So, this fanfiction was written for Helsa Secret Santa Event on Helsa Discord. In this AU, Marshall/Marshy (Human Marshmallow) and Ollie (Human Olaf) are Elsa's adoptive sons.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!
Worried sick. Those two words were probably best to describe how Elsa felt at the moment.
Sure, sometimes she might feel that way due to work-related stress or even for no reason, but this time was different. When she got a call from the school, informing her that her youngest son, Marshall, had fallen ill, Elsa could feel her anxiety grow. She asked her boss if she could take the rest of the day off, and once she got the permission, she quickly drove to pick her son up from school.
Marshall has always been a healthy child. He rarely gets sick or takes her on a quick trip to a hospital, except for that one time when he fell from his scooter and sprained his ankle—which opened a new chapter in her life. But other than that, Elsa had never seen him being so sick before, even after four years of him and Olaf, his older brother, living with her.
Calling her fiancé was the first thing she did once they arrived home, and much to her relief, he immediately picked up and guided her with what to do. After making some soup for Marshall, and helping him take his medicine, Elsa sat on the bed next to him. Laying a damp towel against the flushed skin of his forehead, she hummed a lullaby.
"Mama?" Marshall croaked, voice thick with tiredness. His brown eyes were staring at her drowsily.
Elsa stopped and turned to him, flashing him a comforting smile. She couldn't show how she really felt, because she knew it would only make him worry.
"Yes, Marshy?" She gently tapped on the back of his hand, which rested atop the dark green blanket. "Do you need anything?"
He blinked. "Where's Hans?"
The question took her by surprise for a moment. It was so unlike him to ask for her fiancé, since Marshall hadn't really warmed up to him—not as much as Ollie, to say the least, even after two years.
Elsa smiled, reaching up to rub her thumb over the apple of his chubby cheek. "I think he is on his way from the hospital. Why?"
Deep down, she was unsure of her own answer. Hans probably still had a few patients to tend to and wouldn't be there until later that evening, but it seemed like her answer was good enough, as the six year old slowly shook his head no. He yawned and snuggled deeper to his pillow, and Elsa noticed the way his eyes blinked.
Despite the small smile on his face, she could see through him and sense how uncomfortable he must be. He was still burning up, and Elsa removed the towel from his forehead. Dipping the cloth into a bowl of water on the nightstand, she then laid it against his forehead. His eyes were now closed, and his breathing was steady, as he drifted into the realm of dreams.
"Sleep, my darling," she murmured, kissing the top of his head. "Mama will be here when you wake up."
Elsa bit her lower lip, eyes darting anywhere but at the small ring on her left hand. She softly smiled, as she thought of her fiancé, whom she met through Marshall. Dr. Hans Westergaard was the paediatrician who treated Marshall's injury back then, and their first meeting wasn't really eventful.
That day in the hospital lobby, Hans, who was running late to work, accidentally bumped into her and spilled some coffee all over her brand new blouse. It took everything in her power to not make a scene, especially once she found out that he would be the one treating her son. Later on, shortly after the examination, he offered to treat her to dinner as compensation for the coffee tinted blouse and the embarrassment, in which she declined with a scowl. But as the time passed and a few check-ups later, with the help of Ollie, she finally said yes to his offer (which turned out to be their first date).
Glancing at her youngest son's sleeping form, Elsa sighed. Guilt began to eat her alive, for she had yet told her children about the upcoming big change in their little family, about the new addition to their small home, and about how the future would be for the three of them. She and Hans were planning to tell them in the upcoming week, during her birthday dinner, but after further thinking, she realised it would be unfair for them to wait that long.
With a sigh, she reached for her phone on the nightstand and unlocked the gadget. There was one new message from her sister, Anna, telling her that she had dropped Ollie safely off to his piano lesson and she would be the one picking him up, and Elsa breathed in relief. Just when she put her phone down, the doorbell was ringing. An eyebrow raised as she wondered who it might be. Silently, she got up from the bed and made her way downstairs.
Hearing the bell constantly ringing, Elsa almost scoffed, as she picked up her pace. The audacity to disturb my sleeping son, she rolled her eyes. But little did she know who the guest actually was.
"I came here as fast as I could."
Elsa was both surprised and relieved when she opened the front door to find a tall, auburn haired man carrying a brown paper bag. Hans. Stepping aside to let him in, her blue eyes caught a glimpse of worry on his face as he quickly walked into the house. She pushed the door close with her back, before trailing after him to the kitchen. Her eyebrows knitted in confusion, as she padded across the living room.
Hans stood by the kitchen counter, unloading the grocery bag with his back facing her. Silently, she followed his movement with her gaze, a small smile of gratitude played on her lips. Having him there was enough to make her feel as if a part of her burden has been lifted from her shoulder.
