a/n: the prompt was: Anna is in labor, Elsa's in attendance, and Kristoff is trying to get through a snow blizzard to be there for his baby's birth. Bonus points if Olaf is there. such a good prompt! it kinda got away from me xD
posted first on my tumblr—want Frozen fic before the rest of the world? check it out! (miss-wendybird plus the normal tumblr url)
also on my tumblr—leave any prompt you want to see turned into a fic and/or drabble!
ok. shameless plugs are over.
"Oh, no. Oh no no no no no—"
Elsa stops. She turns sharply, on the heel of her boot, preparing for Anna Freak Out Number Sixteen (things had been particularly impossible, that day), preparing to calm her with promises and things, because she thinks the wind set her off. The Grand Ballroom is empty, and outside, whistling like an angry miner, the storm rages, pounding the shutters, which are closed, and locked. But no, when Elsa turns Anna is standing rather awkwardly, legs splayed. There is a puddle beneath her.
"Did you just—?"
"No!" Anna squeaks. "No, no, no—my water just broke."
Elsa blinks. "Oh." Her mouth slowly falls open. "Oh."
"Elsa, make it go back in with your magic."
Elsa takes a step forward, hand outstretched. An ice flower blooms beneath the toe of her shoe.
"I can't just make it go back, Anna," Elsa says slowly. Her sister's chest is heaving up and down, up and down, dramatically, like she had just run several miles. She looks ridiculous, standing there, legs splayed, back hunched, arms encircling her large stomach from beneath. "Why are you standing like that?"
"I'm trying to keep the baby in," Anna wails, stamping her feet.
"Anna," Elsa takes another step forward; the snowflake grows beneath her, and she fights for control—one breath in, one breath out, one breath in—and continues, "just—just calm down, alright? You need to calm down."
Her sister looks up, wide-eyed, mouth open, and hyperventilates, "I—can't—calm—down—"
Elsa takes the final three steps. The ice shatters beneath her feet. She grasps Anna in a rather one-sided hug and says, "I'm right here. It's going to be ok."
Anna whispers, wide-eyed, "He's not back yet. Elsa, it's been storming for three days, what if—what if—I mean what if he never comes back?" Her breathing gets worse, and Anna had always had a flair for the dramatic, and Elsa has the feeling that if she were not holding her upright her sister would tip over sideways and begin gasping like a fish. She listens to the wind angrily pounding the windows behind the heavy red drapes. It mingles with Anna's heavy breathing.
They are thinking the same thing, Elsa knows—that he left three days ago for some medicine from the trolls that he knew helped ease the birthing pains. Then the blizzard had hit, fierce, violent, and—
"Come on," she says, steering her sister around the puddle on the floor and continuing through the Great Ballroom, "let's get ready." They pass into the hall, and Elsa says to the guard there, "Call the midwife."
Kristoff is hunched in a cave. It's more of a crevice really, just wide enough for Sven, himself, and a fire. Well. It had been a fire. He's poking the smoking pile morosely with a stick, and outside there is nothing but a wall of white and swirling snow, enough to make his fingertips freeze through his gloves. He pulls his scarf further up his face and settles against Sven, enjoying the meager warmth his friend provides. He would talk to him, if he didn't think his mouth would freeze up.
He thinks about Anna, and sends the stick he's holding flying into the black wall of rock next to him. It bounces off, and falls with a clatter he can't even hear because of the gale outside. It's all very anticlimactic.
He drops his head into his hands.
"M'lady, it will be awhile yet, but only if you remain calm—"
"I—am—calm—Elsa where are you going—"
"I'll be right back," Elsa says, to assure the midwife, a plump, pleasant woman seated by her sister's bed and looking like she's just met a tornado, more than her sister. She opens the door to Anna's room and shuts it behind her, muffling the noise within—Anna's labored breathing, and the soothing of the midwife's soft chatter. She leans against the door and lets out a breath; it comes out in an icy cloud. She closes her eyes.
"All this noise!"
Elsa starts, eyes flying open. "Olaf!"
"Hello," Olaf smiles, waddling forward. He passes by and stops beneath the window, nose poking up against the glass. "The world's so white! I sure hope Kristoff's all right out there. And how's Anna?" he asks, tilting his head backwards to look at her. Elsa blinks at the snowman. Sometimes she really thought about Olaf, and her head hurt.
"She's having the baby."
"But Kristoff isn't back yet!"
