1. Nightlights are created from starlight, the laughs of ten thousand children, and a lock of hair from both a king and queen of the Lunanoff family.
2. There have only been seven other Nightlights in all of history.
3. Nightlights transform into stars when the prince or princess they were created to protect grow up or no longer need protection from bad dreams.
4. Our Nightlight is the last Nightlight.
5. No Nightlight has ever slept. They cannot. They are always awake to fight nightmares.
6. A Nightlight must never kiss or be kissed by a mortal.
7. No one knows what will happen if that happens.
-Katherine's notes from Jack Frost: The End becomes the Beginning, by William Joyce.
When Jack arrived at the North Pole for the Guardians monthly meeting, the first thing he discovered was that Bunny was unconscious.
This discovery was mostly due to the fact that North was wailing it at the top of his lungs while wailing he hadn’t meant to do it as both Tooth and Sandy tried to reassure him that it was an accident and Bunny would be fine. But with North in an uproar, the yeti were in an uproar and the elves were running around in circles screaming, one of which with their hat in fire.
Jack had a brief moment of panic, finally spotting Bunny stretched out on a couch like he was taking a nap, although the Pooka rarely laid on his back like that. There wasn’t any blood, and Jack decided that staying up in the rafters and out of the the panic was probably the best plan. Especially once Phil appeared with a fire extinguisher and took care of the elf and started shouting in yetish at the blubbering North to pull himself together.
Or at least that’s what Jack assumed he was saying, he still couldn’t quite understand the yeti. Chaos was certainly more fun to be around when Jack was the cause of it. And somewhat in control of it.
What Jack could do though, once Bunny woke up, is make him an ice pack for his head. Or better yet, be the ice pack. Bunny could rest his head on Jack, that could work. Maybe he’d get a chance to run his fingers across the fur on Bunny’s head…
So maybe he had a slight obsession with finding out if Bunny was as soft as he looked. The Guardian of Hope was too prickly about it and never let anyone close enough to touch and it was kind of driving him crazy with curiosity. It was only natural, right?
At least that’s what Jack was telling himself. He’d seen Bunny actually spin and try to bite someone who tried to pet him once, so Jack knew he wasn’t the only one who wanted to know. Nearly took the other spirit’s hand off too, which should not have been anywhere as cool as it was.
He sighed. The best he was probably going to get was providing a handful of ice to put in a bag for Bunny’s head, and Jack would be happy just for the chance to help his friend. He liked Bunny, but the Pooka was wary of letting anyone too close.
Given that Bunny was currently knocked out from friendly fire, well. Jack didn’t think they had much of an argument to counter that. Bunny was a fierce proud warrior, but he did have an odd habit of ending up in embarrassing situations around the others, unintentional or not. Thankfully, he had an an extremely hard head, and Jack wasn't too worried about Bunny getting permanently injured.
Bunny twitched and started moving, and it was like a switch was turned, everyone on the room froze and started moving towards the Guardian of Hope. Jack hopped over a couple of rafters to get a better look and make sure that Bunny really was okay.
A jolt of something, some sort of frisson ran down Jack’s spine when he realised that Bunny’s eyes weren’t quite right. He didn’t know what colour they were from this distance, but they were clearly not the normal bright green.
Bunny’s eyes were dark, like two pools of the night sky, leaving not even the whites of his eyes visible.
The confusion on Bunny’s face as he glanced around everyone hovering over him and clearly didn’t recognise them only added to Jack’s unease. No one else seemed to realise this as North, Tooth, and a couple of the yeti shouted questions, Sandy flashing images, wanting to know how he was feeling, advising him to take it easy, did his head hurt?
Then someone reached for Bunny and he flinched away, turning the tiny instinctual movement into a large leap away from them, launching himself off the couch and over North’s head to land in the middle of the room. His ears twitched like crazy as he turned, taking in the Guardians at the sofa and the pile of yeti at the door, blocking the exit. There was something off about his movements, the casual ease was gone, every movement sharp and calculated, but somehow more feral than usual.
“Bunny!” North called, waving a hand. “It is okay! You are safe in the Pole!”
“Are you alright?” Tooth zoomed closer. “Are your teeth okay? You didn’t knock anything loose?”
Bunny moved back, arms raised in what was clearly a fighting stance, shouting something in a language Jack had never heard. Something a bit like singing, a bit like whistling, and a lot defensive.
It was enough to make the other Guardians pause and look at each other. North and Tooth were clearly confused, Phil shrugged, but Sandy looked contemplative.