"How is he?" He finally asked, stopping to look back at Elsa, who was now leaning against the counter next to him.
"I did what you told me to. I gave him the medicine, and then I let him rest. He has just gone to bed a while ago." she paused, turning to face him. "I didn't think you would come sooner."
Hans smiled gently, tucking a few strands of platinum hair behind her ear. "After I got your call, I decided to call it a day. You didn't expect me to not come here, knowing that you're home alone with a sick child, did you?"
Elsa only shrugged. "I didn't think you would come this fast."
"Elsa," he said. His lips curved into a smile as he added, "you know I care about you, a lot."
It was enough to make her heart swell. His green eyes were bearing something like comfort as they stared into her blue ones, and she found herself smiling back. "So, you also stopped by the supermarket on the way here?" Grabbing two cartons of milk, Elsa made her way to store them in the fridge, before helping Hans with the rest.
"I was planning to buy some chocolate bars and some biscuits for Ollie and Marshall, then I thought why not do some grocery shopping for you. It's the least I can do to help, really." Hans stood beside her with his arms folded across his chest, his back leaning against the kitchen wall.
Elsa took his hand in hers, smiling gratefully at his words.
Looking around for a brief second, he then asked, "Ollie isn't home yet?"
"Nope. It's Wednesday. He has a piano lesson until four, remember? Don't worry, Anna will pick him up. I couldn't just leave Marshy alone at home, and thankfully she volunteered." Elsa said. "You don't have to do that you know, the grocery. You being here is enough for me, for us."
"Elsa, love," he murmured, reaching out to cup her cheek. "How many times do I have to tell you that we're in this together? Besides, I already treat Marshall and Ollie as my own. They are my children too."
Leaning to his touch, Elsa flashed him a small smile. "Thank you."
Hans pulled her in, arms finding their ways around her body as he cradled her head close to his chest. The way his lips pressed against her temple was enough a reassurance for her, telling her that everything would be alright. Elsa allowed herself to get lost in the comfort, the warmth his body offered her, and she could feel her worry and anxiety began to dissipate, little by little. Her left hand was pressing against his chest, her fingers curled and the small ring caught her attention.
"Hans?" She said, still not looking away from the jewelry.
There was a light pressure on the top of her head, before she finally lifted her chin up and looked at him. "We need to talk."
A pause, and Elsa watched as his expression changed from happy to panicked.
"Is there anything wrong?"
She quickly took his hands in hers and gave them a gentle squeeze. With a small smile, came her reply, "Actually no, nothing is wrong. It's just, I have been thinking."
But it seemed as if her gentle touch didn't help to ease his nerves, as he frowned.
"Are you having doubts about accepting my proposal?"
"What? No!" She quickly said. "I'm not having any doubts about that. I still want to marry you."
As soon as she said that, Elsa noticed the way the colours returned to his face.
"Oh, thank goodness!" Hans let out, slowly losing his stiff posture as he held her hand. "Gosh, I think I need to sit down."
"Sure." Elsa chuckled. "Do you want to have some tea or maybe wine?" She said the last part with a wink.
"No, thank you." There was a smirk, tilting the corner of his mouth, as he added, "I just want to have you, that is if you allow me."
It gave her a brief flashback about the early days of their relationship. That night, he was invited to a Christmas dinner in Elsa and Anna's home. After a few glasses of wine, Elsa began to feel tipsy, and Hans was handing her the second cupcake, she told him how she would rather have him than the cake. Warmth was rushing to her face as she recalled the memory.
"That's very unoriginal of you!" She playfully gave his shoulder a light push.
Moments later, the lovebirds found themselves on a loveseat. With Elsa settling in his lap, Hans curled his arms protectively around her waist, his thumb tracing invisible patterns over the fabric of her magenta sweater. It was when he nuzzled the side of her neck did she close her eyes and sighed in contentment, and he smiled.
"Marshy was asking your whereabouts."
The redhead tilted his head, an eyebrow raising in disbelief. Is he really the same Marshall Arendelle—Elsa's youngest son that seemed to inherit her traits (even though they weren't relatedby blood)? Now Hans grew worried that the fever might not be as mild as he thought, or perhaps the little fella had grown fond of him (maybe not as much as Ollie).
"Really?" Biting back a smile, he pressed a kiss on her neck, inhaling her familiar scent of lavender and vanilla.
"Mhmm," Elsa hummed. "I think he is slowly warming up to you."
Hans could picture the small smile playing on her lips when she said the last part, even without looking. Moving to peck her round cheek, he gently squeezed her hand.
"It's about time, don't you think?"
"True." Elsa nodded. "I was actually glad to hear that. It means something."
He hummed in agreement. "Your youngest son has a tough heart that's not easy to win."
