Hello again. I cannot express how much I appreciate everyone who has read and reviewed this story so far. I've already said this before, but I am having a blast writing this. In this chapter, we get to find out if Elsa really did feel the baby move (or not), and why the Moon created the vial in the first place.
It was as if every last ounce of breath was knocked out of him. Jack stared at her with wide eyes, watching as her tear-filled irises stared back. Both pairs of blue eyes drowned in disbelief and trauma, both as confused and scared as the other. Elsa's beating heart raced a million times per second; Jack's dead, immortal soul would have done the same if he were still living. But regardless, both the Queen and Guardian were suddenly terrified.
"WHAT?" Jack exclaimed breathlessly.
Elsa breathed hard through her mouth, failing to find words to explain the fear that sprung in her deteriorating body. Her pale cheeks were streaked with the tears she had been shedding for the past several hours. But what she had just felt a few seconds ago, made those tears come faster.
"The baby..." she whispered, her voice almost inaudible.
"B-But that's impossible," Jack said. "The baby is-"
"Dead," Elsa choked out before shaking her head. She looked at her loved one through weak eyes and whispered, "But I felt it move, Jack. I-I felt it."
Jack gasped quietly to himself, breathing in and out through his mouth as his mind began to overflow with endless questions on how this could possible. Their baby is dead. It has been dead inside of Elsa's body for who knows how long? She couldn't have possibly felt any movement; it just did not seem real. But at the same time, Elsa's voice sounded so frail, so pure, that a part of Jack desperately wanted to believe her. But it was just impossible, truly impossible...
"The vial," she whispered.
Jack looked back at her when she spoke out, but Elsa was not looking at him. Rather, she was blankly staring past him, towards the empty glass vial that was set on the table, the vial that had touched her lips. With it's liquid now running though the Queen's body, although oblivious to it's contents and what it held, and what it meant.
"Jack," Elsa whispered behind her tears. "Wh-What was in that?"
Jack felt his entire body come to a halt for a few seconds. How could he answer to that? He didn't want to lie to her, he hates keeping things away from her, especially in crucial situations like this. How he hated himself for keeping her in the dark, but he knew it was for her own good, that he was protecting her by not telling her. But how it killed him to keep his mouth shut because if he could, he would tell her everything right away. Everything about Pitch, about the Man in the Moon, what the vial meant and why she had to drink it...
But he couldn't.
He kept a promise that he wouldn't tell a single mortal soul.
Because the moment a mortal, human being finds out what Jack, The Guardians and the Moon were hiding, Elsa will die.
"The nurses wanted me to give it to you, to make you feel better," he said abruptly. "I-I told you earlier."
But Elsa didn't buy it. For the first time, Elsa didn't believe a single word he said. And judging by the way Elsa was staring at him, Jack instantly knew that he was in trouble, that Elsa didn't believe him at all, that he was caught in a web of lies that he couldn't tangle himself out of.
"You're lying to me, aren't you?" she whispered, breathing hoarsely through her mouth.
Jack's eyes unintentionally wandered down to her stomach. Lying to Elsa is the last thing he wanted to do, but he needed to do it to keep her alive. He turned back to her and felt his body clench in guilt when he saw that she was crying because he knew that for the first time ever, those tears weren't about the baby, but they were about him.
"Elsa," he whispered.
"NO!" she screamed through the little strength she had left. "Jack, what did you give me? What was in that vial?"
Jack stared at her, feeling hopeless for not being able to tell her, and angry at himself for hurting her like this. But he literally had no choice. Tell her, and he'll lose her forever. Hurt her, and she'll continue to live.
Don't tell her, Jack. You promised them you wouldn't tell, Jack pleaded in his head.
The words were burning on the tip of his tongue, like acid and fire. Seeing her cry absolutely killed him. He has never made her cry before, ever. Until today. Jack and Elsa know each other like an open book, meaning they had nothing to hide from one another. But today was different.
And as much as it kills him to hurt the girl that he is so, deeply in love with, this was the only way to keep her safe, to keep her from death, to keep her from the thing they both feared the most.