Bunny shouted again, looking around the room nearly desperately when he didn’t get an answer back. He spotted something and dove for it, and Jack was surprised to realise that Bunny had grabbed a piece of chocolate from one of the bowls scattered around the room.
Bunny hated to eat chocolate, even though he could sometimes be coaxed into making the most amazing creations that Jack had ever tasted. Bunny tore the wrapper off a chocolate, tossing it in his mouth and biting down with a vicious crunch before swallowing.
And then suddenly gained about a foot in height, a lot in muscle, and about four more arms.
Jack was aware of his jaw dropping and forced himself to blink before his eyeballs could pop out of his head. That was…. That was…
Bunny shouted again, picking up a chair in some of his six arms, looking like he was ready to throw it at them if he didn’t get answers. North, Tooth, and the yeti hastily backed up, North trying to make soothing gestures with his hands.
Sandy floated forward, strange alien shapes forming about his head that vaguely reminded Jack of something. Kinda like the abstract art in the Warren with the way the lines curved and twisted, but not quite.
It seemed to have an effect on Bunny, who faltered, asking something in a much more subdued tone. Sandy nodded, beaming happily as his sand formed different glowing shapes, either answering Bunny’s question or asking one of his own. Possibly both.
The chair was slowly, suspiciously set down as Sandy pointed North, Tooth, and Phil, the curving symbols over his head making introductions, if the candy cane and tooth were any indication. Then Sandy made a snowflake, pointing up towards Jack with a smile on his golden face.
Bunny looked up at Jack, those large dark eyes going wider, an awestruck expression on his face, as if Jack was the most beautiful thing Bunny’s ever seen.
-It was a little strange, and Jack gave him a small wave, trying to play it cool while glancing over at Sandy for instruction. Bunny didn’t do awestruck, he was one of the most jaded people Jack’s ever met while somehow retaining soft fluffy marshmallow status.
That was somehow weirder than the whole six-arm thing. Which, who knew?
Sandy just motioned Jack down, looking pleased with himself, like he knew something the others didn’t know. Which was probably true, given that he could communicate with Bunny when everyone else couldn’t. With a shrug, Jack pushed himself off the rafter, gliding down next to Sandy and bounced on his toes, moving closer to Bunny.
“Heya Cottontail.” He grinned at Bunny, who continued to stare at Jack with those wide, dark eyes. It was definitely Bunny’s face, but that wasn’t his eyes or his expressions. Bunny wouldn’t look at Jack like that, like he’s something amazing. They had a good snarking relationship going, not… whatever was in Bunny’s face.
But at the same time, it didn’t feel creepy either, there wasn’t anything hostile about Bunny’s dark eyes. It was just different, like the rest of Bunny currently.
“Look at you.” He shook his head, walking backwards as he circled around Bunny, taking a look at the extra limbs, all of them moving independently. It should have fallen into some sort of horror category, but somehow it looked kind of… natural, like he was seeing a side of Bunny that had always been there and they’d just never seen it. “You’ve been holding back on us, haven’t you?”
Bunny did not answer, spine twisting to follow Jack’s movement. The stripes on his back seemed a little darker, little more pronounced, showing off the width of the currently massive shoulders and the curve of his impossibly narrow waist. Bunny had always had the most impressive figure, but now it was really pronounced.
“Still, looking good Bun-Bun.” Jack said playfully. “I see you’ve been doing a bit of arm work. Really shows. Bet you could bench press a horse if you wanted to.”
He could hear Tooth groan and mutter his name in the background and tried not to laugh. Jack resisted the urge to tweak Bunny’s tail, continuing to circle around him, a little disappointed that Bunny didn’t start circling back, his feet staying planted on the floor.
It was their thing, usually when everyone else had left, the two of them would circle around each other like caged tigers, trading quips and barbs until one of them couldn’t come up with a comeback, in which case they’d part ways, both of them laughing outrageously. It was often the best part of these Guardian meetings, the burst of joy he got from it carrying him for hours, sometimes days.
He stopped in front of Bunny, looking up at him with his most teasing expression. “What? You’re not even going to say hi to me Roo?”
Jack got a mouthful of fur for his trouble.
He blinked, the hoarfrost that coated him momentarily hardening into sharp razor bits in surprise before he smoothed it back out, realising he was pressed up against Bunny. He had the conflicting urge to both push away and press closer. This was a lot of contact, and it wasn’t a sensation Jack was really used to, and it took a second for him to decide he was okay with it and to stay right where he was.
“JACK!” North bellowed, Tooth and the yeti echoing his name. “You okay?!”
