading the way, and Elsa stood behind us; it was like the two of them were guarding us.

Surprisingly, and luckily, everyone was too distracted to notice us as we walked by. I had nearly dropped Flynn in the middle of the dance floor, and twice up the stairs, but we eventually got him to the Master Bedroom in one piece.

Unfortunately, inside the room was the party’s host. Eret was currently putting his socks back inside the drawer that I saw Flynn going through earlier, muttering angry curse words, and upon seeing us he sighs in disappointment. “Put the drunken bastard in a different room. I'm a bit busy right now picking up the mess some asshole left in my dad’s room.”

“Sorry, but no,” Jack replied as he starts to lead us towards the bed, “We're already here and a dead body is heavier than an unconscious one.”

“WHAT?!” Eret exclaimed, his voice cracking and his eyes full of worry. “What the fuck do you mean dead?! Flynn's dead?! What--”

“Punzie killed him,” Jack went on, sending me a wink. I rolled my eyes and said nothing as I helped him set Flynn down in the bed.

“He's joking, Eret,” Tooth assures him. “If Flynn was really dead there's no way any of us would be calm, especially Jack. The bromance is strong between them.”

“The bromance is strong between all of my boys and I,” Jack corrected as he walks away from the bed towards Eret and wraps an arm around his shoulders. “Right, Erect?”

Eret shoves Jack off, not even the littlest bit amused. “How many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me that?”

“As many times as you’d like,” Jack replies, smugly. “It's not going to stop me though so you’d just be wasting your time.”

“Whatever,” Eret rolls his eyes and leans against the dresser, “So what happened to him?”

Jack, Elsa, and Tooth all turn their eyes on me, which makes Eret do it to. I blushed under their stares and nervously chuckle. “I caught him going through your stuff in here, ran away to the kitchen, and hit him with a frying pan when he scared me.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Eret says as he lifts his hand to point to his unconscious friend on the bed. “You mean to tell me it was him who made the mess in here?”

I nod. “Yeah. He was talking to someone on his phone too.”

“That son of a bitch,” Eret growled. “Every time I have a party here something always ends up missing. I never thought he’d be the thief. Good thing my parties are always here and not at my actual house.”

“Wait hold on,” I jump in before anyone else could, “We don't know if he was stealing. You can't just assume that he’s the thief just because you’ve had items stolen from you before.”

Eret scoffs. “Are you serious right now? Rapunzel, you literally just said that he went through my stuff! Honestly, you knocking him out is his karma, and when he wakes up I’m going to do it again.”

“You will absolutely do no such thing,” I said, sternly, as I went to sit beside Flynn on the bed in a protective manner. I sent a glare towards Eret and said, “You guys are friends, so when he wakes up you’re going to talk to him. No violence whatsoever.”

Eret scowls and groans. “Ugh, fine. But if I find out that he was stealing and has been the one doing it this entire time, I won’t hesitate to knock him out again.”

“I still think we need to take him to the hospital,” Elsa spoke up, her voice soft but audible. “He could have a concussion or a cracked skull or something. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

“I agree,” Jack says, “If he has something major he could die any second now. Wouldn’t want someone dying at your own party, would you Eret?”

“You do realize that I’d be the one getting investigated right?” I say to him, feeling sick to my stomach again at the possibility of Flynn dying because of me. “I am the one who hit him after all.”

“Oh yeah. Oops,” he says, chuckling. “I really don’t think he’s dying or has any serious injuries though,” he assures me, “but it’s as Elsa said: Better to be safe than sorry.”

Eret, to my surprise, shakes his head. “No way man. I can’t bring the ambulance out here. If they come, so will the cops, and everyone will freak out, and I’ll probably go to jail, and then my dad will be pissed and--”

“Are you serious?!” I snapped, angry and in complete disbelief. “He’s your friend, Eret! Do you know how selfish you sound? I was so ready to go to prison for murdering someone, and here you are freaking out because you might go to jail over your party . I think your party will be the least of the cops’ worries. I’m the only one who should be worried for themself. You don’t get to be worried for yourself. You can only be worried for Flynn, but since you’re going to throw a fit, I’m going to need each of you to get a glass of water--”

“What--” Eret began, trying to interrupt me, but I wasn’t having it.

“Now, Eret!” I yelled, annoyed and full of panic. “We’re wasting time, so if you don’t want the ambulance out here then you better get me some water.”

“Yes ma’am,” he said and hurried out the door.

Jack chuckles as he and Tooth follow after him. “I can’t believe any of this is happening. I’m never going to let Flynn live this down.”

“You gonna record him getting water thrown on him?” Tooth asked.

“Duh! Of course.” His eyes then gaze beside me to where Elsa stood. “You coming, Snowflake?”

I turn my head and see her nod. “Yeah, I just need to talk to my cousin for a moment.”

I turn my head back to Jack and see a knowing look in his eyes; as though he knew exactly what she was going to tell me. That’s when it clicked for me. She’s going to tell me what they talked about outside. Is right now the best time though? I mean, we have an unconscious, probably nearly dead, guy right in front of us.

“Alrighty then. Come one, Tooth,” he walks out with Tooth and the two of them disappear around the corner.

As soon as they left Elsa said, “Eret is aware that the ambulance doesn’t have to come here right? I literally said that we need to take Flynn to the hospital.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “If I didn’t get so riled up just then I would’ve thought back on what you said and already have Flynn in Jack’s car, especially since we’re going to have to take him to the hospital anyway even if he wakes up to make sure there isn’t anything seriously wrong.”

“At least this way, you get to ruin the bedding,” she says, giggling softly. “Call it Eret’s karma for being kind of rude.” She sat down next to me and for a brief moment the two of us sat in silence as we both watched Flynn’s unconscious form, watching for any signs of movement.

However, I knew she was more focused on the conversation she had with Jack and was silently debating on whether it’s a good idea to bring it up. She may not believe it, but I know her very very well despite her shutting me out. I don’t doubt for a second that it’s not what she’s thinking about. So, of course, I helped her out by bringing it up first.

“I saw you outside with Jack,” I start, slow and low in case the others suddenly barged in, “Did you guys finally talk about that night?”

She nods and laughs in disbelief. “I must be going crazy,” she says as she shook her head, “I mean, it all just...it was just so easy. Well, not too easy, but way easier than what I was expecting. It doesn’t seem real. It actually feels like a dream.” She glanced at Flynn one more time and added, “This situation included. My plan was to watch people dance and try to conjure up the courage to join them, not to watch over an unconscious classmate.”

“Well hopefully he won’t be unconscious for long,” I said, sighing tiredly as I boldly reached out to move a strand of Flynn’s hair out of his face. My fingers lingered on the skin of his cheek, sneaking up towards his ear, and tracing the outline of it. I ended up fully cupping his cheek in my hand, and took the opportunity to just study every ounce of detail that was displayed on his peaceful, unconscious, and devilishly handsome face.

I let out a dreamy sigh and was suddenly snapped back into reality when I heard Elsa’s forced ‘ahem’. I jerk my hand back, eyes wide, heart racing, and quickly say, “Anyway, you must tell me everything that went down between you and Jack. Every single detail. Not now though, but later when you’d like.”

To my surprise she was smirking at me, looking oh so very smug. “I will if you tell me about your crush on Flynn.”

“WHAT?!” I exclaimed and nearly choked on my own spit. “That’s absurd! Why would you...what made you think...Have you been drinking?” I know she wasn’t, but I couldn’t think of the right words to say. I know that my crush is real, but I haven’t confirmed it out loud yet. Not to myself (although I know I don’t need to) or to anyone else. It’s so embarrassing; I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having a crush on someone, even when they’re out of your league, but Flynn...he is so way out of my league. There’s no way he’d ever go an innocent for a girl like me.

Ugh why do the good girls have to fall for the bad boys?

Elsa rolls her eyes. “You know I haven’t, but I won’t pry if you’re uncomfortable.”

Before I could say or even think of what to say, Eret and the others suddenly walk back inside with large pitchers of water.

“Eret, I said a cup of water. Not a giant pitcher,” I tell him, not hiding my amusement. “Whatever it doesn’t matter.” I stand up and take the pitcher from him. I then turn around to face Flynn, but noticed that Jack and Tooth stood by my side with their pitchers ready too. “Um...I think one will be enough.”

Jack pouts. “Oh come on, Zel. Let me have this. Here Elsa,” he carefully dug into his jean pocket to retrieve is phone, “Take a video.” He hands the phone to her and she awkwardly takes it.

“Um...okay,” she said, still unsure. She tapped the screen a few times, most definitely going to the camera, and said, “Ready.”

“Alright. On three,” I say, “I...2...3!” Tooth, Jack, and I dumped the water right on Flynn’s face and much to mine and everyone’s relief he jumps awake, coughing up a storm.

“What the hell?!” He exclaimed through his coughs. When he’s done coughing and groaning and rubbing at his eyes, he finally looks at us and says: “Um...did I miss something?”