Unknowingly, Elsa had scooted back away from him with eyes full of terror, as if she was afraid, as if the young man staring at her was not the Jack Frost she had known and grown in love with, as if he was someone she had never met, as if he was a stranger.
"Elsa, please, just-" he said gently.
"Don't," she breathed out, stopping him from getting closer. She stared at him through blurred eyes and whispered, "What. Did. You. Do?"
Seeing her move away from him sent a surge of agony through the Guardian's body, but he pushed it away before sitting right beside her. She gasped when Jack reached over and held both of her wrists in his hands. She tried pulling herself away, weakly hitting and pushing him, but then she stopped, surrendering to her pain, to her confusion. She broke down and sobbed again, gripping onto his sweater, not daring to let go, never daring to let go.
"What's happening, Jack?" she cried.
Jack leaned into her and closed his eyes. "Just trust me, okay?" he whispered.
She looked up at him through glossy eyes. "But-"
"Just trust me," he whispered again. "Please."
Elsa looked back at the vial, craving for answers and explanations. As much as she wanted to know what the hell was happening, she quietly nodded her head. She trusted him. She always has.
Two seconds barely passed before it happened again.
"OH!" Elsa screamed, letting go of Jack, literally pushing him aside before her hands flew on top of her stomach.
She looked down, and stared at her swollen body for a daunting five seconds, before slowly raising her head to look at him. Jack caught her gaze and saw the instant panic in her eyes, much like his own. Neither Jack nor Elsa said a word; they just continued to stare at each other blankly, their shallow breaths were drowned out by the rapid beeping of the monitor Elsa was hooked up to.
Elsa breathed vigorously through her mouth. She felt it. Again. And this time, she knew she wasn't imagining things, she knew she wasn't going crazy.
She felt it move.
"Get the doctor," she cried. "Now."
Jack stared at her for a few more seconds. The anxiety and despair on his face was so sharp and distinct, but he nodded his head. He leaned into her and kissed her pale lips ever so gently, before letting go to grab his staff from the wall, zipping out of the hospital room in search for help.
It only took Jack half a second before he found them all in the other room. The doctor and nurses had all their equipment and tools on the side, prepping for the operation that was soon to come; seeing the tools laid out on the table made Jack absolutely sick to his stomach, disgusted with himself for almost putting Elsa through this danger. The Guardians stood to the side with Anna and Kristoff. Tooth was quietly comforting Anna; the young princess was deathly terrified for her older sister.
They all turned around when they heard the sound of the door open, only to find a nervous and slightly shaky Jack standing at the entrance. He wanted to say something, to tell them what was happening, but he couldn't. He still found it so surreal; he couldn't even believe it himself.
"Jack," the doctor said quietly. "We were just about to return. Is Elsa ready?"
But Jack shook his head, staring at all of them in silence. His eyes darted towards his fellow Guardians for a quick second; judging by the look on Jack's face, North, Sandy, Tooth and Bunny instantly knew that something was going on. The entire room grew silent as all attention was now focused on Jack.
"You have to come," Jack said breathlessly. "Quick."
"Is something wrong?" the doctor asked carefully. He had been feeling quite nervous about preforming the operation on Elsa, an operation like no other. But as he watched Jack, his fear only grew worse.
Jack gulped, feeling his throat tighten as the words burned his tongue. They were going to think that he was crazy, that Elsa was crazy. But as unreal as it all seemed, Jack believes her, and he truly believes that she felt movement in her body.
"It's Elsa," Jack began, causing Anna to grip onto Tooth's arm tighter. Then he took a deep breath before saying the words. "She...she felt the baby move."
The moment Jack told them, the doctor and the nurses frantically pushed past them to return to the hospital room where Elsa laid, as shocked and dumbfounded as each and every single one of them were. None of them said a word; they all stood there, as if an earthquake of unanswerable questions hit their minds.
Anna and Tooth were inside the room with Elsa, while Jack, the rest of the Guardians and Kristoff stayed outside. The doctor began to carefully examine Elsa as the nurses worked behind them, exchanging medical jargon that no one, but them, understood.
