|Because I Knew You|
|Date||April 22, 2015|
"Anna's at a convention, trying to meet her idol. At the moment, all she wants is a place to eat her lunch...
Oh god oh god oh god. This is how I die. Death by nerds. They'll engrave it on my tombstone and everyone will laugh because it'll say something stupid underneath like 'the force wasn't with her' or 'not shiny anymore'. Oh god what if Kristoff gets his hands on it? It'll be even worse like- like- 'changed for good'. I don't know if dead me could handle that. I mean, I know I'd be dead but I'd definitely turn over in my grave at least once. Oh god oh god oh go-
"Hey, do you need a table?"
Anna's mental tirade was cut short as voice carried through the thick, sweaty, greasy air. The hustle and bustle of at least three hundred other people in the tiny, well, joke of a food court made it difficult to see the floor in front of her, let alone pick out a voice in the hubbub.
Cautiously, Anna took a step forward, confident that was the direction of the voice. She desperately hoped they had been talking to her because she almost lost her entire plate of fries and her expensive cup of cheap soda (it came in a cup that looked like a Creeper. Who didn't want that?) when some guy dressed as... well, she couldn't rightly tell. It sort of looked like Han Solo, but, well... ugly. And not even the guy. The effort he put into his cosplay was dismal at best and absolutely horrifying at worst. She was surprised the myriad of Stormtroopers hadn't attempted to arrest him just on that fact alone. Anna didn't even like Star Wars that much and she felt like crying at the sight.
Or maybe that was just her hormones because she could swear her burger was deflating with each second it sat on her plate.
Taking a breath, sucking in her stomach, and setting her resolve, Anna began to march forward. Her eyes roved over the tables, placed strategically so only the slow people, or the ones that had like, enough to feed a family of four, could get a seat, leaving the Con plebs like Anna to shuffle awkwardly until one decided to leave. And then it was pretty much a fight to the death, Apocalypto-style, to get the seat. Hard Mode if you wanted to keep all your food intact.
She was about halfway into the crowd before she realised that she had completely drifted with her thoughts and couldn't see or hear anyone who would possibly have offered her a seat. There were a few floating around (empty seats, that is), but Anna knew through her experience as a fast-food server that people were vicious when they were hungry, and that they were probably saving the seat for some warped Alien hiding a family member inside the bicycle-helmet-head.
It shouldn't be this hard to find a seat.
Turning around, Anna was fully prepared to eat her food outside the stall she was planning on visiting next, when her elbow knocked against someone. Her drink wobbled on the cheap plastic tray, and she did a creative little dance in place to prevent it from tipping. At this rate, it would go straight on the floor, or straight down her shirt—neither were very good options. She had to remain presentable until at least she finished the next stall. So that was only... two hours. She could be cool for two hours.
Only she couldn't because when she turned around to apologise to the person she had hit, she came face-to-face with the most drop-dead gorgeous girl she'd ever seen. How Anna hadn't noticed her earlier was completely beyond her, and though she saw the woman's lips move (oh god and what lips they were), she was completely gone. Whatever the girl said was lost as Anna's ears filled with cotton and a heavy blush began to work its way up her cheeks.
No, Anna. Be cool. You got this. Don't say or do anything and you won't freak her out. Wait, no, apologise, you just donged her on the head with your bony elbow. Chill Anna. Use your subtle lesbian powers of persuas- actually, you know what, just say sorry.
"...Oh. My. God. I am so sorry. I didn't even see you there and I didn't even hear what you just said but I'm really sorry and I'll like, pay for your meal or something. Or get you some ice or- shit, I dunno. I'm not usually this klutzy but like, it's not usually this busy where I work and I've never been to a con and I just wasn't expecting- shit. I'll shut up now."
If she'd had her hands free, Anna would have slapped one over her mouth so it would shut the fuck up and another over her eyes because if she can't see it, it doesn't exist, right? Unfortunately, neither option was available to her and she was forced to watch the blonde girl, in all her gorgeous glory, giggle.
Sweet heavens kill me now.
"It's okay," the girl said. "You didn't hurt me. Your poor meal looks like it's in more pain than I am, anyway."
At that, Anna glanced down at her food. The girl was right. Her burger was almost as flat as a pancake, the bread a little wrinkled around her side. It was, in essence, the crazy grandpa of burgers. She looked back up at the girl, only to find the same spark in her eyes even though the grin had shrunk slightly—it was still there, curled around the edges of her mouth, though.
"I think you should put the poor thing out of it's misery, don't you?"