"Her thoughts exactly," Elsa sighs, rubbing her temples and then letting her hands slide down her face. "Maybe I could—stop the storm, but I certainly can't leave her." The hall is getting very cold. Cold. She could survive in the blizzard. Cold things could survive; she wasn't so sure about warm things. But cold—
She shudders straight. Olaf is talking. She hadn't even heard him. "—my buddy has a nice thick coat, so I'm sure he's fine. Does Anna need some entertainment? I could sing to her!"
"Olaf," Elsa bends down. The snowman's little flurry flutters a bit. She takes the brittle branches of his arms, and his eyes go wide. "Do you think you could find Kristoff?"
"Me?" Olaf breathes. His mouth breaks into a smile. "Of course I can!" he shouts, elated, jumping on his stout little legs. "I'll go and bring back Kristoff!" he continues, and Elsa lets go, stands up.
"Thank you, Olaf."
"I'll be back in a jiffy, don't you worry! I've got everything under control!"
The last bit is faint. Olaf is crossing out of the hall. Inside the room behind her, she hears, "I AM TRYING TO KEEP BREATHING IT IS DIFFICULT—"
Elsa sighs, looking skyward.
"How much snow is there?" Kristoff groans, flinging himself backwards against Sven. His friend grunts in annoyance, but Kristoff can tell he's worried, too. "You know," he tells him, "I've never, ever said this, but right now I really hate ice."
How long had he been in this little nook? He couldn't even remember. And the herbs that Pabbi had given him would only last so long in the cold, even if they were tucked tightly to his chest.
The storm had come out of nowhere. No clouds on the horizon when he left, no warning from Elsa—usually she could pick up on these things. And it seemed, in the last several hours, to be getting worse—white ice agitated to extreme flurries, the wind roaring like a beast, and the only time he had seen something like this had been when Elsa had locked Arendelle in eternal winter.
"No, you don't think she lost control again, do you?" Kristoff breathes. He's getting cold. He rubs his hands together. He couldn't last much longer. He needed food, and water. The only reason Elsa would lose control again would be if—"No, Kristoff, that's stupid.
Well, you don't have to be mean about it."
He sits up and looks behind him. Sven, tongue lolling to one side, blinks back. "Did you just—"
"Ok," he crosses his arms. "How are you—"
"Kristoffff!" Someone sing-songs, and he turns to the opening of the crevice just as Olaf bursts like some sort of fish through the white wall of the blizzard. The snowman slides to his stop on his stomach, then slowly stands, and brushes off his somewhat crooked front.
"Olaf?" Kristoff asks incredulously.
"Surprise!" Olaf shouts, raising his hands.
"How did you find me?"
Olaf leans forward and touches his nose.
"Oh…kay. Why did you find me—" and then his mind is racing, forward, backward, in between, "is it Anna? Is something wrong? Is the kingdom being attacked? Is—"
"It is Anna," Olaf nods sagely, waddling forward. "Sven! Hey buddy, how are you?"
"Olaf!" Kristoff shouts, fighting the urge to strangle something. "What. Is. Wrong."
"Wrong? Oh, nothing's wrong!"
"You came to find me in the middle of a blizzard, I think—"
"She's just having the baby."
Kristoff's mouth falls open beneath his scarf. He blinks. When he speaks, his voice is strangled. "W—what?"
"She's having the baby. Well, the baby's trying to be had, be she's trying to keep the cute little thing inside."
Kristoff frowns, shaking his head. "Why on earth would she—"
"She's waiting for you, silly." Olaf shakes his head, leaning the crooked bent of his wooden arm on Sven's nose. "Honestly, you two know nothing about love, even after all this time—"
Kristoff stands. His legs are sore, and stiff, the cold bleeding in through the seams in his pants. He brushes off the wisps of snow and turns to Sven. "Come on, bud. We gotta move." He checks the harnesses, adjusting ropes, and tack. "I know it's cold, but we'll be warm soon, come on—" He leads his best friend towards the mouth of the crevice, and then turns to the snowman. "Olaf! Can you lead us back?"
"Am I a snowman?"
"I'll take that as a yes," Kristoff breathes, and then he takes the first step out of his little shelter. The winds buffet him back.
"Let's go have a baby!" Olaf yells excitedly.
"I know," Elsa nods. Anna's nails are digging into the palm of her hand.
"No you do not know, Elsa, this is worse than the time I broke my leg!"
Elsa brushes her sister's hair back from her forehead; she's hot, and sticky with sweat, despite the temperature in the room, which had been dropping steadily for the past few hours. "That was a pretty bad time."
The contraction over, Anna takes a deep, shuddering breath, and, completely seriously, she says, "Elsa, I'm going to kill him for doing this to me."
