TW: Character death, lots of it.
Anna stared out the window, virtually as lifeless as the monstrous blizzard storming outside. Her hands worked absently, knitting a heavy woolen blanket without any real thought behind the action. The part of the blanket that was already finished was draped across her legs, and with the fireplace crackling beside her she should have been perfectly comfortable, but she could still feel the cold all the same. It was similar to when Elsa had struck her, all those years ago. Like freezing from the inside out, but this time, it wasn't actually life threatening. This time, she was just sad.
A sharp, painful sounding cough suddenly sounded from the other side of the room, and she was instantly on her feet. Heels clicking as she strode across the tile, she quickly made her way to the bed and pulled aside the thick canopy that covered it.
Kristoff lie there, wrapped in multiple heavy blankets. He was shivering despite them, and broke into a series of bad coughs. Anna felt helpless as she sat down beside him, pulling him close with one arm around his back, unable to do anything. Eventually, the coughs subsided, and she spoke up quietly.
"They're getting worse." He simply nodded, too out of breath to answer her. "Should I go make some soup?"
"That would be nice." Kristoff answered hoarsely. "But you don't have to-"
"It's fine, I don't mind making soup." She gave a sad smile. "And you're in no shape to make it yourself."
He nodded again, not bothering to argue with her, and sank back into the fluffy pillow as he pulled the blankets back up as far as he could without suffocating himself. Anna stood and let the canopy fall back into place, boots clicking on the tile again as she left the room.
She made her way down the dark halls, glancing out of the windows every now and again. It was late at night, and the whirling snowstorm outside made it near impossible to see much outside. The castle felt far too cold and empty, like it had when she was a child, but worse this time. At least then she had known Elsa was in her room, and really early on, her parents were somewhere in the castle as well. Now though, Elsa's room was empty, her parents were long gone, and the only other person in the castle was her very, very sick husband. If she had thought it was lonely back then, she didn't even know what word to use to describe it now.
Descending the stairs and turning a few more corners, she eventually made it to the kitchen. Luckily for her, everything she needed was already there, somewhere in storage or on the counters. It made sense, anyway. This had been a daily occurrence for weeks now, for more than half the winter. Every day she'd come to the kitchen and make some sort of soup, since it was all Kristoff could handle. He'd come down sick near the beginning of the winter, and they'd only just passed the halfway mark for the cold season a few weeks ago.
She sorted though the available ingredients, reaching for carrots before thinking better of it. Kristoff was sick enough as it was, she didn't want him as depressed as she was too by reminding him of the past. Instead, she reached for tomatoes and set to work.
A little while later, Anna carried a tray of the warm soup back upstairs to their bedroom. Nudging the door open with her backside, she stepped into the room and shut the door again quickly with her foot, not wanting the cold from the hall to creep inside. Then she walked over to the bed and pulled aside the curtain again, before setting the tray down in front of Kristoff.
"Smells good." He commented, sitting up slightly.
She shrugged, sitting beside him. "It's simple."
"Simple is good too." He told her, carefully picking up the spoon.
"I'm..." Anna started, pausing when her voice cracked, before clearing her throat and trying again. "I'm gonna go visit Elsa tomorrow."
"Do you want me to go with you?" Kristoff asked around the spoon now in his mouth.
"No, you're in no shape to go anywhere." Anna told him sternly. "I'll be fine on my own."
"Yeah, that's true." He said, defeated. "I wish Sven could go with you, at least."
"I know." Well, so much for not reminding him of the past. "I miss him too."
They'd lost the lovable reindeer just before winter started, near the end of autumn. It'd been simply a sad mistake by one of the local hunters, and Sven had just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. That was part of why Kristoff had ended up sick in the first place, as well. Without the reindeer companion he'd had all his life, the ice master ended up having more trouble doing his job than before and was out in the cold for far longer than he should have been, and came down with what seemed like a cold at first but had quickly gotten worse and worse throughout the winter.
