Disclaimer: I do not own Elsa (I wish) or Anna, or any of the other characters. All rights belong to Disney.
Back with another story, guys! This one is a little different, a very odd idea that came into my head randomly one morning and just flowed right out of me. I've actually been working on it along with LL9, and I've decided that I'd put it out there. Tell me what you think! Should I continue with it? It's fluffier than LL9; no Hans, Kristoff is hardly in here because Sven isn't written NEARLY enough as far as I'm concerned, and he's a human in this.
Now, before you start reading, please be aware that I'm not attacking or demeaning the injured or disabled by using rude language (i.e "cripple"), please remember this is a story, and Elsa will be very self-depreciating as she struggles to cope. These are her thoughts and feelings, not mine.
The slopes of the North Mountain were her home away from home; she knew them forwards and backwards, inside and out. Every cave, every cliff, every dangerous animal that dwelled on its peaks. Every dangerous animal, except the avalanche. You can't see them as easily as a bear, or a mountain lion. They simply just happen.
A deafening beating resonated in the sky above her: a helicopter.
The sound of snow being shovelled, men shouting, a dog barking…
She was numb. She couldn't feel anything at all. Her vision was blurred, her ears were ringing, and the sun was so bright.
"The leg! Get that rock off her leg!"
"Shit…she lost her boot. The sock is soaked."
"It's black…it's black. Get me gauze!"
It's black? What's black?
Her foot was exposed to the elements overnight; it had been -30 celsius, with a sharp wind that cut through flesh like a razor.
Elsa was an expert level skier, but even experts have to learn a new lesson from time to time, but the cost was too much with this one... Her foot couldn't be saved, and she was recovering in hospital for several weeks.
"Where am I?" A hospital room, attached to several wires, an IV in her hand, an IV in her arm, an oxygen bit in her nose. She tried to move, but couldn't, too weak…
When she was finally coherent enough to understand, a doctor came in with her parents and explained everything. The state in which she was found, the amputation…
Amputation!? My…my foot…
Her life was over, she thought. She would probably need a cane now, she would be considered "disabled", and worst of all: she wouldn't be able to ski ever again…
She thrashed about in an unconscious tantrum; the hospital bed creaked and made metallic cracking sounds as she flailed, jumping upright as she woke herself from her nightmare. She clutched her chest, panting, remembering the suffocating snow over her face. The darkness, the cold… The cold never used to bother her, but this cold…this was the cold hand of death reaching for her.
Her eyes adjusted to the darkness, and she remembered where she was, and why she was there. The tears just started falling, and her body shook with her silent sobs.
She pulled the blanket off her legs and looked down; the bandaging was still intact, still perfect. As long as there were no complications, or an infection from the remnants of frost bitten skin, she could start physiotherapy and go home within the month.
Home...where she would no doubt be chided every single day for her stupidity. Her parents had no patience for mistakes, or anything they considered to be poor planning.
"An avalanche, Elsa?"
They were unfair enough already, having advised her that she had "planned poorly"; how one is expected to plan for an avalanche to sneak up behind you was lost on her.
Good thing they had enough money to make up for their shortcomings.
Her father was a very well established car dealership owner; he ran one of the most successful Audi dealerships in the country, the Nordstrom Auto Haus. Her mother was an accountant for him, and that was the expectation for Elsa, too. She was just starting out in it, having finished her schooling at the end of the summer; she had barely been working three months when this happened. As could be expected, he was thrilled.
One day, while she was eating a "gourmet" hospital breakfast, one of her father's commercials came on as she was watching TV. She grimaced and changed the channel immediately. He hardly visited; her mother came a couple times a week, the few friends she had only showed up once, and that was right after the incident. The nurses never stayed longer than needed, and doctors treated her as if she were a revolving door.
For the most part, she was isolated. Left alone.
"Anna? Anna!" The vertically challenged man jogged down the hallway, passing office after office, head turning to look into each room for his red haired target. He waved her down when she came into view.
"What's up, Olaf?" Anna smiled at the shorter man. She was one of his favorite therapists, mostly because of that smile, alone.
"We have a new patient starting next week that I want you to work with."
"What've we got?" Her enthusiasm was what gave Olaf the immense amount of confidence he had in her.
"Foot amputation, lost due to frost bite. She has recovered quite nicely, apparently. Her leg hasn't rejected the prosthetic post, and her bandaging should be off right away. I think you'll be good for her; psych profile suggests there is an issue with introversion, and she has apparently made a lot of pessimistic comments regarding her future capabilities."
