Warm Hugs

Dreams (I)

Elsa and Hans ran through the thick foliage of the forest until they couldn't possibly continue running any further. They stopped at the top of a large hill and found some shelter underneath the thick foliage of trees. Hans bent over and placed his hands on his knees as he inhaled large breaths, he looked over at a cool and composed Elsa leaning against a tree, "How do you not look tired? We just ran how many miles, and there's not even a single glisten of sweat on your brow."

Elsa took a deep breath, trying to calm her heart rate, "My body temperature is lower than yours or any normal persons, so therefore I do not sweat as easily as one would."

Hans straightened his posture, "So you do sweat?"

Elsa shrugged, "I suppose I do, I mean, I am still human. I've yet to see it happen, though."

Hans looked around, "Hmm…perhaps we should rest up here until day light breaks, we haven't had any sleep at all today and if we don't get some shut eye then I fear we will start making dumb mistakes."

Elsa nodded her head, "I agree with you…you sleep and I'll take the first shift to stand watch."

Hans shook his head, "No, I'll take the first shift, you can sleep-"

Elsa put her hand up to silence him, "I insist…" She looked down at her hands, "I don't get very much sleep anymore, ever since I froze Anna…again."

Hans removed his satchel, "Again? What happened the first time?"

Elsa sat down on a fallen tree, "When we were little, Anna and I used to play together all the time, sometimes with my magic, sometimes without it. But one night Anna woke me up and insisted on building a snowman in the middle of the night, so being silly young girls we ran into the ballroom and I used my powers to create a little winter wonderland. Everything was going well, until she started jumping around from snow pedestal to snow pedestal. I would create new ones to catch her with, but she kept going faster and faster, and then I slipped on my dress and fell. Anna didn't realize I wasn't ready to catch her, so she jumped and I panicked and shot a blind icy blast in her direction, hoping it would catch her…but instead I hit her head." Hans slowly sat beside her, but remained silent as Elsa took a shaky breath and continued, "She fell onto the snow, and she was just lying there…unconscious. Her entire body was ice cold and, for a moment there, I thought that I had killed my sister. Fortunately, my parents came in and they knew how to fix the disaster I had created, but when the ice in Anna's head was thawed, she got her memory erased of any sign of magic I had ever shown her. All she remembered were the good times we shared, but no magic…I was told that my powers would only grow stronger and if I didn't learn to control them, fear would be my worst enemy and cause great danger to those around me. That's why I shut myself away from Anna for thirteen years; I couldn't learn to control my powers so I decided to learn to control my emotions, instead."

Hans furrowed his brows, "Who thawed Anna's head?"

Elsa smirked, "A troll…"

Realization dawned on Hans as he finally saw all the pieces come together, "So that's why Anna had that white streak in her hair. And the troll was the one who changed her memories too?"

Elsa solemnly nodded, "Yes."

Hans tilted his head, "So when you accidentally struck her with your powers again, you had a flashback to your childhood?"

A single tear rolled down Elsa's cheek, "Yes, and yet, the second time was far worse because I actually did kill her…that's why when you told me that Anna was dead because of me, I didn't stop you from killing me. I was a monster and I deserved to die."

Hans's jaw dropped, "Wait! You knew I was going to kill you?"

Elsa remained silent as the memory played in her mind, then she turned towards Hans with a hard icy glare, "But you lied to me…I may have struck Anna's heart but you were the one who could have saved her! But you didn't! You locked her in a room and left her to die! She trusted you! She loved you and believed in the love you two shared! Don't you even feel a little guilty about everything you did to her?"

Hans looked down but didn't say anything. Elsa felt a revived sense of hatred towards Hans and angrily stood up, "You know what you are, Hans? A sociopath! Because a sociopath comes from a troubled childhood, while having the ability to appear witty, charming, and intelligent to those around you. They lie frequently, are prone to illegal activities, and when caught, they show no sign of remorse or guilt, a complete lack of empathy, disregard for the well-being and feelings of others…they are incapable of love."

Elsa started to walk away when Hans stood up, "Where are you going?"

She continued to storm off, "To stand watch…just get some sleep, Hans." And with that, she disappeared through the trees.

Hans exhaled a long tired breath and ran a hand through his hair, "Well, that could have gone better." He sat on the ground and leaned back on the fallen tree; he closed his eyes and forced himself to get some sleep.

Hans was standing near the entrance of a hidden cave that overlooked the entire Kingdom of Sperca as he began pacing back and forth, "Come on Elsa, what's taking so long?"

Suddenly he heard a distant voice call out, "HANS! HANS, I GOT IT!" He turned to see Elsa excitedly run towards him, holding her satchel out ahead of her, "It took awhile but I got it!"

His shoulders sagged with relief, "Thank goodness…you were in there for so long, I was beginning to fear the worst."

