Expecting the Instigation
The next morning, Hiccup bit his lip as he knocked an arrow, drawing it back and holding it for a few moments as he concentrated, Toothless watching him curiously from a few feet away. The group had unanimously decided that they had to go back to London to confront their enemies once more, in an attempt to get back the children that had been taken. He knew that he had to become more proficient in the use of weapons, and he had little time to do so. He focused as much as he could on the target before releasing the arrow, and it embedded into the target, about a few inches from the bull's eye. He sighed with a bit of defeat, hanging his head a bit as he shook it. He took another arrow, knocking it and pulling back on the drawstring. As he did so, Merida slowly approached, floating towards him until she stopped about a couple feet behind him to silently observe. Hiccup concentrated, biting his lip. He narrowed his eyes a bit before releasing it, and the arrow once again missed the bull's eye by a couple inches. He groaned, running a hand through his hair as he sighed sharply. Merida floated closer to him, making herself known as she tilted her head lightly, her curls swaying a bit.
"Lad, don't get yourself so worked up." Merida said. "Y' aren't going to become the finest archer overnight."
"I know…" Hiccup sighed. "But… how am I supposed to help you guys fight if I almost make a target?"
"You've still got your sword fighting, that'll do for now. They've got plenty of close range warriors for us to fight. But you know what I see? I see a great improvement. You'll get it, Hiccup. And when you do, you'll feel like you're on the tallest mountain." Merida smiled.
"Thanks…" Hiccup smiled back.
"Have ye had breakfast yet? Got to get your strength up!" She pat his back before floating past him into the dining hall. Toothless trotted up to Hiccup, gently nudging his shoulder before nodding his head in the direction Merida went.
"I- wha- oh, you have been hanging around Jack for too long!" Hiccup said as he became befuddled, striding quickly towards the dining area himself.
Bunny chuckled to himself as he observed his upgraded boomerangs, whipping them around in his paws. Jack noticed his friend's fascination, floating over and looking at the objects curiously.
"Woah, what did you do to those?" Jack asked.
"No one's gonna want to mess with these, mate." Bunny retracted the blades and tucking them back on his person. "You ready for today?"
"Yeah… now that I know I'm going to have to deal with Pitch using Elsa to team up against me, I won't have any more surprises." Jack answered.
"If that girl's got any brains in her noggin, she'll realize that Pitch and the rest of that lot are a bunch of stinking wombats." Bunny said as he stretched himself out. "Man, I need to unwind."
"I could lend you a chill pill." Jack joked, laughing when Bunny playfully punched his arm.
"Lamest joke in the book, mate." Bunny snickered. "I'm going downstairs, I'll meet you later."
"Okay. Gonna see if Hiccup has collapsed yet from exhaustion. He's been up for hours shooting arrows. Talk about someone needing a chill pill…" Jack rolled his eyes playfully as he went about his way.
Meanwhile, Alice sighed lightly as she laid her head back. It was not often mentioned, but North had an area of his workshop that was something akin to hot springs; it was very rarely used being North found little time to enjoy it, but it was something the other guardians would use every now and then. She ran her hands through her wet hair, sighing as she let the lukewarm water soothe the tension out of her muscles. She has a lot on her mind, yes, but in this relaxed state, the noisiness of her thoughts was diminished, tamed. A soft smile graced her features, not able to remember the last time she had pampered herself like this. She let her mind drift, taking her on fluffy white clouds through a bright, blue sky and-
"Day dreaming again, are we Alice?"
The young woman nearly jumped out of her skin, gasping as her eyes popped open. Present before her on a large lily pad floating on the clear water was someone all too familiar to her.
"You know caterpillar, it would be nice if you at least waited until I was in something other than my skin. Don't you know anything about giving someone their privacy?" Alice asked.
"That would be quite difficult, is there really any privacy in this world, Alice?" Caterpillar asked as he blew out a puff of smoke. Alice coughed a bit, waving her hand in front of her face as his smoke mixed with the water vapor in the air.
"Will you just state your point and let me have a moment of peace?" Alice asked.
"You've got a lot churning in that head of yours Alice, and I mean more than just the lot of us." Caterpillar motioned to himself. "Still continuing some bad habits of yours, I see…"
Alice sighed, closing her eyes tightly. "Caterpillar… what do you expect me to do?"
"Something different, because only fools do the same thing and expect different results." He replied.
Alice shook her head. "But we… it is how we relate… he opens himself up to me in that regard."
"And so he will shut you out completely if you do not open yourself up back." The Caterpillar said. "If you are to find your white knight here, you must remember this; the white knight shall always fight for truth and justice, so the one to claim his heart must contain both those qualities, lest he shall fight for you until his last breath."
Alice bowed her head at that, frowning to herself. She opened her mouth to say something, but when she looked back up, she blinked when she saw that her friend had disappeared. She glanced around in surprise, but had little time to dwell on it as she heard someone entering through the door.
"Oh, curse my negligence!" Alice hissed to herself in a whisper, her hands hugging across her chest as she ducked down.
Bunnymund whistled, closing the door with his foot as he took off the small belt with his weapons on them, hanging it on a small hook. He then turned to go into the waters, but he stopped when he noticed bubbles rising from beneath the surface. With all the mist in the room, he couldn't make out who was lurking beneath the surface, squinting his eyes. He then had a growing suspicion, chuckling to himself.
"Oh Jack, you thought you could sneak up on me mate? You are so gonna get it!" Bunny laughed.
Alice groaned internally as she held her breath, and even more so when the tranquility of the water was disturbed by Bunny jumping into it. Bewildered as to why he was swimming right for her direction, she speedily moved for the other side of the springs in an attempt to avoid being seen. She quietly gasped for air as she surfaced.
"Why on Earth is he-" Alice began to ask herself in her mind.
"Come on Jack, you thought you were a sly devil, I'm gonna dunk you!" Bunny shouted. Alice mentally cursed herself as she reached the edge of the springs, hugging herself in an attempt to cover herself. "Nowhere to go, mate!" Bunny shouted before approaching who he believed to be Jack, bear hugging the supposed prankster from behind. Immediately he sensed something was off when he heard a girlish squeak, freezing as Alice slowly looked over her shoulder at him, raising her brows as she smiled nervously.
"Well, then… isn't this quite a state we're in?" Alice asked as she bit her lip.
"Crikey, ALICE?!" Bunnymund threw himself back, completely soaking himself before jumping to his feet, his eyes wide as his heart pounded in his chest. "What the- bloody hell, I just- ohhh I am so skinned after this!"