Jack laughs. “Well you certainly didn’t miss the frying pan that hit you.” I couldn’t help but smack his arm.

“What…” Flynn starts before he suddenly pauses. Realization flashes through his eyes and I was already blushing before he even looked at me. “Oh yeah! Damn, Blondie, did you really hit me hard enough that I actually blacked out?”

“We wouldn’t be where we are now otherwise,” says Tooth. “How’s your head?”

“Yeah,” I quickly jump in, “How are you feeling? Are you in any pain? If not, we still need to take you to the hospital to get you checked out just in case you have a concussion. No ambulance required.” The last part was for Eret, who I shot a look at, but he was too busy glaring at his reawakened friend.

“No!” Flynn exclaimed, making me jump. He shook his head and winces. “Damn that hurt.”

“Which is why we need to take you in,” I reasoned with him, feeling bad that I’m the cause of the pain he feels.

“I said no, Blondie,” he stubbornly replies. “If I go to the hospital they’ll contact Mildred and Hattie, which will get me into a shit load of trouble.”

“Who’s Mildred and Hattie?” I asked.

“The leading orphanage ladies at my, well...orphanage.” He answers, looking away and appearing to be a bit embarrassed. Is he ashamed of himself for being an orphan? That’s so sad.

I took his hands in mind without thinking, but kept holding them even after I became aware of what I did. His hand felt stiff, probably from shock because I was holding them, and he looked at me in confusion and surprise. “Flynn,” I started, gently but stern, “I promise they won’t find out. A friend of mine has a mom who’s a doctor. We’ll request to see her and have her privately examine you.”

“How do you know? Have you been in this type of situation before where you’ve had to see her?” Elsa asked, astonished. “Is that even legal?”

And of course, her questioning didn’t persuade Flynn as I hoped it would. “Yeah,” he said, “How do you know that--”

“She came to the school last year to give a presentation to people wanting a medical career,” I interrupt, feeling a bit anxious that our time is running out due to his stubbornness, “She said if we ever needed someone to talk to privately that she would always be there to help. She’s also a good friend of my mom and is an excellent side artist. I have a few of her paintings actually.”

Flynn rolls his eyes. “Blondie, I’m pretty sure that--”

“You can’t be sure of anything if you have a concussion,” I snapped, interrupting him again, and finally on my last nerve. “Now will you just shut up and let us help you? It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

His eyes go wide. I think everyone’s did actually. “Okay, okay. Damn,” he said, groaning in defeat, “I didn’t know you were the bossy type.”

I smirked in triumph. “There’s a lot you don’t know about me, but you can apologize for that later.”

“Apologize--” Flynn starts, but I cut him off again when I turned to Jack.

“Care to take us to the hospital?” I asked him, and he merely shrugs in response.

“I mean, not really, but I guess if you really need me to I will,” Jack said, teasingly, then turned to Elsa. “Did you get the video?” She nods and hands him his phone. He takes it and looks at the screen. “Awesome! You even got my good side. Shall I play it now?”

“Wait, video?!” Flynn exclaimed. “You took a video?”

Jack shakes his head. “I didn’t,” he points to Elsa, “She did.” He laughs at her agaped reaction.

“Only because you told me to,” Elsa replied, defending herself.

“Listen here, Platinum,” Flynn said, seriously, “When Jack tells you to do something, never ever do it.”

Jack scoffs. “Pah-lease,” he said, “you’re making it sound like I do idiotic things every day.”

“You do,” I say in unison with Flynn, Eret, and Tooth.

Jack rolls his eyes and says, “Whatever. You guys are just jealous. Now am I taking him to the hospital or not?”

“Yes,” I say at the same time Flynn says, “No.”

“Flynn!” My hands itched with the temptation to hit him again with the frying pan. “You literally just agreed to go.”

“Well, I changed my mind,” Flynn retorts, causing me to glare my hardest glare ever.

“Elsa,” I say, not taking my eyes off of my stubbornly handsome crush, “Get the pan.”

Those three words caused his eyes to go wide. “You wouldn’t dare hit me again.”

“You want to find out? Is that a challenge?” I asked, tauntingly. To be honest, despite the situation, I’m honestly enjoying the quarrel that’s going on between us. I won’t deny that it’s a bit amusing. This is the most we’ve ever spoken to each other too.

We’ve spoken to each other before since we share a mutual best friend (Jack), but we were always in a group so I’ve never really had a one on one conversation with him. Right now isn’t one on one either nor are we having a conversation, it’s pointless bickering, but his focus is fighting with me so it counts.

“Flynn,” Tooth starts, annoyed, “Just man up and go to the hospital. We could have already been there by now.”

Flynn groans once again, long and very dramatically. “Fiiiiinnnnneeeee. Let’s get this over with.”

“Finally!” I exclaimed, then realized something horrific.

I was still holding his hands.

I quickly jerk my hands away and jump to my feet, heart suddenly racing and my palms suddenly sweating. Man, it got really hot in here all of a sudden. “Alright, let’s do this. Can you walk?” I boldly kept my gaze on him, and prayed that he didn’t see the blush that painted itself on my face or the sweat that I felt begin to form on the side of my face..

“I really hope so,” he said as he shifts his body to put his feet on the floor. “If not then you really fucked me up.” He stands and takes a normal step forward. “Hmm I seem okay. My head hurts a lot though.”

Without thinking again, I linked my arm around his and said, “Well, just in case I’ll help you to the car.”

Jack laughs and shakes his head as he heads for the door first. “It really isn’t a party until someone is taken to the hospital. Gotta say, Eret, this might be your best one yet.”

“Just get him out of here. I have a party to manage and you guys are distracting me from the even bigger idiots that are probably destroying my house this very second,” Eret grumbled as he walked past Jack and left his room in a hurry.

“Then why invite them?” Tooth questioned, mainly focused on Jack. He merely chuckles.

I had completely forgotten that Eret was even in the room with us. He said nothing the entire time, and from his behavior it was clear to see that he’s still upset about Flynn going through his father’s stuff. Should I ask Flynn about it later or just leave it alone? After all, the whole reason why we’re in this situation is because I didn’t want to stay and find out what was going on after getting caught. Communication isn’t really a strong skill with males, so perhaps it’d probably be better if I asked, even if it isn’t my business. However, as a concerned friend, I guess it kind of is.

“What’s his problem?” Flynn asked as we all followed after Eret, finally exiting the room.

“He’s pissed that you went through his stuff,” Jack answered as he shut the bedroom door. “Rapunzel said she saw you do it by the way. Why?”

I felt Flynn’s arm stiffens. “Oh...I...uh,” he fumbled for an excuse before finally settling with this, “I was looking for the hardcore alcohol that I knew he kept hidden in his dad’s drawers. The really strong stuff.”

Jack nods in understanding. “I got you bro. I was going to raid his freezer for some ice cream when Rapunzel had me help carry your unconscious body to the bed.”

“You’re not going to let me live this down, are you?” Flynn asked, already knowing the answer.

Jack laughs as he pats his best guy friend’s back. “Nope. Not a chance.”

Flynn sighs and says, “I thought so.”

“And you thought right.”

I didn’t pay attention to the rest of their conversation as I helped Flynn walk down the stairs. I was too bugged out over his lie. I knew Flynn was lying because of the sudden stiffness of his body and because when I saw him he was talking to someone on the phone, obviously searching for something that wasn’t alcohol. I wanted to ask him about it right then and there, but then thought against it. He’s obviously hiding something, but I’m not going to call him out on it. It’s his secret the tell.

A secret I, even though it’s none of my business, am desperately wanting to uncover and hopefully will.

 

Chapter Text

Anna’s POV

The Mario Kart race between Astrid and Merida ended with a tie, which threw them into a tiebreaker race with GoGo, who easily defeated them, thus resulting in the tie to remain. I don't think I blinked or breathed at all once I first started watching them with Rapunzel, who had unfortunately missed the last moments, which were definitely the most intense.

I know she went to the bathroom, but she's been gone for a long while. Either a ) there's a line, b ) she got lost (although I seriously doubt that. She's been here before, so she must know where the bathrooms are), c ) she's talking to someone, or d) she's being murdered or raped.

The last option made me sick, so I pushed every thought of it away and tried to remain optimistic. Whatever is taking her so long, it's most definitely one of the other options. She probably has diarrhea. There probably is a line because of her, if that's the case.

I giggled at the thought, which gained the attention of Astrid and Merida, who were sitting next to me and watching the new duo of players play the game.

“What's so funny, lass?” Asked Merida.

“I was just thinking about my cousin,” I answered, deliberately not mentioning the diarrhea part in case I grossed them out and made things awkward. “She watched the beginning or your races, but she left to go to the bathroom and missed the last few minutes.”

“Damn,” says Astrid, “Those were the most intense minutes.”

“I know, right?” I say, giggling before I stood up. “I'm gonna go look for her. She might've fallen in the toilet.” I giggled again. “I'll be back. Save my seat, please.”