“I’m okay!” He shouted back, then sputtered, spitting out the long hairs that covered Bunny’s chest. Oh, that was such a weird texture on his tongue. He wiggled in Bunny’s grasp a little bit, bringing his hand up to his mouth and brushing the fur out of his mouth. Better.
Bunny was so soft. And warm. Not uncomfortably, he didn’t feel like he was going to melt, but enough that he could feel the difference between their temperatures. He smelled good too, kinda dusty and musky, with a bit of the earth and plant smell the Warren always carried. It was nice.
Bunny said something, vibrating Jack’s head and chest. “What’s he saying?” Jack called.
He couldn’t really see, there was too much fur, and Bunny’s arms were in the way. There was one large hand wrapped protectively around his head, another arm around his shoulders, at least a couple on his back and one on his… well, okay, it wasn’t quite on his butt, but it wasn’t really on his hip either, kind of wrapping around the side, so he wasn’t sure if that counted as groping or not.
He was kind of disappointed about that really, because if anyone was going to grab his butt, Bunny was pretty high on the list.
And wow, that was a bit of self revelation that he wasn’t going to think about right now, considering his current position pressed hip to hair against the Pooka. He wondered if Bunny would be okay with Jack touching his butt. Or maybe just his tail.
“One moment!” North called back. “Sandy is translating. Helmet… Armour… Knight! Knight Light! Turned into a star and…”
“I think Sandy’s saying Bunny wants to know why there’s a star inside of you-?” Tooth offered. She was often better at Sandy’s charades than North was, when not distracted by directing her fairies.
“No idea. You’d have to ask Manny.” It wasn’t like Jack had a lot of answers on the whole ‘died and came back to life’ thing.
It wasn’t like he’d had a lot of control over it either.
Jack wiggled a bit, pushing back against Bunny, and the Pooka eased up his grip. Bunny would probably let him go if Jack wanted, but…
He’d never been held like this before. Of course he’d been on the end of North’s crushing bear hugs occasionally, but those didn’t last long and they didn’t feel like this. Neither Tooth or Sandy were really cuddlers, the yeti were right out, and he was too cold but for the briefest of contact with his believers.
Jack felt… weirdly safe.
He was Jack Frost, he’d always been on in his own, never needing anyone to protect him. But needing was different than wanting, and there was something about the way Bunny was holding him that made Jack just want to stay where he was for a bit. It was a nice feeling, wrapped up in warmth and fur.
He wrapped his arms around Bunny, hugging him back, running his fingers along the fur on Bunny’s back with a happy sigh.
It was better than he thought. Bunny’s fur was mostly really fine and soft, with longer sleek guard hairs that added to the depth of texture. Annoying on the mouth, but it felt really nice against his skin. Although, for once, he probably could have done without his staff pressed up against him in here too.
Possibly his hoodie too. He didn’t think he could ask Bunny to let him go so he could take his clothes off though. Which… yeah. And no.
Bunny made a low rumble in his chest that didn’t sound like words, nuzzling the top of his head, and Jack tried not to melt.
“Jack.” Tooth had a bit of an edge to her voice, like she was trying not to laugh. “Are you snuggling Bunny?”
Yes. Yes he was. This was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity and he was not going to pass up six armed Bunny hugs. “Maybe?” He called back.
He wouldn’t mind trying this again when Bunny was back to normal, with just the regular amount of limbs.
Jack could hear muffled laughter, like they they were trying to hide their snickers behind their hands. “He started it!” Jack protested and Bunny gave them a warning rumble, the paw on Jack’s head stroking his hair, and oh, that felt nice. Bunny could keep doing that.
“You do not need us to get you free?” North asked, his voice crackling with muted mirth. “We could do it, if you wish.”
“I’m good.” Jack assured him as Bunny ran his chin across the top of Jack’s head. “Just. You know. Lot of hands.”
More laughter. Jack sighed, leaning against Bunny. He was probably going to end up paying for this later, in the form of mocking, and Bunny probably being weird and not letting anyone within arms reach of him again. But that was later, and not now. And he’d deal with that then.
“Sandy is wishing to know how long courting has been going on.” North rumbled, sounding amused, and Jack had a feeling that he was stroking his hand through his beard, like he did when he was trying not laugh.
Jack paused, arms tightening around Bunny. “... What?” He croaked.
Tooth giggled. “I think he means the circling thing you were doing earlier?” There was a slight pause before she started speaking again. “Yes, Sandy says that’s it.”
That wasn’t… That was their thing. Their snarking thing.
