"Anna, are you sure you're okay?" Kristoff said gently as he helped his wife dismount off of Sven's back, "You're not over doing it, are you?" The man's light brown eyes were wide with worry, and Anna laughed at her husband's fretting.
"I was fine ten minutes ago, and I'm fine now, Kris." She reassured as she hopped down and landed in the soft snow. It was hard to believe that this time two-and-a-half years ago was when Elsa had lost control of her powers and had caused a massive, everlasting winter. Time had passed so quickly since then.
"But-" Kristoff began, but Anna cut him off. Though she didn't mind him being concerned about her, it could be annoying when he kept on.
"Yes, yes, I know!" She snapped, before putting her hand over her mouth at the outburst, "Whoops -sorry. Anyway, the doctor said I've got three or four weeks to go, so I'm safe for now at least. I'm just sick of being cooped up in the castle all the time— I need to get out!" Swirling around, she breathed in deeply as the soft fabric of her dress swirled around her legs, the tighter top-half of the costume showing off her rather-curved stomach. Kristoff looked unconvinced but he didn't press the matter, knowing full well that stress was not good for neither his wife nor his unborn child.
Anna skipped lightly over to a tree and she pulled herself up, Kristoff moving quickly to offer her a hand. Sven followed after, trotting over bouncily to lift his friend up onto the branch where the couple then rested, looking out over the wintry world before them.
"It's so beautiful," Anna said, sighing at the beautiful view, her hand resting gently on her abdomen and she rested her head upon Kristoff's shoulder. "It's a winter wonderland, except this time, there aren't any harsh memories to go with it." Kristoff nodded, agreeing, and he relaxed into his wife's embrace.
The two remained there for a few minutes, not saying anything and just looking out over the world before them in wonder until a sudden cracking sound reached their ears. Kristoff grabbed onto Anna tightly as the branch below them snapped from the tree-trunk and the pair fell to the floor. Sven acted quickly, catching Anna before she hit the ground and she patted him gratefully. Kristoff wasn't so lucky, and landed in a pile of snow with a thud, groaning as he stood up and rubbed his rear painfully. Anna winced as she walked over to him to help.
"Hey, Kris," she said with a grin, "stop being such a baby already!" Grunting in pain still, Kristoff glowered at her slightly and then directed the same expression towards Sven when he snorted as if to say 'stop being such a big wuss'.
Just before he could actually say anything, however, Kristoff noticed something strange. There was something wrong, something about the way the floor under his feet seemed to tremble very slightly. Sven seemed to notice it to and quickly began looking around nervously.
"Wait a second," Kristoff instructed, frowning as he walked towards the tree they'd just been sat on and then backed up suddenly as he heard a low rumble, but it was not the noise of a hungry animal. Looking up towards the mountain, he paused for a second in confusion, before he saw something moving higher up. A second passed, and then suddenly, he saw it; snow hurtling down the slope quickly, rapidly closing the distance between it and them. Rushing back to Anna and picking her up without even giving her a chance to complain, he threw her on Sven's back and then hopped on himself, urging the reindeer to run. Hastily pulling his wife closer to him so that he was almost cradling her - the easiest way to travel quickly with two riders - he leaned forward, holding tightly to Sven's harness so that he remained on his back.
Eventually the three managed to escape the avalanche of snow, leaping across a rather wide chasm which had blocked their way, leaving the powder to fall down the hole. Sven slowly ground to a halt when he saw that the danger was over, panting heavily and his sides were now coated with sweat, but there was a gleam in his eyes as he looked at Kristoff. He then bent down to allow his riders to get off easier, and then Anna sat down in the snow, laughing from the exhilaration, feeling more alive than she had in months. Kristoff then came and sat down next to her, and Sven settled besides his princess.
At 21 years old, Anna was three years younger than Kristoff, not that it mattered at all. Her sister, Elsa, was the same age as the ice-harvester, but still remained single.
Laying down, Anna buried her head in Sven's soft, warm fur and Kristoff wrapped his arms around her gently. The princess sighed as she cuddled into them both and then, despite the freezing temperature and the fact that they were in the middle of nowhere, she was lulled into sleep from the warmth.
When she awoke, the sky was blackening, and it was getting dark - about four o'clock - and it was clear that her husband had let the comforting pull of sleep take him over too. Sven, however, was alert and very much awake, looking around nervously and snorting. Now, Anna didn't speak reindeer like Kristoff, but she knew enough to know it wasn't a good sign and she hastily awoke her dozing husband. He jumped awake with a start and the second he did so she felt the chill.
