"Belief is good, since we defeated Pitch many more children believe" North said, concluding his report of how the workshop was doing and looking around at the other four guardians where they sat spread around the room. The meeting was being held in a one of the many rooms in the North Pole, not far from North's office, like the rest of the of the rooms it had dark wooden beams and furniture, a large fireplace was at the centre of the back wall and the upholstery of the furniture was deep plush red.
"Since Jack has joined us we seem to be gaining new believers faster than we used to" Tooth spoke up gently after taking a sip from the teacup that rested in her dainty hands and smiled brightly towards where the young winter child sat on the couch opposite from her and Sandy. "Jack?" she questioned, when he didn't acknowledge her and continued to sit curled against the arm of the couch with his chin resting in his palm and a far away look in his eyes as he blankly gazed off to the side.
Bunny also noticed this and promptly elbowed Jack in his side "Oi Frosty, you listening?" he asked, his bright green eyes watching Jack as he jolted beside him and turned to look at the others.
"Are you ok, Jack? You've been very quiet" Tooth asked, and beside her Sandy began presenting sand images asking the same, showing the guardians together and then Jack off in his own little world.
Jack's blue eyes flickered between all four of them for moment and then to the ground "Yeah I'm fine, it's just the end of my season, you know? I guess I'm just tired"
"You will be hibernating, yes?" North inquired
"Yup as soon as Spring takes over the year, I'll be heading off to find somewhere to sleep for a while" he said a little sadly, although they didn't read too much into it and presumed he was simply tired, and as if to prove this he curled up in his seat again, hugging his staff close.
Sandy gave a caring smile towards Jack and then his face lit up and he turned to look at Bunny, images flashing over his head quickly, depicting the Pooka, flowers and other Spring spirits.
"Sandy ees right! Bunny should go to Spring party!" North said excitedly, the man had always loved parties, even if he wasn't invited.
"Ya mean the Spring Equinox?" Bunny asked raising an eyebrow, and unnoticed by everyone else Jack's eyes bulged wide open at this and his head whipped to stare at his friend, his expression almost fearful. Bunny continued "Nah mate, not my cup of tea really"
"So you're really not going?" Jack asked in a small voice, his pale long fingers clutching at the wood of his staff.
"Nah, it seems more like an excuse to take the piss outta Winter more than a celebration of new beginnings really, and anyways I've got eggs that need attendin'" and on this thought he began pulling paints and a brush out of his pack before settling in to painting an egg.
"Take pee out of Winter? I am not understanding" North spoke up with confusion clearly written across his face.
Jack shifted some more in his seat, holding his staff against his staff and not looking at anything apart from the frost that travelled across its wood. "um... it's about Spring dominating Winter, and since most Spring spirits hate anything to do with Winter they just really take it out on the Spirit of Winter"
"That sounds rather unnecessary" Tooth uttered quietly, looking between Jack and Bunny.
"Like I said, not my cup of tea, and Frosty you'd best be staying away from those Spirits and headin' someplace cold with the rest of the Snow Sprites" Bunny stated, turning to give a small concerned look towards the young Sprite
Jack swallowed nervously and croaked out a small "Yeah.." in reply.
North who had been watching silently with interest spoke up "So Bunny, how ees Easter preparations going? Still think you can beat Christmas?" he grinned cheerily as the Pooka paused in his painting with a huff and turned to glare at him.
After the meeting had ended, which had taken slightly longer than usual as Bunny and North had proceeded into another long debate about which holiday was better. The Guardians had been in the process of goodbyes and leaving, Tooth and Sandy already hugging Jack and flying off to continue their nightly work, the youngest Guardian paused for a moment instead of flying straight off after them like he normally did. He stood waiting, watching as Bunny finished trying to get the last word in this argument, shifting his feet awkwardly.
When Bunny placed a paw on his shoulder as he passed by, about to summon a tunnel back to the Warren Jack spoke up "um Bunny... can I talk to you about something? ... In private please?" he requested in a very small voice, his eyes immediately darting away from his friend's face as if he himself was shocked that he had voiced what he wanted.
Bunny paused to look at him for a moment "... Sure Frostbite, we can go to my Warren.."
"No, not the Warren, here? Please?" Jack pleaded, his eyes taking on a frightened look, he took a breath and continued "In my guest room? I don't want to leave anywhere cold at the moment."
"Alright" Bunny murmured gently and followed as Jack slowly lead them to the room North had given him not long after he had taken his oath. Upon reaching the room Bunny peered around as Jack shut the door behind him, it was a very simple room, with the only furniture being a bed, a closet and a desk with a chair. Jack had obviously done his own special brand of decorating on the place as the wooden beams and some part of the walls had delicate frost spread up them, along with scattering of ice and frost here and there generally around the small room.
After spending a moment to take in the room and watching Jack stand in front of him fiddling with his staff he spoke "So?" he prompted, folding his arms across his chest.
"... So ... ahh... well" Jack began and cut off multiple times, his fingers clenching and unclenching against the old wood in his hands. Frost began to appear and spread out on the wooden floorboards beneath his feet.
"Calm down or you're gonna freeze yourself up" Bunny said, watching the frost spread in a widening circle around the boy and trailing more up along the fabric covering his legs and down his arms, at this Jack's eyes shot up to meet his then turned away as more frost spread across his cheeks.
"Right... um" Jack swallowed, trying to get a hold on his powers, and then turned and walked the short distance to his bed and sat down on the light blue sheets, his frost only continued to follow him, forming a path on the floor and spreading across his bed.
Bunny followed forward and came to a halt in front of Jack. "We're friends, right?" he took a deep breath and asked for the first time meeting Bunny's green eyes with his blue and looking pleadingly to the older spirit.
Bunny was taken aback "Of course we are ya drongo, you're a right stubborn git sometimes and ya freeze my tail far too often but we're still mates" he said, watching as this only seemed to help calm Jack by a mere fraction, continuing in a gentler tone he crouched down, as if talking to a child "Mate if this is about Spring Spirits givin' ya grief then just tell me, I'll knock some sense inta them"
"I think you should go to the Spring Equinox" Jack squeaked out, his eyes darting away from the other's again and straight down to the floor between them.
The paw that had just been about to place itself on his shoulder fell short "What?" Bunny asked, tilting his head slightly to the side as he gave a disbelieving look.
"... Well... it's just... just that I-I'm going to be there too so you know it'll be better if ... you was there" Jack stuttered, the frost on his cheeks thickening and spreading slightly.
"What are you gonna be doin there?" Bunny asked, not understanding where this was going, did the Spirit of Winter have some Sprites go with them for help? He didn't remember any the times he had gone in the past, although the last time he had attended the Spring Equinox was sometime around five hundred years ago.
Jack shuddered, ice growing steadily along the bed, it cracked on the sheets as he shifted nervously "well... I guess I never told anyone but... ... I .. I'm the Spirit of Winter" he grimaced seeing Bunny's shocked expression "So... I'm sort of the guest of honor... I kinda have to be there..."
Bunny swallowed back down the bile that was suddenly filling his throat and shifted back from the boy a little. Jack was the Spirit of Winter? But how was that possible? But that meant he was going to be at the hands of Spring? But that couldn't happen! Jack was just a boy, a child! Even in immortal terms he was young, never mind the fact that he was frozen as a child when Manny had chosen him! He couldn't go! Bunny wouldn't let it happen. He thought back to the few times he had been to the Equinox, when he had said that it was about taking the piss out of Winter that wasn't even the half of it, it was basically a free-for-all torturing of Winter!
Oh sure, the ritual had its requirement, it was to take the years magic from the last Season to give power to the next, the way to do that was for the oncoming Season to physically dominate the previous and then drain it of it's power, then the previous Season would have to hibernate until it could gain the magic back ready for its time of year. It seemed to work perfectly well through Summer, Autumn and Winter however Spring's hatred of Winter had turned into something far more personal and cruel. Instead of the single two Spirits that embodied their seasons quietly performing the ritual together Spring would involve many others, if not nearly all of the other Spring Sprites and creatures to come along and enjoy torturing the Winter Spirit.
Bunny remembered the things he had witnessed, the Winter Spirit being pinned down to a stone table by magically summoned thorned vines that cut into his skin as he had struggled and tried to buck his body off the stone, ice shooting down the table to spread on the ground and trying to freeze anyone who would come near him. The Spring creatures surrounding the table to touch and hurt Winter, taking it in turns to rape him after the Spirit of Spring had already forced the act on him while the embodiment of the season had stayed close throughout the whole thing, always keeping contact with Winter to burn him with his warmer magic.
Bunny had stood off to the side, watching the whole thing in horror, again wondering why it was he had been dragged along to this thing, but he never went near the stone table, merely kept his distance as he listened to Winter's screams and cries. He could of left at anytime, the other spirits surely wouldn't notice his absence since they were so engrossed in what they were doing but he could never make himself leave, he wanted to see for himself that Winter was alright afterwards, if only to mildly lessen the horror.
And then when it came to the end and Spring was ready to release the magic that was held inside Winter he plunged a blade into the other Spirit's chest, the sickening sound of the attack making Bunny wince in sympathy while all the other Sprites just cheered and Bunny felt the rush of magic deep in his chest as the power was passed over, as his existence was fuelled by children's belief he didn't need this power like the other Spring creatures did, however he still received it, he looked forward to it, it always meant that it was nearly his holiday. Afterwards the Spirit of Spring and all the other creatures would move off, leaving the pained Winter Spirit to heave himself up from the table and Bunny stayed and watched as Winter struggled to his feet, his icy eyes dull and the wound in his chest freezing over. Bunny moved towards him to try to help, but Winter merely glared at him and hissed, ice quickly forming over his body to act as clothes and with once last hateful look Winter slowly flew away.
"I was hoping... maybe that if you was there, it wouldn't be so bad.." Jack was speaking again, pulling Bunny from his thoughts and he looked over his small form, quietly sitting on his bed surrounded by the ice his powers made in reaction to his distress, it had stopped for the moment spreading up to the pillows where a teddy bear sat, a gift from North, just another sign that Jack was so young.
"No" Bunny whispered before he realised he was talking, Jack's eyes shot to his watering slightly as fear spread across his face.
"But! Bunny! ... please I nee-" he was cut off from his panic as Bunny placed a paw on his shoulder to quietened him.
"No, you're not going" he spoke his voice stern "This has gotta be some mistake, ya ain't goin, maybe if we talk to the other Winter beings we can sort this out"
Jack's eyes stared into his, large blue pools of emotion "... but I've tried that before, they don't listen, I've even tried not going but the Snow Queen dragged me there..."
Bunny green eyes widened in horror "Before? What do ya mean before?! Jack they've done this before?!" his voice raised as did his own distress, making Jack flinch then nod.
"Jack... mate, how long have you been the Spirit of Winter?" the Pooka asked, pinching the bridge of his nose between his fingers with the paw that wasn't on Jack's shoulder.
"Three hundred years... since I became Jack Frost" the boy uttered and Bunny's soul felt like it had just been crushed.
For the boy's entire life as a spirit he had been hurt yearly, every time in the last three hundred years when Bunny felt that rush of magic in his chest it was because they were torturing Jack!
"Please Bunny... I need you there, maybe if they know we're friends they won't go so hard on me... or maybe you could even talk to Spring? Maybe you could convince him to just have the ritual be me and him? Like how it is with Autumn..." Jack gripped his staff closer to himself, his eyes searching as he looked at his friend.
Ok now he was sure he was going to be sick, Jack was talking about the terms of his own molesting "Frostbite... you can't go, I'll talk to some people and we will sort something out"
Jack looked at him for a moment and then sighed "But it has to happen, or Spring won't happen, Bunny the balance needs to be kept"
Bunny held back a pained sound from rising from his throat, Jack was right, the ritual did have to happen, but that didn't mean it had to involve Jack surely, why couldn't the Snow Queen, Old Man Winter or one of the others do it? Why did it always have to be Jack?
"Ok, look, I'll go have a chat with Spring. You just stay here until I come back" he said, standing up to his full height and looking in blue eyes he added "It'll be ok, I'm gonna sort this out" and to his surprise Jack shot up from where he had been sitting and threw his arms around Bunny's neck, fiercely hugging him.
"Thank you" he whispered against the furry shoulder, Bunny wrapped an arm around the thin body and patted him on the shoulder awkwardly and then put him down.
"I'll be back soon" was all the goodbye given as he tapped his foot against the floor and then promptly jumped down into the newly formed hole.
It took some time to find the Spirit he was looking for, but it wasn't too hard, being connected to the same season made it easier to sense where he was going and after a while of running through tunnels all around the world he finally tracked down Spring to a forest in Italy.
Bunny jumped out of the tunnel and saw the person he wanted to talk to standing a few feet away admiring a young tree.
"Spring!" he called and the figure turned around, Bunny glanced him once over and decided he didn't look like he had changed at all since the last time he had seen him. Bright green eyes, almost glowing rose to meet his and a smile broke out on his handsome face. Spring had tanned skin and golden blonde hair. His was the form of a man in his late twenties, his muscled body only covered by fresh leaves that worked like a pair of shorts. Bunny didn't know what Spring's real name was, just like Spring didn't know Bunny's, names were important and if someone knew your name and a little dark magic they could curse you, so it was best not to tell it to anyone. Obviously Jack had never learned that, happily giving out his name to anyone who asked.
"Easter Bunny" Spring greeted cheerily walking the short distance to the Pooka "What brings you here?"
Bunny crossed his arms across his chest as he spoke "I'm here about the Equinox"
Spring's grin grew wider "Oh? Will you be attending this year?" he asked in an open and friendly way, it just made Bunny want to punch him more.
"Look Spring, I want you to leave Winter alone" he spoke, his voice demanding and strong.
Spring's expression faltered "And why would I do that? You know the years power has to be passed on"
"Because I'm asking you to" Bunny growled, trying to keep a hold of his emotions, he had come here to talk, not start a fight, at least, not yet.
Spring's golden eyebrow rose cocky "I appreciate that you are of Spring yourself, and we both know you are far older than me, however that does not give you right to interfere with Seasonal business and besides, you've never had an issue with this before"
"But why does it have to be with him? Why can't the ritual be with another Winter being?"
"This isn't about Winter is it? It's about that boy?" Spring asked, and when Bunny's stern expression dropped for a moment the Spirit grinned like a cat "Aw you do care!" he chortled, and Bunny paused at the words, remembering when they had just met Jack. "I had heard that Winter had been accepted as a Guardian, but I wasn't sure. This is why you've come to talk to me? You've suddenly taken offence now that he's in your little trope?"
"He's a child Spring!" Bunny hissed, not liking how amused Spring now seemed by all of this or the way that he had began circling him, like he was about to pounce.
"He was a child, he isn't now. However I did take him when he was a child, you should of been there, his first Equinox as Winter, it was priceless!" Spring grinned even more, a nasty expression on his face. Bunny let out a curse and tried to punch the other spirit, who managed to dodge the blow just in time.
"You fuckin sick bastard!" he yelled and went to attack again, however vines appeared from the ground wrapping around his legs and arms, effectively pinning him where he stood.
Spring tutted at him and stepped closer leaning his face closer to Bunny "You my friend have a bit of a temper problem, you should try to fix that. Although I can't help but wonder are you now so protective of Winter because you want him for yourself?" he watched as the furious anger twisted Bunny's expression and he fought against his binds.
"He's my friend! I just want ya ta leave the poor kid alone!" Bunny howled, trying his hardest to break free.
"Uh huh, well I'm sure that's why you have taken such issue with all of this" Spring rolled his eyes before the grin returned "I think you should know however, if you do change your mind about being "Just friends" " he spoke and signalled air quotation marks with his fingers "with him, he takes cock so nicely, even if his body is a little chilly and he screams so prettily"
"Ya bastard! When I get free I'm fucking gonna break ya face!" Bunny screamed, Spring merely watched him struggle for a moment before his smirk dropped.
"Really now, that hurt my feelings" he frowned, but then the smirk was back "Maybe for that I should fuck him harder, I'll have the Sprites drag you there and you can watch while we hurt your precious little snowflake, how about instead of just taking the magic out of him we cut him open? I wonder if that little frozen heart of his still works? It would be interesting to find out"
Bunny paused his eyes wide open in fear, he knew that Spring wouldn't kill Jack but it didn't make the threat of hurting him more any less real.
"Oh? don't like that idea, huh?" Spring murmured, his face inches away from Bunny's "Well how about a compromise?" he asked
"Like what?" Bunny asked quietly, hating the mischievous look growing in the other's green eyes.
"Well the way I see it, you don't want me to fuck Winter, but a being of Spring magic has to for the season to change" he started and then gave Bunny a once over and a false look of inspiration appeared "Oh look at that! You're a being of Spring! Well this solves both our problems rather nicely doesn't it?"
Bunny swallowed around the lump forming in his throat "...You want me to...?"
"Fuck Winter" Spring finished "How about it? You perform the ritual with him, and I nor the others will touch him"
"...Why?" Bunny asked, feeling more and more trapped.
"Because it will amuse me, and I'm in a playful mood" Spring smiled brightly at him, seemingly friendly once again. "That's your choice, you can either watch as I and the other beings fuck your little friend, or you can do it while we watch, one choice will lead to a lot less suffering on his part, whether or not he can stand to look at you afterwards is a completely different issue"
Bunny stared away from him, feeling sick. This was his choice? To either stand back and watch as they tortured Jack? Or to rape him? Spring didn't look like he was going to give him anyway out of this, so it meant that he actually had to choose one of two evils. If he did it he wouldn't hurt Jack more than he had to, it would be quicker, he could try to help Jack actually enjoy it perhaps...
He looked back at the spirit, knowing that he had made his choice, it might of been selfish, but he couldn't watch as they tortured Jack, he couldn't stand the thought of hearing the boy's screams and not being able to help him, Jack would at least be safe in his arms, where they couldn't touch him and he just had to hope that Jack wouldn't completely hate him afterwards.
"I'll... I'll do it" he sighed, his ears flattening down in distress.
"Perfect" Spring smirked at him.
Jack lay on his bed in his room at the North Pole, curled up on his side hugging his staff to his body and desperately trying to keep the fear from overwhelming him. Bunny had left to speak to Spring yesterday and still hadn't come back, it surely shouldn't have taken this long should it? The Equinox was only a mere twelve hours away and Jack didn't know what he would do if Bunny didn't come back in time, he had spent the last half a day in his room so North wouldn't be concerned by his behaviour. Jack didn't want to cause him trouble as well as Bunny, besides it was probably best that he tried to rest before tomorrow morning, knowing what was to come.
But how was he suppose to sleep when every time he closed his eyes all he could do was remember the Equinox, what they had done to him in the past. Remembering the way it felt when they had burnt him with their warmer magic, when they had forced their way into his body with cocks, fingers, tentacles and an array of different body parts. They had cut him, stabbed him, crushed him, stretched him, there had been a very unpleasant time where one plant like creature had placed their hands around his throat and as they choked him sharp small roots grew forth and burrowed into his skin and spread out along his body ripping through flesh.
Another time a Water Nymph had discovered that he was quite terrified of drowning, and personally enjoyed waterboarding him. Jack had always been uneasy being in deep water and now that he had his memories and understood his fear the prospect of being forced to feel like he was drowning again made the fear pull at his chest and his eyes water with unshed tears
He bit back a sob and curled into a tighter ball, where was Bunny? Why hadn't he come back yet? What would he do if he didn't come back? The fear grew even more, what if Bunny wasn't coming back? What if he had only said he was going to help, if he didn't come back Jack would have to go to the Ritual tomorrow morning, alone. Then there would be nothing from stopping them from hurting him, just like they did every year and he would be powerless to stop it. It never mattered what he did, if he tried to fight back they'd simply laugh at him while they tortured him and if he did nothing at all but lay boneless on the stone table trying to separate his mind from what was happening and just hoped it would be over soon they would become angry with his lack of response and hurt him more to get him to scream.
Bunny had been gone too long, he just had to accept it that the Pooka wasn't coming back before morning. At this single thought Jack felt a burst of power as he sobbed, hearing the crunch under his weight and feeling his once soft sheets becoming cold and hard his eyes shot open. Seeing that he had frozen his bed he sat up on to his knees, watering eyes surveying the damage, the bed was completely covered in a fair amount of ice, he sighed and scrubbed his hands over his face. He had to calm down, it wouldn't do any good to freeze everything in sight, for one North might get mad and two if he got too wound up he'd freeze himself. But maybe that would be a good thing, he'd like to see them try to get him if he was frozen into a block of ice. They'd probably just get the Snow Queen to get him out, damn bitch always handing him over. She was a lot older than he was, why couldn't she be the damned Spirit of Winter, he knew that she and Old Man Winter had chosen him to represent their season because they didn't want to deal with the more unpleasant things that came along with the title.
More ice appeared around where he sat on the bed, rising up in small sharp points like daggers. Jack hugged his staff close to his chest, he had to try to calm down, the wind was already banging at the windows in reaction to his distress. Taking a few deep breaths he tried to claw back control as the ice stopped moving and growing and he let out an annoyed huff looking at the mess he had made.
The door creaked open quietly "Frostbite?" Bunny appeared around the door and softly closed it behind him.
"Bunny!" Jack breathed out in relief, gliding off from the iced bed to stand in front of the Pooka "You came back" he said quietly with his eyes shining brightly and a gentle smile on his face. Remembering that he had cried he turned his head away and quickly rubbed at his eyes "I was starting to think you wouldn't"
Bunny slipped off a bag made from soft looking brown fabric from his shoulder and rested it on the floorboards behind him then lowered his body to sit. "I found Spring" he started gently, his green eyes shining with an emotion Jack couldn't place and his mouth turned down into a frown.
"And? What did he say?" Jack asked cautiously, suddenly thrown off by how gentle Bunny was being. His breathing unconsciously becoming slightly faster, he caught himself however before his powers could act up and stood awaiting the news clenching the staff.
Bunny watched him for a moment "Jack... Spring wants us to go through the Ritual together" he said carefully, and the moment that the words were out there in the open the temperature in the room plummeted.
Clutching his staff tight to his chest and eyes widening in fear "What?" Jack whimpered.
Bunny hopped a step closer to the boy, his nose twitching "Spring gave me a choice an"
Jack cut him off before he could continue, his eyes taking on a sharp and dangerous look "So what? He gave you a chance to join in and you took it? I thought we were friends!" he hissed tears welling up despite his anger and frost quickly growing out from where he stood.
The Pooka winced as his ears flattened down "Mate it ain't like that.."
"Then tell me Bunny, what is it like? Because from where I'm standing it looks a fucking lot like you've just agreed to help them, that makes you even worse than they are! You promised me you would help!" he held his staff lower, in a more threatening position that was a sure sign to stay back "I was so stupid! I actually thought that maybe for once someone would help me! But you're just as bad as all of them! I was an idiot to think that someone would want to help me" his face twisted into a snarl as he glared towards the other being.
Bunny took a calming breath, knowing that it wouldn't do any good to get upset at the boy now of all times "Jack, just listen to me, Spring has agreed that I can be there with you... I can help"
The furious look in Jack's icy blue eyes reminded him so much of the last Winter Spirit, the one Bunny had never bothered trying to help. "How can you possibly help! How is agreeing to rape me helping?!" the frost that had spread in a widening area around the boy suddenly leaped forward, large and lethal looking spikes of solid ice appearing between them and Bunny stepped back in fear of being struck by them.
Jack stared at the spikes for a moment with wide eyes filled with painful emotion, knowing that his powers were getting out of control but too upset to care and add to the unhelpfulness the Wind was howling at the window. He turned his body to look behind him, wanting suddenly to be not here and in her embrace.
Bunny had begun making his way gently around the ice spikes closer to the boy "Mate, please just listen, please"
"No!" Jack whipped around to face him as he realised the other Guardian was getting closer and as he did he had swung his staff carelessly in his hands shooting a large charge of bright blue power at the Pooka. Luckily Bunny managed to leap out of the way as the attack hit the floor and spread ice where he had just been standing.
Jack gasped, realising what he had just done. He could have seriously injured Bunny, he brought his staff back level with his chest as he stared at it. No wonder nobody ever tried to help him, who would want to help a stupid kid who couldn't even control his own powers? Glancing back at the ice that could have been a deadly attack tears began to freely run down his face, freezing as they did.
Bunny who had recovered from the shock of Jack lashing out watched him as he turned around and faced the window, a sign that from experience he knew meant that the boy was going bolt and he leapt forward as Jack flew towards the window and what would be his escape, he couldn't let the boy go, not when there was cruel Spring creatures that wanted him.
He grabbed hold of his shoulders and brought them both down to the floor with a crash "Let me go!" Jack wailed, the tears running unabashedly now they had started. He tried shifting under the strong being's hold but was effectively pinned down on his front roughly against the floor "Bunny get off of me right now!" he sobbed and then growled through the tears "The fuck are you trying to do?! Get your hands on me for a starter before tomorrow!?"
"I'll let ya go when you've bloody listened to me!" Bunny growled, keeping the struggling boy down where he couldn't move or attack, the staff a few feet away where it had been dropped during the scuffle. "Now look, Spring gave me a choice they would either going to hurt you and not let me interfere, or I can help" he breathed, trying to hold back his emotions "I promise they won't hurt you"
After a few more struggles Jack calmed a little "... They... you really won't let them get me?" he choked on his tears and sniffled.
"I swear on Easter, I won't let them touch ya" he loosened his grip on the boy as he continued "That wanker Spring he's a nasty piece of work but I trust 'im ta keep his word, he'll keep himself and the rest of them away from ya if we do the Ritual together" seeing that Jack seemed to be actually considering his words as he lay beneath his body not fighting he added "Now I'm gunna let ya up, alright?" He slowly lifted his furry body off the smaller form of the Winter Spirit, hoping that he wasn't about to get a face full of ice for his trouble.
Jack sat up with him and slowly shifted around, so that they were both sitting on the floor facing each other, and Bunny didn't need to be the Guardian of Hope to feel it practically seeping from the youth as he scrubbed a sleeve covered hand over his face "You... you really promise I won't be hurt?"
Bunny's ears twitched where they rested flat "We still have to perform the ritual itself" he sighed, thinking of how that would hurt the boy, not only the act of forcing himself on him but then the painful act of extracting the magic from him. "But I swear it won't be any more than what's necessary, I don't wanna hurt ya mate, just let me help ya, we'll do this together and get it over with" he pleaded, his green eyes looking imploringly to Jack's watering blue ones. Then he added as an after thought "I even got some magic chocolate, it'll help it with the pain"
Jack's eyes lowered from his "They really won't touch me...?" he whispered.
"I promise, if any of those fuckers even dare ta try I'll break their hands" Bunny smiled, his mouth twitching up into a grin, a show of false bravado.
Jack's eyes raised to meet his again and his head tilted to the side a little, after a long, drawn out moment where he seemed to be trying to judge the Pooka's sincerity, he gave a small nod "...Ok... I trust you" he said, not finding any fault in Bunny's words, and really what choice did he have? But if Bunny could honestly make it better, he would do it.
Bunny smiled back and then paused noticing the way the boy swayed and the darkness around his eyes "Ya best get some sleep Frostbite"
At this Jack gave a small forced and pained laugh "I can't" he spoke out bitterly "That's what happens when I try" he nodded to where his bed stood, still frozen over.
Bunny nodded and stood up "Ya lucky I've got just the thing for that" he said, standing up and making his way around the ice to where he had left his bag, after opening it and digging through for a moment he pulled out a little leather pouch "Straight from Sandy himself, ya should talk him inta givin ya some whenever possible, comes real in handy" he turned around to see Jack standing, the smile still on his face. "Come on now Frostbite, its way past ya bedtime" he spoke playfully, nodding towards the bed.
Jack floated over smoothly and laid down, paying no mind to the ice and frost grew on his face as Bunny ruffled his frozen spiked hair fondly before dusting his head with the sand, and within seconds he was fast asleep.
so a shorter chapter this time :3
I'm loving the great amount of response I'm getting to this story! Its super uplifting and really encourages me to write :3
next time we'll get to the actual ritual itself! Till then my lovelies!
Jack stared out of the window of his room at the North Pole, looking out over the frozen landscape as he waited. He turned his head to glance at the clock on the wall to his side for the twenty-seventh time in the last fifteen minutes. There was only a little over an hour until sunrise, when the Spring Equinox was due to begin.
"Ya ready to go mate?" Bunny asked as he quietly entered the room, pushing the door shut behind him.
Jack gave him a forced smile "No" he said, and truthfully he wasn't, he never wanted to go to the Equinox again for the rest of his immortal life. Bunny opened his mouth to speak but Jack cut him off "No... let's just go, it's driving me crazy waiting around here" he sighed, knowing nothing that the Pooka could say would make him feel any better.
"Ok, Frostbite" Bunny murmured and tapped his foot on the wooden floor and brought forth a tunnel which he jumped down into first. Jack took a deep breath and followed, clutching his staff tightly to his chest. They travelled in silence, Bunny running and Jack flying along side and the Pooka tried multiple times to come up with something to say to ease the situation but each time came up with nothing and by the way the younger Guardian was purposely not looking at him he supposed he didn't want to talk anyway.
Bunny jumped out of the hole first, his long ears twitching back as he listened to Jack landing softly right behind him. He sucked in a deep breath and stood up straight as his eyes traveled across the scene. They stood in an opening amongst the trees of a deep forest, the light of the near sunrise just peeking through the thick trees overhead. All manner of Spring creatures stood around, the large gathering all watching the two new arrivals and where the crowd parted in the centre of the circle stood Spring himself, a horrible smirk upon his face from where he stood beside a stone table.
The season spirit walked leisurely through the other beings until he stood in front of Bunny, a brow raised "You came then" he stated, the same unpleasant grin still there.
Jack shrunk behind him, as if trying to stay away from prying eyes "I did, I said I would" Bunny spoke firmly, not wanting to show just how defeated he felt.
Spring's smirk grew and his head tilted to the side "And hello Winter, how pleasant to see you again" his sparkling white teeth showing between his lips.
Bunny glared at the Spirit in front of him while listening to the quickening breathing of the one behind him "Spring, I'm gonna ask ya one last time, please leave him alone, he don't-" Bunny hadn't been able to finish as Spring's eyes sharpened.
"We are not here to talk, we made a deal and if you won't hold up your end I won't hold mine" he growled, annoyed at the Easter Bunny trying to ruin his fun. The magic vines that had attacked before grew from the ground, wrapping around Bunny's limbs and holding him in place as Spring stepped forwards and snatched Jack by the arm from behind him.