Merida turns her body so her legs took up the empty space that I was sitting in. She leaned against Astrid and saluted to me. “I gotcha, lass.”

I sent her a big smile. “Thank you.” After that, I left to venture downstairs.

The party really is like everything I've imagined. There's dancing, drinking, and a lot of kissing. I've only been eating and watching my friends compete with each other on the Wii, so I have yet to dance, but I'm going to make sure that it happens. It has to! The illegal drinking and kissing won't happen, which is unfortunate, so I have to dance to my heart’s content. I'm going to dance so hard that everyone at school will be able to feel how sore I am.

Actually, now that I think about it, Elsa never said anything about kissing. If she did then I definitely zoned that part out. All I need to do is find someone and work my quirky charm on them. Maybe I'll get a kiss tonight after all. Maybe I'll meet the one.

I was so lost in the thought of meeting my true love that I didn't realize I was sprinting down the stairs, nor did I see the person in front of me. I bumped into the person’s back...hard. So hard, in fact, that I ended up falling equally hard on my butt on a random step. “Hey!” I exclaimed, annoyed with the person for standing at the end of of the staircase, blocking it and getting in my way.

Although, I know it wasn't their fault. It's mine. I'm just embarrassed and am blaming them because of it.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” the person said when they turned around, eyes full of concern as he stared down at me. Others were staring too, but I paid them no attention. How could I with him standing right there? “Are you hurt?” He asked and it was like he put me in a trance.

“Hey.” I muttered under my breathe in definite attraction.

My throat is dry and tight, my heart either stopped beating or went into a beating overdrive frenzy, my jaw open, and my eyes are wide. Because Oh. My. GOD!

I only have one class with him (music), since he's older and is in Elsa’s grade, but I know who he is. I've seen him around and of course I've stared. How could I not? A male of such beauty is meant to be stared at, and if others don't do it then I certainly will.

Red hair and the facial features of a god stared back at me with beautiful concerned green eyes that left me breathless, and when he spoke I was left weak in the knees. “Um...Miss?” It was then that I realized he asked me a question.

“Oh um,” I cleared my throat to speak better, but it was still shaky. “I-I’m fine. Thank you.”

He flashes me a warm smile. “Thank goodness. Here,” he extends a hand for me to take and that's when I realized I was still sitting on the stairs.

My face heats up in embarrassment, but I ignore it as I smile and take his hand. I expected to feel sparks like how the protagonist in love stories usually does when she first touches her love interest, but I felt nothing. Perhaps I'll feel sparks when I kiss him.

“Once again,” he says, as he gently pulls me to my feet, “I'm sorry that you fell.”

His voice made me melt inside. “Oh that's okay.” I say as we let go of each other's hands, much to my disappointment. “I should have paid attention to where I was going instead of dreaming in la la land.”

“La la land?” Hans repeats, chuckling. “How can you wander off there when you're at a party?”

“You’d be surprised at how much it happens,” I answered, chuckling nervously. I then extended my now sweaty hand out for him to shake. “I’m Anna Arendelle by the way.”

He goes to shake it, but I quickly jerk my hand back to wipe the sweat off of it, which makes him halt. “Sorry,” I say as I quickly grab a hold of his hand he left outward, “Sweaty palms.”

He laughs while I blush in embarrassment. Why did I say that?! Oh my god! “No worries. I’m Hans Westergaurd. Although, I’m sure you already knew that since you said my name a moment ago.” He said.

Before I could stop myself, I said, “You’re darn right I know who you are.” I winced at how creepy it sounded and continued to accidentally make it worse, “Not that I stalk you or anything. Because I don’t. That’s weird. I’m not weird. Well maybe a little, but who isn’t? Normal doesn’t exist. I’m sure you’re weird too. Are you weird? I think you’re perfect. And now I just made this awkward.”

Especially since throughout the entire ramble, I had nervously increased the shaking of our hands.

I quickly let his hand go and say, “Well, goodbye.” I turn to leave, but he stops me.

“Wait,” he called out, and next thing I know, he's holding on to my hand again. For the third time in the span of minutes!

I look back at him in surprise. “Yes?” I don't know what I wanted him to say, but I was hopeful for something, anything, that involved him.

He opens his mouth to speak, but before he could form any words, Ruffnut and Tuffnut suddenly run into him, causing him to shove into me, which causes me to fall backwards onto the small couch on the side of the stairs. Hans falls on top of me and the twins merely laugh out their apology as they ran up the stairs.

Once more, I was left in shock. “Oh this is awkward,” I say to the very handsome man on top of me. Hans looked as red as his hair, I probably looked the same, and my nervous rambling made it worse. “Not that you're awkward. I'm awkward. You're gorgeous. Wait what?”

Hans nervously chuckles, and much to my confusion I felt the vibration in my hands. That's when I noticed my hands were on his chest, gripping his shirt. I quickly let go, although really I wanted to keep holding on, and I awkwardly look at everything that wasn't him. Wow, that's a pretty picture on the wall.

“Glad I caught you,” he said, his voice sounding smoother than silk. It gave me goosebumps and I couldn’t help but slightly shiver.

I didn't realize his hands were protectively wrapped around my waist until I felt him remove them and stand up. I tried not to look disappointed at the absence of his hands on my waist, at the absence of his shirt in my hands, and at the absence of his warm body on top of my mind. It felt really nice, and I don't mean to make it sound sexual. I've never cuddled anyone except my sister (way back when) and my cousin. And yes, while brief, I consider what just happened an accidental cuddle hug.

He goes ahead and takes my hand without offering it and helps me to my feet once more. “I'd like to apologize for being the person you accidentally ran into and…” he releases a shaky sigh. “And for every moment after.”

His nervousness was too cute and I found myself laughing. “Don't worry. I am in no way, shape, or form complaining.” This time I meant to say it.

Hans smiles. “Well, if that's so, would you mind accompanying me for the rest of the evening?”

My eyes widened and my mouth worked as if it had a mind of its own. “YES!” I exclaimed, then quickly composed myself in embarrassment. “Oh...um...I mean…” I cleared my throat and conjured up as much sophistication as I could. I tried to be like Elsa. I tilted my head up higher and said with a wide but calm smile and said, “I’d love to.”

And before I could even blink, Hans moves at the speed of light, and pulls me into him, leading us into a dance of twirls throughout house. “Whoo,” I say, breathlessly as we danced. “You move fast.”

“Should I slow down?” He asked.

I frantically shook my head. “No. I like fast.” And of course, I spun us faster.

Hans laughed, and of course I laughed too, and of course I felt the butterflies explode within me. Butterbombs I like to call them. “What else do you like?” He asked, and as we twirled, moving past the teens that were wildly dancing but were dancing perfectly to the rhythm of the music (whereas Hans and I were not), I told him everything that came to mind.

Chocolate, sandwiches, dresses, Spring time, the Holidays (birthdays included), Snowboarding, dancing, attractive boys (which he totally grinned at), BABY ANIMALS, drama shows, singing, school, romance, and my family.

“I don’t like my family so much,” he said when I mentioned mine and gave me a spin.

“Why’s that?” I asked after he spun me.

“I’m the youngest of 12 brothers,” Hans answered, “Need I say more?”

I released an impressed whistle. “Nope. I totally get it. I only have one older sibling, but I consider my cousin an older sibling too. So really I have two. My sister and cousin are both the same age as well. They’re also in your grade. You probably have classes with them. They’re names are Elsa and Rapunzel.”

Hans nods. “Yes, I’m aware of who they are. Everyone does, more so Rapunzel since she’s been here longer. You and your sister were the talk of the school for the entire first week.”

My eyes widened at the news. “Oh my gosh, really?! What’s been said about us?”

“Oh you know,” Hans shrugs, sounding playful, “The usual stuff when a pretty face arrives.” My face blushes at this.

“And what stuff is that?” I asked. We haven’t stopped dancing at all, and while our bodies moved, our eyes stayed frozen to each other’s. I’ve never seen such a beautiful shade of green before. And his sideburns are totally coming in nicely.

Hans brings his face closer to mine and I wanted nothing more than to completely close the distance between our lips. “Your beauty. And…” He pauses to give me another spin, making me squeal. When I was back in his chest he continued his sentence. “And your money.”

My money? “I technically don’t have money,” I explained to him, “My parents, aunt, and uncle do though. My parents help design and create buildings, while my aunt and uncle run the Corona beer company. Such an odd mix, right? Beauty, however, I do have. I like to think I have sophisticated grace, but that’s still a work in progress.” Just then my stomach growled, cutting me off, but definitely saving me from rambling some more. Ugh I’ve never been this nervous before. I still can’t believe he’s even dancing and talking to me. GASP! Could he be...the one?

Before I could think more on it, my stomach growls again, striking me into action. “Hey, do you mind dancing us to the food table?” I asked, hating that it would mean stopping our dancing. “I want a sandwich.”

