The first time she opened her eyes, she was greeted with a bright sight, blinding her into disorientation. She had assumed she was staring at the showering sky of miniscule orbs that kissed her body with an icy sensation, only to leave behind a shiver in its aftermath. She was at peace, and yet she was uncomfortable existing alone in this vacant realm.
She blinked several times when a baritone voice brought her to reality, calling out to her calm repetition.
She peered into the distance, craning her head about, anxiously finding the owner of the voice.
Her eyes fluttered in what seems like the true reality. Her visions were still clouded, and she winced back from the harsh luminous ray streaming over her. With a small groan, she lifted her left arm and winced at the sudden weight added on to it.
"Good afternoon, Miss Lillian. How are you feeling today?" the baritone continued.
Her eyes searched to see a long lab coat, buttoned up to sternum. Beneath it was another dress shirt and a black tie. He held a brown clip board in front of him and scribbled hastily as he waited for her response.
"W-Where am I?" she inquired groggily.
"You're in Arendelle Hospital, Miss Lillian. You were taken here after an accident. Do you recall what happened?"
Miss Lillian, or as she was addressed, stared at him anxiously with eyes flickering back and forth about the room and back to him. She knew he could read her behavior for the unanimous result, and hung her head in defeat.
"Miss Lillian, do you remember your name at least?"
"Elsa." The answer came out of her lips without hesitation and with sudden firmness that it left her speechless.
He scribbled down more notes on his clipboard as he spoke, "Is there anything else you can recall?"
She clenched her eyes shut and furrowed her brows as she attempted to recall anything more. She sighed with resignation when only a sharp throb invaded her mind. With a small wince she returned her attention to the doctor and shook her head.
"My head hurts," she moaned.
"Okay," the doctor noted promptly, "I'll have the nurses give you ibuprofen with those head ache occurrences."
Elsa nodded as she lied against her elevated bed. She watched the doctor don an unnatural smile before exiting the room followed by seeing another unfamiliar figure exchange a few words with the departed and continued into the room.
He wore a small smile for her but his azure eyes expressed those of sadness and remorse. His dark leather jacket was tattered and drenched with an unfamiliar dark substance to the point that it seeped into his mocha shirt. His navy blue jeans were covered were torn in several areas and covered with the same dark substance. Several gauzes were wrapped around his chest, arms, and legs. Worried about the stranger's sudden appearance in his given state. As if reading her mind, the boy shook his head. To express courtesy, Elsa swallowed her concerned words and exchanged a small smile. After all, she was unsure if the stranger before her was someone of importance in her life.
He took a seat on a white, plastic chair and dragged it to the bed as closest as possible before plopping down. He sat in front of her with his hands folded on top of the blanket. With his shrinking posture, Elsa couldn't help but see him as an innocent boy, despite his loud, contradicting physique.
After a moment of silence, the boy broke the awkward atmosphere with a low, husky, "Hello."
"Hello," the young responded calmly, but said no more. Rather, her glassy eyes expressed more than just a simple façade.
He dropped his eyes out of guilt and stared at his folded hands as he continued the cumbersome conversation. His lips parted with an abortive attempt to laugh off the overwhelming intensity, but his colleague's words had him suppress his natural reaction. Instead, he straightened up and leaned to the side to pick up an object that she had not noticed him carry in, and sat it on the bed.
"I believe this is yours," he mumbled whilst pushing the object towards her.
Hesitantly, the young woman brought the blood stained, snow leather quilted shoulder purse on her lap and stared at it in deep contemplation.
"You were carrying it when you got into a motorcycling accident," he pressed on with growing trepidation.
"Motorcycle?" she echoed, staring at him aghast.
He swallowed hard and nodded. Having sensed a presence behind him, the boy glanced at the door through the narrow window. There stood the brute figure with his arms crossed over his chest with narrowed, dagger eyes piercing at his back. He sighed, defeated, unsure of the consequences that awaited him, and yet he knew that he couldn't run away from his problems any longer.
"The reason you're here…" he sighed, swallowing the stabbing pain from his sudden posture, "is because of me."
The woman before him did not waver to his affirmation as he had expected. Nor did her face blanch as white as a sheet, but instead, she nodded unaffectedly. With this small gesture, he adjusted his posture and leaned forward with a small grimace. The snow haired young man planted his elbows on the edge of the bed and laced his hands together before resting it against his lips. His eyes kneaded together, and with a dreadful sigh, he continued.
"I was rushing this morning…" he shook his head regretfully, "And I never thought that I this careless behavior could cause something this big of result." He laughed dryly before speaking once more. "They always told me, 'Jack, you're setting yourself for death someday.' And you know what I told them?"
"No…" she answered slowly.
His eyes softened when they gazed into her soft, sapphire eyes. "It was a rhetorical question," he chuckled softly.
She smiled meekly, completely aware of his intention, but she didn't understand why seeing this pained expression on his face made her feel just as miserable. She just had to lighten the suffocating atmosphere just a little bit, regardless of the morbid air that his news carried.
"I didn't believe them because the chances for an accident was a million to one--well for me at least." By her confused expression he added, "Luck has been on my side up to this point. I've had a couple collisions in the past and still managed to walk out of the scenes unscathed. Fortunately, the others who have also been involved had survived with minor casualties. But these incidents were rare. For the most part, I had managed to avoid them all together."