"Bunny!" Jack cried as he was torn away from his friend, clutching his staff to him but not trying to fight back again the older seasonal, he knew better than that, he knew what happened when he tried to fight back against them and he certainly didn't want Spring angered more than he already was.
"Frostbite!" Bunny hissed, his muscles straining against the magical plants then his green eyes pierced Springs "Ya better let 'im go!"
Spring grabbed the Winter Spirit's staff away from him and tossed it behind him where it was grabbed by one of the other beings, a small mirthful cheer as they took the precious item. He held Jack against his chest and curled around the smaller body, his arms wrapping around the stiff Guardian's waist and rested his chin on his shoulder, the nasty smirk playing on his lips. "Such familiarity! How sweet" he cooed and then turned his face and nuzzled Jack's cold neck "And why should I let him go? I told you what would happen if you didn't do as I pleased so you can just stay there now while I have my fun" his tongue came out and licked a line up Jack's neck and he pressed his hips more firmly against the boy's backside.
"... N-no" Jack gasped his breath becoming stressed and tears building in his clear blue eyes, his fists clenched from where they were stiffly held by his sides. "Y-ou .. promised..." he whimpered.
"Oh? What did he promise then Winter?" Spring asked, a hand grabbed a hold of Jack's white hair and yanking his head back, their faces close together he continued "Did he promise he would stop me? That I wouldn't touch you again? Well guess what? He can't stop me" he purred, dragging his tongue across Jack's lips. The boy's face scrunched up and he kept his mouth closed in a tight line until a green spark burst from the hand locked in his hair, the pain making him gasp out and loosen his jaw. Spring pushed his tongue inside and swirled it around the cold mouth, his other hand sliding down the boy's body to roughly grab at him between his legs.
"Don't touch 'im!" Bunny yelled, jarring his shoulder painfully as he fought against his bonds and he bared his teeth viciously.
Spring's eyes locked onto his as he continued to forcefully kiss the boy, the corners of his mouth tilted up in a smug expression while Jack had begun to shiver with fear against him. A thin line of saliva still connecting them as Spring finally pulled back, still holding Jack's hair with one hand and rubbing his groin with the other.
"What are you going to do about it? Oh great Easter Bunny" he mocked, watching Bunny's eyes tighten as he casually rocked his hips against Jack from behind.
Bunny saw Jack staring at him, eyes terrified as a few tears slipped out silently. "I... I.."
Spring gave a loud pretentious sigh "This is boring, I know what will liven things up" he smiled like a cat that had cornered a mouse. "He's all yours!" he called, twisting his body around and shoving Jack hard to the other Spring beings. The nearest creatures in the gathering grabbed a hold of the boy and pulled him into their mob, laughing boisterously, too many hands all grabbing at him and Bunny watched as the mob quickly tore the boys clothes from his thin frame, the laughing increasing as Jack screamed.
"Stop it! Stop it! Fine!... You win" Bunny relented, his struggling stopped and he hung limply where he was held, bright green eyes wide and shining.
Spring at first did nothing apart from raise one brow and smile at him, if Bunny hadn't know better it would seem a genuinely friendly one, the seasonal just smiled at him like he had known this would happen, and of course he did the bastard had been playing with them the whole time, just like a predator before it finally gets bored and goes in for the kill. "Unhand him" he commanded,and instantly at his words the creatures that had been holding and touching Jack let him go, more sniggers coming from the crowd. There was a particularly loud giggle, disturbingly like the happy sounds of a small child and small Sprite roughly pushed Jack forwards with strength that seemed wrong for its small body.
Jack stumbled a few steps forward, his eyes firmly on the ground at his feet and not looking at anyone else, especially not Bunny, and the Pooka couldn't help but feel deeply disturbed by just how submissive Jack was to them, Jack the Guardian of Fun that never stopped playing around, the one who had helped to defeat Pitch Black, Jack who never gave up when he was determined enough.
"Well Winter, you know your place" Spring grinned, glancing over at the boy and then back to the other Guardian. Jack nodded stiffly and then slowly walked over to the stone table, sitting down on it and drawing his legs up to his chest with his ankles crossed trying to cover himself, giving nervous sideward glances at the other beings.
Spring spoke to Bunny "Go on then, this is what you wanted, after all" he drawled, his bright teeth gleaming.
Bunny took some deep breaths as he tried to restrain himself from smashing the seasonal in the face with a boomerang, oh it was so tempting just to leap on the fucker and make him regret every single year he had hurt Jack. His eyes tightened with fury as he leaned closer to the Spirit "I'll make ya pay for this"
Spring merely grinned wider at him, making it just that much harder to resist punching the bastard right in his smug face. Oh Bunny would find him, once this whole ordeal was over and Jack was safe and looked after, he would track Spring down and beat him to within an inch of his life. Looking away from the seasonal, he turned to the stone table and slowly made his way over walking tall, ignoring all the stifled giggles and jeers. He was far older than all the other beings here and he refused to be to belittled by them or show himself up no matter how much he wanted to pummel them into the ground. Jack's eyes glanced at him as he came to stand beside the table and dropped the leather bag to the ground before flicking back down to the stone he sat on quickly.
"Hey Frostbite" Bunny greeted gently.
Jack made an uncommitted sound and then slowly stretched his legs out then lowering his body until his back rested on the stone. Only once he lay flat on the hard surface did he look up, his large worried eyes meeting the other Guardian's "Hey Cottontail" Jack uttered quietly, a white brow raising in a show of fake confidence.
Bunny took a breath to steady himself before slowly climbing on the table where he held himself on his paws above the boy's prone form. After some whistles and calls from the creatures watching them intently Bunny lowered his body down further so that he was almost laying on top of Jack without putting any weight on him, determined to hide Jack from their prying eyes.
"He likes a hard fucking!" one cried, an almost women like being with leaves as hair and branch like limbs smiling wickedly at them.
They started laughing again and another called out "Yeah! Ram him hard!
Jack shifted under Bunny, his head tilted to the side as he watched the creatures mocking them and a few whimpers escaped his throat.
Seeing his rising distress Bunny brought his face closer, resting on with his hands either side by the boy's head "Hey... hey now Jackie, it's gunna be fine, they ain't touchin ya anymore. We're gunna get through this together" he sniffed at Jack's face, his whiskers twitching softly against his skin and he prodded his nose to his forehead.
Jack glanced down at the almost nonexistent space between them, looking at his his own body laying bare below the Pooka's. The sight did nothing to ease his nerves and he glanced away ashamed "Sorry for getting you into this" he murmured quietly, so much that if Bunny didn't have his strong ears he was sure he would have missed it.
He sniffed his damp nose across Jack's face, from his forehead to his cheeks that were gaining a thick covering of frost and down to just under his chin "Ain't yer fault mate" he said, still nuzzling at his face.
"Tick tock, we're getting bored" the voice of Spring cut in and they both glanced to wear he was standing a few meters away from the table, arms folded with a dissatisfied look on his face. "You know what'll happen if I'm not entertained" he added threateningly.
At his presence Jack began to breathe erratically and a thin layer of frost travelled up from his chest to his throat "B-Bunny... don't let him touch me, please" he whimpered with his blue orbs locked on the annoyed Seasonal, eyes wild with deep fear.
Bunny curved his face around the Winter child's promptly blocking his view of Spring, snuffling against his ear. "I'm here, he ain't gonna touch ya, just ignore 'im" he moved one paw from its position by Jack's head and moved to gently rest on his shoulder "Jack, I need ya ta relax and just focus on me ya hear? Don't pay any attention ta them, can ya do that fer me?" The boy nodded stiffly and Bunny nuzzled at him again "Good, now we're gunna take this nice and slow ok"
The pooka gently ran his paw from Jack's shoulder down to his side, rubbing comfortingly at the flesh, after a few more moments of comforting him Bunny moved to lean over the side of the table, one paw reaching down and fumbling for a moment with his bag. The paw returned with two items, a small wooden pot that Bunny quietly placed on the edge of the table and something small wrapped in foil which he unwrapped to reveal a small chocolate.
"This'll help" he explained and brought it to Jack's lips, who made gave an accepting hum and took it into his mouth, chewing for a few moments then swallowing. After watching him finish the chocolate that would aid to relax his body as well as act as pain relief Bunny returned his paw back to its previous place stroking Jack's side. His paw ventured lower, stroking across the boy's thin stomach down to his hips. "Ya ok?" he questioned, his movements slowing, his fingers gently rubbing his hip bone.
Jack's eyes met his again from where they had looked away and he nodded, a small jerking movement. Keeping a close eye on the other's reactions Bunny moved his paw further down and lightly ran his fingers over Jack's limp penis. The Winter Spirit made a sound that caught in his throat and twitched but otherwise didn't object to the action so Bunny stroked him a bit firmer. Frost thickened across Jack's cheeks and Bunny rubbed soothingly at his shoulder while his other paw cautiously continued to stroke him until he was half erect, too uncomfortable to become fully hard. The Pooka moved his paw lower and gently palmed the boy's ballsack while his furry fingers softly ran between his cheeks to his anus.
At the light touch Jack's body stiffened again and frost grew slowly from where his fingers were clawing at the stone surface of the table. Deciding not to comment on it Bunny shifted and took up the small wooden pot that he had placed to one side, opening it to show a smooth waxy paste that he dipped his fingers into before gazing back down at the Winter Spirit who was watching him intently.
Placing the pot back down he spoke "Right Jackie, I'm gunna need ya ta open yer legs" shifting above to give him some room to move. Jack's blue eyes met his green for a moment before glancing away again, the frost on his face thickening and the crystallising pattern reaching just under his eyes yet he took a breath and parted his legs widely, his knees bent to allow the Pooka room. Returning his now slick fingers he gently rubbed the digits at the small opening and watched as the boys stomach muscles twitched at the sensation. He moved his paw forward and penetrated the tight ring of muscle with a thick finger, he crooked the digit to rub softly at his inner walls and spread the paste around.
Jack gasped as another finger entered and Bunny cast his eyes up to observe him but to his concern he found that Jack had his eyes clenched shut and his bottom lips bitten between his teeth, he took unsteady breaths that made his chest rise and fall sharply as his hands clenched and unclenched.
The movements of his fingers halted "Jack, ya doin' ok there mate?" he asked and when Jack didn't respond immediate he leaned back down to his face and touched his nose to the lad's forehead.
Jack's bright eyes opened to Bunny's gentle touches and snuffles "I'm trying not to freeze you..." he whimpered, his breaths coming in a stuttering pattern and his face tight with discomfort "I've spent so long trying to fight this it's hard to stop"
Bunny frowned and continued to run his nose across the boys face, hoping to calm him a little, whiskers twitching soothingly on his skin. Bunny wasn't human and he wasn't very good at comforting people in general. But he knew that Pooka's calmed easily when they were snuffled at and nuzzled, this was something he could do and he could only hope that it would aid to comfort his fellow Guardian. After a few more moments he pushed in another finger and began to slowly thrust them in and out all the while listening to the boy's unsteady breathing and slight whimpers.
One of the Pooka's long ears twitched to the side as the sound of footsteps through the leaf litter on the ground was to be heard and a twig snapped. Both he and Jack turned their gaze to where Spring stood a little closer to the table than before, his green eyes watching fascinated at the scene before him and he leaned his weight on the staff in his hands, Jack's staff that he had taken off one of the other beings.
At the sight Jack's baby blues widened in fear, his breathes catching and hitching in his throat and he began to struggle lightly under his friend's form. His feet pushing against the stone table and his hands grabbing at the fur of Bunny's shoulders.
"He's got my staff! I can't fight him without my staff! Please Bunny I don't want him inside me again!" the boy sobbed, a few tears escaping and running only to be frozen as icy tracks along his face.
The hand that wasn't currently still between pale legs came up and took hold of Jack's chin, turning his face away from looking at the Spring Spirit, once again nuzzling his face to the other's. "Jack listen ta me, he ain't gunna touch ya, I'm here"
Jack merely shook his head and gave a low whine and began to hyperventilate, but his breaths kept catching in his throat, choking on nothing but his own fear.
"Frostbite" Bunny called softly yet stern, his paw curling around the boy's face to shield him from the other beings "You have to calm down" he uttered, gently nuzzingly as Jack continued to weakly push him off, ice starting to bite at his skin from where it had travelled along the table under them "Now, yer gunna breathe with me, alright?" he lowered his body so that his chest was resting flush against Jack's, not enough that it would cause discomfort but so his presence and breathing could be sensed.
Bunny breathed in deeply "In" holding the air for a few seconds before releasing "Out" he spoke before repeating "In... Out" after a few times Jack repeated the pattern and after a while he calmed, releasing his hands from their death grip on Bunny's fur to lay weakly beside him. "That's a good boy" the Pooka cooed softly. Jack rubbed his face into Bunny's as the Pooka continued to nudge his nose at him, trying to return the gestures.
He snuffled at the Winter Spirit "Good, that's good Frostbite, now if ya can just keep breathin' just like that" he removed his paw from between the boy's legs and instead rubbed between his own legs, trying to stimulate himself enough for his member to drop down from its sheath. It took a few long moments due to his own distress the tenseness he sensed rolling off the younger Guardian. Yet the feel of a bare body beneath his own and the pleasant familiar scent of Spring all around them was enough to arouse him sufficiently. Bunny once again reached for the pot of paste and scooped out a small amount before reaching down to his newly exposed penis and layering it onto his hot flesh.
Jack was keeping up his steady breaths as Bunny parted his legs a little more and settled his hips down comfortably between the Winter Spirit's thighs. As the Pooka firmly pushed in Jack clutched at his shoulders with a gasp, grey fur caught between his long thin fingers. Bunny huffed and wrapped his arms under the boy's back, holding him protectively pressed against his body and began to very slowly rock his hips back and forth.
The Winter Spirit let out a couple of soft high pitched whines at the first movements that were muffled as he hid his face against his friend's neck, his jaw held tightly and teeth grinding but after a few more pushes his grip on the Pooka's fur lessened.
"How ya doin' there mate?" Bunny asked quietly, leaning back slightly so he could see the other's face, shiny blue orbs raised to catch his and Jack's face contorted in some confusion.
"...It doesn't hurt...?" he whispered, carefully shifting his pelvis a little.
Bunny smirked at him, shifting one paw from the boy's back down to take ahold of his hip. "Nah, told ya you'd be fine, just keep relaxed" he snuffled at Jack's neck as he used his grip on Jack's hip to pull him against hia own hips, cautiously thrusting a little faster. He was surprised how honestly good the Spirit's body felt under and around his, he was of the season Bunny disliked the most and he was nothing but skin and bones, yet his skin was silky and smooth and though his body was cold it wasn't so much to cause any real discomfort. Jack pushed his head back against the table, small gasps escaping his pale lips with each steady thrust.
"Good, that's good mate" Bunny huffed, pumping his length in and out of the boy giving out soft sounds below him and feeling his cock growing harder where it was caught between their bodies.
"F-feels good" Jack mewled, biting his down on his bottom lip and at the encouragement Bunny thrusted faster, pulling the boy's pelvis into his movements, changing the angle his cock hit inside. "Ah!" he cried out and his long legs stretching to wrap around the Pooka's hips.
At the sound a small burst of laughter erupted from the crowd who had been quiet for the most part with only a couple of stifled giggles and low murmurs. Jack's eyes shot up to gaze at them, the fear returning within his baby blues.
"Jack, don't look at them just keep-" Bunny was cut off from his attempt to sooth the Spirit as a young Water Nymph pushed her way through the crowd, apparently wanting a better view of the show and came to stand in the front, only a few steps behind Spring.
Upon seeing her Jack's body seized up and the sound of cracking ice was to be heard as it grew down the length of the stone table and reached to touch the forest floor. "She's going to drown me, please don't, please don't let her get me, I can't.. . I can't do it again, Bunny I can't see the Moon and I'm going to drown!" he wailed, beginning to try to fight and escape again. Bunny pushed their hips down forcefully and effectively pinned Jack's lower body down to the table then he grabbed ahold of the boy's hands as they fought to push him off and held them down under his.
"Aww, isn't he precious?" Spring jeered, and again there was laughter at his prompt. "You want us to play our new favourite game? You want to play Winter waterboarding?" he cooed, a face splitting grin in place.
Jack began openingly sobbing as he fought and Bunny's head snapped around to glare at the other Seasonal "That's enough" he growled.
Spring frowned at him "Lighten up, it's just a bit of fun. Maybe that's why your people died out, always being such prudes" he sniggered.
Bunny growled again and swallowed down a barrage of angry words that fought to be released, clenching his paws in a manner that accidentally made Jack cry out as he continued to try to buck Bunny off of him.
He was going to fucking beat that arsehole into the ground and when he was finished that smarmy bastard wouldn't even have the teeth left to give that sickening smile, first he was going to smash his teeth out for insulting the Pookas, then he was going to smash every bone in the Spirit's body for every time he had ever hurt Jack. He turned his attention back down to the boy who was weeping, large tears running and freezing, coating his face in even more ice.
He prodded his nose to Jack's face, huffing breath in a soothing way that had always calmed Pooka kits. "Jackie, mate, shhh, it's ok" he murmured to the terrified Spirit.
"Come on rabbit fuck him harder! We want him to scream!" one of the crowd yelled, who in particular Bunny couldn't tell, not once taking his eyes off Jack's face as his breathing became nothing but sharp quick frightened beats, beginning to hyperventilate again.
The crowd began laughing and cheering in earnest, doing nothing but aid the growing terror in the Winter Spirit. Bunny finally wrapped his arms tightly around Jack's body and clasped his paws down on his ears to muffle the sound. Nuzzling and snuffling at his face he started his steady thrusts again, deciding that this had gone on long enough and the sooner they finished the sooner he could get Jack somewhere safe and quiet. After a while Jack's breathing eased a little and he gave out small whines that Bunny hoped weren't entirely caused by fear.
When he began shyly pushing his hips into the thrusts Bunny took it as a sign to move faster, grunting gently as he did so.
Jack pressed his face to Bunny's copying his nuzzingly and whispered through a tearful voice "Don't stop"
Increasing the speed until their hips were meeting a fast pace Bunny let out a soft moan in response to Jack's mewls as he writhed against the table and he snuffled against the boy's iced cheek. Jack turned his face and licked at Bunny's mouth pleadingly, catching him off guard. Pooka's didn't kiss each other, they snuffled and nuzzled, however Bunny had experienced kissing humanoid spirits in the past and Jack clearly wanted it, and he was willing to do anything to make the situation easier on the younger Guardian. So he caught Jack's mouth with his own, tongue venturing out to gently stroke at Jack's gently until it lifted and he swept his own under, twining their tongues together.
Gasping and crying out into his mouth Jack's legs tightened around his waist and clutched at his shoulders. His cock twitching between them as he orgasmed and covered both their stomachs with chilled cum. Giving his own few grunts Bunny thrusted deeply a few more times before he found his own release and shot against Jack's clenching walls.
Panting they separated mouths as they came to a stop, Bunny using the time to look over Jack. His eyes still sparkled brightly with unshed tears but he had stopped crying some time ago, a shy smile gracing his lips and his eyes shined, brightly, very brightly in fact. To Bunny's surprise the boy's eyes were now glowing, pure power swirling within. He was about to question it when he heard someone clearing their throat and both of them looked up to see Spring standing now beside the table and holding out a blade.
The Pooka's stomach dropped, oh Moon, how did he forget about this. Swallowing down the bile suddenly choking his throat he gently lifted his body off of the Winter Spirit, his limp penis slipping out of Jack and back into his own sheath. He reached out with a shaking paw and took the dagger out of the Seasonal's hand and he sat perched above the boy still laying limply on the table.
He stilled, looking over the item for a long silent moment, the wickedly sharp blade gleamed up at him awfully as if mocking him and he noted along the wooden handle there was carved four symbols, a snowflake, a flower, a sun and a leaf.
His eyes flicked down to Jack's, who was silently watching him, his power filled eyes watching intently. Bunny remembered the screams the last Winter Spirit had let out when Spring had stabbed this very blade down into his chest, then watching him trying to freeze over the open wound in his chest, the look of pain and hatred in his icy eyes.
But this was Jack, the youngest Guardian that had sneaked his way into all their hearts, the annoying larrikin that was like a kit brother to him, the boy with his smarmy words and his endearing ways that made the Pooka want to protect him and never let him be alone ever again. He couldn't do this, he couldn't hurt Jack.
"I... mate I can't..." he uttered. The young Guardian seemed to think differently as he without a word reached up and clasped both hands around the paw that held the weapon and brought it down to his own chest before releasing and letting his hands lay by his sides.
Bunny swallowed again before looking away from the blade and to the eyes that were watching him "... close yer eyes" he murmured, not wanting Jack to have the memory of watching his friend plunge a knife into his chest. The boy merely nodded and did as requested, although the grinding of his teeth and the way his hands were held in tight fists showed his distress. Taking a deep breath Bunny held the dagger between both paws and quickly thrust down, piercing deeply into the centre of the Spirit's chest. Jack's body spasmed under him, his head throat back and his mouth open in a silent scream. His eyes shot open glowing a brilliant golden light, so bright that it was almost blinding and a matching light emitted from around the blade in his chest. The same rush of power Bunny had come to know every Spring flooded through his chest, almost choking him with how powerful it felt right at this moment.
He quickly yanked the dagger out making the boy give a pained whimper and he chucked it to the forest floor away from them.
"Well, that's over with, on to the feast!" Spring called, prompting cheers from the crowd which begun to calmly move off to through the trees and to another part of the forest leaving only the Seasonal Spirit himself. He twirled Jack's staff in his hands thoughtfully for a moment before dropping it to the ground and picked up the dagger, examining the iced blood that coated the blade. "That was certainly quite a show! I'm glad you didn't disappoint" he chuckled, crossing his arms loosely across his muscled chest and simply watched the pair for a moment "Well this was fun, till next year Winter" he smirked, bidding his farewell and then disappearing through the thick trees to join the other beings.
Bunny growled watching him leave, his whiskers twitched and his ears perked up as his attention turned back to the Spirit laying deathly still beneath him. "Jack?" he called quietly and when he got no reply he tried again "Frosty?" but again no sound came forth. Jack's eyes were shut and his skin paler than usual, dark circles around his eyes and his lips blue. Green eyes moved down to the lad's chest where the blade had created a deep wound yet only a few trickles of blood ran across the pale skin and Bunny gently touched his paw to the injury giving out a sad whine, hating the angry looking bright red flesh around the opening and wanting it to instantly be gone, why wasn't it freezing over?
Glancing back his face and again to his chest a horrible idea arose in his mind, and as he watched for any reaction it grew. Was Jack even breathing? He looked like death itself! His strong ears twitched forwards and confirmed that yes Jack was indeed breathing.
"Frostbite!" he called, much louder this time and took a hold of the boy's shoulder to give him a shake.
"What... Kangaroo? Can't you see I'm trying to hibernate over here..." Jack breathed out, appearing as if he wanted to be angry but simply not having the energy for it, his words mere whispers. His eyes slid open to reveal the brightness from before had gone, only leaving dull pain and tiredness in its place.
Bunny let out a sigh of relief and then stood up off the table and grabbing the bag on the ground "Ya can rest after we get ya sorted mate" he replied, taking out a cloth and a leather water canteen before placing the bag on the table beside Jack's leg. He poured a little of the water onto the cloth and then set to work to clean the Winter Spirit up, gently wiping away ice and still wet tear tracks from his face and then moving down his tired body removing any trace of blood, semen or paste.
As he gently wiped at Jack's red and used hole the boy muttered "Not now Cottentail... later" he yawned, and Bunny paused, huh, that was interesting, Jack was barely awake and didn't seem to be very aware of what he was muttering. What did he mean by later? He actually wanted Bunny to touch him again? No, must of just been the exhaustion getting to him.
Dropping the cloth back into the bag he brought the canteen to Jack's lips and held a paw underneath his head to support him "Come on, Frostbite drink this" he encouraged, and Jack managed a few sips as Bunny gently wiped away any drops that escaped away with his soft fingers. He gently rested the younger Guardian's head back on the table and replaced the items back in the bag and pulled out the last item he had packed, a soft brown woolen blanket.
Bunny glanced down at the boy and then to his chest, no more blood had come up but it was still open and exposed "Frosty, do ya think ya could ice this over?" he asked, gently touching just underneath the wound.
Jack's head shifted from side to side weakly "You're not the boss of me... dumb Bunny..." he whined. Bunny let out a sigh, Jack didn't seem with it enough to help himself, well at least he wasn't going to bleed to death or anything. He placed the blanket over the body and tucked it under him, effectively bundling him up in the soft material. The Pooka turned and walked around the area, silently gathering up Jack's staff and his clothes, which amazing hadn't been torn when they were pulled from his body, he tucked the clothes into the bag and the staff under the strap of his Bandolier. He slung the bag over his shoulder and then scooped Jack up carefully, supporting the Spirit's head on his chest and one arm around his shoulders the other under his knees.
Tapping his foot to the leaf covered ground he summoned a tunnel and with one last look around this cursed place he jumped down.
Bunny ran down a tunnel as fast as he could while holding Jack to him with one arm and using the other to help propel his body forward. Jack's arms had wriggled out of his blanket cocoon and wrapped themselves around the Pooka's neck, weakly holding on to aid the arm wrapped around his back. They were heading towards the North Pole, at first Bunny had considered taking Jack back to the Warren to let him recover and then decided against it. Even though he would have preferred to look after the young Winter Spirit in his home where he could take care of him and not let anyone hurt him anymore Jack would most likely be more comfortable in the room he had gotten used to calling home since he had first become a Guardian and Bunny feared that the Warren would prove to be too uncomfortably warm for the cold loving boy. That and he figured Jack wouldn't want to be near anything Spring related at the moment anyway.
Jack had been drifting in and out of consciousness as they traveled but at the moment seemed a little more lucid than before, which Bunny had taken as only a good sign. The boy's arms tightened around the Pooka's neck "Stop, put me down" he gurgled, his face pressed tight to Bunny's throat and puffing out icy breaths.
Bunny quickly came to a halt and adjusted his hold to lower Jack to the soft earthen ground of the tunnel "What's the matter?" he demanded as his paw fluttered nervously over the boy's frame, unsure of what to do, he tugged the blanket down to view the injury in Jack's chest. The gouge glistened up at him in the dim light of the tunnel, drops of frosted blood sluggishly trailed down the youth's torso. Jack twisted his body to lay on his side with the blanket wrapped around his lower body, his hands clawing at the dark warm earth and coming away with handfuls of the stuff. He choked out a rough cough and then a mix of icy slush and water erupted from his pale lips pooling in front of his face. Bunny rubbed his back soothingly as he continued to heave, his body shaking until he had finished leaving him weak and out of breath. The Pooka's paw gently stroked through his snow white hair the moved down his face to carefully lift his chin so he could see the boy, handling him as if he was made of the delicate frost he made.
Jack's eyes glanced to his briefly "Mmm... Bunny I don't... I don't feel good" he uttered as his eyes slipping closed from pure exhaustion.
"I know Frostbite. Yer gunna be fine, we'll get ya ta somewhere safe and you can sleep" Bunny soothed, his thumb softly stroking the young boy's cheek where his paw was curled loosely around his jaw. "Gettin' ya back home ta the Pole" he added. Jack hummed and in agreement without any other comment and the lack of any smart retort was alone enough to make the older Guardian feel uncomfortable. He rearranged the blanket to fully cover him again before lifting the boy back into his arms and once again began traveling down the tunnel.
What would the others say when they saw Jack? Of course they would be concerned for the new Guardian but Bunny couldn't stop the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, what if they were mad at him? What if they hated him for what he had done to Jack? He was almost positive that once Jack had recovered and could think straight again he would be fearful of him but Bunny didn't know if he could bare it if his other friends hated him too. The Guardians were the first people that Bunny cared about since his race was destroyed and if they didn't want him with them anymore he wasn't sure what he would do. He'd be alone again.
Pushing back those thoughts in aid of focusing on Jack he continued running, the tunnel now climbing up and finally the darkness gave way to light as a hole formed. He leaped out of the newly appeared hole in the ground, clutching desperately to the limp body in his arms and he peered around at his surroundings. Damn, he had been slightly off with his calculations again and had remerged just down the hill from Santoff Clasen instead of inside of Jack's room as he had been aiming for.
"Nearly there, Jackie" he said softly to the mostly unresponsive Spirit in his arms and quickly made way towards the home of the Guardian of Wonder, all the while holding back loud curses as the deep snow froze his feet as not to discomfort Jack anymore.
On reaching the front entrance the Yeti standing guard took one look at the two Guardians before quickly opening the door and granting them access, she then yelled something down the hall to someone else who yelled back in equally confusing Yettis.
Bunny turned back to her once he had entered "North in his office?" he asked and she replied something he couldn't understand but made a show of nodding enthusiastically to make herself clear, he supposed he should really one day try to learn Yettish, but it was one of those things that he never saw the need for until it came to times like this and the same went for Tooth's little fairies.
Jack had once again gone worryingly silent although Bunny refused to think on that as he quickly made his way through the workshop and moved along in to North's residential wing where the jolly man's office was located.
Without a word of warning he barged open the heavy wooden door and came to a still in the centre of the office. North turned away from his latest ice toy he had been working on to most likely have to tell Phil once again about knocking but on seeing the Pooka all words that may of been died in his throat, deep blue eyes glanced down to the small form in the older Guardian's arms.
"Jack!" he shrilled and letting out no less than seven Russian profanities, striding over quickly and looking over the boy in a panicked state. He tilted the boy's head back with a meaty finger from where it was slumped against the furry chest and growling out more profanities seeing him unresponsive. "Vhat happened?" he demanded from the Pooka without looking up at him.
Bunny's ears lowered to rest down on his head "Uh... that is... mate it's a long story... and I" he tripped over his words, holding Jack to him tighter as the man's battle roughened hands stroked the boy's face tenderly.
North's eyes flashed up to his with a dangerous look "Vhat happened Bunny?!" he snapped, his voice just bellow a yell.
"It was the Spring Equinox mate, the passing of the seasons, I knew how it was done but I swear on my best googies I had no idea Frostbite was involved in it"
The anger dulled momentarily "This is vhat you meant by taking pee out of winter? Spirits did this at Spring party?" he asked quietly and Bunny merely nodded in reply.
"Then we vill show them vhat happens when they hurt one of us!" the large man bellowed, one hand snatching one of his swords from his belt "We vill make them regret every tiny thing they have done to Jack, and when we are finished -"
"Stop yelling" a small voice spoke up and both older Guardian's attention was drawn to Jack's face, his expression tightened in discomfort but his eyes still closed.