Hans laughs a laugh that could put every Angels’ to shame and says, “Of course, m’lady.” Oh la la. M’lady! I’ve never been called that before. It’s nice. I am a m’lady, aren’t I?

We danced all the way to the food table where I, along with Hans, fill up our plates with nothing but sandwiches. When our plates were filled, Hans and I stay standing against the wall by the table, and as I stuffed my mouth with the first sandwich I chose, I said, “So you have how many brothers?” It wasn’t ladylike to talk with a full mouth, but I was curious and starving at the same time. I couldn’t help myself.

Hans, thankfully, didn’t seem to mind. “Twelve.” He answered. “Two of them pretended that I was invisible. For two years!”

“That’s horrible!” I declared, knowing exactly how he felt. Elsa pretty much did the exact same thing to me.

Hans shrugs, acting as though it didn’t bother him, but I knew from personal experience that it did. “It’s what brothers do,” he said, trying to justify it.

“And sisters,” I added, hating the painful memories that flashed through my mind. “Elsa and I were really close when we were young, but then...one day she just...shut me out and...I never knew why.” Aaaaannndddd just like that the moment is ruined and I no longer feel happy. I casted my gaze downwards to the shiny tile floor and no longer did I have an appetite. I didn’t bother to hide my sadness, and Hans was quick to sprint into action.

He takes my plate from me, sets it aside on the food table, and grasps my hands in his. “I would never shut you out.” His voice is gentle, his lips were tugged into a small reassuring smile, and his eyes were softened into a gaze that heated me up but also froze me solid.

My heart started to pound faster due to his action, and its beating increased even more when boldness took over me. This is my chance for romance and he definitely seems interested. I can’t let it slip away. I can’t just ignore it like...like Elsa did with me.

“Okay,” I start, laughing a little in disbelief at what I know I’m about to say, “Can I just say something crazy?” To be honest, I don’t know why I even asked him that. I was going to tell him anyway.

“I love crazy,” Hans replied, making every bit of nervousness vanish within me.

“All my life has been a series of doors in my face,” I begin, squeezing his hands tighter, “but then suddenly...I bumped into you. And now it’s just...I don’t know. It’s just...I feel really connected to you. I feel a real connection. Do...do you?” The nervousness quickly came back, but it vanished just as quickly when he smiled wide at me.

“I was thinking the same thing,” he said excitedly, “cause like...I’ve been searching my whole life to find my own place and now...I think I found it. I think...No, I know that it’s you. Maybe it’s the party talking, maybe it’s the chocolate fondue that I had, or maybe what it really is...is my heart. When I first saw your face it was--”

“Nothing like I’ve ever known before!” I interrupt, finishing his sentence. “That’s how it was with you!” And every other attractive boy I’ve seen. He doesn’t need to know that part though.

Hans chuckles. “I’ve never met someone who thinks so much like me. Our mental synchronization can have but one explanation and that’s…” He pauses, waiting for me to continue, which I do.

“You and I were just meant to be!” I giggled happily and felt my heart beat faster than speed of light when he started to lean in. “We were both hurt in the past,” I continued, my voice dropping into a whisper and my eyes locked to his lips, “but now we can say goodbye to it all. Life can be so much more with you.”

“And now can I say something crazy?” He suddenly drops down to one knee before I could respond, disappointing me that he stopped what I believed was going to be my first kiss, but also shocking me when he said: “Will you marry me?”

My jaw drops and my eyes pop. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!” I exclaimed as I put a hand over my heart and bounced on my feet. “Can I say something even crazier? YES!” I squealed in delight and felt my cheeks ache in pain from my smile that seemed to get wider and wider.

Hans’s face mirrored mine and when he got to his feet, I bring my hands up to cup his face, ready to kiss the hell out of him, but as soon as I started to lean in, a familiar voice reaches my ears, filled with shock.

“Anna?! What in God’s name are you doing?!”

I quickly release my hold on Hans’s face and the two of us quickly pull away and look over in unison. Standing at the corner of the wall, just a mere feet or two away from where Hans and I stood, with a bewildered expression plastered on her face, was the one person I wanted to see more than anyone else to share my news with.

“Elsa!”

~*~

Elsa’s POV

I had expected to do as Tooth had suggested. To sit along the wall like a wallflower and watch people dance and happily (more like drunkenly) make fools of themselves. I had expected to find amusement when we walked back to the house. Instead, when we came across Rapunzel, I felt complete and true terror. She said she killed Flynn, and of course...it...it triggered me. I was sent back six years into the past to where I thought I killed Anna. Luckily, I didn’t, and lucky for her, she didn’t kill Flynn either. It was hard trying not to completely lose my cool, but I think I managed okay.

As of right now though? My grip on my emotions is harder to hold onto than before.

I don’t know what to not believe in more. I can’t believe any of it. For the fourth time tonight, I am left in nothing but complete shock. The first time was when my aunt agreed to let us come to this party as soon as the football game ended, the second is when Jack and I finally talked things out nearly an hour ago (which already seems like forever ago), the third is when we came across Rapunzel and Flynn’s unconscious body, and the fourth is the scene happening right in front of me now with my sister and Hans.

When we left Eret’s room to take Flynn to Jack’s car, I told the others that I was going to find Anna, so that after we take Flynn to the hospital, Jack can go ahead and take us home as well. I was afraid it was going to take me forever to find her and that I’d have to assemble other individuals to help me, but as soon as Astrid and Merida told me that she went downstairs to look for our cousin, my sister intuition told me that she’d be at the food table. I just didn’t think she’d be with a boy. An older boy. An older boy that she was about to kiss! She was cupping his face and was so close to kissing him until I walked in at the perfect time.

No Senior boy should have anything to do with a Sophomore girl, especially when that Senior boy is friends with a bunch of...a bunch of... dickheads. The only one in their friend group who I actually like and who I’ve actually spoken to is Marianne. The others (Charming, Lancelot, Roland, Macintosh, Lara, Gwen, Chloe, Heather, and Hans) I’ve not said one word to, but I still do not like them. I feel bad for saying that since I don’t actually know them, whereas with Marianne I do know, but from the way the others act in school...I guess you can say I do know them enough to know that I don’t like them. Marianne never acts the way they do, but then again...neither does Hans.

He’s a gentleman compared to the other boys and it throws me off. How can such a nice person be friends with a bunch of jerks? The same can be said to Marianne. Perhaps it’s their nicenest that is forcing them to remain friends with the others. They remain loyal not because they want to but because they have to. Because from what I’ve heard, both of them were offered a spot in the friend group because of how beautiful they are.

From what the girls have told me, Flynn, Eret, and Jack were offered a spot too, but the three of them turned them down.

Flynn’s reasoning was because he knew they were jealous of his good looks and was afraid they were planning his death, Eret’s reasoning was because he didn’t care at all for their stupid fragile beauty group, and Jack’s reasoning was because none of them were fun enough for him.

Others were offered a spot as well, and those who were not, such as Snotlout and Dagur (Heather’s brother), are still bitter at not receiving an invitation.

My point is, despite Hans’s gentlemanly ways, he gives me the exact same bad vibes as the other boys in his friend group do. He gives me bad vibes that Anna doesn’t feel. Not yet at least. Right now she’s feeling an entirely different vibe. I feel as though the gentleman act that he shows is exactly just that. An act. It feels fake, and perhaps the reason why I feel so strongly about it is because I know how to act too. I know how to hide myself away from everyone even when I’m out in the public for all to see.

"Elsa," Anna says again, excitedly as she approaches me with Hans’s hand locked in hers. "This is Hans.” She introduced, even though there was no need for it. “Hans West--”

“Westergaurd,” I interrupt as I stared coldly at the redheaded green eyed boy who was holding hands with my sister. The same sister he’s never spoken to at all since we’ve been attending school. Tonight must be the first time they’ve ever spoken to each other, so why are they holding hands as though they’re a couple. Why were they about to kiss? What are his motives with my sister? Is he out to fulfill his sexual urges? “I’m aware of who he is.”

“And I,” Hans starts as he removes his hand from my sister’s to hold onto mine. I was so shocked by the action that I did nothing but freeze. “Am very well aware of who you are as well.” He then brings my hand up and his face down to give my hand a kiss. Rather than a quick kiss, his lips lingered on my hand, and when he finally removed them, he said, as he still held my hand: “It’s a pleasure to finally speak to you, Elsa.” He said my name so... intimately, so creepily, that it made my stomach churn in discomfort. There was a lustful gleam in his eyes too, and never have I ever been so freaked out before.

I stole a quick glance at Anna, but she was smiling like a child receiving their first puppy. If she noticed my discomfort, which I didn’t try to hide, she didn’t show it, and when Hans finally released my hand, he stood next to my sister again and hooked his arm through hers, which led to her leaning her head on his shoulder. “Awww,” she cooed, “You two are getting along so well. You’ll be the best in-laws ever.”

