Skin Changer

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"Anna? Is everything alright?" Elsa asked worriedly at dinner, the first time she had seen her in nearly a week.

Five days ago, they had enjoyed a day skating hand in hand in the iced courtyard with the other citizens of Arendelle. After, the two had shared a private lunch where, again, Anna sat next to her instead of the across the table. Her sister had gotten into the habit a couple of days before the ice skating and fed Elsa bits of food from her own plate with a "Oooh, try this," even though Elsa had the same food on her own plate.

Then, suddenly, later that day, Anna had withdrawn. Meals were now spent alone and Elsa was frightened to know why. Maybe Anna had found out about her own not-so-sisterly feelings. God, she hoped not, but this couldn't go on.

"Anna?" Elsa asked again.

"Hmm?" The redhead pushed her food around her plate, not taking a bite, the words from those stupid letters she'd read days ago echoing in her head. Staying away from Elsa was the only thing she could think to do and it was slowly killing her. Keeping the blonde safe was her top concern, her own inappropriate feelings would not put all of Elsa's hard work risk. Anna sighed softly and poked her food some more, unaware of the falling temperature in the dinning room.

BANG! Elsa slammed her hands on the table as she stood.

Anna looked up from her mashed up meal, startled.

"Please, tell me what I did!"

"What?" Anna was confused.

"What did I do?" Elsa whispered as tears filled her eyes. "Why are you pulling away? Tell me so I can fix it."

"Oh god, Elsa." Anna rushed around the table and wrapped the trembling woman in her arms. "I'm so sorry, please don't cry." Some sister she was Anna berated herself, she hadn't even considered how her actions would appear to the blonde.

"What did I do?" Elsa cried into her sisters shoulder. "I can't lose you again."

"You won't ever lose me." Anna pulled back and gently held her sister's face between her hands, wiping Elsa's tears away with her thumbs. "You did nothing wrong. I just..." She sighed. "I just had some sense knocked into me."

"About what? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine." Anna couldn't help but smile, even when Elsa was hurting she looked out for her. Leaning in, she closed her eyes and placed a kiss on her sister's cheek. "Everything is fine." She would just have to get over herself, she decided, because she never wanted to see her sister in tears again.

The next day found Anna reading through a stack of papers Kai had given her regarding the current preparations regarding the ball to be held in two months. It was a beautiful afternoon so she had taken her reading out into the garden.

"Anna!" Kristoff called as he rushed over, Sven ambling behind. "I am so sorry. I just read the last issue, I swear I didn't know."

Closing her eyes, the redhead tried to ignore the sinking feeling in her stomach. The morning had been wonderful; breakfast with Elsa had been delightful, laughing and enjoying each others company and now she was being reminded of those horrible letters.

"Please, read this." Kristoff held up another issue of 'The Thaw Times.' "It came out today."

"I don't need to read more." Anna didn't look up from her papers. "It was all just a dream. A wonderful..." she sighed sadly, "fantasy."

"But Anna-"

"No!" Angrily, she stood. "It's time to face reality. I will not risk Elsa or this kingdom over... over..."

"True love?"

"YES!" The redhead yelled over her shoulder as she walked away.

"Then what is worth risking everything for?" Kristoff asked quietly.

Anna stopped.

"You once sacrificed your life for hers. You stepped in front of a sword believing it would strike you and save Elsa from harm." The blonde man walked over to his best friend, her back still turned to him. "But you aren't brave enough for you both to be happy?"

"Those letters-"

"Most of the citizens of Arendelle want their Queen and Princess to be happy."

Silently they stood there.

"Elsa is worth risking everything for," Anna finally spoke. "Her whole life has been about sacrifice for other people. She deserves someone who will put her and her happiness first."

She turned around to face her best friend, a soft look of hope on her face as she continued. "I want to be the one to make her happy."

"Please," Kristoff handed over the paper in his hands, " read this."

Taking the paper, Anna noticed that it seemed thicker than the other issues and opened it to read.

There were letters.

Lots of letters.

Dozens of people had written to the news paper in outrage over the last issue and in an outpouring of support of the Queen and Princess. So many letters that they had to add two extra pages to accommodate them.

On shaking legs, she walked back to her seat to think.

That night Anna snuggled down under her covers with 'The Thaw Times.' Rereading the letters of support lifted her spirits again. Turning to another page, she continued on to the fiction section of the paper. Normally she would save it to read last, but tonight she needed the stories to believe in. Skipping a couple of story serial updates (she still needed to fully read the last issue's updates), she started to read a new short story.

"Oh my god," Anna squeaked and stuffed the paper in her night stand. "Time to sleep, yes, sleep." Blowing out the candle, she laid down to sleep, banishing what she read from her mind.

"Who would write something so... so...," Anna swallowed, "intimate."

She tossed and turned for a while before giving up and pulling out 'The Thaw Times.' Hands shaking, she lit her bedside candle again to read. This was the first time she had read something like this in the paper. Hiding in a corner of the library reading steamy romance novels was one thing, she expected that when secretly reading those books, and they didn't star her sister and herself.

Blushing redder than she ever had in her life, she continued to read hesitantly. The more she read, though, the quicker she got over her embarrassment (if not her coloring). Anna was breathing hard by the time she got through the second story.

Eyes wide, she put the paper on her night stand, sure she wasn't going to get much sleep that night.

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