Phil mumbled something and North huffed a laugh. “Da. And the scenting thing.”
He didn’t know the scenting thing. Bunny smelled good? Was that a thing? He didn’t know! He’d never considered trying to court someone, much less what might go on with that. And Bunny was his friend, Bunny didn’t think of Jack like that. This was the first time they’d ever gotten even this close!
… Unless Bunny did think of him like that and Jack had never noticed? Suddenly, this whole hugging thing had a lot more possible context than Jack knew what to do with.
Bunny let out a low growl, grip tightening as if picking up on his distress. He rumbled something in that musical language, sounding like he was warning them off.
“Sandy will not completely translate last thing Bunny said.” North sounded amused. “Possibly involves tentacles. Not sure. Very anatomically improbable either way.”
Oh great. Not warning. Threatening. Bunny probably could tear them limb from limb right now if he wanted to. Which would mean letting go of Jack, which he didn’t seemed inclined to do right now, if the grip Bunny had on Jack was any indication.
Phil made a rumbling noise. “Da, I agree.” North echoed. “Bunny is awake, physically unharmed, that is important thing. It is time for change of plan.”
“Are you comfortable where you are, Jack?” Tooth asked, derailing Jack’s thoughts.
“Um. Yes-?” He ventured, not sure what the right answer was now.
“Great!” Tooth chirped.
That... didn’t sound good.
It really didn’t sound good when something impacted against Bunny’s head, the Pooka making a roaring sound, then began to wobble. Jack spotted a bit of golden sand drifting down and clinging to Bunny’s fur and Jack had a brief moment to realise what their plan was.
Putting Bunny to sleep, probably hoping that he’d be back to himself when he woke up.
And Jack as well, as collateral damage. “Hate you all.” He muttered at them as the dreamsand began to take effect, Bunny starting to tilt sideways, still holding on to Jack. “You’re all jerks.”
And then he was asleep, wrapped up in soft warm fur and dreamsand.
Jack woke up, still wrapped up in soft warm fur, and a lot less arms. He was comfortable and content, not wanting to move for fear that he’d disturb this feeling. Jack vaguely remembered something about hugging Bunny earlier, and the Sandman, and figured he was somewhere safe with his staff nearby if Sandy was in on it. Their Sandman was good like that.
Even if sleeping was weird. Jack didn't actually seem to need to, but sometimes it was nice to just stop and let the world move on without him for a little while. Sandy's dreamsand was really the only way for him to fall into a true sleep, and Jack could count the number of times he'd actually done so on one hand.
Although this was a new way to wake up. He could hear the soft thump of a heartbeat under his head, and what sounded like a second one joining it. The rise and fall of a chest expanding, lungs working. It was odd, but comforting.
A hand moved along his back, gripping his shoulder before the arms around him flexed. “Ow, me head…” Bunny mumbled, his body tensing, curling tighter around Jack.
… Six arms. Chocolate. Head injury. Right.
“I gotcha.” Jack assured Bunny, wiggling free of the Pooka’s two armed grasp. Bunny made a confused noise but let him go, Jack pulling himself up until they switched positions, so instead of him using Bunny as a pillow, Bunny’s head was pressed against Jack’s cold chest. “This okay?”
“Bless you, mate.” Bunny murmured, large hands wrapping around Jack’s ankle and waist, until Jack was wrapped around his head. Jack huffed in amusement, idly scratching the soft fur between Bunny’s ears, getting a groan of relief at the action.
Well. This was what he’d kind of wanted to offer before all the crazy happened. He could kind of do without feeling Bunny’s breath on his stomach though, warm through the cotton of his hoodie. That was… kind of arousing, actually.
Jack sent a wave of ice down his front, to keep certain parts from reacting inappropriately. Or appropriately, given the circumstances. Either way, Bunny didn’t need to deal with that in his face.
Not tonight dear, I have a headache, Jack thought to himself and stifled a giggle.
It also had the benefit of providing a colder surface for Bunny’s headache. Which Bunny reacted to by somehow managed to press his head harder against Jack. Jack just smiled, fondly running his fingers along the edge of one of Bunny’s long ears, feeling the delicate curve and the short fine hairs there. Such a grumpy Bunny.
While it’d been nice to be cuddled earlier, it was just as nice to be on the other end. He didn’t have a lot of experience with this touching, comforting thing, but getting used to it might be nice.
Possibly with Bunny, if the Pooka was up for it.
