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Am I a Monster?

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            Elsa shut the door with her foot, carrying two bags of groceries for the week. An exhausted sigh escaped her mouth at the silence that filled with dingy apartment, located in the poorer parts of New York.

                       

            “Hey,” Anna, her little sister, greeted with a weak smile. “How were classes?”

           

            “Alright,” smiled the pale blonde with a small smile. “I’m just happy that winter break starts next week. Speaking of which- I got you another blanket.” She reached into one of the grocery bags and pulled out a fuzzy fleece blanket in pink and purple.

           

            “Thank you!” Anna happily squealed, snatching the blanket from her sister and promptly wrapping herself in a warm cocoon.

           

            “Well with how easily you get cold, I just figured that I should just wrap you up in blankets and have a little Anna burrito,” Elsa teased her said with a laugh. “Especially with Paul being such a grade A sleazebag excuse of a landlord and flat out refusing to fix the heating system.”

           

            “Yeah.” All that could be seen of Anna were her eyes and nose, causing for Elsa to reach across and tap her little sister on the nose.

           

            “Speaking of which, how are you on medication?” Elsa asked as she began to put the groceries away. “Do I need to make a drug store run?”

           

            “I don’t think so- my inhaler is half full,” Anna said, taking her glasses of to scrub at her eyes. “But I think I’m coming down with another ear infection and head cold.”

           

            Elsa groaned under her breath as she figured the cost of the medicines that Anna would require to get to her bubbly self once more.

           

            “I’m so sorry Elsa,” Anna apologized. “I don’t mean to be so sick all the time.” Elsa didn’t have to look to see her sister was trying not to cry.

           

            “I know you don’t,” Elsa took out a saucepan that had seen better days. “Does chicken noodle soup sound good for tonight?” Anna nodded, setting her homework aside as she curled up into a little ball.

           

            “Oh Elsa, before I forget, you got a letter today,” Anna said in an excited voice.       “Had to sign for it and everything. I put it on our bed.”

           

Elsa smiled her thanks through a mouthful of food before standing to place her now empty bowl into the sink. She entered the only bedroom in the crap excuse of an apartment and immediately saw the letter- an official looking envelope of heavy cream colored parchment.

 

“Well, well, well… what have we here?” Elsa muttered, using her thumbnail to peel the flap open.

Chapter Text

Elsa eyeballed the cream colored envelope as she set her backpack onto the rickety chair next to the sisters’ shared chest of drawers. She picked it up, her hands trembling as she used a fingernail to open it.

         

The header on the letter read:

 

STRATETIC HOMELAND INTERVENTION ENFORCEMENT AND LOGISTIC DIVISION

 

Elsa could literally feel her face losing all color as she closed her eyes, forcing herself to take a deep breath of air.

         

          Dear Miss Arendelle,

         

          Your unique abilities have recently come to my attention, as well as your current living situation. I propose a deal: you come and work for SHIELD and possibly the Avengers Initiative, and in return, I can personally guarantee you all medical coverage will be provided not only for you, but for your sister as well.

 

I’m sending two of my best agents to pick you and your sister up tomorrow at 9 AM to talk through details and to answer any questions that you may have.

 

Elsa forced herself to take deep breaths of air; within seconds, she was hyperventilating. She bent over gripping at her chest as she fought to control herself.

 

“Elsa?”

 

Anna was suddenly by her side, frail arms wrapped around her shoulders and face pressed into her neck.

 

“Do you have enough medication to last you tonight?” Elsa asked softly, rubbing the top of Anna’s dark strawberry blonde head. “We’re going somewhere tomorrow- I just don’t know where. Promise me that you’ll be on your best behavior.”

 

“Elsa, since when had I ever not been on my best behavior?” Anna asked, her snarky tone of voice giving way to a yawn.

 

“Well, where should I start?” Elsa teased her younger sister, pushing her towards the bathroom. “Go dress for bed- you know where I’ll be.”

 

When Anna came out to say goodnight, Elsa had opened her textbook and was taking notes for her robotic class, soft jazz music playing from her phone. The pale haired young woman was humming along as her pen scratched into the paper, forming tidy words that led into sentences. Anna carried a tattered, well loved copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; she sat herself down on the couch and began to read where she left off.