"I could do that…" Alice shrugged as she covered her chest with her arms. "Or you could just wipe this experience clean from your mind and kindly fetch me a towel so I may make myself at least somewhat decent…"'
"Oi…" Bunny groaned as he scratched behind his ear bashfully. "Maybe try locking the door next time you want to uh… take a dip in the nuddy."
As if the situation couldn't get any worse, they both widened their eyes when they heard the door open once again.
"Hey Bunny, I thought you were supposed to be relaxing, not coming in here and making-" Jack stopped short when he came upon Alice and Bunny, his eyes widening as much as Bunny's had.
"You were saying?" Alice said to Bunny flatly.
"Bunny?!" Jack choked.
"Mate, this is NOT what it looks like-"
"Dude, she's-" Jack groaned as he whirled around. "I am NOT going to turn around."
"I had no idea she was even in here, I bloody near had a fit when I went to dunk her, I thought she was you!" Bunny exclaimed.
"Alright, just stop- will you get out of there?!" Jack shouted, trying to avoid looking at Alice as she kept herself as covered up as possible. He strode over to where the linens were, grabbing a towel. "Okay, being that you're already IN the water WITH her, will you just hand her this?" Jack said, shutting his eyes tightly as he extended his arm with the towel in it.
Bunnymund rolled his eyes, grabbing the towel and putting a paw over his eyes as he waded back over to where Alice was standing. Despite the awkwardness of the situation, Alice found it quite amusing, smirking a bit as she took the towel from Bunny. She stepped out of the water while both their eyes were closed to wrap it securely around herself. She turned to glance at Bunny and Jack, both their eyes closed. She giggled lightly, walking into the changing area and closed the door. Jack and Bunny opened their eyes, the latter hopping out of the springs, shaking the water out of his fur.
"Argh, come on, Bunny!" Jack shielded himself from getting wet.
The large rabbit stepped forward, clearing his throat awkwardly as he stared towards the changing rooms. "Hope she don't try to skin me in my sleep, mate…"
"After what just happened, I don't think she's going to do anything near you." Jack said before throwing his hands up. "Will you stop looking over there! Come on, we need to get out of here."
Bunny glanced around nervously. "Well, maybe I should at least, you know, try to apologize or-"
"NOW, Bunny." Jack said through gritted teeth, before grabbing Bunny by one of his ears, causing him to yelp in pain. Once out of the springs area, Jack held his hands out. "What is wrong with you?! Do you have any idea what she's been through?"
"Does it really matter mate? Look, I almost bloody passed out!" Bunny exclaimed.
"It does matter! I want her to feel COMFORATBLE around us, not… you know!" Jack snapped.
"Jack, I told you it was an accident!" Bunny cried. "What else do you want from me?"
Jack hung his head a bit as he pulled Bunny into another room. "Bunny, look… I'm worried about Alice. She's told me about… some of the horrible experiences she's been through, and… I have a feeling it probably gets darker than that… she just… sometimes she seems nervous to talk about certain things. Like part of her is afraid to trust someone." He looked up at Bunny. "So… I just don't want her to feel worse."
"She's told you stuff?" Bunny asked. "Like what?"
Jack sighed. "I actually take the time to talk to her, Bunny. If you would show her that you cared, maybe she would tell you stuff too. Maybe it would help to know that there are some people out there that actually care about her for once in her life."
Bunny sat in silence for a few moments, thinking on Jack's words. "You're right, mate…" He sighed. "Y' know, I first hated the girl. She was colder than you, but… she's seemed to have gotten under my fur."
Jack smiled lightly to himself. "Yeah… I really like it when she smiles." When Bunny raised a brow at him, Jack caught himself, clearing his throat. "It's uh, good for her, you know? Good for the soul… something like that."
Bunny snickered, playfully punching Jack's shoulder. "Yeah, okay. Like she'd go for mister twenty below freezing, mate."
Jack blinked for a moment before grimacing. "What is THAT supposed to mean?"
Before either of them could say anything further, Toothiana opened the door, poking her head in the room. "Hey, Alice is having a meeting downstairs!" She smiled before flying down the hallway.
"… and whatever happens, you keep that little girl upstairs out of harm's way." Alice was speaking to the remaining guardians.
"Eliza will be safe under our watch." North assured.
Alice turned, giggling lightly when Jack and Bunny joined the circle. "Well, I'm glad you could join us." She smirked lightly before turning to the rest of the group. "Now, when we enter their domain, keep your eyes and ears open. If one of us needs support, we shall give it to each other. We aren't savages like they are where they all have their own agendas. We all have the same goal, to save those children."
Anna sighed as the group began to get their weapons and things gathered together, glancing at Kristoff. "She's going to hurt Elsa… that Alice girl. I can't let that happen." She was about to take a step forward when the young man gently held her steady.
"Anna, I'm sure that's not what they want to do. That one guy Jack seems committed to try to get her to understand their cause. Just remember, if you're here and safe, it will be better for your sister." Kristoff said.
"How? She probably doesn't even know I'm here!" Anna cried. "Elsa needs me!"
"Anna, we know nothing about those people they're fighting. How do you think Elsa would feel if you arrived on the scene just to be hurt, or worse? She would never forgive herself." Kristoff said.
With a sigh, Anna closed her eyes tightly. "You're right… it's just… I feel so useless just… staying cooped in here."
"From what you've told me and what I know, Elsa is a strong woman." Kristoff smiled. "Whatever is going on by her end, I know she's holding her own."
"Forget the pain…" Elsa said as she breathed in deeply, exhaling slowly as she opened her eyes. She paced around the room calmly, focusing on her breathing. She walked by an old, worn mirror hanging on the cavern wall a few times, stopping when something caught her eye. She slowly walked in front of the mirror, furrowing a brow to look into her reflection. She was about to turn when nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but stopped halfway, her eyes widening when she noticed that out of her peripheral vision, her reflection had not moved. She slowly turned back to look upon her reflection, gasping as it grinned darkly at her. The reflection was hugging her arms much like Elsa actually was, but Elsa noticed that the reflection was digging her fingernails into her arms as she hugged herself. Elsa backed up, frightened as she fell back on her bed. When she glanced back up at the mirror, the reflection was normal again, mimicking her own movements. Elsa sat up, a bit shaken by the experience as she slowly rose to her feet. She barely had a moment to regain her composure when Pitch entered, approaching her as he tilted his head curiously.
"I sensed a sharp spike of fear." He stated. "Care to offer an explanation?"
Elsa exhaled deeply, shaking her head. "It's nothing. I'm not going to allow fear to overcome me today." She said, standing a bit straighter.