The others were going to embarrass Bunny so much later on for that giant hug. Jack frowned and made a mental note to give North hell over knocking Bunny out in the first place. North would probably blame Bunny for not dodging, but that still didn’t change the fact it had been North’s fist to Bunny’s head in a non-fighting environment.
And to top it off, they were at the Pole, which meant they North was the host. If North needed a reminder of what the duties and responsibilities of hospitality meant, for Bunny’s sake, Jack would be willing to remind him. Injuring guests under your roof was just not on. Especially for Santa.
Bunny suddenly tensed, his grip on Jack’s ankle tightening. “Jack?” He ventured, sounding confused and a little panicked.
“Hey, Bun-Bun.” Jack tried to keep his voice soft and soothing, stroking Bunny’s ear again. “Is this alright?” Bunny hadn't minded when he'd had six arms, but he felt better double checking now that Bunny was verbal.
Bunny huffed against Jack’s belly, going boneless. “Is fine.” He slurred. “I trust ya.”
Jack felt frost cover his face in a blush at Bunny’s words. “You usually don’t let people touch you.” He muttered, trying not to show how touched he was. Bunny didn’t trust easily.
“Mmmm.” Bunny hummed in agreement. “You think I’m a dumb animal?”
Jack nearly recoiled, barely keeping from accidently kicking Bunny in the chest. “No!”
“Then it’s fine.” Bunny sounded sleepily content. “S’nice.”
“It is.” Jack agreed. “I like this. Six armed hugs were good too.”
Bunny groaned, sounding like he regretted all of his life choices he’d made ever, and Jack snickered. “Bloody chocolate.” Bunny swore, sounding hungover. “Never eatin’ it again.”
Jack thought it over, idly rubbing the back of Bunny’s head. He’d never actually seen Bunny drunk, alcohol didn’t seem to affect him like it did everyone else. Minus the whole six armed thing, Bunny’s behaviour was a bit like the others when they got drunk. Loud, angry, and affectionate by turns.
“Your eyes were black.” Jack mused. “Like, completely. That was weirder than the arm thing.”
“Hm.” Bunny nodded, rubbing his face against Jack. “S’how they used ta look, before I became a Guardian. Had brown fur too. Changed when I took the oath. Had to see things different.”
Bunny’s eyes, his green eyes, were very human. And pretty. The black eyes were more like what Jack saw with domesticated rabbits.
He was learning all sorts of things about his friend today, more than he’d learned in knowing Bunny for years. “Is that why you called me a star?”
He got a flinch and tightened his grip around Bunny’s head, keeping him there. He realised what he was doing and removed his arms so Bunny could move if he wanted. “Sorry.”
“S’apples.” Bunny took a deep breath and let it out, sounding like he was bracing himself. “Pooka… We existed to protect the light. Every living thing has light, some are brighter than others. The Guardians are glorious beacons, but you…”
Bunny trailed off and swallowed. “I’ve never seen a more beautiful light.”
It sounded like it hurt to say that, and Jack pressed his head against Bunny’s, his heart beating double time in his chest.
He didn’t… Jack Frost wasn’t beautiful. It’d taken centuries for him to be seen, much less talked to. Winter was a hard season, it could be beautiful, but it was a cold deadly kind of beauty.
Not the kind of beauty that took Bunny’s voice away.
Bunny swallowed, his thumb rubbing idly along Jack’s bare ankle. “You’ve got the light of a newborn star in ya. I’ve seen similar, belonging to the Nightlights, the Guardians of the Lunar Royalty. They’re made of starlight, the laughter of ten thousand kids, and hair from the King and Queen. They’re rare.”
“But when a Lunanoff child grows up and no longer needs a Nightlight, the Nightlight turn into a star.” Bunny sighed. “That’s probably how Manny brought you back, by putting the former Nightlight inside of you.”
Jack shivered. Great. He was made up of two dead guys. Just when he thought he couldn’t get any deader.
“The light of that star is there inside ya… But you’ve made it your own. Nightlights are cold by necessity. Your light is so bright and joyful. Took me breath away.” Bunny’s voice cracked, sounding raw.
Jack pressed a kiss against Bunny’s ear. “I’m sorry.” He whispered, not sure what he was apologising for.
He’d known Bunny was an alien the same way he knew North had been a bandit and Tooth was half human. Or probably the way people knew that he’d been dead, and now he wasn’t.
There was a past there, a history, and people that were missed, never to be seen again. He wondered if Bunny missed the familiarity of being able to see the lights the same way Jack missed his mother’s hugs, now that he remembered her.
“Nothing for ya to be sorry for.” Bunny growled. “If anything, I should be the one apologising to you. Grabbin’ ya like that.”