I nearly choked on the air that I was breathing when I heard her last sentence. “Wait, what? In-laws?” My eyes narrowed in confusion and my mouth was left slightly agaped. Did I hear her right, or are my ears playing tricks on me? “What are you talking about?”

She and Hans glanced at each other and the two of them giggled like mischievous children who stole the cookies their mother just baked. “We would like your blessing,” Anna starts, her eyes never leaving Hans.

I don’t know if it’s possible, but my eyes felt as though they deepened their narrowing as even more confusion stormed through me. "Blessing? For what?"

She and Hans both giggled again before answering my question at the same time. "Our marriage!" They say in unison as they finally looked back me.

My eyes went wide, almost popping out of my head, and my heart dropped to my stomach, which made my stomach retaliate and jump into my throat. Is she serious? Truly she isn't this stupid. Is that why I found her about to kiss him? Did he just propose to her right then? Oh my god, this can’t be happening.

"M-Marriage?" I stammered, hoping, praying that I heard her wrong.

Anna nods her head as she squeals. "Yes!" Looks like I heard her just right.

"I'm sorry, I'm confused-"

"Well," Anna interrupts, "We haven't worked out all the details yet, I mean it literally just happened, and I was so close to kissing him to seal the deal of our engagement before you showed up, which by the way was horrible timing on your part, but..." She started talking in a rush, while I merely blanked out and stared at her in bewilderment. It wasn't until she asked Hans where their honeymoon would be that I snapped out of my surprised daze.

"Anna, no." I tell her, dead serious in the firmest voice I could conjure.

"Wait, what?" Anna looked at me as if I had just crushed her heart, which crushed my own heart. This is the reason why I couldn't say no to her that night six years ago. I didn’t want to make her sad. I know better now though. Sometimes, in order to protect people, you need to hurt them.

I took a deep breath and channeled my inner mother. I'm doing this for her own good. I have to be the adult, the big sister here. I can't let her push me around. I’m not going to let her get hurt for the second time simply because I couldn’t say no again. "No one is getting married, Anna."

"But-"

"But nothing,” I interrupt, hating that this conversation is even happening. I thought Anna was smarter than this. She knows not to talk to strangers. Agreeing to marry someone she doesn’t even know should be something she knows too, but apparently not. I noticed the disapproving look on Hans face and that some bystanders were watching as well.

I didn’t like the weight of their eyes on me, nor did I like that I was having my first real fight with my sister who I already have a rocky relationship with. Nervousness took over, and as I twiddled with my hands, I said to Anna: “Look,” I quickly took a deep breath in to calm myself. "Can we just...talk about this? Alone."

"No," she snapped, taking me off guard. I could see her grip on Hans tightening. "Whatever you want to say, you can say to the both of us."

"Fine," I say in defeat, my anger at her stupidity rising. "You can't marry a man you just met, especially when you’re 15."

"You can if its true love!" She argued. "And I haven't just met him! I’ve seen him before during school. We even have 6th hour: Music together."

"Are you serious?” I scoffed at her ridiculousness and nearly wanted to laugh. She must be insane. “You’ve seen him, but you’ve never spoken to him until tonight. That isn't enough to result to marriage. You've never even been on a date with him. You're also way too young to get married. And true love? What do you know about true love?"

Has she sacrificed herself away because she thought it was a way of protection? No. I did. I did that out of true love for her and Rapunzel. Love doesn’t need to be romantic, and if we’re only talking about romance then she sure as hell doesn’t know what that is either. She’s boy crazy and would have said yes to even Snotlout if he had asked her to marry him. She’s desperate. She loves the idea of love. She’s a helpless romantic, which is completely fine, but she’s naive.

"I know more than you!" She declared, her face getting red from anger. "All you know is how to shut people out."

The hardness of my face falls into a sad look of hurt and tears immediately stung my eyes. I quickly composed myself, not wanting her to see just how badly her words wounded me. She’s almost on my last nerve, and I know that if I don't get out of here, I’m going to lose it and say something I'll most likely regret.

"Look, you asked for my blessing and my answer is no. I've said what needed to be said." But it still felt like I was holding so much more in. "Now if you'll excuse me." I turn to leave, not caring that the only reason why I was there was so I could retrieve my sister and have Jack take us home. I’ll just have one of the girls do it because right now...I can’t even look at her. But when her next words reached my ears, I couldn’t help but do just that.

"You always run away," She said, and when I looked back at her, she stared at me with the most coldest eyes I have ever seen on her. "Well not this time. This time you're going to listen. Sixteen is the age of consent, and I am nearly there! If I want to get married I can! You can't stop me!"

Her stubbornness finally got to me, and before I could stop myself, my words acted on their own. "How stupid can you possibly be, Anna?! You need an adult's permission to get married this young! Do you really think Aunt Arianna and Uncle Fredric or even our parents are going to agree to this? You are still a child, and you are not ready for this kind of commitment. I honestly don't think you're ready for anything! You're just so willing to jump right into things without thinking of the consequences! You have a brain, Anna, it would be best to use it."

"Elsa," Hans began, "If I could just-"

"No, you may not," I interrupt once more, my voice colder than Anna's eyes. Eyes that tried their best not to spill tears. My own eyes tried to do the same. "I-I think you should go." I tell him. "You've done quite enough."

This boldness I had was doing the opposite of making me bold; it was making me more nervous and shaky, but I knew I couldn't just stop. "The party is over, Anna,” and instead of leaving her here like I had thought of doing a moment ago, I thought it best to take her with me again like I had originally planned on doing. I don't want her staying here with him. “We're leaving." I go to grab her arm, but she moved away from me with a teary, hateful look.

"No," she said, "I'm not leaving."

"Yes, you are. As your older sister-"

"You are not my sister."

Those five words hit me so hard that I honestly lost my breath. My body went stiff, my heart broke, and I felt as though I had been stabbed in the heart multiple times.

"You haven't been my sister for years," Anna continued. A tear fell from her left eye and I wanted so badly to wipe it away. "You're nothing more than a stranger who lives under the same roof as me."

"Anna-" I began, my voice shaky, on the verge of crying. Sobbing.

"What did I ever do to you?!" She shouted.

I noticed that there were more people watching us now, and that they had their phones outs. Are they seriously recording this?

"Enough Anna," I tell her, glancing at the nosy crowd, and hoping she would notice that we're both making a scene.

"No!" Anna snapped again. "Why? Why did you shut me out? Why do you shut the world out? What are you so afraid of? I thought everything between us was actually getting better since we've moved here. I thought we were becoming close again."

"We are, Anna," I sounded so sad and desperate and I knew my face showed it too. "But-"

"But what?" She interrupted. "Honestly, Elsa, I think you're just jealous."

"Jealous?" I repeated, confused. "Of what?"

"Of the fact that your younger sister actually has friends and a boyfriend! Fiance actually."

I let out a scoff and rolled my eyes at her ridiculous accusation. Less sad, and more annoyed again now. "I'm not jealous of you, Anna. Don't flatter yourself. If anything, I'm disappointed. I don't care if I don't have any friends, and I especially don't care that I don't have a boyfriend. You want to know why? Because life isn't about boys."

"You don't care about anything," she interjects in a soft, broken voice. She looked away from me, and when her head turned and lowered, I saw Rapunzel behind her amongst the crowd.

Her face expressed immense sadly, and her cheeks were stained. She's crying. I wonder who else is saddened by mine and my sister's quarrel? Or is everyone else just amused by it?

"I care about you," I tell her, so quietly I'm not sure she even heard me. But when she lifts her head up with wide eyes, I knew that she did.

"If that's so," she began, pausing slightly, "then why did you isolate yourself for the last 6 years? It doesn't feel like you care about me at all. If you truly do, then you'd bless this marriage."

My head started to hurt and I rubbed my temples. "Anna, even if I wanted to, I can't. I'm not 18 yet. I'm also not your guardian. And I wouldn't bother asking Aunt Arianna or Uncle Frederic either. They'll just say no as I did."

"Then we'll go out of state," Anna declared, her tone dead serious. I glanced at Hans to see his reaction. He was trying not to smile. He must love this idea. "We'll find a place that'll marry us without parental permission. Or better yet, we'll just elope."

My head was throbbing now, and all I wanted to do was go home and sleep the rest of the weekend away. With tears that have yet to fall still lingering in my eyes, and with a heavy heart, I said: "If you're so desperate and stupid to marry him that you'd go all the way out of state to do it then...Then leave."

I regretted saying this immediately. Anna's eyes went wide with shock, her jaw slightly dropped, and it looked as though her body had went limp. She looked like she wanted to say something, but no words could find their way out. I couldn't find my words as well. Guilt and shame filled up my entire being; I couldn't look her in the eye. My guilt couldn't let me stand to even be around her. I'm so ashamed. I should've just walked away as soon as our voices got loud. God, I never should have let our argument get this far.

Without another word, I turned around and walked out, knowing that Rapunzel would follow and that Anna would stay. Looks like I'm leaving her here after all.