And then the girl—this fucking girl oh my god—pushed out the chair across from her and indicated to it.
"I had a friend who was coming," she explained, "but you look more desperate. I don't think they need to eat anymore anyway. There's a reason we call them 'Marshmallow'." She laughed lightly, and Anna couldn't help but join in for a moment (keeping it short because no, you don't laugh longer than the person who made the joke, that's creepy).
So, instead, she sat down, carefully keeping her eyes averted because lesbians were like Cyclops, she'd swear by it. One bit of eye contact and every straight chick within a mile would be running for the hills (though Anna couldn't help but wish they'd disintegrate because hell, it'd make it a lot easier to tell who she could go for and who she couldn't).
"So..." she began, before remember that the girl had given her a seat when she'd pretty much given up, even though she'd been saving it for a friend. "Thanks for the seat," she said. "Your friend won't mind, will he?"
"They," the girl said, and Anna cocked her head. "Not 'he'. They."
Anna inwardly cursed. All that time on Tumblr with their cat vines and SJW posts and I can't even remember to ask pronouns... she lamented. The girl—shit did she use female pronouns?—didn't seem to mind, though, and just brushed passed it.
"I'm a 'she'," she said, as though reading Anna's mind. "But nah. I think they're- I think they had plans to go visit a few stalls while everyone was here, eating, so..." she shrugged, and Anna decided that now was as good a time as any to start on her pitiful burger. She glanced over to what the other woman was eating.
Stir fry. A fucking stir fry at a geek convention. And she was even using chopsticks, good lord. "That looks pretty good," she said, and the girl grinned.
"Mapo doufu," she said, and by the way she sniggered, Anna had a feeling she was being teased. "It's basically seasoned tofu cooked in a tonne of oil and pork mince," she said. "And then you've got your buk choy and choy sum and eggplant. It's pretty good."
It looked pretty good. Anna was beginning to regret her burger, but it seemed to be pretty annoyed about being eaten, too, because one bite in and it was already throwing a tantrum in her stomach. Toughen up, Anna. This meal cost you almost fifteen bucks.
"So, is this your first Con?" she said instead, hoping conversation would distract her. She still had plenty of time to waste before she had to go to the next autograph signing—she'd already been everywhere elsa she wanted to go. Glancing at the girl,she took stock of her costume. Or, rather, her lack thereof. "Decided not to dress-up?"
The girl laughed. "Dress-up is for children. What we do is cosplay. Completely, 100% legit more awesomer." Anna laughed and the girl continued. "Nah, it's not my first Con. I just couldn't be bothered dressing up anymore. Plus, it's nice just feeling the energy of the place instead of partaking in it, y'know?"
Anna shrugged. "Honestly, I've never been to one of these before. I only came because I really wanna get a signature today. I mean, I tried earlier but the autograph room was completely full. They told me to come back after lunch, so I figure, probably best to have lunch so there can be an after." She grinned, and the girl snorted into her lunch.
"So, whose sig did you want?"
Anna's eyes widened. "You can't tell?" Leaning back, she pulled down the hem of her shirt a little, proudly displaying the image on the front. "I'm absolutely in love with Elphaba's voice actress. And Elphaba. And Galinda. And Wicked in general."
And there it was, plain as the freckles on her face, the words Wicked: The Animated Series spread across her boobs and just above a (in Anna's personal, professional opinion) pretty darn good drawing of Elphaba and Galinda caught in a tight embrace, their foreheads resting together as they stared into each other's eyes.
"You want a Gelphie signature?" she asked, eyebrows raised and a furiously arousing smirk playing on her lips.
"Psh, no. Elsa Winter's. The voice actress for Elphaba. She is... amazing. I mean, I love the play, don't get me wrong. And the songs are amazing and it's so beautiful—I mean, I cry during For Good like, every fucking time it's horrible. But there's something about the show. It takes all those amazing moments from the play and builds it up. Like, yeah, there's Fiyero and he's okay but they don't push him. Even though the girls' relationship isn't canon yet, it's just so... gorgeous and pure. I mean, Elphaba never really had friends and Galinda never had true friends. They even say so in the play. So watching these girls grow, and grow together... it's a really fulfilling thing. Like everyone can be happy, no matter your circumstances or how the world sees you. To someone, you'll always just be who you are, no expectations, no preconceived notions. Galinda is just that to Elphaba. And Elphaba is just Elphie to her. And... well, yeah... I just think it's a really god thing. Don't you? Also, fuck me, Elphaba's singing voice." Anna fanned herself dramatically, and the girl let out a noise that sounded like a weird little giggle. Anna glanced at her but the girl was looking at her food, chopsticks lying to the side.
