Hehhhh, I put off studying for finals because muse. I'm a terrible person.
I also apologize for the forthcoming events.
Sympathy for the Desperate
"I hope you're happy"? No, she couldn't possibly… Could she?
Hans suspected why Anna had regarded him more bitterly than usual and why Elsa had suddenly fallen ill. Yet his mind refused to wrap around this very real possibility, even though just over a year ago this would have been more than welcoming news.
Perhaps, he thought, it's because the reaction I'd given after her denial had been much less than pleasant.
And yet, quite often Elsa would murmur those three, sickeningly sweet words to him, to evoke a knee-jerk reaction of her husband uttering it back again.
He'd admitted it once. Perhaps he was too afraid to say it again, as if not only could those words destroy him further, but affirm that imbalance of power she already wielded over him.
In the end, though, those three words—the action of loving, even—seemed to be the only free will upon which he could act.
For Hans, to love Elsa was to also hate her, for she had won him over by only being herself. Never did she manipulate him, though often he had to get what he wanted. To fly too close to the sun and only crash back to reality in a manner nothing short of disastrous. Unconditional love was so close to hatred that he would commonly confuse the two around her whenever he was graced with her presence.
Hence, nowadays he became a man of few words, only speaking when required. His jargon of pathos served no purpose when it seemed his wife could read right through him.
Slowly the door to their chambers opened, and Elsa peaked her head out with a soft smile as she noticed Hans standing there so dutifully.
He hadn't wanted to leave when they returned, to play the piano as he always did. No, he had helped Elsa to her room, laid her down, kissed her forehead, called for someone to summon the physician, waited patiently for her to emerge. Again, Hans could not distinguish if these actions were out of love or contempt.
"Let's talk," Elsa murmured, taking one of his hands in both of hers. She pulled him into the room, nodding to the guard that she would be fine.
Not like harming Elsa would do him any good nowadays either; hence there was no point in even thinking of concocting such a scheme like before.
Elsa closed the door, then draped herself over the armchair at the corner of the large room, looking out onto the balcony. The spring breeze fluttered the light curtains from the open doors, letting in fresh air.
Hans almost couldn't stand how beautiful she looked, with her hair in loose waves and her light nightgown, a content smile on her face. She leaned forward and took his hands again, but not before putting his gloves off, letting them drop to the ground. Despite the fact that she could wield winter in her palms, her skin felt dry and warm.
"I'm with child," she told him gently, that soft smile turning into a large grin.
Hans had to remind himself to breathe as he squeezed Elsa's hands a bit tighter. Whether it was out of fear or excitement, he couldn't tell. And while yes, this was indeed joyous news—something he'd wanted, after all—the conditions of their marriage had changed so much since then. Could he—despicable human being as he was—really father the future ruler of Arendelle?
Immediately his mind flashed back to when he'd been at the piano after his outburst, cursing himself for being too optimistic. In that moment he'd promised that if and when he ever had a child, they would not go a day unloved. Hans vowed to never voluntarily put a child through, would always be there.
He'd promised this in silence; could he put it into practice now, even after all that had transpired?
For this child, who had done nothing, seen nothing, felt nothing, he would try his damnedest. And if that meant trying to change, it could prove worthy.
After all, he had nowhere left to turn.
Hans fell to his knees, regarding Elsa like the beautiful, regal queen she was. His lips pressed to her ring, then to her clothed stomach, where he soon buried his face. What awaited was a long process of emotion and uncertainty; but there had to be a willingness on his part to make sure this child did not grow up neglected or isolated, much as he and Elsa had.
"Please say something, darling," Elsa sighed, brushing her hands through his hair. After a moment she lifted his head so they faced each other.
He paused, unsure. To change meant being more vocal, more active. To change seemed impossible. And damn this heavy feeling in his chest for already starting such a shift in how he wanted to behave.
Finally, the corner of his lips twitched upward. "We've completely ruined each other," he declared, and Elsa started to chuckle.
She pulled him into a sweet kiss, and this time, Hans responded immediately.
Often the only sounds that could be heard at dinnertime were the clinking of silverware against plates and hushed conversation.
Tonight started out as no exception.