Pitch smirked, observing her. "Indeed… you will prevail over our foes. I've already seen a great improvement in you, Elsa."
The young woman smiled lightly at that. "Thank you, Pitch."
Before he could answer, Wick floated into the room. "Mister Bumby told me to tell you that they're on their way! They're in London!"
Pitch turned quickly at Wick's words, narrowing his eyes as he increased his alertness. "We must prepare." He glanced back at Elsa then. "Are you ready?"
Elsa gave a nod, looking at her hands for a moment as blue essence glowed around them. "Yes."
Just outside of Houndsditch, the heroes were just approaching to confront their enemies.
"We must engage quickly." Alice said to the group. "Now, they aren't aware of our arrival, so they may be caught off guard. This will be a great advantage for us."
"Alice… I wouldn't say that." Merida responded, her eyes darting.
"And why is that?" Alice said, putting her hand on her hip. "How could they possibly know of our coming?"
"Uh, they may be a pretty big clue." Hiccup pointed, and Alice turned to be met with the sight of the Puppet children emerging from the shadows, Merida having sensed them moments before so.
Alice widened her eyes, shaking her head as she took a step back. "Alright, how about we retreat to Watercress Lane and take that route-"
As the group went to move backwards, they were met with more puppet children at the rear, all of them glancing around in surprise as they encircled the heroes.
"Well, this is bloody fantastic!" Bunny exclaimed. "Not even down in that hell hole yet and we're already in a bind!"
"Look, Alice… I know that we're fighting to save them, but allowing ourselves to get hurt in the process isn't going to help anyone." Jack said, gripping his staff as he glanced around him.
"We cannot harm them, if we kill them, we will kill those children!" Alice cried.
"If WE are harmed than it'll only give Bumby reason to make more, lass!" Merida snapped, knocking an arrow and aiming for one of the puppet children as they closed in on the group.
"NO!" Alice screamed, pulling back on Merida as she released the arrow.
As it shot through the air, Merida was about to shout at Alice when the arrow cut through one of the puppet children's strings, severing it. The arm it was connected to fell to its side limply. The other puppet children regarded the occurrence for a moment before looking back towards the group, hissing threateningly. They moved in quicker, with more hostility as they swiped their arms, snapping their jagged shaped mouths at them. As the group readied themselves for defense and Alice began to panic from lacking a solution, Hiccup thought of something.
"Hey, wait a second!" He exclaimed. "Alice, did you see what happened to that one when Merida cut its string? What if we just do that?"
Alice whirled around to look at Hiccup. "Do you think they will still remain intact?"
"I don't know, but we won't find out unless we try!" Hiccup replied.
"Well, it's the only idea we've got, so I'm going for it!" Bunny exclaimed as he wielded his upgraded boomerangs, flipping them through the air. They sliced through one puppet child's strings, severing them and the child subsequently fell to the ground, hissing and snapping its mouth as it flopped around, but it was no longer a threat.
When Alice saw this, her eyes widened, a bit relieved by the result. However, she knew she couldn't dwell on it for long, unsheathing her blade as she soared through the air, landing gracefully on her feet as she avoided the puppet child's attacks, slicing at its strings.
"Only sever the strings, do not inflict any other form of injuries!" Alice shouted.
Being Jack was the only one in the group that did not have any sort of bladed weapon, he helped by aiding any of his team mates that became overwhelmed, by trying to hold a puppet child in place, or distracting them. When the last string was severed, the group came out mostly unscathed, save for a scratch or two.
"How could they have known we were coming…?" Alice said as she cursed under her breath.
"That doesn't matter now, we have to go in there and give them a swift kick up their rear ends!" Merida exclaimed.
"Remind me not to make you angry…" Hiccup said. He then glanced up when Toothless landed near them, trotting over to the group.
"Well, it would have been nice if he had been here about ten minutes ago…" Jack said. "Why didn't he just come with us through the snow globe?"
"He still needs to get used to, uh… 'snow globe' travel. He got kind of nauseous last time." Hiccup answered as he gently pat the dragon.
"Really?" Jack said flatly.
"Alright, enough chatter! We're wasting time!" Alice exclaimed, and as soon as Bunnymund made one of his rabbit holes, they all dived in, making their descent into the underground dwelling.
When they all got to their feet, they remained close, vigilant. They glanced around, seeing no one at first, until they heard a voice from within the darkness of the cavern.
"Well, aren't you all resilient…?" Pitch spoke, making Jack grit his teeth angrily. "I didn't expect you band of freaks to get this far."
"Aren't you one to talk?" Alice replied, her hand gripping her blade tighter. "We didn't come to have another lovely little chat, being we've already realized you are utterly capable of compromise!"
Pitch revealed himself, glaring darkly at Alice. "Very well…" He glanced around, smirking a bit. "Well, you heard the little lady!"
Alice wasted no time lunging towards Pitch, and the other heroes could not remain idle. Wielding her hobby horse, Alice lunged towards Pitch, only for him to conjure about a dozen of his nightmares to shield him. Without hesitation, she brought her weapon down and swiped it through the air, turning them into black dust. She stood up straight, narrowing her eyes at Pitch when only space remained once more between them.
"Do not fail me this time! Off with their heads!" The Queen hissed as her card guards charged towards Toothless and Hiccup.
Merida flew over to assist, shooting arrows from afar and using her sword at close range. Hiccup had improved significantly with his sword fighting, and Toothless was more prepared this time as he took to flight, dropping down before the Queen. She narrowed her eyes, hissing menacingly, and Toothless roared back just as threateningly. They battled each other in a tangled mess of tentacles and teeth, snapping and clawing at each other like wild beasts.
As Hiccup finished off another card guard, Merida smirked lightly at him, Hiccup returning the gesture. Hiccup's eyes widened then when he noticed something coming straight for them.
"Merida!" Hiccup cried, gasping when Bumby collided right into the Scottish princess, throwing her across the cavern like a ragdoll. "No, Merida!" He cried out, cursing under his breath as more card guards surrounded him. Forced to fight them and unable to get to his friend, it only fueled the vigor within him.
"Still think you can win, little girl?" Bumby cackled as Merida regained her composure, gritting her teeth as she unsheathed her sword. She cried out as she flew at him, but to no avail as he phased into his spirit form, phasing again from behind to strike her with one of his molten balls before she could defend herself, and she cascaded down to the ground. "Look at you, a warrior who cannot fight has no purpose, no reason to retain life! Submit to me now and perhaps I'll show a shred of mercy."