“It’s fine.” Jack smiled to himself. “I trust you.”
Bunny grumbled wordlessly at having his own words parroted back to him, but Jack meant it. He’d been more surprised than anything else. “Although. Um.” Jack hesitated before speaking. “Sandy mentioned courting-?”
“S’not courting. Courting is bit more involved than that.” Bunny said, a little bit of an annoyed growl to his tone. Jack was amused to note that Bunny’s ears were flushing a slightly brighter pink, warming under Jack’s touch. He’d never known Bunny could blush before! Felt like he could melt a layer of frost with the heat he was giving off too. “... Is a bit of flirtin’ though.”
Jack paused in mid motion, fingers tangled in Bunny’s fur. “Flirting-?”
“That’s, um. That’s how Pooka flirt. The circlin’ and the snarkin’.” Bunny muttered, sounding embarrassed. “Circling to display your good angles, maybe do a bit of posing. Trading barbs to show off your intelligence. It’s fun.”
“It is.” Jack agreed, ducking his head, frost covering his cheeks again. “I never… I never. Um. Flirted. Knowingly. With anyone before.”
Three centuries alone, and a handful of years with people being able to see him and other spirits talking to him. There’d never been an opportunity to do so, much less any kind of interest. Flirting and romance was something that happened to other people, not him.
“Reckoned.” Bunny made a soft sigh, releasing his grip on Jack and pulling away. “S’why I didn’t say anythin’.”
Jack held tight, bringing his legs up to hold Bunny where he was. “If I did though.” Jack said, heart pounding loudly in his ears. “It’d be with you.”
The silence that fell seemed to be absolute, the only sound being his heart trying to pound out of his chest.
“Jack-?” Bunny finally ventured, sounding hopeful.
“I like flirting with you. It’s our thing. Our snarky thing.” Jack said, the words trying to pile up behind his tongue, tripping and stumbling as they came out. “I don’t want to stop.”
“That’s fine.” Bunny assured him, sounding so calm and reasonable it made Jack want to freeze something. “Nothin’ wrong with a spot of flirting between friends.”
That’s not what Jack was trying to say at all and he growled in annoyance.
“No.” He released Bunny’s head, scooting back so he could look the Pooka in the eyes. Both of which were thankfully back to normal. “I like you. I like spending time with you. I like this.”
Bunny’s eyes went wide, his expression shifting to something that looked a lot like awe. Jack smiled tightly, running a fingertip across Bunny’s forehead, touching the blossom-shaped mark there. “I like getting to touch you. And you touching me. I’d love to touch you all over.” He confessed. “Maybe… Maybe not everywhere, not right now, but I like holding you, and you holding me. I like... you.”
Once he’d gotten over the shock of being touched, he liked it. It was still a bit new and overwhelming, but he wanted more. Especially if it was Bunny’s furry hands that were doing it.
“Aw, mate.” Bunny pulled Jack closer, pressing their foreheads together. “I like our snarky thing too. Spending time with you. And holding you, and you holding me. And maybe more touching when we’re both more comfortable with it. I like you too, Jack Frost. Just didn’t think it was an option.”
“I hadn’t realised it was one either.” Jack admitted. Until just a few hours ago when he’d been disappointed at the lack of butt touching.
… He didn’t think he was going to admit that one for a while.
Bunny hummed happily, eyes drifting shut. Jack smiled, reaching over and rubbing the base of Bunny’s ear. “Head still hurt?”
“Just a tad.” Bunny confessed, tilting his head so Jack had a better angle to reach. “I’ll give ya quite a while to quit that.”
Jack grinned, trying not to bounce around with joy. “I don’t have anywhere to be for a while, if you want to go back to sleep.”
“I like this plan.” Bunny agreed, wiggling around until he had his arms wrapped around Jack’s thighs, head pressed up against Jack’s chest again. "Thanks, love." His breathing evened out as Jack took shameless advantage to compare and contrast all the different fur he could reach.
This was a different thing than their snarky thing, but he thought he could get to like it more.
The feeling of someone entering the the Warren woke Aster out of a solid sleep. He tensed for a moment, reaching for the magic that had built his massive home, then relaxed, recognising Jack’s light.
Aster smiled to himself, wondering if he could maybe talk Jack into being Aster’s pillow for a little while. Chances were pretty good, it was just after Easter and he hadn’t quite caught up on his rest yet, and it was Jack’s down time too.