Her eyes were downcast and Anna had the sudden feeling she'd said something wrong.
"S- sorry," she said. "I tend to ramble. And, uh, I forget that some people aren't as open to, well, lesbian couples. I mean, don't get me wrong, Fiyero is awesome. But like, it's nice seeing your own kind out there for other people to see too, y'know?"
The girl finally looked up, a slight grin playing on her face. Her eyes were a little misty, and she was blinking really fast, but that was probably because Anna had basically called her a homophobe to her face and- fuck I shouldn't have said I was a lesbian, now it's gonna be weird.
"I have a non-binary friend who uses they/them pronouns," the girl said finally, after looking at Anna for a few moments. "I'm pretty sure I'm one of the last people to hate on lesbians." She grinned, and Anna let out a sigh she hadn't known she'd been holding. It didn't really matter what this girl thought, but she really didn't like alienating the pretty, fun ones who seemed like they actually didn't mind her quirkiness (plus the girl hadn't brought up the 'elbow to the head' incident, so that was always a good sign).
"Where'd you get your shirt?" she asked. "I haven't seen it around, and I'm pretty sure I've seen most of the official merch."
"Oh, well," Anna began, blushing as she looked away. "I kinda- it's not official. I just drew it. And stuck it on a shirt. I get bored so I do like, fanart. I love Cartinelli from Agent Carter and like, Hollstein from Carmilla, but I don't know. Nothing's really caught me the way Gelphie has. Plus, did I mention the singing?"
She glanced back at the woman to find an enamoured smile on her face, eyes wide as her eyes remained glued to Anna's shirt. "Ever consider going into an art career?" she asked, eyes flickering up once before flickering down again. Anna shrugged.
"Not really? I mean, I'm really not very good. I haven't been formally trained or whatever so this is mostly me mucking about. I'm nowhere near good enough—have you seen some of the amazing artwork out there? My little doodles definitely can't compare with that. And if you try, it's an insult to all that other art."
"Hey." The girl's voice was sharp and firm, but also kind of soft too, and Anna glanced up to find a fierce look in her eyes. "Don't say that. Your artwork is absolutely amazing. Everything you said about Gelphie earlier? I can see it in your picture. It's gorgeous. Second only to the artist herself."
She smiled as Anna erupted in a thick blush.
"A-anyway," Anna stuttered. "I still need to actually, you know, get her autograph." The blonde woman across from her pulled her phone from her pocket, glancing at the time.
"Well, it's almost 2 o'clock, so they'll probably open the doors soon. There's something I need to do there too, so you don't mind if I tag along, do you?" Anna shook her head.
"The more the merrier," she grinned. "Plus, I need to find some way of thanking you for letting me sit here." She paused in thought for a moment. "And apologise for hitting you."
"It's fine," the girl said. "But hey, maybe you could do me an epic Gelphie pic?"
Anna's eyes widened. "Serious- seriously?" she asked. "Why do you want-"
"I wasn't joking," the girl said, cutting Anna off. "You have amazing talent and even if you don't do anything with it, I want a piece of it."
Anna couldn't wipe the smile off her face if she tried. "Sure!" she said. "Just uh, you want my email address?" Whipping out a pen from the depths of her bag and locating a receipt of some kind, she scribbled out an address and handed it to the blonde.
"What is this?" the girl laughed. "Festerplants?"
"Feistypants!" Anna cried, slightly louder than she intended. The jovial grin on the blonde's face was a soothing bandage, and Anna had to admit that yeah, it was a stupid email. "I didn't want to use my real name and I've had that nickname since I threw a snowball at- you know what, it doesn't matter." She shook her head. Dear lord, this poor girl was learning much more about Anna today than she really needed to. Tone it down, your Weird is showing. "Er, ready to go?" she asked, changing the subject. Both girls glanced back at the table, their half-eaten food looking like it was already beginning to rot. Well, her food. The blonde's was pretty immaculate. Still, she nodded.
The duo made their way through the large showground, the traffic picking up now that the predetermined 'lunch break' was over for most people. Back to shopping, Anna supposed.
They'd just rounded a corner full of Furries (well, run around a corner full of Furries) when the blonde stopped short. Anna fidgeted slightly because she could see the autograph room. She could also see the massive fucking line, and felt her heart sink a little. It was even longer than that morning. The other girl must have noticed first and felt just as disappointed.
