Ghost of You

A/N : This was my first try at fan fiction, posted on A Purple Panda. I have re-worked it a bit since. I was supposed to publish this mid-March only, but I’ve been re-watching the series and it kinda stuck with me. Previous A/N below. I hope you enjoy! – Alixa

“Here’s (finally) a new story! I’m trying something new, fan fiction! I’ve watched all the episodes of Once Upon A Time and I honestly loved the series. Mulan was one of my favourite characters and I really hoped she would get her happy ending, but so far, no luck. I’m also a huge fan of Frozen and I am pratically in love with Elsa from the movie. I was excited to see her appear in Season 4 of Once Upon A Time, but I must say I am a bit on the fence about how they integrated Frozen to the series.

Anyways, this isn’t a review of the show, but a fanfiction about Mulan and Elsa meeting and falling in love. It’s my first time using existing characters and I hope I won’t go too much out of character! I welcome any advice, tips or ideas. For now, here’s the first part. I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I did writing it :3

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or the universe, they belong to their respective creators!

WARNING: Possible spoilers as this story is set after Episode 12 of Season 4, Heroes and Villains!”

GHOST OF YOU

“This could kill you.”

“I’ll take that risk if you will.”

Emma’s eyes were full of fear and tears as I held my hand towards her. I wasn’t afraid, I was hopeful. I believed in her just like Anna had believed in me. Because I loved her.

When she took my hand and accepted who she was, a special being with the gift of magic, when her powers came into her control, I saw the relief on her face. She was finally one with herself, no more inner conflict about who she was and who she should be. In that moment, I could’ve kissed her.

I remember that moment as if it was yesterday. I miss her every day, even more so since Anna left on her honeymoon with Kristoff, finally married to her soul mate. A part of me wonders if Emma was mine; I never connected with anyone like I did with her. For being afraid my whole life of what I could do, I thought my gift was a curse. I was called a monster, and I believed it until I met her. No matter how much I love Anna, my sister can’t understand the fear of hurting those we love or the loneliness that came with that burden.

Now, Emma is out of my reach. Leaving her was the right thing; I have my responsibilities as Queen and I had to take my kingdom back from Hans, but it was also the hardest thing I ever had to do. I’m not even sure I could return to that world if I wanted to. So here I am, spending days reliving memories I can’t escape from until the Summer Festival to be held in a few weeks where I will finally restore the memories of my lost aunts and celebrate them.

*  *  *

Aurora, Aurora, Aurora. The name kept ringing madly in my mind. It still does. I wanted to claw the thought of her out of my head, but only could try to remind myself that she was happy with Phillip and their child. Over a year went by since I left her to join Robin Hood’s band, but not a day passed without me thinking of her. No matter where I went, what I did, the ghost of her followed me, cruelly clinging to my heart.

I left the Merry Men as soon as I realized there was no real escape with them – they were a living reminder of my rejection. The only way I could push away unwanted memories and unrequited feelings was through hunting. Immersing myself in tracking and slaying dangerous magical beasts became my reason to live. Nothing drew me in faster than the challenge of an unkillable monster, nothing took Aurora off my mind more easily. And every time, I almost wished it’d be the end of me.

At camp, when night fell on the Enchanted Forest, all I could do is picture her next to me, recalling the time we spent together after her awakening. Everything reminded me of her, here. The smell of the fire, the sounds of the forest; the wind itself carried her to me. I tried fleeing back to my village, but even there I could find traces of her and Phillip, with whom I had spent so much time after Belle had saved him from his beast form.

I blame him for all of it. Phillip. Since the beginning, he would tell me all about this princess he needed to find and save from Maleficent. Through his words, I could see her and I already knew how wonderful of a woman she was. The moment my eyes laid on her, resting under the sleeping curse, I knew she was so much more. Though I told myself she was just a spoiled brat that didn’t deserve the love of Phillip, I was just trying to protect my heart. I remember the exact second I realized I was in love with her. We were in the Enchanted Forest, looking for a way to defeat Cora, when she insisted to help Emma and Snow even though the flames would burn her. Strong and stubborn, she wanted to prove she wasn’t simply a helpless princess, and she did just that over and over while we were trying to retrieve Phillip’s soul. That’s part of what makes her unique, why I fell for her so hard. Oh, the things I would’ve done for her, to be with her!