The young woman groaned as she got to her feet shakily, gripping her sword as she looked into his eyes, hers still full of determination. "You've got to do a lot more to me to keep me down than that, filth."
Elsa kept her focus on Jack; his ability to fly placed her at a slight disadvantage. He was reluctant to attack her, instead trying to evade her as he kept an eye on Alice as she dueled with Pitch and Bunny trying to fight off Wick. This frustrated Elsa, shooting ice blasts at him but missing.
Bunny was quick on his feet, dodging Wick's attacks as he sent blasts of fire at him from farther away, and trying to slice him with the blade of his scythe when he managed to catch up to him.
"Always coming after the rabbit, aren't you?" Bunny exclaimed as he threw an egg bomb at Wick, who shook his head and wiped his face from the attack before staring at Bunny darkly.
"You're one of the ones who put me in that long sleep." He said lowly. "So I'm going to do the same to you and the other guardians that helped you!"
"You were a terror, mate! Literally!" Bunny shouted as he dodged another jet of flames from his attacker. "You never tried to help bring joy to children, all you did was frighten them, all you did was make Pitch's job easier and our job harder!"
"It's all I know how to do!" Wick screamed his flame illuminating brighter the angrier he got. "Brother Pitch liked me for who I am, you all hated me because I was different!"
"You were out of control!" Bunny snapped.
"I can't change who I am!" Wick shouted back, continuing his chase after Bunny.
Pitch growled lowly as his own scythe clashed against Alice's hobby horse, the two glaring at each other as they shoved each other back. He glanced up at Jack hovering near them, evading Elsa and standing by in case Alice needed his help.
"It's quite amusing Jack, that you allow your little girlfriend fight YOUR battles!" Pitch spat at Jack.
Jack scowled at Pitch as he shot a burst of black sand at Alice, only for her to burst into butterflies to dodge it. She then resumed running towards him, jumping and twirling in the air to slam the weapon down onto the ground mere feet from him, causing a small shock wave. Pitch may have barely dodged the actual weapon's attack, but the shockwave brought him down, scurrying back as he scrambled to get to his feet. Alice took out her knife, striding towards him when Elsa ran in, crying out as she shot a burst of ice towards Alice. She barely dodged it, bursting into butterflies, but hissed when she recollected herself, her arm having gotten a bit of frostbite. She grit her teeth, whipping her head up to look at Pitch and Elsa as he got to his feet.
"Now who's allowing their 'little girlfriend' to fight their battles?" Alice shouted.
Pitch grimaced angrily when his words were spat back at him. "Alright… you want to behave like a little brat, you're going to be punished like one!"
"Ooo…" Alice smirked, chuckling lightly. "So scared…"
Elsa glanced back at Pitch, who gave her a single, firm nod. Elsa turned back to Alice as Pitch glanced up at Jack, smirking lightly. He knew what game Jack was playing, trying to seem like the gentleman by avoiding fighting Elsa altogether, but that would end now. Jack furrowed his brows, knowing that Alice couldn't take Elsa and Pitch on her own. He dove down, his feet touching the ground as Elsa sent an ice blast right for Alice, only to be blocked by Jack's staff when he intervened.
"Elsa, stop this!" Jack shouted, furrowing his brows.
"You don't tell me what to do!" Elsa shouted back, attacking him more fiercely than last time. She swiped her hands through the air, conjuring ice spikes to rise sharply from the ground. He had to take to air once more, and Elsa waved her hand around, creating a whirlwind of snow to blow around Jack, making it hard for him to see.
"Elsa, listen to me!" Jack shouted as the wind roared around the two of them. "You don't have to do this! I know why you're here, you think that this is going to save your sister!"
Elsa gasped, her eyes widening for a moment before she glared at him angrily. "Don't you talk about my sister!"
"I had a sister once!" Jack exclaimed. "I died to protect her, I died for her and became what I am now, a guardian! I know you would do the same, but this isn't the way to help her! If you would just listen-"
"ENOUGH!" Elsa screamed, the wind picking up more speed. "I will not listen to your lies and tricks!"
"Pitch is the one lying to you, Elsa!" Jack shouted, but was having a hard time making out anything through all the wind and snow. He grit his teeth, crying out as he gripped his staff to use all the strength he could to disperse the wind and snow engulfing him, gasping for air.
Wick groaned as he gripped his shoulder, removing his hand from it for a moment to look at the sappy substance oozing from it; it was his form of "blood," being that underneath the cloth of his clothes, his limbs were like woven vines and branches. He began to shake with anger, roaring ferociously at Bunny as he illuminated himself once more, soaring towards him as he reared his scythe to attack the furry guardian. Bunny was quick on his feet, but as he ran on all fours, he glanced over his shoulder, biting his lip when he saw that Wick was gaining up on him. He was quite literally almost on his tail, and if he did not avoid the attack that Wick was about to unleash upon him, he would be burnt to a crisp in seconds.
As Elsa was about to continue to send more bursts of ice at Jack, he noticed the predicament that Bunny was in, glancing towards Alice for a moment and hoped that she could hold her own for the time being while he dived in to aid his friend. He dipped down to fly alongside Bunny as he ran, his hand gripping his staff tightly.
"Bunny!" Jack called to him.
"Do y'mind? I'm kind of busy at the moment!" Bunny exclaimed.
"Listen! On the count of three, veer off to the side quickly, I'll take the heat!" Jack shouted.
"You may be 'young man winter' Jack, but I don't know if even you can take THAT much heat!" Bunny remarked.
"Well, better than you!" Jack replied. "Alright, one, two, THREE!"
As Bunny swung a sharp left, Jack whirled around, flying backwards for several moments as he and Wick released an attack of their element at the same time. Jack forced his body upright as his feet hit the ground roughly, and he skid back several yards as the two maintained their attack; Jack shooting a stream of ice from his staff against Wick's stream of fire with his scythe.
Elsa was about to go back to help Pitch with Alice, when she noticed that Jack was gaining a slight upper hand as his ice stream slowly began to push back against Wick's fire stream. She bit her lip, deciding that she needed to help Wick. She ran right towards Jack, about to send a burst of ice at him. However, Bunny saw her coming, throwing an egg bomb and knocking her off her feet. Elsa groaned, scrambling to get up and stumbling a bit as she shot a burst of ice towards Bunny, and he was barely able to dodge the attack as his tail froze.
"Crickey! That'll take forever to thaw out!" He exclaimed as he ducked behind a rock. From this perspective, he looked across the cavern, gasping when he saw that Merida was having a rough time with Bumby. "Oh no… I've got to help her." He said to himself, making his way to where she was.
