The experiment didn't work, according to Victor the heart didn't withstand the procedure, that it wasn't strong enough. Queen Regina had run off sometime ago in great distress, but Else stayed behind examining the equipment that Victor was trying to put away.
"So you call this science correct?" Else asked, picking up an old silver tool.
Victor gently took the tool from Else's cold hand, "I do yes. I've devoted my whole life to studying it and it will help me achieve...you know what that's not important."
"Achieve something great," Else responded, "You aren't so different than the wizards here, at least when they start out. I hope for your sake that this science of yours isn't as addictive as magic."
"Addictive, that's an odd word," Victor closed his sack, "And are you addicted to this magic? You do wield it, do you not?"
Else smiled, "I don't know. As I said before it's apart of me, not learned like with Queen Regina's magic, I can't take it away any more than I can take away my blood."
"That's an interesting notion," Victor said, rummaging through his bag and pulling out a glass tube with a needle coming out one end.
"What is that?" Else said, running her finger over the needle portion leaving a trail of frost.
"It's called a syringe," Victor said, "I want to run some tests on your blood, if I may."
Else backed up suddenly, "I'm sure you've heard of blood magic? Why would I willingly give you my blood?"
Victor slowly walked forward and softly grabbed Else's arm at the elbow, "Because that's not how science works. The tests I'm planning on running with your blood will help me figure out your DNA structure and how this magic is tied to it."
Else didn't pull away, but she didn't say anything either, just looked at Victor with scrunched eyebrows. "DNA? What's-?"
"That will take too long to explain, the short answer is that it's the technical term for your 'essence'."
"You can actually see a person's essence?" Else asked, she relaxed and watched closely as the syringe cut through her skin and sucked out her blood. Else didn't flinch one bit, just continued to stare, just like Victor stared at the blood in the syringe with one hand cradling Else's elbow and the other sucking the blood back. Both had never seen anything quite like it. The blood was still red like all the others, but was frozen completely solid with frost growing on the outside of the syringe.
"I never," Victor said.
"I told you, it's a part of me," Else said.
"Can I do another quick test?" Victor asked, stashing the syringe filled with frozen blood in his pack, pulling out the smallest knives Else had ever seen.
"I guess," Else said, watching his eyes as he cut into her finger, as if looking for any sign that he might try something more that she may need to kill him for. The blood on her finger pooled for the quickest of seconds before turning solid like the blood in her syringe. Victor pulled it off and looked at it more closely.
"Fascinating," he looked back to her finger which was no longer bleeding, "Truly fascinating. You have just become one of the most intriguing people I've had the honour to meet." He placed his tiny knife back into his pack and snapped it shut again, "Well Queen Else why don't I escort you back to the castle. I'll be leaving in the morning so this very well maybe goodbye." The two walked out of the tent and toward the castle, Victor had offered his arm, but Else ignored and instead the two walked in a near distance of one another, arms kept to themselves.
"Such a short visit," Esle commented, "You're in another land, don't you have the need to explore a little?"
"A little, yes, but I have important and urgent business back in my world that I must attend at the earliest possible moment."
"And is this business on a need to know basis?"
Victor cracked the smallest of smiled, "Well it goes along with what I plan to achieve with the help of science."
"Indeed." The castle's walls loomed over them as they entered the gardens. "Do you think Queen Regina will recover from the experiments failure?"
"I think its failure actually just revealed a darker path for her. This, I'm guessing, was her last hope. Now she has truly lost love and without love she will stray."
"You are very insightful for a queen," Victor said.
"I just mean to say that I expected other queens to act as Queen Regina, having their hearts lead them completely."
"Well I'm not your usual queen. I don't have a 'kingdom', I have a domain. I don't have subjects as anyone who knows me lives outside my domain, and knights swear their swords to kill me not protect me."
"It is what it is."
"And how did knight come to the conclusion to kill you?"
"Like your 'DNA', it's a long story best left to scare children before bed." They entered the castle and stopped by the main doors, guards on either side standing stockily.
"I'm afraid that now I must say goodbye," Victor said, "It was a pleasure meeting you Queen Else and if at all possible I'd love to see you again." He took her hand and kissed it and Else could see he was holding back a shiver.
"Likewise," she said, "You may want to sit by a fire for a while now to warm up from your courtesy."
"Will do," Victor said, "And goodnight my lady." He walked down the long hall, Queen Else turning and walking the other way back to her guest room.
The morning came and Queen Else walked down the garden to watch the sunrise. Ever since she came to the southern kingdoms she had started this ritual. The sun was something you hardly saw in the North and especially so early in the morning or late in the evening. When she arrived, however, she saw Victor sitting and drawing, much like he was doing when she had first him the night previously.
"Good morning doctor," Else answered, sitting down next to him, her eyes focused on the lightening sky.
"Good morning my lady," Victor answered, not looking up from his drawing.
"You do have a curiosity for our flowers don't you?"
"Well I've never seen anything quite like these before and I hardly want to forget them."
"They are something."
"I find it lucky that we've had the chance to see each other once more."
"I ran some tests on your blood last night and I found something that concerns me."
"More than blood that's frozen?"
"Well when I got back to my rooms it was more than just frozen blood, it was quite literally turning to ice. The color started to change, it was less red and more pink. It has made me begun to wonder if you
, my lady, aren't turning to ice."
"It is happening to me, how could I not?" Else said, taking her eyes from the sky and looking towards Victor who's book was now closed. "It started as simply turning pale and my hair becoming whiter. Then this year I noticed a small spot on the tips of my fingers which is no longer skin." She lifted her hand and Victor looked closely to see a glittering, white spot on the tips of her fingers.
"Isn't it?" Else looked back to the sky.
"Science maybe able to help,"Victor said.
"It can't bring the dead back, how can it keep a woman from turning to ice?"
"This experiment failed, but I am certain there one will succeed in bringing people back to life, just as I am certain it can cure you. That is if you're willing to leave your legacy and stories behind."
Else got up from the bench and walked a couple paces away before turning back around. "You are asking me leave to behind a lot."
"But from the sounds of it, it doesn't sound like you will be leaving anything that's good behind."
"It would be nice to leave behind all the happy endings."
"Like Cinderella happening to leave behind a shoe that fit no one but herself," Else said, her voice icy with mock as she showed her own slipper. Her manner went back to being stoic and still, "I think it would be good, no one wants me here anyway so why should I waste my presence on them?"
Another smallest of smiles as Victor stood, "Very well, I shall make the necessary preparations."
"I'll change into a dress that won't take up so much space then. Where shall we meet?"
"Outside the castle's walls should be sufficient enough."
"I'll meet you there," Else said, a small smile on her own lips. This was the first time Victor had seen Queen Else smile and he knew that it was a rare sight.
----------------------------And now back to Storybrooke. I have to say that's it a bit difficult and interesting to write a story that jumps around like this. I'm more used to writing a story with a fairly forward moving plotline, not jumping back and forth between the past and present unless it's a specific scene used as a flashback. However, I will continue forward and keep true to the Once Upon a Time layout! I hope you enjoy this particular bit as well as the picture above I had fun with this one because I got to reveal an intense plotline. That was something I learned from my last Creative Writing class is that there's nothing worth keeping secrets from your readers. The secret should be revealed when it naturally comes up and should not be kept from the reader, even if it seems more suspenseful. Go where the story naturally goes kind of thing.The Cold and Dark (c), me
Else/Anna (this version) (c), me
Once Upon a Time (characters) (c), Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, and others
Else/Anna face claim, Amanda Seyfried