"Oh, Elsa, please tell me you're okay. Promise me," Anna cried from the side, holding onto her sister's hand for dear life.
Elsa breathed in deeply through her mouth, feeling her body grow weaker and more tired as the minutes went by. Behind her tears, she tried her best to smile for her sister. But she didn't say anything. She didn't want to promise anything she couldn't keep.
It was amazing how strong Elsa tried to be on the outside, but on the inside, there was nothing but torture. She told herself to keep composure, that she must be strong in front of her family, that she wasn't going to allow herself to give into her weakness, that she won't be weak again, not when she has to fight for not only herself, but maybe, quite possibly, for her dead baby.
But as strong as her mind wanted her to be, her heart thought otherwise. Elsa felt as though she was suddenly hit with every single emotion out there. The pain of the doctor's words when he told her that her child has died, to the traumatic jolt she felt in her heart when she felt movement inside of her stomach.
She couldn't keep it in any longer.
Tooth looked over at Elsa, feeling her heart break at the sight of her. Elsa was almost unrecognizable; her eyes were bloodshot, her face looked paler than usual, and her entire body gave off an atmosphere that could send anybody into tears. Not only did her heart break for Elsa, but for Jack as well. As a Guardian herself, Tooth considers Jack to be like a brother to her. She knows how much Elsa means to him, how much he loves her. It was just so hard seeing them go through something like this.
She wanted to say something to comfort Elsa, but she couldn't because like Jack, she knew something Elsa didn't.
"How can this be...oh my...impossible..."
Anna, Elsa and Tooth all turned to the doctor when they heard his mutters from behind them. The monitor Elsa was hooked up to began to race once more. Anna and Tooth exchanged worried glances as the doctor's words echoed in their ears; none of them were able to distinguish the tone in his voice.
"Is everything okay?" Anna asked.
The doctor kept his eyes on the x-ray machine, before pulling out his stethoscope. Behind him, the nurses were working on something that the girls couldn't see. The doctor's eyes lit up in confusion and wonder, muttering incoherent words under his breath.
"Unbelievable," the doctor said to himself. "Truly unbelievable."
"Doctor," Anna said, holding onto Elsa's hand tighter. "Can you please tell us what's happening?"
He turned to Elsa and looked at her for a few moments. "Elsa, do you have any idea what could have caused this?" he asked, his voice was low and urgent.
"C-Caused what?" she asked, unsure whether or not she wanted to hear the answer.
But instead of answering, he walked closer to Elsa and put his stethoscope right behind her ear, placing the base on top of her swollen stomach. Elsa tried her best to silence her cries, trying to listen in on what the doctor wanted her to hear. Anna stood beside Tooth, both watching as the doctor moved the stethoscope around Elsa's stomach until his hand stopped, letting it rest on the left side of her body.
Silence engulfed the room.
"Do you hear that, Elsa?" the doctor said.
She instantly heard it, and she didn't even have to ask what it was. Her eyes began to water as little sputters of unimaginable gasps escaped her lips. She cupped her mouth with her hands, unable to comprehend the immediate wave of light that had embraced her weakening, brokenhearted self.
It was as if everything that had happened within the past few hours completely drifted away from her mind. Every tear, every scream, every plead had all melted away for just one moment as a sudden yearn of love and astonishment took it's place.
She couldn't believe what she was hearing. At all.
Thud, thud, thud, thud...
A gentle melody of light, quick beats.
Her baby's heartbeat.
Kristoff excused himself for a few minutes to check on Sven and Olaf, who were both probably scared to death, wondering why the entire castle was now on lockdown, leaving Jack alone with North, Bunny and Sandy. Jack wanted answers, and for the first time, he wasn't going to take no for an answer, not when it had Elsa's life on the line.
"How?" he asked immediately, turning to them. "How is this possible? The baby is dead..."
North sighed deeply as his thick eyebrows knitted together in confusion, wishing he knew why. His mind flashed back to his and the Moon's last encounter, when the Moon told North what must be done, the night when the Moon gave him the vial to give to Jack. But there was just nothing that could explain how and why Elsa felt the dead baby move inside of her.
"Did you give her the vial, Jack?" North asked.