Chapter Text

~Anna’s POV~

“Elsa…” That was all I was able to say as I watched my sister walk, or rather ran, away from me, and away from the staring people, which included our friends. My whole body felt weak, drained from all its energy that came from the anger that exploded within me. Anger that is so rare for me to feel. My body is warm, but my face felt cold as the wind that came into the house through the open windows hit against my tear stained cheeks. My stomach twisted in painful knots at what just happened and at the unknown events that will happen next. Oh my god, what’s going to happen next between us? Did I just...did I just ruin things between my sister and I? All I’ve ever wanted was for us to be close again, and Elsa was right, we were becoming close again, but now...now I think I ruined it again.

Oh my god, what have I done? Is she going to shut me out again? What did I do six years ago that made her shut me out in the first place? What am I going to do now? How can I ever face her again after the horrible things I said to her? They...they were true though. I was being honest. I guess she was too. She said horrible things to me right back.

Am I really being stupid though? For being in love? There’s nothing wrong with love at first sight. I’ve never connected with a boy as quickly as I did with Hans. Actually, I’ve never connected with any boy ever! Except Olaf, but he was nothing more than a brother to me. He always had such great advice, even when we were children. I wonder what he would say about this. I used to write to him when Elsa first started shutting me out. He told me in his letters that Elsa wrote to him too. Not going to lie, it hurt learning that Elsa ignored me while we were under the same roof, but gave Olaf her attention when he wasn’t even there. It wasn’t fair.

I was suddenly snapped out of my daze when I saw my cousin follow in the direction that my sister went in. My voice and body worked on their own while my mind was still dazed at the events that had unfolded. “Rapunzel, wait!” I called out as I took off after her; Hans was right behind me.

She stops in her tracks and turns to look at Hans and I. Her gaze lingered on Hans a second longer before she permanently landed her eyes on me. “Don’t worry, Anna,” she said once we approached her. “I’ll try to calm Elsa down. Everything’s going to okay.”

I nodded, but it was forced. My optimism is decreasing. Oh god, this isn’t good at all. “I know, but...don’t you think it should be me that goes after her? I started this after all. I should go after her. I should have waited until we were home to tell her the news.”

I noticed that she pursed her lips. Is she stopping herself from speaking her mind? Oh god, does she not approve either? “I think…” she starts off, slowly, so she can carefully decide her words. “That for right now, both of you just need to clear your heads and take some time apart to figure things out.”

“Yeah, that should be easy,” I mumble sarcastically. “We're nearly always apart.”

My cousin's face twists into a wince. “Um...look I’ll go talk to her first while we go to the hospital, and then you and I can talk later on tonight. Sound good?”

“Hospital?” I repeat, worriedly. “Why are you two going to the hospital? What happened? What’s wrong?”

Rapunzel laughs nervously and avoids eye contact as she speaks. “It’s a long story. Let’s just say a pan was involved. I’ll explain everything later. Don’t worry though; everything is fine. Just stay here and enjoy the party, okay?”

I nodded again, but like the last time it was forced. “Okay.”

She leaves then, and just like with my sister, I simply watch her walk away, knowing fully well that I was no longer going to be able to enjoy the party that I was so excited to be partaking in.

“Anna?” Hans says when he approaches my side. “Are you okay?”

I forced another nod. “Yeah, I'm okay. But...uh...I think I'm just gonna...I'm gonna go sit down, okay?” I start walking towards the stairs.

“I'll come with you,” he said, but I turn to keep him in place.

“No,” I tell him, hating myself for it. I really do want him to join me, to comfort me, but I'm going to take some time to myself as Rapunzel told me to do. “I need some time to think. I'm sorry. Enjoy the party for me?”

Hans looked reluctant, but he didn't argue. “As you wish.” He grabs my hand to give it a quick kiss and when he was done he left.

I watched him walk away too, before finally walking away myself. When I make it upstairs, I chose a random empty bedroom, walked inside, locked the door, and slid down against it. I brought my knees up to my chest, folded my arms over them, then buried my face.

I sat like that for a moment, fighting back the tears that wanted to break through, but they fell as soon as I opened my eyes again at the sound of knocking.

“Anna?” I hear Merida's thick accent say from the other side of the door. “Are ye in there lass?”

I wiped my tears away as I said, “No.” Merida merely snorted.

“Well, if that's so who am I talking to?” She asked.

“Sadness.” I replied.

“Oh for Odin's sake,” says Astrid, irritated. “Let us in Anna so we can comfort you like friends do.”

And just like that I burst into tears. Not because what she said made me sad, but because it actually made me happy. Friends. After all these years I finally have friends. I know I told Elsa that she was jealous of me because I had friends and she didn’t, but for them to actually considered themselves my friends despite us only knowing each other for almost two months...it’s wonderful.

“Geez, Astrid,” says Moana. “Look what you did.”

“I didn't mean to upset her,” Astrid responds, sounding guilty.

I couldn't help but giggle as I quickly got to my feet. When I do, swing the door open, coming face to face with my three Sophomore classmates. Three of my friends. I embarrassingly wiped at my nose, which was starting to run, and smiled a teary smile. “No, it’s okay,” I assured them. “Calling yourselves my friends actually made me feel better.”

The three of them smile and that’s when I broke again. I buried my face in my hands, and not even a second later, pairs of arms wrap themselves around me. Did that stop my crying? Haha no. I only cried harder. “I’m sorry,” I say through my tears. I could hardly understand myself because of how muffled my voice was, but the others heard me perfectly fine. “I didn’t mean to make a scene. Ugh I’m still making one. It’s just…” a shuddery breath cuts me off and I take a moment to compose myself. “I really thought things were getting better between my sister and I. I thought she’d be happy that I found love--”

“Okay, but like,” Merida starts as she pulls away first, causing Astrid and Moana to remove themselves from me too. Moana linked her arm through mine, however, in a comforting manner. “Have you and Hans even been on a date? Have you even talked to him before tonight?”

“No,” I answered, feeling uncomfortable under her gaze. “But--”

“Anna, I may not have known you for long,” she interrupts, “but I genuinely care for you. And because of how much I care about you, I’m going to have to break your heart again and say that I side with your sister. I’m not wanting to upset you, but I’m not going to lie to you either.”

Her words did upset me, but I respected her opinion. “Okay,” I say, feeling my throat tighten up. “I respect that.”

“Then how come you didn’t respect it when it came from Elsa?” Astrid asked, not accusingly, but curiously.

I shrugged in response. “I don’t know. I guess it was because I felt she had no right to have a say on what goes on in my life when she was hardly ever in it.”

“What do you mean?” Asked Moana. “She’s your sister. Hasn’t she always been in your life?” She then winces. “Wait, are your parents divorced? If that’s the case, I’m sorry for prying.”

I shook my head. “No, it’s okay, and they’re not divorced. It’s just...complicated. When Elsa and I were younger, she and I were inseparable, but then one day she just shuts me out. I never knew why, and I still don’t. All I know is that ever since we arrived here in Burgess she’s started to slowly warm up to Rapunzel and I again, more so Rapunzel actually, but now...now I ruined everything between us.” I started to cry again. “I just want to know what it was I did wrong that started all of this six years ago. That’s all I want.”

“Have you tried asking her?” Merida says as Moana pulls me into another hug.

I held onto her tightly, wishing that it was mama I was holding, and say to Merida, “How could I when she always ignored me and isolated herself? I was also too afraid to ask her too once I felt she as warming up to me again. I feared it would cause her to go back to her isolation, and now I really can’t ask her. There’s no way she’ll answer me now.”

No one said anything for a moment. All that could be heard was the chattering of people and music. It’s crazy how not long ago this was supposed to be an incredibly fun night. Now it’s...well...incredibly not fun.

“How about,” Moana speaks up, breaking the silence amongst us as she also breaks our embrace,“we go raid every chocolatey thing Eret has at the food table. We’ll even let you drink right out of the chocolate fountain without him knowing. Sound good?”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “That sounds amazing actually.”

Because if I can’t get drunk on alcohol, then I’ll definitely get drunk on chocolate.

~Elsa’s POV~

Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry. Just breathe. In and out, in and out, in and out. Conceal, don’t feel. You did what you had to do. You said what you had to say. She'll get over it. You'll get over it. Everything is going to be fine. Everything will go back to normal soon.

But what normal do I want? Do I want the normal that was my life before the accident or the normal that was my life after the accident and before this god forsaken party?

God, what has this night come to? It was supposed to be fun. I was supposed to try to let loose. Instead, I've helped my cousin with an unconscious classmate and am now going with her to take him to the hospital AND I've managed to get into my very first fight with my sister who is apparently engaged. Clearing things up with Jack was the only good thing that has happened and now it doesn't even matter anymore. I wish it were, but it's not. It's already become a distant memory.

“Elsa, wait!” I hear Rapunzel say from behind me as I walked towards Jack's car. Every step I took felt like I was walking through thigh high thick snow, and my eyes burned with tears that I refused to let go.