"Mate, let's just get him taken care of then I'll tell ya everythin'" Bunny pleaded, his ears twitching with worry and holding back the strong urge to touch his nose to the boy's face and snuffle to soothe him.
North's face softened as he looked at Jack and nodded "You are right, Jack will be taken care of first then we go teach Spirits a lesson" he turned and walked towards the door, tucking away his sword and gesturing for Bunny to follow. Walking out into the corridor the large man called out "Dingle!" and from around a turn in the hallway two elves appeared looking eager, the creatures always just seemed to be roaming around the Pole although it was admittedly useful when something was needed. "Find Phil, tell him to send Auroras then come to Jack's room with medical kit" the two elves saluted him and scampered away, nearly tripping over each other in their haste to be useful.
"Yer gettin' Tooth and Sandy?" the Pooka questioned as he followed the once again moving man. He could understand why it was important, they would want to see Jack when they heard that he had been hurt and it was best for all of them to be together so they could plan out their next move but on the other hand Bunny didn't want anyone else knowing, he didn't want them to see what he had done to the boy, especially them out of all people. Sandy who with one stern look could make Bunny feel like a young kit being told off by an elder and Tooth with her large expressive violet eyes that showed so much emotion, he hated seeing her eyes fill up with tears or even worse when they turned into the sharp and unforgiving eyes of a queen.
They would all hate him when they found out what he had done.
"Dah. they must know what has happened" North grunted as he threw open the door to Jack's room and then moved aside to give Bunny room to walk in towards the bed.
"Alright Frosty, just gunna put ya down 'ere" he spoke gently, unsure if Jack was still listening or was unconscious again. When he was laid down on top of the soft duvet Jack gave a whimper and a small hand came out of the blanket cocoon to grasp onto the fur of Bunny's arm, looking down green eyes met glazed over blue "Come on, let go and we'll get yer sorted" he spoke rubbing a thumb on the back of the boy's hand trying to encourage him to release his grip. Jack glanced hazily over at North then hummed, letting go of the fur between his thin fingers and letting out a yawn, seemingly content now that he was somewhere safe he could sleep.
Running his paw over the ice stiff spikes of hair Bunny cooed "That's right, ya can sleep now" and Jack hummed again as he let his body settle down to rest.
The door opened to reveal Phil carrying the medical kit that had been requested, the large creature with no direction from North walked in and placed the kit on the bed beside Jack's still form and began sorting through its contents. North had asked him in not only as he was one of the Yetis with medical training but mostly because he and Jack got on well together and the Winter Spirit would probably feel better knowing a friend was there caring for him rather than an stranger.
Phil called out something over his shoulder while he prepared his equipment "Tooth and Sandy should be here soon" North translated for the Pooka then turned to look at his old friend with grave eyes "Bunny, why is he naked?" he asked, with the expression of a man who could already guess what the answer may be but needing confirmation all the same, no matter how much his heart didn't want to hear it.
so now the guardian's are coming together and Bunny will have to explain what happened, I really didn't like writing this chapter, it was so hard to get out and hopefully the next will be done much faster although I can't even start until next week after Expo (I'm cosplaying Jack aww yisss)
"Bunny, why is he naked?"
The Pooka looked up from Jack's resting form to gaze sadly at his oldest friend and his ears lowered to rest against his head "Like I said mate, it's a long story" he replied quietly and when the large man opened his mouth again he added "They didn't touch him, I made sure of it" this seemed to placate him a little, his long white beard waving as he nodded gently. Bunny reached down and carefully folded the blanket down the young Spirit's chest to reveal the wound "This is the only injury he's got an I don't think it's causing 'im any real danger, he's just exhausted"
North listened without comment and leaned over the side of the bed beside his friend to look over the still boy. The skin around the wound was bruised a deep blue colour and the puncture while deep did not bleed and from the way the boy's chest rose and fell calmly there was no damage to his lungs. He brought his hand to stroke at his beard deep in thought, there had to be some magic involved. His bright wonder filled eyes glanced his face, Jack seemed to be in a deep sleep for now so at least he wasn't in pain hopefully.
Phil spoke up from the other side of the bed attracting the attention of the two Guardians holding a prepared needle and thread, North rumbled in agreement "Yes I think stitching it shut is best" Phil muttered something before leaning over Jack and setting to work pushing the needle through the skin around the wounds edge and pulling the flesh back together, every movement performed with the utmost care and precision. When the procedure was finished and the thread tied off North turned to Bunny "Hold him up" he instructed.
Bunny moved in and gently slid his muscled arms under Jack's thin shoulders and slowly lifted him up into a sitting position, allowing North and Phil to start on wrapping bandages around the boy's chest. As they worked frost bloomed under their fingers, curling under and around the bandages and freezing them to the boy's skin.
"Vhat is going on?" North questioned watching the hoarfrost grow from the boy's chest up his throat and along his face, coating his cheeks and only adding to the deathly appearance of his ash white and blue skin.
Bunny cringed as the ice spread over his fingers and entangled itself into the fur of his paws. "No idea mate, but the larrikin better stop soon before I get frostbite" he huffed, shifting his grip on Jack's shoulders. Both grunting North and Phil sped up their efforts and soon Jack's chest was wrapped and with some teamwork they pulled the bed sheets down from under the youth while Bunny held him up, pulling the woollen blanket from him as he was tucked in to bed.
After a silent moment of watching the boy sleep and frost spread over the bed sheets and pillows in random patterns Bunny spoke up "So how long til Sandy an' Tooth get here?" he asked, crossing his fury arms across his chest and looking from the boy to North.
"Soon to be arriving any time now" he replied, judging by how quickly he knew his friends could arrive from in the past when summoned. He turned his head sharply to look to Phil who was yelling out something in loud and confusing Yettish and frantically pointing behind him and Bunny. "Vhat? Vhat is it now?" he demanded. Phil replied, waving his arms around dramatically and still pointing behind them.
"What is it mate?" Bunny asked as North who was turning around and walking towards the large bay window.
"Phil is saying something is outside" the large and usually jolly man growled with one hand gripping the handle of a sword at his belt, ready to fight if necessary. The Pooka and Yeti followed him to stand before the window and peered out, yet there was nothing but the open wilderness of the North Pole and the sheer drop from the window to the ground at the base of the cliff Santoff Clasen was built into, it would have to be something that could fly to reach the window so high up. After a long moment of looking North exclaimed "Bah! Is nothing there, your eyes fail you in your old age" Phil squawked out more but gave up with a huff.
"Tooth and Sandy will be arriving soon, we should go wait" North spoke up turning away from the window and making his way across the room with Phil trailing behind, giving a long concerned look towards Jack's still form as he passed.
"I'll be right there, just gonna watch Frostbite for a bit, make sure he's ok" Bunny uttered and North nodded as he and the Yeti left and shut the door behind them. Taking a deep breath he moved closer to stand beside the bed, watching Jack sleeping. The ice had grown with thick portions freezing him into the bed, curled around his shoulders and woven amongst his snow white hair while a thin covering of frost had covered all of his face, delicate icicles formed from his eyelashes. If it wasn't for the gentle rise and fall of his chest he would look for all the world like a child who had frozen to death.
"Frostbite I..." Bunny started and cut off, cursing himself quietly with his ears flat against his head in distress and his paw softly stroking the side of Jack's face "I'm sorry, I wasn't able ta help ya" he uttered defeated.
He turned away and headed towards the door, unable to look at the sleeping boy's face any longer. He had failed Jack, completely and utterly.
'How can you possibly help! How is agreeing to rape me helping?!' he cringed remembering Jack's fear filled words and the truth was he hadn't helped, he hadn't be able to protect him from the ritual and instead his own paws had done the harm in the place of Spring. Some Guardian of children he was, he couldn't even protect their child. He had ruined everything.
As he walked through the workshop, avoiding the inquisitive looks of passing Yeties he heard Tooth before he saw her and Sandy.
"Jack's hurt?!" the Guardian of Memories cried, followed by distressed squeaks of little fairies and a barrage of desperate signs from the Guardian of Dreams who floated beside her. Amongst the confusing fast paced sand symbols Bunny could make out Pitch's face, because that would be the natural assumption, that their worst enemy had attacked Jack and not that one of their own had instead.
"Dah, Bunny arrived with him" North spoke and held up a hand to cease both of their unrelentless questions, where was Jack? Was he ok? How badly is he hurt? "Jack's condition is stable, wounds have been attended to and he is sleeping. I am not knowing of vhat happened, Bunny?" he finished turning to the Pooka and prompting him to speak. Both Tooth's and Sandy's attention was suddenly on him and he shuffled under the stare of the three others.
"I... ah..." he crouched to sit on the wooden floor boards with his ears lowered, wishing the floor would swallow him up, this was much worse than being walked through by a child.
"Bunny what happened?" Tooth asked gently, beside her Sandy nodded a made a question mark above his head.
They were going to hate him.
He sighed deeply, his green eyes lowering to the floor beneath him "The four seasons share the power given to 'em by Mother Nature, keeps 'em in line and stops anyone trying ta completely control the weather, during their season the Spirit holds the magic in 'em to fuel themselves and others related their individual season, when it's time ta pass on the power they have ta perform a ritual with the spirit of the next season. At some point it was decided the best way ta do that was fer them to dominate the other spirit sexually, I s'pose it's better than the spirits havin' ta fight it out. The Magic inside one spirit reacts and allows the other the ability ta rip the magic out of 'em so it passes on to the next season. With me so far?"
The others nodded, following his words intensely. Sandy seemed to think for a moment and then waved his little arms, making symbols of a flowers and a group of figures, then Bunny looking at the figures and turning his back on them.
"The Spring Equinox?" Tooth questioned, a group of five tooth fairies fluttering close to their mother silently. "But I don't understand what that has to do with Jack"
"Jack's the Spirit of Winter, he gets ta represent his season" muttered, his bitterness at the situation clear and he glanced up to see Tooth's eyes widen as she realised then looked away again and continued "I said Spring takes it out on Winter, but that ain't even it. Spring's a sadistic bastard an' him an' all his buddies have been torturing Jack every year since Manny chose 'im"
Bunny chanced looking up again, North although quiet once more looked ready to go hunt down Spring by himself and kill him, Tooth's large purple eyes were filled with tears and Sandy looked beyond angry, the type of angry where Bunny knew normally to back the hell away from the small man.
"They will not get away with this" North began, fists clenching and itching to hold his swords, Tooth wiped her tears away nodding furiously and Sandy was already seven symbols deep into a battle plan.
He could have left it at this, he could just let them believe that Spring had hurt Jack and keep quiet about the rest, beat Spring into the ground and continue like nothing had ever happened. But that would make him a coward, and if there was one thing Bunny never wanted to be it was a coward. "There's more" be breathed, bringing back their attention to them "This year... this time Spring didn't hurt Jack, I did"
Before he even had a chance to look up pain exploded from his jaw as a force hit him and sent his head backwards, managing to take the hit without falling over he peered through watering eyes to see greens and blues before him.
"You raped Jack!?" Tooth screamed in his face, and if he was going to be honest she wasn't the one he had thought would be pulling first punches, her small hands clutching at the strap of his bandolier and pulling him forcefully to prevent escape.
This time North did draw a sword, coming up beside Tooth and pointing it at the Pooka "Talk fast rabbit-man or I vill be wearing new fur coat" and Bunny cringed at the use of the name that North used to call him to irritate when they first became friends.
Seeing Sandy floating above them, his sand silent with no symbols yet his whips in his hands all the same Bunny broke "I know! I know I messed up but ya gotta know I was only tryin' ta help 'im! I know what they do ta the Spirit of Winter so when Jack came ta me askin' fer help I had ta do somethin'! Spring and all the rest of 'em was gonna torture him for fun! There's at least thirty of 'em and Jack can't do anythin' ta stop 'em because the whole system is against him"
"You stopped them hurting him?" Tooth whispered, tears of sorrow glinting in her eyes again.
Bunny nodded furiously, his ears bouncing with the movement "Yea I did, I tried stoppin' Spring but that bastard threatened to hurt Jack more if we didn't play his sick game"
North lowered his sword with a groan, scrubbing a large hand down his face and muttering under his breath in Russian. Sandy beside him created a string of sand creations, a snowflake, a flower, a sun and a leaf, they appeared in order and then disappeared, the sequence repeating but with a cross between the snowflake and flower followed by the flower, sun and leaf disappearing then finally trees wilting and animals dying.
"If Jack refused to go through with the ritual then the seasons would be interrupted and life would be affected badly" Tooth translated his meaning, getting a solemn nod from the small man. "Oh Bunny I'm so sorry..." she sobbed, letting go of his bandolier and instead wrapping her arms around his furred neck.
"I too am sorry" North chipped in placing a hand on Bunny's shoulder and Sandy conquered up an image of all five guardians holding hands, smiling at him.
After giving Bunny a squeeze Tooth released him and looked between him and North "I want to see Jack" she spoke up and Sandy gave a thumbs up in agreement.
North nodded and lead them through the workshop towards the residential wing where Jack's room was located. Upon opening the wooden door that had a fine layer of frost on it they stilled in shock. The young guardian wasn't the only being in the room.
The Faun looked up from where she had been standing beside the bed watching the boy, her deep orange doe eyes widening in fear at the sight of the other four Guardians. She quickly tripped backwards away from the bed and closer to the window that hadn't been open before but now was and had obviously been her way in. Her long elven like ears twitched madly from where they poked out amongst her great mane of chestnut brown hair that wildly cascaded down her back to her furred knees and from her crown a set of tall antlers reached upwards. Instead of clothes fallen leaves of a variety of warm oranges and browns wrapped around her body to form a gown that reached the floor and trailed behind her.
"Who are you?! North boomed, quickly reaching for his twin swords and wanting this stranger away from their unconscious younger member.
The Faun backed further away, her hands raised before her in a submissive plea for calm, her voice soft and gentle "No wait, please. You don't understand" On seeing her subtle retreat attempt Sandy summoned his whips and lashed out at her, wrapping his dream sand around her wrists and yanking her forwards. Her hooves scraped loudly along the wooden floor as she tried to fight back. "Please! I am a friend of Jack's!" she wailed, desperately fighting even as she was dragged to a few paces before them.
"Are you one of Spring's friends too?! Are you here to harm Jack?" Tooth seethed, her violet eyes burning with emotion that the stranger flinched under.
Bunny although already holding his boomerangs faltered, he had never seen her before at any of the rituals he had attended in the past and nothing about her screamed out to him that she was one of Spring's cronies. In fact all Spring beings had green eyes like himself and her's spoke greatly of something else, of something warmer.
"Autumn?" he questioned, tilting his head to the side. Her leaf attire and eyes definitely suggested it and he remembered once hearing that Autumn was the only one of the current Seasonal Spirits who had never been human.
Her large pleading eyes snapped to his and she nodded "Yes! I am the Spirit of Autumn and Jack Frost is my dear friend!" at this Sandy released her from his hold and she held her arms tucked closely to her chest, huddled in on herself and small looking.
"What are ya doin' here? Aren't you supposed ta be hibernating til your season?" Bunny asked, his nose twitching as he tried to understand what her purpose here was.
She eyed him cautiously as she spoke "I wanted to see if he was being taken care of, I usually watch over him while he hibernates but obviously this year has been different"
Her words had Bunny seeing red and while a part of him knew what he was feeling wasn't entirely rational a much larger part of him simply didn't care. How could she say she cared about Jack when every year she knew and allowed what had been done to him?
"How can ya call yerself his friend when all ya do is stand back and watch 'im get raped?! What do ya then just pick 'im up afterwards and pat yerself on the back for taking care of 'im? What kind of friend does that!?" he growled, his fur bristled in fury.
Autumn's pale face flushed deeply with intense emotion at his words, her hands clenched as she screamed "You have no right to judge what I've done! I saw you! I saw you there so many times merely standing there while they tortured Bernard! You never did anything! I tried so hard to help Bernard and I've tried to help Jack!"
"Bernard?" Tooth murmured, looking between Autumn and Bunny who merely shrugged.
"You wouldn't know him by that name, you would have if you had tried to save him. He was alone in the end, did you know that?" she spoke, her words loosing power as the anger in her large eyes was replaced with deep pained sorrow. "Nobody could save him and he was lost to the storm... I've tried to take care of Jack since he became Winter and that's a lot more than anything you've done!" the accusation in her voice was scalding.
Bunny stared silently at her, oh that's right. Bernard must of been the Winter Spirit before Jack. Autumn knew and openly used his name and he couldn't help but wonder the history of their relationship that fact spoke of. Her words left him in shock, because it was true, it was simply all completely true. He hadn't cared, not enough to try to actually help the last Winter Spirit, to help Bernard, and when he had died he hadn't bothered to find out what was happening to the new Winter Spirit. Jack had gone all this time without the guardians bothering to get involved in the dealings of the seasonals, because... why? because they weren't children? Well Jack was a child essentially... then why? The truth raw and painful burned inside the Pooka, Autumn was right, he hadn't cared and had allowed Spring to get away with it for so long.
He took a glance around at the others, they too were frozen. Looking back at Autumn she glared away from them her lashes wet with tears that threatened to spill over at any moment. Tooth made to flutter towards her and the Seasonal's attention was snapped back to them. She turned and in a flurry of leaves flew out the open window on the wind, leaving nothing but a soft breeze and dead fallen leaves on the floor in her wake.
"Keep him down" a voice jeered, followed by loud formidable laughter. Bunny's ears twitched at the commotion behind him and he chanced a look over his shoulder. He was once again in the clearing where the Spring Equinox was held. The usual large group spirits and beings tightly huddling around the stone table and blocking Bunny's view of it. He huffed, his long ears folding back as he glanced back away and turned his attention to a rather splendid bunch of Snowdrops growing amongst the tree line as another burst of laughter erupted. He once again for the twentieth time in the last past hour contemplated leaving, but for some reason he could never quite place on why he couldn't make himself leave.
"Do you think if you stay you could at least pretend you cared?" a new voice spoke up, bitter and chilling, completely unlike the gleeful voices coming from around the stone table. Bunny looked up to see the last person he thought would be talking to him. The past Spirit of Winter, Bernard, his memory helpfully supplied the name Autumn had said, standing right behind the Pooka, his cold icy eyes fixated on him.
"I... what?" Bunny tried, all words quickly dying in his throat as he stared back at the other being.
Winter stepped closer, ice cracking around his feet and wilting the once lush grass. His face forming a vicious scowl "Is there something the matter? Did you want me to be over there?" he asked, nodding his head towards the gathering behind them. Bunny's ears flickered back and forth between the Spirit and the group of laughing individuals. "I know what you're thinking" Winter began, tilting his head to the side with a spiteful smile upon his pale white face "If I am here, then who is that over there?" he finished, watching the fear of realisation seep into the Pooka's face.
Bunny tore away and raced across the clearing to the other Spirits, pushing them out of the way without a thought and with no reaction from them, fighting his way to the centre to look down at the figure laying on the stone table.
"Jack..." his voice trembled. Jack lay writhing on the stone, multiple vines pinning him down, wrapped around his ankles, wrists and around his throat, choking him. There was blood running from many wounds down his form, a few large gashes to his head and face, deep scratches down his arms and torso. His breath caught in his throat as his eyes traveled lower, deep scratches clawed in his thin thighs and around his hips and a puddle of blood under between his legs. His body torn wide and open.
Hearing his name caught his attention, his baby blue eyes opening just a little, his head turning towards the other Guardian "Bunny..."
"It's ok Jackie, I'm gonna get you outta here" he tried to sooth and made to reach his paw towards the boy's face only to find he couldn't move at all He glanced down at his limbs to find his body covered in ice, trapping him in place and Bernard's chilled hand curled around his shoulder.
"Bunny help!" Jack wailed, restarting his attempts of escape struggling against the vines but he was simply to weak.
"Jack it's gonna be ok! Just keep listening to me!... I'll save you!" the Pooka fought against the ice, turning his head to snarl at Bernard "Let me go!" the Winter Spirit merely smiled at him and pointed back to the table.
Spring now approached and came to stand at Jack's side, silently staring down at him, a knife in his hands.
Jack began to cry, tears flowing down his face uncontrollably "Bunny... please!" he sobbed, staring begging at his friend. But the Pooka still couldn't move, even as Spring raised the knife high into for and then brought it down, hard. The boy's sobbing was cut short as his chest was torn open, blood pooling around his body and dripping down the side of the stone.
Bunny stared at the boy's unmoving body, the way that his bloodied chest failed to rise with breath and how his eyes stared lifelessly back at him. "No! Jack, wake up Jackie! You have to wake up!" he screamed, trying and still not being able to move.
"This is your fault" Bernard hissed into his ear "You made this happen"
Bunny awoke with a start, his eyes snapping open and without knowing it he was already standing, his paws curled around his boomerangs as he panted.
"Bunny?! Bunny calm down, it's ok" as the world came back into focus he found Tooth hovering before him, her tiny hands held up towards him non threateningly, her fingers twitching excitedly and her feathers fluffed up.
"Tooth? Ah crikey, how long was I sleepin'" the Pooka questioned, resting back on his haunches and rubbing at his face with a paw. His green eyes shifted from her to where Jack lay, still fast asleep tucked up in his bed, not covered in blood or dying but only sleeping, safe back home in Santoff Clausen.
"About four hours, we didn't want to wake you, Sandy said you needed the rest" Tooth spoke softly, reaching out and placing a hand on his shoulder "It looked like you were having a nightmare, are you alright?" she asked, her large violet eyes searching his face then roaming over his form,searching for any hints to a problem, or possibly even a trace of black nightmare sand from their enemy. But this wasn't a nightmare created by Pitch, merely Bunny's own subconscious punishing him it seemed.
"Yea, I'm fine" Bunny huffed, shrugging off her concern before turning and beginning to try to smooth down the sheets and tuck Jack in tighter as best he could with the ice stuck to the boy "How is he?" he asked, carefully stroking his snow white hair.
"He hasn't changed but Sandy made sure to give him good dreams before he left" Tooth replied.
Bunny gazed up at her "Sandy ain't here?"
"He had to go work but he'll be back straight away when he's finished. While you were asleep I went home to tell my fairies I'm staying here, my girls can manage one night on their own and of course when I explained about Jack they all understood, they're all very fond of him" Tooth rambled a little.
"Surprised you ain't got a load of them here" Bunny huffed.
Tooth smiled "Well now that you mention it I did have to convince them all not to come, if they didn't have teeth to collect they would be here, although there were some I couldn't persuade, one in particular leading the few others" she pointed to a small bundle just beside the pillow Jack's head rested on, one small fairy curled up fast asleep and wearing what appeared to be a little one piece sleeping suit made of soft fluffy blue material, the hood pulled up around her head and her wings poking out through holes in the back.
"Is that the one always following him?" Bunny asked, observing the small creature curiously.
Tooth smiled, looking down fondly at the small creature "She loves him the most and wouldn't leave his side for a moment, so North made the suit for her so she wouldn't get too cold"
"Huh, that's sorta adorable" Bunny stood up fully, the vertebrae of his spine popping as he moved "I need a drink, somethin' strong maybe" he muttered moving towards the door with one last glance at Jack, still safe and sound in bed.
Tooth fluttered energetically behind him "We'll come with you! We'll go find North and wait for Sandy to come back" she buzzed over to the side of the bed, gently scooping up the sleeping Baby-Tooth in her hands, the smaller fairy cheeping sleepily and blinking up at her mother. "Hush now, you can sleep with me in front of the fire for a while then come back to Jack later" Baby-Tooth peered bleary eyed at the boy for a moment then nodded, giving out a pleased chirrup when Tooth gently kissed the top of her hooded head and held her tucked to her chest. The Guardian of Memories then leaned down and pressed her lips to Jack's frosted forehead before following Bunny out of the room. They encountered Phil outside the door, standing guard, he nodded to them and mumbled something gruffly as he stepped into the room and shut the door behind him. Determined to stop anymore strange beings, or even a mere pesky elf from disturbing Jack.
Two hours later found all four original Guardians gathered together in North's sitting room, a space made of dark wood and brick the same as the rest of Santoff Clausen, plush deep red sofas and armchairs situated around the massive fireplace that housed a roaring fire. Large windows overlooked the scenery of the wild North Pole outside and the weather calm with the main cause of snow and blizzards currently in bed.
Sandy snoozed softly in his armchair having drifted off sometime ago, his cup of eggnog abandoned on the mahogany coffee table between them and a delighted elf merrily lapping at its contents with the owner unaware. Tooth and Bunny sat together on a sofa, the fairy sat with her legs tucked up tightly to her body and still cradling Baby-Tooth to her chest who quietly slept. Bunny and North both held a large cup of eggnog each, North's speciality eggnog mixed with strong vodka.
The Cossack glanced to the fairy "Hey Toothy, how long till little fairies return?" he asked, before taking another swig of his drink.
Tooth looked up "They should be here soon, hopefully nothing went wrong on the journey"
"And what exactly do we do if this plan doesn't work?" Bunny huffed beside her, his nose twitching in slight distaste of the idea.
"First we try! Then if not we try something else" North declared, eyeing up the elf that had finished with Sandy's drink and seemed to be wandering in his direction, cheeks ruddy with drink but looking for more "Shoo vodka is no good for dingles " he scolded, the wayward creature looking up at him with large pleading dark eyes before shifting it's gaze towards Bunny's cup.
A faint tapping at the glass of the window arose the attention of the three awake guardians, all quickly turning to look to see Autumn had returned and was outside, hovering in the breeze.
"What is she doin' here?!" Bunny demanded getting up from his seat, followed by Tooth and North who jolted Sandy fully awake, the Pooka having half a mind to take out his boomerangs first.
North threw open the window and stared powerfully at the Faun "Yes?" he boomed, the others standing right behind him.
Autumn had floated back a little, noticeably out of arms reach as she eyed him cautiously "Look, I think we got the wrong impressions of each other and maybe we should try this again" she spoke gently, raising a hand and pushing her long hair out of her face as the wind held her.
"What d'ya want?" Bunny demanded, crossing his arms and staring her down.
"To help you, or rather to help Jack, but it appears that involves you now. I acted too rashly earlier but I believe it would be in all of our interests to work together"
"She has a point, she knows what's going on and the other Seasonals" Tooth spoke up.
Autumn gave her a small smile before looking back to North "May I come in? It's frightfully cold out here" and if to make the point she rubbed her hands up and down her bare arms, North huffed and stood aside allowing her entry. "Thank you, while I do enjoy winter I prefer warmer weather" she rambled, in a weak attempt at small talk but nearly leaping out of her skin when North clamped a heavy hand down on her shoulder.
"What's this for?" he interrogated, nodding to the bow and and quiver slung over her back and forcefully plucking an arrow out for examination. Prodding a thick finger against the steel tip to test it's sharpness.
"My own protection" was all she uttered, her ears twitching as she stood back from him.
North looked over the arrow noting how there were leaf pieces at the end of the shaft acting as fletching and how the back of the arrow head had points that curved backwards into wicked spikes, insuring that the arrow wouldn't be able to be pulled from flesh without causing more grievous harm and the only way to remove it would be to push it in forward and through a body.
"This is cruel way to kill" he voiced his thoughts, having seen this type of weapon in practice before and knowing the damage it could do, holding the arrow back out to its owner. Autumn stepped closer just enough to snatch it back and replace it in her quiver.
The Faun shifted from one hoof to the other, seemingly considering his words before moving her long hair to reveal a round scar just to the side of her right shoulder. "I am very much aware of that, these arrows are a trick I learned from humans that attacked my homeland as a mortal"
"Are you one of the Kililock Forest Fauns?" Tooth asked, her eyes alighting with recognition. Autumn merely nodded, looking a little uncomfortable with this being known. "I've heard stories of your people, about them being vicious warriors"
The Faun glanced away, clearly uncomfortable "We protected what was ours, if the humans had truly wanted to avoid war they should of never gone to Kililock"
"I heard you lot got wiped out" Bunny sneered still stood up fully with his arms crossed.
"We lost the war, the humans destroyed Kililock and a human city stands there now" she spoke softly, a far away look in her eyes as she glanced away, then looked back to them, new determination displayed "That was a very long time ago and is not what I am here to discuss, have you ever heard of how protective Fauns are of those they grow fond of?"
"If ya talkin' about Jack I still ain't really seeing it, you've not been that protective of the larikin, have ya?" the Pooka jeered "Also I heard you lot came about from an elf matin' with a deer, is that true?" he asked, venom in his voice.
"Bunny! Stop being so rude!" Tooth scolded but only earning an amused smirk from her fellow Guardian.
Autumn's face flushed "That is a disgusting lie created by the humans!" she snapped, her hands clenched into fists but making no move towards him or to attack, taking a deep breath she regained composure "I don't know of the power you believe I hold over the other Seasonals but I assure you it's not like that"
Sandy nodded to her and pointed towards the sofas, beckoning her away from the open window and further into the room. North noticed and agreed "Yes, come sit and we vill talk, and no more talk of Fauns, yes Bunny?" he demanded, giving a sidewards hard stare to the Pooka who huffed and rolled his eyes. The Guardians settled back into their original seats and Autumn in her own armchair, perched right on the end of her seat like she intended to bolt again at any given time.
She stared as the elf who was lurking in the room wandered over to her, staring at her curiously before touching one hoof with inquisitive little fingers, she shifted unsure for a moment before reaching down and quickly petting the creature on the head "After I left I came to the conclusion that you four would try to do something very foolish and attack Spring" she spoke, looking away from the elf to the others.
North nodded, resting his chin in his palm. "Seems like good plan, no?"
Autumn was taken back at the idea "It's a terrible idea, his season has only just begun you cannot simply take out the season's Spirit and think nothing bad will happen! He has a job to do and no matter how much we do not like him he has to be allowed to do it and pass on the year to Summer"
Sandy created an image of Spring, then above that a flower that changed into a sun then the Guardians surrounding Spring, his message clear, they could wait until Summer to go after the Spirit.
The faun stared at him a little hopelessly for a moment "I... no just listen to me, attacking him will not change his mind, what do you think will happen? He will suddenly change his ways and behave afterwards?"
"We will scare him inta behavin'" Bunny spoke up, stroking his paw along the surface of a boomerang sitting in his lap.
Tooth beside him nodded "I hate to resort to violence straight away but he needs to be punished"
Sandy nodded vigorously, punching one fist into his open hand, agreeing with them.
"I am telling you fools this will not work!" Autumn snapped, the frustration clearly building in her eyes.
"We vill get it a try" North said, agreeing with his fellow Guardians.