So I’ve gone even further I could ever imagine, across seas and mountains to a place named Arendelle. One night I was coming back from a long hunt, I heard in a tavern that there was an ice monster that needed to be slain, a dangerous creature that threatened the peace of this new realm. Exactly what I needed, another hunt in a place I’ve never been, where Aurora couldn’t follow me. At last. I left the next day at dawn, looking for a ship that would take me to the northern kingdom as soon as possible.

Too soon I found out I was seasick. Yeah, who would’ve thought? But I’m a warrior, trained to fight on land. I can ride horses faster than many men and I can use a sword better than most, but I can’t stand the constant movement of the waves under the hull. I spent most of the journey in my tiny room under deck, trying to sleep until we arrived. You can imagine my relief when I heard the crew calling land, the sounds of the busy harbour, the birds and people, chirping away. I almost ran off the ship to find solid ground again under my usually steady feet. Instead, I walked off slowly and smiled to the captain, thanking him for taking me here, and left him with a few more coins than the fare we agreed on, looking forward to never see him again!

That’s how I got here. That’s why I’m standing in the throne room, watching a beautiful queen laugh at me.

“An ice beast to slay?”

“Yes, my Lady. That’s what I’ve heard on the other side of the ocean.”

I frown, all in armour, standing in front of the throne where she sits, leaning to one side. I try not to flinch when she smiles, amused again by my words. I am definitely confused, and slightly irritated. What’s so funny? After all, here I am, offering myself to free her from that threat and all she can do is laugh as if it was a huge joke.

“Well, there’s no such thing in my kingdom, I can assure you. The only monster here is me, according to some, and if you hoped to kill me, you should’ve come up with a better plan than this!”

No beast but her? Ok, now I need an explanation. Back in the Enchanted Forest, the stories told of a heartless, fearless creature that would kill anyone that comes near its lair. The best lived in the mountains, according what I’ve heard, though the physical description was different from one person to another. Some would say it was an ice giant ready to crush you while others would talk of an ice spirit that could trap you in an eternal winter.

Either way, Elsa of Arendelle isn’t it, unless she transforms at night into a magical creature. If that were the case, I would think of a curse that needs to be broken. There is no way I would ever think of murdering her, unless she is mistreating her people. She doesn’t seem the tyrant kind, though, not with that easy-coming laugh of hers. Had I gotten the wrong information? It wouldn’t be the first time.

“You? I’m afraid I don’t understand, Your Majesty.”

“I have magic. Ice magic. It has caused some trouble, before, and some countries may fear me because of it, calling me a monster.”

Oh. I smile softly at her words as everything starts to become clear. It seems that magic is rare, over here, and that would explain the rumours of a beast in Arendelle needing to be slain. I definitely should’ve researched the matter deeper before coming all the way here. A rookie mistake; I was too desperate to flee the ghost of Aurora, but still. Tavern stories, though sometimes true, can’t always be trusted. Now, I look like a fool in front of this magnificent queen with silver hair. What must she think of me?

“I come from a realm where magic is common, the Enchanted Forest. I do not think it’s an aberration of any kind. Pardon me for intruding your land then, Your Majesty, I have been misled.”

I bow stiffly, thinking that’s probably the best way I can save face and exit somehow gracefully. It’s a shame, though. It would’ve been thrilling to hunt that monster dwelling in the snow-covered mountains. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen actual snow…

I’m about to turn around and leave when a commanding voice stops me.

“Wait! You come from the Enchanted Forest?”

Queen Elsa has gotten up, making a few steps towards me. Her eyes are wide open, but I can’t seem to read the thoughts behind. It’s almost as if she knows the place. Arendelle and the Enchanted Forest don’t have much in common, however, and it makes me wonder how she’s heard of it. Maybe it’s a magic thing, you know, being around people that don’t think you’re a monster because of something you were born with. Though I must say, for a freak, she is doing quite well, being Queen and all. Her people seem to absolutely love her from what I’ve seen and heard in the harbour and on my way to the palace. The houses are in good condition, no one is starving. Citizens are happy under her rule and the kingdom has good business relationships with neighbours. Most of them. I surely wouldn’t complain to have her as my queen.

I nod, still standing somewhat stiffly in front of the sorceress, a hand on the hilt of my sword. I wish I could be a bit more informal, but this is still an audience with the ruler of this realm. Even though the Queen is now standing closer to me. Even though I can smell her refreshing but delicate perfume.

“I was born in a village of the Empire, part of the Enchanted Forest, yes. How have you heard of it?”

I’m curious to hear that story. It’s not like it’s an easy trip from Arendelle and I hadn’t known of this place until recently. The more I learn about her, the more intrigued I am by her. Who is this Queen Elsa?