"Well, I, um, think it was consensual," Elsa replies, if only to block the horrible thought that had entered her head—if the storm hasn't killed him first, if the storm hasn't—
"Strangle him, smother him, slap him—ow!"
"Your highness? May I speak to you a moment?"
Elsa looks across the bed at the midwife. "Of course. I'll be right back, Anna."
Elsa stands. Outside the hall isn't blissfully quiet, as it had been—there are servants rushing back and forth, two guards, and the footman she's instructed with keeping a look out in the courtyard for a reindeer and an ice harvester. The midwife is just behind her, and she shuts the door.
"Your highness," the woman begins, "it's been getting progressively—" she takes a deep breath, as if steeling herself, "colder in the room."
The connotation is immediate. Elsa looks at the frozen fractals beneath her feet; outside the storm seems to have gotten worse. She realizes, slowly, like breaking the surface of a lake, that she was feeding off of Anna's anxiety. She takes a deep breath. "I will do my utmost to keep control."
"Your highness, that would be very well, but perhaps it would be—that is, I think it would be more beneficial to the princess if you were not in the room during this time, until the stress has passed—"
Elsa sends a frosted glare in the woman's direction. The temperature drops, and rapidly, at least ten degrees, and the midwife looks absolutely terrified. Elsa says, "She's my sister." Then she opens Anna's door and walks inside.
His lungs were on fire, icicles burning a path down the back of his throat. Sven was struggling and lurching beneath him. He grips the fur at the back of his friend's neck and tries to hold on, leaning low so that the gusts pass over him. His eyes are closed. The wind howls like some disoriented, wild animal; he'd lost Olaf long ago.
It's his fingers.
He can't feel them.
"You've got to push, Anna."
"No, no, I can't—"
"Anna," Elsa struggles, pressing her sister's plastered hair away from her forehead. A particularly heavy blast of wind slams into Anna's balcony doors. "You can't wait any longer—you've waited as long as you can. You have to push."
Anna is staring at her, biting her lip. She gives a strangled sort of sob. "I should've never complained. Then he wouldn't have gone for those herbs."
The temperature in the room is dropping; the midwife notices, and her beady eyes dart in Elsa's direction. Elsa says, "Don't say that." She doesn't say, he'll be fine. She doesn't know.
Anna is crying now, and her tears are sluggish in the cold. "Elsa, I can't do this alone." And Elsa knows, almost instinctively, that she's not talking about the birth, but the—after. She grips Anna's hand, and wishes she could wipe away the tears without freezing them.
"You won't be."
Anna sniffs. Blinks at her. Then gives a watery smile.
"Now," Elsa takes a deep breath, "Push."
The cold is seeping into his bones; in a few minutes, that's all he'll be. Ice, and snow, and wind. Sven is panting heavily, and Kristoff is afraid that he'll collapse—that this is too much, and maybe he should turn back. Find shelter.
Kristoff wants to scream, but is afraid if he opens his mouth, his tongue will freeze to the roof of it.
"I need warm water in here now!" the midwife orders.
"Push, Anna, push—"
Anna is going to squeeze her finger off.
"Alright, now breathe, in, in—" the midwife mimics the breathing movements, and then looks back at the door, cracked open. "Water!"
His bones are brittle ice flutes. His blood is snow. The numb feeling has spread up his arms and threatens his legs, making holding onto Sven nearly impossible. Overhead the wind sings its violent, unhappy song.
Elsa has never seen Anna in so much pain. How many people died in childbirth? She should outlaw childbirth, because this was—inhumane, and where was that stupid mountain man—
It had begun to snow in the room. Anna is too focused on pushing to notice. Elsa nods sharply.
"It's under control."
He's shivering, in the guard tower atop the outer wall, even bundled in two fur coats. He had a little candle, but it had long since sputtered out, leaving him with a weak, watery brazier that was struggling for purchase in the icy wind that kept slipping through the cracks. His partner is in no better condition, doubled over on himself, and very nearly pressed skin to fire. He turns his eyes out to the wall of white, visible through the small, square glass window.
"No one's—c-c—crazy enough to b-be out in t-this," his partner growls, shivering. "So the q-q-queen shouldn't be c-crazy enough to have us guarding in it. I c-c-can't live like this!"
"We might get attacked," he points out. "You never know."
"I-I'm applying for a t-t-transfer."