Anna let a sad little frown grace her face. She was disappointed. No sense in hiding it. "Sorry," she said. She was saying that a lot today. "I wasted our time and now there's a massive line. Probably won't get a chance to go in anyway..." And yeah, maybe she sounded a little pathetic, but really, the only reason she'd come was to tell Elsa Winter how awesome she was and how much Elphaba meant to her, and Gelphie, and she'd wasted her time and someone else's by telling said person precisely that information.
Her and her goddamn mouth.
She she turned to look at her new.. friend(?), expecting to find the same sad look on her face—hadn't she said she wanted an autograph too? Instead, there was a thoughtful expression on her face as she looked at the line
"You've... never seen Elsa Winter, have you?" Anna shook her head.
"I didn't really wanna ruin the experience. Like, seeing her for the first time, I wanted to see her in real life. I probably couldn't even recognise her voice because I associate- well, that's Elphaba's voice, you know?"
The girl nodded, her sight still set on people standing agitated. Wow, Ms Winter was late for her own autograph signing. "I- here," the blonde said. She took a step forward and suddenly her arm was linked with Anna's. "Follow me."
And then she marched right up to the front of the line, the menacing bodyguard staring down at them. Anna's vision zeroed in on frowning eyes, bulky arms crossed over an even bulkier chest.
"Hey, Marshmallow," the blonde grinned easily, and suddenly it all made sense. The girl knew the person who was watching the door to the signing. Of course she could get in. She probably had a job to do, like... Anna had no idea. She didn't know what went into an autograph signing or conventions or any of this, really.
Maybe she should have studied what comic-cons were actually like, about.
Shrugging to herself, she pushed that thought to the side. It was too late now and anyway, how embarrassing (and sad) would that have been? She could already imagine Kristoff's questions of 'so what did you do last night?'. For some reason, the answer 'looking up cons on youtube' (and definitely not the fun catch me if you can cons) seemed especially sad.
The girl must have finished talking to her friend, because Anna felt herself being tugged along and stepping into a large room. There were about fifty seats or so placed in front of a raised stage. There was a table, and it was pretty obviously like a Q-and-A set up. Anna felt her mouth go dry as her eyes aligned on a small place-card that read 'Elsa Winter', in probably the curliest script she'd ever seen.
"Woah," she breathed. "This is awesome."
Almost as though she were in a trance, she dropped the girl's hand and approached the name card, hands reaching out as thought to pick it up. She stopped at the last minute, though, suddenly unsure. Instead, she wandered to the side of the room, eyes focussed on the walls. She hadn't noticed when she'd first entered, but there were posters hanging on the walls, some she'd seen online and others that she had no idea about. Most of them were scenes (because holy hell, the background artists were pretty amazing), but one in particular caught her eye.
One of the only dynamic shots, it had Elphaba and Galinda on the former's broomstick, grinning and reaching out towards the audience. The colours were absolutely vibrant and it was almost like a 'what if' for the end of Act I. Lost opportunities and all that. Pulling her con handbook from her bag, she rifled through the pages, unsurprised when it came up empty of 'unseen promotional posters of your favourite animates series'!'. Taking more care, she pulled out the programme she'd purchased that morning from the Wicked stall a few stands down the hallway. Beginning to make her way back towards the front of the room, she was barely aware that her lunchmate had moved; her gaze was focussed completely and utterly on the book in her hands. It had fallen open to the middle, because though Anna hadn't opened it earlier, fully aware that Elsa Winter would be one of the first faces that popped up, she realised that the voice actress was achingly familiar.
No. Fucking. Way.
Anna felt her head lighten, breath coming shallowly as she stared at the girl grinning back at her from the glossy pages. The blonde girl with piercing blue eyes and the straightest teeth ever (even straighter than David Tennant).
Swallowing thickly, she looked up towards her lunchmate. Her blonde lunchmate.
Elsa fucking Winter.
"Oh my god," Anna breathed. They were still the only two in the room. No one else had entered or left, but Anna honestly wasn't sure that the 'meeting my idol' protocol allowed her to do anything other than hyperventilate and feel as though she were going to either be sick or pass out. Or both.
"Hi," the girl—no, Elsa—said, smiling softly. Anna's jaw worked up and down for several beats. She let out a squeak before she was able to gain control of herself and repeat the word back (albeit severely stuttered).
When Elsa beckoned her forward, Anna couldn't do anything but follow the direction. She'd just spent an hour talking to Elsa Winter and now she couldn't even form a coherent word.