Meanwhile, Jack managed to knock Wick back, about to shoot an ice spark through the air at him when he was hit with one of Elsa's attacks. He flew back, hitting roughly against the cavern wall and falling to the ground. He shook his head, regaining his composure as he got to his feet as quickly as possible. Elsa's hand was extended as she panted a bit, glaring at him darkly.
"Don't you harm him again!" She screamed at Jack, slowly moving towards him.
As Alice and Pitch were dueling, she whirled towards the sound of Jack hitting the wall, Pitch grinning as Alice's concern for Jack rose.
"Let him be!" Alice shouted, moving to run towards Elsa. As she would find moments later, turning her back to Pitch was the worst mistake she could make. Pitch smirked, rearing his hand back before thrusting it forward, and when Alice emitted a small gasp, Jack's attention immediately snapped to her as she stood perfectly still several yards away. Her eyes widened, her brows furrowing deeply as she stumbled a bit, slowly turning to look at Pitch.
"Oh… what's the matter, Alice? Did I scare you? I certainly hope so…" Pitch laughed darkly as Alice's hands slowly rose to grip her head as she began to tremble, falling to her knees.
"NO!" Jack shouted, trying to get to her, but was stopped when Elsa waved her hand, creating a thick wall of ice to separate them.
Toothless roared fiercely as he charged right into the Queen, shoving her against the wall as she fell to a heap. The dragon snorted threateningly, trotting back towards Hiccup to help him fight off her card guards.
"Nice one, bud!" Hiccup exclaimed, glancing towards where Merida was, a bit relieved when he saw Bunny had jumped in to help her. He then gasped when he heard Jack's cry from across the cavern, catching a glimpse of the scene. "Toothless, I won't be able to get over there quickly enough to help them!"
Toothless gave Hiccup a nod, doing what his friend asked him as he took to flight. As he did so, the Queen groaned as she sat up, her vision becoming clear after a few moments as she looked upon Hiccup continuing his fight against the card guards. When she saw Toothless fly towards Jack and Alice, she glanced back at Hiccup, chuckling lowly and licking her lips.
Pitch smirked lightly, refocusing his attentions to Alice as she fell to the side, curling up in a fetal position as she trembled helplessly. In the meantime, it had taken Wick a bit of time to recover, but once he managed to, he hovered near Elsa. The two double teamed Jack as they closed in, Jack finding himself cornered. He gripped his staff, bracing for either of them to unleash the first attack upon him when all of a sudden, Toothless roared as he dove at them from the side. Elsa gasped, whirling around to shoot a burst of ice at Toothless, but the dragon's head charged right into her before she could even make an attempt. Elsa flew backwards, Wick watching in horror as she smacked right into another cavern wall, tumbling down to the ground. Her head spun, barely conscious as she bit her lip, trying weakly to get back up.
Jack glanced up at Toothless, chuckling lightly as he was filled with relief. "Thanks, Toothless…" He breathed, the dragon giving him a friendly nod. The moment was cut short when Wick's roar echoed throughout the cavern, trembling with white hot rage as his flames reflected that. He clutched his scythe as tightly as he could as he prepared to unleash his greatest burst of fire against Jack in an act of revenge for what had just transpired. Jack's eyes widened, and Toothless cried out as the strongest jet of fire yet shot straight for the ice guardian. The dragon jumped in just before impact, pulling Jack in and wrapping his wings around him to shield him from the attack.
Merida crawled on her hands and knees, her glowing eyes darting as her hand extended towards her sword. She whimpered, having not landed a single attack on Bumby yet. She had been greatly weakened, gasping as she felt something stop her. She glanced over her shoulder, gasping lightly.
"Well, isn't this familiar…? As I recall, I was supposed to end your life…" Bumby said as he phased into his ooze form, forming a molten ball and gripping it tight, preparing to bludgeon her with it.
"Y' can't kill me!" Merida cried. "I'm already a banshee!"
"Oh… I see a flicker of doubt in your eyes, Merida… let's test it out, shall we?" Bumby laughed mockingly, about to cast the ball down at her when something collided into his hand, knocking the ball away as it turned into a small puddle of black ooze. It morphed into one of his slimy leeches, slithering along the ground. As Bumby whirled around, Bunny narrowed his eyes as he gripped the foul thing in his paw, squishing it into black paste and wiping his hands of the slime. "You know, I've just about had it with persistent, obnoxious rabbits!"
"I don't think you've ever dealt with a rabbit like ME, mate. But now you're gonna get a taste." Bunny replied lowly, grabbing his boomerangs and readying himself.
"You 'fairy tale' creatures are all the same! Unproductive, a waste of time; your entire concept is inefficient. The hope you claim to give children is false, it only deters them from the true nature of the world… there are more urgent needs that need fulfilling, thirsts that need consistent and often constant quenching! Your kind delays that!" Bumby spat.
"Well hey, guess what? I don't like you either." Bunny shrugged. "And I could care less what some conniving monster thinks. So let's get on with it then."
"I'll deal with the likes of you as soon as I finish my business with little miss ginger here." Bumby scoffed, but as he turned around, Bunny flipped over the doctor's head, landing between him and Merida.
"Merida, get out of here. I'll take this clown." Bunny glanced at her before refocusing his attention back to Bumby. "You ain't putting your hands to her anymore today, mate."
Bumby was tired of Bunnymund's interference, growling lowly as the two lunged at each other to attack.
Meanwhile, Hiccup exhaled sharply, chuckling to himself as he finished the last card guard standing, dusting himself off. "Not bad, Hiccup, not bad…" He figured that he had better see if any of his other friends needed his help now that he had made his accomplishment, turning around. When he did so however, he stopped short when he found himself face to face with none other than the Queen herself, gasping lightly as he scrambled back. Her eyes were crazed as she licked her lips hungrily, crouched a bit.
"What a delectable little morsel you shall be…" The Queen hissed lowly as she neared the Viking.
Hiccup gripped his sword, biting his lip. The Queen grinned sinisterly, her sharp teeth showing as tentacles shot out towards him. She cried out in pain as he managed to slice some with his sword, maintaining initially. The Queen's patience soon ran out however, and rather than have any more of her lovely tentacles severed, she dove in, her hands grabbing onto the young man and hoisting him into the air.
"I'm not afraid of you!" Hiccup shouted, grunting as he tried to wriggle himself out of her grip to no avail.
"Then I hope you also do not fear your inevitable death!" The Queen screamed, raising him into the air and slamming him into the ground.