He never thought he’d have this opportunity, to be able to do something like share a meal, hold Jack close, or fall asleep together. He’d been content at becoming friends with Jack, circling and flirting, trying to hold back his laughter as they traded quips.
And then he’d lost his memory, reverting a bit back to how he’d been before Earth. Thankfully not all the way, his egg-obsessed previous self would have been downright embarrassing to be again. Too soft and fussy, with the creamy tan fur and the soft rounded body that belonged more to a scholar than the warrior he was.
And then he’d been a right idiot and eaten chocolate. He’d always expected that if the others saw him like that, they’d freak out and panic. Which had been mostly true. Although that may have also been partially his eyes and the fact he couldn’t remember how to speak any Earth languages.
The exception being Jack. Jack’d flirted, circling like nothing was different, then hugged back when Aster grabbed him unexpectedly with a multitude of limbs.
At the time, all he could think was that he needed to protect the precious light. The others were lovely as well, North’s red-hued light that looked like fire, Sandy’s soothing aged gold, Tooth’s lavender that looked like a collection of fireflies, her fairies a part of it, the more muted multi coloured lights of the yeti and the elves.
Jack blew them all alway, such a pure light with the faintest touch of blue and a shimmer of ice sparkling on the edges of it like tiny prisms. The only other one he’d seen that had come close to such loveliness was the First Light that Aster guarded.
And now, he got to see that light frequently. Sometimes Jack would nap next to him while he was painting, and he’d shift his eyes over to watch their lights intermingle. He’d never given anyone permission to access the Warren as they pleased before, but it wasn’t something he regretted giving to Jack.
It had been eons since anyone had touched Aster the way Jack did, and he was still adjusting to it. He liked it, but it could be overwhelming, having someone that close to him. Jack was much the same, there were days when he danced out of reach, feeling as if he’d melt like ice under Spring’s touch, then days that he was like a burr in Aster’s fur, until the point that Aster thought he was going to suffocate.
The best days were when neither of them thought about it overly much, giving and receiving touches as naturally as breathing.
They were learning each other’s limits and boundaries though, and it was good though. Very good.
He felt Jack get closer and stretched lazily, feeling loose limbed and lethargic as he climbed out of his nest to greet the Guardian of Fun. He checked his weapons out of habit, adjusted the diamond dagger that now rested under his left bracer, the hilt touching his fur.
Jack had a matching one that he wore in a similar fashion, hidden under his hoodie sleeves. Which made sense, seeing as the dagger was his.
It’d been a bit of a shock, Aster had made the discovery that Jack was ticklish. Extremely ticklish, and Aster’s soft fur was just the perfect thing to elicit a laughing attack. And Jack had laughed so hard he cried. He’d called ‘Uncle’ and Aster had stopped, feeling pleased with himself, until Jack reached up to wipe his eyes-
-And come away with two glowing daggers in his hands, born of the laughter from the Guardian of Joy.
Nightlights had the ability to make diamond daggers that reflected the light from tears, their own and other people’s. Jack hadn’t known he could do that, admitting to never having shed a tear before. He could cry, Aster had seen Jack’s eyes tear up before, been the source of that, but they’d never actually fallen.
Jack had given Aster one of the knives and kept the other one. There were very few things in the universe a diamond dagger couldn’t cut, and Pitch’s shadows melted like butter when in contact with them. Aster would be lying if he said he wasn’t touched by the gesture.
It could also be considered a courting gift. An extremely valuable one. Not only because the blades were extremely rare and valuable, but because they were a gift from Jack, made by his tears and his laughter.
He hadn’t told Jack that, considering Jack’s freak out at the idea that they were flirting when Aster had lost his memories. Eventually though. What they had slowly growing between them was caring and comfortable, and he didn’t wish to push Jack farther than either of them could deal with.
Although it did make him wonder if Jack possessed any other abilities that Nightlights possessed.
He yawned as he stepped into the kitchen, idly scratching behind one ear, then smiled, spotting Jack leaning against the doorway. Jack had a soft expression his face as he looked at Aster, warm and fond all at once. Aster smiled happily in response. “Morning, Jackie.”
“It is now.” Jack pushed himself off the door frame, all lazy grace as walked over to Aster, wrapping an arm wrapping around his waist. Jack fit comfortably against Aster, in a way that always surprised and thrilled him. Jack tilted his head back, looking at Aster under his dark lashes, looking like he was angling for a kiss.
It was the easiest thing in the world when to lean down and brush his lips against Jack’s in greeting, Jack humming happily in return.