Jack closed his eyes and nodded. He didn't want to think about it, but it was literally impossible. In a few hours, she will be dead. Watching Elsa take her final breath before her death isn't what Jack fears the most, however, because he knows that she will return. But the thing he dreads the most is that exact moment when Anna and Kristoff find out.
Because Jack knows something they don't.
Jack knows what will happen, and they don't.
"Maybe this was the Moon's plan all along, Frost," Bunny suggested from the side.
Jack stared at the rabbit, feeling his ice cold veins light up in anger, outraged that Bunny would even say something like that. "His plan?"
"I mean, the Moon hasn't failed us before, Jack. Everything that he has done for us in the past, he always had a reason behind it," Bunny said.
Jack scoffed, completely disagreeing with every word. "So putting Elsa on her deathbed AND killing our child was his plan all along? And not to mention, Pitch's return? Is that what you're trying to say?"
Usually, this would be the part where Bunny would answer back, sparking yet another useless argument between the two Guardians. But this time, he said nothing. Jack had every right in the world to feel angry and confused; the person that he loves the most is now hours away from her death, while his dead child could possibly be alive again.
North stood to the side, staying as silent as ever as he replayed Bunny's words over and over again in his head. He gasped almost inaudibly as his eyes widened. "Of course..."
Jack turned towards him, watching as North stared hard at the cold ground. "What?"
North turned back up, staring at the young Guardian straight in the eyes. "Bunny is right, Jack," North whispered. "Maybe Manny did plan this all along. Maybe he knew that this would somehow happen..."
That statement only made Jack's anger rise even more. He didn't understand. There was nothing more that Jack wanted than to be in the hospital room with Elsa right now and to be with her until the last second before the vial takes her life, but he needed answers, he needed to know what was happening and why.
This wasn't the first time that the Moon has done something like this, keeping things away from Jack, keeping him in the dark while Jack helplessly tried to search for answers. For 300 years, Jack has wondered why he was put in the position he was in, why he was chosen to be an immortal being like himself. For centuries, those questions have burned his conscious, but the Moon never answered. If it weren't for his fellow Guardians, Jack would have never known why.
The hatred he felt towards the Man in the Moon many years ago was incomparable to the hatred he feels now. How dare he do this, to the people he cares about. Not only towards Elsa, but to the baby, to Anna and Kristoff and to the rest of the Guardians.
Jack's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean?" he asked.
"Think back to that night, when I told you about the Moon and the vial," North started, still keeping his voice low. "Do you remember everything that we spoke about? Everything that I told you?"
Jack's mind flashed back to the night of the baby shower, when North pulled him aside, leading them both into one of the castle's empty hallways, where North had told him everything that the Moon had told him, everything regarding Elsa's possible immortality, the vial and how it could be used to keep her alive. But Jack nodded his head, still keeping his gaze on North, trying to figure out what he was trying to say.
"I think so," he answered.
"Remember what I said about how the Moon takes care of us Guardians? How he takes care of the people that are attached to us?" North asked him, emphasizing the words carefully in hopes that Jack would understand.
The white haired Guardian looked down, confusion taking over his mind. Endless words raced through his brain, trying to grasp whatever it was North was trying to get him to understand. It took him a few seconds to think back, a few seconds to retrace his thoughts, but then, he remembered.
"As you know, the Moon takes care of us Guardians. He looks after us; you, me, Tooth, Sandy and Bunny. But what you do not know, what I did not know until the Moon spoke to me, is that he looks after the people who are attached to us. And in your case, he is talking about Elsa."
Those were North's exact words, the words he told Jack the night of the royal baby shower.
His blue eyes widened before looking back up. He gets it know. He understands now.
"You see, Jack?" said North when he saw Jack's face light up in realization. "Manny has been protecting Elsa because she is attached to you, because you have given your heart to protect her."
"And the baby..." Jack whispered under his breath.
"Yes," said the oldest Guardian nodded. "Manny has been protecting the baby because it is attached to you and Elsa, because you have both given your hearts to protect it, because it is your child."
"So...the Moon created the vial for Elsa and the baby?" Jack asked out loud.