 

Elsa quickly finished up her homework and looked to her sister, only to find her sound asleep. She smiled to herself as she stood, leaving her textbooks where they were and picked her frail sister into her arms and made her way to their shared bedroom for the night.

Chapter Text

The Arendelle sisters were eating breakfast silently when a soft knock sounded at the door. Elsa held her hand out, silently telling her sister to stay put and be quiet. The younger sister nodded, grabbing the baseball bat they kept around for defending themselves.

         

Elsa made sure that the chain guard was in place before cracking open the door to reveal three strangers- two men and one woman- loitering about.

         

"Can I help you with something?" Elsa asked, her hand tightening around the doorknob.

         

"Miss Arendelle?" asked one of the men, handsomely tall with golden blond hair and baby blue eyes.

         

"Who wants to know?" the pale blonde asked, her hand inching to remove the gloves she wore.

         

"I'm Captain Rogers, this is Sergeant Barnes and Agent Romanoff," he quickly introduced his friends. "We're to escort you and your sister to Avenger tower. Do you have everything packed?"

         

Elsa nodded, closing the door to undo the locks and let them in.

         

"Anna, put the bat down before you accidentally whack someone upside the head," Elsa ordered, her voice exhausted. "Go and pack everything that we left out last night."

         

Elsa was well aware of the three superheroes taking in the dingy apartment. The ceiling was stained from water leaks and rusty pipes were visible through the moldy walls. The carpet was wet, much like a swamp, and a metallic stench filled the air.

         

Elsa shuffled uncomfortably in place, pulling the threadbare cardigan that she was wearing closer around her thin frame as she avoided their sympathetic looks, going around the room to fold two blankets and collect a discarded book.

         

"Ready?" Anna asked, lugging two backpacks and a duffle bag out from their shared bedroom. She didn't protest when Sergeant Barnes easily intercepted the light baggage, briefly sending a thin lipped smile down at the small girl.

         

"Ready," Elsa said, still holding the blankets. Anna nodded, slipping her hand into her sister's and resting her head onto her shoulder.

         

"ARENDELLE!"

         

Elsa winced at the bellow, quickly pushing Anna behind her as a portly man with a balding head and stained clothes limped up to them. Even from far away, the stench of his unwashed body flooded the group's noses.

         

"We're leaving Paul," Elsa said wearily. “You’ll never hear from us again-”

         

"Not yet you aren't," he snarled, pulling his lips up to reveal rotting teeth. Elsa wasn’t quick enough to avoid being grabbed by the arm and dragged into his body.

         

          “HEY!” Anna yelled, charging towards them, baseball bat in hand, which she used to crack Paul on the head. “Keep your hands off my sister!”

         

          “Steve, take them to the car- Bucky and I’ll take care of this-” the redhead woman spoke up, waving her hand at the disoriented landlord. “Poor excuse of a human being.”

         

          The blond man- Steve- took the luggage and with a hand on Anna’s shoulder, led both women away from where Bucky was bristling at Paul.

         

          “What are they gonna do to him?” Anna asked innocently, shouldering her baseball bat as she scooted closer to Steve. She ignored a pointed look from Elsa, who walked with her hands clasped behind her back.

         

          “You don’t wanna know,” Steve chuckled, pointing to a black car. He tossed the girls’ things into the rear before helping them settle in by switching the seat warmers on.

         

          “Thank you,” Elsa quietly said, wringing her hands nervously. She jumped when Steve’s hand enveloped hers, and she couldn’t help but relax into his comforting touch.

         

          “We got you,” he smiled as the other two joined them. It didn’t escape Elsa’s notice that Sergeant Barnes had light flecks of blood on his knuckles, making her shuffle closing to Anna.

         

          “We ready?” the redhead asked, sliding into the driver’s seat and starting the car.

         

          The Arendelle sisters unconsciously grabbed ahold of each other’s hand and squeezed as the vehicle left their past behind and went forward towards a new adventure.