He was not expecting the blinding flash of light, or the sudden rush of magic that filled the room. Jack screamed, in alarm and pain, his free hand grabbing Aster’s wrist for balance.
And as suddenly as it started, it stopped. “Jack?” Aster asked, blinking his eyes to clear his vision.
“I’m… I’m okay.” Jack said haltingly. “I’m not hurt.” It was almost a question, but not quite.
When Aster could focus on Jack again, the Guardian of Joy seemed to be fine. No visible injuries anyway, and Aster scented the air, making sure there was no unexpected blood or lingering magics.
He paused, then leaned forward, pressing his muzzle against Jack’s neck, taking a deeper sniff. “Bunny?” Jack asked, his frost creeping across his neck in his version of a blush.
“You smell like a Pooka.” Aster frowned. There was a touch of ice and pine sap, but no longer like a human. That should have been impossible, Pitch had wiped everyone else out at the end of the Golden Era.
“I’d hope I smell like you.” Jack quipped, an amused twist to his lips when Aster leaned back.
“Not like me, love.” Aster corrected. He shifted his eyes, looking past the physical, and into the lights that he’d seen before he came to this planet. Jack’s light was much the same as it had been, still vibrant and glorious, with the shimmer of ice sparkling on the edges. But there was a slight difference to it as well, a slightly shift in hue that Aster hadn’t seen in eons.
“Whoa.” Jack breathed. “You’re gorgeous. Like, you’re white, but you’re green too. I didn’t know you were tied to everyone like that.”
Aster was the Avatar of Spring, the Guardian of Life and Hope. Every living thing on the planet touched his light, which spread like vines or roots from his bright core.
Not that anyone else ever noticed that before. Being able to see the lights like that was a talent that only the Pooka possessed.
Aster blinked, turning his eyes back to normal, and realised that Jack’s eyes weren’t the usual vivid blue they usually were, but solid, like his own had been a moment before. A deep dark blue, like the midnight sky stared at him.
Pooka eyes. In Jack’s face.
Jack looked around, tracing the lights that only he could see at the moment, twisting to stare down the hallway. “Your bedroom’s really bright.”
Of course it was. Where else was he going to hide the First Light and then sleep for millennia? Aster’s nest was built right on top of it. No one could reach it without going through him first when he was sleeping.
“Just a tic.” Aster touched Jack’s chest, who jumped at the contact, then turned to stare at Aster’s hand. Looking at where their lights mingled, no doubt.
Aster loved watching the way Jack’s light coated his light with what looked like shimmering frost, making the two reflect a little brighter. It didn’t hurt their lights as far as he could tell, quite the opposite.
He focused on Jack’s chest, one hand easily finding the thump of Jack’s human heart, high up in the chest, nestled happily between his lungs.
And a second one, just below it. The same place where Aster’s second heart rested.
Aster sat down suddenly, his legs feeling like they couldn’t hold him upright anymore.
“Bunny?” Jack hands gripped his arms, keeping him from falling face first into the floor.
“You’re a Pooka.” Aster managed to get out. He still looked like Jack, no tail or long ears or fur. Jack just happened to now be a Jack-shaped Pooka.
“But… I…” Jack stammered, then knelt down, leaning against Aster. “I don’t get it.” He said, sounding completely lost.
Bunny flexed his left hand, feeling the press of the diamond dagger against his arm. Jack was a former Nightlight.
“No Nightlight would have kissed before.” He said slowly, staring at Jack’s dark unhuman eyes.
No Nightlight would have ever considered being in a relationship, their entire focus on protecting the Lunanoff children. They were little more than sentient robots in a way, their duty being all encompassing. Oh, they could be friendly enough, but always distant.
Jack was so warm, so full of joy and curiosity that he was about as far from a Nightlight one could get. And yet, he could make daggers from his tears. Didn't seem to need to sleep either, but he didn't mind that either.
That had been their first kiss, Jack’s first kiss. A kiss of greeting, of good morning. Of waking up. There were all kinds of magic in that.
Possibly magic enough to change someone.
Jack stared at him for a moment, then let out a huff, burying his face in Aster’s shoulder for a moment. “Hey, Bunny?”
“If this what happens the first time we kiss.” Jack said slowly, just a touch of amusement colouring his voice as he pulled his head away to leer playfully at Aster. “What do you think’ll happen the first time we have sex?”
Okay, so totally didn't mean to write more for this universe, but Bunny wouldn't shut up and the question of kisses hadn't been answered. After this, we're done with this AU for sure, there's other stuff to work on, like fic for Easter.
Fanart of six-armed Bunny throwing a chair