He's tired, and frozen. He lets his forehead fall against the glass of the window and then starts back violently—it's so cold it burns. He drags his hat down his head. White, white, nothing but white, just that ugly swirling snow and—
"Do you see that?" he asks suddenly, pointing out.
"N-no," his partner says irritably, not looking up from the fire.
"No, come look, look at this—"
There's something brown, like someone is wandering along the bridge just outside the palace, and then, suddenly, and quickly, a full figure comes into view—two full figures. A reindeer, so covered in snow he's almost white, and a rider hunched rather lifelessly on his back.
"Open the gate!" he yells.
The door is pushed open. Elsa turns, almost hopeful, and then blinks. "Olaf?"
"I'm back!" Olaf says excitedly. "How's the baby?"
"Not a good time, Olaf," Anna practically screams.
Elsa gets up. She walks to him, and bends down, so she can whisper, "Where's Kristoff?"
Olaf frowns, scratching his head. He looks right, left, behind him. He says, "I swear he was right behind me—"
The hall is full of servants and guards but no mountain man. Elsa gets to her feet. The storm rages. "Ok. Ok, it's fine."
"I'm so sorry," the snowman is dancing anxiously, "I thought—let me go back and find him—"
"No, Olaf, you need to stay here. It's getting worse out there," Elsa breathes, and control, control, control—
"Coming, yes, everything's fine, good work."
She smiles brightly.
He's shivering so violently he cannot open his mouth. He has to make grand gestures towards the barn, but the servants understand—get Sven to warmth, get Sven to safety—and he hugs the reindeer tightly. Thanks, bud.
Sven gets it.
Someone is touching his shoulder. The entrance hall is covered in snow, and he almost slips in surprise. It's a servant girl, and she's saying, "The princess is in her room."
Kristoff can barely feel anything, but he runs.
"I see the head!"
"Finally!" Anna gasps. "Nobody—told me—child birth was going—to take this long—"
Elsa smiles at her sister. "No more babies?"
Anna smiles grimly back. "I'll make Kristoff have them."
And there's that hope, that undying hope. Elsa wants to prepare her, for the worse, but after the baby—
The door flies open. "I-I-I'm h-here—" a rough voice shouts, scratchy with disuse, slow with cold. Elsa is startled to her feet. Anna's face lights up. "Kristoff!" The storm outside calms. The temperature in the room rises.
Kristoff takes one look at the scene—the bucket of rather red water, the midwife, the queen, his wife's open legs, the baby—
And he faints.
He wakes up slowly, not opening his eyes. He's someplace warm—he knows that much—and he feels good. Well-rested, even. He's having a hard time remembering what happened. There had been a blizzard, and—
His eyes shoot open.
He's lying on a bed. He doesn't know what room of the palace—perhaps one of the spares. It's still as intricately decorated, with diamond wallpaper and an ice-blue canopy. He looks to the side. Anna is there, chin in hand, elbow on bed. She smiles brightly at him. "Hello, Sleeping Beauty."
"The baby," he says slowly.
"You're stupid," Anna sighs fondly, reaching across for his hand and brushing his hair back from his face. "Scaring me half to death—that's not nice. It's not like I'm always scaring you half to—okay, maybe I am, but—"
Now he's worried. She hadn't said anything about the baby, and what about the baby—
"You've been out for like, three days," Anna says. "Elsa healed some of your frostbite. And by some I mean like, ninety-nine percent, at least—I think she missed one toe—"
"Alright! I'm only kidding, she got it all. But don't you ever," and here she hits him in the shoulder, "do that to me again."
"We found the herbs, too, but they weren't any good by then, and it was a moot point anyway, but thank you for getting them—basically, what we've learned is don't listen to pregnant me, which is fine, because I don't plan on doing that again anytime soon—"
"Anna," he sits up, and his world spins. He takes her shoulders to steady himself. "The baby."
"Babies," she corrects. "And anyway, Kristoff, it was the worse pain ever, just around here—"
"Yes, babies, twins, but they're sleeping right now so—"
Kristoff looks at Anna. He nods like he's listening.
Then he passes out again.
Anna decides she'll give him the benefit of the doubt—too much stress and frostbite sort of thing, but it doesn't stop her from rolling her eyes fondly and kissing his cheek. She stays there, forehead to forehead, memorizing his mouth and nose, the swoop of his eyelids, before she backs away with a sigh. She shakes her head. "Men."
There's a knock on the door. Elsa peers in. "How'd he take it?"
Anna stands. "Well he—took if, if that's what you mean."
Elsa smiles. Then—"They're awake."
Anna claps her hands, excited.
Outside, the wind whispers fondly.