Elsa was lost in a snowstorm. Only, there wasn't any snow, just tiny dots of light like silver fireflies that fell to the ground and disappeared. Only, the ground wasn't ground; it was white and kind of bright and difficult to see, because it was blank and featureless as a floor. But it wasn't a floor, because she was out in the open, or at least she thought she was: everything disappeared into vague whiteness some unguessable distance away.
And she wasn't really lost; she didn't know where this was, but she was sure somehow that she was supposed to be here.
"Hello?" She said. No echoes; distance and the strange snow seemed to swallow her voice. She turned around, and everything was the same wherever she looked.
"It's normal to be confused at first," said a voice right behind her. She started and spun, but before she completed the turn, she recognized the voice – how could she not?
"Lauro," she breathed.
He was clean and not disfigured, impossibly alive, as she was. The silver snow disappeared as it touched him. She couldn't tell what he was wearing; perhaps he wasn't wearing anything at all. She looked down at herself and was confounded again.
"This is just a transitional state," he said. "You'll understand more later."
"How… how long have you been here?"
"Not long. Just a minute. Or maybe a thousand years. The rules are different here." He looked down on her, his expression unreadable. "I wasn't sure you'd come, at first."
She looked up at him with a vague fear in her heart. "Are you angry with me?"
"Yes," he said. "Very, very angry." He went down on one knee and wrapped his arms tight around her.
She didn't struggle, not against him, but she moved a bit to test his strength, and knew she was pinned. Why was she so weak?
"There's nothing wrong," he said softly, his lips almost touching her ear. "You don't need implants anymore." Then she felt his hand at the side of her head, pressing her cheek and ear into his shoulder. "Do you remember what it was like, to just be a little girl?"
She did. She remembered everything. But none of it was important compared to this moment. "Yes."
He stood, lifting her off her feet. She gasped. "Your back."
"That's over with too," he said, and kissed her forehead. His hold shifted, turning her sideways. An arm went under her knees and another around her shoulders, releasing her arms but still holding her close. He smiled at her. She gasped again; she had never seen anything so beautiful. "It's not far. I'll carry you, until you're not so frightened."
The shining snowfall thickened around them, filling her eyes with light. She slipped her arms around his neck as they started off. "I'm not afraid at all. Maybe for the first time ever."