"What do you think I've been doing for the last seven hundred and thirty two years?! Do you honestly believe that this has gone all this time without anyone trying these ideas?! I lost my beloved to Spring's hatred, if you try to punish him it just angers him more! Anything you can do that doesn't kill him he will just come back with more hate the next year" she barked out, glaring at them.
"I take killing him is out of the question?" Bunny questioned, personally rather liking that idea of ending the Spirit.
"And leave the world without a Spirit to look after Spring?! Not to mention how upset Mother Nature would be about the death of one of her Seasonals" Autumn sighed, shaking her head.
Tooth's face lightened for a moment "Mother Nature! She can sort this out!"
"Once again, do you think I have not thought of that before? I have pleaded with her to stop Spring and she still sits by and does nothing, as long as the seasons continue correctly she does not care about us, she is not a loving mother that some would make her out to be, she acts as if this is nothing more than mere squabbles between children. And Summer will not become involved unless given the order to do so by Mother Nature" The Faun spoke sadly. The elf had now climbed up onto the arm of her chair and sat comfortably beside her.
"But you said Bernard died because of this? How can they not care about that?" Tooth questioned, trying to understand.
"I'm afraid its the way of nature, we guard as seasons as long as we can, all things come to an end eventually, just like a year, so to do the seasonals, our time comes and the season is passed on to a new spirit to guard, a new chance for someone else and the story of nature continues. Mother Nature will never care about individuals as long as the order of the world continues she is content to leave things as they are" as she spoke she gently ran her fingers up and down the elf's back, the creature's face lax with pleasure.
The Fairy looked beseeching at her "But what happened to Bernard could happen to Jack!"
"I am very much aware of this" Autumn spoke softly, a pained smile on her face. "I fail to understand their logic"
"What is Spring's problem anyway? Why does he hate Winter spirits so much?" Bunny questioned, his whiskers twitching and ears resting against his head.
"I do not know" The Faun sighed "We were friends, once" she uttered softly.
"What happened?" Tooth inquired.
"I have never understood what went wrong and I have tried for seven hundred and thirty two years to" she looked up towards the Guardians "The Seasons ... were always meant to work in harmony with each other, as the Spirits of the Seasons it has been our duty to guard each Season to continue the year as Mother Nature intended. Spring for new life and to begin the regrowth of the world, Summer to warm and give life, Autumn bringing the year to a close and prepairing and Winter for the world to recover until next year... we were meant to work together and not only protect our Seasons but also make sure the whole year in itself is continued, afterall if one Season was to fall then the others would soon follow... I do not know what went wrong"
"So what yer tellin' us is that we can't beat up or kill Spring and none of ya are gonna help us?" the Pooka demanded, a look of distaste on his features.
Autumn looked away from him, down to the little elf "I am truly at a loss with this"
"Fat lot of help you are" he snarled.
"Bunny!" Tooth scolded.
"It's true! She ain't done anythin'!" he growled out, glaring at the Faun.
"I befriended him... you never did" she muttered, mostly to himself.
"And what good is that if ya don't look out fer him?!" he shouted, looking ready to get to his feet and throttle her.
Tooth gave a displeased sigh and looked to North and Sandy for help only the find both of them looked just as lost. She glanced up at the sound of distant squeaking and caught sight of two of her fairies flying in the air towards them and straight through the window. They came to rest on her knee and although both appearing tired and shaking a little from the cold they looked pleased, quick chirps coming from them. "They said yes!" she exclaimed gaining the attention of the other occupants of the room, her smile growing. The fairies cheeped some more "They agreed to the meeting and with the time it's taken my girls to get back they should be ready by now"
North clapped his large hands together, jumping out of his chair and cheering "We go to plan two then!" he grabbed his coat and hat off the back of his chair and began dressing in preparation to go outside. Taking his cup and swigging down the remains of his drink.
"What is plan two? What is happening?" Autumn questioned, looking between the Guardians with a look of suspicion.
"I sent my girls here to go find the Snow Queen and Old Man Winter" Tooth began to explain, rising from her seat, her wings buzzing.
"Da! Vill ask if they can help!" North continued as he made towards the door.
"Gotta be more useful than you" Bunny sneered moving to follow them.
"Wait a moment, hold on!" Autumn cried moving around them to block their path "You cannot go to the Snow Queen! She will not help!"
The Pooka stood giving her an unamused look "Neither will you"
"Jack is not safe with her around!" Autumn tried again, the pleading clear in her voice.
Sandy created large question marks above his head, asking her to explain.
"She is part of the problem, she is the cause of that dreadful storm in 1968" she huffed, looking from one Guardian to another.
"Wait, what? You were there in '68?" Bunny questioned, cutting her off before she could say anything else on the matter.
Autumn paused and looked at him before her face expression grew cold and her orange eyes hardened "No, it is not my place to say what happened that day, you will have to speak with Jack about it"
"Fine, I will then" Bunny snarled, crossing his arms and looking away from her.
"You vill join us" North announced
"What?!" Bunny demanded, with Autumn looking just as unhappy with the idea.
North nodded happily, his long beard waving "Da! If you think Snow Queen is not good you vill come with us, see what she has to say on matter"
"I do not see what that will achieve" The Faun muttered.
"You have insider knowledge about her and Jack, you have to come" Tooth fluttered to her, placing a small hand on her shoulder "Please for Jack" she beseeched, looking up at the other with large friendly eyes.
The Faun stared at her for a long moment before sighing "As long as you do not put me in a sack" she mumbled, remembering what Jack had told her of his first meeting with the Guardians.
North looked taken back, as if he had been rather keen on the idea but then nodded "we go by sleigh" he announced, leading the other three Guardians and a apprehensive Autumn who quietly followed behind out of the living room and into the work shop calling to a passing Yeti as he did. "We are leaving for while, watch over ok and keep dingles out of that eggnog!" He lead them to the stables where the Yeti were bringing out the sleigh and had the reindeer already hitched up.
North wasted no time climbing in and clambering into his driving seat, Tooth and Sandy following his leave and floating into the back seats. Autumn paused for a moment and seemed to be assessing the situation when one of the reindeers caught a sight of her and nudged at the side of her furred leg, making her side step away. "Nice family reunion there sheila?" Bunny taunted.
Autumn looked away from the creature and glared at the Pooka "Rabbit if you would like I can provide you with my kin's long and fascinating history that would show you how completely wrong you are but I fear you would not have the attention span nor the intellectual power to understand it" she jeered climbing in to sit at the opposite end of the sleigh from the Pooka.
North snapped the reins and soon they were off climbing higher and higher up into the open air, far above the mountains and wilderness of the North Pole below. The Guardian of Wonder pulled out from his coat pocket a snow globe shaking it before him and muttering the words 'Ice Palace' into it before throwing it ahead of the sleigh creating a magic portal. Bunny's screeched could be heard as they travelled through and suddenly they were in another part of the world almost equally covered in snow and high up in the mountains. A great ancient looking castle rose from the rocky hillside and towered high into the sky, great towers reaching seemingly for the clouds and the entire thing made out of solid ice.
The sleigh landed upon the cold rock, the group climbed out and lead by North made their way towards the large doors. Without further prompting he hefted his large fist up and banged on the ice of the door, awaiting a response. After a moment the door was pulled back to reveal a face staring at them, a frozen face. North unconsciously took a step back followed by a gasp from Tooth, this was not who they had been expecting to greet them, this was not a spirit, this was a human... or at least had been a human.
The Man stared at them for a moment before standing aside to allow entry, as he opened the door further his stiff arms creaked under the strain, old bones protesting their use and at risk of snapping at any moment it seemed. The strange person's skin was a light blue, his lips and around his eyes a more purple shade, the starting of frostbite at his blackened fingers and nose and his light blonde hair frozen into stiff spikes against his head. He wore the clothes of a simple farmer, though torn and stuck to his body with patches of ice and a thick layer of frost covering him from head to foot.
Bunny's ears twitched towards the man as he snuffed in a few curious breaths "His heart ain't beatin'" he spoke quietly, not wanting to gain a reaction from the man.
Despite their discomfort they followed him as he lead them inwards through the castle and as they travelled their unease grew. There were more of them, here and there scattered about, men and women of different ages and most noticeably different clothing, both of rich and poor and different periods of history. Some of them had been here a very long time, yet the Guardians were relieved on seeing no children amongst their numbers.
There had always been stories of the Snow Queen taking people who were lost in the snow but they hadn't ever paid those tales any mind, but this was irrefutable proof, she had made these people her slaves, somehow keeping them alive to some extent. The man continued on and finally came to a grand throne room with a high ceiling that allowed the chilling wind to swirl around as it pleased. The Queen herself sat on a tall beautifully carved ice throne, smiling at them cheerfully.
"Ah, The Guardians of Childhood..." she begun and then paused on seeing the Faun "And also The Spirit of Autumn, what a surprise" she sat up straighter on her throne, looking genuinely pleased to see them. Her small form encased in a gown formed of ice and mostly hidden by a large fluffy white fur coat, swirls of frost trailing all over her skin giving her pale skin the unsettling resemblance to her undead servants and a crown of ice sat on her white curls
"What's that blimmin' deer shagger doin' 'ere?!" a harsh voice croaked out from the side, the small hunched figure had almost gone completely unnoticed until he spoke. Old Man Winter stood leaning heavily on large icicle in the place of a walking stick, he wore a long tattered old grey robe and his long white wispy hair and beard fell in tangles around his shoulders. He shuffled to face them, his unseeing frozen eyes staring blankly at them, completely frosted over.
They made a rather unnerving pair to behold, the old man as bitter as the cold and the queen with a frozen heart.
Autumn managed to find her composure and she spoke out "Do not ask me what my purpose here is, if it were of my choosing I would be asleep in a pile of leaves somewhere far away from here"
"Yer a pile of leaves" Bunny muttered, almost to himself.
She turned to him, giving him an tired glare "rabbit that does not even make any sense"
The Snow Queen watched the two of them before continuing "Nevermind, greetings to you all and what is it exactly that brings you to my humble abode?"
Sandy conjured up some symbols, displaying Jack, snowflakes and flowers and then the Queen herself, although this did not help explain at all.
Tooth fluttered forward a few paces "We're here about the Spring Equinox, Jack Frost is our friend and he's currently the Spirit of Winter and we were sort of hoping that maybe you could do something to stop it?" she asked politely.
"That explains things" The Queen uttered, sharing a knowing glance with Old Man Winter. "So let me get this straight, you would like one of us to go in his place? Seeing as someone has to be the Spirit of Winter"
"... Well yes?" Tooth tried weakly, giving an apologetic smile.
"You ask this, taking into account what the involves?" The Queen further questioned, leaning forward in her seat, curious.
"Spring's a fuckin' loony and ya want someone to replace yer precious little babe?" Old Man Winter sneered, before letting out a hacking wet cough.
"We were hoping if someone else became The Spirit of Winter they would be able to deal with the situation better" Tooth said, a note of almost pleading to her voice.
The Queen tilted her head to the side "And what would you offer for this?"
"Vhat are you wanting?" North asked, hoping it would be something agreeable.
The woman smiled, looking unsettlingly pleased with the offer "There is one thing and one thing only I want that you can give"
"What's that?" Bunny responded.
"Jack Frost" she smiled nicely, as if she had been requesting what she would like to eat for lunch rather than demanding one of the Guardians.
At this Bunny was taken back, his whiskers twitching in confusion "What?! Why do ya want Jack!?"
Old Man Winter let out a rasping laugh "Pfffffffffttt ain't it obvious, that soppy cow has been after a brat of 'er own fer years!"
For the first time since they entered the room the contented look slipped off the Queen's face, leaving anger and frustration "That was one time!"
"Still got a story out of it, literally the only thing yer gonna ever be remember fer" he chuckled, sending a nasty toothless grin towards her.
She turned away from her, the anger quickly masked "Ignoring that frozen brained twit over there, my offer still stands. Jack will be taken care of, loved, given a home and a family. Everything he's ever wanted"
"Some family, just you and a bunch of undead humans" Bunny growled, his paws twitching with the need to hold his boomerangs ready.
She smiled cruelly at them "Still better than none at all, which is exactly what you've given him for the last three hundred years. I will love him and he will be safe here"
"More like keep him prisioner, what ya gunna do? brainwash him like all your pet servants?" the Pooka snarled.
"He will be loved" was all she uttered in reply.
"He is loved!" Tooth hissed, her large eyes sharp and hard.
The Snow Queen merely shared an amused look with Old Man Winter "Interesting way of showing it"
North stepped forward, his blades already in his hands "What you offer is not love! Love is not trapping someone to stay with you!"
The Queen huffed "Really now there is no need for weapons, if you will not consider my offer then I think we are done here, you know the way out" she spoke, in mocking cheer, the smile stiff on her face. Without any words the group turned and headed for the door, quietly seething amongst themselves. "Goodbye Guardians, you must visit again sometime!" she called to their turned backs "And Felorieth, it was very lovely to see you again" she sneered.
The Faun whipped around, her bright eyes wide with shock "How did you...?" she began at the use of her name but stopped on seeing the truly unkind smile on the Queen's lips.
"The blizzard, remember? I heard how he pathetically called for you 'Felorieth you can't let her take me'" she mocked, grinning at the Faun.
Felorieth pulled her bow from her shoulder only to be caught by Sandy holding on firmly to her arm, shaking his small head furiously at her. After a brief moment she huffed and pulled herself away, shouldering her bow and marching towards the door, promptly followed by the Guardians.
"Fuckin bastards, the lot of 'em" the miserable voice of the Old Man echoed as they left.
On emerging out of the castle and into the bright sunlight Felorieth turned to look at them, the anger still on her face "Jack normally rests for a couple of weeks at least. When he wakes ask the Wind to call for me" and with that she allowed the Wind to sweep her away, soon disappearing into the distance.
After watching her leave North, Tooth and Sandy headed towards the sleigh although Bunny held back. "I'm gunna head back to the Warren for a bit, I'll see ya later" he spoke, and after their goodbyes and watching the sleigh disappear through a portal the Pooka tapped his foot again the chilled ground and summoned a tunnel. He jumped down and raced home to get some much needed rest.
That night he dreamed of Jack trapped at the Ice Palace, his once cheerful eyes devoid of all life as he stood in a nearly empty room with merely the Snow Queen for company.
this has got to be the most dialogue
heavy thing I've ever written and let me tell you I am so unhappy with it
sorry its been so long coming, hopefully the next part will be written quicker
The first sign of consciousness was when he wasn't dreaming of dolphins anymore, the rest came to him slowly as he became more aware of his body little by little. His eyelids felt far too heavy so he instead focused on trying to move something else, letting out a comfortable sigh as he shifted his right leg, feeling groggy and like his head was stuffed full of wool. His slight movement had apparently alerted something as suddenly the sound of buzzing wings and high pitched shrills above his head started. He tried to bring his hand out from under the blanket to swat away the loud disturbance but found it a struggle, his arm heavy and uncooperative. Once again trying to open his eyes he found them not only heavy but also stuck and he grumbled, mustering up all his energy to pull his arm with the familiar pinch and feeling of ice cracking off his skin as he did. He finally brought his hand up to his face and lightly scrubbed the back of his palm against his closed lids to dislodge the thin coating of ice that covered them and only then being able to open his eyes.
Blearily peering out at the much too bright world around him it took a moment of stomach turning for the obscenely bright coloured thing before him to shift in his vision into Babytooth, hovering right in front of him with her large two coloured eyes staring down at him.
"Hey Babytooth..." he croaked, his voice coming out all wrong, his throat scratchy and painfully dry. The tiny fairy cheeped merrily and promptly pressed herself to the side of his face, her teeny arms spread wide to hug as much of him as physically possible. She let go and sat beside his head on the pillow, squeaking in what sounded like concern. Jack peered around at his surroundings, he was back home in his room at the North Pole. A small fire burning in the hearth at the opposite side of the room that wasn't even enough to melt the frost that spiralled over the walls and beams of the ceiling. Outside the window the light was dim, in either early morning or evening he didn't know and the Wind blowing softly around. The Wind always grew so terribly bored when he hibernated with no one else wanting to play with her.
He slowly and carefully ran his still numb fingers through his hair and wincing as he pulled the white strands free of the thick ice spread across the pillow. It turned out to be a large problem as a Winter Spirit sleeping for a prolonged amount of time that he tended to freeze himself to things, one particularly awkward time he and Felorieth had ended up hibernating together in the Faun's cave home, curled around each other like kittens and the Autumn Spirit had awoken to find ice gripping her hair.
Jack puffed out a cold breath before heaving himself up, ice cracking as he moved and falling off his frame as he did, he rested back against the pillows and headboard panting from the effort. The boy brought his hands up cupped together and after a moment of hard concentration soft fluffy snow appeared in his palms, holding his hands to his mouth he quickly swallowed down the snow, feeling a little better afterwards for doing so.
Babytooth moved to perch on his covered knee, giving him a better look at her and he smiled "Loving the new look" he praised, noticing her new blue onesie. She chirruped back happily giving him a little twirl to show off her ensemble then briefly pulling up the hood and pointing to him. "You're right, we match" he grinned to her before looking around. Wondering just where his clothes had gotten to and was relieved to find them neatly folded on a chair beside his bed with his staff resting against the wall safely. The small fairy smiled back enthusiastically before fluttering over to the closed door to the room, cheeping loudly for a moment. The door opened with the face of a Yeti peering inside, looking at the fairy and then over to where she was pointing at the boy who was awake, the Yeti nodded and disappeared back out the door closing it behind them. Babytooth flew back to her perch on her friend's knee, beaming happily up at him.
"So how long have I been sleeping?" Jack questioned which caused her to frown, squeaking quietly and holding up three tiny fingers before him. "Three weeks?" he guessed, knowing that was around the usual amount of time he spent hibernating, he could always go back to sleep for months if he wanted, all of the Seasonals could sleep from the end of their season to the start of their next one the following year if they chose to but at least two to four weeks seemed to be the amount he needed to recover. Babytooth nodded solemnly, the frown still firmly in place. "Hey what's wrong?" he asked, gently stroking the side of her feathery head with a finger that her tiny hands clutched onto, holding tightly and giving out sorrowful chirps. "you were worried about me?" he asked, to which she nodded vigorously.
"It's ok I do this every year" she still looked upset despite his reassurance, he would of added that it was the first time he could remember waking up from hibernation and to not still be in pain but he decided against voicing this as it would probably only upset her more. Absently he ran a hand down along his sternum, idly rubbing where the blade had pierced and as every year that had passed before the wound had already healed with no scar to suggest what had happened. Unlike the other wounds Spring left, being a spirit he healed quickly but it still took some time and he was still sporting a few white almost faded scars along his thighs from the year previous.
The door was suddenly thrown open to reveal the Guardian of Wonder "Jack!" he panted, sounding like he had run all the way across the North Pole, striding across the room and firmly wrapping his large arms around the boy's lithe body. Jack winced a little in the embrace and weakly shifted his arm to pat North's back, from past experience he could tell the old Cossack was being gentle with him. "Is good to see you awake" North spoke after a moment, releasing the Winter Spirit. "How are you feeling?"
"Good I think" Jack replied, tilting his head to the side, cracking his neck and wincing with small chunks of ice falling to the bed sheets. North nodded before turning and taking a hold of a glass and a jug of water that sat upon the bedside table, filling the glass and putting the jug back down then turning to Jack, sliding an arm around the boy's thin shoulders and raising him up a little straighter. "North I can do it" he tried to protest as the glass was brought to his lips. North merely gave him a small squeeze to his shoulder and a stern look. Deciding not to argue he opened his moth and guzzled down the water, his throat feeling much better.
"Are you hungry? Yeti will make favourite pancakes" North offered, placing down the glass but not relinquishing his hold on the lad, not just yet anyway. His thick fingers running through the boy's white hair fondly and carefully trying to see if he could remove the ice frozen amongst the locks. Casting wonder filled eyes down the thin chest proved to him what he already knew, the wound Jack had arrived with three weeks ago was long gone, something that had pleased him greatly when he and Bunny had removed the bandages. The Pooka had been there saying he didn't trust North's medical knowledge, yet the Cossack knew Bunny was simply worried about Jack. Giving a light pat on the back he released the Winter Spirit from his grasp.
Jack's shining blue eyes darted away from him, a light frost appearing along his cheeks "Yeah that'd be great thanks"
"Ok, I vill tell Phil and call others, you vill be ok dressing?" North asked, glancing down to where the clothes sat.
The frost thickened and spread more obviously across his face "I'm fine, no help needed at all" he reassured quickly before North could insist on helping him.
The Guardian of Wonder nodded and seemed to be in thought for a moment, hesitating slightly before he spoke "While you sleep we meet Spirit of Autumn, pesky Faun wanted to see you"
"Felly?" Jack brightened, both pleased at the mention of the other Seasonal and for the subject of North dressing him being dropped. "Yeah she's my friend"
"She broke in here, why nature spirits never use doors" he said, gesturing with a hand towards the windows.
Jack smirked mischievously at him "Says the guy who goes down chimneys"
"Ah vell... that is different" North murmured, yet smiling conspiratorially.
"So what did she want?" the boy asked while gently rubbing a finger along Babytooth's plume, the fairy cooing back pleased.
"See where you are, nosey little creature" the older Guardian replied, breaking off into a muttered tone.
Jack merely grinned back "Yeah she's like that, she was probably making sure you guys didn't kidnap me again" North huffed and opened his mouth to argue that "You did have me stuffed into a sack and tossed through a magic portal" to which North's jaw snapped closed as he failed to make a retort to that.
North sighed, briefly rubbing a hand against his neck "She cares for you, no?" he asked, because really it was the only thing he needed to know. Whatever he personally thought of the unhelpful and judgemental Faun he could put aside if Jack wanted her around.
Jack nodded "She's looked after me for most of my life, she and the Wind are the only family I had before I met you guys" he spoke, a small smile gracing his features, before he noticed the soft look to North's eyes before adding "I mean, its not like she's my mother or anything, I look after her just as much as she looks after me"
"I'm always making her laugh. she's sad a lot of the time, its like she'll smile but she's still not happy and she lives in this big cave full of all the stuff she saved from when her people were wiped out and if I left her she'd just hide in there all the time surrounded by old dusty relics" he paused, taking a breath and then speaking in softer tone "I guess she was just a lonely as I was"
North was silent for a moment in thought, quietly adding this new information to what he already knew. It sat a little uncomfortably within in to know that the Winter and Autumn Spirits had been pushed into a friendship through the sheer loneliness they each carried. Jack a new Spirit with no one in the world and Autumn who had apparently closed herself off from the other Seasonals for reasons North was only just beginning to understand. Yet the idea of their friendship not forming and Jack being alone was far more unpleasant. "You vant her to come here? She said to call for her" he asked.
"Sure" Jack nodded.
North smiled at him and walked over to the large window then paused, unsure "eh... how do you talk to vind? he questioned, looking between the boy and the window.
"Just talk to to her the same as anyone, she'll listen" he replied, snickering a little to himself.
The Guardian of Wonder opened the window "Vind?" he called, commandingly. A breeze swirled around him curiously, playing amongst his beard. "Please to be calling Spirit of Autumn" the Wind ruffled his hair before blowing back out the window "Thankyou" he called after her, still unsure of himself. He turned to face the bed again "I vill be back in a minute, you are sure you are ok getting dressed?"
Jack's face frosted again and he held a hand to stop his friend "Thanks North but I'm seriously fine to do that myself" He watched North leave, shutting the door behind him. Sighing in relief he glanced to where his clothes were and reaching out an hand to grab at them, letting go of the bed sheets as he did to fall around his hips. A startled squawking alerted him to the fairy that was still there, her eyes wide and her tiny hands pressed to the sides of her face with her feathers fluffed up excitedly. Jack grabbed at the fallen sheet "Whoops sorry, I forgot you were there" he apologised, the frost thickening on his face and reaching down his neck. Babytooth's feathers quivered and she gave a little sigh staring staring at his bare chest. "Hey don't look!" she squeaked coming back to herself, hurriedly fluttering to plunk herself down ontop of the headboard, her back firmly turned towards him and her gaze locked on the wall. Jack grabbed his clothes and hurriedly pulled his hoody on then took a deep breath and pulling his legs up from the mattress, cringing as ice separated from his skin so his could slip his trousers on under the sheets.
North later arrived with a heaping plateful of pancakes, Jack's favourite with syrup and blueberries personally made by Phil. After eating and with a full stomach he must of dozed off because the next thing he knew was the door being thrown open and a buzzing of wings.
"Jack!" Tooth squealed flying over and throwing her arms around his neck at a speed that left him dizzy for a moment before he hugged her back, mindfull of her wings "Its so good to see your eyes open, you really had us scared" she spoke softly, pulling back just enough to look at his face while gently stroking his hair.
Jack peered over her shoulder to see North and Sandy following behind, the small man throwing up golden streamers and balloons that exploded into shimmering fireworks. "You guys were that worried about me?" he asked dumbfounded at the idea.
Sandy's beaming smile faulted a little, before it returned with fierce determination and he was firmly snuggling himself into the boy's side, short arms holding tight and his chin resting on a bony shoulder.
"Well of course we were! You've been unconscious for three weeks and you were hurt" the fairy uttered, her large violet eyes shining with concern.
"But you were that worried? Why? This happens every year, I'm used to it" he asked, peering from the two clinging to him to the large man standing beside them, confused.
North stared at him for a moment, his expression uncertain but then he gave a soft smile and rested his hand on the shoulder Sandy wasn't pressed against "Ve are family, is our job to worry"
Jack glanced away, trying to swallow around the sudden lump in his throat "Thanks guys..." he replied in a small voice, frail and delicate.
With a barrage of squeaks and chirrups Babytooh made herself known, landing down on her mother's shoulder and peering up at Jack with her large eyes, a big grin on her face. Tooth smiled at her "She said she's your family too" Babytooth cooed and leaned into the kiss that was planted on her head, nuzzling into the feathers of Tooth's neck, cooing to her in a mischievous manner. "She wants to be named the Guardian of Jack since she's looked after you while you were sleeping" The Guardian of Memories giggled.
Jack looked between the larger and smaller fairies "Really? You were guarding me?"
"The whole time, she refused to leave you" Babytooth chirped and Tooth nodded, remembering the same words her daughter had said when she had first refused to go home to the Tooth Palace with her "She said you protected her so now its her turn to protect you" Babytooh nodded, her feathers fluffing up in pride.
Smiling Jack held his hand out flat before the fairy so she could step onto it and brought her in front of him "I know I'm in good hands then" he said, kissing her head and grinning at the happy squeal she gave. He smiled back at all of them, but decided to voice the one thing that had been nagging at him, one family member wasn't there "Where's Bunny?" he asked.
The three of the shared a look between themselves that Jack didn't understand then Tooth spoke "He's just running a little late, he'll be here soon"
He looked at them uncertain and was a about to push it further when he let out a yawn. Tooth's eyes sparkled at the site of his teeth and she swooned a little "Aww, I think you need more sleep"
"I've been alseep for weeks" Jack murmured, wanting to argue when another yawn hit and he rubbed at his eyes.
"Ah vell, little more do you some good, right Sandy?" North said, looking over to the Guardian of Dreams who nodded vigorously, showing a snowflake in bed asleep. He grinned and tapped Jack on on the nose with a finger.
"No fair little man" Jack slurred as the sand settled over his eyes, the need to sleep suddenly overpowering as Sandy and Tooth pushed him to encourage him to lay down. The sheets being tucked tightly around him as they backed away.
"He's so cute" he heard Tooth whisper as he let sleep take him.
When his eyes opened again a warm orange glow of evening light poured through the window. He sat up carefully and peered around to find Babytooh fast asleep on top of the pillow but no Guardian, Yeti or a mere Elf in the room. Fighting to free his legs from the sheets he staggered up from the bed and nearly tumbled down before righting himself, like a newborn calf trying to stand for the first time. The commotion woke up Babytooth, the fairy blinked up at him bleary eyed and gave a questioning cheep.
"I wonder where everyone got to" he spoke, thinking aloud. "Let's go find them " he gently picked up Babytooth and placed her to sit on his shoulder then snatched up his staff and headed out of the room. It was quiet throughout the workshop, the Yetis finishing up work for the day and the usual chaos calmed to just a few Yetis trundling about here and there on their way home, a group of Elves sleeping in a pile in front of the fire place by North's control panel.
Continuing on he made his way towards North's office and stopped outside the door hearing voices from inside, loud angry voices. Babytooth quietly cheeped to him cautiously, he hushed her and leaned against the door, pressing his ear to the wood.
"Look, we're going in circles here, lets just all just take a breath and calm down a little. None of this is helping" Tooth's voice rang out, sounding agitated and worn out.
"Ya mean she ain't helpin'" Jack's eyes widened, that was Bunny! He had arrived at last.
"Will you please stop going on about that you overgrown rodent" and apparently also Felorieth was here. Jack and Babytooth shared a curious glance between themselves.
"Both of you stop" North growled, and Jack could picture him about to pull out his swords.
"He started it" Felorieth hissed "And I do not like how he is on a mission to blame me for everything! He is the one to blame if you ask me"
"Why ya little ratbag!" Bunny howled.
"I think you are confused rabbit, you are the only rat here" Felorieth snickered back.
"Autumn!" North barked, a swish of metal and ah yes there was the swords being drawn.
"Sandy is right, if you just helped us to contact Mother Nature this could be all sorted out" Tooth pleaded.
Felorieth gave out a bitter laugh "What makes you believe she would even help you? Have I not told you already? She will never help"
"You were doing the asking before let us try" North tried reasoning "But ve are not knowing how to contact her"
"You should count yourselves lucky for that. If you were wise you would stay away from her"
North let out a mutter of angry Russian that Jack didn't catch, yet Bunny didn't seem ready to give up "What is bloody wrong with ya?! Why are ya so damned intent on protecting Spring!?" the Pooka demanded, furious.
"Protecting Spring? I am protecting Jack you fool!"
"Well then start actin' like it and help us!"
"I told you I can't, now if you excuse me I would like to see Jack now" Felorieth snarled and must of tried to leave because Bunny growled and the sound of a body being slammed into the wooden wall was to be heard.
"Bunny! Put her down!" Tooth shouted.
"Nah, she ain't leavin till I get some answers" Jack winced knowing from past experience of watching the Faun fight what was coming, Bunny let out an oof of air and staggered away, yup a hooven double kick to the stomach. "I wanna know why..." Bunny hissed, obviously trying to shake of the kick as if it was nothing. "Why won't ya help?"
"I told you, I have already tried"
"Why are ya bein' such a bloody minded coward! What are ya afraid of?!"