“Elsa!” Rapunzel calls out again, closer this time, but I kept walking. She'll catch up. We're going to the same destination anyway--Jack's car--where he, Tooth, and Flynn are waiting. If she wants to quickly talk about what happened she's going to have to wait. Flynn can't wait any longer if he's in seriously bad shape.

Or she can talk about it on the car ride over to the hospital. After all, she was probably planning on telling them what happened anyway without me being present. And if not, then someone else might certainly fill them in. Might as well get it over with and have it be her with me there. She might miss something that I can gladly add in. Ugh. I don't doubt there are already rumors being spread.

No offense to Flynn, but I'm glad he got knocked out. I don't want to be anywhere near Eret's damn house and taking Flynn to the hospital is perfect for me to get away.

“Elsa, stop!” Rapunzel was in front of me before I knew it, making me halt, and when I go to walk past her, she takes another step in front of me to block me from moving. “Can you just chill for a moment?”

“Rapunzel,” I warned, my control on my tears wavering. “I swear, if I don't get out of here right now I'm going to lose it.”

“Oh Elsa,” she starts, looking sadder than I did. She put a hand on my shoulder as she stepped closer to me and gave it gentle squeeze, “it's okay to cry. Just...let your tears go.”

I shook my head in refusal. There is no way in hell I am going to start crying in front of everyone who is watching. They'll never see me cry. No freaking way. “Not happening,” I tell her, then continued to walk past her, afraid that she'd end up hugging me. Because I know that if she had hugged me, I would have immediately flooded my face with tears.

“Let's just get Flynn to the hospital like we planned, okay?” I say, loud enough for her to hear as I kept my head forward. When I spotted Jack's car my walking sped up. “The faster we get that over with, the faster Jack can take us home.”

“But what about Anna?” she asked as she makes it to my side. “I told her to stay here so you two can have some time apart, but now I'm thinking that perhaps that's the last thing you two need.”

“What's done is done,” I say, starting to become a little irritated with her. “And what I need is to be home, alone in my room with the door locked and my headphones on.”

From the corner of my eye, I see her opening her mouth to protest, but no words come out due to us reaching the car. Tooth was in the backseat with Flynn and when my cousin goes to sit back there with them, I was left to sit in the front with Jack. Before, I would've been nervous, but now I'm relieved. Sitting next to Rapunzel, who obviously wants Anna and I to talk to each other sooner than we need to, would have only drained me for the entirety of the ride.

“What took you guys so long?” Jack asked once I opened the car door and climbed inside. “And where's Anna? I thought you said you were gonna go get her?”

“She wants to stay,” I say quickly as I buckled my seat belt and left it at thought. I could practically feel Rapunzel's eyes drilling into me from the backseat.

Jack merely shrugs. “Okay then. There's not enough room for her anyway, and I doubt she would have wanted to sit on someone's lap.”

I don't know, Jack. She didn't seem to mind accepting a marriage proposal from a guy she doesn't know.

“Hold on,” Flynn says, causing Jack and I to look back at him. “How come Anna gets to stay when she says so, but when I do I don't?”

“Because, dipshit,” Jack answered, laughing, “She didn't get whacked in the head with a frying pan.”

Flynn hums. “Good point.”

“I'm just glad you didn't knock out any teeth,” says Tooth to Rapunzel.

“Well, I'm just glad I didn't kill him,” Rapunzel says, giggling and acting as though our conversation just minutes ago and the fight she had witnessed never happened. I wish it didn't.

Flynn chuckled too. “Yeah, me too Blondie.”

And me? Well I'm just glad to finally be leaving.

~*~

The ride to the hospital mainly consisted of the radio playing with Flynn and Jack bickering here and there. That bickering later changed to Flynn and Rapunzel once Jack said we had five more minutes until we arrived. When we did arrive, Flynn refused to get out of the car.

“I’m fine, Blondie,” he said for the billionth time. “Are you too blonde to understand that?”

My cousin hits him across his shoulder. She must have hit him hard because he let out a cry of pain, to which she showed no remorse for. “Insult me again and that’ll be your head I’ll be hitting next. Now stop being a baby and get the heck out of the car.”

“Mean Punzie is always my favorite,” Jack whispers to me. I smile, but it quickly went away when my eyes glanced over the hospital building. Everything inside my body seemed to stiffen as the horrid memories flooded my mind.

This is the same hospital where Jack’s father died in. The same hospital where Anna stayed in for a few days. How could I have not realized that the hospital we’d be going to would be the one that haunts my mind?

Tooth and Rapunzel get out with ease, while Flynn reluctantly gets out of the car, cursing the entire time as he and Rapunzel walk away from us. I didn’t move at all, and it wasn’t until Tooth spoke to Jack that I realized he didn’t plan on moving either. “Do you want me to stay inside the car with you, Jack?” Tooth says to him. “I know how much you hate hospitals.”

My eyes widened slightly. He hates hospitals too? Of course he would. His father died in one after all. Jack shakes his head and says, “Nah that’s okay, Tooth. Go on in. Rapunzel is going to need your help with that dramatic boy of ours.”

Tooth giggles. “Okay. Fingers crossed that this doesn’t take forever. Come on, Elsa.”

“A-Actually,” I stammered, feeling the heavy weight of the hospital sign’s light on me, “I don’t like hospitals either. Especially this one. I’ll stay in the car with Jack.” Which is funny considering how before tonight I didn’t want to be anywhere near him.

Tooth gives me a puzzled look. “You’ve been to this hospital before?”

My eyes widened when I realized my mistake. Shit. She doesn’t know that I’m the girl Jack helped. If she finds out there’s a chance Anna will find out too. I can’t risk that. I can’t. I--

“Her aunt and uncle live in Burgess, Tooth,” Jack reasoned with her, “of course she’s been here before. She’s probably attended their checkups when she was younger or something. Right, Snowflake?”

I quickly nodded, catching on to what he was doing. “Yeah,” I lied, but said nothing more, afraid I’d say something wrong.

“Oooohhh okay,” Tooth says in understanding then smiles, “Well, I’m glad you’ll be out here with him. I hate it when he’s alone.”

“You sound like my mom,” Jack responds, slightly annoyed.

Tooth giggles again. “I’m the mom friend for a reason. Anyway, I’ll see you guys soon.” She leaves us then, and it wasn’t until she makes it to the doors and walks inside that I finally relax and that Jack finally speaks.

“That was close,” he said then chuckles. “You know, for countless times, I’ve been trying to convince her and the rest of my family that you were one of the kids from that night. Now here I am helping you keep it a secret.”

“And I thank you for that,” I say, genuinely.  

“You’re welcome. So,” he tapped the steering wheel a couple of times as he tried to think of something to say. “Do you really hate hospitals or did you lie so you could stay here with me?”

I roll my eyes. “You know the answer.”

He grins mischievously. “Oh, you are so into me.”

“Am not,” I declared, not caring how childish I sounded. “I hate hospitals for the same reason as you. And can we please not talk about it? Just being in the parking lot makes me uncomfortable.” I hug myself nervously.

“Do you want to take a drive?” Jack offered, being serious now. “I’ll have Tooth or Punzie text me when they’re ready to leave. We don’t have to stay--”

“No, I don’t want you to waste any more gas.” I tell him, just as serious as he. “Plus, where would we go?”

A gentle smile now displayed itself on his lips. “We could go anywhere, Snowflake,” he said, softly. He looks away from me to lean his head back against his seat. The smile fades and a longing look appears in his eyes. He releases a sigh and says, “That’s one of my dreams, you know. To see the world. To get out of Burgess. You’ve probably seen so much, haven’t you?”

I shook my head and leaned it against my seat as well. “Believe it or not, no. I’ve had a very sheltered childhood, even before the accident. Compared to my parents, Rapunzel's are way more laid back. They’ve done a lot together. The only vacations I’ve ever had were to here, where the rest of my family lives.”

He snaps his head to look back at me, bewilderment completely consuming every inch of his face. “No way! Are you serious?” I nodded and he went on. “Wow, I just assumed that you’ve been all over the world because...well…”

“Because I’m rich,” I finished, nodding in understanding. “It’s understandable that you’d think that way. But yeah, there’s a lot I haven’t seen. A lot I haven’t done. I haven’t really...lived, I guess you could say.”

“Damn,” Jack shakes his in disappointment, “We gotta fix that then. What’s all on your bucket list?”

“I don’t have one.”

“Oh, well, that’s perfect then!” He digs into his pocket to retrieve his phone, taps the screen a couple of times, then says, “So what all do you want to do or see in your life before you die?”

For a moment I’m silent as every idea that I’ve ever wanted to do comes to mind. I shook my head and released a brief chuckle. “Where do I begin? There’s so much.”

“Well, the Fair and Halloween is coming up soon,” Jack brainstorms. “Have you ever gone to the Fair or partake in any Halloween activities? Like a party, or haunted attraction, or pumpkin carving?”