“My sister and my parents both visited your land, and I’ve met a fair few people from there. Maybe you know them as well? Mary Margaret, David, and …”

This instantly reminds me of Aurora and Phillip. The first time I met Snow White, or Mary Margaret like her daughter Emma calls her, she was sent through the portal that also brought the wraith that took Phillip’s soul. They caused so much trouble, the two of them, just to get back to their world without magic, but they also saved Aurora and helped me get her heart back from Cora. And then, there was Neal who helped me overcome my fear of rejection, but also led me down this path. Because he gave me hope.

“Then you must know Emma.”

Despite my best efforts, I know my voice sounds strained. Thinking of Aurora brought back this ball in my throat, this pain in my guts. I might’ve run away, I can’t escape these feelings suffocating me. I try as best as I can to push them away and to think of something else, so I focus my attention on Elsa. She nods, but she appears suddenly so distant. I am usually so good at reading people, why is it so hard with her?

The Queen confirming she knows Emma means that she was here, then. I can’t help myself, I want to know if she is alright. The last I heard, she was searching in Neverland for her son Henry, the boy that could speak to Aurora in that burning room of nightmares. Neal was going to them, his family. From the Enchanted Forest, I had no way to know if he’d found them and I had wished for them to be all reunited.

“How is she? Why was she here? Did Neal find her? Is Henry safe back in Storybrooke?”

I stop myself as I see Elsa raising an eyebrow at me. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t have thrown all my questions in one go, but I consider them friends and I am worried. Over a year went by and I have no idea what happened. I’ve heard rumours that everyone that was cursed by the Evil Queen came back, but I didn’t meet any of them during my travelling. I can’t help but fear that the boy is still a prisoner of Neverland, but I am soon reassured.

“Everyone is good, now, safe as they can be in Storybrooke. Emma didn’t come here, I went there. There have been problems with my aunt, she was the reason I was brought that world, but that’s been taken care of… I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I’ve never heard of this Neal.”

I frown, afraid that something might’ve happened to him. Did he take his old name back, his true name? I insist, wanting to believe he is alright.

“Baelfire, Rumplestiltskin’s son. Emma’s true love, Henry’s father?”

Elsa shakes her head. She does not know of him.

“Emma is with Hook, now. I don’t know what happened to Neal, I’m sorry.”

“Oh…”

Suddenly, I feel crushed. Neal had given me hope that love could overcome anything, as it should, even fear. What if he never got his happy ending? Did he even make it to Neverland? I was rooting for him, for his second chance, hoping I could get a do-over as well.

I am surprised to hear about Hook and Emma, though. I had noticed that the pirate was a bit obsessive about the pretty blond from the start, but I didn’t think she would finally give in. He worked with Cora and betrayed us so many times. That makes him one of the bad guys, a villain, doesn’t it? So why would Emma, the Saviour, fall for someone like him?

I wish I could get answers, but Elsa visibly really doesn’t know any more so it would be pointless to keep asking. It’s time for me to move on anyways. There’s no need of me here and now that I know there’s a connection with Aurora, as thin as it is, I am not sure I can find my escape by staying in Arendelle.

“Well, I should head out now. Maybe the ship I came with can take me back to the Enchanted Forest. It’s been a pleasure, Your Majesty.”

I bow again, ready to take my leave, but the Queen stops me a second time. Softly, a hand on my arm holding me back.

“Mulan, wait… Why don’t you stay here a little while? It’s summer time and there’s a festival coming soon. Your friendship would be welcome as I don’t have many friends and my sister is gone on her honeymoon.”

I hesitate, unsure if I can properly decline the invitation. At the same time, I am tempted to say yes just to get to know her a bit more, this intriguing queen. After all, it’s not like I have another beast to track and the idea of finding myself in the Enchanted Forest so soon is still painful. Plus, I am not sure I’d survive another week at sea.

Breathing in deeply, I nod, deciding to stay a little longer. Until the honeymoon of the Queen’s sister is over, then I leave.

“Alright. It would be my honour to keep you company, Your Majesty.”

“We have plenty of rooms, so of course, you’ll stay here. A guard will escort you. Also… Just Elsa is fine.”

She sees me off with a smile that makes me wonder for a moment how anyone could even think of her as a monster. Then, she disappears from my sight as I am escorted out of the throne room through large doorways into numerous hallways. Rest would be welcome, as well as a warm bath to help me sort my thoughts…

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