"I do not wish to be turned into a pile of leaves!" Felorieth screeched and for a moment there was pure silence before she continued in a quieter tone "Mother Nature will not help, if we question her or do not do exactly as she asks we are of no use to her... we are completely replaceable to her. She would not hesitate to retire Jack or I if we became a nuisance"
"Retire? You mean you wouldn't be Seasonals anymore?" Tooth questioned.
"It is only her power that gives us life if she was to take that away we would die"
"Then let us go to her, ve vill try to reason with her" North begged, sounding just as tired as felorieth did.
Jack had just about decided he had done enough listening to them argue when a large and noticeably furry hand clamped down onto his shoulder almost making him and Babytooth leap from fright. Peering behind him he met the unamused face of Phil who was solidly glaring down at him. He stared at the Yeti blankly for a moment, his mouth opening and closing while he tried to come up with a good response but then sighed "Let me guess, North said I should stay in bed, right?" he asked, his face deadpanned.
Phil nodded firmly and grabbed a hold of the boy and threw him over his shoulder "Come on Phil I thought we were cool" he whined then focused on Babytooth who was hovering before his face looking concerned "Babytooth keep an eye on them ok? Report back later" he asked as he was carted off back to his room, the small fairy saluted and returned to the door.
sorry this has been so long coming, writers block and super busy with work, also sorry that nothing really happened plot wise in this chapter, it was meant to be twice as long but I was a twat and accidently deleted a quarter of it and I'm in a terrible mood so its being posted as a lil short thing, hopefully the next chapter will appear next week. And we can actually get back on with the plot and the wonderful Jackrabbit
"I spy with my little eye, something beginning with I" Jack called out, from where he was flopped on his belly laying on the bed, one hand propped under his chin. The Wind swished about softly out the window, her whispering reply on the breeze. "No it's not ice" Jack sighed and The Wind paused for a moment before trying again "Yes its icical" the Wind hummed with excitement, blowing to and fro merrily.
He sighed, letting his chin drop from his palm with a frustrated whine, faceplanting into the soft sheets below him. "I'm so freaking bored" he growled, his voice muffled. Baby Tooth snoozed happily on top of the pillows, having returned only a short while ago to tell Jack that Tooth, Sandy and Bunny had already left. He couldn't help but feel that Bunny leaving without even bothering to visit him hurt a little bit, maybe, more than a bit if he was going to be completely honest with himself, but he didn't want to other think that right now.
The Wind swirled around the window softly and tapped gently at the window, asking him to come play with her for the fifth time. Without moving he let out another long whine. He knew and had already explained to his old friend that he couldn't leave, well technically he could. The window had been locked since Felorieth had broken in but he had taught himself centuries ago how to pick locks with small icicles so it wasn't really that what stopped him from leaving. It was that he didn't want to worry anyone, especially since they had been so concerned about him during his weeks of hibernation. They wanted him to stay so he did and with Phil standing guard on the other side of the door he couldn't even leave his room, he was honestly touched that they all cared so much for him but still he was restless and wanted nothing more than to go out flying.
Lifting his head up, his eyes just peeking over his folded arms he tapped a finger to the bed sheets and watched as spirals of frost ran along the soft fabric. He was just so bored and nothing that he could do appealed to him, he could read one of the books he had borrowed from North's extensive library that were in a stack on the floor yet to be looked at but that required a good amount of attention which wasn't something he had right now when he felt so restless. He could try napping again even though he knew he wouldn't sleep and that was just as frustrating sitting still with a book was. He could make some more frost creatures, like the bunny he had made for Jamie when he was about to lose faith but he had already done that within the last hour and really what could he make that would be any better than the two opposing armies of miniature anthropomorphic frogs and mice decked out in eighteenth century French military uniforms that he had spun from ice and watched as the two sides battled on his bedroom floor, the mice had slain the frogs with the survivors wandering around the floor scattered with chunks of ice from the fallen as they explored their conquered land.
He could possible create a mini storm by letting the Wind inside and have a good throw about with some snow but that would just be kinda arseholish of him to do, considering North let him live here for free wanting nothing back from him, he really shouldn't try to ruin the other Guardian's home. Giving a angry groan he gripped the sheets in his clenched fingers, thicker ice shooting from his hands and he was so relieved when the door opened that he shot up straight to sit, not unlike a guard dog on hearing a stranger coming.
A large grin spread across his features as soon as he saw the Faun stepping inside "Felly"
She paused for a short moment, an eyebrow raised as she watched one of the ice mice brandishing a tiny ice rifle and pointing the bayonet somewhat threateningly at her, warning her not to steal its land. She carefully stepped around the creature and walked towards Jack, her hooves tapping on the wooden floorboards with the end of her leaf gown dragging behind her. Opening her arms she pulled him into a fierce hug "Mhlentyn" she smiled into his hair.
"I missed you" he told her, his own arms locked tightly around her back and his face against her neck.
After a moment she began nuzzling around his hair, taking in deep long breaths to sample his scent "Are you hurt?" she questioned, sniffing along the side of his face and down his neck to his shoulder, taking a step back to look him over and clasping their hands together.
Jack shook his head "Bunny didn't let them get me" he replied shyly, peering up at her as a light dusting of frost spread across his face.
She frowned slightly and then sighed "At least he did something right" Satisfied that he wasn't hurt she leaned in, pressed her forehead to his and let her hands reach up to tangle in his silver hair. She had explained centuries ago that it had been a Faun custom to stroke at the bases of each others antlers, a tender behaviour shared between close friends and family. Jack didn't have antlers so she had to make do with stroking the crown of his head.
After a moment of reciprocating her actions Jack opened his eyes, hands leaving her antlers. "I'm sorry nobodies been particularly welcoming"
"While it is bothersome it is somewhat reassuring to know that the Guardians live up to their title"
He smiled then stepped back and gestured around them "So what do you think of my new room?" he asked, clearly chuffed to have a room to call his own in the home of one of the Guardians. "I decorated it myself"
"I can see that" she chuckled, looking at the light blue paint and ice that adorned the walls and ceiling. "Better than my dark old cave then?"
"I still love your place too!" he was quick to add.
"I am teasing" she gave him a poke to his side and when he let out a small yelp her ears twitched "Did I hurt you?" she questioned worriedly, crowding around him and trying to lift up his hoody to look.
He batted her hands away "I'm fine! you just tickled me"
The worry washed from her face and a mischievous grin took over "Is that so?"
Seeing her expression Jack frowned at her "You better not- ah!" he tried as her hands shot out and began running her fingers all over his body, paying special attention to his sides and belly. "Ahah! Please! Stop it!" he cried, trying to step back from her only for his legs to bump into the side of the bed and with a shove she pushed him to fall down flat on his back, quickly following to take advantage of his defenceless position. "Felly! This isn't fair!" he laughed as she pulled up his hoody to get unlimited access to his sensitive skin, while he tried slapping at her and kicking his legs wildly. All the movement on the bed and Jack's pleas for mercy disturbed Baby Tooth from her peaceful nap. The small fairy awoke suddenly at the sound of Jack's cries and she propelled herself in between them, landing on Jack's chest and squeaking furiously at the Faun.
"B-Baby Tooth it's ok!" he puffed out quickly blocking her with his hands before she could lunge at the Autumn Spirit. "She's not hurting me!" Baby Tooth paused, cheeping in confusion as she looked between the two Seasonals. "She's my friend, this is Felly"
Baby Tooth settled on Jack's hand, looking at the Autumn spirit and cheeping sheepishly. "I have never seen one of these creatures this close before, they are quite beautiful" Felorieth said at which the small fairy puffed up happily and beamed a bright smile.
"She'll get a big head if you tell her things like that" Jack teased, grinning down at the small being in his hand as he moved to sit up. She turned to face him, a pout in place and a hurt look in her mismatched eyes, giving a small warble and on the verge of becoming rather distressed. "Don't give me that look, you know I think you're beautiful too" he added, ducking down to plant a kiss on top of her head. She fluffed up more, her cheeks turning a bright pink as she cooed at him fluttering up to land in the collar of his hoody and snug herself against his neck comfortably.
"You seem to have an admirer" Felorieth smiled.
"Ahah, yeah she loves me" he chuckled, gently petting the small fairy "And I love her" Baby Tooth sighed happily. "So what did I miss while I was sleeping?"
Felorieth was silent for a moment before wrapped her arms around the boy and pulling him to her, mindful of the tiny fairy "Oh nothing, Mhlentyn" she sighed, resting her cheek against on top of his head.
"I just missed you, that is all" she spoke in a gentle voice, her fingers clutching into his clothing "Is it strange not to have you with me during your hibernation"
"You didn't hang outside the whole time, did you?" it was more of an accusation than a question.
"Not the entire time" she replied somewhat vaguely but it certainly implied most of the time.
Jack pulled himself out from under her, looking over her features carefully "Have you been having the dreams again?" he asked, seeing the dark shadows underneath her eyes. When she gave a slight nod he continued "I'll get you some dream sand, it'll help"
"I would appreciate that, thankyou"
He frowned before pushing two fingers either side of her mouth and pulled up her lips "Smile Felly"
She batted his hands away "Do not make me tickle you again"
"Oh no! Please not the tickling! Anything but that!" he laughed, feigning fright.
"I will" she threatened, her fingers mockingly scratching at him and making him giggle. She leaned down and planted her mouth against his cheek, puffing out air on his skin and blowing raspberries.
"You dork" he laughed, pushing her away and scrubbing the back of his hand against his face.
Her ears twitched and she gave him a small apologetic smile. "I have to go"
"But you just got here!" he whined.
"I will return very soon" she promised.
"You better" the boy huffed, accepting her hug and squeezing her back. She pressed a kiss to his forehead before she stood up, making her way towards the door and leaving him once again alone with only the small fairy and the Wind for company.
"Old friend, why do you not go see Jack?"
"Cause I don't wanna see i'm and he don't wanna see me"
"Why not? Jack is our friend! He would very much like you to visit, he has been asking for you"
"Mate, it ain't happenin, just leave it alone"
"Cause I bloody said I don't wanna! Now leave it!"
Bunny gave a sigh as he entered the sanctuary of his Warren, the conversation he had with North before he left playing through his head. He probably shouldn't have snapped at his best friend like that, and maybe he shouldn't of just walked out, or rather, disappear out through a hole. But he didn't want the issue to be poked at anymore, and staying in the North Pole wasn't doing his frayed nerves any good either. Not while Jack was there.
Jack, the little blighter had been asking for him, that's what North said. But he wasn't sure if he could handle seeing Jack now, not that he was awake, not after what he had done to him. They had been friends and no matter if the boy was going to try laughing it off they could never be the same and Bunny couldn't stand the idea of Jack being frightened of him, flinching whenever he got too close or an uncertain look in his eyes. He had only just been warming up to the Pooka and now what they had was gone. That was the best case scenario, worst was be that Jack would be openly hostile towards him, downright terrified in his presence and honestly he had every right to be. Bunny couldn't begrudge him for whatever he would do but it would break his heart, that was why he couldn't see the lad, not yet at least. He wanted some more time to build himself up to it, prepare himself for the inevitable rejection.
He trudged along towards his house, a cosy little cottage under a hill, with only the oak door and windows visible from the outside. North had once mocked that his home looked like the houses of fictional creatures of a book he had once read, little did he know a child had once gotten into his Warren and Bunny had brought him home to get some food into the hungry child once he had found him before sending him back to his parents and a few decades later books were published with houses called 'Hobbit holes' which just happened to match the description of Bunny's perfectly. The Pooka had been a lot more careful about leaving opened holes unattended since then.
He had every intention of just falling into his nest, preferably for the next twenty years and not move at all. When an odd smell hit his nose, he knew every scent of his Warren but this was something different and it wasn't a plant, it smelled like a person. Someone had broken into his home. He silently approached his house, the door partially open and he took out his boomerangs, not willing to take any chances. He crept along to the door, pressed close to the grassy wall. His ears perked straight up listening to the sound of the intruder breathing, nose and whiskers twitching as he tried to identify them from out here. It certainly wasn't one of the other Guardians, he knew each of their scents and they were the only people who should be able to access his home. However the smell was somewhat familiar yet he couldn't place it at all, taking his chance he swung his arm forward and released a boomerang flying into his home, only for it to collide with something mid air and be knocked onto the grass behind him. His emerald eyes tightened at the sight of an leaf fletched arrow halfway piercing his favourite weapon and with a growl he snatched up the ruined item and marched into the cottage, realising who was inside.
"What tha hell do ya think yer doing?!" he demanded, glaring at where Felorieth sat quite calmly at his kitchen table. Her nose and long ears twitched and wiggled as she laid her bow on the old wood of the table, a pleased smile on her lips. Bunny's hackles rose, he spluttered and waved his impaled boomerang around "Look at what ya did! This was one of my favourites!"
The Faun merely rose a brow at him "You threw it at me you fool" she replied, looking far too comfortable where she sat.
Bunny spluttered, huffing and in half a mind to grab her by the scruff of the neck and drag her from his Warren "H-how did you even get in here?!"
"I just followed the overwhelming stench of rodent and found your hovel, it was not much of a challenge" she smirked, when the Pooka growled and moved to approach her she lifted the item she had been holding off her lap to be placed on the table. "During that not so delightful trip to the Ice Palace I noticed how useful these things are and had the Wind show me where the old man keeps them" she explained, tapping her slight fingers against the glass of one of North's snowglobes.
"So yer a trespasser an' a thief" Bunny hissed, watching her carefully and partly wondering the logistics of thumping her around the head with his other boomerang before she had a chance to let another arrow fly.
Felorieth gave a small smile and a shrug, far too pleased with herself. The joy left her eyes as they met his, a serious look taking over "I came to speak with you"
"Yeah? Well I don't wanna speak ta ya so if ya could shift yer arse outta my kitchen" he deadpanned, nodding towards the door. The Faun raised her hand and a powerful gust of wind slammed the door shut, closing them both in the room together.
She kicked the chair opposite her out from under the table and pointed to it "You are going to sit down and we are going to talk, no more fighting, no more arguing, just talk"
Bunny stared from her to the chair and back again while he shifted on his feet "We ain't got anythin' ta talk about, ya don't wanna help, end of story"
"Jack will die if you continue on like this" she growled, orange eyes glaring at him. Well that was certainly one way to get his attention, his ears folded down as he sighed hopping over and slouching into the offered chair.
"Ok then, talk" Bunny grumbled, giving a 'go on then' gesture of his hand and with his other dropping the arrow lodged in the boomerang to the table.
She was silent for a moment, eyes cast upwards worriedly, ears and nose twitching, trying to either smell or listen out for something it seemed, before she leaned in further and spoke quietly. "Listen I know you want to help, but it's too dangerous, if you insist on interfering Jack will be killed and you will not be able to stop it. Our situation is not what we wanted but at least no one will die if we keep our heads down and mouths shut"
"Who's tryin' ta kill Jack? Spring?" he inquired, his paws clenching into fists at the thought of that sick smarmy bastard.
"No Mother Nature"
"I thought ya said she didn't really care 'bout ya lot?"
"She does not but she will be damned if one of us makes trouble, we belong to her, she created us and she can create replacements just as easily, speaking out against her or not abiding her wishes is a death sentence to us" she spoke quickly before flicking her eyes and ears up again, still listening to whatever was bothering her.
"But Spring surely ain't doin' what she wants?" he interjected, because it really didn't seem to make sense, how could Mother Nature be so controlling if she allowed one of her Seasonals to act in such a manner.
"I do not really understand that part of it, but what it comes down to is like a child with their toys, she can break us all she likes but if someone else dares touch us they will face her wrath, that is why we cannot simply kill Spring, in her eyes it would be taking away something that is hers so there would have to be consequences. The problem is all the while we pass on the seasons as if nothing is wrong she does not care, but if we were to try to interfere with that, say, Jack refuses to complete the ritual with Spring, he would be in the way and immediately looses his purpose to her"
The Pooka sighed "So he would have to die"
She nodded, seemingly pleased he was following her "Exactly, so now we are trapped in a unfair system, you want to somehow release Jack of his title as the Winter Spirit but please understand that would be stealing Jack to her, and if she cannot have him nobody will and again that would be reason to kill him"
"But would she really kill him? Are you sure its not just all threats?" Bunny wondered and hoped for the answer to be what he wanted.
"In my first few decades as Autumn I witnessed the death of the previous Spirit of Spring... I do not know what he did, I think it was something rather petty honestly, but it was enough for Mother Nature to become enraged and turn his body into flowers" she sighed.
"Flowers?" he echoed, cocking his head to one side.
"Marigolds and lavender, his body simply fell apart, it looked painful"
"B-but there must be somethin' that can be done! Ya can't just let her go on like this, let Jack go on like this" Bunny tried, because he couldn't just accept that this was how it was always going to be, there had to be something he could do to help Jack, there was always something.
"Everyone thinks because we are the Spirits of the Seasons that we are all powerful beings but truly we are nothing, just stupid play things to her" she huffed, the centuries of bitterness clear behind her words.
"An' ya just have ta do what she tells ya" he demanded, the annoyance rising in his tone
"That is the idea, I do my job, I do what I am told, I do not get turned into leaves" she said in a deadpanned tone, ears twitching.
He slammed his paw down on the table, making her jump a little "But ya can't just accept that! There has ta be somethin' we can do, somethin' ya haven't tried yet, I can't just give up and admit defeat"
"There is nothing to be done, we do what we are told, we stay alive" she growled back, nose scrunching up in distaste.
"But that's givin up hope! I can't let Jack go back ta that stone table next Spring-" he began, his emotions starting to get the better of him. He had promised Jack he would help and he had promised himself the younger Guardian would never have to see that stone table again ever in his life. He couldn't break that promise, not now, not ever.
"Well you will have to! Why do you not understand that?" Felorieth cut in, sitting up a little more in the chair, silently trying to make herself bigger.
"Look, I promised Jack I would help him, I'm meant ta keep him safe! An' there's always somethin! There's always hope!" because if there was something he had to believe in it was that he had hope.
"Not when its false hope, promising things that cannot be done is cruel and will break his heart" she hissed, folding her arms across her chest tightly.
Bunny puffed out a hard breath, holding back the growls that threatened to slip out with his claws digging into the table as he stared into her equally frustrated face, eyes heavy with shadows underneath and briefly the question of should she be hibernating crossed his mind. "Alright, what if I went after Spring on my own? Nothin' ta do with you or Jack, I ain't a Seasonal she can't control me?"
Felorieth shifted uncomfortably "She would know we were involved, it is not safe to try such a thing. Believe me when I tell you we tried these things centuries ago, we tried everything we could think of, when we asked the Wind to drop Spring out of the sky to try to end his life she found out and killed all the Autumn and Winter Sprites as punishment then promised if we ever tried such a thing again she would dispose of us"
"What about Manny? He chose Jack ta be a Guardian, there's no way she can argue with 'im! He'll just take Jack and there'd be squat all she can say ta that" the Pooka tried, frantically trying to pull any idea from his head, something had to work.
"Jack would be dead before you can hide him! She would know, she always knows! You cannot run from her! She will not care what anyone has to say he was hers first and she will not let him go!" The Faun yelled at him, her thin veil of control slipping away to reveal the fear and anger underneath.
"Ya don't know that until ya try!" Bunny barked back, standing up so quickly he knocked his chair over that clattered in the silent room other for their breathing. He marched over to the door determined to force her to leave. He did not see her also stand, the snowglobe firmly clasped in her hand or her arm pull back as she threw it at him but he certainly felt it clunk him in the back of the head, smashing against his skull. The portal opened around him and he let out a shrill scream as the world blurred and his feeling his stomach drop while he fell. He tumbled out to land in deep snow where he laid trying to get his breath back and for his heart to stop thumping in his head.
"Ya could of killed me!" he hissed, face down in the snow as the Faun stepped neatly throw the portal which snapped closed behind her.
"For such an old Spirit you are very fussy" she noted in a distasteful tone and her head tilted to one side as she stared down at him.
He resisted the urge to snap back at her, if only because his head was still violently spinning. He staggered to his feet and peered down at himself, great now there was snow stuck in clumps to his fur and the cold was seeping down to his skin, not to mention his feet were already stinging from the cold. He huffed and looked up, half expecting them to be outside the North Pole but the sight that greeted him wasn't that. They stood out in the middle of a wide and barren frozen wasteland. No plant life for as far as the eye could see with the ground hidden under the snow and chilled solid. Great spikes of ice rose from the ground like towers reaching high up into the sky.
"Follow me, there is something you have to see" Felorieth instructed walking past him, he turned around to comply. Any retort he had been about to make was swiftly cut off when his gaze fell on what stood before them. The ice spikes were spaced closer together where they eventually met in some sort of circular structure. He followed her towards the structure, careful not to touch any of the wickedly sharp smaller spikes that littered the area, all pointing outwardly as if to stop him, or anyone else from coming here. With what seemed practised ease the Faun lead them around to the side of structure and stepped between a gap where two giant pieces of met. "Watch your step" she advised after Bunny nearly slipped trying to support himself against the frozen wall as he came behind her. Inside the structure was a maze of more shards but with a left turn here, a right turn there and a wiggle between a tight gap she continued on forwards. The spaces between the ice closed in and just as Bunny was becoming uncomfortable with his decision to follow her in here she stepped through one final gap then stood beside the entrance against the ice to make room for him to see.
Inside the very centre of the ice structure stood a figure, with it among the rest of the icicles and with the only a small amount of sunlight being let in through gaps in the spikes Bunny didn't understand what he was looking at for a moment then his eyes narrowed as he made out the human shape.
"Is that...?" the question died off in his throat, unwilling to say the name as he took a small step closer.
"Bernard" Felorieth confirmed with a sad sigh, arms firmly wrapped around herself.
The mound of crystal clear ice that was once the Winter Spirit stood facing him, his body enclosed by frozen stalagmites, seemingly trapping him in place. His form was hunched, his hands clutched to his head and his features twisted, his eyes pinched shut and his mouth open, he looked in pain. Bunny shifted even closer, ears pressed flat down as he stared into the face he had last seen at the Spring Equinox centuries ago. His paws hovered for a moment, nearly touching before he decided against it, not wanting to damage him nor did he really have the strength to.
"I... I don't... what happened here...?" he croaked out.
Felorieth's eye lifted from the ground to glare at him, her mouth twisting into a snarl "This is what happens when we displease her, this is what she does and with the way you are going Jack will end up like this too" she spoke, the anger barely held back at all "And I will be a pile of leaves" she muttered bitterly as an afterthought.
Bunny took in a shaky breath, so many things he wanted to say on the tip of his tongue, but really, what could he say? I'm sorry? I'm sorry that you and Jack are in danger? That Bernard is dead? Saying sorry simply was never going to make anything better. His eyes drifted over the ice again and caught sight of something glittering back at him in the dim light. A simple band of gold around Bernard's left ring finger, now that he saw it he wondered why he hadn't immediately, the Spirit had worn clothing of ice and frost and with his body now turned the ring was the only thing that stood out. "He was married?"
That clearly wasn't the reaction she was expecting if the pulled in eyebrows and twitching ears suggested anything, she gave a small sigh "My kin believed that when we found the one we wanted to be with our souls would be joined forever... I never did like the vows 'til death do us part' however we indulged each other in both our cultures in one ceremony, we did invite you"
Bunny spluttered, turning away from what remained of Bernard to fully face the Faun. They were married? A sudden urge to smash his head into the ice walls grew, this only made things worse. "W-why did ya invite me?!" he baulked, unsure whether he wanted to laugh, start yelling or throw up and yup smashing his head was looking like a good choice right now.
"We extended invitations to all Spirits connected to the Seasons, it would have been Spring that asked you as we each sought out the Spirits of our own Season"
Bunny swore under his breath and tried to think, he had been invited? This would of have to been good long time ago, maybe, six or seven hundred years perhaps? Maybe longer? He blinked as it hit him, he did remember Spring lurking around a freshly opened tunnel and was waiting for him when he came back from checking some flowers one day. The git had grinned at him before asking him to come to some big shindig the Seasonals were having, he had politely declined and jumped down the hole. It had been before he met the Guardians, before he felt like he wanted to be around people.
"Yea... I remember" he murmured.
"The Sandman attended" Felorieth added.
"Why did bloody Sandy go?" he bit back a laugh, maybe a sob, who knew.
"We thought his powers would be useful if the younger sprites became too rowdy and Summer suggested he would enjoy it" she spoke softly, a small smile appearing at the memories "The silly little creature became so very drunk but he did give beautiful performances with his sand"
Yup that sounded just like Sandy at a party, entertain everyone then get absolutely wasted.
"You should have gone, it was a wonderful night, we were all so happy... Spring was Bernard's best man, it was a title he lived up to from what I understand, he made it his mission to embarrass Bernard, it was all in good nature but it was very entertaining, Bernard became quickly frustrated and dropped snow on him!" she let out a puff of air, almost a laugh, but not quite and a smile with a far away look in her eyes. However she seemed to return to the present and her features hardened "But then Spring betrayed us" she bit out, glaring around at the ice before leaning against the wall behind her, deflating like air being let out of a balloon. "Why did he have to do this to us..."
"Look shiela... sometimes people just change" Bunny offered.
"No not Spring, he and Bernard were like brothers... the old Spring... our Spring would have rather die than hurt his friends... it never made sense, it was as if he changed overnight, one day he simply wasn't the same man we knew anymore"
Bunny sighed, shifting his feet against the icy ground, he wanted to leave it at that, he really did, but he simply had to know. "What happened to Bernard?"
Felorieth peered at him for a moment, probably debating on how much she should tell him, she looked to Bernard again, her ears tilted downwards. "When Spring changed and began... hurting him Bernard couldn't bare it, the fact that it was his best friend who wanted to harm him broke his heart... over the years he grew bitter and hateful and pushed everyone away, by the last few decades of his life he was hardly the man I married, only a shadow of his former self, he was paranoid and terrified of anyone who tried to approach him... I do not even think he recognised me in the end... he was so frightened he threw all of his power into creating a terrible storm, one that was so strong he would of brought about another ice age if he had not been stopped" she sniffled, nose twitching uncomfortably as tears shone in her eyes "I tried to reach him but I was not fast enough... Mother Nature got to him before I could"
"See this is the thing I can't agree with ya about, ya tellin' me we can't do anythin' but ya bring me here? What are ya tryin' ta prove this is what could happen ta Jack?" Bunny started, shifting from his hunched crouch to stand, gesturing towards Bernard "Cause all yer showin' me is what will happen ta Jack if nothin' is done"
"Please don't, I am too tired for this argument" she implored, pressing her faces to her face and holding her head.
He glared at her, she was bloody tired?! She weren't the one being raped and tortured every year "If Bernard ended up dyin' cause he couldn't cope what stops the same thing happenin' ta Jack?! Is that what ya want?! Ya want Jack frozen here right next ta him!?"
"Of course not!" she growled, lowering her hands to glare back at him.
"Cause that's what's gonna happen! Look I bet there's even room for him in here! He's only a little we could squeeze him in, two ice statues together" he yelled, gesturing wildly around.
Bunny must have gotten a little too close to the frozen remains because he was forcefully thrown back into the ice wall by a powerful blast of wind.
"Do not touch him!" Felorieth screamed, an honest terrified scream. Rushing over to check no damage had been done, her hands hovering for a moment as she checked for any cracks. Tears trickling down her freckled cheeks as she gently brushed the back of her fingers over Bernards temple. "You should leave" she hissed.
"What?" he huffed, breathing in deeply in an effort to regain some control over himself.
"You heard me! Get out!" she yelled, turning away from Bernard and rounding on the Pooka. "You don't understand anything!" reaching back she pulled her bow from her shoulder, tears glistening on her skin.
"Look, we both wanna help but-" Bunny tried, paws held up in a show that he meant her no harm in the hope that he wouldn't end up with an arrow through his head.
"I am tired and frightened and you are not helping at all" spat then stopped her words apparently catching up with her before she let out a swear under her breath in a language that Bunny didn't understand "Jack is all I have left now ... Bernard is dead, Spring is not who he once was and Summer hasn't spoken a word to me in centuries..."
"Don't ya see her every year when she passes on the year ta ya?"
"You would not believe how uncomfortable that is now she is silent" she said, in a tone that suggested it was a joke but her sullen expression admitted it wasn't. "Jack is the only one left alive I care about and I need to make sure he stays that way" she turned away from him and went back to Bernard, clearly expecting him to leave as she had said. Moving to sit hunched over herself in front of the remains with her stiff back towards him.
Bunny took a careful step towards her, ears perked up "You know, I'm the last of my kind too"
"That would explain why no one has ever seen another one like you" she paused and tilted her head to lay on her knees before she asked curiously "What happened?"
"... there was a war" was all he gave out in a whisper.
"There always is, so your lot got wiped out too then?" she repeated the phrase he had spat at her weeks previously, words that he better than anybody should have known not to use but doing it anyway because he knew how much it would hurt, because he wanted it to hurt.
"Autumn I'm sorry 'bout everythin' I said 'bout ya an' Bernard too... an' I'm so sorry I never tried to help Bernard"
"Well I do not forgive you She spat, shifting around to glare at him" "It is too late to say you are sorry now, perhaps you should of tried three hundred and one years ago when Jack became Winter or even better when Spring first turned on us! Being sorry is not going to change anything... it will not bring Bernard back" something about what she said felt wrong, but he couldn't think just what it was that was bothering him about her words.
"Yer makin' it sound like I wanted this to happen, I never asked for this ta happen" he huffed out, his frustration just beginning to get the better of him again.
"Well neither did I! protect Autumn, pass on the year and keep it going, that is what I was meant to do. I'm supposed to protect the year... how can I do that when I can't even protect one little boy" she looked like she wanted to be angry, but with the way she seemed to be running out of steam and the tears that still coated her face only made her look tired and heartbroken.
Bunny sighed, all anger evaporating, he couldn't be angry with her, he really wasn't that much of an arse "I think ya've done the best ya could, sure as hell a lot more than anythin I've even thought about doin'"
"I told you..." she sniffled, idly scrubbing at her face with the back of her hand.
Bunny continued, hopping a little closer, whiskers twitching "And I think yer really brave ya know why?"
"Because even after everythin thats happened yer still fighting, ya never gave up because ya never left Jack, ya've always been there to protect him" really he felt somewhat oddly grateful about that fact because it meant that Jack hadn't been alone all those years.
She gazed up at him, before shrugging and glancing away"I did not want to help Jack, I once despised him" she began and then stopped, searching for the right words "... well it was more I despised the idea of him, it was childish but I did not want anyone to be the Spirit of Winter"
"Ya didn't want them replacin Bernard, that's a normal way ta feel" Bunny offered, he knew only too well the strange ways one could feel when dealing with grief.