"You sure you'll be okay on your own?" He asked, a tone of worry apparent in his hoarse voice.
"Yeah, I'll be fine." She reassured him again.
After a few more minutes, he finished the soup and she moved the tray over to a nearby table, not wanting to walk all the way through the empty castle again with nothing but the clicking of her boots on the tile to keep her company. Walking through an empty castle with the only audible sound being the clicking of her heels and the howling wind outside, it was a constant reminder of how alone they were.
When she looked back to the bed, Kristoff had fallen asleep. With a tired sigh, she again fixed the canopy back into place and moved back to her chair beside the fireplace.
"And you'll definitely be okay for a couple of hours alone?" Anna asked for probably the seventh time that morning, tying her heaviest cloak around her shoulders before reaching for her gloves.
"Yes, Anna, I'll be fine." Kristoff reassured her for, obviously, the seventh time.
"Okay, well, in that case I'll be off. I'll be back really soon, okay? You probably won't even notice I'm gone, I'll be that quick." She rambled slightly, and he simply nodded while she spoke. "Okay! Okay, you get some sleep, and I'll be back soon."
With that, she left the room, cloak billowing behind her. Once the door had clicked shut, Kristoff sighed. He probably should have told her, but he didn't want her to stay home just because of him when she was supposed to go see Elsa. It was probably nothing, anyway; they'd thought multiple times over the winter that he might not make it to the next day, but he always did. Even if he felt a bit worse today, it shouldn't be anything significant, right?
Outside, Anna was now climbing onto her horse, a small leather bag hanging from her shoulder. She shifted it slightly, reassuring herself that it would be safe for the trip, and nudged the horse with her heel.
The snow was thick and heavy, clinging to everything. She supposed she probably should have waited a few days to make the trip, but it needed to be today. The same day, just one year later. She'd waited long enough to make the trip, and she wasn't going to back out now just because of some snow.
The town was quiet, and empty, just like the castle. Everyone had either moved to other cities or were hiding away in their homes, trying to stay warm and out of the cold.
She looked up at the cloudy sky as the horse trudged along through the tall snow drifts, thinking. It'd been exactly a year since that one horrible day, the one that changed her life so much. It was similar to when Elsa had suddenly shut herself away in her room when they were kids, except this was, again, far worse. As she made her way out of the town and toward the mountain Elsa had once gone in hiding on, she remembered the past few years before this one.
Elsa made a great queen, once everything was settled. Though, her powers never stopped getting stronger. It was almost scary how powerful she'd really gotten, but she never lost control of them again. Actually, keeping them in check was probably what finally caused it, the previous year.
She sighed, running a hand over her braided hair. There was more white in it these days, a lot more white, though none of it had been directly caused by her sister this time. No, this was simply from getting older and dealing with all the stress and heartache she was burdened with now.
Lost in her memories, she barely even noticed the time passing. Before she knew it, they were already at the base of the mountain. With another sigh, Anna dismounted, and trudged through the snow herself for a ways. Nearby, there was a small clearing, tucked behind a tall rock wall that shielded it from the majority of the weather.
Stepping into the clearing, Anna reached into the bag she still carried and gently retrieved a glass bottle filled with water, which had partially frozen by now. Holding it carefully in her hands, she continued to walk through the small clearing, stepping through the frozen branches of the occasional tree.
Up against the rock wall at the end of the clearing, there was a large slab of stone set partially into the ground, and another stone atop it with words engraved into it. A familiar crown was set at the top of the engraved stone, reflecting the cold light.
As she approached, Anna couldn't help but remember how this had ended up here, and why.
"Elsa, are you alright? You look ill." Kristoff pointed out, and Anna looked up at her sister, who was across the table from them.
"To be honest, it's strange." She said. "I feel cold."
"But you said the cold doesn't bother you?" Anna asked, confused.
"It never has before." Elsa shrugged. "It's probably nothing, let's not worry about it."