Elsa didn't seem to mind. She gently took Anna's programme from her hand, smiling at the picture, before turning to a new page. Anna had no idea what she wrote, because she pretty much couldn't concentrate on anything but the way Elsa's eyes roved over her face as she handed it back. It felt different, knowing who this girl was now. Even after Anna took her book back, Elsa's hand remained in the air between them, almost offering a handshake.
And then Anna remembered that Elsa Winter had looped hands with her and she could definitely cope with a handshake after that.
Elsa taking her hand and kissing the back of it, eyes never leaving Anna's even as the girl erupted into a blush (and both of them biting back smiles) was not something she could easily handle.
"It was a pleasure to meet you..." Elsa said softly, trailing off in expectation.
"A-Anna," came the stuttered reply. "L-like, ahhh-na. But spelled normally."
Elsa laughed. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Ahhna," she grinned, prompting a small one to appear on Anna's face.
She let out a small sigh, still looking at Elsa. The blonde woman raised an eyebrow, the smile still on her face. Anna could feel a passive one on her own lips, but was completely unable to actually do anything about it. She was jolted back into her own mind when the sound of the doors opening reached her ears, and suddenly other convention-goers were streaming in.
Her eyes widened and she let out a sheepish smile. "Bye!" she mouthed, waving to Elsa. She wasn't even sure if the girl had seen it because a few seconds later she was outside the room. Marshmallow was still standing guard—they gave Anna a small grin, which she returned willingly.
"Pretty amazing, huh?" they asked, and Anna sighed.
Anna spent the next she-didn't-know-how-long sitting a few metres away from the room, hidden by a rather large 'Winter is coming!' banner. Her head was still fuzzy and there was a warm feeling in her chest, and she simply bathed in the sensations. God, Elsa! She'd talked to her, like, actually had a conversation with her. How hadn't she recognised her voice? Why hadn't she googled what she looked like before the con?
Though, Anna could see how that would have been a bad idea... she probably wouldn't have been able to say a word at all to Elsa, and then she would never have gotten her signa- signature!
Pulling her bag around, she rifled through it for a few beats before pulling out the programme. She had just begun flicking through it when a familiar voice called through the air.
"Feistypants! There you are!"
Glancing up, Anna was met with the sight of Kristoff, in all his cosplaying glory. She could smell him beneath his layers of Forsworn garb, and it was... unpleasant, to say the least.
"Here I am," she said. Her task had been momentarily forgotten, but when he knelt next to her, laden down by bags and a new axe (why?) and a poster (seriously, Kris?), she remembered what she'd gotten that day.
"Did you get her autograph? I asked at the booth if they'd seen you and someone gave me this, by the way," he said, fully knowing what Anna's plans for the day had been. She nodded furiously but didn't answer, focussed almost completely on checking through each page of the book in her hands, looking for whatever had been written down.
Anna glanced up at him for a moment, but her eyes were suddenly captured by thick black writing covering the bottom half of one of the pages. Anna barely noticed the fun image of Galinda and Elphaba in their room at Shiz because she was busy rereading the short sentence over and over again.
"Arendelle Hotel, room 825, 8pm. We can discuss the finer points of shipping then –E"
oh my fucking god
Anna looked up at Kristoff, staring blankly for a moment before twisting the programme around and letting him read for himself.
"Kris," she said.
"Oh my fucking- Kristoff."
Okay maybe it was slightly panic time because if Anna had expected anything to happen today, it was more along the lines of completely missing out on meeting her idol. Maybe tripping and being trampled by other people rushing to meet her and then having the door slammed in her face because she was so slow. Not- not this.
Clearing her throat, she took her book back, slamming it shut and stuffing it (neatly) into her bag to protect it from any potential damage.
"Okay. Gotta chill, Anna. Chill."
Kristoff was looking at her with an amused grin on his face.
"Dude, you've got it bad."
In retaliation, Anna stuck his tongue out at him. "Didn't you say something about something for me?" she asked. There'd be no beating him if she entertained his verbal repartee.
He rolled his eyes and handed over the rolled poster she'd noticed earlier. "I was asking if someone had seen you, and they pointed me in this direction and gave me this. Said you left it behind."
Of course, by that stage, Anna had unrolled the poster and completely drowned out whatever Kristoff was saying because oh my god.
It was the poster. The poster. The Gelphie poster on a broomstick. And not only that, but there was yet another message written underneath.
Thank you for today. You are an amazing person and an amazing artist. I know one day that you could do something even better than this poster. So use it as inspiration. I expect my illustration to be amazing~
Your friend, Elsa
Blinking rapidly, Anna rolled the poster back up.
"Hey, Kris?" she sighed dreamily, a soft smile playing on her lips. "I think I'm in love..."