"Well, he learns from the best."
"I don't doubt that." He grinned. "So, what did you want to talk about?"
Her blue eyes fluttered open at the question. There was a hint of hesitation, and that was enough to make those thoughts—voices telling him he wasn't worthy of her love—cloud his mind. But he tried to remind himself that she wasn't doubtful of their engagement like she said earlier, much to his relief, so he should have nothing to worry about.
"Oh, I've been thinking, isn't it unfair to keep this engagement secret from my children?"
"Our children, Elsa, and we did plan to tell them on your birthday dinner next week, didn't we?"
"Legally, Hans." Elsa corrected him. "And yes, we did, but Marshy and Ollie have been a huge part of our story, I don't think I can keep it from them any longer. They deserve to know. What if they end up feeling betrayed by the secrets?"
Hans thought for a while, he had to admit that yes, it was Marshall's unfortunate accident that brought them together, and it was Ollie who was willing to persuade Elsa to go to dinner with him. The children had played bigger roles than they were credited for. Deep down, there was something like regret. He should have asked the children first, to know whether they were okay with him being a part of their little family. Perhaps things wouldn't have been this - he tried to find a word - complicated, dare he said.
He looked up to find Elsa staring at him with wonder. Taking a deep breath, he pecked her forehead gently, hands still holding hers.
"Alright," he said, pressing another kiss on her forehead, then her nose. His emerald eyes gazed into her cerulean ones as he added, "we tell them tonight."
"Thank you, Hans."
Warmth was spreading across his body as he saw his fiancée smiling ear to ear. There was a look of relief and radiance on her face, and he smiled back at her. This woman, the only person who could make him feel like he was the luckiest man on earth, the only one who could make him feel loved, was the love of his life, and he didn't plan to let her go.
"I love you, Elsa."
"I love you."
Grasping the collar of his shirt, Elsa then pulled him into a kiss.
The night fell sooner than she thought, and with every minute that passed, her anxiety began to build up for the second time. Sure, she was excited. She wanted the engagement, she wanted to marry Hans, but she was also worried about how the children would react. The only thing that made her feel better was finding that Marshall's fever had broken down—well, that and Hans' comforting glances she caught throughout dinner.
"...and so, the Prince and the Princess finally got married."
Dinner had ended a while ago, and the soon to be a family of four was gathering in Marshall's bedroom. After taking his medicine, the 6 year old requested Hans to read him a bedtime story, in which the idea was supported by Ollie. Unlike the youngest, the oldest had been so gleeful about having Hans coming over as per usual, although his face fell once he learned that his little brother was ill. Elsa, who had been playing with the ring in her finger, was observing silently. She noticed the way Marshy's face lifted up when Hans told the story about The Princess and the Pea, by the author Hans Christian Andersen, with various expressions and tones. He really is good with kids. Elsa couldn't ask for a better partner.
"That's it?" Marshall frowned. "But the book still has one page left!"
"Yeah!" Ollie chirped in from his own bed, agreeing with his brother. "That can't be the end of the story, right? Mama once read us that book and there's a mention of a museum."
Elsa smiled in amusement as she turned to look at the auburn haired man, who was still holding the story book in his grasp. He sheepishly grinned, quickly turned the page.
"Oh, right! Sorry, there's actually one paragraph left."
"It's okay," Marshall replied softly, his brown eyes didn't look away. It was as if the little guy was watching his every move, and from her seat next to Ollie, Elsa could tell that her son did make him sweat.
Hans cleared his throat, before he continued, "It was said that the pea was still kept in the museum. We can still go and see it, that's if it's still there and nobody has stolen it. The end."
"Is that for real?"
"The pea?" The youngest nod, encouraging Hans to answer. "Well, the book says so. You can still see it in the museum, but only if it hasn't been stolen."
"Yeah, it's not real, then." Marshall innocently said, before grinning. He flashed Hans, who was still not moving from the spot on his bed, a gentle smile.
Hans poked his small nose, earning himself a squeal. "If you say so, little fella."
Elsa was exchanging glances with Ollie, upon seeing the two interacting. None of them The blond boy had a knowing smile, clearly he was happy that his baby brother felt better.
"I like when you read us a story, Hans. You do a better job than Mama." Ollie beamed. "Can we do this every night?"
It was enough to remind her of the news. Biting her lower lip, she looked at Hans, who shared the same expression as her. But the way he nodded and offered her a smile boosted her confidence.
"Actually, Ollie, Marshy, Hans and I have something to say." Looking at her two children back and forth and having all the attention to her, she finally found the courage. "Hans asked me to marry him, and I said yes."
There was a long pause, and the confusion on each boy's face didn't help to ease the nerves. Thankfully, Hans quickly picked it up and began to speak.