"Okay Elsa, if you're sure..." Anna was skeptical that her sister was really okay, but she decided to trust her judgement.
Anna turned over the bottle in her hands. "We should have looked further into it right then, but I suppose there was no way we could have known." She murmured to herself.
"Well, like I was saying before, I think it's time we redesigned the courtyard, and this time- Elsa?" Anna turned to look at her sister, who suddenly looked dizzy. The queen looked like she was about to reply before falling to the floor. "Elsa!"
She shook her head sharply. "It was hopeless by then. If only we had realized sooner."
News that the queen had fallen ill for the first time in her life spread throughout Arendelle like wildfire. It wasn't but a day after Elsa had collapsed that everyone was in a slight panic, fearing the worst. Anna herself was no better, constantly fretting over the wellbeing of her sister.
They couldn't find a physical reason for her sickness, and eventually decided on taking her to Grand Pabbie of the trolls, however it became apparent immediately that she couldn't go anywhere. As soon as she was taken outside, she grew noticeably worse, and therefore they had no choice but to keep her in a warm room of the castle. After a few more days of no improvement, Kristoff finally convinced the troll shaman to come see her himself, though it didn't help them any.
After looking her over, he informed them that her powers had grown far too powerful for her to handle. Humans were never meant to live through the sort of cold she constantly produced, and the older she got, the more powerful it became and the colder it was. It was similar to when she'd accidentally put ice in Anna's heart; except this time, Elsa was the one dying.
Anna was on her knees by now, sitting in front of the stone. The bottle rested in her lap, and she hid her face in her hands while trying to hold back her tears. The next part was the one she really didn't want to remember.
"I'm so sorry Elsa, we should have done something sooner-"
"-maybe we could have prevented this or fixed it or-"
"-maybe figured out how to-"
"... Huh?" Anna looked up at Elsa's shout, seeing the annoyed look on the sickly queen's face.
"I have a feeling this was pretty much inevitable." She said, completely calm, albeit obviously weak. The heavy blankets covering her and the fireplace nearby did little to keep her from shivering.
"But maybe we could have-" Anna started, but Elsa interrupted her again.
"No, I don't think so."
Anna was quiet for a moment. "I don't want you to die."
"Yeah, I don't really want to die either." She agreed with a sad smile. She'd stopped shivering by now, and Anna knew that if her hair wasn't already white, the cold would have made it that way.
The room was empty except for the two of them, and their happy little snowman friend Olaf. Though, happy was the last word that could be used to describe the snowman right at that moment.
"Elsa, what are we going to do without you?" Anna asked, and the utterly defeated and tragic look on her face was enough to make Elsa feel like her frozen heart was shattering into lots of teeny little icy shards.
"I guess you'll be the queen now." Her eyes were starting to slip closed by themselves by now.
"Elsa?" Anna's tragic look changed to one of horror. "ELSA!"
"I'm sorry, Anna." She murmured, going limp. "Goodbye."
"ELSA!"Tears were streaming down Anna's face as she pulled her sister close, sobbing. "Don't go..."
"Anna." Olaf spoke up for the first time in the past several minutes. "Please don't be sad. She's not going alone, at least."
"What?" Anna tensed. What did he mean?
"I've lived for way longer than snowmen are ever supposed to, anyway." His voice sounded distant, weak.
She spun around just in time to see him melt completely, his carrot nose falling into the puddle with a soft splash.
Anna was, again, openly sobbing. Her tears were falling onto the bottle in her lap, which for some reason only made her cry harder.
She'd been told later that the entire castle had known the moment Elsa passed. Anna's miserable cry could be heard in every room, and when Kristoff and the servants heard it, they'd all known exactly what had happened. At least she hadn't had to explain when she emerged from the room, numb. They'd already known.