"We have to go," he whispered anxiously when his reindeer rose suddenly, pawing at the ground. In the forest clearing large, glowing yellow eyes could be seen and Anna squealed in shock as Kristoff got up faster than he ever had before and helped her mount Sven, before jumping onto the reindeer's back himself.
Anna felt her hate rate increase; she'd faced wolves with Kristoff before, certainly, but then she could see where she was going and had things to throw at them for defence. She felt herself sweat despite the frigid evening air and even her husband's comforting hold on her didn't help things; her stomach tightened into a knot which made her wince and she let out a little gasp as she felt a gush of water leave her body. She tightened her grip onto Sven's harness tighter, her stomach contracting painfully but she refused to let any sound escape her lips, for she knew that escaping the wolves was their biggest problem.
As they ran, the canines chasing them quickly began to catch up, for though they were not built to be incredibly fast, their stamina was second to none; Sven, however, was already beginning to slow down. One of the wolves managed to get a swipe at his rear left leg, which resulted in it receiving a strong blow to the head from the cloven hoof, but it also left him running even slower.
As they sped down a snowy slope, Kristoff quickly noticed this, and then decided that there was no way they could outrun the hunters; acting quickly, he tugged on Sven's harness to spin him around, to which he bleated loudly, but obliged anyway, putting his faith in his rider. Anna whimpered in both pain and fear as the reindeer then galloped towards the wolf pack, making them scatter in surprise, and he managed to get through the gap before he was pounced upon. With a quick, final burst of speed and strength, despite his injured leg, Sven then managed to scramble up the snowy slope he'd just shot down. Leaping up onto a few large boulders, he was able to get a grip and clamber up clumsily, scattering small rocks and pebbles down as he shifted them out of place. As the boulders fell, trapping the wolves behind a wall of stone, Sven finally hopped up onto flat ground, and then cantered lamely off a little way to make sure they couldn't be followed.
It was almost black by the time Kristoff dismounted to put some cooling snow on Sven's wound, while Anna hopped off painfully, trying not to let her husband see her suffering and she struggled over to a rocky wall, with a tree growing next to it. She rested her back against the trunk and faced away from her husband so as to save him from seeing her contorted face (though it would have been miraculous if he did manage to do so through the darkness). A larger contraction hit her, and she let out a small yelp of surprise and pain, holding her stomach, rocking back and forth to try and ease the torture. Clearly, Kristoff had heard, however, for she could hear him drawing nearer, and she scurried around the tree, trying to hide, but to no avail. He looked worriedly at her, squinting at her through the light of the full moon, and she shot back what she hoped was a convincing smile, although he may not have been able to see it very well anyway.
"I'm fine," she told him, not wanting to worry him at all. This was still early labour and she had plenty of time yet to get back and get the midwives…
A surge of fresh pain racked her body in convulsions, and she groaned, clutching her stomach, and there was no fooling Kristoff then. His eyes widened in shock, and then, with concern, fear and panic written all over his shaded face, he quickly dug into his pockets to bring out a piece of flint and steel, which he'd luckily forgotten to remove earlier that day. Calling to Sven to try and break off some small twigs from the tree which might hopefully be dry, or at least drier than those under the snow, he slowly made his way over to his pained wife and softly took her hand, not sure what to do.
Helping to make a little support for Anna's back from snow, so that she didn't have to lean upon the rough bark of the tree, he fidgeted for a few seconds uncomfortably, not knowing what he should do. He was grateful for a job when Sven returned with the small twigs and branches, some with old leaves which were almost dry on too, which was a bonus.
Kristoff quickly accepted the items and scraped away snow near to Anna's side to reveal dirt, and then made a small pile of larger twigs on the ground to stop the rest of the fuel from getting too wet. He pulled the leaves off of the wood and placed them on top of the base, and then arranged the twigs in a tee-pee shape on top. Trying to block out the sounds of his wife's moans, he then tried to concentrate on getting a fire started, striking the flint with the steel roughly four, five times until he finally got a spark, but no flame. He groaned, and tried again, before a small flame formed on the third attempt. Blowing on it gently to build the flame up, he then scurried to Anna's side, who was clearly in great pain now.
Asking Sven to get some more leaves, he softly took his wife's hand again, and she smiled weakly at him, before another contraction overwhelmed her body. Once it had passed, she looked up at her husband desperately, and in the new light of the fire, Kristoff could see the raw terror in her eyes, and he felt her fear too.