Merida groaned as she regained her balance, hovering off the ground as she shook her head. She bit her lip as she watched Bunny taking on Bumby, about to try to help him when the sound of someone crying out painfully made her whirl around. She gasped when she saw the Queen throwing Hiccup harshly to the ground, only to pick him again and throw him at the wall. When Merida saw him fall, her eyes widened as she soared towards them.
"HICCUP!" She screamed his name as the Queen picked up a large rock in her hands, laughing chaotically as she held it up over the fallen Viking.
"Off with his head…" She growled, about to crush Hiccup when Merida emitted a battle cry, diving in to yank Hiccup's unconscious body out of harm's way. The Queen whipped her head towards them when the rock missed its target, screeching as she moved swiftly towards them. Merida took her bow and arrow, glaring at the Queen as she released one, two, three arrows, all in quick succession. They all embedded in her, buying Merida time to unsheathe her sword. She flew right at the Queen, stabbing the weapon right through the palm of one of her large hands. The monstrous woman cried out in agonizing pain, blood dripping from her hand as she nursed it. Merida scowled at her darkly for a moment before she sensed something. She gasped, whirling around and dropping her sword to fall to her knees by Hiccup. Her eyes widened in horror, her hands gently reaching out to hold him closer to her as she felt his life fading. She shook her head, her breathing becoming unsteady as she saw the deep bruises blossoming on his exposed skin, the cuts, the broken bones… she looked at the hand holding the back of his head, his blood on her fingertips.
"Hiccup, look at me, lad!" She shook him gently, gritting her teeth as a knot began to form in her throat, tears brimming her eyes. "I know you're strong, I know you can make it through this… Hiccup, please…" She whimpered, becoming more and more distressed the more she felt his life slipping away. She glanced up as the Queen rose up once more, slowly nearing them as her rage boiled over.
Bunnymund grit his teeth as he blocked one of Bumby's molten balls with his boomerang, catching it before punching the doctor square in the jaw, hitting the wall as he was stunned temporarily. Bunny snorted lightly at him, but heard hysterical screaming from across the cavern. He whirled around, furrowing his brows deeply when he saw Pitch standing over Alice, who was curled up on the ground as he tormented her. He glanced once more at Bumby before hopping swiftly in Alice's direction. Bumby, left to his own devices, groaned as he got to his feet, glancing over the other way to see the Queen closing in on Merida, who was holding an unconscious Hiccup. He smirked, delighted by the sudden opportunity. He flew down to hover beside the Queen, who barely acknowledged him as they began to close in on them together.
"Leave the little princess to me, your grace…" Bumby said, believing he and the Queen had this one in the bag.
Tears rolled down Merida's cheeks, glancing up at the enemies closing in on them. The Queen conjured more card guards, the small army surrounding them. Merida held Hiccup closer, as if she were clinging to the remainder of what life he had left. She grit her teeth as she felt something swelling inside of her, unable to hold back her grief as his breathing became shallower. The feeling seemed to climb up through her throat, and as she threw her head back, she opened her mouth wide, her entire form glowing as she emitted a shriek beyond any normal decibel level. Its power sent out a shock wave, stunning Bumby as he was sent flying backwards, the card guards were all knocked down and destroyed, and the Queen was thrown back against the wall.
Alice gasped shakily, glancing up as Pitch encircled her, pacing slowly around her. "J- Jack…" She whimpered, glancing over towards the ice wall in which he was on the other side, Toothless shielding him from Wick's flames. With Pitch's black sand causing her mind to spiral into one of her mental breaks, the shape of Toothless' form being engulfed by flames became warped, the ice wall blurring the outlines of whoever was on the other side. Alice saw her house once again, she was in the cold snow of a December morning, her eyes wide as her home burned slowly, flames roaring as the sound of her family wailing in agony erupted in her ears. Alice screamed on the top of her lungs, covering her ears, but she could not block out the horrible sound.
"I must say, Alice… your ill-fated childhood makes my job quite easy. So much at my disposal to use… I really do pity your circumstances; after all, I have a feeling that losing one's family in such a violent manner would probably be incredibly painful, even for someone as heartless as myself." Pitch said. "However… I told you I would punish you like a little brat ought to be punished…" He materialized his scythe, grimacing at her. "You gave me quite a hard time, my dear… but I'm afraid your time is up." He raised the scythe into the air, smirking darkly at her. "Say goodbye to the small shred of sanity you have left, Alice!" He spat, about to bring his scythe down upon her when he was suddenly pulled back by someone, crying out in surprise. He felt himself being shoved against the wall, Bunnymund pinning him there as he held a boomerang to his throat, gritting his teeth.
"You stay the hell away from her!" Bunny shouted in his face.
Pitch glanced down at the boomerang before looking up at Bunny, laughing in his face. "Or what, you oversized rodent? Oh, the injury I shall sustain from such a-"
Bunny flicked the small latch on the boomerang, revealing the new blade as it popped out. Pitch stopped in the middle of his sentence as the blade just barely grazed against his throat, his eyes darting down to it for a moment before looking up at Bunny once more, his previously arrogant attitude now toned down by a bit of uneasiness.
"What was that, you mangy dingo? I didn't quite get what you said there." Bunny growled lowly, applying a small amount of pressure with the blade against Pitch's throat.
Elsa groaned as she got to her feet, swaying a bit as she rubbed her head for a moment. She looked over to see Wick unleashing hell upon Toothless, who was taking the heat quite well as he was fireproof. However, when she looked on the other side of her ice wall, she gasped when she saw that Pitch was currently at Bunnymund's mercy. She ran towards them, skidding a bit to a stop as she narrowed her eyes for a moment, focusing deeply as she concentrated on what she was about to conjure.
Bunny glared at Pitch threateningly as the King of Nightmares had a flicker of surprise in his eye. "Well, Bunnymund, I'm quite shocked…"
"Are you still blathering, Pitch?" Bunny threatened.
Pitch smirked despite his current position. "I can sense fear in you… but it isn't for yourself… it's for one single person in this room…" He glanced in Alice's direction, and that's when he noticed Elsa in the background, smirking more as he saw her preparing to assist him. "… allow me to ease your fear, rabbit…" He continued. "She will never feel for you the way you feel for her."
"What in the hell are you talking about, mate?" Bunny snapped.
"Don't deny it… it's blossoming inside you like tulips in spring…" Pitch laughed, licking his lip. "You fear that she'll feel, what you feel, for someone else…"
Before Bunny could respond to Pitch's words, Bunny's eyes widened as he felt himself being lifted off the ground, flailing his arms and legs. When he found himself face to face with a snow golem Elsa had just conjured, he stopped moving, furrowing his brows.
