The Plague (I)
After about fifteen minutes, Elsa's tears stopped flowing and were reduced to small sniffles. Hans cleared his throat to make sure not to startle the Queen, but she still jumped a little anyways, "How long have you been there?"
He shuffled a few steps into the cell, "About fifteen minutes."
She turned towards him with tears still brimming her eyes, "I'm sorry you had to hear all those nasty comments from the councilmen-"
Hans chuckled, "Hold it right there, Your Majesty, I should be the one telling you that, not the other way around."
She sighed, "Yeah I suppose."
Hans walked closer to her, "Your Majesty?" He knelt down beside her, "I know it may not mean that much coming from me, but, if I were you, I wouldn't listen to a single word those men said about you." He cautiously put a hand on her shoulder, and when she didn't react he continued, "I know you aren't putting Arendelle in any peril, and-"
"I don't care about that. I know that they are wrong about my intentions to initiate new trade alliances before winter, it's just-"
Tears started sliding down her cheeks and Hans gently wiped them away, "Then why are you crying if you know that what they said was wrong?"
She looked down at her shaking hands, "Because they were right about something…" Hans raised his eyebrows at her as she pulled herself away from him and wrapped her arms around herself, "I am a monster!"
Hans was surprised by her sudden outburst, "What? Your Majesty, you are no-"
Elsa continued yelling, "No, Hans! Don't lie to me! I know that at some point you thought the same thing, right?" Hans guiltily looked down but said nothing, "Of course you did, because it's true! What kind of person has to have a special prison cell made to contain them? What kind of person almost kills her sister, twice?! What kind of person can summon ice and snow with a flick of their wrist? A monster, that's who!" She took a deep breath then quietly whispered, "I realized that after everything Anna has done for me…I never did anything for her in return."
Hans started to see Elsa in a different kind of light; she was not just some cold hearted queen, she was a selfless young woman who was scared of hurting those she loved the most. She would rather die than to see a loved one suffer because of her. Hans thoughtfully looked at the Queen, "Your Majesty, you know that's not true. Princess Anna got her sister back, she can finally have the loving sister relationship she's always dreamed of."
She looked up at him, "But I wish that I could something more…Anna risked her life to save me, and the only thing I've ever done to her was shut her out."
"Queen Elsa, everything you did was to protect her. I've grown up knowing that I was unwanted, that I was a nobody…that I was unloved. You know that you did what you had to do to protect the ones you loved," His eyes met hers, "You sacrificed a big part of your life by hiding yourself away."
At that moment, there was a spark that both Hans and Elsa felt as they both looked at each other very differently than when they first met. Elsa opened her mouth to say something, but quickly shut it as she and Hans heard footsteps coming towards them. Hans promptly stood up and positioned himself protectively in front of his queen, as Kristoff ran towards them with a look of panic in his eyes, "Your Majesty! Queen Elsa…" He heavily breathed.
Elsa stood with a worried expression on her face, "Kristoff, what's wrong?"
He nervously swallowed, "It's Anna-"
That was all she needed to hear before she ran past the two men and hurried up the stairs. By the time the men caught up with her, she was already half way across the courtyard, running towards the castle, "Where is she, Kristoff?"
Kristoff was huffing and puffing, "In…her…bedroom! I…already…called…for…the…doctor!"
She raised her eyebrows, "Doctor?!" She sprinted even faster towards her sister's bedroom.
Kristoff groaned, what's with these sisters and their marathon running?
As the group of three reached the princess's bedroom, one of the nurses was standing outside, making sure to block the door, "I'm sorry, Your Majesty, but you cannot go in there right now, doctors orders."
Elsa desperately turned to Kristoff, "What happened?!"
Kristoff was bent over with his hands on his knees, trying to slow down his breathing, "We were goofing around in the gardens, by the waterfall, and she started coughing a lot. She said she just had a tickle in her throat, but then all of a sudden she just collapsed! Luckily I was close enough to grab her before she went over the falls, but she was shivering profoundly despite the fact that she was burning up."
Elsa's eyes widened and turned back to the nurse, "You have to let me in there, now!"
The young nurse shifted uncomfortably, "I'm sorry, Queen Elsa, but-"
The door opened and the doctor stepped out with a worried look, "Your Majesty, may I please have a word with you, alone?"
The Queen and doctor took several steps away before he solemnly looked at Elsa, "Your Majesty, I am sorry to tell you that the Princess has contracted some-sort of plague."
Elsa covered her mouth with her hands, "What? No!" She looked over at Anna's bedroom door, "Anna!" She ran towards the door, but as the doctor yelled out to stop her, Hans stepped in front of her and caught her in his arms. The doctor joined the group, "Your Majesty, I'm afraid that I can't let you go in there, right now. Princess Anna is in a highly contagious stage and also very fragile, if she should catch any germs from someone, it could be fatal." Elsa felt weak in the knees and leaned into Hans, crying in his arms.
Kristoff was alarmed at the word fatal, "Doctor, what's wrong with Anna?"
The doctor took of his glasses and rubbed his eyes tiredly, "Princess Anna has contracted some form of plague. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be the Bubonic plague and we caught it in one of its earliest stages so there may be some hope for her."
Kristoff was clearly shaken, "Doctor, may I go in to see her? I've been around Anna all day, which means that I have already been exposed to the bug, so she could do no more harm to me than what's already happened."
The doctor thought about it, "Yes, I suppose you make a good point. But please," He handed him a sanitary mask, "Wear this, so that you will not get sick and that you may also be a part of the outside world without the fear of spreading the disease." He looked at the Queen, "Your Majesty, I would advise that you also avoid contact with Kristoff to be certain that you will not catch anything at all, not even a sniffle."
Elsa faced the doctor and nodded, still holding onto Hans for support. Kristoff thoughtfully looked at the Queen, "Elsa? I promise that I will do everything in my power to keep Anna strong and fighting, I almost lost her before and I'm not going to lose her again." With that, he put on the mask and stepped into the quarantined room, closing the door determinedly behind himself.
Hans looked down at Elsa, "Excuse me , Your Majesty, but you're kind of freezing my uniform."
She quickly let go of him and sagged her head in defeat, "I'm sorry." Then she shuffled away to her bedroom.
Kristoff stood by the door and looked over at his sleeping love, making note of how pale her skin looked and how her breathing seemed uneven and forced. He grabbed a chair and positioned it right beside her nightstand. He grabbed one of her hands and gently stroked his thumb along the top of it, which stirred a reaction from her, "Kristoff? What happened? And why are you wearing that mask?"
He let out a deep sigh, "Anna, you're kind of sick right now, so I don't want to give you any extra reindeer germs of mine."
Anna started laughing, which turned into a coughing spell, "Reindeer germs? How old do you think I am?"
Kristoff began softly stroking her hair, "Young enough...you're only eighteen years old, stop trying to grow up so fast."
Anna smiled as she suppressed a yawn, "Where's Elsa?"
Kristoff tried to think of a legitimate excuse, "Well…she…uh…" Luckily for him, Anna already fell back asleep and was lightly snoring peacefully. Kristoff took off the mask, lifted up her hand to his mouth, and tenderly kissed the top of it, "Don't worry, Anna, everything will be okay, I promise."