Ana I

She died in ice.

Or, well, to be more accurate, Ana Marino died in the freezing as fuck water beneath the ice. She drowned, to be exact, she drowned in a minute, that lasted an eternity and was also far too quick... She died beneath a layer of thin ice she should have known better to step on. She drowned in freezing cold water that sapped away her strength in a fraction of second. She died in water so cold that it felt as if she was burning. And all because she and her sister Amy were fucking morons that got drunk and should have known better.

She died. Underneath the ice in a stupid accident.

But she doesn't think that explanation is poetic enough to what happened to her next. It didn't suit the nature of the song that was her life. Not to mention a fucking mouthful in comparison.

So Ana Marino died in ice.

Her death was not something she really remembered. It happened far too swiftly, far too fast for her to understand 'Oh, I'm dying'. There was no grand final thoughts, no real understanding of what happened. In death, Ana Marino did not get the white light at the end of the tunnel. She didn't see her depressingly short life in a series of images just as she snuffed it. No relative came to bring her to the afterlife. No psychopomp came to carry her away. One minute she was alive, the next she wasn't. She hardly remembered her death, a by-product of the quickness that it happened, she is sure. It didn't help that she was drunk at the time.

She does remember that she had been laughing at the time.

It wasn't any type of laughter. Not a chuckle, not a small snort nor a giggle. It was that deep kind, the one that made you nearly piss your pants. The type of laughter that started in your stomach, and slowly made its way out of you. Without censure or restraint. It was the type of laughter that made you bend over and press your hands to your knees as you try to stay upright. The type of laughter that made it hard to breathe.

She can't remember why she had been laughing.

Just that she could hardly catch her breath as she cackled. And she was trying to catch up to her sister, Amy who was sprinting up ahead of her laughing just as hard as she was.

"Slow as fuck Anie!" Amy had laughed out, voice warm and slurred as she dashed forward.

Ana had been slipping and sliding on freshly fallen snow, freezing her ass off as she chased after Amy's stupidly long strides. Why her younger sister had inherited their father's tallness, Ana would never know. Genetics could be such a fucking bitch. It was late, closer to being early really, and freezing. They were more than a little tipsy. They knew better, should have known better than to go out onto the small pond next to their childhood home in the cold Alaskan night. But they had had a little too much hot cider spiked with rum. It had been months, months since they had last seen each other. Texts and infrequent Skype calls were not enough. Despite the eight years that separated them, they had always been close. With Amy finally deciding to go to college at twenty-one, the six-months she had spent as a freshman had been the longest they have ever been apart. At her arrival, Ana had decided to be the cool older sister, brought out the cider and the 40% proof rum, and celebrated her baby sister's homecoming in style.

They felt like they were kids again after more than four mugs a piece. Fearless and unafraid of their childhood stomping grounds. It had been Ana's idea- she wanted to see the stars, curl up on the porch swing that was over her parent's deck and work on their fifth mug of spiked cider. Amy had been a troll and had tugged onto Ana's short hair, teasing her about the pale pink dye that clung at the end of her otherwise short and dark hair. She can't remeber what Amy had said, probably something to the effect of it being strange for a twenty-eight-year-old dying her hair such a childish color.

But it had been enough for Ana to lung at Amy, and for Amy to start to scream childish insults as Ana had raced after her. She had said something, something so hilarious to the slightly drunk Ana that they had both started laughing hysterically. She repeatedly told her how slow she was as she dodged out of the way of Ana's outstretched hands. Ana had responded with simply keeping pace with her faster sister, relentlessly following her, even as she skidded across the surface of the pond, her boots squeaking against the slick surface.

She remembered the crack beneath her sister as she had walked backward on the surface of the pond, laughing too loud to hear it herself.

That's when Ana remembered she had panicked. Her heart roaring in her ears as she had tacked forward toward her sister, so harshly that Amy fell and slipped and slid across the ice to land in a bed of snow. Her legs flopping over her head as Ana kneeled in the very spot her sister had stood.

Ana Marino barely had time to take a breath before the ice broke beneath her. The pond was deep- enough to go over her sister's head and she's more than a head taller then her and Ana is right in the middle. She remembered she had met her sister's beautiful eyes- bright brown and just like her's for a fraction of a second, as Amy flopped forward, a snarl on her face at the harsh push.

Then the ice gave way.

It gave with a startling cracking sound. Like the clap of thunder but right underneath Ana as the thin ice rippled and shifted in a monstrously and furiously rapid second.

When she had been Ana Marino, she had never been a stranger to the cold. She had lived in Alaska for all of her life, and this hadn't been her first accidental dip in the too icy water. However, their parents' small home is miles away from any sort of help and she's stupid and drunk enough to gasp in surprise the second she registered how damn cold the water is. An adult can drown to death in less than a minute. And that was exactly what happened to Ana.

She doesn't live long enough to register much after that first little gasp of surprise, or if she had, she does not remeber it.

The next thing she can remeber is a long period of nothingness. An endless span of time of hardly registering, hardly understanding what was happening to her. She spent most of her first months thinking she is in a weird sort of limbo. Blind, coming in and out of consciousness. Everything dark and dubious. No sight, muffled sounds and scents she can hardly understand. She is so tired the majority of the time that she simply slipped between being awake and not. Barely consciousness enough to understand that she was awake, barely understanding anything at all, let alone who she had been.

Her mind is not weak- but young. Her body not weak and heavy, but underdeveloped. The first few months of her new life are vague, spent like long-forgotten dreams that are nebulous and distant. She slept so much, barely keeping coherent half the time. When she can hold onto herself, she can only guess that she is in some sort of limbo.