"Your Mama and I are getting married." He added carefully with a smile in the end.
Ollie was the first one to react. His brown eyes reflected something like an excitement, as he threw the blanket off him and kneeled on his bed. He was facing Hans with glee on his chubby face.
"Like Auntie Anna and Uncle Kristoff?"
Stealing a glance at Elsa, Hans then nodded. "Yes."
"Yay!" Ollie squealed, before getting on his feet and moving to climb onto Hans' lap. He threw his arms around the man, nuzzling his chest as he grinned with joy. In return, Hans rested his cheek over the fluffy blond hair.
"Married?" The small, gentle response from the youngest made both Elsa and Hans turn to him. Seeing the surprised look on his face as everything began to sink in, Elsa strode over and sat on the other side of the bed.
"Yes, Marshy." Brushing back her son's sandy brown hair, Elsa then cupped his cheek, brushing the fair skin with her thumb. "There will be a change in our little family."
Slowly looking up, Marshall's face was bearing something like excitement with a small hint of frown—just a little bit. "So, Hans is gonna be my Papa?"
Elsa nodded. "I know it's a lot to take—"
But before she could finish the sentence, Marshall quickly asked, "Mama, are you happy?"
"Why, yes, darling." She smiled, briefly glancing at her fiancé. "I am happy, so very happy."
Much to her—and Hans'—surprise, Marshall let out a giggle. He turned to face Hans, who still had Ollie clinging onto him, and took his right hand. Grabbing his Mum's left one, he then joined them together, fingers entwined.
"If Mama is happy, then I am happy too."
Those words were stated with such an innocent manner, without knowing how much they meant to both Hans and Elsa. Blood rushing to her face, as the young mother beamed.
"Oh, Marshy." Letting go of Hans' hand, Elsa pulled Marshall into an embrace, pressing kisses on top of his head, hands stroking his back. "Thank you."
"Warm hugs!" Ollie, who seemed like he couldn't really stay still, got out of his father's lap and tackled the two with a bear hug.
Lastly, Hans joined in, throwing his arms around his new family, careful as to not hurt the youngest child. Just like Elsa, he, too, was beaming. He even shed a tear, for a family was what he had always wanted. Growing up in a big-but-broken family where he often felt neglected, he was lacking in love and vowed: if one day he finally found someone and had a family of his own, Hans would do anything to make it work, to make sure they're happy. Elsa and her small family had filled that hole in his heart, and they had become his source of joy and happiness the past two years. He adored the woman with all of his heart, he loved her, and he admired her like he did nobody else.
"Thank you, Marshy." Once they pulled away, Hans gently ruffled the boy's sandy hair, before turning to the oldest of the two. "And thank you, Ollie."
"Well, can I have my chocolate bar now, Papa?"
It was as if Marshall couldn't be more full of surprises that night, that he kept making Hans stunned. The way he called him 'Papa' made Hans felt acknowledged. He smiled.
"I am sorry I have to go all doctor on you, kiddo, but you can only have your chocolate bars once you're feeling better." He poked the tip of his nose.
"But I am!" Marshy stubbornly pouted, and Elsa bit back a smile. It's obvious that the youngest mostly took after her.
"What about me, Papa? Can I have mine?" Ollie asked, tugging the sleeve of the man's shirt.
"Ollie!" Elsa warned, sending him a strict look, her motherly instincts were kicking in. "If your brother can't have it now, then you can't have it too."
"Aww." Came his whine followed by a yawn. "That's fair, though."
Seeing the two nodding in unison, Elsa took an initiative to help tucking Marshall under the blanket. While on the other side, Hans carried Ollie and helped him with the covers. After they made sure that the children were asleep, they finally made their way out.
"Well, that went well," her fiancé said, once the bedroom door was closed.
Looking back, Elsa caught his 'knowing' glance. "What? I was just as surprised."
By her waist, Hans pulled her in and pressed his lips against hers, taking her by surprise. It was a brief, chaste kiss, yet the warmth and the light pressure on their lips lingered on for a while.
"Thank you, Hans." She looked up, big blue eyes gazing fondly into his green ones, her thumb rubbing his cheek. "Thank you for always sticking up with me."
Brushing back some blonde strands from her face, he allowed himself to get lost in her gentle caress, within such a close proximity. "Elsa, I love you. I've made a vow to myself a long time ago, to always try to make it work for our family. There's no need to thank me, love, I'd gladly help you with everything."
"Oh, Hans," she gushed, "I love you too."
Elsa knew he was being sincere. His eyes could never lie, as they held her gaze with honesty. Nestling in his embrace and listening to his steady heartbeat, she closed her eyes and sighed in contentment. He was her safe haven and she was grateful for that.
We're together now, she reminded herself. That's what matters.