After this morning's ailment, Elsa didn't have much of an appetite, but she slowly ate the little she was given, knowing that she needed to keep her strength up. After all, she would be feeding two mouths.
As monarch, she sat at the head of the table, with Hans to her right and Anna to her left. The two, as per usual, avoided eye contact at all cost. Kristoff occasionally shot Elsa a sympathetic smile, almost like he was apologizing for Anna's behavior.
Silently servants collected finished plates and came around with dessert—ice cream for Anna—and that was when the silence was suddenly broken.
Anna didn't look up from her bowl as she asked with a tone of disdain, "So, Elsa, have you told your husband the joyous news?"
"Anna—" Elsa started in warning, but Hans interrupted her.
"Why yes, Anna, I'm well aware of Elsa's condition. But you could have asked me that yourself." His tone matched hers.
But this time, Anna interrupted her. "I prefer to have as little association with you as possible," she sneered, finally looking up at him. "After all, you seem to have no voice anymore, anyway—what's the point?"
"Anna…" This time it was Kristoff who tried to stop her.
"No, go ahead, Anna," Hans goaded, pushing his dessert bowl away. "State your opinion freely. You are, as you have repeatedly stated, above me. Or, better yet, you could confess what you actually feel about the situation."
This made Elsa turn to Anna, concerned. Could her sister already resent the child growing within her, despite it barely being conceived? All because her husband would be fathering it? This child, who had done nothing wrong or right, already had a nemesis within the family?
"I'm staying this summer for Elsa, don't you dare forget that," Anna said sharply through clenched teeth.
"Yet you fail to answer what I've requested," Hans pointed out. "You couldn't possibly resent your own niece or nephew entirely because of its father, can you?"
Elsa could feel her mouth agape, but no words would come out in protest. Her hands gripped to the table tightly, shaking.
"I don't know yet. It might come out just as sociopathic as you," Anna quipped, yet her voice, to Elsa, seemed muffled, distant. Her head became lighter—wait, didn't she just eat?
"Anna!" Kristoff warned again, placing a hand on her arm, but the expression in her sister's eyes were, again, filled with bloodlust. She stood, staring him down.
But Hans did the same, leaning over the table with that challenge in his eyes, wanting her to lash out completely at him. "Go ahead, Anna. You've started—don't you dare back down now." His voice remained calm, controlled.
Tears pricked the corners of Anna's eyes. "I hate you," she confessed aloud, her voice echoing about the great dining room.
Elsa paled as she noticed the hint of a smirk beginning on her husband's face. He'd gotten what he wanted.
"There. That wasn't so hard, now, was it?"
"Stop it!" Elsa finally cried, and for the first time in a while, ice shot from her hands and covered the table quickly.
They obeyed out of pure surprise, argument forgotten as their eyes bore into Elsa, who hadn't let her powers get out of control since she'd holed herself up in her quarters. And what of the child, if she…
Get it together. Elsa took a few deep breaths, calming herself down. She could control her powers. She knew how to retract the ice.
"Kristoff, please calm Anna down elsewhere," she ordered, showing her sister the look of disappointment that graced her face. She thought they were past this. Apparently Anna could really hold a grudge.
She then turned to Hans as Kristoff wrapped an arm around Anna and led her quietly out of the room. Elsa said nothing as she cast her gaze on her husband, who was equally to blame for provoking her sister. Anna might have started it, but Hans enabled the anger. Both were no better than small children.
"I don't expect to have the perfect family," she said softly. "But I expect you and Anna to be more civil. Not for me, not for her, not even for you—but for your child."
At that moment Olaf decided to barge in with a usual, cheerful smile on his face. Hans remained silent, as he still found himself feeling strange about his wife giving a snowman existence.
"Ice… and ice cream!" he exclaimed, hopping onto where Anna had just been.
"… What's with the staring?"
Nope, not too sorry for what I wrote, but I like playing with the idea of resentful Anna and what her moral dilemma would bring.
Also may or may not include the snowgies somewhere down the line.
Next chapter: Does Elsa's pregnancy affect her pregnancy? She begins to realize that this condition isn't exactly all happy as she originally perceived.