Shaking her head, Anna held the bottle tighter in one hand and leaned forward, digging through the snow at the base of the headstone. Once she reached the cold soil underneath, she continued digging until there was a hole big enough for the bottle, and gently set it there. Stifling another sob, she pushed the loose dirt back into the hole over the bottle, burying it and its watery contents just underneath the surface.
"Here you go, Elsa. Now Olaf is here to keep you company." She murmured, voice cracking at the end.
After a few moments of depressing silence, she stood, and moved to sit lightly on the slab of stone beside the engraved headstone. Her cold cloak made a slight swishing noise against the rough concrete material, sounding much louder than it really was in the silent clearing, and she leaned against the headstone.
Anna's voice was barely audible, even in the suffocating silence around her. She, of course, received no answer from the engraved stone under her. Clearing her throat, she tried to continue.
"Do you wanna build a snowman?
Come on let's go and play.
I never see you anymore."
Anna's voice failed on the last line, throat constricting with emotion, and tears were now rolling down her cheeks silently. Wiping them away stubbornly, she tried again.
"Come out the door,
It's like you've gone away~
We used to be best buddies.
And now we're not."
Almost completely incoherent now, Anna pressed her face against the rough stone, not even trying to stop her crying anymore.
"I wish you would tell me why!
Do you wanna build a snowman?
It doesn't have to be a snowman."
A cold wind blew through the clearing, making her shiver when it hit her wet face. Clearing her throat, she did the best she could to change her voice in an attempt to mimic a certain ice queen's voice.
"Go away, Anna."
She burst into a fresh fit of sobbing, tears dripping onto the stone where her head rested against it. After a few moments, she shivered again from the cold, and stood before starting to walk away from the engraved tombstone.
"Kristoff? I'm back."
Anna called into the dark room, announcing her return from her trip to Elsa's grave. She was met with silence, and tilted her head curiously as she removed her cloak.
"Kristoff, are you alright?"
Still no answer, she moved toward the bed, the clicking of her heels sounding louder to her than ever. The room was warm and comfortable, but she couldn't help the shiver that went down her spine. Something was wrong, very, very wrong.
Empty reassurances ran through her head over and over, spinning around like the whirling blizzard of the night before. Things like maybe he's just sleeping, and maybe he felt well enough to walk and is just elsewhere in the castle.
She couldn't have been more wrong.
Pulling aside the canopy over the bed, she saw Kristoff lying there in the many wool blankets she'd knitted over the course of the winter, just as she'd left him that morning. She almost breathed a sigh of relief, before realizing that there was still something wrong.
He's not asleep. The thought entered her head suddenly and her eyes widened in horror. "Kristoff?!"
Still no answer. With a sinking feeling, she moved closer quickly and gently set her hand on the side of his face. The ice master was cold and unmoving.
THIS IS REALLY SAD OOPS I'M SORRY
Basically, if you didn't understand, fourteen years after the events of Frozen, Elsa's powers get too strong for her human body to handle and end up killing her. When she dies, there's nothing to keep Olaf from melting, and so he technically dies too. The following autumn, Sven is out in the wilderness nearby when one of the town hunters shoots him, and the hunter doesn't realize who it is until it's too late to save him. Without Sven, Kristoff has more trouble doing his ice work, and thus comes down with a cold, and quickly catches pneumonia as well. While he's sick, the anniversary of Elsa's and Olaf's deaths comes around, and Elsa finally gains the nerve to go visit Elsa's grave at the base of the mountain, and to bury Olaf with her. After he melted, Anna put the melted snow from his body in a bottle, but couldn't bring herself to bury it until a year later. When she returns from the trip, Kristoff has already lost his battle with his sickness.
I stayed up all night to write this and at like six AM my mom dragged me off to the grocery store to get something and I saw a Frozen coloring book, and it just made me kinda sad because I killed all those characters not an hour before. I'm a terrible person.
(blame tumblr for the freaking 'Olaf will melt when Elsa dies' post that's why this exists TUMBLR THIS IS YOUR FAULT)