Face contorting again in pain, Anna began to pant a little as she felt an even greater pressure in her abdomen. Groaning, she looked up at Kristoff, her wide eyes reading simply 'help me', and he wished he could, but he didn't really know what to do, other than the obvious.
After gently helping her pull up the skirt of her dress to stop blood from staining it, the man sat next to her faithfully, holding her hand softly, not even letting go as he topped up the small, crackling fire next to him when Sven brought back some more wood and leaves. He winced slightly in pain himself as he heard Anna let out a quiet peep while she squeezed his hand horribly, her nails drawing blood from the pressure, but he didn't complain as she suffered next to him. His heart ached for her, feeling so, so guilty that he'd done this to her.
"That's it," he encouraged, not really sure what to say, but hoping with all his heart it was the right thing to tell her, "I'm right here, you're going to be okay."
For a moment, the pain left her as the contraction passed, and Anna sighed, smiling and replying with, "I'm going to be okay? You're in a worse state than me!" And it was almost true; while both Anna and Kristoff were scared out of their wits, the latter seemed to be much more nervous and unsure, even if the Princess was in agony. However, the cheeky attitude left her when she felt another massive wave of pressure, and the pain was intense, like nothing she'd felt before. Even having her heart freeze seemed like a pleasant option now, as the torturous pain surged through her and her muscles clenched and unclenched, making her almost cry out - almost. She wouldn't appear that weak, and couldn't alert predators of their position either.
The pain continued to grow in intensity as Anna tried to birth her child, and while she still hadn't screamed or cried out, she was feeling very close to breaking down."I can't do it!" she whispered to him after half an hour, her strong will lost as the torture made her feel as if she would soon pass out. "I can't, Kristoff!"
The man squeezed her hand, as he smoothed the hair from her face again and kissed her sweaty forehead. "Sure you can, Anna," he said, though his voice shook, betraying his lack of confidence.
Shivering from the cold, Anna nodded slowly and let go of Kristoff's hand as she pushed herself further up into a sitting position, panting madly now, digging her fingers deep into the snow as she heaved on her abdomen. She let out a loud squeak at the intense pain, but she didn't allow herself to cry out any more than that, cutting herself off before she screamed, and she felt the tears stream down her cheeks as she felt the child's head begin emerge, the pain growing intense; with another tremendous push, it crowned and a single, high pitched scream tore from Anna's throat when it became too strong an agony for her to endure in silence.
Kristoff went awkwardly to her lower region, unsure of what to do and hoping that his wife wouldn't kill him for looking at her in her current state; taking her hand, he led it down to the newborns crowning head and softly placed it there so that Anna could feel and she smiled slightly, before one final contraction wracked her body.
With a great amount of effort, and with energy she thought she didn't have, she pushed her child out completely, with Kristoff catching the baby before it fell on the snow, and the poor girl collapsing on the floor, her breathing rapid. After one last heave to deliver the placenta, she closed her eyes, and just lay there for a few moments as Kristoff tried to deal with the now-squalling babe, before she felt something be placed on her chest.
Looking up, she smiled as she saw the child, covered by her Father's thick winter jacket, squealing in hunger and Anna suddenly let out a breath, and then laughed quietly. Kristoff grinned at her proudly as well, as he kissed her forehead and chuckled himself in happiness.
"She's beautiful," He whispered to her, and Sven, who had returned now with a large pile of more sticks for the fire, and large logs, nodded his head enthusiastically.
"A girl..." Anna whispered back, and then giggled happily as she tried to move the top of her dress, looking embarrassed - even after everything - as she tried to nurse her daughter for the first time.
Kristoff grinned as he watched for a second, and then set to work creating a shelter from the logs Sven had found, making a wall out of them leading off of the rocky cliff edge, and then helped Anna and his reindeer huddle inside. He re-created the fire inside the den, praying the damp, snowy logs wouldn't catch alight, as he then made a store of small wood and leaves at the back, to top up the fire with. He then snuggled up with his new family inside the make-shift refuge, and found comfort in the warmth, as he came to realise that it wasn't a large enough flame to even lick at the walls and ceiling, let alone ignite the damp wood.
Anna sighed as she felt the warmth heating up the small area, both from the flames and the close proximity of the reindeer and her husband, and then rested her head upon Kristoff's shoulder.
She just hoped Elsa wasn't too concerned about her.