Elsa nodded patiently.
"Well… your story was different." His voice dropped to a soft whisper. "You just came out of nowhere at a crosswalk." He paused to contemplate his thoughts aloud, "Maybe if I hadn't changed my mind at that last minute at that yellow light, I could have avoided you. Maybe if I had just eased on the break instead, then I would have lessened the damage."
"Mmm," the platinum blond hummed with clenched eyes.
Alarmed, the boy lifted his head and hesitantly reached for the young woman. "Hey… did you remember something?"
After a brief sharp pain, the young woman shook her head. "My head just hurts."
"Do you want me to tell the Doctor?"
"It's fine," Elsa answered, "It's not too severe."
"I'll let you rest for the rest of the day," the boy--Jack answered, "The doctor told me it wasn't a good idea to see you, but I insisted." He sighed. "Anyways I'll go now."
Just as the guest stood up and turned his back towards her, Elsa couldn't help but feel a wave of nostalgia as she stared at his back. There was a sense of loneliness and sadness pouring out of him. It made her feel extremely heavyhearted and concerned to see that hunched shoulder and his slightly hung head. Without thinking she subconsciously hollered, "Wait!"
"What is it?" he asked, turning at her sudden command.
She didn't reply immediately, and stared at him with a fixated concentration as if she were looking for the answer written on his face. With a sigh, she shook her head and turned her attention to her white quilted bag. Quietly she answered, "I don't know… I feel like I met you before."
"I…" he answered sadly, "Miss, this is the first time I've met you…"
"Of course," she nodded, "I'm sorry about that."
"Don't push yourself, now," he answered softly.
"Yeah… Thank you," she responded before the door closed behind him.
Outside, the boy's face collapsed into a train of grimaces as he hobbled his way from the door. Close by, his colleague was able to catch up to him before Jack could injure himself any further.
"Easy lad," the doctor instructed while wrapping an arm around his waist while he guided Jack's arm over shoulder. As he began to guide his hobbling friend, the doctor sighed aggravatedly, "I told you not to see her."
"I can't help it, Edmund…"
"I keep tellin' ya to call me Aster, fo' cryin' out loud."
Doctor Bunnymund grumbled with distaste, nevertheless he continued to help him back to his room, located just next door to Elsa Lillian.
"I can't believe I'd find her here after all these years," he murmured gently.
At his tone, Aster gently sat him on his bed before pushing his arm off his shoulder, briskly.
"Ow!" Jack exclaimed, "Is this how you treat your patients? And you call yourself a doctor!"
"I don't help no bloody show ponies. Especially after I told you not to go see her," he scolded harshly. "What're you hopin' to see outta it, huh?"
Jack released a small chuckle as he hung his head over his dangling legs. His shaking head trailed after his dry amusement. They were both silent for a brief period when Jack finally answered, "I don't know…" He laced and fumbled about with his fingers as he continued. "I thought it was the end of the world when I brushed her hair away from her face. I thought I lost her for good, and yet the most selfish thing I could think of was if she could remember me."
"This is the first time I've walked out messed up after an accident."
"No kidding," Aster laughed through his nose as he leaned against the door. "That was the first time I've ever seen ya lose composure."
"Ha…" he chuckled, "Was it really?"
"She means somethin' to ya, eh mate?"
His face flushed red, but he laughed it off with a comment he had shared with the young woman, "You know, before we hung out, there was someone else who always nagged me about rushing before you showed up."
"I'm sure there's plenty more people who mulled you over for your recklessness," he bantered. "But go on, lad."
"She used to tell me, 'Jack, you're setting yourself for death someday'."
"Ah, I overheard that outside. It was her wasn't it?"
Jack nodded sadly. "Yeah… I think understand what she meant now."
"And it took ya a decade to figure out what she really meant?" Aster exasperated, "Blimey, lad…!"
"I'm sorry that I wasn't the brightest kid back in the day!" Jack exclaimed.
"What do you mean back in the day?" Aster inquired, amused, "I see no difference in the Jack then and the Jack now. You're still that same bloody show pony whether you are Jackson Overland or Jack Frost."
"You know… that's the first time you've ever said anything nice to me, Bunny."
"Rack off, Frost bite," he stated bluntly. "Ya sure are one hell of a sentimental killer, ya know?" Straightening forward, Aster checked the time on his wrist as he answered, "Right. Well, ya know what ya need to do, and leave Miss Lillian be for the time being. I needa check on this other patient in five."
"Yeah, yeah," Jack brushed off.
Just as Aster reached for the door, he glanced one final time at the disheartened snow haired man. "Mate, just know it's not your fault this happened. I know her memories will return someday. So don't put get your knickers in a knot."
"But if I had known…"
"Mate, listen here. North told me that there was a malfunction in your gears at that exact moment. You couldn't have known before the accident."
Jack smiled, earnestly at the ground before meeting Aster's emerald eyes with gratitude.
"North is really rubbing off on you, ya know?"
Aster chuckled lightly as he opened the door. "That might be the case, lad. But if ya want more progress with that sheila, then lose that dye in your hair. You ain't foolin no one with that color."
"You're gonna be late, mister rabbit," Jack vocally ushered out, "don't be cryin' I'm late! I'm late! In the halls now!"
"Rack off, Frost."