"I cannot speak for Manny, but if we put the pieces together, then yes. Maybe Manny knew that this would happen, that Elsa wasn't strong enough to carry a child that obtained not only her powers, but yours, Jack. Maybe he knew about this all along, thus, creating the vial," said North.
Jack was speechless for half a minute, still trying to comprehend everything going on. "So that means that the vial saved Elsa and the baby."
North nodded again. "Yes. You see, the Moon protects us. We protect the children of the world. But at the same time, the Moon also protects the ones who are most important to us. And for you, Jack, that would be Elsa and your child."
"But how did he know?" Jack asked blankly, still trying to process everything in his head. "How did he know that the baby was going to die?"
"The Moon knows many things, Jack. He has been around longer than any of us," sighed North. "But it goes to show that despite how wrong everything may seem, Manny will always find a way to turn things around, especially for us, for the people around us."
Jack sighed deeply. He knew North was right. The Moon did help him find who he was before, by giving him the privilege of becoming a Guardian, leading him to four other immortal beings that he soon considered his family. And even though Jack didn't realize it at first, he now knows that the Moon has helped him again. And for the first time in 300 years, Jack has fully forgiven him.
The doctor was just completely and utterly dumbfounded, and not in a bad way. Just a couple of hours ago, he had just witnessed the Queen of Arendelle fall to her knees in grief after announcing that her baby is dead. The past few hours were the literal meaning of hell; watching Elsa crumble to pieces after the news of her dead child, watching Anna cry over the same grief, having the guilt eat him alive for being the one to announce this to the royal family.
But as impossible and surreal as this moment was, somehow, the baby was back.
"How?" asked Tooth in awe. Despite being an immortal Guardian, there were still things that surprised her, things that were still miracles. A baby dying and coming back to life is something neither she nor the others have experienced before.
"I have absolutely no idea," the doctor said. "I don't understand how this could have happened. This is truly amazing."
Other doctors would have found this absolutely terrifying, that the dead has come back to life. But this doctor, however, has served the royal family of Arendelle for many years. He has witnessed magic that no other doctor has seen. With Elsa's ice powers, and Jack's ability to fly, the news of their child coming back to life was the opposite of terrifying, it was just simply breathtaking.
Elsa, who was still in utter disbelief, was about to tell the doctor that Jack had given her a small, glass vial, prior to her feeling the baby move. But then she instantly closed her mouth, remembering that Jack had asked her to trust him. And as much as Elsa wanted to know, she knew that whatever Jack had done, he had a reason to.
Anna smiled as tears of happiness rolled down her cheeks. She turned towards her sister and gently held onto her arm, watching as a frail smile appeared on Elsa's face. No one in the room could believe what had just happened. This was more than a miracle. It brought the baby back to life.
"Jack is going to be so happy," Anna whispered gently.
Elsa smiled, feeling a rush of warmth touch her heart for the first time in hours. The thought of Jack and their baby was what kept her at her happiest right now.
"He really is, Elsa. You and Jack are going to have a beautiful little baby of your own," Tooth said.
However, Tooth sighed to herself because as mentioned, she and the rest of the Guardians knew something that Elsa didn't. In a few hours, she will no longer be alive. And although Tooth knows that Elsa will return back to life as an immortal, Anna didn't know that. And like Jack, Tooth was afraid.
But as of now, she kept a smile on her face, wanting Elsa to rejoice in this moment before all of Arendelle mourn the passing of their Queen.
"Thank you, Tooth," Elsa said.
Behind them, the doctor had gathered the nurses towards him as they all looked over the clipboard in his hands. They all gave each other frightened looks, asking one another if it was the right thing to do, despite the baby being alive again. After a crucial exchange of words, they all came down to conclusion and agreed.
The doctor slowly made his way up to the girls, feeling as nervous as he felt a couple of hours ago when he broke the news of the baby's death. He sat in the chair beside the hospital bed and looked at Elsa. The Queen still looked tired and frail, but it was quite a relief to see a smile on her face again. The past few hours were the worst, something that none of them ever wanted to go through again, something they never wanted to think about ever again.