Felorieth nodded "But when I first saw him he was so alone and frightened, he looked up at me with his big sorrowful eyes and I could not just leave him there"
"I promise ya, I won't let anythin happen ta Jack" he pleaded. It was a promise he had even intention of keeping, for all of their sakes.
The Faun gave out a huff "There you go again with your false hope, how can a Spirit so old be so positive"
"Cause when all ya got is hope ya believe in it with everythin' ya are"
Felorieth made a disbelieving expression, looking like she wanted to add a snarky retort but thinking better of it, she stood up to fully face him "As much as I despise you right now fighting will not help Jack so we will start again" she stuck her hand out towards him, then looked a little apologetic "I'm afraid I do not know of your kin's customs so best to go with the human way. I am Felorieth, last of the Kililock forest Fauns"
"I'm Aster, last of the Pookas" he reached and clasped her smaller hand in his paw.
She smiled "I want Jack to be safe and happy, always" her gazed at him with burning eyes "We need to work together to keep him safe, agreed?"
"Yea" he nodded. Letting go of her hand with the intention of bidding farewell and leaving, he had lifted his foot to summon a tunnel when it finally hit him. "Wait... ya said three hundred and one..." he began, his brain clicking on what had bothered him earlier.
"Yes?" she shrugged.
The dread washed over him like the ice around him "... when was the Spring Equinox last year? Was it late?" he asked, voice barely there.
"It was after your pointless holiday if that's what you are asking" she replied, looking at him questionably when he failed to react to the jab.
Bunny gave out choked sound, words completely failing him. Jack had gone to the Spring Equinox after becoming a Guardian? He had defeated Pitch Black, saved them all then silently went off by himself to the Ritual without ever even mentioning it? How did they not notice that? How did he not notice? "He never said anythin'" he managed to whimper.
"He did not trust you" the Faun replied, unhelpfully. Yet as much as her words hurt, they were true, why would Jack tell him? He hadn't done anything to let the boy feel like he could trust him. They had forced him to help him, bribing him with his memories, something that should have rightfully been his anyway and then turning on him after believing he had betrayed them. He had nearly died fighting their battle for them and they had hardly done much to show how grateful they were. He remembered not seeing Jack, or any of the Guardians really for roughly a month after the battle, he had basically dropped into his nest and did not venture above ground at all during that time, too exhausted from everything that had happened. Jack had gone off to let himself be tortured without a complaint, probably spending the rest of the month hidden away by Felorieth somewhere, in pain and Bunny hadn't even thought of bothering to check up on him.
"Spring behaved very oddly last year, he was enraged with Jack but seemed to weak to do too much harm" she added, disturbing alright with speaking so freely about this and suddenly Bunny had to get away, be anywhere else but not here with her, with bernard.
"I... I have ta go" Bunny uttered, on the verge of shaking "Ya better be off too, too cold here fer ya" he mumbled turning away from her and thumping his foot twice against the icy ground and jumping down the hole. Ready to throw up.
omygosh I've postponed this damn thing so much if I keep fiddling with it it'll never be done so just take it, urgh, I might still fiddle with this chapter I dunno anymore *casually bangs head
ok but this is the last of the messing about chapters, next one with have Bunny and Jack sorting out their issues, also the blizzard cause that needs sorting too, ye so basically the actual plot can pick up again after this so I needed to get this out of the way, then we get to deal with Spring and Mother Nature, phew. This is turning into such a drawnout thing and I wanna finish it already so I'm eternally grateful to anyone whos still following this you are all beautiful angels *sobs*
Jack stared up at the clouds, as he sat reclined on the fence of the Bennett's house, waiting for Jamie to come home from school. The family's dog, Abby, yawned from where she lay by the porch in the afternoon sun, she had quickly become accustomed to Jack's presence after he had begun visiting regularly and paid him no mind, apart from the occasional greet and lick.
The yawn seemed to be contagious, Jack's own jaw opening wide with a sigh of breath. He scrubbed a hand down his face in some frustration, waiting for Jamie was boring, it was a school day and he was waiting for his young believer to return home to play with him. With spring in full force and having gone over the few parts of the world that still needed snow and ice the last couple of days he decided he was definitely due some time with his favourite kids. He had forgotten about school though, he pouted, what a dull thing that took up kids time when they should be out playing, playing with him to be precise. He'd briefly considered going and sitting in on Jamie's last class of the day with him but that would be even more boring, plus it would mean being cooped up inside, he had probably seen the same lesson at least seven times already from sitting in classes with generations of kids for decades, there was only so much you could hear the same elementary level stuff before it got sickeningly tiresome.
On hearing the familiar noise of the family's car arriving and pulling up onto the drive Jack grinned to himself, jumping into the air to squat on the roof of the house. He quickly formed a snowball and pulled his arm back, launching the frozen projectile to hit Jamie in his chest dead centre, letting out a joyful cheer and waving as Jamie spotted him and waved back.
After following their mother inside for a few moments, just long enough to dump his backpack Jamie came out the back door to where Jack had landed to stand on the fresh green grass of the garden, Sophie trundling behind. “Jack!” he cheered running and throwing himself into the Guardian's awaiting arms, fiercely hugging him and laughing as Jack held onto him, lifted them both off the ground and spun them around.
“Jack up! Jack up!” Sophie pleaded, clapping her little hands together, bouncing up and down on the spot until Jack relented placing Jamie safely down on his feet before scooping her up and spinning making her shriek with happiness. Coming to a slow stop he crossed his legs under him and sat comfortably mid air with Sophie still giggling in his lap.
“So how's my two favourite kids been?” he grinned, reaching out and messing up Jamie's hair with the hand that wasn't holding onto the smaller child.
“It's kinda boring here without you since spring started, but its nearly Easter so we're gonna have a huge egg hunt!”
“You guys excited for Easter?” Jack beamed at them, “Are you ready to get all the eggs this year Soph?”
The child in his arms looked up to him with large uneasy eyes “Bunny gone, no eggs” at this Jack frowned in confusion and about to question it when Jamie spoke up.
“She means Bunny hasn't visited her in a while, I keep trying to tell her it's probably because he's so busy getting the eggs ready but she really misses him”
“You're big brother is right, Bunnys just been busy painting all the eggs for you to find on the big day” the Guardian soothed, rubbing his hand against her back as she nodded and snuggled more into him.
“Bunny come back soon?” she asked gently.
“You betcha and with all the best Easter eggs just for you”
“See Soph, told you” Jamie grinned at his little sister.
“You know what, I think it's time I go check up on old long ears, a little quality check to make sure those eggs are good enough for you guys” Jack smirked “But first, who wants to tell me what you learnt in school today”
After a few hours talking and playing with the kids Jack was back in the air, soaring high into the clouds on the Wind. Soon flying over oceans and mountains until he reached his destination, the North Pole. With a cheerful laugh he ducked down into a small open window high above the main work room. After Jack had moved in it had been made a requirement that there should always be a window left open for the frost boy, so that he would never feel shut out again. He swooped down and around the large globe that stood centre in the grand building and clocking Phil, who was busy painting a table full of toy tractors, he rolled his hands together forming a perfectly round snowball. He let the snow projectile fly and laughed at Phil's cry of distress. He landed beside the control panel where a group of elves sat doing something odd with left over lengths of colourful ribbon, waving his staff over them to give them a little dusting of snow. The small creatures all pausing in their activity and some opening their mouths to catch large snowflakes on their tongues and others snatching at them with grabby little hands.
“Jack!” North boomed merrily, walking across the level to greet him with his arms open wide for an incoming hug when he paused, watching the elves “Why are you making it snow on dingles?”
“They love it” Jack grinned, rotating his hand around and effortlessly creating a breeze to catch up the snowflakes and twirl them around the gleeful elves, the swirling eddies pulling at their bells and making them jingle.
North smiled back before fulfilling his task and grabbing the boy up in a hug and lifting him off his feet for a moment then planting him firming back on the floor. “Jack walk with me” he implored, nodding his head along the level and in the direction of the lift.
“Later guys” Jack called affectionately toward the elves and throwing once last handful of snow at them before he followed behind the elder Guardian resting his staff easily over his shoulder.
“You are well, da?” North questioned “Been a few days since you were last here”
Jack nodded “Yeah I'm good thanks, had some stuff to do. I do have places I need to check the weather even when it's not winter, also been hanging out with Felly and the kids, then I had to check on the snow sprites, check in on the penguins over on the South Pole, making people slip over, you know the usual”
North nodded, stroking his beard in thought. “And how is Autumn Faun?” he asked conversationally, although he was a little surprised to hear Jack mention her, he hadn't spoken a word about her since he had awoken from his hibernation almost three weeks ago, although North had his suspicions that she was still breaking in occasionally, what with the odd leaf scattered here and there through out the Pole and an unusual breeze passing through even when Jack wasn't there. It was concerning the lack of mention because since he had woken he hadn't spoken of anything, not the other Seasonals, not Mother Nature and certainly not Spring. They each had tried, all in their own different ways, to gently question him about what had happened and if there was anything they could do to help, to comfort him but each time the lad had point blank ignored the questions and always managing to turn the conversation in a different direction or ask about Bunny, who also had not been seen for three weeks. At which point the conversation got rather awkward because there was no answer for that one, only trying to provide the reasoning that with Easter soon their Pooka friend was obviously bogged down in his work, because what else could they say?
Jack paused for a moment “She's ok” he managed, frowning a little. In truth the Autumn Spirit had been up to something, he knew, but like always she would not tell him or give him a straight line. She was afraid of something but when he had outright asked she had given him her best deer caught in the head lights look before flittering off and asking the Wind was a complete waste of time, Wind only ever spoke in the vaguest of riddles which was completely no help whatsoever. Something about light? Not enough light? He had no idea, and honestly it had been giving him a headache trying to understand the Wind.
“And young friends?”
The boy's face brightened “They're great, Jamie got three gold stars on his maths homework and Sophie lost her first tooth!” he beamed.
“Ahh, I'm sure Toothy will be most happy at this news” North chuckled opening the door to his office and leading them inside, shutting the door behind himself. “Help yourself to cookies” he waved the boy towards his desk, where a plateful of colourful iced cookies sat sounded by new ice creations. Jack thanked him and wandered over, taking all the snowflake iced ones and nibbling on one and stuffing two others into his hoody pocket for later.
“These are really good” he admired at the toy prototypes strewn across the desk “Except you have a problem here” he nodded towards one little toy car that unfortunately had an unsightly crack across it's bonnet. He gently ran his fingers over it and smiled when it glowed under his magic and the ice healed over smoothly. Tiny wind shield wipers wiggled enthusiastically and the headlights lit up in a soft blue light as it came to life, the car gave a happy little beep beep and finding its wheels, began to carefully drive around the desk.
“Wonderful...” North breathed watching the small creation that he had been about to write off as a failure himself. Jack glanced towards him with a grin, turning back to the table just in time to see the poor little car take a corner too roughly and just about to topple over the edge. He threw out his hand and creating a bridge of ice to catch it, the little car beeped again merrily and Jack laughed, drawing his hands in front of him and extending the bridge into a road mid air as the car continued onwards and letting it dive around him on a sparkling spiral of ice that looped around until it reached the floor and let the magical ice carving roam freely out onto the floor. North gently scooped the car up as it rolled past his boot, examining it closely and it beeped at him. “Jack, we must talk”
“Oh yeah?” With a wave of his hand the ice spiral collapsed into chunks on the floor “About what?” The boy asked, he planted the staff upright against the floor and hopped up to perch on the crook comfortably, taking another cookie out of his pocket and nibbling on it.
North bent and placed the car back on the floor with all the care of handling a newborn child “Vell” he straightened up, facing the Winter Spirit doing his bird impression “We are concerned about Bunny” Jack's eyes widened as he continued to munch on his cookie “No one has seen him in many weeks and he refuses to talk to me”
Jack paused on the cookie “Is it my fault?” he asked quietly.
“No no no” North shook his head assuredly, because it was important that the boy understood none of what happened was his fault, that he should not even for one moment have the harmful idea. “Bunny is just being foolish rabbit”
“...But he's avoiding me”
“Bunny always rather hide away in Warren instead of meeting problems head on, is what makes him foolish, I try to tell him 'Bunny you must face your fears with strength and bravery' but he is very old rabbit set in his ways and never listens to me, even when I am always right. He runs from his feelings like he runs from hounds”
“His feelings?” Jack echoed, questioningly.
“Da! Bunny has feelings for you, but refuses to confront them, is plain as nose”
Jack's eyes widened a little, an eyebrow rose and he nearly wobbled from his staff if it hadn't been for the centuries of practice at balancing. “Bunny has feelings? For me?”
“Since you saved us from Pitch, old rabbit is not good at hiding things, short while after the battle I ask him 'old friend, why do fluff up around Jack so much, why does your nose turn pink whenever he is near, why do you shout pretending to be angry when you are joyous' he tells me to mind own business! Ha! Like I would do such a thing! I ask until he tells me truth and tells me of his strong feelings”
Jack took in an unsteady breath, casually sliding down from his perch to stand upright and clenching his staff “Bunny... likes me” he uttered, the only word he could manage for it right now “And I ruined it”
“No such thing, when you were sleeping he came everyday to sit by bed and watch. What happened with Spring party... did not change anything, you did nothing wrong, Jack he is full of wonder when he looks at you”
“So what do I do? He won't talk to me”
“Go to him, make him talk” North stepped past Jack and walked towards the shelves to the right of the door, glancing across the many items and bottles for a brief moment before picking up a snow globe, coming back he held it out to the boy. “Rabbit is a fool, but is fool with good heart and we need him back, whatever you choose be kind and truthful, to both of you.”
“Thanks North” Jack uttered, giving the old man a shy smile before his eyes darted away to the floor as he took a hold of the snow globe. “The Warren” he spoke and watched as the swirling snow in the globe transformed into green and Easter eggs.
“Ah Jack” North's called, just stopping the boy from throwing the globe “Afterwards bring home some rum dah? Bunny doesn't share anymore” Jack grinned at him before smashing the globe down at his feet and was enveloped in a mass of swirling colours and magic.
Emerging through on the other side had Jack blinking against the bright light, a briefly painful difference from that of the deep colours and dim light in North's office. A glance around told him that he was in the Warren, that was for certain, but where was the question. How big was this place anyway? During his brief time in this place last Easter he had gotten the impression that he had only seen a small fraction of Bunny's home, it could go on for miles and miles, it could take hours to find the Pooka. Sighing to himself he knocked his staff off his shoulder to hold straight up high by the very end and closed his eyes. He tossed the staff into the air, having the self awareness not to take himself out with it accidentally, and opened his eyes again when he heard it thump down into the grass. The crook was pointing in a south west direction, so that's where he would go he decided. He kicked the staff up as he walked forward and with an easy catch had it resting over his shoulder again as he settled in for what could be a long walk.
He admired the plants as he went by, even though he typically wasn't a plant type of person, seeing as most didn't do well in the cold. Some he recognised and some seemed very strange and new to him, but there were many places on the planet he didn't visit, he figured the big odd ones where from some rainforest somewhere, not a place for a winter spirit as the humidity melted his frost and only made him miserable and nauseous. Same went for the entire nation of Australia, he had been a few times out of curiosity, because when people start sending out shipfulls of convicts across the world its such a bizarre notion that it had to be investigated. While the kangaroos were great fun and Koalas delightful any place with spiders bigger than dinner plates that were considered not a problem was not a place he wanted to be in, because what the hell was with those spiders and anyway the sun made him weak and unhappy.
He continued on through a group of boulders, larger than himself, scattered here and there in the grass. When one of them promptly rotated and moved he nearly let out a startled yelp, not a scream, not by any means more of a manly shout. If anyone had asked he would say he gave a threatening noise to ward off danger. More boulders moved as the first one clambered up and towards him with an angry expression craved into its stone. Bunny's egg sentinels.
The nearest one didn't stop wobbling towards him with seemingly bad intentions or looking so angry “Hey, whoa guys, it's me Jack, you know Guardian of Fun, protector of children and Bunny's friend” he held up his hands non threateningly which made the eggs pause around him, while the leader seemed to consider this then rotated around to show its happy face, the others mimicking it. “Do you know where Bunny is?” he asked, the egg rocked forwards and backwards in a nodding gesture “Can you take me to him?” again the rocking followed in the egg turning around and toddling off in another direction, the other eggs following up the rear like body guards as they lead the boy towards their creator.
Seeing little Easter eggs scampering about as they got closer was a good sign Jack figured and soon they came across a meadow to a round hill that rose from the ground and had windows and a door that had been left open, this was Bunny's house? Bunny lived in a damned Hobbit Hole? What was up with that? The sentinels continued on over to around the side of the house where a beautiful vegetable garden was to be found, including a certain Pooka digging up carrots.
He sucked in a breath and walked forward before he could get nervous and chicken out of it. “Hey Bunny!”
The Pooka sat straight up, ears locked in his direction before the rest of his body turned around “Jack! What are you doing here” he questioned, noticeably anxious.
Jack faltered slightly “I came to see you” he gave a weak smile.
“I'm very busy right now, you should go” Bunny began quickly dumping his gardening tools into a wicker basket that sat beside him full of carrots, snatching up the basket and standing ready to move off.
“But I just got here” Jack tried, twisting his staff between his hands. Bunny ignored him as he skirted around the far side of the garden, furthest away from the boy and towards the house. “Look I came to apologise!” at his words Bunny came to a dead stop, nearly tripping over himself and dropping the basket and spilling carrots on the ground. “... I just want to talk to you, please don't go”
Bunny turned and stared at him, his eyes wide “... You want to apologise...?”
Jack nodded “... I'm really sorry about what I did, it wasn't ok to put that on you-” he wasn't able to continue on that train of thought because all of a sudden Bunny was a lot closer than he had been a moment ago, not in touching distance but only just falling short of it apparently not sure if he should come too close.
Bunny's ears stood rigid up right, his nose twitching and eyes taking on a concerned look “Mate I'm the one who should apologise, not you”
“What?” he blinked, tilting his head to the side. “Why? Hold up I'm confused”
At this Bunny's ears folded back flat against his head, eyes turning away from the boy “I... I raped you”
“But I...” Jack paused, staring at the older Guardian for a moment “I think we need to have a proper talk about this, ok”
The Pooka nodded numbly before gesturing towards the open door to his home “You wanna come inside?” he asked, trying to at least be some sort of good host before his brain went into full panic mode and shut down on all niceties.
The boy peered over past him into the cottage, eyeing it up and wrinkling his nose at the idea. It looked nice enough, cosy for sure and no doubt any home belonging to Bunny would be a pleasant place to be but it did look awfully small, maybe even bordering on uncomfortably so and there was something about other peoples homes that sometimes made him anxious, probably what happens after spending three hundred years living outside or in a cave. “I'm good out here” he fumbled with his staff for a moment before stepping over to a particular good looking patch of grass just on the edge of the vegetable garden and patted the spot beside him as he sat down and Bunny silently came to sit beside him, tense and stiff as a statue. “... I like your garden, its nice”
He continued to fiddle with his staff that laid across his lap, considering what to say, or even just something to get the Pooka to talk, he wondered if he could get a tour of the garden, it really was nice. After a moment he sighed, swallowing hard “For the record, you didn't rape me”
Bunny took in a shuddering breath beside him “I held ya down and forced myself on ya”
Jack let out a groan and dragged a hand through his hair, blinking when a trail of ice was left behind, biting back a curse as he scrubbed out the worst of the ice and mentally told himself to get better control. “Ok so just stop right there, you did not rape me, I asked you to do it, I agreed to it, you did nothing wrong”
“...But you were so scared”
“... Not of you, I was scared of them... I didn't want Spring touching me again” he shifted to place his hand down on a furry shoulder and leaned towards the other Guardian, trying to catch his eyes. “I know I freaked out, I'm sorry, that sucked for both of us but I swear I don't hate you, I asked you to help... and you did. I know you probably don't understand how much you helped but you really did. You stopped all of them hurting me... Every year they get to spend hours messing with me, I can't stop them at all, if I try Spring would just refuse to take over the year then let me tell you I'd be for the axe, literally and figuratively. So I just have to accept what ever fucked up thing comes out of their nasty little heads... you know I've never done a single bad thing to any of them? Like they just outright hate me I don't get why” he paused, swallowing around the lump in his throat before glancing back to Bunny, who's eyes were now set on him “I'm loosing track but the point is they can do whatever they want with me, I mean if Mother Nature wasn't in charge they would of probably killed me decades ago, especially the creatures that like eating humans.... they … rape me and torture me and just ugh” he stopped again, clenching his hands as flecks of frost grew between his fingers “But this year you protected me, they didn't do any of that stuff... I felt safe with you... kinda felt good with you” he broke off into a nervous cough, looking away as more frost coated his face.
“You honestly don't hate me?”
“I swear on my oath”
“Ok...” Bunny breathed, ears twitching thoughtfully.
“Oh yeah, I just remembered something” Jack spoke up again and Bunny turned back to him just in time to get a snowball thrown in his face, he spluttered and flailed to get the horrid frozen stuff out of his eyes and nose. “That's for being a jerk to Felly! Seriously what the hell was that about? She's my oldest friend and you go and treat her like a criminal!”
Rubbing the last of the snow from his nose he nodded “I guess I deserved that, I know I was a real gumby, I'm sorry. Two of us had a little chit chat though recently, mostly all squared away now”
“Wait, Felly got you to admit you were wrong? What did she say? Must of been something really good to win you over”
“Just about you... an' about her husband”
Jack's eyes widened and he looked down at his hands “Oh... she doesn't talk about him a lot” this surprised Bunny a little, seeing as every time he had spoked to the Faun she had spoken of the past Winter Spirit, although maybe that was a new thing and besides what with the circumstances being what they were she probably wouldn't want Jack to know too much about him on the chance it would distress him.
“Has she told you anything about him?”
“I know he was the Winter Spirit before me and that he died that's mostly what she told me. I know where he died but I've never been there because she told me not to go, never pressed it seeing as its her husbands grave … and I know what happens to me happened to him too, uh... Spring told me that”
“He talks a lot and tries to say things he thinks will upset me” he scoffed “But as for Felly I don't get that much from her, I guess its just one of those things people don't like to talk about...” he trailed off before clearing his throat and grinning at the Pooka “But yeah, anyway in conclusion I don't hate you so you can stop being Mr Grumpy Pants all of the time and get out once in a while because it's kinda worrying everyone, mostly Sophie, she's worried she's not getting any eggs this year” he gave him a light punch to the shoulder, still grinning and shuffled closer.
Bunny gave a light smile in return “The little sheila has nothing to worry about, I've got a bunch all specially done just for her as well as some other prezzies for her and her brother”
“Aww you really are a big softy” Bunny chuckled and pushed him back “So you wanna hug?” he asked.
The Pooka's nosed twitched “What?”
“I think we should hug it out, sure its against the bro code but come on I'm fairly certain we're past that anyway” he smirked, leaning back and opening his arms out. Bunny looked at him for a long moment, trying to work out if this was some sort of prank but at his hesitation Jack's grin faulted slightly, like ice cracking, his eyes seeming strained and he couldn't bare it, throwing caution to the wind and pulling the boy into his arms. He pretended not to notice the relieved huff of air Jack gave as he settled into the embrace.
After an suitable amount of time, although not for Bunny, he wouldn't of minded holding on to the frost spirit a while longer, Jack pulled back but not completely away and they sat shoulder to shoulder leaning against one another with Jack's hands loosely holding around his forearm. “Mate there's somethin' I've been wonderin' about and was hopin' you could tell me”
Jack hummed and continued to carefully rub his thumb through the fur of his arm “What's that?”
“Yer mate Autumn mentioned the blizzard of '68 but said I should speak ta ya about it, can you tell me?”
Jack's hands paused in their activity, fingers gripping tightly before pulling away “What I said about things people don't talk about, I think this is one of those times” he spoke, his breath shuddering out.
Bunny's ears were quick to swivel around to focus on the winter spirits rising heart rate but even so he continued gently “Please mate, I just wanna understand what happened back then”
“I wasn't in a good place... I'm sorry about the blizzard but I don't really want to talk about it”
“I don't care about the blizzard, Jack I wanna know what happened to you, Autumn mentioned the Snow Queen was involved, did she attack you?” he asked, he had been wondering if the Snow Queen was the one really to blame since the trip to her Ice Palace, the thought rested heavily in his mind, maybe Jack had been blamed for her actions for decades, with all the bitterness and dislike that came with the assumption.
“...You were so angry at me” At this point Jack had angled his entire body away from the other Guardian, fingers clenched into the fabric of his trousers as he near curled up on himself.
“That's cause I'm a bleedin' idiot, I'm sorry I yelled at ya that day, it really only was a few eggs got lost in the snow, I was a real jerk”
Jack took a shaky breath after a few long moments of silence “... Spring was late that year” he began, Bunny watching him concerned but letting him find his words in his own time instead of pushing him “It had been a long Winter and the Spring Equinox and Easter ended up being on the same day... I wasn't in a good state... It was a rough time for me for the last few years and it all was just building up, I wasn't coping... then the Spring Equinox comes around and I just... flipped out I guess, went on bit of a rampage, I refused to do the ritual and ran away from Felly... Spring didn't seem to care, like he saw it coming and he just sent the Snow Queen after me to collect me rather than do it himself, he'd promised her if she caught me I'd be her's afterwards...”
“What is it with her and you” Bunny probed gently.
Jack shrugged and gave an indiscriminate sniffle “Took back a kid she stole, protected a little girl and helped her find her friend in the Ice Palace, when that crazy weirdo saw me she was more interested in me than the kids, she wants her own child and she thinks I'm the perfect candidate what with us both being of winter and all that, she's always trying to kidnap me”
“If it makes ya feel any better ya should ask North about the time Halloween Tricksters kidnapped him”
“Seriously? They got North?”
“Under the instruction of some skeleton gumby who wanted to take over Christmas, would have been a good laugh except for some little tykes got a bit of a nasty scare, it was all sorted out though and North still sends that skeleton a greetings card every year”
“Huh” Jack breathed, taking in the new information before getting back to where he was “So anyway, the Snow Queen was after me, I didn't really have a plan of what I was doing... I just wanted to get away, then I bumped right into you... and we hadn't really ever met and all I could think of was 'here's another Spring being after me'”
“That's why you were so angry” the Pooka mourned.
Jack nodded a little “Anyway, you know what happened there, some insults, some punches thrown, then I went to hide in the woods outside Burgess and the Snow Queen found me again there, we got in another fight... then Felly caught up to us and starts screaming at me... did you hear the thunder in the blizzard? Or had you left by then?”
Bunny frowned, casting his mind back to that time decades ago, after having a bit of a scrap with Jack and the boy had bolted off, mostly what he remembered was how angry he was, the cold snow freezing his toes and the frantic frozen wind biting at his eyes, but he did remember it faintly, his ears twitched thinking of the rumble of thunder that broke out not far from the town, the echo still fresh to him, he nodded.
“Well that was Mother Nature coming to find out why I hadn't gone to the Spring Equinox, when Felly heard it she went out of her mind, told me I had to go with the Snow Queen...”
“Autumn turned on you?”
“Sort of... not exactly... I get why she did it, Mother Nature was coming to kill me and she was trying to save me in her own way... still took a good few years to mostly forgive her about that... still not sure I have completely, I wouldn't go until she had an arrow aimed straight for my head … both of them dragged me all the way to the Equinox... I tried to fight everyone, Spring found it hilarious... its hard to remember clearly I was kinda of out of it with fear... Felly tried to stop them, killed four of them before Spring put the knife to my face and threatened to cut out my eyes... he made her hold me down... took her three months to grow back the skin on her hands and arms I killed with frostbite from freezing her... Springs worse when I'm really afraid of him, pretty sure he gets off on fear...” he paused taking a wobbly breath and scrubbing his sleeve across his damp eyes, sniffling “I don't remember all of it, but it must of gone on for a few hours, I think I was half dead by the time Spring got bored and finished the ritual, he let the Snow Queen drag me off back to her Palace... in retrospect that wasn't so terrible, she did a decent job of healing me and as much as I hate her she has winter magic so its pretty compatible with mine and put me back together, although when I woke up she wanted to shove glass into my eyes I'm not sure what that was about then Felly managed to bust me out” he finished with frosted trails of tears down his face and pressing one balled up fist to his eyes.
“Jack I'm so damn sorry” Bunny uttered as he watched the boy, his ears limp and flat down.
Taking a few sniffles the winter spirit replied “S'not your fault”
“It bloody is” the Pooka relented, his own eyes wet and shining like emeralds. “I should of worked out somethin' was up that day, instead of just thinkin' of myself” There was a lot of 'should ofs' he thought, he should of tried to find out what had sent a normally gentle winter spirit wild instead of assuming he was just out to ruin Easter, he should of protected the boy from the Snow Queen and the spring beings, he should of done something three hundred and one years ago when Jack had become the Spirit of Winter, he should of stopped Spring centuries ago, he should of saved Bernard. He should of cared more.
Jack didn't give any reply, only continued sobbing as frost spread through the grass in a patch around him. Bunny listened for a few moments before deciding he couldn't bare it anymore. “C'mere frostbite” he soothed as he gently wrapped his arms around the boy's frame and pulled him in. He feared that Jack wouldn't handle his touch but was relieved when the spirit fully embraced him, curling up against his body and sinking his fingers into the fur of the Pooka's ruff. Bunny paid no attention to the tears that were freezing his fur into matted clumps where the boy's face was pressed into his shoulder, choosing instead to cup the back of his head with one paw while the other rubbed comfortingly at his heaving back, all the while making soft rumbling sounds.
The two of them sat together for a long time, even after Jacks sobs had dispersed and his breathing calmed, Bunny grinding his teeth together and purring as he rested his chin on top of the boy's head. The Pooka's ears tilted up as he glanced around them, the artificial light of the Warren was fading to be replaced by a mimic of twilight, which had taken a lot of fiddling with a mixture of magic and science to get perfect, complete with a soft glow from some of the plants that had a luminescence quality.
“It's getting late, you wanna be headin' off home to North's?” he asked softly, Jack shook his head firmly. “Ok then you have to come in with me then” he moved to stand, Jack merely repositioned himself to hold on like a limpet with his legs locked around the Pooka's waist and arms around his neck and still manage to hold onto his staff at the same time, dragging it over Bunny's shoulder. Luckily Jack was very light and Bunny had no real trouble in walking the short distance to his front door, even managing to snatch up the basket of carrots on the way past, on walking in he kicked the front door closed with his foot and planted Jack down on one of the chairs at the kitchen table. “You hungry mate?” he called over his shoulder as he placed the basket down on the counter beside the sink.