I shook my head. “I can’t say that I have.”

He starts typing away at his phone. “Damn you really haven't lived at all. Well, I suppose those will be the first two on your list then. Now,” he pauses to look up at me, our eyes instantly connecting like two magnets, “onto number three.”

~Rapunzel's POV~

First it was Flynn who had caused me worry. Now it’s my cousins. I’ve never seen them fight before. They’ve never fought in their entire lives. Before the accident they were two peas in a pod and afterwards they were never around each other for a fight to ever break out. I love Anna dearly, but her accepting Hans’s marriage proposal is the dumbest thing she has ever done. I don’t blame her for being a hopeless romantic, but I do blame her sober brain cells. What could she had possibly be thinking? Is she really that naive? And here I thought I was the naive one. Perhaps tomorrow she’ll realize how ridiculous she was being.

Right now though, tomorrow seems to be taking forever. I had requested to see Dr. Barbara Lake nearly thirty minutes ago and we’re still here in the waiting room. Flynn could pass out any second now and I’m getting more and more anxious by the second. I'm surprised Jack and Elsa haven't came in yet. I know Jack hates hospitals, especially this one, but I know he hates being bored more. I wouldn't be surprised if he drove off somewhere. If he did, I can only imagine the nervousness Elsa must be feeling. When Tooth told me that Elsa was staying with Jack in the car because she hates hospitals too, I felt really bad for not going back to comfort her or for not even considering that this place would make her uneasy. 

“That’s so not fair,” Flynn had said nearly an hour ago when he realized they weren’t coming in. “I’ll say it again, I didn’t want to come. You all forced me here, so I think it’s only fair that they come inside too. Tooth go get them.”

“Are you seriously telling me what to do?” Tooth had replied. “You didn’t even say please!”

“Rapunzel?” A voice says, snapping me out of my thoughts and making me look up. From the corner of my eyes I saw Tooth and Flynn do the same. I smile and sigh in relief at the familiar red-headed doctor.

“Hey, Barbara,” I say as I stood up. It's about time she showed up! Although, I don't really blame her for taking so long. She's a successful doctor after all.

“Hi,” she said, worriedly as she looked at my two friends behind me and then around at the rest of the waiting room. “Where are you parents? What’s wrong?”

“They’re not here,” I say, stating the obvious, “And nothing’s wrong with me per se, but my friend,” I turn and gesture to Flynn. “Got hit pretty hard with a frying pan and passed out during a party. I was afraid he might have a concussion, and he was afraid of his guardians at the Orphanage being contacted, so the only person who I knew would keep this a secret without contacting them would be you. You did say once that if we ever needed any help from you that it would stay private.”

She gives me a stern glare and folds her arms. “Rapunzel Corona, if drinking was involved and this is some kind of cover up, I am not going to keep this--”

“It wasn’t! I swear,” I defended, “I was the one who hit him with the pan because he scared me, and now I’m scared that he has a crack in his skull or internal bleeding or something worse. I don’t want him to get in trouble because of me, Barbara. Please!”

Barbara sighs as her arms fall to her sides. “Alright, follow me.”

She takes us to an empty room and does what she does best. She asked questions, examined him, gave him an x-ray, and when all was finally done and over with, she gives us the best news ever.

“He doesn’t have a concussion,” she informs, “nor does he have a cracked skull, but it was a close call. If you had hit him any harder this would have gone differently, so thank god you didn’t. All he’s going to have is a headache and a bruise.”

“Thank god I won’t have any stitches,” Flynn said to her then pointed an accusing finger at me. “I hope you know that if you had ruined my face, I would never have forgiven you.”

I couldn’t tell if he as being serious or not, I’m pretty sure he’s just playing (at least I hope he is), and I nervously laughed in response. “Hey at least you’re alive. I cried when I knocked you out because I thought I killed you. And I hope you know that if you did end up with stitches and a scar, I would have been dreadfully happy. That’s definitely a better alternative than being dead.”

Flynn’s face completely falls, definitely surprised by my reply. “Oh,” he says, then pausing, thinking of other words to say. “Well...um...thank you.” He was looking at me with soft eyes now and an even softer smile if that’s even possible.

I smile back and blush at the way his eyes peered into mine. “You’re welcome.” We both kept holding on to our gaze, and while I know it had only went on for a few seconds, it felt like it lasted for an eternity.

Dr. Barbara Lake clears her throat, breaking Flynn and mine’s eye contact, and when the two of us looked over at her I saw Tooth behind her grinning like the Mad Hatter. “You’re beautiful face may not have a scar, but it will have still have a bruise for while, so if you don’t like bruises either you’ll have to get used to it for the next week or so.”

Flynn nods, but the disappointment was obvious in his face. “Oki doki, doc.”

Barbara smirks and says, “Don’t worry, Flynn. If you don’t look at it, it’ll be gone before you know it. Now,” she walks over to the door and opens it up for us, “I do believe it’s past all of your bedtimes.”

Tooth walks out, followed by Flynn, but I stayed to thank my mom’s friend who is also my own friend. “Thank you so much for this, Barbara. I promise I’ll pay you back. How about a portrait of you and Jim?”

Barbara laughs. “I might just consider that. Be safe on the road, okay? And also,” she leans in to whisper. “If you don’t hurry and ask that boy out, someone else will.” She laughs again at my shocked expression and before I could even protest she pats my back, smiles widely, and walks away, leaving me dumbfounded where I stood.

Am I...Oh my god, am I really that obvious? First Elsa notices and now her. Who else knows? Oh my god, does Flynn know?! Geez, I need to get it together.

“Hey, Blondie!” Flynn calls out to me at the end of the hall. “You coming or what? I’m the one who should be having trouble walking, not you.”

I roll my eyes and start to make my way towards him and Tooth, who stood beside him, still smirking. “I’ll meet you in the car. I gotta go to the bathroom first.” Which isn’t a lie because as soon as I started walking and realized that everything is finally going to be okay, my bladder remembered that it didn’t go earlier.

They nod and walk away while I went down the hall in the other direction to where the bathroom door was calling my name. However, as soon as I walked in, I didn’t expect to run into Elsa.

“Oh my gosh, Elsa, you scared me,” I say to her, giggling a little as I placed a hand over my heart. “What are you doing here?”

“It’s a bathroom, Punzie,” she says, amused, definitely in a much better mood than before. I wonder if Jack has anything to do with that. “Why else would I be here?”

“Touche,” I say as I quickly walk over to the closest stall. “But Tooth told me you were staying in the car with Jack because you don't like hospitals."

I see her nod as I shut the stall door. "Yeah. It's ironic how it was my idea to come here and as soon as we arrive I suddenly don't want to come in. But I can't ignore my bladder. So how's Flynn?"

"Flynn’s going to be okay," I answered as I sighed once more in relief, both at the good news of Flynn and because I'm finally using the bathroom. "No concussion, just a headache and a bruise.”

“Well, that’s a relief,” my cousin says as I continued to do my business.

“So what did you and Jack talk about in the car?” I asked as I finished up. “You seem...cheerier than before.”

I flush the toilet and open the stall door just in time to see her shrug. “I wouldn't exactly say cheerier. More like...semi-distracted. He’s creating a bucket list for me, and well...I’m excited for it.”

As I washed my hands, I looked at her through the mirror and say, “Really? That's pretty cool! So you didn’t talk about the fight you had with Anna?”

I see her shake her head. “Nope. I didn’t want to, so it never came up. We talked about her enough when we were outside of Eret’s house, finally talking things through between us. I figured you could just tell him along with Tooth and Flynn on what happened.”

I dried my hand with a paper towel and nodded. “If that’s what you’d like then I won’t let you down.”

“Jack will probably want to talk to you anyway about you not telling him about me sooner.”

I nodded again as I threw the paper towel in the trash. “Yeah, okay--wait,” her words finally processed and my eyes widened. “Oh. Oh. Oh my gosh, that didn’t even cross my mind. Um, okay, sure. I can do that too. But first--”

“Home,” she finishes, reading my mind.

I grin and say, “You took the word right out of my mouth. Let’s go.” I open the door for her, but as soon as she walks out, she runs into an old black doctor who I’ve seen before. Not only in person, but also in Kristoff’s pictures that he posts online.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, sir,” Elsa apologizes. “Are you…” she trails off with wide eyes upon realizing who the man is.

The doctor chuckles. “Are you asking if I’m okay or for my name? I’m perfectly fine, dear, and as for my name, well,” he points to his nametag. “It’s right here.”

She didn’t need to look at his nametag to know his name. His face, along with Jack’s, was a face that her brain programmed her to never forget. However, unlike Jack, she’s known this man’s name for years. Or at least she’s known his professional work name. He’s the doctor that gave us to saddest news we have ever heard almost six years ago.

Kristoff calls him Grandpabbie, but we...we know him as Dr. Stone. The same doctor who treated Anna all those years ago.