Elsa reached the entrance of the cave and slipped the satchel around her body, "Sorry, but I'm here and I've got the fruit, so let's get out of here before-"

From the forest a voice called out, "Stop where you are! Don't move!" Elsa and Hans froze and exchanged worried expressions. "Slowly turn around with your hands in the air!" Elsa and Hans did as they were told. A group of seven men emerged on horseback from the forest, all carrying swords and had their crossbows aimed at the two foreigners.

Elsa quietly whispered to Hans, "I want you to slowly reach for your satchel…"

Hans's eyes widened, "Are you joking? I'll get shot-"

Elsa hissed, "Just trust me!"

As Hans slowly moved his hands towards his satchel, the man who seemed to be in charge of the troops moved his horse closer to them, "I said don't move!"

Hans froze, but Elsa calmly whispered, "Keep going…I won't let them hurt you." When she noticed Hans falter, Elsa gently whispered, "You have to trust me, Hans."

Hans continued to move his hands, "I hope you know what you're doing."

Elsa took a deep breath, "Just wait for it…"

The man on the horse stepped even closer, "Stop, don't move!" Hans almost reached his satchel, when the man aimed his crossbow directly at Hans, "Hold it right there…FREEZE!"

That's all Elsa needed to hear, as she shot a strong icy blast from each hand towards the troops, which momentarily stopped them from advancing as they froze with shock. Elsa took that moment to stomp her foot on the ground and created an arena of ice on the ground around them. The horses bucked the men off and ran away scared towards the direction they came from. That woke the men from their shock as they scrambled for their crossbows; Elsa gave an impish grin, "Hans, I need you to step back."

Hans looked at her with confusion, "Excuse me?"

Elsa glared at him, "Stay back!" And with that she shot another icy blast at one of the men who reached his crossbow first, knocking him and his crossbow in opposite directions. She waved her hand across her body which created a barrier between herself and half of the troops. The other half regained possession of their weapons and aimed at the ice queen, but Elsa quickly responded by swiftly raising her hand as sharp icicles threatened to impale the men. The men quickly dropped their weapons in surrender as Elsa sauntered across the ice towards them with Hans closely behind her. Hans looked around and quickly took count of the men present, "All six men are accounted for."

Elsa stopped in her tracks, "Six?!" She turned towards Hans, "There were seven originally-"

All of a sudden, an arrow shot through the air and struck the Queen in her upper abdominal region. She fell to her knees and gasped for air, as Hans turned around and saw the seventh man, the leader no less, hiding in the forest behind them. Hans charged towards the man and savagely beat him to the point of unconsciousness before he could reload his crossbow. As soon as the man went limp, Hans sprinted back to Elsa and caught her before she fell backwards. He cradled her body in his lap and stroked her hair out of her face, "Elsa? Elsa can you hear me? Please don't die on me; please don't go…Elsa don't you dare die on me! What about your sister? Think about Anna…you can't leave her!"

Elsa continued to gasp for air, as she cupped a hand around his face, "Please make sure Kristoff gets the antidote…"

Hans nodded, "I will."

She took a shaky breath, "Let Kristoff and Anna know that I approve of their marriage…"

Hans smiled, "Of course."

Elsa took in another gasp, "And promise that you will continue to look after them for me. "

Hans nodded, "I promise."

A single tear rolled down Elsa's cheek, "Tell Anna...that I love her."

Tears welled up in Hans's eyes, "You have my word."

And with that, the light in Elsa's crystal blue eyes faded as she released her final breath, letting her hand slowly fall as her body went cold and limp in Hans's arms.

Hans sat there and held onto her lifeless body for several minutes, reflecting on everything that had happened on his journey. It figures that as soon as he started feeling again, the worst thing he could ever imagine happened. He pressed his forehead against hers and held her close once last time, causing him to just break down and sob, "I'm so sorry Elsa. I was supposed to protect you, and once again, I have failed." He looked up towards the sky as it began to rain, "Why her?! She had a sister who loved her and needed her! WHY?!"

Hans gasped and sat up straight, he felt something wet on his face so he reached up and noticed that the wetness came from the tears he had been shedding in his sleep. It was a cloudy day, but Hans could tell that it was indeed daylight. He frantically looked around to see where he was, his heart dropping when he realized that he was still on his journey for the Balembo fruit, except he couldn't figure out whether his dream was real or not. He heard a twig snap and his body tensed up, "Who's there?"

Out of the shadows, Elsa slowly approached him, unharmed and alive, "It's me, Hans." Her face wore an expression of worry when she saw his tear-streaked face, "What's wrong?"

Upon seeing that she was still alive, Hans contained the urge to run and embrace Elsa, "Nothing, Elsa, it was just a dream…a horrible, terrible dream."

Elsa walked up to him as he quickly wiped his face and stood up, "Was it another dream about your family?"

Hans had a distraught look about him, "Not exactly…it was about losing someone I really cared for."

Elsa understandably nodded her head, "Well…at least it was only a dream." She picked up her satchel, "Let's get going, the sooner we find this cave and the fruit, the better for Kristoff."

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