Jack shrugged a little “I'm ok”
“Well I'll get ya somethin just in case and if ya don't fancy it that's alright” Bunny set about getting them plates of a few slices of the fresh loaf he had baked earlier that day and some cheese, he placed the plates on the table before retrieving two glasses of water.
“Thanks” Jack smiled softly, taking hold of his glass and within seconds frost had formed around it and ice cubes floated in the water which he sipped at. Despite his previous rejection he had soon finished his meal and was crunching on the last of the ice from his glass. After clearing his plate Bunny stood up to put their plates and gasses in the sink to wash in the morning.
“I got a guest room if you want to sleep”
Jack's face frosted over, however it didn't stop him from rising to his feet and taking a step towards the Pooka, twiddling his staff anxiously in his hands. “I wanna stay with you” he mumbled out.
Bunny's ears twitched forward, curious “You sure Frostbite?” the winter spirit nodded, stepping closer again and holding onto the Pooka's wrist. He gently took ahold of the boy's hand and lead him out of the kitchen through a round doorway and along the hallway of his home to the door to his bedroom, nudging the door open and leading his guest inside.
“You sleep in a nest, a real nest” Jack smirked looking over the oval shaped dip in the floor that was full of blankets and pillows as he propped up his staff to lean against a wooden wardrobe.
“What did you expect mate, I'm a bunny” the Pooka retorted, stepping in the nest and pulling Jack by his hand with him “It's alright, isn't it? Not too unhuman for you?”
“Nah this is good, I sleep in trees remember, this is grandeur compared to a redwood branch” Jack followed him down into the nest, flopping onto his back casually.
Bunny nodded, a little relieved actually, and moved to lay next to his companion and pull a blanket over them both “Yer not gonna be too warm, are ya?” he queried, tucking the blanket around the boy.
“Well if I accidentally frost your furry butt in the night you know what happened”
Bunny chuckled and then reached out a paw from the blanket, looking at the softly glowing orbs of light, almost like fire lighting the room and with a downward movement of his paw the light dimmed into a comforting darkness, with just enough light left for the human to see by. “Night Frosty” he murmured with a yawn.
“Night fluff butt”
Bunny gave another yawn, ready to roll over and try to sleep when Jack surprised him,instead of keeping to his side of the nest the lad cautiously wiggled up to him, he paused for a moment as he seemed to evaluate the Pooka's reaction before throwing an arm around the lithe furry waist and pressing his face into a fluffy ruff. Bunny blinked “I'd never have ya pegged for bein' a cuddlier”
“Mmm you're fluffy and good to hug” Jack sighed happily, enjoying the other Guardian's warmth. Bunny smiled to himself, snuffling his nose through the boy's hair before gently resting his chin ontop of his head, both of his paws finding their way around the chilled body next to him and holding him gently. “This is nice” Bunny nodded in agreement and let out a pleased rumble when the movement inadvertently rubbed his chin against Jack's head.
He closed his eyes and let himself drift off to the sound of the boy's breathing and his own purring, Jack was right, this was really nice. They should of tried this before, although there had only been a handful of times throughout the years of his time on this planet he had slept beside someone willingly that didn't involve some accident with Sandy's magic. He could probably count the number of times within the last five hundred years on one paw and still have fingers left over.
He probably dozed off, not sure if it had been a few minutes or an hour before he was nudged back into full awareness. In his arms Jack had gotten colder than before near on becoming uncomfortably so and the Pooka's ears turned as the Winter Spirit's heart rate and breathing increased. His nosed twitched as he moved his paw to stroke along the boy's back. “Ok there frosty?” he murmured without managing to bring himself to open his eyes just yet. Jack didn't give a reply, only a slight muffed whine and trying to pull away from the Pooka's hold. “Jack?” Bunny questioned, eyes opening in the darkness and unconsciously pulling the boy back completely flush against his body and feeling something noticeably hard prodding against his thigh. “Oh”
“I'm sorry” Jack blurted out, now definitely trying to wiggle away and sitting up “I'm sorry I'll- I'll go”
“Now hold on Frostbite” Bunny called, leaning up onto one elbow and watching the boy already perching on the edge of the nest ready to escape “You don't have to go anywhere”
Jack tilted his head to the side, as if he was trying to see through some possible lie, frost growing under his hands as they clutched at the blankets under his feet. “Really?”
“Of course not, now come back” to prove his point Bunny lifted up the blanket and Jack slowly slid back in cautiously, although he laid with a good amount of space left open between them. “It's normal, nothing to be ashamed of, yer probably just not used to the warmth”
The boy nodded a little “Sorry, it was just nice and warm and … it felt happy and good” frost spread out his face at the admission.
“It's ok” Bunny soothed, reaching out a paw to cup the side of his face, fingers chilled lightly by the frosted blush. “I like ya too mate”
“Um... I was telling the truth before, … uh … when I said you felt good” he gripped onto the paw. “... And I think it would be fun if we maybe could do something like that again”
Bunny's nose twitched in interest, despite the pink tinge it had taken on “You want to? With me?”
“Yeah I think so...”
“Jack ya know that you don't have to do anything if you don't want to, right?” the Pooka asked, because it was so important that the boy clearly understood this, he was never going to have to do this if he hadn't consented ever again.
The Winter Spirit hummed, and gave a slow nod “Ok … but I think, I would like to … if that's … I mean if you want to”
The magic light automatically brightened the room a little, enveloping everything in a soft warm glow in response to Bunny's unconscious demand and he searched the boy's face, despite that fact that he had terrific night vision, because he needed to be absolutely sure he understood what his friend was telling him. The frost still coated his face, he chewed anxiously at his bottom lip and while his eyes looked a little afraid the raised eyebrow showed enough of that strong stubbornness peeking through the rest. “Ok mate, no harm in trying but if anythin' feels wrong or uncomfortable you tell me straight away, we will stop whenever you want, yer in charge here” The lad nodded, a shy grin breaking out. Bunny gently hooked his paws around his body and pulled him back in against him, his clothed erection fully pressed against his hip.
Jack peered over his shoulder, eyes searching out for his staff still where he had left it, and Bunny remembered how Spring had taken away the precious item “Yer staffs safe over there, do you want it?” he murmured softly but before he could even move to go fetch it Jack had crooked his finger in a summoning motion, the staff sparkling a faint blue light and floating over to his hand. He clenched it in his grip for a moment before tucking it into the nest against his back and turning back to the Pooka. “Didn't know ya could do that” Bunny smiled, taking a hold of his hand and stroking a padded digit against his palm.
“I'm full of tricks”
“I'm startin' ta see that, maybe you could show me some more of yer tricks?” Bunny encouraged with a smirk and leaned forward to rub his nose against Jack's, his whiskers twitching over cold skin. Emboldened Jack turned his head to press his lips against the Pooka's, intertwining his fingers with soft warm digits and bringing his other hand up to cradle his jaw. Curled up together in the nest the only sounds of breathing and wet lips, it takes a moment to work out how to best fit their different anatomy together, Pooka mouths not best shaped for the occasion but Jack turned his neck and suddenly the angle is perfect. They kissed like its their first time doing so, and although it certainly isn't the case individually and technically for the pair of them its the first time it's completely real, not merely a distraction tactic or coping mechanism in a terrifying situation.
The chilled hand went from his jaw down to rest on his shoulder as Jack carefully leaned up and gently pushed Bunny to rest fully on his back, without breaking the kiss he nimbly climbed over to straddle the other Guardian. The Winter spirit lips turned up into a smirk while he continued to taste the Pooka's tongue and took ahold of furry paws to bring them to rest on his hips as he rubbed himself against the warm body underneath him. After some stuttering movements Bunny began to gently tug the boy's hips back a bit, a few inches to rest against him better, his paws leading a cautious rhythm. Jack broke the kiss with a gasp as his behind made contact Bunny's cock, the heat of his flesh warming him through his thick deer skin trousers, sitting up as he sucked in greedy mouthfuls of air.
“Yer a beaut”
Jack peered down at his partner, soft emerald eyes watching him adoringly “You're pretty cute too cotton tail” he grinned, still panting lightly but calmer than before, their movements gentler and relaxed. He moved his hand up to cup the Pooka's face, his fingers trailing over his nose and along his eyebrows, learning his features with tender motions. One hand idly journeying along up to the base of a long ear that twitched sharply when brushed against. “Sorry” Jack gasped, yanking his hand away leaving a trail of snowflakes in the air between them, fearing he had hurt the delicate appendage.
“No harm done mate” Bunny reassured, taking a hold of his hand and leading him back to his ears.
“I've always wanted to stroke these” Jack admittedly, rubbing his fingers along the soft silky fur of the outer ear and delicate skin inside. When he moved his hand down again he found a spot behind the ear that made Bunny's face go lax with pleasure and his foot beat firmly against the nest. “That's adorable!” he chuckled, his laughter shaking his body and reminding him that currently his cock was rather uncomfortably confined in his trousers. He reached down to rub at himself and wincing when it didn't help at all.
The sound of his belt being unbuckled made Bunny's ears twitch forward in interest, furry fingers gently hooking into the waist band of his trousers as he unbuttoned them and slowly lowered them, a few fumbled actions later he was dropping the trousers down to the nest by his staff as he sat back down to soft warm fur all over his skin. Bunny took in the sight of him with eager eyes and reached out a paw for his lover's member when something stopped him, his paw lingering still and his ears folding back sadly. Large scars lined up along Jack's thighs, mostly pale white and clearly in the process of fading out but still there all the same, other similar scars here and there around his hips and groin, evidence of where Spring had been.
Jack noticed what he was looking at and glanced away in shame, eyes becoming cold and hard as frost bloomed over the damaged skin, either in pure emotional reaction or a planned move to hide the scars, Bunny would never know. “Those won't always be there” he uttered, in a horribly small voice like he was begging his lover to understand, to still accept him. “They're healing, they were just deep so it takes longer”
Bunny nodded, blinking away the dampness from his eyes before Jack's baby blue orbs lifted again to meet his fearfully, awaiting the possible rejection, he reached up to hold onto the lad's waist and smile at him “Yer still perfect” he spoke, trying to communicate everything through the most gentle of touches, that he was sorry for everything that had happened, sorry for each and every cruel thing done.
Jack's eyes sparkled with unshed tears, frost trailing down his throat and chest when Bunny wrapped a paw around his dick. “Ah... so warm” he moaned, not being to able to stop himself from pressing against the furry palm, his rocking reminded him that Bunny's cock was still pressed firmly against his ass. “B-Bunny... I want” he tried to speak, staring down hotly as he found the words “Ahh … I want you in me”
Bunny nodded, “Yeah, I want that too Frostbite” he said soothingly “We have ta get ya ready for it, do ya want me ta do it or can you?”
Jack paused, his eyebrows drawing in together in thought “You” he answered after a moment.
“And do ya want ta take yer hoody off or keep it on?” the Pooka continued, touching the hem of the clothing.
“On...” he replied quicker this time. Bunny couldn't help but wonder if the hoody was merely a security blanket for him, it would make sense he seemed to use it to hide in a lot, or the worse possibility he needed it on to prove to himself he wasn't going to be painfully stabbed again.
“Ok mate so we need to get ya all lubed up” as he spoke he reached over to a certain spot on the outside of the nest and buried his paw under the pillows and blankets for a moment before coming up with a familiar little wooden pot. Unscrewing the lid and dipping two digits into the homemade lube, putting the pot down to the side as he carefully brought his paw up to Jack's backside. “Now remember, any time you don't like it tell me and we stop” he added as he began to push the first finger inside.
Jack nodded, biting his lower lip in his teeth as the Pooka set to work stretching him out, his hands locked in the fluffy chest ruff and leaving tiny ice crystals behind. He leaned back with his head turned upwards, frost creeping down his belly to his where the paws worked.
“Yer beautiful” Bunny breathed, the boy now covered in a light frost all over that made him almost sparkle in the warm light. The Winter Spirit's opening fluttering around his fingers as he opened him up until he felt nicely prepared. He removed his fingers and gave his own member a healthy coating of the lube while Jack sat watching, his fingers twitching nervously with ice crystals and snowflakes dropping from their tips. Bunny reached up and brought one hand to his mouth, kissing away the frost from each pad before taking a hold of the boy's hips with one paw and himself in the other. “Now just sit up for me Snowdrop” Jack lifted himself up and let Bunny bring the tip of his cock to prod firmly at his damp opening “Ok in yer own time sit down” his paw moved from the frosted hip to lay flat against his lower back to help support him.
Jack's eyes met his for a moment before they closed and he began to lower himself down, the cock slipping in rather easily and pushing into him as he sank further “Mmm, it's so big” he breathed, a hand moving underneath to feel his ass taking it in and to stroke down the majority of it still outside his body. “Not hurting though...” he sighed almost thoughtfully.
“That's right, I ain't gonna hurt ya”
Jack hummed as he took more in, his dusty pink nipples hardening into icy peaks under his clothing making him whine and fingers solidly locked into the fluff of Bunny's belly. He gave a loud exhale as his ass sat firmly down on the Pooka's hips, a small smile on his lips as his eyes cracked open. “I did it”
“Too right ya did! I'm all tucked up in here” Bunny beamed up at him, a paw coming to rest over his belly. “Ya feel wonderful Snowy” Jack's eyes lit up in wonder and pressed a hand besides the Pooka's. Grinning to himself he planted both hands back down to hold onto fluffy hips as he pushed himself up, gasping as he began to gently bounce in his lap. “That's it love, just like that” Bunny soothed, paws resting on his hips to help him along.”Good boy” he sighed in pleasure, ears flopping back into the pillows. It was apparently the wrong thing to say as Jack immediately stopped, his chest heaving with laboured stressed breath, and thicker ice sweeping over his hands and up his arms as he stared with a far away look in his fearfully widened eyes. Bunny's ears perked forward anxiously “Jack? Jack love, it's ok, you're here with me”
Swallowing hard Jack looked down at him “Bunny?” he asked in a small voice.
The Pooka sat up and brought his arms around the Winter Spirit “I'm here love, you're safe” he pressed his nose to the boy's forehead and a paw stroked through his ice stiff hair.
“Ok... I'm ok” Jack breathed, gave a small nod and looped his arms around Bunny's neck. “I wanna kiss you” and with that thought he angled his head up to press his lips to his lover's, sighing as his tongue rolled against his lover's. He pushed himself back up and they found their rhythm from before, giving out gentle sighs and moans as they moved together, his dick rubbing against the Pooka's belly with each thrust and precum dribbling into his fur. The boy pulled back out of the kiss to watch his lover's face curiously, fluffy eyebrows drawn in with pleasure and that pink nose constantly twitching at the smells and sensations of their love making.
He gave out a breathy laugh and smiled to himself, never in his entire life did he think he would be having sex with the Easter Bunny, but here he was! And it had seemed as they had gotten to know each other it was even more unlikely to happen but this was happening and the way Bunny made him feel was real.
His hips were pulled down by the furry grip at an incredibly pleasing angle, making him cry out and grind down, Bunny's ears twitched and he smirked as he held the boy there and pumped against him. “Ah! Bunny!”
“My names Aster, love” the Pooka replied continuing to grind his cock right up into that certain place that made him feel wonderful.
“A-Aster?” Jack repeated shakily, seeing the pleased look in his emerald eyes at his name. “Fuck! Aster I wanna lay down” he demanded, his fingers gripping into the fur of Bunny's neck. The Pooka released the boy's hips and gently helped him off his lap, Jack flopped onto his back and pushed a hand up through his hair as he took a second to catch his breath then glanced back at his lover and made a show of opening up his legs. Bunny moved over to crouch between his legs, his first instinct to cover his mates body with his own but being wary to do so, what if Jack didn't want to be crowded or he may feel as if he was being pinned down with someone over him, but then the boy gave a pout at his resistance and tugged at his upper arms and he let himself by moved into what position was wanted.
Jack beamed at him shyly at he came to lay above him, his hips snuggly cradled between the boy's thighs. “This is better” he spoke pressing kisses to Bunny's nose “... Did I tell you to stop? I thought I was the one in charge here, keep going”
Bunny raised an eyebrow at him with a devilish look “Yes sir Mr Frost” he lined himself up and pushed back in making Jack groan out and press his head back into the pillows with a smile on his face. The Pooka took the opportunity to press his mouth to the boy's milky white neck as he searched out for that one spot that made Jack make such pretty sounds and knew he had found it when the Winter Spirit yelped and lifted his legs to wrap around his waist.
“Aster” Jack whined, his fingers clawing at his furry back “More... I want more” he begged, frost swirling out over the blankets underneath him. Bunny purred pressing in on his next thrust a little harder and faster than before, nowhere near his true strength, but he would only do what he thought the boy would be comfortable with. He watched the spirit under him writhe so beautiful covered in frost, his face truly was lovely when he was being wrecked with pleasure, worthy of being painted, the Pooka thought offhandedly. His ears pricked forward to hear every little sound his mate made, from the gasping breath to the delicious moans while he occasionally let out a grunt or a groan in between his constant purring.
“Yer amazing love” he uttered, pushing his hips just that fraction faster.
“Fuck! Aster! It's too much” Jack whined just before his body fully seized up, a startled yelp falling from his slacked mouth as he came hard over his belly. Bunny's purr turned into almost a growl as he came purely from the scent of his mate's cum in the air. The only sounds for a while was their laboured breathing, until Jack covered his face with his hands and started giggling to himself. “Ah... ahha that was awesome! That was great fun”
Bunny gently pulled out while the boy was still giggling “Ya crazy little larrikin” he spoke fondly, leaning down to nuzzle his nose into white hair, snuffling about. “Jack?”
“Yeah?” the winter spirit peeked out from his hands, grinning at his lover.
“Can I groom ya?” he asked, long ears folded down the slightest bit, in fear of rejection.
“Is this a rabbit thing?” Jack eyed him cautiously with an eyebrow raised, Bunny nodded. “Sure why not” he shrugged. Aster smiled at him, before graciously setting to work beginning with his face. Licking all around his hairline, behind his ears and across his features, as he passed over the boy's lips Jack lapped at his tongue with a cocky smirk in place to which he promptly pressed a firm kiss to and moved down to his neck, lapping up all the frost as he went, only for more to begin to reappear a little. He snuffled around the hoody's collar, hot breaths blowing down the boy's front, he could work around it certainly but it was hard telling his instincts to skip over ungroomed parts.
“Here, wait a second” Jack sat up momentarily and pushed him back long enough to pull the hoody up over his head and lay back down, the item of clothing clasped still in one hand. Bunny purred happily as he was granted access to all his lover's skin, grooming his way down to the centre of his chest where he paused, nosed pressed against his sternum. There was no evidence what had happened but still... he had plunged a knife into Jack's chest, it didn't matter whether or not it had healed, it still hurt him and he had still done it. Jack must of sensed his train of melancholy thought because he reached out to gently stroke at one of his ears soothingly. He pushed on with his task, smirking at his sucked the ice off the boy's nipples causing him to give out a whine, snuffling down his belly, his whiskers making Jack giggle as he happily lapped up his cum and moved down to his groin. After cleaning up the frost he completely skipped over his satisfied cock, he snuffled and nosed at his wet and stretched opening, licking up his own cum as his leaked from inside.
He pressed his tongue in deeply, pleased when Jack gasped and pressed his ass demandingly against his face. Smelling and tasting himself inside his mate was beginning to drive his instincts a little wild, his purr rumbling loudly in his chest as he scooped out cum with his tongue and nosed at the boy's ballsack. When he had decided he had done a good enough job there he pulled out his tongue to groom up to Jack's cock, which was hard again, smiling to himself he opened his mouth and took him straight down his throat.
“Fuck!” Jack howled, hands clamping down on his ears “Ahh! That's so hot” he moaned, Bunny's mouth so very warm to his previously iced over flesh. The Pooka quickly began bobbing his head up and down his length and he had cum again before he knew what hit him, Bunny releasing his cock to dap his tongue into the tip, chasing the very last beads of cum, it had a very refreshing taste like the first snow and a little minty, wonderful chocolate recipe possibilities, he couldn't help but think, of course the chocolate would only be for him but still an interesting thought. Leaving the lad's red and limp cock he moved down over his legs, paying special attention to his feet as his finished him off.
“That was unfair” Jack pouted as Bunny came to curl up beside him, idly grooming at his hair.
“Was it now?” he grinned into the white locks.
“Yes you're a sneaky shit and your mouth is like a furnace” the boy turned away from him with a huff but it meant Bunny could reach the back of his head so he was happy.
“Yer just up tight cause you came too fast”
“Maybe” Jack huffed “But you're still a sneaky shit”
“Alright and yer my little shit of a frost boy” he soothed, working on getting out the ice crystals locked into the lad's hair.
“Deal” the younger guardian accepted and placed a kiss on the elders nose. “Also since when has your named been Aster?” he asked as Bunny pulled a blanket up over the pair of them and curled around him.
“Since forever, my names E. Aster Bunnymund, North started callin' me Bunny 'bout four hundred and ninety years ago an' it just stuck”
Jack blinked up at him “Your name is literally Easter Bunny?”
Bunny huffed a little, but still was smiling “Well where did ya think the name for Easter came from?” The boy nodded with a shrug, accepting the answer “Anyway love it's time for sleep, can't be dealin' with a cranky elemental in the morning just cause ya decide to talk my ear off all night” as he spoke the magic light orbs dimmed once again.
Jack rolled into him and pressed his face into the furry chest, happily content and secure and within moments he was fast asleep.
.... so hi, uhh there's not really a good reason for not posting for a year, lot of work and other things and personal issues, being an adult stuff, umm so my fuckin bad basically. But in that time I've really reworked my ideas for this thing and I'm still gonna finish it for sure, just can't really promise when its gonna be done. Literally if anyone is still around for this I will be eternally grateful.
Also Australia what the fuck is up with those spiders, seriously.
Chapter 10: 1968
So whatup my dudes, just a word of warning this chapter is pretty heavy on the non con, um yeah obviously its in the tags and its what this is all about but I don't wanna hurt anyone, so if that's all okie doki do continue on
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Jack!” the voice rose over the screaming of the wind only just audible. He ignored it completely as he pushed himself on, had to go faster, higher, get away now before they would reach him. Forests and cities flying past under him as he soared through the bitter cold wind. “Jack stop!” the voice again calling for him and still he moved forward. Today was the Spring Equinox and Jack was most decidedly not going, not this time, not anymore. He continued on until he could no longer hear the voice behind him, pausing mid-air somewhere way above the boarder of Canada. He peered about him on the lookout for the magically flying ice horse drawn sleigh that he knew belonged to the Snow Queen, he had lost her somewhere over the Canadian wilderness but knew she was still out hunting for him. Straining his eyes against the frantic wind he flinched as something twinged in his eye, annoyingly again for the multitude number of times that day with no relief, blinking and rubbing at his eyes in agitation he managed to loosen some sandy black grit from his eyes and scowled to himself, damned wind blowing dust into his face.
“There you are!” Felorieth gasped clutching onto his shoulders, floating in the air just above him then dropping and swirling around to look directly at him.
“Don't touch me!” he snarled, forcing her hands away with a swipe of his staff and jumping to hover in the wind further away. How did she catch up to him so fast?! “Why won't you just leave me alone?!”
She held her hands up non threateningly. “Look I know you are afraid but you have calm down this is not help-”
“You don't know anything! Don't pretend to understand!” Jack howled, the wind mimicking his tone and raging all the faster.
“Please just listen to me, I can help you”
“No you listen to me Autumn” he spat her title as if it was some curse “I am sick of all your so called 'helping' Year after year you give me to them like throwing meat to wild dogs and I sure as hell am not playing your sick little game anymore!”
“Jack Mother Nature will-”
Again he cut her off “I don't care, she'll have to try taking me down herself but I'm still not going” he screamed, ice trailing up along his neck and across his cheeks. “Now for the last time, leave me alone!”with that he launched a blast of ice at her before throwing himself back into the wind, paying no mind to her scream or the sight of her silhouette falling down towards the earth as he continued on. He was at an advantage at the moment as it was still technically Winter and he was still at full strength while Autumn and even Spring would be weaker than him, as long as the fight was even he should be able to win against either of them if it came to blows. It was mainly the Snow Queen and Mother Nature he had to be concerned about right at this second.
The very thought of the Snow Queen had him searching the skies, the tinkling sound of ice sleigh bells ringing in his ears so real he couldn't tell if it was real of his panic stricken mind going into overdrive. He pushed on faster and changed his direction now flying over the Northern states, the familiar sight of Burgess greeted him from below as he dropped down closer to the ground and bringing the storm with him, the wind screaming down along the streets of the town that had moments ago been in the midst of a pleasant warm morning, snow falling thick and fast. It perhaps wasn't the best idea to come here, where most spirits new to look for him but he was fully aware he couldn't really hide from people who could sense his presence from half the world away, so if he was going to fight he might as well be in a place he knew well.
He touched down onto the main road, thick ice immediately crackling forth from under his feet to coat the road within seconds, two cars loosing control and swerving into each other in a head on collision.
Without a glance over his shoulder at the wreckage he walked along with the wind chasing him, dragging his staff along the concrete behind him as people ran to the cars to help the drivers, one crushed inside the smaller vehicle not moving. He reached the town park shortly, watching people scattering away from his weather in panic and a child crying clutching a hold of brightly coloured eggs as her mother quickly pulled her along by the hand in search of shelter, other children scampering in different directions and the large painted banner for the egg hunt tied on the roof of the bandstand being torn away and carried off by the wind.
“So it's you!” an angered voice hollerred with a paw coming down to clamp around the back of his brown aged waist coat, spinning him around and slamming him into the base of the stone park statue, green eyes blazing furiously. “Yer the one who's ruined my day!”
Jack glared back at the Easter Bunny and with one swift movement landed a blow with his staff right between the two long ears, delivering a kick to his fluffy belly forced him off him. If anyone was going to take him down today it certainly wasn't going to be the damned Easter Bunny.
“Ya nasty little shit!” the large anthropomorphic rabbit snarled, a paw briefly rubbing at his head in pain. “Who the fuck do ya think ya are?! Coming here and messing up my holiday! Yer putting people in danger yer bloody storm will kill someone if it continues!”
“If people don't want to get hurt they should stay away from me!” the boy hissed back with the definite promise of his words being a threat if they were not followed correctly. “Just leave me alone”
“Not a chance” furry paws lashed out, one grabbing a hold of the boy's staff and the other wrapping firmly around his throat “Now listen to me ya little monster I ain't gonna let ya hurt these kids, it's spring time and horrible winter sprites like yerself should be far away from here in some isolated frozen corner of the globe where ya belong! Not here, not now and not on my day!”
Hard icy eyes glared back at him, one hand grasping at the paw around his throat and the other still had a dead lock hold on his staff, thick ice trailing along the statue base still at his back and his teeth firmly clenched not wanting to let the large rodent see how much discomfort he was in. “...Let me go” he hissed a little breathlessly.
“So ya can go on an' kill people? Nah mate, I'm takin' ya back to where ya belong even if I have ta drag ya there myself” Bunny growled harshly, his paw tightening just a bit more around the Winter Spirit's airway.
Jack struggled more, his suspicions had been confirmed The Easter Bunny was working with Spring and was here to collect him, he had probably been offered to join in on the Equinox. Just from the one paw around his throat he could tell the Easter Spirit was stronger than him, bigger too and while Jack was the Spirit of Winter he was fully aware he was rather on the small side and had no real body strength, so in conclusion this rabbit was royally going to fuck him up in all sense of the word and he was going to have a hard time of stopping it.
While his own body may not be strong he still had the power of Winter flowing through him and that would have to be enough for now. “Get off me!” he barked the hand holding onto the oversized rodent releasing a flash of ice down the rabbit's arm complete with sharp points of ice digging into his spring warmed skin. The furry grip automatically released him and he again brought down his staff to crack harder over the rabbit's skull as a clawed paw lashed at back at him, across his face leaving three long bleeding cuts down his left cheek. The hit had momentarily stunned the fluffy creature giving Jack the opportunity to leap back into the air and fly through the park and out towards the surrounding forest.
The wind followed him when he landed down on his lake, the water instantly turning into thick ice the moment his toes touched it. He pressed a hand to the claw marks, frowning at the blood that coloured his finger tips, stupid rabbit. He needed a new plan this wasn't going to work with all of them chasing him around much longer, he was just thinking about what to do next when the familiar tinkling of ice bells was to be heard over head.
A sparkling sleigh made of pure ice soared above, a crack of the reins had the two horses that were also completely carved from ice and magic turning sharply when the driver spotted him, diving down and coming to land on the frozen lake with a screech of ice and odd whinny from the horses, that sounded like an echo of real animals lost out in a blizzard. He took up a threatening stance with his staff forward and ready as the Queen stepped up and out of the sleigh.
“Come now Jack this has gone on long enough it is time to go” she smiled pleasantly at him, the wind ruffling her perfect shoulder length white curls and pulling at her long polar bear skin coat.
“I'm not going anywhere with you!” he yelled, swinging his staff in her direction and releasing a bolt of magic to strike her. With a quick wave of her arm a giant shard of ice blocked the attack.
“This is childish” she called disapprovingly, casually side stepping around the blockage to face him again. “What exactly is your plan anyway? That you would just avoid the Spring Equinox and everything will be ok? That nothing bad will happen? It is your responsibility as the Spirit of Winter to pass on the magic to Spring, come on let's go sort this out and then we can go home together afterwards, you want that, right?” her voice was soothing, as if she was talking to a small child.
“Lady I don't know what the hell is wrong with you but I'm not your son and I'm not going with you” he growled, staff still aiming directly for her.
She raised her hand once more, swirling white and blue light around her fingers when an blast of warm orange light hit her arm and knocking her magic off coarse to fly off into the surrounding trees. “Stay away from him!” Felorieth yelled coming down to stand beside Jack, now with her bow drawn and a arrow already notched on, she offered him a sad smile while he only glared back.
“And what do you want?” The Snow Queen huffed, her thin arms crossed impudently.
“I will not let you take him” the Faun snarled back.
“But won't you die?” She asked smirking like a cat corning its prey. “I may not be one of you oh so important Seasonals but even I can understand that if he doesn't let Spring start then none of the other seasons will start and while I certainly would enjoy an eternal Winter I don't think everyone would be so appreciative of it, and if there is no Autumn how can there be a spirit for it, frankly my dear I think you'd be out of a job and a life. But hey that's your choice and to be honest I think my son and I would like it always to be winter”
“Can you please cut the villainous monologue crap I get enough of that out of Spring!” Jack snapped.
