Fandom: Frozen/Rise of the Guardians
Word Count: 724
Summary: Elsa can’t help but care for wayward things that crash through her window.
A/N: Done for the prompt “Echo” at snowtpnetwork.
When Elsa hears the sound of glass shattering, she can’t place why her mind leaps to the simple slam against a window pane she heard when she was seven. She remembers waking in the middle of the night to find a wayward sparrow lost in a winter storm. She opened the window and let it inside, but realized all too quickly that she was too close.
That if she didn’t keep her distance, it would freeze.
She still remembers the way the rays of the sun looked on its feathers and it took off in the morning’s light. It’s such a strange thing to recall as she looks at the giant lump that has come through her private balcony, tangled in velvet curtains. She’s better now, than she was. No gloves. Not ever again. But...
She’s careful not to touch.
An all-too-human groan informs her quickly that it’s no animal that has come to visit, and her heart leaps into her throat.
“Oh! Are you alright?”
She first sees a mess of tumbled white hair, and so double-takes yet again when she realizes the face attached can’t possibly be older than her own.
“You can see me?”
“I can pretend not to, if you prefer.”
It must be embarrassing, crashing into a queen’s quarters like this. It seems all-too easy for her and her subjects to be easily embarrassed with one another, having too many years of mystery, left to make their own assumptions.
Only a week prior, she had been visiting an inventor in the town, and his new invention had splattered her with mustard. She’d frozen it, of course. Then given it to Olaff to eat as a popsicle. He’d seemed to enjoy it, allowing her and the inventor to laugh off the situation. But some people were more sensitive than that. And perhaps accidentally trespassing and ruining a set of lavish curtains is a bit more substantial.
“What? No! No, please don’t. I just... you’re so old. I’ve never....”
Old? She can feel her brow furrow. Elsa has always tried to present herself with maturity. But no one has ever called her old.
But where are her manners? She’s been worried about his embarrassment, but he’s surrounded by shattered glass, and he has no shoes. He clearly means no harm, and is quite turned around. And there’s a storm outside, like the one that blew a bird to her window so many years ago.
She steps carefully forward--pausing as a matter of permission--and seeing no flinch, begins adjusting the curtains about his shoulders. She can’t provide any more heat from her own presence than she could as a child, but she’s certainly more resourceful as an adult.
With a flurry of snowflakes gathered around her fingertips, she lays a sheet of ice over the floor. They may both slip and slide in an attempt to walk, but at least he won’t cut his feet on sharp edges. She searches for the dusty box of matches she never uses next to the fireplace when she hears his voice again.
He’s not from Arendele.
He doesn’t even know who she is.
He has been staring at her this entire time, and now she finds herself staring back.
There has been something odd about him for the past minute. Something odd beyond hurtling into her chambers. Beyond his bare feet, beyond his white hair, something subtle that she couldn’t place.
He is in her room, a room gauged for her comfort, her temperature.
And yet his breath makes no steam in the air.