"Oh, you cannot be serious right now." Bunny said flatly. The golem roared in his face, tossing the rabbit aside like a ragdoll. "Crikeeeeey!" He cried out as he was tossed.
Elsa gathered her dress, running over towards Pitch as he exhaled deeply, rubbing his throat lightly as she placed her hands gently on his arm.
"Pitch, are you alright?" She asked, concern in her eyes.
The King of Nightmares looked upon the young woman, staring into her eyes for a moment. He sensed the smallest flicker of fear, but… it didn't make sense.
The fear was for him.
Why was HE of any concern to her? Didn't she know that he could handle himself? Well… except for this instance where Bunnymund had him cornered. Indeed, he was impressed; he had expected that Elsa would need his help during the fighting, but never the other way around. Indeed, he had been quite harsh to her since this all began, but he had to, didn't he? It was the only way to make her learn, to force her to either destroy her fear or completely succumb to it.
So what was the reason behind the fear she felt now? Of course it had to do with his prior predicament, but he had a feeling that this was not the root of this small fragment of fear lurking in Elsa's eyes. Could it be that the young woman had clasped the link of some form of bond with him?
No. No, that couldn't possibly be it.
Impossible! There was no reasoning behind it! He saw the loathing in her eyes the last time they'd quarreled before her breakthrough, if he was not the Boogeyman himself, it would have burned right through him then. It was impossible for a heart to turn that quickly. Even if her heart had, as Pitch thought to himself; that didn't mean that he would reciprocate the desire to complete whatever bond Elsa may have intended. So Pitch then thought of a second, more irksome possibility.
She was pitying him.
Pity?! Ha! What did she think he was, some pathetic weakling? That he could not fend for himself in the face of adversity? No, he would not be drawn into those large, blue pools within Elsa's eyes, he would not risk vulnerability. He yanked his arm away from her, scowling lightly.
"Of course I'm alright." He growled. "Go now and finish off the guardians!" His attention was taken from the surprised young woman when he heard soft whimpering, glancing ahead to see Alice crawling towards the ice wall. "I have something to finish." He said, narrowing his eyes darkly as he materialized his scythe into his hands, striding towards her.
Meanwhile, Wick's flames began to diminish as he weakened, having spent all of his power as his light dimmed. He groaned, falling to the ground in a heap as he took in deep breaths of air, clenching and unclenching the hand not holding his staff. He tried to get to his feet, only to slip and fall back down again. Toothless cracked open his eyes, and upon seeing that Wick was no longer a threat, at least for the time being, he unfurled his wings and allowed Jack to emerge from under them.
"Thanks again, Toothless. I owe you double." Jack chuckled as he gently pat the dragon. Toothless responded by smiling, his lips curling back. Jack laughed at this, but the lighthearted moment was broken when he saw something through the ice wall; the outline of Pitch raising his scythe in the air. Jack didn't even have to wonder for a second whom he was about to bring it down upon, gasping as his eyes widened. "No, Alice!"
Pitch grinned darkly at the helpless young woman. He kept her still by pressing his foot down on one of her legs, rendering her unable to crawl towards the ice wall. Just as he was about to bring his scythe down upon her, Toothless roared as he charged through the ice wall, crushing it and sending chunks of ice flying in all directions. Elsa saw Wick's state with her wall knocked down, and she gasped, running over to him.
"Wick! Wick, look at me…" Elsa took his hand in hers as she bit her lip.
"Don't worry, sister Elsa, I'll be okay." Wick smiled lightly. "I just got tired. I'll get them for hurting you, Elsa. I promise, when I can get up, I'll get them for what they've done to both of us."
Meanwhile, Jack flew right for Pitch, using his staff to stop him from bringing the dark weapon down upon Alice.
"Well, looks like Alice's little Prince Charming finally showed up!" Pitch spat.
"Shut up!" Jack shouted, maintaining the block as Pitch sneered at him. "I'm not going to let you cause her any more pain!"
Pitch laughed, trying to place more pressure with his scythe against Jack's staff. "Don't you see, Jack? Pain is all Alice knows!"
"No!" Jack cried. "There was a time when Alice knew wonder and joy! There will always be a part of her that knows it as long as she lives!"
"Then I'll have to simply end her then, won't I?" Pitch chuckled darkly. "That may be true Jack, but it is such a small, weak light… there is so much darkness surrounding it, ready to snuff it out! All the lies, the deceit, the physical and mental pain affect everything she does! She will do anything to cling to any form of emotional fulfilment, regardless of the pain she would thereby inflict on others!"
"I said shut up!" Jack screamed, gritting his teeth as he shoved Pitch back with all the strength he could muster.
Elsa was still with Wick, but gasped when she saw Pitch and Jack fighting each other. "Elsa, you have to go help brother Pitch!" Wick exclaimed.
"But…" She glanced from him to Pitch fighting. "What about you?"
"I'll be okay, I just need to rest." Wick smiled, and Elsa quickly helped him to get him closer to the cavern wall, placing his arm over her shoulders before sitting him down against it. She gave him one final glance before running in Pitch and Jack's direction.
Toothless shook his head a bit; charging through ice that thick had made his head spin for a few moments. When he noticed Elsa running straight towards Jack and Pitch however, he growled, his pupils shrinking to slits and he pounced over the two as they dueled, coming between them and Elsa as she had tried to come towards them from the side. She gasped, her eyes widening as Toothless roared at her, baring his teeth. Elsa bit her lip, shooting a blast of ice at Toothless, causing the dragon to claw at his face and snort angrily, the blast stopping him only for a moment as he advanced upon her faster. Elsa conjured sheets of ice and spikes in an attempt to deter or stop him, but Toothless was quick, dodging whatever he could not simply just charge through. Before Elsa knew it, her back was pressed against the cavern wall, and Toothless stood his ground mere inches from her. He reared one of his claws back to attack her, when something yanked him back. His eyes widened, glancing back as he saw that Elsa's snow golem had come to her aid, tugging him away from her by his tail. He was forced to abandon his pursuit of Elsa, instead trying to wriggle his tail free from the grip of the golem.
Elsa gasped for air as she realized she had just narrowly escaped possible death. She furrowed her brows deeply, glancing over at Pitch fighting Jack in the distance, staring at him.
"Of course I'm alright."
Elsa exhaled sharply as she touched her head lightly with her fingertips. She had done what she was supposed to do; she had not only fought and maintained herself far better than last time, she had fended for HIM. Why had his words been filled with such contempt towards her?
"Pitch… maybe in order for the world to believe in us… maybe we need to believe in each other..."