“We are not saying he will not let Winter end we just want Spring to stop behaving the way he is” Felorieth added, not lowering her weapon for a second.
The Queen simply rolled her eyes. “Yes I'm sure that will work” she muttered. “Look Jack, I know you don't like the Spring Equinox but sometimes in life when adults tell you to do something you don't want to do it's because they know what's best for you and they care about you and when that happens-”
Felorieth blustered, cutting her off “How do you care for him?! You do not know what it is to care for anybody let alone a child! How dare-”
“Will you shut up you idiotic donkey!”
“I am a Faun!”
“Part donkey, part deer, part goat still a jackass it doesn't matter”
“Shut up!” Jack howled, the wind lashing at both of them. “I'm not going with either of you!” with that he launched a series of powerful blasts towards the Queen, only pausing to briefly swing his staff in the direction of Felorieth who leapt into up the air out of the way. “Why won't you just leave me alone!? Just go away!” The Snow Queen managed to hold out against his attacks, sending back equally vicious strikes of ice and cold in return.
A faint rumbling in the distance instantly got the attention of the Faun, her ears immediately twitching upwards as she swirled around in the air to look towards the sound. “Jack...” she uttered, eyes locked forward and searching the dark clouds above, nose twitching. “Jack!” she called again, turning back to the two Winter elementals fighting it out, who were still too busy throwing magic and ice at each other to notice. “Jack you have to listen to me! She's coming!”
“Shut up!” Jack shouted back finally, pausing his assault on the Queen briefly to launch a blast at Felorieth.
She let out a squeak and darted out of its path, hovering anxiously up above and looking back at the distant clouds just in time to see a spark of lightning erupting from the clouds. Her eyes dilating in fear and body trembling as the thunder rumbled, closer this time, much closer. “Jack! She is here we have to move!” But once again she was still ignored, as the clouds somehow darkened around them even though it would seem impossible already in the storm, the thunder boomed again. “Not again...” she whimpered, pressing balled up fists to her temples. “Not this again...” shaking, she glared up back up at the sky “You will not take him too!” she howled.
Jack dodged yet another spike of ice that was thrown at him and was just about to retaliate when he was tackled roughly to the ground, he yelled and struggled “Get off me!”
“No! She is here and she has come to kill you!” Felorieth growled back, still clutching at him.
“I'll fucking fight her too then! I'm not going anywhere!” he tried to pry her arms off him and push her away, glaring up at the Snow Queen who merely stood watching the two of them wrestle with apparent amusement, he finally managed to force her hands off, shove his shoulder against her side with an arm around her back and roll them over and jump up.
He was just about to launch himself back at the Queen when she followed him up “Stop it now!” she screamed, he turned back and paused when he saw that she had an arrow aimed directly at him.
“You wouldn't” he hissed, half changeling, half threatening.
“Get in the sleigh!”
“...What?... Felorieth you can't let her take me!” he snarled, hands tightening ever more around his staff, ready to attack her again if necessary, after all surely she wouldn't do as she threatened? The arrow flying past his face took his breath away and a tiny trickle of blood ran from the fresh cut along his cheek. She had missed on purpose, he knew she never missed and the way her eyes burned into him as she reloaded told him she would not do so a second time, no more warnings. “Felly...”
“Get in the sleigh”
“Listen to dear old Felly” The Snow Queen snickered, quickly coming up behind him and in a few swift motions knocked his staff away and pulled his hands behind his back, solid and strong ice forming to bond him. He strained his muscles, testing the ice and finding that it wouldn't budge and as skilled as he was with ice he couldn't thaw it, with how stressed he was it would only make the bonds stronger and last longer, muttering out a curse he lifted his head back to glare at the Faun. Biting down onto his lip and tears collecting in his eyes but still he tried to stare her down. She only stared right back, arrow still raised.
“Let's get going, we're already very late” The Queen spoke cheerfully, yanking him by his arm and dragging him towards the glistening sleigh, his feet dragging themselves through the thick snow but at least somewhat manageable.
Felorieth lowered her weapon and snatched up Jack's discarded staff, tucking it into a strap on her arrow quiver before following. “I am coming too!”
“I wouldn't have it any other way my dear” The Queen smiled as she guided Jack to sit on the backseat of the sleigh, stepping aside “You can make sure he doesn't accidentally fall out” She climbed aboard to sit up front and gather up the reins “Although I would think you'd be much more at home in a harness pulling my sleigh, you do look so much like one of my horses, not nearly as fine perhaps”
The Faun sighed and without argument climbed into the seat beside Jack, her bow still loosely loaded and resting on her lap, ready to stop the boy should he try to fight or jump out of the sleigh, although without his staff to fly with it would be rather suicidal.
The Winter Spirit's ice cold eyes glared at her “I hate you” he growled, body curled up over itself and tense, to which she merely nodded in acknowledgement.
With a snap of the reins and the otherworldly cry of the ice horses they were up into the air, leaving behind a trail of glittering sparkles in the air and the dark storm clouds and thunder.
Jack closed his eyes shut tight as they travelled, sobs escaping his lips every now and then. Felorieth raised a hand to soothe him but stopped herself, her hand hovering about to touch. “I could not do anything else to save you... You have to stay alive...” she spoke softly so that they would not be overheard by the driver.
His eyes peeled open, cold, hard and furious “Should of let Mother Nature kill me, dying would be better than this” he spat.
“Please do not say that...”
“Fuck you, I'm gonna say whatever I want, I hate being a Seasonal, I hate Spring and I especially hate you” he turned and curled up against the seat with his back to her, closing his eyes once again.
“Don't be such a moody bear, when we go home later you can have all the ice cream you can eat” The Snow Queen called over her shoulder to him only receiving a glare from the Autumn spirit and a growl from the Winter.
Soon the sleigh began to descend downwards, Jack cracking an eye open to see the green of the familiar forest around them and with a curse muttered under his breath forced himself to sit up straighter, he wasn't going in to this curled up like a baby for them all to see. He bristled when Felorieth reached over and placed both of her hands around his wrists, a growl threatening to emerge thinking she was ready to detain him but instead felt waves of warmth envelope his bonds as she poured bright orange magic from her hands, melting the ice until it cracked clean off as he flexed.
“It is already unfair enough, it does not have to be worse” she spoke softly as way of explanation. Jack merely glared a head and rubbed at his wrists as the sleigh finally landed and came to a stop in the clearing in the forest.
“Well there's the party pooper! Fashionably late as always” Spring announced stepping forward from the gathered crowd. “We've been getting bored waiting for our little snow man” chuckles broke out from the creatures behind him.
Jack wobbly stood up in the sleigh, trying to hold back from visibly shaking too much, his fingers numbly clenching ahold of his staff as the Faun slipped it into his hands. “Do not touch the ground” she whispered against his ear. He nodded in understanding, eyes lowering from the different creatures to the ground underneath their feet. The Spring spirit was adept at controlling plants, if they stayed in the air it would be harder to take them down.
“What are you telling him Goatface?” Spring called with a frown, eyes resting on the Autumn spirit, she ignored him and pulled Jack with her to rise ten foot into the air and stay there, her fingers tightly holding an arrow against her bow ready at any second.
“Spring we are...” Felorieth began strong then paused as she and Jack at the same time noticed what the crowd had been standing around before they arrived, a small figure laid motionless in a pool of dark blood. The air around them instantly became colder, Jack peered around her at the fallen form hoping that the mob hadn't gotten their hands on a human child, it was so small, an equally small creature with childlike proportions but bulbous eyes, long ears and wickedly sharp teeth and claws was hunched over it … and currently eating it's intestines. “What have you done?...” The Autumn spirit trailed off.
Spring glanced over his shoulder at the creatures before turning back, grinning “Well I did say we were getting bored, the goblins apparently couldn't wait and one of them got a little out of hand, so we let them fight it out. Pretty entertaining actually I should get in the business of goblin fighting, made a nice profit betting who would win”
Felorieth's mouth twisted in disgust but moved on “We are not here to play your games, send these creatures away, they have nothing to do with Seasonal business, then we will consider passing on the year to you”
“Lot of fancy talk for someone who isn't even involved in this” Spring pouted, arms crossing over his chest. “How about you leave and me and Winter do our business, go back to sleep for eight months you aren't needed or wanted” he rolled his eyes, before glancing over to where the Snow Queen sat idly in her sleigh with a bored expression. “My dearest Queen, thank you for bringing our friend here, you may collect him as soon as our work is done” he called, she beamed at him and with a snap of the reins disappeared into the forest. He turned back to the two others “Come down already, my friends here have been promised a good show and they don't like to be disappointed”
“N-No Spring” Jack spoke, for the first time, pushing Felorieth to the side as she tried to hush him, snowflakes falling around him. “Not this time”
“Oh? Are you finally growing yourself a backbone?”
The snowflakes swirled around him caught in a growing gust “You aren't going to touch me, not anymore, I'm sick and tired of all of this, if you try I'll kill you”
Spring's eyes lit up, a wide grin on his face as he rubbed his hands together “Ooh I like a feisty man, gets me all riled up, I'm going to hold you down and fuck you till your mind breaks and your throat bleeds from screaming, how about that?”
Jack gave out a cry and swung his staff, sending down blade sharp daggers of ice which Spring merely side stepped out of the way of. Jack tried again and again but each time it seemed impossible to hit the other Seasonal, he didn't even appear to be trying very hard to avoid his blows but not one hit reached him.
The crowd around him fussed and hissed, he merely raised a hand to silence them, his message clear that he didn't want them involved right now and that this was a game between just the two of them. “Come on little boy you surely can do better than that? I can feel myself ageing over here this is boring”
Once more moving away from ice thrown at him, Spring clasped his hands behind his back and rocked back on his heels, casual as anything. “Look Snowy being our plaything is the only use you're ever gonna have so you might as well accept it, nobody likes you, nobody sees you, you have nothing, nobody gives a rats arse about you, I mean, the brat of Winter who in their right mind would want you?”
At his jibe some of the others cackled and added. “Yeah he should count himself lucky for us to fuck him!”
“Nobody wants something so dead and cold”
“The horse lady gives him to us, she hates him”
At the last remark Jack's tear filled eyes glanced behind him where Felorieth floated, he caught her eyes and she looked away.
“Did you think she was your friend?” Spring cooed, a shit eating grin breaking out on his face, watching as Jack stared at the Faun, his chest heaving. “Aww that's adorable! You thought you had someone who cared about you!” He broke off in a cackle. “Aha, no, she is not your friend Winter, she's a soldier, no better than a mercenary, don't you get it? She is given an order and she does it, she gets told to take someone out and she does it without question. If Mother Nature put out a hit on you do you think you'd be safe? She'd be the first one to find you and put an arrow through your skull”
The Winter Spirit whimpered, biting his lower lip as to not let a sob escape, thinking back to how she had drawn her weapon on him. Spring was right, she probably would kill him if she was told to. He turned away from her when she did nothing to deny the other Seasonal's words, only stared at the ground in shame.
“Now come down here and do the only thing you're good for, accept that you're a worthless piece of shit and always will be”
“No!” Jack yelled, throwing himself down towards Spring, his staff held heigh, the crook now covered in wicked frozen spikes and aimed at the other Spirit's head. Intent on killing him. Spring grinned wide, amusement dancing in his bright green eyes as he took a step back into the shade of a nearby oak tree … and disappeared. Jack's feet planted themselves firmly on the ground as he glanced about, where did he go?
“Back in the air!” Felorieth screamed, flying down after him. Jack realised his mistake just a second too late as the ground around him cracked open and nimble and strong plant vines wrapped themselves around his ankles. With a cry he slashed at them with his staff but as he did more simply took their place. Three creatures rushed forward as Felorieth tried to help him, with a growl she turned and met them head on.
“Looks like you did a silly thing you dumb dumb” Spring chuckled, appearing behind Jack and forcefully ripping his staff out of his hands, smiling as the vines latched onto the boy's hands and pinned them down.
Felorieth glanced over her shoulder, the decapitated head of a faery creature in one hand and a blooded long bladed knife in the other, one of the other beings backing away from her and another already dead on the ground. “No!” she cried, dropping the head and trying to reach Jack. Spring rolled his eyes and with a flick of his hand vines had ensnared her too.
“You guys make this so easy, it's actually kind of pathetic” Spring commented glancing at both of them before turning his attention on the staff in his hands. “How weak must you be to need a conduit?” he pondered, lifting the staff up and examining it, then pressing his ear to it and apparently listening to something.
“W-What are you doing?” Jack questioned, eyes wide and worried.
“Hmm, just testing a theory” he shrugged, lifting up his leg to snap the weapon over his knee. Jack yelped out in pain, convulsing in his bindings and his head hanging low. “Huh, so it does hurt you, that's fun” he repeated the process until the staff lay in four parts at his feet, while Jack gasped and shook. “Very interesting.... stop that” he glanced over at Felorieth, a warm orange light radiating from her as she tried to use her Autumn magic to wither the vines which had begun to brown, with another wave of his hand the vines were fresh and healthy once again, tightening around her and growing sharp thorns. He glanced back to Jack with a smirk, then turned his attention to the tree they stood under, a long vine reaching down from its branches to wrap around his throat and lift him upwards, while the others released their grip so that he hung in mid air.
“Stop it he can't fly!” Felorieth shouted, realising what was happening as Jack gripped at the vines locked too tightly around his neck and his legs kicked as his face took on a dark blue tint.
“Sucks to be him then” Spring grinned at her, still stopping her constant magical attack on his plants. He stroked his chin and hummed, thinking to himself. Another vine came down to wrap around his hips and held him tightly, letting up from of the pressure on his neck a little while two more climbed upwards fresh from the ground, one each to hold around his thighs. “I'm pretty sure you don't need your legs right Snowy? Don't mind me pulling them out do you?”
“No!” Jack croaked, his legs trying so hard to fight against the vines, muscles twitching under the strain.
“No you don't mind? Wonderful” he chuckled.
“Mhmm I like it when you beg” Spring sighed, floating to be nose to nose with the boy, both of his hands coming up to curve Jack's face and gazing into tear filled eyes. “Be a good boy and do it again”
“P-Please Spring... don't do this” The Winter Spirit whimpered, hands clutching at the other Seasonal's wrists.
“Leave him alone you excrement-waddling maggot” Felorieth growled, still fighting against the plants that held her.
Spring didn't even give her a backwards glance, his eyes still trained on the Spirit in his capture. “You just ignore her, I'm the only one you need, you know that right? My pretty little slut” he soothed, running his tongue along Jack's lips. The boy's eyes widened as the vines around his legs quickly pulled down, his face twisted in agony and he screamed with the hands still holding his head down so Spring could watch him, the plants pulling and pulling until with an ear splitting screech and a crack that seemed to shudder through his entire body both of his legs were dislocated from his pelvis. “That's it, good boy” The other Spirit breathed as he pressed kisses to Jack's panting mouth. “Just let yourself feel that, it's alright” he pressed his erection against the shuddering leg as he licked up any icy tears that ran down the boy's face.
“H-hurts” Jack whimpered, wanting to turn his head away but couldn't.
“I know and you're being such a good boy, but I do think our friends are getting lonely over there, don't you think we should let them play too?”
“No, please no”
Spring grinned and stepped back away from him, instantly all the vines around him let go, dropping him fall like a broken marionette. The boy's body hitting the ground hard and making him scream as it jolted his legs, he laid in the heap he'd fallen in, pale eyes wet with pain and staring up at his captor fearfully. “You two, put him on the table” Spring commanded, looking to the nearest two creatures, a troll and a werewolf who eagerly marched forward and each snatched up one of Jack's arms, dragging him towards the old stone table in the centre of the clearing. The Winter Seasonal fought and cried the entire way, each tiny bump and movement agony to his damaged body.
The crowd had followed, all now gathered around the table ready as the two lifted the boy's limp frame up onto the table and between them had torn away his old off-white shirt and waist coat.
“Come on now, you better not pass out on me already” Spring cooed, pausing in unbuckling the belt holding up deer skin trousers, to tap the back of his hand against Jack's face as the boy's head laid limp back against the stone and his eyes rolled backwards, the pain of the dislocations unbearable.
A loud thud beside him caught his attention and he glanced up just in time to see a second arrow lodge itself in the throat of the werewolf at his side, the troll already dead on the ground with a matching one through it's skull. He whipped his head around to see another coming straight for him until a vine shot from the ground at the base of the table and wrapped itself around it, snatching it right from the air just as it was an inch away from his skull. Letting the vine snap the projectile in half and drop it he glared past it to Felorieth, who stood with her bow ready in her hands and a pile of withered dead vines around her hooves from where she's managed to escape. Without a second thought he whipped out a blade, just so happened to be the dagger for the ritual, and hold it to Jack's neck.
“One more move and I slit his throat” he threatened, glaring angrily.
Felorieth, visibly faltered “You wouldn't... Mother Nature would destroy you..”
He shrugged “Probably but it would be worth it, but do you know what would be more fun?” he chuckled, slowly raising the blade up over Jack's chin, along his cheek, cutting him lightly as he did till he reached just under his eyes. “Taking his eyes, they're so pretty I could keep them in a jar and have them always” Said eyes stared back at him weakly, Jack having just come back to full conciousness.
“Spring...” She called, half pleading, half threatening.
“You know it's such a good idea I might do it anyway, keep them right by my bed at night” Spring continued, putting a little pressure on the blade and pressing it into the lad's cheekbone. Jack gave a frightened mewl and clenched his eyes shut.
“Wait! Wait, no look it is ok I am surrendering” Felorieth dropped her bow and flung her quiver off her shoulder. “What is it you want?”
Spring looked thoughtful “Ah there's many things, I want a chestful of gold and a puppy for Christmas but until that over hyped sack of crap Santa gets off his merry ass and actually does something how about you just come over here and hold down little Snowflake here”
She paused. “You want me to... hold him?”
“Why?... What will that achieve?”
“It will amuse me”
Felorieth pressed her hands to her eyes for a long moment and after a few shaky breaths she slowly walked over, defeated, to stand by the end of the table by Jack's head. “Now take his hands and make sure he doesn't move, if you let him go I take his eyes... maybe his tongue too, its really nice” She nodded weakly to his instructions and reached out shaky hands to hover over where vines had Jack's hands pinned above his head at the edge of the table. One at a time the plants withdrew and she had to clamp her hands down over his wrists, on seeing her he clearly hoped she would help him and restarted his attempts to get free.
His head tilted upwards, his eyes meeting hers and hands straining “Let me go”
She stared back as Spring busied himself with removing Jack's trousers and not shying away from roughly pulling at his injured pelvis, making him flinch and whine. “Jack... I can not”
Heavy and thick tears rolled down his face “Please... please let me go”
“Felly please!” he cried as Spring mounted the table and crawled along his body, his view of her being cut off as his abuser leaned over him. Trying to not bite down on the other spirit's tongue as it shoved itself into his mouth, he couldn't fight them anymore, too frightened and in too much pain to attempt it.
“You are so scared, it's wonderful” Spring sighed against his mouth, his hands wandering down to firmly take a thigh in each hand and roughly pull them apart, Jack screamed as his dislocated bones rubbed horribly. He wasted no time in fishing out his cock from his leaf clothing and pushing into the younger spirit's body. “Don't you love this? This is how we're supposed to be”
“Nnnh” Jack clenched his teeth as each thrust jolted his legs, the pain and the feeling of the hot length moving inside of him beginning to make him feel nauseous, whimpering he balled his hands up into tight fists. Above them Felorieth gave a hiss, Spring peered up and smirked when he saw ice clawing its way over her fingers and along her hands.
He pumped his hips harder, enjoying the boy sobbing to himself under him as he gazed up at the Autumn spirit. “Something wrong there Felly?” he chuckled, watching the ice gliding up her forearms, effectively locking her onto the boy, he noticed that she wasn't trying to melt the ice with her own magic, either out of not wanting to hurt Jack or some sense of duty that she had to endure it.
“Stop talking” she growled, eyes fixated on her arms where small rivets of blood ran down as her skin cracked open from the intense cold.
“Does it bother you?” he taunted “Snowflake here loves it, don't you darling?” he grinned, pressing his mouth to the Spirit's chilled neck and sucking at the bruising that was already starting to form from being hanged.
“...Hate you” Jack gasped out, hazy eyes sliding open to glare back angrily, he cried out when Spring laughed and savagely sank his teeth into his neck. “Argh! Stop!” he shrieked, tossing his head to the other side. Spring fucked him harder and gave a muffled groan as he came, a noticeable chunk of skin missing and blood running down Jack's neck when he pulled his mouth away. He sat up, panting lightly with blood smeared around his mouth, grinning.
“Mmmh, that was good” he breathed, stroking a thumb across the boy's lips “Good job babe” he pulled back his hand into a fist and punched him across his jaw, smacking the side of the Winter spirit's face down into the stone table with the force of the hit. Jack coughed and whined, a tooth knocked loose being spat out of his mouth, Spring grinned and picked it up, admiring the tooth before stuffing it somewhere into his shorts that seemed to act as a pocket. “Don't worry, that'll probably grow back. We're pretty good at regenerating body parts, you wouldn't believe how many teeth that hairy cow has knocked out of me over the years” he chatted merrily, nodding towards the Autumn Spirit trapped above them. Jack held back a growl, it wasn't the first time someone had gotten a tooth from him. He whimpered when Spring pulled out, his opening and thighs coated with blood.
“Who else wants a go?” he stood up addressing the crowd, who had been watching eagerly, without anymore coaxing a creature that was part human with a serpents tail for a lower body slithered up on the table and over the boy, who screamed as he was abused, the creatures tail squeezing around his body to stop any unwanted movement. Spring stood beside the head of the table, smiling as he ran his fingers through Jack's ice stiff hair and caressing over his forehead. He didn't realise he was standing too close to the Faun until she brought her antlers down on his skull, brutally ramming him. He shrieked, staggering away, and clutching a hand to a gash over his temple that quickly had blood running down his face. “You disgusting animal!” he yelled backhanding her. “Who has a strong blade?” he turned to the others.
An ogre grumbled out a reply in a gruff strange language and stepped forward holding up a thick sword with serrated edges. Spring took the offered weapon, still glaring at the other older Seasonal “Perfect, now hold her head still”
The ogre stepped forward and after dodging a few more attempts she made to ram them had her head locked with one massive hand on the back and front of her skull, large meaty fingers inadvertently covering her eyes. “This is what you get for being a jerk” Spring grumped, floating up behind her as she was taller than him and bringing the blades serrated teeth to the base of one antler. Her arms strained as he began sawing, trying to break free of the thick ice that had wrapped itself up to her elbows but to no avail. “Stop trying to move before I accidentally scalp you dummy” he scolded, without trying to the blade slipped and sliced along her head, blood soaking into her hair and flowing down the front of her face. “Whoops” he chuckled, making his way through one antler and being able to snap it off, moving onto the next.
When he was finished she was left with two small stumps and a blood covered face, he passed the blade back to it's owner and held the severed antlers up to his own head, getting himself a round of laughter from the others while she stood shaking. Jack wailing once again took his attention, as the snake creature's tail crushed around his abdomen as it ejaculated into him, the creature slithered off and down to the forest floor.
“You better not have laid any eggs in him” Spring warned strolling over and poking at Jack's torn opening with the cut end of an antler then shoving it into him and enjoying listening to him squeal. After a moment of twisting it in and poking at different angles he withdrew it, glistening red. “Good news Snowflake you're not gonna be a snake mama, lucky thing too those little bastards would of eaten their way out”
The snake creature hissed at him but nothing more as two goblins took its place, one between Jack's legs and the other sitting over his shoulders, forcing his way into the boy's mouth and sharp claws scratching at his jaw and cheeks as he held him still.
“Isn't he beautiful?” Spring cooed, to nobody in particular and yet all of them, getting many nods of agreement. “Don't you think so Autumn?” he giggled, turning to look at his once friend, walking over and wrapping his arms around her waist, looking down at the table over her shoulder. “You must dream of him like this every night, he makes such a delicious sight” He glanced down at her chest, a glint in the light catching his eye. He grabbed a hold of the golden wedding ring hanging from a leather cord around her neck, and pulled until it snapped off. “Still got this then Goatface?”
“You gave it to me, you were our best man” she hissed.
“Yeah, haha good times” he chuckled, pocketing the ring. “You must sure be lonesome without good old Berny around, gotta be desperate to hang out with this pathetic baby”
“I would rather be alone than remain at your side”
“Haha brutal” he removed his arms from around her and glanced down at her backside. “...You know you're the only Seasonal I've never fucked, something about that doesn't seem fair” he took ahold of her leaf skirt and tore it away, gazing at her furred behind and twitching tail. “Let's change that” he giggled, placing his hands on her thighs and forcing her legs open.
After a few more beasts had their way with Jack and Spring had finished with Felorieth he strolled around the table, eyeing up the Winter Spirit in contemplation. “How we doing over here Snowbell?” he asked, leaning over the table, examining all the cuts, bruises, scratches, bite marks and any other injuries he found.
Jack hazily gazed up at him. “... S-still hate you...” he hissed, not taking his eyes off him as another creature took ahold of his hips and forced their way into his body.
“Well that's fuckin' rude” Spring pouted, his eyebrows drawn in together. Bringing out the dagger from his pocket he looked at it then at the boy before plunging the blade savagely into his forearm.
“Ahhh!” Jack wailed, blood bubbling up around the deeply buried blade, twitching as Spring twisted it.
“If you can't be nice I'm gonna have to punish you” The older Seasonal chided before ripping the dagger out and bringing it back down a few inches upward.
“Haha been there, done that, maybe again later” he chuckled, repeating the process once again.
“Ahh! … Does stabbing me make you fucking happy?!”
“Unimaginably so” he deadpanned, leaning on the blade until he heard a crack of bone.
“... I'm not … I-I'm not scared of you!” Jack hissed, despite the tears drenching his face.
Holding the blade in where it was, Spring brought his face close to the boy's, his lips just brushing the others as he spoke. “But you are, I know you are, I always know what you're afraid of...” With that he pressed a burning kiss down, screaming when Jack sank his teeth into his lips and tore his head away, blood tricking from a torn lower lip and down his chin. “You nasty little shit!” he yelled, plunging the blade in and out of his arm in a fit of anger. He took a few deep breaths, green eyes wild for a moment but a momentarily soothed by the many wounds to the victimized limb. He gazed at the abused spirit's face, the way his eyes stared fixed on the sky and the set lock of his jaw. “Hey what's wrong asshole? Lost the feeling in this arm? Good thing you have another!”
Jack groaned as his other arm was pierced , swallowing back vomit that pressed at his mouth from the pain and took shuddering breaths. “I... still am not scared … of you... I don't care what you do... you can't break me...”
Spring growled, visibly furious and reached over to grab the gremlin currently hunched over the boy's hips and thrusting wildly. “Get off him for a moment!” he hissed, tumbling the gremlin down off the table and taking his place between his legs. With one swift motion he had buried the dagger to the hilt in Jack's anus, grinning as he screamed and plunging the blade in and out in place of a dick.
Jack's agonised howling seemed to kick start Felorieth back into action, who had been staring blankly with unaware gaze, probably deep in shock. Her eyes snapped down at what was happening and she shuddered. “Spring no! He'll die!” she screamed, once again trying to tear her arms free.
“Good! It's what the brat deserves!” he yelled back, his knees in the growing pool of blood.
“No please! Don't! Please don't kill him!” she wailed, hyperventilating, eyes dashing between all the blood and Jack's stunned face. “Avilius! Please stop it!”
Spring paused, the blade still in his hand and raised a golden brow at the use of his real name. “...No Felorieth I don't think I will”
“Please do not take him from me too” she sobbed, openly weeping.
He pulled the dagger out, stepping towards her “Listen, if I want I will take everyone you care about away from you, I did it to Bernard, I can do it to him, you can't stop me”
“Because it's fun” he smiled sweetly. Her distress apparently having a calming effect on him, putting the blade away and backing away from the table, not interrupting as the the gremlin retook his place. As the last few monsters had their way with him Jack laid lifelessly against the solid stone, eyes devoid of all emotion until they finally closed and he fell unconscious from the blood loss.
Felorieth kept sobbing, the last beast finishing up and stepping away and Spring moving forward, the dagger clasped in his hand. He brought it down into the unconscious Spirit's chest, the Seasonal magic passing officially over. Tucking the weapon neatly away he gazed over at the Faun, striding over and planting both red stained hands on either side of her face and forced a quick kiss. Pulling away he left two bloodied hand prints on her cheeks. “Later Goatface” he grinned before disappearing off into the trees, followed by the others.
She stared through her tears down at the blood covered face that held no trace of life. Her head hanging, trying to be as close to him as she could. “I am so sorry” she wept. “Oh Jack...”
The tinkling of ice sleigh bells made her ears twitch and she raised her head as the Snow Queen returned. “I see the parties over” she chuckled drawing her horses in close and stepping out onto the green grass of the forest floor that withered and died under her feet. “Looks like you had a good time” she commented, looking over the Faun with a roll of her eyes before turning to Jack and frowning. “ … Well they rather have made a mess of him, but nothing a little magic can't fix”
“You can save him?”
“Of course I can, what kind of mother would I be if I didn't” she huffed, as if she had been insulted by the very idea she couldn't. “... You need to give him to me”
Felorieth stared down at her frozen arms. “... I can not”
“What do you mean you can't?! I... oh” The queen paused, finally noticing her current state “I see, well we have to fix that first” she leaned over the table, over Jack's still form and grasped at were the Autumn's spirit's hands were under the ice. She pulled roughly, only receiving a yelp and a plead to stop but it went ignored and she continued until in one violent action she tore the Faun's hands free.
Felorieth screamed, long and loud when she was freed, her hands held like claws before her and dripping red, all skin being ripped away and still in the ice.
“Try a little ice on it, that'll help” The Queen snickered, picking up Jack from the table with not much trouble despite her small stature and carrying him to lay across the back seat of the sleigh before climbing into the front herself and taking up the reigns, with a crack to the horses she was once again flying high into the sky.
Felorieth stared after her, blood and tears staining her face as she stood alone with skinless hands, blood and semen down her backside, without her wedding ring, antlers or her only friend.
She screamed again.
haha, wow I've updated and its not been a year I'm already one up on past me. So clearly this chapter doesn't really have all that much to do with anything, but I kinda wanted to add it anyways, also about 50 years back when I started this story someone asked about being shown what the spring equinox used to be like for jack so here it is ... at last, oops
anyways things are really gonna be picking up after this chapter, whenever it gets done. If anyone would be so kind as to leave kudos and comments I will love you forever and that would be very much awesome <3