"If you hit this button like this, Yoshi's tongue sticks out and he can eat the bad guys!" Elsa explained to her new friend. Lily was a year younger and had just moved in next door the week before. The two girls had become fast friends; so far they had only played together in their back yards, but today Elsa invited her over to play Nintendo. "Then..." she pressed some buttons and exclaimed, "he poops them out like eggs!"
"It sounds like you two are having fun." Anna grinned as she waddled in with a tray of cookies and milk. "I thought you girls might like a snack." She put the tray on the table behind them, her belly too big to be able to set it on the floor where they were sitting. "Lily, do you like oatmeal chocolate chip? They're Elsa's favorite, so we always have some made, but if you want something else, I think we have some Oreos and Teddy Grahams in the pantry."
"These are okay. Thank you."
"Yeah, thanks, Anna!" Elsa grabbed one and took a big bite.
"You're welcome." She stepped out into the hall and pulled the door, but left is slightly ajar. "Call if you girls need anything."
Lily dunked a cookie in her milk and pushed back the loose brown curls from her face before shoving the whole thing in her mouth. "These are so good!"
"Yeah. Anna makes the best treats! She lets me help, too, if I want to."
Lily tilted her head to the side, curious. "How come you call your mom by her name?"
Elsa shook her head and wiped away her milk mustache. "Anna's not my mom, she's my sister."
"Oh." Lily's brows scrunched. "Where's your mom, then?"
Elsa turned around to put her glass on the tray, effectively avoiding eye contact. "She died."
"My Papa died, too. A big truck was going the wrong way because the driver fell asleep and hit their car."
"That's so sad." Lily put her arm around her friend's shoulders. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm okay. Thanks. It was a long time ago. I was three. But Anna was eighteen, so she took care of me."
Lily nodded, her brown eyes full of compassion. "That's good. She seems nice."
"She is! She's great." The blonde took another cookie and crammed it in her mouth before picking up her game controller. "Come on! I'll teach you how to get out of the creepy ghost house!"
Just a few more weeks. Anna couldn't believe how quickly the time was passing. Any day now and she could be holding her sweet baby in her arms.
She stood at the little white dresser and folded the last of the onesies just as she heard Elsa join her in the nursery. "...Anna?"
She tucked the tiny clothes into the drawer and turned her attention to her sister, noting how her lower lip was caught in her teeth, her fingers tangled in her braid. "What's up, Els... You okay?"
She nodded, but she was still visibly uncomfortable. "I was... well, I've been thinking..." She looked down and dug the toe of her Converse into the carpet. "Would it be okay if... if I called you Mom?"
Anna flinched back in surprise. "Wow. Elsa. I wasn't expecting that. I... I don't know what to say..." She lowered herself onto the rocking chair and blew out a slow breath. "That's just... Wow."
Elsa took a step back, her arms wrapped tight around her middle. "You don't want me to?"
"No! I-I mean, "no, that's not what I meant," not... NO. Of course that's okay! I would love that. So, SO much."
Anna patted the ottoman. "Come sit." When she did, she reached for her hand and gave it a squeeze. "You were barely four years old when I got custody of you. I was practically still a kid too, but I knew I couldn't let anyone else have you. I wanted you. Ever since you were born, it was almost like you were my baby. I loved to feed you and rock you, read you stories... I changed your diapers." She laughed, but Elsa saw the tears. "Mama used to joke that I was stealing her job..." She sniffled and dried her eyes on her sleeve.
Elsa leaned in and put a hand on her knee. "It's okay."
Anna smiled and nodded once. "So, then, one day, you really were mine. Legally. But you were old enough to remember Mama and Papa, and I never wanted you to think I was trying to replace them by forcing myself on you as your mother. And I was already "Anna" to you, anyway. I didn't want to confuse you."
"It is a little confusing sometimes," Elsa admitted. "I still miss them, but it's been a long time, and I know I should try harder, but... I forget sometimes."
One lip quiver was all it took and Elsa pulled in and squished beside her sister in the rocker. She snuggled in close and hugged around Anna's belly. "Do you think they would hate me?"
"What? No! Why would you ask such a thing?"
Elsa shrugged. "Because I don't remember them as good anymore."
"No. Honey, no, they would never hate you. It's not your fault if you can't remember everything. You were really little."
When Elsa didn't say anything more, Anna prompted her to continue. "What is it that confuses you?"
"I know they'll always be my mama and papa... but, they're not here. And you've always been here." Elsa absently plucked at the end of one of her sister's long red braids. "And you take care of me. You do my hair and make sure I brush my teeth. We play games and bake sweets and sing together. You tuck me in and make up silly bedtime stories. So... if I don't think about it, it feels like you are my mom."
Anna hummed in thought as she rocked the chair with her feet. "Can I tell you a secret?" She felt Elsa nod against her side. "Sometimes I forget too. That we're sisters, I mean. I'm so used to taking care of you that I don't really think about why. And I've never had a baby before you, so I don't know if this is how it feels to be a mom or not."
"You will soon."
"I suppose so. But! What I know now, and every second of every day, is that it doesn't matter who we are to each other, because I love this girl—" she quickly pulled her in tight and tickled her in her side "—right here!"
"NO!" Elsa shrieked and giggled, and wiggled in an attempt to free herself. "No, Anna. Don't! Please stop! Please! "
"Fine, fine," Anna raised her hands, laughing. "You win."
Elsa eyed her skeptically and when she was semi-convinced that she wasn't being tricked, she very cautiously leaned back to tuck herself under her sister's arm - her favorite place in the whole world. Anna held her close and kissed her head softly.
They sat there together for a while; cuddling, rocking, and just enjoying the quiet of each other's company until Elsa finally spoke. "So... should I?"
"Huh?" Anna blinked her eyes open, so relaxed and calm that she'd nearly fallen asleep. "Should you what?"
"Call you mom." She placed her hand flat on Anna's belly. "The baby isn't going to call you "Anna." I know I'm going to be an aunt, but I liked what you said before - about me being a big sister, too. And I don't want people to think I'm weird because Waldo calls you mom and I call you Anna."
The redhead tossed her head back and groaned. "Elsaaa. For the last time. The baby's name is not Waldo."
She shrugged, "Kristoff likes it."
Anna sighed. Moving on!
"You shouldn't do anything in life because of other people, Elsa, or just because you think you should. You do it because YOU want to, and not for any other reason." She cupped her chin and gently titled her face up to meet her eyes. "Does that make sense?"
"I think so."
"So, what do you want to do?"
"...I... don't know?" Elsa's brow furrowed.
"Then, just think about it? There's no rush."
Anna nodded. "Good. Now..." she stretched out her arms, "help me up? I'm starving!"
Elsa smirked and hopped off the chair. "Sure." She scooted the ottoman away and after a few backwards seps and a bit of grunting, Anna was on her feet.
"What should we have for dinner?"
Elsa thought a minute and then gasped. "It's Tuesday!"
"That's right!" Anna grinned. "Tacos it is!"