"Poor little Elsa, so frightened and helpless, how can you expect anyone to believe in you when you don't even believe in yourself?"
The memories whispered to her in her mind, Pitch's past words stinging her. What did she have to do to make someone, ANYONE, happy? When would she finally move forward? When would all of the fighting, the suffering, the toiling mean something? She cried out in pain as a high pitched sound plagued her ears, and she realized that it was from nothing around her. Her vision blurred, and all sounds were muffled until suddenly, she heard Bumby's calm voice in her head.
"It is all over, Elsa, it is all in the past. If you continue to dwell in it, relive it, you shall never move forward. Forsake those memories. Those who seek power must no longer feel happiness or sadness, only satisfaction and disappointment."
In that moment, her hearing and vision cleared, the despair in her expression dissolving as she looked upon Pitch fighting against Jack once more. Her gaze then wandered over to where Alice remained on the ground, still unable to get to her feet. Elsa's expression darkened, her eyes narrowing as she looked down at her hand for a moment, a thick, sharp icicle forming in it. She looked back up, a sinister scowl forming in her expression as she began to stride straight towards the young woman. She grit her teeth when she reached her, grunting as she raised the icicle in the air. Alice gasped, her hand reaching out to grab Elsa's wrist, trying to hold it back to prevent herself from being stabbed. Elsa grabbed Alice's other hand, freezing it slowly, torturously. Elsa's eyes became crazed as her pupils grew and she trembled, her breathing shallow and quick.
Bunny hissed as he got to his feet, stumbling a bit before maintaining his stance. His eyes searched for Alice, and they widened when he saw Elsa knelt over her, trying to stab her with the icicle. Alice struggled to take the icicle from her, Elsa slapping the girl's hand away and yanking her other hand back. She reared the hand holding the icicle back in a quick motion, but Bunnymund was quicker, not allowing Elsa to bring the icicle down as he grabbed her wrist, pulling the young woman off of Alice. She whirled her head around to glare at Bunny, screaming and struggling as she kicked her feet. Bunny shoved Elsa back, throwing an egg bomb right at her face to knock her down.
"I hate to treat a lady like that…" Bunny said lowly. "But I ain't going to let anyone hurt this little lady." He jogged over to Alice, scooping her up in his arms. He looked over to see Toothless finally finishing off Elsa's snow golem, calling out to him. "Mate! Take her…" Bunny said as he placed Alice on Toothless' back gently. Before he could do anything else, he heard someone call out his name.
"Bunny! Bunny, lad!" Merida cried out, flying over to them with an unconscious Hiccup on her back.
"Oi, what the hell happened to him?" Bunny exclaimed.
"We need to get him back, he needs to be tended to!" Merida cried.
Bunny helped her get Hiccup onto Toothless' back; when the dragon saw the state of his best friend, he cried out in anguish. He tried not to disturb him while on his back, but continued to glance back at him worriedly; he whimpered when Hiccup did not answer his cries.
Jack heard some commotion behind him, gritting his teeth as he swept his staff in a swift, circular motion close to the ground, knocking Pitch off his feet. He took this opportunity to glance behind him.
"Bunny, what's going on?" Jack called out.
"Mate, we gotta go! Hiccup's looking pretty sour and so is Alice!" Bunny called back.
Jack cursed under his breath, whirling around to look at Pitch as he got to his feet, smirking lightly as he noticed the others preparing to make their exit.
"Leaving so soon, are you? We were just starting to have a little fun!" Pitch sneered.
"This isn't over, Pitch." Jack warned. "We're not going to give up on those kids if it's the last thing we do."
"Oh, I'm sure you won't… and let me assure you now, it will be." Pitch replied.
Jack spared one final glare before running back towards the others before they could be attacked, Merida sitting up front on Toothless while Bunny kept a hold of Alice.
"Hang onto Hiccup, we're busting out of here!" Bunny stretched his foot down so his toes were barely able to tap the ground, making a large rabbit hole as Jack hoisted Hiccup onto his back. He flew behind Toothless, which Merida had no trouble with the mechanics of his tail. In mere seconds, they vanished from the cavern, leaving their enemies behind to clean up the mess.
Pitch chuckled lowly to himself as he stared at the spot where the heroes had just been. Wick managed to get himself up, floating towards Elsa, whose back was to him. She was breathing heavily, appearing a bit disheveled. Wick stopped a foot or two from her, sensing something was off.
"Elsa? Did they hurt you…?" He asked quietly.
The young woman slowly turned, her expression eerily calm as she smirked lightly. "No. They won't hurt me anymore."
Pitch heard Elsa and Wick speaking, approaching them. "Elsa… I must say, you certainly proved yourself tonight. We may not have destroyed them completely, but-"
"It's a shame you can't say the same for yourself." She said smugly, glaring up at him. This shocked Pitch, furrowing a suspicious brow at her. "Next time perhaps you won't be so quick to dismiss me."
"Elsa… that's not nice…" Wick whispered. He gasped when Elsa whirled around, her pupils dilating.
"No one asked your opinion!" She snapped at him, venom in her words. When she saw the hurt expression upon Wick's face, she gasped, snapping out of it as her pupils returned to normal size, looking town as her arms. She glanced back at Pitch before looking at Wick, her expression apologetic. "Wick, I… I'm sorry, I… I didn't mean that…" Her heart sank at his hurt expression, glancing back at Pitch. "I… I need some air…" She said softly, exhaling sharply as she moved past Pitch. He glanced back at her as she left them, he too sensing something off with the ice queen.
Elsa strode quickly to her resting area, her forearms feeling incredibly uncomfortable. She rubbed them as she hugged herself, sitting on the edge of her bed as she tried to soothe their soreness. "Forget the pain… forget the pain…" She whispered to herself, shutting her eyes tight. She exhaled slowly, feeling a bit calmer after a few moments. As quick as the calmness came, it went, gasping as she gripped her right arm. She bit her lip, her eyes popping open when she felt something protruding from under her dress sleeve, looking down to see something pushing the cloth up like a tent. She tugged on her sleeve, trying to roll it up. When she finally managed to do this, her eyes widened in horror when she looked at her arm, a dark tinted spike of ice growing from her skin. She took the small protrusion in her fingers, tugging on it. It was to no avail, as if it was like a limb, it would not come out. She instead resolved to break off the tip, breathing heavily as she held it up to her face, her eyes crossing a bit as she stared at it intensely. She looked around, jumping to her feet in an attempt to seek help, but she became lightheaded, the room spinning as she swayed. Her eyes rolled up, collapsing as she lost consciousness.