"Elsa, I cannot express how joyed and overwhelmed I am that the baby is back," the doctor began.
Elsa felt her breath get caught in her throat. Something about the tone in the doctor's voice made her as anxious and worried as she was an hour ago.
"But there is something we need to do," he said.
Anna felt Elsa grab onto her hand, squeezing it tightly through the strength she had. Elsa, still grabbing onto Anna, turned to Tooth with worried eyes. What was the doctor going to say? She just got her baby back and she didn't want to handle anymore bad news. The three girls stayed silent, listening to the eerie echoes that bounced off the walls, waiting for him to continue.
"You see, you're still sick," the doctor said quietly. "Your body is still in critical condition, Elsa. Extremely critical. Your body is doing nothing but deteriorate more and more, and we have to do something before things get worse."
Elsa felt herself weaken, not because she was sick, but because of the fear that had rose up in her body. She knew what the doctor wanted to say.
The doctor sighed deeply. "You have to deliver the baby today."
Everything that Elsa feared came running into her heart right after the doctor said that. She knew that the doctor was right; she could feel herself getting weaker and more unsteady as each second passed.
But she was just so, so afraid.
"But Elsa's only five months pregnant," Anna told him.
"Yes, I know. But we have no choice, Anna. Your sister's condition is only going to get more crucial if we don't do anything about it soon. We can't let this continue on unless we do something, and the only way for that to happen is if Elsa delivers the child," he said.
Tooth gasped. "But if Elsa's only five months pregnant, then what will happen to the baby?"
Elsa felt a twinge of terror pierce her heart.
The doctor sighed deeply as he pushed his glasses further up the bridge of his nose before looking at the three girls that sat in front of him. The hardest part about being a doctor was having to tell them things that are guaranteed to break one's heart.
"The baby is going to be born premature, extremely premature," he began quietly.
Elsa closed her eyes at his words, words that no soon-to-be-mother ever wanted to hear.
"But this is our only way, Elsa," the doctor turned to her. "This is the only way to ensure that you are healthy again."
"But my baby," she choked out hoarsely when she finally found strength in her voice. "Will it still be okay?"
The doctor merely nodded. "We're lucky that you're 22 weeks along, Elsa. Any less than that and your baby might not have had a chance at all, despite it returning back to life."
That sent a little bit of relief into Elsa, but barely. She just couldn't fathom the fact that her poor baby is still suffering, that it's being hurt and forced out without a choice. As much as Elsa wanted to smile, to feel the overwhelming amount of motherly love that she should, the hatred that she felt for herself was too strong.
She just wanted her baby to be okay, she wanted to make sure that nothing will continue to harm it. Elsa just wanted to hold it in her arms and cry, apologizing to the infant for everything she had put it though, promising that Mommy will never, ever let anything hurt it ever again.
She snapped out of her thoughts and looked up, only to find the doctor, Anna and Tooth staring at her worriedly.
"Yes?" she whispered.
The doctor looked at her with a hint of concern and apprehension on his face and said, "Are you willing to do it today?"
Elsa turned to look at Anna and Tooth. Words will never be enough to explain how frightened and unprepared she was, but she knew that she has to. She needed to. Not because she was concerned about her health, no. Her health meant absolutely nothing to her right now. But she knew that she has to because of the baby, and that is the most important thing to her right now, the most important thing to her ever.
She thought back to Jack's words earlier, moments before the doctor was suppose to abort the baby for good.
"Promise me you'll be brave. For me. For our baby. That's what it would have wanted, to know that it's mother is healthy again. That's what our baby would have wanted for you, Elsa."
And it only took those words for Elsa to nod her head.
Another cliffhanger? Sorry...but we are one step closer to the BABY! And Elsa's death...
Question: do you guys prefer longer chapters? Or shorter ones?
Anyway, thanks so much for reading. PLEASE REVIEW! They are very much appreciated :D
edit: Sorry for the double update, but I just realized how close we are to 900 reviews! Holy cow! It would mean the WORLD to me if you guys help me reach 900 before the next chapter by reviewing. All your reviews really mean so much. Thank you! :D