She doesn't quite remember when she realized she had been born in a word very different than her first.

It's only until she breathed again, in a different body, months after her birth that she remembered herself enough to understand how bloody stupid she and her sister had been. She begged anyone that was listening that her sister hadn't been drunk enough to follow her into the water.

That Amy had just stayed panicked or fished her out in a way that hadn't risked herself.

It is then that she realized that she is not quite dead. She felt her breath, she felt her heartbeat. She couldn't move, she could barely turn her head, but she was not all-together gone. Ana's mind does not come immediately to the conclusion that she has been reborn. Let alone she had been reborn anywhere but her original Earth.

When she realized that she had been reborn, she was more than a little freaked out. She focused on the thought that she was a reincarnation once she first began to see the world around her, vague distant shapes. It wasn't quite full vision, but a sensitivity to light. Her hearing is what truly clues her into her state as an infant. The sounds of voices that she didn't recognize speaking off handedly. Those voices becoming louder as they lifted her in frightful arms she stupidly thought were giants at first. Then logic had kicked in around her panic and she understood she wasn't surrounded by giants that could lift her, but instead she was tiny. Small enough to curl into the crook of someone's arm. The size of a newborn.

Denial came strong for Ana Morina at the prospect.

Being the size of a newborn in comparison to adults, her last memory of falling into the pond and inhaling- She came to one solid conclusion. Reincarnation. Rebirth. A new life. One-Up used. Being a baby again and understanding the fact that after death came new life was not what she had expected, nor had even thought possible. Denail crawled in her mind no matter how much she couldn't come to any other logical conclusion. Reincarnation wasn't the sort of crap that she had believed in her first life. She had been a realist to the core. Her parents had been religious but had never pushed it to their children beyond a nagging to attend a Christmas and Easter mass, and she had long concluded to herself that after death there was nothing. It the end. She would rot and turn to dust, all that would have made her up would decay with her. She was a nurse, pragmatic and beyond entrenched in the thought of logic.

Her mental-crises is still firmly happening when her vision clears enough to distinguish not just light, but color and objects with any sort of accuracy.

But everything is so goddamn big. It's disorienting. It hurts both her heart and her mind to see the world being so much larger than should be. What the actual fuck. She wondered, if by chance or by the manipulation of this world's gods that the first face she sees is that of her sister, Cersei Lannister.

Just like that of her last life, where the last thing she had seen was her sister Amy's face.

The face that loamed into view, directly above her is small, in a sense. Small because the child above her is only four-years-old. Ana blinked, rapidly at the sight, at halo that appeared around the golden hair, shimmering in what she suspected is early morning light. It was a devastatingly beautiful face to see in a small kid. Like a cherub. That golden hair is vibrant and looked soft and glossy. Her skin is also a golden tan, warm and clear across a button nose and plump pink lips. Her thin brows are arched and set over lovely green eyes that are dark and wide. The little girl was frowning above her- plump lips twisted in a firm way she would learn was mostly her default expression. Another face, smiling, loomed into view next to her. Pressed into that long golden hair to beam down at her. The second face is nearly identical and just as pretty to the first. The distinction is that large, curious smile and the lighter green eyes.

She blinked rapidly at the sight of them, registering and squinting her vision at the sight of the two.

"They look ugly," and that was the one on the right, a girl, Ana guessed, with that high of a voice. It was a clear and a lilting thing, accent with something Ana couldn't quite understand, "Why is she so white? Why is his head so big? They don't look right."

"I think she's pretty. And mayhaps he is smart to have such a large head," and that was the one on the left next to her, maybe a boy, voice nearly matching to his twin's, if a shade deeper, he reached out with hesitant fingers to touch her.

She jerked in surprise because his hand is so small yet not at the same time. Practically covered her entire head. He stroked, softly and with trembling fingertips. She registered that these two young children are hovering over like giants- looming and covering all of her limited vision. Holy shit.

"They killed mother," the girl whispered viciously as she reached over to snatch at the boy's hand. Her hand pressed tightly into the tender skin of his wrist, tears come to her lovely emerald eyes, "This white thing killed her along with the other thing."

"They are not things!" said the little boy hotly, shaking the girl's hand away.

She snarled face curling into a spiteful expression that looked frightful on the face of a child.

"He's too small and she's too pale. They're going to die anyway, I heard the Maester say so. Come on Jamie, let's leave them to die."

The girl left quickly, in a swift movement that Ana can barely follow with her head. The small boy- Jamie- hesitated. He looked toward where his twin had left before he returned to look at her. His small hand reached over to pet her head for a fraction of a second. His brows furrowed, his eyes also filled with tears. Then he left as well. It was her in her weak attempt to follow him with her head, that she realized that something is next to her. Or rather, someone moving next to her. She struggled, and in a herculean effort, she learned she is not alone.

That warm wiggly thing that had been her companion for the majority of her new life is another baby. He gurgled at her, soft newborn blue eyes intent. One has a slightly overblown pupil that indicated that the baby had Physiologic anisocoria. It was a somewhat common occurrence of being born with one larger than the other pupil. She blinked once, slowly in slight incomprehension, mind still whirling at the sight of the two children.

The baby cooed at her.

Sweetly, warmly wiggling closer.

Ana tried. Desperately tried to register that yes, she is in a baby's body.

And my- our birth killed our mother.

She does the only thing a baby can do.

She cried.

Edit: 25 October 2019