Anna nodded as she listened. She brought a finger to her lips in thought, and gave a lively shrug. "Sure! I'll take her on. She starts Monday?"
"Yup. And you'll be working with her fairly exclusively, to start. The parents are sparing no expense, so I'll be assigning a couple of your current patients to Sven." Anna flipped through the therapy plan and nodded.
"Three hours every day for the first month, except weekends... Olaf, there aren't nearly enough breaks in here."
"That's not a problem; she's very athletic; she was actually skiing when this happened a little over a month ago." Athletic meant her body didn't need as many breaks to recover from sessions. Most of the time, patients don't have actively tuned bodies, and training your body to use new muscles for compensation is hard. Elsa wouldn't have that issue. "Her father is very insistent on the intensive therapy."
"Okay…then that takes care of that." She closed the folder and smiled. "I should get back to Mr. Oaken; his back started going again. He needs to stop sitting for so long." She shook her head and waved goodbye to Olaf.
"Hoo-hoo! Anna! My back needs to stretch, yah?" Anna giggled and set the folder down.
Anna had started working at the Arendelle Physical Therapy Clinic only a few months ago, but she had already been single-handedly responsible for the full recovery of almost ten patients; a record. Her consistently cheerful demeanor and eagerness to help the injured and recovering patients made her fit in perfectly with the current staff.
It made it easy for Olaf to choose who would help the newcomer; Elsa looked like she would be rather difficult.
"Aren't you excited? You finally get to leave this dreadful place!" Elsa's mother attempted to cheer her daughter up, but nothing was cracking the frown set on her lips. This month had been very difficult for mother and daughter; Elsa was colder, more reserved than ever, and for once her mother just wanted to get through.
"Yeah..." Elsa sighed as she climbed into the wheelchair. Her father held the crutches she would be using until her new foot was ready. The three left out the front doors of the hospital; Elsa was relieved to see that her father for once was considerate, and brought the Q7 (the biggest SUV they owned). It was very easy for her to get into.
"Elsa, we want you to stay with us while you recover, okay?" Her mother turned her head; Elsa nodded and let out a breath.
"I don't have a choice, really. Can we stop at my place for some clothes at least? And I'll need to clear out my fridge..."
"We already gathered several clothes for you, hon." Her mother replied.
"…and we already took care of the fridge." Her father added. Elsa blinked. "We also hired a cleaner to dust and keep it up for the next few weeks for you." Elsa blinked again. Consideration? Very unlike you, dad.
"I...th-thank you, father." She placed her hands in her lap and cast her gaze downward. The rest of the ride was silent.
The first night wasn't easy, Elsa's body wasn't used to painkillers and she found it difficult to adjust to the softening effects they had on her body. Thankfully her parents thought to put her in the guest room on the main level of the house. Stairs were going to be a problem, in future.
At dinner time, Elsa sat in silence as her parents discussed finances…as usual. She poked at a pile of peas with her fork and let out a small sigh.
"…right, Elsa?" Her mother was looking at her expectantly. Elsa blinked and gave her an apologetic look.
"Once you've acclimatized to your new limb and finish your therapy, you can come back to help me at the office with this year's audit. I'm sure it won't take longer than a couple of months."
"I'll even throw in a bonus for you, okay?" Elsa blinked at her father's words. What has gotten into these two?
"O-okay. May I be excused?"
"But you've hardly touched your food! Eat a little more, Elsa…"
"I'm not hungry." She averted her eyes from her mother's, looking down at the plate with disinterest. Her leg was starting to hurt again, possibly from the angle it was propped up on a stool under the table.
"I'll help you to your room." Elsa's mother stood and made her way over to help her get up; she grabbed the crutches and handed them to her daughter. Elsa winced at the tenderness she had acquired in her arm pits; crutches aren't easy to get used to.
She couldn't get her mother out of the room fast enough. Her shoulders sank with a long sigh as she sat on the bed, staring down at her feet, no, foot. She wiggled her remaining toes and felt tears well up in her eyes; her chest swelled painfully and her sunken shoulders now shook with sorrowful sobs. She lost a piece of herself. A piece of her was gone…forever. It wasn't just her foot; it was her joy, her ability, her confidence. Skiing was her passion, her best friend, her life line.
In her mind, there was no way that she would be able to do it again. In that hospital bed, she lost her joy, her confidence, her will to try anymore. Why am I even bothering with the physio? It's not like they can do anything for me… I'll just be a cripple for the rest of my life. A crippled accountant. She laughed bitterly and shut her eyes tightly, punching the mattress.